Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Twelve Hours Later

Hello everyone.  It's been more than a month since I've posted here, so I probably have something to say...  I've now been working for Caesar's Entertainment in Las Vegas for just over three months.  I work as a ticket writer for the sportsbooks at Bally's, Paris, and Planet Hollywood, and I absolutely love the job.  I have worked several jobs in the past where I haven't had much downtime, but when I do have occasions at this job when no one is in my betting line, I get to watch sports.  :)  The job itself consists of taking people's bets on horse races and sports, so the work itself is interesting.

I stopped playing poker for about two months (until returning to the tables over the weekend), and my new job was one of several factors contributing to that decision.  As I said, I like my job and I'd like to hold onto it, and putting in tons of hours at the poker tables and showing up for work tired while learning the job wouldn't have been in my best interest.  Not only do you want to avoid making mistakes at work, but it's hard to provide good customer service when you're tired and grumpy.  Another factor in taking the poker break was the start of the football season.  I bet on football more than any of the other sports combined, and it was going to be difficult having a football and poker bankroll if I wasn't winning, which leads us to the other reason for my break...  I was running cold at the poker tables.  I'm talking COLD my friends.  Ice, snow, BLIZZARD..., cold...  In the course of a week, I flopped three-of-a-kind (either in the form of a set or trips) about six times, and managed to lose every time.  I also took several other bad beats, and after taking a short break, I returned to playing.  When I've run bad in the past, I've taken breaks before returning to the tables, but on my "first" night back, I lost 40 dollars in an hour and a half, and I basically said "screw this..."  I did play again on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after this two-month layoff, and I expect that you'll be hearing a lot more references to poker (if I start writing that often again)...  :)

Football.  Yes, the football season has contributed to less writing also.  Making my football bets, watching games, doing a little studying, etc...  It's almost unbelievable to me that it's December 6th.  The college football bowl season is rapidly approaching, and the NFL has four more weeks of regular season games before the playoffs begin.  I have done well during the bowl season in the past, so with my plans to continue playing poker, the next month ought to fly by also.

Twelve hours...  I've been working swing shifts recently (which I LOVE).  I'm a night owl by nature, and have gone on record several times stating that if it were left to me, I would get my eight hours of sleep from 4:00 a.m. to noon.  I worked from 3-11 on Friday and Saturday before a 1-9 shift on Sunday, and played poker after each shift.  I was off yesterday and today.  After sleeping sporadically yesterday, I finally crashed at about 4:00 a.m. Tuesday (today).  When I woke up, I could see just a little light coming through the blinds, and figured that it must be cloudy outside.  Before looking at the clock, I guessed what time it was (a game I often play)...  I figured that I hadn't been sleeping too long (the phone hadn't rang, I didn't remember getting up to go to the bathroom, etc..), so I thought that it was probably about 9:00 a.m.  Then I rolled over, and saw that it was 4:14.  But it wasn't dark outside, so...  Yes, I slept for TWELVE hours, and it seemed cloudy outside because it was ABOUT TO GET DARK, being 4:14 in the afternoon...  Turning on the t.v. and perusing the t.v. guide, I discovered that old episodes of 'Poker After Dark' were going to be airing until midnight, and that 'Planes, Trains, and Automobiles' would be starting at 1:00 a.m.  I'd call that a pretty good day...  :D

I fully intend to go out on the town and give you some pictures sometime in the near future, but for now I'll just leave you with this year's Christmas card...


I hope that you have a tremendous holiday season, and that I'll post here again before 2017...  :)


Thursday, October 27, 2016

I've Paid My Dues

"I've paid my dues..., time after time..., I've done my sentence..., but committed no crime..." -Queen- (We Are The Champions)



