Sunday, February 28, 2010

Diary of a Day

With the wife out of town this weekend, I'm finding it quite easy to fill up the time.

Last night had a good time for a birthday dinner, for which the kids came along and ate an ungodly amount of garlic rolls and spaghetti.

Today was a different day. Here goes:

8:30: Wake up.
8:31: Trudge downstairs, half-asleep, to make breakfast.
9:10: Begin getting everybody showered and dressed to go to ballet class.
9:40: Realize that every pair of stocking for Sammie's ballet class has run away.
9:41: Scramble to find other clothes for Sammie.
9:42: Leave for Target.
9:44: Arrive.
10:05: Leave Target with stocking after waiting for morons to clear out in front of me
10:12: Arrive for the 10:15 ballet class and get Sammie dressed in ballet clothes juuuuuust in time.
11:15: Make the unilateral decision to go to Krystal. To hell with cooking lunch.
12:30: After corn dogs and burgers, head to Kroger to get materials to cook later tonight. Yes, there is a plan.
1:00: Home. Laundry. Dishes. Let kids chill for a little while.
2:30: Pack up everybody in the car to go downtown for a Tea Party Protest, which I was going to write about and take pictures of to write up.
3:20: Arrive downtown, and see that no streets are closed. Last year, on April 15, 10,000 people were in front of the Capitol. This year, no streets closed, all folks on the sidewalk, less than 400 people. Make the decision to not cover it and not park. Kids are also wondering where the hell everybody is.
4:30: Back in the neighborhood, head to Laurel Park with the kids to get their energies out at the playground instead.
5:30: Walk to the pond to feed geese and ducks.
5:31: Hey, look, a dozen ducks want to nibble from Sammie's hand. Sammie does not like that.
6:00: I still don't feel like cooking a meal, since I'm making a dessert later. Time for pizza.
7:00: Time to start making the cake. We make the frosting, then put on Snow White, then assemble the cake afterwards.


  • Combine 2 oz cream cheese and 3 tbsp confectionary sugar with mixer.
  • Watch kids laugh as sugar sprays from bowl onto their clothes.
  • Decide to mix with a fork.
  • Add 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and 1 cup heavy whipping cream.
  • Whip and mix.
  • Allow kids to use mixer.
  • Cower in fear.
  • Thank the maker, nothing broke or spilled!
  • Place icing in fridge.
  • Place bag of popcorn in microwave.
  • Pull everyone onto the couch for movie cuddle time.
  • After the movie, take poundcake (not made from scratch, I have my limits) and slice horizontally twice to make three layers.
  • Bottom layer: spread out 1/4 cup lemon curd, cover with 1/2 cup raspberries.
  • Middle layer: slather with 1/4 cup raspberry jam, place down on top of previous layer.
  • Middle layer: spread out 1/4 cup lemon curd, cover with 1/2 cup raspberries.
  • Top layer: slather with 1/4 cup raspberry jam, place down on top of previous layer.
  • Hand spatulas to kids.
  • Begin slathering icing on cake.
  • Remember that I should have put something down to take care of any drippings that come from a three-year old icing a cake.
  • Ah, fuck it. Keep slathering. I'll clean it up later.
  • Hey, she has some coordination and isn't dripping very much. Really. The proof is here.
  • Alex got bored, though, so he isn't in the picture.
  • Put cake in the fridge to chill overnight. It tastes delicious.

Put kids in bed at 10:00.

Hey, this wasn't a very hard day. Granted, I didn't cook any meals, just a dessert, but it wasn't too rough a day.

Nothing is going on until 5 PM tomorrow, when we shall bring said cake to a cooking club. So, hooray, we can sleep late!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Me Time

I've noticed over the last few weeks that I've played less and less poker. I haven't really been up for playing too much, and haven't been too excited about either grinding away for itty-bitty amount or trying to take long shot in tourneys with thousands of players to hit a 0.05% chance of a big score.

It just hasn't interested me much lately. I've had too much other crazy stuff going on.

Of course, my computer went on the fritz as well, so that probably did not help either.

I have been starting to devote myself to other things, though. Instead of playing poker, I've been reading about it. I've actually been picking up books and reading - and not just for a class, either. It's been a long time since I bothered reading anything that wasn't for class or just a magazine (which doesn't require much of an attention span.)

I just started reading Every Hand Revealed by Gus Hansen, which is a review of his win at the 2007 Aussie Millions and every single hand played. Hopefully it will provide some good insights to battling through some large fields and trying to exploit every edge, which I know I've had trouble doing recently.

The last book I read for leisure prior to this was Check-Raising the Devil, an autobiography of Mike Matusow, co-written with Amy Calistri (Aimlessly Chasing) and Tim Lavalli (PokerShrink).

My big question, right now, is what else might you recommend as good reading material? I don't plan on putting any money online for the time being (unless a nice deal comes my way) and the absolute earliest I would be setting foot in a casino would be April in Vegas for a Circuit event (assuming I can still get out to Caesar's then).

