follow me on Twitter

    Thursday, December 29, 2005

    Good Reading

    Been a long time since I linked to a Kung Fu Monkey post. Not because I don’t still go there everyday, but because, well, the proprietor, John Rogers, has been busy with his real world writing, including a new Blue Beetle comic series. But this is a gem. It’s a New Year’s resolution, a resolution we all should share, a resolution to dissent more. I’m quoting awfully extensively here, but please, please go read all of it.

    Listen, I may well be all for the goddam Iraq War if someone, anyone, could lay out the operational goals and specific strategies, with progress benchmarks, for the conflict. You may scream at me, you may think I'm a traitor for even asking, fine, but my point is even if you think I ought to be in a John Ashcroft Re-Education Camp, you ought to be able to answer the question. But no, that's "defeatist" thinking. Or, I'm "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" the "fine patriotic folks who are working so hard." Because it's not results that matter in this Bizarro World we've wound up in, it's intent. It doesn't matter that the President's broken the law, it's okay because he meant well. A rationalization we wouldn't let our eleven year old get away with, we let the President slide.…

    I can smell that the people trying to pull off The Big One, the fat bastards in suits who've been nursing hella-grudges since it all went to shit during the Nixon Administration know that this is their last shot. Things are going to get ugly hard, kids, and the reason I despair is because all I have is reason. I can't -- nobody can -- have an intelligent, reasonable disagreement with people who believe that there were really WMD's in Iraq, or that the President shanking the Fourth Amendment is a good thing, or that everything's going swimmingly in Iraq. I can disagree and discuss things with someone who thinks things are going better in Iraq than I believe, sure, but to deal with someone who points out that it's going great is, again, literally beyond my ken.

    Because we are in a war here, make no mistake about it. There is indeed a Culture War, but it's not the sides you think, not faith and science, not Democrat and Republican. It's between those who believe in a bright open future and those who seek refuge in the shadowy past. Between those willing to shoulder the burden of fear and those who seek a comforting King. Between the people who know the world is a messy grey masterpiece and those who crave a black-and-white past that never really was. A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist be he from Al-Queda or Al-abama.

    For what little it's worth, my New Year's Resolution in 2006, is to disagree more. To dissent -- and welcome dissent and well-reasoned arguments from those who hold opposite views. Because they are not the enemy. The people who say "... just because", in all its myriad forms, are the enemy.

    Dora Redux

    I see some were disturbed by my previous post. Well, you ain't seen nothing yet. I told you I could get more vile. Here goes. This is the Dora post, vile edition:

    The best part of a Dora the Explorer episode? At the very end, when Dora says “What did you like best?” and then pauses for the child to say what they liked best, and then Dora says “I liked that too!” That’s the best part of the episode because you can say the most vile things imaginable after Dora says “What did you like best?” and Dora will always say “I liked that too!” If you so choose, after Dora says “What did you like best?” you can say “When we got together and fixed the pre-war intelligence to make it look like Saddam had WMDs and we lied to the American public about links between Saddam and Osama and sent tens of thousands of people to their deaths for no discernable reason whatsoever” and Dora will say “I liked that too!” I bet you did Dora. I bet you did.

    I'm sorry you folks had to see that.

    Thursday, December 22, 2005

    Dora, Dora, Dora!

    The best part of a Dora the Explorer episode? At the very end, when Dora says “What did you like best?” and then pauses for the child to say what they liked best, and then Dora says “I liked that too!” That’s the best part of the episode because you can say the most vile things imaginable after Dora says “What did you like best?” and Dora will always say “I liked that too!” If you so choose, after Dora says “What did you like best?” you can say “When you met me behind the 7-11 and went to town on my crank like a starving hooker*” and Dora will say “I liked that too!” I bet you did Dora. I bet you did.

    *Note: "When you met me behind the 7-11 and went to town on my crank like a starving hooker" is far from the most vile thing I can imagine. But you already knew that.

    Stones In The Field

    I went to the urologist yesterday. It was part regular check-up, part because of some ongoing kidney stone pain I’ve been having. I develop kidney stones on a fairly regular basis, and sometimes they can be quite painful. The analysis the lab did of my urine showed a high amount of blood, one of the surest signs of a stone. There’s really not a whole lot you can do for a kidney stone, particularly small ones. You just have to let them take the time to pass.

    However, some doctors in Italy have developed a new treatment, and my doctor decided to put me on it. It’s called the Italian Protocol. Now, although it’s very cool to be on a treatment that sounds like the name of a Ludlum novel, that’s not why I am writing. See, the treatment involves taking muscle relaxers right before bedtime. Because the urethra is just one long muscle (and longer in some than others, if you know what I mean and I think you do), the hope is that it will relax, open wider, and allow for a larger urine stream and thus a greater chance for small stones to come out. But that’s not why I am writing. No, I am writing because the medicine I am taking for this is called Flomax. That’s right. Flomax. Flomax, because apparently Morepee wasn’t subtle enough.

    Friday, December 09, 2005

    Coralville, Rain Forest Decide To See Other People

    Film at eleven, story at the Iowa City Press Citizen.

    "Really, it's not you - it's me. I'm just not in the right place for this relationship right now."

    Thursday, December 08, 2005

    New Link, New Site

    I've added a fine new site, the Circle Of bulletin board, to the links. It's another fine Circle of Friends production from the folks (like me) who bring you Survivor and TAR summaries. Check it out. If you're in my online friends book, you'll see a lot of familiar faces. If you're in my real friends book, I think you'll find some fun, interesting, argumentative at times, conversations. So drop in!

    Friday, December 02, 2005

    Happy Birthday Andrew

    To the best eight-year-old in the world: I know sometimes I expect too much of you, especially compared to your younger brother. I apoligize for that, and please know that I am trying to remember you are still just a second-grader, still growing, still learning. I see you though, and you carry yourself so well - so very well - and it is hard to believe you are just eight. You have the best heart of any young man I have ever met, and one of the best hearts of anyone I have ever met. I am pleased to be able to call you my stepson. Pleased to know you are a part of my life. As with your brother, I look forward to watching you grow into the man you will become, and am fortunate that I can be a part of that.

    Love, David

    P.S. It's so cool you have such a strong aptitude for math - you might not be my biological son, but at least in that regard you are mind of my mind.

    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    Live Nude Poker Blogging

    Okay, so I'm not nude. But I am live poker blogging, and three out of four ain't bad.

    I don't know how much of this sit and go I'm going to blog, but I did want to write about this first hand.

    I get dealt a pair of jacks out of third position. The person proceeding me raised the blind once. First hand, so I was content to call. One other person called, the blinds dropped out.

    Flop comes 9-7-9 rainbow. First guy to act checks, I check, next guy bets 210 - the size of the pot. Guy before me mucks.

    Now, I'm willing to believe the guy who bet has a 7, but for some reason I don't think he has a 9. I think you slow play a set in that instance, especially top set. So I call. I don't hesitate in doing so, either.

    Next card is a 4 of a different suit than what came before. So no flush draw. Possible straight draw, but still no card over mine. I figure I still have top pair. But I check.

    He bets 630 - again, the size of the pot. And again, I'm just not buying that he has a set. My mind is trying to talk me out of calling, but my gut says call. So I do. I take a little longer to do it, but I do.

    The river comes up a 3. So no straight, no pair over mine, and only a boat or a set to mess me up. I check, the guy goes all in with his last 600 chips.

    Now, all I have left is 600 chips. First hand, remember? First hand and I am pretty damn pot committed. So I call. Took my time doing it, but I call. I just didn't believe him.

    He shows Q-8. Q-8!! He didn't even have a pair. He was running a stone cold bluff and got caught at it. I showed the pair of Js, took a pot of more than 3,000 chips, and basically started out the game with twice as many chips as everyone else.

    So, more as the game progresses.

    Or not. It was a long fought battle, but I finally won - $22.50 to the Dweeze fund. Yay! The guy I ended up head's up against was good - real good. Better than me. But I won anyway. We played head's up for almost an hour - when the game ended, the blinds were at 400-800. That puts me up about $50 for the week so far. Yay me!

    Tuesday, November 29, 2005

    My Survivor Summary Is Posted

    Read it here. I must say, I'm rather proud of it.

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Here's The Mail It Never Fails

    Every day when I log onto Outlook at work, there is a message from the Quarantine Center. This is the place where spam and junk mail is routed. (Although considering the amount of spam and junk that makes it through, I’m not sure what the routing rules are.) There are little icons by each piece of mail to tell you why it got sent to Quarantine – a gift-wrapped package for special offers, a letter for bulk email, XXX for sexually explicit mail, etc. And here I have some questions as well. Like, why is Natuarl Large Breasted Teen Fucks listed as a special offer and not sexually explicit? (And yes, all spelling is taken from the email titles as is.) Why is The Larger the Better bulk mail and Pen!S Enhancement sexually explicit? And don’t get me started on Viagra. (Well, I guess that depends on what you want to do with me after you get me started on Viagra. But I digress.) It Only Takes A Few Moments To Order Viagra is sexually explicit, Viagra At $1.59 Per Dose is bulk mail, and Viagra Works For Men Of All Ages a special offer. Can we get some consistency here people? I mean, if, if I say, I want to delete out all the bulk mail and special offers so I can concentrate on sexually explicit, I don’t want to worry that I’ve missed out on a natural large breasted teen who fucks. Although come to think of it, that is kind of a special offer. But still. If I am looking for busty girls, and I do an XXX sort, I’ll get the Sweet Busty Girl Getting A Loud Orgasm but miss out on the Busty Teen Brunette Fucked On Campus and Nasty Busty Girl Cumshooted. And that’s just not right.

