Photo Week – Part 2 (The Neighborhood)

Here are some more pics of what I see from my complex in Reno.  First, some nifty clouds from in front of my apt.

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Next, two moonrises from the hill behind my complex.

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Then came the snow.  Here are two shots of my backyard (the first from my apartment itself, and the second from the front of my complex)

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And finally, two shots from that first hill overlooking the complex, showing the Stead area blanketed in the snow Reno never gets.

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Tomorrow, maybe batch 1 of the farewell party pics.

Photo Week – Part 1 (The Apartment)

So finally, I got some photos developed.  Here are just the inside shots from my apartment.  It’s only four pictures, but really I got almost everything except the kitchen (visible in the background), the bathroom (visible in the background), the washer/dryer, and the water heater.  I figured those could be saved so there’s SOME surprise when you all come to visit me.

And now, my living room:  a view from the front door

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Living room, a view from where my many dinner guests would sit

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And my bedroom, as seen from the hallway:

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And finally, my bedroom from the Bed O’ Wonder (read: I wonder why I’m in this bed)

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Tomorrow, more pics of my backyard and front yard.  Stay tuned.  (What a great movie that was.  John Ritter’s a mouse.)

Rutgers Ice Bowl

Holy crap!  A disc golf post!  Having not thrown a single hole of golf since September 30, I headed down to Rutgers (at 6 AM!) to do a tournament with the Devils.  It’s an interesting format – the first round is normal tournament play.  In the second round, they pair the highest score with the lowest score, and the second highest and the second lowest, and you play a round of doubles.

I brought three discs with me – a CFR wraith, a Z Buzzz, and a hard JK Aviar.  I ended up not using the putter (I don’t like it), and borrowed a SSS Wizard from Doot.  I’ve never touched a Wizard in my life.  The first round was solid – totally good.  I made three killer putts from outside 40′ (and bought a wizard at lunch because of that).  My drives were erratic but still salvageable.  I ended up with a 52, putting me in fourth place, behind B.O.B.’s 49, and Mattie LaCourte’s 51.  And another score.

After a chilly lunchtime break (it was about 36 today at its highest), I went back out with Rutgers’ local Ania.  She did very well, and helped us solidify another 52.  We were actually shooting better than that, but on the third to last hole we took a circle 5.  (We opted not to pay $5 for a couple of mulligans, a decision I later rued).  But I made another two killer putts, and am convinced I like the SSS Wizard.  With my 104, the good news was that I tied for second (IN THE CASH!)  The bad news is that I tied three other guys.  I did manage to pocket $21, and we raised a crapton for charity.

Thanks Doot and the Devils.  You’d make a great ska band.

Mario Party

So last night we played a 30-round game of Mario Party. I was the party star. Today, we’re going for FIFTY ROUNDS! Susan, Craig, Max and I. After 20 rounds, it’s a tight game, and my reigning Party Star-ness is at stake. I must go, I must triumph. And Yoshi’s going DOWN!

Edit:  5 hours later, I am STILL the undisputed PARTY STAR!  Woof.

Flying Luck

So I’ve gone on record as saying I had good luck with flights.  I’ve made some flights when I had no actual right making it (waking up in Astoria 35 mins before my flight and still making it).  I usually get good seats.  These flights were no exception – two flights.  On the first, there was a 45 minute delay but we still made it on time, I had nobody in my entire row, and I even found free headphones in the seat in front of me which I purloined for future flights.  The second flight, I had nobody in the seat immediately next to me, and I got into LGA about 10 mins late.  Not shabby.

Ashley, conversely, has rotten luck.  The last time she came to NYC, she flew Delta (Don’t Expect Luggage To Arrive).  She did, and it didn’t.  5 days she spent on the phone with Delta, who informed her for the first three that her bags were in Salt Lake City, informed her on the fourth that they were kidding and they had NO idea where her bags were, and informed her on the fifth that they were in JFK.  She understandably wrote a nasty letter to the airline.   Now she is convinced that she is on a wanted-list.  Every flight she’s had since that letter, she’s been pulled aside and frisked, and her tickets seem to have some indication that she’s high-risk.

