Thursday, July 28, 2005

Too many hands

I had some folks over for a 6-handed game of 10¢/25¢ NLH last weekend, and played way too many bad hands. My cousin Jeremy is a loose-agressive player who will see the flop with almost anything, and much of the time will try to scare you out with it. We traded money back and forth a few times, and I was down about $12 due to some overagressive play on my part, when I'm dealt QJ on the button. I bet 75¢ (3 x big blind), he calls, everyone else is out. The flop comes 25Q. He checks, I bet $1.50, he calls. Obviously, he hasn't hit top pair.

The turn is a 4. He bets to put me all in (yes, after checking and calling on pre-flop and on the flop), and I call. He shows Ax (a 6, I think). His only outs are one of the three aces, or a 3 to make the inside straight. The river's an Ace; I'm done for the night, down $20.

Could have been worse, though. My wife got dealt pocket sixes, and the flop comes 69K. She and Trestin are the only ones left in, they both bet big, and the turn is another K. They bet big again, and the river is a rag. Tres puts her all in, she shows her 666KK, and he shows his pocket nines for 999KK. Ouch.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It's just the law, that's all...

Stumbled across this at the Secretary of State's web page while looking for a logo for a form. Compare the highlighted regulation with the image at the top of the page.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Road trip - Day 2

Day 2 – June 26 – John Day, OR to Wells, NV

One of the reasons we chose to stay at the Little Pine Inn was that they offered a free breakfast at The Outpost down the road. I wasn’t sure how good of a breakfast to expect, and was pleasantly surprised at eggs, bacon, and coffee (pancakes, or hashbrowns were other options). We filled up on food, fueled up the car, and hit the road.

After having driven through desert-like terrain, it was fun to drive through evergreen forests once again. At about 10:30, as we passed through Wallowa-Whitman national forest, we took an outhouse break, and I fired up the laptop so Krys could watch a DVD in the back seat. The outhouses in the campground were surprisingly nice looking woody bits. Onward.

A half hour later, we entered Malheur County, which is the only county in Oregon that is on mountain time. We continued on and entered Idaho just after noon, and stopped at the Snake River rest area. I spoke briefly with the woman manning the information center, asking her about road conditions between there and Wells. “You picked a really nice day. You should have no problems,” she said. It was nice, sunny, and we were making good time.

We stopped in Boise, had lunch at Jack In The Box, and we hit our first traffic jam, due to a car fire that started a brush fire, near Mountain Home. Shortly after, we hit a thunderstorm, with lightning bolts tagging the ground in the distance. Very cool.

At Twin Falls, we left Interstate 84 and headed south on US-93. Amazingly, a flock of pelicans flew overhead as we approached the Snake River gorge. We stopped for a brief snack, and took US-93 into Nevada. From the turnoff of I-84, Jackpot, Nevada is 43 miles south. Beyond Jackpot is miles and miles of nothing. Nevada is on pacific time, but Jackpot, by municipal statute, is on mountain time, probably because nearly all the clientele of Jackpot are people coming down from Idaho.

We had planned on camping at Angel Creek Campground just outside of Wells, but the threatening skies implied rain, so we searched for an inexpensive motel. We certainly could have done better, but we ended up at the Shell Crest Motel. For $26.00, we got two beds, a dirty shower, and a dead mouse in the gravel parking lot near the car. It reminded me a lot of the cheap motels in the Ponders area of Lakewood, but nobody was actually living there.

Miles today: 440
Miles total: 848

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Road trip - Day 1

Day 1 – Saturday, June 25 – Home to John Day, OR

The first directions were the easiest: go to I-5, turn south, find breakfast. Naturally, we ate at the same place we eat when we go to Hood Canal in the mornings: Hawks Prairie Inn in Lacey, WA. Eggs, bacon, and back on the road.

At about 10:15 a.m., we waved goodbye to I-5 (we wouldn’t see it again until late July 1), and entered Oregon on I-205, connected with I-84, and headed east. I-84 is a four lane divided freeway, and as the car in front of me changed lanes to the left, I was jolted quickly out of my thoughts by the most frightening image of the whole trip. I quickly, with a sigh of relief, realized it was being towed, backwards.

We stopped briefly at Multnomah Falls, then continued on to my favorite geocache of all time, The Pipeline.

We were behind schedule at this point, so we didn’t take the full 1.75 mile hike to the cache, but we did hike ¾ mile to the best part of The Pipeline, where water is spraying everywhere and making long lasting rainbows.

We stopped for lunch at Taco Time in The Dalles, OR, where Krys got a fairly complex model cardboard plane with her kids meal. She spent the next hour in the car assembling it; I was quite impressed.

