Friday, December 19, 2008

Fact or Fiction? - Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

 FTD Storm

Fact: Babies are born without logical thought.  In some, this doesn't appear until the human reaches retirement age.

Today, I encountered one of these unfortunate beings.

  

I work in a call center... supporting computers and hating stupid people.  One of the applications I support keeps track of orders taken from other companies (our competitors) that provide the same service that we do.  Details aren't important... just understand that this application helps the middle man (our customer) keep track of all incoming and outgoing orders.

 

 

Call of the day:

caller says something to the effect of the following:

I sent 3 orders… Louis, Larry, Chad. Those are  the names.

 

Louis went to My Company

Larry went to Competitor

Chad went to Competitor

We phoned all of them out. I put them into the system and marked them phoned. So I don’t understand why Louis is marked with My Company and Larry and Chad are marked Competitor

Shouldn’t they all be the same thing?

My voice says “Phoned out isn’t a wire service… they’re going to be different because you used different services. They’re all marked phoned, with this check box right here” I move my mouse and point to show member.

That doesn’t make any sense. Shouldn’t they still all be Competitor out?

The headset resonates “When you called the other florist, and gave them the order… did you 2 discuss payment via Competitor or My Company?”

Louis was Your Company… and the other 2 were Competitor.

“Ok then…" (Why are you calling?)

So why is Louis marked as Your Company?

“Because, you called, them… and will, be paying them… by way of My Company…...?" (Seriously?)

That doesn’t make any sense. Why are the other 2 marked Competitor then?

“You’re paying them via Competitor, are you not?”

No, I am.

“Ok… so to keep track of that… would you mark them Competitor Two?”

No, I’m not an idiot.  I’d mark them Competitor.

“Ok… so if you’d mark them Competitor… and they’re marked Competitor… why do you think they’re marked Competitor?”

I’m not sure

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Have you ever pissed in public?

Current mood:  amused

So we've all been in public, at least once... and had to take a piss, or shit, or do something to that effect. Some how, through some people's upbringing, the common unspoken rules of Pissing in Public bypassed they're brains.... and are rude... out right disturbing even.

DisplayPooNow I write this directed towards the men.... mostly. That's pretty much because I don't frequent the ladies room, so I don't know what kind of gross things happen over there on the other side of the wall, and some days... it's better that way.
But believe me, I know people... I've got insider agents that tell me how disgusting some of you women lurk!

For instance... for the men..... You walk into a bathroom with 2 stalls, and 3 urinals.... No one is in there... which urinal do you choose?
If you choose left or right.... you seem to know what you're doing. You know to put a urinal buffer between you and anyone who may walk in to take a piss after you.You can piss in public without making people feel like you're going to peek at their penis.
On the other hand... some men might say middle because it's the most comfortable or whatever they blame... who cares what the reason, 'cause when I walk in after you, and you've got your dick out... and you're makin' a river..... it's too late for me, I've got no where else to go without you lookin' at my junk, unless I dip into the stall.
Then I think, that you think, I'm insecure and have to piss in the stall to hide my size.
WRONG. I just don't want you lookin' at my cock.

1) Here's the Rule: More than 2 stalls... leave 1 between you and any *POSSIBLE* person to walk in. If some one's already in the middle... push them softly, center back, as if they were pissing in the woods, and jog out, act inconspicuous until they leave... then return for a proper piss.

Next up... Who all has been in a public bathroom and someone else is in there too... Midstream... this person knows what they're doin'... they're against the wall urinal.. leaving a buffer and then there's your urinal against the other corner.... no biggy right.
So you're feelin' ok, you whip it out and begin draining your log... and the dude says " `sup man?" Alright, who's been there? hands, anyone?
Yeah, don't be that guy.

I'm standing here, holding my cock.... and you wanna talk about the fuckin' weather? Get the hell outta here! I didn't come in here to talk to you about your shirt, or suggest you get high lights in your hair and explain that your shoes don't match your belt because it's after fuckin' labor day.

2) Here's the rule: DON'T TALK TO PEOPLE IN THE BATHROOM!! If you know the person your with, and you're settin' up a girl for your boy and you need to discuss tactics... don't do it while either of you are pissing, wait until he's done.
If you don't know the guy, don't say anything to the guy. Not once you've both passed that bathroom threshold... don't even nod. The ONLY exception is Rule 3.

Ever go to an Asian place for dinner, or maybe that taco shop that everyone warns about but goes there anyways.... and then go to the club/bar afterwards?
Here's the thing about takin' a shit in a club setting. First off... courtesy mother fuckin' flush. You drop a dumpling, flush... you drop a 13inch by 4incher... flush. Get that stink out, because otherwise you wreak, and so does your clothes... chicks do smell that, even if they're nice about it.
Next thing about it is watch for crabs. I know it's just a rumor and Myth Busters and whomever else has proved the theory wrong that you can get crabs off a toilet seat. But think about it gentlemen...... how many male whores sat where your ass is placed when you're cheek to porcelain... and how many more std's can men contract without symptoms? I won't get too detailed.
Plus, think of the people that work there...... do you really think they clean that shitter all that well?  ------------- If you worked there, would you?
So you have a couple of options... you can hover over the toilet... but really... that's only practical in a port-a-john situation. Option B, grab some shit tickets (Toilet Paper) and place it on the seat. Don't forget the back edge too. Now you have a physical barrier between you and someone else's mistimed poo.

3) Not really a rule for this one... unless you were in a HELL of a hurry, and had to ask the guy in the stall next to you for some shit tickets... this is the ONLY time you should talk to someone else in the men's bathroom.

Ladies, your turn.... There's been reports of people going to the bathroom, and coming back in groups.... I understand... it's a little weird for men to get it, but there's been survey after survey to find out why.
Most common answers: They don't want to be raped, they're bored when alone in the bathroom, and simply put... the female gender are instinctively, the group type, while males are more independent.
What I figure is that you go to the bathroom in groups for a few different reasons.... mostly, (at least at the early 20 something ages and younger) it has to do with the guys. Either there's a creepy guy asking you to dance, to buy you a drink, or your favorite color of ice cream... whatever the case may be, that's what your wing woman is for... to save you. "Hey! I have to go pee!" your natural reply is "Me TOO! Be right back.." with a smile because you know this is your chance to escape.
I believe another reason is so that you can decide what part of the club/bar to go after getting the current guy's number.... that way no one looks lost or more drunk than you actually are.
Last one, because you women (most that I've encountered, not all) have bladders the size of oysters... I swear! So you all do have to pee, or just because someone mentions pee... you now really do have to pee as well.
Women are women... whatever.

Rule 4) Women, whatever.

If it's your time of the month.... be polite about it!!!
People, people people, people.... seriously. If you don't wear a pad, then know what to do with the tampon when you're done with it. For instance... Don't put it in the god damned toilet! TRASH CAN! Further more, don't put the wrapper, plastic shell of the new tampon, and the old tampon in the toilet.... DISGUSTING!!! Try the TRASH CAN ON FOR SIZE!!!
Believe me, people know when you're the last one out of the bathroom and they walk in, and just happen to use the same toilet.... Then they tell their friends.
Seriously ladies..... that's gross.

Rule 5) Don't put your tampons (or pads) in the toilet! Sicko... give kids cancer doin' shit like that.

Men.... remember rule 1-3... 4 too if you're wise.

Women... Pay attention to rule 5, jesus.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

When the rolls are against you, hang in there

ElectionChina

The picture here...

not that it's a bad thing ...


just that it's a funny thing. To me.

Thought I'd share what was left in my cubical on election day (And everyone I work with's cubical)


 

 

Tuesday night was a hell of a league night.

It was a race to 5, and I was spotting 3 games.
He took the lag, broke dry, and I chose solids. As the game went on it came down to 3 balls on the table... The 8, The Cueball, and one of my solids.
He was up to smack the 8 in...

He missed it by a half diamond, but laser-sighted the cueball directly into the corner pocket.

I don't like winning that way, but a win is a win.

Next rack I break but nothing drops. He takes down around 3 or 4 solids and misses. I'm on stripes, I run 6 and play safe... but miss the position and he has a shot.
He takes the table down to him and the 8 again... This one is a much more likely "make it and scratch all in the same shot" kind of angle.
The cut was so thin that even top or bottom wouldn't help, if it did... it's be a miracle.

So he shoots, he scores, he scratches.
My point.

So I'm 2 up and he's done it all by himself.

