Monday, December 31, 2012

Raining In The New Year

Good morning everyone.  I won't lie to you, I'm pretty excited about welcoming 2013 into my life.  I sit here doing my last blog entry of 2012 in San Marcos, America while we have a light drizzle outside, but after the severe drought that Texas experienced a couple of years ago, I honestly never mind seeing the rain.  All signs point to my last night of work in 2012 being very busy, as it seems that every single regular customer that I have spoken to has plans to stop by Harper's/Slackers/The Veranda to celebrate the first hours of the new year...  In a strange and pleasant twist of fate, I have not been scheduled to work tomorrow, the day which happens to be serving up SIX college bowl games...  :)  As I have said here recently, my holiday trip to Las Vegas will provide the material for many blog entries to come, so be looking for that in the near future.

I want to welcome those of you who are just finding my little blog.  'The View From Bikini Hill' was born on September 28th, 2011, and the total viewcount is currently at 19,290 clicks.  I am extremely confident that 'Bikini Hill's' readership is going to skyrocket in the near future, so I wanted to take a second to let you know what to expect here.  I am currently making an entry on every weekday, and I'll sometimes make a random post on weekends.  On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursday I write about random topics, and these entries are normally what I like to call "rambles" - these posts encompass several topics.  You will get to experience my sarcasm, my sense of humor (debatable), get an insight into my personal life, learn about San Marcos, America, and get my viewpoints on all sorts of subjects.  On Wednesdays I write about poker and things related to Las Vegas, and on Fridays I write about sports.  During football season, the Friday posts are almost totally composed of football predictions, and I am about to start predicting the final scores of all of the NFL playoff games each week, an area in which I did remarkably well last year when it came down to picking winning and losers (and coming VERY CLOSE to a lot of the final scores).  If you are indeed one of my new readers, please feel free to go back into the archives to get a better idea of what 'Bikini Hill' is about.  I have posted over 200 times now in just under a year and a half, so there is plenty for you to catch up on.  Please feel free to comment on anything that you read here - I think that the participation of my readers just makes the blog better.

For those of you who have been regular readers on 'Bikini Hill', I want to thank you again for your patronage.  The list of blogs to the right will direct you to quality material written by friends that I have come to know since I have started babbling here in cyberspace, and the writers showcased there represent a significant portion of my original following.  Also, for any of you who are reading this right now, I also plan to become more active on my twitter account in 2013, and my 'handle' is listed at the top of this page.  There have been many things that have made my facebook page which haven't made the blog, and I plan on including more of those things in my twitter account also.

Back to the future now, my resolution for 2013 is to stay active.  When I was teaching and coaching (nine years experience at the high school level), I was busy beyond belief, to the point that I did not have a personal life.  I was CONSTANTLY making lists of things that I needed to get done, but one thing that did happen was that I DID get a lot accomplished.  Although I do love having more control over my life, I don't want to feel that I'm being idle this year - I want everything that I do to have a purpose.  Last year my resolution was to "trust my reads" - I feel that I did a good job of that, analyzing situations and acting on the conclusions that I reached.  For this year I want to be more like the Matthew Fox character in the movie 'Alex Cross' - it's not that I want to be a villain (and for those of you who don't know me yet, I am TRULY one of the "good guys"), but the Fox character always seemed focused, like he was getting something accomplished...  ;)

I will be back tomorrow with my first post of 2013, but in the meantime, I hope that all of you end 2012 on a positive note, and that you ring in the new year safely.  Have a great day and I will see you again tomorrow!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Black Rabbit

Good morning everyone.  This is an unanticipated entry for me, but I didn't work last night and I just woke up for no reason, so here you go...  For those of you who have been following my blog on a regular basis during the fall and early winter, you are undoubtedly aware of the disappointment that I faced this past summer upon returning to Las Vegas (can anyone say "stolen windpants?").  Anyway, what most of you are probably unaware of is the gut-wrenching summer that I endured the previous year which brought me back to San Marcos, America.  It is chronicled here in the blog, but you have to go WAY BACK in the posts.

Leading up to the summer before last, I was working for the University of Texas and had been planning my return move to Las Vegas, but at the "last minute" (the end of May), I decided to leave UT and instead get back into teaching and coaching for at least one more year.  It seemed like a good idea at the time, doing the "responsible thing" - I'd be able to put a lot of money in the bank during one year, because teachers and coaches don't have a life during the school year (at least I never did).  Well, after driving all over the great big state of Texas to ELEVEN interviews, and going to both "coaching schools" (clinics that were held in Austin and Fort Worth where coaches can also interview for jobs), I came up empty in my job search.  I have come to the conclusion since that time that it was due to the bad economy, and the teachers/coaches with no experience being hired because they cost less.  Anyway, I was jobless, my lease in Austin was up at the end of July, and because of a friend of mine, I landed a job at the Texas Music Theater here in San Marcos, America.  I was still breathing fire for quite a while, angry, frustrated, and just working my tail off at TMT.  It wasn't too long into this stretch of discontent that one of our bartenders took the time to point out how much she appreciated how hard I worked every single night.  Last night this bartender worked her last shift at another local bar, The Black Rabbit, and she will be leaving San Marcos for the hopefully greener pastures of Austin.  Lissy, I just wanted to say thank you again for your kind words just over sixteen months ago, and to wish you the best of luck in Austin.  For those of you who pay close attention to this blog, YES, it was VERY UNUSUAL for me to be off on a Saturday, but I was able to take advantage of it.  My friends Ryan and Nia were able to join Lissy and myself in a nice conversation for seemingly fifteen minutes before my overwhelming popularity (ha ha) seemed to bring SWARMS OF CUSTOMERS into the back bar area of the Black Rabbit, which actually put Lissy and Nia to work, but it was nice to have the opportunity to say goodbye.

