Saturday, December 31, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
This was a great Vegas trip. It was my third trip this year and fourth trip in 53 weeks to the greatest city on earth. The first question everyone asks when you return from Vegas is “How did you do”. They want to know if won money or lost money. I go to Vegas to have a good time and don’t worry about if I’m up or down. I set aside a certain amount of money for the trip and if I bring any of that back then I feel that I’m up. Of course in my seven trips to Vegas I have never left with less money than I went with, at least in terms of ‘gambling’ money. I usually even take out expense money for stuff like food and cabs out and still usually end out ahead. This trip I didn’t make a huge amount but I was still up. Here are some of the highlights, and of course any lowlights.
- The Poker Room at the
MGMGrand is incredible.
- The 2/4 game at the
MGMis the loosest game I’ve played in. Pots would consistently rival 3/6 or 4/8 games. My first two hands after sitting down, capped pre-flop with 6 callers and then 5 callers. You can win (or lose) a lot of money there.
- KK wasn’t good to me over the weekend. I got it four times, three against AA and once again 99 who hit a set. Not fun.
- Counting single deck is easy, nice way to make some decent money.
- Counting isn’t good when one of your brothers comes up and asks the other one “How is Trevor doing?” followed by the response “Pretty good, he is up about $150.” Then the response “Wow his counting must really work, he’s got to show me how to do that”. That was a great look from the dealer followed by a color up and quick escape by Trevor.
- 33 was very good to me. I got it twice, tripped up both times one of them got a boat. Both times were against a much stronger pair that didn’t trip up.
- Hard to win any money when a hand goes like this. AK, flop is KAA and I’m bad position. I check, one guy bets, another calls, I call. Turn is A, why can’t this be a jackpot casino, I check, guy bets, other guy folds, I call. Original guy looks at me and now is pretty sure at worst I have a K. River is a K, why can’t we save some of these for other hands, 3K and 4A all one the same hand! This time I’m sure he isn’t going to bet so I bet, he folds. I was hoping he thought the board would be the top hand.
- I don’t mind flush chasers but when the flop is KJT with one club and you have 8/4 of clubs, why are you still there? Why did you even see the flop in bad position? Flopping the nut straight with AQ was nice but his runner, runner clubs, not so much fun. With 8/4, it was like a $200+ pot. Oh well.
- Offending prostitutes can be fun. About on Monday morning I’m walking through the
. A not so good looking black woman who is definitely wearing the official cheap whore uniform comes up to me. “Hey sugah, looking for a good time”. I believe I gave the proper response “Sweetheart you don’t own enough condoms for me to put any part of my body near any part of yours”. I thought she was going to hit me. Well worth it though for the look on her face. Mandalay Bay
It was a great time and I get to go back in March. Gotta love it.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
2005 Top 5 Movies
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
Star Wars Episode 3: The Revenge of the Sith
2005 – Batman Begins
2004 – The Incredibles
2003 – The Return of the King
2002 – Spiderman
2001 – The Fellowship of the Ring
2000 – Gladiator
1999 – The Matrix
1998 – Saving Private Ryan
1997 – The Fifth Element (I would pick Star Wars Special Edition but I was vetoed)
1996 – The Rock
1995 – Toy Story
1994 – Pulp Fiction
1993 – Jurassic Park
1992 – A League of Their Own
1991 – Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country
1990 – Goodfellas
1989 – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1988 – Who Framed Roger Rabbit
1987 – The Untouchables
1986 – Aliens
1985 – Back to the Future
1984 – Ghostbusters
1983 – The Return of the Jedi
1982 – E.T.
1981 – Raiders of the Lost Ark
1980 – The Empire Strikes Back
1979 – The Muppet Movie
1978 – Superman The Movie
1977 – Star Wars
1976 – Rocky
The list stops when I was born before that doesn’t count. My list does tell me a few things about my taste in movies. I like SciFi much more than I thought I did. Lucas and Spielberg dominate my list a bit, although Lucas is in the early years and as a producer mainly.
