Wednesday, August 31, 2005


My favorite city is filling up. Unfortunately, it's with water. I was on the edge of my seat Monday morning when I found out the hurricane would hit New Orleans. I have family in Louisiana, but they are to the West of New Orleans. I was extremely happy when I heard the storm had shifted course and would be going more east. It would keep my relatives out of the worst of it. (Not that I would with that on anyone's relatives...)

Monday afternoon, I was again happy to hear that although New Orleans had sustained some damage downtown and the 9th Ward, the French Quarter and Garden District were spared the worst of it. I mean, I know I have my selfish reasons - I was supposed to have a conference just outside the French Quarter the week of 9/12. I was looking forward to the travel, but it was more than that. I'd been to New Orleans for five Mardi Gras plus other assorted trips, and I have a lot of memories in that city. I've wandered around the garden district looking at the stately old homes and stood on the steps of the Saint Louis Cathedral (oldest church in LA) watching the artisans around the park. Heck, the background on my computer is a I took picture of Bourbon Street from the balcony of the Cat's Meow on Mardi Gras in 2002. It's a pleasant reminder of some of the great times I've had in that city.

Now, most of the city is under several feet of water. With the 2 breaches in the levees, water has been pouring through the streets with nothing to stop it. The pumps to remove the water are either clogged with debris or don't have electricity to power them. Attempts to fix the levees have been mostly unsuccessful because of the rushing water. It's been estimated that it will take a month to get rid of all of the water. Where does that leave the residents? Evacuated, for now.

Where does this leave my "home away from home"? Damages have been estimated in excess of $25 billion. What will happen to those historic homes and buildings that have been there for over 100 years? Will they tear them down and start over? I'm sure it will be much more expensive to try to preserve the original structures and repair them. Can you replace history though? What about the standard of living for those people who were evacuated? Many have nowhere to go to. If they come back to the city, who can tell how safe it will be since the water is carrying sewer and septic debris, along with chemical spills and decaying bodies - both recent and from the above-ground cemetary graves.

I try to stay out of political discussions, since I feel that everyone should have their own views and I won't impose mine unless asked. I still have to vent about what I can only imagine will happen in the upcoming weeks. When there are other major natural disasters in the world, everyone expects the U.S. to come to their aid - and we do. Now that we have been rocked by the effects of a hurricane, how many foreign countries do you think will help us? No - that's not exactly what I mean either. (this is exactly why I stay out of these types of discussions) We definitely have friendly countries that help out. It just seems that we always have to come to the rescue of any other country having problems, but the response that we get never seems to be quite as hearty as the one we are expected to give to those countries.

Something else that disturbs me - while Bush feels the need to spend billions of dollars to invade other countries to keep us "safe", the places he's taking the money from could have been used to help prevent much of this disaster! This article from June shows that Bush's administration cut the Army Corps of Engineers' budget by $71 million. Without this money, they've had to shelve several major projects, including one that would have helped the city withstand a category 5 hurricane. I am not against our soldiers by any means. I stand behind them 100%, but I just hate that they had to go to war in the first place. It makes my heart ache to know that his budget cuts that were made to make room for war ended up costing more in lives, livelihoods and history than anyone could ever imagine.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Losing Battle?

I'm tired again. It's not because I had a fantasy football draft last night and had a few beers. It's not that I'm being overworked at my job (but I'll never tell my boss that). It's not even from playing too much online poker at night. You're going to think I'm crazy, but I've been having a battle with my sister's cat. Yeah, you heard me right. A cat. Not necessarily a very smart cat, just a very persistent one.

My sister Deanna is moving in with Al and I on Saturday. She'd gotten layed off from her job when Bank of America bought out Fleet Bank and closed her site. She's been looking for a job for the last 10 months without success. We've talked about this many times over the last few months, and I'd told her before that she'd probably have much better luck in this area with the number of banks and financial institutions in the area. With other circumstances giving her a nudge, she's decided to move in with us for the next couple of months to look for a job in the area and help us pack for the new house. When we finish purchasing our new house, she and her boyfriend will be taking over the townhouse we're renting now.

Ok, enough background.... (if you ever need anyone to make a short story long, let me know.) Since Dee didn't want to have to deal with the cats (Bonnie and Clyde) in the moving van, she brought them down last Wednesday when she met with my landlord. They're pretty good cats for the most part - very lovable. After my cat did a little adjusting to the new visitors, things had been pretty good. That's when the trouble started.

It seems that Bonnie doesn't feel like she's getting enough attention. It's bad enough that my cat now feels unloved in his own house, I now have to deal with Bonnie's emotional problems. She's been acting out, much like you'd expect from a 2 year old. My sister swears that she didn't have any problems with Bonnie in their apartment after the initial training. Now, I'm dealing with Bonnie on the dining room table - WHILE I'M STANDING RIGHT THERE! I have a paper tube from a roll of wrapping paper that I use to make noise and will even swat her with if it needs to be done. When she sees it, she flees.

With the threat of the tube, you would think she'd behave. Nope. It didn't stop her from jumping on the counter in the kitchen when Al was there. It also didn't stop her from trying to sharpen her claws in the carpet. She got a "time out" for that one - just like a 2 year old, I put her in a room by herself (with hardwood floors) and let her "think" about what she did wrong.

The latest trick has been to visit us at night. You would think that this isn't so bad, but my sister doesn't allow the cats in their bedroom and I'm trying to keep the same boundaries. Bonnie just won't hear of it. I woke up two nights ago to find Bonnie sleeping on my feet. Some people would think that's cute, but I must tell you that she's a 20 lb. (or so) cat putting her dead weight on my feet. It will cut of circulation if you're not careful. I push her off the end of the bed and roll over. I just get back to sleep when I have this same cat getting comfy between Al and I - pushing me out of the way. I don't think so!

I pick up Bonnie and put her outside the room, shutting the door. I wake up about 20 minutes later to the same cat sleeping between my legs (I'm laying on my back) and I can't even roll over because she's so heavy! Al picks her up and dumps her outside the room again. It turns out that the door doesn't latch very well. Al puts something in front of the door to discourage her from pushing it and comes back to bed. I'm getting comfortable again when I hear, "thump, thump". Bonnie is using her thick skull to head-butt the door open. Here she comes again! This gets Bonnie a time-out for the rest of the night. This was Sunday night. I wake up to find that Al's let Bonnie out of the room. When she heard Al was up and moving Monday morning, she started scratching at the door to get out. She's going to end up declawed shortly, and not by the vet...

