Friday, August 28, 2009
I used to watch 80 to 100 movies a year but ever since I got a job I can't do that anymore. Now it's a treat when I get to go see a movie. Here are my quick movie reviews for the month of August...
The Hammer - Taped this movie on my Tivo and I wasn't expecting much. Let me just say that I was blown away. Adam Corolla plays a loser carpenter who used to be a boxer. After getting fired from his job he decides to try to qualify for the Olympics. Surprisingly funny. A-
500 Days of Summer - Spoiler Alert: I'm a sucker for a good romantic comedy. Not a crappy romantic comedy like the next movie. Anyway, this movie tells the story of a dude's relationship with the love of his life over 500 days. It's an old concept but it's done with a fresh take. A+
The Ugly Truth - Wow. Not much to say about this piece of crap clunker. There were some funny moments but you know exactly how the movie is going to end from day 1. Katherine Heigl is hot though. C
Gran Torino - Clint Eastwood is a complete badass. In this movie he plays an old racist dude who is coping with the loss of his wife. He reluctantly begins a relationship with the Hmong family next door. Eastwood is great but I didn't know whether to laugh or cringe at the 1,000 racial epithets. Plus, the young boy next door was an awful actor. B
Bonus: It's not a movie but I read the book The Art of Learning the other night. It's written by Josh Waitzkin who was the inspiration for the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer. It's an incredible book - go grab it right now. A+
* I love the idea of a punter trying to hit the Cowboys video board as many times as possible after today's strange do over/dead ball rule. I'm putting the over/under at 19 hits for the regular season. Weigh in with your guesses.
* I heard an announcer the other day call Matt Cassel a veteran. Really???!!! The biggest game this guy played in prior to 2008 was a Little League Game. Dude didn't start a game at QB in the last 7 years. I'm slightly reluctant to call him a veteran.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
My little brother Drew is headed to Nashville to help open up a Chuy's so my Dad hatched up a plan to head to Vegas. To be honest you don't ever need a reason to go to Vegas but it helps to have one.
The flight up was only 4 days ago but I remember almost nothing. 4 days ago feels like 1997 at this point. I only remember that my Dad and I couldn't find the rental car for 10 minutes and once we did we missed the turn to Caesar's Palace 4 times. We checked into the room and got a nice night of sleep for the first and only time of the trip.
BREAK (This is where it took me another 4 days to finish the blog)
I wrote a long post about what happened during the poker tournaments but it was a little long. Really all you need to know is that we all cashed. My brother got 2nd the first night, my dad finished 3rd the second night and had another cash at the Venetian the 3rd night, and I finished 7th the 3rd night for the smallest cash of the trip.
What's more interesting is who we met...let's just say there were a bunch of losers and a few nice guys. If I had a nickel for every bullshit poker story I heard and a dime for every lame-ass poker joke I'd have come home with an extra $15 in my pocket. Poker trips are great but in all honesty there is nothing better than playing online poker in your boxer shorts while eating a pizza pocket. I seriously considered throwing most everyone I met under the bus but I don't have that killer instinct. But I digress...
Anyway, here are some other random things from the trip...
* Sushi Roku was the nuts.
* We passed by the Peter Lik Gallery. Great name for a gallery. I wonder if anyone told him, "You can Peter Lik my balls, capi-tan."
* One of the rare cool poker players I met was the CEO of Who's Your Daddy energy drinks. His name is Dan Fleyshman and he was a pretty damn good poker player also.
* I came up with another great idea. How about a sports bar with over/under prices? For instance a burger costs $6.50 or $8:50. You have to spin the wheel to see how much your meal costs. Or maybe you just spin the wheel after your meal to see how much of a discount you get? You know this is a good idea.
* This week's version of Life's Great Unsolved Mysteries....my wife asked me the other day, "Why are CDs so hard to open while lightbulbs are so easy to open?"
Okay, hopefuly I'll get back to more regular blogging soon.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
* My wife and I went to Lowe's today to get some nails and some other stuff. One thing we really needed was a welcome mat for our backdoor. I wanted a welcome mat that said "Sneak in the Back Door". That was quickly shot down. We ended up with the slightly less funny "Got Dirt?" mat.
* If you want a really bad synopsis of the first 3 Star Wars movies you have to check this out.
* Corey Hart isn't just an outfielder for the Brewers. He's also the singer of one of the sweetest 80's songs ever written. (not that Cory Heart - sicko) I estimate that I've heard the song "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night" at least 1,000 times in my life. It's a great line to use whenever you see a douchebag with his sunglasses on at the bar around midnight. Guaranteed to get a laugh. Or get your ass kicked.
What is even funnier than that you ask? How about the lyrics?! Corey Hart is definitely the winner of the "Best use of the word 'Masquerade' in a song Award". For the full effect please watch the video with the slightly incorrect lyrics in the background (best I could do).
Friday, August 14, 2009
* I've heard of the tramp stamp but this is taking it to a different level
* I'll be watching every NY Giants game this season just hoping to catch a glimpse of David Carr wearing his handerpants. You just know he has a pair.
* The Rockets signed Chase Budinger to a multi-year deal yesterday. He will most likely fight for a roster spot with the Rockets but I'll go out on a limb and guess that he makes the team. He's very athletic (40-inch vertical), he's smooth, and he can shoot the basketball. Budinger led the Rockets in scoring during summer league play which is somewhat similar to being the world's tallest midget. Still, this in going to be a long season and I view Budinger as one of the few bright spots.
* I'm heading to Vegas in 2 days with my brother and pops to play some poker. I played a warm-up tournament today on FullTilt and finished 14th out of about 200 players. That's probably the first multi-table tournament I've cashed in since the beginning of the year. That shows how little I've played. Very sad.
