Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Wow, a whole week between blog entries and both entries have to do with holidays. I hope everyone has a safe and fun New Year. May this year be a good and rewarding one for you and your family.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

May you have a wonderful holiday and get everything you wanted from Santa.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Trevor, Julie, and Emily

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What happens in Vegas

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 MGM Grand is incredible.
  • The 2/4 game at the MGM is 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 4am on Monday morning I’m walking through the Mandalay Bay. 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.

It was a great time and I get to go back in March. Gotta love it.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The TMac Top 29 (soon to be 30) movies

A buddy asked about my top five movies of the year. He’d just seen Narnia and wanted to know where I would put that on my list of movies for 2005. Then the discussion quickly turned into favorite movies of each year for as far back as we could go.

2005 Top 5 Movies
Batman Begins
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Sin City
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

Bond can't save me from the French

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.

Wild Card Math

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 Denver and Cincy having the same record they will have to keep playing their starters and both of them have to play teams that would be good for the Steelers if they lost, the Chargers and the Chiefs. With the Steelers being in a tie for the 6th spot, I’m not sure how the tiebreakers shake out. I think you need a degree in Wild Card math to figure it out but I do know at least this much. If Pittsburgh wins out and San Diego beats Kansas City then the Steelers are in because they beat SD. Good stuff.

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

Random Check

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 TSA people with no women. They tell her that they must hold her until a female agent can come to finish the security checks. She is still there waiting by the time we make it through security and I was able to get a closer look at her, she was gorgeous.

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 TSA agents are diligent in looking for threats to the air.

Monday, December 5, 2005


Oh well. It was a great experience and I will write about it later on this week. Obviously I would have loved if the Steelers actually won the game but none of that mattered. I got to see some family I hadn’t seen in a while and see a Steelers game in Pittsburgh. I couldn’t ask for much more. Next time I won’t fly back and work on the same day though, good lord am I tired.

Friday, December 2, 2005

It must be the water.

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

Bring on the Bengals

It isn't everyday you get a package from the NFL addressed to you. Well it isn't everyday that I do, it is kinda cool. I leave in about 22 hours for my trip to Pittsburgh, I'm gonna freeze but it will be a blast.

Go Steelers.