Archive for ◊ January, 2018 ◊

31 Jan 2018 Should We Believe The News Or Our Lying Eyes……….
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The construction crew working on this RV Park expansion started about the time I greeted the day at six. I got the coffee going and turned on TV. The news was all about last night’s State of The Union Speech. I watched both CNN and Fox and it was as if I was on two separate planets. One side thinks it was the worst ever the other side the best. Glen Beck, long before he practically disappeared from the airways, had a theory; “Our Representatives” want us to hate each other and keep fighting while they keep getting what they want. Hmmm. It is always the darkest before the storm……..

I checked in at River House and mountains of snow are starting to pile up around the house. It is starting to warm up a bit with more snow forecast. The weather, here in Temecula, is tropical. The forecast for the next ten days has daily highs in the high eighties.

With my daily routine out of the way I turned my attention to finish the FSBO (for Sale By Owner) multiple listing paperwork. I had to include some documents which, of course, are in my cabinet at River House. I got off e-mails to BC Housing and all most fell over when I got a reply in fifteen minutes. That, my friends, is customer service! With that in hand I e-mailed and talked to the listing agent and have everything I need to send that agent the completed paperwork in the morning.

Judith was up at eight thirty. We had breakfast and talked about Sher arriving in about a week. She has joined us for the last eight or ten years and we really enjoy showing her some of our favorite spots.

Over seventy players signed up for the ten o’clock tournament. I was out in the fourth level and I didn’t rebuy. I’ve played in ten tournaments and haven’t rebought. I did immediately sign up for a 1-2 No Limit game and was seated in a few minutes. I bought in for a hundred and two hours later cashed out for two twenty. I really should play more cash games but………..

My natural coals are easy to light and only require a little sprinkle of starter fluid to get them roaring and ready to use in about five minutes. Judith always claims she can taste or smell the starter fluid on the food. I don’t think that is the case but……. Tonight I planned to cook game hens and decided to try something new to start the coals. I took a cardboard core from a roll of paper towels and stuffed a small piece of paper towel inside. I covered that with my organic coals and lit the paper. In minutes it was roaring and within ten minutes I put on the game hens.

While the game hens were cooking I won the evening Gin game. Back on Track.

I’ll be back at the poker wars tomorrow and work on River House projects in the afternoon.

30 Jan 2018 Nothing Lasts Forever………………
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We experienced another night of warm winds coming out of the east. In our entire seventeen years of RVing winters, around the United State, I believe this is the best, weather wise, we’ve ever experienced. In three and a half months I doubt if we have had a half dozen rainy days. On the other hand River House is experiencing a heavy snow fall year and might even break a record or too if it keeps snowing into April.

The news was all about tonight’s State of The Union Speech. I have listened to every single one for as long as I can remember and will continue as long as I’m on the face of this earth.

By the time Judith greeted the day at eight thirty I had completed all my morning tasks and was ready to start my poker day. Judith joined me on our morning jaunt. I got to the room just a few minutes before the cards went in the air at ten. Three casino cops were in the room questioning a player who apparently had a dust up with another player. In all my years of playing this was the first time I’ve seen the police get involved. Eight five players registered for today’s survivor tournament. They paid nine players and I ended eight out of the money. A good performance but NO cigar.

Judith was doing laundry when I got home. After a quick lunch we were off to run errands in Temecula. I went to Deep Sea Creations to check on the new UV light. They didn’t have one in stock and wanted over four hundred dollars for a replacement. No thanks, they go for a hundred and a half on the internet.

Judith got a fraud alert call about her BofA debit card. Someone tried to make a charge for motor cycle parts. I dropped her off at a BofA and she went in and fought the fight to get a new card issued. She did. It is never easy………….

Next we went to Albertson’s for some grocery shopping. It boggles my mind at how many brands and products are available. The cereal aisle alone is fifty or sixty feet long with boxes piled to the roof on both sides. Decisions—decisions.

We were home by five. I took on the cooking duties and fixed sausages and peppers knowing full well we’d eat them while glued to the TV. Judith has a strict rule; no TV while eating. We violated that rule and watch every minute of Trump’s one hour and twenty minute speech. Judith is not a big Trump fan but thought tonight’s speech was a big step in getting America back on track starting with a Congress that can get along. Fingers crossed.