I lost about 40% of my chips late in the tournament. I was in the BB with A6 offsuit when the button moved all in. I was getting 3 to 1 and the button was pretty desperate so I called. He had A4 and after a 977 flop it looked like we were heading for a chop. I got excited when the turn came 5 giving me 15 outs for the outright win. Of course, the river was a 4 and I came within an inch of breaking my monitor. Man I miss poker.
* BTW, Freddy and I are filling in for Dukes today from 3-5. Probably lots of Vick talk. Stream us here.
* I also miss the times when this blog used to get 50,000 page views a week. Now I'm lucky if I get 500 page views a week. But, I predict this blog will make a triumphant return! To do so please subscribe to the blog and click the links. Also, pass the blog along to friends.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Vick doesn't seem likely to see time at wide receiver or running back. With Kevin Curtis, Desean Jackson, and first round pick (#19 overall) Jeremy Maclin on the roster there won't be enough balls to go around at wideout. The Eagles also spend a high pick on running back LeSean McCoy (2nd Rd., #53 overall) who figures to back-up Brian Westbrook. What the hell is he doing in Philadelphia again?
The answer is boring. He's a back-up. A back-up quarterback. Vick may be used in the wildcat formation but at this point it appears that he's an expensive back-up. The Eagles are paying him $1.6 million in 2009 with a club option for $5.2 million in 2010. This tells me that not only is it HIGHLY unlikely that Vick remains an Eagle in 2010 but that Vick may not last all of 2009.
You see, none of that $1.6 million is guaranteed. With 16 games in the season Vick will make $100K a game. The team must be really concerned about Kevin Kolb's knee injury for this deal to have even happened. I wouldn't be shocked to see the Eagles release Vick during the season if he doesn't provide a spark out of the wildcat - assuming of course that Kevin Kolb returns healthy. While McNabb isn't a spring chicken at age 32, Vick isn't far behind at age 28. The average age of NFL quarterbacks from 1995 to 2005 is somewhere in the neighborhood of 29 years old. Kevin Kolb (age 24) has a strained MCL but is listed as day-to-day. He should return in plenty of time for the regular season opener.
Simply put, Michael Vick is a longshot to make an impact with the Eagles this year. The team has too much high-priced talent (McNabb $9.2M, Westbrook $4M) and too much young talent (McCoy, Jackson, Maclin) at the skill positions to find room for Vick. But, this isn't a completely useless opportunity. For one, injuries occur fairly often in the NFL - especially to the Eagles. More importantly, even if Vick doesn't make an impact with the Eagles, a good progress report could get him a starting shot sometime in 2010.
Sure, a lineup of Wafer, Childress, and Kleiza would fail to scare even the Los Angeles Clippers. But, what if Kobe Bryant was added to the mix? He's previously expressed interest in testing the global market. Lebron James you ask? Yup, him too - in fact Olympikos has contacted him. As more and more American players consider heading overseas the NBA is slowly losing it's stranglehold on the world's best players.
Is it a longshot that an elite NBA player heads overseas? Absolutely. The NBA is easily the best and most recognizable league in the world. But, the league no longer has a monopoly on the game's best players. I could argue that 10 years ago the NBA had perhaps 95 percent of the best basketball players in the world. Now the league may not even have 95 percent of the top American players in the world.
There are two main reasons why players are considering fleeing the US. First, a lot of young talent can get paid early because, unlike the NBA, foreign leagues can offer contracts to 17-year old kids. Young players who don't want to attend college for a year can go overseas and start their career early.
Second, many foreign leagues and teams don't have a salary cap. Many teams in Europe can offer Von Wafer a $10 million contract while most NBA teams don't have that luxury because of the cap. (It's also been rumored that foreign teams/countries are offering up American players dual-citizenship.)
This isn't an indictment on the NBA. The salary cap keeps the league competitive but perhaps it can be tweaked. David Stern has made it his mission to expand the game of basketball globally and he's accoplished his mission. Perhaps too well.
Maybe there is no reason for concern. Competition from overseas should make the NBA stronger in the long-run. But with young players such as Brandon Jennings and Jeremy Tyler heading overseas in droves and foreign teams offering huge contracts to mediocre NBA players it seems as if the NBA is staring right into the perfect storm.
The good news for the NBA is that Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will most likely sign an NBA contract. The elite players aren't heading overseas and the NBA is the still the most dominant basketball league in the world. As an NBA fan I hope it stays that way.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I moved to Houston a little over a year ago and I immediately knew something was missing. I had lived most of my life surrounded by friends and now I was in a big city all alone. Eventually I got tired of watching other people find their perfect partner while I sat at home alone. There were some potential companions at work but I knew better than to mix work and play. How was I going to meet somebody?
Last week I finally caved. I woke up one morning and just decided it was time. That's when I went to Craigslist.com and posted my plea:
I am looking for someone to play tennis perhaps 3-4 times a week in the mornings. I'm male/29 - used to be a decent enough player (5.0) and played in college at a DIII school but I tore my labrum maybe 2 years ago so I'm probably a crappy 4.5 or a very solid 4.0 now. I just moved to the Memorial area but wouldn't mind driving 10 minutes to play. I would need to hit before 10am.
I checked my e-mail every 10 minutes just waiting for my tennis soul-mate. Finally, I got the response I was looking for:
Hello, I am Kiran and moved to Houston a week ago. I am a 4.5 to 5 player and looking for some one who is really good. I also had a terrific USTA league season this year in NJ. If you are interested please get back to me ASAP.
