Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Twelve Hours Later

Hello everyone.  It's been more than a month since I've posted here, so I probably have something to say...  I've now been working for Caesar's Entertainment in Las Vegas for just over three months.  I work as a ticket writer for the sportsbooks at Bally's, Paris, and Planet Hollywood, and I absolutely love the job.  I have worked several jobs in the past where I haven't had much downtime, but when I do have occasions at this job when no one is in my betting line, I get to watch sports.  :)  The job itself consists of taking people's bets on horse races and sports, so the work itself is interesting.

I stopped playing poker for about two months (until returning to the tables over the weekend), and my new job was one of several factors contributing to that decision.  As I said, I like my job and I'd like to hold onto it, and putting in tons of hours at the poker tables and showing up for work tired while learning the job wouldn't have been in my best interest.  Not only do you want to avoid making mistakes at work, but it's hard to provide good customer service when you're tired and grumpy.  Another factor in taking the poker break was the start of the football season.  I bet on football more than any of the other sports combined, and it was going to be difficult having a football and poker bankroll if I wasn't winning, which leads us to the other reason for my break...  I was running cold at the poker tables.  I'm talking COLD my friends.  Ice, snow, BLIZZARD..., cold...  In the course of a week, I flopped three-of-a-kind (either in the form of a set or trips) about six times, and managed to lose every time.  I also took several other bad beats, and after taking a short break, I returned to playing.  When I've run bad in the past, I've taken breaks before returning to the tables, but on my "first" night back, I lost 40 dollars in an hour and a half, and I basically said "screw this..."  I did play again on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after this two-month layoff, and I expect that you'll be hearing a lot more references to poker (if I start writing that often again)...  :)

Football.  Yes, the football season has contributed to less writing also.  Making my football bets, watching games, doing a little studying, etc...  It's almost unbelievable to me that it's December 6th.  The college football bowl season is rapidly approaching, and the NFL has four more weeks of regular season games before the playoffs begin.  I have done well during the bowl season in the past, so with my plans to continue playing poker, the next month ought to fly by also.

Twelve hours...  I've been working swing shifts recently (which I LOVE).  I'm a night owl by nature, and have gone on record several times stating that if it were left to me, I would get my eight hours of sleep from 4:00 a.m. to noon.  I worked from 3-11 on Friday and Saturday before a 1-9 shift on Sunday, and played poker after each shift.  I was off yesterday and today.  After sleeping sporadically yesterday, I finally crashed at about 4:00 a.m. Tuesday (today).  When I woke up, I could see just a little light coming through the blinds, and figured that it must be cloudy outside.  Before looking at the clock, I guessed what time it was (a game I often play)...  I figured that I hadn't been sleeping too long (the phone hadn't rang, I didn't remember getting up to go to the bathroom, etc..), so I thought that it was probably about 9:00 a.m.  Then I rolled over, and saw that it was 4:14.  But it wasn't dark outside, so...  Yes, I slept for TWELVE hours, and it seemed cloudy outside because it was ABOUT TO GET DARK, being 4:14 in the afternoon...  Turning on the t.v. and perusing the t.v. guide, I discovered that old episodes of 'Poker After Dark' were going to be airing until midnight, and that 'Planes, Trains, and Automobiles' would be starting at 1:00 a.m.  I'd call that a pretty good day...  :D

I fully intend to go out on the town and give you some pictures sometime in the near future, but for now I'll just leave you with this year's Christmas card...

I hope that you have a tremendous holiday season, and that I'll post here again before 2017...  :)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I've Paid My Dues

"I've paid my dues..., time after time..., I've done my sentence..., but committed no crime..." -Queen- (We Are The Champions)

Good morning everyone.  I just took an unexpected four-hour nap, and I plan on waking up for the day (Thursday) in less than six hours, so why not write a blog entry for y'all?  Things are still going well here in the desert.  I plan on going to the Strip early tomorrow to make some football bets before work and the upcoming football weekend.  I've been in worse spots...  A year ago at this time, I was (unknowingly) on the precipice of walking to and from work in the "delightful" New England cold and rain and snow.  I'll tell ya, I've "paid my dues" so many times in my life, moving from place to place, starting different jobs, and when I moved back East from Texas just over a year ago, I thought that everything had finally come together and made sense.  So much for thinking...  After encountering what can best be characterized as a general lack of respect on several fronts upon returning to my hometown, I can honestly say that I won't miss the long walks to and from work in the snow and cold (and TRUST ME when I say that last winter was a MILD winter in my hometown).  I am so thankful that I won't be anywhere near the winter that New England is in store for this year.  I am also thankful for the rides to and from work that I ultimately began receiving from my co-workers at Walmart.  Prior to moving back to my hometown, I would have never thought that I'd be treated better by the people I worked with than some of the people I'd grown up with.  Pretty surprising...

As for Las Vegas, we're hitting a stretch where the daily high temperatures are in the 70s, while the lows are in the 50s.  For those of you who aren't familar with this part of the desert, the winter temperatures are usually just a little cooler than those in central Texas, while the summer temperatures are just a bit higher.  For what it's worth, that's a "dry cold" and a "dry heat" that we're talking about...  ;)  Speaking of cold, I've been running bad at the poker tables for quite some time now.  I took off about three weeks due to this streak of "run bad," but I decided to play a little last weekend.  After losing about 40 dollars in an hour and a half, I said "*#@%*&% this," and I've decided to focus on betting football for just a little while longer.  I believe that my job working in the sportsbooks out here has made me pay more attention to football during the week than I normally would have in the past.  I have also been exposed firsthand to the wide vareity of bets that people place on games (different types of parlays, teasers, etc)...  Long story short, I have had an enjoyable football season to this point, and have not lost all of my wages betting on the games.  :)  With that being said, I just had a REALLY BIG yawn, and I'm going to be waking up in less than five hours.  Have a great weekend, and I'll see you soon...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Good morning everyone.  It appears that I haven't visited with you on this blog since the end of August.  Since the start of the football season, I've still been writing weekly at Coach's Parlay Card, where my friend Joey, my brother Pete, and myself give readers our favorite weekly football bets.  However, those blog entries don't take very much effort to write, and the job that I started right before the end of August has occupied much of my time.  For those of you who don't know, I was hired as a temporary ticket writer by Caesar's Entertainment, and I work in the sportsbooks at Bally's, Paris, and Planet Hollywood.  I love the job and the people that I work with, so hopefully I'll be able to stick around for a while.  I have cut back on my poker playing since being hired, but I had been enduring an epic run of bad cards and bad beats, so playing less hasn't been the worst thing in the world for my mental health.  Naturally, my football betting increased significantly since the football season began (DUH), and I have been more successful this season than in any of my prior Vegas stints to date.  When betting parlays (where every bet that you make has to win for the ticket to win), I've been combining fewer bets (2-4 team parlays as opposed to 8-10 team parlays for example), and I've also been picking more winners this season.  That's one of the interesting things about my job on the weekends - when I'm not taking a customer's bet, I'm looking at the t.v. screens to see how the teams that I've bet are doing.  Thus, there are rarely any dull moments at work...  :)

Back in the desert.  I returned to Las Vegas on May 23rd, so I've now been back for just over 4 1/2 months.  This makes my current stay officially my second-longest in Las Vegas.  I lived here for just under two years from 2005-2007, and for just over 2 1/2 months two years ago.  Since I was last here two years ago, my finances hit almost rock-bottom, and due to the generosity my former department at the University of Texas at Austin showed by hiring me back, plus my good friends Brandi, Chad, and James putting me up (and putting up with me) and housing my belongings while I found a place to live (and then waited to move into), I was able to get my house back in order (so to speak).  ;)  Then, after being hired as a full-time employee by the University of Texas, which provided me with extra financial stability (plus paid health insurance), I gave all of that up to move back to my hometown to take a shot at happiness with my now ex-girlfriend.  I've taken the high road when the subject has come up ("things didn't work out"), but I'm still pretty underwhelmed by the way that I was treated, not only by my ex, but also by some of my former classmates in the aftermath.  Anyway, after spending nine months in my hometown, I moved back out here, and I hope that I'm finally gaining some traction.  If I'm fortunate enough to work for Caesar's for a prolonged period of time, I'll be able to get my finances under control again (you'd be surprised at how much it costs to move across the country, twice...), and then if I could just have one miraculous football weekend and/or poker cash (or several not-so-miraculous ones), then maybe I'll be able to rest easy again.

