You Say Pigeon, I Say Pidgin...

I'm sure that it is not uncommon to hear Pidgin on the mass transit ways of our major cities, but c'mon...


What a No Talent Ass Clown...

I rarely listen to the radio, and I never listen to country stations, so this morning at work, while editing video of American Music Awards nominees, was the first time I heard Tim McGraw's butchering of "When the Stars Go Blue." From the thirty second clip I had, it sounds like a straight remake. The only changes McGraw made were to suck the soul out of the song, and to sing it like a complete square. Mr. McGraw, you owe Ryan Adams (and, really, all of us) an apology.

Oh, his nomination? Favorite Country Album, for his "Greatest Hits Volume 2."


Poker? I Hardly Even Know Her...

It had been planned for a while. This past Saturday my friend Slick, who of late has been grinding out a living playing poker, and I were to head up to Grand Casino Hinckley for one of their weekly poker tournaments. Late Friday night I got word from Slick that he wouldn't be able to go, but since I rarely get to play in live tourneys, apart from the monthly home game I play in, I decided I would still make the trek. Well, come Saturday morning I woke up with a throbbing headache. Not good, but after a steaming shower, and a fistful of ibuprofen I was feeling a little better, but I was still was lacking the mental focus I would need to play at the level needed. Add in the fact that Slick and I had planned to split any winnings if one, but not both, of us cashed, and I almost stayed home. After some thought I decided to make the drive and reevaluate after lunch. With 45 minutes to go until the dealers' first riffle I was feeling pretty good, and so I plopped down my $150 entry, and $20 fee, and drew for my table and seat.

The tourney was scheduled for 2:00, and armed with my iPod, two bottles of water, and some reserve Advil I took my seat. And waited. We got started late because one of the dealers needed a potty break. By 2:15 the cards were in the air, and we were on our way. My first hand was an easy fold, and I settled back listening to Coltrane's A Love Supreme. There was plenty of time. Even though the blind rounds were only 20 minutes, we were starting with $10k in tournament chips, and blinds were nice and low at $50/$100.

On the second hand there was one caller to me, and I looked down at the JsQs, and made the call. The player on the dealer button made a minimum raise, which made me suspicious. Both blinds folded, and the caller ahead of me folded as well. I was sure the raiser had Aces or Kings, but the pot was big enough to warrant a call. I couldn't have been happier with the flop, it came 9TK, with no flush draw. I checked, and the raiser made a modest bet of $200. Now I was sure he had AA or KK, and I raised to $800. He called instantly. The turn was a 6, and there was still no flush draw possible. I bet $800 again, and to my delight my foe moved all of his chips into the middle. My only worry was that he might have pocket Kings, and the river card would pair the board, but he was holding AA, and finished 88th out of 88.

A few hands later I was in the big blind when a player in middle position raised to $600, and it folded to me. I looked down to find two red Aces, and re-raised to $2000, he instantly pushed, and flipped up 99 when I called. I was a little nervous when the flop gave him an inside straight draw, but my Aces held and I was sitting on almost three times the starting chips only ten minutes in.

Then the deck went cold. Ice cold. For two hours. I picked up an occasional pot to maintain my stack between $20k and $30k. There were just over 30 players, and the blinds were going up to $3k/$6k. I only had $19k, but the stacks were fairly even, putting just about everyone in the "red zone," and I knew things were likely to get crazy. And they did. People were busting out left and right, and I decided to see if I could wait just a bit before making any moves. We went from just over 30 players to just over 20 in under 10 minutes, and things calmed down a bit. The players that had increased their stacks were tightening up a bit, and those who were short-stacked had also tightened up unless they opened the betting. I took advantage of this, along with the short handed tables, and picked a few blinds and was up to almost $40k, when the 21st player busted, and we were down to 2 tables. I was moved to the table with all of the chip leaders. I wasn't happy about that, but I picked up a few hands, and was up to $140k by the end of the $3k/$6k round. Not too shabby considering how crazy the first ten minutes were.

