Friday, December 26, 2008

Delivered and Accepted

Now that the gift has been given and used, I can talk a bit about aquiring it from the Apple Store.
The experience was okay. Parking was terrible. I parked back on the bridge over the 110 freeway and walked the two blocks to the store. They were very busy. The first employee took me to a second who was helping someone else and directed a third to go in the back and get what I wanted and delivered it to a fourth employee who was found by the first one to finally ring me up, after the fourth employee tried to sell me several packages I did not want, though they did do a friendly job of trying to sell me a more expensive model than what I wanted. I did relent to get the 99 dollar printer/scanner/copier from cannon since they offered a hundred dollar rebate, which I applied for and received back within a week. I finally walked out with the macbook I wanted, with a printer and three year coverage which will make my niece a happy camper. At least for a few months... ;)
...She sure was quiet after she thanked me and started using it, along with a big smile on her face. Mom was a wonderful host again this year. One brother from Tulsa was also with us, where were my other two brothers and their families? Hmmmm? My sister gave me a new cell phone. As soon as I activate it, I'll post the number here for you. yeah, right. Think I'll curl up in my new dodger blanket with a home plate dodger pillow too. Good Night!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Weeweechu


Here is a story about Rosita and Pedro. Enjoy!

It's a romantic full moon, when Pedro said, "Hey, mamacita, let's do Weeweechu."

Oh no, not now, let's look at the moon!" said Rosita.

Oh, c'mon baby, let's you and I do Weeweechu. I love you and it's the perfect time," Pedro begged.

"But I wanna just hold your hand and watch the moon." replied Rosita.

Please, corazoncito, just once, do Weeweechu with me."

Rosita looked at Pedro and said, "OK, one time, we'll do Weeweechu."

Pedro grabbed his guitar and they both sang....

"Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year."

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trojan Averted

Thanks to the helpful support forums at Lavasoft [the makers of Ad-Aware] the silly ad-popping trojan I picked up last weekend has now been cleaned from my system. Just followed their rules, asked a question, posted log files of the utilities they asked me to run, and the system seem back to it's old self again. Happy, happy, joy joy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ready to Move

I went to the new place and signed the lease.
This is going to be a great move for me.
Packing and moving is always the hard part.
Can't wait to be living there though.
Off I go collecting empty boxes...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

PokerStars WBCOOP 2008

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

The WBCOOP is an online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers.

Registration code: 466693








Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home is where

I was at my aunts the day after thanksgiving helping her with some computer issues in exchange for lunch. Also noticed she was packing for her move to New Mexico. She can not find a buyer for the place, and I could lease it out from her for almost double what I am paying now, but it would be two miles from the beach instead of twenty five miles like I am now. Two miles! for about the same square footage as I have now, but with an attached garage, nice little yard, and did I mention two miles down a bike path from the beach? Though it is also a little farther from work, and through infamous west side traffic. The rent would jump from fourteen percent of my take home to twenty four percent of my take home pay a month. That would be very reasonable if I didn't have a mini cooper payment and dodger season tickets. Argh. It's available in thirty days. Do I give the current landlady thirty days notice and move? Or just move? Or just decline the offer and stay put. A lot of things to think about this weekend.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Poker Translation

You know all those old poker books that said in a tournament you only need to win one big hand an hour. Well, turns out they were talking about tournaments where the blinds go up only every two hours! If you were in a tournament with fifteen minute levels, you would have to win a big hand ever seven and a half minutes to follow the same guidelines. Who can do that? You are on the button only once every ten minutes or so. Playing good in every position before and after the button in a quick level tournament is even more critical than in one that has two hour level changes. I have some re-thinking to do.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Train for Trains

So, I'm sitting in traffic at a red light and see this huge three car track-testing tunnel-drilling monstronsity right outside my car window. I grab the camera out of my glovebox, roll down the window and snap this quick video of a train that hardly anyone ever sees. It is on the track on first street that is going to part of the new extension to the gold line from downtown LA to East LA. Once they finish, I may start taking this railway line.
Okay, back to work...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Home Game

Some folk I'd been chatting with at the games during the last season took an interest in my poker stories, and invited me over for a home game. Twenty buy in, nickel dime and quarter stakes, nothing fancy. I haven't been playing much so answered, sure, I'll go. A few Thursday night's ago, I show up a couple of minutes late after driving to the beach and back after work, enter meet most of the group, all waiting on one more player after me. They pryed out of me what I like to drink an showed off an ample liquor cabinet ready to supply an alcoholic's every dream. Then they hand me a bottle, with about a third of it left, of a very nice, smooth expensive rum, and ask me if that would be okay. Okay? Would they like me to sing and dance too? Not necessary, I'm assured. Five of us sit down, and we start going after the house rules, dealer's choice of game, pre-shuffling ettiquite and ante's versus blinds sticklers. We went with an ante for every game. And instead of nickel, dime, and quarter, the chip demoninations were quarter, half dollar, and dollar. Raises, no limits. Uh oh, usually home games and card clubs have a three raise limit. This could go over the top. I settle in, with some chips and salsa and rum on ice and the sixth player arrives. A gorgeous woman whom, after conversation goes around a bit, has just gotten rid of her third husband. This is gonna hurt. She sits down on my left and asks the table if anyone would help her out with the rules. The hostess breaks out a tiny book on poker, and turns to the page that describes what hand beats what and hands it to her to use. I'm in trouble. She's cute, she is playing helpless, she is next to me... the last time a cute woman sat next to me at a home game, she ended up taking me home for the weekend after I lost everything. I do not want a repeat performance of that. The weekend was fun and all, but I was broke. An hour into the game, and an hour after I said I would help her out if she was having trouble with any hand that I was not in, I realized that it was all an act. She was, of course, a very good player. This will not be a repeat performance at all, besides, she was blonde, not a red-head. She was still flirting with me, scratching my back, offering to pour another drink from the bottle in front of me, etc. And just as animate with the other two guys and the two hostess. What game she had. Playing weak when she was strong, watching folk fold to her huge raises. An impressive performance. I lost a big hand to her four-of-a-kind when holding aces full of kings, without using wild cards. That got to me. I got up, walked around, got some ice, some snacks, and resolved to stick to my game. An hourly bluff, an hourly showing of a strong hand, a lot of folding. For the most part, it worked. She ended up the big winner with three times her buy-in, I finished fifty percent up, the other two women were out of chips, and the other two guys each finished twenty five percent down. All in all, a fun few hours with new friends. I was the first to go, since my alarm was going off at five the next morning to get ready for work. I can't wait to do it all again, and hope that they invite me in a couple of months to their next game.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Be a Budget Hero

Care to take on the national debt? Raise taxes? Defend the borders? test yourself now:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'll answer that

Phone? What phone? Last Saturday afternoon I heard a pop outside my window, but did not think much of it. Noticed the WAN light was out on my wireless router/modem and thought, it will be back later. Sunday morning, still no WAN light, reseated cables, powered router off and back on, waited. Blinky blinky, no steady on. Damn. Went to call my provider. No dial tone. Hmmm. Maybe it's a neighborhood thing and will be back on later. Went out on the balcony and looked out. No neighbors out and about to ask. Must be all watching football or something. So back in I go and keep an ear on a couple of games while working around the apartment. Monday morning. No dial tone and no internet service. Argh. Go to work, report the issue. They can not tell what is wrong over the phone and have to send someone out. Tuesday afternoon between noon and four PM. Fine. Call my landlady for access. She says okay, but she has to go to the store that afternoon. I thank her and go back to work. Tuesday afternoon the phone company repair tech calls and says he'll be there in a few minutes after three PM. I say fine, my landlady has access if you need it. I called landlady and advised her. She says great, I've been waiting all afternoon and I'm gonna kick his butt! I broke out laughing, thanked her again, and went back to work. Haven't heard a thing since. After dinner with a co-worker I stroll in around eight thirty or so. Place is dark, no tenants out and I pull in and go upstairs. Dial tone! Turn on the router/modem. Blinky for a minute, then steady on WAN light! Cool, I'm a happy puppy. Check messages, one on Saturday, mom on Sunday, and a hangup today. Why could I not get these from voicemail yesterday from work? Oh well, have to go and call mom now, just thought I'd tell you first, I'm back....

