Monday, June 29, 2009

Totally My Fault

I woke up Sunday at the crack of 2pm and decided I wanted to play some poker. I fired up the Poker Stars client to check out the final bit of WSOP ME satellites. I found it odd that the only one left was the $650 25 seat guarantee, expecting a last-ditch cheaper version to attract the masses.

Not having that much in my account, and not being able to add enough to top it off to that, I maxed out my depost and decided to play in the the $215 step 4 satellite to the $650.

10-player SnG, top 3 get seats, 4th gets $50. Not a bad payout structure (although the $50 is pretty useless after dropping $215 to play).

I came in 4th.

I played far too loose to start, doubled up when needed, and fell into the same trap as the other 3 on the payout bubble. I tightened up.

The 4-handed fun started with the chips being fairly evenly spread, except the chipleader who had around 3k more than 2nd place (who was me at around 4k). Nobody was willing to play. I didn't take advantage of this, and I should have. At one point I had the lead after a couple no-contest raises and the chipleader losing half his stack to the shorty. I still didn't push anyone around. I lost half my stack to the shorty when my middle pair didn't hold to his AQ thanks to the river Q. I built back up easily enough, and then stopped again. The one stab I did take saw the leader check-raise me on the flop, forcing me to fold. No way I couldn't believe a check-raise on a table that tight.

In the end, I went down on some standard hand (KK < AJ naturally), and took my measley $50 and went home. I SHOULD have had the $650 seat and the shot at the ME. Instead, I played like a pussy and deserved what I got.

Which pretty much sums up my play over the past few months. Disinterested, non-strategic, and purely ABC. It's a rut I need to break out of if I want to keep enjoying this little game we play.


Hmm... maybe I'll throw some pics up later.

If there's one thing that makes me envious of Californians and Floridians, it's their much longer growing seasons. Ontario has the benefit of the Pelee region, which has the same latitude as northern California, but that's hardly citrus weather.

No, we have to make the most of the periods of fresh non-greenhouse produce. Especially when it comes to summer foods like berries.

It's strawberry season at the moment. It came about a week later than usual due to lots of rain and not so much heat. Last weekend was when most berry farms opened their fields to the masses, but I opted to wait until this past weekend to go, as all indications were that was when they'd be peaking.

The effect of limited windows is that people tend to descend on these locales like vultures on carrion. My foodie best friend and I headed up mid-day to an organic farm about 30 minutes outside the city. Some small rolling hills, and farms surrounded by encroaching housing developments were our views on the way. The small field was dotted with children and their parents picking through the far reaches of the patch.

A warning was issued by the girl tending the till - yes, there are berries for picking, but they're harder to find because it's late in the season (yes, the opened a week before) and yesterday was very popular.

Undaunted, we ventured to the nearest row. This is traditionally a bad move when pickign berries as all the lazy people have already picked them clean. You generally walk as far as in as you can to find the best berries.

Except that we spotted some pretty good-looking samples at our feet. As the rest of the crowd worked their way down the rows towards their vanishing point, we stayed near the start. Eight litres were picked without too much exertion, in under an hour. None were particuarly large, but all were a beautiful red.

$28 later, we were on our way. A quick stop at another farm to buy a flat of their berries (worried that perhaps we'd be short for our needs), and it was back to the kitchen for us.

4L of cleaned and hulled berries, 12 cups of sugar, and one lemon's worth of juice were combined, boiled, and reduced (220F BTW, fuck all this checking for gel stage) for some kick-ass strawberry jam. It had turned the red of raspberry jam, which was a first for me. The taste is fantastic though. Which is nice, because the berries were tarter than expected.

This left a still significant amount of berries behind. Around 2-3L of our picked ones, and 3 more litres that we had bought.

Easy enough answers, that I got to the next day. Vodka, sorbet, and freezing.

Clean, hull, and slice berries. Fill a jar halfway with them. Fill the whole jar with vodka. Close the lid, stick it in the fridge, and wait a week. That explains the two jars of red vodka with straberries floating around in my fridge.

1kg of cleaned and hulled berries, 100g of sugar, juice of one lemon. Purée, combine, and dump in an ice cream maker. Sorbet.

Take the best berries after hulling (ie.- no other bad parts that had to be cut), lay them out on a baking sheet and refrigerate for an hour. Then transfer the sheet to the freezer for 6 or more hours. Remove and transfer berries to a ziploc bag or plastic container and leave in the freezer.

Take the less ideal berries, slice 'em in half, cover in sugar and mix until the sugar has been absorbed and the berries are all shiny in sweet syrupy juice. Dump 'em in a container and freeze.

Raspberry season starts in two weeks.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I'm not entirely sure how I managed to get out of bed, let alone shower, get dressed, and get to work with the excruciating pain in my lower back the past two days.


Anyway, that's not what's got me a touch annoyed.

