Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sometimes you have to laugh

I love to play poker. Anyone who knows me really well knows this. I am a solid, if unspectacular player and my only failing is that I really don't play enough to be really good. This past Saturday the wife and I saw an ad on the net that intimated there was a live game at a local club that skirted the gambling laws. Being the outlaw gamblers that we are we decided to give it a try. Did I mention this was a big time redneck club? They have a website... here it is.

Now for me to be in a place like that to begin with? I don't drink or smoke. I also don't like loud music as I suffer from tinitis and this exacerbates my symptoms. So stepping in the door of this place is out of character for me, but I moved my wife to this ridiculous state and sometimes you have to bite the bullet. Also, because I like to play poker I figure the night won't be a total loss.

Unfortunately it was just an ad to bring people in. After paying the cover we found that there was only one poker table and you could buy chips, but not cash them out, so you were basically renting the seat and you could play, but not for money. Playing poker for anything other than money is stupid. However, we already paid the cover and figured we would play for awhile and hang out.

After about an hour I was bored out of my skull. My ears were ringing, my eyes were burning from the smoke and the general amusement I get from people watching had worn off. My wife, who doesn't have a general aversion to these places the way I do was having a good time. She doesn't get to go out much to places like this, so I didn't say anything. I tried to enjoy myself. I did enjoy the live they had. The singer was very talented and while I don't particularly like country music I would have to classify this more as southern rock and I like rock music. Unfortunately the volume was just too high for me.

Finally as we got up to leave the highlight of the evening took place. A seat opened up next to my wife at the poker table and a very tall blonde woman sat down next to her. She leaned over and began chatting up my wife. I couldn't hear much of anything at that point so I had no idea what they were saying. Turns out she thought my wife was pretty hot and wanted to take her home. So the highlight of my evening at the most rednecky place I have ever been was that a blonde redneck lesbian tried to pick up my wife. It was almost worth the ear pain.

No 1 of Consequence

Monday, March 19, 2007

Where the heck have I been?

Good question. I have been working like a dog. I was actually in the United Kingdom for a week in the middle of my absence for work. Traveling on business has a lot of bad points and only a couple of good ones.

Bad points to business travel:

Long airline flights
Being away from the family
Not sleeping in my own bed
Working twice as many hours as normal (this is time zone related and kind of unique to European travel, because half of the US day or more remains when I get back to my hotel)

Having conversations like this over skype:

Me: Tell the baby I love him
Her, to the baby: Daddy loves you
Her, to me: He said, "Who's daddy?"
Me: Ouch

It was said in jest, but the fact remains that traveling is as hard or harder on my wife and kids than it is on me. As I said there are some good points to business travel for me and NONE for my family.

The good points to business travel:

Per Diem expense policy: If you are on a per diem expense policy and you are willing to sacrifice on accomodations or dining you can make a lot of extra cash. On my UK trip I got a hotel that was approximately 100 dcollars less than my per diem allotment and I brought enough food that I was able to eat about 75% of my meals without spending money. I profited close to $1200 on the trip and that money is basically paying for our family spring break vacation back to NJ. I also learned some valuable lessons about bringing food on trips and will be able to make even more money next time. If I had been willing to really sacrifice and stay in a youth hostel I could have made double the profit on the trip, but I am not a young man anymore and a youth hostel is not on the agenda.

The plush hotels: I have travelled twice to Europe in the last 6 months and stayed in 3 hotels. They were incredibly plush. The last one I stayed in was so sweet I felt guilty being in it alone.

Broadening my horizons: I like to experience new things and it is nice to be able to say I was here, I was there. I probably would never have travelled to the UK or Switzerland if not for my job, so that is nice too, even though there was no real time for sight seeing.


Work has gone from breakneck to dangerously close to killing me in terms of intensity. We have launched one new product in the last couple of weeks that I have a LOT of responsibility for and will be launching the biggest new undertaking since the company itself took flight back in 1999. I have major responsibility for getting it ready.


I hope to get back to a regular posting schedule. I don't like not writing and I am not going to let the blog slip away. I just have to be more disciplined and take time that I spend watching TV to decompress at night to generate content for the blog.

Keep checking back. More to come.

No 1 of Consequence