Friday, October 17, 2008

End of 50 years in LA


I'm feeling a little better now. Dodgers still lost the NLCS for 2008, but some foolish mortal decided to invite me to the after party in this huge tent in the parking lot outside the stadium club after the game. I was found sulking at the bar going over the game with a few other patrons when one of the bartenders says to me, 'George wants to talk to you'. Usually that means he wants to buy someone a drink, or give you his business card, or just catch up before heading out. This time, as I was finishing up the current conversation, George couldn't wait and walked over and handed me the ticket to the party, seen to the upper left here. Wasn't sure what it was, but I said sure, I'll see him there, and introduced him to the others that were discussing that were also discussing the game at the bar. When all that broke up, I asked one of the security guards I knew if she thought it was going to be a good party to go to. She assured me it would be worth my time, so I left the comfortable stadium club and walked outside to the tent's entrance. The music was very loud, and a dj was having fun playing a safe mix. Video screens everywhere showing slides of various dodger activities and events throughout the last year. Saw a lot of folk I've met at various game through the last few seasons. Four open bars, half a dozen tables of finger food and dodger dogs all laid out. I had fun celebrating and commiserating and eating and getting a bottle of water at the bar. Already had enough to drink earlier. Took a short video and a few pictures. You can see them on my flickr page from the badge on the right. Shook Rick Monday's hand. He's the announcer, former player, that when he was with the cubs, picked up a usa flag from two protesters in center field of dodger stadium who were trying to light it on fire. His success and their failure makes him a hero in my mind, and I thanked him for it. Not sure if he heard everything I said, but he was patient, understanding and I went away happy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tough Loss

I'm so sad. One because of the idiot first timers sitting in the row in front of us who had no idea we were season ticket holders and were standing up in front of us at all the wrong times. Two because the Dodgers lost at home and are now behind three games to one in a best of seven series. Three because of traffic downtown after getting off of work at five PM and not getting to the game until six PM in rush hour plus game traffic for a five twenty two start time when it normally takes me all of ten minutes to get there. And four, because I wanna be. I'll cheer up in time for Wednesday night's game. Promise.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

People Are Strange

When you,re strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you.re strange
No one remembers your name
When you're
Straaaaaange.
Great win over the phillies tonight, though most of the folk in the stadium club were oblivious to it, or just accepted it and moved on. It seems almost every person I had met in the last five years were in the club before and after the game. It took over an hour for traffic to die down, so I was glad that the club was still open ofter the game, where we could look out the glass and see the river of red brake lights go on and on. Dozens of folk I hadn't talked to in months were all there and all wanted a few minutes. I was happy to give. Before and After the game. During the game I was in my seat, jumping up and down with every great play the team made. Showing up two hours early was even better, easy in, easy out. I am so glad I had conversations to make and beer to drink before leaving the park nearly an hour and a half after the game ended. I'm renewing club membership for next year. The weird part was snippets against one person from various groups about a member of every other group I talked to. Didn't catch any talk about me, but separated a couple of groups so they would not be too close to each other. Our opponent is the phillies this series, not each other. All fans, in different ways, I like drifting between each of the groups. Amazing how so many can handle me, but not others that can too. Not that it is all about me, it's about the team on the field that we are all there to support. Pick one group and shun the rest? hardly. All of them are great in their own right, and I have fun floating amongst them all. Just sorry that they do not all mix. Goes to show that it takes all kinds to be a fan. Even if some think them strange...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Every Little Thing...

Sometimes it's years between, sometimes months, but lately it has been merely hours between dreams. I know I stayed up too late last night recording and editing a chapter for librivox.org and when I came home from work this afternoon, went straight to bed for a nap. Had some weird situation dreams last Saturday night after the Dodger's swept the cubbies, and every night there after they have been milder and milder. I can not remember what exactly the dreams were about, but I know I have been having them. Even during this latest nap. Some are wearing me out. Some are floating through the universe. Maybe it's all this Buddha stuff I've been reading lately, or the audio book series I bought recently featuring the works of Orson Scott Card. Can't believe they all came in except Ender's Shadow. Off I go, into the land of audio...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cubs Lose

Not only did the cubbies lose, but the dodgers swept them in three straight games. Sorry cub fans, but I am very happy. Other fans that I hadn't seen for half the year started buying me drinks after the game at the stadium club, so I bought them drinks back. Though there was no way I could drink them all, at nearly midnight after the game had ended, security finally came in to clear us all out and I head through the suites back toward my section and out of the stadium. The only folk though this part of the parking lot were drunks and security. Which was I? Definitely not security. I did make it home safe and sound and able to let you know how happy dodger fans are tonight. Twenty years since this team had won a post season series. Poor cubbies and their hundred year quest will have to wait another year, Go Dodgers. I even have time to record for librivox.org tomorrow, but for now, sleep, wonderful sleep. g'night all.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Playoffs, Baby


Got my playoff tickets in the mail the other day. First home game is not until Saturday, but I am already excited. First two games will be in Chicago. Can not quite make those, this time. I hope we sweep them in three and get the first series over with, but I know it will not be that easy. And if LA's team does not make it to the World Series of Baseball, then the fee just rolls over to next year's season ticket pool. First, boo the cubbies, then off to the next round.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Police Help

I've become the old man next door yelling 'you kids get off my lawn'. Saturday morning, at seven twenty in the morning, new neighbor outside my open bedroom window decides to use an air powered nail gun in fixing up his new home. Which was nice an quiet when the 103 year old lady use to live there. Thing was built in the forties and does need a lot of work, but come on. A nail gun this early? So since he did not response to my gentle taunts, but kept on working, I phoned the non-emergency number and asked a question, at what hour of the morning may one use an air powered nail gun? She mentioned eight or nine AM but it was different on the weekends and would be glad to send someone out to talk to him. Twenty minutes later I hear a car pull up, a knock on their door, and it stops. For hours. Now for days. Guess he was done, or they talked him out of using it ever again. I would have been happy with just after nine AM that Saturday. Construction still goes on. Today he's mixing cement in a wheelbarrow for a new walkway. That's nice.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Reports From Texas

Getting reports from various parts of Texas that Disaster Recovery is still underway. Ice and water are being given away at some locations now. Most are living by candles and batteries. It was a very powerful storm and estimates as to when they will get power back vary. Cleaning up is the best that they can do while waiting for insurance adjusters arrive. Most BBQ'd on Sunday everything out of their freezers and refrigerators. Now it all has to keep as they get time to eat it all. Trees that fell is the biggest issue in the suburbs. Repair crews can't get in until the are cleared first. Downtown Houston is layered in glass shards. Not a pretty site. Some are charging cell phones with generators and cars though they need to save the gas or wait in a long line for more. Galveston is going to take a long time to recover/rebuild. If work crews are ever allowed back there. Ferrying items from Galveston to the Bolivar Peninsula, or trucking from San Jacinto will take a long time to get there too. I'm sure they could use your prayers, too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Are Women All Crazy?

One sure is. Okay, I take it back, I'm the crazy one for taking the leads she offered and called them back only to be blown away by their stories and experience. I haven't talked to her in over a week, and e-mail her a hint that I might want to do voice work, and she is already lining up industry professionals for me to talk to. My first class in the field isn't for a month and already I am being prodded to hustle up auditions. I know the field is cutthroat, but was not expecting this until I had a professional demo ready. Off I go...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Think Blue

Fun to watch the standings and see the Dodger's increasing their lead in the national league's west division. Anyone want extra playoff tickets?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Acting

The last couple of days have gone better than planned. Even the Dodgers are increasing their lead in the National League's Western Division. The one drawback now is the 'every two minute' cooling fan coming on as I record for librivox.org It's getting very distracting. Maybe I need a portable voice recorder and then just copy it to the laptop later. Maybe. I also took a plunge and signed up for a voice over acting workshop. This will finally test my skills, or lack thereof, of using my voice as an instrument as so many phone contacts tell me I should think of doing. So fine, now to get a professional opinion from real voice over actors and put me in my place. It will be fun to learn another method, none the less. Off I go...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm A Terrible Boyfriend

I say all the right things.
When we are together.
I'm trainable.
When we are together.
I make many correct moves.
When we are together.
I haven't called or written in ten days.
She called yesterday to remind me that she is still alive.
Ten days ago, I mentioned that I would be spending a week with the Dodgers after work etc.
I haven't really thought of her for eight of those days.
I'm not worthy, and need to tell her.
The half a dozen dates or so the three weeks before were fun.
But, without an enthusiam for baseball, she dropped off my radar.
Why am I telling you?
Easy, you are an anonymous reader.
Me, I'm A Terrible Boyfriend.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Closer to Normal Week

