Out 26th of 70th in the Skillz. Got in ahead to Mr. Donkette chasing an.... ace pair draw or something.
But so what? This was my dinner:
Started with some fresh corn on the cob. Remember folks. the secret is to add sugar and milk to the boiling water. DO NOT ADD SALT TO THE WATER. Add salt to the cob when you eat it.
Then I pulled out this delicious filet. Wild sockeye salmon. It's been a while.
Then I seasoned it with pepper, salt, ground coriander seed, and fresh dill.
Did the usual grilling. Almost-high heat, 4-5 min a side. Skin side down first. Oil on the grill.
But I wanted something a bit simpler than usual tonight. So I sautéed some fresh dill and minced garlic in butter. I mixed that in with some melted and clarified butter. All of that was poured generously on top, followed by a squeeze of lemon. I served it with zucchini sautéed in pan the dill and garlic had been in, along with garlic bread.
I washed it all down with the bottle of Dr. Pauly Riesling I've had in the fridge since Eh-Vegas. That is one sweet wine. Literally... it's like white grape juice. As I was corking it, the neck cracked. Lucky for me, it didn't shatter and ruin it all. Alas, I had to drink an entire bottle by myself. It's a hard-knock life.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Out 26th of 70th in the Skillz. Got in ahead to Mr. Donkette chasing an.... ace pair draw or something.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I was putting this in the comments of my last post and realized it would be a touch lengthy.
I want to be clear that I'm not bashing the bloggers for posting the ads, I'm bitching at the marketers. It's your blog, and you can put whatever you want in it. I can easily not read these posts. I'm hardly one to tell someone to NOT do something for the money. If you need/want the cash, it's your perogative. As was said in the comments - get yours while you can.
But I'll be honest. Since I happen to like Kat, Tragedy, and Peaker, and have been reading their blogs for a while, these posts aren't going to chase me off. But if I was to find them at a blog I'm new to, or found a blog that put these up regularly (as was the case last year when ReviewMe started up), that could stop me from visiting regularly.
Anyway, I'm getting off point again. What annoys me is the obvious, uninspired boilerplate that is peddled as original content. It doesn't sound like you. It's not your voice. These ads are unoriginal in presentation and content, and completely disingenuous.
Come up with something appealing. Solicit honest opinions for the bloggers you recruit. Why not, "Here's $20 free money at our site for you. Try it out. If you like it, post a review and we'll pay you for the ad. If you don't, enjoy the free $20 and we'd appreciate your feedback on how we can improve the experience." Then let the blogger write what they will.
I'm not against advertising on blogs, but I am against my intelligence being so blatently insulted by the companies behind it.
Who the fuck is BetUS?
Much like the temporary rash of "this is a paid ad" posts from a year or so ago, they're popping up in people's blogs all over the place. You know what? They're fucking dumb and retarded ads. They're SO out of whack with the normal style and flow of these writers that I sometimes wonder if their accounts have been hacked and this full-justification boilerplate was inserted without their knowledge.
I hope they pay really well.
Hell, the Bodog ads are almost as annoying, but at least they sound like they were written by the blogger. I love that after I finally asked to be taken off the weekly "come play in the Bodog blogger game!" e-mail because CANADIANS CAN'T PLAY ON BODOG, I was told, "Okay, you're off. Can I let you know when Canadians CAN play? Oh, and in the meantime, can I interest you in advertising our site?"
Yes, you can let me know when I can play on the site. NO, I will not fucking advertise a site I have NEVER been on and WILL NOT LET ME GET ON. Do I look like a billboard?
I've got no problem with people having ads and links up and down their sidebar. Hell, if you want to put links to sponsors in your posts, that's your perogative. But these blatant "this is an ad for some random site" posts have profound effect of making sure I'll AVOID being a customer of that site. Especially when it's some random, obtuse, general template talking about how it's hard to pick a poker room online, or how great online poker is, with the words "online poker" or "poker room" or "choice" linking to the site.
I get the 48 IQ thinking involved in recruiting bloggers to put up posts that advertise things. "Hmm... people who read these poker blogs like poker. But the click-through on the sidebar ads isn't very good because the same people read every day and they ignore the ads. What if we paid them to write a post about it! Then readers would think they're reading a legitimate recommendation of something and click on the links!" 1.- When you approach a bunch of people who are in the same community, they clue in really fast that it's advertising, not genuine praise. 2.- Some of us are smarter than your average bear and can see right through the BS. 3.- If your site/product/whatever has never been mentioned before and then generic text about it starts showing up, some of us might think "well, if it was any GOOD, they wouldn't need to use online marketing 101 methods to attract people." And people wonder why geeks want the marketing departments defenestrated.
Oh and if some dipshit marketing person from BetUS found this post from Googling their own name? Fuck off, don't even bother asking.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Mars (and Buffet) is buying Wrigley's for $23 BILLION. That's a lot of corn syrup.
Time to crack open my candy book and start trying out some recipes.
I once looked at a house that was owned by a family that made candy. It was huge, with etched glass doors to all the bedrooms (they were ugly), hand-laid inlay floors, a gourmet kitchen that was never used, another kitchen in the basement, another kitchen in the sub-basement where the candy was made, 3 or 4 bedrooms upstairs, another in the basement, and generally top-of-the-line materials throughout. Although the music room was acoustically dead and the owner put a gouge in the floor trying to close the french door.
The owners' sense of style was questionable, but their sense of quality was not. The husband had passed away and the wife was moving back to whatever European country they'd come from. They came with little, made lots of candy, and she left a millionaire.
People like candy. It's dirt cheap to make, but stamp "gourmet" on it and your markup can be huge. Plus, Warren Buffet says it's recession-proof.
Now to find a niche. Elk-pops? Mustard gum? Vanilla-lime bars? Honey-bourbon toffee?
How was your weekend? Mine was solid.
Friday night - I saw Dear Zachary:A Letter to a Son About His Father - an incredibly moving documentary. The theatre was full of sobbing, with the salty streaks of tears visible on many a face as we left. Myself, I welled up, but was so infuriated at the climax that the sadness didn't hit until it had dissipated enough. Then it hit again when they film's key participants came on stage to answer questions about their heart-wrenching ordeal. It's a film that just hits you with emotional blows. If you ever get a chance to see it, do so. I won't tell you any more about what happens in it, and suggest you don't follow the above link unless you want some key information revealed. I imagine it will become available to a wider audience shortly.
That was followed up with dinner, drinks, and discussion about what we'd just seen.
Then the TTC went on strike. The ONLY public transportation system in the city went on strike at midnight on Friday, unannounced. The decision was made around 10:30pm, when everybody was already out. This stranded thousands of people downtown. As I was walking home (I live downtown and was going to walk anyway), I watched the masses mill about the subway entrances, unsure what they were going to do and ruing that last round that cost them cab fare. Anybody with 3 functioning brain cells could tell you that stranding your regular riders downtown and drunk in the middle of the night is NOT the way you engender support and sympathy for your cause. Especially of that cause reeks of union bullying. As soon as a union cries out for "job security" in an economic downturn, my hackles start to rise.
Saturday I woke up around noonish to a phone call. It was as good a time as any to get up, so I did. I strolled about my place, wasting time, until I got the expected calls from some friends. Eventually, they showed up and we headed out for dinner, drinks, and Harold & Kumar's escape from Guantanamo Bay. The beauty of a transit strike for someone who lives downtown is that (a) you can convince your friends to drive to you, and (b) you can get a seat on the patio with all the suburbanites staying home. We went to a restaurant I hadn't visited yet - The Fat Belgian. I shall be returning. A solid list of mostly Belgian beers greeted us. Naturally, the one we wanted (Delerium Tremens) was the only one out. My second choice was surprisingly available (Chimay Blue is almost impossible to find in stock). The fact that our waitress Stephanie was incredibly cute and friendly helped too. Good fried calamari for an appetizer, and belgian beer-basted ribs as my main. Yum. Mussels in Napoleon cognac and cream for one buddy, and roasted duck for the other. Chocolate trifle for dessert for me, and crème brûlée for the friends. Jokes, laughs, stories, and suddenly we had ten minutes to make the 10:30 movie. We'd had the foresight to get the tickets before dinner, and rushed down the street to the theatre. With 3 minutes to spare, we found another benefit of a transit strike - opening weekend isn't totally packed. Full, but not sold out and we found seats easily. One movie later, we left quoting and laughing at another great stupid stoner comedy. A slightly different experience than the previous night's movie.
Then I schooled them at Super Smash Bros and Guitar Hero.
Sunday involved another noon wakeup. This was unfortunate as I missed the regular Dim Sum gathering yet again. It's been a couple months now at least since I've made one. I was really looking forward to it too. Oops. The plan then became to laze around, make breakfast, relax, and play poker in anticipation of The Big Game. This was going along until I got a phone call as I was pouring my cereal. Off I went to check out a condo my best friend was VERY interested in, and I was glad to get outside. It was disappointing. I'm regularly surprised by the lack of developers to actually design things functionally. Their goal is to cram as much into a building as possible, as opposed to making it useful. A 2-bedroom unit with a kitchen that can barely hold one person. A master bedroom in the penthouse that can hold a bed, but which has a wall so off-kilter and uneven that no useful furniture can be brought in. A few simple floorplan changes and those problems are fixed. A shame, really. However, it started a search that led to unexpected areas and better real estate possibilities for her. These things happen for a reason.