As we move into February we are embarking upon our last month of RVing. We have an apartment booked starting On March 6th at the Marcus Whitman in Walla Walla. We arrive on the 4th and will spend a few days putting things that will go back to Canada in the truck and the rest will go in storage in Walla Walla. Once the trailer is empty It will go in for a few repairs then we’ll put it on the market in Walla Walla. If it doesn’t sell by the end of March I’ll haul it to Pasco to a consignment lot. They sold our last trailer and it took a while but we got a decent priced.

More poker tomorrow and lots of things to do for River House.

30 Jan 2018 Win—-Win
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I had such an exciting and crazy day yesterday I forgot all about writing and posting my blog until this morning at the poker room.

We woke up to a warm wind blowing out of the east. It topped ninety yesterday and more of the same is forecast for this coming week. The snow keeps falling at River House and it is getting warmer in Walla Walla.

When Plan “B” happens we’ll be heading back to Walla Walla to spend from Feb 15th to Nov 15th in the place we’ve selected to call our last home. Walla Walla does get hot in the summer. We are prepared to deal with that and expect to spend the coldest three months somewhere warm.

Judith and I were off to the poker room, at ten, as part of our daily walking routine. We log between two and four miles every day and a five mile hike planned before we leave Temecula on Saturday. Over a hundred players plunked down their fifty bucks to enter. I made it to the final tape with the second shortest chip stack. Thirty minutes later I was chip leader and agreed to chop if all the other players paid and extra $25 making my cut $525. Poker.

Judith was waiting at the RV Park when I got home. After a quick lunch we ran errands starting at the Post Office. While I really like this RV Park they do not accept RVer’s mail here which is unusual and a big pain in the butt. I had our mail sent General Delivery and spent forty five minutes at the post office. At first they told me it wasn’t there and were not too happy when I showed them the delivery notice on my IPhone. Judith took a nice nap waiting in the parking lot.

Next we were off to the RV dealer to get a replacement Screen Door Latch. That very simple four dollar latch cost seventeen. It is never easy.

At River House we use UV lights to help keep the water in the water feature crystal clear. One gave up the ghost last year and I brought it along to get a replacement. When I looked on the label the manufacture is in Temecula only five miles from this RV Park. I stopped in not knowing what to expect but got a pleasant surprise when they took it back to the shop, tested it out, and put a new plug on the end at NO charge. I like to keep a spare and they gave me the name of a local dealer.

I joined the online APT evening tournament and was one of sixty some players that registered. The tournament started at five and making the final table only takes a couple hours. Judith was real happy putting off dinner until eight thirty. The good news I WON.

After dinner Judith won the evening Gin game. She is on fire……………

Late in the day we got good news. Cousin Sher will be joining us next Saturday for ten days at Anza Borrengo State Park. She’s visited there once before on a day trip from the Palm Springs area. This time she gets a lot more desert time with a couple of surprise side trips.

28 Jan 2018 90 Degrees……………….
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Three Feet On The Ground………..

The Santa Anna winds were blowing strongly out of the east when I greeted the day at seven. The forecast was not only for wind but temperatures near ninety. Really? It was in the teens at River House and more snow was coming down when I first checked the cameras. I looked at the garden camera and now the snow pack is deeper than the top of the raised beds which are almost three feet tall. Since the snow melts and settles I’m sure the accumulation, to date, must be close to five feet. The annual total is eighty inches. With a good two months of winter remaining we could easily meet or exceed that amount.

I checked my e-mails and was thrilled to see a reply from Tanya giving two thumbs up to helping with the paving stone project. She and Judith will finalize the design and Fred’s crew will do the heavy lifting pouring the curbing and placing the paving stones. While all that is going on my plan is to make this year’s garden the best ever.

Judith was up at nine. I cooked sausage and sour dough pancakes. We discussed the day and agreed to leave for Dana Point at eleven thirty.

