Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Homeless or Worse you decide

What up my readership! So, we got the house sold just a bit too quickly. I guess its a good problem if there is such a thing. The fams is holed up in the 'dumphouse' as my daughters affectionately refer to it. And, they're pretty much on target. Its not nice at all, it smells, it was dirty as hell, and our neighbor knows about 20 seconds of Smoke on the Water. Jesus, why does someone have to try and learn the friggin guitar when I'm living next door--I run bad.

(It should be noted that I am going to break this post up because I have been accused by someone that my paragraphs are way too long)

Yes, I missed the Vegas trip because of the home sale and that sucked hard. The wife and I were all ready to let it all hang out. Natrocity did the marriage thing, but I did get to attend the wedding reception over in Santa Claus this past Saturday. A couple interesting things happened during the reception that I need to talk about here. First, the bride's maid speech was a stunner. Never, ever, ever have I witnessed or even heard of a bride's maid speech that referenced the bride's ex or several of them. You tell me because I sure don't know. Second, and of even more interest was one Super Mundus in hot pursuit of some tail. Let me set it up. The Super reminded of a coal miner full clad with pick axe and hard hat (with light of course) punching the clock. The boy seemed to be working relentlessly on this cougar that was more than reciprocating. Now wait a second, that's not accurate, 'The Super' was being chased or it appeared that way. So, the wife and I get to sneak in a 30 second see ya Super before she wraps herself around him like she had tentacles and whisked him back into her personal space. My wife and I were pumped, because the skin boat was definitely docking in tuna town for that fella. But, to my extreme amazement (disappointment) I find that the hefty lefty went like 8 and 2/3 s but couldn't get the win. Of course I questioned him about this, and in a true upset he was speechless. That's right folks the cat just got his tongue. He initially attempted to deflect my questions (yes they were quite direct/forward) but he just gave. The shutdown ensued and I could tell I had totally lost my ability to communicate on this issue. (Sorry Tough Man, I can't break this paragraph off right now) I don't want to go into details out on this here internet, but I'm still trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. What the hell is going on here? Doesn't some kind of man juice start flowing at some point and the animalistic nature of our being supercede the rational judgement of even the most thoughtful of us? You know what, this is coming close to disturbing, to the point of it coming damn close to an intervention of sorts. I think Adam should possibly head this up. I just don't know what else to say.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Do you know this lady?

First one to tell me where they know this lady from gets a prize!

Sorry about the picture quality, but any help would be appreciated.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Finally For Sale

I wish I had a picture to post with the for sale sign in the front yard, but I don't. Actually, there is no sign in the front yard, but there will be tomorrow. The wife and I sat down and finally signed the contract with the realtor. I question the price we set in some respects. The realtor actually was pushing the price up, whereas I felt that maybe we should not be so presumptuous. OK, I want the house to move, but with all that talk about "leaving money on the table" I was persuaded to agree. The agent suggested there was a very limited selection of houses in this price range right now and that affordable houses have not really slowed down in this area. Apparently the houses at $175,000 and up are the ones that are standing still. I was shocked to find out that homes in our area were beating the national average of 'days on the market' by 36 days at a 84 vs. 120 clip. Of course, we got the presentation about comps in the area and priced our home accordingly, but I was really surprised to see how quickly the homes were selling according to the spec sheet. Sale price- $147,900 which figures out to be around $85 a square foot. I think the house will sale for 137, 900, but I hope I'm wrong. It just seems with a depressed market I wouldn't have been able to undervalue it. Isn't the homeowner the one that usually thinks there house is worth significantly more than what it really is? It seemed as a bit of a role reversal honestly and I'm still unsure.

OK, here is the strategy that developed for selling the house. Clearly, this plan unfolded and was not locked in from the get go. I have been somewhat hesitant to put the house on the market for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted the kids to attend the same elementary school this year because the teachers they were placed with are exceptional. Maybe throwing that fit last year helped some, or maybe its because my wife is now involved with PTO, and honestly I don't really care why, just glad that they got the teachers they did. Of course, moving into a different elementary school district before school started would have caused some challenges, so now they are locked in for the year. I might add after the shooting at/near the school on the evening of the first day of school I wasn't sure if my plan was nearly as strong. Now, let me state something that may seem to be somewhat in conflict with my wishes for the kids to remain in their current school. The elementary school they attend was just awarded with being the first school in the entire school system to qualify for Title 1. Do you know what that is? Well, its not good. Basically this means that there is a large enough percentage of students that require free lunch and textbooks to allow the school to receive extra funds to offset this expense. Yes, you know where I'm going with this. My desire to keep the kids in this school is beginning to wane. I just don't see a positive future for the school. But, remember, I (it should be noted that every time that I say 'I' that I mean my wife thinks as she has done the teacher research and spent countless hours volunteering at school) was thrilled with the teacher selection. Secondly, I really felt like entering the market at the close of the selling season was a smart move. You don't think, well just wait a second and hear me out. I don't have to move, I want to move, so if the house doesn't sell at all its not like I'm gonna burn it down. Getting in on the back end of the selling season provides me the most leverage to negotiate with the new house that is purchased. Yes, this is dependent on selling the house, but I feel like it is a risk that is well worth it (do I need to mention again that I don't have to leave the house). Remember, the houses at $175,000 and above are the ones that are stuck and not moving. I plan to jump into the market, probably just a bit higher in the 220,00-250,00 range (yes, my thoughts on this have changed over the last couple of months as well). I figure that if I catch a buyer for my house just outside of the prime selling season, especially considering that the market/range my house is in is still moving, according to everything I've read and heard from reputable sources, that I now have a real opportunity to slide in to a $300,000 house for $250,000 or less. The wife and I have already been looking at some homes in the $230's that were originally listed at $290+. I figure that it is pretty much all upside for me considering I have a house I can live in if nothing materializes. Of course, I'm not the first to think of this, but I was kind of happy with myself when I shared my plan with the realtor and I got the nod of approval.

