Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Moving forward

I've been back at Pokerroom.com trying to make back the money the pet mechanic took. It's been an up and down ride, but I've been grinding away and consistently winning. Last night I won two small tournaments, one two-table, and a single-table. So I've been running pretty hot.
If I keep it up I'll ave my shotgun money in no time.

Speaking of shotguns, ScottO and I went shotgun shopping over the weekend. After shouldering several Remington 1100s, 11-87s, Beretta 3901s and Winchester SX2, I've decided that I should consider the Beretta or the Winchester. For some reason the Remingtons feel a bit on the janky side. Whereas the Beretta melts in my hand. The Winchester felt very solid as well. They just feel better-built. I'd compare the Remington to a Ford, while the Beretta felt more like a Lexus. The Winchester a Toyota.
Of course I haven't shot any of those guns, but my feeling is I'm not going to be happy with a Remington. Not after having felt how nice the Berettas are.
Damn. That means saving an extra $300-400.

Something to work towards I guess.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Veterinarian bloodsuckers

I picked up Morgan yesterday at the Vet's office. They charged me another $197 to get the cat. So the grand total to save FatAss' ass. $881. I brought him home against the wishes of the vet who recommended I take him to my own vet for a day or two. He said they were going to keep the IV and the urinary catheter in for a while longer and observe Morgan. I told them I was taking Morgan home now.

It got me thinking about veterinary medicine. I'm sure the vets love animals. They must love animals to get into the buisiness right? Well I guarantee that the minute they see the amount of money they can make, their love for animals becomes secondary to their love for the money. Our vet had no concern for our animal whatsoever. If we hadn't been able to pay for Morgan's treatment, they wouldv'e euthenized his ass in a heartbeat. When I asked the vet tech what my options were if I wasn't able to pay the full amount, she replied, "Well I suggest you get in touch with someone you know who will loan you the money or a financial institution can." Otherwise, he wouldn't have last night.
Luckily I have the money, but it depleted my cushion money. And my shotgun money.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Saving Morgan, again

I'm very depressed.
I just had to put Morgan in the shop.
Morgan is my fat-assed one-eyed cat. Notice I said Fat. Not Phat.
This is the second time he's been hospitalized for having a "blockage." His urinary tract somehow develops crystals which blocks his ability to urinate and eventually he'd die when his bladder essentially bursts. It's a $638 job for the Pet mechanic.
Which is ironic because a new shotgun costs almost exactly $638.

Oh well I guess I can't cuddle a shotgun like I could a fluffy cat, in public.

But I will have a shotgun yet. And when I do, I have the puuuurfect first target.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Machinist

I just watched this insane film called The Machinist.

Christian Bale (from Batman Begins) plays Trevor Resnick, an emaciated insomniac who's going through some serious mental issues. The movie follows him as he seems to come undone right in front of our eyes.
The movie has a dark, dirty, danky quality to it that literally made me feel ill. Every edge of this movie is filthy, disgusting.
Bale's performance is incredible. He literally lost enough weight to look like a walking skeleton (63 lbs. reportedly). The scenes showing Bale shirtless are almost unwatchable, like looking at footage from Dachau or Aushwitz. He's beat up, physically and psychologically.
The Machinist is hard to watch. Seeing someone slowly kill themselves is tortuous. I imagine that the director must have been torn ethically making this film because Bale is probably near death making this picture, he's that skinny. What he's done to his body exceeds Tom Hank's transformation in Castaway, Robert Deniro bulking up in Raging Bull, and Matt Damon's AIDS victim in Courage Under Fire.
The Machinist is worth watching because it is about more than just being about one man dying from starvation. It confronts the notion of guilt; dealing with mistakes of the past, and learning to move forward with life. It's about closure.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Check out CaffeineGuy's website.
He's got some cool pictures of his latest trip to China.
His Livejournal site is a fun time.

In the Urban Planning Museum you'll find a scale model of Shanghai as it will look in 2020. As you can see, in the future the Chinese will mutate into ant people. Suppressed a very powerful urge to go Godzilla on these enticing little buildings.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I deleted the banner for pokerroom.com.
It looked so shitty.

