I Am "Dead Money"

I ran my 2nd successful Texas Hold’em poker tournament tonight. I’m 2 for 2 at finishing out of the money. My brother finished in first, so that was good for him.

I’m still pissed at myself for one particular play that I made. I had 5-6 of clubs and raised pre-flop. I got one caller. He checked after the flop brought 2 diamonds. I bluffed and went ALL IN simply wanting him to fold and give me the pot because I didn’t figure he had anything (since he didn’t bet). He hesitated and called me. He flipped over two diamonds…the Ace and something else I don’t remember. He had the nut flush draw, so I’m pretty much screwed because I had absolutely nothing! Needless to say another diamond came on the turn, he won the pot, I was left with but a few chips to my name, and now was forced into desperation mode. I was able to survive about 4 ALL IN calls after that (I really had not other choice with a very short stack as the blinds were raised). What I’m even more pissed about is that I didn’t realize something until after that stupid hand. The caller had not bet one of his hands for the entire tournament yet (even when he had something), which was about an hour at that point I think. If I had realized this, I would never had made that bet. If I would have checked or made a small bet, I would have had a good chance at winning. Live and learn I guess.

On a side note…I finished in 119th place out of 200 in the online tournament for the Super Bowl tickets. That may seem pretty bad, but the starting chip counts in this tournament were based on a qualifying point total. My starting chip count was well below the average. When the tournament started I was in 156th place…so I didn’t do too bad for having such a short stack.

2nd Place

Just had my highest finish in an online poker tournament. Made the final table for the first time and ended up placing 2nd out of 261 people. The top 20 finishers in the tournament are automatically entered into a tournament on Saturday (along with 20 from 9 other qualifiers to make a total of 200 entrants. The winner will receive 2 tickets to the Super Bowl and $2,500 I think, and there is prize money for the top 30 finishers.

I can’t even remember how many times I had KK in the whole. I got A LOT of good hands!

Two hands though that really stand out were at the beginning of the tournament. I had KK in the whole and the flop came down 2T9, next card was also a 9 and I folded. I could have lost my ass if I played that out (or I could have won). The other hand I raised with AQ and got re-raised pre-flop. To call I would have almost been all-in pre-flop, so I folded that one too. If I would have played both of those hands, my gut tells me that I would have been out of the tournament on one of them! Gutsy decisions, but they paid off!! 😉

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, I survived the biggest bar night of the year, unlike Tom who was stumbled home at 12:30. It’s been a long time since I’ve been out drinking in Rogers City and didn’t end up without a hangover the next day. Today is that day. 🙂

I’m not sure if I could be any hungrier for turkey, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, stuffing, and everything else. It couldn’t ask for a better day…the Lions are winning and there is also a poker tournament on TV. We’re watching poker and switching back to see the football score.

Looking forward to spending some time visiting with family later and most likely playing some cards.

Out Of Shape

After running basketball practice with Isaac’s high school varsity team today, I found out that I might be in the worst shape of my life! I’m playing in a basketball league in Saginaw township starting in December, so I guess I better get back into a routine of running a few times a week.

1st Snowfall

Yesterday marked the first snowfall (at least in Saginaw), and I’ve decided that I’m not ready for it to snow yet. In fact, I’m not sure if I’ll be ready all winter. When I’m ready, I’ll let Mother Nature know. The thought of waking up a few minutes earlier than normal before work, so that I can go out in the cold to scrape/brush off my car, is not something I like to think about.

The snow and ice also increases the risk of driving my car each day. For some reason, people forget how to drive when there is snow/ice on the ground. Most winter driving falls into two categories. You’ll have Grandma Jones driving 20 when the roads are clear, but she can see snow in the ditch or on the shoulder. Why does she have a license in the first place? On the other hand, you’ll be driving through a white-out and some jackass with an SUV will pass you going 60 in a 45 on a two lane road. Does that SUV come with x-ray vision or something? I cant’ see if there are cars coming, so how in the hell can he when he’s behind me? Maybe everyone just needs to get out of my way on the roads. This is especially true during the winter, when their lack of driving skills may affect my ability to live another day. I’ll even volunteer to put a flashing light on my car or something to let everyone know that I’m coming.

Summer and golf season can’t come soon enough!

Computer Box

This is a true story…

As most of you know, I work for the Help Desk at SVSU. A few weeks ago we were cleaning the Nachi virus off of computers for students who lived on campus. A co-worker of mine told a female student that we only needed her to bring in the box of her computer, we didn’t need the cables, mouse, etc.

Later that day, she showed up at our office with her cardboard computer box in hand. One of our student employees opened the box, expecting to see her computer inside so that he could record the serial number. When all he found was an empty box, he immediately walked into the back room because he was about to burst out laughing.

How she thought we could clean the virus from her computer with just a piece of cardboard is beyond me!!

GO BLUE!

Michigan whooped on Ohio State 35-21 this afternoon. Now all of the John Navarre critics can finally shut up, because he has played well all season.

