Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Year in Review

It's that time again. Time for me to look back on my posts from the year and pull out those that were memorable or interesting. I don't have any illusions that you'll click through - I'm not that great a writer - but maybe these will jog some good memories. Unfortunately, they'll also jog some bad ones, which is why I'm dreading March. Anyway, here goes:

January:

As you probably know, I was in Iraq on New Years Day 2008. It's tough to be away, especially on the holidays. I started the year off by Playing God and presenting a very interesting ethical dilemma regarding an Iraqi detainee with a tumor.

Channeling Spock showed two great things - that I'm a geek and that we had some problem soldiers out there.

I found out that my nanny crashed my car. Not something you want to hear when you are off fighting a war.

I dropped the Iraqi Hammer!

I made some predictions for 2008. Most didn't come true.

I found out The Wife was unfaithful. Yet one more thing you don't want to hear when you are overseas (but, in this case, it turned out okay).

A perfect way to end January - by recommending you read someone else! Two people in fact.

February

I started out by talking about some of the less glorious parts of my job. Still, it gave me a chuckle writing about balls.

I sent a note to my Valentine.

I wrote just the shell of a Mass Casualty situation I encountered. I've never told that full story. I might never.

This 3 line post sums up how hard it is to be away.

Most importantly, I talked about my War Buddies. They will always be with me.

March

I started off wishing my dad a happy birthday.

He was dead 3 days later, and it was time for transitions.

RIP Dad.

Shit. I can't write more right now. I'll post more later.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Numbers Geek

As if you needed more proof that I'm a geek...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wizard of Oz - Post 600

I was looking to do something monumental for my 600th post, but instead I'll just put up this video of bloopers from the Wizard of Oz. It's somehow appropriate. Don't think about it too hard. Just enjoy Judy's singing and remember the good feelings you had whenever this show came on the air - bloopers and all.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Review - The Day the Earth Stood Still

Preachy.

Edit - I'd rather watch this 4 second video over and over again.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays from the Chako Clan

Tonight is the 5th night of Hanukkah and it's also Christmas. Our wonderful Au Pair remarked that this is her 1st white Christmas (she's from Brazil). Tonight we dine on a wonderful turkey (with stuffing that includes liver - yum!) in a house that smells like you'd imagine a Norman Rockwell painting would smell.

Happy holidays to you and yours.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Stranded

This will be remembered as the Epic Storm of 2008. It will even be recalled with capital letters.

I've never heard of an airline just shutting down, at least not in the Pac Northwest. Don't they realize it snows here? OK, I'll admit it's more known for the rain, but this is just nuts. I was supposed to be on-call at the hospital starting last night, but that's a bit difficult when you are standing on a 4-hour line at LAX waiting for the pushy Chinese guy in the VIP line to stop butting in front of everyone to ask if someone is going to get his bags. I'm rarely confrontational, but when he said to Carol, our overworked and overtired agent, "I've been waiting for 20 minutes!" I replied, "I've been waiting for 4 hours, so back off." I may have even squared up a little. Don't mess with The Doc when he has to pee.

After I calmed down (and got someone to take my call for me), I realized that being stranded means another couple of days at Disneyland with the family.

Things could be worse.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Memories are Fading...

Must write now.

It's only been 3 days since we got back. The memories are becoming a little fuzzy, but there are a few I want to document for the ages.
  • Steel Panther - I could write 1000 words about this show alone, but I won't. It was clearly the 2nd best thing on this trip (the first being seeing all the bloggers). Hanging out with Dr. Jeff, BadBlood, Peaker, April, The Wife and (of course) StB was friggin' awesome. Steve, I didn't mean to dis you at dinner. You are NOT chopped liver, sir.
  • Sleep - At some point, I fell asleep during the rock concert. This IS NOT to be taken as a slight on the show. It's only my age showing. At some point, you should expect to see a picture of my sleeping ass with a happy bunch of degenerates posing and pointing at my sorry state.
  • Golf - the reason I fell asleep at the show is that, while most bloggers were fast asleep on Friday morning, Miami Don picked me up for a 9 am tee-time at Angel Park. Don - you are officially The Man. While many bloggers talked about playing, you and I were the only ones serious enough to follow through. You will forever be an A-lister for the effort.
  • Making Out - At one point, a very sexy and very non-Wife blogger came up to me when I was playing mixed games, grabbed me and proceeded to plant a serious one right on my mouth. I believe there was tongue. It. Was. Awesome. I must admit, the fact that The Wife was standing there watching made it even better.
  • Dinner - I have had tons more experience with the Fancy Food than this guy, but rarely have I had more fun at dinner. Thank you SO MUCH Princess, and congrats again on the tourney win. When most players tell me that their opponent "never had a chance," I know it's just bragging. In your case, it was a genuinely honest assessment. Well done.
  • Bloggers - I was fortunate to finally meet several more. I want to put all your names here, but I'm sure I'd miss a few and then you'd be upset and never read my stuff again. I would like to mention that it was a pleasure meeting Betty for the first time. You actually exist - who knew?!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

WPBT 2008 - Trip Report

Well, another epic blogger gathering is in the books. These faces I only see once or twice a year are now all familiar to me. I belong in this group. It's good to feel like you belong in a group like this. It took a while to feel this way, even though they accepted me long before I accepted them. That's not quite true, I guess. Let just say long before I allowed myself to accept them. Does that make any sense?

Not much to report in the tournament. I doubled through RecessRampage when my A8 turned two pair against his AK and he couldn't get away from it. I actually may have been the tournament leader at that point. I eventually got up to over $24,000 in the first level before my AA ran into a set of 8s and I fell in love with my hand. My bustout was pretty standard fare. My JJ got beat by A 10 and someone (sorry - too drunk to remember who) got a very nice coin that I brought back from Iraq.

Poker was awesome when playing against bloggers or blogger associates (sorry Dr. Jeff), but a bit of a bust in the non-blogger cash games. This time my money makers were playin short handed 2/5 NL with BadBlood and Dr. Jeff at Green Valley Ranch and playing mixed games at the IP and MGM. I own Badugi. Fear me. Seriously. Alas, I gave some back at the Venetian HORSE game and I think a 1/2 NL game. I was probably too drunk to be playing in that game, but at least I didn't rebuy.

So off I went to Rage Solo. How I ended up at O'Sheas shooting dice remains a mystery that will be lost for the ages, but it's good to know that my losing streak at craps is still intact. Seriously, it's 12 sessions in a row. I know it's a -EV game, but you'd think it would give me hope so that I might come back at some point. Oh wait. I come back anyway. Hmmm...

And now, the sun is up on Sunday morning and we're facing a rapid check out followed by some serious grub. Tomorrow, I hope to tell you about the Steel Panther show (do not miss it) and some more of these incredible people called bloggers. My kinda people.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Golf in Vegas - WPBT 2008

Well, we really screwed the pooch with this one. Golf will be played (oh yes it will), but it will unorganized. Gotta love bloggers.

I'd love to have at least 8 players, but I'll go by myself if I have to. I plan on playing Friday morning, preferably teeing off around 10 am. It will be very boring playing a skins game against myself (I'm easily beatable).

Who's with me? Right now I think CK, F-Train and Miami Don have expressed an interest. Drizz? Rooster? Bueller? Anyone?


Edit: Did I just say I beat myself?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Updating the Ol' Blogroll

Obviously, it's been a while since I updated the blogroll. I don't have obvious choices like BamBam. Some don't exist anymore like Seattle John. Some, for all intents and purposes, don't exist anymore, like Amy C (did you fall off the planet?).

Who else am I missing?

Friday, December 05, 2008

That Which is Left

In all my years of writing and blogging, I have only deleted one post - this morning. This is what's left.

