Sunday, July 05, 2009

4th of July Weekend (Quasi-Uber)

The time? 7:02pm, Sunday evening. I'm registered for two micro-stakes poker tournaments that begin in the next half hour, I'm about to fix myself a gin and tonic, and start writing about my weekend. Why don't you grab a drink, sit down and relax with me?

Finished making the G&T and found that one of the tournaments started and I missed the first hand. I would have folded, but the hand ended up being Q's vs. Aces, and the Aces turned quads... not a bad start to a tourney for that guy!

Music for the evening will be Dave Matthews Band, "Under the Table and Dreaming". I was big into Dave Matthews Band in high school, I went to three or four concerts out at the gorge, but then they became so popular with MTV and the frat crowd I was a bit ashamed to like the band. I've continued to listen to them, but on the sly. Tonight I break my silence: I like DMB still, go suck an egg if you think less of me now.

Music, check. Poker with lots of folding, check. G&T, check. Alright, I think I'm set to start recapping the weekend.

Friday marked the first of a three-day Potlatch ultimate frisbee tournament in Redmond, WA. I've been going to the tournament for the past eight or nine years, and when the 4th of July falls on Friday, the weekend, or Monday, the tournament is a 3-day affair instead of just two days. Three days makes the tournament stand apart from the other weekend ultimate tournaments in the summer, not to mention the 100 teams from all across the nation (and Mexico, and Canada!).

I decided to only play one day this year, for a couple of reasons. First, I've been wanting to go to Tahuya Day with Tessa and Jared for the last few years, and I have always picked Potlatch over Tahuya Day. Last year, I made plans to only play one day at Potlatch, then partake in Tahuya Day, but the weather was craptastic, and I would rather be playing ultimate in the rain than sitting in a lawn chair drinking margaritas in the rain, so I stayed at the ultimate fields. The other reason I chose to only play one day at Potlatch this year is because I'm fucking rusty! I play ultimate once every other week, and that just is not enough to be in shape or have consistent throws.

Poker update: knocked out of my first tournament when AJ on an AJ8 flop loses to a naked frush draw that gets there after the money goes in. Next tourney starts up in 7 minutes.

Friday ultimate at Potlatch was great. The weather couldn't have been better, it was around 80 degrees without much wind. We won all three of our games for the first time I can remember in a long time. I think my team a few years ago, maybe even last year, won all three games one day, but the team was a weird mix of really good college guys and crappy old timers like myself--so it wasn't a true Tacoma stink team--like this year! All of the games were tight, with the first going the distance at 16-14 in a game to 15 (a mini-Federer/Roddick match for the tennis lovers out there). The team was playing well, but I made a lot of throw aways, which was frustrating. The team didn't care much, because the throw aways did not lose us any of the games, but the throws I was botching are throws that I *can* make, but I wasn't making due to my rusty game. I should have holstered the cannon, but couldn't resist.

Our game schedule on Friday was such that we played a game, had a 2nd round bye, played a game, had a 4th round bye, then played our final game. The schedule kept us fresh, and even better than keeping us fresh, allowed me to pick up my motorcycle from the shop during our 4th round bye! I got a call from the shop at some point in the morning, and couldn't wait to get my bike! When I got to the shop, it didn't take long for me to pay and for them to wheel the bike around front and get me on my way. Before leaving, I noticed that they had not changed the front tire, which I thought we had agreed on. They did not bill me for it, but the front tire is just as old as the back tire that blew out on me a month ago, and it needs to be changed soon. I inspected the tire, and it still has some tread on it, so there is no imminent danger, but I am dreading taking it back to the shop now, after waiting a month for this fix.

I made it back to Potlatch for the last round, this time on the motorcycle. The ride back to the fields felt a little weird. Not good or bad, but just a little different. The clutch is still a lot tighter than I am used to, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I am used to the clutch catching right in the middle of the release, but now it catches about 3/4'ths of the way when I release the clutch lever. This makes shifting between gears a lot faster, but it also makes the initial shift from idle to 1st gear a bit longer. Again, some good to it, and some bad, but now that the weekend is over and I have gotten used to it, I think I prefer the tighter clutch. The fact that the back tire has a larger diameter than the old back tire, and the new tread on the back tire vs. the worn front tire also affect the ride.

