Monday, December 25, 2006
Well, to all of you who thought I would die in the black hole, sorry to disapoint ya. The Chiefs took it to the Raiders and have a chance to drop into the playoffs a little bckwards with a win against Jacksonville. Scratch that. Jets won and they got nadda of a shot. I think if the Jets loose to the Raiders (pfft, right) the Chiefs might have a shot to win in, but I won't cross my fingers too hard. HOWEVER!! The Saints have locked up a spot for the first time in years!! What a GREAT year for my boys! Hell yes. This will be the year someone gets decked for calling me a bandwagon fan...I'm fairly sure of it. Saints v. Charger Superbowl. You heard it here first!!
Pics from the Raider/Chief beating. Hint: They ain't friendly or happy with a 2-fer team!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Its a run to do the Holiday Hello thing and catch up with my family which is scattered all about. I'll be meeting my brothers up in NYC for dinner and maybe a show after meeting Philly Piggy's parents and seeing her old stomping ground (rooting grounds? Who knows...) with a trip to Atlantic City with her Mom worked in there. The its off to Missouri to meet up with my Mom, visit my little otter and maybe get down to see dad or over to see the crew in KC. I try to stay flexible on these things as holiday travel can be anything but predictable most times.
I know I owe a London write up, I'll try to work on it on the plane. I'm backed up on real work so that will take precedence. Hope this helps everyone keep up with Waldo.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
London has been great but I am a little to tire to get into it now so expect and update soon with pictures (I took a lot!). Don't forget to check out the WPT Website The guys from Life's A Bluff have been made their official web comic! Go do the clicky-clicky thing and make sure that they stay on! Its in the lower right hand corner...go now!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
So the World Series news is old but I've had some busy days recently and havn't had time to update the old BLOG. Great news for St. Louis on the tail of being voted the most dangerous place to live. yeah murderers from East SI-EEED.
I'll be hopping a plane to London on business soon. I'll be gone a couple of weeks so I expect the Piggy to be happy and partying with her friends in the mud hole. I'm snaking in some pleasure and sightseeing along with the business as it is my first time there. Wheeee! Rack up another country for old Uncle Traveling Matt.
Monday, October 23, 2006
I try not to get too worked up...I really do. I usually fail as I am little too passionate about things. I was willing to get past the pine tarring accusations until I heard KR's response that it was just "a big ole clump of dirt...I washed it off". What kind of dirt is shit and caramel colored and leaves a visible yellow residue after being washed off? Either admit to it or tell us you didn't wash you hands after the bathroom ran out of TP. Man.
OK, I have to get back to work but this had to get out there.
GO CARDS! ROLL SAINTS!!
PS -- I am in two outter hell. Knockouts both days on the incredible 3% turn cards. But again, I think I'm handling it well. Nothing is broken in my car, house or card room! ;)
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Old news as of today, but I have been a little busy. I could not, however, resist this Seinfeld reference. Tonight's win makes me feel GREAT! (Tiger pun attended) Still a soft spot for D-roit as to my years on the T-ball and little league team of same name, but screw that, CARDS IN '06 BABY!
The Bay 101 Open 1K Spread Limit Hold 'Em event was today. I played with JJ Lieu, last years top female points finisher (Card Player Magazine) for most of the event but was busted in 87th place when my Aces were cracked by Kings when the two-outer hit on the turn. (For the un-initiated, that means there were two cards left to help him and the 4th card out of 5 was one of them.) Big 2K is tomorrow so off to bed and victory for me now.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Ninjas and Pirates of the Bay Area are planning a retaliation.
My brothers, now is the time for every WALDO' of the world to UNITE!! From the fabled book character to that poor nerd in the Van Halen Video "Hot for Teacher." November 11, 2006!!
Monday, October 16, 2006
Well, the Chiefs embarrassed themselves in Pittsburgh this weekend. As a friend of mine put it "they found out that the Steelers could wake up and remember they were a SuperBowl team and take it out on someone." Why not last week in San Diego then? Damn. But, I am happy to note that my new pick for NFC Champion...the New Orleans Saints, are now 5-1 after beating a formidable opponent in the Philadelphia Eagles. Since this is Piggy's team, it made for some cold conversation, but I can woot and cheer all I want on my blog! WOOT! CHEER! ...ah, who am I kidding.
The Bay 101 Open Players Points freeroll kicked off the Bay 101 Open Tournament series this Sunday. Yours truly finished 6th taking home a nice prize package but falling a few short of my goal of a big win or at least a seat in the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star in March. But, I still have a few months to shoot for that. Big games this Saturday or Sunday so if you have any lucky objects, rub them for me. If you have any voodoo dolls, please take the pins out!
