Friday, September 30, 2011

Power Picks

Ok, I know I promised to have my trip story posted, but y'all know how I get once I start writing--sometimes I just can't stop.  So yeah, it's going to be a long one, and it's still a work in progress.  And had there not been four absolutely amazing baseball games on all at the same time on Wednesday night, there would be even more progress.  But I was up late waiting for the Braves to lose, so I didn't get any writing done that night.  And on Thursday night I didn't turn on the TV at all, even though I've got a week's worth of new shows recorded on the DVR that I need to catch up on.  So I spent the whole evening at the keyboard, working on an interesting post for y'all.

Suddenly, around 11:00 at night, I realized that I didn't have my football picks done yet, either.  So here I am, staying up late on a school night, trying to get my 'homework' done, just because I'm committed to you folks (like anyone cares about my football picks, but hey, I have to stick with something to keep me posting on a regular basis). 

So here we go.  Remember, home team in CAPS. (And although it's not good form to gloat, lest the gambling gods smite thee, I can't help but strut my peacock feathers at my winning record.  I went 3-2 last week, giving me an overall 10-5-1 record for the season.  A few more weeks like that and I'm going to buy an Italian suit, a can of pomade, and a pinky ring)

Detroit  +1.5 over DALLAS  I'm still riding the Lions bandwagon, while Dallas doesn't look like they should be favored against anyone except the NFC West (which should be renamed the Bowl Season Big Ten, but the commish never returns my calls).  And as much as I want to dislike Romo, he's still pretty good when he doesn't have his head up his ass.  But oh dear lord that center sucks, which in turn makes the quarterback look like a doofus.  Remember how back in school at recess you had to let the 'special' kid play, so you always stuck him out in right field so he couldn't hurt your team?  Well, in the NFL, there really isn't a right field, and the Cowboys are stuck with Corky at center.  And he's going to be even more skittish than usual with Ndomicanhoweverthefuckyouspellit Suh charging across the line like an angry Forrest Whitaker playing for Ridgemont High.  I see a bunch of turnovers in this game, and on Monday morning, Jerry Jones will be giving Romo another vote of confidence.

Buffalo  -3 over CINCINNATI  There's an old cliche in the stock-trading world that says The trend is your friend, and while this is a textbook trap game after circling the wagons against the Patriots last week, I still think that the Bills are much more than a field goal better than the Bengals.  So of course I'm picking them to remain perfect.  I just can't see them losing their undefeated virginity to Cincy, or even letting them get to third base, which everyone knows is the innuendo equivalent of losing by a field goal.

CHICAGO  -6 over Carolina  I'm surprised that the Bears aren't favored by a full touchdown at home.  But then I remember that Mike Martz is the offensive coordinator and I hate myself for picking the Bears.  Yeah, I endured far too many seasons as a Rams fan watching him trying to convince the rest of the league of his genius, while refusing to utilize the running game.  However, they are playing the Panthers, and while Cam Newton is definitely more fun to watch than Jay Cutler (except when Cutler is getting sacked, that's almost as fun as seeing Tom Brady get turfed), I don't think that Carolina has enough horses to stay with the Bears.  Of course, if the Bears have twice as many pass plays as run plays, I reserve the right to take this pick back and join the Windy City Chorus demanding Martz's head on a platter.

Tennessee  +1 over CLEVELAND  As much as it pains me to do so, I'm picking the Titans in this one.  I'm a bit surprised at how well they're playing this year--I thought they'd be a stinker like KC or Indy has turned out to be, but they're doing pretty well after paying 'Truck Munt' that huge contract not to play very much (oh yeah, you've *got* to see the Chris Johnson commercial for the local Ford dealership out here--it just kills me.  Brothaman ain't the most articulate spokesmodel in the world).  I figure that the Browns might be just a bit better than the Broncos, and a whole lot worse than the Ravens.  Tennessee has beaten them both in the past two weeks, so that's my justification.

GREEN BAY  -12.5 over Denver  I'm gladly laying the points on this one, because Green Bay is a scoring machine and the Broncos are the perfect team for the Packers defense to make a statement against.  In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that if there's a shut-out this week, this is the game where it would happen.  (Oh wait, who are the Chiefs playing?)  Pack wins big this week.

