Poker and Liquor

Friday, June 22, 2007

Heading West

I'm heading out west tomorrow with a short stop in Vegas. During my one night stay in Vegas, I'll be staying at Wild Wild West, because everything was ridiculously expensive for a one night (Saturday night) stay during the World Series of Poker. Excalibur was $265. $265 for Excalibur. Unreal. I felt lucky to get a room under $100 at all. It's not like I plan on sleeping much, if at all. I mainly need a place to throw my stuff, while I go lose a little money playing poker.

The trip is really about Death Valley, Bristle Cone Pines, and Joshua Tree National Park. I'm gonna be in the desert, and I'm gonna be in the mountains. I'm not sure if I should be more concerned about 125 Deg F. in desert in Death Valley, or the 14,000 foot elevation on White Mountain. I am psyched about seeing Methuselah, the oldest living thing on the planet at 4839 years old.

Trip report will follow.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Joe Loy Effect

Several people in my business have died recently. A year ago May 22, Chris Gulfman, age 35, a videographer from my previous employer of eight years, WYFF-TV, had a brain aneurysm and died suddenly.

April 30th, WHNS (Fox Carolina) videographer Cliff Cross, 41, passed away from a very short battle with a very aggressive cancer. Fox Carolina also unexpectedly lost their research director, Stephen Dillard, 42, two years ago from a heart attack. My wife worked at WHNS for 9 years, and knew Cliff and Stephen well.

On May 10th, a colleague and close friend of mine when I worked at WYFF, Mike LaBoone, 49, Broadcast Engineer, committed suicide. He taught me a lot about television, audio in particular. He always said in a twangy Ross Perot accent "You're gonna miss me when I'm gone." I will.

This week, Joe Loy, Assignment Editor/Videographer was hit by a van and killed while covering another accident. He also worked at WHNS, Fox Carolina. He was well known in this market, not just by people in television, but by many in the community. As assignment editor, he makes all the calls to everyone who is anyone, looking for the stories to send the news crews out to cover. They all knew him, and they all liked him. Who wouldn't? Look at that smile . . .

It is very sad and tragic for everyone who knew these fine folks. It can also be a tough issue for those working in the business. Joy Loy's death, in particular, strikes a cord. He died on the job, doing what we all have done. I used to be the engineer in the live truck. I've been on the side of the road so many times, I can still smell the brake dust. All news crews have been there. It's what they do. Everyone in this business that goes on location has been on the side of the interstate at some point. So many of the police officers and emergency crews Joe talked to on the phone daily are on the side of the interstate constantly. Heck, nearly everyone's car has at least broken down once. It is a scary place to be, and it makes us all identify with his tragedy.

But believe it or not, I'm not just blogging this to express my sorrow. Television can be competitive, and competition can be ugly sometimes. But I was amazed and awestruck when I heard a little something about Fox Carolina's competing stations. As I heard it from a reliable source, WYFF (the NBC affiliate) and WSPA (the CBS affiliate) both offered to help out Fox Carolina by producing their news for them, so that the entire staff could attend the funeral. The entire newscast, done by your competition as an act of kindness and compassion. Can you imagine Applebees sending over cooks and wait staff to help out TGIFridays? I am proud of these station's behavior.

I doubt FoxCarolina will take them up on the offer, but I am very impressed to see it made.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

09-F9-11-02-9D-74-E3-5B-D8-41-56-C5-63-56-88-C0, and Save Internet Radio

For those who don't know, this hexadecimal series of numbers was posted on Digg a bazillion times. It is the encryption key to HD-DVD. Oddly, it might've just been posted only a few times, except that there was a cease and desist letter sent to Digg, and they felt they had to take it down in order to avoid legal action. The intarweb revolted at the idea of being censored, and went post-happy. Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, finally decided that freedom of speech, and the desires of his clientèle were more important than possible legal action against him. That, and it was probably becoming impossible for him to stop the avalanche of posts.

Funny side note, as the lawyers tried in vain to prevent this code from being released to the public, they filed many official notices to stop it. These are now a matter of public record. They contain the encryption code. Brilliant move, idiots!

So, I would never know what to do with this number, but there are those out there who do. While I don't encourage the theft of music, movie, software, or any truly intellectual property, I do feel that the MPAA and the RIAA are out of control with their desire to inhibit our abilities to copy music and movies that we have legally purchased. The RIAA's unbridled greed to hold fast onto their product, and charging $16 for a piece of 15 cent plastic while giving the performer/artist pennies on the dollar is criminal in nature.

The really sad part is, that if they quit trying to stop copying, quit investing millions into copy protection and encryption, and quit fighting the legal battles associated with it, they could lower the prices of the music and movies enough so that no one would bother in the first place.

EMI has realized this, to a degree, and has dropped DRM on all music at iTunes. I encourage everyone to support their decision by purchasing EMI music on iTunes. When you buy an EMI song on iTunes, it is yours--you can put it on your laptop, your iPod, burn it to a CD, burn it to eight more Mix-Tape CD's, put it on your computer at work, and not have to worry about it not working. THANK YOU EMI! I will finally buy music on iTunes.

Should I rant now about NetRadio? I'll try and make it brief. The RIAA, ASCAP, BMI, and Broadcast Radio lobbyists have succeeded in killing internet radio. They have increased the ASCAP and BMI fees to as much as . . . well enough to make it almost impossible to do:
"The rates include a minimum fee of $500 (U.S.) per year, per channel with escalating fees for each song played. In 2006 (the decision is retroactive), the applicable fee would be $0.0008 per performance. Since a performance is defined as streaming one song to one listener, a webcaster with 10,000 listeners would pay 10,000 times the going rate for every streamed song. The fee structure increases each year with rates that more than double by 2009"-Toronto Star
Did you get that? 2006 fees are retroactive???!!! If CJ and Otis had started fooling around with UPFORRADIO, they would retroactively owe enough money to be bankrupted!I can't imagine how this could possibly be legal, but that is the legal ruling.

