Thursday, December 25, 2008

100 Ways


Afrikaans - Geseende Kerfees en 'n gelukkige nuwe jaar
Albanian - Gézuar Krishlindjet Vitin e Ri!
Amharic - Melkam Yelidet Beaal
Arabic - I'D Miilad Said ous Sana Saida
Aramaic - Edo bri'cho o rish d'shato brich'to!
Armenian - Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Aromunian - Crãciunu hãriosu shi unu anu nãu, bunu!
Azeri - Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun
Bahasa Malaysia - Selamat Hari Natal
Basque - Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!
Belorussian - Winshuyu sa Svyatkami i z Novym godam!
Bengali - Shuvo Baro Din - Shuvo Nabo Barsho
Bicolano - Maugmang Capascuhan asin Masaganang Ba-gong Taon!
Bohemian - Vesele Vanoce
Brazil (Portuguese) - "Feliz Natal" or "Boas Festas
Breton - Nedeleg laouen na bloav ezh mat
Bulgarian - Vasel Koleda; Tchestita nova godina!
Burmese - Pyaw Shwin Thaw Christmas Par!
Catalan - Bon nadal i feliç any nou!
Cantonese - Seng Dan Fai Lok, Sang Nian Fai Lok
Cebuano - Malipayong Pasko ug Bulahang Bag-ong Tuig!
Choctaw - Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
Cornish - Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
Corsican - Bon Natale e Bon capu d' annu
Cree - Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
Creek - Afvcke Nettvcakorakko
Croatian - Sretan Bozic
Czech - Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish - Glædelig Jul og godt nytår
Duri - Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak
Dutch - Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
Egyptian - Colo sana wintom tiebeen
English - Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Eskimo - Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!
Esperanto - Gajan Kristnaskon
Estonian - Rõõmsaid Jõulupühi Head uut aastat
Euskera - Zorionak eta Urte Berri On
Faeroese - Gledhilig jól og eydnurikt nýggjár!
Farsi - Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad
Finnish - Hyvää Joulua or Hauskaa Joulua
Flemish - Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
French - Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!
Frisian - Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!
Friulian - Bon Nadâl e Bon An Gnûf
Gaelic - Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ur!
Galician - Bon Nadal e Bo Ani Novo
German - Froehliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!
Greek - Kala Christougenna Kieftihismenos O Kenourios Chronos
Greenlandic - Juullimi Ukiortaassamilu Pilluarit
Hausa - Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Hawaiian - Mele Kalikimaka & Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Hebrew - Mo'adim Lesimkha. Shana Tova
Hindi - Shub Naya Baras
Hungarian - Kellemes Karácsonyi ünnepeket és Boldog Új Évet!"
Iban -Selamat Ari Krismas enggau Taun Baru
Icelandic - Gleðileg Jól og Farsaelt Komandi ár!
Ilocano - Naimbag a Pascua ken Naragsac nga Baro nga Tawen!
Indonesian - Selamat Hari Natal
Iraqi - Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Irish -Nollaig Shona Dhuit
Italian - Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo
Japanese - Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Jèrriais - Bouan Noué et Bouanne Année
Kadazan -Kotobian Tadau Do Krimas om Toun Vagu
Karelian - Rastawanke Sinun, Uvven Vuvenke Sinun
Korean - Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Krio - Appi Krismes en Appi Niu Yaa
Kurdish - Seva piroz sahibe u sersala te piroz be
Ladin - Bon Nadel y Bon Ann Nuef
Lappic - Buorit Juovllat ja Buorre Oddajahki
Latin - Natale hilare et Annum Nuovo!
Latvian - Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!
Lausitzian - Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto
Lithuanian - Linksmu Kaledu ir laimingu Nauju metu
Livian - Riiemlizi Talspividi ja pagin vonno udaigastos
Low Saxon - Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar
Luxemburgish - Schéi Krëschtdeeg an e Schéint Néi Joer
Macedonian -Streken Bozhik
Malay - Selamat Hari Natal dan Tahun Baru
Malayalam - Puthuvalsara Aashamsakal
Maltese - Nixtieklek Milied tajjeb u is-sena t-tabja!
Mandarin - Sheng Dan Kuai Le, Xin Nian Kuaile
Manx - Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa
Maori - Meri Kirihimete
Marathi - Shubh Naveen Varsh ( Happy New Year )
Mongolian - Zul saryn bolon shine ony mend devshuulye
Monogasque - Festusu Natale e Bona ana noeva
Norwegian - God Jul og Godt Nyttår
Occitan - Polit nadal e bona annada
Oriya - Sukhamaya christmass ebang khusibhara naba barsa
Pampamgo - Malugud Pascu at saca Masayang Bayung Banua!
Papiamento - Bon Pasco y un Feliz Aña Nobo
Papua New Guinea - Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu
Pashto - De Christmas akhtar de bakhtawar au newai kal de mubarak sha.
Pennsylvania German - En frehlicher Grischtdaag unen hallich Nei Yaahr!
Polish - Wesolych Swiat i Szczesliwego Nowego Roku.
Portuguese - Boas Festas e um feliz Ano Novo
Punjabi - Nave sal di mubaraka
Pushto - Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha
Raeto-Ramance - Bella Festas da zNadal ed in Ventiravel Onn Nov
Rapa-Nui - Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
Rhetian - Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn
Romanche - Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!
Romani (GYPSY) - Bachtalo krecunu Thaj Bachtalo Nevo Bers
Romanian - Craciun fericit si un An Nou fericit!
Russian - Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva i s Novim Godom
Sambal - Maligayang Pasko at Masayang Ba-yon Taon!
Sami - Buorrit Juovllat
Samoan - La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Sardian - Felize Nadale e Bonu Cabuannu
Sardinian - Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou
Scots Gaelic - Nollaig chridheil huibh
Serbian - Hristos se rodi
Serb-Croatian - Sretam Bozic. Vesela Nova Godina
Sicilian - Bon Natali e Prosperu Annu Novu !
Singhalese - Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Sorbian - Wjesole hody a strowe Nowe leto.
Somali - ciid wanaagsan iyo sanad cusub oo fiican.
Slovakian - Vesele Vianoce a stastny novy rok
Slovak - Veselé Vianoce a šťastný nový rok
Slovene - Vesele bozicne praznike in srecno novo leto
Sorbian - Wjesole hody a strowe Nowe leto
Spanish - Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Surigaonon - Malipayon na pasko sanan bag-on tuig!
Swahili - ºKrismas Njema Na Heri Za Mwaka Mpyaº
Swedish - God Jul och Gott Nytt År
Sudanese - Wilujeng Natal Sareng Warsa Enggal
Tagalog - Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon
Tamil - Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal
Thai - Suksan Wan Christmas lae Sawadee Pee Mai
Tok Pisin - Meri Krismas & Hepi Nu Yia
Tongan - Kilisimasi Fiefia & Ta'u fo'ou monu ia
Trukeese - Neekirissimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!
Tswana - Keresemose o monate le masego a ngwaga o montsha
Turkish - Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian - Veseloho Vam Rizdva i Shchastlyvoho Novoho Roku!
Urdu - Naya Saal Mubarak Ho
Vepsi - Rastvoidenke i Udenke Vodenke
Vietnamese - Chuc Mung Giang Sinh - Chuc Mung Tan Nien
Waray-Waray - Maupay nga Pasko ngan Mainuswagon nga Bag-o nga Tuig!
Welsh - Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Xhosa - Siniqwenelela Ikrisimesi EmnandI Nonyaka Omtsha Ozele Iintsikelelo Namathamsanqa
Yayeya - Krisema
Yiddish - Gute Vaynakhtn un a Gut Nay Yor
Yoruba - E ku odun, e hu iye' dun!
Zulu - Sinifesela Ukhisimusi Omuhle Nonyaka Omusha Onempumelelo

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Round of Cats





Lots going on the the cat world. Here are a few pictures that I came across that are pretty darn adorable. You know I can't resist cool cats playing billiards or a good game of cards. The Christmas cat is unforgettable! Wishing you, your family, and your loved ones a cherished holiday season and wonderful 2009 to come!

Trail of Lights Austin

Just got in from going to the Austin Trail of Lights. If you haven't gone this year, I highly recommend that you put it on your "to do" list before the end of the year. It takes about an hour to walk the trail and it's absolutely gorgeous out there. There have been thousands of man hours to create the setting and set up the lights.