She hobbled across the road, not with purpose, and not even with direction. Half way across she began to deviate from the white-striped cross walk toward the front of my cab. That's how I got such a good look at her. At first I thought she was drunk. Couldn't blame her, really. Her skin was as dark as they come. She had very wide lips that were parted to allow puffs of cold breath to swirl amongst the exhaust fumes. Her coat was in tatters. Her cane drifted lazily in her left hand, only occasionally striking the pavement, but certainly not in any sort of helpful way. Her eyes darted to my cab, ostensibly to see if she was going to be run over. The red hand had stopped flashing and the horns followed right behind. It was her eyes that did this to me.

She was born around 1955, and had a lot of mileage on those wheels. How did she come to be crossing the street on a cold Chicago evening? Where was she headed? What was her purpose?

A better question. Did she need a purpose? Had she ever really thought about it? People are born, they live their lives and they pass on. What makes her different from me? Nothing, really. She is a mass of carbon and water. She is a conscious, self-aware, living entity with dreams and stories. In the end, she'll cease to exist. The universe will cease to exist, at least for her. Come to think of it, when your world ceases to exist, does it really matter if it continues for anyone else?

But there she went, weaving towards some destination in her world with some importance to her. And I went my way, cruising in my cab towards a warm scotch at the top of the Hancock building. Yet another stop along the path.

RSNA - How to Do it Better Next Time

This post is for me and my radiologist readers. It's boring. Move along. For those of you actual radiology folk, please feel free to add any additional suggestions in the comments.

Next time you come to Chicago for RSNA, plan a little better, please. This trip was okay, but you can do it better.
  • Book as far in advance as possible. If you wait to the last minute, you miss out on some good lectures.
  • Use the lecture schedule on the website to plan ahead. It's cumbersome, but useful.
  • Book the hotel by yourself if you can. The best places as far as I can tell are the Hyatt (attached to the McCormick Place, therefore no need for a taxi or bus), the Fairmont (where Mike stayed), the Peninsula, and Park Hyatt. Best Western is decent from what I could see from the outside. There is a really good Hilton on Michigan Ave.
  • Never EVER stay at the Congress Plaza Hotel.
  • If you stay on Michigan Ave, ask for a room with a view of Grant Park. Pay for the upgrade if necessary.
  • Before you book, ask if there is internet access in the room. Several hotels don't have it, believe it or not.
  • Call reps early and often in the weeks and months before RSNA. Remember to call Ron from Toshiba, Pam and Heidi from GE and Mandy from Bracco (even though she punched you in the arm. A lot.).
  • Only 1/2 of the doctors wore suits this time (as opposed to 1999 where every one did). Suits are never out of place, but by Thursday you can dress as casually as you want.
  • Even though the conference goes through Friday at noon, you should probably book your return flight for 3 pm on Thursday. The Friday lecture this morning was good, but probably not good enough to extend the trip another day.
  • Remember that the main building is the South Building. Lakeside is east. This is important if you are taking a taxi.
  • Buses are actually quite good, and they're free for RSNA attendees. Route 1B is the one that goes along Michigan Ave.
  • Lectures begin on Sunday, so depending on what time you arrive, you can actually get in a good lecture right away.
  • Start drinking alcohol at least 3 weeks before you come. Reps have expense accounts and you need to be prepared.
Anything else?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

360 Days of the Year I'm a Geek...

...but for 5 days in early December, I get to be a Rock Star.

RSNA 2008 is wrapping up. By this time tomorrow we'll be just about done. I met some great people here. I saw some good (and some not so good) lectures. I ate over $1000 of food (not an exaggeration) and paid for almost none of it. I made business contacts and I really feel like my small radiology corporation is going to take off because of things I've learned from this meeting.

Things I will miss:
  • Obviously, I'll miss being treated like a Rock Star. By Saturday I'll be back to being just Dad and a regular ol' doctor.
  • I'll miss the food.
  • I'll miss the free drinks. I had Johnny Walker Blue for the first time (maybe a little better than average, but you won't find me spending $200 for a bottle anytime soon).
  • I'll miss the sun. Seriously. It's been sunny almost every day.
  • I'll miss the flirty booth babes. We met one at a bar last night and she introduced herself as Mandy. "Like the song!" I replied. She leaned in close and said, "You know. You came and you gave without taking." It was 10 minutes later that my buddy Mike said, "You know, I think she was hitting on you."
Things I will not miss:
  • Apparently, I insulted Mandy at some point. She told me her brother is in residency to be an ER doc. I may have called him an idiot (my apologies to your brother, Brad). She began striking me repeatedly. Honest, honey. These bruises on my arm are from a crazed booth babe.
  • I didn't need anyone to tell me that she was hitting on me this time.
  • I will not miss hearing the phrase "Deep Dive." As in, "If you want to get a deep dive into the inner workings of our new Dual-Phase detector, I'll have to call over our Physicist."
  • I'll will not miss the bitter cold.
  • Mostly, I will not miss this miserable hotel. The Congress Plaza should be demolished - preferably with the striking workers still under the building. We are right across from Grant Park (where Obama made his victory speech), but they didn't even give me a view. The shower randomly turns off - usually when you have soap in your eyes. They need to drill into the wall behind my headboard every morning at 8am. The strikers are fond of yelling, "Shame on you!" into your face with their bullhorn. And the heater cannot be controlled. Enough already! You get the point. If you come to Chicago, sleep on a park bench before staying here.
Okay, now I'm really starting to sound like an over-privileged rock star. I'm sure The Wife will have a few ideas about how to bring me back to Earth.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

November BR Challenge with MHG

Despite my taunting comments on his blog, the fact is that I got my ass kicked. $10 is on the way. I can transfer the funds in FT, buy you into the next Chako home game or pay you cash either here or in Vegas.

SNG's were my downfall. If I hit one or two, I win. Unfortunately, despite a couple small cashes, I couldn't bring back the old SNG mojo.


And so, with hat in hand, I'm forced to reveal this:



It was actually a great challenge and it really forced me to focus. I still played above my allotted BR a few times, but I also played a few multi-table SNG's and it cost me. My variance was huge. In November I fluctuated from a high of $120 to a low of $31. When I was winning, my moneymaker was .25/.50 and .50/1.00 Limit Razz.

Up for a rematch?

Monday, December 01, 2008

RSNA Blog

I arrived yesterday to a snowy greeting. I love seeing snow-covered trees. We don't get that in the Seattle area.

Some quick observations about Chicago.

  • People here LOVE honking their horns. I don't remember this much honking in New York, and I was just there two months ago.
  • Our shuttle driver cut off a cab. The cabbie laid on his horn for a full minute
  • When he finally got around us, he opened his window for what I was sure was going to be "the bird," but instead he made a very aggressive gesture with his open palm - all 5 fingers extended. It was almost as if he was saying to our driver, "If your face were closer, this hand would be pushing it, you stupid-head."
  • RSNA is every bit as big as I remember, but I also remember more people. Granted, the last time I was here was 1999, but there were actually places to sit in the lectures, even if you arrived a little late. I guess the economy effects radiologists, too.
  • RSNA, for those that don't know, is the Radiological Society of North America. Believe it or not, but it's one of the largest meetings in the world, rivaling car shows and Consumer Electronics.
  • There are individual booths here that cost over a million dollars to set up. All for me.
  • Radiologists are recognizable by their blue badges. If I walk into a group of vendors, they immediately single me out.
  • Radiology companies, like car companies, have "booth babes."
  • Radiology vendors have entertainment budgets! Unlike the old days where they could take you to a strip club (I'll tell that story in Vegas with little prompting), now they can only buy you dinner.
  • Morton's Steakhouse makes one helluva 3 1/2 pound lobster.
  • I've made it to every lecture and they're not half-bad.
I'd write more, but I'm off to another recruiting dinner.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Obligatory "What am I thankful for" Post

