Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dare - Triple Dare

It's still raining outside and it's the type of weather you really don't wanna drive in, and the idea of staying in and relaxing on the sofa is a pretty darn good idea. I was flippin' through stations and saw that Ellen DeGeneres was having Sandra Bullock on, so thought I'd watch it since Sandra always makes me laugh.

I cracked up and couldn't quit laughing during the "I'll do anything once" dare that Sandra accepted. Here's the Clip.

Oh, another nice thing to mention is that Sandra has opened her own restaurant in downtown, Austin, TX called Bess. The menu looks so yummy too. It's got Shepherd's Pie and Macaroni & Cheese - how completely awesome is that? It's my next restaurant to visit soon.

My eyes are getting drowsy, so that means sunrise will be here soon. Goodnight all.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Billiard Movies

There’s not a ton of billiard movies out there – but here a few to get you started. There are a few more and I hope that I can add to this list…

Hustle: to lure less skillful players into competing against oneself at
(a gambling game)

1. Movie: The Hustler, 1961
Paul Newman was only a promising and somewhat successful actor until performing the part of the brash, lonely, love-and-reputation seeking poolshark, "Fast" Eddie Felson. This single role turned Newman's career and made him an overnight superstar.

Billiard Quotes in Movie:

“I’m shootin’ pool, Fats. When I miss, you can shoot.”
“Do you like to gamble Eddie? Gamble money on a pool game?”

2. Movie: A Game of Pool, 1961

A young pool player finds himself playing against a long-dead master pool shark. The stakes: his life.

Billiard Quotes in Movie:

“I’m only a pool player, but I’m the best.”
“You WERE the best.”

3. Movie: The Baron and The Kid, 1984

A Pool Shark, Johnny Cash, meets his son for the first time
at a charity tournament. when they discover they are father and son, after recognizing a gold ring the father was wearing, they decide to join together Financially and Professionally, and open a pool room together.

4. Movie: Kiss Shot, 1992
Out of cash, out of a job, and soon-to-be out on the street, single mother Sarah Collins suddenly finds herself returning to the pool rooms of her youth to pay a massive home mortgage bill. But just as she plays her way into a big-money tournament that could solve all her problems, a globe-trotting, pool playing ladies’ man threatens to disrupt her safe, secure life with her daughter – as well as her own fragile peace of mind.

5. Movie: The Color of Money, 1986
Pool hustler Fast Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) finds the young,
promising pool player Vincent (Tom Cruise) in a local bar and he sees in him a younger version of himself. After hearing Vincent break open those 9 ball racks like thunder Fast Eddie was hooked again.

Billiard Quotes in Movie:

“You couldn’t find big time if you had a road map.”
“You gotta have two things to win. You gotta have brains and you gotta have balls. And you got too much of one and not enough of the other.”
“Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”

6. Movie: Poolhall Junkies, 2002
Obsessed by the world of pool, Johnny (Mars Callahan) could be one of the best. But his mentor and "trainer" Joe (Chazz Palminteri), a shady hustler who decides how and who Johnny plays, is holding him back from his dream. When the day finally comes, Johnny breaks from Joe, which leads to only one thing - violence. Joe is beaten up by some of Johnny's buddies as a sign to leave him alone, and with this final act of freedom, Johnny leaves the world of pool-sharking.

Billiard Quotes in Movie:

“You beat them, you take their money, you call them names to their faces... and they love you. I don't know how you do it. I never saw anything like it. Beating a man out of his money, that's easy. Anybody can do that. But beating a man out of his money and making him like it... that's an art. That's an art of a true hustler.”

7. Movie: Behind the Nine, 2004
It's the final weekend of an underground nine-ball tournament, with the winner taking home $500,000 cash. The losers take home nothing but a handshake and a pat on the back. Eight players remain, and these players and their hangers-on meet at the proprietor's house to play out the remainder of the tournament.

Billiard Quotes in Movie:

“Most people get one, maybe two weeks of vacation, and work the other fifty. They got it backwards.”

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays to All

Not sure where the year has gone, but 2006 definitely flew by with the most wonderful things and a few things that stopped us in our tracks. Wishing you and your family an even better year filled with all the best you deserve. Thank you to all who have made 2006 such a great year -- I couldn't of done it without you. Peace & Love Always.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Create your own Ethernet Patch Cables

Things like this excite me.

Have you ever had those days where you needed an Ethernet cable that was just a “little” bit longer and you had to head out to Fry’s to buy one and fork out $10 - $25 on a cable? No need to do that – just create your own. These simple instructions will teach you how to make a good Ethernet patch cord at a fraction of the price it would cost you to buy it pre-manufactured.

Here is all you will need:

1. CAT5 Cable (Get a box of 500ft or so - will run you about $70)
2. RJ45 Micron connector ends (50 of them run about $8)
3. Crimper Tool for RJ45 (Cheap one runs about $12)
4. Scissors or wire cutters (or a knife works well too)

The internal part of the cable has 8 wires that are color coded and twisted into 4 pairs. Each pair has one color theme – one solid and one striped.

The RJ45 ends look like a large phone plug. It is a 8 position modular connector that fits the 8 wires.

To create your standard, straight through wiring – you can either do the T568A or the T568B. It doesn’t matter as long as you are consistant.

Here is the diagram for the T568A & T568B

Now comes the fun part:

1. Cut off about 1 to 1.5 inches of the blue cable sheath and be careful not to cut the little wires inside.
2. Untwist the 4 colored pairs, but not too much. Just about 3/4 of an inch should work.
3. Align the colored wires like the schema above - keep it consistant with A or B (both bring you the same result). You are wanting to create a straight cable which is used to connect a device to a hub, switch or router. You can also do a crossover cable if you want to connect two computers so they can talk to each other.
4. Trim all the wires neatly and even with the cutter (crimpter tool), about 1/2" left exposed from the sheath.
5. Carefully insert the wire ends into the RJ45 with the clip facing down. Double check to make sure each wire is fully inserted to the front of the RJ45 little corridor and in the correct order.
6. Crimp the RJ45 end with the tool. You will need to press firmly. Don't worry - you won't break anything.
7. Check to see that the wires ended up the right order and that the wires extend to the front of the RJ45 end and make good contact with the bronze metal contacts.
8. Cut the cable to whatever length you wish.
9. Do the same steps above for the other RJ45 end.
10. You're done.

A 10 ft CAT5 patch cord can cost you up to $7 in a retail store. If you make your own cable, it would run you about $1.25. Great deal, eh?

BTW: You might be wondering why it matters what order the wires are?