The "news cycle" is doing today. First, Wolf Blitzer on CNN covering Michael Jackson's death. The guy couldn't be less sincere if he had tried. He kept showing clips of Jackson videos, and the "reminiscing" about them afterwards with boilerplate claptrap like "Beat It, what a memorable video and song. That was Michael Jackson performing in that video there. Who can't remember these videos?" He'd basically repeat that for each one. When he spoke to people in the industry about MJ, he'd be 10 seconds behind what they were talking about. They'd be halfway through their next item and he'd cut them off to basically repeat what they just said about the previous one.

Guy's going senile.

Why the FUCK wasn't John Roberts doing the coverage? The guy was a FUCKING VEEJAY in the 80's and 90's! JD Roberts on MuchMusic baby! Nobody there is more qualified.

Anyway, they filled hours of time covering the situation, but it was obvious they had nothing worth saying that couldn't have been said in thirty minutes. No wonder "journalism" and "reporting" are in the sewer.

But that's not all! No. As a Canadian, and especially a Torontonian, I'm constantly annoyed by the morons posing as sportscasters in the States. Lucky for us, we have 3 of our own sports channels, so we're rarely exposed to ESPN and their ilk.

First, most guys in sports reporting that I have seen in the US are straight up morons. They can barely get a comprehensible sentence out of their mouths, let alone keep track of what's going on. They talk over action and distract because they love the sound of their own voice and feel the need to provide the most USELESS information possible during a game. I get that colour commentary is necessary, but learn to shut your damned trap for 3 seconds.

But the truly annoying part? The fact Toronto seems to be in a void to them. We have the only Canadian NBA team in the Raptors. The only Canadian MLB team in the Blue Jays. Then there's hockey, but I'll forgive them for ignoring that, since everybody else south of Manhattan does. But if you listen to a US feed of a game involving either of these teams or any of the players in an all-star game, it's obvious they haven't even looked at a stat sheet.

If Halladay was in New York, he'd be the biggest name pitcher in the majors. If Rios was in Boston, he'd be lauded (well, maybe not the last two seasons). Chris Bosh is a known name in the NBA, but still underestimated to comparable players. Hell, if it wasn't for Vince Carter's fantastic slam dunk competition years ago, he would have been invisible until he got to the Nets.

And last night was the NBA draft. Raps draft DeMar DeRozen at #9. A "potential" player who could either be huge, a bust, or an everyman. Who knows? But ESPN interviews him after, and he gives the standard "thrilled to be going to [insert team here]" response. The ESPN lackey? "Well, you'll love the public transit system in Toronto. Their streetcars are very... efficient."


We're a city of over 3 million people. 5 million are in town a work day. We're the 5th largest city in North America. Easily the most diverse city in the world. Museums, art gallerys, theatre, tourist attractions, major sports franchises, the largest entertainment/club district in the world, etc, etc, etc.... and you fucking laud the STREETCARS?? The same ones we're trying desperately to scrap and replace? Fuck, why not just shrug and say, "Well, I can't tell you much about Toronto, because I'm far too fucking lazy to look up the wikipedia page for 10 seconds before this 1 minute interview."

Imagine if the Celtics drafted the guy, and got "Well, hey, you'll love the MBTA. Really great buses."

Give me a fucking break.

I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Never Give Up

A timeline.

- Turn computer on last week
- Leave computer on a week
- Turn off computer Tuesday night
- After working just fine all week, playing games, downloading, etc, computer doesn't turn on.
- Realize video cable knocked out after restarting system
- Plug back in
- No signal
- Lights on, nobody home
- No beeps, no reaction to shutdown keystrokes for Windows
- This means - it isn't really on
- Full shutdown, restart. Nothing.
- Check video card. Nothing.
- Clear CMOS. Nothing.
- Eventually pull everything but RAM, video card, CPU and fans
- Nothing.
- Pull RAM. Motherboard beeps RAM error. Replace RAM one at a time. Try both sticks individually. Nothing
- Unplug video card. Video card lets me know of its dissatisfaction.
- Plug video card back in. Nothing.
- Pull out power supply.
- Turn on power supply, use multimeter to test every plug. Checks out.

So, I have a completely dismantled computer that won't turn on.

I have never given up on a machine, and I'm not about to start. At this point, it can only be the video card, the motherboard, or the CPU. If it was the CPU, the motherboard should beep accordingly. Ditto the video card. So it seems it may be the motherboard. Finding people with similar problems but little solutions now...

Just venting.


It's been awhile since I waded into the PLO pool. Thanks to Jordan's post yesterday, I was reminded of this. So I played the 9:15 $5k guarantee on Tilt. Honestly, the $26 is beyond what would be "right" for my current online roll, but that's never stopped me in the past.

What a terrible bunch of players. Something like 227 donkeys lined up in a straight line to save bullets.

Hand histories are at home, but in the first half hour I was up to 16k in chips, and we were still in the 20/40 level.

One hand saw THREE players send all their chips my way. I turned the nut straight, and found myself against JJ, an overpair, and top set (everyone but the JJ, who as in preflop, all-in on the turn). Seriously? JJ had no other possible helpful cards in the starting hand. The overpair's call was moronic. The top set would have been forgiveable except I'm SURE he thought he'd turned a boat using 3 of his cards.