I hope that all of you have a great day today and I'll see you again tomorrow!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Week 17

Good morning everyone.  A lot going on here on Bikini Hill since my return from Las Vegas, but I'll churn out ten NFL predictions for you just because I love you...  ;)  This little blog just went over the 19,000 view mark yesterday, and I appreciate you stopping by.  A LONG TIME AGO, when the blog had been viewed about 4,000 times, I had predicted that the total would be at 20,000 by the end of this year, and I think that it's pretty neat that I'll be within 1,000 of that mark.  If you've been keeping score at home, remember that I was right about the world not ending on December 21st, so score ONE for me...  ;)

Okay, enough stalling.  First off, because I was in Las Vegas last week, I did not do any of my weekly Friday predictions for the blog.  My overall record for the season stands at 76-76-2 after going 3-7 the week before last.  I also gave up in the Lucki Duck elite blogger contest after the Lions got MAULED the week before last, my first losing pick of the contest putting me WAY in the hole.  The final score of that game was Arizona 38  Detroit 10.  For my Las Vegas sponsorship pool, I have listed ALL of our bowl bets up through and including the national championship game in my last blog entry if any of you are interested in seeing who we are rooting for there.  For any of you who are betting NFL games for real money this weekend, remember that it's the last week of the season.  Some teams may be resting players, some teams may be taking a look at players, etc, etc..., so please keep that in mind.  Just as I did last year, when the playoffs start, I will be predicting a final score for every game, and I did very well last season...  Here are my picks for this weekend:

Seattle (-10 1/2) vs. St. Louis - Seahawks have averaged 1,000 pts./game over last 3 games...
Kansas City (+16) @ Denver - Broncos won 17-9 in Week 12 first time these teams met...
Kansas City/Denver (Under 42 1/2) - Broncos won 17-9 in Week 12 first time these teams met...
Green Bay/Minnesota (Under 46 1/2) - I have VIVID memories of Vikes game last week...
Dallas/Washington (Under 49) - Important game, teams should be somewhat conservative...
Chicago/Detroit (Under 44 1/2) - Bears should influence this on both sides of the ball...
Miami/New England (Under 47) - Cold weather, Dolphins, low score...
New York Jets/Buffalo (Under 39 1/2) - Jets offense, Jets Defense, low score...
Carolina/New Orleans (Over 54) - Dome, Saints, Panthers...
Jacksonville/Tennessee (Under 42) - Can't imagine either team having any interest in playing...

There you go, my picks for the last week of the NFL regular season.  Like I said, go back to my previous blog entry to see A BUNCH of bowl picks against the spread with some overs and unders sprinkled in.  Have a great weekend and get ready for a lot of Las Vegas recap in the next few weeks...  ;)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Vegas 2012 - Part 1: The Bowl Games

Good morning everyone.  As you can tell by the title, this will be the first of many entries on my recent trip to Las Vegas.  I will probably mix in some rambles and entries covering other subject matter as I do the Vegas series, but you will be reading a lot about my trip in the near future.

This entry is geared specifically toward the college bowl games that my sponsorship group and myself have action on during the next couple of weeks.  Near the end of my trip I decided that I would budget the pool money so that each contributor would get at least 50% of their money back.  In addition to that money, we still have 29 parlay tickets that are alive, including a ticket that will put $110.00 back into the pool if Alabama (-10) beats Notre Dame on January 7th, so we're guaranteed action through the final bowl game.  The Bowling Green/San Jose State and Ohio/Louisiana Monroe matchups are the only games that we do not have action on.  Below is the list of bowls that we do have action on, including point spreads, teaser and superteaser numbers, overs/unders, etc...

12/27 - Cincinnati/Duke - Cincinnati (+1)
12/27 - Baylor/UCLA - Baylor (+9), (Over 80.5)
12/28 - Rutgers/Virginia Tech - Rutgers (+11)
12/28 - Minnesota/Texas Tech - Tech (-5), (Over 56.5)
12/29 - Air Force/Rice - Rice (+10)
12/29 - Syracuse/West Virginia - West Virginia (Moneyline), (-4.5), (+1), (+4), (Over 73.5)
12/29 - Arizona State/Navy - Arizona State (-14.5), (-9), (-7), (-6)
12/29 - Oregon State/Texas - Texas (Moneyline), (+2.5), (Over 56.5)
12/29 - Michigan State/TCU - Michigan State (+11)
12/31 - North Carolina State/Vanderbilt - Vanderbilt (-7), (+2), (Under 52)
12/31 - Georgia Tech/USC - USC (-2)
12/31 - Iowa State/Tulsa - Iowa State (+7), (Under 51.5)
12/31 - Clemson/LSU - LSU (-4.5), (-4), (+4)
    1/1 - Purdue/Oklahoma State - Oklahoma State (-9), (Under 70.5)
    1/1 - Mississippi State/Northwestern - Mississippi State (+3), (+6), (Under 52)
    1/1 - Georgia/Nebraska - Georgia (-10.5), (-5), (-2), Nebraska (Moneyline)
    1/1 - Michigan/South Carolina - Michigan (+12), (+14), (Moneyline)
    1/1 - Stanford/Wisconsin - Stanford (-6.5), (-1), (+1), (+2), (Moneyline), (Over 47.5)
    1/1 - Florida State/Northern Illinois - Florida State (-13.5), (-13), (-8), (-5)
    1/2 - Florida/Louisville - Florida (-14), (-8), (-6)
    1/3 - Kansas State/Oregon - Kansas State (+9), (+9.5), (+16), (+17), (+18), (Under 75.5)
    1/4 - Oklahoma/Texas A&M - Oklahoma (+11), (+13), (Moneyline), (Over 72.5)
    1/5 - Ole Miss/Pittsburgh - Ole Miss (+5)
    1/6 - Arkansas State/Kent State - Arkansas State (+5), Kent State (+12)
    1/7 - Alabama/Notre Dame - Alabama (-10), (-9.5), (-4), (-2), (-1), Notre Dame (+18)
                                                                (Over 41.5)

