Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Really..., Seriously...???

Good morning and Happy Halloween everyone.  I just finished my trick-or-treating - I paid my November rent and walked out of there with a strawberry twizzler - SCORE...  So, I fell for it again, thinking that I would see a World Series of Poker broadcast to its conclusion for the second day in a row.  I arrived at Harper's at 8:00 p.m. with only 3 players remaining at the final table.  When Harper's closed..., there were STILL three players at the final table.  I just saw the headline on Lucki Duck's blog where it took TWELVE hours to decide this year's Main Event Champion - Congratulations to Greg Merson on his $8.53 million-dollar victory...  I needed to stay up late, because I am back on the schedule at work tonight, and it is Halloween...  That's like a guarantee that I'll have something for my ramble tomorrow - ramble insurance, if you will...  Congratulations also to Memphis Mojo for being the 14,999th and 15,001st visitor to 'Bikini Hill'.  Mojo commented yesterday that when he realized he was number 14,999, he exited the blog and came back to be the milestone visitor, but one person beat him to it...

Okay, some NBA predictions for you.  I apologize that I am not going to go all out like I did last season and predict every team's regular season record for you.  This may be detrimental to me as I was really close on a lot of the records the last time around, and I was pretty hot predicting the playoffs also.  Coach had the Heat over the Thunder in five, when everyone was in love with the Thunder.  Over 15,000 hits and I've got one prediction right - WOO HOO!!!  ;)  Last year everyone was just in LOVE with the Los Angeles Clippers heading into the season.  They got Chris Paul, they had the L.A. hype machine...  "Clippers this, Clippers that, blah, blah, blah..."  This year the hype is the Los Angeles Lakers.  After acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, Las Vegas made the Lakers 8 to 5 favorites to win the NBA title.  I honestly think that some of that number is based on the California money that is so close to Vegas, but whatever...  I am going to go out on my shaky limb and predict that there is NO WAY that the Lakers win the NBA Championship this season, and I am predicting that they won't even advance to the Western Conference Finals...  Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash are old and prone to injuries, Metta World Peace is a headcase, and Dwight Howard is coming off of an injury and is a headcase...  We shall see...  Unfortunately, my San Antonio Spurs are getting old also, and although I'll be rooting for them, I don't think that they will be in the NBA Finals either...  Below is my group of playoff teams from each conference and my Finals' prediction:


Eastern Conference

1)  Miami
2)  Chicago
3)  Boston
4)  Indiana
5)  Atlanta
6)  Brooklyn
7)  Philadelphia
8)  Orlando


Western Conference

1)  Oklahoma City
2)  San Antonio          NOTE:  I think that the #2-5 seeds will be within 5 games of each other.
3)  L.A. Clippers
4)  L.A. Lakers
5)  Memphis 
6)  Dallas 
7)  Denver
8)  Portland

In the finals, I am going with the Miami Heat over the Oklahoma City Thunder, again...  Being that I am a Spurs fan, and that I don't like the Heat, these are unbiased predictions...  ;)  I hope that you have a Safe and Happy Halloween!


              

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Will It Ever End?

Good morning everyone.  This is a "sports day" under the new seven-day format here at 'Bikini Hill', but I'm going to write about poker today and give you some NBA predictions tomorrow.  Since I've returned from Las Vegas, the one area where I really haven't adjusted well is getting back into a normal sleeping pattern.  Like I've said here before, I was fortunate to find a place to live and a place to work instantly upon my return to San Marcos, America, I am fortunate to have good friends to lean on, but sleep..., ummm...  not so much.  I am working basically the same hours now that I worked before my one-month move (vacation?) to Las Vegas.  If I set my schedule up to where I am awake from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., then I am basically good to cover most of the shifts that I will receive.  Now before I moved away, I had it down to where I would usually sleep from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. (give or take), and I was fine.  However, my habit this time around has been to stay awake after getting home from work until somewhere between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., nap for about 3 hours, and then stay awake until sometime between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., at which point I'm only mangaing to nap again for about another 3 hours.

I said all of that to bring you this...  I visited a random online website the other day so that I could find out when the final table of this year's main event at the World Series of Poker began.  I found out that the final nine would play down to a champion yesterday and today.  The TIME that I was looking for said that play would begin yesterday at 4:00 C.S.T...  I gave away both of my t.v.'s before I moved out to the desert, so I just planned on going to my workplace to watch the final table action.  Let me interject at this point that I have already posted for the world to see that I work at Harper's/Slackers/The Veranda in San Marcos, America (in case you want my autograph or losing football predictions), so I'm not really sure why I keep hopping back and forth between naming my employer and saying the "workplace" (these are things that I wonder about when typing my blog entry at 7:00 in the morning)...

So anyway, I set my alarm to go off at 3:30 p.m. (note that my usual second nap has had me waking up somewhere between 5:00 and 6:00 every afternoon).  I get up, get ready, go to Harper's, and arrive just before 4:00 p.m.  My friend Sam flips the t.v. to ESPN2, and there is...,  NO POKER ON...  Sam goes to the on-screen t.v. guide - the World Series coverage is going to be from SEVEN p.m. til TEN p.m. on ESPN2...  No t.v. coverage is scheduled for ESPN after the football game...  I'm thinking out loud to Sam when I say that there is NO WAY that they finish playing in three hours if they plan on following the "semi-live" format that they used last year, where America gets to see the event on a 15-minute delay.  Although I am complaining here, MY MISTAKE was deciding to hang out at Harper's for the WHOLE THREE HOURS before the poker coverage began.  I waited, and at 7:00 they started playing poker.  Let me also say at this point that with Sam's and Nick's help, I managed to cheat BIGTIME on my 3 Day Diet this time around, eating 3 pieces of chicken and 3 slices of pizza in 8 hours...  At this point I find out that they are playing down from 9 to 3 players last night, with the final 3 to play tonight.  I immediately turn to Sam with, "there is no way that this coverage finishes by 10:00 if they need to bust out 6 players."  So I sat there for 5 hours, totally tuned into the final table, snapping a couple of times at people who arrived later, and tried to change the channel, unaware that I was GLUED to the t.v.  (usually Monday Night Football will be showing on this "main" end of the bar t.v. where I was camped out - I was also snapping at other employees, not customers)...  ;)  So now it's midnight, and only 3 of the 6 players necessary to get the action to Tuesday have busted out, and I HIT... THE... WALL...  Now it's not enjoyable for me to watch the coverage because I'm STRUGGLING to stay awake.  So I leave after being at the bar for eight hours and go straight to bed.  DAMN YOU random online website for having the wrong information.  DAMN ME for not going to wsop.com or cardplayer.com like I should be smart enough to do.  Tonight's final table coverage is supposed to begin at 8:00 C.S.T. if you're interested in checking it out, I think....  ;)  It is very likely that today's post will put this little blog over the 15,000 view mark (you can check the current number in the upper right-hand corner).  Thank you for stopping by...  :)  Have a great day everyone and I'll see you tomorrow with some basketball predictions for this NBA season (which begins tonight, but I just had to rant while it was fresh in my head)...  ;)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Littleton, U.S.A.

Good morning everyone.  Since I wrote about San Marcos, America yesterday, I thought that I would write about my hometown today.  I moved to San Marcos for college from the town of Littleton, New Hampshire.  I was born in Littleton 100 years ago, but I was an "Air Force brat" (now I'm just a brat), so I didn't spend my whole childhood in northern New Hampshire.  My parents divorced during the summer that I going into the 8th grade, and I went to school in Littleton through my high school graduation.