I came home and made myself some dinner. Chicken, mediterranean-style elk sausage, peppers, onions, garlic, spices, and rice for something paella-like. Oh was it tasty. Chased with a McAuslan's Apricot Wheat Ale.
Then my brother came by so his future boss could pick up her laptop from him (forgotten at the job interview - that's got to be a good sign when your interviewee offers to meet you downtown with your computer). He hung out while The Big Game started up and we chatted and watched Dallas beat San Jose as I played. I also made a few phone calls re: condos and real estate. Then he left, and I continued the phone calls while "playing" the game.
By the time I was focused 100% on poker, we were close to the final table and I was near the bottom. Some timely double-ups kept me alive until I lost a race to the chipleader (my 99 vs AQo) to go home in 5th place. Good for points, good for fishcake points (except Alan went out in 4th, so he still put distance between us), good for the bankroll. The $253 was very much needed after the past couple weeks of Full Tilt saying, "no sir, you may NOT proceed past the bubble."
One might say I played a tight game:
|Statistics for 296 Hands|
I'll have to review my hand history, but I believe I was fairly card dead. I was aggressive to start, and aggressive near the bubble to chip up, but otherwise did a lot of folding.
Tonight is our regular 6-max doublestack MATH. 10pm EST on Full Tilt, password is hammer.
Friday, April 25, 2008
So I guess I'm going to the Bash in September. I also guess I'm once again cooking for a bunch of degenerates. Somewhere between my 2nd and 3rd drink this happened (Drinks 1 & 2 - 7 year aged dark cuban rum (Havana Club) with Grand Marnier and Disaronno (I call it a Cuban Moon), drink 3 - Maker's Mark).
But I won't be alone! Assuming no bureaucratic nightmares, I shall have the lovely Joanne by my side as we face off against Riggstad and Donkette in Blogger Chef: Canada (YAY!) vs USA (BOO! HISS!). (As an aside to IT: Blogger Titanium Chef is too wordy... I could deal with something like Silicon Chef if you really want a material in there).
Even the secret ingredients have been revealed, courtesy of GCox. Yes, just like the show, the secret ingredients are known far in advance. Jo and I have already started brainstorming, but there is much discussion to be had still.
Obviously, Jo and I will kick ass. But the real winners will be all the bloggers that get to chow down on the feast provided by an Okie and 4 overconfident cooks.
I can't wait to see Tragedy try and do the Chairman's backflip onto the stage...
Like you needed another reason to head to Philly in September.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Evolutionary theory, as I understand it, states that adaptations occur slowly over time, with occasional bursts of highly favourable mutations happening over relatively short periods.
Then there's Ben Stein's view. I have to wonder if this will hurt his credibility with people. I mean, this is the guy who said "Bueller.... Bueller..." and showed how smart he was with Win Ben Stein's Money. Now he does an anti-evolution, pro-intelligent design movie? Where did that come from? Anyway, end tangent.
30 years ago, ten lizards were introduced to a foreign island to see how they adapted. Then a war broke out. Nobody could visit until now. The scientists returned and were shocked. Those 10 lizards were now 5000 and had completely eradicated the native lizard population. Also, they'd evolved. Their digestive system changed, their heads were larger, their bites stronger. In a handful of generations, they'd evolved dramatically. Or maybe some greater intelligence showed up on the island and changed the design... who knows?
Out early in the Mookie last night. Just not my night. I felt off when I sat down to play, and it continued through my game. I bubbled The Dookie... shame. But instead of going to bed, I installed Teamspeak and joined in at BDR as Guest1.
Where I ended up having a blast as LJ pushfest her way to 20th place in a 90-player $3+0.30 KO SnG. Oh were the other players pissed. Right up until she went out, she just about couldn't possibly miss. 4-straights, 4-flushes, two pair, A3 against AQ and catching the 3, etc.. She was en feu. KHAAAAAAAAAAAN!
I also railed PirateLawyer as he FINALLY took down his BBT3 TOC seat in the Mookie. Dude's been trying like mad of late and been playing some pretty decent poker only to lose races and miss outs and get sucked out on. Maybe now he'll shut up. :) I kid! Congrats on the win, it's well-deserved.
Two lawyers mentioned in one post? Crazy.
Oh, I also played in the blogger cash game, bought in for $4, lost, rebought for another $4, got that to $36, and then gave it all away. $8 of fun.
Riverchasers is tonight. Back to standard doublestack NLHE, as it is meant to be. I have the feeling I was going to do something tonight though. I can't remember what. It likely involved cleaning. Joy. Well, if I can't remember, it's now changed to playing poker. Yay! Oh, maybe that was the plan... go play some live Omaha. Or maybe it's sleep after only 4 or 5 hours last night.
Oh, and as decided, dinner last night switched. Nice and SPICY (8 peppers (black, pink, cayenne, chili, mexican chili, ancho, chipotle, habanero), garlic, two hot sauces... I totally should have tossed in the szechuan pepper too, damn) chicken wrap with bacon, lettuce, tomato, roasted red pepper, applewood cheddar, sour cream, spicy sundried tomato pesto, and onions. Side of light-flavoured home fries.
Tonight will probably be the pasta.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Ever have one of those days where you avoid work?
Iggy's got an UBER up. He talks about poker and shit! Also, he has the usual tonne of great/cute/strange pictures at the end.
Pauly also felt the need to write about poker, because Iggy did. What the hell is going on?
Someone gave some elephants cameras to take pictures of tigers.
Then the elephants took more pictures too. Seriously.
I hadn't heard of MP3tunes before. I have now that EMI is suing them because EMI has got its head so far up its ass that it can see out its mouth again. Something very Möbius about that... or maybe more Klein-bottle. Regardless, MP3Tunes is right here. There is no file-sharing going on, it's simply an online storage medium, which is supposedly the wave of the future. I despise the scared media companies that are terrified of losing money due to their ancient and obsolete business models more all the time.
Oh, and Calgary lost, but Philly won. Round 2 starts tomorrow.
I just finished off a braised, "Mexican barbeque" burrito for lunch. I chose the "hot" sauce of chipotle and roasted tomato. I liked the flavour combination, but wondered how it could be considered "hot" when I was reading it off the menu. The "medium" jalepeno and tomatillo seemed it would be hotter to me.
By far the weakest "hot" sauce I've ever had. There's a slight tingle that suggests there was heat somewhere in there, but that's it. Meanwhile, one of the guys who had the medium with chicken is diving for his drink. Go figure.
I know chipotle, being a smoked jalepeno, is supposed to be hotter than it's unsmoked original, but I've never thought so. If anything, I find jalapeno hotter than chipotle. Maybe I'm odd that way.
Regardless, if a restaurant says it's got a hot sauce, I expect some fucking heat. There's another burrito place that has it's hot salsa and then a "stupid sauce" you can add to that. It's stupid for them to imply it's hot. Yes, it actually adds discernable heat, but it's far from "stupid" levels.
Then again, I used to mix up a hot sauce at my folks using what few hot items they had. Standard BBQ recipe, with Tabasco, black pepper, white pepper, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Lots of it. My dad, who always put some Tabasco on things couldn't handle it. I loved it. Since then I've refined my spice tastes to actually include more flavour in what I do. Varieties of chili powders, including my favourite for heat - habanero powder. I'm not a chili-nut who grows his own secret super-hot peppers. I have no desire to try Bhut jolokia (ghost chili - 1 million scovilles), but I'd give a Scotch Bonnet a taste.
Point being, don't call it "hot" if it's barely detectable. I may change my dinner plans from a light chicken on lemon pasta with garlic-butter sauce to something a lot spicier now.
Well, except when I throw them out the window.
12th of 76 in the Skill Game last night. Good for 54 points or something. Also good for fishcake points as I believe I outlasted the rest of that field. Only a 4 point improvement there though.
I played a fairly decent game with two bad decisions that I can think of. I started out fairly loose-weak and paid the price (okay, maybe 3 bad decisions). But from a short stack as low as 500 chips early on, I climbed back to as high as 4th at one point. I made the calls and bets on strong hands and draws that I needed to and they either held up or caught, which let me build up to a decent stack that I could wield, as is my wont.
I made some tough folds throughout and was patient. Then there was the first bad call.
I was on the button, with Lucko in the BB with a huge stack. I find AJo and it's unopened, so I raise it to 3x the BB. Lucko re-raises. I put him on a resteal and push it. He thinks briefly and calls with AKo. Damn. I suckout with a J on the turn.
I hovered around this level for a bit, folding away chips and stealing them back. Then I made mistake #2. I find TT in the BB. Blinds are 500/1000, and I have around 14k. Blinders raises from the button, but not too large. I repop for around 6k and Blinders thinks before putting me all-in for a bit less than 9k more. He has me well covered.
Now I know Blinders isn't one to REsteal (but will steal), but he's also a player I can give credit for going deeper than level 1 thinking. I have TT, 6-handed in the BB, and when I've been in a hand lately, I've been aggressive. The button raises, and I re-raise. It can look very much like either I've put the button on a steal and I'm defending, or I have a strong ace or pocket pair. I figure Blinders has put me on a defending move, but since it's Blinders I know he isn't full of shit here. Since I figure he figures I'm defending, I widen his range to a strong ace (AKs, AKo, AQs, MAYBE AQo), or a decent pocket pair (88-AA). MAYBE a suited connector, but that's highly unlikely. Plus, if I fold, my M is around 5 with 12 left, and I'll be near the bottom (10th or 11th). But if I win, I'm in the top 5 with a healthy stack. I figure I'm likely racing and call for the rest of my stack.
