Bring your own fork

November 30, 2005 - Wednesday

 The View From Longmont

I’m back in my old stomping grounds: Longmont, Colorado, just outside of Berthoud and Loveland, where I lived during 8th grade. I’ve lived a lot of places around the US and Colorado certainly wasn’t one of the longer ones, but this area has always been where I’m “from” in my heart. It’s nice to be back.

Here’s the view from Room 204 of the Longmont, CO Hampton Inn. It had just started snowing when I shot this picture and the snow was gone within an hour.

And here’s how the room looked before I trashed the joint:


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November 20, 2005 - Sunday

 SpongeBob Has My Back

Part of my poker geekery is my ongoing quest for the perfect card protector. A card protector is something you put on top of your cards as they’re sitting on the table so the dealer doesn’t mistakenly scoop them up and fold your hand for you. Different people use different things — I’ve seen people use poker chips, little ceramic frogs, medallions, etc… Everyone has their own lucky thing. And I’ve been searching for mine. And I think I’ve finally found it. Meet SpongeBob SquarePants:

My Protector

I took SpongeBob to the Commerce tonight, where together we won more than $500. Oh yeah.

The best hand of the night would have to be the last hand of the night. I have AK offsuit and am in middle position. The guy in front of me raises it preflop to $40. I re-raise it to $80 and he calls.

The flop comes 9-9-Q. The guy bets $50, I raise it to $100, he calls.

The turn is an Ace, giving me two pair. He bets $50 again, I raise all-in with something like $150. I now have more than $350 in the pot. He calls. Holy shit. I figure he must have AA and hope that I’m wrong.

We turn up our cards and I’m stunned to see that he only has 8-8. The player to his right, who folded long ago, says “I folded pocket eights!” and my opponent starts pounding the table and cursing. With all the eights out, I’m a lock to win the hand and he’s drawing dead. I don’t even remember what the river was, and it didn’t matter anyway.

$750+ pot, push it right this way, dealer. Cha-motherfucking-ching, baby!

SpongeBob gets to play poker with me every time now.


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November 19, 2005 - Saturday

 There’s A Limit To No-Limit

Poker again tonight. After spending the early evening falling asleep on the couch in front of the TV, I decided at 10:30 that the sensible thing to do was to go play poker at the Commerce. And so I did.

I started out at the $100 No-Limit table where, in short order, I had my ass handed to me. After maybe 30 minutes in, I was down $200. I couldn’t catch a hand to save my life, and when I did catch one the other guy would out-draw me. It was fugly. The hand where I flopped two pair and raised it all the way down only to see the other guy make a flush on the river with his absolute garbage starting hand, well, that was the last straw. I called it a night after that and headed for the door.

But on the way to the door I passed an ATM machine. A sign, obviously. So I took out some more cash and sat down at the 4-8 Hold-em table. Go big or go home, as Beth would say, while cringing that I was opting for big after starting for home.

But not to worry, 4-8 was good to me. I won back the $200 I’d lost plus another $100 by the time I left, so I count that as a good night. Because let’s face it, any night when you stagger to the cashier holding four racks of chips to cash out is a good night, especially if you only bought in for one of them.

Best hand of the night is hard to pin down. Was it the one where I had AA vs KK and he kept reraising me on every round? Or was it when I bluffed the guy with top pair out of the pot on the river with just an $8 re-raise?

No, I think it was the hand where I played 5-7 offsuit just for the hell of it. The flop came 4-8-Q and I went ahead and called a raise along with two other players. Then a 6 came on the turn, giving me a stealth straight, and one guy raised and another guy called and I re-raised and the first guy called and then the second guy re-raised me and then called when I capped it! And on the river we played the raise / re-raise game until he turned over trip Queens and was absolutely stunned by my straight. There was a buttload of money in that pot when the dealer pushed it my way.

Suh, and also weet. I love poker sometimes. Maybe I need to get back to playing Limit more.


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November 17, 2005 - Thursday

 I Told You S… Oh, Never Mind

Something else I wanted to mention and forgot in the last entry: politics. I pulled way back on the politics in here because it was just too tiresome. The same stupid arguments with the same stupid people holding the same stupid positions making the same stupid points with the same stupid insults… And that’s just what they thought about me. I got bored with it because, really, what’s the point? Nobody ever changes anyone’s mind in a political argument; it’s all about scoring points for your side. Why bother? So I laid off it.

Ah, but the recent events on the political landscape… Plummeting opinion ratings, indictments, investigations, truth finally coming to light, etc… You’d think I’d be excited. But no, I’m just tired. The rest of the country is finally waking up to what I was saying six years ago. I’ve been here all along, so it’s not news to me.

The really sad part is that being able to say “I told you so” doesn’t make it worth it. At all.


