Tales From The Main

Snapshots of small town life - zany characters and our neverending poker game.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Back in Training

Some recent events have caused Carol and I to take a small step back and evaluate some lifestyle choices. Without going into details let’s just say that we have some habits that we are not happy about – both from an example setting perspective as well as a health point of view.

Rather than make grand plans to change the world overnight we have decided to take some baby steps towards a healthier lifestyle. The first order of business is to eat a bit better. It’s not only a good thing for ours and the kid’s health – it’s also a money saving plan. The strategy is for me to plan the week’s meals – and Carol will buy the groceries to meet the menu. No more scrambling to figure out supper at 6:00pm and then caving and ordering pizzas.

The second strategy is to cut back on casual drinking. We’ve found that the presence of wine and beer in the house is, surprise surprise, causing us to drink it. The solution to that problem is to give up buying alcohol for home use. We’re not going to be foolish and decide to quit drinking – neither of us is an alcoholic by any stretch – but not having it around will cut back on the casual glasses of wine or beers on the patio that were becoming a little too much of a habit.

The final strategy is to pump up the exercise regime a bit. We’ve been playing sports and working out for years – it’s just that the last six months have found us not doing as much as we were in the past and the results have shown – at least on me. Not to be a cliché but my goal is to drop 20 pounds putting me back where I was this time twelve months ago. I have a feeling the first 10 will melt away just from cutting down on the frosties so I am giving myself two weeks to lose the first 10 and then another month to drop the last 10. Check back in often for progress reports. Gut check today – 204 pounds. (My goal is actually 180 but 20 pounds sounds much more attainable than 24 )

Friday, May 12, 2006

They stole my idea! – Well not really.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I find ideas pop into my head on a regular basis. One idea that I had was just validated by Skype – the internet telephone company that was bought by Ebay for billions of dollars last year.

Skype is now launching Skypecasts – essentially a platform where you can invite a group of people to an online town hall meeting. Great idea – I had a better one 6 months ago.

My idea involves allowing everyone to join the town hall by videoconference. Looking at your computer screen you would see a mass of little ovals – each one with a static picture of the participant. As the floor recognizes someone to speak – their oval swells and the video feed goes live so everyone can see and hear the speaker. Other neat touches would include a shout down function – enough listeners hit their virtual boo button and the speaker gets hustled from the podium; perhaps a vote or secret ballot function to help in translating the talking into action; and of course all the other collaboration and archiving features that are commonplace in forums these days.

The real key though is the ability to bring together geographically dispersed groups of like minded people by giving them the ability to organize and customize the experience. As to the $64,000 question – we make money by selling the information we mine.

Yeah yeah, weak business plan. Perhaps we just sell ads through Google like everyone else.

A big apology goes out to my hundreds of dedicated readers – I have been negligent in updating this little bit of the blogosphere lately. For those of you interested in the dark, degenerate poker side of life I have managed to sneak in two sessions over the last couple of weeks. Let’s see. Thursday last was a blah kind of night. Close enough to break even on the night to not matter much – and beyond that no interesting hands or confrontations. That is with the exception of Doctor Frank. I believe the words ‘social retard’ were directed in his general direction. He immediately jumped up and demanded satisfaction in the parking lot – which to his surprise his tormentor was more than willing to give. A quick trip out – bing bang boom – game continues apace.

Last night was a bit of a different story. We played short handed almost all night. The only time the table filled up occurred when two young guys sat down – with $20 each as a bankroll. I knew they weren’t long for the action when one of them warned us that he had been playing lots of online poker as practice – and that he would try and take it easy on us. He busted out in the first hand – and not on a bad beat.

We settled at a core group – Doc, Sarge, Bboy, Smiley and myself. Lord Fop was also in – he made an impression on me the last few times we played hence his elevation to named status. He is an older guy with a clipped English accent and a way of wearing a golf shirt with a little style. If you squint you can see the cravat and smoking jacket just dying to come out of the wardrobe.

The action was pretty light. I lost a bundle when my pocket aces were cracked by a King high flush – and another bundle on a failed attempt to bluff another King high flush off of a pot. Apart from that I played quite well. Interestingly enough the big hands that I made serious money on were hands like 5-4 (boated up), 5-2 (drew an A to 5 straight on the turn), 6-2 (hit trip sixes on the flop) and 10-2 (two pair on the flop). Hands were I won the pot – but with no action were AA (flopped my set of aces – everyone folded to my half pot size bet) and 66 (flopped a set and rivered quads – only got $15 out of the hand). If nothing else my opponents should learn not to let the big blind see a free flop!

The single biggest hand of the evening came against Lord Fop. I found KQo on the button. A good player – who had just sat down a few orbits ago – made it $10 to go UTG. Lord Fop to my right called and I decided to see the flop. It came out K 7 4 with two clubs – just about as good as I could possibly ask. The good player had only just started playing and didn’t have much of a stack – Lord Fop had about $100 back. Good checked and Fop forcefully put $20 into the pot. The way he bet, and evidence from a couple of previous hands, led me to believe he was on a draw and was just trying to by the pot. I debated for a second and then pushed my chips in. Good insta folded and Fop stupidly decided to call. Sure enough he had two clubs – and the turn and river blanked for him as they would be wont to do. I was able to drag a nice pot – and bust the Lord for the evening.

Hours Played 8 (two sessions)
Net winnings +$185
Hours Played 149
Year to date net of expenses + $4051.00
Hourly rate + $27.18

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Monday, May 01, 2006

When the going gets tough . . .

Honestly I’m not too sure what to write today – I just had the urge to commit virtual pen to virtual paper. I guess I’ll start with some good news – I booked another order on Friday bringing my fiscal year to a nice close. Now I can look forward an entire year before the stress begins again. I also started my exercise regime in earnest. My plan is to ride to work (or home from work) while Carol does the other leg of the trip. Luckily we work in close proximity to each other (and live at the same houseJ) so this should work out quite well. Check back with me in 2 months for a progress report. For the record my starting weight is 199lbs. Goal – 180lbs. Shouldn’t be too hard as I was at 180 only six months ago. The extra twenty is a combination of a subsidized cafeteria, virtually unlimited expense account and the fact that I quit going to the gym right around six months ago!

No poker update for today – at least not the cash game type. I did get an email from Party Poker informing me that they had kindly donated $20 to my dormant account. OK says I. So I logged on and played about 40 minutes of short handed $25 no limit. I now have $70 in the account. Time to retire!

I do have a stressful meeting coming up this week . . . I need to go to Jan and Peter’s school to give a speech on what I do for a living. I suspect I should focus on the company I work for and what they do. I have a feeling that explaining the strategic investment of corporate R&D resources on appropriate projects may not excite the kids too much. Since my company is involved in designing high end television and graphics chips I’ll stick to cool pictures of chips and leave out all the boring finance and legal stuff that I actually spend my time on.

That’s it for now – perhaps next blog I’ll post an excerpt from my new novel.