And there you have it.  This should help to keep all of us occupied until San Marcos, America comes back to life during the spring semester.  Have a great day and I'll see you tomorrow!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sitting At McCarran

Good morning everyone.  I'm at the airport early, and on the brightside my plane is already here waiting and I found an outlet to plug my Droid charger into.  I think it is in my best interest to do a small post so that I'm not bombarding my facebook account with quotes every two seconds.  This visit was too short, as usual, but I'm looking forward to getting back home and starting 2013.  Since the Mayans were wrong, I figure that I might as well capitalize on it.  At some point this week I will do a post with the remaining bowl picks that I made for my group.  We have Fresno State (-12.5) tonight against SMU.  My itinerary today is a flight to Houston, a connection to San Antonio, hang out with my dad, then a drive home to San Marcos, America.  I should have plenty of material to fill these cyber pages with coming off of this trip.  I haven't finalized any plans for tomorrow, so I'm not sure if I'll be posting or not.  Hopefully everyone will have better things to do tomorrow than read my blog, but who knows...  Have a Merry Christmas everyone (just in case)!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Heading Home

Taking off for San Marcos, America in the morning.  The ATL/DET and Hou/Minn non-overs were painful.  My group still has about 4k out there in potential winnigs on the bowl games, plus everyone is getting at least half of their money back...  We have Fresno St. (-12) tomorrow night.   I'll post a lot this week once I return home.  Have a great Christmas Eve everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Light Action Today

Good morning everyone.  I have already guaranteed that everyone in my holiday poker and football pool will get at least fifty percent of their money back, plus our football action.  Today we want ULL (+3), UW (+13), ATL (-4), and REALLY WANT ATL/DET (Over 50 1/2).  I may be back here tomorrow to list our ton of NFL bets...  Have a good one!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'm Illegal To Fly This Plane...

Trying a short phone post.  Title is actual quote from scheduled pilot on flight that ended up being delayed three hours.  No two buck college bowl parlay cards this year, go figure...  Riviera poker room closed all week.  "Triples" is the new poker term for trips.  :) (From Flamingo game).  LVHP bowl season begins today.  :)  Saw my favorite LV cocktail waitress yesterday - former work and football betting buddy - hey Maly.  Bought her five dollar, six team NFL parlay ticket - potential two hundred thirty dollar winner.  GORGED myself on prime rib and cocktail shrimp at Flamingo Buffet.  Have a nice day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Good morning everyone.  I apologize for missing yesterday's post.  I was getting rested up and geared up for my trip to Las Vegas.  Although I did really well calling Saturday's college bowl games, I have decided that I am not going to do a comprehensive bowl prediction blog entry like I did last season due to time constraints.  I think that this will also help to avoid confusion with the members of my football betting and poker sponsorship pool for this trip.

For those of you who are part of the sponsorship pool, I will be doing facebook posts with the intials LVHP (Las Vegas Holiday Pool) until I return to town.  These posts will let you know which poker tournaments I'm playing in, my cash game results, and which side of the football games we are pulling for until I get back.

For my regular blog readers, I may try to do a few posts from my phone while I'm in Las Vegas, but that didn't work very well for me back in August, so we'll see how that goes.

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The First Two Bowls

Good morning everyone.  I wanted to get predictions for these first two bowl games today on the record since I still intend on typing comprehensive score predictions for all of the bowl games before I leave for Las Vegas next week.  Whether that happens, we'll see...  :)  These predictions have nothing to do with the pool of money that I collected for my trip to the desert, but are for amusement purposes only.  For today's games, I will go with...

Arizona  42  Nevada  35     -----     This means I like Nevada (+9) and (Under 79 1/2)...
Utah State  35  Toledo  21  -----     This means I like Utah State (-10) and (Under 59)...

As you can see by looking at these first two bowl games, I am predicting them straight up, against the spread, and the over/under.  Thirty-five bowl games times 3 possible wins/losses per game equals 105 total propositions that I will be predicting for these games.  Again, these score predictions have nothing to do with the pool betting that I will be doing in Las Vegas for those of you who are involved.  I will do a completely separate blog entry with the outcomes that we want for those bets as lines will certainly change between now and then...  Enjoy the start of the bowl season and I will see you again on Monday!

Friday, December 14, 2012

I Wanna See Miracles

"I wanna see miracles, to see the world change..." -Switchfoot- (Twenty-Four)

Good afternoon everyone.  Ever since I first heard these lyrics, this song now comes to mind every time that I hear about something senseless that happens in our world.  My heart goes out to those closely affected by the stabbings outside of the primary school in China, to those up in Connecticut who are dealing with the elementary school shooting that occurred earlier this morning, and to people everywhere who are dealing with this continuing random violence that is plaguing us...