Littleton is a town that has a population in the neighborhood of 6,000 people, and it is a BIG town compared to those surrounding it.  My high school graduating class had 96 people in it if I remember correctly, and the following year 70 students graduated (70 was much closer to the norm than the 96).  Due to moving around as an Air Force kid when I was younger, I actually started school early and graduated from high school when I only 17 years-old, but I was happy in the class that I graduated with and also have many friends in the class that graduated the year after mine.  Moving around as much as I did when I was younger, the one constant that I had as an interest was sports.  One of the nice things about going to high school in Littleton and being, well..., athletic enough..., was that I was able to play football, basketball, and baseball for the Crusaders.  For you Texans reading this, my high school is comparable to a '2A' school in the Lone Star State.  During my high school summers, Remich Park was the focal point of my time (it was also the focal point of my time during the school year, as it was home to both our football and baseball field - same field).  I was a youth summer camp couselor as a high school student, helping to run activities for the elementary school kids.  One of the nice things about living in a small town is that everyone knows everyone and you have several friends.  One of the disadvantages about living in a small town is that everyone knows everyone and gossiping is a popular pasttime for several people, but you take the good with the bad, right?  ;)

As far as living in New Hampshire goes, there are two reasons that I couldn't do it right now.  The first is that I have become very acclimated and accustomed to living in or near large population centers.  Yesterday I told you that San Marcos is located about a half-hour from both Austin and San Antonio, and this is where I have spent the majority of my life now.  I have also lived in San Antonio, Dallas, and Las Vegas since moving away from Littleton.  I have always been a "night-owl" - the job that I am currently doing has me leaving work at about 4 a.m. after every shift.  When I dealt poker in Las Vegas, I worked the "graveyard shift" from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. I'm not saying that I necessarily like working this late, but I am used to staying up late.  When I visited my hometown about 3 years ago, the town was shutting down by 10:30.  Actually, the town was shutting down pretty much by sunset, but the VERY LAST things that were open were closing at 10:30 at night (just like Las Vegas - BA HA HA)...  The size of the area in northern New Hampshire also limits opportunities to events like concerts, sporting events, etc...  The second reason that I would have a difficult time living in New Hampshire is that it is... COLD!!!  You cannot fathom how much I HATE the cold...  When San Marcos got our cold snap a few nights back, I was working the backdoor from 8:30-10:00, got cold, and I was in a bad mood ALL... NIGHT... LONG...  I was wearing a sweatshirt and shorts and was dealing with a light but steady wind which was not helping.  The temperature was in the low 40's - THIS is the point where anyone from my hometown reading this blog just spit their coffee onto their keyboard...  Low's 40?!  Pfffttt!!!  :)  When I was in high school, I remember one winter where the wind chill factor was in the negative digits for 2 weeks straight, and my moustache had frost on it everyday by the time my 10-minute walk to school had ended.  Being cold, waiting for the hot water heater to warm up in the morning before taking a shower, warming the car up while scraping ice from the windshield, shoveling snow, driving in the snow, being perpetually sick - I... HATE... COLD... WEATHER!!!

In May 3 1/2 years ago I joined facebook at the recommendation of my brother.  He knew that I was about to take my trip back north to visit, and he told me that I had to join because so many people in my class were on it.  This is probably the best advice that he has ever given me.  He is also the one who got me into playing Texas Hold 'Em though, so...  :)  Due to small-town dynamic, I had probably half of my class and over a quarter of the following class as "facebook friends" before I even made the trip, and this helped to facilitate getting together with people when I arrived in Littleton.  I don't know how all of these friends of mine put up with the cold and the snow (as many of them have never moved away from Littleton), but it builds some character in you, I'll tell you that... :)

I hope that gives you some insight into where I came from.  Today I am basking in the 4-1 record that I had predicting the outcome of yesterday's college football games, and as a Steelers fan, today I am very intrigued about our matchup with the Redskins and RG III that I will be watching at my workplace within the next couple of hours...  ;)  I hope that you have a great day and I will see again tomorrow with my ramble.
                 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

San Marcos, America

Good morning everyone.  Since I have decided to use Saturdays to talk about San Marcos and Texas State University here at 'Bikini Hill', I thought that I would devote this Saturday to giving you a little bit of background on San Marcos, America and what it means to me.  San Marcos is located about a half hour from both Austin and San Antonio.  Downtown Austin is actually closer to us than downtown San Antonio because the "downtown area" of each of these cities lies to its south, and San Marcos is located to the south of Austin, while being located to the north of San Antonio.  Although San Marcos itself only has a population listed at 50,000 residents, these neighboring cities allow us numerous opportunities to experience live music, sporting events, and the other things that big cities have to offer.  One of the nicknames that has popped up in recent years for this little haven is "San Marvelous" - I personally cannot stand this cutesy little nickname, and this is probably one of the reasons that I use the moniker  "San Marcos, America" so often in my writing here.  I like the sound of it, although honestly the first time that I ever heard it used, I believe that it was in the vain of, "well, welcome to San Marcos, America" (as in, "that's San Marcos for you...").  I also hijacked the moniker 'Bikini Hill' from someone that I overheard, and was instantly in love with the nickname the first time that I heard it, as it is the perfect description for the stretch of grass overlooking the San Marcos River where it runs through the Texas State campus.  If it is up to me, "San Marcos, America" and "Bikini Hill" will become a natural part of everyone's vocabulary...  ;)

Texas State University now has an enrollment in the neighborhood of 35,000 students (I think that it is probably a little bit higher than that, but I haven't seen the fall semester's official total yet).  When I started school here 100 years ago, the enrollment of my alma mater was approximately 20,000 students.  If you are a regular reader of this little blog (and even if you're not), Texas State is now a "Division I" (called FBS for football) member in every sport as of this year, and has been a "D-I" member in all other sports since 1986 (I believe) when my alma mater joined the Southland Conference.  The start of this school year brought a move to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).  Among the several requirements that the NCAA lays out for a school to move up to the ranks of FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) membership, the football stadium at the school must have a certain minimum seating capacity.  This resulted in the expansion of Bobcat Stadium to a 30,000-seat capacity heading into this football season.  The stadium held 15,000 fans when I began attending here 100 years ago.

The city of San Marcos has a small-town feel to it...  The 50,000 is not so big that you're not going to hear about something when it happens.  Due to the number of students, San Marcos is the living definition of the term "college town" - I have always liked this about the city because there are always new people moving here (and leaving of course), and it keeps San Marcos fresh.  Interstate 35 separates the "college side" of San Marcos from the other side of town, and I have always lived on the "college side" of 35, within a mile of the university more often than not.  Even as an alumnus, one of the big advantages of this has been my ability to walk to campus and the campus library, which I take full advantage of (okay, "full advantage" might be defined as reading their current magazines for free, and checking out the occasional book)...  :)  My current location also leaves me with about a 15-minute walk to Bikini Hill, where I will go to read, soak up the sun, jump into the river, and listen to the automobile accidents on the nearby adjacent street. Motorists will crane their necks to see who is laying out, which often results in cars being rear-ended as distracted drivers hit the non-moving vehicles in front of them.  I have heard people JAM on their brakes and the CRUNCH of metal SEVERAL times...  :)  I have never been involved in an accident near Bikini Hill, so I can type smiley faces...

I have now lived in San Marcos longer than I have lived in any other one place in my life.  I was an Air Force brat, so it was pretty much a race between my hometown in New Hampshire and San Marcos until this college town finally took the lead.  As I have said here before, if San Marcos had free-flowing poker games and football parlay-betting available on tap, I wouldn't really have any reason for wanting to go to Las Vegas.  With the increasing number of students being crammed into these city limits, San Marcos is becoming a little crowded, but it's still a great place to live for my money.