I had actually worked 8 out of the last 9 days (before yesterday), and now I'm in a stint of having 5 of the next 10 days off.  After getting home from work on Sunday night, I proceeded to sleep for 18 of the next 28 hours - that's how I spent my Monday...  :)  My birthday falls within this ten days (where I have five off), so I guess if there was ever a time to have your birthday...  :P  As I finish typing this entry, I'm waiting to do exciting things, such as my wash.  Hopefully I've almost completely adapted to my new job, and you'll be seeing posts from me more frequently.  As you read, this entry is going to be the one that puts this blog over 106,000 total pageviews.  I was so wrapped up in my new job and football and poker that I failed to do a post when this little blog celebrated its fifth birthday on September 28th (since we're talking about birthdays).    

Anyway, that's what's been happening here in Las Vegas.  I hope that y'all enjoy my birthday week and I'll see you soon, hopefully...  ;)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wake Me Up

"Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last, wake me up, when September ends..." -Green Day- (Wake Me Up When September Ends)

"Let no one discourage your ambitious attitude.  You don't need a fan club to achieve your goals.  Be your own motivation." -via Leanne Calderon-

"Dreams don't chase themselves..." -J.J. Natal-

"Clearly we haven't met.  If I'm playing, I'm planning to crush the competition..." -Shelley South Pennell-

"The older I get, the better I understand the treasure that is friendship..." -Kevin Joyce-

Good evening everyone.  Sorry about my absence last week.  I was unexpectedly busy, and as I've said, if it's not Tuesday or Wednesday, you probably won't be seeing posts from me otherwise in the fall.  Think football and poker...  It's late for me to be posting tonight, but I took a nap, so...  :P  I'll keep it relatively short anyway.  I'm taking great liberty with the post title and the Green Day lyrics since I'm ready to wake up now, and not at the end of September.  Cooler temperatures and full blown football are just around the corner.

There is something that I wanted to address last week, when I thought that I would be writing...

After leaving a job interview recently, I decided that I wanted to have my picture taken, since I was wearing a dress shirt and tie.  So I headed to a nearby casino bar (because that's what all of the cool kids are doing, right?), and I had a bartender snap this photo.  Seventy of my friends on Facebook have 'liked' this gem, bless their hearts.  Now let me tell you why I don't like this picture...  My tie is really crooked.  I wish that the bartender (or someone) would have said something.  Oh well...  Then I have this red mark that makes it look like a big mosquito bit me right between the eyes.  Didn't happen, but nice blotchy look nonetheless...  My expression.  Of three photos, THIS was the best one.  Awful...  And then there's the matter of my hair...  My hair color has gone from blond to really dark brown over the years.  I occasionally lighten it, but this time it appears that I grabbed the "Serial Killer Blond" box from the shelf.  Do you remember the end of 'Silence of the Lambs,' where Hannibal has escaped from Memphis???

This was the best photo that I could find, but trust me, if my hair wasn't gelled back, and I had a witty personality, I could be Hannibal Lecter...  :)  Serial Killer Blond...

Alright, I'm gonna have a midnight snack before I crash, but have a great week and I'll see you soon...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Back To School

"Gossip dies when it hits a wise person's ears..." -via Valerie Saenz Neira-

"For only having one pair of boobs, I sure do have a LOT of bras..." -Jessica Johnson-

"I'm not even ashamed to say I have eaten Whataburger three times in the past week... #thankyoutexas #itssogood" -Abby Bland-

Good morning everyone.  I have grand plans for today, and we'll see how that works out.  My intent is to write an entry for all four of my blogs today, and this is the start of my first post.  My original plan was to write two blog entries yesterday, followed by the other two today, but I spent most of yesterday sleeping.  When I stay up all night on Friday and Saturday night (which I did once again), I have to make up for the sleep on the other side.  One of my pet peeves for a long time now has been the notion that whoever put out there suggesting that people can't make up for lost sleep.  My contention has always been that if you couldn't make up for lost sleep, you would DIE...  Anyway, I slept a substantial amount from Sunday afternoon through about 1:30 this morning.  During one of my periods of being awake, my good friend Joey took me shopping in advance of venturing off with his girlfriend on a two-week vacation to California.  Shortly after they return, Joey, my brother Pete, and myself will once again be posting our favorite weekly football bets at another of my blogs, Coach's Parlay Card.  Upon waking up very early this morning (and now with a full refrigerator), I realized that I have a ton of good options on t.v. to keep me distracted as I type up blog posts today.  ESPN is running a 28-hour fantasy football marathon (which will conclude with a celebrity draft - I love watching drafts, even when I'm not involved in the league), there are a pair of Olympics semifinal women's soccer games today (something that I can bet on, and I already have - Go Brazil and Germany!), and there are also several movies and Criminal Minds reruns, etc., etc... to keep me occupied.

I've mentioned the one blog already.  Let's get the other links out of way right now.  I also write a poker blog (Three Chips Poker) which chronicles my weekly adventures, and my "rant blog" is Coach Goes Viral.  I'm optimistic that today marks the beginning of when I write at least one entry for each blog on a weekly basis.  After going through the tedious process of creating my second, third, and fourth blogs (this being the original), I earned a promotion at work last year, and that was followed shortly by reconnecting with one of my former high school classmates.  Long story short, I haven't written much of anything in the past year, relatively speaking.  Consider that at one point in time, I was writing four entries per week, just for this blog...  This blog actually turns five years-old next month.  WOW...  While I'm doing links, I also want to bring attention to a friend's new business.  My friend Sean just opened up shop for those of you who are in the market for paracord bracelets or woodcrafts at this address.  As far as my links are concerned (for today's posts), remember that this is my first entry of the day, and I'll probably be publishing this at about noon E.S.T. (9:00 P.S.T.).  I'll do my poker post next, followed by my football (parlay card) entry, and then my "rant."  Each will probably take 2-3 hours to go online (as I eat and take t.v. breaks in-between).  I'm just letting you know this so you'll have an expectation as to when you'll find something new at each blog.

Back to school.  Well, I was a bit nostalgic last week as I celebrated my 26th anniversary of graduating from (Southwest) Texas State University.

Having chosen to attend SWT "blind" (I picked my alma mater from New Hampshire, having never been on the campus before), I was incredibly fortunate.  Probably one of the best decisions of my life, and made at the age of 17...  What a great school and a great town.  God bless San Marcos, America...

Of course I'm not the only summer graduate in the history of mankind...

The top photo is a picture of my friend and former student KayCee, a San Marcos product who I'm very proud to say graduated from my alma mater over the weekend.  Much like myself, I consider KayCee to be sharp and a fighter, and I was very happy to see that photo on Facebook last Friday.  Another young lady who falls into that category is my friend Abby (pictured with the owl), who recently received her Master's Degree.  Abby also earned her undergraduate degree from my alma mater, so we'll forgive her for going out of state to graduate school...  ;)  Congratulations again to both KayCee and Abby on their accomplishments! 

Without skipping a beat, my friend Scotty shared a 'Back To School' photo on Facebook last week...

You've gotta love retail...  :)  Going back to a couple of our aforementioned culprits, my friend Joey asked me the BEST question yesterday while I was shopping (my Texas friends will LOVE this)...  As I picked up a jar of mayonnaise, Joey asked me, "Have you ever heard of Whataburger?"  Joey then proceeded to start to explain what Whataburger is before I could respond, laughing and telling him, "Oh, THAT'S going in the blog..."  Note Abby's quote at the top of the page - if you've lived in Texas, you're probably familiar with Whataburger (and Dairy Queen, and Sonic...).  Anyway, after we laughed, Joey told me the story that he was reminded of...  A friend of his recently ordered a burger with no ketchup or mayonnaise at a Whataburger in Roswell, New Mexico.  The cashier informed him that they didn't have mayonnaise.  Joey's friend pointed out that the menu stated that this particular burger comes with ketchup and mayo, which he'd rather do without.  The cashier then responded by saying, "Oh, we have mayo, but we don't have mayonnaise..."  Hmmm...  I told Joey that this cashier should be at the front of the line when they start getting paid $15.00 an hour...  :)

ANYWAY, I'll leave you with that for today, since I have three more blogs to attend to.  Have a great week and I'll see you soon!  


