Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Open in Translation

From Matt and Steph's vacation. Somehow the 25-hour minimart was closed.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

No Water

I turned the faucet. Nothing. I tried the other side, as if maybe only half the sink wasn’t working. Still nothing. They shut the water off again.

Running two and half miles along the river in the Sacramento heat: great. Getting home to find out the water was shut off in your entire complex: not great.

I didn’t even know what to do. I was hungry, but I couldn’t even wash my hands. I thought about walking over to the pizza place just to use their bathroom to wash up a little. Then I saw the maintenance guy and he said the water would be back on in just a few minutes. I questioned the actual length of "a few minutes."

I was so sweaty and smelly I didn’t really want to touch anything or do anything. I just sat there contemplating my next steps. After only a couple minutes I heard the water pouring out of my kitchen sink. I jumped up turned it off and headed straight for the shower. I had a 4:30 appointment on the other side of town; I needed to get going soon.

I was only in the shower a short while, long enough to wash my hair and face, and then I heard the water starting to wane. I quickly got my face in front of the faucet as the last bit of water came out the shower head. I managed to get the soap off the front of my face before it shut off completely.

There I was standing naked in the shower, still mostly dirty. I looked in the mirror to discover I still had soap in both ears. Now what? Should I go to pizza place with no shirt on and ask to use the bathroom to wash the soap suds out of my ears? I couldn’t wait forever. I found myself carefully pouring some water from a water bottle trying to wash the soap out of my ears.I only had about 8 oz. to work with.

I grabbed a towel and dried off a bit and stood there naked in my living room again contemplating my next move. As soon as I heard the water again I sprinted back into the shower. I fully rinsed off my head and ears. Then I took out the soap and carefully washed one body part at a time and rinsed it off before I continued with the soap. I finished my right arm and the water went off again.

I got out, dried off, and did notice that I was no longer omitting a distinctly foul smell. Now at least my hands and face were clean. I grabbed some food. Before I finished eating the water was back on again, but I no longer had time. I went to my 4:30 appointment without mentioning the adventure that it took me to get ready.

Pic of the Week

We went to this "Five Star" chapel in Reno for Vickie and Craig's vow renewal ceremony, and our appointment was pushed back because of a "walk-in" in front of us.

Thought of the Week

In the poker game of life women are the rake.
--Worm (in the movie Rounders)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Sunday, August 14, 2011


Each of us can remember certain compliments we have received. I still remember back in ’96 when I was told I had a nice jaw line. There are certain topics where a compliment particularly resonates. For example someone telling me they thought I was a great baseball broadcaster and they would like me to fill in for Jon Miller on his days off. Here are some compliments I actually have received. These are more or less in chronological order:

Jon Boyle said he would want to see my show if I did a half-hour of stand-up comedy. –2001

A friend suggested I get my own talk show.

“You are the least judgmental person I know.” –Whitney Baker

“It kind of kills me that as a math teacher you are such a good writer.” --Stephanie Anderson 5/19/09

On playing poker: “You sir aren't a pro (though you could be), a semi-pro, or even a "serious" player. You are simply one of the best part-time players out there. While you sicken me with your ability, I sincerely congratulate you on your well deserved victory!” --Dave Simon 9/28/09

“Being with you almost makes me want to ignore my technology.” –Rebecca Chakrin

For the best materialistic comment I have received recently, “I’ve been looking at all the sports cars on the road, and I still like yours the best.”

She later added, “If we break up, can I date your car?” (This would have been even funnier if she was joking.)

“You're a good writer and I like your blog..... it's kinda like The Office and Seinfeld in that it covers everything and nothing at the same time... but pretty entertaining in the process. I feel compelled to comment if I read it.” 7/1/2011

Thought of the Week

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.
--Erica Jong

For Sale

I bought the boys matching shirts while we were in Tahoe.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Sunday, August 7, 2011

What Day Is It?

I've been sitting at the computer for two hours trying write. I've already started over a few times. I don't know how, (or really even what) I'm trying to convey today. I played poker for a month. I did well. Let me tell you what I've learned this month:

I definitely could make a living playing poker.
There are certain parts of the lifestyle I really enjoy.
I have the temperament to handle playing poker for a living.
You don't need to raise with AJo if three players have limped in front of you.

I admit it was weird calling down to the front desk to have someone help me with my luggage just because I didn't want to make three trips to the car. It was not weird drinking margaritas at the pool on a beautiful summer day. Throwing my towel on the floor so I can get a clean one the next day is something I could get used to.

I know a month is small sample size. I cannot predict exactly what would happen over the course of a year. However, I do know that I went to Reno for the Pot of Gold tournament and I played in a total of four events, and I won two of them. (technically, I won one, and five us chopped the money up in the other.) I had a hard time staying awake and focused during twelve hours sessions, but surprising I learned that even when I was not totally alert I was still able to play effective poker.

I had some good nights and some bad nights while I was in Reno. When I got back to my sister's house I don't think my family members could tell if I had won or lost money-- until they asked. Although, sometimes certain cards could have came out more favorably for me I never blamed the cards for the results of the session. Even after losing $400 the night before I still celebrated finding five bucks under my seat the next day. Even after winning over five-thousand dollars in a night I still bought lunch for eight bucks the following afternoon. Poker remained separate.

Also, during this month I got offered my job back. Interesting. I don't know if I want to live out of hotels multiple months a year and be on the road frequently. However, I don't know if I would mind either. I love my job, but I would also love the freedom of making my own schedule.

Eleven years ago after having a tough time in some low-limit poker games while living Long Beach for the summer I decided that I would not play poker for a living unless I could afford to not win. (Basically, not play with this month's rent money).

I can afford to play now, but I don't know if I could afford to not to teach.

One month 'till school starts.

Wish me luck.

Click here for an update.


If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.
--John Irving


By the time I won I could barely stay awake.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011