I'm still a little curmudgeonly, but not so much that I can't give out some thanks.
  • Thanks to my kids for putting up with a (sometimes) grumpy Dad.
  • Thanks to the Army. It was a good 22 years.
  • Thanks to incompetent Iraqi insurgents. Despite your best efforts, I still made it home alive.
  • Thanks to the Army for hiring me back as a civilian.
  • Thanks to Psyllium Fiber
  • Thanks to my little sister for taking her dog back. (We still miss Macy-moo)
  • Thanks to my not-a-nun sister for finding a real guy, and giving us all a reason to gather in Florida in a few weeks
  • Thanks to Nana Judy for being a great Nana to the kids. You are every bit their grandma and we love you for it.
  • Thanks to my nanny. Do you really have to get married next year?
  • Thanks to my in-laws. The quiet fortitude of life on a farm is inspiring in so many ways.
  • Thanks to our Issaquah Thanksgiving Family. Deep fried turkey. 'Nuf said.
  • Thanks to you, dear readers. I don't write this blog for you, but it's nice to know you're there and you care enough to occasionally leave comments. Even you, Waffles.
  • Finally, thanks to The Wife. At least I made you cry less this year.*


Joke! (kinda). You know you're the best. I'm thankful to your parents for having the incredible foresight to have you. I'm thankful you grew up on a farm with the values that go along with that. I'm thankful you are the mother of our children. I'm thankful you are a successful business woman. And I'm thankful you put up with me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Doldrums

Otis is grumpy. Kat is grumpy. I'm grumpy. Sheesh.

I'm blaming it on the season. Or maybe it's the economy. Perhaps the Audacity of Hope hasn't reached us yet.

Nah. That's not it. I'm actually quite bullish on the future. Sure, I think America is in trouble over the next 20 years, but that really doesn't affect me. I'll be retired by then (hopefully) and cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway in my Ferrari. Or something like that. In the mean time, I still can't shake this feeling that I'm spinning my wheels.

Since I got off Active Duty, I've gotten a huge pay raise, more time off and I have a lot less stress. My kids are doing well in school. My nanny hasn't crashed my car. Things are looking good.

On the flip side, my pants are a lot snugger. I haven't seen my wife in months (technically that's not true, but it feels pretty close), and I have this nagging feeling like everything is a little surreal. (Boy, it feels like I've written this same thing before. Sorry if this is a repeat, but it's still on my mind.)

It would be easy to say that when I was in the Army I had "purpose," and now that I'm out I've lost my way. I don't think that's it. It's more a feeling like I shouldn't be here. That part is true, actually. We thought we would have moved away from Seattle by now, but we are here until at least the summer and possibly longer. That means another winter with little sun and lots of rain (bring on Vegas!), and it also means more time spent in the doldrums.

***
On a semi-related note, I played in the finals of the league racquetball tournament last night. I went in as the 5th seed, but lost in the first round to the same guy that beat me in the last tournament. I stayed to watch the semis, and at one point, one of the players came bursting off the court in mid-match yelling and cursing about his opponent. I felt like saying, "Chill out, dude. It's just a game," but I held back. It's probably a good thing, because he looked ready to kill. He went back in the court and proceeded to trounce his opponent. You'd think he'd be in a better mood after that, no?

No.

He was still cursing about a bad call made by his now-defeated opponent. I wanted to say, "Dude. You won. Chill out." He had that helter-skelter look so I held back again.

Maybe I need to get angry at something. At least it's different from the doldrums.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Question

Is this statutory rape?*

(Or is it just a moosedemeanor?)

*Blatantly stolen from an email from our friend Junko

Friday, November 21, 2008

Conversations at Breakfast

In honor of Betty's Conversations in Montana, I give you the first installment of Conversations at Breakfast. Even though I'm out of the Army, I still work at the military hospital and eat breakfast in their dining facility.

Soldier 1: (Referring to someone he met recently) ... and he kind of looked like Carl Lewis.

Soldier 2: Carl Lewis? I know Carl Lewis! I met him and even got an autographed picture of him.

Soldier 1: Really? He was one of the best!

Soldier 2: Yeah. He was that black guy, right?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shaving Your Goat

I'm not a vain person. If you need confirmation, just check out the pic of my tubby ass diving into the pool a few posts back. That said, when I got out of the military, I decided to try something I haven't been able to do in the last 22 years (thanks to Uncle Sam) - I grew a goatee. After small learning curve, I figured out that I liked to keep it trimmed pretty short, in sort of an upside-down egg configuration. If I let it get too long, the gray really stood out.

Everyone loved the goat, or so they told me. Everyone, that is, except The Wife. Little chiding questions here and there were quite telling. Is this a phase? Are you going to keep it forever?

When that didn't work, she started getting bolder. "You know, I had a dream last night. It was about Otis..."

All right, already! I get it.

So, amongst the many gifts I lavished on her last night, I gave her one more - I shaved it all off. It took her a second when she got in the car, but she quickly figured it out. "You shaved!"

For you, baby. All for you.

Other than the big negative reaction from my oldest son (How could you, Dad?!), I really didn't think anyone else would notice. Boy, was I wrong. I wasn't at work for 10 minutes before one of my techs asked me what happened. I told him it was for The Wife and he gave that nod that only someone who's been married for at least 10 years can understand (I think he just celebrated his 25th anniversary). Many others followed. All reactions were negative. "We really liked it!" they cried. On my way to write this post, two more people stopped me to ask about it.

So now I'm stuck. On the one side, I've got at least a dozen votes in favor, but I've only got one against.

What's a guy to do?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Wife!

Well, the big one is in the books. I'll let The Wife tell you about it from her perspective. From my perspective it was as good as I planned. Thanks especially to Sis, Betty and Kat for the assist. If nothing else, your enthusiastic responses to my choice of a gift encouraged me to pull the trigger. I'm not sure I would have felt as confident without you.

Now, if you haven't already done so, go wish her a happy birthday. For those of you lucky enough to be here this Saturday for the home game, I don't think it will take too much cajoling to get her to do a little modeling. Don't worry - she'll be showing 'em off in Vegas in a few weeks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Need to Post

Recently, a girl I knew from my freshman year of college (was it really 1985?!) contacted me to ask about a career in radiology. At first, I thought it was a scam, but something about the email made me curious, so I responded. Turns out she's legit and has beautiful kids, including one who's getting ready to graduate from high school.

Here's the problem - she knows a few things about me. It's almost like we've talked before. Tonight she sent me an email and asked about racquetball. I played racquetball in college, but dammit, I think I've spoken with her more recently than 23 years ago. Why can't I remember?

I'm not that old, dammit! I'm 41. My mind can't be going already, can it? And this is a girl you don't soon forget, either! Get me a few drinks in Vegas (3 weeks!) and I'll tell you some stories. Of course I'll embellish a little, but I don't have to all that much in this case.

I'll leave you with this - I dated her roommate, but secretly had a crush on her. You know, classic freshman stuff. But one night...

I'll save it for Vegas.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The WPBT is Coming!

In honor of the prize for 1st bustout at the WPBT tournament, I give you these reviews of the infamous movie, Gigli (pronounced Zhee-lee, if you care):

Rarely has a movie that doesn't star Madonna achieved such a skin-crawling mixture of deluded preening and bungled humour.- Liam Lacey

[O]ne of the worst movies I've ever seen.- Richard Roeper

An overlong, joyless, and inconsequential affair, full of dead air, and possessing only a few moments of jaw-dropping bad taste. - Ty Burr

Ach. Oy. Woe and poo, bleccch and uck! ZZZZZ-zzz. - Stephen Hunter

Such an utter wreck of a movie you expect to see it lying on its side somewhere in rural Pennsylvania, with a small gang of engineers circling and a wisp of smoke rising from the caboose. - Stephen Whitty

Nearly as unwatchable as it is unpronounceable. - Manohla Dargis

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Birthday Party for The Wife

That's right - The Wife is celebrating the 10 anniversary of her 30th birthday. What better way to honor her than by taking her money!

