Thursday, July 31, 2008


July 31, 2008

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know I have a passion for a couple materialistic things. My Ferrari obsession has been well document. Less well documented is my fanaticism over watches. I will one day own a Lange 1. Most of you are saying, “What the hell is a Lange 1 and why is it so special?” That’s okay. I don’t expect you to understand. You either get it or you don’t. The watch isn’t really about flash. It’s kind of like a male version of high-end jewelry. It makes you feel special. The car is about flash, but that’s a whole different discussion.

Even though I signed my contract 2 days ago and I officially start working again tomorrow, I still can’t bring myself to pay $30,000 for a watch. Well, I found a great substitute (see the link above). It’s called Glashutte and it’s made in the same town in Germany as the Lange 1. In fact, they used to be the same company. The workmanship is unbelievable. The style is similar. The price is “only” $8000. The one I want is the PanoMaticLunar if you are interested.

It’s fun to bring up the discussion with The Wife, just to watch her cringe. Well, it can be fun, but then I find myself in the unenviable position of trying to justify something which cannot be justified. “What’s so special about it? Can’t you find something in the $1000 range? Do you like it just because it’s more expensive?”

I once tried the argument that SHE has expensive jewelry, so why can’t I? Gentlemen, take it from me – this is a BAD argument. Never go there. I regret ever trying this tack. I’ll probably regret bringing it up again here. In fact, here is her response the last time this came up:

Maybe I'm just innately aware of the marginal utility of beautiful watches and the beauty per dollar ratio of the first one is somehow evident to my subconscious. To be perfectly honest, unless these watches prevent cancer and give you arm massages, I'm not sure the price justifies either on looks alone . . . he's got a perfectly handsome Skagen at home that I know was under the $200 mark . . . don't understand his acquisition "phase" apparently and never will.

So once again, I’m back to square one. I still look at watches almost as much as I look at Ferraris. Well, what do you know? I found another very interesting watch. So now, I present you with three pictures. The first picture is the watch, made by a company called Laco – also from Germany. The second is a very similar watch made by Glashutte. The third is a picture of the speedometer setup in my BMW.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Buddy Rich

By way of apology for my offensive post yesterday, I give you the genius of Buddy Rich.

And if you needed any more reason why Buddy Rich was awesome, check him out on the Muppets (complete with Nordic subtitles):

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blog Fodder

July 27, 2008

When I said to The Wife that I just got some good blog fodder, she replied, “Iggy?” My momentary confusion was cleared up when I realized that she heard “Blogfather,” not Blog Fodder. I guess you had to be there.

I hear random snippets of conversation that, when taken out of context, can be rather amusing. The one tonight could remain in context and it would still give you chills.

Two older women were sitting in a booth next to us at Marie Calendars. They were about 60 and 80 and I think they were mother and daughter based on the silly arguments (“Why are you jumping down my throat?!” “I’m not jumping!”). I’d put their combined weight in the over 500 range.

Anyway, daughter hits us with this doozy. “So, in the first of my hallucinations, I was naked and tied up with rosary beads.”

It was at this point I started slapping my ears and shaking violently, in a lame attempt to dislodge the horrible information. It wouldn’t shake loose, so instead, I choose to share it with you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Unemployed Movie Reviewer

July 22, 2008

I suck as a movie reviewer because I can’t reference all the great old-time movies and make awesome comparisons. I just don’t remember movies that well. What I can offer is my take on the Summer of ’08 blockbusters. As most of you know, I have tons of free time now that I’m no longer in the military and haven’t yet started my new job. After reading this review, you’ll probably suggest I stick with doctoring.