Good morning everyone.  I just took an unexpected four-hour nap, and I plan on waking up for the day (Thursday) in less than six hours, so why not write a blog entry for y'all?  Things are still going well here in the desert.  I plan on going to the Strip early tomorrow to make some football bets before work and the upcoming football weekend.  I've been in worse spots...  A year ago at this time, I was (unknowingly) on the precipice of walking to and from work in the "delightful" New England cold and rain and snow.  I'll tell ya, I've "paid my dues" so many times in my life, moving from place to place, starting different jobs, and when I moved back East from Texas just over a year ago, I thought that everything had finally come together and made sense.  So much for thinking...  After encountering what can best be characterized as a general lack of respect on several fronts upon returning to my hometown, I can honestly say that I won't miss the long walks to and from work in the snow and cold (and TRUST ME when I say that last winter was a MILD winter in my hometown).  I am so thankful that I won't be anywhere near the winter that New England is in store for this year.  I am also thankful for the rides to and from work that I ultimately began receiving from my co-workers at Walmart.  Prior to moving back to my hometown, I would have never thought that I'd be treated better by the people I worked with than some of the people I'd grown up with.  Pretty surprising...

As for Las Vegas, we're hitting a stretch where the daily high temperatures are in the 70s, while the lows are in the 50s.  For those of you who aren't familar with this part of the desert, the winter temperatures are usually just a little cooler than those in central Texas, while the summer temperatures are just a bit higher.  For what it's worth, that's a "dry cold" and a "dry heat" that we're talking about...  ;)  Speaking of cold, I've been running bad at the poker tables for quite some time now.  I took off about three weeks due to this streak of "run bad," but I decided to play a little last weekend.  After losing about 40 dollars in an hour and a half, I said "*#@%*&% this," and I've decided to focus on betting football for just a little while longer.  I believe that my job working in the sportsbooks out here has made me pay more attention to football during the week than I normally would have in the past.  I have also been exposed firsthand to the wide vareity of bets that people place on games (different types of parlays, teasers, etc)...  Long story short, I have had an enjoyable football season to this point, and have not lost all of my wages betting on the games.  :)  With that being said, I just had a REALLY BIG yawn, and I'm going to be waking up in less than five hours.  Have a great weekend, and I'll see you soon...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Traction

Good morning everyone.  It appears that I haven't visited with you on this blog since the end of August.  Since the start of the football season, I've still been writing weekly at Coach's Parlay Card, where my friend Joey, my brother Pete, and myself give readers our favorite weekly football bets.  However, those blog entries don't take very much effort to write, and the job that I started right before the end of August has occupied much of my time.  For those of you who don't know, I was hired as a temporary ticket writer by Caesar's Entertainment, and I work in the sportsbooks at Bally's, Paris, and Planet Hollywood.  I love the job and the people that I work with, so hopefully I'll be able to stick around for a while.  I have cut back on my poker playing since being hired, but I had been enduring an epic run of bad cards and bad beats, so playing less hasn't been the worst thing in the world for my mental health.  Naturally, my football betting increased significantly since the football season began (DUH), and I have been more successful this season than in any of my prior Vegas stints to date.  When betting parlays (where every bet that you make has to win for the ticket to win), I've been combining fewer bets (2-4 team parlays as opposed to 8-10 team parlays for example), and I've also been picking more winners this season.  That's one of the interesting things about my job on the weekends - when I'm not taking a customer's bet, I'm looking at the t.v. screens to see how the teams that I've bet are doing.  Thus, there are rarely any dull moments at work...  :)

Back in the desert.  I returned to Las Vegas on May 23rd, so I've now been back for just over 4 1/2 months.  This makes my current stay officially my second-longest in Las Vegas.  I lived here for just under two years from 2005-2007, and for just over 2 1/2 months two years ago.  Since I was last here two years ago, my finances hit almost rock-bottom, and due to the generosity my former department at the University of Texas at Austin showed by hiring me back, plus my good friends Brandi, Chad, and James putting me up (and putting up with me) and housing my belongings while I found a place to live (and then waited to move into), I was able to get my house back in order (so to speak).  ;)  Then, after being hired as a full-time employee by the University of Texas, which provided me with extra financial stability (plus paid health insurance), I gave all of that up to move back to my hometown to take a shot at happiness with my now ex-girlfriend.  I've taken the high road when the subject has come up ("things didn't work out"), but I'm still pretty underwhelmed by the way that I was treated, not only by my ex, but also by some of my former classmates in the aftermath.  Anyway, after spending nine months in my hometown, I moved back out here, and I hope that I'm finally gaining some traction.  If I'm fortunate enough to work for Caesar's for a prolonged period of time, I'll be able to get my finances under control again (you'd be surprised at how much it costs to move across the country, twice...), and then if I could just have one miraculous football weekend and/or poker cash (or several not-so-miraculous ones), then maybe I'll be able to rest easy again.

