Who Wants To Come To Oklahoma This Summer?
Saturday, January 31, 2009
In an effort to give you plenty of notice and plenty of time to plan, should you want to make the trip, here are the dates for Okie-Vegas:
July 8th - 12th. Okie-Vegas 4.
First of all, these are the dates that work best for me. They are open for debate and discussion, so the are NOT written in stone as of right now. If you need or want different dates, convince me. Leave me a comment here or send me an email or call me on my cell phone, you know the digits. Tell me why I should change the dates and I will take it under advisement.
If things go as I anticipate they will, we will definitely have to use Oossuuu's new house to put people up this year. We had maximum capacity at the GCox house last year and several people have told me they would like to make the trip this year that didn't come last year. I also need to get in touch with Miss Maudie, down Norman way, and see if she is up for helping out again this year.
This is kind of the pre- post that I normally put out to gauge interest, so, if you are interested, let me know. If you are in, let me know. If you've made the trip in the past and definitely cannot make it this year, let me know.
I will wait on the schedules and agendas for a few more months, but I'd like to compile some type of list of possible attendees, so, even if you are a 10% maybe, I'd like to know that, as well.
By the way, we don't have too much fun, so if you are looking to get away for a few days and hang out with a bunch of drunk, degenerate gamblers, well, I can't make any promises. ;)
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:20 PM, ,
Memory Lane - Baseball
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Being 43 years old now and having gone through quite a bit of time on this earth, these Memory Lane-type posts become easier and easier to write. The hard part is remembering them when you get to my age.
Thankfully, I got a phone call from an old friend last night. He basically called just to shoot the shit and catch up on what's been happening down here in Oklahoma. He lives 2 hours north of me in Andover, Kansas.
After the conversation with my buddy, I started thinking back to the summer of 1982 and what a magical summer that was for me. My Aunt and Uncle lived in Great Bend, Kansas and my uncle was the coach of the local junior college baseball team. He called my Dad that spring and asked if I could go up there that summer and play baseball for the local American Legion team. Now, I was 16 years old and had just started driving the previous January and I had also never been away from home for more than a week at a time before, so I was a little apprehensive.
After a few discussions, the plans were made and it was decided that I would move up there, spend the summer with them and play baseball. I remember the first practice like it was yesterday. I walked out onto that field with my cool-ass blue converse spikes and everybody there had red cleats. My shoes, my uniform and my attitude stuck out like a sore thumb.
Soon, we were taking batting practice and I had a good day in the cage, lining pitch after pitch into the outfield for what would have been singles and doubles all.day.long. After my turn in the cage, I went back out into the outfield to shag and was approached by two motley looking characters. We'll call them Troy and Randy, because, well, that's what their names are. They sidled up to me and we began talking. They knew I was Leon's nephew and they knew that I had come up there to play ball for the summer and they basically befriended me right then and there. We became fast friends (and still are to this day) and the three of us spent virtually the entire summer together, save for a few "date nights" with some of the local girls.
Anyway, the part of the story that I wanted to write about today involved a baseball game on July the 4th in Newton, Kansas.
I was plugged into the 4th spot in the batting order from day one and I was having a great summer. I was hitting over .400 and driving in runs at a rate of 1-2 per game. Troy batted 2nd and Randy batted 3rd, followed by me at cleanup. The problem was that we couldn't sweep a doubleheader to save our lives. Every game day in Kansas that summer was a doubleheader and we finished that summer with a record of 16-16.
We travelled to Newton, Kansas for a July 4th doubleheader and their park was full. It was a Saturday and the whole town showed up for the game and to watch the fireworks later that evening.
One quick sidenote: You know when you're in high school and you run the 40 yard dash or the 100 yard dash? Most kids are timed with a stop watch, right? Well, I'm a big fellah, for those of you that don't know me, and when I ran one of those dashes, they timed my fat ass with a sundial. I was slow. Of all the ability that I did have on the baseball field, speed was NOT one of them.