We left at eleven thirty on the dot and decided to take the shortcut which is CA74 a crooked two lane road over the coastal mountains to the Pacific. We used lots of turnouts to let cars whiz by finally arriving in Dana Point at twelve thirty. There is a “Classic Denny’s” in Dana Point that looks like the day it was built sometime in the fifties. The place is well managed with very friendly employees and above decent food. Judith and I shared a Prime Rib Philly Steak with onion rings, dipping veggies and a four scoop Sunday. All that with drinks for twenty two bucks plus a great service tip.

Next we walked to the Dana Point Marina where I talked to a Yacht broker and Judith checked out the shops. I wanted to pick the broker’s brain about the feasibility of getting Yacht brokers interested in the River House finder’s fee. He thought it was a good idea and took several brochures. Lots of Yachts sell for more than River House and those are the kind of buyers we want to attract.

We were back at the RV Park at four and immediately made two laps around the park logging 1.5 miles for the day. With two meals already under our belts we decided to graze the rest of the day. Judith is on fire in the card department and took down another win tonight.

I’ll be back in the poker room tomorrow morning and work on taxes in the afternoon. When again do we start filling out that postcard?

27 Jan 2018 They Call It The Great White North For A Reason………
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Cistern and Internet Dish covered with Snow………….

My day started at five thirty. I put on the coffee and started checking my e-mails. One of the first ones I opened was from Ed Weston. He made a River House check yesterday to determine what was causing our lack of internet. He sent five pictures all of the heavy snow accumulation. One picture showed our internet dish over half covered with snow. Problem solved.

Judith and I have been thinking maybe the final design of the paving stones and landscaping may be above our pay grade. I decided to send off an e-mail to Tanya, the lady that worked out the turnaround and landscaping around River House the first time around, to see if she is available to lend a helping hand. Fingers crossed.

By the time Judith greeted the day, at nine, I had finished all my puzzles, repaying to e-mails and even my forty five minute exercise routine. After a quick breakfast we walked to the Casino’s poker room only to find out the tournament started at eleven, not ten. We walked back to the RV Park and took a little detour to see where the new entrance to the now under construction RV Park expansion. It turns out we lucked out and are getting a 25% discount for putting up with the construction noise. At today’s prices that really helps. When we started RVing, seventeen years ago, RV Park rates were between twenty five and thirty bucks a night. Today they are easily double that price. RVing is NOT a cheap life style.

Well over a hundred players entered today’s tournament paying the $130 entry fee. I played well for four levels and then decided to try and triple my chip stack or go home. I had and open ended straight draw and a flush draw giving me a lot of outs. The flush came on the river giving me a flush but unfortunately one of the two players in the big pot had two diamonds, one of which was the ace. End of story.

I spent the afternoon trying to get the Wifi set up on the Chevy through OnStar. Onstar is supposed to be as easy as pushing the little button on the rear view mirror. Well, they answer pretty fast but I’ve now have made a half dozen calls and still don’t have usable Wifi. Having a signal before we arrive at Anza Borrego Start Park needs to happen or it will be a LONG ten days. With that behind me I called Brian in Smithers to set up horse drawn covered wagons for the Broker’s Open. We used Brian for the open house we put on for the workers and their families when River House was built. We talked for about ten minutes and booked two teams for June 6th.

Judith is on a tear in the card department and whipped me, once again, in our daily Gin game. We shared the cooking duties. I oven roasted a little pork roast covered with carrots, potatoes and onions while Judith put together a salad.

No poker tomorrow. After breakfast we’ll head back over to Dana Point. It is only twenty miles from Temecula via a very steep mountain road that heads due west. There is a Classic Denny’s where we’ll have lunch. It has remained the same for the past fifty plus years and is a fun outing. There is a big boat dealer at Dana Point and I want to check out a Nordic Tug. While I’m 99.9% sure my boating days are almost over I what to check them out.

27 Jan 2018 80s In January?
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The Humongous Pechana Hotel……..

I started my day just before six and awoke to a very cool RV. I knew immediately there was a propane problem and pulled on my sweats to go out and change tanks. It was a lot colder outside; forty seven to be exact. Within minutes the furnace came back on warming things up.

We have had so much snow at River House we think the satellite dish for the internet is cover with snow killing our signal. That makes checking out the heating system and cameras a no go. I sent an e-mail off to Ed Weston, who takes care of River House in our absence, and he will check things out tomorrow.

