Archive for the 'Nonsense' Category

The Fun Spot

I’m still not in the mood to think about the Sabres (Welcome to Buffalo, Tallinder the 2nd Jordan Leopold!), and I’m scared that if I turn on the television I’ll accidentally get sucked into the Hotdog Eating Contest, so here’s a funny story from Apple Hill.


On the day after music camp ended, a little crew of us (Mike, Jesse, Elise, Ealain, and myself) hopped in the car and drove an hour and a half to The Fun Spot.  Now, ordinarily driving many miles to the world’s biggest arcade/video game museum on a beautiful day with my oldest and dearest friends would be pure delight, but on this day….well.

As Jesse would later say of the day, “It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.”

First, a bit about The Fun Spot.  It’s bonkers.  The Fun Spot is a three-story warehouse full of every arcade video game ever made (possibly literally), plus skee-ball, whack-a-mole, and all the other games where you get tickets and then turn them in for small prizes.   The Fun Spot is awesome because if there was a video game that you used to love playing at the roller rink in 1983, it will be there.  You can find it, and play it, and be magically returned to a different era of your life.  Jesse, Mike and I spent HOURS (and hundreds of dollars) playing Star Trek the Next Generation pinball in college, and IT WAS THERE, at The Fun Spot.  Star Trek pinball!  Just looking at the machine made me feel like a junior in college again, and when I heard the sounds of the game I was absolutely transported back to the Oberlin game room, circa 1996. (In college though, our Star Trek game had a broken tilt mechanism.  This was part of its appeal.  If you were strong enough you could literally hoist the machine into the air to avoid having your ball go down the drain.  Star Trek pinball is why I had huge bruises on my hips [from slamming the machine] for all of 1996.  Sadly, at The Fun Spot the tilt worked, and we weren’t allowed to abuse the machine.)

So, The Fun Spot definitely has its fine qualities.  And let me tell you, we LAUGHED our asses off that day.  We laughed until we couldn’t breath.  Repeatedly.  At one point in the car, Jesse was laughing so hard he pulled the car over to the side of the road so that he wouldn’t crash.  (For my BPO friends- I was telling the story of The “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Fawn” at the time. Heh.)  We laughed until our sides ached and we begged each other to “PLEASE STOP BEING FUNNY, OR I’LL DIE”.  I love those people so much, and it was such a treat to hang out with them all day.  If you ever get the chance to hit the Fun Spot with your BFFs, I highly recommend that you take it.

But there IS bad news about the Fun Spot.  First of all, with all those people playing video games at once, it’s loud.  Like, REAL loud.  Second of all, it’s hot.  Like, ewwww hot.  And smelly.  And THIRD of all, every surface in that building feels grimy.  I have never felt so unclean as I felt in the Fun Spot.  I figure you have at LEAST a 50% chance of catching hepatitis at the Fun Spot.  After every game I played, I felt the strong urge to douse myself in Purell, but I didn’t have any Purell, so I made repeated trips to the scuzzy bathrooms to wash my hands.  The bathroom was its own nightmare of uncleanliness.

Added to the general yuckiness of the Fun Spot was my own personal predicament.  You see, I was more than a little hung over that day.  It wasn’t a DefCon 5 hangover, but it was definitely a hangover that should’ve been treated with lots of Gatorade and possibly a “Law and Order” marathon.  BUT, this was no ordinary situation.  I was in full, “Seize the day” mode because I was at summer camp.  When you’re at summer camp you don’t say, “I’m too tired.”  EVER.  When you’re at summer camp you grab the Fun Spot by the horns, and you play video games until you can’t see straight.  You rally.  Because damnit, time is short and soon you’ll have to go back to real life.  There will be plenty of time for fluids and television in Buffalo.  In New Hampshire, you go for the gold.

So, the whole time we were in the Fun Spot sweating, and laughing, and obsessively washing our hands, I was teetering back and forth between feeling reasonably okay and feeling like I wanted to curl up on the floor of the Fun Spot and die.   One second I would be laughing so hard I couldn’t imagine being happier, and the next second I would be limping to the snack bar (the quietest, yet stickiest area of the Fun Spot) to try to manage my hangover with Rolos and Cheez-Its.  (Rolos and Cheez-Its are not ideal hangover food, but you work with what you’ve got.  They did help.)

I could write a thousand years and still never get done telling you about the adventures (and misadventures) we had in the Fun Spot, but instead, I’ll just leave you with this:

FunSpotBootieThis is Jesse displaying the booty we collected with our tickets after playing about $80 worth of Skee-ball.  A plastic hand clapper, a strange thermos thing, and a dolphin ring.