So, now we need a new plan. We go to bed last night and put a small file-size fireproof safe in front of the door. This thing must weigh at least 50 lbs. with the stuff we have in it. This should keep her out, right? Wrong. The safe has a plastic case which slides on the hardwood floors. She's up with us again. Al picks her up and tosses her out again. Somehow, Al McGyver rigs something up with the safe, a pillow, and my laptop case to keep her out. Luckily he's the first one up and getting ready so he tore down the booby-trap before I had to deal with it. When I open the door to head to the bathroom, Bonnie comes barrelling into the room and hides under the bed. At this point, I don't care.

These "episodes" have been occurring at around 3:30 every morning, right in the middle of deep sleep. My eyes feel like someone has poured sand into them and I've been grumpy all day. Am I fighting a losing battle? Probably. Dammit, I refuse to let a cat get the better of me, though I might not have a choice....

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Last night's results

Well, I made $6 last night. I actually played really well. Since I needed the extra concentration to play, I think I was making better decisions and playing better cards. Of course, I didn't play that many hands since I went for a period of almost 45 minutes without cards above a 10. Bluffing was out of the question, for the most part. I did well not chasing either. I don't think I want to make a habit of playing that way, though.

I've been taking a long look at my game lately. I think part of my problem has to do with my recent streak of lousy luck (or what I perceive as such). Since I haven't been winning much, I've become rather scared in my betting. I haven't been raising as much pre-flop with some hands because I'm afraid I won't catch anything. With us buying the house, I haven't had as much money to put towards my bankroll either. A few losing sessions can take a large chunk of what I have left, even playing the lower limits. I should probably switch to a limit game, but I hate giving up on my no limit play, which is more enjoyable to me.

I also need to take look at starting hands and when it's acceptable to play lower-quality hands. Again, the whole pot odds and betting thing. I still suck at calculating pot odds and the like, especially pre-flop. I'm pretty good about laying down cards after the flop, but I think I throw away cards pre-flop that I could be playing due to the circumstances around the hand.

I wish I could afford a "tutor" to watch me play and discuss the hands. Or even if I could watch them play and discuss the hands. Of course, everyone's style is different, but I think that doing something like that would help me learn some of this stuff best. I can imagine how annoying it would be for someone to have to go through an ordeal like this while they're trying to play and make money, so I know I'd have to pay someone enough to make up for the lost concentration, possibly lost money, and annoyance. I can only pay in mixed drinks... :-)

I'm going to play a little more tonight and see if I can make any more progress.

Kings and such

I'm very proud of myself. I had pocket kings, flopped quad kings, and actually made it pay off. After a little checking, I found someone who thought their two pair were the best. Funny thing with quads... you have to act so weak/tight. I need those more often. hehehe

I have to apologize. It's almost 2 AM and I just got home from the bar with my friend Danielle. Danielle was the good sport tonight and agreed to be designated driver. Although she wanted to go home at 12:30 AM instead of waiting until the bar closed, I still have to appreciate my designated driver. :-) At least I was told by someone that they thought I was only 22. Damn, I've gotta thank my parents for the genes.

When I got home tonight, as drunk as I am, I decided to play a little poker on Full Tilt. Not the greatest idea, I'll admit. I don't know how the whole thing will finish out, but I know that I folded the card to make a straight flush on a hand. It could really put a person on tilt... if they weren't so relaxed. I plan on being very relaxed. Let's see how it goes.

Damn, I'm sure I'll regret this post later. Booze does that to me... regrets and such. Here's to hoping I double up and make this little poker session worthwhile!

Friday, August 26, 2005

hung over again

not using caps today. hurt the eyes too much. why do I do let myself drink like that on a thursday? this isn't the first time, and it probably won't be the last. what starts out as, "we'll just grab dinner and a few beers" turns into "damn, i'm not done with my beer and it's only 2:30, so why are they kicking us out?" bad, bad, bad...

of course, i got to work and was immediately paged about a server i updated yesterday. dumb-ass sna wasn't working properly, so i had to troubleshoot before i could do anything else - like eat a greasy egg sandwich from the cafeteria and pop a couple of excedrin. once i did that, things got better.

i started doing a little reading before i got the energy to write, and iggy's post hit way too close to home. the first part of the post talks about why some people fail at poker, or at least fail to improve. it sounded way too familiar. i think that a big part of my problems is that i'm too impatient to do my studying and too complacent to try hard enough to get better. when i find flaws, i try to correct them but i don't think i'm trying hard enough to find them.

another part of my problem is the studying too. the area where i went to school was a bunch of mouth-breathing rednecks for the most part. i had a big advantage over the rest of the kids in the intelligence department. i never really had to study much, so it doesn't come naturally to me. plus, the classes that i always did the best in were the interactive, hands-on ones. i learn better by doing than by reading and memorizing. its just the way my mind works. very bad when you don't have someone to sit and talk poker theory with. i really wanted to join doubleas, maigrey and april when they were having their discussions at bradoween, but i was in the completely wrong mindset for it. by dealing out hands and discussing how to play it, i can relate to it and pick it up much easier. just not while drinking long island iced teas.

at least i can be honest enough with myself to admit these things. i know what i have to change. now, i just to get off my ass and do it. ...add procrastinator to my list of flaws too.

update - never try to take on general tso in this condition. he's kicking my butt right now. maybe the colonel would've been an easier opponent. lol

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Waking up his hard to do

After 6 or 7 hours of sleep, it's time to get up for Brad-o-ween! We all get ready and head over to Otis' house around noon. We get there just as people start digging into the feast! I don't know where they got the food from, but I was craving it the next day... I finished eating and set up the bar. I was all ready to start with the mixing, but for some unknown reason, nobody wanted to start drinking at noon before a tournament. I just don't understand... I did convince April and Gracie that they needed a little relaxation before the tourney, so the girls sat in the shade and sipped our cocktails.

At 1 PM, the announcement was made that the tournament was about to begin. We all drew for tables and placement. I drew the ace of clubs (I think), so I won the deal and choice of seat in the kitchen. That was the best win of the day for me. We all got settled in and started playing. I won a few small hands, but I couldn't get any action when I flopped trip 10s (best hand I had). At this point, I don't even remember when I got knocked out with. Let's just say I was out early - within the first 8 or 10 people. It was ok though. It was at that time when I realized that a long island iced tea sounded REALLY good. It was a hot day, and I wanted something cool and refreshing. That did it!

