Friday, January 29, 2010

Celebrity Collage by MyHeritage

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celeb - Collage - Morph

Angela Merkel? Really?


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to Survive the SOTU

While there might be some more serious analyses elsewhere, I would prefer to share my own State of the Union preview.

Naturally, this preview will be based solely on the amount of alcohol that can be consumed during the course of the speech and rebuttal.

While some inspiration comes from multiple sources, such as Glock Talk and HuffPo, some are my own creation as well.

With no further delay, here are some friendly guidelines for tolerating listening to the bloviating impassioned speech and rebuttal.

"Let me be clear"
"Make no mistake"
"I'm fighting for you" (two if you actually believe it)
"The stimulus is working" (also weep silently)
"Healthcare reform" (though this could lead to blackouts)
"Job Creation"
Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden clap hysterically
"Change we can believe in"
Any seemingly personal narrative which can be smelled as bull**** from a mile away
Any wink or point to and follow-up shot of Michelle

"Inherited from the previous administration"
"Cap and Trade"
"We must reduce spending" (Rolling your eyes will help significantly)
"Last eight years"
Harry Reid sulks/cowers (since he is on track to lose re-election)
Hillary Clinton smirks, knowing she won't get reamed as badly in November
John McCain grimaces
Any congressman caught sleeping
Any congressman caught twittering
Any reference to his "faith"
Nancy Pelosi blinks more than 100 times in one minute

Standing Ovation from only one side of the aisle - three drinks
Mentions of campaign finance reform or Citizens United v. FEC - three drinks
"The time for debate has ended" - drain the bottle, then grab a pitchfork
"Senator Kennedy's legacy" - drain the bottle, then drive into the nearest bridge or river
"Republican leadership" - no drinks; laugh hysterically
"Democratic leadership" - ditto
Undesired yelling from the gallery or opposing senators/congressman - drain the bottle and applaud
"War on Terror" - N/A, because that would requiring acknowledging it as a war and not a criminal process.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Karma Chameleon

This weekend's games will result in an exciting Super Bowl matchup, regardless of the winners. We have the three best teams in the league as seen throughout the year, along with one underdog team which just HAPPENS to be from the biggest media market playing the "Nobody Believes in us" card to the hilt.

So, without further adieu, let's look at each game.

Jets v. Colts (-7.5)

In Week 15, when the Colts' starters were removed, the Jets were down by 5, in a similarly pressured game...have to win to stay alive, the Colts feeling pressure (or so we thought) for a perfect season, in a very loud dome, yada yada yada.

The Jets managed to hold their own, and without penalties at inopportune times may have ended up beating the starters outright. I'm not really considering the last 21 minutes of the game, since it came against the backups.

But the Jets have shown that they have the potential to play in this field. However, let's ALSO remember that the Colts' defense got a week off before throttling the Ravens last week, who sport an offense eerily similar to the Jets - limit the quarterback's potential for mistakes, win on running the ball 25-30 times and a great defense.

Mark Sanchez is not Joe Flacco ro Trent Dilfer, and the Jets defense has some injuries (Shaun Ellis, broken hand, and Kerry Rhodes, knee) which means Manning will have that extra second or two needed to find an opening when needed.

Regardless of the outcome, the Jets have a lot of reasons to be proud. They may not have any pressure on them at all, since nobody expected them to be here, and that might change things in the end. Unfortunately, I don't think the Jets win, and I don't think they can keep PEyton Manning off the field enough - their defense has injuries and Sanchez is not good enough to repeatedly engineer long drives that chew up the clock.

If the Jets pull it out, no hard feelings, despite the benjamin I'll owe someone if the manage to then go and win the Super Bowl.