Blinders flips over KK and I'm toast. No 2-outer for me and I'm gone. Only one KO on the night too.
As expected otherwise, people had no clue when the game switched to Omaha. UTG limps, no pot control, pot-betting draw-heavy flops with AA unimproved, calling off stacks with low flush draws, etc.. Wow. Of course, when I went out, the chipleaders were te ones playing that way, so what do I know?
Mookie tonight! Doublestack KNOCKOUT! I feel like kicking some serious ass in this baby.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I knew I'd posted a general chili recipe before.
Riggstad asked for one in the table chat. That's as good as any. Chili is generally an improvised recipe for me, but here are some tips:
- It's not chili without some sort of chili peppers or chili powder. This adds that colour you love, chili flavour, etc..
- Sweat the onions, brown the beef, combine, and then add the rest.
- You can add just about anything. I've seen recipes with peanut butter, lime, etc., etc.. My usual has tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic, green peppers, ground beef, kidney beans, and a whack of spices.
- Cook it slow and low. Slow cookers are great for chili, although I've never used one. After bringing it all to a boil, I simmer for an hour at least.
- If there's kidney beans (which are also pretty much required as far as I'm concerned), they get added near the end of the simmering.
- Chili, like soup, salsa, stew, and any other melange, is waaay better after a day or two in the fridge and the flavours blend and strengthen.
- Cheese melted on top of a bowl of chili just adds something amazing to it. Cheddar works well, as would Jack. My favourite, bar none, is English applewood smoked cheddar.
- Don't forget salt, and adjust everything to taste.
- Interestingly, competition chili is different than most homemade chilies. No beans, chunks of meat instead of ground, and nothing but the meat can be discernible in the the final product.
A few thoughts on flavours I may try sometime:
- Chickpeas instead of kidney beans
- Heavy on Asian flavours (ginger, lemongrass, garlic, szechuan pepper, water chestnuts, soy/teriyaki-marinated beef, etc.)
- Citrus accents, maybe with ground chicken/turkey. Or perhaps orange with beef.
- Spice the hell out of it. Hot peppers, sauces, powders... it's been a long time since I've had chili that required an entire loaf of bread to get rid of the burn. And that was in the middle of Algonquin park.
- Part of me wants to temper that heat with fruit... raspberry-jalepeno or something.
Let's not talk about how I went out of the MATH last night in 55th place thusly:
Pocket 7's in LP, limp before me and I raise it to 4x the BB. Limper calls. Flop comes 7-high rainbow for my set. I slowplay. Turn comes a 2nd spade, limper pot bets. I re-raise to around 3x the bet. Limper thinks and calls. River brings 3rd spade, limper bets my last 850 chips. Pot is over 3500 and I make the call I know is behind and lose to QTs.
I said let's NOT talk about that.
Instead, let us talk about tonight's Skill Game! PL HA. So that's two enjoyable things - pot limit, and hold'em/Omaha Hi. No fucking aggravating "everybody calls to the river" limit, no splitting a pot because someone caught their nut low with absolutely no other draw. Plus the shift between games is obvious. No "Oh shit, we're playing stud" moments.
Not that anybody will have any clue about position, pot control, the weakness of top pair, or the ability to fold the non-nuts on a double-paired flush board. And I can't wait for the "oh, right, I can only play 2 of my cards" realization after a showdown shows they don't actually have quads.
This will be fun. I'll be out within 5 minutes, no doubt.
Habs are in round 2, and their dumbass fans set 5 cop cars on fire, and damaged at least 11 more as they
celebrated rioted in the streets of Montreal. Fucking retarded.
Tonight are some big games. San Jose and Calgary, Washington and Philly... two game 7s. I'm pulling hard for Calgary and Philly to win. I wouldn't be upset about Washington winning though, other than it totally screws me in my office pool.
Monday, April 21, 2008
So Brandi Hawbaker committed suicide last week. As Pauly so rightly said, it's pretty sad that Chip Reese's death didn't get the same coverage. Then again, Chip didn't off himself, and never really courted controversy. He was known for his skill, not his antics.
Part of me feels bad for Brandi. I'd wager we were all watching borderline personality disorder in full effect. My brother dated someone diagnosed with this disorder and it was incredibly tough on him, and by extension, us. At the end of the day, you just can't help someone this far gone. Unless you happen to be a psychiatrist who specializes in personality disorders. Part of me also feels a big "saw that coming from about 120 miles away."
As much as Sklansky and others may think they are, they aren't experts in the human mind. None of them could help her, and they all used her. Hell, anyone who egged her on and followed her rollercoaster dramas did. But everyone who she was involved with thought they were helping. They were convinced they could be her white knight. They were wrong from the start. Short of forcing her into psychiatric care, they couldn't help. Hell, most of the pros that would go near her seemed pretty messed up themselves. But then, I'm no expert either. I've just seen the effects of both this and bipolar disorder on people. It ususally takes a lot for those suffering to get help, as their friends stand by helpless. It's amazing I don't know more people who have killed themselves, as I know they've tried. Luckily, there was always somebody nearby to stop them or get them to the hospital quickly enough to be saved.
So it's sad that such a fucked up individual took her own life, especially so young. She'll become a footnote soon enough. Even sooner, I'd imagine her replacement will make herself known to the poker world. I find that even sadder.
Saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall on Friday night, which was yet another tremendously funny Apatow production (although he did little else). Mila Kunis has no ass, but was still great in this. Go see it. That was followed up with some tasty pizza and a pretty solid Ketel One martini. I naturally forgot the leftover pizza on the table as we left. D'Oh. I now owe my friend a pizza. This naturally means I'll be looking up thin crust recipes and figuring out what flavours I want to use. Red pepper sauce? Ginger-wasabi shrimp? Spinach?
Saturday was oddly busy yet not. It started around 12:30 with some errands and such. In the end, there wasn't much to show for it. Some fiberglass bug screen, magnets, hooks, beer, carbon filters, a clean car... yet somehow it took 6 hours. But it was capped off with one of the most awesome chill dinners ever, on a balcony with a pitcher of sangria and a bunch of cold foods that required minimal effort to prepare. Oh, and Guitar Hero... after a pitcher of sangria.
Sunday was poker day. I demolished the home game I was invited to. 13 or 14 runners, $20 buy-in, rebuys... over $700 in the pot by the end. I didn't rebuy or add-on. One table had 90% of the rebuys... it wasn't mine. When we merged, the stack sizes were ridculously disproportionate. So much so that one guy bet that nobody from my table would make the cash (top 4, 9 left at the time, 4 from my table). My buddy N took the bet, depsite being from the rebuy-heavy table. Naturally, this became a challenge. About 5 hands later I had sextupled up and rolled on from there. Final 3 were all from my table. HU ended when we were DEAD EVEN in chips and my JQc beat A9o. $360 for $20 and 5 hours... not bad. The win was also the biggest this group has ever had, so it moved me right to the top of the leaderboard for the TOC. Not bad since this is the first game of the year I've been able to make.
I Came home to Donkette inviting me (via MiniDonk via Donkette's girly chat account) to Uncle Chuck's Basement tourney. $4 rebuy. I was all over the place just having fun and ended up out 10th when my 88 ran into Lucko's TT. I had the chip lead about 3 times over the course of the game, but Change100 kept taking my chips no matter what the situation was when they went in. Oh, and one terrible call on the river by me to Buddy's turned straight. I KNEW it was an OBFV, and I still called. Oops. I probably still lose it all to Lucko anyway. A shame, since I was feeling good about that one.
Jays beat Detroit twice over the weekend after losing Friday, but that puts them in 3rd behind Baltimore and the BoSox. 2.5 games back. To alleviate this problem, they released Frank Thomas over the weekend. Whatever the reasons, this makes the team leaner and puts Matt Stairs at DH where he belongs. Once Adam Lind is healthy, expect him in LF with Shannon Stewart, which is a much better platoon than Stewart/Stairs.
Round 1 of the NHL playoffs is wrapping up as well. Dallas knocked out the defending champs last night, Detroit finally finished off Nashville, Colorado took out the Wild, and the Rangers took out the Devils. This leaves 3 series to be decided. Boston has somehow tied up their series with Montreal at 3-3, which does NOT bode well for the Canadiens this evening. Calgary won their game last night to go to game 7 against San Jose, which has held up better than I expected. Philly still leads their series with Washington 3-2, and SHOULD be able to wrap that up tonight. Talk about some great matchups.
Round 2 is shaping up to be pretty solid to. The only possible bad matchup would be Pittsburgh-Boston if the Bruins beat the Habs tonight. Where Montreal hasn't been able to score and their defence is collapsing around their rookie goaltender, Pittsburgh is doing just fine. No way Boston can match up against them. I'd much rather see Pittsburgh-New York and Montreal-Philly. Pennsylvania represent? Although an even BETTER (yet more unlikely) round 2 in the east could be Pittsburgh-Washington and Montreal-New York, which would be epic. Ovechkin vs Malkin/Crosby, and two more original 6 teams facing off.
In the West, Round 2 is a bit more defined. I'm pulling for Detroit-Calgary and Dallas-Colorado, but Detroit-Colorado and San Jose-Dallas would also be a great round.