Batman – great movie. It sucks that Heath Ledger is dead, because he owned the Joker. That is saying a lot, because I’m a huge Nicholson fan. I even think he did a tiny homage to Jack during one speech. If I had any problem it was that the movie ran too long. It was almost like the directors owed it to Heath to put as much of him on screen as possible. They could have cut out a bunch and it would have been a better movie. Also the development of Two-Face almost didn’t belong, but I guess it was an interesting plot twist. 4/5 stars

Hancock – good movie. I like Smith and Bateman, and I was shocked to see Charlize Theron. Somehow I missed her in the previews. The only thing that sucked is that I took my kids to see it. They’ve seen R rated movies before, but since cursing was an integral part of the movie (as opposed to just something to fill dialogue), it makes for interesting conversation when my kids try to describe some scenes. 3/5 stars

Journey to the Center of the Earth РSucked out loud. This movie was just clich̩ and nonsense with terrible acting (mostly from Frasier) and was only saved by decent special effects. Did we really need another runaway mine car scene? It was like the movie was made specifically with the forthcoming Disney attraction in mind. 1/5 stars

Hellboy II – Really good movie. I don’t know how I missed the first one, but I finally got to see it last week when I was in Texas. You don’t need the first to see the second, but I guess it helps. The voice of the sea creature no longer sounds like David Hyde Pierce, but it didn’t detract from the show. The Barry Manilow scene was worth the price of admission. Best line? “Well, now it’s an amusement park.” 4/5 stars

Wall-E – Decent flick from Pixar, but I was expecting more. This movie is getting great reviews in the press, but I predict it will fall short of other greats from Pixar like Toy Story and the like. I’m sorry, but I need dialogue. To make up for it, the movie out-clevered itself. Decent effort. 3/5 stars

Get Smart – I was a big fan of the TV show. I loved the references to the old show as well as to James Bond. I’m a big Carrell fan, although I can’t watch The Office. If you liked the old show you must see the movie. 3/5 stars

Kung Fu Panda – I went in with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. The voice cast was really impressive. 3/5 stars

Wanted – I would see any movie with Angelina Jolie, especially when she’s purposely made hot and dangerous. Put her in a sports car and I’m in heaven. Naked coming out of the bath – even better. Hearing Morgan Freeman curse, not once, but twice, was worth the price. Too often, the movie tried to be more than it was (which was basically a B-movie action flick), but when it stuck to the action, it was excellent. 2/5 stars

I’m looking forward to seeing Step Brothers and I’ll probably be forced to see Mamma Mia! (although I’m a closet ABBA fan). I’ll let you know.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ferrari - Part II

I had yet another fantastic day this weekend. It came after a really terrific week of working at a hospital outside of Ft. Worth, Texas. It was great to just be a doctor again. I then made the 5 hour drive to San Antonio listening to XM comedy 150 the whole way. It really made the trip go fast. I met up with my buddies Mike and Scott and had some great wine before crashing for the night. The next morning, Scott and I took off for a Ferrari lunch at Paesanos off of 1604. The food was off the charts, but I only had eyes for the cars.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Perfect Day

July 17th, 2008

Today may have been the perfect day. Well, let me qualify that. It was the perfect day that I didn’t get to spend with my family or with strippers. Or both. Whatever. It was a perfect day if you’re selfish, like me.

I’m still down here in Decatur, Texas, and I haven’t gone to hell yet for my 1 am phone call. I guess my day started out crappy with the unexpected phone call, but it quickly turned around as I chuckled myself back to sleep.

5 hours later I got up and went for a short 20 minute jog. After a great breakfast in the Ramada (does anyone else love those 2 minute cook your own waffles?), I showered and took off for work at the hospital. Right away I got to do one of my favorite things – I made someone feel better. How many doctors get to do that, truly? Mostly we just give bad news or we tell you to suck it up and you’ll get better in a week. This morning I met John, a massage therapist with a horrible tumor in his belly. The tumor is going to kill him eventually, but it’s trying to make his life miserable in the mean time. The end result is that his belly fills up with fluid. A lot of fluid. With a well placed scalpel and a long needle, I drained over 6 liters out of his previously distended belly.

He was a pretty neat guy. He recommended seeing What the Bleep (Down the Rabbit Hole). I’ve never seen it, but I told him I would. You can’t go back on a promise to a dying guy, right? During the procedure I was wearing my Visitors Badge. Afterwards, he asked if I was actually a doctor or just a visitor. I quickly replied, “Well, technically, I’m a visitor, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Select last night.”

