Monday, July 31, 2006

And Then There Were None....

Princess avoids arbitration.

This is what I get for holding a day-long Soriano watch....

Three year contract for Pettinger. The Caps have no outstanding RFA's and the only UFA's are players they don't want back. Whether or not the Caps make anymore roster moves I believe has more to do with the salary cap situation of other teams.

No holdouts at camp this year, but it is still well over a month until training camp. I guess I'll have to find some other way to keep myself occupied hockey-wise...

UPDATE: Once again Tarik El-Bashir has the details.

No Soriano Trade?!?!?!?!?!?!

So says See-BS.

MSNBC is laughable though.

More later...

UPDATE: The MSNBC link reports the same as the See-BS link does now. Soriano was not traded. ESPN is reporting the same over their airways right now and apparently Bowden will be holding a Presser on the lack of ANY Nats trade soon.

The fallout from the Nats fans and "experts" should be interesting to say the least.

UPDATE: Obligatory ESPN Link. The Nats had three options, #1. Trade Soriano. #2. Keep Soriano and take the compensation when he leaves in the off-season. #3. Sign Soriano to a contract extension. This past Friday, Tom Boswell said that the Nats should take #2, which, for the time being, is what the Nats did. Bowden should have only done that if the return for #1 was less than the return for #2. #3. may or may not be an option, but for now this chapter of the saga is over. Soriano will finish out the season in Washington. What happens after that will be its own chapter. Sometimes the best trade is the one you don't make. Time will tell us if that is what happened today.

Cheap Shot of the Day

With the recent retirement of Steve Yzerman and the defection of Brendan Shanahan to the New York Rangers, the Detroit Red Wings today in an effort to keep their average age from falling below 35 resigned Dominik Hasek.

Seriously, before Hasek's signing, the average age of the Red Wing roster was 30.8. It is now 31.3 years old. Chris Chelios at only 44 years skews it even worse.

But some of the players listed, like Tomas Kopecky and Brett Lebda (both 24) have little NHL experience (just 1 and 46 NHL games respectively). Yet there is no doubt that there will be some experts who will hail this signing by the Red Wings and of course pick them to win the Stanley Cup. Detroit is starting to remind me more and more of the New York Rangers of years past. A "team" comprised of a bunch of old players past their prime just collecting a paycheck.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday Smorgasbord 7-30

  • Nats get swept. Now at 46-59 with 57 games left, the Nationals are 17.5 games out of first place in the NL East. Their elimination number (Mets) is 41. They are 9 games out of the Wild Card and their elimination number from the Wild Card (Reds) is 49. Only the Royals, Pirates, Devil Rays, and Cubs have a worse record than the Nationals.
  • The big question of course is, will Alfonso Soriano still be a Nat at this time tomorrow? Personally, I don't think so. But I have to admit, I really don't care all that much. He was a hired gun from the beginning and it was foolish to think that he was staying here beyond this season. It has been a lot of fun watching him play, but winning is what matters and we aren't doing a whole lot of that with him. He isn't likely to be here next year if we don't trade him, so let's get the maximum value that we can.
  • I forgot to mention last week that with the various Hip-Hop and Latino songs that are played when Nationals players come to bat at RFK, Austin Kearns' selection of "Play Me Some Mountain Music" sticks out like a sore thumb. Maybe that's why he's miserable.
  • Redskins training camp opened today. The only news was that Rocky McIntosh signed his contract today and that the Redskins have all six of their draft picks on board. Last year when training camp opened, there was no coverage on the front page of the (Com)Post Times Sports Sections. The Nats were in the heat of a pennant race and it signified a brand new day in Washington, D.C. However today the Nats are playing out the string but only the (Com)Post put the Redskins on the front page of the Sports section. Take it for what its worth.
  • I know all good things must come to an end but when that end comes as cheaply as it did last night, I find very little consolation. The first penalty kick call was legit, but the second one wasn't even worthy of a World Cup performance. Referee Abbey Okulaja has to feel like Chris Klein pulled one over on him after looking at the tape. He didn't call the foul right away and had to think about it. He should have followed his initial instinct. Yes, D.C. United had their chances to put the game away, but cheap calls are cheap calls no matter when they come. They sting especially bad when they cost you a game. That being said despite the loss; D.C. United's magic number shrunk last night. Now at 13-2-6 with 11 games left in the regular season, their magic number for a playoff spot is down to 12. Their magic number for the Eastern Conference title is now 17 and for first place over all is still 30.
  • Not that I condone gambling around here but my father who is spending his retirement (among other things) in Las Vegas reports that the odds on the Caps winning the Stanley Cup are 80-1. The Maryland Terrapins winning the college football national championship are 115-1. The Redskins making Super Bowl XLI is 5-1 but actually winning Super Bowl XLI is 12-1. The over/under on Redskins victories in the regular season is 9.
  • And finally this week, the Nats this time pay a visit to Big Head Barry for three in San Francisco before finishing off their Left Coast trip in San Diego next weekend. D.C. United has a U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match vs. Columbus at the Maryland Soccerplex in Germantown, MD on August 1st and then is off for the MLS All-Star break. The Caps are scheduled to go to arbitration with Matt "Princess" Pettinger on Wednesday. Seeing as how they have avoided arbitration with everybody else, it will be interesting to see what happens if they actually have a hearing. Oh and the Soriano saga will come to a mericiful end sometime tomorrow.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Cue the Music...

