|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Friday, November 19, 2004
Although I’ve probably done this before, here’s a genre-specific set of lists detailing my Top Five Favorite Songs in each area (favorites in each in bold):
Classic Rock – Electric
Deacon Blues – Steely Dan
Ten Years Gone – Led Zeppelin
Won’t Get Fooled Again – Who
Crossroads – Cream
All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
For No One
Golden Slumbers through The End off of Abbey Road
Let It Be
Classic Rock – Folk/Acoustic
The Weight – The Band
Visions of Johanna – Bob Dylan
Late in the Evening – Paul Simon
Sweet Thing – Van Morrison
Who Loves The Sun – Velvet Underground
Classic Rock – Wildcard
God Only Knows – Beach Boys
Little Green Bag – George Baker
Stuck in the Middle With You – Stealers Wheel
Ooh La La – The Faces
Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits
Lonely Teardrops – Jackie Wilson
Uptight – Stevie Wonder
Crazy – Patsy Cline
That’ll be the Day – Buddy Holly
Shotgun – Jr. Walker and the All Stars
Freddie’s Dead – Curtis Mayfield
Theme from “Shaft” – Isaac Hayes
After the Dance – Marvin Gaye
Sir Duke – Stevie Wonder
What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
Kill You – Eminem
Oh No – Mos Def, Nate Dogg, Pharaoh Monche
Verbal Intercourse – Raekwon w/ Ghost and Nas
SpottieOttieDopalicious – Outkast
Bring the Pain – Method Man
Blue in Green
It Never Entered My Mind
Witch Hunt – Wayne Shorter
My Favorite Things – John Coltrane
Green Dolphin Street – Eric Dolphy
Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye – John Coltrane
Four on Six – Wes Montgomery
For the love of god, I don’t know how to possibly distill this down to a simple five favorites.
Just a list, in honor of the Rolling Stone 500, which I have yet to see. Here’s one hundred songs from Rock, Rap, and Jazz that I really, really dig. Does it go without saying that there are more songs than just these 100 that I like?
(in no sort of order whatsoever)
“Golden Slumbers” through “The End” off of Abbey Road - Beatles
“For No One” - Beatles
“After the Dance” – Marvin Gaye
“God Only Knows” – The Beach Boys
“All Along the Watchtower” – Jimi Hendrix
“Unit 7” – Wes Montgomery off of Smokin’ at the Half Note
“Scenario” – A Tribe Called Quest
“The Weight” – The Band
“Visions of Johanna” – Bob Dylan
“Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat” – Bob Dylan
“Rio” – Duran Duran
“Sweet Thing” – Van Morrison
“Caravan” – Van Morrison (especially off of The Last Waltz)
“Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” – Neil Diamond
“4th Chamber” – GZA
“Making a Name for Ourselves” – Common f/ Canibus
“Electric Relaxation” – A Tribe Called Quest
“Freddie’s Dead” – Curtis Mayfield
“Superfly” – Curtis Mayfield
“Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” – Traffic
“So What” – Miles Davis
“All Blues” – Miles Davis
“Frelon Brun” – Miles Davis
“My Favorite Things” – John Coltrane
“Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” – John Coltrane
“Dandelion” – Rolling Stones
“Won’t Get Fooled Again” – Who
“Behind Blue Eyes” – Who
“The Way You Move” – Outkast
“SpottieOttieDopalicious” – Outkast
“Peggy Sue” – Buddy Holly
“She Said” – Beatles
“Shimmy Shimmy Ya” – Ol’ Dirty Bastard
“Knuckleheadz” – Raekwon
“Here Comes My Baby” – Cat Stevens
“Fat Man” – Jethro Tull
“Nothing Is Easy” – Jethro Tull
“Hey Jude” – Beatles
“Burning of the Midnight Lamp” through “Still Raining/Still Dreaming” off Electric Ladyland - Jimi Hendrix
“(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” – Jackie Wilson
“Lonely Teardrops” – Jackie Wilson
“Hey Hey What Can I Do” – Led Zeppelin
“Feelin’ Alright” – Traffic
“Tangerine” – Led Zeppelin
“Ten Years Gone” – Led Zeppelin
“A Night In Tunisia” – Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker
“Witch Hunt” – Wayne Shorter
“Uptight” – Stevie Wonder
“Shotgun” – Jr. Walker and the All Stars
“What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye
“Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” – Crosby, Stills, and Nash