GO CARDS! by the way. If last night's shellacking ties it up, the Cards have a LOT to prove as they head back to New York to stomp down the Mets shot at the World Series. I will admit to having a secret hope for the Detroit Tigers after my years of suffrage on jr. teams of the same name. Rawr.
Friday, October 13, 2006
While it only happened once, it did give me a chance to write that headline. To be honest, I think he was on to me, but had no hand whatsoever and had to fold. But James is so good, you can't tell when he's acting, on screen or at the table. (Yes, that is a complement.) What....OH! You want an explanation. Geez.
OK, so last weekend I shot down to LA to play in a few of the Big Poker Oktober tournaments and interview some of the regular players in the Live At The Bike webcast high stakes game for www.lifesabluff.com while I was there. This was also a warm up for a few big tournaments I have won my way into locally, the Bay 101 Open Player's Points Freeroll, the Oct. 21st 1K event and the Oct. 22nd 2K event. How the hell else can I afford to fly everywhere, visit everyone and send out Christmas gifts to all you wonderful people?
A few bonuses happened along the way, unfortunately, one of them was not me winning the tournament. I only played one tournament. It was an expensive one and the bad luck that kicked me out was palpable for about a 3 table radius. But, I kept my chin up and kept it fun and light. Brooding leads to bad play and besides, ya can't win them all. What this DID do is end up putting me in a cash gam on the casino floor with none other than James Woods and his darling girlfriend. Both quite excellent players. I left the game up 150% from my buy in, so I was a happy man at 3 a.m. but not nearly as happy as the fellow who left up about 5K or Mr. Woods who was probably sitting on a couple extra grand. I'll have to tune into his new TV drama "Shark" (sleazy defense lawyer turned tricky prosecutor) to see how he does there. He's planning to appear at the Bay Area's big event, the Bay 101 Shooting Star and we joked that we'd see each other at the final table. At least he did. He can watch me in reruns on TV next year.
I got an interview not only with the team of Live @ the Bike fame (all of these faithfully transcribed by Piggy, the darling) but also poker pro and fast rising star Kenna James. What most impressed me was his work with the Wounded Warrior Project and I knew that I had to get him on tape for an interview. Kenna is pleasant, jocular and took time for an AMAZING amount of people from pros and well knows (Jerry Bus, James Woods etc.) to people from his old playing days in LA. A class act. Look for those write ups.
Well, fast forward to me surviving a late night drive back up the state and you get to where I am now. Itching for this weekend and the Bay 101 Open freeroll and next weekend and the big events.
Hope you enjoyed hearing about this little poker romp. Cheers big ears!!
Monday, October 02, 2006
OK, so that intro line sucked. Pardon me I'm mostly deaf and tired from a late night rock concert last night with Shine Down, Rob Zombie and Godsmack. For those of you who don't know them, just skip down a paragraph. I had a GREAT time at the show and Piggy concurs (http://phillypiggy.blogspot.com/) that Uncle Rob stole the show. Godsmack did a hell of a job, but the Zombie Army isn't one yo want to compete with for stage presence. I don't know why the hell I waited this long to go to a real hard rock show. THROW A GOAT UP AND SAY HELL YEAH!!
So, the Chiefs awoke from a slumber and went spare on the lowly 49ers, fresh off their beating by Philly (I witnessed it and put an old-man-stomach-punch-hoodoo-curse on the Niners apparently) and they get Arizona and fresh faced rookie QB and Hilton Boy-Toy Matt Linert next week. Ahhhh, the joys of finally having a soft scheudle and a concious QB. Look for them to go big again next week. Also, look for me to die somewhere around December 23rd as I will be at the "Black Hole" in Oakland in full Chief Gear for that ass kicking as well. More details later.
The Saints played a hell of a game Sunday but could not stop a recently re-gelled Panther's squad at home. One escape and run by DeShaun Foster and a slow 3rd quarter left the Crecent City Boys huslting to the end. They did it with some beautiful play (Colston will be a home town hero), guts (beautiful 2 pt. conversion) and gaul (A deep onside kick they failed to recover) but I still expect them to remain on top of the NFC South all year, just cause I said so! ;)
Hope everyone has a great week. Wish me luck as I sojurn to LA to push my luck at the Bicycle Casino's "Big Poker October" event. It is running along side the start of a big event in Vegas so I'm hoping the overlay will be nice and the competition thinned out! More money for the "bail me out of college loans" fund.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Well, until the Saints arrive at the Super Bowl at least. Anyway, last night's 23-3 victory by the Saint's in their return to the Superdome may not have been an offensive clinic, but I won't argue with the results. The Crescent City Crew eliminated the advantage of the most prolific athalete in the NFL and his crew with crushing defense and a non-stop, sprit filled effort from every team memeber. I have no doubt that Atlanta will do well this year, but the Saint's showed that when they are playing at the top of their game that they will be VERY difficult to shut down this year.