    I was going to end it there, and let that be the post. I think it’s funny, it plays on an image I sometimes cultivate, and it works. It’s not a true image, of course, and I would never consider opening a sexually explicit email at work. I like, and need, my job. But then, as I was deleting the emails in the Quarantine Center, I came across one that was so tempting to open. So tempting. Here’s the header, and the ellipse at the end is part of it:

    If Your Penis Is Smaller Than Your Wife’s…

    Now tell me that isn’t a tough to resist opening line. I mean, don’t you want to know how it ends? Your wife’s what? Your wife’s penis? Point one, can you consider her your wife if she has a penis? Point two, is she really hanging around your life if your penis is smaller than hers, unless she has a really huge one, in which case we are back to point one. This, my friends, is quality marketing. When you get someone totally uninterested in your product wondering what your ad pitch is, you’re onto something. Bravo, I say. Bravo.

    Saturday, November 26, 2005

    My Rain Forest Position

    The leaders of the Iowa Rain Forest project sent the Coralville city council a letter with several demands that they wanted met or else they would seek a new location. (Read about it here. Or not. I really don't care either way.) The demands include a larger piece of land, a site farther away from I-80, and a letter of support signed by each member of the city council. But these weren't the only demands. Oh no. The project also wants the city council of Coralville to agree to:

    * Build a dome over the stretch of I-80 that runs by the project to keep noise down
    * Sign a letter stating that Carrot Top is a misunderstood genius
    * Agree that Wednesday's in the Rain Forest will be "Carnivale Day" where all female staff and visitors go topless
    * Sign a letter stating that the works of Pauly Shore, particularly Bio-Dome, are among the Best.Movies.Ever
    * Reroute the Iowa River further east so that there is less chance of flooding
    * Sign a letter stating that people who oppose the project are doodyheads

    No word yet on whether or not the council will agree to these demands.

    Now here's the thing. I actually am not opposed to the project. It's a cool idea - no, it's a great idea. It's a bold, unique vision, and if it ever opened, I know we would go. I could see us going about as frequently as we attend the Children's Museum, which is 4-5 times a year. Indeed, I think that, all things being equal, if it opened, it would be a rousing success.

    The arguments against the project seem to be based primarily on the inital visceral reaction some folks have to the concept. I have seen more virulent fact-challenged rants related to this project than to any other Iowa issue. Innocuous letters to the editor that dare to suggest the project might not be a bad idea spark lengthy diatribes criticizing the letter writer's intelligence and motives.

    But visceral reaction aside, the arguments against fall into two main categories. First, that the place wouldn't be successful. They argue that there wouldn't be enough traffic to keep the Rain Forest open. People who think this obviously never worked a summer shift in a restaurant on First Avenue. It's one of the busiest stretches of one of the busiest highways in the world. The people would come. Oh yes Ray, the people would come.

    The other argument is that it is a waste of taxpayer money. The flip argument against that is that if you support Bush, or you support the war in Iraq, you have permanently forfeited your right to ever complain about wasteful federal spending.

    Screw that. It's not a flip answer. If you support Bush, or if you support the war in Iraq, you have permanently forfeited your right to ever complain about wasteful federal spending. Hell, the CPA lost $8 billion in U.S. cash and you don't hear a peep about that from the anti-Rain Forest folks. The Iraq war costs over $9 million dollars an hour. The total project cost is currently slated at $180 million. In other words, the total cost of the project could be funded with what we spend in less than a day in Iraq. So if the money is the thing, and you support Bush and the war, complain about that for awhile and maybe you'll get your right to gripe about wasteful federal spending back. Otherwise, shut the fuck up.

    And for those of you who didn't vote for Bush, and don't support the war, and still worry about wasteful spending, think about this. This is a project designed to appeal to a wide base. It is both educational, scientific, and cultural in nature. Funding this project would create a unique resource available to many, many people. Isn't this exactly the sort of project that should have federal funding? Hell, isn't this exactly the sort of project that should be more or less completely funded by the feds? If this isn't, what would be?

    And despite having said all that, I now find that I can't support the project as it currently stands.

    Do you see that wiggle room I put up there, that thing about all things being equal? It's there for a reason.

    See, all things are not equal. The leadership of this project couldn't sell ice water in hell. I have no faith in the management team of this project to do things right. It has been completely mismanged from the get go, and not only has it not gotten better as time has gone on, it has gotten worse. Take that demand letter they sent to the Coralville city council. If I was a member of the Coralville city council, even being generally in favor of the project as I am, I would tell them to go to hell. (Where, as I mentioned, they would fail in their endeavor to sell ice water.) It is a childish, amatuerish stunt, and it is not the first, though it is definitely the biggest to date. Had they passed the project on to people capable enough to see the thing through, I would still be with them. But they haven't, and I'm not.

    So if you want to rant about project leadership, I'll join you. If you want to rant about the other stuff, well, count me out.

    Headlines We Love To See

    Cyclones Blow Chance To Win Big 12 North - it was attached to this story. The headline was on the main Yahoo NCAA Football page, though it isn't there now. Pity.

    Poker Friends, Unite!

    I've started playing for cash at Full Tilt. I'm doing pretty well - I haven't made money, but I haven't lost any either. I am still at about the same level I was when I first opened an account. Oh I've gotten close to going bust, but I've built it back up again. So I'm happy with that.

    Further, when I first put the cash down, I played a lot of $24-$2 tourneys. Now these payout pretty well, but it's also a lot tougher to cash out. Indeed, I never made the money in any of the tourneys. So I switched to playing $5-$.50 Sit and Gos. These are nine or eighteen player mini-tourneys. They run constantly, and start whenever nine (or eighteen) players sit down at a table. One launches every 20 seconds or so. Three places are paid on a nine player Sit and Go - $22.50 for first, $13.50 for second, $9.00 for third. Four places are paid on an 18 player Sit and Go - $36 for first, $27 for second, $18 for third, and $9 for fourth. As a result, it is a lot easier to finish in the money - all you have to do is beat six (or fourteen) other people. Not only do I finish in the money more than half the time, I win probably 15% of the Sit and Gos I enter.

    Here's my question. The other day, there were four of us left in a nine player game. I was short stack with around 2,000 chips left. The third place player had slightly more, about 2,200. I get dealt K-Q suited (Diamonds). The blinds are 80-160 and I am in the Big Blind. First player to act folds, second player calls, small blind (the guy with 2,200) calls, and I raise it three times the Big Blind, a raise of 480 to 640 all together. The first guy to act folds, the small blind takes a few moments but eventually calls. So, at this point, I have over a quarter of my chips in the pot. He's in the same boat.

    The flop comes down Ad-7d-3c. He bets the blind, 160. I go all in. He doesn't hesitate a moment to call. Not one moment. I show my K-Q, he shows A-J. I catch neither a diamond, a K, or a Q, and I am out.

    Here's where I get wondering. Why call my bet? Sure, you've got top pair. Sure, you've got a decent kicker. But if it were me, I would be thinking "he got a set" or "he hit two pair". A raise of approximately 1,200 chips in that place, a raise that puts me all in but 200 or so chips, would make me fold.

    I work hard to cultivate a tight table image. I don't run a lot of high chip bluffs. Most of my bluff plays are small, two or three times the pot after a flop if I am in position and no one else has bet. And indeed, I had a decent draw on this hand. And maybe that tightness is why I would never dream of calling a bet like I made, at least not with just top pair.

    Now, am I just smarting because I got beat on the hand? Or am I right in thinking this was an idiotic call on the part of the guy who called me?

    Linkage Update Update

    Added the wonderful Major League Baseball Trade Rumors blog to the side roll.

    Friday, November 18, 2005

    Linkage Update

    Added firedoglake to the links. Great site - your one-stop shop for the Plame investigation.

    Doughboy Dance Party

    Go Doughboy! Go Doughboy! It's your birthday! Go Doughboy!

    (Make your own dancing Doughboy here. Link courtesy of The Poor Man. Offer void in Wisconsin.)

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    The Thing Is

    For, or, say 7-8 months of the year, my job is a 8:15 to 4:30 thing. I can usually fill my days up, but I have plenty of time for writing and reading and other good stuff.

    But for the remaining 4-5 months, my job is nuts. Case in point – last Friday night at – sorry, last Saturday morning at 2:00 am I was sitting at my kitchen table with my laptop working on stuff that had to be completed in a few more hours. And that was the prelude to my weekend.

    Fortunately, that period ended today. Oh yeah, I have another assignment. But it’s not a major assignment, and my spare time at work will increase exponentially. So, expect more posts in the near future.

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    I See How It Is

    Pictures of cute toddler? Tons of comments. Post about cute toddler tossing his cookies (literally - barfed oreos are not pretty)? One comment, courtesy of the ever-wonderful Alice.

    Fair weather commenters, all of ya...

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    So Far This Morning

    I've cleaned up toddler puke and cat puke. If the dog ralphs, the trifecta pays off at 43-1. Sadly, I didn't purchase a ticket, but I wanted to keep those of you who did informed.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    A Quick Interlude

    Interrupting my work-related posting lull to say that this? Is the


    three-year old


    Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    Jack Is Back

    The teaser for Season 5 of 24 is available here.

    Monday, October 24, 2005

    I Wonder If I Can Get An Advance On That?

    Via Kris, I find that I am rolling in it

    My blog is worth $14,678.04.
    How much is your blog worth?

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    Son Be A Dentist!

    Notes from an afternoon trip to the dentist.

    * There is a touch of dominatrix in every good dental hygienist. There is more than a touch in the great ones.

    * My hygienist today was a great one.

    * Her name, in all seriousness, was Veronica Mars. But she didn't look like this person. And no, I didn't make a comment about her name. I used to hate it when people asked me if I were David Hyde-Pierce, so I don't ask others.

    * Is there a more useless command in the English language than "Relax your lip"? What does that mean exactly? Whatever it means, it would be a hell of a lot easier to relax if I didn't have that metal thing jabbing me in the gum.

