Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!!! And Hello November!

I'm a little shocked to see that I haven't blogged since Sept 18th. That's probably a record. I could blame it on not playing one single hand of poker in about 45 days. Or I could just blame it on being really busy with life! 

Since I last posted, I had a cancerous basal cell removed from my neck (skin cancer), had a procedure done on my back where they made some weird injection, the Giants won the World Series (again) despite an amazing postseason 'feel-good' story by the Royals  that was stopped just one win shy of the happy ending.  My mom seems to have conquered her bout  with breast cancer. Speaking of cancer, Percy Harvin got traded away from the Seahawks to the 1-7 NY Jets. 

Florida State is still unbeaten. They now have their starting running back under investigation to go along with the QB  who seems to just keep stepping in it. And Bama, after a loss to Ole Miss,  when they led by two td's going into the 4th quarter and just played 'not to lose' did just that...is rebounding nicely, and now pretty much controls their own destiny with big games coming up against LSU, Miss St. then Auburn...winning all three should either get them into  the SEC title game or the NCAA Playoff. It's going to be a VERY exciting month of November!

 Basketball season and hockey season have both started. I've got fantasy leagues for both...so that keeps me busy!

And finally...the thing I've been working really hard on for the past month...the website called Fantasy Draft...is just about ready to kick off. We've been BETA testing the site for the past three weeks...and we are set to go live, or play-for-pay, starting either THIS weekend...or next at the latest (probably). I've already signed up a ton of people under me...and am hoping that once it goes live, will sign up a lot more. I'm really excited about it. I was ushered in by one of the sites 14 Team Pros...who happen to all be pro poker players...and all are under Matt Savage, tourney director who most of you know by name if not personally. 

It's one of the coolest setups for a MLM aka 'pyramid' investment models I've ever seen...and the guys I've talked to about it who have a lot of experience with MLM's say this is very unique. They pay you for 6 levels/tiers of your 'down line' or people who sign up below you. Most business models gives you the most at the 1st level...then it gets less and less as the tree branches out. This one? Total opposite! It goes 10%, 10%, 15%, 15%, 20% and 30%....on the 6th tier. If you have a shred of common sense...you know what that means. If you get just 100 referrals under you...and even a few of those get 'after it' and get aggressive with it...you could have 1000's under you...with a large percentage of them in the Tier 5 and Tier 6 levels...earning you 20-30% of whatever action they generate! It's literally a possible life-changer.

Is it an idea that people are interested in? Pffffft! Hilarious! Uh...yeah...if you haven't noticed Fan Duel and Draft Kings? Yeah...these sites are getting like 90,000 entries every Sunday for a $27 contest that guarantees $1m to the winner! No kidding. A buddy of mine finished 6th (I think) a couple weeks ago and won $40,000. His TE dropped a few passes and had the QB overthrow him for an easy TD or he probably wins at LEAST 3rd and maybe higher. But yeah...this idea is currently on FIRE! People are tired I guess of the season-long fantasy leagues (I'm not!) and want to play one-day or one-week contests...where you simply pick a roster of 9 (for football-they have contests for EVERY sport) for that day or week and compete against other people's roster. Simple. 

Well...no one is making money off  of Fan Duel and Draft Kings (and all the others) except the owners of those sites. Fantasy Draft? The ones making all the money? The players themselves! So...that's all  I'm going to say about it...at the risk of coming off like an annoying car salesman! But you want in...click the link up there...should take you right to the sign up page and I'll get credit for you. Also? EMAIL ME...at ThePoolMonkey@aol.com and tell me you just joined up. I am keeping a spreadsheet of ALL my personal referrals,  and will be doing weekly freerolls and private contests just for those who signed up under me! I'm going to have a LOT of fun with this whole thing!