Any way, my Detroit-Pittsburgh final is still looking good. Not that I wouldn't mind seeing a Canadian team make it in. Admittedly, Detroit-Montreal (or Detroit-New York, or Detroit-Boston even) would be full of original 6 nostalgia and history. The picture will be clearer around 10pm tonight. Oddly enough, the same time the MATH starts up. Make sure you come out for everyone's favourite 6-max, doublestack, $26 NLHE game. 10pm EST on Full Tilt, password is hammer.
And let's get started in those token frenzies! THE BIG GAME is this Sunday. You know you wanna.
Friday, April 18, 2008
57o? Really Wadzilla? 57o? 7A2 board and 57o is considered worth reraising and calling my all-in with after I insta-raised preflop? This is why I hate limit.
I had TT, he turned the 5. Good night me.
Glad that's out of me.
Weird night. Got home, played poker, felt tired, crawled onto bed at 11:30, slept for 4 hours, got up, fed cats, crawled into bed until alarms started ringing... still a bit out of it.
Going to forget Sarah Marshall tonight. Tomorrow will likely entail creative screen doors and open houses. Maybe herbs too.
Sunday is a poker home game I keep missing every time it happens, but intend to make it to this time.
Well, I was right about Halladay's complete game. Shame about the score.
Boston stays alive, Dallas and Philly take dominating leads in their series, Colorado and San Jose have success in their hands... could be an interesting weekend hockey-wise. I still say Montreal will win, but they NEED their powerplay working again. Dallas looks like it's going to upset Anaheim, possibly as early as tonight, Philly is proving Ovechkin ain't enough on his own, Colorado is hitting its stride. As for Calgary and San Jose? Here's hoping for 7 games. I still think Calgary can win this thing. Rangers-Jersey could be done tonight too, and Detroit-Nashville is turning out tougher than expected.
It's gorgeous outside. 25 degrees, people everywhere, sun shining. I love spring.
Bell (our national phone company) is saying it has to throttle its high speed service so that its competitors can't steal their customers. See, Bell throttled its own customers, but not the companies it leased lines to. These companies resell the service, and people were leaving in droves. So Bell throttled them. They complained. Bell is begging the government not to force them to unthrottle because only "5% of users are using 33% of the bandwidth." Something about everyone else suffering. In other words, Bittorrent is killing them. Here's the thing though... those other 95% of people are surfing the web and doing e-mail. Watching videos, and uploading pictures. They wouldn't notice any difference in service, and those 5% aren't affecting them. Oddly enough, Bell also changed their pricing policy the day the throttled the competition. Assclowns.
Oh, and here's one from London... land of the CCTV and increasing crushing of its citizen's rights. A man was pulled out of a crowd for taking pictures. A cop (don't they call them Bobbys anymore?) decided that this guy with a real camera was up to nefarious things when he was takign pictures of a public display of Christmas lights and a show. The hundreds of other people with cell phones and such taking pictures weren't a problem. See, London has this fear that if you take pictures, you're a terrorist. The police apologized after he complained about having to delete all his pictures for the cop after being pulled into an alley. There seems to a movement on to clarify to the authorities the rights of photographers... I hope it gets moving. This same sort of shit happens in the States too. There are plenty of stories of "the man" (ie.- mall cops) chasing people down for taking pictures of buildings. It's sad.
I spent my walk home last night snapping pictures. Many of them of City Hall. Obviously I'm a threat... yet nobody stopped me.
I need to figure out my transportation situation for Weekend at Mookie's. Do I rent a car? Seems silly since we'll be travelling as a group mostly. But grabbing a cab from the airport would likely cost more than renting. What's the bus system like there? Things to research...
Missing the Donkament tonight for a movie. Missing Pauly's tomorrow for shopping. Missing the 420 and Britbloggerment on Sunday for live poker. Have fun people... but really, try and get outside and enjoy the spring weather.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Pittsburgh swept Ottawa out of the first round last night. This was totally expected by everyone, including Ottawa. Well, everyone but Fuel. So if the Pens purposely played for 2nd place to face the Sens in the first round - good call by them. Ottawa is a mess. Redden said he didn't see big changes, just some tweaks coming. Translation - he's gone. Emery's history too, and will be picked up by some team who thinks they can take his prima donna attitude. 11 free agents on a very talented team means a new look next year. I wonder if any will find their way into the Blue and White... I hope not.
Boston and Montreal could wrap up tonight if Les Habitants take it down. I didn't see the Bruins getting out of this series anyway, the only question is how many games it takes. Price had a good win the other day with his 1-0 shutout, but the Canadiens have to score to win. The power play is hurting in the playoffs, and it was their bread and butter in the regular season.
I have to say I'm a bit surprised by the Rangers 3-1 series lead over the Devils. New Jersey has been a consistently solid team over the years, and Brodeur is the x-factor that you can't discount. They play tomorrow, and even down 3-1, I can't count the Devils out. That said, it's looking like New York's series.
Washington-Philly, Calgary-San Jose, Anaheim-Dallas, and Colorado-Minnesota are also tonight. Those are some good matchups. I'm surprised the Avalanche-Wild are tied up at 2, but that could just be my ignorance of the Wild. I'm still picking Colorado to take it. Calgary and San Jose tied at 2 isn't that big a surprise, and San Jose owes a bunch to Thorton for his winning goal in the last game. I'm still picking the Flames to win it though. Except them to come out hitting tonight.
Philly over Washington in the series, despite the best efforts of Ovechkin. Not sure who takes it tonight though. I get the feeling Washington does, since the Flyers have a tendency to get complacent and cocky with a lead.
As for Anaheim-Dallas... I think the Ducks win tonight and tie the series. They know it's essentially must-win if they want a shot at the series. Expect some physical play. Don't be surprised if someone gets a hurt real bad.
Baseball - Jays and Orioles are now tied for second, 1/2 game behind both the Yankees and Sox. No surprise there, as it's early and there's lots of movement. Last night's marathon for the Jays against the Rangers was tough to watch. They emptied the bullpen and had to bring in Burnett for extra-innings relief. He starts in two days. There's no way he comes in at his best in this situation, and it showed as he gave up the win. Let's hope it doesn't affect his start. Unless Gibbons moves him down a spot in the order and has McGowan start in his spot. That wouldn't be a terrible thing to do anyway. Big 9th to tie it up for the Jays, and a few opportunities in the extras that didn't materialize. They need to finish off these comebacks.
But with Halladay starting tonight, I expect a Jays win. He's going to clamp down hard the day after a loss, especially with the bullpen exhausted. This will be Doc's thought process - "Shit, these guys fuck up my games when they're rested. There's no way I'm letting anybody screw me over today." Complete game Halladay. With luck it won't be 1-0. Watch for the big swings from the Jays tonight. 14 innings can hurt your running game more than your hitting game.
And of course, there's the Riverchasers at 9 on Full Tilt. I'm already registered, are you? Limit Hold'em is the game. Probably doublestacks. Sweeet merciful crap on a stick is this going to go late. Luckily, it starts at 9 instead of 10. I hate limit, but at least with Hold'em, the thinking gets reduced from Stud or Omaha.
Can't wait until the PL HA Skill Game on Tuesday though. That could be awesome.
This week was the week of appointment-making.
- 1st of
3 4 vet appointments for the cats made
- Optometrist appointment. I've changed from my old doctor based purely on location. The new guy has been by contact lens specialist for years, so it's not a BIG switch.
- Periodontist apointment. It's been a year since my penultimate graft, and I have no idea why I put this off so long since it's the final one of 5. I actually blanked on his name when I was looking up the number.
- Doctor's appointment - Coming up on 2 years since I've seen him. Changed offices on this one too... same guy though.
- Add in a dentist's appointment that was scheduled 7 months ago, and it's going to be a busy couple of months for me.
I have absolutely no idea why I put off making all these until now. Procrastination really doesn't make a lot of sense.
It's falling into a general pattern of increased motivation of late. Taking care of more chores at home, paying attention to my diet (not *A* diet, just diet) again, wanting to get outside more, taking more pictures, seeing more friends, booking a trip to Austin, and actually DOING stuff. I'm sure the warmer weather (22 degrees tomorrow!), sunshine, and change of seasons is playing no small part either.
Considering a month ago I was showing some pretty obvious depressive tendencies (tired despite sleeping, absolutely zero motivation to do ANYTHING, place becoming a mess, general malaise, etc..), it's a good turnaround. I credit it largely to my best friend who came over and basically cleaned my place up so I didn't have a mountain of things staring me in the face. She rocks in more ways than she realizes I think.
This time I'm actually making an effort to keep it tidy.
Now if only I can turn this motivation towards work, I'll be set.
2nd doesn't suck. Well, it does compared to 1st.
THAT, however, sucks large. I play all tricky, get in with the best of it (61.5/38.5), but know to my CORE that a spade is coming and fucking me over. Damn.
I can't blame Memphis one bit there. NO way he's folding that hand on the flop.
Outside of one ill-advised raise on a flop (that I recovered quickly from), I honestly can't think of any big mistakes I made. I dodged better hands, folded at the right times, played aggressively, barely saw any showdowns, and my reads were dead on.
If nothing else, this is an example of when the cards DO matter.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I was up early this morning and kicking myself that I could be out the door by 8:10 when I need to take my cat to the vet, but can't even be AWAKE at that time to go to work.
Anyway, cat goes in for the day because he reacted poorly to a vaccine last time around. Turns out this isn't the year he gets that vaccine anyway, as he's due for his Rabies shot this year instead. So he's at the vet's with benedryl in him and I get a call that amounts to "Do you want us to use the 3-year killed vaccine that MIGHT give him cancer, or the 1-year live vaccine you've been warned by breeders not to use?" I went with the live after the vet assured me ther was no danger, as the live portion was in fact a canary pox, not a feline virus.