THE PICK: Indianapolis (-7.5)

Vikings-Saints (-3.5)


In a quieter tone, I have to pick the Saints, for several other reasons:

  • Favre has yukked it up at the ends of seasons way too much over the past few years (as Jets fans, Dolphins fans, Giants fans, and Packers fans, and while the bye may have helped him engineer a strong performance last week, there is no rest leading up to this week's game for that ancient arm.
  • The environment in the Superdome will remind Favre of his days as a Packer, visiting the Metrodome - when it was his own house of horrors. It will be LOUD.
  • The Saints defense will be the best he has faced all year - better than the Cowboys, Packers, Giants, or Bengals - and fully healthy.
  • Sean Payton can run circles around Brad Childress in developing schemes for this game - and if Childress developed any kind of game plan, Favre would probably overrule him in the huddle anyway.
  • Karma should be heavily loaded in New Orleans' favor - comeback from Katrina (for the Saints, the Superdome, and the whole city of New Orleans), compared to comeback from I-can't-make-up-my-mind-wait-let-me-screw-over-another-team for Favre. The New Orleans region NEEDS this in a way no other city could possibly need something like this.
  • Adrian Peterson still has a fumbling problem - either the Vikes try and use him (with the risk of fumbles) or let Favre throw 40+ times (and probably a pick-six or two to old teammate Darren Sharper)

Again, God, don't let Brett Favre go to the Super Bowl. The SAINTS NEED THIS ONE. If they play like they did last week and not like they did in Weeks 16 and 17, they will. I might be making this pick for more personal reasons that objective reasons, since the other half of the household is heavily in the Saints camp - but I can handle anyone else in the Super Bowl than Brett ******* Favre.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

How Breakups Affect Everyone Else

Watching the latest late-night feud between Jay Leno, NBC, and Conan O'Brien makes me sad.

It's sad to think about how such an acrimonious breakup can affect not just the main parties, but residual folks as well.

There's a lot of collateral damage.

The writers.

The staff.

Their families, who made the move to California from New York.

Other characters of the show (Except for Max Weinberg, who can just tour some more with Bruce Springsteen.)


Friends and other loved ones.

And, of course, the Masturbating Bear.

(click into post if the clip isn't viewable in your reader. )

Rush Poker Review

A few days ago, a software upgrade notice fluttered across my computer screen for a new feature on Full Tilt called RUSH poker.

Soon afterwards, I got an e-mail explaining the point of said upgrade, and what RUSH poker was.

Instead of having a lot of isolated table at a certain level, with the same players through each hand, RUSH will keep moving you from table to table, as soon as you fold a hand. It is designed to keep you ALWAYS in a hand - as soon as you click "Fold", you are taken to another table, with a different group of players, for the next hand which (so far) begins with no delay at all.

I opened up one of these RUSH games last night. There were about 1300 people on a 0.05/0.10 NLHE game. I sat down, and played through for about 50 hands to get a feel for it.

My thoughts:

GOOD: More hands, more experience
GOOD: Easier to build up points and/or rakeback due to the volume of hands (if I'd stayed a full hour, I could have racked up 300 hands easily)
GOOD: Simpler Decisions on playing hands
GOOD: Players will probably not be able to get a read on you.
GOOD: Can exploit simple, ABC-type players

BAD: You can't get a read on other players - reinforces simple thinking by just playing what you have without being able to evaluate the table
BAD: Extremely difficult to put any notes down on any players due to the speed and the constant switching of players.
BAD: No chat or communication. At all. It's just not possible.

The main impression I got from this type of game was that it could easily be exploited. Most other players are strictly playing their cards, without much thought to position and obviously NO thought to how others might play.

I played 53 hands, and won about 20 of them. Most of them were due to raising pre-flop and taking down blinds, or c-betting a flop and inducing a fold. Most folks will be scared off by pre-flop raises and simply move on, or are not willing to go to war without what they believe is a good hand in this format. This can easily be exploited to rack up a LOT of orphaned blinds. It seemed possible to steal from ANYWHERE in this game, since most folks will just fold and move on.

I only had two hands go to showdown - one, a winning flush, and one, QUADS against two pair. The rest of the profit came from just being heavily aggressive pre-flop, as most folks just wanted to get out of the way and move on. With almost no pre-flop re-raises from anyone else, it seems easy in this format to play the bully.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti Help

Stolen from LJ's site, with some easy ways to contribute.