Some years are so tough and other years my favorite movie wouldn’t make my top 100 list. Like 1989, there are five or six movies I just love and then in 1976 or 1990, just blah. Maybe I don’t like the Prequels as much as I tell my SW disenfranchised friends. I would never think about putting a different movie ahead of Star Wars, Empire, or Jedi yet none of the prequels are even close.
Monday, December 12, 2005
I must thank JDub for some dumb ass rambling he had on his blog about a friend of his convincing him to watch two movies he hadn’t seen. Now Pretty Bird pawned the idea as her own and is going to try and get me to watch two movies she loves that I have absolutely no interest in seeing. It is going to be either some French movie subtitled about an artist or something who is persecuted and the world just doesn’t understand him or something along those lines. I dislike movies about the French, movies with subtitles, or movies about a persecuted artist and this will have all of them. It will be either that or some not funny British comedy. I don’t like British comedies because I prefer my comedies to actually be funny. Bring on the jokes about the dead birds or whatever.
Thanks JDub, all you had to do was watch a few Bond movies and none of this would have happened.
Everything is right in the world, at least the world of the NFL. The Steelers won, the Jags, Chargers, and Chiefs lost, and the Bengals and Broncos won. The Steelers are in no way going to win the division so catching the Bengals is really not an option. But with both
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Only 5 days until Vegas. This will be the fourth time I get to go to Vegas in a little over a year, I was there a year ago last Wednesday. Last December’s trip was my wife’s first trip to Vegas and this trip will be both my brother’s first trip. It should be a great trip except for the tourist stuff taking away valuable time from the tables.
Friday, December 9, 2005
Sports fans are typically very superstitious. When asked I say that I’m not superstitious because I used to think I’m not. My wife believes that I am and upon further review, I guess that it is true. She points towards my hats. I get a new baseball hat every year except the year the Braves won the World Series. Obviously that hat is the reason they won the Series, the hat just ran out of magic in Game 3 of the ’96 Series.
For football it is a little different. With only 16 games I can actually keep track of a hats win/loss record. I try to get a new hat after about 6 losses or so. Being a Steelers fan that means I get a new hat about every year, if I was a Browns fan I would have to get at least two a year. My current hat was a gift after Week 3 last year from my parents. The Steelers had just beat the Dolphins, Roethlisberger’s first start. On a side note that is the third time I’ve put Ben’s name in my blog and I’ve spelled it correct every time. Tells you the power of the NFL, I’m the worst speller in the world yet I can spell Roethlisberger. Well my hat has gone 21-6 since then. There was little reason to get a new one after a 14-1 finish last year.
This year the Steelers have played well, they just can’t run the ball and are losing too many games. Maybe a new hat will help them out. I picked one up at Heinz Field, maybe that added magic will create another 21-6 type run.
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
On the way into work today I heard advertisements for the Blockbuster Music Awards sometime this. These awards are filmed this year in Vegas just like last year. My wife and I were in Vegas last year during the taping of the show. We left to return home on the same day they were being taped, a few hours after the show had started taping.
In the airport we notice 3 overly made up women with a huge guy with a nice suit and sunglasses on getting checked in for tickets. When we get up to security we notice the same four people and realize that they’re Destiny’s Child. I couldn’t have picked two of them out of a lineup but I do know what Beyonce looks like. I assume the large guy with them was some sort “No you can’t have your picture taken with them or get an autograph” repellant. We’re pretty close to them in security, about four people or so behind them, and we notice that Beyonce is the ‘random’ check. There are four male
I fly a good bit, 56 separate airplanes and 49,000 miles this year. Anyone who travels enough knows that it is airline that picks the people to get the random rubber glove treatment. They usually don’t randomly pick people who fly First Class or are frequent fliers with them, they don’t want to inconvenience they’re better customers. With the 56 flights I’ve gone through security over 40 times this year and been in First Class on about 25 of those planes. I started this year with a preferred status with the airline and have kept it up. I’ve never been the random check. I’ve only had to have my bags get another look twice, both times they were looking for my inhaler because I left it open and it makes an L shape.
