Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Assorted Randomness

I gotta keep telling myself that working is better than being unemployed. That being said, my schedule is hella sucky. It's been over a week since I fired up the poker machine, and even longer since I've set foot into my blog-o-tubes. So something to tide you over until I have some poker content to discuss.

Last five naughty Sirius tunes (taken from both Hair Nation and Buzzsaw, all heard in the space of an hour or so)

Slide It In - Whitesnake
Long Stick Goes Boom - Krokus
Girl's Got Rhythm - AC/DC
Big Bottom - Spinal Tap (FTW!!!)
Love Gun - KISS

Funnay picture of teh day:

You've most likely seen the minivans and SUVs sporting those stickers that show how big the family is. Usually represented by stick figures,
or flip flops

But in the parking lot of the train depot in Santa Ana, California, I saw an older Ford Explorer with a slightly different style of sticker.

If you click to embiggen and look closely, you'll see that the characters resemble those seen on signs throughout the San Diego area, particularly in areas where illegal immigrants from Mexico attempt to cross the freeway to avoid the Border Patrol.
What made it fantastically amusing was not that the vehicle was spotted in Santa Ana, a region with a population of probably 60% or greater Hispanics, but that it was actually being driven by a Hispanic!

On the subject of Santa Ana, with this new assignment, I've gotten to see a lot of Santa Ana up close and personal. I walk almost two miles, 3 days per week through downtown and a part of the ghetto (sadly a lot of Santa Ana is ghetto) on my way to the train depot. (Side note, the cabbies don't give a shit either. I usually catch a cab in the morning to make sure I'm on time, and one day the cab sideswiped the bumper on an older S-class Mercedes as he was pulling up to the curb to let me out. I wasn't going to say anything, and the cabbie tore out of there as soon as I cleared the door of the cab...crazy) There's a coin-op laundromat that actually has a bank of washers that are located outside of the building, under a carport! Lots of cops patrolling the area, which led me to a conclusion. If I was going to partake in some sort of criminal activity like drug dealing, running prostitutes, etc., I wouldn't drive a flashy Escalade or 300c. I wouldn't roll in a Mercedes S-class or Bentley. I wouldn't even roll a new Honda Accord. I would find myself a 5 year old Ford Crown Victoria with no markings on it, maybe a trunk-mounted antenna, and no wheel covers at all. Something like this:

The reason I say this particular vehicle is because there are about a million of them running around Santa Ana, some with "California Exempt" plates and some with normal issue plates. They're not all cop cars, but that adds to the camouflage opportunities. In this area, you've got City of Santa Ana (cops, building inspectors, city engineers, housing inspectors, etc.), County of Orange (same plus health inspectors, transit inspectors), Orange County Transportation Authority managers, assorted State of California court and department of justice officials, and a variety of Federal court, Justice, immigration, and so on. So all you need is a car that blends in, and you can get away with murder!

So as I've noted, I'm working for a large bureaucratic organization. One interesting thing I've noticed is the extreme difference in mindset in the government bureaucracy versus a for profit company. In my office complex, when people go into the bathroom, they tend to do their business and be on their way. Occasionally you hear clicking and beeping from the stalls, because people who have their Treos or Crackberries are texting or playing games while doing their business. Fine. Just about every time I go into the bathroom in the government megaplex I work at, either coming or going I come across some guy (always someone different, too) carrying a coffee mug and a newspaper! Break time!!

Finally, a sign of the coming apocalypse. I give to you, the most pointless, most pathetic, most absurd attempt to create a food that is acceptable to both kids and their parents.

Reduced sugar Frosted Flakes. So would that then be called "Flakes?" The whole friggin point is the "Frosted" part of the name. Without that, it's just Corn Flakes with a better mascot.

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

And You Shall Know Them By Their Beer

Patsies vs. My Bolts, the beer edition. Representing the Patsies, Samuel Adams. And in the San Diego corner, Stone Brewing.

Samuel Adams beers are much like the 2007 Patriots. Lots of success (sales), lots of appeal. And here's where we find the disparity.

To appeal to the wimps, the weaklings, and the unwashed masses, they created a freaking light beer!!!

On the other hand, we have Stone Brewing, and their signature beer:

No appealing to the masses here. Just attitude. Pure and simple. I like attitude.