Monday, August 8, 2016


Good morning everyone.  It's about 5:00 a.m. in the desert as I begin typing this for you.  As I've done over the past several weekends, I played in the Flamingo's weekly freeroll torunament at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, and then proceeded to stay on the Strip until about 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning.  Then I've slept through the day on Saturday, and stayed up playing poker through the night til Sunday morning.  This has resulted in Sunday being a day of disjointed sleep.  I had set my alarm at 4:45 p.m. so that I could watch the Hall of Fame Game (the first preseason football game of the year, between the Packers and the Colts), and I actually woke up on my own by 4:00.  I'm an addict (although I didn't make any bets on the game).  Well, I woke up only to find out that the game had been canceled due to poor field conditions.  Paint...  Yes, the paint that had been used on the field in the early afternoon apparently hardened into an unsafe substance (the midfield area and endzones had been painted).  A great start to the season for the NFL, all in all...  Anyway, I ate something and decided to go back to sleep.  I woke back up at 3:00 a.m., and two hours later, here I am, doing a post for you.

Speaking of watching t.v. (well, until football games are canceled due to paint), I thought that I'd share something with you.  Having several past jobs where I've been extremely busy and had countless things to keep track of, I bought (and bought and bought) a bunch of memo pads.  I'd misplace them, pack them away when moving, buy more, etc...  Well, the place where I'm staying has basic cable, and no t.v. guide channel.  This results in me using my phone to search the t.v. listings (, and then recording the times and channels of the things that I want to watch...

I figure that if I stay here for only five more years, I'll be able to use all of my memo pads...  ;)  Ironically, there was a lot of great t.v. last night (when I inevitably got tired).  Not having digital cable, and the viewing choices that I've previously been accustomed to, there have been some tough nights in the past month and a half finding something that I wanted to watch.  Now that the Olympics have started, there always seems to be something on.  Throw in 'Cast Away' and 'The Break Up' being on last night (at the same time, naturally), and there was a lot to choose from.  The Olympics coverage has improved tremendously from the time when I was a child.  Scrolling through the t.v. listings on my phone last night, I found one hour when no less than four networks were simaltaneously providing coverage.  I also watched an episode of 'Undercover Boss' last night, which featured the CEO of the MGM properties.  How sad is it that I get excited when something about Las Vegas in on t.v., when I'm... LIVING IN LAS VEGAS???  :)  Now that I think back on it, I took a nap after the H.O.F. game cancellation, then woke back up, and then went back to sleep again...  It's tough getting old... ;)

The poker in town remains slow (mostly locals), so I'm going to finish going through the belongings that I haven't sorted through this week.  This will also be the week that I do my football studying (and some poker studying).  I honestly don't mind making fewer trips to the Strip while the temperatures are blistering.  It appears that we have finally turned the corner, and after having several highs of about 115 recently, 108 seems to be the highest temperature that we'll see in the next two weeks.  It's now been 2 1/2 months since I've had a job, and I'm hoping to continue my success at the poker tables so that I can extend that number.  Some good fortune on my football betting would also be nice, but as I've said recently, I won't be wagering near as much on games as I have in the past unless I see some success.  Watching football games at the expense of playing poker on the weekends when I was out here two years ago was a huge mistake.  Now I just need to figure out a way to go without sleep on the weekends for five months straight...  :P

As you can probably tell by the important topics that I'm writing about today, things are going pretty well in the desert for me so far.  I'm going to be absolutely unbearable when the temperatures cool, the football season begins, and the poker games improve...  ;)  Speaking of 'bears...'  Anyway, when I was working for Walmart in my hometown, my friend Angel told me and my friend Damon about a path that we could use when we walked to work (actually, Angel may have just told me, and I may have passed the information on to Damon, but I'd rather blame Angel for potentially getting both of us mauled)...  ;)  Long story short, Damon's walking to work one day last spring, and a bear crosses his path.  He arrived at work safely, and I believe that's the last time that either of us used the path.  I think I've actually told that story here before, but I didn't have this helpful meme to go with it...

I have to thank my friend Carren for sharing this one, and I hope that's helpful Damon...  :)

I think that it's time for me to hit the 'publish' button so that I can grab a bite to eat before writing an entry for my poker blog, which you'll be able to find here in a few hours.  Have a great week and I'll see you soon!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Dear Mr. Postman

Good morning everyone.  I'm going to write this post in reverse order for me, first stealing from and talking about my friends, and then reverting back to what's happening with me.  Before I forget, let me include the link to my poker blog, where you can find a pretty detailed account of my poker experiences over the past week.  Okay, now to steal...  My friend and former athlete Leanne posted an awesome meme recently, so great in fact that I made it my profile photo on Facebook and Twitter, and I'm including it in both of my blogs today...

I really think that it's something that everyone should read every day, until they're just living it every day...  :)  Speaking of doing everything with love (it's up there), I happened upon a pair of very happy photos over the past few days.  Have I ever mentioned that I love Facebook???

The top photo shows my friend and former student-athlete Jennifer, who it appears got married very recently...  :)  I'm pretty positive that Jenn was one of the players in one of my favorite stories (I tell several favorite stories, but this is indeed one of them).  I was walking toward the gym during the morning athletic period when I encountered a small group of our 9th grade basketball players.  I had heard or read a line very recently that I wanted to try out, and I knew that these ladies had a good sense of humor, so I stopped them in the hallway.  I looked them over for a few seconds, rolled my eyes and shook my head, and exclaimed, "Too many freaks and not enough circuses..."  I got a chorus of "Awwww..." from the ladies, but they knew me and that it was all in good fun, and now they're all getting MARRIED...  :)  Where did the time go???  Congratulations Jenn - you look so happy!  :D  And speaking of time passing, it seems like only yesterday that Jessica was "Lil Villalpando."  Okay, Jess will always be "Lil Villalpando," but now she's getting married in less than a month.  And did you notice, Jessica's getting married on the first day of the college football season???  :P  Congratulations Jessica, and ANOTHER great photo...

Now we transition from pure bliss to sheer terror.  My friend Rene and his daughter posed for a photo recently...

All I've gotta say is if they gave out Oscar's for photos, that little girl would be holding a trophy.  So funny...  And then there's our letter to the postman.  I'm stealing this from my friend Callie, and on any given day I could steal between three and five things that she shares on Facebook...

My favorite parts are "or brutal murder" and the drawing that identifies the spider.  Great stuff...  :)

Now I guess it's time to catch up with me.  I've been back in the desert for just over two months now, which is a little early based on my past behavior.  Because most apartment leases in San Marcos end on July 31st (due to it being a college town), I have made the 20-hour drive from San Marcos to Las Vegas twice in the last five years at the end of July.  Can you believe that it's already August?  As stated previously, I'd like this month to fly by also, as I'm eagerly awaiting cooler temperatures and the start of football (and better poker games, a topic that I addressed in my other blog).  I still walk most everywhere, but my friend Joey is back from his extended Philippines (try spelling that without searching it) vacation, so a trip to Walmart is in store for this week.  Joey and my brother Pete, who will be making football picks with me in the near future, and just the vacation guys now.  Pete will be going on vacation to California with his family very shortly, and then Joey and his girlfriend will also be going out to Cali, because 2 1/2 weeks overseas just isn't enough, right?  :)  I'll be having a similar experience here in Las Vegas, just without an ocean.  Ho, hum...

In about a month, be expecting these posts on Mondays or Tuesdays, because Sundays will be filled with poker, football, and/or sleep.  Yes, I realize it's Monday, but I intended to write this last night...  :)

ANYWAY, that's all I've got for right now, but have a great week, and I'll see you soon!