I’m sure Beyonce flies a lot and I bet when she does fly commercial it is First Class. Who knows, if I was bored and a famous beautiful star I like came through security I might ‘randomly’ want to keep her there an extra 15 minutes also, probably not. Since I do fly a bunch it is good to know all of our
Monday, December 5, 2005
Friday, December 2, 2005
About six months ago I found a person who actually didn’t know that Anakin becomes Darth Vader. This was an adult in his mid-thirties.
Today I find not one but two people who has never seen an entire James Bond movie.
One of those people has actually never seen any of the Star Wars movies.
What a weird city this Charlotte is.
Thursday, December 1, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
A former roommate of mine was in college was a film minor. One of his film classes was about recent movies and he had this book about the most influential filmmakers of the 1970’s. The book only talked about four filmmakers, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas. It is really hard to look at that list and argue with it. We would then try and discuss come up with our list for the 80’s and 90’s, it was a lot of fun. This conversation actually carried over to my wife and I from time. One thing we did alter was the number from four to five, four just seems like an odd number.
Francis Ford Coppola
Richard Donner – My wife would argue Woody Allen and that is a very valid argument. Woody didn’t make me believe a man could fly and Donner did, so he wins.
Honorable Mention to James Cameron and Tony Scott
Richard Donner, John McTiernan, or Martin Brest would get in there, they did influence a lot of movies. I just can’t put them in there because they influenced a lot of awful movies.
Andy and Larry Wachowski
Honorable Mention to David Fincher and Jonathan Demme
2000’s – I know we aren’t done yet but we’re halfway there.
Might make my list with more work, Brad Bird, Christopher Nolan, or Bryan Singer
Yes my wife and I are dorks and watch too many movies.
Two Days till I leave for
Four Days till I’m at the game
14 days till I’m in Vegas.
What a month!
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Sports losses don’t upset me. I guess some of that has to do with losing five
The D really impressed me last night, not counting the 80 yard opening play disaster, at least compared to in the past. Since the days of Rod Woodson and
Maybe if they minimize the mistakes like don’t give up the bomb to Harrison, miss the field goal to tie it and give up momentum, throw the pick and penalty to give up a last second field goal in the first half, try the dumb onsides kick thing (love ya Cowher but that was dumb), or any of the dumb penalties they might have had a chance to, um nope Indy still wins. They’re just the best team in football.
None of that matters though, this week is a huge game. Win this weekend and we have the lead over Cincy, lose this week and it will be hard to make the playoffs. Good thing I’m going to be at Heinz Field on Sunday, oh I can’t wait.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I had a true Pavlovian moment this weekend. I’m riding the Disney tram from the shopping village to the exit near the hotel I’m staying at. I get on the tram and I’m just hit with a huge sense of happiness and anticipation. So I sit there and think why. I’m just going back to the hotel and to a snoring JDub and about four hours of sleep before having to navigate LA traffic and take a cross country flight and possibly be stuck in coach for that flight, ick. Why am I happy and anticipating being even happier. Now one could think that it is because I’m about 20 hours from seeing my family, I just saw a pretty good Harry Potter movie, or even that the hard work of a con was over. I did miss my family and was very happy to get back to see them, Harry Potter was really good, and it was great the con was over.
It wasn’t any of those things, it was almost a surreal moment. I sit there wondering what it was and I put my hands down on the seat and it all becomes clear, almost like the car commercial where the guy puts his hand on the car and is transported through all sorts of different imagery. I put my hand down on the sandpaper-like seats and it hits me. These are the same type trams Disney has used at both Disney World and
We’ve since been able to take her to Disney World again and even to
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Monday, November 21, 2005
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
The downside to work travel is that I get to spend less time with my family. I really don't like to leave my family for long periods of time. I've worked away from home on three different jobs now, it just doesn't get any easier. They both understand it and we all are to the point where it is just a part of life. It is really nice that I travel just enough to earn travel rewards equal to a nice trip once a year or so. It isn't enough travel however to make me miss that much time, I only take about ten trips a year or so, not that much time away from home.
