misc.28 Apr 2006 02:01 pm

I was going to write a post like this one by Daniel Morgan but I’m lazy, and it seems he did a much better job than I could have. MySpace is the black hole that will possibly someday swallow all that is good on the internet. One thing to keep in mind is that MySpace as a site isn’t bad, it’s user base is filled with illiterate immature retards. A good read.

music and poker28 Jan 2006 01:25 pm

After watching the movie Owning Mahoney last night, I understood how my recent run of luck at Sit and Go(SnG) poker had caused my bankroll to very quickly to diminish into nothingness. SnG method and strategy is quite simple, usually you start with 9 or 10 people(depending on where you play it), there is a 10% rake, and you play tournament style until one person has all of the chips. Usually the top 3 make the payout structure, with the winner taking most of the prize pool. The strategy that had worked for me until now was this: play ultra tight in the beginning, hope to catch a big hand and double up, and then loosen up towards the end. It works well and you can build winnings when you only play with 5-10% of your bankroll with each sit and go, but I had moved up to the higher stakes once my bankroll got bigger, and didn’t realize that once I had lost a few in a row(being a 20-1 favorite I might add), instead of knocking down the stakes I started playing even higher stakes, risking 20 even 30 or 40 percent of my roll. This mistake seems to be the downfall of any regular, or “addicted” gambler as some might put it: thinking you have the ability dig your way out with higher stakes.

The feeling of winning money never leaves you, and you want to feel it again, and increasing the bets is the only way to get back to where you’d been. The logic the gambler puts behind this is that, every bad run of luck there needs to be a good run, so you need to be playing at higher stakes when that good run hits. What the gambler fails to realize that in most games, in the long run you are going to lose. I have no experience in the matter, but I assume a hard drug addiction is much the same. Needless to say poker has taken a hiatus in my time slices. By the way, the movie is excellent, probably the best portrayal of an addicted gambler I’ve ever seen. Look for Phillip Seymour Hoffman to get the nod he deserved for this film this year with Capote.

On January 18th, blacjax and I had the pleasure of seeing G Love and Special Sauce at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, California, which is about 20 miles north of San Diego on the coast. As always, G Love put on an awesome show, his mix of blues, hip hop, folk and funk are unique as well as easy on the ears. As a new twist to his band for this tour he added a second drummer. Bands with two drummers usually don’t do much for me as far as enhancing the musical experience, but it seemed to work well here. G busted out old favorites like I76, Cold Beverage, Baby’s Got Sauce, and i can’t go back to jersey, as well as some newer stuff off of The Hustle that I wasn’t that familiar with, Don’t Drop It seemed to be the best new song live that I heard. He also did a cover of a Bob Dylan song and a reggae jam with one of the drummers taking the role of lead singer. The band played 2 shows that night, 8pm and 10pm, both were sold out and the place was literally packed with people. The Belly Up is a decent venue to see a good band, it reminds me a lot of the 9:30 Club in DC, except cleaner and much nicer employees.

travel01 Dec 2005 08:34 pm

Over the Thanksgiving holiday blacjax and I were lucky enough to be able to spend a week in beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The first thing that struck me as interesting about Cabo is it’s geographic location, located on the southern tip of the Baja peninsula in Mexico, about 1000 miles south of San Diego.

This was the first time I’d flown out of the country, so the whole international flight/customs procedure was also interesting. The airport into Cabo is about 30 minutes by car from the shoreline. The terrain is arid high desert all the way down to a gravel-like beach. The ocean is very warm and salty, and drops off quickly to deep water from the shore. The water is very clear and blue, and is great for snorkeling and diving on the gulf side, but on the ocean side swimming is prohibited in most spots due to the riptides and currents.

The drinking age there is 18, but that didn’t seem to be enforced as I saw plenty of younger teenagers carrying around drinks. Drinking seems the name of the tourist game in Mexico, so I eagerly obliged. Jackie and I drank most every day, but towards the end of the vacation we started slowing down in anticipation of heading home. During our snorkeling “booze cruise” Jack and I had a few too many, and she took a nasty spill of the boat stairs, and still has the bruises and scrapes to prove it.

