Friday, December 4, 2009

Tennis transformation

For the past 5-6 months I have been playing 3-4 tennis matches a week. And while I have noticed exciting improvements in my game, I have also noticed changes in my body. I have lost weight. I try to eat more calories to compensate for those that I burn. I sometimes purposely eat fatty and sugary foods, like a snickers bar right before I go play. But the pounds continue to come off. Taking a look at my body it seems that most of this is muscle weight. My shoulders, chest, and arms have gotten smaller. I guess this is normal since I will often play tennis in lieu of lifting weights for my after-work exercise activity. The reason I haven't been doing both anymore is because of shoulder pain. I'm pretty sure its just tendinitis. It doesn't hurt except when I try to stretch my shoulder behind me (the motion you would use to do a butterfly press) So that has made weight lifting difficult since the inflammation in my shoulder really limits my motion under resistance.

So, I have gotten kind of scrawny. I am just under 6 feet tall, and I weighed in at 155 lbs last week. I have to agree with most folks...that is too thin.

I guess the only thing to do if I want to re-gain muscle mass, is to curtail the tennis until the shoulder heals... and then start lifting weights again. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I'm not a fitness professional or a doctor... so I am just going with what seems to be common sense here. But perhaps there is an option I am not seeing.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving (skip if you are turned off by sentiment)

My list of things for which I am thankful is longer than would fit comfortably into one post, but a few highlights will serve to remind me of how lucky I am.

Thanks:

To all my wonderful friends that I've made over the years. When I moved to San Diego in the summer of 1996, I didn't know a soul. For no reason that I can really explain, I took a job that wasn't close to where I lived. In doing so I was introduced to a group of people that remain close friends to this day. It's something that is easy to take for granted when the relationships have remained so strong for so long...but it is not often the way things go...and I am so thankful to have that kind of love in my life. Thanks to all of them for being the great people they are.

My family...the most important support group of all. For my health and the health of my family. We have had a few scares recently...but we all are doing pretty well. To have most of my family here in the same city... healthy and happy, is an amazing thing.

Financial Stability. Most people have had a rough time the last few years. Whether it is pure luck or some kind of serendipitous thing, I have managed to find a niche...and it has provided me with the means to take care of myself and live s relatively stress-free life. I know what its like to be out of work, or to work several jobs, at odd-hours, or to be working when everyone else is relaxing or going out. I've done all those things...and it makes me really appreciate having things they way they are now. Sure... I am not making as much headway as I would have expected by this time in my life... but all those expectations were based on relatively stable economy. Things are alright!

Melina. For her intelligence, insight, and compassion. For loving me unconditionally. For taking me as I am... with my faults and strange idiosyncrasies. Thanks for being such a cool woman.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hiking

We took a short hike up Iron Mountain in Poway yesterday. It's about 3 miles from the base of the trail to the summit. The whole hike takes about 2-3 hours. It was a great day to be up there. I had an extra Tiger's Milk that nobody wanted so I put it inside the good kharma box at the summit. If you find yourself on top of Iron Mountain, have a snack on me

EDIT: here is a link to more photos.
Iron Mountain

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SF in a weekend.

Melina and I decided to go to San Francisco for our anniversary. We woke up late on Saturday and got down to the airport to catch a quick 90 minute flight to SFO. From the airport we used the BART to get us into town and then grabbed a taxi to our hotel. It was about 3 pm by the time we got settled in.

First order of business was to "Bike the bridge", so we headed off to the Bike rental place (huge and does a very good bit of business). Along the way, we stopped and took a look and some pictures from the top of Lombard Street (the crookedest street in the world). At the shop, we got two very decent bikes and headed off. Our route brought us down Hyde street, along the embarcadero and eventually up some pretty killer hills leading up to the base of the bridge. We stopped a few times while riding across to take it all in and snap some photos. On the other side we coasted down the hill and then eventually had another climb or two before rolling into Sausalito. We had time to kill before the next ferry left so we grabbed some pizza and a bloody mary. The ferry left right at sunset and we were treated to an amazing orange and red sky as we were shuttled back across the bay to San Francisco. It turns out we hopped on the wrong ferry, because this one took us all the way back to Pier 1, and we wanted Pier 41. It turned out to be a nice mistake because it gave us the opportunity to ride our bikes all the way back along the wharf, on a beautiful night.

After turning in the bikes, we got back to the hotel in time to get ready and go off to the Mission district for dinner at Foreign Cinema. The food was good and wine was great and the company was perfect. As it turns out having hot sauce on everything you eat from breakfast through lunch can cause some distress in your digestive system. Who knew?

