Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy 2015!!!

Good evening everyone.  As we're nearing darkness here in San Antonio, Texas, with the calendar reading December 29th, I can assure you that this will be my last post of 2014.  All in all, 2014 was a pretty good year for me, and I'm more than ready for 2015 to begin.  Before we get to all of my mushy personal stuff however, we're going to get our football out of the way...  Joey and I both finished under .500 for the second straight week with our 'Lucky 7' picks, and as a "reward' for that, we both get to weigh-in on 12 bets this week.  We're giving you our bets on both of Thursday's NCAA playoff games, in addition to all of this weekend's NFL playoff action, both against the spread and the totals (overs/unders).  We're throwing in our score predictions at no extra charge...  I'm going to lead things off this week just because I feel like it...  :)  Brittany helped lead me to a 3-4 mark last week, but I have faith that we'll turn it around this week.  Also, Brittany is a Cowboys fan, so she's probably going to like my prediction on that game...  :)




Coach's Lucky Dozen (Last Week 3-4, 62-63-1 Overall)


Oregon 41  Florida State 28  ---  Oregon (-9)  ---  Under 72
The Seminoles can't afford to give the Ducks a head start.  I think that Oregon's tempo on offense will give the Seminoles problems.

Alabama 38  Ohio State 17  ---  Alabama (-9)  ---  Under 58.5
The Buckeyes are way down on their quarterback depth chart, the Big Ten is not the SEC, and Ohio State doesn't deserve to be in this game anyway.  The Tide should roll...

Cardinals 23  Panthers 17  ---  Cardinals (+5.5)  ---  Over 38
I really like the Cards getting the points here.  Arizona still has a formidable defense, and just needs to keep the game close to win this bet...

Steelers 27  Ravens 17  ---  Steelers (-3)  ---  Under 47
I'm not pleased that my team lost Bell to an injury, but the Steelers are still chucking the ball with success.  I constantly say that Flacco is overrated, so I have to back it up...  Go Steelers!

Colts 31  Bengals 24  ---  Colts (-4)  ---  Over 49
The Bengals were running of receivers last night, and will need a big game from Hill to beat the Colts.  I do expect points to be scored in this one, but I like the Colts in the dome...

Cowboys 34  Lions 20  ---  Cowboys (-7)  ---  Over 48.5
It's amazing what the Cowboys can do when they block and tackle, isn't it?  Romo, Murray, and Bryant are a formidable trio, and Stafford is now 0-16 on the road against teams with a winning record in his career...


In case I haven't clarified this before, I tailor my score predictions to match my feelings on my bets against the spread and on the totals (overs/unders).  I'm just saying that I'm more interested in getting my bets right than being close to my score predictions (for what's it's worth)...  Now that I've clarified that, we'll get to Joey's picks.  You'll notice that several of Joey's predictions differ from mine.  Joey is also betting against the weatherman, as he feels that this week's prediction for snow in Las Vegas won't come to fruition...  :)  With that being said, live from the Palace Station Sportsbook, here's Joey...




Well, that was a fast NFL season.  Happy holidays and I hope you made some money during the regular season.  Here are my wild card and college playoff picks...


Joey's Lucky Dozen (Last Week 2-5, 58-64-4 Overall)


Florida State 37  Oregon 21  ---  Florida State (+9)  ---  Under 72
The Seminoles are the defending champs and still undefeated.

Ohio State 17  Alabama 14  ---  Ohio State (+9)  ---  Under 58.5
Even with their third quarterback, the Buckeyes are a top four team.

Panthers 31  Cardinals 24  ---  Panthers (-3.5)  ---  Over 38
***Joey bet this early at (-3.5), and I took today's line of (+5.5)***
The Panthers are now my pick to win the NFC, at least til they lose.

Steelers 17  Ravens 10  ---  Steelers (-3)  ---  Under 47
Big Ben is good enough to keep the Steelers winning.

Colts 28  Bengals 27  ---  Bengals (+4)  ---  Over 49
The Bengals can be good when they don't have the flu.

Cowboys 31  Lions  17  ---  Cowboys (-7)  ---  Under 48.5
Suh is out - Romo gets a playoff win.


Happy New Year and may all your parlay cards cash!


I'm really surprised at how many games Joey and I disagree on, and at how many totals we do agree on - this ought to be an interesting week of football...



And now for my last keystrokes of 2014...  I'm really thankful for the family and friends that I have, and for the opportunities that I've had to live life (like that Brittany?  :) ) every year.  I have seriously been blessed to have had the opportunity to do so many different things in my life, and go so many places, and meet so many people.  I've gone about a week and a half now without working (Christmas Break), and I went almost three months during the late summer and early fall without having to work.  My point is that it would be very hard for me to complain at all about 2014.  With that being said, my resolution for the new year is to make money.  When I say make money, I mean MAKE MONEY!  I'm serious when I tell you that I'm probably going to GRIMACE every time that I write a rent check in 2015 - NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS a month for a one-bedroom apartment.  GRRRRR...  Oh well, at least I should never be bored during the new year.  If I do ever complain about boredom in the next twelve months, just tell me to get a job (or another job, or a better job)...  :)
Well, I'll have plenty of time to fill up your computer screens in 2015...  I hope that all of you have fun welcoming the new year, and that you have an OUTSTANDING 2015!



















Saturday, December 27, 2014

It's Getting Serious Now

Good morning everyone.  Things are starting to heat up now in the football world as some of the more prestigious bowl games are approaching, coupled with the impending NFL playoffs, where several seeds have yet to be determined.  Joey and I both had losing weeks last week for the first time in a while, but we're still hovering around the .500 mark.  I'll avoid stalling since Joey has picked some of today's games.  Live from Las Vegas, here's Joey!



Merry Christmas to everyone.  I hope everyone received the gifts they wanted.  Santa left me a list of seven things to go get.


Joey's Lucky Seven (Last Week 2-5, Overall Record 56-59-4)

Cincinnati (-2) vs. Virginia Tech
South Carolina (+4) vs. Miami
Boston College (-2) vs, Penn State
USC (-7) vs. Nebraska
Chargers (+3) @ Chiefs
Giants (-3) vs. Eagles
Panthers (+4) @ Falcons


One day Santa will tell me where all the naughty girls live...  Good luck and may all your tickets cash!


And now it's my turn.  As usual, I'm picking all NFL games, although I will weigh-in with predictions on next week's college playoff games, in conjunction with next weekend's NFL games (we'll be coming to you with an earlier post than usual, tentatively on Tuesday or Wednesday).  I have a new good luck charm for this week since my random girl from Las Vegas went 3-4 with me last week (I'm pretty harsh, eh, after probably more than a month with a winning record?)...  However, my friend Brittany posted a pair of photos on Facebook that was too late for my 'Merry Christmas' post, and Joey's naughty girls/Santa joke reminded me of her pictures.  I'm gonna need Brittany's good karma this week, because all seven bets that I'm giving you revolve around games that have playoff implications (for qualifying or seeding).  This wasn't even intentional, but off we go...


 


Coach's Lucky Seven (Last Week 3-4, Overall Record 59-59-1)

Packers (-6.5) vs. Lions - I think Lions will literally freeze up in the 19-degree wind chill...
Chargers (+3) @ Chiefs - Bolts fighting for playoff spot/Chiefs are out, and won't have Alex Smith...
49ers (-6.5) vs, Cardinals - Arizona is free-falling due to their quarterback situation...
Raiders/Broncos (Under 48) - Raiders don't score, Peyton will suffer in 22-degree wind chill...
Panthers/Falcons (Under 47.5) - Betting that the good Carolina defense shows up...
Ravens (-13) @ Browns - Ravens still alive for playoffs/Browns have QB issues...
Bengals/Steelers (Under 48) - Battle in the cold for the AFC North...


And that's it for this weekend's football my friends.  Hopefully my picks are nice as opposed to naughty - C'mon Brittany!!!  :D  It's been awhile since I've leaned on a friend in this spot...  :P  Have a great football weekend my friends, and we'll see you soon!













Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

"You need to stop focusing on the darkness behind you.  The past is the past..." -Breaking Bad-

"Hang on to your hopes my friend..., that's an easy thing to say, but if your hopes should pass away, simply pretend..., that you can build them again..." -The Bangles- (Hazy Shade of Winter)



Good afternoon everyone.  I'm currently passing the time at my brother's house just days before Christmas in the same way that I passed it at my apartment in Austin in the days following Christmas last year - I'm watching episode after episode of 'Breaking Bad...'  We're all thrilled that I'm expanding my horizons...  There is actually a two-day marathon on AMC that begins on December 28th, but I found a half-dozen episodes on Time Warner's "Entertainment On Demand," so off we go...  Joey and I will still be back with some football picks for you this weekend, but there wasn't much of a chance that I'd give you a post before Christmas after today.  And yeah, I also watched 'Less Than Zero' again yesterday (where those 'Bangles' lyrics came from, for those of you who are keeping score at home)...