I had actually worked 8 out of the last 9 days (before yesterday), and now I'm in a stint of having 5 of the next 10 days off.  After getting home from work on Sunday night, I proceeded to sleep for 18 of the next 28 hours - that's how I spent my Monday...  :)  My birthday falls within this ten days (where I have five off), so I guess if there was ever a time to have your birthday...  :P  As I finish typing this entry, I'm waiting to do exciting things, such as my wash.  Hopefully I've almost completely adapted to my new job, and you'll be seeing posts from me more frequently.  As you read, this entry is going to be the one that puts this blog over 106,000 total pageviews.  I was so wrapped up in my new job and football and poker that I failed to do a post when this little blog celebrated its fifth birthday on September 28th (since we're talking about birthdays).    

Anyway, that's what's been happening here in Las Vegas.  I hope that y'all enjoy my birthday week and I'll see you soon, hopefully...  ;)


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wake Me Up

"Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last, wake me up, when September ends..." -Green Day- (Wake Me Up When September Ends)

"Let no one discourage your ambitious attitude.  You don't need a fan club to achieve your goals.  Be your own motivation." -via Leanne Calderon-

"Dreams don't chase themselves..." -J.J. Natal-

"Clearly we haven't met.  If I'm playing, I'm planning to crush the competition..." -Shelley South Pennell-

"The older I get, the better I understand the treasure that is friendship..." -Kevin Joyce-



Good evening everyone.  Sorry about my absence last week.  I was unexpectedly busy, and as I've said, if it's not Tuesday or Wednesday, you probably won't be seeing posts from me otherwise in the fall.  Think football and poker...  It's late for me to be posting tonight, but I took a nap, so...  :P  I'll keep it relatively short anyway.  I'm taking great liberty with the post title and the Green Day lyrics since I'm ready to wake up now, and not at the end of September.  Cooler temperatures and full blown football are just around the corner.

There is something that I wanted to address last week, when I thought that I would be writing...


After leaving a job interview recently, I decided that I wanted to have my picture taken, since I was wearing a dress shirt and tie.  So I headed to a nearby casino bar (because that's what all of the cool kids are doing, right?), and I had a bartender snap this photo.  Seventy of my friends on Facebook have 'liked' this gem, bless their hearts.  Now let me tell you why I don't like this picture...  My tie is really crooked.  I wish that the bartender (or someone) would have said something.  Oh well...  Then I have this red mark that makes it look like a big mosquito bit me right between the eyes.  Didn't happen, but nice blotchy look nonetheless...  My expression.  Of three photos, THIS was the best one.  Awful...  And then there's the matter of my hair...  My hair color has gone from blond to really dark brown over the years.  I occasionally lighten it, but this time it appears that I grabbed the "Serial Killer Blond" box from the shelf.  Do you remember the end of 'Silence of the Lambs,' where Hannibal has escaped from Memphis???


This was the best photo that I could find, but trust me, if my hair wasn't gelled back, and I had a witty personality, I could be Hannibal Lecter...  :)  Serial Killer Blond...

Alright, I'm gonna have a midnight snack before I crash, but have a great week and I'll see you soon...



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Back To School

"Gossip dies when it hits a wise person's ears..." -via Valerie Saenz Neira-

"For only having one pair of boobs, I sure do have a LOT of bras..." -Jessica Johnson-

"I'm not even ashamed to say I have eaten Whataburger three times in the past week... #thankyoutexas #itssogood" -Abby Bland-



