All posts for the month September, 2006

First the poker:

I have played 3 SnGs in the last week or so, all $10+1 events at FullTilt. I somehow won all three. Nice. Last nights pushed me into the next level for my Self SnG Challenge (which has no home page). I will next try my luck at a $20+2 event. I railed smokkee for a bit in a $20 SnG that he won not long before I took mine down.

I did get a chance to work on my table on Monday. I finially screwed the folding legs (which will no longer fold) onto the subframe and used epoxy to make that bond pretty perminent. I should be able to get the table top attached tonight. The felt (velveteen) I used had faded quite a bit (and not evenly because of a wall hanging I had set on the top) so I am going to need to re-felt the top. Mookie suggested I look into the suited-cloth, which looks good. I will probably also build a light canvis cover so fading won’t be an issue in the future. Pics will follow, probably tomorrow.

Now other stuff:

I’m running again- not huge distance yet, but I am working on it. I went to RunTex last week and got some new shoes that fit much, much better than I had been using and started hitting the trails again. I have a Garmin Forerunner 301 which I have programmed with the distance I want to run for the day. It keeps me on pace and records my heartrate. Pretty cool toy. Along with PodRunner I hope to be up to last spring’s distance of about 25 to 30 miles a week by Thanksgiving. The weather in Austin has been perfect this week, it is nice to run in cool, dry weather when you are just trying to get back into it again.

I ran into my buddy Billy on Sunday. He might have an extra ticket to the Texas-Sam Houston State game on Saturday. It is a Pay-Per-View game, so I would rather go to the game rather than pay to sit on a bar stool.

One of my other friends had tickets to the Everclear concert last night here in Austin. It was doors at 8/stage at 9 with two opening acts. I’m really trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour (so I can run in the morning) and seeing Everclear go on at 11:30 or even later did not seem like a good plan. I skipped the show. He really wanted to go, but I’m not sure if he made it or not. Honestly, Everclear is not one of my -must-see- bands, so it doesn’t bother me much.

Thanks for reading- all 3 of you 🙂

I suppose it is time to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. Only a few of my closest friends and family knew the truth about last Friday. Yes, I ditched work to mow my lawn. Oh, and I attended the 5th annual ACL Festival. But why would I write about that? Yes the Yankees played the Red Sox. I recall this being the 2nd time in my life they did this on the 15th of September (although it could be more).

Last Friday I had a birthday. Yep another one. This time it was the big 3-0.

I try not to make a big deal of it. I often will go out to dinner, by myself, and have a really nice meal. Last year I went to a local steak house called Reed’s and they gave me a free desert. That was nice. This year, because of ACL, I have not made the same pilgrimage.

I did go see a few friends and do a few shots. I think 4 in about 2 hours. By the time I hit the pillow about 1am, I was pretty buzzed but was more worn out from sitting in the sun all day. There were a few phone calls and text messages. It is nice to here from family and friends although I didn’t get to talk to anyone until I called my sister on Saturday.

All in all. Nothing Special. Just the way I like it.

Now for the past. I have done a fair amount in my 3 decades. I moved to college 700 miles from home and basically only visited on holidays. During college I worked all over including the sticks of Tennessee (is there anything else :-)) and the big cities of Washington and Seattle. I have an FBI file because I spent more than a couple of days working for them in the Hoover building. I moved to Seattle, Redmond actually, and working for the “Company” for awhile. I met some of the coolest people and some great friends- although I have not talked to them in eons. In the summer of 2000 I moved to Austin. I really like it here. It *feels* like home, even though I knew *no one* when I moved here-I even rented my apartment sight-unseen. 6 years now, two jobs, one IPO, one acquisition, one layoff, and one home purchase later I have no intention of leaving. The people here are just good, the food is great, the woman are hot (this *is* Texas after all).

The Future? Who the hell knows. I know I need a new job next year for starters. If that is an internal transfer, or a new company outright has yet to be determined, but it is inevitable. I’m sticking around. I’m not going anywhere for awhile. And I truly hope that I can keep the friends I have here. But where to go from here? I just want to keep going. I can’t spout off life lessons because, although I have had a pretty good life, it isn’t like I *planned* it all out. This is really all I want to do:

  • Drop that 30 or 40 extra pounds I have been toting around. I was skinny once, not that you would know it now.
  • Enjoy the hell out of my friends: take trips, have great meals, hell just enjoy the football game and a few cold beers.
  • Learn something new, anything. Once you stop learning the slope begins to lean forward- hard to stop momentum.
  • Don’t get all stressed out over details. I lead a pretty blessed life with a solid paycheck and a great friends and family network. There really isn’t anything in my life getting an ulcer over.