I'm hoping that I'll get my head screwed on straight (or that I'll run just a little bit better) so that I'll find myself in a better financial position at this time a year from now.  Two years ago at Christmas, I was less than 4 months removed from a Labor Day Weekend break-in out in Las Vegas.  Last year I was just about five months removed from a San Marcos to Austin relocation at this time.  I have already proved to myself twice that I can save money while living at the apartment complex that I'm moving back into less than three weeks from now.  However, I'm going to be paying the highest monthly rent that I've ever paid in my life when that lease begins, and that means that 2015 is going to be a very busy year for Coach...

As I've said before though, don't shed any tears for me.  I seem to remember that I visited the desert from August until the last week of October, Las Vegas and Reno, while doing nothing but playing poker and betting on sports.  I drove each leg of my journey in a 2014 rental vehicle.  I didn't have to show up for work at all during this time, AT ALL...  However, since I plan on saving money at the same rate that I did last year (at least), and my rent is going to be about $300.00 a month more, Coach will be showing up for work A LOT in 2015...

Back to the part about not crying for me, don't.  A couple of years ago at Christmas I was thrown when I abruptly discovered that a friend of mine was at best, immature, or at worst, someone that I completely misjudged as a person.  That revelation was soon followed by a week-long trip to Las Vegas however, a visit that helped take the sting out of that fall's Labor Day Weekend break-in. Last Christmas was much more positive as I was able to spend some time with a friend from high school when she visited Austin, someone who was able to remind me of the things that I'm capable of simply by the life she lives.  And then of course this holiday season I've been fortunate enough to have good friends and family looking out for me as I patiently wait to take over my new apartment, people who I'll be forever grateful to.

Like I said here recently, give me about another month (give or take) to get settled into my new place, and then I'll resume boring you on a more consistent basis...  In the meantime, here are some cheery Christmas photos from my friends to send you into the last week of 2014...



 
This one is from my friend Jessica, and her outfit is probably cute enough to win her a prize in a bikini contest.  Oh yeah, it did...  Congratulations Jess, and Merry Christmas!



  
This shot is brought to you by Austin's Capital City Dancers, courtesy of my friend Heather, the cute reindeer on the right.  It was from Heather's lips that the words, "You better stop watching me" were spoken (for you longtime blog readers), still the best first words ever said to me, and one of my favorite stories...  Merry Christmas Heather!



 

And this picture is from my friend Taryn, showing that Santa is alive and well in Austin, and making the last of his practice runs for tomorrow night in the Lone Star State.  Have a Merry Christmas Taryn!


And as for all of you, have a Very Merry Christmas and I'll see you soon!










Saturday, December 20, 2014

Joey's Bowl Picks

Good afternoon everyone.  I'm not making individual picks on all of the bowl games this year due to time constraints.  However, Joey is making wagers on every single bowl matchup (as usual), so I thought that I'd post his picks here.  Joey obviously has varying levels of confidence in these picks, so I'll let him choose which bets (if any) he wants to include in his weekly "lucky seven..."  And here he is, live from the Palace Station sportsbook in Las Vegas, Nevada...




Bowl picks of the year.  A couple of places out here are doing a special winner take all parlay card if you can pick the most winners in the bowl games, so here come the winners...


UL-Lafayette (Pick) vs. Nevada - Joey just got that one right...
UTEP (+10) vs. Utah State
Utah (-2.5) vs. Colorado State and (Under 58)
Air Force (+1) vs. Western Michigan
South Alabama (-2.5) vs, Bowling Green
Memphis (Pick) vs. BYU
San Diego State (-2.5) vs. Navy
Central Michigan (+3) vs. Western Kentucky
Fresno State (+2) vs. Rice - Joey like Rice, but line had already moved 3 points...
Louisiana Tech (-6) vs. Illinois
North Carolina (-3) vs. Rutgers
Central Florida (-2) vs. North Carolina State
Cincinnati (-3) vs. Virginia Tech
Arizona State (-8) vs. Duke
South Carolina (-1) vs. Miami (FL)
Penn State (+3) vs. Boston College
USC (-6) vs. Nebraska
Texas A&M (+3.5) vs. West Virginia
Oklahoma (-4) vs. Clemson
LSU (-8) vs. Notre Dame
Georgia (-7) vs. Louisville
Maryland (+13.5) vs. Stanford
TCU (-4) vs. Ole Miss
Boise State (+3.5) vs. Arizona
Georgia Tech (+7) vs. Mississippi State
Auburn (-5) vs. Wisconsin
Michigan State (+3) vs. Baylor
Missouri (-5.5) vs. Minnesota
Florida State (+10) vs. Oregon
Ohio State (+10) vs. Alabama
Pittsburgh (-2.5) vs. Houston
Iowa (+3) vs. Tennessee
Kansas State (-1.5) vs. UCLA
Washington (-5.5) vs. Oklahoma State
Florida (-7) vs. East Carolina
Toledo (-2) vs. Arkansas State


That takes us through all the college bowl games.  May all of your parlays cash.  Merry Christmas!!!!


Based on what Joey has said, I believe that the Marshall/Northern Illinois and Arkansas/Texas games are omissions and not non-bets.  I will update this list as soon as I get those games from Joey.  In the meantime, have a great football weekend!  :)

UPDATE;  Marshall (-10) vs. N.Illinois  &  Arkansas (-3) vs. Texas

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 Is Winding Down...

Good evening everyone.  I only have one more day of work this year, which is tomorrow, and then I will be heading south to San Antonio for the holidays.  Since I'll be making that trip tomorrow night, I thought that I'd be better off posting these football picks for you now.  I planned this to give Joey the opportunity to give his thoughts on some of Saturday's bowl games, so naturally he went with all NFL games this week too.  This means that you're actually getting all of our selections way ahead of time this week, a true Christmas miracle...  :P  Well, the miracle part may be that after sluggish starts to the season, BOTH Joey and myself have clawed our way back to .500 records on the season.  Joey went 5-1-1 last week, while I went 5-2.  Without any further ado, let's get to this weeks bets and hope that the positive trend continues...  Joey didn't have much to say this week, surely because he's picking sides on ALL of the bowl games, but here are his selections...



Joey's Lucky Seven (Last week 5-1-1, Overall record 54-54-4)

Eagles (-6.5) @ Redskins
Vikings (+6.5) @ Dolphins
Chiefs (+3) @ Steelers
Patriots (-10) @ Jets
Bills (-5.5) @ Raiders
Colts (+3) @ Cowboys
Broncos (-3) @ Bengals

That's it for my best seven.  I hope all your parlays cash...


Joey and I didn't have any matching selections this week (which is disappointing because we were starting to do well on those bets when we did), but here goes anyway.  The Vegas girl in blue is still bringing me good karma, so she's back as well...  ;)



Coach's Lucky Seven (Last week 5-2, Overall record 56-55-1)

Lions/Bears (Under 44.5) - Cutler haters rejoice because Clausen is the answer - PFFFTTT...
Patriots/Jets (Under 47.5) - Can the Jets score 10 in this game???
Browns/Panthers (Over 40.5) - I expect a very strange game here...
Colts/Cowboys (Over 55.5) - I expect a very wild game here...
Seahawks (-7.5) @ Cardinals - Lindley is looking at a long day is this one...
Ravens (-5) @ Texans - Texans are way down on the QB depth chart also...
Broncos/Bengals (Under 48) - This matchup should be interesting...


And that's it for tonight my friends.  Once I get settled in San Antonio for this break, you'll probably see a few more posts than you have been from me.  Let a month pass, and I'll be back on a regular writing schedule.  Have a great football weekend and I'll see you soon!
 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

At Your Service

Good morning everyone.  Today's showcase college football game is Army vs. Navy (two service academies), so I'm "at your service..."  Yeah, I think that's pretty weak also, but I can't top it right now, so let's move on to our football picks.  Joey and I have been winning recently, so don't dismiss our picks until you've read them at least twice...  Coming live to you from the Palace Station Sportsbook in Las Vegas, Nevada, HERE'S JOEY...



Joey's Lucky Seven (Last Week 4-3, Overall Record 49-53-3)

Navy/Army (Under 56 1/2) - Both of these teams love to run the football...
Dolphins (+7.5) @ Patriots - These two teams hate each other.  Take the dog...
Bills (+5.5) vs. Packers - We will see if Buffalo can rebound from Denver...
Vikings (+7.5) @ Lions - Vikings have won two straight...
49ers (+10) @ Seahawks - 49ers offense is terrible.  I'm hoping their defense keeps them in it...
Cowboys (+3) @ Eagles - Again, gotta take the dog when both teams are fighting for first place...
Colts (-6) vs. Houston - I just cannot bet against Andrew Luck...


That's it for the best seven.  May all your tickets cash.


And now it's my turn.  Random Las Vegas girl has been very good to me so far, so...



