Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays from HellaHoldem.com!

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Yes, another evening of a little poker. Gotta get ready for the upcoming Trojan Wars!

1 - single table SnG (NL)
1 - 90 player SnG (also NL)

Here we go!

Folded a suited connector to a late position preflop raise, because nobody else was in the pot with only the blinds +1 after me...

Sailboats! Limp. And a joker goes all in on hand #2. Whatevs. Moron.

AND he got a caller! JJ vs 99, and 99 sucked out with a set on the turn. Wheee! Sunday night is dripping juicy.

I know you don't really want my play by play. Poker is just the background music to which I blog.

Let me hit shuffle on the iPod... OK. Ben Folds, nice.

I've been getting back into the bird watching thing. Ironically, I get more interesting back yard birds in the winter than in the summer. I get some Canadian visitors, and the birds seem to appreciate my efforts more. They'd better appreciate the heck out of me in the morning, because the wind chill will be below zero by the time I go out there tonight and refill the feeders. I've got some feeders and some suet and a heated bird bath out there for them. Most of last winter's visitors arrived by this week - the song sparrows and the American tree sparrows and the dark eyed juncos and the downy woodpeckers. And of course I've got the usual suspects, the European starlings and the house finches and house sparrows and mourning doves. Today, the American goldfinch pair that was here last winter stopped by. I love birds. I signed up to count them for Cornell's Project FeederWatch again this year. Good times :)

I've been folding junk hands ever since those sailboats....

QQ, PFR EP 4xBB... everybody folded. Hmm. One of those days?

Anyhoooo... I'm working on getting a second teaching job. I'm in a sort of training/evaluation process whereby I'll get the job if I "pass." It's not so much that I want to work more, but the finances dictate the rules these days. The nice thing is that I work in an industry that booms when the economy is down (higher education), so the security of my job is something I generally don't have to worry about. It's nice to have something NOT to worry about, for a change.

Just picked off a bluffer and doubled up in the single-table game. Now he's going all aggro. Oooh - 77, massive preflop raise, then checked it all the way down because a K flopped. That's all the notes I need on that guy.

Ben Folds, to Tesla, to Nine Inch Nails. That's why I love the iPod.

I'm also a fan of cheddar Chex Mix.

This year seems to be an unusually early onset of the snow and cold in Chicago. I'm not a fan of winter, particularly here. There was a weather advisory earlier about the potential for a big snow storm Monday night into Tuesday, but it doesn't look like we're going to get it. Or, we are going to get the precipitation, but they think the temperature will remain in the mid-30's, so it will be rain. That is good. I'm not ready for big snow.

I'm waiting for my new coat to arrive in the mail (thanks, Mom!) It is rated to keep me warm down to -20 degrees F. At least that covers 3/4 of Chicago's winter. :-/ I will head south, someday!

I've been playing a lot of Ultima Online lately. There's a meetup next August in Austin, Texas, that I hope to make it out to. I know some peeps out there that I wouldn't mind seeing :) The conference itself is free, and does not require a bankroll (which is the one thing that makes it more likely that I'll find a way out there versus to Vegas). I could get there and back roundtrip for under $200 in gas at today's prices. It's insane. One day, I'm spending $90 to fill my tank, the next - $30. Seriously. Wild. I am not complaining and please let gas stay cheap, oh gas gods!

Wow, I just remembered that I had meant to go work on revising one of my art projects for my final portfolio. (I'm taking an art class this semester). Whoops. Let's hope I go long and deep into this tourney :) Otherwise, it's back to art homework, booo!

This art class has been quite an experience. Generally, I don't "do" art. I do computer art and photography, but I don't draw or paint or sculpt or anything like that. Some portions of this class were computer based (and those were the only portions I was at all comfortable with). The drawing and painting... not so much. It was good for me to go through all of it, though - being critiqued for things I have next to no confidence in. I will pass the class. I'm not sure I'll get an A (which sucks, because my "major" is photography and for a non-major course to kill my 4.0 GPA, well that sucks, but I'll live). You see, I'm taking the photography program at the school I teach at.. for fun. We get free tuition as a benefit, so why not?

Knocked out of the single table game. Aggro boy raised me preflop with his 87s, and I pushed all in with my KQ. He flopped two 7's. Yowza! Have fun, check-it-down aggro boy...

I find that I'm lacking the motivation to celebrate Christmas this year. I haven't put up my tree or any outside lights, and probably won't. I haven't sent out Christmas cards. For 9 years running, I've been writing an annual newsletter of my family's events. I usually send it out with my Christmas cards... but I'm not really doing Christmas this year. Could I possibly skip the newsletter? I don't have much to say though! Not much happened this year, and what did happen was not of the good times/happy new year type of stuff, and I certainly don't want to send out a downer of a newsletter. But next year, when I'm getting ready to write the newsletter, will I regret the gap in newsletters?

Yeah, I know. I over-analyze things.

This 8-5 offsuit, however, does not require any additional analysis.

Wow, this has just been a trickle-down effect, watching my stack dwindle away while I fold. I guess I won't be hitting the big money tonight. Never say die, though! Just because I'm down to 8 BB doesn't mean I'm out!

See that? Doubled up.

For the record, I'm months behind on my blog reading. FYI.

And... out. 25th place. Gah.

Oh well. I suppose, art homework it is.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hail, my fine feathered friends! This fine gobble gobble anniversary is upon us, and I am SO looking forward to a fantastic meal tomorrow that I can't even describe my glee!

I just received notice of the next Trojan Wars game at Ryan's place after the new year. I must say, I have been slacking in the poker department. I've been so busy with work lately that I think I forgot how to play poker. Well, that's an exaggeration, but I'm also very much looking forward to a live home game, and Ryan puts on one of the best. If you're in the Chicagoland area and are interested (and I know you!), give me a holler...

In anticipation of the Trojan Wars game, I've taken it upon myself to fire up FTP this fine Thanksgiving eve, and the holiday has most definitely brought the push-monkeys out of the woodwork. We'll see how gobbley good I can do...

I had an insane urge to chug orange juice a little while ago. I'm not sure what that was all about, but I obliged the urge.

I've got 2 games going on Full Tilt: a single table turbo sit n go, and a 90 player turbo deep stack sit n go. I know, turbo and deep stack kind of contradict each other, but I actually kinda like the format. Nothing exciting going on in either game just yet.

I always receive a lot of "recipe exchange" emails this time of year. I'm not much into cooking; I prefer simple. Here are a couple simple recipes that are sure to be hits - especially for those who don't have much time to spend in the kitchen:

Super Simple Cranberry Sugar Cookies

1 15.6-oz. package Pillsbury Cranberry Quick Bread & Muffin Mix
3/4 C. butter, softened
3 T. sugar

Heat oven to 350° F. In large bowl, combine quick bread mix and butter; mix well.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Flatten balls to 1/8-inch thickness with bottom of glass dipped in sugar.

Bake at 350° F. for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets.

Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

And... my personal favorite - I just made this one and it is freezing as we speak:

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
* 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1 cup peanut butter
* 1 cup milk
* 1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
* 2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts

1. Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
2. Spoon into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm.

I swear, the peanut butter pie is to die for! Melts in your mouth...

Did I ever mention, I don't like to raise preflop very often? Sometimes that hurts me.

I woke this morning to a cat's claw piercing the flesh on top of my foot. That was mildly unpleasant. Now, it itches like crazy! (the foot, not the cat).

I've suggested to my family that we try something new this Christmas. Instead of buying gifts for everybody, we should put all of our names in a hat. Everybody gives $50 to the hat, and the person whose name is drawn gets to choose what charity all the money gets donated to. We'd pick everybody's names so we'd know who gets to pick next year, and the year after, etc, and then we'd just keep doing that. Cheaper than shopping for everybody individually, and it goes to a good cause no matter who gets to pick. A friend of mine does that with her family, and I really like the idea. (The younger kids of course would still get gifts - this would just be amongst the gift-giving adults).

Got knocked out of the single table SnG by way of passively calling off all my chips.

I need to get into my comfy pajamas. I think that might be the problem.

/time lapse

Ahhh nice and comfy now! It is not helping the fact that I am getting blinded out, though. With not much life left in me, I will wrap this up wishing everybody a Happy Thanksgiving holiday and a restful weekend!

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

You are Judgement

Happiness, Content, Joy.

Judgment is related to the Hebrew letter Shin, which is fiery and spiritual. A break from the past, going forward.

With Fire as its ruling element, Judgement is about rebirth or ressurection. The idea of Judgement day is that the dead rise, their sins are forgiven, and they move onto heaven. The Judgement card is similar, it asks the resurrection to summon the past, forgive it, and let it go. There are wounds from the past that we never let heal, sins we've committed that we refuse to forgive, bad habits we haven't the courage to lose. Judgement advises us to finally face these, recognize that the past is past, and put them to rest, absolutely and irrevocably. This is also a card of healing, quite literally from an accident or illness, as well as a card signaling great transformation, renewal, change.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Posted by Dave Matthews to Twitter at 12:40pm 10/6/2008:

I find the state of American politics heartbreaking. And the dominant news coverage suffocating, panic inspiring, septic mis-information.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Killing time, sorta.

