Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Adderall XR

A buddy of mine is a sales rep for Adderall XR.
Adderall is an amphetamine based ADD/ADHD medication. I suppose it works in a similar was as Ritalin. In other words, it is a stimulant which has an opposite effect on hyperactive kids.
There has been some controversy as to whether this drug is dangerous or not. Essentially it's a legalized speed. Obviously abuse is probably rampant with Adderall. To combat this, Shire Pharmacuticals, the makers of Adderall developed Adderall XR, which is basically a time-released version which cannot be crushed and snorted like the tablet form (Adderall).
So now, my friend isn't only schlanging this drug, but he is a user. Since being diagnosed with the increasingly common disorder, he has been able to give first hand recommendations of the drug.
Now I'm not sure that I have ADD though I definitley display the symptoms. I've been buggin him to give me a sample. Mainly because I feel it might give me an edge during my poker game.
He adamantly denied my requests because, "You don't need it dude, you don't have ADD."
My response is always, "If I don't need it neither do you! If it helps you concentrate and perform better, than it would help me too."..."Gimme some."
I argued my point that if he is prescribed it, and it makes him a better more productive employee, then it must be able to make me better too. So he brings in a survey. After "grading" it he says.
"According to this survey, Adderall would benefit you quite a bit."

Now I'm really wondering. What if I had this drug growing up? Would I have gotten better grades? That wouldn't be difficult to do. Would I have been a more accomplished student/photgraher/artist. Could I have done more with my life?

What if I were to try it now? Would I suddenly be able to dominate the poker tables. Would I instantly be a more motivated photographer? Would I be more successful? If it could help me, couldn't it help EVERYONE? What would a drug like this do to people who are already successful?

One co-worker compared this drug to steroids. It is essentially a performance enhancing drug. Some kids are allowed to take it and some aren't. Does this give the drugged kids an advantage? I'd say it does. Super-competitive parents might consider putting their kids on Adderall regardless of whether they need it or not. Then it begs the question: What is NEED?

The Sims

In an effort to curb my poker addiction, I've purchased a computer game.
The Sims is touted to be one of the best games ever made, so they say. OK, so it lacks a key ingredient to most games I like. Violence.
What the hell right? I need to kill some time with some kind of hobby. And since most of my poker buddies have pussed out of my weekly game, I need to find another THING to occupy my time while the woman is at class.
The first Sim I created is dead. Big Trouble died in a kitchen fire. His cooking skills were so poor that his attempt to make himself dinner ended tragically with his death.
His replacement, Izzy A. Loader has taken up the reigns and his well on his way to becoming a hardened criminal. He started as a pickpocket and has since moved up to the title of "bookie." My hope is for Izzy to become the Tony Montana of the Sim universe.

So far, The Sims has proven to be very addictive, despite it's lack of blood, guts, explosions, or anything else that usually makes for a good video game.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Australian drug smuggler gets 20 years

She was sentenced to 20 years. Wow. I guess that's good. Better than death I suppose.
Or is it?

I can't help but wonder why she would attempt to smuggle buds to Indonesia. If Andre's comments are true, and weed is really easy to get there, then why would she risk it? Does she look like someone who would intentionally smuggle 9 lbs. (aka "a shitpile") of weed?

I mean seriously 9 lbs.?! That's pretty much her entire surfboard bag FULL of dope. A tiny little sack of kind buds is enough to smell up an entire room with that odoriforous skunky funk. What would 9 lbs. smell like?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Won one

Dylan's weekly tourney. $50 buy-in, 10 players.

Whew, is all I can say on this one. I made it to the final two and we decided to split the winnings.

poker gibberish
It was a very close call for me on several occasions. Actually, I should've been the first one out but delivered a horrible beat to the guy on my right. I went all in short-stacked holding Ace-Ten. He called immediately and flipped Cowboys. DOH! I got up, ready to go home a poor loser. But then a miracle river card. ACE!
It kinda sucks doubling up like that but screw it, right?
Later, I doubled up again with I made trip tens on the river after my opponent made top pair on the turn.
The turning point came when the blinds were 300-600:
I started raising a lot of hands, probably 3 out of 4 hands. Since they were all good players, and played really tight for the most part, I was sure I could steal a ton of blinds. At this point we were basically on the bubble and everyone wanted to get in the money. Here, aggression is key. Eventually the blinds ate my opponent's stacks to the point where they had to go all-in. Luckily the cards started coming and I really put the heat on.

I felt I could've won this entire thing. But since at the end the stacks were pretty identical, we decided to chop.

I'll take it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

New toy

I bought a new toy.

So now I can be one of the cool kids. All the cool kids have one of these.
Right now I'm listening to "Got to give it up" by Marvin Gaye. I have to restrain myself from getting my groove on right here in the office.
I had to upgrade the computer with more ram, a USB 2.0 PCI card, upgrade a bunch of software...
I also purchased the Itrip FM tuner... and I need to buy a car charger,... and a protective skin, and some songs and a new set of good headphones... damn will it ever end?