Over the course of the week we got to do a few neat things: horseback riding on the beach, parasailing, snorkeling… All things that have escaped my experience until now, but were very fun. The horseback ride was something that I didn’t want to do at first, but turned out to be very enjoyable. Jackie got a badass race horse that kept taking off, but I got a horse that would rather have just layed down I think, than have a 225 lb. American idiot on it’s back.

Overall I enjoyed the experience, apart from the fact that you’re hounded by salesman from the time you step off the plane, but other than that Cabo is a cool place to go.

From the picture gallery:

The view from our room:

view

Horseback riding:

horse

“The arch”:

null

This is where we went snorkeling:

snorkel

Where jackie fell off the boat:

sports07 Nov 2005 02:54 pm

..Eagles fans don’t have to wait until late January to start talking about how good the team will be next year. One word I can think of to describe this season: debacle. Terrell Owens seems to have gotten what he wanted: attention, controversy, and the final indisputable moniker given only to the best of talents and the worst of team players: “cancer”. I think TO should take some indirect advice from another controversial sports figure in Philly: Allen Iverson. Iverson has been criticized in the past for airing differences with his coach and organization in the media, but he never said anything that would cause a rift within the team itself, and he’s had plenty to complain about throughout his career. In Iversons 10 years as a Sixer, he hasn’t had *anyone* to help pick up the slack if he can’t carry the team, did he blame the 10 other subpart players when they lost to the Lakers in the 2001 finals? No. He sucked it up and came out to play season after season, no matter how bad his supporting cast is. TO it seems takes pleasure in coming down on his completely capable teammates in the media. Suggesting that his team would be doing better with another quarterback was one of the worst moves he could have made, especially when Donovan McNabb has tried so hard to keep his true feelings about his relationship with TO from the media.

What upsets me about this situation the most is that the Eagles organization knew what they were getting when they traded for Owens: a very talented football player who can’t keep his mouth shut. TO did the same thing to Jeff Garcia and the 49ers a few years ago when things started to sour there. The difference is that the Eagles are smart enough to insert clauses into their contracts like “conduct detrimental to the team” to be able to take action against Owens when he steps out of line. It’s a shame that they actually had to use that clause against the biggest impact player on their offense.

One of the ESPN commentators during the Eagles/Redskins game last night made the comment “the Eagles haven’t gotten worse, the rest of the NFC (East) has gotten better”. I completely disagree with that assessment. The Eagles defense has given up way too many points early for their ball control offense to come back from. During the past few seasons the Eagles have racked up the wins with a solid D that keeps the opponents scores low and a steady offense that will control the ball, move it down the field and give you 17-24 points a game. They’re simply not doing that this season. McNabb has thrown as many interceptions this season half way through as he did all of last season, and the Eagles running game is almost non-existent. So, the NFC has gotten better? I don’t think so.

music14 Sep 2005 03:31 pm

Nothing much new to report from the left coast. I didn’t get to see the Padres game because I had to work :( . blacjax and I are both getting settled in to life out here, slowly but surely. Hopefully we’ll both be back for about a week around the Holidays, she gets off for a million days in a row.

We’re headed to see Pat Metheny, Christian McBride and Antinio Sanchez (the Pat Metheny trio) next Thursday at Humphrey’s by the Bay again. This will be the first time I’ve seen Metheny live ever, one of my favorite albums is an acoustic duet he did with Charlie Haden entitled Beyond the Missouri Sky, great jazz album, good for just chillin’. Christian McBride is an excellent upright bassist, I’ve seen him a few times, mostly when he played with Joshua Redman. Antonio Sanchez is a bad ass Latino drummer. My first exposure to Sanchez was at the 2003 Modern Drummer Fest. After his Mac wouldn’t work the way he wanted, he displayed his independence and extremely technical skills on the set in a freestyle type drum clinic session. I’ve been listening to his stuff with Metheny ever since. I’m sure this is going to be an excellent show.

