|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, June 19, 2004
CNN.com - Gorilla's amazing leap puzzles zoo experts - Jun 18, 2004: "'All it does is give you pause and you think, 'This may be one championship gorilla here..."
Friday, June 18, 2004
Linked above is the short story I've written over the past couple of days. I don't do this very often (writing with a purpose), so be kind...
Thursday, June 17, 2004
One Hour @ $2/$4
Oy. Down 9.25BB. Most of that was against a beautifully slowplayed flopped Kings over Aces boat. I caught four to the royal in diamonds on the flop, had made the flush only the Queen could beat on the turn, and a blank on the river made me think I was good. That alone was 4.5BB down the drain.
I won $9 on two hands (flopping top pair in LP, opening the bet and everyone folds), $25, $27, and $16 on the others. Only one showdown on those, in which top two pair held up.
I did see one dude rake two $75+ pots. Makes me sick. Couldn't get anyone involved when I was holding, and didn't hit enough flops to make it happen anyway.
A Work In Progress
Instead of the usual blog content (is there anything usual about what you expect to see logging in here on the daily?) today, I'm posting a work in progress short story.
This is completely fictional, and I'm mainly posting it (way back in the archives, linked via the title above) in order to keep working on it. I don't want to file it away and forget about it.
Frankly, I don't know where I'm going with this one yet. Just thought you might enjoy a peek at it first...
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Here's What Goes On In My Head...
My ex-wife used to work with this amazing Swedish National beauty with an unbelievable body. And a husband much bigger than me. It was torture to go to dinner at their place, as an hour of hot tubbing with them meant an hour of looking at everything but her chest, which was perfect and impossible to ignore.
The husband works for a company I do business with in my day-to-day here, and for the first time I played the "do you know" card with my contact.
Surprisingly, my contact did. She then said, "He and his wife just had a little baby girl this spring."
And the first thought running through my head was, "Oh my god, how much bigger is her rack now?"
My 30th birthday is ten days away.
I’m not really sure how, or even if, I feel about that. It’s a milestone in name alone, but shouldn’t feel much different from any other day (except, of course, when you add the additional and unusual pleasure of eating lamb chops and drinking a seven year old $80 bottle of Brunello from my namesake’s Italian vineyards to the mix).
I’m not waxing nostalgic or anything here, but thought I would compile a list, albeit an incomplete one, of things that have happened to me in the last 10,947 days.
>> I brought home a five figure paycheck for one month’s work.
>> I went on a tear in the regional Quiz Bowl tournament when pop culture and sports questions confounded the eggheads from both my team and the others in the finals.
>> I got to be the kid doing the tag line on a Nickelodeon commercial.
>> I’ve made out (uh, at least) with women both far too old and definitely too young for me to date.
>> I’ve gotten laid in a bar bathroom (yes, by a girl).
>> I got fired from a summer job for causing the ruin of two cash registers and writing “BFD” on the backs of little kids’ hands.
>> I drank punch at a school dance into which I had only later found someone had peed.
>> I returned a punt in a real football game.
>> For that same team, I designed a play (QB Bootleg – is there a cooler play than a naked bootleg?) for the QB that resulted in a TD.
>> I played harmonica in a jam session.
>> I’ve lived in a house that was under police surveillance.
>> I was a single short of hitting for the cycle in my last little league game.
>> I’ve thrown out a baserunner attempting to steal second from my knees.
>> I’ve had as a friend a guy just out of prison still on his probation ankle tether.
>> I’ve dated a stripper
>> I’ve been directly responsible for the meeting of two friends who are now married.
>> I’ve shot a Russian assault rifle.
>> I’ve won money in Vegas.
>> I’ve ordered a meal at a fancy restaurant by telling the waiter to bring me whatever he thought was good.
>> I’ve beaten a kid for stealing my baseball cards.
>> I’ve seen a Neil Diamond impersonator live.
>> I’ve acted like an idiot in front of a respected poet and author.
