Friday, June 27, 2008

SHE DID IT!!!

My mother graduated from the Kennesaw State University Continuing Education Programs Paralegal Program last night. Our entire family and our friends are so proud of her for going after what she wanted and changing her life. I have put together a video for those of you that could not attend to see how much fun we had!


video

Congratulations on your achievement mom!!!!





Thursday, June 26, 2008

Twittering Isn't for Twits

Again I find myself sitting in an airport waiting on a flight back to Atlanta. I love being able to blog about what is on my mind, but have you ever heard of twitter or twittering?

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send "updates" (or "tweets"; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter web site, via the Twitter web site, short message service (SMS), instant messaging, or a third-party application such as Twitterrific or Facebook. I have also found there are some great mobile applications for Twitter.

Updates are displayed on the user's profile page and instantly delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. The sender can restrict delivery to those in his or her circle of friends (delivery to everyone is the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, instant messaging, SMS, RSS, email or through an application.

If you want to download the application you can get it and more information at Twitter.com.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

You Are Not In Kansas Anymore

Yesterday on my drive from Memphis to Little Rock I saw something that amazed me and had me thinking in the end that "I was not in Kansas anymore." What was this thing that so enthralled me - this thing that has me scrawling a note on my virtual message bulletin board? Are you ready? No really? Here it comes....

It was a tornado. Granted, this was not a large tornado and I didn't feel in danger at any point. On the F-scale this think might have been 1/2. In fact the sky was about 50% covered by clouds and I found the formation of this tornado to be unusual, but it was there....off to my left in a farm field near a barn twirling away. At first I thought it might just be a good sized dust devil, but as it began picking up dirt you could clearly see the core and the definition of the funnel went about 3/4 of the way up to the cloud that spawned it. It wasn't raining either, which I thought was weird and the funnel appeared to be barely moving from West to East and as I passed it I kept looking back over my shoulder to remind myself that I really had seen a tornado.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Spanking the Monkey in Phoenix

So right now it is close 2:14 a.m. on the east coast and I am sitting in the Phoenix airport people watching as I wait for my flight back to Atlanta - yes it is a red eye.

As I was sitting here I realized I neglected to mention the training I had done on Cardrunners.com before I came out to Vegas for this trip. Where I concentrated was on end of tournament strategy and I believe the videos I watched prepared me well to befuddle my foes and help me keep the pressure on others at the table. In poker it is always better to have others make decisions than for them to have you make decisions and the three Cardrunners videos I watched illuminated that point to me when it comes to short table situations.
Now some random thoughts.....

Who the heck designed this airport? They forgot to put power plugs in the walls so I can recharge my laptop!!!

Earlier tonight I played a $6.50 SnG on PokersStars waiting for my flight to PHX in LAS. I started about 40 mintues before the flight was set to board and actually won the SnG on the jet way as the flight attendant asked me if I was the last one. I was in fact the last one to board the flight. The guy I ended up playing heads up was pissed at me because I was shoving with any 2 good cards and in the end pushed with a 3-5 to get it over while he called with A-K. Of course nothing hit except for my 5 on the river. He called me a donkey and I will take the criticism, but he doesn't understand I was working on a time limit.

I look forward to sleeping in my own bed and resuming a normal schedule...at least until Tuesday when I travel again.

My girlfriend rocks!!!!

Enough random thoughts for now. Think I will pull up Cardrunners and watch a couple videos.

Winning at the WSOP 2008

Today marked a milestone for me in my ever continuing quest to become a better poker player. Why? Because today - Friday, June 20th - I won my first ever "anything" at the WSOP. It was only a single table sit and go for a $175 buy-in, but considering my showing last year this was great! In the end I chopped the prize with another player, but I had commitments to meet and was very confident I could have taken him down as I had already eaten into his chip stack several times and he only got even by taking out the 3rd place finisher garnering close to 3000 chips to make him just barely the chip leader.

I must admit I was a bit nervous out of the gate, but settled in after I entered my first pot eventually folding my pocket sixes to an unfavorable board of over cards and a sizeable bet from another player. I believe that my table image was that of a weaker player as I folded more than once from the blinds and finally annouced my presence during my second hand when I was dealt A-K in the 25-50 blinds under the gun and raised to 350 leaving me 400. I had one call from an aggressive player and the flop came A-Q-5. I pushed all in for the rest of my chips and the other player tried to get me to talk to him about my cards. I eventually told him, "you don't have the nuts to call me" and after another couple comments from him I told him "to stop putting on a show and fold", which he did. This put me back in the game and from there I took down some sizeable pots avoiding trouble I typically find myself in by limiting my starting hand range based on position and making several moves once I had established my image as a solid player that didn't play junk.

I proved to myself today that I can play with just about anyone and more importantly know what I am doing. It is funny because just prior to entering the tournament today I was questioning my abilities and this went a long way towards building up my self confidence.
If you are coming to the WSOP this year with Team API, or on your own and have never been here before take the time to chat with those of us that have so you don't feel overwhelmed when you first enter a tournament. We all want to win and I know the skill of many of the players in API is good.

Here is to more winning stories for us at the 39th WSOP.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My $240 Dish Network Decision

I have a big decision to make - to cancel my Dish Network agreement it will cost me $240. I am thinking it may be worth it since I have 13 months left on an 18 month agreement and since I am already paying them nearly $80 a month for service. Their loss will be greater than my own in the long run (they lose $80 a month - I lose $19) or to net it out I save $800 over the next 13 months by canning these clowns.

In fact it gets even better...if I cancel them I don't have to pay their flaky goon to come to my house and fix their terrible system for $29 making it an even better deal.