After squeezing all the fun we could out of the Fun Spot, we got in the car for the long ride home.  We were all a little worse for the wear (practically shell-shocked), but I was in particularly bad shape due to my hangover.  It was nearing dinnertime, but since the Fun Spot is kind of in the middle of nowhere we decided it would be best to eat once we got back to home.  So, the scene at this point was rather sorry.  We were all tired, and feeling disgusting, I was hungover and getting increasingly cranky about it, and we were still hours away from eating dinner.

This is when I began whining in earnest.  I’d like to think that my whining was for comedic effect, but if I’m honest with myself, I’m not so sure.  The Fun Spot had pushed me to the brink.  I was hungry and tired and jammed in the backseat of a Subaru with two other adults, and when I wasn’t whining pitifully, I was slap happy and near delirious.

And so this is how we began our rambling ride home.  We recounted the adventures we’d had at the Fun Spot.  Laughed over some of them, cried over others, and basically tried to keep each other’s spirits up.  But we were definitely flagging.  There is only so much a human body can take, and the Fun Spot had turned out to be the ultimate test of human stamina.

Just when we thought that the day had taken a turn for the permanently cranky, Elise exclaimed, “Oh my gosh!  I still have half a doughnut!”  Then, from under the seat, she produced a wax paper bag containing half of the doughnut she had purchased that morning.  We all cheered and passed the bag around, each taking one bite of the doughnut.  I cannot tell you how rejuvenating a single bite of a doughnut can be when you are in the post-Fun Spot pit of despair.  In that moment, we were reborn.

But five minutes later we came crashing down.  It turns out one bite of doughnut only provides five minutes of rebirth.  After that you feel worse than you felt before you even HAD that bite of doughnut.

That’s when we had this exchange:

Mike: How are you feeling Kate?

Kate:  BAD.  I feel BAD.  I’m hungry and I feel BAD.  That bite of doughnut only made things worse!

Mike: I know.  Me too.  I bet you feel terrible, what with the hangover and all.


Mike: We might die.

Kate: (sadly, dejectedly, with no hint of hope or joy) I think we will die.

(a long, desperate quiet descends upon the car)

Mike:  But wait…

(Mike begins rummaging around in the center console.  We all eye him warily.  All hope is lost.)

And then, in a voice you would use to say, “But guess what!  We have ONE MORE present,” at a child’s birthday party right before you bring in a pony with a bow tied around his neck, Mike triumphantly held up a wax paper bag.


We were saved!  Mike had been holding out!  He had expertly waited until the car had reached it’s lowest, saddest, most hopeless state, and then HE MAGICALLY PRODUCED ANOTHER LIFE SAVING DOUGHNUT!  My heart filled with joy!  We would not die!  We had another doughnut!

Is there anyone better than Mike?  NO.  There is not!

I’m not sure I will ever have a moment as happy as the moment Mike pulled that doughnut out of thin air.  We ate that doughnut, and this time it WAS enough to get us home.  Mike’s magical doughnut got us all the way back up to Apple Hill.  The day had been a wondrous success.

And we all lived happily every after.

The End.

Dear Lindy Ruff,

Being the coach of an NHL team is a full time job.  So is owning a diner.  I know how passionate you are about grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate malts, and lord knows I know you love the Sabres, but sooner or latter you’re going to have to make a choice.   Hockey, or affordable comfort food.   I think you’re spreading yourself too thin.

With love and thanks for the french fries,



Hockey is over for the season.  HOORAY!  (The Blackhawks won, BTW.)

Look.  Lord knows I love hockey.  I do.  In past years I’ve happily devoured non-Sabres playoffs, but this year I was too jealous to enjoy much hockey once the Sabres were eliminated.  I don’t know if it was all the emotional energy I burned during the Olympics (and looking back on the season, the Olympics really were the peak of my hockey fervor), or if it was the Sabres disappointing playoff appearance, or maybe it was just “one of those years,” but I wasn’t feeling the playoffs, and I’m glad they’re over.

(It was pretty fun to see the Cup won on an OT goal [even if the goal was kind of weak].  That I have to admit.)

The BEST thing about the playoffs being over is that it means the offseason has officially begun.  It’s time to put this year behind us, and begin speculating wildly about the future.  The future is fun.

I firmly believe that the Sabres are going to win the Cup someday.  It might not be next year, or the year after that, or the DECADE after that, but the Sabres are going to win it all in my lifetime.  That winning future may feel far off, but every little thing that Darcy does this summer will somehow effect that team that eventually wins it all.  That’s how it works.  Even if the path is winding, life is still a line of one thing leading to another.