I was able to maintain a stack better than $100k as we approached the final table, and once the bubble burst I had an above average stack with about $120k. I had gotten to the final table just playing good solid poker, but once we were in the money, not to sound smug, but I played some outstanding poker. It only took one hand before we lost a player, and we were nine handed. There wasn't much in the way of action for a while, then two players busted on the same hand, and another player was out on the next.

We were down to six, and there were two players holding big stacks. One of those players would give me all of his chips. He called from under the gun, the small blind called, and I looked down at 6T off-suit, and checked from the big blind. The flop came 668, and the small blind checked, as did I. My foe made a bet equal to about one-third of my stack, the small blind folded, and I pushed all of my chips in. I had been watching this guy, and I had the feeling he had recently read Caro's Book of Tells by the way he would "Study" his opponent when faced with a raise. Well, I've read it too (a few times actually), and I knew what he was looking for. The common thread in most of Caro's "tells" is that weak means strong, and strong means weak. I generally stay away from "acting" and try to keep my mannerisms the same from hand to hand, but I felt this was a good time to summon up my inner Stanislavsky. He was staring at me, and I decided to stare right back, a sign of aggression, and generally coming from an opponent that does not want a call. Turns out my hunch was right, and he called with K8, and my hand held up to give me just over $200k in chips. This guy still had me out-stacked, but I was ahead of the other big stack. On the next hand another player busted, and we were down to five. A few hands later it was folded to me, and I raised from the button with A7 off suit, hoping to just pick up the blinds. The small blind folded, and the big blind gave me the stare down again. This time I really wasn't looking for a call, it wouldn't have been horrible, but I wasn't thrilled about my hand. So, hoping he remembered what happened a few hands back, I gave him the stare right back again. It worked, and he folded. Now, I had him covered, and was about tied for the chip lead. On the very next hand I picked up pocket Queens. I raised to two-and-a-half times the big blind, the button folded, and our friend re-raised from the small blind. I pushed all of my chips into the middle, and again got the stare. I stared back for a few seconds and then broke my stare and looked away. The moment I broke my stare he called, and flipped up pocket sevens. My hand held, and I had a massive chip lead as we started four handed play.

The two short stacks busted out pretty quickly, one being all-in blind, and I had a 2:1 chip lead as we went heads up. He folded the first couple of hands, increasing my lead by a good deal; the blinds were $20k/$40 by this point. I picked up pocket Nines at one point, and raised to just over two times the big blind, and he pushed. I called, and he had KJ suited. He caught a King, and doubled up. After folding my big blind to an all-in bet we were about even. The tournament director announced that blinds were going up in thirty seconds. We posted our blinds, and as the dealer was shuffling, she asked if we wanted to chop. Normally I would have declined, but the next blind level would be $40k/$80k, and we both had about $400k in chips. Not much room to play poker. There was roughly a $2000 difference between first and second place, and if we continued to play it would really all come down to luck.

We agreed to an even split of the remainder of the prize pool (almost 50% of the total prize pool. $150*88 players... you do the math). How fortunate for me that Slick had to back out, or I would have been splitting that again. I really would have loved to take first, but chopping was the right move. With blinds that high relative to our stacks, it wouldn't matter if I was facing Phil Ivey, or my cat. OK, maybe not my cat, she is a total donkey.

*Need help with the lingo? Check here.


And the Words of the Poets Were Written on the Subway Walls...

Li'l Sis has been tagging again. Well, not really, but soon the walls of a subway stop in Chicago will be graced with her words. Actually it may already be, as I am a bit late getting this post up.

In related Li'l Sis news (or not so news) she has started a daily (kinda) blog where she features her hero of the day. The blog's name? Appropriately enough Hero of the Day.


And I Mean It In The Best Possible Way

Wayne Coyne is one crazy motherfucker. I've known for a while that he makes wonderful music, but after watching Fearless Freaks I kinda wish he was my neighbor.


