Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Time to make a call

I cannot WAIT for Nov. 9, when this election will be pretty much over save any runoffs in weird states like Louisiana. I'm assuming it'll go into the wee hours of the 8th so the 9th would be the first full day of rest from a barrage of ads.

In the meantime, this may be the October Surprise folks have been looking for. It's not even from one party trying to get one over. It's just foot-in-mouth disease at its finest, courtesy of the 2004 standard-bearer.

He tried to deflate it today, but this is gathering too much steam.

Somewhere, Rahm Emanuel is hanging John Kerry in effigy, for going against the playbook of shut-the-hell-up-and-don't-say-anything.

Great idea, trashing the troops one week before the election. That'll REALLY sit well in the Rust Belt, South, Southwest, Midwest, and everywhere else except NY and MA. Heck, you might encourage GOP wins in Connecticut if you keep up the good work.

Smart, nuanced, tough.

Time to make the final prediction. I'd said the Senate would be 52-46-2 for the GOP. I'm adding Allen into the total now to make it 53-45-2 for a total net loss of 2 seats for the GOP. I know the numbers aren't there for Santorum in a lot of polls, but I think they have had too much of a margin of error lately to be reliable.

As for the House, I think this is going to shift a LOT of races once local candidates get ads together to throw the Kerry albatross around Democratic candidates' necks. I'd said it would flip but be no more than 5 seats.

GOP 221, DEM 214. GOP loses 9 seats but keeps control. Some races are going to be lost, mostly in Ohio and New York, but I think a lot of other races will start trending GOP and flip over when it's time to cast votes. Even Connecticut.

As I won't be in class, I'll be able to liveblog and update when results come in. I'm not starting at 7:01, though, unlike MSNBC and CBS will probably do ("With 0% reporting, we report the Democrats have won every race.") I'll have a lot of links up to SOS websites instead, because I would rather max out my bandwidth and drive everyone in the house crazy myself with 50 updates an hour rather than have the TV drive us crazy and not know for sure.

That's just how I roll.


NBA Season starts tonight with Suns-Lakers and Bulls-Heat. Not a bad way to start the season.

While listen to awful morning radio this morning, I heard that the Hawks will be using a new slogan this year. Because that's been their problem for the last ten years.

The slogan?

"Welcome to the Highlight Factory."

Look, they've got some good young players. Joe Johnson and J-Smooth and Salim Stoudamire are a good core. But this is still the youngest team in the NBA, so while they may improve on last year's 26-56 mark, I don't think they'll be cracking 40 wins this year. 30-35 wins, maybe. But not much more. Will they compete for a spot in the playoffs? IN the East, a sub-500 record might still get a team in, but again, this team is too damn young.

Oh, and Marvin Williams is out for 8 weeks. That doesn't help too much, since the could have had Chris Paul in that draft. Can't afford both inexperience and injuries.

Click here for Hotlanta Hawks blog.

Waking the neighbors?

Attack of the Russian hands and Roman fingers.....

"Sexsomniacs" puzzle medical researchers

While sleepwalking affects two to four percent of adults, sexsomnia is not thought to be as common a problem, according to Nik Trajanovic, a researcher at the sleep and alertness clinic at Canada's Toronto Western Hospital.

Wait.....it's a problem?

"On rare occasions you have stories of people liking it better than waking sex."

Guess it's not a big problem. Unless, you know, you don't get that big problem somewhere when you are waking up.

H/t Ace.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween Top 10

I was catching up on podcasts from Bluff Radio, and they had a guest host named Joanna Krupa on Sept. 27 (I know, I'm way behind). As a sign of how old and out of it I'm getting, I'd never heard of her before aside from being affiliated with Titan Poker (which has since left the U.S. - bastards)

I went to check out her MySpace page given out during the broadcast about 83 different times. Well, now I know why she's bing used for publicity! How saw is it that I don't know who this is?

I did find this top 10 list on the page. Besides, a cheesecake link and pic never hurt anyone. It's funny, so I'm re-posting it. I guess it means I'm more interested in recycled humor at this point in life than the alternative, or that I don't pay attention to anything whatsoever that doesn't happen outside my house.