CR instructor Verneer is organizing donations for Haiti here and has already raised over 6k, and FTP is also doing a bunch of tournaments and fake tournaments and matching 100%. Cribbed from Brian's blog:

1. Aid For Haiti tournaments: Starting tonight and running through Sunday, there will be a number of “Aid For Haiti” tournaments at a range of buyins for players to participate in. The first one is at 2PM ET (under an hour) and it’s a $5 + $5 ($5 from every entry will be donated).

2. Aid For Haiti “no-play” tournaments: These are “fake” tournaments that won’t run. For anyone that wants to make a direct donation, they can enter one of the 10 different tournaments (all “scheduled” for Sunday at 6pm ET, 3pm PT) and not worry about playing a tournament.

3. An “Aid For Haiti” user has been set up for direct P2P transfers. Anyone can transfer any amount greater than $5 to that player ID.

All money raised will be matched by Full Tilt Poker and sent to various charities, so for every dollar you donate, an additional dollar from FTP will be directed toward helping the cause. Personally I will be making a direct donation, as well as possibly playing in some of the tournaments. I urge anyone who can help, even a little, to do so as well.


for those who don't want to use poker monies (like me) you can donate directly through red cross here.

apparently pokerstars is matching donations. info on their blog.

lastly via riggs: You can TEXT right from your mobile phone. text “Haiti” to 90999 and your phone will be auto billed for $10 and go directly to help efforts.

WSOP Rules 2010

Still not sure about the Series itself, but the Circuit event at Caesar's in April is looking very tantalizing...

Meant to post Thursday, but stuff happens.


LAS VEGAS (Jan. 14, 2010) – With the 41st annual World Series of Poker® (WSOP®) just a short 133 days from commencing, the official rules governing the largest set of poker tournaments in the world are now available online at for all players.

Players are encouraged to download the PDF document from the official WSOP website and become familiar with them prior to playing in any events.

The 8-page, 105-rule guide details the variety of regulations in place under the following seven categories:

  • Tournament Registration and Entry
  • Tournament Scheduling
  • Prizing & Seating
  • Player Conduct & Tournament Integrity
  • Player Likeness & Image
  • Poker Rules
  • Tournament Operations, Policies & Procedures

Click here to view and download the official rules.

“Poker has evolved exponentially the last decade, and with so many new players to the game, it’s important that we as tournament officials, dealers and players are all familiar with the rules,” said Vice President of International Poker Operations and World Series of Poker Tournament Director Jack Effel. “We believe that as the industry leader, it’s important for us at the WSOP to have the most comprehensive rules in the game today.”

While no major additions were added to this year’s rules, several tweaks were made to better define some rules and to incorporate the revisions made in 2009 by the Tournament Directors Association (TDA).

The logo policy, which was adjusted in 2009, remains the same as it was for the 2010 event.
A more manageable and enforceable cell phone rule (Rule #55) has been adopted, in part, in recognition of social media applications such as Twitter, which has become a favorite task of poker players.

The penalty tracking system which was implemented in 2009, returns and will be in effect for 2010. A total of 186 penalties were tracked, or an average of 3.72 a day during the 2009 WSOP. Penalties ranged from warnings to disqualification from the tournament and removal from the premises. The most common penalty imposed was a one-round penalty and the range of infractions included: exposing hand, acting out of turn, removing chips from the table, abusive language, excessive celebration, soft play, cell phone use, throwing cards, dealer abuse and discussing the content of a hand.

The WSOP, an annual poker extravaganza, which dates back to 1970, is televised exclusively on ESPN from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and consists of a comprehensive slate of the game’s most popular variations running from May 27-July 17, 2010.

A total of 57 coveted gold bracelets will be up for grabs in 2010 – equal to last year’s total.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2009, the event attracted 60,875 entrants from 115 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and awarded over $174 million in prize money. The WSOP in December, 2008 was named the 7th most admired sports brand in North America by the Turnkey Sports Survey, trailing only the older and more established NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and PGA Tour among sports properties. In addition, the WSOP has experienced groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit our website at

Friday, January 15, 2010

Round 2 Picks - Now With More Notice For Fading!