“Ohio” – CSN&Y
“Crossroads” – Cream
“Sunshine of Your Love” – Cream
“Holocaust” – RZA as Bobby Digital
“Survival of the Fittest” – Mobb Deep
“Theme from Shaft” – Isaac Hayes
“My Girl” – Temptations
“Sir Duke” – Stevie Wonder
“Walkin After Midnight” – Madeleine Peyroux
“Crazy” – Patsy Cline
“Da Art of Storytelling” – Outkast f/ Slick Rick
“Bring the Pain” – Method Man
“Life’s a Bitch” – Nas
“T.R.O.Y.” – Pete Rock and CL Smooth
“Little Wing” – Jimi Hendrix
“Ball and Chain” – Janis Joplin
“Devil’s Haircut” – Beck
“Tropicalia” – Beck
“Black Cow” – Steely Dan
“FM” – Steely Dan
“Billy Boy” – Ahmad Jamal
“Four on Six” – Wes Montgomery off Smokin at the Half Note
“Fat Albert Rotunda” – Herbie Hancock
“Off the Books” – Beatnuts f/ Big Pun
“Black Ego” – Digable Planets
“9th Wonder” – Digable Planets
“Kill You” – Eminem
“Up on Cripple Creek” – The Band
“Pink Houses” – John Mellencamp
“Saturday in the Park” – Chicago
“Comfortably Numb” – Pink Floyd
“Handle With Care” – Traveling Wilburys
“Sultans of Swing” – Dire Straits
“Triumph” – Wu-Tang Clan
“I Shall Be Released” – The Band f/ Bob Dylan
“Theme from The Love Boat” – (totally not kidding)
“Welcome Back” – John Sebastian
“Green Dolphin Street” – Eric Dolphy
“Better Git Hit In Yo Soul” – Charles Mingus
“Verbal Intercourse” – Raekwon f/ Ghost and Nas
“A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturday” – De La Soul
“Groove is in the Heart” – Dee-Lite
“It’s About That Time” – Miles Davis
“Centerfield” – John Fogerty
“Tonight We’re Going to Rock You Tonight” – Spinal Tap
“Little Pocket Sized Demons” – Henry Threadgill
“Blue in Green” – Miles Davis
“Sara Smile” – Hall and Oates
“8:05” – Moby Grape
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Another BG vs. Al Can't Hang Email Gambit...
Yep, buried in the archives to save space, we've got another email day of fun for you. Eat up!
Jump Off A Cliff
As of 930AM EST today, there are roughly 530 hours until I am sitting in the race book at the Excalibur, beer in hand, dissecting the first race or two at Aqueduct.
Here’s hoping America’s Wingman didn’t go through with his fantasy he’d been kicking around to me on the Instant Messenger all week by quitting his job. All I can say is that it’s unusual at best to be this late into a morning without a groggy and hung over Al bidding me good morning with an electronic ping.
Here’s my promise to Al. He and I have had a running joke lately about whether or not I have quit my job yet and bought myself some emus. Yes, you heard me. Emus. I told him I want to ditch my job and move up into the mountains and raise emus. If you’ve never eaten emu, you’re really missing out. I mean, not only are they tasty, but you get to tell people, “I’ve eaten emu.” Say that out loud a couple times, and see how fun it sounds rolling off the tongue. Now imagine if it were true.
Oh yeah, the promise. I’m convinced I’m sitting on the winning lottery ticket. Literally currently sitting on it. With a jackpot of $149M in the multi-state “Mega Millions” drawing Friday night, I promise that if I win the whole damn thing, Al gets a 1% stake in the jackpot. Friday’s drawing only.
Seriously, stay tuned. I’m going to win this thing. I mean it this time.
Do you think they’ll let me live blog from the $500/$1000 tables at the Bellagio?
I think if I gave Al $700k (roughly 1% of the after-tax jackpot), the chances of him quitting his job and opening a bar would be about 85%. The chances he and I would be first day casualties at next year’s WSOP main event? About 100%.
Back to the emu thing… I’m really only half kidding when I bring those birds up. I think if you put one of those tests that tell you what you should be when you grow up in front of me today, I would bet that somewhere high on the list you’d see “Shepherd.” It’s the anti-social part of me. Me, my dog, some grasslands, and Mother Nature would be a great mix. I could live in relative seclusion, which frankly isn’t too far off from what I’m doing now.
