Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Remember The First Time (2): Natalie's SHOUTOUT!

Good morning everyone.  This is the second installment of this very popular new Thursday theme...

I remember the first time I had to study...  Don't let anyone tell you that these Bobcats at Texas State University in San Marcos, America aren't trying.  I stopped by the local Hastings bookstore a few weeks ago, when the second semester began.  Hastings has a full rack of one-sheet, laminated study guides covering a variety a topics.  Well, the rack was full...  Of the FIFTY total that were supposed to be available, FORTY were already SOLD OUT...  Eat 'Em Up, Cats!  ;)

I remember the first time I met someone who was famous and didn't know it...  I may pick on the good students of my alma mater from time to time (I also pick on myself to keep the playing field even), but here's one of those "feel-good" stories...  ;)  Recently in my job, a significant number of customers (students) who saw me regularly during the fall semester have been approaching me and introducing them themselves during the spring semester.  A young lady named Alison did exactly this recently.  We ended up "friending" each other on facebook, and this is when I discovered that Miss Alison is the STUDENT BODY VICE PRESIDENT of my alma mater - WOW...  Texas State University had a fall enrollment of 34,229 Bobcats that Alison is representing by the way...  Keep up the good work, and welcome to Bikini Hill Alison!  :)

I remember the first time that I met Alison's friend (Alison requested that I mention that these two are good friends, but at least she didn't coerce a "shoutout" from me)...  :)  It is coincidence that I officially met these two during the same week, as both Alison and Natalie are Bobcats who are getting a lot of things accomplished.  For a long time now, Natalie has been one of those people I referenced here previously (who always have a hug, handshake, high-five, or fist-bump for me)...  COME TO FIND OUT, when the two of us "friended" each other on facebook (bringing my current total of facebook friends up to three), and also "followed" each other on twitter..., WELL..., Natalie is a REPORTER for the University Star (yes, that would be the same campus newspaper that actually called Bikini Hill, 'Bikini Hill' recently)...  I am SO PROUD...  :)  Actually, the BEST THING about Natalie is that when she was reading my blog a few days ago, she was introducing it to her classmates (and this is now mandatory, you HAVE TO show my blog to two of your friends)...  This is a good example for all of you kids at home - just work hard, spread a little kindness, and you can get a shoutout and part of the title...  HEY NATALIE!  ;)

I remember the first time I picked on Bobcats after being nice...  Part of my job at work requires me to keep track of the people accessing the Veranda (our rooftop bar) so that we don't exceed our capacity.  If you're standing in line waiting to have fun overlooking the Square, one SURE WAY to get on my good side is to help me by counting OUT LOUD when people come downstairs after exiting the Veranda - GRRRRRRR...

I remember the first time that I made someone look silly...  In my defense, this was COMPLETELY UNINTENTIONAL, and this happened at Walmart yesterday at about 1:00 in the afternoon (yes, the time is important).  I have to say here that I have NO IDEA why I did this.  Maybe this happened because I usually shop late at night (although at that time there is no greeter).  I have no clue...  Anyway, as I'm approaching the greeter, about to exit Walmart, I open my mouth, and out come the words, "Good ni..."  At this point I stopped myself from saying it, "Good night" - yes, at 1:00 in the freakin' afternoon...  I SWEAR to you as I proceeded, trying to play it off, from the lips of the woman who was walking behind me, I heard the words, "have a good night!..."  MERP...  :)

I remember the first time I heard a nickname...  I'm betting that I'm just out of the loop here, but this is something that I caught onto recently, and I have a hunch that it's commonplace for "Ashleys" (which includes Ashlis, Ashlees, Ashleighs, and any other way that the name is spelled)...  A few weeks ago on facebook, I saw an Ashley tagged in a photo, with the nickname "Smashley" attached to it...  Yesterday while I was having a chat with a friend, I referenced seeing her "buddy" at work this weekend.  The response I got was, "YOU MEAN SMASH!"  So are Smashley and Smash the nicknames for EVERY Ashley and Ash?  Yes, we ask the tough questions here on Bikini Hill...  I also remember a time when seemingly every girl was being named Ashley (as the more than a DOZEN "Smashes" that I tagged on facebook for this post attests to)...  Just rest assured, if your name is Ashley (or Ashli or Ashlee), and you're one of my facebook friends who is reading this right now, you're my FAVORITE Ashley/Ashli/Ashlee...  ;)

I remember the first time that I predicted the outcome of the Super Bowl for my blog...  Last year, for Super Bowl 46, I predicted that the final score would be:  Giants 24  Patriots 21...  The actual final score of the game was:  Giants 21  Patriots 17...  Yes, I have to brag when I'm actually close...  ;)  I will see you again tomorrow with my prediction for this Sunday's Super Bowl between the Ravens and the 49ers.  Have a great day!



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Vegas 2012 - Part 7: Torture At The Mirage

"Every pretty girl deserves to go to a ball..."  -Jim Carrey-

Good afternoon everyone.  I could give you a list of reasons about why I'm posting so late today, but I won't...  :)  If you want to read about a trainwreck, you've come to the right place...  Now it's Sunday, December 23rd, the day after my EXCRUCIATING suffering of bad beats at the Flamingo poker table and on the football field in Detroit.  I started the day by waking up to the movie 'Yes Man' - that is where the movie quote opening up today's entry came from.  I wouldn't have known this if not for Alyssa, a former student of mine (I posted the quote onto my facebook page with the credit, "Random Jim Carrey movie").  Alyssa was kind enough to help me out...  :)  After my late dinner of pasta with shrimp and scallops at the Outback Steakhouse, a good night's sleep, and a good Jim Carrey line..., maybe, JUST MAYBE today was going to be a better day than Saturday...  NOT... SO... MUCH...

So I'm slow getting up and around on Sunday morning (much like today), and I get to the Mirage EXACTLY at kickoff time of the early games - I honestly did not expect to find a seat...  I scoped out the sportsbook, and on the far back right side (near the poker room), an elderly couple is sitting on a couch...  :)  I asked them if it would be okay if I sat down with them (I'm very charming if you haven't figured that out from previous entries, or if you're new to Bikini Hill)...  ANYWAY, the couple was very kind and they let me sit with them.  Now from where I'm sitting, there is a bank of six t.v. screens on my side of the sportsbook showing different games.  The other two NFL games being shown are significantly farther away from me, off to my left at 10 o'clock (directions - picture the face of a clock), and one of these games is the Vikings/Texans game, which I have a significant rooting interest in...

And off we go...  Among the more important games that I was watching (yes, based on bets that I had made) were the New Orleans/Dallas game (Over 51.5) and (Dallas -2.5) and that Vikings/Texans game (Texans -8.5) and (Over 43.5).  The Dallas game goes into overtime, and the Saints win 34-31.  I cover the over, but miss covering - WONDERFUL...  The game went into overtime, so I didn't feel completely horrible about my pick.  And then there's the Texans game...  GRRRRRRRR...  Houston hadn't been playing lights out, but they're at home, playing for HOME FIELD in the AFC THROUGHOUT THE PLAYOFFS...  SURELY they're going to show up, against the Vikings...  GRRRRRRRR...  Again, this game was difficult to see, because of the t.v. screen it was being shown on.  It became harder to watch when Arian Foster fumbled in Vikings territory in the first half....  GRRRRRRR...  It became EVEN HARDER to watch as the Texans NEVER got on track...  Well you say, maybe you can cover the "over" Coach.  The Vikings were the KINGS of the field goal on this day, seemingly kicking them EVERYTIME they got into Houston territory...  The BRUTAL outcome:  Vikings 23  Texans 6...  I missed the over by TWO FULL TOUCHDOWNS, which is not normal for me, and the Texans missed COVERING 8 1/2 by..., well, I don't know if I can count that high....  I was SO UPSET, and I know SO MANY Texans fans here in San Marcos, America...  I was just sitting in the Mirage thinking, "the next time that I hear a Houston fan mention 'Texans' and 'Super Bowl' in the same sentence..."  GRRRRRRRRRRR...  Yes, I filled out the parlay cards, but that game TOTALLY surprised me...  Consider the fact that the Texans played the Patriots closer in their playoff game, a 13-point loss, AT NEW ENGLAND...  ANYWAY, after watching the early games (and these two in particular), this was the quote that went up on my facebook page:  "If I jumped from a building right now, gravity would probably stop working...  #niceseasonsteelers"  Yes, I'm very witty when I'm about to throw myself from the top of the Stratosphere...  OH, did I forget to mention the fact that my Steelers lost yet ANOTHER close game, this one by three points, to the Bengals, thus officially throttling any playoff hopes that my favorite team had.  My beloved Steelers, who were injured seemingly the whole season, losing close game after close game, who somehow still managed to split with the Ravens this year, beating them while starting one of our backup quarterbacks...  No, I'm not bitter at all....  GRRRRRRRRRR...

Okay, so the day is lost, but I've got some money with me, like a responsible gambler, and I'm going to hit up a buffet for my final dinner in Las Vegas, but both the Flamingo and Mirage buffets had HUGE lines, so guess where I ended up again.  Back across the street from the Mirage is where Coach could be found, AGAIN, at the Outback Steakhouse, this time drowning his sorrows with a mushroom cheeseburger...  After taking a "nap" (i.e., not sleeping until my alarm woke me up) and waking up not too long after midnight, I had another meal (my 2nd in 6 hours, my 2nd visit of the trip) at the Tropical Breeze Cafe at the Flamingo (hey, I still had some comp dollars left, so don't judge me)...  :)  I then slept until my alarm did wake me up for my early ride to the airport and my trip back to San Marcos, America...

I hope that you have enjoyed this series of dreadful tales and are hitting your knees right now thanking God that it wasn't you suffering this heartbreak...  :)  I will definitely reference this trip some more, but probably not in an "official" eighth, ninth, etc..., post...  Tomorrow I will be back with the new and extremely popular (based on one week) "I remember the first time" Thursday...  Have a great day and I'll see you tomorrow!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Could You? (2)

"Don't Judge Me..."  -Adam Martinez-

Good afternoon everyone.  Here's the second round of 'Could You? Tuesdays...'