I felt better the next morning and we got up early and hit the Buena Vista for breakfast and Irish coffee. Then we rode the cable cars all over town stopping in China Town and Union Square. Down in the financial district we hit the SFMoMA and the Yerba Buena gardens, before settling down at an Irish pub for lunch and drinks. Later in the evening we cable carred back to the Wharf and walked down to Pier 33 where we hopped on the Alcatraz ferry for a tour of the old prison. It was every bit as much fun as we had expected.

Monday we hit the Boudiin bakery for some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl and then got dessert at Ghirardelli. We had enough time to relax and buy some gifts before heading back to the airport for our trip home.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I left my <3 in SF

 



 
I was trying to find just one picture to put on here for the San Francisco blog post. Then I found a way to put them all here. I will let the pictures tell the story. Who says you can;t get much done in one weekend?Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gearhead

I've learned that in tennis, a good racquet really can make a huge difference. I demo'd 3 different sticks this week. The Babolat Pure Drive GT Plus, the HEAD Youtek Radical Pro, and the Wilson KFactor 6.1 95.


The Wilson is the heaviest of all three, but head-light, and has the smallest hitting area. I shanked many. It has very little power, as it is made for players that generate most of the pace themselves. When there is a lot of pace on the ball this racquet has great control...if I can manage to put it in the sweet spot. Neither one happen often in the matches I play. This is a pro's racquet, and something I am just not ready for yet.


The square handle on the HEAD felt odd to me, as did the leather rather than synthetic grip. The demo had really crappy strings on it, so it's hard for me to really judge how well it might have hit if it was strung well. I tried it for maybe 10 minutes before moving on.


The Babolat was way different. This is a powerful racquet and generated more spin than I thought imaginable. Moving from the Wilson to this, I sailed the first few but once I adjusted, the topspin was unreal. Even my highest shots were dropping in. This gave me a lot of confidence. I had the fewest amount of unforced errors that I can remember. Its just so forgiving. The extra spin on serves had me hitting most of the early serves into the net. Once I was up a few games I started really going after them to compensate, and WOW. I never could have imagined what a difference a racquet could make. It is so forgiving and gave me all the confidence I needed to start going after EVERY serve. By the third set I was so confident that I was hitting flat serves at 100 or better that were in by 2 feet.

So, I am going with the Babolat. That means that I have a few Wilson's to sell if anyone is interested.

Gotcha

We all kind of saw this coming...


Didn't we?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Richard Dawkins

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I stumbled across this a few years ago...

A time comes in your life when you finally get it ... when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out ENOUGH!!! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening. You realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change...or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon.

You come to terms with the fact that you are neither Prince Charming nor Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you...and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance. You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are...and that's OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.
And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself...and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval. You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself...and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance. You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties...and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the junk you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you should weigh, what you should wear, what you should do for a living, how much money you should make, what you should drive, how and where you should live, who you should marry, the importance of having and raising children, and what you owe your parents, family, and friends. You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with...and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. And you learn that alone does not mean lonely. You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK...and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things you want...and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands. You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less.
And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drink more water, and take more time to exercise. You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe you deserve...and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone...and that it's OK to risk asking for help. You learn the only thing you must truly fear is the greatest robber baron of all: FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens… you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that it's not "God" punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.
You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.
Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire.

And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best you can. ~~~

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Do you ever wonder....

What is up with fat, blubbery, hairy, old men that seem to wander aimlessly around the locker room? It's rare to spot these guys out in the actual workout area. No, their presence is pretty much confined to the changing area. You can;t help but notice when you stop by to change into your running shoes, or to shower off afterwards... that there he is again...in all of his Sasquatch-like glory, choosing not to employ the age-old method of drying himself with a TOWEL, but rather to march endlessly back and forth between the sink, his locker, and some other unknown destination to drip-dry or better yet...stand spread-eagle beneath the hand dryer. You start to think that he doesn't even workout, but heads straight for the showers. After all, he is in horrible shape despite his being there every day (easy to ascertain because he is there EVERY time you randomly choose to get some exercise)You would think a guy thats spends as much time as he does at the gym would have even the slightest muscle tone or a body fat percentage below 30%.

Does some sort of hormone kick in after the age of 55 whereby one is compelled to publicly, and forcefully I might add, display themselves despite having the opposite of what would normally be considered a physique worthy of showing off?

I try my best to ignore, but its just too weird.

He is human after all.


Juan Martin del Potro stuns Roger Federer in U.S. Open final - Tennis - SI.com

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fun with lip reading

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Monday, September 7, 2009

US Open


I'm having tons of fun watching the US Open. Even when the coverage on tv ends for the day you can catch everything online at www.usopen.org, including live streaming video and commentary in High Definition from 5 different courts.

