Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Summer Is Finally Over...

And this time I mean it! It's breezy, with a chill in the air here in Vegas today. It was 101 degrees yesterday, but the wind kicked up last night, blew out all the hot air, and brought in cool air from someplace else. Right now, it's 68 degrees in Hendertucky, thirty degrees less than it was yesterday when I went out to run some errands. Football weather. Time to light some pumpkin-spice candles and make a pot of chili.

So of course the first thing I did when I got home this morning was to open up all the windows, plus the sliding door on the patio, and air this place out. It's been closed up tight pretty much the entire time since I moved in, and I figured a little bit of fresh air would do some good. Besides, it's only going to get up to 79 degrees today, so the air conditioner is off for at least the next 24 hours. Hopefully I'm done with it until next April.

I haven't started writing any epic trip-report style of narrative about my weekend, and I doubt that I will. Mostly I'll just post some pictures and some captions. If y'all want all the juicy details, buy a plane ticket next time and join us. But whatever I put together (eventually) will be sure to entertain. Besides, I'm still in recovery mode. Monday was a completely lost day for me, and luckily it was a slow night at work. Tuesday I didn't do a damn thing all day except run a couple of errands, otherwise, I divided my time between dozing on the couch and reading a book. (The Commodore, for those who may be interested).

Work seemed to be kinda slow when I got there last night, but I had one of those 'perfect nights'--a couple of tales go into the files to be shared at a later time, and then I spent the balance of the evening dealing to a truly enjoyable table--lots of fun, some great stories, and interesting conversation all night long. Plus I made decent money, too. So I certainly can't complain.

Once the game broke, I hung out for a bit, talking with the floorman and the cocktail waitress for awhile, and treated myself to a well-deserved Amber Bock. Finally, around six this morning, the daytime crew started showing up, so I hit the road. I was running low on supplies, so I made a stop at the grocery store. I intended to spend thirty bucks, but somehow ended up spending almost seventy. Too much stuff on sale, I guess.

But now I'm home and my all-nighter is catching up to me. I've got nowhere to be for the rest of the day, and no obligations to meet, so I think that once I get some sleep, I may start on trying to piece together the remnants of the weekend. Until then, I'm going to enjoy the cool breeze and the comforts of my pillow.


Monday, September 28, 2009

First Things First

To answer a few questions people have asked--Yes, I *did* get the booze cabinet finished on Friday. But it was an all-day job, even with two of us working on it. For those of you who have asked where to buy one because you want one also, let me give you some advice: Block out an entire afternoon, make sure you have at least one other person helping you, and you'll need a fully stocked tool kit, not just a Phillips screwdriver and the Allen wrench they supply. Otherwise, it's a breeze!

But first, a little back story. Here's a view of the dining room before the new booze cabinet arrived:

You can click on the photo for full-sized goodness, but you'll see that the area is just a catch-all for anything that I hadn't taken the time to get properly stored. I took this picture sometime early last week, and you'll notice my new night stand and reading lamp there on the left. Additionally, you can see storage totes, the vacuum cleaner, and Linda's furniture dolly. And the table in the back is just stacked with random junk--books, mail, candles, empty boxes, etc. No, I'm not very proud of the way it looked, but I'd been working my ass off for two weeks straight and didn't have much time to attend to it. So that's where I started.

But once the cabinet was purchased and on it's way, I did what I could to clean up the area. Here's how we looked on Thursday afternoon:

The first, less heavy, box is in back, with it's contents leaning and sitting on the table. The second, much heavier, box arrived a day later, and that's as far as I scooted it before taking the utility knife to it.

I should've taken a picture or two once I got everything unpacked, because it was a mess to behold. But once I got going, I forgot all about documenting the process for the sake of posterity.

After I posted on Friday morning, I gave myself a head start around 11:30 or so, trying to show a little progress before AC showed up. He actually didn't get over to the apartment until 1:00 o'clock, just an hour late, but he had a good excuse--he was out entertaining the ladies until sometime after six that morning. I was invited along, but I declined, knowing that if I'd gone, I would've stayed out all night and procrastinated this cabinet project into October.

Anyhow, I brewed a pot of coffee, turned on some SportsCenter to provide the background noise, and set out with my handy-dandy tool kit. The assembly instructions, although smartly illustrated, left a whole lot to the imagination. My interpretation was only off once, when I mounted a cap-piece on backwards, but otherwise, things went together fairly smoothly at first.

Like I mentioned, AC showed up at 1:00 o'clock, and with him there, we really picked up the pace. Oh, there were a few snags here and there--a rubber mallet would've been nice to have to help encourage some of the pieces to fit a little more smoothly, since a BFH would've marred the finish. And a critical screw fell out of the wineglass rack sometime during initial assembly, and I had to reattach the parts with a spare screw and superglue.

The biggest bitch of the assembly process came towards the end. Actually, make that the two biggest bitches. I was putting together the glass doors, and AC was trying to attach the heavy lid piece. No matter what he did, he couldn't get the damn screw holes to square up, and no matter what I did, I couldn't get the glass to fit correctly in one of the doors. We both fought our battles to a draw individually before we got smart and realized that we outnumbered the liquor cabinet.

What made the whole thing even worse, is that the glass wasn't beveled on the edges at all--it was razor sharp, and when I slid the first piece into the first door, I just kind of let it go, and when gravity took over, it sliced my finger so f*cking deep that it bled for over two hours.

Seriously, if I had health insurance, I would've been in the emergency room getting stitches. I didn't realize how bad it was at first--a cut that clean and deep feels like a paper cut and just stings like a mother, but doesn't seem so serious. But after the bar towel I was using started to look like it was part of a crime scene, we went old-skool on the first aid. A little dab of super glue, a paper towel, and some scotch tape and I was good to go. Even then it still took forever to stop bleeding.

That's about six layers of paper towel and several turns of tape that's holding my finger together. Luckily it wasn't my middle finger, or else I would've had a hard time driving! Anyhow, about the time we got my injuries tended to, we decided that it was time to take a break and get some pizza and wings to go with our beer.

The only really good pizza that delivers to my apartment complex is Pie Town--the Chicago-style joint up on Sunset and Green Valley Parkway. Not only do they have excellent deep-dish Windy City-style pie, but their wings are the best I've had in all of Vegas. The house special recipe of medium wings with teriyaki and BBQ are damn tasty! We were looking forward to some of that. But as many times as we called, we couldn't get anyone to answer the phone. It pissed us off, so after about a half hour or so, I hit the junk drawer and brought out a stack of other delivery menus that have been hung on the front door since I moved in. We opted for Napoli, instead. It's a decent place--I'd eaten there a few times back in the day, as it's right next door to Chilly Palmer's, the bar I used to hang out at back when I was a pit critter. Their pizza is decent, but their wings aren't even close. Still, it's not too bad.

On a sad note, we have since learned that Pie Town has gone out of business. That really sucks, because it was the only decent deep-dish pizza out here on the east side. That means that now, if you're in Vegas and want good Chicago-style, you'll have to haul your ass over to Amore on the west side. Luckily Grimaldi's is still King of the Pizza Universe, and is relatively close, even though they don't deliver.

Once we sat down to eat, we decided to watch last week's coverage of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker that I'd recorded on Tuesday night. And who's mug turns up on TV? None other than my buddy AC--he dealt that hand that knocked out Greg Mueller:

Yup, that's him there on the left. Neither one of us had seen the coverage, but he had said that the ESPN cameras were at his table recording the hand when it went down. So we took a few pics of the screen shot, and I think he's using it as the wallpaper on his phone now. Pretty cool, though.

Anyhow, once we had our fill of pizza and wings, we got back to the task at hand. After much swearing and consternation, we finally got the top piece attached to the main body of the wine rack, but it was a cast-iron bitch. While AC was tightening down all of the attachment screws, I went to work on the second glass door. I ended up having to carve out a good chunk of wood that was blocking the path of the glass in it's grooves, but once I figured out where it was catching, it was easy enough (for the longest time, I was getting pissed because I thought the door wasn't put together on the square, but I was wrong). I was much more careful installing the glass the second time around, and I managed to keep the rest of my blood on the inside where it belonged.

I'm a karate-man. I bleed on the inside!

Of course, while we were doing our various projects, there was much smack-talk to be heard. AC had screwed up the adjustable shelves and had to take the pliers to get the pegs back out on one side. I was like Dude--how dumb do you have to be to not be able to count to three? (the number of holes down from the top).

His reply-- Shut up. I'm not the one who's bleedin'.

