Friday, February 29, 2008

Stupid leap year extra day

I have pink eye and a nasty head cold and today, so far, has been rather busy at work (reason for the short entry). Had this been a year not divisible by 4 I wouldn't have to deal with this crap.

What do we get for having this extra day? Since I'm salaried, I don't see any extra bonuses in my check today for having worked an extra day. Plus doesn't it screw everything up when you say, "a year ago"? Now you'll have to say a "year and a day ago, such and such happened" for another year.

I'm not happy about this situation and I want answers and I want retribution.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Could blood test for bi-polar disorder be a good thing?

My father recently sent me this link to a news story about how they may have created a blood test that can diagnose bipolar disorder.

The article goes over the debate of whether it's a good thing because of the ease to make diagnoses or a bad thing for privacy. I find it hard to believe that most employers would pay to have your blood tested for this kind of thing, but you never know when it comes to that sort of stuff. Overall, I do think it's a good thing. Personally, I would've been appreciative to know of my disorder 2 years earlier when I went to a shrink for depression. It wasn't until I met a fellow bipolar person that I knew what I had. (after all, who goes to a shrink when you're feeling good or great?) Heck, I may have been able to graduate college instead of crapping out during the worst of my mood swings.

The best thing is that it may be very useful for diagnosing children. Without going into much detail (somethings I will keep more private), a blood test may turn out to be extremely useful diagnostic tool for one of my sons. Diagnosing mental disorders depends largely on the patient relaying their feelings and symptoms to the doctor and many may intentionally omit or overlook important information. I think if I could get a proper diagnosis I could save him from a lot of stress and unnecessary strife.

Of course, the real kicker would be if I took the test and found that I have histrionic personality disorder and not bipolar disorder...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Beer week in Philly!!

I have a kegerator in my basement and my handy dandy wife built a bar complete with a beer tap to accommodate our thirsty needs. I like mostly micro-brews and higher quality beers. Call me snooty but Bud and Coors Light just don't cut the mustard and I would only consider drinking the stuff if my wife divorced me and I had nothing else to drink to get drunk to drown my sorrows.

So imagine my excitement levels when I discovered that soon there will be a beer festival in Philadelphia!! My excitement levels are already elevated from playing poker and Wii in the last few days. I might have to get Ben Gay to soothe my cheek muscles from smiling so damn much lately.

I'm going to have to come up with a really good excuse for missing 10 days of work. Although, I suppose, the work part is easy, as I can always fake a pulmonary embolism. The wife is another story- as she'll smell the beer on me and get jealous and want to escape herself. It's times like these when I wish that the children had an off button and you could store them safely in the closet while you go out having fun and sinning.

Nonetheless, when there's a will there's a way of fooling yourself into thinking that you deserve to go out and have fun and shirk adult responsibilities. Please excuse me while I go to post an ad on craigslist for an O-neg type liver as I'm sure mine won't be any good soon.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Poker updates

Up and down game this past weekend in the regular Saturday tourney.

The good:

I came into the game with a goal- (I do this sometimes to work on my game skills) Successfully bluff someone who would be hard to bluff. In other words bluff a player who is loose aggressive and would usually call with weakish hands in a wide variety of situations. My goal was accomplished early in the tourney when I sat out the 1st 11 hands and then came in strong with 9 8 off suit and isolated a guy who was already trying to run the table over. I made him fold on the turn and he went into the tank for a long time. He said after I showed the bluff that he almost went all in.

Went into the game after the break/rebuy period as chip leader.

The bad:

Had my pocket kings busted by an any ace type of player when an ace hit the flop. Was all she wrote for me. I wouldn't be so frustrated with losing on a bad beat, but my chip lead was dwindled to the point that I had to move all in from some bad play and bad luck shortly after the break. I'm disappointed in myself for being impatient in some spots.

Since I had to wait for my buddy Dave to bust or win I decided to help deal. Then this one guy who I never played with before starts complaining about how I'm dealing. I was putting the flop and turn and river out face down after the deal. I usually don't do this while playing but the table was only 4-5 handed so I figured I could speed things up by dealing and having everything ready after the deal. So this guy starts complaining about it in a somewhat snippy fashion, so I told him I didn't want to ruffle his feathers and won't deal anymore. Turns out that Dave busted on the same hand so I was leaving anyways. Could've turned more ugly than it did. Just kinda ticks me off that I'm being helpful and someone cops an attitude with me when I'm helping when I didn't have to.