I took orders for the teas, and I think I made 4 in the first batch. I made sure that Mrs. Otis was one of the first recipients since she'd been working her butt off all day! I offered one to Otis, but he was still running around getting last minute party items. He's got a heck of a lot more dedication to his parties than I do. After a few hours, I'm ready to let the guests fend for themselves. Otis was still being the perfect host until the end.

After I "forced" other people to try the drinks, I started getting orders left and right for them. I'm sure I affected several people's play. :-) This went on for several hours... the rest of the day is all a little fuzzy.

We got to the final table, and I got to see the trick that DoubleAs played with the deck. His writeup is much better than anything I can do - go check it out. When the final table was done, more people headed outside for the festivities.

Drunk-a-lympics. I didn't participate, but boy did I laugh! I would never have survived the SoCo shots though. My marriage to Al is a good balance - he drinks all the SoCo and keeps me from having to. The flip-cup race at the end was my favorite. I got to see the comeback for Team Evil and was jealous that I didn't get to race. I was hoping there would be more flip-cup races, but it ended with the drunk-a-lympics. People went back to their social boozing.

By the end of the night, there had been a wet t-shirt contest (that I was NOT a part of) and several people passed out all over the place. (People at the party were fairly nice to the passed out guys - I believe they left with their eyebrows and all of their clothes still in place.) There was some drunken tree-climbing and Dr. Jeff had to perform surgery in the living room. I was happy just to lay in the grass and look at the stars.

I think we left around 2 or 3... I didn't look at the clock. BigMike, Al and I got up the next morning and tried to head to the diner to eat. The line was out the door! We ended up driving around until we found a place called Ryan's. We thought it was a place like Appleby's or TGIFridays where we could get some food. It ended up being an all-you-can-eat buffet place. Ug. The guys seemed ok with it, so we ate there. Not on my list of places to recommend to anyone, though the hot rolls they brought out kicked butt! I should've just eaten those...

We got a call from G-Rob, BG, CJ and Lefty asking if we'd be eating at the diner. We let them know about the crowd, so they came down to meet us. By the time they got to Ryan's, the line was out the door there, too. (Still not sure why...) BG had to catch a flight, so they just said their goodbyes and headed out.

After lunch, we had time before our flight so we stopped by BadBlood's house for a bit. (BadBlood had a little too much to drink the night before and probably didn't remember the ride home. Thank God for Mrs. Blood!) We sent Al upstairs to race the kids on the gamecube (and they beat him senseless) while the adults sat downstairs and talked. I got a call from April who had forgotten her keys in the minivan, so she and Maigrey stopped by to pick them up. BadBlood returned with Iggy and Daddy from Otis' house, where they had spent all night playing cards. Since we had all these poker minds in one room, BadBlood allowed us to play some cards against the MiniBloods. I wish I'd had a video camera to record the whole thing... I couldn't stop laughing! I watched a 5 and 7 year old dominate the table against people who have been playing longer than they've been alive. They are some of the most polite kids I've ever seen, and hearing 5-year-old MiniBlood saying, "I'm putting you all-in, Mr. Al" was so silly I thought I was going to pee myself from laughing. Those kids were check-raising and slow-playing too! They are going to be a force to be reckoned with when they're old enough to hit the casinos.

Unfortunately, time went by too quickly and we had to leave for the airport. We knew our flight was going to be a little delayed, so we waited an extra hour before heading out. Our flight ended up being 3.5 hours late instead of one, so we spent a whole lot of time in the airport. They actually closed the concourse so we couldn't leave. Luckily it was a quiet flight home, and we made it back to our house by 12:30 or so.

I just want to say thank you again to Otis and everyone else who made my Brad-o-ween such a blast! I look forward to the next time I get to see and hang out with everyone. I don't mind that I played such lousy poker while I was there. It was more than worth it just to party with everyone!

Now, if anyone is interested in the "Bash at the Boat" here in Philly... :-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Welcome to the South!

It started off like any of our little trips. We get up early and finish packing the daily use items. Jump in the car and drive to the airport. You get the idea. It was definitely a weekend that could be imagined, but the anticipation would be nowhere near what the reality would be.

When the plane pulled up to the jetway, we were pleasantly surprised to find a small jet instead of a turbo-prop plane. For those who have taken the turbo-props, you know how small, noisy, and turbulent those little planes are. Instead, we had a comfortable little jet. I'm in 1A - the exit row. I'm not just in the exit row, I AM the exit row. Luckily, it was an uneventful flight and we get into the Greenville/Spartanburg Airport shortly after 11 AM. From the terminal we get a shuttle to the rental car office.

Here's where we get our first taste of South Carolina rednecks. There's a couple trying to rent a car with cash in front of us while their four kids are running around the office. I'm sure the young mother would've corrected her kids, but the fifth one growing in her belly was slowing her down. The considerably older (15 years?) husband was trying to work through renting the car. Since they were using cash, they had all kinds of paperwork all over the desk. My curiosity got the better of me and I had to look at his name. I don't remember his last name, but he had three names before that - Robert Lee Wayne. A quick reminder that we were south of the Mason-Dixon line. It seems that they were having problems using his documentation to rent the car. They needed recent paystubs - he said he'd just gotten paid but didn't have it with him. They needed proof of residency - he provided an electric bill with an overdue balance on it. There was no way they were getting a rental car that day. Another agent came out and finally got working on our paperwork. I handed her my rental card (I have all my info entered into their website) and my license. She gets the paperwork printed and says that she has a very nice Hyundai Elantra waiting out in the parking lot for us. A Hyundai Elantra? BigMike would be arriving that evening, so we'd rented a full-size (Intrepid or Taurus) vehicle for his comfort. Yeah, Hyundai Elantra my ass. When I asked about the full-size, she told me that they don't have them at that location. Great. She did say that she had a minivan that she could give me for the same price. Minivans are not my idea of cool, but I figured that it would be useful for the weekend. After a quick snag where we had the wrong key and accidentally locked our luggage in the wrong vehicle, we were off.