>> I’ve had Bozo the Clown at my house for a party (not lately).
>> I’ve had wine that was older than I was.
>> I’ve cooked Thanksgiving Dinner for ten on my own.
>> I’ve shaken the hand of a jazz legend.
>> I’ve argued a speeding ticket in court.
And here are a few things that haven’t happened to me in 10,947 days:
>> Never have had a non-college one-night stand.
>> Never have hit a winner of more than $200 at the track.
>> Never have gotten past the first 200 pages of Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past.” Or, for that matter, David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest.”
>> Never have revisited an old flame years later to see if the spark was still there.
>> Never have been in any show’s studio audience.
>> Never made an all-star team.
>> Never have broken a bone.
>> Never have been able to get up on water skis.
>> Never have had a blind date.
>> Never have used the Internet to find a girl.
>> Never have seen “Godfather III,” even though I’ve owned it on DVD for three years.
>> Never have picked up a girl from the bar.
>> Never have been published (in print).
>> Never have cheated on a girlfriend.
>> Never have had a pregnancy scare (with a girlfriend, naturally).
>> Never have flopped a straight or royal flush.
>> Never have had aces full cracked.
Just some things…
Five Random Places And Things About My Town That A Tourist Should See Beyond The Obvious
Disclaimer: I’ve been doing lists since I started this blog, well before I ever stumbled across someone else’s collection of lists. I’m not stealing. So there.
1. The Mr. Turkey “tailings plant” just south of town where they burn the beaks and feet and you can smell the mess for a thousand yards in any direction.
2. The darkness of the beer refrigeration case on Sundays in every supermarket (dry county on Sundays for beer/wine)
3. The parking lot behind the trees at Peach Plains Elementary School, which for me was the best place in High School to park and make out (yes, with a girl).
4. The way greasy bacon looks through thick, wafting cigarette smoke in the air at the Rendezvous Restaurant on a Saturday morning.
5. The bottom of a sugar cone from the Front Porch Ice Cream Parlor, where they always have (and hopefully always will) dropped a candy corn in the bottom of the cone before scooping their ice cream in.
I Stand Close to Walls Like Number Four The Lizard
Because, of course, Ninjas are sweet.
Bonus points to anyone besides Liquid Swords who can give me the source of the title quote above.
With Bob sweating me via IM chat (Yahoo ID – “bg_poker,” but I’m rarely on) in the $5 multi in which I placed this weekend, the running commentary always seemed to come back to two things. First, play tight and lurk – like a ninja (because ninjas are sweet). Second, and piggybacking off of idea number one, “stand close to walls, like number four the lizard.”
Really, just another way of saying the same thing. Fold, fold, fold, and pounce.
The Lizard, from the movie “Five Deadly Venoms,” was one of five trained assassin warriors, each with their own deadly power. Since I’m at work and not able to pull up any websites with the particulars of each of the venoms and their styles, I can tell you that The Lizard was a guy who could use gravity-defying powers to scale the walls and hit his opponent from unexpected angles in unexpected ways. It makes me smile to remember playing that multi with a guy to my right who apparently felt that when everyone else was folding, he was going to hike up his pants and be the guy to swagger in with a raise. Every time I was in either of the blinds, this guy would plunk somewhere in the neighborhood of 10xBB down for a raise, and would obviously be doing so to steal the blinds.
Only problem with this strategy is that he should have done the math. With blinds of, say, $250/$500, I’m happy to let them slide to him across two or three orbits. First marginally playable hand I got though, and I tripled his raise. All of a sudden, he’s not up $750, he’s down $5k after folding.
I didn’t think so…
Sometimes, not all the time, simply calling is about the worst thing you can do. When faced with aggression, there are really only three options. Lurk, fight, and run. Nothing beats the feeling of slowplaying that monster in the face of aggression. But where I think a lot of players just don’t get it in No Limit is when it comes time to drop the gloves and challenge the big boy to a fight. Now, I’d never want to risk a big chunk of my chip stack on ugly cards, but you do know that your mama told you to stand up to bullies. And it’s a very satisfying feeling to me to allow someone to pillage my blinds a couple of times before coming back over the top to spank him back to reality.