What: Birthday Party/Poker Tournament
Where: Casa Chako
When: NEXT Saturday (November 22nd) at 7pm
What to Bring: Nothing but a little scratch and a smile. We'll have snacks and booze, but if there is something you like, feel free to bring your own drinks.

RSVP either here, on The Wife's blog, or via email.

See you then!

Edit: If you happened to read this blog when I first posted it, I got the date wrong. The correct date is now listed above.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Trouble Sitting - Pre-WPBT Vegas Trip Report

Yeah, I can't quite sit down since I got my ass kicked by Otis and CK at mixed games. You want to know the definition of -EV? Try playing multiple games you never heard of with friggin' pros. I was really drunk (also -EV, me thinks), but I remember 3-2-1 Omaha, Badugi, BadiCi, triple draw, Razz and a few others. 3-2-1 Omaha was ridiculous. On the river, CK announces, "Straight Flush!" it took me at least 30 seconds to find the damn hand! Still, even though I lost over 3 racks (at a damn 3/6 table no less!), I had a blast and I can't wait until next month.

Other than the mixed games at the IP, poker was good to me. Other than my losing session at the Bellagio, I only lost one other time, playing 1/2 while waiting for my seat at 2/5 PLO.

I know what you are thinking - WTF, Dr. Chako! Yeah, I had no business in that game. Here's how it went: I bought in for one rack, bled away half, got all-in. Got back to my buy in.

I did that three more times, before I got back down to $200. I wake up UTG with JJ 10 9 double suited and raise the pot. I get called in 2 places and the button raises pot. That's more than I had, so I called. Three of us see a Jack-high flop. Unbelievably, it holds up and I drag a $600 pot and walked away. I'm a lifetime winner at PLO.

Um, that was my first time playing.

Of course, I donked away nearly all of my allotted Vegas BR playing craps with my buddies. I actually won a little playing blackjack, but it all went to the craps table. I had one winning craps session - the first one. After that I hit a run of 11 seven-outs. Bye-bye BR.

Anyway, I just bought The Wife her birthday present(s). I'm actually really excited about these. She will be, too, as long as she doesn't look at the credit card statement.

Make sure you stop by and wish her a happy birthday. It's next week. And don't forget, she may be sporting some of her presents (and not much else) thanks to the damn Packers and a poorly timed (depending on your perspective) bet with Drizz.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Poor Form

Dr. Chako + (Macallan + Maker's and Diet Coke)^3 + "what the hell am I drinking now? + ATM machines = Bad Idea

After trying 2 different times to withdraw money from the ATM, my buddy Mike steps up and gets cash with no problem. We go to a different machine. I can get my balance, but no cash, despite 2 more attempts.

Hence the groggy call from The Wife this morning.

Honey, did you try to withdraw $2800 from the ATM? Wells Fargo Fraud Prevention just called...

My bad. Have you ever tried to explain to a phone rep that, no, I was just too drunk to figure out how to use the machine?

Let's hope this is the low point of an otherwise fantastic trip so far. Otis gets in today - it can only go up from here!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Vegas Update

Bullet points - deal with it.

  • Winning at Blackjack, craps and 1/2NL
  • Got my ass handed to me at 15/30 LHE at the Bellagio
  • Seriously, why do I even go there?
  • CK and F-Train are the bomb
  • My buddy Josh has more gamble in him than most bloggers I know
  • Seriously
  • Otis should be in today and my buddy Mike is coming in as well.
  • I got to bed at 6 am and I'm writing this post at 9:47am.
  • Vegas!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Beware!


Beware of low flying bloggers!

President Obama Predictions

This is a blog about poker and my life, but on this momentous occasion, I feel a strange need to write a few things down. Poker stuff will resume shortly.

In no particular order, here are my thoughts:

  • President Obama may go down as the best orator since Reagan. In fact, he may be better. He's got a good speech writer, and he likes being on camera. Expect to see him a lot.
  • History will note that his was the first acceptance speech to mention gays. Not a prediction I guess, but a glimpse at direction and priorities.
  • Roe v Wade is safe
  • Socialism. This has been on my mind a lot lately. The most liberal president in history is taking office at a time where the government is taking over - actually BUYING - businesses and banks. However well intentioned he may be, socialism is insidious. It may not take complete control during his administration, but as government lackeys get more and more power to control business decisions, they will begin to do what they do best - seek more control. At some point, we may all look back and ask, "How did we let this happen?" The answer will be multifactorial, of course, but temporally it will all point back to this time in history.
Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of an egalitarian society.

  • I predict my portfolio will surge in the coming months. Well, if not surge, it should at least go back to close to where it was a few months ago. I'm not certain we would have seen the same effect with a President McCain.
  • I predict that world opinion of America will improve in the Obama administration.
  • I also predict that as some countries are praising the new direction America is taking, they will be scrambling to find ways to take advantage of us. It doesn't always pay to be the nice guy.
  • I predict most of my friends will be home from Iraq by the end of Obama's first term, but we will also have a presence there throughout his administration, even if he's reelected in 4 years.
  • I predict Obama will be reelected in 4 years.
  • I predict that I will see a decrease in reimbursements in healthcare. Doctors will lose money while big business, laywers and insurance companies make out like bandits.
  • Say goodbye to tort reform. Liberals LOVE pain and suffering damages. It's like winning the lottery. Hell, I've met more than a few people who secretly hope that their doctor screws something up so they can be "set for life."
  • I predict it's a good time to be working for the government.
  • Finally, I predict that it's a good time to be a poker player. Well, let me clarify. I predict that the UIGEA will be repealed. I don't think it will happen in Obama's first administration unless there is serious lobbying. Look to the beginning of his second term for the act to be repealed or significantly reformed.
You may now return to your lives. Enjoy the swell of American pride. Despite the fact that I preferred McCain, I too am enjoying this moment in history. It's good to be an American.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sure is Easy...

...when you have help.


Thanks again SJ. Still, I sure do wish this came with massive prop-bet payouts. Anyone care to lay odds on how long it will take to turn this into $1000?

Running Good?

Poker has taken a (slight) turn for the better lately. While predictable, penny stakes Razz on FT is a consistent money maker. It's simple really. Raise when your highest card is an 8. Reraise if you have a 7 or better. Lead out when you are ahead (almost) every time. Fold if you catch two cards that are 9 or worse. A pair is the same as x-King.

And let the money roll in.

I played a little 3/5 spread limit last night while waiting for my 8/16 LHE seat. I won three quick pots, all with huge hands. KK, AJ and 55. All connected on the flop. The 6th hand of my night was the interesting one. I have Ad-10h in the cut-off. UTG - the table captain and a regular at 3/5 - limps UTG. There was a lot of limping at this table so it wasn't unusual. It gets to me and I pop it to $20. The button calls. Back to UTG, and he limp-raises to $45. Uh oh. I call and so does the button.

We see a flop of 9c-4c-3c. I've been much better about checking the suits of my cards pre-flop, so I know I don't have a club. I see the button check his cards. UTG doesn't flinch. Everybody checks the flop.

The turn is the 10 of spades. This is a potentially bad card for me. UTG fires $50 into the $150 pot. I hate that bet for two reasons. I get little information from it and I have to act without knowing what the button is going to do. We all have about $200 behind. I elect to call. What do you put UTG on? Would you have raised here?

Button folds (whew). The river is a horrible (and potentially expensive) card - the 10 of clubs. I now have trips, but there are 4 clubs on the board.