I just bought a 2002 Music Man Stingray 4 string electric bass. I’ve been watching the Jaco Pastorius instructional tape religiously since, hoping that some of the Jaco magic will rub off as I practice my lines and scales. Every time I watch that tape, I think to myself: “Jeez this guy was a raving lunatic and a genius at the same time…” For those that don’t know who Jaco is, check out his autobiography, a quick read and great insight into what a modern Jazz artist goes through in his life and career (with a little crazy genius flavor thrown in). Playing guitar for so long, I never realized how good some of the rock bassists out there really are: obviously Flea, the guy from STP, the guy from Live, Stefan Lessard and a slew of others are blowing me away as I experiment with some of their riffs and bass lines. I’ve always listened to monsters like Jaco, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Billy Sheehan and others on the Jazz side because their sounds are so out front, but actually picking up the instrument I’m learning that the subtle bassists can also be brilliant. I’m starting to save for a Roland V-Drum set, but that’s so expensive that I’m not sure if I’ll actually get one, maybe eventually when we move into a real house I’ll be able to get an acoustic set to annoy blacjax with :-p.

Speaking of music, y’all should check out Jeff Payne’s new stuff at http://www.myspace.com/linuslowrey – it’s gritty, poppy, and catchy, if you’re into that sort of thing. My favorite of the four is by far “conman”. Took me forever to figure out that the EQ on myspace doesn’t actually represent anything, its just there to look pretty.

Edit: In the course of writing this, I’ve learned that Metheny has added saxophonist David Sanchez to his trio (to make it a quartet ;) ), very cool. David Sanchez is well known as a smooth jazz guy, I’m keeping an open mind though that he’ll come out hot with this lineup.

travel26 Aug 2005 06:43 pm

Wow, so much has happened since my last post. Jackie and I have been taking our time settling in to our new place and surroundings. San Diego is beautiful, the weather, beaches, and surrounding scenery are all worth coming for, and I imagine most of the reason why real estate is so expensive. I’m heading to my first Padres game this Tuesday, we’ll see if the new stadium by the water here lives up to the hype that the locals give it.

I didn’t post about the last day of our journey mostly because it was awful. We started out from Flagstaff early in the morning, and hit the desert right about 10am, and spent the next 7 hours going up and down mountains in 110 degree heat, not fun. Then we hit about an hour of traffic in Riverside, so by the time we got to Temecula, which was our destination, we were both exhausted, and I started to get anxious and terrified of the new life we were about to begin: Were we going to like our new place? Would the west coasters I’d have to work with suck? Is all of California this ugly, drab and smog filled? Those questions started flowing through my mind until I started to get pretty depressed, which went well with my exhaustion. The next day we arrived at our new place, all was well and we’ve been settling in nicely. Jackie loves her new job, and all is right with the world.

I have about 6 posts backed up in drafts that I need to get finished, most of them are concert reviews. This week we saw Trio! (Bela Fleck, Stanley Clarke, and Jean Luc Ponty) again at Humphrey’s by the Bay in Point Loma, what a great show, and this time Stanley even gave in to the crowd requests for School Days. We also go the chance to check out the Dave Matthews Band at Coors Amphitheater on Thursday night, yet another great show from Dave and the gang; I believe this was my 12th show. :D

travel04 Aug 2005 10:08 am

We went to the Grand Canyon yesterday. Instead of looking up or using big adjectives I’ll just say that it’s really big, and worth seeing.

There are plenty of other pictures of the canyon here. My camera doesn’t really take in the gigantorness of the hole.

The trip across the West so far has been beautiful, northern New Mexico and Arizona are much more than flat desert like I imagined. Flagstaff is an alpine ski town, full of pine trees and ski resorts.

We’re heading through the real desert today, between Flagstaff and San Diego the average high tempurature looks to be about 100 degress. We’re hoping to get off early to aviod some of the midday heat.

