Oooooh what a lucky man, I am....

"True friends, are family you get to choose." Bam-Bam (Sept. 2003)

That was part of my speech as best man at my brudder C.C. and Momma Guebo's reception. Obviously at the time, it was directed to our best friends. But as of late, the phrase has come back to me, and it seems to be stuck on repeat. For the record, I'm totally OK with that! The troubles over the last two weeks, have given me great pause for reflection. I thought I'd share the blogger related side of this journey with you.

I have a friend totally willing to offer us his free expert medical advice. At a time when informed opinions matter the absoloute most!

I have a friend who just made me laugh to the point of tears for over 5 minutes. At a time when I didn't even think I could smile.

I have a friend who just calls to help me talk things out. This friend genuinely offers anything I need at any time. At a time when needs can be heavy enough to hold you firmly in place, like the weight of the world on your shoulders.

I have some friends who know that distraction can be what I need the most. At a time when all seems so focused on the negative.

I have a friend who not only is taking care of a friend of mine, as she tours through NYC this weekend. But this friend offered up his home and life, not to me, but to a complete stranger. Just 'cause she's a friend of mine! At a time when I'm just too busy, and unable to help her get the most out of her trip.

I have a friend that I just can't wait to get together with in September. This friend not only helps me hook up with others at times of need, but this guy genuinely makes me feel better about belonging in our little community. This friend totally gets it, and treats me like I do too! At a time when feeling good about myself, could not possibly mean any more to me.

I have a friend that makes me smile and laugh. At a time when bad thoughts can cloud judgement and run rampant throughout my brain, I can recall our past memories to block out the pain and anguish of the present. This friends constant drive, also helps me see the importance of pushing forward.

I have a friend that should really post a little bit more. He writes so damn well, that he draws you into the story with his very first words. This friend can bring a smile to my face just by showing up at the table. At a time when smiles are few and far between.

I have a friend that makes me laugh almost every single day. At a time when laughter really is the best medicine. Despite his incredible lack of taste in NFL teams, I feel honoured and fortunate to get the chance to debate a few subjects with this friend in September.

I have a friend who despite his incredibly hectic sex life, ( with a female even! :) ) always finds the time to offer up a lesson or advice from something I've said or done. At a time when trying to learn from mistakes, can be difficult due to distractions.

I have a friend who not only does a great Otis impersonation, but who genuinely always has the right thing to say, at the right time. At a time when I need to hear them the most!

I have a friend that is NOT moving a little closer to Bedrock. Yet despite this saddening news, I can't help but feel better for him somehow. At a time when any kind of feeling better, is far superior to some of the feelings going through my thoughts these days.

I have a friend that just shows up and proceeds to make me feel great. At a time when times of greatness, are getting fewer and fewer.

I have a friend I haven't yet met face-to-face. This friend seems to be capable of reading my mind and getting my thoughts down in writing quite often. Only to get them posted a day or two earlier than I'm able to do. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The frequency with which G-Rob is able to get this done, is often incredibly eerie. But the subject is (almost :) ) always better written, than the mess that I had started to put together.

I have a friend whom I just can't say enough about. I'll let my arms do the talking in September, and leave it at that. (((hugs))

I have a friend that I'm hoping all my other friends will try to convince, (read apply copiuos amounts of "beer-pressure!" ) her to gather with us all at The Bash. Nothing could make my Pebbles and I happier, than for the four of us to sit down to a drink together. At a time when we could surely use some good times. Here's the first of the real "beer-pressure" to be applied. I'm buying!

I'll never be able to cover in retrospective, what all of you my friends out there mean to the two of us. But I truly am a very lucky man!

True friends, are family you get to choose.

No matter how dissfunctional this may all appear at times, blessed be those that have some family. I feel truly blessed to have you all.

My sincerest thanks for dropping by....


Not how.... but WHY???.....

