Thursday, May 31, 2007

First of Fifty

Five tables filled up at last night's card club's bounty tournament. Started at seat three on table one and didn't change until they redrew for final table positions, when I moved to seat four. I was getting lucky all night. My two pairs were turning into full houses, knocking out made straights and flushes. A guy went all in after the flop when I had raised five times the blinds preflop. I guess he didn't think I had a pair of aces. He was going for a back door flush, when a second jack hit the table on the turn, and a third jack hit on the river to give me another full house. At the final table my pair of sevens beat out a queen-ten and an ace-six to triple up to about forty four thousand and became the chip leader. With the blinds increasing every fifteen minutes, the other players didn't have a chance. Finally it was down to three players with antes of four hundred and blinds of twelve hundred and twenty four hundred. The seasoned player wanted to chop it three ways and I thought it was an okay idea since it was approaching midnight, and I knew my alarm clock was going to off in five to six hours. The younger player did not want to, but wanted to keep playing. We did keep playing until I knocked him out five hands later. That move cost him over a hundred bucks as he walked away with third place money. The last remaining player and myself agreed to a chop, but that I would get a hundred or so more than him. Fine with me, He had beaten me before, but I had four times as many chips as him this time. I may have over tipped the dealers though, for I walked out with less cash than the other player did. No worries, I had a great time, being patient and sipping my gatorade, with my sunglasses on my hat and being agressive when others played back at me whilst I was holding a hand. It's good to win one again, live.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

'Cause it's fun to be a geek

Every wonder how the sci-fi enterprise would look over a city scape?
Well, a couple of folks have:
Keeps me looking up...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

Overall, it was a restful weekend. Took two out of three games from the cubbies. Before Friday's game, I took the mini in for it's first service call. Fluids and filter check and replace. I decided not to take a loaner car [would have been free] since I had nothing else to do and wait it out. The message I got from LoJack a few minutes later was amusing. "Your car may have been moved without your permission, please check on it as soon as possible." Since I had the LoJack key in my pocket, and not on my car's keychain, that made sense to me. The service writer had a british accent and asked if there was any other issue or damage to look at. I answered no, and he offered, 'so, no campaigning then?' which brought a smile on both our faces. I did have to order the tow hook cable cover, since the one the salesman put on my car blew off the first day. As soon as it is painted the correct color, I asked him to mail it to me and I'll put it on. Of course he answered that he will 'post' it forthwith. Two countries, separated by a common language. Demonstrated even more by the commentary on the DVD 'Shaun of the Dead'. Changing the word Pissed to Drunk so american audiences will know that he thought she had been drinking instead of being angry. Got the car back and it drove away better than ever. They even gave it a nice wash. The best part was when the cashier said 'no charge'. Headed west on I-10 to the end when it turns north up the coast along California Hwy 1. Pacific Coast Highway is affectionately called PCH around these parts. Passed through lower Malibu, stopped a bit at Zuma to watch a surfing competition ramp up, then headed north again to Point Mugu. What a beautiful drive, even with a slight overcast. Since I took everything out of the car earlier in the day before the service call, I did not have my camera with me. I can not use the data features of this darn perpetual roaming phone either. I'll have to snap a few in the weeks to come and post them. Maybe I have some in another online archive from a few years ago, will have to check that too. Cut over to the 101 from PCH before getting to Oxnard. The smells of the strawberry fields put me in an even better mood. All of this with the top down, of course. Maneuvered onto the 101 back to LA and ran into some traffic, I still had five hours before game time, so plenty time to soak up the sun. Thought when I got into the valley, it was getting really hot. So much so that the convertible in front of me put their top up! Well, we were only doing about 20 mph on this li'l freeway at the moment, so he didn't even have to pull over. His passenger seemed appreciative. Finally got through the downtown heading traffic and got back to the speed limit through Pasadena. Checked my mailbox and decided to head home until the gates would open for the game. Drove by a few movie theaters just in case the lines were short, they were not. Why would they be? It's only one of the most popular weekends for movies. While getting ready for the game, noticed how sunburned I had become from one day on the road. This will take a lot of work to even out the arms with everything else. Dodgers came from behind to win a great see-saw battle Friday night, but only scored nine runs in their win, so the fans with tickets did not earn ten free hot wings at hooters this day, like we did a week or so ago. Not that I took them up on the offer, it's advertised during the pre-game, but I have yet to walk into a hooters. There is one on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena that I drive by at least three times a week, but have yet to stop in at. Maybe I need to be in a group to go there, yeah, that's it. Woke up late Saturday by the time I got to the early game, the parking lot I usually park in was full. Fortunately, the attendant was just opening a side gate to the next lot when a car ahead of me paid him a double sawbuck to do it. The attendant recognized me as being two hours later than normal and waved me in too. The couple that got out of the other car introduced themselves and told me what they did to park there. I asked them if they were going to the Stadium Club and they wanted to know what it was and how do they get in there. I checked their tickets, and it did not say Club Access so I had them follow me as my guests, with the advice that they just look like they know what they are doing. They bought my blue normally-pre-game drink, she had one as well, and him an ale. I told them how food service worked, they ordered some and got a table, we thank'd each other and I left for my seats. Lost that close game, but had a lot of fun watching it. Sunday's game was the long one. Tied at zero for a long time, we finally scored a run in the eleventh to win it. It was hot, I was burnt, and the ale after the game upstairs in the club helped a lot too. Met a couple from Lost Wages at the bar. Seems they drove in just for the games on Saturday and Sunday. I called them wise for going against the main flow of traffic between LA and LV but they didn't get it. The cubbies did draw a lot of fans, over a hundred thousand total for the three game series. Monday was a quiet day, playing Railroads on the dual core on the internet and getting bought out, as well as re-watching all the commentaries on 'Shaun of the Dead' before sending it back to Netflix. Not recommended for kiddies as it's rated R, but a nice zed-word movie with a lot of comedy in spite of the foul language. Then again, what would you say if zombie approached you? Nice that it was set in London, too. Back to work, helping people print and e-mail each other while working on PBEM war-gaming in the background. Cya.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Events Surrounding the Event

