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Below are the 13 most recent journal entries recorded in tiltcity's LiveJournal:

Saturday, June 5th, 2010
4:56 pm
where were you?
When people ask, "Where were you when you heard Michael Jackson had died?" I can tell them that it was at the PLO/8 tournament of last year's WSOP. I overheard someone say, "Did you hear Michael Jackson had died" and someone said "no, I thought it was Farrah Fawcett."

Later, I was driving home with Terrence Chan when Michael Jackson came on over the radio. I mentioned what I had heard, and he started flipping through radio stations. When we found a third station that was playing a Michael Jackson song, Bayes kicked in and we realized he probably had just died.

Yesterday, I was playing the $1500 LHE event at the WSOP when I saw some footage of John Wooden on ESPN. I thought that there was a good chance he had just died, and I was later able to confirm this fact. I wonder how many people have pre-written pre-obituaries on them already, so that when they die, the news outlets can quickly put up their two stock articles.
Friday, October 10th, 2008
5:16 pm
how to tilt a local
I was at Foxwoods a few weeks ago for FARGO (the Foxwoods annual rec.gambling outing) when I was playing a 15-30 HOE game with Michelle A. and Bob L. Many of the locals at the table were in a mood of perpetual grouchiness which is one reason I don't play a lot of live poker.

On one stud/8 hand, I played some starting hand which admittedly was not what one might call a premium starter in stud/8 (like rolled up trips or three A23 suited) but I ended up scooping with a nine-high straight. Of course, this got the local (in seat 8) pretty mad (I was in seat 1). He starts talking to the local next to him: "The kid over there must have a lot of money to play this way."

He turns to me: "Hey, you a millionaire or something, did you invent the wheel?"

I tell him that I didn't invent the wheel, but that I did invent the nine-high straight. He wasn't amused, so I refrained from adding that nine-high straights don't come up a lot in stud/8.

Only a few days prior to FARGO, I was in Atlantic City playing a 10-20 "two-way" game, which is a rotation of O/8 half the time and stud/8 the other half. Bob L. and I sat down at the table after we saw Alan J sitting already. I was sitting next to another local who kept berating my stud/8 play. He kept telling me many of my plays were idiotic, and this kept up for a few hours.

Later, one of his friends comes over and asks him how he's doing. He tells his friend that he's stuck and then walks a few feet away to speak with his friend in hushed tones. He points over to me a couple of times, presumably to tell his friend how bad I am playing. It's funny he wanted to tell his friend that I was an idiot without my hearing it, but prior to that he didn't have any problem telling me directly that I was an idiot. So it couldn't have been out of a sense of politeness, or could it? 
Monday, June 16th, 2008
12:04 pm
more razz, plus super hoser
Barry Greenstein showed up late to the 10k World Championship limit hold'em event. His starting stack was down to 15k or so from the initial 20k, and then he proceeded to pick up pocket kings in the first hand he's dealt and won a nice pot. So I guess you could say it was a good day for him, as he missed the start of the limit event because he was at a final table of another tournament which he ended up winning.

He looked like he had been through hell and back, though. Not surprisingly, it was a razz tournament.

Yesterday we headed to The Egg and I for a pre-game meal before the 5pm tournament. billchenpoker ended up losing some money in soccer bets on the US-Barbados match. Then, he proceeds to lose at credit card roulette. (It was down to Bill and me, and I finally broke out of a pretty brutal losing streak.) As we're leaving, I see a 1k Rio yellow chip on the floor, pick it up and ask whose it was. Not surprisingly, it had dropped out of Bill's pants pockets. Hoser.
Saturday, June 14th, 2008
10:04 pm
razz razz
Yesterday, jpmassar asked if anyone wanted to go see The Hulk. prock replied, saying that he couldn't [because he was going to play in the $1500 Razz tournament."

I thought that there wasn't much point in paying $1500 to see someone else get mad, when you could just sit down at a Razz table and get mad yourself, when your A23 hits brick brick brick.

