Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One of the reasons I love poker

I love the game of poker. I find it mentally challenging and can be a blast to play. One thing that has struck me in years of playing poker, poker players can be very generous people. Could be our moments of complete disregard for the value of money. It might also be we are always searching for good karma. What ever the reason, good things can come from poker games.

Last month, we hosted a little home game action in our basement. We gather together to play a little Texas Hold 'em tournament. 21 people showed up for the holiday fun. I know some of you don't really know how poker works, so I won't go into great detail, but this month, we did something different.

We offered everyone the chance to get an extra 500 chips in addition to the 3500 they were already getting, if they brought to items suitable for donation to a local food shelf. All but one couple brought the items. The couple that didn't...the hubby forgot to mention that part to the Mrs. She wasn't please.

The idea for this came from my oldest daughter. Every year, here school does a food drive pitting each class against the others to gather the most food. Each year, parents of kids from every class get home from work and wonder what happened to that jar of spaghetti sauce they thought was in the cupboard.

The week following the home game, it was brutally cold here. Folks, I grew up here in Minnesota. 80 hours below zero is cold. Since I work a Monday - Friday job and have no access to parking, I can't bring the food to the food shelf. The job fell to the OhCountess. We also agreed that we wanted our girls to be apart of the delivery. There was no way my wife was taking the kids any where that week of the deep freeze and the following week didn't improve that situation, she started clinicals for grad school. Ugh.

Here it is! Today the girls got all that food to the Channel One Food bank. Thanks to everyone that came that night! Our home game collected 38 items to give to those in need. I'm sure someone else's home game can do better. Your home game or club have what it takes?

Monday, February 23, 2009

I did remember whisky and Mii

Yesterday I told the story of a very special bottle of whiskey. I also mentioned that I'd be putting the details up on my poker blog...well, it was a night of whiskey AND poker. If you are interested...here's the post.

Father of Five (FoF) posted a while back (yeah, I know I'm always like really late on these, but hey, I got it done, did you?) about sharing your Mii. Here's mine. Clever name, huh? It kinda looks like me, only my goatee connects. As you can see by the picture, I have one of those antique TV's. I have a cathode ray tube television. It weighs about a thousand pounds, but it's paid for. I suppose someday we'll get one of those new fancy dancy flat tvs.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I don't remember the last time...

Before I got married, hell, before I met my wife, it was nothing for me to be out Friday AND Saturday night. That's really not true. Friday and Saturday were nights out, but so was Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Sundays and Mondays were by request, but really not off the table either.

This is by no means a complaint. My life has been filled with things so much more gratifying then bottle upon bottle of beer and Jäegermeister shots. Although, I seem to remember really liking root beer barrels and Dr. McGillicuddy's Mentolmint schnapps. Being nocturnal isn't all that's cracked up to be.

The week leading up the weekend continued the theme of grinding stress at work and a schedule at home that seems much more full then it should be. I even wrote a post that has yet been reworked enough for a general audience. A couple of bloggers I respect greatly took the time to read it and give me some great feedback, unfortunately, I need to heed their advice and keep working on it. It's just scary what can happen when I mix emotion, logic and politics. Thank you for helping...

If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, you saw a glimpse of the build up to Friday night. Strange references to 30 yr old whisky. I think now, I can tell everyone what was going on.

I few weeks back, I was contacted via Twitter by a woman that was interested in talking to me about our whisky club, Bourbonators. Strange things pop up once and a while on places like Twitter, so I direct messaged her back an email address so that we could talk outside of the 140 character limit.She sends me an email introducing herself as a representative of a marketing company that works with Canadian Club. She had a hunch that whisky clubs existed, but until finding some of my writings, didn't really have much evidence to go on.

What is a whisky club? Some friends of mine started ours some 5 years ago. The best description is that it's like a book club for men. We get a bottle of some whisky, scotch or bourbon, usually one that we've never had. A fingers worth is poured into each person's glass and served neat. Everyone starts sippin and then we talk about the pour. All the while, someone is counting out chips and getting ready to play poker. We've been doing this every month with out missing many for 5 years. It's pretty awesome. To the best of our knowledge, we are the only group of this kind, any where. Feel free to contact us if you want to start your own chapter.