The Trail of Lights is a continuous 1.25 mile long display of over 40 lighted scenes. There are some craft booths, some yummy food vendors selling turkey legs and funnel cakes (to die for) and there's even Santa waiting to visit with you. When you first arrive, you'll see the amazing 155 ft tall tree, that has over 3000 bulbs and is gorgeous.

Tonight was the perfect night to go. Texas weather is so unpredictable - we were in the 70s today and tomorrow it takes a dive to the 30s. Walking that trail when it's that cold would be quite painful. It was crowded tonight, but it moved very smoothly. There were some lights set up that were not there in the past, so if you haven't been in a few years, you'll be pleasantly surpised.

They also have a great train that you can ride around the trail if you do not feel like burning a few calories by walking. The train is 3.00 a person for Adults and the kiddos can ride for $2.00 - not a bad deal! You can even bring your dog out - there were tons of our little K-9 buddies out there.

After I finished the trail, it made me think about how wonderful Austin is and how the community keeps traditions running year after year. Thank you to all the workers and volunteers that make this event a beautiful one to remember.

Again, if you haven't gone, take a couple hours out of your evening and head down there to share the experience with your family and friends. I promise it will be a memory you'll keep for a very long time.

Do not read this if you are short on time

Want a new addiction. Check out Flixter. It's a great site that you can rate movies, compare them with your buddies, take fun quizzed and play games. The beauty of this site is that you can also watch moves free from your computer and they stream pretty well. They do not have a huge amount of movies to choose from, but a pretty good selection that is completely free (~200).

This site is perfect for movie buffs. It's been out since 2006 and it's kinda like a social network that is devoted to movies and actors. I'm warning you though, it's highly addictive and can consume your free time. *smiles*

Check it out though - you can watch movies without registering. If you do register, you can create your own profile, start rating movies, see how other rate movies and even have fun creating quizzes for others to complete.

I forgot to mention that you can also watch some great television shows - Family Guy, Alf, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (highly recommend), Lost in Space, Naruto, Alfred Hitchcock, and the list goes on. There's even Battlestar Galactica, the greatest show ever on television! Note that not all episodes are on this site for each series, but they are always adding.

Enjoy the site.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's been awhile


It's been over a month since I have posted and have missed taking some time out of the day to post my random thoughts and experiences. Alot of great things have been going on and not sure how the weeks fly by so quickly.

I'm finally settled into my home - took me a couple months to get unpacked and still have a little more to do, but 95% of it's done. Pumpkin, Sugar and Jordan have been getting used to the space. When we first moved in, they were not sure about the whole stairs thing and how to walk on stairs. They could make it up, but going down, they run down, slip and slide and end up sliding into the wall at the bottom of the stairs. Good thing for cats is that they are invincible and get right back up. They love the lighting since there are a ton of windows and are first to greet me at the door as I pull up. *smiles*

On the billiard front, I haven't been playing as much as I would like due to other commitments, but starting in January 09, I am going to put a focus on improving my game. I want to play with confidence and elevate my game to the next level. Always something to learn, and I want to be ready to play in the Texas Open in 09. I'm really fortunate to play on some great teams and have excellent coaches. With their guidance, I can get to the next level. By the end of the year, I want to be at a skill level 6, but it's going to take a ton of practice to get there. Gotta set goals.

Our team tonight is in a 4 way tie. Crazy. If we do well tonight, we can seal our seat in the play offs. Goal is to go 4-1, but a 3-2 should be ok to get into the play off. We have a solid team, so I am pretty confident everyone will do well tonight.

Our BCA team on Tuesdays is going to complete in Vegas for the BCA Nationals in May. It will be at the Riviera Casino again. Tough competition out there, but we are going anyway. *smiles*

Wrapping up for now, going to get some practice in before league starts. Till later...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Cute Cats

I have the cutest pal. Pumpkin is my little feline buddy that likes to be where ever I am at. He's like a dog, but with whiskers. He pretty much rules the house as well.








Wednesday, October 01, 2008

First Mama Fu's Video Clip to play at a JumboTron!

Look for this at the JumboTron in Bentonville, Arkansas - I dabble in things and the manager at our location in Bentonville asked for a little 30 second clip to have played during football games on their JumboTron. I LOVE doing things that are creative and that gets my heart a pumpin'. Anything from drawing, designing websites, painting, creating sculptures, photography, videos, building cool lego stuff, anything that gets you using your creative juices.

You ask what a JumboTron is? Greeeeaaaat question. When I first heard the term, I automatically thought it was a HUGE video game console with Tron on it. How awesome is that? For those of you that spent your evenings in the local arcade - you know what I'm talkin' about. It was a game made by Bally Midway in 1982 and it involve 4 games in one -- 1. The grid bugs, 2. The light cycles, 3. The MCP cones, and 4. The Tanks (the one I hated). It was definitely one of the greatest coin op games from the early eighties. Ah good times...spending your allowance dumping quarters into a machine. Heh, wouldn't trade it for anything.

Anyway, a JumboTron is not an enlarged Tron console. Too bad. *smiles* It's actually a large screen that is displayed at sports stadiums. I created this at work today so that Mama Fu's in Bentonville can advertise how awesome they are. It's fantastic pan asian cuisine that combines wonderful food with a great atmosphere. You should try them out if you haven't. For locations - visit http://www.mamafus.com/. This clip was created in Windows Movie Maker and it makes it easy for folks to create cute little videos from images. You can even add audio , have the images on specific timelines and control the way the images flow.

Try Mama Fu's Asian House out - I think you'll really enjoy the experience and make you want to come back for more! My favorite items are the Dynamite Shrimp and the Mongolian Beef.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

He's a little jealous





Jordan was nudging me to include him - I wrote about the cats earlier and he wouldn't let me be about it. So here's a few of the handsome fellow.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Packin' and Unpackin'




Today has been a fun filled day of packing. I've got some pretty loyal pets that like to follow me around and check on everything I am doing. I just realized how darn cute (i mean darn darn darn cute) they are and how lucky I am to have them in my life. Their names are Pumpkin and Sugar. When I'm mad at them I threaten to make a sugar and pumpkin pie! It's rare that I could be mad at them - lemme list what they have done to get on my "gonna bake a pumpkin & sugar pie" list:
  1. Sugar claws the heck out of my furniture. He loves to show off how he can climb furniture and leave his marks. Yeah, real nice Sugar.

  2. Sugar chews up my cables to everything - nice again.

  3. Pumpkin kneading and forgetting he's kneading right into me! Ouch.

That's about it - they are pretty close to perfect. They both purr like a motor mount and give me their undivided attention. They love sleeping next to me and won't get up until I put one foot out of bed.

I owe both of these lovely boys to one of my greatest pet clients. They found both of these boys and offered them to my home. I am thankful each day.

Friday, September 19, 2008

XAMPP

You've probably heard folks mention "Apache," "Perl," "PHP," and "MySQL." When I first heard the terms, this is what I thought:

Apache: Native American Indian Tribe with mad skills!

Perl: My neighbor's dog - Perl.

PHP: My old insurance company, Physicians Health Plan.

MySQL: Why is it your SQL? Does it always have to be about you? Why not call it RSQL...*grins*

Now you ask, what the heck do they do?

Apache is a web server. When you view a web page, good odds are that Apache is the program that sent it to your computer since it is the most widely used.

Perl is a powerful scripting language. Among other things, it creates dynamic content for web pages very easily.

PHP is similar. PHP is a web-mature language which has its primary purpose on the web. The difference is Perl is a rich, powerful language that can be used for almost anything. Perl is also a scripting language that can also be used on the web but this is not its only purpose. The syntax of these two languages is quite similar but not identical.

MySQL is a database. It can hold and organize grand amounts of data. Customers, product information, records, invoices, etc. and is commonly used for a database on an e-commerce web site.

Each of these utilities are very robust, well developed and sophisticated. Setting them up correctly one-by-one can be quite a chore itself. Heh, getting them to talk and work with eachother is even a greater task.

XAMPP is a free software package that ties them all together for you. With one single download and a simple installation, you are ready to create just about any web site you can fathom. Even if you just want to try it out or test your own HTML, PHP, or Perl CGI programming, XAMPP is a very easy, excellent and helpful tool. It's available for Windows, Linux, MAC & Solaris.

Enjoy and start developing!