    * I always get nitrous oxide when I go to the dentist. I build up stuff on my teeth so quickly that it requires some real heavy duty scraping to get them clean. And that's with going four times a year. Yep, nitrous and headphones to listen to the radio. Nothing like getting lost in a song while on laughing gas.

    Happy brushing!

    Monday, October 17, 2005

    Today's Funny eBay Posting

    The leather pants are gone but the memories remain. (Link via The Poor Man.)

    My favorite bits are these:

    I have not worn these leather pants for the following reasons:

    I am not a member of Queen.
    I do not like motorcycles.
    I am not Rod Stewart.
    I am not French.
    I do not cruise for transvestites in an expensive sports car.

    These were not cheap leather pants. They are Donna Karan leather pants. They’re for men. Brave men, I would think. Perhaps tattooed, pierced men. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say you either have to be very tough, very gay, or very famous to wear these pants and get away with it.


    They are size 34x34. I am no longer size 34x34, so even were I to suddenly decide I was a famous gay biker I would not be able to wear these pants. These pants are destined for someone else. For reasons unknown - perhaps to keep my options open, in case I wanted to become a pirate - I have shuffled these unworn pants from house to house, closet to closet. Alas, it is now time to part ways so that I may use the extra room for any rhinestone-studded jeans I may purchase in the future.

    But the whole thing, including the questions and the seller's payment instructions, is filled with gems.

    Friday, October 14, 2005

    Happy Birthday Ethan

    Thirty eight and a half inches tall. Thirty five pounds. Those are the vital stats of my baby boy on this, the day before his third birthday.

    That’s the 75th percentile on both height and weight. And while the inches and pounds have grown, the percentile has remained the same from last year, which the doctor says is a sign of good, healthy eating.

    Three years old. Three years. What an amazing thing. Three years ago I was sitting at Mercy Hospital, nervous, edgy. Lesa’s water had broken and she had gone into labor. She called me at work – I called my mother, who was in Spirit Lake where my little sister had given birth to my nephew Max two days earlier. (Max was a week late, Ethan almost four weeks early. I guess they wanted to show up around the same time.)

    Because of the fates, she was never going to dilate enough to give birth vaginally. But we didn’t know that at the time. In fact, it wouldn’t be until many, many hours later – the next morning, as a matter of fact – that her obstetrician would decide a c-section was in order. Although we didn’t know it at the time, we were in for a very, very long night.

    At least I got away from the hospital for a bit. Once my mom got there, I called Matt (insert plug for Dreamwell show Eve-olution here), and he and the truck met me at Target, where I frantically bought the baby items we needed, which, considering both Lesa and I are procrastinators, was just about everything. We loaded up the truck, took things to our place, and I went back to Mercy, where some fifteen hours later, Ethan was finally brought into this world.

    Ethan. What a great name, huh? Lesa picked it. I got to choose the middle name. Wesley. Ethan Wesley.

    He throws everything. His favorite thing to do with his toys, when he isn’t trying to play with them exactly like his brother plays with his toys, is to toss them in the air. The sound is unmistakable, and you can hear it everywhere in the house. Thomp. Thomp. Thomp. Poor Woody. He survived the Toy Story movies only to find himself constantly being thrown in the air by a toddler.

    Ethan talks constantly too. Constantly. Lots and lots of words, more of them everyday. He’ll be chattering at you and say something and you think “When did he start to say quarter? When did he pick up story book?” It’s an amazing thing, a humbling thing, a life-changing thing.

    It’s the best thing.

    And now, almost, he’s three. He looks so much like a little man right now that I can’t wait to see what he looks like in another year’s time. And while it saddens me to think that these days of his life will never come again, it excites me to watch him grow and change and develop.

    Happy Birthday Ethan. Daddy loves you more than you’ll ever know.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    Good News/Bad News

    The good news is that comedian Dave Attell will be performing at Hancher on December 7th. The bad news is that he will be sharing the stage with Pauly Shore.

    Oh well. Gonna miss that one.

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    Why Are There So Many Crappy Flavors In The Bag Of Starburts I Bought?

    Actually, that's pretty much the whole post.*

    *I promise to use this joke only once a year.

    Friday, October 07, 2005

    Linkage Tweakage

    Two new links for the geeks and baseball fans in all of us. The first is a comics news site, Fanboy Rampage. The second is a baseball gossip site, On The DL. This is basically blind items about groupie encounters with baseball players, though they also feature a lot of pictures of ballplayers and groupies.

    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    Fresh Readin'!

    My Amazing Race summary is up. You can read it here.

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    Exile In Fanville

    Liz Phair, or, as I like to call her, the Earth-2 Mrs. Dweeze, just released a new album. I like it a lot, though of course she can do no wrong musically as far as I am concerned. I mean, how can you not love a woman who works the line

    I’ll fuck you and your minions too

    into a song?

    Go to her site, find the videos section, and watch the video for her first release from the CD, Everything to Me. Good stuff. Strong stuff.

    Sunday, October 02, 2005

    It's Another Big Ten Football Weekend

    It was Homecoming Weekend here in America's Heartland. For me, that means digging out my saxophone and making with the marching. And no, that's not code.

    As most of my Iowa readers know, I was in the marching band in college. Part of the University of Iowa Homecoming tradition is the Iowa Alumni Band, made up of former marching band members willing to shell out $45 for the privilege of killing themselves in the Homecoming parade on Friday night and at the game on Saturday. Trust me. Marching in a parade sucks when you are in college. It's hell when you are in your 40s. But I've done in almost every year since I graduated, missing only three years in that time.

    Three years ago, a new tradition within a tradition was started. Previously, the Alumni Band only took the field to play one song, the Iowa Fight Song, with the (what we affectionately refer to as) Junior Band. That changed, and now the Alumni Band do the entire pre-game show. Needless to say, this really sucks a group ranging in age from recent college graduates to people in their 60s and 70s. We get off the field and we need a quarter to recover.

    But it's worth it. There's no feeling like having some 65,000-70,000 people screaming for you. We get to relive the glory days, see a decent football game, and generally behave in a manner long forgotten for most of us. Here are some thoughts on the day:

    • When the college girls were 10 years younger than me, it was really cool to lust after them. When they were 20 years younger than me, it was way cool to lust after them. Now that they are almost 30 years younger than me, it was really, uhm, creepy to see some that were lustworthy. I'll turn my dirty old man card in now.

    • There's no sarcasm like large group sarcasm. The Illini kicker missed three field goals in the first half. Two blocked, a third that was only two yards longer than an extra point attempt, went wide right by about five feet. As part of the halftime warmups, new Illini head coach and all around dick Ron Zook (Alice, he told me to tell you hi) sent the kicker out to take practice kicks INSIDE THE END ZONE. Because, you know, if they got in the end zone, they would turn down the 6 points for the opportunity to kick the field goal. (Yes, I know the point was to get him to get the ball up higher faster so it couldn't be blocked. But if you really want to nit pick about that, get your own damn blog.) Unfortunately for the kicker, the end zone he was practicing in was right in front of the Alumni Band. So he puts the ball in the kicking tee, takes his steps back, and boots it through the uprights.

      At which point the Alumni Band goes nuts. Cheering, high fives, etc. He gets the ball back, puts it in the tee again, and we start chanting "Two in a row! Two in a row!" He nails it again, more celebration, and then a third attempt. He nails it a third time, then takes the tee back to about the five-yard line. This is greeted with shouts of "No!" and "Come back!" and "It's a trap!" But he puts that kick through the uprights, and the end zone celebration from the Alumni Band is probably louder than what you would have heard if the Iowa kicker had nailed a field goal to win the national title.

      Yep. No sarcasm like large group sarcasm.

    • Adding to that, my best personal line came in the third quarter. Illinois had driven to our two yard line, and were threatening to score. On third down we sacked the quarterback for an eight yard loss. I turned to my friends and said "At least we moved them out of field goal range."

    • There's a post in the archives about a guy from band, a guy we can't stand. It's back in the Englert posts someplace, and it talks about how annoying this guy is to be around. Well, it wasn't any different this weekend. And as usual, a funny thing was said about him, though not by him. See, everytime we would make a joke, he would make the exact same joke about 30 seconds later. One of my friends turned to me and said "Is he on a tape delay?" I said "Yeah, it's in case he says something stupid" which caused my friend to reply "It isn't working."

    • We formed up at 7:00 on Saturday morning, which meant leaving the house around 6:30. Which meant leaving the house before I could find my Alumni Band baseball cap. This was unfortunate on a day with temps in the mid-80s and a high, hot sun. It was particularly unfortunate for a guy who got his head shaved two days previous. Fortunately, I was wise enough to wear shorts. It would have been damn near unbearable without that.

    • I didn't wear pink though. Someone had the bright idea that Hawk fans should wear pink to, you know, support the locker room. (See post below. Although techinically, the locker room is currently painted Dusty Rose, not pink. As one of my alumni friends pointed out, Dusty Rose sounds more like a stripper or a convict, or best of all, a convict stripper, than a color. But I digress.)

      There weren't many who did so. You could see a smattering of pink shirts here and there, but there wasn't more than 4-5% of the crowd that did. I saw some of them close up - they said things like "Get a Grip!" and "Don't Get Stuck On Stupid!" Real well thought out stuff.

      Here's the thing. If the most cogent argument you can muster about something is "Don't get stuck on stupid" or "Get a grip" or "Ram it up your cunt" (see comments to previous thread) then maybe, just maybe, your opponent is right. (Here's a further hint: "Ram it up your cunt" is not a good counter argument to the claim that something is hostile to women. Hard to believe, I know. But true.) If the person you're arguing against is truly wrong, you should be able to muster an argument using facts or informed opinion to counter them.

      Radical stuff, that.
    Anyway, that was my Homecoming weekend. On Iowa!

    Wednesday, September 28, 2005

    Yeah. I'm A Geek

    From the Comic Book Resources Forums: How would the Mighty Thor sing modern song hits. My favorite?

