December 17th, 2004


Poker leads to eating and sleep

Having Wednesday night off, I decided to head down to the local card room and play some poker. I arrived at about 8:00 p.m. only to discover that they were hosting a tournament that evening. This meant that a big chunk of their tables were given over to tournament play and the selection of other games for those of us not in the tournament were limited. I put my name on the lists for the lower-limit games and wandered around a bit. I checked in their back room where they spread various table games (blackjack, pai gow, caribbean poker, that sort of thing) and found all those tables were also packed. They were doing a special give-away in those games that night. If, for example, you got a natural 21 in blackjack, you were given an envelope with one or two chips in it for a bonus of $5 to $100.

The upshot of all this was that I did nothing but wander about and watch other people play for about an hour and a half. I finally got a seat at a blackjack table and made $50 in an hour or so there. Then a bit more wandering about and I was called for $2/$4 Texas Hold 'Em game. I took my seat, posted my blind and folded to a raise in front of me. Before the next hand could be dealt, they started a new $4/$8 Hold 'Em game and called my name for that one. Since I prefer to play the $4/$8 game (it providing usually more predictable play while still being a low enough limit for inexperienced players to play), I picked up my chips and moved to that game.

I did reasonably well, making a $22 profit by the time I called it a night. Not as much as I'd like, but I recognized a couple of places where I made some mistakes so I hope to be able to close those leaks in the future. Also impacting my performance at the end was the close proximity of the smoking area to the table I was playing at. It didn't bother me at first, but later on someone in the bar area was smoking a clove cigarette and the fumes from that gave me a headache at about the same time that the composition of the players at the table was changing due to people leaving and new players joining. The combination drove me from the place.

On my way out, I developed a bizarre hunger. It was about 3:00 a.m., when I'm usually at work, and I don't typically get hungry at that time. Not one to combat my body on things like that, though, I stopped and grabbed fast food for the drive home. Once home, however, my hunger was not abated. So I grabbed another snack before heading to bed by about 5:30 a.m. I slept until noon when the noise from the guy fixing our furnace woke me up. I answered a bit of email while he worked, rolled over and went back to sleep until nearly 6:00 p.m.

So I'm thinking that nights out like that give me a good work-out, stimulating my hunger and driving me to sleep longer than I usually do.
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self portrait

India planning

So I started thinking about what I will need to take to India.

I'm limited to two checked bags and one carry-on. Checked bags need to weigh less than 50 pounds (probably, as part of the trip is a domestic leg).

Given my normal wardrobe (jeans and t-shirts), I quite comfortably spend two weeks or so in Seattle with just a carry-on. For Baggie-con, with packing food and cooking equipment and some camping stuff for a long weekend, I pack a pretty light bag that's a bit bigger (I think) than the maximum allowed carry-on.

The place where I'll be working, however, is business formal. So that means extra shirts and pants. (Since one pair of jeans looks very much like another, I often get away with a single pair for several days.) And ties. So I'm thinking I'll be packing one bag to check and bringing a carry-on mostly to have reading material and my laptop. (BTW, minnehaha B, what's that universal power adapter you like?)

I want to get a better digital camera than I have to take along. (Mostly because I don't want to bring film along, further lowering the packing load as I'm already bringing my laptop.) I'm thinking that the high-end Christmas present from my wish list, a digital camcorder, might just be in order as well.

Even with all that, though, I think I'll have an entire checked bag worth of allowance on the way back for stuff. I figure I'll pick up some saris or fabric for same. I also figure I'll pick up some beads for all my beady friends. (Yep, thinking of you elisem and 90_percent_sure, lemme know what to look for.) I figure I'll look for tropical clothing for myself, probably in linen and/or silk as I'm a natural fabric kinda guy. I also figure that I'll pick up the actual suitcase in India as well. Any other ideas about what I should look for?

Need to call about renewing my passport today so that I can get it back in time to do the visa application.
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