|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, February 14, 2004
CNN.com - Groups fail to block same-sex marriage licenses - Feb. 13, 2004
Because of the decision in Massachusettes and the actions in San Francisco, gay marriage in this country is now only a legal formality. Here's why:
It cannot be denied in any court that these couples were legally married.
All it is going to take is for one couple to have their union challenged, and I don't see any way the Supreme Court, where this will inevitably end up, can deny that what they did was legal, and their union should stand. Any discrimination against future couples who request the same union will be shot down.
For all the talk about putting a constitutional amendment in place, the unions in place cannot now legally be denied. Is it possible then for a constitutional amendment (which I can't believe would pass) to be unconstitutional?
Feed Me Seymour...
Alright Mr. Halverson, clue me in on this site feed/atom stuff, wouldya? Any advice is helpful...
Friday, February 13, 2004
Do you serve Jalapeno Poppers?
On the phone
BG: Do you serve food there too?
Restaurant Guy: Yes sir. We have a small dinner menu with steak, lamb, chicken, and fish, and a nice selection of Tapas.
Forget for a minute the analysis as to whether or not RG used “Tapas” properly in that last sentence. For $3.55/hr plus tips, I’m not expecting a thorough grasp of grammatical concepts as they relate to the pluralization of words of Spanish origin in the English language. I’m just wondering when “Tapas” became the appropriate replacement for “Appetizer.”
Let me ask you about the Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce that you have on the menu up here for $7 a plate. Does it come with a vegetable or starch? No? Is it a big enough portion to satisfy most people as a meal? No, it’s just a couple of pieces of skewered chicken breast? Oh, so the Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce is an appetizer, right? Tapas? What the hell is Tapas?
I’m wondering if TGI Friday’s and Applebee’s type restaurants ruined the idea of “appetizer” for any restaurant a step classier or beyond. When you see things like “Extreme Fajita Balls,” and “Ooey Gooey Mozzarella Logs” on their menu under the same classification in which you place your sensitive “Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna Slices with Cucumber Salad,” I can see how expectations should probably be raised a touch.
All’s I’m saying is this… Call it Tapas if you are serving Spanish themed dishes in a Spanish themed restaurant. Otherwise, it’s a freaking appetizer.
Here’s some other food trends that I find a touch irritating:
1)Atkins menus are popping up everywhere. Am I the only one not on this diet?
2)Sun-Dried Tomatoes are, in my opinion, the most overrated and overused ingredient in today’s restaurant kitchen. They don’t belong in everything, but try telling that to an unimaginative Mediterranean chef.
3)The use of Fun when advertising food to children. How is Bubble Tape fun? Once it’s chewed, it’s not fun anymore. And Fruit Roll-Ups? We called that “fruit leather” back in my day, and it was never fun. It was tasty. By the way, have you seen that Bubble Tape or Fruit-By-The-Foot commercial where the kids spin around so hard that they collapse to the ground and basically have an LSD hallucination? Good message to the youth. Fruit-By-The-Foot will be the gateway drug for this next generation thanks to that commercial.
4)McDonald’s is looking really desperate these last few years. Instead of focusing on their core competencies and making them better, they’ve worked hard to introduce new products into stores, and so far, nothing really has caught on. Between the flatbreads, the salads, the parfaits, and the new sandwiches on the menu, they’re trying to be everything to everybody. Good luck on that strategy.
5)The use of the word ”value” to describe enormous portions has gotten way out of hand. We live in such a Sam’s Club culture that we’re starting to be conditioned to think that even though we’re spending more money, we’re getting more value because what we’re buying is bigger. Ugh.
6)Coffee Drinks have gotten way out of hand. Too many comedians have already weighed in on the difficulty of ordering at a Starbucks, so I’m not going there. What I will say is that I hope the good ol’ cup of joe never disappears from coffee shops. In a world of half caf soy lattes, I’ll take a cup of Colombian any day of the week.
7)Sushi in grocery stores is troubling. I’m in the Midwest, and don’t generally trust that the fish I’m getting wasn’t flash frozen and shipped out three days later. I want fresh sushi. Fresh as in, “bought this morning at market, filleted right in front of my eyes” fresh. I guarantee you a grocery store in a minor market in the Midwest isn’t providing that.
8)Do you know why malt beverages like Smirnoff Ice exist, even when they’re not selling in the market? It’s so these companies can advertise their brand name (legal) without advertising their hard liquor products (illegal). I’ve never had a malt beverage I’ve enjoyed. Well, except for my Colt .45 phase in college, and the time I took Zima to the beach in Sprite bottles.
Won’t Somebody Please Think About The Children
Here’s an easy one:
What do the following things have in common?
Five minute tape delay, Native Hawaiian singers, cleavage covering graphics, fifteen seconds trimmed from a TV cop drama
That’s right, they are all the result of a misguided publicity stunt went awry.
I don’t want to talk about the event or the media onslaught (daily articles from major media outlets every day since) that this thing wrought.
What scares me a little bit (OK, what scares me a lot) is censorship.
I believe our government is at its best when coordinating international trade, or ensuring peace across the globe (to the best of our ability, or when it suits us at least). I believe however our government is at its worst when it is put into a reactionary position, much like the events of nearly two weeks ago have brought forth.