Had fun attending three Dodger home games this week. [All wins] They are off tonight, so I am home typing this up. I'll be attending three more this weekend. Wouldn't you?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Strange Week

Travelling in a different circle can spin one around. Sunday night I meet some friends at an outdoor jazz concert. Turns out the eighty year old, sax playing, headliner, was the cousin of the folk I went to meet there. We all go out to dinner and I am wow'd by the stories of traveling the world with his horns and the women who stalked him. The week ended with a dinner party last Saturday night, with a walk over to one of her friends house. We all go in and wait for the artist to arrive. When she does, the parlor is opened and a huge pipe organ is set up permanently in this guys parlor. He introduces the player who talks about each selection while changing the settings on the organ from romantic to baroque and back. I sure do not understand the footwork involved with all those pedals. Tip basket with envelopes was available and I put a twenty in an unmarked envelope and tossed it in for I was so astonished at what I just heard. Who has concerts in their home like this? I've invited guitar players to parties before, but never a pipe organist. Hope she does well in her competition in Japan later this year. It takes all kinds, and I'm sure I'll never see them all.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shreding

Back from holiday, paid three weeks worth of bills and mailed them off today. Now to my shreading pile. I really like my shreader. I feed it everything with my name and address on it. Even catalog page covers and netflix envelope covers. Filled up a kitchen trashbag with my shreadings today. Now, is it puzzle time, or do I throw it all away?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday on the Road


After a wonderful week visiting family and friends for the last two weeks, finally on my way home. Currently in a motel in Las Cruses waiting for the sun to set, and wake up tomorrow morning and head back to LA. For the last week I've been in a beach house viewing the Gulf of Mexico with good friends and good times. Cell phones have entered the house, and with improved service this year, calls interrupted many of our activities, except being at the beach and in the water itself. I'd like to ban them, but a couple of them have business's to run and most of guys have wives to say goodnight to. When they were doing that, I was either watching the moon and the stars through the clouds or tuning the satellite radio in to a station that might entertain the lot of us. One dude brought the Firefly series on DVD that I never saw before. Excellent series, what was FOX thinking putting that on Friday nights? Definitely a Tuesday through Thursday, if not Sunday night series. Oh, yeah, the picture. Well, when you get close to interstate 10 on highway 71 in Columbus, Texas, you see these weights hanging down from a sign that reads, If You Hit These, You Will Hit The Bridge. Stuck the camera out of the roof of the Mini and snapped while rolling this morning. Guess a few folk have hit the bridge. Off I go, cya.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thusday, Big Travel Day

Left Tulsa at dawn this morning and headed for Houston. While still in Oklahoma, I pulled into a shamrock station in some little town off of highway 75 and was filling up the mini with premium when a couple pull up in an SUV and the woman gets out and asks me if I'm a local and can direct her to a nearby church. I'm wearing a blue Hawaiian Dodgers shirt, welder sunglasses, and a soft driving cap, putting gas into a mini convertible with California license plates, and she asks me if I live here. Where is she from? Arkansas? Um, no, I'm not from here, and I have yet to scope out the local religious scene. So she trots into the store to see if anyone there knows. Off I go then...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

If it's Saturday...

...It must be Santa Fe. Santa Fe? What the hell am I doing in an artsy fartsy small town in New Mexico? Well my niece was in a broadway theater class for two weeks and it was show case day. I am currently on my annual two week road trip from LA to Tulsa to Houston to the Gulf Coast of Texas since it was happening at the same time, I swung up and glad I am to have done it. And I made it in time for both the 4 PM and 7 PM shows. For a fourteen year old, my niece is doing very well in this theater company. She has been taking jazz dance, ballet, tap, and voice lessons for years, and I had hints that she was good all along and this proves it. As I was copying videos from her mom's camera to this laptop, while being blown away by her impromptu performance here in the room. How does such a deep and soulful voice come from such a tiny teenager? I'm impressed. Her instructors said she improved everyday that she was there. Her mom is beaming, and Uncle Proto is stunned that he is related to someone so talented. Now, about that driving permit next year...

Monday, July 14, 2008

DTV Blues

Last weekend my aunt asks me to take her to a department store and use her coupon for one of those HDTV converter boxes before her DTV coupon from the government expires on Sunday. So on Saturday afternoon, I gather her and her coupon up and head over to the big stores next to the industrial complex. I needed some ink cartridges for my printer too. Might even pick me up one of these converters for the old bedroom TV. I pick out a couple of fifty dollar models, find a package of both my color and black and white printer ink cartridges and head for the cashier. The cashier had not used one of these coupon cards before. We stuck it through the machine like a credit card after ringing up the boxes and it put the forty dollar discount on it right away. Hazzah! Pop in my CC for the rest of the charges and away we go. I go in and set hers up right away. It came with the cable I needed, went through the menus and auto-selected all the channels, gave her the manual and the remote and wished her good night. If only it was so. Went home and set mine up in the bedroom, did mostly the same except I made the change to use channel three instead of four and allowed it to squeeze widescreen 16x9 broadcasts into my little 4x3 format picture tube. I have a good component DTV box on the big screen in the living room, so I knew the channels pretty well, and settled in for a late baseball game. Ring, ring, ha! Aunt lets me know that some channels are not looking right. I head over and play with the antenna. Her poor little rabbit ears are kaput. We pull another set off of her back room TV and get all the channels in. Plus I make the same squeeze and channel three adjustments on hers that I did on mine. She likes it and I head out again. Next day, Ring Ring! Everything is black, no channels coming in. Oops, I head back over there and see that she has the TV on channel four like I told her the first time. Guess I didn't mention that I changed it. Showed her how to get channel three on the old remote control first, then change them with the new remote. She's happy until I ask if she has an outdoor antenna we could use. Well the cable is in the back room, so now I have to get some cable long enough to run to the front room, maybe with a few wall outlets too if I can't stick it behind the molding. Work is never done for the willing nephew...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sporetastic

I've been playing around with the Spore Creature Creator. Three little creatures including this little movie have been quickly thrown together and appear at Spore. This game is going to take up a lot of my free time when it comes out in two months. Maybe I will wait until the first patch is released before buying it though. There is always a patch, right?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vertigo

Is it bad when you wake up two days in a row with vertigo?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fortieth of One Hundredred Twenty Seven

Six and a half hours of playing two or three games for a half hour each, then a ten minute break. Lasting longer than over eighty other HORSE players is a good thing, but only the top sixteen are getting paid to play. We were eight to a table, of sixteen tables. I so wanted to be one of them. Met a few globe troting pros during the breaks, and they were kind enough to listen to me for a minute or so. Recognized many local pros too. And my luck hung in there several times when I was all-in and waiting on a wonderful river card in stud, razz or omaha. A few exciting moments during all those hours of folding. I started at table 14 for the first five hours or so, then I got moved and immediately lost a big hand at the new table in hold'em. The guy the crippled me got knocked out a few hands later and they finally broke that table up. Good, I was getting out drawed on the three hands I did play that hour there. The table I broke into wasn't much better. They had tens of thousands of chips and I was down to my last few thousand. My last hand was in the big blind which was half my stack. 7,9,10,Jack and the board comes King,6,3. Excellent, all I need is an eight or a queen and then a duplicate of my 9,10 or Jack for a straight to get at least the high portion of the main pot. Boy, what a fool I was pushing in the last of my chips and getting two callers, only to have them dividing up the pot between them and me being left with nothing. How could I risk my tournament knowing I needed two cards to get with two cards coming to the board? Tired and hungry. Yeah that's it. Hadn't eaten anything since the pizza at the bar at Dodger Stadium earlier in the day. My skills were at an all time low on that hand. Time for some endurance training for these big live events. Cya

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another Hundred Grand in Play Money