I have to credit Dr. Bob and Dr. Pauly (honestly, Bob has been calling himself “Dr. Bob” for years. I guess if I can call myself “Boy Genius,” what’s the difference?) for keeping me company via Yahoo IM during the drudgery of that tournament. I didn’t go to the well very often for advice (at least not until I was severely short-stacked), but just being able to make ninja jokes and type things about my competition there that I wouldn’t type in the table’s chat kept me from going nutty.
Speaking of chat, I had one of those “kiss my ass” moments last night playing a $10 SNG. Sitting in the BB with blinds of 25/50 (raising before it gets back to me), UTG opens with a raise to 100. All fold around to me, the second short stack on the table with 475 (plus the 50 in the pot). I have ATo. I’m thinking he’s got paint, but possibly not as nice a kicker. I push all-in.
Why not? With only 475 in my stack at this point, I can either take a chance on doubling up or I can improve my stack by 25% with his fold.
Immediately, another player types “WTF??” in the chat.
Mind you, this was the same player that twice had pushed all-in previously with next-to-nothing in the pot. First time she limped with JTo, landed AKQ rainbow flop, and pushed all-in (for 1000 with 75 in the pot). Way to slowplay the nuts.
Steam was pouring out of my ears. I don’t see a good reason to criticize that move. What if the board came out something like JJK? Or featured three of the suit I’m not holding? It would have cost me nearly 10% of my stack to see the flop, hope I hit it, and hope he didn’t. All-in not only gives me the chance to double up, but also gives me (hopefully) the image that I won’t be pushed off my blinds, and that I’m willing to get a little reckless. And it wasn’t so much that my style was being criticized as it was who was doing the critiquing.
Then again, this is PartyPoker after all. No sense in trying to make sense of these people.
1. A Big Mac YES NO! That Thousand Island Sauce is disgusting looking. Plus, American Cheese is nasty.
2. Escargot NO YES! Oh, absolutely yes. Especially swimming in a garlic butter sauce...
3. Sushi, raw YES YES! Sushi rocks.
4. Sushi, cooked YES YES! Oonagi and the simple crab on rice stuff. I don't eat rolls, usually just the simple stuff.
5. Cheddar cheese, cubed NO NO! I don't like yellow cheese unless it's melted.
6. Potato Salad NO NO! Mayonnaise is the instrument of the devil.
7. Shepherd's Pie NO YES! Beef+Mashed Potatoes = bliss.
8. Oysters on the half shell YES YES! Generally can only eat two at one sitting, as the texture is bothersome
9. Deviled Eggs NO NO! I can't think of anything more disgusting to watch someone else eat.
10. Oatmeal NO YES! What the hell do you think I think is wrong with oatmeal?
11. Duck YES YES! Greasy gamey bird is awesome.
12. Beef Stroganoff YES NO! Sour cream is awful, and I just have to know it's in something to be grossed out.
13. White Chili NO NO! Again, sour cream is a primary ingredient. "You won't taste it!" Wanna bet?
14. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches NO NO! American Cheese singles made me puke as a tot, haven't gotten back on that horse.
15. Spinach YES YES! Any way you want to serve it, count me in.
16. Creamed Corn NO YES! Looks the same coming out, but is tasty stuff.
17. Green Olives YES NO! Never did like olives, especially with pimentos. What the hell are pimentos?
18. Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips YES YES! My potato chips of choice.
19. Yogurt NO NO! Not out of the jar at least. I pretend it's not there for tzatziki sauce on gyros.
20. Bologna YES NO! Jesus good god no! I won't eat cheap meat, and it just doesn't get any cheaper than bologna.
By the skin of his teeth, Pauly matches SIX on the NO! list. Congrats, you win this round of What Won't BG Eat!
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
NL SNG Beat
Finished 7th, and deserved better.