Also, more poker related news---

The bankroll challenge is officially over- not because I lost it all (I ended up with $51) but because I'm having a private tourney on Full Tilt for Phillies message board posters. But even if you're a Phillies fan you are welcome to come join us-

The tournament is Tuesday the 26th at 9:15 PM in a room called backshegoes, the password is herewegoagain and the buy in is $10+1 for a NLHE double stack game. Hope to see you there!

Wii? Oui!!

Mission control we have Wii!

Let the games commence!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

I want justice!!

Today I found out that my business American Express has been used this month for unauthorized purchases. I've only used the card online twice so I doubt that the source was through the internet. Also, under further investigation, I was able to get the address to where the stuff was shipped to and it's a business that's only a mile away from my business (using my name).

If the weather wasn't so crappy I'd gather up my pitchforks and torches and burn the place down!!

But, alas, my thirst for blood will have to wait.

Perhaps I should dress up in a UPS uniform and walk into the business and ask for myself for a signature to see if anyone comes to get the package.

But I'm a big wimp.

I suppose the police will have to be brought in for my $200 worth of personal violation.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Case of the Blue-Rays

The dust has finally settled and Blue-Ray has won the high-def DVD battle. With me being a big movie watcher and especially a big at home movie watcher (when you have young kids you don't get to go see movies that aren't PG or G too often), you'd think I'd be rushing out right away to get my fancy and shiny new Blue-Ray player for my LCD high-def TV set.

Well, I guess you forgot what a cheapskate I am at times. I would hate to pay $300-400 now, when I know that in just a few months the price will probably drop to $200-250 and then come Black Friday you'll see a great deal at the Walmart for $88 from some weird electronics outfit that you've never heard of before. (I can picture names like Aiwony, Santhro, Yomikishu, and Mismachi- Japanese sounding but made in Hong Kong or Mexico)

There's something about feeling ripped off when you know that there's a better deal around the corner. The problem being is that often you wait and wait and wait and you never get the item and the next you know a brand new fancy and shiny invention comes along that replaces what you wanted in the 1st place. But you can't buy the new invention because it's too much and you know that it'll be cheaper if you wait.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

It's why buying a computer sucks. 2 weeks later and you see your computer cheaper or it has much better upgrades for the same price.

It's all a big conspiracy, I tells ya. Those Japanese are still pissed off at us for nuking their asses and having bigger penises.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I've arrived!

There are moments when you come to the realization that you've really accomplished something.

An hour ago I typed the following into the Google search engine:

"Poker Phillies Bipolar"

The very 1st result was this blog.

(strangely enough my friend Chris is number 2 and even though he's nuts he isn't bipolar)

A tear came strolling down my cheek after I saw that.

3 relatively common words and I'm the number one on the interwebs. My kids will be so proud.

I'm number 1!! I'm number 1!!!

Should we be scared of the boogey man?

The Mets acquisition of Johan Satana is a big blow, but will it spell doom for the Phillies?

The bad news-

He's the best pitcher currently in the majors and it will create at least an additional 5-6 wins for the Mets.

If Pedro is healthy, then the Mets have the best rotation in baseball.

The good news-

The Phillies still have the best offense in the National league.

Despite the anemic off-season, we still pick up some wins by moving Myers to the rotation.

The Mets will eventually regret the contract as Johan will decline or get injured.

The Mets and Phils are pretty evenly matched this year- it will be a classic battle of offense vs defense. Should be fun. Here's hoping for a repeat division title and more!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Baseball is coming

Photos from Yahoo! Sports

Wii- Waaaaaaaahh!

The local Gamestop got in 7 Wii systems yesterday morning.

They sold out in an hour.

It's 2 months past X-mas and you still can't readily walk into a store and buy a Wii?!

WTF?! Doesn't everyone have one by now?

My wife, who isn't a video game fan in the slightest now wants one- so I'm trying to take full advantage of this fact before she changes her mind.