Coach's Lucky Seven (Last Week 4-3, Overall Record 51-53-1)

Steelers (-2) @ Falcons - Let's see if I can jinx my team...
Broncos (-4) @ Chargers - Let's see if I can jinx Joey's team...
Raiders/Chiefs (Over 41 1/2) - This number is just so tempting...
49ers/Seahawks (Over 38) - This number is even more tempting...
Dolphins/Patriots (Under 48 1/2) - I don't see this one being a shootout...
Packers/Bills (Under 48) - The Bills offense and defense should both keep points off the board...
Saints (-3) @ Bears - I have a strong gut feeling here, and I'm a gambler...  ;)


And that's it for today folks.  My next post should be a little bit longer, but in the meantime, have a great football weekend!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thirteen Days

Good evening everyone.  I took one of my patented naps after returning here following work today, and now I'm typing up some more drivel for you (because that's the thoughtful type of person I am) as my friend's family (and all of their pets) rest comfortably in bed.  Upon the completion of my nap and entering the living room, I found the whole family watching 'Million Dollar Arm.'  This was a pretty cool family activity to intrude upon as all of the lights were turned off and everyone was comfortably enjoying the movie together on the couch and love seat.  If you continue to stop by and visit my blog, you're going to continue to see me expressing my gratitude to my family and friends for all of their kindness in looking out for me upon my return to Texas from Nevada...  I don't think they have any idea how much I appreciate them...

If you haven't figured it out yet (did you even try?), 'Thirteen Days' is a reference to how many days of work I have remaining before I move into my new apartment (at my old apartment complex)...  For those of you keeping score at home (and really, aren't you all?), I have 3 days of work left this week, 5 days next week, a 1-day "work week" the day after New Year's (don't get me started), and 4 days the following week.  If I'm doing the math correctly (and I know that I am, or I wouldn't even bring it up), I have more days off in the next month than I actually work (and I can already tell you that's going to be in drastic contrast to what will be happening after I move into my new place, my new, EXPENSIVE place).  Regardless, I expect the next month to fly by as Christmas and New Year's are fast approaching.  We actually had our Christmas party at work today (well, Christmas meal, again, for those of you who are keeping score at home).  While there weren't any gifts exchanged, there was A LOT of food.  As I type this, Christmas is just over 15 days away, and 2015 is just over 22 days off.

Again (and obviously to your detriment), you will see more posts from me once I get moved into my new place.  Although I'll be working more once I eventually get settled, I'll do my best to catch up on summarizing my experiences from my almost three-month vacation in the desert from the late summer and early fall.  I won't be visiting any casinos for a while, but I'm tentatively aiming for a December 2015 vacation in Las Vegas.  I'm going to have to save up a significant amount of money over the next year to make this vacation happen.  Another monkey in the wrench is that the lease that I just signed recently will be ending at the conclusion of next year, so I'll have to figure out if I'll be remaining in my new apartment for another year.  If I stay, that will be another expensive year, and if I leave, I'll obviously be moving at the onset of 2016.  Yeah, I'm also wondering exactly when this blog became my diary...  :)  If I have the money and I can get the time off from work, an upside of this vacation is that there's no cheaper time to visit Las Vegas than in December (something about families being home for the holidays I hear)...  Speaking of families (SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT), my brother's family is about to (yeah, can you believe it..., SERIOUSLY???) MOVE... BACK... TO... LAS VEGAS...  Just let that sink in for a minute.......  :)  Yes, so if I'm successful in working this trip out, I'll be visiting them over the holidays next year (like I will be this year, except that they're in San Antonio right now).

I think that I'm going to turn in for the night now (releasing breaking news is pretty exhausting)...  ;)  Have a good one and I'll see you later in the week with some football picks...
       

Saturday, December 6, 2014

We Need Eight Teams

Good evening everyone.  The Florida State/Georgia Tech game finished up not too long ago and I'm probably going to be returning to a youth select team baseball tournament tomorrow (and watching NFL games the rest of the day), so I thought that I'd retype my opinion on a previous topic for ya really quick.  Somewhere in the archives here I recall stating my belief that we need to have an 8-team college playoff system as opposed to a 4-team format, and the finale of this first season under the current plan seems to back up my stance.  If your team can't CLEARLY make a case for being recognized as one of the eight best in the nation, then I don't want to hear your crying.  However, there are several teams that I feel have a legitimate argument for being included in this group of four, and it's very difficult to differentiate among them.  I just wanted to say good luck to the committee members as they try to sort out this mess...  :)  Have a great Sunday and I'll see you soon...
 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Attitude Is Everything

"Attitude is everything.  Pick a good one..." -Anonymous-



Good evening everyone.  Joey and myself return tonight to share more of our football wisdom with you for this weekend.  Joey went 4-3 last weekend and I went 5-2, so we're going to go with "wisdom" for the time being...  Joey and I decided that we'll treat most of the bowl games as we would any other football game, meaning that we'll have the option to include or omit the matchups when we make our weekly picks.  However, we will be picking against the spread and totals (over/under) for the NCAA semifinals and final, as well as for all of the NFL playoff games, including the Super Bowl.  Now we have Joey coming to you with his top seven picks straight from Palace Station in beautiful but wet Las Vegas...



Joey's Lucky Seven (4-3 Last Week, 45-50-3 Overall)

Louisiana Tech (+11) @ Marshall - The wrong team is favored here...
Temple (-1) @ Tulane - I've rode the Owls all year long - no reason to get off the horse on the last week of the season...
Chiefs (Pick 'Em) @ Arizona - The Chiefs will rebound after last week...
Dolphins (-3) vs. Ravens - Dolphins are another team beaten by Broncos that won last week and will do so again...
Colts (-3.5) @ Browns - Colts match up good when they can throw the ball...
Seahawks (+1) @ Eagles - Seahawks still have a chance to win the division...
Falcons (+12) @ Green Bay - A lot of points although Packers are the best team in the NFL...


I really don't like that Joey picked Temple when my Bobcats are looking for them to lose this week, but what can you do???  The random girl from Las Vegas has been good to me so far, so we're going to stick with her again...  :)  Now coming live to you from an undisclosed location near Austin, Texas, here's me...



Coach's Lucky Seven (5-2 Last Week, 47-50-1 Overall)

Colts (-3.5) @ Browns - Browns aren't even confident in their starting QB...
Seahawks (+1) @ Eagles - More power to Sanchez if he can beat his college coach and the defending Super Bowl Champions...
49ers (-8) @ Raiders - If Rams can beat Raiders by 52, 49ers should cover this line...
Rams (-3) @ Redskins - Another home team with quarterback questions...
Bills/Broncos (Under 48) - Bills have solid 'D' and little 'O'...
Panthers/Saints (Over 49.5) - Saints have solid 'O' and little 'D'...
Packers (-12) vs. Falcons - Packers have a cold forecast for visiting Hotlanta in Monday night's game...


And that's all for tonight my friends.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon...






Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Making Lists

Good evening everyone.  It's going to be Thursday already (at least) by the time that most of you read this, but I'm starting to type at 10:15 p.m. and I know that I'll finish well before midnight, so good evening...  Now that we've wasted the time to cover that, let's move on...  I'm currently watching the last five minutes of the Duke/Wisconsin basketball game, having watched the first half of 'The Lost Boys' up to that point.  Duke is up 5 with just over 5 minutes left, if you're wondering.  I'll let you know who won when it's over.

Since I signed the lease on my new apartment, I've been making a lot of lists.  I think that we've covered the topic of my penchant for making to-do lists more than once here.  I'll end up utilizing several memo pads at any one time (and a dry erase board when I'm in a place of my own) to write down all of the things that I need to get done.  As you can imagine, the multiple lists are longer than normal due to the fact that I'm still transitioning between staying with my friends and my brother's family (and I can't thank any of this group enough) while I wait to get the keys to my new apartment.  In addition to moving into my new apartment, I'm also going to have to find a way to pay for it.  Well, paying for it isn't the thing so much as making enough money so that I have the ability to save money.  The $280.00 spike in rent from my previous lease to my upcoming one that I discussed in my last post is going to require Coach to find an additional source of income.  Whether it's finding a second job or a better paying job (or both), I'm going to have to make some more money.  From my viewpoint, the good news is that Austin must have A TON of jobs, because there has to be a reason that so many people are moving to the ATX, resulting in the increased demand and short supply of housing that I've discussed here recently.  So, I've been making lists...

Some of the lists that I've been starting are for this blog, as I still have several stories to tell from this summer.  As I may have mentioned here already, and I've definitely pointed out to several friends and members of my family, don't feel bad for me because I'm back in Austin.  If you ever hear me whine or complain about the current situation that I'm in, this holding pattern of waiting for my apartment to open up, etc..., or ESPECIALLY if you hear me complain about work, just remind me about the almost three-month poker and sports betting vacation that I took from August until the last week of October, where I wasn't required to report to work for even one day, not even one minute...  :D  Yeah, so don't cry for me Argentina...

In the sports world, my Texas State Bobcats are once again bowl eligible.  Last season we finished bowl eligible with a 6-6 record, but we played poorly down the stretch and did not receive a bowl bid.  We finished this season with a 7-5 record, but all of the automatic bids for the Sun Belt Conference have evidently been awarded, and the word is that we did not receive one.  (Duke just beat Wisconsin 80-70, and yes, it takes me this long to type my blog entries - oh, and now I'm watching 'The Lost Boys' again)...  Back to my alma mater, now we must depend on receiving an 'At Large' bid to a bowl game.  The word is that we've been talking to the Armed Forces and Cactus Bowls.  Due to the fact that we don't have an invite yet, Bobcat Nation will be rooting against Oklahoma State and Temple this weekend, as these teams each have five wins and could reportedly snatch away a bowl berth from us if they reach the qualifying sixth victory.  Oklahoma State faces Oklahoma while Temple plays Tulane.  Stay tuned...