I'll still schlang pokerroom.com though. They're one of the few online poker sites that Macs can play on without using an Windows emulator. Much abliged. As long as I'm making money I'll pimp it.
So, little banner ad will stay.

Guns, lots of guns

Since my recent introduction to the world of shotgun sports, I have been in shopping mode. I've been reading massive quantities of information online regarding the best gun for me.

I've narrowed my criteria down:

1) Semi-auto
2) Quality gun - decent condition
3) 28"-30" barrel length
4) 12 gauge
5) It has to be a ridiculously good deal

So far one gun might meet the criteria.

That is the Remington 1100. USED.
New ones run about $700 and up.
My recent poker winnings are burning a hole in my pocket the size of a shotgun. I'm hoping that I'll be able to find a decent used one at the gun show which is coming to town Dec. 10-11 at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. There is concern that I'll not be able to find one at the price I want. I have seen some at Gunbroker.com in my price range, but I really want to shoulder the thing, to see if it fits my frame.

I've always loved firearms. It's great to have found an activity which uses guns yet doesn't involve killing animals or people. I suppose I'd kill birds (ducks, quail, doves, pheseant etc.) But I odn't think I'd be able to kill a pig or deer. They're too similar to dogs I guess. Too cute.

Clays however,... They all need to get they caps peeled.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Redemption is mine.
My house: Dylan, Mel, Bootie, SamD, ScottO, Butz, Ltrain and myself, $40 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney.

Feeling inpregnebale, I immediatley attempted to bully the table. I was down to about half my stack before the 2nd level. I kept telling myself, "Play good poker, it's comeback time." Soon comeback time came.
I raise Mel with pocket 3's from under-the-gun. She calls my raise, everyone else folds. Flop hits A-2-3 rainbow. I check. She bets. After some contemplation, I re-raise. She goes all-in immediately. Could she have 4-5? No way. I call.
The turn and river are blank and I'm suddenly making my comeback.
I went on to make some huge plays against Sam and Dylan, knocking them out of the tourney.
Then the crucial hand happened against L-train:
I catch AK. L-train raises in front of me. I reraise. Everyone else folds. He reraises me. I go all-in. He instantly calls.
Oops. Ltrain flips over pocket rockets.
DOH! He's got me covered and I'm drawing practically dead.
Flop comes... KING. There's one. Turn, blank. I can hear myself screaming, "KING, KING, KING." The river comes KING!

As much as I hate when other people do it, I reacted enthusiastically to my incredible suck out. a-hootin' and-a-hollarin'! I couldn't help it.
Despite my happiness, I actually felt horrible about delivering a beat like that. I apologized to him and he took it really well considering he was crippled by that hand. He was eliminated later in third place.

Now I was the chipleader and it was my goal to throw my weight around. I'm sure I pissed off everyone at the table with my super aggressive pre-flop play, but it worked. I completely dominated the rest of the table and went on to go heads-up against ScottO, who up until this point had been playing very, very tight.
I continue my strategy and blew him out of the water with relentless aggression.
I took him out giving me a $160 prize. ScottO took home $90 for his efforts while Ltrain took home $60 for third place.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Number Two

Played in a $5-buy-in multi-table tourney on Pokerroom.com a couple nights ago.
699 players, top 60 get paid.

Early on I was trying to bust out, because the GF was about to get home and we were huuuuuunrgry. I pushed all in with KJo, J10o, but managed to double up instead of getting knocked out. When the woman got home, I was in the top 5 in chips.
"Screw-it," I'll just go pick up dinner and come back.
My chip stack was big enough that I was still in he tournament when we got back.
As I ate my number 5 from Happi House, I went on a tear. My cards were hot! I managed to knock out three or four players putting me in the chip lead.
Once chipleader I played pretty tight for the next couple hours, but continued to punish the medium and small stacks with big raises when I had decent hands. The field was thinning rapidly.
After 4 hours of play I was heads-up with a tight player named MVDM. The chip stacks were pretty close when this hand came:
I had AKo and raised on the button. He reraised and I immediately pushed all in. He calls with K9o. He's dominated here. He only has 3 more outs. The flop comes Ten-Ten-NINE. Turn: Ten. River:blank. Game over. MVDM wins $699.17. Joe_13 comes in 2nd place and wins $436.87.