Well, I hope that gives you a little background on this city that I refer to quite often here in my little blog.  Tomorrow I plan on being back with a random topic, not to be confused with a 'ramble'...  Have a great day!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Do You Believe In Miracles?

Good morning everyone.  You can almost hear the words rolling off the lips of Al Michaels as the U.S. Hockey Team pulled off the improbable win seemingly a million years ago, which oddly enough was probably the last time that I had a winning week picking football games...  Don't ask me how, but amazingly I went 6-4 on my gridiron predictions last weekend, bringing my total for the season to 33-39-2.  I had a couple of "blowout" wins once again as Louisiana Tech (- 30 over Idaho) and the Lions/Bears total (under 47 1/2) covered easily.  We'll just forget about the Ravens (+ 7) over the Texans (cue background whistling sound as I roll my eyes aimlessly)...  Below are my picks for this week...

Utah State (- 22 1/2) @ UTSA - Aggies are favorites to win the WAC, Roadrunners are not...
Texas Tech/Kansas State (Under 59 1/2) - 1st of several unders where I hope weather will help...
Notre Dame (+11) @ Oklahoma - A lot of points for this Irish Team (Ravens/Texans again???)
Michigan/Nebraska (Under 57 1/2) - 2nd of several unders where I'm rooting for cold weather...
Ohio State (-1) @ Penn State - I get OSU's injuries and big home game for PSU, but one point?

New York Jets (- 2) vs. Miami - Jets 'D' at home, probable nasty weather for Dolphins to contest...
Jacksonville/Green Bay (Under 45 1/2) - C'mon weather and injury-riddled Jags...
Washington/Pittsburgh (Under 47 1/2) - Shut down RG III Steelers...
New Orleans/Denver (Under 55 1/2) - Two dome lifers on hopefully an ugly Colorado night...
San Francisco/Arizona (Over 37 1/2) - Such a low total, had to bite...

And there you go...  Hopefully this is the week that puts me back on the map.  Enjoy your football weekend and stop back by again tomorrow to learn a little bit more about San Marcos, America...  Have a great day!
     

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Goodbye Josie

Good morning everyone.  Welcome to my first official Thursday ramble.  Today's ramble is going to be more topical (I'll get to that in a second), but first I wanted to let you know that I lost 3 pounds in 3 days using the 'Alabama 3 Day Diet'.  This brings me down to 228 pounds, and I have a friend at work who is trying to track down a juicer for me that his sister is looking for in her storage.  This "friend"..., we'll call him Sam, is the same guy, who right in the middle of my 3 Day Diet at work on Tuesday night, just a half-hour into my shift, ORDERS A PIZZA...  "Hey Coach, would you like a slice?!"  Yeah, that's...  awesome..., but I can't...  :(  He STILL had half of this thing leftover when the shift ended, and it STILL looked good...  I just read some bad news when I logged on about ten minutes ago.  It seems that Josie (her blog is listed to the right - Very Josie) is not going to blog anymore.  Josie has a great personality and I enjoyed reading her words the second that I found them.  I'm hoping that this is some kind of Bizarro World April Fools' joke, but I fear that it's not.  I'm going to miss you Josie...  One of the first things that I did when I arrived at work last night was to ask for Monday and Tuesday off.  I am so glad that I looked up the details for the final table of the World Series of Poker when I did, because it's still likely that I will be able to get the days off.  I watched a little bit of the WSOP play on our muted t.v.'s at work on Tuesday night leading up to the final table, and immediately started to get that poker itch...  I must say that I have been SURPRISINGLY AT PEACE with the whole situation that happened out in Las Vegas (regarding the break-in) since my return to San Marcos, America.  Thanks to finding a place to stay and going back to work almost immediately, I have never really mulled over the situation as much as I thought I would have.  Our part of the world is about to get hit by a cold front, so if you live in this area, BUNDLE UP...  The high's and low's are going to be about twenty degrees lower here starting tomorrow than they have been for the past week.  This is just in time for Halloween, and that holiday made me notice something amusing last night.  The stacked bars that I work at - Harper's/Slacker's/The Veranda...  Well, the top and bottom bars were open last night, and Harper's (the bottom bar) was just DECKED OUT with new Halloween decorations yesterday.  Last night Harper's saw SO MANY MORE customers than on the two previous weekdays, and I'm SURE that this was due to the decorations being up...  Everyone is a kid at heart, right?  :)  I'll be back tomorrow with this week's football predictions, hopefully my second week of winners in a row...  Have a great day and play smart Josie...  ;)
        

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Las Vegas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Or Door #4...

Good morning everyone.  We'll start off with a little bit of poker here since this is poker and Las Vegas day at 'Bikini Hill'.  This year's final table at the World Series of Poker will be played "semi-live" next Monday and Tuesday, on October 29th and 30th.  Just skimming through an article at news.sportsinteraction.com to find these dates, I learned that the presidential election is the reason that we are not having a "November Nine" this year.  I should probably ask to be off next Monday and Tuesday now that I know this...  :)  This should make for an interesting dynamic because of where I work.  Based on last year, we'll have a busy Halloween Saturday, followed by a day off for me, then the WSOP finale on Monday and Tuesday, and then the ACTUAL Halloween. 

Switching one gear, I have no clue as to what I should do at the moment concerning December and Las Vegas.  The hotels are super cheap because there are not a ton of people visiting the desert to gamble between the dates of December 16th-26th (the window that I took off from work).  However, there are a lot of people traveling during the holidays, so the airfare is more than I would like to pay.  I am not sure if I should book right away to secure the lowest airfare possible, or wait it out to see if the prices drop due to lower-than-expected demand.  Betting the college bowl games, cashing one winning football parlay ticket (shut up, at least I won on one), cashing in some of the worn down poker chips that I am constantly playing with (they are made of clay and they get thin), and seeing some friends are the main reasons that I want to make the visit.  If it comes down to just jonesing to play poker, I could drive north to Oklahoma or east to Louisiana for a lot less than it will cost me to visit Las Vegas.  Obviously, I will be playing poker if I do head west, but I'm not sure what to do... (input welcome).

I have decided to amp things up here at 'Bikini Hill' - the decision is set in stone enough that I'm typing it out right now...  Hopefully I will be able to stay close to this ambitious schedule.  I am going to try to make entries according to the following schedule in the near future and see how it works out:

Monday - Ramble
Tuesday - Sports Entry    (NEW)
Wednesday - Las Vegas/Poker Entry
Thursday - Ramble     (NEW)
Friday - Sports Entry (Football Predictions Through Early February)
Saturday - San Marcos, America/Texas State Entry    (NEW)
Sunday - Random Topic    (NEW)

This will have me sitting down at the computer every morning if I can stick to it.  I wanted to start writing more to see if I might be able to make some money at it, so this is the next step.  Hopefully I have enough to say seven days a week.  After all, I was already writing about macaroni and cheese here recently, and the reason that a person would use a flashlight.  This does mean that tomorrow you will be seeing a THIRD ramble for this week, so that will be a blessing or a curse depending on who you are.  I hope that you have a great day and I will see you again tomorrow with the new Thursday ramble.
 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What's The Flashlight For?