Today 17 year-old Melanie Oudin beats her third straight top seeded Russian to advance to the quarterfinals.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Behind the curtain

You ever imagine what an opponent might be saying or acting like on the other end of the computer screen?

There are priceless moments at 0:52 (double guns "Wooooo!"), and 2:28 "I worked you!" and of course, 2:42 "Thats what time it is!"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tennis notes

My tennis lessons have been moved to Sunday mornings at 1030 at the North Park courts. This means I will be missing JBC for the next few weeks. My game is coming along. The forehand is becoming a weapon when I can time it correctly. For me, the problem had been waiting on it. I/we have a tendency to hit the ball a bit harder/faster during warm-up than we might in a match. Sounds strange, but often enough we might tentatively push the ball around the court in a match waiting for our opponent to make errors... rather than waiting for an opportunity ball to set up a winner. The result for me has been pushing ahead of the ball too much. I'm hitting with different opponents, but often enough I have plenty of time to set up in an open stance and hit a good topspin forehand.... but I just get ahead of myself and catch it too far in front.

Serving is the one part of the game that can be easily practiced without a partner. I should take advantage of that more often, since it probably has been the weakest part of my game. In recent matches it has been coming along in spurts, so I am confident that it will get much better.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Best wishes

My friends Rees and Rebecca were married on Saturday in a small ceremony performed by our mutual friend Kent. It was an intimate gathering, and I felt very honored to be among the attendees. It was great fun (coming from someone that isn't a huge wedding guy) and lots of pictures were taken. When I get them, I will put a few (or a link) here.

Ok...as promised...







Congratulations to them both.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Health notes


I have gotten a bit skinny, down to 157 lbs. That's pretty light for a 6' frame, yet somehow I still have the love-handles. So I have started a new fitness plan that has me doing three light sets of calestenthics per day in addition to regular workouts and cardio. The first workout takes place moments after waking up, and its just not that easy to go from sleeping to doing 40 push-ups. guest room looks like an infomercial...but the perfect push-ups and the door-frame pull-up bar really do get a lot of use. I guess there is no substitute for good old fashioned weight training if you are looking to bulk up fast, but you really can accomplish alot using just gravity, leverage and your own body weight.

Melina and I still try to get out at least once a week and run the Rusterthon or the Hipsterthon, and there is boot camp on Sunday. Add in tennis 2-3 times a week, and the cardio is pretty much covered.

Now, if I could just stop eating cookies....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

6 more.

I finished my 6th of 6 tennis lessons last night and immediately purchased 6 more. I;m enjoying this sport.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happiness, more or less. It's just a change in me, something in my liberty. Happiness, coming and going. I watch you look at me, watch my fever growing. I know just where I am.But how many corners do I have to turn? How many times do I have to learn? But how many corners do I have to turn? All the love I have is in my mind? How many times do I have to learn? Well I'm a lucky man with fire in my hands. Something in my own place. I'm standing naked smiling...I feel no disgrace. Happiness, with who I am.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Nice Weekend


Melina and I headed out to Chula Vista for the Incubus show on Thursday night. It was a very good set. I had forgotten how many hits they had put out over the years. The band sounded great and Brandon Boyd is just dreamy. On Friday we went and saw "UP", a fun Pixar animated film about an old man that flies his house to South America using helium balloons. Then on Saturday we played tennis for a bit and then took a jog around the bay in Coronado. That afternoon we hopped in the car and drove up to LA to meet some friends and go see the Rise Against /Rancid show at the Forum. I've been to a lot of rock shows and was in a band for years so I am no stranger to high decibels...but this was damn near deafening. It was so loud, we shoved toilet paper in our ears and then could hear just fine. After the show we stopped by an old friend's house to wish them a happy anniversary. We had a bit too much to drink so we stayed the night in LA. The next morning we grabbed breakfast at "One of the best breakfasts in LA" before heading back down to San Diego.

We got home at about noon and then took the namesake on the Rusterthon.

Just another beautiful day in paradise.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tennis

Leaving here in a few minutes for my tennis lesson. This will be my third session of 6 total that I have pre-paid for. I'm definitely getting better and may continue at the end of these 6. I think we are going to work on serving today.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Busted (again)


Well this shouldn't take long. I went over to the Rio last night to register for event #51, so that I could avoid the lines this morning and stroll in leisurely a little bit late. This morning I got up after a nice rest, worked out a bit in the room, took a shower, had breakfast with Matt, and then drove over to the Rio. That was about an hour ago.

