Life Experiences & Observations

Sit Down, Buckle Up, Hang On, and Enjoy My Blog Ride

Sabbatical List

  • Start learning to play base guitar
  • Take a journey somewhere far
  • Practice french
  • Take some Yoga classes
  • Volunteer at a charity
  • Write some
  • Read a lot
  • Vlog
  • Watch my daughter become a Jewish Woman (Bat Mitzvah)
  • Spend quality time with friends & family
  • Play at least 100 hours of poker
  • Experience life without corporate responsibilities

Sabbatical Countdown

I am lucky enough to work for a company that gives their employees a month off paid every 5 years. Upcoming next month is my 4th sabbatical which means I have been with my company 20 years. I have some cool plans ahead but for now I am just in countdown mode. Like a space shuttle’s engines charging for launch I can’t help but be extremely excited about the upcoming lift off.

Since I currently work a 3 by 12 night shift and have a few vacation days this month, the number of work days remaining before for sabbatical is dwindling (in a good way) quickly. Just 12 work days, or I should say work nights, until sabbatical. Once it gets even closer, I will post a blog with a list of items I hope to embark on to make my time off exciting. That will help ensure I get a least a few of them done.

Yes, I Chose Sleep Over the Eclipse

eclipseAs you all know, there was tons of hype in regards to the eclipse that occurred on Monday. Yes, ideally I would have liked to have watched it live myself. But at the end of the day, I chose my eyelid eclipse over the actual eclipse. I also figured the video and pictures professionals would capture would be much better than my own. And I was spot on.

I think if I lived in the path of totality I might have been much more inclined to loose some sleep to watch it live. But not being in that path, not having glasses to truly look up and watch it, and not being enthused about the dullness of experiencing it through a pin hole camera… I chose sleep. Boy do I feel rested and my retinas are totally in tact.

My World Series of Poker Heartbreak!

Larry WSOPLast week I was in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker (WSOP).  I had my sights on a WSOP cash.  It’s something I have never done before and it’s first on my poker Bucket List.  My plan was to play and cash in Event #25, the $1,000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) event.  I won’t go deep into the intricacies of the game but it plays similar to Hold Em except you get 4 cards rather than 2, must but can only use 2 cards from your hand, and can only bet up to the amount in the pot.

I have played a lot of Hold Em over the last 15 years but over the last 3 years I have started to really enjoy learning and growing at PLO.  I have a very solid grasp of cash game strategy but this would only be my second PLO tournament I have ever played. Last year I played in the $565 buy in PLO WSOP event.

So last Tuesday was the day.  It’s always really exciting sitting down to start a new tournament with a full stack and a pristine uncracked dream.  Especially when its at the WSOP, one of the biggest stages in poker.

The event was exhilarating especially when I tripled up to 15k in chips somewhere around the 4th level of the tourney.  I ran it up even more to the point of having almost 40k in chips.  Then about 30 minutes before the dinner break, during level 6, the green felt sharks began to swirl.  Poker pros with obviously more PLO tournament experience than myself started to lean heavily with aggression on those who were trying to protect rather than grow their stacks.  See, in tournament poker, the forced bets called the blinds go up every round.  In this tournament, the rounds are 1 hour.  We were on level 6 when my game started to unravel.  After call/folding or raise/folding on about 4 hands in 30 minutes, my stack went from about 40k to 17k.  Luckily, the dinner break came along and threw me a life preserver.

At the dinner break, I did some soul searching and realized clearly what was happening.  I was playing too tight and trying too hard to protect my stack just to make the money.  I grabbed some food, headed up to my room, and spent the next hour watching PLO tournament instructional videos while getting some well needed stomach fuel.

After the dinner break it was on to level 7.  No more getting pushed around. I had made the decision that I was going to find my spot with good equity to double up.  I found that spot when my A-Q-10-5 hand with 2 diamonds flopped top pair with a flush draw.  To make the long story short, I bet, he raised, I pushed all in, he called, and I proceeded to lose the hand.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that I had 60% equity to win the hand and rather than continuing to let myself be pushed around I took a stand at the correct mathematical moment.  Unfortunately, cashing this tournament was not meant to be.

In tournament poker, if you get all your chips in with the the best chance of winning, that is all you can ask for.  Over the short run, luck may trip you up, but over the long haul good decisions with good equity will always prevail.

While I was certainly heartbroken that I didn’t cash the tourney, I felt proud of how I much I learned and how quickly I was able to adjust on the fly.  I feel like I grew enough to be much better prepared come next year.  While it’s very early, I can’t help but start counting down the days until next year’s World Series of Poker.  Until then, it’s time to fertilize my bankroll in the next 6 weeks leading up to the Arizona State Poker Championship tournament.  Deal me in!!

Variance is a Gut Punch

seven duece offMy passion is poker, a game in which the best player doesn’t always win.  There is a certain percentage of luck so in the short run any crappy player can win and any very good player can lose.  In the long run, however, the good players win and the bad players lose.  That doesn’t change the fact that every session is a boxing match and in some matches the variance is going to give you a gut punch and knock you out cold.

While mentally I understand variance, there is still some mental and emotional pain that always seems to follow a train wreck session in which you drive perfectly on the rails but still end up with a demolition. Last night was one of those nights.  70% favorite, lose.  80% favorite, lose. Long term favorite, win.  In the short run, it still hurts.

That’s poker folks!

A New Found Respect for Video Editors

video editingI am starting to dive deeper into video editing.  Up to this point, for my YouTube channel, I have only been editing using the iMovie App on my phone.  This evening I decided I wade into the deep end of the video editing pool.  I wanted more features and capabilities than iMovie had to offer and downloaded a free version of VideoPad.  I decided to try it because I read that it was easy to use but also had a multitude of robust features.

