After being knocked down by the flu/cold for three days, the rest of the weekend gave a little sunshine to these parts that have already been kissed with frost for two weeks.
Saturday morning waking up without feeling the chills while snacking on a Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich was a big improvement over spending the better part of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday under covers with watching Sportscenter re-runs for the better part of the day. Being naturally cold-blooded, a "normal" temperature throws my body out-of-whack and into a pool of suck. After not being sick for a few years, and strangely coming right after I got the flu shot for the first time... online poker was my friend (and foe) while guzzling Vitamin C to get better by the weekend.
After Wyatt's soccer game (and victory over the previously undefeated North Side 00's who's kids decided to voice their displeasure of defeat by throwing their after game juice boxes at the coach) it was time to see a friend who was in the area for some live poker. The drive from Maple Grove to Columbus takes all of 30 minutes and the fall colors in full red/yellow/purple on the side roads before hitting Interstate 35W made the commute a framed view of this beautiful state one more time before the plow attached salt trucks clear the road before two feet of snow causes another delay. Hot chocolate to clear the senses was acquired at Caribou Coffee (not Starbucks, and should you ever visit this state, go there instead and thank yourself for doing so) in Lino Lakes before meeting up with Oh Captain at Running Aces Card Club.
He was there for the Desert Heat playoffs of the Minnesota Poker League for a shot at nine different $2K seats at a tourney in Vegas (Red Rock Casino). Since I was going to rail him for a bit and still needed to get home for my annual Oktoberfest party there was time to play a little $4/$8 with half kill Omaha 8 or better. After chatting it up inside the card club's adjacent conference room that had 15-20 tables of hardened amateurs players from all over the state, I was just about to excuse myself to chase some wheel draws with the AARP crowd (but more likely being drawn to the no commission/no ante Pai Gow table) when a skinny dude with official looking polo shirt walked up and asked if I was playing.
"No, I'm here for my friend" as I was wearing my Binion's Poker Classic shirt.
"How would you like to deal? You get free sodas!".
Oh Captain enjoyed a slight snicker as I went to receive instructions on how to deal (no bridging cards, kicking someone under the table when its their turn to bet is bad etiquette, mumbling something about stealing the blinds of the rock in the seven seat also is in poor taste, etc. etc.). Of course being an ass, I calmly asked what game they would be playing. The instructor trying to be an ass answered "Omaha 8 or Better". I informed him I'd much rather deal that then that stupid two card game but it fell on deaf ears as my table also expressed no desire to play four card bingo.
My newly acquired 100s would have to sit in my money clip at Table 10 for the next three hours as I took great pleasure showing off my non-existant dealing skills (and found out its a little tougher than I thought) to Oh Captian and the nine-handed table. There would be only one bust-out at my table (KK vs. AA) as players started with a friendly 100 big blinds and 25 minute fairly slow rising levels. Oh Captain couldn't get much steam going and busted out shortly after I had returned home to set the brats into the slow cooked sauerkraut, but of course he managed to snap a picture of me before I took off without laying one bet on the tables.
Party interlude. It was fun, crowded, fun, and there was food. Maybe beer and food. Lots of food and beer with more food. Sehr gut ya!
Best. Party. Recap. Ever.
After my wife refused to acknowledge our trashed home, I set out for the first two hours of Sunday morning cleaning up the residue of last night's bonfire and booze with two less chairs that broke and became firewood and one less spouse that cursed every ray of sunshine coming thru our treatment-less new energy efficient windows. Luckily for her my daughter found a three hour long Strawberry Shortcake DVD to play at sizable volumes in the bedroom to help her break into this BERRY-GOOD DAY!
Any NFL Sunday is a good day, even the bye week because there is football viewing and beer. Well, except I had no desire to even look at the tasty leftover hop-fest in my fridge but at least the football was pleasing despite the outcome. The Vikes played like Super Bowl favorites for exactly one quarter, dominating the Ravens on both sides of the ball and slicing thru Ray Ray and company in the starting quarter as if they were the Lions/Rams/Tampa Breeze. But in a huge twist to the first five games they got horribly out played in the second half as the Vikes defense went to prevent mode with star CB Winfield out with a foot injury and prevented exactly nothing while giving up 21 points, most from by an unstoppable Ray Rice who notched together a whopping seven yards in the first half.
Down 31-30 Favre hit Sidney Rice on a deep slant pattern and Chilly ran the ball into the ground for three downs instead of trying to punch it in from the 20 (bad bad bad), Longwell nailed the kick to go up 33-31. If you watched Sportscenter, Sunday Night Football, etc. etc. you probably saw Flacco rally the Ravens down the field with two minutes left leaving a 44 yard kick for the win and a glum Favre on the sidelines who had to have T-Jack explain to him that the oblong pigskin kicked by Hauschka did not split the uprights as the endzone crowd on the left knew it missed right away but the crowd on the right looked like it was ready to throw their $8 flat beers in disgust of a wasted victory.
A good win? Perhaps for three quarters but the glaring absence of Winfield in the defensive backfield exposed a young CB crew and how important he is to plugging holes for the usually shut-down run D. Hats off to Flacco for taking full advantage of the worn out defense. A big boo to the CBS crew for missing the homecoming story of Matt Birk, didn't hear one peep of our former stalwart at Center returning to the Metrodome as per the usual they were too busy coming up with Favre quotes to blend in the real stories of the game. Trust me, I'm loving that he's here as having a competent quarterback has changed the outlook of the season ten-fold but STOP SUCKING HIS DICK THROUGH THE WHOLE TELECAST!
Now if you'll excuse me I'll be needing to stock up on Purple paper bags for the next two weeks with Mean Gene's Steelers and another epic meeting with those lowly Packers at Lambeau. If they split these games the Vikes are for real, stamp them as NFC front-runners with the Giants and godly offense of the Saints. SKOL!!!!