Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cheat Meal

"Do not fall in love with people like me.  I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth.  I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible.  And when I leave you will finally understand, why storms are named after people..." -Caitlyn Siehl- (via Joy Dyer)

"I've got some imperfections, but how can you collect them all and throw them in my face?"
-Staind- (Right Here)

"Sometimes you have to move on without certain people.  If they're meant to be in your life, they'll catch up..." -Mandy Hale- (via Valerie Saenz)



Good morning everyone.  I wasn't sure if I should title this post 'Cheat Meal' or 'The Bus.'  Since the cheat meal storyline is good for me personally, I went with that, but we'll start with the bus stories, just because I'm annoying like that...

This first story is one that I meant to tell you last weekend, since it happened at the end of last week.  I was leaving campus for the day, and when my mostly empty West Campus bus showed up, I had my Droid in my right hand and my backpack in my left hand as I went to take my seat.  I was going for the far left seat in a row of three seats whose backs are up against the window on the driver's side of the bus.  Too late, I found out that this driver WAS NOT WAITING for anything, and before I could even sit down, the bus JERKED FORWARD, and I lost my balance and fell toward the far right seat of the trio.  Fortunately for me, I didn't crash onto the seat, as it was occupied by a girl...  YEAH..., I fell down RIGHT ON TOP of a girl (don't worry, this is going to sound at least TEN TIMES WORSE when we get to that cheat meal section a little bit later)...  My upper body landed on this poor girl's left arm and shoulder, while my lower body landed on her left thigh. Fortunately for both of us, this girl is about 5'10", fairly athletic, and not only did she NOT get crushed to death, but she actually ended up catching me...  When I regained my balance, I popped over into the seat that I was aiming for originally (there was no one in the middle seat).  I immediately said, "sorry about that hon," and she replied, "that's okay..."  After a few seconds, I added, "she's really serious" (referring to the bus driver), to which this awesome girl responded, "don't worry, it happens all the time..."  Then she went back to whatever she was doing on her phone, without missing a beat.  What an INCREDIBLE disposition!

This bus story isn't as happy, but it's a good example of how I'm slowly but surely beginning to lose my patience with thoughtless people...  "You will finally understand why storms are named after people," from the quote above..., YEAH...  I rode the bus on Thursday to get my groceries (which I'll list for you later, and YES, my blog RARELY gets this exciting...), and when I boarded the bus after shopping, the driver informed me that his bus was now out of service - WONDERFUL...  He then irritated me more by informing me that the next bus would arrive in a couple of minutes.  You see, the new MetroRapid bus stops here in Austin have an electronic board which tells you when the next couple of buses will arrive, and I already knew that the next bus after his wouldn't be getting to the stop for ANOTHER fifteen minutes (which it did).  So I take the long bus ride home, but as I go to depart, carrying a bag of groceries in each hand, while wearing a backpack loaded with more, three guys decide that they MUST board the bus before I can leave it...  Hmmmm...  Being in the chipper mood that I was, I deadpanned, "Really guys..., seriously???," which accompanied my thrilled look as I stepped past them and off the bus.  I even gave the back of the bus (where they boarded) the "evil eye" as I crossed the street, which wasn't gratifying for me AT ALL since the bus has tinted windows...  ;)

This last story is more of a bus stop story, kind of...  As I walked to work one day this week, a female jogger ran by me about two blocks shy of Guadalupe (the street that separates West Campus from the actual UT campus).  Due to the stop light at Guadalupe, I was able to continue walking while she had to stop and wait.  "I can't believe you let me catch up with you" were the words that I greeted this total stranger with upon reaching her, and yes, she laughed, because she's obviously one of the cool kids...  ;)  Since I am extremely shy, there's no telling what you're going to be reading about here if I move back to Vegas for more than a month this time...  :P  And yes, there's a bus stop just to the right of where this jogger was standing, so it's a bus stop story, kind of...

Okay, lets give you a Las Vegas photo (because that's what we do here)...


This shot is one of my favorites, capturing the city just before twilight, as the sun is preparing to set (thanks for defining 'twilight' for us Coach)...  You'll notice that this is a "retro" photo as the old Stardust stands proudly in the foreground (to the right).  I've been finding these old photos online and rotating them through my facebook and twitter accounts as cover photos (yes, I lead an exhilarating life)...  ;)

Basketball?  Sure...  Joey and myself both repeated our awesome 2-3 weeks from the opening of the NCAA Tournament, so now we're both sitting at 4-6 on our best bets (so you want to move to Las Vegas and bet sports, eh?)...  However, I am sitting in a good position on my pre-tournament prop bets, and I have the Kentucky Wildcats to thank for that.  Let me list the remaining three teams that still have life for me in this tournament...


Team/Final Four Odds/National Champion Odds

Florida - 17/10 - 5/1 (Florida has clinched a spot in the Final Four - I'm rich!!!)
Michigan State - 9/4 - 6/1
Kentucky - 12/1 - 33/1


Now if you'll remember, I invested $24.00 in my little experiment.  I've been reimbursed $2.70 so far (the $1.70 for Florida clinching, plus the return of the dollar that I bet on the Gators).  I would get back a little more than $3.00 if Michigan State wins later today, and I would be reimbursed $13.00 if Kentucky is victorious.  This gives me a little leverage, and I can now "hedge" my bets if I want to guarantee myself some money.  I can bet on Michigan to wins today's contest against the Wildcats, and I'll be guaranteed to get some of my money back (since I'll receive $13.00 if Kentucky wins).  I also have the chance of "middling" here and winning twice, since Kentucky is actually a 2 1/2 point favorite (if I bet on Michigan (+2 1/2) and Kentucky wins the game by 2 for example, I'd win the Michigan bet and my prop bet).  As I said before, if I had spent the same amount of time learning the ins and outs of sports betting that I've put into poker (it hurts even thinking about it)...  Anyway, I haven't decided how much I'm going to hedge yet, but I don't want to deposit into this Bovada account again before I move to Las Vegas, so I will probably guarantee myself some money here.  If Kentucky does win today, you see that I'd receive $33.00 back for my initial $1.00 bet if they were to win the tourney, so we may not be done with the hedging...  ;)

Okay, now we're (finally) at the point where we're going to talk about cheat meals, and how proud I am of my friend Leanne, and even a little proud of myself...  ;)  First, this photo came across my facebook feed earlier in the week from the 'Training Truths:  The Good, The Bad, The Ugly' facebook page, with the accompanying tagline...  "Since I didn't get my cheat meal yesterday....  I treated myself to a little salad with my ranch.  nummm numms"



OF COURSE I had something to say about this...  "You might be hardcore if your cheat meal IS A SALAD!"  Yeah, that sounds like something I'd say...  ;)  And although I was already going to pass along everything that I just shared with you, Leanne posted a "throwback" photo on Thursday which enables me to show you the definition of hardcore...