As we head into this football weekend, I am coming off of a 7-3 showing last weekend, which now has me at 73-69-2 for the season.  It seems that I could have gone 8-2 had I noticed that the Cowboys were (+3) against the Bengals and not (-3), but I picked the game at (-3) and I'll stick with it...  Here are my picks for this weekend:

Indianapolis/Houston (Over 48) - Both have been scoring a lot of points...
Indianapolis (+9) @ Houston - The Texans haven't been blowing decent teams out...
Carolina/San Diego (Over 45) - Neither squad here is a defensive juggernaut...
San Francisco/New England (Under 47) - 49ers 'O' and 'D' units are not the Texans...
New York Jets/Tennessee (Under 42) - Will these 2 groups reach 35?...
Detroit (-6) @ Arizona - The Lions should be able to beat this free-falling group...
Pittsburgh/Dallas (Over 44) - Seems like at least low 50's to me...
Seattle/Buffalo (Under 43) - Anticipating the Bills don't have 84 turnovers...
Denver/Baltimore (Under 48) - Law of averages that a Broncos game will go under sometime...
Green Bay (-3) @ Chicago - Bears didn't look great last week, at all...

Okay, we'll see what damage I do with those picks, and yes, I kind of like 'overs' and 'unders'...  :)  Have a nice weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three Night Blowout

Good afternoon everyone.  It's hard to believe that it's already the 13th of December.  My schedule in the immediate future will be on 'autopilot' now because of where we are on the calendar.  Most of final exams here at Texas State have been taken by now, so that means that for the next three nights at work, we will be BUSY...  Graduation ceremonies here in San Marcos, America take place tomorrow and Saturday, so that means that there will be three FULL NIGHTS of festivities.

Last night I actually worked my whole shift (thanks for the applause), and we were much busier than you'd expect for a Wednesday night where the forecast low temperature was 34 degrees.  I was manning the front doors, and these doors were closed because of the cold weather.  Invariably, whenever a guy wearing only a short-sleeved shirt, or a girl wearing a skirt came walking through the doors, the ensuing comment was ALWAYS, "it's cold outside!"  It's hard not to truly love the college students in San Marcos, America...  :)

Another "fun thing" about working the doors is that you see hundreds of people over the course of an evening.  The first joy in this comes from the customers entering the bar asking questions like:  "Did a blonde girl wearing a black coat come in here?"; "Did three guys leave here?" and on, and on, and on...  I'm really more focused on carding people and making sure that everyone in the bar stays calm, and it is SO DISAPPOINTING to the people posing the questions that I haven't memorized everyone that has come and gone.  They can't keep track of their friends, but I am supposed to - hmmm....  :)  Another result of all of the people who enter and leave the bar, and then return, is that I will card the same people multiple times.  This offends some people because I am evidently supposed to remember every total stranger that I've seen on a given night.  This always baffles me because it is so difficult to show someone your driver's license...  "I have to do this AGAIN..., the HORROR!!!..."  :)

Back to my 'autopilot' schedule for the next few weeks...  On Sunday I will be scouting NFL games for next Sunday in Las Vegas, and then I will be welcoming the arrival of the holidays with my coworkers.  On Monday I will be FORCED to do any packing that I have not done already (which is all of it) for my Tuesday departure to Las Vegas.  For any of you planning on robbing my San Marcos, America apartment while I'm out of town, I'm bringing my Droid charger and my sweatpants with me to the desert, so I've already foiled your plans...  ;)

So now that I've got the football and poker sponsorship pool all filled up to the top at $1,000.00, one of 'Bikini Hill's' loyal readers (this would make 1 of the 3 of you) showed up at work last night and promptly gave me a couple of 20-dollar bills and a poker chip lighter.  Of course I wasn't going to say no to her, so Miletus, you successfully bought 4% of my action...  And speaking of this angel, she also pointed out the fact that I've definitely lost weight.  Without getting into any serious exercise regimen yet, other than walking around campus recently, and eating quite a bit healthier, I am now down to 223 pounds from 231 pounds.  Thank you Miletus...  :)  Back to the money, this currently brings my share of the pool to 36%, unless any other "shenanigans" occur...  Like I said before, I bought up the last 10% of the pool out of greed, so I had some wiggle room there...  :)

Although I joked just a few seconds ago about the three loyal readers of this blog, it appears that the total viewcount on 'Bikini Hill' is going to surpass the 18,000 mark before I do my football predictions for this weekend.  Thank you very much for supporting the blog - I really do appreciate it...  I hope that you have a great day and I will see you again tomorrow with my weekend football predictions!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Good afternoon everyone.  There's not a lot going on yet here today, but there should be...  I worked last night..., well...  I was scheduled to work my normal shift, but I was able to take an early out after only two hours.  I ended up going to bed at least a couple of hours before I would have had I worked my full shift, and I slept for about TEN hours, which is BY FAR the most that I have slept consecutively in quite a while.