Heh. So in spite of the injuries and frustration, we still had a few laughs and finally got the damn thing put together--we moved it into place at 4:30 in the afternoon, then picked up all the packing materials and hauled the boxes and trash out to the dumpster. It took all afternoon, but we got it done. AC then headed back over to his place, and I got on the computer to check Doc Al's flight status on

I was picking him up at the airport, and his flight was supposed to land an hour later--giving me plenty of time to shower, get dressed, and wash the truck before heading to the airport. Well, that was the plan at least. But Flightview showed that his plane was early and due to land in about 13 minutes.

Holy shiat!

So I jumped in the shower, shaved, and just about the time I toweled off, I got a text message from Doc. I'm on the ground, but not at the gate yet.

I called him back and said I'd be a little late, as I was wearing nothing but my goatee at the moment. I got dressed as quickly as I could and headed over to the airport. I'll get to that story later this week. In the meantime, the booze cabinet, and my apartment, sat empty all weekend. I finally got it stocked and functional this evening while watching the football game.

Here it is:

By the way, I'm down to just 39 bottles on hand. Time to get over to Lee's and do some shopping.


Just Crawling In...

Hey Gang!

What a long strange trip it's been... I just walked in the door, having spent the past three nights living like a drunken tourist down at the MGM Grand. Honestly, that was not the plan for the weekend when I got up on Friday morning, but trying to stop it from happening would've been like trying to stop the sun from rising in the east.

I'm unshowered, unshaved, my suitcase smells like an ashtray, all the Benjamins in my wallet have been replaced by Jackson, Hamilton, and their ilk, and my body feels like I've been on a Lindsey Lohan-esque bender for a week. My system is as worn down as the battery on my cell phone.

Seriously, 72 hours ago, I had no idea what I was in for.

But I'll have all the details later, once I put together all the clues from my digital camera and credit card receipts. Right now, I need to hit the shower, the medicine cabinet, and the pillow, because lord knows we spent enough time hitting the bottle.

Out for now--


Friday, September 25, 2009

Didn't Do A Damn Thing On Thursday

The booze cabinet, like so many symphonies, remains unfinished. Hell, it actually remains unstarted. But that's because I didn't do a damn thing all day yesterday except read A Cold Bleak Hill, all 500+ pages, from cover to cover. Ok, well, I kinda remember getting up at some point to fix a chicken salad sandie and an iced coffee, but seriously, that was the limit of my exertions for the day.

But I only indulged my laziness because my buddy AC offered to come over today and help me put the booze cabinet together if I would buy the beer. He couldn't do it on Thursday, but said he was free all day on Friday, so I gladly accepted his offer. Besides, I got a bunch of Amber Bock and Michelob Lite in the beer fridge already, and construction projects like this are much more fun if two people are working on them instead of just one.

So that's what I'm doing today. He's coming over at noon, and I'm hoping we get it knocked out in an hour or so.

Later this afternoon, it's off to the airport to pick up Doc Al--a good chunk of the March Madness buffoons are in town this weekend, and Angy's got another pimped-out terrace suite at the MGM Grand, so we're gonna be partying like the Old Farts Next Door tonight. Then Dougie arrives on Sunday, so besides copious amounts of booze and football, there will be some downtown-style poker going on this weekend.

In the meantime, I've got a pot of coffee to drink and a dishwasher to unload. Y'all have a lovely weekend. Tonight, as I'm drinking Angy's rum, I'll think of you all and pour some out in honor of all my homeys who couldn't be here...


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Got My Work Cut Out For Me

So, the rest of the booze cabinet arrived today, but not without a little bit of anxiety on my part. You know how I said that the FedEx man always got here before 1:30? Well, around 1:45, he still hadn't showed up, their tracking website was no help, indicating that I'd taken delivery the day before, and the 800-number only repeated, electronically, the exact same thing the website said (I never figured out how to get through to a live human being). As far as they were concerned, I was no longer a customer awaiting a package--their work was done.

Just about the time I sat down to the keyboard to go on a rant, there was a knock at the door. Woot--FedEx man! I told him that I was starting to worry, because he was a half-hour later than usual--'Sup with that? He laughed and apologized, and was kind enough to lift the dishwasher-sized box across the threshold for me. It weighed a ton.

I set about attacking it with my utility knife, and I swear, it took a half hour just to get everything unpacked, unwrapped, inventoried, and organized. My dining room now looks like the staging area at the New Yankee Workshop, with Styrofoam and cardboard all over the place instead of sawdust and power tools. Yep, it's gonna be a an all-day project putting this beast together. There must be about thirty different pieces of wood and about three pounds worth of screws and hardware, not to mention the glass. So far, all I've done is get everything ready to go and tried to gather up all the packing materials into as small a space as possible.

Oh, I'll start putting it together, probably right after I hit the [Enter] button on this post, but I doubt it'll be finished before tomorrow afternoon. I've got to go to bed in a couple of hours, just because I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night, and I've probably got another all-nighter ahead of me. But before I can do anything that involves a screwdriver or an allen wrench, I've got to hit every piece of wood with a damp cloth, just to clean off all the dust. That'll probably take a half hour all by itself.

So, y'all probably won't hear from me again until I get this thing project completed. Of course I'll post pictures. And then once I get my dining room table and my new headboard, maybe I'll do a Cribs-style video walk-through of the finished bachelor pad. Before I can do that, however, I'll need to get my hands on a new pimp goblet and a Louisville Slugger bitch-be-cool stick.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

O FedEx, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

While I *should* be knee deep in packing peanuts and cardboard detritus, I suddenly realize that I'm the proud owner of half of a new booze cabinet.

Early this morning, when I got home from work, I checked the tracking status on FedEx's website, and saw that my latest purchase had arrived in Phoenix last night, and that my delivery date was rescheduled from the 21st to the 22nd. Of course... But then when I woke up a couple of hours ago, I checked it again, just out of habit, and there were two updates. One said that the shipment went 'out for delivery' here in Henderson at around 8:00 am this morning, the other one said that it had left the Phoenix facility an hour later, at 9:00. WTF? That's some serious time travel there, Lou...

Man, that don't make no kinda sense
, I thought to myself.

I figured there was no way I'd get my cabinet today, and that the delivery status was just a farkup at FedEx. So I made myself a chicken-salad sammie and settled down in front of the tube for some quality ESPN time. My sister Amy called me about that time, and we chatted for a half hour or so. She, having resigned from her job yesterday, has plenty of free time this week, so we did some catching up.

But then there was a knock at my door, and I thought No way, this can't be the FedEx guy, but every time I've gotten anything delivered from them, he always shows up around 1:30 in the afternoon. Still in my boxers, I answered the door, trying to decide if I wanted it to be my new cabinet or maybe the hottie from down at the rental office, because that's how a good porno would start out...

Well, it turned out to be the FedEx guy, so even if it were the porn scenario, I'd be an unwilling participant at the very least. Anyhow--there was a huge box leaning on against the wall and I signed for it. He picked it up to hand it to me, and I thought Hmmm, either I've been eating waaay too much spinach lately and now have Popeye strength, or this box does *not* weigh 168 lbs.

I asked the delivery man if this was all he had for me, and he pointed to a sticker on the side of the box and it said 001 OF 002. I told him of the conflicting messages I saw on the tracking website, and he said that I'll be seeing him again tomorrow.

At first I was a little pissed, but thinking about it, I guess it's no big deal. I just wish they would've told me that it was coming in two different shipments. And as much as I'd love to get started putting the thing together, I think I'm just gonna wait until all the parts get here. So while I may have been a little irritated at first, on the other hand, I've got to give them mad props for indulging my natural tendency towards procrastination.

Once it finally arrives in full and it's all put together and loaded up with booze, I'll post a picture or two.


Because A Handful Of People Have Asked...

I'm surprised at the number of people who have asked me what a 'lift-top' coffee table is. I thought everybody knew, but I guess they're not as common as I thought they were. So here are a couple of pics so you can get the idea. The first one is the coffee table in it's natural, undisturbed, state:

This second picture is a photo of the top lifted so that I can pretend I'm eating at a counter, or even better, bring the laptop out and use it as a writing desk from the comfort of the couch.

If you look closely, you can see that it looks like it has a drawer in the middle, but that's just a decorative facing. However, you can store stuff inside, you just have to lift the top to get at it. I guess it'd be a good place to stash stuff like weed or Playboys, I mean, if you're into that kind of stuff.

And you'll notice that I've got a set of four coasters deployed--those were a gift from Doc Al awhile back.