    Mine Milkshake brings all the young lads to the yard

    And they are known to say
    Tis better than yours
    Yea verily tis better than yours
    I can educate ye on it
    But I'd have to maketh thee pay

    Little Pink Locker Rooms For You And Me

    Kris at Random has a brilliant post about the pink locker room controversy. Well, controversy is probably too strong. Let’s call it the pink locker room contretemps.

    In brief, for my non-Iowa readers, when Hayden Fry came to rescue Iowa football from the wasteland, he painted the Kinnick Stadium visitor’s locker room pink. Fry, an old psychology major, reasoned that pink was a more soothing color and, to be completely fair, somewhat of an insulting color. He felt it would give the Hawks a slight advantage.

    The University is in the midst of a remodeling project for Kinnick. Part of it is finished, including the new locker rooms. The visitor’s locker room, and all facilities within, are a dull pink. Not so much because of a belief that it still gives the team a psychological edge, but as a nod to the legacy of Coach Fry.

    Recently, several University professors have complained that the use of the color pink is degrading to women, gays, and flamingoes. Sorry. To women and gays. There has been somewhat of a backlash to this opinion, including death threats. And that should catch you up to the point where Kris’s post, which you can and should read it its entirety here. (Another interesting discussion is available here at the Yin Blog.)

    There are just a couple of things I would like to add to this. First, I think I usually have a pretty good radar for these things, at least as good a radar as a straight middle-class middle-aged white guy can, and this never struck me as problematic. To be absolutely honest, it still doesn’t. I can see the point, but I don’t see it as being strong enough to warrant painting or redoing the locker room.

    Offensiveness lies on a continuum that runs from “This bothered you why?” on one end to “I can see why that gets to you” in the middle to “They said that in public?” on the other end. At the same time, offensiveness cannot be removed from the impact it causes and how many people feel that impact. The smaller the number of people who take offense to something, the more offensive that thing needs to be to warrant action. The message the pink locker room sends is too diffuse, too disparate, and too poorly felt to warrant the University acting on the concerns. If the quality of anyone’s life is being seriously impacted because the visitor’s locker room in Kinnick Stadium is a dull pink, then that person has far more important problems they need to be looking into.

    That doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have a right to have those concerns aired. I think Kris makes a perfect case for that, and as she points out, the ferocity of some of the responses highlights that underlying hostility towards women does still exist. But having a right to have your concerns aired doesn’t mean you have a right to have your concerns addressed.

    Sunday, September 25, 2005

    Poker Tourney Thoughts

    Nice: Getting pocket A's, going all in, getting called by two players pre-flop

    Nicer: When cards are revealed, having them show pocket 6s and pocket 8s respectively.

    Nicest: Having the flop come out A-K-A. Yep. I not only flopped four of a kind, I flopped four of a kind Aces.

    Watching Ethan Grow

    From the home office in North Liberty, Iowa, my Top 10 favorite things to hear an almost three-year-old say.

    • 10. Juice Box The sing-songy way he says it is so cute.

    • 9. That is mine! I never would have dreamed a child that young could say something with indignation, but he can.

    • 8. Spleen! Have you seen the new Nicktoon Catscratch? It's from that.

    • 7. Carry you I think this derives from being asked "Do you want me to carry you?" Used on those rare occasions when he wants to be carried someplace. It's sad for me to think those days are almost over.

    • 6. Again Used when he wants to do something over again, such as

    • 5. Rosies Ring around the rosies. His mother taught him it, and he loves it.

    • 4. That funny Used when something funny happens on TV.

    • 3. Silly Drew Used when his older brother does something to make him laugh.

    • 2. Daddy what doing? This one seems pretty self-explanatory. It's a recent addition, though.

    • 1. Daddy, Daddy, Daddy! He screams this when I come to pick him up at daycare everyday. He is so happy when he says it. It's nice to know my presence can bring such pure joy to him.

    Numbers Game

    Number of people attending Saturday's anti-war rally in DC: 100,000+

    Number of people attending Sunday's pro-war rally in DC: 400

    Source: Yahoo News

    Friday, September 23, 2005

    Fab Five Freddie Told Me Everybody's High

    Courtesy of Wheezy: The Rapture Index.

    I don’t believe in the rapture. I think the historical record is clear as to how Revelations should be interpreted. It’s not meant to be taken literally; indeed, the main argument against inclusion of Revelations was a concern that future generations would interpret the book literally. Isn’t that ironic? Don’t ya think?

    Anyway, I don’t believe in it. But I do like the idea of the day after the Rapture, as the Dobsons and the Robertsons of the world are struggling to explain why they got left behind. Man, do I like that idea.

    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    Stone Cold Bluffs

    You see it all the time in online play, particularly in tourneys. Someone wins the pot with a stone cold bluff, then shows their hand to let everyone know they won with a stone cold bluff.

    It's tough to blame then. It's a rush to win with a stone cold bluff, and you want people to know that you schooled them. But it's a bad idea. Because people who need to show that they won with a stone cold bluff fall in love with the stone cold bluff, and when you fall in love with the stone cold bluff, you've fallen in love with danger. Because sooner or later you will get called, and you will be gone.

    It's the same thing with small pocket pairs. People fall in love with pocket pairs of any sort, but for some reason known only to God and themselves, they bet heavy on small pocket pairs and, almost inevitably, lose. It's probably cause they won big with pocket 4s once, or pocket 2s. I understand that. I won a huge hand once with Q-7 Diamonds, and I always play it now if it doesn't cost too much to do so. But I shy away from small pocket pairs. Oh, I'll call the blinds to play pocket 7s and under, but I don't raise the big blind unless the pocket pair is at least 8s. (On the other hand, I just went all in and won with pocket 9s. And on the next hand eventually called an all in with pocket 10s and lost. Oh well.)

    I guess what I'm getting at is: The toughest decision you make in a hand is almost always your first decision. Some of those first decisions are easy - a 7-2 offsuit, for instance. Pocket As. sitting in the big blind with crap but it comes around to you and no one has done anything but call. But most of them aren't. They depend on so many factors. Your chipstack. Your position. The table image of the other players. What's happened in front of you. All these things come into play. At least they do for smart players.

    As Mike Sexton says, the key to poker is making good decisions. Now making good decisions doesn't mean you'll always win. But remember (switching games for an instant), hitters hit home runs all the time off good pitches. A home run doesn't necessarily mean the pitcher threw a bad pitch. But you have a better chance of winning if your pitcher is throwing good pitches, just as you have a better chance of winning at poker if you are making good decisions.

    I'm Bummed

    As many of you – check that, a couple of you – all right, probably just Matt – know, I write for a living. That’s me, Mr. Paid To Write Guy. Jealous, huh?

    Anyway, I’ve been working on a project for an unnamed department of the federal government, a department which begins with E and ends with ducation. This project is a follow-up on a project I did several years back, one which resulted in a document ignored by hundreds, if not thousands, of people in financial aid offices at colleges all around the country.

    The process works like this: I write something, the designer I’m working with does her artistic magic, we send it off for review, we get comments back, we incorporate those comments, we send it off again, we get more comments back and so on in a circle that guarantees several people have jobs for at least a couple of years. And before you start in on wasteful spending, one of those people is me. So shut it. Okay?

    Anyway, the latest round of comments involved the following phrase: “If one of these things happens”. The comment was “Shouldn’t that be happen?” See, they were thinking the “happens” applies to the word “things”, and if it did, “things happens” would be incorrect. So it wasn’t totally off base. But the “happens” applies to the word “one”, and you wouldn’t say “one happen”. You’d say “one happens”.

    We have a regular conference call on Thursdays to discuss comments. As we were thinking about the call, it was pointed out the best way to explain this particular point would be the old Sesame Street song “One of these things is not like the other”. You wouldn’t sing “One of these things are not like the other” just as you wouldn’t say “If one of these things happen”. I was so pumped up to sing the song, to break into “One of these things is not like the other” in the middle of our conference call, but when we pointed out that the original was correct, the client just said “Okay – you guys are the word people.”

    And now I’m bummed. Because how often do you have a justifiable reason for singing Sesame Street songs at work? That is, how often if you are not employed by the Children’s Television Workshop?

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005

    Some Songs For An Unbelievably Crappy Tuesday Evening

    (Note: Blogger wouldn't post this last night. I'm not quite at the same place I was when I did this, but I'll post it anyway. Just for the historical record, ya know?)

    I'll Be Okay - Amanda Marshall

    It's time to let you go
    It's time to say goodbye
    There's no more excuses
    No more tears to cry

    There's been so many changes
    I was so confused
    All along you were the one
    All the time I never knew

    I want you to be happy
    You're my best friend
    But it's so hard to let you go now
    All that could have been

    I'll always have the memories
    She'll always have you
    Fate has a way of changing
    Just when you don't want it to

    Throw away the chains
    Let love fly away
    Till love comes again
    I'll be okay

    Life passes so quickly
    You gotta take the time
    Or you'll miss what really matters
    You'll miss all the signs

    I've spent my life searching
    For what was always there
    Sometimes it will be too late
    Sometimes it won't be fair

    Throw away the chains
    Let love fly away
    Til love comes again
    I'll be okay

    I won't give up
    I won't give in
    I can't recreate what just might have been
    I know that my heart will find love again
    Now is the time to begin

    Throw away the chains
    Let love fly away
    Til love comes again
    I'll be okay

    Try and Love Again - Eagles

    When you're out there on your own
    Where only memories can find you
    Like a circle goes around
    You were lost until you found out
    What it all comes down to

    One by one
    The lonely feelings come
    Day by day,
    They slowly fade away

    Ooh, the look was in her eyes
    You never know what might be found there
    She was dancing right in time
    And the look she gave so fine
    Like the music that surrounds her

    Should I stay or go?
    I really want to know
    Will I lose or win
    If I try and love again?

