|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, May 03, 2008
1. Monba in the Derby. Don't ask me why, I didn't do any handicapping. By the way, I am putting a $21 win bet on Bob Black Jack, but he's going from unlucky post #13, so I'm expecting to flush that down the toilet.
2. Don't miss Otis getting busted by
3. Palermo brand frozen pizzas. They're (apparently) a Milwaukee institution, and I strongly endorse their interstate trade with Pennsylvania that puts them in my grocer's freezer case.
4. Lastly, I highly recommend calling my building's assistant superintendent to check behind and under your oven for mouse nests. Terrific body + tight jeans + willingness to get down on all fours and strain to reach the far corners underneath = an enjoyable five minutes for me.
In case you're curious, the rodent death toll stands at SEVEN since January. That's two via glue traps, one caught in a spring trap, and four dead carcasses poisoned by the bait traps lying about my house.
Also, thanks to everyone who let me kvetch about my dog this week. He went in for surgery Thursday to get a growth under his eyelid removed, and is seemingly back to 100% today. The vet was pretty worried at first, as the thing was dangling from about 2 cm back underneath his eyelid (it looked like a dangling booger), and she hadn't seen anything that odd before. That being said, she was encouraged that she cut it off more than cut it out, meaning the thing was more superficial than embedded. Obviously a good thing. I should get the biopsy results next week, but I'm optimistic - which you know isn't usually how I roll. So thanks again guys.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
*Playing Blackjack Online*
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world and is played by millions of people each and every day. On the Internet, blackjack is increasingly becoming the game of choice for casino players looking to maximize their casino bonus at the tables, but can it beaten? Traditionally, many players shunned away from online blackjack due to concerns over its legitimacy and fairness, but the growing acceptance of the use of random number generators and audited software has calmed the skeptics and popularity of the game is at an all time high.
In terms of online casinos, Party Casino has been noted by many frequent casino players as having the loosest and easiest to beat games, with many of the professional online blackjack players noting large wins over the past few months. Other popular casinos for blackjack include Bodog and Club USA Casino, which have also seen some very large winners in recent times.
Strategy wise, online blackjack is identical to casino blackjack in relation to rules and basic strategy, and generally speaking there are many more variations of blackjack offered in online casinos vs. a traditional brick and mortar. This can be advantageous for players with games like single deck blackjack and multi-hand blackjack being offered that give the player excellent value and odds against the house edge. Other popular online blackjack games include Spanish 21, a popular blackjack variation that incorporates interesting rules such as multiple payouts for 21 and no 10s in the deck.
Overall, playing blackjack online is a great alternative to going to a traditional casino environment and offers the same if not better game selection, odds and rules.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Remember That Moroccan Pork From Two Saturdays Ago?
Was trying to win a contest.
First prize was a book about meat.
(I originally posted this three years ago. Just saw the episode I quote below, and I thought it a good occasion to resurrect this to the front page - with video below. Enjoy.)
With a shameless assist from the ESPN SportsCentury episode, quotes transcribed and attributed as best possible.
Secretariat's win at the Belmont Stakes handed him the Triple Crown, but stands on its own as one of the greatest individual accomplishments in the history of sports. There are very few moments of sports perfection - Don Larsen's perfect game, Tiger Woods demolishing fields in the Masters and US Open by record scores - but this is one of the most oft-overlooked moments of them all. If you get the chance to see this SportsCentury episode, please do. It's astonishing.
William Nack, Biographer: I've never seen him walk like this before. He's like the execution man. He's going to the gallows. He's about to dispatch somebody.
Cut to the start of the race. In the Derby and Preakness, Secretariat broke from the gate sluggishly. Not this time. From his post position at the rail, he immediately goes up to join the leaders. Sham, his main rival, is predictably right up front with him.
Jerry Izenberg, Writer: Sham had been such a tough competitor for him in the first two races, you had to wonder if this would be Sham's day.
Laffit Pincay, Jockey, Sham: My instructions were to be very close to Secretariat from the word "go."
Around the first turn it's Secretariat and Sham a few lengths in front of the rest of the pack. They're dueling up front through the turn.
Penny Chenery, Owner: He just felt like running. That was the day he felt terrific.
Lucien Lauren, Trainer: I said, "Just leave him alone." I said, "Just take a long load and let him run his own race."
