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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Picture dump and weekend reading 

Pictures curtesy of King Landow. Click for a better view.


Pauly met us in Lauderdale with a little booze


Fat men love their hammocks


Cards in the air for the first time


130 Pounds of Fury vs 200 Pounds of Retardo


Hanging with Pauly, BigMike, and half of JDub


Hillbillies love their SoCo


Here is your weekend reading assignments. I haven't had the chance to link up the other writeups from the Key west trip. If you've missed them, you've missed the best. Check them out and if I've missed any just throw the link in the comments.

Tao of Pauly - AlCantHang and I Walk into a Bar...
Tao of Pauly - More Existentialist Conversations with Strippers: The Afternoon Shift
Tao of Poker - The Ghosts of Key West Gambling
Donkey Puncher - Key West Stupidity
Joe Speaker - Key West Cliff Notes
Gracie - 1,075 Miles, Door-to-Door with some fantastic pics
F-Train - Notes from Key West
Maudie - Key West pics
StB - gets around to Key West after rambling about the Cowgirls

Finally, Pauly has the October edition of Truckin' up early this month. I have a Key West story that I didn't get done quickly enough but will be in the November Aussie edition. Support Pauly and the writers. Drink well this weekend.

Truckin' - October 2007, Vol. 6, Issue 10

1. AlCantHang and I Walk Into a Bar... by Paul McGuire
Whenever you walk into a bar with AlCantHang, you're immediately assuming full responsibility for your actions. You always know what you are getting yourself into. There's no false pretense. You will drink and drink and drink and drink as life unfolds around you. You surrender to the flow of the liquor... More

2. Morrissey by Betty Underground
I did my usual, obvious, snooping about, inviting myself in to use the powder room after the long drive. I knew my way around. I knew what it looked like the last time I was there. I was looking for signs. Girl things. Grown up girl things. A woman's touch in the decor. Pictures of the happy couple. Anything. Nothing... More

3. Driving to See Mama by John "Falstaff" Hartness
Well, there was six of us in that car, and we'd been drinking and smoking cigarettes since we left base, so when Briggs rolled down that window, all that smoke just chimneyed up out of that window and that policeman had to jump back... More

4. A Mawmag's Dream by Sigge S. Amdal
I was flirting, no, I was dancing with my own future's certain death. And why? There was no love to speak of. Love can come later in some cases, I know, but if there's nothing, no great emotion to ride on – why on earth was I still dancing? ... More

5. What Might Have Been by Sean A. Donahue
The struggles of life are few and far between. We walk through life looking for the elusive, looking for the elite, or looking to be the elite. Sometimes in our search for what we want, we find what we really need. But we are too self absorbed or blind to see it... More

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Fifteen is a magical number 

Before coming to Key West, people will make big plans for their trip. Those plans rarely pan out because the attitude once you get there is "eh, whatever". I made a silly pronouncement before the trip saying I wanted to set some silly non-existent lap dance record at midnight of my 40th birthday. Once we were in town it never occurred to me again. Too much time was spent baking in the sun and destroying brain cells one shot at a time.

My birthday was set to hit at midnight after the day-long fishing trip and I'm usually wiped. I may love me some fishing but fat pale white boys whither under a constant sun soak. I knew this was going to happen so I planned to just relax at the house after fishing until I was ready to rip it up until sunrise. There were several invisible internet friends scheduled to show up but that could wait until the batteries were at full charge. The house was empty except for myself and JDub. We sat down poolside, cracked a couple of Lagers, and enjoyed the pause in action.

right before sunset, and there were Then it was time for the storm. My head was clear, my belly was empty, and my pockets were full of smokes. Landow and crew were sitting around the bar at the Sunset Pier, conveniently right before sunset, and there were bloggers in town. I missed the sunset by ten minutes but my friends were all there ready to destroy the town and turn me old. The only plan was to start at one end of Duval and bar hop until someone passed out or we hit Teasers.