Monday, July 25, 2016

Come On September

Good morning everyone.  Sunday/Monday become my blog-writing day this week, without any real plan being in place beforehand.  For some mysterious reason, after I change my sleep schedule to play poker all night on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I end up being tired on Sunday.  Go figure...  I woke up at about noon yesterday after sleeping for five hours.  I almost talked myself into going to the Flamingo for some Sunday afternoon poker, but instead, I started writing an entry for my poker blog.  It's a good thing too, because at about 4:00 I hit the wall, and proceeded to take a 4-hour nap.  If you click on that link, you will find a very detailed post that summarizes my last week of playing poker.  I appeciate all of you who have found my new poker blog via this one.  For a blog that's in its infancy, it has received substantial traffic.  I also appreciate all of your support and positive comments.  As you can read in my poker blog ('Three Chips Poker'), July has been a successful month for me, despite some very bad beats.

July has also been very, very, very, very, VERY HOT!!!  Our average temperatures now in Las Vegas are highs of 110 with "lows" in the mid-80's.  It's looks like we're going to have another week of this before the mercury begins to drop just a little bit the following week.  With the combination of lower temperatures and the onset of the football season, I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of fall.  I still have to figure out how I'm going to play poker and watch football on the weekend during football season.  As I've told several people, my poker is the primary focus this time around, and my football betting will be secondary unless I begin finding some success there.  The best poker games can be found on the weekends when the tourists are in town, and that's when the majority of football games are played.  However, I can't stay up all night playing poker on Friday night, watching college football all day on Saturday, playing poker all night Saturday, and then watching football all day Sunday.  I have to sleep somewhere in there, despite my talent for staying awake for extended periods of time...  :)

As for my move, I still have two big duffle bags of stuff to sift through, but I've been wading through my things pretty tediously, and have thrown out several unnecessary items up to this point.  I'm also anticipating having a little more energy to do tasks in general once the stifling heat of the summer passes us by.  Come on September...  My new place has been fine, and I really don't like spending more time than necessary here anyway.  I didn't move to Las Vegas to be in my apartment.  I've never lived anywhere just to be in my apartment...  ;)  Even when I find some time to catch up on my poker studying, or to simply catch up with my out-of-state friends (via social networks), I'll likely do that from the Strip.  Yeah, probably from a sportsbook...  :)  To my credit, I've been so focused on my poker that I've hardly cracked open my football magazines yet.  So much studying to do...

As for the Strip, people still don't know how to look where they're going while walking.  They also love to congregate in their big tourist groups by huddling right smack in the middle of major walkways/pathways through the casinos and outdoors.  The abundance of baby strollers that can be found after dark on the Las Vegas Strip is not only frightening, but it also does a lot to expedite the flow of traffic.  Ugghhh...  I love people-watching. but it's much better when you're sitting back enjoying a cool beverage, and not when you're in a hurry to get somewhere...  ;)  Hopefully I can succeed enough with the poker that I can build some cushion into my bankroll, and then I'll take the time to do some detailed investigating into good Vegas stories for you.  Again, with my friends that I tag on Facebook to these blog entries, I can only notify twenty at once, so that's why I rotate through the different people who have supported my writing and my adventures.  Hopefully with my more steady writing schedule now (at the start of each week), everyone will know when to come here for new posts.

That's all I've got for you right now, but have a great week and I'll see you soon!  


Monday, July 18, 2016

I Cross Finish Lines

"I'm not the best.  I work hard.  I do not give up.  I keep going.  I cross start lines.  I cross finish lines..." -via Whitney Watson-

Good evening everyone.  Before I forget, if you want to keep up with my poker adventures, you can click this link here.  I actually need to start linking my poker blog back to this one...  :)  Anyway, I posted another poker entry there last night, and that blog has been well-received so far.  Like I was telling my friend Rob last night, having a "network" in place already (my friends' blogs on the right that are linked back to mine like I am to theirs, my Twitter followers, my friends that get here from Facebook) has helped my poker blog tremendously.  When I began writing this blog going on five years ago, it took some time to build up a following, and as always, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and read about my life adventures.

That quote up there comes to you via my sister Whitney.  I'm using it here because it fits me PERFECTLY.  I actually removed the first line of the original quote because it said, "I'm not talented."  I feel that I possess a little talent...  :)  Anyway, Whit shared the meme on Facebook, and that meme pertains to running, which Miss Whitney has worked very hard at, and you can see how the words relate (crossing start and finish lines, etc...).  My edited version up there can almost be used as a personal motto for myself.  (NOTE:  Everytime I hear the word "motto" now, it still reminds me of my friend Drea, and when she delivered the line, "My motto is, my motto changes...").  :)  There's a blog post by that title back in these archives somewhere...  Anyway, a while back, I was very surprised when someone questioned my work ethic and my heart (among other things), because if you know me at all, I'm kind of a pretty hard-working, dedicated, diligent person...  Please weigh-in if you disagree.  :)  Anyway, when Whitney shared that meme, I was like, 'YES!," and I snagged it.  I do cross finish lines (and that other stuff)...  ;)

Since we're speaking of Whitney, let's talk for a moment about Whitney's mom and Tim Duncan...

Back in my younger days. when Brenda and myself were encouraging the Spurs to start winning championships (yes, we've been Spurs fans that long - I'm just realizing that for some people out there, the Spurs have been good during the course of their whole lives...).  Anyway, your friend 'Coach' received several Spurs jerseys (along with Red Sox and Steelers gear) over the course of many Christmases from Miss Brenda.  Thank you...  :)  You'd be shocked to learn that these jerseys are part of my poker wardrobe, and I specifically broke out the Silver and Black last week in honor of Tim Duncan's retirement.  I was actually cashing out my winnings at MGM a few nights back (like, LITERALLY at the counter, in a transaction) when a stranger comes up to me and brings up Duncan's retirement, in a very remorseful tone.  I was like, "well, Timmy has played for NINETEEN years..."  Am I really that old?  Anyway, I needed to give Timmy a shout out here.  It's been one hell of a ride during the 'Duncan Era.'  Five titles in six trips to the Finals over nineteen seasons.  Pretty special.  Thank you Timmy...

'Jaws.'  Okay, 'Jaws' and 'Jaws 2.'  Since returning to Las Vegas, and, more specifically, since I moved from my brother's house into my own place (and it's been almost a whole month now), I've stayed at home more than planned, sorting through and unpacking (and throwing away) my stuff that I've now dragged all over the country.  Well, the 'Jaws' movies have been shown on t.v. a lot (A LOT) this summer, and there have been so many times that they have been the best thing on t.v., so I've simply tuned-in while unpacking.  Rewind back to this past weekend, and the night that I played poker at MGM and Excalibur until the sun came up.  I was walking down the Strip in the early morning hours when I reached the Bellagio.  The Bellagio looks something like this...

So it's early in the morning, and the Strip is quiet, and I'm walking along, and I'm looking at all that water, when I CATCH MYSELF, as I realize that I've been scanning the top of the water, looking for damn fins...  :)  MAYBE I've seen the 'Jaws' movies once too often this summer...

Okay, I just wanted to touch base with you crazy kids, but if you click on that link above, I wrote a pretty detailed poker post last night if you haven't read it already.  Have a great week and I'll see you soon!


Monday, July 11, 2016

Home Run Derby

Good evening everyone.  I'm being lazy with the title tonight.  The MLB Home Run Derby is on right now, so there you go.  I'm coming off of a great Friday watching poker, and more specifically, the WSOP Ladies' Event at the Rio.  I just wrote a detailed entry about that experience at my other blog, Three Chips Poker, if you want to check it out.  My friend Joey also took a pretty good poker picture of me, so let me share that right now...