Back to the game and I come up with two on and one out in the top of the 1st inning. I get a fastball down the middle and take a hack, sending a blistering line drive right back up the middle. Both runs come around to score and I look up as I'm rounding first base and the center fielder is running toward the outfield fence, away from the infield. Apparently, my single had hit a rock in the outfield and skipped past him and I found myself cruising into 3rd base with the ONLY triple I EVER hit, in my entire life. Yes, even little league. Nice start, 1 for 1 with a triple and 2 RBI's.
Next time up, in the top of the 3rd inning, I came up with 2 outs and a runner on 2nd. The pitcher started me off with a curve ball in the dirt and I took it for ball one. The next pitch was also a curve ball, but it was a hanger, right my wheel house and I stroked it right down the left field line for a clean double. 2 for 2 with a double, a triple and 3 RBI's. I do like Newton, Kansas.
The top of the 5th rolled around and I had to lead off. Newton had changed pitchers and their new guy was throwing pretty hard, much harder than the first pitcher. I dug in and took two high fastballs for balls one and two. Now, with a 2-0 count, I was digging in with a purpose. I was looking for one pitch, a fastball, in one spot, belt high, and I planned on putting my best swing on it. Sure enough, I got the pitch I wanted, put a good swing on it and sent it about 400 feet to straightaway left field. Home run and another RBI. 3 for 3 with a double, a triple and a home run and 4 RBI's.
When it came time for the top of the 7th inning, we were ahead by a couple of runs and it looked like I might not get another opportunity to hit, but my boy Randy scratched out an infield single with two outs and I rolled up to the plate with runners on 1st and 3rd and two outs.
I smoked the first pitch down the left field line for what probably could have been another double, but I took a wide turn and held on while both runners turned toward home. I had done it. I hit for the cycle and I drove in 6 runs in the game. As I made my way back to 1st base, I heard my coach asking the umpire for time. He was sending in a pinch-runner for me and as I took off my helmet and started to the dugout, I received the only standing ovation of my life, from the opponent's crowd. Even the guys in the other dugout were clapping for me. It was certainly one of the most memorable ball games I ever played and will remain a special memory for me for the rest of my life.
My parents had driven in the night before and were on hand for the game as well. They didn't get to see too many games that summer, but I was sure proud that they got to see that one. By the way, after such a memorable game, how do you follow that up? My only 0-fer of that summer. 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. My big head was brought right back down to earth.
Troy, Randy and I remain good friends to this day, in fact, you might remember about a little softball trip that I used to make every spring back to Great Bend, Kansas. That trip was to meet those same guys and to play softball just a couple hundred yards from where our first meeting took place, on the baseball field at Veterans Park. Until last year, we had made that trip for 14 consecutive years and I am already looking forward to making it again this spring.
Thanks for reading.
posted by GaryC @ 7:07 PM, ,
Real Poker post
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
No, really, I'm going to talk about poker today. Really!
Suffice it to say that the last 6-9 months have been pretty lean on the poker talk on this here blog. I'm sure I don't have to tell both of you that. I do appreciate both of you for stopping by here on at least a routine basis, say, once a week, which is about the frequency with which I post these days.
Since my deposit into new, un-named Poker Site, I've been grinding for an hour or two per night there and at FT, as well. My evenings start out with a little 6-Max Limit Holdem on both sites, after which, when I'm damn good and bored, I switch it up to very low limit PLO. I'm talking the 5 cent/10 cent variety. In an order to not cause myself a coronary, I even make myself play the CAP tables at FT, because presumably, that's how I roll these days.
After burning through nearly 4 figures of bankroll in the last year+ at the tables, I'm almost in slow motion these days, but that's okay, I can live with it for now. I'm taking this opportunity to a) play less than I have in the past, which is fairly easy for me right now and b) preserve the paltry amount of bankroll that I currently have on-line, while not risking large portions of it at one time. Mr. Conservative, if you didn't already know.
