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

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Back on the beach

Well I've finally dried out from my recent cruise across the Gulf of Mexico enough to attempt a little post about it.  It's not that I had to deal with a lot of bad weather or monster waves, but my liver and kidneys needed a break.  The PQ and I did our best to drink all of the rum on the boat but alas, being in the islands meant they could refill at each stop.  In case you hadn't guessed, it was one FUN boat ride. 

We left on a Saturday afternoon and by the time the ship went under the Sunshine Skyway bridge, I was already on my 3rd boat drink.  It was far from my last.  I tried some new things - escargot is better than I thought it would be - and just did my best to take it as easy as I could.  I was pretty close to burnout at work and just needed to refresh and recharge.  Mr Mai Tai helped a lot there.

Outside of drinking, I also did a fair amount of reading, eating, and of course, gambling.  The casino was bigger than I expected and most of the table games were decent.  The slots and especially Video Poker machines sucked royally.  Double Double Bonus VP paying 6-5?  WTF is that.  I tried a bit but hit nothing and gave up before I wasted more cash.  Besides there's a craps table calling me.  And that's what I did for the rest of the trip.

The PQ kept trying and not hitting on the VP but I learned my lesson early.  I didn't make a killing on the craps but I kept it pretty conservative and didn't lose anything.  I made a little.  Unfortunately not enough to pay off my booze bill.  Holy cow did we drink a lot.  Fortunately our cabin was only 3 doors down from the lobby bar so I didn't have far to stumble to reach my bed.  And I could blame it on the ship rolling instead of my inebriation.  Win-win right?

Because we had to wait for my niece to graduate from high school, we couldn't take the cruise until June.  Which meant we paid more for the cruise as they're cheaper before June, and even worse, a ton of kids were on the cruise.  Something like 900 passengers out of 2300 were kids.  Every day and night at all hours I'd hear kids running in the hall outside my door.  Unfortunately the PQ wouldn't let me string some fishing line across the hall and under the door to take down a few of the little maniacs darling angels as an example for the rest.  And man was it hot too.  Everyone else made sure they got plenty of sun and pool time but I opted for shade and booze time.  Win-win again.

Our first stop was in Grand Cayman.  We were only there about 6 hours and for us that meant going ashore for a little shopping.  Very little.  It turned out we got there on Queen Elizabeth's birthday.  Most of the island was closed up and since we were the only cruise ship in port, they really didn't have much reason to open.  We bought a few small things but nothing too much and were back on the boat early.  Gave me a chance to reacquaint myself with some more boat drinks at least. 

The next day we got into Cozumel, Mexico.  We've been there before so this time the girls were looking to find some bargains.  They brought me along to carry the wallet.  I did that quite well.  We had fun walking around town shopping but man was it hot.  After wandering around Mexico for a few hours it was time to head back to the boat for some A/C, a shower and of course, more boat drinks. 

We left Cozumel with the sun setting behind us and headed back toward Tampa.  It was beautiful sitting outside on the back of the boat (the fantail?) watching the land receding.  There were thunderstorms in the area and we could see the clouds flashing in the distance as we sailed away.  One more day at sea allowed me a bit more time to play craps.  Though my luck turned I made sure I didn't lose much so I came back to port with cash in my pocket along with the large booze bill we racked up.  It was a fun trip and truly allowed me a chance to recharge.  Once we got back the PQ found some good flights to Vegas and we planned out our trip in November.  I'm ready to go now.  Better practice up on my dice throws. 


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Three to get ready..........

And four to go.  As Peter, Paul, and Mary once sang (also John Denver) "All my bags are packed and I'm ready to go."  We are all packed up and we're about to take a short vacation.  This time it's a cruise in honor of my niece and my daughter's graduations from high school and college.  We'll have 5 days and nights on the high seas, time for plenty of relaxing, sun, along with some gambling (cuz you know my vacations will involve that at some point) and a full supply of boat drinks.  My plan are to do ........................... as little as possible. 

Before I go further I want to give major kudos to Memphis Mojo whose run to 3rd place in the WSOP senior event was truly inspiring.  I really enjoyed watching along online and following on Poker News - even though they kept changing his name and home town.  I noticed they even had it wrong on the broadcast when they introduced him and he had to correct the announcer. 

Well folks, I gotta wrap this sucker up.  I will hopefully have some good post material when I get back.  I hope everyone enjoys themselves as much as I will.  And I want to make sure I wish good luck to Lucki Duck on his upcoming foray into the WSOP.  Bon Voyage

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Finding the Muse

Wow it's been forever since I've posted anything here.  I'm almost surprised the site is still up and running without me.  I know I started posts 3 or 4 times over the past 10 months or so but I just couldn't keep up the momentum and finish a whole post.  And it's not like most of my posts are Rob Vegas Poker like missives either.  At least they're not supposed to be though I have been known to run off at the mouse at times.