Could you be more specific?  Have you ever heard someone mention that they wanted to thank their special friends, and then follow that up with, "you know who you are..." - AND THEN you wondered if you were one of the people that they were talking about???  I have...  :)

Could you just leave good songs alone?  One of the older songs that I've discovered recently is 'Everlong' by the Foo Fighters.  I like the lyrics of the song and it gets really upbeat.  At work recently I heard this song early during my shift, and then later on in the evening they started to play it again.  This second time was the FIRST TIME that I heard the slowed down, "acoustic version" (if you will)...  It's infinitely worse when you go to a concert and this happens to you, when they change up one of your favorite songs...  Goodness gracious, stop ruining good songs...

Could you remember what you're listening to Coach?  While I was listening to iHeartRadio as I walked around campus and Bikini Hill last week, the DJ came on the air and stated, "today's highs will be in the 30's and tonight's lows will be in the teens..."  At the time, it was about 70 degrees as I explored San Marcos, America on a beautiful sunny day, and I paused and asked myself, "WHAT THE ???"  Then the DJ gave the station's call sign, and said something like, "you're listening to Louisville's blah, blah, blah, blah..."  Have you ever had a braincramp???  Yeah, just keep in mind that you're listening to radio stations from AROUND THE NATION genius...

Could you stop and realize that you are too?  Have you ever been called "stubborn" by someone?  You know, by someone who is ALSO unwilling to change their opinion or viewpoint about the topic that is being disputed between the two of you...  :)

Could you just act normal please?  When I'm at work checking I.D.'s to make sure that people are old enough to enter our establishment, the people who come off as the most suspicious are ALWAYS the ones who are just WAY TOO HAPPY to see me...  My first concern is that they're drunk, and then second, I wonder WHAT they're up to...

Could you also focus on the good, and not JUST THE BAD?  This is right near the top of my list of pet peeves (well, if I had an actual hardcopy list, it would be)...  I can know someone FOR YEARS, and REPEATEDLY say and do nice things, and be there OVER AND OVER for them, but then when I say or do ONE THING that they don't like, THAT is the thing that they judge me on...  This just doesn't make any sense to me...

Could you please stop mentioning and asking me about elevators and escalators?  When customers at my workplace are making their way to The Veranda, our rooftop bar, I am CONSTANTLY getting comments and questions about elevators and escalators.  This is good, because I am DEFINITELY the person who would be confused as to how many stairs our building has...  :)

     Customer (several):  "Why are there SO MANY STAIRS?!"
     Me: (nonchalantly):  "Because the bar is on the roof..."  ;)

Have a great day and I'll see you tomorrow, when I'll go into DETAIL about the TRAINWRECK that was the Sunday of my holiday trip to Las Vegas (a.k.a., NFL Week 16)...


Monday, January 28, 2013

Do You Promise?

"Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing..."
-Once Upon A Time-

Good morning everyone.  It was very busy on and around Bikini Hill this past weekend.  Let's begin with the 1st Annual San Marcos High School Lady Rattlers Softball Alumni Game.  I was an assistant softball coach at the high school here in San Marcos, America for a total of four years.  I last coached here in San Marcos ten years ago, and was looking forward to seeing my former players, which of course explains why I got a total of three hours of sleep before getting a haircut and heading over to the high school...  :)  Okay, if you're familiar with my work schedule, you know that I work until very early in the morning and normally sleep days.  No big deal, right?  I'll just go to the high school, see everybody, watch the game, and sleep for my Saturday night shift...  Well, I'm proud to say that I pitched a complete game, for BOTH TEAMS (yes, alumni games can have "all-time pitchers"), and I also umpired the game...  I didn't tell anyone until afterward that I was operating on three hours of sleep, which is probably why I was allowed to do this...  :)  It honestly turned into a beautiful day in San Marcos, America after a drizzly morning, and everyone had a great time.  Of the 17 alumni that showed up to play in the game, I knew 9 of them (8 former players and the program's first head coach), so it was a totally enjoyable day for me.  And to Ashley, Belyne, Jackie, Jen, Jessica, Kristen, Patsy, and Shelbey, it was great seeing you, and welcome to the blog...  ;)

I was able to sleep for two more hours after the alumni softball game before my Saturday night shift at work, which thankfully was a shift that FLEW BY because we were so busy.  The baseball program at Texas State held a banquet at the Embassy Suites here in town, and my workplace was the site of the official "after party."  It was rumored that we were going to be seeing Roger Clemens, since he was a speaker at the festivities at the Embassy.  Well, we never did see Roger, but PLENTY of the other 650 attendees showed up, so I didn't have time to be tired...  :)

Okay, now let's rewind this ramble to what happened after my haircut and before I reached the high school on Saturday morning.  I was leaving the Square after getting my haircut, and I was the first vehicle at the stoplight.  I was stopped at the same dangerous intersection that I have probably mentioned here in my blog before, a crosswalk where vehicles REGULARLY turn left on the green light AT THE SAME TIME pedestrians are crossing the street (the pedestrians have the right of way of course, and traffic is supposed to allow them to cross before proceeding)...  Well, this wasn't an issue since I was the first driver at the light, EXCEPT that the GENIUS behind me starts HONKING HIS HORN after the light turns green.  First I look up into my rearview mirror, and then this rocket scientist HONKS AGAIN.  At this point I rolled down my window, literally put my left arm out the window, POINTED to the pedestrian crossing sign, and THEN POINTED to the three women who were crossing the intersection...  Coach 1  Uninformed Motorist 0...

Speaking of traffic, this gem came from the facebook page of my friend Katie, and is a viewpoint that I've shared for a long time.  She came across someone with a "baby on board" bumper sticker, and was like, "Darn, I guess I'll find someone else to rear end.  Can someone explain the point of these bumper stickers!?!?"  Amen...  :)

Okay, I know that you're waiting for some stories from work, so here you go...  This conversation took place at work on Friday night, when two guys who were leaving stopped near me.

Customer 1:  "I want some Jimmy John's (sandwich shop)"
Customer 2:  "But we didn't drive..."
Customer 1:  "No, it's really close by..."

(At this point, Customer 1 gets me involved in the conversation, to back up his story...)

Me:  "Yes, when you go out the front door of Harper's, take a right, and Jimmy John's is right down the
         sidewalk, on the right..."

(Then Customer 2 uttered the question that I never thought that I'd hear from any guy...)

Customer 2:  "Do you PROMISE???"

Me:  (Totally baffled and shrugging..)  "Ummmmm, yeah???"

Earlier on Friday night, I practically got into an argument with two customers over whether or not their beers would fit into twelve-ounce cups because of the attitude that they took with me.  The two guys were in such TOTAL DISBELIEF about their beers fitting into the plastic cups, and were such jerks about it that I put the cups BACK INTO THE TUB where we keep them, sat back down, and told them, "okay, I've only been working here since SEPTEMBER, but you can do what you want..., go back downstairs, or pour the beer into the cups..."  Of course they poured the beer into the cups, and had an expression of WOW...  Ugghhh...

Before I leave you for the day, let me give a shoutout to my coworker and friend Ryan, who is leaving soon for a year of duty in Kuwait.  After a great dinner at the Outback Steakhouse with my dad, I attended a very enjoyable going away party for Ryan last night, who said that he will definitely be following this blog while he's oversees (GUARANTEED to be the longest year of HIS LIFE, reading my blog)...  ;)  Have a great day everyone and we'll see you tomorrow with the second "Could You? Tuesday..."


Friday, January 25, 2013

Vegas 2012 - Part 6: Incredibly Bad Beats

Good morning everyone.  When I last left you, we were in the Flamingo poker room, and the clock had just struck midnight on Saturday, December 22nd.  The score is now Civilization 1  Mayans 0...  This was a fun 2/4 limit game that I was playing in, just happy people having a good time.  One woman from Houston, a Texans fan who was nicknamed "Hurricane Camille" during the course of the night, revealed this bit of information to the table, and this quote became a status on my facebook page.  Having been in Vegas all week, and getting herself ready for the upcoming Week 16 Texans/Vikings game (OH, will we be talking about THIS GAME in my next installment of this series), Camille let the table know, "I'm psyching myself up for the Texans game.  I'm only eating red, white, and blue food..."  :)  And you THOUGHT you were a hardcore fan Alyssa...  ;)  I actually went and ate an early breakfast with Camille (this is at about 4:00 a.m.) in the Flamingo's Diner (steak and eggs) courtesy of poker comps, and then returned to my hotel room and slept before the start of a ROTTEN weekend...

Nothing of note happens on Saturday until I return to the Flamingo poker room, and then..., UGGGHHH...  Today is the first NFL game that I had bet for my group of sponsors who gave me the leeway to gamble as I saw fit on this trip.  Okay, ONE THING of note had already happened on this day before I returned to the Flamingo.  Due to the fact that I was so tired throughout the duration of this trip, I had decided that I was going to return all of my backers at least 50% of their money.  I had already bought all of the football parlay tickets that we needed, and I wasn't going to lose enough in poker to get us under the 50% mark, if I did lose.  Oh, and DID I LOSE on Saturday...  It wasn't that I lost a lot of money, but go to the next paragraph and read about the trainwreck that was Saturday...

So I'm seated at the end of the poker table, in the 2 seat, with a great view of the first NFL game of the weekend, the Saturday night matchup between the Falcons and the Lions.  I was very confident that the Falcons (-4) would cover the spread, and I was also SURE that the game would go over 50 1/2 points.  So I'm going to watch the football game and leisurely enjoy the 2/4 limit hold 'em game - YEAH...  Football first...  Atlanta jumps out to an early lead, and my (-4) is never really in doubt...  Now with "plenty" of time remaining in the 4th quarter, it seems like a lock that this game will go over 50 1/2 points.  That's when the following occurs.  BOTH TEAMS have first-and-goal to go situations in the quarter, and NEITHER gets a touchdown.  The Lions, down 31-16, and DEEP in Falcons territory, need a touchdown and I'll cover my bet.  There are still about 3 or 4 minutes left in the game.  The Lions get stonewalled inside the Falcons five, but when they turn the ball over on downs, their defense gets a SAFETY on the VERY NEXT PLAY!  I still have life, as the score is now 31-18, and I'm TWO POINTS from covering the over.  What happens next is something that I've NEVER SEEN in my one hundred years (if you're new to the blog, I'm 100 years old by the way) of watching football...  On the free kick from the Atlanta 20, the ball travels to the Lions 5 yard line, where the Detroit kick returner DOWNS THE FREAKING BALL, on the FREE KICK!!!  Now the Lions have to go NINETY-FIVE YARDS to score again!!!  And they ALMOST DID IT, but of course....  GRRRRRRR!!!!!  Okay, since the football went so swimmingly, let's talk about the poker now...