Anyhow, I remember the first time I encountered a lift-top coffee table. I was dating this chick named Corrine, and I thought she was a keeper at first--she was absolutely loaded, with a great rack (the were real and spectacular), and she's the one that got me turned on to Jimmy Buffett and Captain Morgan--but the spare room just for her shoes should've been a red flag... Anyhow, she had a table like this in her living room, and we utilized it back in 2000 to watch the Rams win the Super Bowl. We even cracked open a bottle of leftover Y2K champagne at the end of the game to celebrate. Ah, memories...

But, although all my buddies warned me, I was the last person to realize that she was a bit kookie and that relationship died an ignominious death. (I went over to her place at 3:00 in the morning one night, and her ex-husband answered the door in his boxer shorts, so that was the end of that). A few months later, she up and moved to Indianapolis with some other dude, and that's the last I ever heard of her. But I never forgot about her kick-ass coffee table, and I've wanted one ever since.

And now I have one. But even though I may find another rich girl with a nice rack, I don't think we'll be using it to watch the Rams win the Super Bowl anytime soon, though...


Monday, September 21, 2009

Ten Thoughts About Week 2

For having worked on Sunday afternoon, I still managed to watch an awful lot of football. I mean, I've got two games going at home, and there are eight or ten TVs in the poker room, plus the dozens they have in the sports book, so I got to see a whole lot of action. So I'll offer up a few thoughts on my hours spent watching.

  • I worry about the Steelers. They have no running game, and apparently, no kicking game either. With their best defensive player out, also, the future doesn't look so bright. On the other hand, I can't confirm it, but it looks like they may have ditched that god-awful mascot, Steely McBeam. Word is that he's making a decent living on the Village People reunion tour, however.
  • Did y'all catch the video of Jerry Jones sitting up in the owner's box at the new Cowboys stadium with his thumb up in the air? Kinda reminds one of Caesar at the Coliseum deciding to spare a Christian from the lions.
  • Speaking of the Cowboys, is Tony Romo's hairline receding that badly? I mean, the guy is almost never seen without his backwards baseball cap. It's like he's The Edge from U2, who hasn't been spotted in public without a headcover of some sort since sometime in 1988.
  • Is the Rams defense that good, or the Redskins offense that bad? I think I'll go with the latter.
  • Imagine how cheap car insurance from Geico, Allstate, and Progressive would be if they didn't spend so much goddammed money on advertising. At least it's not a John Cougar song that haunts my dreams anymore.
  • After two weeks, I'm going with Saints/Ravens in the Super Bowl.
  • And I'm going with the Rams getting the first pick in the draft next April, the Chiefs getting the second. Yay, Missouri!
  • It looks like the Arizona Cardinals finally woke up. But then again, they were playing against the Jacksonville Jekyll-n-Hydes. I don't recall seeing a line on the Jag's win total at the book before the season started. But I'm guessing that it was less than eight.
  • Biggest surprises so far? 49ers 2-0, Titans 0-2
  • Plaxico Burress heads off to prison tomorrow for basically being a dumbass. I remember one play during his rookie year when he made a diving catch midfield for a first down, untouched, then immediately got up and started dancing around to celebrate, and spiked the live ball for a fumble. I thought to myself, Holy shiat--what an idiot! and my opinion of him hasn't changed.

If y'all have any other thoughts to add, by all means, let's hear 'em. Maybe I'll do this every Monday, kinda like a condensed version of Peter King, minus the New England bias and the lefty politics. (Although his column today was very good and even-handed).


So Close...

Ok, so my college picks were down to the usual standard that I've set this season, both tickets being good for nothing but being used as a coaster on the coffee table by about 1:00 in the afternoon on Saturday. But I had a real chance to cash in on Sunday until the Redskins stunk up the joint and got three lousy field goals against the equally lousy Rams. Don't you just love it when a ten-point favorite--at home--only scores nine points for the entire game, especially against what is arguably the worst team in the league? And I blame myself for this one. Last weekend, I bet on the Rams to cover against the Seachickens, and they lost by 28 points. So I bet against them to lose by ten or more against the Redskins this week, and well, they let me down again, losing by only two. It's double sucky when your team breaks your heart and costs you money.

I guess it wouldn't have mattered anyways, seeing how the Steelers' kicker went all Scott Norwoody--twice--against the Bears, putting an end to all of my if onlys that I was muttering yesterday afternoon. Oh well, what can ya do? It was still a damn fine weekend of football, no matter what. I was highly entertained, and thankfully the networks chose not to make me sit through the Rams/Redskins debacle first thing in the morning.

I may have mentioned it before, but I picked up an extra shift again on Sunday. I had mixed feelings about it. Here I was enjoying the weekends off for most of the past year, and now that football season is here, I've been scheduled the first two Sundays. I hate that. But, I think it's probably not gonna happen again--We've had a big freeroll tournament going on these past two weekends, the preliminary rounds were last weekend, and the final three tables took place yesterday. No more freeroll tourneys, no more Sunday shifts for Mikey.

I got called in two hours earlier than scheduled, but it worked out perfectly--I got some time in at a couple of juicy cash games, then dealt one single tournament 'down'. The final three tables ended in less than two hours, so I didn't have to stay the entire shift. But the beauty of it is when it got down to the final nine players, they decided to chop up the prize money, since it was a freeroll. And the players were kind enough to take several hundred dollars out of the prize pool and give it to the dealers before they chopped up the money--so for my leisurely half-hour I spent dealing in the tourney, my share was eighty bucks. Gotta love that, because I also did really well for myself at the cash tables. So even though I missed out on a full afternoon of sitting on the couch watching football, I had a damn fine day at work.

The night game was still going on once I got done, so I headed over to the sports book to watch from there. And during the games, they have a hot dog and beer cart set up in the back of the book, with nothing on the menu costing more than a dollar. I spent four bucks on two dogs and two Buds, and enjoyed myself thoroughly for a couple of hours, which was even better because the Cowboys got beat. Who doesn't love that?

Today, I don't have too much on the agenda except to get my dining room completely cleared out. It's been kind of a dead zone since I moved into this place back in May. The only thing I have there a big six-foot long indoor-outdoor utility table, kinda like the ones they use at church socials, pushed up against the wall with a checkered tablecloth covering it. And I've been using it as a catch-all for tools, boxes, junk mail, etc. And there are a couple of storage totes underneath it, too. But I've got to take it down and get everything stowed properly because my new booze cabinet is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, and it goes in the exact spot where the table is now.

I anticipate that the assembly of the cabinet will be an all-afternoon affair, probably being even more involved than my TV stand was, so I've got to get everything else done before I tackle that job. Yesterday morning, while I was watching the early games, I put together the nightstand and the lamp, and also hung my wire baskets in the kitchen. I would've done all that last week, but this whole working-five-days-a-week thing really puts a crimp in my outside activities. Well, that, and having five or six books delivered from Amazon doesn't help, either.

So I guess I better get after it--the coffee pot is down to the last half-cup or so and the FedEx guy may surprise me and show up today (word around the campfire is that the cabinet left Nashville three days ago, so it might be here in Henderson as we speak). I may take a break and post again later, but like a 38-yard chip shot at Soldier Field, don't count on it...


Friday, September 18, 2009

Going Crazy With Picks

Instead of my usual college 5-teamer, I went a little kooky this weekend. My original intention was to spend my Friday sleeping and reading, then later in the afternoon head over to the sports book and get my picks in.

The downside of the plan, however, is that I'd probably not be able to resist the tractor-beam pull of the poker room and I'd get sucked in. It worked out for me last weekend, as I made a couple hundred bucks in the process and picked up another half-shift, but I really didn't want to tempt fate again.

Luckily, just as I was starting to stir early in the afternoon, my buddy A.C. sent me a text message, asking if I wanted to play in the Friday night tourney over at Joker's Wild. Yep, that sounded like a good plan, and it kept me from stopping by work on my day off. Well, I *still* wanted to hit the sports book, but I figured I'd do it later in the evening after the tournament, as all the Station books are open until 2:00 am on weekends now that football season is here.

So I showered, shaved, got dressed and headed out to Boulder Highway, getting to Joker's about an hour and a half before the tourney started. They've got a pretty good one going on Friday and Saturday nights--$38 gets you $6000 in chips, with no re-buys or add-ons. And if you register at least an hour early, you get an extra $500 in chips. That's why I was there at 5:00 pm for a 6:30 tournament.

A.C. showed up a few minutes later, and once we got registered, we headed over to the sports book to kill some time. It seems that Joker's Wild is part of the Coast Casinos family, and on some of their parlay and teaser cards, they have slightly better odds than Stations offers. So I said the hell with it, and opted to just do my betting there, since I was already in the neighborhood.

