Thursday, July 28, 2005

Bubble Boy

I played in the 9pm cst 2000 player freeroll again tonight on I caught some cards fairly early and stayed in the top 50 to 150 for most of the tournament. The blinds go up every 5 minutes, so it gets insane pretty quick. With about 180 left, I managed to double up to about 50th place and I SHOULD have played tight and made it into the money. Instead, I pushed from the button with Presto and got called by AJo with a bigger stack who had raised it from the position just ahead of me. He hit a J on the flop and I didn't improve and went out in 127th place.

I'm not kicking myself too much though. I made a decision that I wanted to make a run at winning the tournament instead of just getting dribbled down and earning 25 cents for making the money. At least I'm consistently making it into the top 10 to 20 percent of players in these freerolls, and I think my play is improving overall.

Apparently had some big problems last night. They upgraded their software this week and in last night's tournament it was really slow. I busted out early since I got really tired of only one hand finishing per blind level. A co-worker was also in the tournament and he was in 55th place with less than 200 people left when the game crashed. They patched today and everything was running smooth tonight. Nothing like working out the kinks by letting the users test the software. I still like the site and the freeroll, so don't let this hiccup discourage you from playing there.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Today's Blog Requiem

"The last act is bloody, however fine the rest of the play. They throw earth over your head and it is finished forever." - Blaise Pascal

"Why can't we all just get along?" - Rodney King

"I drank what?" - Socrates

I've decided to turn my powers of evil towards the Blog O' Heff next. He has to pay the price for leaving an angry pregnant woman waiting for me when I got home from work tonight. I had to wield the Comments Rod of Correction tonight and I wasn't happy about it. I also wasn't happy to find Androo's blog gone since he really is a pretty cool kid. I guess I've officially shattered three blogs this week since I'm such a "sick and perverted person." All you can do is laugh when you're confronted with such baseless and pedantic accusations.

This all reminds me of tale from highschool involving Heff and our deceased buddy Mok and others. We had spent several months checking books out of the library under each other's names then hiding them on the wrong shelf back in the library. The librarian posted a list all over the school every week listing the title of the book and who had checked it out for all books that were overdue. Our tactic was to find the most goofy sounding book title we could and wait for the person's name to appear on the list.

Our favorite target was a guy named Kent, who was older than us and tended to bully us around a lot. Unfortunately we went overboard with it as we always do and the list came out with about 10 books overdue for Kent, including such great titles as "Why do Mosquitos Buzz in My Ear?" and other children's books. He knew it was us of course, so he immediately went to the office and told Ms. Lightsey, the assistant principle.

About six of us were called to the office and Ms. Lightsey marched us into Mr. Bulger's office, the principle. Mr. Bulger was at the end of his career as an educator, and held very lax discipline standards. He just looked at us for about a minute and said "Get it fixed." We all smiled and marched out of his office, but Lightsey made us circle up in the hall. She was obviously furious that Mr. Bulger hadn't done anything about it, so she started screaming at us.

"Who did it? Who did it? I want to know who checked out books in Kent's name."

There was an awkward pause and then I said quietly "I checked out two of them."

Now I was fully expecting all my buddies to back me up here. If you've done something wrong, just admit it, apologize, and move on. I knew in my heart of hearts that Heff, Dave, Mok, and Nanook would all admit their involvement and we'd suffer the punishment together.

Nope. They all started staring at their sneakers and didn't say a word. So I got a paddling and had to spend a couple of hours finding all those goofy books where they were hidden in the library. Plus I had to listen to my buddies laughing about it for weeks afterwards.

Anyway, I promise the theatrics for this most recent incident are over and this will not be mentioned again until I write it all up someday so posterity can learn from our playground antics. Oh, and in case you feel left out Wilfred, I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too.

Butt is Bad, Hatch is Worse

Chicagoland residents, in an attempt to warn future generations of the dangers of Hatch, have decided to build the nation's largest phallic symbol along the lake front near Navy Pier.

"From 1,458 feet up, we should be able to see that fat bastard coming from a long ways off," said Bull Frillykins, who had driven into town from the suburbs to seek treatment for a yeast infection. When pressed for further comment, Mr. Frillykins was set upon by a crazed woman wielding a stick, and forced to move away down the sidewalk.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hatch Too Old?

Apparently the management at Burger King has decided they have nothing to lose, or they've completely lost their everloving minds.

Hatch Poker Remedials

Right after we finished watching Million Dollar Baby last night, I started playing in the 9pm cst Freeroll on During the movie they talked about retraining a boxer from the ground up, so the fighter knows how to react to a situation without thinking about it. This is not actually just movie mumbo-jumbo, it applies to many things in life. When I was in the marching band in high school, we spent hours high-stepping or low-stepping up and down the field, so much so that for a long time afterwards I still took 8 steps to go 5 yards. I played so many scales on the tuba that I the finger positions are locked into muscle memory and I can repeat them right now on my air tuba even though I haven't touched one since Christmas Day in 1986 after I got back from the Sun Bowl.

Unfortunately, I haven't reached that point in Texas Hold'em yet. In last night's tournament, level 4 had just started and I had yet to play a hand besides the big blind I had paid once by this point. I was getting impatient, so when I finally got dealt my first Ace of the night, along with an offsuit 6, I pushed all my chips in from UTG+2 after UTG and UTG+1 had both called in front of me. My brain knew at some level that this was wrong. The table was playing loose and there had been no folding around going on.

So of course the person next to me calls, plus the two in front of me. The first two guys had crap like K5, which was only slightly worse than the A6o crap I pushed in with. The person after me however, showed pocket Aces. Fortunately, I had 40 more chips than he did, so I wasn't completely busted out of the tournament yet. I doubled up twice on the next two hands, then ate a round of blinds before I pushed in with K9h and got bounced out with an Ace high in about 980th place.

So I've still got a lot of work to do on my patience and automatically folding in certain situations. There was no reason for me to even call in that situation, much less put all my chips in. Folding in that situation should have been decided as quickly as I can tell you 6x9=54. Maybe I need to make some flash cards.
Bring It

OK, I decided I don't give a Heff what anybody says and I don't want to come across as a complete Wilfred, so I turned the comments back on. Feel free to relive your 7th grade dreams but if you get too nasty prepare to be deleted. This blog is rated PG-13.
Movie Review : Million Dollar Baby

Marissa and I watched Oscar winning Million Dollar Baby last night and unfortunately I already knew how it was going to end. I read some of the arguments where people were upset that Eastwood didn't try to portray a more positive message and "...the inspiration the movie could have delivered..."

Now I don't want to get into a discussion on the merits of euthanasia or any of the philosophical trouble areas this movie touches upon. What I do want to rant about for a bit is the fact that everyone seems to think that movies should present themselves as a type of propaganda and if the view that the filmmaker is "obviously" trying to shove down our throats disagrees with their vision of a perfect reality it's necessary to attack and denigrate the film as much as possible.

Repeat after me here folks. "It's a movie. It's entertainment. It's drama."

It's not a teaching tool. You shouldn't use it to oppose or defend anything in the real world. Leave the esoteric interpretations to the film students and the apologetics of the world. The reason I enjoyed the movie is because the characters seemed real and they reacted to situations in the way real people might. Notice I added the word "might" on the end of that last sentence.

If you put 100 people into the same situation as Eastwood's character in this movie, most would probably not do what he did. I don't even know for sure how I would react. Even if only one person out that hundred might emulate Eastwood's character, it means that it's an accurate portrayal of reality. The producers of this movie had no obligation to portray a happy ending, and in the end that was a decision that made this a good movie that I enjoyed.
Today's Paraphrase

"I am become Hatch, the shatterer of blogs."

(With apologies to Bhagavad Gita)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Adios Comments

I've always been a big fan of blog comments, but recently things have gotten out of hand, mostly on other blogs, but on this one too sometimes. I don't feel like reliving my middle school days anymore, so I'm turning off comments completely. Feel free to still scream at the screen as much as you'd like, though. Oh, and if you're in the Chicagoland area and you're still under the impression that I'm the sickest person you know, you might want to look over at the other side of the bed first.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Village of Idiots

Thank God our congress has managed to solve all the problems facing our nation so they can turn to the really important stuff like extending Daylight Savings Time. Now long term readers may recall that I've advocated just pushing the clocks forward an hour and being done with it, but extending DST by a few weeks at each end to "save energy" is absurd.

I don't know about your home, but the women in my house turn on lights no matter how bright it is outside. I can tell I'm turning into an old crank because I spend time at home every day turning off lights and grumbling about the electricity bill.