Good morning everyone.  I have grand plans for today, and we'll see how that works out.  My intent is to write an entry for all four of my blogs today, and this is the start of my first post.  My original plan was to write two blog entries yesterday, followed by the other two today, but I spent most of yesterday sleeping.  When I stay up all night on Friday and Saturday night (which I did once again), I have to make up for the sleep on the other side.  One of my pet peeves for a long time now has been the notion that whoever put out there suggesting that people can't make up for lost sleep.  My contention has always been that if you couldn't make up for lost sleep, you would DIE...  Anyway, I slept a substantial amount from Sunday afternoon through about 1:30 this morning.  During one of my periods of being awake, my good friend Joey took me shopping in advance of venturing off with his girlfriend on a two-week vacation to California.  Shortly after they return, Joey, my brother Pete, and myself will once again be posting our favorite weekly football bets at another of my blogs, Coach's Parlay Card.  Upon waking up very early this morning (and now with a full refrigerator), I realized that I have a ton of good options on t.v. to keep me distracted as I type up blog posts today.  ESPN is running a 28-hour fantasy football marathon (which will conclude with a celebrity draft - I love watching drafts, even when I'm not involved in the league), there are a pair of Olympics semifinal women's soccer games today (something that I can bet on, and I already have - Go Brazil and Germany!), and there are also several movies and Criminal Minds reruns, etc., etc... to keep me occupied.

I've mentioned the one blog already.  Let's get the other links out of way right now.  I also write a poker blog (Three Chips Poker) which chronicles my weekly adventures, and my "rant blog" is Coach Goes Viral.  I'm optimistic that today marks the beginning of when I write at least one entry for each blog on a weekly basis.  After going through the tedious process of creating my second, third, and fourth blogs (this being the original), I earned a promotion at work last year, and that was followed shortly by reconnecting with one of my former high school classmates.  Long story short, I haven't written much of anything in the past year, relatively speaking.  Consider that at one point in time, I was writing four entries per week, just for this blog...  This blog actually turns five years-old next month.  WOW...  While I'm doing links, I also want to bring attention to a friend's new business.  My friend Sean just opened up shop for those of you who are in the market for paracord bracelets or woodcrafts at this address.  As far as my links are concerned (for today's posts), remember that this is my first entry of the day, and I'll probably be publishing this at about noon E.S.T. (9:00 P.S.T.).  I'll do my poker post next, followed by my football (parlay card) entry, and then my "rant."  Each will probably take 2-3 hours to go online (as I eat and take t.v. breaks in-between).  I'm just letting you know this so you'll have an expectation as to when you'll find something new at each blog.

Back to school.  Well, I was a bit nostalgic last week as I celebrated my 26th anniversary of graduating from (Southwest) Texas State University.




Having chosen to attend SWT "blind" (I picked my alma mater from New Hampshire, having never been on the campus before), I was incredibly fortunate.  Probably one of the best decisions of my life, and made at the age of 17...  What a great school and a great town.  God bless San Marcos, America...

Of course I'm not the only summer graduate in the history of mankind...




The top photo is a picture of my friend and former student KayCee, a San Marcos product who I'm very proud to say graduated from my alma mater over the weekend.  Much like myself, I consider KayCee to be sharp and a fighter, and I was very happy to see that photo on Facebook last Friday.  Another young lady who falls into that category is my friend Abby (pictured with the owl), who recently received her Master's Degree.  Abby also earned her undergraduate degree from my alma mater, so we'll forgive her for going out of state to graduate school...  ;)  Congratulations again to both KayCee and Abby on their accomplishments! 

Without skipping a beat, my friend Scotty shared a 'Back To School' photo on Facebook last week...


You've gotta love retail...  :)  Going back to a couple of our aforementioned culprits, my friend Joey asked me the BEST question yesterday while I was shopping (my Texas friends will LOVE this)...  As I picked up a jar of mayonnaise, Joey asked me, "Have you ever heard of Whataburger?"  Joey then proceeded to start to explain what Whataburger is before I could respond, laughing and telling him, "Oh, THAT'S going in the blog..."  Note Abby's quote at the top of the page - if you've lived in Texas, you're probably familiar with Whataburger (and Dairy Queen, and Sonic...).  Anyway, after we laughed, Joey told me the story that he was reminded of...  A friend of his recently ordered a burger with no ketchup or mayonnaise at a Whataburger in Roswell, New Mexico.  The cashier informed him that they didn't have mayonnaise.  Joey's friend pointed out that the menu stated that this particular burger comes with ketchup and mayo, which he'd rather do without.  The cashier then responded by saying, "Oh, we have mayo, but we don't have mayonnaise..."  Hmmm...  I told Joey that this cashier should be at the front of the line when they start getting paid $15.00 an hour...  :)

ANYWAY, I'll leave you with that for today, since I have three more blogs to attend to.  Have a great week and I'll see you soon!  



