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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cell phone and Poker 07/16/08

I now own a cell phone.  I asked my sister if this made me cool but she has pointed out that my mom has a cell phone so it doesn't really make you cool.  My phone is the LG ENV2.  I really like how it folds open to a qwerty keyboard and it's easy to send e-mail and texts from it.  Awesome!.

I played poker yesterday.  Total take was $260.00.  I played 2-4 hold em all day because I was scared from the last trip where I went down in flames.  7-8 players were hitting the flop on each hand and I had my share of luck too.  It was a pretty good 7-8 hour session.

I have to be honest and say that $44 of the win was from a slot win and I paid about $25-30 in gas so I'm putting total profits at an estimate of $175.  Not big money but back to my consistent level.  Hopefully this and a few more sessions will make my last trip an anomaly.

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Favorite Olive Garden

Olive Garden is my favorite place to go out to eat.  I could have the Tour of Italy dish every day for the rest of my life.  I'd especially love it if I could have the fresh Olive Garden Salad, the nice warm bread sticks and the world's best tiramisu for dessert.  I developed my love for Olive Garden in Utah but little did I know that the world's best Olive Garden would be out here in the East in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts.Tyngsborough olive garden outside

The outside of the restaurant is striking.  It's a huge stone terraced garden area facing the street.  It looks kind of like those pyramids in Mexico.  The outside of the store is completely covered in stone, I would love to have a house like this.olive garden bar area

The effect continues inside in the bar area.  Doesn't this look like the perfect place to stop after work and have a drink?  Too bad it's nowhere near my way home and besides that I can't afford to be going out for drinks after work anyway lately.


I love the exposed beams and the granite coffee area.  To top off all this architectural wonder the service here is top notch.  Every time we've gone there we've been treated very well and they even pay special attention to the kids.  That's a rarity in restaurants altogether and it seems like I've seen it even less often in the East.  Great service, a great view and a fantastic interior is what makes this the best Olive Garden in the world.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vacation 05/10 to 05/18

When I have had vacation in the past if we haven't gone out of town we've wasted it.  Joanna hate spending my vacation time by having nothing better to do than go to the mall every day.  This year we had a family meeting and decided what to do every day so that we would feel like we had done something with my time off.

Sofia was in school and since we didn't go out of town we didn't pull her out this year.  She complains that the boys always get to do fun stuff while she has to go to school but those are the breaks!  It's hard to explain that there was a time when she sat around at home and played all day.  She actually used to get to go out more than the boys because there was a time that we didn't have three kids.

One day we went to the beach.  It wasn't crowded at all since the season hasn't started yet and the water is freezing cold up here in the North.  I read a book while the kids ran around.  I got a horrible sunburn on my legs and lower back.  I guess those parts of me haven't been exposed to sun since I lived in Lake Powell.

Sofia had her portfolio night on Thursday, she's growing up so much!  I'm so happy that math is her favorite subject.  It was mine when I was younger and I wish someone would have explained to me better what being good at math can do for you.  I've got to remember to do that for her.

I was finally able to play some poker.  It's been months since I was able to slip down to Foxwoods.  Again like the first couple of times I went the game was good but I was totally unable to capitalize on it.  My run of cards was horrible, my straights didn't catch, my flushes were busted and I folded for hours and hours.

I did play a sit and go tournament on Saturday night.  I sat right to the left of a guy who looked just like Larry David.  I finally got my good cards in the tournament, my first good hand was a QQ and I went all in on the small blind against a raiser and 4 callers.  No one called me and the rest of the tournament was the same.  I didn't have a showdown until I had a commanding chip lead and I call an all in from the short stack with KQo.  He had A6o and ended up going home after the Q came on the flop.  When the fourth to last player busted out to the Larry David lookalike I offered a deal.  Larry and the guy across the table from him had about 3500 chips and I had 13000.  I offered to take $450 and they each would get $275.  I didn't want a bad run of cards to send me home with the $200 prize and after the punishing limit sessions I needed the cash.  They were both happy to just be in the money and took the deal.  We went downstairs and got paid out and I came home to lick my limit hold-em wounds.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

MOS and Mother's day

I'm in vacation this week and rather than lay around and do nothing like we usually do we planned activities for each day of the week.  Yesterday was designated as either a beach day or a trip to the Museum of Science in Boston.  It was rainy so off to the museum we went.  We started off the trip by viewing the animal exhibit.  The kids were kind of interested in the animals but were absolutely fascinated with a poster on the wall that showed what kinds of food the different animals ate.

