Friday, March 30, 2007

It may work, but does it improve me?

I had a great week at the cash tables. In fact, other than the Mookie and tonight's event with the birthday girl, I didn't play any tournaments this week.
What I did do is three-table $25 NL poker and did well every night, save for one night when my set got oversetted and a guy sucked out on my QQ with A,J (twice in the same night, eerie).
I wonder, though, how healthy this is for my game.
In some ways I believe it improves me. The money doesn't mean as much, so I'm able to play more aggressively. I believe that's partly the key to my success this week.
But in other ways I"m not sure. Trolling around and waiting for others to make mistakes is not necessarily power poker. Even when I'm bluffing and pushing people off hands every night, for the most part I"m simply waiting for mistakes.
I remember when I was playing the $10 tables at Bodog Poker. I probably made $400 in two months by three-tabling those babies for two hours every night. Was the poker interesting? Sort of. It was still poker. But was it profitable? You bet.
I haven't played $25 in so long, and yet that's where most of my profits probably come from. I have played a lot of $50 and done well there. I"m only slightly ahead at $100, and I think that's because the money means a lot more.
Is it good for my game to play at a low level? I'm not sure. The players are better than they were two years ago when I started. Are they a LOT better? No. Are most any good? Not really.
Is the money good however?
You bet.
What do you all think about this?

In the meantime, here's what I'm talking about:

Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Crushing the Minnows

I have never "gotten" American Idol.
I don't begrudge too many folks for watching it. But really it's a crappy show. It's an overblown karaoke contest, and the winner gets to release a bad album. I mean did anyone like Taylor Hicks' album? Really?

I'm saying that, of course, not to bag on karaoke, so relax, Soul Brother. Karaoke is fine for what it is. Most of the people having fun in a bar, I'm assuming, aren't out for a record deal.
There's a lot more to singing than just getting the notes right (and half of this year's contestants don't seem to nail that too well). There's expression and mood and, most of all, interpretation, and every single singer, save, maybe, for Kelly Clarkson, are about as interesting as a bowl of Cherrios in skim milk. There's no style, surprisingly little substance and yet it's the top show every week.
I don't get it.
Which is why I love Sanjaya.

American Idol fans recoil in horror at this mess of a human being. Pot Committed, in her brilliant reviews of the show (almost makes me want to watch it, but I've long since been one of her blog's biggest fans, so she could write about the virtues of lawn care and I'd read it), tells us to put Sanjaya out of his misery.
No way, Jose.
Sanjaya exposes the show for what it is. They picked him, now they can deal with him. Vote for this guy every week until he's the winner. Please. Everyone sucks anyway. Let's have some fun with it and embarass the show. It certainly deserves it.

In the meantime, I have been feeding on the minnows at $25 NL poker again. I hadn't played it for months but I've gotten back to it on Ultimate Bet. Why? I deposited $200 there just before the whole Neteller thing went down. Since then I've treated each bankroll on my three poker sites as a separate account. I haven't signed up for ePassporte yet because I'm a little leery after still having $700 of my monies being trapped in virtual land. If others have had good experiences with it let me know.
So now my bankroll is $475 on Ultimate Bet, and so I'm still being responsible with it. Plus the players still are bad there. It's almost hard to resist. I'll start playing $50 soon, once I build the bankroll a little more on UB.
I find myself playing more and more cash games these days and fewer and fewer SnGs. I've found my win rate is much higher in the cash games.
Plus, speaking of the non-minnow crowd, I've found that stuff like the tournament below seems to satisfy my appetite for tournaments.

And here's where you'll see me tonight:

We've had a good crowd the last couple of times, so stop on by and watch me blow another big lead!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Congrats on all you who picked UCLA

Now please go and blow that money you won on Pai Gow.

If you're here expecting to see an article on parental love thanks to a flattering link from this awesome site, hello, welcome, no my kids won't be degenerate gambooolers and sorry you've haven't slept well lately. Please scroll down a couple.

As for the rest of you, well, Saturday afternoon was not my best moment as a Kansas fan and graduate. They lost by playing about as well as a fifth grade recreational weekend basketball team with braces on their teeth, legs and heads.