10. You are guaranteed to get at least a little something in the sack.

9. If you get tired, you can wait 10 minutes and go at it again.

8. The uglier you look, the easier it is to get some.

7. You don't have to compliment the person who gives you some.

6. It's OK when the person you're with fantasizes you're someone else, because you are.

5. Twenty years from now, you'll still enjoy candy.

4. If you don't like what you get, you can always go next door.

3. It doesn't matter if the kids hear you moaning and groaning.

2. Less guilt the morning after.


1. You can do the whole neighborhood.

Now that the funny is done, here's the pics to brighten your day more, and another link. You want anything heavier, find it yourself. Gotta keep it a little tame.
Happy Halloween.


I just saw a promo for a new movie.

The movie is called "Deck the Halls."





Thanks. I feel better.

Time to schedule my vacation

2007 WSOP to start June 1, Main Event to start July 17.

With New Orleans' circuit event finishing on May 24, that doesn't leave a whole lot of time in between the two. Then again, if you've got enough to blow on every buyin for the event, you're probably not too concerned with cost and time. It's still two months from circuit event to main event, so if you're just doing that event it's a pretty good amount of time in between.

I wonder how reduced the field will be next year with PartyPoker's pullout.

Dark foreboding

I was watching football this weekend. Big surprise.

Alex was watching with me. Again, big surprise. He loves it. Whenever he sees it, he gets very excited, though he's still calling it "Bevo" so we all know which college team he loves to see.

Well, we were watching Baltimore and New Orleans on Sunday. Early in the first quarter, Jamal Lewis fumbles, and the Saints recover.

Alex gets very excited, stands up, and says to me, in a nice loud voice, "WHO DAT, Daddy, WHO DAT?"

Our jaws DROPPED to the floor. We've had on a few Saints games this year, but I would have thought it very difficult to pick up on Who Dat during the games. And I have not been trying to raise a Saints fan. Life's hard enough as is without adding the traditional Aints.

Who Dat? Who Dat? Who Dat Say Gonna Beat Dem Saints?

Baltimore, dat who. 35-22.

The Saints are still 5-2, though, and tied with the Falcons for the NFC South lead. They play each other Nov. 26, 4 weeks from now. They could be playing not just for the dividion, but for a bye if they both go in at 8-3 or better. It could happen.


I thought New York was supposed to be progressive and hip. Banning trans-fats? What a lovely town.

I'll have to think about this on my way for some potato chips and fried chicken. Or maybe barbecue.


If this were tried anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line, there would be rioting in the streets.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Looks like St. Louis won the World Series Friday night.


The St. Louis Cardinals, with all of 84 wins during the regular season.

Honestly, Game 5 was the only game I watched. The only reason I watched it is because it happened to be on during a game, and I was more concerned with my chip stack and slow-playing A-A to take a bunch of chips than how many errors the Tigers racked up in Game 5 (I think they had three errors?) When the most interesting personality is Kenny Rogers, it can't be a good series.

Given all of the other storylines of the season, the Cardinals were the absolute worst team to have in the Series. I haven't seen the ratings numbers yet but I'd imagine they would be the lowest in quite a long time, if not the lowest ever.

At least it's over with, just in time for the NFL and CFB seasons to really get going. I was a LOT more psyched seeing Oregon State pull off the upset over USC, and watching the Colts-Broncos game today, than I was for the World Series. Heck, the Panthers and Cowboys holds more interest for me, and I don't even care after dispatching my opponent by 36 points in FFL!

It's going to be very dull when February rolls around and there's no more football. In the meantime, I'm eating it up.

UPDATE: I was right on those ratings. 10.1 for the Series, down 9% from last year's abysmal ratings. Apparently I wasn't the only one with attention diverted elsewhere. Game 1 received an 8.0 rating.

I did not know the World Series would start on a Tuesday next year. Great...now they can play to November every year! Whoopee.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Better buy those natural gas stocks

I just looked out my window on the 10th Floor to see if it was raining.

I did see rain.

I also saw little white flakes coming down from the sky intermingled with the rain.