3rd game looks familiar at the end... clean table, and I keep letting him back at the table.
Maybe I'm just getting the rolls and that's giving me the game?
In any case... he's on the 8, and it's a cut almost down the rail, where he has to hit it with speed, but the chance of a cross side scratch is pretty likely.
So he hits it... the 8 walks down the cloth and the cueball sprints back and forth and eventually comes to rest right in front of the side pocket... the 8 sees this and also stops in front of the corner pocket.
I run 2 and the 8 drops.
I'm 3 up... now it's an even race.

ok, now this is the part of the movie where the bad guy turns out to be a spy for the good guys and ends up making the doctor of some fancy hospital do some crazy research or crazy surgery so he can complete his mission.

I break again... come up dry, but the table is a beautiful spread. Something little girls lay awake at night staring at the ceiling, dreaming of seeing something so sweet at their wedding. Perfect and splendid.

He takes solids and starts getting amazing rolls... aim for a shot in the corner and it rattles somehow into the side pocket on the same rail, kind of rolls. Being APA rules... slop plays.

He wins that game... then the next game the rolls are still going his way
Completely NOT on purpose... he safes me like 4 times in a row. I feel like I'm playing someone that's never picked up a cue before, so the balls always get moved around and there's absolutely no strategy or concept of english. Just a bunch of hit and hope....... and it's working.

Hill/Hill and a few balls off the table... he hits something weird and the only balls resting on the the green plateau.

Lock Tight Safe

I'm stripes.        You... the reader... are stripes.

There aren't ANY other balls on the table. You've got a super easy out... but you're left with this.
Not even a jump shot available.

UGH!
Hence the title... When they're not going your way, give it a minute. Murphy's law works for everyone... at least when I'm at the table.

 

Oh yeah, somehow from this he got ball in hand and cleaned up... me losing the match 3/2.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Small town, Big Times


Last week I was on yet another business trip.
A small town with less than 10,000 people called "Jasper"

I arrived in this tiny little town to realize they enjoy country music, religion, and bingo.
Yes my friends, Bingo... just like the child hood song.

Oddly enough, in a tiny little town like this...it's common to have a bar on every corner.
There were literally 2 bars in the entire town. So forget about my goal (pool hall)

But there was a ton of bingo parlors.

My first night I slept a restless slumber.
During the day I asked around about a place to go play pool... refered to the bowling alley I started my drive.

On the way there I saw a little place called O'Malley's
An irish bar by the name, and the beer in the bottles behind the shelf I rested my elbows.


First thing the barkeep says to me when I walk in is "Are you going to stay for the pool tournament?"
Well, now that you mention it...

They had 5 barboxes and about 4 sticks on the wall. Would you believe that not a single stick was worth a dime?
beautiful things one finds in a bar
/sarcasm

Apparently this place also has open tables mon, tue, and wed.
No pool hall in town, but I found the place I'm going to be.

So I play pool for an hour or so with a half assed piece of twig and one of the guys that works there comes over and offers to play.
So we play and it comes up that I'm going to be in the tourny... so he offers that I can use one of his sticks.

Sweet mother load of apples.


So let's count here...
small town... so I'm not expecting to play any pool.
I accidentally stumble into a bar and find 5 tables
all 5 are wide open for the next 3 days
and there's a double elimination pool tourny for cheap.
it's going to be a good week.

so I get some practice in with the pool stick for about an hour before the tourney starts. Flip for the break... heads... tails lands and I'm rackin'
Every match is a race to one... good luck.

He breaks... 8 ball drops.
There goes my free space, right dead center on my bingo card.

I'm in the losers bracket... I come up against a guy that showed he's got some speed in an earlier game I was watching.

Flip... Heads... Tails up... I rack.
Break... open table.

I play a connect the dots run down to the 8 and bobble it... he misses and leaves perfectly straight in, then pushes the 8 in to shake my hand.

B14, I20, O55, N43 and my bingo card is getting darker.

Next match is against a shorter, fluffier guy
Flip... Heads... Tails up... I rack... again.
Break... drops a stripe but no shot. Plays safe
A couple of clusters bother the layout... I knock in a couple balls
then break out the cluster I'm most worried about, playing safe at the same time.
He kicks, leaves a shot... I finish the rack.

Next match... Older fella with a hat on
Flip... Heads... Tails up... I rack. What the shit?
He breaks, makes 2 solids and runs down to the 8.
I'm feeling the end of this tourney is on the tip of my cue stick... and I'm not going out like this.
He (luckily) missed position and had a tough bank on the 8... ended up double kissing and leaving me a shot.
I run down and play safe behind 2 balls blocking the 8.
He kicks for a 3 rail hit and gives up ball in hand.

Another 5 bingo squares go dark on my card.

Flip... Tails... Tails up... I break.
bout damn time... damnit
I break... make nothing but leave the rock on the end rail and some how, every shot is a combination.
(I planned it that way lol)
He shoots... he misses... and I'm up.
I'm free wheelin' now... I don't even think about the table.
I just see it, and go. So this is what it feels like to eat a $45,000 bowl of ice cream in a 5 star resturant... nice.

anyway... I make a solid and I'm left funny
A bank drops the 5 in the corner
I play another and I miss ideal position
another solid drops and I'm stuck behind a 3 ball combo
I glance at it and hit the 7-14-3... 3 drops
I play the 7 and leave myself on the rail.
Frozen.
with a straight in shot on the 1 in the opposite corner.
My leave would have to either draw slightly, or at the very least stop... for the 8 in the side. 1mm forward and I'm stuck behind the 14 that just sank my 3 ball.
with a stick I've been using for about an hour... I crank up to about 80 degrees, center bottom english... aim at the 1 for the corner.

PreShot Routine pays off... I stroke hard and fast, before I have a chance to look at the pocket the 1 ball isn't on the table and I have a shot on the 8.

I drop this, and it's semi finals.
"Click"
Semi finals and all I need on my bingo card is 3 more squares and I've got a blackout for $150

Flip... Tails... Heads up... I rack.
Break drops the 8 and I'm out.



I really need to work on my break.
Either that or find out what I need to call before the flip.



I don't mind losing.
It's when i play like my hands are made of tires and my brain is made of mush
even if I win I feel like shit.

If I play my best and lose, I'm ok with that. I lost to a better player... I didn't beat myself.

When is it ok for you to lose? Why do you get pissed if you win? Leave a comment and vent about it

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oh yeah, I still have a blog


A lot has happened in the past few months...

Marriage, Baby, Puppy, League Play Offs, Tournaments, Business travels, where to begin...

I went to Ohio for about a week at a time once a month since July 1st.
Ohio is a nice place... at least they have hills... aka moguls. I have to admit, it's a bit refreshing that you have to step on the gas for a reason other than passing someone or because the light turning green.

my tuesday night team had the pleasure of pulling the wild card for the league playoffs this past session.
We arrived, practice, and our player played the first match... winning.
I played the 2nd match. Doing well in practice I was confident going into the match...
Missing 2 hanging 8's gave me the loss...
Ended up creating a snowball effect for the entire team, and once again... we didn't proceed past playoffs.

I joined a new team in a completely different league and location (same rules though and same night)
It's not for the reason some might expect...
It's not because we lost.
It's not because I'm tired of losing against players that are better than me.
It's not because the distance is too far.

It's because I feel I've grown complacent. I've played everyone there, and I know what they expect of me.
I'm tired of playing like shit.
I've learned that when I get a coach the result isn't going to be me learning something... it's going to be deciding the best shot for this exact layout... but there is no why, there is no what if. Just do this, and if it doesn't work it'll be dealt with.
I'm a great player, but every time I play a league match my game goes to crap and I miss easy straight in shots... why?
Not sure... most of the time it's because I over think the shot and the table and everything... and stop thinking about the shot at hand.
How to stop thinking too much? Not sure yet.

So I decided to remove myself from that environment and look at things from a different perspective.
Maybe being with players that I've only seen stalking the table in the past, I'll learn something from those that I've never spoke to before.

I joined a league with people that speak my language.
See... I'm a geek/nerd... self admited, yeah... but seriously... I troll sites such as lifehacker.com, instructables.com, and of course google.com. My spare time is spent researching quantum mechanics and thinking of how I can turn a bucket into a water collection when it rains so I can spend less on bills and more on pool. I'm a DIY (do it yourself) nerd...
Generally the people I'm playing with and against are notoriously smart individuals. I've heard the term genious mentioned more than once in reference to this group.
My point is... I speak geek, and so do they.
Being on the same level it might be easier to pull something out of the matches played... or watched.

in any case... I'm thinking that these people over think things as much as I do from time to time. And there's bound to be great players... and if those great players over think things... maybe they can explain how they've over come over thinking.


Short synopsys
The league started 2 weeks ago... they have a test of various shots. Depending on how well you do during this test you're rated between 1-100. Apparently I scored well because my first match I had a decent handicap.
I was spotting 4 games in a race to 7.

Wow.
That's a decent hill. Something I could gracifully ride on a snowboard.

