Chillin Chillin...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Dolphin Season starts Tomorrow

Well, it does for me at least. Very excited about this season and this years draft. Would love it if we had more draft picks, but what are you going to do. We had to give up our 2nd rounder for Culpepper. Not sure where the rest of the picks went, but we have a 1st rounder (16th overall), a 3rd rounder, a 4th rounder, and a bunch of 7th rounders.

The needs for our team are focused around the OLB, DT, WR, S, backup QB, and backup RB positions. I think Harrington is a lock for the back QB position, but I think Saban doesn't want to reveal that until after the draft. Between the radio talk shows, message boards, and ESPN, nobody has been able to figure out what Saban (The Nicktator) is going to do.

Some people are saying if Cutler is available at 16 the Dolphins will be able to trade down. If he's not they will go for Santonio Holmes or Chad Jackson. Others are saying Saban will stick to his roots (Saban was a defensive back in his day) and draft a Saftey (Jason Allen's name has been thrown around).

Whatever it is I'm sure will help the Dolphins. It seems we have so many needs, it won't make a difference. Can't wait for the season start.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Time to move on... Again

Well, I gave my two weeks notice to BankAtlantic yesterday, and I am on way back to work at Access Diabetic Supply (ADS).

This is nothing to be proud of, but this will be my seventh job (now twice with ADS; that's a first) since I started back in May of 2000.

I am really excited about going back to ADS. They have a new director starting next Monday who has a wealth of experience (at least that's what his resume indicates). Looking forward to working and learning a lot from him.

When I start over there my focus will be on their Leads application (migration to .NET and SQL Server 2005, and implementing CISCO IPCC features). Should be lots of fun.

I'm hoping to be able to use a lot of the stuff I learned while I was at Infinity Software Development (ISD) as far as project planning and project design. Something I have missed since I left ISD.

So now the big question is how long will I last at ADS?

Based on my past it doesn't look good:

Semtor: 05/2000 - 03/2002
StrataSys Group LLC: 03/2002 - 12/2002
Veracity Group LLC: 12/2002 - 03/2003
Infinity Software Development: 03/2003 - 06/2005
Access Diabetic Supply: 06/2005 - 10/2005
BankAtlantic: 10/2005 - 05/2006
Access Diabetic Supply: 05/2006 - ??/????

I think it's time to break the trend. Hopefully I will have a long and wonderful career (career?, what's that?) with ADS.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Props to Nova Baseball Team

Looks like my highschool's baseball team is making a pretty strong run this year. Had to give them some props. Here are the latest polls.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Back from Vegas

What a much needed trip for Leslie and I. Wish I wish still out there playing poker, but had to come back to reality.

Friday's trip was uneventful. We had a lot of turbulence the last thirty minutes of the flight into Vegas, but other than that it was ok. We should have packed some food for the flight. I was pretty stubborn at the layover in Dallas and decided to not get something at the airport (only thing close to our gate was Popeye's, yuck). By the time we got to the Bellagio I was starving and exhausted. We checked in and checked out the room (very nice), and then walked around the hotel in search of food. Somehow we ended up in Caesar's and ate dinner at one of their restaurants (pretty good).

I wasn't feeling too good after dinner, so we headed back to the room. Surprisingly it was very cold (40s or 50s), and the winds were around 15-20 mph. Got back to the room, eight o'clock hit and I was out. Leslie stayed up for a couple hours watching TV.

Saturday morning we were both up at four o'clock (not adjusted to the time yet). We tried to go back to sleep, but it wasn't happening. Went to eat breakfast at Cafe Bellagio, which was some good stuff. Then we headed towards the south side of the strip. Walked down to Mandalay Bay to check out the hotel. Wanted to show Les where we stayed for her bro's bachelor party. While we were their, I sat down to play some $2/$4 limit poker. After about a forty-five minute session I was down $30. There was one hand that killed me where I hit a set of 2's. Girl caught a straight on the river and stole a big pot from me. Leslie played the slots and was down around $10.