One bright side about getting through my "marathon" two-hour work session last night is that I am just that much closer to boarding the plane for Las Vegas.  As I've said before, one of the many good things about this trip is that it will allow me to completely bypass that first week of eerie silence that you experience in San Marcos, America between the long semesters.  At this time next week I should be somewhere in the desert, filling out football parlay tickets or playing poker or exchanging worn-down clay casino chips for fresh ones to wear down...  :)  Maybe I'll be sharing a late breakfast or an early lunch with one of my Vegas friends, or I'll see a pair of familiar windpants pass by me, and I'll yell, "HEY, WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE??!!"  And then the chase will ensue, and you'll never hear anything about it, because "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas..."  Okay, honestly, if a CHASE actually ensues, you'll probably at least read something about it...  :)

As I've said, the football and poker sponsorship pool for my upcoming trip is now filled, and I am grateful for that.  Now I need to figure out where and when I'll be playing poker and which football bets I like.  I guess that I will be posting some bowl game predictions this week before I leave if I want to include all 35 bowl games.  The first bowl games actually take place on Saturday, so I won't be able to include all of them in the ridiculous spree of parlay ticket filling that I will be embarking upon not so far into the future.  Yes, I will ONLY be able to book action on 33 of the 35 bowl games my friends (sniffle, sniffle...).  Oh yeah, and Week 16 of the NFL schedule, let's not forget that...

Okay, I better get to some of the "constructive" things that I could be doing.  I hope that you have a great day and I'll see you again tomorrow!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bah Humbug

Good morning everyone.  I hope that all of the "it's FINALLY going to be cold" people in San Marcos, America are happy now...  It's almost 9:00 a.m. as I begin typing this and the temperature is THIRTY-FOUR degrees - BRRRRR...  And yes, I AM armed with hot chocolate for the second day in a row at the keyboard...

There are many of you who are not friends of mine of facebook, so you're probably unaware of the fact that at the end of last week, on the last class day of the fall semester at Texas State, I had made a comment about the student population being preoccupied.  This came as a result of a walk that I was taking around campus, and seeing some "unusual" driving, which is saying something for the college town of San Marcos, America...  Well, fast forward to last night, when I'm driving down the hill to go watch the "confrontation" between the Houston Texans and the New England Patriots (I'm looking like a GENIUS right now if the Seahawks hadn't destroyed the Cardinals on Sunday, or even if Mojo hadn't picked the Seahawks)...  :)  Anyway, I reach the convenience store at the bottom of the hill, which already has a police cruiser in it accompanying the heavy traffic for this small parking lot.  SUDDENLY I'm SLAMMING MY BRAKES as a BIG pickup truck decides to make the left turn across my nose, coupled with the BRILLIANT DECISION to then STOP right in my path, which probably resulted from a combination of hearing my brakes AND realizing that there was really nowhere for him to land in that parking lot.  Thankfully my vehicle stopped after slightly fishtailing and skidding closer to his truck.  At that point I had nothing left to do but hit my horn as his truck creeped its way into the crowded parking lot, just hoping that the police officer had either seen or heard the near miss.

So back to football, I went 7-3 on my predictions for this week, and am now 4 games above the .500 mark for the season.  I had an interesting comment on yesterday's blog entry that the Dallas game may have been the Cowboys (+3) when I picked them to beat the Bengals, but I went back and saw that I had typed in (-3) when I selected them.  I would have taken Dallas (-3) in that game, so I'll stick with taking the loss (especially considering that there was no money riding on it).  My mistake in giving away the six extra points if the line did not actually change that much.  As I sit here typing this, I'm thinking that maybe the line could have changed almost a touchdown due to the fatality accident involving the Cowboys nose tackle and one of the practice squad players this past weekend.  I enter my picks with the Friday morning lines, and I stick with those numbers regardless of any subsequent movement in the lines.  Thank you M. Prosk for trying to make me look better though, which is definitely a monumental task...  :)

A couple of short stories from my station in the hallway at work this week for ya...  At the "checkpoint" that I monitor, where no beer bottles or glasses are allowed to pass, the customers are required to transfer their beverages into plastic cups.  Well a few nights ago (although I should honestly NEVER be baffled by anything that I see at this point), as a guy holds the plastic cup while the girl that he's with pours her beer into it, he holds the cup parallel to the ground so that the beer won't foam up (which I really appreciate).  The problem is, he NEVER tilts the cup upward, and the beer inevitably spills from the STILL parallel cup onto the floor...  :o  Merp...

Someone actually made me smile later in the week without me having to clean up anything...  :)  A couple of the university's football players were ascending the stairs on their way to The Veranda (which I have been told on more than one occasion are quite numerous, and thank you very much for pointing that out to me), when the second of the two grabs his hamstring in jest as they pass by...  I'm now surprised that it took almost three months for someone to think of that...

Oh, one more from work, and this made me laugh out loud when it happened...  There is a corner that you have to round before you approach the doorway cutout (there is no door there) that I am stationed behind, and I was using the top of the doorway to stretch (basically imagine me signaling a 'touchdown' while propped up on my tippy toes - I'm six foot tall to begin with also)...  As the first girl in a group rounds the corner, she looks to her left, then looks back to her right, up at me, and GASPS...  I start laughing as she backtracks into our 'shot bar' EXCLAIMING, "that was terrifying..."  :)  By the time her group made their way past me a few minutes later, I was immersed in a conversation with... somebody??, and was unable to let her know that I get that reaction all the time...  ;)

I hope that this little ramble is enough to get you through this cold and bitter day, and I'll see you again tomorrow with some Las Vegas vacation chatter...  Have a great day!