Upon seeing it, my brother Pete instantly cracked on the shirt, and commented on Facebook that it's an intimidating shirt for the players at the 2-4 limit tables.  Punk...  I told Joey that I'm using this photo all season long when we pick football games, just to bother Pete.  :)  My friend Nick told me that he wanted to be mentioned in a blog post, so let me just say that he's messaging me NONSTOP about his upcoming trip to Las Vegas, which is preventing me from writing right now (speaking of punks)...  :)

So I played poker at Bally's Saturday night, and pulled out a profit after being $70.00 down.  Yesterday I was resting (I have made my recent poker sessions go from 8:00 p.m. til 5:00 a.m., in the hopes of finding better games), and my friend Joey said that he could indeed take me shopping one more time before he leaves the country tomorrow on vacation.  I was about to ask my brother Pete, but he's still on his crazy summer work schedule between the Strip and the World Series of Poker.  Anyway, at that point, Joey had given me an excuse to stay in last night, so I did.  I actually crashed pretty early, as Joey picked me up at 7:00 this morning.  I'm trying to eat more healthy, and lots of veggies were on the agenda.  Tonight I'm doing blog posts, and may just stay in afterwards.  I still have three complete duffle bags of stuff to sort through, so I could justify staying in.  I haven't lost in a poker session so far this month, and if that continues, I can keep playing without doing more job hunting.  I still have some wash to do, but prefer doing that when the laundry room opens at 8:00 a.m., before it's 400 degrees outside.  This mid-July garbage can go.  110 degrees - pfffttt...  I definitely plan on playing poker the rest of the week starting tomorrow night, regardless.  If you hadn't noticed already, Monday/Tuesday look to be the days that I'll be blog-writing, except for the football predictions that will be coming to you on Fridays in a few short months at Coach's Parlay Card.  I think that's about it for now.  Check out the Three Chips poker post - Friday was enjoyable.  Otherwise, have a great week and I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My 4th Of July

Hello everyone.  Well, so much for the best laid plans...  After being surprisingly disciplined over the past few weeks, refraining from poker for 14 days so that I could move, unpack, etc.., I had decided to play three sessions over the holiday weekend.  If you'll recall, the Flamingo Tournament two weeks ago was the last time I had played.  I was in a 4-way chop for first, getting back $680.00 for my $60.00 buy-in.  With my new resolve to play tournaments, I naturally found myself in cash games Saturday at the Flamingo.  It seems that I'm following in the footsteps of several of my poker-blogging friends, planning to do one thing, and then doing another...  ;)  Speaking of poker blogs, I'm going to get my blog that's dedicated to poker rolling now, so I'll be writing a more detailed summary of this weekend's play at Three Chips Poker.  Any of you who have spent time around me in the last ten years should get the 'three chips' moniker.  :)  Anyway, I made $100.00 on Saturday.  I made $34.00 in no-limit, then $5.00 in limit, followed by another $61.00 in no-limit.  I'm FINALLY starting to use game selection as more of a factor in my play.  If you'll notice, I also don't mind jumping between limit and no-limit games.  

Now let's talk about "Sunday..."  I stayed home longer than I had planned during the day, and didn't begin playing poker until almost 9:00 p.m. Sunday night.  Again, details on this session will be available at that link above in the near future.  I'll be writing that post right after I publish this one.  However, a few highlights for you now...  The 2-4 limit looked promising, so I sat as a new game was seated.  I was up $35.00 in less than two hours, and concluded that playing poker was just like printing money...  The highlight of this session was looking over the the 2-4 table closest to the Strip shortly after darkness fell.  I saw a dealer and ten chip stacks.  It seems that the WHOLE TABLE went outside to watch the fireworks.  I'm not joking...  :)  And yes, the Strip had fireworks on the 3rd, my days are right...  Anyway, maybe an hour later, and I'm now DOWN $23.00 for my 2-4 session, and I decide that limit sucks.  That's when I switched to a no-lmit game (around midnight), and after playing a short while, I got up and went home at 6:00 p.m., EIGHTEEN HOURS LATER...  I finished up $78.00 for that session, a net of +55 for the "day."  As I said, click on the link above, and you'll find the poker details there, including how a guy rivered a one-out straight flush to win a pot, and how I played a flopped royal-flush draw.  I have never had a royal flush in live play...

Now let's cover some general Vegas things...  While playing poker this weekend, a guy sitting by me bought a pack of cigarettes from the casino girl who walks around selling them and other assorted items (gum, candy, flowers, etc...).  The box of Marlboro Reds cost him FOURTEEN dollars...  I was at the bank today when a guy from out of town comes up to the teller right next to my line, and he makes a request to withdraw $6,000.00 in cash.  That's when you know you're in Las Vegas...  So, today was a stay at home day for me.  After that 21-hour session, I went to sleep at about 9:00 p.m. last night, woke up a few times, paid my rent today, and then slept for about another six hours this afternoon.  I see some more poker in my future this week and coming weekend...  :)  Anyway, this is blog day, and I have another one to write, so I'll touch base again with you soon.  Hope that you had fun on the 4th, and that you have a great weekend...

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Poker & Fireworks

Good morning everyone, and welcome to July...  I'd hate to sit here and brag about my self-discipline, but it's been two weeks since I've played poker.  HOWEVER, that's going to change today.  :)  I actually anticipated playing yesterday, but my week-plus of staying home and unpackng into my new apartment saw me staying awake into the wee hours of the morning several nights straight.  This became problematic when I attempted to readjust my sleep schedule so that I could hang out with my friend Joey yesterday.  Joey, who I dealt poker with at the Riviera, and who will be teaming up with my brother Pete and myself once again to bring you football predictions at Coach's Parlay Card (another of my blogs) picked me up in the early afternoon so that we could hit Walmart and the World Series of Poker.  Joey and Pete have yet to meet, and that idea was thwarted yesterday due to Joey's busy schedule.  Mr. Joey is about to take four weeks of vacation (two separate trips) in the next couple of months, so he had some errands to attend to yesterday.  However, those errands didn't prevent us from scoring these gems at Walmart...

While ESPN continues to ENDLESSLY cover Kevin durant's free agency, football season is actually sneaking up on us and will arrive just a bit before basketball begins.  Anyway, after Joey and I ensured that I won't starve for a while, we headed over to the Rio to check out some poker.  The $888.00 tourney taking place had tables going in all of the huge poker rooms, due to the numerous flights that were underway.  The $235.00 daily deepstack tourney had fewer than 700 entries yesterday, a very low turnout for this summer, especially on a Friday, and I attribute some of that to the $888.00 tournament.  It's always cool hanging out with Joey because we can talk seemingly nonstop about sports, poker, etc..., and the timing was good since he'll be out of town more days than not until football is upon us.  I'm sure that the highlight of Joey's day was seeing my innovative video setup for himself...

This is for the days that I can't get to the sportbooks after football begins.  Okay, who am I kidding?  I already have both t.v.'s on all the time...  :)

So on the homestead, I only have about three more bags (pretty sizable) to go through and unpack.  Other than that, it's job applications and poker and football that are on my horizon.  Oh, and meeting up with friends who either reside in town, or those who will be visiting.  Again, a great thing about living here, everyone will come to see you...  Oh, and as I sign off to begin my three days of poker, let me say for the record that this tablet (like $80.00) is one of the better Christmas presents that I've ever given myself.  :D  Have a safe and outstanding 4th of July Weekend, and I'll see you sometime next week!

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Complete Mess

Good morning everyone.  Well, all of my things are completely moved into my new place, and let me tell you, it's a complete mess.  After I went to the Rio last night for my brother's shift at the World Series of Poker, we ventured back to the outskirts of the city, and I got a good night's sleep (like 7:00 a.m. til 4:00 p.m.).  Hey, I had to detox from the Red Bulls, so sue me...  Then I began transferring many of my belongings from three big plastic totes into more transportation-friendly duffle bags and the like.  I was surprised to discover that I was able to fit the rest of my things into his car, and after enjoying one last home-cooked meal (London Broil, mashed potatoes, and corn), Pete and myself made our way across the desert to my new place.  My thanks again go out to Pete and Carmen for putting me up at their house, for cooking for me (I'll seriously have to use poker comps for any meal that involves ANY LEVEL of preparation or effort)  :) , and for shuttling me to and from the Strip.  I'm hopeful that I got enough rest at their place to be able to conquer the desert.

So, back to my complete mess.  My place, a small one-bedroom, has stuff scattered EVERYWHERE.  Since I plan on unpacking and job hunting over the next few days, I thought that I'd check in with y'all again now.  It's now been nine days since I've played poker, but it's not all bad living with the memory a nice win for more than a week.  At the same time, it's hard not playing with all of the action that's in town now, but getting settled and finding a job has to happen sometime.  Practicality...  I've discovered that writing at this time of night is beneficial due to the wi-fi here.  In the wee hours of the morning, more people are sleeping, so the wireless works better.  Something that I'm fighting endlessly with my new place is the AC unit.  I have wall-mounted air-conditioning as opposed to central air here, and the unit works, but I constantly go from being cold to hot, so I'm adjusting the controls seemingly nonstop.  First world problems, eh?

