Saturday, October 27, 2007

Beating the long timers

I went to Happy Days on Friday night to play the midnight tournament... except it turns out that there's no midnight tournaments on Friday nights. I sat down at a $3/$6 table instead, and was dealt QQ to start, netting $26 on my first hand. The guy to my left was a non-stop talker (the way I like it; it keeps the table happy and spending money).

Happy Days has a monthly freeroll where the players who have put in the most hours at the tables get to play. The chatterbox let me know that the guy two seats to my right was the current time leader, that the woman to his right was high on the list, and that chatterbox himself was also in the top 40.

In other words, he told me I was outmatched. In spite of that I played for 45 minutes, then got out when I was ahead $46. The most amusing hand was when I was dealt 87o, and the board came 4T9/7/9. I mistakenly thought the 7 was a 6, and played as if I had a straight on the turn. Oops. I continued the agressive play on the river, and the other players folded.

My final hand was TT, in middle position, and I raised pre-flop, of course. Chatterbox re-raised to $9, the two blinds called, I capped it at $12, and the other three players called me. The flop came 6QJ. It was checked to me, and I went in for $3. If they had a Q or J, I think they would have bet. Chatterbox called, making me think he might have a J. The turn was a 9, it was checked to me, I bet, chatterbox called, and the blinds folded. The river was nothing, and I bet. Chatterbox inexplicably called and showed a 7♠8♠. My tens won, I bailed out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

All politics are roadkill

I'm driving my daughter and her friend home from school, and in the lane to my right is an SUV with signs on it advocating Lisa Ikeda for city council, and also advertising Lisa's "Ponders Landmark Cafe." I smile a bit, because as I told my daughter, she's the candidate I voted for, in spite of her casino opposition, mainly because she makes a good french dip sandwich.

"That's her?" my daughter asked, excited.

I speed up a bit to get a better look.

"Yep. That's her." "Hit her!" comes the yell from the back seat.


"Extra points!"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Orion Experience

I'm at the Starbucks at 1600 Olive in Seattle, and The Orion Experience just finished their show. They're kind of a cross between Save Ferris and the latest Duran Duran album, and their ska-pop sound and high energy made for a great time. They're on the way back to NYC, but I hope they continue to do well and return to the area again.

I bought their album, Cosmicandy, and will be listening to it in the car on the way home.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Boom in the Valley

I've posted this to a friends-only mailing list, to the Tacoma LiveJournal community, and to the News Tribune's Lights & Sirens blog. Might as well finish up by posting the same thing here.

I was at the Target on Union, and left about 3:00. I saw the black clouds of smoke pouring into the sky. I got onto eastbound SR16, and traffic was slow, because the flames were very visible and shooting into the sky; the fire department obviously didn't have control over it yet. People were parked on the Sprague overpass watching it, and as I approached the Valley overpass, some people had pulled off to the side. The flames were shooting up well above the north side of the overpass, not gently licking the sky, but jetting up as if they were being accelerated out.

Halfway across the overpass, I turned off the radio and opened the window, because I wanted to see if I could hear the fire. As I rolled down the window, the whole north valley burst into an explosive fireball. It was bigger than most Hollywood type explosions, rocking the car. Maybe the equivalent of four simultaneous gas station explosions, if they were done in a movie.

My first thought was that I was glad the window was down, so that the pressure inside and outside the car was equalized, preventing the window from shattering. My next thought, as the wave of heat swept over, was that I needed to roll up the window to shield myself from the heat. That was a bit too late -- the left side of my face is still a little pinker than my right, and it still stings a tad.

My next thought was, "gee, I'd better swerve left a little bit to avoid that falling, flaming piece of scaffolding.". I did, but it clipped the car in the lane to my right. KING 5 news interviewed someone else who saw flying metal, too.

I kept driving off the viaduct, adrenaline coursing through me. It had gotten warm enough that I wanted to check my car's paint to see if it had gotten damaged.

KOMO radio reports that the explosion was felt a few miles away. I believe it. I'd be surprised if the Java Jive, south of the overpass, is still in one piece.


[Update: The News Tribune just posted some good video of the explosion. I think that was my car that crossed the SR-16 supports about three seconds pre-boom. Toasty.]

[Update 2: YouTube videos here and here.]

Friday, October 05, 2007

September match play results, four month summary

I went 23-34 (40%/60%) with Happy Days match play in September, netting +$135. The First Card Ace promo at Chips/Palace added another $75. Other lucky side bets came up with another 157.50. However, with my lousy poker play and unlucky craps and roulette play in Vegas, I ended up down $88.20 for the month.

Overall, June-September, match play has put me up +$1470, at 146-155. Good thing, because I gave back $678 of it, and $400 of that was at the poker tables. I guess I'm still trying to find the slow leak in my game.