Goin' to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come!

Well, at least the Penguins very well could be. While that story doesn't say it, earlier reports state that Sam Fingold has ties to Kansas City. It is no secret that Kansas City is looking for either an NHL or an NBA team and I think it was wise to reject the group with Mark Cuban. The NHL does not need that kind of embarrassment owner in the league when it already has Charles Wang.

Yeah, I know this isn't a done deal yet. The Penguins could very well end up staying in Pittsburgh, but it doesn't look good. If it did why is stuff like this being written? People forget that the franchise has gone into bankruptcy multiple times throughout its history. Something is clearly wrong up there. Yea, I agree with anybody who says that Mellon Arena is dump, it needs to be replaced. But after the PNC Park fiasco, why should the city or the state provide any funding for the team to build a new arena? Yes, I know that was the Onion, just play along alright?

Last year the Pens flatly admitted that if even if they sold out every regular season home game along with the first two rounds of the playoffs, they would still lose $$$$$. Last year was a disaster and this year does not look to be much better. The fans didn't pack the place to see Secondary Assist Sydney Crosby skate with Mario Lemieux, John LeClair, Mark Recchi, and Zigmund Palffy. They aren't going to come out in droves to see Secondary Syd skate with Evgeni Malkin either. That of course is assuming that Malkin does come over this season, which is anything but assured. I'm tired of hearing Crosby and Malkin, Crosby and Malkin, Crosby and Malkin. First of all, Secondary Syd already has the reputation of a diver and a crybaby, I don't think that's the image the NHL wants to project, especially after what went on in the World Cup. (But we can't get enough of those shootouts!) And Malkin has yet to prove himself, he was all the rage heading into the Olympics and the only thing of note that he did was getting ejected in the Quarterfinal vs. Canada. A.O. has already outclassed Secondary Syd in the NHL and will no doubt do the same to Malkin. A.O. did that the Olympics.

I know some could say the same things about Washington, D.C. and the Caps. But the Caps have never gone into bankruptcy. They may not have always had the best ownership, but they have never had to go begging hat in hand for a decent place to play in. Just because you won a Stanley Cup does not mean you get to keep your team forever. If the NHL really wants to set up an A.O.-Secondary Syd rivalry to mimic the 1980's Byrd-Magic rivarly in the NBA, it is in the NHL's best interest to get Secondary Syd and his team out of the Eastern Conference. That type of matchup is better suited for a Stanley Cup Final instead of a Conference Final.

The only bad thing I can see from a Pittsburgh move to Kansas City are the continual concoctions to get the Caps out of the Southeast Division and back into the Atlantic Division from the denizens of a place I affectionately refer to as Darwin's Waiting Room. Personally, for my own selfish reasons I was hoping that the Pens would end up in Las Vegas. While that no longer seems likely, everybody's favorite rumor monger says a team may end up there, eventually. I'll take it with the grain of salt it deserves.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Floyd Speaks

Says he's a freak.

If he has "naturally high testosterone levels" why wouldn't he have tested positive before? Wouldn't have Phonak known about this too?