We fly to Mitch’s wedding together.  I wonder who’s luck will cancel the other.

Full Tilt Poker Stats

So I’ve been on Full Tilt for a while, a pay poker site.  Before I get into my rant, I have to say that I signed on yesterday to find out that, at 5 in the morning over the weekend, someone had mysteriously put $25 into my account.  BONUS!

Anyway, the stereotype of that site is that it is notorious for suckouts (whoever has the stronger hand will get screwed by the turn and/or the river and lose)   I don’t agree with that.  I mean, it happens, but not across the boards.  So I made a theory that it only happens to those who don’t have alot of chips.  So I started keeping track of every all-in I was a part of (whether mine or me calling someone else’s) after playing a tourney where I busted out with the best hand.

In the many games that followed, I charted every all-in I was a part of, also taking note if I had the better hand, and if I was the chipleader or if I was all in.  (I define better hand as being the better hand if nothing were to match – for instance, AK suited is *technically* a stronger hand than 22, but 22 would win if nothing matched, so it’s the high hand)  Anyway, I think I proved my point, but I might have proved something else.

– When someone else went all in and I had the stronger hand, I was 26-15.

– When I went all in and had the stronger hand, I was 27 – 17.  Not much disparity there, actually, but I had a few good games lately that balanced it out, because a few weeks ago the numbers were VERY skewed.

When someone else went all in and I had the weaker hand, I was 13-19.

When I went all in with the weaker hand, I was a whopping 4 – 29.

So my point is proved pretty readily.  The site definitely seems to favor the bigstack, no matter if they have the strong hand or not.  When I was the bigstack, I was 39 – 34, and when I was shortstacked, I went 31 – 46.

But then I think I accidentally might have proved something else entirely with this experiment.  I have terrible luck in general.  I had the better hand when someone’s tournament was on the line 85 times out of 150 hands (57%), yet my overall winning percentage was 70/150 (47%).  I’m still ahead on the site (ignoring the random extra $25), so when I win, I win bigger than when I lose, but c’mon!

Anyway, I’m a stat nerd.  Ash says it’s because I like baseball.  Makes sense to me.

Malbec #6

El Portillo Malbec 2006 – It’s been a while, but like so many things on this website, such as the Dirty Dozen Lists, the Fake Wine Review Column is making a comeback. And we start today with an old standby, the malbec; that fruity Argentinian treat. I’ve reviewed quite a few of these in my day, and this one is no different, except in every area.

Malbecs are hard to come by in the West, I’ve noticed, so when I saw this one for $9, I jumped on it. Truthfully, this is a full-bodied wine. Wait, I shouldn’t say that – the esoderek wine series is no place for political correctness. This is an outright overweight, fat, blubbery wine. That’s not a bad thing. It’s certainly a step up from the only other malbec I’ve had in NV, which was not fit to review in public.

While nothing to write home about, this red is certainly something to blog about, with a nice taste going down, and no ugly aftertaste to cloud it. While there are others out there that are just as good and even better, if you see this one, don’t be afraid to buy it. It’s great for the price.

The final score for this obese wine is a 7/10. 2006 was a good year for many things, and this wine is no exception. Drink up – 2008 seems pretty good too.

Two New Firsts

So last night I did my first open mic night ever. That’s right, ever. I’ve played live before, but always opening for a friend, or at a disc golf tournament where people knew me already. This was my first time in front of strangers. It was at the Reno Music Project, a cool group of people. Apparently, last week there were 50+ people there and the waiting list to play was so long it was going to “alternates”. Last night? I was one of four acts that signed up to play, not counting the two 8 yr old girls who went up and sang songs from High School Musical 2. There might have been a total of 15 people in the room, maybe 10 of which were actually present when I sang. I did four tunes and was well liked by the organizers. In fact, it was so dead I went up later and did two more tunes. A great concept, I’m gonna go back at some point, hopefully a more popular night.