There is reason for the order in 568A/568B connectors -- The pairs of cables in the cable are twisted together at different ratios (called "twist ratios"). When an electrical current travels down a twisted pair of wires, a magnetic field perpendicular to the twist occurs. For ethernet, only the pins 1,2,3,6 are used (the orange and green pairs). One pair is tightly twisted and the other is loosely twisted. This causes their magnetic fields to be out of synch with each other, and minimizes crosstalk. This results in much better transmission, and reduces data loss.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hunter Classic Amateur Women's Tour

One of my girlfriends who moved to Ft. Worth sent me an email the other day letting me know the Hunter Classics Women Tour is going to stop in Austin at Fast Eddies. She's coming down to play and we are going to play it together. She's awesome on the table and I have a feeling she will do well in this. This will be our very first time to participate in this event, so I'm excited to play in it. Most of the women that play are tough on the felt and I'm no where ready to play with them, but it will surely be fun to try.

The tour hits Austin on January 27th and 28th and if any of you pool lovin' gals are interested in playing, let me know and we'll make arrangements to make this a girl's weekend event! The entry fee is $30.00 and the annual membership fee is $20.00. The beauty of this is the point rankings start at the beginning of the calendar year, so the Austin stop will be the first of the year. The next one is in Lake Jackson, TX in March which would make a good road trip for us. *hint hint*

Just the thought of playing makes me nervous...but it's the good kind of nervous.

"It's more important to practice good shot making than it is to practice making shots."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

“You paws, I paws, we all paws for Frosty Paws! Woof Woof!”

Our little canine buddies – we love em!

They keep us going back to the basics of life. Today we are glued to the cable box, technology, the hustle and bustle of work, families, commutes, activities, the internet and all the other things that fill up our days (and then we start the whole cycle over again). Yeah, us humans are high maintenance, at least that’s what I think our dogs would say.

Our little buddies remind us to go back to the simple things in life and slow down once in awhile to realize tomorrow is another day and take some time out of what we “think” is so pressing, and just enjoy a break for an hour. My guy, Jordan, does that for me. He loves to take walks in the neighborhood (yes, he walks me) or play at the dog park. I see myself talking to other dog owners about their dogs – and they talking to me about their best canine lovin’ buddies. The coolest part, they LOVE us! They give us unconditional, unqualified affection just for being there with them. The known trick among the canine community is to simply look up at your owner with these glossy, warm, kind, gentle eyes and never look away until you get what you want. Hmmm, maybe they are on to something. Jordan is like a perfect child, but furrier and walks on 4 legs. Oh, and no need to pay for those soccer lessons or save for college tuition – he really has no interest in college. I support him 100% and save over 20K in expenses. *winks*

Of course, we are all guilty of this – spoiling our little guys. I am game for spoiling Jordan, but not game for “spoiling” Jordan. There’s dog spas, dog hotels, dog clothes…um, “Jordan, you are not getting that buddy.”

But what he will get and definitely deserves is doggie ice cream!! I’m an ice cream lover, so of course it’s gotta trickle down to him. I’m sure he would love (and prolly doesn’t care which one) any treat whether it my table food, dog treats, bones, etc. – but one thing he LOVES is Frosty Paws. He’s like an addict. I put one of those down and he swallows it up in less than 30 seconds and then glows afterward.

His tail is always waggin’ and tongue hangin’ out as soon as I open that freezer. Yep, I can buy his love and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I think I did it with the Frosty Paws. They have them in peanut butter flavor too, but I’m sticking to the original. He loves em’, so not going to toss something new in the mix yet. He’d prolly want jelly to go with it. “No, Jordan – not gonna happen my friend.” Also, there is a Frosty Paws Paw-ty kit *giggles*. It comes with 4 cute little red bandanas, 2 balls with the lovely logo on them, 4 paw-ty hats like your kids and a little pouch to store everything. It’s about 17 bucks. I think I am going to contact Frosty Paws Corporation and let them know that I don’t think the dogs are interested in the party hats and bandanas, just the ice cream. I might even suggest they get some other flavors. I’ve always been tempted to taste what Jordan goes crazy about, but haven’t gotten the courage to take a little bite. But with some assorted flavors, I might be tempted.

Don’t worry everyone, it’s not really ice cream, but your dog will sure think it is and not paw at you when you are eating your own ice cream sundae. It looks like and feels like ice cream and it’s formulated to be healthy for your dog – has vitamins, proteins, minerals and free of sugar or artificial flavors.

If you haven’t tried them for you little one, pick up a box the next time you are in your ice cream section. They are usually at Walmart or HEBs in Austin. I always find them right next to the Nutty Buddies or the Klondike Bars in a light blue box with a cute dog on the front. It may seem silly to give them this extra treat – but know they deserve it. Your dog would go to bat for you even during your most intolerable day, because it is unconditional love.

Hard to believe, but your dog will love you just a little more than he/she already does. Kinda hard to imagine that possible, but Ice Cream just does the trick. Come on’ – what is really better than Ice Cream? Not much.

Jordan can have a Frosty Paw as long as he wants them. That’s the least I can do for the little guy that keeps reminding me how great the simple things are in life. Thanks for showing me that Jordan.

“If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.” – Phil Pastoret

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"She's My Cherry Pie..."

If you haven't played Guitar Hero II, take a break from the hustle and bustle of the daily routine and jump on the headbanging bandwagon! It's pretty sweet. You play it on the PS2 with an actual life-sized guitar controller, which makes you feel like a rock star even if you don't have a sliver of musical talent (I'm one of em').

There's 55 songs on GH2 and it's just like Guitar Hero I, but with the option to bring in a bud to compliment your performance on bass, guitar, lead or rhythm. Most of my friends that play have are naturals in the music world, so can dominate me in the game. The beauty of the co-op mode, is you can change the difficulty level based on what you can handle, so you no longer get the dreaded "boo'ing from the audience".

Something different from the first version is the star power now requires both players to use the star power (raising the guitar) simultaneously. So indeed, you are rockin' together. There's a cool practice mode now, so you can work on the tracks that are a little more difficult. It completely sucks to fail in a song. The virtual crowd "Boos" you and it let's you know you failed. Noone wants to fail. Another cool feature - you can slow down the tempo of the songs to learn the tricky parts. The game also keeps records of how you did in the chorus, solos, etc, so you know what areas you need to work on. For clutzes like myself, practice mode was create for me!

I played quite awhile last night and man, my wrist hurts. Sad, that a video game can do that to me. I give kuddos to the real guitar players out there.

Oh, my friend's daughter, Caitlin, is alreay on expert mode and she's only 12 and 1/2 years old (but has the intelligence of an 18 year old)! She's talented and gifted in music and I could never go against her - but now, I can play in co-op mode with her and not feel like a complete music idiot *smiles*.

Game runs about 79 bucks and comes with the guitar. If you have Guitar Hero 1, then you got the other guitar to rock out. Thanks Red Octane for making an awesome game. "She's my cherry pie, Cool drink of water, such a sweet surprise. Tastes so good, make a grown man cry, Sweet cherry pie." With that thought, a Mrs Baird's Cherry Pie sure does sound good right now.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I’m hungry & need a good dining table to enjoy my food

I live in a small little two bedroom and it’s always been a dream to have a pool table in one of the rooms. Right now, then only feasible way to accomplish this would be to put it in the living room and not have any living furniture. I’m rarely home, so really don’t need to having living room furniture and it would easily go into the master bedroom. *bam* That would be the new living room. Gotta’ think of all the options here.