When I arrived I noticed my table was in the area that they play cash games... so I knew my table would be one of the first ones to break. My plan was to sit back, be very patient and wait for a good spot... not forcing anything.

We started with 4500 in chips and the blinds at 25-50. I folded the first two hands dealt, and then on the 3rd hand, a guy raised from early position to 125 and got two callers. I called from the small blind with 88. THe flop came 862 rainbow and I checked. The original raiser checked, the cutoff bet 350 and the button called. I check-raised to 1175. The original raiser folded as did the cutoff and the butoon very quickly shoved all in. Obviously there is no thought here as I have the very best hand possible, so i call. He reveals 97os for an open ended straight draw for his tournament life. He hits it immediately when the 10 hits the turn, and I do not fill up on the river. Crippled down to 400 chips I get it in a few hands later and lose.

Now the axiom here is that if you're going to take a wicked beat in a tournament and get busted, its best to do it in the early rounds so that you don't sit around for 12 hours. I guess that's true, but I would've like to have at least played a little bit to get some kind of an idea of what the play is like in these. My sample size is obviously too small.

There's nothing you can do about bad luck. I'm just very disappointed that I didn't double up to a nice healthy stack like I am supposed to there. Sorry to everyone that invested in me, and that was following along. This is one of these brutal horror stories that you hear about. Its just a bit shocking when it happens to you.

Now.... I'm going to the pool.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lunatics?

So I forgot to write this one up...

Leaving Las Vegas on a Monday evening after another poker trip, Matt and I encountered what seemed to be a series of events...featuring some strange behavior.

First off we get up to check our bags, and weird things are happening. The Kiosk does read Matt's credit card so he uses another one. Finally it says "Get boarding pass at gate" which is odd. Then the guy never calls his name, as people that arrived and checked in after us continue to stream by. Matt finally says something to the guy, who just sort of mumbles "hold on one sec" as he fiddles with some paper printer machine thingy. Once he gets that sorted out he "forgets" about Matt waiting and calls the next name on his list... someone that arrived and checked in at the kiosk long after we did. Eventually we just barge up to the counter and get it sorted out with another employee, who gives us only a fraction of shit for breaking the line. So it began.

Next, its up through security and then over to the gate. Before we get to the gate we pass by a young woman standing against the wall speaking into her cell phone, who lets rip one of the best hypocritical phrases ever, "Stop it! Shut up and don't FUCKING cuss at me!" She continues to rant on at some unseen soul on the other end of the line. That one got me laughing.

Its not more than a few seconds later that I look over to the right at one of the other gates and a group of girls are surrounding their friend as she is screaming "Noooooooo!" and sobbing, with mascara running down her face. Whoa. What's going on around here?

So we proceed to the gate counter to get Matt's boarding pass and have to wait a bit because there is a guy in front of us bitching and moaning to the gate agent that he won;t make his connecting flight... as if there is anything a gate agent can do about a late flight. He repeats himself 4 or 5 times as the ever-so-patient gate agents just nod and smile. Finally he is off and we approach the counter, and I finally ask, "Is it a full moon tonight?" only half-joking.

We get the boarding pass and while waiting, we observe two baggage handlers/ground crew having a discussion that goes something like this:

"If you've got a problem with me, you need to come say it to MY FACE!"
"I'm not sure what you heard but..."
"No, you need to man up and come say it to my face not behind my back..."
etc, etc, etc. They eventually walk back down to the tarmac, their voices trailing off...

Our not-even-half-full flight is boarding now, but rather than stand in the jetway waiting for everyone to put away their bag, we just choose to be the last ones on the plane. That's when a family comes running down the hallway with a mother literally dragging a child and a huge bag behind her screaming "Wait! Wait! We're coming!" even after 2 or 3 Southwest employees have told her she can relax and walk as she is in no danger of missing the plane. She must think they are trying to trick her because she continues to drag the children on-board at a hurried pace, huffing, puffing, and sweating under the weight of her heavy frame, child, and gargantuan piece of luggage that in no way will fit in an overhead compartment.

We finally get seated, taxi, and take off. It's cloudy and overcast in Las Vegas on this evening. But its a low ceiling and we break through the clouds at about 6 thousand feet.... to reveal a big, beautiful, and totally full moon.


Friday, June 19, 2009

The coining of a phrase... it begins.



Awesome.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Busted

The first trip of the summer to the WSOP did not go well. In fact, it went decidedly awful, as I lost nearly my entire poker bankroll. This is not something to slit my wrists over, or make me give up the game. I simply caught a bad turn of luck, which unfortunately does play a role. I'm not particularly unhappy with the way I played, though on 1 occasion I did make a poor choice to stay in a game after it got tough. Meh, whatever... these things happen.