Clem Florio, Writer: Ron Turcotte (the jockey) - he let him run. Come on. Let's see what he's got. You've done the Derby, you've done the Preakness. Come on. Let's see him go all out. How good can this guy go?
Secretariat and Sham are barely into the backstretch at Belmont Park. It's an interminably long run just to hit the next turn. Sham concedes just a bit of ground to Secretariat, willing to run just outside, just off his back flank.
Nack: I looked at the teletimer and saw that the horse had gone three-quarters of a mile in 1:09:20, which is the fastest three-quarter mile ever run in the Belmont Stakes, and he's leaving Sham at this point.
At the top of the final turn, Secretariat has extended a one length lead into three in about two strides. Pincay is wisely holding Sham steady. There is nearly another three-quarters of a mile to run at this point, and you've got to save some of your horse for the home stretch - don't you?
Some Writer: He is running, and running, and running, and running. And I turn to the guy next to me and I say, "He's lost the horse."
Track Announcer: Three and a half! He's moving into the turn. Secretariat is holding on to a large lead, Sham is second, and it's a long way back...
Nack: And I'm thinking, "He has gone insane." I'm cursing him. Under my breath, "You moron! What are you doing?" you know? "You're going to kill the horse! You're going to lose the Triple Crown! Don't you know how fast you're going?"
Penny Chenery: Nobody knew that was going to happen. Not the rider, not the trainer, not the owner... I think probably not the horse.
Half mile to run, and Secretariat is into the turn. Sham is at least ten back at this point holding steady. There's no one else in the shot.
Track Announcer: Secretariat is widening now! He is moving like a tremendous machine! Secretariat by twelve! Secretariat by fourteen lengths!
Nack: And he still has a quarter of a mile to go. And I'm thinking to myself, he's totally going to collapse in the stretch. He can't keep this up. And I'm asking other guys around the track, "What are you thinking?" Everybody to a man is thinking, "He's going too damn fast."
Secretariat hits the quarter mile pole which marks the end of the final turn. Most of the other horses have caught Sham at this point, but those four are easily fifteen back of Secretariat, without a lot of race remaining for making up ground.
Track Announcer: Secretariat is in a position where he's impossible to catch. Coming into the stretch, Secretariat leads this field by eighteen lengths.
Penny Chenery: Lucien said to me, "Oh my god Ronnie, just don't fall off. Just don't fall off."
Ronnie Turcotte: Finally, after I turned for home, my curiosity got the best of me. I had to turn around. When I look at it (the picture), I scare myself.
Track Announcer: Secretariat has opened a twenty two length lead! He is going to be the Triple Crown Winner!
There's less than an eighth of a mile left, and the impossible is happening. Secretariat is widening his lead.
Track Announcer: Here comes Secretariat to the wire! An unbelievable, an amazing performance!
There's no one within twenty five lengths, and there's no other horses in the wide angle camera shot either.
Track Announcer: He hits the finish... Twenty five lengths in front!
He won by 31 lengths, officially.
Pat Lynch, Writer: I believed in Pegasus that day, because I saw... I never saw anything like that in my life. Thirty one lengths? I mean, think of what that... it's unbelievable! It's like they were racing on two different racetracks.
Other Writer: It was like the Lord was holding the reins. Secretariat was one of his creatures, and he maybe whispered to him, "Go," and that horse really went. It was almost a supernatural experience. It really was.
Nack: I leaped up out of my chair at Belmont Park shouting, "We'll never see this again." And I get to the elevator to go down to the winner's circle, and I'm standing next to Pete Axthelm, and he said, "I used to think the Ali-Frazier fight in Madison Square Garden was the greatest thing I've ever seen. This was even greater."
Jack Whitaker: Everybody was speechless. And then, when it set in, people started crying. I actually saw people crying at this affair. It was an overwhelming thing.
George Plimpton: There were these co-eds lining the rail. This sounds hard to believe, but I swear, half of them were weeping as the horse went by.
Heywood, CBS Color Guy: Jack Nickalus once called me over and said, "You were at the Belmont, you saw that race." I said yes. He said, "I was all alone in my living room watching, and as he came down the stretch - pulling away - I applauded, and I cried."