The next thing was pretty cool, too - I saved a life. Another cancer patient had gotten short of breath. He came to me and I did his CT scan. Turns out he has multiple huge pulmonary emboli. I was able to get him treated immediately. If no one was there to make the diagnosis, he would have been dead in hours.

After finishing up my banner day at the hospital, I decided to reward myself with a good dinner. So, off I went to Dallas for some Churrascaria. On the way, I spotted a Harley dealer. I’ve been wanting a Harley for quite some time (almost as long as the Ferrari), and I always stop in to drool. Well, today they have a new bike. It’s a variation on the Softtail called the Crossbones. It’s exactly what I pictured my Harley would look like. But wait? You’ll let me take it for a test drive? Really?

So there I was, cruising down TX 114 on a Harley and feeling like a million bucks. The ride was too short, but it really worked up my appetite. 20 minutes later, I’m at Fogo de Chao, a great Brazilian restaurant where they slice the meat off right onto your plate. Of course, what meal would be complete without a glass of Macallan 18 year-old scotch?

So, to sum up:

Played a practical joke on a moron

Had a jog AND a waffle

Made someone feel better

Got a cool movie recommendation

Saved a life

Rode a Harley

Drank some Macallan

Ate enough to put me in a meat coma

How was your day?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wake Up Call

July 16th, 2008

So, I’m working my ass off here in Decatur, TX. I don’t sleep much anyway, so the sleep I get is precious. Anyway, the hotel phone rings at 1 am.

Dr. Chako: Um… Hullo?

Cheery Voice: Hi! I’d like to request a wake up call for 6 am. We have an early flight.

Dr. Chako: Um… Um... (pause)

Now, it’s at this point where the cobwebs are just beginning to clear. I’m sure there was a non-pregnant Angelina Jolie dream in there somewhere. How DARE you wake me up with this?!

Dr. Chako: 6am, you say? Right you are! Have a GREAT night sleep. I hope you enjoyed your stay at Ramada.

I am SO going to hell.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Caption this Photo

Bigots at the Muckleshoot

July 11, 2008

Yesterday was another profitable day, although I did give some back at the end when I ended up playing 3/5 spread limit with recent WSOP bracelet winner Rep Porter. He sat down at the table after his 75/150 table broke. He had over 4 racks of green chips (>$10,000), but our max buy-in was $300. You’d think he’d try to bully the table, but he was conservative and folded most hands. Is there a lesson there?

Anyway, I was playing earlier at a 4/8 table, and the dealer (not one of the regulars) was having a friendly conversation with the guy in the 1 seat. I was in the 2 seat and could easily overhear the conversation. In describing a recent purchase, the dealer, who I think is Native American, used the phrase, “I Jewed him down.”

I haven’t heard this expression in a long time. I’m not sure why it struck me so hard. I called him out. “Excuse me ________ (I don’t want to use his name because several Muckleshoot employees and regulars read this blog), but that expression is never acceptable.”

He looked at me and reviewed what he had said, which included repeating the phrase, just to make sure he understood what I was talking about. To his credit, he apologized so profusely that I eventually had to stop him and tell him not to mention it again. The apology is the reason I am not singling him out. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this blog has the power to get him disciplined or fired, but I think I could make things a little uncomfortable for him.

Do people actually still talk like this in regular conversation? Would you say something in that spot? How about if you aren’t Jewish?

Anyway, go give congrats to Iggy. We all knew he was The Man, now he has a Main Event cash to prove it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vegas Trip Report

July 10th, 2008

I had a good time at the Veteran-Owned business conference and did some actual networking. Being the president of your own corporation is strange. I ate out of course, but I was conscious of how much I was spending. I had legitimate expenses for meals, but I limited myself and wasn’t too extravagant. If I was working for someone else, I’d have gone crazy.

I got a chance to visit with Dr. Pauly and Otis. Both looked pretty haggard, but I still felt like they were both doing what they wanted (and kicking ass at it, too). I even got some much needed goatee advice from Otis. We could be twins!

