Sunday, March 27, 2011

Changing Protocol

Yesterday, I went to Buckhorn Grill for dinner. I ordered my food, set my stuff down at the table, and went to use the bathroom. I tried the handle to the men’s room, but it was locked. I thought I heard some movement at the sink and I waited just a short time (probably 30-40 seconds) and the door opened. The man using the bathroom exited and I stepped into the bathroom.

Then this is what happened:

I have one foot in the bathroom and a man, with his four-year-old son approaches. As he is walking up he says, “Oh, were you waiting to use the bathroom too?” He continues as he walks toward me, “We were waiting to use the bathroom.” I reply, “How am I supposed to know that?”

“Because I just told you.”

He says this as he walks past me and into the bathroom with the child. He assumes that I’m going to retreat from the bathroom and let him and his child go ahead. I do this.

When he comes out he says something to me on the way out like, “We don’t like to wait in the hall, because it gets crowded there.” I don’t respond.

This is how it later happened in my mind:

(I do not know how the other man would have responded so all quotes after “because I told you” are me speaking. His lines are simply assumed.)

I reply, “How am I supposed to know that?”

“Because I just told you.”

“I’m sorry, but I didn’t know you were waiting. Don’t just walk by me like this is some kind of normal protocol. That isn’t the social etiquette in this situation. Generally, when people are waiting for something we stand in line. When I go to the bank I don’t wait for the teller to say ‘next person please’ and then jump in front of the line and let them know I had been waiting on the nearby cushioned chairs.”

“No. I don’t have a problem with you being here first or you using the bathroom before me. I have a problem with the way you chose to do it. You could have informed me before the door opened that you were also waiting. Maybe I would have even sat at the table with you. Don’t just barge in front of me and be rude about it.”

“Then I suggest you do one of three things: Go get a manager from the establishment and we can discuss this place’s protocol, wait for me to use the bathroom, or ask me nicely. Maybe something like, ‘excuse me sir, my son and I were already waiting for the bathroom over there, would you mind if we go in front of you?’”

After this I can no longer assume how he would react. Depending on his response my imagination here takes me anywhere from, “No problem sir. Go ahead.” And if he didn’t ask me nicely I imagined shouting, some expletives, and quite a scene made before anyone made it to the bathroom.

What would I have gained from this outrageous response? I’m sure nothing positive would have come of it. I don’t think he would have left with some enlightenment on social situation; I think he would have just been upset. But I think I would feel better, because it makes me angry again just writing this story. I wish I go back and do it again. It would have been worth it.

Think I need to sign up for some anger-management classes?

Pic of the Week: Honduras Bahama Mama

This is the drink result when you mix Gio, Me, a different culture, a language barrier, and a little sarcasm.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thought of the Week

The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.
--Jack Handy

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Brian Wilson

With the baseball season upon us I wanted to help get us in the mood by hearing from Brian Wilson. Here is when he went on Leno after the World Series.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cleaning out the Closet

Things I found while cleaning my closet last weekend:

  • An unopened set of silverware for three
  • A $20 gift card to Walmart (I have no idea who gave it to me)
  • 3 Flashlights
  • A backpack (that I plan to start using)
  • Blue and Red Comedy Sportz fly swatter set
  • Pack of 450 water balloons complete with two deluxe faucet fillers
  • A California state tax refund check from 2004 in the amount of $67
  • A birthday card from Steph and Dan from my 26th birthday. It includes a sticker to wear out on my birthday-- which I plan to wear later this week
  • Several unopened notices saying I needed to call right away to discuss a surgery from 2008. If I did not call soon there could be legal action taken against me.
    Oops. (I started to call the number on the form, but…)
  • Set of bamboo paint brushes
  • 2008 calendar complete with Chinese art
  • Blank checks from a bank of which I no longer recall being a member (Great Western Bank—I’m guessing late ‘90’s)
  • A stuffed animal horse—head only (this item I remember how it was obtained)
  • A brand new VHS movie of Mulan in Spanish
  • Several other VHS tapes including: 2 copies of the Blair Witch Project, one of them unopened (a movie to this day I ever never seen), a recorded hockey game from the Sharks/Blues on April 13th, a new blank VHS tape so if I want to record some of my favorite shows, 2 movies purchased in Spain that don’t play in our VCR’s, several excellent movies, and one copy of Forces of Nature (one of the worst movies ever made)

Pic of the Week

Here are two pictures taken by my parents during their trip to Monterey last month:

Look at my Mom and Dad gettin' all artsy and stuff; I'm proud of them. I really did like both of these shots (Mom took the top pic; Dad took the 2nd one).

