Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy friggin Holidays

Happy Holidays.
I've got the entire week off. Nice. I caught a cold. Not so nice.
We had prime rib Christmas Eve dinner, and Eggs Benedict breakfast at the GF's parent's house. It would've been nice to have a holiday meal with my dad, but alas, he's in China... forever. At least we had some Hot Pot City with my brother and his wife. So the holiday meals were excellent. Then the GF's birthday was this week. I bought her a car stereo, her's died weeks ago. I know real fucking romantic. I'm an idiot. We made a "no-gift-pact" but I decided to buy her a gift anyway. It was a total surprise, she wasn't expecting it at all.
The cold I caught sucks real bad. It starts out with a tickly feeling in the chest. Followed by a sore throat. Then a general feeling of malaise: lethargy, drowsiness, etc. The coughing, the congestion, headaches. Then the nose stuffs, the left side, then the right, turn, left, turn, right... nasal drip. Oh it's a fun one.
Chestnut bought us a crock pot for Christmas. Perfect for some chicken soup.
To the Mi Pueblo market:
Various chicken pieces about 2 lbs.
4-5 small white potatoes.
3-4 small carrots
(by the way, these measurements are approximate, I never really keep track when I cook)
Plenty of salt and pepper.
3-4 sprigs rosemary
1 tsp curry
dried thyme
1tsp cayenne
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup of parsley
1 medium onion
3-4 sticks of celery.
2 cans of chicken broth
1 can of water

Chop all vegetation, mix.
Place everything in the crock pot and cook that shit for 10 hours.

I freestyled this recipe, but it turned out pretty decent.

Have a great New Years! I'll be in Tahoe.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More nerd than meets the eye.

On the nerd tip.
Transformers, live action trailer is online. And looking pretty friggin' cool. More than meets the eye, byatch!

Friday, December 15, 2006

I've discovered my optimal strategy to be a good poker player.
You have to employ a loose tight-passive aggressive game.
In other words, you have to be able to play every way.
At some moments playing loose and fast is crucial. While it is also to play tight and passive at times.
The key is knowing when to and initiating a plan of action at the right time. Based on your read of an opponent, the pace of the game and your position, you should create a strategy. Then more importantly, when the time arises, you should be able to "change gears" or in other words change strategies to maximize profits while minimizing losses. Which is the essence of being a overall winning player.
This all seems pretty elementary, but often I see players keep with their style. Often tight players stay tight. They only play good cards regardless of position, or opponents. Or worse, loose players stay loose despite having shit cards, and staying loose when they miss their flops completely.
With all this being said, it is usually the least experienced players who make these mistakes most often. They have no concept of pot odds, so pot sized bets rarely push them out of drawing hands. They also make ridiculous overbets which pretty much effectively push me out of hands when I should be staying in.
Obviously this could mean that they are just more saavy players than I think.
But more likely it's as Sammy Farha said at the 2004 WSOP when he took 2nd place to Chris Moneymaker.
"I can outplay a good player. But with a bad player, I have to have a hand."
And last night. I just couldn't pick up a decent hand.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Art at Flickr

Skulls-1, originally uploaded by Joe_13.

I've been posting art at my site lately.
Check out some of it and please give me some criticism if at all possible.
It would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

TV, TV, and more TV

There's been much talk about TV around the "cooler". This topic gets me excited because I've been pretty hooked on a couple programs. If you have HBO, with On Demand, you're in luck, because they have been putting on some quality television. Being a Netflix member is awesome too, because being able to rent an entire season is a wonderful thing. Nothing beats a Saturday or Sunday afternoon TV series marathon. Especially when they are as good as some of the shows here.

All these shows are pretty much "must see."

The Wire
This could be the final season of this excellent crime series on HBO. Each episode is complex, intelligent and thought provoking. It is essential that you start the season from episode one. The characters are nuanced and plots are quite intertwined from episode to episode. Your best bet is to rent Season one and start from the beginning.

A new series on channel 3 Monday nights. The premise is not original. What if regular people suddenly got super powers. Despite being on primetime, the show is dark, gritty, violent. Each episode has a cliffhanger ending. Definitely addictive.

FX's ultra campy, highly entertaining, darkly funny series about two plastic surgeons dealing with their dysfunctional intertwined lives.

Battlestar Galactica
A remake of the 1970's TV series. This updated series stars Edward James Olmos at his most pock marked and the lady (Stands with a Fist) from Dances With Wolves. Make sure you watch the mini-series which lays out the history for the following 3 or 4 seasons. Great space fight scenes and timely story lines make this show visually and intellectually stimulating.

This is Showtime's copycat of HBO's successful series' The Wire and THe Soprano's mixed into one. The show follows two brothers from an Irish neighborhood. One goes legit (sort of) and is a rising star in state politics, while the other fortifies his standing within the criminal underworld.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Build your own Pinhole Camera

Download, print and build your own pinhole camera.
Go here

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Brian, New Year... 2003

Brian, New Year... 2003, originally uploaded by Joe_13.

I love this pic.

On a different note: I updated my website.
Check it out and let me know what you think.

Monday, November 06, 2006


pigtails, originally uploaded by Joe_13.

Ever since !Habitforming started encouraging me start drawing again, I've been sketching like crazy. Sites like WoosterCollective, Fecal Face, Concept Art, Illustration Fridays, Streetsy, Bobby Chiu's Imaginism Studios, Illustration Mundo have also fueled my creative fires.

See more of my images here.

Poker Saturday

I killed it at poker day this weekend.
We started off with a spread limit ($.25-$3) cash game. JoeO, SamD, JohnN, Chestnut and I battled it out for several hours. At the end I finished up around $40.
We then decided to play a couple $20 sit-n-goes. Amy joined us and then for the second one, RobG showed up to play one.. I won both games with SamD and RobG coming in second respectively!
We also dusted off three eighteen packs and a twelver of beers while we played. Between 5 guys... that's quite a bit of brew.
The next day I played a 532 player $10-buy-in multi-table on Full Contact Poker. After fighting though the fish for several hours, I was finally knocked out in 10th place. My $66 win was just so damn unsatisfactory. Considering it's the first multi-table online tournament cash in months, I should be happy. But playing 4 hours for a measly $50 profit sucks balls. But at least my confidence is back and hopefully some positive EV.
My only concern is that after having won all the games that afternoon, my players may not be so stoked to come over for poker night again... I guess that's the tradeoff for kicking so much ass.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Human, originally uploaded by !HabitForming.

Rob posted this pic I drew of him on his Flickr site. Seems like it got some pretty good feedback.
Not to mention it's a freakin' hilarious likeness.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Devious Concoctions Haunt

Devious Concoctions Haunt, originally uploaded by Joe_13.

My buddy Brent Ross puts up the most insane animatronic Halloween Haunt at his parent's front yard. You MUST check it out if you are in the Mountain View area this weekend through Halloween.
Located at View Street and El Camino.
View street will be blocked off Halloween to accomodate the crowds.

Check out his website

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy 31 to me

Taking The Shot, originally uploaded by !HabitForming.

Friday was my birthday.
Entitled with that distinction, I took the day off work. I spent the day working on my web site and vegging out on the couch. Better than sitting at the office I must say.

The GF and I had dinner at Royal Teppan Steak house in Cupertino. Initially I wanted Benihana, but we would've had to wait until 9:30pm to have dinner. that just wouldn't do. The other teppanyaki option was Royal Teppan. While the food there is not quite as good as Benihanna, but the chefs are more eager to please. Quite honestly, the food wasn't that much worse. Still, a good option for a birthday dinner.
Saturday, the itinerary was tailored for me. Shotguns, poker and Karaoke.
We started the day shooting the sporting clays course at Coyote Valley Clays where Sam, Raus , Rob and I blasted the shit out of a bunch of clays. One of my favorite pastimes.
Later we got a cash spread limit poker game going at my house. While it was only a $5 buy-in, it was still pretty competitive. I'm pretty sure I ended up the big winner, having cashed out $25 big ones.
Then we headed over to Seven Bamboo lounge in Japantown where they have a really fun karaoke night. We got there before the usual crowd arrived, so we could establish our seats and get on the singing list. I signed up to sing "Big Poppa" by Notorious B.I.G.... Luckily for me the place was nearly empty as I proceeded to demolish his lyrical masterpiece. I know the words, they just didn't form quickly enough in my mouth. The next song was "Mother" by Danzig, then "Easy" by the Commodores, then a duet of "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" and finally a quartet with Sam and His fiance of "All Night Long" by Lionel.
So obviously I made damn fool of myself. But it was well worth it. I had a blast.
Sunday we made a trip out the Half Moon Bay for Seafood at Barbara's Fish Trap.
Unfortunately for me, my gut was in a bad way from the previous night, so I wasn't able to finish my crab sandwich. But it was damn good regardless. The rest of Sunday was finished off most relaxingly with a nap and dinner at the Claimjumper in Fremont.
The birthday weekend concept is awesome and I suggest everyone makes their birthday a three-day affair.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Full Coverage

If you have any interest in tattoo art, you must see these.