We call G-Rob to see what's up so far. He offers to meet us at the hotel so we could meet up with Otis, Mrs. Otis and some of the Missouri Crew for lunch and a few beers. Luckily the restaurant is a few doors down from the hotel, and G-Rob hops into the minivan. (His car would stay in the same spot where he'd just parked it for the next couple of days.) We get to Chiefs, a little dive bar that had you blinking as you walked inside from the blinding sun into a deep gloom. Once you adjusted to the light, you could see they had a little bar and a bunch of tables huddled in the "dining room". We sat down with everyone, ordered a couple pitchers of beer and some food, and caught up with people. Of course the shots flowed... Al's first double was a good-size plastic cup of SoCo. He'd forgotten the bottle rule and ended up with quite a shot. This started the rounds of shots (it was after noon, so it was ok) and we walked out an hour later in a more relaxed state of mind.

Since there was time to kill before BadBlood's tourney, we headed over to Otis' house to help out and play a little cash game. I know I said that I wasn't going to stress out about my poker play this weekend. Thank God, because I got my ass kicked in the game. BadBlood and MrsBlood arrived shortly after us, and I ended up getting wedged with BadBlood on my right and (a drunk and reckless) G-Rob on my left. I should've just skipped the game, but I was having too much fun. Pauly and Derek showed up and cheered us on, then Pauly took over Al's stack and built it up quite a bit. After BadBlood sucked out on MrsBlood (HUGE suckout) and the rest of the table was decimated by BadBlood, G-Rob and Dr. Jeff, we headed over to CasaDeBlood for some pizza and prep for the tourney.

Pizza was good, but I have to say that MrsBlood made some of the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had! While the guys were doing shots, MrsBlood and I got a chance to sit and talk for a little bit, which was very cool. There was always so much going on in Vegas that I hadn't gotten a chance to talk to her much then. I really enjoyed the quiet interlude before all hell broke loose.

Other people started showing up. First Maigrey and Austin April (who brought me an awesome poker bracelet!), then Iggy and Daddy. We were all sitting on the front porch and people started to trickle in. Too many for my little brain to remember. We were just about to sit down for the tourney when G-Rob announces that a stripper is coming to the game. Of course the guys perk up. Everyone is surprised when Maudie walked through the door! We all gave her hugs and welcomed her in. The game was to begin!

I was seated in the dining room with Maudie to my right, Dr. Jeff on my left (I think), and Derek two down on my left. I'm horrible with the small details like that. The only details I needed to remember were that I was so cold-decked that I needed a parka and that Maudie ran over my pocket Qs to knock me out. I'd taken a couple of small pots with bluffs or partial catches, but I knew I wasn't going anywhere. When I had the pocket Qs, I figured it was as good as any to take a stand on. Wrong. I was way outclassed. I used my spare time to hang out and catch up with people. We had to pick up BigMike and BG at the airport at 10 PM. Then, we were going out!

So, now we have Al, April, BigMike, BG and I in the minivan - and we pick up G-Rob for navigation. We head down to the Bait Shack, a little dive bar in the basement of some building. Just my kind of place! It was dimly lit with loud music and an eclectic mix of patrons. The blogger crew had taken over the back room of the place, and I grabbed and beer and sat down. We had all kinds of conversations sitting there... Maudie and I planned our skydiving trip (which I can't wait for!), dial-a-shots with a bunch of people, and Dr. Jeff and I counted how many times we found the phrase "Anal is kool!" on the walls in the booth. After a few dares and bets (look for the awesome picture of BG chugging bucket water on Maudie's site), we were heading to the strip club! I'd even gotten Maigrey and April to agree to go with us when someone became all responsible and thought a little sleep was in order instead. We headed back to the hotel.

We get back and decide a little food is in order. I haven't eaten anything since 5 PM or so when we had pizza, and I need to put a little food in my stomach when I'm drinking. There's an all night diner right in front of the hotel - Al decides to crash while BigMike, Maigrey, April, DoubleAs and I head for food. They actually serve beer in the diners! I was floored... since I was no longer driving, I ordered another beer. We were joined shortly after by TeamScottSmith. By this time it's 10 minutes to 2, and they have this rule about no bottles on the table at 2 or you get fined and arrested, or something silly like that. We had to call the manager over to get TeamScottSmith a beer, and the manager did give him one but warned him that he would have to pay the fine when the cop came in at 2. When he couldn't finish it in time, he drank his soda and poured the stout into his soda glass. He continued sipping on his "Dr. Pepper" for the next half hour. When he tried to order another one, the waitress just laughed - she knew what he'd done and was really cool about it. It seems that the cops really do come in, because he paid us a little visit over in the corner.

I hadn't realized it at first, but TeamScottSmith was smoking clove cigarettes. I have a few friends here that do, so it didn't seem odd to me. I'm guessing that someone else complained about what he was smoking since the cop came over to let us know that we couldn't smoke "tobacco products" in the restaurant. We'd been seated in the smoking section and were a little confused. BigMike held up his cigarettes and gave the cop a questioning look. The cop said those are ok but no more tobacco. I finally caught on and let everyone else know what he was talking about. As he's standing there, we ask the cop if he'd mind taking a picture with the girls. He starts laughing and turns us down, saying that the last person he knew who did that found his picture on the internet. How did he guess? I then asked, "Can I borrow your handcuffs?" and gave a silly grin. The cop just looks at me, and in a deadpan voice says, "You'll have to see me later for that." We all died laughing! I guess I just propositioned the cop, and got a proposition in return. At least he had a sense of humor. The rest of the meal was uneventful, and we returned to the hotel shortly after.

All this, and it's just day one! It will take me a while to write up day two. Until then...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Taking Score

This weekend was a blast! It will take me a day or two to recover, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I loved seeing everyone again, and I have many stories to tell over the next few days.

Thanks for Otis and Mrs. Otis for a great party on Saturday. Same to BadBlood and Mrs. Blood for Friday. I love you guys! Thanks to everyone else for making my weekend memorable. There's so much to write about... I need to get a little more sleep and get my thoughts in order first.

At least I can let you know how I did on my list of goals. Here's the results:

1. No puking.
I didn't. Derek did. 4.5 times. Better him than me!

2. No nude pictures - of me.
There were nude pictures all right. It started off with a wet t-shirt contest, and ended up with one girl who couldn't keep her top down. Luckily, this girl WAS NOT ME.

3. No dancing on tables unless I have at least one other girl with me.
There weren't many tables on Saturday without people playing poker on them, so that was easy. Friday night almost got ugly though. Little bar called the Bait Shack. If we'd had a couple more hours of drinking in there, I would've bet there would've been some dancing on the tables.