But the damn stores can't keep them in!!

I guess it's because other non-video game playing people like her also want a Wii.

To make matters worse, I keep hearing from friends who have a Wii about how freaking awesome it is and how it's the greatest game system ever.

I refuse to over pay on Ebay and will not buy a huge bundle pack of extra crud that I don't want. So, I'll wait some more and make more calls until I find one.

Bitch bitch bitch

moan moan moan

Monday, February 18, 2008

Waiting for mistakes

I played in a poker cash game that I haven't played in before on Saturday night. The game itself was fun, the host, Ron, did a nice job and the players were solid. The stakes were lower than I usually play, but I didn't mind as I needed a low key game to get myself back on track for this year. I did win about 50 bucks so that puts me back to even for the year if you don't count the small win in online play.

The very 1st hand I got paid off big by a person with top pair when I had 2 pair. It was probably because I was a new face. Most new players are often thought of as trying to steal or bluff alot. Shortly after the big pot I earned respect as a tight player and most of my raises were met with little skepticism and folds. As a result I made 2 successful bluffs and 1 bad bluff that I couldn't follow through with on the river because I knew I was getting called if I fired a 3rd bullet. I've made less and less bluffs in cash games through the years and it's been paying well for me. Basically, when I face solid players like I did, I usually sit back and wait for mistakes. As a general rule, I try to only bluff once per hour unless a good situation pops up.

It's boring to do that, but thankfully the company was fun enough that I could wait for big hands. As the night wore on, the players, who were drinking high quality scotches and bourbons, were getting looser and looser. I wasn't catching cards as well as I hoped, but I made enough hands to be a winner for the night. I could've made about 20 bucks more if I didn't keep adding to the straddle. I'll have to remember it's a dumb play and you'll usually lose money if everyone doesn't participate.

With my small online success and Saturday's win, I feel more focused going into this weekend's tourney. There will be more players than usual, so I'll have to listen to my own advice and sit back and wait for mistakes. They will come and hopefully, I'll be there to capitalize on them and not make any of my own.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A different take on things...

What my blog would look like if...

Ants attack!

Snoop Dog wrote it.

Mars attack!!

In memormiam: Joyce Klaus 3/8/1944-2/17/1995


It's been 13 years since you died and I still think of you often. Your grandchildren are doing so well and I know you would have spoiled them silly. I really wish you could've met them. You live on in my memory and your traits of sensitivity and generosity have passed on through my children. Duane and I get along much better than we did before and you would be proud of how the 3 of us have built a successful business together. I can honestly say that I have a great life and I'm happy. I have you to thank for that.

I'll talk to you next year.

I love you,


Thursday, February 14, 2008

All you need is love

Today I watched Across the Universe on DVD. While it's stylistically fun and the soundtrack is great (it is the Beatles after all...) the actual plot wasn't anything to shout about. The plot was a typical late 60's story and the themes have become cliche and somewhat boring. The best part of the movie was listening to Beatles tunes.

I've recently ripped my Beatles CD's onto my laptop and mp3 player. Rediscovery is always a neat thing. Aside from wondering why you ever stopped enjoying something, you also recall the times and events that surrounded you when you first discovered something. The Beatles was one of the first CD's I bought when I got my own CD player. (cutting edge back in 1986!) They released them slowly and one at a time, so as soon as the next one was available I went out to the Sam Goody and bought it. (I believe Peter Gabriel's So album and Sting's 1st solo album were also out at the same time.)

The Beatles early pop tunes are good stuff but Revolver and Rubber Soul was the beginning of something really special. I know Sgt Pepper and the White Album get tossed around as critical masterpieces (and they should) but if you get some time this week, go back and play these 2 albums. You won't be disappointed. Songs like Norwegian Wood, In My Life, Nowhere Man, Eleanor Rigby, Tomorrow Never Knows, and And Your Bird Can Sing are all beautiful and classic.

Of course, this being Valentine's Day, I would be remiss to not mention that the main theme of almost all Beatles songs is love. While certainly songs today have this theme, you just don't see it as often or with such poetry. Maybe I'm being one of those crotchety people who don't think things are as good as they used to be (and also complain about how hard they had it!) but pop music seems so manufactured nowadays and doesn't come from the heart or soul.