You all know how much I dig Nolan Dalla's  blog? I've mentioned it several times. Well,  he is the brains and creative mind behind the show, I  think it appears on CBS...called 'Poker Night in America.' I've kind of, in the back of my  mind...been wishing I'd get invited to appear on the show. But I didn't want to ask. Figured maybe someday my 'flamboyance and controversial' personality would appeal to someone. It's risky for sure. You have to bring your own bankroll, as its a cash game. And I don't typically fare too well  in cash game...but hey! I  know I'd have fun! And I'm pretty sure I'd be a lot more exciting to watch than most poker players I see on TV!!! Well, this morning, I got a message from a guy I won't name, asking if I'd be interested in appearing on the show when  it goes to Florida in December. Of course I responded that I'd be thrilled to! So  I'll let you know who that turns out!

Squirrel, Carley and I are right in the middle of moving. I tried to get a mortgage, that would allow me to buy the house we'd been renting the past 7 years. But since I file as a professional gambler, I  don't usually show much on paper...since I choose to use all  my  buyins and expenses to offset the tax burden. Well, I was told if I could just show about $40k annually, for two years....I could get a mortgage easily, since I have great debt to credit ration and have a credit score over 700. So that was good news. And since I always file late...I had yet to finalize my taxes for 2013. So...I told my landlord I would re-do my taxes for 2013...requiring me to cough up a healthy sum, and file the same way for 2014 as soon as  January arrives. Sounded like we might have had a deal in place. But then...they kept showing the house anyway...which, if you've ever been a tenant and had the owner trying to sell the house, is a REAL pain in the ass!!!! And Squirrel didn't do us any favors, leaving the house looking like a model home before every showing.

Well, lo and behold, the owner calls me on the16th and tells me they have a contract, and that we have 30 days to be out! Wow. Really!? Squirrel freaks out. But in the next couple days we managed to find a few houses real close to us that were all really nice. We settled on one that's only 3 miles from us, and we are in the middle of the moving process now. Claudia "The Claw" Crawford, who has been occupying our guest room, is coming with us, for a while at least...and she's been over there all week with Squirrel and a couple of their other friends painting all the rooms in the house. 



I guess everything worked out for the best. We will rent that house for only a year...then I will have our financing in place next fall, and we can buy something we actually like. In the mean time...we can pay off all the rest of our credit debt...which is getting pretty close to nothing! To me...that is exciting! Debt free just sounds like a fantasy!

I'm sure all of you shop at Wal-Mart right? I've never been real big on the self-checkout deal...it seems like it always hits a snag of some kind. Squirrel and I used it yesterday because all the other registers were backed up for days. And sure enough...snags...like four times. Real annoying. As I was standing there waiting our turn...it dawned on me. It seems like there is a way for people to shoplift using that method. Then it occurs to me that I often times see somewhat shady-looking people  in those lines. Hmmmm. Do you  think...maybe?

Speaking of Wal-Mart...Squirrel was there shopping back in August when I was home visiting my mother...and after I called her, and the phone was answered by our 10-year old almost sister to Carley...Abbey...I detected something very bizarre going on. "Abbey, what is going on? Why are you answering the phone? Where is Miss Squirrel?" There had been an accident. Black lady, no insurance, suspended license, and expired tags...was going the wrong way in the parking lot...sees Cheryl backing out of her spot...and decides to jam her car in reverse and try to get her parking spot....albeit by virtue of backing into it. (one of my favorite motorist moves-NOT!) Well Squirrel, not the most observant of drivers herself...does ONE head check...then backs out...the perfect storm occurs...and boom! Cops came. Lady clearly at fault. Cited. End of story right?

Nope. Get a letter from my insurance company a few weeks later. The lady seriously tried to file a claim against MY insurance company. Wow! So we had to go through the whole rigamarole of keeping that off my policy. I decided to get my car fixed. Wasn't going to at first...but then got annoyed. The body shop gave me an estimate of $950. Geico gave me one for $1400! And cut me a check for $900 in the driveway (minus  the $500 deductible) and I got  my whole back in repaired for fifty bucks! Had it done last week...while it was being repaired rented a 2015 Chevy Tahoe and fell in love with it.  There could be a new car coming to the Souther driveway soon. But it is nice to have two of  us  owning cars that are BOTH paid off and not having a car payment. We'll see what happens. No, that bitch didn't get her piece of shit car fixed at my expense. I love this society we live in now.