On the left we have Leanne 2009, and on the right, we have Leanne today...  I am SO PROUD of you Leanne!  :D  And I have to be sure that she knows that, because after I saw this photo on Thursday, I immediately messaged her, "You are unbelievable..."  You see my friends, I got on my scale a few weeks ago, and almost broke it...  Okay, not quite, but I weighed-in at (sit down if you're not already..., and hold your breath...) TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE POUNDS!!!  (cue ominous music)  NOW YOU SEE why the girl on the bus is lucky that I didn't crush her to death, and why my joke to the jogger was funny...  ;)  ANYWAY, on that day almost 2 weeks ago, I decided that I was going to end that nonsense, and changing my diet has enabled me to lose 7 pounds in 11 days.  It seems like it wasn't five minutes since I learned that I had lost the weight before I saw Leanne's comparison photos shown above...  I'm not going to gear the theme of my blog toward weight-loss in the coming weeks, but I think that you will be interested in what's happening here, so I'll cover it real quick.  After that scary weigh-in, I went back to NO cokes, NO bread, NO chips, and NO microwave popcorn.  Additionally, the shopping receipt that I'm looking at from Thursday includes:  eight heads of lettuce; cauliflower; black olives; mushrooms; tomatoes; avocados, and cucumbers.  Can anyone say "salad" my friends?  And yes, that would be REGULAR MEAL, not cheat meal...  ;)  Yogurt and bananas can also be found on that receipt... There's NO WAY that I'm going to be carrying 245 pounds around the desert...

Now we have an interesting photo that my brother shared on facebook last night...



Up til now, I didn't realize that it was possible to sit HIGHER THAN THE SCOREBOARD at the AT&T Center...  ;)  My brother and his family have evidently been seeing more hockey than usual this week (the AT&T Center houses the Rampage in addition to the Spurs down in San Antonio). I'm not going to share the photo from the suite that they were in the game before this one, because they're punks for not inviting me to that game...  :)

I hope that you enjoy the start of the Major League Baseball season (isn't it EERIE how I haven't mentioned baseball here AT ALL yet since I'm not playing fantasy this year?) and I'll see you again on Tuesday!







  

  





       





Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Just Breathe

"And breathe..., just breathe..., oh breathe..., just breathe..." -Anna Nalick- (Breathe - 2 A.M.)

"I'm not slurring my words, I'm speaking cursive..." -via Mandy Jones-

"Dogs have owners, cats have staff..." -Woody Paige-



Good evening everyone.  I'm just sitting here at my computer watching hockey as I begin this entry (I took the Flyers (+1 1/2) @ the Rangers).  Yes, that's right my friends, I'm a basketball snob. Louisiana Tech is playing at Florida State in a perfectly good college basketball game, but because it's an NIT game and not an NCAA Tourney Game, I can't watch it...  Hopefully my viewpoint will change by the time that I've moved back to the desert, when I should be looking under every rock and scouring the betting sheets for every profitable wager, but Flyers/Rangers just interests me more tonight...

Speaking of turtles (huh?), I came across a neat tattoo recently that carries a good message...



As much as I've stressed about moving back to Las Vegas, and the pieces that I need to put into place to do so, my friend Holly's tattoo echoes the simple reminder to "just breathe..."  This would be echoing the words of the song by Anna Nalick that I happen to love (and have quoted here at least once before).  What I like about Holly's tattoo is that she created it herself by combining things that she loves.  She actually got the turtle first, and then because she's always loved the saying, she decided to add that, but in Italian script since she's Italian.  I love Italian food, and that would have justified the script in my eyes, but that's neither here nor there...  ;)  Whether she realizes it or not, Holly's claim to fame is going to be getting a picture of her foot into my blog, which usually never happens (well, at least not feet without the rest of the body)...  :P

Okay, let's get back to basketball, and to my prop bets for the NCAA Tourney.  From the 12 teams that I began with a week ago, 8 are still alive as we prepare to begin the 'Sweet 16.'  Strangely enough, I still have 2 of my 3 picks playing in each region.  The next 2 days will be very interesting for me as a spectator, as 3 of the games will feature matchups pitting 6 of my 8 remaining teams against each other.  This means that I am guaranteed to have at least 3 of my selections playing in the 'Elite 8' for a spot in the 'Final 4.'  Let me give you the odds against my remaining teams reaching the Final Four and winning the national championship, and I'll follow that with their matchups for the next couple of days...


Team/Final Four Odds/National Champion Odds

Florida - 17/10 - 5/1
UCLA - 10/1 - 40/1

San Diego State - 9/1 - 50/1
Baylor - 14/1 - 100/1

Michigan State - 9/4 - 6/1
Virginia - 3/1 - 12/1

Louisville - 8/5 - 13/2
Kentucky - 12/1 - 33/1


So yeah, if Baylor takes home the trophy, I'll be pretty happy...  ;)  For those of you who are joining my little experiment late, I bet $1.00 each on 12 teams to reach the Final Four and also to win the championship ($24.00 total).


That would bring us to our "best bets" for the 'Sweet Sixteen.'  It's time to give you our 5 best wagers for the next 8 tourney games...