I was also told that because he was "feisty" (read: a vicious, clawing, hissing, biting, growling, death machine with anyone he doesn't like who backs him into a corner) that they can't do the checkup without me there. But they don't have space tonight so I have to make another appointment. It's a 15 minute drive if there's no traffic, but the times I can make it are during rush hour, so it's a 30 minute drive each way.
I am annoyed.
I'm also strangely warm... I'm hoping it's either exhaustion or dehydration.
Once again Poker Stars is showing how soft the tables are there. Well, at least when I'm rebuilding a bankroll from < $100. This means $6.50 turbo SnG. I've cashed in every one I've played since Saturday. An example of typical hand:
I get something like KQo and raise to 3x BB. SB or BB calls. Flop comes Q-high, rainbow, no draws. Blind minbets, I call. Turn comes a brick, blind minbets, I call. Flop comes another Q, blind minbets, I potraise, blind thinks and calls. Blind mucks K2o. I shit you not. Somehow, that K-high was deemed worth a bunch of minbets and pot call. And I don't know how many times I've been called down by bottom pair on draw-heavy boards, or that an AT that misses the board wins multi-way pots.
Plus, the bad beats have been minimal, and when they do happen, I'm well-insulated by my often huge chipstack. Last night I lost half of my stack with a flopped straight vs a set that turned the boat. Within 7 hands I was back to the chiplead, and more chips than before, without a showdown.
Yah, I know, $6.50 buy-in, very exciting.
Here's an old story from the authors of Freakonomics. It's about a bright guy who hit a wall of being paid well but feeling unfulfilled. So he quit his high-paying Washington corporate job and started selling bagels on the honour system. He quickly ended up making more than he did in his old job. The story uses his tale as a backdrop for his exploration of honesty and it's correlations to various corporate environments and economic trends.
And lest we forget one of my favourite topics - Monster Cable returns! Sadly, they didn't actually go anywhere, but they did send a letter they meant to be scary to Blue Jeans Cable - a company at the opposite end of the spectrum who sells quality cables cheaply because they don't try to give people bullshit about a length of wire. Monster claimed Blue Jeans were infrigning on a bunch of their design patents for connectors. This is allegedly standard for Monster, as they've been known to scare settlements and licensing agreements out of small cable companies. The problem is, the President of the company is a litigation lawyer by trade, and he responded in kind. Methinks that he won't be hearing from Monster's lawyers again.
Congrats to Hoy for winning a TOC seat from the Skill Game last night. Well-deserved no doubt. I can't wait for the 325 screen shots.
Mooooooooooooooooookie tonight! 1500 chips, NLHE. I plan to have nothing by aces and kings tonight. You know, like I usually do.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Skipping the Skill Game tonight was a great idea on my part. I get to dominate some SnGs, got stuff done, watch hockey, and relax without the inevitable frustration and awfuckits that would come with Limit Stud H/L.
Good call me.
Methinks I'll even go to bed soon, since one of the cats gets to go to the vet tomorrow morning before I go to work. He'll be pleased.
But first... videos.
In 1999, a man was trapped in an elevator in NYC for 41 hours. I was trapped in an elevator once for 20min with 3 friends. Two of whom totally freaked out, while me and another laughed and then tried to calm them down. I think I'd be a bit pissed after 41 hours... how to get stuck for almost 2 days?
Apparently, there's a swath of Pacific Ocean the size of Texas located north of Hawaii that is full of garbage. Tidal currents accumulate it there. There was no video of this area... until now. That's part 1 of 12. Warning, it's pretty gross.
Oh, and I'm listed on my flights and staying at the "Big O". Now the only issue is that I'm flying standby, so there's a SMALL chance I won't make it out. If I don't make it back, I'll be less worried. :)
So let's say I'm 99.9999% going to Austin (read: Leander) for Weekend at Mookie's. I like to leave a margin for meteor strike.
I just need my flights confirmed (arriving Friday afternoon, leaving Sunday afternoon), and figure out which hotel I'm going to stay at. My other "friends" who live in Austin are apparently going to San Fran that weekend, so I won't have to split my time between groups. It's all bloggers (and 1 degree from bloggers), all the time for me!
Principal suspends 8-year old boy for huffing Sharpies. I'm so glad our world has such forward-thinking people in charge of the children. Such learned, open-minded educators who think about the issues they're faced with and never punish through knee-jerk reactions. It's also good that the people in charge of these people back them up unconditionally no matter how asinine they are.
This just hit a button with me. The kid sniffed a sharpie and like the smell. The teacher sends him to the principal's office (ignorance + buck-passing, fantastic), who then suspends the kid. EIGHT YEARS OLD. He's in grade 3! We used makers that you were SUPPOSED to smell when I was 8.
Now, are you thinking, "but you can get high off markers!" Please step in the line marked ignorant. You can't get high off a Sharpie found in a 3rd grade class. You can now step out of the ignorant line if you understand what I told you. If you're the principal or the board that backs him, then please step into the line marked "fucking morons".
But worry not! The problem is solved! They "purged" the school of all permanent markers! Your children are safe at Harris Park Elementary in Westminster Colorado!
Now granted, they did reduce the suspension from 3 days to 1 after the boy's parents complained. And the principal was from a middle school, where all the kids are obviously high on marker. And they have a "Just Say No" campaign starting up to educate the kids... because that has always worked so well.
And here's my real issue - I get that there's a belief that you can get high on permanent markers. This kid kept sniffing it because he liked the smell. But to suspend him is idiotic. The teacher should have pulled him aside and explained to him that it could be dangerous to do that. The principal could have done the same. A note or phone call to the parents could even be seen as reasonable. But to kick out an 8-year-old kid for 3 days is knee-jerk moronic. So what decades of the "war on drugs" (and you think Iraq is bad) has accomplished is fear in people responsible for children... but somehow I think that scaring the crap out of a third grader, for doing something you wrongly think is dangerous, isn't going to accomplish much.
I'm going to install a brick wall at my desk so I have something to bang my head against.
Sex and financial success might be linked. The study focuses on traders, but they could probably do the same test with poker players and find similar results. The increased aggression, creativity, risk-taking, etc., are just as applicable to that environment. So guys, make sure you fire up the porn before your big tournaments.
My last post succinctly sums up my MATH experience last night. Toss in some decent play by me, a couple good calls, and at least two courtesy double-ups when I needed them and that pretty much sums up my night.
Out 14th of 70. Good for points, good for my side bet. LJ still in... not so good for the side bet. Ah well.
Pushed KJo against ATo and a player who had a huge range when defending his blinds. I have no regrets. Although I made a bunch of tough folds earlier and had plenty of good cards (but not all AA... mostly KK :) ) . I could have made a run, and that hand would have ensured it.
Mook next for me. Not going near Limit Stud H/L in the Skillz game tomorrow. Maybe I'll read and catch up on video games instead.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Well, my attempt at non-poker was semi-successful at best. But then, my weekend didn't turn out as expected overall, so what's one more departure from plans?
I didn't play anything major. A couple $6.50 turbos on Stars out of sheer boredom (won both, yay bankroll building). No MTTs, no $22 turbos, no blogger games (okay, two pushfests, but those don't count as poker), none of my usual weekend stuff. It felt liberating. Plus, Stars was much better to me than Tilt has been of late with the beats. I might stick around there for a bit and rebuild that bankroll. Then again, in the 2nd turbo I played, I got back-to-back aces (one held up, the other won preflop), followed by aces twice more... AK a few times with 3 left as well. So that's where my horseshoe went.
I had something else I wanted to talk about, but I can't remember what it was. So I'll go back to sports.
Jays swept Texas over the weekend. Quite handily too. Wiped out the sweep by Oakland and puts them in a tie for first in the East heading into a series with Baltimore, the team they're tied with. It's still plenty early though. That said, much like they lost in different ways to the A's, they won in different ways against the Rangers. Litsch didn't have his best stuff on Friday, but battled and did what was needed, and the Jays scored a ton to make sure a 1-run loss wasn't going to happen. On Saurday, Halladay showed once again why he should have 3 or 4 Cy Youngs on his shelf instead of 1. Then yesterday Burnett once again struggled with being consistent, but the Jays kept it even and took it in extra innings, showing that maybe they CAN finish. The return of BJ Ryan is nothing but good news. Now if only Scott Rolen can get his finger healed, we can see what this team is really capable of.
As for the NHL playoffs, the big surprise to me so far is Dallas' domination of Anaheim. How are they making such seemingly easy work of the Ducks' defense? How come they're suddenly playing in front of Turco? I'm so confused.
As for the rest, no big surprises so far. The Pens are dominating the Sens. Ottawa has a serious problem upstairs. As a team, they're head isn't screwed on right anymore. This is a team with a ton of talent, but partway through the season got completely fucked up by their goaltender's antics, and the firing of their head coach who couldn't deal with them properly. Brian Murray has been sinking fast since getting back behind the bench. They just don't have the mindset to make it happen in the playoffs this year. They expect to lose, and it will keep happening. Not to take anything away from the Pens, who are a juggernaut themselves with Crosby and Malkin leading the way.