I asked DonKaaa if he would be interested in stopping by the cave to run through the Skillz PLO H/L game with me. I know that he's had some deep runs in rather large MTT's, and also made a fair bit of cash at the tables with this game. Since I consider myself an "Omatard," I was hoping to get a lesson from someone that is way better at it than me. Not just a lesson in how to play, since like most, I have the basics down pretty pat. But WHEN to play has always been an issue. I figured DonKaaa was just the guy I needed to help me out.

It turns out that in PLO H/L with bloggers, the time to play is push and pray! Laugh at me all you will for some of my decisions in NLHE! I have big shoulders and I can take it. Hell! Everyone of you is better than me at NLHE and finishing lower than me in an MTT more than once, should be an embarrassment! But good lord! Give you Donks 4 cards... and I'll just sit back and watch the retardedness grow and grow! What is it? Do you sit there and say things like, "OMG! It gave me four more cards this time! This games GREAT! I should bet pot!"

I'm just a gentle man hoping to be considered a gentlemen by most, but holy fuck people! Something I don't normally do is pay attention to anything but my own table. But last night I watched attentively, as several players were repeatedly beaten by some 'interesting' starting hands. Now I'm not stupid enough to call any one person out by name. (without being face to face with that very person. 'cause that IS how I roll!) Besides, this was a condition that applied to far too many players to be that specific anyhow. I watched HOY get clobbered by well.... let's just say, another beauty. I ended up taking HOY out when he only had about 35 chips left. I bet out just to make it a race one on one, and isolate what was probably a fairly wide range of hands for him in that particular spot. Right after I bet the chips out, the first thing that popped into my head was, "retard! These guy's won't fold! You know that you idiot!"

I didn't end up getting my lesson from DonKaaa as obviously, he was pretty worked up about playing the format himself. So I needed to figure out the "when" to play part, all on my own. It seems to me, the answer is always..... or .... never. I took about 35 screen caps and recorded about 20 hand histories last night. After considering everything involved in putting them out there for review, I decided it's smarter to keep them to myself. Now I'm far from saying I'm perfect! I made a few moves myself last night. But they were just that, MOVES! Folding after a re-steal attempt is NOT a sin folks! I've never in my life seen so many, "push n' pray 'cause I got four cards and just got caught with crap after a raise," hands being played. Honestly! If this was a live home game, I'm pretty sure we'd have needed some type of first aid personnel present.

Maybe I'm just tired from not getting any sleep since I can't remember exactly when, but what a fucking painful joke last night ended up being! The play last night, actually makes me very proud of my sixth place finish. Not because of my great play by any means! It's more like I should buy the T-shirt that reads, "I sorta survived a blogger PLO H/L game!" kind of feeling.


I'll be taking the next couple of days off to spend a little more time with Fred. Hopefully, he'll be making the trip down the road to full recovery. I'm also hoping that I'll accidentally get just a little bit of sleep, as a result of the time off.

To my friends out there.... Thanks for what you do and for being you! I can't imagine how I can repay you for the thoughts, prayers and love you've shown us.


Lastly, there's been a fair bit of good writing lately about "entitlement." You can find two of them that are well worth the read HERE and HERE. But there's also a third post on the subject, and I personally think it's some of this particular bloggers best work. Take a moment when you get the chance, to check out how good my brudder Carson can write... when he puts his mind to it! Check him out HERE.

My sincerest thanks for dropping by....


Long days, and longer nights....

Fred update first I guess. There is fluid in his Lungs. The plan was, to try and drain one this afternoon and if all goes well, to get to the other one sometime tomorrow. That went awry last night. They took out just over a litre from his right lung to try and ease his breathing. Not sure right now what the time frame is to clear the left lung. Also after 1,000,076 years of existence without any issues, he somehow has managed to be put under the full grip of Asthma.

There is also a concern for his blood flow. The only way they can get a blood pressure reading, is to do it manually. Obviously, this is a result of getting the Cumedin out of his system. This has me rather concerned for the issues that can arise like they have in the past. It just gets frustrating to consider the Chess game that Fred seems to be stuck in. Where each move must be thought out and considered, for the repercussions that may occur as a result. There's just so much going on and each specific item, can so drastically affect something else. No word on the biopsies as of yet, but we once again have fingers crossed for any kind of good news.