Hitting up a turbo SnG on FTP. What am I killing time in anticipation of? Nothing really. There's probably something good I could watch on the TiVo. I plan to play some Ultima Online at some point today. I need to do bills. Maybe I'm procrastinating that.

Really, I'm just looking to engage my mind in something distracting from what is otherwise known as "real life."

Speaking of UO - if there are any UO players out there, I'll be in Chicago at the UO Town Hall Meeting at Dave & Busters on Oct 18th. Come out and meet up! I'll be wearing a t-shirt advertising my UO web site, UOCraft.com. Look for me!

Folded 62o and K6s. Wheee!

I've got one single-tabler going, and am registered in a turbo deep stack knockout 90 player SnG... waiting for that one to fill.

I reluctantly turned my furnace on today. It's 61 degrees in here, and while I sleep very well under such conditions, i don't do well during the waking hours. My hands were so cold it was getting hard to type, and that's all snuggled up in my trademark of 3 seasons clothing staple, the hoodie, and my fuzzy duck slippers on. So I endured the grungy smell of that first run of the furnace about an hour ago and am feeling much better now, as are the cats, who were following the sun around the house in various windows to keep warm earlier today. I need to buy a new filter for my furnace. I'm currently running without one, thus contributing to that funky odor (which has since burned away).

Quack quack. Limped in EP with ducks. No raisers. Let's see a flop! Sweet, set on a K82 board. La la la results to follow, as I must concentrate now.

WOW. Set over set over set. And I'm out. Set of 8's, set of 6's, set of 2's. (The 6 came on the turn). Holy hell. Only online, baby! Out in 8th.

Would you believe it actually occurred to me that maybe I should fold when the guy after me immediately called my pot bet, and the button raised me way too big? There were 2 flush draws out there on the turn. Sorry guys - I'm just not good enough to lay down a set on an otherwise uncoordinated board. I'm taking that river card versus a draw most days.

Oh well. 90 player game is still filling up. Time for a beverage break.

And, we're off!

So how about that VP debate the other night! Hmm, yeah, I don't do politics on this here blog, or pretty much on any of these here blogs I ramble on. Not that I didn't watch it... or that I don't have opinions. It seems to me that unless you're debating politics with a friend, colleague, or otherwise with a decent bit of knowledge on the subject, most peoples' opinions are rooted in things they've heard other people say as opposed to actual personal conclusions they've drawn. As such, it's really hard to have an educated debate on politics with most people. Maybe it's just the people I encounter and spend time with. I enlightened a friend of mine recently that your singular vote for president doesn't actually "count" in terms of literally affecting the outcome - one person's vote doesn't really decide the presidency, and that a president can actually lose the "popular" vote (the hand-by-hand vote count) and still win the presidency. (Ahem). He hadn't paid attention in government class and didn't know what the electoral college is. He does now. He now deems our whole voting system "unfair." LOL! Yeah, sometimes it feels that way....

I'm no expert on politics by any stretch, but I am proud to say that in every election (I vote in most every election I'm eligible for, local, state, and federal), I do my own fact-finding, read up on the issues and the candidates at hand, and come to my own conclusions. I generally don't vote straight-party, and I'm comfortable with my contributions to the processes that make this country great.

Ugly rag cards so far in this SnG.

Well that was more political yammering than I can handle in one blog post. Moving on...

I could really use one of those back scratching sticks. I have awfully dry skin pretty much all seasons except summer (worst in the winter), and it has begun... itchy back!!! Bah.

Seems that I can't hit a draw to save my life...

So I installed VMWare Fusion, as mentioned in my last post. It works a lot more smoothly for me than Parallels (which makes me a little unhappy, since I paid for Parallels without testing it, and really don't want to fork out more money). I can't play UO very well on it, though - it seems to handle the graphics fine (unlike Parallels), but the ping times are just awful. I guess running through a virtual network card is just ugly for online gaming. I can't find any sort of support documents about improving the performance of the network card through virtualization, so if anybody has any advice, please holler! I will buy VMWare if I can get its network performance up a bit.

&$*#&($# I'm having one of those days where I make the right plays at the right times and luck is just F'ing me royally. Got a scooby all in, JJ vs his top pair 10's with 1 card to come, and he hits the third 10. Waaa. <10BB left.

I miss live poker.

And, I'm out with top pair 10's (AT suited) when I pushed on the flop (pot was 210 and I had 410 left). Got caught by a guy who slow-played KK preflop. Wheee!

Ahh well. At least I was distracted for an hour or so... sorta.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hello, again, my pretties!

I'm here waiting for a 90-player SnG to fill up, and in the meantime (and beyond), I will hang out and ramble with you all.

It's likely the 2nd to last beautiful day of 2008 in Chicagoland. Tomorrow will be nice, and after that, we drop into the 60's and below, probably for the rest of the year. We've had 2 of the most gorgeous weeks of weather I've ever experienced - so you'll all have to remind me of this when I'm bitching in a couple months that Chicago weather sucks, and that we never get any moderate temperatures - just freezing cold into boiling hot, skipping over anything resembling spring or fall.

Ahh, we're full. Let the games begin!

I've been catching up on the WSOP on the TiVo. There was a segment where Ray Romano was saying that it's nice to have something that makes your heart pump. I still get that feeling when playing poker. I just don't have as much time to play as I used to. However, I'm glad it still makes my heart pump, so to speak.

I love Ray Romano. I never watched "Everybody Loves Raymond" when it was on, I think because it was on in first-runs before I had a TiVo (and thus, pretty much before I watched TV on a regular basis). Now, I watch it whenever I catch it, and every episode cracks me up. He looks good with a little gray :)

Ouch, set over set, FTP classic - good thing it wasn't me.

Joy, I've got the every-hand-min-raiser at my table.

I had my first hummingbird ever come to my back yard bird feeders yesterday. Totally stoked. Yeah, I like birds. What of it?

I don't necessarily like 3-9 suited.

I do like the smell of exhaust from a dryer drying clean laundry.

I've been back in Ultima Online again. It'll be 11 years this November that I've been playing that game... effectively, a third of my life. Crazy. There's a new expansion coming out in 2009 that I'm totally looking forward to. They really have a brilliant business model. There's no end-game, so it's a subscription based cash cow, for all intents and purposes. Many players have multiple accounts (including myself). And so it goes, cha-ching, month after month. Compared to the big guys like World of Warcraft, the subscription base of UO is minuscule, around 100,000 subscribers - but I've never found a MMORPG that is anywhere near as flexible in terms of making it whatever you want it to be. WOW is built on the "kill stuff" premise. You can kill stuff in UO, but you can also build a life for yourself crafting or gardening or working as a merchant. There's a vibrant PvP community, a respected roleplay community, and just a great variety of things to do. As long as UO exists, I will play it.

Hovering right around average in chips...

I bought Parallels, the virtual machine software, so that I could run Windows within OS X on my Mac. I had hoped to be able to play UO on it, but it's just not quite fast enough in video rendering (even though it says it can play games - UO isn't one of the listed "official" games that it supports. I thought it might work anyway, as UO's video demands are much lower than some of the games on the list). I've heard that VMWare Fusion works better, and I probably should have tried them both out before I spent $50 on Parallels. I will get use out of Parallels anyway, as it makes it much easier for me to test web sites in IE (barf-a-roni), and it gives me easier access to MS Office (they use it at work, so sometimes I must play nice and be compatible). I had been running Vista with Bootcamp on my Mac, but it's a bit of a pain to have to reboot and boot into Windows for the few things I use it for, because then I don't have my web bookmarks, or access to my documents or my iTunes or anything that lives on the Mac side. I may try VMWare Fusion. We'll see.

I'm getting tired of folding decent hands to raises, but I'm out of position and too likely dominated. Still, it's annoying.

Wow - I'm watching a video tour of VMWare Fusion, and already I see a feature that makes me want it: it can run my existing Bootcamp installation right within OS X! I won't have to reinstall Windows! (again!!) They've got an academic discount, $39.99. TYVM, career! Hmmm this is intriguing. Still, I will download the free trial and test it before buying - but this looks quite promising. Kudos to VMWare's download site too - I'm pulling over 1,000 KB/sec down. Nice.

Card dead...

Might as well install VMWare while I fold... Down to 11xBB... Gotta move soon...

So, Dave Matthews had joined Twitter.com, and holy cow does he post some funny stuff! He's @DaveJMatthews - lots of funny pictures, and nuggets of wisdom like only Dave can do... lovin it.

My hair is getting long. Not long, relative to people with long hair, but long relative to the length I've had it for like the last 8 years. It's longer than it's been in a long time. I wish it would grow faster!! I need a dye job, too. Oy.

Big time push of fold mode. Nothing to push with. Oooh, A3s. Here we go. Damn it, 2 people all in in front of me. FOLD.

Owie antes hurt!!