Home Video

New Austin Home

I'm moving in this week to my new place and can't wait to get settled in. It's in a nice little neighborhood in South Austin, near downtown. It's got tons of natural lighting, a zillion windows and a perfect layout for what I like in a place. Not sure which is worse, packing or unpacking, but the end result is worth it 100 times over. Jordan, Pumpkin and Sugar are pretty excited and helping me pack, well, more like climbing in the boxes and peeking out. *smiles*

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sue & Dead Stroke


I just got in from a full day of billiards at GCue. I went up around 4:00pm to meet an old friend that I used to play with years ago. He's coming back into the billiard world and it seems like he never put a stick down. He's playing strong and preparing for the Texas Open next year. He's the type of person that is not just playing to "play", he's playing to take the tourney down. I like the confidence and he can back it up with continous practice.

Soon after, my girlfriend Sue showed up and a few other players, Angie, RJ and Melody. We all were playing 9-ball and winner remained on the table as we rotated the matches. Sue was on Dead Stroke and impossible to beat when she's in this zone. She's one of the most solid players I know and when she's on - she's unbeatable unless the pool gods step in and give you a win or two. Out of the 100s of games that were played today, she won at least 90 of them. Incredible.

When I say Dead Stroke -- the meaning of it. Similar to playing on autopilot where a player is at peak playing level and is playing without any conscious effort or thought. Dead Stroke is a sustained period of play where the specific player is in stroke. In simple terms, dead stroke is where a player is performing so flawlessly that he or she just cannot miss. To a player who is experiencing dead stroke, the game seems effortless.

I had a great time tonight with everyone and it's amazing how playing a good game of pool with good friends makes for an excellent day. It's a natural buzz. We all plan to play in the Texas Open next year, so that gives us 340 days to prepare *smiles*.

Nice job Sue - you inspire me to get to another level.

"I once quit pool. It was the most terrifying weekend of my life."

Goodnight all.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Railbirds won the play off match tonight!

Tonight was a great night. The team shot well and the pool gods were on our side. We won play off and advance to Tri-Cups, September 27th and 28th. That gives us about 3 weeks to sharpen our games and get some practice in before that event. If we do well in that event, we'll qualify for regionals (which is the event to go to Vegas to compete). Both teams tonight that were in playoffs will advance since it was the summer session and two teams advance. Tonight was really about playing for the title and the bigger trophy.

Both teams did well and it was a pleasure to play them. They shot well and we ended up going to the rubber match - always happens that way. That is a sign that both teams are shooting well.

Nice job everyone and I'm excited about Tri-Cups!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Just got home from a day/night of watching the Texas Open

I'm still in awe about the caliber of play I have seen the past two days. You watch these players and it makes you want to become a better player. I've had the opportunity over the past two days to see Pros play within 15 feet of me. It's pretty surreal and anyone that attends one of these events would agree with me.

Tonight at 7:30pm Rick Stanley played Cliff Joyner. This was prolly one of the toughest matches I've seen so far. Both players shot lights out and it really depended on who got on the break to run the table. Neither player missed shots or made any mistakes. It's crazy to see two players at this level compete against each other. I was impressed with both.

Updates: Bastrop is still dominating in the winners bracket. Watching him is an honor and I expect him to keep going until the end. After two days of watching everyone and seeing all this amazing talent, it's hard to predict who will take this title. Out of the initial seeds I chose, they are all still in this.

This has truly been one of the most amazing weekends I've had in a very long time. I can't wait until tomorrow to see more matches...will update later. Goodnight all.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bastrop wins 9 - 6

Noon update: Bastrop played Chelo in the winner's bracket and took the win with 9 - 6. Good match to watch. The noon rounds are about to start and some good matches are lined up. Al Mason is playing this round -- but late on his table. There is a 10 minute window for him to show...He's in the winner's bracket, so if he is not able to make it, he'll still be in the tournament. More to come...

Rick Stanley & Cliff Joyner

Both won their 9:00am matches solid (as predicted) -- so that means they will match up on their next match. Gah! This will be an extremely great match to watch. Cliff won 9 - 1 against his opponent and Rick won 9 - 6. It is double elimination, so one will move on in the winner's bracket and the other will play in the loser's bracket.

Shane Van Boening won is match - continuing on.

They play their next match at 7:30pm. You all should come out to watch...

Sunday Morning - 9-Ball continues

Morning everyone...it's 8:30am and the first round starts at 9:00am for the winner brackets. I'm very much looking forward this round. Gotta get ready to head out. Will update as events evolve...

Good shootin' and skill everyone.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mr. David Escobedo - Buy up all da' players

11:01pm - David just finished up his match and won the game against his opponent. He's a "natural" according to Sue and his performance reflected that. He's the player that bought every great player that was seeded to win. I never got into a bid with him during the calcutta since he'd outbid me! Seriously, he's a great player and a owns half the players (thief) *smiles* in this tournament. I asked him how many players he bought in the auction and he shows me a full notepad. Gah!

All the players are still going strong even though it's been an extremely long day for all of them.

Ah, guess what? Wendy just showed up in her Disney Store attire with her "Wendy Manager" name tag and her Mickey Mouse lapel pin. How cute is that. Wait...why in the heck is she not playing in this event? Ah, her and Sue have the same problem...darn work. Work is such an imposition on the great things in life.

Also, the ladies event is underway and some really impressive shooting. They all must be playing with "female" cues instead of the "male" cues. They are on autopilot.

More to come...

Texas 9 Ball Update - Saturday Evening



It's been a great event so far, lots of talent and strong play throughout the day. One of the first matches I watched was Shane Van Boening play and he swept the match 9-1. He would of won 9-0 if there wasn't a scratch on the 9 on one game. This guy played unbelievable and controlled the table throughout the match.

Rick Stanley, one of my top picks, played against Shawn Putnam and both played amazingly well. It was a tough match, but Rick took control over the table for a 9-6 win. During this match on another table was Cliff Joyner, another top pick. He went against Randy Smith and it was another sweeping match of 9-1. Cliff is a very controlled player, has a perfect stroke, and dead on with his shots. I was fortunate enough to meet him earlier this morning and he was a perfect gentleman and shook my hand.

I'm glad both of these players won their matches, but if they both win their next matches -- they will be matched up against each other and this will be a verytough match. It's one of those matches I want to watch, but on the same token, would hate to watch. The beauty of this tournament is that it is double elimination, so no matter what happens, both will continue in the tournament, just in different brackets.
Also more importantly - SUE is HERE. She's not playing in the ladies event since she had to work. I can't believe they made here work today. If she didn't have to work, you know who would of SWEPT the ladies event. Yes, Sue. Ask anyone.

More updates to come...

35th Annual Texas Open

So excited.

Today starts the 35th Annual Texas Open (9-Ball) and has a total of 128 players competing in the open division. There are some strong players competing this year, including Shane Van Boening, Jeremy Jones, returning champion Sylver Ochoa, Gabe Owen, Justin Bergman, Charlie Bryant, Rafael Martinez, Ismael Paez, Glenn Atwell, Shawn Putnam and Cliff Joyner.

I went up to the event last night for the calcutta and to see the brackets. A calcutta is an auction of the players at the start of the tournament. All the proceeds from the auction are put into a pool and if the player you "bought" wins, you win the money in the calcutta pool. There were some players that went for a pretty high price, so the prize pool is substantial this year.

I saw a player shooting last night and didn't know who he was. He had stepped outside to make a call and when I was outside to get a breath of fresh air (yep, smoke-fest in the billiard hall), I asked him his name. He said his name was Cliff Joyner - wow, this guy will also be a top contender in this event. He had the most amazing control on the table and perfect stroke. If I had to choose the top winners of the event, it would be Shane Van Boening, Jeremy Jones, Shawn Putnam, Cliff Joyner, Rick Stanley, James (Bastrop) Sr., or little David.

We'll see how on or off I am.

I am getting ready to head out there soon and will update this blog as the matches are played.

This is a really amazing event that only happens once a year here, so if you get a chance, stop by and you'll see some of the most amazing live pool with the talent here this year.

Also, the ladies event starts tomorrow and there are some strong women in this event too. I'll update you as that unfolds as well. My goal - play this event one day. It's open to pros and amatuers, but it's not an event to play in unless you have been practicing day and night to prepare for this 2.5 day event.

I do wish all the players good skill - after watching them for 4-5 hours last night, it could be anyone's title to take. Good luck all.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

You wonder how Chris Ferguson slices those bananas?


I think I have it figured out. I found these cards today and as soon as I saw them, they were a must have. Not a "I will think about it", or "I'll come back later", or "Do I really need these?". It was a very simple decisions - MUST have.