Now, being that it's Friday, I won't be coming home tonight, so there won't be a new post up until Sunday night at the earliest, more than likely on Monday morning.  I'm heading over to the hippie's house for a night of buffoonery, then I have to work on Saturday.  Sunday is devoted to worshiping at the alter of the NFL RedZone channel, and oh by the way, my Cardinals have some baseball to play this weekend, too.

Peace out!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back to My Cell

My five days of goofing off are over.  I'm on my way back to the office this morning, and of course, I ain't happy about it.  I had an excellent weekend in St. Louis, and I'll share pictures and stories later this evening.  I was hoping to do so last night, but yesterday as I was setting up different doctor's appointments, I had a chance to get a late walk-in appointment with the eye doctor (I broke those glasses I got back in the day when Rob and I lived in the Man Cave in Henderson), so I headed down to get that done.  While there, I had to get my eyes dilated, so I was walking around like Stevie Wonder after that, making it was impossible for me to sit at the computer--it hurt my eyes too much.

As much as the computer bothered my eyes, the TV didn't, so I hung out watching ESPN all night--loved that 'Catching Hell' documentary, and then I followed it up with the WSOP coverage. And after all that, I had to stay up and watch the score crawl to find out that the Cardinals won, giving them more of a shot at the wild card.  So that's what I was doing last night instead of sitting at the keyboard.  Even this morning, my eyes are still a bit sensitive, so hanging out in my cube and using the computer all day at work is gonna be fun.

Also, it looks like I went 3-for-5 on my NFL picks this Sunday, so my winning record continues.  On the other hand, I witnessed the Rams beating up-close and personal (my seat was ten rows off the field), which sucked, although it was still a lot of fun to go to the game.  By the way, I know that anecdotal evidence is not data, but it seems that Ravens fans aren't the most attractive group of people in the world--except for my gal Carmen, she's a hottie--but overall, everyone sitting in the stands that had a purple jersey on seemed like they came from the Island of Misfit Toys.  But the Rams fans in St. Louis, well, of course that was a good-looking crowd!

But we'll talk more about my weekend later this evening.  Right now, I have to shower, shave, put some shoes on, and try and go make a little bit of money. 

More stuff here tomorrow...


Friday, September 23, 2011

Road Dogs and Road Trips

So yeah, I haven't posted all week, but damn--it's hard to stay on top of this when I work a full forty every week and have a sixty-mile commute each day, too.  Just goes to show how good I had it back in Vegas when I worked a solid 18 hours each week and commuted a mile-and-a-half to the casino. 

Been a long time since dem days...

Even with a lot less time on my hands, I can still spare a few minutes to gloat as I went 4-1-1 last week.  Only Green Bay with that suspect defense let me down.  This week, however, I feel a great disturbance in the force, like millions of bettors crying out in terror and and were suddenly silenced.  I'm not feeling hugely confident in any of these picks, so it's probably a good thing that there is no sports book handy.  Regardless, I'm still going to put 'em out there, so here we go:

New York Football Giants  +8 over PHILADELPHIA  I really hate this pick, but the dog-slayer is concussed, and even when he wasn't, his stats weren't very good.  But is it ever a good idea to take Eli Manning on the road?  Normally, this would be a stay-away for me, but eight points is just too much chalk, and I need a road dog.  G-men!

Detroit -3.5 over MINNESOTA  I think I'm gonna ride this Lions bandwagon for a little while.  The Vikings are by far the worst team in this top-heavy division, and betting against Donovan McNabb is always fun and sometimes profitable.  BTW, without looking, can anyone besides Doc Al name Minnesota's head coach?

Green Bay -3.5 over CHICAGO  The unstoppable Green Bay offense against the tough Chicago defense--should be a great match-up, as always.  But when the ball is going the other way, with Green Bay unable to stop pretty much anyone, Jay Cutler has to remain upright to hurt them.  I wouldn't count on it, but then, I didn't expect the Packers to suddenly become the Indianapolis Colts of the past decade--a score-at-will offense with a JV defense.  Still, the Pack should win by at least a touchdown. 

