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Monk's Corner
Ray Powers

*Level III Judge

*WOTC Tournament Organizer for Arizona & San Diego

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By Ray "Monk" Powers

I know what you are saying. First you are saying "Why was there no article from Monk last week?" You may even be saying "What the heck is going on here?" or "My world has been turned upside down!" or perhaps "Monk didn't write last week? I didn't notice."

Basically, a lot has been going on in my life, and the horrible reality is in all of the excitement, I simply forgot to write an article last week. I am deeply unhappy about the fact that I forgot one of my responsibilities, and am happy that I did not get enormous hate mail from my editor for my digression.

Over the past few weeks there have been a large amount of changes in my life. First and foremost, my wife and I are having a new house built. This means that we have to sell our current house, and find a new place to live until our new house is built, or maybe get lucky and have someone who buys the house lease it back to us. There's a lot of stress involved in this, both monetarily and personally.

In our case we got a bit lucky in that we were able to sell the house to an acquainted who agreed to lease it back to us, but the process was still agonizing, and we've had a lot to do on the house. Since it was to a friend, we wanted to make sure not to rip them off, so we had some things checked out to make sure the house was ok.

Of course, no luck there. Our small Air Conditioning problem turned out to be a destroyed coil, which means a whole new Air Conditioning Unit. Then, a small leak looks like it may be a roof problem, and who knows how much that will cost.

Where will we get all this money? Well, on the bright side of this, I was just offered a new job. I had been talking to a company for the past few months off and on, and they just offered me a job as a Project Manager for enough money to make it worth my while to come back.

But this is a full time job, nine AM to five PM, Monday through Friday, which is going to mean a huge change in my schedule. No more spending all day at home with the kids, doing consulting work during nap and quiet times, and we were going to have to find someone to take care of the kids. First, we talked to our respective parents. My mother agreed to take them one day a week, and my father in law a second day, leaving three days open that we needed day care for.

After some quick planning, Kelly took a day off and we spent a day going to over ten different daycare centers to try to decide which one would we use.  Ironically after spending the entire day trying to decide, we ended up with the same daycare center we had used for Randy about a year ago.

For those of you lucky enough to not have to deal with Day Care, it means, well, a lot of money, and a lot of paperwork, including a Wellness Checkup. So next I had to bring the kids to their Wellness Checkup at the Doctor.

You know, after the kids and I went to a ton of different day care centers, complete with dozens and dozens of kids, some who were sick, when Randy and I were both highly susceptible to sickness.

No way in heck were we going to be well for our Wellness checkup. First Kaitlyn got sick, then Randy, then me. Fortunately we caught it early enough that the kids will be all better by the time of my first day of work, which should be about when you are reading this. Whether I will be better in time is something else, since I have had no time to rest and recover because I had to run a Yu Gi Oh Regionals this weekend. This event was close to total chaos. I got no prize support from Upper Deck, I was sick, and my printer decided to stop working before round one. A secondary printer we had brought over insisted on not working just as much, so we had to do all of round one without paper, announcing the pairings and having people come up to report instead of doing result slips, for a 138 person event. In addition I ended up buying product from my vendors to make sure I had enough product to give out for prizes, and then took down the information for the top 8 players to make sure that Upper Deck could send the top 8 their special prizes.

So, you tell me, if that was your last week, would you have remembered or had the time to write an article? Me either.

Which brings me to the biggest change in my life right now. Over the past week, my wife and I have taken a serious look at our time schedules. With us moving further away from the city, me working full time, and having the kids in day care, our time together is getting slimmer and slimmer, and my time to work on outside of the job events is going to be even worse. So, after several long talks, we decided that I would cut back on my Tournament organization business by quite a bit, staying on only to do Wizards of the Coast events.

By the time you read this, I will have resigned as being a Tournament Organizer from Upper Deck, Wiz Kids, and the Pokemon Group. Its not that I don't like these people, but simply that I just don't have the time to run two events a weekend any more if I want to maintain any sense of a family life, and my wife and kids are far more important in this equation.

I'm sure my editor will be glad to read that part, as its not unusual for me to get an e-mail saying "You once again have submitted an article to the Magic section that wasn't really about Magic." Now that I'm not doing Tournament Organization for most of the other games, its a safe bet that most of my articles for this year are going to be much more Magic-centric.  Not that I feel bad about previous articles that weren't, as I've always maintained that most of you read my articles because you find the business I am interesting, and like the behind the scenes looks, whether they are Magic related or not, but I'm sure my editor will breathe a sigh of relief to not see another article describing things that went wrong at my last Yu Gi Oh event.. Well, er, after this one that is.

In fact, by the nature of me quitting all of these companies, its entirely possible that I will, for a change of pace, start being able to PLAY more Magic, which is something quite rare for me right now. Not only will I have some time to build decks, but on the weekends when I am not running events, I may get a few chances to play in some. I just heard about a $50 cash constructed tournament held weekly at a store I may give a shot at, although my passion always has been draft. If the timing is right, I may even skip down to Vegas or L.A. for a Pro Tour Qualifier, but I'm not going to get my hopes up too high on that yet.

So, to make up for a lack of articles last week, this week you get this article, and one later on where I talk about block constructed, and some of the fun that Betrayers is going to put into the format. I hope you will like the change of direction the articles are going to take, and never fear, you'll still hear plenty of wild stories about tournament wackiness I have to deal with, but the focus will now be almost exclusively on Wizards of the Coast products and games.

Talk to you soon!


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