Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Off for a few days

Been working six day weeks for ages now and then snoozing on Sundays. To be honest I feel like I'm in a bit of a funk and can't be bothered to do anything. But I'm off now until Monday with my Daughter so crazy Golf, ten pin bowling and doing my bollocks for two hours in a cinema watching some crap film beckons.
It's Halloween on the weekend which I'm sure you are all aware of. Halloween doesn't really mean much to us Brits, certainly not as much as it seems to do in America. My Daughter though, having watched Disney Channel for ever and a day, loves it. I'm guessing it's all the Scooby Doo, Simpsons and latterly, Witches of Waverley etc. that has fuelled her imagination.
Personally, I can't stand all the trick and treating so the first time my Daughter asked me to take her I wasn't overly eager. I think she was about five at the time and I'd got home from work to find her waiting for me dressed up as a witch. She had a pumpkin which she and my Missus had made a mask out of in one hand and a bucket for all the sweets she was going to get in the other. I told my Wife that there was no way I was dragging her around houses where I didn't know anyone and we agreed that I would take her to houses in our block.
We started off by knocking our neighbours doors but no one was home. There's eight houses in our little block and I know everyone quite well so we visited everyone of them. If anyone was in they were definitely not answering. I could see the disappointment in my Daughters face so we jumped in the car.
"I'll take you to the boys houses babes, they'll have loads of chocolate."
Not one of the fuckers was home.
I started ringing them.
"Where are you?"
"In the pub, where are you?"
"Outside you house."
"Got my nipper with me, we're trick or treating."
"that's why I'm down the pub!"
After an hour I gave up and drove to Tescos. By now my Daughters bottom lip was trembling and I could sense a full scale breakdown was imminent. We walked down the sweet aisle and I told her to have whatever she wanted. By the time we got to the checkout she had about £20 worth of sweets in her bucket. As we queued she looked up at me, tears welling up in her eyes and exclaimed for everyone who cared to hear,
"This is the worst Halloween ever Dad!"
I couldn't help but smile since she was only five and this was the first time we had been trick or treating. The Woman in front of me burst out laughing but soon stopped when she saw the look on my little ones face. I quickly explained that we had been around loads of houses but no one was home.
"Don't worry love", she said to my Daughter, "let me get you something."
And with that she gave my Daughter a box of chocolates that she had just bought.
I protested but she was adamant.
Next up, the cashier walks off and comes back with a big bag of Halloween sweets, rings them through and says, "my treat babes".
The woman on the next checkout reaches over and places a Galaxy bar in my Daughters bucket, "happy Halloween", she offers.
Finally the Woman behind us says "Can you ring this through please", and gives my Daughter a big bag of Haribo lollys.
By the time we got home she had about £40 worth of sweets. I tell her not to say anything to her Mother about where we got all the sweets.
The next year My Wife takes her out and she immediately stands next to her car. My Missus looks at her and asks what she's doing? My Daughter says, "After last year Mam I think we're better off going to Tescos first".

Played a little poker last night. Won a few small buy in SNG's before bubbling on a $30 one. Hoping to play a bit this week seeing has I don't have to get up at redic O'clock for work.

I'm also halfway through my literary masterpiece. I'm hoping to finish it by next month so that I can post it throughout December.

Off to play Mario Kart on the Wi with my Daughter for an hour, little does she realise that her pocket money is at stake and I've been practicising.

