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


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