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Happy 25th Anniversary, Marieta Dalla

Posted by on Feb 14, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 2 comments




Today, I’d like to tell you about the most important person in the world to me.  Her name is Marieta.  We were married 25 years ago on this day.

How did the time pass so quickly?  Where did all the years go?

The first time Marieta came to my eyes was an unexpected instant of perfect clarity, a fleeting moment of pure bliss.  She was too beautiful, I thought to myself.  I had no shot being with her.  I didn’t stand a chance.

But stars do align sometimes.  Gravity can be an inexplicable force.  Lightning strikes.

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Taking a Hike: The Other Side of Las Vegas

Posted by on Feb 13, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Travel | 0 comments




Hiking is one of the last things someone is likely to think about when it comes to either living in or paying a visit to Las Vegas — unless the hike is from one casino to the next.

That’s a pity, because less than 20 miles away from the Las Vegas Strip and only a ten-minute drive from the western fringes of the city limits lies the stark and silent contrast of a vast and still largely undiscovered world full of natural splendor that’s not to be believed — unless you see and experience it for yourself.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a nature-lover’s paradise.  Most visitors who drive through the area, around a 13-mile loop, believe the road is the main attraction.  They are terribly mistaken.  They are also missing out.  In fact, the park offers so much more for those willing to invest a little time and lots of energy.

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Bernie Sanders and “The S-Word”

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 4 comments




Bernie Sanders needs to do a much better job defining his vision of “democratic socialism.”

That’s because, for millions of Americans, the relatively new political epithet remains confusing, even contradictory.

Indeed, even though this political stew is made considerably more appetizing with the added ingredient of “democratic,” the overriding pungency of “socialism” remains allergenic when served at most American dinner tables.  Never mind that socialism remains preposterously misunderstood and perniciously maligned, especially within the modern political lexicon.

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We Await an Official Statement from the Hillary Clinton Campaign

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 25 comments




It’s been four days since I wrote about my first-hand experience with a telephone “pollster” asking me several loaded questions about the two leading Democratic presidential candidates.

[READ MORE HERE:  “I Just Got Push-Polled by Hillary Clinton’s Nevada Campaign”]

Much criticism has been leveled at me for the way I handled the telephone call.  The “comments” section here at this website is loaded with dirty names and derogatory remarks.  For the sake of peace and harmony, let’s just say that indeed — I am a jerk.  Feel free to select your own favorite expletive.  

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Unmasking the Real Marco Rubio

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 3 comments




Like Bambi running through the woods and aimlessly caught in the headlights, Rubio was blatantly exposed as excruciatingly shallow and intellectually feeble, awkwardly unprepared and ill-suited for the most powerful job in the country — at least right now in the year 2016.  When 2024 or 2028 comes around, perhaps he could fare better as a serious presidential candidate, provided he passes his potty training and sheds the political Pampers.


The collective ensemble of millions of jaws dropping in stunned unison all over the nation during last Saturday night’s Republican presidential candidates debate in New Hampshire was a political chorus line of show-stopping proportions.  It was what some might call — a game changer.  “Cringeworthy” is how one Republican observer best described it.

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Final Results (2015 NFL Regular Season and Playoffs)

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Blog, Essays | 3 comments




This marks the fourth straight year that I’ve posted NFL picks on my website.

In three years, I’ve posted winning results — including 2012, 2013, and 2015.  One year, in 2014, I lost my entire bankroll.

In yesterday’s Super Bowl (and Puppy Bowl 2016), I posted 6 winners, 4 losers, and 1 push.  Unfortunately, I suffered losses on my two biggest wagers, so I ended up losing money on the game.  My losses amounted to $500 for the day.

Nonetheless, I end this past NFL season up by about 30 percent ($10,000 starting bankroll ended with $13,015).  That included about $2,500 worth of losses in season-win totals.  It also included nearly $7,000 in vig.  So, the biggest winners were the sportsbooks (big surprise).

Thanks to everyone for following along and cheering with (or against) me.  See you back here again in September 2016.

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My Super Bowl 50 Wagers and Betting Propositions

Posted by on Feb 7, 2016 in Blog, Essays | 2 comments




No man is an island and when it comes to considering the vast multitude to different wagers and propositions on today’s Super Bowl, I’ve become less an island and more of a continent swayed by other influences.

I wish to respectfully cite five sources that were used to make today’s selections.  Harvard Sports Analytics (listed at COVERS.COM), Case Keefer (at the LAS VEGAS SUN), Aaron Todd (CASINOCITY.COM) the private Las Vegas Sports List (which is not public), and Earl Burton’s blog (SUPER BOWL 50) were each of particular value.  Bettors would be well advised to visit any of these websites above and read a more comprehensive list of the wagering possibilities.

Here are the wagers I’ve made so far, as of 9 am on Sunday (Game Day).  Obviously, the lines can and do change.  But these numbers are still widely available at the time of this posting:

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I Just Got “Push Polled” by Hillary Clinton’s Nevada Campaign

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Personal, Politics, What's Left | 617 comments




I’m about to tell you a disturbing story which helps explain why Hillary Clinton could end up as the 2016 Democratic Party nominee over Bernie Sanders.

Mudslinging works.  That’s because some mud usually sticks, no matter how filthy or detestable it is.  We all say we hate “going negative.”  Then, we eat it up.  No one gets out of a spirited political race with a bleached white suit.

From Nixon to LBJ, from to Daley to JFK, from Bush swiftboating Kerry to Bush bullying McCain in South Carolina — history has taught us one simple and indisputable fact.  Election victories often come down to doing whatever it takes to win.

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The Loneliest Highway (Route 266) in Winter

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Blog, Essays, General Poker, Travel | 3 comments



This photo captures the essence of Highway 266, a blend of natural beauty of mountains and high desert, with the occasional ghost town along the way


A few years ago, I wrote about one of my favorite drives within the continental United States — the little-known Nevada State Highway 266 to the east which connects to California State Highway 266 in the west.  To say this is a breathtaking journey with amazing diversity would be an understatement.

This scarcely traveled 82-mile single-lane stretch of paved road offers no services nor amenities of any kind.  There’s not a gas station nor an electric light the entire way.  Cell phone reception is non-existent.  You drive through several mountains and valleys, which takes about two hours, and might not see another car or human being during the entire trip.

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Travel Advisory! Stay Away from the Barbecue in Bakersfield!

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Personal, Rants and Raves, Restaurant Reviews, Travel | 7 comments




Tasty barbecue shouldn’t be slathered beneath a pool of barbecue sauce.  That is, unless it’s a tasty sauce.

When the barbecue sauce is shitty, wanna’ know what happens?  The barbecue turns shitty, too — that’s what happens.

When you slather shitty barbecue sauce atop barbecue of undetermined quality, we’ll never discover if the barbecue was any good or not.  That’s because it’s slathered beneath a puddle of shitty barbecue sauce, turning the whole fucking plate into an unsolved mystery.

One would expect Bakersfield to be a terrific barbecue town.  The city’s outskirts are ringed with giant cattle farms in California’s Central Valley.  Cattle roam in green fields eating their way a bite of grass at a time to warm waiting plates of carnivores who are passionate about their barbecue.  If those poor beasts only knew of the horror that eventually awaits them, to be humiliated beneath a slathering of shitty barbecue sauce, they’d probably chose something different.  Then again, they can’t make choices for themselves.  Because, after all, they’re cows and besides — there’s no such thing as free will.

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