The news thus far has been enlightening and somewhat surprising. The players at these lowest of levels are for the most part, horrible. Of course, that's a double-edged sword on most nights. These same unintelligent folks that you WANT calling 3 best cold with 5-7o pre-flop occasionally flop a straight and kick you square in the nut-sack. But, for the most part, the recent foray into the cash tables at both sites have been profitable.
I'm up a fairly substantial amount at the un-named site and up just a smidge over my monthly stipend currently at FT. Anything in the positive at FT is a bonuse for me, after the last year of junk-kickings I've received there.
So far, the PLO games on the un-named site have been very juicy. I've been able to double my piddly $10 buy-in in each of my last two sessions there. It doesn't add up to a whole lot of money at this point, but right now, slow and steady is winning the race for me, personally. I'm starting to get a feel for the game that has been eluding me for more than a year. Even the Limit Holdem tables have seen positive session after positive session, albeit very small positiveness.
I've run into several of my former "friends" while playing Limit Holdem at FT and so far, my notes, such as "donkey" or "light raiser" have been right on track and allowed me to squeeze a few more bets out of a several opponents on a couple of different occasions. Apparently, their notes on me, "tight-ass rock" are not still saved in their client.
I've been playing very straight-forward, ABC poker for the most part and only opening up my starting hand requirements in position or to be heads up with a known spewer. It's something that I've known for a long time, but position is one of the most important things you can use to your advantage in poker. Even in 6-Max games, playing alot of hands out of position will lead to major spewage of chips in most cases, so I've been very careful about the hands I play and when I play them.
My conservative nature leads to missing out on a few bets here and there, but after seeing opponent after opponent show me the nuts, (that they made on the turn or the river) slowing down is just something that makes sense to me. While I have missed out on a few bets, I've also saved a few bets here and there, so I like to think of it as a wash.
After wallowing around trying to change up styles and play with more reckless abandon, I've finally come to grips with just exactly what kind of player I am and what I have to do to be succesful. I am a tight player and there is nothing that I can do to change that. I've tried and it just doesn't work for me in the long run. So, if you happen to sit down at a table with your stat program running and you see a guy that is seeing < 10% of the flops and he re-raises you, you probably better re-think your starting hand requirements against him.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 4:19 PM, ,
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Here in Oklahoma, we don't get real winters most years. We have an occasional snowstorm, fairly cold temperatures for 2-3 months and alot of clear, sunny winter days. What we do get most years is blanketed with a sheet of ice. Sleet, as the talking suits call it on TV, comes down on those coldest days and blanket everything in their path. Getting to and from your car can be a career-threatening trip if you don't take your time.
Car doors, frozen solidly shut. Windows on said cars, iced over in one inch thick sheets of ice. Honestly, I could ice down a 30 pack of Keystone Light with the ice I've broken off the windshield over the last two days. And drivers, don't even get me started on the jackassery on the roads when this stuff hits.
If I could, I would most definitely stay at home, start a roaring fire and hang out on these days. But, I don't call in to work and stay home. I've called in sick a total of 3 times in almost 12 years and calling in to say I won't be in when there is a little ice on the roads is not an option either. i just get up an hour earlier and try to beat most of the jag-offs in to work, avoiding most of the traffic in the process.
I've always been taught to be a defensive driver and there is no better time in the world to be a defensive driver than when the roads are covered in ice. It's a complete parade of morons here in Oklahoma when the weather turns bad. There were so many accidents yesterday that nary an ambulance was on stand-by in the entire city. They were all out, working accidents and transporting people to the hospital. Police stopped taking accident calls unless they involved an injury. They actually told people, on the news, that if they had an accident and no one was hurt, just get your car off the road and do NOT call the police.
Here's a sample from this morning: I'm tooling along somewhere between 30 and 40 mph, trying to stay in the ruts that the sand trucks have made and some moron in a Hummer passes me doing at least 60 mph. I would have paid ALOT of money to see that jackass end up in a ditch. I wouldn't wish harm or physical pain on anybody, but that dumbass deserved to have a wreck and pay some expensive bills putting that piece of shit back together.