It was a nice year, for sure, another conference title and a deep run in the tournament for the first time in three years. The Elite Eight is nothing to scoff at, and the Hawks lost to UCLA, a great team with as much tradition as us.
And yet I thought this was our year. I guess I believed all the pundits. I suppose that's because I'm one myself.
Damn pundits.
It seems like the future is bright, given that we're all sophomores and freshmen, save for a junior or two, but we might lose at least one player to the NBA. Such is college basketball these days. It's a game ruled by players who probably still carry a Trapper Keeper.

I have often wondered why I care so much about a team. Sure, I went to school there, but how they do in a game has no bearing on my life. And yet it does affect my happiness. When they win I'm pumped, and when they lose, well...I'm not quite as bummed as I once was, now that I have a kid and twins on the way, but I'm still depressed.

So here's my question. Why are we fans? Why do we care so much? Why does it matter if our team wins or loses? I'm interested to hear from you all on this.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

np, sir - lololololololol

Oh yeah, poker.
I've gotten away from writing about poker, given that I have no real stragety tips to offer here that you haven't read AQ other times, with Q being the number of books you've read and A being the number of blogs you've read, minus Waffle's rants and the OMGYOUFKINGSUKs you've seen in the chat box.
And if you haven't read me in a few days, or you're over here from the twins blog, sleep deprived and wondering why someone would devote hours of their limited time to playing cartoon characters on the intertubes, then I encourage you to scroll down and read the last two posts, as those are much better examples of my writing ability, such as it is.
Onto the Mookie. Well, I was smoking the Mookie like a ham last night. As it has the last few times I've played the Mook, the deck was slapping me in the face, as if I was making ill-timed passes at it, like the "arm stretch over the couch" move. The Mookie loves me for some reason.
But I finished 11th. That's right. I did not make my fourth final table in a row. I did not cash for the third time in five tries. Why? you ask. I thought you said the deck was slapping you in the face.
Well, I was an idiot.
I had a nice chip lead and probably could have coasted to the final table, despite the blinds that were eating up the smaller stacks, Pac-Man style, and snacking on timid players on the side. I had 7,7. I just call. I get raised in the BB.
So. What do you do. I have the guy covered by 2xs the amount of chips. Just call? Not a bad play. But I re-raised him all in. He has KK and suddenly I'm in sixth and fading fast. I have no choice but to push with A,Q, not my favorite hand to push with, and I lose to QQ and I"m out in 11th.
Yeah, yeah, Gordon Pair principle, equity, attacking chip stacks that can afford to fold (which he could), blah blah blah. The bottom line is I made a play that I normally would never make, and it cost me dearly.
It's bothered me quite a bit. But, thankfully, I have learned a few things from it:
• Playing big stack poker is an art. It's an art that Smokee and Lucko and TripJax and others can do so well, it looks easy. Hey, it's not easy. You have to know when to push and when to back off. I'm learning how to play with a big stack, and I'm doing better at it, but I'm much more comfortable with a medium to smaller stack. I've won many SnGs, small MTTs and The Mookie by hanging around and then going on a rush at the end to win.
• The reason for that is I am a solid, tight/aggressive, Harrington-like player. And you know what? It's a successful style. I'm not a rock, I bluff, blah blah blah, but the one thing I do well is I almost always get my money in when I'm ahead. I almost never suck out. I'm a winning player because of this.
That's harder to do than it sounds, but that's what I do, and I should appreciate my style more, rather than get all enamored with fancy-play syndrome.
But when you do play that way, you usually aren't going to have a huge stack, unless the cards are just too kind, as they were last night. I mean, I had AA five times, and I had action on them. Five times. My golden retriever/lab mix could probably make the final table with those kinds of cards.
The bottom line is I don't have a lot of experience playing with a huge stack and it shows. I'm getting better, and my MTT play has improved a ton since three months ago.
I really respect Lucko and players like him who can get a big stack and use it to push people around. I'm not there yet, and I've got a long way to go to learn how to effectively wield one without running into trouble. Poker, as always, is a work in progress. I'll continue to experiment and tool my game, but if I'm ahead, as I was last night, I'll still be cautious.
I did not have a monster, monster stack. That's a different thing all together. But even so I had a stack to play with and I blew it.
I've learned that if you play too far outside your natural style, without the proper studying and experience, you'll fail.
Good job to those of you who made the Final Table last night. I wish I could have been there. Congrats to you all for staying within yourselves. Maybe next time I'll join you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