This trip is to GenCon So Cal, not really the best show of them all but it is decent show. GenCon runs a solid show, they aren't mismanaged or anything and it is in Anaheim, can't beat that.
This show is also just JDub and I in terms of company employees. We do have the big three (as they're called around the office) volunteers to make life that much easier on us. Traveling with JDub is lots of fun, we work really well together and have a good time at shows. There is a great story about the last time we were the only two traveling.
JDub, Triple G, and I were going out to dinner in Chicago, there was a highly recommended deep dish place and we were all excited about checking it out. JDub and I were on one end of the hallway with Triple G's room on the other. I walk down to get Triple G but JDub either forgot something in our room or was just running late. So I'm about 30 feet ahead of JDub and have already knocked on Triple G's door when JDub decides to do his brilliant maneuver. JDub decides to run down the hallway, for whatever reason all three of us are still wondering including JDub himself. He is taking huge steps, making all sorts of noise running down the hall. Triple G can even hear him in his room and hurries to see what the noise was. Well in mid-stride poor JDub loses his shoe. That of course causes JDub to lose his balance, fall, and start to roll. The cheap carpet in the hallway of the Double Tree mixed with the fact he was running actually causes JDub some injuries. Despite feeling bad for JDub's misfortune, Triple G and I can't stop laughing, it was just damn funny. Picture JDub rolling on the ground, stumbling to get up, and his shoe 10 feet behind him, I'm even laughing writing about it.
Gotta love conventions. If you can make it to GenCon SoCal I hope to see you there, maybe we can get a game in.
Monday, November 14, 2005
The score pretty much sums it up. Beating the Browns by one point is usually enough in my book but completely owning them is much better. The game wasn’t even as close as the score indicates. The Browns and the Ravens lost and the Steelers won all on the same day, doesn’t get much better than that.
Congratulations Hines Ward for becoming the All-Time Steelers receiver. Of course that just shows how little the Steelers have passed in their history. Way to go Hines.
This also means it is less than three weeks until my trip to Heinz Field, I can't wait!
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Observations from a laid back Sunday afternoon.
NFL Sunday Ticket is expensive but oh so worth it
Gus Frerotte is should not be a starter in the NFL
If Dominic Davis ran like a
Chris Chambers dropped a lot of catch-able footballs
This just in, Peyton is good
I should never change my picks on Sunday morning, those are usually my incorrect ones
Chris Chambers complains a lot about potential penalties, even more than he drops passes
CBS really likes Gary Hogeboom, if he wins the fix is on
Michael Irvin should not be anywhere near ESPN much less have them pay him to be on it
Pace makes some good salsa
To be good in the NFL you need to win the games you’re supposed to win, sorry Eli
Why is Tedi Bruschi playing football again, much less this year
Killian’s tasted better when I was younger, it must have
Always a good day when the Ravens lose
Saturday, November 12, 2005
It takes over five minutes to take my order, tis life, that happens.
It takes over ten minutes to bring my drinks the order is taken, again things sometimes happen.
Two of the three drink orders are wrong, not sure how that works when you’ve wrote them down and it was a coke, a tea, and a kids sprite, still mistakes happen.
The people sat behind us that were seated about ten minutes after us and outnumber us five to three get their order first, by about five minutes, maybe their pulled pork cooked quicker than ours.
Mix all that together, don’t expect much of a tip. At least the food was good.
