Thursday, July 26, 2012

Easy Come ...Not So Easy Go

This definitely goes down as one of the weirder travelling experiences i have had ....

We get to O'Hare Airport in Chicago and Kathleen and myself are not sitting together . Flight is packed apparently so when we get to the gate we ask the United rep and he is totally flustered looks at me and says we have 11 people stranded because we are overbooked .... we would be willing to give you $400 in credit and put you in a hotel and pay your meals if you stay the night . I told him i would consider it ....

Went to sit down with Kathleen to tell her of this and she wasn't to keen on it . I was , and then she mentioned why don't i see if they can fly us to Toronto instead of Buffalo ( we flew from Buffalo because it was much cheaper ) . So i approach the same representative and he is still totally losing his mind , he looked like he was gonna explode . I tell him so that deal you offered me ... would it work if you flew me to Toronto and when is next flight there if i can do that ..... with a half assed smile he says of course we can do that and the flight to Toronto has seats and is leaving in 5 hours so you won't have to stay overnight .

He then asks if i have checked luggage , i say no and he says perfect .... i tell him my girlfriend is interested also and we hand him our pass' . He hands us a couple of $10 meal pass' to eat at any restaurant in airport ... instead we sit and wait as our friend is on this flight , so we see her off . At this point i have the biggest shit eating grin on as we just scored $400 to wait 5 hours to fly us closer to home to boot !!!

The flight was delayed and we sat there ... we should have walked away . There was a flight from LA that was delayed and some passengers on this flight were stuck on the other flight ... so we get called up to the gate and we are given our flight tickets and told to get on the plane ???? I thought we were going to help you out and take a later flight there is room here now .... so do we still get the $400 we were promised ? No ! we are putting you on this flight ....

OK so we actually do you a favor by changing our flight plans and travel plans from  Buffalo to help you out and in return we get tossed on the plane at the very last second ??? and the promise that was made to us for offering to help is now off the table even though we made this deal ???? I am sorry United Airlines but i feel as though you owe me this , a deal is a deal !!! we were offering to help you out and you were offering $400 ... there seems to be a customer service breakdown if you decide to not offer us the $400 you promised us . To make things worse we got the evil eye from every other passenger on the flight as it seemed as though we were the reason for the flight delay .... Thanks United ... you really make travelling with you easy ... NOT !!!

And if you are wondering yes i did send them an email with a full complaint explaining to them what making a deal means .... if their customer service rep makes a deal with a customer then they should stick with it , regardless if we were forced onto the flight we were originally on . a deal is a deal . 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Friday morning we were on our merry way to Chicago , the windy city . I have never been there before .... We drove down to Buffalo to catch a flight there and arrived nice and early . There is actually proper transit from O'Hare unlike our embarrassing transit in Toronto ... if you ever come here you will see , it is pathetic ! We got to our hotel in the Central Loop called Club Quarters  at roughly 2 pm and immediately dropped our backpacks off to head out to eat . 

When you are in Chicago you HAVE to try a deep dish pizza !!!! This was the first thing we did in the windy city :) we wandered around and found ourselves at the very popular Giordano's ... My girlfriend and myself are really fond of eating our pizza with very thin crust so this was the opposite end of the spectrum or so you would think ! We ordered the smallest pizza for the 2 of us and let me tell ya that pizza was good for at least 3 people and we really did not finish it . There was not that much crust (dough) it was just a ridiculous amount of cheese and other toppings .... honestly it changed how i think about pizza .... i would definitely suggest trying a deep dish at Giordano's if you ever go there . It was AMAZING !

After eating we went down to the Navy Pier to meet our friend Jen so we could take our Architectural River tour of Chicago which was suggested to us by our new friend Cat ...thanks Cat for the hook up ! I am not a fan of being on water at all but i can honestly say it is the best vantage point to take of Chicago as there are a lot of tall buildings that are quite amazing . The boat tour we took was Seadog the view was well worth the price of admission :) Unfortunately i was not in the best of spirits on this day and after a day of too much walking i just wanted to go sleep so the evening was not as eventful as it could have been .... happens to the best of us.

