|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Friday, July 28, 2006
Adam Smith is a Goddamned Patriot
Here's a genius idea I'm trademarking or copyrighting or whatever right here, right now. A TV network should hold a contest where the winner gets a year's "salary" to be the network's "extra," and appears in the background of one scene in every show on the network during premiere week. Then, the network holds another contest where they award a million dollars to the viewer who spots the guy in the most shows over the course of that week.
Hell, they could even dress him up like Waldo. Tell me that's not a great idea to spike viewership and maybe introduce viewers to a show or twelve they normally wouldn't be watching.
Since I haven't written about poker in awhile and didn't write about Sunday's iPod tournament, here's your quick recap: Doubled up quick, gave it all back, got semi-shortstacked, then went on a tear where I didn't lose a race with baby pocket pairs until the final table. At that point I fell victim to the PokerStars-esque bad beat machine that was liberally slapping anyone over that last hour or so who dared to get their chips in with the best of it.
Frankly, I don't know what was a bigger bad beat... losing a race with 22 vs K9 to the board pairing twice, or "winning" the 512Mb iPod Shuffle as my prize. The first was the beat that took me down from second in chips at 24,000 to third (with three left) with 9,000. I never recovered from that one, and didn't see another hand worth a shit for the rest of the tournament (uh, eight whole minutes for me from that point). The latter?
I've already got a 30GB iPod Video, and my dad's wife's daughter is the only one left in the family who's in need of a digital music player, so it's going to be tough to gift this bitch for Xmas. I could give it to the step-sister, but two things are holding me back on that. One, she very well could pawn it immediately for drug money, and two? Well, let's say you're a car freak turning sixteen. All your friends have brand new Mustangs and Audis and Volkswagens, and you're seeing how kickass those cars are. Then you wake up on your sixteenth birthday and instead of a slick muscle machine outside, you end up with Grandma's '96 Mercury Mystique. That's the iPod shuffle in a nutshell.
Of course, I was (cough)joking(cough) when I mused in IRC as to what else I could do with the Shuffle, which I was destined to win. I will not likely be taking out a Craigslist ad that reads:
Me: Willing to trade iPod Shuffle.These things aren't exactly going for big bucks on ebay either, but whatever.
If anyone's interested in talking deal, I'd listen.
So I'm trying to take the baby steps necessary to improve my eating habits, and I think I'm doing a pretty decent job of it so far. I haven't had fast food since May (excepting pizza*), and I'm actually now eating breakfast.
If you want to call Ry Krisp crackers and peanut butter "breakfast." I've mixed in fresh fruit, and should have been eating my sandwiches all week, but for having bought bread from an independent baker at a farmers' market and having it go bad in five days. Otherwise, here's the tally since Monday:
Peanut butter and Ry Krisp breakfast (x3)
Oranges (3, about to be 4)
Chicken Caesar salads (2 - lunches, after bread went bad)
Chicken enchilada with rice and beans (vendor took me out for lunch Wednesday)
Grilled pork steaks -
- As-is, with green beans and angel hair
- in a Boursin cheese and white wine sauce over angel hair
- As-is, with green beans and couscous
Brown rice with buffalo chicken thighs and peas & carrots
Turkey sandwich on wheat
Ham sandwich on wheat
About five melba toast crackers run through hummus
I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but yesterday's Caesar salad was at the expense of "Gyro Day" in the cafeteria. Matty should revoke my fat kid card immediately.
*Regarding pizza... On Sunday prior to the iPod tournament I was torn. Do I eat one of the umpteen Lean Cuisines in the freezer (maybe the too-tasty-to-not-eat-three "Balsamic Chicken and Angel Hair**"), or do I get pizza. I chose the latter and ordered three slices. I got through two and a quarter and was so sickened with myself for both copping out or "cooking" and eating poorly that I made myself nauseous for a good half hour. And normally the story would end with the sentence, "Then I called myself an idiot and finished off the pizza," but it went into the trash instead. Maybe this wasn't rock bottom, but it has watershed moment potential.