I can just hear Steve Jobs as I dish out the cashola to pay for all this shit. "Ipod, a real money pit! These things are genius."

speeding ticket

I got a speeding ticket over the weekend.
Just what I need.
I was picking up my GF from a party in Berkeley and took a jello shot just before we left so it was a minor miracle that I didn't get a DUI. When he pulled me over, it was clear by the way he was sniffing the air in my car that he smelled alcohol.
"Have you had anything to drink?" He asked me.
"None." I lied instantly.
"I smell alcohol sir, are you sure you haven't had anything to drink?"
"It's her." I pointed to my GF sitting shotgun.
She shrugged embarassingly, "Sorry."

Luckily somehow he didn't notice that my license is expired because I have an outstanding speeding ticket from like 2 years ago.


Amy keeps thanking god that it wasn't worse. I say, it wasn't god. It was my amazing skills.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Bad, bad, bad, bad cards - It makes me feel so bad

This losing streak I'm on is getting ridiculous.
I haven't had a winning session at the cardroom in a very long time. I was hoping to break it today.
Sadly, today was illustrative of the last month of poker. Not one playable hand. Actually, one playable hand... the last one. It was pocket kings; I got so excited, I couldn't throw it away. Some bastard drew out a flush holding 5-6.



Lion mutilates midgets

Oh my god...

Absolutely UN-believable.
Someone should definitely have snuck a video camera into this one.

OK,... I also am reading this story is fake...

Stupid internets

You have to know when to Hold 'Em at local poker clubs

I published a poker story in the newspaper I work for.
It's a "newbies trip to the poker room" story for our travel section.

Here's the link to it.


$50 tourney, no-rebuys, 10 players.

Sucked out on AGAIN. This time in sixth place.
Everyone flods to the small blind who calls. Shortstacked, I raise pre-flop with AQo from the big blind. He calls.
Flop comes: T78 rainbow. He checks. I go all-in. He reluctantly calls; shows 5-6. Turn comes... a fucking 9 of spades shows up, giving him a straight and me a flush draw. I miss a spade on the river and go home a LOOOOOOOOSSSEEEEEERRRR.

Another $50 down the friggin' toilet.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

FIRE - San Jose garage

When my buddy Dave saw a column of smoke from the freeway, we decided to go check it out. Turns out some dude's garage had exploded. It had nearly burned to the ground by the time I had gotten there. While the rest of the neighborhood had to stay behind the yellow police line, I whipped out my press pass and walked directly up to the fire.

Possible arson, the battalion chief tells me. But basically its still under investigation.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Backpacking in the Cache Creek

Went backpacking for an overnighter this weekend. We drove our asses all the way to Ukiah, pass Clear Lake to Cache Creek. We hiked along the Redbud trail hoping to make it the 7.5 miles to Wilson Valley. Much to our dismay, the river was much to engourged to cross and we were resigned to make camp a mere 3 miles from the trail head, at the Cache Creek river. As much as I would have liked to cross, it was rushing much to fast to make an attempt. I guarantee we would've been swept away by the current.
The scenery was mediocre. Especially since we gotten somewhat accustomed to the dynamic and intensely spectacular views of the Sierra Nevadas, rolling oaken hills have become so,... blah.

We spent the afternoon lounging around the camp. We lounged somemore before we lounged again. Then I took a nap.

The flys were relentless. I should make a note that as much as I love backpacking; I despise bugs; Flying insects with teeth in particular. Fuck them. They finally subsided at around twilight time. But of course, that's when the mosquitos came out for their feast of backpackers du jour.

The ticks were in effect too. They are probably the most disgusting critters I've experienced in the outdoors. I applied the DEET liberally to dissuade attacks from these little fuckers, but my dog Otis wasn't so lucky. I pulled at least 5 ticks from him last night. I expect to find more later. It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about them.

Here's a pic of them:

At least the weater was nice. Warm all day,cool, and comfortable at night. I would've slept well if it wasn't for dreams of ticks crawling in my ears.
When I woke up I actually found a tick crawling on my hand. I promptly murdered it with a bic lighter.

Memorial day weekend. We're going camping. I intend to go somewhere where the ticks and poison oak are not. I'm resigned to the fact that mosquitos and flys are literally everywhere in the world, so I'll just have to endure. But the ticks,.... NEVER.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Poker: Dylan's

Poker report:
$50 buy-in freeze-out tournament. 9 players. Dylan's house.

This was the tightest game I've played in yet. Almost NO action for the first 5-6 levels. Everyone was folding to the blinds or a small raise would fold the table. BOOOOORRRIIINNNGGG!

Then, I lost half my stack with 7's to my opponent's AJ pre-flop. Then redeemed myself when I doubled up with pocket rockets. I was back in it. I stole a bunch of hands later until it was 4 handed. On the bubble, I caught pocket 4s. Flop came 4-6-3... I slowplay check. He checked. Turn came, 10. He bets out. I go all in. He instantly calls with a turn card flush. I go out a loser on the bubble.

Steaming, I proceed to lose another $20 in a side no-limit cash game.
A player to my right goes all in. I have AJd (ace-jack of diamonds) and go all-in. The player behind me goes all-in. Right, A9o... Left, pocket tens,... Me AJ diamonds. The flop misses me entirely and I lose another $20.


