Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening day blahs (or Tom Gordon sucks donkey balls)

Yet again our fine baseball team, the Philles, had trouble beating their opponent on opening day. Despite a nice comeback to tie the score at 6-6, our fill in closer Flash Gordon started off his seaon with a 135.00 era and blew the game.

And it was rainy/drizzly and somewhat chilly.

You'd have thought that I had a bad time.

Not so, for starters, I was watching baseball and that's usually never a bad thing despite the outcome. Especially considering it's the 1st meaningful baseball I've watched since the playoffs. I also met a bunch of people that I've been having conversations with over the internet for up to the last 3 years. I met people who go by the names, Uncle Milty, meatball, Ramon Gris, and Drugs Delaney. I also met up with another guy who I play poker with but he also is known as seke2. Of course, they all knew me as The Red Tornado. We all post about our shared love for the Phillies on a message board called

It's nice to put faces to the names and opinions that I have gotten to know so well these last few years. The internet makes our world smaller and I met some people that I never would have without it. That's a good thing.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Looking to preserve my comedic history

Most of my friends and family consider me to be funny (and obnoxious). My best material is often ad-libbed zingers in social settings.

However, once upon a time, I actually wrote and performed sketch comedy and I even had a stand-up routine. Eventually, I think my nerves and mental disorder got the best of me, plus I never did push hard enough to get anywhere with my comedic "abilities".

As my regular blog readers know, I have been doing alot of reflection towards my past lately. Thus recently, it's occurred to me that I should start transferring all of my comedic works from VHS tapes to digital. Of course I can't seem to get the damned video capture device to work, but I will figure it out sooner or later. I may be in my 30's but I some rudimentary knowledge of how a computer operates!

Oh, and when I do, I'll start uploading the stuff to this here blog.

Won't that be fun?!

You can all marvel as to how skinny I was and wonder if I've been eating jars of frosting all these years.

You can make fun of me all you want- just don't say I'm not funny. I don't think I can take that.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Unsolved mysteries

I love a good mystery, but I need resolution.

It's part of my nature; I can't stand not knowing something. My mother always complained that I asked too many questions. I guess in some ways it makes me nosy, but ultimately my inquisitive desire has led me to greater knowledge. Overall, I don't think that it should be considered a bad thing.

The D.B. Cooper mystery has always fascinated me ever since I learned of the caper as a teen. The idea that someone could jump out of a plane with a substantial amount of money and leave no trace, alive or dead unnerves me to no end. I have to know- who it was, why he did it, what happened to him if he landed safely, what happened if he died and where his body is, etc, etc.

Imagine my delight when I read this morning that it's decent possibility that they discovered his parachute. I have been strangely excited since and have been scouring the internet in hopes of an update. I have also reacquainted myself with all of the kooky theories and crackpots that come out of the woodwork and claim that they know who D.B. really was or that they themselves are the infamous D.B. Cooper.

Like I said, I love a good mystery. But, dammit, I really hope that this parachute leads somewhere. After all, if it doesn't then more questions arise like- why did someone bury a parachute in rural Washington state?!

I should resolve myself to disappointment, however, even if the parachute is proven to be D.B.'s parachute, all it really does is prove that he landed safely. No answers as to his whereabouts or ultimate destination will be revealed. But still, it's something interesting, and it got my inquisitive juices flowing.

And I do love a good mystery.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

4 years later...the poker boom on TV and the WPT on GSN.

There were 3 main things in 2004 that led to the huge boom in poker on TV.

1) The 1st and most important reason was the invention of the hole camera that allowed viewers at home see what the player's hands were. This allowed the TV audience to see how the pros and amateurs would play hands in certain situations. Without the technology there would be no poker boom. However, without proper application the technology would've gone to the wayside. That leads us to...

2) The Travel Channel and ESPN and the respective World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker telecasts brought poker into everyone's living room. It turned the game into a spectator sport. Not only could the average Joe at home watch Phil Helmuth win a tournament but they also could watch him whine and complain and understand why he was acting like such a dip, since they could see that his pocket kings lost to 9 7 offsuit. The WPT on the travel channel allowed certain players to become stars much like any pro golfer or NASCAR racer. The TV poker pro emerged from this era, and people like Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu became recognized as the top players of the game by winning or placing high in WPT tournaments. While ESPN did cover the WSOP since the 80's, the hole cam allowed them to expand their coverage in 2004 and that leads us to the 3rd reason for the poker boom....

