So much for burning candles for Wayne Simien’s hand. 4-6 weeks on the shelf. Not crippling to post-season hopes, nor Big 12 title dreams. Realistically, if he comes back for the Texas-Missouri weekend, KU should be 4-1 in the Big 12 which isn’t a bad place to be. What does blow is at best we will break even in the Georgia Tech & Kentucky games, and have a decent shot of losing both. Getting the Oklahoma City region seemed to be a lock. Go 0-2 in those games and blow another game without Wayne, and the easy geographic road to the Final Four is suddenly out of the question (In my opinion, the top two Big 12 teams will play in OKC the first weekend of the tournament). Then again, maybe they get shipped to Indy, which wouldn’t suck. Based on Raef LaFrentz’s injury in 1998, Wayne is still a good bet to be an All-American at the end of the season. National Player of the Year hopes are dashed, though.

I’m wondering what Wayne did to earn all this bad karma. Over the last six years he has: hurt his right shoulder three times, requiring multiple surgeries; had heart surgery; hurt his knee; sprained an ankle so bad as a freshman that he was rendered largely ineffective; pulled a groin against Michigan State last year that kept him from playing at 100% or practicing in February and March; and now this. Oh, and his truck was stolen last summer. By all accounts, he’s a good guy off the court. He’s on schedule to graduate in May. He talks to kids about sticking to the right path in life. He’s gone public with his recent religious awakening. Seems like he deserves better health. Maybe he should have knocked up his girlfriend or robbed a bank over the summer in order to change his luck. I’m kidding, of course. I think.

Winter Storm Watch in Indy! One of those storms that could either completely miss us or drop a foot of snow is scheduled to hit tomorrow. The low Christmas morning is forecast as -1. It seems winter has arrived. Fortunately, I finished my shopping this morning, so I really don’t have to leave the house again until we head to Mass Friday night. I’m down with snow until January 1. Then we need spring as quickly as possible.

While I was at the mall this morning, I saw a couple interesting people. First, I saw a guy walking briskly through the mall with a small, plastic cooler in his hand. Was he, I wondered, transporting an organ for transplant but had to run into the mall quickly to grab a blouse, truffle, or gift certificate for his sweetie? Or does he just entertain himself by camping out on a bench in the mall with a six pack so he can watch the holiday mayhem in style? Almost worth going back to see if he’s still there.

I also popped into the Apple Store for a bit to play with the iMacs and PowerBooks. I overheard a woman in her 50s talking to one of the store employees about the functions of the iBooks. She was asking about the ability to play/record DVDs on them. Her comment that interested me most was, “When my husband gets old and dies, I figure I’ll need something to do so I’ll spend my time transferring our old movies to DVDs.” If you’re the person helping her, what do you say to that??? Why on earth do you share information like that with some poor guy at a store? Why isn’t it enough just to say you want to transfer VHS tapes to DVD and leave it at that? It was also amusing to hear teenagers try to maintain some level of patience with their parents as they explained the different iPods to them. You could hear the muted sighs and know they wanted to talk down to their moms and dads, but also knew that doing so would jeopardize any chance of getting an iPod, so they tried to keep an even tone.

I just wrapped all my gifts and solidified my status as the world’s worst wrapper. Honestly, I don’t know why I even try. I should just buy a bunch of festive bags and give up. I can’t even wrap a CD without tearing the corners, leaving a bubble on one side, or leaving some of the white side of the paper showing.