Thought of the Week

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
--Anais Nin

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mitch Hedberg

Mitch Hedberg. One of the greatest comedians of all time. I had the pleasure of seeing him live twice before he died. His unique personality, brilliant jokes, and fantastic delivery resulted in a fantastic show. When I saw him the first time at Cal Poly I remember laughing hysterically and thinking to myself, "how can someone be funny this long?" His style was to just tell the jokes as they came into his head. He had well-written material about random things like a frozen banana, a donut, or an escalator, but also mixed in some improv. He wasn't vulgar, but did use profanity. The video below is a clean version. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Baby Shower

Within ten minutes of his arrival Gio, feeling out of place, says to me, “I don’t feel like this is a co-ed baby shower. I feel like it is a women’s baby shower, and we also got invited.” Despite a house full of women there were only four men at the shower. Gio. Me. Brian (the host—okay let’s be honest: the husband), and Kevin, a recent boyfriend of one of the attendees. Brian, Gio and I have worked together for years; we were each meeting Kevin for the first time. Gio relaxes after a bit, and we even happily participate in the shower activities. We opt for a break after trying to identify the melted candy bars in the “stinky” diapers.

Gio, Brian and I head to the garage to play a round of darts. Within one minute of our garage arrival Kevin walks out to join us. We all three instantly realize what we had done. We left Kevin in there alone. We apologized. The amount of time it took Kevin to find us in the garage is still one of the funniest things to me about the entire day.

After we finish a round of darts we return to find the women are in full present opening mode (I don’t think the absence of the men made any difference to them). With all of the living room seats taken the four of us guys end up in the standing room only section watching the festivities from the adjacent room.

Then I come up with a brilliant idea. After a brief discussion we agree on the details for our wager. Gio gets the stopwatch ready. How many times are we going to hear the word “cute” in the next five minutes.

“Everyone think of your guess in your head.”


“Got it.”





This was the best baby shower game ever. We used hand signals across the room to help us tally the results. We tried to not be too obvious with our laughs, but it was pretty funny every time we heard a “cute.” Once we hit the 19th one we knew I had won. I think the total ended up being 21.

After the five minutes there was still a lot of presents left to open.

“Want to play again?”


“How about the number of times we hear ‘I love that.’?”

Pic of the Week

Me. Trying on women's pajamas at Target.

Thought of the Week

All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.
--Mark Twain

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I went over to my brother's house the other night, and I spent some time playing with my nieces.

Me and Whitney (just before her 5th birthday).

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Old Poker Adage

Earlier this week I had another one of my loyal blog followers directly request more columns involving poker. We know that people actually willing to voice their opinion represent a much larger number of people sharing that same opinion. Considering there are about 300,000,000 people in United States, the percent of those people that read my blog, plus a few international readers, with two people voicing their request for poker I’m assuming I have at least a half dozen of you craving this content. Do not worry. I hear your voices and have responded.

Today, I have written commentary on five of the most memorable poker adages or quotes I have encountered. It will explain some of my poker past, discuss a little strategy at the table, and most importantly show how poker is a microcosm of life.

1: Poker players like winning more than losing, but they like playing most of all.

I’m not sure I totally agree with this quote. Personally, I really like winning. When I was about twenty years old I began studying the game more seriously and I came across this quote in one of the books I read. I don’t remember which book or who said, but I remember why it was said. It will behoove you at the table if everyone is having a good time and the mood is carefree and fun, because then the other players will be less concerned about the money they are losing to you. Most players in a cardroom know how to play poker better than they are playing. (Mostly because folding and waiting isn’t fun.) So you don’t want to give them a reason to start focusing and playing better. This can also go to the other extreme is if you really make some mad that will likely cause them to play poorly too. However, that isn’t my recommendation. Keeping the mood fun and friendly allows me to have more fun too.