    

Coach's Tourney Best Bets (Last week 2-3/Overall record of 2-3)

Iowa State (-1 1/2) vs. Connecticut - Cyclones beat my Tar Heels, BETTER cover here...
Florida (-4 1/2) vs. UCLA - Gators have looked impressive so far...
Michigan (-2 1/2) vs. Tennessee - Have to take Wolverines against upstart Vols...
Dayton (+3) vs. Stanford - Flyers Cinderella over Cardinal Cinderella???
Baylor (+3 1/2) vs. Wisconsin - Bears have been SCORCHING HOT recently...


And now it's Joey's turn.  You must note that both Joey and myself went 2-3 on our best bets last week, so take our picks (well, at least mine) with a grain (shaker, OCEAN) of salt...  I must also say here that fellow blogger Lightning36 picked the Spartans of Michigan State to reach the Final Four and likely win the national championship before the tournament even began (for the record)... ;)  And now, coming to you live from the Palace Station Sportsbook in Las Vegas, here's Joey... Oh, and just so you know, it's a complete coincidence that Joey and I picked the same 5 games out of the 8 for this blog entry...



Joey's Tourney Best Bets (Last week 2-3/Overall record of 2-3)

The opening round of the tournament lived up to its name.  Three of the four #1's continued on, and an 11-seed plays a 10-seed.  This proves there is more parity in college basketball.

My top bet starts with this matchup.  Stanford has a great inside game and will want a slow grind game.  Stanford 53  Dayton 47

I have yet to be sold on Wisconsin.  They lost to Nebraska and have not played consistent since. Wisconsin is bigger, but Baylor is much faster and their bench is deeper.  Baylor advances 81-71.

There is a reason that Florida is the #1 ranked team and they are playing strong on offense, defense, and in transition, which is what they will do against a young UCLA team.  It's Florida 74-62.

Iowa State is still my dark horse to win it all, even with one of their best players injured.  I think Iowa State starts fast and stays ahead.  Iowa State 67  Connecticut 61

Finally, my new favorite team in the tourney gets a Big Ten team.  Yep, Tennessee...  They are angry that they had to play an extra game.  This week the Vols get to take it out on an overrated Michigan squad.  Tennessee moves on in a buzzer-beater.  Tennessee 63-62

That's all for the elite parlay card.  Final Four picks next week.  May all your parlay cards cash!


Stanford (-3) vs. Dayton
Baylor (+3 1/2) vs. Wisconsin
Florida (-4 1/2) vs. UCLA
Iowa State (-1 1/2) vs. Connecticut
Tennessee (+2 1/2) vs. Michigan


And this would be the part of the blog where I steal of few photos from my friends and then watch the rest of the hockey game (Rangers 1-0 after 1, if you must know)...

In addition to his picks, Joey did provide us with this picture on facebook recently...


Someone has a sense of humor is all that I have to say...  My friend George shared this one, and called it a "man-size Bloody Mary."  Amen...



My new favorite drink...  ;)  And my friend Renetta found this one, although I believe that these rules apply equally to adults...


Have a great evening, enjoy the 'Sweet Sixteen,' and I'll see you again on Saturday!




  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Semi-Sweet Twenty-Four

Good morning everyone.  I still owe you a full post from yesterday, but I want to get today's action up before the day gets away from me like it did yesterday, and I end up giving you nothing.  Of the 12 teams that I made prop bets on to reach the Final Four and win the championship outright, 9 are still alive.  Many of those teams are in action today, heading into their second games of the tournament.  With 24 teams remaining in the tourney, these are the 9 that I made the prop bets on, with their payoffs for reaching the Final  Four and winning the whole thing...


Team/Final Four Odds/National Champion Odds

Florida - 17/10 - 5/1
UCLA - 10/1 - 40/1

San Diego State - 9/1 - 50/1
Baylor - 14/1 - 100/1

Michigan State - 9/4 - 6/1
Virginia - 3/1 - 12/1
North Carolina - 14/1 - 40/1

Louisville - 8/5 - 13/2
Kentucky - 12/1 - 33/1


I bet $1.00 on each team, both to reach the Final Four and to win the National Championship, for a total investment of $24.00.

As I wait to see how this little experiment plays out, I'm still making bets on individual games.  I went 3-3 yesterday, but I came out $1.23 ahead (each bet still being $1.00) because I took Dayton at (+300) to beat Syracuse (I took a "Flyer" on it, so to speak)...  Ba dump, ching!  ;)  I was VERY CLOSE to being 5-1 on the day, as I took Oregon (+5 1/2) and Michigan State (-7 1/2).  Oregon lost by 8 and Michigan State only won by 7.

I made bets on all of today's games because they're on t.v. (do not try this at home!)...  :P  Some of the bets are actually hedges against my prop selections (i.e., if I win the bet today, I get some of my money back for my prop pick not advancing further in the tournament).  Interesting fact:  I checked a few days ago to see how many of my 12 teams could meet each other in this 'Round of 32' if they had all won their first game in the tourney, and NONE OF THEM would have met, even if they had all advanced.  That means that I could still have 9 of the teams in the 'Sweet 16' if everyone that has a game above wins today.  Joey and myself will be back on Wednesday with our 'Five Best Bets' for the 'Sweet 16' - in the meantime, he's too busy working at the sportsbook at Palace Station and betting real money on the games, so I'll go ahead and give you my bets for today...


 

Stanford (+7) vs. Kansas - I think the Cardinal can hang around...
Kentucky (+180) vs. Wichita State - Good value as the Shockers face a real team...
North Carolina/Iowa State (Under 158) - Didn't have the heart to hedge against my Heels...
Mercer (+8) vs. Tennessee - If you can beat Duke outright, you can cover for me...
Stephen F. Austin (+9) vs. UCLA - I could win this hedge and still have the Bruins advance...
Creighton (-3 1/2) vs. Baylor - A hedge here, but I hope the Bears go on...
Virginia (-6 1/2) vs. Memphis - Felt no need to hedge as I don't see Tigers covering...
Gonzaga (+290) vs. Arizona - Good value here with a team that can get streaky hot...