There was only one restriction that I put in the contract as non-negotiable for the house. Absolutely, under no circumstances will I include my flat screen in the living room. Yep, you can negotiate for the office furniture, the flat screen in my bedroom the JBL in-wall surrounds, BOSE outdoor speakers, and so on, but not my lover in the living room.

My to do list is longer than I thought it would be, but nothing unmanageable. I have to paint the front door, paint a door on the yard barn, decide whether or not to kill all the grass or just go after the crab grass and reseed, seal the drive way, wood putty and paint some trim, fix some tiles on the front porch, install the built in cabinets/shelves on each side of the fire place, and of course declutter. The wife has a meeting with the realtor on Monday morning to thoroughly go through the house and depersonalize as well as declutter and I am kind of excited about it. You see, I have no say really in what goes in the home from a design or decorative perspective and fairly regularly I am suggesting there are too many nick knacks or pictures or decorative items or just stuff in general. I must say that my wife has given up some things, but we haven't come close to getting to a good compromise. I'm hoping the realtor might be on my side.

Well, this is pretty much all I have for now. Any substantial updates and I'll pass them along. Does anybody know where I can get one of those banners that clip onto your vehicle window? I was thinking that it might look nice to roll into St. Louis with a nice Cardinals banner flapping in the breeze.

Peace and stay cool.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Say it Aint So

Considering I haven't written in a while, I must begin by begging your forgiveness. I could continue with the customary remarks about how busy I've been with the summer schedule, but I won't attempt to pass my marked absence off with such contrite ramblings. The apology part of this post is now concluded, well except for this next part.

Oh, I guess I need to publicly apologize to Snatch for almost making him cry at the poker table during our last Tunica trip. So here goes....Snatch, I would like to apologize for almost making you cry at the poker table.
If I would have realized you were wearing a pink thong then I wouldn't have been so cruel as to be making jokes that could hurt your feelings. End of apology.

It appears Nate is still getting married, which is most recently evidenced by him backing out of the St. Louis trip. Yes, he sent out the cursory email citing WORK issues, but I think we all know that she basically shut it down. Sure hope that Nate gets to go back to Tunica some day!

Oh, did I mention a St. Louis trip, well here are the details. Sept. 11th we will be hitting the Cardinals game. Yes, we are rolling up into the unlimited eats and drinks venue so that a nice state of mind can be established before heading over to the wildest poker room I've ever played in. Lumiere Place here we come. Here is the line up for ST. Louis: Tough Man, Super Mundus, myself, Snatch, Brian from Sammy, and then there is a bit of a question mark. I'm hoping that Andy will be sliding into Nate's slot to pinch hit. Well, if he does make it, he won't be disappointed because St. Louis is a monster of a good time.

Holy Moly, I almost forgot to add that we have Nate's bachelor party set up. Looks like our little Tough Man is gonna make it to the horse races for the first time in his life...no seriously. From there we head to Max & Ermas for some eats and then on to the arm pit that they call a casino. I think we'll have a good time no matter how suckish Aztar can be. Of course, this is all contingent on whether Nate is allowed to go, which right now I'm putting at 50/50. If you're wondering, I'm still gonna take the little fella to Ellis Park even if Nate is not allowed to attend his bachelor party.

And, to my final thought. I think we all remember Mundo's dancing machine type performance on the internet. Yes, I realize he was undercover as the Pimpmasta, but it appears he is back in action. I wonder whether or not this whole living on his own situation is really good or not? I'm afraid the boy needs to be supervised more closely. I submit the following picture as evidence. Yes I dropped it down a bit, so you had to read this before you see it.

Say it aint so Mike!!!!!!!! What is this f#$@ing obsession with putting yourself all over the internet half naked. I think the only real question is how I got Mike to do this without him remembering?

Stay cool, I know I will.