The next morning we woke up and had breakfast downstairs at the pub Elephant & Castle food was great and the atmosphere , beer and service was all top notch ... fell in love with this beer there called Green Line , really really good IPA try it if you ever get the chance . No i wasn't drinking beer for breakfast LOL , i tried it there the night before ...saw a couple Villa fans in there so i popped in for a bevvy .

After breakfast we headed to the Sears Tower , to head up to the Sky Deck !  We got there at around 845 AM and it was dead , no one there amazing because we heard about the long crazy lineups ....if we got there 10 minutes later we would have experienced them . The view up there is amazing , you get to see the whole city from up top the tower . The Sky Deck are these glass platforms that stick out of the building and are fully encased so there is no wind or anything to blow you off ... you can't fall off so it is fully safe ... i witnessed people scared out of their wits stepping out on the ledge but honestly i didn't find it scary at all :) if you are in Chicago check this out but go early !!!

After Sky deck we went for a bit of a stroll to Millennium Park to see the Giant Bean . It is this giant art installation . Chicago is great for that , the art and architecture there is amazing ... if i had more time in Chicago there are many other things to do and see but this trip was mainly to go see my favorite football (soccer) team Aston Villa , and it was almost time to go meet my heroes at the autograph signing . Got some pics with Bent , that was one of the 2 players i wanted to really meet and did :) After the signing we headed off to the pub to meet the rest of the Aston Villa supporters !!! Our amazing host to Chicago was Simon Leach , he organized everything and did an amazing job of it , he runs the Chicago chapter for Villa Supporters and is a great all around guy . The pub he organized as our home base was The Halsted Harp amazing pub ! He also organized all you can drink for $20 for 2 hours and $20 bus ride from the pub to the park and back ( with beer on the bus ) i must have had about 4 or 5 during this period :P

When we got to the game after singing numerous Villa songs we finally got to share our voices at Toyota Park and we ROCKED that stadium !!! I don't think i have ever had that much fun in my life at a sporting event , as you can see i am beside my new buddy Bert with our ginormous Mexican beers shouting and having the time of our lives . I met so many good people on this short trip and i hope to stay in touch with them all through our love for our club ASTON VILLA !!! Back to the story , i was totally trashed the game ended with a Villa win thanks to a header from Gabby . final was 1-0  . we all got on the bus sang some songs to our bus driver and headed back to the Harp ....when i got there i have no clue what happened but next thing you know i was headed to the hotel . 

Sunday morning we headed back home , head was very fuzzy and i might still be a tad hung over ... feeling shitty but it was well worth the trip . Chicago gets 2 thumbs up ala Siskel & Ebert :) 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

ASTON VILLA in Chicago

Tomorrow i am off to Chicago ! Never been so i am pretty excited .... this is not a hockey excursion . It is actually a trip to go see my favorite football club Aston Villa . They are on their American exhibition tour playing Philadelphia last night and winning 1-0 , they will play the Chicago Fire on Saturday and i have a ticket in the Aston Villa Supporters section .... it is gonna be rowdy , i am absolutely thrilled :)

Travelling with my girl friend and her friend , the ladies will keep themselves busy while i socialize with the other supporters at the pub . We have to drive down to Buffalo to catch our flight , saves a ton of time ! Flights from Toronto were about $400-$500 and flights from Buffalo were $209 when i booked them .... it is about a 90 minute drive to Buffalo so it is totally worth it . When we arrive in Chicago tomorrow we are doing what the ladies want ....sightseeing etc...