3) Chris Moneymaker won the 2004 WSOP main event. The fact that your average stiff could win a 60 buck satellite online and then ultimately win 2 million dollars without having been the best but get lucky led to the biggest boom of all. We all could envision ourselves winning a major tournament and the flood towards online play, home games and casino poker started.

So, why the history lesson?

I watched the WPT coverage last night on GSN. (their debut episode)

It was mostly the same as it had been on the Travel Channel, with the exception of some better graphics and info. I was hoping it would be much better, but the tournament format that made poker popular in the 1st place is what is making it boring to watch. But I have to remember it was once exciting to me to watch and it's what mainly inspired me to go out and play without fear that I would suck. The WPT and tournaments like it give the viewer that hope that if they get the right cards and not play like a complete fool, they too can win a big score.

Of course, I've grown as a player and found much more vital information through experience and books than I ever have watching it on TV, but it was an easy way for to learn enough to get started. I've been hooked since. I also hope that the popularity stays, people at the casinos are playing like they are in tourneys and don't adjust well enough for a cash game. Needless to say, it makes me more successful in cash than in tourneys.

Although my response to watching was somewhat tepid the show did have interesting moments. Watching Phil Ivey go the rail early for the 7th time at a TV final WPT was amazing. He truly is a top 3 player in the world if not the best. For him to not get a WPT bracelet after 7 close tries is incredibly unlucky. It was also interesting to see the younger internet players take over the last 3 spots. I wish their naked aggressive style would work for me lately...

Monday, March 24, 2008

One more week!!

I don't have much time today as it's been somewhat busy at work today.


Just to brag- In a week at this time I'll be watching the Phillies open their season against the Washington Nationals at the park.

I can taste the beer now. I can't wait!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Limiting one's strategy

Last night I donked out by the 1st break in a tourney at Lottery Larry's house. I was already getting short stacked and was on the cut off position (the seat right before the button) with no one in the pot yet. It didn't matter what cards I had as I needed to pick up the blinds and this was a rare pot that had no one entering in from early position. (I had 10 8 off suit) I went all in and prayed no one would wake up with a real hand and just then the host himself starting counting out his chips. It looked like he might call but was worried that he wouldn't be left with alot of chips if he lost as he was counting the stack that he would have left if he called. I held out hope that he would fold.

Well, my read was completely erroneous and he was counting his remaining chips so he could announce his all in re-raise. I figured I was pretty much cooked after that announcement, but it turned out to be a good thing for me as he pushed out the big blind who showed pocket 9's as he folded.

Lottery Larry tabled his pocket 4's.

I was elated to have 2 overs and an near coin flip situation to double up and stay alive. I queried as to why he went ape with the pocket fours and he seemed to have a superstition about "the power of 4". I guess he's either a Charmed fan (and got it wrong- it's the power of 3) or has unusual positive expected value with pocket 4's. Usually, I say that superstition is bad luck, but the flop was unkind to me as was the turn and river and I was sent to the rail before the night was still young.

This was becoming a regular situation for me this year and I don't know if I've been unlucky or just playing poorly. I'll have to reassess my play when I have more time and try to recall situations and see if I acted too early with my pushes.

Shortly after my exit I played in a side cash limit game that was a rotation between Hold 'em and Omaha. Omaha is a cruel mistress when played as limit. As hard as it is to push out people drawing in no-limit or pot-limit, it's a damned near miracle to chase anyone out when you have the stone cold nuts on the flop and vulnerable to the flush or full house.

The one hand that almost had me as a tilt monkey the rest of the night I had KdKhTdAh. I was double suited, paired up and on the button in great position, so I raised. Of course, everyone called including the blinds. The flop came Qs Jc 9h. I had the nut King high straight. It was bet, so I raised and everyone called! The turn was still safe but started to get dangerous as an 8s peeled off. It was checked to me so I had to bet and of course everyone called. I guess I should feel fortunate that I was getting a big pot for such a strong hand, but I just knew that the river was going to kill me with so many people still in the hand. Another jack hit the table.