UTG hesistates and goes, "All-In!"

What do you do?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Play This Game Long Enough...


Play this game long enough and you'll see everything!

Edit: Heavy drinking is -EV. Write that down.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Well, So Much for That!

Seattle John killed my action!

This is about the funniest thing to happen to me in a long time. I seriously thought two things:

1. I honestly believed I could run $3.16 up to $100.
2. I was gonna make a killing in prop bets when I did.

There's just one small complication. After reading my pathetic post, sj_tilt left a comment that said he took pity on me, so he transferred funds into my FT account! Dammit - this was going to be so sweet. Your $25 is gonna cost me thousands in lost props!

Well, I guess the flip side is that I was a HUGE statistical underdog, so I probably would have paid out a ton of cash instead of winning the bets, but NOW WE'LL NEVER KNOW!

In all seriousness, thanks, bud. In honor of your generosity, I ran your transfer plus my measly BR up to $76 without ever risking more than 10% of my BR.

Next stop, $1000.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Waffles Challenge

In the comments section of my pathetic post yesterday, it seems Waffles has laid down a challenge:

"If you need some Waffles bad luck bet to help you I am always up for a little side bet about you busting out or reaching a hundred in a certain time frame."

I accept. I will turn my measly $3.16 into $100 within one month. The clock stops at midnight on November 30th, 2008. I will not re-buy. You all can watch me as I go.

Anyone care to lay odds?

Edit: In the interest of disclosure, after making that post, I won just a little playing Razz (my secret weapon). I then played two SNGs - a 9 person and an 18 person. Both were $2 + $0.25. I lost the 18 but took second in the 9 for a profit (after deducting for the buy-ins) of $1.10. I'm on my way. W00t!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chris Ferguson Challenge

When I quit playing online poker 3 years ago, it was only after dropping $1600. Its official - I cannot play online poker to save my life. Well, in order to play the freeroll tournament from Rakeback, I put another $100 into FT. Here is what's left of my BR:



I am an idiot. Repeating the same mistakes hoping for a different outcome is the definition of insanity. But, I'm better than this! Or am I? Well, I've decided to see if I can rebuild. I'm going to hunker down and play good solid poker until I at least get it back to my original buy-in. If Chris Ferguson can turn $1 into $10,000, I can certainly turn this measly BR into $100, right.

We'll see.

It's Official

No motorcycle for Dr. Chako.

Man, I really had my hopes up for this one. I tried on all the gear. I got great pictures of The Wife and I perched in the saddle. I fantasized about cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway with Kat (or any motley group of Harley riders, really). Alas, it is not to be.

I don't know all the specifics of what went down. My hope is that the dealership has no experience with charity donations. The alternative is that they were trying to get more money out of me by claiming that I owed taxes. That would be akin to stealing from a charity, and I would never make that accusation without hard proof. Still, just the possibility really pissed me off. I would rather go to a different Harley dealer and pay MORE money than give my cash to a dealer that would do something like this. Since I don't have hard facts, I won't mention the dealership in question. It doesn't really matter in the end because The Boys & Girls Clubs still wins. The Wife and I are making a donation to the organization that basically amounts to what they would have made if the Harley deal went through.

And suddenly, I feel better.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Home Game!

Folks, this weren't no casual little gathering. The Wife never does anything half-assed. She put together a spread that would make you think we were playing a $1000 minimum cash-game. There was lox and bread and salmon spread and chips and olives and beer and OY! It just didn't stop. On top of this we had some excellent wine and we finally cracked open a bottle of Polish vodka that she actually picked up on a shopping trip to Poland. It was quite tasty.

We played two SNGs. Of course, The Wife cashed in both. I was out early in both so I was the designated dealer most of the night. And not a single tip, dammit! Can't someone throw me a toke every now and then...

The best hand of the night was when two people were betting into The Wife when it was obvious to me that she had a monster. I hunkered down lest someone get a read from me about the strength of her hand. In retrospect, that was silly. If they didn't pick up on her SCREAMING tells, they certainly weren't looking for any help from me.

We had an awesome line up with a great mix of beginners and pros, including one beginner who actually works at the hospital with me.

We had:
The lovely Wife
The lovely Betty (not Underground)
Joshua
The lovely Laura
The lovely Shawni (sans Skitch - last post from 2006!)
Your Hero
Cayne
Zeem

I was going to post a few interesting hands, but it doesn't really matter. I had more fun last night playing poker than I have had in a long time.

Let's hope it becomes a regular thing.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Seattle Area Blogger Home Game

Casa Chako is finally getting off of it's collective ass and hosting a home game. It's REALLY short notice - i.e. I'm posting this at 2 a.m. Saturday morning after getting my ass handed to me at the Muckleshoot Casino. Our home game is Saturday evening - say, around 7pm. In other words, it's in 17 hours.

Get your ass over here. You know it will be a blast. If we're lucky, it may be the start of a regular thing!

Respondez to The Wife, bitte.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get very far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as well attempt to grasp the game of poker entirely by the use of the mathematics of probability. - Vannevar Bush

Amen.

On the home front, The Wife comes home today after a weeklong business trip. We sure do miss her. I can't wait for her to get home... so I can go out and play poker.

***

For my local readers, how 'bout that home game already?!

***

One more thing, yesterday, my good buddy left an unrelated comment on my motorcycle post expressing his outrage with the bailout. If what they are saying in the links is even partly true, I'm going back to bed and pulling the covers over my head. If you have any interest at all, go to the comments and follow the links.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lesson: Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Well, the motorcycle may not happen. That's what I get for getting my hopes up, I guess.

Without getting into the gory details, it looks like the Harley dealer and the Boys and Girls Clubs may not have communicated the terms of the deal clearly. My understanding was that the bid price was the "out the door" price. The dealerships called me and said I'm responsible for all the taxes and everything else. If that's the case, then this is a no-go.

I'm looking at this as a win-win. If there are no hidden charges (over and above the extra 3% already added on), then I get a new Harley. If there ARE extra charges, then I don't get the bike, but that means I'm much closer to getting the Ferrari.

Go me!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Definition of Grueling

Limit Razz tournament.

Final two.

89 hands heads-up. Eighty-f***in'-nine.

GoCards22 shows 9,8,6,4,A
drchako1 shows 7,4,3,2,A
Dealer: drchako1 wins the pot (11,892) with
7,4,3,2,A

Dealer: drchako1 finishes in 1st place and wins: $4

Without a doubt, this was the most excruciating four bucks I ever won. The Jameson whiskey helped, but only a little.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

And Now for Something Completely Different

Before I tell you more about the motorcycle that may or may not be (long story), I spent some time today trying to build the tiny bankroll on FT. I decided to check out "The Matrix."



It was almost too much action, especially since this was a 6 person max turbo. Still, a win is nice, especially on your first try. Now, back to Razz.

Yeah, That's Mine


In this case, I'm talking about the hot babe AND the bike.

More to follow...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Out in 12th


Thanks again to Le Tune and Rakeback for the free roll! After dominating the tourney early, I ran into sets three times to eliminate myself in 12th out of 36. Played very well early, me thinks. I'm certain Le Tune thought I was deliberately raising his blind every time because of the bounty, but I actually had a hand every time.

For those that are interested, I laid down QQ86 when Spaceman re-raised me all in. I think that was a horrible lay down based on my M and the odds. I still think he had me beat, but it's Omaha. Is anyone really that far behind?

Thanks to BamBam for railing me. HUGE apologies to CK for the massive river suckout. I meant it - the first lap dance is on me.

Hopefully literally.

Rakeback Freeroll

In about an hour, I'll be sitting down at the virtual felt and slinging chips with some of the best poker bloggers in the world. And Waffles.

