Monthly Archives: July 2007

The Newest of Mexicos

So, I’m in Albuquerque for two nights. I should be headed to a casino for some poker, but I’m tired and sore and my head hurts. This LaQuinta (I’m back to sleeping on the shoulder of the interstate) smells horrible and I’m a smoker. I’m sure it’s something they douse the carpet with, but lord, it’s a very hippie smell, like incense crap or something. Guh.

I flew Express Jet out here, and I can say without reservation that it was the best airline experience I’ve had in literally years. XM Radio for everybody, an actual, real, very decent sandwich served for free, and $1 beers. If it hadn’t been 10am, I would have had a few. Friendly service, too. I recommend them to you if you can get them.

ABQ is a nice little town, with plenty of golf and decent weather. Lots of earthy, green types, though…that could get to be a whipping. Maybe I’ll gin up some energy and go find some decent food tomorrow, but I’ve got a full day of meetings, so it’ll probably be another crap burger.

Can I also mention how much I detest basic cable teevee? I wish I still had a spring in my step, so I didn’t have to sit here and rest, and could go find a saloon to sit in for a while. Bah, aging.

NB: For future reference, the classical station here in old Albuquirky is 95.5.

It’s now a classic

Twenty-five (25) years old? Fookin’ hell.

Kinda sorta via Florida Cracker

More 80s fetishes of mine — Sonic Youth. That Thurston kid did more with a guitar than I’d seen before or since.

And this is still an all-time ‘crank it to 11′ favorite:

Nobody I knew ever knew quite got it the same way I did, either. I’m still at a loss to try to explain the appeal of this song to me. It’s just that freaky guitar that takes front and center in my head, weird notes and all, just loping and driving and gouging. Rockin’ stuff.

Someone tell me the difference between talking points and election strategies

All he needs is the cape, the cane, and the turban, because he obviously has the crystal ball:

Do you have a problem with President Hillary Clinton, in the spring of 2010, calling bloggers and issuing talking points to subvert the investigations by a Republican Congress into alleged misdeeds and lies by her Attorney General, Pat Leahy? Of course you would.
Which, just by coincidence, will be repeated in the right wing blogosphere until it bubbles up into the mainstream media, fogging the issue and clouding the legitimate debate.

I’m particularly fond of “clouding the legitimate debate.” Why, if bloggers got involved with carrying water for the pols, that would just be horrifying.

I’m actually sympathetic to that view, but the days of the amateur independent blogger vanished about five years ago, chief. Ginger Stampley was right, I was wrong. In the end, we just ended up with a bigger, better-connected, media — and more water-carriers. Of course, I’ve only got half a brain, so I’m safely ignored.

Not missed, but ignored

An interesting question:

Using steroids is cheating according to baseball purists and that means Barry Bonds should be anathema to all right thinking fans.

OK. Then why is notorious spitballer Gaylord Perry in the Hall of Fame?

If, in the five years after his retirement, Barry Bonds can sit down and tell tales of his cheating — how it happened, what he was doing, how it helped, why he was doing it — then I might be able to find it in my heart to forgive him and MLB. NB: I still haven’t found it in my heart to forgive Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and MLB for transgressions in that glorious year when we thought it was a clean race.

Here’s the difference, to my mind…Gaylord Perry doctored the ball, not himself. There was a very clear & distinct rule against it, and Perry always exposed himself to being caught out and expelled from any game wherein he did, in fact, break the rule. It was very easy to determine if Gaylord was cheating, as well — here’s a big wad of Vaseline on the brim of his hat, so hit the showers, bud. Perry could always choose not to cheat, too. Yet, his opponents couldn’t stop thinking that he was cheating anyway, thus getting into their kitchens and distracting them from their primary mission of hitting the ball. Perry even went so far as to create an entirely new pitch, the puffball, using the rosin bag, and that pitch was immediately banned.

With steroids, though, once you stick a needle in yourself and persist in the regimen, you can’t stop from day to day, like Gaylord Perry could. Since there is no way to catch a steroid cheat between the lines on game day, there’s no way to penalize the guy stacking the deck.

Let’s also acknowledge that the greaseball (and the corked bat, the traditional hitters’ cheat) has practically zero external social cost, and exists wholly within the game itself. Steroids are a whole ‘nother ball of wax.