The way they scheduled the first weekend of the tournament games this year, these things will be running ALL DAY LONG (starting about an hour from now).  For those of you who did fill out brackets for this craziness this year, I hope that you still have some life.  Have a great day of hoops, and I'll see you again soon...






Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Let The Madness Begin

"Like some kind of madness..., was taking control..." -Muse- (Madness)



Good evening everyone.  This is me cheating and starting this entry on Tuesday night, even though I'm going to publish it tomorrow night...  #shhhh  You can expect next week's "Tuesday" entry to come on Wednesday also, because I plan on attending the Texas State/Texas baseball game at Disch-Falk Field on the 25th.  I'll be signing autographs if you arrive early (if someone actually comes up to me and requests an autograph..., well..., I guess I'd sign it)...  ;)  Okay, the reason that I wanted the head start on this post is that I wanted to type in all of my craziness from last night.  As I told you before, Joey and myself are giving you our five favorite picks in this entry for the Thursday/Friday round of NCAA Men's Tourney games.  In addition to that, I am also giving you this list of prop bets that I made on the tourney at Bovada.  I'm usually not a fan of futures bets, one of the reasons being that you have to wait so long to get paid off, even if you win.  The odds also aren't the best on picking one team to succeed, so I picked more than one...  :P  I picked 3 teams out of each region (for a total of 12), and I bet ($1.00, of course) on each of these teams to win their region and to win the national championship ($24.00 in total bets).  These are the twelve teams that I will be rooting for in this year's tourney, and the odds of them winning their regions and the whole shooting match...


Team/Final Four Odds/National Champion Odds

Florida - 17/10 - 5/1
UCLA - 10/1 - 40/1
New Mexico - 12/1 - 100/1

Oklahoma State - 12/1 - 40/1
San Diego State - 9/1 - 50/1
Baylor - 14/1 - 100/1

Michigan State - 9/4 - 6/1
Virginia - 3/1 - 12/1
North Carolina - 14/1 - 40/1

Louisville - 8/5 - 13/2
Duke - 7/2 - 12/1
Kentucky - 12/1 - 33/1


This would be my little betting experiment within a betting experiment...  ;)  I'm not filling out any brackets this year, but am instead opting to hone my wagering skills.  The worst-case scenario is that I lose $24.00, and that would mean that NONE of the teams listed above will reach the Final Four.  Take a minute and look at my list - it's comprised of teams that I like, and other teams that I like enough with the price that they're getting.  It's obviously better for me if a longshot or two reaches the Final Four, and sweeter yet if I can get one to win the whole ball of wax.  You'll find coaches who have had a great deal of tourney success coaching most of the teams.  You might find some of your favorites missing from this list, and that could be due to the fact that I think they played weak schedules, they played badly whenever I watched them, they weren't getting the right price, etc...  This should be interesting to track anyway...

Okay, I guess I should include a photo of myself here and take ownership of my 'Five Best Bets' for the Thursday/Friday round of action...



Coach's Tourney Best Bets (0-0 overall)


Syracuse (-13) vs. Western Michigan - Game is being played in Albany, NY...
Florida (-21) vs. Albany - Game is being played in Orlando, FL...
San Diego St. (-7) vs. New Mexico St. - Sorry Joey...
North Carolina (-4) vs. Providence - If Tar Heels play to their potential...
UCLA (-8 1/2) vs. Tulsa - Game being played in San Diego, CA...


You might note that 4 of the 5 picks above are among the 12 teams that I took in my prop bets. Regarding Joey, first I pick against New Mexico State, and now there's this...  I finally found a new photo of him.  This is allegedly where Joey has been hiding out since the Broncos loss in the Super Bowl...  Too soon?  Sorry, but I'm allowed some leeway here, since Denver is signing EVERY FREE AGENT KNOWN TO MAN...  Alright..., live from the Palace Station Sportsbook in Las Vegas, Nevada, here's Joey...



Joey's Tourney Best Bets (0-0 overall)


After the Super Bowl, this is the best time of the year - a month of betting on some of the craziest games in college basketball.  Plus, in the sportsbook, we don't even have to change the channel to watch another game.  My top five picks are in this order...

Stanford/New Mexico - This game comes down to who gets the ball last.  New Mexico is playing some outstanding defense lately.  They won the Mountain West Tournament and are holding opponents to 47.3 points per game.  This will not be a high-scoring game as Stanford is in no hurry to shoot.  UNM holds on for a narrow victory.  New Mexico 51  Stanford 49

Virginia/Coastal Carolina - There will be several blowouts in the first round.  Biggest mismatch of the opening round.  Virginia is a 21-point favorite and will have that by halftime.  Virginia 83 Coastal Carolina 49

Oklahoma/North Dakota State - Oklahoma is my dark horse of the tournament.  First, the West is by far the easiest bracket, and second, Lon Kruger has Oklahoma operating on all four cylinders, just like at UNLV.  North Dakota State is no match, and the Sooners easily cover the 4.5 points. Oklahoma 71  NDSU 57

George Washington/Memphis - Upset Alert, Upset Alert!!!  Okay, it's not really a big upset if a 9-seed beats an 8-seed, but not many people even know where George Washington University is located, or that there is a George Washington University (Pete Peters, I didn't even have to pay Joey to say this)...  ;)  This team out of the Atlantic 10 is playing some good basketball and will beat Memphis outright.  George Washington 67  Memphis 61

Iowa State/North Carolina Central - Finally, Iowa State, my second dark horse, is playing some good basketball.  Hopefully they are not looking ahead to next week, where they could play Villanova or Michigan State (hey Joey, they could play North Carolina in their next game - oops..., sorry..., carry on)...  ;)  If they stay focused, they will crush the 14-seed North Carolina Central. Iowa State 71  North Carolina Central 51

That's all for this edition of the parlay card.  It's a very busy time for the sportsbook, but if you're at Palace Station, come by and say hi!  Til next week, may all your tickets cash!