On Saturday i am getting HAMMERED ... here is the deal . I have to go to the autograph signing around noon then heading to the pub where our bus is picking us up to go to the pitch . The pub is the Halsted Harp at around 330 we pay $20 and get the all we can drink special :) 530 we leave for the game ( beer on the bus too ! ) this is just going to be unreal . I hope i can keep up and keep my head straight enough to at least remember this game after LOL . There is a whole bunch of supporters from the Toronto supporters club along with supporters from all over the place , it is going to be a riot ... i can't wait .

Gotta pack my bag ( really lightly ) .... 

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Here is a term for all my friends out there that LOVE Canadian hockey sayings ... a sandbagger is usually that guy that is really amazing but plays with shitty guys just so he can score a lot and be a hotshot and win all the time , this goes for teams too .

This weekend i was asked to get a team together in 5 days ! I asked all the regulars and most of the guys couldn't so i started to ask guys that were interested in joining our squad that i have not seen play yet . We were told we were going into C division , usually pretty good hockey that my team should do well at ....usually. The teams we played this weekend were not C teams , if anything they were very high B teams . Yeah we got smoked .... it wasn't all that bad ........

The worst part was that 2 of the teams were absolute douche bags ... teams winning by 4 goals and still hanging a cherry picker up at my blue line with minutes left in the game . Yeah if you are that team doing that you are not showing any respect . I mean it is bad enough that these teams are so desperate to win that they drop down a division but they are trying to score with a 4 goal lead with 2 min left in the game ???? c'mon !

Regardless to say i brought 5 skaters out this weekend to "try out " and all of them were awesome . I hope they don't take this tournament beat down we took as a sign of what we can do . Unfortunately these teams were just better then our undermanned squad . Yeah some of you are asking yourselves if i run or think i run a pro team LOL ... the fact is there are so many skaters willing to play in Toronto that i look at this league list with skaters looking for teams and some of them claim to be better then they actually are , so i don't want to end up with some ankle burner because he thought he was the best player out on the pond that one time in 1996 . First year i ran the team i had a guy named Saber tell me he played Jr., i think he meant the last time he played was when he was a jr. He was the first guy i had to give money back to ( his attitude sucked too ) honestly i don't want to ever have to go through that again , that is why i "try out " guys before i collect money and assure them spots on my squads .

So how many of you have ever been at a tournament where an NHL prospect and a pro were on the same team and in C division ? the last team we played were decent guys aside from sandbagging with a goalie that was on the Canadian Jr. team . I guess they didn't want to play Tyler Seguin , i wouldn't either ! he was in A division at this tournament ..... nice Maserati .

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Really ...

Passed out trying to watch UFC last night ... yeah i like to see a little blood here and there :) woke up early as usual and had a message from a buddy in need of a team for a tournament next weekend . Lately i have been crazy insane busy trying to put together 2 winter squads , this just coming off organizing the Ghetto Classic Tournament and now i am pretty much gonna give it my all to help out a friend .

Brian Spencer is our tournaments head referee and he organizes his own tournaments . Spencer tournaments are held up in Brampton at the Powerade Center . Great tourney , A division is ridiculous !!! there will be NHL players there as usual so it is worth just showing up to watch if you are a fan of the game . Spencer does so much for my team and my tourney so it is only right that i send out 30 emails at 7 AM on a Sunday morning to see if guys are interested LOL ... yeah i know you guys love the early emails hahahaha!!!!

Hopefully out of the guys i have i will be able to put a team into this tourney and help out a friend . Not saying i love this right now and i am sure the recipients of my emails are not loving them but i have to do the diplomatic thing and help someone that helps my team . If you don't understand this then you are probably a bit on the selfish side , trust me i have nothing to gain from this .... aside from the respect of someone that has helped us out for the last 3 years .

I hope that i can get at least 10 of those 30 guys to come play .... and yes i am not going to get my hopes up LOL .

i think its about time i have another coffee :) 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ghetto Blasters add another night

This week i lost my mind ! About 6 months ago i had a skater suggest that we should play in a weeknight league too . I thought it was awesome that at least 1 of the guys wanted this so i messaged the whole team and 1 by 1 they all said yes ... AMAZING !!!