So dust off your old albums or cd's and play some Beatles during your romantic dinner tonight, I bet you'll thank me tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kris Benson signs with Phillies

Kris Benson, trying to make a comeback from shoulder injury, just signed a minor league deal with the Phillies. While not exciting in of itself because even if Kris is as good pre-injury, he ain't all that great. Nonetheless, it's a cheap move and low risk, worst case is that you dump him, best case is that he is a serviceable back end of the rotation guy.

And then there's some "other" perks to this deal....

Kris is married to Anna Benson (pictured right) and we may be hearing and seeing more of her if Kris makes the team. I've heard she's nutty, but that just means she's full of passion.

BTW- Here's an open letter to Michael Moore that Anna has posted on the web back in 2005- hahaha, I may learn to love her.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bankroll update

As of last night my tight play has bumped my online bankroll up to 62 dollars ($7.50 of it was released from bonus, which expires tonight- I doubt I'll reach the next release). I'm still playing the cap games but if I get to $100, I'll play the 5cent/10cent NLHE and buy in for 10 bucks. I had some rough patches but overall my play seems to be superior to the typical player at those levels.

I think the reason that I'll never hit the $10K goal is that the level of skill in the players at the higher levels is much greater than that of your typical casino player. At the Borgata, a $1/$2 NLHE game is a donkfest (poker slang for lots of bad players), but if you play at 1/2 online then you're usually playing against some really good players. (probably 18 years old and already has more experience than me) The players also tend to have the latest software tools that help them analyze their game and the other players and they play even more effeciently. If I do get up to that level I may invest in some of the programs.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm in the wrong business

Just a half hour before the trade show that I attended last week started, I walked around to look at the other booths to see what was new and who was there and gather general info about the industry and my competition. If I haven't posted it before, I am part owner of a family business and we sell physical therapy exercise equipment like latex bands, tubes, stability balls, range of motion pulleys and the like. Most vendors at the display booths were selling similar equipment or recruiting for jobs or schools, or selling software, or selling large, bulky, and expensive medical equipment. You also see some of the chiropractic quacks with their natural cures and back cracking equipment.

Just having completed my look-see around the hall I wandered up to my booth and said hello to the guy in the booth next to me. I glanced down at his medical devices and products to see what he was selling and saw a weird oval pump with a tubular attachment. The sign above it read, "Clitoral Pump". I continued to walk towards my booth and suddenly my brain screamed, "Did that just say clitoral pump?!!"


I must've been seeing things. It had to have said, "Clinical pump."

I spun around to double check and noticed the guy start to giggle. Sure enough, it was a clitoral pump. Not only that, but upon closer inspection, he had all sorts of plastic phallic "vaginal dilators that vibrate" and lubricants and a life size female pelvic model.

This guy was selling sex toys!

He was calling them "medical therapeutic devices for women's health", and instead of pornographic pictures on the box they were stark white and clinical. But let's call a spade a spade here, he had dildoes, vibrators, clit pumps, lube and sexual position instructional books. Most of his stuff could be found in an adult book store.

"Hahaha! I get that double take all the time!" said the man who was minding the booth.

"You're a thinly veiled smut peddler!" I remarked back while holding up the clitoral pump.

"Well, women who have diabetes issues with circulation and..." I interupted him before he could finish pleading his case, "You don't have to tell me, I understand completely. Besides, there's nothing to be ashamed of, sex is fun and natural and completely healthy. It probably does wonders for healing. Better than that back straightening device, I bet." I pointed to the booth across from me where the yoga guy who I nearly chewed up and spit out hours earlier from travel frustration was hanging upsidedown on a torture-like device. (see earlier blog about him) I continued my unsolicited thoughts on sex and ended with the phrase, "You're doing God's work."

It was fun for the rest of the show watching others do the same thing as I did and do double takes. There were alot of fine looking young women PT students at the show and I was certainly tempted to ask a few if they wanted to try out some of the equipment in my hotel room later that night. You know- for science. But alas, I don't think Lynn would completely understand my thirst for scientific endeavors and knowledge that could benefit all of woman kind, so I kept quiet and sold my comparatively boring latex items, straps, cuffs and balls.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Six Bombay Sapphire and tonics, one 22 ounce rib eye steak and one Goo Goo Cluster later....