    Oh, gonna try and love again
    Oh, I'm gonna try and love again

    Right or wrong, what's done is done
    It's only moments that we borrow
    But the thoughts will linger on
    Of the lady and her song
    When the sun comes up tomorrow

    Well, it might take years to see
    Through all these tears
    Don't let go
    When you find it you will know

    Oh, Gonna try and love again
    Oh, gonna try and love again

    Sometimes you lose,
    Sometimes you win,
    Sometimes you need a friend

    Gonna try, gonna try
    Gonna try, gonna try

    Cause We're From Iowa, IOWA

    Today’s blog motto comes from Episode 22 of Lost. In it we find that Kate was actually born and raised in Iowa, adding her to the list of fictional characters to come from our fair state. The line is spoken by her ex-boyfriend Tom, a doctor, as she and Tom go to dig up a time capsule they buried in when they were kids. Here it is in context:

    Tom: (Reaching into the car to grab a beer) You want a beer?

    Kate: You brought beer?

    Tom: No self-respecting man in Iowa goes anywhere without beer.

    It’s not a bad Iowa depiction, as far as these things go. The state trooper uniforms look like Iowa State Trooper uniforms. (The trooper cars are a navy blue, though, which doesn’t cut it.) There are Iowa license plates on all the cars. The most glaring thing, though are the longhorn cattle walking by in the scene where they dig up the time capsule. Now I’m not saying there are no longhorn cattle in Iowa, but you would have to look hard to find them. It would have been better just to leave the cattle out.

    On the other hand, it’s a far better depiction of Iowa than what came in last season’s 24. Sorry folks. No mountains here.

    Monday, September 19, 2005

    The Thing About Bifocals Is

    Things get blurry if you aren’t looking at them directly. I’m sure the sign on the elementary school said “Give Your Pennies To Hurricane Katrina Victims”, but at first glance out of the corner of my eye it looked like they wanted me to give something a lot more personal and, quite frankly, I’m not through with mine yet.

    Although depending on which Hurricane Katrina victim they wanted me to give it to, and with the caveat that it stays attached...


    Friday, September 16, 2005

    This Isn’t Funny, But

    Grizzly Bear, Seeking Pic-A-Nic Baskets, Attacks Two In Yellowstone Park. Film at eleven, story at Yahoo.

    A grizzly bear attacked two hikers in Yellowstone National Park, but the men escaped serious injury, the National Park Service said Thursday.

    Pat McDonald, 52, of Bismarck, N.D., and Gerald Holzer, 51, of Northfield, Minn., were hiking on a trail near Shoshone Lake in the park's southern section Wednesday when they noticed fresh bear scat, officials said in a written statement.

    They decided to continue, but were charged by a grizzly bear "at full stride" about a quarter-mile further along the trail, the release said.

    Holzer, who was in front, sidestepped the bear. McDonald stepped behind some trees and dropped to the ground, officials said. The bear ran past him, but returned and swatted at him, then turned to Holzer, who had dropped to the ground and was lying on his stomach.

    The bear jumped on Holzer's back, swatted at him, then retreated briefly. During that time, McDonald retrieved the bear spray strapped to his waist and doused the bear in the face when it returned and starting biting his leg. The bear then ran off, officials said.

    The two men hiked 4 miles to the trailhead and drove to the clinic at Old Faithful for treatment.

    McDonald suffered a puncture wound to his leg. Holzer was not injured, and officials said his backpack protected him during the attack.

    How many news stories do you see that get to use the phrase “fresh bear scat”? And yes, I do shudder to think what sort of people those words might bring to the blog.

    “Let’s see what I get if I google fresh+bear+scat. Corn O’What?”

    And doesn’t that fight with the bear sound like something from a Python skit?

    So Sharon, Re Fox Good Day Iowa

    Eadie Fawcett and Craig Johnson? What, couldn’t they find Dave Towne? Did Pete Seyfert leave the area? Did the corpse of Conrad Johnson turn them down?

    (Note to non-Iowans: Sharon works for the local Fox affiliate in my minor media market. Eadie Fawcett and Craig Johnson are a retired newscaster and a retired weatherman who have been signed on to host a new morning broadcast on said Fox affiliate. The other three people I named are a retired weatherman, a retired newscaster, and a dead weatherman. There. You’re all caught up.)

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Poker? I barely know her!

    I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Dweeze, played any online poker lately?” Here’s my response to that.

    “What do you mean by that, asshat? Fuck you and your fucking accusations!”

    Sorry, acid flashback.

    Anyway, yes, last night I entered the Full Tilt 2,500 chip tourney. It used to be the 9:00 tourney, but Full Tilt has moved it to 10:10 CST because they hate everyone in the central and eastern time zones. Fuckers.

    But I digress.

    I didn’t start out well. In fact, I was down to about 300 in chips by the end of the first half hour and I was hanging onto my tournament life by a thread. That’s when my fortunes changed. First, I tripled up, bringing me to just under 1,000. In short order I doubled up two more times, won a couple of other good pots, and found myself as the chip leader at my table. I was playing in streaks – I’d go seven or eight hands without a hand to play and then seven or eight with playable hands. It stayed that way through the first break, through the next hour, and on up to just before the second break. In the meantime the bubble had come and gone and I found myself in the money. Well, not the money. But in the chips.

    In the last hand before the second break I found myself with about 25,000 in chips. I got dealt A-K offsuit. I bet double the big blind, got called by one player, and raised by another. I called him, as did the person who had called me. The flop comes 4-Q-J rainbow. I check, as does the guy who just called, and the guy who raised goes all in for about 15,000 in chips. After hesitating for a bit, I call. So does the third guy. I’ve still got chips left if I lose, but if I win the other two are gone. I show my A-K, the raiser shows pocket Js for a set, and the other guy has pocket 9s. I have no idea what he was thinking. So we brace for the turn, my only hope being the 10 for the straight, cause even if I go A-A to get a set of As or K-K to get a set of Ks the guy with the set of Js gets a full-house. The turn is the 10, the river is harmless, and I knock out two people and take a 50k pot. Add that to my chips and I’m sitting nicely at just over 60k in chips.

    It got better from there before it got worse. I remained right around 60k for the next hour, sometimes going up a little, sometimes going down, never straying far from the 60k mark. That changed shortly into the fourth hour. The chip leader at our table had about 100k in chips. I get dealt A-J. The chip leader raises the big blind, and everyone scrambles but me. I call. The flop goes A-3-4. He raises twice the big blind and I call. The turn is a 7. He checks and I go all in. I figure we both have an A. My J makes a decent kicker. I figure if he had a better kicker, or if he had matched the board earlier, he would have bet higher. He calls, shows A-10. I show my A-J. The only thing that hurts me is a 10 on the river. But it’s not a 10. It’s another 4, and I win.

    And now I’m sitting pretty. I check the tourney info, and I’m in 5th place overall with over 120K in chips. There are only 30 people left in the tourney, and I have a pretty clear path to the final table – bet smart, don’t get too aggressive, and I’m in.

    The next hand I lose 65K.

    Here’s how it started. I get dealt A-K clubs. One person bets pre-flop, raising twice the big blind. I’m the only one who calls. The flop goes Qc-Jc-6d. The other player goes all in. It’s 60k to call.

    Now scroll back up. This is almost the mirror image of the earlier hand, the hand that started me off to a good tourney. The difference? This is a better hand. Not only do I have the straight draw, I also have the flush draw. Even better – I have a straight flush draw. So I call. How could I muck? As far as this tourney is concerned, this is my lucky hand.

    He shows pocket Js, for a set of Js. The hand my opponent had in that earlier hand. Again, another omen that this was my hand.

    Now, if you play a lot of online poker, you see a lot of things you never expect to see. It’s inevitable. The more hands you see, the more the odds work in your favor of seeing unexpected stuff. Once, I got both four of a kind and a straight flush not only in the same tournament, but within four hands of each other. In another tournament I was part of a deal where one player got pocket As, one player got pocket Ks, and another player got pocket Qs. Hell, earlier in this hand I had a streak where I got dealt pocket 6s on three consecutive hands. (Won with all three of them.) So while it is unusual to say the least that this almost mirror hand happened, it’s not unheard of. Still, it’s unique enough to suggest to me that it was a good omen. I mean, look at all the fricking outs I had. Any club gives me the nut flush. Any 10 gives me the straight. A 10c gives me the straight flush.

    I don’t remember what the turn and river were – I’ve blocked it – but suffice it to say it contained neither a club or a 10.

    So with that I was down to 60k. If I were smart, I would have mucked a few hands before playing any. But I kept getting good cards. Unfortunately, others got better. Finally, I was down to about 9k in chips when I got dealt K-J suited. I was short stack for the tourney, and figured that was as good a place to make my stand as any. The blinds were 1,000-2,000, the ante 200, and I would be blinded out in short order anyway. So I went all in. Unfortunately, the player who called me had pocket Ks. It played out as expected, and I finished in 20th place.

    Not a bad night though. Really. I mean that.

    Coming Soon, For Your Reading Pleasure

    Two new endeavors - What's So Amazing? and Survive This. Check 'em out starting, oh, say early next week.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Fake Motivational Posters, Baseball Style

    Two Cincinnati Reds bloggers, Red Hot Mama and Reds and Blues, got together and made fake motivational posters for every major league club. Here are a couple - be sure to go see all of them.

    Link via Bellyitcher

    Monday, September 12, 2005


    This is all I want to say about my football weekend. It will be a nice counterpart to Landru’s very lengthy post about his football weekend.

    My favorite pro team and my favorite college team combined scored fewer points than nine baseball teams scored yesterday.

    And that’s completely ignoring the fact that I went 1-3 in fantasy football games this weekend.