After Monday night's performance of being knocked out twenty second' of fifty four, I was not a happy poker player. I did not show it either. I did have fun knocking out a know-it-all yankee when he didn't think I had anything and went all in with his king-queen and I called with ace-king. Board came up all rags, but before that, he exploded out of his chair saying 'Oh my god, you have a hand!' I just tilted my head under my cap and stared at the table as the dealer finished his job and pushed thirty thousand in tournament chips my way. That was the last pot I won that night. Some were having fun giving each other false advice and I was smirking as I listened to it. If I would have followed the advice of never folding queen-rag hands, I may have picked up a few more pots, but I also would have lost a lot of chips. Just now, I finished an online 25000 play money HORSE tournament on PokerStars. Just for grins, I called down to the river with queen-rag and won a pot from a guy who considered it bad play. Well, it was a bad play, but instead of admitting that, I made a side bet offer of 100 grand in play money, that I would outlast him in this play money tournament. A minute later he comes back and asks if it was directed at him. I confirm it, and he accepts. Cool, all I have to do is outlast this guy [named belgum] and I would collect the same as first place in this little tournament. It got down to the last two players, and who do you think they were? Yup, him and me. He did admit to respecting my play to that point, but when the game came around to hold-em again, and I held queen-rag, we re-raised each other all we could and I crippled his chip stack after getting queens full of sixes. Poor guy could only type 'wtf'. The chips did pass back and forth between us for a few hands until I did not raise with queen-rag again but called him until he was all-in on a queen-eight-seven flop. He was holding king-jack, the better hand before the flop, but I out flopped him and won the tournament for a hundred grand of play money chips, and he took sixty thousand for second place. I'm still waiting for his transfer of another hundred thousand as the conclusion to our side bet. If he transfers it, great. If he doesn't, then he's just another up and coming bum. Hear that belgum? Pay up! There is a live HORSE tournament this Saturday at a large local card room for less than a couple of hundred bucks to enter. A number of local pros who are not at the world series of poker in Las Vegas this month will be there. I may practice with a few more of these and see how I fare, and may even enter this Saturday. Wish me luck!
**The five games of poker in HORSE are:
Hold-em, Omaha high/low, Razz, Stud high, and Stud high/Eight or better for low.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wordle.net

Take any text file, upload it, see the picture it makes. Like this:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Eleventh of Fifty

First hour was wild as ever. Folk playing any two cards and flopping two pair against pairs of aces or kings. After the re-buy period ended, so did most of the wildness, and that's when I started to knock out a few players and aquire enough chips to make it to the last two tables. After getting moved to table two, ran into a bully of a chip leader who was calling, and winning races against every small stack he went up against. The heavy action never swung my way at that table, and I was out in eleventh place. Fair, but not in the money. Maybe next time.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Beware of Grandfather's Telling Stories

Yesterday, I was buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for Athena (my wonder dog) at Wal-Mart and was in the check out line.
A woman behind me asked if I had a dog. What did she think I had, an elephant? So since I'm retired, with little to do, on impulse, I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, and that I was starting the Purina Diet again. I probably shouldn't, I continued, because I'd ended up in the hospital last time. I awoke in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms. However, I did lose 40 pounds on the diet, so I was giving it another go.
I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is you load your pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete and I needed to lose a few more pounds. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was, by now, enthralled with my story.)
Horrified, this woman asked if I ended up in intensive care because I'd been poisoned by the dog food. I told her no, it happened because I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter's ass and a car hit both of us.
I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard!
WAL-MART won't let me shop there anymore

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Backup News Truck


Had a couple of hours after work Friday afternoon before the gates at the stadium would open, so I started cruising through hollywood looking for dinner. Noticed that the mini was low on petrol, so cruised into a station that was empty save for a news truck. Started to think that this can not be good, then saw another news truck parked behind the station. Apparently the prices were a little higher than average here, and it was a good back drop to their story for the four PM news broadcast. Other customers started to arrive after I started filling up, and I started to feel safe enough that this was not a robbery investigation, except maybe for the prices. Took a snap on my way out of their microwave setup and a short video clip whilst filling up.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fire Behind Me


I started smelling smoke through my home office window, then saw flashlights in the yard below me, closed all my windows and ran out to open the gates for the police, told them it was the neighbors place behind me. The police went back to investigate while I stayed in the fresh air. They told the firetrucks where to go, who then had at it. Sounds of saws cutting into the garage roof. Well, it use to be a garage. My landlady just told me that a family was living in it. Not tonight. Finally came back upstairs and found my camera in time to see them mopping up. Sorry folk, no flame pictures for you. I'm going to need to air out my apartment once the smoke from next door settles down, yuck.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

In the Public Domain


I've been lurking on http://www.librivox.org/ for a couple of years now, enjoying an old book now and then from their ever growing catalog. Well, last night I finally contributed by reading in their weekly poetry reading. You can hear it all who recorded this weeks poem in this thread here. The professionalism some put into this free audio book hobby is amazing. I am grateful that they also encourage amatuers like me to contribute. Check them out, you may find something worth listening to, or even participate in reading for.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Have a Safe Memorial Day

Hug a serviceman today. Though, not from behind, or you'll be thrown to the mat and have your life threatened.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

But How?

Hey Uncle Proto,
How did you geocache in the olden days?
With a compass and a paper map, that's how!
And we liked it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mariah

And then, the winds came. The winds stayed for the first five innings of Wednesday night's game. Took a little washed out video with my cheap camera. Notice how the flags are just streaming in flat out. Debris was flying everywhere at times. Grounds crew kept it as nice as they could between innings.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ran Me Off

Woke up starting to blame my lack of poker playing to gypsies and armenians gambling in the micro and low limit games and not taking them seriously enough to play the game. Then I started to rationalize not playing by buying another set of baseball season tickets and a continue making payments on a year and a half old car [my favorite toy ever!], but none of this explains the waning interest in poker. To get the feeling waxing again, I've started re-reading the books I have, again watching the dvds, and to remember the passion I had a few years ago for this game. The passion was ruined by my lack of understanding of the other people playing the game. The game isn't about cards and chips, but people. I may even try to do some of the things that Daniel has done, and not play the cards, but ignore them, ignore the chips, and react and provoke actions, of the people. Some of that, but I want to start playing again, and win a few more tournaments.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I am Iron Man

Cool flick. A nice story line, similar to most other superhero story lines, yet just enough of a twist to keep me interested even through the added scene after the credits finish rolling. I think this movie has made enough money that a sequel is coming. And I hope it does just as well. Now, where is my torch, hammer, and power source, it's time to build another suit...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wandering Week


Listening to the Dodgers lose five straight is never fun. Though there were moments of fun. Streak finally broken in Wisconsin this evening. One more game there on Thursday afternoon before moving on. Enough of baseball for today. Took mom out to a nice restaurant last Sunday afternoon and got current on family history. We are flung all over California, with some in Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and soon New Mexico. Arizona was so forty/fifty years ago for any of us. Southern California Electric is now billing a tiered system. If you use a nominal amount, which I do even with all these computers because no air conditioning, one stays in tier one. Use a lot of electricity in a month, and you could get a bill that includes tier five rates. Here in the LA basin it is not so bad. In the San Fernando Valley, it gets very hot, very quickly, and longer to get to tier two to make it 'fair'. Fair is a concept that eludes me. Whenever a large organization, like a utility, tries to be 'fair' someone is going to feel put upon. I haven't heard a major outcry yet, but this next month should be a good test as we start having triple digit days and very cool and breezy evenings. If I ever get my air conditioner rolled out of the closet and hooked up, I may jump straight to tier three rates and have a lot of fun figuring out my bill. It might even be over thirty bucks a month! Sure was lucky to find a place upstairs with windows on all four sides. If only it was closer to the beach, like fifteen miles closer. Or to the mountains. No, it would only add to my commute four point five days a week. And paying fifty bucks for twelve gallons of ninety one octane is about half-way to my point of consideration of an alternate method of transportation. In the mean time, the cooper is still my favorite toy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Weekly Fun





Another fun week so far at Dodger Stadium. No more whining about being in last place as for the last two weeks they've been the hottest team in baseball and worked their way up to 2nd in the west. Just took two out of three from the Metropolitans and pushed them from tied for 2nd in the east to tied for 3rd. Poor Mets. They'll do better elsewhere. Today was a day game, so I took a vacation day from work and enjoyed sleeping in late, and being served my brunch and brew all game long. Fun, fun, fun. Until we lost the game, but hey, it's not what's happening, it's who you are with, and I was with folk whose company I value. Just a few snaps above, one is a railroad map that I finished working on and uploaded to hooked gamers railroad site, two of them are folk playing the baseball video games on the club level of the stadium. Yes, they play those while the real game is going on. The second machine from the left had the Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death blinking, so it wasn't working so well. Sometimes when I walkby, I may pull a trigger or two pitching and batting who knows who to who knows what. Today I snapped photos of those staying at it a bit longer than I do. The fourth picture shows last night in the parking lot where a helicopter with a search light [night sun] leading in a few police cars to break up twenty folk from having a post game tailgate. Too bad the story does not come out in my cheap little camera's attempt at capturing it. I would get a new camera, maybe one with an optical zoom, if I knew I was going to use it more than once a month like this one. I take it with me a lot of places now, just haven't been using it. Maybe I'll break down and buy a cell phone that would do the work too, and send it to this site. Nay, it's the old circle. No cell phone, no girlfriend, no girlfriend, no cell phone needed.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Well, thanks for writing back, finally.

