Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

It is so quiet here in my home office.  I've just spent about 4 hours around my 6 year-old nephew.  The difference in noise level from then to now is astonishing.

Our church does one of the best candlelight services on Christmas Eve.  It has always been a very traditional Moravian service.  I know that all things change, but my church is changing so fast that I can hardly keep up.  This year they installed a big projector screen in the sanctuary.  For the 30 minutes leading up this the service, the screen showed the kind of crap that you get in the movie theater.  Among the gems was bible trivia, unscramble the letters, and name this tune.  I thought is was tacky.

Tomorrow will be busy and loud and my wife's family will miss their husband/father/grandfather a great deal.  I'll miss him, too.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Is Anybody Out There?

Where have all the bloggers gone?

Long time tilting

Where have all the bloggers gone?

Not much to post

Where have all the bloggers gone?

I have read them every one

When will I ever learn?

When will I ever learn?


The last work day before the holiday for many folks and the blogsphere is strangely quiet.  The trip reports and pictures from the WPBT are posted.  The comment war has cooled to an uneasy peace.  The blogger TOC is but a memory.

Oh well, hope you all get what you want for Christmas (unless you want part of my bankroll).

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I want one

From an article  in Next Energy News:

"Toshiba has developed a new class of micro size Nuclear Reactors that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet, could change everything for small remote communities, small businesses or even a group of neighbors who are fed up with the power companies and want more control over their energy needs."

What could be cooler than having your own power plant.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We thought it was funny

When we arrived at the hotel for our Aruba vacation, we were given an information document listing the rules of the all-inclusive package we had purchased.  Also included was a description of the restaurants that participated in the program along with descriptions of the dishes each restaurant offered.

While reading this section, Dr. K started laughing.  What had her tickled was that one of the restaurants offered a selection of "fresh" fish.  Not fresh fish, but "fresh" fish.  I don't know why they put fresh in quotes, but neither one of us ordered any "fresh" fish to find out.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A couple of quick updates

The on-line freeroll rolls on.  I started with a $1 win in a freeroll on Poker Stars.  That $1 is now up to $11.73.  It is almost time for a new level.

I've not been happy with my physical condition for some time now.  I've made some changes in my life and I'm feeling better than I've felt in at least 3 years.  That also means that I've not done much in the way of exercise for 3 years.  Upon returning from vacation, I went to the local Y, ran some and weighed myself.  I came in at a whooping 200 lbs.

Some would say to me that I'm skinny as it is and I should be thankful,and I am, but also know what I should weigh and 200 is 20-25 pounds too much.  I sometime snore when I'm heavy and Dr. K deserves better.  So I'm running and watching what I eat better.  I'm putting this out there to give me incentive to do my workouts and drop the weight so that I can report back with progress.

Maybe I can get the on-line bankroll and the scales to the same number.  It a goal!

Monday, December 17, 2007


That's right.  About 18 hours after arriving home from Vegas, Dr. K and I left for the airport and Aruba.  We had first-class seats for the trip down and we had no trouble getting to them.  The trip to Aruba from CLT is direct and takes about the same amount of time as a trip to Vegas, 4.5 hours.

We got a great deal at the Westin for our all-inclusive package.  The hotel was under some heavy renovation, but that didn't cause anything to be shut down or really get in our way at all.  We got a great upgrade to an ocean view room through a friend of mine that works for Starwood. 

We were all set and we did nothing.  Well, that was the plan.  We slept late most every morning.  We did go horseback riding on our second day.  It was great fun, but Dr. K got a little boo-boo butt on the ride that would dog her for the rest of the trip.

When not on horseback, we spent our days drinking frozen rum drinks and reading on the beach.  Dr. K favored the Bananarama and I was sticking to Pina Coladas and daiquiris.  The other beach goers ranged from mid-20s hardbodies and honeymooners to late 60s retirees.  Big and small, fat, ugly, pregnant, slim and beautiful were all there.  The only group missing were the school aged children.  The fact that we were there when they could not be was no accident. 

Our drinks and meals were covered by the all-inclusive plan that we won/purchased (remember, this was the winnings from my pool team's championship plus our buying Dr. K's trip).  The drinks were a bit weak, but tasty.  The food was fantastic.  The breakfast buffet was top-notch and didn't close until noon.  Lunch was by the pool.  One night, we dined on the beach on a four course meal.  Another night it was Italian, then Steak, then Chinese.  We returned to the steak place on our last night.  It was terrific.