Friday, 23 October 2009

My Daughter the genius part two plus the things you do for your mates

My Daughter is now in the last year of Primary School and the Comprehensive we are hoping she will get into had an open day last week. What an eye opener.
The School is in the top twenty in Britain and had a 99% pass rate last year in “A” levels. What really knocked me sideways were the extra curricular activities it offers. We pitched up a little early and the School orchestra were playing a few tunes. They kicked off with a medley of Blues Brothers tracks which were awesome. This girl then gets up with an acoustic and bangs out “Wonderwall” which was absolutely incredible. These three boys, maybe 12 or 13, get up on the stage and play “Don’t stop me now” by Queen which was also spot on. The whole lot of them then play The Verves “unfinished symphony” which, Richard Ashcroft’s attitude aside, was so good that if you closed your eyes you could picture him walking down the street barging people out of the way.
The Head Master then stood up to say a few words before the Head Boy and Girl also addressed everyone.
The Head Boy was about six foot two and had played Rugby for Welsh Schools. In the last two years he had been on tours to Australia, France, Spain and Italy. The Head Girl was clearly more academically inclined but was part of the School choir who had toured Canada the previous year.
This spotty little oik then gets up. He was about fifteen and after droning on for five minutes he mentions that he is a member of the debating society. I’m thinking so fucking what before he then mentions that last year he had represented the School in Washington and the year before in Athens.
Lastly, this young girl stands up to say a few words. She had been the only kid from her Primary School that had gone to this School so had started on the first day not knowing anyone. She told us all how friendly everyone was and how she had joined the after school clubs to make friends. She was a lovely kid and emphasised just how friendly the school is.
After this we were all given a guided tour. The School was fucking huge. They had a purpose built trampoline area where these fourteen year olds were giving a demonstration. Some of them were incredible. I got talking to the PE teacher who I sort of know from Rugby who told me that he would be disappointed if none of the children in his class didn’t get a shot at the Olympic team in three years time.
By the time I left this place my head was spinning and I was wondering who I would have to bribe to get my Daughter in there. She’s definitely got a great shot though and I’m 99% certain she will be given the go ahead in February.
Last night there was a parents teachers evening in her Primary School. My Missus and I were sat talking to her teacher who was very complimentary about her. After about five minutes she said “you must be very proud” which sort of threw me a bit. My Wife and I agreed that we were to which the teacher said “it’s a great opportunity for her”, which really confused the shit out of me. After a few glances between my Wife and I we both asked “what are you on about?” The teacher shot us a puzzled look and said “Hasn’t she told you? Four pupils from year 6 have been selected to go to Comprehensive School one afternoon a week to study with year 7 pupils in English and Maths. Your Daughter is the only one who has been put forward to do both. From the first week of November she’ll be going to Comp on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons”.
My Missus and I looked at each other before blurting out at the same time “Which Comprehensive School?” to which the teacher made my entire year by saying the one we are hoping she’ll get into next year.
Proud, I hear you say? Damn right I’m proud. In fact I’m so proud I bought her a laptop this morning for her Birthday next month which I’ve just given to her. Obviously, this now doesn’t count as a Birthday present but I don’t fucking care. This School is so good it’s almost criminal that it’s a state School and not Private. With one foot already in the door she would really have to do something stupid to not get in there and I can’t see her doing that.
Anyhow, onto other business.
Mo rang me in tears last week. Turns out his Wife hasn’t had an orgasm since they’ve been married. They went to a Doctor who suggested they had a fan in the bedroom which would cool his Wife down and relax her. Being a tight bastard, Mo asked me round and gave me a beach towel. So, I’m standing there swinging this towel above my head and Mo and his Wife are getting jiggy but I can tell there’s not a lot happening from her point of view. After about twenty minutes Mo stops and asks me to change places with him. I’m not adverse to this has Mo’s Wife is quite tasty. Within two minutes she’s screaming the house down and is well on her way to her fourth orgasm. I allow myself a wry smile and turn to look at Mo who says;
“And that Rubbish my old Son is how you flap a fucking towel”.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Stuff I hate