What’s distressing to me in this circumstance is that public opinion is divided squarely into two camps. On one side you have the media and public screaming loudly about morality, decency, and responsibility. On the other side? People like me who believe that what happened was misguided and inappropriate, but really wish the rest of the chorus would let it go, as the moment has passed, it’s over, and I didn’t smell brimstone billowing from below as best I could tell.
And it’s not the calm and rational camp that’s getting the coverage.
I worry that our government, especially in this election year, is going to act in a heavy-handed manner on this “issue.” I believe our Attorney General doesn’t have room in his mind for anyone’s interpretation of truth or morality than his own.
I believe that the public outcry is going to get attention from our government. And we’re not going to be a better place for it.
I don’t believe it’s such a big leap from whatever “titillation” one derived from this incident to the “gross indecency” of a teen making a decision about sex, for instance, on a “Dawson’s Creek” sort of show. And what sort of messages are shows like “The OC,” and “Queer Eye” sending? That it’s OK to be young and promiscuous, and it’s OK to be gay? Is that what we want our children seeing on TV?
And then where do you go? Censoring opinion because it doesn’t correlate with the popular norm?
Look, this only gets dangerous if the government gets involved. If television wants to turn back the clock and become more wholesome and white bread, that’s up to them. Frankly, as the big networks are viewed as part of the public domain, they should feel personally responsible for what they put on their airwaves. But do we need the government to hold them responsible, or do they have an obligation to the greater community to be responsible?
I have a problem with the government feeling the need to legislate morality to any extent. Slap CBS with a fine, sure. But don’t play judge, jury, and executioner with speech in this country just because of an inappropriate moment poorly executed on live TV. I really fear that by making something out of what is essentially next-to-nothing, the government is putting themselves on the crest of a tidal wave of moral decision making that it just should not be a part of.
Side note: Part of what brought this on is my curiosity in seeing LG’s comment to my post below about jobs moving overseas. The first two sentences are there, the rest is replaced by this phrase: “Solution deleted by Haloscan.” Not that I think Haloscan did this because of Janet Jackson, but who are they to censor? I don’t know if that was part of my user agreement, but I’m really quite troubled by that. And I’m terribly curious as to what got deleted…
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Greatest Idea Ever: "Holy smokes, is this the greatest idea you’ve ever heard or what?! Just picture it: whole communities, gathering to celebrate that most cherished of American icons – pizza. Blacks sharing the Parmesan cheese shaker with whites; liberals passing the napkin dispenser to conservatives; cute girls from the bus and scary old guys from the bus, united by a mutual love of pan-style crust. Dude, I’m totally psyched about this plan. I’ve seriously got goosebumps, check it out."
random thoughts and thoroughbred selections
A new feature here at good ol' RTATS... I'm calling this one, "The Best Goddamn Things On The Planet."
Today's nominee: Basil.
Talk it over.
My half-crocked argument on the $1/$2 table with the dude who I just took for a lousy $4 (my Q4 over his Q9)
#388927115: Boygza wins $11.25 from the main pot with a pair of fours.
Boygza: that was absurdly ugly
bill777: half the deck could of drop for me
Boygza: i was shouting "split it up" because i didn't see the pair
bill777: cant buy a card
bill777: only one card could drop for him
#388928684: slawdaug wins $8.50
bill777: the fact that he bet into that is amazing enough
Boygza: i'm at a bar playing on my laptop - people were looking at me funny
bill777: just make lots of deposit playing like that
Boygza: when i was all "split it up!"
smitty947: you didnt have much better
slawdaug: had ak
Boygza: you never made it two bets bill
Boygza: there's your problem
#388930747: jr3500 wins $5
bill777: oh so your putting on a show
Boygza: no, i feel dumb with all these people staring
Boygza: but to say i played that badly isn't true
Boygza: you make that two bets, i fold
#388932572: slawdaug wins $9
Boygza: you messed up, not me
bill777: i needed a card
Boygza: yeah, but you let me luck into mine
Boygza: them's the breaks my friend
Boygza: two overcards and straight potential out there, you let me keep drawing
bill777: dude i not raising nothing into AK10
Boygza: me either, so don't say i played that badly
Boygza: it was a bull crap luck thing
#388934310: jr3500 wins $22.50 from the main pot with two pairs, fives and threes.
Boygza: just happened to hit the four
Boygza: that's all
bill777: play the way you want we both were looking for cards
bill777: not only did you play it badly you had no business in the hand after 4 street
#388937000: jr3500 wins $25 from the main pot with two pairs, aces and fives.
Boygza: neither did you there chuckles... but i caught
Boygza: after fourth street, i believe we both checked
bill777: i had an outside straight draw as opposed to an inside and I had a flush draw
#388941410: JEM7VSBL wins $18.75 from the main pot with two pairs, aces and jacks.
Boygza: and you failed to make me pay
Boygza: plain and simple
bill777: you won i am happy for you
bill777: if you think it was a good play please put me on your buddy list
bill777: in fact do it anyway
**** Hand History for Game 388927115 *****
Table Card Room Table 3915 (Real Money)
Seat 10 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: bill777 ( $25.25 )
Seat 5: jrule2 ( $36 )
Seat 6: JEM7VSBL ( $48.75 )
Seat 7: dav45kc ( $2 )
Seat 8: jr3500 ( $40 )
Seat 9: Flight26 ( $54.25 )
Seat 10: duuuuk ( $68.25 )
Seat 2: Boygza ( $53 )
Seat 3: smitty947 ( $12 )
Seat 4: slawdaug ( $61.5 )
bill777 posts small blind [$0.5].