Which beer would you rather drink? Which one asks you whether you are worthy? Which team is going to win?

Go Bolts!!!

GO BOLTS!!!!!!

It's gonna be LEGEN...

wait for it...

oh it's gonna be crazy...


Bill Bellicheater, this is for you.

San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!
San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!

We're coming your way,
We're gonna dazzle you with our super play.
The time has come,
You know we're shooting for number one.
With thunderbolts and lightning
We'll light up the sky,
We'll give it all we've got, and more
With the Super Charger try!

San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!
San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!

We've got a plan,
We're gonna do it for our super fans.
All we seek,
Is the goal line to victory.
We'll ignite you, excite you
With high voltage play.
We won't let up a minute,
We're going all the way - all the way!

San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!
San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!

We're coming your way
With the Super Chargers' play.
We're coming at you.
Now we're coming through!

San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!
San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!

GO BOLTS!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yo yo yo, boyeeeeeeee

This new schedule of mine at work is kind of sucky. No broadband card for the laptop (thanks for correcting me, Smokkee), I spend 3 hours per day, 3 days per week watching surfers dropping in on some phenomenally beautiful waves through San Clemente and San Onofre and I CAN'T GET OUT THERE TO JOIN THEM, and I have to spend what little free time I have at home for inter-tube related stuff catching up on things that would otherwise be taken care of here and there, keeping me off the felt. Of course, if last night was any indication, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Knowing I had just a little bit of time and fresh off a nice double up on my last session, I bought into some micro NLHE. Pretty card zombie, whiffing flops and getting little traction. Except for getting all in with my nut flush against villain's set on the turn, and having the river pair the damn board. So I decided a change of pace was in order, and I jumped into some PLO/8. A couple of times I had that glorious hand of AKA2, double s00ted, and couldn't even hit a low. The one hand I actually won was one of those absurd head-shakers. I had JJ23, and limped from the CO, along with half the table. Flop was AKx rainbow. Check around. Turn was a brick. Check around. River was another brick. Check around and my jacks held. Beyond that, I got felted and left with 4 to the nut flush, and a backdoor flush wheel draw only to miss all of them and lose to a set of 9s.

On a different topic, sometimes life just presents you with a target that is such an easy hit that you almost feel sorry for them. On my way back from a meeting, I stopped in suburban San Diego to get some fuel (some of the cheapest around here, btw, $3.11/gal for 87 octane). There's a brand new, $180,000 Bentley Continental Flying Spur at the next pump island, which isn't an everyday occurrence in this particular neighborhood, but it's not hugely out of place. What made it funny was the two young hooligans that were on the other side of the pump from me. So white they would've glowed in the dark, they were in full-on gangsta mode with their Ecko jeans, ENYCEE jackets, Lugz boots, black NY Yankee caps (backwards, natch), seats reclined, thumping some gangsta rap, out of the speakers in their 2003 Toyota Camry with plastic wheelcovers!Not exactly a '64 Impala or a 2007 Hummer H2. The Suburban Mafia! But the best part was, after putting maybe $10 into their tank, they slow-rolled in front of the Bentley, stopped, and whipped out their cameraphones to get some shots of the apparent car of their dreams. I was laughing too hard to get a shot of them. And make no mistake. I'm a car nut of the highest order. I stop and take pics of cars all the time. But the image they were trying to rep, in the whip they were rolling was just too much to take. So I'm nominating two cars for Car of the Week. The Bentley Flying Spur and the 2003 Toyota Camry...rides for gangstas from all walks of life.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Wish My Company Got Me a Wifi Card

With this new job, 3 days each week I get to spend a total of 3 hours on the train, from San Diego to Santa Ana and back. If my company (who sent me on this annoying assignment in Orange County) really loved me, they'd give me a damn wifi card for my laptop, and then maybe I could actually get some poker time in.

Sadly, my poker time has been kinda minimal. I think I've caught a couple of micro buy-in SNGs, and I just played a little .05/.10 NL just for shits and giggles. No cashes in the SNGs, but in honor of Fuel, I had to show that even here at The Randomness, sometimes Presto really is gold. In the cutoff, I follow two limpers and bring my presto along for the ride. Flop comes down Qh Jd 4h. It checked around to me, and I decided to see a free card. And it is a 5, but unfortunately the 5h, putting a flush on the board. It again checks around to me, and I decide to lead out for a 1/2 pot bet. Everyone folds and I take down a decent little pot.