4. Get another blackmail picture of Iggy to add to my collection. They've been getting better with each gathering.
Forgot to charge the batteries on the camera. Didn't have my camera with me on Saturday. ...and alas, Iggy was behaving this trip.

5. Dial-a-shots!
Those definitely happened. We got StB, Joanne, and several others. Al kept dialing, and we just kept drinking.

6. Beer pong and flip-cup.
Unfortunately, there was only one flip-cup game, and it was during the drunk-o-lympics. No beer pong. Something to do next time...

7. Make friends with the cops when they come on Saturday so that nobody gets arrested for public drunkenness.
No cops on Saturday, which was a good thing. I did proposition a cop on Friday to keep us out of trouble, and that seemed to work. He just didn't want video evidence. (More on that story later.)

8. Remember at least 50% of what happens so I have stories to write.
I have all kinds of stuff to write. Let me get some sleep first so I'm at least coherent. I'll do my best to amuse you with stories over the next couple of days.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Here comes a rough weekend

Nope. Tuesday was as bad as I thought it would be. Only won two hands. I won one with A7o in the SB - flopped 2 pair and turned the full house. It was against my friend Danielle, and I felt bad because she lost with Big Slick suited. Her flush had come up, but it didn't beat my boat. I doubled up on that hand, which unfortunately wasn't very much. The other hand I had pocket As and I got one caller on the pre-flop raise but nothing after.

I play tight, or at least I try to. Stick with the better hands, and you'll win more often, right? In my case, no. That's my biggest frustration right now. I've been playing limit ($.50/$1) to try to work out some of my flaws, and I can't seem to get any love from the cards. Playing last night on FTP, I'd get AK, AQ, KQ and lose with them every time. My pocket Ks got busted by pocket Js when the board made a straight to the 10. Then I'd watch as the crap (Q4o, 59s, 36o) that I folded would have made trips, a straight, a flush, etc and WON. I'd see two or three hands like that, and I'd play decent but lesser cards (i.e. 89s) but the run would be over. I usually finish up a little, but not enough to cover the loss of a single session when I can't grind out a win.

I think my other problem is that I give other players too much credit for their play. I've folded good hands when I have top pair high kicker(KQ on a QJJ board), but there's another pair on the board. It's plausible for them to have trips, possibly a boat at that stage. When the person before me comes out firing big, I fold. Someone else calls, and the hand gets won by that pair and the person with the higher kicker. A lot of it comes down to reading other players, and I'm still working on that.

It was suggested by PokerWolf that my problem may be due to the fact that I'm focusing on new areas of learning and neglecting some of my basics. Could be. So, for this weekend, I intend to play the crappiest poker possible at Bradoween and play without trying to calculate pot odds or the like. I'm going back to basics and the fun aspect of it. Maybe taking a break from the academic side of poker will help revitalize it when I come back and try again next week...

And the fact that I probably won't even be able to see my cards while playing this weekend doesn't hurt either. :-)

I plan on drinking lots and enjoying myself this weekend. My goals:

1. No puking.
2. No nude pictures - of me.
3. No dancing on tables unless I have at least one other girl with me.
4. Get another blackmail picture of Iggy to add to my collection. They've been getting better with each gathering.
5. Dial-a-shots!
6. Beer pong and flip-cup.
7. Make friends with the cops when they come on Saturday so that nobody gets arrested for public drunkenness.
8. Remember at least 50% of what happens so I have stories to write.

I'm sure you'll hear plenty of stories from this weekend. As far out as the stories sound, they're true. It's hard to make up anything quite this crazy. I plan to have video, so maybe I'll have something good to share when I get back.

Enjoy your weekend! I know I will...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

In a rut

I usually have some sort of post on Mondays, but I figured that nobody could stomach another description of a weekend that sounds like the last 4 weekends I've had. I go to PA redneck central (not to be confused with the Redneck Riviera) and drink, clean a dead woman's house, and hang out with Big Mike's relatives. All the weekends are starting to run together for me. If they're so unmemorable for me, they can't be that exciting for everyone else...

Planning for this weekend and Bradoween is just about done. Got flights, car, hotel... still working on an "outfit". It will be something appropriate for the requirements of the party. Does anyone have a pair of Doc Martin's that I could borrow? :-) I promise that by the end of the night, regardless of my outfit, I will be offensive to the neighborhood association. lol

I've played a little poker on Full Tilt over the last few days. I haven't seen any real improvement in my game at all. If anything, I really think I'm getting worse. Al got what he needed elsewhere and never placed the order for some of the poker books that I wanted. I can't blame him though. I still have Super/System and Sklansky's Theory of Poker here to read. I haven't had time to pick up a book in weeks, months even. Maybe I'll just move to the $.05/$.10 limit HE and bleed away my money more slowly until I can work on my game.

More Boathouse poker tonight. If I get cards like I've been getting on Full Tilt, I might as well sit with Al and Big Mike so at least decent players can have my chips. I may come back tomorrow and say that I won and it was amazing, but I highly doubt it.

Until that time, here's a little something that I'm sure will probably occur this weekend....






















Friday, August 12, 2005

Love and Hate

I love going out with friends. I hate when it's on a Thursday night and I have to work the next day. Al might consider this feeling an indication of accomplishment from the previous night, but I don't want anything to do with it. Ugh.

Danielle and I were just going for dinner and a few beers last night. We got there a little after 6PM, so we figured we'd have plenty of time to relax before getting out of there at 10. With any luck, I'd be home and in bed by 10:30 to catch some ZZZZs for the long weekend ahead. Nope, my luck at the bar was as bad as it's been with cards. I remember looking at the time around 8:30 and telling Danielle it was still early yet. More talking, more drinking - the karaoke guy is putting his stuff away. That means it's midnight. Oops. We'll finish this beer and go. Wait a minute, are they really calling last call? They can't be... oh wait, the ugly lights are coming on. I guess we'd better go.

I wasn't sure how the night was going to go since Danielle's ex-boyfriend's car was right in front of the bar when we pulled in. At first she didn't want to go in, but I convinced her that everything would work out - either he wanted to be friendly and talk or we'd just ignore him the rest of the night. It seems that he wanted to be friendly, and he immediately started talking to us when we walked in. We ended up sitting with him at the bar and I let the two of them do most of the talking. I began talking to other people I knew (or decided to talk to anyways) instead.