You've seen the Chinese throwing stars in those Kung Fu movies or at a local "Kick your butt because I'm a Ninja" shop. The Chinese stars have been around for centuries and mainly used by ninjas. The way that the starts differ from a knife being tossed is that the Chinese stars are supposed to provide the same impact, but with the option to hit your target no matter which side it lands on. These are just like those, but disguised extremley well to master the art of deception and concealment.

These are 5-pc Stainless Steel throwing cards designed as a "Royal Flush" in hearts. These cards are incased in a black nylon carrying case with see through window that folds for small compact carrying and with Velcro closure.
So the next time one of you peeps steal my money on the table, I might need to get it back when I turn into a ninja and toss the Royal Flush cards your way. So if you want to use one, just let me know - I have 5 of them with 4 to spare *smiles*. Note: Chris Ferguson didn't really use these cards. He really uses a deck of cards - he's just really swift with his throw!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Silent Alarm Clock


For those of you who know me, know that I am late to everything. I'm late to bed, late to get out the door, late to eat, late to most any event that's i'm attending. I'm never purposely late, it just seems like time flies faster than I can seem to keep up. There's always something interesting that peaks my attention and I get routed to whatever is popping up at that time. This leads into my interest in this conception alarm clock.
I normally set two alarms. One is my standard annoying alarm clock that has this horrible buzzing sound that is the worst sound I can imagine. In addition to that, I set two alarms on my cell phone that are 20 minutes apart. Those phone rings are right up there with mr. annoying alarm clock. So every time I'm in deep sleep, those alarms are going off just as I lay my head down. Funny how that happens.

There is a new clock coming out that is a pretty cool concept. They are wireless rubber rings with an integrated vibration device that generates a tactile alarm and are quite sexy in the way they look. Sleek silver grey and/or black with the word "Silence" engraved on them. The way they work is you put one on your finger and as the set alarm time hits, it jolts you lightly with vibrations to shake you awake (heh, I rhyme). The way to get it to stop is you shake your wrist to get the ring to stop buzzing, which acts as a snooze bar. Once it goes off again, you have to shake harder for it to stop buzzing and it gets progressively harder and requires more movement to turn it off, forcing you to get up so you don't have to deal with it.

The clock comes with two bands and you only need to wear one and your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/bedmate can wear the other. That way you can set two different alarm times and you both can sleep in until your bracelet goes off. Thoughtful.

I think I might become immuned to the vibrating rings and might need to wear two of them. How fun is that?? *smiles*

If you want to check it out, visit Johan Brengesjo's website at: http://www.johanbrengesjo.se/sil1.html. He's a smart industrial design engineer that not only has a some really cool gadgets, but is also a very talented musician: http://www.johanbrengesjo.se/more.html.

Speaking of late, I better get to bed - morning shall be here soon. Goodnight all.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Iorgov Custom Cue

Last week I had my cherished Lucasi cue with it's Predator shaft, cue case, and my buttons and patches stolen. I've been playing with that cue for the past 3 years and when you have had a great tool that is used religiously, it's tough to not have it. I know I can easily get another cue, but finding a cue that feels the same, hits the same, looks the same, etc...is pretty tough. For those of you that shoot with your favorite cue, you know exactly what I mean and feel.

I have a friend that knew someone that made custom cues. I've never had a custom cue, but was definitely open to looking at the cues. I saw three that I instantly feel in love with. Next, was to hit with them to see how they hit the balls and how they felt when I stroked with them. It came down to two that shot really solid. I ended up choosing the lighter weight of the 2, feels like a 18oz, but it may be 19oz. It's a gorgeous birdseye maple cue with a darker wood on the base. The shaft is a TerminatorShaft3, which is very similar to the Predator shafts, which minimizes cue ball deflection. After shooting with it a bit, I realized what a solid hit, good feel, and minimal deflection it had -- pretty darn close to the feel of the Predator.

I did lose my match on Thursday shooting with the new cue. I don't blame it on the cue, gotta blame it on the player. We all know a good player can shoot with a broomstick! I lost by making mistakes that I had complete control over. I had to win 3 games to my opponents 2 games. I won one game, then shot the 8 out of turn on the 2nd, and then shot the 8 ball in on the 3rd -- while scratching. Gah! So lost my match. Double frakkin' gah!

Overall, I'm thrilled with the new cue and going to look for a great case to protect it. It's going to be my new "baby" and I need to treat it right. Playoffs are in two weeks, so I have a little time to get it broken in...look forward to being the lucky person who gets to play with the Iorgov custom cue. He does great work and if you are interested in a beautiful cue that hits really well, just let me know and I'll give you the contact of the person who can show you the cues.

Good shootin' all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Great Poker Quotes


Here are some great poker quotes - hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


  1. Poker is generally reckoned to be America's second most popular after-dark activity. Sex is good, they say, but poker lasts longer.
    -- Alfred Alvarez (2001)

  2. Limit poker is a science, but no-limit is an art. In limit you are shooting at a target. In no-limit, the target comes alive and shoots back at you.
    -- Crandall Addington, Texas oil millionaire

  3. I believe in poker the way I believe in the American Dream. Poker is good for you. It enriches the soul, sharpens the intellect, heals the spirit, and - when played well, nourishes the wallet.
    -- Anonymous

  4. Once you start thinking you have nothing left to learn, you have everything to learn.
    -- Steve Badget

  5. Try to decide how good your hand is at a given moment. Nothing else matters. Nothing!
    -- Doyle Bunson

  6. Poker is a microcosm of all we admire and disdain about capitalism and democracy. Poker can be rough-hewn or polished, warm or cold, charitable and caring, or hard and impersonal, fickle and elusive, but ultimately poker is fair, and right, and just.
    -- Lou Krieger

  7. A person should gamble every day, because think of how bad it would be to walk around being lucky and not know it.
    -- Robert Turner

  8. With spots quadrangular of diamond form, Ensanguined hearts, clubs typical of strife, And spades, the emblems of untimely graves. --William Cowper

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fusion Tables

I came across this table at Fusion Tables -- it's elegant, clean, functional, sleek and well engineered billiard and dining table. The table transforms in seconds to a billiard table after you finish up your dinner. It's perfect for smaller spaces where you don't have room for a dining table and pool table. The accessories (pool cues, chalk, balls, rack) are all store under the wood table so you don't even need to worry about hanging a rack -- it's very practical. What a brilliant concept.

The table is marketed as easy to put together. You can choose a wooden line or metal line, along with your choice of felt.

The beauty of this table is that it also has optional casino game cloths - heh, how perfect is that? Today, great products need to fit people's lives and address their needs for mememorable times and precious times.

Their website shows great photos of the table and a nice little PDF of the product. In fact, the site tells everything but the price. So I'm guessing that means the price of the table is going to cost you a pretty penny or multiple pretty pennies. Start saving...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Cool Cats Playin' Billiards





















Some things are just plain sexy

Here's the perfect item for your favorite poker player -- it just shows you how absolutely stunning poker cards can be. These are beautifully etched in a high grade stainless steel and would make your game the coolest game on the planet. They might be a tad bit difficult to shuffle, but it eliminates the peeps that like to bend your cards. *smiles*

You can order these pre-cut and ready to go or in a solid sheet and hang on the wall in your game room or poker room. I could definitely see this hanging on a wall (my wall).
They actually have a ton of uses, so investing in the cards would be worth it.
  1. Artwork for your gameroom
  2. Tossing them at bananas to slice them in half without being the cool Chris Ferguson
  3. Mirror to put on your favorite lipstick
  4. Just staring at them because they are just plain pretty
  5. The list goes on...
Heh, I'd even like to have some fun and run through an airport checkpoint with them in my pockets, my purse, my jacket, and my duffle bag. Ah, the lovely sound of "Beep, beep, beep, beep" -- "Ma'am, can you empty your pockets".

These bad boys run about 150.00 for the set or as "Artwork".

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Need to have fun and be light hearted in everything you do - even Billiards

Our team had a good night last night at league - we went 4 - 1 - very sweet. My nephews have been in town with me for the past two weeks and one of them wanted to go and meet the team. Ethan is six and I can tell he's going to be a natural lil' hustler. It's in the blood. He had never picked up a cue before and he was eager to try something new. He wanted to shoot with my cue and he kept saying, "It's heeeavy...". One of the other players happen to have a cue made for kids and offered it to Ethan. Ethan with a glee in his eyes said, "Thank you! Now I can make the balls." I have never seen such a beautiful cue made for a child. He said he got it in Vegas and now I must go just to get one. I found a site that sells kids cues - check them out here: http://www.ozonebilliards.com/adjuchkidcue2.html. Pretty darn cute.