I sat out for a bit to do some chores. Hell, I had an M of 267 and the break was coming in 10 minutes. The cat litter wasn't going to change itself.

I sat back down after the first break and chipped up over 25k. By the 2nd break, we were down to around 50-60 players left.

My game went off the rails a bit during the 3rd hour, and at one point I found myself down to around 7k, for 3rd last, with around 7 to go before the money. I'd lost to quads (3 on the board) 4 times, but other than the first one, minimized my losses. I was long folded when another 3-board quads came down. I don't care how draw-heavy Omaha is, 5 times at one table 3 cards of the same rank came down, giving some donkey with a terrible hand quads. The rest of the losses came from having to fold draws to boards with bigger draws in them. Omaha's a game of the nuts after all, and I couldn't imagine anybody I was playing against being capable of bluffing.

The I finally got some cards. AKAQ DS holds. Flushes filled. And then I had enough chips (around 40k) to scare off everyone else as we went hand-for-hand.

Once we got close to the final table bubble, I was above average, and evenly matched with the other chipleaders at my table, save one. I stole some blinds, won some hands early that I wished people had stayed around for, and basically stood still as nobody was willing to take a shot.

I don't remember my last hand exactly, but it was against the table leader, who had been LAGgy and had shown some terrible hands the odd time it went to showdown. I had AJ s00ted and a couple other cards I like in there. I flopped the A and maybe a draw, read him for weak, and pushed. He called after a few seconds thought and showed 2nd pair. He rivered 2 pair to send me packing in 10th.

It was a far more interesting game than The Mookie was, that's for sure. It also made me a small profit for the night, but increased the Tilt roll by a third, so there's that.

The whole thing felt like playing NLHE a couple years ago. Everyone tightens up at bubbles, and it's ABC Omaha (actually, more like the illiterate dyslexic version of ABC). Bad play is the norm.

I'll probably be back in it tonight. Unless I get caught up in trying to get my damned desktop to work again. Fucking thing just up and died. I'm suspecting the power supply now.

That's what laptops are for though, right?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Since Heroes People Don't Tweet

Bryan Fuller's left Heroes again. He's responsible for the good episodes. He came back halfway through the last season when Pushing Daisies was canned. He's generally credited with why the show got "better" halfway through.

So he's gone again, all hope is lost. Not that I had any to start with.

Could be Another Lost Day

It's Tuesday. I need to keep reminding myself of this. Because I think it's Wednesday. But it's not, it's Tuesday. Tomorrow is Wednesday, because today is Tuesday.

I feel like I've missed Tuesday both times the last two weeks. It's an odd feeling.

I'm sure the drinks with co-workers and the boss tonight won't help with my internal calendar.

And Canada Day next week is on Wednesday, not even a long weekend, just one of those freaky "break in the middle of the week" holidays.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Weekend, Weekend, Don't Be Late

Shit, where the motherfuck did Monday come from?

I swear it was Monday yesterday, and I was bitching about it being Monday.

Well, I guess when you find yourself busy all week, it can fly by.

Now, summer starts and thing should slow to a crawl, as the dress code slowly slips until September.

Anyway, a good week. Saw a few movies I enjoyed (Frost/Nixon, and Up, which is far, far better than Wall-E could have hoped to be, but still hasn't reached Toy Story 2 height in the Pixar pantheon). A birthday bbq on Friday that let me catch up with a few good friends. I've been hermitting a fair bit recently, and have been late in emerging from the winter hibernation. That might have been the event to kick my ass into gear. Saturday I fixed a computer in my usual way (showed up, turned it on, and it worked fine because it feared me), followed by Up and tasty sushi and drinks. Sunday was father's day, but I first managed to get a few things done around the homestead, go for a walk around the downtown, have some ice cream, and veg around a bit before heading to the folks'. Of course, I played a few $5 SnG's on Stars, only to get raped by their RNG each time. Nothing worse than playing the turned flush perfectly only to have the river pair for your opponent's boat. Oh wait, it's worse when you knew it was coming from the flop.

And now I want this weekend to roll around. Friday is another birthday, a costume party - dress as your favourite person. I'm going as myself.

Saturday? Taking advantage of a late strawberry season in Ontario and planning to pick a few tonnes of the red berries, turning them into various other forms (jam, sorbet, sherbet, ice cream, shortcake, syrup, vodka, waffles, and I'm sure I can think of others). Hoping there are a few raspberries too. Hey, this is Canada, you jump on the opportunity for fresh, local produce.

I'd also like my predictions about the Jays to stop almost coming true when I put a pessimistic spin on them. 1-2 against the Nationals? Ugh. Way to waste what should have been the easiest series of your existence.

Cincy next. I expect the Jays will take the series, but not sweep. Then it's time to welcome the Phillies to town. Hrmm... maybe I'll see if anyone wants to go to the game on Sunday. Doc may be back in the rotation then.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back to the Jays

It's been awhile since I talked Blue Jays. Baseball that is. Since then, I believe they went on a 9 game losing streak, won a few more after that, won some series, lost some series, got swept by Florida, and just swept Your World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Yah, the Toronto Blue Jays did that.

