What Is A Ticket Broker And Can They Really Help Me Get Playoff Tickets How To Cope With Flight Delays Part 1 Choosing A Wrought Iron Sword 2006 Arizona Diamondbacks Preview

If you’ve ever tried to get sports tickets, concert tickets or theater tickets, only to find them sold out five minutes after they went on sale, then you may need to locate a ticket broker.

A ticket broker has all the resources he needs to buy more tickets and buy them faster than any individual can. If you can’t find sports tickets, concert tickets or theater tickets for a specific event, chances are a ticket broker already has some tickets in his or her possession.

Many states in the USA have certain laws that prohibit the sale of tickets for more than the actual face value of the ticket. Some states even have laws that prohibit ticket brokers from operating in their state. With the Internet giving worldwide access to anyone, a ticket broker can operate in one particular state that allows him or her to do business, and then turn around and sell concert tickets, sports tickets and theatre tickets from venues all over the world!

An effective ticket broker makes his or her money based on the fundamentals of supply and demand. One particular show only plays on so many dates and there are only a limited number of seats available at any given venue. So there is always a limited supply of tickets for any given event.

This allows the ticket broker to control a portion of the ticket supply, and market demand helps the broker to earn a profit for providing his tickets to those who want to go to the event.

Ticket brokers may employ a group of buyers to purchase a certain amount of tickets for a particular event. The buyers stand in line at certain distribution points of sale. They may even use the Internet to make purchases of theatre tickets, sports tickets or concert tickets. After these employees have purchased the tickets, they deliver the tickets to the ticket broker, who then sells them to his own customers.

Ticket brokers may occupy a physical location, or they may sell their tickets through a website. When people are not able to find certain event tickets, they will go to the ticket broker who may be holding the only available tickets for the event.

Ticket brokers actually provide a valuable service. Not all of us can afford to take three days off work to camp outside the ticket seller, in order to get Rolling Stones tickets, tickets for the playoff games, or tickets for the opening night of the next installment of the Harry Potter movie series.

So, instead of you and I missing work, the ticket brokers staff can spend their time in the hot sun or blistering cold weather, holding their place in line to get the first available tickets for an event. If we were to sit outside the ticket seller’s office for three days, we might lose our job or just three days’ pay. Either way, the markup that the ticket broker asks for the tickets will more than compensate us for what we would have cost us to get those tickets ourselves.

When there’s a need for movie tickets, sports tickets, concert tickets, and theatre tickets to a specific artist or event, then many people will pay any price to get that ticket. By purchasing a large number of tickets and selling them at a markup, the ticket brokers are really supplying a market economy.

Many people consider the ticket broker to be a beneficial participant in the ticket-buying process. If you really wanted to go to the specific event, but you could not afford to take off work to wait in line to buy the tickets, then the ticket broker would be a real lifesaver. Due to the existence of the ticket broker in the marketplace, you now have the opportunity to see that big football game. If the ticket broker had not been able to participate in the process, would you have had the opportunity to get tickets to the game?

There are opponents of ticket brokers, who say that ticket brokers offer no real service because they corner the market and sell tickets at a markup they feel is unfair. They say that these individuals are buying event tickets that may have been available at the regular price, and then demanding high prices for the same tickets. For the individual who can afford to spend all day and night waiting in line to buy tickets, this might be true. But, for those of us who work for a living, the ticket broker offers a very valuable service.

Whatever your opinion of ticket brokers, the bottom line is that if you are unable to get concert tickets, sports tickets, or theater tickets to your favorite events, you can almost always win by going to a ticket broker.

There are many things that can make it impossible for flights to arrive on time. Some of these problems, such as bad weather and resulting air traffic delays, are beyond the airlines’ control. Others, such as the need for mechanical repairs, cannot be predicted. Nevertheless, you can take steps to reduce your chances of encountering most problems and limit their effects.

When booking your flight, remember that a departure early in the day is less likely to be delayed than a later flight, due in part to the “ripple” effects of delays throughout the day. Also, if an early flight does get delayed or canceled, you may have more rerouting options. If you book the last flight of the day and it is canceled, you could get stuck overnight.

In general, you are least likely to be delayed on nonstop flights. A connection (change of planes) always involves the possibility of a misconnection. On a direct flight (intermediate stop, no change of planes), the second leg could be delayed or canceled. If you choose a flight with a stop or connection, try to select one stopping at the least-congested enroute airport in order to reduce the risk of delay or misconnection.

You may wish to take into consideration the seasonal variations in weather if you have a choice of connecting cities. For example, airports in the south might have fewer winter snowstorms but more spring and summer thunderstorms.

When booking a connection, always check the amount of time between flights. Ask yourself what will happen if the first flight is delayed; if you don’t like the answer, pick another flight or ask the agent to “construct” a connection that allows more time.

Certain airports are more congested than others are. Also, flights during peak travel times of the day (e.g., 4:00-6:00 p.m.) are more susceptible to delay. Examine flights to all airports that serve your destination city

Ask about the on-time performance of each flight you are considering. The FAA requires the major U.S. airlines to make this information available upon request if you make a reservation through the carrier. These airlines also make the same information available through their Computer Reservations Systems to consumers booking through travel agents.

The FAA summarizes on-time performance information of the major U.S. airlines in its monthly Air Travel Consumer Report. Much more detailed flight delay information is also available on the web site of the Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. If you are making a reservation close to your departure date, the FAA web site can provide timely information on air traffic and weather-related delays on a real-time basis. You can subscribe to FAA notifications about current delays at specific airports.