Soon, I had my very first blind date. We were to meet at a local high school early one morning to play some tennis. As the big day approached I grew more nervous. On the eve of our rendezvous I bought brand new tennis balls and two huge bottles of water. I made sure to get plenty of sleep and set my alarm for early in the morning. I drove to the courts and I waited...and waited...and waited. Finally, I could wait no more, I was disappointed and hurt. I fired off an e-mail to Kiran on my Blackberry. Did he show up, see me, and then leave? I later heard from Kiran. He gave me some BS about how he was there and didn't see me. We haven't talked since.
I was about ready to give up on my search for an online relationship. But, sometimes you get surprised when you expect it the least. Another player e-mailed me last week and wants to play on Friday. I don't want to get hurt again but if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Wish me luck.
Monday, August 10, 2009
If any NFL team should know about saving trick plays for the right time it would be the Tennessee Titans. Their Music City Miracle propelled them to the Super Bowl where they came a foot from taking out the mighty Rams.
Why then, did Tennessee pull out the coolest fake punt play in recent memory in a freaking pre-season game? Sunday night was the Hall of Fame Game between the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills. It was the first preseason game of the NFL season - really it was a pre-pre-season game. Everyone was watching. Fans, players, and, of course, coaches. That play may well still work in the regular season or the playoffs but the element of surprise is now completely gone. As a Texans fan I guess that's a good thing. As a fan of seeing the improbable happen at the perfect time it's definitely a bad thing.
* I just got done checking out about 50 'Rock the Mic' videos on our website. It's weird watching the videos because these people could conceivably take my job one day. Still, it's pretty damn entertaining. If you don't mind pissing away 30 minutes of your day check it out.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
More good stuff...
* I think one of the dumbest things about baseball is that the managers wear uniforms in the dugout. Of all the major sports baseball is the one in which managing matters the least and yet these d-bags get all dressed up in full gear as if they are going to pinch-run at some point. Still, you gotta hand it to Braves' manager Bobby Cox. If you are going to look like a fool at least go all the way (#4)!
* Speaking of baseball how about them Washington Nationals! About a week ago I looked at the standings and they were 32 and 72. In other words if they won their final 58 games they would be 90 and 72 - in one guy's estimation not enough to make the playoffs. But, after a nice little run the Nats have won 8 in a row. Just 50 more in a row and Jimmy Rollins and the Phillies will be sweating a little bit.
* I'm getting pumped for fantasy football season. I'm not sure if I'm more excited about the draft or coming up with different team names. In one league, inappropriately named Big Dick Circus, I've decided to name my team The Jonah Falcons. I will be taking ideas for my other upcoming team names.
* Some more useless information about 'Cars':
- It was released in the UK just one month before I was born.
- The singer, Gary Numan, married a member of his fan club
- Numan thinks he has a mild form of Asperger's Syndrome - he may just be an ass
* I heard another ITT Technical Institute commercial the other day while riding in the car. Not this one. I always assumed that ITT stood for Institute of Technology but I never really figured out the 2nd 'T'. I also got really confused about why they needed to tack on 'Technical Institute' to the end. It reminded me of when people say they need to go to the ATM machine. So, I brought this up to my wife and she immediately tracked down the answer for me.....
ITT stands for International Telephone and Telegraph. That means the school is called the International Telephone and Telegraph Technical Institute. Or ITTTI.
* I headed to Minute Maid Park today to catch the Stros/Brewers game. I called in ESPN's Sportscenter Sunday show twice with updates from the game. I thought it was pretty cool to give updates on national radio to over 400 affiliates. The Astros even won the game - a rare feat these days.
* The wife and I are cooking dinner tonight for some guests. Okay, the wife is cooking dinner and I'm trying to stay out of the way. I got my hands in some raw chicken and I think I washed them. I'm now typing on my computer so I really, really hope I washed them. Can computers get salmonella?
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Miley Cyrus will end up in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. It may not be this year, it may not even be next year but I guarantee that at some point in her life she will end up in one. Sure, I'm not exactly going out on a limb here but I never said I was Nostradamus. Miley's creepy, gravy-training father should be ashamed of himself.
* I'm just discovering that I'm not a big fan of snow cones. Or...is it sno cones? This website has it spelled both ways?! That's not the point. The point is that I just don't like them. You just get a bunch of ice, crush it up, scoop it in a cup, and then pour a shitload of syrup on it. People are supposed to pay $2.75 for that? BTW, my wife absolutely LOVES sno(w) cones. She made me take her to this place Mam's in Houston and says it's the best.
* Also, I find it strange that the spell-check caught 'sno cones' but let 'shitload' slide. I feel like I don't even know you spell-check.
* Yes, I used to be totally obsessed with Saved By The Bell. So did you. Maybe you didn't watch those crappy spinoffs but whatever. I'm super pumped for this alleged reunion. First off, let me say that it...would...be...awesome! Tiffani may be super-busy but I'm fairly certain we can work this out. Apparently everyone is pissed off at Dustin Diamond. We definitely need Screetch in the club though. Can't we all just get along?
Friday, August 07, 2009
I was the guy to go to for brackets. I passed out the brackets for March Madness, I came up with the draw for our ping pong tournaments, and I even took 3 months drawing a 'Super-Bracket' with 1024 places. In my super-bracket I filled each slot with a friend, relative, actor, athlete, superhero, movie character, or historical figure. Once all the 1024 slots were filled I flipped a coin and if it was heads the person on top would advance, if it was tails the person on bottom would advance. It took Rosie O'Donnell 10 coin flips to eventually win my super-bracket. I would have preferred a different winner but the coin doesn't lie. No, there was no purpose for my super-bracket.