OAKLAND +3.5 over New York Jets  First of all, Oakland is better than people think this year.  Ok, lemme rephrase that.  Oakland is not as bad as everyone thinks they are.  And it seems that every year, the Jets have a couple of WTF? games where they just play terribly.  I think this is one of those games.  Also, it seems that the Jets worry way too much about what the other teams in the AFC east are doing and how they're going to match up against them, so a long road trip against team that they don't seem to squabble with seems to be a trap game.  Besides, as much as I'd like to be on the Sanchez bandwagon, he reminds me too much of Brad Johnson as a quarterback--more of a game manager type with the very occasional big play in his pocket, but it doesn't seem like you can count on him when you need it--a-la Big Ben in Pittsburgh.  I think the Raiders not only cover, but win outright.

Atlanta +1.5 over TAMPA BAY  Ok, so I found another road dog, but it doesn't seem to me like the Falcons should be underdogs in this game.  Conventional wisdom has the Bucs coming back to earth this year, and I believe the second NFC wild-card team comes out of this division.  I think it's going to be the Falcons.

And in case y'all aren't keeping track, I'm now 7-3-1 for the year. If I keep up this torrid pace, you'll soon find me screaming at the local Las Vegas radio audience every Sunday morning offering my 900-number and my exclusive five-star locks of the week!  (Seriously--every damn radio station in Vegas every Sunday morning is nothing but handicappers literally yelling for three hours straight about their 'service'--very annoying).

Also, as much as I enjoy parking my ass on the couch and doing the Vulcan mind-meld with the NFL Red Zone channel for seven hours straight each week, I will be unable to do so this weekend.  I'm actually going to a game.  No, not the Broncos - Titans snoozer where Tebow finally gets his shot--I will be attending the Ravens-Rams game in St. Louis on Sunday!  Yep--love my Rams, and while I don't have high hopes for their success this week--they eat up huge chunks of yards but stall inside the ten on every drive, or it seems that their receiving corps is a bunch of Braylon Edwards clones, unable to hold onto anything that hits them between the numbers--I can't wait to see 'em.  Regardless of the beat down that I'm afraid is coming, I'll be there cheering them on and hoping they pull out a miracle.

One of my high-school buddies, Jim, who I haven't seen in almost twenty years, scored us some tickets down in the end zone, ten rows up from the field, directly behind the goal posts.  So y'all may see me in the highlights, especially since the Rams have an affinity for field goals instead of touchdowns.  But I digress--it will be a great time.  I'm taking off in about three hours and road-tripping up to St. Louis today, and I'll be up there for the next five days.  I'm also going to be spending some quality time with my gal Angela, my date from my Senior Prom. 

Yep--it's been 26 years and a whole head of hair since then, but we found each other almost a year ago through the 'miracle' of Facebook, so we've got a fun weekend planned.  And while I wanted to get to the Cardinals-Cubs game on Saturday, now that the Cards are back in the wild-card hunt, tickets are harder to find than an old Nova with matching doors.  Besides, Jim can't get down until late on Saturday (he lives in Chicago), so instead, Angela and I will be doing touristy stuff that day.

So that means that I need to wrap it up, pack my suitcase, and get on the road.  Even though I won't be working anytime soon, I still won't have time to make any updates, but I promise that there will be more content here either late on Tuesday night or early on Wednesday--and from then on, I'm gonna try to do the Linda Lou thing and get at least three new posts up every week. 

Y'all have a great weekend!


Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Friday, Must Be Time For My Football Picks

Hey, going 3-for-5 ain't too shabby if there's a sports book handy.  Of course, there isn't one within a days drive of me, so all I can do is dream of what would have been.  Actually, had I had access to a bookie, I know I would've lost much more on college bets, and probably frittered away a few more bucks on suckeriffic NFL parlays, too.

But I'll take a 60% winning percentage every day. At least until I get my hands on Marty McFly's sports almanac.