Last week, this guy Joe was having a birthday, so we all celebrated his birthday and made sure he had fun. Joe was in again this week, and he was one of the people I was talking to while being a social butterfly. As the night got later, we got drunker. (Amazing how that is.) As we got drunker, we started talking about our particular preferences in people still at the bar. It seems that Joe and I have very similar tastes, if you know what I mean. :-) By that point, we were just silly, laughing and giggling. Towards the end of the night, Joe bet me a beer that I couldn't become part of the group of young guys playing on the golf machine. (He was interested in one guy in particular.) I still have the chip for the free drink in my purse.

I'm sure there's lots I'm forgetting. Random things I do remember:

- I forgot my tomato at the bar. Yes, I was carrying around a tomato at the bar. One of the guys has tomato plants that are producing fruit like crazy. He brought them in to distribute.

- I had to order a polar bear because a few of the guys really wanted to do shots and really wanted me to do one with them. The bartender told the guys it was Absolut. I made the "Damn that liquor's strong!" face and shuddered once, and they didn't know the difference. Not too hard to fool drunk guys either.

- I helped one guy Len get a really good High Score on the Megatouch machine in one of the word games. He's been trying to beat this other guy in the game for months now. Len had the high score, so the other guy actually wrote a computer program to generate all words possible with the set of letters. Other guy then brought a laptop and used it to get the high score - 122K or something like that. We fixed that last night. Between the two of us, we ended up with a score of 131K. The really funny part is that I know the guy thought I was a complete dunce when he first walked over to the game and I asked him how to play.

- Karaoke. Japanese for "sounds like cats being tortured". I know it takes nerve to get up there and sing, but I wish some of those people were a little more shy. I don't think my ears could've taken much more of it. I declined to sing this week, even though I was encouraged to. That was my gift to the bar last night.

- Bar Basket-shooting. One of the girls had finished her drink and had a cup of ice left. She grabbed a piece and tried to shoot it into the collar of one of the other guys. He thought it was funny because she missed so badly and held his collar open for her. Still a bad shot. By the end, there were 4 or 5 of us lined up along one side of the bar with our shirts hanging open while she tried to shoot "baskets". She missed every single time, and we quit when she ran out of ice.

- The "mean, nasty bitch" conversation. I don't even know how the subject came up, but it came down to the guys' opinion that Danielle is the one who could be a really mean bitch when she wanted to, but I could never be like that. Who says? You had to see their faces when Danielle said, "Oh yeah, she's a mean bitch. 10x worse than I could ever be." I backed it up later by offering to knee one of the guys in the groin if he really wanted to see mean. Maybe they believe me a little more now.

Yeah, I know that it doesn't really sound that fun or exciting, but its my comfy little (dive-ish) bar where I can sit around and be myself without having to worry what people think of me. Most of them know I'm crazy anyways. I'm just lucky they find that amusing.

The aspirin is finally starting to kick in. Add to that the wonderful breakfast sandwich Al got me, and I'm starting to come back around again. Now, all I have to do is get one more load of laundry done when I go home so I can finish packing up my stuff to head back to Berwick for more cleaning and drinking. On 3.5 hours of sleep from last night. God help me!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Something from Mom

I'm brain-dead today. Worse than usual. Instead of entertaining you with stories of my life, I'm going to make myself feel better by making fun of those with a lower mental capacity than I have.

My Mom loves to send me those emails that have been forwarded at least half a dozen times before. I've seen many of them but every once in a while, she sends one that I haven't read yet. I'm sharing one of those with you today....

Hopefully I'll have something better for tomorrow. Until then, enjoy.


If you don't understand these you are they!!

I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the Deer Crossing sign on our road. The reason: "too many deer were being hit by cars" and he didn't want them to cross there anymore. This one was from Kingman, KS.

IDIOTS IN FOOD SERVICE: My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for "minimal lettuce." He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg. Happened in Kansas City.

IDIOT SIGHTING: I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?" To which I replied, "If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?" He smiled knowingly and nodded, "That's why we ask." Happened in Birmingham, Ala.

IDIOT SIGHTING: The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker of mine when she asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, "What on earth are blind people doing driving?!" She was a probation officer in Wichita, KS.

IDIOT SIGHTING: At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker who was leaving the company due to "downsizing," our manager commented cheerfully, "This is fun. We should do this more often." Not a word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare. This was a bunch at Texas Instruments.

IDIOT SIGHTING: I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself and for the life of her couldn't understand why her system would not turn on. A deputy with the Dallas County Sheriff's office no less.

IDIOT SIGHTING: When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver's side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. "Hey," I announced to the technician, "It's open!" To which he replied, "I know that. I already got that side." This was at the Ford dealership in Canton, Mississippi!

IDIOT SIGHTING: While checking out at a department store, I used the 12 inch long divider to place between orders. As my items came up to the cashier, she picked up the divider and looked at it. Then she said, "Do you remember how much this cost? If not, I'll get a price check."

...and they walk among us .. and REPRODUCE and what's worse, they VOTE.

Another one... with wonderful timing

I was finishing up my email when this one came in. After yesterday's post, it was too appropriate to let it pass.

Zero to 200 in 4 seconds

A couple had been debating the purchase of a new auto for weeks. He wanted a new truck. She wanted a fast little sports-like car so she could zip through traffic around town. He would probably have settled on any beat up old truck, but everything she seemed to like was way out of their price range.

"Look!" she said "I want something that goes from 0 to 200 in 4 seconds or less." And my birthday is coming up. You could surprise me."

For her birthday, he bought her a brand new bathroom scale.

Services will be at Downing funeral home on Monday the 18th. Due to the condition of the body, this will be a closed casket service. Please send your donations to the 'Think Before You Say Things to Your Wife Foundation', Dallas, Texas.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

yes, dear

I'd had most of a post written yesterday about how my husband had encouraged me to catch up on one of my favorite shows and then laughed at me when I got a little sappy over my favorite character dying. I'd gotten through the whole thing and realized how maudlin and depressing it was. I know I tend to make a short story long (as my friend Danielle always tells me), so I scrapped it and decided that it was better to have no post at all than some crappy writeup. I hope to post something a little less crappy today, but probably not by much.

