Friday, December 25, 2009

December Truckin’

December 2009, Vol. 8, Issue 12
1. Stiff Santa by Paul McGuire
The Beverly Center had one strict rule -- never under any circumstances remove the bunny head in public. That would mortify young children. Josh turned to Ritalin to solve his problems... More
2. Christmas Money for Misty by Johnny Hughes
Misty laid her best story on Sam, her road story. She was temporarily broke, like most casino folks, but she was to inherit the historic Morgan Ranch, 473 oil wells, 47,000 acres, and a bunch of cows in the Texas panhandle... More
3. The Hobby by Milton Burton
The driver himself was a small-time coke pusher and wannabe heavy metal musician named Ronnie DeLoach who would never make it big, partly because he was void of any real musical talent. But mostly this sad fact could be attributed to his very limited life span... More
4. Dick-Hole, Part II by Bobby Bracelet
Most guys will yank it twenty times a week but they won't feel their balls for lumps. I see it all the time... More
5. Absence of Fear by George Tate
The turns became hard to handle and Gatlin knew it wouldn't take much to be over a guard rail and down the side on his back, load, tractor, and all. He suddenly cleared his mind and focused on the words, "Turn off the engine, that's it."... More

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Sometimes, things just happen.  I’ve gotten too old to let my ignorance as to why bother me.  Then again they can be such little things that suddenly become very important to someone else.  Thankfully, this time it appears to be a good thing.

What the heck am I writing about.  This morning I get a Tweet from my buddy Falstaff.  He is trying to build a writing career and is really still in the startup phase.  Not the writing part, the career part.  Instead of just spamming everyone he knows or directly begging for money, he asked everyone who got the tweet to “Email someone that you think would like my writing and give them a link to this site.”  Since this was a great idea and I generally want to support his writing, I decided to help him out and send the email.

I don’t know many people who I would describe as touchy-feely in a poetic sense, but I thought my friend LB (who also happens to be my ex-wife) might just fit the bill.  So I fired off an email and went on with the day.

After a little bit of audio work and computer work and Christmas shopping I return to my email to find a couple of mails from LB.  To paraphrase it in short, it read – “Our friend MI’s boyfriend BS found someone else and is moving out.  MI’s chemo is having some bad side effects.  I couldn’t afford a ticket to be with her.  I told mutual friend WB who sent a ticket, no questions asked.  I’ll move back to CLT as soon as a job opens up.  My boyfriend CH won’t move to NC, but I need to be there.  I’ll be with MI Christmas day. I was so happy to hear from you.  See you soon.”

Wow!  If there was ever a year when I was just going through the motions of Christmas, this would be that year.  But when you see the kindness and selflessness of folks like LB and WB and the rough times that befall nice folks like MI, it both restores and calls to action.  People really aren’t as bad as I’ve been feeling that they are (BS may be an exception).  There really are more good ones than bad ones.

So from a simple favor I get so much in return.  That is likely not to be the end of that story.  Now I have to figure out just how I can help.  It would be good to help out to bridge the gap until LB can get to town.  We’ll see what the season will bring.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Podcast

New episode of the Gambling Tales Podcast is now available:  Enjoy.  Please send feedback to

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In the middle of a blogger weekend

Who knew it got foggy in Las Vegas?  It’s really not foggy, outside anyway.  The time rushing by certainly make this weekend a blur.

This is the December weekend when friends we call the poker bloggers descend on Vegas to hug, drink, talk, and gamble a bit.  I scheduled this trip for myself back in the August heat of Iraq as a present to myself.  Of course, Dr. K has been great about allowing/encouraging this trip, so at least half of the gift is from her.

The trip out was smooth.  I had a first-class upgrade on US Airways, so the booze started flowing before we left the ground.  After 4 more mini-bottles of of tequila and a nap (go figure), we touched down in Vegas.  First stop after check-in, the MGM poker room and the first of several monetary losses playing hold’em.

Next came the Geisha Bar at the Imperial Palace and the gathering of friends, both old and new.  Of course Falstaff found his bachelor party level of  intoxication and seemed to enjoy every bit of it.  Dr. Dave Schwartz came by and chatted for over an hour.  What a great, fun, nice, smart guy.  It was a pleasure to let Falstaff buy him a drink or two. :) 

A big shocker was the attendance of Mrs. GCox.  I knew (and still very much regret) that GCox would not be attending, so it really didn’t register when I saw the Mrs.  My mind told itself “she looks an awful lot like Mrs. GCox.”  It wasn’t until later that she came back around and we had a great talk.  The GCox’s are some of the finest people I know and a always come away from visiting with them richer for that time.