It was bet and I really had no choice but to donate and call. Of course I lost to the full house held by a James Caan look-alike. At least he didn't go all Sonny on me and have me whacked.

Considering I have not played limit in a long time, I did make a nice recovery. Maybe I was just getting lucky but I felt like I was making some nice bets and check raises at the correct times and maximizing my profits. I was ahead when I should have left and started to get some cold cards when I stayed a bit too long. I did just about break even for the game. The silver lining was that I donked off some chips to Larry's wife, so both my host and hostess benefited from my appearance. I hope they repay the favor if they come to my cash game in April.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Easter Bunny has ulterior motives

As nerve racking being the tooth fairy can be, being Santa or the Easter Bunny has it's perks. The Easter Bunny is starting to develop a reputation in our house for bringing some candy that my kids don't really like but my wife and I do. What a stinker he is! How dare he bring jelly beans, Almond Joys and Cadbury creme eggs! He even had the audacity to leave Peeps last year, a candy that no one in the family likes with the exception of moi.

That is until I heard Gabriel utter the phrase yesterday that he now likes Peeps. I'm starting to wonder if the Easter Bunny should leave any Peeps and just let them sit in our garage and get stale since they taste better that way anyways. Peeps are better as they age and get a little chewiness to them and "bite". However, you cant let them age too long or else you have little ceramic like bunnies and chicks that look gaudy.

BTW- Has anyone else noticed that the Cadbury creme eggs are getting smaller? A little video snippet from the Conan O'Brien show seems to prove that we're right!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Harrington books are here!

As mentioned before, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 2 books written by Dan Harrington on playing cash games in poker. Unfortunately, I'm getting these books for my birthday from my dad so I'll have to wait another month. Until then I've been reading the free excerpts on the 2+2 website and they just had him as a guest on their podcast.

Dan has already written what has fast become considered the no-limit hold 'em tournament bibles. I hope the cash books live up to the hype, and I think they will. Unless, if any of you reading this blog post play poker with me, in that case- I'm sure these books will suck and you should avoid them at all costs.

I do have a cash game coming up at my house in Early April, so for those interested, drop me a line.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Time to brag about my son

My oldest son Jonathan is 9 1/2 years old. He's always drawing his favorite cartoon characters and Pokemons and dinosaurs. He's actually very good for his age. He's been good ever since he could draw. If you ask me, he draws better than most adults. Yesterday, I saw him drawing and he was copying a picture of a Dalmatian puppy he had in a book. (copying from freehand, not tracing the picture) After he was done the picture, he drew his own background and gave the dog toys, food and even a fun portrait was hung on the wall. He did this picture in less than 10 minutes.

Needless to say, I'm beaming with pride as his talent seems to be getting more refined and mature. I may have to find a way to sqeeze in art lessons between his swimming, karate and piano lessons.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Beer Man Called!!!

Now being served in my basement:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Help! My wife is becoming an addict!

My wife, Lynn, is not a fan of video games. I think her dislike stems largely from the fact that she isn't very good at them. I must admit that once you get past an Atari joystick, with its one button and one motion control that most controllers, with it's 6 buttons, 2 motion controllers and 2 triggers, can seem daunting to those who don't wish to keep practicing. So once she heard that the Wii is more intuitive with its motion detector from her coworkers (a bunch of 50+ women), she started to express her desire for us to get a Wii. One mention was all it took for me and I immediately starting seeking one out. (see previous blog)

When I bought the Wii I purchased 2 games to go along with it aside from the fun sports games that it comes with- Super Mario Galaxy and Wii Carnival. The Carnival game I bought because it had skee ball in it and my wife loves to play skee ball whenever we're at the shore or at an amusement park. I figure it would best to keep her happy when it came to the Wii so she wouldn't feel buyer's remorse if the bulk of games weren't up her alley. (excuse the pun)

Lynn works the graveyard shift at a local hospital as a lab tech. So if you're in the ER in the middle of the night for crashing your car while DUI, she may be the one who's testing your urine to see how drunk you are. She may also be the one who types your blood so you get the much needed replenishment from all of your bleeding from your massive head injuries, you dumb ass! (Driving drunk, what were you thinking?!) The schedule works out fine while our kids are young. She gets home at 8am, just when I need to leave for work, and puts them on the bus at 8:45am and then goes to sleep until 4pm, when they get home. No day care expenses is a wonderful thing.