3-0!!! Can you believe it! I watched the whole thing at a place called the Royal Exchange on the Embarcadero here in the Financial District. There were a couple other Saints fans in attendance, but it was mostly me, Piggy and two aquantinces from work chowing down, drinking up and roaring for the team. Man, it was amazing from the first series to the final gun.
Congratz Saints! And roll on!!!!!
EDIT NOTE: Apparently, it was the best game ever in a sense. ESPN reports that it is the most watched cable show of all time. 11.8 share and 10.8 million homes watching!
Monday, September 25, 2006
So it was a really good weekend. I started off by getting up WAY to early on a Saturday for my sojourn down to the Bay 101 Casino to play in the poker tournament that they hold there on Saturday. Its now the only one in town and starts at OH MY GOD o'clock so it keeps the pretty hardcore in attendance. But hey, as a workin' man, I have no options. Well, luck was with me as well as some crappy cards (how is that good you ask? well, trust me, it can be) and I ended up splitting the first place prize and heading home quite a bit heavier in the wallet. Even though I had the chip lead I gave up a $50 jacket for the chance to to loose a couple thousand. I thought it was smart. My usual style was stunted as I saw almost zero decent hands and played only 2 before the first break (won them both) and 5 after that break (before the final table) that weren't my unraised big blind. Thankfully, I won them all due to a tight table image and not getting run over. At the final table I took my only bad beat and was left literally with a single $5K chip and a chair and battled my way back to have the chip lead at the finish. As usual, it was noted I was having "too much fun" being happy and generally good natured about the whole experience, but I figure if you aren't having fun, you shouldn't be there. Besides, smiling scares people a lot more than frowning most days. (I could go in depth here but since my audience is mostly family and friends you probably either get it or don't care.)
Sunday was more fun as we went to Monster Park to watch the Eagles and the Niners as mentioned below. Besides being fairly ghetto, this was a great place to watch the game and it was nice and sunny in our seats so I got some late summer sun and generally had a good time. Most of the fans were cool as we discussed how much better the Niners were getting even though they were loosing from the starting whistle (almost literally, the Eagles scored in their first three plays from scrimmage) except for one old crotchety bastard that happened to be sitting right in front of us. He seemed to take offense at every cheer for the Eagles and every comment from "good play" to "ow! you have to catch those" and was spending most of his time calling his home team "pukes" and "losers" and being pretty damn negative. Not that I didn't participate ein a little tet a tet with our grumpy old Niner fan, but I'd have to say the initiation of violent behavior was all on him. In the second half, Frank Gore fumbled on the goal line and a 330 lb. lineman scooped up the ball and ran the length of the field for an impressive touchdown. Needless to say, Piggy and I and every other Eagle fan in the pace (of which there were many) went absolutely nuts! During this process, a little beer splashed on old growly and I immediately offered him some napkins ans to buy him a beer with my apologies, but he seemed to take it as intentional and stood up demanding that I move, shut up, go to hell and fuck off in no real order. I tried to laugh it off, dissuade him, get his friends to corral him and ignore him and finally told him to shut his geriatric ass up and watch the game before he got us both thrown out. His response, apparently was to punch me in the stomach when I was looking at his seatmates for a little help. It didn't hurt, I laughed "did you just hit me?" and that didn't make him much happier. By this time his buddy returned and sat him down and about the whole section apologized for him being a jackass. If it wasn't so surreal, it might have put a severe damper on the day, but as it stood, I still had a great time. This did not stop him from getting off a "menacing" final message to me as he left with him team down about 30 points eluding to "meeting me in the parking lot" and "showing me just how geriatric his ass was". I waved him on and later thought it funny that he wanted to show me his ass in a parking lot...but it is San Francisco. (OK, I'm going to hell for that.) Perhaps the "geriatric" comment was out of line but he was half my size and weight and I don't think he realized how close he was to taking a trip over the top rail if he started anything. I get in the wierdest situations.
Anyway, besides a rabid nearly 60 year old half-badger half-fair weather fan it was a killer day and Piggy and I really enjoyed it. The old fantasy football league and KCoL Pick 'Em Football is going great too, so if you are playing, keep up the good work!
Friday, September 22, 2006
Well, as a half-birthday suprise for my favorite Piggy I Craig'slisted (I think that is how they write it out here) a pair of upper level tickets to this weekend's Niners/Eagles game. While she is the Philly superfan (The sudden prospect of Philly in double playoffs does my job for me at home, let me assure you.) I am pretty enthusiastic about this game A) Because its Pro Football and B) Because both of these teams that were duds last year are looking like equally matched STUDS this year. It will be interesting to see if Alex Smith, Antonio Bryant and Frank Gore can penetrate the defense of the Eagles and if McNabb, Westbrook and Stahlworth (Ex-N.O. WR) can nail it down on the road. The NFC East will be a tough one this year, so I know every win counts for them.