That guy that made that suggestion is now living in the USA , so he is not playing ... and lets fast forward to 3 weeks ago when i sent out the email to start collecting money . Reality kicked in and 1 by 1 all the guys except for 4 skaters changed their minds .... i heard every excuse imaginable , and the truth is i still think its bullshit . When i say i am gonna do something i do it , when i sign up for a team i show up all the time , so this dropping out because my dog ate my homework bullshit doesn't really fly with me . Even to this date i have 2 skaters that are not responding ( this means they don't want to play ) .

So yeah i went a bit batty this week , bit my tongue real hard and found 7 new skaters to fill the squad while integrating some old skaters that wanted back on the team . So far this Tuesday night squad looks good but it has been a lot of work . I think the guys that all said no will regret it at some point , more then likely i will make them regret it .

If you are a skater that has done this to a team before let me tell you ... if you ever end up being left out in the cold by a team you more then likely deserve it !!! Now i am not saying i am gonna make these guys pay for stringing me along BUT if some of them don't begin responding i will begin replacing them ..... it is bad enough i spend most of my time organizing this team with no pay , it is even worse when i have a couple primadonnas that won't reply .

If you don't reply i won't email you anymore , and this is my warning .... i don't play games .

Thursday, July 5, 2012


So last night i went to a concert in Toronto at the Molson Amphitheater .... LMFAO was the headliner with opening guest Far East Movement . Yeah i know you are wondering why i went to this concert ????

This is where it makes sense that i write a blog about this :) When i was in Europe in January i was bopping around the continent with Rainer constantly laughing and having fun Wiggling it LOL . When i came home i thought how cool would it be to go see them ? The euphoria from my trip to Europe told me to buy tickets ( and maybe it would please gf too ) .

I drove there , the streets are a mess with the Indy race here so everything is blocked off and it is impossible to navigate . Thinking i knew of a free parking spot i went into a direction that took me on a 20 minute drive !!! i was pissed , ended up at the amphitheater and somehow scored free parking there . don't ask how i still can't figure it out , i guess main parking lot was closed or something . Regardless we enter the concert and it is all kids with their parents and everyone is wearing neon and basically it was like being amongst a bunch of zombies :P Yeah i knew it was gonna be kids and shit but remember the European euphoria told me to buy these tickets , which we in fact considered getting rid of a week or so ago but decided to make the most of it .

Red Foo ( one of the members of LMFAO ) comes out on stage and informs the crowd that his partner was not performing !!! How much shittier can this get ? well have you listened to this shit LOL  ... DON'T !!! Ok there are maybe 3 songs that i would want to hear and of course he doesn't perform them until the end ... he performed Party Rock and i bolted , got out of parking lot really fast too (best part of night was leaving ) .

This morning i wrote a complaint to the organizer mentioning that it was not an LMFAO show since 1 out of the 2 guys didn't perform and we never had not been informed of this prior to the show . I asked Live Nation to give me back my money . The lesson out of all of this is : when you come back from vacation and something keeps reminding you of your trip like a song per say , don't order tickets to their concert LOL ! that memory might be best kept the way it was .... instead of fun times doing the wiggle i will now think of how shit their show was .

LMFAO you suck !

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Please Leave Your Comments :)

Still sick from whoever got me sick at my tournament last week . Thanks again to whoever spread the illness , really thanks ;)

So if you don't have a blog you don't know this .... this blog keeps track of blog hits and where they are from , not particularly but gives me a good idea if i look at the latest results . Most people i assume are people that i have met on travels just keeping up with me . Lately i have been getting a ton of hits from Singapore , i know a few people there from my trips way back in 2007-2008 but this just can't be them . There is also a way to see where the feeds are picked up . Its funny when my blog pops up in some goalie forum in Sweden or something , I've been following that thread for a while now .