Yesterday brought a visit to the Neon Boneyard.  Here is an areal view:

It’s a little hard to see on the small view, The lots full of old vegas signage are on either side of E. McWilliams Avenue in the center of the map.  In the lower lot is a clear view of the old skull sign from the Treasure Island.  This was a great time and well worth the 2 hours and cold temperatures.

Here are a few pictures of the Neon Boneyard from ground level:




My trip report on the second half of the weekend coming soon.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Hard Rock Poker Lounge Rocks

This weekend’s blogger gathering was hosted last night at the Hard Rock Poker Room for cash games of hold’em and omaha.  Pokerati in Chief Dan Michalski hosted the event.  It was a great event in every way.  The Hard Rock Poker Lounge is a nice facility.  It has all I like in a poker room: Lot’s of room, comfy chairs, compentent dealers, and “knock your socks off hot” waitresses.  The room added an extra gift of comping the dinners of all of the poker bloggers.

The evening also give my a great opportunity to get to know several bloggers that I’ve read, but not gotten to know.  Poker Peeker Dan, Jordan, CK/BWOP, and an excellent poker player named Alanna all came by to sling the cards.  I also got to talk to a most interesting book-maker/actor/producer from Birmingham England named Ian.  He was great fun and agreed to do an interview on a future episode of the Gambling Tales Podcast.  It will be a good one.

Thanks again to the gracious hosts at the Hard Rock casino and to Pokerati Dan for a great evening.  Go visit the lounge next time you are in Vegas.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

More to this life than meets the eye

On Monday, my cousin Chuck passed away from cancer.  While I was traveling that day, I had a thought of him sitting on his boat in the waters near Key West grinning that grin he always kept around.  At the time, I wondered how he was getting along and moved on.

Though the miracle of Google alerts (I have one on my last name), I learned that next morning that Chuck was gone.   Because of my “vision”, I believe he really has gone fishing.  He probably takes my dad out with him from time to time.  I know my dad loved that man as much as anyone on this earth.  I’m sure they are happy to be back together.  I imagine his dog Leon, his sister Susan and his friend Shel are glad to see him again as well.  Susan was a gem of a person.  One of the kindest, bravest, funniest people I’ve ever known.  Chuck and Shel Silverstein were good buds down in Key West.  I was once fortunate to be visiting Chuck when Shel stopped by.  That was a treat.

The rest of this post may sound crazy or a bit creepy to some.  That’s fine.  I know from my FaceBook post yesterday that more than a few of us on this earth have felt the passing of loved ones from hundreds of miles away.  I’ve experienced it before and I’ve seen other evidence that I can’t ignore.  My rational side keeps me from reading too much into the phenomenon, but there is something there.  This post is about the most obvious of those events in my experience.

Way back in 1994, I was living in a little house on a very busy street in Charlotte to a woman who would only be my wife for another 18 months or so.  I had a new job with a major software company and on this night was sitting at the computer working hard on skills that I needed for my new job.

All of a sudden, my was-wife (she still calls me wasband) came into the room searching for something.  She actually seemed pretty desperate.  I asked and she explained that she wanted the picture of her father that used to be stuck in the corner of the mirror over her dresser.  I didn’t remember seeing the picture, but I pitched in to help anyway.  It didn’t take but a couple of minutes before she found the picture behind the dresser, took it and went back out of the room.  I had never seen her act that way before.  I’d soon find out why.

It was maybe 15 minutes later that the phone rang.  It was was-wife’s sister with news that their father had been found unconscious in his Delaware trailer and that an ambulance had been called.   Truth was that he had already passed.

There were no calls before this time.  We had no text or email or Twitter.  There was no way that my was-wife could have known, but she did.  She felt something and any amount of logic can’t explain it away.

So back to Tuesday.  I wasn’t too surprised that Chuck was gone.  I still don’t know what time he left this earth, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was around 2;30 eastern time.  If so, I appreciate that he would pay me a visit on his journey.  One day, I’ll understand what that journey is all about, but there is no hurry.  Until then, I’ll just keep my mind open to the possibilities and know that there is more to this world and this life than meets the eye.