We have two poker hands of note, and of course, they BOTH HAPPEN against the loud-mouth donkeys at the table.  After watching football, just waiting patiently, watching the donks gather chips, I look down at pocket jacks.  This hand treated me well the day before, so I'm not despising it as much as I normally do.  The flop comes Q J 5, and the donk raiser bets out on the flop - outstanding...  :)  The turn is another 5 - GREAT, now I have a full house...  The river brings ANOTHER QUEEN...  Oh, you guessed it - the donk just hit his TWO-OUTER on the river, his Queens full of 5's now beating my Jack full of Q's...  WONDERFUL...  In the next beautiful hand where I got whacked, I called the preflop raise from the loose-aggressive genius with K Q.  The flop comes Q x 10.  The turn is an ace.  I'm not very enthused at seeing the ace, but I'm probably still ahead of this mastermind.  The river brings another 10, giving us a final board of... Q x 10 A 10.  If you guessed that the poker prodigy rivered me with his 5-outer, 10 x, you're RIGHT... (his x provided 3 more outs, where he could have made 2-pair)...  UGGGHHH...

Okay, so now I decide to return to my room, throw away my cursed parlay tickets, and go and find something good to eat, in preparation for the FULL SLATE of NFL games that I will be watching on Sunday...  It's too late to take full advantage of the buffets, so in LAS VEGAS, I end up eating somewhere that I could eat anytime, although it probably is my favorite place to dine...  Yes, I'm at the Outback Steakhouse across the Strip from the Mirage...  :)  After "enjoying" my meal (the food was good, the bitter aftertaste of bad beats was not), I return to my room and cry myself to sleep... Okay, that might be an exaggeration...  I FULLY REALIZED that I was in Las Vegas when I heard a commercial on t.v. say "Caesar's", and I thought 'Palace' before 'pizza' for the first time in a LONG TIME...  :)

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


Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Remember The First Time...

Good morning everyone.  Well, it turns out that I'm NOT going to do a post yesterday, but that you will be getting the next installment of my holiday trip to Las Vegas tomorrow...  :)  As I told you last time, Thursdays will now have a new theme here on Bikini Hill, just as Tuesdays do.  You have seen "Could You? Tuesdays" - now it's time for... (drumroll please, and don't look up at the title of today's entry..., don't do it..., don't...) "I Remember The First Time" Thursdays.

My friend Nick Kass was the inspiration for this idea.  When you stop and think about it, most of our friends who make us laugh have something about them, something that they say, or an expression..., SOMETHING that they habitually say or do that you can identify with them.  Nick uses this tagline, which I have never heard anybody else use before, so we'll have to remember that when my blog blows up and this tagline becomes a "household insult."  For example, if we happened to see a drunk person stumbling out of a bar, Nick might say, "I remember the first time I tried alcohol..."  (Nick is actually funny, but you get the idea)...  I will be using this line in Nick's style sometimes, and sometimes I will be using it to relay things to you that I actually remember from my past.  Welcome to the new Thursdays everyone...

I remember the first time I wasn't funny...  Working the door at my job, I verify that customers are at least 21 years-old before they enter our establishment (Harper's/Slackers/The Veranda for those of you familiar with San Marcos, America).  The following scenario occurs so often that I can't even muster a fake smile:  a potential customer will approach me and say, "oh, let me find my fake I.D." or "you better check his I.D., he isn't 21" - etc, etc, ETC...  Ugghhh...  Please try to be original people, or maybe..., maybe just give us your driver's license without the monologue...

I remember the first time I was a doppleganger...  I think that I've addressed this in the blog before, where I ROUTINELY get told that I look like somebody (God bless their souls)...  When I dealt poker in Las Vegas, that's where this phenomenon occurred most frequently.  "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Woody Harrelson, Dennis Leary, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, etc, etc, etc...?"  I like the fact that these people don't look like EACH OTHER, but that's beside the point...  :)  Last night a couple came up to me, and I agreed to pose for a picture with the girl after she told me that I looked like here sister's boyfriend (again, God bless him)...  This story is actually timely because I carded a young lady on Monday night, and my first words to her were, "do you get Reese Witherspoon?"  She smiled and replied, "yes, sometimes..."  :)

I remember the first time I couldn't contain my laughter...  Okay, this wasn't the first time, but this happened last night also.  A pretty blonde girl approached me at the front door, looking up toward The Veranda with every step.  When she reached me, she handed me her license, gave me a big smile, and then when I looked at her license, I noticed that she had an EVEN BIGGER SMILE in her photo.  I just started laughing out loud...  :)  Sometimes when I look at a license, the photo is FUNNY for some other reason, and I try not to smirk (poker face, thank you), but in this case, it seemed like she was mugging for me just so that I knew for sure that it was her photo on the license...  :)

I remember the first time that I had an ego...  Again, not really the first time, but at some point not very long after I started writing this blog, I searched for "The View From Bikini Hill" on both Yahoo! and Google - NOTHING...  As time passed, I could find my little blog listed on Google (this site is Google-sponsored), and then eventually on Yahoo!...  A couple of days ago I typed just the words "bikini hill" into both Google and Yahoo!, and my blog came up at the..., TOP OF THE LISTINGS...  ;)

I remember the first time that I was a drug dealer...  You'll like this...  When I left the teaching/coaching job that I held for four years here in San Marcos, America, I let my hair grow out (surfer style) for a while, and I would sometimes go down to The Square and hang out.  More than once, total strangers approached me and asked if I had any drugs or if I wanted to buy some drugs...  They tell you that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but what else are you supposed to judge it by when you see it for the first time?...  :)

I remember the first time that I felt COMPLETELY HORRIBLE in college...  When I was a junior attending what was then Southwest Texas State University here in San Marcos, America, I had a psychology class with a volleyball player that I had a crush on since I was a freshman (I had MANY crushes in college)...  :)  I attended most of the Bobcat volleyball games when I was an undergraduate, so I was very happy to be in her class.  Well, one day in passing, we were talking down the hallway to each other (she was a few doors down the hallway from me, and while we weren't quite shouting, we weren't standing next to each other either - I should write novels, shouldn't I?  I'm SO GOOD at describing the setting)...  ANYWAY, as she stops to stand in the doorway of the room that she was entering, the door CLOSES, and the EDGE OF THE DOOR catches her RIGHT... ABOVE... THE... EYE...  Yes, I'm talking a cut that she had to get STITCHES FOR, and watching her play volleyball that night at Strahan Coliseum knowing that I WAS THE REASON that she had that dressing over her eye...  :(  This would have been a great story if we ended up getting married and lived happily-ever-after, wouldn't it??...  :P

I hope that you like the new theme days here on Bikini Hill, and I'll see you again tomorrow with the next installment of my Las Vegas series.  Have a great day!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Could You?

Good evening everyone.  For the purposes of this post, we're going to pretend that it's still Tuesday (it IS actually Tuesday still on the west coast, if that makes you feel any better).  As I was driving around San Marcos, America yesterday (today, for the purposes of this post) doing errands, I came up with a new idea for the blog.  Mondays have and will continue to feature "rambles" here on Bikini Hill.  Wednesdays will be devoted to poker and things related to Las Vegas, gambling, casinos, etc... (as they have been most of the time), and Fridays will continue to be devoted to sports and sports predictions.  While Tuesdays and Thursdays have lent themselves to random topics and being rambles recently, these days of the week will now have their own themes as they address various subjects.  Tuesdays will now be "Could You? Tuesdays..."  (You'll see)  Thursdays, well..., you'll just have to wait until Thursday.  ;)  These themed days will probably help in bringing out my sarcasm (because we all know that the blog is desperately in need of that...), and I actually think that my drivel will be more entertaining to read (and to write) with this little change of pace.

Here is your first Could You? Tuesday - I hope that you like the new theme...

Could you do more on your day off?  After working six nights in a row, this is what I did today after waking up.  I went to the bank, to Walmart, to the Texas Music Theater, to Fed Ex (to make copies), and then to the post office before returning home.  After taking too long of a "break" at home, where I baked the chicken that I bought at Walmart while doing my laundry, I walked to the campus library to return some books on writing (see, I realize that I have a problem, which they say is the first step...), I walked around Bikini Hill, and then I visited my old apartment complex before returning home.

Could you not move the freakin post office?!  I was slightly shocked this morning when I visited the post office, where I have a post office box, to find that the whole operation will be moving from downtown San Marcos, America to a decidedly less convenient location a few miles away.  I am very interested to see the new space that the post office is moving into, because this is going to make things so much harder on so many people.

Could you ask for a better forecast?  THIS is the San Marcos, America that I LOVE...  The forecast high temperatures for 6 of the next 7 days is in the 70's - BOO FREAKIN YEAH!!!  ;)

Could you really be serious right now?  After work a few nights ago as we were finishing up our closing duties, SOMEHOW (I honestly don't remember) the movie "The Princess Bride" came up.  I was asked if I had ever seen the movie.  My response was, "WHY would I watch a movie called "The Princess Bride?"  At this point I should tell you that this was my MALE co-workers who were grilling me, and based on the reaction and staunch defense of the movie by SEVERAL co-workers, I decided to pose this question on facebook the next day.  TWENTY comments later, most of them not by me, and I've decided that I'll have to watch this movie sometime in the future...  :)

Could you give me a free pass tomorrow?  Okay, I'm joking, but I'm going to have to do a pretty quick turnaround to get you a Las Vegas trip post before I work Wednesday night.  Maybe I can do that on Friday since there isn't an NFL football game this week???  We'll see...