That's not supposed to happen here, at this time. granted, it might be due to altitude, but still.....


Somehow, I think this might be a very cold winter. Can't imagine why. Which means a lot of high gas bills and your investment opportunity of the day.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lucking out

I was worried that my current class would be a bit too difficult to handle at this time, with a new baby arriving the same time as a final presentation and a final exam.

The final presentation is to be a firm analysis, done as a group presentation to the firm's board.

We were divided up into industries, from which we would then pick a firm to model, analyze, and present.

If I had been picked for any other sector, I would have probably had to drop the class because I would need to do a lot more work. As it is, I lucked out.


Because I have never written about it before.

Sometimes, things just work out better than you hope.

The firm we have chosen, for whom we are preparing an analysis?

Chevron. ExxonMobil and BP have been done so much that we went with the last major American component of Big Oil.

Hopefully, the vast majority of the writing will be done well before it's time to go on leave - since I am not sure if I will be around for presenting, I'm willing to do a lot of the writing and research. Either way, we'll see how it goes. I'm just glad it's something with which I'm already pretty familiar given previous writings and research for work and for personal reasons.

As interesting as Beer would have been, I'm quite glad to be in oil. Then again, given the surge in stock prices, I'd imagine a lot of people are happy to be in Big Oil. Heck, CVX hit a 52-week high today. Nice timing.

Balancing everything in life

Read this article, figured I'd link to it on Conservative Match. It's about balancing everything in life - work, home, travel, more work.

I also realized that, one month from yesterday, my leave will begin from work. It will be an interesting but good time. No, I won't be getting any sleep. Yes, I'll probably be worrying about anything that isn't absolutely perfect. But most importantly, it will be good to spend more than a couple hours each evening at home. On class nights, I'm not getting home until 10:30 when it is past a little one's bedtime.

For the most part I enjoyed being on leave a couple years ago with Alex, so hopefully this will bring about the same enjoyment and happiness.

It'll be good R & R. I know changing ten diapers a day and not sleeping more than a couple hours at a time isn't the traditional vacation, but it'll still be a good time to be, for lack of a better word, happy.

That way after eight weeks, when I do return to work, it'll take me a while to get stressed out again.

In other good news, I got my first grades. Two B's, though one may become an A once I finish a work project - hopefully it will be two good results from one project!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lasting Peace

Remember the strike of 1994?

Remember the almost-strike in 1999?

Remember the agreement reached hours before a deadline in 2002?

Well, there's no close call this time around. The MLB Players Union and league owners reached a five-year extension of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Even more amazing, the extension was reached well in advance of the Dec. 19 deadline, and without any noticeable acrimony on either side.

In other news, subterranean dominions held under satanic might saw temperatures in the mid-30's as frost warnings went into effect for the entire netherworld region.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Merger Mania

In the continued waking of the online gaming bill, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet have announced plans to merge.

These are two of the better sites on the web, and also are two of the sites that have pledged their doors to remain open to American customers.

This merger will create the second or third largest poker site on the web, behind PokerStars and very close to Full Tilt Poker. I'm not quite sure how account consolidation would be handled as I would imagine many people would have accounts on both sites.

For more details, click here for the article from Cardplayer.

The consolidation is under way.

And if you happen to live in Arizona, click here to redirect to Jim Pederson's website. He is running against Jon Kyl who was one of the chief sponsors of the ban. Make a statement, and contribute or volunteer.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Joke of the day

Q: What is differenat about the Braves', Yankees', and Mets' seasons?

A: Tee times.

OK, joke's over - in all seriousness, that's a crappy way to lose a game and a series. But two things are sticking out in my mind:

1) I can somewhat understand why Heilman came out for the 9th, but I'm wondering why Wagner wasn't brought in for the 9th. Given Willie's tenure under Torre, and Torre's frequent usage of Rivera in the 9th of tie games, I was surprised that did not happen.

2) I really thought the Mets were going to pull off the rally in the bottom of the ninth. That being said, how does Carlos Beltran not take the bat off his shoulder for strike three? How could he not have expected the curveball, when Floyd just struck out on it a couple batters before? How could he not be protecting the plate with a two-strike count, especially in that situation? Bewildering.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The other shoe has dropped

Neteller to cease transactions in the U.S. in July 2007.