Like to hear radio on the internet? Too bad. Broadcast radio has killed it. It will be dead. Time of Death: July 15, 2007. It may have even backfired on the broadcasters as well--many stations that simultaneously stream their broadcasts on the internet will have to pay as well. KUDOS to NPR for fighting the good fight!! It is a shame you lost.

There is still hope here, PLEASE wirte your congressman and demand them to pass the Internet Radio Equality Act, and check out

Enough of my ranting at The Man.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Good Steak and BJ

It's here! The man's answer to valentines day. Steak and BJ Day is March 14.

Steak. BJ. That's it. What more could a man want?

Inform your significant other now.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Been a While

It's been a while since I wrote in here. It's been a while since I played poker on any kind of regular basis.

I've been very busy at work. We've been creating a nature TV show called Expeditions with Patrick McMillan , which is now airing on South Carolina Educational Television. It's been a ton of fun and hard work. For those of you who can pick up SCETV, it airs 7:30 Sunday nights. We've done shows on Shell Rings, Snakes, Carnivorous Plants, Bats, SeaTurtles, Volcanoes & Fumaroles, Rainforests, and Salamanders so far. Not all of these have aired yet. We hope to have it picked up nationally by PBS.

But busy at work is no real excuse, it's that I've been lazy at home.

I did make a Poker appearance at BadBloods Annual New Years Tournament, and managed to take first place before being totally overcome by the amount of alcohol I had consumed.

Most recently I missed a game at BadBlood's but got the jones so bad that I went to the Spring Hotel (a local underground poker game) the next day. Playing 1/2NL, I started out doing fairly well, and chipped up from $200 to around $350 when I ran into a hand I am now asking advice about.

After a 45 minute cold spell, in middle position in the 5 seat, I take a look at KJ spades after a fold and two limpers. I bump it up to $15. Fold, fold, then Guy in the 8 seat pops it to $40. 3 seat calls and I decide to call. Flop comes 5TK two spades. I gotta like that flop, so I bet out $60. The 8 seat stands up to contemplate. After deliberating (possibly for show) he raises me $100. I don't know him too well, but my read is that he is a solid player, not likely to bluff outright, but could possibly semibluff a nut draw.

I have $250 still in front of me, and $100 in the pot, looking at a $100 raise. To me it's definately a push or fold situation. Top pair, good but not great kicker. 2nd nut flush draw.

I go in the tank, and figure he has AK to beat my kicker, a pair of Aces, or maybe two spades including the Ace, to beat my draw. I guess it is in my nature to put him on a better hand than me, but he did bump it to 40 preflop, so he has to have something. My reasoning goes this way: he either already has me beat, or he has a better draw, most likely the former. I fold face up.

He flips out that I could possibly lay that down. The dealer turns the last cards for show, and I see another T and K to give me a posthumous full house. Judging by his reaction, I think I woulda won if I hadn't folded, which ruled out Big Slick as one of his holdings. But was the fold the right decision at the time? Even if he does have Aces, should you push here? Other than playing KJ in the first place, did my play here seem reasonable?

Some guys there who know him better than I said later, they were 95% sure he had a pair of Aces. Although I thought I made a good laydown, I then went on some kind of wonder-if-I-did tilt for a while, and never really recovered. Ended up the night flopping a straight to someone elses set and pushing. Of course, he boated on the turn and IGHN.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

No Poker Just A Great Time

No poker on top of Shortoff! I thought I would share a few pictures from my past trip to Shortoff Mountain. This weekend we will try it again. I think this is our 25th anniversary with a bunch of great people that go backpacking every fall. Shortoff is our favorite place to go. Shortoff overlooks the Linville Gorge just south of Grandfather Mt North Carolina this is the view looking north.

We all have a great time worshiping whatever we want to, please remember whatever happen on Shortoff usually stays on Shortoff.

TeamScottSmith and I have hiked the rough trail to this great piece of neverland more times than I can count. Our groop is called the Shortoff Mountain Daredevils (SMD for short). We have been to many other hilltops of the great state on North Carolina and Virgina and love the natural beauty and the adventure of the wilderness. In this shot I dont know if I am warming my hands on the fire or waiting for some spacship to come and get me.

I have no Idea what these fine friends are getting out of that bag but it might be a band-aid or something.

TeamScott and I trying to figure out what we will do the rest of the day. Will it be another shot of Tiquilla or Jagar or maybe another cup of coffee.

This is my Brother-in-law after he got into a fight with a rock on the dark trail at night. Some things just happen at night I can't explain. "Shep, Scott, I think I am bleeding" he calls "wait right there David" I knew if he called for help it had to be something, he never complains about anything. A great trooper!

I have invited many of the G-Vegas crew to go with us but they can't hang. I think Otis could! He is welcome to join us any time as long as he doesn't fall over the 200+ foot drop!!

Wish us luck!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Just checking the local news in G'vegas and reading about a local playa with "TheNuts" on his license plate and a 200+ year old law. How will it all unfold? Good luck to "themark"!

Here is a link from the local paper that tells of the 200+ year old law and the guns drawn with this bust. poker bust
go down to Greer Judge hears poker players

I also plan on going to "the LEAF" festival with Otis, and Uncle Ted, G-rob and I think CJ will be there. TeamScottSmith is a wimp and has too much to do(bs). The leaf is from Oct 19 to 22nd.
I guess I will leave my chips and table at home, I hear the G-rob is not playing in October.

Double up!