Any thoughts? (Aside from Lost Vegas, when it comes out, of course.)

As for non-pokery books, the only other book I've recently read were Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin. That's it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gingrey participating in health care discussions in district

Gingrey participating in health care discussions in district

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fleeing the Titanic

It seems everyone is racing to get off the Democratic ship.

First, Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan decide not to seek re-election.

Then, Evan Bayh shockingly quits his re-election campaign - perhaps for future presidential primary challenges, or a governor's race, or who knows what despite being up by double-digits over any Republican challenger. Democrats are now scrambling to find a candidate as the seat is now an absolute toss-up and a heavier favorite to flip in November.

Last night, Sen. Frank Lautenberg falls at home, and while we can hope for a speedy recovery, he is 86 and may decide to step down anyway if he has the chance - he is not due for re-election until 2014, at which point he would be 90 years old, and New Jersey will be in GOP hands until 2013, when he will be 89.

But most interesting is the news that Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) may also withdraw from a re-election campaign in 2010 due to health-related reasons.

Now, while it is sheer lunacy to think that a Republican would have a chance in the state of Baltimore + DC Suburbs + farms, you could also say the same thing about any number of other seats.

Like Massachusetts.....oh, wait...

Or California, where heavily entrenched Democrats are unassailable...oh, um...

No seat is safe, and if there is a candidate who could make a run for it, it would be nice.

Too bad the RNC hasn't been great at finding candidates themselves lately - whoever is in charge probably should find something else to do until November.

Hey, wait a minute......

Of course, in the lunatic off-chance that Michael Steele should agree to leave the RNC chairmanship to take another stab at a Maryland Senate seat, we would need to find somebody to take over the RNC duties that Steele hasn't done a great job of doing for the past year - and at some times, has done such a poor job some folks (myself included) have said it is time for him to go.

Now, he'd have cover to leave, but we would need to find someone else up to the tasks at hand.

Going on media tours.

Finding new donors and getting heavily into fundraising.

Fielding suitable candidates who aren't liberals in sheep's clothing.

Having a telegenic personality.

I wonder who would meet all of those criteria that could do the job for 2010.......

Make the call, if the opportunity arises.

Monday, February 15, 2010

But the groundhog said it would be an early spring

Going through the site and updating a lot of lists, especially the sidebars.

So, if your site isn't there, and you'd like it in the blogroll, you should probably let me know.

That's right, I'm doing Spring Cleaning a month before Spring shows up.

Either I'm grabbing the bull by the horns and being really good in being productive...or I'm trying to put off doing other stuff that I DOAN WANNA DO YOU WOAN MAKE ME WAHHHH!

You're probably right either way.

Bayh stepping down

LInking because I started writing on Examiner again. Go check it out if you feel like it.

Evan Bayh (D-IN) decides not to chase third term

Happy Chinese New Year

Everyone else may say Happy Valentine's Day, but we didn't celebrate it too much. Sure, the kids had fun with it in making and getting valentines at school, but this year we didn't really go for (or try to do) anything along the normal Valentine's day route.

No schmaltzy stuff here.

On Sunday, we ended up going a different (and cheaper) route.

In the afternoon, the four of us went down to Georgia State's Rialto Center for the Arts. They were having a free concert, which was meant not just to highlight Valentine's Day but also the Chinese New Year (which occurred Feb. 13).

The kids behaved themselves surprisingly well, considering it was their first concert. They did get tired toward the end of the 2-hour concert, but they were quite interested throughout and behaved remarkably well.

Next stop was dinner, and again we went with the Asian fare on a budget. Trader Vic's or another fancy Asian bistro may have pushed the kids' patience and our wallets a bit, so we went to Doc Chey's in the Virginia-Highlands area of downtown - one of the few Intown Atlanta places I'd consider living - as the kids enjoyed their lo mein and we enjoyed spicier dishes and shrimp rolls.

Lastly, after a well-behaved dinner, we walked down Highland Ave. to Ben and Jerry's and had ice cream, where the kids played with other kids and I was able to turn off the radar for more than 10 seconds - always a good treat.

The kids passed out on the way home, just shy of 8:00. Thanks for the present!

So, a fun time was had by all, and the kids even got to have some decent cultural exposure. Alex will have a field trip to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra later this spring, so this was a good warm-up for that experience - and on the bright side, he enjoyed it thoroughly as well.

For the budget-conscious, the whole day ended up being a helluva lot less than the normal fancy dinner/show/babysitter combo, but more fun since the kids had a good time too.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Turn it around, back up

He didn't show, but probably flopped the flush. Was really hoping for a call on the river so I could show the table a decent hand for once. Too bad it auto-mucked.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gift-Shopping for Your Valentine

Looking for jewelry? Well, you can try this or this, depending on your affiliation. $12.99 is a lot less than dropping dough on diamonds.

As for a card, well, times are tough, so perhaps it would be best to send your loced one of 18 valentines produced by the GOP, in a humorous attempt which actually seems funny (as intended, for once).

