Whirlyball Weekend Update

Update: Whirlyball highlight reel has been archived: whirlyball.mov.

Weekend Recap by MR

Truthfully, I wasn’t going to do a write-up on our weekend in Seattle from a few weeks ago… I mean, honestly, how many stories about Krusty loosing his ID can the Internet support? Anyway, I couldn’t resist, here’s a couple highlights…

First off, hail to Whirlyball… The new Official Sport of Zillionaires. Other nominees for this distinction included: bocce ball, horseshoes, dunk hoops, paintballing, shuffle puck, and fox hunting.

As expected, a round of the Ding! Ding! game erupted during a 24-story ride in the elevator of a luxury hotel. Unfortunately, Krusty’s friend Rossi didn’t understand the “rules” involved, and simply grabbed Krusty’s neck and started bashing his head against the wall of the elevator. Not cool, man. Not cool. As everyone knows, the Ding! Ding! game is not a barbaric fight to the death, but rather, a graceful ballet of cheap shots and sucker punches… Sadly, Rossi’s actions robbed the Ding! Ding! game of its artistry.

While we’re on the subject, I’m not sure why the Ding! Ding! game always seems to flare up in elevators. Perhaps it’s the confined space. It could be the ring-like atmosphere. I can’t explain it, but elevators just seem to be the favorite venue for the Ding! Ding! game. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t ride in an elevator any more without subconsciously protecting my genitals.

We stopped for a few pitchers at the Pike Pub Brewery on Saturday afternoon. We sat in a back booth, pounding beers, completely unaware of the celebrities in our midst. Thankfully, Dave was there to point out that the table across the bar was filled with famous Internet-related icons, including the developer of the software that powers this website. In unison, the rest of us glanced over, nodded, and then resumed drinking our beer. But in Dave’s world, we were in the presence of rock stars. For the rest of the afternoon, Dave watched them from across the room, plotting his approach…

As we were leaving the bar, Dave made his move. He walked up to their table, introduced himself, began praising their products, and thanked them for their contributions to the Internet world. He didn’t actually use the phrase, “I’m your biggest fan,” but he came damn close. Since he had pretty much morphed into a groupie at this point, I was relieved that he didn’t end up tossing his panties and room key onto their table. Thankfully, the guys were cool about it and actually seemed to appreciate Dave’s adulation, even though it meant autographing his cleavage…

As you can imagine, we Zillionaires have amassed our respective fortunes in a variety of different ways. However, most of us still have significant holdings in childhood investments diversified between baseball cards, Garbage Pail Kids, and Star Wars action figures. Naturally, we made a point of venturing over to the vintage toy store at Pike Place to check on the value of our portfolio. Thankfully the cash value of these investments is still strong, meaning I will someday be able to retire securely as a Garbage Pail Kids tycoon.

Online Zillionaire Poker dot Sweet

Internet Zillionaire Poker Night

I want to start an online poker night via xbox live and paypal. I think it would go something like this:

  • Every second Wednesday of the month we fire up World Championship Poker and log in to Xbox Live.
  • All who want to play send me $10 bucks via Paypal for the buy-in.
  • We let the game keep track of the chips, gameplay, and stats.
  • When the night is over and we have a winner, we divy the money back out via paypal.

What do you think?

I Need A Vacation

As you might expect, pouring your heart and soul into incoherent rantings about remote controls can really take a lot out of you. It’s emotionally draining. That’s why I’m looking to unwind this weekend with a mini vacation to Seattle.

This marks my first weekend back in Seattle since the infamous bachelor party. As you can imagine, our merry band of Zillionaires didn’t leave Seattle on the best of terms. Frankly, there were more than a few hotel employees, cab drivers and exotic dancers that were glad to see us go. That’s why we’ve waited almost a year to come back. We figured it best to let Seattle cool down a little. That, and of course, we wanted to give Seattle plenty of time to clean up all the puke from our last visit.