Grrr, the longest reply so far. Going to be tough to get this internet restriction lifted. Prohibition is just wrong, some see it, my senators do not.

Dear Mr. Dragon:

Thank you for contacting me regarding Internet gambling. I appreciate you taking the time to contact me on this important topic and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

There is no doubt that the Internet and related technologies have had a remarkable effect on the U.S. economy in recent years. The flow of commerce on the Internet has enhanced American industry's ability to distribute goods economically and efficiently. The continuing development of this industry in California has provided hundreds of thousands of new, well-paying jobs, and I am committed to strengthening online commerce and preserving and expanding this vital job base.

While the advent of the Internet has been beneficial to American society, I believe the same cannot be said for Internet-based gambling. Internet gambling has become too easily accessible to minors, subject to fraud and criminal misuse, and too easily used as a tool to evade State gambling laws.

I understand your thoughts on internet gambling, and as you may be aware, I have supported legislation aimed at curbing Internet gambling during my tenure in the Senate. For example, I supported the SAFE Port Act, passed into law as Public Law 109-347, which included (as Title VIII) the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

Please know that I have read your letter with interest and value your thoughts. Additionally, I appreciate hearing your concerns that such restrictions are vague for poker players, and your support for legislation to exempt online poker from the Act. While we do not necessarily agree on this particular topic, be assured that I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind should this issue come before me during the 110th Congress.

Again, thank you for your letter. I hop you will continue to keep me informed on issues of importance to you. Best regards.
Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein

United States Senator

Thursday, May 1, 2008

2GB memory limit crash when more RAM is available

This fix is for those of you that have applications that crash under Vista 32 or 64 a lot. The crashes are apparently due to a 32-bit application without LARGEADDRESSAWARE being able to see and use more then 2 GB on any Microsoft OS (32 or 64 bit). This doesn't mean the OS can't see more memory. The operating system sees it fine, the application runs into trouble when it sees it and freaks out. The program was designed to only see 2gb total, so it doesn't matter if it is in x32 or x64, the program is restricted. Since the OS and other resources eat up that same memory, it will crash. Why doesn't it happen under XP?It does, just not as often because XP uses less ram as a whole. Vista eats up more resources and exploits the problem better.Here is the fix. Hours of web trolling helped mad_boris find this. You actually have to manually patch your own software. Whichever primary executable you are using is the one to fix. Crashes are now very very rare after applying this fix. This method actually patches your main executable with the LARGEADDRESSAWARE flag so it will address more memory. Why application developers have not see this as a problem, I don't know.
Mad_Boris uploaded this:
http://files.filefront.com/3GB_enabler2zip/;6791818;/fileinfo.html
In this zip file, you should find editbin.exe
Don't forget to backup your original applicationName.exe file (for future patch compatibility)FOR VISTA 32 and 64 "Vista 32 users may have to apply second step as well."
1. Copy your applicationName.exe from your application folder to your editbin "3gb_enabler2 unzipped" folder.
2. Open an Elevated Command Prompt with Administrator Privileges.
3. Change to the folder where you unzipped editbin.exe.
4a. type "editbin.exe /LARGEADDRESSAWARE applicationName.exe" without the quotes and rename it to applicationName_copy.exe
EXTRA STEP VISTA 32: x64 users do not have to do this at all as x64 has no problems giving 4gb+ ram to 32 bit apps.. however.. Vista 32 users may.
4b. type "BCDEDIT /set increaseuserva 2900" without the quotes. NOTE: System boards vary. if 2900 does not work try 3072 bcdedit.exe is in thewindows\system32 folder.
5. Copy the patched applicationName_copy.exe back to your /bin directory.
6. You can either change existing shortcuts, or create a shortcut to point to the patched executable applicationName_copy.exe, or rename the original toapplicationName_orginal.exe and the copy to back to applicationName.exe Whichever method is better for you.
The clue is '32-bit applications' without LARGEADDRESSAWARE in their file header can't see and use more then 2 GB on any Microsoft OS (32 or 64 bit). Does not depend on how many GB you have installed. Some applications and games on max settings use more then 1.5 GB memory. Vista after starting up uses about 500 MB. 1.5 GB + 500 MB = 2 GB - max memory limit has been reached and will cause crash when your application tries to use more memory. With LARGEADDRESSAWARE flag your '32-bit application, can now use 3 GB on 32 bit Windows and 4 GB on 64 bit Windows. It is more then enough for most application max settings to handle in 2008.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Arise Cyrano!

I don't know who's idea this was, but I had this gift certificate from amazon so I decided to use it and did a DVD search for 'box sets'. I found a number of them from Mill Creek Entertainment whom I'd never heard of before. I bought a couple of fifty movie packs, some of you may be interested in them too. When will I have the time to watch all of these now?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Different Strokes

It's tough being a fan of a last place team. Having fifty thousand fellow fans about you helps. Friday night was Joe Torre Bobblehead night. This thing looks silly, yet brings a calm smile to my face. My camera is in the car, maybe I'll post a picture of it tomorrow or Sunday. After Wednesday night's game, I'm leaving early, fore I know that my alarm will go off in a few hours and I want to be at work as close to on time as possible, if not a bit early, and as I'm walking through the employee parking on my way to the lot where I park, a new white caddy creeps up behind me. I move out of the way and wait for it to pass in the narrow lane. I get a wave from the driver, Tommy Lasorda. I wave back and off he goes. Maybe he thought I might have been an employee walking through down this lane. Whatever, good to see him still at the games. The night before that Ron Howard walked right by me and I did not even recognize him until my buddy pointed him out to me. Then I saw his back heading for the exit. Tonight I stood in line to have Steve Garvey sign his new book for me, as he was doing for everyone who purchased one. He seemed in great spirits and it was good to see him again too. A buddy took my picture with the author on his cell phone. Hope he sends it in the next day or so. Too many things swirling in my head, must rest... cya.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Long Week


Since the Dodgers were home for a week of games, I spent most of my free time at the Stadium. Last Saturday and Sunday were triple digit hot and by Tuesday night I was shivering in sixty degree weather. Very strange weather from clear blue skies to foggy nights. A couple on their first date was sitting next to me at the bar one night and when their friends finally found them, the bartender had fun lying about all the drinks he served the couple and what was in them. One of my friends is job hunting. His kids are raised and his wife is still teaching and his last foriegn employer fired him for having a bad heart. Physically, not emotionally. Hard to sue a foriegn employer when he was actually contracting to sell their goods and not an office employee. I've learned a lot about the procedure to be inline for a heart transplant, not that I ever want to go through such a process. Amazing how a couple of other bar managers like to come in and be customer's at the stadium club. Fourth year coming in here and I still like it. Introduced my seat mates to it, and they are thinking of adding it on to their seats next year. The Dodger's themselves are hovering just above the last place Giants. It certainly won't be wire to wire first place this year, either. Fifty years in LA, the last twenty without a world series win. Dodger's are due. Found out I share a birthday with Roy Disney and the Pope. Cute. Now what party will I throw for my fiftieth next year? Hmmm, will have to start planning now.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Months of Laundry

Why do I do this? I waited almost three months before doing it this time. It is a good thing that February is a short month. Eighty of these, eighty pairs of those, hours and hours between the washer and the dryer and the video games and the music and the internet tv. It almost got to the point where I had to go out and buy new stuff. I have way too much stuff, especially clothes. Still have shirts I wore in high school, thirty years ago! Maybe I should start a donation hamper together. But I like all of this stuff. Maybe someone else will too....