  









Monday, August 8, 2016

Paint

Good morning everyone.  It's about 5:00 a.m. in the desert as I begin typing this for you.  As I've done over the past several weekends, I played in the Flamingo's weekly freeroll torunament at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, and then proceeded to stay on the Strip until about 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning.  Then I've slept through the day on Saturday, and stayed up playing poker through the night til Sunday morning.  This has resulted in Sunday being a day of disjointed sleep.  I had set my alarm at 4:45 p.m. so that I could watch the Hall of Fame Game (the first preseason football game of the year, between the Packers and the Colts), and I actually woke up on my own by 4:00.  I'm an addict (although I didn't make any bets on the game).  Well, I woke up only to find out that the game had been canceled due to poor field conditions.  Paint...  Yes, the paint that had been used on the field in the early afternoon apparently hardened into an unsafe substance (the midfield area and endzones had been painted).  A great start to the season for the NFL, all in all...  Anyway, I ate something and decided to go back to sleep.  I woke back up at 3:00 a.m., and two hours later, here I am, doing a post for you.

Speaking of watching t.v. (well, until football games are canceled due to paint), I thought that I'd share something with you.  Having several past jobs where I've been extremely busy and had countless things to keep track of, I bought (and bought and bought) a bunch of memo pads.  I'd misplace them, pack them away when moving, buy more, etc...  Well, the place where I'm staying has basic cable, and no t.v. guide channel.  This results in me using my phone to search the t.v. listings (www.tvtv.us), and then recording the times and channels of the things that I want to watch...


I figure that if I stay here for only five more years, I'll be able to use all of my memo pads...  ;)  Ironically, there was a lot of great t.v. last night (when I inevitably got tired).  Not having digital cable, and the viewing choices that I've previously been accustomed to, there have been some tough nights in the past month and a half finding something that I wanted to watch.  Now that the Olympics have started, there always seems to be something on.  Throw in 'Cast Away' and 'The Break Up' being on last night (at the same time, naturally), and there was a lot to choose from.  The Olympics coverage has improved tremendously from the time when I was a child.  Scrolling through the t.v. listings on my phone last night, I found one hour when no less than four networks were simaltaneously providing coverage.  I also watched an episode of 'Undercover Boss' last night, which featured the CEO of the MGM properties.  How sad is it that I get excited when something about Las Vegas in on t.v., when I'm... LIVING IN LAS VEGAS???  :)  Now that I think back on it, I took a nap after the H.O.F. game cancellation, then woke back up, and then went back to sleep again...  It's tough getting old... ;)

The poker in town remains slow (mostly locals), so I'm going to finish going through the belongings that I haven't sorted through this week.  This will also be the week that I do my football studying (and some poker studying).  I honestly don't mind making fewer trips to the Strip while the temperatures are blistering.  It appears that we have finally turned the corner, and after having several highs of about 115 recently, 108 seems to be the highest temperature that we'll see in the next two weeks.  It's now been 2 1/2 months since I've had a job, and I'm hoping to continue my success at the poker tables so that I can extend that number.  Some good fortune on my football betting would also be nice, but as I've said recently, I won't be wagering near as much on games as I have in the past unless I see some success.  Watching football games at the expense of playing poker on the weekends when I was out here two years ago was a huge mistake.  Now I just need to figure out a way to go without sleep on the weekends for five months straight...  :P

As you can probably tell by the important topics that I'm writing about today, things are going pretty well in the desert for me so far.  I'm going to be absolutely unbearable when the temperatures cool, the football season begins, and the poker games improve...  ;)  Speaking of 'bears...'  Anyway, when I was working for Walmart in my hometown, my friend Angel told me and my friend Damon about a path that we could use when we walked to work (actually, Angel may have just told me, and I may have passed the information on to Damon, but I'd rather blame Angel for potentially getting both of us mauled)...  ;)  Long story short, Damon's walking to work one day last spring, and a bear crosses his path.  He arrived at work safely, and I believe that's the last time that either of us used the path.  I think I've actually told that story here before, but I didn't have this helpful meme to go with it...