I don't have a specific game-plan laid out yet, but I anticipate visiting the Strip at least once this week, and then spending the weekend playing poker.  If I get this place straightened-out (semi sort-of) and fill out a bunch of online job apps, I believe I'll feel more at peace playing cards.  HR offices tend to be closed during the weekend, so that's my plan for the moment.  Speaking of the moment, the time change from the east coast is often prevalent in my thoughts.  The Walmart in my hometown closes at 10:00 p.m., and working a closing shift meant that I'd be at the store until 10:30 p.m.  Due to the three-hour difference, it's 7:30 p.m. here at that time, and the sun is still shining.  Ironically, that 5:30 a.m. opening shift that I struggled waking up for, well, it's 2:30 a.m. here at that time, and I'm OFTEN still awake here in Las Vegas.  My habit of being a night owl works out very well here in the desert, but it conflicts with watching football games (the sport I like to wager on).  The early round of Sunday NFL games begins at 10:00 a.m., and NCAA action on Saturdays kicks off even earlier.  As I've mentioned in another of my blogs (and maybe even here), I plan on wagering less on football this time around, and focusing more on poker.  I'll still study and enjoy the game, but as far as the poker goes, and that "just like riding a bicycle" idiom...  I feel very confident in my poker right now, and I've probably railed more hands at the World Series this summer than any other human...  :)  I'm extremely hopeful that this trip to the desert will be the one that sees me making my living (or a substantial amount of secondary income) as a poker player.  For those of you who have never been to the World Series, it looks something like this...

As for the blog, I don't anticipate writing until early next week, unless something newsworthy happens.  However, I thought that I'd leave you with a few photos of some of the most notable bodybuilders in the Austin/San Marcos area.  It's been so long since I've consistently stolen from the lives of my friends, hasn't it?  :)

The top two photos feature my friend and former softball player Leanne.  If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you've seen Leanne featured countless times, so often in fact that I probably owe her a cheeseburger (or something that healthy people actually eat)...  ;)  Leanne is posing with her mom Lupe in the top shot, and with her boyfriend Cody in the second photo (I couldn't choose Leanne)...  :)  Along with my friend Molly, who is showcased in the bottom picture, Leanne and Cody apparently did very well at a competition in Austin this weekend.  Congratulations everyone!!

And that's a wrap for now.  Have a great week and I'll see y'all next time!

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Poker Chop & Much More Vegas...

Good morning everyone.  It's been a pretty busy week for me out here in the desert.  I imagine that I'll be able to say that to you pretty much every week, but the past few days included finding a place to live, so this is still a little unique.  Let's rewind back to Tuesday morning...  I've been staying with my brother's family since I arrived in town about a month ago, and I've often traveled to the Strip and/or the Rio when my brother has commuted to work.  Pete has been working six days a week (with three of those days including double shifts) with the World Series of Poker going on.  Naturally, Tuesday was Pete's lone day off when I received a morning call from the place that I stayed at for 2 1/2 months when I was last in Vegas two years ago.  I came by here last Friday, and of course they had no units available, but they took my phone number, in case something should open up.  Wonderful...  But alas, they did call, and Pete agreed to run me over here so that I could snag the lone available unit.  It's obviously been great being able to stay with my brother's family after my whirlwind return to Las Vegas (which I touched on a few posts back, but still haven't spelled out in complete detail), and I'm very appreciative.  My best guess is that it will take two more trips at most to move the rest of my stuff here from their place, and then I'll have a complete mess (I'll be completely moved in)...  :)  Of course I'll miss Carmen's cooking, and the things that kids say.  My nephew, who is going out for the freshman football team, recently quipped that he wants to switch high schools because the school that he currently attends doesn't utilize wide receivers in their offense, the position that he'd like to play...  :)

So back to Tuesday...  My brother and niece had dropped me off here, and I got my key and "moved in," with what I hastily threw together on short notice.  Since I had virtually none of my stuff, OF COURSE I got a phone call later that day for a Wednesday job interview.  I messaged Pete and let him know what I'd need for the job interview the next day, and then made plans with my friend Emmy for later on Wednesday.  NOTE:  If you live in Las Vegas, your friends WILL COME TO VISIT...  :)  So now it's Wednesday morning, and low and behold, I get ANOTHER phone call, this one informing me that my interview has to be moved...  So my meeting with Emmy and her "best friend" (this is an "inside credit card joke" - brand new category) gets moved to a lunch date.  NOTE:  If you live in Las Vegas, your friends will often BUY YOU LUNCH...  Thanks Emmy, thanks again Kyleigh...  :D  After lunch, I then go to my job interview, and then return to the middle of the Strip to watch my friends play craps.  Vegas life is non-stop, in case you haven't heard...  ;)

So back to today, when my brother and I brought a substantial load of my stuff to my new place before he headed off to work, and then my friend Joey took me to Walmart.  NOTE:  Joey, Pete, and myself will once again be giving you our favorite weekly football bets again this season.  Football season is sneaking up on me, as busy as I've been...  Joey, who I dealt poker with at the Riviera,  has once again said "anytime" to shuttling me to Walmart for groceries when I need them.  Joey was very helpful to me in this regard two years ago, and of course I try to purchase them a month at a time, because who wants to shop every ten seconds anyway???  This was something that amazed me working at my hometown Walmart, the customers that I'd seemingly see on a daily basis.  Of course it wasn't many, but I couldn't do it...  Walmart would be an obvious employment choice for me if there was a store located closer to the Strip (and maybe it will still happen in the future).  I bring that up because when Joey and I rolled my full cart up to the register, I noticed the cashier responding to a message in her earpiece.  My eyes immediately shot to her name badge, at which point I stated, "I KNEW you were a CSM..."  I knew this because she had a radio, and trust me, cashiers don't want a radio...  :)  That story is for my friends back at the Littleton store...  ;)  And I can't tag all of you on Facebook, because I have a poker story too, with poker people to tag...  :P  So Joey and I have tentative plans to make an appearance at the World Series of Poker next Friday (and maybe a quick shopping trip first Joey, for those football magazines and some cold food, since the fridge seems to be working...  LOL).  And before you judge me people, Joey is skipping town for most of July...  :P

And now we go back in time to last Saturday, which seems like ages ago due to my busy week...

I had a week-long run or so of bad luck in the cash games (pocket kings getting rundown by a pair with a backdoor flush draw after I shoved post flop, pocket aces getting called and beat by 5-7 suited after I shoved preflop, things like that for you poker people).  So I decided to play in the Flamingo's $60.00 buy-in NL poker tournament after taking a few days off, and low and behold, we had 71 total entrants, with only 6 getting paid.  Can you say SHOVEFEST?  Well, karma tilted back in my favor (most notably when my ace-jack cracked ace-queen), and I won some races (ace-king vs. pocket jacks, nines vs. king-ten suited), and I zigged and zagged, and ended up in a 4-way chop for first place, and the $680.00 that you see above.  A "chop" occurs when the remaining players agree to split the remaining prize pool in a tournament in some fashion.  In this case, the 4 of us split the last $2,720.00 evenly.  This tournament cash allowed me to recoup all of the money that I had lost in the cash games since returning to town.  It also convinced me that I need to make tournaments my focus, as opposed to live cash games.  Going as far back as Joey and I working at the Riviera, our friend Rick has told me forever that I should play more tournments, since I seem to do so well in them.  I love playing them, but I hate the juice (the percentage) that the casino takes to run the tournies.  However, the house gets money from cash games also, and I have historically fared better in tournies.  Two $1,000.00, three $500.00, and a $100.00-plus cash in freeroll tournaments immediately come to mind.  SOOOO, when my life slows down a bit, I will be trying my hand (pun intended) in some more poker tournaments.  Also, when life slows down a little, I will start writing about poker in my poker blog again.  It just makes more sense when I'm actually living in Vegas...  ;)

Okay, all of that should take you a second to digest.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

State Championships & Reunions

Good evening everyone.  Just looking for a job, a place to live, and watching the NBA Finals right now, so why not do a little blog post?  Well, first, my alma mater won a state championship in baseball for the first time since 1979...

