Archive for ◊ November, 2017 ◊

30 Nov 2017 Goodbye November……………
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Wow. There goes another month. It hardly seems possible that we have been out of Canada for forty five days.

I started my day a few minutes after six. I turned on the news and put on the coffee. The sexual harassment stories keep popping up and I don’t see that stopping any time soon. Emptying the swamp is a far bigger, not to mention more disgusting, job than I imagined. It is never easy……

After checking e-mails and doing a to do list I got down to the morning’s mental exercises and finished two Sudoku puzzles and the daily USAToday crossword. I spent the next hour doing exercises giving these old muscles a good work out.

Judith greeted the day just as I was finishing. We discussed the day before I left for the morning Hold’em tournament at the Central Coast Casino. Three tables were full when the cards wet into the air. Good cards were hard to come by today. I’m playing well and pulled off several bluffs to keep a few chips in front of me. I made it half way through the field and finished without getting in the money. Poker.

On the way home an old friend called. I can make and accept calls through the Chevy’s GPS display. I sure like that feature. Riley is seventy five and I’ve known him for the last thirty some years. He called to say hello and let me know an old pool buddy, Hal Barber, passed away. He was in his early seventies. Smell the roses.

Judith left the park to run errands and I worked on reattaching a panel that covers our fuse box. An hour of my time using duct tape and Velcro fasteners got the job done.

San Luis Obispo has a wonderful Farmer’s Market that runs every Thursday evening. They close down one of the main streets in the downtown area and well over fifty vendors display and sell their goods. Musicians preform on the street corners and the event is very well attained. We bought a few items and brought Korean BBQ for dinner.

With no dishes to do we played our Gin game which went down to the last card. I squeaked out a win.

John text me the closing Capture numbers; another good month in the books. We have little planned for tomorrow.

29 Nov 2017 They Are Dropping Like Flies………..
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My day stated before six. I turned on the TV and got the coffee going. The news was all about the firing of the highest paid news anchor on NBC. Another story enlightened us to the fact the 243 members of Congress have paid hush money to victims of sexual harassment. The payouts exceed seventeen MILLION and they used tax payer money. Isn’t that special?

I did my puzzles and today’s to do list. While returning to River House is still four and a half months off I can’t help thinking about things I need to finish and start sourcing things I’ll need to take back to the Great White North.

I attempted to long on to the heat monitoring system and couldn’t. The geothermal system is humming right along but computer problems continue.

The sun came over the eastern hills promising another beautiful day here in Pismo Beach. I checked the forecast and daytime temperatures will be in the mid-sixties for the next ten days. I also checked the weather in Walla Walla; chilly with day time temperatures in the mid-forties.

Judith was up at eight thirty. We discussed the day before I was off to the Central Coast Casino. Only twenty players showed up for the ten o’clock twenty dollar Hold’em tournament. The card Gods didn’t smile and I was out before the final table.

I spent the rest of the morning on the phone dealing with Fred Tabert who is handling the rebuilding of the River House decks. His number one pick for a contractor is booked for a year, however, can fit it in IF the weather corporates and he can start the job in mid-February. That would still leave the paving stone work to be done as soon as the frost is out of the ground in early May. The plan is to modify the plans and have pricing by the end of December.

Judith left after lunch to do grocery shopping while I installed a new carbon monoxide detector, read Razor Girl, and took a nice nap.

Judith was home at four and we were out the door a few minutes later for our daily walk. We decided to make a lap around the RV Park which is a little over a mile.

Judith won the evening Gin game before taking on the cooking duties. I did the dishes a super easy task in RV Land.

Tomorrow will be more of the same: poker, reading and working on a few small projects.

28 Nov 2017 Two Minutes From the Ocean……
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Whoops…while trying to delete old posts these old fingers got on the wrong keys and I “lost” post from Nov 18-Nov 27.

My day started a few minutes before six. Our space at the new RV Park, while close to Hwy 1, is quite and gives us a nice view of the rolling hills of Pismo Beach. It is also a two or three minute walk to the ocean and just a five minute walk to the center of Pismo Beach.

Over coffee I did my to do list and managed to write down a dozen things that need attention. I checked the exchange rate and got a check off to our Canadian account. The exchange rate is a very decent 1.28. Several weeks ago it started to dip but bounced back and even gained a few more points.