Ultimately, though, I could live the ‘roided up stats, if there were clearly delineated rules either a) against it or b) for it, and there was a way for a) the umps to stop it, or b) me to know it. Science is science, and so we get cooler uniforms, air-conditioned dugouts (or entire ballparks), energy drinks, LASIK eyeballs, specialized weight training, on and on and on. We can’t stop it, and it would be wrong to. But MLB under Beelzebud has put the blinders on and refuses to acknowledge, much less a) forbid or b) endorse steroids. That’s where the anathema comes from. It doesn’t help that Barry Bonds is a top-drawer, USDA-Prime jackass who can’t take the heat and expects adoration and hosannas from me and millions more for his mastery of the needle. I’ll pass, thanks.

12 hours of dry

That’s what we got, so I mowed the muddy-ass south 40. Even at the highest setting, I was cutting off more than I left behind.

Now, I’d kinda like to see some racing since I’m whipped, and of course, it’s raining in Indianapolis, so no truck racing. Instead, they’re showing a bunch of old stock-car clips. Which makes me wonder when stock car racing stopped requiring that manufacturers actually produce a certain number of cars that had the same specs as the ones raced by Petty, Allison, Earnhardt Sr., et al? I remember it happening, but damn if I can remember when.

Still, cool to see Mercury Cyclones, AMC Matadors, Plymouth Satellites, Ford Torinos and other cars that any random schmoe could buy if he could scrape up the jack. The new stuff is technologically fascinating, but seriously, who gives a whip about what mfr. wins a race anymore? Back then, there was something sweet about knowing if you hit a big score, you could go get the same Dodge Charger being driven 200mph on a racetrack down south somewhere.

An old web hippy gets cranky

Does this crap make any sense at all?
Alt Hed: Fred Thompson to Dallas & staff doesn’t allow entire world immediate access.

Coverage of my coverage of Fred Thompson’s campaign stop here in Dallas was picked up by Pegasus News in a piece titled, “Possible presidential candidate Fred Thompson comes to town; Staff stiff-arms bloggers.” It was followed by a quick mention on MSNBC and by local talk show hosts this morning. Michael Davis from the Dallas Progress picked up the story as well in a post titled, “Fred Thompson Campaign Blows off Blogger.” The only photo (blurry and seen below) of mine they are using is of the ‘guy who wouldn’t let me in’. In Mike Orren’s piece he shows the photo with the capition, “What? You one of them blawgers? From the Interwebgs? How many tubes you usin’ boy?” You can Digg the story here.

Only if you’re a dork, interested in the reporting of the reporting of the reporting of the news. Not that there’s any news to report here, no matter how much the 2.2 Social Web might like to think there is.

Muse is A Muse, which is how he knows where the private jet area is, and how he’s allowed into it. Random Internet Dude wouldn’t get through the door, and neither would you, you dang hayseed. Seriously, though, the saddest part is the Digg link.

Deep Texas Dolly

Card sharks to battle computer at poker – Yahoo! News

But it’s only a matter of time before the machines take a commanding lead in the war for poker supremacy. Just as they already have in backgammon, checkers and chess, computers are expected to surpass even the best human poker players within a decade. They can already beat virtually any amateur player.

Here’s where this computer poker stuff breaks down…there is no endgame in poker.

Let me re-phrase that — outside of tournaments, which I will predict right here and now that no computer will ever win — poker don’t stop.  Sessions may end, you might run out of buy-ins, I might get sleepy or hungry, or bored with the stakes, or even the game being dealt itself.  That doesn’t mean that there’s a winner.

Having said that, I think it’s entirely possible that a computer program could accumulate the most chips over a fixed period of hands or time.  That’s poker.   Can Deep Dolly hold on to those chips over the lifespan of the average serious player?  Nah, not likely.

Here’s the way to do this…set that program up to take on all comers at any time at any stakes.  It doesn’t need food or sleep.  Give it an endless bankroll, even.  I just want to see where it is after a year of playing.  Then five years.

Where the East Petered Out

That’s Dallas, formerly my hometown, where we didn’t used to have cops who raised these types of questions. Nor did we have a citizenry that would allow the continued employment of a man so ignorant of the Constitution.

“Whoever the owner is will have to explain how these weapons came into their possession,” Dallas police Deputy Chief Vincent Golbeck said.

“It still raises the suspicion: Why does a person have these types of weapons?” Chief Golbeck said.