Stanford (+3 1/2) vs. New Mexico
Virginia (-21) vs. Coastal Carolina
Oklahoma (-3 1/2) vs. North Dakota State
George Washington (+3) vs. Memphis
Iowa State (-8 1/2) vs. North Carolina Central



Okay, that gives you something to watch for in the next couple of days, in addition to your brackets for those of you who filled them out.  Have a great couple of days of hoops, and I'll see you again on Saturday!

























Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ticking, Ticking...

"Breaking News:  The Oakland Raiders have officially agreed to a 10-year contract extension with 4th place in the AFC West..." -via James Pruett-

"There's an owl outside my window - is it wrong that I want to shoot it?..."
-@b_jai2012- (via twitter)

"Staying in a situation where you're unappreciated isn't called loyalty - it's called breaking your own heart..." -via Destiny Perez-

"I don't like to workout.  I just like to wear workout clothes..."
-@b_jai2012- (via twitter)

"Between toddler hands and cat paws, when I'm in the bathroom, one of them is always under the door..." -Carly Schamber-



Good morning everyone.  When I posted this as a short entry yesterday, it was titled something about basketball picks.  Joey isn't going to be picking any games this weekend, but he will be back here with me on Wednesday, when each of us gives you our five favorite bets for the Thursday/Friday set of games in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tourney.  Make a note of that:  There will be no Tuesday post this week, OR the Tuesday entry will be made on Wednesday (whichever makes you happy)...  :D

I made seven bets today.  I decided to give you all 7 instead of just 5 because Louisville to win (taking the moneyline) seems like an easy call.  However, I am "counteracting" that selection by giving you two underdog moneyline picks. These are my "baby bets" for today's games...

George Washington (+6 1/2) vs. Virginia Commonwealth
Prairie View (+11) vs. Texas Southern
Louisville (-400) vs. Connecticut
New Mexico (+1 1/2) vs. San Diego State
UCLA (+210) vs. Arizona
Providence (+285) vs. Creighton
Baylor (+2 1/2) vs. Iowa State

I posted that little section above with the basketball bets earlier, and I ended up going 5-2 on the day.  I hit on both the UCLA and Providence games (nice paying underdogs), so I easily came out ahead for the day.

This is my current record for the year, after today's bets...




You know what?  The heck with that...  I'm calling a blog audible.  The next time that Joey and I make picks here, it will be for the NCAA Tourney, and it's going to be that way for about three weeks.  I'm kinda tired, and I don't want to look up all that stuff, so there's a picture of me...


and here's a photo of Joey...  Note to self:  Find a new picture of Joey...


Let's talk about my upcoming diet instead - I REALLY NEED TO lose weight...  Thanks to my friends Leanne and Francesca at 'Training Truths:  The Good, The Bad, The Ugly' on facebook, I have a simple photo of my new diet...



Three times a day..., you'd have a hard time arguing that this diet wouldn't be effective...  ;)  Okay, so that probably won't be my diet, but I am going to lose weight.  This goal of losing weight got off to a stellar start yesterday as I met my brother Pete and my dad for lunch at the Texas Roadhouse at Southpark Meadows.  I shared the fried pickles appetizer with Pete, and then proceeded to eat what I ordered:  A baked half-chicken, a loaded baked potato, and a garden salad with ranch dressing...  If you've never been to the Texas Roadhouse before, take a second to make a mental note...  This "half-chicken" that we're speaking of is almost as big as the rotisserie bird that you'll find at your local supermarket.  I was STUFFED!  Just as I typed that, I clicked on facebook (because that's something that I'd do), and my friend Yvonne just made this her status:  "Taco Bell, popcorn, and pickles...  Watching 'The Dallas Buyers Club'..."  Yeah..., dropping down to about 215 pounds from 6,000 pounds is going to be a piece of cake (or maybe it's going to be something that ISN'T food-related)...  Of course if I exercised, that would help.  My friend Carrie tagged her sister Brittany to a facebook status earlier this week about an upcoming 5k, called 'The Color Run.'  Brittany commented on Carrie's status as follows...  "The name isn't as cool as 'Color Me Rad,' but I'm down..."  And you see people, that's the key..., to find events involving exercise that have cool names...  ;)

And speaking of birthdays and statues ("Coach, you really weren't talking about either - what's wrong with you?"), I saw on facebook today that it is Statue Calliope's birthday weekend!  That's a coincidence, since I saw my friend Casey in a photo that she posted earlier this week posing with someone that looks eerily like...


Is that..., could it be..., Statue Calliope???  Anyway, Happy Birthday Calliope, and congratulations on making the blog Casey!  With the 742 SXSW photos that Casey has posted recently, I'm SHOCKED that she found her way into the blog...  :P

Okay, so why am I home on a Saturday night again???  I really haven't felt that great this week, but I'm starting to feel better now (and it's actually Sunday morning now, if that makes me being here seem less pathetic)...  #notlikely  I am having SERIOUS Las Vegas withdrawals tonight (this morning), so much so that I went to the 'Bravo Live' poker application earlier, only to learn that there are A LOT of poker games in Las Vegas tonight (today, whatever)...  One minute I'm wondering if these 4 1/2 months are EVER going to pass, and the next I'm wondering how I'm going to get everything done in 4 1/2 MONTHS!  Okay, I guess it's time to go dine on my four Cheerios in coffee creamer...  Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I'll see you again on Wednesday (NOT Tuesday, but Wednesday)...  Have a good one!




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sluggish

"Friends with Benefits just finished and then started again!  No one bother me until it's over.  Thanks :)" -@b_jai2012- (via twitter)


Q:  "My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure.  Is she right?"

A:  "Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current..."

-via Duane Serge- (via facebook)


"I don't want to just rain on your parade, I want to blow up all the floats..."
-Richard Belzer- (Law & Order)

"Life is about improvements.  In every aspect.  You should never be comfortable where you are..."
-Belyne Gonzalez-



Good morning everyone.  Yes, sluggish.  Hopefully it can be attributed to the time change.  Here's a photo of Las Vegas for you, because it's been so long...