So I finally got sick of the spicy Italian sandwich at Subway. Trouble is, nothing else is really calling my name there. i've given the chicken bacon ranch sandwich a few days in court, and it hasn't really sold me. I feel lost without a signature sandwich. *sniffle*

AQo, I'm pushing regardless...

2 callers. Nada on the flop. And... I'm out, in 34th place.

Time to go play with VMWare!

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

A poster I made for my friend and photog professor's upcoming photo exhibit. See the photography of Carol Thorner at her show: "What Will People Think? (and other concerns)" at The Center for Visual & Performing Arts in Munster, Indiana. Sept 12 to Oct 19.

Come out and meet Carol at the artist reception on Sept 19, 6-9pm.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

I have just fired up a lil' 27 person SnG on Full Tilt, baby size. Five buckeroos.

I'm also fired up over the infiltration of damn ragweed that is occurring. I cannot breathe and it is driving me insane. This wicked congestion has foiled every allergy med I've got, and it is so bad that is is messing with my inner ear and giving me vertigo and just making me overall miserable. Mold spores can kiss my ass, too. Man, I am miserable!

In happier news, I've got 49 prints so far up on my eBay store, and had a good first week. Check it out if you're into art prints - http://stores.ebay.com/Purple-Penguins-Studio. Right now, I've only got 8 1/2 x 11" max, but that will change once I get around to buying some larger format paper. I can do up to 13x19" prints.

Rest assured that anything you purchase helps to keep this single gal in a roof over her head!

My starting hands are decent so far, but the flops are missing me.

OESD, called it down with odds, didn't hit. Way to become the short stack, Shel!

It must be the dramamine.

So, I'm taking an art class this semester - ART101, to be exact. 2D design. Typically, I don't do art, but it's part of the photography program, and one of my photography classes canceled, so this was all I could pick up. It has me a bit terrified. The only saving grace is that about half of the projects can be completed on the computer (which is my only hope, because I *really* cannot draw). Any advice from creative types for a non-artsy-type trying to survive a 2D design class?

Has everybody heard by now that Google is launching a new web browser tomorrow? Google Chrome - I'm mildly curious. I'm still a bit peeved at Google, as traffic to this here blog has dwindled to less than 25% of what it was before they implemented their Big Brother twist on terms of service. Thank heavens for all of you RSS peeps!

Wow, I sure exited that tourney in joker-iffic fashion. Well, my AK vs K8 looked good, until the flop.

Sadly, I had to suck out my meager bankroll to pay bills (again), so this next tourney will be even more Scooby-tastic: a $1+.25 90 player sit n go. Bring it on!!

You see, I'm trying to keep myself awake until a respectable bedtime hour. These meds that keep me from spinning are also trying to knock me unconscious.

Maybe iTunes will help.

Nice, I'm sitting next to the hot pirate avatar!!

Here's a little something I posted to my personal blog the other day...

From the eulogy of the late LeRoi Moore of DMB:

Edna St.Vincent Millay:
“I burn my candle at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light."

If I should happen to expire before my time, I wouldn't mind if one of you considered eulogizing me with this.

Something to keep in mind, you know, if ever...

Chatter has begun about the Winter Classic in Vegas... I know I'll shock you all by saying it's unlikely I'll make it out. I've come to accept my lot in life - I teach for a living, and teachers don't make squat for pay - particularly when they have expensive hobbies and the philosophy that she who dies with the most toys, wins. If lots of peeps go buy my photos, then maybe you'll see me in Sin City - but artists don't make squat for pay either, so squat + squat = .... not a whole lot. Such is life!

Finally, a hand I can call with. 33. No flopped set. Boo.

I should really be working on a couple articles, but my mind is too foggy to write.

Playing da hammer, yeah doggie.

Folding da hammer, indeed.

Wow, AA vs KK and a JT came along for the ride (???) and outflopped us both. Ugly. (I had the pointy ones).

Looking through photos for a suitable one to make a September desktop calendar out of. Searching for "symbolize September" doesn't work very well, due to a particularly unsavory event in recent US past.

See, I can be productive while folding. Get your free September desktop calendar here:

I'm severely short-stacked... you might need to get that eulogy ready...

Now, I'm going to attempt an upgrade on my WordPress site... I am brave. Actually, WordPress has always been good to me. If my URL wasn't established here, I'd switch this blog to WordPress, but... I'm not that brave.

Doubled up. 13xBB.

And... out! Ahh well. At least it's a decent hour to go to bed now.

And I finished the WordPress update... Purple Penguins shall live on!

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

LJMSArt.com has a gorgeous tribute poster to LeRoi Moore available. Limited edition, 500 prints numbered and signed, with ALL profits going to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation for the LeRoi Moore Memorial Fund (the official memorial fund as specified by davematthewsband.com).

$20 plus shipping. Go get one.


(Note - there's music on the page, in case you're at work or something... adjust speakers as appropriate).

DMB love always...

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In Memory Of LeRoi Moore, 1961-2008, DMB

LEROI MOORE 1961-2008

Godspeed, LeRoi


We are deeply saddened that LeRoi Moore, saxophonist and founding member of Dave Matthews Band, died unexpectedly Tuesday afternoon, August 19, 2008, at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles from sudden complications stemming from his June ATV accident on his farm near Charlottesville, Virginia. LeRoi had recently returned to his Los Angeles home to begin an intensive physical rehabilitation program.

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I've finally gotten around to opening my eBay store. You can now find Purple Penguins Studio fine art prints on eBay.

And now, I must sleep! :)

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Friday, August 15, 2008

DMB Alpine was absolutely fantastic. I've been on a DMB high all week (while chasing away the cold I caught), but oh my my, was it good!

I'm doing that limit thing again. I can't really explain it, but limit really is my game - though I've been doing strictly NL SnG's for what seems like forever now, and I do well at those - but I guess that's the thing. After all these years, it's NL tourneys and limit cash games. Yup, that's me. I'd love to make it out to check out the new Horseshoe poker room in Hammond one of these days...

I came across the most amazing looking recipe for chocolate peanut butter cake on the PLANET today. Seriously. It's like food porn. Go see: Smitten Kitchen - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. The pictures are ridiculous. Thanks to Kevin Rose for posting it. It is on my Must Make list.

One thing I did forget over time about these micro limit games: how many insane chasers there are. Yowza. I've hit 2 straights and flopped a set so far, and lost all 3! I know, I know... these are the people I WANT at my table... yada yada yada.

I still haven't changed to the penguin avatar. Thinking about it.

I spent a good chunk of time last night working in Photoshop on a logo header for what may become my ebay store. I sold photography prints on there for a couple months before I left on vacation, and am thinking of doing the whole store thing. I sell prints through Zenfolio as well, but I think eBay has much better exposure.

Ha I just flopped a straight, but with the wrong hole cards on the wrong table. LOL!

Is there any good reason to sit down at a .25/.50 limit game with $50? Oh right - to give it all to ME!

Or not. These are some butt ugly cards.

Not much else going on around here. I go back to work next week. Summer went by WAY too fast. I'm not ready to get back in the grind. I've got a busy schedule for fall, teaching 4 classes and taking 3 photography classes. It's all good - I'll just be a bit chicken-sans-head. But what else is new, right?!

Debating shutting this thing down to go eat a bowl of Lucky Charms and watch the Olympics...

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

I'm not sure what prompted me to play a little limit holdem the other day, but I did... Limit to me is kind of like auto-pilot poker. It's all math. It's not very situational. The rules are pretty much the rules, all the time. Kind of like doing brain teaser puzzles.

My brain likes limit. Multi-tabling limit is like brain exercise.

Limit really makes me want to go hit up the boats. The new Horseshoe poker room opened up in Hammond, and I hear it is MIGHTY nice...

I'm heading to Milwaukee tomorrow for DMB at Alpine Valley. It should be sick!! Can't wait!!

K4o, on the other hand, is not sick. Or it is, in the literal sense.

I much prefer full ring games to 6-handed, for the record.

I've been thinking about making a change. I'm usually the goldfish avatar on Full Tilt Poker, but they now have a penguin avatar - and I love penguins! I collect them, and I sponsor one at the local zoo. But, the goldfish is... sort of... part of me. Maybe I'll try the penguin on for size. But is that disrespecting the goldfish? I don't want to diss the fish.

I hate when I call someone down with second pair thinking they're weak as all hades, to see that they turned the straight.

Ahh well, lunch beckons me...

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I've got a new article up on Suite101.com: Creative Film Photography with Holga Cameras.


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I haven't played a MTT in a while... OK, so 2 tables isn't exactly breaking the "multi" bank, but hey. I want to get to sleep at some point tonight (cuz we all know THIS IS MY TIME! I'm gonna ROCK THIS THING!) ha!

I've got a 20" monitor and a 24" monitor, and I can't seem to get comfortable. Bah. Windows feel disorganized. My head is twisted the wrong way. Man, I've got problems!!!

iTunes is on shuffle...

We had some wicked storms roll through here tonight. The tornadoes missed me (that's always a good thing, and it was too dark to take pictures anyway, so I don't mind). I was hoping to get some cool lightning photos, but no such luck. It was all flashy, not streaky. I see some lightning on the horizon now - maybe I'll get lucky tonight.