Boygza posts big blind [$1].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Boygza [ 4c Qc ]
slawdaug calls [$1].
jr3500 calls [$1].
bill777 calls [$0.5].
** Dealing Flop ** [ Ks, Ah, Jh ]
Boygza bets [$1].
slawdaug calls [$1].
jr3500 calls [$1].
bill777 calls [$1].
** Dealing Turn ** [ 8h ]
Boygza bets [$2].
bill777 calls [$2].
** Dealing River ** [ 4d ]
bill777 shows high card ace.
Boygza shows a pair of fours.
Boygza wins $11.25 from the main pot with a pair of fours.
Do you believe in miracles? Yes!
Interesting discussion on sports radio this morning concerning the most memorable sports moments people carry with them. I thought I’d list a few of the ones I think about when I think of great sports moments (at least personally).
>>I was in the stands the day that Barry Sanders broke 2000 yards gained in a single season. Four things about that day really stand out. First, I’ve never had better tickets to a sporting event (45 yard line, 30 rows up). Second, the Silverdome was ridiculously loud all game long. Well, except for when my third moment happened, and that was when Reggie Brown went down for his career due to a freak neck injury. And finally, the fourth moment from that game was when Barry broke the barrier with a two yard dive, but then took the ball 55 yards on the next play. The crowd was going bananas, and I’m getting chills just thinking about it.
>>I hate the Dodgers. I really hate the Dodgers. But there’s no denying that Kirk Gibson’s Roy Hobbs home run in the World Series was a tremendous moment. Thank god he was an MSU Spartan and a former Tiger, because had that been Steve Freaking Garvey or someone, I’d have never mentioned it again. I remember thinking, “what the hell are they doing letting him hit?” as he was hobbling out there, and nearly weeping after he poked it over the right field wall. Great, great moment.
>>“Welcome back to Madison Square Garden, number 45, Michael Jordan!” I knew that Mike wanted a big game that night. You knew it was going to happen. You just did. But 55? In the Garden? Wow.
>>I think it was 1997 when the Red Wings won their first cup with the current team. I was living in the metro Detroit area, and got caught up in “Cup Fever,” following a team I never really had before. And I had never really seen the aftermath of the Stanley Cup finals before either. I don’t believe there’s another celebration in all of sports that’s as joyous and moving as the Stanley Cup presentation. It’s a big damn trophy, and it’s a big damn deal who gets to skate with it first, and who he gives it to next, and it’s just awfully cool. By the way, on a side note it seems that when there’s talk about the great warriors and leaders in all of sports, Steve Yzerman unfairly gets left out of all the discussions. I’m just saying…
>>The Detroit Pistons winning their second championship in two years was in almost every way more satisfying than the first. The media cheapened the first trophy due to the Magic/Byron Scott Laker injuries, which I found terribly unfair to do to a great team. With the second championship, Isiah Thomas’ place as the greatest little man in NBA history was assured. Of all the pro teams over all the seasons I’ve rooted for, this was the one that brought me the most satisfaction.
>>But of all the college teams over all the seasons that brought me joy, the 2000 National Champion Michigan State Spartans are at the top of my list. In a sport (college basketball) ravaged by early-entry to the NBA Draft, to see a group of upperclassmen band together to win a championship was really special. And to have such an amazing floor general like Mateen Cleaves leading the way was icing on the cake. The most thrilling moment of the whole tournament was after that little bastard Teddy DuPay from Florida damn near broke Cleaves’ ankle in the second half. Cleaves was carried limping to the locker room, but came back out with under ten minutes to play, not about to be denied his rightful place at the point for these last moments of his college career. I’m getting misty just thinking about it.
>>The most unbelievable individual performance I’ve ever watched was Tiger Woods’ record setting performance at Augusta, which I think was back in 1998 (?). There may have been two balls total in his last 63 holes in that tournament that didn’t end up in precisely the right spot. It was surreal. But what do you expect from a guy who hits a 220 yard bunker shot to within ten feet in a British Open?
>>My absolute most favorite Detroit Lions team moment was in the 91-92 playoffs. Erik Kramer led the Lions against the Cowboys, who I hate even more than I hate the Dodgers, and absolutely decimated them. I remember I was working during the game, so I taped it. I got home around 10PM, and stayed up until nearly 4AM watching the game through twice back-to-back. I wish I still had that tape.
K’s car broke down yesterday. Again. It’s a piece of crap, so perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising to her, but she’s potentially stuck for a ride to class tonight, where she has a test.
Although it’s miles and miles out of my way, I did volunteer to help, as…
a)I’m a nice guy and I dig her
b)I know car problems suck
c)I can take my online poker game on the road for an evening
There’s no fewer than five places that I’ve confirmed have free WiFi access that are in the neighborhood of where her classes are tonight. She could drop me off, let me chill out and play on the Net, and pick me up when she’s done.
Actually, I’m excited too because one of the WiFi hotspots (see, I’ve got the lingo down) is a place called “Bar Divani,” which is (heh heh heh…) a wine bar downtown.