And then one day, he looked up and smiled

I'm writing a new column for the Greeley Tribune, something that tries to capture slices of life. Next week's column will be on a 4th grader who came out of her shell to sing at a performance of "Annie."

But I wanted to start it with a personal column, and I figured this would make a good blog entry as well. I don't know if I'll share the column every week. It kind of depends on you.

See you at the Mookie tonight.

Here it is:

As many times this column will rely on strangers sharing some personal confessions, let me start it by offering one of my own.
I did not expect to love my son as much as I do.
I expected to be a good father. I expected to raise him right. I expected to have him want to stay with me, one day, and hold my hand as I took my last few breaths of life.
But I expected to hold back a bit. It’s what I’ve always done in life. Only those closest to me, my wife, my parents and my brother, have bridged the gap between them and my heart. I’ve had close relationships, man hugs, poker buddies, a crew of adults for game nights, really good friends and lots and lots of acquaintances, but I always budgeted the amount of emotional investment I stashed into them.
That didn’t mean I didn’t care about them. Far from it. I cared about some a great deal. But the gap, even if it was a small one, served a purpose: It was much easier that way.
If the relationships faded, and many times, they did, even the ones I cherished, it was OK to remember the good times and say goodbye.
Even today, most of my relationships are safe and somewhat distant.
Only Jayden, in his 21 months, has reached what I call The Daddy Spot.
There’s nothing safe about the Daddy Spot. When he hurts, I hurt. When he cries, even about stupid stuff like when he wants to use our computer and his allotted time is up, my heart breaks. And when he’s not with me, I worry.
I not only didn’t expect this, I am shocked by it. Before I had kids, I didn’t really like them. I thought of them as demanding little creatures with sticky hands and dirty diapers. As someone who valued his free time more than money (and I keep a pretty tight budget), I didn’t look forward to my moments with a great book, a great movie, a great card game, a great dinner with my wife or a great trip to the mountains being replaced by spit up, “Goodnight Moon” and trips to McDonalds.
I still found myself a little resentful after he was born. Kate, who didn’t care if I went for this run or played that softball game suddenly and understandably questioned the moments I wasn’t home. When I was home, which was a little more than I initially liked, Jayden sat in my lap and cried all the time.
To help Jayden bridge my gap, Kate often pointed out that it was my voice, among the symphony of voices he heard, that connected with him. His eyes would widen, and he would look around to find out where I was.
Then, one day, when he did find me, probably whining about how tired I was and ready for a break, he looked up and smiled.
A baby’s smile isn’t as piercing, frantic or unsettling as a cry, but it works exactly the same way. It grabs your attention and latches on, refusing to let go, until you act.
When a baby cries, you change a diaper, get a bottle or walk up and down a staircase 40 times.
When a baby smiles, you begin to love it in a way that you never thought it was possible to love another human being.
At least, I didn’t.
The goal of this column is to offer you slices of life, packaged at times with a deeper meaning that we all must find in ourselves. Most of the time, we’ll explore them through other people. Occasionally, I’ll do it myself.
Kate is pregnant again, and this time, I expected things to be fine. I could do it. In fact, maybe this time, the baby wouldn’t have to work so hard to bridge the gap. Maybe I’d extend a hand and lead her along.
One month ago, we found out we’re having twins.
All those feelings of anxiety, of worry and downright fear are back. I worry for Jayden. I worry for Kate. I worry mostly for myself.
How will I find enough time to fall in love again?
I will attempt to remind myself that I’m more confident welcoming a newborn across the gap than last time.
I will attempt to remind myself to continually lower the bridge.
And in these next couple months, until the girls arrive, I will attempt to remind myself that diapers are diapers, sleep is overrated and your free time isn’t gone, it’s just different.
Mostly, though, I’ll work really hard on saving enough space for twins, next to their big brother, in The Daddy Spot.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The most obvious solutions usually the most painful ones as well

