Random thoughts about my interests which include (in no particular order) poker, finance & investing, politics, football and whatever else I happen to see that piques my interest

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bruised and battered

It's been a rough week this past week.  My cold hasn't done me any good and though it is better, it still bugs me.  I took both Monday and Tuesday off from work as I was just coughing too much.  I couldn't imagine working like that, especially handling phone calls and other questions.  Plus I didn't want to infect my coworkers with this crud as well.  I know, I know, when did I become such a magnanimous man?  After all, part of the joy of working in a cube farm is passing on the assorted gossip, rumors, and germs to your fellow farmers.  But I've turned over a new leaf here.  I want to be a better person and a good example for my fellow man.  Besides it's in my best interest for my fellow co workers to show up to work healthy and hearty.  The more they do, the less I have to do.  I believe De Tocqueville called that "enlightened self interest."  Yup, that's me, Mr Enlightenment.

Even though I wasn't feeling great, I went to work on Wednesday.  My coughing was way down and I was actually able to sleep in my own bed on Tuesday night, albeit not particularly well.  It was still more restful than sleeping in my recliner was.  I didn't think I'd make it through the whole day on Wednesday but I did.  People could tell as the day went on that I was pretty far gone though.  They commented on how quiet I was as the afternoon went on.  When I got home I ate and coughed for awhile then put together my gear to ref on Thursday as I had a JV game to referee.  

I was still pretty tired on Thursday after another fitful night of coughing and sleeping.  The medication my doc gave me was helping but I was still waking up in the middle of the night coughing a couple of times.  Figured the times I wasn't awake were not the most deep sleeps either.  Again by the time I got out of work I was pretty tired but still had to get to the game.  I managed to get through that with the mininum of fuss and not too much effort.  Fortunately the game started at 6 so I was home by 8:30.  The wife made me a bite to eat and sent me off to bed when I started falling asleep by 9:30.  I slept hard till about 4 am then off and on till I got up a bit before 6:30.  I was still dragging a bit when I headed off to work even after a pretty good night's sleep.  I had another game to do on Friday night at Anclote High School, a relatively new school just north of Pinellas County in Pasco.  I had never been there before but knew it would take a while to get up there.  Going anywhere north of here after work is a major pain so going to schools like Tarpon Springs and East Lake which are in the far northern part of the county are a long ride time wise.  Anclote was a bit further than Tarpon making it even more fun. 

Friday was another tiring day at work.  I left work a little early, went home and gathered up my gear, then took PQ's car and drove up to Anclote.  It took me a bit over an hour to go a little over 20 miles to get to the school.   What a nice school.  Though I was a bit surprised at the location.  If we have a hurricane, even a relatively minor one is gonna flood that area.  The school is about 3 feet above sea level and maybe 3/4 of a mile from where the Anclote River meets the Gulf of Mexico.  So let's lay out a ton of money on a new school that will be completely destroyed if we ever get a big hurricane through here.  Besides which you'll never be able to use it as a shelter as most people there would be in more danger than staying in their own homes.  Brilliant use of money Pasco County School Board.  And we wonder why municipalities are short on money.  Once the big one comes, they'll be the first ones to plead poverty because they have to repair all the buildings that they put in the wrong spots.  I mean this is not 1940, why are we building new schools in areas that we KNOW will be flooded.  Admittedly, building a school anywhere in Holiday is going to put it an area that's likely to flood as I doubt any part of the city is in an area that won't flood in a major storm but still, why not build up the land you put your brand new school on so that it won't be flooded by just about any hurricane?

I wasn't with my normal group for this ball game, I was filling in for a guy on another crew who was off camping with his family for the weekend.  I'd worked with this crew before so it wasn't a big deal for me to work with them and they were used to me so I don't think they had an issue either.  It was a nice night for football, temps in the 70s with a bit of a breeze.  Anclote had a fair amount of players but they were not a very big team size wise.  Not unexpected as the school is still mostly freshmen and sophomores due to it's newness.  The visitors from Zephyrhills only had 27 or 28 players but these guys were BIG. 

The first quarter was without much action but the home team got a drive going and hit a field goal to take the early lead.  The next drive, Zephyrhills drove down the field pretty well and then they got me pretty good.  There was a running play to my left and I turned and started moving that way to cover it.  The left guard for Zephyrhills came through the line and hit the linebacker to my right and bounced him into me.  The edge of the linebacker's shoulder pad scraped my arm just under the shoulder and I thought "That's gonna leave a mark."  I was hoping I wasn't cut as I didn't want to have to stop the game so I could get myself attended to.  Can't have a player or referee bleeding on the field.  Bloody players we send off to the sidelines and continue the game but a ref has to be fixed up (or carted off in some cases) before we can continue.   I was hurting but didn't feel any blood so we kept on going.  Zephyrhills finished the drive with a TD and never looked back after that.  At the half they were up 20-7 and we went inside to discuss the half and drink something.  I managed to suck down a bottle of water and most of a Powerade while we talked.  I checked out my arm and it had a nice looking scrape but nothing too bad.  But it did hurt. 

The third quarter was more of the same.  Zephyrhills scored a 49 yard TD on a broken play that Anclote defended well, then the runner turned back the other way and it was all green to the end zone.  They kicked off to Anclote and the returner goes 90 yards for a TD.  Anclote kicks back off to Zephyrhills and their returner takes it 80 yards for a TD.  Three touchdowns in less than a minute.  I turned to the head ref after the last extra point and told him, "If this next kick goes coast to coast, it's definitely coming back for an illegal block" and we laughed about it.  Luckily the next kick was not a TD. 