Today, I did my first caucus. Why my first? Because it is well documented I hate politicians. But I went and I noticed some interesting things. First, they ran out of registration forms (which is actually a good sign, because if NV didn’t get a good turnout, they would lose their early-caucus status). Second, a party needs to have at least a 15% support rate or they are outright dropped and will not have any delegates representing them on a county level (and subsequently a state level).

So I was going for Edwards. I had figured we’d have enough for maybe one delegate. There were a total of 91 people in my district and after the initial separation, all but 12 people were for Obama or Clinton. Wow. I knew there was some polarization but that was a bit surprising. I’m assuming a few Nevadans are upset that Edwards signed something allowing nuclear waste to be dumped in their state. Oops.

So I wasn’t in a viable party, and that annoyed me because they then allowed the parties to come over and try to convince me to go to their side. This is exactly what I didn’t want, because everyone knows if I have two people giving me opposite sides of the coin at the same time, I just shut down. It’s why I hate politics. What I learned here was that a) Obama has a laughable education program, b) If Clinton wins 8 years, that will be 28 years of two families running the country (almost a monarchy) at which point Jeb Bush would run, c) it seemed that nobody but me realized that since both people’s views are so smiliar, they will be well-backed by the Democratic party, no matter who wins.

I quietly sneaked over to the Obama side and that was that. Obama had 58 supporters at the end, Clinton 33 (giving 5 delegates for the black dude, and 4 for the white chick).

Interesting things I noticed:

– of the 33 supporters of Clinton, more than 2/3 were female

– there were literally a few black people total at the caucus, all of whom were for Obama

– most of the hispanic males were for Clinton, most of the hispanic females were for Obama

– two of the people at the open-mic night were there and I chatted with them for a while. Reno is really a frighteningly little city

Anyway, I’m now registered. Go Democrats. I’m gonna go play some disc golf tomorrow, hopefully.

Television Heaven

So one of my dreams is coming true.  Really, you say?  Television is good right now?  With no writers, no Scrubs, no State DVDs (seriously, when are those coming out???)  Well, this week, things have heated up between two of my favorite TV personalities.  That’s right, an on-air feud between Conan O’Brien and Steven Colbert.

The first shots began with Colbert contesting that Huckabee won Iowa because of Colbert’s help.  Fair assessment.  However, Conan has been saying that he won because Huckabee is endorsed by Chuck Norris, and Conan shows clips from Walker, Texas Ranger on his show. That’s the basic gist, really.  The clips show it in greater detail.

Colbert fired the first shot on his show a few days ago.  HIS SHOT

And then last night, Conan fired back.  THE CLIP  (Go to ‘episodes’ at the bottom of the screen, click on Thursday 1/17, wait for the commercial, and it’s about 2 mins in)

Colbert doesn’t tape on Friday, so we’ll have to wait until Monday, but this is riveting television.  I’m hooked.

My poor discs

How sad is it that the last hole of disc golf I played was in the first weeks of October, and it was in NY.  I have only tried to play once and we couldn’t find the course.  And is it even sadder that my next time playing will be back in NJ?  Although maybe, just maybe, I’ll get out this weekend when I go visit Corey and Cyrus.  Oh yeah, I think I should reiterate,

COREY AND CYRUS.

That’s right, I win.

Music

I found out there’s an open mic night here in Reno.  Actually, there are dozens of bars and such that have them, but there’s one place that’s not a bar, and the open-mic night is specifically for musicians to just play.  No alcohol or tobacco served, so it’s not about selling drinks.  It’s just about the music.  I might go on Friday and play them silly songs degrading women.  It’s all about the music.

The elusive Corey

Do I actually get to see Corey this weekend?  I texted him to see if he was free, and he wrote: “Actually yes, I should be.  Why?  Do you need me to book a flight back to NJ?”  So’s been our life.  I think I’ll probably see him in NJ sooner than in CA.  Why travel four hours to hang out when you can travel three time zones?