Monday, December 10, 2012


Good afternoon everyone.  Things are pretty bleak here on 'Bikini Hill' right now, and in every way imaginable... After the temperatures reached a high of 79 degrees here yesterday, the current temperature is only 45 degrees, and yes, I'm drinking hot chocolate right now...  I am not a fan of the cold weather at all.  The forecast high for today is only 54 degrees, and the low temperature tonight is supposed to be 27 degrees - BRRRRRR...  Final exams are also ongoing as I type as this is the last week of the semester on campus, and the last week before San Marcos, America becomes eerily quiet for a whole month.  One of the old gang who is out at Texas Tech right now probably captured every student's mood in a facebook post a little while ago when she stated, "hope my Spanish final doesn't rip out my heart and light it on fire!!!"  Good luck to all of the students across our great nation who are currently taking their final exams - it's a very stressful time indeed...  I would normally sleep for no more than a couple of hours at a time when I had to take my finals, and then I would sleep for about three days straight after the semester ended...

After being greedy and gobbling up the last 10% of my Las Vegas sponsorship pool (for a personal total of 40%), the $1,000.00 goal has been reached and I have collected over $830.00 of that total.  The outstanding money is as good as gold considering who hasn't paid me yet (comprised of a small group of people that includes my dad), so I'm pretty close to being ready to leave for the desert next week.  Back to the weather, because this particular blog is the most interesting one ever, this current cold snap has me recalling some brutally bitter winter nights in Las Vegas where the wind actually blows quite hard...  Again, BRRRRRR...

I watched as much football as I could stand yesterday after working through a very busy weekend, and I was able to see my picks finish the day with a 5-3 record.  The total amount of points scored in the Dolphins/49ers game was 40, and I picked under 39, so I was that close to going to 6-2 for the day.  I also selected the Cowboys at (-3) over the Bengals, and Dallas won the game by just one point, so I was that close to going 7-1 on the day...  :)  Anyway, tonight I have the Patriots (-3) over the Texans, and I have Houston and New England combining to score more than 51 points.  

Speaking of football, while I was watching yesterday's late action unfold, I happened to open the blog application on my Droid and saw that my friend grrouchie had done a short blog post.  In the very elite Lucki Duck blogger football prognosticator contest, which has been very tightly contested at the top, Mr. Grrouchie made the observation that Memphis Mojo must have the ability to see into the future (or that he went back to the future, Marty McFly style.., I don't really remember)...  Anyway, in this contest where every single point that your team wins by benefits you, Mr. Mojo happened to pick the Seahawks this weekend, and yes, Seattle just scored again, and the score is now 58 to NOTHING...  I happen to have the Patriots in this contest tonight because I don't believe that the Texans play much defense, so don't judge me if I'm rooting for the final score to be 70-0 New England...  Great week Mojo - WOW...

Speaking of Droids, a little while back I touted for the very inexpensive Body Glove protective case that I had purchased online.  While I still tout, the top of this case very quickly lost its hold on my Droid, so I ordered another, even cheaper case (less than $2.00), to replace the Body Glove one.  Funny story, when the new case arrived, I COULD NOT remove the bottom of the Body Glove case from my Droid, and I didn't want to damage my phone by going all out to do so, and this leaves me with a hybrid phone case.  I have a metallic blue top piece, and a black bottom piece...  My apartment manager told me that the case looks like it could have been sold like that, so that's good enough for me...  :)

Speaking of football (I did a while ago), did anyone else watch my Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday???  I don't think that I can ever recall a team having such horrid starting field position throughout the course of an entire game.  What's worse is that my Steelers, who have lost SEVERAL close games this season, are STILL the sixth-seed in the AFC playoff race with a mediocre 7-6 record.  The only team in the AFC North that did win yesterday was the Cleveland Browns - what a crazy football season...

Speaking of speaking of stuff, I have quite a few errands to do today, so I will leave you with rooting for the Patriots and more than 51 points to be scored tonight as your good deed for the day.  Bundle up and have a good one!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Poise And Rationality

"It's much better to face these kinds of things, with a sense of poise and rationality..."
-Panic! At The Disco- (I Write Sins Not Tragedies)

Good morning everyone.  When I woke up before work yesterday to have a snack and play some timed MSN chess (don't judge me), for some reason I decided that I would play the song shown above through my YouTube during the game.  This song came out when I lived in Las Vegas between 2005-2007.  The funny thing is that I rarely listen to the song and I do not know the lyrics to it.  As I listened to the song, the lyrics shown above really caught my attention.  They are very relevant to me right now as I prepare to embark on my trip to the desert with $1,000.00 of mine and my friends money.  What better advice could you get for playing poker and picking football games to wager on than the lyrics shown above?  Poise and rationality - very nice...  I have currently collected $670.00 of a pledged $790.00.  A friend who is already in the pool for over $100.00 said that he would go in for another $100.00 if I needed it at the end, so I'm pretty confident that I'll reach my bankroll goal.  It is pretty exciting to have my first sponsorship deal of any sort, and it is extremely gratifying to have so many friends who trust me to this extent.

Speaking of my friends...  :)  I know that I don't usually inject humor into my football Fridays (some of you would argue that I don't inject humor into ANY of my blog entries), but when I arrived at work last night, I happened upon the BEST conversation between my manager and another bartender.  The two of them are competing in the same fantasy football league.  My manager would have a playoff spot if the season ended today, and the bartender, who is the commissioner of the league, does not currently hold a playoff spot.  Evidently, the bartender contacted my manager's opponent for this week and gave him some advice on who he should be starting in his fantasy lineup this week - the opponent is not in contention for a playoff position.  The opponent took the bartender's advice, and after being a 20-point underdog with his old lineup, he is now only a 7-point underdog with the revised lineup.  The BEST PART of the conversation occurred when my manager stated, "you called him and told him to change his lineup!..."  The bartender's response was, "I didn't call him, I e-mailed him..."  :)  Good luck to all of you who are still participating in fantasy football leagues this season...