Once I have a residence of my own again, you should see the volume of entries increase here, and especially the part where I steal material from my friends (don't let me down Leanne and Francesca) and other sources.  The fact that my drivel has been viewed more than 80,000 times completely dumbfounds me, but if I can do all of this typing for you without profiting even a single penny from it, well, how can I beat that???  :)

Let's see, what else, what else???  I'm not sure if Joey and I are going to predict all of the bowl games for you this year, or maybe just our favorites, or maybe just have the opportunity to call them in our weekly 'Lucky Seven' segment.  I know that you're on the edge of your seats awaiting this decision, so we've both had such stellar records in the blog this season.  AHEM...

Okay, well it's almost 11:00 p.m. now, and some people wake up really early for work.  However, I can recall SEVERAL nights this summer when I went to bed in Las Vegas AFTER I'm currently waking up for work, so I'll wipe this tear away now...  Have a great day and Joey and I will see you soon with our picks for this weekend...




    

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Jerk Face

Good afternoon everyone.  As I watch football here with my brother's family (while the four of them are all diligently working on setting up their new phones), I figured that this would be a good time to tell you the story of how I found my new apartment...

As I've mentioned previously, a lot of people are moving to Austin, and this is creating a lot more demand than supply in the housing and rental markets.  I read somewhere that the apartment occupancy rate is now 98% here in Austin.  Anyway, when I returned to town in late October, I called the manager at my old apartment complex to see if they had anything available.  Being so close to the UT campus, I didn't expect them to have any vacanies, and indeed they didn't.  All that was available was a one-bedroom apartment in January, and that was renting for $899.00 a month.  The studio that I left in July at the same complex cost me $619.00 a month.  Even if a studio was going to be available, it would cost me $719.00 a month because all of the units are being renovated.  After searching extensively online, I came to the conclusion that my dream of living on West Campus again was futile.

When I started my search for an apartment away from campus, that's when I actually discovered how crazy the rental market is in Austin right now.  Any place that I saw advertised online was going to cost me at least $600.00 a month, and that's for places 5-10 miles or more from campus.  Being without a car, I also had to find something close to the UT or city bus routes.  During my search, I called my old complex two more times to see if anyone had backed out of their lease - no such luck...  For those of you who haven't been longtime readers of my blog, my old complex was a 15-20 minute walk to and from work, and I had the option of riding the campus bus home most of the time (the exception being when school wasn't in session).  My old place also isn't very far from the city bus routes either, but I digress...  Anyway, in the course of less than a month, a one-bedroom at the complex where a friend of mine lives went from $750.00 to $755.00 to $770.00 to $800.00.  I kid you not.  They're staying right on top of the market...  The best option that I had found had nothing available, and was making a waiting list for December.  Most places (evidently not all) now require a 60-day move-out notice (and don't all require 30 days???).  Anyway, I'm not sure how they didn't know what they were going to have available in December, and WHO looking for an apartment has the luxury of being put on waiting lists?  Anyway, a very frustrating process...

Then I decided to check into the offices of the apartment locators and realty companies on West Campus.  I thought there might be a possibility that they would know of properties that weren't being listed online.  In the past I've always hunted down my apartments for myself, but without a vehicle and with seemingly limited listings online (and likely just those of the more expensive places), I thought I'd take a shot.  This was about a week and a half ago...

So I go into an agency on West Campus the Wednesday before last, and the agent finds at least two vacant units that we can look at the next day.  On Thursday we visit the two complexes, and I KID YOU NOT..., BOTH apartments had occupants...  When we walk into the first one, the agent tells me that it might be a model unit...  The laptop has a cup of change sitting by it, there are posters on the walls, etc, etc...  I tell him to check the refrigerator.  The first thing that we see is a beer...  At least this place was neat.  When we opened the door at the second place, it was blatently obvious that the apartment had a tenant...  Realtors are awesome...  :)  But don't say that, because this only gets better...  So after he doesn't e-mail me on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, I go back to his office on Monday during lunch (because I'm not very smart)...  He finds two more places for us to look at on Tuesday.  Fast forward to Tuesday...

So now it's Tuesday, and when we meet, my agent hands me a piece of paper.  When we looked at the occupied apartments the week before, I was never handed a piece of paper.  This paper had the names of the apartment complexes, the addresses, and the monthly rents written on it.  It also had about four typewritten lines at the top of the page.  I skimmed the lines, and my eyes came to an ABRUPT HALT after reading the fourth line, which basically said..., "Be prepared to pay the equivalent of a month's rent for your deposit.  Please let your realtor know if this is a problem..."  An $800.00 deposit for an old $800.00 apartment in Hyde Park - yes, I was ecstatic...  Oh, I forgot to tell you that I had seen a video of this apartment the previous day, which at least proved that no one was currently living in the apartment...  Anyway, when I brought it to my agent's attention that this was indeed a problem, he assured me that I could contact the other West Campus realtors to confirm that this was standard.  Even if that's the case, wouldn't you want to let your client know this up front???  Chelsea, Bryn, Monica, Cecily..., I wouldn't get treated like this in San Marcos, would I???  :)  I've heard of paying a full month's rent as a deposit when renting a house, but for a one-bedroom apartment???  Anyway, then my agent makes a phone call, asks the person on the other end of the line if we still do "look and lease," and now the deposit has been magically reduced from $800.00 to $500.00.  Hmmmm...  I informed my agent that with the first month's rent, and the deposit, and the utility depsoit, etc..., that the amount was too high, and I walked away FUMING...  Take me to a pair of already occupied units, try to charge me an $800.00 deposit...  JERK FACE...    NOTE:  I'm stealing the term "jerk face" from my friend Brandi, and I totally plan on using it all the time and making it a household term within the next year...  ;)

So now I'm back on campus, angrily pondering what's next in my apartment search.  I decided to uselessly call my old apartment complex for the third time, and the manager informs me that nothing has changed - he tells me that no one else has backed out of their lease for the spring, and that he still has the remodeled one-bedroom available for $899.00 in January.  As I sat there and stewed after we hung up, I realized that things have changed since the end of October.  I thought that I'd SURELY have an apartment by now, and suddenly January isn't as far away as it once was.  The unit at my former complex is expensive (a jump from $619.00 to $899.00 for me), but I've learned that's in line for a one-bedroom on West Campus, especially with the renovation.  I am also completely comfortable with the complex and its surroundings, and it's still extremely convenient.  So after talking to my friend and my brother to make sure that they could jointly deal with hosting me for another month and change, I pulled the trigger and called my former apartment manager...

As we sit here, I have a signed lease on a one-bedroom West Campus apartment that will be mine shortly after the start of the new year.  I also just saw the Texas State Bobcats defeat Georgia State 54-31, giving my alma mater a 7-5 record and likely securing a bid to our first bowl game as an FBS school.  Have a great football weekend and don't be a jerk face...  ;)

  

Friday, November 28, 2014

We're Even

Good afternoon everyone.  I hope that you enjoyed your Thanksgiving yesterday.  I had a very nice afternoon with my family (which I'll talk about a little more in the future).  When it comes to our football picks, Joey and I are now even in the standings.  I have one more win than Joey, but I also have an extra loss.  This is possible because Joey has two more ties than I do.  I wish that our records were better, but the .500 mark isn't too far out of reach, and we're still more than 2 months away from the Super Bowl.  Without any further ado,. here's Joey...



Regular season college football is coming to an end, so most of my seven picks will come from the NFL.  I do have a few college picks though...


Joey's Lucky Seven (5-2 Last Week, 41-47-3 Overall)

Utah St. (+9) @ Boise St. - Aggies are best kept secret in Mountain West...
Nevada (-10) @ UNLV - This is a revenge spot - UNLV took the cannon last year.  Coupled with a disheartening loss at Hawaii, the Rebels have mailed in the season...
Arkansas St. (-21) vs. New Mexico St. - NMSU hasn't won a game since Week 3...
Browns (+3) @ Bills - We haven't checked the weather report, but the Browns are the surprise team in the NFL.
Cardinals (-1.5) @ Falcons - Falcons may be leading the NFC South, but game management by the coaching staff is in question...
Saints/Steelers (Over 53) - Neither team's defense is very good...
Vikings (-2.5) vs. Carolina - Bridgewater is having a good rookie season and this game is winnable...


As we get to my predictions, you'll notice that I threw a pair of college bets in there this weekend, just to spread my losing out.  You'll also notice that I like a lot of totals.  We're also sticking with the random girl from Vegas after coming off the winning week..




Coach's Lucky Seven (4-3 Last Week, 42-48-1 Overall)

Oregon/Oregon State (Under 67) - Some inclement weather may help me...
Florida/Florida State (Under 53) - Gators don't score much...
Bengals (-3.5) @ Buccaneers - Cincy better hope they cover this one...
Redskins/Colts (Under 51) - Shouldn't be fireworks in this matchup...
Broncos/Chiefs (Under 50) - Chiefs are tough at home...
Chargers (+6.5) @ Ravens - A little wishful thinking maybe???
Patriots/Packers (Under 58.5) - Dicey weather expected at Lambeau...