Because he can? Because gun ownership isn’t limited to the po-po? Asshole…glad I’m gone, so I don’t have to worry about random jackasses rummaging through my stuff and calling the 5-0 if I’ve got too many things he don’t like. Glad I don’t have to worry about being on the receiving end of a story because Golbeck doesn’t like my choice in firearms. Hell, who am I kidding? That’s America today…not many officials want the proles armed.

There’s a random child pornography rumor thrown in there to guarantee media coverage, but while Chief Golbeck had all the minutest of details on the scary black guns (Uzi, SKS, Tec-9), why, he’s just completely in the dark on that end of it…have to leave it to someone else to handle.

I hope our valiant & faithful media watchdogs follow up on this shocking story of legal gun ownership. As Ace says (where I learned of this), “Eh. If he’s clean, he’s clean. If he’s not, he’s not.” It doesn’t excuse, though, a Deputy Chief throwing off bullshit remarks about having to explain perfectly legal firearms. Not yet, anyway, but just wait.

A True Pro Speaks

Want to be a Big Time Poker Photographer? Better Think Carefully Before Answering

So you think being a big time poker photographer is a really great job? Moments after taking the above photo of eventual winner Jerry Yang I was told to stop with the picture taking, put the cameras away and let poker history go undocmented, at least my views of poker history. Apparently Benny Binion’s Poker Baby, something I’ve been following and photographing for three decades, now requires much more than a love and desire to just document the game and its unique characters…and that ‘much more’ is apparently related to greed money.This year was so difficult (rules concerning photos changed daily, sometime by the minute) that I’m considering leaving the game to the “I can hire a photographer on any street corner and turn a handsome profit” crowd. I just don’t have the stomach right skill set and I don’t like the slimey feeling I get dealing with the whinning lowlife.

A couple of days ago, I pondered briefly on the state of poker journalism. Sounds to me like what I suspected. Too bad for future pokerers. Flipchip is a true pro, and consistently produces the best photography from the tiny little poker universe. Pauly and other bloggers consistently produced the best writing about the tiny little poker universe. Now they’re shut down? If the 21st century has taught us anything about the interwebs, it’s that trying to control the story will get you nothing at all, yet that’s what the Harrah’s & WSOP Mahogany Row guys want to try to do. They’ll figure it out, sooner or later.

MonaWatch re: The Grumpy Gynecologist

the online support for Ron Paul is akin to that for yesteryear’s Lyndon Larouche

That’s not her idea, that’s some other dude’s.  The question, though, is an interesting one.  Can the internet tubes pull a modern-day Libertarian past yesteryear’s sacrificial lamb?  A web hippy immersed in Not-Your-Real-Life, someone like me, wants to believe that, yes, we netizens can make a difference.

First Life, though, says Not a chance in hell.  For all our typing, nobody really listens to us anymore than they did when we were ranting from a barstool.  It’s just us, typing at each other.  Really kind of boring, and somewhat shameful, when I think about all the effort, time and money expended that could have been used doing something productive to make your life better.

At least I’ve had some fun with the pokering…that’s been extremely useful.

For the griller fans out there

I’m oh so very effing slowly getting to the point where I can enjoy life an eensy bit instead of trying to figure out various and sundry bits of BS that come from being a wage-hungry salaryman. That means I decided to grill last night instead of unpacking more boxes and moving various bits of effluvia around inside the domicile (I got to do that today with GDMFSOB furniture.)  Anyway, here’s something I like to call Beer Can White Meat-Only Chicken. As you have probably heard me bitch about before, I married into a family of effete snobs who never had to make do with the rich folks’ yardbird leftovers, the leg and the thigh. So, that means, anytime I make Beer Can Chicken, all the white meat is gone el rapido and there are pounds and pounds of dark meat left. Which, I just can’t eat six chickens’ worth of dark meat, no matter how hard the ghost of my Scottish grandfather is kicking me in the ass.

The good news is that you can get skin-on, ribby breasts for pretty cheap. For example, I snagged four yesterday for $2.50, which works out to like 64¢ per. Hell of a price (I also paid $10 for a t-bone, because I needed some beef, personally, and this was a trial run, anyway for the yardbird). But, if I can pull this off, I get to occasionally enjoy some white meat, too, rather than feeding it exclusively to the hoity-toitys who can’t bring themselves to eat a thigh because it’s “too greasy.”* So here’s Take #1 on a sorry compromise of backyardbird. Do with it what you will.