So the match starts, we lag... I win with inches to spare.
I break... not a thing drops.
The break is random anyhow... so whatever.

After letting my opponent know the table is wide open, getting back to my seat, and letting him look at the green for a good 60 seconds he goes back to his seat and sits down.
Without shooting. Turns out I made the 9ball on the break and didn't even notice it.
Smooth

so I get up to shoot the stripes and end up running down to 1 ball plus the 8. I miss the safe and think to myself I should have safed sooner... but too late now.
He shoots, misses, and I win.
the next 2 racks he and I both get down to the 8 ball and bouce it around the table for a good 28 innings before it finally drops... 3-0 and all I know is I've got a hill to climb.
4th game I win again with a good safe that gives ball in hand, and I ran 2 or 3 to get out.

Then the 5th game I realize that my endurance is starting to slip, my focus with it... so I concentrate harder and make sure that I take the hard shots first, leaving the ducks/easy shots last.
But since I missed the hard shots... he won
4-1
next game I missed position on a ball... attempted a safe and ended up scratching
with BIH he wins
4-2

I'm not keeping any sort of track in my mind of what the score is... so I ask, just to find out he's on the hill... and I need 3.
sweet green apples.

it's an awkward break... he doesn't make anything, but there's a nice strong cluster of about 8 balls where the rack used to be.
Theres 3 solids, the 8, and 2 stripes. I choose stripes because there's less clustered, and there's a ball in key position to be made... and break out the cluster.

I play down to the key ball and then realize my mistake.


the 3-8 are wired to the corner pocket. If I make this ball, break this cluster, I'm losing this rack.
So I hit a ball out of the stack and leave only 1 in the cluster...
we go back and forth a couple of innings, eventually I get stuck and am left something to this effect



I can barely see the 13... but if I get a good hit... it's not solid enough to move the cueball with draw and I'll scratch. If He runs 4, game over.
I'm blocked from everything else that's mine.
I decide to take the hit and foul on purpose, creating this...



I look at the table, giving him ball in hand... I see only 1 out.
1 out that includes 2 banks from weird angles. I'm expecting a safe, and returning to the table.

His first shot:


His next shot


final shot


But he decides to play the 8 in the corner... instead of the side
misses, but leaves me without a simple out.

I elect safe, but it's the wrong safe, and I leave him the win



a good match... and I'm not sad I lost. A rarity lately
but I'm not upset because I actually played well, I played to my potential.
I didn't feel nervous, awkward or anything other than "I'm here to win"

apparently the 8 ball didn't get my memo

Monday, September 1, 2008

Scrabble Victory (hints and tips)

What I reference: http://lifehacker.com/5043607/ten-words-to-clinch-scrabble-victory

I know there's a lot of scrabble players out there. I personally don't play all that often, but I know there's actual organized leagues of scrabble games. When I heard that I didn't freak out, I didn't think "WHY?!"
I thought to myself... interesting. We're all geeks, just some of us are a different kind of geek. Pool geek, History geek, Computer geek, Word geek.

Here's a post about 10 handy words that will help you out if you come across a bunch of letters that don't make very much sense.
A few other tips too

Friday, August 22, 2008

Does "Consumer Be Aware" mean anything to you?



I just recently stumbled on this post that kind of opened my eyes to what I'm actually being charged, and not just my phone bill either.

Are you being charged .002 cents? or .002 dollars? it makes a big difference.

http://verizonmath.blogspot.com/2006/12/verizon-doesnt-know-dollars-from-cents.html

I'd explain in better detail, but the link does a MUCH better job.

I took note because I also use Verizon as a wireless carrier. I'm pretty good with numbers, but I figure that a large company such as Verizon, would also have a few people that are also good with numbers.
Well, apparently the author of this post/blog was unfortunate enough to NOT get the few that are good with numbers.

My favorite part of the audio conversation is

"How do you write 1 dollar on paper?"

"1" -- $1.00

"and how do you write 1 cent?"

"point 0 1" -- $0.01

"Ok, and how do you write a half dollar?"

"point 5 0" -- $0.50

"and to write a half cent?"

"point 0 0 5" -- $0.005 -- "I don't know, I'm not a mathematician. The computer is charging you correctly"

MAN!!! We were almost there! and then she gave in to enlightenment.

I take special interest in this situation because of the audio clip of the conversation...
Being someone who does customer service over the phones for a living... I understand what's going through the call rep's mind during this conversation. At the same time, I REALLY RELALLY hope that I'm able to take a step back and see the customer's point when they have a valid point.

Personally... if I was the first person that he spoke with, I would have felt as if the customer was trying a scam of some sort. In all honesty, I think he handled himself very well and I've spoken to many many people that aren't nearly as patient, and with issues that have no relation to money, or principle.

http://verizonmath.blogspot.com/2006/12/verizon-doesnt-know-dollars-from-cents.html

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

When Does It All Start?

Child Think back to when you were young... still young enough not to care what others thought of you. Young enough to stand in place and spin and spin until the sky became a mesh background to the the screen of the grass blades when you fell to the ground laughing.
Minutes later you were still laughing, spinning again. Didn't matter if you were alone or had 3 people spinning and crashing into each other.

At work today in a child like moment I decided to celebrate fixing a very difficult issue for a customer. I celebrated alone, and silently, by spinning in my chair without stopping... for about a minute, probably.

When I stopped... I wasn't concerned with how fun it was or how great a feeling it was. I was concerned with how long the dizziness was going to last, and damn... how old am I??

I got weezy from spinning in a damned office chair. G'bye 6 flags!

What happens to us when we age? We stop jumping bikes off ramps as tall as our waist, we stop jumping into the rushing water of a freezing river... we avoid the sand in the parking lot because we're wearing sandles and don't want to mess with walking with rocks in our 'shoes'

When do we start caring, and stop not caring?
Is it social.. is it a responsibility sorta thing? I'm tired of being old... and I'm not going to stand for it.
I'm going to sit in my chair, and watch other people be old... ignoring those that are still young... this will make my age seem younger, thus making me happy.

That's all that really matters right? YOUR feelings... YOUR happiness... why aren't you?

What pisses you off? What makes you angry... got a pet peeve? that's what the comments are for... feel free to share, I'm sure you're not the only one

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A lesson from Danny Diliberto

Golden1 Danny Diliberto is currently on tour, as the rock band type would say.
I play straight pool more often than not. It's my favorite game, actually. I like 8 ball next, then 1 pocket and the rest are outta the money, so they whatever.

I found out on AZBilliards.com that Danny Diliberto was going to be in a local pool hall giving some lessons, and I was going to be in the area.... so I stopped in

Going into the lesson I was thinking that I'd learn how to pick apart a rack and with the new found pattern play, break past my current 43 ball high run.
When Danny and I started the session he asked what game did I want to focus on. My response was the favorite... 14.1

He broke (a nearly perfect 2 balls out of the rack to the rail, back to original position break) amazingly... then we went back and forth about 2 or 3 innings.
I missed a couple of easy shots. I mean EASY easy shots... such as straight in, from inches away... bobble. Or I'd slice it into a diamond. Terrible misses. I felt like I was just learning to play.

After 2 or 3 misses I learned the most important part of the entire hour.
I said to Danny "Some days your on, some day's your not. Today, I'm completely off"
His response "You know the pros don't have on and off days. You know why? Because they've learned not to let themselves have an off day. When they're off, they slow down and find out why... and 15 minutes later... they're on. They don't give themselves excuses."

Interesting.
To some, this might not be a little gem stone in the coal mine... but for me, it spoke loudly.

The rest of the lesson was pretty casual, I could tell that Danny was tired from being on the road and giving lesson after lesson.
When I'd miss he'd move the balls back to their original position and say "again"... miss "again"... miss "again" until I got the shot right... position perfect. Then we'd move on.

Every time before I'd get down on a shot he was absolutely sure to remind me of a few things... a few things that we all have to remind ourselves from time to time...

Picture the shot in your mind before you even step into it... visualization.
Decide exactly what's going to happen, get down on the shot... watch the balls do exactly what they're supposed to before you even move a muscle.... take your practice strokes, pause to ensure everything is absolutely perfect... and follow through.

Follow through follow through follow the fuck through.
That was my issue.
main issue anyway

So I learned that I need to pay attention and focus on the table, not anything else.

So now I'm going to go polish the gems I just found... and go put it into a collage of artifacts that no one else cares about, but in the end... it might mean something to someone.

But at least it'll be fun getting there :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

During the summer each individual city/county has their own little "Taste of insert city name here"
Friday night I went to the local-est (that's a word, but don't look it up) one to me and I didn't taste any food, or drink any beer. Or play any pool.

