Monday, March 26, 2007

It was a good weekend...

Sez me…

I see by my StatCounter statistics that traffic has pretty much died off here at Teh Randomness, which I’m not happy about. The big hurt was the troubles over the summer and fall of 2006. Being laid off really sucks and kills any motivation one might have. That being said, my new job (which I love, BTW) doesn’t make it easy to keep up my posting/lurking/commenting schedule as before. When the CEO/Owner of the joint sends out a company-wide email saying that personal intar-webby use is verboten, AND that our corporate IT-nazis have managed to install IP tracking software on all of our machines over our intranet, it really cuts down on the desire to spend a bunch of time with Blogger open. I am trying my first post via email, so if this works, I can at least keep posting my worthless thoughts for the few of you who still lurk or subscribe. Also, I’m trying to set aside more brogging time, time to read what you degenerates are saying and offer my worthless comments. Basically to let you all know that I’m alive and still here. Finally, my computer seems to have died. After replacing the power supply in a slim hope that it was the problem, I’ve determined that my motherboard is probably fried. Big. Fucking. Meh. So posting and lurking have been really cut down, I can’t access my iTunes and music library (can’t install anything on the work laptop without IT overlord approval), all of my pics are stuck in hard drive hell (was getting ready to move everything to Flickr)…generally it’s a big pain in the ass. At least I’ve got the Stars and Tilt clients installed on a thumb drive, so I can still play a bit of pokah…

On that note, online poker has been a mixed bag. Every step forward gives me two back. The Tilt account has been decimated, and the Stars is hanging by a thread. After I do something about my computer, I’ll probably buy an All Access Visa debit card and reload Tilt. Still, I’ve been holding my own. The micro-buy in 18 player NLHE sngs and the 3.40 10 player PLO8 sngs have been my thing, and I’ve been playing well enough to hit the bubble most times. All I can do is keep grinding.

Live poker, on the other hand, seemed to be working for me. The Tres Sombreros home game has been on hiatus for a while. We had a few people get bounced out of the gang due to some outside influences, and our house with the kegerator has been unavailable due to Gato becoming a father. So Gato, Troll, and myself decided to head up to Pechanga on Saturday to get our poker on. Given family budget issues, we decided to keep it somewhat light and play the 40/80 NLHE table. My play wasn’t spectacular, but I left the table up. At one point I was up by about a buy-in, after dragging a huge pot when some poor schlub rivered a straight against my boat. When all was said and done, I cashed out up by a half buy in. I know that’s nowhere near the levels of Miami Don or Pauly, but considering my live casino play is at most a couple of times per year, I’ll take it. The poker room there is very nice…plasmas with basketball recaps and CSI on, and right outside the room was the line for their nightclub, Silk. Those of you who know So Cal (Speaker, Change, Smokkee, Veneno, etc.), know that the Inland Empire is the poor stepchild to metro So Cal. Think Stateline/Primm Nevada vs. Las Vegas. Still, Silk has apparently become the hot spot for the Temecula Valley, and the talent that was standing in line was impressive. I saw more ass cheek hanging out the bottom of tight-ass short dresses than I really should have. So while I’m standing in line for a couple of beers, this much older, rode hard and put away wet type of woman drags her boobs across my arm. If I’m going to cheat on DAPGF (which I’m not), I’m at least going to do it with someone who is hot! Gato and Troll were sitting at the table watching me, laughing their asses off. When I finally got back, Gato said I should’ve taken her out to the parking lot. I told him that I wouldn’t have fucked her with HIS dick! So all in all it was a good night.

The rest of the weekend was pretty good, too. Basically spring cleaning, and I got a major task accomplished. I’m a pretty bad pack rat, and I’ve got several of those portable Rubbermaid file boxes full of old credit card statements, car service records, paystubs, etc. Or rather I HAD several of them. I managed to go thru everything and get rid of everything that wasn’t 2006 or 2007. Yes I had stuff going back to 2002, and I did keep all of the tax stuff as far back as I could find, but I cleared out so much crap that I was able to get everything into my desk drawer, where it actually belongs! W0000T!!!