Loose table so far... 4 or 5 to each flop. One guy out already. (It's the 4th hand).

I've been trying out the hand-coloring technique (photography) using these photo markers I got at the craft store. It was one of the techniques we covered in the experimental photography class I took this summer. I want to give it a fair shake before I write it off completely (no pun intended). I generally suck at coloring, but hand-coloring can be an imprecise, which bodes well for my suckage. I colored a photo tonight that I took in Boston. Not sure what I think of it. I colored it, scanned it, then applied the Holga simulator in Photoshop. (I'm in love with the Holga simulator. More to follow).

Love is Intricate, Hand Colored

So this Holga thing... if you haven't heard of them, they're these cheap plastic cameras with plastic lenses. They have a bit of a cult following due to the unexpected results you can achieve with the crappy lens and the light leaks and whatnot. Yes, some people call this "art." I love what I've seen so far. There's a Photoshop action to simulate the misframing and weird vignetting and strange blur effects of a Holga (as seen above). I've just finished shooting my first roll of film with a Holga 120. It's 120 format black and white film. I haven't developed it yet. I'm not sure if I have a 120 reel for my film tank. I'll have to dig around in the box of stuff I inherited. I've got 2 things in mind to do with Holga stuff: 1) mod my Holga camera to take 35mm film, and 2) buy a Holga lens body cap for my Canon Digital Rebel XTi. I really love the look.

If you don't have Photoshop and would like to try out the Holga effect on a photo, there's a free online Holganizer!

One of my BIGGEST poker pet peeves: When someone's all in versus 2 opponents. Normally, the 2 opponents should check it down to increase the likelihood of knocking the 3rd person out. The exception is when one person actually has a hand and wants to try and make some money, or has a hand he/she would rather take on heads-up, but WHY would you min-bet the other person out of the pot when you have nothing but QUEEN HIGH?!?! I know why. BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE WHAT YOU'RE DOING!

/end rant

I like to see cheap flops.

And now, it's attack of the clones who can't do anything but hit the "bet pot" button. Arg!!!

The donks are sucking me to a slow death.

But the iTunes is doing pretty well tonight with the shuffle. Soul Asylum on now. Nice.

What you beyotches don't know is, I'm going out on MY TERMS! Eat that, punks!

22 - here we go!

vs AJ



And I live to play another hand!

Reading on how to mod a Holga 120 into a 35mm Holga...

KK all in... one call... vs AK.... I win! Yay!

The mod doesn't look hard at all. I wonder if I have any foam pieces laying around somewhere. Looks like a non-permanent mod, too, in case I want to shoot medium format again. The thing is, I'd like to shoot color, and I don't have color processing equipment at home, so I'd have to rely on the local photo shops, and it's hard to get anything but 35mm processed around here anymore.

Hells yeah, Smoking Popes! I <3 my iTunes.

Final table... haha out of 18 :) Still on life support. But I have a whole orbit to pick a hand.

Fantastic! 66 vs KQ, doubled up!

So, I got Adobe Lightroom 2.0. I religiously used LR 1.0, and I'm already so impressed with version 2.0 that I wouldn't go back to version 1 if you paid me. (Well, MAYBE if you paid me). Thomas Hawk did a nice write-up on the 10 Best Things About the New Lightroom 2.0. It's good stuff.

Ahh, Billy Joel...

Sorry guys. I just folded a hammer. I feel like a hypocrite every time I do.

I'm just over 10xBB with 6 people left. 4 places pay.

1 more out, though I'm the bottom. Gotta double up and hope somebody else knocks out.

Faith No More is takin' me through!

I'm going to miss Pauly's blog-birthday game. I have no funds on PokerStars. Booo :(

There's my double up, against a scooby. People really surprise me. I'm 3rd of 5. Looks like somebody didn't click the "I'm Ready" button for break....

I tried out extension tubes for some macro photography yesterday. It's a nice way to get into macro cheaply, but there are some disadvantages to buying a dedicated macro lens. The cheapo tubes disable auto-focus and aperture control, though that didn't really bother me, as I probably shoot 30% of my work with manual focus anyway, and the depth of field is so tiny that aperture control doesn't help much.  The most difficult thing was that with my 50mm lens, which has a short minimum focus distance of about 11 inches anyway, the minimum focus distance with the tubes was a couple inches, tops! I used my body to focus, moving forward and back as necessary to try and get sharp focus, but it was tough. I thought of getting out the tripod, but I was shooting a bee on a sunflower, and didn't want to miss the shot. Here's what I came up with:

A Mess of Yellow


Arg Full Tilt is throwing me all these juicy hands that I just can't play this short!!! And the short stack doubled up, booo. I'm still 3/5 but it's crowded here at the bottom.

U2... Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses

Yeah baby, ITM! Time for a comeback, eh?

Doubled again. DMB. Bring me home, Dave baby!

Jake here is a crazy blind stealer. It seems to work for him but he also calls way too many all-in's with inferior hands. Bad habit.

Can't do much with Q7o and T3o.

Before These Crowded Streets is my favorite Dave Matthews Band album of all times. I'm heading to Milwaukee to see them at Alpine Valley Music Theater this weekend. Can't wait! My summer revolves around DMB shows each year. Got a cheap hotel on Priceline - $55/night at a nice place in downtown Milwaukee. Noon Saturday can't come soon enough!

Top 3 baby...

Oh my, and now I'm chip leader. I love when the scoobies get cranky and tired and do stupid shit.

Boy, my cards are suckin' though! Folding lots.

Some new R.E.M. on the tune-age...

Passing chips around...

Heads UP!

And.... Green Day takes me into the Winner's Circle!

I should play these more often.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

A few notable poker bloggers got blocked over the weekend by Blogger and locked out of their blogs. All seems to be operating normal today, but in case you missed it, Blogger has apologized for spam-blocking blogs.

We have now restored all accounts that were mistakenly marked as spam yesterday. (See: Spam Fridays)

We want to offer our sincerest apologies to affected bloggers and their readers. We’ve tracked down the problem to a bug in our data processing code that locked blogs even when our algorithms concluded they were not spam. We are adding additional monitoring and process checks to ensure that bugs of this magnitude are caught before they can affect your data.

Kudos to Blogger for admitting the problem and apparently working quickly to clear it up. In a similar vein, it looks like they are working on some import/export tools that should make it easier to back up your blog's posts (should something similar ever happen again).
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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Catching up on Poker After Dark on the TiVo, and you know what that means... two days in a row of posts that, while maybe not poker related, at least had some poker going on during their creation. w00t for you! haha :) Firing up a SnG on FTP...

So I'm watching the Director's Cut of the "Nets vs Vets" week, and the players are all introducing themselves and whatnot. One thought I can't shake: these internet players are going on and on about how they've played just as many hands as Doyle has in his lifetime because they play 32 tables at a time. Yes, BUT... playing live has so many facets beyond the poker itself that these net players have NO experience with - and in a lot of cases, it shows and gives away a wealth of information. I'm just appalled that they can seriously feel justified in comparing themselves to the legends of poker. Hell, the one kid can't even figure out how to cut out his chips.

It's a new age, I guess.

I enjoy playing online - don't get me wrong. But I play online because I can't get to the casino as often as I'd like, or because I don't at this moment have an actual bankroll. The authentic poker experience, to me, occurs in the poker rooms of the world, and not on living room couches. I'm sure some of these zillion-multi-tablers would disagree.

How many computer monitors does it take to run 32 friggin tables simultaneously??

Is anybody watching HGTV's Design Star? I want Jennifer to win so bad!!! :)

Nothing doing in this SnG. I need some cards and soon, or else I will be making an early exit.

Did this guy just say, "Doyle is a tight player..." The net kids must define "tight" differently than I do.

Shocker, he went out first.

True multitasking: watching PAD while playing a SnG while giving myself a manicure.

Now up: the Poker After Dark heads-up challenge. I like this show, but I really miss High Stakes Poker.

At some point today, I actually have to get out of my PJ's and go to work...

Just got knocked out. I'm mildly irritated at the range of hands people will call an all-in re-raise with for 1/3 of their stack. K3 suited? Really?

Let's roll this one more time...

Ahhh, nice little double up on the first hand with the nut straight. 3rd pair bet it all the way and called my river all-in reraise. Okie dokie!

It's amazing how Chris Ferguson can look so friendly yet so menacing, all at the same time. I'd have a messy chair to deal with if I ever had to stare him down heads-up.

Yowza. Made my straight J9 with a 10-8-10-Q-4 board. Was up against 8-10. Ouch.

Still 2nd in chips but the chip lead felt much more comfortable.

Well, that did not go well. 10-10 and out, knocked out by a caller who chased me down with K-10 and hit a K on the river. A pair draw? Really?

Scoobies 3, Me 0

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Yes, ladies and gents, it's a quickie sit n go, starring ME!