8 Tattooers, 2 years, 33 backpieces

Read more about the tattoo world at
Also check out Prick Magazine
The guys who organized Full Coverage, New Skool Tattoo

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I just saw thepreview for the film adaptation of Frank Miller's 300.
The graphic novel, though well drawn in the disctinctive Frank Miller style, is less about the plot and more about mood. Everyone knows the story of the Spartans battling the Persian empire. This film illustrates the legend with overdramatic comic book-y flavor.
Watch the preview. It looks like it could be good.


I have to give it up for the new series Heroes on NBC, Monday nights.
I was skeptical. But the first episode got me hooked. The darkness of the characters and the brutality was unexpected, and appreciated.
Episode two, while it spent too much time recapping the previous episode, further reinforced my impression. It was intense and immensely entertaining.

You have to check out the first two episodes of Heroes.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Congress bans online poker

Those fucking assholes in Washington just passed a bill which bans online poker.
Read about the bullshit: Here

We're all gonna die.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stoneth's photos

beavis, originally uploaded by stoneth.

I just stumbled onto this phorographer's flickr site.
It features hard hitting images of homeless.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Barrhill Way

On our way home from Folsom last weekend, we decided to make a stop in Fair Oaks California to see my old house on Barhill Way. This suburb of Sacramento is about 15-20 miles east of downtown Sac.
At one 'for-sale' home on Barhill Way, we stopped to grab a real estate flyer. I said to her, "We shouldn't even bother. It's probably $1.2 million."
To my surprise, this 4BR 3.5BA 2,500 square-foot home with pool, patio, marble bathroom, newly remodeled, new appliances, new AC was a measly $625,000.
Compared to what we could buy in the bay area, this home was a steal.
Not that we could afford this house, but we could afford something close. One look at the price, and the neighborhood, Amy fell in love.

So now we are seriously considering moving out here. Maybe not right away. But at some point we will definitely consider a move, and Fair Oaks might be just the spot.

Cole Wedding


I shot my second wedding last weekend in Folsom.
My GF's former co-worker was married at her in-laws beautiful home.
It was a very casual affair. The guests were dressed relatively casually. I think only one person was wearing a tie (not the groom).

The wedding got started a bit late, so the light was fading fast by the time the ceremony was finished. I struggled to get decent shots in the fading light. Definitely no "magic hour" shots unfortunately. I managed to get most of the posed family shots in and some of the couple.
Otherwise I was in the right place at the right time to get all the important moments. The ceremony, walking down the aisle, the vows, the ring exchange, kiss, cake, table settings, food, the speeches, the cake cutting and the dances.

So I think overall, I was successful and captured the true story of their wedding.
And for the price they paid for my services, I think they're getting quite a great bargain.

Monday, September 18, 2006

9/11 bullshit

AFTERMATH: Wreckage from Flight 77 on the Pentagon’s lawn--proof that a passenger plane, not a missile, hit the building. PHOTOGRAPH BY AP/WIDE WORLD PHOTOS

My good pal Brian just called to tell me that he is starting to believe the bullshit 9/11 conspiracy theories. He cited some documentary (I forget the one) that says it was a missile or bomb that blew up the Pentagon. "Where's the debris" "There were no bodies" "The hole was too small...." blah blah blah. Since everyone in the world knows that Popular Mechanics magazine is the most reputable publication in the world (maybe not, I don't know.) This link should dismiss the ridiculousness:

Popular Mechanics debunks the bullshit

Friday, September 15, 2006

Cars in the shop, Pop moves outta the country

The last few weeks have been a royal pain in the ass.
Amy's car got hit on the street outside our house. Luckily for us, the guy who hit us was cool enough to let us know. He gave up his personal information and requested we give him the opportunity to pay it before we go to insurance. So a day or two later, we took the car to the body shop. The guy (our neighbor's friend) took his credit card down there and paid the estimate on the spot. That was nice, but that left us without a car. Fortunately we had outs,... Amy's pop has an extra vehicle which he let us use.
A week later, my car blows a radiator hose and delivers my car to the shop via tow truck. So now BOTH our vehicles are in the shop. I lose a day and half of work. Again, luckily for us we have outs. My dad is moving out of the country and doesn't need HIS car. So he lets us borrow it. In exchange, I help him move. That sucks balls, but I get to walk away with a bunch of shit he was going to give away or sell. He hooks us up with a bunch of paintings, some home furnishings, a new Imac flat screen, some asian style decorations, a ladder, tools, a couple firearms, and a bunch of other shit not worth mentioning. Then he volunteers $500 to help pay for our car's ailments. He totally saved our broke asses.
Finally things are finally getting a little bit better. Her student loans finally came in, so we can pay the rent and bills. But now we are broke as jokes once again.
I am shooting a wedding this weekend. My second wedding ever. So that'll put a couple more bucks on the table.
With the money as tight as ever, I will be stoked to get a couple more freelance gigs to supplement my unsubstantial annual salary. At least until my woman finishes nursing school and gets a full-time job, we'll be suffering a little.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nurse Angel

Nurse Angel, originally uploaded by Joe_13.

This sketch was created for my GF who is graduating from nursing school this spring.You can buy t-shirts, mugs etc with this logo at my site.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Fire Angel

Fire Angel
Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
I made this sketch the other day. It's also a conceptual sketch inspired by tattoo art.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Rob at Burning Man

Originally uploaded by !HabitForming.
My buddy Rob just got back from Burning Man and took a shitload of photos.
He rolled over last night and unleashed a verbal barrage dedicated to his experience. His photos are pretty neat, and has definitely inspired me to seriously consider making a trip out there next year.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
I sketched this a couple days ago. It is inspired by all the tattoo art I have been perusing lately. It is intended to be a shoulder piece, and maybe someone somewhere will want it on their body for life.
Actually my good buddy Karl has already expressed some interest in having it inked on his body, sight unseen. Who knows. he might like it.

Monday, August 28, 2006


As good as the fucking season of Deadwood has been, I do reckon that the season finale was quite the fuckin' letdown. With all the cocksuckers talking about the potential escalation of war in Deadwood, my expectations for violence were fuckin' higher than usual for this particular series' ending. I was indeed disappointed when the cocksucker Hearst left town to pursue other likely amoral ventures, leaving Swearingen and Bullock to do whatever it is that they fuckin' do when their ain't no cocksucker like Hearst to cause any fuckin' trouble.
At any fuckin' rate, I am looking forward to next season, and hopefully they'll tie up the loose fuckin' ends left by this season.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Oprah to the rescue

My GF loves Oprah. Then again, what woman doesn't love Oprah. She's had every disadvantage one could have: poor, molested, overweight and black. She's one woman who has bitch slapped every challenge ever thrown at her.

As the richest most powerful woman in the world, one would expect her to waste her fortune on stupid things like billion dollar beach homes, private jets, and charitable donations to poor people. But Oprah has better things to blow her wad on: Like vigilante-ism.
She's offered $100,000 to anyone who gives information leading to the capture of these child predators. How awesome is that?
So far she's helped get at least 5 despicable human beings off the streets.