Lets see, other updates:
1. The IRS will try to charge you twice. I paid a refigured tax estimate for 2004 a year or so back and the IRS decided I needed to be tracked town aobut it today. It caught me on a bad day and I really blew up (scaring my entire apartment complex I'm sure) but I had just finished paying quarterly tax estimates on the lines of about 7 grand that week and did not want to see my meager bank account depleted further by our "screw the middle class" tax system. When I calmed down and called them a few days later, they noted they had "researched further" and found that it had been taken care of. Real confidence inspiring huh? What if you sent that stuff to someone that was broke and suicidal? A shame you didn't look in the "paid" or "unpaid" checkbox before sending out more forms to validate your job's exisitance. On another note, a parential "oopsie" still haunts me as the SS Admin dosen't want to help me change my birthday back to its correct year. Crazy guys think I want to be older.
2. Vegas again. Nice corporate meeting in Las Vegas. Henderson, actually, at the lovely Green Valley Ranch property. If you havn't seen Vegas lately, this is part of the new face. Its not 3.99 prime rib and cheap glam. They are world class and they expect you to pay for it. Sure, there are a some old standard "trailer park" properties but revamps like Green Valley are showing of massive pool complexes, multiple tiers of top end resturants and lounges and entertainment that is no longer "where it goes to die" but people making serious fiscal decisions to set up regular gigs in Lost Wages. They are a Station Casino property, known for middle of the road places that were "acceptable" on most levels but have taken a Wal-Mart-esque approach to setting up bigger and better ourside of the city limits. GVR and Red Rock being their top spots. 3. Ah poker. Love to love it and hate to hate it and I do both some days. Still net positive but some ugly beats lately have me squirming. Grrr. That hasn't stopped people from wanting my opinion however, check out the community section of "Life's A Bluff" for my article on why massive changes to the WSOP would be wrong. www.lifesabluff.com
That is all my short term memory will divulge for now. Back to work.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
So this past weekend, with out of town friends of the dear Piggy in tow, we went to see John Pinette at the San Jose Improv. Very...VERY...funny. Beer out the nose funny. Changed my mood completely for 2 or 3 days funny. So, yeah, funny. You might know him from his infamous "Chinese Buffett" bit or various bit film and TV parts. His new act is very funny and all that crap is right here on everyone's favorite free online encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Pinette
On another note, I really like San Jose. Living between the two big Bay Area cities is odd in that -- A) about 4 million of the 5 million people in the area do. B) 90% of us wish we lived where everyone else is. Locks in the 'Prozac-nation' feel of the place.
The problem is, San Jose still rolls up the streets on most nights. The area around San Jose state stays bumping occassionally, but the whole downtown area really shuts down at about 10pm. It has been a much lamented fact that after a show or event in SJ, you just go home. You can't go hit the town. Much to the chagrin of the local economy. And horrible in the fact that so many great resturants (Original Joes, Hawg's Seafood, etc.) and potential nightspots are tucked into this clean, quirky metro-stop in Silicon Valley. If anyone is randomly reading this out in cyberspace and wants to fill me in on how to get around this little bump -- PLEASE DO! It is, logistically, a hell of a lot easier and cheaper to get to SJ than SF from just about anywhere. Not to mention that parking thing.
Other notable events:
1> Piggy and her tourist companions have seen many sites in the area this week:
-- Winchester Mystery House in Santa Clara: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_Mystery_House
Shows what $20 million and a screw loose could buy you in 1913.
-- Monopoly in the Park, the world's largest Monopoly Board!
-- Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
-- Golden Gate Park, Japanese Tea Garden, Haight-Ashbury District in San Fancisco.
2> I'm sitting on my butt at work and wishing I was out with them to see all this. To that point, more people need to come visit so I can be a tourist too! (sic. I did get to buy them dinner at In-n'-Out Burger, that is just the kind of guy I am.)
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I got photos, here are a couple:
BB's ability to still move an entire audience with performance and stage presence far outweighs any slight nicks in his game that come with being 80, diabetic and playing a 30+ city road show. The consummate showman, any slight glitches (from a late entry pick up to getting a little out of breath on a 15 minuet set) were done tongue in cheek and added to the flavor of the show. All in all, they were a plus for him and his band of road show veterans that exuded power and jubilation while practicing their craft with a living legend. No one was putting it through the paces that night, not even ones that might have an excuse. I feel truly blessed to have seen this. It really was on my list of "things to do before I die" and I found it truly inspiring. Object lesson: You are only done when you say you are done. Only finished when you say you quit.
God, I wish everyone could have seen this. I was transported to a blissful Utopia for almost 2 hours that night. Thank you and God bless you BB King.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Vegas, Vegas...eh, more Vegas.
So this past week has seen me in oh-so-sunny and unseasonably HUMID
This month is the World Series of Poker and yours truly was dropped right into the middle of it. I did play an event, I'll get to that later, but one of the most interesting things was seeing it as a true measure of the growth and legitimacy of the industry. The Gaming Lifestyle Show (interesting name) filled a huge convention room at the
Greg Raymer (cut him off in the buffet line and then he ate off my used plate...interesting story, but a hell of a down to earth guy to mix with us all at the PPA event -- keepin' poker legal.)
Joe Sebok, Gavin Smith and Scott Huff ('The Circuit' Poker Radio Hosts on Sirrius and at CardPlayer.com, fun show with great tips)
Bart Hanson (of 'Live at the Bike' fame. A special hello to former LA tournament grinder Ronnie McMillan who is doing the website graphics for L@tB.)
Max Pescatori (Congrats on your first bracelet Max)
Jhonny Chan (Twice. Sorry if I bothered you Mr. Chan.)
Phil Gordon (Thanks for the tournament advice Mr. Gordon, it helped me do well, see below)
Howard Lederer (Best “who the hell are you” stare, and then friendly handshake)
David Williamson III (I still think he looks like the guy from Night Court)
Byron Liggett (Columnist for the NW for Poker Player and a guy that was cool enough to share a couple of drinks with a bunch of 30 something web-heads that enjoyed all his stories.)
Mhin "the Master"
And above all, the Life's A Bluff Crew. (Quack Quack)
Vegas got me thinking and I decided that if I could pop my little chunk of my bankroll into something substantial, I would try to enter the last braceleted event in the world series, Event #40, the $1000 NL Hold 'Em "Donkey Rodeo". Short stacked, fast blinds (compared to other events) and low buy-in it is known to be a fast action, Russian Roulette style game. Actually, very similar to the dozens of events that I've played so I figured I had an edge. Well, they (strongly) cut off the entries at 1100 and 100 alternates due to a chip shortage (WTF??) and lil' old me got in. It was because I won a night tournament that I entered with the LaB team and split a 3 way win for first and $1,100 plus some cash from a few side games and, well, that went right into Event #40 with some cash back. Well, about 1200 people and I finished around 120 in. So, top 10% and on a hell of a run till a bad beat on a perfect move chunked out half my chips, I finished in view of the money, but not quite there. I call it a heck of a virgin WSOP attempt.
Note, I'm tired, the spelling could suck, and I may have left some people out, but here is the story and I hope you loved it. I'm happy to be home and ready to do it again next year.
Want to know who the players are? www.cardplayer.com and find the profiles.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
So, late in posting this experience, but July 16th on top of a hill in the San Jose area wine country, one of my "must do" concert experiences occured, and the other opened its doors to me. July 16th was Blue Travler in concert and trust me, every positive thing that you have heard about them in concert is true, naysayers can bite me. They were rocking out until the city pulled the plug! That was a dule edged event to be sure, on one hand we were all pissed that the show was cut off -- on the other hand, we got to rebel against the man as we made as much noise as the concert for the next 10 minuets cheering for the guys.
Here is a shot of the hills around the venue! GREAT for someone cut off from "the wilds" of Missouri for so long...you should see the homes.
How close were we to the stage? Well, Marie took this from our seats:
Key moments in the concert:
1. John Popper "Oh, you guys love the OLD shit, huh?" And switching the set list (saw it later) to NAIL a bunch of stuff from the first album (self title) and Traveler's and Thieves. Why is this amazing? Well, going from Dropping Some NYC, inset Optimistic Thought and I Have My Moments, and then finish the Jam on Dropping Some NYC. 18 mins of AWESOME.
2. What I like to call the "whoa-ly shit how is he still standing set!" Hook, Run Around, Brother John, All-In the Groove in one high speed mash-up set. His only breaks were to take a drag off what COULD have been a cigerette during the instrumental Jams that weren't him.
3. "No Woman No Cry" cover. Apparent he did this with Ziggy Marley at some point, but it sounded better solo, I can't describe the energy. Obviously, a bunch of 30-40 yr olds need something in common to jam on, this was it. I have the Marley-Popper track if anyone is interested.
So yeah, I was rocking out:
Loved the new stuff from 'Bastardos' (and the art too, check it out). Had an awesome time there with Piggy and it was cool from front to back. The cherry on this Awesome Pie came right after we arrived. I was looking through the concert event calender while we were milling around the front area and BAM, there was B.B. King heading there for the 80th Birthday tour! Sick cause I knew as close as we were, it had to be sold out, I tried my luck at the box-office. Turns out, he was about to free up four handicapped spaces that hadn't sold yet out of 8 available. I bought two. Now I'm 10th row center for the greatest living blues man's 80th birthday celbration/concert! I am sooooo pumped.
Friday, July 21, 2006
As I mentioned on my previous post, I flew into St. Louis for a visit and then was tuning up for a trip to NY to meet my team's boss and the rest of the network there. Let me point out that the show, the event and the subsequent meetings went great! I got to see my older brother, ate a terrific (if expensive) meal at Smith & Wolenski's in Manhattan and stayed in a pretty nice hotel. However, it wasn't the case for the whole flight. It all started with a conversation with a snippy united clerk that went something like this:
"You need to go now and get on an earlier plan, the next one might be delayed." Said Mr. Clerk, brusquely without eye contact.
"Oh great, thanks for the heads up," I cautiously state "this won't affect the baggage that you just check in under my original flight will it?"
"No. You are meeting the same flight so even if it goes on the wrong plane, it will get there." Said looking over my shoulder at the people behind me.
"OK, but won't that mean that the luggage would be late it the second plane was/" I seriously queried.
"No, you'll be fine but you have to go now." He bluntly stated.
"OK, if you are SURE my bag will make it, I will need everything first thing in the morning?"
"Yes. You are fine. Hurry along. Next Please." he said dismissively.
Welllll...good news is, I got on the early plane. Bad news is, they kept loading possible "delay" passengers on it until it was 45 minutes late and then we had a lovely half hour sit on the tarmac waiting to take off. Not to be deterred from going farther off course, we make it to Chicago. I hustle down to my connection and after convincing the gate agent she can't give away my seat as I am, in fact, standing in front of her I board up and...after a 30 minute delay. We are ready to take off. Here comes the fun part. Apparently, there is a big storm over the NY-Newark area and we and we need to land at Washington Dull-ass due to the fact that...and here is the kicker...we DON'T HAVE ENOUGH FULE TO CIRCLE IN THE HOLDING PATTERN IN NJ! Great, wonderful, fun. We are assured they will try to turn it around as fast as possible. Note, that right now, I'm looking at getting in after midnight and to my hotel an hour to an hour and a half later. Of course, hurray, this is not quick 20-30 minute turn around...oh, no,...is an hour and a half sit down on the tarmac as they try to find someone to get the FULE HOSE un-stuck from the wing. (Imagine my confidence level at this point folks.) Well, it happens and after a nice stand in line (apparently we aren't the only re-routes in the United army) we are off to Newark. Landing in new was, of course, a conga line to the terminal, but hey -- NOTHING -- compared to the trip so far. Until, of course, the baggage conveyor stops and I'm one of 3 people standing there waiting. I quickly assume the worst and stop in to the claims office and, yep, my bag is still in Chicago. At 2 am with a trade show and embassy meeting the next morning, I'm told that they'll "do their best" to get the bag on the 9:30am flight out to NYC. Oh joy, oh glee, oh happy day. One thing to mention here. The constant in-and-out of A/C and new climate set off my sinuses and had me kicked around and apparently the germ tube air circulation of the flights did not help. At 2:30 am in New Jersey, I know that I am sick and that my voice and head and on the verge of breaking down. Well, I missed the last train into the city thanks to our lovely baggage delay and now I hop a $90 cab right into the city and right to my hotel. Huzzah, I have arrive, sans baggage, but I am here in one piece. It is pushing 4 am, United tells me I am eligible for reimbursement for the lost luggage and cost to me to get things to live on but that means hopping right out of bed at about 7 am, getting a shower, getting out to have a suit fitted ASAP and then off to my trade show. "Screw it" I think "if that is how it has to be, oh well, adapt and overcome."
7 am comes way, way, WAY too early and I beat the snooze mercilessly but eventually submit and wander to the shower. Long story short, a safety device was stuck and no hot water in the shower. They send someone up quickly to fix it, I rinse my fat ass down and I'm out into the streets of Manhattan in yesterday's clothes heading to the nearest Men's Warehouse. I love these guys, really I do. Not only had the team in San Francisco hooked my up with a great light weight set of suits for the summer trip to New York, they had turned it around fast and got me a great deal on just what I wanted. Albeit, the suits are in Chicago, but I know where to go when I need some help. So, in I go and I tell the salesman I need the fastest suit up and turn around in history. One hour later, I have been suited up from Florshiem shoes to "no worry" shirt and it has been altered and I am OUT the door and on my way to the trade show. Score again for Men's Warehouse...plus the will alter the suit if I loose the weight I'm working on, for free. Score two, hell, gold stars all around.
As I mentioned, show/event went great, no news is good news there. My older brother worked the event like a champ even though he was a guest on short notice and I am again amazed on who the guy I grew up with turned out to be. Waldo Sr. on Wall Street...who would have guessed?
And now...the trip home. Welll, of course, stormy weather is approaching and I'm hoping to beat it out of the airport, but the crew at United decides to screw around and delay the baggage load and jetway pull back and 10 minuets after we are supposed to be in the air, they announce that LIGHTNING has been spotted and due to union regs NO ONE will be getting anywhere near the plane to take off the jet way or finish the last THREE bags that need to be loaded. So, there we sit for two hours all in from that delay and the cattle line to take off. Note: I didn’t get the worst of it, a co-worker leaving to visit San Francisco sat on that tarmac for FIVE HOURS waiting to leave and did not make it to her destination until 6 am Pacific time, so this next part is a little more irony that whine. We leave, hit Denver, and since I was able to call United from the plane before we took off, I'm set for the 9:50 flight heading to San Jose. Philly Piggy is hopping to pick me up at around 11 and whisk me home. We take off on time, no delays, beautiful! Gonna finally have a leg make it on time. Nope. Mid-flight it is announced that we will be routing to Salt Lake City for a medical situation. Seems that someone it ill. Turns out it was a panic attack that induced severe hyper-ventilation. Awwww. Anyway, another hour and a half turn around on the refuelling and bag pull-off for our nervous wheezer (what is with these turn around times) and I am heading the San Jose. I get in after midnight, I get home in a half hour, I get to bed by 1:30 am. I'm in to work the next day. I am sick as a dog!
Due to a work overload and this trip, I can't just suck it up and stay home but have gone in diligently the whole time since arriving back. I've probably infected the whole office. But, I am alive, and I know why the zip code for United ends in 666.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
So, I'm on my way to New York and was lucky enough to drop in and get a visit with my "little otter" and thanks to the kindness of Mike and Christie (whom I apparently forgot to finalize my travel plans with--aren't I special? I mean short bus kind of special.) had a great HQ to have a good time. Outside of being the captains of the local park playgrounds, we went to see Car's. As much as I originally thought this would be a first for a failure for Disney/Pixar, I was wrong. First off, the artwork is stunning and the use of CGI for reflective lighting and detail effects is unparralelled. In a huge crop of animated features coming out this year (finally making that Oscar catagory a race) I originally thought this would fall flat, but it turns out it will most likely be the juggernaught of the catagory. Great soundtrack, great voicacting, superior story and visuals. YEAH!
So, I'm in the airport posting this, so it will be short. On the way to NY to see my brother (first time in a while) and of course do my thing for work and meet all the heads of the network. A little nervous about keeping up with my workload while doing this, but I think we can make it -- especially with all the work getting done on the plane (kinda).
I'll spellcheck this later, untill then, here is something to make you smile. I call it the Blue Pig of Happiness.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Had a thought that was close to an epiphany today. Might have just been a brain fart, but tell me what you think. It concerns art and the freedom it produces in the mind and how that, in the end, effects the person. By art, as you'll note, I don't just mean squiggly lines with paint and pencil, but also music, theater and dance, etc.
The theme revolves around the outsider's question of "why are artists so weird?" that often comes to mind when we see a green mohawk, off-beat clothes, funky lifestyles, etc. I would put it to this. It comes from the freedom loosed in the subconscious and an artist's want to return there. When you are "in the zone" artistically, you are creating that which does not exist. You are molding reality to fit your format, not the other way around. Your line determines the reality, your interpretation shows the true intention and your poetry or lyrics create the emotional center of thought. In the real world, the thoughts of the masses and harsh realities of life define this and people hide in their small (or large) boxes and create personas that won't attract undue attention or get them "in trouble" in the real world.
However, the artist has tasted this opiate created in his or her own mind. Like an addiction it rewires neural synapses and creates a preferred method of interpreting input and creating output. The euphoria of creation, especially a magnum opus but even a prideful doodle, is like a hit off that pipe or candy from the needle and, after a while, you don't know how to function without it. The day-to-day desk job gets grey and colorless and you long to express yourself, taste that internal drug and show it to the world. You want it to color everyday choices, you want it to flow from you because that connects you with it and lets you know its there. Its comfort when the box closes in and the "fake" persona you wear feels like a straight-jacket. You disregard social norms to wear it on your sleeve so to speak, or incorporate it into your life. So, how does this make an artist "weird?"
You may see it in the green mohawk, the unique indie/vintage clothes, obscure political stances, tics and habits that seem outside of anything remotely necessary for survival, or even in a peaceful, passive mode that inspires people to talk or listen. Isn't that weird? Isn't that STRANGE to go outside the norm, walk uphill, swim upstream, play with Calvin-ball like rules inside a very black & white world? Yes. Yes it is. But when you look at it from this angle, when you see from inside the creation junkie out onto the world, you can understand it. You can appreciate it. You may even take the ultimate real world stance and pass currency off on them for a capitalistic "hell yeah" shout of agreement. And then long to be that weird guy. And wish you could touch that vein of creativity. Remember when you took a dose way back when. Remember when the world turned cold when you turned your back on the creative and chose the stoic, grey, necessary reality of life. When you became normal, and they became weird.Do you understand it now? Or do you feel weird for giving it up?