I reason I tell you about my obsession for brackets is because I am coming up with a bracket of hate right now. Basically, the draw has 32 spots for 32 people in my past that I hate. I am not the sole voter - a bunch of my college friends are involved in the voting process but I am responsible for coming up with the bracket. Do I feel like an immature punk? YES. Will I discontinue the bracket making process? NO. There are consequences for being a douchebag. Deal with it.
* My little brother Drew is moving to Nashville, TN in less than a month. He's gonna help open up a new Chuy's restaurant out there. This will be the first time anyone in my family has lived outside of Texas for an extended period of time. It will be kind of weird not having my bro around but when you want to spread the word about great Tex-Mex food there are sacrifices that have to be made. I am currently working on a going away party. Kind of like a California gangster-style - you know what I mean? Kick ass party.
* There are some big changes on the horizon for the radio show. I can't elaborate but it's going to be great news for the station and myself. I'll add more details in the coming weeks.
* Lisa Lampenelli is about to come in studio and record an interview with Carl Dukes. This chick is absolutely nuts! She'll be at the Verizon Wireless Theater tonight.
* Update: Lampenelli dropped a 'colored' bomb in the first 30 seconds of the interview. I don't envy Carl's producer Julie. She is gonna have to spend about an hour cutting up this interview.
...until next time
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
And, of course Beltran is on the DL right now for the Mets. With New York being out of the race I would have expected Beltran to shut it down for the season. According to him that's not going to happen. After taking outfield practice yesterday Beltran said that his knee bothered him twice, but with much less pain than before....
Beltran ran 6 mph in a pool? Was the pool f*#@ing empty? I'm going to have to blow the whistle and throw out my bullshit flag on that one. I may not be as fast as I once was but I would have trouble running 6 miles an hour on flat ground for an extended period of time. On a side note, wouldn't this be a sweet reality show? Out of shape radio hosts vs. elite athletes in different competitions. The only catch is that we give the athletes major handicaps. I think this could work. When I'm the head of my own studio I'm going to have lots of sweet shows to work on....and one kick-ass movie.
* The Astros called up Bud Norris last week and he made his first start over the weekend. The kid was an absolute beast as he took a no-hitter into the 6th and finished with a line of 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 5 Ks, 4 BBs. It's an outstanding debut but let's temper our expectations for this guy. The walks were a problem in the minors and you can't continue to walk a batter every other inning in the majors and get away with it. Unless, of course, you are 2008 Daisuke Matsuzaka....I wrote 5 cheesy Budweiser lines but then thought the better of it and erased them. You can thank me later.
* I sat for the GMAT over the weekend - nice to get that out of the way. Now I have to fill out applications which is even less fun then taking a standardized test.
* The other day I found this website startalie.com. It's not as cool as it seems - you just make up lies about the bottled water industry. I think we need to start websites like this for everyone though. Startalie.com/BillBrasky - did you know Bill Brasky once shared a bath with Bruce Jenner?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Other Random Thoughts:
* When I was a kid I always wanted to have designer clothes like all the cool kids. I was a spoiled punk and I would bitch and moan if my mom ever tried to buy me clothes from a discount store. Well, my last 4 pairs of jeans have come from Target. I am equally proud and ashamed of myself.
* The World Series of Poker starts airing tonight on ESPN starting at 7 CST. I'm pretty excited to watch some new episodes. I can only watch poor Jean-Robert Bellande get beat on the river so many times.
* Roger Goodell conditionally reinstated Michael Vick yesterday. Amazingly, no one seems to know exactly what that means. Vick could play as early as week one but Goodell could also choose to rescind his reinstatement. Personally, I think Goodell is just trying to screw with everyone. I think he's sitting at home laughing his ass while everyone tries to figure out what the hell is going on. For the record, I seriously doubt Vick plays any meaningful snaps at QB this season.
* Texans' wideout David Anderson stopped by the Dukes show yesterday. He is an extremely funny dude. Anderson relayed a story where he was out with some of his teammates when an attractive young lady came by. Upon learning the guys were members of the Houston Texans she asked everyone what position they played. When she got to DA she asked him what he did. I guess she didn't believe that a relatively short white guy could play professional football. Anderson responded that he plays the piano at Nordstroms. That's funny for so many reasons. If that was me I would be telling everyone within earshot that I was a pro football player but I guess those guys get so much action that they need a challenge.
* BTW, Anderson called her while on the radio show and asked her out. When she questioned why he sounded weird he said he was on speaker phone. She later said she would go out with him.
* My friend has one of those Garmin Nuvi things. There are so many possibilities for this device. I imagine an advanced edition sometime in the future that actually imparts advice to the driver. This can be a good thing but there is also a possibility for disaster. Here's an example:
You decide to take your family to a water park one weekend. On your way past a gentleman's club your Garmin Nuvi 9000 chimes in, "Mr. Dean, I think you missed your turn. 87% of the time you turn left. Crystal shows up for her set in 20 minutes."
Thursday, July 23, 2009
- Every Poker Player
You've no doubt heard that phrase or something similar if you play big time tournament poker. It's a popular phrase mainly because it's true. In a big tournament like the WSOP Main Event it can take up to 100 hours if you are lucky enough to win the tournament. On the flip side you could be knocked out on the very first hand.
So, the question then becomes - when do you quit trying to just survive and when do you go for the win? It's an odd question with no real answer but I think it's worth discussing now as the November Nine may be asking themselves the same thing.
Many of you may be thinking, "I always play to win." To an extent that's probably true. No one plays the World Series Main Event without dreaming of winning the first place prize money and bracelet (not to mention the fame). But, the fact remains that survival is vital in tournaments with huge fields like the Main Event.