Shawn Crapped His Bed

Well, he doesn't admit it in so many words, but I know he did. Oh, and it seems he has changed his name.


I Made It!

Finally, I made it! After years of agonizing to get insightful posts up on a regular basis, I made it! Er... Anyway, Jaq asks how long I am going to stay at my job. Well, estimates vary. I've been offered several jobs that I've had to turn down for one reason or another, but the game plan seems to have changed for us. It is still to get me out of that place, but the means to that end have changed for now. Hopefully the new game plan will work out.


A Public Service Announcement

You know what sucks? Working at 3:00 in the morning.

Know what sucks harder? When it is still 86 degrees at 3:00 in the morning.

Know what sucks even harder than that? Getting a flat at 3:00 in the morning.

Harder? Changing it in the dark without your glasses, because it is so humid they keep fogging up.

Even harder? It is raining.

Harder yet? The cop that drives by just looks at you. (I mean changing a tire is a one man job, but seriously, he coulda stopped to shine a light or something)

Harder than that? The spare is low. Very low. Like 10 of the recommended 60 lbs. But that is my fault.

Harder still? While inflating the tire at the gas station, it starts to not just rain, but pour.

And you know what sucks hardest of all? The whole time I thought it was Wednesday.

So, the moral? Quit your shitty job. Oh yeah, and check your spare now and then.


I think it lies on the Tropic of Cancer...

There is no Overheard in Chicago, but if there was I'm sure my sister would be a regular contributor. Check out what she overheard; try to ignore what she oversmelled.

Attention USPS

The cartoon strip "Cathy" ain't funny. Please discontinue the use of Cathy on the mailings promoting your services. Oh, and fire the twit responsible.

Oh, and speaking of ain't funny, "Marmaduke" ain't funny. But this guy makes it funny.

(link via Jaq.)


AJ Who?

Amanda wants you to go vote former Twins catcher Pierzynski into the All Star Game. That's cool. Just so she remembers that he's got nothin' on current Twins catcher Joe Mauer (even though he was robbed of a starting spot).

Nice Try,

But you're still no Van Gogh.

What I Overheard

Notice, if you will, I've updated my links on the left hand side of your screen. I added Shawn, and added the updated link for Jason, who has moved again since my last post to High Weir.

I have also added three links under "The Funnies" for the overhead sites: In the Office, In New York, and At the Beach. The headlines aren't quite as good as they were when Michael Malice was editor, but they are still worthwhile. In a related note, I've hit the big time. On my birthday no less...


Speaking of Renaissance Men...

Amanda provides a link to this. Wow indeed.

Her post here.

Hey Girls, He's Single!

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My good friend Shawn now has a blog. I'm not sure what, or how often he will be posting, but when he does you can be sure it will be worthwhile. You see, Shawn is a true Renaissance Man. While I can do many thing passably, he does many things well. Bastard.

Anyway, he will be added to the blogroll at the left. I will also be making some other changes to the blogroll, including adding a link to Jason, formerly of Finches Wings, who is now blogging on MySpace. Finches Wings was appropriated, and renamed "Finche Swings" by someone else once Jason had abandoned it.

What can I get for $950?

Another year at least, I hope. That is what we just dropped on my car, but honestly, I really can't complain. Most of it went towards new breaks all the way 'round, along with a tune-up, and the flushing of several fluids.

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I've been driving my Civic for ten and a half years now (140K miles) and have only once replaced the pads up front, and the shoes on the rear, so it was about due. Outside of that the only expenses we've had outside of the expected (exhaust, brakes, tires, etc.) was replacing the air conditioner condenser. I haven't made a car payment in six years, and am not looking making one any time soon. Not to mention tabs and insurance are about as low as they get.

Time for a new picture

Well, I know it has been a couple of days since I posted last, and I want to keep you all interested, so, I am going the easy rout for now and giving you all an up dated picture of Elsa.

