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Posted by on Aug 30, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 12 comments

Please Solve a Marital Spat: “How Often Should a House Be Painted?”




I woke up this bright Sunday morning to the following question:

“When are we going to paint the house?”

Huh?  What?  Am I having a nightmare?

“When are we going to paint the house?” Marieta asked.

Indeed, this was a nightmare.  Only real.

I was inclined to answer “sometime this century,” and then roll over and go back to sleep.  But I knew I couldn’t get out of the discussion so easy.

“The walls look perfectly fine to me,” I replied.  “Look, there’s not a scratch on them.  Why do we need to paint the walls?”

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Posted by on Aug 29, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Personal, Politics, What's Left | 2 comments

Our Most Memorable Journeys Take Unforeseen Detours




The most worthwhile journeys almost always take unforeseen detours.

While the quickest route to any destination is always a straight line, such uncompromising intransigence also tends to be boring.  Taking the path of least resistance ultimately provides few rewards and little, if any, satisfaction — except for lower life forms.

I tend to be skeptical of those who never change their opinions.  Someone who insists that his or her mind can’t be changed isn’t a person I usually like to be around.  I’m even more suspicious of someone who was born into a defined set of religious beliefs or a certain political philosophy, and never challenges those basic assumptions over the course of an entire lifetime.  The straight line approach certainly doesn’t require any additional time or effort, so it’s the easiest path to follow.  That’s why it’s so common everywhere.  Yet those who take such a predictable path without considering alternatives usually don’t offer much in the way of critical thinking, creativity, originality, nor innovation.

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Posted by on Aug 23, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 0 comments

Life’s Way Too Short




No matter what the number — whether you live to be 25 or 55 or 95 — life’s way too short.

Indeed, time is our most precious resource, because it’s constantly diminishing.  No one thinks about this in their teens.  Only a few may consider this prospect in their 20’s or 30’s.  One begins pondering diminishing opportunities by their 40’s, and by the 50’s the prospect of mortality becomes very real.  I’m not sure exactly how one views time in their 60’s or 70’s, and beyond.  Let’s just say I hope to get there and write about it, someday.

There’s never enough time in the day, the week, the month, or the year to do all the things that interest us.  Not enough time to learn to play a musical instrument, and then practice at it to get better.  Not enough time to learn another foreign language.  Not enough time to meet all the people we want to see.  Not enough time to visit all the places we want to go.  And certainly not enough time to consume all the fascinating books out there, on a variety of different subjects just waiting to be picked up and read — horizons potentially broadened and outlooks sometimes changed by the printed word.

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Posted by on Aug 23, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Personal, Travel | 8 comments

Would You Ever Park in a Handicapped Space?


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It’s 10:15 on a Saturday night, and I can’t find a parking space.  Anywhere.

My restaurant of choice closes in exactly 15 minutes.  I haven’t eaten all day.  I’m starving.  I want Thai food.  Problem is, there’s no place to park my rental car within a quarter mile in any direction.  Suddenly, I seem to get lucky.

There’s a spot!  It’s empty!

Wait, not so fast.

It’s a handicapped space.  Shit!

Hmm, let me think about this situation for a moment.  Hey, I don’t see any handicapped people around.  I mean, it’s not like someone in a wheelchair is going to show up at this late hour, right?

What should I do?  What would you do?

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Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Blog, General Poker, Personal, Travel | 4 comments

A Mouthful of Ants and a Fast Boat to Nowhere


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With poker commentator Dave Tuchman on our fast boat to nowhere, out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


My morning began with a mouthful of ants.

By mid-afternoon, on a fast boat to nowhere out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, I rescued a dead fish.

Ten hours, one bottle of cheap wine, and a dozen overpriced cocktails later, by 2 am, I was pacing the sidewalk out in front of a downtown art gallery like a vagrant, screaming profanities through a plate-glass window at shitty paintings being sold at mind-numbing prices.

None of which has to do anything to do with poker, of course.

Just another day on location at “Poker Night in America,” this week in Florida.

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