    Thoughts On The Tube

    No, not the tube. Or the Tubes (Don't touch me there!). The Tube. A new music video channel. The thing is, we don’t technically have it. I stumbled across it while working through the channels one night. What do they play? Take it away, press release!

    In a vast departure from the way music has traditionally been presented on television, The Tube features a bold fusion of music that crosses multiple formats and spans several time frames. The Tube delves into the music video archives for classic videos from artists such as Duran Duran, The Eurythmics, Peter Gabriel, INXS and Talking Heads and features them alongside just-released promotional videos by current artists including Norah Jones, Dave Matthews, Joss Stone, Jet, John Mayer and Los Lonely Boys.The Tube features catalog artists such as Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Bob Marley and The Rolling Stones prominently, and provides a forum for new tracks from favorite artists such as Elvis Costello and The Eagles. Live concerts on DVD from acts including The Red Hot Chili Peppers, ColdPlay and U2 also contribute a significant portion of programming.Further differentiating The Tube is the undercurrent of purity that pervades every aspect of the channel. The images and channel promos that round out more than 50 minutes of music every hour contribute a distinct look and feel to the channel without detracting from the music.

    That’s right – over 50 minutes of music every hour. They play nothing but music videos. What an idea! A music video channel that plays music videos! What will they think of next?

    Anyway, here are some thoughts on videos I have seen – you guess the video and artist.

    1. Dave Coulier? No shit? Wow.

    2. If you’re looking for a girl to be a crazy woman in your video, you can do far worse than Juliette Lewis.

    3. And if you’re looking for a slinky, sexy woman, you can do far worse than Heather Graham.

    4. The only artist I can thing of other than Frampton to use that funky “talking guitar” sound in a song, this video is a concert video from an artist that I can’t believe is still doing solo contests (and that I can’t believe could get that many people to a concert).

    That’s enough for now – that last one is a doozy.

    More Reading

    Chilling story in Newsweek. If you've started to suffer from outrage fatigue, read this. Here is a sample:

    The reality, say several aides who did not wish to be quoted because it might displease the president, did not really sink in until Thursday night. Some White House staffers were watching the evening news and thought the president needed to see the horrific reports coming out of New Orleans. Counselor Bartlett made up a DVD of the newscasts so Bush could see them in their entirety as he flew down to the Gulf Coast the next morning on Air Force One.

    How this could be—how the president of the United States could have even less "situational awareness," as they say in the military, than the average American about the worst natural disaster in a century—is one of the more perplexing and troubling chapters in a story that, despite moments of heroism and acts of great generosity, ranks as a national disgrace.

    President George W. Bush has always trusted his gut. He prides himself in ignoring the distracting chatter, the caterwauling of the media elites, the Washington political buzz machine. He has boasted that he doesn't read the papers. His doggedness is often admirable. It is easy for presidents to overreact to the noise around them.

    But it is not clear what President Bush does read or watch, aside from the occasional biography and an hour or two of ESPN here and there. Bush can be petulant about dissent; he equates disagreement with disloyalty. After five years in office, he is surrounded largely by people who agree with him. Bush can ask tough questions, but it's mostly a one-way street. Most presidents keep a devil's advocate around. Lyndon Johnson had George Ball on Vietnam; President Ronald Reagan and Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, grudgingly listened to the arguments of Budget Director Richard Darman, who told them what they didn't wish to hear: that they would have to raise taxes. When Hurricane Katrina struck, it appears there was no one to tell President Bush the plain truth: that the state and local governments had been overwhelmed, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was not up to the job and that the military, the only institution with the resources to cope, couldn't act without a declaration from the president overriding all other authority.

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Required Reading

    Some great Katrina-related posts at No Quarter, the blog of retired CIA-officer Larry Johnson.

    And on a lighter note, W's Katrina Thought Process, courtesy of the Progressive Programmer. (Click to enlarge.) (The picture.)

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    A Serious Aside

    "The responsibility for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate. It is in fact, the prime object for which governments come into existence." Winston Churchill

    Over at that other place, a thread got started called WTF which quickly denigrated into a discussion of things evacuatees from NO have said. Things like “People are complaining that their pizza is cold or people are refusing to be evacuated to cruise ships in Galveston or the cops in NO are cowards.” Me? My personal WTF list would primarily be made up of comments from this thread.

    I haven’t posted on this until now because I’m angry. Fuck I’m angry. I’m angry at the President, whose policies beforehand and dithering afterwards cost many American lives. I’m angry at his legion of apologists, those enablers who try to hide the dripping blood on their hands by dancing around the issues. I’m angry at those who make incredibly repugnant statements and then try to back away with passive-aggressive dissembling because they didn’t mean anything by it. I’m angry at those who think they can put the experiences of these people into a frame of reference from their own experience.

    The situation these people have experienced is unlike anything anyone on this thread has ever experienced. It is as beyond the personal experience of most people posting here as talking about living on Mars would be. I AM NOT GOING TO JUDGE SOMEONE WHO COMPLAINS THAT THEIR PIZZA ISN’T HOT ENOUGH OR WHO DOESN’T WANT TO GO TO GALVESTON BECAUSE I CANNOT, AND I HOPE TO GOD I WILL NOT EVER BE ABLE TO, BEGIN TO IMAGINE WHAT THEY HAVE GONE THROUGH IN THE LAST FEW DAYS.

    (And I’m not even going to begin to comment on calling police officers cowards, except to say that the firemen and police officers who ran into those collapsing towers didn’t have to keep running into the collapsing towers for five days straight. For the most part, they didn’t have to worry if their family members were alive or dead. It makes a big difference.)

    Now here’s the part where the apologists jump up at say “You can’t imagine what the President is going through either!” And I can’t. But I don’t have to be able to do that to criticize him, to judge him. The President is elected precisely to handle events such as this. That applies to any President – but with Bush, the bar is raised higher still because his whole 2004 campaign was based on the theme “Bush will keep you safer than the other guy.” That is the standard he asked to be judged by, and it is the standard to which he should be held.

    Because this isn’t just about what happened last week. This is about the systematic gutting of the federal agency responsible for emergency management. A systematic gutting that took place AFTER a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil showed us the importance of emergency management. A systematic gutting that took place after we were faced with the reality that someday we might have to evacuate a major American city. The blame game isn’t about getting Bush – it’s about accountability.

    The following is from Cunning Realist.

    This is why what happened was a fundamental betrayal that transcends spin and political ideology. For as much as they suffered, those people in New Orleans were not the only ones who were failed. This was a betrayal of every citizen who goes to work and pays taxes to assure that if this tragedy befell him, the federal government would uphold its part of the bargain. It's incumbent on each of us to react as if this happened to our friends, our parents, our children, or us. Because one day that might be the case, and by then it will be too late to demand accountability.

    The response to Katrina should have shown conservatism at its best. Those calling themselves conservatives who disagree with this need to explain exactly what they think the federal government should do and why it should exist at all. I happen to think it should not do much more than field a strong military, defend the borders, collect taxes, maintain national infrastructure, enforce laws that are beyond the purview of the states, and respond to historic disasters such as this. But for God's sake, it must do those things competently and not embrace an almost Soviet type of failing-upwards cronyism. The most senior federal officials learning from television reports about thousands of people trapped and dying for days in a single place is not competence.

    I’ll pull one sentence out for those who say it is inappropriate to be playing the blame game. I’ll also (mostly) ignore the fact that for people who are supposedly so high on accepting personal responsibility, you sure are reluctant to assign blame. (Or is personal responsibility only for those less fortunate than you?)

    Because one day that might be the case, and by then it will be too late to demand accountability.

    What happens if another hurricane forms in the next few weeks and hits hard? What happens if our enemies choose this moment when our forces are stretched to the breaking point and our response ability is in disarray to attack us? The first inquiry into the bombing at Pearl Harbor was launched TWO DAYS after the attack. It was launched because we realized we needed to know what went wrong to prevent it from going wrong again. The same is true here. Blame must be focused now, because if it isn't, those who deserve it will do all they can to escape it's grasp. It's not always true, but those who say "let's not play the blame game" are usually doing so because they know they are the ones to blame.

    And that’s about as far as I can go right now without the anger taking over completely.

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    So Sue Me

    I'm not a big fan of the color blue.

    New Blog Motto Up

    In honor of those responsible for me having four teleconferences today.

    Thursday, September 01, 2005


    I'm 46 today. So what.

    Tuesday, August 30, 2005

    Dog Days

    How much do you hate your dog if you are willing to do this to him? And is this really appropriate for a Weimaraner or a Dachsund? And isn't there something a little too self-referential about a dog in a Goofy costume?

    Is This Really A Shock?

    A Yahoo article on looting in News Orleans contains these lines:

    Denise Bollinger, a tourist from Philadelphia, stood outside and snapped pictures in amazement.

    "It's downtown Baghdad," the housewife said. "It's insane. I've wanted to come here for 10 years. I thought this was a sophisticated city. I guess not."

    Uhm, Denise? This is a city where women regularly flash their breastesses for beads. I don’t think sophisticated is quite the word you were looking for.

    Some New Links

    For the comic geeks.

    Okay, just for me. But still...

    Tuesday, August 23, 2005

    A Vertiable Cornucopia of Corn O'Copia

    I figured I better put something new up here before the natives got restless again. So voila! A new post.

    A new crap post.

    A new crap post because I don’t want to say anything.

    The thing is, I don’t know if you would consider it a case of writer’s block. I have things I want to say. I just lack the motivation to say them.

    I compose posts in my mind – in the shower, mowing the lawn, driving. But when I sit down to write, they’re gone. Instead, all I’ve been doing is leaving comments on much better blogs than this. Perhaps you’ve seen some.

    (Of course, that makes me sound like Troy McClure. “Hi! You may remember me from such comments sections as Kung Fu Monkey, The Poor Man, and You Are My Minions.)