The weather in Walla Walla still sits in the forties. The good news is there seems to be lots of sunny days throughout these winter months. The weather here in Temecula is fantastic: sunny days with temperatures currently in the seventies and the forecast are showing some days in the eighties in the next ten days.

Judith was up at nine. We discussed the day before taking our morning walk to the poker room. This casino is huge and today’s picture doesn’t do it justice.

Today over a hundred players plunked down fifty five bucks for a shot at the four thousand dollar guarantee prize pool. I usually play well past the rebuy period and seldom finish worse than in the top third of the field. That wasn’t the case today. I only played a couple very good hands which turned out to be the second best putting me out in the second level. I opted not to rebuy and put my name in for a ½ cash game. It took thirty minutes to get a seat and I doubled my $100 buy in in the first ten minutes. I played for two hours covering most of the tournament money I lost earlier.

Judith was off running errands when I got back to the RV. A few minutes later she came walking in with some take out from the Panda and was willing to share.

One Of The Many Trails At The Santa Rosa Plateau………..

After lunch we drove up to the Santa Rosa Plateau which sits atop the range between Temecula and the Pacific. We have been there before and enjoy walking the Granite Loop. We logged almost four miles on a beautiful afternoon. On the trail we meet a young couple with six month old twin boys strapped to their chests. We stopped them and talked letting them know our twin “boys” are fifty four.

I spent the afternoon thinking about going back to River House and decided we need to rethink are automobile situation. Originally we thought we would wait to River House sold, make our way back to Walla Walla, buy a car, and head off on a two month trip around the USA. While our F-350 seems to be in decent shape, however, it is a 2003 making it pretty long in the tooth. Our thinking now is buying or leasing a midsize SUV and towing it back to River House. That would give us a good reliable vehicle and a getaway car available on a minute’s notice to make our way south. Normally I wouldn’t lease (aka fleece) but technology is moving so fast the bottom could fall out of the used car market especially for those with less than state of the art technology. I listen to the head of Lexus state that his company would only be selling electric cars beyond 2022. Hmmm.

Judith won the evening gin game – AGAIN…… She took on the cooking duties and made meatballs in sour cream gravy over rice, sautéed pea pods and a second veggie dish of corn, peppers and black beans.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s fifteen thousand guaranteed ten o’clock tournament. I’m sure close to two hundred players will show making it a six to eight hour grind to cash.

26 Jan 2018 2.6 Miles in an Hour…………
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There are two things I really hate: losing and being late. I was up at six and had a meeting scheduled with Capture’s top salesperson, Chris Williams, at seven. He suggested meeting at seven at an eighty year old restaurant in downtown Old Temecula just 2.6 miles from this RV Park. I left at six thirty thinking I could make calls while I waited. How nuts is the traffic in this part of California? It took me over an hour thanks to a gas leak on the only route.

Chris was patiently waiting when I arrived. He has worked for Capture for seventeen years and has been the sales leader for most of that time. We discussed life, family and business over a killer breakfast. Chris had a thirty five percent increase in sales last year and expects another nice increase this year.

It ONLY took thirty minutes to get back to the park arrive about the time Judith greeted the day at nine. The sun was already heating things up on a mid-seventy degree day.

Judith and I discussed breakfast before our morning walk to the poker room. We agreed to have a late lunch and try a Mexican restaurant recommended by Chris and run a few errands.

Today there were well over one hundred at the morning tournament making for a potentially long day. At my table was a guy I met at Ocean’s Eleven when we were in San Clemente. I had talked about River House and gave him a couple of brochures. The second he recognized me he said “I think I’ve got a group that might be interested” he went on to tell me how much money was being generated by the NEW marijuana Market. Yes, almost all River House type properties sell for cash but cash-cash is a big problem especially in another country. Ya gotta kiss a lot of frogs…………..