I’m curious though. If you’re a shepherd, and you want to go to Vegas for a week, do you have a substitute shepherd? Can you call a temp agency and have them find you a qualified herding professional? You can’t just let the emus run free or anything. Do you just call for a cowboy, or is there a special technique to herding emus that a cowboy is just too ill-equipped to handle? There’s got to be an answer to these questions. What do shepherds do when they want to get out of town for a little while?
It’s only 10AM, but I’ve got a multi-faceted lunch dilemma today. I saw the recent Subway commercial for their meatball sub and remembered how much I like that sandwich. There are two problems with just going to pick one up though. First, I don’t like eating at Subway on principle. It’s a chain restaurant with legitimate small business competition. You can’t really say that about most burger joints. I’ll eat at Wendy’s once a week with little guilt, but Subway takes business away from small delis and sandwich shops. The other thing holding me back from getting this sub today is that I don’t want to eat tomato sauce and mozzarella for lunch if I’m just going to get a pizza for dinner tonight. And that’s not the most unlikely scenario I’m facing.
Damn them for making that sandwich look so good in the commercials.
Speaking of looking good in the commercials, I was astounded to catch myself laughing at a trailer for the “Fat Albert” movie this morning. I thought it was a terrible idea, but damned if that trailer didn’t make me chuckle. There really only is a short list of movies (Sideways, The Life Aquatic, Meet the Fockers, Ocean’s Twelve) that I’m looking forward to seeing, and maybe I’ll toss that one on the pile as well.
By the way, I wanted to take the 530 hours between now and Vegas, and give you an idea as to how I’m likely to be spending them:
184 - Hours likely spent sleeping
150 - Hours spent at work
22 - Hours spent in the car
27 - Hours spent watching football on TV
15 - Hours spent in the morning dreading going into work
530 - Hours where Vegas is going to cross my mind
I couldn’t be more geeked for this trip. Can all of us going agree on one thing though? The first thing that’s likely to want to jump out of our mouths is “I love your blog,” or “I love your stuff.” I think if we all decide to get that part out of the way before we go, we can just get on with getting to know one another, right? So, for everyone that’s going, “I love your blog.”
There. I’ve said it.
I don’t know why, but I have always felt weird talking about my blog in public. I don’t think it’s just the (relative) anonymity thing either. Maybe it’s that I talk candidly enough on here that I really don’t want to get pulled into some sort of discussion regarding what my blog is “about,” because in my self-deprecating manner I’d probably just say, “Well, I talk about poker and I like to whine about girls I should have asked out fifteen years ago…”
It’ll be interesting (and good – interesting can be good) to be around a group of people who do understand what it is I’m doing here, and aren’t going to judge me (more than they already have – WYSIWYG, trust me) as some Internet dork who pisses and moans about things he can’t do anything about.
No, instead I’m just dead money. Right? Don’t tap the glass? Heh heh heh…
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
I’m not a snob. Really, I’m not.
Well, okay… there are a few things towards which I may gravitate towards the snobbish.
Take coffee, for instance. Every morning I drink two 16oz cups, and all that I ask is that my coffee be palatable. I can’t bring myself to drink the shit they brew in the office, and god forbid I get stuck somewhere where the only option is a big can of pre-ground name brand stuff. That crap is swill, and I can’t believe people can’t taste the difference.
I want my coffee to be strong. Not necessarily in the “dark and muddy” sense, but strong as in “flavorful.” And please for the love of god don’t brew “S’Mores” or “Snickerdoodles” coffee. That “flavored” stuff is horrible. Just give me real coffee. Strong, black coffee from good beans.
My last two days have been maddening as a result of this snobbery, as I get my coffee via mail order now, and haven’t yet figured out the kinks in the system. So I used the last of my good beans on Sunday morning, and bought a quarter pound of grocery store beans as a buffer.
And they make fucking terrible coffee. I should be getting the good stuff today or tomorrow. Two pots of this stuff I’ve drank the last two mornings is two pots too many.
I’ve also grown too snobby to use the grated cheese in the green can as much as I used to. If you’re a Kraft Parmesan user, do yourself a favor. Go out and buy a wedge of Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese, and shave it over your spaghetti or pizza next time instead. It’s gotta be the “P-R” stuff, and not a wedge of “Parmesan.” Totally different things. Even at $14.99 a pound, once you’ve moved to the Parmagiano-Reggiano, you just can’t go back.
Honestly, I use the green can cheese to top my dog’s food every night now. He seems to like it.