Got back from vacation in Boston a couple days ago. Love that city. I'd move there in a heartbeat if the winds of fate shifted so. We hit all of the usual tourist haunts - the Duck tours, Prudential Center, Newbury Street, Faneuil Hall, Quincy Marketplace, Cheers (both the real and replicas), the Boston Common and Public Garden with the swan boats and the Make Way for Ducklings statues, various cemeteries, Fenway Park, the Boston Garden, Hard Rock Cafe Boston, the New England Aquarium Whale Watching cruise, Harvard (including Mr. Bentley's Burgers - highly recommended). That's all I can remember! Oh, and we checked out Salem, which after 2 visits I now feel comfortable saying it's overrated and rather lame (this coming from a girl who used to dabble in some of the esoteric arts). Boston, though, is an awesome city. I've been there twice now and absolutely love it. The subway ("T") is clean and user-friendly, and the people are great. There's so much history there.

Nothing doing so far in the SnG. Folded orbit #1.

For the photography geeks amongst you - has anybody used Costco's private label brand ("Kirkland") Professional Glossy Inkjet Photo Paper (8.5x11")? It was rumored that originally, this paper was a private label of Ilford's Gallerie Smooth paper, but that was when the packaging indicated that it was Made in Switzerland, where Ilford produces paper. Now, it is Made in the USA, and I've read once in passing that it is made by Mitsubishi and is not as good. Others claim it's a re-branded Epson paper.

I'm curious, because it's extremely reasonably priced, and has the same weight specs as some good papers (69 lb, 255g, 10.4mil). I'd love to know the source, mostly for estimating its permanence and archival qualities with pigment based inks.

Bummer. Just folded 67c to an all in preflop raise for 6xbb out of position with no previous callers... he had AA and against one caller, I'd have turned the straight.

Redemption, with a twinge of sadness: I just knocked out the donkey of the table. At these $20 tables, I find that there are on average maybe 5 decently solid players, 1 or 2 really good players, and a couple scoobies. It's kind of sad to see the donkeys go. Makes the game just a little bit tougher.

The Experimental Techniques photography class that I'm taking ends tonight. Overall, I'm pleased with the work I created for this class. We did some interesting techniques - hand coloring, solarization and the Sabbatier effect, infrared photography, paper negatives, and Polaroid image and emulsion transfers. I particularly liked the emulsion transfers and the infrared stuff.

For infrared, we shot with Ilford SFX 200 red-sensitive film (not true infrared - more of a "special effects" film). I shot my first roll with a Red 25 filter, and while the result was interesting, it wasn't quite infrared. I've since picked up an R72 filter but haven't had a chance to shoot another roll of film with it yet - though I did shoot some digital with the Canon PowerShot G9 and the R72 filter, and it definitely appears infrared. I only had a monopod in Boston and not a tripod, so nothing really came out as crisp as I'd like. A tripod is a definite must with that R72 filter. My camera was able to meter through it, but even in sunlight, the exposure was 1 second.

Flopped an OESD. Fingers crossed. Great. On the turn, a guy pushed all in for 1900 with 400 in the pot, and another guy called for his 1500. Was an open ender with one card to come worth my tourney life, even though I had top pair 7's? There was a 4-card lower gutshot onboard. I figured one of the two had it. I folded. The caller had the lower straight, and I'd have rivered the higher straight.

I should stop folding, eh? If only I were psychic.

Woohoo, FedEx just brought me my tickets to Dave Matthews Band at Alpine Valley (near Milwaukee, Wisconsin) next weekend. Sweet!

I'm short stacked at 6xBB right now, 4th of 6 remaining in chips.

And now I'm out, AJ vs AA. Whoops. Or not - had a few chips left and just doubled up to 3xBB! Life support!

Doubled again! Back to 3rd in chips with 8xBB. LOL!

Chip and a chair, buddy... chip and a chair.

I've got about an hour and a half to kill before I leave for class (and for a tasty Subway sandwich). Storm clouds are gathering. I didn't expect rain in the forecast today, but the skies look menacing.

If you caught any of my tweets last week, you may have read about my Blackberry mishap. I've got the Pearl 8130, the 2nd generation Pearl. I've been loving it since December. In Salem, we got caught in the rain, and though I took the phone off of my hip as soon as it started pouring (and put it into a plastic bag with my camera gear), the phone's screen shorted out from liquid damage. Strangely, though, it did not even get wet enough to trip the liquid sensors inside the phone. Just my bad luck, I guess. I had insurance on it and Sprint replaced it with no problems, but as I dug around on the internet, I found many reports of similar damage. The repair guy at the Sprint store told me that he has even seen sweat from people carrying the phone in their pockets cause this damage on this model. It seems to be overly fragile. I'm not hard on my phones. I had my last Blackberry for 5 years, and retired it only because it was so friggin old. Spare a couple of dings on the corners, and the thing was a tank.

With the Pearl, I managed to scratch it on the very first day I had it, by bumping up against the side of my car. I mean, really? Since December, it has earned more dings in its plastic case than my original BB ever had, and the silver plate around the trackball has chipped and lost most of its silver. I only had a skin on it for protection, so I've learned my lesson. I ordered the OtterBox Defender case for my new Pearl. It's water resistant and much more durable.

By the way, I'm heads up in that SnG.

And... out! Ha! From the gutter to the penthouse, baby - or, just beneath the penthouse. Second place. That's a win to me!

And with that, I will go get ready to head to school...

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What if the iPhone "brick" tragedy extended to other parts of our lives? Brought to you by Revision3.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Go, Iggy! Cheers and good luck from Chitown!  

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Monday, July 07, 2008

On PageRank, nofollows, ads, and SEO - Falstaff said it best:

PageRank is based on the quality of incoming links. By putting a nofollow into the link, the site that is linked doesn't get the PageRank boost, but your site doesn't get considered a linkspammer and your PageRank doesn't get hurt. It seems like Google has decided that some of my advertisers are buying links to manipulate the system, and need to be punished for that. Since I'm providing the link without a nofollow, I'm getting punished as well, because I am part of manipulating the system.

I'll be keeping an eye on that post over at PokerStage. I'm curious to see fellow bloggers' responses.

I'm a bit disturbed that Google can effectively decide who is allowed to buy and sell ads on the internet via this "policy." It's a little too Big Brother for my taste.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Many, many, many poker bloggers are finding that they've been dogged by Google, with a drop in page rank and a disappearance from search results. If you search Google for hella holdem right now, you'll see that I too have fallen off the map.

It appears to be related to buying/selling links / banner ads / affiliate programs. On the page to request reconsideration by Google, they note:

In general, sites that directly profit from traffic (e.g. search engine optimizers, affiliate programs, etc.) may need to provide more evidence of good faith before a site will be reconsidered.

I'm not sure if it will do any good, but you can request reconsideration from Google.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 4th of July, everybody!

The fireworks were fan-friggin-tastic this year! As usual, we went to the New Lenox, IL display, and they never fail to put on a great show. It was a full half hour long, and not a bit of it was cheapo-filler-crap. I love their show.

I shot on a tripod with a cable release, and used ISO100 and f/11 for the entire show. Most of the time, I used a 2 or 3 second exposure. I made a few shots with a 6 second exposure, when they were firing off multiples in sequence, and those turned out pretty cool too.

Here are a few of my favorite blasts:





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Thursday, July 03, 2008

I've just dropped the following letter into the outgoing mail (postal mail, that is):

July 3, 2008
Customer Service
Hewlett-Packard Company
3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1185

To Whom This May Concern,

I am writing regarding a recent experience I had with your technical support representatives (Ticket #801330xxxx). On June 28, 2008, I purchased the HP Photosmart Pro B8850 printer and several packages of Advanced HP photo paper. I ordered these items online via CircuitCity.com. The items were delivered in June 30, 2008.

I unpacked the printer and began setup. When I plugged the printer into the wall outlet, the printer received no power. After troubleshooting via telephone with one of your support representatives, it was determined that the AC power adapter was likely faulty. Your representative shipped a new AC adapter to me. It arrived on July 2, 2008.

The new AC adapter did not solve the problem. I called technical support again, and after troubleshooting, the representative determined that there was likely a problem with the printer itself. While I was disappointed, I understand that this happens. Hardware fails. It’s the way of the world, when it comes to computers.

What I was most disappointed in, though, was the solution offered by your representative. She offered to replace my brand new printer with a refurbished one. I explained that this printer was brand new out-of-the-box and was dead on arrival. I paid for a new printer. I expect replacement with a new printer. I could understand a refurbished replacement if I’d owned the printer for some time and it needed repair, but this printer was not used. The support representative agreed with me, but that she could not guarantee that the replacement would be new, and that she had no other options to offer me.

I find your policy of replacing brand new, defective items with used, refurbished ones to be completely unfair. I spent $549 on your product in good faith that it would work when I brought it home. When a brand new item is defective, I expect a brand new replacement - not just from HP, but from any company.

I am a photographer and a professor, and despite the advice of many of my colleagues to purchase an Epson (the reigning king in the professional photo printing arena), I decided to give HP a shot. The B8850 might be a fantastic printer. I did not get the opportunity to find out. Based on this experience, HP is not the kind of company I want to do business with.

