Saw Starlight Express last night at the Wang Center. I didn't really know anything about the show before hand, other than that it involved roller skating. It was a pretty cool show. It was very well produced, although the 3D movie segments seemed a little silly; doing things just for the sake of showing off some cool 3D effects. The songs were excellent, although the music was a little too 80s for my taste. However, I did leave the theater wanting to sing that final song, so I guess it was a success.
Always read those documents before signing. The draft purchase and sale agreement was pretty horrendous. It dropped a few of the contingencies that we added to the offer agreement, and reversed a few clauses to be in the sellers favor. We've got our Lawyer on the case though. We postponed the structural inspection that was supposed to happen on Monday until everything gets cleared up. But I think in the next few days things will be running smoothly again. Maybe this was just a misunderstanding, but more likely it was the sellers trying to get as much of an advantage as possible.
The lawyer suggested that we go through each room and identify any extras we might like, such as outlets, telephone and cable jacks, lighting fixtures, &c. So I think we're going to try to do that in the next week or so. After that its picking out colors and window shades. Hopefully there's not too much more excitement this week; Laura and I are going to a Red Sox game tonight, and we've got tickets to the theater for tomorrow.
Looking at a 1 bedroom in Medford today. I'll post some pictures when I get back. Its relatively inexpensive, and a new conversion, so I'm sure its full of pitfalls. Here's hoping!
Updated: So that went well. Its still really under construction, but we liked it, and we sure liked the price. We're going to put an offer in on this one and see how things work out. Closing is expected at the beginning of July, so there's plenty of time to get everything in order. I'm not so sure what this will do to our planned vacation though. I'll post some pictures a little later.
Updated: It looks like our offer was accepted! Yay! Here are some pictures:
- Kitchen - oven/dishwasher
- Kitchen - sink
- Kitchen - refrigerator/backdoor
- Office/Dining room - kitchen to left
- Sitting room - that's the hallway to the front door on the left, and stairs to the basement on the right. The bathroom is right behind us.
- Sitting room - a shot of the bathroom
- Living room - the dining room is behind us, the bedroom is through the french doors
- Living room - the bedroom is behind us
- Bedroom - the living room is behind us, a door to the front hall is to the right.
- Front hall - looking down the hall to the bathroom/sitting room
- Front of house - we're the lower right unit.
Updated: Below are a few blue prints taken from the condo docs. They're really big images, so it might take a while.
So, I have to say I'm really upset with myself today. I played a little poker last night, and by the end I think I was really on tilt.
The night started off horribly. Generally at $1/$2 you have really got to win one of the first few times you take a raised pot to the river, otherwise you'll get busted out pretty fast. And that's exactly what happened. Every time I had something of a hand, I'd get out drawn on the river, or other times somebody would be really slowplaying a monster hand and I wouldn't realize it until much too late.
So, I took my lumps and tried my luck at a different table. There I did much better. I even had quite a good rush, more than doubling up my second buy-in and doing a little better than even for the night. But then it all fell apart. I don't even remember how it began. I think I was a little distracted, as I started playing way too many hands; putting in a bet or two and folding when nothing panned out. When I did win, it wasn't much. In the end I lost nearly all my second buy-in, going from a little better than even to down $60. sigh. I think its time for a bit of a poker moratorium while I gather my thoughts. Maybe I should stick with $.50/$1.
This twenty popped out of an ATM the other day. It struck me as really really wierd, but I couldn't really place what was wrong with it. It was a little too green, a little too small. At first I thought it was just an old-style twenty. Nothing terribly special, but then I noticed that it was a "Series 1934 A"!
This, of course, leads to an interesting history of US money. For example, modern bills say
This note is legal tender for all debits, public and private, but this bill says
This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private, and is redeemable in lawful money at the United States Treasury, or at any Federal Reserve Bank. There is no In God We Trust on the back of this note; and the words
Will Pay the Bearer On Demand Twenty Dollars appear on the front.
Its an interesting thought that the $20 bill did not intrinsically have any worth, but merely represented worth that existed somewhere else. This is in contrast to our modern money. Ever since everybody started floating their currency, that is stopped tying it to the value of the gold kept in the national treasury, a piece of paper with a number on it, by declaration, started to hold worth all by itself.
Looks like I was right the other day. This poll from ICR/Money agrees with my assessment that despite the "tax cuts" passed by the Bush administration, most poll respondents felt that their overall tax burden had increased!