We left I-84 in Biggs, OR, passing Linda’s Restaurant on the way (hi, mom!). Ten miles later, we had to release the drinks we consumed in The Dalles, so we kept our eyes open for a place to go. The Wasco Town Park was just the spot – and the cleanest public outhouse I’ve ever seen.

We continued on, passing wheat field after wheat field (did you know they whisper in the wind – pretty cool!). At about 4:00 we stopped briefly at a roadside “Mountain Identifier”, which pointed out Adams, Shasta, Rainier, and St. Helens.

The next major town on the route was Condon, and Krys went into fits of embarrassment every time we mentioned the name of the town, so we took to calling it “La La La” instead. I wanted to take a photo of her with the welcome sign, but she refused until Kim offered her a dollar to do it.

We crossed the 45th parallel, and entered the town of Fossil. I’d been here geocaching last year, and was looking forward to showing Kim and Krys the fossil pile behind the high school. Unfortunately, some time in the last 13 months, they began charging admission and restricting access, so we left disappointed. We drove through the John Day canyon, admiring the geology, and stopped for a photo op in the town of Kimberly.

Continuing on, we passed through the town of Mount Vernon (MapPoint landmarks: Wagon Wheel Tavern, McKerns Texaco, and the Mt Vernon Trailer Park), and Krys spotted a pair of newlyweds descending the steps out of the little white church to greet their wedding guests. Straight out of Rocky Horror, I think.

At about 6:00 p.m., we finally arrived in John Day, checked in to the Little Pine Inn, and had dinner at The Outpost. Dinner took a while, because their two banquet rooms were taken up -- by a wedding party from Mt. Vernon, and another couple's 50th anniversary party. I guess this was the only banquet rooms within 50 miles or so.

When we returned to our hotel, we had two surprises. Three deer were in the field outside our window, and some friendly neighbor had given us open access to their wireless net connection. Sweet.

Miles today: 408
Miles total: 408

[Edit: adding paragraph breaks]

Road trip - Prologue

On June 25, 2005, Kim, Krys, and I set out on the longest road trip of our lives. I drove 4027 miles over 15 days, from 8500 feet elevation down to 45 feet below sea level. This is the story of that trip.

Prologue I had been thinking about doing this road trip since my solo trip to Reno last year. After seeing and doing the things I’d done, I really wanted Kim and Krys to be able to see and do the same things. But why stop there? Kim has wanted to go back to Vegas for as long as I’ve known her – she was an Air Force brat stationed at Nellis AFB during her formative middle-school years – and Krys sounded excited when I mentioned the possibility to her. Kim and I have also talked about eventually hitting every major league baseball park, and this trip was the perfect excuse to get the west coast out of the way.

In March, I began planning the route, and after reviewing the MLB schedules, came up with the path you see in the map above.

I browsed the web sites of the major (and some minor) areas that we’d be going through, and had them send me their tourist ad packets. When it was all said and done, we had a pile of literature four slippery inches thick.

Over the next three months, I read hotel reviews, made reservations, watched a documentary on traveling US-93, read road reports and books about traveling other major roads, and pretty much got myself all psyched up. At 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 25, we hit the road.

[EDIT: Added paragraph breaks, changed title to Prologue ("prelude"? what was I thinking?).]

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Google personal search history

I opted in to Google's Search History about two weeks ago. Pretty slick. It stores all the searchs I run while I'm signed into my Google account (e.g., Gmail), which is just about always. 12 days, 59 searches. Fewer than I expected. Heavy into baseball, law, forms, and The 4400. Samples from the search history:

Jul 16, 2005 (cont.)
leaky cauldron
The Leaky Cauldron: Harry Potter News: Updates on JK Rowling, book ... - 4:17pm
Jul 15, 2005
votingoptions votingresponse
Koders - mdActions.bas - 4:39pm D5134.aspx
MailItem Object -- Office Outlook 2003 VBA Language Reference ... - 4:16pm olobjMailItem_HV05247822.asp
video search
Google Video Search - 10:23am
"iron chef" "kitchen stadium" ingredient
Virtual Iron Chef: Kitchen Stadium Battle! - 10:28am
Searches with no clicked results:
video, "iron chef" theme ingredient
Jul 14, 2005
"the 4400" - Related history
.: The 4400 TV Fan Site :. - 8:56am
THE 4400 FORUM - 8:35am
infopath "two submit" - Related history ... - 8:18am
Searches with no clicked results:
"loss of earning power" lep calculations, "loss of earning power (lep) calculations"

Pretty cool, really. I never realized how much I googled for forms related stuff at work. (OT: Yeah, I still plan on blogging my road trip. Soon.)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Road trip photos

FYI, I've just posted seven photos from the first seven days of my 16 day road trip on my photo blog.