I hope that you like this new format, and I'll see you again on Thursday for sure with another new theme, and either sometime Wednesday or Friday with my next Vegas trip report.  This is like some kind of weird..., blog roulette, I know...  :)  Have a great day and I'll see you..., SOON...  ;)



Monday, January 21, 2013

Put It On A Poster

Good afternoon everyone.  Today is a textbook example of why prospective college students should be RUNNING to the mailbox to fire off an application to attend school in San Marcos, America...  It is January 21st and the current temperature is 71 degrees on Bikini Hill.  Today is the "poster child" for why young people should be setting their sights on becoming a Bobcat...  ;)  There is a 100% chance that I will be finding something to read and taking a little stroll down to this blog's namesake after I hit the publish button on this ramble.  Let's see what assorted nonsense we have for you today...

You want a couple of stories from work you say...  We predictably had more business at work last night due to the fact that today is a holiday and there are no classes on campus.  At some point after midnight, an attractive young blonde girl approached me in the same spot where the "You're Like A Gummy Bear!" story took place, and the following conversation ensued:

Her:  "Since you're here every weekend, what's your name?"
Me:  "Coach."
Her:  "COACH?!  That's a great name!  I wanna name my child that!!..."

As the young lady left the spot that I was manning and headed into the bar with her friends, the conversation was her telling her friends how she was gonna name her first child 'Coach'...  Again, you can't make this stuff up...

I am sure that in a conspiracy to irk me, I CONSTANTLY keep getting the comments about how the walkway to The Veranda (our rooftop bar) is a maze.  A group of customers came in during the week, I heard "THE MAZE" banter again, and then one of the guys in the group says, "they should put pictures of scary things things on the wall..."  Of course my IMMEDIATE THOUGHT, and what I should have said was, " framed pictures of the people who think that this is A MAZE..."  No, I'm not bitter...  ;)

Now this is one of the better comments that I've heard at work in a while, and that's saying something...  Down the hallway from the spot where I am normally stationed on the weekends, there is a metal door with an 'exit sign' posted above the doorway.  A couple of customers were leaving this weekend when one of them asked me, "is that an exit?"  I SO WANTED TO SAY, "you mean that door with the exit sign above it?  No..."  Of course I didn't say it...  :)

Then again, another hallway door happened to be open a few nights ago because a co-worker was getting some supplies from our storeroom when a few customers passed by, and one of the girls in the group asked me, "do you live in there?"  Hmmmmm....  :o

So how many people do you know that called that outright upset of the Ravens over the Patriots yesterday? I told you that was the easy game to pick this weekend, huh?  ;)  My prediction:  Ravens 23  Pats 17 ----- Actual final score:  Ravens 28  Pats 13.  Yeah, just direct them to 'Bikini Hill'...  :P  I also got the 24 right for the Falcons score, and I was just 8 points off on the 49ers total...  :)

I have an National Hockey League prediction for you today, and this is the same prediction that I had for the NBA last season.  We have a shortened season, with a lot of games crammed together.  Be prepared to see a lot of injuries in the NHL this year.  Back-to-back games, a 48-game schedule packed into not too many months, the physical nature of the game - get ready for it...

Okay, 'Bikini Hill' is calling me, but I'll be back tomorrow with more for you.  Have a great day!

Friday, January 18, 2013

NFC/AFC Championship Games - 2013

Good morning everyone.  It's time to stick my neck out on the line again.  After doing a little bit of research, I'm very confident about how I would bet one of these 2013 NFL Conference Championship Games, but I'll take a shot at both of them, just for you...  ;)  I went 2-2 last week on my picks both against the spread and on the overs/unders (4-4 overall), which now puts my record at 10-6 for this year's playoffs.  My best call was that the Patriots would beat the Texans by 13 points:  My prediction - Pats  34  Texans  21  -----  Actual score - Pats  41  Texans 28.  I picked the right winner in the Seahawks/Falcons game, but lost against the spread.  I picked the wrong winner in the Ravens/Broncos game, but won with the spread.  THIS BRINGS ME to a prediction that I made before the football season began.  After the Broncos got rid of a very popular quarterback in Tim Tebow, they gambled and spent a lot more money signing Peyton Manning.  I predicted at the time that the Broncos would not advance any further in the playoffs than they did last season.  WOW, Coach got a prediction right...  The Broncos got knocked out in exactly the same round that they did last season...  Manning and Denver crushed their easy regular season schedule, but the quality of opponent and cold weather finally caught up to the Broncos.  Manning has never been a cold weather quarterback.  What I didn't know until after last weekend's defeat was that this is the EIGHTH TIME that Peyton has been knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.  Let me say here again that I have nothing against Manning, and he has quarterbacked many of my fantasy football teams, but I still think that Denver took a huge risk in signing him due to his age, his injury status, and his price tag.  What we won't talk about right now is my prediction that the Eagles would win the NFC East, that the Bills would be a playoff darkhorse, etc, etc...  :)

Okay, back to this weekend's games.  I cannot promise you anything regarding the outcomes of these matchups, but for me, the NFC Championship Game is a tougher game to bet than the AFC Championship Game.  Here we go...

NFC Championship Game:  Sunday @ 2:00 p.m. CST

San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1) @ Atlanta Falcons (13-3)

These two groups did not meet each other in the regular season.  The 49ers had a pretty week schedule overall, and almost every game that the Falcons were involved in this season was a close one, whether they won or lost.  It bothers me that the 49ers tied and lost to the RAMS, but they went up to New England and beat the Patriots (although they were hanging onto that one for dear life).  The Falcons crushed the defending Super Bowl Champion Giants, but lost a game to the Panthers.  Kaepernick made the Packers look SILLY last week on defense, but the Falcons had Wilson scrambling FOR HIS LIFE in the dome.  San Francisco did a great job containing Green Bay's offense, and Atlanta's 'O' dominated the Seahawks..., well, until the 4th quarter, when Ryan threw up a HORRIBLE "jump ball" and that group completely disappeared.  I think that this is a close game and I think that the defenses are too good to let the game go "over" the number set by Vegas.  With the game being in Atlanta, my prediction is...

Atlanta  24  San Francisco  20   -----  Falcons (+4), Under (49 1/2)

AFC Championship Game:  Sunday @ 5:30 p.m. CST

Baltimore Ravens (10-6) @ New England (12-4)

The Ravens beat the Patriots 31-30 at New England on September 23rd.  The Ravens lost to the Patriots 23-20 in last year's AFC Championship Game at New England.  By the way, my prediction for that game was 23-20 Ravens, but Baltimore managed to thwart me by dropping the game-winning touchdown and missing the game-tying field goal (although they covered against the spread - (+7)...).  The Patriots had a cupcake schedule compared to the Ravens, and Baltimore fought through a lot of injuries during the season.  New England will not have Rob Gronkowski for this game, who had 5 receptions for 87 yards in last season's AFC Championship Game (the Pats had 239 total receiving yards in that contest).  The forecast high for Sunday in New England is 45 degrees with 25 m.p.h. winds, and the game doesn't start until 6:30 p.m. on the east coast.  The weather doesn't seem to favor a throwing offense...  I do not understand how the Ravens are getting 8 1/2 points (which has been bet down from 9 1/2 points) based on the results of the last 2 meetings involving these teams, and I think the weather will DEFINITELY affect the score, so my prediction is...

Baltimore  23  New England  17   -----   Ravens (+8 1/2), Under (51 1/2)

Yes, two outright upsets Las Vegas...  I hope that all of you have an OUTSTANDING football weekend and I'll see you again on Monday, either with a big grin on my face, or with a huge fork for my plate of crow...  ;)


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Vegas 2012 - Part 5: Poker & Parlay Tickets

Good morning everyone.  This entry is the fifth part in the series of reports about my holiday trip to Las Vegas.  To start out the "day" (it's around midnight), I played the only no-limit hold 'em session that I would be playing during this trip.  I was already tired when I left San Marcos, America to begin this trip, and I wasn't setting alarm clocks when I was in the desert.  When I woke up, if I wasn't still tired, I was off to do something...

Now I played this no-limit session just to say that I did it really.  We are now at Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon, the home of .50/$1.00 no-limit Texas hold 'em (I kid you not)...  The buy-in for this game was $20.00.  I had played for somewhere in the neighborhood of half an hour when I was sitting in middle position with about $17.00 in front of me.  The player under-the-gun raised the action to $2.00, the minimum raise.  I looked down to find pocket jacks (oh joy), and I flat-called the raise when the action got to me.  There were no other raises and we went to the flop, which came 9 7 4.  By the way, there may have been a couple of other players in the hand in addition to myself and the preflop raiser, but they aren't important...  :)  After the flop, the preflop raiser SHOVES.  His shove covers the rest of my stack, and there are no other callers when the action gets to me.  I figure that if this guy has aces, kings, queens, or has just hit a set of 9's, 7's, or 4's, then so be it, and I call my remaining stack.  When the action is complete, the preflop raiser says something like, "OH CRAP..."  My opponent then tables his king-nine, showing that he has hit top pair with a king kicker.  I lay my jacks on the table, and for some unexplained reason, my hand HOLDS UP and I double up.  My 20/20 hindsight tells me that I should have played no-limit hold 'em at Bill's Gamblin' Hall for the remainder of my stay...  :)  Oh well...

Shortly after my win, I left the table and went to the restaurant at Bill's, where I enjoyed the free breakfast that I had earned less than 24 hours previously by signing up for the Bill's players card.  Again, signing up for the card gave me a $5.00 comp, and they run a breakfast special for $4.99.  After eating, I noticed something when I reached the exit to the Strip which reminded me of San Marcos, America.  As I exited the casino, off to my right I noticed eight beer-pong tables.  I know that there were eight tables because I actually stepped back into the casino to COUNT THEM so that I would be accurate when reporting the total here and on my facebook account...  :)  And YES, there were people playing.  "What did you do in Las Vegas?"...  "Oh man, you won't believe this, but they had BEER PONG!!!"...