Excuse me? I come in, have a piece of cheesecake and a couple glasses of good Italian red and I can use your Internet? Uh, ok!
Chances are she’ll make someone else drive her out there, but if I have to go, at least I’ve got something to keep me amused.
On another note on topic, I haven’t read the article (as I’m at work), but apparently my hometown is looking to offer 256kbps WiFi access to residents for $20/month. That might not be a bad idea.
Babes With Arms
There’s a lot of general hubbub and to-do out there regarding the anti-trust ruling allowing Maurice Clarett to enter this year’s NFL Draft. Critics, as well as the NFL, are decrying the ruling because they’re afraid the NFL will turn into the NBA with all the high school kids declaring early for the draft.
Let’s get a couple of things straight right off the bat. The NFL is not the NBA, nor is it MLB, nor is it the NHL. It is not only the most physically demanding of the professional sports, but also requires quite possibly the most thorough mix of physical talents, teamwork, and game knowledge to be successful as a player. Here are some reasons why opening the doors to younger players will not harm the NFL long-term:
1)It’s generally acknowledged that high school players are not physically prepared to play NFL football. Largely, these are young men still growing into their bodies who would be well served with two to four years of preparation in the weight room before moving to the next level. NFL teams can’t judge a young player’s level of physical preparedness if he’s been playing against kids three quarters his size and half his speed. What happens when he takes his first big time hit? What happens when he goes from blocking a 5’10” 210 lb DE in high school to blocking a 6’7” 280 lb speed rusher off the edge in the pros? It’s a big, big leap in competition, and no amount of raw data on bench presses, squats, 40 time, or vertical leap can prepare a high schooler for that.
2)NFL contracts are not guaranteed money. Look, I don’t care who you are or where you are in your schooling, if you’re capable of being selected in the first ten picks of any sport’s draft, you should probably declare. The thing is, unless an absolute LeBron-type freak-of-nature appears on the high school level, there isn’t a graduating HS senior out there that will go first ten picks. Or first round. Or probably in the first two rounds. That moves a signing bonus down from millions to hundreds of thousands. That’s hardly enough money to be set for life. And without a guaranteed contract (as they have in the NBA), all you have to count on is your signing bonus. What happens if you get hurt in mini-camp and never see an NFL field on game day? You’ll get an injury settlement, but that’s it. And that’s not exactly millions either.
3)NFL teams can’t hide you on the roster and wait for you to develop. An NFL team has a 53 man roster. If you’re a GM, you need to make sure you can go two deep at every spot on offense and defense (44 players), you need three “specialists” (K/P/snapper), and you’ll need at least a half dozen guys who might be third or fourth deep in some depth charts who are mainly there to contribute on special teams. 44 on the two deep plus three specialists plus six special teams guys equals what? Oh yeah, 53. Well, what about the practice squad? Can’t hide anybody there, as any other team can pluck those guys off to add to their active roster. And the NFL is a little bit more stringent on “injured players” than the NBA. I only put the phrase “injured players” in quotes, because in the NBA you don’t have to be injured to be on the “injured list.” Any player drafted MUST be able to step in and contribute as part of the two deep roster, or they’re going to be cut, pure and simple. Why would a GM gamble a high draft choice if he’s not reasonably certain a player can rise to the level of competition?
4)Long term contracts don’t exist in the lower rounds of the draft. If I’m not mistaken, the standard contracts for a player drafted in round 3 or later are no more than four years, usually three. Agents don’t like long term contracts and teams don’t like to sign players to contracts that are “outside the box” for that draft slot, so a player drafted in later rounds is nearly guaranteed to only see a three year contract. There’s not a team out there that would want to draft a guy who isn’t going to be ready to be a star in four or five years, and only sign him to a three year contract.
5)The money isn’t great after round one. Ask Clinton Portis. He was a mid-second round pick, and is slated to make less than $400k this season. A kid is going to skip two years of college, hopefully improving his draft stock and signing bonus when he finally does enter, for $400k a year?
6)Luckily for these kids and their agents, the NFL is a cutthroat business. Look, in the NBA you carry a player who can’t play on your roster until his contract is up, then you can get rid of him. He’s still getting paid. In the NFL, if you’re not producing, you can get cut. All it’s going to take is for a half dozen of these kids to declare, get crappy late-round contracts, and get cut when they can’t make the grade in camp for these young players to wake up and see that they need NFL prep school, er, college to succeed in the NFL.
This isn’t going to be the problem some radio hosts seem to want to paint it as. I’d be surprised if the surprising declarations (Larry Fitzgerald can play NFL ball now, for instance) number more than just a half dozen in any given year.
According to Fox News, Mattel has dropped Earth shattering news…
After 43 years, Barbie and Ken have broken up.
I’m serious, go read the article.
This development certainly gives the toy’s developers some new ideas for items to add to the Barbie line, such as:
Barbie’s Drunken Night of Retribution Playset - Modeled after a trendy nightclub, this playset features new figures “Bartender Gil,” Barbie’s supportive and chubby friend “Rita,” two dozen empty Cosmopolitan glasses, and Ken’s best friend “Chip.” Playset comes complete with lockable men’s room door for Barbie’s quickie with Chip in her effort to get back at Ken.