Honestly, I don't have anything against Razz -- it's not even my least favorite of the HORSE games. Still, it's one of the most fun forms of poker to make fun of. I didn't play in it since I wanted to take a break from my losing streak, but I did stop by to see how some friends were doing. In most tournaments, people who just got busted out are a little upset while people who are still in are still happy to be in it. However, I walked up to a group of guys with smiles on their faces who had just busted out of the razz tournament.

On the other hand, most people at the Razz tourney tables, even the ones with big stacks, seemed miserable, with their heads buried in their hands or shaking their heads muttering at their bad luck. I saw a guy get busted out of the Razz tournament and you could see a palpable look of relief come over him as he left the Razz area.
Monday, February 4th, 2008
2:38 pm
Once again, it's heartbreak for New England.

It's been raining here in Sydney all day, as though God was shedding real tears.
Friday, June 15th, 2007
8:23 am
the green faerie
Several weekends ago I was hanging out at Crane's apartment. While watching a Giants game, someone hit a ball that the SF left fielder (not Bonds this game) made a good play on. One TV announcer said "I don't think Barry Bonds would have caught that" and the two announcers shared a knowing laugh.

I thought it would have been funny if Barry Bonds tried too hard on a play and split in two, with the young Barry Bonds popping out. In between innings there was a commercial for Lunestra. Crane thought it was funny that the commercial had a green fairy flying around, and he asked, "Isn't a green fairy supposed to represent absinthe?"

"Yeah, it says 'ask your doctor about Lunestra' but your doctor would just say 'Oh, that's absinthe.'"

"He'll probably say, 'It's illegal.'"
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007
8:51 pm
nutmeg hits
To follow up on the previous post which had the phrase "Nutmeg Pride" buried within:

A google search returns the following hits when you search for Nutmeg Pride (these are just the two or three lines that google returns):

From error202.com:
Me on the other hand, as you may be able to tell, have nutmeg pride. But before all else, I have Redding, CT. Pride. And we're #1, folks! ...

From boomertrek.com:
THE READERS REPLY: NUTMEG PRIDE IS ALIVE AND WELL. A few weeks ago I wrote about attending a business conference where I met people from many strange and ...

From a site that looks like it's about Radio104:
I'm not sure what that angle was about, perhaps the listener was supposed to swell up with Nutmeg pride? Connecticutians don't have any kind of weird state ...

From a Yale site about New Haven clubs and organizations of 1913:
285, Ladies of the Maccabees Nutmeg Pride Hive No 37, 1st and 3rd Fri, 24, 216 Crown, Jennie Cogswell, stenographer & typewritist, 185 Church ...

I'm not sure what this is: [PDF]
Page 1 Takeda ACTOplus met Tabs Takeda Pharmaceuticals North ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
LIFT CHR GL358M NUTMEG PRIDE. 00000000000. PRIDE HEALTH CARE. 147-8932. LIFT CHR C30 COFFEE PRIDE. 00000000000. PRIDE HEALTH CARE. 149-5746 ...

From sportsjournalists.com:
From Veep candidate in 2000 to getting his ass kicked six ways to Sunday in a primary in 2006: Just another embarrassment to Nutmeg pride. ...

From vsk-usa.com:
ugh, Nutmeg pride. This is ridiculous. I only see CT as nuetral ground where us Massholes can live in relative peace in the NY Metro area. ...
Monday, May 14th, 2007
2:21 pm
long time no limo
A couple of weeks ago, I was back in the Bay Area. That Thursday night, I went to a bachelor party for Chris P. He was up in the Bay Area doing some work that day, and his coworkers (some of whom organized the surprise party) had him go outside to help move some boxes. There was an oversized limo waiting when he got downstairs, and inside the limo was his brother (who flew out here from Harvard for the party)!

Everybody piled in and they went to the Antonio's Nuthouse in Palo Alto to meet up with a bunch of us. I always love drinking at the Nuthouse on a weekend afternoon when the working stiffs are at work. The crowd consisted of our group, and the Nuthouse regulars and degenerates at the bar. Some categories overlap, of course. There's not a place in Palo Alto I like drinking more, though that's not saying much.

Chris's brother was wondering if he should spend several weeks in Spain after he graduated. I asked him what the alternative would be. He said it would be to do nothing. So I (and everyone else he asked) told him to go to Spain. You can still do nothing there and have a good time. Or so I've heard.