And that's what we have for the weekend.  Have a great football weekend!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I'll be giving you some pretty big posts soon because I no longer have to search for an apartment.  The apartment search is officially OVER!!!  :D  Joey and myself will be back tomorrow with a our football picks for this weekend.  Have a Safe & Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Criss-Cross Applesauce

Good morning everyone.  By the time that I end up hitting the 'publish' button, it should be at least an hour since I made my last post.  If you haven't read it yet, you should really rush back and check out 'Stay Tuned.'  Joey and I both went 2-5 on our football picks last week, so there's a very good chance that we'll end up finishing somewhere between 0-7 and 7-0 this week...  If you're here to catch up with what's been happening in my world, then you're in the right place.

I can say with very little hesitation that the reason that I haven't been posting much is that I've been waiting to get settled into a new place before I once again fill the internet with my wisdom.  I find it very difficult to come here and type while I'm looking for a place to live.  It's that feeling of guilt that I shouldn't be on here while I'm apartment hunting.  Today I received my second paycheck since I returned to work, and I recently learned that there might be a few apartments available close to campus.  After doing a pretty extensive online search of what's available for rent in the greater Austin area, I can confidently say that I would once again like to live close to the UT campus/downtown area.  The time saved commuting to and from work and being close to the heartbeat of Austin outweighs the more expensive rent in my opinion.  To this point in my life (somehow I just set this keyboard on italics, and I'm not going to spend any more time trying to change it back) I've always relied solely on myself to hunt out my future home, but I wasn't able to get any leads on apartments within the vicinity of campus until I met with an apartment locating company this past week.  Thursday was actually a very interesting day for me as I was shown two vacant apartments that are both currently occupied.  Yes, you read that right - the agent picked up keys, drove me to a couple of separate units at completely different complexes, and both apartments are still being lived in...  :)  However, I'm still holding out hope that I'll find a place to live that's close to campus.

In the meantime, I have some amazing friends that are putting me up (putting up with me) and are housing my belongings.  If you only had any idea how much I hate imposing on people and hate feeling helpless...  I am so grateful to have people that are looking out for me while I get resettled in Austin.  Rents continue to rise throughout the city as more and more people flock to the ATX, and yet it's still difficult to find a place to live.
Some unexpected and completely amusing material for this post came to me tonight as a result of staying here with my friends.  In elementary schools throughout our nation, sitting with your legs crossed is no longer referred to as sitting "Indian style."  For quite some time (as I discovered tonight - wow, I see that the normal print has returned), sitting in this position has come to be known as "criss-cross applesauce..."  I can be pretty creative (okay, the italics are back now), but I kid you not - criss-cross applesauce...  OH, and it continues with "spoons in your bowl" (to get the exact positioning just right).  I'm dead serious right now...  It's probably the hardest that I've laughed in quite some time.  The entertainment didn't stop with the new knowledge from my friends Brandi and Chad - being very wise, I decided to post about this in a facebook status.  That's where my friend Amanda introduced me to, "Tootsie roll, lollipop, we've been talking, now let's stop..."  And evidently the kids love this...  Yeah...  :)  

Okay, so since I'm not making any football bets now that I'm back in Austin, Chad is letting me help sabotage his fantasy football teams in addition to giving me a place to stay.  If you're unaware, I decided against fielding any fantasy football teams this year since I'd be making wagers, which would get me into sufficient trouble of its own accord.  Now I get to live and die through the football games based on the teams that Chad and Brandi are fielding, and on the Steelers inability to beat teams like the Bucs and the Jets.  Don't get me started...  I should also mention that as I'm typing this, I have two cats and a dog proofreading my work (we're going to blame the italics on them)... 

Once I do get settled into my own place, I do plan on summarizing my Las Vegas (and Reno) experience, and you'll probably get many more pieces of the life that I've lived as we move forward.  I'll also start incorporating the experiences and wisdom of my friends into my blog entries again once I'm back to doing all of my entries on a computer.  This post is being done on a computer and not on my phone, which is the reason that it's being typed so much faster and with added mystery italics...  

Well, it's 1:00 a.m. here now and I'm pretty tired (oops, I did it again), so I'll let you begin your weekend.  Let me thank you once again for following along, and apologize to you for the limited entries lately.  This post is actually going to be the one that puts my little blog over 80,000 total views - pretty cool...  :)  Have a good one and I'll see you soon...
   

Stay Tuned

Good morning everyone.  It should be just after midnight here in the ATX if I time this up right.  I'm going to give you some football picks from Joey and myself, and then I intend to immediately begin another blog entry, one that will encompass several topics.  I thought that this would happen last weekend, but I think that I just feel guilty about taking the time to write here while I'm still apartment hunting.  Anyway, let's get to our picks, and then I'll embark on a second entry.  



Joey's Lucky Seven (2-5 Last Week, 36-45-3 Overall)

Not much commentary this week - been busy eating big steaks...  (So naturally I post the lasagna photo)  Here's my best seven...

Boston College (+20) @ Florida State
Western Michigan (+1.5) @ Central Michigan
Louisiana-Lafayette (-10.5) vs. Appalachian State
Louisiana Tech (-13) @ Old Dominion
UCLA (-3) vs. USC
UNLV (+10.5) @ Hawaii
Colts (-14) vs. Jaguars

Good luck with the top seven and may all your tickets cash...


And before you get enraged and start writing letters to the editor, I did not limit Joey's word count because he went 2-5 last week.  Actually, someone else very near and dear to us also went 2-5 last week...  Since I did go 2-5, I'm going to spare Gabby the shame of being here for my picks again, and instead I'm going with the photo of the random girl from Las Vegas (since all of my selections seem to be random recently)...



Coach's Lucky Seven (2-5 Last Week, 38-45-1 Overall)

Titans (+11) @ Eagles - Indicative of my level of respect for Mark Sanchez...
Patriots (-7) vs. Lions - Pats at home with red hot Brady...
Packers (-8.5) @ Vikings - Let's go with another sizzling team...
Bears (-5.5) vs. Buccaneers - Hopefully the Pirates met their win quota for the month...
49ers (-9) vs. Redskins - Disarray for the visitors and a playoff dogfight for Frisco...
Redskins/49ers (Under 44) - I pretty much want the Redskins to mail this one in...
Jaguars/Colts (Under 50.5) - Looking for another low-scoring Jaguars matchup...


And that's it for this entry my friends.  I'm going to post this, and then I'll be right back with some more words.  Have a great football weekend, and/or stay tuned for another entry very shortly...


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Chilly Saturday

Good morning everyone.  In a move that is definitely visionary for this blog, I am actually going to post football picks before the majority of games have been completed.  For those of you who aren't here for the football, I'll try to get a more diverse post typed up for you tomorrow.  The high here in Austin today is supposed to be 51 degrees, so yeah, yuck...  Joey and myself both had winning records here last week, and Joey is 10-3-1 with his selections over the last 2 weeks.  Without any further ado, here's Joey...



It's time for the lucky 7 of Week 11.  C'mon, daddy needs a new pair of shoes.  Okay, onto the picks...


Joey's Lucky Seven (4-2-1 Last Weekend, 34-40-3 Overall)

Temple (+11) @ Penn State - Penn State is one of the worst Big Ten teams but seems to get a lot of credit.  The offense is OFFENSIVE!!
Nevada (+2) @ Air Force - The Wolfpack have been a quiet team all year.  Two more wins in conference and they have a chance at the title...
Arizona State (-9.5) @ Oregon State - This team has a legit chance to be PAC-12 Champion and if things go right could make the final 4 playoff.
Mississippi State (+8) @ Alabama - Number one team in the country getting more than a touchdown.  Next Please!!!!
Georgia Tech (+3) vs. Clemson - They still run the ball better than any team in the country and the D is starting to show up...
Saints (-7) vs. Bengals - No one is better at home than the Saints and no one is worse on the road than the Bengals.
Colts (-3) vs. Patriots - Hopefully this game is a shootout (Vegas has the total at 58).  Whoever has the ball last wins, so I'm taking the home team...


That does it for my seven picks.  Again we will skip New Mexico State - lol...  Good luck and may all your parlay cards cash.


As Joey and I both ascend closer to the .500 mark, I'm going to stay true to form and just pick NFL games once again this week, and since I had a winning record last week, I'm going to stick with Gabby and the beer purse...  :)  Also, if you focus really hard, you might notice a theme with my picks...



Coach's Lucky Seven (4-3 Last Week, 36-40-1 Overall)

Eagles/Packers (Under 55) - It's going to be very cold, and thus difficult to score 55...
Seahawks/Chiefs (Under 42.5) - Chilly temperatures will affect scoring in K.C...
49ers/Giants (Under 45) - It's not going to be hot in New Jersey, and the offenses will follow suit...
Vikings/Bears (Under 46.5) - There's a rumor that it's going to be really chilly in the Windy City...
Browns (-3) vs. Texans - I wouldn't mind getting this one wrong, but the team from Houston is visiting the first place team from less than tropical Cleveland...
Redskins (-7) vs. Buccaneers - I just have a feeling about this one...
Steelers/Titans (Under 47) - Low temperatures equal low scores on Monday night...