I found the perfect table. It’s a Craftsman Table that is a pool table that doubles as a sturdy dining room table once the matching top is attached. It’s a beautiful piece and would enhance the whole place! You can get them in 7”, 8” or 9” tables and are made of oak or maple wood.

Plan A: Put money away for a year and just buy it. That’s a year away. *sigh*

Plan B: Build it! I found a great site that tells you how to build one from scratch. Estimated cost is $1500.00 and 70 hours of labor. Not bad and it would be a great project to work on. I love making things and even more so, trying to figure out how to even begin.

Plan C: The ultimate beauty: Create a poker, billiard, video gaming console, dining room table.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Code Monkey

I just got home from Book People, which is truly the best bookstore in Austin (and perhaps I could say in all of Texas, but can’t since I haven’t visited each bookstore in Texas). It’s huge, about 40,000 square feet and it has everything you could possibly want in a bookstore from the large array of books --> beautiful jewelry --> unique gifts --> some awesome toys. There’s a nice coffee house to relax and enjoy your new favorite book. Don’t forget there’s some little nooks and crannies to hide out in and do some good reading.

Another bonus – it’s right off of 6th and Lamar which is right across the street from Austin’s yummiest Ice Cream establishment, Amy’s Ice Cream. You all know I love me some ice cream. Heavenly.

The reason I went to Book People tonight is because John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton made a stop in Austin (the final stop) during their tour. How lucky are we ladies and gents! John Hodgman is hilarious and you can see him on the Daily Show. He’s a great writer from New York. He did a book signing for his new book, The Areas of My Expertise, and was so friendly in person. He just didn’t do the “sign-n-go” thing. He actually would shake your hand, give you a hug, take a photo – pretty much anything you wanted.

He was very sweet and asked me my first and middle name. He signed it like this:

To Jennefer Leee (he said he had to put three Es in my middle name although there only two) – maybe to keep it consistent with the 3 Es that are in my first name? He asked if I spelled it like that my whole life. I said, “Yes, it’s that way on my birth certificate.” He just gave a nice smile and nodded. Then he scratched out his name in the book and rewrote his name in the book like this:

John Hodgman

Maybe he liked the color of the marker or really liked writing his name.

Then he drew the H in Sunrays sign like this:

Then at the very bottom he wrote this:

The main main main reason I went there was because Jonathan Coulton was going to be there too! He’s a great songwriter and writes the funniest lyrics. He’s 10x funnier in person. I had him sign his CD and when he asked my name, I said, “Jennefer” and he replied, “Did you get my email I sent to you?” He remembered me! We’ll it was only a few days ago – but still pretty cool he remembered.

He signed it like this:

Jennefer: All E’s! Awesome! Then scribble scrabble his signature.

Best part of the evening. I asked him how much was his CD and he said, “Ten Dollars.” I said, “Do you take credit cards because I don’t have cash on me.” He smiled and then said, “I can take a check and there’s no tax.” *winks* “The government’s not getting of this!” Too funny.

Again, everyone check him out and get his music!

Nite all…

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Jack n’ Jill Tournament

Next weekend will be the Jack n’ Jill Doubles Qualifier for the Vegas tournament in April. If you are not familiar with the term Jack n’ Jill in a pool tournament, it a really cool event where you play scotch doubles in your matches (alternating shots) and the team must consist of one male and one female. The tournament caps the combine skill level of both players at 10 to keep the playing field even.

We are competing next Saturday, November 4th at Slick Willies Central. I need to go practice at that location before next weekend to get familiar with their tables. Our team played there last year and avidly recall their pockets being tight and the tables being kinda fast.

Travis and I are going to play as a team this qualifier. If you folks don’t know Travis, he’s a fantastic shot. Last week he played our opponent's toughest play who is ranked the highest skill level (7) and beat him 4 games with only 7 innings. We were wow’d! He’s a 6 and I’m a 4, so we can play together since we are not over the cap.

Also, Christy (our secret weapon) on the team moved up to a 5! She’s a spectacular shot! She is definitely tough to beat on the table. Moby, a buddy of ours, calls her a double edge sword when she’s playing. *smiles*

Congrats Christy and making all of of us look great. Double WOW!

I’m going to segway into the next part of the story. This weekend, there’s a Jack N’ Jill poker tournament in Halifax. Here’s the format:


Saturday, October 28, 2006 the Jack and Jill No Limit Texas Hold Em Tournament will take place. This tournament starts at 10 am with registration beginning at 8:30 am. Entry fee is $100 + $10 administrative fee. Up to 80 teams will compete for a prize pool valued at up to $8,000 featuring a first place prize of up to $2,800!

Each team must be comprised of a male and female, who will alternate playing. The female team member will play the odd number blind levels and the male team mate will play the even number blind levels. Registration is on a "First Come First Serve" basis at the promotions booth or through teleservices at 1-888-642-6376. Once 80 seats have been filled a wait list will be generated.

Geez, why can’t I be in Canada? Actually, this would be perfect idea to bring up to our league operators, Betty and Grady. Not sure if they would approve it since gambling is not legal in Austin. *ahem* Wait. The perfect event...A combined billiard and poker Jack n' Jill tournament. What could possibly be better than that?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Double w00t! JC is comin' to town!

Jonathan Coulton is such a great song writer and musician that is different from the normal musician. He's hilarious! He is touring with John Hodgman on his paperback tour and hitting Austin this Monday, October 30th at Book People. I'm not sure if he will be playing any songs, but it would be an honor just to meet the guy. I think it's set for 7:00pm, and I don't get off of work until 8:00pm. That just means I gotta zoom zoom zoom over to downtown. I'll call ahead and see if they are still there.

I love two of his songs:
  1. A Gambler's Prayer
  2. A Laptop Like You


I was perusing around and found this really powerful AMV with the coolest gal around, Battle Angel Alita. AMV is an anime music video that is created from a variety of scenes from an anime movie(s) or series set to a song. This one was compiled from 3 different animes:

Battle Angel Alita, Escaflowne & X/1999

Completely surprise to find this video with this song - it's perfect. I must give kudos to Luis J. Hernandez of LJ Productions -- I'm impressed that he chose this song. It's beautiful and sync'd perfectly with the Battle Angel OVAs.

It's a powerful love song about leaving this world. Not being afraid, letting the person you love know you are going to be ok (as much as it will hurt them to have to let you go). Also knowing that the person you are leaving will meet you again in a better world. It's about always being with someone in spirit. I love every word of it.

Artist: Evanescence
Song Title: My Last Breath

Check the video out: Angel's Last Breath

That it? or Dat it?