Until then, these are the best I can do:

BUFFALO  -3  over Oakland.  I can't believe that Vegas has these two teams rated as even.  Of course, they did both beat pretty shiatty AFC west teams last weekend, so it's hard to tell.  But if I were still wearing an ugly brown polyester shirt to work and trying to score with cocktail waitresses every night, I'd wander a few feet away from my office and bet this one heavy.

PITTSBURGH  -14 over Seattle.  Man, this game is just screaming to be part of a three-team teaser.  I don't know if this line could be high enough.  Seriously--even if it were -21, you'd still take the Steelers, right?  I mean, coming off of that epic beatdown that the Ravens laid on 'em last week, you don't think they're the least bit angry and aren't going to take it out on the hapless Seahawks at home? Like Mr. T said, My prediction?  Pain...  I'm guessing Tavaris Jackson gets taken off the field on a stretcher, and James Harrison collects at least $75,000 in new fines.  This game is going to be like that scene in Inception--the Seahawks are the parked cars, the Steelers are the freight train.

Tampa Bay  +3  over MINNESOTA.  I had to take a road dog at some point, and this is the best possible choice.  According to Vegas, these teams are dead even?  I don't know about that.  I'm guessing that the Bucs not only cover, but win outright.  And McNabb won't even be able to keep his soup-selling job once this season ends.

Houston  -3  over MIAMI.  When I hear all these professional media people talking up the Texans, some of them even picking them to go to the Super Bowl, I get this Huh? What? look on my face, kinda like when your dog first wakes up and doesn't quite know what's going on.  Have they ever even been to the playoffs?  No?  Alrighty then.  But they're certainly better than the Dolphins, at least at this point of the season.  My only hesitation in picking them this week is because of the Mojo.  Like the Ravens, I wonder if they didn't spend it all last weekend beating down a long-time nemesis.

Green Bay  -10 over CAROLINA.  Lotta chalk in this one, and I'm guessing this game has the most squares betting it this week, too.  But if that makes me a square, so be it.  And as much praise as was heaped on Cam Newton in his opening-day debut (still a loss, by the way), he was, however, going up against the Arizona Cardinals defense--not exactly the '85 Bears.  And as many points the Packers gave up to the Saints last Thursday night, well, the Pack was up against Drew Breeeeeeeees!  Like Dan Quayle was no Jack Kennedy, Cam Newton is no Drew Brees.  And Aaron Rodgers has had ten days to get ready for this one.  Newton comes crashing back to earth like Skylab this weekend.

Normally, I'm going to stick to just five picks per week, but I've got a bonus one where you can make your money back:

NEW ENGLAND  -7  over San Diego.  San Diego has the longest road trip in the league besides a Miami/Seattle game.  The Chargers are historically bad in September every season.  And coaching?  Norv Turner versus Bill Belichick--easily the most one-sided match-up this side of Floyd Mayweather versus an asthmatic junior-high kid in a wheelchair.  And even though I'm not a huge fan of Tom Brady and never root for the guy, Phillip Rivers is kind of a dick.

I haven't even really looked at the college games yet, except of course for the Oklahoma-Florida State game tomorrow night.  Unfortunately, I have a family function to go to, so I won't be able to watch it.  However, on Sunday, I'm parking my ass in my favorite chair and doing the Vulcan mind-meld with the NFL Red Zone channel for seven hours straight.  Since there are no commercials for pee breaks, I'm thinking of investing in an astronaut suit.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September Reading List

Ok, so I'm a procrastinator.  Actually, the combination of busy and tired conspired to keep me from doing a post about the Labor Day camping trip we took last weekend.

Oh, it was a good one, and I'm sure I'll get to it eventually, but today, as much as I wanted to make it happen, I just couldn't.  I have an excuse, though.  I spent most of my Tuesday down at Vanderbilt getting shuffled from one office to the next, seeing different doctors and nurses and doing paperwork.

Now that I've got insurance again, and damn good insurance at that, it seems that they want to put me back in the body and fender shop and do some more work under the hood.  Yep, I gotta go under the knife again at some point, but it's nothing too serious.  Well, it's kinda serious to me, but this next operation has about a 99% success and survival rate.  No worries this time around.  Of course, when the day comes that they wheel be down to the basement on a gurney and I see the ceiling of that operating room again, I'm probably gonna lose my shiat.