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fifty First of One Hundred Seventy Eight

Wow, what a turnout today. I expected maybe ninety to a hundred players an ended up looking at nearly double that amount. Got there too early so I grabbed a poker magazine until sign up time. Walked the floor and glanced at all the cash games going on from one/two limit stud and hold'em up to three hundred buy in no limit mixed games. It was all too overwhelming, so I just concentrated on the tournament that I came to play. Am glad I dressed warm for they kept the room cold today. After a good read, went and signed up and then went to my assigned table and read some more. Talked with a few players I knew as they passed by, one of them pointing out the loud mouth at the next table that reached his first final table yesterday, and was now telling others how to play the game to be as good as him. I just chuckled. I don't even remember my first time reaching a final table, though it is probably in an old blog article from a couple of years ago. Cashing is good, winning is great, and I try to remember to check my ego at the door, so at least I don't sound as silly as loud mouth next door. We all start with two thousand in chips, with twenty minute rounds, starting blinds are twenty five and twenty five. Yes both big and small blinds are the same amount. They use to be five and ten with eight hundred in chips, but finally let us use the good chips, I only hope they threw out all those ugly five and ten chips.
About an hour in, near the end of the third level my stack has gone from the two thousand at start, to three grand, down to eighteen hundred, and back up to three grand. A lot of loose play at my table, and I am avoiding most of it. Had to raise with two kings when the board was low with a pair of fives. Got lucky when the guy calling my raises had a pair of sevens. It was a pair of sevens that did me in at the end when I went all in with only six tables of nine or less left at each table. Everyone else folded, and my ace rag did not improve. Fun afternoon, will have to do this again, for awhile longer and get to another final table.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day 2008

Wow. A lot of fun today. Picked up a friend who wanted to go two and a half hours before game time and headed for the stadium. As opposed to years past, parking at dodger stadium was a breeze this year. The most congested spot for me was turning onto exposition blvd from sunset. Being a state holiday, traffic downtown was light. Once inside, left our coats and door gifts at the seats and marched through the suite level to the stadium club. Long line to get in, we bypassed that with the story that we were just going to the bar, and not there to eat. Place was already hopping. Three people deep at the hundred foot wide bar and restaurant seating was proceeding. Found some buddies at the bar to stand behind, and with a wave and a wing ordered two of my blue off menu specials. Greeted several folk as they filtered in, asked where they were sitting now, etc. After the second round, headed back to the seats, and watched an emotional opening ceremony with just about every living dodger in the hall of fame was there. Their names would appear on the scoreboard and their picture on the diamond vision and then they would walk out to the position they use to play at. Only the first day and already I've clapped and hollered myself sore and hoarse. What followed was a great game over the hapless giants. Nice to shut them out on opening day. Eighty more home games in the season, and one hundred and sixty one left total. The next six months should be as memorable.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Replacement Has Arrived


Wow, that was fast. Last Wednesday, I get a message from my shipper/receiver that I have a package waiting. I'm thinking, what little gift did the Dodgers send now? But no, it was my replacement monitor for the one I reported just the weekend before. I'm impressed. So I set it up, noticed one pixel white outed, and a bright spot on the upper left when it first came one, but since then, it has been perfect. Says refurbished on the box, but I do not care. It is much better than the one I am boxing up and sending back to them! Gotta love free shipping labels for returning items. And yes, that is a blue glow coming from the computer. Not sure it came out in the flash or not. Now I have a lot of a paperwork to do and shred, and take out to the garbage. See ya.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

One Down, Eighty Two Home Games To Go

Had a little fun at the first Red Sox vs Dodgers exhibition game at Dodger Stadium last night. It's going to be a fun season.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Death to the Monitors



Yes sirree! For the last month I have been enjoying my new 24 inch monitor. Might be another reason I hadn't been bloggin'. Last weekend I was watching some silly movie on the computer to just to prove I could, when my foot kicked out from the cot I was lying on to the stand that computer was in and the monitor sitting on top of the stand leaned forward, paused, and finally crashed cracking itself on the corner of computer. Playing all those games in native 1920x1200 resolution was cool while it lasted. But now it's toast. I e-mailed support, and after a shift change and a half a dozen e-mails later, they agreed to send me a new one. Can't wait to hear their reaction when they receive this one back. Might even be worth a couple of hundred bucks for the humiliation and anger I felt. Then again, I'll see if my extended warranty covers it first. Won't know until I get an invoice. Let this be a lesson to you all, do not put a fancy monitor on a precarious perch where a wayward foot could send it into the abyss. What an expensive lesson it has been. If only in time spent. I have the cpu hooked up back to the component inputs of the TV so, all is not lost, just any pride I had in using it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Blue Haiku

A box in the post
Season tickets have arrived
Park and drink, happy

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Having to Work


Days ago, where I work instituted a policy against personal and dating websites. This included my blog site. So I haven't been posting during lunch anymore. Instead I've been discussing it locally and boring my work buddies. Between going to sleep after a tournament and being summoned by the alarm clock at five AM, I haven't made time to post. A timely e-mail this morning reminded me that it was here. I will make the time to post again...

Friday, February 29, 2008

Sixtieth of a Hundred and Thirty Eight

Argh. Chip stack went up, chip stack went down. Over and over again like a roller coaster. The ups were fun, the downs, not so fun. Couldn't believe it either when I caught myself calling ninety percent of the flops in the first hour of the tournament. I was being dealt such good cards though. Giving others action, and getting some action on my raises. I got away from all newcomers to the table, thanks to old guido number two who kept telling them how my ace-queen beat out the seat to my left with ace three when he called my all-in after two aces hit the flop. After the first break, my action was down to less than thirty percent of hands dealt and I was feeling much better. When the antes kicked in, my luck ran out and I lost two of the next three races I did get into, to finally knock me out. These Friday 'nooners' are starting to get to me. Time for a movie...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Movie Weekend

Jumper - Cool diving into the war of Jumpers vs. Paladins without knowing who to trust. May have to go and see this one again.
No Country for Old Men - OMG, another psyhcopath killer trying to get money back from a deal gone wrong, even taking out his competition, and how a local sheriff copes. I'm all confused.
There Will Be Blood - I'm glad I read the script before I went so I would know most of what was going on. Even with a few scenes still missing, it is a long way to go slam small town religious leader and independent oilmen. Go only to be shocked. Loosely based on Upton Sinclair's 'Oil'.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jurist Prudence

So last Thursday I was a bit worried. There was only one more I day that I would have to go in for jury service, and I had a first class ticket to Houston on Friday. I dial the 800 number for the court jury service line, enter my jury number and pin like I had since Sunday to see if I would be called in for the next day. If I was to be called in, what would I do? Reschedule to a later flight and not have a seat in row two? Or tell them I'm out of town and need to be on-call for another day in another week. Fortunately, the recording told me that my group number was not needed, and I just had to mail in the form in the provided envelope [glad I saved that] and send it back to them with a signature and I am now done serving the LA Superior Court system for twelve months. Stamped the envelope put it by the door, packed my bag and went to sleep early after setting the alarm for three AM. Made the five forty five flight and watch a weird little movie on the plane. Mr. Magorium's Magic Emporium. Must have been a really good book, but did not translate to a movie very well. At least there was sound. The flight back on Monday they showed Bee Movie, but the right side of the plane in the first twenty rows did not have sound. Glad I picked up a page turner in a bookstore of the Houston Airport. The Blue Zone. The place where you are when the witness protection plan has lost contact with you. This is starting to get long, and without saying very much. I do have more to say, maybe on another day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Radio Health

Was driving around at lunch time listening to the radio when the commentator mentioned that we all have access to health care, it's health insurance that the people need. Changes the spin a bit, does it not?
I felt a headache a few days ago, and a fever the night after that. So I knew it was some type of infection, just did not know what kind. Then my left cheek started to swell, 'great' I thought, a problem tooth. Made an appointment with a dentist and told them where it hurt. They saw the irritation and prescribed antibiotics, but did not find a bad tooth. I then let them x-ray the whole mouth and prepare for my cleaning in a couple of weeks. The Dentist calls my house that night and tells me that it's a good thing they x-rayed the works, cause the found the problem root under an artificial crown on the lower left jaw that could cause the pain on the upper left jaw. Lovely so today I call the endodontist to schedule a root-canal pre-op through a cap. That appointment is next Tuesday, and this weekend I am flying to Texas. The last time I was in Texas I had a tooth issue, too. Should I stop planning trips to Texas? Nope, too many friends and family there.
I've been on-call for jury duty all week, but have not been selected. I call in every night and punch in my juror number and pin number but am told by a recording to call again the next night. They better not call me in on Friday, for I have a first class ticket out of here until Monday night. Hopefully the antibiotics will knock the swelling down by then.
Have a happy President's Day weekend...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fourteen Months and Counting

It's been fourteen months since I decided to have my eyes done and exchange my youthful nearsightedness from a path to bifocals to a path without prescription glasses. I now need some 1.5x cheaters for fine print, or when my eyes are tired, or in a low light room, but other than that, I have enjoyed life more in the last year through these eyes than I ever did fumbling with glasses. Rolling over in the middle of the night only to discover in the morning that you broke the arms off the frames was a late night reading or TV habit that plagued me for years. That is not an issue anymore. I can read at night with a bright light, or a low light and the 1.5x cheaters. TV provides it's own light. If they start to feel a little dry, just watch an episode of Extreme Make Over Home Edition and I'll tear right up. Driving with real sunglasses is a joy compared to flips, or clip on shades to struggle with. To me, it was worth every penny.