When I drove home fro m the vet’s office Friday, I found myself down, even more than usual.
I had reason for it. Denali’s teeth would need to be cleaned, something that would cost us a bill we really couldn’t afford. The vet bill was another $450 just for an annual exam for two dogs and some heart worm medication. But the money wasn’t it.
It was Dakota.
We got Denali almost five years ago. Kate and I were engaged to be married, and she was allergic to cats. I had a cat, a wonderful creature I loved dearly. I had to choose between her and Kate, and after a tougher decision than you might think, I chose Kate. I gave the cat up to a good friend. She went to a good home. But it broke my heart.
We went to the shelter three weeks before I’d have to give up GK to get a dog. I’ve always needed a pet, and welcoming a new creature in my life would at least soften the blow.
We were planning on a husky, but for some reason, we paused at the yellow lab mix with the wide smile, warm eyes and tail that seemed to wag back and forth, every second, like a grandfather clock.
He peed on the floor when we went to meet him. He’d obviously been abused. But as Kate petted him, he leaned more and more into her hand.
We were hooked.
Denali, in a home that loved him, finally, sprouted confidence. It wasn’t long before we grew concerned about the way he whined whenever he saw another dog. It would be nice, we thought, to give him a friend.
We got Dakota, the black lab mix, soon after at a Second Chance rescue home. It was a good experience. We swore we would not get a puppy, just as we swore we would get a husky. But I took Denali over to the home to allow him to pick the dog, and there was something in the way the little puppy played and played with him that we both liked. We got her.
The next day, she destroyed our couch.
And she played with Denali until they both sat, panting, in the middle of the living room.
And she soon learned to jump on the bed and curl up in a ball in the small half-moon that my sleeping form created.
And she continued to pee on the rug, even after she was housebroken.
Dakota was like that, an unruly teenager, a princess, a toddler going through the terrible 2s, an angel and a wonderful friend to Denali all at once. She enjoyed training, yet she loved to ignore Kate when she called her in every morning. She cuddled with Denali even as she attempted to eat his food whenever we turned our backs.
She was a pain in the ass, and she was a good dog.
Then Jayden was born.
Denali tolerated Jayden crawling all over him, even if he looked at us with pleading eyes. Dakota, however, growled at him even when Jayden simply passed her by.
Things continued to get worse.
I thought about the twins coming, and I asked myself why we were paying a lot of money for a dog that worried us.
It’s been a busy month. Busier than I would like. Getting ready for the twins has taken more time, I’m convinced, than getting ready for Jayden, and he was our first baby. Too busy, in fact, to think about serious decisions like giving up a dog.
On that drive home, in 10 minutes I was convinced we needed to do it. It hit me all at once. I could no longer pretend that I was too busy to really think about our future.
The problem was, giving her up would go against everything I stood for as an animal lover. I am not a PETA freak. I eat meat. I respect hunting and fishing. I wear leather jackets. But I also believe animals are not throwaways. And after looking into giving Dakota away to a family once, this time, we would simply have to surrender to the animal shelter.
We were, in a sense, throwing her away.
Many times we know something is the right decision, but because its painful, we put it off. How long have we stayed with a bad relationship because we didn’t want to face the hurt from a breakup? We’ve all done it once. For months I knew Dakota probably couldn’t stay with us. I couldn’t answer yes to this simple question: Would you trust her in a room, alone, with Jayden or the twins?
But the vet led me to deal with it.
Today we surrendered her to the pound.
For some this blog may seem like a simple justification for choosing a simple path to a complex problem. The dog, a dog you obviously thought was a pain, acted a little nervous around your toddler when he bothered her, so you dumped her off to the shelter.
That’s possible.
For others it seems like an obvious decision. Your kid was in danger, and you were probably lucky nothing happened earlier.
That’s possible as well.
I don’t have an answer here.
All I know is when we got in the car today, I looked over at the backyard, and Denali had his paws up on the door, staring into the van, his best friend in the back seat.
His tail was silent.
All I know is Dakota whined and barked in her new cage at the shelter, and that’s what I heard, much more than the lady telling us she was certain Dakota would be adopted.
All I know is she is no longer here.
I sit here, late on a Saturday night, exhausted after a tough day. We got the car seats installed. We had a baby shower, and the living room is full of pink socks, pink tops and pink dresses that would fit a bunny rabbit. We worked on the nursery. We worked hard this weekend, and it seems like we barely made a dent in all we have to do.
And we gave up Dakota.
It’s the first quiet moment of the day, when the nursery can’t be updated, the clothes can’t be put away and the car seats can’t be installed.
It’s a time when I'm the most relieved at today’s painful decision.
And a time when I regret it the most as well.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fighting the battle, winning the round