The first thing we did was order some grub at the snack bar. To be perfectly honest, for being kind of a dive, JW has a fairly decent snack bar. We got a couple of orders of buffalo chicken fingers, a soft pretzel, and a couple of Cokes, then sat down with a pile of betting sheets from the sports book.

My intention was to just do my normal 5-team college parlay ticket, and maybe just look at some NFL action, but I guess I got carried away. Eddie B had sent me some good 'trending' information to consider, and A.C. loves the teaser cards, and I had a few extra bucks in my pocket, so I dove head-first into the enticing waters of the sucker-bet pool.

This is what I ended up with on four different tickets:

You can clickie on them for full-sized readability, but basically, it's just a bunch of fun picks that have a slim-to-none chance of hitting, but still make for a fun weekend in front of the TV.

As far as the tournament went, I was doing pretty damn well--I got pocket Kings twice, and not only did I get action on them, but they held up both times. I was the chip leader at my table for the first hour or so, but then when it got down to two tables, I donked off a few thousand on second-best hands. Once the blinds started getting ridiculous, I went all in with pocket nines. A.C., that rat bastard, called me with Ace-King, and caught a King on the flop, knocking me out in about 17th place. And then he had the nerve to bum a dollar off of me so he could tip the cocktail waitress for the next round. Like I said, rat bastard. Heh.

But still, we had a good time. He managed to take my chips to the final table, but didn't cash. I stuck around to watch, but after that, I decided to call it a night. I knew that if I were to stay out and play, I'd probably spend a bunch of money and be pissed if I lost. So instead of getting into a cash game, I just came on home.

I'm in for the night, and I'm hoping the phone doesn't ring. Of course I'd be happy to work if they called, but right now, I'm content to just hang out and chill, and maybe go to bed early.



I shall never again call my new piece of furniture a 'sidebar'. First of all, it sounds kind of uppity, befitting a person of a much higher social standing, like my friend Hoya. She'd own a sidebar. A bidet. Or a divan. Or a valise. Not me--I'm not *that* far removed from the trailer park.

And second of all, it sounds too much like 'sidecar', which is a wussy way to ride a motorcycle. And the only sidecars you can think of off the top of your head is the one in that annoying AT&T commercial with Bill Curtis or the documentary footage of the Nazis rolling into Poland at the beginning of WWII. Otherwise, the only place you'll find them is in Disney movies. And don't forget about the sidecar cocktail--it's a lot like a margarita, but made with brandy instead of tequila--again, uppity.

So therefore, my new expensive piece of furniture that's on it's way shall not be referred to as a sidebar. It shall simply be known, from this point forward, as 'the booze cabinet'.

That is all.


Easy Night

Thankfully, the poker gods rewarded all of my hard work this past week with an easy night. I needed it, because I was up all day on Thursday, and got maybe two hours of sleep before going back in last night. I don't know why, but as tired as I was all day, I just couldn't get to sleep once I went to bed.

I puttered around the house all morning, waiting for the FedEx guy to show up, and he finally did around 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon. The box that my coffee table was shipped in was bulky and unwieldy, so he just knocked and left it leaning up against the wall outside my door, and was wandering off when I answered. I guess he figured that it was so heavy nobody would steal it, the lazy bastard. But I wrestled it across the threshold and fetched my handy-dandy utility knife, and started dissecting the shipping materials. I swear, I think it took longer to unpack the thing than it did to actually assemble it.

Yes, putting it together was a snap--it is very cleverly designed and once I got everything unwrapped and ready to go, I was done five minutes later. Seriously--it was not nearly the all-afternoon-long project that my TV stand was--it went together so easily that even the most inept creature with ten thumbs and no skillz at all could've assembled it in record time. I'd post a picture, but somehow I neglected to vacuum after I was done and the living room and dining room still have bits of packing material strewn about, so it looks kind of messy. Maybe later this weekend I'll snap a photo once I get all of my housework done.

And, later in the evening, I fixed my dinner and used it as a dining table while I watched the Georgia Tech/Miami game. I have to admit--it works much better than a Rubbermaid storage tote. And it looks good, too. And just as soon as I finished eating, I was like, Damn, I totally forgot to use the lift-top feature! Oh well, there's always lunch today. Once I finished my dinner, I watched the game for awhile, but forced myself to go to bed around seven. I tossed and turned for far too long, and I was hatin' life when that alarm went off at midnight.

Like I said, thankfully it was an easy night at the poker table.

After I got out of work this morning, I ran into a couple of gals in the casino, one of them I was sure I'd met before. We talked for a bit, but then ended up at the bar trying to figure out how we knew each other. We never figured it out, but it was a nice visit, right up until the end when she got a phone call and immediately picked up the most hideous ghetto-baby-mama accent I've ever heard. I couldn't believe me ears, and just sat there in stunned silence for a couple of minutes while she got all up in some dude's grill over the phone. Of course, before I left, she gave me her number, and it's sitting out on the kitchen counter as I type this, but I don't know if I'm ever gonna use it... It was a strange encounter, to say the least. I mean, it started off pretty well, but talk about a crash and burn at the end.

Anyhow, I'm just glad that my work-week is kinda-sorta over. I picked up a shift on Sunday afternoon, so my weekend is cut a bit short, but I'll take the work. As far as today goes, I'm gonna get some rest, then head to the sports book later this afternoon so as I can entertain you all with that train wreck of my weekly handicapping. Other than that, it's just housecleaning and reading today.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tool Time, Not Sleepy Time

Man, what a couple of busy days I've had! Yeah, I know all you re-clickers out there were checking back all day on Wednesday, and I apologize for being a slacker, but I was just too tired to write. The last couple of nights at work have just been amazingly busy for me, and it's been kinda weird--both nights it looked like I'd have a pretty short shift when I first got to work, as the games were kinda shorthanded and looked like they'd break at the drop of a hat. But as soon as I sat down, it's like people just started showing up with fat bankrolls and felt like gambling it up. So not only was I busy as hell, but the games were nice and juicy, too. I gotta love that, because it's made it a great week for me, toke-wise.

But as much as I love it, it sure takes it's toll. When I'm the only dealer on the overnight game, I never take any breaks, whereas when I'm working the other shifts, I usually get a break every hour and a half or so. But believe me--I'd rather just work straight through, because if I'm on break, I'm not making any money. I know the natural question that y'all are now asking is "But what if you have to pee?"

Well, luckily, there's always a floorman there, so I just have him jump in for a few minutes while I go and empty my pockets and hit the head (I can hold exactly eighty chips in my shirt pocket, so I've got to get up every couple of hours and empty it, anyways). And the floorman doesn't mind, because while I'm up doing my thing, he deals a few hands and gets to make a few bucks himself. It works out pretty well, actually, and luckily I have a good working relationship with the graveyard floor guys. And it seems like I'm building a good 'book' of regular players that like to come in late at night when I'm working, too. I just hope it keeps up.

Anyhow, the past couple of days, once my shift was done, we've stuck around to go get the steak & eggs special at the cafe. But check this out--before 7:00 am, if paying with my comp points, it's only half-price. And they have some good graveyard specials, too. So it doesn't cost us a dime out-of-pocket, aside from taking care of the waitress, to have a classic Vegas breakfast of steak, eggs, hashbrowns, toast, and the an occasional bloody Mary. It kinda reminds me of the good ol' days when I was a tourist--playing cards all night and grubbin' on free food in the morning.

Ah, Vegas...

But living the Vegas lifestyle is hard work, so I came home and slept all damn day on Wednesday. I wish I could do the same today, but I just checked the FedEx website a few minutes ago and my coffee table is on the delivery truck, somewhere here in Henderson as I write this. So I have to stay up and wait for it to arrive.

With that, I'll be almost fully furnished. Of course, I still want a new dining room table, and they're actually pretty reasonable (especially compared to the exorbitant markup on coffee tables. You'd think DeBeers was running that cartel, too!). I almost bought one yesterday, but decided to wait. And I'm also looking at a new headboard for my bed, too. But again, I put off that purchase. Both are fairly affordable, and I could pick them up at any time. What I've really wanted was some sort of sidebar or liquor cabinet for my dining room. I haven't really mentioned it before, but I've been looking at them for some time. The problem was, they are kinda expensive.

I found the one I wanted a couple of weeks ago, and I loved everything about it except the price tag. But, like the smokin' hot Bulgarian cocktail waitress that works the poker room a couple nights a week, I couldn't stop thinking about it. So yesterday, I just said farkit, buyer's remorse be damned, I'm getting it. So I broke out the overworked MasterCard and said "Ship it!". And I just got the email a few minutes ago--it's also on the truck this morning, but it won't be here until early next week.

