Parenting for Adults

When (if) my kid(s) decide to go to college as adults, I expect they’ll do some pretty stupid things during the first couple of years and beyond.  To me, making mistakes and dealing with the consequences are important aspects of the learning process; part of acquiring an education.  Luckily, the State of Tennessee now has taken it upon themselves to get involved in my chosen method of nonparenting, if my kid adult decides to drink a couple of cold beers on campus.

Let’s take this to its logical end.  Why not also notify the parents when they skip class, jaywalk, or get thrown out of an intramural floor hockey game for beating down an opposing player while protected with full goalie gear?  Not that I ever participated in any such activity as a student.  I did, however, have a friend who talked filthy talk at a football game once.  Luckily for him, his parents weren’t notified.

It’s nice to see that while State universities don’t have the ability to support actual academic programs, they still have the ability to parent effectively.

Live Poker in Chicago (Really Indiana)

Last weekend I was up in Chicago for the finals of the Barclay’s Churchill Cup. Billymac covered most of the trip at his place, so you can get the full run down there–I’ll just concentrate on poker. On Friday, Billymac and I went over to Majestic Star Casino just across the Indiana border to play poker with our buddy Big Paul the Wrecking Ball. This was a very educational session of poker for me. I’ll get to the lessons later, after I give you the lowdown on playing poker at Majestic Star.

The Majestic Star has about 20 poker tables, and the room was surprisingly well populated for a Friday afternoon. It was a little run down–the felt on the tables was worn to almost nothing in some spots. That’s not a huge deal I guess, but everyone there was talking about the new poker room that was going to open up at Horseshoe (I think), so I’m surprised that they weren’t upgrading the room to try to make it as nice as possible while they still had the market cornered. The dealers were solid, and there was a good variety of games going on–1/2 no limit, 2/5 no limit, some higher stakes limit games, and even an Omaha game. I haven’t played any Omaha in a while, so I stuck with 1/2 NL.

I had a couple of beers and some coffee while I was there–pretty prompt service. The coffee was free, but the beer wasn’t. Not a big deal, just letting you know. We all played at different tables, and we were in agreement that there weren’t any bad players there, at least that we saw. My table had a few guys who were lose, but they were solid after the flop. There was one guy at my table who was really good and had everybody flustered at one time or another. I lost ~$60, but I can honestly say I’ve never had a run of cards as bad as I had during this session. I was dealt two pair the entire time–JJ and 55. I got K-8 off suit so many times I was considering going to the blackjack table instead. The session became an exercise in discipline, and that leads me to my lessons learned during this session.

Without good cards, it’s much tougher to win money at non-tourist poker rooms. Everybody there was local–local as in every day player local. They all knew the dealers by name, and several of them knew each other by name. The big topic of conversation was the new poker room that was going to open and which dealers were going to be working there. It sounds like Majestic Star is about to lose most of its good dealers and most of its regulars to this new room. It seems like local rooms are tough to crack because the level of play is pretty high and pretty steady. I’m sure a pro could have come in and jacked the place, but I’m no pro. Any local fish would get busted out of this room within a week or two and never come back, so you are stuck playing with guys who are essentially passing the same money around to each other all the time.

I was forced into playing tight by the cards that I was dealt, but being at a table with guys who were lose without being reckless post flop made it tough to pull off any moves, even with a tight image. I think this room is definitely beatable for me, but I’d be back to depending on luck, which I’d rather not have to do. The fact that the poker room at Majestic Star is open 24 hours puts you a little behind as well, because the max buy-in for 1/2 NL is $200. That means that you can’t sit down at a table with guys who’ve been playing for 15 hours with a $600 stack and stand up to them. I’m a firm believer that you are at a huge disadvantage at a NL table unless you can buy in to match the chip leader’s stack. A local room like the one I played at in Dania, Florida (which closes at midnight) is easier to beat because you can get there in the early afternoon and buy in at the max with everybody else. Then the guys who come in later are at a disadvantage to your larger stack.

As I said, it was an exercise in discipline, and I think I did pretty well to only drop $60 with the bad run of cards. It happens sometimes. I’d recommend Majestic Star just for the size and variety of the room, but it sounds like the new room opening up may be a little nicer once they get it going. Have fun!

Our Own Sour Patch Kid

Earlier tonight we were patting ourselves on the backs over the fact that we realize no matter how sweet the kid can be, she definitely has a mischievous side. Tonight she was being pretty difficult while we were out at dinner, but every time someone would come talk to her and she’d turn on the charm. She’s like that pretty much all day–wandering the house with a crazed look in her eye searching for a cat to torture. But as soon as she catches you watching her it’s all smiles and sweetness.

Sorry Chicky–we’re wise to your game. We invented that game.

Drivin’ Like A Maniac Down The Street

I don’t want to say that I never speed, but I very seldom speed–not even within that mythical 5 mph buffer police supposedly give you.  It’s not that I’m worried about getting a ticket, I just don’t get in a hurry that often.  Not saying I’m never late for anything either, but I don’t get in a hurry that often.