From personal experience I'd say that usually once I made the final table of a tournament my mind set changed. This isn't always the case - I've played to win with 15-25 players left and in one tournament I waited until we were heads up before going for the kill. There are a lot of factors to take into account when deciding whether to lay back or to pounce.
* Prize Money - Some would argue that strategically this shouldn't matter. Those people are wrong. Players should always be aware of pay increases especially in tournaments like the Main Event where the money can potentially change your life. Even if you don't pay attention to the prize money you should know that your opponents likely will. As a general rule, players probably play tighter when the prize money gets larger. But, as we saw at this year's Main Event, when amateur players get to a certain pay level they often play with 'nothing to lose' and loosen up a bit.
* Stucture - The blinds and antes will obviously influence everything you do at the poker table. The structures of WSOP Final Tables are usually slower than those of WPT Final Tables. Players usually play faster and with more gamble when the structure is faster. Again, this isn't a hard and fast rule but it helps to think of extreme conditions. If you have 10,000 BBs at a final table you would be dumb to get all in without the nuts. Conversly, if you only have one round before you go broke you should look to get your chips in the middle quickly before blinding out.
* Your Opponents - You're fooling yourself if you think all eyes won't be on Phil Ivey when the Main Event resumes in November despite the fact that he's only 7th in chips. Again, thinking of extreme examples, if you are at a final table with 8 chimps you should probably wait until you have an absolute lock hand before committing your chips. If you are at a final table with 8 pros you may figure that they are waiting for you to go broke. Gambling it up could prove to be your best option in that scenario. The fact that pros would rather not gamble with unpredictable players was encapsulated in David Sklansky's fabulous book Tournament Poker for Advanced Players.
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to just survive or to go for the kill. Of course, this may be a gradual progression. Rarely does a specific event cause a player to immediately flip the switch. Also, there are some players who probably disagree with most of what I just said. Michael Mizrachi is one player who plays to win from the first hand of a tournament. He likes to attack the big stacks hoping they will make big mistakes.
I am intrigued by this subject because I've had my fair share of disappointing final tables. I often wonder if it's my decision to flip the switch which has doomed me at final tables. Truth be told if I never showed up at my 7 final tables I'd almost certainly have more career prize money than I do right now. Sometimes you see the light at the end of the tunnel and it temporarily blinds you.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Okay, so in my dream my friend Joel pops up - I haven't seen this guy in 10 years in real life but apparently in my dream I really want to be his friend. How bad do I want to be his friend? Bad enough to go on a game show where Joel is going to choose someone out of 20 contestants to be his best friend.
A couple of things: 1) I realize that if Joel reads this he could/should file a restraining order against me just based on this dream and 2) This dream game show sounds shockingly similar to that crappy Paris Hilton show.
Anyways, on the show there's this kid named Corbin. I don't know anyone named Corbin nor do I know whose face it was in the dream. Corbin's mom apparently has cancer and his one wish was that pictures of her didn't get out in the public. It's never revealed why.
Anyways, everyone has to tell Joel why they should be his best friend and in the dream I spend a painstakingly long amount of time trying to convince him. I take so long in fact that he rolls his eyes and walks off. I'm not even cool in my own dreams. This is a new low.
At the end of the dream everyone stands on a diving board. 19 of us get to jump in the pool but one person gets kicked off the show (this was actually kind of cool - a reality show should adopt this concept). Luckily I survive the cut and get to jump in the pool.
Corbin was not so lucky. He had to pack his bags and didn't get to jump off the diving board. Guess what? Pictures of his mom got put on the internet also. We all felt bad and consoled him. Then I woke up. Dreams are stupid.
Other Random Thoughts
* My wife called me up today to tell me she's signed up for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I was skeptical and after some prodding she told me she's going to walk instead of 'race'. I quipped that by walking she's sending a bad message. Sure, she wants to find a cure for breast cancer but she's not exactly in a hurry to do it. To ensure that I don't go directly to hell I also signed up. The Houston event is October 3rd - do your good deed for the year and sign up here.
* TMZ is going to release the Lebron Dunk video tonight. Can I just say that TMZ is the absolute BALLS. I used to think this site was for chicks but they've been on fire over the last few months. They dominated the Jon & Kate + 8 stuff, broke Michael Jackson's death, and now this?!
* I'm taking the GMAT in 10 days. I really thought my days of taking standardized tests were over. I'm absolutely fascinated with the GMAT. You take this test on a computer and the computer adapts to your ability. If you are doing well the questions get harder and vice versa. It's very humbling. I'll be applying to business schools in the fall but wouldn't attend until fall of 2010 at the earliest.
* I went to Chick-fil-a the other day and the lady at the counter called me 'Buffalo Sauce Guy'. I guess she knew my order down cold since I go there so often. I wasn't even remotely offended. Chick-fil-a rocks. Just think what she'd know about me if they were open on Sundays.
* I went to Austin last weekend for a buddy's wedding (not Joel). I got lots of great recommendations for places to eat. I ended up dining at Trudy's and Mellow Mushroom but thanks to all my Twitter peeps for recommending great places. Sorry to my Austin friends - I didn't get much time to hang out.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
* With that being said, I do have an idea to spice up the action. Why don't we have those useless ring girls actually do something? I think having ring girls ride a mini zamboni-type machine that cleans up the blood between fights is a genius idea. I can't think of any downside to this.