I will never eat at the Taco Cabana on Burnet Road again. I was craving chicken fajita tacos, so decided to go out and pick up a couple. I pull up to the speaker and I hear, "You ready?" I say, "Can I please have two chicken fajita tacos with cheese and..." Before I could continue, I hear, "That it?"

I then say, "I would also like a medium diet coke and..." Then I hear the notorious, "That it?" Maybe she said, "dat it?"

Ok, no that is not it. If I was finished I would say, "Thank you and that will be all tonight." I then I wonder if she is going to say anything else besides, "That it?"

So here's my new mission at that moment. I am going to get her to say something else. I figured she can't keep saying that. So I continue to order a small side of queso. Before I could finish, she said, "That it?".

Alright, I have decided that she thinks I am taking up too much of her time. Not sure why - there are no cars ahead of my or behind why the rush to cut me off. Fast food is pretty low in cost, so the obvious thing for restaurants to increase revenue is to upsell. Add a dessert, upsell a large drink, add a side, etc.

But no, I just get the ol' "That it?"

For a brief moment, the devil part of Jennefer came out and wanted to just keep ordering items just to hear the infamous "That it?" Yea, see how many times I could get her to say that. But no, the angel part said, "Don't do that Jen!"

I realize that I don't want to give my money to a company that thinks I'm a burden for them doing their job. I'd rather go somewhere that wants the business and is in the business to do their job. I then say, "Please cancel my order." She then says, "OK!"

I thought about asking for a manager, but I didn't want this to turn into a big ordeal. I was hungry and wanted to find something to eat. Jack in the Box is right next door to Taco Cabana, so I drive a few hundred feet to their drive through.

As I pull up, I hear, "Thank you for choosing Jack in the Box, this is Gerardo, may I please take your order?" Wow, Wow, Wow -- this was music to my ears. I look at the menu and I see a new burger called the Sirloin Burger. I decide to try it because it looks quite tasty from the picture. I order one and Gerardo says, "Would you like the individual burger or the combo?". Just for him asking, I say, "The combo please with a diet coke." He replies, "Great, Is there anything else for tonight?" I reply, "No thank you, that will be all." He proceeds to tell me the total and I drive up. As I pull up to the window, he smiles and tells me the total again. He said, "We are making your fries now, so it will be just a minute." Another great example of customer service. My bad experience of going through a drive through turned into a great experience. I'll definitely go back to that unit.

BTW: The New Sirloin Burger is yummy - gotta try it. It's great!

BTW II: In the future with technology and all, I think it would be grand to be able to pull up to a touch screen interface and just enter the items you want. Maybe even have a login in screen with your password where you could order any of your previous orders. For myself, I usually order the same combo each time I go to a fast food restaurant. It would be cool if I could just get the 'usual'. There would be the optional 'HELP' button if the customer needed assistance. Pull around to the corner and your food is given to you. Bam, done.

Monday, October 23, 2006

BSG - You gotta watch it.

First group pictures are from Episode 6, Season 3: Torn
Second group pictures are from Episode 5, Season 3: Collaborators

If you are looking for an unbelievable series, Battlestar Galactica is a must. It's the best sci-fi TV ever. Not because it's merely great science fiction, it's great TV.

It's in it's 3rd season, but you can always catch up with the past season by purchasing the 2 past season's sets. You can also download the shows from iTunes if you don't have cable and don't have the time to go out and buy the DVD sets. It airs on the Sci-Fi channel at 9:00pm.
Be good. Spread the word.

Little and Big

Last Friday I went to a long overdue dinner with one of my dearest girlfriends. She was the first person I met in Austin and we’ve been friends ever since. Her name is Trinidad, and we all call her Trini for short. She’s cute as can be, extremely hard working and has the strongest endurance of any female I know.

She has a gorgeous and talented daughter with the coolest name, Jennefer. Trini named Jennefer after me (which was an honor itself) and we’ve always referred to me as ‘Big Jennefer’ and her, ‘Little Jennefer’.

As we were eating our dinners, Trini’s cell phone rang and it was little Jennefer. Little Jennefer asked her mom what she was doing and her mom replied, “I’m eating dinner with Big Jennefer at Trudy’s.” Little Jen on the other end of the phone said, “Oh Mom, can I come too since Big Jennefer’s there?!”

I wonder when she'll quit calling me Big Jennefer or if that has some other implication that I need to lose a few pounds. Anyway...let's continue.

Trini said, “Jennefer, you can’t leave your friend’s birthday party. You can go with us another time.” Trini said Jen was just silent.

Little Jen has so much spirit every time we get to see each other. I don’t spend nearly the time I should with little Jen, so she really gets excited when the opportunity is there. It’s difficult for us to go out on a regular basis since her mom works all the time and my schedule is usually whacked – those that know me know what I mean.

I wanted to write a little bit about little Jen, so you can just realize how wonderful she is and the person she has grown up to be (now 13 years old).

The top ten best experiences I’ve had with little Jennefer:

1. The day she was born – beautiful, healthy girl with a head full of dark hair. Precious.
2. The first time she said, “You are Big Jenfer and I am little Jenfer.”
3. Watching Jennefer play soccer for the first time. O my – that girl’s got talent. She can control that soccer ball like there’s an invisible string attached to it!
4. Jennefer’s black and white photo shoot at the Botanical Gardens. She’s a true gem to take photos of – a natural.
5. The day her mom ask me to be Jennefer’s Godmother.
6. The first time she invited me to her church.
7. Her helping me at Town Lake Animal Center. I was a volunteer on the photo team and I needed help one Saturday with the photos. She was a great photo partner – thanks Jen!
8. The day she starting wearing “cute” girly clothes – she’s always wore tomboy clothes (heh, I was the same way).
9. The day she helped me pick out my first Christmas Tree in Austin and helped decorate it.
10. The day she asked me to help plan her Quinceanera (Sweet 15). I’m looking forward to being a part of this.

It’s been amazing to see her grow up over the years and now she’s a teenager! I’m wondering if she’ll go through the rebellious teenager years – I don’t think she will. I think she’ll excel more and more everyday. It’s funny – every time I see her, she’s always got a new story that fascinates me. I love to listen to her and ask her opinion on her decisions. If I had a daughter, I’d definitely want a clone of her.

I’m proud of little Jen. *Big hug*

Note: I’m always making quirky things – the above image is an animated version of little Jennefer. It's a close resemblance of what she looks like! See, told ya she's a doll.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

froot 'kók`teyl

Dear Mr. Willliam Cruess:

This has absolutely nothing to do with Pool, Poker or Anime, but just as important in my mind. Growing up, there were a few things that were just the greatest things to eat in my world. I'll list them in order of priority:

1. Grilled Cheese
2. Lucky Charms
3. Fruit Cocktail
4. Jello with Fruit Cocktail
5. Hamburger Helper
6. Manwich
7. Macaroni and Cheese
8. Ice Cream
9. Pop Ice
10. Red Grapes (seedless)

In the present, I would still be completely content with living off of the above items. Heh, In fact, that's still pretty much what I consume. Good times.