Well, this promises to be a "scary" weekend in that all ten of my football predictions will have to be NFL related.  Of course, this is what I will face when I'm wagering our pool money on NFL Week 16 action, so let's take a few trial runs...  I went 5-5 last weekend, which brings my overall season total to 66-66-2.  Below are my NFL picks for this weekend:

Arizona/Seattle (Over 35) - SUCH a low number...
New England (-3 1/2) vs. Houston - The Texans don't play a lot of defense and...
Houston/New England (Over 51) - the Texans do play a lot of offense...
Tennessee/Indianapolis (Over 48) - Both teams score, game is in the dome...
Dallas (-3) at Cincinnati - Cowboys just seem a tier above the Bengals...
Philadelphia/Tampa Bay (Under 47 1/2) - Feels like around 40 to me...
Atlanta (-3 1/2) @ Carolina - One loss Falcons at mediocre Panthers...
New York Jets/Jacksonville (Under 38 1/2) - Jets don't score or yield scores...
San Diego/Pittsburgh (Over 41 1/2) - I expect some big plays in this game (inc. D/ST)...
Miami/San Francisco (Under 39) - The 49ers would have to score most of this...

I hope that all of you have a great weekend and I'll see you again on Monday!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

You're Like A Gummy Bear

Good morning everyone.  Today is the official last day of classes at Alma Mater U.  That means that I better get ready to work this weekend and that I better get myself in gear for my trip to Vegas.  I have now collected $530.00 of a pledged $700.00 toward my goal of $1,000.00, and tonight is the night that I'm really going to start asking people if they want to be involved in the sponsorship pool...  ;)  When I mention how we'll have action on every random bowl game that comes on t.v. while we're in-between the fall and spring semesters, well..., everyone seems to light up at that prospect as much as I do...  :)

I have probably mentioned that I make several trips to the campus library of my alma mater.  I recently realized that when I look the windows at the lights of San Marcos, America, I ponder the same question as when I'm looking out at the lights of Las Vegas:  what is going on out there?...

Recently I was in the check-out line at Wal-Mart (this seems like a frequent occurrence lately) when I spotted this item in this packaging on the shelf (I SWEAR that I'm not making this up):  "Pajama Jeans:  Pajamas You Live In - Jeans You Sleep In..."  I can't say anything to improve on that...  :)

So I was at work just last night...  :)  I was positioned outside behind our tier of three bars when the following occurred...  During the slower nights of the week, our middle bar is closed, and our customers initially make their way up the "fire escape" stairs to go up to The Veranda, which is our rooftop destination.  Obviously, the customers also exit down this same stairway when leaving.  Let me say at this point that the low temperature for San Marcos, America last night was supposed to be 46 degrees.  I was wearing two sweatshirts to combat the elements, my favorite forest-green Nike sweatshirt, and my heavier gray Polo hoodie.  This Polo hoodie is big enough that it EASILY slips over the Nike sweatshirt underneath when I'm wearing the duo together.  So these four young ladies are making their way down the stairs.  Two of the girls are well ahead of the other pair.  As the first of the two ladies approaches me at the bottom of the stairs, she inquires, "aren't you cold out here?"  The Veranda has heaters, and these girls had just walked down the long indoor hallway (through "the maze" as some people might call it - GRRRRR....), so this question was understandable (and thoughtful)...  :)  I nodded that I was fine when the first girl came up and gave me a hug. Right behind her, the second young lady came up and hugged me, and then she EXCLAIMED..., "You're Like A GUMMY BEARRR!!!"  :)  I couldn't stop myself from laughing (nor could her friend), as she made this "discovery" - of course this was followed by immediately turning toward the entrance to Harper's, our lower-level bar, stating, "He's Like A GUMMY BEARRR!!!"  I'm assuming that this was due to the marshmellowy clothing that I was wearing, looking and feeling (evidently) much like a preppy version of the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man (for all of you 'Ghostbusters' fans out there)...  :)

I'm not going to improve on that little tale, so I'll see you again tomorrow when I post my football picks for this coming weekend (ALL of which must be NFL - YIKES!!)...  Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thirteen Days

Good morning everyone.  I'm just less than two weeks away from my trip to Las Vegas and I'm still not as prepared as I would like to be.  I did manage to copy the complete bowl schedule by hand at the library over the past couple of days, and I will probably be looking over it most every day until I depart for the desert.  At some point in time before I go I intend to give you my predicted final score for all thirty-five bowl games, along with how those scores relate to the spread and the overs/unders.  When you look at these games for yourself, be sure to note that there are a significant number of teams that are playing in their home states.  As always, it will be interesting to see how much the lines move between now and the kickoff for each of the games.  As I've also said here recently, I will be wagering on the NFL's Week 16 games, and that Sunday is a day that I plan on spending at the LVH with all of the big screens broadcasting the action, specifically for me of course...  ;)  While I'm typing about it, there won't be an NFL Monday night game in either Week 16 or Week 17 this season.  I'm assuming that is because those days happen to be Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.  My incredibly difficult-to-peg Steelers are about to host 3 of their final 4 games, for the one Steelers fan that I may have who follows this blog...  :)

