Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Wishes

Well that's the hard bit over anyway. Christmas came and went with only one family incident, when I nearly smacked my Father in law over the rules of shoot pontoon and the fact that whilst taking my money he was making up new rules when he felt like it. For the sake of the other people in the room and the fact that I'm not usually violent I resisted the temptation to flip the living room table over and walk out.

In a gambling sense I'm making a small profit at live Backgammon at lunch times, and I haven't played any poker for over a while. It looks as if I'll be down at poker in 2009 but not by much. I've decided to play more live poker, so it looks like it's The Empire, The Vic and dare I say it The Loose Cannon for me. I really hope Roy and the others get back into regular poker at the Cannon, as it really is a fantastic venue. I was glad to read Jimbo finished the year in profit, I've made a mental note to be very wary of playing the Dungbeetle in cash games due to some of the crazy hands I've read about.

It looks like we're giving Vegas a break from us in 2010. Needless to say if I go somewhere where there's no poker and I spend the same amount of money I will not be a happy bunny.

My New Year's resolutions are ;
1. Run most of the Marathon and don't cheat.
2. Don't booze for the first 3 weeks
3. Play lots of live poker
4. Finish the ensuite bathroom
5. Lose some weight.

Happy New Year all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poker Wilderness

I haven't been playing much poker recently. This is mainly due to work, Xmas, doing the ensuite shower room and losing online. I've even stalled on ordering my new PC as I'm just too busy to play at present. I still love the game and will get back on it in the New Year.
I'm off out for a beer and a curry tonight with my bro, and have a big night out in Covent Garden Thursday. For those of you who are religious then Merry Christmas, for those of you who are like me, enjoy any free days off you get.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Argos and Wetherspoons Rant of the Day

Argos Stores
Now, don't get me totally wrong. I'm not against the retailer per se. If you want something cheap, cheerful and functional it's a great place to shop. Stuff for kid's bedrooms that you know they'll junk eventually. Items they don't supply at work but you need and object to spending a fortune on (my desk lamp for instance). If you do the internet thing you avoid the main problem I take issue with but you're then at the mercy of the delivery company. So, if you're a "need it now" type then it's off to the nearest branch, and that's where the problems begin.
It's the customers.
From the moment you pull open the door you know you've probably just arrived at Chav Central Station. Ordinary folk do the sensible thing. Tap a number into the touch-screen, select the item, pay using your PIN card and take your ticket to the counter.
Not so your track-suited genetic misfit who's arrived with three kids and zero ideas on how to control the little bastards. No amount of yelling "Chelsea. Get 'ere nah!" is going to have the desired effect as the grubby, snotty little beasts tear around the shop floor as if they've just mainlined the e-numbers from Iceland food straight into their arteries.
Because Mrs. Throwback has to queue to pay cash at the desk she's trapped in the place for much longer than you think is safe. So you try to ignore the chaos, all the time begging every god you ever worshipped that the three brats will rush to the same spot, at the same time, collide with a satisfying wallop and knock themselves unconscious.
Then there's the dim-witted knuckle dragger at the Returns Desk who can't seem to grasp a very simple notion. If you bought your ghastly daughter an i-pod six months ago and she's;
a) lost it for a week,
b) found it in the front garden,
c) been sick on it after too much White Lightning, and
d) dropped it down the cludgee, twice, while pissed,
chances are the assistant manager isn't going to consider a refund on a small electrical apparatus that looks like it's been to Afghanistan and back, strapped to the outside of a tank.
Shouting very loudly that you know your consumer rights, in the hope that causing a fuss is going to embarrass the chap into giving you your money back just to get rid of you, isn't going to wash in here, matey. They've seen it all and you're just making yourself look an even bigger cock than you already are.
So, having failed to bully the staff into surrendering to your foul-mouthed tirade it's time to stomp off to the subject of my next rant.

Ye, gods. If this is the shape of things to come for British pubs no wonder the licensing trade's diving head-first down the pan. Now, I've spoken to people in the business and Wetherspoon's have a cleverly cynical marketing strategy. They buy vast quantities of stuff that's getting near the end of it's cellar life then push it out to their branches where it's going to sell best. It's offered at cut prices, was at the cheaper end of the market to start with and sold in a former shop that's been converted into what's supposed to be a boozer but looks more like an amusement arcade......run by the witless........for the benefit of.....yep, here he comes.
It's yer man from Argos.
With a face like thunder and a temper to match.
In here he can drink himself into a stupor on bargain basement Stella Artois and shout into his mobile to his bawling daughter that she'll have to wait for his next benefit cheque to come through before she can have a new music player. That or steal one from a sleeping drunk on a late-night train.
But I digress. Back to the Bar For The Brain-dead.
Sat around tables dotted about a carpet that looks like it's been dragged along the riverbank at low tide are the early crowd. Usually red-nosed male pensioners who've come to take advantage of Worthington's Best Bitter at £1.50 a pint. Served from 9.00am until closing time, 3.00am the next morning. Not that the early set will make it that far. By midday they've put the world to rights in conversations with their equally geriatric mates and been to the pisser eight times to empty the bag. One favoured topic of conversation will be the bloody awful surroundings they're forced to drink in but they'll be back at 9.00 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Almost knocking the door down as it's sleepily opened by the college failure who's supposed to have been trained to a high degree in the licensing business at Wetherspoon's very own in-house Academy for the Terminally Stupid.
He's highly skilled at draining every last drop of rancid ale from a stainless steel keg but wouldn't know how to keep a real ale in a wooden barrel if you tried to teach him at gunpoint.
He can fix a new optic of 'two for one' pathetic vodka to the rack blindfolded but ask him for a straight malt whisky and he'll blurt back "How much lemonade would you like with that?"
Meanwhile the early set mutter away as the glassy-eyed benefit scrounger makes the fruit machine beep, whizz and pop as he slavishly feeds the very machine that will be the ruin of him. He'll slaver like one of Pavlov's dogs and get a semi-stiffy every time the device gives him a 'double nudge', all the time sipping Foster's, struggling to drink, think and stand upright all at the same time.
Bang on 12.30 the old codgers will have stumbled to the bus stop and been replaced by the Office Crowd. They know the place is a bloody cess-pit but it's close to the workplace to cut down on travelling time. So they can have an extra pint as they bemoan to their colleagues about how the manager is a cut-throat bastard and Sandra from Human Resources would 'get it' if she wasn't engaged to him.
Their circulatory system isn't hardened enough from stress quite yet so it's time to shovel down an All Day Breakfast that looks like it's really has been sat on a greasy hot-plate all day. Then back to the office for another three hours of shopping and porn on the firm's computers.
Eventually the evening crowd will fill the place to quaff alco-pops, JD and cokes and pints of Stella until the tilt mechanism flicks in one of them and they start a fight that makes the War in Iraq look like a dispute over a parking ticket.
Blood, snot and gore running down the steps of the pub as the crazed pillock rips off his T shirt and yells "Come on, then you carrrnts. Let's 'ave it!' before another lout cracks him over the swede with a Budweiser bottle and the constabulary arrive to find utter bedlam and several dozen potential witness who were all in the kharzi at the critical moment.

That's enough ranting for one morning. I'm off to a real inn for decent pint.