Those of you keeping score at home may recall that the boys also brought home the title in basketball earlier in the school year.  Is it simply a coincidence that the boys bring two state titles back to Littleton in the school year that I moved back to town?  YES, it's a total coincidence, but going to watch them play was a great way to pass some time...  :)

Speaking of time passing, I had a nice little reunion with one of my former athletes yesterday.  Kyleigh played a little bit of basketball and a WHOLE BUNCH OF SOFTBALL in San Marcos, and followed that up with some juco ball, then more ball at a four-year school, and then tacked a Master's Degree onto that, just for the heck of it.  Underachiever...  :)  She is now living here in the desert and will be getting married later in the year.  What can I say about Kyleigh?  She was a competitor, and coachable, and bright, and I'd take nine of Kyleigh and play against anybody anytime.  So when I tried to pay for our meal yesterday, Kyleigh tells me that she's picking it up, since I had to deal with her as a teenager, etc...  I just laughed.  If only all coaches had it so rough...  :)  I agreed to let Kyleigh get our meal, and if you're friends with me on Facebook, you'll probably never guess where we ate...

The Pizza Joint at the Flamingo ought to be paying me for all of this publicity that I give them...  Immediately upon seeing how this photo came out, I complimented Kyleigh on her outfit, and how it seems to blend right in with the pizza paper...  :)  Anyway, great pizza and an enjoyable afternoon catching up.  It had probably been four years since I'd seen Kyleigh, and that was just briefly, on the Square in San Marcos.

As I said before, I'll let y'all know when I know more (job wise)...  Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Thirty Years

Good afternoon everyone.  It's been a long time since I posted from my phone, and it's out of laziness, and not due to necessity this time around.  I was prepared to write for you last night, and then I ended up watching the end of Zodiac, a movie that I had started watching earlier yesterday.  And this brings us to about 1:00 a.m. this morning, when I started watching Vision Quest, which played right into my reminiscent mood, and successfully thwarted the possibility of any writing being done last night.  Vision Quest gave a little airtime to an up and coming singer in a small club scene as she sang parts of 'Gambler' and 'Crazy For You.'  Maybe you've heard of Madonna...

Yes, that's how long ago Vision Quest was filmed, and thirty years ago today, well, what do you know, I graduated from high school.  Yes, WOW...  I need to give a shout out to the Class of 2016 at my alma mater, as they're graduating 30 years to the day that my class did.  A special shout out goes to my friend Ally, who I worked with at my hometown Walmart.  Ally was still pretty new to the store, and in an instance when I was just being me, doing... SOMETHING, this high school senior flat out called me a dork...  Of course I started laughing, and that's when I knew that Ally was one of the cool kids...  :)  Again, congratulations to Ally and to all of the Crusaders leaving Littleton High School today.  In related news, the baseball team at LHS has reached the state finals, and that game has been moved to Tuesday because both schools (Littleton and Sunapee) are hosting graduation ceremonies today.  Good stuff...

As for me, I have yet to get a job dealing poker (maybe the game had passed me by?).  Anyway, I'm about to open up the job search, because money does come in handy, and my brother's family will want their house back at some point..  :)  Seriously, they have been SO hospitable, and I appreciate it IMMENSELY...   Since I'm getting older (remember, I graduated from high school 30 years ago), I'm thinking it's probably about time I settled down somewhere (maybe??)...  For a city that thrives on tourism, I see a glaring lack of customer service in many instances, and I just need ONE GOOD JOB...  After having found out on May 4th that my landlord in Littleton had found a couple who wanted to rent my place in Littleton, giving my two weeks notice at work (while pushing to be out of my place by noon on the 18th), making arrangements to move here, and then driving a little more than 2,700 miles across the country from 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 20th til 7:20 a.m. on Monday, May 23rd, I'm JUST NOW..., FINALLY, not feeling completely exhausted all the time.  I know, I know, I "gained" 3 hours while driving west, so I need to suck it up...  :)  There's no doubt that in my 30 years since high school, and in my 47-plus years overall, I lived a pretty adventurous little life (which I'm reminded of every time that I fill out a job application, and have to provide my work history - UGGHHH)...

Today I have a day full of the Strip and poker ahead of me.  My brother has been doing some "double-duty" at work, so on days he works at both the sportsbook  (Bally's/Paris/Planet Hollywood) and the World Series of Poker, we arrive on the Strip at about 11:00 a.m., leave for the Rio at 7:00 p.m., and head home at around 4:00 a.m.  Yes, he's a trooper...  :)

As for myself, I'll let you know more when I know more.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Let's Find A Job

Good afternoon everyone.  It's approaching noon in the desert as I type for you today.  As a result of what we'll call "drive lag" from my cross-country excursion out to Las Vegas, combined with the stomach bug that went through my brother's household, I've been recuperating for the better part of the last two days.  After returning home from the Strip with my brother at about 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, I spent the vast majority of the next 21 hours in bed, got up for 3 hours, and then went back to sleep for 9 more.  After staying up for about 5 hours this morning, I returned to bed for about 3 more, and now I'm ready for the world (hopefully)...

While my brother worked on Tuesday and Wednesday, I inquired about possible poker dealer openings while playing a few hands myself.  The poker has been going well so far, and I've put together three modest winning sessions.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining - a small win beats a big loss anyday.  The job prospects also seem promising, and I will be filling out online applications for the forseeable future.  My plan is to fill out applcations until I land a job, and then find a place to live that is close to my place of employment.  In the meantime, to audition/interview for jobs, and to play poker, my brother is my transportation to the Strip and the heart of the city, as his family's place is located on the outskirts of town.  Hopefully I'll some good news for y'all on the job front shortly.  In the meantime, have a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend and I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Return To The Desert

Good evening everyone.  I've got some pretty big news for this milestone entry.  I haven't felt like writing much over the past six months, and as it turns out, my lack of words (and views) play right into this being the post that is going to put this blog over 100,000 total pageviews.  I moved back to my hometown in September with the intent of living there for a long, long time, having giving up a recently-earned full-time job at the University of Texas at Austin, but things didn't work out with the girl that I moved back for.  I've spent most of the last half-year between work and my apartment, and having signed a one-year lease, I didn't expect any relief til December 2016.  However, after the possibility of shortening the length of my lease without penalty came up in a casual conversation with my landlord, things happened pretty quickly...  Within weeks, I had a couple who viewed and signed a lease for my place, I gave my two-weeks notice at work, and I made plans to make the 2,700 mile-plus drive out to Las Vegas, where I'm staying with my brother and his family until I get settled.

For those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook, thank you for your support as I made my swift journey across our wonderful nation.  This may explain why I neglected to respond to your well-wishes...  I left my hometown in New Hampshire at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and after driving through the night across Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and half of Iowa, I arrived in Des Moines at about 3:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.  After spending the night, I left at around 11:20 a.m. on Sunday, journeyed across the rest of Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and a tiny bit of Nevada before arriving at my brother's place at 7:20 a.m. Monday morning.  Yes..., PHEW...

I'm currently a professional poker player, and my immediate plans are to find a permanent place to live, in addition to finding a job to pay my bills...  :)  I'm hoping that my attitude and mood will improve tremendously over where they've been in the last six months, and that I'll feel like writing a little more.  As a footnote, I'd like to remain in the desert for a LONG TIME this time around, so if you plan on visiting, let me know when you'll be in town.  :)  Thanks again for your support, and I'll see you soon...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Man On A Ledge

Good morning everyone.  It's not often that I write at 2:00 in the morning and rip off the title of the movie that I'm watching to use as the title of my blog post.  It's pretty amazing that my little blog is closing in on 100,000 total views considering that I haven't posted an entry in almost a month.  My lack of writing hasn't been due to watching an abundance of movies in the wee hours of the morning, in case you're wondering.  Since I've returned to the White Mountains, it's very rare for me to stay up this late.  And then when I start thinking about how late I used to routinely stay awake, and then I consider time zone differences...  For example, if I go to bed at midnight now, and then stop to realize that that's 9:00 p.m. in Las Vegas, when the night is just about to begin for thousands of people.