Good morning everyone.  You're getting a Tuesday ramble today.  This is one of those days that I'm going to do an "extra" post...  When I was at the library of my alma mater last night in beautiful San Marcos, America, I pretty much decided that a second weekly ramble and some content about Texas State University (the alma mater) will be prime suspects for some of my extra typing.  I was involved with/saw something very weird and maddening just outside the library during the early evening yesterday.  Imagine if you will about 70 yards of brick wall, about 3 feet high, basically configued at a right angle.  This would be the wall surrounding the open area/sidewalks used by students on campus as they pass the student center and the library.  I was sitting at the right angle talking on my phone, with NO ONE else anywhere along the brick wall, ANYWHERE (yes, I used "anywhere" twice - that was for emphasis)...  I look up to see this genius (who I presume was a student - he had a backpack..) walk up and take a spot within 3 feet of me along the wall, playing music from an android/I-pod WITHOUT earphones...  His back was to me as I shot him a "what the hell are you doing?" look as I got up, and audibly said, "are you kidding?" as I walked across the plaza to another part of the brick wall.  I reseated myself about 30 yards away from where I had been, facing him on a different stretch of wall parallel to the walkway, and continued my phone conversation.  He jumped up on the wall and started dining on his Chik Fil A.  I wasn't really close enough to know that it was Chik Fil A, but I learned afterward, after his napkin blew off the wall, and he just looked at it laying on the ground, and after he finished his meal, as he released his waffle fries container like a frisbee to float down onto the ground below...  He left, I walked back over to where I had been, looked down to the 'CHIK FIL A' on the abondoned waffle fries container, picked up the napkin (score one for Coach), and cursed my alma mater for letting this toolbag onto campus...  REALLY???  Okay, so I'm at work the other night, and I was standing in front of our fine establishment (Harper's Hall) inspecting the driver's licenses of some potential customers when from behind me, I hear the inquiry, "what's the flashlight for?"  Without hesitation, in monotone, I deadpanned, "So I can see??"...  The more that I thought about that in the next few minutes, the more stupid the question became - I'm shining a FLASHLIGHT on a driver's license...  WHAT do you THINK it's for???  There are almost 35,000 students enrolled at Texas State, and as the above tales indicate, that number should probably be almost 35,000 students minus 2...  Day 1 of my Alabama 3 Day Diet went fairly smoothly, but I will admit that I took a 'catnap' about 2 hours ago, and that I dreamed of ordering a pizza while I slept (I kid you not)...  :)  As I passed away most of the evening at the campus library thumbing through 'Sports Illustrated', 'Texas Monthly', and my android, the Lions and Bears DID STAY under 47 1/2 points for the game (Chicago 13  Detroit 7 - I didn't see any of the game), making me 6-4 on my football picks, and giving me my first winning week since..., seemingly the dawn of time.  :)  I basically just need to continue hanging out at the library if I want to replace the android charger that I had stolen in Las Vegas for free.  As I went to sit on a couch with my 'Sports Illustrated', I saw a guy with a couple of girls get up from a table and start walking past me.  I happened to look behind their group, and started saying, "hey...  EXCUSE ME...".  This was loud enough to stop them in their tracks, and when they turned, I asked if one of them had left a cord back under the table.  One of the girls said, "wow, he did" (I had now done my second good deed for the day)...  Later on when I switched to the 'Texas Monthly' (and switched couches), and abondoned charger was left plugged into the wall (and I just left this one in the hopes that someone would come back for it, looking for it where they had left it)...  For those of you who may be new to the blog today, I was writing about macaroni and cheese earlier this month, so don't complain...  :)  I think the likelihood is very strong that tomorrow you will be reading about the current prices of holiday round-trip flights with hotel rooms for trips to Las Vegas from San Marcos, America.  Have a great day and I'll see you then...
   

Monday, October 22, 2012

Merp...

Good morning everyone...  So sometimes you make a football prediction with your team getting 7 points (let's take the..., Baltimore Ravens, for example), and then you still lose by TWENTY-THREE points because they lost the actual game by THIRTY points (let's take the..., Baltimore Ravens, for example)...  Final score:  Houston 43  Baltimore 13...  I mention this for several reasons...  A few nights ago when I was manning the "gatekeeper" position at my job (RobVegasPoker, my job is to keep people safe and to make sure that they follow the rules), I told Melanie and Alyssa (the football friends from last week's ramble, who I am now pretty sure are coming into Harper's/The Veranda on Sundays just to be in my blog) that I was taking the Packers to beat the Rams in Lucki Duck's (fellow poker blogger) new football contest (the Packers did win by the way, by ten points).  Melanie was pleased with this, and Alyssa WOULD NOT talk to me...  Of course she said that I should have picked the Texans, but she didn't say much else, other than, "I'm mad at you right now..."  Based on the scoring in Lucki Duck's new contest, I would have DOUBLED my Week 1 points (this contest just began, and I did not fare so well in his last one, so we won't talk about it, other than to say "thank you" to the New England Patriots...).  MINNESOTA beat the Arizona Cardinals yesterday...  Anyway, in honor of Alyssa's wisdom (???), she gets her word on the title line of the blog today.  Merp is a word that the cool kids are using (or maybe just Alyssa), and it means "ugghhh"...  For example, let's say you picked the Packers and not the Texans in your football contest, and SOMEONE says, "should have listened to me" - well, it is appropriate to use the word 'merp' as a response...  You were right Alyssa...  :)  As a Steelers fan, I appreciate the effort by the Texans, and my wounded team is now only 1 1/2 games behind the Ravens, and these blackbirds seem to have just as many players dropping as we do, so watch out...  In spite of this monumentally awful prediction, I am still sitting at 5-4 for the week, and I have the chance to have my first winning week in a while if the Lions/Bears total stays under 47 1/2 points...  A friend of mine living on the left coast had a great little status on her facebook this week...  It seems that she was out (I'm assuming in a waiting room setting), and she was sitting by a stranger who was wearing a t-shirt that read, "Just Do Me" - the best part is that this woman was trying to corral seven children at the time.  "Success in advertising" I said...  ;)
              

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Indiana Debacle

Good morning everyone.  I do not know if any Hoosier fans have ever visited my little blog here at 'Bikini Hill', but if they stopped by last week, they must still be laughing at me.  I based 2 of my 10 football predictions last weekend on the Ohio State @ Indiana game.  I took the Buckeyes (- 17), and I also took the under 63 1/2 points.  In my little witty charming commentary after each pick, I asked, "how will Indiana score?"  Final score:  Ohio State 52  Indiana 49 - yeah...  The Hoosiers came close to covering the over by themselves, and these 2 losing picks helped spur me onto my 5-5 weekend.  Overall I am now 27-35-2, but that will change this week (because I'm picking 10 more games)...  Here we go...

La. Tech (- 30) over Idaho - Texas State beat Idaho by 31 last week...
LSU (- 3 1/2) @ Texas A&M - Welcome to the SEC...
Texas (- 8) vs. Baylor - Longhorns are desperate, RG III is in D.C...

Baltimore (+ 7) @ Houston - Packers get 4, CRUSH Texans, so Ravens get 7???
Washington (+ 6) @ New York Giants - Redskins beat Giants twice last year, RG III is in D.C...
Pittsburgh (- 1 1/2) @ Cincinnati - Steelers are desperate for a win (or another close loss)...
Green Bay (- 5 1/2) @ St. Louis - Texans may have been what the Packers needed...
New York Jets/New England (Under 47) - Patriots would have to score almost all the points...
Dallas/Carolina (Over 45 1/2) - Gut feeling this will be over (what can I say?)
Detroit/Chicago (Under 47 1/2) - Just seems high for game in Chicago...