Monday, August 21, 2006


We just finished watching the first season of Showtime's Weeds from Netflix.
At first, I wasn't engrossed. But by the beginning of the third episode I was addicted. Mary Louise Parker plays, Nancy, a widow who begins schlanging dope in order to feed the family. Slowly her small time operation selling schwag weed to the local stoners grows to a real business and by the final episode of the first season, she is on the verge of going big time.
Kevin Nealon of SnL pseudo-fame, steals the show as Doug, her slacker, stoner, corrupt CPA friend.
Weeds is slightly far-fetched, but pleasant, interesting and very funny. Worth 11 hours of your time. Definitely.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Meeting Jeff

I spoke to Jeff at Graven Image Tattoo in Mountain View yesterday regarding my bamboo tattoo concept. He seemed into it. What I like is the fact that his portfolio is full of very organic, colorful pieces. His specialty looks to be plant, flowers and animals and bio-mechanical designs. My concept of the flowing bamboo should be right up his alley. I've decided that instead of a true reproduction of my grandfather's painting, I could trust a skilled artist to make their interpretation of that art. As long as it maintains the spirit of my grandfather's piece.
When I presented him the art, his first comment was, "It'll have to be big."
I told him my intention to go big, either my whole back, of half my back.
We talked a bit more about the concept, the price and procedure. $50 deposit, $130 an hour. Appointments are made for sessions 4-6 weeks out.

Jeff seems to be a genuinely nice guy, looking to make good art and happy clientele. His portfolio proves he's more than competent. Possibly genius. So my enthusiasm to get this tattoo has only increased.

I'll sweat this out a bit more and let myself absorb this idea for a while before I commit. At this point I think Jeff might be the dude.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

WSOP Final Table

The final table of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker is approaching. Someone is going to win $12 MILLION for their efforts. This lucky bastard will have survived an onslaught of 8,000+ money hungry, lying, cheating degenerate gamblers to make it to this point. They'll also join the ranks of the greatest players in the world. As a matter of fact everyone who made it to the final table is officially a millionaire if they weren't one already.
My pick is for the lone poker pro left, Allen Cunningham, to win it. He's got a reputation as a gentle fellow, with ridiculous skillz to pay the billz. On the other hand it might be cool to see some schmuck with a student loan and overdue credit card bills to pay off win it.
As long as the winner doesn't FLUKE himself into the win, or bad beat his way to a championship. The winner of $12 mil. should deserve it.

Wow, $12 million. Twelve MILLION. M-I-L-L-I-O-N....
What would I do with $12 million?
First I'd have to go buy myself some new underwear.


Dare to dream.

Read Dr. Pauly's updates

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tattoo artist hunt

Choosing a tattoo artist has proven to be a more difficult task than I thought. Since I have the artwork already, I need someone who will be able to execute it well, able to capture the subtle differences in the values of leaves of the bamboo, and the motion of the swaying branches.
So far I've met with Martin at Lucky Stars, Kahlil at Tatto City, Doug at Staircase, Jill and Horitaka at State of Grace, Nate at True Art and Jeff at Graven.
Horiataka and Jill at State of Grace declined to do it, because it's a difficult tattoo and I think they are more interested in doing custom jobs rather than reproductions. Totally understandable.
In the future I'll definitely consider either of those two to ink one of my limbs. Something custom, something that they'd like to do... hopefully something they'd like to put in their portfolio.
So far quotes have ranged from $130 an hour to $150. The time to do my design has been estimated at 4-5 hours. So the entire thing will run $700 at the most, hopefully.
At any rate I've yet to decide on an artist. I think I'm leaning toward Kahlil or Doug. Both of them seem to handle subtle tonality changes very well. So in the coming months we'll see what happens with my decision making.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Get your very own DOLT T-shirt here

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


This past week has been the hottest ever. I think there were 5 consecutive 100+ degree days. Of course my house is AC-less. So sweating it out was mandatory.
To top it off, we celebrated Chizzl's birthday at his house,... where? In Livermore, Where it was a solid 118 degrees. That's right 118 degrees.
He did have one window AC unit which helped a bit, but we were still sweltering.
It was necessary for us to employ the ghetto method of staying cool. Ice Packs.
Ice packs on the neck, on the head, on the arms, and on the balls. It all helped.
Sunday, we went to the GF's dad's house where they finished installing a new pool this year. At 86 degrees, we literally remained submerged for 4 hours. I wondered why we did anything BUT stay in the pool. It was a life saver.
Finally, today it's only 90-ish. Which after last week feels positively cool.

I've also been considering getting the tattoo I've always wanted. It's really quite a commitment, so, in deciding what I want for a tattoo, the most important criteria is that it is top-notch. The design, the application thereof needs to be flawless. Which means I'll need to hire someone who is a master of their art. I've also decided against designing the tattoo myself. These guys are masters of their crafts and their tools. It takes specific skills to apply tattoo ink just right. So that it doesn't fade prematurely, be too dark, illegible or otherwise be jacked up.

So far I know I want my last name in chinese. That's given. I'm seriously entertaining the idea of having a complete shoulder piece done. Maybe a dragon, though dragons are pretty played out, but still very cool looking. Maybe chinese painting in the style of my grandfather. That'd be super cool, only I don't know how well it'd translate to tattoo.
Regardless, I'm pretty sure I want to wait, save up the proper amount of money, and have a real piece of art done on me.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Civ 3

For the life of me I can't remember what I did this weekend. It was that spectacular.
One thing I did was was I went out to buy a video game. I was thinking a Sim City-type game would be a great way to fill my solo-time. The online poker is still going, but my enthusiasm has started slipping. Mostly because the small bucks poker I've been playing is just so,... boring. Grinding out 3 hours just to make $10 isn't exactly great motivation to keep playing in the big tourneys.
So anyhow, I ended up buying Civilization III since I couldn't find SimC. I know that Civilization 4 is out, but this version came with all the expansions and only cost a grand total of $20. Not too bad considering I've already invested about 20 hours into it, and I just bought it Sunday. I'm telling you, this game is addictive. Once I'm on, I can't stop playing it. I had to drag myself away from it last night, when I could barely keep my eyes open. So I care not that there's a new version out. this game is fun enough. If Civilization 4 is any better than III, They should rename it CRACK, The Video Game.
I couldn't even imagine getting hooked on a Massive multi-player game like WarCraft. I'd not only be officially be a "DORK" but would soon be officially "BROKE" "SINGLE" and "FRIENDLESS."
Then again who needs a girlfriend, money and friends when you have dominated an entire continent, eliminated two nations, built a massive army and a growing Navy?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Obesity in children

Obesity in children
Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
I created this illustration for a story the newspaper is running on childhood obesity.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Joe_13 on films

I'm pretty much a movie junkie.
I've compiled a list of movies I've seen lately. The vast majority of them are recent Netflixed movies. Since I'm too lazy to write up a full review, I'll give you the abridged version of a review.

X-Men 3 - I went into this one with the lowest of expectations and came out entertained. Not quite as good as it should've been. But not horrible. Rent it.
The Proposition - Very slow, dusty and dirty. Can a movie be dusty and dirty? This one is. It's a slow portrait of Australia in Western times. Did I mention slow? It's also VERY brutal. Not for everyone. You'll like it if you like slow movies with flashes of sudden realistic violence.
Winter Soldier - Black and white interviews with soldiers who've experienced real brutality during the Vietnam war. Interesting first person accounts.
Munich - Previously reviewed. Recently re-watched. Excellent film.
End of the Spear - Religious propaganda I think. I was indifferent to this movie.
Underworld: Evolution - Action garbaaage. Skip this shit unless you love mindless action.
Green Street Hooligans - Slightly better than mediocre movie about how Frodo ruins his brother-in-law's hooligan family. Rentable.
16 Blocks - Mos Def with an unbearable retard lisp, and Bruce Willis as a drunken, dirty cop with a conscious. More obnoxious than entertaining. Wait for TV.
The Three Burials of Melquiadas Estrada - Tommy Lee Jones' personal project about the border issue. Average. Wait for it one TV.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Robert Downey Jr. pretending to be a young man. Mildly entertaining, but pretty far-fetched. rentable.
Final FantasyVII: Advent Children - Great animation. But mind-numbingly BOOOORING. Put in on in the background when you have a house party.
The Squid and the Whale - Wes Anderson's caracature of a Wes Anderson movie. Anoying, but funny at times. Rent.
Duma - Overhyped boy and his cheetah film. Beautifully shot but average at best. Watch it with a kid.
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance- Slow moving, violent portrait of a rich man's revenge and a deaf guy's mistake. Certain artsy fartsy film goers will enjoy this. Bruckheimer fans will hate it.
Sky High- Fun movie. Very cartoon-like. It would be a 10-year-old's dream. Watch it with a kid.
The Ringer - Horrible. Coudn't even finish watching it. Note to Knoxville: Keep the acting to actors.
Masters of Poker: Vol. 2: Phil Hellmuth's Million Dollar Secrets to Bluffing and Tells - This is the worst video ever made. Hands Down. Watching this will make you a WORSE poker player. Skip this.
The New World - Slow moving. Beautiful photography. Interesting setting. A bit too much Obsession-cologne-esque internal monologue/art scenery. Fascinating portrait of early America. Rentable
Capote - Brilliant performance, obviously. Great story. Definitely see this at some point.
Match Point - Twisted love story gone wrong. Scarlett Johanssen goes from incredibly desireable to downright annoying. Interesting movie though. Watchable. Not the usual Woody flick.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Colt .45