Limped in from LP with JTo, and caught a JT2 flop. Dude across the table in EP pushes me all-in. He's telegraphing rockets, and sure enough that's what he flips when I call.
The 2 pairs on the turn.
CNN.com - Videotape purports to show kidnapped American - Jun 15, 2004
This is going to sound horribly callous, but there's an easy way to deal with these circumstances.
We have to not give a shit.
It's an impossible thought, I know. I know this because I do give a shit. These kidnappings and executions are bullshit, and no one individual should have to suffer for the perceived wrongs of their government.
But if we don't give a shit, and don't overreact and plaster the news video all over TV, and circulate the execution on the Internet, and talk about it constantly and call these guys cowards in public, then they don't get the attention they desire.
We're not releasing al-Qaeda prisoners because they kill (or want to kill) one man. We're not divesting ourselves of our interests in the Arabic world because we don't want one American to be executed.
Going over there, whether representing a business, a peace/charity group, or a government as a white man is dangerous. Kidnapping is an inherent risk.
Why we don't treat these kidnappers the same way we treat the dude who takes his pants off and streaks across the stadium turf at the Super Bowl - taking the camera off of him and pretending for the public as if it's not happening - is beyond me.
We can't win this one. Why bring attention to what's going on at all?
Maybe it's not so much that it is getting coverage, but how it's getting covered. It's insane that we publicize their demands. It's ridiculous that we show the pictures. It's absolutely fucking atrocious that we could have access to the Berg or Pearl videos.
Shouldn't it be enough to report what's happened in basic terms, and then when there's resolution, report on it again? Don't let fucking Hannity and Colmes spend a half hour prosletyzing about the circumstance. Don't send five dozen reporters to knock on his parents' door and interview his tearful wife and kids. If we humanize this, we lose.
I'm probably being an asshole here to some extent. I know the rest of the world gets CNN. I know that al-Jazeera probably shows the Arab world the US reaction, both official and unofficial, to this ridiculousness. I can just see the smug motherfuckers who did this knowing that whatever does or doesn't happen with this situation in the end, they've brought attention to their cause, have provoked outrage and sadness in the Western world, and have accomplished basically everything they realistically could have hoped to with their actions.
And we continue to provide them this satisfaction. That's why I'm frustrated.
Monday, June 14, 2004
The New Tattoos
I was talking with Pauly on Saturday, in very general terms about, to borrow a phrase, the viral phenomenon of blogs.
Pauly’s line, one that I feel is apt, is that “blogs are the new tattoos.” Everybody is going to have one, or already does.
Viral, actually, is a terrific adjective to describe blogs, as the Howard Dean campaign proved early on. For better or for worse, Dean’s supporters utilized blogs to at once rally and corral the troops.
I mention the “for worse” part because what this marketing strategy has wrought is the political regurgitation blog. No offense to Phil at Studio Glyphic, because I wouldn’t read him if he didn’t have interesting content besides the various links and quotes, but what has grown weary and tiresome in the blogosphere is the link-it-and-leave liberal blog (frankly, I haven’t come across a conservative blog, although I’m sure they’re out there too). Link to an op-ed piece from an unabashedly liberal outlet, quote the first two paragraphs, and that’s it. Congratulations, you now have “content.”
I know it’s an election year, and I know that passions run deep for and against this President in particular (well, maybe not as particularly as the last one), but there’s a reason Drudge is Drudge, and you’re not keeping my attention.
I offer this about blogs: I’m not generally going to be interested unless it’s honest, funny, or if I’m lucky, both.
I feel like crap today. I can’t tell if it’s a legitimate cold, or if I’m just having a sinus problem due to allergies. If I were still working my mortgage job from a bunch of years ago, this would be an automatic day off. Now that I have to actually budget sick days in, I don’t want to waste them.
Not only that, but I don’t need more couch time today. I just had one of the ladies at work do the “mom thing” to see if I had a fever. Apparently, I’m just clammy, although that’s not exactly a consolation.
