Panthers Autograph Session (And Idiot Roofers)

First, I had a fight at work today with Murton Roofing. I was already in a bad mood because of last night’s incompetence with Roto-Rooter. We have a roof at work that was installed 2004 by Murton Roofing. It has a 20-year warranty (2 years with Murton and the rest with GAF who made the roof). We also had that extended by five years by having a special inspection done to get their diamond protection. A year ago, the seam / expansion joint had a leak, and it was fixed in April 2009 by Murton. The roof started leaking again Monday in the same spot. The roof is under warranty. We called GAF. They sent Murton out to look at the problem. So far everything’s okay.

The inspector guy comes down with his digital camera and shows me pictures of the seam and it’s clearly a mess. He agrees it’s a mess. He says, it’s not covered. Why? Wait. Wait. Wait.  Because whomever fixed it last time did a really bad job and they won’t fix work done by other people. I explained to them that nobody else has done work and why would we pay someone else to do work on a roof that is pretty new and covered by a warranty. Logic doesn’t work well on stupid people, apparently. He said his boss would call me to discuss it.

We called GAF and their response is that they were told Murton didn’t do the shoddy work. Unfortunately for Murton we have a copy of their work order proving they did. Only, despite promises, nobody at Murton has called us for two days. This is beyond my ability to understand. I gave it to the lawyer and said “sic ’em” — we need to slap them down now, so they understand I have zero tolerance for stupidity. Seriously, they make Bush Junior look like a rocket scientist. You all know me. How often am I at a loss for words?

Still no Super Bowl tickets. Face value or I ain’t going. I’m close though.

Back to normal news. Today was the official autograph session for the Florida Panthers. Much like last year’s this was remarkably well organized. As last year there were some food giveaways (chips and ice cream).

You came in (opened a bit late), walked through Pantherland in case you wanted to spend money, then checked in. I checked in my group of one and Greg’s kids while he bought a poster to be signed. They give you a team magazine to use to collect autographs. We were near the front of the line so it went pretty quick. This year the players were in numerical order instead of alphabetical because that’s how the magazine was ordered.

They started the actual signing a few minutes early (yay) and you could have one personal item to have signed in addition to your magazine. My official one item was the Clemmensen gloves (picture now on Flickr), but I was wearing a plain hat and my Vokun jersey. I got all the players to sign the magazine and the hat except for the two goalies mentioned before where they signed my item only. I got Vokun to sign my jersey after I took it off at his table — actually it was a re-sign since his old signature had faded away. I put it back on. Clemmensen was pretty happy to see I had bought his gloves and actually hauled them back for him to sign. I only asked him to sign one, but he volunteered to sign both of them without me asking so I took the other out of the bag. I explained they made me buy the set. He told me how he had them custom made and we talked for a moment before being shooed along.

 Most of the players were friendly, chatty, and signing full names when we came in. I’m sure the autographs would continue to get messier. There were some 500 people there (2 signatures per person mind you). A few were less chatty, other awkward, and some bored. Only one was downright surly. I tried to give most of the guys some happy words of encouragement. I made sure I thanked every single player — sadly many fans didn’t. Done from time in to time out in about 40 minutes.

Greg decided to terrorize the last signer in line: Stanley C Panther, the mascot. He asked for a hug and Stanley clicked his fingers together as if expecting money. Greg said, “but that makes you a prostitute” and I threw in, “No, that makes you an ice cat.” Stanley laughed. I got my program signed and asked him, again, why he doesn’t skate. He got frustrated and wrote me a note saying I must not come to all the games. I said I mostly did and only saw him skate once. He signed my program on the cover too, we shook hands and that was that. (The whole Stanley bit was caught by the official videographer.)

Then I stood in line next to John and Liz (who were about 30 people behind us) and chatted with them as they waited their turns. Liz forgot to torment Barky about his picture. We left and went to Stevie-B’s for dinner and ran into DavidW from my message board. After that we went to Ice Cream Club, then parted company. And traffic wasn’t the nightmare it would have otherwise been.

Then we have this link of the twelve most insane things you can buy on the Internet. They are crazy, but I’m sure we can all think of worse. Maybe.

And the greatest quote of its kind: “I wish my lawn were emo so it would cut itself.” That is just perfectly awesome. I wish I knew who really made this one up.

Shout out to Andy Marquez for offering up his plumber. Hopefully he’ll squeeze me in tomorrow. Roto-Rooter did reply to my testy email. “You can expect to hear from XXXX or someone from his office within the next two business days. I hope this can be resolved to your satisfaction.” If they don’t go out of business, I can’t imagine they will do anything to my satisfaction. I’m going to pay someone else — even if it’s more — because they suck.

Many people have impugned the Ice Cats (our “cheerleaders”) and made comments about them. Thanks to Evan, we now know you can, indeed, buy them by the hour as many have long suspected. Here’s a scan from the Panthers themselves as proof. 

Barky? If you’re wondering what the deal with the famous Radek Dvorak avec chien picture is from which is nickname is derived, you can see it for yourself . This is the infamous photo in the 1999-2000 season calendar from the September page. I’ve scanned it in, cropped it, and added a caption. It was and is much talked about to this day.

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