Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The one in which we live up to the title of the blog...

I apologize for not posting for a while, but with the internet Nazis around my company, it is difficult to find time to even email in a post (not that I’ve figured out how to do that or anything). That and it’s been kinda busy around Casa de Hoff. Combine working late with trying to hit the gym after work, helping DAPGF with computer issues, and just doing the odd spring cleaning crap that needs to be done, and I’ve barely been on the computer at all. So I apologize for the scattered and cluttered, and dare I say random(?) nature of this post. Lots to say, so here we go.

Well, my earlier success at PLO8 definitely did NOT carry over to Hold ‘Em. I was just having a craptacular run at 3 SNGs, bubbling in one, and going out far too early in the other 2 (8th and 7th). To make matters worse, the NLHE vibe carried back over to Omaha, where in 2 successive 10 player SNGs, I busted out in 10th! Both freaking times!!! So Hoff decided that staying off the virtual felt for a bit was a good thing. I can feel the itch (and not the one that goes away with Preparation H, or so I’m told), and I expect to be scratching it later this week, when DAPGF is teaching.

Last Tuesday, I had to go out to the Imperial Valley (desert area east of San Diego and directly north of Mexico, where the sand dune scenes on Tatooine in Empire Strikes Back were filmed) with 3 of my coworkers to work on several projects we have going out there. Now, my company may have an internet nazi thing going on, but they still take really good care of the employees. At my old job, I had to drive my own vehicle from the office to job sites. I received an auto allowance that actually did cover my car payment, but I was still putting almost 36,000 miles per year on my truck. At my new company, I can choose to drive my own car and file an expense report for mileage reimbursement. But if I so choose, the company will rent me a car. So because there were four of us going, and we had all of our laptops, plan rolls, boxes of PR trinkets, etc., we wound up with a 2007 Ford Edge crossover SUV. I drive a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and I’m perfectly happy with it. I must say, though, I was extremely impressed with the Edge. It’s not too big, but still has a 265 horsepower V6, and even with all of us on board we could still spin the tires on pavement. It handled the rain and wind very steadily, with no real problem from cross-gusts (and Weather.com had the winds at a steady 30 mph with gusts up to 60 mph) or loss of traction. More importantly, the thing was super comfortable. The seats were very supportive, and the rear seat actually reclined to about a 45 degree angle. And I’m 6’3” and I even had room to cross my legs while in the back seat. There were lots of little places to store things, and the stereo was great, with Sirius satellite radio, MP3 capable 6 disc CD changer, and the all-important iPod jack. The only issue I noted was that when you folded down the rear armrest and opened up the integrated cupholders, it didn’t leave a comfortable surface to use as an actual armrest. Beyond that, the thing had great power and still managed to average almost 19 mpg, with a full load of people and crap over mixed driving ranging from 90 mph to bouncing along over farm roads and desert trails. If you don’t need a 7 passenger vehicle (Trip, I’m talking to you), it’s a great choice, starting in the high $20s, and going up to the mid $30s for the loaded model. And if a Ford isn’t luxurious enough for you, Lincoln sells a version called the MKX. Same basic body, same engine and transmission, uber-pimped interior. Definitely worth a look.

Saw the movie, Black Snake Moan, over the weekend. Of course the stupid radio movie reviewer guy starts off his review with, “the only things that Black Snake Moan has in common with Snakes on a Plane is the word “snake” in the title and Samuel L. Jackson.” Har har har. That being said, it was actually a really good movie. SLJ shows once again what incredible range he has, starting off being publicly dumped by his wife, for his brother in a diner. From there he ranges from tender and scared to forceful and full of tough love for Christina Ricci’s character. Going from being forceful with her to prevent her from hurting herself more, to being embarrassed at having to ask a lady who likes him about getting women’s clothes and medical supplies, to being a wailing bluesman who tears it up in a deep south juke joint, such incredible range. And Christina, yes it was strangely sexy, watching her chained up in SLJs house, wearing just a t-shirt and some panties, but she really put on a performance of her own. Her character ranges from a loving girlfriend, to a sex-addict who is more than willing to take the abuse to satisfy her craving, to a beaten victim who is trying to still show that she’s tough while trying to accept the care that SLJ is giving to her. And even Justin Timberlake’s performance was decent. I’ll admit, as a non-fan of boy bands, it was fun watching Justin Timberlake play a wuss. Probably the most ironic part of the movie, there are many people who sing (and Samuel L. Jackson can freaking wail!), but Timberlake isn’t one of them. All in all, very edgy and rough, and definitely worth a watch.

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