Things have been pretty mellow at the homestead.  This has been a year of transition in a number of areas.  At work my department was split up.  We were handling so many areas of the business and more stuff was heading down the pike that we got split into a Cost Basis department and a much smaller Reporting department.  Cost Basis handles making sure the cost of stocks, bonds etc is updated correctly for our accounts and Reporting handles Pricing for all the securities along with Performance calculations and reporting for a number of different areas.  About 3/4 of the department stayed in Cost Basis while the rest went to Client Reporting.  I am in Client Reporting now.  I'd go and explain all I'm involved in but your eyes are probably glazing over now (much like the PQ does every time I talk shop) so suffice to say I'm enjoying it and it keeps things interesting.  And it pays the bills.  I got a nice raise last year when I took my new position and then they gave me a small one at end of year as well as a decent bonus too so I'm staying solvent.

After the department split, the PQ and I took a trip up to Biloxi for a bit of gaming around our anniversary date.  We had a really good time.  Biloxi is a much more laid back town than some other gambling areas like say .......... Vegas.  A lot older crowd for the most part but still a lot of fun for a semi old fart like myself.  We settled in at the Grand Biloxi - now called Harrahs Gulf Coast - and settled in for some good ole fashioned gamblin on the Red Neck Riviera.  It was not a great trip for me on the gambling front though I did have an epic roll on the craps table late one night.  The PQ on the other hand got on one of her hot streaks again.  The first full day in Biloxi we grabbed a nice breakfast at one of the few places around there not named Waffle House that served breakfast.  Then it was on to the glory for the PQ.

First place we visited was the Palace Casino.  First casino I ever went to that was non smoking.  Nice change for us non smokers.  I can't tell you how many times I've been playing at a VP machine only to have someone sit down next to me and immediately light one up.  And of course the smoke always seems to drift my way.  That's one good thing about Poker rooms, but no problem there however.  For me the VP was a complete bust but not so much for the PQ.  They had a progressive jackpot VP machine with the royal valued at over $2100.  Fifteen minutes later it was all gone.  The PQ pulls four to the royal and damned if the fifth card didn't come up on the draw.  Needless to say we had a good time that day.  And it didn't end there.  Later on we went to the Margaritaville  Casino and she pulled another royal good for another thousand bucks there.  I told you she runs in streaks and when she gets going good it's a sight to see.

We really had a fun time in Biloxi and also in New Orleans as we spent a little time there as well.  I got into a great roll on the craps table at the Harrahs there which was about the only highlight we had gambling there.  But we had some terrific food and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  We're gonna do that trip again, maybe next year as this year is pretty spoken for. 

Lets see what else is going on.  The boys are doing very well in their chosen professions.  My younger son took a position doing liaison between the IT department and his department.  He sets up computers for new employees, troubleshoots connection issues, etc.  He's really enjoying it and is doing a good job.  In fact I got a call from someone who worked with him and when he found out I was his dad, he had a lot of nice things to say about him.  The older son has been doing well in 911 and helping train people there.  He and his girlfriend are in St Augustine celebrating her birthday this weekend.  And the daughter just graduated from UCF last month.  So our final child is out of school but is now back in our house.  My days of strolling the house naked at all times have come to an end. 

My niece also graduated high school recently.  So for the two grads we're going to take a little cruise soon.  We're looking forward to that.  Nothing major, just over to Grand Cayman and Cozumel.  But I predict a lot of relaxing in the sun, many boat drinks, a bit of gaming on the high seas, and some good food to go with it.  We also found some good rates on flights to Vegas later this year.  A fine way to celebrate 30 years of marriage we decided.  So we'll be out there in November it appears.  I wasn't expecting to go to Vegas this year as a lot of our money is tied up in the cruise but hey, how many 30 year anniversaries to you get? 

Not much else has been happening on the home front.  I haven't been doing much gambling, in fact I haven't played in a live poker tourney or hit the Hard Rock in months.  And I've done very little gaming online too.  Saving up my gambling jones for the cruise I guess.  I wonder if they'll have any poker on the cruise.  Probably not but there's always VP.  And of course CRAPS. 
Anyway I just haven't felt like I had much to say to spend time spreading my banal thoughts on the net until just recently.  And you can probably tell I haven't improved much in the intervening months.  Well that's about all I got for now.  No good stories yet, nothing exciting.  I have kept up with some blogs so I'm not completely out of the loop.  Congrats to Mojo and Lucki for getting to play in Vegas soon.  I'm sure some others of you will be making your way to Sin City during the WSOP and beyond.  I hope you have do well and stay lucky.