Here comes the story. Friday I was longing for fruit cocktail, a beautiful mixture of peaches, pears, pineapples, grapes, pears and cherries (although there are never enough cherries) - more than I ever have. I hadn't been feeling well the past few days, so my appetite was pretty non existant, but it started coming back that night. I didn't want anything but fruit cocktail - the only thing that will satisfy me. I went to HEB on my quest to get a few cans. As I'm looking for the cans, I notice the 106oz can that is 6lbs. O my! I think I'm in heaven -- I'm not at Sam's or Costco, but HEB and they have this gargantuan can!! I quickly grab it and travel my way to the checkout line with my one can of Fruit Cocktail. It's 6 lbs (which felt like 15 lbs because I have no energy), but so worth it in my mind.

I drive home with my head pounding and about to fall asleep at the wheel. I put the can on the counter, pull out the faithful ol' can opener and guess what? It won't open the can!! It's one of those cheap hand can openers and it just bends. Ok, here's the issue...I haven't eaten much in the past two days and my heart was set on this. Ok, no problem - look for solution #2. I grab a knife and hammer and try and repeatedly pound holes in the can. Um, this is not happening either - not working. Now I have a few punctures on the lid, and 10 minutes later come to grips that it's not working. A drill might work, but I have no drill. I could drive up to the local Walmart to buy a heavy duty can opener, but by this time I'm too exhausted to drive and in pajamas. No energy to get dressed and drive up there - sad, eh? But true.

How did people open cans before the can openers were invented (can openers were invented about 50 years after canned items). Just like I attempted to do...with a hammer and a chisel (but i subsituted a knife). No chisel. Not prepared.

So what's for dinner? I've got ice cream (with chocolate syrup and whipped cream) for dinner and for dessert, Lucky Charms. That's dinner - you can't go wrong with that.

BTW: Are you wondering who Mr. Cruess is? Yep, Founder of Fruit Cocktail. Obviously he was a good man. *smiles*

Monday, October 09, 2006

Gothic I am

I've always been told I'm kinda gothic - black clothes, black hair, black everything. I'm guessing playing pool in the dark is not out of the question. Just gotta get me these glow in the dark balls. It's a kit that you can use to transform your current table into some major fun. It comes with:

A complete Aramith glow-in-the-dark phenolic ball set, reflective cushion tube with metallic springs, glowing cue rings, glowing break spots, and glow-in-the-dark rail sights. Also need to get blacklight to get the full effect. Rack em'!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

dis-uh-peer (verb)

Sometimes I wish I was a magician. Now that would be power.

It's great to just disappear, grab a suitcase, switch the answering machine on and just go somewhere else. - Dido Armstrong

All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else. - Buddha

By 2009, computers will disappear. Displays will be written directly onto our retinas by devices in our eyeglasses and contact lenses. - Ray Kurzweil

Oh man. If I had magic powers... I would hope that I would use them for good. I think I would. But I would do something pretty trivial like making traffic disappear. - Nick Stahl

Sometimes I just disappear to a white room in Spain or Italy or France. I don't need any conveniences or anything fancy, I need quiet and no clutter. - Jeanette Winterson

My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here. - Jim Henson

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Summer 2006 Division Champs

It's Not a Tumor did it! We had an amazing season with 10 teams in this division (Slick Willies North on Burnet and 183). 90% of the season, the team held first or second place and everyone placed exceptionally well throughout the summer season. We made it to play offs and were scheduled to play the "Wild Card" -- and it was the infamous team, 21 oz Cues. *giggles*

The captain of the team, who is also one of the sweetest guys around, was doing some trash talkin' prior the the day of playoffs informing me that HE was DUSTING his bookshelf to make room for the trophy he was going to bring home after giving our team the ol' SMACK DOWN.
Well, we had to prove him wrong and we spanked them 3-0! w00t!

The following week was the final playoff match and it was pretty intense. Every game went to double hill and we ended up pulling off the win with a 3-2! Double w00t!

This is us...minus Ronnie (think he had a date and had to leave before the night was over). I need to super impose him on the picture somehow after I can get a photo of him.

Thanks guys for a great season and looking forward to this new season. *big hug*

Sunday, September 10, 2006

BA Tattoo?

If I wasn't such a wimp, this would be a pretty sweet Battle Angel Alita tattoo. It would match my candle holder that a good friend made for me. It's the same image of Alita on a clear glass square. It's really gorgeous and a one of a kind candle holder since it was hand made.

Hey, now that I think about it -- Maybe Cracker Jacks or Lucky Charms will produce one of those slap on sticker tattoos that I used to dip in water and press on the back of my hand.

I'm not a huge fan of Cracker Jacks - just never was fond of caramel coated peanuts and popcorn. But the prizes were always great. *Digging to the bottom of the box just to get the prize*. I don't think I ever actually finished a box of Cracker Jacks...bleh.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Absolutely Marvelous It's Not a Tumor!

Wow, 2 inches makes a big difference. Taking home the 12 inch trophy versus the 14 inch's all bout' the inches.

This was one of the most solid teams and play I've seen in a long time. You guys (you know who you are), are ABSOLUTely amazing and hope we can all play many more seasons together.

There's less than 3 weeks before Tri-Cups, which is the next qualifier to make it to regionals in Austin, TX. If we win Tri-Cups, drinks will be on me....Count on that! *Big hug*

September 12 - Element of Surprise

One of the greatest inventions of all time - it's a beautiful thing to play your favorite songs over and over again.

Apple confirmed that it will hold a special event on Tuesday, September 12th at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco, California. An invitation sent to select media, including iLounge, features Hollywood premiere-style spotlights and reads simply, “It’s Showtime.” The event will kick off at 10:00 a.m. PT. Hmmmmmmmm......

Analysts have speculated that Apple will use a September event to launch numerous product and service offerings, ranging from new iPod nano and video models to a 23-inch iMac, new iPod-inspired phone and a movie download service. Such speculation rarely proves entirely accurate, however, as few people know Apple’s plans for certain until the event actually takes place. Apple is quiet about their new releases, but I can guarantee that they will be great features -- they always are.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Billiard Lessions - Worth the Dinero?

I've been playing for a few years and have come to a plateau on my level of play. There's so much more to learn and I need to invest more time and also take lessons from a pro.

I've been thinking about taking pool lessons for some time now. I've got an awesome cue - a friend gave me his pearl blue lucasi and I got the PredatorZ shaft up in Vegas last year. I've been fortunate to have played with some great players that have taken time out of their schedule to teach me some important skills, drills and basic foundation. You guys know who you are...(JP,WH,JM and K). You all are great players and one day, I'll be right up there with ya!