A big thanks to the folks at Rakeback. I'm not sure what value you see in this humble little slice of the intertubes, but I thank you just the same for the opportunity for an infinite ROI (for you non-math geeks, zero invested - i.e. freeroll - divided by huge potential returns = infinite return on investment. Sheesh. Read a book now and then).

I've already won just by being invited. Now lets see if I can do some real damage.

Name: LeTune Challenge I
Tournament ID: #63909297
Poker Room: FTP
Starts: Thursday 16th of October, 19:00 EST
Prize Pool: $1,000

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lottery Tag

Help, I've been tagged. Dammit, IT, you know I can't resist these things!
  1. First of all, I've already won the lottery. Seriously - have you seen my wife? How about my kids? And my Brazilian Au Pair? Sheesh! Oh yeah, and this new job is flat out ridiculous. I love what I do and I get 15 weeks of vacation. Tell me I didn't win. Go on - I dare you.
  2. But, if I won a lot more, I suppose there would be more that I'd do for humanity. I think what humanity needs the most right now is for me to have a Ferrari.
  3. After indulging my selfish side, I suppose a tiny pang of guilt might make me do stuff for others. In all seriousness, I can claim a free pass on the whole charity thing. I'm a doctor for crying out loud! All I do all day is help others. But, in the interest of helping even more, the first thing I'd do is pay whatever it takes to get my in-laws out of debt and off the farm. No one works harder than my father-in-law, yet he never complains. The small-time American farmer is a dying breed and worthy of all our respect.
  4. I'd also pay whatever was necessary for all members of my family to be debt free and on the road to financial freedom.
  5. I'd finance a production for my cousin Jarel. He's a struggling actor in NYC and he just found out his sweet gig on Ellis Island is coming to a close. He's got more talent than you can imagine, and like me, he loves what he does.
  6. Just one time, I'd play at Table 1 in the Bellagio. If I won, I'd play just once more.
  7. I'd buy into a 1/2 game at the Venetian for $10,000 and I'd play at least 3 events per year in the WSOP (but not the Main Event. I guess I might try to satellite into it, but I'd rather pay the $50,000 into the HORSE event than pay for the crap shoot that the main event has become).
  8. I'd fly Michelle to Barcelona. I might even ask to come along, but it's not critical.
  9. I'd take another vacation to northern Italy and go hiking through Switzerland with my buddy Josh. The poorly named "Moistman Tours" is the best travel agency you never heard of.
  10. I'd have a reunion of all my Iraq buddies (even though that may be a little stressful right now. But who gives a shit? I love these people.).
  11. I would fund The Wife's online poker account with $100,000. She would turn it into a million or my name ain't Dr. Chako.
That's it. No great solutions for world peace. No huge charitable stuff like the Boys and Girls Clubs (although I'd probably do that, too). Just a good time with a little off the top and the rest in investments so I could live the good life even more than I'm already doing.

If you are reading this and haven't been tagged, consider yourself tagged.

Poker Stats

Because I know you are all dying to know, here are my stats since putting $100 into FT:

Hold 'em: -$40

PLO8: -$37

SNG: -$22

Razz: +$3

In my head I'm thinking, "WWJ(CF)D?"

Interesting Razz Hand


How often do you see a chop in Razz?!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Can't Connect to FT

Has anyone else had this problem? I tried to log on to FT this morning and it says, "Sorry. Cannot connect to server."

My internet connection seems to be working fine. The conspiracy theorist in me says Big Brother found me and is blocking my access. Hell, they are probably preparing to storm my house right now!

'Scuze me while I duck and cover.

Edit: I'm back on now. Big Brother must have decided that someone playing .05/.10 PLO8 isn't worth the trouble.

I Am the Worst

Seriously - Waffles could make fun of me I'm so bad.

In all fairness, I did get bad-beated a few times, but I made some serious judgment errors, too. Late in tournaments, I called off all my chips ON A DRAW. Some voice in the back of my head actually said, "your Q 10 may actually be good here!" Yeah - up against AA and KK - not so much. I set up my Full Tilt account again in order to qualify for the freeroll tournament on Thursday. I may not have any bankroll by then - and I'm only playing the .05/.10 tables!

It was really cool seeing Ms. Skitch on the same table, but other than the social aspect, there was a reason I stopped playing online. I have too many leaks in my game. This time it would be different, right? I tightened WAY up. I never commit more than 5% of my bankroll on any endeavor. Yet, I still suck. Clearly, bankroll management has always been my biggest problem. At this point, my options are to tighten up further (if that's even possible), or give up once again.

Dammit, I need a new hobby! Wait, I have an idea. Maybe I'll write a travel journal about the best Asian Massage Parlors in the country. Cayne could be my guide.

What do you think?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Help Me Get the Perfect Gift!

The Wife is set for the mother of all birthdays - the Big 4-0. My 40th was a big hairy deal to me (yet I still don't have a Ferrari - what gives?), but she seems to be taking this in stride. Still, I'd like to celebrate this momentous occasion in style, but I'm totally out of ideas. Yes, I know she reads this blog, and yes, I know it may spoil the surprise, but I'm really stuck.

I thought about flying CK out here for entertainment, but then I realized that's what I want for MY birthday.

Your thoughts?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back in the Saddle

After some prodding from teh community, I'm back playing online poker. I forgot how much I love this game...

DQB!

See you at the tables.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ya'll Knew This, Right?


You are The Devil


Materiality. Material Force. Material temptation; sometimes obsession


The Devil is often a great card for business success; hard work and ambition.


Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really "Satan" at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remember that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Oh, Canada!

Blatantly stolen from Sandman. Funny as hell.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The End of Humanity

This is why I read Scott Adams (Dilbert Blog):

I assume some entrepreneur is already working on creating a business where guys will be able to buy a lifelike female body part that plugs into a standard USB port, and can be controlled by someone else across the Internet. That artificial body part could mimic a hand, mouth, or woo-woo. In the short run, the business model would involve paying women, in countries where such things are legal, to control the device and appear on a web cam chat. In the long run, artificial intelligence and CGI women will be controlling the action, so the whole system would only cost $100, with no recurring fees. And that will be the end of humanity because nerds will stop mating, their genes will die out, humanity will revert to the Bronze Age, and all the attractive, dumb people will be eaten by wild dogs.

I like to end on a positive note, so let's take a moment to be happy for the wild dogs.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Get Your Drink On

After playing late night poker, I sometime have trouble falling asleep. It really doesn't matter if I've done well or played poorly. Tonight I played poorly (as in, why did I bet the river when the flush obviously got there?).

On a recommendation from the in flight magazine (I think it was the October issue of Hemisphere on United, or maybe it was the Robb Report), I picked up a Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban.

http://www.robbreport.com/categories/wine-spirits-and-cigars/detail.aspx?productID=93

Up until now, my favorite Single Malt Scotch has been Macallan 18. I think I may have found a new favorite. And at less than 1/2 the price (a lot less - it was $59 for the bottle), it's a helluva deal.

If you like scotch (and I'm thinking of you, BamBam), give it a shot.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Post-Bash Photo Dump

Sorry if the title is misleading. These are pictures from the super awesome time I spent in and around NYC after the Bash. I met up with my sister and we got out to Ellis Island to watch my cousin as the lead actor in a play about immigrants. He did an incredible Bela Lugosi and really brought out the emotion in the character.

We got to the Museum of Natural History and had an agenda. We'd both been there as kids. It left a huge impression because we both knew exactly what we wanted to see - the gems and the Big Blue Whale. My whale pics didn't come out very well. You know how things always seem bigger when you are a kid, but don't live up to your expectations when you see them again as an adult? Yeah - not so much this whale. This thing is still friggin' huge!