2: It's immoral to let a sucker keep his money. --Canada Bill Jones.

I’m not as cutthroat as Jones here, but here is my take on playing with a sucker at the table: The guy is going to dump his money to someone. You can’t prevent this, so you might as well get a piece of it.

I’ve played at tables where one person is so bad that even though I was ready to go home I chose to wait out the game as long as the particular individual was still seated. I used to make the mistake of playing too much in effort to capitalize on the poor play of the fish. My advice is to not drastically change your game. Maybe you will end up making money and not getting any of it from the sucker at the table. I’ve have had times where it caused where one bad player caused me to alter my strategy too much and I ended up playing poorly. Just recognize with a donator at the table the game is better and your odds of winning more money go up. Sometimes you may play a couple more hands because you can get in cheap and he is involved, but don’t let it drastically change your style of play.

Also, keep in my mind the quote from Rounders.

3: No one bluffs a made a hand.

This is an old poker adage. Let me explain. If you are holding a strong hand at the table, and are betting it properly, it may be obvious that you are holding a quality hand. So later in the hand if a player makes a large bet or raise, you will likely have to give him credit for a monster. This is because he knows that you are holding a strong hand, thus you will be unlikely to want to give it up. Nobody bluffs a made hand. This concept requires a couple levels of psychology, but every once in a while you may have to lay down your trips when your opponent raises and you know that he knows that you have what you have.

4: Trust everyone, but always cut the cards. –Benny Binion

This quote is more interesting if you understand the character of Benny Binion. He was well-known for several things. Things like: being a major proponent of poker, casino owner, murder. Binion was also the first Vegas casino owner to not have a maximum amount someone could wager. I like Benny’s advice here. In general I put a great deal of trust in people, and the systems we have in place. That is why I can do things like not balance my checkbook, because I assume the bank is keeping things accurate. I don’t choose to live a life worried about stuff that has given me no reason to worry. But if you’re going to live a life like that of Benny Binion “always cut the cards” just in case.

5: Life is a like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you is determinism; though the way you play it is free will. –Jawaharlal Nehru

This is what I try to teach my students. There are a lot of things in life you can’t control, but you still have to do your best with what you’re dealt. Some of us in life started off with better “starting cards.” Just because you aren’t being dealt great cards doesn’t mean you still can’t have a winning session.

Poker Quotes:

There is no sense in being precise, when you don’t even know what you’re talking about. --John von Neumann

Industry executives and analysts often mistakenly talk about strategy as if it were some kind of chess match. But in chess, you have just two opponents, each with identical resources, and with luck playing a minimal role. The real world is much more like a poker game, with multiple players trying to make the best of whatever hand fortune has dealt them. -- David Moschella

In the long run there's no luck in poker, but the short run is longer than most people know." -- Rick Bennett

[Poker] exemplifies the worst aspects of capitalism that have made our country so great. --Walter Matthau

The guy who invented poker was bright, but the guy who invented the chip was a genius. –Big Julie

I hope to break even this week. I need the money. –Veteran gambler

There are two days in poker that you will never forget. One is the first time you’ll lose $100,000 in a night and the other is the first time you’ll lose $1,000,000 in a night. –Chip Reese

Serious poker is no more about gambling than rock climbing is about taking risks. - Alfred Alvarez

Most of the money you'll win at poker comes not from the brilliance of your own play, but from the ineptitude of your opponents. --Lou Krieger

There are few things that are so unpardonably neglected in our country as poker. The upper class knows very little about it. Now and then you find ambassadors who have sort of a general knowledge of the game, but the ignorance of the people is fearful. Why, I have known clergymen, good men, kind-hearted, liberal, sincere, and all that, who did not know the meaning of a "flush." It is enough to make one ashamed of the species. --Mark Twain

Pic of the Week: Jury Duty

I was in group 225.

Thought of the Week

"...nothing in life is certain and that, consequently, all decisions are about probabilities."
--Robert E. Rubin

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Vanilla Ice Cream

This song does not reflect my opinion of any girls I am currently dating or have dated in the past.
But... It is pretty damn funny.