I think that this might be the winning week (FINALLY)...  I hope that all of you have a great football weekend and I'll see you again on Monday (or sooner if I feel like it)...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Phone Chargers And Windpants

Good morning everyone.  The title of today's entry was originally going to be the title of Monday's post, that is, until I went and ate breakfast with my coworkers...  This little story is definitely Las Vegas/poker-related though, so here you go...  I moved out to Las Vegas at the start of August for those of you who might not know, and I returned to San Marcos, America after only one month because my place was broken into.  Recently we had a little cold snap here in San Marcos, so I started looking through my closet, a random pile of still-yet-to-be-put-away-clothes, and some still as of yet unpacked bags to find my windpants.  Windpants, as in some people work out in them, and some coaches wear them on the sidelines, windpants.  Well, unless I notify you otherwise in a future post, the windpants were STOLEN...  So at this point, to the best of my knowledge, the only things that were taken from my temporary apartment in the desert were my android charger (which cost me $30.00 to replace), and 3 pairs of windpants.  Right beyond the door that was kicked-in three times by a boot was the desktop computer that I am currently using, on the refrigerator secured by magnets were SEVERAL football parlay tickets that I had already bet (and don't tell me that the burglar(s) already knew how my picks would struggle to this point in the season), I had several sports jerseys in my closet which was obviously looked through (a door was left open that I always left closed), and these were the items that were just in plain sight...  Anyway, it seems apparent that the intruder(s) was somehow spooked, but my phone charger and windpants of all things...  I have even found the backpack which contains my DVD player, which was still there...

Well, I have the days off from work, and I have confirmed with Dad that I should be able to get rides to and from the airport, so now I will definitely be looking for a good deal on flights and a hotel room so that I can visit Las Vegas sometime between the 16th and 26th of December.  The timing of this coincides with the slowest time of year in San Marcos, America, which is the month-long break between the fall and spring semesters, and it also happens to occur right before the onset of the vast majority of the college football bowl season, which can be wagered on thoroughly utilizing two-dollar parlay cards - WHAT... A... COINCIDENCE!  Hotel rooms in the desert are also very inexpensive at this time of year and the temperature isn't in the 100-degree plus range everyday, so...  :)  My tentative long-term plans also include a visit in the late spring or early summer (if I do not feel that I have the means to move back to Las Vegas at the end of next summer) so that I can stop by the World Series of Poker and meet up with others in the poker-blogging community.  I will let you know more about the progress of these plans in the future.

I also have the intention of doing more writing on this blog, but I haven't decided if that will involve dedicated days for other specific topics, like my Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays are currently set aside for Rambles/Las Vegas & Poker-Related Material/Sports (respectively), or if I will just write about other topics on random days when I feel the motivation to do so.  For those of you who are newer here, tracking my football picks in a convenient format, and posting them for "the world to see" (giving me the opportunity to lose my pride or maybe gain respect, since I wasn't going to actually be losing or winning any money on these predictions) was a reason that I began this blog.  For example, if I picked 2 games out of 100 right, then moving back to Las Vegas probably wasn't a good idea (oh, to be 2-98 right now)...  What I didn't anticipate was the friends that I would meet, so that has been a big upside (for any of you who may be considering starting a topical blog and have the good fortune to find others with the same common interests)...

That is what is happening here in San Marcos, America as I prepare to begin my five-day workweek tonight.  I hope that you have a great day, and I will see you again on Friday with this weekend's football predictions!
                 

Monday, October 15, 2012

You Better Keep Your Pancakes...

Good morning everyone.  I just survived my alma mater's homecoming weekend and my 100th birthday weekend here in San Marcos, America, and the contents of today's ramble will consist largely of a recap of those events.  It was a very busy and successful weekend at work, and very early Sunday morning a small group of us went to I.H.O.P. after our Saturday night shift.  My manager ended up treating the whole group to breakfast (my first free birthday meal of the day - thanks Sean), and he is a key player in this story.  As our waiter dropped off as many plates as he could carry in his first trip to our tables (there were 5 of us, and we were sitting at 2 small tables located close to each other), he gave most of the group their accompanying plate of pancakes which came with their meals.  Sean, who hadn't received his pancakes yet, was getting himself situated to eat, and he asked our co-worker Nick if he could have his pancakes.  Nick passed over his pancakes, and was waiting for his omelet anyway, which the waiter had said was "being rolled" (when this HUGE omelet arrived, you could imagine the cooks in the back rolling this thing up like a groundscrew would handle the tarp at a major league baseball game, but this isn't relevant to my story)...  Anyway, our waiter returns, and notices that something is amiss - he sees that Nick no longer has his plate of pancakes, and tells Sean, "those were his pancakes, but you get pancakes with your meal."  One of them (I don't remember exactly who, because this happened at almost five in the morning) explained that they had agreed to trade their pancakes (which were exactly the same, the standard side order, which shouldn't matter anyway)...  Then the waiter PICKS UP this plate of pancakes, gives it BACK TO NICK, and tells Sean that his pancakes will be there in a minute, at which point he walks away...  This was followed by 5 grown men who had just finished working a very busy homecoming weekend at our 3-bar complex (Harper's/Slackers/The Veranda for those of you familiar with San Marcos, America) pausing, looking at each with an amused/confused/disbelieving look of "what just happened???" before we all simaltaneously BURST INTO LAUGHTER and started shaking our heads...  If you ever find yourself at the I.H.O.P. in San Marcos, America on the graveyard shift, DO NOT attempt to trade your pancakes on this guy's watch...  Let me steer the topic to football here (which never happens on this blog...), and mention that the Texas State Bobcats are currently undefeated in the WAC (1-0) after defeating the Idaho Vandals 38-7 in front of a homecoming crowd of just under 17,000 at Bobcat Stadium on Saturday.  I mention this for a couple of reasons.  First, this was one of the games that I picked correctly this weekend (I'm currently 4-5 this weekend going into tonight's game, and someone flipping a coin to pick the games would be doing just as well), and second, I chatted with my friend Joey earlier this morning via facebook.  Joey was a co-worker of mine at the Riviera in Las Vegas, and I told him that he has a place to stay in San Marcos should he decide to visit town at the start of December and watch the Bobcats beat New Mexico State (his alma mater).  Joey (obviously an experienced smack-talker) replied, "okay, but seeing them get beat is nothing new..."  Joey did watch NMSU lose 56 straight football games at one point, so the Bobcats may be favored in another home game this season...  ;)  Speaking of Las Vegas (which never happens in this blog either), this is a strong possibility that I will be visiting town the week before Christmas (which comes after graduation and before New Year's in San Marcos, America, so I can get the time off).  So if anyone is interested in going to Vegas between the 16th and 26th of December...  :)  I visited my dad in San Antonio last night, and he treated me to the Outback Steakhouse (my second birthday meal).  I stopped by work after returning to town to get my schedule for the upcoming week, and saw the most heartwarming sight considering that is only Week 6 of the NFL season.  Two of my newer friends, Alyssa and Melanie, were treating the Packers/Texans game like it was a playoff matchup (without the yelling at the t.v. that I might engage in)...  Alyssa (representing her Texans in a new Arian Foster jersey) was sitting, standing, squirming, pacing, and looking away from the t.v. as the Packers held a commanding lead.  Alyssa was SO SERIOUS that I had to keep telling her that it's only Week 6...  #truefan  Melanie (who was sitting right by her good friend wearing her own Packers tanktop) was very classy about the whole situation, not mocking the misfortune of her good friend Alyssa's previously undefeated Texans (other than the one "victory lap" she did around the oval bar after a Packers touchdown)...  :)  This brings me to a couple of points that I have made earlier in this blog:  girls who like football are very cool (and these two were into the game, trust me...), and I would rather be around people who are fans of teams other than the Steelers (or any team that I like in any sport) than be around those who don't have any interest at all in what's going on...  For those of you who do have ties to San Marcos, America, I have a trivia question for you:  Harper's Hall - who is it named after??  Have a great day and I'll see you again on Wednesday, where I'll surely be talking about Vegas in December...  ;)
                           