* Sports betting in Delaware is almost a done deal. The NFL is none too pleased and they are trying to stop it in the Delaware Supreme Court but by all accounts it's probably going to happen. 3 other states currently have sports betting. Give yourself 1 bonus point each if you guessed Montana, Oregon, and Nevada. Subtract 5 bonus points if you thought Las Vegas was a state.
* Wayne's World isn't often brought up when talking about the classic comedies of the 90's but it still holds a place in my heart. All this Delaware talk made me nostalgic.
* Tony Romo allegedly broke up with Jessica Simpson. Reports placed Romo at a club just days later surrounded by a bunch of dudes. Don't get too excited Cowboys fans - I still think Romo will be in a relationship within 2 months. Romo is just like Vince's sensitive manager Eric ('E') on Entourage. The guy can't enjoy being single - he has to be in a relationship. Someone needs to shake Romo and let him know he's an NFL quarterback!!!!! I vote for Matt Leinart.
* While we're on the subject - who's next on Romo's Hit List? First Carrie Underwood, then Jessica Simpson. I'm taking Kristen Bell from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I'm going away from the music theme but she's small and blond and way too good for him. I'll be taking suggestions in the comments.
* The MLB All-Star Game is tonight. Count me in the minority of those who think playing for home-field advantage in the World Series is a good idea. Did you know that before 2002 the way they determined home-field in the World Series was by whether the year was odd or even? Seriously, in odd-numbered years (1991, 93, 95...) the American League got home-field and the National League got it in even-numbered years (1990, 92, 94...). Give yourself a bonus point if you knew that.
* A quick point on Albert Pujols. I'm not so irresponsible to say he's on steroids. But...the dude has legs the size of tree trunks. He was the 402nd overall pick in the major leagues in 1999. That means major league teams thought there were 400 better baseball players. Not overall. But THAT YEAR!!! That would put him as somewhere around the 3,000th ranked baseball player in 1999. By 2001 he was the Rookie of the Year and now he's by far the best player in the game. We're supposed to believe he went from the 3000th best baseball player in the world to the 1st without any help? Count me skeptical.
* My wife suggested that we order Domino's pizza the other night. I can't understand why you'd want that cardboard trash when there are so many better pizzas out there. I thought maybe that it's because Domino's Pizza is cheap. Nope, Pizza Hut is almost the exact same price for a 14 inch cheese pizza. My argument isn't that Domino's is bad. Pizza is rarely bad. But, why wouldn't you want to order pizza that is actually good? While we're on the subject I want to throw a random shout-out to Steel City Pizza and Greek Tony's Pizza in Spring - both are amazing.
* Almost 6,500 players began the WSOP Main Event and just 64 remain. There are plenty of pros left but I'm rooting hardest for Phil Ivey who already has racked up 2 bracelets so far in the WSOP. I think it would be great for poker if a 'brand-name' professional won the tournament. As for me, I haven't played a major tournament in over a year but that may change in August. Stay tuned, more details to follow.
* I won a $30 gift certificate to Glennz Shirts the other day. I know the days of the 'funny' t-shirt have come to a close but the creator (Glenn Jones) is really talented. My favorite shirt is Prize Catch but it's out of stock in my size. Bad Luck.
* My Streak For the Cash is at 3 and I got a lucky break today when I picked the wrong women's tennis match. The Streakmaster didn't 'lock' the game so you could have changed your pick all the way until the match was over. I picked the wrong player AND I wasn't smart enough to change my pick but ESPN stepped in an canceled the pick for everybody. I'm going with President Obama getting the ball to Pujols tonight at the All-Star Game. Don't let me down Obama!
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
To be fair, most of those 500 players had an opportunity to sign up early and chose not to. 2,500 players got seats yesterday compared to only 873 players on Saturday. Still, that's not the point. To turn away 500 potential players is another black mark on a game (sport?) that has had enough black marks over a past few years.
Maybe it's the nature of the beast but poker is disorganized. No other sport or game would allow this to happen. At the very minimum you could set up an entry deadline for players who don't satellite into the tournament. Even most local marathons have an entry deadline.
Make no mistake, the World Series of Poker Main Event is a marathon in it's own right. It's a tournament that lasts 2 weeks - then breaks - then 9 players return 4 months later. It's a tournament that requires a lot of coordination and I commend those who work to pull it off. With that being said, any tournament that pays out $8.5M to its winner should care more about organization than pleasing its players.
The bottom line is that by allowing players to choose what day they play the tournament prize pool is now short about $5 million dollars. I can think of about 10 solutions to this problem off the top of my head. No doubt, some of these solutions would cause more problems than they solve and its always easy to play Monday Morning Quarterback but it doesn't take a genius to have foreseen a rush of players on Day 1D. Turning away 500 poker players has to be the absolute last option.
Without going through what Jeffery Pollack and company could have done months in advance I want to talk about what they could have done in the last few days. For starters, why not call up another casino? Logistically this would have been a disaster but I can't see it being any worse than turning away $5 million. The Rio, Harrah's, and Ceasar's are all owned and operated by Harrah's Entertainment. I would think that by Sunday tournament officials could have predicted an overflow of participants and could have made some calls.
A second solution would be to add a fifth day to the Main Event. Are there some problems with putting players at a competitive disadvantage? Absolutely. But by letting players pick their playing day the WSOP Main Event obvioulsy has pushed aside those concerns anyways. I would think the backlash from a Day 1E would be a lot more palatable than the backlash from turning away T.J. Cloutier, Brandon Adams, Mickey Appleman (who had played in 30 main events), and about 497 other poker players.