This one is just for me and my sis. 17 Mott Street is the home of Wo Hop. Our Dad brought us here and would go on and on about their special soup. With good reason. That and the crispy noodles was probably the highlight of my trip. I'd swear the spirit of my dad and uncle were there with us. We toasted them with our glasses of hot tea and truly lived in the moment.



Here's the NJ Transit train that took me to Penn Station. I'm embarrassed to say that when I was coming back to NJ, I was standing right in front of Madison Square Garden asking random hot dog vendors how to get to Penn Station (for those who don't know, it's directly under the Garden).


After the show, my sister , my cousin and I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to Grimaldi's Pizza, one of (if not THE) oldest pizza places in the city. Nothing beats NY pizza, and I'd put Grimaldi's up against just about anything. The line out the door spoke for itself.



A close up of your hero and his family taken from the bridge with the Empire State Building in the background.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Bash – There is Too Much

Let me sum up.

When my flight to the Bash was delayed in Chicago, I kept thinking, “What the hell am I doing flying from Seattle to Nowheresville, Pennsylvania for a party?! There is no way this is going to be worth it.”

It was. In spades.

Everyone always says these gatherings are about the people and not the event. It’s so true. Sure, there was poker. It was almost inconsequential. Sure there was a Pub Olympics. It was, well… it was debauchery of the highest order. 20 years from now people will still be talking about it. We were there. It’s impossible to put into words. Every time I try I just keep saying, “Wow.”

Since it’s really about the people, there are a few I want to highlight:

Bam Bam and Pebs – I have all these things I want to say, but I think I’ll just sum it up and say, Bam, you are my brother from another mother. You are as lucky to have Pebs as I am The Wife. We are the same person, you and I – just in different countries. You are both welcome at Casa Chako any day of the week.

Spacemen – In this case I’m referring to both. We had a long ranging conversation about journalism, teaching and life. I walked away enriched. Who’d have thought such a thing could happen in a crowded pub in Pennsylvania?!

The Rooster – Sorry we didn’t get those 5 minutes together. I too would have liked to just sit and chat. Still, I loved looking across the room at you as were decidedly were trying to show me that you weren’t touching The Wife in any way that could be deemed inappropriate. I thought I heard someone say to her, “I wish you weren’t married,” but certainly that wasn’t you, right?

Al – What can I say that hasn’t been said? You are a legend for a reason. Very few people could appeal to this variety of different souls and bring them all together. You sir, are the man.

The Oddcouple – Having actual skillets (as opposed to the “skillets” we’ve have later in the event) was a true pleasure. I knew we’d find that diner eventually!

Otis – One of my top highlights was standing shoulder to shoulder with you over the shuffleboard game. You told me that prior to coming that you were thinking of me and had a thought that it would be cool if we could find two guitars and just jam. You have no idea what that meant to me, buddy. This is going to seem over the top, but I don’t care. Have you ever heard stories of the old great writers who used to get together with the unwashed masses and just socialize? I’m talking about Twain, or Hemingway or their contemporaries. Now imagine that when you met them you find out that they wanted to see you just as much as you wanted to see them. Priceless. We will eventually have that jam session. It’s inevitable.

Katitude – You. You, you! I thought about writing something pithy and coy here, but I can’t think of anything clever, other than to say that you are the best kisser on the planet. Unfortunately, I lost the ability to say that The Wife is the only one in our relationship that’s kissed someone else since we’ve been together, but at least we did it right out in the open in front of her. I don’t think she minded, because she was engaged in a little kissing of her own.

Drizz – You are a man on a mission, and the mission is to have a good time. Of course, I’m losing my hearing a little bit and you are worse than me. Having a conversation in a crowded pub with Crystal Roxx blaring in the background is less than productive, yet somehow we said what needed to be said. People, you just can help but feel good when talking with Drizz. He never stops smiling – even when partaking in a tasty skillet.

The Wife – Yes, I’m including The Wife in my list of interesting people I met at the Bash. Why, you ask? If you were there, you’d know. After seeing her with CK I suddenly looked at her with new eyes. I think I was clutching my face at the time, too. Who is this stunningly beautiful woman? Where did this hedonistic streak come from? Who the hell kisses like a wild, hungry animal?!

There’s more, but I must rest. I’m still digesting it all.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Bash - Day Two

Oh. My. God.

Still processing everything. There is much I need to tell you and even more I can't. I'm still a little buzzed here at 11am the next day. Through my drunken haze I distinctly remember not two, not three, but FOUR hot chicks making out while Crystal Roxx rocked the Tyler James Pub. Al Can't Hang was rocking out on his birthday (but he mysteriously disappeared for while), Drizz was crushing forearms in the back (mine still hurts - where the frack does an accountant get that much power?!), skillets were eaten (oh yes they were! Best quote of the Bash, "I wanna have sex with my skillet), and Pub Olympics #1 is in the books. For the record, I was the Tiger Woods of my team, at least if you are talking about his performance in the Ryder Cup. I was 0 for 2 in my events. Bobby actually gave us a chance in the darts competition, but he was up against Budder Carson who is also the Ontario dart champ. We still finished it out with the car bomb relay. Despite Otis and Bike Mike's sub 2 second gulp and slams, we couldn't pull it out in this event either. Yet somehow we all won.

Just by being here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Bash - Day One

This is not my official trip report. Instead it's just a reminder of some of the ongoings for later.

I finally got to my hotel (the sumptuous Courtyard by Marriot in Collegeville) at little after 4 am after all the airport shenanigans. Since I missed the continental breakfast (in what would prove to be a trend), I went in search of sustenance. It was found in the Collegeville Diner. I grew up just north of here in New York, and it had been since then since I had real home fried potatoes. The stares from the customers next to me were probably because I was making the yummy noises a little too loud.

Satiated, I got back to my room in time for a call from Al telling me the Canadians were golfing despite the rain. Tell them to wait! I'm from Seattle, dammit. This is perfect golfing weather.

I got a big hug and a small scotch from BamBam and he introduced me to his north-o-the-border bretheren DonKaaa (which makes a lot more sense when you pronounce the Kaaa as "aye" and not "aaah") and brudder Carson. We hit the links and played a 2-team scramble. Bam and I pulled into the early lead after I sunk a clutch put on the first hole, but the team of DonKaaa and BC nailed a chip to gimme range on the last hole to claim the one-up victory. Rematch!!

There is so much more, but I have to hit shower. The Wife got in safely, and after a horrible but charitable poker tournament, we had an awesome breakfast at 3am with Bobby Bracelet and the lovely Elisabeth. We slept in, so now we've got to get moving in order to get to the Pub-lympics on time.

Pray for my liver.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Airport Tilt

I hate my Sony Laptop.

For some reason, it has developed two problems that, by themselves, suck. Combined together they make me want to use this POS in the next frisbee-tossing competition.

First - My internet connection speed has the dwindles. I place my cursor over the wireless connection icon when I first log on and it happily says "Connection Excellent! Speed: 54 Mbps." But slowly the speed decreases to 36, then 18 then 2 then 1. It happens regardless of where I'm connected - at home or remotely here in O'Hare. I click Repair, and it fixes the problem temporarily. 5 minutes later I have to do it all over again.

Second - Firefox sucks. I'm not sure if it's because I upgraded to Norton 360 (this problem started before the upgrade), but after surfing for a while, I'll shut down Firefox. When I go to reopen it, all my bookmarks are gone. The only fix is to restart the computer.

Since I sat down here at Gate C23, it's taken me over 1 hour just to get to the point where I could write this post. Of course, there is no place to plug in my laptop, so the battery is almost dead. Makes me want a drink.

Anyone out there wanna buy me a scotch?

Edit: Flight delayed. Something about the weather in Pennsylvania. Al, can't you do something about this?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Little Found

Excuse me - I'll be Bashing it. I'm told I can find my way out there.