I checked in on River House. There is about eighteen inches of snow on the ground. There is more in the forecast and it looks as if the monthly snowfall will equal or exceed the historical average. The Smithers area has already gotten more snow this year than they received all last winter. Eight inches is the yearly normal.

The heating monitoring system still has a problem but I know Darrell with Ed Weston’s on site help will get that worked out.

I checked the news then settled down and completed the puzzle portion of my day. Judith was up at eight thirty and we discussed the day. She had laundry to do and after poker I planned to get propane and a few items for the rig.

Twenty people played in today’s twenty dollar ten o’clock tournament. It is a re-entry tournament and boy do some people get carried away buying back in up to three and four times. That is good for the prize fund but is pretty poor bank roll management which is one of the most important things in poker. I never rebought and played well making the final table with a decent stack. Two players had most of the chips and refused to chop all the way down to four players. Three places were paid and I, unfortunately went out on the bubble and didn’t cash. Poker. I played well and that is what poker is all about. Over the long run that solid play will end up increasing my bankroll.

I stopped at the RV Store and picked up propane and a carbon monoxide alarm and two little goodies that plug the fresh water inputs when not connected to a hose.

After a quick lunch Judith and I went for a walk and checked out the butterfly wintering area just a short walk from the RV Park. The monarchs are already here in decent numbers but their numbers are greatly diminished from the 1990’s. Next we checked out the ocean and discovered the old path to and from our RV Park has been washed out resulting in our walking to the down town area and then back to the park. We logged over two miles; a good thing. Before dinner Judith won the evening Gin game putting a big smile on her face.

Judith and I shared the cooking duties. I fired up the Tool Box Grill, with my organic coals, and cooked four lamb chops. Judith made a nice rice dish and a very interesting veggie dish. She cut butternut squash into half inch squares then sautéed them with peppers, onions and peas. Excellent.

Tomorrow I’ll be back on the green felt at ten. Judith is pouring over all the tourist info and I know she’ll be dragging me off to see the sights soon. We are also going to check out condo pricing as are RVing days are winding down and we both like this area. I still can’t copy and post pictures. No easy, Papa…..

13 Nov 2017 Rainy Road Trip…………….
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David's new RV lifestyle with new roommate

David's new RV lifestyle with new roommate

I checked the forecast before going to bed and was pretty sure there would be overcast skies and little rain in the morning. Wrong. I woke up at two to the sound of rain pounding on the roof. I assumed it was just a shower. Wrong again. It poured until four.

I started my day at six, about the time it started to rain again. I checked in with Mapquest and estimated if we left at nine thirty we should easily make Ukiah for our one o’clock lunch date with Harley and Diane. Judith was up at eight thirty and we were at the pumps getting diesel at nine fifteen. Diesel is sixty cents more a gallon than in Oregon. I asked a guy getting gas what was going on with California’s gas prices. He quickly replied “moonbeam”! Whatever that means?

We were on Int 101 heading south at nine thirty. Before we could get up to speed it started raining and rained hard all the way to Ukiah. It is never easy.

Harley was sitting at a window table at Applebee’s when we arrived just five minutes late. We met Harley and Diane way back when the crust of the earth was cooling and we entered into the Firewood business. The firewood business, Wood-Ja-Ma-Call-it, was a disaster and the only good thing that came out of it was our forty year friendship. We talked nonstop for an hour until Diane arrived then talked another hour getting caught up.

We were back on the road at three and yes it was still raining. In fact in rained all the way to Petaluma. We were shocked as we drove through Santa Rosa. Houses and businesses that were destroyed by the fires still remain untouched; just piles of rubble.

We pulled in the Petaluma KOA, at four thirty, where we will spend the next five days. Judith checked in while I checked e-mails. RVing isn’t cheap; sixty two bucks a night to park our rig. Our son David, has recently gone through a divorce, is staying here in his new toy hauler. As Judith was checking in David came driving by on his way out to buy burritos for tonight’s dinner.

Just about the time we got the rig set up David and granddaughter, Sydney, knocked on the door. We talked, ate dinner then walked over to check out David’s new rig. We met Kitten David’s new bundle of long hair and mischief.