Yes, I'm going through PMS right now. You'll notice it in my writing, I'm sure. Say what you will, but I really do think it's a valid defense for killing your husband when he irritates you during "that time of the month". Luckily, I love my husband and he'd never do that to me. Uh-huh. He's an intelligent man. That's when I hear "yes, dear" for 3 days solid. lol

The freeroll at the BH sucked last night. I saw some damn crappy cards, for the two dozen or so hands I played. We started the night with 100 in chips and 1/2 blinds. I was getting nothing, then I found K2s in late position, so I limped in. I flopped two pair, but there were 2 hearts on the board and I needed spades. One guy in front of me came in for a minimum bet, but I put him on the flush draw. I raised 2x his bet and he called. A 6d comes up, and he checks. To keep him from the flush, I raised to 40 and he went all in with 11 above my bet. Of course I had to call - and he'd caught two pair, Ks and 6s. Damn. Since I hadn't played any other hands, I still had 25 in chips.

Then, I folded quads. Yes, you heard me right. I folded quads. My friend Phil (the ex-Crystal Roxx bass player who's much too cool lol) had gotten pocket 6s three hands before and flopped his quads. When I got 36o, I didn't think twice about folding. Two of the remaining 6s came out on the flop and I would've turned the quads. Of course I should've called the raise to 12 preflop with that hand. What was I thinking? :-)

I waited for a good hand - and found AKo a couple of hands later. I go all in, figuring I was going to pick up some blinds and give myself a little more time. I get called by the guy who had doubled up on me. Then, the guy to my right decides to go all-in over the top for another 125 or so. The all-in didn't surprise me that much since he was saying that every fourth or fifth hand. The other guy folds, so it's heads up. I flip over my cards, and the other guy has AQo. I'm thinking I'm going to double up.... until the Q comes on the turn and I'm out. Damn, damn. I never even made it to the 2/4 blinds. At least I wasn't the first one out.

There were 2 people that went out on the first hand. Unfortunately, Landow was one of them. He had pocket Qs against pocket Js. He ended up getting rivered with a third J. He and I comisserated at the outside bar for a little bit, then he headed home to win some money online.

I hung out at the BH for a little bit longer, but then my sister called and I had to get home to help her with some stuff. Of course, while helping her out, I happened to open Full Tilt Poker and play a little NLHE. I definitely think I'm reading the players better. I called once or twice when I read a bluff and took hands that I wouldn't have normally. I slow-played my trip Qs a little because of my read on the table and ended up making more money than usual there. Of course, I wasn't always right and called the wrong bets on one table, but I made it back plus a little bit on another.

After a little NLHE, I sat back and played some $.25/.50 Razz. The deck was nice to me for most of the hands I played. I think I really only had one hand where it started great and then dropped like a brick. Within half an hour, the rest of the table wouldn't play in a hand with me after 4th street, so I decided it was time to move on.

No other open tables for the low-limit Razz, so I moved over to Stud. Not a great idea. I was being selective with my hands, but every time I had anything, I got outdrawn. My best hand was an A-high flush with my opponent only showing a pair of twos on his up cards. He started betting on 6th street when he picked up an 8 (I was guessing 2 pair, which was correct) and I was thinking I was going to pick up a nice pot. When he rivered another 8 for a boat, I decided I was done there, too.

I still finished up about $10 for the 2 hours of play, which isn't bad for the limits I'm playing. I definitely couldn't live off it. Then again, I've leave it to the many Pros who do it much better than I do.

Since I can't make a living off my poker playing, I need to get back to work and try to get more of my new script written while I build a virtual server. Now, now - everyone shouldn't be so envious of my wonderful job. .... Yeah, I hear the crickets. At least try to have a good day. And repeat after me guys... "yes, dear"

I googled

Maigrey and Gracie made me do it. They'd gone through and searched for their name on Google with "is" and "wants", and the results are hilarious! Here's what I found for mine:

"Evie is"
* Evie is doing great, she's gaining weight like a sumo wrestler on a McDonald's binge
* Evie is living a life of deceit, thievery, drug dealing, and bisexual immorality along with drug and alcohol use.
* EVIE is given annually to non-profit executives who demonstrate outstanding support of their organization’s volunteer program
* Evie is a bit too perfect to be true (she's clever, funny, sensitive, poetic, independent, and superbly competent with farm animals and machinery)
* Evie is a Golden Guernsey
* Evie is a great competitor in our dog world,
* Evie is really fussy and has been drooling up a storm
* Evie is a wet dishrag who needs wringing out.
* Evie is a fantastic megalomaniac with an acid tongue and no conscience.
* Evie is an elegant looking mare, with a great head and nice legs and feather.
* Because Evie is half alien, she was able to freeze time by touching her two index fingers together

"Evie wants"
* Evie wants to play with her imaginary friends
* Evie wants to be loyal to her pen-pal, but the pen-pal's pal is so doggone cute.
* Evie wants to clone herself as many times as possible
* Evie wants to remain a cowgirl, a role she's assumed since childhood
* Evie wants you to experience professional quality service
* Guess what evie wants, nay NEEDS!
* Evie wants eggs on toast
* Evie wants to do that all the time.
* Any special activities that Evie wants to undertake?
* So, Evie wants a little war, does she?
* Evie wants to know if you guys finished with your breakfast so you could go to "prima cum in here"

And my favorite - another line from a search that didn't quite fit the criteria...

if Evie were to do porn it would be better described as a horror movie.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Happy Monday!

Is there such a thing? Probably not.... unless you're on vacation or that's the day you get paid. Otherwise, you drag through it like me. Just counting down the days to vacation and getting paid.

I wasn't able to play poker with Aunt Sarah this weekend. We always finished working after she'd gone to bed. (She likes to lay down around 7:30 or 8 PM.) We had to postpone what I was sure was going to be a good game.

I did get to watch a friend play some poker online, and he helped to give me an idea of how to read the players better. Every time he made a decision, he explained why he made the action he did and I got to see the outcome of each decision. Sometimes it was just luck or he'd be playing a rush (which I really don't seem to ever get), but I think I learned how to deal with online players a little better. He's one of the aggressive people that I have the most problems against, so I got to pick his brain a little about why he does what he does. I also picked up a couple of tricks for winning hands that I normally have to lay down. He was playing on Ultimate Bet and I usually play on Full Tilt, but just getting the general tips helped. I'm not just playing my own cards anymore. It's time to start playing the player.