Attending every Dodger game gets one use to the normal events of putting on the game, and you start to observe the things that one is not use to seeing every game. Whether it's Tara Lipinski throwing out the first pitch, or the county fire department's fleet of water dropping helicopters doing a flyover. Something is always different. Walking behind the press box on the club level at different innings in the game just to see which announcer is on break and wandering the halls. Predicting the path of foul balls, and prop-betting the number of bounces before each one is held up as a prize. Which keg is going to seize up behind the bar and limit my choice of ale. Sometimes a game or race of a different sport is on one of the displays. Last night after the game, a dozen or so customer's convinced the restaurant manager to have the final few minutes of american idol on the far left TV behind the bar. I had to move to the middle of the bar to watch ESPN news, but kept an eye on them and that display as the emotions twisted taunter. When the final moment came, it was amazing how many people gasped, ooh'd and aah'd the decision. I thought I saw tears on some patrons as the final song was being sung. I'm just glad we could not hear it. And after losing three straight to the Angels, it was nice to win two out of three from the Brewers. Cubbies are next all weekend long...

Monday, May 21, 2007

I don't know why you say goodbye...

...I say hello.
T was found dead on the couch with the TV on, one morning almost a couple of weeks ago. Last Saturday was the memorial service with many friends we played cards with, and many family members from Michigan, as well as the friends and neighbors who came to know him in the last few years of his life in California. It was good hearing all the stories from his childhood to the present. I learned more about him during those hours, than during the last year of seeing him at the poker table. Almost wish I got to know him better while he was here. He always had a kind word and a smile ready away from the gaming tables. When he talked at the table, he had an angle floating. I don't remember ever hearing The Beatles, or Elton John songs played at a memorial service before, but with the thirty minute delay in starting, we hear them and more. Started with a few piano concerto's that seemed appropiate, but when Funeral For A Friend started up, I was almost beside myself. I decided to just enjoy it for what it is, and not sing along with Love Lies Bleeding in my Hand continuation. I only wish that I had a story to tell, but after hearing a dozen others, I recognized every part of what I may have told, already out there. Bye T, I'll miss your wit and insight.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Connecting with Customers

One of my favorite customer support tools has been the one that lets me see the other user's display as they see it. Whether it was Timbuktu or Funk Proxy. PC Anywhere, not so much. During the current PC Replacement project we are installing Windows Vista and Office 2007, so we're going to need a tool like this more than ever. Unfortunately there is not a third party system that is certified to work with Vista yet, so it looks like we are going to go with the built in remote assistant. Great. To accept a connection the user has to have admin rights, which we do not grant users. Maybe with Beyond Trust we will be able to have this specific application launch with the correct user rights, but it is still going to be a lot of extra steps that we did not have to do before. sigh. I would hate to have to go back to the way we did it nearly twenty years ago by getting the user to completely describe what is happening on their screen. Very time consuming, even if entertaining. Instructing how to use a new function in Office 2007 is going to be easier when I can see their display. And if the customer is hundreds of miles away, as some of our employees are, it helps us on both sides to get the problem solved immediately.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Finally beat the Cards