So here it is:

Nice, huh? I'm just hoping that the top shelf is big enough to hold the 40+ bottles of booze I have stashed all over the house, because it'd be nice to have 'em all in one place. Regardless, it'll be quite an impressive display once it's all put together and stocked up.

So between that, the coffee table, the nightstand, the reading lamp, and my soon-to-be purchased dining room table and headboard, I've got plenty of assembly projects to keep me busy. And I hope to god that they don't jack up the rent too high next summer when my lease is up, because I certainly don't wanna move this all shiat anytime soon.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wind, Rain, Dark of Night, etc...

I was lied to again. Well, maybe not purposefully lied to, but I was led to believe that my new honey-finish mission-style lift-top coffee table would be delivered today. It ain't gonna happen--now I'm told that it's still in Kansas City, but it should be here on Thursday. I knew that was gonna happen. Ever since they sent me the tracking information last week, I've been checking it twice a day, and it appeared that the damn thing never got picked up from the warehouse. It sat there for four days before it actually got on a truck.

That kinda sucks--I was looking forward to busting out the tool kit and doing another construction project there on the dining room floor. But I guess it's ok, because if you remember that big long to-do list I put together the other day, I didn't get halfway done with it--I still need to vacuum, and the nightstand and reading lamp are still in their boxes, too. Maybe when the table gets here, I'll just go on an assembly spree and spend the putting everything together at once. On the other hand, I did the important stuff--I got the TVs both hooked up so that I could watch two games at once, and I got the new surge protector installed behind the entertainment center. But I'll be glad when I finally get this place completely furnished with everything in it's proper place.

Anyhow... I think summer has finally broken for the year. When I left for work last night, it was a pleasant breezy evening in the high seventies, and when I got out at 5:30 this morning, it was a nice, cool 70 degrees. The first thing I did once got home was turn off the air conditioner, turn on the fans, and open six different windows. Looking ahead, I see that it's still gonna get into the 90's later this week, but nothing in the triple digits. Woot!

Work was crazy busy again last night--it didn't seem like it when I got there, but good lord, what a crazy all-night game I dealt. When it finally broke this morning, I was completely wiped out--but it was another big night for me. And I found out that I had another day added to the schedule again this week (that's five, again!), so it should be a nice, lucrative, but tiring, week. I was so beat when we got done that I didn't even stick around to have a beer and hang out with the floorman. Usually, we go out to breakfast after the shift is over, but I just didn't feel up to it this morning. I had to hit the grocery store for a few essentials, but after a quick stop at the WallyWorld Supercenter, I drove straight home. No beer, no breakfast with the cocktail waitresses, and no nickel video poker. I guess that instead, I'll have a glass of OJ, a bowl of cereal, and entertain myself playing minesweeper for awhile while SportsCenter reruns play in the background.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Linda Lou Wants to Know

Howdy gang. I hope y'all are having fun in the cube farm this Monday morning. Me? I'm just enjoying a cup of coffee, using my parlay ticket as a coaster. Anyhow, I was talking to Linda Lou the other day, and she suggested that my site needed a woman's touch. No, we're not going to get new lace curtains or fill up the shelves with dustables, but I'm going to indulge her undying curiosity about the male species. She's prepared a bunch of questions, so I'm going to try and answer them the best I can. While I am trying to do my best to speak for all of us men-folk, if any of you readers wish to chime in, by all means, feel free.

Here we go...

What are the three most important things men look for in a woman?

Hmm... for me, it's gotta be personality, looks, independence. As far as looks go, lets just get that one out in the open. Yeah, looks are important, but not *that* important to us. A gal has got be just good enough looking to turn us on (which ain't a hard task, to be sure). Of course, we always ogle the attractive--we're wired to do so, and no amount of nagging or dirty looks will ever get us to stop. But experience has taught us that the hotter the girl, the heavier the baggage. Oh, we'll put up with it for awhile, but eventually, you've got to offer something besides just good looks, which, sadly, decline with age anyways. So while a gal has got to be attractive enough to grab our attention, she doesn't need to be Helen of Troy, or hell, even Helen of Sparta. On the other hand, I personally put a premium on a good personality. I prefer somebody interesting, smart, and funny. Also, independence--needy doesn't cut it with me. I'm independent, and having somebody around who doesn't really need me keeps me on my toes.

Think back to the best girlfriend you ever had... what are the qualities that make her unforgettable?

Haven't had but one in the past couple of years, but she had all three of those qualities that I mentioned earlier--she was attractive, she made me laugh my ass off, she was fun to hang around with, and she certainly didn't need me to make her life complete.

What are the three things women do that turn a man off?

Talk too much, nag too much, plan things for 'us' to do that we have no desire to do. Sometimes, we just want to drink a beer and watch TV in silence. And no, we don't want to antiquing when the playoffs are on.

What's the craziest thing a woman ever did on a date?

Crazy bad or crazy good? Flirting with the bartender is bad, but crawling out the sunroof and flashing a cab full of old guys on the Strip is good...

How do men feel about women who want to pay for dinner or a movie? Or splitting the tab?

Generally, I'm in favor of it, unless it's used as the opening salvo of You don't have a chance of ever getting to see me nekkid. I guess it depends on where on the timeframe of the relationship it falls. If you've been seeing each other for awhile, no biggie. But if it's a first date, then it may be kind of a red flag. If it's a blind date or a set-up--or not a 'date' at all, then going Dutch is cool.

Women who call a guy for a first date--turn-on or turn-off?

Turn on, unless we are completely unattracted to them.

Age--how old is too old? How young is too young?

For me, too young is early 20's. I've gone out with a couple of 23-year-olds this past year, and it's tough to come up with stuff to talk about. Not only that, younger gals have waaaaay too much drama in their lives. Too old? Hmmm, I dunno. I'm 42, so anything beyond mid-50s would probably be too old for me. I'd have a hard time bragging to my buddies about the fact that my date was able to swing the senior discount at dinner, too. Even so, I love me some cougars.

Kids--do you secretly look at a woman's children as a major pain in the ass?

In my experience, it's not the kids that are a pain in the ass, it's the ex, who won't pay the child support, or won't keep them on his weekend, or is somehow using the kids to sabotage her relationships. I don't mind dating gals that have kids--it's just the cost of doing business these days.

What is the kindest way to break up with someone?

Quickly, like tearing off a bandaid. The longer it goes, the worse it is. And the "I just don't think it's working" speech works better than the old cliched "It's not you--it's me" speech.

Is it possible for women and men to truly be "just friends"? Or is somebody always hoping for more?

I don't know if men are always 'hoping' for more, but for the most part, we'll take advantage of the opportunity if it's presented. Men don't consider too many women to be 'just friends', if both are single. But we don't sit around in our spare time and wish that we could nail all of our female friends, either. On the other hand, if some random female friend calls up in the middle of the night and says Could you come over?, well, not too many of us are turning that down...

Is it emasculating to sit in the passenger seat with a woman driving, or doesn't it matter?

I don't care one way or the other. What's emasculating is standing around in the mall holding purses and shopping bags for hours on end.

How do men feel about women who make more money than they do?

I'm cool with it, as are several of my buddies. Nothing at all wrong with a woman who can both bring home the bacon *and* fry it up in the pan...

Fake fingernails--turn-on or turn-off?

Normal looking ones are fine, big ugly ghettofabulous ones are not. But I don't know of a single guy who's ever been turned on by fingernails, real, fake, or otherwise. Or jewelry, or shoes. Women do that shiat to impress other women, not to impress guys, even though they may not know it consciously.

Women obsess about their weight, but just how important is it to men? Do men even go for those skinny, skinny size 2 women?

We go for all kinds of women--skinny, average, chubby, tall, short, whatever. All we ask is that you don't change. Once you're in a relationship, don't let yourself go either way. If you were a little chubby when we met, no problem--stay the same. If you were skinny when we met, stay the same. Some guys prefer the gals where you can see her ribs, some prefer a gal with meat on her bones, some like the big beautiful women. Most just prefer average, though.

What do men think of hose (stockings, whatever you can them). Of course, bare legs are better in the summer, but what about the winter? Would men rather see white bare legs, or is black hose okay?

We love stockings at any time of year. Especially the thigh-high ones. Black is good. The line up the back? Feh... No opinion one way or the other... And fishnet isn't as sexy as y'all think it is.

What questions would men like to ask women?

What's the deal celebrity gossip--What's the attraction to shiat like US Magazine? We don't get it. Why does it take so long to get dressed, or pick out shoes? Why do you get pissed when we want to play golf with our buddies? Why does the trash have to be taken out RIGHT NOW? Why can't you park normal? And for the love of god, why can't you stock up on tampons? I mean, I know I gotta shave, but I never need to run to the store in the middle of the night and get razors...

