Thursday, August 30, 2007

Motivational Posters

Stumbled Upon a "Motivational Poster" Maker.

Will share some of the fun I've had with it.
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Monday, August 27, 2007

Population of Suburbia (+2)

I am pretty sure this is another milestone of some sort. Another pebble on the path of "living the dream"?

It just feels so white bread and stereotypical to me and I am not sure why. I bought a piece of lawn care equipment this weekend. Big deal. Why does part of me feel like a sell out?

Perhaps it is because this just so fits into my own image of "Suburbia" and all the negative connotation that concept carries.

I can just picture some jackhole riding around on his golf course looking front lawn and thinking how great his 2.3 kids, white picket fence life is going. I just don't see that as me, besides, white picket fence was too expensive and we went with the Invisible Fence.

All kidding aside, I am excited about finally owning a riding lawn mower even with my hang ups about the yellow and green branding. Stat wise, I paid $50 more for a mower that has a 2 inch bigger turning radius, a 4 inch smaller cutting deck, and a .4 gallon smaller tank. Maybe that is why I am troubled by this purchase. There is no doubt that I need a riding mower to cut the acre we now own. There is not doubt that I calculated the break even point. (without accounting for my time.. I make too much an hour in my mind for it EVER to be cost effective for me to spend time mowing the lawn) If I assume 26 weeks of paying a lawn service per year (April through September) my break even point is 52 weeks. Add in fuel and maintenance and I am at about 57 weeks, or two years and one month of mowing until it is cheaper to own vs. "rent". I did not account for the extra time out of my life it will take nor did I factor in the sense of a job well done and the fun of riding around on stuff. Lets call that a wash.

You may be asking why I spent more for the mower that did pound for pound did less than the Deere. Easy answer: SteelerSteph. She did not like the color of the Husqvarna. It was orange. The Cleveland Browns are orange and brown. Therefore is would be a loser (like the Browns). It was a no-brainer for her. She also liked the idea of a John Deere and said that she wanted to sing "the John Deere song" while I was out mowing. I don't know that particular tune but I can picture her singing it with relish as she contentedly watches me through the window - riding around on my not quite golf course looking front lawn and thinking how great my almost 1 kid, Invisible Fence life is going.

Coming Soon: I got it home, backed it off the $19.99 for 75 minute Lowe's rental truck, and attempted to start it after splashing a gallon of fuel into the tank. Nothing. Not even a click or an attempt to start. I almost read the manual, but decided to attach it to the trickle charger and let the battery charge for a night. Curious what tonight will hold. The drama: To crack the owners manual or not?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What I would have posted about

Since I am so frustrated with Comcast and their crap service and customer service I did not post about the live play I had Friday night. It was a good time. I played at DNasty's brother's house in a 12 person 6 max NL Hold'em tournament. It was fun to play 6 max as I got to be a little more aggressive. For some reason, the tournament management software calculated that 4 spots should pay and the difference between 4th and 3rd was $10. I busted out third after (in hindsight) I tried to bluff the calling station that had managed to chip up at the right time. He went on to win. I liked my play (my story made sense) but the story is not worth anything when the other player can't read. That was my mistake. I represented a K and he was just playing his own hand. I left with $25 more than I bought in with and felt good about my overall play. Laid down some decent hands when I figured I was behind and made some good moves with what was probably not the best hand. Saw AA and KK once the whole night and a few middle pairs.

Lastly, I think I might have to change the blog name to include babies since they are taking over my life before they really take over my life. The wife and I went on a bit of a baby shopping spree this weekend. When the dust settled, we are now the proud owners of a "Travel System"... a fancy name for a stroller that also has a car seat for an infant, a crib, and a pack and play. Assembling the crib was not too bad and the stroller is fun to push around. Funny... women spend the first 9 months carrying the baby around and then the guys seem to take over. I can't explain why, but I am looking forward to pushing a stroller around. I just enjoy it.

Parting image: Steely McBeam violating Comcast with that dumb foam beam he carries around. Sideways.

Comcast Suxors

It has been nothing but issues since I was forced to start using their high speed service. I have no choice as they are the only high speed service available in the new house. (outside of overpriced and slower satellite broadband)

I am posting this while "borrowing" a neighbor's unsecured wireless network. God bless the non technical using technical products.

To put this into perspective, I hate Comcast 13x as much as I hate Steely McBeam. Yeah, I know that is a lot but I have never had problems with other broadband ISPs like I have had with my short and torturous tenure with Comcast. Aaaargh. I want to scream.

Fack Comcast in the icehole. (gotta keep this safe for work)

Friday, August 17, 2007

For the Record

I just caught wind that the masses were waiting for me to weigh in on the new Official Steelers Mascot, Steely McBeam.

Officially, all I can say is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

WTF was the Steelers marketing team thinking?