But they had a couple of live bands there... one of which was very good.
I'm not a big fan of live music in bars and small venues... often times they're using concert speakers for a place that has signs on the wall "max capacity 110 "


It's too loud for such a small space... so I avoid karaoke (read: cock-a-rocky) nights and live band nights at bars and such. Usually they play songs from the classic rock genre that everyone knows, and only 40+ year old people actually get up and wiggle to the beat. Not a bad thing, but it seems that 9/10 cover bands... I could write a set list and be accurate on at least 5 songs. (not including which order the songs are played)

This band was outside in a little park setting... which has nothing to do with why they were a good band.
When I first got to the place they were playing some obscure music I've never heard before... didn't really sound like my slice of pie so I ignored it. The next song, and every song after that, I enjoyed very much.



They were playing Pink Floyd... all music from the same genre, but there's something about Pink Floyd that's a little more difficult than "Bad to the Bone" or "Hotel California"

I was only there for about an hour... and all they played was Floyd. I felt like I was at a live show from 20 years ago... spread out on a grassy knoll enjoying the acidic sounds of the night sky.
It was a beautiful thing...

The band was in tune... they were a tight group... changes were smooth... notes were hit... timing was right... and I'm tellin' you the voice was Syd Barrett in some other guy's throat, I swear.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

Legal I work the late shift... scheduled to leave an hour before we close. Often times since it's late, there's me and 1 or 2 other people... so I stick around for an hour or so to help out.
Because of this, and playing league, people have found out my dark secret... and it spread like wild fire here in this casual work place I call hell.

So this most recent independence day eve there was a bit of a get together at a local bar with a bunch of the folk from my hell.

The bar had 2 unmanaged bar box tables and I was called out to play.
The guy (for this, aka Chris Rock) I was pitted up against knew I played, and he's been calling me out for a few weeks... if not a month or 2 now.

So we get enough change for 4 games... We flip, I break, come up dry.

 

~~~~~~~~ Please hold ~~~~~~~~~~~

Before I continue this part... I need to point something out. I was talking about good pool halls and bad pool halls with someone about 6 months ago. He said something that kinda stuck with me...


"I go to [insert pool hall here] to play pool and drink, I go here to drink and play pool. Only a player can know what I mean."


Well... I arrived at this gathering to drink.

~~~~~~~~ Thanks for waiting ~~~~~~~

 

So I'm a shot and a pitcher in the bag when I break the first rack. I easily miss the next 15 or so shots, and lose the first game. Then the 2nd game is a loss and I'm racking the 3rd... this is about the time that I realize I should probably win at least once.

So I set the beer down, decide to actually examine the house stick I'm playing with (Turns out it's 3 ounces heavier than I'm used to, but the tip has a great shape to it... so I keep it)
Since the tip is decent I realize that every time I had been attempted to draw the ball, and it just stops dead.... it's a heavier cue ball. Duh... beer influenced this delay of discovery for sure.

The 3rd game comes down to my 1 ball and the 8 ball... Chris Rock had 3 left, I think... I miss but safe him, he misses... I win.
I noticed there were a couple people analyzing the shots and discussing it between each other... when I saw them my VERY first thought was Abercrombie & Finch. Well, Abercrombie was telling Finch something... it almost looked like they were watching us to see if we would be good to gamble against, but it could have been nothing. The juke was too loud to really hear what they were saying anyway.
4th game... I win again.

So we're tied 2x2 and we're outta coins. We call it good and we'll play some other day.

....... 4 drinks later.......

The people discussing our game decide they want to play. The game is doubles... 8 ball... bar rules.
They wanted to play for drinks. I tell them that we just got a fresh pitcher... so let's play a rack and if the pitcher is empty when the 8 ball drops, we'll play for drinks. They agreed.

So I end up breaking, 2 solids fall, I make one and play an iffy safe... Abercrombie comes up, swings and a miss... Chris Rock takes a shot, misses... then Fitch comes up, runs the table.

Everyone claps... we decided not to play doubles for drinks.

Then we just drank a lot and drove it off.

The rematch will happen, one day.

 

 

 

Random side note, I was getting gas yesterday and pulled around this brigade of cops arresting a biker. No idea what he did but that's not the point.

The point is that he is 1 man... and they needed 10 cops. Maybe he robbed a doughnut shop?

1 bike, 10 cops... why?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Down with the fancy!

FountainI started this blog with high hopes.
Not sure what exactly that means, but in an effort to achieve said hopes... I've tried to make long/interesting blogs.

I realize that I've succeeded in only one of those 2 things.

And it wasn't very interesting along the way.

So as they say... less is more.
Park + SkylineWell, I don'Skyline from a farris Wheelt really care... but I'm posting less....... words.. that is. Blue Sky + Fountain

This past weekend I went to the The Taste of Chicago.
It was good. I had food, and beer. Then water next to a fountain.

I also rode a tall wheel like contraption.

Here's pictures. Yey

 

    Another Fountain

Monday, June 9, 2008

Channel 9 is the Captain's Channel

Last Tuesday I didn't play on my summer league team. There's a reason for it, a good reason I suppose. But a reason none the less.

I was in NY.
Staten Island to be more exact...

I went out on business. I expected more time to play, but work got in the way and I was much too tired after 12 hours days.

It wasn't a bad trip over all... I wish I could have stayed another 24 hours... but oh well.

The flight there... OMG, GARBAGE!!!

NEVER FLY UNITED AIRLINES... if you'd like to know why... ask me.
or just read and scroll in a downward sorta fashion.

My flight was booked about a week early via Expedia... through my work job type place. They booked it, and sent me an email. Thanks :)
So a week later I write down the confirmation number and head to the airport... proceed to get into the wrong line, then correct myself, and then my anger for United Airlines begins.

I get to the front of the line... start checking in and find out as of June 15, 2008 they'll be charging $15 for the first bag, $50 for the 2nd and (now I'm going from memory) 3rd... and $100+ for every bag there after, depending on weight.
So that surprised me, but I didn't care because it's not June 15th at this point... do I drove on.
Filled out the little "if lost contact" tag and attached it to my 1 bag going under the plane... and wait for someone to collect said bag.

The guy next to me is on the Customer Help(less) Phone... obviously frustrated, and getting more and more irate by the word.
I eavesdrop that he's been waiting for nearly 20 minutes and no one behind the counter has helped him. Apparently the person on the other end of the phone said "ok, well you're going to have to speak with someone behind the counter sir" because his response is "I WOULD. If they would speak with me. For 25 minutes, no one has helped me... That's why I'm calling you."

As his anger is rising, my funny bone is tickling... and I'm enjoying this unfold.
There's 3 people on the other side of his little counter space, and he's able to get 1 of their attentions... He explains that the representative on the phone would like to speak with a united rep behind the counter.

Little FYI... This guy is respectable looking. Neatly dressed and speaks very clear educated English. Not pompous or any sort of "I'm better than you" kind of attitude at all.
He asked the man behind the counter calmly. And respectfully. The response he got influenced his next words into the phone "The guy behind the counter just got off the clock. 1 other person said he doesn't speak with anyone on the phone. and the 3rd person says she doesn't want to speak with you."

Good job United.

About 3 or 4 minutes later a guy asks for my bag, I hand, he says Thanks, and throws it on the conveyer asking someone at the end of the line to handle it.
Wait a second.... did you even look at the name? Where's the destination tag that attaches to every bag going under the plane?

I spoke up, and it was added to my simple backpack.

After getting my self taken care of I mentioned the guy next to me was having issues getting service... my representative spoke to him, and turned him to the end a line about 8 people deep... which formed in the past 10 minutes while I waited.

Thumbs up United.

Fast forward through security because that's never an issue and I get to Terminal B... head down to my gate.
After leaving the main walk way area and getting to the very end of the terminal I find my number, B19.
Apparently this is the first gate before you get to the sun.
Within 2 steps onto the carpeted area I find my shirt slowly drenching in sweat... I see the people in the seats wiping sweat from their brows with shoe strings because they're out of napkins... I'm watching babies go to sleep because it's too hot to cry.
Even they know it's too hot to try and complain, Satan doesn't give 2 shits.

I have another hour before my flight starts to board... excellent. I walk around for about 5 minutes and find the coolest area near my gate and plop a seat.

an hour or near strolls by and I notice a line has formed. That's expected.

If you've never flown before... here's something you should know before this experience continues.
When you check in and you get your boarding pass, it'll show your gate, flight number, type of plane your about to fly on, your seat number, and what section you'll be boarding in.
Seat usually being 1-30 or whatever... depending on length of plane. The lower number the more forward in the plane you are.
Section usually being 1, 2, 3, 4 or a, b, c, etc... and they board accordingly.

My Ticket: Section was "n/a"....Seat was "to be determined at gate"
Strange, but ok... perhaps because it was booked with work it's a standby sorta thing.