I think my worst bit of high-mindedness comes when talking about music. Specifically jazz. Considering I only really like the stuff recorded from (roughly) 1955-1970, let me give you a quick list of some artists that I believe are overrated, and you tell me if there’s a common connection here: Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, Buddy Rich, Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz, Zoot Sims. Yeah, that’s right. All white guys.
Now, that’s not to say that all white guys suck as jazz musicians. I mean, were I to make a list (hmm…) of my twenty favorite jazz albums of all time, Bill Evans would be on probably three of them, including one of his own albums*. What I am saying is that I don’t believe Dorsey or Goodman are in the same league as Basie and Ellington. Excusing the pun, which is fully intended, Dorsey and Goodman are pale imitations of those big band leaders. Swing music was big band jazz for white people. Plain and simple. Getz was a decent player, but gets more credit in jazz history than a guy like Hank Mobley, who was a pretty great player in his own right. Chet Baker was “lyrical,” which is a polite way of saying “pretty boy who maybe couldn’t play as well technically as Dizzy or Miles.” Lennie Tristano gets far too much ink for his “cool jazz” from the West Coast in the 50s, when it was a watered down version of what Miles had done a few years earlier.
*(Is this the musical equivalent of saying, “I’m not a racist… I have a black friend?”)
I’m not discounting the fact that these guys made some pretty decent records, and were obviously talented enough to make a living in the music. What I am saying is that for every white musician that people pay/paid attention to, there were a few black musicians of equal or greater talent that were largely overlooked.
Booker Ervin, Sonny Fortune, Wynton Kelly, Booker Little, Andrew Hill, Oliver Nelson, and Ahmad Jamal are a few of these guys. To me, it’s sad that their music remains largely undiscovered or underappreciated.
Of course, not that everyone out there is tripping over themselves to go buy classic Chet Baker albums. I’m just saying…
OK, I get it…
On one lousy post back in July I put five names in a list. The list was titled, “five people that, should they google themselves, should contact me.”
One already turned out semi-disastrously, with a scathing “what the hell” email (she knew who I was instantly). At least she was willing to accept my apology and we do email periodically now.
Oddly, a few days later I got an email from someone on another one of those names. Kind of a “who the hell are you, and how the hell do you know so-and-so?” Weirded me out a bit, but that quieted down quickly.
Well, yesterday I got a hit from someone googling that name from Delaware. Today, someone googled from a lawyer’s office in NYC. I just shake my head.
So I took it down. First time I’ve self-edited here for any reason other than grammatical or format. A little disappointing if you ask me.
Was there anything there that was more than innocuous? Nope. But I’m irritated enough to just take it right the hell down anyway.
Can’t a guy write in his journal without fear of getting sued?
Oh, and a slight side note… If you’re reading this – and you know who you are – no commenting on the site, alright? Deal?
A Sandwich Just Isn’t a Sandwich…
You thought I was linking you to the actual “Virgin Mary on Grilled Cheese?” Naw… Go take a look, I’ll wait.
Back yet? Good.
Stopped laughing yet? I haven’t.
Alright, enough of that. My mom asked me the other day what I wanted for Xmas. Really, honest to god, I want Shaun Rogers to re-sign with the Lions. Barring that, I gave her a short list. I look at this list and realize just how old I have indeed become.
Can I begin to describe how much I want one of these? Almost two gallons of enameled cast iron capacity, with knobs and handles heat resistant to 450 degrees in the oven? Gulp. If I had the opportunity to restock my entire kitchen with the type of cookware and accessories I wanted, there would be very little that’d remain. I have one rigid plastic spatula that I love. I like my wooden fork. My small All-Clad pot and non-stick frying pan are pretty good. And all the Le Creuset stuff I have would stay too. I only have one of the enameled cast iron pieces (a medium sized casserole), and I have a few baking dishes out of the “Poterie” line. Other than that, all my crap can go. This Le Creuset stuff is awesome though.
I really need a new coffeemaker too, as my piece of shit $30 one blows. I wish I had $2,000 of disposable income to spend on a coffeemaker, because I can notice the difference between what they brew at coffee houses and what I can brew at home.
I also need a new band for my watch. Sadly, I haven’t worn it in three or more years, and miss having it around. It’s one of those uber-cool Seiko Kinetics, but the rubber of the band (titanium and rubber) basically crumbled into nothing, and I was stuck. So I need a new band, which is going to run $50-$150. That sucks too.