I agree with this guy that it doesn't add up. But Landis is right about one thing, no matter the outcome of Sample B and any appeal, this isn't going away.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Uh, oh....

Hat tip to DRUDGE.

Landis busted.

Care to revise and extend your remarks Mr. Lemond?

Say what you want about Lance Armstrong, he was never caught cheating by reputable sources and passed numerous tests administered by the Tour.

Floyd has some serious explaining to do here.

UPDATE: Hat Tip to Off Wing Opinion.

Lemond eats his crow like a man.

Here's an interesting quote though:

The problem is the sport is corrupt and it corrupts everybody. I still believe it was one of the cleanest Tours ever. But is it 100-percent clean? No.

Couldn't somebody turn around and use this to taint Lemond himself?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Omar Avoids Arbitration

Two years, yadda, yadda, yadda....

Omar got $475,000 last year.

The Caps look to be close to finishing their offseason moves. Only Princess is left of the RFA's/arbitration cases. This keeps the "CBS" line together for at least another year.

Could Somebody Please Explain This to Me?

Ok, I've been waiting on this posting because of the pending Scott Gomez arbitration decision. Now that has been settled and things look like they're going to move. People like this clown and Eklund continue to insist that the Capitals are interested in acquiring Vladimir Malakhov.

Now what I need explained to me is why the Washington Capitals would be interested in helping the Devils get rid of their "dead money." Last year, the Devils and their "genius" of a GM, Lou Lamoriello, got themselves into the mess they're in right now with very ill-advised two year contracts for Alexander Mogilny, Dan McGillis and Malakhov. Mogilny and McGillis were demoted to the AHL last year and Malakhov has been suspended and is considered to be "retired." The Devils don't even list these players on their roster, yet because all three Malakhov and Mogilny were over the age of 35 when they signed their contracts, they will count against the Devils salary cap until their contracts run out. This is why their combined salary of $9.3 $7.1 million is considered "dead money."

Malakhov's $3.6 million is the largest of the three dead salaries but his case the most complex and therefore dangerous too. A team who takes on Mogilny and/or McGillis would have to pay their $3.5 million and/or $2.2 million salaries respectively, even if they were not on the NHL squad. However, because Malakhov is considered to be suspended, his salary would count against the salary cap, but the team would not have to actually pay him. The problem is though; Malakhov still has one year left on his contract. While he is suspended, that contract does not does not run, he would still owe one year of service to whoever holds his contract. This precedent was set by the Alexi Yashin holdout. That means that Malakhov's contract would be "dead money" to whoever holds the contract for one year after the suspension is lifted.

The reason that the Caps are interested in Malakov that most people cite is that the Caps are not at the NHL salary floor of $28 million. Where this comes from, I don't know. As I said this past Sunday, this must be news to the guy who signs the paychecks. and have incomplete rosters for the Caps. For instance, neither list Boyd Gordon who made $900,600 last season. The Caps resigned him a couple of weeks ago now and do you honestly think he took a pay cut? These sites also fail to list players such as Mike Green and Jakub Klepis who are also expected to contribute more this season. While those salaries won't break the bank, they need to be taken into account for salary cap purposes.

This isn't the first time the Devils find themselves in this situation. Last season that incompetent boob George McPhee took Jeff Friesen off Lou's hands before the season started for nothing more than a third round draft pick. The Caps then traded Friesen to Anaheim at the deadline for a second round pick. Why wouldn't the Caps take an actual player off the Devils roster this time around? Why would they waste cap space (which they do have plenty of) on a player who they don't want playing here anyway. $5 million for Scott Gomez is probably more than the Caps would be willing to pay, even for one season. Though I fail to see how it is the job of the Caps to help the Devils clear out their dead money and keep the players they want. This should be interesting to watch in the coming days.

UPDATE: My good friend Sparky from Washington points out that McGillis was not 35 when he signed his contract. McGillis is 34 right now, so his $2.2 million contract still counts against the Devils cap as long as he is in their system, which he currently is. But should he retire his cap number will no longer count against them unlike Mogliny and Malakhov who are on New Jersey's books until their contracts run out.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Cheap Shot From the (Com)Post

How about that civic pride????