The season is far from over. Will Chris Perry be considered for the Heisman? Will LSU and USC lose, allowing Michigan a chance at Oklahoma in the National Championship? We’ll have to wait and see.

Being A Kid

Was there ever a better time in our lives? As kids, everything in the world was perfect. I used to wake up on a weekend to watch the early morning cartoons, have a bowl of cereal, and then I’d play all day long. It was such a simple life, but it made sense and it worked. I was doing exactly what I wanted to do. During the summers, I’d do that same thing every day as my routine. I never complained that I was bored or didn’t have anything to do, because there were always toys to play with, new games to make up, and friends to hang out with because their routines were the same as mine.

As I grew older, things changed a little bit as video games and sports became the important things, but there was always time for these things. Instead of waking up for cartoons, I’d get up to watch Sports Center, and then switch over to a few cartoons before meeting up with my buddies for video games or playing some basketball. As high school came into the picture, I played basketball more and more, and woke up some mornings to mow lawns before it got too hot outside to work. For some reason though, it was never too hot to play basketball. In the summers you could find me down at the courts by the time of day. I would play at noon each day for a few hours, go home to rest up and get some dinner, and then I’d be right back hoopin’ at 7:00 again until the lights went out. It was perfect!

Then we have to keep growing up, and mess up our routines. I graduated from college and now I work Monday through Friday at 8:00 in the morning. I have to worry about paying my bills, making payments on student loans, grocery shopping, laundry, and everything else that I always saw my parents doing, but never had to care about. I never had a responsibility to do those types of things, but now they are my life. After college, reality hits hard and it takes awhile to grasp the whole picture. This is why I bought an XBOX, because that little kid is still a very big part of me. I don’t watch cartoons anymore, but movies have replaced my cartoons as an escape from the real world. I have to run 4-5 days a week now or else I start to feel like a piece of shit!

I recently read an e-mail forward about a “quarter-life crisis” and it all made sense. This period right after college is a time of growth. You realize who you are and who you’ve been. You become busy with work and other responsibilities, but seem to have a lot of extra time to think about things like this. Reminiscing of the old days is an everyday occurrence because life was so much simpler as a kid, in high school, and even in college. You find new things to keep you busy, things that interest you, but never had the time or patience to do in college. I’ve realized the importance of doing what I want to, because until now, there wasn’t a time in my life when I didn’t do the things I wanted to. Just because I work 5 days a week doesn’t mean I should give up the things I love.

Life…it’s a series of experiences and changes. As a baby, you can’t walk or talk. We grow up, learn to walk and talk. At the end of life we are old and again, we can’t walk or talk.

The Subconscious

Daydreaming, deja vu (glitch in the Matrix), and dreams. Each deals with “the part of the mind below the level of conscious perception” (Dictionary.com), otherwise referred to as the subconscious. Where do they come from? Can we control when and where they happen? Why do they happen? What do they mean? These are all questions I’ve asked myself at one time or another.

I’m a firm believer in what I like to call the hidden part of our minds. I don’t think we have much control over what goes on here though. I do, however, think that the subconscious is influenced by what we think about in our conscious mind, the things we experience on a day to day basis, and the people we interact with. So, in that regard, we do have a bit of control. This is why dreams seem so real when they are happening and sometimes even after we wake up. Why do they seem so real? I’ve come to think that it’s because a dream is a modified form of our own reality. More specifically, dreams are usually a perception of what our conscious mind wants to become a reality. Think of it as a plan for the future or something we want to happen. Now don’t get me wrong, some dreams our only figments of our imagination, like an author writing a novel. I’m referring to dreams involving the people and places we know. I’m also referring to dreams in terms of sleeping, not a goal or something that we long to achieve.

Have you ever woke up from a dream, remembering all it, and thought to yourself, “that was just on my mind yesterday.” It may have been on your mind recently, but the dream always seems to have all of the gaps filled in, making it a complete story, unlike the scattered series of thoughts. The subconscious filled in these gaps, with influence from those scattered thoughts. Why? Because our hidden mind is a reflection of what we desire the most. It’s our job to take these dreams and attempt to turn them into a reality. I’ve frequently used my dreams to help explain things that have otherwise been mysteries in my life.

Deja vu on the other hand has two forms from my experience. The first is when something is happening and in the back of our mind we think that the exact same thing has happened before. The second form is just the opposite. We think about something happening and it seems so real that it’s happened recently and then all of the sudden it does happen. This second form is pretty spooky if you ask me. For a few seconds it’s almost as if we can predict the future. Predicting the future is something that I don’t believe in at all, so that’s why it’s so spooky for me. My explanation for deja vu is that the subconscious gets lucky in the thoughts it is pumping into our mind.

I’ve left daydreaming for the end because it’s the least significant and has the least to do with the subconscious. For the most part, daydreaming happens when we allow our mind to take over, zoning out everything else around us. I believe that our hidden mind is responsible for the focus and concentration that it takes to drift off into that daydream state. Most of the time (in my experience anyway), daydreaming is nothing more than deep thinking that takes over.