One last thing I asked for too was a new chef’s knife. I’ve got a Farberware set that’s adequate, but nothing beats a great piece of steel in your hands when prepping. Seriously.
Remember when it was a decision between whether you wanted Starscream or Thundercracker? Megatron or Optimus Prime (by the way, no self respecting kid ever chose Megatron in that scenario)? Now it’s whether to talk mom into the Dutch oven or the coffeemaker.
Where did my youth go?
Ran-dumb Thoughts and Thoroughbred Stink-lections
When did Mad Magazine stop being funny? Well, it was arguably never funny, not even once. But whatever. I always thought the gambit of changing the person’s name they were targeting ever so slightly had the potential for hilarity. If you were a third grader.
Anyway, in the spirit of Mad, here’s links to some of our favorite poker bloggers, done just the way A.E. Neuman would have liked…
Wimpness and Mediocre
Al’s Scant Wang
The Craps Seep
Tao of PooPoo (thanks Al)
PokerSchlub (easiest one of all to do)
The Flat Guy (yeah, I suck)
CanWeStopToPee (my personal favorite so far)
Lout of Gigante Cyst-o
Dump For Everything
Lumpy To Bark (no one said I was good at this)
Jerdummy @ The End Of Libido Bore
Phallicia Pee (That makes me laugh)
Poker in the Sneeze
Man, I had too much fun with that. Keep in mind guys, I do this with love. I don’t actually think Jeremy is a dummy, Iggy’s far from mediocre, and it remains to be seen if Maudie is really bawdy or not. I can’t say with certainty whether or not SloeJack blows mimes though. That’s not for me to say. I’m just doing this like the guys at Mad would have. No offense?
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
And Knowing is Half the Battle…
I learned my lesson on Valentine’s Day, and as a result, there’s no fucking way I’m sitting through three hours of various women celebrating their cellulite.
Congratulations, you’re fat. Well, I’m chubby too. Let’s go have a pizza and celebrate.
Actually, it’s only a 90 minute show but it costs $81.25 to get in. You know how many Ho Hos that’d buy?
Speaking of Ho Hos, Star Jones got married this weekend. SNL did a nice little rip on her this weekend, portraying her husband as a lavender turtleneck wearing fancyboy who almost let it slip that she was in for the “Reality TV Surprise of her Life!”
Man, I’d have laughed my balls off if that were true.
I was also reading today a really great eulogy of sorts at Salon.com for Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Written by Pete L’Official (if that is, in fact, your real name), it basically reiterates some of the points I made in the comments widget in my ODB post from Sunday. Regardless, just wanted to share a few snippets:
”Outrageous. Unpredictable. Deranged, possibly. Irresponsible, certainly. But I don't care what anybody says. Ol' Dirty Bastard was avant-garde as hell…In the comments the other day, “Jeff” wrote, “This guy was a lowlife. He had a baker's dozen of kids that he completely dodged responsibility for. He somehow got on welfare despite all the money he was pulling in. They filmed him cashing a welfare check. He negated what talent he had by acting like an idiot.”
That comment still bugs me (sorry Jeff). I can acknowledge that ODB was hardly a role model. But “negated what talent he had by acting like an idiot” is problematic.
I think – and I don’t think I’m wrong – that compared to many rappers that talk about “the streets,” or “the game,” or living a fast life, ODB’s honesty in his work actually makes his behavior less problematic to me. I mean, the phrase “keeping it real” can mean so many things. What it generally doesn’t mean though is portraying yourself having Cuban connections to the drug game and driving E Class Benzes wearing iced out platinum jewelry, if you’re still sleeping on your mom’s couch until your album takes off.
At bare minimum, Ol’ Dirty Bastard had the good sense to be just that. An old dirty bastard. He’s not the only guy to have out-of-wedlock children (I’m not negating Shawn Kemp’s athletic brilliance in the early 90s, for instance). He’s not the only person to ever abuse the welfare system (and I challenge you to prove that he – or his children – didn’t qualify for those food stamps). He may have been the first, but hasn’t been the last person to get thrown in jail in California for wearing a bulletproof vest (against the law, and yes he was the first).
But he did have one incredibly admirable thing going for him in his life. An individualistic approach to his craft that couldn’t be duplicated, and could only work with jaw-dropping honesty behind it. Yes, it’s warped and deranged stuff he’s spouting off. And no, I don’t truly believe he’s going to be “sticking pins in your head like a fucking nurse.” But compared to most of the alternatives that the record companies want us to buy (50 Cent, Nelly, Ja Rule, etc), ODB’s approach was refreshingly simple. Rhyme about what you know, not about what you think is going to sell records.