I did manage a nice little double up in the ring. My table seemed pretty heavy with weak-tight players, and it was pretty easy to make aggression work. And then this happened. I'm dealt AQo UTG+1. I pop a 5x raise preflop and get one caller from LP. Flop comes down TQQ. Boom! I check and LP checks. Turn brings the 6s. I check, and LP makes a pot-size bet of $1.20. I wait until I get the warning beep on the timer, and reraise it to $3.60 to go. LP instacalls. The river brings a worthless 5, and I decide to shove my remaining $1.50 in. For some reason LP calls with this:
It always amazes me when someone calls down a shove while only holding AK. I suppose at least there was a pair on the board, so they weren't just sitting with A-high. So that made up for the couple of SNGs. I failed to cash in two SNGs right after the New Year, so I'm still down for the year (all that time!), but I'm heading in the right direction. Good luck out there, and see ya on the felt!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy Freaking New Year

OK poker peeps, it's 2008. Time to put 2007 behind us. Bad days, bad cards, bad beats, bad governmental agencies, I'm done with 'em. To make sure, I ended 2007 on a losing note (as if you were surprised by that.

First, DAPGF and I went to California's Central Valley to spend time with her family. Like San Diego, there are plenty of Indian Casinos in the area, and mama DAPGF likes to play the slots. So off to Table Mountain we go. Trying to keep the peace, I promised I'd only buy in for $100 at 1/3 NL. And I got nothing. JJ are not ok when two people call your raise and the flop comes down AKx. Lots of smaller pairs that went nowhere, and a few s00ted aces that whiffed the flop as well. The only hand I won was a small pot that my SB J9h hit the J-high flop. I lead out and everyone folded. Big fat pile of meh. After hanging around for 45 minutes or so (when you fold preflop, you don't waste chips...pretty neat, don'tcha think?), I busted and went looking for DAPGF and her mom. DAPGF hadn't won anything, but mama had built $5 on some nickel slot up to $50 while I was doing my donkey impression. Merry Christmas.

And Happy New Year! I'm waiting for DAPGF to get home from a friend's so that we can go out to this 80s party on NYE, so I decided to fire up the machine for some pokery goodness. First thing I jump into is an 18 player SNG on Tilt. Very first hand I get dealt rockets at UTG +1. I bump it to 5x (150) to go. I get reraised 3x to 450 by the cutoff. I say fuggit and shove. CO calls and shows KK. I flopped an ace and doubled on the first hand. Can a brother get a w00t! But that was all she wrote. I just went card zombie. AQc and the flop is all red. TT and the flop is all overs. Just a pile of crap. The only reason I lasted to 10th place was because I doubled on the first hand. But because I was so dead, I looked for another SNG to fire up, just so I'd have something to do. Nothing looked close to filling up, but wait! Red text on a lowly $10 Razz game. So I jump in and find Erik Sidel waiting for it to spin up. Nice guy, he answered questions in the girlie chat, laughed at someone's comments about Helmuth, and generally came off as a fun guy to be at a table with. My cards, on the other hand, were much more suited to a Stud 8 game. A typical hand would be (A2)K, which would obviously give me the bring in. Inevitably someone (half the time, Sidel) would complete and I would call. I'd catch a 3 and 7 which would be enough to keep me chasing, only to brick the last two streets. I bluffed my way into two pots just because I had 4 lows showing, but both times several of them were paired. The best one, though, was (23)A. A couple of us were in this one, and we capped the betting on the first round. My next card was another A. I tried not to raise, but it still got capped. Then I get dealt a 2. Well, let me try to bluff. Again, it got capped. Then I get a 3. Maybe if I lead out on their checks, I can get them to fold. Nope, too much in the pot. Finally, 7th street brings another freaking 2!! So my Razz hand looks like (23)AA23(2). How sick is that? Amazingly, that didn't put me all in. But the next hand with (43)2 did. We capped it on the first round, and after catching a 7 on 4th street I figured I had no choice but to shove. After 4th street, my cards came up (43)27 KK(K). And thus ended Hoff's 2007 poker season. Here's hoping 2008 sees some victory.

Happy New Year everybody! Keep it safe and stay classy everyone.