Given that this is the foremost method of payment for poker players, this is huge. Neteller had announced last week that it was not planning on ceasing business, so this statement is a big turnaround.

Several poker rooms, such as Full Tilt, Ultimate Bet, Poker Stars, Doyle's Room, and Absolute Poker have announced their intention to continue servicing American customers, while others, such as Pokerroom, Party Poker, and Sun Poker have decided to flee with their tails between their legs, like cowards, thanks the thought police represented by Jon Kyl and Bill Frist who have decided to strip away personal freedoms at home while our soldiers defend them abroad.

At least Neteller has done one better than Firepay, which announced an immediate pullout. Neteller is probably thinking that it is possible for changes to be made before the full 270-day period expires, which is why they aren't planning on any changes until then.

So get it in while you can...and if you've got $20 in the till, use it to join the Poker Players' Alliance. Yes, you can deduct it right from your Neteller account, or even PayPal.

A Wish is a Dream your heart makes

Do you live in Atlanta?

Do you like touching the lives of millions of children?

Do you want to be a performer?

Do you want to dress up in tortuous Florida heat and walk around a theme park all day?

Well, then, this is for you: Friday, October 20: Disney Character auditions

Yes, you can get dressed up in a happy princess outfit.

Or, you could be stuck in this:

Nature hike, in a heavy costume, or traipse around a castle.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

This week's sign that my brain has disappeared

Last night, I headed down to Georgia State to start the second mini-mester. I have one class this term, and I'd printed out the articles, syllabus, and all other items that would be needed.

I got there and logged in to determine what room the class was in, because I had not remembered to check it at work with it being such a busy day.

I looked.....and my class was not there. No Tuesday MBA 7030 class on the registration menu.

I clicked over into my weekly schedule, and found the class and module and time....under Wednesday night.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Three weeks to go

Thankfully, I am spared the majority of political ads in Georgia, as there are no Senate races and GA-CD-11 is not a competitive race at the moment. The only "race" we have is for Governor, and Sonny Perdue is trouncing Mark Taylor by 24 points - not a surprise, considering Taylor has no ideas and his son did kill someone.

In lieu of that, though, many other readers are getting bludgeoned each hourly by advertisements, and are probably at the point of throwing a hatchet through the television if one more crappy ad shows up.

The House could go either way at this point. The GOP could lose anywhere from five to twenty-five seats. Beyond that seems a little difficult, thanks to the incumbent protection act, and I don't think anyone gives the GOP a chance in hell of a net pickup. The GOP will probably pick up 1 in Georgia, at least, thanks to Mac Collins, and possibly two depending on CD-12's 2004 rematch.

Nationally in the House? I don't know. I'm not good enough to handle 435 races. Try here (DEM 222, GOP 213), or here (DEM 208, GOP 209, Undecided 18), or here (who has no frickin idea on the House). Basically, all over the map. I think it will flip but it'll be a slim margin (maybe two seats) but that will be enough to convince Pelosi, Rangel et al to go waaaaay overboard over the next two years, which will backfire in 2008 on the national, state, and local level. I back that up with absolutely nothing except a semi-educated guess.

It seems a bit easier to get an idea of the Senate, though.

GOP: 40 not running
DEM: 27 not running

Of the 33 races remaining, many are safe.

GOP: 40 + Lugar, Snowe, Lott, Hutchison, Hatch, Ensign, Thomas (WY) = 47
DEM: 27 + Feinstein, Carper, Akaka, Drunk Teddy, Conrad, Clinton, Kohl, Byrd, Sanders (I), Nelson (FL), Bingaman = 38

47-37-1 with 15 races left. The Filthy Fifteen. Blech.