The games this week are a lot harder to pick than last week. Last week, aside from the Packers-Cardinals game, I felt confident about each one of my picks - and the Packers and Cardinals ended up in a shootout totaling 96 points which went all the way to the end, so it turned out to be a deservedly difficult pick.

This week is a bit more complicated. Three of the four teams who had byes in the first round entered the postseason on shake notes, losing multiple games down the stretch, so it may be difficult to guess which versions of those teams will show up.

But, here goes anyway.

1. Cardinals-Saints (-7). Even before the Saints finally lost in Week 15, their play had been extremely uneven, almost losing to the Rams, Redskins, and Falcons before finally going down to Dallas. While I think the Saints will show up this weekend and prevail in the Superdome against a still banged-up Cardinals team, it seems a bit much to give away a touchdown based on their play of the last five weeks of the season. I don't think they'll run away with it, but there is too much talent on this Saints team to be held completely at bay against a Cardinals team that gave up FORTY-FIVE points at home last week. However, the lack of consistency leads me to pick Arizona for the spread and commence biting my nails furiously as I hope the Saints don't mess it up - being married to a Saints fan doubly ensures that a Saints win would be good.
Pick: Cardinals (+7)

2. Ravens-Colts (-7). I liked watching the Ravens destroy the Patriots last week, as they ran around the field at will in building up an early 24-0 lead. The Colts defense will be much stingier and will NOT allow the Ravens to succeed with Joe Flacco throwing only ten passes the entire game.
Pick: Colts (-7)

3. Cowboys-Vikings (-3). This is a game where I would love to see the eventual victor completely drained so that they have no chance of success in the NFC Championship. I hate both of these teams.

To me, this is the hardest game this weekend to call. On one hand, there is the playoff history of Tony Romo on the road in one of the most fearsome, loudest places to play for road quarterbacks - despite thrashing Philly for the second consecutive week last week. On the other hand, with Minnesota and New Orleans both faltering down the stretch, you could say Dallas is the hottest team in the NFC.

As for Minnesota - they are limping into the playoffs, Adrian Peterson requires a ball with a handle, and Brett Favre is becoming even more of a prick in public in trying to be a player-coach. I smell bad karma coming for the Vikings. Dallas may not get to the Super Bowl, but a win here should take away the Romo-choker tag for good.
Pick: Cowboys (+3, win outright)

4. Jets-Chargers (-8)
The Jets had a convincing win last week by running the ball, running the ball, and running the ball some more. Mark Sanchez threw the ball only 15 times last week. Whether it was on those short passes or all those runs, the Cincinnati defense couldn't drag anyone down after an emotional season.

The Chargers do not have those problems, coming into the postseason as the hottest team, by far. Their defense is worlds better than Cincinnati's, and the Jets will need 25-30 passes from Sanchez with a high completion percentage to win. I don't think a rookie QB, on the road, in the playoffs, who threw 20+ picks during the season has that in him - even against a team coached by Norv Turner featuring a fork sticking out of LaDanian Tomlinson's back.
Pick: Chargers (-8)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Weekly Dump - Version 1

One reason I started blogging so little last year (and yes, to me, a post a week was a little) was because I was using other social media outlets more.

Excuse me, that should probably be more like OMFG SOCIAL MEDIA RULEZZZZ YO!!!!1!1!!

Posting something to Facebook, or Digging something, or re-tweeting another article was quick and easy to remind me to blog it later.

That worked well, aside from the small fact that I wouldn't blog it.


So, let's fix that, shall we? I'd like to aim to do this once a week. If nothing else, it forces me to look at the thing every so often and not let it sit fallow for a couple of weeks.

On to the links, then:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A-Team Trailer

June 11.

Yep, I'll probably go see this one.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Picks (before the games)

Trying to squeak this in, but here goes:

Jets-Bengals: Taking the Jets (+3.5) who could win outright if the Bengals don't shake off the rust from resting everyone last week, or revise the playbook past what has already been seen by the Jets in Week 17.

Eagles - Cowboys: Taking the Cowboys (-4) as I have no confidence in McNabb to deliver in Dallas, especially after getting trounced last week in Philly.