Considering all the problems I have had with Dish Network (twice) this seems like a no brainer.

Free over the air HDTV - here I come!!!

Mr. Customer - Bend Over and Take It

You hear it all the time from friends, family and acquaintances. You see it all the time on the news. What is it you may ask? I'll tell you - "more and more companies offer a poor customer experience" - and what's more they really don't care!

In the last month I have had absolutely terrible service from my television provider, Dish Network, on more than one occasion. I am constantly losing my signal, they installed my second receiver in the wrong place and want to charge me $99 to fix their mistake, my neighbors and I are fighting over changing channels on each others receivers, my main receiver had to be replaced and now for the ultimate insult -- they are going to charge me $29 for their technician to come to my house to figure out why I am having a problem with their service!!!! This is my second go around with Dish Network and now I remember why I threw them out more than 6 years ago. Why does a company think they can dump on their customers and keep them? In Dish's case it is because of an 18 month contract that I won't be renewing and if you are thinking about signing up with them I strong urge you to reconsider.

Example number 2: My girlfriends experience with ADT. ADT is a provider of alarm and security services to homes, business, and government. They installed a system at my girlfriends house and she pays them each month to monitor it. Twice in the last month the alarm has gone off in the middle of the night for no reason and not performed as advertised - ADT's answer - give us $25 and we will come out an look at it again! Considering she had to pay them once already to come out and "fix" it the first time does it seem reasonable or responsible for them to charge her again. Companies like ADT don't get that bad news travels fast and users of their services influence new customers - like me - I was considering ADT for the new alarm system at my house but now they are disqualified for simply being stupid.

Example number 3: My friend Jason's experience with United. Suffice it to say he does a much better job of explaining his frustrations than me because I don't fly United, but here is a synopsis. He used miles to fly his wife and child to Israel in first class and they were treated like second class citizens. I know United is having financial issues, but again don't they understand it takes a lot more work to gain back a customer than to keep one happy?

I have come to the conclusion that I won't use any of the companies named above if I don't have to - take note Dish Network, ADT, and United Airlines - I think you all suck and my dollar will go a lot further with one of your competitors. If I want to pay someone to abuse me I will seek out some type of government service or find a practionier of BDSM - I don't need you to treat me or anyone I know like shit. Word travels and in the Internet age I am sure that more than one person will read this and it will factor into their decision of where to spend their dollar and in these tough financial times losing my purchase might not hurt, but as word spreads I am sure the impact will be real. So keep treating your customers like mushrooms and making us pay fees for baggage, to service your equipment, and put common sense to the side and suffer the consequences.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Tackling the Unseen

If you have ever been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition you will understand what I am about to discuss. In late January 2008 my doctor told me I was diabetic - that is I have diabetes. Diabetes is when your body doesn't use, or properly use the insulin created by your pancreas to deliver glucose to your cells. My A1C was off the chart indicating I had an average blood glucose level of 250, which is far outside normal limits. I took it hard. I was in a serious state of denial for several months. It is partly genetic and partly my fault for not taking care of myself better through proper diet and exercise, but rest assure that I am focused now and have several important reasons to make sure I manage my condition.

I am at the beginning of a long road. I have committed myself to a new diet and exercise regimen and an overall more active life style that minimizes the risk of complications from being a diabetic. It took me a while to come to grips with this "unseen" adversary, but through the help of my doctor, friends and a diabetes/nutrition education program from Northside Hospital I see the light, not the end.

If you are a friend or acquaintance of mine I ask for your support in changing several habits I have had for a long time. As one of my nurses told me, "being diabetic is not your fault, but it is your responsibility." This rings very true. The other think that springs to mind is "one must admit they have a problem before they can address it." This is my address, message and challenge to what I cannot see, what I did not want to admit, and my pledge to tackle it head on.

I simply ask for your support.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hooters and Poker

So tonight I worked late and then went to dinner at Hooters. One thing I noticed about the Hooters here is that the waitresses were much younger and more attractive than other Hooters I have been too. Let's face it, Hooters is not what it used to be - or I just got a bit older and now know better - take your pick. It helps that there are 3 universities around the area to draw from and I would have to say they have picked well.

After I got home from Hooties I played one SnG on PokerStars.com with a $5.50 buy-in. I played very well in the tournament irght up to the point I got knocked out at 4th - on the bubble. Let's just suffice to say I put him on the right cards and called anyways. He had A-K offsuit. I had A-Q suited. I missed the flush by 1 (a.k.a. as an Alabama flush). I am a bit irritated with myself because I know that even if I had folded I could have come back into the money and you must be at the table to get into the money. So I screwed up. Lesson learned and documented here for all to see. On the bright side, I am playing better and feel like my tune up for the WSOP in Las Vegas is going well and I did win a SnG last night so the sky isn't falling just yet!

Business Meeting Double Speak

I am sitting in my office near Raleigh, North Carolina listening to a conference call that one of my co-workers set up. I have no involvement in this call...he is just taking it here because we have the room and have been working on other items for the better part of the day.

What I find funny and frustrating is the double speak that is going on with his call. As far as I can tell they know what they want to accomplish, but every other person goes off on a verbal diatribe about something not relevant to the overall conversation. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard various buzzwords used, like "synergy", "transformational", and "cross sell". It makes me want to gag and go print out a game card to see how soon I could stand up and shout "Bull Shit"!

Don't get me wrong...not all calls are like this, but when one comes along it gets your ire up and loses your attention all at the same time.

That's it for today. I just needed to vent.