But I'll worry about that when the time comes.

Anyhow, after getting up at 6:00 am and spending the better part of the day down there, I met up with Scottie and Tim for Taco Tuesday at Judge Bean's.  Seriously--their brisket tacos are some of the best things I've ever eaten.  Unbelievably good.  It was a great lunch and it's always fun to hang with my brothas.  After that, I sat in traffic for another hour getting home because a manure truck decided to burn down to the axles on I-65 northbound.  Once I finally made it back to the house, I dozed for most of the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Since I'm still trying to get my creativity back, I didn't want to offer up an inferior product.  So instead of a brand-new post, I'm giving y'all a field trip into the archives for some of my favorite 'September' reading.

First of all, here's last years camping trip:

The Road Goes on Forever, and the Moving Never Ends

And once you get your fill of that, you can re-read a little bit of cruising buffoonery with a dash of September 11th thrown in:

The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game...

And in case you haven't wasted your entire work day by now, here's a good road trip story:

What a Long Strange Trip It Was


Eventually, I'll write a little somethin' somethin' about our latest camping expedition.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bullet Point Monday

What a weekend!

Now that it's finally over, I was hoping to have some sort of epic post up for everyone to digest over that first cup of coffee when they stumble into the office and delay doing any of that actual 'work' stuff.  But alas, my brain is a little fried, my thoughts disorganized, and if I tried to write anything cohesive, it wouldn't flow.

Sometimes you can just tell. 

Instead, I'll take the easy way out and just toss up a bunch of random thoughts, and call it good.  No rhyme, no reason, all nonsense.

  • I skipped the opening Sunday NFL get-together with the family yesterday.  I'd been looking forward to it for a week or so, but I just didn't feel up to it.  I couldn't put my finger on it, but I kinda wanted to keep a low profile for the day, in addition to feeling 'blah'.
  • The reason for the low profile was that in addition to being September 11th, it was also the one year anniversary of my very worst day.  Y'all all know that story, and I didn't want to dwell to much on it besides just saying it was on my mind a little bit.  Hell, it's on my mind almost every day, but y'all know what I mean.  I was content to just be 'normal' for the day and enjoy and endless feast of NFL action on the tube. 
  • Enough about that.  It was a weekend for football action once again!  Or as I like to say, Christmas be damned, *this* is the most wonderful time of the year!  (You know I don't mean it--I'm a sucker for the holidays)
  • So I whiffed on my first two picks.  But going three-for-five every week would be a good living for a professional wise-guy.  As much as I want to believe all the hype about the Rams being the next team to make The Leap, it appears they've still got a little marinading to do.  And oh dear god did the Steelers look awful. 
  • The Saints/Packers game was the most entertaining game I've seen in a very long time--maybe since that Super Bowl with the Steelers and Cardinals.  Good lord the Pack looks (look?) awesome.
  • A few thoughts about the weekend in college.  Would've peed myself laughing if Toledo would've held on and beat Ohio State.  And oh by the way, ASU is now 2-0, while Notre Dame is 0-2.  Maybe someday Lou Holtz will stop telling us all that they belong in the National Championship discussion.  But probably not anytime soon.
  • Mad mad mad props to the NFL for giving us the NFL Red Zone channel.  Better than DirectTV's Sunday Ticket.  I've had them both, and Red Zone is basically the same thing without having to use the remote.  Over seven hours straight of coverage for every single game, but with no commercials.  Yeah, it jumps around a lot, but only to the games where a team is about to score.  If nobody is in the 'Red Zone', then they show the games where the teams are within one score of each other.  And as soon as they go to commercial, it jumps to the next game, just like you would do with a remote, except that it 'knows' where to go, no jumping around looking for live action. Unbelievably cool--it's a degenerate gamblers best friend.  Or a fantasy geek's best friend.  (Or if you happen to be a little bit of both, it's complete football pr0n!)
  • The only problem with that much coverage and no commercials, is that your bathroom and snack breaks are fairly limited, so you have to be committed and have a plan when you get up off the couch.  Otherwise you might miss something. 
  • Seriously, it's the Greatest Channel Evar as far as I'm concerned--no Man Cave is complete without it.
  • Hey, has anyone else noticed that ever since all the online poker sights have been shut down, the douche-baggery factor at the WSOP has been dialed waaaaay down?  Is it just me, or do the people who actually have to pay their own way have better manners?
  • 'Up All Night' is doomed to fail.  Ratings bomb for NBC.  
  • I kind of enjoyed the final episode of Entourage.  The ending was surprisingly good, if somewhat predictable.  Much better than the gang gathering for dinner in some random Italian restaurant while Turtle spends ten minutes trying to parallel park the Lincoln and some lurker in a Members Only jacket ducks into the men's room with Don't Stop Believin' playing in the background...
  • Another post coming on Tuesday afternoon--this one about our annual Labor Day camping trip.  Big fun, but much different than last year's.  I won't be around a computer again until then--staying out at my sister's place after work on Monday because I have another appointment early in the morning on Tuesday out in that direction.