AZ: Kyl (R) - Kyl is eading by single digits, and can't get over 50%, but there should be enough to get re-elected. Supporting deployment of even more troops to Iraq, which could play either way with Arizona voters. Considering his enthusiastic support of the online gaming ban, I'm not too thrilled with him going back, but it'll probably happen. GOP HOLD - 48-37-1

MD: Open (D) - Paul Sarbanes' old seat. A Steele win here over Cardin would be sweet and cause liberals to have heart attacks on the spot. A man can dream. It's going to be tough to make up a 9% deficit in a few weeks, but this is an odd case of a black conservative Republican against a white liberal Democrat. Cardin's floating around 50% in polling data, and it doesn't seem likely that all the undecideds will flock to Steele or that polling sata would be that far off the mark. It'll be a lot closer than 9 points, but not close enough. DEM HOLD - 48-38-1

MN: Open (D) - Open in name only, every poll shows at least a 15-point lead for Amy Blobuchar (D). A sad GOP showing in a race that was supposed to be competitive and even a possible flip. DEM HOLD - 48-39-1

NE: Nelson (D) - See Minnesota - otherwise, a race as boring as the state itself. At least the Cornhuskers are ranked. DEM HOLD - 48-40-1

MI: Stabenow (D) - How she now has a double-digit lead is beyond amazing given the lousy economic conditions in Michigan. Lost jobs? No growth? No problem! I can't believe this will be a DEM HOLD - 48-41-1

WA: Cantwell (D) - Mike McGavick is down by an average of 8 points, but this state always gets kooky to the left on Election Day and an average of only 6% are listed as "undecided". Probably not happening. DEM HOLD - 48-42-1

MO: Talent (R) - This race is a virtual dead heat, but one other statistic will decide this race. Talent has about $2.5 million left in the bank. Claire McCaskill has about $250,000. Money talks. GOP HOLD - 49-42-1

TN: Open (R) - Thank God Bill Frist is gone, just in time to re-take control of HCA. The race between Corker and Ford has been back and forth. Once again, follow the money - $3.9 million raised for Corker in the 3rd quarter, $2.1 million raised for Ford. GOP HOLD - 50-42-1

What will flip?

MT: Burns (R) - I'm amazed this race is as close as it is, but I don't think Burns will escape. The biggest Abramoff casualty. DEM PICKUP - 50-43-1

VA: Allen (R) - Speaking of crappy ads, what a holy mess this race has become! In his next attempt to show voters he's not sexist, George Allen will probably wear a dress. His presidential campaign is certainly dead, and his Senate career probably is too. Macaca that. DEM PICKUP - 50-44-1

OH: Dewine (R) - Incompetency in DeWine's campaign and the Ohio GOP will drown the entire slate of candidates in Ohio - yes, that means Kenneth Blackwell too. So much for the rise of the black conservative, at least for this year. DEM PICKUP - 50-45-1

RI: Chafee (R) - RINO v. liberal. Good ridance to Chafee who wasn't worth a damn to the GOP anyway. No one is consistently over 50% but every poll seems to favor Whitehouse. Too bad Laffey couldn't win the primary so that there would be a difference in the candidates. DEM PICKUP - 50-46-1

CT: Lieberman (I) - Congratulations, Kos, by kicking out Lieberman you've now made it very difficult to attain 51 seats in the Senate. Hope the primary victory was worth it. A double-digit lead in almost every poll means a likely IND PICKUP 50-46-2

NJ: Menendez (D) - This race is now within the margin of error and it's too late to pull a switch like Torricelli and Lautenberg in 2004. Some polls actually show Kean ahead. Can he make up 4% in 3 weeks? With another $500,000 from the NRSC and by out-fundraising Menendez over the last few months, it could happen. Culture of corruption, anyone? GOP PICKUP - 51-46-2 and a retention of the Senate.

The Shocker:

PA: Santorum (R) - Left for dead so many times we've lost count, Santorum has been killing Casey in every debate, killing him in advertising, and killing him on the stump. This race is down to single digits and is closing fast. In a shocking turnaround from earlier this year, Santorum wins for a GOP HOLD - 52-46-2.

A loss of three seats in the Senate, but the GOP retains control. Welcome to gridlock. Enjoy your stay for the next two years.

Of course, if these estimates are incorrect, I will do the same as always and assume no responsibility whatsoever.

