My Dad is amongst the hardest people to buy Christmas gifts for... much like me (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree) he's the type of guy to go and buy something if he wants it, and generally not wait for birthdays/holidays to let someone else buy it for him as a gift. Well, that was the situation this past Christmas where there was nothing that anyone could think of to get him as a gift. I'd decided to buy tickets for an Oilers game or two, but in order to do so I had to wait until today when the next batch of game tickets were made available. I could have bought tickets for other games at an insane premium (some places I looked at were charging literally double face value) but I opted to wait for today to get tickets. How hard would it be to get a couple seats together for a worthwhile game, right?

Well, Dad is taking some holiday time early this year, going to (I think) Mexico and Vancouver in January and March, respectively. He's also having cataract surgery on each eye; one in February, the other in March. So, with all that to contend with, my choices were limited. Ultimately I decided on the San Jose game January 26 and also the Calgary game March 3. I made sure to be awake early enough to hover at the Ticketmaster website right when the tickets went on sale at 10:00. I sat there hitting refresh until finally I could buy tickets.

Except, I couldn't buy tickets. I'm not sure how many seats were available in the first place, once promo seats and season tickets were factored in, but I could not get two seats together for either game at any price. At least, that was the end result after the retarded spam protection at the web site kept failing (the old "here's the obfuscated string of gibberish alphanumeric characters you have to type in to confirm you're blind and don't deserve to use our site" bit). I had tabs open for each of the two games and it took the better part of 10 tries for each game to get past that stage. I know for fact I was typing in what was presented to me but the system refused me access. So, I wound up waiting all this time to get nothing. Just for kicks I tried calling the phone number to buy tickets -- the line was perpetually busy, of course.

So, I had to go with Plan B to try to salvage something out of all this. The World Curling Championships are in town starting at the end of March, so I ordered a couple seats for the Championship weekend. The seats are at least decent considering general sales began in early November. If I knew they wouldn't go to waste (and if I could afford them), I could have had really nice seats for the whole 9 day event. However, $1000 was well beyond my means. So, the upshot from all this is the tickets are for Thursday night and for various times Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Dad's work schedule generally has him off Fridays, so we should at least be able to catch all the draws without anyone juggling any schedules. Unless, of course, I find a job before then... but then that's not really in my plans for the time being.

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