I go to the counter... wait in line... explain to the customer service my confusion, and I'm told I'll board after group/section 4, but before Standby.
Alrighty... sounds good to me. I'm in Group 5 with no name.
Right on.

So I sit back down and wait some more. I watch groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 group into semi-lines... I decided it'd be a good time to hop in line.

Ticket guy takes my ticket and says "oh, you're not yet... you'll have to wait." and takes the ticket behind me.
Oh, sorry... I walk to the end of the line (maybe 10 people back) and start over.
Getting to the front of the line again he reads my ticket "Rabbit... You're waiting for a seat assignment... You'll have to wait. Just have a seat over there."

Talked to me like a child in a restroom. Creepy.

This is odd though... because it's a group of me and about 15 others standing, sitting, dying... the screens are flickering with over 30 standby passengers for this flight.
I go over to the desk and take land behind the 1 person in line. He's taken a spot behind the person currently being helped at the counter.

2... 3... 4 minutes pass... 5 minutes... the person is helped. Successful! and he runs off to board the plane.
So does the service rep behind the counter.

WTF?

Ticket dude is gone. Service rep is gone... now 20 names on the standby list. What the hell just happened?

I find the nearest united customer service telephone and call the same line the gent at the baggage check in called.
Get the same response "You'll need to speak with a rep behind the counter, they'll sort everything out for you sir."
This is my response after explaining that there is no one behind the counter.

"Give me a minute... I'll let you talk to Casper" and I walk away from the phone.

Checking every gate for a rep I end up walking up to gate B1.
I find 1 rep.
Behind 1 completely empty counter.

I walk up to the counter and say "Excuse me" in the American polite sort of manner... response "Gimme a minute"
She was obviously concentrating, so I wait.

about 15 minutes of my random "is now a good time?" interruptions I've long decided not to leave my post because she'd run off to magic plane land and I'll never get on my flight.
Sorry lady, you walk away from this podium, I'm on your tail. You've earned a shadow :-)

Eventually she finishes her work and starts to walk away... After 15 minutes of not really having anything to look at I've memorized her name and every piece of information on her name tag. "Nikki, I need to get on a plane. You said give me a minute... I've given you 15, can we resolve this please?"

"Sorry hun, I'm off the clock." as she turned to walk away. I read off her ID number and ask for her manager, followed by her full name.

What's with people clocking out in this place? Damn.

Spinning back to the desk... she is unable to explain what happened... does confirm that I should have had a seat right behind first class but not in economy/coach (good seats.. my favorite without spending $1000) and she was able to get me onto a flight 2 hours later. All of this after saying "that flight is still boarding... it was delayed"
"Yeah, delayed for 10 minutes. That mark was 45 minutes ago."

Thanks for the update United.

The next flight leaves in 2.5 hours, it's the last flight of the night. I make my way to chili's and buy a beer, and wait.
My new boarding pass says I'm boarding with section/group 2... this excites me a little because I like the front of the plane better.
For you safety nuts, I know that behind the wings is better as far as safe goes... but I look at it like this. If I'm gonna go, it doesn't matter if I'm in the ass of the plane or the head of a train. My number's up, it's up. I'm not afraid of death... especially since it's simply a part of life anyway.
The front of the plane is better for a couple of reasons... It's quieter. Often has a better view out of the window (less wing/engine to bother with.) Bathrooms are closer. The TV's (if equipped) often are of better quality than the rear. The crying babies/noisy children are 90% behind me (as in the back of the plane)

where was I... Oh right, section 2... I board, no issues, get to my seat... I'm in an exit isle.... awesome sweetness!
This means I get an extra 62 feet of leg room. Plus, I'm fully capable of opening a door if we go down as a flaming tin can of death. Totally capable.

I tuck my carry on under the seat in front of me, insert my head phones into the jack in the arm rest, fluff my built in airline chair pillow and snuggle in to my new home for the next couple of hours.
In the arm rest I adjust the volume to a comfortable level... and scroll through <a href="http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,51600,00.html">the 13 channels.</a> 2-6 actually have active noise... all others are dead air. Only 1 channel has anything remotely acceptable for my listening pleasure. This I can deal with, but I'm not happy about...
I'm one of those weirdo people that like to listen in on the communications of the captain to the tower on the ground. Not sure why, but I've always enjoyed this.
Not having this station to listen to during my flight was unsettling, but whatever.

After we reach 35,000 cruising feet of air space I get my complimentary drink. I also get ice in my drink... as a standard.
Surprise to me, United Airlines is cutting back on complementary crap... probably due to the gas prices ...cutting back on things such as ICE.

I got 1 ice cube. Who uses 1 ice cube?
I don't... I use a bunch... or none, depending. But don't tease me with 1.
Why'd you let me know "Yeah, we have ice... but you can't have any"
Bastards.

I must commend the pilots though. I snoozed a bit on my flight, and when we landed I literally didn't even know we had already touched down. Not because I was in a deep slumber... because flight sleep is never deep ...but because the touch down was actually that smooth.
It was  a brilliant thing.

Well done United.

So I go to the baggage claim to get my labeled backpack and realize it should have been on the flight that landed 3 hours prior.
Crap.
So I head to the baggage claim office and inquire about it. I'm informed that it should be in the baggage area, usually in the center on the floor.

Security officials allow this? Hey, you're the boss.
I wander back over to bags are being picked up and look around for piles of luggage. Finding 2 I look through each pile and come up empty.
I search around a little more.
and some more

about 5 minutes later I discover my bag is hidden behind about a dozen passengers waiting for their bags on the conveyor. My bag happens to be a lonely bag in the middle of the floor.
just 1 backpack in the middle of the floor...
no signs saying "lost and found"
no official police type person standing there protecting the bag
nothing indicating "this bag doesn't have a bomb"

So I risk my life and save the possible bomb filled backpack and find a taxi. Getting to my hotel at 1am isn't the greatest thing, but after check it it's also not my top priority to write an angry letter to united.
I slept instead.

I'll be in touch, United.
(no bombs, just a phone call or email or letter. Something my grandma would do... but whatever. Maybe I'll get a T-Shirt or a pencil or something nifty)

Stay tuned next week... The Return Flight!!!!
or don't, I don't really care.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hard to keep up when life gets in the way

So life has been kinda busy lately. I work in an industry that thrives on Mother's day and Valentines day... since May contains mom's day... it's been a busy month of hell.

 

A couple of weeks ago my Thursday night team played in the play offs.

It was a race to win the night. We had to play 5 matches, so a race to 3 to win the night.

The team we played against wasn't the 2nd team. It also wasn't the first "Wild Card" team that we were scheduled to play. Neither team could make it...

So we played the 4th team that COULD make it.

 

We won the first match... I'm usually late because I go to league straight from work... so I showed up as they were putting in the last 8 ball of the first match. So we won...

Then I cleaned 1 rack for practice and went up and won the 2nd match... and due to over confidence we quickly lost the next 3 matches.

 

It's interesting to watch the people of a strong, competitive team take a loss. An important loss like this one.

The people that it seemed cared, but not as much as everyone else.... it seemed they took the loss harder than everyone else. Acting? maybe.

 

The strongest player on our team seemed to have the confidence in the rest of the team and ended up drinking too much to solidify a win.

 

So yeah, we lost our play off spot to a random team that we weren't even supposed to to have a chance to play against.

I suppose it's ok though... they went on to some other tourney and won first, then moved on to CityWide... not sure how they did there though.

Good, I think... hell I donno

 

Other than that, I went to a comedy show, and it was awesome. No idea who was on the stage though.

There was this cool Asian guy, a black guy and a dirty mouthed white guy... no clue what their names were though.

Then I ended up at a concert... and that was cool. Pretty tame compared to what I'm used to, but whatever.

 

Summer session just recently started up. Apparently during the summer session we're allowed to play 1 or 2 players twice in the same night... so I played twice.

 

I won... and then I lost.

Meh, whatevers... I wasn't really into the games all that much anyhow.

I could have had better cue ball control though... my positioning really sucked.

 

Anyway, I don't really have much more to add here..... so yep, enjoy kido's

take it easy

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rabbit Gets out of Hole with new high score

ok ok, so it's been a while.
A "long" while as some would say.

The reason for this is because it's been so busy at work, I'm pretty much ready to kill myself... or at least anyone who doesn't know how to turn on a computer.

If you're reading this, you're in good hands :)

Anyway, on to the important crap.... pool. Pool Minnow posted this video on how to break... I like it, I'm going to learn from it (I already did I think), and I'd like to share with all of you 3 readers out there.



With league, I was in a slump for a long time. Well, long for me anyways. Probably seemed so long because it was me in the slump, not just a friend or someone I play against every now and then.