Tomorrow I’ll play in the ten o’clock Hold’em tournament at the Graton. It is the only day I’ll be able to play as we are up to our eyeballs seeing friends, family, visiting Capture and seeing several doctors.

12 Nov 2017 Beautiful Trip Down The Coast……………
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The plan for the day was to leave for points south at nine. Steve and I agreed to go to Starbucks for coffee at seven thirty. Steve pulled up at exactly seven thirty. We drove into Newport to a Starbucks that was pretty full. We sat at the counter until a table opened up near the windows.

Many moons ago Steve worked with us at US Audio before the name change to Capture. Fifteen years or so ago he and Susan bought an insurance business in Newport and have done a very nice job growing the business. Steve understands insurance and has helped both Capture and myself out with challenging insurance issues. Over coffee I told him of (IMO) Minnesota Life taking advantage of this senior citizen and probably many, many more. Steve calls getting insurance companies to cough up money his “hobby”. Go Steve……..

Judith and I headed south at nine following the day’s game plan. We’ve traveled this coastal road many times. It is beautiful and as crooked as a snake. Averaging forty miles an hour is a challenge. Our goal was to make Klamath. It was only two when we got to Klamath and decided to keep trucking with the idea of making Arcadia. Next thing we knew we missed the Arcadia exit and trucked on to Eureka where we called it a day.

Judith did the cooking and dishes as I get a break on travel days. I won the evening gin game.

Tomorrow we’ll leave here at nine thirty and stop in Ukiah to have lunch with old friends the Fosters. We met Harley and Diane way back in the firewood business days thirty five years ago. We haven’t seen them in four or five years and look forward to catching up.

12 Nov 2017 Whoops…….In Newport
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Veteran’s day. Thanks to all that served and are serving this great country. Veterans have and will continue to a keep giving there all to keep this country great.

I woke up at seven to start a long travel day. I put on the coffee and checked the weather In Pendleton and points along our route to Newport. The temperature in Pendleton was forty with just a smidgen of fog hanging in the air. Next I checked Hood River. My main concern was wind and I was very pleased to see the forecast was for only winds of 3 MPH. When I checked Portland there was rain in the forecast which I expected. At our destination, Newport, the forecast was for light rain with overcast skies.

Our plan was to leave at nine and we hit that goal on the dot. There was light fog as we left the RV Park but that cleared before we got to Pendleton just five miles to the west. The traffic moved at the speed limit all the way down the gorge. We kept an eye out for big horn sheep and were rewarded by seeing several alongside the roadside. Magic.

Fifteen miles south of Portland we pulled into a rest area and had a quick lunch. In days past we’d find a little restaurant, in a little town, and have either a late breakfast or early lunch. In the last five years we’ve opted for pulling into a rest area or nice safe pullout and have cheese and crackers; good for the waist and better for the pocket book……….

We pulled into the Port of Newport’s RV Park a little before four. We quickly set up and called Steve. He graciously agreed to pick us up which allowed us to leave the truck hooked up in one of the many spacious pull through spots. We had dinner reservations for seven. Steve picked us up at five and we went to their beautiful home for drinks and to catch up on things beforehand. Steve collects art and has a knack for finding art jewels that others seem to overlook. He explained his latest score and walked us around showing many of that one hundred and twenty nine piece collection. Amazing.

We walked into the Clearwater, a relatively new Newport restaurant, at seven on the dot. While the waiting area was empty the restaurant was almost full; a good thing. We ordered drinks and calamari which was about as good as it gets. I opted for steamed clams and the halibut fish and chips. Steve went the seafood route and both Judith and Susan ordered filet mignon. We really enjoyed the meal and conversation and finished the meal by sharing a couple of their wonderful desserts. Great choice.

We were home at nine and after a long drive, a big meal and lots to drink I forgot all about writing and posting my blog.

The plan for Sunday morning was to have coffee with Steve before heading down the Oregon/California Coast.

11 Nov 2017 Goodbye Pendleton…….
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The rain started hitting the roof around four and woke me up. I tried to get back to sleep but gave up the ghost and started my day at five. The temperature, here in Pendleton, was thirty six and exactly thirty degrees colder than that at River House. Yes, it gets cold. It is The Great White North…….