The Strip, lots of casinos and pretty lights - I hope you're impressed...  :P  I think that I'd like to go back someday...  Let's see, let's see...  Okay, this is for those of you who have trouble finding someone to watch your young ones...



That comes to you from my friend Mary.  Winner winner, chicken dinner???  No?  Okay, maybe you'll like this observation that I made better.  As I was looking through the facebook statuses a few days ago, I came across this photo of my friend Verissimo...



Although Verissimo has already graduated from Texas State, I just assumed that one of her Chi Omega friends was posting a photo from days gone by.  Then I proceeded to actually read her shirt, and noticed the '07' - I read the "07" as "OH my goodness, you've got to be kidding..."  This is also a picture of Verissimo...



This photo was taken over SIX YEARS LATER (allegedly, if you believe the purple t-shirt from the first photo)...  :)  I was instantly asking Verissimo if she's an undercover high school cop now... When you see this (someone who doesn't age), it makes the '21 Jump Street' premise so much more believable (which is how she answered me, with the #21jumpstreet hashtag)...  ;)

Other than that, things are pretty boring here around the homestead.  South By Southwest is taking place in Austin right now, and I haven't been to a single event (ever).  The majority of the NCAA hoops conference tournament action will take place this week, and I will pay attention to some of that, with 'Selection Sunday' coming this (Thursday..., Friday..., I'm going with...) Sunday. I'm still around the $50.00 mark in my little Bovada betting experiment, and I still owe you a poker post.  I haven't played in another Bovada tourney since my "major cash" - for the record, I like playing live poker SO MUCH MORE than playing online...  I've got to work in the morning, so I guess that I should sign off.  Have a great week, and I'll see you again on Saturday!











Saturday, March 8, 2014

ATX COC MIA...

"Told a colleague I was going to a crawfish boil this weekend.  She not only didn't know what crawfish were, but hadn't been to any kind of a fish boil or anything.  Seriously...  What do people do up north?!?" -Abby Bland-

"Things I've been told at interviews:  'I'm worried you are too nice and happy...'  Sorry I made you laugh.  'Do you regret going to school?'  Umm seriously?  They need to start putting, 'Educated, bright, happy, positive people need not apply'  Stop wasting my time fools..." -Jennifer Hernandez-

"I asked my son if he wanted a sister.  He said, "yeah mom, go buy one"..." -@b_jai2012- (via twitter)

"I found out that CrossFit is a lot like reverse Fight Club, because the first rule of CrossFit is to never shut up about CrossFit..." -Mike Mulloy- ("I laughed.  A lot.  But I do love all my CrossFit friends!" -via Abby Bland-)

"People that lie, liars, they wear me out..." -Matthew McConaughey- (when asked about his turn off on 'Inside The Actors Studio')

"If you have to beg someone for their attention, thennnn something is wrong..." -@b_jai2012- (via twitter)



Good afternoon everyone.  The title of today's post means, 'Austin, Texas - Chamber of Commerce - Missing In Action.'  This probably has something to do with the fact that despite the start of spring break for the University of Texas at Austin (and Texas State), the start of South by Southwest, the finals of the 2014 Boys State Basketball Tournament being held today in the Erwin Center, and COUNTLESS other events that I've seen advertised, today IS NOT a "Chamber of Commerce day."  We're supposed to have about a 50% chance of rain all day long...  WOW, I've typed a lot already for not having chatted with you yet (I have all of our basketball picks spelled out down below).  I've been at this for a while now.  Okay, I admit that part of the problem might involve me watching 'Friday Night Lights' (the movie, not the t.v. show).  I've also watched a little bit of basketball (yeah, some of the games that you'll find mentioned below are over already).  #sueme

Let's start off with this morning.  I went to bed at about midnight last night, and woke up at about 5:00 a.m. (for no reason).  While eating an early morning snack, I found that an 'Inside The Actors Studio' featuring Matthew McConaughey was on.  There was almost nothing else (good) on, but I thought this might be interesting (which it was).  To be clear, a talk show is about the last thing that I'll watch on t.v. - as I've told you before, I CAN'T STAND watching NFL pregame shows, and they're talking about FOOTBALL!  Well, they get to the end of the show, and when McConaughey is asked about his turn off, he gives that quote which I typed up above.  As he was ASKED THE QUESTION, I was thinking to myself, "liars."  It blew me away when he gave his answer.  I've never been a big fan of dishonesty (especially with some of the thoughtlessness that I've had to deal with in my personal relationships), and I thought that McConaughey just nailed this answer.  And regarding my early morning snack, I had already picked out this photo from my friends Leanne and Francesca at the facebook page 'Training Truths:  The Good, The Bad, The Ugly' earlier this week for use in today's entry...

      

And yeah, you got me - I never say "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."  How would I know?  ;)


Speaking of people who evidently like big platefuls of food, live from the Palace Station Sportsbook in Las Vegas, here's Joey...  Oh, by the way, STRIKING RESEMBLANCE between the cartoon guy and Joey (noticing this as I prepare to hit 'publish')...  ;)



Joey's College Hoops Parlay Card (Last weekend 0-0/Overall record of 42-44-1 on the 13-14 season)


It's been a crazy last couple of weeks, but we are getting closer to tournament time.  Some of the smaller conferences have already started, and there are 4 conferences having tournaments in Vegas in the next 2 weeks, so if you like tourney basketball, this is the place to be.

We start this week off with Kansas at West Virginia.  Both teams need to win as they head into tournament play.  Kansas has been solid all year long, and West Virginia plays really good at home.  I see the Jayhawks hitting free throws down the stretch to win a tight one.  Kansas 79 West Virginia 75

SMU has lots of ways to get the number three seed in the American Athletic Conference.  They travel to the 20th-ranked Memphis Tigers.  The Tigers have been playing solid basketball the last two weeks.  They are one of my dark horse teams to make the Elite Eight.  Memphis is at home with a crazy crowd and will win this game pretty easy.  Memphis 76  SMU 67

I'm not quite sold on Florida being the number one team in the country.  Their defense is stellar - it's the offense that concerns me sometimes.  It just seems like the kids forget the game plan and start doing whatever they want.  With 6 SEC teams probably getting in the Tourney, 2 of those being Florida and Kentucky, I don't see Florida giving it their all today.  Kentucky in an upset 76-71.