Finally, mad props to Hoyazo. As you know he made the WSOP last year, only to get busted by Joe Hachem. He set out to win a buy in this year on Full Tilt, and last night he did it! He played one of the bracelet races with a $2k prize package, and with Smokkee and others railing, he pwned the fucking thing! Once again, that boy is en fuego and setting a really high bar. Congrats, amigo!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Teh one in which we quote Jimmy Buffet

"I know it's my own damn fault." I got greedy and it cost me a bubble. PLO/8 10 player SNG, we're 4 handed and I'm in the SB, in 4th place with 1600 in chips. Blinds are at 75/150. UTG and button are both in the 2500 -3500 range, and BB has the rest. I'm dealt TT35. UTG and button call, I complete and the BB checks. Flop comes down T44. w00t! Floppin' da boat! I check, BB min bets, UTG and button fold and I wonder whether I raise, shove or fold. I decide to be greedy and just call BB's bet. Turn comes down J. I check, and BB bets out 450. Instantly my heart sinks, and I just know he's got a pair of jacks. Still, I can't get away from my made boat, so I shove. He calls and flips over his JJTx, and Hoff is the bubble boy once again. I readily accept my donkaliciousness, and admit that it was my own damn fault. Although I don't know whether BB would've folded if I jammed on the flop. Given that he had an overpair to the board, and he was a big stack, I may have been screwed either way. Meh. Das poker.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

We are currently experiencing technical difficulties...please stand by

I know I haven't posted in a while, or lurked by several of my favorite blogs (many others have not been hyperlinked besides in the sidebar due to a Blogger-imposed link limit...apparently they've decided that I am not allowed to provide that many links in one post). I apologize. Teh Randomness has been experiencing some technical difficulties, and we are attempting to resolve them. Please bear with me...

So. Tuesday evenings, DAPGF teaches. That is my night to do things that don't require (and are frankly better without) the presence of DAPGF. These things involve mainly the gym after work, and various computer activities (blogging, poker, finding crazy/amusing old videos on You Tube and such). I knew I owed posts to you fine folks, as well as wanting to get my poker jones on, so I was looking forward to Tuesday and the expected frivolity. So Monday evening (3/12) I put the computer into sleep mode before I put myself into sleep mode. Because of the internet nazis at work, I try to check my personal email at home before going into work, so I figured a quick boot was preferable. Tuesday morning, I woke up and hit the power switch, waiting for the standby blinks to go solid and my noisy little box to spring to life. Well that didn't happen. The fan made some noise, but that was solid lights, no signal to the monitor, no power/signal to my wireless keyboard and mouse. After powering it off, powering back on a couple of times, I gave up and went to work. By the time I got home, it was completely power lights, no fan, nothing. So I hopped onto my new favorite website, Tech Support Forum (nerd alert!!! These guys rock! Super helpful on any number of different tech/computer related issues!) and dropped a couple of posts. Several people chimed in, all leaning hopefully towards the Power Supply Unit being dead, but expecting my motherboard to be completely fried. Wednesday I bought a new PSU and installed it...nothing. Yep, the board is fried. So I really had minimal computer access this week. I'm only able to blog now because I've got my work laptop tied into my home network. Any port in a storm. I'm missing my many gigs of mp3s, but at least I'm able to hop online.

Tuesday was also DAPGF's birthday, so I spent most of last weekend and Monday getting things ready for that. We went out to dinner on Saturday, and I got her gifts on Tuesday. I won't divulge the details, but it was all good.

I actually did get my poker jones on, Wednesday night, but it was less than satisfying. A 45 player NLHE SNG. Top 7 pay, I went out in 8th. An 18 player NLHE SNG. Top 4 pay...I went out in 6th. A 10 player PLO/8 SNG, top 3 pay. I went out in 4th. I am Bubble Boy! Still, it was good getting to play some. Way back when, I'm glad the question came up about running poker clients off of a USB thumb drive. I've got Stars, Tilt, and Royal Vegas on one (had Party, too, until the pulled out). Our internet/IT nazis at work may be able to prevent me from installing such frivolous things as Winamp and Full Tilt on my work laptop, but my thumb drive lets me beat the system and stick it to the man! Game on!

Anyway, tech issues are an impediment, but I'm still going. Stay tuned for further updates...

Monday, March 12, 2007

A little of this, a little of that...