ANYWAY, from Bill's I headed over to the Flamingo to get into the 2/4 limit game again.  Now keep in mind that it's after midnight, and at this time of night you usually get seated with some young players, some old players, some sober players, and some not-so-sober players.  Well, somehow I managed to get seated at a table with some old rocks (i.e., tight players).  For those of you who have played poker with me, you realize that for ME to be calling other players rocks...  Yeah, this was a bad table, but I somehow managed to win $2.00 in an orbit, said the heck with this, and made my way out of the poker room.    

I walked down to The Mirage to grab a STACK of football parlay cards (after inspecting the cards that I had picked up previously, I realized that the ones at The Mirage gave better odds than the ones at The Flamingo).  I grabbed my pile of parlay cards, visited the fish tank behind the registration desk (which is my favorite spot in the desert to clear my head), and then I returned to my hotel room (it's about 4:30 a.m. at this point).

After sleeping, I spent about SIX HOURS of my day on Friday watching t.v. while studying and studying and studying football before filling out about $300.00 worth of parlay cards.  I spent SO MUCH TIME coloring in SO MANY BUBBLES with my little "casino golf pencils..."  When I reached The Mirage, I was only able to purchase about half of the tickets that I had filled out because they had removed a game from the cards.  Since the cards had been printed, the Jets had announced that neither Sanchez nor Tebow would be starting against the Chargers, so the 'under' that I had intended to bet had dropped by about another three points.  The funny thing is, that game ended up going 'over'.  The unfunny thing is that I still managed to lose PLENTY of bets anyway, as chronicled in one of my earlier posts in this series...

As I'm walking back to my hotel, I pass a guy on the sidewalk who is peddling passes to some club.  He notices my jacket and says, "hey, Red Sox!"  I nod at him and I keep walking...  This is when I hear a SHOUT from behind me:  "YOU'RE NOT A REAL RED SOX FAN, YOU DIDN'T RESPOND TO ME!!!"  Out of sheer instinct, I turn and SHOUT BACK, "YOU'RE A HACK!!!"  I then proceed to my hotel (The Quad), where I feel sorry for the group of guests who are checking in on this Friday night, as the check-in line is LITERALLY fifty yards long...

I then snacked on some junk food in my room before returning to The Flamingo for some more poker.  Upon reaching The Flamingo, I saw a girl stumbling on high heels, which is something that you NEVER SEE in San Marcos, America...  ;)  I played poker through midnight, but made sure to make my "Civilization 1  Mayans 0  But thanks for playing..." facebook post when the calendar flipped over to December 22nd.

Okay, when I do post Part 6 of this trip next week, it will be Saturday, December 22nd...  I will be back here tomorrow with my predictions for this Sunday's NFL Conference Championship Games (San Francisco @ Atlanta and Baltimore @ New England).  I hope that you have a great day and I'll see you again tomorrow!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

San Marcos, Antarctica

"Rice cakes are made from sofa cushion stuffing and hate..."  -@YesThatAmy- (via twitter)

Good morning everyone.  This is very unusual for me, starting a post at 3:30 a.m. CST when not coming off of a shift at work.  I apologize for not posting yesterday, but I was making good use of my time since I entered Monday's ramble here.  For those of you following my Las Vegas trip write-ups from the edge of your seat, part five of that series will be my next entry, and I will follow that up with my NFL Conference Championship Game predictions on Friday.  This entry is thus another ramble for you, covering various topics and nonsense.

For starters, San Marcos, Antarctica is FREAKIN COLD!!!  Currently the temperature is 32 degrees, and the wind chill is sitting at 25.  The depressing thing is that for the next WEEK, the forecast is highs in the low 60's, with lows STILL in the 30's...  In the past it has not been unusual to have a random day or two where the lows dipped into the 30's, but for days on end...  BRRRRRRR...  Of course you still see the people who are wearing t-shirts and sandals, or short skirts, and you think, "wow, they're gonna get sick..."  When you think it through, you realize that they're the ones who are ultimately going to be responsible for passing that stuff around and making EVERYONE sick...

So I was driving at the very top of North L.B.J. Drive this morning (yes, the very same area where the new apartments are going up), and I noticed the most amusing sign.  I am sure that this must have been there on Monday, and I just failed to see it then.  There is a "sidewalk closed" sign (the kind that looks sort of like a hurdle, blocking the path of the whole sidewalk) as you approach the construction of the new apartments.  The good part is that sidewalk on that side of the street literally ends not more than ten yards later, so yeah, if you picture the sign, and then ten more yards of sidewalk...

Okay, so I'm out paying my bills (see, I was being productive), and when I get to the strip mall where I have to pay my phone bill (this is the one that is home to Hastings, Jason's Deli, etc... for those of you who are familiar with San Marcos, Antarctica), I notice the Institute of Cosmetology.  The Institute of Cosmetology had never previously caught my eye.  Where EXACTLY is this prestigious bastion of higher learning located you ask?  You can find it right in-between the Dollar General store and the Advance America/Cash Advance  outlet.  I guess with all of the new readers that I'm getting, I should be careful about who I tease, because you KNOW that ultimately I'm going to upset someone:  "Hey, I GO to IOC, home of the Fightin' Manicures, and we're DAMN PROUD of it!!..."  :P

Anyway, fast forward to this evening, and I was on campus at the library for the first time this semester.  I checked out a few books on writing (I obviously need them), and then I started thumbing through The University Star (the campus newspaper).  At this point, my week was made...  :)  At an earlier juncture in this blog, I stated that one of my goals was for the phrase 'Bikini Hill' to catch on.  People will say they're going to "the river" - they'll say they're going "to Sewell".  You don't hear 'Bikini Hill' as often as I'd like...  :)  Well, Ariella Hannon wrote a column for the university newspaper titled, "Hard Work, Planning Necessary For Successful Semester."  This is a direct quote from that article:  "While lying out on Bikini Hill and getting a tan may be tempting, it will not help your GPA."  Now as true as that is, keep in mind that the IMPORTANT PART of that quote is that Ariella used the phrase 'Bikini Hill'...  ;)

In addition to working at Harper's/Slackers/The Veranda (which counts as one job), it looks like I was successful in finding some additional future employment (more on that later), which is something else productive that I have been doing since Monday, and another great excuse for me typing this entry right now as opposed to yesterday when I was supposed to...  For those of you who have any experience living in a college town, the start of the semester is about the WORST TIME to look for a job because EVERYONE is looking for a job...  It's now obvious that I have survived the much-dreaded month of silence that separates the fall and spring semesters in town, and now I need to make it to spring, where we'll finally see an end to this unusually cold weather in San Marcos.

I hope that you have a great day, and I'll see you tomorrow with the next installment of my recent trip to Las Vegas.


Monday, January 14, 2013

San Marcos Drivers, Beware...

"When friends hear something negative about you, they get your side of the story before passing judgment..." -Chris Wyatt-

Good morning everyone.  Today's ramble will be completely about things that are related to San Marcos, America in one way or another as the first day of spring classes begins at Texas State University.  For those of you who live in and around San Marcos, be prepared for some hassles if you plan on driving near campus.  During the winter break, construction started on the street that separates 'Bikini Hill' from campus, and it also began on Sessom Drive, which runs behind campus.  On both streets there are spots where the traffic gets funneled from two lanes into a single lane, and this construction is not finished.  I'm afraid that this is going cause some major headaches for commuters...

Speaking of construction, if you haven't been to the top of North L.B.J. Drive recently (behind campus), well, the "top" is being moved higher, if you will...  The process of clearing land has been ongoing for some time now, and the frames of buildings (you guessed it, apartments) are now going up.  It's pretty impressive to drive up a street the length of North L.B.J. Drive and to see one side almost completely bordered by apartment complexes...

As an example of how much money I don't have, I went into the local Hastings bookstore a few days ago.  Now let me start out by saying that I love Hastings, that they're open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the week, etc, etc...  I saw a rack of bookmarks that were selling for $3.99 each.  My immediate thought was that if you can't find something to put in between the pages a book that won't run you less than $3.99...  Goodness gracious...

The rest of today's little tidbits will be related to work in one way or another.  I'm currently working for a trio of bars on the Square in downtown San Marcos, America:  Harper's, Slackers, and The Veranda.  Let's begin with some of the comments that I've heard at work over the course of the past few weeks...

This weekend when I was monitoring one of the hallways at work, a couple of groups of people walked by each other.  After a little bit of friendly banter, one of the girls in one of the passing groups posed the question, "do we know them?..."  I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that YOU don't know them...

The hallways that I am speaking of are painted maroon and gold, which are the colors of my alma mater, the aforementioned Texas State University.  I have one Nike shirt that I wear to work from time to time which is white, with a maroon 'swoosh' on the chest, and a single set of maroon and gold stripes on each sleeve.  More than once someone has referenced my shirt and I've fielded the question, "which school is that?..."  God bless San Marcos, America...

At The Veranda, which is our rooftop bar, we have a pair of propane heaters which feature flames that are encased in glass tubing.  The other night a customer came downstairs and said to me, "whatever you do, don't touch the flames up there..."  I deadpanned, "yeah, it's REAL FIRE..."  Again, God bless San Marcos, America...

Okay, now this story is on me.  With the masses of people that I encounter at work, unless I've known someone for quite a while, I am usually better at recognizing a face than remembering a name.  Last week when I was working at the front door, a girl handed me her driver's license.  I looked at the girl again, then looked at her photo on the license.  Then I noticed her name - YEAH..., this particular customer was one of my former students, and I had coached her in softball..., FOR... A... YEAR...  Ummm, God bless San Marcos, America...  ;)

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


Friday, January 11, 2013

Divisional Round 2013

Good morning everyone.  So far I'm doing very well calling this year's NFL playoff games (just like last year).  Last week I went 3-1 against the spread and 3-1 on the overs/unders.  Here are my predictions for last week's Wild Card Round with the actual scores:

My prediction:  Texans  24   Bengals  17              
Actual score:    Texans  19   Bengals  13

My prediction:  Packers  27   Vikings  17
Actual score:    Packers  24   Vikings  10

My prediction:  Ravens  27   Colts  13
Actual score:    Ravens  24   Colts    9

My prediction:  Redskins  27   Seahawks  24
Actual score:    Seahawks  24   Redskins  14

The Texans (-4 1/2), Packers (-7 1/2), and Ravens (-6 1/2) all covered the spread.  I was wrong about the Redskins (+3).  Griffin III was injured in the game, so I don't feel so bad.