We practiced stance, the importance of chalking your cue, bridging your hand and the stroke. He followed all steps to a tee - it was pretty impressive to see him and of course, all eyes were on him. He could barely reach over the table, but he never gave up. By the time we left the pool hall, he had fans talking to him and all Ethan could do was smile from ear to ear with his dimples. He wants to go back!

Ethan tought me a great lesson - never take things too seriously and always have fun with what you do. I know I personally take billiard too serious sometimes and get down on myself when I don't perform well. I need to step back and realize it's just a game and there's always an opportunity to learn from my mistakes and be a ball of fire on my next game. You know how honest kids are...he said the funniest things.

Ethan say's: "I can beat you!" Rick says, "You got a dollar?" Ethan replys, "No...Aunt Jennefer, you have a dollar, I can beat him!"

"The stick is so heeeeavy"

"This game is hard." (You're telling me!)"

"I need a chair to play this game...I can't see."

"Wow! I can make long shots"

"All your teammates are good Jennefer! Can I play with your team?"

"I am good! I am good a many things...I can play Guitar Hero on expert and now I can play pool!"

"Jennnnneeefuuuur....you should try dipping your fries in ketchup, ranch and bbq sauce....it is sooooooo goood!" (He's right)

"Hey Rick, Chalk is fweeee"
Lastly, I came across an cute billiard joke - made me giggle. Hope you enjoy:

Snooker:
Two drunks went into a pub and found the snooker table set up for a game."Can we have a game?" they asked the barman."Sure, it’s all free."After an hour neither of them had potted a ball."Lets speed things up," - said the first drunk."How?" - asked the other."Firstly, lets take the balls out of the frame..."

*winks*

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Pool Captain is a cool cat

Something a little fun that my captain of my Wednesday night league is doing is sending out a team newsletter that talks about the previous week. He does it in this great format and sends it out to us by email and it looks like a real newsletter! Since I can't duplicate it on my blog, I'll post the text version of it. Pretty darn cute.

Volume 1, Issue 1
June 19, 2008
$1.25
$2.50 (in Canada)

The Official Newsletter of the RAILBIRDS

Special Points of Interest:
· Current Rank in our division: 2nd
· Weeks until playoffs: 10
· Next Week: Pocket Monkeys
· Hotshot of the Week: Not Lance

Breaking News
This week The Railbirds played Royal Austin Monkeys. We sure made monkeys out of them. The team won 4 out of 5 possible matches.

In the first match Ken Mayes played against another SL2. The first game went to his opponent, but did little to deter our teammate who went on to win the next two for the win. The match ended 2-1.

In the blind spot Lance went up hoping to get one of their SL6s but was surprised to learn that they were putting up another SL2. Unfortunately, Lance’s opponent shot lights out and won 2-2.

The third match Rick pitted Jennefer up against an SL6. Her opponent won four in a row before Jennefer got on the board. Smart playing and good shooting ended up winning game six to make it hill hill. In the last game our teammate made a bank in the side and a long eight ball shot in the corner to win the match 3-4.

The fourth match Rick played against an SL5 and won quite easily 5-0 with three break and runs.

In the fifth match we played Wayne against an SL3. . On the last break with the scored knotted at one apiece Wayne hit the rack only to have the eight ball shoot out at warp speed and land in the comfort of the side pocket. It ended 2-1.

Shannon, Jaime, and Wendy sat out this week.

Since we have one eight ball break this season we will talk about how Wayne actually achieved the accomplishment. On the break place the cue ball on the second diamond two inches from the rail. Now with bottom English hit the second ball as full as possible. This allows the eight ball to separate from the pack. It usually sends it in the direction of the side pocket opposite from where you broke. Every once in a while another ball will kick it in the corner for the win.

Simplicity or Syncplicity?


We have all been in that situation - your PC or Laptop goes on some sort of fritz. The first thought is usually, "Fudge!", and the second thought, "Gawd, I should of backed up my data!". It's a pretty heart sinking feeling when you realize all the work, photos, programs, resources, documents, data, etc you have store on your machine may be suddenly gone.

Backing up your data can be a pain, but it's one of those necessary evils that should be done and you'll be glad you did just when you least expect it. There are several options for backing up - copying your data to another drive, burning the data to a CD, putting them on a USB drive, putting on a server, etc.

Well, here's an awesome solution that makes it easy. It's called Syncplicity (cute name, huh?) and it is exactly that. You just download their application from the website and it backs up all your files or specific folders - it's your choice. I would recommend doing a complete back up of everything since you may forgot about certain folders that are stored miles deep. They make it easy to do - it's web based and you just click a button, bam, backed up. Note: this is for Windows only - not compatible with MAC users. No worries, it should be available for MACS by the end of the year.

It's got some really cool features as well:

  1. It will sync and back up all your computers continuously (no need to schedule a back up or sync) - this is great if you work on a pc at home and laptop at work - you don't have to remember what is on which computer. Syncplicity will look to see if there are duplicate files and leave them alone - if there is data on one that is not on the other, it syncs and you now have everything in one area or on your other computer. It's smart. Very smart. Did I tell you that it's SMART?!
  2. You have access to all your files anytime - even if your computer is turned off. There's times where you need to remote or vpn into your work machine to get a doc and with this, you don't have to worry about not having access because that machine is shut down. Nice. Very nice.
  3. You can share specific folders with authorized users - this is a cool feature because you no longer need to email the most updated copy of a document you changed - it automatically syncs the newest saved one and they always have the current copy. Wowser.
  4. Unlimited Storage - nuts! That is a beautiful thing.
  5. It's secure - uses 128 bit SSL to transfer your data.
  6. All your files are encrypted once they are stored (and encryption keys are stored in a different data center) - only you will be able to access your files.

The best part - don't worry about waiting while it initially backs up your data. It does it seamlessly in the background so you can work on other things.

You are prolly wondering how much this service is...Well, it's in Beta, so it's completely free. Yes, free - free is good, very good. They are wanting to charge something for the service in the future, as they should. This is a pretty powerful tool.

Try it out - it's pretty sweet.





Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Crazy 8's

I just got home from a new league that I just joined tonight. I usually play APA leagues since I feel most comfortable with the people that play APA and it keeps teams in a good balance of players since they cap the skill levels allowed to play on one team.

Tonight's league is BCA. It has a few different rules and it's 'call pocket'. You play each player on the opposite team one game straight up. You will play 5 games total. If you win, you get 10 points (a point for each ball and the 8 counts as 3 points). The goal is for the team to get a higher amount of points than the opposing team per round.

The AWESOME team I was lucky enough to be invited on was amazing. We are the only team with 3 females on it. There are 8 teams total and there are two other teams that have one female on the team and the rest of the division is male. I love that our captain mixed our team up to a co-ed format! I was pretty nervous about playing BCA since the level of play is escalated compared to APA. There is no handicap and it's one game against your opponent - that's it. So you want to play your best and always think that if you miss your shot, you may not get another turn at the table.

We won 4 - 1 tonight and I can't imagine a better BCA team to be on. Everyone was so welcoming, friendly and talented. I admired the play of everyone on the team and that gives me the aspiration to play like they do. It was my first night, so I decided to pray to the 'pool gods' to give me a little boost. I shot a 46 out of 50 and won 4/5 matches! I was so excited and owe it to the pool gods. Thank you!

I can see this team going to Vegas in the BCA finals - I look forward to us shooting there. It's just a gut feeling.

Tomorrow is APA and I look forward to the league - it's another great team and I can see us going to Vegas in APA! Yes, I have many visions. *smiles*

Good job everyone and look forward to next week.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pool. Not as in the game...

Sunday in Austin was pretty darn warm. It's the kind of weather where you walk outside and the sun in beaming down on you and your skin can act as a frying pan. Well, those days call for a dip into a nice, cold pool.

A friend and his awesome wife was having a BBQ, pool get together at their home. I'd never been to one of their regular get togethers and thought it was time since I've always heard nothing but the best stories about their "come on over and don't knock on the door" parties. They are so welcoming, where you can just walk in and there is everyone! Adults, Kids and even doggies *smiles*.

