Friday, February 24, 2006


I’ve been trying to get Chicago Cubs tickets all morning, sitting in their virtual waiting room online and having zero luck. Today is basically a Cubs fan’s only opportunity to pay face value to see games of interest, as ticket brokers unscrupulously buy them all up the day tickets go on sale and then sell them back to the public at prices no less than twice the face value. They call it a convenience to purchase tickets through their service, but it’s really a money-making scam that’s been fleecing baseball fans out of their hard-earned money for years. Instead of doing something to prevent it, the Cubs organization has essentially JOINED in by sponsoring its own ticket brokerage where they scalp tickets under the guise of “service,” and cite "fair market value" for the egregious prices they charge. It’s rifuckingdiculous.

I thought I had the system beat when I called the Ticketmaster location in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan this morning – but was told they were unable to sell tickets for events in the U.S. And Ticketmaster locations outside of the Chicago area don’t have access to the games yet, so I had no luck there. The only real shot I’ve got is to continue monitoring all these virtual waiting rooms I’ve got on all the computers here at work and hope for the best – although now there’s a list of sold-out games that I can no longer get tickets for. They are games number 1,2,3, and 4 on my list of desired games. Go figure. They’re the same games EVERYBODY wants to go to, which is why the ticket brokers snap them all up first. Big money there. This whole scam is a loophole in the scalping law and it’s just plain wrong. But on the list of things to fix in this town, politicians don’t rank consumer corruption very high. They're more concerned with making sure cigarettes, which are legal to buy, are illegal to smoke in as many places as they can think of and enforce. Another tax hike well spent.

The message on this virtual waiting room, which refreshes every 30 seconds to remind me I should be patient, may as well read:

“Welcome to – we are actually laughing at your futile attempt to purchase tickets at face value. But try if you must. When you finally give up, here are some links to a number of local ticket brokers where tomorrow you’ll find tickets to pretty much any Cubs game you want…at a premium, of course. Not fair? Life’s not fair, bud. Figured an ugly asshole like you would be used to disappointment by now. Happy hunting, sucker!”

Looks like these two are going to be seeing the Cubs before I do!

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Hate can be learned, and there's a whole lot of people teaching it these days. Where we bundle up our cherished little ones in colorful ski jackets for an afternoon romp in the snow, little tykes elsewhere are outfitted in army fatigues and handed toy guns before an afternoon protest.

This is the way of the world in some countries. This is everyday life. And in the nuclear age, this culturally militaristic frame of mind has fast become a global crisis.

A handful of cartoon drawings has sparked widespread global unrest. The bombing of scores of religious mosques has brought Iraq to the brink of civil war. Iran plans to move forward with its nuclear ambitions, in spite of international protest. Islamic militants have been elected to represent the Palestinian constituency in Israel. Abductions continue. Roadside bombs claim more and more lives every day. Vague warnings and terrorist threats continue to trickle in from abroad. Middle Eastern governments are beginning to buckle as anti-West sentiment mounts. It would appear, to a casual observer who's just tuned into world affairs, that the stage is being set for a massive global showdown, a religious and ideological battle without boundaries, and without rules.

The destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001 demonstrated a willingness and ability on the part of radical Islamists extremists to kill without conscience. This single act of terror was met with a swift military reponse - the invasion and takeover of the entire nation of Afghanistan. In the fear that followed, this hostile takeover was followed by the subsequent invasion of Iraq over the mere suspicion there existed a cache of potentially catastrophic weapons. What will be the West's response when a nuclear device is detonated in Tel Aviv...or a dirty bomb exploded in Times Square? Are these horrifying examples simply irrational fears, or simply a matter of time?

The pictures don't lie - there are tens upon tens of thousands of people protesting around the globe - furious and willing to die fighting for a cause they were assigned at birth.

Is lasting peace even possible at this point? Is a future of war inevitable? I am about as afraid of the future as I am optimistic for it...which isn't saying a whole lot in either case. Whatever happens will be. I'm just glad I'm on the side with TiVo. At least for now.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


A lot of people are control freaks. We can’t help it. The mind requires order and the best way to make sense of an evolving, changing world is to control as many variables as you can. Or at least to trick the mind into thinking it is in control when, clearly, we’re all at nature’s mercy.

Shit happens all the time – unexpected and out of the blue – that changes everything forever. So to promote the status quo, or at least achieve some semblance of normalcy, we manipulate the variables in our lives in an attempt to control life’s outcome, as it pertains to us. Do some of us go too far? You bet. Think Hitler.

Or, consider the case of Travis Frey.

Travis is the sick fuck who’s been brought up on charges of kidnapping his wife. According to court documents, Travis drafted a 4-page “Contract of Wifely Expectations” that he ordered his wife abide by – even though she never signed it. The details of the contract are too unbelievable to mention – you really must read them for yourself at the Smoking Gun. They have images posted of the scanned contract for your review. This dude is one fucked up cat. Sincerely.

I don't know whether life unfolds as a function of chaos or whether we simply can't perceive its immaculate order, but either way, I do enjoy the taste of a cheesy quesadilla.