Friday, November 11, 2005
What an odd week. Whenever I’ve thought about football and I do work at a company with an NFL license so football conversations come up a lot. So whenever I’ve thought about football this week and the Steelers specifically I’ve just thought the injuries and the impact of the injuries. With Cheese Head’s team as an example, injuries can make losses pile up for even the best of teams. Currently the Steelers have plenty of injuries the most important of which being 18-1 (19-2) and the NFL’s top rated passer Ben Roethlisberger. Random other injuries to key players will either limit their play or keep them out all together on Sunday all together. None of that matters, this week shouldn’t have been worrying or focusing on the injuries, it should have been about the Cleveland Browns. The most dreaded team of them all is coming to
Since the Puppy Dogs reentered the league in 1999 with a 43-0 demolishing at the hands of the Steelers are 9-3 against them. The Steelers have swept them three times and split the season series three times. Even with Charlie Batch I’m sure the Steelers have enough to overcome the Browns.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I used to like sorting cards, not hours on end mind you, but I liked sorting cards. It was fun to go through my collection and put them in whatever order they needed to be in. Now I sort cards, my cards, my jobs cards, cards for prizes, whatever, and it isn't fun, just not fun. I don't mind it per se, I just don't like it. I guess after sorting the entire run of promos for many, many different sets for more hours than I care to remember will do that to you.
Wednesday, November 9, 2005
Our first expansion, second product, was released today. It has been a great time working here. It has been a lot more work and challenges that I thought it would be. This company is actually a pretty large company and they’ve printed trading cards for over 10 years. I just assumed they were more prepared for getting into this industry and having a trading card game infrastructure than they did when I started in February. It just goes to show what happens when you assume. One thing that is always in front of me is that 95% of what I’m do is setting a standard or creating the programs for this company. How many times have you followed behind someone and wondered “why on earth did so and so do things this way”. It is constantly in the back of my mind, the only person I’m going to have to blame if this doesn’t work is me. Hopefully I’m doing it correctly, I believe that I am, that we are as an infant division in a large company. I’ve worked with some of the best people in this industry and I like to think I’ve learned from them, both the good and the bad. So hears to our second release!
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Monday, November 7, 2005
I thought about not commenting on it but I realized I have to comment, I’m just required. I mean come on, how cool is
How lucky is it for us football fans here in
The moral of the story, well one male football fans are pigs and two next time two cheerleaders want to have sex do it in the men’s room, not the women’s room. In the men’s room you wouldn’t get into a fight with someone wanting to use the stall.
Sunday, November 6, 2005
I would have lived with 5-3 but 6-2 is definitely better. It was very ugly and
Welcome back Duce and hurry back Ben.
Oh yeah, that Brett Favre guy is good, he shouldn’t have to go out like this.
Saturday, November 5, 2005
Being the great husband I am and knowing my lovely wife like I do I got her the recently released Complete Calvin and Hobbes for her birthday. This huge compilation of the greatest newspaper comic isn’t the story though. The story is getting to spend time reading it to my six year old. I loved Calvin and Hobbes during its run, I can’t believe it has been ten years since it left us. I read her a week’s worth of strips at a time, usually before bed, and she giggles, laughs, and really enjoys the stories of the adventurous Calvin and his trusty stuffed tiger Hobbes. Of course she doesn’t understand most of Watterson’s jokes, she just likes the images of a world through the eyes of a boy and his tiger. I love it because I get to spend time with her and relive the greatest funny of all time, week by week.
Yes Hobbes, 7+3 is 73, at least week by week for 15 minutes at a time before bedtime for my angel and I.
Friday, November 4, 2005
Thursday, November 3, 2005
What a junky day. I hurt my back on Tuesday night, it tightens up last night and it forces me to miss a day of work. Due to good painkillers I sleep most of the day which makes me feel even worse, I am a lazy guy from time to time but I never want to be this unproductive. So I sleep all day and I wake up and find out the Big Ben and the Bus will miss Saturday’s game at the Packers. At least I don’t have to suffer through another Turnover Tommy game. Of course I’m sure Cheese Head doesn’t want me complaining about injuries since everyone not named Favre is hurt for the Packers. Here’s to Charlie only having to throw 10 or so passes and Fast Willie and Duce racking up 200+ yards.