I had more than enough time to do all my puzzles and things to do list before going to the poker room a few minutes before seven thirty. I thought sure I’d get in the first Sit-n-go. Nada. The first was already started and they were taking signups for number two. They put my name on the signup sheet and the cards were in the air minutes later. I play two $63 Sit-N-Gos and both were bordering on bazar. On the first hand of the first game I knocked one of the best “young guns”. I looked down at a pair of tens and was first to bet. He called everyone else folded. The flop came with two queens and I put in a continuation bet. He called. The river came with an ace. I decided to check and he instantly shoved the rest of his stack representing aces. I knew this guy was aggressive and I also felt he was bluffing all the way. He was shocked I call. I doubled up and was off to a good start. One away from the money I suffered two back to back bad beats knocking me out of the money. The next game started out horribly and I was down to just six chips with seven players left. I was last two act with three people already in the pot when I looked down at 5-6 suited. I pushed them in and five cards later I had a straight and quadrupled my chip stack. From there I played well with better than decent cards and took home $200.

Judith was getting ready to do laundry when I returned to the RV at eleven. I had a quick lunch and paid some bills. We now have five electric meters on the River House property, soon to be six. Getting the electrical service hooked up at the entry gate has taken longer than my first marriage. BC Hydro is the only game in town. It is never easy….

I went back to the poker room at two to play in a 1-3 cash game. There was a seat open so I didn’t wait. I played for just two hours in a very unexciting game. While I’m doing really well in satellites my cash name needs work and practice. AND with the exception of a few large tournaments my days are over trying to grind out back to back to back days of tournaments that have the potential to run fourteen to sixteen hours.

I was back at the RV at four. Judith immediately beat me in gin before I took a good long nap.

Judith heated up leftovers and we had a quick dinner before I went back to the poker room for the last satellite of this trip. One hundred and six players plunked down their $125 for a shot at 31 five hundred dollar entry tickets. I had decent cards, played very well and had a plan. That plan fell apart when I had plenty of chips with only thirty four players left. I looked down at KK with only one player left who had a large stack. In a very stupid move I pushed all in. He instantly called and flipped over AA. The cost me five hundred big ones and I have no one to blame but myself. Ready, fire, aim…………

That’s the end of the Fall Poker Classic for me. We’ll leave here at nine in the morning and make a six or seven hour drive to Newport, OR to have Dinner with the Becks.

09 Nov 2017 Poker, Poker, Poker
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It has been unseasonably cold here in Pendleton. In fact we have gone through a seven gallon bottle of propane in just four days. Our furnace makes a funny metallic clicking sound when it starts to run low on propane. I woke to that sound around four and knew that the furnace wouldn’t run much longer. The next thing I knew it was six and only sixty four degrees inside our travel trailer. I immediately threw on some sweats and changed the tank. Within minutes hot air started coming out of the vents.

I made a two cup pot of coffee and checked the weather for here and River House. It looks as if we have a good weather window for our trip to and down the coast Hiway to Petaluma. Meanwhile it is getting colder by the day in the Great White North. Snow is in the forecast which turns the landscape into a magnificently beautiful winter wonderland.

I was off to the poker room at eight and immediately got into a $43 sit n go. For the first time ever I agreed to a four way chop giving us each a hundred bucks…… As I was leaving the room I said hi to a player name Art and asked him if he was going to play in the main event and did he have a ticket. He replied yes he was and no he hadn’t bought or won an entry. I said I had one for sale and he quickly bought it at its $500 face value. Poker players do that knowing that tomorrow, next month or next year I could buy one from them.

Judith was up when I got back to the RV and getting ready to drive to Walla Walla. She convinced me to walk the loop logging a little over a mile. I thought about joining her an drive to Walla Walla then opted to stay to catch up on a few things and play in an afternoon cash game.

I made reservations in Newport, Oregon where will we spend Saturday night then walked over to the poker room. The 1-3 no limit game that I joined yesterday was a wild event with all ins happening almost every hand. Today’s game was completely the opposite. Limping was the norm with very little betting or raises. I was getting decent hands but no real action and after two hours booked a $105 dollar win and called it a day.

I was back at the RV at four thirty and Judith arrived home twenty minutes later. She had stopped and gotten diesel and propane. I hooked up the propane and brought in the groceries. I won the evening gin game. Judith took on the cooking duties.