Ravens - Patriots: Picking Ravens (+3.5) and again I think they will win outright, as not having Welker is disastrous for New England; the Patriots have had too many "oops" moments to make me think they pull out a win against a tough Ravens defense.

Packers-Cardinals: Picking the Packers (-2) but this one could go either way, as both teams have been wildly inconsistent throughout the year. Mostly, if Bolden and other Cardinals still have lingering injury effects, then the Packers can pull out a road win.

OK, sure, I might drop by

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! Bloggers can register for to play for free in the WBCOOP, if you don’t have a PokerStars account you can get your Poker Download here.

Registration code: 710928

Of course, this is assuming I am home early enough, since some of the tourneys start at 5 PM Eastern and I have this weird thing called a job :)

Friday, January 08, 2010

funny pictures of cats with captions

Yes, it is cold enough here to make the statue at right. The wind-chill every day has been in the single-digits, and the temperature has not been above freezing, so the half-inch of snow which arrived yesterday is staying on the ground for now.
Almost all schools closed today, and most businesses were delayed or closed outright.
I've been at work all day, wondering again why everyone panics when just a couple flakes fall from the sky. It's humorous at first, but then you have to just shake your head in response to the insanity.

Naturally, everyone in Atlanta decided to PANIC and storm their stores for all the bread, milk, and water that could be carried, or plow into 30-car pileups just a few minutes after the snow starts falling.

Beyond that, in the first week of trying to lose weight, I have somehow managed to lose four pounds. I would like to think that exercise has contributed greatly to the weight loss so far, but in reality it has come from skipping both breakfast and lunch on 5 of the first 7 days of the year. However, I don't think the Karen Carpenter diet is really the way to go.
OTOH, binge eating at night does not help either, as I ate a ton while watching Texas fall last night to Alabama out in Pasadena.
In Texas' defense, though, they were without a quarterback for 90% of the game and still stayed in the game until three minutes were left.
I didn't lke Alabama when they won in 1992, and I don't like them now.
So when does Alabama play Boise State?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Resolution struggles? Take heed from evil overlords

If you are still struggling with coming up with meaningful resolutions for 2010, then take a trip in the wayback machine to review the Evil Overlord list for some suggestions.

It's old, but still funny.

I think I will add the following sub-resolutions to what I devised yesterday:

6. I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing them.

10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum -- a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.

17. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.

29. I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.

50. My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh powerbooks.

58. If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.

86. I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly grounded.

99. Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb in size.

100. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

All Ahead Full

Now that I've got the 2009 recap out of the way, it's time to look at some things I want (or should try) to do during the course of 2010.

1. Lose some weight, fast! When I went through college, I was in pretty good shape from my sophomore year on. I worked out regularly and played hockey, so I stayed at about 185 pounds for my second through fourth years.

I shouldn't mention that the 185 number came after adding 20 pounds the first year, but at least that mostly became muscle.

When I got married a couple years later, in 2001, I went on a diet and get back down to 200 pounds from the 210-215 I'd flirted with since leaving college. Damn day job.

I was at about 220 when I started graduate school in 2006. Then the stresses of second baby (hugs), getting laid off, going back to graduate school full-time, job chances that kept eluding me for eight months, and then finally having both a job and a full-time student load meant I put being healthy way at the back of the line.

For the past six months, my weight has fluctuated between 265 and 270 pounds.


So, I'm setting a goal of losing a pound and a half a week. This will require some changes to my diet, but none too major aside from what is described below. More importantly, I need to start exercising again, as any activity will help me start peeling off the pounds.

I've decided on a pound and a half a week, as that would mean taking off between 75 and 80 pounds over the course of this year, and would put me back down to 190 pounds.

I'm thankful that I have been lucky enough to make it to this point without any major internal health problems, but I'm starting to creep up in age, and need to start taking slightly better care of myself. That has to start with getting off my fat ass once in a while.

2) Drink less soda. The food I eat is generally healthy - I've been eating less fast food lately, and more fresh meals for lunch and dinner. I still need to work on snacks here and there, but the biggest culprit by far for my is the soda addiction I have.