I had been trying to win my way through a series of online tournaments, but just as I got geared up to really grind at it, it seems I can no longer deposit money on the site. Wow, just goes to show how far the feds head is up its own ass. "Let's seize 30 million one time, instead of legalizing, regulating, and taxing it so we can make 1 billion every year."

I ran pretty well this week since coming home and was considering going back to Vegas this weekend, but birthday celebrations and other previous engagements preclude me from doing so. Perhaps the following weekend. I still believe there are massive amounts of dead money to be had... although I noticed a seemingly much tougher average player in the Venetian Deep Stacks events. I think the lower buy-in events at the WSOP are still filled with home-game heroes and other novice players with delusions of grandeur. Hmm... sounds like me actually.

On other fronts... FLO TV goes nationwide tonight as the digital transition allows us to light up markets that were occupying our owned spectrum with an analog television signal. Tonight we flip the switch. It is the hope that having a nationwide footprint will allow our partners to advertise nationally and get more subscribers. The next few months will be telling.

Now, here it is... your moment of Zen.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nice Weekend.

It was just another beautiful weekend in San Diego. After lounging around and having a few cocktails on Friday night, Melina and I woke up late on Saturday and joined friends for breakfast. We all decided to go see Star Trek at the IMAX theater, but not before running by my house so I could give my friend a haircut. The IMAX theater is a bit farther than we would normally go to see a movie. The haircut made us a bit late, and the movie was sold out. That's not to say that movie didn't sell out long before we got there...which it probably did. We opted to watch the "regular" version, and reclined into what were probably the most comfortable movie theater seats we had ever sat in. Plus we had the low railing in front of us and no other chairs so we could put our feet up. Not bad. The movie itself was fun, I thought, and well put together by J.J. Abrams. People who aren't familiar with the characters might not have enjoyed it as much. I give it about 3 stars.

After the movie, the sun had come out, and Melina and I went on a run through Golden Hill and South Park.


View Larger Map

Later we met up with my old roommate and friends for his 30th birthday. They chose the Riveria Supper Club, which is a nicer, newer, less dark and cockroachy version of the Turf Club in Golden Hill. If you like to get plastered for $6, I suggest you order a drink at the bar. Saying "Vodka Soda" got me a very heavy pour in a pint glass, with a splash of soda. We both had to drink down a bit and ask for more mixer. Melina asked me to finish her drink, which prompted me to hand her the keys. Thanks for driving!

Sunday was another installment of JBC, or as I like to call it "Come if you want walking to be painful for the following 3 days." Sure enough, there were plenty of squats, and "elbow to instep", frogs jumps, lunges, "groiners", to make sure that our hamstrings and quads scream at us for the next 72 hours.

that afternoon I trekked over to Santee to the home of the Lucky Dog Poker League. They were running a $100 satellite that afternoon in conjunction with the PCC. Things went pretty well for me, as I doubled my stack on the very first hand and knocked a player out. It wasn't much later that I knocked 2 players out in one hand, giving me enough chips to almost sail right into the 2 person payout. So, yay, I won my seat into the $500 buy-in tournament this coming Saturday. The winner of that is off to Vegas and the WSOP. I hope its me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Creeepy

Never snuggle again.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Car Buying, Mother's Day, and Red Bull Air Races

The lease on my car expired over a month ago and I got an extension while I decided what to do with it. After weighing a few options including: Buying it, turning it in and buying a cheaper car, or trading it for a new model...I decided to buy it out from the lease. My payments went up a bit as a result, but my insurance goes down as I am not required to carry as much comprehensive coverage... so its pretty much a wash. I'm told that the re-sale on my vehicle remains high, especially in a marketplace where more people are looking for second-hand cars over new ones. So the plan is to drive it for another year or two and then reassess. I had all the damage fixed and its been detailed so it looks brand new.

My family decided to skip the crowds and celebrate Mother's Day with a Saturday evening meal in Del Mar. The food and company was excellent and the crowds were minimal, except for the party of 40 high school kids eating their pre-prom dinner.

Matt and I rode his scooters from Golden Hill down to Seaport Village to check out the Red Bull Air Races on Sunday. Check out the website for all the photos from this years competition. Seeing it up close really is a sight to behold and I'm glad we did it. In years past I've balked at going because I never felt like dealing with the traffic and crowds. Riding the scooters pretty much makes it painless, as you can whizz around the traffic and park almost anywhere. Matt and Bree have been encouraging me to get a scooter, and after a nice afternoon riding on one, it's likely to happen sooner than later.