I almost finished three books in the 5 days we were there.  Act of Treason by Vince Flynn was first.  Next was The Collectors by David Baldacci.  Those two were on loan from T who had just received them from Falstaff.  Thanks to both of you for the loan and the suggestions.  Both were great reads.  My final read was a suggestion of Dr. K's - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.  Wow, what a story.  I'm going to finish that one up a soon as I finish this post.

We returned to CLT last night, rested and refreshed.  Dr. K retrieved the dogs this afternoon.  I took the day to dig through mail and email, read some more, shoot some pool and generally get ready for my return to work tomorrow.  After our good rest, I think I'm ready.

WPBT - Day 4 and then Home

This was one of those days of playing poker in Vegas that I know all too well.  I don't think I changed what I was doing from the first two days.  I just could not buy a hand.

I started with the usual up around 10, shower, call home and get ready for the day.  I added a long session of fix my text messaging with AT+T that took about an hour, so I was ready to go around noon.

Poker started at Harrah's.  They had a couple tables of $1-2 NL going.  I think I took the first hand after I sat down and proceeded to slowly loose about $400 there before I left.  I lost a lot of chips when my flopped 2 pair with pot sized bets on the flop and turn got sucked out on by a pocket pair of 5s hit a set on the river.  A two outer, geeez.  Shortly there after, I hand a set of 10s cracked by a one-outer full house.  Otherwise, I couldn't seem to get any playable cards.  If I got into a hand with good drawing cards, they wouldn't hit.  This went on for the rest of the trip.  I really would have been better off if I had stopped earlier and watched football with the bloggers in the IP sportsbook.  I'll regret that I didn't for a while.

Dinner with the Falstaff clan at the top of the Stratosphere was fantastic.  I really enjoyed getting to slow down and chat with the folks around me over a great meal.

After dinner, I took one more swipe at the tables at the TI.  It was late. I was playing super tight, and the cards never came my way.  I ended up loosing all but $150 of the $1k that I had at the end of day 2.  I was determined to leave Vegas a winner this time and I did, but boy is it amazing how the streaks in poker can feed you one minute and run dry as the Nevada desert for hours on end.

I caught a few hours of sleep before heading out to the airport.  I tried to get on a direct back to CLT, but it was oversold.  My planned flights when fine and I got home about 8 pm.  That's a good thing, because about 18 hours later, me and the wife were flying out. (see the post above)

WPBT - Day 3

A full week has passed since I left Las Vegas and the blogger weekend behind.  A lot has happened since then, and none of it involved the internet, writing, or computers, so this blog did not get updated.  I do have some good memories from the second half of the WPBT, so let's go back there.

Saturday was tournament day.  I got my usual 10:30 start of showering, calling home to Dr. K and checking the internet (email, web sites, etc.).  I finished that up around noon and headed out for lunch.  Subway provided me with a nice footlong sub, chips and a drink along the short walk from the IP to the Venetian. 

Once there, I met up with Jim and we sat down at a $1-2 NL table.  I found that my cards were dead.  I mostly say, watched and waited until the 2 pm sign-in for the tourney.  During that time, I saw Jim take down one of the biggest $1-2 NL pots I've ever seen.  In short, Jim went over the top of a bet with an all-in and after much hemming and hawing, got 2 callers.  With over $700 in the pot, Jim shows his set of 9's.  Each of his opponents shows QQ.  There was no chance of a flush and the turn put an end to their hopes of a runner-runner straight.  Jim walked away from that table up about $1200 in 1.5 hours of play.

Then it was time to get down to the business at hand, the blogger tournament.  I'm not going to do a long write-up about my tournament because I didn't have a long tournament.  I got seated at one of the toughest tables in the room.  Carmen, Waffles, G-Cox, AlCan'tHang, Rooster (the eventual winner), Columbo, and others were there to take my chips.  I flopped a top set on the second hand and got pushed off of it with a big raise to start down a bit.  A few hands later I wake up with AA on the button.  There was only one caller and the blinds left, so I call.  The flop was raggedy.  It is checked to me and I bet the pot and get two callers.  The next card makes a flush draw possible.  Columbo bets and I push all-in.  He does a good job of replaying the hand, mentions that I can't have aces and folds.  I tell him later what I had.

About 4 hands later I limp with KJs and hit 2 pair on the flop.  I bet hard and and Rooster comes over the top all-in.  I've got him covered and I need chips so I call.  He turns over a flush draw and hits it right away on the turn.  The river doesn't bring a K or a J and I've on life support.  I had the champ all-in and a 60% dog and can't dodge a card. :}

Two or three hands later, I get AKo and limp.  Waffles on my left pushes and I call.  I can't beat his KK and I'm gone.  That is a shame mostly because I wanted to spend more time playing with this line up.  They were a good group.