The problem is that she needs to get to sleep right after the kiddies leave. It's barely 7 hours if she were to fall asleep right away but usually she needs to wind down a touch and she's happy to fall asleep at 9:30am.

The past week and a half I have been getting calls at work around 10:30am from her. The tone of her voice is the frantic type of ranting that most spouses recognize as when to shut up, listen as best as one can, and then reassure them despite what one thinks. (because if one doesn't then you can kiss sex good bye for at least a week.) I tried my best to keep up with what she was saying and I heard bits and pieces like, "...I can get the ball in the 100 point hole when I snap the remote against my shoulder.." and "..knock all of the clowns down with the ball.." and "...but, no, the damn remote won't fucking respond the way it should..." It was becoming apparent that she is getting addicted to the Carnival game.

The first few calls I figured she was just blowing off steam from a hard night's work. Now I am getting worried that if the trend continues I may fear for my and my children's safety. I can just imagine her forcibly grabbing a remote from their hands and hissing, "Mine! I'm the one who worked hard into the nights for this!! My precioussssss!!" I worry that on the nights when she's off and that she's in bed with me, that she may start wildly flailing her arms around in her sleep as if she were trying to get the damn ball into the stupid fucking 100 point hole. I may suffer a serious eye injury or worse she may impale my crotch as she's trying to bang the remote.

As a crazy person, I readily recognize crazy behavior in others. Obsessing over an activity that causes your endorphin levels to rise is something that is no stranger to me. I am a poker addict and I used to be a smoker. I wish I knew how to stop her from self-destruction, but alas, nothing really worked for me until I hit rock bottom. I guess I'll have to idly stand by and wait until she falls so that I can catch her.

I wonder which will come first- rock bottom or getting the stupid fucking ball in the Goddamned 100 point hole?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Grandson of 6 degrees of Napster

Okay, same rules as before, but this time we'll start with a group I don't care for all that much and see if we can make our way towards a cool band or singer.

We'll start with a 80's hair band that my wife loved as a girl- Poison. Besides watching Bret Michaels being pathetic on VH1's Rock of Love, their music was filled with overall crappiness and banality. So let's see if Every Rose has it's Thorn, shall we?

1) People who enjoy Poison also enjoy Twister Sister.

I admit that I liked We're Not Gonna Take It, but that's probably because of the video... At least Dee Snyder is kinda cool and isn't pretentious at all. An improvement but we have a long ways to go still.

2) People who enjoy Twisted Sister also enjoy Alice Cooper.

How ironic, Alice's biggest hit (and most annoying song) is titled Poison. Alice did have some decent tunes in the 70's and apparently is a decent golfer, go figure...

3) People who enjoy Alice Cooper also enjoy Foreigner.

Huh? I guess, I'm used to the 80's Foreigner. Foreigner did have some stuff in the 70's that would be considered more heavy metallish than I Want To Know What Love Is.

4) People who enjoy Foreigner also enjoy Hall and Oates.

Sara Smile is a very cool song and one of these guys is from Philly (the one who looks like Baba Booey?), but I just can't get past Out of Touch to consider this a success yet.

5) People who enjoy Hall and Oates also enjoy The Cars.

Ric Ocasek is one very ugly mother-fucker. But the dude had so many big hits that he scored with Sports Illustrated super swim-wear model, Paulina Porizkova. (Billy Joel also bagged Christie Brinkley around the same time.) Even though the band oozed cool, I was never a huge fan. While I usually won't flip the radio when Drive or Just What I Needed comes on, I don't actively seek their songs out.

6) People who enjoy The Cars also enjoy Talking Heads.

Success!! I love the Talking Heads. And She Was is one of my favorites; Psycho Killer and Once in a Lifetime are great as well. I could listen to entire albums of theirs.

So we made it from mediocrity to something special. Hair to slick new wave. Whodathunk it?

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Phillies are just plain tapped out....