One of the fun new sideline games at Potlatch this year was a Dare game based on cards. How the game works is a deck (or two, or three?) was passed out on Thursday night before the tournament started Friday. The goal of the game is to find the next higher up card than yours and ask them to give you a dare. If they do not think up a dare for you in one minute, you get to swap cards with them--also, if you complete their dare, you swap cards with them. I never got a card, nor was I too interested in playing because of only being there one day, but a lot of my teammates were getting into the game and trying to work their way up the ranks. The two best dares I saw on Friday were one guy licking the entire length of field tape (tape is put down at Potlatch along the sideline), which was about 100 yards. He was on all fours crawling along licking the tape from end to end for a king! The other dare was a girl going for a jack, and she first had to get this guy and all his friends cold beers, and then make out with another girl of this guy's choosing. By the time I left on Friday, my friend Josh was up to a queen. I stayed to watch the showcase game between Team USA and Team Canada, while eating free pizza and drinking free beer. Team USA won 16-14.

I had such a good time on Friday at Potlatch that I was beginning to question my decision to only play one day, but I'm glad I followed through with Tahuya Day. I got up early and met at Tessa and Jared's for an 8:00am caravan down to Tahuya, WA. The weather was flawless, and I was on my bike for the second day in a row, and it felt great. The caravan down was fun, and I'm glad to report it was uneventful. We rolled into Tahuya right around 11am after a stop at the QFC for a hundred cans of beer and some ice. The guys cracked open beers as soon as we dropped off our stuff, and I got to meet Tessa's family and friends. Her dad grew up in the house, and I can see why he never left.

They've got a compound similar to my friend Marc's, where Tessa's parents own one house, her uncle owns the next one down, and her cousin owns the third in the string, right along the water. The porch is huge, and there were probably 20 of us up there sitting in the sun and shade drinking. We got one game of liar's dice in before the parade started up, and Brian put me to shame at the end game. We were tied at five dice each, to Ben and Erin's zero dice (noobs!), and he ran a clinic.

The parade was pretty short and sweet, which is the perfect kind of parade in my eyes. Tessa's dad partook for the first time in a while, and his family pelted him with water balloons and water guns as he rode by, like any good family should! Tessa's mom made a strong margarita, and although I remember thinking, "Wow, this is a strong margarita!" I still had a second one, which promptly put me to sleep after the parade ended.

I woke up to people taking pictures of me passed out on the living room floor, so I woke up by being the first to hop into the inlet. It took me a while to figure out what to call the body of water just off Tessa's back yard, and apparently it is an inlet. It juts off the Hood Canal, and apparently Bill and Melinda Gates rolled up one afternoon last Autumn and Tessa's grandmother, a house down, was out ready to yell at the trouble-makers and run them off, then realized who they were.

We spent the rest of the afternoon shooting off small fireworks and swimming in the inlet. At one point, all of the youngsters (i.e. under 50), hopped in the boat and Tessa took us for a ride around the Hood Canal--it was awesome:

Poker Update #2: Second tournament started, and I'm chipping up in this one. Just had AA in the big blind and it was limped 3 ways to me, and for the first time ever, I checked with aces in the big blind. I bet the flop and it folded around, so nothing extraordinary happened, but I sat there with aces and my option and wondered, "Have I ever checked in the big blind with aces? I don't think I have, let's see what happens."

Back to Tahuya. Beers, clams, steak, swimming, and fireworks. That, my friends, is hard to beat. I grew up shooting off fireworks with Marc at his cabin, and we would get pretty into it, rigging our own fireworks in our teens. When I hit college I grew a bit tired of spending mass amounts of money on things to just blow up (funny how that changes when you use your money instead of your parents'!). Jared and Reuben went nuts this year and spend $300 on mortars and all sorts of goodies, and I couldn't help but share their enthusiasm. I taught them a thing or two over the course of the day, but they had plenty of ingenious ideas themselves.

The two highlights of the night had to be Ben knocking over my tower of beer cans with a single roman candle shot, and when Reuben's huge mortar decided not to shoot up into the air, but instead exploded in the mortar tube and shot gravel shrapnel that cleared the house. I was 15ft from the shell and was lucky enough to turn my back on the blast just in the nick of time--I could hear the gravel hit the windows! That woke us up. A honorable mention would be Erin's early show of lighting a ground bloom and sticking it in a Corona bottle, which cracked the bottle in half. We tried to duplicate her feat numerous times and we turned another Corona bottle black, but couldn't break it in half.