Y'all try to hang in there until then.


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Mah Picks--Let Me Show You Them

It's that time of year, kiddies!  Yep, football season is upon us once again, and I am very excited to get this party started. Knowing that I won't have to deal that miserable free-roll up at Texas Station during the playoffs will make it extra-sweet this time around, too.

Of course, not having a live sports book window less than fifty yards away from my workspace is an adjustment, so of course I'll probably hit about 75% of my picks this year.  Regardless, I'll still post up my picks every week--usually I'll do it on Fridays, but since Week 1 is pretty much a toss-up anyways, why not do it now?

I'll choose five games every week--against the spread of course--and y'all can feel free to heckle me in the comments section and tell me what a buffoon I am before the games are played.  Afterwards, well, it's just not sporting... 

Here we go: (Home team in CAPS)

Pittsburgh  +2  over  BALTIMORE

ST. LOUIS  +5  over  Philadelphia

ARIZONA  -7  over  Carolina

SAN FRANCISCO  -5.5  over  Seattle

Detroit  +1.5  over  TAMPA BAY

Hmmm... Looking at these picks in the stark light of day, with no other lines or commentary surrounding them, I like the fact that I chose two road dogs.  Usually I'm on the side of the chumps taking a bunch of home favorites.

We'll see how this goes.


PS.  I'm still working on the layout and design here, so ignore the funky colors on the text and links.

Back in the Saddle Again

Wow... Has it been nine months already?

Yeah, so I stopped writing altogether in January--call it fatigue, burn-out, whatever, but I was tired and needed a break.  I guess it happens when you do something long enough.  I figured my Hurricane Mikey days were behind me--life was all kinds of different by then, and I kinda wanted to be a little more private, too.

But I cant deny my nature and I started to feel a little restless earlier in the summer--so I made another go of it with the Grant Silverstone blog.  After a few weeks, I realized that I didn't much care for the focus and the direction it was going, so I shelved that idea too--I knew I wanted to get back into writing and/or blogging, but I wasn't sure what to do.

However, spending a good portion of the past few weeks reading the old stuff on here, I realized that there's some good content in the archives, and it would be a shame to lock it away and let it all gather dust.  Besides, nobody calls me 'Grant', and nobody cared for hiking stories, anyways. 

So I'm back, baby!

I hope my long-time readers and re-clickers are still out there, ready to be entertained by my daily scribbles and rants.  (You die-hards need to spread the word!). 

So--what have I been up to for the past nine months?  Well, I'm pretty much recovered from all my medical issues that laid me out last fall.  After the new year, I started searching for a new job in earnest--which was another part of the reason I restricted this site in the first place.  I didn't need some toad from a random Human Resources department doing an internet search and finding this site, only to be vastly offended by something I ranted about in years past and tossing my resume in the garbage can without giving me a chance to dazzle them in an interview.  