Disclaimer: Of course this post does not meet the acceptable standard for the Tough Man. But, in the spirit of Drago--I write for ME Oh, I watched Gladiator the other day and I'm just waiting for a chance to use 'GHOST' in a conversation. Be prepared.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

H20 & The Joy of Kids

I realize this should be a Tunica post, considering we just returned from our trip. And, it was a blast as usual, and I might add the bonus of no speeding ticket was very nice. That's kind of like a $26 win right there. OK, a few quick highlights. The $25 banger came through on the roulette as Super and I strolled past in route to the buffet. The Tough Man is trying to take some credit for this, but I can't really allow that flawed notion to be floated so recklessly. I was banging the greens with green regardless Tough Man, but I was glad I could take Super on a little $450 ride. For some reason the food tasted better than ever after that! I won at Poker, which is not a usual occurrence, but it has happened two times in a row. I was able to bust Adam's meager little stack although the real win was when I asked Robin if he could sit at the table with no chips...I think I may have hurt his feelings, although that wasn't my intent. Yeah, I wanted him to be irritated maybe even mad, but not hurt. Note to self: Adam wears a skirt so please don't rough house with him, he is fragile. Super ran well, and made some coin, but the Tough Man, Nate and Adam booked a loss, I think, although Adam did make a major comeback on Saturday night. I should also note that Mundo would have a stake in the Tough Man's estate right now if it weren't for a little three outer love, queen style.

Now, on to the present. My water is hard, very hard. Apparently it tests at 20 grains, which I believe translates into about 340 parts per million which I understand is about as hard as a wedding dick. So, this has resulted in my dishwasher sounding like a Cessna and I often think the entire house is preparing for take off when it gets revved up. This results in me turning the TV up very loud to drowned out the loud dishwasher, which in turn results in my wife yelling at me for having the TV too loud. But, need I remind you that I have ADD, and that damn dishwasher just craves my attention. Its like a siren's song and I can't stay focused on the TV unless it is really loud. So, my options are to buy a new dishwasher, which would remain quiet for approximately 5 months before it calcifies and starts to sound like the local airport around here again, OR I could get a water softener and then get a new dishwasher. Yep, its definitely gonna be the water softener, and let me tell you why. My parents have long been telling me to get a water softener and after relating the significant challenges with regard to my TV watching which are a result of my hard water problem...out of no where my old man offers to buy me a soft water unit! What?? Yep, he wants to buy me a soft water system and being the good son that I am I'm gonna let him do it. It makes him happy, and I'm not a happiness stealer like other people I know. Some people might say I run good, oh well I think I deserve it after getting my Aces cracked by JJ in Tunica.

The water softener is on order and I expect it to be put in next week. The water softener is actually part of a bigger plan, that is to sell the house. I know I've been back and forth on this, but when I pulled into my drive way the other day it hit me like a ton of bricks that I do not want to live here any more. Maybe it was the guy outside my back fence trying to talk to me about planting 'tomaters and peppers' the whole time I'm trying to tell the hill jack that he is very close to digging on my property, where I intend to be planting bamboo within the next few weeks which will undoubtedly spread throughout his horticultural masterpiece. He didn't seem to get anything I was saying, but maybe that was because there was so much RED MAN in his jaw that the juice had some how occluded his ear canal.

So, here is the plan. Water softener, new appliances in kitchen, new counter top, paint cabinets in kitchen, replace interior doors. That should pretty much do it in preparation for selling. I fully expect for it take 14 months to sell the house, so I'm not packing or anything, but I'm glad I'm finally committed to selling. I won't even go into the houses my wife is picking out, nor will I share her response when I told her she is looking at homes that are approximately $50,000 more than I would ever agree to spend. Now, she does get her way most of the time, but big ticket items dad gets the last say so.

Now, just in case some of you enjoy hearing about me running not so good, this if for YOU. I'm taking the kids to a day camp at church this morning. I arrive 10 minutes early and wait and wait, and nobody is at the church. I then call my wife and find out that she told me the wrong time. So, I am directed to drop the kids off at one of her friend's house and on the way there it happened. Yep, the red and blue lights. I am immediately sad, because I have made an effort to NOT speed for at least the last 6 months and have been successful at not getting a ticket. I pull over and the statey asks for drivers license and registration, but I'm nervous because I have both kids in the van with me. I should also let you know that the kids are not nervous and are grinning from ear to ear--these are the times when I know the my wife's DNA is strong in them. I hand the State Police Officer my debit card, oops! No other conversation and he is off to his car. Now I absolutely know I'm getting a ticket and I feel the green monster start to rage within me. I have no idea if I was speeding, I wasn't intending to, but I did go past the school where the limit is 30 and that's pretty slow so I guess I could have been running 45 and not even noticed it. I also know that as soon as the copper pulls up my record he's going to see a laundry list of speeding tickets, which I now believe is the single most impacting piece of information the officer has when deciding between the warning and ticket. OK, back to the rage, and I do mean rage. I'm already trying to decide if I just cut totally loose with the kids in the car or not playing out different scenarios in my head. The officer quickly comes back to the van, and I'm thinking that was pretty quick, there is a chance that I'm getting out of this--so the green monster starts to retreat. The officer immediately presents me an offer, yes an offer. He says, well I can do one of two things here, I got you clocked at 45, but I couldn't tell whether or not your seat belt was on or not, so if its OK with you I'm gonna write you a seat belt ticket? I'm confused for a second, not because I don't understand, but the delivery just threw me a bit. So, in the second or two he reads the confusion on my face the officer says, or I could go back and write you for speeding, which I noticed you seemed to have quite a few tickets. I immediately say, "I'll do much better at putting my seat belt on in the future officer". He hands me the SEAT BELT ticket and away I go. Immediately my daughter starts asking questions. Dad, how could he give you a seat belt ticket, you had your seat belt on the whole time? Well honey, he was just giving me a break so I didn't have to pay a speeding ticket because those are more expensive. She still isn't getting it so she says, "I will be your witness that you had your seat belt on the whole time", I kindly thank her but let her know that the nice officer was doing me a favor. So we arrive at our destination and she gets out of the van still kind of shaking her head, but then realizes she had better hurry up and run in the house to tell my wife's friend I got a ticket before her sister gets to spill the beans. Kids--gotta love'em!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Losses for Me and the Kingdom