Hou/Cin (Under 43 1/2), GB/Minn (Under 46), and Bal/Ind (Under 46 1/2) all made me look good on the unders.  Sea/Wash (Over 45) was the one I missed.  Griffin III was injured in the game, so I don't feel so bad...  :P

Here are this week's games:

Saturday 3:30 CST - Baltimore (10-6) at Denver (13-3)

I need the Ravens to win this game outright to be right on a prediction that I made before the season began.  I predicted that the Broncos would not go any farther in the playoffs with Peyton Manning (past the second round) than they did last year.  An easy schedule gave Denver a first-round bye and home field this week, and Manning hasn't had to play in horrible weather.  The forecast in Denver for Saturday is a high of 19 degrees, but that's with little wind and sunny skies.  The Ravens do have Ray Lewis back, which may change the outcome of the first meeting between these two teams this season, which the Broncos won 34-17 on December 16th.  My pick is...

Broncos  27   Ravens  20   -----   Ravens (+9 1/2), Over (46)

Saturday 7:00 CST - Green Bay (11-5) at San Francisco (11-4-1)

The 49ers won the opening week matchup between these two teams 30-22.  Alex Smith was the quarterback at that time if memory serves me right.  Although I like the 49ers defense, I think that the quarterback position is a key to this game.  Actually, with all four of my predictions here today, I feel that I am taking the team with the better quarterback.  My pick is...

Packers  23   49ers  20   -----   Packers (+3), Under (45)

Sunday 12:00 CST - Seattle (11-5) at Atlanta (13-3)

These two teams did not face each other in the regular season.  The Seahawks have been extremely hot as of late, but they have to go into Atlanta and the dome with a rookie quarterback.  That being said, I think that this is going to be another very good football game.  The weather forecast in the dome, as in San Francisco, is just fine...  My pick is...

Falcons  24   Seahawks  17   -----   Falcons (-2 1/2), Under (46)

Sunday 3:30 CST - Houston (12-4) at New England (12-4)

The Texans get a break in this game in that they won't be freezing - the forecast high is 54 degrees.  That does mean that Brady will be able to throw the ball however.  The Patriots won the earlier meeting between these two teams 42-14 on December 10th.  Arian Foster HAS TO be able to run to keep the ball out of Brady's hands...  My pick is...

Patriots  34   Texans  21   -----   Patriots (-9 1/2), Over (47 1/2)

I hope that you have fun with those predictions and that all of you have an outstanding football weekend.  I'll see you here again on Monday.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Vegas 2012 - Part 4: The Facebook Diary

Good morning everyone.  Two posts from me in twelve hours is about the most you'll ever see from me if you're new here.  If you're a regular, I put up a short ramble after 8:00 p.m. CST last night.  Now as I have some 'Criminal Minds' playing in the background, I am going to plow through what can best be called my 'Facebook Diary' as I lay out Thursday, December 20th for you.  This was my second full day in Las Vegas and I started lighting up my facebook account like a Christmas Tree with details of what I was doing to aid myself in remembering later on.  When I returned to San Marcos, America, I had SEVERAL PEOPLE who I had not previously spoken to regarding my trip (a.k.a., facebook friends) coming up to me at work asking, "how was Vegas Coach?"

Now this is just barely, technically Thursday that we're talking about as I review my facebook notes.  I had taken my nap (washed up like a big whale on my bed, unable to move) after destroying the buffet at The Flamingo, and I decided to return to the "Pink Chicken' (trademarked line of my friend who writes "Life As A Las Vegas Poker Dealer in the list of blogs to the right) to play my first poker of the trip.  Considering that I was tired even when I began this trip to the desert, I decided to sit down and play some 2/4 limit.  I didn't want one bad decision to cost me a couple hundred dollars.  These results would be the norm for the rest of my trip at the poker tables...

Courtesy of this little facebook diary that I'm reviewing, I see where I lost $54.00 in this session.  I am now reliving my agony as I see that my pocket kings (hey Rob) got chopped up by a set of 5's, my pair of aces got chopped up by a two-outer (7's) on the turn, and my pocket kings (hey again Rob) got beat when A-rag flopped trips.  I did not lose the maximum amount possible on these hands as the "tricky" 2/4 players were not betting every time that they hit these hands (another theme for the trip, let's call with air and then check when we hit our hand)...  It is my fault for playing 2/4 and I should probably never play limit again, but as you can see, I suffered some pretty sick catches against me, and these were not all the result of 10 hands going to the flop on this trip, which did make it unique for limit poker...

When I returned to The Quad, I had to chuckle (I don't "chuckle" often) as I reached the entrance from the Strip.  During my stay, The Quad was undergoing a facelift (formerly Imperial Palace), and there was a "construction pathway" from the Strip to the front door.  On the Strip end of this tunnel, a small group of hotel security was awaiting me, with one guy on the radio, who was saying, "this guy didn't want to show I.D. ("this guy" was not around), we followed him out, and now he's headed over to Harrah's properties - ENJOY..."

I slept...

After waking up, it's now the actual real people morning of the 20th, not the vampire people version, and I head to Bill's Gamblin Hall and Saloon.  I find out when their tournaments ($30.00) are for future reference, sign up for a player's card (that comes with an automatic $5.00 comp), and then I head away to The Flamingo, where I grab A STACK of football parlay betting cards and some pencils.  There was much coloring in of the bubbles that would be done later on in the trip...

I returned to The Quad and made my breakfast/lunch visit to Hash House a Gogo, a place that I HAD TO check out because I've read so much about it in SEVERAL blogs.  At the time I commented on facebook that I would lay odds that at least 70% of the patrons leave without finishing their meals because they are SO FREAKIN HUGE...  I got an omelet with hash browns that COVERED an oversized plate that I barely finsihed.  The meal that really caught my eye as I looked down the counter was brought to a guy a few seats away from me.  They have a waffles and fried chicken meal where the brick-sized waffles cover the plate, PLUS the meal comes with the fried chicken, one piece which was "shish kabob style" attached to a waffle by being STABBED to the heart of the chicken and the waffle...  NOTE:  This guy did not finish his meal...

From here I made my way to The Mirage, got another STACK of football parlay betting cards (whose odds were better than those at The Flamingo), collapsed into a seat at the sportsbook, and started some serious football studying...  This studying and a few naps consumed most of the rest of my day, and since this post is so long already, Part 5 of my visit will pick up shortly after midnight on Friday, December 21st.  This is the day that civilization as we know it ended, in case you missed it...  ;)  Have a great day and I'll see you again tomorrow!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Good morning everyone (yeah, if 8:00 p.m. was defined as morning)...  This is Wednesday of the week where everyone is finally moving back to San Marcos, America, so you won't read any more crying from me about how quiet town is (you're welcome)...  ;)  I go back to work in a couple of hours after being off since very early in the morning on Monday, and this ramble is coming to you so late tonight because I focused on getting my living room cleaned up earlier in the day.

There is a really good chance that you will see another installment in the posts on my recent trip to Las Vegas tomorrow (if you see any post)  :), and on Friday you will be seeing my NFL playoff predictions for this weekend.  I went 6-2 on my calls for Wild Card Weekend, picking correctly both against the spread and on the overs/unders for the first 3 games, and then missing both on the Seahawks/Redskins matchup.  I'm currently watching the Lakers/Spurs game on t.v. as I do this entry.  I am a Spurs fan for those of you who are new to Bikini Hill.  Also for those of you who are new, my sports year pretty much goes like this now:  football season (September - the Super Bowl), college basketball season (conference tournaments - the national championship game), NBA (stretch run through the Finals) and MLB season (moreso where it gets me back to football season).  I really enjoy watching the NHL playoffs also, especially the MULTIPLE overtime games, but given the limited coverage that we receive in Texas, coupled with the fact that they haven't dropped a puck yet this season, well..., we'll see how that plays out this year...

During the holidays I kind of lost track of my current diet.  This isn't to say that I gorged myself (don't count my trip to Las Vegas, where I was guilty of all charges), but I didn't weigh-in regularly, etc.  Anyway, I currently tip the scales at 224 pounds, which is lighter than when I began (I would honestly have to go back in my blog entries to see what I weighed when this enterprise began).  I am going to start weighing myself regularly on Mondays now, so you'll be able to keep apprised of when I get into the 210-215 range.  I have lost the 10-ish pounds I have shed mainly by eating more vegetables (A LOT of salads), fewer carbohydrates (I rarely buy bread, and I have FINALLY??? stopped eating spaghetti), and by cutting WAY DOWN on sodas (which have been my achilles heel for quite some time)...  I am still not adhering to any organized exercise regimen, although I am usually active at work (at least at some point in my shift), and I was taking advantage of the beautiful weather in San Marcos, America (until recently) to walk.  My place is about a fifteen minute walk from Bikini Hill, and the campus of Texas State University (where I use the library, which I also walk to) is even closer, so the walking will resume once classes start Monday and the weather gets nicer.

For those of you who are used to Wednesdays being about poker and Las Vegas here, I have done/am in the process of writing up so many Vegas trip reports that I hope you don't mind waiting the extra day.  You can find some more recent poker material in the links to the right if you're just psyched up to read about chips flying around the green felt.  You may also choose to wait a few days if you want to read about some of my personal bad beats...

I haven't jotted down much of the humorous stuff lately, and I don't recall having seen or heard much of it either, but I have a few things for ya...  I was watching one of the bowl games last week (I watched so many that I honestly don't remember which one it was now), and the commentator made a comment about the player maybe not going out-of-bound because he hadn't quite gotten to "the white part of the sidelines"...  The "white part" of the sidelines - what other part of the sidelines IS THERE?!  (Yes, the guy actually said this)...

