Saturday, July 30, 2005

Maxie Doodle

Click Title Link.

Instrumental music copyright 1997, Barney Banjo.

Friday, July 29, 2005

entschuldigen Sie

I've been too perturbed about IA's situation to post lately, but what the heck. It's not like I work for the Ladies' Home Journal.

I'm going away to Austria at the end of August. Do you think I can learn to speak German by then, if I start now?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bluto's Live Poker Tournament

Friday I played in Bluto's monthly poker tournament. I missed playing last month, so it was great to get back into a live game again, this time against eight other guys.

I wasn't getting any cards, though. We started around 8 p.m., and I had to wait until darn near midnight before I got my first good set of cards. Everyone played extremely tight, so no one was out.

On one hand, I held an A 8 and took it to the river, even though the flop was rainbow K-9-J. If you ever want to taste it, go down to the wishing well. Only when you see it, it's gonna change your ways, it's going to change your mind. Looking ahead, the turn came up 10. I'm a healer, believe it, gonna carry ya to the end. I kept betting like I had a pair of kings, and all others folded, except the new guy Russ, the chip leader who stayed in with me. I wanted an ace, but the river came up a 7! He bet significantly to me, so I put my best worried look on my face, stood up, and went all in. After almost five minutes, I figured he would fold, so I started to harass him:

G-man: What's it gonna be boy, yes or no?
Others: Yeah, what's it gonna be boy?
Russ: I call.

He had A-10. That put me back in the game. Then I managed to steal quite a few of the ever rising blinds. Many others got taken out, but not by me.

The most exciting hand of the evening was when Bluto was heads up against Mr.Fold. Bluto had A, J suited spades. Two other friends, "TightAss" & "PuffPuffPass" just folded to his 30K raise after the flop. Everytime TightAss would fold, he would throw his mucked cards on top of Bluto's good cards. When Bluto took Tight's cards away, one of Bluto's cards fliped over. Bluto got all pissed off.
TightAss: It's ok, MrFold did not see the card.

We all saw that Mr.Fold was looking down at his chips, debating whether or not he should go "ALL IN", and did not notice Bluto's jack.
Bluto: ok cool, lets play.
PuffPuffPass, blurts out: No, if a card flips over the whole table has to know what it is.

Now that maybe true with a commuity or mucked card, but it was Bluto's card, not a muck card. So PuffPuffPass and the whole table start to argue about whether or not we have to tell Mr.Fold.
Bluto, for the 4TH TIME, joined by the rest of the table: BUT IT IS MY
PuffPuffPass, acting totally stoned and oblivious to all those around
No, if a card flips over the whole table has to know. MrFOLD IT WAS A
Bluto, throwing his hands up: what the hell do we do now?
Mr.Fold: I was going to go "ALL IN" anyway

So, Mr.Fold goes all in, and Bluto calls. Bluto had the A high flush draw, with the turn and river still to come, called. He caught the 5th diamond on the river and took out MrFold. PuffPuffPass finally figures out what we were all talking about and apologizes. That hand goes down in Bluto poker night history.

The strangest hand came thereafter, when Russ went all in after Al and I folded against a miserable flop, with Bluto still remaining. Bluto thought about it for a good while, stated he probably shouldn't go all-in, but did so anyway. Both guys had pocket aces. The odds of getting any particular pair in a single hand are 221:1, so the odds of that are -- like 270K to one heads up, but since there were two other players, it's not quite as rare, but it's still LARGE (I think it's about 90242 to 1)? Come on!!!

Eventually, only Russ and I were left. So I commenced the aggressive, bitch slapping minus the trash talk that I'm getting famous for. We see-sawed a couple of times, then I caught a good flop with a weaker hand and went all-in. He called, but by this time we were about even in chips. He lost, and was left with a marginal amount of chips. He won the next two hands (since he was forced to go all-in, and I wasn't about to give him a blind), but eventually he succumbed. It was 3:30 a.m. in the morning.

And that's how G-man won his second poker tournament.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I'm Your Ice Cream Man

Gillian loves to tease Maxwell. He gets so annoyed with her. His temper is bad enough without all of her teasing, but when she starts in on him, his little body gets completely rigid with anger.

I observed a particularly memorable example this weekend. Maxwell has the biggest sweet tooth of any kid I know. Of course, Max heard Mr. Frosty from the next town over, so he was already climbing the fence to yell at the driver to wait. I told him he couldn't have any ice cream, because he didn't eat his lunch. Just as the air filled louder with those familiar notes, Gillian broke out into song:

GG: Dee-dle-dee-dee, dee-dee dee-dee, da-dee dee dee dee deeeeee dee.