I played some more $1-2 and broke even.  I went to dinner with BG, Skoon and T at Margaritaville.  It was a good time and Skoon picked up the check, but I'll get him back somehow.

Later, during a solo rage, I ran into a jerk at the IP who accused me of cheating by looking at my neighbors cards.  I think I was looking at his hands for betting style, but I'm not even sure about that.  Anyway, that tilted me at just the wrong time.  My cards went dead and I couldn't get him.  I finished the day down around $350 between the tourney buy-in and the final session.  Day four would be worse.

News You Can Use

News Bytes of the Week—Why pregnant women don't tip over.

It's good to know someone out there is studying this stuff.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

WPBT - Day 2

Just a quick update.  The day was filled with playing poker.  We started with lunch at Caesar's and then poker at their poker room.  I left there $150 lighter.  I just could not catch anything to play for about 2 hours.

Next stop was the IP poker room where my luck improved.  I found a few good hands and friends that wanted to donate chips.  I got back a bit over $100 to drop my deficit for the day to $50.

The evening was spent at the MGM poker room for the blogger mixed games.  We had three full tables of bloggers playing omaha, stud, crazy pineapple, and more; just about anything except hold'em.  I found my best luck in omaha hi/lo.  I left the MGM about 1 am with $260 more than I came with to put me up over $200 for the day.  But I was not done.

I spent the rest of the morning in the IP poker room.  I hit a rough hand when my big slick ran into someone's monster.  I didn't see it, but the betting was too big and out of character.  I think it was a set of 9s.  In any case, that put me back about $120.  I worked my way back up to leave the room plus $25.

So for the first time in my life, I am up over $1000 for a trip.  This may be a high-water mark.  The big blogger tourney is in a couple hours.  Let the game resume.

Friday, December 07, 2007

WPBT - Day 1

I've been in town for 23 hours now, and what a 23 hours it has been.  It has been great to see some old faces and throw down some cards with them.  Here are some highlights:

  • Diamond Jim took down first place in the 3 pm tourney at Caesar's Palace for a prize of $950.
  • The last of the Charlotte crew arrived on time around midnight last night.
  • Early in the day, I hit an A high flush with Kd, Jd, 10d, and 9d on the board.  I folded it to a big bet.  My opponent showed me his Qd for the straight flush.
  • Brian, Falstaff, and I sat at a table with a bunch of brits. Steve from Warsaw (also called Mumbles) was one of the wildest players we've ever seen.  He called a girls hand as Aces just before calling her all-in with pocket 4s and an outside straight draw going to the turn.  He hit is on the river sending the girl into a card flinging rage.  Funny stuff when it doesn't happen to you.
  • On the biggest hand of my life, so far, I hit a set of Jacks on the flop.  My opponent bet pretty big and I went all in for a total in the pot of a little more than $200.  The board was J, 9, 7 rainbow.  He called and showed his set of 9s.  The turn brought the forth Jack and the win and a $161 bonus.
  • After getting down $100 early, I rallied to a first day net of +800. (more than doubling my previous best day).

Time for day 2.  Later.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's Just About Vegas Time Again

Here I sit in Charlotte.  My bag is packed.  My bankroll is fat.  My mind and body are on GO.  All that remains is to get on the plane and sit for 4.5 hours.

My reservation to get on the plane is for 8:25 pm which would get me into Vegas a little after 10 pm Vegas time.  That schedule sounded good 8 weeks ago when I cashed in the miles to get the ticket.  Now, that is now unacceptable.

I checked the seating charts on the USAir web site and noticed that there is an 8:25 am flight out of CLT that is only about 2/3 full.  Flying stand-by that early in the morning with that many seats available should be a snap.  I plan to be at the airport around 7:25 am tomorrow to find out.

If all goes well, I will be in Vegas well before noon tomorrow.  That would be in about 19 hours.  That sounds much better.

My plans for Vegas are simple and few:

  1. Play some poker (probably just tourneys and $1-2 NL)
  2. Meet up with blogger friends old and new
  3. Do what looks like fun (limitation: Only do what I would do if my wife were standing nearby)(that really doesn't limit ME a whole lot)
  4. Get home safe and on time

So that's it.  I'm taking my laptop, so I may post some pictures or write a quick blurb, but don't count on it.  I have another trip planned  for as soon as I return, so this blog may not be updated for 2 weeks.  Now go enjoy your time off.  I will.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Lindsey's Hand

Falstaff loves me like a brother(-in-law) for stuff like this: