Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In Memory of Jason Schroer
On Monday evening I received a call that my daughter's stepfather, Jason Schroer, had succumbed to his last bout with cancer. Jason was a man that quickly earned my respect with with kind, gentle and loving manner that he interacted with my daughter. He brought love, a positive attitude and stability into my daughter's home and we all (myself especially) were lucky to have him in our lives while we did.

Jason was a consummate optimist and a fighter. He fought off cancer several times only to have it come back time and time again, but he never let that deter him from doing what he loved and and loving those around him. Jason never once complained to me or anyone around me regardless of the pain and no matter how dire the situation. He never used his illness as an excuse to stop helping with his family's farm or his duties around the home. He was an honorable man with an iron will and a kind and generous spirit.

There are very few people as honorable and kind in this world as Jason Schroer. I know everyone that knows him has wondered as least once why some other less deserving, mean-spirited or evil person was not taken from this world instead of him. We can only trust that he is in a better place now, free from pain, and reaping the rewards of a life so well lived, even for such a short time.

I have placed a couple of pictures here that show Jason with my daughter and her mom's side of the family this Christmas. The smiling, joking nature you see here is genuine and what this world will miss most. RIP sir.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A really, really, late Holiday update. Wherein I finally upload those now out-of-date holiday pics...but not the New Year's photos. I have to leave you wanting something. ;) Anyway, this should fulfill the promised photos from this blog post and explain the work holiday party a bit better.

All holidays need their grinning is this year's. I'm a very happy boy here doing an early Christmas gift exchange with Piggy before heading out to a nationwide Christmas home crawl to Missouri, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York.
My good buddies in St. Louis and their new baby girl along with the Lil' Otter, Piggy and Myself hitting the Red Robin! Big 'Ol Burgers, and better yet...balloons.

They had an awesome Santa at Grant's Farm, home of the Budweiser Clydesdale Team and much Holiday Merriment including A Christmas Carol with a Chinese Acrobat Team, Carolers, tons of lights and free refreshments! Unfortunately, the picture got a little creased, but its still a great shot...even if the Lil' Otter is in a rose patterned camo outfit!
Here is the Piggy and I in Marthasville getting ready for the big family event there. Nice huh?
My job is fun. Sometimes its a fiesta. In this case, a Holiday Mexican Fiesta Fancy Dress Party. Yep, they are creative aren't they? Well, here we have Zoro and his lady.
More of the team in serapes and toting Margaritas.
Santo Nicolas y su esposa Irlandesa. Colin is so much fun he gets to come to parties even after the group he work with was "resized". We are always happy Colin is there!
More drink toting party-goers!
Everyone having a great time here!
Ahhhh, que romantico! Y...que mustachio!
The rough-neck cholo crowd. Well, the checked the guns at the door so we let them in.
The rogues gallery.
Welcome to the front door of the Holiday Home of the Otter and Piggy. That is me hiding back there.
The stockings (and various stuffed piggies) hung by the chimney with care!
Our pretty little live tree...playing Xbox Live.

The holidays were a heck of a road trip and (as usual) turned into one of those vacations you need a vacation from, but it was worth it to reconnect with my family, friends and of course, Piggy's family as well. Thanks to everyone that took the time to stop and I hope we see you again soon...OUT HERE IN CALIFORNIA!! Seriously...why am I traveling back into the cold....COME OUT HERE PEOPLE!!

Oh, and on the poker front, the good news is that things have turned around. My Native people at Harrah's in St. Louis helped pay for trip expenses and then a trip down to LA put me in a soft seat in my favorite game there and BAM, I have a bankroll again. Add in a final table a couple of weeks ago, and we have AMMO! Just send the lawyers and guns for the Warren Zevon trifecta and we will be ready to mount a full scale takeover of my little poker universe.

PS -- A great bit of work has gone on at including a video interview by yours truly with 2007 WSOP Player of the Year Tom Schneider. Check out the video at the site under "interviews."