The first player out at our table was replaced by one of the four players I chopped with yesterday. He sat three seats to my left. He is a very aggressive player and before agreeing on a chop, yesterday, he announced he didn’t want to chop because “he could out play us all”. He got short stacked quickly and had about half his chips left when it was checked around to me. I looked down at a strong hand, AK suited. Normally I would have raised but I checked thinkink he would shove all his chips with any two. I checked and as I expected he shoved. I called and he flipped over Q-6 a stone cold bluff. He still had a 35% chance of winning but a king came on the flop and held up. Once again I played well but ran into a bad beat, late in the tournament, when my trip fives got beat by a flush draw on the river. I was an 84% favorite on that hand. Poker.

As soon as I got back we jumped in the truck and drove to Murrieta, and found Cotija’s Mexican Grill & Seafood. It was late for lunch but had people seated and ordering at the counter. Perfect. We ordered more than we could eat for an extremely reasonable twenty four bucks. The cook wanted sign on the front door made me feel service might NOT be real fast. While waiting we had chips and salsa from a well-stocked and excellent salsa bar. I was correct but not disappointed when the excellently plated dishes were delivered. One bite told me Chris knows good places to eat. I doubt if Temecula will be on our radar screen once we stop RVing even though we really like this area but as long as we are still here Cotija’s will be our go to Mexican restaurant.

The balance of the afternoon we spent getting, or I should say trying to get, a fender skirt for the trailer. The first day I was here I called a local RV repair place and gave them the part number and description. They called back yesterday and said the part was available and could be here in a week, however, I’d have to come up and pay for the part before they would order. I stopped by their store, with credit card in hand, and asked for Marty who handled my request. He wasn’t in today so the manager got involved. Before taking my payment he checked availability and shipping charge. Well, the price quoted was wrong as was the shipping charge and it would take three weeks for delivery I tried to get them to ship to our son in Scottsdale. Nada. It is never easy.

We agreed to forget dinner and just graze. My “dinner” consisted of green grapes, sharp cheddar cheese and two brownies. No jumping on the scales in the morning.

More poker tomorrow then I’d better get started on my taxes. After all they are due on April 15th at 11:59……….

24 Jan 2018 I’m In The Money…………
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My day started at six. With coffee in hand I checked my e-mails. I got an e-mail from the contractor who will handle most of the deck replacement project. The decks will be removed in February and the rebuild will start on March 19th. They should be completed by the time we arrive back at River House on or before April 10th. Harry will arrive sometime in April to complete the project my making and installing the log rails.

I logged onto the River House cameras and saw there was another four or five inches of new snow. The snow pack is now approaching thirty inches. That’s good news. I wanted to get some good GoPro footage last year of all the trails which are perfect for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Unfortunately last year was a very unusual year with barely a foot of snow. I called our friend, Roland, who has a son Daniel that loves to ski and they have agreed to get the job done as soon as I can send them a camera. It will be on its way tomorrow and we should have some good footage for the River House website.

Judith and I had breakfast before we walked to the poker room. Seventy some players plunked down the fifty bucks for this morning’s ten o’clock tournament. I got off to a rocky start when I made a big mistake and mucked what was a winning hand. That left me with a very small stack. I didn’t panic and played good solid poker. The card God’s smiled and I even got both pocked aces and kings—twice. At two thirty, after four and a half hours of play, we agreed to chop four ways cashing for $498 each.

Judith was out running errands when I got back to the RV Park at three. I had a quick lunch before trying to order a few things to take back to Canada. I landed on a website from hell and gave up after several attempts at changing quantities. It is never easy……………..

Judith won the evening Gin game taking the last three out of four. We shared the cooking duties: I fired up the tool box grill and cooked a turnkey thigh. Judith made dressing and I made my spinach dish this time adding a little garlic which I forgot was part of the recipe.

I’ll start my day by having breakfast with Capture’s top salesman, Chris Williams. He lives near Temecula and we’ll meet at a restaurant that has been serving good food for eighty years. I’m playing well and plan to capitalize on that again tomorrow. There is a big forty thousand dollar guaranteed prize pool tournament on Saturday. It will be a long grind but well worth playing.

23 Jan 2018 Ready, Set——-Peel
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Andrew Peeling the River House Deck’s Replacement Logs

Temecula sits 1017 feet above sea level making the nights much cooler than at our last stop In San Clemente just a few feet above sea level. Our furnace came on several times last night and when I got up at six the temperature was right at forty.