This blog post should be covered in icicles...  :)  Have a great football weekend and I'll see you soon...









Sunday, November 9, 2014

Where We're At

Good afternoon everyone.  I found a few minutes and thought that I'd take this opportunity to catch you up on where I'm at currently.  I've been really stingy on the blog posts (not to mention social media, my personal life, etc...) lately, but you have to remember that in the past 25 days I've driven from Las Vegas to Reno, driven from Reno to Austin, and got my old job back at the University of Texas at Austin (and have now worked 8 days).  I am in the process of crashing at the 3rd different place now as I look for an apartment here in Austin.  Have I mentioned that I have some INCREDIBLE friends?  To catch you up on the apartment search, my studio on West Campus was $619.00 last year.  My old complex doesn't have anything available until January, and that's a one-bedroom for $899.00.  Like I said, I'm looking for an apartment here in Austin...  I would really love to live on West Campus again for its convenience to work, so I may exhaust all options (call every complex and/or knock on every office door) before I settle for something farther away.  Lightning commented on my football picks post earlier today about what I'll be writing about here and when, but y'all are going to have to have a little patience with me.  Okay, we all know that dealing with me requires a lot of patience...  :)

And that's pretty much where we're at right now.  I'm about to squeeze a little bit of sleep in and around some football, so enjoy the rest of your football Sunday and have a great week...

Later & Later

Good morning everyone.  Pretty soon I'll be doing this entry after all of the games have been played.  As things stand, 5 of Joey's 7 bets have been decided.  Better late than never???  Okay, Joey is batting leadoff again, and I'll play catch up with our records at another time.



Joey's Lucky Seven (6-1 Last Week, 30-38-2 Overall)

Duke (-3) @ Syracuse - Everybody is betting Duke, but they are the better team.
Notre Dame (+3) @ Arizona State - Nobody is playing Notre Dame, and they are the better team.
Louisiana Tech (-3) @ Alabama-Birmingham - This has been my sleeper team all year.  7-1 against the spread.
Rice (-10) vs. UTSA - Rice has a good offense, sometimes the D just doesn't show up.
UTEP (+7) @ Western Kentucky - Some teams just take longer to gel than others.
Lions (-2.5) @ Dolphins - Lions will not give up 37 points to the fish.
Packers (-7) vs. Chicago - Packers had a week off and the Bears D is really, really bad.

That's it for my 'Lucky Seven.'  I'll leave off New Mexico State - they have not won since Week 2 and I don't see them winning this week either.

And now it's my turn.  We haven't utilized any of Gabby's good karma for a while, so let's go Contreras...  :)




Coach's Lucky Seven (3-4 Last Week, 32-37-1 Overall)

Packers (-7) vs. Bears - Joey might get one right.  KIDDING...  Bears haven't been able to fix their leak recently...
Steelers (-4) @ Jets - Big Ben is hot, Jets are not...
Steelers/Jets (Under 47) - Jets O is stuck in neutral, umm..., nonexisent...
Falcons (-2.5) @ Bucs - 56-14 Falcons last time if I remember correctly...
Cowboys/Jaguars (Under 45.5) - A pair of good defenses...
Denver (-11) @ Raiders - Peyton has no snow in this forecast...
Panthers/Eagles (Under 48) - Carolina D & Sanchez to thank for this...


And that's it gang.  I'm still catching up here, but I'll try to do better on the blog.  Have a great football Sunday...  :)




Saturday, November 1, 2014

Blame It On Halloween

Good evening everyone.  Got some late football picks for you.  I could blame it on Halloween, but it's really not Halloween's fault...  When I messaged Joey this morning about his picks, I got an "oops..."  However, I still haven't picked seven bets, and will be doing so after I enter his selections for this week.  I also hope to get our records up to date afterward.  I'm still doing fine in Austin, staying with some awesome friends and watching some UT football as I type this.  My brother and his family made a huge trek here from San Antonio today to hang out with me, and then I took a long nap for much of the afternoon.  Without any further ado, here are Joey's picks for you.  I'm sorry that it's too late for you to act on Joey's selections, but life isn't always fair...  :P  Live from the Palace Station Sportsbook & Casino, here's Joey...



Joey's Lucky Seven (3-4 Last Week, 24-37-2 Overall)

Duke (+3) @ Pittsburgh
Boston College (+4) @ Virginia Tech
Air Force (-3) @ Army
Middle Tennessee State (+4) vs. BYU
Kansas State (-12) vs. Oklahoma State
Colts (-3) @ Giants
Cardinals (+4) @ Cowboys


And it's my turn...  Just for Joey we've got the shiny Bobcats helmet.  Texas State 37  New Mexico State 29 - Eat 'Em Up, Cats...  ;)



Coach's Lucky Seven (2-5 Last Week, 29-33-1 Overall)

Cardinals (+2 1/2) @ Cowboys - Dallas lost to Redskins, and are iffy at QB this week.
Browns (-6 1/2) vs. Buccaneers - Browns hosting one win Bucs in chilly Cleveland.
Eagles/Texans (Under 48 1/2) - Texans have good D and not much passing.
Jaguars/Benglas (Under 43 1/2) - Jags also play D and don't score much.
Chiefs (-9) vs. Jets - Jets take woeful QB play to tough Arrowhead environment.
Chargers (+2) @ Dolphins - Miami getting too much credit here...
Patriots (+3) vs. Broncos - Chilly weather and Brady getting points at home...


And that's it folks.  I still need to get completely settled in, and then I'll have a lot more blog posts for y'all.  Remember to set your clocks back an hour before you go to bed tonight.  I hope that everything is going well in your world and I'll see you soon...  :)


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What A Difference...

Good evening everyone.  I'm relaxing on a couch right now at the home of my friends in central Texas, taking a moment to reflect back on the past few weeks.  I'm still fresh off an hour and a half nap that was taken with the intent of watching the remainder of the Giants/Royals Game 6 upon my beauty sleep's conclusion.  Yeah, yeah, there's not enough sleep in the universe to make me beautiful...  A week ago today (meaning Wednesday, which will come in about an hour) I was embarking on a journey from Reno to Austin.  Exactly a week before that I was being inconvenienced unfathomably (and with no hint of caring or concern) by Enterprise as I attempted to pick up my rental vehicle for my trip from Las Vegas to Reno.  On the Wednesday (and probably 2 or 3) before that, I was weighing options in my head.  What a difference a week (even a month) makes.  I'm back in Austin and I couldn't be more content (well, I could always be more content to some extent, and there are some topics on which I've yet to vent, but you get the idea)...  I have been very fortunate to have more than my share of very interesting life experiences, and this most recent stay in Nevada is another one that I'll be able to reflect on and learn from.  When I get firmly resettled here in Austin and find some more time, that visit promises to be the focus of several more blog entries here, and will surely have an influence on the rest of my life, as I imagine that most of my experiences and relationships do.

It's getting pretty late and I have to get some more rest for work tomorrow, but I just wanted to check in with y'all.  Have a good one and I'll see you soon...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Oh Deer

Good evening everyone.  I haven't written very often lately as I was deciding what to do next in my adventurous life, but I made my decision.  While in Las Vegas, I basically had a "stop loss point" in mind where I'd have to get a job if my money dropped to a certain level.  When my money reached that point, I made what turned out to be a bad decision due in part to misinformation (although I'll shoulder my share of the blame too).  There will be more written about this in the future as I filet Enterprise and speak about lodging options in Reno.  In the interest of keeping things a little bit shorter now however, I'll move on...

I had pretty much decided by Monday morning that I wanted to move back to Texas, and bright and early I put in a call to my former boss.  He told me to check back in a little while later, and when I did, I was told that my paperwork was already being processed.  :)  Now I had to make arrangements to get back to Austin.  Unfortunately (as I recalled once I went to the Avis site and started pricing vehicles), renting from Austin to Las Vegas was cheaper than Vegas to Austin back in July (yes, I priced it both ways).  On top of having to drive from Reno to Austin (which takes about seven more hours than driving from Vegas), the rental costs more because of the extra distance.  Also, it's not possible to make that trip in less than 24 hours if you adhere to the speed limit, adding even more money to the cost of the rental.  Regardless, I had made my decision and had to focus on getting back to Austin - I'd have to figure out the money problems later.  When I talked about my stop loss point, that included enough money to rent a vehicle to get home, gas for the trip, application fee/administration fee/deposit and first month's rent for an apartment, money to pay my phone bill, and maybe even a little food money in there til my first paycheck.  That's a laundry list of things that got OBLITERATED by the Reno fiasco and the extra money that I had to spend returning to Austin.