So anyway, I was trying to figure out why and how to correct it.
I realized during my slump that I wasn't "seeing the angles" I couldn't walk up to the table and see a pattern for a 3 ball run.
I couldn't instinctively see the angle for a bank shot. I wasn't able to execute a shot that was a sliver close to another ball, I'd over cut or under slice or whatever the hell I would do to miss and give up ball in hand.

Well... Slump over!!!!
What I stopped is trying to figure it out. It's a strange concept, but it's exactly what I did.
I realized that I would break, make a ball, and work out a pattern from the 8 ball back...
I stopped this completely.
I started to break, decide what suit, and then find a makable ball and a ball to get leave on, and 1 ball after that (3 balls ahead) kind of thought process.

I'd try and group the balls up into each end of the table... take care of the foot end, then move up to the head end of the table, and get on the 8... and win.

I broke the slump by not thinking about what I was doing. I suggest, that if you're in a slump... try stopping trying to get out of it. Accept that it's part of this self-hatred game we call "pool"... and play the table.

We had a bye last Tuesday so I played at a pool hall that I've been to before (like twice) but on a table that I've NEVER played on before.
I started playing a game of straight pool (also called 14.1 or continous pool).
The basic rules are if there's a ball on the table, you can shoot it. In competitive play, it's call everything. When you have the cue ball and 1 other ball left on the table, you rack a 14 ball rack without the head spot ball. Each ball dropped into a pocket counts as 1 point.

For me, this is great practice. Mostly because it gets my head out of the game and puts it on the table.

So I set up a break shot much like Corey Deuel did in his 14.1 action challenge runs. The side pocket break shot.

I got a great spread but missed a few.... then I started running balls off the table. Getting perfect position and planning with precision.
I got into a flow, and then I proceeded to run 43 balls in a row!!!!!!!

WHOOOOTTTYYY mother f'in' TOOOOOOTTY!!!

It's hard to run 9 in a row. Harder to run 8 in a row on an 8ball table. and I ran 43 in a row. That's nearly 3 full racks without missing a single shot!
9ft table... older cloth... I've no idea how tight or loose the pockets were... but I'll check, and post a pic. I owe you at least that much.

edit:5/14 - I've paid up... apparently they were buckets. But the cue ball was heavier than the object balls, so I couldn't draw nearly as well as normal, it makes up for it ;)

My previous high run was 25. This is nearly double that.
The funniest part is I didn't even realize I hadn't missed until I started to rack the 3rd set.
What sucks is both my high runs are during practice, never during a match. So no witness...

Oh, plus I haven't lost a game at league since about 2 or 3 weeks ago... the grid at the top isn't 100% accurate, but it's sorta close. I missed a week in there somewhere and never got it back.
Kinda' like life

My tuesday night team lost their socks in the snowstorm and never knew what the paddle was for. So we're outta the competition since that session is over.
My thursday night team has won their ass off and we're now headed to the play offs. Wish luck, and I'll see you in vegas, bitches!!
whoo!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

These 4 words describe my week/month.

As you could probably tell... I've been in a bit of a slump as of late.sqlbeer

To remedy this I've done absolutely nothing... other than showing up to league with more determination to win, then when I lose... it just hits that much harder.

I decided I'm going to start practicing at least 1 day out of the week, other than league day/nights.
When I was playing reallllly well, I was doing 1 particular drill that I bailed on for some reason. So I'm going back to that drill.
I played a little yesterday, and the drill was miserable. It's a drill that you can see immediate results and gauge fail points. At least, that's what it does for me.
Maybe I'll diagram it sometime

So since the last time I've graced the blog world with my presence I've lost every game, except 1... but that's because I was playing someone that had only watched pool... but never played before.
Go me! Way to beat up on the little people!!

Anyway...

Tuesday night league was interesting.
I walked in about 3 racks into the first match. We were down by 1 and it was 2 skill level 6's playing the match.
Our score keeper was a 5, as was the score keeper of the other team.
After being there long enough to get a beer a small argument arose from the match table.
Apparently the team Captain (also the score keeper) of the other team mentioned something about neither player (of the match) actually playing like a 6 because neither was attempting to make a ball, and break out a cluster at the same time.
Both players were offended by this comment "I'm not a 6? Who the hell are you? You're a 5! Who are you to tell me I'm not a 6?"

This slowly escalated over the course of 2 hours. Eventually the team mate of the other team quit the jack ass captain's team, joined our team... meanwhile the argument turned into a personal insult fest.

This continued for about 40 something minutes... and then the jack ass captain said something about "blah blah you're a f---ing woman"

Moments later my team's player had lifted the captain 2 feet off the ground, slammed him to the floor... maintaining a solid grip of his shirt he proceeded to hit the guy several times in the face.

I drank my beer.
Another guy from my team walked over and pulled our guy off, in doing this it gave the opportunity for the other jack ass captain to squirm away, but he wasn't fast enough.
Our guy was able to kick him in the head at least 2 times... the 2nd impact solidifying a cold knock out.

I still had half a beer left.
moments later a guy that works at the pool hall came over asking what's going on and why this guy is sleeping on the floor. This must have woke him up, because he jumped up like he had just returned from a tennis match in Vegas. Sweaty and out of breath. Unaware that he was just run over by a bus.

Three quarters of my team had left the scene at this point...
I finished my beer

Over the course of the next 45 minutes about a dozen people came over and asked what happened and why there was a fight.

I got another beer
I didn't answer these inquiries... just smirked and took another drink

There were about 2 or 3 others that were nearby that happily described what happened, insult for insult, hit for hit.

I drank my other beer

I'm sure that next week someone will tell me that there was a huge bar fight and it was 3 against 5 people and the cops showed up and had to shoot a guy in the foot to make him stop swinging a golf club at people.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's tax season again... so I did my taxes... and my state taxes said "give me your state driver's license ID"... I didn't have one from this state because I moved recently (9 months ago is recent, sorta... right?)
So I went to the DMV and had everything I needed, because I called in advance.
Birth Cert, Piece of mail addressed to me... current picture ID... and $10 bucks.
I called ahead and made sure I was ready to rock. I even know the traffic laws incase they pop quizzed my ass.

Bastards.
They failed to inform me that I needed my SSN card too. The bastards.
I ask what time they close (5:30pm) and head out.
I now have to go all the way home, get a little card that doesn't have any picture on it, and then go ALL the way back... it's 1:45pm and I'm a guy... so I go to subway real quick to eat along the journey.

After subway I go back out to the car and realize that I smartly locked my keys in the car.

The spare, is also inside the car.
because I'm smart.

So I look around to see who might mug me, it's 2pm and a beautiful day... so I'm good there. I continue the survey to find who might arrest me for breaking into my own car. Right outside of the DMV, this is a concern.
In my reconnaissance I see a grocery store... Food Mart or some crap. Some all food type of place, never been in one so they MIGHT (read Doubtfully) have wire clothes hangers.

I also see an Ace Hardware store. I know where I'm going... straight to ace.
I walk into ace and instead of wasting time wandering around not eating my sammach, I ask the girl at the counter

"I'm looking for something long and skinny, like a wire hanger to unlock a car door... can you point me in the right direction?"

"Did you lock your keys in the car?"

"noo...." with shameful face indicating "yes! now give me a hanger!"

"Oh, ok. If you had I would have called a free service for you."

"Free service what? Yeah... I did actually, lock my keys, cause I'm smart."

So she gives me the number and I call... 1 1/2 hour wait. Jesus. I tell the phone "Oh wow, I just noticed a wire hanger next to my tire. Cancel the order! Thanks" -click-

Back to ACE, which was a failure because everything that would be possibly suitable was $10 plus... and I wasn't going to pay that much if I didn't absolutely HAVE to.

I wander over to the grocery store because I'm getting really hungry, and I don't want to leave my food in the shade of my car.


There's squirrels about...

Apparently this place stocks their shelves in the middle of the day on Wed. So there's a ton of boxes filling each aisle... it's like walking through a kingdom of cardboard when you're 6 and you made your own little clubhouse in the living room.
You remember.

Anyway, I found a skinny box and decided to make it work for me. Heading to the fruit dept. I grabbed like 20 little twisty ties.

Walking out the door I was stopped by a cashier... "sir, are you going to pay for that box?"

Pausing, I looked at the box... then at her... saying "no thanks" I continued my journey to the door.

Since it's a nice day I have about a 1 inch gap in my window to work with. I poke the box in... not gonna work.
I rip the box up a bit... poke poke, poke... no dice
I rip the box some more... poke fail, poke... no dice
I take the twisty ties and add strength and angle to the cardboard... slide, poke, -click-

My makeshift key:

It's a beautiful day. So I get in, eat subway and head home.
After I get back to the DMV ssn card in hand I arrive just in time at 5:21pm, get my number and since there's not a soul in front of me... get called right up.