I have this little flip out compartment in my car where I hide/keep dollar bills for the valets and drive-thrus and stuff like that. A couple weeks ago...Squirrel decides not to lock my car...which she does a lot...despite my angst about it. Next morning...flip panel  is open...all my ones (about $120) are gone...and my loose change (about $10) is also gone. Nice. Real nice! Oh! But my $300 radar detector? Didn't touch it! Nice thieves. Meanwhile, my next door neighbor has a broken garage door, hasn't had it closed in 6 months...and not once has he had anything stolen from his garage. Strange.

There are those who think having a job is the only way to get ahead in life. Then there are those who think the best way is to make your own opportunities. Sure, you can make arguments for both. Me? I have this thing about  working for idiots...taking orders from morons. I can't do it. I don't have the tolerance for it. My wife? She is great at it. I have no idea how she does it. I just embrace the whole concept that we live in the land of opportunity, and as long as you have a little motivation, and some smarts...you can create your own ways to make a living. Why do I say this?

This is just one of many reasons why  I hate corporations, and question why anyone would ever want to work for one. We have a person we know...well, my wife does. He had been a long time, solid employee at this 'place' we all  know. Great work record. Well-liked. Just a very solid employee that any business would/should want to have working for them. This guy is a recovering alcoholic...and sometimes after work, deals with it by smoking a little weed...which by the way is legal in a few states now. And frankly...do we not think it will be legal nationwide within a few years?

Anyway...this guy is getting off work one night. He is pulling out of the parking garage at his place of work...and his car is barreled into by one of the valet parkers, totally the other guys' fault. Security for the property shows up. Information is exchanged. And then...per company policy, both drivers are ordered to take a urine/drug test for human resources. Well, this guy has THC in his system. And just like that...he's fired! Guy has a wife and three kids...and was already struggling to stay ahead as it was. Now he loses his job, loses his insurance...getting a reference now will be hard. All because some over-eager valet kid was speeding in the garage. Is this the company's fault? Are they the 'bad guy?' Well, this guy's immediate supervisor, who was  summoned to the garage, stood with that look on his face, that says "Oh my god, I can't believe this is happening,  I wish I could do something to help you." I know this supervisor. He's a great guy. But not even he could do anything about it. Because it's a stupid corporate policy.  And now a family is thrown into chaos.

This is just ONE story. I've heard many. And when I had my last job ten years ago...for a big liquor distributor...I saw some of the dumbest shit, over and over. People getting suspended or fired for the most ridiculous things. And in this new PC (politically correct) world we live in now...it's even harder to tow the company line without mis-stepping. So  for those of you out there who are working for 'the man' you have my sincere sympathy. And I pray for all of you that you won't fall into one of these horrible, life-altering traps!

Well...it's Halloween...and my brother's 45th birthday. Carley is going trick-or-treating with her best friend Abbey tonight, and will be Queen Elsa from 'Frozen' along with a gazillion other kids in America tonight! Squirrel ordered it online...and Carley loves it of course. But today...she has a party at her school...and we didn't want to ruin her Elsa costume...so we bought her a 'backup' costume for school  today...and one for Squirrel and I...to wear to her party, and trick-or-treating tonight. I  shall be the Cookie Monster! And Squirrel is also a Bumble Bee! Carley loves riding the Bumble Bee ride at the fair..and when she saw the costume she went crazy. My little girl is growing up SO fast...and is getting so beautiful. I'm trying so  hard to  enjoy every second of her being a little girl...because I know I'm gonna blink and she's gonna be a teenager and I'm going to be in hell!

We discovered this neighborhood last year...wow! It's actually the  neighborhood where Abbey's grandmother lives...but it's like something you'd see in a movie. Two cop cars posted  at the entrance to the subdivision for protection. And everywhere you look...kids! People go all out to decorate their houses and yards. It's like one huge party. Lots of block parties. Well...we will be going back there again tonight! And even though Carley, as a lady bug last year was adorable...she didn't quite embrace the whole Halloween thing. Well...she sure has formed an addiction to 'shee shee' (candy) and I suspect tonight will be amazing for her!

Okay...well...there ya go! Just wanted to pop in, drop a post...and let you all know I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth!!!  Have a great weekend!