OK, I’m done spouting self realization shit now. At least until next year.

Oh, and how did I know the Red Sox/Yankees have played at least one other time on September 15th? My folks took me to a game on my birthday when I was in grade school on a Thursday back in the day. The Sox lost. At least they only got rained out this year.

PS: Happy Birthday Dad! and Happy Birthday Grampa!

While browsing Ask MetaFilter I came across this query for a list of 1000 songs published by now defunct Cargo Magazine. And proving how cool the internet is, someone had a great answer and found scans of the pages and put them on Flickr (links on the page).

I have spent a little time transcribing the list, a pain to be sure. You can find part of it here. Not complete, but I will be updating it as I add 50 and 100 songs at a time.

A bit of fun can be had browsing this list checking out the very eclectic mix and realizing how much, or in my case how little, of this list you actually own. With iTunes and AllOfMP3 I am going to try and complete the list with the songs that agree with me. All 1000 seem a bit much, don’t they?

And since we are collections of music, here is a reminder: Don’t plug your iPod into a computer with iTunes but not your current playlists. I tried to charge my iPod on my work laptop the other day and it blew away all but about 1/4 of the music I had on it because the playlists didn’t match. No fun. I have now de-authorized and un-installed iTunes on that machine.

Very little poker to report. Three SnGs on FullTilt, the first two I got my Kings cracked by turned and rivered flushes respectively. I saw one coming and should have bailed. The 2nd one had the money in on the flop and I, apparently, can’t dodge bullets. The third SnG was, well a disappointment but I think I learned a few things. I am re-tooling my SnG strategy a bit and it is going to take awhile to get consistant. A bit of cash, but quit when the table broke. I had one fish crack 3 big hands with sets within 6 or 7 hands. I broke even with him- calling stations tend to dump if you can keep them at the table- but I should have been up. Oh well.

The weather is *great* today. Mid to upper 80s and I am going to try and duck out by 5PM to get some groceries, go for my walk and hopefully work on my poker table which I have woefully left sitting on my workbench unfinished.

— Ben Kweller on his *really* bloody nose that caused his set to be late and the paramedics to stop it early.

It is that time of year again where 65,000 people cram into Zilker Park here in Austin, Texas for a great festival call The Austin City Limits Music Festival. I’ll try and put some of my notes and thoughts along with this small writeup.

I took friday off from work so I could get down there early. deadboy and the Elephantmen were playing at 2:30 and I had heard good things so I wanted to check them out. Unfortunatly TxDOT decided it was a good idea to close a lane on the highway and repave an off ramp. I was stuck in traffic for 45 minutes and with parking, walking to the gate, getting my wristband and getting practically anally probed by security I missed their set. Bummer. We had a group camped out to see Gnarles Barkley so I made the first real tacticle mistake- I failed to catch Stars. I have now heard the set (it was broadcast on XMU on XM Radio) and I should have walked over to see them. Gnarles Barkley put on a great show, highly recomended. They played a few things off their new album and a bunch of covers of old school songs with a really new twist. I was able to catch most of Gomez- another great show. This is when I made the *2nd* mistake. I left Gomez a bit early so I could grab some food and get back to the home base. Yeah. The lines were at least an hour long. Every. Last. One of them. No food for me. Thievery Corporation was next. This is the 2nd time I have seen them and they get better every year. They were in town on Thursday night and put on a show that others said was better than ACL, but I was blown away. I really needed food at this point. So I braved the lines, which were a touch shorter now, but not much. The layout of Zilker is pretty cool, pretty much three stages are always live (of the main 5 stages). One of these faces the food court. The Tragically Hip were playing on that stage while I was waiting for my spicy chicken wrap and venison wrap. Although I could not really watch them I heard them clearly. Pretty cool stuff. Then off to the main event for me. No, not John Mayer. I picked Van Morrison over that lull-fest. Van Morrison put on a great set, he played for almost two hours. Good stuff and I am glad to see him, because I will probably never get the chance again.