I explain that I need to get a state license or whatever and she says "no"
I say "why"

She says "because we close at 5:30"

I point to the clock and say "What time is it?"

She says "5:22"

I say "And what time do you close?"

She says "5:30"

I say "5:30 pm Right? Like in 8 minutes... There's time, I need a license"

She says "Sorry, you should have come earlier"

I say "I did come earlier. I also called this morning and verified the documentation I needed to get a license. That person just happened to leave out the fact I needed this little blue card. Then when I was here earlier, in this very same spot, 3 hours ago, YOU told me I needed an SSN card. YOU also told me that I have 8.. now 7 more minutes before you closed.
I'd like to get a state license so I can do my taxes, please."

She says "sorry, you'll have to come back tomorrow. There's not enough time today."

I hate the DMV.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

Holy Crap!! 11 days! Did ya' miss me?

....... No?

That's cool, neither did I.

Saint Patties day.... festive. Festively drunk.
My favorite part about this day is not the drinking, not the irish nature of the holiday (which reminds me....), not the parade or the beads given away at bars.

It's the Guinness commercials. This one in particular.
Absolutely hilarious.

Other than watching that once or twice, I enjoyed a fairly blurry weekend. Maybe because it was so long ago, or maybe because I was drinking. Either way... it's blurry and I forget how it went. Good I suppose.

Work
Then I had league a couple of times, lost twice... then the weekend.
Work was somewhere else in there...
Then the weekend arrived. Freakin' Finally!
This past weekend I went to a bar tournament. Had a great time...

I usually play on 9 foot tables with fairly new rails and cloth that is consistently in good condition. Kind of like the room owner knows what a pool player wants.
Rare, I know.

So in said tourney I had the luxury to play on some Valley Barbox's with 70's shag carpet in place for the felt. Tight pockets.
And the happy times of ACS/BCA rules. God I love rules that hate slop. Yummy!

The first match was against a strong player.
His hoodie said something about a castle, not white castle, but the letters were white. Anyway, doesn't matter.

I won the lag and he racked... While he was racking he watched the 5 ball (head ball) move a good 1/4 inch... then he fixed it, while lifting the rack the 5 moved the exact same direction, the exact same amount. He fixed it, another lift, another 1/4 inch.
After the 3rd "attempt" he put the rack away and just kind of walked away from the balls. After watching the 5 ball knock on china's door, get no answer, and then come back to my table... I decided to look a little closer.
If it was a little gap I was going to break it anyway, but I needed to know how to break it.
I realized the 1/4 inch I was seeing was a little less than reality. How about a about a half ball (full inch for those of you that don't play pool....)

Speaking of which... if you don't play, a lot of the stuff I talk about probably makes very little sense... why are you reading all this junk?

Thanks anyway!

Anyhow... so there was a grand canyon between the 5 and the 12, but it was still touching the other stripe. It was still touching, and it was supposed to be a friendly tourney, so I looked at the rack and then shot a confused "Why'd you just eat the stuffing out of my teddy bear for thanksgiving dinner" look at White Castle.

He approached and said "Does it need a rerack?"
My response... "yeah, might as well... there's a bit of a gap in there."

So he reracked, I broke dry... we went back and forth a few innings and he was used to the shag carpet and won the first rack.
In a race to 2, this is not such a great thing.
So I made a couple of nice shots and took the next 2 racks back to back

1-2 White Rabbit (still in the winners bracket, yey)

The Next Race to 2 was against (what I soon found out) a very adept player.
This game was fairly short, and painless. I took 2 strokes, and lost.
The lag... which I won.
I broke... dry. Then he ran the table... twice.

2-0 Really Tall Guy (I'm in the losers bracket, yey?)

So my next match was delayed because, well... winners play first.

Loser's race to 1.
Wait, 1... what's this? 1?
I played my next match against a reaaaallllly old guy, with a Neon green shirt... said something about "I walk for Breast Cancer" or something like that. I thought it was funny because I happened to be wearing my "tits-mcgee" shirt that day. (A shirt I got from a bar in S. Korea for drinking 3 shots with a rattler's tail in the shot. The tail had to touch your lips all 3 times. The shirt shows a scantily dressed lady on the back.

Anyway... I was kind of watching him play earlier in the tourney, and he looked like he knew what he was doing. He made some very nice break outs and was fairly precise with his cue ball position skillz.

So we started to play, I think he broke... I don't remember. I came up to an open table, a run out but there was work to do. 2 of my balls were completely frozen but they weren't lined up to pocket...

I made the shot and got position on the remaining ball... which I made, but locked myself behind the 8 ball so that I could finish out the match. In league I've fallen into the habit of playing banks or kicks and that kind of thing or playing a strong safe. In my league it's a foul for me to crank up beyond a 45 degree angle...
stupid league.

In practice (because I used to dream about becoming a world trick shot artist champion) I've been known to practice a masse or two.
I've won matches due to this skill, and I've beaten stronger opponents by getting out of "lock up" safes with a [i]lucky that it worked[i] masse --I'll admit that much--

And now all this information rushes back to me. Screw the 2 rail kick into a safe. Screw giving him BIH on a foul/safe. Screw the 1 rail with english. I know I'm not Efern Rayes. So screw all that... I'm goin' for it, bitches.

I cranked up, hit the masse a little softer than I wanted to... but that's because my subconscious took over for me, made the 1 ball and then won the rack. Whoot!
err somethin' like that

Then we figured I had some time so a pizza was ordered. After my 2nd piece was demolished in .3 seconds my name was called... Table 3...
Some guy named PJ.

Earlier in the day PJ had beaten the tall white guy that knocked me out of the winners circle. With this knowledge, you know he wasn't too bad of a player.
as we played our race to 1 I couldn't get the thought of smooooothh cheesey pizza with hot sauce smothering it.. outta my mind.

mmm... yum

So he broke.. some clusters remained and he played a couple of balls then got a bit out of line, and had to play safe. I kicked out, made a ball and started to clean the table. I also got out of line and had to play safe.
I'm solids, the Red 3 ball... there is no 3 foul rule... so this is the safe I played

[cuetable pic]

He attempted to make his 1 remaining ball and get the break out... didn't work so well, so he played safe.
[cuetable pic]

I didn't have a clean shot, so I played safe in the same manner... pushed his ball closer to mine... again.
He mumbled somethin' about "dirty f'in' pool playin' sons a bitches. How's a man supposed to win with low down crap like this s*&%"

Or something like that. My smile got a little bigger, and my heart warmed a little bit more.

we went back and forth with this same exact process until he finally said "screw it" and pushed the 3 A LOT closer to the pocket. Unfortunately I was frozen to both the rail, and his ball. Damnit.

[cuetable pic]

I attempted an english only kick but missed, and lost my 2nd loser's match.
Then we went to a place I've never ver ever been to before.
A fun little place, that usually isn't as crowded as it was this day.

Apparently they were having a party, and I'm not a fashion expert... but I noticed a couple of things that might not be in style.

Ever.

Dress1Old1

as the night progressed... the drinking continued... and the men looked at the ladies. Hilarious how obvious this guy was.

Eyes1

as the drinking continued... the dancing got crazier... and crazier... and my focus skills lacked

DrunkDance

Some things are better than others... what can I say.

So then I had a flat tire on Monday, put on a spare and I didn't go to pool last night.
Thursday, no pool... flat tire again. Next week.. we'll see.

I have friday off work... WHOOOO!!!! BItches!!!!!!
alright!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Daylight savings, psssh

http://tech.yahoo.com/blog/null/83073

 

How long has it been since my last post? a week, a month? I don't know... I know I've lost two league matches since then, and I have another league thing tonight.

I've lost... and I know exactly why, but it doesn't change a thing. Man that's frustrating.

 

Thursday night.... got my ass handed to me by an outstanding player. He had 1 game on the wire, and by the way he played... he should have been spotting me 2 games. But whatever. I've never played against a stronger player, doesn't mean there aren't better players out there... because there are. I just haven't played them...

1-2 Sandbagger

Tuesday night I was tired. I woke up sore, achy, and tired. Simply put... I didn't feel like playing pool, staying awake, or anything else.

Sleep, was my goal... and nothing more.

0-2 Guy that didn't need sleep

Then I went home, and slept.

Thursday night

We had a bye.

 

 

I don't know about you, but I hate Daylight Savings Time. Spring forward, fall back... despise it.

I get to gain an hour of work and lose an hour of sleep. Great.

A good number of states through out America don't even change their clocks twice a year. Oddly enough, other countries follow this same practice as well. Not every country, of course.

It was originally proposed (Not by Ben Franklin, but around the same time frame) to conserve candle wax. The practice continued to conserve electricity and to enable us to utilize the daylight that we have.