Watching the national championship game, it seemed like EVERY TIME that a defensive back got their hands on a ball to break up a pass, Brent Musberger was saying, "oh, that ball was almost intercepted!!!"  I think that this might have played great on radio, but I'm WATCHING THE GAME...  You have to do more than touch the ball to take possession of it...  The things that annoy me...  :)

Well, I see that it's now time to start getting ready for work, so I'll come back and bother you some more tomorrow.  Have a great evening!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Hate Football

Good morning everyone.  Even though this isn't being tagged as an official entry in my miniseries of Las Vegas trip chronicles, everything in today's entry revolves around my recent excursion.  This entry could have easily been called "I should have bet it all on Alabama (or Green Bay)."  The Alabama game that I'm referring to is last night's national championship game, and the Green Bay game that I'm referencing is the Pack's Week 16 matchup against the Titans.  I did not bet all of my group's money on these games, so let's took a look at the bets that really hurt the bottom line...

Falcons/Lions (Over 50 1/2) - Final Score:  Falcons 31  Lions 18

This game was TORTURE to watch as I played 2/4 limit poker at The Flamingo.  Both teams had first-and-goal to go situations where they didn't score touchdowns, and the Lions, after blowing one, IMMEDIATELY responded with a safety, which was then followed by DOWNING THE FREE KICKOFF at their own FIVE-YARD LINE (you can't make this stuff up).  As you can see above, these two outfits fell 1 1/2 points short - GRRRRR....

Vikings/Texans (Over 46 points - I believe) - Final Score:  Vikings 23  Texans 6

This game took place the very next day, and whether 46 was the exact number or not is irrelevant because these 2 teams didn't come close.  The Texans offense in this game was non-existant, including an early fumble by Arian Foster in Minnesota territory, and anytime that the Vikings got things rolling, they settled for field goal after field goal after field goal...  I was getting so angry watching this game and I know SO MANY Texans fans that I was thinking to myself, "the NEXT Texans fan that mentions Texans and Super Bowl in the same sentence when I get back to San Marcos..."  PAINFUL to watch...

Florida (-14) vs. Louisville - Final Score:  Louisville 33  Florida 23

Florida was seemingly never in this game, and they were the two touchdown favorite.  My thinking was a top-five SEC team playing in their home state - PFFFTTT...  The way that this game played out, this was probably the most surprising game of all of the bowl games and Week 16 NFL games that I bet.  I will mention here that I bet West Virginia (-4.5) over Syracuse (Final - Syracuse 38-14), but that game was played in the remnants of a blizzard.

Oklahoma (+13) vs. Texas A&M - Final Score:  Texas A&M 41  Oklahoma 13

As it turned out, this superteaser with the Sooners getting 13 points would have cashed another parlay ticket for my group.  The halftime score was 14-13 Aggies.  The Sooners could have easily held the lead at halftime as they had to settle for an early field goal after a first-and-goal situation.  I have NO IDEA where the Sooners offense was in the second half of this game as the Aggies outscored them 27-0 in the final 30 minutes of this game.

The crying that I did a few minutes ago goes back to when I was sitting in my hotel room at The Quad and filling out parlay cards at The Mirage also.  I bet many, MANY football games.  I did not touch the Packers/Titans game right away, and then I considered the Packers being 13-point favorites at home in the cold atmosphere of Lambeau Field against a Titans team that had nothing to play for.  The final score in this game was:  Packers 55  Titans 7.  When I considered the Notre Dame/Alabama game, I thought to myself, "which team is more likely to win this game if it is a blowout?"  I NEVER thought that the Irish would blowout the Tide, but I thought that Bama could easily blowout Notre Dame, so I picked the Tide, even though the spread was 10 points.  Final Score:  Alabama 42  Notre Dame  14...

I hope that all of you enjoyed reading about this trainwreck more than I enjoyed typing it up this morning...  Did I fail to mention that on New Year's Day I missed 2 unders by 1 1/2 points and a cover by 1/2 a point?  I... HATE... FOOTBALL...  :)  Oh, even better, I went 6-2 on my picks over Wildcard Weekend, while NOT BEING in Las Vegas.  I was 3-1 against the spread and 3-1 on the overs/unders.  Both losses came in the Seahawks/Redskins game where Griffin III was injured, so who knows...  I will be making picks on this weekend's NFL playoff games also, and you can reference my 'Wildcard Weekend 2013' blog entry from last Thursday to verify what my picks were - I was pretty close on some of those final scores...  Have a great day and I'll see you again tomorrow!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Vegas 2012 - Part 3: I Took A Walk

Good morning everyone.  Although the temperature is only 36 degrees right now in San Marcos, America, today is the first day of what is going to be a beautiful week in this currently sleepy college town...  The forecast has the mercury rising during the next seven days, and the Bobcats will be returning to the campus of Texas State University as classes resume exactly a week from now.  The return of the Bobcats is great news for me as complete and utter silence annoys me just a bit - you probably realize this if you have stumbled upon this blog anytime during the past month.

You may also realize if you have stumbled upon 'Bikini Hill' during the past month that this series of entries about my recent trip to Las Vegas is going to proceed about as slowly as a t.v. miniseries, or a complete season of a show for that matter...  It is now the morning of Wednesday, December 19th, my first time waking up at The Quad after my adventurous trip from San Marcos to San Francisco to Las Vegas the previous day.  After cleaning up, I started walking, and walking, and walking..., AND WALKING...  And yes, I was wearing a pair of my new sweatpants, and no, I did not get mugged...  ;)  For those of you who have had the misfortune of spending any length of time with me in the last few years, you are likely well aware of my habit of manipulating three poker chips in my hand, CONSTANTLY, to the point that I actually wear down the clay on these casino chips.  Well, I returned to the desert with a bag FULL of these worn chips, and now it was time to do some sightseeing.  Leaving The Quad, which is across the street from Caesars Palace, and in-between the Flamingo and The Mirage if that helps you out, I embarked on my journey north up the Strip.  I stopped at every casino on my side of the Strip where I needed to cash in some of these older chips, all the way down to and including The Riviera.  The Riviera is where I used to deal poker just over five years ago, and upon finding the poker room, I was greeted with signs on the poker tables which read, "The Riviera Poker Room will be closed from December 19th - December 26th."  Hmmph...  So much for seeing my old friends...  This is now about five hours after I woke up and I'm ready to eat lunch.

My plan all along had been to eat lunch at The Riv with the comp dollars that I had earned during August.  At this point let me emphasize that my old workplace was very slow on this December afternoon.  I only say that to say that I had to go to a pit boss, who then sent me to the VIP Services at the back of the hotel, who proceeded to send me to Guest Services, who then TRIED to send me BACK to the VIP Services area to receive my comp.  So, about 30 minutes after I began, I procured my $13.00 and ate some Banana Leaf (Asian food) for lunch.  After lunch I trekked across the street behind The Riv to the LVH (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton - and no, LVH is not an abbreviation for Las Vegas Hilton)...  :)  I cashed a parlay ticket from August and returned to the Riv.  I had given up hope on seeing anyone that I knew because business was so slow, and as I headed for the front doors facing the Strip, I ran into my favorite cocktail waitress.  I worked the graveyard shift when I dealt poker, and Maly would usually work 3 of the 5 shifts that I did during the week.  Eventually the two of us managed to get the same one-hour break so that we could eat our meals together in the Employee Dining Room (most, if not all Las Vegas casinos feed their employees once per shift), and more importantly, me and my poker-dealing buddies got Maly into football betting.  Unfortunately, she started cashing in more winning parlay tickets than we did (I'm just kidding - not about Maly winning more, but none of us harbored any ill will)...  :)  I enjoyed about an hour chatting with Maly between her trips around her section of the casino, and then I headed south down the Strip.

I crossed the street and ventured all the way down to The Excalibur.  For those of you familiar with Las Vegas, I did A LOT OF WALKING cashing in my old poker chips.  I started this "walk" sometime shortly after noon, and now it was dark.  As I made my way back toward The Quad, I got as far as The Flamingo.  At this point I decided to see how many comp dollars I had built up there during August.  When I found out that the total was just over $17.00, I made my way to the buffet.  After paying $8.64 out of pocket, I found 2 slices of prime rib (hey, the person in line in front of me got 2 slices before I did), then I LOADED the rest of my plate with cold cocktail shrimp, and I SCARFED DOWN food for the better part of an hour.  Yes, there were more trips to the buffet, but we won't concern ourselves with that...  After managing the short walk back the The Quad, I rolled into bed (yes, literally and figuratively speaking), and that was pretty much the end of my first full day back in the desert...

When we get to the fourth installment of this spellbinding miniseries, I PROMISE that there will be some sort of gambling covered in my writing...  :)  I hope that all of you have a great day and I will see you again tomorrow, when I will be lamenting the football bets that I made during this trip - DO NOT miss tomorrow's entry if you enjoy trainwrecks...  Have a good one!


Friday, January 4, 2013

Keys In The Door

Good morning everyone.  Today you are getting a rare Friday ramble as I did my football post yesterday.  For any of you who came here today looking for my predictions on this weekend's NFL playoff games, just scroll down to yesterday's post, "Wild Card Weekend 2013" - feel free to leave your own predictions in the comments section if you wish.

As I begin today's ramble from what is normally beautiful San Marcos, America, the home of the now deserted campus of Texas State University, the temperature here is currently 37 degrees with showers in the forecast, and the high today is only supposed to reach 43 degrees - FREAKIN BRRRRRRR!!!...  I hope that the Bobcats bring the warm weather back to town when they return.