Digital Your Speed SignBut when I see the little signs that the DOT puts up that read your speed and display it digitally, things change.  It’s hard to resist the urge to see how big of a “score” I can get on the little readout.  I’ve even gotten irritate with them because I know I was going way faster than it gave me credit for.  I drove by one of these signs today on my way to Murvul and got irritated at the guy in front of me for slowing down when he saw it.  I’m not a road rage guy either–as long as no one was hurt by whatever idiot move another driver just pulled, I figure there’s no reason to get worked up.  But it really bothered me that this guy slowed down and killed my opportunity for a high score.

Does anybody else pay any attention to these signs?  He’s the first person I’ve ever seen slow down for one.

Amazon’s Friday Five Deals For This Weekend

One of the, um, “advantages” of featuring Amazon products on this site is that they email me whenever they have new promotions and good deals.  In a lot of cases, that means I end up spending money I normally wouldn’t have.  To quote the great Patrick Ewing–“Yeah, we make a lot of money, but we spend a lot of money too.”  It’s very fitting, outside of the fact that I don’t make a lot of money.

Anyway, Amazon just launched a new promotion for their MP3 store that has some really good deals.  Every Friday they will have five albums on their site that you can download for $5.  They’re calling it Friday Five and it runs through the weekend as well.  I already love it.  The five albums for this week are Sublime/Sublime, Rumours/Fleetwood Mac, Detours/Sheryl Crow, Birth of the Cool/Miles Davis, Consolers of the Lonely/The Raconteurs. Three of those are must haves in my book–can you guess which three?

They also have some other albums for $6, $7, and $8.  Again–these are full albums with no licensing.  You can copy them and play them whenever and wherever you want (unlike iTunes).

This. I Love THIS!

SVD at KtownLowdown is running a contest to produce the best slogan for Knoxville in response to today’s MetroPulse article about KTown being a great place to do nothing.  Win a free t-shirt or bumper sticker just for being a smart ass!

KTown is notorious for stealing all the good ideas before I’ve had a chance to think of them, this contest and the domain name being just a couple of examples.

Don’t even bother with “I Am Knoxville (And So Can You)”.  Apparently that idea has already been thought as well.

Mortgage Aid is a Waste of Money

$300,000,000,000.00 in funds for mortgage aid.  I hope this doesn’t get passed for several reasons.  First of all, it’s such an obvious attempt by both Democrats and Republicans to pander.  This probably wouldn’t be happening were this not an election year.

And why does the gov’ment need to do this?  Can’t financial institutions (who are in trouble if they don’t get paid) work this out with borrowers (who are in trouble if they can’t pay) on their own?  They got on this boat together, both knowing its hull was full of holes.  Why should everyone else have to come to their rescue now?

The mortgage aid plan would let the Federal Housing Administration back $300 billion in new, cheaper home loans for an estimated 400,000 distressed borrowers who otherwise would be considered too financially risky to qualify for government-insured, fixed-rate loans.

Does this mean I can look forward to being offered aid when I make a bad financial decision as well?  What  about the guy who started piling up cash years ago when people were getting interest only and adjustable rate loans because he knew there would be an opportunity to buy foreclosed property cheap in a few years for cash?  Why isn’t that person, who made a good financial decision, being rewarded?

Back When There Was Some Good Music

I’m away (far away) and had to set this post to publish ahead of time.

Badass, huh?  Do you remember seeing this video and thinking how cool U2 was?  I was watching a special on VH1 Classic about classic albums and they covered The Joshua Tree.  It was a pretty cool show because they intereviewed the engineers and producers, not just the band, and showed how they built the sound for the album.  Remember albums?

Check it out and Tivo if you catch it.

Que Rico!

I loves me some Cuban food. No matter how high fuel prices get, we pretty regularly make a trek from our little shack in the Westland Ghetto to Taste of Havana on Tazwell Pike. TOH used to be at Kingston Pike and Lovell Road, but it seems like they made a good decision to change locations, even if it’s not as convenient for us. It’s almost always full when we go to eat there, and with good reason–authentic food, big portions, fairly priced, and a huge selection of delicious desserts.

Cuban FoodWe’re in the ALPH until tomorrow for my job, and there’s a Cuban restaurant called From Havana to You here I’ve wanted to try. I had to wait for The Missus to be here though, because she’d skin me good if she knew I went to eat Cuban and she was home having spagetti or something. We checked it out tonight, and it was incredible. As good as TOH is, this place was even better. Before we left the owner brought us a cup full of arroz amarillo that the cook (looked like his mom) had just finished making. This stuff was unbelievable. I asked if they could make a big batch for me some time to take home and freeze. Of course, no problem!

I’d love to visit Cuba, where Cuban food is just called “food” and is available everywhere.

Stupid damn Castro!

MSM Strategy

AP vs Bloggers, Couch-gate, and _____ coming soon to an outraged corner of the blogosphere some time next week.

If a marketer were smart, she’d use this surefire formula to duplicate these incidents.  It’s really a simple process, and it creates buzz and a ton of web traffic.

  1. Announce or release something that is sure to piss off bloggers.
  2. Wait for the eventual meltdown to occur in the blogosphere.  You won’t have to wait long–people falling all over themselves to talk about you.
  3. Clarify what you originally announced or released just as the buzz starts to die down, reviving the discussion.  Make sure everyone knows it was all just a misunderstanding.

Excuse me while I plot a way to generate traffic for myself instead of someone else.