Most Americans don't believe they benefited personally from the 2003 tax cut, according to a poll conducted for Money magazine, and would have preferred the government devoted resources to job creation or deficit reduction.
... 60 percent said the tax cut did not personally help them. Only about a third of respondents said they benefited from the tax cut.
... The poll found 76 percent of those surveyed would have preferred the government devote resources to job creation rather than the tax cut, and even 54 percent of Republicans would have chosen jobs over tax cuts.
I think the big question is: will people remember just how successful Bush's big plans were in their personal lives when they hit the polls this November.
Doubled up again last night. This time at the $1/$2 tables. Its quite a ride at the higher limits as the swings are much bigger. You really have to hang on for those big pots and milk those straights and full boats for all their worth. A couple of times I was nearly down to the felt when I'd grab a big draw and win a $20 pot.
A few more rounds like this, and I might just be able to hit the $2/$4! Moving up the limits is definitely helping my game, and I find that there are just as many fish. In fact, I would say the fish at these levels are even worse than at the lower levels, as they're much more predictable. Someday, I can only hope to be as cool as Chris and "take it easy" at the $5/$10 table.
Q: Mr. President, before the war, you and members of your administration made several claims about Iraq that U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators with sweets and flowers, that Iraqi oil revenue would pay for most of the reconstruction; and that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but as Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said, we know where they are. How do you explain to Americans how you got that so wrong? And how do you answer your opponents, who say that you took this nation to war on the basis of what have turned out to be a series a false premises?
THE PRESIDENT: ... Saddam Hussein was a threat. He was a threat because he had used weapons of mass destruction on his own people. He was a threat because he coddled terrorists. He was a threat because he funded suiciders. He was a threat to the region. He was a threat to the United States. That's the assessment that I made from the intelligence, the assessment that Congress made from the intelligence; that's the exact same assessment that the United Nations Security Council made with the intelligence.
... The United Nations passed a Security Council resolution unanimously that said, disarm or face serious consequences. And he refused to disarm.
At least he's consistent. He'll never give anybody the benefit of the truth; Bush will just repeat the same lies that he's given all along. Why expect anything different?
Its clear to everybody now that Iraq had no illegal weapons. How can a country refuse to disarm if the arms never existed in the first place? From the sound of it, we went to war with Iraq because they were a threat to Israel and Saudi Arabia (from the neo-Con's point of view anyway). If the safety of our allies is so paramount, why not justify the war that way to begin with?
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Two weeks ago, a former counterterrorism official at the NSC, Richard Clarke, offered an unequivocal apology to the American people for failing them prior to 9/11. Do you believe the American people deserve a similar apology from you, and would you be prepared to give them one?
THE PRESIDENT: ... Here's what I feel about that. The person responsible for the attacks was Osama bin Laden. That's who's responsible for killing Americans. And that's why we will stay on the offense until we bring people to justice.
So the answer would be no then. I thought this was supposed to be an administration of "grown-ups"; people who would take responsibility for both their successes and their failures. Bush heralds those tax cuts at every opportunity, but he can't take the slightest responsibility for presiding over one of the countries biggest intelligence failures in history, or worse ignoring the intelligence that would've tipped off a more competent administration?
As you know, I've been playing at Ultimate Bet for several months now. I started out at the $0.25/$0.50 tables, and did fairly okay. But the grind was horrible; it was a good night if I was up $5.
So, after a month or so of playing the $.50/$1 tables, I built my bankroll up to $150, and decided to take the plunge into the higher limits. My first night at $1/$2 was fairly successful. Its pretty fun to see a nice $25 chip come your way after winning a big pot. Overall I was up about $17.
The strangest thing is, the poker is essentially the same. There are still some serious fish at these "higher" levels. I witnessed one guy burn through $100 in an hour, much of that heading my way, or to a pretty good player named honeycutt. The easiest way to make money in those situations is to just get into a pot with those characters with any decent hand and just hang on for the ride. Its very difficult to bluff them out of anything, and you have no idea when they're just hanging on for that inside straight draw.
So it was a good night. I almost doubled up (my usual stopping point) several times, but in the end, I count myself lucky to come back from a fairly big deficit. However, I told Laura I'd be in bed over half an hour ago, so I guess more money making will have to wait for another night.