Memo to Dan Steinberg, leave the cutesy little self-depreciating remarks to Kornheiser. He's much better at it. Taking a look at his chart the rankings go:

New York

Detroit is credited with three first place "finishes" because the rankings only count the regular season finish. The Tigers have yet to complete their season, the Red Wings were bounced in the first round of the NHL playoffs by the Edmonton Oilers and the Pistons wilted under the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA playoffs.

Regular season titles are nice, but somehow I don't think the fans of the Red Wings, Pistons, and Indianapolis Colts are patting themselves on the back for their great finishes. Tiger fans are already giddy considering that just a few short years ago, the Tigers were on their way to ringing up 119 losses. Something tells me that coming up short of a World Series Title this year won't bother them too much.

Furthermore, two of the local teams (the Bullets and the Redskins) both made the playoffs last year. Yeah, titles are what matters but I guess that isn't important to Mr. Steinberg.

Finally, since he insists that the NHL is no longer worthy of "major" status, let's drop the NHL from these rankings. Atlanta is still in last place and Washington passes Philadelphia for 10th. That isn't exactly a sea change in the rankings and I admit to not knowing what if any other cities become eligible for the list, but it just goes to prove Mark Twain's old saying "There are three types of liars; liars, damned liars, and statistics."

Monday, July 24, 2006

Soriano Deal Imminent?

ESPN reports Soriano to the White Sox.

You never really know with Jim Bowden. Who da thunk that the trade FOR Soriano would have turned out as well as it has? Conventional Wisdom (CW) says that you wait as long as possible and drive the price as high as you can. There's still 14 days until the deadline. Hades, I would wait until at least this upcoming home series ended before trading him.

But that's why I am not paid to make these types of executive decisions. We'll just have to wait and see.

UPDATE: I was in such a rush to get this posting up yesterday, I forgot how to read a calendar. It's less than 7 days now to the deadline.

Old Danny Boy at it Again.

The Redskins will host the Ratbirds from 40 miles north on August 5th for a scrimmage at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. Wisely, Snyder isn't charging admission, but did you catch the fine print here?

That's right, while the stadium gates will be open to anybody who wants to come in, you'll need $25 to park your car, as if it were an actual game and not a glorified practice you were coming to watch. Leave to the Redskins to find ways to raise more and more money. Do they honestly think that 90,000+ people are going to flock to FedEx Field on an August afternoon? Do they really think they need to control the crowd at FedEx Field and in that fashion?

35,517 showed up last year in "Bhawlmuher" for the scrimmage and the Ratbirds charged admission ($12 for end zone, $7 for the lower bowl according to a Lexis-Nexis search). Had the event been totally free, I might have been coaxed into going simply to get my picture taken with the Super Bowl Trophies. But having to pay $25 to park or walk about a mile uphill to the Stadium kills that idea right there.

But the sad part is, it didn't have to be this way. 5 years ago now, Snyder opened up the club level of FedEx Field during the preseason and allowed everybody to come and park for free and watch the road preseason games. That was a nice little event and I am surprised it hasn't been done since. I was later told, it was mostly an attempt to sell club and "dream seats." I guess Snyder isn't making enough $$$$$ or he has to figure out a way to pay his coaching staff.

It's a Brand New Day

When the banks open up this morning, MLB will be $450 million richer and the Washington Nationals will finally break free of league control. To say that this saga went on for too way too long would be a gross understatement. The National Disgrace running this team is finally out and can now concentrate on further ignoring the juicing problem in baseball. The likelyhood of the Nats being pulled out of Washington, D.C. in any fashion has now compeletly diminished.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday Smorgasbord 7-23