My dad has planned to sell his house here in San Jose to move to Shanghai full time. They're already spending 6 months out of the year there, so why no dump the $4000 a month of commitments they have here to live there at a fraction of the cost? It does suck to think that we'll officially have no "home base," at least until I buy a home somewhere (who knows when that'll be?)... and that the folks won't be here to take any future children off our hands if we want to go to the movies or something.
But on a lighter note, since he's going to be showing his home for sale, and eventually will need to liquidate all his property prior to his moving, he gave me one thing of his I really want: His Colt 45.

looks just like this

So now, I've acquired his lightly used, slightly scratched matte black Colt M1991A1 Series 80, .45 ACP semi-automatic, bad-ass-muthafuckin pistol.
It's pretty awesome. I took it out yesterday afternoon and put a box of shells through it. The boy has some kick to him. This gun ain't for no sissies, that's for sure. It shot well. I'm not totally happy with the fixed sights on it, but overall, the gun is accurate, and reliable. And it looks damn good. Except for a big nasty scratch my pops put on it.

But to all you burglars and home invaders,... watch yo' ass. And stay the fuck away from my house... lest you get a cap in yo' dumb-ass.

Monday, June 26, 2006

no WSOP for me

So while the World Series of Poker starts up this week, I've opted to stay around town and work at my job rather than wreak havoc amongst the top players in the world. I know they will all be appreciating my absence, since that automatically kicks everyone up a notch on the winner's board. They all must've sighed a collective sigh of relief when the news that I wasn't attending hit Vegas.
I've also decided that next year, I'll make a concerted effort to play in at least one event at the WSOP. That means dedicating a chuck of my bankroll to playing satellites. Initially I planned on doing it this year, but since my multi-table skillz are at an all time low, (I haven't cashed in any big tourneys in a long-long time, (actually haven't played in many either)), I'm a bit rusty at keeping my motivation, discipline, focus for any period of time.
My sit-n-go skillz are still good though. I've been taking a lot of bad beats lately, which is a good sign. It means I'm playing well and getting my money in with the best of it.
That's all I can do. Hopefully that bitch named "Luck" will be on my side again soon.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Earth hottest it's been in 2,000 years

We're all gonna die.

I remember having some political argument with a conservative republican a couple years back. Somehow we got onto the topic of global warming. I actually thought that the theory of global warming was pretty much fact. I had no idea that conservatives considered it bullshit theory. I understand WHY they'd want to believe that; because big energy NEEDS there to be low restrictions on air pollution so they can further gouge the regular people who depend on their overpriced product, and since the GOP is making sweet lovies with energy companies, it only makes sense to give energy companies a break. After all they barely squeak profits every year (that's sarcasm).
Well now there's proof, sort of, of global warming.

Now EVERYTHING you think has officially been proven wrong,... is it time to rethink the direction of the future of our once beautiful country?

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Most small time gamblers dream of playing the highest stakes and winning huge bucks. The truth is, big time gamblers go through massive swings in their bankrolls that would make normal people shit themselves. It's well known that often times pro poker players go broke, after having won millions of dollars. In Theo Tran's blog, Pittrounder, though he posts rarely, he goes from a millionaire poker player to being nearly broke. I can't wait to see if he makes it out of his funk.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I've finished 1st place in my last 4 out of 5 sit and go tournaments lately. In my home game last week I took a 2nd and a 1st. I took 1st two 6-handed online sit and go's and won a 9-handed sit and go. BUT, I lost in two consecutive heads-up matches against ScottO.
The heads-up losses were a real blow to my ego. I consider ScottO no-competition. Bottom line, though he has placed in the money in many of our recent tournaments, I feel I play a tougher game than he does. His play is very straight forward. His big hands are obvious. It's obvious when he is drawing. He tilts easily.
But one aspect of his game seems to get me every time. Once he starts having fun, that is, once he starts raising and calling without looking at his cards, he catches cards. So here I am with a relatively big hand heads-up, let's say K10. He raises in the dark. I call. I catch top pair on the flop, with two rags. He bets in the dark. I raise. He calls in the dark. Turn comes, he checks in the dark. I bet. He calls in the dark. River, blank. He checks in the dark. I bet. He looks at his cards and calls. I show top pair. He shows 7-5 off suit and makes two pair.
I can't tell you how many times that has happened.

The shitty thing is, he has beat me in the past, but when he has, he has drawn out on me with three outs or less. No joke. The only way he can beat me, is by sucking out.
All in all, I dominate his ass. I just wish the poker gods didn't favor his loud mouth and terrible attitude.
Payback is a bitch.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Tao of Pauly

Dr. Pauly is probably the most psuedo-famous of all the poker bloggers. Not famous like Wil Wheaton or Jen Tilly. His blog is consitently witty, articulate and fearlessly candid. Over the past week or so, he's honored us with an autobiographical blog posting in five parts which has had me glued to my screen each morning. It's a fascinating look into his interesting life and journeys.
I an envious of his ability to put thoughts into words and words into gracefully told narratives.

Check it out

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ferd-Jane and poker in Tahoe

Ferd's wedding in Tahoe was a much needed end-of-the-week treat. The Thursday event effectively stretched our weekend to 4 days. I totally left my coworkers behind and didn't feel one bit bad about it.
The drive up was gorgeous. The mountain tops above 7000 still had snow on it, but it was obvious that camping is definitely possible anywhere below that.
Let the backpacking season begin.
We arrived at the Cal Va Rado Motel, a dive motel recommended by the marrying couple. They said it's cheap, clean, accepts dogs and is conveniently located across the street from all the casinos. It meets my criteria. The motel is cheap, yes ... Clean? Not so much. But adequate.
The wedding went off without a hitch. With the gorgeous Lake for a backdrop, the happy couple exchanged vows surrounded by friends, family and co-workers. Local news personalities were in attendance including Raj Mathai, Lisa Kim and Diane Dwyer from KNTV11.
The reception was fun. The buffet style set up was sort of refreshing. It gave us a chance to eat as much as we wanted. And the food was damn good. It also made the event less stuffy and formal. The guests sort of let their hair down. The TV people were quite rowdy, hootin' and-a hollarin'. They made us frat boys look like choir boys. People didn't seem to be in the dancing mood though and after the obligatory couples dancing, the party seemed to slip away.
The after party was held at the former Caesar's Tahoe, now called Mont Bleu. We stuck around for a few hours playing some Blackjack and a bit of roulette. But my heart was set on playing some live poker. The only casino with any action was Harvey's. So I ditched the wedding party to go fishing at the poker room.
They were spreading $3-6 limit and $2-3 no-limit.
I opted for the safer $3-6 limit. Bought in for $80. Then proceeded to fold for about 45 minutes. Dude to my right: and overly aggressive young Filipino dude. He was raising live-blind every hour or so, bluffing at too many pots against really crappy players and probably a tough opponent when not getting cold-decked. To my left, a non-existant player slowly bleeding his stack. Next an older gentleman playing tight solid. Then the fish: a group on a bachelor party weekend. First the most experienced of them, playing tight, talking shit about how bad the other two were. Next, a dude who has never played poker before. He was slowing the game down every round, "What's the bet?" "Can I raise?" "What's the raise?" "Who raised?" This guys was as clueless as anyone I've ever played against. The guy after him, also had never played. But every decision he made took a lifetime. He'd mad dog every raiser and muck. Or he'd call to the river with King high. Bottom line, These guys were the fish. There's a famous saying,"If you don't know who the sucker at the table is, It's you." Well I knew I wasn't the sucker at this table. And despite my fatigue, I was determined to stay at this table until they left. These guys were +EV in a big way. Following the fish was another middle aged dude, playing weak-loose, very fishy. Then a young guy wearing sunglasses and playing tight. I probably needed to have a hand against him, but he'd be bluffable when out of position.
I figured as long as I played tight and only against the weak opponents I'd be guaranteed to win. My patience paid off. I got away from all the shit hands, and got action on all my huge hands. After about 3.5 hours of play, the fish got up to leave. I immediately called it a night as soon before my blind, up $103.
I wandered back to the motel and crashed for about 3 hours before the dehydration woke me up. We were back in San Jose at 4 p.m.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Gene Bieker RIP

Gene Bieker RIP
Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
Gene Bieker RIP

I just got a call from Janice informing me of the death of an old friend. Gene Bieker, a classmate at SJSU died of an apparent cardiac arrest while on a Europe vacation.
I pulled this pic of him off a myspace site of a band he was once part of.