Poker needs leadership. In my opinion poker needs a pro tour. I know the PPT failed but without a professional tour I think the game will stagnate. There needs to be official rules, official tournaments, official cards, official start times, official tour dealers, etc. To be honest, I'm surprised something like this hasn't happened before. Poker grew exponentially in the mid-2000s and the game has been slow to react. Perhaps this snafu is just what the game needs to right the ship.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
You've all known someone who has bitched and moaned about how hard it is to workout. That person may have even been you. The response usually given goes something like this, "It gets easier the more you do it!". And, while I can do without the cheerful exclamation point, that is generally correct. The more you workout, the easier your workout gets. The problem, what I like to call the workout curse, is that the exact opposite is also true. The less you workout the harder it gets. And therein lies the rub.
If you are confused right now you are forgiven. I haven't even gotten rolling yet. To explain the workout curse let's use a hypothetical gentleman to help explain things. Let's say Mark is a 30 year old guy who used to be in decent physical shape until he quit sports in college and learned to drink (damn you vodka redbull!). Mark gets married and finds a job and before he knows it working out gets thrown to the wayside a bit. At some point our hero decides, "Enough with this! I'm going to start working out."
At first, the workouts are predictably tough. Mark's body aches in places he didn't know existed. 20 minutes feels like a lifetime. Mark does some rough calculations and sees that he burned about 250 calories. Sure, it doesn't seem like a lot but that's 2 beers! As time goes on the prognosticators were right, working out does get easier! Mark builds his workouts to 30 and then 40 minutes per day. He begins to get into a routine and even starts to hit the gym 3-4 times per week. One strange side effect is that he starts to eat healthier despite himself. Every time he goes to grab for a beer or a slice of pizza he calculates how many minutes it would take to burn that off and often decides against it. 3 months after his initial foray into working out Mark has lost 10 pounds and feels great. He's going to the gym 5-6 times per week and burning at least 800 calories each time he's there. Where's the problem?
The problem comes the first time Mark gets sick, or misses a day, or has an appointment, or goes out of town. Not working out probably is a shock to his system but a part of him likes it. Whether Mark wants to admit it or not, this little break from working out is nice. I mean, he's been busting his ass for 3 months! The dude could use a break, hell, he deserves a break! Mark thinks, if I'm not going to workout then why not eat some decent food. Watching all those calories means he hasn't had fast food in over a month! That needs to be remedied quickly. Bring on the sausage croissanwich!
Only after this little 'workout break' is over comes the dreaded realization that a much tougher workout awaits. Sure, when Mark first started working out 20 minutes and burning 250 calories was acceptable, but now? That almost seems pathetic. So what does Mark do? Does he suck it up and start back at the beginning or even somewhere in the middle? No! He thinks to himself, I'll wait until Monday and then I'll get back into my routine. Yes! That's perfect, I'll start the week refreshed and rededicate myself.
Of course, we know what happens. The expectations Mark set of going to gym 5-6 times per week for an hour at a time seem like a distant memory. It's just too hard now that he's taken some time off. He should step down a level but pride gets in the way and time moves on. The less you workout the harder it gets. It's the workout curse.
3 months later and those 10 pounds are back and they may have even brought some friends. Mark eventually gets back to that point he was in way back when 20 minutes at the gym and 250 calories burned sounds like a lot of work. But, he decides to suck it up and start all over again. Now he's gasping for air while his fingers cramp up.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
But this isn't a fantasy baseball blog. No, this blog is about obsession. Check the title. Sure, right now I'm add/dropping Jack Cust but next month it may be something else. Some people may ask if you can be obsessed with more than one thing at a time. No, no you can't. Some of your likes can later turn into obsessions but what is it that keeps you awake at night? That, my friend, is your true obsession.
When I examine my past I come up with a long list of obsessions. I've been obsessed with baseball cards, tennis, handball, poker, brickbreaker, hsx, video games, monopoly, free cell, streak for the cash, and disc golf just to name a few. That literally took me about 10 seconds. I can become obsessed rather easily.
So, what will be my next obsession? What should be my next obsession? Could it be fantasy football? Sure, it's just around the corner and I've definitely been obsessed with that in the past. Could it be twitter? I like it but I doubt it could consume my thoughts. Could it be this blog? Anything is possible - I was obsessed with my blog once upon a time. All I know is that one day I'm going to wake up and not check my fantasy baseball teams. I'll hold conversations without daydreaming about steals. I'll go to sleep and not see fastballs in my dreams. It'll happen - I just don't know when.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
1/1/xx: Original deposit - $100
1/2/xx: Make $5 wager on a bowl game...and WIN (20-3)! Now at $104 + change
Rest of January: Mostly $5 and $10 bets with some modest success - now at $130
Early February: Bet on silly Super Bowl prop bets and make $2.20. Vow never to take crazy chances again - now at $132.20
2/9/xx: Lose $20 at blackjack before I figure out the perfect system!... - now at $110
2/10/xx: Decide to bet $1 on blackjack. If I win - I quit - if I lose double up until I win! Win first hand - now at $111
2/11/xx: Do same thing. Win first hand. Decide to do this 5 times. Have one close call but win my $32 hand - account at $116
End of February: Despite many close calls I run my account up to $400
3/15/xx: Bet $25 on all #12 seeds in March Madness and win 2 of the games - combine this with a nice run at blackjack and I'm at $675
4/8/xx: Bet $100 on Nashville Predators and lose...in overtime - what bullshit - fucking hockey is a joke - account $584.30
4/9/xx: Slightly peeved about pissing away $100 the night before I bet $50 on a hand of blackjack. Before long I'm down to around $300. I bet it all on one hand and get blackjack! Play a couple more small hands and get up to $800. Lose a couple of hands for $20 when the computer/dealer hits 16 gets a 5 for 21 and beats my 20. I reluctantly shut off computer and bemoan my bad luck. Account - $740.12
4/25/xx: Decide to get back on the horse and find an amazing game called Caribbean Stud! This is the easiest game ever invented and I can't believe no one has figured this out. I can win with 7-high if the dealer doesn't qualify!!!!! Account - $905.84
5/2/xx: Starting to lose a little on Caribbean stud. I once lost 7 hands in a row but I just tripled my bets and got most of it back. I find a Caribbean stud strategy sheet online! I can't believe how smart I am! How dumb is everyone who plays without a strategy sheet? Morons! - account - $804.24
DAY OF RECKONING:
7:30 pm - I lose a first half over/under on a WNBA preseason game that was supposed to be a fucking lock - minus $100
8:00pm - It's Caribbean Stud time! I start betting $100 a hand and run it up to $1213 after hitting a straight! Time to quit for the night.