So what have I been up to?  Basketball has been my big social event of the winter.  Lots and lots of Littleton Crusaders girls and boys basketball.  The girls team at my alma mater had an outstanding season, going all the way to the state final, where they were only beaten by four points.  On the boys side, a layup with only three seconds remaining in the game gave our hometown Crusaders an undefeated season and rewarded the boys team with their first state title since 1990.  This is worth 1,000 words...

That photo comes to you courtesy of the White Mountain Record.  Congratulations to both the boys and girls at my alma mater on their outstanding seasons!

So that brings us to the current basketball, which is the Men's NCAA Tourney.  Now for someone who was on the bench for a lot of high school girls basketball games, I'm not going to say that I haven't been watching any NCAA women's action this year, but I just found out yesterday that the women had gone to playing four quarters this season (instead of a pair of 20-minute halves).  ANYWAY, back to the hoops that I will be watching over the next couple of weeks.  My friend Joey and my brother Pete have joined me once again at Coach's Parlay Card to give you our favorite bets on the ongoing tourney action.  If you wanna stop by there later today or early Thursday morning, we'll each have our favorite bets up for the 'Sweet 16.'  I don't know if it has anything to do with both Joey and Pete working in Vegas sportsbooks, but they both went 3-2 on their bets last week, while I went 1-4...  :)

Anyway, that's what's going on up here, and I'm sure that I'll have more for you as the 100,000 mark gets closer...  Have a great day and I'll see you soon!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Don't You Have A Raven To Train?

Good evening everyone.  It seems like it's been almost two weeks since I've posted.  I might have just looked back and checked actually...  :)  Back in September, I remember driving 33 hours nonstop from Austin up here to the White Mounains.  Today, after sleeping 8 hours (I think) last night, I took separate 2 and 3-hour naps.  Getting older, I tell ya...  :)  I've been hard at work trying to get through the rest of this (admittedly mild) winter, mostly taking a short break from sports, other than following my alma mater's very successful girls and boys basketball teams.  The Littleton Crusader girls finished their regular season with one loss, and won their preliminary round playoff game last night.  I was thinking about going to the game, but when I got home and turned on the radio, I tuned into a 32-6 Crusader first-half lead.  As tempting as that sounded, I decided to forego the brisk weather for that barnburner.  Meanwhile, the Crusader boys are unbeaten, having capped off an 18-0 regular season with a road victory tonight.  There's probably a little bit of high school playoff hoops in my near future as I await the start of the NCAA men's conference tournaments and March Madness.  Work has been keeping me busy as I dream of swimming pools and warmer temperatures, and I've also been all over the new 'Better Call Saul' season.  A show that I've never taken much of an interest in is 'Modern Family,' but while I was tuned into something last night while reading poker blogs, the show that I had been "viewing" ended, and as I was turning off my t.v. before going to bed, I heard this exchange between two characters...

Alex (a goth character):  "Don't you have a class to fail?"

Haley:  "Don't you have a raven to train?"

I don't know why exactly, but that raven line made me laugh and put me in a great mood as I was going to bed last night...  :)  I actually had to Google the script of the show to find the character names for you, as I don't watch the show.

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in and say hello.  Have a good one and I'll see you soon...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Then You Really Might Know

"God forbid you ever had to wake up to hear the news, 'cause then you really might know what it's like to have to lose..." -Everlast- (What It's Like)

"And I watched as you turned away, you don't remember, but I do, you never even tried..." -Fuel- (Hemorrhage)

"Things aren't the way they were before, you wouldn't even recognize me anymore, not that you knew back then, but it all comes back to me, in the end..." -Linkin Park- (In The End)

Good evening everyone.  I decided to dust off my trusty (not very) old tablet and write a little for you tonight.  This is my first winter back in Littleton, U.S.A. in thirty years, and we're about to have a true winter weekend.  As I write this just after 9:00 p.m., the current temperature is 0 degrees, and the wind chill factor is -16.  The high temperatures over the next three days are forecast to be 21, 7, and 4 degrees, respectively.  Happy Valentine's Day, huh?  :)  The silver lining is that we're almost halfway through the month of February, and this is the worst that the weather has been.  To keep myself in a positive frame of mind, I've made a picture of Bikini Hill my cover photo on both Facebook and Twitter...

And yes, Bikini Hill is actually part of the campus at my alma mater, Texas State Univerity.  As I've fought through this winter, counting down the days til spring, I've thought a lot about San Marcos (home to Texas State), Las Vegas, and other warmer climates that I need to get to.  I mentioned recently in another one of my blogs that if I ever do return to Las Vegas or another locale where I can gamble on a more permanent basis, I feel that I should focus more time and energy (and bankroll) on poker than sports betting, because my sports wagering results have continued to hover right around the .500 mark, which isn't a recipe for doing anything but spinning my wheels.  I'm not saying that I'll never place a sports wager (DUH), but I'm talking about something along the lines of a 90/10 split in my poker/sports betting bankroll.  I actually received the first of my study materials earlier this week...

I won my last subscription to Card Player through the old site Spadeclub, and of course it kills me to pay knowing that I could be reading for free if I was living near a casino, but it's nice to be able to get current with the world of poker without racing all over the internet.

In addition to catching up with the card world, I watched the conclusion of the football season last Sunday.  Thanks again to Joey and Pete for predicting games with me at 'Coach's Parlay Card.'  Future topics at my little rant blog should include how utterly inexcusable it was for Cam Newton to refuse trying to recover his fumble, and how silly it is for people to keep moaning about every single Super Bowl halftime show.  Breaking news - we all have different tastes in music, and we will never be in 100% agreeement on who should perform...  Anyway, I've also been watching the circus that is the 2016 Presidential Race.  Good times...

Actually, I have enjoyed watching some more high school hoops recently, as the varsity boys and girls teams at my alma mater are closing in on the state playoffs.  Both teams are well-coached, they play hard, and are a lot of fun to watch.  I got to put on a headset for a pair of games recently as a friend of mine does the radio broadcasts of the Crusaders games.  I spared the listening audience of any torture (I kept my mouth shut), but I enjoyed myself as it was like listening to a game on the radio and being there in person at the same time...  ;)

That's all for tonight.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Not Tonight Sunapee

Good morning everyone.  It's fast approaching midnight here, and it's not so much that I have a lot to say this evening, but more that I told a few friends who I'm stealing material from that I'd publish today, so off we go...  My big social activity for the evening was attending my Alma Mater's boys basketball games, and I'm pleased to report that both the J.V. and Varsity Crusaders beat the visiting Sunapee Lakers by about 20 points each.  Sunapee is supposed to be a pretty good squad, at least compared to the other opponents that I've seen come into my old high school gym so far this season, but although the games were more spirited, they weren't very close.  The Varsity Lakers managed to pick up a couple of techncal fouls, so there was that...  :)  Anyway, after I returned home, I found some food and watched 'Enemy of the State,' and now I'm talking to you.  It's ironic that I actually did something other than work tonight, because the theme of this entry is how my friends have been out having fun while I have pretty much been working.

We'll begin with my friend Nick, who just had a profitable visit to Las Vegas.  Each stack of red on this poker table is worth $100.00, and Nick started his session with two of the stacks.  That's right, there's just over $1,000.00 pictured here.  I should probably learn how to play poker...  Nick also met my brother Pete durng this trip while Pete was working at the Bally's sportsbook.  I should probably learn how to bet on sports too...  :)  Okay, so everyone's in Las Vegas, and I'm not.  Well, except for those people who are in Arizona...

This appears to be my friend Crystal and some guy at a basketball game.  I think it was very nice of Crystal to agree to pose with Coach Popovich...  :)  Our Spurs are doing very well again this season, and this coming spring ought to be very interesting.  Poker, basketball...  But has anybody been to a hockey game recently?

Right on cue, there's my friend Jaidhe (pictured in the center).  I can assure you from the seemingly hundreds of photos that Jaidhe posted that the arena wasn't empty, and that a Bruins game did indeed take place...  :)

Like I said, I don't have a lot to say tonight, but I'll leave you with a photo of my friend Trevor's dogs...

No matter how many times I look at this picture, I still can't get over the expressions on their faces...  :)  Alright, that's all for tonight, but I'll be back soon to bother y'all again.  Have a good one!