Ken’s MidLifeCrisisMobile - Every man about town needs a smooth ride, and Ken’s no exception. This 2004 Chevrolet Corvette comes complete with built in stereo that plays nothing but old Foreigner and REO Speedwagon songs.
Barbie’s Common-Law Wife Courtroom Set - Watch Barbie take Ken for all he’s worth! 43 years waiting for her engagement ring has got to mean something, and Barbie and her lawyer “Ruth” (included), have man-hating lesbian judge “Wanda” (also included) presiding. Ken’s legal briefs sold separately.
Barbie’s Big Box of New Boyfriends - Guess who’s going to try to make Ken jealous? That’s right, it’s Barbie, back in action with the new men in her life. Watch her “accidentally” bump into Ken at the Health Club with “Rico” (included) her tennis instructor. Imagine the tension when Barbie appears at the gala ball with suave British playboy “Nigel” (also included). Watch the puzzlement creep into Ken’s eyes when he sees Barbie spoon-feeding geriatric billionaire “Edward” at what used to be their favorite restaurant. Also comes with sensitive poet “Henri” and his beret, muscle-bound beau-hunk “Larry,” and high-strung and intensely protective gun-toting police officer “Bob.”
Depressed Ken’s Bachelor Pad - Every man needs his own space, and our Ken’s no different! After finding all his earthly possessions scattered about the lawn of the Dream House, Ken is forced to pick up and start over from scratch. But not before spending some quality “Ken” time with himself! Comes complete with ratty couch, TV and remote, empty pizza boxes and beer bottles, home PC with porno, and shades permanently drawn to complete the depressed effect.
Ken and Barbie Matching Answering Machines - What would a breakup be without drunken late-night messages on each other’s answering machines? Ken is featured prominently on Barbie’s machine, with such classics as, “I’m better off without you,” and “You’re dead to me now (the “Fredo” speech).” Also on Barbie’s machine, you have chubby but supportive friend “Rita,” with various messages on the “Do you know who I saw Ken with tonight” theme. Ken’s machine begins with a slurring drunken Barbie with her 2AM call, “It’s so much better with Rico,” and the Saturday night “Do you know who I’m out with” call during her bathroom trip at dinner. Ken’s friends also appear, offering support with messages such as, “You didn’t need her anyway,” and, “None of us really liked that plastic bitch.”
random thoughts and thoroughbred selections
RTATS on the road!
I am currently at a bar, having a glass of wine, and playing a $10 SNG @ PartyPoker. God bless WiFi!
I put the Tuesday stuff under Tuesday, and yesterday's stuff under yesterday. So it's all here.
By the way Chris, your suggestion on Open Office was excellent! Thanks!
Welcome to the 21st Century…
I never thought it would be this easy.
I got both my laptop and my NetGear wireless Internet router/PC card shipped yesterday. Getting everything set up last night reminded me of the first PC I ever bought back in about 1994. That was a logistical nightmare, but this one couldn’t have been more simple. Here’s my timeline from last night:
515PM – walk in the front door, have the Dell box containing my laptop and the Amazon box containing the router/PC card.
My god was that easy. When I bought my first PC, it probably took ten minutes plugging cords in, nearly an hour and a half loading Windows from floppy disks, about an hour on tech support hold, another twenty minutes being talked through a minor OS crash fix on initial boot by a Dell phone service rep, and another hour getting all the settings where I wanted them.
55 minutes versus nearly four hours. Wow.
I spent another hour or so getting some of the essential programs downloaded from the Net. I’m posting this list in case any of you have any further suggestions for basic utilities I should download (aside from Poker Tracker, I need to buy that at this point):
Am I missing anything? Keep in mind, this is really almost solely an Internet/Email machine. I’m not a gamer, and I don’t have a CD burner.
Lastly, should I remove the Word Perfect Productivity Suite, seeing as I downloaded Open Office, and I have the installation CD for WP anyway? It would definitely free up some HD space, I’d assume.
My one hour of poker on Tuesday night…
I only managed to sneak in an hour of PartyPoker last night, and played a $5 SNG, where I managed to bring a slight chip lead into the final three. Unfortunately, although I knocked the third place finisher out, my heads-up opponent had taken the bulk of his chips before doing so.
I was quite happy with how I played heads-up, at least initially. I saw right away that my opponent was coming in for a pre-flop raise in almost every instance, and wasn’t shy about calling or re-raising with most marginally playable hands. I remembered the theory that anything decent becomes good in heads-up, as your opponent isn’t likely to have better cards than you have if you have at least one face card. Now, post flop is different, but I took a few pots calling through with middle pair, at least one with bottom pair, and stayed in on a couple of draws and hit.
I did face a fairly ugly little streak of down cards and mismatched flops with overcards that started to basically blind me to oblivion (or Bolivian, or ubiquita). The final hand played out a little something like this…
BG – 2200 / OTHER DUDE (OD) – 5800
BG is dealt A4o, both call into the flop (blinds are probably 200/400 at this point).
Flop comes 459 rainbow. I’ve got bottom pair with an overcard. I’m feeling OK about it, and call an 800 bet into the pot (holding 1000 or so after).
Turn gives me my set. Another 4. I’m thrilled. I’m figuring that there’s probably not another card heads-up that can hurt me, so I check, as does he, to the river.
