I don't know about you, but I'm starting to get awfully darn tired of these unseasonably low temperatures down here in Hockey Bay. About 30 miles north of Hound Central, a few locales reported snow -- yes, snow -- early Saturday morning. We're even supposed to get down as low as 25 degrees early Monday.
It's not so much how cold it is. Growing up near Buffalo, N.Y., and spending a considerable amount of time loving, and living in, New England, I'm well aware that winter can mean thigh-high snowfall, biting winds and bone-chilling temperatures.
In Florida, though? Give me a break.
What's frustrating me, as well as apparently affecting my health, has been how our home's heating unit has malfunctioned the past two Saturday nights -- on two of the coldest nights of the past 365 days. I spent the past night worrying between two hours' worth of cat-naps -- making hourly trips to the circuit breaker to flip back the switch -- about how to keep it at least 62 degrees inside the house.
Thankfully, the landlord (we're renting a house as we were smart enough not to buy at the height of Florida's housing frenzy -- and most likely ending up under water on a mortgage -- and I work in an uncertain journalism industry) had someone make a repair call this morning -- the second in less than a week. I'm certain, too, it's fixed this time.
That's the biggest reason for the delay in today's homily. That and the splitting headache, jittery feeling and near-blackouts from standing up too fast. If it keeps up, yes, I'll call my doctor. As of now, though, I'm taking my first sick day of the year.
Why even bother?
I was going to take the time to write a card review for 2009-10 Upper Deck Hockey Series I, but after opening a couple of boxes of 2009-10 MVP Hockey, it would have been a waste of time -- yours and mine.
Want to know why? I hate sounding like a broken record. If Upper Deck can't take the time to show NHL players with their new teams, even in late 2009 releases, why should I spend more than the six minutes it will take for me to write these paragraphs?
Each year, I say it's going to be the last time I'll buy more than a couple products, namely the Victory, O-Pee-Chee and re-released Collector's Choice offerings. Ultimately, though, I break down and buy some Fleer Ultra, Series I and MVP products. No more, though.
If Upper Deck is willing to produce 2009-10 cards of the Isles' John Tavares, Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman and Colorado's Matt Duchene in game action for the Series I Young Guns and other rookie cards, then I want to see Edmonton's Nikolai Khabibulin in an Oilers uniform, Los Angeles' Ryan Smyth in a Kings uniform and Marian Gaborik as a Ranger, not a member of the Wild.
I've said it before, and I'll say it for the last time, the majority of Upper Deck's early to midseason hockey products are, by and large, a waste of money. I'll stick with the low-end or deep-checklist products, but I'm done buying anything else.
As for you, that's your call. I just can't reward lackluster efforts.
5 Big Sigs
Despite the cold weather forecast for early this week, I'll make a trip out for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, not so much to get rejected by Alexander Ovechkin, but to hopefully snag a couple of autographs from a couple of my favorite all-time players.
And though I'm down to just cards for the Florida Panthers, in town on Thursday, I'll hope to add to the ever-growing stacks of cards; Here's what I'm hoping to add:
~ Capitals goalie coach Arturs Irbe on Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks pucks;
~ Washington's Mike Knuble on a Capitals puck;
~ Washington's Brendan Morrison on Capitals and Canucks pucks;
~ Florida's Nathan Horton and Cory Stillman on a 2009-10 MVP Two on Two quad memorabilia card (Carolina's Rod Brind'Amour and Jussi Jokinen are on the other side) ; and
~ Florida's Stephen Weiss, a role model if there ever was one, on an 8x10 personalized to Colin.