He was a true artist.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Whitewater Memorial Day weekend

Whitewater Adventure on Cache Creek

After an unplanned detour through Sacremento, we finally made it to the camp site at Cache Creek for our overnight rafting trip. After cruising the campground parking lot looking for signs of Chizz, I finally opted to ask some random people in the parking lot, "Hey do you know Chad and Lyndsey?"
"Oh, yeah, they're right over here."
Miraculously, they just happened to have met our trip organizers earlier in the day, and directed us right to them; past the barn, a playground, over a hill, across a field to the back of the campsite's picnic area. Had we not asked for help, there's no way in hell we would've found them.
Quickly we pitched our $30 WalMart tent and got to drinking. But at this hour, there was no way I was going to be able to catch up with them. They'd been drinking since 2 pm. Soon after, everyone hit the sack. Including my friend JoeO.
It was a cold night. Fucking freezing. Even in our 15º mummy bags, we couldn't stay warm.
The next morning we got moving quick. The launch area was bustling with rafters and their gear. After a swig of Stoli, we loaded our gear onto the gear truck, and then ourselves on the buses. From there, we rumbled to the actual launch area. We endured a quick orientation on how to use a life-vest and how to paddle a boat, and we were off.
We quickly got the hang of navigating the boat, and soon we were maneuvering around rocks and through rapids with relative ease. A couple times our boat got caught on shallow rocks, but mostly we were able to navigate around most of the dangers.
"Mother" is the class 3.5 rapid we had to negotiate. Though for us novices, it did seem a bit intimidating, at that point, we were expertly weaving in and out of rapids, no problems whatsoever. Maybe it was overconfidence that did us in at the end. Or perhaps it was the 6-8 beers I drank while on the river, in lieu of the water I should have been drinking to stay hydrated.
The final bit of rapids seemed harmless. It was a gentle left turn followed by a sharp right turn which was flanked by a large bush on the left bank. It didn't look too menacing, but once we headed down the short rapid, making the sharp right turn became immediately impossible. I watched as our boat slid under the bush, and smacked my GF right off the front of the boat. Another instant and the bush swept me out of the boat too, and an instant later I was bobbing helplessly downstream.
I reminded myself to keep my toes in front of me as my ass cheeks painfully bounced on the shallow rocks beneath. We finally made it to shore, and luckily our friends retrieved out boat for us.
We shivered up the shore to retrieve our tent, cooler, etc, which had been lined up along the banks where we were going to be camping that night. In a few hours, the stretch of shoreline became a massive tent city. The ipod player emerged, as did the coolers of beer and booze.
The rest of the afternoon was a blur of cocktails, beers and volleyball. Sinewy steaks and bone-dry chicken breasts were on the communal menu. As were baked potatoes the size of my head, corn on the cob and pasta salad. The latter items were edible, the previous items, not-so-much.
We were informed that the day two's rafting route was to be a repeat of day one's, (due to road closures) so it seemed to me that opting out might be a good option. As I rubbed my aching butt cheeks, we decided that we'd make the drive home rather than freeze our asses off for another day.

Overall, I had a blast. Besides having a cold, and being cold, I had a terrific time on the river. Camping was pleasant too, as was the communal living aspect of the weekend. Whitewater Adventures runs a decent excursion, and for just over a hundred bucks, they provide quite a fun time.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

J5 live

With short notice and discounted tickets, we hit up the Jurassic 5 show last night at Santa Clara University's Leavey Center. Not that I need discounted tickets to see one of the best underground hip hop bands in the world, but it certainly helped with the decision making.
We started the evening by meeting up at Cluck U. Chicken and putting back a couple gallons of beer, which warmed us nicely. Had we known that the Leavey Center doesn't serve beer, we would have smuggled some in. But alas, we entered the arena empty handed, and sobering.
I was surprised to see the sparse crowd at the Leavey Center. It looks like the marketing team did a lousy job of promoting the show. In fact I hadn't heard word one about the show until a Santa Clara U. student told me about it. The Mercury News' Arts & Entertainment section didn't even list it on their calendar. I imagine many fans stayed home because they knew about the beer situation.

Dilated Peoples opened up for them with a slew of songs I couldn't recognize or identify. They didn't perform badly I suppose, but the audio in the arena just isn't perfect for hip hop.
Luke made a call to one of his buddies who was arriving late. He showed up with something nice to spike our gatorades with. Sobriety and concerts is like oil and water. They just don't mix that well. At the very least, sobriety should be at a minimum at any live music event, in my humble opinion.

When J5 took the stage, the difference in skillz is obvious. J5 can turn a party out. They rocked the stage and got the crowd jumping. Furthermore, these dudes can rap. UNLIKE some of the shit that on the radio, these MC's aren't just chanting, hooting and hollaring, repeating the same 'hooks' over and over again. Their lyrics can be profound, the delivery flawless, timing on-point. J5 impressed the shit out of me, to put it eloquently.

So despite the poor turnout, my relative sobriety and poor acoustics, J5 live was a fantastic mid week treat.

Friday, May 19, 2006

home game

After an extended losing streak at my home game (excluding one win a couple weeks ago) I won one last night. The first game was horrible, and I ended up getting blinded out due to being cold decked. But the second game was mine. I concentrated on playing aggressively and going with my reads. Early on I got bluffed out of a pot by AaronManiac, but redeemed myself when he tried an all-in bluff which I called. I got a tell off him and decided to make a risky call. It paid off. With the chip lead, and momentum, I busted JoeO with my pocket 7s vs AKo. That gave me a big chip advantage which I proceeded to use to dominate the rest of the field. In the end SamD and I went heads-u. I won outkicking his top pair for the win, redemption, and a rejuvenated self-confidence.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Poker bad

Last night I played 3 sit n go's and three times I lost crucial hands to horrendous bad beats. As painful as bad beats are, I reconcile with myself the fact that I played great. I made a couple HUGE bluff calls and some big steals. And the bad beats were TRUE bad beats, with my opponents having 4 or less outs to win. Of course the unlikely happened in three games in a row.

The bad beats were abound these past 10 days. I've been on a losing streak. A couple times my losses were due to horrible play, but mostly bad luck. Pretty much all of what I've gained over the last couple months have been decimated this past week or so.

My confidence is a bit shaken. My resolve has waned slightly. Playing great poker is all I can do though. If I keep playing my game: Stay aggressive, keep disciplined, make great reads, I will win.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Star Trek at Caffeine Guy

Caffeineguy linked to a couple StarTrek spots that you have to check out.
It had me laughing for a solid 3 hours. At least.

Check out these commercials for Star Trek on G4.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I bought my first deck of Copag plastic playing cards about a year ago and haven't played with anything but Copags at my home game since. Actually I gave away a deck. So I've been playing with this deck for at least 6 months.
If you've been playing any amount of cards using the cheap Bicycle playing cards, you'll know that these cards don't last very long. At most two games of poker is all they can take before they need to be thrown out.
Plastic playing cards last thousands of games. They are hard to mark, tear, or otherwise damage.
However if any cards do get damaged, KEM and COPAGs offer replacement cards.