Nack: And Heywood said to him, in a brilliant moment of epiphany and insight, "Jack, don't you understand? All of your life in your game you've been striving for perfection. And at the end of the Belmont, you saw it."
It's the greatest thing I've ever seen as well, and wish I could have been alive to witness it. Horse racing can sometimes be dismissed as a gambler's game, but sometimes when perfection demands your attention, it's impossible to deny its presence.
The Derby is Saturday.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Hanging Out My Shingle
Here's a fun fact you probably never knew about me - I'm an amateur dream interpreter.
No, really. Here's a recent email back-and-forth between me and Daddy:
See if you can interpret this one.
1. Take an outright shit (very messy) in my old high school's gymnasium bleachers.
2. Cover it up with a textbook.
3. A bunch of Mexicans (weren't any there then, still aren't now) find it.
4. I'm found out because of a shitstain on the back of my white t-shirt.
5. People laugh and point at me while I'm playing basketball with a random group of folks.
6. Playing hoops professionally somewhere I don't recognize. Likely another country.
7. Co-ed team.
8. Travel from one game to the next in the back of a small car with a blonde girl who's on our team.
9. She's a beginning ukelele player.
10. I take it from her, and SLAY it. (I don't know how to play one.)
11. She falls for me, and lays in my lap as we travel to the next game.
12. I feel guilt for being married, and having this chick in my lap holding my hand.
13. Realize just then that she's butterface ugly, and try to shove her away.
14. Wake up.
Subject: re: Dreams
POSSIBLE SYMBOLS (Meanings):
Shit as a Thing (waste, expulsion, mess)
White T-Shirt (purity, then stained purity)
Basketball (Unlikely as a symbol, more likely as a metaphor)
The Girl (the validation of others)
POSSIBLE METAPHORS (Meanings):
Taking a Shit as an Action (embarrassment, desire to separate from something, giving birth)
Under The Bleachers (hiding, embarrassment)
Mexicans (people out of place, introduction of foreign element, intrusion/invasion, exposure)
Playing Pro Ball (competition, rat race, having a quantifiable worth as a member of a team)
Playing Co-Ed Pro Ball (one of these things is not like the other)
Foreign Country (the unknown, escape)
Travel (progress, or a journey farther into unknown territory)
Display of Talent (proving your worth)
Making the Girl Ugly (discounting what she symbolizes)
Pushing the Girl Away (finding a reason to scuttle progress, finding a reason to diminish validation)
POSSIBLE EMOTIONS (Meanings):
Taking a Shit as an Emotional Experience (relief)
Ridicule Over the Shit Stain (being discovered/exposed)
Temporary Love (validation)
Realization That You're "Cheating" (not feeling that you deserve validation)
Realizing She's Ugly (you begin to suspect the validation you're receiving isn't genuine)
Disgust and Escape (you outright reject any positive motivations for validation)
My guess? It's an abstract collage of your refusal to fully believe in your own self-worth. This is amateur psychology and fortune-cookie-diagnosis at best, but you have a difficult time handling the intrusion or invasion of the opinions of those you do not fully trust, even if those opinions are complimentary and positive. You still have enough nagging self-doubt to believe these people have their own insidious motivations for giving a shit about you. Taking a shit didn't really mean anything, except in the sense that you became noticeable to foreign elements (stained t-shirt was ridiculed by Mexicans who didn't belong) who have chosen to point at you and have increased your visibility (more people see you now because of their influence). The scene in the car with a teammate shows that you perceive that you're out of place - a fraud - to your team, and that your natural talents don't fit in with what that team is supposed to be doing. Even then, when you have a chance to display those talents to them, you feel that their compliments are loaded and you regret having shared yourself personally with these people to begin with.
Everything okay at work? ;)
Subject: re:re: Dreams
Good Lord, bro.
You really should have a leather couch in your office.
Work is stressful.
Both good and bad.
I received a huge promotion that I wholly deserved, but [I edited some stuff out]. The bad part is that our program is a huge mess. Some would say I've got nothing to lose inheriting this situation, and they may be right. But, a huge mess, is still a huge fucking mess.
So, I'm hanging out my shingle. If you have a dream you want analyzed by a rank amateur, email me and let me take a crack.
Names changed to protect everyone but Daddy.
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