Boston finally squeaked out a win over Montreal, but that's an anomaly. Washington-Philly, New York-Jersey, Colorado-Minnesota, are all solid, evenly-matched series as expected. Detroit continues to make mincemeat out of Nashville, and with Sarich's hit on Marleau yesterday and the big comeback, I think Calgary just slapped the Sharks across the face. Expect ugliness to commence, with the Flames coming out on top. San Jose won't have much choice but to play Calgary's game, and they just don't have the chops for it. Besides, when your backup goalie is Curtis Joseph, you've got something called depth in THE key position.
I've already called a Detroit-Pittsburgh final, which would be a great series.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I'm taking a break from poker.
For the weekend.
Except the freeroll I'm in on Sunday.
Maybe it'll extend into next week as well.
I'm on tilt from the number of terrible beats I've had the past few weeks. I get in way ahead and then lean back waiting for the 2-outer to hit. It does. Always. I watch people call down with an inside straight draw and catch against my hard-bet set. I'm tired of making poor decisions out of frustration because my good ones are being screwed. I think I've watched about 3 hands actually hold up the past week.
So I'm running bad. I'm sick of it. I'm taking some time off before I blow through my bankroll again.
Oddly enough, the BBT has nothing to do with this, even though I haven't been running well in that of late either. Those ones I can usually attribute to my own folly. Ie.- Last night I pushed my TP into Bone Daddy's flopped straight. He'd been aggressive the whole time and I figured him for a bluff. I was wrong. But then, that's the whole point of playing a loose-aggressive game, to sucker in people when you ARE strong.
So no poker tonight (Raptor's game) or tomorrow, and just a freeroll from This is The Nuts on Sunday. With luck, I'll have other ways to occupy my time anyway.
We'll see about the MATH on Monday. I can guarantee I won't be playing the Skill Game on Tuesday. Limit Stud H/L? Like I need that aggravation.
Jays got swept by Oakland. So the weak point seems to be that they can't fucking finish a game. They catch up again and again in game 1 and lose. They're up the whole game in 2 and Accardo blows the save. Game 3 they tie in the late innings and then lose in extra. That's a mindset thing if anything. The question is - is it Gibbons' fault or the players?
As for NHL playoffs - Pittsburgh and Montreal are looking pretty dominant in their series, as expected. I imagine Detroit should roll over Nashville too. Washington-Philly should be a hard-fought good series. Rangers-Devils could be long too. Despite last night's game, I can't see Dallas geting by Anaheim. Calgary-San Jose will get good and ugly before it's over. And Colorado should be able to handle Minnesota.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
So last night LJ lost to Waffles HU after coming back from the Mets game to find only 435 chips or something. Nice comeback.
I also lost to Waffles (because ultimately, we all did, chew on that) in a similar style.
See, I was wide awake and changing out of work clothes to a more comfortable jeans and t-shirt combination. For some reason I decided to lie on my bed. This was around 7:30-7:45. The next thing I know, I'm stirring awake and looking at my clock - 11:17!! HOLY SHIT I'M LATE FOR WORK! Then my brain wakes up the rest of the way and realizes the TV is on and it's dark outside. It's 11:17pm and I'm just really late for The Mookie. I roll out of bed and scramble to the computer. 160 chips left, blinds 80/160/25. Next hand gets dealt and I have T8o with 135 chips. I instacall Tilt Away's raise and find myself HU against AQo. Nobody improves, and I lose. 38th place I think. I was really hoping to make an epic comeback, because that would be awesome.
I then grew pissed off that all the other stuff I wanted to do before the game didn't get done. Now that has to happen tonight.
I also lost the over-under bet against Meanhappyguy (who's really angling to be my nemesis it seems) on when the Waffles-LJ HU would end. So now I can't talk about food for a week here. Shit, I just did. But it wasn't the subject... the bet was. Whatever. Expect plenty of Jays and NHL Playoff coverage until next Thursday.
Speaking of - Jays blew it in the 9th last night. Why do we have such a hard time against Oakland? If the Jays pull another year of "beat the big guys, lose to the worse teams" I think I may beat someone. It's okay, it's still early.
Playoffs have kicked off. I'm near the top of my office pool, and also at the bottom. Yay multiple entries. Maybe I can actually get stuff accomplished tonight and watch some of the games. I did catch the end of the Flames-Sharks game. As predicted, Calgary won. The Sharks seem to be the big favourite this year, and I don't think they'll make it out of the first round.
Riverchasers tonight. Back to NLHE doublestacks I think.
I hope the interview went well.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Remember when I said I hate HORSE? Like all the time? I wasn't lying.
But I did some laundry, got my ironing done, made a tasty dinner, cleaned up after dinner, and then decided I'd reward myself with some poker. I have no idea why I signed up for the Skill Game.
It started slow, stayed slow, and had me beating my head against the wall as expected. In the end, I went out 23rd after mounting a good comeback from < 1000 chips to over 5k in about 2 or 3 hands. Then I found myself 3-handed in Omaha with flopped trips and the 2nd nut low. Of course, Waffles turned the 5-high straight (the only hand I was worried about on that board) and I handed him most of my chips. I tossed in my scraps next hand and called it a nght poker-wise.
On the plus side, I was distracted by a phone call partway through the game. A welcome distraction from the monotony of limit.
No way in hell I'm playing Stud 8 next week.
So instead I'll talk about my dinner. It was fairly standard fare - elk burger and baked sweet potato "fries". Nothing that hasn't been seen here before.
Except that I forgot to pick up a bun. I regularly have no bread in my place, because I just can't get to it all myself before it goes bad. Now, I COULD walk downstairs and buy some, but I was in a severe state of being quite happy where I was. So instead I made a hamburger bun. Took about 45min mind you, but I'm odd that way. A nice basic recipe with a bit of garlic flavour added made for a tasty, if somewhat biscuity bun. The problem was the temperature of the liquid I think.
But on that went the elk patty, carmalized red onion, tomato, roasted red pepper, lettuce, dill pickle, smokey mustard, ketchup, and applewood smoked cheddar. Yum.
Then at 11:30 I decided that I was going to make banana bread... those suckers were looking pretty black, so I figured it was then or the garbage. I may have left it in a bit too long... which just means it'll need lots of butter.
While that baked, I decided I needed to continue play-testing my 2nd Guitar Hero III controller. You know what? I think it's synced better than the other. I was on a tear last night, finally getting my ass out of Japan on hard. One setlist left, and a battle with Lou... it's about time.
And the Jays lost 9-8 to Oakland. Burnett broke down in the 2nd (are we going to do this again this year AJ?), but the team kept coming back, again and again, just to see Oakland take the lead again. A hard-fought game is a good sign. Nice to see the offense going strong so far. Even Thomas is contributing in a big way this year.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I've got at least 2 posts on the go. I'll finish them off eventually... I just happen to be either losing interest halfway through or not sure how to tighten them up.
So I'll just blather on for now.
22nd of 71 in the MATH. Le sigh.
HORSE at the Skill Game tonight. No idea if I'll play or not. I'm not a fan of 3/5 of that game, and limit drives me absolutely nuts. I may wander clubwards and play live, but chances are better I'll get some stuff done around the homestead. It turns out my shirts don't iron themselves after all. Who knew?
Does it annoy anyone else that we spend more on bottled water than it would cost to fix the world's water shortages in underdeveloped nations? Or that bottled water is often less clean than tap? Or the sheer volume of space empty water bottles take up garbage-wise? I'm thirsty.
Contact info is often an important thing to get.
Why are my legs so sore?
Oh, I need to get off my ass and book my trip to WEEKEND AT MOOKIE'S! I should make those calls.
Leaning towards doing Okie-Vegas in July too. Poker with good people at a lake... yah, that sounds like the opposite of terrible.
Then there's the decision of Bash in September, Oktoberfest in Germany, or just do something for my birthday here. Leaning towards the Bash. I mean, Al came to my town, I should return the favour, non?
Seriously, what the fuck is up with my legs today? I need a masseuse.
I hate that it takes me so long to get started on a chore. Mostly because they usually take only a few minutes and I'm kicking myself for not doing it earlier.
Would it be suspicious if I set up every medical-related appointment around the same time? I can think of 3 off the top of my head, plus at least 3 vet trips for the cats. I should get on that too.
Back to the water thing - it's actually sickening how much people spend on end-of-pipe things that are easy as opposed to attacking root causes for less money but more effort. Nothing to do with water, but the economy of the thing. Sometimes I hate commercialism.
Jays continue tonight with Oakland in town. Good times.
NHL Playoffs start on Wednesday. Some fantastic matchups on both sides, but especially the Eastern Conference. Leafs be damned, this will be some good hockey.
Raptors have already clinched a playoff spot. They have a .494 win percentage. How sad is the East in the NBA? 8th place in the west is 4th place in the East. That's sad.
I guess people can stop giving a shit about college basketball for another year now. I never got March Madness.
Michelle Caruso-Cabrera seems very happy with the work she had done. I'm amazed she isn't wearing a tight shirt again today. Maybe it was too obvious.
Seriously? Is everyone bitching about "BOOOOOOOM!" ? When did bloggers become such pansies? If it's something else, I have yet to see it.
Lots of stuff bouncing around the noggin'... none of it ripe yet.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Spring is finally starting to show it's face around these parts. With our first weekend in the teens since January, people were out and about en force.
Friday post-work I made my way to the bar for some pre-game drinking and eating. When I got there, my buddy revealed the level of his idiocy. This is a guy who has made a point of going to the last 10 Blue Jays home openers. He loves the Jays. He was online buying the tickets as soon as they went on sale. He had a rough day and was looking forward to the game.