  • Nats sweep the Cubs. Now at 43-56, the Nats are 16.5 games out of first place in the NL East with, 63 games left, their elimination number (Mets) is 48. They're 9 games out of the wild card and their elimination number (Reds) from the Wild Card is 55. Only the Royals, Pirates, Cubs, and Devil Rays have a worse record than the Nats.
  • 104,314 showed up at RFK for the Grand Re-Opening. 5,686 short of what the Nationals were expecting. Weather wasn't much of a factor this weekend, so I can only figure that the fans either didn't really buy into the concept. As noted above, the Nats aren't playing well this season and the Cubs are even worse. This was easily the "pillow fight" series of the weekend. Some people may have been turned off by the complaint MLB filed about the new stadium. Who knows?
  • D.C. United Keeps rolling along. How good are these guys? They're now 13-1-6 with a gaudy 45 points thanks to a 14 game unbeaten streak. A full 20 points ahead of their closest Eastern Conference competitor, New England, and 19 points ahead of F.C. Dallas for first place overall in MLS. With 12 games left in the season, D.C. United's magic number (Kansas City) for a playoff spot is just 14 points. Their magic number (New England) for the Eastern Conference is only 22 points. Their magic number (FC Dallas) for the MLS Supporter's Shield (first place overall in the regular season) is 30 points. I'll go ahead and say it now, it will be a HUGE disappointment if D.C. United does not win its 5th MLS Cup in 11 seasons. Quite frankly, they should pull off an unprecedented "triple." They should win the MLS Supporter's Shield, U.S. Open Cup, and the MLS Cup. But if they fail to win the MLS Cup, that will be all anybody ever remembers. Their key? Alecko Eskandarian, as he goes so does D.C. United.
  • Tarik El-Bashir has the details on the Clymer contract. I have to say, I thought we would have paid a little bit more to take away some of his UFA years. But Clymer likes the direction this team is going so he wants to stay on. That's a good sign, plus it keeps our top checking line together. On the rumor front; Eklund says the Caps are after Kozlov. This clown says the Caps are after the retired Pavel Bure too and insists that the Caps are not at the salary floor, which must be news to the guy who signs the paychecks. I'll take Uncle Ted's word on this over any rumor monger any day. I find the alleged Russian fetish interesting; the Red Wings made it work first about ten years ago now, so we know it can be done. My only issue is trying to do it with with known underachievers. We had that once before and it didn't go over very well. Call me crazy, but I'm all for rebuilding the proper way. If we draft Russians that's one thing, but to go out and sign every Rooskie available is a different story. Let's stick with a plan for once before we try something else.
  • This week, the Nats host Big Head Barry and his team at RFK for a three game set starting on Tuesday and then head off to L.A. for a weekend set on the road with the Dodgers. D.C. United pays a visit to Real Salt Lake. The Redskins report to training camp next Sunday.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Please say it isn't so....

Thanks go out to insomnia and DC Sports Chick for tipping me off to this blurb from the AJC:

"After earlier saying he thought Bondra would retire, Waddell said he was informed by his agent that Bondra hopes to sign in Washington, where he played parts of 14 seasons. "

Please Mommy, make the bad man stop....

Look, I was as much a Bondra fan as anybody else was. However, his actions last summer totally destroyed what respect I had left for him. I felt sorry that he was traded from the Caps allegedly against his wishes. It was great watching him on the ice as you could often tell he was having the most fun of any player out there.

But what always lurked in the back of my mind was the holdouts. The insistence on being the highest paid player on the team. Now, there were certainly times that he had a valid point. However, it always seemed to me to be $$$$$ above all else.

Last summer when the Caps offered to make him the highest paid forward and guaranteeing him a job in the franchise after his playing days ended, he ended up begging the Atalanta Thrashers for a contract. He took less money in an incentive laden contract in order to play for Atlanta. He felt that the Thrashers were a contender and wanted to play for them after talking all summer about returning to Washington. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed watching the Capitals elminate the Thrashers from the playoffs last April. I also relished that Peter Bondra was in the Penalty Box when the game winning goal was scored. To this day I can't help but think that was sweet justice coming through.

When Bondra broke Mike Gartner's Caps scoring record, I felt a small sense of sorrow. Growing up, I idolized Gartner and cried when he was traded to Minnesota (I was in 7th grade). But that sorrow was tempered by Bondra breaking the record because at least you could tell that he was enjoying himself. However, A.O. shows even more excitement, even more joy, and even more exuberance than Bondra ever did. When A.O. obliterates Bondra's records, I will not feel any sorrow at all.

In a perfect world, Bondra would have never left Washington, he would have retired as a Cap, his number 12 would have been retired, and he would have joined the Capitals in some other capacity. However, it did not turn out that way. Yes, Uncle Ted and that Incompetent Boob McPhee have some blame, but Bondra was the one who burned bridges when he denied the Caps attempts to patch things up. If I am not mistaken, a player who retires still has his contract count against the salary cap. So under this circumstance, I don't want the Caps to sign Bondra even for only a day so he could officially retire as a Cap. Quite frankly, I don't believe he deserves that honor.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Clymer avoids arbitration

Per club policy yadda, yadda, yadda.....