I'm just imagining that the Phillies are like a hobo with his pockets turned inside out and his shoulders shrugged, all the while a violin plays some whiny and sad music.

Apparently, despite all of the pitching woes that they are experiencing during spring training, the Phils just can't afford another 4 million dollars for another starter that's readily available. (Kyle Lohse)

"We don't have any interest in him," assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said of the free agent, a former Phillie. "The fact of the matter is we may not have the dollars and cents to do something like that at this time."

The Phillies have a payroll that could exceed $106 million on opening day, which would be a franchise record. So even if Lohse is seeking a one-year, $4 million deal, they are not interested.

So I guess they'll be trotting out some really bad pitching this year. The Durbin boys, Travis Blackley and Rosario are our best options for the 5th spot (and Kendrick may be falling back down to earth, cross your fingers he rebounds later this spring) since Eaton is a lemon and I'm glad he'll end up on the DL anyways.

Here's hoping we score 12 runs a game....

Friday, March 7, 2008

First an extra day of work and now we lose an hour of sleep?!


Just recently I had to work an extra day without additional pay (see leap year post), now you're telling me that this weekend we have to lose an hour of sleep because we have to "spring forward"?!!

Who was the Einstein who thought up this friggin' bright idea? It's the middle of the night and we're supposed to skip ahead an hour?!

Hey!! I have an idea!! - here's what we should do instead!

When it's time in the spring to set the clocks ahead an hour, how 'bout we do it at 4pm on a Friday?! That way the large majority of us will get to go home an extra hour early!


But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Those evil corporate bastards would never go for that idea and they would never let their political lobbies allow their paid off congressmen and senators vote for such an idea.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

He without schmaltz cast the first tease

I've been getting some flack about having "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head" on my mp3 player as posted on yesterday's blog entry.

Let me get this out in the open now.

Everyone secretly likes some sort of sappy or syrupy entertainment whether it be music or a show or a movie or what have you that is largely considered by the public as schmaltzy.

Aside from having "Mandy" by Barry Manilow on my mp3 player, I always stop to watch Riverdance when I'm flipping or enjoy some QVC or infomercials. I'll sing along to "Afternoon Delight" by the Starland Express if I hear it and sometimes I'm in the mood to listen to Olivia Newton John, Dammit!!

So if you say that you don't like anything that's "uncool", I don't believe you, you fucking liar.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My mp3 player is reading my mind!!

I realize that this sounds completely made up or I've gone off the deep end (finally!!) but I swear on my left testicle that it's true.

This morning when I was ready to leave for work it was pouring rain. Dummy me, I left my umbrella in my car, so I had to make a break for it and I got soaked as I ran to my car. Once inside I started up my mp3 player and hit the shuffle button. I have 641 songs on the player, it's supposed to hold 1000 songs but I have alot of jam band songs that last 10 minutes or longer on the player, so I'm actually surprised it holds that many. So out of the 641 songs I have, it decides to play "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head". Now I know most of you are wondering why the hell I have that song on my player. But I allow myself some guilty pleasures like BJ Thomas and Barry Manilow, thank you very much.

Of course I recognize that the apt song playing at that particular time was a small coincidence. But just then- I drove through a large puddle and swerved and lost control of the car a bit. The Blind Melon song, "No Rain" came from the mp3 player.

I quickly called my wife and told her how freaked out I was and how my mp3 player was the devil or possessed by demons or it was magical and it will somehow lead us to the promised land. She scoffed at me (yet again) and I hung up the phone. I turned onto Bristol Road in Warrington as the clouds were parting and the sun started to peek it's way through. "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles was the next tune the shuffle produced for me.

I called my wife yet again sounding even crazier than before. "It's trying to tell me something!!" My son Gabriel also picked up the phone and started to laugh at me. My own son, a non-believer. I hung up the phone and screamed frantically at the player-

"What is it that you want?! Tell Me!!"

I hit the next song button.

"Hold Me" by Fleetwood Mac came on.

Stupid me. It had wanted what everyone wants, a little love and attention. How could I have not seen this before? I held the credit card sized player gently and caressed it's display and whispered, "shhhhh...there, there, poor sweet baby"

I think it liked that as it started to play, "And You and I" by Yes.