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November 16, 2005 - Wednesday

 Flameout

It’s been awhile since I posted a real entry here, hasn’t it? And y’know what? I’m okay with that. Usually I start feeling guilty when I haven’t posted for awhile, I start feeling pressure to write something, to put up an entry. And I guess I am this time too, only this time it’s just to post about how I’m not posting.

But there may still be a few of you checking in to see if I talked about you post-Journalcon. So I’ll wrap that up like this: I met a lot of people that I liked, was exposed to a lot of journals I hadn’t read, I got to see people I haven’t seen in a long time, and I really don’t have anything bad to say about anyone. Yeah, even I’m disappointed at that. And I’m sorry to damn anyone else by omission, but for me the high point of the whole thing was meeting Xeney-Beth. I think she rocks. So there’s your J-con wrap-up.

As for the blog… Well, hmm… I’ll keep it going, certainly, but for right now I’m just not feeling the love for it. I’ll keep posting the View From Here series because I think it’s fun, but the writing of clever entries (or the non-clever ones that try too hard — or not hard enough) just isn’t there for me right now. And I’m okay with that. I’ll post ’em when they hit me, but I’m not going to worry about it when they don’t.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not retiring the Lunchroom. I’m just not thinking about it as much lately. Most of my creative Internets-type energy lately is going into my No Soap Radio podcast. That’s where you should go for your Chuck-fix. And as an added bonus, you’ll get a Beth-fix there, too.

And maybe that’s why the Lunchroom is taking a backseat to No Soap: because I’m doing it with Beth. As much as I love playing with new gadgetry and geeking out over new Internets technologies and listening to the sound of my own voice, I think it’s the talking with Beth that I enjoy most about doing the podcast. After ten years of marriage, we’ve gotten very comfortable with each other, to the point where we maybe take each other for granted a little, maybe spend time together by proximity but not necessarily by contact. But doing the podcast… We sit down and we talk. We spend time with each other. We make each other laugh. We’re together. I really enjoy that. It’s an unexpected bonus, but it makes doing the podcast far more fun and rewarding than the geekery of it all that I had in mind when I started.

I’m having fun talking with my wife. Who knew?

So come on over to No Soap Radio and check out this whole podcasting thing. Stick some Beth or Chuck in your ear and enjoy.


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November 8, 2005 - Tuesday

 The View From Chicago

Guess who missed another flight home? So here I sit in a hotel in Chicago, on the stand-by list for a 6:20 a.m. flight tomorrow morning. It’s not like I’m new to this traveling thing. So what is it with me and missing my flights back home lately?

This time around I knew how to get to the airport and left in plenty of time (I thought) to get there, but Chicago traffic got in the way. Mapquest says the drive from Milwaukee to Chicago Midway airport should have taken 2 hours and 13 minutes, but Mapquest obviously wasn’t listening to the traffic report. For the last 35 miles, I was going between 3 and 10 miles per hour. I finally got to the airport four hours after I left Milwaukee — and 1 hour after my flight had left without me.

So here I am in room 114 of the Four Points Sheraton at Chicago Midway Airport, right next to the soda, snack and ice machines, which would be nice if they weren’t so fucking loud and the walls so thin. But at least I’ve got a view of the parking lot!

So here it is, the View From Chicago:

…and let’s not forget the Room in Here:

Room 114


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November 7, 2005 - Monday

 The View From Milwaukee

Holy smokes, I wrapped up work early enough to upload a View From Here picture while it’s still light out. So here ya go, the View From Milwaukee. Pretty good, doncha think?

The View from Milwaukee

And, of course, the Room In Here. Ladles and gentiemen, room 426 of the Milwaukee Amerisuites hotel.

room_milwaukee.jpg


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November 6, 2005 - Sunday

 Shibby!

I’m posting this from the Denver airport during a layover on my way to Chicago. I love the Denver airport because it has the fabulous Shibby internet kiosks, and posting entries from these things has become one of my traveling traditions. I took a picture of this Shibby before I began this entry so you too can marvel at the magnificence of the Shibby.

And now… I’m off to Gate A38 to catch Frontier flight 532. See ya…

Shibbyriffic!


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November 3, 2005 - Thursday

 The View From San Diego. Again.

Back in San Diego again. I’ve managed to live in California for 25+ years and only come to San Diego maybe four times, and here I am coming twice in a month. Go figure. I got in last night and I’m outta here tomorrow, but in the meantime here’s the requisite View From Here picture — and what a view it is!

Sorry, kids, but no Room From Here this time. The room is too small for a decent picture and I’m too tired to stitch one together for you. I’m doing you a favor, really. I mean, let’s face it, you’re living vicariously through me with this pictures, right? So by not giving you the Room From Here, you don’t have to suffer through it too. Damn, I am such a giver.

Next up: Milwaukee on Monday. Woo.


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