After the Air Races we headed over to the Gator Day Festival along the Spanish Landing . I'll post pictures later when I find my little flash card doohickey.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New England

I am Manchester New Hampshire for the next couple of days. I will hopefully have some time to catch up on some recent happenings. Sorry for the lack of updates. Until then please remember, "Greg is not an alien"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Twittering

I have a twitter account. I won't be posting there all day every day, but if you want to add me or follow my screenname is "gregmustdie".

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back in Black

I just returned from a profitable trip to Las Vegas. I placed 12th in this tournament at the Venetian on Friday. I won a satellite to enter it, and after chopping a "last longer" bet was only into the tournament for $70. So that was a nice profit, but of course it's impossible to not be disappointed coming so close to the final table and much more significant payday.

I also played in Sunday's H.O.R.S.E event on a 100% freeroll after winning another satellite and LL bet. I did not cash in that event, eventually getting busted by this guy who is known more for running tournaments than playing in them.

Then on Monday morning I was hypnotized. I can say that I definitely entered a deep state of relaxation, and felt a lot more relaxed at the table. I think a few more sessions will tell the tale.

More later.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pressing issues.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ew

Its looking ugly. 68-38 UNC with 16 minutes to go. They've gone on a 13-0 run in 2 minutes.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dancing with the Stars


My Alma Mater made it to the NCAA Tournament. Since they are the 16th seed, they will face the #1 seed, North Carolina. I would love to post a news article that says we have much of a chance in that contest, but let's not kid ourselves. It's nice just to go to the dance. The last time the Highlanders made the tournament was in the late 90's while I was still an undergrad. We faced Duke in the first round. Again, it was nice just to go.

Go Highlanders!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Its a start....

Small snippet about Atheist numbers increasing in America.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

No win

"I never took the Kobayashi Maru test...until now. What do you think of my solution?"


Friday, February 20, 2009

Cont'd

After all the initial high jinks, we got down to what we would be doing all day every day, playing cards. I will not bore you with a bunch of intricate hand details. I played a wide swath of games including single table satellites, multi-table tournaments and plenty of cash poker. We managed to get a mix game going on two separate occasions at the Venetian Poker Room. It was 6/12 HORSE on Saturday, 5/10 Mix on Sunday. There was 15/30 mix going at the Wynn on Monday, but the game looked too tough and too high for me so I didn't sit. I was also pretty much broke by then, but I will get to that later.

The central purpose of the trip was to participate in the Deep-Stack tournaments at the Venetian, most notably the $330 buy-in HORSE on Sunday Feb 15. I started out quite well in that tournament, jumping out to the chip lead over the 200+ player field pretty quickly. Starting with 12k, I was up to 28K within 3 hours, mostly just getting a great run of cards and getting action on every hand I played (people just seem to call me more often). As it turns out, if you want to be lucky in a tournament it better to be lucky late than early. I took a couple of bad beats just before the dinner break to knock me back to about 18k. After dinner I lost a huge razz pot that would prove to be my undoing. I made a really good hand... a 75432 low on 5th streeat and had been taking the betting lead the entire hand against what could only be a draw. I was being called by a player that had to wonder if his draw was even live, as he was showing a J763 on 6th street. On 7th I made an even better low, showing down a 65432. My opponent called me in the dark (obviously he had a made 7 to do so) and then took almost a full minute to squeeze out his river, which he then flicked with his hand and appeared to be mucking... prompting me to silently rejoice at the huge pot I had just won. Oh wait... he caught an A on 7th giving him 65431. "Winner Winner," he says and collects the massive pot. Nice slowroll dick. I never recovered. I got it all in about 30 minutes later in a stud 8 pot with a pair of fives and four cards to a 6 low, only to watch it come 9, T. I lost to rivered pair of Jacks and I was busted. I went from first to worst within 1 hour of play.

I played some cash games including the aforementioned mix game until about 6:30 am...swiping out with 17 hours of play time in one session. I guess I got about 4 or 5 hours of sleep, and crawled out of bed sometime after noon. I headed over to the Wynn and played in a tournament at 2 pm. I got busted with AA in that one (always fun) and then sat down to play cash with borrowed money, as I had managed to blow through my entire bankroll. I lost in the cash game as well, putting me into negative territory having lost everything I brought as well as the borrowed stake. I decided to take one last shot at a score and bought into the 7pm Wynn tournament. The structure appeared to be very player-friendly with 30 minute levels and 10k in starting chips. Matt entered as well, and we agreed that if we ended up 1st and 2nd in the tournament that we would chop it.