Friday, February 8, 2008

High Carbon Delivery System

Start up the car, fold up a stack of dead trees with rubber bands or plastic bags, slowly drive around neighborhoods throwing newspapers onto driveways. Yes, Newspaper delivery is a High Carbon Deliver System, and the sooner this process stops, the cleaner our air and water will be and the happier we all will be. Except the newspaper publisher who has to figure out how to make a living...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year!

It is now the Year of the Rat, and I fear I will continue writing Year of the Pig on my checks for another couple of weeks.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

LA, you've been duped.


Measure 'S' passed. So instead of the ten percent tax on phones just going away as ordred by the courts, the city residents voted in a replacement tax of nine percent on all communications. Your internet connection, your cell phone, your land lines, are now all taxable by the city at a current rate of nine percent. It could have been zero if you vote down this 'reduction' of the rate. Foolish mortals. Enjoy having your internet access taxed now.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Don't Vote Strategically

If you are casting a ballot this Tuesday, as a couple dozen of states are in their primary races leading up to the national conventions, please don't vote strategically. Vote the way your of your mind and your heart. Go with the flow of your inner self. Give your true voice a chance. Let it be counted. Even if it is one against many. Strategy can be played in the final election.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Fiftieth of One Hundred Ninety One

Take off Friday morning in search of a tournament. To late for the pre-dawn tournament the garden, barely enough time to make it to the lake for their friday morning omaha, if I speed. So I speed even more. Well, until traffic where the sixty and the fifteen met. Ended up a half hour late with no seats left. They were already eleven to a table with the button being dealt out. So off I head up the mountain on state seventy four. Beautiful view of the lake from three thousand feet up. I'm going to have to take my camera up there in a couple of weeks or so. Just as I hit the county line, there is a construction zone and highway traffic is down to one lane. So I wait my turn to go a couple of miles on the wrong side of the road past the construction zone. This makes me late for the eleven thirty tournament at hollywood park, but I still have time to catch the one PM hold'em at the bike. Up the seven-ten I go from the four-o-five. I make it a half an hour early, sign in and grab a magazine from the rack and a sandwich from the shop. Eventually we sit at our tables and there is still a long line of folk signing up. This is going to be a big one. Normally I've seen ninety to a hundred sign up for this one. Today, a hundred and ninety one at twenty tables. They started taking tables from the cash game area to seat all of us. Poor dealers were staying for an hour per table before being pushed. Two very chatty and two some-what chatty folk were tearing up the table. Raising pre-flop, betting big on the turn, and scooping at the folds of others. One old man wasn't having any of it. Reraising on the turn and the river to scoop in his. It took an hour before someone called him and he finally showed a set of fives. I was folding most of my hands, and when I did raise, everyone else folded, so all I would get were the blinds and antes. Did get to knock out a few players. Even two at once. By the second break even had a nice stack of chips in front of me and could settle back into my game. Boy, was that the wrong idea. Should have stayed tight. When some others were moved to my table after theirs broke up, I did not have the same rep with them. Already knocked out the very chatty ones. And the somewhat chatty ones were starting to irk me. I usually ignore getting caught up in table talk, but when it is directed at you, it's tough. Smile, stare, exchange pleasantries is usually as far as I go. They want to know how your smile and eyes look when you are talking about something you like as opposed to something you don't like to try and help them guess what your cards are. If you give them the same look everytime, you are a pretty good actor. If you give them a different look everytime, even in similiar situations, you are a better actor. I am not that good of an actor. My brother in Houston will tell you that he can read me very well. He always seems to fold when I holding at least a pair of queens. In any event, After three hours of this and a new person at the table with a chip stack about sixty percent of mine, went all in after the flop. That same flop also gave me two pair. When the rest of the table folded around to me, I called his bet. He showed a set of threes and my two painted pair did not look so good anymore. Without another king or queen on the turn, nor the river, I was down to forty percent of my stack. Darn. Folded a few more rounds and finally called another all-in with my king ten hoping to beat out a random pair in a race. After no one else calls, He shows two nines, and with no king nor ten on the turn nor the river, I'm out in about fitieth place. At least I got past a hundred and forty others, too bad it only paid down to twenty seventh place. We'll try again soon. Did get to drive through three counties and see a lot of sights from the desert, to the hills, to the sea.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

LA River has water in it!

Crusin' east on Sunset past Union Station I saw that the bottom of the river was no longer just concrete with a stream down the center, but completely covered in water flowing down to Long Beach, so I stuck the camera out of the top of the mini and snapped this going over the river bridge. Then I saw a link on LA Observed that led me to naturetrumps that many better shots and movies of water actually flowing around here. Much better than the dry concrete flood control channels that we have been use to since the great flood of 1933 or something like that...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Moist

Wow, there is water falling from the sky! Can't even see the bottom layer of concrete of the LA River this morning. Well, the sun is not due for another hour, maybe it will shine bright enough to see, then.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pennies on the Dollar


Okay, it was not for benjamens, it was a dollar buy-in and an eight dollar prize pool, but entering, feeling nervous as others enter with their dollars, and finally winning made me feel a lot better than the previous post. There are no local live card clubs nor casinos that host HORSE games. That is, five games in one. Hold 'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz [Seven Stud lo-ball], Stud, and Stud Hi/Lo with Eight or better for low. I'm glad I can find one online now and then. Every set number of minutes the game changes from one to the next until all five are played. Then if there are still players left, we run through them all again, raising the stakes with each game change. I love this brand of poker. The best of the best play this with a fifty thousand dollar entry fee at the World Series of Poker. I am no where near that level, but am working on this 'hobby that pays for itself' to get a little closer everyday. Work my way up, take a beating, drop the stakes, and work my up again. I didn't read all those books, play hundreds of thousands of hands, and discuss this game with friends to not get better. Time for sleep, work, and more study/play later.

Twentieth of Thirty

Grrr, argh, raga-snaga, wigga-wagga.
Get 'em next time.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mini Hoopala

On the way to work Wednesday a sensor appeared on my dash. I had not seen this light come on by itself before, only at start up. It has been a year since I read the manual and I have forgotten what that symbol means. Two curved dash lines inside a circle. One on the left, and one on the right. The car felt different, but it could have been the recently potholed roads from the rain the week before. I carefully make it to work and grab the car's manual out of the glove box to take with me upstairs. A coworker asked me, 'Your car manual comes in a leather case?' to which I just blinked, then answered in the affirmative. Finding the correct page took less than a couple of minutes, would have been quicker but I started reminiscing all the features of this little beauty. Apparently when this symbol lights up red, you suppose to contact the dealer immediately. Braking system. The curved dashed lines are suppose to resemble brake pads hitting inside the wheel. I'll remember that from now on. Well, it did not light up red, just yellow, so I dawdled. Eventually went to the dealerships website and filled out a service form describing that my yellow lit symbol was not in fact red, but I was contacting them, nonetheless. I exchanged a few e-mails later with the service writer and we decided to that I should bring it in Friday morning before 8:30 AM. Not a problem, it is my Friday off just glad I knew a shortcut to there around rush hour traffic. Took a paperback with a bookmark in it with me and waited around the dealership after listening to the previous customer and the service writer both using Newcastle accents. Not that I know what one is, but it sounded British and they both talked about touring around Newcastle. Seating myself in a comfy chair in the waiting area, I realize that this is the same paperback I was reading the last time I was here for the 9000 mile service. Cool, for such a great story, how did I not finish it before? No worries, after an hour and a half of waiting, and being again engrossed in a book, and ignoring the other customer's cell phone calls as much as I could, which was easy since they were in chinese, farsi, and spanish, and I was not feeling up to interpreting today, the service writer came by to let me know that the brake pads had been replaced, the car vacuumed and washed, and ready to go parked out front, all they needed was a signature since it was a no-charge call. Cool. Have I told you that I really enjoy motoring? Well, I do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Twenty First of Thirty Plus