OK, here is a recounting of my HorseShoe trip this past Saturday. I bought $500 in chips initially. I played the $300 max starting chips, and had to refill the other $200 to stay topped off at $300 over the course of about 5 hours. I saw AA one time, and there were 6 limpers, so I pop it to $30 and everyone folded. Not sure if I bet too much, probably did, but I really wanted to play them heads up. I lost a $300 pot with A-10. I know I really should not have played that big a pot with A-10, but it happened to be the table retard and I paid off on the river after getting check raised (I bet every street btw). It came running sixes, which I couldn't see how it helped the guy because I really thought he was check calling all the way with second pair. Yeah, he had a six and I lost. I lost another $60 to the same guy when I raised AQ from late position. I thought he only had about $70 to start the hand. He called $16 pre-flop, then checks to me. His chips were hidden behind a cup holder, so I ask how much he had over there. I was planning to bet what he had left until the dealer said oh about $130, so I c-bet $35 and he goes all in. Now, I have to tell you I thought about calling, but it was about another $100. He flips up AQ. I might add this was after the running 6''s. He re bought for $100 two times after initially sitting down with $100. It was the kind of guy who was open shoving with KK QQ JJ, and then saying--that's the only way to play those hands!! Not that this matters or not, but he was pretty drunked up and would tell the waitress, "hey, buy my buddy a beer over at the other table, he's my designated driver"--and then laughed relentlessly at himself. Only problem, he was serious. He did tell me however he had watched one of IU's new recruits play and he was awesome, a point guard I believe. I then dump $250 in a pot on a really retarded play. I have 9-10 spades and it is a limped pot. I am in the small blind. Flop comes Q99, two diamonds. I check, bb leads out for $10, button calls then I call. I am figuring to play a big pot here, and hopefully get even. The turn is the 4 of diamonds. I check, still not really worried about the diamonds and the big blind bets $50, the button folds, and I start thinking. I'm not really thinking about the flush card, but I was actually holly wooding a little because this guy played really straight, and I figured to get paid off the whole way he needs to think I am making a move, then I say, All-in, which was $250. He says, OK, I guess I call, and then I realize oh shit, I am a fucking retard. Nope, not because he called, but because I had not used any knowledge at all that I gained through hours of playing beside him. So, he had the flush, K-7 (hurts to see that hand get me) and I immediately get up and walk off, because I am furious with myself. Somewhat embarrassed, although its not the worst play in the world, but because I totally misused all the information. Let me break it back down in a way that I should have looked at it. 1) this guy is solid from the standpoint that he doesn't get involved unless he has something and I had seen him fold top pair during our session 2) its an unraised pot--absolutely no reason to go broke in an unraised pot 3) diamonds just got there and he bet $50. During the hand I convinced myself that the $50 into a roughly $40 pot was to protect his top pair from the two diamonds, but in retrospect (which is always easier after knowing the result) he was protecting his diamonds on a paired board and didn't want to see another diamond peel 4) IF he is on the Q then there is no way he is calling a $200 raise,the guy just wouldn't do that 5) I showed him my hand earlier in the session when I raised to $15 with 10-10 and got re-raised to $35. It screamed big pair to me so I immediately thought that if I flop a set then I'm getting paid the whole way. Then an Ace peels off on the flop and I know I can represent the ACE because this guy seemed to be playing somewhat scared. I fire $50 at the guy and he looks at me and folds KK face up. I should also mention he was another guy that believed in blasting wtih JJ and QQ stating several times that is the only way they can be played, he had also commented when someone else has KK that they were guaranteed to bring an ACE. Anyway, I showed my neighbor, the guy I would later check-raise ALL IN with my horrible play, my 10-10 because we were friendly, and honestly I was proud that I had put the pieces together so it was a bit vain also. They guy actually commented like I was being a bit reckless but impressed at the same time, but it didn't really mean much to me at the time. Clearly my image was not the same to him as I thought it was to the rest of the table. Which brings up another point that I find really interesting. Later in the session, the same guy that I got to lay down KK on the flop when the Ace peeled made the comment to someone else at the table that I didn't put a chip in the pot unless I had a big hand. What the guy didn't realize is that I was already down $250 because I had been reloading slowly by pulling chips out of my pocket instead of going to the cage, I guess? It says a lot about how much other players aren't paying attention, but what they do remember is the hands you have played with him, specifically him having to fold his KK because I had to have an Ace. I need to be much more aware of how my image appears to others. While I hate losing the $500 (minus beer and tip money probably $40) I really like analyzing my mistakes. I didn't have a positive outcome with regard to money won during this session, but I do feel like I am becoming more comfortable and aware of picking my spots and learning player tendencies. I think most people call this feel and it is correct in a broad sense, but for me it is just a process in learning the game. I found myself opening many more pots then I have, and taking down more pots because I went ahead and c-bet or even two barreled when I would have just shut down in the past. I made a $50 river call after raising with AQ in EP and only getting a call from the big blind. Flop comes down KQ8 with two diamonds. I c-bet, and then get called. The turn is 3 (no diamond), so I didn't really see it changing much so I went ahead and bet again, just in case the guy was chasing diamonds, he calls again. So, now I'm not really sure if he is stuck on a bad K and is calling with the best hand, or if he is on a draw. The river is a 10, not the best card for sure, so then the guy leads at me for $50, and I start to think. Why would he bet $50 into like a $90 pot (I had raised pre-flop and bet the flop and turn), so I call and he shows the missed flush draw with 7-9 of diamonds. Its definitely not a hero call or anything but there may have been times in the past when I would have just insta-mucked my cards without even thinking about it just because the board was scary and he called my bets.
After getting up and taking on the $1 wheel to the tune of a $200 loss (hey I've seen Natrocity get well off that wheel so I figured that I would give it a shot), I went back downstairs to the poker room. I meet the Tough Man for a smoke and find out that Super Mundus lied to me about him doing 'OK' at the table. He was down like 9 bills, so I know I'm there for the long haul. I decide to take on the big wheel (penny wheel) which is not really even a 'big wheel' because its only half of a big wheel pushed up against the wall. Well, I drop a c-note in and about twenty minutes later I pull $100 profit off, so no I'm only down one bill on my slot play. I decide to go over to the video slots and put $40 in and play the .50 cent game, max bet of course. So, I blow through $50 pretty quickly. I should also mention I dropped a $20 in the Game King before I got a poker seat, but was only able to lose $9 before they called my name. Did I mention my game was located in the high limit area with super soft leather chairs? Well, they were very nice, although the automatic shuffler at the table was broke. The dealers are very good at HorseShoe, very well trained. And, I learned something new from one of them. The table had alot of empty seats throughout the early evening and at one point we were down to 6 players and one of the players says, "the rake just went down". The dealer says nope, we still have seven players, due to one person being gone eating. He said that the floor considers that a sitting player, so break on the rake.