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Dreaded Recipe

Good morning everyone.  First off, I really should not have to be including a recipe with my picks today.  If you're new here, I stated that if I didn't go at least 7-3 on my football picks last week (following weeks of 4-6 and 3-6-1), then I would be typing a recipe into my entry today.  I ended up going 5-5 last week, but I took Green Bay (- 7) @ Indianapolis, and the Packers had a 21-3 lead in that game (yeah, the Packers lost)...  THEN, I had Texas State (my ALMA MATER NO LESS) teaming up with New Mexico to go over 49 1/2 points.  The total was at 49 IN THE THIRD QUARTER.  If they would have scored another point I would have been good, ONE POINT...  Not to mention that I knocked some of my winners OUT... OF... THE... PARK...  Baltimore/Kansas City (Under 46 1/2) - Final Score:  Ravens 9  Chiefs 6...  How about Chicago (- 5) @ Jacksonville?  Final Score:  Bears 41  Jaguars 3...  So here I am, giving you the "recipe" to one of my favorites, with a little background.  This is one of my favorite foods that I will actually prepare for myself (my brother and sister should guess this INSTANTLY when they see that clue in my facebook preview)...  Okay, and what sucks more about this is that my viewcount is going over the 14,000 mark today, a milestone reached as I type this in humiliation...  (Thanks for stopping by).  :)  Without any further stalling...


                                                      Coach's Famous Macaroni & Cheese


1)  Before going to the store, be sure that you have a 1/4 cup of milk and 4 Tbsp. of margarine at home.  You will need these items if you don't have them.

2)  After arriving at the store, go to the pasta aisle, and find the blue box with yellow trim that says "KRAFT macaroni & cheese DINNER" - (the box that I'm reading from currently also says, "you know you love it" - HOW does the box know this?).  You want the box that says "original flavor" at the bottom, not one of their failed attempts at improvement where they start changing the shape of the pasta into astronauts or starfish or whatever they're trying to sell you...
 
3)  BOIL WATER.  (Now I'm typing straight from the side of the box if it isn't convenient for you to bring your computer into your kitchen).  Stir in macaroni; cook 7 to 8 min. or until macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally.

4)  DRAIN. (This would be number two on the side of your box).  DO NOT RINSE.  Return to pan.

5)  ADD margarine, milk, and Cheese Sauce Mix; mix well.


This has been one of my favorites as far back as I can remember.  There have been MANY TIMES that I have eaten the whole box in one sitting.  Usually I save some of it for part of a second meal now, but I did down a whole box after work at the beginning of my current sick stretch (which is just clinging for dear life at this point, almost defeated, thank you very much)...  One day making it that I will never forget was the day that Michael Jackson passed away.  I was watching my niece and nephew while my brother was at work, and they were used to the mircowave version of this product.  For some reason, they had a box in their cabinet that required boiling the water to be made, and I remember how skeptical they were as they watched me go through all of the steps listed above (they were somewhere in the ballpark of 9 and 6 years-old at the time).  I made this with hot dogs I believe, and I remember how cautious they were when taking their first bite, and seeing their looks of approval as they realized that this was BETTER than its mircowave counterpart, before proceeding to scarf it down...  :)

Okay, no guarantees this week, but I will warn you right now that I almost always have an 8-2 or 9-1 week at least once every season, and that it usually comes in October or November.  My record currently stands at 22-30-2 for this season, and again (burned into my memory), that's after going 5-5 last week.  I have to warn you now that this is my birthday weekend, however you feel that factors into your trust depending on your superstitions...  And this week's picks are...


Texas State (- 2) vs. Idaho - My birthday, my alma mater, homecoming weekend, one-win Vandals.
West Virginia/Texas Tech (Over 78) - I said WEST VIRGINIA/TEXAS TECH...
Ohio State/Indiana (Under 63 1/2) - How does Indiana score?
Ohio State (- 17) @ Indiana - How does Indiana score?

Green Bay (+4) @ Houston - Packers are desperate, Texans down 3 'D' starters from last year...
New England (- 3) @ Seattle - No replacement refs now to save Seahawks...
Philadelphia (- 3 1/2) vs. Detroit - Lions have barely been hanging in against the bad teams...
New York Jets (- 3 1/2) vs. Indianapolis - Andrew better strap it up tight this Sunday...
Oakland/Atlanta (Under 48 1/2) - High number considering Raiders' kicking specialists...
Denver/San Diego (Over 49) - Chargers (like WVU above) play in lots of high-scoring games...

Okay, hopefully 10-0 there for y'all, and then I'll be crying about not being in Las Vegas during my posts next week...  ;)  In a comment to my blog that I accidentally deleted instead of publishing last week, Grrouchie said that he WAS going to play some two-dollar parlays tickets this week, with his and my picks, so good luck Mr. Pantalones!  Have a great weekend everyone, raise one for my birthday, and I'll see you again on Monday!

 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cookies And Cream

Good morning everyone.  Today you get sort of an unplanned Thursday ramble.  I just worked my first shift at work since getting out very early Monday morning, and if I had to bet on it, I would wager that I am going to beat this cold without being gouged for antibiotics (being familiar with my wagering success as you are, the cold probably has 50/50 odds)...  This is officially Day 8, but the cold is very weak at this point.  Not too long after I finsih typing for you, I plan on taking the nap which hopefully will kill it off.  Tonight at work I decided that I am definitely going to try to do more writing, whether that be freelance, doing more with the blog, or what lies behind door number three...  I wonder how many readers are not old enough to get this old gameshow reference (what is this 'door number three' that Coach speaks of?)...  I saw an interesting sign at the grocery store after work tonight.  I may have mentioned before (and I may not have) how small the infrastructure of San Marcos, America is to be playing host to football games at the newly expanded 30,000-seat Bobcat Stadium.  This definitely includes parking headaches, which are exacerbated by the fact that a few  (if not all?) of the stadium parking lots are now used for tailgating...  This very popular tailgating started at some point after I graduated, shortly after the opening of the new library and the new student recreational sports center (also after I graduated), but I digress...  So, the H.E.B. (Texas grocery store chain) about a quarter to a half-mile away from Bobcat Stadium has signs now that notify potential gameday parkers that the lot is not to be used by football spectators and that they will be towed.  How would you like that job?  You know that it is now someone's job to be stationed in that parking lot to determine who is shopping and who is going to the football game.  What if someone gets out of their car, goes into the store, and then exits and walks to the football game?...  :)  What makes it worse is that this H.E.B. has been under construction for some time now (as seemingly half of San Marcos has been), and this has limited the number of available parking spots right out of the gate.  So another sign that my cold is fading is that found myself in the mood to buy some ice cream tonight.  So after picking up some other items, I reach into the cooler and grab a half gallon of my favorite ice cream (definitely one of my favorites available in a store anyway).  So, for a person who has never been much of a "cookie guy"..., and when I say this, I would especially be referring to Oreos - I honestly don't know if I have EVER bought a package of Oreos for myself.  Yeah, you guessed it (or you read the title to today's ramble) - Cookies & Cream...  It only took me one time to try Cookies & Cream and I was hooked...  I still can't believe that you're getting a recipe here tomorrow...  The SAD THING is that I really should have gone at least 7-3 this past weekend on my picks...  Somehow I got my google ads back, so enjoy them...  Months ago, and I mean MONTHS, my ads disappeared at about the time I changed the layout of my page to include my 'reading list', which brings you to many other fine blogs.  Well, their blogs are fine, and I'm writing about ice cream...  Anyway, I notified google of this on a couple of different occasions (my layout page still SAID that I wanted ads, but I couldn't get them to work).  A few days ago, I had a little megaphone (the best way I can describe it) icon on my information page that said Google needed some information from me so that ads would appear on my page.  I provided Google with this info. and the ads still weren't there.  When I clicked 'contact us', I was lead to the first of many hoops (i.e., if this is your problem, this may be the solution)...  WHY do companies make it SO DIFFICULT to get in touch with them?  This economy is SO GREAT, let's do our best to aggravage our customers more...  Anyway, after I entered yesterday's post, I noticed that the ads were back, so enjoy that...  :)  I hope that you have a great day and I'll see you again tomorrow with a recipe and some football picks...
         