And that's exactly what happened. 7 hours later we eliminated the 3rd player and took about 1450 each. The win covered a large portion of my losses and and turned what would have been an extremely depressing Tuesday morning into a much happier one. After cashing in, we had enough time to get back to the hotel, pack, and get a 2 hour nap in before having to be at the airport in time for a 630 am flight home. I had to be at work by 9 am, and knew it was going to be a long day.

All told I put in 7 hours on Friday night. 15 hours on Saturday. 17 hours on Sunday. and 12 hours on Monday. 51 hours of poker in the span of less than 80 hours that I spent in Vegas... and posted a $300 loss. That works out to a little under $6 loss per hour.

But the hotel room was free.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vegas, DSE 1

I left Friday evening for Vegas. Kyle K and Dana were on the same flight. We had a drink at the airport and a fun flight over to Sin City. Kent picked us up at the airport. He dropped off Kyle and Dana over at their hotel, and then we arrived at my hotel around 715. While checking in, it became apparent that my rouse to use my brother's VIP rates was not going to work. Basically, instead of pretending to be my brother this time around, I tried to check in as myself. This was not a good idea. Sean had assured me it was no problem, but having read the fine print of the special offer I really should have known better. The front desk agreed to let me check in for now.... so long as Sean arrived some time that night, otherwise I would be charged the full rate for the one night and my key would be de-activated the next day. Sigh, not a good start. I called Sean and he said that he would just have to find a way to get out to Vegas. "No way man," I said. "I will just pay for it and get another hotel tomorrow." He told me to sit tight while he made a few phone calls. He called back 15 minutes later to report that he spoke with a few people who know a few people and that the entire stay was now comped. How is that for awesome? The people at the front must have been pissed off something serious after the shenanigans I put them through...only to have the casino host come up to them 20 minutes later and tell them to comp the room for 4 nights! Thanks Sean.

Kent had to standby throughout the entire ordeal and had to be getting antsy. We were scheduled to go meet Matt S for dinner but decided to wait for Kevin P to arrive and we would all go eat together. After some bit of confusion with the elevators and the different towers, Kevin eventually found the room, and we all left for the Wynn. We found Matt, and then went off to the Cafe. The Cafe was very quiet and there was still another 30 minutes until closing, but the hostess told us that they were "fully committed" and had no available tables. We had no idea what that meant as it was clear that the place was 90% empty. Kent got frustrated with the hostess and after being told to sit on a bench and wait, I suggested that we simply leave. Kent, a Vegas local, said that this kind of thing is happening everywhere... prices rising, customer service totally absent, staff reductions to the point that businesses are running at such limited capacity that you can't get a table in an empty restaurant. Wow. Sign o' the times, I guess. Since the tension level had risen to unacceptable levels for what was supposed to be a fun time, we opted to just walk down the hall to the Deli, where I paid $17 for a BLT. Lol. I guess $1.99 prime rib dinners is a thing of the past!

After eating, we headed over to the Venetian to check out the tournament satellites for the next day and to play some cash poker. Kevin P left us to go to the MGM, his card room of choice. Matt, Kent and I stayed at the Venetian and played there. I played one satellite and busted out of the money and then sat in a cash game with Kent and grinded out a few bucks. On the way back to the hotel, we noticed that Kent's headlights weren't working. Rather than get pulled over, Kent crashed at the hotel with us. Sound exhausting? It hasn't even begun...

...more to come later.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

wiped

I am going to take a short nap before attempting to drive home.

Exhausted

I am far too tired to write up anything resembling coherent thought right now, as I was up playing a tournament until about 2 this morning. The trip ended up being a loser for me, but only by a small amount, and that is only because of a last second score this morning.

More later after I get some rest.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Cards

I.m off to Vegas tonight. I will be there through Monday playing in The Venetian Deep Stack poker series, and the Caesar's Mega Stack series across the street. Unlike I will update from the road.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Really? I mean.... really?

Do you ever see people making lots of lane changes on the freeway while in heavy traffic? Most of the time they are just being impatient. Other times they are being downright reckless. Yesterday there was a guy driving a silver BMW 740 making all kinds of sudden lane changes and accelerating and braking violently. At one point, when he pulled up right beside me I couldn't help but to glance over and have a look at this guy. He appeared to be in his mid to late 30's, clean cut, well-dressed, and carrying a look on his face that suggested he has come too far in life to be inconvenienced by something as trivial as traffic. He just so happened to look right at me at the same time. That's when I saw him mouth the words, "What the fuck are you looking at?". Perception solidified. I laughed, shook my head and mouthed a single word "Why?"