A butterfly flaps it’s wings in China, and the Sabres win the Cup in 2017.

I’m happy and enthusiastic about the offseason.  I’ve never put much stock in the draft (from an entertainment standpoint), but the first year I paid any attention to the draft the Sabres drafted Tyler Myers.  Tyler!  Myers!  What if Darcy drafts Tyler Myers again?   Or, maybe Darcy will draft so poorly that the Sabres will be doomed for years, and somewhere down the line we’ll get the future version of Sidney Crosby, and we’ll win the Cup that way.

It all leads to the Cup eventually.  I’m pretty sure of that much.

The first step to the future was finishing the damn playoffs.

Congratulations, Hawks! (We’ll give you guys Nathan Gerbe [his cap hit is minicule] for Patrick Sharp   Think it over.)

Something Silly

You know how some days you’re feeling all out of sorts and generally cranky, but then something silly comes along and makes you laugh and then everything is awesome again?  That’s kind of how this recording of a tech support call hit me today.

I’ll set the scene: A woman calls in because she wants the Google Pac-Man disabled on her homepage and gentle hilarity ensues.

The tech support guy who helps her is a SAINT, and I very sincerely hope that the release of this call on YouTube leads directly to him getting laid.  I want to believe that we live in a world where this type of guy gets all the action he can possibly handle.

I found it on Woot!

Important Update

Bad news on the Bagel Thins front.

They’re not nearly as delicious toasted.  They’re too thin to support cream cheese, and they get too crispy when toasted.

I will, of course, continue to report as more information becomes available.

10 Things I Like

1. Mulch.

I’ve been slaving away on several mud pits gardens, and against the advice of every plant-savvy person I know, I was dragging my heels on putting down mulch.  I finally got around to it yesterday, and my plants were immediately all, “Hey, thanks!”  Not only do the plants seem to like it, the mulch makes the garden beds look less sloppy.

2. When Crunchy is the guest analyst on NBC.

I felt pretty sorry for Ryan Miller that he had to attempt to interact professionally with Pierre and Milbury, but it was still good to see him.  He looked so handsome and relaxed.  Isn’t it amazing how he’s morphed from a straggly looking weirdo into a well-composed weirdo/borderline-star?  I liked how he casually had he hands resting on the desk.  Good old, Crunchy.

3. These hoops I made to hang above my couch.

hoopsNo, the picture’s not in focus. That’s just how I roll.

I saw this idea online somewhere and I stole it for myself. It’s just pretty fabric stretched over embroidery hoops and hung on the wall. I think it’s super cute and I’m quite proud of myself.

4. When Chris Pronger steals the game puck and then throws it in the garbage can.

I’m sorry, but that’s some hilariously villainous shit.

5. Netflix through my Wii

I never used my Wii until Netflix came along and made their service much much more awesome.

6. My BFF Courtney’s new little dude.  His name is Edison, but I’m going to have a hard time not calling him Eddy.  I’ve been given the green light on Eddy, as long as it’s spelled E-d-d-y and not E-d-d-i-e.

EdisonIsn’t he nice?

7. The NBA

Yep, still like it.

8. Bagel Thins


I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Katebits, Bagel Thins are stupid,” but you’re WRONG WRONG WRONG.  Bagel Thins kick ass.  The trouble with regular bagels is that they are too bulky.  In order to get the bread/meat ratio right in a bagel sandwich you have to use so much meat that the whole thing becomes too big.  Then, when you bite into your too-big bagel sandwich, all the meat and cheese tries to slide out the other side.  With a Bagel Thin, the correct bread/ratio is easy to achieve, and everyone wins.  Plus, they’re only 110 calories, if you care about that sort of thing.  I do not care about the number of calories.  I just enjoy good sandwiches.

9. No violas in “The Music Man”

The BPO recently did a semi-staged production of “The Music Man,” which by all accounts was a lovely show.  I wasn’t there to see it though, because for some reason there are no violas in the Music Man score.  This amounted to two surprise days off, aka, the best thing in the history of time and space.

10. Popsicles

Is there anything better on a hot day than a popsicle?  Nope.


I’ve been disturbed recently by a new phenomenon that is plaguing NHL hockey.  I’m speaking, of course, of how real hockey is looking more and more like video game hockey.  I think it’s a sad day when the NHL bows to the pressures of the gaming industry by inserting obviously computer generated players into otherwise real hockey.

Hell, Dominic Moore looks a little fake too now that I look at him.


Wow.  I had no idea about Mike Rowe’s QVC past.  At Matt’s strong suggestion, I just looked it up on YouTube, and whoa.  What can I say?  This is amazing and wonderful.