If you read Achewood on a regular basis, you may notice that some of the graphics are being served from Assetbar. Since Onstad and some of the Assetbar people were in attendance, there was a brief discussion of server load throughout the week. "We noticed that there was a big drop-off right before 10pm when _Lost_ is about to come on." So I never got an Achewood T-shirt because I'm a procrastinator, but I was talking about the shirts with some people a while back (maybe with Crane and Eugene?). IIRC, Crane said that the Chochacho shirt was a big seller (Crane helps Onstad out with Achewood stuff, so he'd know the numbers.) But Eugene said that this might not be too much of a surprise, since Chochacho is a common on-line alias. There was also a brief discussion about the shirt that says "I'm the Guy Who Sucks" on the front and "Plus I Got Depression" on the back. They agreed that it was a bad shirt to wear with a jacket, because people would only see the front and not the punchline on the back. Besides, you're not supposed to joke about depression, so I don't think I will be getting that T-shirt.

After a few drinks at the Nuthouse, we all got into the limo and drove up to Alembic in San Francisco. There was a bit of a scare when the limo had to hit the brakes and we fell into each other's laps, but fortunately there were no injuries. Some people had to piss so we got the driver to pull off the highway near Monster Park so people could do their thing.

Matty Lafond was already there when we got there; I talked to him briefly about Nutmeg Pride. He's from Connecticut originally, and last year when I was crashing at his and Chris's place for ESCARGOT, Lafond kept riffing about Nutmeg Pride. Interestingly, there are a couple of hits for "Nutmeg Pride" if you do a google search. The food at Alembic was very good. We got some lamb burgers and rabbit spaetzle. I didn't know what a spaetzle was, but they had me at rabbit. The other food (which I don't remember now) was good too, as were the fancy cocktails that I've never had before.

Later we went to two other places but everybody was getting hammered. The limo then took some of us back to Palo Alto. Fortunately nobody puked in the recessed compartments where you can put ice or booze -- something like that happened at a bachelor party Jacob Young went to, and he had to sit next to the vomit for the whole limo ride back. Some people were pretty sick the following afternoon though.
Monday, December 18th, 2006
6:35 am
omelet vs. eggnog
Last week I went to Ben and Kim's for a holiday party. I was pretty excited because I figured there would be eggnog there; I had never had eggnog before and I figured it was About Time. However, I did have an idea of what to expect based on the eggnog shake at Jack In The Box. On the way there, Crane mentioned that eggnog was all right, but that he'd rather have an omelet.

When we got there, I talked to Israel for a bit about eggnog and he also happened to mention that he had an omelet earlier that day. So that's the omelet/eggnog synchronicity for you. Overall, I thought the eggnog was pretty good. It's a good drink for the wintertime, but honestly, if I had to give up either eggnog or omelets forever, I'd prefer to keep omelets and give up eggnog. What about you, loyal reader?

Crane ended up drinking more than he was comfortable driving with, so I ended up driving him to Chris Onstad's house (since Crane lives in SF and Onstad's house was much closer). I think it was the first time in four years I had driven, and it was at night and in the rain, to boot. Fortunately, I did not wreck Crane's car, and didn't kill anyone (I think).

I was telling Ion about my driving adventures, and he hoped that I didn't unknowingly run over a woman walking a stroller, or something like that. A quick scan of the newspaper in the following days confirmed that there were no unsolved hit-and-run accidents that could have been caused by me.
In other news: I'm back on the east coast until the end of December. Laveranues Coles may have ended my fantasy football season.

Does anyone reading this journal have any knowledge of scotch? One of my friends mentioned single malt scotch the other day so now we are thinking of having a scotch night where people bring a few bottles of scotch to try out. Most of us will be scotch novices, so I'm looking for recommendations of like five or six different scotches, most of which are considered easy to drink, and maybe one or two that are acquired tastes.
Tuesday, September 5th, 2006
10:17 pm
the summer in sports
It's been an interesting summer for sports. I've been bad about posting regularly on Livejournal, so here goes nothing:

World Cup 2006: For some reason, I had never really appreciated the advantages of having a 45-minute half with no commercial interruptions until this summer. As a sports fan watching sports on TV, it's awesome. The World Cup is great for so many reasons. It only comes around once every four years, so everyone cares. There's a sense of urgency that you don't get in something like regular season MLS games, which I can't really get into.