    So maybe – maybe – if I throw some things together, I can get a decent post out of it. And then one step at a time I’ll be back to regular postings. It’s worth a shot.

    Random shoutout time – Good luck devil boy on the upcoming “procedure”. Remember – you’re not losing the functionality of a vital body part, you’re gaining whatever you budget each month for protection.

    Watched Sin City last night. I liked it, but I kept thinking back to the source material. There was a cheesiness to the movie that wasn’t in the comics. I don’t think it was there intentionally, mind you. But when you are trying to transplant comics panels to the screen, you have to fill in the spaces between the panels, and that, for me, is where the cheesiness occasionally crept in. For instances, when Marv jumps feet first threw the windshield of the cop car. That is a great visual, in both the comics and the film. But the comic doesn’t have to show him leaping and in mid air and hitting the car. The movie does, and it didn’t work for me. Pity, cause I wanted to love this movie and instead just liked it. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, but still a touch of a disappointment. I mean, when you finish watching a movie adaptation of anything and your first thought is “I want to go reread the original again” hasn’t the movie failed on some level?

    The new Nickel Creek cd is also somewhat disappointing. To me, the last two releases just haven’t lived up to the promise of the first two cds. Some good songs, though, and Chris Thile’s voice is marvelous.

    No such qualms about the latest Brad Paisley.

    Although it's fantasy football time again, I will not bore you with details of my various fantasy teams. I have four. Likewise, I will not bore you with details of my golf outing on Saturday. I already hit the self-indulgence border with my poker tales; I'm not going to scream and run and leap over the border with fantasy football or golf stories.

    School started yesterday. You would think it would get at least marginally easier to drop a second grader off than it is to drop a first grader or a kindergartener. And you would be right. But it’s still tough.

    It’s funny. Even if you didn’t know which group of kids was which, if you’d been around kids much, you could probably figure it out. And it’s easy to pick out the parents of kindergarteners. They’re the ones with several cameras and the ones who look the saddest. Their kids are dressed better than the kids in the older grades, and they look more nervous than the other kids as well.

    One last school thought – or at least, one last second grader thought. Last Thursday was the back to school ice cream social. Drew didn’t want to go at first. I said that was okay, but told him to tell me if he decided he wanted to go. He asked if I thought Corinne would be there. Corinne used to live by us, and was in his class in kindergarten and first grade. She is, according to Drew, his girlfriend. So I said she might be there, and we would only find out if we went. So we went.

    There were a lot of people there. We found his room, and in checking the class list saw that none of his good friends, including Corinne, were in the same class. We also looked around everywhere for Corinne, but couldn’t find her. So we left the building, got some ice cream, ate it, and started walking to the car.

    Which is when we saw Corinne and her mother coming towards us. Drew jumped up and down excitedly, Corinne jumped around excitedly, and when they were finally face to face they

    did and said nothing.


    Even though he had talked all night about Corinne. Even though ever since he got back from spending the summer at his dad’s he had talked about seeing Corinne. Even though Corinne usually runs up and hugs him when she sees him. They said and did nothing.


    So Corinne’s mom and I made small talk for a bit, then we all went our merry ways. And after we got in the car, Drew could talk about nothing but how great it was to see Corinne.

    So it’s nice to see that the opposite sex can even paralyze a second grader.

    Well, that’s it. I’ve primed the pump, and now…

    Heh. Heh. I said primed the pump….

    Wednesday, August 17, 2005

    So, Last Night

    I made it to the final table of the 9:00 tournament at Full Tilt. Of the 900 people who started, I made it to the final nine.

    And I made it in pretty good shape, too. There were four people with over 200,000 in chips. There were four people with under 60,000 in chips. And there was me with about 120,000 in chips. A nice, solid fifth place.

    I was really happy with my play the whole night. I was aggressive, but not too aggressive. I folded some winners, and played out some losers, but overall I was really happy with my selection. There are only two hands along the way to the final table that stand out as hands I should have done differently. In the first, I mucked aQ-6 offsuit in the small blind. I was tempted to play it, but the guy in the big blind had been raising pre-flop all night, and while I thought it was worth half the big blind to call, I didn't want to call only to have him raise. Of course, the flop went 6-Q-3, the turn another 6, and I would have picked up a nice pot. The other hand I called an all-in I shouldn't have called. In that hand the river gave me a straight, but it also was the third diamond to show on the board. I thought there was a chance that the guy who went all in had the flush, but considering how the betting had gone, I decided that he wouldn't have hung in with just a flush draw. But he had. That one cost me 30,000 in chips.

    But those didn't matter, because I made the final table. The final table!

    One hand at the final table. Sheesh.

    The blinds were 2,000/4,000 with a 1,000 ante. I get dealt Q-10 clubs in the big blind. Three people call the blind, the small blind also calls, and I check. So, before the flop, there is 29,000 in the pot.

    The flop goes 2-10-3. I've got top pair, and not a bad kicker. The small blind checks and I bet the pot. One player calls - he's at around 300,000 in chips - the others muck. The turn is another 2. I go all in - about 90,000 in chips.

    This is the stupidest thing I've done all night in four hours of tournament play. I can't justify it at all, no matter how hard I try. At the time I figured that even if he had a 10 himself, he wouldn't call. The all-in after the 2 would have said to me that I made a set. And it took him a long time to call. A long time. You are on a clock at Full Tilt, and your avatar starts to blink as a warning that your time to act is ending. His avatar was blinking, and time had almost run out when he called.

    And showed pocket Ks.

    So there he is with two pair, Ks over 2s. And there I am with two pair, 10s over 2s. The only card that helps me is another 10. Did I get it? Of course not. To add insult to injury, the river is a third K.


    But I made the final table!

    Tuesday, August 16, 2005

    Random Funnies

    Some funny stuff courtesy of various blogs. From the Poor Man we have badgers and these interviews with various action figures. From Cardnilly we have this listing of Major League Baseball Teams and Simpson characters. (Hint. The Yankees are Mr. Burns.)

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    Linkage Tweakage

    I've done some linkage tweakage. If you'll notice in the daily reading section, I've removed the links to the big time blogs - Kos, Atrios, Tbogg, TPM. I figure anyone who is remotely interested in those already knows about them. I've replaced them with a bunch of people who are less well known, but who should be better known. I don't agree with all of them, but I read and respect the opinions of all of them, and I think you should too. Especially Kung Fu Monkey. There are a lot of people who consider themselves writers here, so you particularly should be reading Kung Fu Monkey. I'll make it easy. Here is a post where he indexes all of his posts. Scroll down to the section headed writing, and start working through them. You'll thank me later. And here are two funnies from Kung Fu Monkey - Lost: "You Uncurious Motherf*ckers" and Top Ten John Wayne Movies That Could Also Be Porn Titles. And for Wheezy and Kimmah, here's a post titled I Miss Republicans.

    In case you hadn't noticed, I really like Kung Fu Monkey.

    I've beefed up the baseball links, added a section of spoiler and comic book links. I don't have a full section of OT links because, well, Goth does such a great job of capturing them, though I have a couple he doesn't have. But if you aren't there it isn't personal, it's just that I don't want a list of links that goes all the way down the page. Plus, I hate you.

    So there. Linkage Tweakage.

    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    You Don't Care But

    Chris "Jesus" Ferguson is entered in tonight's 2,500-150 chip tournament at Full Tilt. I'm not too surprised - he is one of the founders of Full Tilt. I looked around, and he's playing at a couple of the cash tables and entered in a couple of the cash tournaments. I hope I end up at a table with him - it would be nice to win a hand against one of the world's greatest poker players. Hell, it would be nice to get knocked out of the tourney by one of the world's greatest poker players.

    It must be pro night at Full Tilt. Clonie Gowen, one of the top female players and another Full Tilt founder, is entered in one of the cash tourneys. Even her avatar is hot.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    So Now I Am In Blue

    Except for that at the top of the page. Anyone figure out where I need to put a #0038A8 in to change that?

    (Thanks Pantone conversion chart!)

    UPDATE: Figured out how to get the top blue by myself. Now having trouble with the little bar that separates the top from the body.

    Of the blog.

    UPDATE THE SECOND: Thanks to the incomparable Toots for showing me how to remove the gif bar. So what do you folks thing of the new look?

    Okay, This Is Cool

    Nice to know you can do this in blogger - so much easier than posting pictures other ways.

    Also cool? PostSecret...

    I wonder if you can post two pictures at once though.

    Yes. Yes you can.

    Thanks to incomparable Toots for the tips and the incomparable Ice Cat for the pictures.

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    I Just Realized

    How much the green color on this blog looks like the color of the water that comes out of the pool backflush after cleaning the pool.

    Perhaps it is time to look for another template...

    Did We Really Need This Headline

    The front page of Yahoo news proclaims:

    NASA Relieved After Discovery Lands Safely

    Shouldn’t that have been a given? Wouldn't "NASA Loses Billions Betting On Astronaut Fireworks" have been more newsworthy?

    On the plus side, the article contains several uses of the phrase “Smooth re-entry”. Here's how you use it properly:

    "Hey baby, if you let me land my shuttle, I promise a smooth re-entry..."

    Please Tell Me I'm Not The Only One

    Whose first thought, upon seeing a bag of home-grown cucumbers in the break room with a sign on them that said "Help Yourself - Enjoy!", was extremely rude.

    Thursday, August 04, 2005

    Corn O'Copia is your safe place in an unsafe world!

    New blog slogan courtesy of the Sloganizer. It was either that or "Halleluja, it's a Dweeze."


    I’m going to pimp Kung Fu Monkey again, or at least this post from yesterday regarding Bush’s support for Intelligent Design. Read it. Any post that includes the following sentences

    If you don't understand that there's absolutely no contradiction between believing in God and evolution, then frankly I'm not going to waste the time trying to jam a rhetorical screwdriver into your pineal gland's butterfly valve and crank up the air flow.