Here we have Mike Rowe selling a crinkly bag for a cat.  And yes, it’s exactly as awesome as it sounds.

This next video demonstrates Mike Rowe’s ability to effortlessly turn any nearby woman into a giggling mess.  There is NO WAY I could pitch Dickies in front of Mike Rowe without really a lot of giggling.  Could anyone do this with a straight face?

Here’s Mike Rowe selling little ceramic cherubs.  Why is this so awesome?  Because it’s Mike Rowe.

Here’s Mike Rowe picking on the Dickie’s lady again.  He’s relentless.

What have we learned here today?  Well, not much, except that if you search “Mike Rowe qvc” on YouTube, you’re likely to get lost down the rabbit hole for at least an hour.

The Real Issue With the Sabres:

I have started approximately 45,000 posts about the end of the Sabres season.  I have a lot to say, but none of it’s very original (fire everyone except Mike Grier, Roy-Z is icky, this is all Lindy’s fault except for the part that is Darcy’s fault, blah blah blah) and it’s all VERY annoying when I see it written out in a post.  I have no idea why, but after almost three years of writing about the Sabres, this week, I’ve been struck dumb, or perhaps more accurately, I’ve been struck silent (the “dumb” part happened years ago).  I don’t really know what to say, and I don’t feel strongly about any of it, so I’m trying to do keep my mouth shut until I’ve got something interesting to say.  Basically, I’m trying not to annoy the interwebs.  You’re welcome, interwebs.


You guys may recall that the LAST time I seriously annoyed the interwebs, it was because I WOULD NOT SHUT UP on Twitter about the lack of HD during the Bruins series.  A few of you were all, “I KNOW. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE. WHAT THE EFF,” but a LOT of you were all, “Shut up, Katebits.  We’re trying to enjoy this game and your incessant whining is on our nervies.”  So, in an effort not to lose all of my followers, I tried to buck up, but I would like to point out that ultimately, I was proven RIGHT.

The Sabres played three games in standard def, and they lost ALL THREE.  If I had a Sabres sweatshirt with that kind of devastating record in the playoffs, I would throw it away.   Just saying.

So, I will spare the interwebs my versions of “What what wrong, 09/10” and, “What the Sabres should do next” (for now), but, as God is my witness, I will NEVER quit bitching about how the Sabres and MSG gave their loyal, dedicated, and playoff-starved fans, THREE playoff games in lowly low low def. And I will NEVER stop reminding the world that the Sabres were ultimately punished for treating us this way, with three big fat losses at the hands of the Bruins.

Damn it, I’ll cheer for Roy-Z if I must, but I will never cheer for substandard broadcast feeds.  NEVER!

We all have our demons.  Apparently mine is standard def.

The Eternal Conflict Within, Playoff-Style

If you’re like me, you find yourself lost and adrift.  Half enraged, half sad, and against all reason, half hopeful.

It turns out, I don’t know how to write about the Sabres when they’re in the playoffs.  If they’d played these last two games in the regular season, I’d write something ranging from, “GODDAMN IT, SABRES!  PULL YOURSELVES TOGETHER YOU MINCING LITTLE TURDS,” to, “The Sabres are making me sad and weary.”

But things are different in the playoffs.  Even though the Sabres are FRUSTRATING ME TO THE POINT OF EXHAUSTION, deep down inside, I want to keep rooting for these little bastards.  I don’t want to get too cranky, because they’re only down 2-1….and I love them. If they win tomorrow the series is tied up and they have home ice advantage again.  Seriously now, this situation is not the end of the world.  But I’ll admit, the Sabres do make me feel all the-end-is-nigh-y when I watch them play hockey.  They looked terrrrible last night.

Basically, I’m feeling topsy-turvy and confused.

My feelings are so conflicted.  I don’t want to attack the Sabres too viciously, because I want to be able to love them without reservation the NANOSECOND they stop sucking.  I need to leave myself an out so that when they pull themselves together, I can rightfully say, “I loved them all along!”  But even though I want to leave the door open for further Sabres lovin’, I ALSO WANT TO PERSONALLY STRANGLE THEM WITH MY BARE HANDS.  I’m a mess.

I’m reminded of that plot device used in old cartoons, where the protagonist has a little angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other.  The angel is telling me to keep the faith, and the devil is telling me to turn on WGR and surrender to the soul-scorching frustration.

Homer and I have a lot in common, actually.

My angel and my devil have been at it all morning, and rather than attempt to write a nuanced interpretation of the game or my thoughts about the series so far, I think the best course of action is to simply transcribe these conversations.   I’m way too confused for analysis.