Rochester Chess Center has the best prices for plastic cards... And probably chess stuff too, if that's what you're into.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


My GF and I stayed home an watched HOSTEL, produced by QT.
We're both fans of horror movies and this one seemed to be interesting, especially since it had QT's name attached to it.
Hostel is a film about a euro-backpacking adventure gone wrong. 3 guys head off to Euro-land (where the Euros come from) to indulge in the booze and women that reside in Euro-land. Some Euro-dude suggests they check out a hostel in Slovakia where hot Euro-chicks love dirty American backpackers and will sleep with them on-demand. Well that seems to be the case until one of the guys mysteriously disappears. This is the point where things go horrible.
The beginning of this movie is anything but horrifying. Actually from a male perspective, it's quite watchable. Mostly because the Euro-chicks have PERFECT Euro-breasts which are highlighted during the obligatory sex sequences. Strangely my GF thought that the first half of the movie was pure garbage, soft-porn. I didn't see anything wrong with the soft-porn aspect of it.
Hostel then suddenly turns ugly. When one of the backpackers wakes up in a very dirty room, with lots of second hand surgical tools lying around, it's obvious that he isn't in the Hostel anymore.

Insert horrific torture scenes here.

Hostel does not take the standard path to terror. It imagines a worse case scenario of a Euro-backpacking trip and runs with it.

The acting is quite good. Good photography and scenery is better than average. The story could be worse. But at the end I felt a little cheated. I loved the aspect of revenge which brought the film to a close. But if they had added a bit more personal element to the good and bad characters, I could have related more.
The movie has sex and violence. Perfect for the fellas, not so great for GFs. And take note that the torture scenes in this movie make the Reservoir Dog's ear scene look like Winnie the Pooh.

Why did the killers want to kill. What happens to the protagonist? What happens to the torture complex? Does it continue to operate?
Too many questions are left unanswered. Which is probably what the filmmakers intended to do.
For the sequel of course.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I just finished listening to TOOL's long awaited 5th album 10,000 Days.
Let me just preface this by saying that Tool is my favorite band and favorite live show. I also need to preface this by saying that each time they release a new album, it takes me two or three listens before my impression sets in. At this point, my feeling is that this is definitely TOOL through and through. Which means, this album is good, solid, dark, hard hitting. Also typical of Tool, it is punctuated with extended melancholic sounds-capes, gritty distorted guitar riffs, smooth, loud Maynard vocals and soul throbbing bass-lines. All very typical Tool
This album is typical Tool. Too typical.
Actually as a standard addition to the Tool library, this is essential listening. Is it better than Lateralus or any of Tool's other albums? I'll venture to say no.
Worth purchasing and supporting? Absolutely.
A refreshing change from crappy pop-rock and shit southern rap hooks? You fucking bet.

After a listening, I feel newly rejuvenated. My music ears are alive. My concert radar is on.

Monday, April 24, 2006

more live poker

A crucial error in judgement caused me to bust out of the tourney I played in Sunday. It was a $25 short stack tourney with unlimited rebuys, and a $25 add-on.
I made the mistake of going all in on a draw. I did this knowing I was beat.
I should know better than to do that in a tourney. In a cash-game, pushing all-in with a solid draw is more acceptable, but in a tournament, with all your chips at stake, it's really a bad play. Chalk it up as a donkey play. I've learned my lesson.
In the side tourney after the main game, I played a bit better and managed to get to the final three before chopping. So I made back some of the money I lost in the first game.

The alumni for my fraternity which was recently kicked off campus held a poker game to raise money for our bid to reanimate the house was Friday night. The ATO first ever poker tournament was a success. The prize pool was ridiculously small, considering we all dropped a bunch of money on rebuys and an add-on. But, some food was included and pretty much all the beer we could drink. So in that regard, we were all winners.
In the end I finished tied for 5th place. Although I feel I could've finished much higher if the blinds didn't get completely ludicrous. At one point the blinds jumped from $500-$1000 to $4000-$8000! After that any bet was essentially an all-in bet.

We all took home an ATO alumni shot glass, rejuvenated memories, and a thick heady buzz.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Poker lately

I've had one win, a couple bad beat eliminations and a couple second-place finishes in recent live tourneys. My play in these sit-n-go single table tourneys have been excellent, I must admit. I think I'm playing as good as I can right now. That's not to say the money has reflected my play unfortunately. Sometimes the cards just don't fall my way.
I'm resisting the temptation to tell a bunch of bad-beat stories right now. It's quite difficult. It can be stated that my eliminations from these tourneys were indeed ALL bad beats. All of my opponents had less than 5 outs when they drew out on me in the last five tourneys.
Honestly I don't feel a bit pissed off about them. A bit frustrated yes. But by no means am I Matusow pissed. Not remotely Otani pissed.
The last time someone bad beat Otani, he stomped around my house for a solid 2 hours fuming and name-calling. So he thoroughly deserved the new nickname I gave him when he drew out on me to win the latest tourney: Scott "Fluke-Ass, Dumb Luck" Otani.
That's as good-a poker nickname as he's gonna get playing the way he's been playing lately.

I will attribute some of my recent poker playing to Doyle Brunson's Super System 2's chapter on No-Limit play. He advocates an extremely aggressive style. He suggests playing strong draws extra aggressively and big hands cautiously. This style has it's risks, and will result in much bigger swings to your bankroll. It also tends to forces your opponents to take up a more defensive strategy because they'll have to adjust to your reraises. The system is similar to the style of play I already use, but reinforced some of my initial ideas about how to win.
I'll just say, I'll not be lending this book to ANY of my friends.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Rate yourself politically.

I rated as a LIBERAL.

No surprise there.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Bad Beat poker

10 players $30, no-limit freezeout:
My home game Friday night was the wildest game ever. Bad Beats galore. Almost every showdown ended in ridiculously improbably occurences. My KK got killed when Thumb's AQ turned trip Queens. Bootie's QQ caught on the river against ScottO's AA. The hooting and hollaring was at a maximum.
I feel I played a great game. Probably my best game. I had the Marinucci's on my left and right. Both guys are extremely aggressive and tend to throw my game off, but I was able to play well against them despite their hyper-agro style.
At the end the bad beats kept coming and The Bootie took down a fishy-win.
Game two went better for me. The bad beats continued while MMarinucci absolutely dominated the table. He unceremoniously dispatched every player at the table ending up with an incredible enormous stack of chips. I quickly double up heads-up against him and I was suddenly a contender. It came down to him and me, with Mike holding A5s and me going all-in with a pair of nines. He calls.
The flop comes down all blanks with two spades. The turn brought another spade and I was dead in second place.

I played as well as can be expected. I didn't tilt. I didn't donk. But in the end, LUCK was indeed a whore slut who's clearly not to be trusted.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Bluffin at Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu played in the $10 buy-in Negreanu Open last night and was seated at my table. I played one hand against Danny and played like a complete donkey.
I raise from middle position as the short stack and he called from the big blind. I know that A8o isn't a good hand, but I figured this would be my one chance to bluff a big name poker star. Flop comes down JKx. He checks, and dumbass me, I go all in, HOPING he didn't have a king. Alas he held KTo and instantly called. I failed to improve and finished 70th out of 120.
So much for trying to bluff one of the best players in the world.
In retrospect it was a stupid stupid play from a stupid stupid man.
I am hoping to play in next weeks tourney and hopefully I will have a chance to play him again.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Poker Brat

One of my ex-co-workers recently wrote an insightful article about the "poker brat" himself, Phil Hellmuth. Check it out in the Palo Alto Weekly.

Here's an eye-opening, but not-so-surprising excerpt from the article:
By the time he qualified to play in the World Series of Poker, which Hellmuth refers to as the "Holy Grail" of poker tournaments, he was 24 and had paid off all his student loans. Hellmuth's resolve to win was so strong he pledged celibacy.

"I hadn't had sex with a woman for like four years because I told myself, 'You're not going to do it. If you don't, you're going to win the 1989 World Series of Poker,'" he said. "Somehow I convinced myself if I could just wait ... I would win."