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blue October

"I'm so scared to make another mistake in the end, but I just wanna be happy again..." -Blue October- (For My Brother)



Good morning everyone.  It's a very pensive type of morning on 'Bikini Hill' (can mornings be pensive?) as I battle my cold into Day 7 (it seems to be retreating).  My sleep "schedule" (using the term loosely) is not going to like me as I just woke up about 45 minutes ago after another nap (I can't keep track of how many I've taken since leaving work after my shift ended early Monday morning).  'Blue October' happens to be the name of my favorite band (one of my favorite songs and lyrics is included above for your listening pleasure), but this post is more autobiographical, about where I'm at during my birthday week, coming during a month in which I have now been sick for 7 of the first 10 days (I never said that the lyrics weren't fitting).

So I've been back in San Marcos, America now for about forty days, after what can best be defined as a month-long vacation to Las Vegas (painful even typing the words into my keyboard).  I'm not betting football parlay cards (I'm barely even watching football games as a matter-of-fact, ESPECIALLY in comparison to your average sports bettor), I'm not playing poker (not even at MSN, the breeding ground of all great poker players).  I hope that none of you just choked on your coffee right there - maybe spit a little bit onto your own keyboard, but not choked...  So now I'm sitting in the same place as I was at about this time last year, asking the same questions...  Do I squirrel away all of my money for a year, and then move to the desert?  (YES was the answer to this question last year).  Do I squirrel away a lot of my money for a year, but include a trip to Las Vegas and/or a few trips to Oklahoma and Louisiana in there, hoping to win some money, while remaining aware that taking these trips could very possibly push back a move for another year?  Do I get a second job and just run myself COMPLETELY RAGGED for a year (this option doesn't seem too appealing when being typed by someone who is already sick at the moment), giving myself a bigger cushion to move with, but NO/ZILCH/ZERO life during the upcoming ten months (the term 'year' also being used loosely, since the lease is up and the end of July, for those of you keeping score at home...)?  Do I not move at all?  Is there a dream-job nearby that I haven't found yet, and/or a dream-girl, which would be fulfilling enough to make me forget how enjoyable (and sometimes profitbale) sports betting and poker playing can be?   Will Batman find Batgirl and Robin in time, or will they meet their demise? (sorry, that seems to have slipped in from another strand of questions in the universe)...

So anyway, those are the thoughts going through my mind here on 'Pensive, Depressing Wednesday' (that has potential written all over it)...  Let me take a moment to apologize to my fellow bloggers (that list of links that you see to the right of this blog - my 'reading list') for not having been by more lately to brighten up your posts with my witty, insightful comments (eye of the beholder sort of thing) as I've been battling this cold and have not done much except for working and sleeping.  As you wade through this pool of brutal honesty, let me insert here that you do not have to worry about me - I am nothing if not resilient, and I just need to figure out which direction to aim my sail next.  I'm actually not a sailboat kind of guy, so maybe that's the problem...  :)

Okay, so I'll be back on Friday with a "recipe" for you, and hopefully some winning football picks.  Just remember not to take what you read here too seriously.  It seems that after reading my 'Cowboys/Texans Fans' rant this past Friday, the NFL decided against scheduling EITHER TEAM to play last Sunday...  The power of the keyboard...  :)  I hope that all of you have a great day and I'll see you again on Friday!       

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cowboys And Texans Fans: SHUT UP!!!

Good morning everyone.  I'm sure that the title of today's blog won't rile up any readers or cost me any friends on facebook...  :)  Actually, I don't mind if Dallas and Houston fans support their teams, but if they could avoid the areas specified below, it would really be appreciated...

Cowboys Fans:  Everytime that the Cowboys lose, and that your car won't start, and that you have to wait in line at the grocery store, and that your dog runs away, and that your electric bill just seems too high, it's NOT Tony Romo's fault, not EVERY SINGLE TIME!  I did not see most of the Cowboys Monday Night loss to the Bears, but I did see my facebook account BLOW UP with Romo comments after the game, so the next day I decided to ask an open question to my facebook friends about the game.  I wanted to know from Cowboys fans what Romo did to cost Dallas the game, if other players were involved, if they wanted to go with Kyle Orton as the starter instead, etc, etc...  Three people responded to my question, and none of those were friends who were ready to hang Romo on Monday night.  I had seen Dez Bryant drop a pass that was right in his hands Monday night, and I was told that wasn't his only drop.  The infamous blogger grrouchie also commented that Bryant made a bad read on a 'hot route' that cost the Cowboys an interception and a touchdown return by the Bears.  Grrouchie also mentioned that a Bryant penalty cost Dallas big I believe.  I just went and looked up some game stats, and the Cowboys running game, behind the VAUNTED Dallas offensive line (which I've obviously mentioned here before), had a total of 41 rushing yards for the game (probably Romo's fault).  I also found out that Jay Cutler went 18 of 24 for 275 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a 140.1 quarterback rating (Romo can't cover a soul)...  The Bears also had 93 rushing yards, which although not spectacular (in my book), was more than twice the Cowboys total (Romo isn't good against the run either).  I'm just saying that the Cowboys don't have a ton of players that have been to the Pro Bowl on their current roster, but Romo is one of them.  I think that people may be blaming Romo simply because they know who he is (how many Cowboys offensive linemen can you name?), but there are not many teams currently whose quarterback has been their starter for as long as Romo has been with the Cowboys (fun exercise to come up with the others).  And let me remind Dallas fans that if you want Orton to be your starter, he is the guy who led the Broncos to a 1-4 start last season, the same team that Tim Tebow led to a 7-4 record after replacing Orton...  The worst part of all of this might be that Dallas is still 2-2 and right in the thick of the NFC East race.  Reading my facebook account on Monday night, someone might have thought that the Mayans were three months off on their doomsday prediction...  Watch the whole team, and/or give Romo some credit when Dallas wins also, please...

Texans Fans:  Your football team has won ONE playoff game in the last... EVER!  You MIGHT want to tone down the trash-talking until you've at least REACHED an AFC Championship Game...  For those Texans fans who like to give the business to Cowboys fans... STOP!  If the NFL moved Houston to the NFC East and Dallas to the AFC South, guess what...  the Cowboys could win the AFC South also!  Your division is INCREDIBLY WEAK!  ALL THREE of the opponents in your division (Indianapolis, Tennessee, and Jacksonville) started a rookie at quarterback on opening day this year...  PLEASE try to convince me that Dallas wouldn't CRUSH that division also.  By the way, I can't imagine the Texans skating through a division where they had to play the Giants, Eagles, and Redskins twice.  (By the way, if the Cowboys and Texans ever meet in a Super Bowl, lock yourself in your house for a couple of weeks)... Sadly, the media and power-ratings people are jumping on the Texans 4-0 start against (wait for it...) the Dolphins, Jaguars, Broncos, and Titans this season.  Houston won 3 of these 4 games by 20-something points (mentioned in the power-ratings write-up), and evidently the Texans have the top-ranked defense in the NFL (overheard at work).  Although the Texans have a very weak schedule this season and SHOULD EARN a first-round playoff bye in my opinion, come talk to me if Houston wins 3 of their next 4 games by 20 or more points after they meet up with the Jets, Packers, Ravens, and Bills.  Support your team, but stop acting like Houston has won the last fifteen Super Bowls, please...