This is a first for me: I’ll be spending more than 24 hours in a city without having a vacation spreadsheet dictating my every move. For those that mock the spreadsheet method, and there are many of you, I have this to say: I found it ironic that I had an inbox full of emails all week asking for details about “the plan” for this weekend, each coming just short of begging me to create another spreadsheet to get everyone on the same page. Oh, you all like to joke about the spreadsheets, but deep down… you need them.

So here’s the compromise… Instead of a spreadsheet, I’ve prepared a rough outline for how this weekend could progress, along with some potential storylines we’ll hopefully see develop:

  • I fly in Friday night. Dave will be picking me up. Ideally he will show up at not only the right gate, and time, but also on the correct day as well. Can Dave complete this trifecta? My fingers are crossed.
  • We then head to Julie’s pad downtown, where DA and I will crash on Friday night. Don’t worry, she’s aware of this. At first she tried to give us directions to a local shelter, but she later relented when we promised to be on our best behavior. Thankfully, the words “best behavior” are pretty ambiguous.
  • Krusty also flies in on Friday night. For anyone looking to meet up with us, we’ll all be at The Attic, sometime after 8 pm. We should be easy to find, as we’ll be the ones wearing monocles and attempting to order “Musty Balzacs” at the bar.

Saturday morning: Checkout at Julie’s place is 11 am, sharp. We figured we’d need to find a place to stay after the aftermath of the first night, so we went ahead and booked a hotel room downtown in advance. We tried Priceline again (despite a few recent letdowns), and it looks like it came through nicely.

Why the hotel? For a weekend such as this, it’s crucial to have a central command post downtown. From our hotel room, we will be able to strategize and coordinate the operations for the next 24 hours. Here’s what you can expect regarding the hotel:

  • The sewing kit: The most prized item meant to be taken home by guests of a hotel room. I can’t sew whatsoever, but I cherish the sewing kit. Now as you know, I am a sporting chap. I’ve decided I won’t “call” the sewing kit in advance. I’m willing to give Dave a fair shot at it. However, when we enter the room, if Dave is foolish enough to wander over to the window to check out the view, that sewing kit is all mine, baby.
  • Not all of my Hotel Moves involve ruthless attempts to hoard sewing kits. In fact, I’ve patented the “Bring in a bottle of whiskey, utilize the ice and vending machines and construct a fully functioning bar within 90 seconds of check-in” move. It’s actually become my hotel calling card, and I look forward to demonstrating it this weekend. Anyone meeting up at our hotel room can be assured that the bar will be open and fully stocked at all times.

For anyone that can resist the instinctual urge to spend Saturday on the couch, feel free to meet at our hotel for a walking tour of downtown around noonish on Saturday… Again, here are some potential storylines pertaining to Saturday afternoon:

  • The Monorail: Every bit as cool today as it was in ’89. I’ll warn you right now, I am totally unimpressed with Monorails; the slowest “high speed” method of transportation known to man.
  • “C’mon, how difficult can it be to pose as Gameworks employees?”
  • Dave’s textbook move in any big city is to search for a really tall building with minimal security. The goal here is to sneak up to the top floor to admire the view from the top. Sometimes we get to the top and find a restaurant. Sometimes it’s office space. But we always find a hardass employee unwilling to let us simply look out their damn window. Of course, we don’t merely slink away. One of us has to counter with, “Do you know who I am? I own this building!”
  • If we happen to be in the Westlake Shopping Center, and I happen to be a little hungry… well, my money is on Sbarro to answer the call.
  • How much time will I spend at the shop in Pike’s Place with all the vintage toys from the ’80’s? Will I shame myself into asking the guy behind the counter if I can play with Skeletor for a few minutes?
  • If we feel really ambitious, we might walk over to the Space Needle and decide it’s not worth the eight bucks to take the elevator to the top.
  • Krusty and I will both be without our wives, which translates to one thing: Whatever we end up doing, we will make excellent time.