I also had a momentary freak-out this morning related to the following entry from my archives:
- Aside from the shoplifting from my college, I engaged in petty theft of another sort. I worked for three years as a cook and then manager of an on-campus student-run steak-house (every-thing is more fun with a hy-phen!). I wasn't bold my first year, but I also lived on campus and had a meal plan. I took the occasional big huge cut of prime rib for my "employee meal," and had the other cooks looking the other way. No biggie. My second year, off campus, I was pretty good as well. Year three, I had carte blanche. There were many nights where I was the sole person left to lock up the nation's largest non-military cafeteria, in which our steakhouse was located. We were a prime rib joint, and the unused slabs of cooked rib were usually plastic-and-foil wrapped and thrown into a distant corner of a distant freezer, rarely to be heard from again. So I started taking them home. My biggest take was about four pounds. Imagine all the fun a college kid can have with four pounds of prime rib (not like that sicko). I'm talking Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches for days and days. There was plenty more, but that's where the story ceases to be interesting.What happened was that someone from the administration of that cafeteria used the search term “largest non-military cafeteria” to come to my site, undoubtedly reading the above-mentioned paragraph. It wouldn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out who I was from the clues above.
So, here I am, at work and freaked out that my old college might press charges for the theft of less than eight pounds of prime rib scraps nearly ten years ago. Maybe my head is just a little too thick today.
I did get some good news. First of all, I found out that I was nominated for an award for my recent work in the play I was in. That’s nice. I was expecting that, to tell you the truth, as there were only two of us guys in the play, we were both supporting actors (the category in which I received the nomination), and my part was a little meatier than his was. Not to say, “I kick ass, all bow before me” or anything though. I just kinda figured this might happen.
The second good thing that happened to me today was that my “check engine” light was off this morning after three days of staying on and freaking me out. I figure that I didn’t screw the fuel cap on appropriately or something, and it took time to repressurize. I think that’s how cars work. I don’t get much beyond “put gas in tank, turn key, depress pedal and steer.”
More later, if these sinus problems clear up…
BG vs. Pauly, Round 5
We’re all tied up going into round 5 of our weekly wager. This week, it’s my turn to propose. We’re going to play What Won’t BG Eat?
Here’s how the game works: I’m going to list 20 food items. Ten of which, I’ll eat, ten of which, I wouldn’t. If Pauly can put six items appropriately on the Won’t Eat list, he’ll win.
1. A Big Mac
3. Sushi, raw
4. Sushi, cooked
5. Cheddar cheese, cubed
6. Potato Salad
7. Shepherd’s Pie
8. Oysters on the half shell
9. Deviled Eggs
12. Beef Stroganoff
13. White Chili
14. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
16. Creamed Corn
17. Green Olives
18. Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Just swimmingly, thank you...
Two hours of $2/$4 on PartyPoker is enough to make your head spin.
Or mine, at least.
Within the first 30 minutes, I'm down $65, and it's not looking too good. I got dealt countless open-ended straight draws on the flop, and chased probably a little too hard.
So, for the last 90 minutes, I resolved to buckle down and play better. No more chasing.
I went on a +$113 run (thanks PokerTracker) that was highlighted by sweeping a $51 pot on an unlucky bastard that limped in with 25o, caught two pair on the flop to my top pair, and then saw the board pair up a middle pair, rendering his two pair second best.
Fucking deserved it limping in with 25o. Dude saw over half of 25 flops I played with him, and gave $74 to the table over that time (doing such things as betting a ten-high flush to the river with multiple raises in front of him). Oh well, thanks for the donations.
After the first 30 minutes, those last 90 really restored my faith in humanity.
I did somehow land a cold or allergies or sinus problems seemingly out of nowhere yesterday. I can't seem to shake it. I even cleaned the crap out of my house to try to maybe collect all the loose pet hair (times emptying bagless vacuum dustbin: 3). Still, no dice. I feel semi-miserable.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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