Say "I love you" with a card that says "Happy ******* Valentine's Day" - because with double-digit unemployment and massive inflation on the way, thrift is king.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Final Prediction for 2009

This is the tiebreaker - 5-5 so far in the playoffs, so this will determine the difference between being a winner and a big fat LOSER.

Wild-card weekend: 3-1.
Divisional weekend: 1-3.
Conference Championship weekend: 1-1 (missed 2-0 by just half a point).

The line for the Super Bowl is Colts by 5.5.

It's too high.

I'm not saying the Saints will win, but I am saying they aren't going to lose by a touchdown or more. These two teams are not that far apart in terms of talent on both sides of the ball.

But I am saying the Saints (+5.5) will beat the spread.

Looking forward to a good game Sunday.

Thrashers CYA Press Release

From Thrashers GM Don Waddell, after the team tried to sign Ilya Kovalchuk and decided to ship him to New Jersey instead for multiple prospects and a first-rounder - ensuring no playoffs this year (as the Thrashers had been sitting three points out of the final spot, and almost certainly will fall backwards from it.

Wait til next least.


After several months of negotiations toward a long-term contract with forward Ilya Kovalchuk and his agent, we were unable to reach an agreement and elected to trade Kovalchuk and defenseman Anssi Salmela to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier and a first round draft pick in 2010.

We want you, our fans, to know that throughout the negotiation process, the Thrashers organization remained committed to offering Ilya a contract that exceeded those of the league’s best and highest paid players, and was commensurate to his skill level and performance history.

To that end, we offered Kovy several lucrative packages in an effort to meet his financial objectives. One offer that we extended to Ilya would have made him the highest paid NHL player on a per year average with $10 million per year for seven years. Another offer totaled more than $100 million over 12 years, and it, combined with the previous contractual commitments that were made to Kovy, would have earned him more money than any other NHL player in the history of the league.

If we had met Kovy’s ultimate demand, we would have jeopardized our ability to build a competitive team around him and retain our other young players as they became eligible for new contracts in the seasons ahead. At the end of the day, we couldn’t close that gap and simply reached a point at which we couldn’t reasonably go any higher.

We’re excited about the addition of all three players and feel that Johnny and Niclas will quickly complement our team of budding young stars, highly-skilled veterans and elite players. We also look forward to having Patrice join us in the near future. Our goals for this season have not changed—to make and advance as deep as possible in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs—and we move ahead with a new sense of purpose that is energized by our continued climb in the standings as we position ourselves to compete with the best in the NHL.

We will maintain the option of bringing in more players, in addition to the ones that we have acquired in the trade, to make sure that we are fully competitive for the remainder of the season and the postseason.

We thank Ilya and Anssi for all they have done for our organization and wish them well. And we thank you, for your continued support, and look forward to your enthusiastic presence in Blueland to help drive us into the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Coming of age

Little kids can't stay babies forever. Eventually, they grow up and begin doing things on their own. They take on their own interests and you just try to hold their hand as they do them.

On Saturday, we began doing some of those things with our now three-year-old. Sammie had been interested in dancing and doing some more of it, beyond twirling around the house. We signed her up for a ballet/tap class near the house, which she would do every Saturday morning.

This past Saturday was her very first class, and we (ok, I) was a bit nervous about how she would like it, or be intimidated in being away from us and, essentially, with complete strangers in a new environment.

I shouldn't have been worried one bit. She loved it. She had a great time, and she is very much looking forward to doing it every week, much like one of her favorite stories, Angelina Ballerina.

That afternoon, we took another new step on the path of growing up: We finally took the plunge after months of discussion and went to get her ears pierced. Now, I know some folks may not think this is a big deal - they got it done at birth, or when they were young, and it was no big deal. Of course, I was worried about doing it, as I'd been reading up about it and was worried about it gunking up or getting infected, but we finally went ahead and did it.

Well, that, and I knew it would hurt and was hoping there wouldn't be a complete meltdown followed by hours of crying.

We let her pick out the studs - little gold studs with pink flowers petals coming from the studs - and sat her down for the piercing. During the whole time of paperwork and piercing, she held onto a lollipop - and my card, as she wanted to "pay" for it.

Aside from the complete shock of OMIGODWHATDIDYOUJUSTDOTOMYHEAD and about 90 seconds worth of crying, she took it very well. She was smiling by the time we walked out of the store, and was ridiculously cute and happy walking through the mall swinging her little bag of cleaner/antibiotic for keeping the punctures clean.

Sometimes, it seems like they grow up too fast.

Thankfully, she still wanted to cuddle up when we got home for naptime, which is becoming a harder task to convince Alex to do as he continues growing, and growing, and growing (which I was reminded of while filling out paperwork for first grade...and I'm not really sure how time moved so quickly).

I wonder if I'll feel the same maudlin way about kids growing up too fast when Little League starts soon for Alex...since it seems like time goes by way too fast.