There. That's all she sent. Fellas, feel free to add your thoughts. Gals, if you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pick Me Out A Winner, Bobby

After last week's shameful college picks, I feel that I must try to redeem myself. Seriously--it's tough to be that bad. Well, tough, but not impossible. Back in March Madness of 2000, I went 0-for-8 on the first day of the tournament. Think about that for awhile--that's just as hard to do as hitting an eight-team parlay. So if anyone is going to flop miserably with their football picks, the smart money is on me.

On the other hand, it's still a lot of fun, so here I go:

1) Navy -7.5 over Louisiana Tech

2) Michigan +3 over Notre Dame

3) Missouri -19 over Bowling Green

4) LSU -14 over Vanderbilt

5) USC -7 over Ohio State

It looks like I'm only taking one dog this week, and that's actually the pick that I'm least comfortable with. Navy is on the upswing, Mizzou beat the hell out of Illinois, and I gotta think that Illinois is somewhat better than Bowling Green, especially when the Falcons are on the road (normally I like to root for Bowling Green, but I don't think they're gonna come close in this one). Vanderbilt usually starts the season off very well against the spread, but on the road at LSU, at night, it could be a blowout. And of course, I think USC is gonna lay the wood to the Buckeyes. As far as Michigan over Notre Dame goes, well, they're playing in the Big House, and I'm not yet convinced of Charlie Weiss's genius.

Of course, I could be fantastically wrong, but hey, I've been wrong before, I'll be wrong again.

As I'm writing this, it's about 1:00 in the morning on Saturday. I really should go to bed, but it's tough to sleep in the middle of the night nowadays. I'm just too used to working the graveyard shift. But yesterday, I managed to catch up on my sleep, plus knock a few of my 'to do' items off the list. But around 4:00 o'clock or so, I grew bored with just hanging out at the house doing chores, so I headed out. Once my errands were done, I made my way to the casino to get my picks in at the sports book (yep, I did another $10 five-team parlay that'll pay me $230 on a win).

Anyhow, I couldn't just skip out on the poker room entirely, and around 5:30 or so, I found myself in a 4-8 game. Luckily, my mad skillz were back, and there weren't any bad beats to be found, and by 8:15, I was up $200 for the session. I was starving, so I got up to go grab some food. But the boss intercepted me on the way out the door and asked me how long it'd been since my last beer. Luckily, I'd been nursing a Perrier for over an hour, so she told me to cash out, run home and grab a shirt, and come back for the 9:00 pm push.

Woot--Nothing like locking up a $200 win on a Friday night! So I ran home, changed clothes, and worked for a few hours before we got down to the usual overnight crowd. I volunteered to go home at 11:30, so as to not take away 'downs' from my full-time buddies (who graciously leave early almost every night so that I can have an opportunity to lock down for a few hours and make some good money when I'm working). Besides, I have five days on the schedule this week already, and Friday's split-shift technically gave me six. So I didn't really need to stick around, and by me volunteering to leave, it just made it easier on everyone. With my winnings from playing, and my earnings from working, it was another very lucrative day for me.

Hmmm... What should I buy now?

Well, I think I'm gonna go ahead and *not* buy anything for a few days. The truck payment and insurance are due this week, and I'm already full-up on books and groceries, so I think I'm good for now. But that may change by Sunday--I still need a dining room table and a new headboard. On the other hand, the smart play would be to just send every spare dime I have over to my E*Trade account and not be tempted to do anything stupid.

That's the problem with living in Vegas, there are way too many things to spend money on. Back in Nashville, the only things to spend money on were beer, cigars, and going out to dinner with my nieces, sisters, or Mamasan. (Oh yeah, and the occasional side-trip to Tunica). Hell, they barely had strip clubs in Nashville--although, legend has it that the Boobie Bungalow down in Elkton was a sight to behold. I mean, you know it's a classy joint went it's in a tent. I shiat you not--a strip club in a tent! Although, word around the campfire is that they now have a permanent building, but back in the day...

Whatever the case may be, Reverend Dave is probably the one to ask. But I'm kind of afraid to do a deep Google Image Search for it, only because whatever picture I find will probably show his truck sitting in the parking lot. Heh. But here's the sign on I-65:

I guess they have services on Sunday morning or something...

Anyhow, that's what's going on here. I plan on not doing a damn thing all day except for overdosing on college football for several hours and then going to bed early. I've got to work one of those dreaded day shifts on Sunday, so I know that my system is going to be completely confused.

Y'all have a good one!


Friday, September 11, 2009

That Was Fast

I am quite satisfied this morning--I had an easy night at work, got home early, and started on my housework. (Sadly, I must admit, that the apartment was kind of a mess). But when I took a break from cleaning the kitchen and scrubbing the bathroom, I checked my email and saw that my new coffee table has already been shipped, and it will be delivered sometime on Tuesday. Not too shabby!

With all of the shopping I've done this week, I didn't make my usual weekly order from Amazon. But it's ok--I'm still working on the first of the seven books that I ordered last week. I've got a long way to go before I run out of stuff to read. On the other hand, I couldn't go an entire week without contributing to the economy through Amazon, so this morning I spent seven bucks and ordered an eyeglass repair kit. I've needed one for awhile, if only for the little microdrivers to keep the screws in tight.

Yesterday morning, when I was preparing to leave the house, I went to grab my sunglasses on the counter and they were sitting there in two pieces. I thought I'd broken them somehow, but it was just that the screw had fallen out--but it was lying there on the counter, too. I managed to get them put back to gether with the help of some tweezers, but I didn't have a small screwdriver to make 'em snug. They'll hold for a couple of days, but even if they fall apart again and I lose the screw, this repair kit comes with several extras. Since I no longer have optical insurance, so I've got to make my glasses last as long as possible.

I don't have much on my agenda today, although there is rumor of a trip to Grimaldi's sometime in the near future. I don't really want to go out and play poker tonight, but one of my gals was giving me a huge ration of shiat the other day because I haven't called her in two weeks. We may go out tonight, but I'm not sure. I've still got a ton of stuff to do around the house, plus at some point I have to get at least six hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Other than sleep, here is my To Do list for the weekend:

1) Sweep and mop the kitchen, entryway, and bathroom
2) Clean the mirrors in the bathroom
3) Wash the bathroom carpets and bleach the tub
4) Put together the new reading lamp and run and extension cord behind the couch (much easier said than done, trust me on this one)
5) Move the small bookcase out of the living room and find a new place to put it
6) Hang the new veggie baskets
7) Put together the new nightstand
8) Move the TV stand, hook up the new surge protector, run the splitter and hook up the second TV
9) Tune the guitar
10) Move the last of the storage totes out from under the utility table to the storage closet
11) Salvage all of the heavy-gauge speaker wire from the old surround sound system, clip and strip the ends, and get it laid out and ready for the new home theatre setup.
12) Take the old home theatre system and bookshelf CD player to the pawn shop
13) Deposit last night's earnings
14) Wash and gas up the truck
15) Wash, dry, fold, hang, and put away about four loads of laundry
16) Vacuum the whole apartment
17) Dispose of the old nightstand
18) Copy a shiatload of CDs to my iPod

That should keep me occupied for awhile.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Squeezing In Another Post Before Kickoff

Hey gang!

As much as I'd like to sleep right now, I just can't--I know that I need to go to bed, but I'm resigning myself to the fact that I'm only gonna get about four hours of rest before I go to work later tonight.

Work has been extremely busy (and lucrative) for me these past couple of days, and thankfully I'm on the schedule for five days this week. If poker were a meal, this week would be the Sterling Brunch at Bally's--a nice change of pace from all those Cup-O-Noodles I subsisted on back in July.

First of all, as much as I would've liked to come straight home and go to bed this morning, I couldn't do it, even as tired as I was. All I'd eaten the day before was a turkey sandie (I decided against PB&J) and an energy bar once I got to work. So I was pretty damn hungry. I didn't feel like fixing bacon and eggs (blasphemy!), and I'm out of cereal, so I said farkit and made a cheeseburger at seven o'clock this morning. Hey, my work schedule is opposite of the rest of the world's, but everyone else has dinner after work, so why not I? But it was a damn good cheeseburger. And Falcon Rob is right--even though he's scratching his current mustard itch with the Cleveland Stadium variety, French's plain yellow mustard is underrated. I normally only use brown mustard, but on hotdogs and hamburgers, the basic stuff is the way to go.