Tomorrow will be our last day in Pendleton. I plan to take advantage of my last day at the tournament and play satellites in the morning, a cash game in the afternoon and see if I can win another ticket into the main event even though I have no intention of playing in that event. Today proved they are easy to sell for face value.

09 Nov 2017 Stickin To My Guns…………
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It was a very cool night in the Whitehorse Casino RV Park. I has been cold and rainy. The good news is the wind isn’t blowing. In years past we’ve been blown almost out of the park. One night, a couple years ago, the wind blew so hard I actually believed our trailer was going to be blown over on its side.

I was up and off to the poker room at seven thirty. The same old crowd was already playing in the first satellite reminding me a lot of Groundhog Day. I fired two barrels and came up dry; no cashes. I got in the story telling mode. Will I ever learn?

I checked in with Judith who was getting ready to go to Kennewick and Pasco to visit with brother Bob and go to lunch with high school friend, Patsy.

I had lunch and then I replaced the switch on the trailer jack which gave up the ghost the first couple days of this trip. The cost of ownership strikes again.

I was back at the poker room at noon for the senior’s event which I’ve done very well. I have two final table hats and one bracelet for winning the event. That was “yesterday”. To go deep in a tournament with over a couple hundred players you need at least these four things: Good cards, ever increasing chips, patience and a good attitude. Beyond that luck helps. Today, I had none of the above. I barely made it through the fifth level. A few minutes later, Perry, without question one of the strongest players in this area, busted out. He saw me sitting in the cash game area and came over to say hello. He opened with “it happens” and pulled up a chair. We talked for five minutes about poker and life. The world is unfurling as it should.

I made a promise to myself at the beginning of this tournament if I didn’t cash in one of the daily tournaments I wouldn’t play in the main event even though I won an entry in the first super satellite. I’m sticking to my guns on that one. I’ll play in today’s and tomorrow’s morning satellites, cash games both afternoons and the Friday night supper satellite. Any tickets won I’ll sell along with the $500 entry coupon I won last Thursday night. By doing so we’ll be able to head south Saturday morning.

07 Nov 2017 Senior’s Tournament Tomorrow………..
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Preparing for the Senior Tournament

Preparing for the Senior Tournament

The furnace ran most of the night. I woke up at six and discovered why. The water was frozen solid in the hose leading to our trailer. I turned on the pump to the storage tank avoiding a waterless morning. I checked the temperature; twenty three degrees. I checked in on River House. The temperature wasn’t much lower. We did get another two inches of snow overnight making the total for the year just four. That is, once again, a below normal start to our annual snowfall of eighty inches.

Part of my morning ritual is hoping on the scale and I wasn’t pleased to see I’ve gained five pounds since I left River House. In years past I’ve gained about ten while on the road, however, five pounds the first three weeks is a bit much.

The remote start came in handy warming up the truck for my early morning trip to the casino. The parking lot was half full of cars completely covered with frost. I can’t remember the last time I played a slot machine but it has to be at least five years and then I only blew twenty bucks. Gambling can be addictive and by the looks of the Wildhorse parking lot and players looking blankly at the slot machines the Pendleton area has more than its share of addicts.

I plunked down my forty three bucks and came back from just three chips and won two $100 entries. I wasn’t going to play a second one, however, they were one player short on the last satellite of the morning and I plunked down another forty three bucks. That turned out to me a mistake. It is never easy….

Judith and I decided to go out to the Pendleton Airport for lunch at Elvis’s. We ate their last year and it was excellent. This year – not so much.

Judith took on the cooking duties and fixed deer bratwurst given to us by friends in Smithers. They were surprisingly good and went perfectly with Bush’s beans, spinach and Mac and cheese. I stuck Judith with the dishes and headed for the 7 PM tournament. I should have stayed home. It was a turbo with only five thousand chips. I was assigned table 59, seat two. Between still being card dead, in bigger tournaments, and having three or four maniacs at the table made for a quick night. I made a stab at a couple pots only to be met with one, two or even three all in callers. This was definitely bingo, NOT poker.

Tomorrow there is more of the same instore at this tournament. The senior’s event is at noon and I’ve already won an entry into that tournament. If I don’t go deep tomorrow I just may sell my entry into the main event as well as the other entries and head for warmer places south. MAY………..