The farmers complaining about the deleterious effects of DST on their dairy cattle also cracks me up. There's no reason you can't still milk the cows at the same time you always do, it's just the numbers on the clock that's changing. It's not like going on or off DST somehow pushes the cattle through a hole in the space-time continuum from which they'll never recover. Saying it's 6am right now in Eastbuddafark cowland is just an arbitrary number someone decided on a few hundred years ago. The cows don't give a frak whether the clock says 6am or 7am, trust me on this one.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Beaming Up Scotty

Rest in peace James Doohan, a survivor of the Juno Beach landing on D-Day, but of course better known as Montgomery Scott from Star Trek. I met Mr. Doohan briefly at a convention in Georgia years ago and got to shake his hand and got his autograph.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hatch In The Money

With no available cash to spare for poker, I've been trying out various freerolls on some of the online poker sites. The best one I've found so far are the regular 2000 player $200.00 freerolls on These games get wild and wooly, and usually at least half of the 2000 starting players are gone within the first 30 minutes. The cool thing about's freerolls is that the top 100 players at least get something, even if it's only 25 cents.

So tonight I registered for the tournament and waited around until it started at 9. I won a big pot about 3 hands in and tripled up to about 3000 from the 1000 chips everyone starts with. Then I started playing really tight until there were about 800 people left. I wasn't really getting very many cards though and I slowly drifted down to about 200th place from my high of 15th place near the beginning. Just before the break I won a heads up all-in and moved up to about 67th out of 140 or so. At that point I completely clamped down and didn't play a hand at all until there were only 100 left and I was in the money.

I had to make a decision at this point on whether to go for broke and try to place really high or just hold on really tight and creep up as much as possible. I decided to do the latter and that I would only play pocket Aces or Kings unless I was in the blinds. I broke the rule once and pushed all in from the button with KQs and managed to steal the blinds, which probably helped me get about 10 places higher than I would have.

I ended up busting out in the big blind in 31st place, so my grand total winnings was $1.00 in real money and a $1.00 coupon that I have no idea what to do with. It's not much, but it's my first time to finish in the money in a really large online tournament, so I'll take it. I'm sure I could have finished higher if any real cards had come. I only had AKo once the whole tournament and the highest pair I had was Jacks. I didn't make any big mistakes and didn't chase any straight or flush draws the whole game.

So anyway, if you want to try playing in a large online tournament and don't want to risk any cash, go to and sign up and I'll see you in the daily freerolls.

Monday, July 18, 2005

With Greatest Respect

My friend Heff gets lots of Nigerian scams in his inbox, but I don't get so many since I switched to Google Mail a while back. Slashdot posted a link to a website that gives expert advice on how to turn the tables on the scammers by Scambaiting them. I've messed with a scammer or two before using fake email addresses, so I might have to try some of these tips next time Heff forwards me another email.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Pre-Flop Strategy

Wikipedia is full of a lot of good information, including this article about basic Texas Hold'em Pre-flop strategy. If you want to learn how to play, memorize this chart first. You'll get a lot deeper in tournaments if you follow this, but of course sometimes you have to throw it out of the window based on the situation.
Hey Big Brother, How's Your Ass?

So about 4 years ago I was on the way to Bahrain to be in Paul and Ferlie's wedding. I had a layover in London and spent some time wandering around in the shopping mall that doubles as an airport at Heathrow. I picked up a book named I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. It's a great book about a man who is the last human, and is besieged in his home each night by vampires. He spends his days hunting them down. It inspired George Romero for his zombie movies, and countless other spinoffs as well.

I found out the Charleton Heston movie The Omega Man from 1971 was based on this book, and I put it on the Netflix queue many, many moons ago. My beautiful wife regularly bumps my movies down so she can get more chick flicks, but occasionally she forgets and I'm able to get a movie. This rare event happened this past week and "The Omega Man" was waiting for me when I got home one day from work.

I watched it last night, being in the mood for a scary, suspenseful movie, which I assumed it would be after reading the book. Man, I was wrong. It was a cheesy 70's movie. Almost none of the story from the book was left intact. The music was horrible, the acting was hammy, and nothing made any sense. I still enjoyed it, since it was late at night and the general goofiness of it made me laugh. Unless you're a big fan of Charleton Heston, skip the movie and grab the book. Hopefully someone will eventually made a faithful adaptation of it some day.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

One Hot Cooter

Ben Jones is upset. He played Cooter in the original Dukes of Hazzard and apparently thinks the new movie has too much sexual innuendo. Since he's spent the last 20 years trying to cash in on his minor role it's more likely he's upset because they didn't ask him to be in the new version. Besides, Innuendo is Jessica Simpson's middle name.
Swiming Down the Drain

I've had this tune stuck in my head for a week or so. I couldn't remember any of the lyrics but I knew it was associated with Bugs Bunny somehow. After a half hour of google searching, I finally jogged my memory and it's "Singing in the Bathtub" by Ned Washington. Whew. Now I can work on getting it out of my head.