Then he looked at the tickets. Saturday, April 5th. Umm.. that would TOMORROW. That's right, he bought tickets for the 2nd home game of the season, not the opener. We beat him properly. He's 6'4" and big. We caused minimal harm.
So we then wandered from packed bar to packed bar looking for a place to sit and drink and eat. No dice pre-game. We spoke to the scalpers, who wanted $200 on top of our tickets for ducats. Not going to happen.
Then we cabbed to a sports bar a bit out of the way. They refused to serve our requested beer in pitcher form (too creamy/foamy I suppose). Then the menu was messed up and the nachos were hidden from view. To top it off... the big screen had the Raptors game on. We downed our pitcher of 2nd choice beer and left. Eventually, we made it back to our first bar, flirted with the waitresses, and had some proper food (wings and nachos) and made our way through some pitchers as the game played above us. Jays did a good job of beating the BoSox, and we went home with a nice little buzz on a few hours later.
I plunked down in front of the computer to watch Kat take down the donkament and Goat cash in both daily doubles. Then I think I watched some movie I probably owned on TV while chatting with other vampires that Tragedy had assembled, and called it a night around 3am or so.
I woke up at the crack of 11ish and slowly put myself togeether for the game we DID have tickets for. By the time I got to my seat, it was the bottom of the 2nd, and the Jays had tied it up at 1-1. Our seats sucked huge ass. Strike 2 against the friend. We're usually baseline, these were right field bleachers, surrounded by Bostonians. New rule Americans: If you come to MY town to cheer the opposing team, you have to be hot. I don't want to see any more hair that hasn't had a change since 1985, or people who are convinced their 300lb frame fits in that spandex outfit, or that sweat pants and a sweatshirt are in any way attractive.... unless they're cheering for my team.)
The sad part was that it was the drunk Toronto fans that were pissing us off. We get it, the guy in the Sox jersey needs to be told that the Red Sox suck. But for chrissakes, at least be creative about it! And don't spill your beer! Or throw shit at him and miss and hit ME instead. Dumb fucks.
We eventually vacated our shitty seats and stood by the railing overlooking the 1st base line. The view was much better. Especially as Boston got it's ass handed to it 10-2. That was 5th starter kicking your ass on Saturday. 5 starts, 5 guys, all quality. Jays are going to be a force this year in the AL East.
I made it home, sat in front of my computer, and proceeded to pass out in my chair (yet still took down at least 1 6.50 SnG on Stars). On my way home, I was hit by a wave of exhaustion. No idea why, as I hadn't had a drink all day, and slept a solid night's sleep. Alas, I had a cocktail party to go to in honour of one of my best friends getting married... again. At the last possible minute, I opted to back out and collapse on my bed instead. I was feeling cruddy. I slept for 4 hours and woke up refreshed. This of course led to me sitting online and watching people play poker... while I did some of the same. 2am rolled around and I decided to try that sleeping thing again.
Sunday - brunch with my best friend. Damn good homemade brunch too. We hit the store, stocked up, and cooked. Omlettes with cappicolo, red and yellow peppers, leek, swiss cheese, and portabello mushrooms. Fried potatoes, fresh baguette, and fresh tomatoes on the side. Finished with fresh roasted, fresh ground, cuban coffee. Fantastic.
Then somehow we spent the next 5 hours walking around the city enjoying the weather. It started with a trip to Kensington to get some cheese and browse. Then we just wandered, since it was too nice a day to sit inside. Somewhere in all that, I found a copy of John Woo's The Killer on laserdisc - Criterion Collection. Yes, I have a laserdisc player. It's a nice conversation piece, as are the discs :).
At some point in the evening, I realized I'd gotten some sun... as my face had that tell-tale "I'm burned" heat to it. Whoops.
Baseball, brunch, walking the city... a great way to spend a spring weekend. There's a reason this is my favourite season.
Poker, however, has sucked balls. I've been bad beat regularly, lost almost every race, made great calls or moves and been screwed, and generally sucked all weekend. I can only assume it's a buildup of poker karma for me to take down the MATH tonight. Assuming I'm there.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Oh yah, it is.
Go read Kat's post about the bitchiness that comes with these BBT things and her plea for everyone to STFU.
Although personally, I haven't seen any of this bitching and mean-spiritedness. Maybe my sunny personality and general positivity makes my tablemates so happy that we all get along. Or maybe I'm just not with the asshats. Donkeys, sure... but asshats? Naw. Not a thing. But I'm not questioning Kat, just saying I haven't seen it.
Out in the Riverchasers when someone decided that I had to be bluffing at the J74 rainbow flop when they held AQo and called for 1/2 their chips with 2.3:1 odds. Just because I had a pair doesn't mean it was a bad call on their part. I mean, they turned the Q, so it was obviously the correct decision by them, and poker is all about making correct decisions. We all know that calling = strength.
Just like I made a poor decision in an SnG later when I folded my pocket 77 to a re-raise and re-re-raise push. I would have been against AA and AQ. I would have also flopped quads and been able to walk away and come back to play some other dude HU later. See? A terrible decision by me.
Enough poker. Rant time.
My nation's big airline, Air Canada, is bringing a great new program. For a mere $25 or $35 more, one way, you can get access to customer service agents.
So if your flight gets cancelled due to, say, weather, you get a super-secret number (let's say... 91...2) to call where supposedly, someone who isn't a drugged-up drone will actually help you reschedule, refund, get hotel rooms, etc.. Or if the airline loses your luggage... or whatever else you may need to complain about I guess.
Fuck you Air Canada. This boils down to - "if you want help because we fuck up, pay us MORE money." And will inevitably lead to the "free" customer service dropping in quality even MORE. The good agents will be moved to the premium service, and there will be an tacit approval of worsening the free stuff to push people to the pay service.
What happens when the pay service becomes overloaded? A snowstorm for instance. The call centre will be swamped... so I'll have paid to sit on hold and deal with frazzled overworked agents? Fantfuckingtastic.
I'm sick of Air Canada's crap. Once, a long time ago, flying was a great experience. Your ticket paid for food (and it was better than today), headphones, pillow, blanket, real snacks, and you actually got decent service from people who realized they were being paid for ONE thing - SERVICE. Now? Pay $5 for a shitty sandwich or something that resembles pizza. $2 for an inflatable pillow you have to blow up yourself. Shitty sesame snacks, or my favourite - cashews - because nobody could be allergic to those instead of peanuts. Rude service, security theatre, and a general disregard for the passenger who is PAYING YOUR FUCKING SALARY.
Well, not me... I fly for free.
Now let's talk sports.
The Leafs season is over tomorrow night. They're in 12th place, but I'm pulling for them to win their last game and maybe take 11th, so my pre-season prediction can be right. Not that it matters. They'll have a shitty draft pick and no ability to rebuild. This team need a firehose up the ass to clean itself out. But nope, despite rumours of Brian Burke coming to town, next year's team will look very similar.
Why? Because there's nothing they can do. They either sign Sundin or he retires. Tucker, Blake, and McCabe have no-movement clauses. Kubina is now tradeable, and actually worth something. You can't really trade Kaberle or Toskala. The rest of the team are a bunch of no-name young guys, so you'd be trading for equivalent players. Throw in the salary cap and you've got some serious restrictions.
Antropov has FINALLY had a decent season, if not a full one yet. He made 72 games, which is what I said would take to impress me. It was a career year for him, and I think he's worth another season if he can stay healthy. That said, if the right offer comes along, he's very tradeable.
Ponikarovsky had an off year, and only played 65 games. Still tradeable, but possibly worth more to keep if he's healthy next year.
Personally, I'd bring back Sundin, keep Tucker, buy out Blake, and convince McCabe to waive his clause and see if anybody wants him. If not, buy him out too. Trade Kubina for some prospects and then see what you've got. This leaves the team with one proven defenseman, a decent goalie, a captain whose primary goal is to mentor the young players, and a heart player who can score to teach a bit of grit. You rebuild with an eye to Pogge coming up in a couple years to take over goaltending duties once Toskala gets tired of playing on a losing team. There's promise in some of our youth, and I think it's high time they got more ice time and a chance to live or die on their own accord.
Stajan, Steen, Wellwood, Pohl, Stralman, Newbury, Ondrus and Devereaux all have something to offer. Putting the team on the youth's shoulders could crush some of them, but make other excel. Trial by fire is needed.
And perhaps they can wrap Colaiacavo in padding and he can play some defense without getting injured.. 28 games. Sheesh.
This team needs a serious rebuild. I think that requires a year with the youth getting a run, and a couple veterans around to lead them. A year where these same young guys get a chance to take over that leadership role, and then you start filling holes. It's a 4-5 year plan any way you look at it. It's total bullshit that Leafs fans won't tolerate a rebuild. We've waited 41 years for a Stanely Cup, and 3 seasons now just to see the playoffs. We lived through the Ballard years where any shred of talent was traded in order for Harold to make more money. Leafs fans are brainless sheep who will keep paying to see games, no matter how shitty the team. There's 41 years of history to prove that. 4-5 more with marked improvement isn't going to change that. Plus, the money that would be made if they actually WON some games would more than make up for it. It's a bandwagon with some serious shock absorbers.
Vancouver went and botched it too and are out. Good job Canucks. Edmonton is out as well. The Canadiens are near the top, and the Flames squeaked in. Ottawa holds its destiny in its own hands... needing to at least see overtime against Boston to make the playoffs. Way to fuck up a season Sens. So... 2 or 3 Canadian teams in the playoffs?