As a result of my disappointment in your company’s policies, I have returned the HP printer and papers to Circuit City and instead purchased the Epson Stylus R1900 and Epson papers, and will recommend to my colleagues and students that they do the same.  



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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Well, I finally upgraded my old template to a Blogger Layout to take advantage of the ease of editing with widgets. I put all of my old code sections into widgets, and was quite happy - until I tried to install a new custom theme.

Silly me thought that widgets were modular and would just transfer over from layout to layout. Apparently, that is only true if you switch between one of the lame-o default layouts that Blogger provides. If I want to switch to a custom layout, I have to re-enter all of my widgets.


So that will be a project for another day. Until then, my apologies for the bland layout.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Signed up for a KO sit n go on FTP. Yes, a 90 player game is a bit more of a time commitment than I usually undertake these days - but we're in the wee single digits of the evening, my friends, and I feel some productive web surfing time ahead (and maybe some productive poker winning time to go with it... especially since I missed both the Trojan Wars game AND an impromptu Forest game this weekend). I know it's lame to say, "I'm due," but... well...

60 people registered so far. Getting there...

First up, did everybody go download the new Firefox 3? Get yourself into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most downloads in a 24 hour period! Download Firefox NOW!

With that, though, I have to say that I've morphed to using a Firefox-based browser that isn't Firefox.... Their latest beta (released yesterday, based on the new Firefox) crashed like crazy on my machine, but the one based on FF2 is rock-solid, and hopefully the bugs will be squashed soon in the FF3 release. If you blog or use social news or networking sites or are into media and photography online, Flock is uber cool. I know, I can't stop gushing, but it has made my time on the web so much more productive and enjoyable.

Tourney has begun. If I'm not mistaken, it's a turbo deep stack knockout tournament. Alrighty then! Say that 5 times fast. Man, people are doing some CRAZY preflop raising. 20xBB???!??!?!

Did I miss something?

So, I finally got around to creating a WordPress theme of my own. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. It was for my "business" site (the one I use to represent me for web dev/consulting projects and hopefully for photography in the near future) - http://purplepenguins.com. You likes? Me likes. My logo needs work, but aside from that...


Listening to a recording of Don't Drink the Water by Dave Matthews Band, featuring Bela Fleck, from last week's show at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. Sick. Just sick. Show was fantastic, and I'm absolutely giddy to have seen Bela Fleck! I'm downloading a new recording of the show that I hear is better quality (less wind noise) than the first recording I downloaded. The wind gusts were only 45mph. No biggie, right?!

Omg these overbets are KILLING ME.


At this moment, I'm checking out some pinhole photography. I made my first pinhole camera in the Experimental Darkroom class I'm taking. It is made from a Santa Claus cookie tin. I've got some work to do to get it working. I haven't figured out the right exposure times yet - partially because I used a needle that was too big when I made my pinhole. Such is life - live and learn! I'm really digging on getting a Leonardo pinhole camera. That would be mighty cool.

AKs - maybe I can play this hand? Pretty please? With a standard 3xBB preflop raise on top?

Or not. 2-3-6 flop and the PFR'er pushed all in on the flop. Sigh.

Finally won a pot - a most unlikely one! 4 diamonds onboard and no diamonds in hand, but 2 pair held up after a check-check on el flopo.

Still reading pinhole photography stuff...

Nice, doubled up with the 2nd nut flush vs a guy who pushed all in on his straight draw with 3 clubs onboard?!?! Alrighty then! The overbetting continues, though  now I have some tolerance chips.

By the way, did I ever mention that I hate blog spam?

Antes have begun. I'm 17th out of 45 remaining.

Now I'm cruising MySpace, the ultimate in boredom. w00t just won a knockout bounty :)

Here's a photographer on Flickr that I really like: ScoutJ

I took some pictures today hoping to kick-start a new theme for a project I have to do for class, but they all sucked. Booo. I had a great time yesterday though, making paper negatives from magazine pages - a la "found art." My 2 faves:

Eye for Love
Eye for Love



Created in the darkroom as contact prints (a la paper negatives) and then scanned and processed digitally via Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

Break time in the tourney. I'm currently 6th of 30.

Growing bored of reading hand histories lately, I won't bore you, but let's just say I made a pretty ballsy move just now, and it paid off. I could feel my opponent agonizing and wiggling in their seat. Mwah!

Another bust-out bounty, and I'm 2nd out of 20. *pats self on back for a good read*

I'd blog more about what I'm reading, but I'm still on pinhole photography, to which most of you are probably like, "Yawn..."

How about Twitter? Like, rock star. I'm phlyersphan. Follow me!

Oooh! KK!

As in, King King, not answering my own command... anyway, no action. I'll take it. Better than losing!

I'm reading about making pinhole body caps for cameras. I have a Canon Rebel K2 film camera, and the Digital Rebel XTi. Both are EOS and use the same body cap, if I'm not mistaken. It would be pretty cool to try out. Probably more reliable than my Santa Claus tin can pinhole camera.

Wow - from top 5 to out, in 2 hands. One was carelessness on my part (acting too quickly without thinking it through), and the other was bad luck (JJ vs 77, he hit his set of 7's). Maybe I'll try again.. finished 2 out of the money. I feel like I'm playing well tonight...  

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm playing a SnG on FTP because my printer is driving me insane.

I have a Canon Pixma printer. It was a $300 printer a couple years ago. (Today, of course, the ink inside is worth more than the machine). I bought it for the exclusive purpose of printing photos. I have one of those HP all-in-one thingamajigs for document printing.

Everything was lovely until recently. The printer has started printing random stray marks on my photos. It almost looks like stray hair marks, but very small, and generally not in the same spot twice. I do have 3 cats, so I took a can of air to the inside of the printer. Bad idea. Not only did it make matters worse, but for a while, the printer gave me an error that it needed repair service - until I smacked it a few times, and the error went away.

I did all of the built-in maintenance options - nozzle check, head cleaning, deep head cleaning, bottom plate cleaning, and roller cleaning.

No good.

Desperate, I bought one of those inkjet printer cleaning kits. I swabbed everything I could reach with alcohol. I ran the moist towel like paper through it, just like it said.

Still, there are a couple tiny stray marks printing.

I can't think of anything else to do, and it is driving me insane. I'm neck deep in photography classes right now. I need to be able to print.

Calgon, take me away.

The SnG has become a push-fest, even though most everybody still has 20xBB in front of them. Whatevs.

Any ideas on the printer? Seriously, I'm open to anything at this point. Exorcism maybe?

Why did I just limp with JTo in MP? Flop = nada. Turned a gutshot, but not enough in the pot to pursue. Boo me.

And, am I the only one who is bothered by the people who ALWAYS and ONLY make a pot-sized bet? Srsly. Do you know anything about bet sizes in relation to the pot and your intentions?

On the photography front, I got a few pieces accepted into a gallery - my first exhibition :) It's a group exhibit at a local gallery. It opens this Friday. I'm excited and nervous! I finished writing my first "artist resume" this past weekend and applied to another exhibition out of state. I'm certain I won't get in, as the photos I had that fit the theme weren't the best, but I want the experience of trying - and, kind of like in hockey, you throw the puck at the net and sometimes, it finds its way in. I'm not above taking a lucky bounce if it comes my way!

I'm very near push-or-fold status. I play the turbo SnG's because I have trouble committing more than an hour to an online SnG anymore - but boy, those levels go fast when you're card dead.

There's a Trojan Wars game this weekend. So many darned things going on this weekend.The only thing I've got in stone is the gallery opening. The rest is up in the air. Will have to figure it all out one of these days.

Out vs. a flush.

I think I've got one more SnG in me. Turbo, of course.

So, how many of you have to-do lists of things you really want to get around to doing someday, or things you've started but haven't finished? Oy. Every year, I think I'll have time over my summer "break" from work, but every year I end up working a lot more than I expect to, and spend too much of the remainder of my time off vegging out. Here are some of the things on my list:

- Finish reading Scott Kelby's Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for Digital Photographers. I only started it in like April 2007.
- Go through the now-giant stack of photography magazines next to my bed and scan the articles I want to keep into PDF files - or at least tear them out of the magazines and store them in binders or something.
- Clean my home office - I mean, REALLY... shred old paperwork I don't need anymore, file the giant stack of bills and whatnot that's been collecting for almost 2 years now, etc.
- Frame and hang the 20 some odd Dave Matthews Band tour posters I've been collecting for years. Speaking of - if anybody has an extra DMB tour poster from this past Friday's Bridgeview, IL show, I'm looking to buy one!
- Buy some tulips to plant in my front yard, and some decorative bricks to edge my landscaping.
- Re-stain my deck.

Yeah... one of these days.

Well, out again - I was ahead AK vs A7 and got the scooby all-in on the turn... and he/she/it rivered the gutshot straight.

With that, I will log off having both lost my SnG's *and* not accomplishing anything on my to-do list! Ha - procrastination accomplished :)

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Friday, June 06, 2008

I'm so friggin anxious for DMB tonight! T-minus 40 minutes and counting till I go load up the truck and head out for tailgating festivities. I am stir crazy, so I am donking around a micro limit NLHE table on Full Tilt.