I tried last year to give up coffee, to see if it would reduce my weight. I gave it up cold for six weeks, as I was drinking 4-6 cups a day. I had none for six weeks, and I lost a grand total of...ZERO pounds.

Reducing the amount of soda I drink should help a little bit. I'm drinking 2-3 cups of coffee a day, but I'd been having 4-5 servings of soda to supplement it. Since the beginning of the year, I've been trying to cap myself at 2 servings a day, eventually dropping to 1 a day and then maybe 1 every other day. Reducing the sugar intake and replacing it with water or even coffee would be a step up from my current dietary consumption.

3. Get some fricking sleep. I am NOTORIOUS for staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning, sometimes for no reason at all aside from just surfing around, chatting, or catching up on recorded shows. If I want to feel healthy and more alert during the rest of the day, I need to really start making the effort to at least get to 6 hours of sleep a night. Continuing to work on 3-4 hours of sleep, especially when I don't have to, just fuels other poor behaviors I have, and it should be quite rare now that I need to be up past midnight.

Unless I'm in Vegas. Then I can go for 48 hours straight. Just watch me.

4. Clean up our debt. 2009 forced us to use up almost all of our savings, and we are still trying to hop from one foot to the next to manage our debt. We have to clean it up in 2010 so that we can rebuild our savings, as well as begin saving for (shudder) college. I'd rather not be still be paying my grad school loans when Alex goes off to his freshman dorm.

5. Be more of a chauffeur. Both kids are now at the point where they want to begin doing more activities. The days of soccer practices, T-ball and baseball practice, ballet practice, and so on are not far away. Good thing I finished the degree last year so I can be there to enjoy those moments with them.

6. Try to actually use that really, really expensive diploma. 2009 saw my company go through a round of downsizing in January, another round of downsizing in March, a restructuring in May, and the firing of our division president in October. With all that, I sure didn't take many chances job hunting. I chased a few leads, but didn't try too hard in the searching realm. Furthermore, I also wanted to see how my role at my current job might change. It is still up in the air how it might change in my current job, and frankly, I'd rather stay here and use it, and be rewarded for using it, instead of starting anew at another company. One way or another, though, I need to make this a goal for 2010.

7. Move the site. I've been mulling it over for a very long time now, and I need to change the site up in 2010 and move it away from Blogger. I've been talking about it long enough by now, and I think not moving it has really helped in avoiding coming here to write at all.

8. More local, political, and charitable involvement. While I donated as much as possible financially in 2009, I didn't really give much of my time until the end of the year. I'd like to work on giving more of my actual time in 2010.

Locally, that could mean at the kids' schools and church.

Politically, that could mean finally taking a more active role in Cobb county political events and campaigns.

Charitably, that could mean more work with Knights of Columbus or more work in helping Kim plan a National Convention for my volunteer organization - which will just happen to be in Atlanta next December. It might also mean being involved with walks for the Avon 3-Day or with the Atlanta Food Bank, as I used to do regularly.

Whatever the means, it would be good to get out and do some more of that local work that I used to do endlessly.

9. Have more fun traveling. We know there are already several trips that one or both of us will take this year that lurk on the horizon - Kansas City, Melbourne (FL), Macon, Washington, Las Vegas, and Austin - and there will be more that get added (Los Angeles, New York, Iowa, Phoenix, Biloxi, New Orleans?) as the year goes on. For any trips, though, we all need to make sure we are enjoying ourselves, as there's no fun in going on a trip if we're stressed all the time (as happened quite often last year).

There will even be instances where I'm the one who needs to cool off a bit and not stress so much. I'm sure this is absolutely SHOCKING.

Hmmm, 9 goals and not one is poker-related. Well, #10 can do the trick there.

10. Cash in a live, major tourney. It could be the WSOP, a circuit event, the Venetian Deep-Stack, the Grand Series at Binions, the Bellagio 5-Diamond, or the Southern Championship in Biloxi, but I want to cash in a large-sized (200+) tourney this year. I cam so close last year to a big run at Binions, only to bubble out, and I flamed out at the Venetian Deep-Stack Extravaganza. I want to improve on those in 2010.