Devil: WAKE UP
Angel: (gently) No, stay asleep!  It’s your day off.
Angel: Hush, Katebits.  Don’t wake up.  Stay in your cozy bed.
Katebits: (opens eyes) Damn it.

Advantage, Devil.  Score: 1-0, Devil



Devil: WHAT is with the Sabres?  Talk about a bunch of pusses.  They let the Bruins completely manhandle them. Everyone should be fired!
Angel: It was only one game.  The series is 2-1.  There is still plenty of time for adjustments.
Devil: Adjustment?!  Like a heart transplant?  An injection of guts?
Angel: We’ve seen them play physically before.  It can be done.
Devil: But the Sabres are weenies.  All of them.
Angel: Not Steve Montador.
Katebits: Yeah!  Not Steve Montador!
Devil: Okay, not Steve Montador, but ALL of the rest of them.
Katebits: (sadly) Yeah.

Advantage, draw.  Score: 1-0 Devil



Angel: Chara is unbelieveably gross.

Advantage, Angel.  Score: 1-1 tie



Devil: The powerplay is an embarrassment.
Angel: …..
Devil: Whoever is in charge of the power play should be fired….
Angel: …..
Devil: …and executed
Angel: ….

Advantage, Devil.  Score: 2-1, Devil



Angel: The Sabres really haven’t had to deal with injuries this season and now they’re suddenly without Hecht and Vanek.  This is a big deal.  It’s true that they are having trouble adjusting, but it’s also true that there is still time to make adjustments.  Everyone says Lindy is a great playoff coach.  He’ll right the ship.
Devil: THAT IS BULLHONKY. Every team deals with injuries.  If the Sabres can’t handle it, they stink.
Angel: But there is STILL TIME for them to handle it, and it’s a mental adjustment more than anything else.  They played hard in game one, they can do it again.
Devil: I don’t think they can!
Katebits: They can.

Advantage, Angel.  Score 2-2 tie



Devil: Tim Connolly and Derek Roy are COMPLETE sacks of poo.
Angel: Yes but…they’re under contract for the next million years.  Wait…no!  That’s not what I meant to say!
Devil: Ha!  I got you!
Angel: No you didn’t.
Devil: Yes, I did.  Connolly, Roy-Z, sacks of poo.
Angel: Well, sacks of poo aren’t all bad.  You can sprinkle a sack of poo on your garden and it will help your flowers grow.
Katebits: While sacks of poo ARE useful in the garden, they are also affordable and readily available at Home Depot.  I do NOT need to see sacks of poo skating around the ice in Sabres uniforms.

Advantage, Devil.  Score: 3-2, Devil



Angel: The Sabres sucked donkey balls last night, but the Bruins only barrrrely beat them.
Devil: Oh, that’s because the Bruins aren’t that good at hockey.
Angel: Exactly! If the Sabres just adjust their game dial to “half suck” instead of “full suck,” they should be able to take this series.
Devil: You say that like “half suck” is an actual option.
Katebits: I’ll accept it.  “Half suck” is admissible.

Advantage, Angel.  Score: 3-3, tie



Devil: The game was in standard definition.  The Sabres don’t even love you enough to provide their PLAYOFF games in HD.

Advantage, Devil.  Score, 4-3, Devil



Devil: The Sabres are never scoring again, and Vanek will NEVER drill a blowhole, so he’s probably done for the season.
Angel: The Sabres CAN score!
Devil: Oh yeah?  Which ones?
Angel: Um…Mike Grier?

Advantage, Devil.  Score: 5-3, Devil



Devil: Miller really should have had that first Bruins goal last night.
Angel: (punches Devil in the face)

Advantage, Angel Score: 5-4, Devil


So, that’s where things sit. The Devil has a slight edge, but it’s sunny outside, and as soon as I get done writing this post I’m going to go sprinkle some Derek Roy and Tim Connolly organic fertilizer on my garden, so the day is looking up.

Keep fighting the good fight, angels.

Let’s go Buff-a-lo!

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

Observations 2
I can be reached at: willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com

For All Your Facebook “Needs”


puck goggles
In accordance with the Fair Use Copyright Law, The Willful Caboose uses logos and registered trademarks of the National Hockey League to convey my criticism and inform the public of the Sabres' suckitude/badassitude (whatever the case may be). Photos on The Willful Caboose are used without permission, but do not interfere with said owner's profit. If you own a specific image on this site and want it removed, please e-mail me (willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com) and I will be more than happy willing to oblige. (Special thanks to The Pensblog for their help with this disclaimer.)