**And yes, that one Lean Cuisine dinner was the impetus for eating the angel hair I've had in my pantry since February (thanks Bob). You forget how good that shit can be sometimes.
So last Saturday I hit the Farmers' Market again. I really need to bring a camera one of these days, particularly on a Saturday morning, because the atmosphere there is just so damned interesting. I've been trying to think of a way to explain this place, because I know most people hear "Farmers' Market" and think about trucks with tailgates dropped and a dozen head of lettuce and some ears of corn for sale.
You've got to do better than that in Allentown, apparently.
Basically, if you went to your biggest local supermarket as a point of reference, you've got a butcher counter, a deli counter, seafood counter, produce section and bakery. Under the roof in Allentown you've got about twenty butcher's counters, a dozen each deli and produce, half a dozen bakeries, and three really solid seafood mongers. Each counter has their own specialty too. There's also one restaurant with booths, and about a dozen food counters/prepared food outlets. Now, add in a convenience store, a dollar store, local vineyard retail outlet, a barber, shoe repair, kitchen gadget shop, completely inexplicable antique vacuum cleaner repair stand, some dude selling plots in a cemetary, and at least a half dozen other shops selling stuff that may or may not have anything to do with food, and you're starting to get the idea.
Put all these small businesses at the 100+ year old fairgrounds, mix in the great unwashed, toss liberally with the smell of raw meat, and that's the Allentown Farmers' Market.
And yes, every time I walk out of there I immediately tell Matty how I lost count of the many different types of pork they had on display.
In my job, I have clients and I have vendors. My vendors are, for the most part, salespeople.
Salespeople are a pain in the ass.
I'm constantly having conversations where they'll lead me with questions to one conclusion, take me down another path to a second conclusion, then they'll try and tie the two conclusions together to make an entirely new assumption without ever asking if their assumption is correct.
Drives me up the fucking wall. Why all the subterfuge? Is there some sort of lobotomy these people have when they join the ranks of the Pinky Ring Elite that prevents them from navigating directly to the question they're looking to get answered?
See, the problem is there's this theory of sales that states that if I talk my way around the subject long enough, with just the littlest nudge I can be pushed into talking myself right into it. "Why yes, I do value my time and my kids do deserve a healthy meal! And, wouldn't you know, I do miss having them put down the Nintendo so we can eat dinner together as a family. Just like on Leave it to Beaver! Maybe Ron Popeil is right. Maybe you can cook an entire chicken with only a lightbulb on a revolving spit." Please. If it operates with the same hardware as your EZ-Bake oven you're not about to be awarded "Mother of the Year."
But they're not trying to sell me on anything. I don't make the decisions on their product. I'm just the air traffic controller here. Shit moves through my office, and I'm more than happy to work with the vendors to make sure they keep their eyes on the prize. Just don't fucking try to smooth me over and have me answer a dozen questions before you get to your grand conclusion all on your very own.
God, so many of my phone calls should be no more than eleven seconds long. If you want to know if the buyer is going to make a quick decision, ask me, "Do you think the buyer will have the opportunity and reason to make a quick decision?" Don't hypothesize that because last time didn't happen quick and that because her purchases aren't coming from a position of panic that she's going to take three to six weeks to get through the cycle. Ask the stupid question instead.
I think I rub my vendors the wrong way sometimes with this shit. I don't really have a great deal of patience for some of the things that get thrown my way, so I tend to cut people off and railroad them to what I'm pretty sure they were getting at in the first place. I'm usually not wrong, but you can see how this might come off when I am. Hell, even when I'm not.
Me? Abrasive? Nah...
Does anyone besides me think that the lead in Bravo's new reality show Work Out looks like Scarlett Johanssen gone lesbo? You know, chicks with 3% body fat aren't normally my type (shaddup), but I'm certainly not saying I'd avoid a leaked lesbian sex tape of hers, were one to appear.
All for now. I've gotta go home and put my feet up.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
I’m registered in the Poker on a Mac BloggerPods tournament.
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