After that we made our way back to the Bellagio. We walked through New York, New York, The Luxor, Ex Calibur and a handful more hotels. When we got back to the hotel we changed into our swimsuits and headed down to the pool. It was beautiful outside. We stayed out there for about an hour, and then loooked for somewhere to eat lunch. Ended up at a small cafe outside of Bellagio's Poker room. This is where we got our first glimpse of all of the Professional Poker players. Throughout the trip we saw the following people play in the Bellagio Poker Room: Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negraneau, Johny World, Gus Hanson, Cecilia Mortensen, Barry Greenstein, Freddie Deeb, Phil Gordon, James Woods, Humberto Brenes, Erick Lindgren, Antonio Esfandiari, and David Williams. Very cool stuff. Some of them were playing in a 25K Satellite, and the others were playing 3K-6K limit Hold 'Em.

After lunch we went back up to the room to relax for a bit. I then took a walk to the Mirage to pick up our tickets for the Danny Gans show. While I was there I checked out the Poker Room and entered myself in a $70 10 person Sit and Go. I started off pretty well, and was able to steal three or four blinds. The second level of blinds is where everything went downhill. I was dealt pocket Js, and was two spots to the right of the button. Blinds were 25/50 and two players limped in when it came to me. I didn't want any callers so I raised it up to $350 (1/3 of my stack). The button re-raised me all-in (I had him covered by 325). Was in a bind, thought I was against AK or A's or Ks. Was hoping for AK and called him, but he turned over Ks. I then waited eight or nine more hands before I made my move to double up. Was faced with had A2 vs Q7 (big blind called). He flopped a 7 and I was the first person eliminated.

So I headed back to the hotel to tell Les the news. My gambling for the trip was off to a bad start (-$100). We slowly got ready for the night the rest of the afternoon, and headed to a Japanese restaurant called Shintaro in the Bellagio for dinner. Hibachi, our favorite. Was a pretty expensive dinner, but it was worth it. We sat with a guy who was playing in all of the poker tournaments Bellagio had running (including the 25K tourney). This guy was buddies with TJ Cloutier, and placed in a couple of the WSOP events last year. Had a good time chatting poker with him and his kid. Sounded like he was living a nice life. He also plans on spending the entire month of June in Vegas (must be nice).

We got out of dinner with enough time to get lost on our way to the Mirage and still make it in time for the Danny Gans show. The show was great. This guy is extremely talented. It's amazing how many different impersonations he can do. He had a couple (Homer Simpson and Jay Leno) that needed some more practice, but man it was funny stuff.

After the show we played a little blackjack at Caesar's and I lost $80. Had a couple of nice runs of three winning hands in a row, but couldn't get to four. Headed back to the room after the blackjack and called it an early night.

Woke up pretty early on Sunday. Went to a coffee shop in Bellagio for breakfast, and then went to O'Sheas. O'Sheas is a small casino we found when we came to Vegas for Matt and Shak's wedding. They have $5 blackjack and $.25 Roulette and Craps. Leslie sat down and played blackjack for about an hour while I watched. She ended up $20 for the session. We then headed over to Harrah's to check out the hotel in hopes of some WSOP apparel (I later found out Rio's is the hotel that hosted the WSOP last year).

While we were there I visited the poker room, and sat down to play what I thought was $1/$2 limit. After two or three hands I realized it was $1/$2 No Limit. No big deal. Figured I would play real tight and wait for a hand. The first hand I ended up playing was AQ on the small blind. There were 5 callers and I decided to stick with my conservative play and just call. The flop was AQ7. I was first to act and I checked. The guy to the left of me threw out a $15 bet. Everyone folded, and I re-raised him to $55. He called. The turn was a 3. I went all-in (another $40), and he called and flipped over QJ. Sweet!! Doubled up after about 15 minutes of play.

For the next 15 minutes I stayed out of the action again. I then got dealt 56 off suit on the big blind and was able to see a flop for free (3 players). The flop was J65. I checked the flop and was to the button. He bet out $10. I re-raised it to $35 (which put him all-in). Both players called my raise and we checked to the river. I ended up taking down the pot with my 2 pair against his Js. Played about ten more hands and then cashed out up $175.

After that we walked through a couple hotels. We went through the Venetian, and the Wynn. Both hotels were very nice. While we were at the Wynn a very bad thing happened. I was introduced to the slot Wheel of Fortune. Be very careful of this slot machine. Leslie was obsessed with it. It's very misleading. You deposit your money, and can play anywhere from 1 to 15 lines. We were mostly playing 15 lines. Where this slot gets you is say play 15 lines (15 credits), and win, the slot machine makes all of kind of noises (you would think you won a car). You get all happy and start getting into it. But it turns out you only won 4 credits, so you actually lost money. Still the noise of the slot, and the fact that you can spin the wheel every 20 spins, kept us amused, and we ended up throwing away close to $20.