The trip is starting to take it’s toll on me; I’m starting to get tired in the middle of the day. Thinking it’s the time change that I’m adjusting to, but who knows? We’ll be about an hour outside of San Diego tonight as our new apartment won’t be ready until tomorrow. Apparently we’re getting a newly remodeled apartment to move into, we’ll see how that goes. Everything is going pretty smoothly… a longer post to come.

travel31 Jul 2005 10:31 pm

811 Miles to go. We arrived in Albuquerque this afternoon, the drive between Amarillo and here was beautiful. Albuquerque is snug against the Sandia Mountains, the southern most tip of the Rockies. I always imagined New Mexico as a flat desert area, but we’ve been through 1/2 the state and most of it has been dry mountainous terrain. The altitude of Albuquerque is 5280 ft., the same as Denver, but it’s much hotter here. Let me tell you, anyone from the southwest that tries to tell you the heat is easier because it’s “dry”, is full of shit.

Texas was completely boring to drive through, pretty much flat cattle ranches the whole way through. I’ve always heard that it is legal to have an open container of alcohol so I was looking forward to legally drinking a beer in the car until I saw this, DOH! I’m glad I looked it up instead of cracking one open without a little research.

Driving out of Oklahoma and also in New Mexico we saw a huge array of windmills along Route 40 which I’ve found out are FPL Energy wind arrays. FPL is the largest generator of wind produced power in the US, and provides clean, reusable energy in other forms to power companies across the US. It’s nice to see a company that is fighting the good fight to get rid of fossil and coal based fuel consumption. We won’t run out of wind, will we? :P Of course the skeptic in me is weary of all large energy companies, I’m sure FPL is no exception when it comes to the dirt and rumors out there on the Internets.

Oklahoma FPL wind array

We pretty much hung out in the hotel room in Oklahoma City, we did get a shot of the city from the car though (I didn’t expect there to be actual buildings here):


The trip through America’s heartland is over, and our trip through the southwest has begun. Overall it has been a relatively painless trip. Jackie and I haven’t really gotten under each other’s skin any more than normal, which has been a pleasant surprise :-D .

A tank!

travel30 Jul 2005 10:16 am

Our longest days of driving are behind us. Today we’re going from Oklahoma City to Amarillo, Tx, about a 5 hour jaunt. I had a ton of fun in Memphis, seemed like a hundred blues clubs on Beale St. that had live music.

Jackie on Beale St.

While listening to the guitarists in Memphis I came to realize that there are basically 2 guitarists that truly revolutionized blues playing over the last 50 years: B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Pretty much every guitar riff and solo I heard Thursday night contained elements of those two players. There are other guitarists that are great and innovative in their playing, but those two are in my opinion the cream of the crop in blues players over the last half century.

Of course you can’t go far in Memphis without seeing an Elvis:

Elvis

Goats!

Goats

travel28 Jul 2005 07:58 pm

Today we drove clear across Tennessee, stopped in Nashville for lunch at pretty cool place. Nashville seems like a decent place, plenty of musical things going on, but we didn’t have time or the want to stop there. It was exciting to move into the Central time zone, very exciting.

Yesterday’s real estate events went smoothly, the chick who bought our house is a straight up hottie; blonde, big boobies, and she likes football and gambling! Too bad she’s stuck listening to a bird squawk all the time, HA!

We’re in Memphis right now, heading out to Beale St. to catch some Mississippi blues.

Le chariot de déménagement (thanks rod):

The Chariot

The thing is a bitch to get up hills and into tight places, but overall its pretty easy to handle. It’s hard to believe we fit all of our stuff in there, but we did. blacjax did a helluva job organizing the stuffs inside.

Most people I’ve met in the “Bible belt” reaffirm my assumption that the re-election of GW was no fluke, and that the population of most of the states in the belt are second cousins or closer in relation. Is it wrong to judge someone based on their accent alone? Maybe dirt can fill us in, he’s seems to be the expert on bigotry.

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