I am the worst loser.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


I'd like to give it up for Sriracha.
You can find this delicious spicy sauce at any good Vietnamese restaurant. Please note that this stuff is highly addictive. My girlfriend had a taste of this stuff when we first got together and ever since, she's been hooked. She puts it not only in her pho,and rice plates, but also on her pizza, burritos, tacos, burgers and sandwiches.
I'm not sure what it is about the sauce that makes it so good. I think it's the crack they put in it.

Whatever it is, We love it, and wouldn't change a thing about it.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Return to Indonesian Express Palace

Wow, that'd really suck.

I really hope she's innocent, because you'd have to be a real dumbass to try sneaking in 6 pounds of weed into Indonesia.
Haven't we all seen Brokedown Palace or Return to Paradise or Midnight Express.

Note to self: Don't try sneaking 6 pounds of weed into a Islamic Country.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A Marine's story

I met with a close friend of mine from High School last week.

Mark is a captain in a Marine Corps artillery unit; second in command of 7 howitzers. He was directly involved in the battle of Fallujah delivering shells into the war torn town during the battle. He recalled some incidents.
One day, he was walking across the base when he heard a rocket. He took a knee as the rocket hissed over his head. "It makes a sound like sizzling bacon," he described. It landed with a boom about 100 meters away. He made his way toward a building and as he entered it, he heard another rocket approach and detonate just outside, where he had just took a knee. The explosion rocked the building. Quickly he ran outside and saw a large metal door blown into pieces by the rocket. An injured Marine lay bleeding in front of him. He quickly ran over, and along with another soldier, assessed the injured man's wounds. A puddle of blood pooled around the marine's head. As they lifted his head to look at the wound, they noticed the blood coming from his ears, nose and side of his face. He unbuttoned the injured man's shirt and ran his hands over his body, checking for blood. He found a shrapnel wound on the man's side. Just then medics and other soldiers ran over and took the injured man to the infirmary. They were sure he didn't make it.
Another close call came when they were travelling between Fallujah and Mosul in a mile long convoy one night. Watching the road through the green glow of his night vision goggles, he rode in the third Humvee from the front of the convoy, sitting shotgun. Suddenly, he heard a pop, followed by a flash of red. The car didn't get blown upward, but was engulfed in a fireball. Flames shot across the front and side of the car, and the sound like someone throwing handfuls of rocks at the side of the car. The explosion blew out a tire and smashed the headlights but, the armored Humvee was intact. The driver slammed on the gas and continued on. Immediately Mark thought the engine had blown up, but when a call from the rear of the convoy reported a large explosion and requested a casualty report, he knew he had been a victim of an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). Later, an unmanned aerial surveillance vehicle spotted a white pickup truck rapidly leaving the area. A while later the Marines raided the house where the pickup stopped and found evidence such as detonators, and explosives and arrested the suspect. He later inspected the damage on his armored Humvee. Besides the blown wheel, the car was marked up from shrapnel, some of it still sticking out of the armor. Had the Humvee not been armored, he surely would have been hit by shrapnel.

Capt. Mark will be returning to Iraq in September to complete his second tour.

Warehouse poker

Eager for some action last week, I sent Dylan an email, "My Thursday night poker game has evaporated, where's the action at?" He called me back about a $55 buy-in, with buy-ins. It was being held in this warehouse in Sunnyvale. He said the competition should be pretty soft. What the hell.
The warehouse was a screenprinting shop... 3 poker tables were set up. 27 players were in.

The format:
$55 buy-in, $30 unlimited rebuys for the first 5 levels, with one $20 add-on at the beginning of level 6. 20 minute levels, starting with 1500 in chips.

The game started rough for me, and my first rebuy came when everyone folded to me on the button. Big Blind calls. Flop comes J-8-8. BB checks, I go all in. Dumb move. He calls instantaneously and shows J-8. He flopped a full-boat. BASTARD.

Another rebuy later, we are down to the final add-on. $20 buys you 3000. This add-on is a no-brainer, so it is essentially a must have. 5 minutes into the "real" game (no-add-ons or rebuys) I go on a mad-rush. A string of good hands alloows me to eliminate 4 players in a row, and quickly we are consolidated to a final table. Patience gets me to the final four when a local pro named Pat offers a suggestion. "How about a chop?" The self proclaimed "chopologist" suggest a 4 way chop giving the chip leader (Dylan) $800, and the rest of us, (with even amount of chips) $320. We accept.

Part of me regrets not battling it out. Even though Dylan had a massive chip advantage, probably about 4 to 1 against us. I feel I had a chance to make a comeback. I spent $135 getting to this point so I guess clocking $320 walk-home isn't too bad.

Overall this operation seems like a pretty neat setup. They not only provide a relatively safe playing environment, plenty of chips, tournament direction, tables and chairs, but they actually sell custom poker tables, rent poker equipment, and apparently custom print t-shirts as well.

They also hold a Sit 'n Go Saturday all-day poker day. Hopefully they'll get that going again so I can get in on some more action.

P.S. Thank you Jebus for allowing the losing streak to end.