MmHm, Sure Phil, you PLEDGED celibacy for FOUR YEARS.... sure you did.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Weather Underground

Since my GF referred me to this site for my weather information needs, it's been in constant use. provides up to the minute weather analysis. So far it has been very accurate.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A History of Violence

A History of Violence

I finally got to see A History of Violence from Netflix last night, and I have to say, I loved it. The plot isn't complicated. This film is not pretentious. There's no twist. It isn't remotely intellectual. It's gritty, brutally violent and yet somehow maintains a sense of humor. The film is about family. About skeletons. About coming to terms with one's past and getting closure for our past deeds.
A History of Violence explores the violence which is within all of us. Even when we don't expect we can be capable of it. Human nature is in fact violent.
The movie did seem a bit short. It left me with questions. I suppose all good movies do, but somehow I felt it was incomplete. The villains were indeed villainous, but there is a lack of depth to their character development. I wanted to know more about who they were, what they did, and why they wanted Stall/Cusack dead.
All-in-all, I enjoyed the film immensely. I expect this film to be my all-time favorite Cronenberg films.

When all is said and done David Cronenberg has made a movie I would love to have made.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Fight Night

The fighting sports represent the most primal human competition. Since my first kung fu movie, through my first Tae Kwon Do lesson in 2nd grade, Kenpo lessons in sixth grade, watching my first Mike Tyson knockout, I have always loved fight sports. When The Ultimate Fighting Championship One appeared, It blew me away.
Mixed-martial arts represents fighting as a sport requiring the highest level of athleticism. Until recently California Athletic Commission had never legally sanctioned an MMA event. Last Friday night I went to the first one to be held in California. It also was the best attended MMA event ever in the nation. More than 18,000 people watched Cung Le fight in his first MMA event, defeating Brian Ebersol. Frank Shamrock beat down a Gracie legend Cesar Gracie in a 20 second knockout.
The crowd was pretty crazy. The HP Pavilion was packed. Every dude there looked like a fighter: Shaved head, thick neck. That would've been a bad night to go out looking for a fight.
Afterward, we got the VIP treatment at Studio 8, where the fighters were going to party. We crammed into their upstairs VIP section with a bunch of meat-heads and tried our best to mooch from the Red Bull and Ketel One at the booths. Soon the balcony was closed dude to meat-head overflow.
Sprinkle these drinks into my accout above: One double shot of Jågermeister, One pale ale, Three $8 Bud Lights, One single shot of Jågermeister, One Ketel One-Red Bull, and possibly another beer/cocktail?
In the end, fun was had by all.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I played in a three table $10 sit-n-go last night at
After playing pretty good poker and getting really lucky once, I won the damn thing.
$116 take home.
After that win, and and some positive results in this weekend's online games, I doubled my money at

Last weekend played in a $5 re-buy tourney, 200+ players, I finished 5th place and cashed $119.
I won a qualifying sit-n-go for a $100 buy-in tourney online. The winner got $12,000! With 450 players, paying out to 40th place, my odds weren't very good. I finished 202nd, $0.

Considering my buddies who've been playing online have all long since lost their initial deposits, I feel pretty good that I've only made one initial deposit, and otherwise only made withdrawals. Which means I've been a winning online player.
My bankroll took a couple dips last week due to live play losses. One huge losing session in Tahoe, and one losing session at Garden City. But otherwise I think my poker game is improving. I am gaining confidence, trying to minimize brain-farts, and generally trying to make better decisions at the table.
I will be gradually moving up in limits so I can properly compete at the casinos without putting my whole bankroll on the line each session.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Walk the Line

Netflixed Walk the Line starring Walkeen Phoenix, aka, Leaf.
I wonder what the reason behind changing his name was. I mean, Leaf is kind of a funky name, but it didn't take anything away from his performance in Parenthood, which he was excellent in. Even back then you could see some real talent and inevitable stardom in his future.
Despite looking nothing like Johnny Cash, I think it was a good performance. NOT an Oscar worthy performance, but good. Convincing.
Overall, the movie wasn't quite as good as Lou Diamond Phillip's portrayal of Ritchie Valens in La Bamba, one of the best biographical movies made or Oliver Stone's The Doors with Val Kilmer. But it held my interest. My overall enthusiasm for Walk the Line waned at the end, when the film abruptly ends.
Reese Witherspoon was good. I'm not entirely conviced that she deserved an Oscar or her performance, but what can you expect from the Academy?

This film is worth a rental not much more than that.

Friday, March 03, 2006


I recently purchased Massive Attack's Mezzanine (1998) for my GF who heard the song 'Teardrop' on the TV show House.
This album fills a huge hole in my Ipod lineup. I desperately needed some mellow electronica to round out the selection, and Mezzanine is perfect match.
This is my first voluntary exposure to Massive Attack's music. After buying the album, I realized I surely have heard their music in the past. It seems the entertainment industry LOVES Massive Attack. Their songs are featured on many films, television programs and commercials.
They've heavily influenced modern musicians from Madonna to Mos Def to Sinead O'Connor. I can understand why.
Mezzanine is haunting, infectious and moody. It's simultaneously electronic, reggae, hip-hop, blues, rock and roll.
Plus, I tripled my buy-in at a no-limit table on while listening to it, so it must be good.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006



I caught Jodie Foster's latest movie Flightplan from Netflix this past weekend and was quite disappointed.
The movie started out interesting enough. A woman walks onto a plane with her child. After a nap, she discovers her daughter has disappeared. Somehow nobody remembers seeing the kid at all, and suddenly she's being accused of being crazy. That her child was never on the manifest. That she was delusional the entire time.
The plot makes a drastic turn for the worst. It devolves into a ridiculous action plot complete with computerized 'Brucksplosions,' bullshit chase scene, idiotic conspiracy theory crap.

This movie sucked. Started out with potential and declined into typical Hollywood garbage.

This film is worthless and will ultimately be doomed to movie oblivion.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Black Widow

Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
I found this little bastard in my garage, waiting for an unsuspecting critter to wander into it's poisonous fangs.

I promptly killed it with one squirt of "Bore Scrubber" which is as good at cleaning shotgun bores as it is at killing poisonous spiders apparently.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Horizon blows

I spent the weekend in South Lake Tahoe for Rauser's birthday weekend.
They rented an especially luxurious cabin. Hot tub, pool table, great kitchen, plasma, sound system, two decks. Very nice.
Then we headed out to the Horizon Casino to do a little gambling. Of course I headed straight for the poker room. Or 'poker corner' I should say. It was the most pathetic poker room I've seen yet. There are probably 6 tables. When I arrived they were only spreading 2-6 spread limit. A tourney was about to start, but the spread limit game looked mighty juicy, so I decided to stay there and play a while.
It was all downhill from there. * I spent the first few hours absolutely card dead. And I mean DEAD-DEAD. 9-2o, 10-2o, J-2o,... and every other combo of X-2o you can imagine. Then I get QQ, yes, a hand! I raise $6 from late position and get two callers. Flop comes A-6-2. First position bets out $6. I lay it down.

*Repeat for the next 3 hours.

Around 2am Chad came by and sat down at the table. What do you know I finally catch a hand. KK. Chad calls my pre-flop raise. Flop comes all small cards I bet, he calls. And what do you know, an Ace falls on the turn.
"That Ace is going to hurt you." Chad says makes a bet.
"I know it will, but screw you." I knew he had an ace. I knew it. But after 5 1/2 hours of getting kicked in the junk, I just couldn't let go of the Kings. River was a blank and sure enough he flips over A-J.
Last hand of the night. I get A-Q suited. I raise. One caller. Flop comes down A-x-x, I bet. One caller. Turn comes down an Ace. I make trip aces. I bet my last $3 all-in. He calls instantly and turns up K8 of hearts. The river comes down heart, giving him the nut flush. I leave PISSED, and $270 poorer.

It felt miserable logging in such a huge loss. I rarely play cash games, and when I do I don't typically play for those limits. This big loss totally destroyed my hourly rate. I'm going to have to really work to get my bankroll back to par.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

4th place

Played in a $10 buy-in online Negreanu Open tourney last night at FCP. 126 players, no-limit, no-rebuys.
I made a huge all-in bluff on the first hand.
I held a busted straight draw. There was a good chunk of chips in the pot. He'd been calling my semi-bluffs and by the river I held only queen high. Since there was a straight and flush draw on the board, I decided to bluff at it. I'd put him on top pair or two pair. Since it was only the first hand of the game, I doubted he could call the rest of his chips even if he was 99% positive I didn't have it. I went ahead and pushed all-in. After a long time in the tank, he folded.
The rest of the tourney I was mostly card dead. Stole, stole, stole for a while and managed to make it to the final table. my name's at the bottom of the leader board.
At the end I expected to get at least to the final two, but this hand came up: With about average in chips. I held AA in the big blind. Made a good size raise. One caller. Flop comes J-10-blank. I bet. He raises. I go all-in. He calls. He flips over J-10 to make two pair. My hand does not improve and I am eliminated in 4th place. My take: $113.