I barely had my first sip of coffee when I got on the phone with John, Capture’s CEO. We spent the next hour discussing finances and the interrogation of the new company into Capture. There are some challenges and those were expected. I think the path to growth, for Capture, is acquiring other small companies.

Judith walked with me over to the casino at nine thirty. The temperature had climbed to nearly sixty with clear blue skies.

Eighty six players entered today survivor tournament. The format is to make it to the final table where the prize pool is split evenly between the last nine players. Today I believed I played the best on this entire trip and maybe even the best ever. I got cards early and built my stack. Then I went card dead and managed to pull off several decent bluffs to stay in the game and make it two the last two tables. The blinds were 4000/2000 and the antes were 400 making waiting for a hand not an option. I busted out at fourteenth after I was called by an inferior hand that made a flush on the river. I might have missed an opportunity or two but made zero mistakes. Frustrating but about all one can ask is to play well and let the chips fall when they may.

I didn’t get back to the RV park until almost two. After a quick lunch I called an RV repair place in Walla Walla and made an appointment for March 9th. There are a couple little things we need fixed before putting it up for sale. Next I searched for a couple telescoping flag poles which I’ll use in my garden and at the Helipad.

Judith and I made two laps around the RV Park which is just short of a mile. Walking back and forth to the casino is another mile trek roundtrip. I won the evening gin game before logging onto the evening Hold’em tournament on APT. Fifty six players entered and I finished fourth. In the last three months I’ve made twenty final tables. Why again am I not cashing more in morning tournaments? Poker

Judith took on the cooking duties and warmed up precooked baby back ribs. She didn’t pay attention to the label which said Honey Sriracha in one inch high letters. Will we ever learn?

More of the same tomorrow. Poker in the morning and working on River House projects in the afternoon.

22 Jan 2018 Three Times Equals Perfect………
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My day stated at six. I started thinking about the River House deck replacement project long before my feet hit the floor.

Judith has always said in order to get the “perfect” house or building you need to build it three times. In essence I’ve always done that; once in my head, once on paper and then with the contractors, artisans and craftsman.

When we first build River House we were told the wood decks, exposed to the elements, would last twelve to fifteen years. They did and now we get a do over. Fifteen years ago the options were limited as to composite materials for decking. A lot has changed in fifteen years and now the options are almost endless and life expectances for decks now exceed twenty five years. While the decks will maintain the classic River House Log look a few changes will provide a covered, dry area under the main deck that will be a great place to park ATVs or snowmobiles. New paving stones around the deck off the dining room will tie the two water features together with a landscaped walkway. At the lake big changes will also be made. Paving stones and landscaping will make a beautiful transition from the cabin to the lake with access to two docks for our canoes, kayaks and row boat.

Up until about seven the park was as quiet as a mouse. Then construction on the RV Park extension started. It is never easy.

Judith was up at eight thirty. We had breakfast and discussed the day before walking together to the poker room. The new hotel addition is completed and huge. The Pechanga Casino is touted as the largest Indian casino in the US. I’m not sure that is true but if not the largest it has to be one of the biggest. Casinos are big business and provide lots of jobs. That’s the good news. The bad news is gambling is very addictive. Speaking of which……..

The Pechanga has a huge poker room housing about sixty tables. That number has been reduced by about twenty since my last visit this same time last year. They took close to a third of the poker room and turned it into a sports betting area.

About sixty people played in this morning’s $50 no limit hold’em tournament. That number is off by about fifty percent from last year’s attendance. I’m not sure why but I also noticed that they no longer hold two tournaments each day. Everything goes in cycle and poker is no exception. We old grey haired guys are still playing along with a few women; however, young guns are few and far between. I played well but didn’t cash which is getting old, especially when I’ve been making the final table on the APT site almost every night. I finished fifth tonight out of seventy some players. Poker

After a quick lunch of Thai leftovers we went to Home Depot and checked out composite decking. They had Trex a brand carried in the Smithers area and recommended by the contractor that will do that part of the project. Home Depot had samples and a sales rep that answered all our questions.

Judith and I shared the cooking duties. I fired up the tool box grill and cooked mushroom burgers while she boiled corn and warmed up French fries.

More poker tomorrow; both tournament and I’ll play in a cash game as well.