  1. Preheat your gas grill to 250-300°.
  2. Make a little pan out of Reynold’s Wrap tinfoil. It should be double-thick, with sides about an inch high.  You could probably go buy these somewhere.
  3. Set your cheapie chicken breasts in the little pan or tray.
  4. Coat them liberally with your preferred seasonings.  For me, that was red pepper, black pepper, and some garlic powder.
  5. Dump your same preferred seasonings into the bottom of the little foil pan you made.  Be liberal here.  I added some cumin, too, then on a lark, some peppercorns.
  6. Put the little foil tray on the grilling surface.
  7. Dump in a tallboy of cheap beer.
  8. Close the grill and let it cook for about an hour.
  9. Open it up and dump in another beer.  Now would be a good time to grab a brush and re-hyrdrate the tops of the chickens with the broth from the bottom of the pan.
  10. For the next hour, every ten minutes, open it up and brush the chicken breasts with the broth.
  11. Pull and eat.

This actually worked out OK.  As usual, I found the yardbird to only marginally taste of all the spices.  It’s like chicken is kevlar to spice or something, quite unlike beef.  But the important point is that it was very moist and juicy, like my normal Beer Can Chicken, something I’ve always found hard to do with chicken breasts by themselves.  I’m going to keep working on this recipe, and as I find things that work, I’ll post them here.

On the other hand, my t-bone was superb.  Grilled at 400-450° for 5 minutes on the first side, and 3 minutes on the second.  Sprinkled with Jerry Baird’s All-Purpose** stuff, and sat out in the normal air for a couple of hours.  Tender, bloody, delicious.

Here’s your shopping list.  It’s easy:

  • 4-pack of cheap chicken breasts
  • couple of tallboys (or one of the big mambo 32 0z. things they sell down here in S. Texas to help a man get home after a hot dusty day)

Like I say, I’ll keep working on this, and get a smoked version going, too.  By the way, it rained again today.  God, I’m sick of my soggy-ass world.  Thinking of moving to Midland or further…I’ve had enough…can’t shoot, can’t golf, can’t fish, can’t mow, can’t do nothing but sit in the damn house.
* Po’ people know this as “juicy.”  It’s weird…very little pleases me more than a family-pack of chicken legs.  I’ve got a good smoking recipe for chicken thighs, but why bother?  All that work and nobody to eat them.

** Seriously good seasoning.  You can put it on anything and it’ll taste better…probably would even make brussel sprouts edible, but I’ll sure never know.  On someone’s advice, I bought a 2 lb. bottle of it, and I use it a lot.  It rocks.  Dump that Lawry’s crap and try this.  You’ll thank me.

Rodent spy ring ‘busted’

Rodent spy ring ‘busted’

Iran has claimed that 14 squirrels found near the nation’s borders were spies.

The state-sponsored news agency IRNA said: “In recent weeks, intelligence operatives have arrested 14 squirrels within Iran’s borders. The squirrels were carrying spy gear of foreign agencies, and were stopped before they could act, thanks to the alertness of our intelligence services.”

Of course we can do the diplomatique’ with the Persians — they’re rational actors, with rational public leaders.


Common gray squirrels undergoing hyper-intense Delta Force tiny-paw-to-tiny-paw training

It’s a sad world where we are expected to take these Musselmen mooks seriously.

Don’t take this the wrong way

Coverage by blogs of this year’s WSOP has been pretty bad.  I’d say something profane, rather than just pretty bad, but if I stop and think about, I try not to cuss out loud.  I don’t stop often, you may have noticed.  Still, to the point, blog coverage of the WSOP has been, as I say, pretty bad.

I think that’s because some big-shot bought up the media rights.  As a certified Citizen Journalist, that just sucks.  Harrah’s owns the WSOP lock, stock and ginormous bags’o'cash, so that’s their right, of course.  I don’t think it does the game any good at all, though.

FWIW, I’ve loved Pauly’s coverage, as always, the little bit that I guess he’s allowed to post.  Dan and his crew have been good, but seems to be playing catch-up all the time.  Embargo?  Who knows?  Maybe someone will tell us.  Maybe they already have, and I’m too slow to pick up on it.  Probably, though, it doesn’t matter, since it’ll all be Flash-embedded video someday, and everybody can forget how to read, finally, and throw away all their parent’s books.

It’ll be interesting to see if I get any comments here, since there aren’t any links.  I’m convinced nobody reads anything that’s not on their favorite aggregator anymore.