Monday, February 06, 2006

25 straight

First 25 straight
Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
SuperBowl weekend.
Since we didn't have any plans to party on SuperBowl Sunday, I set aside a few hours to shoot a few rounds of trap at Metcalf.
My first round, I shot terribly. I hit only 15 out of 25 from the 16 yard line. Dismal.
My second round I joined a squad shooting from the 20 yard line. Despite the increased distance, I hit 20 of 25. Improvement.
Round three, I returned to the 16 yard line. A fella on my right was nailing every shot. I hadn't missed either and by my 16th shot, I was getting nervous. A perfect score was within my grasp. I struggled eliminating the visualization of me missing my next shot. With a deep breath, concentration on just shooting the clay. No pressure, no pressure, this next clays was just like the previous ones...
I tried to calm down despite the thumping of my heart. I breathed deeper, opened my eyes wider, called "Pull!" and smoked the next target.
I made it to the last station. No dropped birds yet. I almost blew it on the 22nd clay, but managed to chip a chunk off of it. When I called for the last bird, I knew I was going to hit it. As soon as I pulled the trigger I knew I nailed it.
The guy next to me hit 25 too, but obviously he wasn't sweating it at all.
"You hit 25 too?" I asked.
"Yeah, but I've hit 25 many times," he said.
"That was my first." I said.
Another guy chimed in. "You'll have to lose that hat."
"What do you mean?"
"When you hit your first 25 straight, it's tradition that we get to shoot your hat," he informed.
They grabbed my hat, put 3 clays in it, lined all of us shooters up in a row, and tossed it high in the air, where between 12-15 of us shooters took a shot at it.
I think the 3rd or 4th shot nailed it and my hat was smoked.
So it was official.

I got some congratulations and gained some self-confidence. I also gained some pride in knowing that my $490 used Remington 1100 synthetic out-shot a bunch of people on the line with $3000-$5000 guns.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Stroker Ace

Stroker Ace
Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
Here's a photo taken by Daniel Kokin aka Stroker Ace.

This image represents the way he sees his environment. They're moody, lonely images. Stroker's street photography captures the spirit of the city better than the glorified pictures of Lombard St., The Golden Gate, and Koit Tower ever could.

His website is a study in contrasts between street folk and yuppie city culture whcih defines San Francisco.

See more of his photos at

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
Here's a picture of a coyote on a trail at Foothills Park last month. It was pretty much oblivious of us as we drove throught the park.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Salac's tourney

I played in a friend's poker tourney last weekend. The Salac's 2nd annual poker tourney was quite a production for a home game. 32 players battled for a $1280 prize-pool. Four tables were to play down to two players, at that point the final eight would all cash.
Starting with 10,000 in chips I caught pocket rockets on the first hand and nearly doubled up. From there I caught a run of shitty cards until I called two pair into a straight and was back to even. A little while later I defaulted into the final table when the two chip leaders went at it leaving Raul and I standing.
I was severely disadvantaged at the final table with 2nd to last in chips. Last place in chips got knocked out quickly, and though I was able to double up, I was crippled on a bluff, and was eliminated when my pre-flop all-in with A9h was crushed by a straight on the turn. In the end I ended cashing at least, so I can't complain. Plus I had an excellent time, and that's all that really matters.... isn't it?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Gold digger

Last week I saw something very unusual.

A man, in his mid- late sixties, driving along in his late model Acura,... picking his nose.
That in itself isn't too unusual. I recognize that sometimes one's nose needs picking. On occasion a very annoying little nugget gets up there and it needs to be removed. It's much like getting a stone stuck in your shoe. It's just got to go.

Then there's the problem of what to do with it once it's picked. You can flick it into oblivion. You can wipe it away. Or you can do what this dude did ...

You can eat it.

That's right I saw him eat it. He picked his nose with his index finger. Then he inserted the offending digit into his mouth.
And just to insure that this wasn't a fluke, or a figment of my imagination, he then inserted his pinky into his nose, dug a bit... and then put his pinky into his mouth where,... he ate it.

What in the world would make this guy do such a thing? Does he eat them regularly? Are they tasty? Was he just hungry? Did he store food up there? Maybe a chunk of Snickers Bar he'd been saving? Was he insane?

Seeing this happen in real-life created more questions than it answered.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


I went to Metcalf today to shoot a few rounds of trap.
Two other guys were just getting warmed up to shoot too. One guy, Ron?, a middle aged white guy had the same gun as me (a Remington 1100). Another guy, Keith, held a single barrel Ljutic trap gun. Ron tells me Keith's Ljutic is a $10,000 shotgun! Holy shit. Who's got $10,000 to spend on a shotgun?
I ended up shooting 6 rounds of trap scoring: 18, 19, 21, 22, 17, 18. (out of 25) from the 16 yard line.
Not horrible. I could definitely improve.
But the important point is that I had a blast.
It is turning out to be pretty expensive though. After ammo and the range fee, it comes close to being $10 a round. And then there's cleaning supplies and gun maintenance.
Then all the OTHER guns I'll need for my collection.

Ok. Time to go get a lotto ticket.


Last night, Poker tourney, 11 handed, 2 shorthanded tables. JoeO's buddy's pad. $20 buy-in.
It was a sloppy set up: two rickety table tops, paper cards, miss matched chips.
I played super-tight early on, and finally started hitting cards at the table merge.
SamD hit his Ace on the flop versus my cowboys, to double up, crippling me. Somehow I managed to stay alive to the final 3 where I was basically blinded out. SamD dominated the rest of the game to win it winning $120. I took home $40 for my efforts.
It's a bitter pill, Sam winning it. The other day we played heads-up online and he ended up beating me two games in a row, despite the fact that I was dominating him the entire match. A couple lucky coin flips allowed him to defeat me in the end.
I realize there is a huge hole in my game if I can completely dominate someone, and end up still losing.
"You gotta think Joe, maybe you're being too aggressive," Sam says.
FU you bastard. FU.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Not much

There hasn't been much interesting going on here lately.
I did watch several movies. None of them very noteworthy.
Especially NOT noteworthy is David Duchovny's House of D, which sucked horribly. I recommend you stay away from this "coming-of-age" story gone bad.

Another less than stellar movie which arrived via is Primer, a very independant movie about a couple guys who discover a way to travel through time. Their voyages gradually complicate things to the point that everything pretty much falls apart. The plot becomes too complicated to follow, the story essentially disintegrates.
Though a valiant effort, the filmmakers were simply over their heads with the material.

Alexander. Two words: "Skip it"
Two more words "Sucks balls"
Oliver Stone fucked up royally with this movie. His reputation may never recover.

Red Eye
Wes Craven's latest is essentially a mindless chase movie. There is pretty much no point to this film. The suspense isn't that suspenseful, the thrills are ho-hum. The plot, non-existent.
However there is one redeeming factor: Rachel McAdams. She looked damn good in this movie.
So if you must see it. At least she's worth looking at.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Coyote Clays

Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
We sent to Coyote Valley Sporting Clays last weekend. Bill thoroughly kicked my ass on the sporting course and trap. But, I'm going back to practice this weekend, so vengeance can be mine.

Tha gun looks good on me don't it?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

March of the Penguins

March of the Penguins

Since this movie has been on the "wait list" on Netflix for a couple weeks. We decided to watch it on On Demand.

I have to say it was disappointing. There was quite a lot of hype with this one, so I expect that effected my opinion somewhat. And perhaps being an avid documentary watcher also had influence. I have high expectations.
March of the Penguins was overrated. The storytelling was average, mundane and not extraordinary. The photographer is obviously amazingly rugged for enduring the extreme conditions. His shots were also all beautifully composed. However the film as a whole lacked intensity. At no point in the movie did I NOT want to take a nap.

Save this movie for a lazy evening when you want to catch some Z's.