After that we jumped on the monorail over to Bally's. In Bally's we spotted a Sbarro's and sat down to eat some lunch. After that it was back to Bellagio, where Leslie headed up to the room, and I stood outside the poker room to watch the likes of James Woods. He didn't fair well while I was watching him, but he is apparently a very good poker player.

Watched the poker for about thirty minutes and headed up to the room to get in the swim gear. We chilled out by the pool for 45 minutes and then watched some more poker. Headed up to the room and started getting ready for the night. Went over to Caesar's around 5:00 to pick up the tickets for Celine. Unfortunately the show was cancelled because Celine was sick. Apparently she cancelled Saturday nights show too. We were really bummed.

That left us with a lot of time for gambling. I headed straight for the poker room while Leslie looked for the closest Wheel of Fortune slot. I really liked Caesar's Poker Room. They had flat screens in there that showed the waiting lists, and they had a lot of tables. I put my name down for a $60 Sit and Go. After waiting for about 10 minutes I decided to also put my name down for $1/$2 No Limit. Fifteen minutes later a seat opened up at the $1/$2 No Limit game. I took the same approach I used at Harrah's. Played very tight and waited for a monster. After about 15 minutes I got As. The guy to my left acted before me and raised it to $12. The dealer told him to take his money back, and the I raised it to $20. Unfortunately since I raised it more than his $12, he wasn't forced to play the hand. If I would have just called, he would have had to make the $12 raise. After seeing my raise, he decided to fold, as well as the rest of the table.

On the next hand I got dealt Ks. I again raised it to $20 and this time I got two callers. The flop was J93. I came out with a $40 bet, and got one caller. The turn was a 4 and I went all-in. The one guy in the hand called and turned over Qs. The river was a K and I doubled up.

Later I played K9 in the small blind and hit a K on the flop. One guy came out with a $10 bet, and I called. A nine came on the turn and the same guy bet out $10. I re-raised to $40 and he folded. I stayed for another time around the table, and ended up cashing out up $138.

After that we headed to a restaurant called 808 in Caesar's. Very good stuff. I had the Lobster Bisque and Shrimp and Scallops in a Red Curry Sauce. Leslie had the Lamb Chops. Both were great. After dinner we walked back to Bellagio. Leslie was exhausted. We played some more Wheel of Fortune at Bellagio and then headed up to the room. It was still on the early side and Leslie was in for the night, so I decided to go back to Caesar's to play some more poker.

Went back to my favorite game, $1/$2 No Limit. I had a lot of fun at this table. Half of the table was filled with twenty year old punks or teenagers with good fake id's. They actually played very well. They knew how to play monster hands very well, but couldn't get away from mediocre hands which got them in trouble. I played my same game. Lost a decent size pot on a good bluff from one of the young guys. I hit As on the flop and he called my down to the turn. The river brought a third diamond and he came out betting big. I thought about calling for about a minute, and then folded my hand. He turned over pocket 2s and took the pot. I got him back two hands later.

I had K8 suited and was the two of us again. The flop was KJ3. He came out betting $10 and I called. The turn came an A, and he came out with a $20 bet. I made it $60 to play. He thought about calling for about a minute and mucked his hand. Played pretty tight the rest of the way. Then the biggest mistake of my weekend play came.

I got AT on the button and limped in. Three players. The flop was AKT with two hearts. The guy to my left checked. The third player (plays a lot of hands and draws) bets out $10. I re-raised it to $45. Both players call, and with the call the guy to my left was all-in. The turn comes and it’s another A. I hit the boat. The guy who is not all-in bets the minimum $2. I think for a while on deciding what I want to do (raise or call). As I am thinking he turns over one of his cards and it's an A (didn't know you were allowed to do that). Now I am starting to worry. He's talking a lot as I decide on whether I should call him or raise him. For some strange reason I was convinced he had AK, so I just called. The river was a 6. He bets another $2. I decide to play ultra conservative and just call again. He turns over his 4 kicker and I lose out on an opportunity to get paid off big time. It was still a big pot, but I could have gotten at least another $40-50 out of him. Bad play on my part.