I'm going to try putting some of those skills to use tonight. We need to take a run down to the new house to see if we have wiring and plumbing yet (woo-hoo!), but I want to try to get a few hands in. Here's to putting a few new skills to use...

Friday, August 05, 2005

Tough Competition

It's another Berwick/Bloomsburg weekend. More cleaning, more organizing. And hopefully, more drinking and poker. The last time I was there, I told an 89 year old woman that the next visit was going to involve a game of poker. I also asked her to take it easy on me and not take too much of my money.

Last weekend was the first time I met BigMike's (Great-)Aunt Sarah. She's a small, slightly frail-looking woman. I'd heard stories about Aunt Sarah... about how she's always trying to manipulate various members of the family and what a general pain-in-the-neck she is. When I sat down at the dinner table last Saturday for our meal, I couldn't reconcile this pleasant little woman with the image of the dragon I had created in my mind. As we ate, Aunt Sarah, BigMike, his cousin Steve and Steve's mom Carol were talking about family happenings - how is so-and-so doing, did you see so-and-so's new car, so-and-so just had a baby, and general small talk. Here's where I first started to see the smoke... Aunt Sarah looks over at me and nonchalantly says, "Who the heck are you?"

The table burst into laughter. BigMike had thought we'd been introduced before, so he hadn't bothered with it this time. He explained to Aunt Sarah who I was, and she seemed happy with his explanation. BigMike tried to rile her up further by telling her I was Polish - their entire family is Italian, and Aunt Sarah thinks everyone else should be too. She didn't take the bait (or possibly didn't hear it) that time, so I was safe for a little longer.

The conversation took an upward swing for me when BigMike mentioned that Aunt Sarah was the person who taught him how to play poker. She smiled and got this wistful look in her eyes as she thought about her poker playing days. She'd told me that she had always kept a huge jar of change around specifically for the poker games. She'd give BigMike and the rest of the kids a handful of money to play with, then proceed to win every single cent of it back. She'd have to give them more money sometimes 3 or 4 times in a night, but they never left with a penny. BigMike started laughing and agreed with her 100%.

She started retelling stories of the old days where she'd go over to her friends' houses and play until all hours of the morning. She made me laugh when she started talking about the neighbors. "I was never embarassed for my husband about what time I got home. He was in bed sleeping and knew I was playing cards. I was always embarassed for the neighbors, having to see me come home at 5:30 in the morning." This woman sounds like someone I would have been great friends with, had we been born in the same generation. I suggested that she should have brought home doughnuts so that the neighbors thought she'd just gone out to get them, but Aunt Sarah just laughed and said she really didn't care what the neighbors would think anyways.

We talked a little more, but it was getting late and we still had a lot of work to do. When we got up to leave, I said goodbye to Aunt Sarah and promised her a game of poker during our next visit. I have at least 3 jars of change ready. I know I'm going to need it.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

booze, booze, booze...

Since I know that nobody wants to hear about how my pocket Js got me wiped out in the freeroll at the BH last night when I went all-in preflop and was called by A2o, let's move on to another topic. Something not poker. Something a lot less thought-intensive.

Drinking. Imbibing. Sipping. Gulping. Chugging. However you ingest your alcohol. I'm writing this wishing I had a little already this morning. It would make debugging my ksh script a heck of a lot easier. Of course, the company doesn't see it that way.

I miss the old days of drinking... those days when we were in college and drinking was a daily occurrance, not just something that we do on rare occasions now. Where I went to college, the fraternities/sororities were all on campus along with four sets of apartments. Everything was within walking distance. I had friends in every fraternity so I was invited to the nightly parties they had there. I had a friend who lived with a couple of Rugby players, so I knew when their big parties were. Same thing with the swimming and hockey teams. Of course, you could never forget the end-of-year parties that always happened the weekend before finals.

I saw things at those parties that I'll probably never see again. A whole lot of naked sports - rollerblading, waterslides, volleyball, sledding... and it was usually the rugby guys leading the charge. The honoring of the Rugby Queen. Huge beer bongs. Someone had a 2-story beer bong... which was then filled with vodka and one of the big guys emptied it. (He passed out shortly after.) "Hot-tubbing" (baby pools filled with hot water) in the middle of snowstorms. Heck, I don't even remember half of the parties I went to. The crazier they were, the more fun we had.

Not to add any pressure to anyone, but I have high expections for Bradoween. Knowing the driving forces behind it, I can only imagine what I'm going to see. (BTW, CJ - the drunk-o-lympics must have dizzy-bat races!) Who knows... as long as the pictures don't end up on the internet porn sites... :-)

Monday, August 01, 2005

I'm not dead yet!

Sorry for the Monty Python reference, but I was listening to one of the Monty Python cds with Big Mike on my way to Berwick, PA again this weekend. Between work, visiting with Mom and Tyler, and home obligations, things have been very busy. (I know everyone has obligations, I'll quit whining and move on.) It seems that my boss has been very happy with my work and felt that I needed more responsibility. Woo-hoo!

I haven't been playing very good poker lately. I'd fit in a little playing time on Friday and Sunday nights. I know I need to learn to read people better, especially online. I need to pay more attention to betting patterns. It's a great skill to have, whether you're playing online or live games. Since I'd been playing mostly no limit, I figured I had to get back to basics and start playing limit. Try to recognize when I'm beat and fold when I don't have the best hands. Limit the hands that I play, and make sure that I only play the lesser hands in the proper positions. Once I'm more solid with the basics, I can get better with the bluffing and fancy plays. Of course, I'll probably still play no limit in B&M casinos.

I need to study my theory, too. I found one of Al's Slansky books, and he'd ordered me one of the other ones I've been wanting. I'm way behind in my reading. I need to learn to calculate pot odds. Damn, I hate calculating pot odds. I usually just calculate number of outs... I have to get much better for a tourney coming up next month.

I'm gearing up for Bradoween! I've offered my services as bartender to Otis and the rest of the G-Vegas Crew. I'm trying to put together a list of popular drinks and shots with common liquors so we can keep the number of bottles down and keep from leaving any behind when we're done. Yeah, I don't think that's possible either, but... If anyone going has any ideas, let me know. I'll see what we can work out.

Well, it's past my bedtime. This weekend has been rough on me. I'll be doing my best to get back to a regular posting schedule so I don't lose my 2 regular readers (Thanks Al and whoever the other random reader is!) Here's wishing you a good night...