So, after I dump the $40 in the Game King (how does Nate really do it?) I decide to sit back down at the poker table, sense it is clear the Tough Man needed to get his money back. I will say that all he said was to give him an hour notice, but I didn't want to pressure him like that. I check in and go to the assigned table, but I get back there and there is no seat, so I go back up to the podium and let them know there was no seat. He looks at his computer and then walks back toward the same table and asks the dealer if he has a seat, and sure enough they do. The 10 seat is open but I don't realize it because seat 9 has his chips spread all the way from his seat over in front of seat 10. He moves them, slowly I might add, and then I come face to face with another crazy situation. It always baffles me to see people gambling to the degree they do at the poker table, hell there is an entire casino there to gamble in, but nope they pick the poker room. So, this guy goes all in the first seven hands I'm there--and loses all $900 in about an hour. Apparently he had won a bunch playing blackjack and came down to the poker room with his buddy to have a little fun. The buddy is apparently holding his money for him, and he rebuys two more times for $200 each time before he says he's done and asks his buddy for the rest of the money. The guy puts up a small fight then hands over the money. But, he stays around to coach his buddy, and by coach I mean he tells him to bet more, quit folding hands, etc. Well, that guy eventually goes bust and they leave. Of course I pick up QQ on the eight hand after sitting down and crazy guy folds!!!! Yeah, that's my luck. But, later on in the session I pick up KK and raise it up and get called by a guy that is about 6'6" and has like four teeth. The flop is Q93 all clubs. I've got the K of clubs, so I c-bet $35 (there was one other caller pre-flop so it wasn't quite a full pot c-bet). Tall toothless wonder min raises me, and I think for about 3 seconds and begrudgingly call. Even though the guy didn't seem to get appear to get a lot of dental care, he seemed to play pretty well, so I immediately ruled out him making that play with a Q, so I actually considered folding during that 3 seconds, but that K of clubs just looked too powerful in my hand. The turn is a beautiful card, Ace of clubs and I am putting twigs and branches over the trap I'm setting: Insta check. He fires $100, I think for about 7 seconds, and slowly call. The river does not pair the board and I can't lose so I get super sneaky and check. I think this is probably my best poker play of the night, because my action on the river sells the story I've started telling on the turn with my check. So the guy bets $100 again, and casually say I just got $45 more on top. He immediately knows he is beat, but also feels like he has got to call considering the pot size, and shows 33 for a flopped set. Whewwwwwwww....I run good. But, do I? I was only a 4:1 preflop. So, I double through when a few smaller pots after that and then I run into an Indian. Dot. He played with me earlier and pissed me off because he called a pre-flop raise and top pair flop bet with KQ. Yeah, I raised up K-10 but so what, I told you I was opening my game up some. Of course he catches the Q on the turn and checks, and I check behind, only to see him lead the river, which I call and see the bad news. Frustrated is the best way to describe how I felt after that hand. maybe that led to my $250 dump off, I'm not sure, but if it did it really shows my lack of mental toughness. So, back to the second table where I run into DOT. I call a raise to $10 with 22 and then Dot raises it to $25 on the button. He only starts the hand with around $135, so I'm immediately intrigued. I'm not saying that I am the best hand reader in the world but it appeared to me he wanted action, so I immediately put him on a bit pair. The original raiser calls the extra $15 and off we go to see a flop of Q 10 2, BINGO!!! Original raiser checks, I lead out. Why? I'll tell you why because I knew the guy had either AA or KK, and I am going to drive the action. Of course Dot raises I turn over my 22 and call simultaneously and he keeps his hand closed, good news right? Nope, not so much after the dealer runs the board out he turns over QQ for top set. This really pisses me off because that is basically a slow roll in my book, and it pisses me off because I had doubled up and was above $600 and then run into that bull shit. Set over set just sucks.