On the poker front, I have to get focused and figure out which tournaments I want to play in when I visit town.  After my abrupt departure from Vegas at the end of August, I have brought up the Bravo Poker Application on my phone maybe once.  The only reason that I'm really thinking about it right now is that the app was one of several that I updated on my Droid earlier this morning.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this application, it gives you the distance that are you from any poker room participating in the program. It also tells you how many cash games they are running, when their tournaments are held, and basically any other information that they take the initiative to enter (like room promotions, etc...).  For the month of August, I basically broke even in the cash games that I participated in, and I didn't play in any tournaments that required a buy-in.  I have traditionally done well in tournaments, and quite honestly, I should probably dedicate a larger portion of my poker bankroll there when I do play.  Throughout the course of my life, I have been fortunate to have some sort of talent in many different areas, but this can also serve as a detriment to me because I'll often feel that I have the ability to do anything successfully (for example, to play as well in cash games as I do in tournaments)...  And YES Rob, and I am looking forward to playing in a cash game with you, and I'm hitting town from the 18th-24th, so be sure to mark it on your calendar...  :)

If there are any of you who read this blog who want to get together to enjoy some poker or football when I am in the desert, you can contact me through the comment section here (something that I won't publish of course, unless you want that).  You can also contact me through my twitter account listed at the top of this page.  My sponsorship pool is up to $590.00 in pledges now, and I have collected $520.00 of that, so I'm pretty confident in being able to raise most, if not all of the $1,000.00 goal that I've set.

Have a great day everyone and I'll see you again tomorrow!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rainy Day Ramble

Good afternoon everyone.  I know that usually says "good morning" over to the left, but you know how when it's raining and you just stay in bed???  Well, I wasn't even aware that it had been raining in San Marcos, America this morning until I ventured to the bank, and as I returned home via the 'Bikini Hill' route, I was painfully reminded that I got a slow start on my chores yesterday and had decided that I would visit 'Bikini Hill' today.  Yeah, not so much...

Last night I did get a significant amount accomplished as I visited the campus library for four hours.  Yes, you read that right, for FOUR HOURS, and that was all spent sitting in the same place at a table where my Droid charger could reach an outlet so that I could listen to iHeartRadio while taking my first official look at the college bowl games.  I did not even go near the couches or the magazine rack, which is the reason that I usually make the trek to the library anyway.  Another pitfall of the hole in time between the fall and spring semesters here in San Marcos, America is that the library's hours will be severely cut - THERE ARE NO CLASSES...  Ugghhh...  I will escape this dead quiet for one week when I venture out to the desert, and I'll at least have the bowl games to distract me until the 7th of January, but still...  By the way, today is the perfect backdrop for the upcoming month of quiet about to hit town - grey..., bleak..., yuck...  :)

So I hit WalMart at about 9:30 last night after leaving the library.  I usually do my shopping after work, sometime after 4:00 in the morning.  There are actually PEOPLE in WalMart at 9:30 at night, believe it or not...  :)  The most interesting (and odd) thing that I noticed last night as I did my shopping is that the idea people behind the scenes at WalMart have eventually run out of them...  You know those merchandise islands that I wrote about not too long ago, one of which 'backpedaling guy' crashed into...  Well, I thought that those point of those was to spotlight some special item that the store wants to draw attention to in hope of really boosting its sales.  You'll NEVER GUESS what item I spotted on a merchandise island last night.  Go ahead, try to guess...  :)  Freakin CRACKERS were displayed on the merchandise island (okay, they had both salted and unsalted, I'll give them that), but..., CRACKERS?!  I know, the things that amuse me...

So now I have collected $520.00 of the pledged $590.00 of the $1,000.00 that I am raising for my trip to Las Vegas in two weeks.  Can't you just FEEL the wiseguys at the sportsbooks CRINGING as my fingers hit the keys on my keyboard, and the poker players around town suddenly feeling uneasy???  ;)  I have once again started playing the free poker with the fish at MSN to prepare myself for life with the fish in Las Vegas...  A few days ago I flopped two-pair and a guy with Q 3 chased a gutshot straight draw and hit runner-runner queens to beat me in the hand.  That's the most memorable suckout of the past few days, but it is free, ABSOLUTELY NO CONSEQUENCES for playing badly, so it's hard to say much (you KNOW that I told him "good call" though, don't you?)...  :)

So here's a couple of obligatory work stories for you from this week.  This first one actually happens quite frequently, but since we had a busy weekend with the last home football game of the season, this occurred just that much more.  I can (and often do) have a line of twenty people or more waiting to go up to The Veranda (our rooftop bar).  I try to get these people to stand to the right side of the stairwell so that the people going downstairs have room to pass by them.  Inevitably, especially this past weekend, I'd have groups of 3 or 4 come up the stairs, bypassing the WHOLE LINE on the left side and walking right up to me.  This always leave me gesturing and nodding my head toward the group lined up against the wall on the stairwell as the words, "that's a LINE" come out of my mouth, to which I more often than not get an, "OHHH" in response...  REALLY???  :)

What also happened this weekend was that when a couple who is new to the bar passed by my station, going up the often complained about "million stairs" (YES, someone actually said that the walk to The Veranda was made up of ONE MILLION stairs this weekend...), the woman turns to the guy and says, "how is this place going to stay open?"  I turned my head toward the couple when I heard her inquiry, just in time for the guy to remark, "actually, they're pretty successful..."  I looked down at my counter and was sure that she would soon realize this as there were already 160 people enjoying themselves up on at The Veranda...  If you're not aware, the combination of the three bars that I work for, Harper's/Slackers/Veranda are the most successful bars in San Marcos, America, and it's not even close...  "How is this place going to stay open?"  Pfffttt...  :)

I hope that all of you have a great day and I will see you again tomorrow with some more specific and detailed football and poker chatter...  ;)