I've played online donkaments and run deep or won those, sometimes with as many as 3,800 players, but I want to notch a deep run in a decent-sized live field this year. A dollar donkament against 4000 people doesn't make a difference, but final-tabling a $340 buyin with several hundred people would be extremely significant to me.

It will need to be at a point where I am comfortable buying in, because if I don't feel like I can afford to lose, then I will almost certainly lose. Almost certainly, it will come after some of the other goals above (debt cleanup, etc.) have been met.

As for more details on when such a trip and tourney might occur, that is probably best left for another time.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Boy, that sucked

Most of you will agree with me that 2009 was an awful, forgettable, lurching, sickening, mess of a year that needs to stay gone, forever.

However, it wouldn't be quite complete without a little bit of review and a little bit of looking forward.

This post is the review of 2009, of what I wrote about last year at about the same time.

1. No diet or weight resolutions. Well, that one proved easy. SO EASY THAT I GAINED TWENTY MORE FRIGGIN POUNDS!

2. Be more active, exercising at least once a week. Oops. This went out the window quickly, as the Spring term was an insane mess between school and work that I barely had any energy to walk into the house at night, let alone go back out to work out.

3. Graduate. Done in May. Yay!

4. Go to a blogger gathering. Well, I met up with several when I went in June, but I didn't go in December. Maybe this year I can see 100 fellow degenerates.

5. Give more to charity. To be determined, once I finish my taxes but I think it's a bit more.

6. Be a better writer. Boy, I was way off here - I stopped doing both of the Examiner columns I'd started in 2008, and posted here a helluva lot less - only about 120-130 posts instead of 300-350 in past years.

7. Clear $6000 in poker. Way off again, unless I take a zero off and change the first digit. Then again, I was withdrawing any small gains I made almost immediately to pay for household stuff so there was no way I was letting myself work up to the levels I'd wanted - and now I sit again at micro tables more for fun that for profit.


8. Donate 50% of poker winnings to breast cancer research/charities - Met this one easily, at least, though I wish the tally won could have been higher so that the amount given could have been higher.

9. One post or article per day - this went OK for about three months, then just fell apart after Spring Break and I didn't feel like pushing myself very much.

10. House clean and tidy - still struggling every day, and extending a job search all the way to October actually did not help very much - it seemed harder to maintain with more time than with less. We've probably averaged more time cleaning after we both started working than when I was the only one working.

You know, considering all the crap that went on in 2009 (multiple school changes, graduation, job searches, car wrecks, stresses inside the home, stresses outside the home, multiple downsizings at work, restructurings at work, and even more family illnesses) maybe I did OK with these goals.

But 2009 is gone and can STAY gone.


2010, make yourself at home, and some goals for this year will come tomorrow - both the ones that are still valid and the ones I've already managed to break.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Actions over words

Forwarded to me by other Knights of Columbus members as a re-post....


The troops overseas would like you to send this to everybody you know.

Denzel Washington, and Brooks Army Medical Center Personnel

Don't know whether you heard about this but Denzel Washington and his family visited the troops at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, (BAMC) the other day. This is where soldiers who have been evacuated from Germany come to be hospitalized in the United States , especially burn victims. There are some buildings there called Fisher Houses.

The Fisher House is a Hotel where soldiers' families can stay, for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying in the Hospital. BAMC has quite a few of these houses on base, but as you can imagine, they are almost filled most of the time.

While Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC,
they gave him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses.
He asked how much one of them would cost to build.
He took his checkbook out and wrote a check for
the full amount right there on the spot.
The soldiers overseas were amazed to hear this story
and want to get the word out to the American public,
because it warmed their hearts to hear it.

The question is:
Why do Brad Pitt, Madonna, Tom Cruise and other Hollywood
fluff make front page news with their ridiculous antics
Denzel Washington's Patriotism
doesn't even make page 3 in the Metro
section of any newspaper except
the local newspaper in San Antonio .

A true American and friend to all in uniform!

This needs as wide a distribution as we can create. Share it!