Whatever. People are entitled to their personal opinions. I just think that if we all really cared about the morality of people singing the songs we wanted to listen to, then Christian music would be the biggest selling form of music on the planet.
Which reminds me…
Churches advertise a lot out here. On my drive home, there’s a billboard that is promoting an upcoming concert by some stringy haired twentysomething dude singing acoustic praise-rock. The picture of him on there is one where he’s got the look. You know, eyes clenched, chin cocked just to the outside and up enough to try to get all of god’s grace on your face or something. I don’t know if they teach you the look at Christian Music Summer Camp, but all those guys have it.
Of course, some variations of the look include tossing the head all the way back with arms outstretched, and also the combination move of furrowing the brow with hands clenched tightly in prayer at the same time.
I don’t begrudge anyone their religious beliefs. That’s not what this is about. I’m just saying that Christian music as made by white people (and some black people as well) is trite and unimaginative. For a group of people that claims to be so inspired by the love that god chooses to shine down upon them, they certainly aren’t cashing that inspiration in at the talent window for credit now, are they? I mean, all the songs are about the same thing (Jesus is my pal), and could only appeal to the whitest of white people out there due to the staggering lack of musical risk being taken.
Music about god in general isn’t all bad. Gospel music, when done by a big old choir, can kick a lot of ass. And I challenge anyone to listen to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” and not come away understanding how much Coltrane loved and respected his god.
Maybe this just confirms what I’ve thought for so many years… White people really do suck.
OK, maybe I know a little bit…
Shortly after pissing away another $10 at NL ring tables at PokerStars last night (with blinds of $.1/$.25 you get a lot of dubious plays to fight off), I decided to play the $3 Multi with 1663 of my closest friends.
Finished 82nd, and could have finished higher if I hadn’t run into that buzzsaw with an open ended straight draw and a short stack.
It felt good to actually play decent poker. Al came to sweat me during my run into the money (top 180 paid), and kept me informed on the Eagles win along the way.
Good cards didn’t hurt, catching my sets with small pairs helped, and I felt like I played about as well as I could have. What’s tough about those tournaments in my opinion is that there are a few people who get lucky enough to be at an all-in festival style table, and immediately rocket out to these gargantuan chip leads. I was the chip leader at my table for awhile with T7000, while the top 30 in chips probably averaged T25000 between them. So while they kept knocking players out and taking all their chips at once, I was slowly nickel and diming my way to glory. Another drawback is that the blinds raise fairly quickly, and before you know it you’re playing T1000/2000 with T100 ante. It gets rough in a hurry.
Regardless, it was a grind (saw less than 19% of all flops over three plus hours), but it was fun.
And nice to feel “back on track” again. To some extent I guess.
Monday, November 15, 2004
The gift that keeps on giving…
I was a smart kid.
No, that’s not exactly where the “Boy Genius” thing came into play. That’s another story altogether (and one that I’ve told before). Anyway, back in the day I was pretty smart. Good grades, always near the top of the class. When my dad moved us back to our hometown from Utah, due to the differences between the schools, I already (technically) had enough credits to graduate.
Yes, I was that kind of overachiever.
Due to being in the top 3% of my graduating class (something like that), I was invited by the school district to a dinner celebrating Excellence in Education. Not that those losers could take more than half the credit (K-Fifth, then Senior year) for my academic brilliance, but I’ll let them buy me dinner anyway.
I got the chicken. I think it was Cordon Bleu, which is French for “cooked hours ago and kept just above room temperature since.” I also got to take a teacher from my past with me to this dinner (had to reach back to fourth grade for that one). They even gave me a certificate telling me how cool I was.
And I also got a $100 US Savings Bond.
I was floored! They’re giving me $100 just for showing up and eating some lukewarm chicken? Umm… hardly.
See, when you’re a kid who’s never gotten a savings bond before in your life, you see the $100 “face value” on this thing and you feel like you hit the lotto. Well, slow it on up there AJ Foyt, because there’s a couple things you need to know about these bond things.
You and Your Bond: What Your Well-Meaning Giver Didn’t Tell You
Congratulations! You are the new owner of Government Debt! That piece of paper in the greeting card where the $20 bill was supposed to be is your ticket to the future!*
*(Assuming “the future” to be more than 12 years away, and “tickets” to be no more than the face value of your bond.)