Friday, June 30, 2006
Hopefully, with some practice, I'll develop the acerbic wit of Gabe over at Penny Arcade. I'm not saying my summer vacations were exactly like this, but you would assume that quite a few kids along for the ride on their parents vacation ran into the same thing. Who are kids to complain, I mean, they could be home, riding their bikes, playing with their friends and attending summer fun fests but instead they get the back of a station wagons and a 3ft. radius to psyche scaring family battles that will haunt their dreams 25 years later. Excerpt below (warning, naughty launguage ahead):
"The lake we would sometimes travel to, and I think they called it a lake because it had not completely evaporated, was clearly home to toxic mutants. As dangerous as that sounds, this was not the primary concern, for this area of Washington was famous for its rattlesnakes. I don't mean they had a rattlesnake exhibit where you could see them inside a cage, and then emerge from that dark zoo, the sun on your face, in a land blessed and free of them. No, the people in
"them parts" are proud of these things. There is a sign by the main thoroughfare that says "Watch Out for Mister Shakes!" who is apparently famous not only for being a snake but for being a very large and dangerous, free roaming fucking man-eating snake. It was my presumption as a young man that he was called Mister Shakes both a) as a courtesy, i.e., "Please don't bite my fucking ass, Mister Shakes!" and also because of the rattling you might hear before he slunk from the grass to murder you. I understand now with the wisdom of many years that the shakes they referred to describe the strong spasms associated with their thick,
(sometimes) black venom.
And the food out there on the frontier. Jesus Christ. Eating at whatever rat trap happened to be attached to the gas station we just coasted into. Plate heaped high with fried hair. Warm cylinder of milk pulled from whatever animal happened to be pregnant at the time. So, no. He can rattle his keys all day, if he would like. I'm not going to suit up and get in the car just so I can drink cat milk, eat hair, and get killed by the king of fucking snakes."
Thursday, June 29, 2006
So, Superman Returns is out this weekend. I'm not even bothering with proper title grammar, the title is just so generic, but I guess its better than "A Search for Peace". Anyway, my lovely lady and I and a few folks from the office will be tracking over to the Metreon (see also: Nerdvana) to grub a little and catch the show. I'll let you know how it went later. It will have to live up to the comic genius of Nacho Libre the last film we saw to make me feel real good about it, though. I hate that...Movie Let Down. I think you get MLD when you are on a movie "high" from a great flick and then POW! You go see a stinker or just an ok film and it seems to even make the popcorn taste stale. Maybe we should schedule or viewings (based on credible reviews) from worst to best. Start out with latest Wayan's Brother's Fiasco (who keeps giving them MONEY!) and end up with some Swashbuckling fun with Pirates of the Caribbean 2. Who knows.
So, I'm back on a gym plan and pseudo diet. I say pseudo diet as I don't think I eat poorly, I just eat too much and at the wrong times so I am attempting to adjust my eating lifestyle to create a more flexible dining plan (with my travel and event schedule, its a must) that fits me while now hitting the gym at least 4 days a week. Killer place here on the first floor of my building. My fees include a locker, full shower/toiletry services and even laundry for my gym clothes so I don't have to pack junk back and forth or "forget" and put off a workout. Why am I suddenly on this? Take a look at me and Hulk. Note that my gut is about the size of his chest and my chest is the size of his waist. Bad combo I think. I'm weighing in at 249 this week. Tune in here to see how I'm doing. (Look at me being all accountable and stuff!) My goal is 235 and a sub 38 waist by the end of July. 225 by the end of August, 210 by the end of September, bordering on a 36 waist again and flat at 200 by the Holidays. Not sure if I'm going to tune up tighter than that. I'm pretty comfortable at my frame coming in at two bills, but we'll see when we get there.
I'll be in St. Louis the 7th-9th and in NY the 9th-12th. Visiting the cutest daughter in the world in the Lou and working in NY but hoping to catch up with the Wall Street Waldo before I leave. CALL ME!
Monday, June 26, 2006
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Proof, of all this, is this:
And in case you are to lazy to read links, it contains:
Game Workshop Specialty Store
Comic and Kitch Shop "It Came From Another World"
A Full-On Arcade with a BAR (yes, a bar, with beer, etc.) and Hyper Bowling
Sony Style and Playstation Flagship Stores
escalator (cause hey, who wants to climb all those steps!)
Thursday, June 22, 2006
So, enjoy. Tilt your head back and engorge on the sweet nectar that is the beauty of my written words. Then, vomit up the sour taste it may or may not leave in your stomach.