After the animals we went to a planetarium show called What Happened to Pluto.  It's been years and years since I saw a planetarium show and I absolutely loved it.  Sofia and Coleman were pretty happy with it but Joaquin spent half of the show lying on the ground in front of me.  He may have been uncomfortable in his chair, his legs weren't heavy enough to hold the seat cushion down so it kept flipping up and putting him in an awkward position. I'd love to get one of the planetarium projectors and have home laser shows someday.

Planetarium Projector

After the show we went to the human body exhibit.  Sofia got to touch a sheep heart and lung.  I'm surprised she actually touched it since she complains about anything that may have germs.  She won't even touch silverware after it's been in someone's mouth.  The boys spent their time running around crazily but I think they all learned something.

One of my favorite parts was the reading room at the back of the human body area.  It had a nice view of the river.  I have no idea which one but the view was outstanding.  I wish I had enough money to live in Boston itself, especially if I could have a view like this.

Boston View

Today was mother's day and we had our traditional dinner of KFC.  Joanna is a KFC addict.  She hasn't had it a whole lot since we moved to New Hampshire but she would have it every night if she could.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's over!

With a huge victory in NC and a marginal loss in Indiana it looks like Obama will be the Democratic Party nominee.  I wonder if I should have put down $20 on an online gambling site rather than giving it to his campaign.  He was 4-1 to win the nomination when I did it and 8-1 for the presidency.  Well hopefully good government will be worth more than whatever I would waste the money on. 

If you thought Obama Girl had a crush on Obama you should see Olberman and Matthews.  Sheesh.  It's like watching a political Brokeback Mountain.  I keep expecting Olberman to say "I wish I could quit you Obama".

So I've been working on a refinance on the house.  When I bought it I got a 10 year interest only option with a 30 year fixed.  The rate was a mighty pricy 6.85% but I did it because I wanted the extra room to clear out some debt.  Well most of the debt is gone and I'm trying to figure out if I want to clear out the other debt or refinance.  I think I've decided to double down on my market timing skills and refinance.  The extra payment will be a little stretch at first but I'll be done paying for the second car in a year or two at most, less if the overtime comes back next tax season.  I think that It will be a pretty tight stretch over the near term but my 9 year older self will thank me when I don't have the payment jump in a few years.  Besides that I know there are some things we can cut out of the budget still, after all I'm up watching MSNBC instead of the 25 movie channels I'm paying for that all have nothing that I care to see.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Webkins Oh My! 04/13/05

The PizzaYesterday was a great day.  It was the first weekend that I've had completely off for a long time.  We went for a drive north and went to Warner where they have the fall leaf festival.  They have an amazing pizza place where they serve a 20 inch pizza.  It was so good that Joanna even liked it!

The Place!

On the way home we stopped and got some lottery tickets it was my lucky day!

Lucky me

Today the kids all got webkins.  They're very cute and cuddly and the kids were so excited to go online.  Joanna and I are going to start a points system tomorrow where the kids can earn points and trade them for online webkins time.  Nothing motivates you to do your chores like having your pet die if you don't!  This technology stuff has some very useful parenting applications.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

04/06/2008 Slack

No I haven't found slack yet.  I've been studying for my new licensing exam and working overtime.  I should have between the study time and the work hours about 28 hours of overtime this week.  Good for the wallet but I was so looking forward to not having any extra work or extra money.