In the 4th quarter Zephyrhills took a 35 point lead when they hit a short field goal and we could then run the clock without stopping for the rest of the game.  They kicked off and the same guy for Anclote again goes coast to coast.  85 yards this time.   We get set up after the extra point and Anclote kicks off to Zephyrhills and damned if their returner doesn't take it to the house as well!  I've been in games with multiple kickoff returns for TDs but I've never been in a game where both teams did it back to back twice.  Just crazy.  The final score was 51-16.

Needless to say by the time that game finished I was pretty beat.  I had 4 games to work Saturday starting at 8am.  Why that early I have no idea.  All year I've been working the last 3 games of the night starting at 5pm.  This time I was scheduled originally to work the games at 11 and 12:30 and on Wednesday my schedule was changed and I was given 8 and 9:30am as well.  Not exactly what I was planning for my Saturday morning.  So after the game Friday night I headed straight home.  I got home about 10:30 ate a bite and then headed to bed.  I was asleep about 11:30 and had my alarm set for 6:50 am.  Didn't need it.  About 6:10 I woke up and even though it was earlier than I planned, I felt good.  I felt better than I had in over a week.  I figured I ought to be pretty tired and sore but outside of my shoulder/upper arm, I really felt great.  I went into the bathroom to look at my arm and this is what I saw

Not a pretty sight huh?  That's about as bad a bruise as I've ever had, even during my ball playing days.  Anyway I got ready for my games and was out the door about 7:10.  Even though the first game wasn't slated to start until 8, if we can start them a little early, I'm all in favor of it.  It was a nice morning, cloudy and cool with a good breeze blowing.  I got to the field just as the sun began rising to the east.  The clouds were streaked with pink and orange and the field was still covered with dew.  I was working the first 2 games with a ref I had worked with occasionally and a couple of new guys I didn't know.  It was good to work a bit with the newbies.  I had to show one how to handle the 1st down chains for the changeover at the end of the quarter.  He got it reversed the first time, but he'd never done it before.  I remember my first games refereeing. 

The first game was the youngest kids and they were the JV youth team as well so these are almost all kids who never played before this year.  They actually played pretty well though I let a lot of holding calls go or I would have thrown a flag almost every play.  The second game was much the same thing as these were slightly older kids but still pretty small.  And inexperienced.  We called this one a little bit tighter but still let a lot go.  Both games were close and played pretty well all things considered.  After the second game, both the head ref and one of the new guys were finished and 2 new guys took their place.  Jack was the head referee and I knew him pretty well.  I was telling Evan the other new ref that Jack was the referee of the first game I ever did.  I brought that up to Jack before the coin flip and we got a good laugh out of it.  I was not a very good referee when I started.  Probably drove Jack crazy as he worked a number of games with me. He on the other hand is a very good ref.   

Both of our next 2 games  went pretty well.   They were closely contested and nothing ugly happened during either game.  By the 2nd half of the last game though, I was getting really tired.  Seems like my energy was just about gone.  It took all my strength just to walk to my car and drive home.  When I got home I had a quick lunch and took a shower.  By 3 pm I was nodding off trying to watch football and maybe figure out a few short term investments.  It was too much for me so off to bed I went.  3 hours later the PQ woke me up as she wanted to play in the 8pm poker tourney that night.  I was so groggy I didn't want to think about it but I went off with her and since they had an Omaha table going when I got there, I decided I would play that while I tried to wake up.  Unfortunately most of the players had been there a good while and they packed it in not long after I got there so that was out.  My choices then were between the tourney and playing hold em.  I eventually decided on hold em.  Should have just not played anything and bet the dogs or something.  I ended up giving up $60 and missing out on winning a big pot when I folded AJ preflop to a raise/reraise and seeing the flop come out JJJ.  The raiser had 10-10 and I was all set to call her raise to $4 but the reraiser had KK and when he came over the top to $12 I put him on a big hand and dumped it.  Much to my dismay.  That cost me a big pot as they continued betting post flop.  Also I would have won $100 for hitting quads at that time.  It's been forever since I've hit quads playing NLHE.  After that just about nothing went right but I did manage to keep from going down completely with a couple of timely raises and a decent bluff.  Losing $60 beats losing $120 anyday.  The PQ did not last long in the tourney as her AA ran into 55 that rivered a straight and then she played some hold em as well with not very good results.  Just a bad weekend all around I guess.  Enough for now.  Stay lucky people, luckier than I.


Lucki Duck said...

Quite a story you concocted there Neo, just to cover up the fact the the PQ beat your azz! Looks like she packs quite a punch. You better mind her next time :)

Memphis MOJO said...

Ugly bruise but glad to hear you're feeling better otherwise.

Josie said...

omg what a bruise. Glad to hear you're on the mend though.

The Neophyte said...

Shh you're not supposed to tell Lucki. She says if she was gonna put a bruise on me like that, she'd put it in a much more obvious and painful place than my arm.

I am feeling a lot better but still kinda tired thanks. The arm actually looks worse than it feels today. As long as no one hits it. Saturday morning at the game at least 3 people patted my right shoulder. It'll be weeks before anyone else does it again I bet.