I was only off by a little bit

I wrote in August about how PCV/ST was on the selling block, and that it was expected to be sold for over $3 million.

Well, it turns out I was undervaluing the property a bit.

$5.4 B.


With about 11,000 units in the Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town Complex, that comes out to almost half a million dollars PER APARTMENT.

This bid was $900 Million higher than a bid submitted by the Tenants' Association. Unfortunately, a lot of people are going to be getting non-renewal notices in the next year as conversion will most assuredly proceed from rented apartments to condominiums.

MetLife will make approximately $3 Billion after taxes and 60 years of ownership.

To my former neighbors (some of which may have linked from the forums) - I'm sorry this has happened. We all knew it would happen someday, with the way the city has changed. My family had talked about it happening for at least 15 years.

Unfortunately, someday finally happened. The clock struck midnight.

Stupidity at work

Did you know that Jackass Number Two has made over $68 million so far, as of Sunday? Me neither. Of course, I'm also expecting the Borat movie to be a huge hit when it opens next month because, well, there aren't many blockbusters or highly anticipated movies to compete against.

In that manner, I present to you...

The 2006 Darwin Award Winners:

Darwin Awards go to people, usually men, who actually performed the following human acts:

1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California, would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.....


2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and, after a little hopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence, sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his Vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer was $15. (If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?)

7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.

8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. She called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That is the lady I stole the purse from."

9. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at 5 a.m., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated and furious, walked away.

10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up and vomiting, on the ground next to the vehicle. A police spokesman said that the man admitted trying to steal gasoline. He had plugged his siphon hose into what he thought was the gas tank, and began sucking to create a vacuum before transferring it to his car. Only problem was, he'd put the hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

Friday, October 13, 2006




OK, glad we got that out of the way.

Actually, Friday the 13th has always been a good day in my family. Hopefully good things will happen today. It's been a pretty rough week, so that would be nice.

Anyway, in honor of today, here's a little amusement for you.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Gaming update

Here's an interesting article from CardPlayer.com regarding Bill Frist's recent act of cowardice regarding online gaming and what it means for American players.

Figured I would pass it along.

As of now, I know Party Poker is shutting down US operations. Other sites are continuing as planned, though I would not prefer to say which ones until after Nov. 7.

I do still believe this ban will be either tossed out in court or made legal via future legislation. It won't be easy, though.

Want to know who voted against personal freedom and privacy by voting for this bill in the House? Click here. Vote them out on Nov. 7.

Want to sign a new petition? Click here.

Monday, October 09, 2006


I have never liked finals. I have never liked final projects.

But, that's what this weekend has been about. My first batch of finals is this week. A final exam on Wednesday night, and a presentation on Thursday night.

I've spent about 12 hours this weekend studying and trying to finish other projects for these two courses. Frankly, I'm hoping to get off to a better start in these classes that I did in my undergraduate career.

So, because I have actually been doing real work over the weekend, I haven't posted anything in a few days.

In the meantime, I present a picture from last weekend, when Alex and I went apple-picking. We went to an orchard up in Ellijay, and picked a couple of big bags of apples to bring home. TO my surprise, I can eat these apples - normally I have an allergic reaction to apples bought in the store, but normally to the pesticides and chemicals used. Since these are fresh, no bad reaction.

Sometimes, it's the little things that make you happy.

In Alex's case, it's about amassing a huge bounty of one of his favorite treats.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

More surprises

Somehow, I don't think these are the October Surprises Karl Rove had in mind:

Congressman runs ad to apologize for Affair

This might be big, not for this individual house race, but because of its impact on the Santorum-Casey battle. If any more stay home Casey could pull out a win despite his flagging numbers lately.

Which means that not one, but both houses might flip. The House is almost certain to flip, but I'd thought the Senate would not quite change enough.

There's been enough news today (Kean moves further ahead, Steele in dead heat, bad news in MT and PA, economy, dead Al-Qaeda, oil, blah blah) to make me think that I have absolutely NO IDEA what will happen in the Senate. The GOP could lose 6 seats, they could gain 2. I have no idea. It's getting that wacky.