But it's baseball season anyway. Jays are 1-2 after their opening series with those most-hated of teams... the Yankees. Three stellar pitching performances by our starters fucked up by our fielding in later innings. Well, not the first game.. that was stellar Yankee fielding that hurt us... and maybe a missed DP or two on our side.
Tonight is the home-opener against the nearly as-hated Red Sox. Marcum vs Wakefield. Could be good. I'll be 5 rows back with some buddies, insulting the Sox and the Blue Jays base coaches all game long.
The Jays have an odd sense around them this year. The refrain is "if all the pieces fit, this will be a good team." What the fuck is that? This is a team that is a favourite for first place in ANY OTHER DIVISION. The problem is we've got the Sox and Yankees and their huge payrolls in ours. Not that the Jays $96 Mil is peanuts. After last year, I'd submit we have the best starting rotation in the league. Halladay, Burnett, McGowan, Marcum, Litsch. What? You don't know those names? That's because they play in Toronto. Accardo is a fine closer, but we only get better when Ryan is back and Accardo moves to setup. The batting? Wells, Rios, Thomas, Rolen, Eckstein, Overbay, Hill, Stairs/Stewart, Zaun/Barajas. This is a lineup made to manufacture runs and clobber the ball when needed.
So what's this trepidation? Because last year looked very similar. We have a much better starting rotation, and have improved the batting somewhat this year. Last year it was injuries that crippled us, and absolutely inexplicable atrocious hitting. This is where my concern comes in. Rolen is already down for a few weeks. We've lost Janssen for the year, and Stairs has a minor ankle issue. I don't know if we canned last year's training staff or not, but we've got a new hitting coach, which can only be an improvement. But if the last few games have been any indication, it's looking like a slow start, with the Jays STILL leaving a ton of guys on base. It doesn't matter if you move them to third if you can't get them home. The OBP HAS to improve this year if we're going to do anything.
And apparently, our fielding could use a bit of work, but that will come. Wells and Rios cover a lot of ground and can throw in the OF. Hill, Eckstein, Overbay, and Rolen are all great infielders, with Scutaro showing he's a good swingman, and McDonald is fantastic in the middle. There's nothing wrong with Zaun or Barajas' catching. Our only obvious fielding hole we have is left. Shannon Stewart and Matt Stais platooning. Stewart has no arm, and Stairs is 40 and can't cover as much ground. Reed Johnson was a solid player there, but I have to assume he's more hurt than we know if they just bought him out to keep those two in play. But other than that hole, it's a field of gold-glove-calibre proportions. It's just going to take some time for Rolen and Eckstein to find their groove with Hill and Overbay. If Eckstein stays wild, I've got no issue with putting McDonald in there for a while to show him how it's done.
So, the team is quality. The coach is solid. Ownership is willing. Management isn't a hurdle (although Ricciardi is having some contract problems with Rios and Hill.. and Rios is worth whatever he costs). The question marks are health, the batting coach, and... heart. I don't doubt the willingness of any player on the team to play hard and win... but it'll be up to the fans to keep them up for the season. Sadly, Jays fans are known to be a touch... quiet. I'll do my part to change that tonight.
Let's go Raptors! Wait... that's next week's game.
I'm sure I could fill in some more space here, but you stopped reading 7 paragraphs ago.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Time to break down some play last night, since I have very little to show for it.
My club's structure for the regular live tournaments go something like this:
15 min blinds
Action is very loose pre-flop, and still fairly loose on the flop. I try to stay out of pots early unless I have a strong drawing hand, strong ace, or decent pair.
- Won an early hand with AQo. Flop came Q7x, two diamonds. Ends up HU against a likeable regular who talks a lot. I bet around 2/3 of the pot and he calls. I put him on the draw. 7 on the turn and he states "I don't like that 7." I check, he checks. Flop comes a brick, I check, he bets 1/4 of the pot and I call. Busted draw for him.
- I then pretty much folded for 45 min as I blind back down to near a starting stack. I loosen up as blinds climb and lose some chips. Then I find AQo again and call a < 3x BB bet preflop. One other caller. Flop comes 797, two spades (I have the ace). Bettor goes all-in and I tank. I can't see this particular guy having anything more than an underpair. I could be against AK. He's the only guy at the table I have covered. I call. He flips over ATo and I'm ahead. Spade on the turn, Ts on the river creates the "yes! no!" reaction as it sinks in that I just 4-flushed him.
- I raise with a couple decent hands and get blinds. I'm amazed that people actually realized how tightly I'd been playing to this point.
- Post-break I find 77 and a small stack. I raise 3x the BB from the cutoff and get called by the BB after he deliberates for not too long. Flop comes J9J. BB bets 1/2 the pot and I'm either pushing or folding. I don't put him on the J or 9. I think he's making a move with an ace. I push for not even a minraise and he calls... flipping over AA. Damn. No improvement for me and I'm done. Well, I was right about him not hitting the flop and having an ace...
- One hand of note. I have pocket 9's on the button. There's a standard raise to 180 before me and I call. Smizmiatch (really, Surly Poker Gnome is better) is in the SB and he pops it to 3x the bet, leaving 500 chips behind. I know the Gnome. I've played him enough times to know he's got SOMETHING here. I'm actually fairly sure I'm beat. Original raiser folds like a Gap employee. I decide to gambool and call. I don't recall the flop exactly, but I think it was something like J86. Gnome checks and I reverse-Hoy him for 499. He pushes his last chip and I call... and he flips over aces. I had him fairly well covered and was still alive.
- I went out against the Gnome when I baited with cowboys to get all-in preflop against his AJ. A on the flop, and then he goes and straightens out for fun (K on the river for the "NOW you come" reaction from me).
- I still loves me some PLO. I didn't pay nearly enough attention though and gave away too many chips. My big hole in this one was ignoring position, which is SO important in Omaha. I don't recall any hands in particular, but I went out 10th.
Made a few bucks in the blogger cash game to even out the night. It's easy to do with a boat and a set as the only two hands you get to the turn with.
Anyway. Congrats to wwonka for taking down the Mookie. I also want to point out the Goat's solid run of late. Cashes in both big games, 4th last night. If he keeps it up, he'll earn his own WSOP seat from cash alone. Where'd the funnyman learn to play poker so good?
Bayne took the Dookie, and was doing alright in the cash game too. Congrats.
And of course LJ keeps rolling, with a good finish in the $64k last night. No final table this time, but I imagine the payout wasn't terrible.
Riverchasers tonight (I never know if I should link to Al or Riggs). I believe we're in a non-NL week, but I have no idea what the game is.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
I played in the Skill Series last night. Limit Omaha H/L. I never quite got my head tuned just right to the game. In other words, I constantly forgot about the low. That said, playing for the high did pretty well for me during the first couple hours. In the end though, when you're only playing for half the pot, you go out 36th of 90.
Yup, I prefer Omaha Hi. Thinking is hard! But I still obviously did more thinking than some of the players I saw. Let's review 2 simple SIMPLE Omaha rules:
1.- You don't get to play all 4 cards dipshit. You only get to play 2 of yours and 3 of the board's. So if there's 3 tens on the board and an ace, and you have one ace, you have a set, not a boat.
2.- 4th pair is not the nuts. In fact, you have nothing at all.
And for H/L:
3.- See #1 - If there aren't 3 cards 8 or lower on the board, you don't have the low.
And here's one more:
4.- Constantly re-raising preflop with multiple players is idiotic in limit Omaha. Doing so on a 1-suit flop when you don't have any of that suit or at least the A of that suit, and there are 4 players in the hand, is also completely retarded. Especially 4-way. Someone is raising because they have the flush, someone else is doing it because they have the low, and whoever is calling has the nuts or is drawing to them. You don't have a hope in hell. It's called pot control, look into it.
And I don't claim to have any clue what I'm talking about, but that's from about 30 seconds of thought being put into the game. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong... just be sure to explain why.
Winning a $22 Turbo SnG before hitting the hay at least gave me a little profit for the night.
There's some sort of poker game tonight at 10pm on Full Tilt for $10+1 with the password vegas1. It's called The Mowkey or something. I may be there. I'm hitting the club and playing live, so it depends on my performance there.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
The plan hasn't changed, but it's refining.
Since slathering a chicken breast with sauce and tossing it on a grill is easy, I'll have to make the sauce.
As I toss a navel orange back and forth between my hands, I know what I'll be doing.
Orange beer bbq sauce. Should be fairly straightforward.
- Orange juice (I may just use Tropicana Homestyle instead of squeezing my own)
- Blanche De Chambly (because a white beer would be best with citrus)
- Honey (strikes me as a better match with orange than molasses or brown sugar)
- Red onion
- Salt, pepper, and spices for heat
Boiled, simmered, reduced.
A mustard may come into play as well, but that would be pushing it methinks. No, strike that.
The veggies will be a bit more diverese than originally planned. Green beans, zucchini, peppers, tomato, maybe chick peas if I have any, and a grainy mustard sauce, perhaps with some worcester sauce and some smokey flavours.
Mashed potato to round it all off.
And my last piece of chocolate cake for dessert, perhaps a la mode with some crème brûlée ice cream. Yah, my diet is in full swing.
Okay, I'm full just reading it. Also, the turkey wrap and wild mushroom velouté (soup) I had for lunch is probably helping there.