Sloppy Joe's, shots, country band, and line dancing. Irish Kevin's, horrible singer, shots, and Guinness chugging with Lewey. Somewhere Pauly has a video of the last chug. Liquor drinker defeats beer drinker. More than a dozen friends were running around getting wasted in my favorite little town and I was feeling zero pain. Between other stops and drinks we came to the point of decision, continue the party at the next bar or go directly to Teasers. Since Teasers was across the street it wasn't much of a debate. Girls, guys, friends all rumbled up the steps to Heaven.

Pauly refers to the two different strip clubs as "The Classy Joint" and "The Dive". One is up the stairs, one is in a back alley. I prefer to call them "Heaven" and "Hell".

At different points my friends would disappear behind the curtain and come out with blank looks on their face. I was glad to see everyone having a blast and supporting the orphans of Eastern Europe. I knew something was up when Landow told me to not get scarce. On my own with a head full of booze I have a tendency to wander off and find my own fun. Usually involving a trip to "Hell". At sometime around midnight I was given a big shot of Soco and did a toast with my friends. I was officially old.

Landow had a smirk on his face and introduced me to a dancer who had dollar signs in her eyes. While I was off being a drunken buffoon, Landow had been a busy boy. The dancer took me by the hand as we walked back to the lapdance room. She put my drink on the ledge, took off my glasses, and said "get comfortable, you're going to be here for awhile". No shit awhile.

Fifteen is a big number.

5 girls, 3 songs each.

My friends poneyed up the money, organized the girls, greased whoever needed to be paid off. Landow had arranged for 15 straight lapdances on midnight of my 40th birthday. My drinks were refilled between girls and life was good. Thank god for timing.

If this had happened an hour later, or if I had started drinking an hour earlier, I might not have remembered it or appreciated for the honor it was. One girl was average, one girl was absolutely horrible, the other three were mind blowing. It's not often that you have to tell a dancer that she might want to, errrr, slow down and ease up. It was as stunning a birthday present as any drunken, low-life, pig of a man could ever wish for.

These are my friends, invisible readers. They fly to small islands, spend too much money, drink a ton of booze, and buy me fifteen straight lap dances on my birthday.

I don't know how your friends are, but I think I win.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

130 Pounds of Fury vs.Jaws 

I would have started today's writeup much earlier but I was awake much longer than I anticipated last night. Wasn't sure if I was going to be awake for the Mookie but I got myself moving and happy that I made the decision. I won my first ever Mookie and I don't see why Hoy has such a problem winning them.



I won a crap load of coin flips and one monster suckout against Byron at the final table (what can I say, he wanted me to think he was stealing, I thought he was stealing. KJ versus AK is the nutz).

So I'm running a little late writing today. I'm going to give you the Dr. Pauly 10 good minutes of writing about Key West then settle in for more catching up on the DVR.

~

For me, talking about fishing comes more naturally than poker. If some magical god-like all-knowing entity came down from heaven and demanded that I must chose between poker and fishing, I'm not entirely sure poker would win. I thoroughly enjoy spending hours and hours sitting out in the middle of the blue ocean hunting down some of gods yummiest creatures. As with any Key West trip, the drinking was broken up with an 8 hour trip pulling bait behind the boat between Key West and Cuba.

We had three rookies on the boat (F-Train, BaconBikini Mary, and StB) and three regulars. It's always fun to see how the rookies handle getting up at 6am to get to the dock after a night at the bars. They all were up early and ready to go. We loaded up on the 40+ foot sport fishing boat that I've chartered many times and made for the deep waters before the sun was even up.

My one concern was that we were fishing during a bad month. I trust the captain but there was a chance we were in for a slow day of fishing. That never bothers me, being on the water is good enough for me and I've been skunked before. I just wanted the rookies to have a good day fishing. My fears were realized when we were dragging bait for 90 minutes without anything looking at them.

While I was napping off and on we finally got the first bite. Mary pulled in a juvenile dolphin but at least we knew something was out there. Before long we had another juvenile and two good sized dolphins in the box (not a great pic of Steve's). At least we weren't going to get skunked and had something for the BoyGenius to cook up.