First off stuff that has been pissing me off recently or more to the point, one person. Every morning I drive into work and listen to the Christian O'Connell (from now on referred to as COC) breakfast show on Absolute Radio. A couple of weeks ago he did this thing where he invited listeners to ring in with their favourite TV show theme music and the top 32 went into a World Cup play off to find the best. The usual shows featured, Only Fools and Horses, Benny Hill, Grandstand etc. Anyhow. COC keeps on going on about how people are telling him what a great idea this is and how unusual it is and he laps it up saying it's how his mind works. No it isn't you fucking COC, Loaded have been doing this stuff for years.
I can remember Loaded doing a World Cup of biscuits with the final ending up between a Bourbon and a Chocolate Digestive. They also did one for bottled beers with Magners doing quite well.
Now COC is running the top 100 songs of the decade and you would swear he thinks this is the most amazing idea ever. No it fucking isn't you fucking COC, just flick through the MTV channels and that's all they do. 100 best songs of the 80's, 100 best rock songs, 50 best R and B songs. All programmes on now.
As you can tell I fucking hate COC with a passion but the musics good.
Now on to other stuff.
I don't watch much TV has it's so predictable and shit. One programme I do like is N.C.I.S. which now has a spin off, N.C.I.S. L.A. FFS, doesn't anyone have a decent idea these days? Law and Order has about a 1000 spin offs as does Star trek. CSI has two, Stargate has one. Life on Mars was brilliant but they had to spoil it with Ashes to Ashes. Doctor Who has Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Chronicles and if my Daughter was still up she could probably name another couple of spin offs.
Every cop show has the same tried and tested routine. Depressed, alcoholic, divorced cop tracking down a serial killer. Fuck me, not even COC could manage a top five serial killers of the 2000's as we've only had two yet every TV show has one a week. If TV executives are going to recycle shows can't we have the Sweeney in Space. Now that would be worth watching.
One other thing that's really pissing me off is work. It's now got to the stage where I dream about it. Last night I dreamt I was in Amsterdam with a prostitute. It was the middle of the afternoon and we're walking back to an hotel and I apologise to her and say "I have to pop into work for a minute". So there I am walking around our shop floor with this Thai bird and I go up to our factory supervisor and ask "how many doors we made today Mark?". I then start introducing this girl to everyone and then tell my boss "I'm staying in the Ibis but you can get me on my mobile if there's any problems", before walking off with this lady of the night. What the fuck is that about?

Friday, 16 October 2009

Missing in Action

Haven't been about much due to work which is doing my fucking head in. I've sort of read a few blogs this week but haven't been able to leave comments. Promise to catch up this weekend although I do have to go into work tomorrow (Saturday) for 6 am.
Played absolutely no poker this week so I'm level which makes a change. Not had a pint for two weeks which is unusual. Got one more mad week and then should be back to normal.
Will post about it all next time.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Poker v Golf