Unlike goldfish that die, and dogs that need to be fed and walked, your bond will not only be with you a long time, but will provide you with hours of activity** over the next decade!
**(Watching 2% interest compound every six months)
By now, if you have returned from the bank after finding out that you are unable to redeem your bond for actual cash, you’re ready to explore the wonders of bond ownership.*** First of all, get comfortable. You’ve got quite some time to learn all about bonds. Ten or more years to be exact! That’s how long it’s going to take for this piece of paper to remotely approach the “face value” that’s printed on the front.
***(Results may vary)
So you’re asking yourself, “If this piece of paper represents $100 or more, but I can’t get that money for another ten years, who’s got my money now?”
It’s funny that you ask. Please refer to Figure 1 below, which will outline all bonds purchased in the last 20 years, and who actually got the money you were supposed to get instead:
Figure 1Don’t worry though! They’ll pay you back!
So you’re asking yourself, “What am I supposed to do with this thing?” Well, first you be a good boy and thank your Auntie Ruth for the thoughtful gift.
No, I’ll wait. Go ahead.
There, much better.
Next, find someplace that’s fairly safe in which to keep this bond for the next dozen years. Trust me, it says “$100” on the front, you’re going to feel guilty if you cash it in three years early for $11 less than face value.
After that, forget about it. Go outside, get some color. You know what they always say… A watched bond never compounds.
Someday, and it won’t be for a long, long time, you’ll unearth this bond. You’ll check the website. You’ll note that your $100 face value bond is worth $103.89 after thirteen years.
And you’ll quietly rue the day Auntie Ruthie brought this thing into your life.
When you’re seventeen, $50 is a lot of money. That’s four CDs. Seven tanks of gas (circa 1991). Two Lollapalooza tickets.
Thirteen years later, $103.89 isn’t enough to pay your car insurance. It’s a week of groceries. It’s FOUR tanks of gas. It’s less than 5% of what you bring home net in a month.
Congratulations. I hope thirteen years of compounding interest brings you some sort of satisfaction.
Can you tell I’m irritated? Talk about a useless gift. I barely even remembered having this thing stashed away when I was, sadly, informed that the couple hundred dollars I was counting on for a bonus wouldn’t be there this quarter. Not that $103.89 really replaces that, but it’s better than nothing.
So for Xmas, give the gift that keeps on giving (at a rate of 2% compounded monthly and added every six months for 30 years). US Savings Bonds are the perfect way to tell someone how little you really give a shit!
Actually, only one disclaimer need apply: I have NO IDEA what I’m doing.
In other words, take anything and everything on here with a grain of salt and automatically assume I don’t know what I’m talking about. Really. I’m not kidding.
I got a flame comment from some jackass who didn’t leave an email or website in return telling me I “embarrassed” the Breeders’ Cup with my preview. Nice. Told me I didn’t do my homework.
Come on over to the main page here, titled Random Thoughts and Thoroughbred Selections and you tell me exactly how many “thoroughbred selections” you see over here. I’ll wait.
That’s right. Good luck digging them up. I’d rather whine about some chick from eleventh grade than dissect $15,000 claiming races at Aqueduct that I don’t have money on. Take that to the bank. Welcome to “banned from commenting” status there jackass.
I also know absolutely nothing about poker, apparently.
I’m running bad. Real bad. Real, real bad. BadBlood caught the tail end of my PartyPoker bankroll giveaway on Sunday when I managed to blow through my last $40 in just under two hours. One hand featured the classic all-in pre-flop re-re-re-re-raise fest between KK and AA. You guess which one I had. By the way, that beat really bothers me on PartyPoker. I’d be bothered less in a casino where I would at least have the perception that the other players around me knew what they were doing. This guy was in every hand, and I was gleefully coming back over the top again and again pre-flop, figuring him for something like a suited A5.
Well, not really. But sometimes you know people have the Aces, sometimes you just can’t figure them on anything, so KK looks real strong.
The other was a hand that even BadBlood said I played well, where I lost my last $18. I got 66 and limped in with a few others. $3 pot on the flop which came 227 (hammer!). Two checked to me, I bet $2 at it, got a caller behind me, just the two of us now. A 4 or something came on the turn, and I checked. He made a weak bet, something like another $3 into the $7 pot. I can’t read that as strength, maybe two overcards. So I re-raised him to $7. He paused, then called.