Monday was a turning point for my running.
I started doing it again.
I was sick, again, and as a result could not run for a week. I’ve done a decent job of keeping in shape this winter, although I haven’t run as much as I would have liked, nor as far nor as fast.
Plus my heel hurts, and it’s starting to turn into a nagging injury.
This is the downward spiral. You start to take a few days here and there off. Then you get a painful injury that takes some of the fun away (or a lot of the fun away). Then you take a week off, and boom, you’re on the couch and starting to embrace the sedentary lifestyle.
Or you do what I did. Monday, I ran five miles at an easy pace. I’m not going to lie to you. It sucked. It was harder than it should have been, and I was tired during the whole run. I looked at my GPS constantly to see where I was, as if I were on the treadmill and not out enjoying a wonderful spring day.
But I did it. And I felt good afterward. I felt better than I thought I would, actually. I’m not sore today. I feel good. I have some energy.
I’m back.
Keeping yourself in shape is much harder, in my opinion, than getting in shape. When you’re getting in shape, the pounds are coming off, people are commenting on your new, Tab-like
shape (check out Gracie's hilarious YouTube "Be A Mindsticker" find), you’re feeling wonderful about yourself, you’re reaching your goals of, say, running a 5K and then...two years later, you’re still running.
Now what?
That doesn't make us weak, although sometimes I tell myself that. Think about how many other things take maintenance, and maintenance isn't exciting. No one ever talks about an oil change or laundry or re-reading Harrington or Phil Gordon for the fifth time. But you've gotta do it. Look at relationships. Without maintenance, they crumble.
I’m setting new goals for myself starting today to help alleviate that. I’ve also started stretching out my heel every night. It seems to help. But for the most part, I’m running again.
It’s the small victories like Monday that help you win the battle.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Rock Chalk Jayhawk

I honestly thought meals of boiled race and cottage cheese, topped off with a cup full of Kaopectate were something to look forward to 40 years from now.
But alas.
Alas, I got to taste the chalky yet slightly candy-cane-like peppermint of everyone's favorite "runs" medicine for the first time this weekend, when, after what I thought was a bad cold turned out to be something, well, a little something more runny than just my nose.
Fortunately, two things cheered me up.
First was finishing 10th in my second 180 SnG on Stars. I had a chance to make a really good run at the top prize but my 7,7 lost to A,5 to runner, runner straight. Ah, well. It was fun. I'll play more, as the play in this was less than stellar.
Second was this:

My Kansas Jayhawks are the #1 seed in the West Region in the NCAAs!
Seriously, is there any other sporting event that even comes close to the tournament?

I played in Kansas' basketball band from 1991-93. Usually they took nine players, with only six traveling, and more than 30 usually tried out. Most practiced for months and fought like dogs for a chance to go to the Final Four, and that was just the band members. Competition was brutal. I was lucky to make it all three years I tried out, and I saw some awesome tournament games. College was a much better place for me and holds many golden memories because of tournament time.

So that's sort of carried over to my adult life. I don't let the tournament affect my home life. I don't yell at the TV anymore, now that a little one is running around and has barely heard Daddy raise his voice. I don't throw things. I don't kick the dogs. But I still live and die for the games, especially now.