If you live in Toronto (which is the only place I think anybody actually CARES about the Jays, outside of random people in other parts of Canada), then you'd think they were in dead last in the league.

Except they're in 3rd place in the toughest division in baseball. 1 game back of the Yankees for 2nd, and 4 games back of the Red Sox. They have a 37-31 record. You know how many teams outside of the AL East have 37 or more wins? 3. Texas and Milwaukee both have 37, and Los Angeles has 44. The Yankees have 37, but have played 2 less games than the Jays, hence the 1 game lead. The Sox have 40 wins.

The Jays .544 record would put them in 1st place in the AL Central, and 2nd place in 3 of the 4 other divisions. It would actually be a virtual tie for 2nd in the 4th with the Angels in the AL West. All those 2nd places would be 1-1.5 games back of first, except for the NL West, where the Dodgers are running away with it (7.5 games back if the Jays were there). It's a long season, and it's far from over for the boys in Blue.

This with a massacred pitching staff. None of our injured starters from last year are coming back this season. If Tommy John got royalties for every time the surgery named after him happened, he'd owe the Jays a Christmas ham. My brother has a theory that Arnsberg is actually injuring the pitchers with his coaching, and Halladay hasn't blown out his arm because he was good before Arnsberg got here. That may be worth looking into.

The hitting had been sporadic lately too, but a rejig of the lineup by Gaston seems to have woken up some players. Rios is finally playing as he should be in 6th position, with his average jumping 10 points immediately, and his RBI and HR count climbing again.

And this weekend? A series against Washington. Washington... the worst team in baseball by a country mile. 18-46 Washington. .281 Washington. 9 games back of SECOND LAST place in the LEAGUE Washington.

I expect we'll get swept.

That's (I hope) an exaggeration. Tallet will hopefully bounce back strong from his terrible start in Florida. Romero's still shown himself to be strong. There's just that TBD spot between them to worry about.

Halladay out until the 28th with a strained groin (another "WTF?" injury for Doc), our closer Downs out with a sprained toe (huh?), and even recently returned Casey Janssen out with an inflamed shoulder.

The fact the Jays have stayed THIS competitive with a revolving door of pitcher injuries is impressive in itself. The question remains - can they keep it up?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fast Week

It's Thursday, which means the week is flying by. Good.

Bread turned out pretty well. A bit dense due to 3 rises. Guess I'll have to get some fast-rise yeast to avoid that in the future. I also think the flavour might have been diluted due to the extra liquid from the regular yeast and the extra flour to balance that out. Still, good bread.

Mookie? Out in 10th. Forced to fold TP-Shitkicker an orbit or two earlier for more chips than I'd like. Nailed BuddyDank to double up when T9 vs JJ flopped a straight (AND it won? WTF?). Then went out to TripJax when my AQs went down to his JJ the next hand. Ah well.

That was it for poker last night.

There's a bit of an online jonesin' coming back. I think it has to do with me playing at Stars and needing to clear some points fast to get a bonus I should have had plenty of time to work on. Of course, never playing at Stars hampers that. Having no BR also limits the ability to build points rapidly. Nothing like watching 0.25/0.50 (which is still too large for my BR on Stars) tick by and points crawl up.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bread and Bloggers Representing

As part of my wine club membership, I get a couple recipes sent to me each month that pair well with the wines I get. They usually sound pretty interesting, but I have yet to get around to making any.

Then with the Trius Red came Tomato Bread with Roasted Garlic.

And it turns out I had all the ingredients.

Except the fast rise yeast. Whoops.

No worries, regular dry active yeast in some water and added with the liquids.

So last night I decided to make it. I rehydrated the sundried tomatoes, roasted some garlic, and assembled the ingredients. First time the dough hook's been used on the Cuisinart mixer.

Seems the extra water made it a bit sticky. A couple cups of flour later and it could be handled without sticking to every spot of skin available.

Then I realized it would be 2am before the bread was done, I'd go to sleep, and not even try the stuff until tonight.

So I punched down the dough, put it in the greased pans, and put 'em in the fridge to keep 'em from rising until I could get to them tonight.

This morning? Three pans full of risen bread dough. Whoops.

So... when I get home tonight, I suppose another punch will be required and a third rise. Not exactly according to the recipe, but at the end of the day, bread is bread and the flavours are all extras. In fact, the 16 hours in the fridge will probably impart a more yeasty and delicious bread flavour.

Any breadmakers out there want to warn me off a third rise?


So first we had CK taking 39th in the $2.5k Omaha/Stud WSOP event for around $4300. Now, we have LJ (too lazy to look up her CR blog, she's got a link at the other one) taking down TENTH out of 770 in the $1.5k HORSE event! Bubbles suck, but $19.2k? Not too shabby. That would almost make me a winning player if I won that.

I really hope that last statement is hyperbole on my part.

The blogger ladies are kicking ass in the WSOP this year.