This has all been so terribly hard on my Peb's. You see, Fred comes from a family of 17 children. Many of his family have passed, and she's seen her fair share of similarities to some of those situations and what her father is going through right now. Sleep is non-existent and waking hours, often take on a near 'zombie' like appearance for us both. We'll need some good news soon, or we're both going to become complete wrecks. I am trying to do my job and stay strong and supportive but even at that, Peb's has the odd outburst or meltdown that just rips at my heart. I lose the words and can only hold her 'till it stops. Knowing how strong she really is, it just kills me to know how worried she is right now.

Thanks to each one of you my friends, for your well wishes, good thoughts and all the prayers. They're so much more appreciated by both myself and Peb's, than I am capable of expressing at this time.


Poker has been almost non-existent as of late. With the exception of a few SnG's here and there. I get just the odd quick hit as a way of distracting myself when there's some free time available. (read can't sleep!) After getting in late from from visiting Fred last night, I did make it in time to waste away my remaining 500 in chips at the TuckFard HORSE game. I ended up with nothing but a draw heavy hand against Muhctim. If I was giving the last of my chips to anyone at the table I found myself sitting at, it would be my man muhc. So with nothing but a wing, a prayer and maybe a quarter of the deck to draw to, I got'em in bad. Somehow, I did not improve and I was done. No excuses, no bad beat and no man I played like a Donkey. With not getting to the game until first break, I had no chips left and if I was to continue I needed the double-up. I was presented with a good draw and another two players were nice enough to juice up the pot and run. I had a chance to more than quadruple up and made the decision that this was my best shot. In the end, Muhc was way ahead, stayed that way and deserved the pot! Just as it should be. I do know however, that muhc wouldn't have been too disappointed had I put a beat on him there. It was next to nothing from his stack to call, and he managed to find a hand.

I say it every Tuesday I know, but it's always great to see our regular crew at TuckFard games. Muhc is almost always the first one registered and for whatever reason, we seem to draw the same tables every week. No complaints here. I love our little chats and we 'can' play some good poker together too. Cem was out again last night as well. Always great to see one of the guy's running one of the other events out there and cem has one of my favorites. The Skillz series runs on FullTilt every Tuesday night, (yes that's tonight!) and plays a rotation of games outside of NLHE. If you can't quite get enough pain and punishment from the RnG in NLHE lately, I think tonight's game at cem's place is, Pot Limit Omaha H/L. May the poker gods have mercy on our souls!

Most of you that read here already know about all the other games out there, but after checking my stats there may be a few that aren't aware of some of the other places we get together every week to play. So, why not pimp? Wednesday's are, the Mook!" Mookie's game is one of the granddaddy's of blogger poker and almost always gets the largest head count. It's well deserved too! Great host, very entertaining poker and some of the finest bloggers in our community stop by there, each and every week. It's played Wednesday nights on Tilt and should be a regular stop for those looking for some real MTT experience.

Thursday nights, you can find the Riverchasers game on Tilt. Due to it's slightly earlier start, this one's a little easier to make for the Eastern half of the continent. Many of the crowd are folks you may have seen in the mookie. But there's also a unique Chasers crowd that can have you rolling on the floor with a comment, or rolling back in your chair as they continue to take your chips at will. Always a good time though!

I never know how to accurately describe the Friday game to be honest. It's along the lines of great sex, you know? It has to be experienced for the first time, to truly be believed. Kat's Donkament is "The Crack" of Blogger games. Give it a try the first time you think you may sit down at FullTilt on a Friday night. A $1 NLHE game, with $1 re-buy's for the first hour. And trust me! You will eventually see everyone in Blogdem at a Friday night game my friends. Though most find it mildly addictive, The Donkament also has a therapeutic value to it that is best experienced and most difficult to explain.