I have to thank my friend Carren for sharing this one, and I hope that's helpful Damon...  :)

I think that it's time for me to hit the 'publish' button so that I can grab a bite to eat before writing an entry for my poker blog, which you'll be able to find here in a few hours.  Have a great week and I'll see you soon!
    


Monday, August 1, 2016

Dear Mr. Postman

Good morning everyone.  I'm going to write this post in reverse order for me, first stealing from and talking about my friends, and then reverting back to what's happening with me.  Before I forget, let me include the link to my poker blog, where you can find a pretty detailed account of my poker experiences over the past week.  Okay, now to steal...  My friend and former athlete Leanne posted an awesome meme recently, so great in fact that I made it my profile photo on Facebook and Twitter, and I'm including it in both of my blogs today...


I really think that it's something that everyone should read every day, until they're just living it every day...  :)  Speaking of doing everything with love (it's up there), I happened upon a pair of very happy photos over the past few days.  Have I ever mentioned that I love Facebook???



The top photo shows my friend and former student-athlete Jennifer, who it appears got married very recently...  :)  I'm pretty positive that Jenn was one of the players in one of my favorite stories (I tell several favorite stories, but this is indeed one of them).  I was walking toward the gym during the morning athletic period when I encountered a small group of our 9th grade basketball players.  I had heard or read a line very recently that I wanted to try out, and I knew that these ladies had a good sense of humor, so I stopped them in the hallway.  I looked them over for a few seconds, rolled my eyes and shook my head, and exclaimed, "Too many freaks and not enough circuses..."  I got a chorus of "Awwww..." from the ladies, but they knew me and that it was all in good fun, and now they're all getting MARRIED...  :)  Where did the time go???  Congratulations Jenn - you look so happy!  :D  And speaking of time passing, it seems like only yesterday that Jessica was "Lil Villalpando."  Okay, Jess will always be "Lil Villalpando," but now she's getting married in less than a month.  And did you notice, Jessica's getting married on the first day of the college football season???  :P  Congratulations Jessica, and ANOTHER great photo...

Now we transition from pure bliss to sheer terror.  My friend Rene and his daughter posed for a photo recently...


All I've gotta say is if they gave out Oscar's for photos, that little girl would be holding a trophy.  So funny...  And then there's our letter to the postman.  I'm stealing this from my friend Callie, and on any given day I could steal between three and five things that she shares on Facebook...




My favorite parts are "or brutal murder" and the drawing that identifies the spider.  Great stuff...  :)

Now I guess it's time to catch up with me.  I've been back in the desert for just over two months now, which is a little early based on my past behavior.  Because most apartment leases in San Marcos end on July 31st (due to it being a college town), I have made the 20-hour drive from San Marcos to Las Vegas twice in the last five years at the end of July.  Can you believe that it's already August?  As stated previously, I'd like this month to fly by also, as I'm eagerly awaiting cooler temperatures and the start of football (and better poker games, a topic that I addressed in my other blog).  I still walk most everywhere, but my friend Joey is back from his extended Philippines (try spelling that without searching it) vacation, so a trip to Walmart is in store for this week.  Joey and my brother Pete, who will be making football picks with me in the near future, and just the vacation guys now.  Pete will be going on vacation to California with his family very shortly, and then Joey and his girlfriend will also be going out to Cali, because 2 1/2 weeks overseas just isn't enough, right?  :)  I'll be having a similar experience here in Las Vegas, just without an ocean.  Ho, hum...

In about a month, be expecting these posts on Mondays or Tuesdays, because Sundays will be filled with poker, football, and/or sleep.  Yes, I realize it's Monday, but I intended to write this last night...  :)

ANYWAY, that's all I've got for right now, but have a great week, and I'll see you soon!