A few people have asked if I intend to write a post about poker. Well, I’ll let you all into a little secret known only to poker players. Poker is boring as fuck.
Furthermore, reading about poker is even worse because there’s very few ways of making the posts interesting especially if you don’t play poker.
Your average MTT (Multi table tournament) may take four hours to play and for three and a half odd hours of that you’re folding junk. That equates to one hand every eight minutes. Compare this to a round of Golf that takes four hours and if you shoot an eighty that would equate to one shot every three minutes. Plus you have the added attraction of pleasant scenery, a bit of banter from your playing partners and some exercise.
Take Saturday for example. The weather wasn’t particularly great but then again, when is it in Britain? Four of us tee off at eight in the morning and the 1st hole on our course is probably the toughest. 440 yards with a slight dog leg to the left and out of bounds on both sides of the fairway. Small lake in front of an elevated sloping green with out of bounds continuing on the right. The ideal way to play the hole is a drive up the left leaving no more than a six iron to the green. Anything longer makes the chances of holding the green non existent. Otherwise, you need to lay up on your second leaving a wedge in and hope to make your putt.
I nail a three wood into the perfect spot and have 165 yards left. I’m into my downswing when a rabbit runs straight across the fairway distracting me to the extent that I’m watching it as I hit the ball. Disaster. My ball bobbles about fifty yards up the fairway as my playing partners piss themselves whilst I throw my six iron at the offending fucking runt. Trying to regain my composure, I walk up to my ball and visualise my next shot. I have this pre shot routine where I stand directly behind the ball and pick a spot a couple of feet in front of it which is on a direct path to my target. It may be a clump of grass, a Bluebell or a divot. I then line the club head up with this spot and after a couple of practice swings I’m ready to do some damage.
There’s a split second when the club head makes contact with the ball which instantly allows you to recognise what the ball is going to do. A hook, slice, thin, fade, top, each shot has its own feeling. On this occasion, when my wedge struck the ball, I instantly knew I’d flushed it. My gaze followed the balls trajectory and there’s another split second when the ball starts falling out of the sky where the ball and its intended target merge into your plane of vision. It’s at this exact second that you know if your shot is any good. Mine was looking fucking awesome and the only thing that comes into consideration now is whether you’ve judged the distance correctly.
Okay, that’s not exactly true because when the ball pitches the green it can do a number of things. It can take a few bounces and roll twenty yards past where it landed. It can spin backwards, stop dead, kick to the left or right. A pro will know exactly what his ball will do. A hack and thrash merchant like me has no idea. Mine pitched, took a hop forward before stopping dead, two feet from the hole with a nice straight uphill putt for par. Shots like that make your round. The ball rolls off the green and you’re looking at a six. Leave it short and you’re in the water and looking at racking up a monster.
I make the putt and life’s good. No more thoughts of my fluffed second shot but a jolt of confidence from my superb third one.
Three and a half hours later I’m in the bar looking at a decent card and all’s well in the World. My mate Dave, notice a trend with my mates names, is one of life’s funny guys. If something stupid is going to happen to anyone then it’s him. The subject of first jobs comes up and Dave slowly starts shaking his head. Dave worked as a doorman for years and is, as we say in Wales, warm as toast.
“Have I ever told you about when I worked the doors at Barry Island?” Dave enquires. We all shake our heads.
To paint the picture for you all, Barry Island used to be a massive holiday camp. There were hundreds of chalets, several bars and restaurants and a couple of night clubs. To compound matters, it wasn’t really an Island but perched on the end of one of South Wales’ roughest towns. In reality it was a time bomb waiting to explode. Dave was there to make sure it didn’t.
Dave continued, “I’d only been there three days and my mate and I are on the door of the club when the night manager comes over the radio saying that someone is breaking into the rooms. My mate and I leg it down there and just as we arrive this guy comes flying out of a first storey window, which wasn’t open, and lands right next to us. We’re standing there with glass flying everywhere and this guy picks himself up, takes one look at us and is gone. We chase the fucker and finally catch him. He starts throwing punches and you can tell by the look in his eyes that he’s drugged up to the eyeballs so I get him in a choke hold. The more he struggles the tighter I hold him until he eventually passes out. So this twat is sparked out on the floor and my mate puts him in the recovery position. We’re just about to radio in saying we’ve got him when my mate looks at me and says “fucking hell Dave, he’s not breathing”. I bend down and take his pulse and there isn’t one. So I’m standing there, three days into the job, 20 years old and I’ve killed someone. I’m looking at my mate saying I don’t fucking believe this and he says to throw him in the pool and tell everyone that he’s drowned. I consider this for about a split second but realise no ones going to buy that shit and I’m going down for several years so I walk up to the twat and kick him as hard as I can in the stomach. Fuck me, he starts spewing everywhere. My mate and I jump back and are just staring at this fucking clown who suddenly springs to his feet, chins me and starts legging it down the road. I was so fucking relieved I burst out laughing. The cops caught him three blocks away and it took eight of them to arrest the fucker”.
By now the whole bar is listening to Dave’s tale, most of them with tears running down their cheeks.
Fast forward seven hours and I’m watching the Football in the front room. I fire up the laptop and enter a PLO MTT on FT (keep up with that did you?). After the first hour I’m doing OK. I haven’t had to re buy and don’t need an add on. Second break sees me with a below average stack. Third break is a similar story. Leading up to fourth break is where the tourney starts to hot up. I’m 34th of 50 with the top 27 getting paid. I scrape into the money in 24th place and then into the top eighteen in 15th. Four hours into the tournament I make the final table, 9th of nine. I’ve got $27k in chips and the next lowest has $110k. And here’s the crux of it all and the reason why I don’t post about Poker that much.
I can’t remember one fucking hand of note from four hours of play.
I eventually finish in fifth for $485 which is a decent sum but not as good as the $2k the winner had.
And here’s another thing that maybe is solely experienced by myself but, I’m guessing, probably shared by a lot of other poker players. The high of winning a few dollars lasts for a few seconds before the stark truth hits home. Tomorrow night you’re going to be doing the same fucking thing. And the night after, four hours of boredom for three seconds of happiness.
Give me a 125 yard wedge to two feet and Dave holding court in the bar afterwards any day of the week.