If you are reading this and you like my blog then become a follower on the page , if you are on Facebook then like my page there . Someday i kinda hope i make the right connection and find someone willing to turn my adventures into a TV show or something , i guess i can dream at the least right :) I have been interviewed , had a comic page in a tournament magazine made and most importantly i have made a lot of amazing friends doing this .... who woulda thought eh LOL

A couple of you have made comments here before , if you are reading this and just want to say something feel free too . I actually enjoy making new friends and more connections to play hockey in some places i have yet to visit ( trust me i will be visiting ! ) . So back to this list of countries reading this , keep reading ! Most reads are coming from this country called USA :) , my friends in Germany seem to read this a bit , i love it when i see some oddity like Chad or Isle of Man in my reader list ... whoever you are let me know if there is a rink or a tournament there !!!

I am guessing a few people come to this blog simply because of their google search , i do add some flags to my blogs so if you are looking for a Hawaiian flag i am sure you will find this blog . You readers count too i guess ..... does this seem long winded ??? just a side note , i am medicated ........

i should get back to bed , thanks to whoever got me sick ! 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Roster for Iceland Tournament

WOW ... i think i will be travelling with the ultimate party roster , that can play hockey for this tournament :) big huge smile!!!!

This is probably the ultimate Rainman All-Stars lineup . I have played on 4 tournament teams with these guys and the lineups are always different depending on where the tournament is , like the last one i went on with Rainer was to Tallinn in January that team was mostly made up of Finns and Estonians with myself (Canada) Rainer ( Germany) and Antoinne (France) being the outsiders ...we won that tourney . All the teams are always stacked with great people but there area always team mates that i end up spending more time with .

In Bolzano , my first tourney with Rainer i bunked with the Brits . Daz was one of the Brits and was closest to me in age and craziness when it came to drinking . I topped them all showing up totally blitzed already ... alcohol poisoning ! We spent a lot of time in the city square drinking coffee and eating great meals , along with another fellow named Timo . I have seen Timo a couple times since then but Daz its been a while , we have a lot of drinking to catch up on my friend :) Also on that first trip i met RUDI !!! on the side of a highway in Germany , we were a few hours late LOL . So i get to see all these guys again in Iceland ....

Second trip to Europe with Rainer we traveled in a camper and went to 2 tournaments .... first one in Fussen ,Germany where Timo is from so naturally i got to see him there . And i got to meet a future team mate from Finland ... Petri ( paskalintu ) now the Finns are all crazy but this guy is crazy in his own way , a very fun way  . We ended up winning tournament in Cortina D'Ampezzo together along with RUDI !!! and another German that is coming to Iceland ... my good buddy Alex Eberhardt . Alex does not speak the best English and i don't speak German (trying to learn) but somehow we have always understood each other and Alex has visited me twice and i have visited him once since we met in 2010 , i am really happy you are coming to Iceland you crazy Bavarian :)

On my third trip with Rainer we went to play in Tallinn and we couldn't have won that tournament without some amazing Finns . Now as far as i know Petri is coming with Kalle ( his brother ) and 4 other Finns i think ??? not sure who the others are but i am sure they are going to be the life of the week long party . Can't wait to hit the Geothermal pools with these guys ... as you all know the Finns love saunas so i am sure this will be a big hit with the guys . Back to Kalle , this guy is a sick hockey player OMG we are gonna kick some ass with this guy . Of all the guys i have played with around the world the Finns have always impressed me on an overall record . That tournament in Tallinn was very short and we only had 2 nights of good times ... this trip is 1 week :)

Apparently we have this other crazy guy named Yoko coming that his been on the tournament circuit for quite some time , i have heard of him for years even back when i was touring Asia in 2007 ... but we have never met . Looking forward to meeting you Yoko and any other new team mate , apparently Daz is bringing another Brit with him and like i said i am not sure which Finns are coming ??? Regardless this week long trip is probably going to be one of the craziest tournaments that i have ever been too .

Look out Iceland the Rainman All-Stars are coming !!!!