Saturday was dubbed “Seperation Saturday” by the football analysts. Seven top 25 matchups and I was going to be sitting under a tree in Zilker Park. Oh well. Cell phones are a wonderful thing and we were able to get scores most of the day. Despite SMS Google claiming to do NCAA sports- it turns out they only do NCAA Basketball. Bummer there too. I made it down to see the first act I wanted to see: Murder by Death. Pretty good stuff, I had not heard most of their music and I was impressed. Phoenix was next. They are in my top 5 acts this year. I’ll definatly going to have to get some of their music. About 1/2 way through their set I figured out I was woozy. Yeah, 95 and sun bearing down and I was done. Time to head back to the safety of the shade tree. I hung out there for Ben Kweller and his bloody nose- a shame too he really wanted to play. He even stuck a tampon up his nose- I shit you not- to try and stem the bleeding. The Shins were next, very good afternoon band. I was able to lean back and just enjoy the set. The crowd really started to pack in because in an hours time Jack White and his new band The Raconteures were on. No point in moving now. That was a pretty good show as well- very Jack White, go figure. Iron and Wine were playing the opposite stage after them so a few of us popped up to catch a few of their songs. Very cool, another band to get the album for. The main headliner for me was Massive Attack. Most people checked out Willie Nelson, but that is not for me. Massive Attack was pretty cool- but after about 45 minutes I was done. Back to the truck and back up north to get a bit of dinner and off to bed.

My goal for Sunday was to catch 3 main acts. The day started with poaring rain as I got on the highway to drive to Zilker. It had stopped by the time I parked, but a text message confirmed that a few of my friends were there and were drenched. I got to the homebase in time to catch 1/2 of The Stills. It would have been nice to see the whole set, they sounded pretty good. The first of the three acts I wanted to catch was up next. KT Tunstall is great, she put on a great set and the crowd really enjoyed it. I then set off to get a bandana (more rain was predicted) and some grub. This time a BBQ sandwich from Stubb’s. I had to fight a huge crowd to get back to base for the next main stage show- Matisyahu. He put on one of the highlight shows of the festival. I’d love to catch him in a smaller venue- next time he comes to town I guess. I then tried to watch The New Pornographers but could not even get to the center to hear them. Sun Volt was playing at the same time and that would have been a better choise. Apparently ACL put a bunch of cash-n-carry one day tickets on sale for Sunday. I think this was because of the rain. But it really didn’t rain during the day so there were several thousand extra people milling around. It was *packed*. Back to the main stage to catch the last of the must-sees: The Flaming Lips. What a truly visually fantastic show. With bubble boy crowd surfing, the air-cannons full of confetti, the gaggle of alien women dancing, and the lead singer donning fake blood as a tribute to Ben Kweller, it was just nuts. Pretty good set as well, but his monologes between songs were a bit preachy. I came to see music not listen to politcal speeches. Tom Petty was the headliner of the entire festival and lightning could be seen as he started his act. We hung out for 4 songs then started out. The rain started before we even got to the gate and it was a wet trek back to the truck. I heard on the radio this morning that they did a 30 minute delay in the set, but that he came back out to do an extended set. That was cool of him, even though I wasn’t there to see it.

All-in-all it was a great time with fantasic music, great food, a pretty cool venue, and the weather held pretty well being in the low to mid 90s. Even if I did miss a bunch of football. I’ll be back next year, that is for sure.

I played in the live Tanner Evers Charity Event on Friday night. I was nearly felted before the first break but was able to chip up and get back into the game.

Two hands of note: 99 in the big blind against Jim UTG and Zach in the SB. Everyone was all in, Jim had A7 and Zack 33. Jim was the short stack and hit running 7s to tripple up. My 9s were good against Zach and I ended up just a bit and he was left with about 1 bet. Later on I was able to stay in cheap with JTs and rivered my flush. Wes pushed me in and I happily called. He had hit two pair. We hit the final table and it was nearly a crap shoot. I was one of the larger stacks (2nd or 3rd) and had about 1/3 the stack of the chip leader. I was able to work a decent stack up and watch the attrition. It ended when Melissa and I were heads up and I pushed from the BB into her limp from the button. She had kings and I was done. The game lasted 6+ hours, and I was beat tired. For my efforts I got a $100 gift certificate to BBQ Pits from Henry and Carol.

No other poker this weekend.