Not a lot of poker content. As I noted previously, I decided to stay off the felt for a bit, to try and move past the beatings I took earlier. Still, a couple of nights ago I decided to hit a couple of SNGs and see where I was standing. As it turned out, I was standing at the bottom of a big hill. In my first SNG (PLO8, 10 player), I raised up preflop with the ever popular AA23 double s00ted starting hand. Because it was early, ¾ of the table hung around, and saw a flop of AK9 rainbow. I was UTG and figured I’d check my set, and everybody checked around. Turn was another 9, giving me aces full and eliminating the low hand and any flush draws. I figured that people would likely check again, so why not bet the pot. Everyone folded except MP, who flat called me. It’s hard to tell with early PLO, but I figured that this guy was on a set of 9s, a draw to broadway, or maybe 9s full. Hell, at that point I figured he could’ve just been on AK for top 2 pair. The river was a K, upgrading me to the nut boat. I bet it up, and MP shoved. What does he have? AK for the 3rd nut boat? K9 for a different boat? Maybe 9s or Ks for quads? I just wasn’t sure, but I was pot committed at this point, and with aces full of kings, I couldn’t fold that hand and I called. He flipped over his KK, and IGH in 10th. So I quickly dismissed that for the craptacular luck that it was and jumped into another. This one didn’t go as poorly as the first one, but it didn’t go well. Basically I was card zombie. 3 different times I was dealt AKA2, double s00ted, only to have the flop come down 89T, or 449, or some other such pile of crap that completely missed the hawesomeness of my hand. End result, I got no traction, didn’t chip up worth a damn, and bubbled out in 4th. The last one was a $1 18 player NLHE. It went pretty much the same as the PLO went (except for no low draws, natch), not getting many cards, not getting much traction. Fortunately, the big stack (who had been a luckbox of CJ’s caliber) managed to let me into the money. Two of the shorter stacks, one above me and one below, both shoved preflop. Big stack, who had them covered significantly (10k vs. 1200 and 800), called both all-ins. 1st guy turns over AA. 2nd guy turns over KK. Big stack turns over QJ. And the flop comes down AKT, and Hoff is in the money! Shortly thereafter, I shoved after flopping top 2 pair on a QT4 flop. Big stack calls, and flips over his pocket 4s, and his set sends me home. Big. Fucking. Meh.

I went to the gym the other day, unfortunately without my mp3 player. I’d taken it out of the bag to load up some new tunes (it’s old, and only 256 mb…give me a break), and didn’t get it done. So I figured I’d listen to the tunes they piped in (from some service like Music Choice or one of those). When I walked in, they were on a basic rock tip, and I listened to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” and AC/DC’s “Back in Black” while I was getting changed. As I entered the gym floor and headed to my ab cruncher bench, “Stop” by Jane’s Addiction started up. OK. All good tunes for pumping up a workout pace. And here’s where things went weird. About a minute into Jane’s Addiction, someone switched channels over to a pop channel. Not really happy, but I figured the tempo of the music would keep things moving. The first song kinda did ok…it was by Jessica Simpson (I think) and had that hook from “Jack and Diane” by John Cougar. I hate it when decent songs get corrupted like that, but at least the song had a reasonable tempo. The next one was some breathless-sounding girl doing a very mellow and slow cover of “Send Me An Angel,” which was originally done back in the 80s by (I think) Real Life, and sounded a lot like “Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring. The original version of “…Angel” had a good tempo, with its Eurotrash beat, but this sounded like somebody whispering over a keyboard wash. The sound system isn’t great at the gym, but I couldn’t really tell if there was anything providing percussion. And the one after that was an equally mellow-sounding version of Firehouse’s “Love of a Lifetime,” which itself was a far too mellow hair metal ballad. I didn’t think that song could’ve gotten more mellow, but I guess if you take the electric guitars (even the ones without distortion) away, it puts you to sleep. At that point I just tuned it out and did my workout. I’m not sure what really happened, but as the timer counted down to zero on the elliptical trainer, “Root Down” by the Beastie Boys came on. I’m not sure when someone grew a pair and switched over from the sappy, sleepy crap that had been on, but I sure wish it had been sooner. As it is, I will be loading up the mp3s tonight…I’m thinking Stormtroopers of Death (Speak English or Die), Disturbed, Linkin Park, Dokken, Ratt, Iron Maiden, maybe some Beastie Boys and Ludacris, and maybe Pantera to round out a nicely energetic mix.

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 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.