Two out of three games for the Dodgers. First time in years. They had beaten us ten straight games before this series. So nice to be over that hump, the one of the sagging world champions. I think the team scored more runs in the last six days than they did in the last six weeks. Run, run, run! And after a day off, a bout with the Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem. Who are they kidding? Anahiem is thirty five miles away and in another county. Might be why the stadium here listed them as ANA until this past year finally as LAA. Down the freeway we go...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Reds are Swept

Weird series with the Reds this past weekend. Not in a sense of what happened on the field, [Dodgers swept the Reds three straight], but in the way people reacted around me. Thursday night I'm getting my palm read before watching the 300, and confirm everything she's saying about seeing future events. The three hundred is a fun film to watch whether you know any Greek history or not. Characters are overstated just enough to make for a great story. Friday night I had a dinner guest at the stadium club and did not pay a lot of attention to the game. The only scoring was in the first inning, so watching that and relying on pitchers to take care of the rest of the game worked out well. I let her pick the wine while watched the game and the other people. Good choice, as everything went well, including the fireworks show after the game. Saturday was a fun game to watch. After the game was very strange, stumbled out from the stadium club a half hour after the game or so, and noticed a woman staring into the driver side window of my car. I was still fifty feet away and thought I'd startle her a bit. Hit the remote control and waited for the windows to start rolling down. All she did was gasp, lean back and start to applaud. As I approached her I noticed her old man with a phone to his head about ten feet further. I shook his hand, introduced myself and asked what was she doing to my car? Apparently she owns the hard top version and wants a sporty convertible version. I said cool, let her sit in the driver seat and showed her how to put the top all the way open. After about five minutes of oohing and aaahing she got silly and started bouncing up and down in the seat, that's when I said 'alright, out of the car', which she reluctantly did, and then cheered me as I started it up and drove off to the sunset exit. Sunday was the best win of the three, as they had us down five to three, we came back to tie it, and then eventually score ten runs to win. Ten runs means ten free wings at hooters within forty eight hours and a ticket stub. I have never been in a hooters, and I left yesterday's tickets at home, so I guess I'll never get to taste 'em. Tonight they start a series with the Cardinals, who are also on a current downswing. Good time to beat up on them too. See you at the game.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Rough Ride

After winning three and losing four on the last road trip, the Dodgers are back for a six game homestand against the Reds and the Cardnials. I have my tickets torn out of the book and am ready to go, wanna come with?

Thursday, May 10, 2007


What history?
My old blog was at for a couple of years, and entries before that are now offline. I still have electronic diaries going back to the nineties from old web pages. Wonder what I'll ever do with them? Or just wait until my relatives destroy them after I'm gone...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Facility Alert

Witnessed; as a CC; the following e-mail exchange, after this announcement went out to us multi-rise employees:

Expect Headquarters bulding elevator delays. We have taken three high-rise elevators and one low-rise elevator temporary out of service for repairs.
The elevator contractor has been called to make appropriate repairs.
Wait period for an elvevator to each floor willl take longer than normal.

Subject: FW: Facility Alert
Whats a Bulding?

Subject: RE: Facility Alert
It's the thing with the elvevator in it.

Subject: RE: Facility Alert
Just wanted to make sure.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Table One Sucks

Inevitably, I get a seating assignment at table one of a tournament. The table that never breaks. All other tables break to make their way to the final table. I prefer not to start at this table, but work my to it by helping to eliminate other players and cause the table I'm at to break up and spread out to the remaining tables of the tournament. C'est la vie. Last night I was seated at table one, and throughout the tournament, as other tables broke up and filled our empty seats from our eliminated players, it just seemed harder and harder to maintain the seat I was occupying. Larger and larger stacks would appear in the empty seats around us from time to time and I had to mix in reads on new players whilst remember how some of the other long lasting players at this table play. This takes a lot more mental effort than I normally like to use. So I tightened up my play, grinded and stole blinds to reach the top twenty. Luck ran out and skill was unable to be used as a higher set than mine took over half of my stack. I had fun raising his bets and watching his smooth calls, thinking he had another two pair hand. Little did I know the jack on the turn gave him a higher set than mine. With only a few rounds of blinds and antes left in front of me, it's desperation time. I fold a number of mediocre hands, looking for the one that will bring in the most chips. Finally one comes along, two high suited cards, I push from under the gun, two callers and I triple up when my flush is made on the river. It's still not enough though, and a couple of rounds later I am out in twentieth place. The only good thing is that I never had to change my seat the entire tournament. If you can call that a good thing. Still, I'm amused.