Kansas beat Texas in one of the best games I've seen for the Big 12 tournament title.
I just hope my insides heal in time for Friday's first-round game. They're going to need to handle the stress.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

Edit: Here are the details of the baby pool. Three picks per date. Pick when the twins will be born. Due date is June 3, but consider that most twins aren't born on the due date. In fact, the average is 35 weeks, so from late April on we're on call.

It's $5 to enter. Since this is just outright gambling instead of poker, we can use any money system we want instead of Neteller and our government won't care. You can get it to me in three ways:
1) In person, where I"ll keep it in a white envelope in a secret location.
2) By PayPal. My email is
3) My Poker Stars or Full Tilt accounts. I"m pokerpeaker on both of those. If you do that, however, let me know through e-mail so I can keep track of it.
This is most definitely a one-time offer. Let's just say the doctor will, er, TAKE CARE of me as soon as I know those babies are healthy. Apparently I"m dangerous.
You can enter up to five times.

We have one contestant so far. Even if four enter, we'll have a pool!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sick of it all (or that WAS the title before another good Mookie. How about yippieKI-A?

The alarm went off at 5:50 a.m. Wednesday, or exactly three seconds after I finally went back to sleep after a hiatus longer than "Jericho."
It started when Kate brought Jayden to bed at 4 a.m. to "encourage" him to drift back into toddler dreamland. It continued with my wife's snoring, who, bless her pregnant heart, is beginning to sound like the mating call of a warthog when she drifts off to dreamland. It was further helped by the big yellow dog, who decided that this would be a great time for a belly rub and maybe he'd better push himself up by my nose to receive one.
It ends tonight, with a suddenly stuffy nose, an achy body and a half-assed attitude toward The Mookie, although I find myself looking forward to it with every second. Something needs to go right today.
It's the perfect situation. If I do well, I get grub, a good time and the admiration of millions of bloggers worldwide. If I suck, I get to go to sleep and help my little white blood cell soldiers fight off whatever seems to think it can just move into my body and take over, like a crack addict moving into an empty building. Squatters rights!

• • •
Made the first break, sitting at T2700, in 8th place. Playing a little too tight, as usual, but won a big hand with a set of 4s on a 2,3,4 flop.

• • •

Top 5 things my wife (who is preggers with twins, in case you didn't know or have chosen NOT to enter the baby pool, which is all of you) has heard this week:
5) Wow, didn't you just have a kid? And now you're pregnant again?
4) Are you overdue (not even close)?
3) Holy cow you've gotten big!
2) Are you having triplets?
1) Are you supposed to be that big.

Here's a hint. Pregnant women don't like to be reminded three times a day that they are huge. They know they are huge. Kate has TWINS in her belly. She knows she is big.

• • • 

Second break I am chip leader after turning into such a card rack that you could hang me in Tiffany's. I bust Fuel, one of my mentors, with AA against his K,Q sooted.

Oh, and speaking of the Mookie...

I'll take 4th and a $42 cash any day.

I've completely forgotten about my cold. This makes three final tables in a row for me at The Mookie. I hope this gives me some much needed confidence in the future. Congrats to Astin for taking down an inevitable title. I knew it was only a matter of time for the raisy-daisy frog.

I'm going to bed. I just started to feel achy again.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Giving sking a cool reception, a Speaker-like experience and a move that made me turn 180 degrees

My alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. An emo band screamed in my ear. I didn't catch the name. I didn't care. Truth be told, I still don't.
I pulled on five layers of clothes, including a sweater that made my hair look like what I'm assuming is the style for the singer of the emo band.
I went outside to the 10-degree air (cold enough, if you're scoring at home or living in California, to keep your ice cream frozen, climbed in my car and drove a long hour to a Park N Ride named after a dinosaur.
I found what I think were Stegosaurus and Triceratops to be, well, extinct. Denver decided to tear two of the four lots out. I hope for improvements. City officials, in their infinite wisdom, chose the ski season to do this. As a result, I battled 573 other cars attempting to park in lots that had exactly seven spots left.
I don't think there is any other group more self-centered than skiers. At least skiers trying to get to the slopes. They parked in the middle of the lot to load their equipment in their friends' cars, attempted to pass me IN THE LOT (unsuccessfully, I might add) and forced me to drive out in the middle of traffic after refusing to let me in. These people make actors at an Oscars party look like a bunch of Red Cross volunteers.
Thankfully, most ski drivers are also stupid. I found a park about a football field's length away from the entrance to the last Park N Ride and enjoyed my pick of at least a dozen spots.
My brother picked me up, and, after fighting traffic for two hours (at 7:30 a.m.), we found a spot at Winter Park, walked to a hill, skied down it and promptly waited in line for 15 minutes for a spot on the lift.
The air was so cold my fingers almost immediately felt as if they had been dipped in liquid nitrogen. They would feel that way most of the day.
When we finally left at 2 p.m., with the long, long lines at the lifts, we had maybe a dozen runs under our fleece belts.
I used to love skiing. When my brother, who also used to be a ski fanatic, commented that, maybe, he was getting a little sour on skiing, I found myself daydreaming about a fun sled down a long hill.
Next year I trade in my skis for an inner tube.

• • •

I had a Speaker-like experience at Taco Bell Friday.
I don't like to name-drop too much on this blog. But one of the many things I love about Speaker's blog is his rants when he's not served properly at a resturant.
So here's my rant.
We walk in and wait at the cash register. Finally an employee saunters up and takes our order. After repeating myself at least four times — she could barely understand English, and while you won't see any redneck "Learn English or Else" comments in this blog, doesn't it seem to be a good business practice to put someone at the counter who can understand the language at least 60 percent of your customers will speak? — she told us to take our seat.
Now, I don't know about you, but when I go into a fast food joint, it ain't to enjoy the ambiance, unless plastic seats, sticky floors and pop music from 1997 is your idea of pleasant surroundings. No, I go there for cheap, easy, somewhat tasty food fast. So when we waited 10 minutes for our food, I wasn't exactly pleased.
And then when they got our order wrong, well, I was less pleased.
I went up to the counter. Um, yeah, I said, you forgot our bean burrito, you gave us a Quesadilla, and you forgot my order of Taquitos.
Anything else, the woman at the counter asked.
No, other than those three things, you nailed the order, I said.
Five minutes later, the rest of our order floated out to us. Brought by a guy who explained that the Quesadilla (which I kept) and the Taquitos were the same thing, except the Taquitos were rolled and the Quesadilla was flat.
He said this in a way that sort of made it sound like I was the idiot, like I should have known that, and how DARE I just not accept the flattened shell instead of the tasty rolled-up variety.
When he finished explaining the unique and special exotic differences of each Taco Bell entree item, I just looked down and took a bit of my Taquito and set aside the Quesadilla.
"Thanks for lunch tommorow," I said.

• • •

In poker news, I managed to play two 180-player person SnGs at Poker Stars when I got home all chipper from skiing and after watching KU beat down Texas for sole possesion of the Big 12 title.
In the first one, I'll bet if I took a deck of cards, took out all the paint and those pretty A cards and scattered them on the floor and then took out seven other cards to decrease my chances of a pair and then shuffled and dealt those hands out one at a time, I would STILL better hands than what I got. I've never seen so many low-end hands in my life.
But in the second, after a stretch of cold cards, I got A,Q, pushed my meager stack in on a flop of 8,8,5, a guy with a draw called, and I doubled up. And then I went on a rush and got good cards and played them aggressively.
Pretty soon, I was 15th with 25 players left.
I get KK for the second time in a row.
My M is 15. So on an A high flop, what do I do? I push the rest of my stack. I win right there and I"m close to chip leader.
But the guy, who did not re-raise me, calls off most his stack with A,8 and I do not improve.
It was a $4.50 SnG, so I wasn't concerned about cashing, but I did miss the money by six spots.
I told myself that I wouldn't care about the cash, I still had 15 spots, all with plump stacks, to decent money. But later the move really bothered me. A lot more than I thought it would.
I think now it was the Stupidest Play Of The Year. I had a tight image, yes, but checking it down (there was a third player all in with a short stack before the flop) would still leave me with 10 BB. I had outplayed most of the field and was catching cards. There was no need for desperation. And why play for two hours if you're just going to donk off your stack on a board that shows even a stupid call can beat you?
Anyone else hate the play as much as me?
Thought so.