Arkansas looks like they should get in, but they cannot have a letdown at Alabama.  The Razorbacks scored 110 the other night.  If the offense stays sharp, Arkansas will roll the Tide. Arkansas 78  Alabama 61

Finally, the New Mexico Lobos are playing some of their best basketball all year, and are on the road at San Diego State.  The winner of this game will be the conference champion and number one seed.  It really comes down to two players - Thames for San Diego State, and Bairstow for the Lobos.  Bairstow won round one in Albuquerque last week.  I think Thames found his shot against UNLV Wednesday night and continues at home against the Lobos.  San Diego State wins the conference title with a final of SDSU 77 UNM 71

That's all for the parlay card.  If you're in Vegas give me a shout, and may all your tickets cash.


West Virginia (+5 1/2) vs. Kansas - (Over 150 1/2)
Memphis (-4) vs. SMU - (Over 139)
Kentucky (+8 1/2) @ Florida - (Over 130)
Arkansas (-1) @ Alabama -
San Diego State (-4 1/2) vs. New Mexico - (Over 130 1/2)


As I was typing all of that, I was thinking that Joey's submission was as long (if not longer) than one of Rob's blog posts - NO WONDER I went back to bed this morning...  ;)  Okay, these are my 5 favorites for today (even though I made 12 $1.00 bets at Bovada)...  :P




Coach's Five Best Bets (Last weekend 0-0/Overall record of 3-2 in 2014)


Oklahoma State (+145) @ Iowa State
Arizona (-3 1/2) @ Oregon
Gonzaga (-12) vs. Santa Clara
San Diego State (-5) vs. New Mexico
St. Mary's (-6) vs. Pepperdine


Okay, now that you can watch me lose basketball games late into the night, I thought that I'd leave you with this.  Of all of the winter storm photos that I've seen posted on facebook, this one is my favorite...



Have a great weekend, and I'll see you again on Tuesday!




Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Waffles And Pancakes

"My toughest enemy is in the mirror....would ya look at that!" -Belyne Gonzalez-

"Burning with determination, to even up the score..."
-John Cafferty- (Hearts On Fire - Rocky IV Soundtrack)

"I'm definitely the youngest and happiest supervisor in my office.  My emails always include smiley faces...  lol" -Belyne Gonzalez-

"I'm eating waffles on 'National Pancake Day' - Oops..." -Taylor Ralph-

"I want to retweet everything, but that's just too much..." -Belyne Gonzalez-



Good morning everyone.  It's technically still Thursday night, but there's no way that I'm finishing this in eighteen minutes...  Let's start off with that little quotes section above tonight.  Again, I need to give a special shout out to my friend Belyne, who has been letting me rip off her Twitter account left and right lately...  :)  Belyne EASILY has one of my favorite Twitter accounts to peruse...  The John Cafferty lyrics come from what was probably my favorite (and definitely most played) movie soundtrack in high school.  AMC started a marathon at 5:00 p.m. yesterday which had them showing the first 5 Rocky movies in order.  This lasted until 5:00 a.m...  I can't imagine what it would have been like growing up without the Rocky series dotting my youth...  :)  That epiphany hit me last night as I was flipping back and forth through the channels.  And now we get to Taylor...  When I got to lunch today and opened up facebook, I found that waffles/pancakes status above that Taylor wrote.  As luck would have it, I ran across a photo of Taylor and myself last night as I was going through a box of old photographs (I've been raiding this box constantly in recent days to update my facebook profile photo).  Where this becomes relevant to you is that I have DEFINITIVE PROOF that I'm 100 years old...  :)  This is Taylor (and myself) back then...



And this is Taylor now...



WHEN did I get so old???  :)  Taylor is now attending my alma mater, and has obviously become quite the rebel (eating WAFFLES on 'National Pancake Day').  There's probably a manhunt underway as we speak...  ;)  The new profile photo that I stumbled across last night as I rifled through that box of pictures (which also proves that I'm 100 years old) was this one...



Among several clever comments that this shot drew, the most popular one came from my friend Sylvie, who asked, "(Coach) or Jeff Spicoli?



And who said that Sylvie isn't sharp?  As a matter of fact, I was the one who gave the speech for her induction into the National Honor Society (yes, that's correct, 100 years ago)...  ;)  Good eye Sylvie...

What else is going on???  I'm already sick of hearing about LeBron James.  Remember that I just picked up the basketball season about a month ago, at the conclusion of the football season.  LeBron scored 61 points last night on Charlotte (whoopty doo), and ESPN is making a big deal about it on SportsCenter this morning.  LeBron is just full of himself again, talking about how he does it for all of the kids out there who look up to him (blah, blah, blah), and then the Heat follow up that game with a loss at Houston tonight (YES!!!).  I watched the movie 'Castaway' again over the weekend (the whole movie this time), and I ended up having dreams about eating crab...  :D  This got me to the need for making a 'Bucket List' (which I obviously don't have).  As I've said before, I've never lived near water (ocean, sea, etc...) although I love it.  As we all know, water is just a rumor in Las Vegas...  On that note, instead of giving you an obligatory Vegas photo tonight, I'll share this shot of Venice Beach, California that I came across recently...



 I really need to make a Bucket List...  :P  Have a great week and I'll see you again on Saturday!