It didn't last long though. Trolling the weed lines and occasional pallet was getting us nowhere. The captain made a decision to stop trolling and fish a nearby wreck. We weren't going to catch the wandering sailfish or tasty dolphin but there would be some excitement. 1000 feet below the surface was a sunken submarine with fish just waiting to be fought and we would be using any big sport fishing rigs or fighting chairs. Nothing but standup tackle on light line.

We soon found the problem with this type of fishing. The fish we wanted were 1000 feet down but right under the boat were a couple of sharks just waiting to be fed. It became a battle of who could battle those bastards quickly enough to get them past the sharks. I was the only one to get their fish through the challenge but the others had much better stories.

JDub was the first to get a taste of the toothy creatures. He was dragging a frisky amber jack to the surface and everything looked normal. Suddenly the rod takes a couple of fantastic jerks that were definitely not his fish. The line went slack. While JDub reeled in whatever was left, the captain and mate debated whether we were dealing with barracuda or sharks. After seeing JDub's poor fish, there was no doubt. The ass end was gone and another was in the mood for sushi. Click for the bigger, up close and yummy version.



Landow had the most interesting turn on the rail. He almost got his fish to the boat. So close that he could even see it coming to the surface when out of the dark he got the first look of those filthy scavengers. Two big sharks came from different angles and ripped his fish to shreds and there was nothing he could do about it. But different than JDub, one of the sharks was bright enough to get himself hooked up on the line. Luckily for Landow we didn't have a shark rig on the boat so he only battled the shark for a few moments before he chewed through the line. As far as I know, Landow was the only one to actually see those bastards and the best story.

After that little encounter I couldn't wait for 130 Pounds of Fury to take a shot at bringing one in. Now we were doing some sportfishing. Those sharks weighed more than F-Train and we were in a coin flip situation. If one of those guys got on the line it would be a true battle.

Sure enough his fish got nailed on the way up. To F-Train's credit, he took the hit with minimal whimpering. He was pulled clean up on his toes and held tight. Two monsters wanted his fish and didn't mind taking him along for the ride if he wished. I've had fish bigger than myself on the line before but had the benefit of heavier tackle and a fighting chair. F-Train had only his arms and leverage. The two sharks gave him quite a tussle but finally won and took off with his trophy. I don't think F-Train will forget that fight anytime soon.

When people start throwing around the terms "shark" and "fish" at the poker table, they'll mean something a little different.

~

What do you do when you have 8 big mahi mahi filets sitting in the fridge? You turn them over to the BoyGenius.



~

There you go. Presented with no spell, fact, or grammar checking. Feel free to stop by the Riverchasers game tonight and see if I keep up my heater. Now it's time to go fill out my Mookie profile biznatches.

Cheers

Tournament: Riverchasers Online Poker Tour
When: Thursday October 4th, 21:00 ET
Game: NLHE Deepstack
Buyin: $10+1
Password: Riverchasers

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tale of Two Vacations 

I found a few moments on the last day of the Key West trip to chat with Pauly. We discussed the fact that our week really was two separate vacations rolled into the same week. This is obvious if you notice that we both posted some at the beginning of the week but went silent the last half.

The first half of the week was spent making tough decisions between relaxing, relaxing, drinking, or to relax while drinking. Time was spent sitting in the pool, on the deck, or watching ESPN on a monster HDTV (the AC rocked hard). Each of these activities was accomplished with a bottle or glass in our hands. Between sunset and sunrise we would finally get ourselves moving to find a public venue which involved more drinking, this some times involved females willing to remove items of clothing for US currency.

The second half of the week is when everyone else showed up. We were already well into Key West mode and were taken back a bit. People looking for agendas and schedules confused us. We had grown accustomed to the toughest decision being to drink a Lager or a Corona. But a dozen of my friends were in one of my favorite towns for a few short days. There was no time to waste with my feet up.

The first half of the week had a lot of things happen where it stretches my brain to remember on which day they occurred. For instance, it took me forever to remember which day Key West flooded. Pauly and I were minding our own business as the rest of the crew took off looking for the perfect crepe (don't ask). We realized the heaven's had opened up a bit but he was concentrating on his book while I was staring blankly at the TV. We found out they ended up at Sloppy Joe's and took the walk hoping to dodge the storms.