My mind is getting tired just thinking about all of this. Or is it my subconscious taking over? We’ll never know for sure I guess…

My Beliefs

A topic that I’ve struggled with over the past few years.

What is religion?

Which religion is the right one to follow?

Do we need a religion?

Why are there so many different religions?

I don’t know about you, but these are all questions that I’ve asked myself at one time or another. Please note that this is not an attempt to change your beliefs. You can agree or disagree with anything and everything I write here.

In most societies today, people are born into a particular religion. What I mean by this is that our parents choose our religion for us at birth or soon after. We don’t get a say in what our beliefs should be until we are old enough to question them. This is how it has been for centuries and how it will continue to be. I firmly believe that this is wrong. Who is to say that your religion should be my religion? No one! But this is what happens to us as babies when our parents believe that their religion should also be our religion. Religion should be a choice, and for most people, it isn’t. The majority of people never question the religion which was chosen for them and follow it blindly because that is all they have ever known or because they don’t want to question their parents’ choice in religion. Wouldn’t it work better if we were given a choice in religion once we reached our teen years? If this were the case, the religion we choose would be a better fit to what we actually believe, as opposed to fitting what we’ve been brought up to believe. And yes, the two can be very different! I went to a Catholic school from 1st grade to 8th grade, so I’m a prime example as you’ll soon see.

SCIENCE

Just in case you don’t know me very well, I’m not a big religious person. I’m much more of a science and fact based individual. That being said, I don’t believe that Earth was created in 7 days. I don’t have an explanation for how Earth came to be, but then again, who really does? I’m not a believer in the Big Bang Theory either. I like to think that Earth has always been here in some shape or form. One reason why I believe this is because I’m a firm believer in the theory of evolution and survival of the fittest. These two things have been backed up by years and years of science and research. I’ve never seen any facts backing up the belief that Earth was created in 7 short days. It has been scientifically proven that every species evolves and some form of survival of the fittest takes place. Human beings are a prime example. All you need to do is compare the athleticism of the human race 100 years ago to the human race of today.

GOD & FATE

I’m still not quite clear where I stand on this at times. I’m not a believer in god as most religions and most people would describe one, but I do believe in some form of a god. I do not believe in a supreme being that is above all else in the world. This leads me into the topic of fate, which I was thinking about discussing as a separate category. I have never believed in fate on any scale. I believe that I’m in control of my life and I have the ability to make the choices that determine my future. If I were to believe in a god as most religions teach, I would be believing in fate. Fate boils down to not having control over my life. If there were a supreme being out there somewhere, he/she/it has control and my life has already been mapped out. I’d simply be living a script that was written for me. I don’t believe that I just cracked my knuckles in the middle of typing this because that is what I was supposed to do at that exact moment. I believe that I cracked my knuckles because that is what I chose to do. Each religion has their own form of a god, does this mean there are many gods? Why then do most religions teach a single god? If there is a single god, which religion believes in the correct one? Are the followers of every other religion wrong in their beliefs and will this one god punish these people after they die? Doesn’t make much sense to me. Does it to you?

ANGELS & SPIRITS

I don’t believe in guardian angels or any type of spirits (except for some type of god out there). This goes back to my beliefs in science. I’ve never seen an angel or a spirit and until I do, they simply do not exist in my mind. Show me some good solid proof that they exist and I might change my mind. A few people saying that they’ve seen a spirit or talked to one does not constitute proof to me. Our minds play tricks on us all the time. Sometimes what you think you saw and what you actually saw can be quite different.

MIRACLES

If you ask me, this is the biggest hoax of all. What is a miracle? It is something that doesn’t really have an explanation or was thought to be impossible, but then it happened. Just because there isn’t a highly believable explanation for an event doesn’t mean it was an act of some higher being. As humans, we don’t have all the answers for everything, especially in the field of medicine, where everyone is always saying that a miracle has happened. Doctors have never had all the answers, why do you think cancer doesn’t have a cure yet? Just because a doctor doesn’t give someone a good chance of living doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for the tables to turn and for everything to turn out in our favor. Someone’s heart can stop beating for no reason, so why can’t it start beating again after having stopped for 40 minutes? This isn’t a miracle, it’s un unexplainable event in medicine. Now…show me a car falling off a cliff, a pigeon swooping down, grabbing the car, and lifting it back up to safety, and that would be a miracle.

BIBLE

I was brought up as a Catholic, which is a religion based on the most widely read book in the world. Does anyone have a good explanation where this book came from? If so, I’d like to know. How can a book written by so many different people at different times, be believed to have all the answers? I believe there are many lessons that can be learned from the stories in the bible. I also believe that some of the stories may have actually happened, but they are not a history.

Again…these are simply my views on some of the things related to religions. I may be wrong, but this is what I believe. I’m also positive that some of my beliefs will change soon after I think about some of these things in greater detail or someone brings something into the light for me. Everyone has their own right to believe what they wish. If you feel the need to discuss your beliefs with someone else, do not attempt to push your beliefs on them because they may have different ideas than you do. Discuss your beliefs in an attempt to greater understand them or to get some other insight that you may have never thought about.