Oh well, this weather makes for long, boring days at work, as the majority of our customers are staying home and staying warm, while I sit here, reading blogs, typing up this worthless excuse for a post and waiting for lunch time to arrive. Damn, I'm hungry already and it's only 8:47 am. I should have stopped at McDonald's. Mmmmm, McGriddles.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 6:01 PM, ,
Thursday, January 22, 2009
How about an actual blog post with possibly some actual poker content?
I know, I know, what's the world coming to, right? I still don't see this becoming the habit that it once was, but you never know, hunting season is just about over until late April (turkey season) so perhaps a little poker is just what the doctor ordered.
I've been playing a bit. I reloaded on an unnamed site and have been grinding away, at the low limit tables naturally, and have seen some success. I also got my monthly stipend from FT and have been floundering around there for the past few nights to more or less breakeven results. After being a losing player for the last year +, breakeven sounds pretty good right now.
Last night, I dipped my toe into the PL Omaha tables to mixed results. On FT, I played the CAP tables, because I'm scared, and lost a few dollars here and there, but on the unnamed site, I ran up a $20 stack into almost $50 simply by sitting back, folding alot and biding my time. I was able to identify a couple of players at my table that were massive gamboolers and I simply waited to make the nuts and pounced, getting paid off handsomely twice with Broadway Straights.
I don't anticipate a return to poker as I once played it, as I'm simply playing an hour or two a night right now when I get home from work. It's been fun and I will continue to grind away, just not for the extended periods that I used to play every night. I just don't have that in me any more. I even thought about playing the Mookie last night, which is the first time in months that I've even given it a second thought, but in the end, I watched the OU basketball game and went to bed early.
The wife and I both turned another year older in the past three weeks. Those damn birthdays seem to roll around faster and faster, the older you get. 43 is the new 33 though, right?
I'm going to include the work portion in the life portion here as nothing has really changed about my job. I'm still relatively busy doing what I do and luckily, as they say here in Oklahoma, we have a fairly recession-proof state.
While our business has definitely slowed down from the pace we set for the last 2 or 3 years, we are still busy enough that any rumors of layoffs have not reached the masses of minions that I currently belong. Here's to hoping that continues and we are all able to keep our jobs.
While work hasn't slowed too much, my 401K has taken a mighty hit over the last 3 or 4 quarters. I've been at my job for nearly 12 years now and during that time, I've been able to build up a decent amount of money in my 401K account. Unfortunately, I've watched nearly a full 25% of that total go down the shitter in the last 9 months or so. They keep telling us to hang in there and stay with it, but if this continues, I will be forced to do something, whether that be to make changes to my account or whatever. Fairly unnerving at this point.
Another unnerving event occurred the first week of January. My beloved Sooners lost yet another BCS bowl game. Big-Game Bob, as he became known after a magical 2000 season, just his 2nd at OU, has become more of a Big Game BLOW!
Taking nothing away from the Gators, my Sooners again failed to live up to the hype on the game's biggest stage. They wasted opportunity after opportunity early in the game and you cannot do that against an opponent as good as Florida. While I still don't think Tim Tebow deserved the Heisman this year, he certainly played his ass off in the Championship Game and pretty much willed his team to victory, even though I think that jump pass is pretty gay. Well played to the Gators and their fans and congratulations from a Sooner fan.
I'm not a political guy. While I would call myself a Republican, like most of my home state, I don't join discussions regarding politics and I very seldom let my own, personal views be known, outside of my family and closest friends.
It was certianly a historic day earlier this week when Obama was sworn in as Commander in Chief. I didn't vote for the man, but I can't help but think he deserves my support for now, at least until he proves he's just another minion in a suit, looking only to serve his own purpose, rather than mine. Here's to hoping he can bring about the change he so eloquently talks about in nearly every one of his speeches. I'm not holding my breath, but the country most assuredly needs some change right now.