I roamed through the house to end up in their back yard that has the coolest deck with a grill, canopy tent with white lights and straight ahead, a stone pool! It was beautiful - something I'd see in the movies. The water was a dark blue and the stones were all placed perfectly with a waterfall -- simply gorgeous.

This photo isn't the actual pool, but just so you can get a visual - absolutely amazing. They made scrumptious fajitas with an array of great dips and quesos to munch on while the fajita's were grillin'. Thanks for having us over and inviting everyone to your get together - I can see why everyone raves about your parties.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Poker and Pool in one game?


Playing around on the computer this evening and I came by this photo with the funniest caption:

"It suddenly became Obvious to the producers that the idea of combining the game of poker with that of pool, sounded a lot better on paper."

This is definitely one of those one of a kind photos that you just don't come by often. Heh, this gentleman needs some lessons in poker. He just doesn't know how to protect his cards!

Actually, this is Rob Mollien, a magician from Holland. Rob Mollien became the first Dutchman to hoist the coveted PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters Trick Shot trophy over his head by defeating a pack of hopefuls including Lukasz Szywala of Poland, Tyler Edey of Canada, and Vincent Facquet of France. The 32 year-old from Amsterdam is a professional magician by trade but he avoided his trade mark tricks in favour of a succession of pure skill shots that went almost to perfection, to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd.

Mollien finished off with an eye-popping finale that involved spearing his cue through a pack of flying cards and an impaling a card pre-selected by a member of the audience.

Monday, April 28, 2008

You gotta check this restaurant out

A new mediterranean restaurant, Phara's, just opened off of North Loop and Lamar. There's times you walk into an establishment, whether it's a store, a restaurant or even someone's home, and you are impressed beyond your greatest expectations.

Phara's is just that. It is located where Ararat once was and I was an avid fan of their restaurant and missed them terribly. When I heard Phara's opened up, I had to try it out. As we walked in, we were warmly greeted with a pleasant smile from the host, "Hello and welcome to Phara's". Such a nice little touch that is a rarity now. We were promptly seated and I was admiring the layout and ambiance of the room. It was a deep purple with small white lights throughtout the dining room. Beautiful seating arrangements and had that "comfy" feel. Music was playing and as we sat down, the belly dancer came by and danced to the beat of the music. I love belly dancers - always thought they were graceful and amazing, especially since I can't dance, move my body like they do, and I am definitely not graceful (two left feet) - so it "wows" me!

The waiter took our drink order and asked if we wanted an appetizer - I saw hummus on the menu and said, "that's a must." He smiled, and said it was a good choice. It came out very quickly and he was right - made perfectly. The owner came by and introduced herself as Phara and welcomed us to her restaurant, very inviting and she set the tone for a great dining experience. She had a great smile and very calm demeanor - you couldn't help but feel comfortable around her although I just met her. I asked what her favorite dish was on the menu and she quickly recommended the Beef Kabob and said her cooks werefantastic.

I ordered that dish and my friend ordered the Salmon - both were so amazing. Cooked and seasoned to perfection and served with rice and vegetables. Simply amazing. She came by after the meal and asked how we liked it - um, how could it not be liked? So darn delicious.

Overall - a 10 experience. I also wanted to mention that there is a gorgeous patio out back with candles on the tables and white lights to light up the back. There's also a wooden deck that is covered where you can enjoy Hookahs that you can enjoy with a group of friends. I think it's priced per person - but not sure on that since I just walked over to see the set up. If you have never heard of a Hookah - here's a little background info:

Hookah (also known as Shisha) is a smoking device originated in ancient Persia and is used to smoke many substances - mainly herbal fruits and tobacco. I'm not promoting them since I'm not a smoker, but for those that do - I'm sure you'll enjoy the experience.

The average meal is 15.00 a person and it is BYOB - so for you drinkers, you can bring your own drinks and they'll provide you the set ups. They also don't have a website yet - I might ask Phara if she wants one. I'd love to create a site that helps her restaurant reach out to the Austin community. She's got a very moving story about her and her son and the back of the menu - so please take a moment to read it while you are enjoying your visit.

I can't wait to go back - I'm taking my girlfriends there soon and I think they will be in for a very pleasant surprise.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Angel Food Ministries

What is it? With a heart to help others and a generous spirit, Joe and Linda Wingo founded Angel Food Ministries in 1994 to provide food for friends and neighbors who were struggling financially. Today, they are still doing the same thing. The Angel Food program now is helping provide food relief to more than 500,000 families each month across the nation.

I just got back from picking up the order I placed two weeks ago. They distribute once a month at a central location and there are over 40+ volunteers that get up early on the weekend to make sure the food is ready for the community to pick up. There is even the option to sponsor a box which goes to a family that cannot afford to buy a box. They are $30.00 for the main box, and the specialty boxes are usually $18 - $20. My goal is to sponser one box per month so that a family can have food in their cabinets and refrigerator. If you can, please sponser a box this month - it's a great cause.

You can place your order online and pay with Paypal or mail a check to the host location (usually a local church in your neighborhood). The deadline is always mid month and the pick up date is at the end of the month. I told my girlfriends about it and they ordered as well. Now there is no reason for all of us to get up at the crack of dawn, so thought it would be easier for me to pick up the orders for all of us since I usually stay awake on Fridays until the sun rises, so it is perfect timing.

The menu package is pretty impressive - it's a variety box of all the basic food groups and then you have the option to get "special" boxes that are usually steaks, poultry, variety meat packs, etc.

I'm also impressed with their newly released website from their IT department to help spread the word. Check it out at: http://www.angelfoodministries.com/ It has some great information about what their mission is, press releases, recipes, host information, area to donate and much more valuable information.

The host location is responsible for collecting the money, placing your order and takes care of all the paperwork. They get a $1.00 for every unit sold and that is given to the church.

If you are interested in placing an order for May, you can visit the website above and type in your zip code to search. It will give you the closest location.

I'm excited to do some cooking this month, and those that know me...well, know that Jen loves eating out and too much of a slacker to go grocery shopping, pull those pans out and cook up a meal. Yep, I'm a slacker in the kitchen.

Ah, I also wanted to mention that the volunteers are amazing. Everyone from the person that checks you in, to those that are unloading the food from the main truck, to the sorters that are placing the orders in individual boxes, to the greeters, and to my favorite little guy who is 15 years old and been volunteering for over 1.5 years (he's a true gentleman - he helps all the females carry the food boxes to their car no matter what). They are all amazing and make sure everything goes smooth.

It's about 9:15am and I'm hitting the pillow to get some shut eye. Good night or good day for some of you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Custom Pool Table Felt - Feels Right



I'm sitting here thinking about how beautiful it would be to have a billiard table at home to practice on anytime I frakkin' want. I came across this website of a company that makes custom felt for your tables - ugh! Just makes me long for one that much more.

An eight foot table felt design runs $625.00 and to have anything you wanted printed is a pretty fair deal. My perfect idea of an image would be to have Battle Angel Alita on it (the picture above). How cool would it be to wake up everyday and glance over at the table and see her on it, then shoot a few games - heck, just having her on the table would motivate me to dunk everyone of those balls in the pockets that are beckoning them! Now just gotta save up for the pool table, find a place large enough to have a table without bumping into the walls, have the table delivered and then buy the felt.

The company, poolfelt.com, has a two week turn around time - pretty impressive. Now once it arrives, you need to replace the old felt and if you don't want to hire someone to do it and feel like taking on the tasks like a true player should, then here's your official Pool Table Cloth Installation Guide. *smiles*

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Deal

Just finished watching a poker movie called "The Deal".

It stars Bert Reynolds, Alex Stillman and Shannon Elizabeth and has a plot line that is similar to the "Color of Money".
It's about a young poker player that is a student from Yale that has the typically cocky, maverick, style of playing. He has a brief encounter with Tommy Vinson (Bert Reynolds), a retired poker player, and then a plan develops.
Of course, you have the woman that comes in to stir up a little bit of something something as we are sometimes known to do.
After Rounders, it's really tough to make a great poker movie. "Deal" is no "Rounders", but even though it was predictable -- it was still a good movie to watch. Tough not to like a poker movie. *smiles*
There's several poker cameos: Antonio Esfandiari, Isabelle Mercier, Chris Moneymaker, Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer, and Phil Laak.




Wednesday, April 16, 2008

1 Week = LJRHTTRGR8T

A coworker of mine when out of town with work for a week and I had the pleasure of spending time with her three amazing children and two super awesome dogs for 5 days.