Guys? You gonna step up? You know, other than Sprstoner, who's been on a sick run for a while now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


In Canada, there's currently a bit of debate going on between our minority government and the official opposition. Something about employment insurance and other items that are being used as a political springboard as Michael Ignatieff (or "Iggy") tests the waters to see if we'd accept another election.

The short answer is, "no." The only people who want an election are the Liberals and NDP. The rest of the country still doesn't want to go to the polls AGAIN, even if we generally think our Prime Minister is an asshole and a dork who has no fucking clue what he's doing. Thing is, Iggy's not that much better a choice.

But regardless of the outcome, this is a battle carried on mostly in the media, with the citizens grumbling a bit and generally not giving much of a rat's ass.

It's all quite boring and inconsequential when you compare it to what's going on in Iran.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a landslide (62% of the vote) victory over the weekend over his opponent Mir Hossein Mousavi. (An aside: When did over 60% become a landslide? I'd think 70% would be the minimum qualification for such a powerful word). Of course, very few people believe this. Mousavi lost in his home town, which is kind of hard to believe. He lost in districts that were politically aligned with his views. And not by a little. Election results were announced BEFORE THE POLLS CLOSED. In short, other than Ahmadinejad's supporters, nobody in the country believes the election was fair.

Here's the interesting thing - they're not taking it quietly. Iran has traditionally been a theocracy. The President isn't even the true leader, that's the Ayatollah. This is a region of the world where the oppressed tend to stay oppressed. Police and military enforce the will of the leadership. This time though, there are angry riots, demonstrations, and protests. The millions of opposition supporters aren't taking it lying down.

Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad is making speeches about how Iran is the most pure democracy in the world, and how it's the most stable government in the world. As Jon Stewart put it last night - not even his translator is buying it.

Apparently the Ayatollah has requested an investigation into the election. One might suspect such an investigation would be as believable as the election results to the protestors.

I'm in no position to say if the election was legit or not. My gut says it wasn't, but I'm watching this from half a world away.

The true results of this chaos is in the hands of the Iranian citizenry. The rest of the world will offer support, will chastise the government if an investigation isn't done properly, and might even threaten a sanction or two. But Iran is too powerful a country in too volatile a part of the world for the major countries to piss off. So the questions that need to be asked are - Is the will of the people strong enough to accomplish change? Can they bring a government that is truly representative of the people into being? What do the people truly believe anyway?

In the meantime, I feel for the people. They are standing up for what they believe, and the emotions have simmered below the surface for so long that now they're erupting through the fissure that's been created by this election. I find myself siding with the protestors - if for no other reason that image #29 in the photo set linked above.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vegas Envy

It's not looking like I'll make Vegas this summer. That'll be the first time in 3 years. December's still going to happen, but June is right out. Flights are stupidly expensive (airlines cut routes, and raised prices), and I'm not going to drop $1000 for flights alone on what amounts to 1 1/2 days.

Throw in some birthdays (including my mother's) and Father's Day over the next couple weekends, and it's be damned irresponsible of me to not stay in town.

My buddy N is heading there this weekend. Some other friends are going next weekend. Of course, bloggerfriends are in and out of Sin City for the next month or so. I am, naturally, green with jealousy.

Well, maybe not of those who are working 16 hour days before drinking for 4 hours and then trying to sleep.

Naw, I'm even a bit envious of them.

Monday Again

Every week, Monday rolls around. Will it ever stop?

Good weekend though.

Friday - continued displaying my lack of a life by staying home and coming in second in the Donkament. Congrats to Numbette for taking it down. I spent most of the game listening to the BDR crew bash my stellar play (rebuy method: (Any ace, any king, any connectors, any 1-gappers, any suited face, any paint) = ALL IN)

I ran sick, then the RNG turned on me, then I ran sick again after the rebuy.

Meanwhile I drank a Blue Lagoon with blood orange vodka and watched the Penguins beat the Wings in game 7 (I can only imagine how happy this guy was).

Hell of a game. Hell of a series. Hell of a playoffs. Good game guys. Penguins take round 2 against Detroit and Crosby is the youngest Stanley Cup captain ever. Bettman's still a douchebag though. Can you say round 3 next year?

Saturday - Oh bliss. Hit the farmer's market with the best friend. It was surrouned by dogs as Woofstock (and that's just the start of the bad puns for that event) was taking place on the closed-off street. Good things dogs are cute. Grabbed a few bags of groceries, and off to the Summerhill Market to find Greek yogurt. You'd think in a city that has a Greek population like we do, there'd be more Greek yogurt to be found.

Why Greek yogurt (and a bunch of other stuff)? Because we were making Greek food that night. Homemade tzatiki (fan-FUCKING-tastic) and Greek salad was my friend's job. Me? I handled the chicken (one whole chicken, butterflied, marinated, and grilled flat on the BBQ on the roof), and the potatoes, roasted in the oven until brown and crispy (that last bit was handled by my friend as I was roofside, grilling).