I've signed up with an instructor, Belinda Calhoun, and start my lessons on Thursday, September 7th. She's amazing - ranked 25th in the nation. Pretty impressive. I'm so excited and can't wait to begin the first lesson.

I'll keep you guys updated on how the lesson went and future lessons. I've schedule 4 one hour sessions for this month.


G'nite all and have a wonderful Labor Day.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

It's all bout' the Benjamins

Let's talk a bit about making money in pool.

There are two types of players - the amateur (usually new to gambling on the felt) and the pro (who's been a gambler his whole career on the table).

This is how it usually happens:

The amateur wants to simply take down the other player on the table. The pro's goal is to win the opponent's money.

Key: It's not a matter of winning the most immediately; it's a matter of how much you win long term.

The amateur wants to have all eyes on him/her (the focus of everyone). The pro wants to remain in the dark, doesn't need the light.

Key: Once you're known for your game, you will be watched. When you're watched, people will know how strong you are.

The amateur likes to talk about his wins (never his losses). The pro wants to be liked by his/her peers.

Key: People will more likely accept losing their money and less likely to become angry if they like you - if you are genuine.

The amateur always goes for the win. The pro always knows when to lose.

Key: Dropping an occasional game or an entire session can set up the opportunity for a big win down the road.

The amateur plays his best game with every shot. The pro shows only enough "speed" to win by a small margin.

You gotta keep them in the game. There's nothing like "almost winning" to keep a person coming back.

When you ask an amateur what he does for a living, he'll tell you that he earns his money in the pool hall. When you ask a pro, he'll claim that he/she an insurance salesman.

Key: Heh, nobody wants to talk about insurance. *smiles*

I'm neither amateur or pro, but have a deep passion for the game. Think, err, know I always will...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Show me the Monkey!

Show me the Monkey!

This year, PokerShare is going to stake a Chimp, Mikey, in the 2006 WSOP Main Event which is 10K. Mikey has been in training for the past 4 months for the event.

There is going to be a press conference at 2:00pm on Thursday, July 27, 2006 at the Palms Hotel in Vegas. The trainers and Mikey will be avaialbe for comments and questions regarding Mikey's poker training for the main event and chimpanzees cognitive abilities.
I am hoping he'll be at the same table as Mike (the mouth) Mattusow and Mikey will knock him out of the tourney. O to see that.

If he places in the money, that's definitely not peanuts!

Some questions you may have:


There are very few primates that have the cognitive ability of Mikey. “After a gruelling search across North America,” says Lucan Toh, CEO of, “we have spent our efforts on one lucky chimp.” Mikey has been professionally trained to recognize the colors and shapes of suits and numbers. His favorite move is going “all in” but don’t tell his competition. His website, will show video footage of this chimp practicing his “all in” moves with his trainers.


With spectators going bananas for this animated chimp, Mikey will be playing for chips! He wants cold hard cash for his retirement, which has become a more serious problem for show business animals. After chimps perform for several years, they must retire, and like humans, live off of their earnings for the rest of their lives. Mikey’s trainers are available to comment on Mikey’s retirement plan and where he hopes to retire, should he win the 2006 WSOP.


After his press conference at the Palms, Mikey will also challenge a journalist to a live poker match. Journalists and producers will receive a banana split and share in cold Bannarama Vodka Blended’s at the press conference.


Mikey the chimp will be sending all of his losing opponents BACK to next year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP), compliments of That’s right, will sponsor his losing victims to get right back up after defeat, and play again for free in the 2007 World Series of Poker!

I wanna be that chump to get knocked out by that chimp! *Smiles*

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Our group photo from Play Offs @ Slick Willies

We must thank Moby's friend for taking the pictures (all of us forgot to bring a camera)! This wrapped up our Spring 2006 Session - now we gotta prepare for the Tri-cups. *So excited*

Friday, May 19, 2006

We did it!

O my O my...I don't even know if I can express the right words. But let's pick up where I left off last week...

Our team plays at Slick Willies in Austin, Texas. Tonight was the final playoff match, 21 Ounce Cues (that's us) against The Usual Suspects. I'm going to take a few steps back to and give you a quick snippet of our history playing against that team.

The last two times we played them during our league session, they beat us *cough cough*, 5 - 0. For each win a player gets against their opponent, it's a point. They spanked us 5 - 0 during the last two matches. We are not pround of that, but it's fact. Nopenopenope, cannot erase it. So, yeah, we were the underdogs going into this match tonight.

To win the playoff match, your team needs to win 3/5 games. First team to win 3, and it's over.

Here's how tonight unfolded:

1. Moby is up first and wins 2 - 1! He closes his match (and win) out by making a gorgeous 8 ball shot with ease. Moby is one of our secret weapons and it was such a pleasure to have him on our team this session. I'm sure glad he was on our team and I never had to play him. Wooo, thank goodness! Awesome shooting Moby!

2. Diya is up second and she shot beautifully. Here's where the pool gods come in (heh - it's the blog name, what can I do about that). I think they felt bad for the other team losing their first match. The pool gods would actually make the object balls rattle in the pockets or move the cue ball to a horrible place where she didn't have a good shot to run out the table! Evil pool gods, so Diya had to be the bigger person and say, "Hey Pool Gods, you are right...I'll let the other team win one game. But that is it!" Diya is an AMAZING shot and one of the prettiest pool players aka "Pool Shark" you'll ever meet. Also I'm going to let a secret out. If you ever want to really impress her, just wear a maroon shirt. Trust me on this.

3. Tyler is up third. He's on fired -- shot a solid game and shot with confidence. He won 3 - 0 against his opponent. (BTW: His opponent, Pablo, is one of the most solid ranked "4s" I know and he's got the best sportsmanship). Tyler, thanks for bringing us a win on such a key match. That win, really helped us to have an advantage over the other team. Superness job! (Is that even a word?)

4. Before I introduce our 4th player up, I want to let the whole world know that our team has played unbelievable this sesson as a team. That's the key part, the TEAM. I couldn't have played with a better group of guys and gals. Okok, sorry to go off on another tangent. Back to the PHILSTER. Phil is up for our forth match. The reason this is so important, is if Phil takes down this match - we win playoffs and get a seat in the Tri-Cups!! Phil is matched up with a very solid 4 on the other team who shoots like a 5! Phil made all the right decisions, all of the perfect shots, perfect leaves, simply amazing. He practiced on Sunday for over 6 hours and it definitely showed in tonight's match. Phil was calm, confident, solid - dead stroke and couldn't of played a better match! He won 2 - 0 and shot lights out! Phil, I can't tell you enough how much you impressed everyone. You shined tonight and thank you for bringing in the win!

Since we only had to play 4 total matches, we never had to play our 5th match which would of been the rubber match to break the tie. Rubber matches are the most stressful, because you have all that weight to pull in the win for the team to advance. We never had to encounter that tonight thanks to the team. Ryan, Nick, Me and Christy never had to play - but I know if any of us did, we'd all be a solid contributer.