Once the fireworks were done, most of the crew took off for Seattle, to sleep in their own beds, but Tessa, Jared and I stuck around and slept in the game room. The dozen or so beers since 11am found me with the sandman as quickly as my head hit the pillow. I was awoken in time for breakfast: bacon, eggs and whatever those breakfast rolls that start with a C are called--not cinnamon rolls. Polished that off with the help of some OJ, thanked Tessa and her family for the great hospitality, then headed out from Tahuya a different way than I came.

I rode north from Tahuya, and my word of mouth directions from Tessa's mom and dad weren't entirely clear, so I just followed the road along the water until it turned into a gravel road. I was a bit hesitant to ride on the gravel rode, given my nearly bald front tire, but the sign said only six miles, so I was hoping a return to pavement was the reward. Up until this point, I was still being very careful on my motorcycle, and riding still didn't feel quite right. On the gravel I was mostly in first gear, and the gravel road twisted along the Hood Canal for the six or so miles. I kept thinking I should stop and take a picture of the interesting road and forest, but there weren't any places to pull over and a few cars did cross my path on the ride.

For some reason, when the pavement returned, I also got my riding groove back. From being extremely cautious on the gravel road, I must have gotten a better feel for the bike. The road after the pavement came back was also one of the most fun roads I have ridden on. Between the start of the pavement again and Bremerton, I passed by every mile-per-hour turn sign from 10mph turns to 45mph turns, twice over. There were dozens of 20mph turn signs, and with proper balance on the bike, I was able to take them at great ease going 35mph--which gave me riding confidence back. After the first few turns, I was comfortable knowing the right speed to stay safe, so I didn't have to look at the speedometer while negotiating turns, which seems safer and the right way to do it.

I had a lot of fun on the ride back to Seattle. I got to the Bremerton ferry terminal literally two minutes before they started boarding, and as a motorcycle I got to hop to the front of the line, where only one other motorcycle was waiting. We briefly chatted and it turns out that he was coming back from Tahuya as well! Not bad for a town of 5,200, as of the 2000 census.

Poker Update #3: Second tournament, just got the addon for 11k chips at the first break, which is about 1.5k above the average stack. Got a ways to go, 550 runners left, 90 pay, $700 and change for 1st.

The ferry ride was nice. Since me and the other motorcyclist were the first vehicles allowed on, we also got dibs on seating in the ferry. I found a booth and zonked out once the ferry started moving. I woke up probably thirty minutes later when the sun started to shine on me and woke me from my slumber. We were in the middle of the body of water just west of West Seattle, and we had a gorgeous view of downtown Seattle:

I rode back up Hwy 99, spent a few hours at home taking a shower and talking to my Erin in Italy, then rode back over to Potlatch to catch the last few rounds of disc. I enjoyed the quick ride over the 520 bridge, and got to the fields just as my team got booted from the tournament in the D-pool quarterfinals. A team from my college was playing in the C-pool semi-finals, and I cheered them on, but they lost 8-11 in a tight game. The score was tied at 8-8 and there was a marathon point that must have lasted 15 minutes, whoever wins that point wins the game, and sure enough, that is what happened.

The finals was a rematch of the showcase game from Friday: Team USA vs. Team Canada. I didn't end up staying to see who won, but I did watch a few of the points with my Tacoma team. I found Josh and he was sporting a fluffy white baseball cap with the Ace of spades on it... I talked to him and found out that not only did he get an ace card in the Dare game, he got all four aces, one of each suit, which won him Five Ultimate shorts, a jersey, and the hat. I didn't realize Five Ultimate was putting on the game, but I told Josh I wasn't sure I even wanted to know what he had to do for those aces. He told me that his favorite dare was finding a woman, switching clothes with that woman, then serenading one of the girls who works for Five Ultimate in the other girl's clothes. Oh, and he had a zillion girl's numbers on his cast--so it looks like he had a good time this weekend, too!

If you see this man, run in the other direction.

Poker Update #4: Up to 19k chips with the average around 10k.

Hmm, running out of things to say about this weekend... it was fun! The weather is supposed to take a turn for the worse this week, but I'm still hoping to get out and hike. Also, take some resumes out this week to middle schools in the area to see what the job prospects are looking like for next year.

Well, I was hoping to do better, but the time is 9:29pm and I am finished with the weekend recap. I could keep on rambling with stuff while I play poker, but I may as well just finish this post off and call it a quasi-uber. Hope you all have a good week!

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Blogger DrChako said...

When I bought the convertible, one of my anticipated pleasures was to drive on the Autobahn with the top down while listening to DMB. When I finally got to do it, it was better than I imagined.


11:14 PM  

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