As I was on the roof grilling away, I called my friend to come up and take some stuff down. Upon walking out on my fantastic roof with a great view of the city, lake, tower, and AGO on a gorgeous evening, it was decided that we were eating up there. An excellent bottle of Hillebrand's 2008 Artist's series Sauvingnon Blanc (sent thanks to my wine club membership) was downed, and a couple whitebeers (Hoegaarden and Blanche de Chambly) came after. Some strawberry sorbet from last week finished it off.

That was one kickass meal, and the leftovers made a kick-ass chicken sandwhich for me on Suday. That's also when I found the Kasseri cheese that was supposed to be made into Saganaki. Whoops.

Sunday? I woke up around 1, lazed through the day, and played some poker. I came to a realization that my BR was in trouble and I didn't want to refill it (and, in fact, Click2Pay won't let me on Stars). So I guess I'm back to playing responsible limits. Which likely means no more WSOP shots or last-minute Sunday guarantees. $3 MTTs and $5 SnGs, here I come! Oh joy.

And then today I finished off the Playoff Pool. this guy came in 2nd in the second chance pool, which game him a bit of a profit that I'll now mail across the country. Thousands of $$ given away, and not a penny to me.

Now to eliminate the next 3 days so it's Friday tomorrow. I'm entering one of the birthday seasons (not mine), which means many a friend to be visited in the upcoming weeks. Damn, that's starting to sound like a life, and just when I was enjoying sitting around in my boxers with a plate of bacon in front of me.

Friday, June 12, 2009


It started out as me wanting to use lard in chocolate chip cookies. Then I decided bread was good idea. Then OhCaptain chimed in with cinnamon rolls.

Now there's a whole greek meal planned. No, there wasn't really a connection between the baked goods and the meal. Regardless, I imagine there will be food made this weekend.

Now if only blood oranges were still in season...

Meanwhile, I'm leaning towards street meat for dinner tonight. It should sit will with the angus cheeseburger and fries I had for lunch.

Or maybe I'll just drink for dinner. The blood orange vodka and lemonade last night was tasty. It would prime me for the Donkament.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I've Obviously Got Nothing

Yah, one of those posts.

What can I say? Heading home, making pizza, eating said pizza, and then vegging in front of some sort of screen doesn't make for worthwhile rambling.

I did wander the city with my camera yesterday, heading for a couple Luminato installations. A few preliminary shots are on my Flickr page.

Ended up at the Red Ball the same time this guy was there. Which is kind of cool since his photo blog is probably the best on Toronto. I wish I had an ounce of his skill. Of course, I wasn't SURE it was him, and didn't say hi out of fear I'd have the wrong guy. Actually, I was sure, I just hate coming off as a stalker (it happens far more often than I'd like... I should really stop stalking people). I'm surprised I didn't run into him earlier though, since he lives about 3 blocks away from me and always seems to be taking pictures of places I've been to, around the same time I was there. Maybe I'm the one being stalked...

You know what's mildly depressing? When a guy you interviewed and recommended for a job 6 years ago just got promoted to head of something while you're in the same spot you were 8 years ago. Then again, I didn't want to move to NYC, and am also one lazy procrastinator. He, on the other hand, is a workaholic. I can't stand workahol.

The meeting with the CFO tomorrow could be interesting though. Or routine.

Poker, let's talk about that. I suck at it. Well, I suck at it except when I don't and then get sucked out on. Online BR is dwindling again already. I think I reloaded 3 weeks ago. Need to play within my limits. At least I'll never have any of those pesky withdrawal issues successful players have. I mean, you can't withdraw if you don't have any winnings, right?

Yah... it's one of those weeks. Yet still, I haven't had a drink since Saturday. Man, I need a beer... and a scotch... and maybe a martini. Not necessarily in that order.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Well Rested

I was tired most of last week. This was odd because I got a lot of sleep. I chalked it up to my body finishing off the flu from the weekend before.

Saturday night, around 3am Sunday, I went to bed. I finally got out of bed around 6pm Sunday evening. I wasn't tired any more.

It's always odd to sleep away an entire day. You obviously get very little done (me? two rounds of dishes from the night before, put away laundry, cleaned cat litter, and vegged around). I also completely spaced on the TOC, but congrats to JJOK, actyper, CK, and karmarules for taking down the seats! 10k to JJ and act, 2k to CK and karma. We know CK will put that 2k to use in a bracelet event, but will the others?

I forgot about something else too, but I forget what it was now.

Oh, and congrats to sprstoner on taking in around $200k in sweet, sweet, WSOP ka-ching!

Wasn't this guy using part of the last rent money he had a year ago? Man, what a turnaround.

If I do Atlantic City, it will likely be later in the summer. If I do Vegas, it will either be the 2nd last or last weekend of June. Where should I stay? Near the Rio or near the Strip?

And would it kill UPS to send advance notice of COD charges? I get it, I have to pay sales taxes on the US-purchased order, but my front desk isn't going to pony up $55 for me. I need to leave a cheque. Now everybody has to make a second trip.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Damn You All

Oh, you are an insidious lot. Sneaky, scheming, and most assuredly patient in your machinations, that's what you are.

All these tweets, posts, and other pronouncements of your activities is chipping away at my fragile resolve. I've wavered constantly back and forth today.