Sports that work well on TV: soccer (no commercial interruptions) and [American] football. Football can be fun to watch live but sometimes it's really hard to tell if a run is a one yard gain or a ten yard gain. The main thing you miss out by watching it on TV is the atmosphere (which can sometimes be great, especially for college games).

Sports that are probably better watched live: baseball, hockey.

Chris P and I went over to Israel/Sarah's place to watch the Italy-France match. At halftime, Chris, who's a bit cynical, gleefully read excerpts from an LA Times article detailing further allegations against Lance Armstrong. Although people who feel he won those Tours (de France) without the aid of illegal drugs aren't likely to be immediately swayed by yet another article, it is still funny to imagine people ripping off the yellow Livestrong bracelet from their wrist and angrily throwing it to the ground when it is revealed that their hero cheated.

Personally I don't really know what to think. There seems to be some circumstantial evidence against Armstrong, but I don't think there's anything that's definitively conclusive. Admittedly, I haven't been following this stuff too carefully. Chris is pretty sure that Armstrong cheated though. He said that Armstrong could only have beaten a doped-out field if he had been on drugs himself. This does seem like a plausible argument, especially since cycling has been one of the dirtiest sports.

Other things I learned while chatting during halftime: The Ann Landers and Dear Abby columns were written by twin sisters who had a bitter rivalry. Adidas was started by a German, and Puma was started by his brother, and they later became bitter rivals. I can't believe I didn't know this stuff!

The Zidane headbutt: what is there to say that hasn't already been said? I guess it was quite helpful that the Italian jerseys had the shield right in the center of the chest, so that it was easy for Zidane to accurately line up his headbutt on Materazzi. Obviously, what Zidane did was a red-cardable offense, but it's highly probable that Materazzi said something truly despicable. Unfortunately, I don't know if there's anyway to prove that, but if that were the case, then it was unfortunate that Zidane got the brunt of the criticism and punishment.

USA Basketball: So this version wasn't selfish like the 2002 team, at least based on what I saw, but we really need to get more good outside shooters. Maybe most NBA shooters are used to shooting from further out, and don't shoot as well from the international distance as might otherwise be expected. Now I will just lament the somewhat lost art of the mid-range (and long-range two point) jump shot.

Baseball: Some good races in both leagues. I can't believe that there were people against the wild card!

Football: College football -- hooray! I probably won't watch a ton of games, but it's good that a lot of games have a sense of urgency not found in NFL regular season games. The lack of any playoff in Division 1-A remains ridiculous, of course. As for the NFL, it's a lot more fun to watch random games if you have a fantasy football player playing.
Monday, June 5th, 2006
9:24 pm
achewood merchandise turnaround time
At a Memorial Day's BBQ at Tony's (and Ion and Chuck's), ohandrea told me about Supergroup, a reality show about a supergroup. Some of us also tossed around ideas for a super group. More on that later if anything happens.

The next day, Crane went to Onstad's to help send out some Achewood merchandise. Onstad offered Crane the choice of getting an hourly wage, or getting paid per item sent. Crane instantly chose the option involving an hourly wage. Later, they figured out that taking the hourly wage option ended up being the one that paid more. So if any of you have been slow to get Achewood stuff, now you know why.

I was thinking of getting an Achewood T-shirt, and I was leaning towards the What We Need More Of Is Science T-shirt because I like science. However, there was one time where I saw two different people wearing this shirt in the same room. Could both of them have really liked science that much? I couldn't tell whether they liked science or if they were just poseurs.
Friday, May 19th, 2006
12:07 am
full chimney?
This is a continuation of the last post...