This will be my 25th Dave Matthews Band show tonight. I usually see no fewer than 5 shows per year, but this year I'm only slated for 3. Money's tight, and gas prices are killing me. Still, 3 will be wonderful (tonight in Chicago/Bridgeview, then 2 shows in August at Alpine Valley - Wisconsin).

While killing time this morning, I decided to try and give myself a quick French manicure. Oy. Apparently, there is no such thing as a "quick" French manicure. Oh well. So my nails look like a 4 year old colored on them. I'm seeing Dave tonight!

That is, if the weather holds out. We're at moderate risk for hail and tornado-bearing thunderstorms tonight - but who trusts the weather man, anyway? You know where I'll be: out in an open stadium with 30,000 other DMB freaks!

Wow. I've only killed 6 minutes. This is going to be a long half hour.

On the bright side, my pigtails cooperated fantastically! Totally stoked re: the pigtails today.

Haven't won a hand yet.

Twitter has been down for the past 18 or so hours for me. I see others have gotten some posts through, but not I. Sadness. I can't believe how mainstream twitter has become. For so long, it was only my geek friends on there. Now, look at you all!

Low pocket pairs in early position. It's so hard to raise them up. Flop it or drop it...

Wow. Donkey called my 1/3 to 1/2 pot bets all the way after turning the J high flush. Ummm hello, raise maybe? (I missed my gutshot straight flush draw but did have pocket 8's on a J-5-6 flop).

Ahhh, won it back on the bet-a-holic, check-the-river donk.

35 more minutes.

AKJ flop is generally not what you're looking for with 22 in the hole.

I found the negative of one of my favorite photos of my dad yesterday. I brought it to photography class and scanned it with their film scanner. I feel really lucky to have it.

Uh oh, tornado siren. Hmmm. Ya know, we hear these so often around here that people begin to NOT hear them. I should probably go scan the skies, just in case... there are tornadoes in the forecast today.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Donking around at .05/.10 NLHE with the 5 bucks I had in my FTP account (post-withdrawl, which took over a friggin MONTH, tyvm)... doubled my money! Double-rooni! w00t!

Catching up on the last series of Poker After Dark on my DVR. DirecTV is coming by Wednesday to hopefully fix my HD channels. They stopped working last week. The rep said my DVR/tuner might be bad, so I'm trying to watch everything I have saved in case they take it.

I've got to run to the post office to drop off an ebay shipment. Other than that, it's been a lazy day... ahhh, summer! I'm SO glad it's here - meteorological summer, anyway.

This Friday kicks off summer officially in my world - Dave Matthews Band at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. We've got some serious tail-gating plans. Can't wait!!

Alrighty, last round.

Nothing exciting. Off to the post office!     

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Pauly's got my all time favorite WSOP coverage - so follow the Tao! And don't miss his live WSOP updates via Twitter.

Tao of Poker

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Monday, May 26, 2008

My most uber geek crush is on Kevin Rose of former Tech TV Screen Savers fame and current Digg/Pownce fame. I've just fired up a sit n go on FTP with Diggnation in HD on the big screen. It's 80 degrees at 8pm. Life is good.

I love that Kevin Rose has a favorite vodka (Belvedere). Vodka = my favorite!

Tomorrow, my next photography class starts. I'm taking 2 classes - Digital Darkroom, and Lighting. I'm way looking forward to them.

I'm catching some crazy cards. Flopped 3 straights and a flush so far. Not getting much action, but I'm feelin' lucky, punk.

LMAO "mount it and ride it around like a cobra-cat"

So, I've switched to the Firefox-based web browser, Flock. I had tried it years ago, probably in like alpha phase - way early - and I loved the idea of it, but it was buggy as hell. Now, it's fantastic, and I'm in love. If you've never heard of Flock, it's got a lot of the nice Web 2.0-ish sites kind of built in. There's a sidebar that loads your Flickr friends' media streams, your Twitter friends, Facebook friends, etc. It has a built in blog editor, which makes it INCREDIBLY easy to write to multiple blogs without having to deal with logging in to each one. It has a built in photo uploader that works with Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, Picasa, and others. In a nutshell, it pulls together all of my favorite web services and makes it super easy to manage and share my stuff and keep up with what everybody's up to. Check it out - Flock.com.

Duuuuude, Diggnation in New York. Oh how I wish...

6 players left... everyone's around 10BB. Yawn.

Alright, I'm not going to post the name I just spoke out loud vs the "person" that knocked me out.

New game. One more episode of Diggnation to watch, so it works out.

ROFLMAO I keep missing my turn cuz I'm laughing hysterically at Diggnation. Srsly. It's just friggin funny.

Nice, AK. Damn, no flop.

Alex and Kevin make me want an iPhone. I heart my Blackberry, though. Until the iPhone integrates turn by turn GPS navigation, I can't even consider it. I wonder if there are any Digg themes for the Blackberry. (They just showed one for the iPhone and it's pretty slick).

I think I've overloaded my Blackberry trying to email the photos I took this afternoon of giant thunderheads. Wicked storm clouds. I tried to send 'em all to myself at the same time. Whoops.

Alrighty, in the money! Barely :)

And.... out! Just in time for the end of Diggnation. Nice.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

more cat pictures

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm trying again, this low limit NLHE cash game bit... ended even the other day. Yawn. Better than losing it. I thought the cash-out curse might come after me. I shouldn't speak so soon.

I'm almost done with work for the semester. I'm teaching this summer, but online, so it's not nearly as crazy as being on-campus. I will be on campus, however, but as a student - taking more photography classes. I've got Lighting and Digital Darkroom this summer. I'm thoroughly enjoying photography, both film/darkroom and digital.

Srsly? All in preflop in a cash game with A5o?

There are two bright red cardinals out in the tree in my back yard, and it is taking all of my will not to sit out the poker game and go shoot some photos of them. The light sucks out anyway.

Ahh, the all in on a flush draw bit...

If it wasn't so windy and the light was better, I'd go out and practice some digiscoping. I've got a field spotting telescope that connects either to my point n shoot camera or to my dSLR, which results in some great magnification. It's large and clunky, though, and I haven't quite mastered focusing with it. And birds aren't generally patient, cooperative subjects.

Yes, I watch birds for fun.

I planted the first bit of garden related improvement to my yard this past weekend: a Joseph's Coat climbing rose bush. It produces multicolored flowers, mostly oranges with reds and yellow all swirled together. I got it for the orange, of course (for the Flyers, who are poised to break my heart again this year, it seems). I have a small trellis behind it, but the branches aren't yet long enough to tie them to the trellis. I hope it survives. I wasn't able to plant it quite as deep into the ground as I was supposed to, as there's a rock bed/drainage tile thing under my yard about a foot down. So that's as far down as I could plant it. As we get toward fall, I'm going to plant some tulip bulbs around the front as well. I picked out some shades at the Veldheer Tulip Farm in Holland, Michigan a couple weekends ago - oranges and dark violets. My dad loved rose bushes. I'd like to keep that love alive.

Folding an ace? Yeah, I do that sometimes. Crappy kicker UTG. Wasn't feeling it.

[time lapse]

Slow playing bites me again. Why oh why do I do it?

Reading about digiscoping. Maybe I will go out and try and shoot some birds. (Photos, you freaks! Photos!)

I'm wondering if the digiscoping adapter I have is big enough to hold my dSLR. I have a different adapter that essentially makes the scope a big telephoto lens, but the other adapter (typically used for the point n shoot) would allow me to leave a lens on the dSLR (presumably the 50mm f 1.8 prime I've got). Hmmmmm.

Looks like it might rain. I should get out there. Dollars and cents slowly dribbling away on FTP. I think I just got bluffed out of a pot on the river when a third spade fell in an otherwise uncontested pot. Oy.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

To all the mom's out there, happy mother's day! I'll be spending the day with my mom and the rest of my family. I spent a couple hours in the darkroom this afternoon, making gifts. :)

Work has gotten crazy as we wrap up the semester (thus the crickets around here the last couple weeks). I've finished taking the final exams in the classes I was in as a student (photography and meteorology), and next week will give finals in the classes I'm teaching. Then, hallelujah! Summer! Hard to imagine summer break when it's only 60 degrees here, tops. Weather has been crazy in Chicago this year!

I should be getting some poker in shortly, particularly since FTP offered a bonus due to some delay on withdrawals. Alrighty then!

Awww heck maybe I'll play a little now while surfing. Maybe a little NL cash game. Haven't done that in a while.

If it "sticks," maybe I'll blog it... Gotta go put up my Project 365 photo of the day first.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Catching up on some High Stakes Poker re-runs on the TiVo. (Yes, catching up on re-runs - I've already seen these episodes, but there's always something I missed the first time). I love HSP. Favorite show. I almost just typed I <3 Gabe Caplan but that makes me feel... weird. So scratch that.