All I know is I won't be able to watch election returns because I will be in class. So I hope someone else does a good job of a running entry and updates.

Big Building go BOOM

For a few months, a demolition company has been taking down the old Wachovia Building which is caddycorner to the Plaza. It's not needed, since the merger with First Union and the transplant of employees up to 10th St.

Last week, we received a notice that Peachtree St. would be shut down Friday afternoon to prepare for the implosion Saturday.

We saw some sort of string quartet Friday afternoon playing somber music and doing what appeared to be some sort of mock funeral for the building.

Thankfully, quite a few people came into the building to tape the implosion Saturday morning - because I was not getting out of bed that early.

Courtesy of my fellow associates and Youtube, the controlled demolition of Wachovia.

Don't say I never gave you nuthin'.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Braves coaches released

In the wake of their first losing season since 1990, the Braves have released Pat Corrales (bench coach) and diminshed the role of bullpen coach Bobby Dews. Third base coach Fredi GOnzalez had already left to manage the Marlins.

Unfortunately, one of the coaches returning is Roger McDowell, after a subpar performance by the Braves' staff last year. The team ERA of 4.60 ranked 17th, tied with Texas.

Texas plays in a bandbox. Turner Field is a pitchers' park. Atlanta's 4.60 ERA placed it behind PITTSBURGH (4.52)!

So, shakeups have begun within the coaching staff. But what about the roster itself?

Offensively, they were not too bad overall. They ranked 5th in MLB in runs scored, 6th in OPS, and were 2nd in HR with 222, behind only the White Sox. They ranked in the middle of the pack in AVG and OBP. Essentially, the offense seemed like an old Earl Weaver team - get on base, not too much speed, and bang the ball out of the park.

Renteria led the team with a .293 average and 17 SB. While he did score 100 runs, he was a bit of a disappointment. He did improve over his Boston numbers, but he needed to get on base more and make things happen.

LaRoche finished with decent numbers overall, but had several fluky plays which cost the Braves wins. He singlehandedly kept the Braves from .500 with a couple of inattentive and stupid plays to cost the 2-3 wins.

Andruw Jones, Franceour, and Chipper Jones performed as well as could be expected. Chipper had great numbers in 110 games, but the season is 162 games. Andruw and Franceour provided the power (with Frenchy nabbing 100 RBI) but didn't on base nearly enough, hitting around .260 apiece. Franceour only had 23 walks, and that needs to severely improve.

McCann was the best of the young crop, putting up .333-24-93 in only his second season. He's still only 22 and could be an All-Star for quite a long time if he keeps this up.

Both of the Jones, though, are still signed to monster contracts, and Chipper's health is an even more obvious problem considering the amount left ot pay him. Andruw will be a free agent after next season in which he is paid $13.5 MM.

Giles keeps having ailments or injuries of one type or another, and his numbers (.262-11-60, 5 SB) were solidly unspectacular for a $4 MM salary. Not bad, but not worth that amount of money, either.

The pitching was an absolute mess. There's just no other way to put it.

There was only one "bright" spot, and he will turn 40 next year. Smoltz went 16-9, with 211 K's, a WHIP under 1.2, and a 3.49 ERA. He could have had 20 wins this year with a decent bullpen that didn't blow so many leads.

Hudson turned in another disappointing year. He is supposed to be the leader of this staff, not a .500 pitcher with an ERA near 5. He walked 79 batters - inexcusable for a ground-ball pitcher in a pitcher's park. I don't know if frequent tweaks and pulls have shot his confidence, but he's not the same pitcher he was in Oakland.

Chuck James was a nice surprise, but missed a third of the season.

All other starters were absolutely horrendous - Sosa, Thomson, Ramirez, and Davies combined for a 13-29 record, a 1.63 WHIP and a 5.65 ERA in 56 starts.

And Mike Hampton missed another entire season. His salary is finally coming off the books, though.

The bullpen? Glad you asked. It did markedly improve after the Braves acquired Bob Wickman from Cleveland, and they have smartly re-signed him for another season already. Reitsma is gone, along with his $3.5 MM salary. Danys Baez will return and could become a serviceable set-up man for Wickman. Villareal might return as well, and hopefully he will not vulture as many wins next year by not allowing all of his inherited runners to score. Beyond those faint hopes - ouch.