Here's proof

Friday, November 11, 2005

Garden City

I hit up the $2-$4 tables at Garden City yesterday for a couple hours. Played tight for a while due to a streak of cold cards. Admittedly I was playing a bit too tight. But with these fishy-fish-fish players, I wanted to make sure I had the best hand. These guys were guaranteed to be 3-4 players deep at showdown. People calling calling calling. I did manage to make a big check raise and a huge bluff to make me a few bucks at the end.
One note: I made a rookie mistake by leaving without playing out the round. I made sure to wait for the blind before posting, but I left abruptly in the middle of the round, wasting 3-4 hands I could've seen for free.
Actually it was lucky I did. I guess I left my lights on in my car. The battery was dead. It took 20 minutes for the AAA guy to arrive, and I was almost late to my assignment. So in the end, it was a fortuitous mistake.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bomb the System

On the graffiti tip,
I just happened to watch Bomb the System last week, so it's sort of coincidental that I went on a graffiti tour this past weekend.
Bomb the System is an extremely independant film, which follows a semi-famous graffiti artist tagging up New York while being tracked down by a couple shady cops. Blest and his two pals Buck50 and Lune go on a rampage in the city after Lune is roughed up by the cops.
What's cool about this film is that it exposes the underground world which passers-by only see as drippy paint scribbles on the bus; the dark, middle-of-the-night creepers who deface perfectly good bus stops, and the genius' who create masterpieces on a public wall only to have it painted over by some shitty-painter's bullshit tag.
In the end, it questions the whole point of street graffiti culture. Is it pointless to spend hours, risk freedom, risk your life to create art which is inevitably going to disappear? Is it selling out to have a message? Is it pussy to go mainstream?

Above all, when I look at some tagger's initials, or a really cool sticker design stuck on the back of a stop sign... I'll take notice.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Photo tour in SF

Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
HabitForming took Stroker, Optikal and me on a San Francisco photo tour this weekend. We visited a couple fascinating abandoned warehouses. What better subject for photos than abandoned buildings covered in subversive art.

Graffiti culture is alive and well in the city. Not that I necessarily agree with tagging, but alot of the work displayed on the walls of places like this are quality... and unfortunately temporary.

I know from experience the pain of losing a piece of artwork forever.
Much of the art photographed by Habitforming will be demolished, painted over and/or scrubbed, and essentially disappear permanently.

Would graffiti artists be better served to create art for a gallery or as fine art? Of course purists will argue that graffiti while born in the streets should remain on the streets. That it would be pussy, sell-out to put anywhere else. IMHO, that's bullshit.
If you are an artists whose point is to create temporary art, so-be-it. Scribble your name in the sand at the beach and let the ocean wash it away. Essentially that is exactly what will happen when the pigs inevitably come to erase your piece, or the building you've just painted comes tumbling down with the wrecking ball.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Layer Cake.

The man who will be our new James Bond, Daniel Craig, starred in the recently released to DVD Euro-smash-hit "Layer Cake."
Layer Cake is almost an ordinary euro-heist flick. In the realm of modern-classic euro-heist films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch only a bit grittier. It is much better than the forgettable American poser heist flicks like Oceans 11/12, The Score, The Big Hit and Confidence. Layer Cake is NOT ordinary. It is sharp, twisted, engrossing and thrilling.
Layer Cake is beautifully photographed. Everything about this movie visually is stunning with one exception: Daniel Craig's pocked up face. He looks like a more charming, but equally ugly euro-version of Anthony Michael Hall (the older one).
It's story is a convoluted, but that may be due to the extremely hard to understand Brit-speak, which I never got used to. Actually, this added to the charm of Layer Cake, similar to the charm of Brad Pitt's character in Snatch.
My favorite character in Layer Cake was Daniel Craig's sidekick Morti. Morti, the ex-con bash-man stole the movie with his hard-core personality and easy going yet brutal nature despite having only two or three lines.
I was totally transfixed on this film. Give this one a shot.