There’s all kinds of experiences we have the opportunity to experience and this ranks up there in the top ten off all time. I had met them once prior to staying the week with them, and I was a little nervous that I would completely screw something up like forget to feed them, forget to make sure they were home, forget their names *smiles*, etc. I’m kidding of course – but I’ve never raised children and wasn’t sure what to expect.

Well, they exceeded my expectations…in every possible way. She has brilliant children and not only are book smart, they are life smart – a rare combination. I enjoyed talking to them about their interests in volunteering their time with kids that were less fortunate, going to church, their school, their friends, their boyfriends *ahem*, and how much they respected and was proud of their mom.

They got up on their own everyday and got ready for school. Every morning, they made theirselves breakfast, fed their two dogs and brand new puppy prior to stepping out that door. Their maturity level was impressive as well. I could easily have a conversation with them that I would have with an adult – again, they exceeded my expectations.

These three kids are going to make a huge impact on this world – just you wait. I can tell they are leaders by their actions and independence, and always will be just from hearing about their past experiences. Can’t wait to see what milestones they reached in the next 5 – 10 years – can guarantee, they are going to be impressive. They have a mom that raised them well, taught them valuable and useful lessons in life, loved them more than anything in this world and you see it in each one of their eyes.

Most that know me, know I have never had the desire to raise a family – but after my experience this past week, I could now never rule it out. Funny how a short experience can make such a huge impact. Thanks for the experience.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The heavier ball

There are 8 billiard balls. One of them is slightly heavier than other seven. Only way to tell which one is heaviest is by putting them on scale against the others. What would be minimum number of times you have to use scale to find out heavier ball.

It's two - how?

APA Billiards League - Austin, TX

We play 5 matches and the goal is to win 5 - 0 against the opposing team, which is difficult. A 3 - 2 win makes my night and we consider it a win for the team.

I played the first match tonight and won by just a hair. It was double hill and he was on his last ball before the 8 ball and I was on the 8. I shot at it twice and completely missed the pocket - poor execution on my part. I got lucky and had the opportunity to shoot at it one more time, and finally sunk it on the 3rd try to bring in a win. I love games that go double hill - it means both players played a great game for it to get that far.

I forgot to mention that I lost the lag, so my name is on the "bottom" frame of the score sheet since the person that wins the lag is on the "top" frame. This is important and it comes into play by the time I finish writing this.

Our 2nd player goes up and wins the lag and is the "top" of the frame. He plays an excellent match, but the opponent wins.

Our 3rd player goes up and wins the lag and again, is the "top" of the frame. He plays a great match, but the opponent wins.

Ok, halt for a moment. I'm staring at the score sheet and I see that the person that wins the lag, loses the match on the past 3 matches. Statistically, that means I can forecast that whoever loses the lag will bring in a win.

I whisper jokingly to my other two teammates before they play, "be sure to lose the lag and you'll win the game." They just laugh at me...and I would do the same if someone said that to me. They both lose the lag, not because I said it, but it just happened. Guess what? They both shoot lights out - solid, very solid and win their matches.

So, all players on the bottom frames won their matches. Who says it's always better to be on top? Sometimes losing a small something brings you great rewards. Funny how it happened.

Summing it up, team did wonderful and we went 3 - 2 for the night. Good shootin'and let's do it again next week! They were tough matches tonight and we pulled it off! If this game was easy, we wouldn't be fanatics about it and keep bringing us back. *smiles*

Time to get some rest, daylight will be here soon.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Grand

Just got in from seeing The Grand at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's an entirely improvised film about 6 players who reach the final table of a huge poker tournament, The Grand Championship of Poker which parallels the WSOP main event.

Improvs are hard to do because it's tough to come up with something funny on the spot and it doesn't always come out the way you want. The strong cast pulls it off though.

The movie has a stellar cast, Phil Gordon, Woody Harrelson, Cheryl Hines and Richard Kind, just too name a few, so I put it on my list to see. There were also plenty of cameo, professional poker players that were in the movie, although none of them had many lines. I expected a little bit of a stronger movie with the cast, but I guess there were just too many to have enough time to develop their characters.

You should also be a fan of watching the WSOP tournaments on EXPN or ESPN2 to understand some of the satire. It makes many of the whacky scenes enjoyable and keeps you giggling for a bit.

I might even see it again, but it's another one of those movies that isn't a "must see", but for the poker community, it's a "should go and have fun see." It's currently playing at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, so get some good friends together and check it out. Relax, have a beer or two and enjoy some good food. My favorite is the tasty BBQ chicken pizza and a nice bowl of vanilla ice cream with raspberry and chocolate sauce.

It's rumored that the people in the movie actually played the poker game straight and didn't know who was going to win or lose the tournament, so that gave it a cool twist during the filming. I do love the person who wins the tournament and I was pulling for that person the whole way. Glad "the person" won. *winks*

Also, this movie wasn't released in to many cities, but Austin was one cities that it hit - so support our local theater, Alamo South, and go check it out!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Snagging a Meme

I'm snagging a meme, so sue me for meme infringement! Here goes it.

Before I start - for those who want to know exactly what a meme is.

A meme is:
- An idea that, like a gene, can replicate and evolve.
- A unit of cultural information that represents a basic idea that can be transferred from one individual to another, and subjected to mutation, crossover and adaptation.
- A cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by nongenetic means (as by imitation); "memes are the cultural counterpart of genes".

If I were a direction I’d be… the Future
If I were furniture I’d be...a soft bed with tons of pillows
If I were a liquid I’d be… water
If I were a sin I’d be… too much for you to handle *smiles*
If I were a gem/stone I’d be… garnet
If I were a metal I’d be… platinum
If I were a tree I’d be… a palm Tree
If I were a fruit I’d be… a sweet clementine
If I were a flower I’d be… a tulip
If I were weather I’d be… a cool breeze late at night
If I were a music instrument I’d be… a plastic guitar (for guitar hero)
If I were an element I’d be… oxygen
If I were a colour I’d be… #000000
If I were an animal I’d be… a ocelot
If I were a sound I’d be… unable to get out of your head
If I were a lyric I’d be… “But I'm not gonna quit and I'm not gonna stop"
If I were a song I’d be…If You Could read My Mind - Gordon Lightfoot
If I were a music type I’d be… fusion
If I were a perfume/cologne I’d be… Japanese Cherry Blossom
If I were a feeling I’d be… hope
If I were a book I’d be… Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
If I were food I’d be… A yummy steak
If I were a city I’d be… Las Vegas
If I were a taste I’d be… chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce and whipped cream
If I were a scent I’d be… fresh rain
If I were a word I’d be… Why?
If I were a verb I’d be… dream
If I were an object I’d be… a camera
If I were a piece of clothing I’d be… some worn in blue jeans
If I were a body part I’d be… hands
If I were an facial expression I’d be… intent
If I were a cartoon character I’d be… Battle Angel Alita
If I were a movie I’d be… Part 1, Part 2, Part 3..
If I were a geometrical figure I’d be… a triangle
If I were one of the 4 seasons I’d be… Autumn
If I were a sentence I’d be… "Try not. Do or do not. There is no try."

I'll have Jordan, Pumpkin and Sugar fill theirs out and I'll get them posted soon.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

21 (BlackJack)

"I love blackjack. But I'm not addicted to gambling. I'm addicted to sitting in a semi circle."
-Mitch Hedberg

Just got in from seeing 21 and it made me want to head to Vegas - Vegas is a city that when I'm there, I never want to leave. It has gambling, great food, tons of people from all over, city never sleeps, you are free to roam anywhere you want and do pretty much anything you want to do. When you are there, you leave your 'day to day world' behind and emerge yourself in 100% of no responsibilities and pure fun. Trust me, it's hard to come back - crazy thing about that city how it makes you forget all the worries in your world, even though it's temporary.

Most movies about gambling or casinos always peak my interest, but I never set my expectations high. I always go in with with my bucket of popcorn and Fruit Punch and get ready to relax for the next 1 hour and 30 minutes to enjoy a show on the big screen.

This is your typical heist film + blackjack (nice combination). It's not about planning a heist to break into a casino's vault to take a huge sum of money, it's about beating the game.

The actors did well - Lawrence Fishurne and Kevin Spacey (my favorite actor) were both in this movie and I would of liked to see more of their character develop, especially Spacey's. He's an outstanding actor and I love his twisted actions in most movies he is in. He does well at pulling off things that we all think about, but don't actually do.