I’ve started doing push-ups and sit-ups.  I’d go to the gym, but it’s been cold and slushy here, so I don’t feel like trudging through it to get to the gym.  Once it melts a bit, hopefully I’ll get my tuckus back to it.  Good thing that wasn’t one of my new years resolutions.  I’m smarter than that.

The Nevada Caucus is this weekend.  I think I’ll be doing my hair.

I’m Awesome!

So I just stumbled upon an article written by David Noh of the Gay City news.  These guys praised the crap out of The Unusual Suspects (it was flattery bordering on creepy, that’s how positive it was).  He gave out his end-of-the-year theatre awards a few weeks ago, and we are on there again.

“THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS from Derek Sonderfan was the one 2007 show I could re-see endlessly, for its totally unhinged originality, hilariously flawless ensemble cast (best of the year), and the most innovative stage fight ever (done with swimming pool noodle floats).”

To read the whole article, go here.

On another note, I had a weird creepy dream.  We had a fishtank, and the fish were getting out, but they weren’t flopping around.  They were still floating around as if swimming.  I go to net one of the biggest ones, and get him.  As I go to put him back, there are literally hundreds of fish just waiting for me out the outside of the tank, and they all bit me in unison.

Seriously, floating biting fish?  Where are the naked ladies!??!

The Pogonip

So I experienced a Pogonip today.  Yeah, I had no idea what one was either.  It was serene, surreal, and ser… sur… pretty neat.  Just got back from Tahoe where everyone but me went snowboarding and I got to hang out, play Apples to Apples, and realize how old I truly am.  Sniff.

I was also supposed to get my camera back this weekend.  That didn’t happen.  So I will develop my three disposable cameras and post those soon.  Woo, free posts for the next period of time!  Woof.

Blogging shouldn’t be a chore, except for those who read it.

Dream Trends

So I am not particularly afraid of bugs in real life.  The only ones I’m not a fan of are what’s called house centipedes, or what we called Coda Bugs, because they were abundant and we figured they ate glue chips.  Well,  the knowledge that these guys are helpful predators doesn’t exactly make me feel better; they still creep the jeebers out of me.  However, my point is, I am not particularly scared of the creepy crawlies.  Spiders, centipedes, Republicans (ZING!)…

Yet I continue to dream about them.  I had a dream last night that we were going through Ash’s attic and there were two distinctly different nasty bugs up there.  One was sorta cricket like and, other than being fast, not too bothersome.  The other were these huge black bugs that looked sorta like earwigs, only thicker and without the pincers.  That would seem to make them less imposing, right?  I don’t know, they sorta scared the crap out of everyone in the dream.

Ya know, I’m not afraid of naked ladies.  Why don’t I dream about them like everyone else?

Going to Tahoe this weekend to snowboard watch other people snowboard get drunk in the warm cabin and play Simon.  Woo!  Probably will miss blogging to do this.  Oh well.  I’ll get my camera back and will inundate you with pics when I’m back, I’m sure.

I Heart Huckabee

So despite getting involved in several lengthy conversations about politics with Ashley, as well as actually taking time to learn about the important issues of this election, my view on politicians hasn’t changed: I don’t like ’em. I suppose what voting is about is simply picking the one who makes the best promises, and hoping (s)he breaks the fewest of them. I’m a cynic, what can I say?

And largely, I lean Democratic, because I like gay people and Earth. But really, to say I’m a Democrat still implies that I like Democrats, which isn’t largely true because they’re still politicans.

However, last night, a Republican impressed me like no other politician has since Kevin Kline in “Dave”. What a great movie, seriously. “We have an ad campaign to convince people to like the cars they’ve already bought?” Anyway, Mike Huckabee was on The Colbert Report last night. Holy crap, it was amazing.

Go over to comedycentral.com and check it out – it’s still on the main page. I might be a Republican come voting time.