Wednesday, November 2, 2005
A friend of mine is an artist, a pretty good one at that, and he was at Celebration
It was not up until that point that I thought about how much in my life I owed to Star Wars. It isn’t that certain things wouldn’t have worked out the same if there wasn’t a Star Wars, I would like to think they would have, but to reflect upon what in my life is Star Wars related revealed a lot. The most obvious one is my job. Most people in the gaming, comic, or any other geeky profession have Star Wars to blame in some degree to for their entry into that genre. I work in a very geeky, fan boy, related industry; I work at a toy company marketing trading card games. Most of you know that before that at worked for a company that actually made a Star Wars game. Without my interest (obsession) in SWCCG then I wouldn’t have been in position to say yes to Bojo those few years ago. What a fun ride that yes has turned out to be.
Even before that my two ‘career choices’ were indirectly related to Star Wars. I worked for seven years at the world’s largest toy store. I decided to do that job because the new Star Wars toys were out and my roommate and I thought it would be cool to be able to get those. That and it was near Christmas time and I could get overtime. I also worked at a movie theatre on and off over my earlier years. I’ve loved movies as long as I can remember and thought it would be great to be able to see them for free. I can’t point towards any definitive ‘this is because of Star Wars’ reasoning for liking movies but you don’t have to be a genius to connect the dots.
My love of movies brings me to the most important part of my life. I met my lovely wife at our mutual job, the above mentioned movie theatre. The last ten years of my life have been the happiest anyone could ask for and I owe it all to meeting my wife. I can’t imagine for a second not spending the rest of my life with her. To say I owe my life with her to Star Wars would probably be a little naïve on my part. I think we would have been together with or without my love for a galaxy far, far away. I just think that it helped me get to her a little quicker.
Who needs reflection, we live in the here and now. These movies aren’t very good, if you just remember the stuff before the prequels of course Star Wars is full of memories. One of my strongest childhood memories is being 8 or 9 and playing with two friends and our Star Wars action figures. We were sitting out my front porch, my parents used the air conditioner and his parents didn’t so some god awful reason and in south
There are other great prequel moments, from the madness sale at the world’s largest toy store to standing in line for eight hours to get tickets (and finding out I’m going to have a little girl). From the door opening with Duel of the Fates blaring and the menacing Darth Maul standing there to Yoda just blocking Dooku’s lightning with his bare hands. Of course there is two of my favorites, breaking our agreement with
My newest Star Wars memory is yesterday. My wife had to work and it was just the child and I. It was Star Wars day so I knew I was going to watch EP3 sometime yesterday, it was just a matter of when. So my daughter, all of six, comes up to me “daddy let’s watch the new Star Wars movie”. So we put it on and she sits in my lap and tries to remain interested. Fun comments such as “are you sad that this is the last one”, “I like yoda”, “he isn’t bad yet daddy, he doesn’t have a red lightsaber”, and “I didn’t like that the Queen died daddy”. Of course my favorite, “don’t be sad this is the last one, we have them all and can watch them whenever we want”. Logic from a 6 year, makes everyone smile.
I wanted to post this yesterday and I didn’t think it would be this long. Either way here it is, my thoughts on the behemoth that is Star Wars.
Happy Star Wars Day
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Well I guess it is time I joined the fun and started blogging, I guess peer pressure really does work. My wife has spent the last two years trying to convince me it was something I must do. Friends and ex-coworkers have all told me it is a 'great way to keep in touch'. All of that is great encouragement it is nice to know that friends and family can push you towards wasting time on the internet. I guess it will offer me a way to have my friends and family keep in touch with my family, to know what is going on, strong meaningful stuff like that.
That isn’t the reason I’m going to blog though, I’m going to blog just because I can see it as fun way to talk about life and the interesting stuff life throws at you everyday. Don’t expect something in terms of a regular update, like the title says “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow”.