But that's not an issue anymore--I secured employment in February at a company that doesn't give a rat's ass about anything I say or do on the internet, nor will angry little trolls be able to copy and paste content from here and forward it to say, a casino manager, telling them what a troublemaker they have on their hands.  Yep, that actually happened a few years ago--somebody with nothing better to do tried to get me in trouble at my job at Sunset Station, but it didn't actually work out the way they'd hoped.  Oh well.  It's nice to have so much free rent in somebody's head that they would actually take the time to try and sabotage my job.  It's kind of a rush knowing that I had that much influence over somebody, don't ya think?

But I digress...  All is well in Mikey's world.

Anyhow--I'm back in the rat race full-time, and have been for almost eight months now, and I have to say, I'm not a big fan.  I loved making a decent living while only having to work about 20 hours a week and playing poker every night when I was back in Vegas.  Life was good.  Although, speaking as someone who is slowly paying off about $70,000 worth of hospital bills, it would've been nice to have some insurance as a safety net.  So yeah, I've slowed down a bit and got a real job again.  The money's ok, the benefits are great, I don't have to wear a nametag or an ugly polyester shirt, and I don't have to deal with drunks.  It's a trade-off, but I suppose it's one I needed to make.

So what have I been doing all year here in Tennessee, you ask?  Well, working a lot, for one thing.  I forgot how much of your life is taken up by having a full-time job.  On the other hand, it's nice to be able to actually work again.  For awhile there, after I got sick, I would've given my left arm for some reassurance that I'd be 'normal' again and able to function like a regular person.  Now that life is pretty much back to normal, I realize that it's a little dull, but it sure beats the alternative. 

But enough about that..  Re-reading my adventures from last summer, I realized that man, I sure played a helluva lot of poker.  Of course, I needed to subsidize my income, and for awhile there, I got pretty damn good at it.  But something changed and it hasn't interested me at all for most of the last year.  Y'all know that I love me some Josie, and try to keep up with her adventures, but I found my mind wandering whenever I read about her poker adventures back east.  And normally I would be all over the WSOP website and jonezing for updates during the Main Event, but this year, I pretty much disengaged.  I don't know why, but once I left Las Vegas, it's like that door got slammed shut.  I haven't picked up a deck of cards or played in a real poker game in over a year.  I feel like Mike McD, driving Knish's truck and trying to make ends meet with a legitimate job.

One of the main reasons I was looking forward to getting back to Tennessee when I moved was the nearly limitless opportunities to take advantage of the outdoors.  I lived out west for the better part of the past 20 years, and I love me some desert, but I never really wanted to go out and play in it.  I like the hills, woods, streams, lakes, waterfalls, and trails of Tennessee much better.  Part of my rehab was to do a lot of walking, and that evolved into a new-found appreciation of hiking, which has also led to an interest in backpacking. 

However, when it comes to backpacking, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.  I'm still not in nearly good enough shape to do it--oh, I was getting there, but an episode earlier in the summer landed me back in the emergency room and the doc put the brakes on any walking in the heat.  Before that I was doing a short trail every weekend and doing a mile-and-a-half every day on my lunch hour.  But that was almost three months ago, and it's been so hot that I've gotten lazy and soft again. 

A couple of weeks ago, I thought I'd man up and take a 12-mile backpacking trip--it sounded like so much fun, and the trail was rated as fairly easy.  However, the combination of 97-degree heat, 90% humidity, and a 37-lb. backpack conspired against me.  I had to throw in the towel after only three hours and four miles.  A man's got to know his limitations, and well, I ran smack-dab into the middle of mine.  The bummer of it was that I thought it would be a piece of cake, and it would be for most people, but I'm not there yet.  I was quite disappointed to say the least. 

But that doesn't mean I still can't go out and play.  I'm just coming off of a long holiday weekend camping trip that was an adventure in extremes--I'll post about it later this week.  But lemme tell you, as fun as it was, we were good and ready to get home once it was over.

So the bottom line is, I'm back!  Not sure if I'm better than ever, but as big of a pain in the ass as it can be to maintain a blog on a regular basis, I kind of missed it.  So I'm sitting down at the keyboard once again, ready to unload whatever nonsense flows out of my brain, and share it with all of you.

I hope that it's been worth the wait.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Wake Up!

Iffin' I still have readers, there may be new content here very soon.