Football! I watched Texas get smoked Saturday night. It wasn’t pretty. They slipped to 8th in the rankings which seems pretty harsh considering they lost to the #1 team. I hope this isn’t the end of this type of out-of-conference match-ups. It would be great to see more ACC-SEC-Big 10-Big 12-Pac 10 match-ups between perenial top 25 teams. The Hokies won (mostly *not* in the 1st quarter) and moved to 14th. They should be able to get into the top 10 this year even having to play BC, Miami, and Virginia. Luckily FSU is not on the schedule.

I spent Sunday recovering, Saturday was a long one. I did finish the new Jeffrey Archer book _False Impression_. It was pretty good, I’m going to go back and get some of his older stuff because I enjoy his style a lot. I now have a few poker books and two “critical thinking” type books on my reading list. Speaking of poker books, my folks sent me Scott Gallant’s book _Pressure Poker_; it arrived today and will be put on the reading stack.

ACL Festival starts in 4 days. It looks like it will be in the low 90s. I’m was hoping for upper 80s, but I’ll take it.

Off to the dentist today. Yeah! Or not.

Thursday Update

A random dump, but here it is anyway:

I have moved most of my on-line bankroll into FullTilt and Neteller. I left money on Stars to play the occasional tourney- but I plan on using FullTilt from now on. The money on Neteller is there in case I wish to bonus whore.

My finish in the Tanner Evers Charity event was not spectacular. 26th of 66. I did outlast Andy Bloch though. It is really cool of a pro to show up at a 2+20 event to help a little boy who *very* few of the players have ever met (even me, and I have been over the Mookie household countless times). Thanks to everyone who played and donated. I know it was a success and the Evers family can be nothing if not thrilled by this generous donation by total strangers. The live charity event is tomorrow and I am trying to work it into my weekend. I told Mookie I’d play so I probably ought to show up 🙂

On tap for this weekend is… FOOTBALL… it is about time. The big game is, of course, Texas vs Ohio State. Texas is favored by 3 at home (at least on Bodog). The game is at 7PM CT which is great for Austin- but not so good for me because the Hokies are playing at 11AM CT. That makes for a *really* long day.

I did nothing on the table this week which was dumb because it was actually cool in my garage (only in the mid to upper 80s in the evening). I have a feeling the heat will return, this is Texas afterall. I know what I need to do, I just need to take the time to do it. If I don’t head to the bar to watch the game tonight maybe I will do just that.

My Thanksgiving plans are done. I am flying to Massachusetts (well actually Providence then driving) for a 5 day weekend. My sister is there, pregnant but due in October, with her husband and daughter; the folks will be driving up from Georgia; and my brother, his wife, and the kids will be coming in from Ohio. Normally for this kind of trip I wouldn’t get a car- but I have a feeling I am going to want to disappear to watch football and drink beer at a bar somewhere.

ACL Fest is next weekend. These are some of the bands I am going to try and make. Friday: Gnarls Barkley, Gomez, Thievery Corporation, Ray Lamontagne, Van Morrison (nods to: Nickel Creek and Los Lonely Boys which are double booked). Saturday: I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness, Ben Kweller, Ian McLagen and The Bump Band, The Shins, Calexico, The Raconteurs, Kings of Leon, Willie Nelson (nods to What Made Milwaukee Famous, South Austin Jug Band, and Explosions in the Sky which are also double booked). Sunday: The Stills, Jack Ingram, Matisyahu, The New Pornographers, The Flaming Lips, MUSE, and Tom Petty (nods: G Love, Ben Harper). The schedule can be found at here if anyone has any suggestions of “can’t miss” or “please do miss” I would be happy to hear them. I am going to try and make all three days- but if it is like last year (110 in the shade) then I might not be able to. My chair, backpack, and sun hat are ready. It should be a blast.

I got a few gifts in from the folks today. Two books: an Alton Brown cookbook and _Freakonomics_. I also got the video game Stacked for the PC. This is the Daniel Negreanu project. I’m going to give it an honest go and write up a review.

Is anyone else *not* looking forward to the new ABC “docudrama”: The Path to 9/11. It sounds to be as much propaganda and anything else. I don’t condone a boycott over it, mainly because it won’t do any good, but I won’t be watching. Why would I? There is football on anyway. It is going to be hard to go against Sunday night *then* Monday night with this movie. I’d say good luck to them, but I don’t mean it.

Does anyone else think Olivia Munn is just sex personified? Damn.

OK, that’s it. I’m done. For real.