I'm saving hunting for last, so hopefully the PETA-challenged folks out there will quit reading before they get to it.
This weekend is the last weekend of duck season here and after that, we have three more weeks of goose season. Following that, we have to wait until April for turkey season to open and then wait all summer long to get back to it in the fall.
We've had a fairly successful season thus far, despite the fact that I didn't get a deer this year. We have lots of duck and goose in the freezer already and are hoping for a little bad weather here in Oklahoma to come our way in the next few weeks.
We haven't had much weather to speak of this winter and are in the midst of one of the worst droughts our state has seen in a good while. The farmers definitely need some type of moisture and we haven't gotten any measurable amount since a two day rain back during the summer. The crops are showing the effects of no rain as well.
Well, that is about all that's going on in GCox-ville currently. The wife and kids are good and I have it about as good as one man should be allowed to have it. I don't have alot of complaints and my family still allows me to do just about whatever I want to do.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:33 PM, ,
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Our lake place is surround by a WMA, which stands for Wildlife Management Area, which, if you are in to hunting, means public hunting. All of my hunting up to this point has consisted of private land, which, in laymans terms, is much simpler, as well as much safer.
Public hunting means that every spot is taken up on a first-come, first-served basis. If you get to the spot first and throw out your decoys, the rest of the hunters have to give you a 250 yard buffer. While that may seem "right" and "fair" to most of you, what that actually means is that you have to get up out of bed a full 2-1/2 hours before you would normally be getting up to go duck hunting.
So, with that in mind, last Saturday we rolled out of the sack around 3:15 in the AM. You see, we had our spot picked out on the lake where we thought the ducks would really want to be and my buddy Bill will not be beaten to a spot once he decides that's where he wants to set up. Around 3:45, with 20 degree temps and a gusty 25 mph wind blowing from the north, we were waist deep in Fort Cobb lake, setting up decoys, breaking up whatever ice was around and staking our claim to the spot.
We got everything hauled into the spot, all the decoys in the water and sat back with a cup of coffee, patiently waiting for shooting time. Now, shooting time is 7:15 am. We were sitting in the sub-freezing weather, fresh out of the lake at 4:30, with nearly 3 hours to go until shooting time arrived.
It finally did arrive, of course, and by 11:15, we had a three man limit of 18 birds in our possession. It was my first experience with shooting a limit of birds and it was worth every second we spent huddled up, trying to stay warm that morning before sunrise.
We were set up in the north end of a little cove, protected a bit from the wind and exactly the spot that a passing duck would want to be. We had the decoys set up in the far north end of the cove, just a few feet from where we sat, anxiously awaiting their arrival. Nearly every bird we saw fly through the mouth of that cove immediately hooked it north, right to our awaiting shotguns.
They flew into the decoys completely unaware of the trouble that was waiting for them and along with the 18 that didn't make it out, we somehow missed only 3 birds on this particular morning. They were given a reprieve from the gods of duck hunting and allowed to live another day. (or at least to get swatted flying into somebody else's spread.)
Duck hunting (and goose hunting, for that matter) is unlike anything I have ever done. They compare to deer hunting in certain ways (mainly the cold weather) and a little bit to dove hunting (the difficulty of actually making the shot) and even turkey hunting to a certain degree. (the fact that you have to remain completely still until ready to fire) However, once waterfowling gets in your blood, it is something that takes over your entire being.
Don't get me wrong here, I'm still going to hunt whatever is in season, but I will be spending the next 9 months of my life, as soon as waterfowl season is over, planning for and talking about duck hunting and goose hunting. One can spend an inordinate amount of money (and I have) on decoys, camo gear, shotguns and ammo, etc. just to spend a couple of hours freezing your ass off, waiting for the birds to come in and somedays they never come in. Those are the days we call "paying your dues" and I've done plenty of that over the last two years.