All of that aside, I was having a pretty good return trip here on Wednesday and Thursday.  I had a lot of sleep on Tuesday, and I had my Sirius radio to keep me occupied and motivated as I made my journey through several miles of desert and nothingness.  I skated by Las Vegas Wednesday night, and through Phoenix and Tucson early Thursday morning, cheating rush hours and traffic.  In El Paso I encountered the only real traffic that I'd meet during the trip.  I was about fifteen minutes from Austin, FIFTEEN MINUTES away from my destination, approaching Austin from the east on Highway 290 at about 9:00 p.m., when a big deer jumped out of the woods and the darkness and into my lane of the 4-lane highway, and STOPPED ("Deer in the headlights" anyone?), and BAM!!!...  I had tried to turn at the last minute (a fact that I didn't even remember until afterward when I was looking at the front end of the vehicle with the police, noticing how one side took more damage than the other).  So yeah, BAM!!!  The airbag deployed and hit the inside of my forearms as I discovered exactly how fast a deer can decelerate a vehicle.  When I came out of my brief moment of shock, I realized that my rental was still operable, and I looked for a safe place to pull over.  The area that I was in was unlit, surrounded by woods, and the speed limit was 70.  For those of you familiar with the Austin area, I ended up stalling out at the red light across from the Nutty Brown Cafe on 290.  Anyway, I wasn't happy at all when I had to wait over two hours for the tow truck and my replacement vehicle to show up from the airport, but I finally calmed down, realizing how lucky I was that I wasn't injured...

Fast forward to right now, and once again I'm incredibly fortunate to have some good friends.  The friends that I'm with right now are housing me and my stuff, and I received a facebook message from another friend yesterday offering to put me up at his place while I'm in this transition period.  I'm really, really fortunate...

As I get settled back in Austin over the next few months, you'll still get to read plenty from my adventures in Las Vegas and Reno.  Don't feel bad for me.  I had told several people that if I had to get a job, I'd rather work in Austin than in Vegas - it's just a nicer place to live.  I was honestly excited to be returning once I had made my decision.

So to Gabby, I obviously learned that San Diego was too expensive (I still didn't make it to the ocean this trip).  And to Kyleigh, I won't be in Reno when you get there, but I hope that you enjoy visiting downtown and going back in time.  And Jason, sorry that I'm not still there, but enjoy your visit to the desert.  And to all of you who have supported me and enjoy following the blog, I'll bounce back again... ;)  And yes Valerie and Yvonne, you can tell people that the real reason cameI came back is so y'all could make Spam for me...  :)

I'm going to stop now because we have a Mississippi/LSU matchup in addition to a World Series Game 4 that are about to start, but I'll be back pretty soon.  Thanks again for your support and have a great football weekend...  :)



  

Late Football Picks

Good morning everyone.  I'm going to rush typing these football picks into this entry (and I'll come back through later to clean up the season/weekly records for Joey and myself).  After I finish with this, I'm going to type a "real" blog entry to catch you up with my world...

Joey's Lucky Seven (3-4 Last Week, 21-33-2 Overall)

U. Mass. (+17) @ Toledo - U. Mass doesn't have much of a defense, but their offense is averaging 37 points per game.
Ole Miss (-3) @ LSU - Rebels will stay undefeated and will be 1 of the top 4 teams in new playoff system.
Western Kentucky (-10) vs. Old Dominion - Western Kentucky has the offensive firepower to play with the big boys, they just don't have the backups, but they will be okay to beat up on Conference USA foes.
Utah (pick) vs. USC - The Utes and Trojans are about equal talent wise, so I'm taking the home team with the home field advantage, and the altitude will get to USC.
Colts (-3) @ Steelers - I've been playing one week with the Steelers and one week against.  This week is against.
Packers (+2.5) @ Saints - This is probably the second best team in the NFL, right behind Denver, and I'm getting points!!!  Plus it's in a dome.
Lions (-4) vs. Falcons (London) - This game is too early for most to watch and too late in London, England for the Falcons to care.


Coach's Lucky Seven (3-4 Last Week, 27-28-1 Overall)

Texas/Kansas State (Under 48) - UT has good D and doesn't score...
Packers (+2.5) @ Saints - I'm with Joey here - please give the Pack points...
Colts (-3) @ Steelers - Steelers blitzed Texans late in first half, but Colts are better...
Patriots (-6) vs. Bears - Pats only have to cover a touchdown at home...
Seahawks (-5) @ Panthers - Seahawks better beat someone soon...
Eagles (+2) @ Cardinals - Again, giving Philly points?  Please...
Cowboys (-9.5) vs. Redskins - McCoy's stock would be very high if he wins this one...


Okay boys and girls - give me a few hours and I'll catch you up with my life...  ;)
:


Friday, October 17, 2014

Reno Is Like A Donut

Good afternoon everyone.  I still have a little bit of a sense of humor...  I messaged my friend Ken before I came to Reno, and when I asked him about it here, he opened with that line - "Reno is like a donut..."  Ken was one of my high school classmates, and he actually lived here.  I really know very few people that have ever been here before at all
.  Ken explained that the center of the "donut" is comprised of Reno's entertainment and gambling element, and that the outskirts of the city are better for housing.

Back to my sense of humor, I figured that if I needed to look for a job (and wanted to live somewhere that I could readily bet football and play poker), I'd be better off here than in Las Vegas in respect to the size of the city, in that I don't have a vehicle to get around.  I found a great rental rate on a vehicle from Las Vegas to Reno through Enterprise, and the weekly/monthly places are supposed to be cheaper here than in Vegas.  I'm not going to get into all of the specifics right now, but having used Avis twice now in the last three months, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND renting from them, and I STRONGLY DISCOURAGE you from having any dealings with Enterprise.  This will be a future topic of discussion here, count on it...  Anyway, after the nightmare of dealing with Enterprise and barely getting my Avis rental vehicle loaded before the office closed at my place in Vegas (so that I could return the key), I drove to Reno on Wednesday night.  Other than the fact that I had to pay 3-4 times more for my last minute rental from Avis because Enterprise is a joke, the drive here was uneventful.  I got to town in plenty of time to scout out potential weekly/monthly apartments, and unfortunately Ken was right in that a lot of places didn't look very suitable to rent.  This observation was based at looking at them from the outside, as I was driving around town in the middle of the night.  Of course I want to be close to downtown if I'm here (for its proximity to the casinos).  Long story short, the place that I'm staying in for this week turned out to be more expensive than I had bargained for due to the size of the unit that they had available, and coupled with having to pay way more than I had agreed upon for a rental, I'm pretty much freaking out (mentally) at this point due to where I find my finances.  To catch you up, this is one of several places that I had contacted before deciding to give Reno a shot, and it's one of the very few whose location I'm comfortable with.  Anyway, again making the long story short, my finances are almost to where I thought they'd be after renting a place here for a whole month, due to the unexpected expense of the rental vehicle and not trusting he looks of the cheapest places here.  I figured that a month would give me plenty of time to find a job here (and even give me some money), and even if that didn't materialize, that would be a whole month that I'd have to figure out my next move.  Now I'm up against it, but at least I feel better after sleeping yesterday, after having been up for over 24 hours straight from Wednesday through yesterday...          

Anyway, so that's where I'm at right now.  I really didn't plan on getting into all of that yet, and just came here to give you some football picks.  Due to the fact that I still need to make a limited number of football bets, I'm going to keep this super short right now, and probably come back and edit Joey's and my records and comments about our picks here later.  And here's Joey...


Joey's Lucky Seven (2-5 Last Week, 18-29-2 Overall)

Northern Illinois (-13) vs. Miami (OH)
Iowa (+5) @ Maryland
Duke (-3) vs. Virginia
U. Mass. (-13) vs. Eastern Michigan
New Mexico (+12) @ Air Force
Western Kentucky (-5) @ Florida Atlantic
Hawaii (+9.5) @ San Diego State


Coach's Lucky Seven (3-4 Last Week, 24-24-1 Overall)

Colts (-3.5) vs. Bengals
Bears (-3.5) vs. Dolphins
Bills (-5.5) vs. Vikings
Chargers (-4.5) vs. Chiefs
Cowboys (-6.5) vs. Giants
Broncos (-6.5) vs. 49ers
Texans/Steelers (Under 45.5)


A couple of things here before I go...  The parlay cards here in Reno are much more limited in the college games that you can choose from.  Maybe half of Joey's picks are available on the card (and I'm using the odds from the Peppermill card).  Also, not much studying went into my picks (ha ha - watch them win this week)...  :)

Anyway, that's it.  I'm trying to figure out what to do since I've been about even on my gambling but still have to pay my bills.  If I have to work, I might as well be in Texas, because I'd be living in a much nicer place (my apartment and the state)...  :)  However, maybe I get super lucky this weekend...  :P  Well, have a good one and I'll try to come back and edit in the missing information regarding our picks.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Birthday Weekend

Good morning everyone.  This is obviously coming to you way later than I'd like, especially considering that the UT/OU game kicks off in less than nine hours.  However, since my 101st birthday is this weekend, I will forgive myself...  ;)  Well, except for in the morning, when I have to wake up.  Merp...

Joey and myself both went 2-5 last week, so I should probably start charging for this priceless info. (I'll give you half Joey)...  Okay, without any further ado, live from the Palace Station Sportsbook & Casino, here's Joey...