Now for the part you want to read, where you get to mock my 3-6-1 record last weekend, which brings my overall season total to 17-25-2.  Having gone 3-6-1 and 4-6 in the last 2 weeks, I have decided that if I don't go at least 7-3 this weekend, I will include a recipe with my selections next weekend (because I should be making SOME good use of this space, right?)...  Here are my picks for this weekend:

Texas A&M/Mississippi (Over 65) - I remember Texas vs. Mississippi...
Auburn (- 8) vs. Arkansas - I remember SEVERAL Arkansas scores this season...
Texas State/New Mexico (Over 49 1/2) - Bobcat games seem to attract points so far...
Louisiana-Monroe (- 3) @ Middle Tennessee State - Misprint?  Checked it twice...
West Virginia/Texas (Over 74) - I remember WVU/Baylor (SHUT UP...)
UCLA (- 2 1/2) @ California - UCLA has been decent so far...
        
Green Bay (- 7) @ Indianapolis - Rodgers vs. the Colts?  Better cover a T.D...
Ravens/Chiefs (Under 46) - Seems like a lot for a Ravens game...
Bears (- 5) @ Jacksonville - Maybe a trap game, but have to do it...
Chargers/Saints (Over 54) - Expecting fireworks in this one...

There you go.  I hope that you enjoyed that and that you find some winners there (like about ten)...  Have a great football weekend!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Old Lady Conned Me

Good morning everyone.  This is a poker post from the same 2-4 limit game that I played at the Flamingo with Lucki Duck and the cool couple from Buffalo (who I will now refer to as P and J).  If I have not mentioned it before, other than pocket tens, the hands that I get into the most trouble with are hands from the blinds that turn into something, just not enough...  At this 2-4 table, with P and J sitting to my right, and Mr. Duck to my left, there were 3 older ladies sitting to the Duck's left.

In this particular hand that I'm describing, I'm sure that I was one of the blinds, I just don't remember which one.  The hand that I played was somewhere in the vicinity of 6 2 suited (spades).  After an unraised flop with 2 spades, the first of the 3 older ladies to the Duck's left (from here on out she'll just be referred to as 'the old lady' because she is the only 1 of the 3 relevant to this hand).  I mentioned that there were three because J (this would be Mrs. Quads, P's wife) was not a big fan of the trio, nor was I...  :)  Anyway, the old lady bets out, gets a caller or two, and of course I call with my flush draw.  The turn does not make the flush, so I check again.  At this point, the old lady says something to the effect of (maybe Lucki Duck can help me here - I am not positive that this is verbatim, but it's in the ballpark), "well, my good hands never hold up anyway" - she checks after this statement, as does everyone to act after her.  Remember, she bet out on the flop, then gave "the speech" as the Duck would say, which should have told me (although I was suspicious, but thought, "no, she CAN'T BE angle-shooting, not her...").  BA HA HA...  The turn brings the third spade, so I bet out with my monster 6-high flush, and the old lady raises me (SHOCKER for all of you bloggers who have ever played poker or read my drivel before).  The action comes back around to me, and I HAVE TO see it for four more dollars - NO WAY this elderly lady conned me, right?!  I call and then of course she flips over the ace-high flush (A 5 I think)...  I think that I brought up her little broadway skit in some comment that I made to Lucki (who sitting to my left, is right in-between us, so of course I'm speaking in her direction).  She makes a comment to the effect of, "well, I wasn't ahead at the time..." (I think the flop paired my deuce, or whatever my lower card was).  The moral of this story:  'Don't Trust Anyone'...  :P 

I've been back in San Marcos, America for just over a month, and surprisingly I'm holding up well.  I still haven't figured out my next move yet.  I don't know if I want to save for another year and move back to Las Vegas before next football season, or save for two years, or meet (or realize that I already know) the future Mrs. Coach, or if the Mayans were right and that anything after December is just irrelevant anyway...  It's not easy for me to watch football (and I haven't been playing the free poker online either), and I had surmised earlier that I might be almost crushed if I went 10-0 in a week on my football picks, with the amount of money that I would make for a weekend with relatively low risk (I do like my parlay cards)...  However, after going 3-6-1 last week, I have decided that if I don't go at least 7-3 this weekend, I might just type a recipe for next Friday's blog entry...  With my football picks this Friday, I will DEFINITELY be leading with a write-up about the thing that annoys me the most about Cowboys and Texans fans (one thing for each group).  I hope that all of you have a great day and I'll see you again on Friday!  And go wish Linda Lou a Happy Birthday today if you know her!  ;)

       

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Early Bird

Good morning everyone.  Today you get a little bit of insight into just how "crazy" I can be, but you have to remember that this is coming to you from the guy who thought NOTHING of driving 20 hours straight to Las Vegas and 20 hours straight back to San Marcos in the span of one month...  I am in desperate need of a new driver's license.  My address has changed, which technically requires me to get a new license by law, but the photo on my current license is just HORRIBLE.  I am sure that I must have addressed this in a previous post (again, this is a very exciting blog)...  So I wake up this morning at about 4:00 a.m. (as a result of my disjointed sleep schedule and an off-day yesterday).  I decide that I will eat breakfast, shower, and then go "camp out" at the San Marcos office of the State of Texas Department of Public Safety until they open at 8:00 a.m.  I might as well be first in line if I get there early I figure...  So I arrive at 5:15 a.m., and I've got my phone, a notebook, and my 3 trusty poker chips, so I'm good to go.  Forward to about 6:15 a.m. when I am really in need of a restroom...  Yeah, so I'm going back to tomorrow, with the knowledge that I can arrive at 6:15 a.m. and still be first in line.  A car was pulling into the parking lot as I drove away at 6:15 - can you BELIEVE that someone would arrive at 6:15... IN THE MORNING?!  Crazy...  In football this weekend I went a dreadful 3-6-1 on my picks here.  Yes, ANOTHER TIE on top of the humiliation of picking only 3 bets right out of 10...  Don't be surprised if I'm posting recipes or some other nonsense here when you come back and visit this Friday...  The good news in my football world is that the Steelers didn't lose yesterday - we didn't play, but we still didn't lose...  The local alma mater had a very respectable showing against the University of Nevada, suffering only a 13-point loss to a talented Wolfpack squad.  Due to the 1:00 p.m. kickoff I would have been able to attend the game, and I was able to find a ticket at the last minute, but a forecast of rain (which did come through) prevented me from going because I knew that I was going to be working until about 4:00 a.m. and I didn't want to get thoroughly soaked beforehand.  I am in the midst of a very long weekend (almost) as I left work at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, and with the exception of the 6 hours I will be working tonight, I don't work again until 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday.  Last night two of my friends wandered through Harper's Hall early in the Giants/Eagles game that I really didn't have that much of an interest in watching, and I had the opportunity to show these two beautiful young ladies the Veranda (our new rooftop addition - I should get my blog sponsored...  #shamelessplug), and then we went and dined on chicken wings and beer (and a salad, but not for me) on the other side of the Square.  Thank you for a great time Alyssa and Bailey!  :)  As I ramble on, I'm reminded of how deprived most of you are to not be a part of my facebook network, so I have to share the content of one of the more interesting photos that I saw this week.  A woman is holding a sign protesting (it looks like she's in Austin, Texas), and the sign reads, "Make English America's Offical Language" - the BEST PART is that "Offical" is the only word underlined on the whole sign...  :)  I hope that all of you have a great day and I'll see you again on Wednesday!