I drove by the Elks Club today and it looks like the poker room is no longer there for some reason.  I wonder if they found a permanent place or if they shut down completely.  Now if I want to play Poker I either need to drive up to Manchester or go down to Connecticut.  It's probably worth the extra hour to go to the full casino.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

3/23/2008 Revolution

Last night I watched the two first eposides of John Adams the HBO series.  Paul Giamatti is great but I still can't get past his role in Sideways.  There's a scene where the patriots are all sitting around the table and they're drinking a red beverage.  John is unhappy with how little the continental congress is accomplishing.  He rants a little bit about the lack of will that the congress is showing.  I kept expecting him to go off about the merlot he was being served.

The kids got their Easter stuff today.  We had an egg hunt in the back yard.  Coleman cleaned up, he's usually the slowest at running around and grabbing things so I was suprised.  Joanna put quarters in some of the eggs, Joaquin got the most money and Coleman got the most candy.  After the egg hunt they all took their stuffed animals outside for a picnic.  It was a 38 degree day so Joanna slept on the couch and I watched TV while there were outside.  Coleman and Sofia stole a can of tuna fish and ate half of it outside.  Tuna from a can on a cold Easter day.  Sounds like a typical day in the life of a kid.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Last night I scored my highest Civ score ever.  Not an accomplishment to live your life by but still I'm proud that I'm progressing at doing something I enjoy. 

The day shift has gotten me hooked.  It's a super big change but I'm so happy I made the switch.  Money is tight so far.  I think it's worrying Joanna more than me right now.  We did have a fight after the grocery store though and it was initiated by me.  We haven't done that for quite a few years.  It's amazing what knowing you'll have unlimited overtime to pay for whatever you want does for your confidence in the day to day financial decions you make.

I haven't played any poker for quite a while and I've got quite an itch to do some playing.  Maybe I can find a way to do a small online deposit and play.  It's much easier to play when you're not betting the rent money.  I remember that lesson from living in Las Vegas in my younger days.  I'm not worried though, life is full of it's little slack periods and it's busy boom times.  This time I plan on taking better advantage of the slack.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


The day shift seems to be working out OK.  I'm eating regular meals and working out four times a week at least for a whole week.  I miss the extra pay but I'm loving the normal style lifestyle. 

I've loved spending time with the kids.  Sofia has been extra good at doing her homework and Coleman loves playing games with his daddy.  I've even been trying to help Joaquin learn to talk.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

02/07/08 The Break

I just finished up 10 days in a row.  Well I would have if I hadn't taken a sick day yesterday.  17 hours of sweet sweet sleep.  I felt pretty out of it today but was able to get everything done I had wanted to. 

Tomorrow should be pretty boring, oil change in the car, vacuum the car if the snow isn't too high.  I'm totally excited to have a nice boring day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

01/31/07 still on the overtime

Yesterday my wife hit my car.  Somehow it was my fault that she hit it while backing out.  Let me tell you that caused a huge fight but she sweetly told me she was wrong this morning and gave me sweet kisses so of course I forgive her.  Even if she doesn't mean it I'm glad she admitted that a man in bed asleep can't be responsible the movements of his wife's minivan.

I'm on the overtime train again, I should be going 10 days straight and then have 4 days off before I do it again.  I'm super close to paying off the Sedona and I'm thrilled!  That will be an extra few bucks a month in the pocket and if the taxes and the tax rebate work out alright I should be done with both cars by summer!

I've been on the eliptical every day for the past three days.  I'm at the point where I could go for a couple of hours a day if I had the time.  That's one purchase that I don't regret at all yet.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

01/07/2008 Happy New Year

It's a week after the new year and it's time to set new goals that I won't meet.  The newspapers are buzzing about the R word so I'm afraid that I don't have forever to work overtime so my first goal this year is to get out of debt.

My second goal is to get into better shape.  I haven't done a bit of exercise in 8 years so I'm not expecting that I'll be in shape but I expect to be in better shape.  I've purchased an eliptical and I've been on it about every other day for the past month.  I'm finally at the point where it's my heart and lungs that give out when I work out so I know that it's making a difference.  I'll be happy if I can just work out 20 minutes a day and not have it be the worst part of the day.

No goal to read 100 books this year.  I'm afraid I fell far short but I have read quite a few and I'm happy to report that it was well worth the time spend.

Happy new year all of you and I hope this is the year all your wishes come true.