Set your alarm earlier.

We still continue this practice because farmers need to modify their schedule for harvesting and such.

Set your alarm earlier.

Another reason we still change the time continuum twice a year is to "conserve energy by turning on lights later in the evening, and cost american's less money."

Oddly enough...... changing the time on the clock doesn't increase or decrease the rate of speed the sun drops behind the mountains, sea, corn field horizon to the west.

 

There is a good thing about this DST crap... it provides a decent excuse to be about an hour late to work/school/meeting/whatevers. "ah crap, I completely forgot to reset the clock... sorry I'm late"

 

Saint Patrick's Day is on MONDAY MONDAY MONDAY

I'm not Irish, but I like to drink... so I'll celebrate it.

 

Maybe it's sunday........

 

I'll drink on both days, just to be sure.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Pool, Gambling, Drinking...

Mull2Tuesday night I show up, and I get a single warm up game. I rack, he breaks, we go back and forth... I have a run available, so I go for it. I miss on the 2nd from the 8. My practice opponent wins this practice game.

>>I play pool. I love it, if you couldn't tell. I also play poker. And I'm not too bad at it. Better at pool, but I can definitely stay at the table even if I'm not getting the right cards. If you play, you know what I mean.

Since I moved, I haven't played a single hand of cards... unless it was a drinking game, which isn't poker... so it doesn't count.

I've been searching for a casino, or better yet, a house game to be able to buy in, and walk away with a couple of earned dollars.

No such luck.>>

League calls for a race to 3.

I shake hands with Teddy, or whatever his name was... and he confirms my skill level. He confirms incorrectly... almost 3 levels above my current status. After correcting him he mentions "Wow, you were playing like a pro earlier"

Teddy, teddy.. teddy.

I'm not a pro. I'm not above the highest skill in this league. I win, and I lose... just like everyone else. Perhaps, one day... you'll be able to ask for my signature... and I'll say "sure, here ya' go"

but that's not going to happen any time soon.

My next thought is "he trying to shark me?"

So we lag, I take the lag... and I let this little thought get to my head during the first rack... and he wins it.

Then it comes to mind something that I've read on a blog I link to.... we're not pro's, we're hacks. It doesn't matter if you're a 2 and I'm a 7... neither of us are pro's so it really doesn't matter.

In the 2nd rack I had a cluster just above the 8. I decided to break out a ball from the cluster and play safe behind my 11. I screwed it up TERRIBLY...

I over drew the cueball, made the ball and got position for the 11 in the corner. Damn sandbaggers.

I take this rack and then I take the next 2.

1-3 Rabbit

>>After the league matches came to a close another player on my team invites me to a poker game.

Who am I to say no?

Apparently the game was already in progress for a couple of hours, there's supposed to be about 20 people total... and it's a cheap buy in.

I sit down at the table across from a guy I'm going to call Bonnie.

Wind breaker, super tight jeans, a shirt you can find ONLY in a gift shop and seriously had a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his sleeve as if we were in nam, all over again. Oh, and a mullet.My ninja camera skillzz came in handy.

Mull

The guy was over confident, and LOVED to call bluffs. I like these players... they're easy to read, and easier to take money from.

What I couldn't understand is why the other 6 people at my table weren't reading the same thing. They were throwing their money into the pot like Converse was going out of style.

I was going to stay and become the last man sitting, but I decided I had to work the next day. Cashed out early and walked away with more than 10x the buy in amount.

Not bad for 2 hours worth of sittin' on my ass.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Regionals... not quite like league.

Last Thursday night... I played a tough opponent, he was spotting a game in a race to 4. Hill-Hill, he took the final game as I rattled the 8. Out the window with the undefeatedness on thursdays.
Great game though... I never thought I'd say this, but it felt kinda' good to be told I'm sandbagging.
I'm not, of course... and it was presented as a joke, but he said it while handing me a beer... so who am I to get upset? haha... nice.

2-4 Guy that bought me a beer. Thanks guy.

The professor and I both qualified for regionals. It was a solid 2 hour drive to no where's ville, I think they had 2 bars. So we saved the environment, carpooled the 2 hours of highway. Got out there Friday night and had some of the best mexican food I've had in a LONG time.

Better than when I was in mexico even.

The burrito I got was huge. I'm talkin' massive. Bigger than my plate (if the plate was smaller) kinda' big.

Shoulda got a picture, but my battery was dead. (and the foods looked too good to wait)

So I ate the thing and got full about 1/2 way through, took the rest back to the hotel and then realized I didn't have a fridge.

"It's chilly out, I'll leave it under the car. It's like an outside fridge" I thought.

Then I realized how cold I'd get on my way out to the car, and set the little white box full of gigantic burrito and rice with refried beans covered in "super hot sauce"... on top of the TV.

Registration was at 10am the next day... That finished at about 10:30... There wasn't a single practice table unless you were able to win a table, and keep it... this was your practice.

14 tables, 108 people.

...

........

14 Diamond Pro Cut, Blue Simonis, 7feet long by 3.5 feet wide, red dot smart tables.

..

And 108 people.

...

At least they were perfect tables......

So at around 1:30 I played my first match in a race to 3. Hank played well. No idea what his real name was, but I remember him as Hank. He ran to the hill as quickly as he could... his trouble was getting over it. I realized in the first 2 racks I wasn't playing nearly as defensively as normal. Playing really aggressive, and it wasn't working.

I changed up my style, slowed down a bit (to a sharkingly slow speed, I might add) and started to play safe. A lot.

If I didn't have a run out, I'd make 1... and safe. Hank would run until he missed, and ended up leaving 1 ball + the 8... 3 racks in a row.

If you play this hellish game, you know that having 1 ball to hit, while the other player has 6 or 7 to hide the cueball behind....... this odds is bad for yous.

Hank didn't catch on quick enough, and lost his first match.

In the last 3 racks of this match I racked up around 6 or 7 defensive marks. But I won. And I'm still in the winner's bracket.

2-3 Rabbit

According to the board I had a bye... so I figure it's going to take at LEAST another hour, maybe 2 before my next match. I order a burger, it arrives and I'm waiting for a side of ranch... my name is called. My name is called to match up with someone I know. Some one that I've played against in the past.

Someone I didn't need to drive 2 hours away from my city to play against. I played a game right before I got into his car for a drive to this regionals tournament.

"Table Assignment for Rabbit and the Professor, Table 3" booms over the p.a.

I eat a french fry, he gets the score sheet. I never did get my ranch.

I meet him at Table 3.

He wins the lag, and I go straight to work... in 5 innings I have 2 racks in my pocket and I'm at the 8 ball on the 3rd rack. This is my game, my chance for vegas. My chance at glory and bright lights of gambling and booze.

I think they have hookers in vegas too. Not that I'd buy one, but that they have them.

I'm left with an easy on the 8... and like a jack ass, I over cut it... BARELY move the 8 ball, I think it budged a bout the width of a cat's whisker, and in this one singular motion of missing the 8 ball, I started the decent.


If I was on a plane that had run out of fuel... as the nose dips slightly and the angle of the plane drops 5 degrees and heads towards the deserted Australian outback... in that industry, they call this part of the flight the "Terminal Phase."

I scratched. Then I battled, fought, ridged tooth and sharpened nail... all on the felt, of course... and the professor ended up slowing climbing to his hill. Much like an old video game that I love SO much, we were hill/hill some odd 20 innings later, fiTankWarsghting, battling, and throwing rocks at one another to distract from the army flanking their castle.

I missed hitting the cue ball once or twice, miscue style... he did the same and let the cue drift 2 inches to no wheres. Both of us giving the other ball in hand a couple times.

He came out victorious in the end.

2-4 Professor

Unfortunately the Professor went on to play against the same person he walked all over in his first match, and lost... 3-3.

So now I'm in the loser's bracket, it's 4:30pm... and I wait.

and wait, wait, wait some more, and then continue to wait.

At 10:30 my name is called.

At this point, I don't really care. It hasn't been explained clearly what happens if you're in the loser's bracket and I know I don't really want to wake up early the following morning. I will if I have to, but I don't really want to.

So I figure if I win the loser's bracket, so what... I'm top loser? That's great! I'm still not goin' to vegas.

So I don't put forth my full attention, and I don't play some of the perfect positions that I should... and I lose my loser's match.

2-3 Short guy with a hat

I get to sleep in on Sunday, so it's not a big deal.

What did I learn?

  • Nerves (for me) make more of a difference when there's other depending on me to win. When it's just me, and that's it... nerves don't affect me nearly as much
  • Don't let your head get out of the game. It doesn't matter what else is going on off the table, stay in it... and stay in it to win
  • I need to get back to lansing and get another burrito