The cast keeps your attention (and I bet they had a great time making this movie) and although, you can prolly predict what is going to happen, you'll enjoy the ride along the way. The music in the movie also kept it flowing well. I need to get this soundtrack -- has some great songs, I love I Am Unknown and Big Ideas. 21 doesn't completely get the psychology of gambling, but it was enjoyable and I'd see it again.

21 Soundtrack:
1. You Can't Always Get What You Want -- The Rolling Stones (SoulwaxRemix)2. Time To Pretend -- MGMT3. Big Ideas -- LCD Soundsystem4. Giant -- D. Sardy featuring Liela Moss5. Always -- Amon Tobin6. Young Folks -- Peter Bjorn and John7. Mad Pursuit -- Junkie XL featuring Electrocute8. Sister Self Doubt -- Get Shakes9. I Am Unknown -- The Aliens10. Shut Up And Drive -- Rihanna11. Alright -- Knivez Out12. Tropical Moonlight -- Domino13. Hold My Hand -- UNKLE14. L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever) -- Mark Ronson featuring Kasabian15. Tender Buttons -- Broadcast

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who's really the boss?

*stretches*

It's just past 2:00am and I was working on a few things before I hit the pillow. As I am finishing up some emails, someone comes pawing at my knee. For those of you that know Jordan, that's his signature move if he sees you sitting down. He politely comes up, takes his left paw and taps you on the knee. If you don't look at him right away, it becomes slightly of a harder tap. It get's my attention quickly. I wasn't sure what he needed, so I just followed as he lead. He went to the front door and I guess wanted a midnight stroll. Who knows....

We'll I unlock the door and we go strolling down the block. It's gorgeous out and although it's 2:00am, the night is beaming beautifully. Amazing how I never really stop to appreciate the beauty of silence with just enough light. It's peaceful and relaxing. I decided I better get back in the house and Jordan swiftly beats me to the door panting. Think he had a good little run.

I come back to my computer to do one last thing and he is just staring at me. I wish I had a camera to take a picture of him, because it's the perfect pose. So I scroll through some old pictures and found a picture of the way he looks right now. It's a typical doggy pic -- decided to see what Jordan would look like as a cartoon...yep, my mind thinking about compleeeetely useless ideas.

So 5 minutes later after doing a few tweeks in photoshop, we have the picture above. He is just as cute as a cartoon as he is in real live. (kinda looks like he slurped up a little to much Pepto-Bismol)

I'm thinkin' I should start a comic strip, starring this great little guy.

Good night all, morning will be here shortly.

Scotch Doubles

Scotch Doubles (and no it's not stick tape)

Scotch Doubles is this weekend at Slick Willies and I am playing with Anthony, who just recently joined APA this session. It's our first time playing as partners in a Scotch Doubles Tournament and I'm really lucky to have him as a partner for this event. I've had the pleasure of partnering with some unbelievable Austin talent in the past and know this will be the same!


I first met Anthony in a BCA league about 3 years ago and lost contact with him over the years. What a great surprise to see him show up to join the league. He's a very modest player (as many good players are) and has a smooth stroke and excellent eye for seeing the whole table and how the game is going to play out.


A Scotch Doubles tournament is where each player on the same team (of two) alternate shots each inning. It's key to make your shot, and also crucial to leave your opponent a shot after yours. It's a fun tournament and anyone that plays league should definitely play the tournaments - it's always a great time by all. It's a double elimination format, so if you happen to get an unlucky roll on the felt and your opponents get the opportunity to run out the table, well, there's always the other bracket to meet up with that team again *smiles*.


I've also heard another definition for a Scotch Doubles Tournament:


"Scotch doubles played male and female will kill your relationship with the opposite sex." For many of you, you know what that means. For some of us others, it's just about having a good time and playing the game we all love.


Good luck everyone on the felt Saturday. Shoot well and keep a smooth stroke!






Sunday, March 23, 2008

Why do we paint Easter Eggs?

Happy Easter everyone!

The egg itself is nature's perfect package. It's represented mystery, magic, medicine and a source of food. It is the universal symbol of Easter celebrations throughout the world and has been dyed, creatively painted, and adorned in the celebration of it's special symbolism.

The Romans, Gauls, Chinese, Egyptians and Persians all cherished the egg as a symbol of the universe. From ancient times eggs were dyed, exchanged with others and shown reverence.

Ornamental egg designers believe in the symbolism of the egg and celebrate the egg by decorating it with superb artistry. Some use flowers and leaves from greeting cards, tiny cherubs, jewels and elegant fabrics, braids and trims, and paints and dyes to adorn the eggs.

The colors you choose also have meaning. The main element to colors on pagan eggs is that the belief was the more you had, the more magic the object was filled with and the more effective its spell casting capabilities would be.

My egg was created in purple and orange this year --
The purple represents:
Purple has a special, almost sacred place in nature: lavender, orchid, lilac, and violet flowers are often delicate and precious. Because purple is derived from the mixing of a strong warm and strong cool color it has both warm and cool properties. Purple can boost your imagination or your creativity as an artist.

The orange represents:
As a warm color orange is a stimulant which can stimulate your emotions and even your appetite. Orange can be found in nature in the changing leaves of fall, the setting sun, and the skin and meat of citrus fruit. We enter a new season, leaving winter and embracing Spring.
Although the omens and the mystery of the egg have disappeared today, the symbolism remains, and artists continue in the old world tradition of adorning eggs.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Her Birthday - Celebrate

I can't think of a better way to start today, but in honor of my mom. Today is her birthday, born 1946, in China. She passed away about 10 months ago.

She had wonderful friends that were by her side. Although she wasn't near me, I know we were "together", all these years. I choose to celebrate her life on her birthday - she's beautiful. I looked through all her photographs today and still in awe of her beauty. I have books that she read, pajamas that she slept in that kept her warm, and many other things that make her presence felt daily.

How do I describe her? Strong, beautiful, intelligent, talented, artistic, caring, full of spirit, huge heart, stubborn, petite, quiet, mentor, proud, and so much more. Everyone that knew her, described her in the exact same way -

I want to live my life working to be as strong and amazing as the woman that brought me into this world. The world knows I have made some bad choices (as we all have) and I've tried to learn from them. My goal: As the future unfolds, I am going to gain strength from her spirit which will help direct me to make the choices that I think is appropriate for the situation.

My wish: More time - time to have gotten to know you, have your guidance, sit down with you to just hear your voice and see your smile. I'll miss you all my life although your spirit is right next to me. Today is your birthday and your day -- Happy Birthday Mom.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

If only I could be animated

My babe, Jordan

Boom and Jen

Wakerupper

I'm notorious for running late, snoozing the alarm clock until I absolutely have to wake up, and yes, forgetting my dear friends' birthdays. I came across this cool little web based tool called Wakerupper. It's a telephone reminder service that calls you to remind you of important todo's (and I love todo lists) or you can use it for a simple wake up call with something really motivating to get your morning going. Sure you can set your phone to to go off at a specific time and you see it flashing while ringing the little alarm bell. It's kind of annoying, just as much as your alarm clock is every morning.

The cool part of this, is it calls you when you set the time and date. When you answer, it's a recorded voice that repeats the information you typed on the website. A nice little wake up call with "GET UP SLACKER!", "TODAY IS THE GOING TO BE THE START OF THE BEST DAYS TO COME!", "MCDONALD'S IS GRILLIN' UP EGGS AND PANCAKES FOR YOU!", or "IT IS NOW 9:01 AM" (When it's really 8:01) *winks*.

I just tested it out to see if it really worked - nothing like creating a reminding call and it never calls. I scheduled a call for 1:45am and typed in the message: "Go get some Gatorade Jen". It called me at 1:45am on the dot with the caller ID of: 8887792537. I answered and politely said, "Greetings". A nice male voice came on and said, "Go get some Gatorade Jen."

And I did.

Cool part: it's Free. Not much in life is free, so I relish things like this. You can see how it can help you with day to day tasks. It can remind you of meetings, flights, anniversaries, birthdays, dr. appointments, tasks, and other things that are important to you.

There is also a beta version that includes:

Voice reminders
Snooze (love it...love it)
Recurring calls
Unlimited reminders

So to wrap up - this is a cool tool that is of no cost, a useful tool, fairly entertaining and I'm sure you can think of how it can help you.

The name of the site is cute, Wakerupper. Maybe they should have another version called, Wakemupper, with a sweet female voice for the reminder calls.