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Pojo's Book Reviews



There Is No Y.J. Stinger



Last week you got to hear about my boring weekend, so this week you get the opposite. This past weekend I had four events to run. There was a JSS at my store on Saturday, a PSQ at the store on Saturday, a PTQ in San Diego on Saturday, and on Sunday a Pokemon Prerelease. For those of you that don’t know, PSQ is short for Premiere Series Qualifier, which is sort of a PTQ for Lord of the Rings TCG.


I had someone to run the JSS and PSQ, so that left me running the PTQ and the Prerelease. I actually had STAFF for the prerelease, but needed to be there for that one, so that meant I needed to be in San Diego Saturday and Arizona Sunday.  Flying was out of the question, as it eats up what little profit I was going to make, so this was driving time.


Enter Jay Webb.


Jay is a good friend that hangs out at the store, and likes to play in PTQ’s. In exchange for me paying for a hotel room, gas, and his entry into the event, Jay agree to be my b--… er I mean chauffeur to San Diego and back, so I could relax as much as possible to be ready to run the events.


I think the best way to tell this particular story was with some statistics:


Number of YJ Stinger drinks found between Arizona and San Diego: 0

Number of feet we could see driving through the fog: 20

Number of Red Lights Jay ran in down town San Diego: 4

Number of colors in our hotel: All of them

Number of Upper Deck Employees at my San Diego PTQ: 4

Number of Upper Deck Employees to win my PTQ: 1

Number of Border Patrol Cars we passed on the way back: 7

Time we made it home: 5:30am

Time I had to go to set up for the Pokemon Prerelease: 9:30am

Time it is right now: 9:00pm


That doesn’t tell the story well? Ok, then on to the details….



Number of YJ Stinger drinks found between Arizona and San Diego: 0


Jay is a big wrestling fan. If you watch wrestling at all you have seen those commercials for YJ Stinger by every Wrestler and their grandmother. Well, marketing works, as Jay was dedicated to finding and drinking an YJ Stinger this weekend. He figured he would need some energy drinks, and wanted to try them out.


We stopped a total of 6 times driving to San Diego and back; at every single place we went to, no YJ Stinger. Not one food store or convenience store or gas station we hit had it. Perhaps is a “health food store” only kind of thing. We don’t know for sure, but we expect it’s a glitch in the Matrix code.



Number of feet we could see driving through the fog: 20


The drive to San Diego was actually pretty uneventful. At least, it was until we started coming down the mountains into California, where we hit the worst fog bank I have ever seen. Visibility was literally 20 to 50 feet, with headlights on, and we found ourselves driving as slow as 20 mph at certain times, for fear of running off the road or being hit by another car. If you accidentally drive off the road normally, the worst that happens is you get stuck in the dirt. Where we are, driving off the road meant a 2000-foot drop or so.


When this is being done at roughly midnight after a long day of work, it’s a rather harrowing experience…



Number of Red Lights Jay ran in down town San Diego: 4


Nonetheless, we did make it to San Diego, and the hotel was in the middle of downtown San Diego by the Gas Lamp District. If you have ever traveled in downtown San Diego, its one of those places where everything is one way, and there is a street light every 100 feet it seems like. As we were trying to find our way, the lights were continuously going yellow on us as we tried to read the signs. Jay ran four red lights THAT I COUNTED in making it to the hotel. San Diego Police, arrest that man!



Number of colors in our hotel: All of them


The Bristol is quite a unique hotel. Its very classy seeming, but the décor is something that you would expect if you had just participated in the television show Trading Spaces with the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland. All the colors of the rainbow were well represented, and the hallways had yellow and orange walls with orange-bordered rugs with black and white checkerboards. I expected to see the Queen of Hearts pop out at any moment, threatening to cut off my head.


The room was just as bad, with strangely orange bed sheets, yellow walls, and a vaguely white chair that looked like someone has cast a spell on a sheep to turn it into a Lazy Boy for furniture.


Nonetheless, the bed was comfy enough, and with a few hours sleep, we headed to the event.



Number of Upper Deck Employees at my San Diego PTQ: 4


So, now that Upper Deck has hired so many Magic Professionals and Wizard’s Ex-Employees, its kind of a fun game to see how many Upper Deck employees show up at each event. Today it was four of them, showing off the Marvel VS Shirts and representing. They even had a couple of demo decks with them and sat down and played a few games in between rounds. A rather clever promotion for the game to generate interest, and they are a good bunch of guys, so are always a pleasure to have around.


I personally really enjoyed the company of Dave Hewitt, the Marvel Brand Manager. After so many years in the business, I feel I have a realistically experienced understanding of the industry. But every time I talk to Dave I learn something new, and I always learn it during a good conversation about a game or aspect of the business where I feel I at least am giving him some good feedback at the same time. There’s very few people I can “talk shop” with about so many different aspects of our industry. Dan Gray is one, and Dave Hewitt is another.



Number of Upper Deck Employees to win my PTQ: 1


While some of the Upper Deck guys were playing Marvel, or trying out Duel Masters (yes, the doorway of learning new games goes both ways), one of them was quietly winning the event. Brian Hacker won my 107 people PTQ, amidst jokes that he plays in a PTQ of mine every 2 years, and wins each time.


I need to mark my calendar for 2006 to see if it’s true.



Number of Border Patrol Cars we passed on the way back: 7


We got out pretty late from the event, and didn’t get on the road until 11:30pm our time. So we were tired to begin, but were kept awake by passing multiple police cars in a relatively short distance. After the second or third one, we realized they weren’t Highway Patrol, but Border Patrol.


The strange thing was that all of these cars were traveling up and down the mountain range between Arizona and California. I can’t picture any border crossing Mexican successfully scaling these mountains in any way, but evidently the Border Patrol knows something I don’t.


Despite the amount of border patrol cars floating around, the actual Border Patrol stops and checkpoints were all closed and we drove to California and back completely unstopped. Apparently the immigrants were on the move, and an all points bulletin has gone out.



Time we made it home: 5:30am and Time I had to go to set up for the Pokemon Prerelease: 9:30am


Not much to say here. I made it home at 5:30am. I crashed for a couple hours, then had to get right back up to go run a Pokemon Prerelease, which went very well thanks to my highly competent staff, which did their jobs so well, all I had to do was stay awake and look competent without actually accomplishing anything.



Time it is right now: 9:00pm


Well, ok, its 8:50pm but close enough. And now that you have the download on my weekend, I thank you for reading, and bid you good night.



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Have a great week!

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