Any ways, she offers to send us a bottle of Canadian Club’s 30-year reserve. Um, OK. That's a $200 bottle of whisky that's spent more time in a wooden cask then several members of the Bourbonators have been walking this earth.

There was no way I was going to miss Bourbonators this month. OhCountess loves a good story like this as well, so with her blessing, I went out with the guys for an evening of good whiskey, laughter and poker. I will be detailing the evening on my poker blog here shortly. When that post is up, I'll put a link here. Besides all of the crazy poker action, I'll also be telling the story of the whisky in greater detail including our opinions.

Around the same time I was contacted about the generous offer from Canadian Club, we received an invitation in the mail for a surprise birthday party. The wife of one the Bourbonators was planning a party for her husband. Probably the coolest handmade invitation you've ever seen. They looked liked FBI files and were stamped "Confidential".

This night was definitely co-ed. A date night with the wife and other couples was long over due.

The plan for the night was hors d'œuvre and cocktails followed by a show at Goonie's Comedy Club. The Mrs. and I haven't been to see a stand-up comic since our honeymoon. We've heard nothing but positive things about this place...and it delivered!

The night was fantastic. Lot's of great food, drinks and company.

If I do the math correctly, I went out two nights in a row. Holy crap! I haven't done this in years. Friday seems so long ago.

FYI: Keep your hands away from ravenous beast

I'm working on a couple of much longer posts but felt compelled to warn the world. Our Girl Scout cookies have arrived. There are Thin Mints in the house.

Milk be worried. I can't eat just one.

Thank you.

You are free to move about the intertubes.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's back!

For the love of Pete! The snow is back.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A wordle of this blog

Weirdly random. Yet somehow I think I should have just gone to bed.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Check out the front page of Blognosh.com...

Featured on Blog Nosh Magazine

So, I'm on Twitter one day (I know...the shock) and I noticed Mr. Lady soliciting for people with blog posts that didn't vote for President Obama. This was right around the inauguration. She's the Politics editor at Blog Nosh magazine. I submitted to her my post "A Vision of Hope". You know what? They published it today. Dang!!! I'm feeling a bit "toot my own horn"ish. So, what are you waiting for...go check it out!!!!

And once more for good measure....http://www.blognosh.com/2009/02/a-vision-of-hope/

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Fun - Family Style!

We let each princess invite a friend over for chocolate fondue and movie night. We had apples, kiwi, strawberries, pear, banana and marshmallows. To top it off, there were crushed graham crackers for a little crunch. Nummmmmy!!!!!!

A Morning Treat

The most beautiful woman in the world insisted on making breakfast this morning. I think she had a plan. 
As Weaselmomma said
Romance is stealing moments together in the midst of life's chaos to kiss while dinner is cooking and the kids are making gagging noises to show their disgust. Romance is making time for each other and to remember how all the insanity that surrounds you started to begin with.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Um...stay away from warehouses in Chicago today...please!
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PS. I just did the math. Looks like this is post #300. Might have to do a blogaversary post later. The pink heart shaped pancakes were too much to pass up! Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 13, 2009

How do you say thank you?

Hello. My name is OhCaptain and this is my blog. It's been a while. Just a little bit longer with a project at work and life should return to normal. I'd love to write about work but I like it that they pay me.

So, what's up? I understand that the Microbiologist has won a Nobel Prize. NukeDad is holding Flat Weaselmomma hostage. Terri burnt her finger on the clothes iron. Tismee2 and Kat got snow. BusyDad got screwed by an airlines. I could keep going and going and going. Everyone seems to be living life and writing. Yeah! I miss y'all!

I've been living life too. I just haven't been able to write about it. Tuesday was my one year anniversary at work. Yippee! After one year on the job, I'm busy as hell. That's not to say I didn't have any fun this week. Quite the contrary. Today I'm going to tell you a story in with a lot of pictures. 

