Archive for April, 2009

So we’re having our basement finished (yay) and I’m speaking with the electrician while Shane’s playing in the other room.  He yells over inquisitively….”Daddy, what’s the second letter of your name?”  I’m in the middle of the conversation, but I quickly answer back over “I”….and he continues on….”Daddy, what’s the third letter of your name?”….and of course, I state “C”…….and then again, “Daddy, daddy, what’s the fourth letter of your name?”……”It’s ‘K’ Shane….”.  And when he asks for a fifth letter, I tell him that’s it, and I continue the conversation with the electrician.

I have to go downstairs to take care of some odd/ends, etc. and upon coming back upstairs, I find that my adorable, loving, and talented son, has made me a great card.  Aw…..

Shane's Card to Daddy...

Shane's Card to Daddy...

And then of course, I open the card…..

Shane knowing how to spell his Dad's name...

Shane knowing how to spell his Dad's name...


Read Full Post »

Come one come all…our group is set for our annual trip.  We’ll be leaving Thursday June 25th and coming back Monday June 29th.  I’m staying at Encore at a phenomenal rate of $109 for Thursday/Sunday nights and $159 Friday/Saturday.  If anyone else wants to go, please let me know.  It’s always a good time and this is a fairly inexpensive trip (provided you don’t lose your shirt gambling).

The action at the Rio during at least Thursday/Friday is great.  I think many of the locals head to the Rio trying to scoop up the fish, so I think I’ll be heading over the MGM or other smaller card rooms then.

Read Full Post »

Yankee Stadium Review

Went in on a 20-game season ticket package with an old highschool friend of mine figuring I’ll guarantee myself four games (five of us went in) and the tickets are average, 2nd deck in the right field home run area.  Went to last Sunday’s game and thought I’d write a quick review of the stadium.

From everything you may have read prior to the stadium’s opening and even on opening day, you’d think this place was a cathedral, the holiest of ball parks.  In the days following, I think there are some noticeable flaws and some not so great aspects.  Overall, I think it’s a must-see and can be a good place to see a game.  That said, there are some deficiencies and a few disappointments.

First off, getting down the new stadium wasn’t all that bad.  We parked on the opposite side of the old stadium so had about a 7-10 minute walk to the ball park.  Not bad.  Upon coming up to the new ballpark, well, it’s a little awe inspiring, colleseum-esque.  Upon coming up the steps, we waited in the 5-minute line to get in among the normal Yankee-faithful and were greeted by individuals holding up ‘can I help you’ signs.  Nice touch.  Found our way to our seats and got there in time for the national anthem.  Our seats allowed us to see the full field with the exception of the right center and centerfield warning tracks.  Definitely a little off-set from the field, but that’s fine…then again, our seats were $50 each. 

Around the 4th inning tried to get a bite to eat but the popcorn vendor’s machine broke so Mindy had to travel down a ways….while I waited in line for 15 minutes to attempt to get some chicken and fries….  Never did get them as they didn’t have enough made.  I was still four people away from getting served and decided to skip it (my heart and cholesteral level thanked me). 

We instead went to the Yankees Museum, which was cool.  Saw the World Series trophies, historic balls, bats, etc.  Very nice and a must see.    Got back to the seats, watched a couple more innings and decided to head to the Hard Rock Cafe to watch the last couple of innings.  It wasn’t too crowded which was nice.  Made for easy exiting from the stadium and a good ride home.

The ball park overall is solid, but when you’ve been to the Jake (Cleveland), Camden Yards (Baltimore, or even Turner Field (Atlanta), you feel the Yanks missed the boat a little to get more that comfortable homey feel.  Perhaps that wasn’t what they were going for.  I suppose with those $300-$2500 seats (most of which were empty) they were going after a different clientele.  Problem is…there were 10,000 empty seats on the first home Sunday game!!?!??!  It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.

In the negative column, still long lines for concessions. Expensive!  Non-intimate atmosphere.

In the ‘pro’ column,….it’s nice to walk the ballpark and still see the game.  Plenty of restaurants/bars.  Hey…it’s still Yankees Stadium!

#27 on its way...

#27 on its way...

Read Full Post »

So twas time for my annual physical and had to bring back some ‘goodies’ for the doc and in dropping them off, I got into a conversation with Mike the nurse.  Mike was a chatty fellow, say mid to upper 40’s and in good spirits.  In conversation, he asked what I did (recruiting) and proceeded to state his wife was in the same field.  The following up conversation however was quite intriguing and moving.

You see, Mike was an veteran of Iraq.  He did three tours of duty over there, each time leaving behind his two teenage children and wife.  After being shot during his second tour, his wife had had enough and when he was called for a third tour, Mike told his superiors he wasn’t going.  His superior pretty much said, well, ‘you have to go’, (or you’ll be court marshalled), but at least you’ll be calling the shots.

Mike reluctantly went, and said he went over there with the mind-set he was going to die.  He said this was bad karma to think this way, but I kind of disagree.  I’m not going to tell the guy that’s serving our country what’s right and not right, but in this predicament, going back for a third tour of duty after being shot in the second, well, I can understand his thinking he’s tempting fate. 

Mike returned and then resigned from the Army after a 21-year career.  His platoon was sent back for a fourth tour and 16 of our nation’s finest were killed. 

Mike seemed like a normal guy and I can tell that he’s happy to be alive, happy to have a great wife and two children.  Of course it makes me happy to be in the situation I am in.  I know I’m very very lucky. 

I thanked Mike for his service to our country.

Read Full Post »

Not bad.  I was exhausted going into the day since I’d had only about 3 hours of sleep and had driven all they way back from Foxwoods and then again up there in the morning.  Arrived at abotu 11:40am so had about 20 minutes to spare.  Guaranteed 1200 for 24th place through 21st…so if I held on for another four more busts, it was worth about 500 more in real money.  I folded 5,5 under the gun which was the only real hand I’d seen before four guys busted out within 15 minutes.  We broke down to two tables and now it was time to play.  Only thing is I really didn’t get any cards.  Down to 18 players there was a raise and a reraise all in before me by a guy who’d just won a big pot.  I put him JJ or better (since I had 10’s) and mucked.  Sure enough…AK vs. JJ and a J hit the board.  River brought a straight on the board, so I’d have chopped, but I thought a good read on my part.

When the 16th guy busted out, we were all guaranteed 2,300 in real money.  But I was severely short stacked now.  We broke for 10 minutes and the blinds were now going up to 5,000-10,000, 1000 ante and I had only 45K left.  I was four away from being the BB.  I come back from the break and everyone’s talking ‘deal’.  The deal was everyone guaranteed $5K, then 8th through 3rd would be regular payouts with 1st and 2nd slightly lower.  Um, yeah. 

I busted out when my A8 clubs was bested by AQ and two clubs on the board at the turn, but no 8 or club on the river and I was done.  Two additional hours of play, followed by another long ride home…this one very worthwhile now with the additional monies in my pocket.  First cash since late ’07 (only played five tourneys all last year).  I’ll get that elusive title one of these days.

Read Full Post »