Vegas? Not Vegas? Stay home and pull the covers up over my head?

IF I did Vegas, it would be for a day-off-free weekend. Fly in Friday night, leave Sunday. This lends itself to two options.

1.- Play a single 2-day tournament (either Venetian deepstack or Caesar megastack).
2.- Play no tournaments and just wander Vegas, seeking bloggers, games of interest, and general trouble. I mean, Pauly, Al, CK, F-Train, LJ, and Change are permanent fixtures down there right now (well, Pauly will be once he gets back). I believe Otis is swinging over sometime in the future as well to toss limes and write about some little series that is going on now, assuming Dos and the family stay well. And of course, there's a revolving door of other bloggers coming and going from Sin City. So I could probably find someone to talk to and grab a drink with.

Obviously, 2 is more appealing, although I'd love to take a shot at the tournament. But if I went deep (hey, it's happened before), then that would take up 99% of my time there.

Then there's non-Vegas. Specifically, Atlantic City. I've never been, and I hear Riggs is hanging around the Borg. Jordan needs about 1/8th of an excuse to head down there these days, and I'm sure I could drag my buddy N along for the ride.

Or I stay home. I've got an invite to Chicago that I should follow up on for late June or July. I'm in Israel at the end of August. It's not like I'm planning on not going anywhere anyway. A day trip to Niagara or Rama one weekend and no foreign exchange or passports to worry about.

Oh decisions, how do I hate thee?

For tonight, I'll focus on the 16oz ribeye slathered in butter that I have planned. And the gimlet. And Key Lime pie. Have yourselves a great weekend!

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Is it post-BBT (forever) burnout? Trailing flu recovery? Or just summer rolling in? For some reason, I've followed a similar pattern this week. Get a good night's sleep, go to work, come home, and fall asleep for a few hours before getting up, throwing together some dinner (or cleaning up after the dinner I had before passing out), and then puttering around for an hour before going back to bed.

I had planned to play The Mookie last night, I swear! But by the time I pulled my ass out of bed, it was 10:30 and I hadn't had anything to eat yet. Nor had the cats, who had surprisingly not destroyed my place in retribution. So I whipped up a sweet PB & J (which had been the plan from mid-afternoon onwards), and decided to make some lemonade. This took me through the Dookie late-reg, so I said screw it and played Assassin's Creed instead.

That PB & J was so good, I may repeat it tonight. Or maybe I'll bring it up a few levels. Multiple types of jam, some honey with the PB, or some hot sauce. Or both. Triple decker time. Or I'll add some homemade marshmallow crème. I mean, I have a loaf of mass-produced white bread to get through people!

Right now, I wish I'd brought some of that lemonade to work with me.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

China's Laughing

I might as well link to Mish again, since he's got the important parts up.

Yu Yongding, is a former advisor to China's central bank. He publicly asked Tim Geithner if he could see his math on the idiotic lies that the Fed and Gubmint have been spouting about how they'll lower the deficit and keep the dollar strong.

He then called the US, "the world’s biggest junk investor" and then said the Fed has dropped “tons of money from the sky since the subprime crisis.”

When Geither spoke at Peking University (I'm surprised it would still be called Peking U), he assured the crowd of students that Chinese assets (those billions, if not trillions of dollars invested in US treasuries and such) were very safe, the auditorium of students broke out in laughter.

China isn't full of idiots. Sure, they may be sequestered, blocked from free information, and under government control, but they aren't all uneducated country bumpkins. And they've got the best bullshit training in the world dealing with their government... you think Geithner can convince them that a single turd coming from his hole is gold?

China also dumped some big money in stimulus packages. You know where it went? Manufacturing and industry. They showed growth last month. Sure, it's artificial, but it's more useful than bailing out banks.

They're starting to realize they have the power in this partnership now. Others will smell the sick economic carcass of Uncle Sam too. Then things will get... interesting. Or maybe your leaders can get their heads out of their asses and do something useful for a change.

A Little Canadian Idiocy For a Change

Just because some of us are damned-near perfect (we're called Torontonians) doesn't mean the WHOLE country is.

Alberta's done gone and passed a stupid law allowing parents to pull their kids from classes when sex, religion, or sexual orientation discussions come up. The parents must be notified, and then they can opt to have their children taken out of the discussion.

This is a clause in a bill that brings gay rights under the umbrella of Alberta's Human Rights code.

The argument on the pro side is that this allows parents to have greater say in their children's education.

The arguement on the side that makes any damned sense is that a bunch of uneducated, homophobic, bigoted morons are scared their kids are going to be turned gay.

Let's cover the 3 topics.

Sex - Okay, so you don't want your kids to be involved in discussions of sex. Because they're too young? Guess what? "You show me yours and I'll show you mine" has been around forever. And you sure as hell aren't going to teach your kids about sex until they already know more than you've built up the guts to talk about. Hell, you'll probably teach 'em wrong. Sexual education doesn't lead to promiscuity, earlier sex, or more babies. It actually leads to the opposite. But then, we still live in a society where sex is somehow far, far worse than violence.