So, then it happens. I hear the Tough Man using some rather rough language with a guy calling him an F'in angle shooter. I hear the guy say, "you talking to me", and the Tough Man is out of his chair on top of the person sitting next to him all puffed up telling the guy that he is definitely talking to him. So, in swoops Dudley do wrong (the floor) and pretty quickly tells the Tough Man to rack up his night is done. I go over over to Super and he vaguely knows something is going on, so I fill him in. The interesting this is that he has a huge smile on his face, and he says, "Driver, the good thing about this is that we were here to seee it". Which really is a good point, because it had to happen eventually. Only problem is that the floor thinks Tommy tells the other player he is going to "shoot" him, and I see this play out when Tommy goes from an expression of anger to amazement. So we all rack up and head to the cage. I make $141 for that session, which takes the sting off of a $500 poker loss. We discuss the incident briefly while walking off the boat and then I mention my bad luck, bad play, etc. but is doesn't really matter because I am invisible at this point. No, really, anything I said was just not met with a response. Ridiculous.

So, after totalling up for the night it looks like a loss of $359 at the poker tables and a loss of $149 in the machines for a grand total of $508. My first loss at the Shoe ever! Oh well, it was bound to happen. But, then I take on a bigger challenge during the trip home, luckily the topic didn't come up until near the end of the drive. Somehow, Mike turns the topic to religion and I feel responsible to defend the Christians he seems intent on vilifying. My argument basically boiled down to roads and people, his position was shrimp and sky wizards. If you're wondering, it wasn't the classiest most articulate debate about religion that has ever been engaged. So, I chalk that up as a loss also, because I didn't win a soul for the kingdom. I guess I run bad (or was it a message from GOD) , maybe I should have went to church instead of playing cards.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

What does Size Effect?

Hello fans. I must first take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to tune into my little play space. You're always welcome, and please don't hesitate to comment even if you might not agree with what you read.

Only a few of my rather capacious readership is aware of what I am about to relate. Sit back and enjoy.

DISCLAIMER: The story related below is both fact and fiction. I just threw the fiction part in there to cover my ass with regard to factually incorrect information, which would totally be due to my ADD. I might also embellish or just flat out make stuff up so it reads better, its really none of your concern. So, not only do I have a disclaimer covering me, I have a disability. Names have been changed to protect the innocent (loose interpretation of the word innocent). God Bless America.

My wife is working on the completion of her master's degree, which has become quite a project with regard to time frame. She began her master's studies in 1999 at ISU while we were living in the quaint little town of Sullivan. And by quaint I mean if you don't have a pick up truck or where (here's winking at you big guy) camouflage a minimum of three times weekly then you're pretty much an OUTSIDER. Have you ever walked into a townie bar and a hush fell over the room, and felt the laser like focus of the regulars? Well, that is what it felt like in every establishment operating in Sullivan. Suffice it to say I never felt very comfortable or welcomed, but then again I'm not that openly friendly either so I will shoulder some of the blame. Well, my wife began working on her graduate degree in Early Childhood Development, but was sidelined for some time when she got pregnant each time we were intimate while living in Sullivan. That's twice! She put the school work on hiatus and dove into motherhood full throttle. She was clearly meant to be a mother and knew this early on. After making it through the more intensive (hands on) stages of infant and toddler development, my wife began to start taking some more classes in order to complete her degree requirements. I think it would be fair to say that she was compelled to earn a master's less for her thirst of knowledge but more for pragmatic reasons. My wife is a developmental therapist that contracts with the state so her pay would not be affected by earning the degree, however, the requirements for ongoing professional development become non-existent after receiving the degree. I also believe she felt the accomplishment would be satisfying intrinsically, however, after a few years of toiling away it seemed to lose its luster.

A little more background may be appropriate. My wife and I are a team. We are supportive of one another and share openly (except about speeding tickets and other unnecessary little things). My wife, fairly early on in this quest for her advanced degree, decided that she would like my help with regard to proofing and editing her work, maybe even some idea generation or limited research. Yes, a slippery slope I know, but how could I refuse her? I may have become a bit over involved from time to time in supporting the completion of work, specifically writing papers which she really detests. I do believe there was a time that she became expectant of me with regard to some of her work, so in response to this obviously unhealthy situation I pulled back. Yeah, it caused some issues but I felt I needed to let her find her own way. How was she to learn from the experience if she was hindered by my interference? The wife was not to happy with me at this point.