River pairs the 5 on the board. Now I’ve got the boat. I’m stoked. I push all-in, and OD pushes in within a heartbeat. I start pumping my fist, waiting for the pot to push to me…
…and I get the “Congrats, you finished in 2nd” message.
A4 turns into 44455 full house, and I lose to A5 making the 55544 full house.
That was just brutal.
But hey, a $9 profit (whoo freaking hoo, I know, but it’s positive cash flow) is better than a red hot poker in the eye.
By the way, it’s hands like this one, occurring late in a SNG, that makes me think that Party is rigged for “action pots.” Let’s face it, it probably costs them money to have two knuckleheads heads-up on a table. Maybe it’s costing them in network resources, maybe they’d just prefer we were at a raked game table. I don’t think Party is rigged towards anyone in particular, I just think that sometimes the “right” cards fall into place at the right time for a few players, and action is certainly generated.
I could be wrong. And this isn’t a blame thing, because I’ve certainly been on the favorable end of stuff like this as well. It would have been dumb to not go all-in on that boat I hit, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It was the right play. But was it chance that gave OD his ever-so-slightly-higher boat?
I’m not saying Party IS rigged, I’m just saying that sometimes it seems like that is a tangible explanation.
Unless otherwise mentioned, all streaks are current
Without pop, excepting 1-3 Red Bulls per week – 10 months
Without cigarettes – four weeks
Without a hot dog – 16 years
Without buying a CD for myself – 26 months
Without ironing a shirt (thanks to sweaters) for work – approximately 10 weeks
Without having to listen to local radio – 9 months
Without having sex with a girl with whom I’m in a relationship (notice the clarifier) – 26 months
Time between computer purchases (previous and most recent) – approximately five years
Without worrying about creditors calling looking for me daily – 10 months
As a divorced man – 560 days, or just over 1.53 years
Length of marriage, officially (by divorce date) – 674 days, or nearly 1.85 years
Length of marriage, unofficially (by 12/28/01 separation) – 463 days, or about 1.27 years
Days since I’ve had Chinese food – one day
Since I’ve had Italian food – two days
Since I’ve had Mexican food – one day
Since I’ve had a vegetable to accompany a meal – six days, celery with buffalo wings (it counts)
Since I’ve went a whole day without cheese – I can’t remember back that far
Since I’ve seen K – seven days
Until I’ll get to see K next – three hours
If you’re on the road doing five to ten under the speed limit, chances are if you look in your rearview mirror you’ll see a blue Buick right on your tail, fuming mad and desperately looking to get by you.
I’d be the guy in the Buick.
It’s simple fact, obvious truth, that I have very little patience. Extremely tiny amounts of it. Razor slim, as a matter of fact.
And nowhere this weekend was this lack of patience on display more than in the two No Limit home games (Saturday and Sunday) in which I played.
Saturday I’m going to chalk up as “not my fault, really.” Reason being, I can’t remember one time where I folded cards (and that’s about all I did really) and saw the board thinking “sheesh, there’s my straight,” or “I would have made that flush,” or “can’t see a raise with 38o, but there would have been my two pair.”
I tried playing rock solid. I tried a few bluffs. Every time I bluffed, I was caught. It was brutal.
Eventually, with my stack below 500 (off original 1125), I made a “fuck it” bet all-in on a pair of pocket threes, and was bounced by KQo catching one card.
Sunday was the “Blogger Crossover Home Game,” where an invite was extended to LG to join in the fun.
Without getting too deep into who-had-what, or how I played this-and-that, I will say that impatience again got the better of me.
We were about two and a half hours into the game, and I was about +400 off of the original stack. LG was down –100 or so, and Gil (his friend) was up probably +600. The three of us were the big stacks at the table.
And somehow I talked myself into, instead of out of, calling LG’s all-in raise when he was holding QQ, and I was holding KTs.
At the time, my logic made sense to me. First, I’d get a significant chip lead. I play much better poker from the front of the pack. Especially against less experienced players (which we had in spades). Second, I’d take out one of the two dangerous players left. I felt that I had to take that chance.
But who was it (HDub?) that said that any time you make a call when you know you’re behind, you’re on the tilt?
I knew I wasn’t holding the best hand. I knew I had to draw out. I was right when I figured he didn’t have AA or KK. But even against 88 I would still have been a dog.
Why did I call?
I was playing fairly solid poker (I think, correct me LG if I’m wrong) up until that point. If I continued to tread water, it was only a matter of time before I got on the “final table” with the final nine, and I knew I had an advantage over six to seven of those players easily if I played smart poker.
But I talked myself into it.
I’m really quite disappointed in myself in retrospect. I have holes in my game, but impatience is the wide gaping canyon through which there is no passage.
To that end, I’m “going back to the lab” like Iggy in order to screw my head on straight again. Three early exits in a row in the home game have me worried that I’m losing what edge I have on the regulars in that game.
I’m not sure what I can do to improve my patience, but I’ll think of something.
By the way, nice guys LG and Gil. I did crack up a little bit on the inside when I remarked about LG’s personalized Tigers jersey with his last name and Lance Parrish’s number on the back. Well, that wasn’t the funny part. The funny part was when he asked me with a straight face, “When I get my jersey with ‘Lord Geznikor’ on the back, what number should I get?”
I’m not sure D&D names on baseball jerseys play well in middle America. Maybe that’s hip on the coasts, I don’t know.