Call the airline well ahead of your departure time to check on your flight’s status. If there is a problem, try to rebook over the telephone. While airlines often try to call to notify you of schedule changes, it may not be possible to do so if the airline becomes aware of the delay only shortly before the flight. It is wise to check. Also, make sure your airline’s record of your reservation contains a telephone number where you can be reached, or you will lose any opportunity of being called about a delay or flight change.

If your flight is delayed, try to find out how late it will be so that you can evaluate your options. But keep in mind that it is sometimes difficult for airlines to estimate the total duration of a delay during its early stages. In so-called “creeping delays,” unanticipated developments may occur. Weather that had been forecast to improve can instead deteriorate, or a mechanical problem can turn out to be more complex than initially expected. (Continued in Part 2)

Courage and skill being often of little use without a good weapon, I think it necessary, before I lay down rules for using it, to show how to choose a good blade, and how it ought to be mounted.

The length of the blade ought to be proportional to the stature of the person who is to use it: the longest sword, from point to pommel, should reach perpendicularly from the ground to the navel, and the shortest, to the waste; being large in proportion to its length, and not extremely large, nor very small, as some people wear them; the over large blades being unwieldy, unless very hollow, which makes them weak, and the narrow ones being not sufficient to cover the body enough.

How To Choose Your Perfect Blade

in order to choose a good blade, three things are to be observed: first, that the blade have no flaw in it, especially across, it being more dangerous so than length-way. secondly, that it be well tempered, which you’ll know by bending it against a wall or other place; if it bend only towards the point, ’tis faulty, but if it bend in a semicircular manner, and the blade spring back to its straightness, ’tis a good sign; if it remains bent it is a fault, though not so great as if it did not bend at all; for a blade that bends being of a soft temper, seldom breaks; but a stiff one being hard tempered is easily broke. the third observation is to be made by breaking the point, and if the part broken be of a grey color, the steel is good; if it be white it’s not: or you may strike the blade with a key or other piece of iron, and if he gives a clear sound, there is no hidden fault in it. in bending a blade you must not force it, what i have said being sufficient to know it by, and besides by forcing it, it may be so weakened in some part as to break when it

It would not be amiss for a man to see his sword mounted, because the cutlers, to save themselves the trouble of filing the inside of the hilts and pommel, to make the holes wider, often file the tongue of the blade too much, and fill up the vacancies with bits of wood, by which means the sword is not firm in the hand, and the tongue being thin and weak, is apt to break in parrying or on a dry beat, as has been unhappily experienced. care should also be taken that the end of the tongue be well riveted to the extremity of the pommel, lest the grip should fly off, which would be of very dangerous consequence.

2005 Overview:

Rebounding from a truly disastrous 111 loss season in 2004, the Arizona Diamondbacks improved their 2005 season record to 77-85 including a final 8-2 record to finish the last 10 games of the year. Led by a balanced offense, the team was able to improve on their 2004 record thanks to the surprise performances supplied by 1st baseman Tony Clark (.304 30 87) and Chad Tracy (.308 27 72). The Diamondbacks also received much needed help from Troy Glaus (.258 37 97), Luis Gonzalez (.271 24 79) and outfielder Shawn Greene (.286 22 73).

Arizona’s starting pitching was spotty for much of the season with starters Brandon Webb (14-12 3.54), Javier Vazquez (11-15 4.42) and Brad Halsey (8-12 4.61) providing the majority of the quality starts in 2005. Relievers Brandon Medders (4-1 1.78) and Lance Cormier (7-3 5.11) joined Brandon Lyon (0-2 6.44 14 saves), Brian Burney (1-3 7.43 12 saves) and Jose Val Verde (3-4 2.44 15 saves) who combined to save 41 games in total.

Off Season Moves:

Arizona moved aggressively in the off season by shipping Javier Vazquez to the White Sox for Orlando Hernandez (9-9 5.12), and also trading power hitter Troy Glaus to the Blue Jays for closer Miguel Batista (5-8 4.10 31 saves) as well as Gold Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson (.271 10 63). The Diamondbacks also picked up catcher Johnny Estrada (.261 4 39) in a off season trade with the Atlanta Braves. The team signed free agent center fielder Eric Byrnes (.226 10 40) to help improve the as well.

2006 Analysis:

The Diamondbacks addressed their need for a legitimate closer by dealing Glaus in an aggressive off season move. Although Glaus’ hitting will be greatly missed, the Diamondbacks will get far more reliability with Batista then any of the options they used last year. The team is relying on youngsters like Chad Trady and first baseman Conor Jackson to pick up the slack left by Glaus.

Arizona also extended Webb’s deal for another 4 years which was a smart move. Webb is a solid workhorse type pitcher and is the ace of the staff. In 2005 he led the team in both ERA (3.54) and Wins (14 ). The pickup of Orlando Hernandez will at a minimum eat up more innings in 2006. But fans shouldn’t expect many wins from him or this rotation. Eric Byrnes is another nice addition but offense really isn’t nor ever was this team’s problem. The lineup is solid and Luis Gonzalez and outfielder Shawn Greene should project to similar numbers in 2006 even without Glaus in the lineup.

The biggest problem for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006 will be their pitching. The team did very little to improve their starting rotation and in fact may have actually weakened it in order to improve their bullpen. Aside from Webb the starting pitching needs much more help. The team shouldn’t be considered as serious contenders for the NL West until the pitching receives a significant upgrade.

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