As the traffic here on 'Bikini Hill' has spiked recently, my little blog is primed to pass the 20,000 view mark over the weekend.  I appreciate you stopping by and hope that you find something that you like - I plan on putting a lot more effort into my writing in the coming year (part of the me staying active New Year's resolution).  My plans for Monday are to write the third installment of my Las Vegas trip series, the installment which will actually have me venturing out into big city...  (Sorry Miletus, but the weekend won't last THAT long)...  ;)

Keys in the door, yeah...  It's really lucky for some people that I am such a nice guy, and that I try to do the right thing.  During the last week I encountered a situation that I have run into numerous times during my life.  I was leaving my apartment for work, and when I made the turn to go down the stairway, I noticed that my neighbor had left their keys in the door.  The keychain that I'm referring to was probably a young lady's in this case, as it was one of those that had several "do-hickeys" (yes, I'm going DEEP into the dictionary this morning) attached to it, the type of keychain that you would almost have to have a purse to carry around with you.  At this point I knocked on the door (I don't know my neighbors), and waited for the pause to pass as they looked through the peephole, surveyed the situation, wondered what in the heck I wanted, and hopefully opened the door.  The good thing in this situation is that you KNOW that your neighbor is home, because they left their keys in the door...  ;)  As soon as the door opened and the guy answering began to speak, I pointed to the doorknob, said something to him about the know jingling keys, and was on my way.  It was during my drive to work that I realized that a less honest person could have rummaged through several vehicles during his lifetime, if not stolen them altogether...  Yeah, I realize that a flaw in the stolen vehicle plan is that I live in the same apartment complex as the potential victim - that's probably why I'm one of the good guys...  ;)

Speaking of my recent trip to Las Vegas (which I wasn't), the college football part of that trip is coming to an end.  For any of you keeping score at home, we want Oklahoma (+13) tonight against Texas A&M.  That game is on a couple of parlay tickets and would give us a winning ticket, in addition to leaving us with a pair of live ones for Monday night's national championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame.  Speaking of college football (which I was), did you see where Penn State's head football coach (Bill O'Brien) told the press yesterday "I'm not a one-and-done guy" (speaking to his decision to return to Penn State after his first year at the school) AFTER he reportedly interviewed for TWO NFL head-coaching vacancies recently AND received a reported raise of $1.3 million dollars - NICE...  (Hey Grrouchie!)  :)

For those of you who are sports fans, after the end of the football season, Fridays (which are normally dedicated to sports) will start focusing on college basketball, then NBA basketball, and then baseball (and the football offseason) before reverting back to football full-time again.  For any and all of you diehard hockey fans, my heart goes out to you this year...  I normally make entries here on Monday-Friday, with the option of giving you something additional on the weekend (RARE occurrence)...  :)

I'm going to give up right here for today, but I will see you again on Monday.  Please feel free to delve into my previous entries if you're new to Bikini Hill.  Have a great weekend and enjoy your NFL playoff games!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wild Card Weekend 2013

Good morning everyone.  I didn't end up having to work my Wednesday night shift, but I do have to work tonight, so I'm bringing these predictions to you a day early.  Maybe being awake will help me to get at least 1 out of these 4 games right...  :)  Actually, I did very well predicting the outcomes of last season's NFL playoff games.  This year I finished up with an 81-81-2 record for the regular season on my college and NFL picks.  From here on out we'll refer to that as a .500 record and start a new count for the playoffs.  Below are my predictions for this weekend's Wild Card Round.  My final scores account for how I think the games will finish against the spread and in regard to the over/under...

Cincinnati (10-6) @ Houston (12-4) - Saturday 3:30 CST

Houston's lack of defense caught up to them in the last 4 weeks of the season as they ended up dropping 3 of those contests.  One win would have given them home field advantage in the AFC throughout the course of the playoffs.  Meanwhile, the Bengals have won 7 of their last 8 games, the lone loss being a 20-19 defeat against the Cowboys.  These teams last met almost a year ago to the date, when the Texans beat the Bengals 31-10 in last year's Wild Card Round.  My prediction is...

Houston 24  Cincinnati 17   -----   Texans (-4 1/2), Under (43 1/2)

Minnesota (10-6) @ Green Bay (11-5) - Saturday 7:00 CST

It seems like Adrian Peterson is still running from last week.  Two very different games between the Vikings and Packers this season.  The Pack won 23-14 about midway through the season at Lambeau while the Vikes won 37-34 last week.  This playoff game is in Green Bay and it is likely to be cold, so my prediction is...

Green Bay 27  Minnesota 17   -----   Packers (-7 1/2), Under (46)

Indianapolis (11-5) @ Baltimore (10-6) - Sunday 12:00 CST

The Colts have won 5 of their last 6 games, their lone loss being a 12-point defeat at the hands of the Texans (which is the amount they beat Houston by last week coincidentally).  The Ravens have lost 4 out of their last 5.  With that being said, the Ravens schedule was tougher than that of the Colts.  The rookie Luck against the Ravens outdoors in January in Maryland, so my prediction is...

Baltimore 27  Indianapolis 13   -----   Ravens (-6 1/2), Under (46 1/2)

Seattle (11-5) @ Washington (10-6) - Sunday 3:30 CST

What a great way to end the weekend.  The Seahawks have won 5 straight games (with some VERY IMPRESSIVE wins in there) and the Redskins have won 7 straight games (including what was for all intents and purposes a playoff game against Dallas last weekend).  This game features the other two star rookie quarterbacks in Wilson and Griffin III.  In the second game of the day near the nation's capital, my prediction is...

Washington 27  Seattle 24   -----   Redskins (+3), Over (45)

Yes, a lot of teams are going to score 27 points evidently...  :)  I hope that you have fun with those.  If any of you have predictions as to the final scores of these games (or even just the winners) and want to go "on the record" with your selections, feel free to type your picks into the comments section.  Have a great day and I'll see you again tomorrow!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Vegas 2012 - Part 2: San Marcos To The Desert

"We've lost respect for decency, when one can turn our world into an antpile..."
-Blue October- (Kangaroo Cry)

Good morning everyone.  It's a lovely 36 degrees here in San Marcos, America right now as I begin this post, but I did live through the first day of the new year despite suffering 2 'unders' not covering by 1 1/2 points each and not covering a point spread by half a point - I... HATE... FOOTBALL...  Okay, I hate it right now, but I'll probably be watching it again tonight.  The lyrics above are brought to you courtesy of Blue October, which is my favorite band for those of you who are new to 'Bikini Hill' - be sure to check them out if you have never listened to them before.

Okay, so now we're rewinding two weeks (and more) and we're starting my recent holiday trip to Las Vegas.  For starters, if you have been sleeping through the last month of blog entries that I have made, I HATE how sleepy San Marcos, America is during the month-long break between the fall and spring semesters.  One way to combat this is to take a week-long trip to Las Vegas, the city where I lived for two years as a poker dealer (2005-2007).  I began this trip with $1,000.00 to spend on playing poker and betting football, the majority of it coming courtesy of my coworkers and friends from Harper's/Slackers/The Veranda.  I asked to be scheduled off at work from December 16th-26th, with my trip taking place from the 18th-24th.  My last workday before the trip was Saturday, December 15th, which was the last day of graduation ceremonies at Texas State University (my alma mater), and pretty much the last day that San Marcos would see any signs of life until New Year's Eve (not completely true, but pretty much)...  :)  On Sunday, December 16th I went to San Antonio to hang out with my dad (on very little sleep), and I was treated to the misery of watching my Pittsburgh Steelers lose ANOTHER CLOSE GAME this season, this time to the Dallas Cowboys.  NOTE:  The Steelers will not be participating in the playoffs this season...  This was followed by a trip back to San Marcos to change into respectable clothes for my "company work party."  Our work party started at Rocky's ($2.50 you-call-its), then made its way over to the Black Rabbit, and after this quick pit stop we headed down the street and finished out the night at Zelick's.  Being as tired as I was, I opted to drink Vodka and Red Bull all night (a drink which I NEVER drink) because of the RED BULL...  All of this is relevant to my trip to Las Vegas because I was still tired pretty much all day long on Monday as I packed.  I was also tired on Tuesday as I began my trip, which began with lunch courtesy of my dad (I'm already ahead on the trip), and then arriving at San Antonio International Airport at 1:30 p.m.  At the airport I had my shaving cream and Brut confiscated by the TSA because the containers were over 3.44 ounces (back to even for the trip)...

The waiting game began after I cleared security, because all that I wanted to do was get on my flight to San Francisco, which wasn't taking off until 3:39 p.m., and this is because I wanted to SLEEP as much as anything.  The flight was on United Airlines, and it was on time.  For those of you who are new to the blog (AGAIN, GEEZ)...  :), I booked the roundtrip flights on United, with a six-night stay on the Strip (at the Quad - formerly Imperial Palace) for $388.00.  Not only did United give me an assigned seat (I'm used to flying Southwest), but they IMPROVED IT by giving me an exit-row seat before takeoff because the plane wasn't full, thus giving me my own section of seats and more leg room for the long flight (winning again).  At this point I should add that one of our Harper's customers gave me GREAT ADVICE - I did not check any luggage on this trip.  I took two carry-on backpacks with me, thus avoiding luggage charges and having to check and wait for luggage (more ahead on the trip already).  I slept most of the way to San Francisco on what was maybe the most comfortable flight of my life, and then I... GOT... TO... SAN FRANCISCO...  Immediately after departing the plane, I discovered that my flight to Las Vegas was already delayed an hour and a half, and this was in addition to the hour and a half layover I had given myself to make the trip run smoothly (back to even again).  The BEST PART came after we were rushed to board the plane so that the travelers with connecting flights in Las Vegas could make their other flights, the captain comes on the intercom (I SERIOUSLY thought this was a joke at first).  The captain states that he is ILLEGAL to fly us to Las Vegas...  He then explains that he had piloted the original flight from Washington, D.C., which stopped for fuel in Kansas City, and then fought headwinds to San Francisco.  Sometime after he had boarded our flight, the tower informed him that he had already worked for over eight hours that day, and the FAA "frowns upon" (okay, those are my words) pilots working overtime (they don't allow it at all)...  SOOOO, after it took them an hour to find us a pilot from the on-call pilots, we departed for the desert.  This of course came after SEVERAL complaints from other passengers and not being informed of anything that was happening during the course of the hour wait - I felt SO BAD for everyone who had connecting flights...  NOTE:  During my stay in Las Vegas I met a Delta pilot, and on-call pilots have to be at the airport within two hours of being notified that they are needed, FYI...  So anyway, EVERYONE misses their connections with the exception of the people who are flying to Cleveland (and their plane is being held specifically for them as we arrive at McCarran International Airport).  I ended up checking into the Quad sometime after midnight (there was no wait at the registration desk, being very early Wednesday morning, and I'll get back to this in a later trip post).

Okay, now that I've arrived in Las Vegas, we'll keep you in suspense until next time, because this post is getting pretty long.  I hope that you have a great day and I'll see you again tomorrow!