Boy was I surprised when I realized not only the number of advanced features but how difficult it was to learn and work through using them.  I felt like Edward Scissorhands trying to eat pasta.  Some of the simple features I could quickly learn and implement but when it came to putting an entire edited video together it was far from easy.

This whole editing business got me thinking.  What must it be like editing a professional full length feature film?  How do so many  movies make it to the big screen? Those video editors must have to live, sleep, eat, and dream about video editing.  I bow to their black-belt skills.  As for me, I just want to get comfortable using a simple yet highly functional editing program for my rudimentary YouTube videos.  Hopefully I will one day become as comfortable with the simple desktop editing software as I have become with the iMovie App.  Until then, maybe I should just stick to blogging.  Although it certainly took some time getting used to WordPress.  I guess in life the learning never stops.

Call Me Old Fashioned But I Love the Newspaper!

It az republicsaddens me when I take a peak down my street in the wee hours of the morning and see only one newspaper. It’s The one on my driveway I pickup after a grueling 12 hour night shift.  It lays there like a drunk single old man in your almost empty local dive bar.  While that newspaper is very lonely, I will always be willing to rescue it from its depressed drunken stupor.

I find it harder to explain to people what I love about the newspaper.  In today’s day and age of free flowing real time electronic information, it no longer makes sense to most Americans.  But to me, its a nostalgic tradition like Apple Pie and Fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Reading the newspaper with a light breakfast and a cup of coffee for me is a sensory tingling experience. Maybe I am exaggerating a bit but I really like the smell of a freshly printed newspaper.  It’s like a flowery nose of a new world Cabernet.  Or the smell of a wet creosote bush after a desert monsoon shower.

Even if I only read one or two articles it always seems worth it to me to pay for this old beat up car feel.  It’s a classic Corvette with plenty of miles still left on the grungy old engine.  Just like the newspaper, it makes your hands dirty but still feels nostalgic.

I gotta end it here as I didn’t get a chance yet to read one article today.  I was too busy on YouTube!  🙂

Vlog Kicks Blog!

kickMy last post was quite awhile ago and it was all about transforming thoughts into actions.  That was the salt and the curse words were the pepper.  One of those actions I wanted to take was to start more actively working on my YouTube channel (if you go there don’t laugh too hard).  I have done that but it accidentally kicked my blog to the curb.  Luckily, I a have circled back to scrape it up off of the pavement.

If you have stayed a follower here I greatly appreciate you sticking with me.  Don’t give up on me just yet.  I have hit these dry spells before and always seem to find a way to overcome them.  I am one step closer to being where I want to be in my dream life.  Thanks for continuing to enjoy the ride with me.  Until next time, stop thinking and start doing.  Consume less content and create your own content instead.

Get Shit Done!

000-goWhat are you doing here just sitting reading my blog? Go Do Shit!! What shit you ask? Whatever you have been wanting to do everyday of your life but were afraid to. Or if you want to be more practical, then everything you have been procrastinating about that you know you need to do. Now, for the last time… Stop reading and start doing!!

Big Media Bully and The Suspension of My Periscope Account

0000-stop-bullyingI am still shocked and perturbed about what happen to me on Thursday evening. While I don’t scope often, I have been an avid user of Periscope to watch many other individuals stream content. So on Thursday afternoon, I decided to scope the comparison between my dog and and a cub. Essentially a bear but that bear happened to coincide with a particular baseball team that was playing on my TV while I was scoping. I really wasn’t trying to distribute a Fox Production without their permission. I was trying to be cutesy.

As it turns out, a big media company like Fox is looking to demolish a big bad conglomerate wolf like myself trying to huff and puff and blow down the rules in massive proportions. That is how I felt after essentially reading a cease and desist note that Periscope sent me after suspended my account for 4 hours and stating I was violating Fox’s intellectual property rights. Did I break the rules… well that’s certainly up for debate. What did happen is 26 viewers… yes 26, saw a blurry ballgame on my TV as I went back and forth between showing the TV and showing my Dog. My Dog was much more interesting which caused me to follow my dog rather than continuing to follow the TV. Even the viewers agreed my dog was more interesting. You may need to work on that content Fox! The broadcast ended after a few minutes of filming my dog outside playing.

If I had to estimate, I would say that no more than couple minutes of the broadcast was showing on my TV with a blurry and barely view-able baseball game on. In fact, I would challenge anybody to view the video and regurgitate to me exactly what happened on 3 separate plays in the game. Good luck with that!! Even if you could still see the video content you certainly wouldn’t be able to tell me what happened in the game. This situation is essentially the equivalent of me driving 1 mile over the speed limit in the middle of the night with no cars on the road. Can you imagine if a cop pulled me over and suspended my license for this offense. It would be so ridiculous it would be funny. At what point does intent come into the conversation? Shouldn’t we at least examine if the scenario was egregious? Apparently NOT!! I had no intent to infringe on anybodies intellectual property. Once again, the content shown was almost indecipherable and lasted for no more than about 60 seconds. If you want to know why the world hates lawyers, this is a great example. Yes there are good reasons to have these rules but they don’t exist to stop 26 viewers from seeing one minute of ballgame on a TV that was really just side content to displaying my dog to the world. This is the La Brea Tar Pits of absurdity.

I could understand a warning email but to suspend my account and threaten to close it down forever? C’mon Fox. C’mon Periscope. This paranoid, alarmist behavior, may one day cause you to lose the most important deliverer of your profits…. viewers like myself. Watch Out!! Netflix is chasing your tail!!

I feel better now that I got this off my chest. Do they allow inmates to write blogs from prison? If not, this may be the bitter end my friend. Damn… did I just infringe on Jim Morrison’s intellectual property rights?