When I arrived at work I knew our short but intense affair had to end. No one could ever understand how two things so different could be together. I had to turn off the player and right before I did it started to play, "Let Forever Be" by the Chemical Brothers.

Yes my little mp3 player, I will let forever be.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Is there a 12th level cleric with a resurrection scroll in the house?!


Gary Gygax
July 27th, 1938- March 4th, 2008

creator of Dungeons and Dragons

Now with O hit points

Secret little moments of emotional wussiness

Last night I'm sitting my easy chair and I'm watching my wife and 2 kids interact with each other. I don't even really know what they were talking about but they were laughing and smiling at each other and my 6 year old son, Gabriel seem animated and hamming it up while the 9 year old, Jonathan tried in vain to get him to stop. Meanwhile my wife Lynn was doing her best to be attentive to both kids.

Then I started to get a lump in my throat and my eyes welled up a bit (not even from the pink eye) as I thought about how much I cared for all 3 of them. As soon as the moment hit me I regained my composure. I am a man after all. I can't show stupid little moments of emotional wussiness like that.

As a preteen, I was always an emotional wreck, I cried quite a lot and would dangle my Phillie Phanatic out the window with my Mork from Ork suspenders. I would imagine how sorry they'd all be if I was the one who went out the window. Eventually, I learned to control my sadness and crying fits. I clamped down so hard that I never cried again until the week before my mother died. (and I didn't cry at the funeral) I've maybe teared up a few times since, but never let the tears come streaming down my cheeks and had an outright bawling session. It's become a natural reflex for me to stop the tears if the urge to cry ever starts.

I suppose it's emotionally unhealthy to do this. I also suppose that I come off as being cold to the people around me. But, I do have those moments of emotional wussiness and as I age and as my family grows and I become ever more fond of them with each passing day I find these moments coming to bear more and more often. Sooner or later, I will be found out and outed as a fraud. I will savor the time when it does.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sick of being sick

So there I was, confident and cocky that I would make it through the winter season without getting an illness that was more than a 24-hour stomach bug. I was bragging to people that I was healthy this winter since I quit smoking. I laughed at the face of sniffles and sneezes and coughs. "Ah-hahahahaha!!" I'd bellow, "You shall not make a sick man out of me, oh you hoary hosts of viruses and germs!!" When I made this speech aloud, I 'd get weird looks at the grocery store, but I would just shrug them off and smile, knowingly, that I was protected this year from sickness!

Then suddenly by the middle of February, all around me people were getting this horrible cold. My trusty employee started to hack and cough and then called out sick for 6 days! I also found out that my old friend Karen was hacking and wheezing her way through work for over a week. (I successfully avoided contact with her!) Then come poker night, my good friend Dave was sniffling and hacking his lungs out while he was in my car! Almost a week passed and I thought I was safe, dare I thought nigh-invulnerable to this dreaded disease.

And then Thursday night came....

At first it seemed like I had a small head cold. "No biggie!" I thought to myself, a little sinus pressure but no coughing. "I can handle this with some antihistamines!" I swallowed a few Tylenol PM's and when I awoke Friday morning, my eye was glued shut with eye boogers. Having been through this experience before, I knew immediately what it was. I had pink eye a.k.a. conjunctivitis. It feels like your eyelid is made of sand paper and your eyes are constantly seeping with goop. The first time I got it I was visiting my friend Mike at his college at Rutgers University in my early 20's. I recall screaming across a study hall to his roommate to see if he had any Visine. It must have appeared that I was huge stoner for yelling that. (well, I was, but I wasn't stoned when I asked.) Needless to say, pink eye is a rather uncomfortable experience.

Then Friday night I started to get a low grade fever that continued all weekend and my head cold made me feel even worse. My sinus pressure is awful and I even resorted to using those kooky sinus rinses where you squirt a solution up one nostril and it comes out the other nostril. I feel tired and somewhat achy but I haven't started coughing yet. I know the hacking and wheezing will eventually come. I have resigned myself to the cold Gods and will soon sacrifice a lamb to appease their anger at me for being so bold. I can only pray that my cold ends soon or that my death will be a quick and painless event.