But, for every morning I've paid my dues thus far, last Saturday morning more than made up for it. There's just something about a big, fat Greenhead hovering above the water, waiting to join your spread of decoys and then, BANG, just as suddenly, he's floating upside down among your decoys, waiting on the dog to pick him up and take him to shore.
Shooting a limit of ducks compares favorably to poker. You know those sick runs where you can't win a coin flip forever and then suddenly, out of the blue, everything clicks and you make great laydowns and you win every coin flip for a night or two nights? The big cash comes into play and you actually win a freaking tournament? That's what shooting a limit felt like Saturday afternoon. I finally quit paying my dues and got paid off.
Until next time, I ride the hot streak!
posted by GaryC @ 6:29 PM, ,
Tonight's The Night
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Give em hell, Bob.
Haven't play many online poker tournaments lately, too much huntin' goin' on round here. More of the same starting tomorrow down at the lake. I may have to start working during the summer and taking the entire winter off. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Truckin' -- http://mcgtruckin.blogspot.com/
Truckin' - January 2008, Vol. 8, Issue
Welcome back to the first issue of the new year.
1. The Mollification the Foul Temptresses by Paul McGuireThe hookers at the Rio were a combination of famished vultures and parched vampires ready to pick apart any carcass. Any john. Any drunk. Anybody in their path. They were evil personified.... More
2. The Orchard by Joe SpeakerI reach for her hand, probing, touching it delicately. We don't form a fist when we come together, nothing like the taut intertwine of fingers you see lovers form, those Gordian knots, unwieldy like a stone fortress. Our fingers hang off each other's loosely, three of mine, two of hers, vice-versa, and they dangle. Spider webs in the wind. Tenuous connection... More
3. Hector by David PetersonI remember clearly when the cops came and took Hector's mom away. He seemed rather nonplussed by the whole thing as we stood on the curb watching a bedraggled and wild-eyed woman being escorted from her home in cut-off jeans, a loose-fitting white tank top and handcuffs... More
4. Flight #22 to Denial by Sean A. DonahueHer eyes were black as the night. Her black hair cascaded near her high cheekbones and tanned complexion. Her body wasn't made for sin but for pleasure, and the glasses she wore on her head framed her face perfectly. The only thing that didn't make sense was that it was raining over her head... More
5. Running it Twice by Andrew MoxonThere are, however, certain points of opportunity. Soft places in time, when the cockpit door comes open and we second-timers can take over. That's when things can change. Sometimes, every so often, we walk through that door and start flipping the switches... More
What a Long Strange Trip It's Been...From the Editor's Laptop:
Welcome back to the first issue of 2009.
It's hard to believe that Truckin' began in 2002 and we've come a long way since then. This issue features five stories which includes the debut of Andrew Moxon. The always venerable Joe Speaker returns with a zesty piece titled The Orchard. Sean Donahue is back after a short absence and David Peterson makes a splash in his second consecutive issue. And of course, I share a tale that has been told many times before involving Las Vegas working girls.
Truckin' needs your help with a tinge of grassroots promotion. Please tell your friends about your favorite Truckin' stories. The writers definitely appreciate your support, as do I. Spread the word on your blogs and whatever social networking sites you are currently addicted to.
And as always, please let me know if anyone is interested in being added to the mailing list.
Before I go, I have to give a hearty and sincere thanks to the writers for writing for free. They expose their guts, blood, and soul to the universe. Their dedication inspires me and I hope it inspires you too.
"Nothing happens unless first a dream." - Carl Sandburg
* * * * *
Tao of Pauly -- http://mcgrupp.blogspot.com/
Tao of Poker -- http://www.taopoker.com/
Truckin' -- http://mcgtruckin.blogspot.com/
Coventry - http://phish-coventry.com/
Twitter - http://twitter.com/taopauly
FSL - http://www.fantasysportslive.com/
Las Vegas Blog -- http://www.lasvegasvegas.com/
posted by GaryC @ 3:28 PM, ,