It was funny to me...but only for a moment. He pulled away into another lane and was almost rear ended by the large truck that he cut in front of. Soon enough, he was trapped again and after a few more extremely dangerous and pointless lane changes, ended up directly behind me. That's when I saw the car seat in the middle back seat, and what looked like a 1 year-old sitting in it.

Lame.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lol hipsters.

Great article that explains it all. Be sure to read all three pages.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Things that are neat

The shopping carts at IKEA are neat because all four wheels turn, allowing you to move your cart sideways easily if that is something that you might like to do. I was pushing my cart sideways through the store today. I had to say "pardon me" a few times as people seemed to keep getting in my way.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

There is probably no God... Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.



A £140,000 advertising campaign aimed at persuading more people to "come out" as atheists was launched today with a plan to broadcast a message doubting God's existence on the sides of buses, the tube and on screens in central London.

Its slogan – "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" – can already be seen on buses in central London. A total of 200 bendy buses in London and 600 buses across England, Scotland and Wales will carry the slogan from today and tomorrow following a fundraising drive which raised more than £140,000.

The money raised will also pay for 1,000 advertisements on London Underground from Monday. Organizers today unveiled a set of quotes from famous writers and thinkers who endorse the atheist message.

The launch, held today near the Albert memorial, featured speeches by Dawkins, author of The God Delusion; Ariane Sherine, creator of the Atheist Bus Campaign; and Hanne Stinson, from the British Humanist Association.

The fundraising drive was prompted by a suggestion from comedy writer Sherine, who received support from the British Humanist Association (BHA) and atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins.

Sherine, a television comedy writer, suggested the idea in a Guardian Comment is Free blog last June, saying an atheist bus campaign would provide a reassuring counter-message to religious slogans threatening non-Christians with hell and damnation.

Speaking at the launch , Sherine said the sheer number of donations received had demonstrated the strength of feeling in Britain.

She said: "This is a great day for freedom of speech in Britain and I'm really excited and thrilled that the adverts have been approved and I hope that they will make people smile on their way to work.

"I am very glad that we live in a country where people have the freedom to believe in whatever they want."

There has been overwhelming financial support for the project, which exceeded its funding target less than 24 hours after being launched, raising nearly nine times the amount needed to have its posters on buses.

Around £6,000 was needed to run adverts in London but within two days, individuals and organizations had pledged more than £87,000. More than £135,000 has been pledged so far. Today's event will also reveal the next stages of the campaign.

The theology thinktank Theos welcomed the campaign, saying it was a "great way" to get people thinking about God. "The posters will encourage people to consider the most important question we will ever face in our lives. The slogan itself is a great discussion starter. Telling someone 'there's probably no God' is a bit like telling them they've probably remembered to lock their door. It creates the doubt that they might not have."

The success of the British campaign has inspired atheists in the US to run their own advertising slogans in Washington DC. The American Humanist Association launched a bus advertising campaign last November with the slogan, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake", appearing on the sides, rear and insides of the city's 230 buses.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Catching Up

Happy New Year! Christmas came and went and I managed to treat everyone to some fairly decent gifts. Even though we always spend Christmas Day at our parent's, Sean decided to decorate our house. He went out and got a tree and ornaments. We had friends over to help us trim the tree and got the place looking very warm for the holidays. And then we got drunk.

Kent came into town and stayed with us from the 27th through the 2nd. His birthday happens to land on the 31st, so its always a double celebration for him. We rang in the New year with friends in Scripps Ranch. Mark and Stephanie hosted a great party, that included the first annual drink-off competition. Competitors were judged on drink-ability, presentation, and originality. My vote went to Josh Kirwood for his creation below.



I woke up with a wicked headache.

I've put on a somewhat expected 5 or 6 lbs, what with all the chocolate-covered whatevers and caramelized thingajobs. I hope to be rid of that in a week or two.

New Years Resolutions:

- Be nicer. Even though I've made leaps and bounds in this category over the last few years, there is still a ways to go before one might go so far as to described me as a "Nice Guy". This will generally involve smiling more, and being pleasant, even to assholes...because, let's face it: they are everywhere and they are trying to recruit us everyday.

-Take more risks. This is about the direction I am taking my life and where I would like to be in 5 years and forward. It's going to involve putting aside everyday comforts and using my time and energy to work for the future. but I have to start by taking some chances.

- 1/2 marathon. This is a 21K run or about 13.1 miles. This will be very difficult for me. If you wanna run with me, that would be awesome.

-Practice discipline. I've got a good amount, but not in places where it is becoming more important as I grow older. More everyday discipline, and less errors in judgment.