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Happy Birthday Baby Girl

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Today Elsa is one year old. There are times that is seems like she has been here forever (due to my lack of sleep I'm sure), but mostly it amazes me that this year has gone by so fast. No talking yet, but I swear she is on the verge of saying "Daddy." On Saturday she took her first steps, and she will get up to three in before falling forward into my arms. I honestly think she would be taking more if she didn't enjoy falling forward so much. I wish I could think of more to write, but you know, the sleep thing.

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Oh, and she loves baths.


We almost made it a year...

... without a trip to the emergency room at Children's Minneapolis. Well, last night Elsa managed a very loud face-plant onto the hardwood. She has become very adept at walking around, holding onto the furniture. She is also very cautious as she lowers herself back to her knees or butt, and this was her first fall. We're not sure exactly how it happened, Krista was folding laundry in the living room as Elsa cruised around the coffee table, and I was in the basement. I heard a very loud bang, and was already halfway up the stairs before Krista even managed to scream "Oh my God! Aaron!" She didn't see the fall, but did see Elsa's bloody lip. By the time I got upstairs Elsa's silent scream had found the volume knob. Her lip didn't look too bad, only a little blood. Krista passed her to me and was going to get a wet cloth, and then it happened. Elsa's head slumped sideways, and her eyes rolled back. That is not something I ever want to see again. I managed to stay pretty collected despite my heart racing. I held her upright, and patted her cheek while saying her name. She came to after two or three seconds, and promptly resumed her crying. That wail has never sounded so sweet. Krista was on the phone with 911, and I don't think it was more than five minutes before the firefighters arrived, and less than two minutes later the paramedics were at the front door. By then Elsa had stopped crying, and seemed herself, but because she passed out the paramedics recommended having her checked out. So Elsa got a ride in ambulance (looking back, we should have just taken her ourselves), and we spent the better part of two hours in the ER. Bottom line, mild concussion, the cut on her lip is all but invisible, and she has been herself since.


He's Met His Match

Jaquandor may be more prolific in the wearing of his most precious garment, but he's got nothing on this.

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Or this.

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Fucking Fox Fuckers

So, for some time now I have been waiting eagerly for the return of Arrested Development on Monday nights (one of three shows we watch). I have been checking TVGuide.com to see if I needed to set the VCR. I have also been checking the Fox website, and AD page at least twice weekly to see if there was some indication as to when I could expect its return, and always it said "New Episodes Coming Soon!" Until Sunday night. The "New Episodes" banner was gone. I thought that was odd, and so I checked the message board to make sure the show hadn't been given a new time slot. What I found were posts from many, many angry people. It seems that Fox aired the four final episodes, all but unannounced, Friday night. No promos, not indication on the AD website, nothing. When I Googled it, I found a few newspaper articles dated Friday, the day the final episodes aired. Anyone happen to tape it?




this should keep you occupied until I come up with something else. Jaq posted this a while ago.

1. Smoked cigarettes - A few.

2. Smoked a cigar - No.

3. Broken a CD – Yes.

4. Crashed a friend's car - Nope.

5. Stolen a car – Yes. Kinda. A couple of times, if you count moving an friends car to another part of the parking lot, or another lot entirely.

6. Been in love - Yep.

7. Been dumped - Yes.

8. Shoplifted - I think so.

9. Been fired - No, but here's to hoping.

10. Been in a fist fight - Yes, and I kicked her ass.
11. Snuck out of your house - Never needed to. The 'rents were pretty cool about curfews.

12. Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back - Most likely.

13. Been arrested - No.

14. Made out with a stranger - No.

15. Gone on a blind date - No.

16. Lied to a friend - Like Jaq, probably, of the "Little White Lie" variety.

17. Had a crush on a teacher - Not that I recall.

18. Skipped school - No. College? Occasionally. Even walked out in the middle of a lecture once (same as Jaq).

19. Slept with a coworker - No.

20. Seen someone die - No.

21. Been on a plane - Yes.

22. Thrown up in a bar - No.

23. Taken painkillers – Not the strong stuff.

24. Love someone or miss someone right now - Quite a few friends.

25. Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by – Yes.