;


It's that time of the week again for the parlay cards to come out, so let's color in the bubbles (Joey is clearly stealing my material)...


Joey's Lucky Seven (16-24-2 Overall, 2-5 Last Week)

U. Mass (-2) @ Kent St. - U. Mass is winless, but they could be 4-2.  There's a reason Kent State is 0-5.
Alabama (-9) @ Arkansas - Bama knows it has to run the table.
Memphis (-7.5) vs. Houston - Cougs QB is having his sophomore slump.  Memphis is 6th in the nation in takeaways.
 Temple (-17) vs. Tulsa - Temple had a week off & Tulsa is 4-13 versus the spread.
Penn St. (-1) @ Michigan - H.C. Brady Hoke is about to be fired from UM, if not now, then in 4 weeks.
Browns (1.5) vs. Steelers - Like I said last week, I'm betting the Steelers one week & this week is the blind bet against.
Bengals (-6.5) vs. Panthers - Cincy has something to prove after Pats, plus Panthers can't run the ball.


That's it for the parlay card, except for my New Mexico State play.  The Aggies are on the road to Troy, and that's all you need to know.  Close game, but the Aggies lose 35-34.  May all your parlay cards be winners...


As I said, I also went 2-5 last week, so I'm going to spare Belle the Cat...  I'm going to DARE my picks to be wrong now, under the watchful eyes of Francesca and Leanne (it's just been way too long since y'all have been in the blog anyway)...  :)



Coach's Lucky Seven (21-20-1 Overall, 2-5 Last Week)

Clemson (-9.5) vs. Louisville - Tigers are tough in Death Valley.
Texas (+16) vs. Oklahoma - Big spread against this improved UT defense.
Memphis (-7.5) vs. Houston - Tigers have played well, Cougars, not so much.
Texas A&M (-1.5) vs. Ole Miss - Letdown game for Rebels at Kyle Field.
Broncos (-8.5) @ Jets - Hope it's as easy as it seems.
Patriots (-3) @ Bills - Brady vs. Orton - Bills will have to prove it to me.
Steelers/Browns (Over 46.5) - Every Browns contest has video game scoring, as did this matchup in Week 1.


And that's all boys and girls.  If I don't see you again before Tuesday, tune into ESPN 2 on Tuesday night for the Texas State football game.  Eat 'Em Up, Cats!  Enjoy my birthday weekend and I'll see you soon!

Friday, October 3, 2014

77777

Good morning everyone.  The blog hit the 77777 mark this week (which is supposed to be lucky in Vegas), so hopefully this will be a good week.  Let's get right to the football picks...



Joey's Lucky Seven (14-19-2 Overall, 3-3-1 Last Week)

Rutgers (-3) vs. Michigan - Michigan is in shambles.
Northern Illinois (-24) vs. Kent St. - Kent is 124th in scoring & 111th defensively.
Appalachian St. (+5) vs. South Alabama - S. Alabama has only covered once as a road favorite.
Ball St. (+2.5) @ Army - Army has lost last 3 meetings by 20 points or more.
Arkansas St. (-9) vs. Louisiana-Monroe - Arkansas State had a bye last week and is much faster.
Nevada (+2.5) vs. Boise St. - The Wolfpack play better at home.
Steelers (-6.5) @ Jacksonville - I'm taking Pittsburgh every other week.

That's the parlay card for this week.  May all your parlay cards cash.


Thank you Joey.  I'll once again be putting my picks under the Belle the Cat, who has presided over consecutive 5-2 weeks...



Coach's Lucky Seven (19-15-1 Overall, 5-2 Last Week)

Tennessee (-2.5) vs. Florida - Vols went toe-to-toe w/Georgia last week.
Georgia (-33) vs. Vanderbilt - Vandy won't be pulling an Arizona in Athens.
Saints (-10.5) vs. Bucs - Saints are just better in the dome.
Chargers (-6.5) vs. Jets - The Pats are slipping, so maybe put Vick in already???
49ers (-6) vs. Chiefs - This game is not at Arrowhead.
Steelers/Jaguars (Over 46.5) - Big-arm QB's and suspect D's.
Texans/Cowboys (Under 47) - Hard-hitting battle looming in Arlington.


And there you are boys and girls.  Despite my 5-2 repeat and hitting several other picks last weekend, I somehow managed to lose money and am once again considering bolting for greener pastures.  I didn't hedge enough when I should have, hedged too much when I shouldn't have, etc., etc...  I still have this weekend ahead of me, so we shall see.  The Falcons and Steelers just killed me last weekend, and both games were more than I could stomach.  Of course the Vikings get planted by the Packers tonight after thwarting Atlanta by 13 last Sunday.  Don't even get me started on the Steelers...

I hope that you have a great football weekend and I'll see you again next week...

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Miletus Special

Good evening everyone.  Make sure you're comfortable - this is going to be the longest, most multi-topical posts that I've done in quite some time.  Think of this as a "ramble with paragraphs" (if you will)...  Miletus, who has been one of this blog's loyal supporters from the start, has been waiting for quite some time to read something that doesn't revolve around poker and football.  I'm not saying that I'll totally omit those topics, but I'll try to include some other ingredients tonight.

I'm coming to you from the book at the Mirage again.  As I begin typing this, I'm watching the Fresno State/New Mexico game.  I've got Fresno (-5.5).  I'm watching the action, resuming typing when the game goes to commercial.  I suspect that this will put a dent into what I'll cover tonight, but I still expect to be here well after the game ends, recharging my phone and completing this entry.

The walk here today was unexpectedly pleasant.  The high for today in Las Vegas was supposed to be 99 degrees.  The forecast for the next 8 days doesn't have the temperature getting out of the 80's.  The nightly lows that have been in the 70's are supposed to dip down into the 60's.  Fresno is down by three at the half, if you're wondering...  Anyway, when I left my apartment today, it was REALLY OVERCAST.  In other words, it was perfect because it wasn't 99 and sunny.  This was like the opposite of when you've been looking forward to that last piece of cake or pie, only to find that somebody else has eaten it.  I was dreading one more really hot walk to the Strip, and when I opened my door, BAM..., cloudy with a nice breeze...

I remember the first time that someone thought that I was COMPLETELY STUPID...  So this happened twice today on the way here, and you can only imagine how many times it's happened in the almost two months that I've been back in Las Vegas.  I walk up to the busy intersection, and I push the button so that I can cross the street when the signal light rotation allows.  I even push the other button (every time) so that someone else who isn't even there yet will be able to cross the street in the other direction if they happen to walk up to the intersection.  So this guy walks up behind me, and OF COURSE he presses the button too, because I wouldn't have thought of that.  Not only that, but he keeps pressing the button, like THIRTY TIMES (no, I'm not exaggerating).  He's repeatedly hitting the crossing button like we're in some real life version of Frogger or something...  Later I'm standing across the street behind Harrah's.  If you're on my Facebook or Twitter, I'm standing in the exact spot where I took those photos of the 'High Roller' ferris wheel.  Of course I've pressed the crossing buttons, and now I'm waiting when this older couple comes up behind me.  We're behind casinos (Harrah's, the Venetian, the Quad) and there's gonna be traffic, and you're gonna have to wait for the crossing signal to change.  They've been standing to my left, and after a few seconds (predictably), the lady dips behind me and hits the button.  I immediately turned to her, stared, and EXCLAIMED, "WOW..., I would have NEVER thought of that!!!  Pressing the button..."  Okay, we all know that I didn't say that, but someone needs to give me some credit eventually...

Could you PLEASE learn how to walk?  Whenever I've thought about doing a miscellaneous post, this has been the annoyance/pet peeve/action that has repeatedly required all of my restraint not to kill someone that has sparked that thought.  People are oblivious and have no self-awareness (redundant?).  If I had a dollar for every time that somebody just STOPPED while walking, knowing (maybe not) that there are a bunch of other people walking behind them.  Ugghhh...  Just as high on my list of favorites (and I still want a dollar per) is people who aren't looking where they're walking.  They'll be on the Strip looking at the attractions, or they'll be in the casinos..., LOOKING AT THE ATTRACTIONS, or they'll just be talking to each other, etc..., and you better be careful, because they might walk right into you...  Another of my favorites is pairs or groups that are taking up more space than they should (walking side-by-side when the space available does not give people approaching from the opposite direction any path to pass them, etc...).  As I've continued to encounter this, I've just decided it's best for me to come to a complete stop (and no, no one has run into me from behind for suddenly stopping - clever though), and then they can just walk right into me if they choose.  NOTE:  I haven't become a vegetarian or anything since returning to Las Vegas, and someone's gonna know that they walked into something if the crash into me.  Strangely enough, every walker has altered their path to appease my disgruntlement...  :)

Okay, Fresno State has won by 11 (yeah me!), and I've decided that it will be more prudent to continue studying my football so that I'll have the ability to feed myself (without having to find a job), so I'm going to stop here for now.  However, I will try to produce more non-gambling posts in the near future.  As I'll surely mention again next week, my blog turns three on Sunday, and it is also the birthday of my niece and nephew, Nikole and Dillon.  The twins may be older than three...  :)   Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon!  Sorry it wasn't longer Miletus...  ;)