While I was eating, I was watching the market and decided that it was time to get back in the game. I've been sending extra cash to my account at E*Trade over the past few weeks, and it's been sitting there waiting for me to invest. Of course, I'd love to own some *real* stock--stuff like Amazon, WalMart, Exxon Mobile, Apple, etc., but that shiat is expensive. I was looking for an affordable buy-and-hold type of stock that I could pick up and sit on, and not worry about it too much if I guessed wrong and it took a dump short-term. But I didn't want some crappy-assed penny stock, either.

Several weeks ago, reader JC in Denver tipped me off to a company called Exact Sciences, symbol EXAS, and I'd been watching it ever since. My due diligence seemed to point in the right direction, and the price has been rising over the past month. So this morning I fired off a trade and picked up a load of shares. Of course, as much as I say I'm gonna ignore it, I couldn't help but crack a smile when I saw that it was already up ten cents from my purchase price when it closed. Heh.

Once that deed was done, I headed out to hit the bank and go shopping, and ended up at BB&B, where I picked up the household goodies I mentioned in the previous post. I then tried to read for awhile, but that didn't take, and I wanted to pen that righteous rant about coffee tables being ridiculously expensive when compared to other pieces of furniture. But that rant led me to finding an affordable coffee table that I have since purchased. (Details below, for those of you just tuning in...)

Since then, I've been watching ESPN, preparing myself for the kickoff of the NFL season tonight. I am so happy that football is back--is there nothing better than fall afternoons, hanging out with your buddies, drinking beer, munchin' on junk food, trying to watch seven games in one day, working the remote like it was an extension of your very hand? I think not... I'm sure that some of you wimmenfolk might not understand, but it's just the way we're wired. We don't get excited over designer shoes, celebrity gossip, romantic comedies, or the one-day sale at Macy's, but football season puts us in our happy place in those rare moments when we're not coming up with schemes to get our hands on some boobies.

So there. That's my day. As tired as I am right now--I've got that telltale ache behind my eyes--I am excited to finally get this party started. Seven months is too long to go without the pleasing narcotic of football season. I'm ready for a fix. I'm sure I'll probably pass out by halftime, a big puddle of drool expanding on my shirt as I'm slowly consumed by the couch-monster. But I don't care. Football is back.

Football, baby! Football.


Making The House A Home

I have come to the sad conclusion that coffee tables are the furniture-world equivalent of printer ink. Seriously, if you somehow managed to liquefy every suitable coffee table I've looked at in the past ten days, and then put the slag in plastic jugs, I swear they'd be asking eighty bucks a gallon for that shiat. There is no damn reason they should be as expensive as they are. I've been shopping for one almost constantly since I got the new sectional last weekend, and I'm getting to the point where I just throw my hands up in exasperation and head over to the loading dock at the grocery store to steal some milk crates and wooden pallets, then set up a ghettofabulous contraption reminiscent of my days as a starving college student.

Nobody has ever accused me of being cheap, but damn, I just don't want to spend $300+ on a frickin coffee table. I'll never get one with a glass top, I don't like stone, and I refuse to get anything that has curved legs or a cherry finish. Ugly ugly ugly! Ideally, I'd like to get an all-wood lift-top model in the mission style, with a medium finish. Is that too much to ask? Seriously? I mean--I'd be willing to pay $250 for it, but $300 just seems like a psychological barrier for me.

I don't know why--maybe because I can get a full-on 6-piece dining room table for just fifty dollars more, which sounds like a bargain in my book. Or that when I consider all of the materials, labor, and craftsmanship that went into building my sectional, it only cost $900 or so before taxes and such. It seems to me that a few pieces of wood and six bucks worth of hardware and springs should absolutely not cost a third of what I paid for my goddam couch.

I'm sure that if I want one badly enough I'll eventually suck it up, quit bitching, and just pay for the damn thing, but it's still gonna piss me off.

In the meantime, I did a little more shopping today--this time I headed over to Bed Bath & Beyond. I finally found some decent hanging wire baskets for the kitchen, and I also got a big airtight canister for my coffee that would look nice on the counter. I also went browsing in the clearance section, and lucked into a nice looking nightstand that was on sale for $35 (down from it's original price of $80). I liked it so much that I almost bought two of them, but then I reconsidered--I really don't need two nightstands, and I'll probably just put another bookshelf or something over on the far side of the bed, anyways.


Wouldn't ya know it--after my righteous rant about not finding anything suitable for less than $300, I went on a Google Image Search for 'mission style lift top coffee table' so I could have a photo for the upper right-hand side of my post, like I normally do. It pointed me to a link at, and they had exactly what I was looking for--for only $198. SCORE!!!

So I snapped that thing up and it's getting shipped out tomorrow. Hell yeah.

I feel much better now. And I'm looking forward to having something to set my feet rum drink on while I watch football. Wow--what an amazing find.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

No News Humpday

Sorry, but there won't be much of an update today--maybe tomorrow, but it most likely won't be early. I've been up for almost 24 hours straight, and I haven't had anything to eat in about the last twelve. I worked overtime last night, then I stuck around and played some poker for a few hours after I finally got cut loose. (I made $80+ from playing, on top of the three Benjamins I made in tips--woot!).

Normally, I'd never do that, but since it's 9/9/09, they've got a promotion going where if you have pocket nines, and flop quads, you get a $9,999 jackpot. If you don't flop it, but make it by the river, you still got $999. Of course, at 12:30 am last night, we had a waiting list--I got called in early, and we were busier than hell all night. And around 3:00 am this morning, the jumbo Bad Beat jackpot hit, also. So it was a crazy day at work, and then once I finally pulled the ripcord, I took a seat and gave it a shot, too. I had pocket nines three times, but no, I'm not ten thousand bucks richer. But I gave up and came home once I could no longer hold my eyes open. Lucky for me, I was up almost a full rack when I finally called it quits.

Of course, with a few bucks in the pocket, I did some shopping, but didn't buy a damn thing--I found myself wondering if $300 is too much to pay for a coffee table, and the magic eight ball said It Is Decidedly So. I ended up just wandering a bit--I considered a dining room set, but that was even more expensive, and I came thisclose to buying a new home theatre/surround sound system. But in the end, I didn't get a damn thing. Being tired and hungry didn't help, so I just came on back home.

While I was out driving around, I turned on the local sports radio station for the afternoon show, and I learned that Mayor Oscar is a big sports bettor. They have him on a few times a week during football season, talking about his picks and the point spreads and such. It was actually quite entertaining, and I'm guessing he's better at prognosticating than I am. On the other hand, it seems that he always takes UNLV and the points. The man's still a politician...

Anyhow, that's all I've got going on here today. I'm a tuckered out little trooper--hungry, but too tired to cook, and too tired to wait for somebody to deliver, so I don't know what I'm gonna do. I've got a few big-ass green apples in the fridge, and some leftover grilled chicken, but in the end, I'll probably just make myself a PB&J with a tall glass of milk and call it a day.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Viewer Mail

Judging from the comments so far today, it sounds like hooker stories rate right up there with coleslaw in popularity. You guys make me so proud!

Unfortunately, since I got rid of the Ghetto Sled and moved out of Las Vegas proper, my encounters with street-level female entrepreneurs have been limited at best. Not too many ho's out here in Henderson, and now that I work in the poker room instead of the pit, I don't even see the occasional temporary companion that sometimes make an appearance all the way out here in Suburbia. I suppose I could talk CoolP into coming back out and we could hang around the Celebration Lounge at the Tropicana on some random Friday night. Then the stories would just write themselves...

In the meantime, Linda Lou sent me an estrogen-packed email full of questions from the female species, and I'll post 'em up and try to do 'em justice here in the next day or two, all the while trying hard to bring honor to the Dude Clan, while still trying to be somewhat honest.

As far as guest bloggers go, I'm gonna try and recruit Amy to share a story or two, and word around the campfire is that Reverend Dave has some free time nowadays, too.

I'd also share stories from work, but you'll have to wait and buy the book to get those. And as much as I'd like to tell some 'weekend buffoonery' stories, well, the economy is still in the shiatter, and my usual partners in crime aren't up for dumping money into the Vegas economy at the same clip as we used to. I can relate to that--I'm still trying to furnish my apartment, and three hundred bucks goes a lot further at Bed Bath & Beyond than it does at the dice table. On the other hand, I like the idea of getting off the beaten path and taking some pictures. Maybe one of these days I can talk Linda Lou into going on a photo safari with me. Of course, I'm sure we'll probably just end up at some biker bar out in the middle of nowhere, but that has an appeal all it's own.