Alright, this is where things get a little bit more interesting. The wife begins to make a lot of progress by taking more classes and realistically starts to see the light. She currently has two classes left to complete the degree requirements (not counting the two she is finishing this semester). Are you aware that there is a time limit on completing your degree? Yep, there sure is. Apparently, the academics in Terre Haute have decided that 7 years is long enough. So, if you're not done in that 7 year time frame then you have to get the class validated by the professor. A validation can be as simple as the professor signing a validation request, because there have been no substantive advances in material during that 7 years, or on the other hand if there has been changes to the subjects covered in the course then you are given the opportunity to show the professor you are informed about that area. How do you show that you are informed about the current/cutting edge material--you write a paper on it. The good news: only one of my wife's classes required the writing of an additional paper, and what class was it..CIMT (Curriculum, Instruction and Media Technology). My wife contacts the prof and he says, "write a paper on Effect Size", that's really the only new material since you took the course. Ok, no problem, right? WRONG. The professor passes away and no one can find the paperwork for the validation. The department chair of CIMT then loses the resubmitted validation request, and almost one year after my wife attempted to take care of her business, the department chair says, "go ahead and write that paper on Effect Size". OK, no problem right? WRONG. My wife looks up Effect Size and realizes it basically an inferential statistic measure and she is not down with that. But, who has a limited familiarity with statistics???? So, I get sucked back in. Here is how I am compelled to being sucked back in by the wife. Please, please, please. NOPE. You realize that its gonna cost you about $900 if I have to take the class over and you also realize that if I have to take another class then I may have to do more validation papers because the time meter is still running, not even to mention the extra time it takes which makes me irritable and grouchy which I think you know how that will effect you. WHAT? I am being black mailed! But, compellingly blackmailed. So, in a true whipped pup fashion I submit and state, "I'll do the f@#$ing paper".

I put off doing the paper as long as possible, occasionally being reminded by my wife that the due date of April 1 is quickly approaching. I meekly attempt to go back on my commitment to completing the paper, by attempting to guilt her into doing her own work. Absolutely no traction at all. She matter of factly says she doesn't care about learning anything she just wants to be done with school. I write the paper on Effect Size and she emails it the evening of March 31st. Honestly, the paper sucked. It was a second rate version of a undergraduate topic paper with some citations. I wrote two pages and basically quit, not even caring about flow, or connecting a logical sequence. The summary section was ultra light as well. I was concerned about whether it would pass the smell test..you know how pesky those Math Nerds can be about logic and all. See submission email below.
From: Susan Kriger [skriger@isuw.indstate.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 5:15 PM
Subject: Re: Validation Paper-Effect Size

Thank you, XXXXX. I'll have Dr. Crorey review it and let you know his decision. Sue

>>> XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX> 3/31/2009 10:40 PM >>>
Dr. Kriger,

I completed the paper on effect size for validation of CIMT 610.
Please find it attached.

Thank You in Advance,

Finally, relief. It's over. No more paper hanging over my head, the wife is happy and all is well. Until...

It happened. I get home Monday evening, actually I was talking on the phone with Super Mundus about the Reds opening day adventure, and she is staring at me as I walk to the door. She says, "they rejected the paper" and then silence. I didn't know what to say. I mean I warned her that it sucked, and told her to look it over closely, paying attention to citations but I think she was so tired of dealing with the process that she didn't do much 'looking over'. REJECTION EMAIL below.

From: Susan Kriger [skriger@isuw.indstate.edu]
Sent: Monday, April 06, 2009 10:34 AM
Cc: Noble Crorey
Subject: XXXXX XXXXXXX Re: Validation Paper-Effect Size


Dr. Crorey and I have conferred about your effect size paper. While there are some concerns about using proper citations, especially in the second paragraph, the bigger issue is that you have produced a paper that summarizes what the "experts" say about effect size. Our concern is that there is little here that helps us understand what you personally know about effect size.

Please make an appointment with Dr. Crorey (ncrorey@indstates.edu, or
812-247-1827 - cell phone) so that you two can discuss how to proceed from here.


Susan J. Kriger, Ph.D.
Interim Chairperson, Dept. of CIMT

So, after dinner she asks, "what am I going to do?" I think to myself, probably nothing, since that seemed to be her general approach to this validation paper from the start. I respond only by saying, "read the email it wasn't flatly rejected; you need to contact the professor that reviewed the paper and convince him to validate it". After a few hours pass and I am flat out in Idol mode, she says "will you send them an email". I say, "no". Just call the guy and see what happens. Worst case scenario he might make you redo the paper. No response. Then the next day, she says "we need to write that email". So, of course, I am now embroiled in this mess because of my unsatisfactory performance in providing a very shitty validation paper. But, I don't get invested in the intimation, but rather I begin to get angry that it was rejected in the first place. Let's put the focus where it belongs shall we. I look up the faculty pictures online, and as soon as I see the picture of Dr. Crory I am indignant. I have just taken this on as a personal challenge. So, "yeah, I'll write that email". Now, I know I'm exposing myself here, but dammit I don't take failure, nor flat out rejection very well at all. And exactly who in the hell are these people to be messing with me, I mean my wife? So, I write the email below.