Thanks for a great season and wonderful finish. We'll be at Tri-Cups in early June. Next milestone: Win Tri-cups and head to regionals! Let's do it guys. *big hug*

Oh, and you should see the trophies. They are gorgeous!

Friday, May 12, 2006


Ok, This was a pretty exciting evening for 21 oz Cues. We have always done well each season to make it to the first round of play offs, but never made it to the 2nd round. The pool gods always interfered somehow *grins*. Well, tonight, 5.11.06, the team pulled of a grand victory against a fantastic team. Everyone played lights out and it showed by the teamwork and team decisions throughout the evening. We couldn't of done this without our awesome captain, Ryan King, leading the way. He started the evening out by pulling in a superb win over his opponent [2 - 0]. Yep, no mercy for the opponent - he just dived in for the win. Bam Bam. Ryan rocks. The next beautiful victory was Christy Chun winning against a very tough opponent [2 - 1] - she shot amazing, played critical safeties when needed and shot like a machine during her match. Great job Christy! To close the victory, Moby got up to the felt. He is definitely one of our secret weapons and shot lights out [2 - 0]! Wowser - I'm still so excited from the evening!

What does all of this mean? Well, we play next week against the other winning team in our division. Both teams get trophies for the division (and us girls get trophies with the cute little females shooting some stick). The only difference between 1st and 2nd next week?

1st place: Qualifies for a seat in the Tri-cup which is a qualifier for the Austin Regionals + the BIGGER TROPHIES

2nd place: Still an awesome accomplishment and gets the smaller trophies (but not much smaller - say, 2 inches or so).

Great job guys on tonights play - we are going to have a great game next week!

Oh yeah, you are prolly wondering what the anime characters are above. Heh, that's us - the 21oz Cues!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Check out the shark

Hmm, so ya think you can shoot a good stick? Check this video out: Landon Shuffett

How impressive is that this little kid hitting trick shots (which most people could never do) was only ahem, 7 - yes 7 years old! He's much much much older now, about 11 *smiles*. He's the 17th ranked junior player in the world.

Landon won his 50th tournament on November 2, 2005 at his home poolroom, The Rack-n-Cue, in Campbellsville, Kentucky. This victory came at his 331st tournament. M'kay - that's 331 tourneys that he has competed in around his normal school, friends, and daily activities.

His family has a website that talks a bit about Landon. Check him out at

Yesyes, I'm in awe.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Rusty Angel & Tears Sign

I just got home and decided to rewatch Yukito Kishiro's 2 OVAs (OVA 1: Rusty Angel and OVA 2: Tears Sign). If you have never seen it, Battle Angel is a touching and at times, an emotional anime. It's a perfect blend -- it's a got the essence of sci-fi, but delivers an emotional moving story. Ah, and it's beautiful. I still can't get over the colors -- They are so rich and well balanced, yet keep that "dark sense" feel.

After watching it again, I realize that technically, this is an amazing production. The characters are full of expression, especially Gally. Trust me, there are plenty of scary, ugly lookin' characters in the OVA, but somehow Gally manages to always look cute and provide that balance.

In the OVA, the normal life in this type of future appears extremely difficult and trying. It displays the evils of humanity, the greed, the lust for violence, and the selfishness. The only thing that seems to be able to overcome these desires, although on a small scale, is pure love and dreams. That may seem sappy (and you know I'm not one for sap), but that's kind of how I see it in Gunnm.

The characters are excellent. No one seems artificial, and they all possess realistic traits and flaws that we can easily relate to. This heightens their believability and makes it easier to become attached to the characters. Gally is not your typical anime android. From her neck up, she looks human and the rest of her body is all mechanical. This is a welcome break from the traditonal prosthetic anime-babes you usually see in anime.

The only flaw with the OVA (and it was hard for me to find one) is that the series is far too short. *Ahem* TWO episodes! The manga version is very extensive, and the series could easily have been a couple dozen episodes in length. Since many questions go unanswered, most will have to turn to the manga (9 books) to learn all the secrets behind Gally.

Overall, it is driven by the characters, their raw desires, and Gally's strong emotions. Those of you looking for something unique need not pursue any longer. This is a keeper - enough said. *smiles*

"Yes!! I love being in battle. I love the moment when my body stops being a machine and becomes a part of me!! My blood boils and my mind goes all white!! It's an incredible high! There's no time to think...only action!" - Gally

Alright, the sun will rise in a few hours so I better head to bed. Sweet dreams all.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Hanes Pool Commercials

Love it! Billiards is everywhere now -- It's hard to go anywhere or even turn on the tube these days without seeing billiards on a station. There's TV time on ESPN for professional pool, the new Celebrity Pool on Bravo, and now the new Hanes Commercials with Michael Jordan and Matthew Perry playing each other. *winks*

Saturday, February 25, 2006

880 in front of Alita?

The future for James Cameron and Battle Angel Alita

I've been waiting quite a while to see what he was doing with Battle Angel Alita, but now it looks like that isn't actually what he's up to these days. Instead it's Project 880/Avatar

It looks Like Project 800/Avatar has been bumped up in front of Battle Angel Alita. *Ugh* What are you thinking James? However since you are pure greatness, I will still bow to you as the messiah of Science Fiction Goodness.

It has been nine years since James Cameron made the box-office smash Titanic. Since then, he hasn’t just been sitting on piles of money or staring at his Oscars. He’s made three documentaries (including Aliens Of The Deep) and invested heavily in new 3D camera technology.

And now he’s back. But while we’d all come to the conclusion – based on a recent casting call for a “lithe, athletic teen” – that he was gearing up to make his long-rumoured adaptation of anime sci-fi classic Battle Angel Alita, he’s just revealed that it’s not necessarily first in his mind. Talking to Entertainment Weekly, he finally admitted the truth: “We’ve moved Project 880 into first position.”

So what is this mysterious Project 880? Ask Cameron, and all you get is a cryptic reply: “It’s as classified as the Manhattan Project.” Yeah, thanks, Jim. But observers and speculators are already a-twitter at the thought that this is Avatar, his long-cherished, epic sci-fi love story set against a raging interplanetary war. SFX read the script treatment which leaked onto the internet years ago, and it’s an effects-heavy piece which would only be possible with bleeding edge technology.

Luckily for Cameron, that’s exactly his style. ''We couldn't do one unless we do both,'' says Cameron. ''They use the same technology.'' He’s talking about Gollum-style realistic motion capture and the 3D cameras he’s been working on.

And we can expect both films within - we hope - the next few years. They’re currently planned for release by 20th Century Fox in 2007 and 2009, but don’t hold him to that: “'We don't want to get jammed up like on Titanic,'' Cameron says, refusing to rule out the possibility of Project 880 moving to 2008. ''The consensus has been we will serve no wine before its time.''