Maxwell will cry, and wipe his eye, cuz he can't get ice cream.

Now, everytime I hear that truck, I can't help laughing, remembering how he chased her around the yard with a wiffle ball bat while she continued to sing her diddy.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Bluto's Comedy Moment

Bluto and Olive went on a cruise together last week. Bluto decided to enter the talent show. His act wasn't bad, but all the Canadian people couldn't understand his really good jokes. Olive let me post an audio recording of his performance here, for your listening pleasure.

Enjoy, G-man

Thursday, July 14, 2005


This is Jawbitch:

This is Jawbitch on her birthday:

Jump up, look around, find yourself some fun. No sense sitting there, healing everyone. No girl's an island, and her castle isn't home -- the nest is full of nothing when the birds have flown.

Happy Birthday Jawbitch.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Response to FTA's Scoping Meeting Notice for Improved Commuter Access

Dear Mr. Sussman:

Like many Suffolk County commuters on the LIRR, I long for more efficient access to and from Penn Station, and ultimately my place of work. The annual soaring costs of commuter tickets (up more than 40%), coupled with the extremely poor service, especially in the winter months, render intense frustration and diminshed productivity among the whole workforce. Eastern passengers pay larger fees for their tickets, but receive poorer service. This is inequitable. Sweeping changes are in order, which may appear fairly radical to the MTA, but in concept are quite simple, and would improve the quality of service for those who pay the most every month.

The LIRR runs eastbound and westbound passenger routes. In the mornings, the volume is decidedly westbound and in the evening, eastbound. The schedules are arranged such that passengers at most local stations board trains traveling toward their ultimate destination. Except for the Port Washington branch, virtually all trains must stop or pass through Jamaica station, which unnecessarily extends the length of their commute.

I suggest rearranging schedules for points east of Jamaica, such that a broader hub-and-spoke system is developed. Express trains should run from the major eastern stations having train yards, such as Huntington and Babylon, directly into Pennsylvania station, without stops at Jamaica and several other points in between. If express bypass tracks around or through Jamaica station are opened up in both eastbound and westbound directions, then less switching would be needed, signaling problems could be reduced, and commutes could be expedited. Cold weather switch freezing at Jamaica has often crippled the entire system - by reducing the number of switches, the chances for commuting disasters and maintenance costs are reduced. I have sent the MTA numerous emails concerning the delays in their system, but they have never offered a solution, only an apology.

If the system is rearranged in this fashion, travelers originating at stations between the hub and the destination would board an opposite bound local train to the hub, and then a high speed express train to their destination. For example, a morning commuter from Amityville would travel eastbound to Babylon, and then westbound directly to Penn Station. A once-per-hour express train could stop at Jamaica to serve the minimal volume of passengers having this destination, or continuing on to JFK via the airtrain. Schedules could be synchronized to accomodate such passengers. In the evening, when volumes are largely eastbound from Penn Station, express service would be offered eastbound to hubs, and local service westbound. Express trains could be sized and run at frequencies to accomodate the overall volume. Express train conductors would only have to check tickets once.

Security, which is a major concern these days, could be improved at these hub stations. Perhaps hub stations and Penn station could improve security by limiting platform access to ticketed passengers only, perhaps through an automated means. Technology already in place for the subway system could be utilized, and then conductors would not even be needed on the express trains, further reducing expenses.

Of course, this would necessitate a complete reworking of train schedules, which have evolved from over a hundred years of operation. Networks are complicated things, but a study of the operation would probably reveal that such a major overhaul in the schedule would result in improved security, easier commutes, and less operational difficulties. Union resistance to a reduction in workforce would need to be overcome. Passengers would need to be educated about such sweeping changes, but in the long run, more efficient and cost effective service could be achieved.

Perhaps a branch line could be established to LaGuardia and L.I. MacArthur airports, in order to provide air travelers with a domestic alternative to JFK, and further improve the infrastructure of our area.

Please submit my comments for the record and hopefully if studied, some or all of my recommendations could be implemented.