I prefer the episodes with the "old" pro's. Except Jamie Gold. He can stay. I thought he was a total tool in the WSOP but I've grown to like him through his subsequent media splashation all over the place. This episode has Negreanu, Gold, Elezra, Harman (love her!), Hellmuth, Safai, Farha...

First all-in on my SnG. 3 hands in. Wooo! I think I like this after-school crowd (though it seems a little too early for the kiddies to be home from school). (Clarification: it was not me who was all-in).

I'm trying to think of a way to put the extra 19" LCD monitor that I have in my loft somehow so I can use it with my laptop (such as now, when watching poker and playing online). It would need to be on some sort of movable cart, so I could roll it in front of my couch/chaise while lounging, then moved out of the way when not in use. And it would need to be non-hideous looking. Currently, I use one of those as-seen-on-tv Table Mate tv-trays for my laptop. (Yeah, it's hideous, but works quite well). Any ideas? Suggestions welcome.

Something just happened that I'm not sure has really ever happened before. I did something totally out of character, on a gut feeling that I didn't even consciously know I had (ie. I wasn't actively thinking about it), and the move was the right one. (Well, "right" is a subjective term, but it worked). I don't even have an explanation. At first, I was being cautious, and on the river, I just knew this guy was full of crap.

5 people left in this SnG, and I'm the chip leader. I have played 3 hands, and we're only a couple rounds in.

It's a beautiful day out, so I have the windows open and I'm working on my poker commitment issues. I've got a regular turbo SnG up, AND one of those knockout 90 player SnG's. The latter just started. The big(ger) LCD monitor would be so nice right about now. (I've got the first MacBook Pro's that ever came out with the Intel chips - with the smaller 15" monitor. Boo on the monitor. Thumbs up otherwise - love my MBP!)

LOL Sammy Farha just called Hellmuth "Philly Willy." Nice!

So, let's say you're on the turn with 1 card to come. There's a 4 card gutshot straight on the board. You've got a gutshot to a straight flush. Do you call off a third of your stack to draw at it for one card?

[time to think]

I folded.

ARG the guy on my right is picking off my blinds EVERY TIME!!! I mean, the only defense is to have a good hand against the guy, and that's beyond my control.

I ate too much Chex Mix with lunch. Mmmm cheddar.

Noooo playable hands, growl!

I'm in push or fold mode but can't even find a face card in this mess! Oy I pushed K9 vs 33 and lost. Haha not out yet - doubled up twice LOL. I have 1/3xBB.

Woo again! 65o all in with my 1BB. DOUBLE UP! lmao poker rules :) LOL damn, went out AJs vs AA.

Still in the 90 player.

Sweet! I just got my first knockout bounty! *slips $4 back in my pocket*

Anybody out there doing any sort of entrepreneurial stuff? (Wow - auto-spellcheck didn't yell at me! I can't believe I spelled that right!) I've had a small web dev business on the side for 5 years or so now, but I'm thinking of moving into photography a bit. I'm not looking to quit my day job, but of course, since my day job is teaching, I could use some basic income supplementation! I still do web sites, but I guess my passions are sort of shifting and I'd like to explore "my new thing."

My question is - or, what I'm pondering, anyway, is - to what length do you invest money into a hobby to try and turn it profitable? I'm investing money into photography anyway (equipment and whatnot, for the sheer joy of it). I'm a bit strapped for cash lately, so spending more money to try and make money seems risky, but potentially beneficial.

That's what's on my mind today.

w00t, another bounty!

"This is a jam-up game." - Phil Hellmuth

I gotta remember that one!

Apparently, there was an earthquake in southern Illinois this morning. My sis-in-law felt it. Police reports from suburbs maybe 15 or 20 miles south of me felt it, but as far north as I am didn't. It was at like 4:30am. I was quite asleep. Earthquakes aren't something I generally worry about here in Chicagoland. Tornadoes? Yeah. Earthquakes? Dude. I'm in the middle of the country. Earthquakes only happen in California, right?

Damn it. The Pedigree dog food commercial just made me cry.

On break in the 90 player knockout. I'm 31/36 in chips. Not so good, but still alive at least. 9 places pay.

Went out 3rd in the other SnG.

I'm craving Pizza Hut.

Out of the knockout. At least I got a 33% discount :)

I think I will finish my current SnG and then grab some lunch.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

LMAO @ Gus Hansen on Poker After Dark! 5 ladies and Gus! I missed the first couple episodes of this story, but since nobody was knocked out yet, it appears I didn't miss anything.

Did I ever tell ya how Gus Hansen walked past me and brushed my arm at Bellagio once? Srsly. YUM.

I didn't know Gus has a blog! Wow, thanks to Wikipedia (which I searched to make sure I was spelling Gus's last name correctly), I've discovered a web site that Gus started - ThePlayr.com, complete with nifty Web 2.0 Approved intentional misspelling. Nice!

Wow - the after-school crowd on Full Tilt Poker sure is fishy. 2 people out in this SnG, in round 2. Definitely a contrast to the usual evening crowds I encounter.

Gus has giant dumbo ears, yet he's still hot. How can that be? He gives hope to guys with dumbo ears all over the planet.

Haven't played a hand yet. Lots of face-rags.

Clonie vs. Gus. Now, THAT I'd pay to see! D'oh! Sorry. Got lost in a little reverie. P-O-K-E-R. Riiiiiight.

Has anyone heard Tom Petty's new song with Mudcrutch (his pre-Heartbreakers bandmates) - "Scare Easy"? I'm diggin it. Turns out, it's not a bad listen when playing poker.

I don't scare easy. I don't fall apart when I'm under the gun. You can break my heart, and I ain't gonna run. I don't scare easy for no one.
Yeah baby! I just keep on folding 6-2 offsuit!

Holy cow, down to 4. How did that happen?

I doubled up a couple hands ago with 33, turned a boat vs. KK overpair. w00t!

The all-in's are rampant around here. I swear it's only been like 10 minutes and we're in the money already!

33 again. Raise, vs the guy who doesn't know how to spell Leopard. Cha-ching! Yeah, FEAR the folder!

I fold very well in poker, but not in household chores. I despise laundry.

Wow, out in 3rd. Flopped a set with 55 and lost vs A9 to a rivered 4-card straight. Yikes.

Alright, let's go for two.

"I go with my gut - that's how I play." - Beth Shak.
Hmmm. That strategy seems like it should be the occasional invocation of the poker gods, rather than the standard. Maybe I spend too much time in bed with math.

AA in the big blind. Not a bad way to start. What is it they say? Don't get involved in big pots early, when the blinds are low...


I'm not one to show hand histories, but if you'd like to check this one out, here it is. Hand #1, bet my AA all the way, and joker bluffed all-in on the turn with his AJ0, no pair, no draw. Yay! Now I have enough chips to fold for a while! LOL

WOW. 99, I raised preflop in late position. 2 callers. Flop 855. Checked around. I bet. 1 caller. Turn, 4. The guy bets all-in (huge overbet). Felt weird. I called. He had top pair, 8's. Blank on the river. I gots me some MASSIVE folding chips now!

I love how Gus is flirting with these girls. I bet Clonie would eat him alive, but this Beth girl...backs down to The Gus-ster.

Love the Negreanu hockey commercial. We need more hockey on TV. It has been great fun watching the Chicago Blackhawks' resurgence. They didn't make the playoffs, but for the first time in years (a LOT of years), the city is buzzing with hockey talk. That's why I fell in love with the Flyers when I moved out to Philly - the city was so in love with them. I could see myself falling for the Blackhawks. Back to my roots, in a way... The Flyers, on the other hand - still hold the keys to my heart. Big game tonight. Flyers are up 2-1 in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. A 3-1 lead tonight would be pretty sweet. Ovechkin is fun to watch, but the Washington Capitals can take a walk. My Fly Guys are on a mission!

It's 74 degrees out. Do you have any idea how happy that makes me? It took 178 days to see our first 70 since last year. (It was yesterday). The record is 185 days. Oy!

It's my weekend now, by the way. Awwww, yeah.

Hmmm, FedEx is here. For me?


Damn, just got sucked in by a guy that slow-played his QQ preflop. I hit TPTK on the flop. Boo.

5 left. I'm 3rd in chips, but we're all about the same.

Thursday's Poker After Dark episode up next. I sure do love TiVo!

Someone told me yesterday I should TiVo a show called UFO Hunters. My mom wants me to TiVo Army Wives. I'll try the latter. Not sure about the former. I like aliens and all, but my TV time is at a premium.

Going for it with 33. No callers. I'm around 9xBB.

Gus and the ladies. Too funny. It's still cracking me up!

Tight table now. Lots of walks.

The love must still be there. Every so often, poker gets my heart racing - even online in a little sit n go.

Bubble time. C'mon, let's get rid of this short stack.

Yes! ITM. And... out! I have a habit of going out in 3rd lately. Not bad for having a hand selection resembling the Sahara Desert.

One more round? Hmm. I need a beverage. BRB.

I hear these knockout SnG's are pretty cool. I don't feel like committing to anything lengthy right now. What does it say about me that I won't even commit to anything longer than a 9 player SnG?

I have poker commitment issues.