>>> XXXXXXXXXXX 4/6/2009 10:44 PM >>>
Dr. Kriger,
I was quite disappointed after reading your email. Please allow me to explain (including background for the benefit of Dr. Crorey). I received instruction from the late Dr. Glillman to prepare a paper on Effect Size in order to complete my validation, as this was the only subject area to be advanced since my completion of the course in the Fall 2000. I received the letter grade of A from Dr. Glillman in that class (CIMT 610). After speaking with you in January and figuring out my validation paperwork had been lost (second submission of validation paperwork), you directed me to go ahead and submit the paper on Effect Size. I researched the topic and submitted the paper to you. I'm not clear on the 'cite' issues, since I prepared the paper in a similar way to my other classes. I would be glad to make any changes necessary to correct those problems.

I guess, I, am concerned about the "bigger concern". I understand what you have written, but I don't recollect any instruction with regard to the content. I approached the paper with an emphasis on research, considering the subject matter was new. I assumed the task was for me to show that I had done my 'homework' with regard to the subject area--which I clearly have done. I appreciate your comments and will be glad to discuss the paper with Dr. Crorey as you requested. However, I am quite frustrated about the entire process, which I am well aware is not your fault. Considering the significant commitment of time and energy to finish my degree requirements as I draw near attainment of that accomplishment (2 classes remaining after this semester), I am requesting that you reconsider your evaluation of this validation. If you were to review the entire body of work that is my graduate record, you will find that my GPA is 4.0. I would also assert that if you communicated with my graduate professors (Dr. Liuy, Dr. Whoeler, Dr.Micke) you would hear that I am always well prepared, diligent, ask questions/request feedback, participate in all required educational activities and approach all assignments seriously.

Thank you for considering this request.


I write the email, and my wife reads it and kind of gives me the look. What look? The one that says, "do you really think you should send this email?" I say, "I didn't really say what I wanted to but even if they don't accept the validation re-evaluation request you have put them on notice. I hit send with a thunderous resonation emanating from the violent collision between my finger and mouse pad.

It would be nice to tell you a happy ending something along the lines of they got the email and saw the error of their ways. But, that's not really what happened. This IS:

From: Susan Kriger [skriger@isuw.indstate.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 6:24 AM
Cc: Karen Liuy; Noble Crorey
Subject: RE: XXXXX XXXXXXXX Re: Validation Paper-Effect Size


Thank you for your follow-up communication and for copying other interested individuals. That way we can all stay in the communication loop. Dr. Crorey and I will discuss the content of this email and provide a return communication as quickly as possible.


Oh, the old we'll make them wait it out approach. I got it. So wait we do. After digesting all of this what do you think? I mean clearly this 'validation' issue should not stand between a committed student and graduation, right? I could go on to rail against the liberal academics but I won't. I could also suggest plenty of illogical reasons justifying the validation request, but I won't. It is what it is. Yes, this paragraph was just filler. Here is the next communication.

From: Susan Kriger [skriger@isuw.indstate.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2009 6:24 AM
Cc: Karen Liuy; Noble Crorey
Subject: RE: XXXXX XXXXXXX Re: Validation Paper-Effect Size


I conferred with Dr. Crorey and we both have come the conclusion that your paper did not sufficiently meet the strict standards of our department. We have written a letter to the Dean of Academic Affairs recommending that you must retake CIMT.

Personally, I was offended at your attempt to pass off an inferior paper by interjecting victimization on some level. All students deal with issues that interfere or challenge them with regard to completion of educational requirements.


OMG!!! I can't believe what I am reading. Did she really write that?

No, I made that email up, this is the actual response. Hold on Tough Man, there is a chance it didn't work out.


From: Susan Kriger [skiger@isuw.indstates.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 11:49 AM
Cc: Karen Liuy; Noble Crorey; Jan Krackelberger
Subject: RE: XXXXX XXXXXXX Re: Validation Paper-Effect Size


Dr. Crorey and I met to discuss the content of your email and to reconsider the paper you submitted. Given you were completing an assignment for which neither Dr. Crorey nor I had first-hand knowledge regarding parameters such as length, depth of content, format, etc. as directed by Dr. Glilman, we are hesitant to add a further burden. Dr.
Crorey is willing to allow the paper to revalidate your work in CIMT 610.

Had the assignment been given by either Dr. Crorey or myself, we would have required that the paper be less heavily paraphrased and quoted.
Instead, we would have preferred you use more of your own language to communicate your personal understanding and "local" use of effect size (i.e., how you might use your understanding of effect size to examine and guide your own practice). Additionally, we would have required strict application of APA format.

Please understand also that neither Dr. Crorey or I were doubting your academic effort or standing, we simply felt the paper would have conveyed your understanding more clearly by more use of your own language and applications.

I have requested that EESE provide your revalidation form to us so that it can be signed off by Dr. Crorey.

Please let Dr. Crorey or me know if you have further questions.


Susan J. Kriger, Ph.D.
Interim Chairperson, Dept. of CIMT, COE 1010 Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN 47809
Tel: (812) 234-2260
Fax: (812) 234-4856

Justice, sweet justice. I only have two classes left to finish after this semester!!!

The real question is whether or not I go after Dr. Kriger for parting shots further denigrating my paper; I mean my wife's paper.