The next hour or so was very dead. The entire table started playing very tight, and there was very little action. I was hitting any cards and started opening up my starting hands. Didn't hit anything and ended up cashing out up $131. Headed back to the room and that was the end of our Vegas Vacation.

Good times and can't wait to do it again. Would have been great to come back to a Monday-Friday cruise (with Samantha). After all of the walking we did in Vegas we were exhausted and needed another vacation. Thinking that might be plan next time.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

One more day...

and it is off to Vegas. Can't wait. Haven't been this excited since I was a kid going to Disney World.

We received all of the information regarding the shows from my cousin yesterday. We are seeing Danny Gans Saturday night and Celine Dion Sunday night. Should be lots of fun. Only thing left now is figuring out where we are going to eat for dinner those nights. I think Danny Gans is at the Mirage. Hopefully they have some nice restaurants over there. Celine is at Ceasar's and I know they have a handful of good restaurants.

Still haven't packed yet. That is going to have to be tonight. Thinking it's going to be an all jeans weekend with khaki shorts during the day. No need to get all dressed up, don't think we will end up going to any fancy restaurants. Ok, maybe one nice outfit just in case.

Going to need to stop by a Border's during lunch so I can have some good reading material for the plane rides. Thinking I am going to get a book on Service Oriented Architecture or C# or both. Leaning towards SOA, but will see what they have.

My next blog should be on Tuesday telling you how I won a million bucks over the weekend playing poker (Hmm, wonder if I would have enough time to blog if I won that much money). Well, if you never hear from me again then you know I hit it big.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Vegas Baby!!!

Two days and counting for our trip to Vegas Baby!!! I think I am going to have to watch Swingers tonight... or maybe Casino. Probably won't watch either of them but I'm psyched for our trip. Already did some research on poker tourneys. Hoping to get into a couple while I'm out there.

Will definitely have to check out Binion's and Harrah's while we are out there. Anything to do with the World Series of Poker deserves a visit. I think the hotel we are staying at (Bellagio) is having a big poker tournament while we are there. The buy-in is too expensive for me, but would be cool if we saw any of the big name poker guys/girls out there. Will have to bring the camera.

Right now the weather isn't supposed to be great, but hopefully it will turn out ok. I think the last time I checked there was anywhere from a 10-20% chance of rain each day. And the temperatures were around 50-70 degree highs and lows.

That's enough excitement for now. Back to work.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Next up, the NBA Playoffs

Now that the College Basketball season is over, it's on to the NBA Playoffs. Right now the Heat are looking pretty pathetic. I was fortunate enough (maybe unfortunate) to go to last nights game against the Magic (Pops had scored tickets from his boss). What a terrible display of team basketball. I couldn't help but think of the Gator basketball team while watching this game and think they were the complete opposites of each other.

The Heat came out with zero energy. No defense from the backcourt, and there was no help from the frontcourt on drives to the hoop. I think the first four buckets for Orlando were layups or dunks. On offense nothing was happening in the first quarter. Whenever Halsem or Payton got the ball they were immediately looking for Wade or Shaq instead of looking at their options. Walker was the only one who was aggressive offensively, but he is is ice cold.

They desperately miss Jason Williams and Alonzo Mourning. Zo gives pushes them to an average defensive team by himself, while without him they are one of the worst teams defensively. Jason Williams brings a lot of energy, a good but streaky jump shot, and great court awareness. If these guys are in the lineup we have a small chance at making a run, but without them we could easily lose in the first or second round.

Gary Payton's play the last couple of weeks (last night in particluar) has been disappointing. He needs to get his confidence back with his shot. Seems like the only thing he is confident with these days is his mouth. They guy never shuts up. Starting to believe he is bad for the team. Not sure it is just him, but these guys aren't spending more time complaining than playing team ball.

That brings me to Wade. Wow this guy is amazing. Some of the shots he makes are Jordanesque. Probably the only guy that can come close to being compared to Jordan, but this year he has disappointed me. Wade rarely complained about getting fouled to the refs his first two years in the laegue. He was a very humble guy, who gave it his all, and didn't let the refs play into his game. This year all I see him do is complain. Starting to think he should be on the Pistons team. There have been a number of occasions this year where he has complained to the refs after not getting a call and didn't get back on defense (happened three times last night). Another occasion where he tunred the ball over, and instead running back on defense he just stopped in disgust of himself.