If not, I can at least get drunk enough that I won't care.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Little Lost

Our Au Pair is getting married, so The Wife pulled out the old VHS tapes from our wedding. The ceremony looked wonderful. The Wife still looks as beautiful as the day we were married. I look much older (more distinguished?).

In attendance were my dad, my mom, my uncle Dan and my Buby. I miss them all so very much. Dammit. It was only 13 years ago. How can they all be gone?

Every now and then I get a feeling that things are a little surreal. Kind of like, when you are just a little buzzed and you shake your head and things just don't track them same as when you are sober? It's silly, really. My life couldn't be better. I have a dream job. I have a beautiful family. I live in a great house in a great area. Maybe it's the uncertainty. I know we won't be here next year. I know it's going to get even better. I love changing things up a bit every now and then (the Army was really good for that). Then why am I out of sorts? I wish Dad were still around to talk to.

Don't worry. I'll shake this off before bedtime. In a couple days we'll be Bashing it. No time for soul-searching out there. Just fun times with not-so-invisible-internet-friends. I think it will be just what the doctor ordered.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Memory Lane with the Muppets

If you (like me) are around 40-ish, see if this list doesn't bring back a rush of memories.

Muppet Show Episodes

Reminder – You are 41, not 11

September 20th, 2008

This is what happens after your son hits you in the face with a pillow while watching the Ryder Cup and you decide to chase him by leaping over the couch.



Friday, September 19, 2008

Ryder Cup Live Blog

If you want to know what I'll be doing today between patients, see here:

Ryder Cup Live Blog

Editor's Note: How do you put BOTH tee-shots into the water on 18?! Morons.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Old News, but now Mainstream

Poker site cheating


Poker site cheating plot a high-stakes whodunit

$75 million claim filed against Canadian software firm with murky pedigree

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

IT is SO Helpful

I just got this from my work email. Seriously.

Your work order #00226473 has been resolved.

The original problem description was noted as "User has various questions."

The resolution description has been noted as "Answered questions that user had."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Careful What You Wish For

September 16th, 2008

I had a truly legendary session playing poker last night. Seriously, it will be talked about in hushed tones for days (hours, at least). In my short session, I was dealt AA (once), KK (twice), QQ (FIVE TIMES), JJ (once).

I had to lay down the KK and JJ immediately on the flop to a raise and re-raise when the Ace hit, but the other KK and the Aces both held up. QQ held up 4 of the 5 times.

Yet, why did I have a losing session? I didn’t tilt (at least I don’t think I did). I know my Hiltons were cracked by J 5 off, but surely one bad beat should kill a session, right? The hands I lost were big ones. I lost with A-10 on a board of 10 7 6, where a guy called a big pre-flop raise with 10-7. I lost with AK twice (did I forget to mention those?). I guess I’m surprised I lasted as long as I did.

Next time give me crap cards, dammit.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ultra High-Stakes Gambling

September 15th, 2008

We’ve got some gamblers in the news. On ESPN this morning, I saw coach Mike Shanahan go for the two-point conversion for the win, when the extra point would have forced an easy overtime. The Schwam was going on and on about how brave it was and how confident he must be in his team and his QB. Nonsense. It was a bone-headed play. He fails at least 50% of the time with that gamble, and the media would have ripped him a new ass for the play. I suppose the gamble may pay off in the long run with more support from an energized team. We’ll see.

Despite my solemn vow to no longer talk about MLB, I saw the highlights of Carlos Zambrano pitching his no-hitter. He got the count to full with two outs in the 9th. His last pitch was a ball WAY outside. At first I thought he was throwing for a perfect game, in which case that pitch would certainly have been in the strike zone. Throwing a ball in that situation would have been the most impressive gamble ever, but it was still a big risk for Sweet Lou (Go University of Tampa!) to leave him in for the complete game. It worked.

Goldman Sachs took a big risk and got a Fed bailout. How embarrassing it must have been to be the first one to ask for help. I bet Lehman Bros wished they had asked for help first! The Fed was all too willing to help GS, but they gave the Heisman to Lehman, and presumably to any other big brokerage firms that may want to ask for help. Merrill Lynch, watching from the sidelines, said, “We’re screwed!” and sold themselves to the first available bidder (Bank of America - go Liss!).

I like to gamble, too. Of course, that’s why being married to an accountant is such a good thing. We sold all of our individual stocks years ago and instead just put money into an Index fund (VFINX) every month. We’re down 12% for the year, but way up over the last 5. It takes all the stress out of the daily nonsense and sets us up for our long term plan for early retirement. I challenge anyone out there to compare their portfolios with us in 20 years. If you beat us by more than 2%, I’ll pay up.

In the meantime, I’ll keep my gambling (relatively) low-stakes.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Summer’s End

Had a totally awesome trip today with the family and Au Pair courtesy of MeanHappyGuy. His family has a cabin in the woods that would make The Unabomber envious. Really – the place is idyllic. I could wax poetic, but instead head on over to his post for a great write up and awesome pics (including a shot of The Wife in a bikini - she’s a hottie).

Drunk Post

>Quick hit-and-run tonight at the Muckleshoot. I love that 8/16 game. One of the regulars was into the game for 8 racks (at $200 a rack, that’s an impressive amount. Do the math yourself, ‘cause math is hard). Since I haven’t had a post for a while, I figure I’ll just brain dump whilst finishing my Macallan.

I am a Republican. Bite me. I also give money to only one organization – NPR. What, you say? That’s right. I give because it entertains me. One of my favorite things to do while driving into work is to pick out all the subversive (read: liberal) undertones of nearly every story they do. I’ve often thought about listing them all here, but it would take too much time, and let’s face it – it’s more fun to pick them out yourself. I actually get pissed off when Steve Innskeep gets on his high-horse and directly attacks conservatives. Be subversive, dammit! No one respects a frontal assault in radio. It’s akin to a defendant telling the jury, “I didn’t do it!” You lose credibility.

I also enjoy when NPR pulls out Juan Williams every time they want a conservative viewpoint. To be honest, he’s a breath of fresh air (and don’t get me started on Fresh Air host Terry Gross – the only woman other than my wife I’d want to be stranded on a desert island with), but even I thought he was too cocky and egotistical to be a regular news commentator. I often think he’s there just so the staff can say, “See, we’re diversified. We present both sides!” Of course, Juan is only on late at night, but who’s paying attention? Oh yeah – I am.

If you don’t believe me, just listen to the next Sarah Palin story. See how long it takes NPR to mention either the Bridge to Nowhere that she first supported but then didn’t, or Troopergate or her husbands 20+ year old DUI. I still think Obama will win the election, but it’s fun to see NPR scared. I really believe that THEY believe they can organize the liberals and undecideds and single-handedly win this election for the Democrats.

I’ll be listening the whole time.

Oh yeah – go visit The Wife. She’s blogging non-existent ass off in preparation for The Bash. My preparation consists of drinking.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Golf

Since there will be golfing at the Bash, I headed out tonight to play 9. It's only my 3rd time out this year. I played a one-man scramble. I got a triple on one hole after putting both tee-shots OB, but I only got one other bogey. The rest were par.

Watch out!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Omaha and the Bash

I suck at Omaha8, but I sure do like saying, "Nut-Nut." I've gone weeks without even seeing a nut-nut, and I had three of them in 45 minutes. Drizz would be so proud.

Still, I was only playing O8 because I was waiting for a seat at 8/16. When I finally got the seat, I donked off $200 of my O8 winnings before buckling down and winning it all back. It was weird not being the most aggressive person at the table. I totally had to switch gears and play good, solid poker for a change.


The Bash
. It's legendary. I must admit I've considered going, but never seriously. But now, after getting called out by Al, The Wife and I are looking at plane tickets and reservations. We still aren't sure our schedules will totally mesh, but we might actually make this work.