    Never mind voting Democrat: if my choice were between these cowards who would turn back the Enlightenment and anal-probing yet intellectually honest Martians, I would grit my teeth, vote for the Martians and learn to visualize my Happy Place during my Probe-Center appointments.

    shouldn’t be missed. Here are a few more key graffs. But please. Read the whole thing.

    Am I reading too much into this statement? Am I making too big a deal of this? In one word, fuckno. This is just a symptom of what is, to me, the most destructive thing to occur in America in twenty years.

    Even if your kids aren't directly taught ID or aren't in one of the new Bible Class districts, the overarching cultural damage has already been done. Through this group of RadicalRighties' constant rhetoric, they consistently strip away the idea that there is indeed a rigorous scientific process through which certain non-negotiable physical truths can be ascertained. They have suffused the county with with an intellectual laziness and a terrifying narcissism. Opinion has been enshrined as superior to fact. No longer need a person take into account the way the world works when forming their worldview -- they can instead hunt down "facts" and "theories" which support their own comfort zone, and what's worse, we can NO LONGER CALL BULLSHIT. Because if our leaders -- pardon me, your leaders -- don't call bullshit, who will? They have undermined the very process by which we know WHEN to call bullshit!

    . . .

    Look my conservative pals, we have our agreements and disagreements but on this one, you've got to just take the hit. Don't ever look me in the eye again and try to play the cynicism-dressed-as-realism card again. Seriously. There's no high ground left here whatsoever. The ultimate representative of your political party, standing on the limitless future's shrouded shores, has decided he needs no compass, no maps, no guides, no stars with which to plot his course. Just a shrug and a chuckle before he casts off, eyes closed, into the darkness.

    You wouldn't trust your children to an airplane pilot who did that, or a Scoutmaster. If your doctor said "You know what, we're going to blow off all the currently available research and treat your child's cancer with a completely untested, never scientifically proven bit of guesswork which, however, reinforces my world-view. Because what does science really know?" you'd be pulling out of the parking lot before he finished the sentence. But when it's public policy, it's OKAY?

    Sure, it's just my opinion. But this is bigger than budgets, or how to fight wars, or how to manage our environment or resources, because where we stand on facts, reason, science, that informs every other decision we make in all those fields and every other. This is what determines whether societies live or die.

    Again, our motto at Kung Fu Monkey: "Everybody who wants to live in the 21st century over here. Everybody who wants to live in the 1800's over there. Good. Thanks. Good luck with that."

    News Updates

    No body in the pool. Oh well. So much for the stuff of cheap mystery novels.

    In other Iowa news, a cow that was suspected of having mad cow disease was cleared. According to the researchers who did the testing, the cow was "not mad - just a little peeved".

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Are You Reading

    Alien Loves Predator? You should be. Kung Fu Monkey (who you also should be reading - check out this and this from yesterday on writng in general and screenwriting in particular as a profession) says it "captures the real spirit of living in New York better than every episode of Seinfeld.Ever.Combined." It won’t take long to go through the archive, and it's well worth it.

    Tuesday, August 02, 2005

    Body Heat

    There’s a story out of Dubuque today concerning the destruction of an area motel, specifically the motel pool. Apparently, the pool has long been rumored to be the final resting place of a young woman who disappeared in the early 70s. The woman was last seen walking out of a bar on her way to a party in the company of two men. Her path would have led her past the motel, which was then under construction. She was never seen again, and in the late 70s rumors began spreading that she was buried under the pool. Now the motel is closed and being torn down so a bigger, fancier hotel can be built on the spot. The pool is being taken out today, and Dubuque police are going to be onsite in case a body is discovered.

    I suppose it will be somewhat interesting if they find her body. But you know what would be really cool? If they found the bodies of two men, the men she was supposedly walking with. That, my friends, would be a great first chapter to a mystery novel.

    UPDATE: They are digging today. Don't know if there was a change in plans or the radio story I heard yesterday was wrong.

    Sunday, July 31, 2005

    Random TV Thoughts

    Do you suppose Iron Chef Morimoto wanted to slug that smug woman on Iron Chef America who just complained that his sashimi wasn't "traditional" enough? "I had to hear that carp every week on the old show, which by the way was tons better than this one, and now I have to hear it from you Ms. Whitebread? Asshat."

    Lee Iacocca? Does Chrysler really think the answer to their flagging car sales is reanimating his corpse and throwing it on TV? Who the fuck is their target audience - folks jonesing for a "Murder She Wrote-Matlock" reunion special?

    And while we're at it, did Jason Alexander lose a bet with someone? I can't believe he's co-starring with Lee in one of those Chrysler commercials for the money - his grandkids' grandkids will be living off the Seinfeld cash. No, there's either a wager or photos involved.

    Finally, are car manufacturer's really incapable of getting one idea out of the industry at a time? First it was zero financing, now it's the "employee discount for everyone". And no, adding special bonus cash back to the employee discount for everyone does not radically alter the sameness of the deal. Maybe we need to spend a little more on the promotions budget so we are leading, not following, Mmmkay?

    Well, that's all for now - back to playing poker.

    Thursday, July 28, 2005

    Live Tourney Blogging

    So I'm playing in the 2,500-150 chip tourney at Full-Tilt and I says to myself, "Self, let's live blog!" So I am.

    I'm sitting pretty nicely at the moment - we're 20 minutesinto the tourney and I'm at number 21 out of the original 900 (350 of whom have already exited). How did I get here you ask?

    The first big move for me came on the eighth hand - I was dealt As-3s. I called the big blind, as did two other people. The flop went 4s-5s-Ac. The first person to act went all in. The next person folded, and I called. The first person showed 2c-3h for a straight. I figure odds aren't bad of me hitting the fifth spade for the flush. The turn is 9s, giving me the flush and the win. To add insult to injury, the flop is 2s, giving me the straight flush.

    The next big hand for me is hand 17. For some reason, I call the big blind on a 9d-7d. Three of us stay to see the flop. One of the other two is the chip leader. The flop comes up 7s-8h-8c. Someone bets 100, two of us call. The turn comes up 7c. I've now got a full boat. The first person checks. I go all in. The third person mucks, the first person calls. I show my 9d-7d, he shows 8d-Qs. I'm dead. The only card that can help me is the fourth seven, the seven of hearts. Guess what comes up? The seven of hearts. In the course of eleven hands I've had four of a kind and a straight flush. As for the chip leader? He went on tilt and was out of the tourney in three more hands.

    Okay, we're now just 20 minutes before the first break. I've still go about 5k in chips, but I've dropped to 79th overall. Haven't won a hand since the four of a kind. I knew that the straight flush and the four of a kind would cut into my available luck, didn't know it would be this soon. And now pocket eights. Some idiot goes 250 as an opening bet. I call, but then much after the flop when he goes all in. He gets called, and shows only an A-J. Beat me, I guess, but still. Pretty stupid. I hate low to medium pocket pairs. My next hand is 4-4, I bet to the flop, then muck again.

    Finally, another winner! I'm in the big blind and get dealt 2h-3h. Five people call the blind, but no one raises. The flop goes 3-4-3. I bet the pot, everyone drops. Whoo Hoo! But another few hands later I'm down to 2k in chips when I go all in with two pair, Qs and 3s. I get called, win, and now I'm at 4k. I win two of the next three, winning about 8k in chips, and at the first break I am at 11,827 chips.

    Time for a snack!

    A total of 628 people went out before the first break. There are 272 remaining. The top 90 will get paid back. The overall chip leader has 19,890 chips. I am in 20th place as we resume play.


    Misfortune - went from 12k to 2k in two hands. Don't really want to talk about it, but let's say my two pair, Ks and Qs, looked damn good. Not sure why the guy I lost to hung in with pocket threes, but he caught a set on the river. That was the biggie.

    I'm back up to 3k now. Trying to hold on to make the bubble. Now up to 4k. Can I get back to the top? No, I'm sure not. But I'm going down trying.

    Going to post this now. I'll update later.


    Okay, I'll admit. The blogging weenied out because I was doing poorly. But I just quadripled up back to 9k, 50th place, and I'm feeling good again. I was worried after so many called my all in on Ad-Jd, and really worried when three hearts flopped, but I took the hand anyway. Yay me!

    Just got sent to a new table. Been at my original table for almost 110 minutes. Longest I've gone without getting shuffled. My first hand there I call the blinds with a 6-10 suited. The short stack goes all in, two of us call, and I flop a straight. Back over 10k in chips again. Seven minutes to the next break, and ten more people to go until we hit the top 90. If past tourneys are any indication, the pace will slow now as people don't want to go out this close to the bubble. Once the bubble hits, people will drop like flies. They made the money, and they don't care. But right now, everyone is playing tight. If I make the money, and I should, it will be the third time this week.

    Second break. I'm at just under 7k, in 61st place. There are 91 people left. Going to post and update later.


    Finished 39th. I got back up around 14k, but then made a couple of bad decisions. I was hovering near the bottom of the remaining players for a long time, waiting for a good spot. On the other hand, I didn't want to wait til my stack was so small that even if I doubled up I would still be in last place, so I finally went all in on a Ad-Jd with about 5k left. Got called by a guy with pocket 5s. An A come out on the flop, and I was sitting good. Unfortunately, the river was the third 5, and I was done. Oh well. Picked a good spot, had a good chance, lost.


    Looked at my hand history when I went home at lunch to let the dog out. Kicked myself for what I saw. The hand that did me in (not the all in hand - don't feel bad about that) but the one that took me from 14k to under 7k was calling a 4,000 chip bet with nothing more than Qs and an A kicker when there were already three diamonds on the board. Result? I lost to the diamond flush. No idea why I did it - no sign from the hand history that the guy had been doing a lot of bluffing. I'm betting (ha - betting) I felt pot committed.

    Sometimes we need to look in the mirror to see the fuckwit.