And oh yeah, since it was cancelled last time, even if I am working, I may just try to play in this:

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The mind of a 2-year-old

The title is two-fold. For one of those folds, see below. For the first, my brain pouted and threw itself on the floor and kicked and screamed after getting clobbered in showdowns with way the best hand in SnGs. If my hands hold up when they should last night I'm ahead probably $35. Instead I'm down that much.
I was planning on feeling sorry for myself, going on a Waffles rant and maybe having a crap in my diaper when I read Trip Jax's post entitled "The Bitch and Whine Fest" yet again and cured myself of my impending snit. I have had, after all, seven winning weeks in a row, and I'm still up almost $600 for 2007 playing fairly low limits, so eventually variance is gonna say "We ain't gonna have THAT!" and decide to kick me over and over until my lower region looks like a couple of playground kickballs.
Such is poker, and such is life, too.
The night started bad when I had connection issues with Full Tilt, and I was literally typing in "Vegas1" when the Mookie got underway. Great final table match, guys, and congrats to Schaub on another 2nd place finish.
I'll be at CC's bash tonight. See you there. Teach me something.
• • •

Here's the second fold, and I have to admit I got this idea (*cough ripped it off *cough) from this terrific blog about twins.

Here's a day in the life of Jayden when Dad takes care of him.

Oh, good, Clifford. I like that big red doggie.
Man, Daddy looks tired.
I'm thirsty. I want some milk. I'll take Daddy's hand and lead him to the kitchen.
Is that my pacifier? Oh man do I need that thing. Must. Have. Pacifier.
That's better.
Daddy keeps telling me to sit with him, but I'd rather walk around.
Hey, look, the dog's water bowl! Oh man is this thing fun. You can put stuff in the water bowl and splash around in it!
What's that yelling? Oh, Daddy keeps saying something like 'No." Wish I knew what that meant. It's pretty funny though.
Can we play on the computer?
This computer is great. I love doing this coloring game. I have no idea why Daddy looks so bored. We've only done it 500 times this week. That's not enough.
I want to look out the window. Maybe if I climb up on this ledge and then climb up on this other ledge and then climb up on this piece of furniture.
That's better. Why is Daddy saying that No word again? I want to see the moon!
Oh, is my diaper dirty? I hadn't noticed.
Hey, look! Something sharp! Cool!
Oh, rats. Daddy took it away.
OK, lunch time. Grilled cheese again? It's funny when I throw this on the floor and the doggies gobble it up. Dad is saying that No word again.
It's already time for a nap? What? No way, man. I'm not....even....tir.....
(Editor's note: Two hours later, I hope)

OK, I'm awake. Daddy. Daaaaady!!!! I'm alone in this crib and I don't like it.
Oh, there he is.
Hi, Daddy. I'm kinda sleepy. Can you hold me for a few minutes?
Although some juice would be great right now.
Why does Daddy keep taking my pacifier out of my mouth? I NEED that thing.
Now we're going to the place called Wal-Mart to buy food. It's fun to bend my back and hang onto the door so Daddy has to struggle to belt me in.
Wow, lots of stuff here, and....
IS THAT LITTLE EINSTEINS ON A BOX? HOLY MOLY I LOVE LITTLE EINSTEINS!!! Why is Daddy saying we can't buy that kind of cereal? No way am I letting go of this box. Daddy I'm serious I'm gonna scream.
Why is Daddy sighing and putting the box in the cart! This is a great day! The cereal looks really good too! (Editor's note: It wasn't, unless you like sugary cardboard).
OK, we're back. I'm going to celebrate by taking all the pots out of the bottom drawer and bang them together.
There's the water bowl again.
Can we play on the computer again?
NO? Why not?
Mom's home! Who-hoo!
Where did Daddy go?