He is a changed player this year. Is it the presence of Payton? Is it the NBA stardom? I don't know, but if the Heat are planning on getting anywhere this year things need to change now.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Florida Gators 2006 National Champs

Thanks for the pic Doobie

Woohoo!!! I can finally retire all of my 1996 National Championship Gators T-Shirts. Between the paint, dirt, food, and blood stains (some very intense basketball games) they have on them, it's probably the right thing to do. Sports Authority and the Union's Gator store are going to be making a killing on me.

Ok, on with the game. Wow!!! What a complete game. Taurean continued to struggle from the field, but he was the general on the floor. Eight assists and one turnover is very impressive. And the most important thing is he can finally rest those legs. It seems like every box score I look at, he has a minimum of 36 minutes a game. Hopefully next year he will have a suitable backup and bring back the hot shooting he displayed earlier in the year.

Humphreys continued to be consistent from the three point line. He is the Steve Kerr of our team, with the addition of some great defense. This guys defense is so overlooked, but when it comes down to it he is our best one-on-one defender with quick guards.

Corey Brewer put up two great back to back performances in the Final Four. This guy is going to be real special. Sometimes when he gets hot he makes some bad shot selections, but he makes some of them so you have to give him the green light. If he can put on some weight and work out in the offseason he is gonna be a lottery pick after next season.

Al Horford is Mr. Consistency. If it wasn't for Noah, he would be a double double guy every game. Would love to see him get the ball more in the post next year, and unfortunately I think we are going to see that (see two paragraphs down). It amazes me how good he is with passing, ball handling, and controlling the boards. The guy is so much stronger than he looks.

And then there is Mr. MVP. He is the heart of this team. When I think of this guy the words that I think of are team, unselfish, heart, hustle, intimidating, fun, work ethic, etc. I'm sure there are a lot more. He is the real deal. The only thing he would need to improve if he wants to be successful in the NBA is a mid range jump shot.

Speaking of the NBA, I can't see him not taking advantage of the opportunity to go this year. I know he is having fun and all, but the ultimate goal is to make it to the NBA and make some money (yes, I know he already has it, but it's not the same). Right now his stock is as high it's gonna get unless the Gators repeat (unlikely).

I'll wrap up this post with the bench play. They all did great. Richard provided some tough defense down low and got some easy buckets. Hodge had some great defense and came away with some steals. But what I was so happy to see is Adrian Moss playing well in this game. This guy has so much heart, and I am guessing most people who went through the injuries he went through the past couple of years would have hung up the sneakers a long time ago. Just shows you how tough this guy is. He is the only guy on this team who went through all of the 1st and 2nd round mishaps of the past. What a way to go out, a National Champ.

What am I thinking? How can I write a post like this and not comment on the superb coaching of Billy Donovan. I am not going to lie. Earlier in the season I was one of those guys complaining about the lack of game time adjustments made in the Tennesee and South Carolina games. Well, I think Billy D proved me and all of the doubters wrong. He is one the of the elite coaches in College Basketball. His resume certainly proves it, and last nights game was a big exclamation point. The last time I saw a coach get outcoached like that was the Florida / Michigan State championship game back in 2000 (damn Izzo). Well, we can finally put that to rest.

Thanks Billy D and this years Florida Gator team. Go Gators!!!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Here come the Gators!!!

Wow, I cannot believe we are in the Championship game. A very young team nobody thought would do anything this year is playing UCLA for the Championship tonight!!! Very excited about the game.

I would like to point how accurate my prediction on the George Mason game was. Guess there is a first time for everything.

As for tonight's game, I really have no clue. I haven't seen UCLA play once this year. I was at wedding Saturday night, so I had to tape the Gator game and watch it Sunday morning. Didn't have time to watch the UCLA / LSU game (wasn't that interested either).

If the Gators continue to play how they have been for the past 4 weeks, I don't see UCLA stopping them. UCLA was able to disrupt LSU's big guys on Saturday, but LSU doesn't have shooters like Florida. You give us open shots, and Humphreys will have another 15-20 point game.

Should be a great game. GO GATORS!!!