  



  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The League Of Hot Geeks

"The most exciting thing about buying a new shirt is being able to go home and cut it up the way I really want it..." -Casey Castleberry-

"(My son) caught a fish today but is mad because he couldn't bring it home as a pet!"
-Monica Rodriguez-

"Watching 'Twister' with Jai and he's calling the tornados "potatoes" - ha ha..."
-Belyne Gonzalez-

"I asked for a lemon in my Dr. Pepper this morning and the teenager taking my order said, "We have the yellow ones, is that okay?"..." -Kristen Atwood-

"Hahaha...the ultimate AdHd move...mascara on only one eye!!!  Lol...really bad noticing it when already on the road!!!" -Patti Thompson-

"STOP WAITING FOR FRIDAY, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life. Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you're in now..." - via Training Truths:  The Good, The Bad, The Ugly- (via facebook)




Good evening everyone.  Well, I decided to stay in on this Saturday night (just for you - okay, that's not true at all), so you're getting this late Saturday evening post ('Saturday Evening Post' - get it?  Ba ha ha)...  ANYWAY, let's begin tonight with a common theme.  This short conversation took place on facebook last night with my friend Emily:

Emily:  "Are you back in Vegas?"
Me:  "My head is..."


Five months boys and girls - that's when I intend to be back in the Mojave Desert.  Although I may or may not return (though I'll most likely return) to Las Vegas at the end of July, I can give you my reasoning for PROBABLY being back by then, even though I might not have quite as much money saved up by that point as I'd like.  My train of thought is very similar to that 'Training Truths' quote above (no pun intended with 'train of thought'/'Training Truths' - it was very convenient however, wasn't it?)...  ;)  ANYWAY, I can save up money for another year, etc..., before moving, but I want to be back there NOW!  Well, we can go into this in-depth before August.  Let's see..., 22 weeks, and 2 posts per week...  That's about 700 more posts before the end of July...  700 - my math checks out, right???  ;)  If I haven't mentioned this already, all of this recent staying at home seems very ironic to me, because I plan on being in sportsbooks and at poker tables as much as I can stand in about five months.  From non-social to SUPER SOCIAL in no time...  :P

Okay, now it's time for some football (a subject that's been sorely missed here for about a month)...  :(  My friend Monica shared some good news about my alma mater on facebook today. Even if I do return to Las Vegas as planned, I'll still be able to see the Texas State Bobcats play at least once this season, as they'll be on t.v. on Tuesday, October 14th.  The Cats will be battling Louisiana-Lafayette that evening (well, I hope that it's a battle, because it was an UGLY GAME in Lafayette last year).

Speaking of cats and football (wow, I actually was this time), my friend Krista posted a couple of pictures of facebook today...





These shots, along with Monica's share, go to show you that it's NEVER too early to start thinking about football in Texas.  They also go to show you that these felines don't exactly look thrilled to be sporting Cowboys gear...  :P

Speaking of sports, and the fact that I've been foolish enough to stay inside on a day when the high hit 81 degrees (and it's supposed to be THIRTY degrees here on Monday morning), a couple of my friends in San Marcos posted pictures from the ballpark...


This gem from my friend Lindsey came with the caption, 'March is here..."  Pretty much as close as you can get to being art for a photograph, huh?  Later on, I saw a follow-up from my friend Austin, as they're evidently playing two today...



Probably the thing that I dislike most about the desert - it seems like it's a million miles away from San Marcos, America...  If I could live in one of those apartment complexes up on the hill behind campus, and then find the Las Vegas Strip on the other side of campus, and still have the river - WOW, that would be sweet...  ;)  I'm not sure what we'd do with the Square, but I don't have the time to deal with this - I'm not a city planner...  :P

Okay..., I actually did get out of the apartment very early this morning, and while I was waking up, going through some facebook statuses (and you thought that I NEVER get on facebook) while riding one of Capital Metro's finest new buses, I came across a status from my friend Holly.  Now the content of the status isn't what's important (other than the fact that it included the hashtag #nsfw - that means 'not safe for work' - and yes, I looked it up)...  The intriguing part is that the status that Holly shared came from 'The League of Hot Geeks' - I NEVER KNEW that such a League existed...  Of course I respected Holly's privacy by not asking her if she's a member of the League - I mean, if she is, it might be intended to be kept a secret, like the true identities of the superheroes who belong to the 'Justice League...'  Anyway, 'The League of Hot Geeks' made me smile.  Thanks Holly...  :D

And now it's time for our weekly sports predictions.  Wait, what's that?  OH, it seems that Joey has been SUSPENDED this week because his alma mater (New Mexico State) started A BRAWL with Utah Valley State.  You probably saw the highlights on ESPN's Sportscenter - right as the game was ending, and fans started rushing the court, an Aggie hurled the basketball at an opponent...  Okay, well the brawl part is true, but Joey is actually vacationing in New Mexico this week, and THAT'S WHY we don't have any predictions from him.  However, I knew that you'd miss him, so here he is with his massive plate of lasagna...  ;)




Joey's College Hoops Parlay Card (Last weekend 1-9/Overall record of 42-44-1 on the 13-14 season)


Okay, I know what all of you have been wondering...  "Coach, where is your obligatory Las Vegas photo for this entry?"  The photo below was taken after I completed the Las Vegas Marathon (100 years ago).  At the time I did this marathon, the course started south of the city, and NEVER reached the true Strip.  Now they run the thing down the Strip at night I think - GRRRRRRRR... Anyway, I was out of shape, and although I finished the marathon (OF COURSE, duh!  ;)  I've finished all three marathons that I've entered), I was out of shape and EXHAUSTED!  I believe that my brother took this photo of me receiving my complimentary massage as I was about to DIE... SOOOOOO, the reason that I have no predictions for you tonight is that I made a bunch of small bets at Bovada today, and then TOOK A NAP this afternoon, and now all of the games have been completed.  However, my picks did go 3-4 today (if you're curious), and YES, I was the one who totally jinxed Kentucky, betting them to cover (-9).  The Wildcats lost outright at South Carolina... However, this is my photo, and my results for last week...



Coach's Five Best Bets (Last weekend 3-2/Overall record of 3-2 in 2014)


That's all that I've got for tonight, but I'll be back to bother you again on Tuesday...  Have a great weekend!