Dec 06

So What’s New With You?

I’ve started this post at least five times in the last two months, never finishing. This space has taken a back seat over the last few months as life changes have encroached. I have a ton to write about – so much is happening on multiple fronts. But first i need to clear out the cobwebs and catch up on things.

Not writing doesn’t mean not reading. I have an insane RSS collection (700+ total feeds according to Google reader, 267 with the ‘poker’ tag, another 141 feeds marked ‘daily’) and I keep up with most of them. I know Iggy bluff-folded g&p, then got a table change over to pokerworks. I know Speaker started a sports blog, then hooked up with Otis and crew, Bad Blood, Daddy, bg, etc. for a team sports blog. I know Pauly and Change100 have been traveling around the around the world. I see bloggers are finding new ways of making a little money off their work. I see that my man Human Head and others are making their political voices heard. and there’s so much more. People moving, families changing shape and size. Bloggers coming and going.

Seems this was a year for changes. Big changes.

Not just for poker bloggers, but for poker itself. We had Bill Frist decide that a very roundabout attempt at banning online gaming (minus horses/lotto/fantasy) would be good for his political future. and while it appears things may not turn out the way he hoped, his legislation stands, affecting many in the poker world.

And I’ve had my own taste of the change. Facty and I packed up the kids and moved to Dublin, Ireland in August. I figured those who reads this knew, but just in case someone hasn’t cleaned out their RSS reader in a while…

The move wasn’t random. I didn’t just turn to Facty and say “How about Dublin?”. We don’t have family here. We’d never been before a one week trip in June to scope things out. We came because I like my job (most of the time) and because I like the company for which I work and because the company for which I work was moving from Los Angeles to Dublin. I’m not going to get into details, but I trust you can make a simple read.

We talked a bit about the move at the July WPBT event. We knew it was our last hurrah, WPBT-wise, for a while. I’m jealous of those you currently experiencing the anticipation that comes with a wpbt blogger event. (For the noobs, go read pauly’s advice. Pay particular attention to #7 and #8.)

I have been doing a bit of writing during this time away from the blog – trip reports, I suppose, to keep in touch with family and those back home. some of these will probably find their way here. I’ve also been posting flickr sets of our adventures. Check them out. Because we are having an adventure.

More soon.

Mar 06

Fun with the Dentist

Yesterday was my first day off since February 5. I’ve been pushing hard to finish the project that will not finish. And it is still not quite done, but we are getting there. I do feel that once its done, it will be welcomed by its direct customers and ultimately will benefit those of you looking for help from the fine customer service folks of a certain online poker site. At this point, those are my motivators.

Of course, actually playing poker is very far off my radar. I only played once in Hdouble‘s infamous friday night game during this stretch. I’ve had to live vicariously through those around me – primarily Facty, who final tabled again the other day in the nightly 16k (now 17k) guarantee on FTP. With the crazy hours I’ve been pulling, I think there was a week where I railbirded her in
tourneys from work more than I actually spoke with her in person.

Friday morning I went to the dentist, which I haven’t done often enough in recent years. This was the first of four “deep cleanings” which involves numbing 1/4th of my mouth and taking a jackhammer to it. The dentist came in and administered the anesthetic, then left me for five minutes while the numbing took effect.

After about 30 seconds, I was getting nauseous and noted both the ceramic rinse bowl to my immediate left and the bigger, but further, trash can under the counter on my right. Just in case.

I broke a sweat and the bad dentist office music (Dionne Warwick, pre-psychic hotline infomercials, if you must know) started to take its toll. The nausea got worse. I was now certain that I’d need one of those two receptacles and started measuring just how far the trash can was from me. Only 3 feet, but I’d have to sit up for the reclining chair and lunge at it. At least the rinse bowl, while a smaller target, was just a short sit up and lean to the left.

The doctor called out to me from the hallway asking if things were getting numb. all I could do was grunt, afraid that the force necessary to form more than one syllable would cause things to start moving. He took my response as a positive and went into the next exam room to talk to a patient. As I sat, looking out the window at the shrubs and trees behind the office, I saw a squirrel running along the retaining wall. He jumped onto the tree and stopped, spread-eagle on the trunk. I’m pretty sure he spied me through the window and mostly-opened blinds.

Over the speakers, Captain and Tennille started into “Do that to me one more time”. Ugh. I again considered my options, settling on the rinse bowl. Closer == good. I could hear the doctor in the next room, discussing crown color options.

The order of events get a little fuzzy at this point. The lower left quadrant of my mouth was completely numb. The squirrel was still frozen on the trunk of the tree and I was vaguely aware that he was still looking at me through the window. Toni Tennille was still trying to kill me, one “one more time” at a time. I was starting to think about how I might be sweating enough to soak through my shirt… and about how I was suddenly much more tired than I’d felt earlier… …and Toni fucking Tennille…. and crowns…and squirrels….

… One more time …
… One more time …
… One more time …
… One more time …

I opened my eyes. The room was spinning and I felt like I’d been asleep for hours. I sat silently, in a fog, and struggled to take inventory. Nausea was a little better, but I was leaning very far to the left. Rinse bowl! Clean. The trash can was undisturbed. Still in a cold sweat. Still no dentist in the room, so I could not have fallen asleep that long….

… One more time …

Oh christ, Captain and Tennille. The same song was still on. I was only out for a second. so why did i feel so groggy?

I could still hear the doctor in the other exam room and I thought about trying to say something loud enough for him to hear, but I didn’t have it in me. The nausea was definitely subsiding, but the fog was still thick. I sat and waited.

Eventually the dental hygienist, who would actually be firing up the jackhammer later, came in to see how the numbing was coming along. She stopped when she saw me and her eyes widened a bit.

“Are you ok?”

“I think I might have passed out,” I mumbled.

“Doctor! I need you in here! Right away!”

To his credit, the dentist (who barely knows me, but has been Facty’s dentist since she was a kid) remained calm. He started taking my pulse while joking about seeing if one of us was still alive. Apparently this reaction to anesthetic, while not common, is also not unheard of. (We’ll be trying a different one next time.) The hygienist prepared a couple of cold, wet washcloths for my forehead and mentioned that I was white as a sheet. They gave me plenty of time to make sure I could proceed with the cleaning and eventually I assured them I felt ok.

As the hygienist went prospecting, I thought back to the only other time i’ve ever passed out. I was 12, maybe 13, and the bump on my knee was just starting to develop. At first it seemed to my doctor like ligament trouble and he wanted to perform an arthrogram to get a better look around. He shot the x-ray dye into my knee and wanted me to get up and walk a bit to diffuse the dye. When I said I didn’t feel well and couldn’t get up to walk, he had me sit on the end of the table and flexed the knee himself. Next thing I knew he was waking me up.

After the cleaning, the dentist wanted to call me a cab to take me home. “Home? I have to get to work, Doc.” He made me call when I got to work to make sure I made it.

Mar 05

False Start

Due to circumstances beyond my control, my little announcement will have to wait for tomorrow. Stay tuned (all three of you).