Life is good...

It's the little things that matter...

Every time you travel, whether it's business or pleasure, you run into little snags every now and again. Usually, you don't let small nuisances stress you out as you've come to expect a little inconvenience when you travel. BUT WHEN EVERY SMALL NAGGING NUISANCE POSSIBLE HAPPENS YOU START TO GET A LITTLE ANNOYED!

What's happened to me so far:

  • 90 minute flight delay, including an hour of waiting on the runway, so I couldn't even get out of my seat to stretch or pee.
  • Forgot to charge my mp3 player, so it died before takeoff.
  • Guy sitting next to me had bad breath.
  • Woman in front of me audibly and aromatically farted 3 times.
  • Baggage was lost, it was found, but I had to wait an extra half hour.
  • Hotel sticks me at furthest corner away from the entrance (big hotel too).
  • When I finally get to my room, there's an annoying high pitched whirring noise emanating from the industrial heater fans right outside and below my door, I call to get room switched, and had to hike up to the front and then they stick me at opposite furthest away corner.
  • Front desk calls me up to say the credit card is declined. I have to go up front desk again and it turns out that American Express wanted them to see my ID to confirm. WTF?! I presented ID at the time of check in!
  • This morning I go to shave and notice my razor broke during transport.
  • I get to the convention hall to set up my booth and there's no carpeting or furniture that we ordered. I go to see what happened and they claim that they never received order and tried to charge extra for late order- I was fortunate enough to have the actual fax with date and time to argue and get price reduced.
  • I go to breakfast while the furniture is set up and come back and they get the order completely wrong!
  • I got a huge splinter from our crate that we use to ship the show materials.
  • Cheap razor I bought gave me 4 nicks and I now have little toilet paper pieces all over my face.
  • I'm in Nashville.
AAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!! What's fucking next?!!!

The yoga guy in the booth across from me noticed my stress levels rising and tried to get me to "breathe"- I told him to go fuck himself since he's probably God damned flexible enough to do it for real.

Okay, so that last part was just fantasy, but I really came close to saying it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Twisted roots

"They took the nails out of my shoes!"

I laugh and make fun of that statement now, but as an 8 year-old kid that's a pretty scary thing to hear your Grandmother say. It was one of the few times I actually saw my Grandmother (maternal) in one of her paranoid schizophrenic states. My parents did a good job of shielding me from the truth and full extent of her problems. As an older teen I learned that she was diagnosed as having Schizophrenia and was hospitalized in and out over the years since she was a young adult. My mother was often cared for by her aunt (since my grandfather passed away when she was a girl) and I think she came to dislike her mother as an adult. I can't blame her for feeling abandoned and resentful for losing both parents through death and mental illness. My father told me that one of the reasons we moved to Richboro was that it was out of range of SEPTA's transportation system. Of course, it didn't help that my cranky great aunt Ruby was always going on about how her problems weren't real. She would cromudgeonly go on and on about how her younger half-sister was spoiled and always got her way and she was just trying to get attention like she always had before. I think after I crapped out of college from my own mental issues, my mother started to understand her own mother and sympathized more.

My grandmother died when I was in college and I just started to develop my own mental problems with bipolarism. Never having known her all that well, her death didn't affect me that much. I do wish I had the foresight to ask my mother questions about her behaviors and problems before she died herself in 1995. One of the things I learned over the years is that bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or has schizophrenic associative qualities. So, while I often point out that my father demonstrates manic tendencies, I really should be delving more into my mother's family tree for my bipolar hereitage.

But alas, I really have no contacts left. My mother and great aunt are gone and I haven't seen my uncle Ed since my mother's funeral. He's not the type of person who I think would open up much about her anyways, so I don't really wish to seek the guy out and bother him with unpleasant memories just so I could feel better about myself.

That's the thing about roots- they're twisty and gnarly and don't look pretty, but without them you wouldn't be grounded.