8:02pm - Screw it - I decide to play just one more hand and I lose $100. This really pisses me off.
8:03pm - To get my money back I start betting $200 a hand. I lose 2 in a row.
8:04:48pm - Now I'm desperate - I bet my last $700 on blackjack. I have 19 and the dealer is showing a 4!!!! GODDAMN COMPUTER DRAWS TO A 21. WTF???!!! This shit is rigged. My account is empty. I turn off the computer. I can't pull myself away though as I stare at the blank screen. Why couldn't I have taken out $1500? What a moron. That is it for me - seriously - no more betting.
8/29/xx - Deposit $100 - Start of college football season!!!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I tell you this because it's so freaking cold in the studio that I can barely think. In fact, everyone that enters the studio comments on the cold. Ironically we have a thermostat in the studio! Unfortunately, the thermostat is always turned up to the top (90 degrees - yeah right) and it doesn't seem to work.
Really, the only thing anyone talks about in the studio is the cold. Maybe there is some small chit-chat about life but then back to the temperature. Our daily conversations usually include many if not all of the following 10 questions:
1) Is this a legal work environment?
2) If so, can we sue?
3) Who can we contact to fix the A/C?
4) How hard is it to fix the f*#@ing A/C? (We've been bitching about this for almost a year)
5) What reason is there for keeping the studio this cold (Sometimes we hear it's because of the equipment - I say that's bullshit)
6) What do you think the actual temperature is? (The guesses range from 30 to 60)
7) Did you press the button? (See #8)
8) What does the button do? (There is a button on the thermostat that 'allegedly' doesn't do anything - the urban legend is that by pressing it repeatedly you can make the studio warmer)
9) Can we open the door? (We assume that the warm air from outside will come in)
10) Can we close the door? (Anything to change our luck)
I'm tired of wearing a jacket to work in June. Other people stare at me. I welcome all suggestions on how to warm up the studio. It gets so cold that I will often go to the restroom where it's 75 degrees but smells like stale urine. Please help me.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
On Monday I decided to drag my ass out of bed and check out 'The Hangover'. I'd heard mostly good things and after it's mildly surprising box office domination I knew I had to see it for myself.
Minor spoiler alerts ahead
Plot: A regular old dude heads to Vegas with his 2 best friends and his soon-to-be wife's brother for a bachelor party. Things just get a little crazy.
Sounds simple enough. I don't want to ruin too much of the movie but basically it plays out like a watered-down version of Old School. This is not entirely a bad thing. Old School was the best comedy of 2003 and you could make a case that it's the best comedy of the decade. Sure that's a large statement but when you come home drunk from another night getting shot down at the bar what movie do you pop in? I usually go with Superbad, Grandma's Boy, Wedding Crashers, Old School, Made, Supertroopers, or Old School. There are other films that are solid such as 40-year Old Virgin, Harold & Kumar, Van Wilder, and, of course, Zoolander but I would say that Old School is at least in the discussion for most rewatchable comedy of the decade. But I digress...
The Hangover is so obviously written for the original characters of Old School that, for me at least, it was distracting. The acting was good and the movie was very funny but I couldn't help but wonder how much better it would be with Vaughn, Ferrell, and Wilson.
Now time for the major spoiler alerts.
Bradley Cooper/Phil: This was obviously Vince Vaughn's character Beanie from Old School. Phil is a complete dick who is always pushing the envelope and getting the group into precarious situations. Bradley Cooper plays Phil as more of a ladies man but much like Beanie in Old School, both characters are married with kids and, despite ample opportunities both characters don't cheat on their wives.
Ed Helms/Stu: The parallels are obvious here as well. Stu was molded after Will Ferrell's character Frank from Old School. Stu is stuck in a relationship that isn't right for him. He's a mild mannered guy around his wife and even his friends. But once Stu gets some drinks in him he does a complete 180. Stu loses a tooth, Frank goes streaking.
Justin Bartha/Doug: This is Luke Wilson's character Mitch from Old School. The boring/nice guy of the group. Bartha adds nothing to this character and is the weak point of the movie for me. Fortunately, he's not in the film very much. Doug is about to get married and live the suburban life with his new family which is freaking loaded. Much like Mitch, Doug still has some friends from earlier in his life that he's obviously outgrown. But, for some reason both Doug and Mitch stay loyal and let their friends attempt to ruin their lives.
The best parts of the movie were courtesy of the character Alan played by Zach Galifianakis. Alan is probably mentally disabled and also a little bit crazy. This would have been the perfect addition to the Old School crew and he works perfectly in this movie. I could see Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, or Jack Black playing this part with the original Old School crew. That isn't to say Galifianakis isn't great - he is - part of me just wishes this movie was called Old School 2 with the original cast back.
Overall I give the movie a B+