After the _Saved By The Bell_ episode, some of us went out to eat at an Ethiopian place, Cafe Ethiopia. It was the first time I had ever had Ethiopian food. I almost had Ethiopian food once in college, when Rachel, one of my former drawmates, wanted to go out to an Ethiopian restaurant. But the whole thing fell through when people couldn't agree on where to go. One of my drawmates at the time, K.Roost, had his own ideas about what constituted Ethiopian food.

He wrote:
"... in a word, starving. I mean, that's kinda what they're famous for, right? We've actually had numerous serious intellectual conversations pondering what Ethiopian food could possibly really be. Tino suggests: an empty plate. My friend Steve thought: dirt and rocks. I [Roost] postulated: Peace Corps canned goods (primarily beans)

Are any of our theories even warm?
Seriously, what did they serve you guys?"
[end quote]

I think some of our other drawmates got annoyed at his speculation. I got annoyed at all of the arguing and I ended up not going to dinner with any of them.

Back to 2006: Ion, who ate with us at Cafe Ethiopia (I think that was the name of the place), had traveled through a few Third World countries (not sure if he was in Ethiopia), and he said there was often some stuff in the food that seemed like dirt, so I guess Steve's turned out to be the closest out of the three guesses above). I'm not sure if Tino or Roost ever got around to trying out Ethiopian food; perhaps their opinions have changed!

After dinner, we went back to Crane's place. He lives in a warehouse on Potrero that has shows sometimes. Right when we got there, we saw a gaggle of young girls getting out of a Mercedes Benz and going into the warehouse next door. Were they in high school or college? Inquiring minds need to know. If I had to set the line, I'd set it as "College, -150."

Everyone had a different idea of what was going on next door. I thought it might have been some kind of faux rave.

(A couple of weeks earlier, they had some kind of music show going on, and we went by to check it out. But they had a $10 cover. The guy at the door offered to Roshambo each of us for the cover. Where are the Tiltboys when you need them? I saw some seemingly amateurish plays -- Rock, Rock, Scissors -- "What the fuck is that?" one might ask. But to be honest, I don't know if that was just a good attempt at exploitative play that a non-expert wouldn't understand. So one of us actually beat the guy in a best-of-three at the door, but then he was still charged $5 to get in. We decided to turn around right there, and I didn't get a chance to play my game theoretically optimal strategy. The main thing I was debating was whether to use my watch to choose my plays, or to use serial numbers from dollar bills to randomize.)

Psyche! Okay, so I'm not really a quick thinker, and I didn't think of those tricks until later.

If you're cool with using a pseudo-random method, you can choose your plays based on the music. If the last few notes totally rocked, you choose rock, natch. If they sucked, and you're tempted to cut off your ears, you choose scissors. If you hadn't worked out your feelings on what to think, but could, if you had to write a paper about them, you choose paper.

But I don't really want to talk about Roshambo anymore, when I should be talking about jai-alai.

At Crane's, we watched some scenes from _Tron_ on the wall of the warehouse. I had never scene the movie before, and I was absolutely stunned when there was a scene in the movie that featured jai-alai, or some kind of futuristic variant of it. I had became fascinated with jai-alai a few years ago, when I read that Whitey Bulger once had someone killed so that he could take over his jai-alai frontons. (The hitman confessed.)

When I passed this info to Owen, a Connecticut native, he responded: "My only brush with this sport was driving through some drab city in Western Connecticut (Bridgeport?) and seeing a giant jai alai pavilion. I remember being overtaken by gloom; in truth I don't know whether this was a result of seeing the arena or a more general reaction to western Connecticut."

After doing more research, I found more tidbits: Paul Newman is known to have played jai-alai at the Bridgeport fronton near his home in Westport. Also, Babe Ruth was an enthusiastic player. He played in a silk shirt and flannels, but wore the obligatory rope-soled sandals because, in his own words, 'squid must be eaten in its own sauce.' He was a great enthusiast and prepared himself carefully for each game, but he pulled a muscle in training for a backhand and had to give up jai-alai to avoid unnecessary risks.

I just checked on Google, and the site that I visited five years ago to get that info is still there.