We made it most of the way relatively dry and found the four others sitting around a table in the bar. It was mostly empty, thanks to the rain I'm sure, but the volume level was elevated. Sober Pauly and myself sat down with the other 4 and quickly found out we were way behind the other drunkards. WAY behind. There was a loud discussion going on about the afternoon shift at the local strip club. Apparently they were in desperate need of our money. It seems the rest of the crew never made it to the restaurant. The downpour forced them into the nearest bar, Sloppy Joe's, and they spent the entire afternoon going one by one through their entire drink special menu.

We did only what good patrons of the arts would do. Pauly knocked back a big plate of Sloppy Fries, I hit the ATM, and we went to rescue the afternoon shift from their abject poverty. It was also bring about Pauly's next part of his "Existentialist Conversations with Strippers". The club was empty and we had our own buffet of Eastern Europeans, newbies, and girls who just couldn't cut it during primetime. These are the girls that work extra hard for your Jefferson's.

4o'clock that morning I found myself sitting in a county bar with some new friends and a realization that this was only the first full day in Key West. If this was the slow part of the week I was sure to be in trouble once everyone else made their appearance.



Sloppy Joe's Sloppy Fries



Duval Street before and after the deluge

~

More complete writeups to come, very distracted and just starting to get my brain back. Don't forget the Mookie tourney tonight and the Riverchasers game on Thursday.

Tournament: The Mookie
When: Wednesday. 10pm ET
Game: NLHE Deepstack
Buyin: $10+1
Password: vegas1

Tournament: Riverchasers Online Poker Tour
When: Thursday October 4th, 21:00 ET
Game: NLHE Deepstack
Buyin: $10+1
Password: Riverchasers

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Pokerstars Blogger Freeroll 

If you're an active blogger and want a shot to go to the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure join the end-all be-all mother of all crapshoot freerolls. This is open to bloggers of all types. Click the image for further details and prizes.

Texas Holdem Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 4852975


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Beware what you write 

I'm just about done my first Key West story but wanted to pass this along. I was hoping the Phillies would finish off the Mets on Saturday night. I knew I'd be in the air between Lauderdale and Philly when it was decided on Sunday. Sitting in the airport before taking off we knew a little thanks to the free wifi. The Mets yacked up 7 in the first and the Phils were up 3.

When we landed the results were quickly realized as people fired up their cell phones. The cheers were clearly not from Mets fans. I was happy but much too exhausted to really enjoy it. I was more concerned with traffic around the airport with the Phils and Eagles both playing.

Cruising around the intrawebs it seems the Mets are getting more credit for the collapse than the Phils for their part in catching them. That's ok with me. Pile on the pain. I've been hearing about the '64 Phils my entire life. Enjoy the attention Mr. Met.

My favorite was found over at the700level.com about a NY Post article dated August 26th by Kevin Kernan.
IT'S NOT OFFICIAL, BUT NL EAST RACE IS OVER

August 26, 2007 -- MEMO to Jimmy Rollins: The best team won.

Yes, it's still the dog days of August and the Mets have to travel to beautiful Philadelphia tomorrow, but the NL East race is over. Though the Yankees are fighting for their playoff souls, the Mets are merrily on their way to another October.

This really wasn't much of a race. Despite all the Mets problems, despite the fact they left the door wide open in the division, the Phillies and Braves have not been able to step through the portal.

So at 6:47 last night ..., the NL East race came to a close. Sure, there are magic numbers ahead and the official champagne clinching, but the Mets have no worries until October.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Standby 

I'm back in the home digs after a week in paradise in recovery mode. Thanks to everyone for the birthday comments, emails, texts, and phone calls. Everything was a blur from Thursday midnight until sometime Sunday morning when I climbed in the back of the Suburban to come home.

Plenty of stories to come. Thanks to my invisible internet friends for making the long trip to the tiny island. I was stunned so many people came down. Huge thanks to my local friends who went out of their way to make sure I had a great week.

I'll get to stories shortly.

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