Thursday, May 30, 2013

Moving On to the Next Round

Scary, but the ending was the most important part of the day on Wednesday. Bring on the Kings!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

I always like to post a picture of my Dad (on the left) on Memorial Day. He would have liked this. He was a proud WWII veteran. Unfortunately, he passed away almost nine years ago.

Last night I watched the 1949 movie Battleground. It is a fascinating movie about WWII soldiers in the city of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. That generation of Americans was truly The Greatest Generation.

To all those who have served my country in the military -- thank you.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Lightning Strikes reached 100,000 page views today. In my mind it is kind of amazing that I started this blog in the first place and that it has continued on through thick and thin.

Back when online poker was in its heyday, I posted mostly poker content, including some hand analyses. I sometimes wrote posts that had nothing to do with poker. Over the years, and especially since Black Friday, the blog has focused on many disparate topics. I have posted less frequently -- usually due to my busy life. A challenging job and  three kids will do that to you.

Thanks for looking. The next 100,000 views have begun!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

First MLB Game of the Season For Me Monday Night

I will be leaving work  a little early Monday afternoon to head to Chicago with a co-worker to catch game one of the White Sox - Red Sox series at U.S. Cellular Field. It certainly looks like a mismatch on paper: Boston 27-17 vs. Chicago 19-23. It gets worse when you look at the pitching match-up: Jon Lester: 6-0, 2.72 ERA vs Dylan Axelrod: 1-3, 4.27 ERA.

Scattered thunderstorms are predicted for the Chicago area. At least the seats were cheap.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

It's Prom Night

My youngest daughter, who is 16, will be going to her first prom tonight. Based on a number of factors, I am guessing that tonight will turn out to be less than a stellar evening. However, we hope for the best. Here is a cute picture taken in my front yard.

Update: My daughter came home and reported that she had a great time. I was also happy to hear that her date, Theo -- a good friend -- also had a great evening. Sometimes things just work out for the best!

I did not attend my first prom until I was ... 34 years old! My date was my wife, a teacher at the high school sponsoring the prom. She was almost nine months pregnant at the time. Needless to say, wild dancing was at a minimum.

When I was a junior in high school none of my "backwards" friends were prom material. Not many junior guys went to prom anyway unless forced by their girlfriends. My friends and I spent the evening on the roof of my garage, throwing a basketball through the hoop attached to the garage. Frankly, it was an excellent time.

My plan for senior year was to ask the girl of my dreams to prom. She was my first "real" date after I turned 16 and could drive. Unfortunately, four months before prom she started her year as a foreign exchange student in New Zealand. I was crushed. I had little desire to go to prom. I was asked by a girl at my school but declined. I considered asking a few more but decided not to. I was also asked to prom by a girl who lived about 250 miles away. Nah -- just not worth it.

Two of my friends went while I spied all the goings on with a another friend. We ended up having the better time. The two guys who went got blown off by their dates the next day. The term "used" comes to mind.

I was asked one final time -- when I was a 22 year-old college senior. It's a long complicated story, but I was dating a senior at that time ... a high school senior. I asked her what we would do after the prom. She said "Everybody will be going down to the Mississippi River and drinking." Right -- just 22 year-old me and a bunch of underage kids drinking together. Why didn't I just slap the handcuffs on myself? I declined.

Tomorrow the same daughter and I will be going to Anime Central just outside Chicago. I know that she will be have a great time there. Me -- I hope to sneak out to a local casino ...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Thinking Back To My High School Days

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers Day!

I consider myself fortunate to still have my Mom around. Although her health situations can sometimes be tricky, she is still alive and ticking and will turn 88 this fall.

Being the thoughtful planner I have always been, part of my criteria in looking for a wife was that the woman also needed to be a great mother. I certainly hit 100% on that account as my wife is a fantastic, loving mother to three kids. Today will be a lazy day for her, which is in contrast to her regular schedule of being busy, busy, busy-- even though I sometimes chide her that her busyness oftentimes includes watching television, posting on Facebook, or playing games like Candy Crush Saga!

If you haven't done so already, do something special for any mothers who have a special place in your life, be it even something as simple as making a telephone call.

The sun is shining and summer is almost upon us. Have a great day!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Misc Poker Musings

Ultimate Poker
The first week of unquestioned legal online poker (Ultimate Poker) in Nevada seems to have brought to light many problems and issues. People using Verizon are not able to access the online system. People close to the Nevada border seem to also be having issues. Although a sweet in-person deposit and cash out system has been set up in the Las Vegas Station Casinos, it just seems like this first effort is sort of like baby steps. Things will obviously get better. This is just the start.

Online Poker in Illinois
My home state, Illinois, recently proposed some online poker legislation that would help to right our failing state employee pension system. Unfortunately, in the Land of Lincoln -- backwards and politically corrupt -- gambling laws have traditionally been put aside as the pols fight over the rights to gambling in Chicago. Instead of having a top rate poker room in Chicago, Illinois residents are forced to go to Hammond, Indiana.

Although online poker was part on one of the latest bills being proposed, it was axed for fear that it would make almost any progress negligible. But ... at least this was a step in the right direction.

My Home Game
Although I had thoughts of making a road trip and playing some poker in Peoria, Joliet, or Hammond the past few weeks, it was just so much easier to slide back into my home game for a time. As I noted in a previous pot, the blinds have been increased and the aggression has been ramped up. Sometimes the hands resemble bingo more than poker.

I have notched profits the past three weeks despite a run of terrible cards for 2 1/2 of the three sessions. Because of the low number of hands I played (certainly compared to some of the aggro guys), I have gained a reputation as Senior Rock. I have used that rep to my advantage, however, and now have some of the players not being able to figure out when I have the goods and when I don't. This is exactly the sweet spot I like to hit.

First Time for Staking
I have always avoided staking other players, preferring to just use my poker money for myself. However, I dipped my toes in the water on a deal I could not pass up. I made some money with blog advertising and then used the money to stake one of the people who brought some advertising to my blog, thus I am freerolling in my mind. The player has a good track record of cashing in Las Vegas tournaments and will be playing in a number of tournaments this summer. I could make a respectable profit for a small investment, or at worst just lose money I got from advertising. In either case, it will make for some fun weeks as I follow the progress of my horse.

Have a great week!