Monday, February 20, 2006

Affidavit attesting to records set by Mosconi, 1953 and 1954

This is an affidavit attesting to Mosconi's record straight pool run. How amazing would it be to have a copy of this?

Mosconi, Willie (William Joseph Mosconi), 1913–93, U.S. professional billiard player, b. Philadelphia. After a brief period as a child prodigy he did not take up the game again until 1931. He won his first world championship in 1941, and defended it successfully through 1955 in all years except 1943 and 1949. Beginning in the mid-1950s, Mosconi gave numerous exhibitions and helped to popularize the game. He wrote Willie Mosconi on Pocket Billiards (1954).

Even after his retirement from formal competition, Mosconi was an enthusiastic promoter of pocket billiards for the Brunswick company, giving exhibitions and appearing in televised matches. He was technical advisor for the 1961 movie, The Hustler, which starred Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Einstein was right...

Now this is what I'm talkin' about. If you haven't heard the news...We have some power players on the team. We are all ranked in the top 15 in the league and that's an impressive feat. I came across this old photo (in a shoebox) and his prediction came true in February of 2006.

Thanks Albert for your confidence in us...May I call you Al?

Monday, January 30, 2006

1374 Seconds

Yep, That's the time (~ 23 minutes)it took me to complete the 27 levels of Hot Seat Gunner. This is a free game where you are a girl (Girls Rock!) with a gun trying to get rid of a mech-type robot. Shoot your way through 27 levels in this mindbending combination of action and puzzle gameplay. Note: If you die on a level, you have to start from level one again -- there is not an option to save at a specific level.

Check it out and let me know if you beat 1374 seconds. If you do (and screenshot for proof is required), please save that baby! Good luck on your shots.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Kick shots

In pool, a bank shot is when you drive an object ball into a rail, and then into a pocket, somewhere on the other side (or end) of the table.

A kick shot is when you drive the cue ball into the rail, and then into the object ball. Kick shots are something I have never been good at, but the need to do them seems to come up frequently. These are a couple of ways to calculate your shot. Heh, and I need to practice them.

The "X Method": This method is in Willie Hoppe's book. You mentally draw the X in this diagram, from the cue ball to the "image" of the target ball on the rail, and from the target ball to the "image" of the cue ball on the rail. These two lines intersect somewhere between the two balls (and toward the rail from the two balls). Your target point Y is the image of this intersection point. Unless the two balls are a long distance apart, this method works very simply. Incidentally, geometry shows that the point Y, determined in this way, is the same exact point Y, determined above using similar triangles.

The "Parallel Method": Yet another method, this one advocated by Dr. Cue, is to find the midpoint between the two balls. You can imagine drawing a line between the two balls, and finding its midpoint. Then aim along the line between this midpoint and the image of the object ball. The actual cue ball path (from the cue ball to point Y) will be parallel to this line. With a little practice, you can easily move your cue parallel to this line. This method works very well. It tends to be very inaccurate, if the balls are a long distance apart (because judging parallel lines is error prone). Incidentally, geometry shows that the cue ball path, determined in this way, goes to the same point Y, determined above using other methods.

The "Ghost Ball Method": This one works well if the angle is shallow (nearly parallel to the rail). Imagine a ghost ball off the table, about the same distance outside the rail that the target ball is inside the rail. If the angle is shallow, you may even be able to adjust your hit on the object ball in order to make it go where you want (like into a pocket), accurately. With this method, you can deal with the complications (which I cover below) in two different ways. You can deal with them in the same way that you do with the other methods. Or you can make your ghost ball farther outside the table, through point Y' (which I also describe later). Some adjustment has to be made, depending on how far the object ball is from the rail. Experiment, and let me know if you hit upon a good method. You can actually measure the position of the ghost ball, with your cue or fingers.

I don't recommend doing kick shots during your match unless you are in a bind and have no other choice. Keep these little secrets in your back pocket and pull em' out when you need to go for the win. They are tough shots --- but ah, such beauties when they roll in!

Good luck on the felt!

James Cameron on Battle Angel Alita!

James Cameron, the director of Titanic and Aliens confirmed that his next movie will be Battle Angel, a live action take on the Battle Angel Alita manga/anime. The movie will be shot in 3D, using the same technology of Cameron's IMAX 3D movie Aliens of the Deep. The main character will be completely CG (computer generated). It is set to release in 2007. Can't wait!

Basic Plot:

On a future Earth, 26th century, the story takes place 300 years after a societal collapse caused by a major war, but in that society, it's a technological dark age following a pinnacle of achievement far, far beyond where we are right now. So in a sense it's post-apocalyptic, but it's post-apocalyptic from a very high level. So now, you've got cyborg technology as just a way of life. People are augmented a lot as workers and so on, so being a cyborg is not unusual. The main character is a cyborg. She has an organic human brain, and she looks like she's about fourteen years old. She has a completely artificial body and she's lost her memory- she's found in this wreckage and she's reconstituted by this guy who is a cyber-surgeon engineer who becomes her kind of surrogate father. He rebuilds her and gives her a name Gally, which later known as Alita. Alita awakens in a world where living conditions are poor, gangs roam the area, and "survival of the fittest" applies. Alita is apparently a child with no past...even to herself. Mysterious combat abilities are within her though and after a period of some confusion, Alita registers herself as a "hunter/warrior".

It will be PG-13 -- lots of blood, but it's all blue.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Break Shot Manga

There are not too many mangas about sports, but there are exceptions - For example: Break Shot is about billiards.

It was released in 1987 and 16 in the series. The author is Takeshi Maekawa.

I've been looking for the comics, but haven't been able to find them. I did find them on (the Japanese Amazon). I had a hard time trying to translate the page and then I saw the magic "Display in English" link. Heh - um, it doesn't work.

Plot Summary:

A boy named Chinmi is infatuated with billiards. Problems arise when a new student body president, Olive, suddenly decided to cut the funding for his billiards club. Unhappy with that, Chinmi wants to convince Olive that the club is worthy of the funding. He decided to challenge a two-time former national billiards champion. Chinmi goes on to re-create legendary techniques and enters the National Championship Billiards Tournament.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Can I hide?

Yamaha is now selling a private sound booth

Um, Yamaha's Sound Proof Entertainment Room is the solution for isolating some badass MMORPG'ing, studying, working, or hiding from your family. It's only a 2.5 square meter area -- perfect hideaway for blasting those peeps or using as recording studio (not bothering your neighbors).

It's got two power inputs -- plenty of ventilation with the fan. You can easily add internal options with ethernet, phone, TV connections, windows, etc. The grandest part, AN INTERNAL LOCK that only you have CONTROL. I think I'll take the black one. Yes, ladies and gents - this could be yours for the mere price of 4K.

I want one...

"Dear Santa,

I promise I will behave from now on. I know I say that every year -- I mean it this time *sad eyes*"