Sincerely yours,


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

PCPC Recycle Bin

I right clicked on my politically correct personal computer's recycle bin, but the properties menu doesn't permit changing it to what I want for my birthday:

a dumpster icon.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hot Sauce And Philosphy At Church's Fried Chicken

Little G wanted to taste the hot sauce I swiped from the taco store next to Church's in the BWI airport yesterday. After bugging her eyes out, the sauce must have provoked this reaction:
GG: Daddy, why do the people from Iraq and Pakistan don't want us to follow our religion? Why do the want us to follow their religion?
G-man: I don't know GG, but there's nothing wrong with sharing, especially something good that you believe in, with other people.
GG: But why do they want to hurt other people, like in London?
G-man: There are some evil people who believe that it is ok to hurt or even kill others that don't believe what they do.
GG: Then why did we free the people in Iraq?
G-man: There was an evil dictator there, he was sort of like a king. He and other bad men intimidate the good people there. He was so evil that he even killed many of those people that lived in his own country. So after ten years of asking him to stop, we had to fight his army.
GG: Where is he now?
G-man: We captured him, and he will be tried in a court and punished.
GG: Will they kill him?
G-man: They might sentence him to death.
GG: So now are all the people free?
G-man: No, not yet. There are still many bad men that followed and supported the dictator, and they enjoyed many favors in Iraq. But now that they lost power, they hate others even more, and are scaring the good people from becoming free.
GG: Why can't we just kill all the bad men.
G-man: Because we can't find them. They don't have an army or dress up in uniforms. They sneak around killing innocent people, and then leave their bodies around to scare the rest of the people. Besides, all this killing is not the right answer.
GG: What's the right answer?

G-man: Forgiveness

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Tagged Insomnia

Mia tagged me, and Miss Bliss shares my defect, so I must comply.

The total number of CDs I own:

Between my wife and myself, we have roughly 57 CDs.

The last CDs I bought:
I don't ever recall, ever, buying a CD. Is that sad, strange, or what? I used to buy LPs, and then make cassette tapes of them. Then I gave up listening to music for a good number of years. Then I built an xbox and reloaded my entire collection of music (approximately 20 GBs worth). So now I guess I need to acquire a new taste in music and buy a few new CDs. How much do they go for these days?

Friday, July 08, 2005


We found one novelty store that had hats from all over the world:

I found the contrast striking:

The toystore had a nasty nine piece lighthouse puzzle, which doesn't look bad until you try to do it:

Max crawled into the front window:

They didn't empty the trash too often:

People wore all kinds of clothes:

You can get tennis shoes for less than thirty dollars:

The Shriners were in town, but I went here:

And was sorely temped to get a #210 on the back of my neck:

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Sunday morning we slept late, then we went to McD's for breakfast, then to the CVS to get some benedryl for Max's allergies. On the way back, we stopped at the Light Street pavillion.

While Max and Jawbitch were shopping, I noticed a gathering in front of this store:

So I walked up and took a picture of the time according to the store:

Then, at the risk of nearly getting beaten for jumping in front of the prospective patrons, I took a picture of the front door sign.

After they realized I wasn't trying to jump in front of them, they started bellyaching about the time, and how they were happy I got the proof. What really amazed me was, there were women in that crowd who complained the loudest:

The manager finally showed up. An equal number of folks came in right after the store opened:

Why don't they have anything better to do on a beautiful Sunday morning than to wait for Hooters to open up?

P.S. Who sang the title?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

One Evening At Fells Point

One night, after we ate a wonderful dinner at a "really fancy" restaurant in Fell's Point* called Kali's Court, we took a walk around Fells Point. Max met a fireman with a firetruck.

The fireman knew what Max wanted:

Meanwhile, I met a black guy with a shopping cart:

I rapped with the guy for about ten minutes while watching the fireman trying to extract Max:

The best was the back of his sign (my camera unfortunately ran low on juice), which said, "Niggas killed my family - need money to hire klansmen and get revenge." He confessed to me that his website was not working, but I checked anyway, and made it easy for you to do the same.

*"really fancy" in my stepmom's parlance means that you have to wear a collared shirt. Shorts and sandals are welcome.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I Got The Crabs

Saturday, when we were walking around downtown Baltimore, I noted that the city ripped off the cow sculpture motif that once dotted New York.

Gallery crab

Referee crab

Baltimore's like that, a second-best, also-ran city. You can see it in their tee shirts:

tee shirt

My favorite was the MLK crab in Fell's Point:

MLK crab

Max didn't like the barrel o'crabs I found in one store:

Barrel o'crabs

What's a crab without seasoning?:

Old Bay

Last, but not least, is the pic of Jawbitch, acting like snowshoe:


Friday, July 01, 2005

Long Strange Trip

Driving down to Baltimore today with the kids to visit their grandparents. This may be the last time I drive down there -- nobody ever seems to want to drive up to visit us (or even fly up for that matter).

Happy July. Happy Birthday U.S.A.