Poker was profitable, which is also very strange. I had only two losing sessions. One was playing 2/5 NL and the other was playing short-handed 10/20 Omaha 8 - both at the Rio. Omaha 8 was a penis-waving contest with nearly every pot capped pre-flop. I scooped one pot where I had A-K-3-3 and flopped a boat, but I lost two others and there went my profit.

My money-maker was ½ NL. I made two horrible plays, but the rest was just patience. Here is one interesting hand.

I have a loose aggressive table image. It folds to me and I raise with 6-7 on the button. Only the big blind calls, and he’s a decent player.

The flop is 5-8-9 rainbow. Sweet – I flopped the nuts!

He checks and I decide I’m not going to slow play. I’ll represent big slick and see if I can get him to make a bad move. I bet $25. He min-raises me to $50. Sweet! I re-raise to $75. He just calls (?!).

The turn is a 9 (pairing the board). He checks. What do you do here?

As you know, I’m not one to be timid. I need information. I bet $75. He raises to $175. He has about $100 behind and I have him covered.

What do you do?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

In Vegas

Quick Trip report:

MGM is NOT MGM Signature - halls are depressing, but at least the rooms are small.

Saw F-Train, Mean Gene and Short-Stacked Shamus.

Did not go to strip club.

Played bad poker.

So far, so good.

Friday, July 04, 2008

My Mosaic

The Rules:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker).

The Questions:
1. What is your first name? Chuck
2. What is your favorite food? King Crab
3. What high school did you go to? Ketcham
4. What is your favorite color? TDF Blue
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Angelina Jolie
6. Favorite drink? Macallan 18
7. Dream vacation? Barrier Reef
8. Favorite dessert? Mousse
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? Ferraristi
10. What do you love most in life? The Wife (my favorite pic here after the Ferrari)
11. One Word to describe you. Engaging
12. Your flickr name. Dr. Chako

Your turn. Let me know when you are done.

Independence Day

I am certainly enjoying the last of my independence, but it’s back to a real job in just a few short weeks. In the mean time, I’ve been House-Boy Extraordinaire. My latest project involved two of my favorite things – power tools and getting dirty. I could do this full time except I think it would get old after a while. The driveway took 8 full hours, but I’m pleased with the results.

I’m off to Vegas next week for a short conference, then it’s back to reality. If I get a break, I hope to run into some of my blogger heroes while I’m there.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I Have a Job!

July 2, 2008

Well, Dr. Chako the corporation is busto (for now), but Dr. Chako the individual has a job. I really believe the company will take off in the very near future, but for now it remains “potentially great.” I look at the whole experience as a lesson. A very expensive lesson.

In the meantime, I will be gainfully employed as of August 1st. I think The Wife is really going to miss having me as her errand boy.

I’m Not Dead...

July 2, 2008

I just haven’t had a lot to say. I’m working as a hired gun, and the work is sporadic. I still have a glimmer of hope that my business may eventually succeed, but I have no idea why we haven’t heard anything. In the mean time, I work one week a month and make as much as I did full time on Active Duty. I guess I can’t complain.

Well, I can complain about one thing. Our Au Pair crashed another one of our cars. To make matters worse, she did it in the morning and didn’t tell us about it until late in the evening. I don’t care if you screw up, just fess up, dammit! Our insurance rates have already gone way up, now we’ve got to eat this one, too.

I did have one good spot yesterday - I won the local $40 poker tournament. I’d like to say it was due to my stellar play. It wasn’t. I got down to 700 chips (you start with 3100 and blinds are 25/50), but managed to catch some cards and place exactly two well-timed semi-bluffs, which got me enough to get to the final table. Once there, my strategy was “get your money in behind.” I was apologizing prior to the flop whenever I got heads up against someone with a better hand. “I am sorry for the suck-out you are about to receive.” Bam!

Of course, I gave some of it back in the Spread Limit game when my Aces got cracked by Queens. Still it was a profitable day. And to top it off, I got a call from my friend Rae in Texas (hey Rae!). If she can’t figure out her life, maybe she can at least figure out how to hyperlink.