After some scenes from _Tron_, people were trying to get Kevin M. to go out for a drink, since it was his birthday. Tim Nutt was present there too, so I'll take this opportunity to put a link to Streetnote, a record label that promotes street music in SF and other cities. Tim said he was going on a cross-country trip on his motorcycle, so he'll be out of town for a while. Finally Kevin relented and we went out to a place called Papa Toby's Revolution Cafe. I had forgotten the name of the place, but I remembered Revolution, and through Google I found a place that also had Chimay.

The significance of Chimay is revealed in the following story: I went inside and looked at the beer list on the blackboard. Chimay was listed, but I thought it said Chimney. When I asked for a Chimney, the bartender asked, "Full Chimney?"

"Half Chimney," I confidently replied. The bartender looked over at the other bartender, shrugged his shoulders, and gave me the beer.

So I made up most of the story, as I caught myself before I mistakenly ordered a chimney. But doesn't the story sound plausible? Couldn't someone who had never heard of Chimay accidentally order a "Chimney?" When I went outside with the beer, I told Crane and Max the story, and both of them suspected (but didn't seem 100% sure) I was bluffing. I still think the story is plausible, and the fact that I think that actually makes me more likely to be someone who would misread an item and order something else.

Loyal readers (all three of you), what do you think?
Saturday, May 6th, 2006
12:08 am
I went up to the city on Friday last week for Max's birthday. On the way over to El Rio, we saw a sign for comedy traffic school. "Whoa, comedy traffic school? That sounds awesome!" I said. (Yes, this is how I usually talk)

Crane said that he had done that once, and it was the worst. In regular traffic school classes, you can sit there passively, and that's what most people do. But in comedy traffic school, they expect participation from everyone. So, the equation is: comedy + traffic + school = horribleness. I make a mental note never to go to comedy traffic school.

El Rio is located next to a bar called Nap's. There's a fence separating El Rio's patio from Nap's. There might be a one way hole in the fence too. (But from where to where?)

There's a sign in front of El Rio saying "Your Dive", even though it's more crowded and hipper than Nap's. You can't really call yourself the the neighborhood dive if the bar next door is more of a dive. Well, I guess you can do whatever you want, but you ought not to.

I've only been to Nap's once, but I didn't think it was that bad. Saxon said the back patio could have been straight out of a David Lynch movie. That's probably true. It could be a place where you can go to be almost all alone in the universe, at least for a few beers or a couple of hours -- as long as you don't look through the hole in the fence. One of us said on that day, "Peiffer would like this place." The other quickly agreed.

But Friday was a night to celebrate a birthday, so El Rio it was. As it got late, some people (not in our party) moved inside to start dancing. First it was only a couple of people. Then more and more. I suppose that's how things get started.

I heard the hook from "U Can't Touch This" but then it turned out to be "Superfreak". I heard "U Can't Touch This" first in my lifetime, so that might be why I still think of that first when I hear the hook, even though "Superfreak" predates "U Can't Touch This."

On the other hand, when I hear the riff from "Ice, Ice, Baby" I immediately think of "Under Pressure" and not "Ice, Ice, Baby" even though I heard "Ice, Ice, Baby" in middle school and didn't find out about "Under Pressure" until later. So why the discrepancy? How does one decide which song is privileged in one's memory? Who knows...

I spent a lazy Saturday afternoon watching reality shows that Max and Andrea had recorded. _Top Chef_ and a Bravo show about a hairdresser who's pretty ridiculous. He keeps mispronouncing "Limón" in Bacardi Limón, by pronouncing it as lye-min, even though the Bacardi people incessantly correct him each time.

I don't remember a lot of details about the show, but there was one scene where the hairdresser was happy about one of his creations, and he happily exclaims "Bangladesh!"; a new expression is created.

There's a scene where two of his assistants have to pass a hair styling test, and when they do, he gives them business cards with their names on it, as his way of telling them they passed. His assistants seemed happy, but maybe one day they will realize that all they had to do was print up business cards themselves! Then again, maybe that day will never come.

After the assistants passed, there's an interview with one of them, and her title on-screen changes from "assistant" to "stylist" before our eyes. It was enough to melt your heart.

Later Crane came over and we watched the _Saved By the Bell_ episode where Jessie gets addicted to caffeine pills. Classic!!
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