Vacations Are Nice, But…

A vacation from work and normal life is always a nice thing. It helps to clear the mind and gives you time re-focus on things. It’s fun to get away from all of the normal, everyday responsibilities that we have. Vacations are a time to relax, have fun, un-wind, and “free your mind” (couldn’t help myself with the Matrix quote).

I enjoyed a long 5 day weekend up in northern Michigan with family and friends. Went out to the bars a couple of nights and played poker every single day that I was home. I’m not the only one becoming obsessed with the game! I think I’m going to take this week off from playing…I’ve had enough for awhile. The Lions pulled out a win on Thanksgiving, which made the food even more enjoyable. I got to sleep in until at least 11a.m. each day that I was home, so that was awesome, but I’m dreading waking up early again in the morning for work.

Is it just me, or is it that a vacation is never long enough? I never want to get back to work after a period away from the office. I like getting back to my regular life, but the work part is never fun to go back to. Maybe it’s because I know that I’ll just have to put up with the same old bullshit. Hopefully in the future I’ll work somewhere that I don’t feel that way. :-/

Well…I suppose I should try to get some sleep. My body isn’t going to agree with early to bed and early to rise after 5 days of long nights and sleeping in.

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.

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…