So what now?

Hampton and Reitsma's salaries are gone. The Braves may try to trade LaRoche (only making $400K) and Giles for pitching help. Acquiring a #3 or #4 pitcher isn't too far-fetched for those guys, or some decent bullpen help. Chad Bradford, Octavio Dotel,

This would leave openings at 2B, 1B, and OF, assuming no other deals (though it is possible they trade Andruw in the offseason, but I think the Braves would have to be blown away and Andruw's now a 10-5 guy).

Prime free agents include Alfonso Soriano, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito. Secondary free agent targets include Mark Redman, Jason Schmidt, Scott Williamson, Adam Eaton, Preston Wilson, and Mark Buerhle.

Let's try one from column A and two from Column B. Whaddaya say?

Mash-up time

Time for a change of pace from the dreary posts of late.

Courtesy of Idiotwork.com and ifilm:

Superfriends & Office Space. Friggin' hilarious. 4 minute clip, so beware of the slow connection.

Monday, October 02, 2006


I'm glad I'm not the only one who is getting really pissed off about the GOP leadership's recent activities in the Foley mess.

I'm sorry, did I say "activities"? I mean to say "aiding and abetting a pedophile in committing statutory rape".

I don't really care where the news, e=mails, or messages came from or the age. What I do care about is that the behavior was known, and ignored, by the same Speaker of the House who has been an absolutely horrible leader. The same guy who wanted to tell New Orleans to go f*** itself last year.

Lovely guy. It wasn't enough to be a jackass. He had to aid and abet his colleague in the solicitation and possible sexual abuse of minors.

Of course, his counterpart in the Senate also had a great weekend. Started it off by banning online gaming and kept going today with suggesting the Taliban be included in running Afghanistan.

Because that worked out soooooooooo well before.....

Tell me again about the values of Republican leadership and why the hell they should keep Congress? Really, what's the point?

Yes, gas prices are dropping, and yes, economic indicators are getting better. But with leadership selling out their base again and again, eventually there is a point where you say, Enough.

I've had enough. Since I can't vote against Hastert, I can vote against my local representative in GA-11. Besides, given the sponsorship of HR 4411, this isn't too far a leap at this point.

It's time to split my ticket between Congress and other races - I'll still vote for this one and this one, but no straight ticket anymore. I'm tired of being taken for granted and getting kicked in the teeth, from Katrina to Miers to the border to online gaming to dhimmitude.

No musings this week

Since I watched exactly 2 minutes of football this weekend, I can't really write anything this week. I was out on Saturday and Sunday, so football was not in order for me.

I decided it was better to use Sunday to take Alex to an apple orchard in Ellijay. It was one of those places where you pick the apples yourself, fill up a bag, etc. Plus, there was a tiny festival taking place, complete with funnel cake and line dancing. I'm thankful we both found the line dancing equally weird.

Moral of the story - we had lots of fun, he was worn out but happy, and I didn't listen to or watch a lick of football. Didn't really miss it, either.

In the meantime.....we're counting down until UGA-UT on Saturday. That will be a completely different story.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Happy day

Well, on Saturday, there was a wedding.

No, not these two. But they attended the reception.

Two friends from Emory got married yesterday downtown by Underground. It was a very nice wedding - and probably the shortest Catholic wedding I have ever attended :)

One good thing (which allowed Alex to attend) was that the reception was held at the new Georgia Aquarium over by Centennial Olympic Park. It opened about a year ago. It is huge, and this was our first trip there.

We all had a blast. The place is HUGE, and awesome. Wow.

Alex spent nearly the entire reception running between the two windows of the ballroom.

This one (there are rays and sharks in the tank, but not in this shot):

And this one:

Of course, we loved it too. The whales were so close that it seemed as though you could pet them. Or let them give you a kiss. The belugas were that playful.

Thankfully, all that running wore us out, so we all fell right asleep as soon as we got home. Since he was so worn out from running around, he slept later, which allowed us to sleep later.

Good times.