As far as today's adventures are concerned, I got out of the house for a little while and went down to the Ranch to watch a movie--Saw Inglourious Basterds at the matinee. Yep, it's definitely a Tarantino flick--lots of gratuitous violence, meandering dialogue, and funky editing. It ain't your daddy's war movie, that's for sure. But well worth the seven-and-a-half bucks I paid to see it. Best line--This here Nazi wants to die for his country. Would you oblige him? It's got quite a few great quotes that made me chuckle, and it'll probably make it into the DVD collection at some point.

But the mailman just got here, bringing the next four volumes in the Aubrey/Maturin series, plus volume 5 in the Prelude to Glory series from a used bookstore up in Vancouver (volumes 3 and 4 are also on the way from other parts of the country). I guess what I'm sayin' is that for the next couple of days I'll be doing a whole lot of reading and not so much writing. And hardly no arithmetic, if I can help it.


Back From The Weekend

Howdy y'all--I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend--mine was ok, but nothing over-the-top exciting to report. Yes, I *did* go play poker on Friday night, but just for a little while. The real purpose of my trip to the casino was to register for the season-long NFL pick 'em contest at the sports book, and also to get my college picks in (but we saw how that worked out). Anyhow, after the 'chores' were done, I sat down with a few friends and played poker for a couple of hours.

I didn't stay too long, but I walked with a $50 profit, so it was a successful evening--my winnings paid for my parlay ticket, dinner at Quizno's, and a half tank of gas, and I was home, in bed, by midnight.

I got lots of reading done over the weekend, but no housekeeping--the sink is full of dirty dishes, there's a pile of laundry climbing the wall in the bathroom, I need to take out the trash, and to top it all off, all the pillows on my new couch are askew... But I'm waiting for the mailman today--I've got seven more books on the way.

My plan last night was to go hang out with the Henderson Writers Group gathering, but once the late afternoon rolled around, I didn't feel like sitting in a coffeehouse for three hours listening to people read. But Linda saved the day and called me up, saying she didn't want to go either, and she had a better offer anyways. How's about we meet up for a beer or two, instead?

Hmm... Coffee house or bar? Y'all know which one I chose.

Less than an hour later we were hanging out at Sierra Gold, taking advantage of their happy hour prices, and she was giving me the rundown on her weekend and the progress of her book (it's finally at the printer, and she's waiting for a proof). I don't know if you recall, but way back earlier this summer, Linda said that if she didn't have a copy of her book in her hands by Labor Day, she'd touch a bird. I know, that doesn't sound like much, but imagine me saying something like If I don't do such-and-such, I'll work forty hours in one week and then you'd understand. Linda doesn't much care for birds. So while I didn't bring it up and remind her of her ornithological obligations, there will be a field trip the the local pet store in the near future--with pictures and everything.

I also picked at her brain to give me ideas about stuff to write about, as this blog has gone stale these past few months. There's a lot of good stuff in the archives, but any new readers that show up would probably think the recent posts suck like crap on a stick. Of course, she wants me to write about guys' perspective on things, and I'm willing to oblige, but for those old-timers out there, anybody have any suggestions? I feel like I've been in a rut since early summer, and while a harmonic convergence of stupidity was enough to bring me out of my mid-season slumber, since then I feel like I've had nothing to say, and I'm just mailing it in.

Hell, I haven't had any good poker stories lately (haven't played that much, to tell the truth), and work stories, well, I'm saving those for another time. And I don't have the cooking bug right now, although that could change on my next trip to Trader Joe's. Maybe I have to commit myself to trying a new restaurant once a month, too. I dunno, I'm just searching for ideas.

In the meantime, I'm gonna start tidying up the house, and maybe later today I'll go catch a movie or something. And I found a used bookstore over on Tropicana, too, so I may go do a little browsin'.

Y'all have a happy Tuesday.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Time For Some Picks

And so it begins--the 2009 college football season is finally underway. Yeah, I know that there have been games on since Thursday, but there is nothing better than spending a Saturday overdosing on coast-to-coast football. Gameday starts in just a few minutes, and I've got a pot of coffee brewing, but in the meantime, I thought I'd share the some of the side-effects of having an 'office' about ten feet away from a huge sports book.

Week 1:

Georgia +5.5 over Oklahoma State

Oklahoma -22 over BYU

Illinois -7 over Mizzou

Minnesota -7.5 over Syracuse

Auburn -13 over Louisiana Tech

That's my five-teamer for the day, but I have to admit, I am *not*in mid-season form. Somehow I spaced betting on Alabama (-7 over Va. Tech), and a couple of days ago I said to "take Georgia and lay the points", when in fact, they are getting points, not giving them. Oh well, no biggie. I kinda wanted to bet on Ohio State and Penn State, too, but first game jitters with better-than-average opponents kept me from laying the points.

Anyhow, a ten-dollar lottery ticket in the hopes of going five-for-five will provide a full day's worth of entertainment. If I get 'em all, I'll take the 22-1 payoff. Sucker bet, I know, but sucker bets are the most fun.

And the fun doesn't end there, either. Later tonight I'm heading over to the UNLV-Sacramento State game with a few buddies for an evening of live college football and overpriced beer. Can't wait, although I can't seem to find my flask anywhere. You can't go to a college football game without a flask--I think it's a law or something.


Friday, September 04, 2009

Did You Know...

That they don't sell surge protectors at Costco? Neither did I, until this afternoon when I went down there.

So, anyhow, the week of living frugally is over--all the bills are paid, I've got money in the pocket again, and if I had hair, I could afford to let it down... The first item on the agenda, once my business at the bank was transacted, was to head to Costco and fill up my gas tank ($2.57 a gallon there, about 12 cents less than most other places here in Hendertucky). Since I was already at Costco, with a pocket full of cash, I decided to do a little shopping. Actually, there were only two things on the shopping list, 1) a surge protector, and 2) razor blades.

I looked all over for a surge protector, even asking the employees who were lurking around the electronics area, but it was to no avail. I was told they didn't sell them anymore. Hmmm... But while I was searching around, I saw a kick-ass clock radio that had an iPod dock for only $29.99. Well, I thought it was only thirty bucks, but as I went to pick it up, I noticed that the price tag was for the stuff on the shelf below it. The clock radio was actually eighty bucks.

Umm, no, I think I'll pass.

I kept looking. I wandered for a bit, and on my way over to the toiletries area, a large plastic jar of whole cashews somehow made it into my cart. But I eventually got my razor blades, a big pack of twenty Mach 3 Turbos for forty bucks. Shiat--I hate paying for razor blades, but what's a brotha with a smooth dome to do? I hate paying for cable TV, too, but my ass likes to watch football and documentaries, so there.

I wandered around a bit more, avoiding the bottlenecks, (Seriously people, you're lining up and clogging the aisles for a free bite of mac-and-cheese? WTF?), and wishing that I'd brought my glasses with me. Memo to self: Never again go shopping at Costco without your glasses--you can't see shiat. Oh, there was a lot of stuff to buy, that's for sure, but after my disappointment last week, I wasn't going to give any of their crappy-assed coffee tables a second look, and I guess I was harboring a little bitterness about the absence of surge protectors, too.

At some point, I realized that if I stayed in there for any length of time, I'd end up going broke again, buying a lot of shiat I really didn't need. So I called it quits and ended up going to the check out line with just four items in my cart--razor blades, a jar of cashews, a bottle of vanilla, and a six-pack of canned chicken meat. Still cost me $72, though. Apparently I didn't spend enough, because they wouldn't even give me an empty cardboard box to put my stuff in, the cheap bastards. Avoiding the temptation of the oh-my-god good dollar-fifty Polish dog and 20 oz. Coke special, I headed straight for the door, getting home just in time for the kickoff to the 2009 college football season.

Holy shiat it's been a long six months without football. I have missed it dearly. And it's good for business too, because even though the sports book is open all year, it's usually a fairly sedate place except for the Kentucky Derby and such. But now that football is back, there will be no empty seats on the weekends. And you know what sits right next to the sports book in most casinos? The poker room! Trickle down economics, baby. Football season is here, and it's time to get paid.

I'm working again tonight, and if it goes as well as the past couple of nights, I'll probably call the suckers of Cox on Friday and order the ESPN Game Plan package for the season. I can't get DirecTV for the Sunday Ticket, but with so many college games each Saturday, it would suck having to watch the morons in the Big 10 play their cupcake schedules while I can have every SEC game available for just a few dollars more. And I have heard it said that the good lord Himself prefers to watch the SEC over all other conferences.

And speaking of ESPN, it's about time that somebody there looked into Lou Holtz's prescriptions. I think he may be overmedicating, predicting Notre Dame to go to the national championship game... I don't know why they wheel that doddering old fool out of the home every weekend and put him on TV. He'd look much less foolish if he just stayed back in the community room, fingerpainting with his own poo.