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T hings have been pretty turbulent lately. Today started out with my stereo getting ripped out of my car, which is really minor, but sets the pace for the day.   Spokane, WA - Sep 17th, 2004
Back to being a bachelor pad
First, let's rewind a moment, for the random person who doesn't know me. I invited my friend Frank and his wife up here to live with me a bit before I tried heading back to active duty (which is what I'm looking at doing about now). This sounded like a good idea for all since I can hang with my buddy, living expenses are cut and I get someone to watch the house while I'm gone (back to active duty). They came and thus began my mostly shitty summer of 2004, despite me being relaxingly unemployed.
You see, apparently Spokane is not a hotspot for employment (I had no idea since I still haven't looked for a job), so financial problems and personal conflicts were rampant through most of the last 6 months. It all ended recently, however, with Frank's wife leaving him. And worst of all, active duty AF isn't taking prior service.
Spokane, WA - March 26th, 2004
GAT sucks... but pulls in wins anyway.
M arch turned out to be a good month for m:tg. I played 3 tournies this month and placed 1st in each.. it helps to play halfway decent decks.
The first tournament of the month was extended. I played a black/blue/white Squee abusing control deck with Zombie Infestions, Togs and Meddling Mages. Thanks to some bad luck on Joe Mackey's part, I managed a win against his Rock deck in the last round. I think he had the advantage due to all the disruption Rock runs along with the rather devestating Deed. But, I was fortunate enough to get a really strong start in the second game, swinging early with numerous zombie tokens. And for the third game, he was severely mana screwed.
Next tourney was vintage and I played GAT. My first experience with GAT was a bit shakey. I had a rough time with a pure burn deck and Dragon had me a bit worried in the last round. But, all in all, I found myself rather liking the deck. So much so, that I decided to play it again on the last Friday of the month. This time, however, it was smooth sailing all the way to the end. The Dragon deck in the finals didn't put up much of a fight this time.
F ebruary turned out to be a rather busy month. I flew in on the 3rd, leaving the airport well after midnight, only to return in the morning to pick up Frank and Jasmine.   Spokane, WA - February 27th, 2004
Bad night for me at Getaway Games...
My pipes had busted while I was away, so we spent the first 3 days fixing plumbing... oh what fun. Despite the cold weather and poor hospitality, they're still looking at moving up here.

On the magic side of things, I showed up for Type I on the 14th with Dragon (and without my camera) and shamefully lost to idiotic playing. Last round I was paired with Joe Mackey playing Fish. I started very strong with a turn 1 Dragon... that is, I hardcast it first turn and won shortly thereafter!

After sideboarding, things didn't work out well for me. He started with an Ancestral and Standstill I had to break, giving him plenty of counters, BEBs and Stifles. He beat me down quickly with manlands. Then I demonstrated ultra-noobness as I let him win the last match even though I had him on turn 4. In fact, I sat through an entire game where I could've won at just about any time of my choosing. My terrible blunder? I had this strange notion in my head that Xantid Swarm needed to do combat damage for its effect and so decided not to attack and win.

Anyway, I went back next week for some extended action. I was thinking of putting something better together, but in the meantime, UG madness was ready to go. Not satisified with something standard, I went with a rather janky version with mixed results. The one severe lesson learned was that Goblin Sharpshooter can be pretty mean vs any kind of UG madness. From now on, I don't think I'd try UG without a splash of black for Plagues.

And finally, we end February with a very disappointing vintage night. I ran TnT and went 3-2! Three out of the 5 matches were some sort of Sligh/burn and two were not forgiving when I had subpar hands. The deck was a bit random. Sometimes it would come out strong and rob my opponent, dropping an Angered Colussus with Juggernauts and so on (in the case of all the burn, I would go nuts with Bottle Gnomes first). Other times, the deck would have mana/business ratio problems. I even got mana screwed, and this damn deck is packed with 27 mana sources. I had very poor luck, but in the end, I learned that any hand without Survival is not a great hand.

Biloxi, Mississippi - January 3rd, 2004
Last tourney at Jak's
I 'll be glad to get back to Spokane. The turn outs for local tourneys here are pathetic, probably due to the $5 entry fee and no prize for 2nd. Guess what I placed?
I was playing Dragon. My first match was against Nathan with Hulk. I was fairly worried since he's one of the better players, but I was fortunate. I had a turn 2 kill w/FoW backup for the 1st match and he didn't have any useful sideboard cards for the 2nd. Lesson here was to really take a close look at the result slip instead of just signing it. I ended up at the last table for this mistake, but the guy running things was nice enough to fix the scoring. The rest of the matches were easy: Sligh, Trix, Stompy and Trix.
I hadn't lost a single match up to the finals. In the finals, I started strong with a turn 2 or 3 kill. I followed this up with a complete mana screw. I led with a Bazaar and used it for 5 turns in a row, turning up not a single land. In the final match, I screwed up by not realizing just how Parallax Wave works. I'd thought it had a come into play effect of removing creatures. I was wrong, and this cost me all my permanents when I animated my Worldgorger Dragon. I never did recover. He had main deck Seals, Waves and Stifles... harsh. I was kicking myself for having taken Rays of Revelation out of the sideboard. With 2 in the side, I could've won the tourney.

Anyway, good riddance to Jak's. It's not as bad as Neutral Ground, but it still pretty much sucks (on a cost effectiveness basis). I must give a thumbs up for the locals, though. They're some of the coolest and most easy going players I've seen yet, making it a playing experience almost worth shelling out the $5 for.

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