Not a great showing last night. Loosened up my game when the table started playing tight. Raked in a few extra pots and had an above average chip stack after the first break. After the second break I didn't re-adjust correctly and as new people from broken tables started to arrive at our table, I re-raised a short stack all-in to isolate and got called. Uh-oh. New guy busted me and I was out somewhere about twentieth place. Did get lucky earlier in the evening with a number of good hands. Even the first hand I was dealt AK of diamonds and it help up against three callers who had to re-buy. We'll try again soon.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Oops

FBI doesn't pay their phone bill on time, and gets some of their wiretap lines disconnected! You can read about it here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Everything but the Smell

Peggy Archer of Totally Unauthorized and Abandoned Couches posted this stream of shots of the Rose Parade floats that were on display last weekend.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Five Way Tie for Second

I was tired, and hungry, but found my way after work driving to the local card club for their Monday night tournament. I was an hour early, which is unusual for LA but easy to do when you avoid the freeways at rush hour, or at least know which ones to use, and recognize bottleneck patterns forming ahead of you. GPS devices and radio reports only tell you what has already happened, and when it will be clear. Experience tells you what to look for, and wisdom tells you how to avoid the pitfalls and maneuver quietly through the maze. Found a nice parking place, entered and saw a small crowd at a couple of tables, grabbed a free magazine and ordered a meal at their restaurant. Waitress just nods and says 'yes, your usual'. Okay, must have tipped better than I thought last year. Flipping through the pages another player walks by and says 'too late for reading, we will start playing soon'. I thank him and remind myself that the most interesting things in these pages are the ads for more tournaments, and the entertainment value, not for tips on how to actually play poker. You can learn what to play, how to play, when to play, who to play, where to play, in individual articles, but no article can put it all together for you. Books come closer, but even then, to understand what you have read in a dozen books is to actually play a few thousand, if not hundreds of thousands, hands of poker and then review the books and put it all together in your own head for a foundation to pick what may work in the future. How, When, Who, Where, do not all fit together all the time. It's almost like grasping at straws, even if you get them, the end result is that you still fall. You have to be a bit odd to take up a hobby like this, and that sounds almost like there is a certain pride in being odd. Well there is. Don't we all cherry pick a bit of what we like out of the environments we see everyday? That odd bit there, and this odd bit here ought to combine into a unique style, don't you think? When a few hundred folk think the same way, it lends itself to being called common sense. At least for that group of folk. This group of ten at the final table whittled down from the thirty that started is such an odd mix of characters. Two across the table from me who have only seen me play a tight game until this day. Three on my left who play well, if inexperienced. Three on my right who mostly play elsewhere and just popped in to this place tonight. And a dealer from another club also across from me. She is the one that scares me the most. We both started at table one together and watching each other play. She knows the rules, but not table etiquette. Slamming down winning cards, defining what everyone else may be doing at the table, etc. She does put the chips neatly in front of her when betting though, that is a nice move considering how many other players waste the dealers time by tossing them anywhere and then having to pick up the rolling ones from down the table, somewhere. She plays the best hands well, and the not so good ones, not so well. My kind of opponent, if scary. The guy from table three on her right has more chips than the other nine of us combined, this does not look good. We all vote that instead of paying just the top four players with the prize pool, we pay down to ten places after taking ten percent of the pool for the dealers. During the next hour, the two that thought they knew my style, get eliminated by me when I called their raise and re-raise all-in with Ace-King that held up over their Ace-Rag holdings when the case Ace hit on the flop. They didn't think I'd call a pre-flop raise and a re-raise with a drawing hand, even if it was the best drawing hand, to race against a possible pocket pair of theirs. I really didn't think that they had a pair by their reactions after they looked at their cards. A couple more short stacks went away over the next half hour and the final hand went something like this. I'm in the big blind for four thousand, chip leader, now to my left, raises to ten thousand. Woman to his left goes all in for eight thousand, a couple of folds to the small blind to my right who goes all in for six thousand. I look down and see an Ace-Ten of spades and think for about a minute. Two folk are all-in, so it would be the chip leader and me for the second side pot, or check it down and try to eliminate the other two players with what we have. I call the ten thousand and see the flop. A red Ace and two little clubs. No sweat, I check. Chip leader checks. Okay, I guess we are going to check it down. Turn comes with a ten of clubs. Great two pair. I could have bet, but check and so does he. River comes another small club and I check. He repeats his check and I show my two pair. He mucks his cards and I win the second side pot. Woman across from me shows the ace of spades for a flush for the first side pot and tries to take the main pot but the small blind shows his two little clubs for a straight flush! He didn't even know until I pointed it out to him. OMG. Instead of being eliminated, he collects all the blind and antes and whatever else was in the main pot to get back into the game. At that time the words 'Six Way Chop?' came out of my mouth and the woman across me opened her eyes wide and started to sell the idea to the rest of the table. The mighty chip leader wanted to be compensated for being the chip leader and she and I understood that he should get a little extra after dividing the cash into six neat piles by the director, she took the odd amount that did not divide by six easily and put it on one stack for the chip leader, he agreed as the rest of us agreed and was declared the winner as the rest of us chopped up the prize pool. In effect, there was a five way tie for second place. Not bad for a little three and a half hour tournament. I did not really want to play for five hours, having a job to go to the next day and all. I'm glad I played and that we chopped. Looking forward to the next tournament.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Fine, Some Rain Came

Saw many drops on Friday and Sunday, and the mountains have a nice dusting of snow on them. Still many inches short of what will need before being taxed millions for recycled sewer water plants, or desalination plants. Come on rain!

Friday, January 4, 2008

So? Where is it?




I've heard nothing but predictions for rain all week on the TV and radio in this town, northern storm descending mixing with warm tropical flow from the southwest. Even Google Weather got into the act as this little graphic shows. We live in a desert, got only three inches of rain last year [June 2006 to June2007] and with the state cutting our water flow from the north because of a endangered fish near our pumping plants called the smelt, and mussels growing in the pipeline from the colorado river, we really need this rain. So I popped out onto the balcony an took a shot of the clouds, wires, rooftops, and a nearby hill, but no rain. Come on already, I'm waiting...

.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year

How did I spend New Year's Eve 2007? Doing nine weeks of Laundry, baby! Walked the first half dozen loads down in a hamper held about me knees but piled up to my chin downstairs to the laundry area and had full run of the machines for the next six hours or so. Pop in the light loads first, dry the towels last. What a day. Went ten for sixteen on my NFL picks the weekend before, and with the regular season over, there was not much to do, that I wanted to do. Sure, I could have made something up like re-mopping the kitchen, but that can wait until the next weekend, while listening to NFL playoff games coming from the next room or something. So fired up the dual-core system played some user made railroad maps. Wow, there are some creative folk out there to take a simple game and turn it into a journey down the river Styx past the seven deadly sins. Basin and Range custom map has double decked train cars for merchandise hauling and a port to haul them to. The Mexico map was re-worked and doesn't look as good, it needs help, maybe I'll touch it up for the community one day. The USA transcontinental custom map was pretty sharp, when all the commodities were available for all the industries. Needs more planning there. The updated Holiday Scenario making toys, cookies, and egg-nog for the north pole station was a lot of work, and a lot of fun. And the special santa trains played random carols as they left their stations. After finishing all that, I got the bright idea to read up on how to make a custom map for this game. These guys are taking USGS satellite data and using it to build height maps for the mountains and rivers. OMG. This would be a second job in itself, then adding tint layers, blending layers etc for eight layers of fun all to move trains to stations with familiar names. It's one way to learn a little about geography, but I'm not sure I have the time to put off mopping another weekend. Look how long it takes me to do laundry! Happy New Year.