I had $9.90 left. River was a T, and I pushed all-in. He quickly called, showing Q7s. Queen kicker! I was behind the whole way, but wouldn’t most players have laid that down at some point? Not just called bets all the way down?
BadBlood said it was a good bet on the river, and I’m sticking to that. I’m sure my play was dumb in reality though. Do me a favor and don’t remind me in the comments widget.
I also badly lost a few SNGs this weekend. In my last two-table PokerStars SNG, I was in the final 7 with four paying. I had the second lowest chip stack with 1800. The big gun was to my left with 6500. I was in the SB and was dealt QQ. Everyone folded around. I had 100 on the table and 1800 in my stack, and pushed all-in. Big stack called with K9s.
I caught my Queen on the flop, he caught runner-runner-runner (third card on the flop, then all the way down) hearts for his flush. Of course, some jackass typed “vnh” in the box.
God, that makes me mad. “VNH?” How about, “That was one dumbass call you bailed yourself out on. Congratulations retard.”
That’s what I felt like typing. Didn’t say it though.
Sadly, I am holding off until after Vegas to deposit any more cash. If you do catch me on PokerStars pissing away my last $31 of online poker bankroll, stop by and say hi, will you?
No one knows what it’s like… To be the bad man…
My Lions suck. S.U.C.K. suck. What sucks worst about their sucky suckitude is that they’ll probably end up finishing 7-9, or even worse 8-8, precluding them from landing a top draft choice.
Then again, we’ve picked top five for four years straight now (right?), what am I complaining about?
Oh yeah, how bad we suck. You will not find a bigger Joey Harrington apologist than me. You just won’t. Traditionally, the most popular athlete in Detroit is the backup Lions QB, but you won’t hear me call for him to be playing. He’s terrible. Just awful. Athleticism without direction can work almost anywhere on the field but QB. And yet you hear the boo birds calling for McMahon on talk radio.
Haven’t they been watching the games like I have? Sheesh.
Seriously, I could write 3,000 words right now dissecting this team and all the flaws. I won’t (you’re welcome) though. Just consider this a plea to the football gods to give me something remotely watchable. An offense that can move the ball periodically. A run game that doesn’t feature nineteen straight negative plays. A defense that doesn’t get flat-out gashed by every RB to lace up a pair of cleats. Anything.
Give me something.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Rest In Peace
One of the more underrated rappers of the last dozen years is - well, was - Ol' Dirty Bastard. In memory of his passing, I'd like to share a few lyrical snippets from some of his songs with you.
"Yeah, gotta come back to attack / Killin niggaz who said they got stacks, cause I don't give a fuck / I wanna see blood, whether it's period blood / or bustin your fuckin face, some blood!! / I'm goin out my fucking mind / Everytime I get around devils / Let me calm down, you niggaz better start runnin / Cause I'm comin, I'm dope like fuckin heroin / Wu-Tang Bloodkin, a goblin, who come tough like lambskin / Imagine, gettin shot up with Ol Dirty insulin / You bound to catch AIDS or somethin / Not sayin I got it, but nigga if I got it you got it!!" "Damage" off Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty VersionI'm really not trying to be funny. Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version is a genius album. No shit. One of the most amazingly interesting albums of the last ten years.
Rest in peace Big Baby Jesus.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
About the Author
Greatest Hits [archived]
Guinness and Poker
Al Can't Hang
The Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Tao of Pauly
Scott, Texas' favorite Fat Guy
Only Built 4 Cuban Links
Up For Poker
Ugarte's Poker Grovel
JD's Cheap Thrills
Poker Stars Blog
Vegas Poker Blog
Poker in the Weeds
Nickle And Dimes
Not a Poker Blog
Dispatches From The Culture Wars
Horse Racing Links
Curb My Enthusiasm
Daily Racing Form
They Are At The Post
Tampa Bay Downs
Your Average Horseplayer
Tote Board Brad
Left At The Gate
design by maystar
powered by blogger
Syndicate this site
Online Poker : Visit Dr. Pauly at Tao of Poker for the best written journal on Poker Around. From on-line poker rooms to off-line live tournament coverage including the WSOP.
Las Vegas : The Poker Prof's Las Vegas and Poker Blog is the goto stop for people who come to Sin city to hit the tournaments and poker rooms. From the World Poker Tour to the World Series if it's big poker in Vegas it's blogged here. Home to the Prof's Las Vegas Links Directory.
Utilities Provided By