You see what I just did there? I made a nifty keen metaphor! Damn, I'm a good writer sometimes!

Monday, February 4, 2008

I miss the animated beer bottles

The Bud Bowl was always the big highlight for me when I watched the Superbowl when I was in College. It wasn't a very expensive commercial and it was just pure stupid fun. Those are the type of commercials I find entertaining, so I really didn't find much exciting last night. I most certainly found the commercials fairly offensive for this day and age. (Pandas speaking with a Chinese accent?! WTF?)

I did enjoy the Tide talking stain commercial. I don't how often I get a little stain on my shirt and I feel like that's the only thing anyone is paying attention to. I enjoyed the Coke commercial with the parade balloons fighting over the Coke bottle. (Plus it was nice to see Charlie Brown catch a break for a change.) There were a few lightly enjoyable commercials but overall most were not up to stuff, so to speak. (The Audi/Godfather commercial was done so many times before, it was trite)

Oh, and the football game was pretty entertaining at the end. I'm glad to see the Pats flop on their faces and see the cheaters get their comeuppance. Sadly, the Eagles are now the only team in the NFC East to not get a Superbowl ring, let alone at least 3 like the Skins, Cowboys and Giants do.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bankroll management Schmankroll management

Over 16 months ago, Chris Ferguson, the 2001 WSOP main event winner, challenged himself to start from nothing and get up to $10K in online poker.
The concept behind this is to use proper bankroll management and if you're a good player in the long run you'll eventually hit the stated goal. Of course, starting from scratch meant that Chris had to eventually get lucky in a free-roll multi-table tournament. Once he made a small amount of money, he stuck to his rules of never allowing more 5% of his money be on the poker table and in play. This bankroll management concept figures that if you're a winning player, you'll be able to weather the swings of variance (poker nerd talk for periods of bad luck) that poker will often give you.
So, yesterday I get an email from Full Tilt Poker letting me know I'm getting a free $75 buck bonus since I haven't played in a long time. With a skeptical eye I checked my FTP account to see what the skinny was. Turns out you need to earn your you bonus by playing raked games and they slowly release the 75 smackers depending on their points system. "Screw that!" I thought to myself as I didn't have any desire to deposit any money online at this time.

But wait a sec...

My balance says I have $2.15!

I don't remember the whys or wherefores, so to me that's a free 2 bucks and 15 cents! It's like finding a fin in the dryer lint screen- sure, it's yours technically, but it's free money since you weren't even aware of it in the 1st place.

Thoughts of Chris Ferguson blog posts on bankroll management immediately came to me and soon I was already spending the $10K in my mind. Not a minute longer than that and I was plopping down my $2.15 in a heads-up match ($2 +$0.15 fee- it was perfect!!).

Ummmm..what? 100% of my money was on the table.?!

Chris took his meager freeroll money and played micro-stakes LIMIT hold 'em. Limit is just not my regular game and I knew that I'd probably come out a loser. So I risked it all on the best chance I knew of to double it up. A heads up match- assuming I'm better than my opponent, I had maybe a 55% chance of winning. Besides this is FREE money, right?!

Thankfully, I won. I now had 4 bucks. But instead of another heads up match, I decided to play more conservatively in a $.05/.10 NLHE game with $3 cap. (meaning that most you can bet on one hand is 3 bucks) I played tight as a drum and eventually I've built my 4 bucks into 20 bucks (I'm still far away from getting my bonus). So, I think as long as I stick to the micro-stakes until I've built a substantial bankroll I might be able to build a decent chunk of change.

Of course, having someone bluff into you while you hold quad Kings is always helpful!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Go injuries!!

As an Eagles fan, I have no real rooting interest in either team in this weekend's Super Bowl. Even worse is the fact that I despise both teams that are in it. I guess you could say that I am rooting for good commercials, spectacular Theisman-like injuries and naked titties during the halftime show.

My interest in the Super Bowl has faded exponentially since the Eagles lost to the cheating Patriots a few years ago. I'll be surprised if I watch the whole thing. So if you really want to read a blog about Super Bowl Hype then I suggest you skip this and go somewhere else.

Oh- too late- this post is already over- hahaha tricked ya!