1. The resemblance to ex Steelers Coach Bill Cowher is laughable. I am sure that new head coach Mike Tomlin really appreciates having the "Ghost of Coached Super Bowls Past" frolicking and performing silly antics on the sideline of each game under his new tenure.
2. The Steelers were a pretty popular team last time I checked. They have a nationwide network of fans, do they really need a mascot?
3. How about some cheerleaders?
4. Apparently they did not learn from previous mistakes. The Steelers had a mascot in the 80's that thankfully was retired the same year Dr. Suess ate green eggs and ham in the afterlife. Steeler Stevie, Michael Landon, and Theodore Geisel... RIP.

I am excited for the new season and the new head coach. I will be happy with a playoff appearance and expect a much better performance from Roethlisberger this year. It would be hard to be worse than last year when he was still plagued by after affects of his helmet-less Super Dave Osborne impression into that lady's windshield.... and the rumors of Cowher's "retirement", etc, etc.

Side Note: My name was memorialized for eternity this morning on the P&M Technology Team Fantasy Football trophy this morning. The ceremony was lightly attended but still special. In my acceptance speech (which I delivered in my myself) I mentioned that I was glad that my team name was not as offensive as it usually is. DonkeyPunch, Drop The Chalupa, and Team Shocker are not next to my name plate on the trophy. Last year I named my team after the sweetheart deal that I got on the Ravens defense. Snatched from the grasp of the league manager because he only had $1 left to bid on a D, I won the championship last year with "2 Dollar Defense" in large part because of my 2 buck D. They scored a shit ton of touchdowns and really were the difference in several of my games. Perhaps the Steelers D... and the silly new mascot will be my $2 difference this year.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Baby Rain

Perhaps this is the same syndrome as what I call "New Car Syndrome". You might know the phenomenon by another moniker but it works the same: You purchase, or are close to purchasing a new car, and then you notice them everywhere. They were probably there all along, but now your awareness has been expanded to recognize them and they just seem to be all over the place. A maroon one, one with a sunroof... "that one has aftermarket rims".... you know what I am talking about.

Apparently, my awareness now registers babies and new fathers because they are all around me at work. A teammate of mine became a first time father yesterday and another is attached to his phone as his wife was due Sunday and if she does not go into labor by next Monday they will induce. Another person on our tech team is pregnant with twins and is a month further along than my wife. It is raining babies here.

Before I get rained on, I guess I should get as much poker in as I can. I am excited to get the part of my brain that regulates poker some exercise. I know that I will be rusty, but I am still anticipating the challenge of some live poker this Friday. The tournament structure will a 6 max so I am expecting some increased aggressiveness. The group of guys are pretty skilled and I would put myself in the middle of the pack skill wise. I would be pretty impressed with myself if I took it down. It is Friday night at 8 and will be a long drive home so no drinking. That should help.

A very large project that went horribly awry at work has finally completed and my life will be returning to normal. This is a good thing as teh job has been teh suck for the past month. I am very ready to move on. (Note to any work friend readers.... ready to move onto other things, not other companies!)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I wonder...

.....if there are any similarities between storing and restarting a blog and storing and restarting a motorcycle?

I have not put any Stabil into this blog nor have I hooked up the battery to a tender. I wonder if it will still fire up for me on the first try?

Let's give it a test, start with something strong.

"I just bought an awesome house in Michigan"


How about this....

"I am going to be a father this January!"

Ahh, there it goes!

It is scary, but true. After several years of effort and with the assistance of modern medicine, SteelerSteph is 16 weeks pregnant. We don't know the gender yet, but plan to find out when she goes in for her ultrasound that is given between 18-20 weeks. I am a little apprehensive about this milestone of the pregnancy as this is the ultrasound where they really look at the organ development and other progress indicators on the baby. A friend at work recently had to go through the unthinkable anguish of burying his newborn that was diagnosed with trisomy-18 during the milestone ultrasound Steph and I are scheduling.

That was a tough one. They decided to carry the baby to term and she was "born to heaven" last month. I have never been to a funeral where the casket only required one pallbearer and hope to not repeat that experience again. There is something that goes completely against the grain of human nature when you bury a baby. The image of the toy sized white casket will be in my brain for a good while to come. I can't even attempt to imagine the sorrow and questioning that my friend and his wife are going through. Scary.

I hope to be posting with some regularity again. Life has been an absolute whirlwind and I have not played much/any poker since the move to Michigan. Some live events (neighborhood game, DNasty tournament) but nothing online. Since the demise of Neteller, I have not tried to load any more money online. I cleared out the online bankroll in December and saved $300 of it as a nest egg for the bankroll. It has hovered around there from the limited live action I have seen since then. The motorcycle riding has been curbed to riding to and from work and that is not very exciting or any sort of impetus to blog. Basically, I lost my original mojo for this blog and I am looking for some new things to inspire me. Hopefully I will be able to work some poker back into here too.

Take care out there. Very bummed that I missed Okie Vegas 2 but really enjoyed the recaps. If I can get some bucks on FT, I hope to make a Mookie in the near future.

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