Religion - Please go lobotomize yourself now. Oh, you already did? That explains that. What possible discussion of religion would you pull your kids from? Are you terrified they'll LEARN about one? Or maybe they'll learn about one you don't follow? I went to Catholic school from senior kindergarten up to my last year of high school - 14 years. I don't consider myself Catholic, despite receiving all those big ol' sacraments that one does. The BEST religion classes we took were those that covered OTHER religions. They were fair, honest, and actually interesting. You know what? Everyone believes the same shit, it's just in the practical side of the worship where they differ. Hell, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all worship the same God, yet they've been killing each other in his name for millenia. But hey, it'd be terrible if your kids learned something like TOLERANCE and UNDERSTANDING.

Sexual Orientation - Ah, here's the rub. This is the ONLY FUCKING REASON this law is here. Can't you hear it? "Sex, religion, and *mumblemumble*sexualorientation*mumblecough*". Yup, can't have your kids learn about the gays. Much better you sit in your slack-jawed, drooling way and tell 'em how gays is an abomination and ain't not good. How gays wanting to get married somehow invalidates your pathetic and unhappy marriage. Because damn, if they came home talking about how being gay isn't really a big deal at all, you'd have to beat 'em until they were straight.

And the whole thing is such an obvious start to a slippery slope. What if you're talking about something else and the class discussion moves into one of these topics? Is teacher going to cut it off there because a parent might sue? Will teachers be even MORE controlled and boring because they fear the parents?

You don't want your kids learning what's being taught in the school? HOME SCHOOL THEM INTO PERVETED UNSOCIALIZED FREAKS like every other paranoid parent out there who can't admit that they're woefully underqualified to handle their childrens' education. Parents already HAVE a say in their kids' education. They have a HUGE say. The problem is that most are TOO FUCKING LAZY to take advantage of this and take an active role in it. You get to see their homework, you get to have a dinnetime discussion of what they covered (but of course, letting them grab a slice of pizza and run up to their room isn't conducive to that), and you can bloody well set up an appointment with their teachers whenever you damn well please. But fuck that! You'd actually have to TALK to your kids and show an IOTA of intelligent thought. Nope, much easier to legislate that you have to get a note sent home letting you know that the clitoris, Hinduism, or Prop 8 is going to be discussed next week so you can send Billy to the library for 30 minutes, which will mark him as the kid with the crazy parents.

Could you imagine Kat teaching with that law in place?

Nice job Alberta. You've elected morons like everyone else.

Monday, June 01, 2009

When God Closes A Door...

It's probably because there's a big freakin' draft. What were you, Jesus, born in a barn?

I ran out of crème brûlée ice cream last night (yes, I used the "when God..." line for ice cream, did you really expect me to be less tacky?). I used it in an attempt to make a malted shake. Sadly, I didn't even have enough for that, so I ended up with malted milk with some ice cream flavour. Hey, at least I got use the malt powder. Now to turn it into homemade Whoppers.

Now, since I made said ice cream, it's not like I can't get more. But it does open up a container that was previously full. So the question is... what flavour to make? I currently have some mint chocolate chip and lemon meringue tea ice creams in the freezer. Do I make another batch of the crème? Another round of Cool Britannia (which involved making shortbread, fudge sauce, and strawberry ice cream)? Perhaps some green tea? Pick up some cheap Matcha to use in there? Earl Grey tea, ice cold? A sorbet? Peanut butter? Dulce de Leche? Perhaps something more exotic? So many choices. Decisions will have to be made.

Perhaps towards to lighter side of flavours. It is summer after all. I promised someone I'd make them sorbet... or more Cool Britannia. Hrmm...

First Time For Everything

I failed to make it into the TOC for BBT4. First time in 4 BBTs I didn't manage to get spot. In fact, this was by far my worst performance in these series to date.

I'm pretty sure I have nobody to blame but myself. I generally played too weak-tight. True, I was also fairly card dead, seemed to have my cards face-up most of the time (I'd play a hand one way, and everyone would fold, I'd play another hand the exact same way and get 3 callers and a re-raiser, but that's poker). The thing is, I think I played alright yesterday, but QQ < KK in the end. Hell, I even folded KK pre-flop when every bone in my body screamed I was being lured into AA. Don't know if Lightning36 wants to confirm that or not though. Yah, like I said, weak-tight... even Don's got more balls than me.

I made it home just in time to be 1 minute late for the late registration for the Brit Game earlier in the day. The home game only had 6 people turn out, and I went out in 3rd. Dammit.

I went out somewhere in the teens in The Big Game Mulligan when I stopped caring and just wanted to get some sleep. Having the split flopped straight with TBA go down to his rivered 4-flush kinda took out what little wind was in my sails at the time.

So all-in-all, a shitty Sunday for poker. The flu I had all weekend (and still have) didn't help matters either.

But still, a huge THANK YOU to AlCantHang for putting this whole clusterfuck together for us unworthy degenerates. I sincerely hope that whichever two donkeys take down the WSOP ME packages USE them for their intended purpose - to PLAY IN THE WSOP!