For your entertainment purposes on Saturdays, there's a little game run by a "blogger" named Pauly. I have yet to make it out once as of yet, but the first chance I get to free up a Saturday afternoon, you know I'll be there. Saturdays with Dr. Pauly runs on PokerStars at 4:20pm and is a $10 by-in PLO format. From what I hear, HermWarfare has been pretty much running over everyone at will. With several top finishes in a row. They say even The Rooster hasn't been able to stop him as of yet.

When you have $5.50 burning a hole in your FullTilt account, hit up The BritBlogament games. The 4:00pm start is perfect for those lazy Sunday afternoons when you've either got all the chores done, or you just don't give a shit about them and your jones'in for some pokah! Friendly crowd, low buy-in and several from this side of the pond try and make the trip every week or so. More good times indeed!

So there you have it! Places to go and Bloggers to see. Hope to see you at one of them soon!

My sincerest thanks for dropping by....


Exactly what we needed....

After a particularly tough week for us both, plans to golf at Wooden Sticks with DonKaaa and the lovely Queen_K, were just the distraction the two of us needed.

The update on Fred is, that we don't know much more than we did at the end of the week. It seems that his shortness of breath stems from some water on the lungs. They're working on that. There's also going to be quite a bit more testing done, with hopes that all issues can be addressed in order of importance. His spirits remain high and his mood is generally good. Hopefully we can pick him up a little bit more, by telling him all about the course we played on yesterday. Fred does love his golf!

The idea behind Wooden Sticks design is simple. They've re-created 12 of the most famous holes in golf, so that anyone can get the chance to play them. You start out at Oakmont, trying to avoid the "Church Pew" bunkers along the right side.

One things for certain, the holes don't get any easier just because they're not PGA Tour inspired. Here's DonKaa and Queen_K on the second hole. It's an original design, but look at all those bunkers protecting that tiny narrow fairway!

For some, I'm sure that the tee shot from the 13th. hole inspired by Pine Valley, can be just a touch intimidating on first glance.

Here's a chance for you to use your keen eye. See if you can spot Peb's in this next picture. The hole is "The Postage Stamp," 8th. hole from Royal Troon.

Despite some of these holes being some of our favorite designs from all over the world, the key focus for all of us that held the most excitement was the 17th. It's an exact replication of TPC Sawgrass' Island green 17th. hole.

If you look closely at this next picture, you should be able to see 4 balls on the green. So the four of us aren't exactly sure what the fuss about hitting a silly little "Island green" is all about.

Hell! Un-like some guy's favorite robot, I even did it without feeling the need to scream obscenities at DonKaaa, as there was a little click right at the point of impact.

Up on the Tee at the 17th., I made a comment about the Sunday pin placement. I mentioned that the traditional Saturday front location would have been so much nicer. Having the pin there gives you real hope for the hole-in-one. Apparently, I really was there a day too late!

The last hole on the course, gives every golfer the chance to say the corny "good bye" to St. Andrews. It's the home hole and it really is a breathtaking view.

Instead of saying good bye, my Peb's made us all say "HELLO." As she launched another herculean drive to just 60 yds. short of the 18th. green. I tried to explain to her that 260 yds. is 'not bad' for all up hill into a typically stiff St. Andrews head wind! But in all honesty, I guess she deserves the right to taunt us here.

For a golfer, this place was like Mecca! The beauty just never stopped and rounding every corner to the next hole, was like Christmas morning to a 5 year old. This was such an exceptional distraction at a time when it was needed the most. DonKaaa and Queen_K..... We can't think of anyone we would have rather spent yesterday with! You two have always been there for us and we can't thank you enough. OH wait! I guess I could pay you back the money I owe you, after "forgetting my wallet" yesterday huh? I think I better make sure that cash is handed right to Queen_K. I know who to keep happy in that family! Well, that is when Mini-DonK-EH isn't around!

Hospital again tonight, so I don't think I'll make the TuckFard I game. But I'll probably register for the 8:00pm. TuckFard II HORSE game. Worst case scenario if I don't make it back in time, you guy's can all just share my chips. Wait! That just sounds like any other week!

Hope to see you there tonight.

My sincerest thanks for dropping by....