26. Made a snow angel - Yes.

27. Played dress up - What?

28. Cheated while playing a game – I'm sure. Playing poker I try to see opponents cards if I can, but I don't consider that cheating.

29. Been lonely – Yes.

30. Fallen asleep at work/school – Yes.

31. Used a fake id – No.

32. Felt an earthquake – No.

33. Touched a snake - Yes.

34. Ran a red light – Yes. The first light I come to on my way to work never senses the bike (so, that is actually a legal running), and sometimes in my car it can take minutes to turn, so I just go. BTY, it is at 3am.

35. Been suspended from school – No.

36. Had detention - Yes.

37. Been in a car accident – Yes. She ran the light, and t-boned me, then sued me.

38. Hated the way you look – Yes.

39. Witnessed a crime - Nothing major, I think.

40. Pole danced – No.

41. Been lost – Yes.

42. Been to the opposite side of the country – Yes, all four.

43. Felt like dying – Yes. I too got better.

44. Cried yourself to sleep - Yes.

45. Played cops and robbers – I'm sure.

46. Sang karaoke – Yes.

47. Done something you told yourself you wouldn't – Yes.

48. Laughed till some kind of beverage came out of your nose - Just once, I think.

49. Caught a snowflake on your tongue - Yes.

50. Kissed in the rain - Unsure.

51. Sing in the shower – Sometimes.

52. Made love in a park - No.

53. Had a dream that you married someone - Not sure.

54. Glued your hand to something – No.

55. Got your tongue stuck to a flag pole – No, but witnessed it, Shawn.

56. Worn the opposite sex's clothes – No.

57. Had an orgasm - I think so.

58. Sat on a roof top – Yes.

59. Didn't take a shower for a week - No, but witnessed it, Shawn. Or maybe that was just not washing his hair.

60. Ever too scared to watch scary movies alone – No

61. Played chicken – On bicycles.

62. Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on – No.

63. Been told you're hot by a complete stranger- Every day.

64. Broken a bone – Not my own.

65. Been easily amused - Rarely.

66. Laugh so hard you cry – Yes.

67. Mooned/flashed someone - Yes.

68. Cheated on a test – Yes.

69. Forgotten someone's name – Like Jaq, I am horrible with names.

70. Slept naked – Yes.

71. Gone skinny dipping in a pool- No.

72. Been kicked out of your house – No.

73. Blacked out from drinking – No.

74. Played a prank on someone – Yes.

75. Gone to a late night movie – Yes.

76. Made love to anything not human - No.

77. Failed a class – No.

78. Choked on something you're not supposed to eat – No.

79. Played an instrument for more than 10 hours - No.

80. Cheated on a gf/bf – No.

81. Ate a whole package of Oreos – No.

82. Thrown strange objects - What?

83. Felt like killing someone – Yes

84. Thought about running away - I don't think so.

85. Ran away – No.

86. Did drugs – No.

87. Had detention and not attend it - No.

88. Yelled at parents - Yes.

89. Made parent cry - I'm sure.

90. Cried over someone - Yes.

91. Owned more than 5 puppies - No.

92. Dated someone more than once - No.

93. Have a dog – No.

94. Have a cat – Yes.

95. Own an instrument – Are you kidding? Between me and Krista, a trumpet, a coronet, two trombones, three guitars, a bass guitar, a ukulele, a clarinet, a marimba, two drum sets, a snare drum, a bell kit, a piano, a digital piano, and i won't even list the miscellaneous percussion, and ethnic drums.

96. Been in a band - Concert band/wind ensemble? Yes. Jazz band? Yes. Rock band? Yes.

97. Had more than 25 sodas in one day – Um, no.

98. Made out with a member of the same sex – Not made out.

99. Shot a gun – Nope.

100. Been online for more than 5 hours straight – No.