Tuesday, my OhCountess reminds me I need to ask a friend to accompany me on Wednesday night. Where are we going? We've got two tickets to the Minnesota Wild hockey game. For those of you that are unaware, we live in Minnesota. I understand that the popular belief is that this is Canada. Unfortunately, that is not true. Minnesota is in fact on of the 50 states. But like Canada, hockey is about as important as breathing in some parts...but I digress.

I have to friends that are HUGE wild fans. Much more so then I am. I grew up playing hockey, but found that I really am not a fan of watching it on TV. Years and years of having the best seat in the house (in goal), and I starve to wath the action up close. "Honey," my wife says, "these are seats in a suite.'

This isn't funny. HOLY CRAP! 

I have to pick ONE friend and ask them to join me in the best seats in the house. This is going to suck. It's like asking me to pick between my kids. There was no other way to do this, so Tuesday morning, in my cubby at work, I flipped a coin. MumblingSages get first dibs.

It took him all of a second to blurt out "Yes."

As big a fan as he is, I've been to more Wild games then he has. This will be his first...
After making the drive to the Twin Cities, our instructions were to go to the "V.I.P. Will Call" They have such things? Here's a photo of MumblingSages. He's crying with joy.

This place is amazing! All of the suites have this private concourse. Gate 5 is for V.I.P's only. It's carpeted. And beautiful and has no waiting to get in. Wow.
Xcel Energy Center was constructed using materials from the area. This lovely wall is limestone. Yes, hockey is that important here.
We found our suite. Dang! Plenty of room. Free beer and food. I think we died and went to heaven.
That smile was fixed. It never changed. If you look closely in his eyes, you can see a 12 year old boy. I think he was a happy 12 year old boy...did you see him?
This is our view. Note the location of center ice. We picked seats that seemed to line up directly with the center line. Holy crap. This are the best seats in the house! We called my wife. Both of us took turns saying thank you. At this moment, we weren't sure that was enough. Nope. It probably wasn't
MumblingSages took this picture. That would be his favorite player. You can't really see it in this picture but he's 6' 9" 257 pounds. He's a big guy who's only job is to beat people up - called and enforcer a wing. Being the not huge fan that I am, I found out he's only got 4 goals in his enter pro career. Most could be accidents. He's really good at his job.
Did I mention free beer and food? The popcorn was fantastic. Those are indeed leather seats and this should provide with an idea of just how good the view is. I think we called the wife again and said thank you. Promises might have been made...the beer was tasting really good.
How do I get to ride on the party Zamboni? Really. I want to know. 
At one point, the host comes up to us and says the desert cart was here. At first I pictured a cart like on the train going to Hogwarts. Everyflavorbeans? Nope. That is one of the best pieces of chocolate cake I have ever eaten...with ice cream. The cake was still warm. Our diet tracking software was turned off. I think that was for the best.
See, he's still smiling.
The hockey game was fantastic. The action was fast a furious and score was close. They were tied 2-2 until there were 71 seconds left in 3rd period. [fog horn] The Wild score!!! Yeah!!! The home team pulls it out at the buzzer!
One last shot before we leave. On the left is the really good popcorn. I couldn't believe it, but several of the people sat at that table most of the game.
The team of 18,000 were victorious. This calls for a trip to the Wild store. Ah, capitalism.
What a fantastic night. We left a little hoarse. Our throats sore from screaming. Our tummies were filled almost to bursting with great food. We a bit more then an hour drive home to burn off the extra energy. It gave us time to wonder if we'd said thank you enough to my wife. She's an angel.

Thank you, honey! It was a real blast.

MumblingSages turns on the game the next night. It tried watching it but it just wasn't the same. He'd been to the best seat in the house. The TV just wasn't the same. I don't think any game will be quite the same.

I could get used to living like that :-D

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Much more later. Let's play HOCKEY!

Tonight, I'm at the Minnesota Wild hockey game. Much more later.

Game on!!!!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

We don't need no title

So I'm sifting through Google Reader trying to catch up. My work week's been a bit%^$ and I've fallen behind again. (Damn you guys for being so good at posting). I come across Mrs. 4444's post "Music that takes you back." A fun post about a student that tries to introduce her to that new Korn song "Brick in the wall". I'd go read it if you haven't already done so. Good stuff!