After wandering around downtown for a few hours, we’ll grab a light dinner, as we will soon engage in battle. Dave booked Whirlyball for 7 pm on Saturday night for anyone that wants to participate in the Sport of Kings. For those that have never played, I once described Whirlyball as: “a sport that proudly synthesizes lacrosse, bumper cars and massive alcohol consumption. While it may seem simple enough, “Whirlyball” actually had a ton of rules that we all went out of our way to ignore. Since the members of our group were equally reckless and intoxicated, our style of play could best be described as “Whiplashball.”

The good news is that the Commissioner of Whirlyball can’t suspend you for being intoxicated, as the entire “sport” centers around binge drinking. Good times. One final note on Whirlyball, if we have another successful outing this weekend, I’m going to nominate it as the “Official Sport of Zillionaires.”

As you can imagine, you can work up quite a thirst getting belligerently drunk on the Whirlyball court. So naturally, we’ll head back downtown to cap off the weekend’s festivities with a night of epic drinking.

So that’s a rough outline for what we could see this weekend. The good news here is that I think we’ve evolved (or devolved?) to the point that we don’t need a regimented plan to have a fun weekend. If we can all just find our way downtown and throw in some alcohol, the good times and priceless memories should take care of themselves…

Remote Controls, Part II

Continuing on with thoughts on remote controls…
(For previous postings on this topic, check out: Part I)

First off, I’m pleased with the commentary the first segment generated. This is promising. My biggest fear in segmenting these posts was that the eventual sequels would be a predictable rehashing of the original post (Think: “Weekend at Bernie’s 2.”) While I still have much to say on the topic of remote controls, if there comes a point where this post has to rely on the blogging equivalent of exhuming Bernie’s corpse for another weekend of implausible hijinks, well, I’m prepared to do just that. Consider yourself warned.

In the first part, I made mention of the fact that I spend most of my waking day searching my house for remote controls. At this point, I’m convinced my wife has placed them in some sort of remote control witness relocation program. For all I know, all the remotes in our house have started new lives under assumed names in different states. For instance, I’m pretty sure our VCR remote is now known as “Bob Smith,” and is working as an insurance adjuster in Fresno.

Now to be fair, I admit, I tend to exaggerate sometimes. That’s why I’m providing some proof documenting the remote control related purgatory I suffer through every day.

The following is an actual email I sent my wife a few months ago:

—–Original Message—–
From: Matt Ring
Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2005 9:15 AM
To: Jeannette Ring
Subject: RE: Remote Controls

jnet, we need to talk about remote controls.

i looked all over the basement last night for the remote, even searching the area around your treadmill. finally, i discovered it on the poker table in the adjacent room. why would you put the remote there?

and this morning, i searched the bedroom trying to find the tv remote. never did find that one, although i didn’t go downstairs to look on the poker table.

if you’re going to watch tv, and insist on using the remote, can you please make an effort to leave the remote in a logical place?


Naturally, my wife thought this was the funniest thing I’d ever written. Unfortunately, I was being dead serious. As you might guess, this email was the product of unspeakable frustration endured in a futile attempt to find a lost remote. Like every other man on earth, I would rather search an entire city block for the remote than walk over to the TV and operate it manually. It’s just the principle of it all. Seriously, as far as I’m concerned, without the remote, the TV itself is useless.

And I’m sorry, I don’t want to hear from any old-timers (Ken Ring) about how, back in their day, they had to walk uphill in the snow for a mile just to change the channel. Back in those days, there were only three stations anyway, and two of them were ABC and CBS. You practically didn’t even need a remote.

Nowadays, we’ve got options. And unfortunately, most of them are horrible. The remote is the only means to sift through dozens of channels of televised crap in hopes of finding the one show that might be watchable in between countless commercial breaks. Simply put, the remote control is the sole defense I have against the Omarosas, Joe Millionaires, and Spring Break Shark Attacks (sorry CK) of the world. And yet, somehow, my wife manages to misplace this sacred device on a daily basis. Seriously, how often does the Pope lose his hat? How often does Batman misplace his utility belt? The answer is never… The reason for this? Neither man is married.

Coming soon: Part III… (aka: Let’s get Bernie on some water skis!)