While searching for those lyrics I also found a great site that has lyrics for most of the tunes you've ever heard from a Looney Tunes cartoon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I just saw a commercial where they used "Dust in the Wind" to try to sell SUVs. I got no problem with folks that own music rights trying to make money, but a car commercial? At least have some standards.
Whiny Hatch Excuses

Sorry for the lack of updates. I'm in training classes every day at work this week so I have very little free time. When I get home I just veg out and watch TV or play Battlefield 2. I also check out the awesome World Series of Poker coverage from Dr. Pauly. Amazingly, Greg Raymer is still in the tournament with about 37 people left out of over 5600 who started. He won the whole tournament last year and although he's not the chipleader right now the fact that he made it this far again this year is an incredible achievement.

Wil Wheaton is also writing some humorous accounts of his experiences at the tournament as well. He's being a little hard on himself about busting out early I would say. I have absolutely too little experience with poker to judge his play, but I get the feeling he's sitting down at the table with something to prove. He may be overthinking things too much as well. He gets to hang out with much better poker players than I do, so I have no doubt he'll improve greatly if he keeps at it.

As for me and poker, I'm playing a few freerolls on Absolute Poker every week. 2000 people competing for a $50 prize pool gets pretty insane. I've had no problems making it to the top 500 or higher so far, but eventually I get all my chips in with something like AKo and I'll get called by a donkey with K5o or suited connectors. I haven't read all the great poker books out there, but I'm pretty sure they all say suited connectors are best played by getting in as cheap as possible against multiple players. I could even understand raising all in with them, but calling a large all in with a 67h only makes sense in a freeroll I suppose.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Back to Square One

Well, this has been a week of busts. I busted the diet and last night I busted out of Pokerstars. I put my last two dollars in after the turn with me having a pair of 7's. A calling station called and had 10c8c. She had no pair, no chance at a flush, and no chance at a straight. I just don't understand people sometimes. She hit an 8 on the River.

So now it's time to regroup. Time to get back on the diet and give Uncle Bull my home address so he can drive down and beat my ass. Time to start reading poker strategy again since I have a lot to learn before I venture back into online play again.

In other news, my beautiful wife is still doing great in her 14th week or so of pregnancy. Victoria has been attending cheerleader camp this week, and our dachshund Annie went into heat for the first time. Fun, fun. All the furniture is draped with sheets right now. Getting her spayed has moved up to near the top of the things to do list for the coming month.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

This is Where Heff Jogs Something Out of His Butt

Apparently, as I've been saying all along, walking is better than jogging when you're fat.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Heartbreak of Poor Spelling

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Lunch on Hatch

So Marissa, the orange, and I went to lunch today at Rafferty's, since Marissa had been craving their potato soup for a while now, and the pregnant lady gets what she wants. I ordered the club sandwich and as they're bringing it out the waiter spills the entire cup of honey mustard on my shirt and tie. So we ate for free today and if you like honey mustard then Hatch smells delicious right now.

Yes, Uncle Bull, I ate carbs. T.M.S.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Dressed to Shill

You wanted the littlest, you got the littlest. The smallest KISS coverband in the world...

Mini Kiss!
The Liberty Train

With the 4th of July coming up I started thinking about past celebrations and specifically the Freedom Train back during the bicentennial celebration. I saw it when I was eight years old when it stopped in Birmingham on Memorial Day of 1976. My memory is a bit sketchy, but I clearly remember the moon rock, the conveyor belts, and the Liberty Bell replica.

I remember when the train started moving at some point we were standing right next to the engine. The horn was the loudest thing I had ever heard other than the KISS concert I went to twenty years later. The steam locomotive that pulled the train into Birmingham is still operational and makes excursions in the northwest.

For some reason I've always called this train the "Liberty Train." I guess it might be an alternate name that got stuck on it.

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July! We plan on going to a cookout with friends from church and watching fireworks in Hendersonville.