In the post she's curious to know about people associations with music to events. My goodness. For me, that's like a lot of posts. If you follow me on Twitter, you know how much music is a part my day and life.

This post reminded me of a similar event.

I'd only been married a short while. I was working as an assistant manager of a local music/book/movies store. You see a lot of strange things in a music store. Teenagers are always really interesting because they lack any knowledge of music. Understanding the origins of most new songs escapes the mind of a 13 year old. Everything is new and there is no such things as cover songs. 

Let's preface the following story with the fact that Pink Floyd is one of my favorite bands. They are the only band that I've seen on 2 separate tours. My first Internet nickname was 'Gilmour', after the last name of the band's lead guitarist. 

While working straightening bins in the music store, I had a young kid in his early teens browsing the Pink Floyd CD's. Looking very disappointed, he stopped after a couple of minutes and was walking towards the door, I asked him if there was anything I could help him find.

"No, this store is lame and there's no way an old guy like you would know what I'm looking for." (I was 27)

"Try me," I said.

"There's a new song by Pink Floyd called 'We don't need no education' but you don't have it."

"Sure we do. It's track 5 side 1 album 1 of the vinyl version or just track 5 of disk 1 of the CD. The real name of the song is "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2". (No, seriously, I'm that into music and knew it)

"Ha ha. I'm not stupid. You don't know what you are talking about. It's a new song." (It's 1998) He huffed out of the store.

Needless to say, I lost the sale.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

It's melting

Temperatures were well above freezing today. There is a lake forming behind our house. We haven't seen it in weeks but that looks to be liquid water. Liquid water!

Be back later...there are Christmas decorations I need to take down before they freeze solid again!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Hello? Is there anyone still out there? [tap, tap] Is this thing on?

Time is zooming, probably because we have been hovering around absolute zero in these parts for far too long. Global climate change sure feels like a long cold winter to me. But what do I know.

I polished up my math skills and noticed that this blog is closing in on a blogaversary...300 posts! Which is very interesting in that my very next post on my poker blog will also be 300 posts. No worries, they are the only two that are close...although I think the photoblog is actually approaching 200, but who's counting.

My life at this moment seems very hectic. Work has been very busy. The kids busy as well and OhCountess is in the home stretch of finishing her masters. To top things off, this winter weather just seems to zap the energy right out of me. Normally, I'm a 6 hours of sleep a day guy, lately...I'm loving the warm covers and long naps...scary.

In preparation for my poker blogs 300th post, I did some clean up of the blogroll. Clear away the deadwood and make sure that I'm linking to everyone that needs the link love. You read my blog? You link to me? Link love is coming your way...let me know if you notice I'm missing you. Since I missed Delurking Day...consider this a delurking.

Winter routine has also left me dry in the old witty topics category as well. I get up, I freeze my ass off at the bus stop, I get on bus, I go to work and spend all day doing things that I can't write about, then I freeze the remainder of my ass of waiting for bus home, join family in the meal process, eat, clean up, fall asleep on the couch. Not sure I want to write about that every day.

The Microbiologist recently went through my entire archive. Bravo! She was commenting on post I'd forgotten about. I'm thinking she should help me with the retrospective celebration of my 300th post? A look back through the eyes of scientist...whatcha think?

Right this very second, I'm thinking a nap would be wonderful. We just finished a stint of weather where we didn't actually cross the freezing point for 32 consecutive days. We hit 39-41 for one day, low 30s the next and back to the deep freeze. I like winter, but this is getting ridiculous. I'm exhausted...

So my faithful readers that made it this far...the things we need to get done:

  • Clean up the dead links in my blogroll (assigned to me)
  • Delurk (assigned to you)
  • Spread the link love (assigned to all of us)
  • Prepare 300th post (assigned to me...maybe with some help from you)
  • Sleep (we could do this together, but I'm thinking OhCountess wouldn't approve)
  • Inspire (assigned to you and the world)
I'm keeping my eyes open, I am a live and I will find a nice place to curl up...someday :)