We did both agree that it would be super cool to have a personalized jersey, #27, with the name HAMMER across the back. That would be very, very cool.
Itching To Get Home
One week after ordering my Dell laptop, it is on a truck and out for delivery today. I can pick it up from my dad’s place on my way home from work.
What else am I getting delivered today? Well, how about a NetGear wireless router and a PC card? By 7PM tonight, I should be at home, hooked up on my wireless network, and playing on my new computer.
The only thing that’s going to be a pain in the ass is moving my email over from one PC to the laptop. I can configure the accounts just fine, but there’s a lot of backlogged email I have to decide if I want to keep or just let go.
Regardless, having the ability to dork around on the Internet whenever I want free of cords on a new computer is going to be terrific. I can’t wait to get home tonight.
Made In China
After a few years of will they/won’t they from Lucasfilm regarding the original trilogy on DVD, we finally have a release date! September 21st is the day, which is about seven months too long to wait.
I really hope that we’re talking about the original trilogy, and not the Special Edition, but I’m guessing it’ll be the SE. Dammit.
In other news, in what promises to be the type of quote that the Democrats take and run with throughout the remainder of this year and beyond, our President yesterday stated that manufacturing jobs moving overseas is actually good for our economy in the long term, even with all the short term consequences.
Despite what the unions and the people who protest World Bank functions would have you believe, we live in a world economy now. Our products are available all over the planet. Same with products from every other country in the world. The most practical, useful, innovative, and inexpensive products will find their way to any shelf in any store on the planet, regardless of country of origin.
And in this is where our dilemma lies.
I worked in mortgages for a number of years in metro Detroit, and have seen pay stubs from a lot of people across a lot of careers. One really sticks out in my mind. I wrote a mortgage for a guy who was a line worker at a Ford plant. Not a supervisor, not degreed, just a guy who stuck Tab A in Slot B for a living.
And what a living.
This guy was working close to 80 hours a week consistently. His W2? Ballpark of $85k. $85k! For a guy who stands on a line all day as a cog in the wheel of manufacturing. Thanks to the unions in this country, he is probably one of hundreds of guys in that plant who make better than $60k basically for skilled grunt work.
Tab A in Slot B.
Unfortunately for the unions, they’re finding out that $85k a year will cover nearly the entire labor cost for a full year for 50 workers of the same skill level in a similarly equipped plant in China.
Here’s my problem with all this talk about preserving the manufacturing sector in this country. Let’s say you take two companies, one in the US, one overseas. If the US company spends 50% of their budget on manufacturing labor, compared to say 10% of the overseas company’s budget, it leaves them far less money to do two things:
1)Innovate for the future
2)Be price-competitive versus similar products manufactured elsewhere
I’m not a Republican on most matters, but in this day and age I feel that their economic strategy for the long term is the right one. This is not a world of governments anymore. This is a world of business and business interests. If we’re interested in staying on top, we need to take what competitive advantage we have (namely, R&D and innovation) in this global economy, and have the profits from what is being manufactured overseas be coming back to US based companies.
Just to make my point easy to digest, let’s say that televisions are the only product being manufactured out there. If we try to keep manufacturing strong in this country, and by association give workers a “livable” wage to do their jobs, we’ll have the most expensive non-cable ready black and white television on the shelf, right next to brand new big screen LCD HDTV sets that cost half as much from China. If we continue to let our big businesses in this country thrive by outsourcing their labor, we’ll make sure that American companies have the majority of the brand names for the LCD HDTV sets on the shelves at a very competitive price.
Preserving the manufacturing sector in this country is suicide.
Yes, we’re going to be disenfranchising an entire class of people, and we’ll also be creating a massive gulf between middle and lower class. But we’ll ensure that products stay affordable on our shelves, and we’ll guarantee our American corporations that they will have the best opportunity to get their products on Chinese and Indian store shelves.
Where I think the Republicans go too far is in their lack of attention to education. Actually, I believe nearly all of our society, Democratic party included, is missing the boat.
What we need in this country right now is to establish a system of education that mirrors what occurs in India. We need to create a technologically savvy generation beyond what they pick up playing on their Playstation 2. Focused technical schooling is what is going to keep American workers viable for American companies, and will help even out what promises to be a staggering disparity between the lower and middle classes over time.
History class and Geography are valuable and all, but kids need to be prepped for real-world jobs. And Engineering and Innovation careers are going to be crucial for us to continue to contend on a world stage. If we created focused and intensive technical schooling in the US like they have in India, we could give kids the opportunity, regardless of class, to acquire a valuable role in America’s innovative place in the world economy.
There are really no easy answers here, but I do believe that if we can keep our economy near the forefront in this global economy, then societal problems will be easier to deal with in the long term. But it will get ugly – very ugly – for the short term.
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
I know it's only from a $5 SNG, but... HAMMERTIME!
***** Hand History for Game 384877502 *****
graves247: did you have the flush?