It's a three year contract so the Caps take away some of his UFA years, so you know that cost them some $$$$$. The deal comes a week before the arbitration hearing was to take place.

That only leaves Matt "Omar" Bradley and Matt "Princess" Pettinger left on the to-do list. For those so interested, Bradley has his arbitration hearing August 1st and Pettinger is on August 2nd (Per (you'll have to scroll down).)

The Nats and the D.C. Government: Too great expectations?

Boswell gets it right (sort of)

"If you are one of about 110,000 people who are expected to attend the Nationals' "grand reopening" at RFK Stadium for their three-game series against the Cubs this weekend, try to focus on the new cuisine at the stadium -- crab cakes, "riblets," chili, kosher knishes, burritos, stuffed potatoes, beef brisket, fresh popcorn and microbrews. The "Texas sausage" is nice.

But for heaven's sake, whatever you do, don't look at the team. And don't ask, "How's that new stadium coming along?" "

Reading the rest of the column though, he fades as it goes on. Kinda like the Nats last season.... (yes, I know, that was a cheap shot...)

I don't know what he expected of the Nationals this season. With the excitement of being in a new city and the decimation of the starting pitching staff, personally I would have been happy with another 81-81 finish. It was painfully obvious last season that the Nats had issues not only with talent but with depth too. They lost too much pitching in the off season and while the bench was upgraded, that isn't the same as improving your depth. I don't think anybody likes the idea of Daryle Ward playing 30-40 games at first base and we all saw what happened when Matt LeCroy stepped behind the plate.

But beyond that; Guillen is done for the season , Patterson might be back, Vidro hasn't been himself this season, and neither has Livan. Cordero hasn't had much of a chance this season, though early on he blew opportunities and still walks a tightrope. Majewski was inconsistent and now seems to have fallen apart in Cincinnati, but how badly is the bullpen missing Luis Ayala? Brian Schneider has had a respectable year and (knock on wood) Nick Johnson has stayed healthy so far. Ryan Zimmerman and Alfonso Soriano have been the lone bright spots for this team. A rather famous individual (who shall remain nameless) who I had gotten to know said of a potential Soriano trade "If they trade him, there'll be nothing left to see out here." It is hard to disagree with that. However, why anybody was thinking that this team could contend for the Wild Card again is beyond me.

I shouldn't beat up on Boswell too much and I won't. He's been a voice of sanity about baseball in Washington, D.C. for a long time. However I only bring this up because in a Washington (Com)Post chat last year with Boswell I asked him if the Nats were setting themselves up for a big fall a'la Ron Wilson and Ralph Friedgen by coming out of the gate too strong and setting expectations for Act II way too high. Bos responded by saying "what do you want them to do, start losing?" Maybe I'll ask him if he wants to revise and extend those remarks...

As for the ever embarrassing D.C. Government, is anybody surprised in the least by this? Seriously, if these guys were just merely incompetent, it would be a miraculous improvement. People who complain about D.C. deserving statehood should be forced to explain just how any of this is proof that D.C. deserves even the right to self-governance. I don't blame Mayor Williams for washing his hands of this ugly mess and stepping down.

But you know what is downright HIGH-LARIOUS? I've heard rumors that once the Nats have their new stadium built and opened, D.C. United has their long awaited new stadium built and opened, and RFK is demolished, that the D.C. Government is going to try to get the Redskins to move back into the city. Most likely at the RFK Stadium site. Why would business in their right mind try to work with the D.C. Government right now?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Joyous Greetings and Salutations!

And so this little adventure of mine begins. We'll see how long I can keep this up. Here I'll opine on the Caps, Skins, Nats, United, and the Terps. But I'll mostly talk about the Caps and the NHL. I vow to keep politics off this blog unless circumstances warrant, I don't want to deal with the likes of DUers.

I'll be expanding and filling things in as time goes by. Please bear with me as I get used to linking all that assorted stuff. Thanks for stopping by and Welcome!