30/60 TourneyTexasHTGameTable (NL) (Tournament 2238720) - Tue Feb 10 19:16:18 EST 2004
Table Card Room Table 4410 (Real Money) -- Seat 3 is the button
Total number of players : 7
Seat 1: Boygza (1550)
Seat 3: graves247 (520)
Seat 5: brat27 (1090)
Seat 6: bird37 (1655)
Seat 7: DrizzleKing (645)
Seat 8: usua_guy (245)
Seat 9: nickp12 (2295)
brat27 posts small blind (15)
bird37 posts big blind (30)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Boygza [ 7s, 2c ]
nickp12 calls (30)
Boygza calls (30)
graves247 calls (30)
brat27 calls (15)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 2s, Ac, 7h ]
Boygza bets (50)
bird37 calls (50)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Jc ]
Boygza bets (50)
** Summary **
Main Pot: 300
Board: [ 2s Ac 7h Jc ]
Boygza balance 1720, bet 130, collected 300, net +170 [ 7s 2c ] [ two pairs, sevens and twos -- Ac,7s,7h,2c,2s ]
graves247 balance 490, lost 30 (folded)
brat27 balance 1060, lost 30 (folded)
bird37 balance 1575, lost 80 (folded)
DrizzleKing balance 645, didn't bet (folded)
usua_guy balance 245, didn't bet (folded)
nickp12 balance 2265, lost 30 (folded)
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Plusses and Minuses
On the plus side today...
I was able to find time to write six pages at work today.
I got my laptop AND my NetGear Wireless Networking setup (first post from the new computer!)
On the minus side...
Stupid Outlook Express blocked my access to the MS Word Doc that I sent myself (today's blog postings) from work. So, hopefully, I can post it all tomorrow.
I feel guilty for going nearly three whole days without a significant update, but maybe tomorrow, time permitting, will give you a huge, enormous post to read.
If you read this space enough, you know how I feel already about “celebrity journalism.” I read today where tabloid journalists, having obviously staked out a doctor’s office where Nicole Kidman had a checkup, are now claiming they got her medical records and are reporting she has cancer (let the Google searchers find me on this one, I don’t care: “Nicole Kidman” and breast cancer).
How low will the media stoop? Shouldn’t there be some modicum of decency extended to at least doctor’s appointments?
I saw a bumper sticker on the way in to work today that said, “We Vote Pro-Life.” Well, congratulations to you. Way to pick your leaders based on a single issue. There’s little that’s more distressing to me than people who are so myopic that they can’t see the forest but for the one single tree that commands their attention. I hope you’ve adopted multiple kids, because that’s the only scenario under which you get the pro-life pass from me.
There’s someone with whom I’ve been in contact with over the phone here at work that I got to meet in person on Friday. After a couple months of hearing his voice on the phone, which had an accent that could have been Asian, and knowing his first name was “Tendo,” with a last name that I totally thought was Japanese (“a” is the only vowel, it’s in there four times, and it really looked Japanese), I figured this guy would be Japanese.
It was a heck of a surprise to meet Tendo, who looks a lot like the bald black guy (Steve something?) from “The Practice.”
It was definitely one of those circumstances where you really want to ask him where he’s from, or what his ethnicity is, but there’s no real comfortable way to do that with someone who you’ve just met. It’s one of those conversations that could either turn into a positive because the person is pleased you’re interested enough to find out about them, or it could be a negative like asking a woman who’s just plain fat when she’s due.
Did you see that everyone’s hero, Dr. Freaking Atkins, was listed as “obese” on his autopsy? Hey, those who can’t do, teach. Right?
I had a good run at the track this weekend. I’m really beginning to like playing some of the small crappy tracks like Portland Meadows. PM has to be about the absolute bottom of the barrel for thoroughbred racing, with GLD circling the drain right behind. I played the first six races on the card at PM, hitting a $90 trifecta in the first, finding a horse at 8-1 that won ($4WPS) in the second for $46, and cashing tickets (but losing money ultimately) on ever race I played thereafter.
It’s funny to check out the program for PM, as the last five races for any one of the horses on there were run on Gd/Fst/Slp/Slp/Gd tracks. Think it rains up there or something? I also like playing PM for two other reasons. First, instead of saying “this horse is better than that one” at a better track, when you’re betting on terrible horses I believe anything can happen. Therefore, you find a reason to like a horse and get behind it. That’s how I found the 8-1 winner in the second. It was no worse than the others, looked to be rounding into shape, and I would have guessed (looking at the form) odds should have been around 4-1 instead of 8-1. So I pegged it as an overlay and won. Second reason I like PM is just that. I can make a case for overlays quite a bit easier than I can with tough money being wagered at Aqueduct or Santa Anita. One of these days a 50-1 horse that should only be 6-1 will cross first, and I’ll be holding the ticket. I can’t wait.
So I ended up +$55 for the gambling, including buying a few beers and programs. That financed my poker for the weekend (-$30), and part of my dad’s birthday gift.
Speaking of, my dad turned 56 this weekend. Bob and I copped out hard on his birthday gift. We wanted to get wine, but our county is dry on Sunday, and our Saturday visit to a store to get a bottle or three didn’t produce any winners. So Sunday morning featured a last minute grocery store visit, random selection of cheeses and crackers thrown into a gift bag, and a $30 “use this for wine” gift certificate. Nice effort, huh? I’m a dick.
Sunday, February 08, 2004
Rhymes with Joker - Lord Geznikor
Here's a teaser... I'll write more at work tomorrow (time permitting).
BG and LG butt heads early, and one of us leaves massive carnage in his wake.
QQ versus KTs.
BG versus LG.
More tomorrow in my coverage of Poker Blogger Crossover Game II!
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