Sunday, July 30, 2006

Chronicles of Vegas 2006 Vol 4

After a pretty crazy Saturday night, Everyone slept in and took it easy on Sunday morning. Our suite at the Wynn gave us a wicked crazy view of the strip, as well as the mountains in the backdrop. Oh yeah, and we had two plasmas in our room! Bonus.

First up, ESPN classic had a 2005 World Series of Poker Marathon. There was a Japanese woman who won her buy-in to the tournament as part of a Japanese game show. She was wearing a Kimono, and posing for the camera repeating her new favourite saying (while motioning her two hands from her chest outwards towards the table): "Arr-in, Arr-in."

Next, a show on MTV2 titled "The Final Fu". Ernie Reyes Jr brings together the best Martial artists in the country, and they fight each other! Tae Kwon Do, Shorei Ryu Karate, Hung Gar Kung Fu... And suprisingly, this show was a source of mad hotties. I found myself doubly intrigued, when seeing that these hot girls can also kick ass. TH!

But the cream of the crop was VH1's "The World Series of Pop Culture." A 16-team single elimination tournament to see who has the most useless info on TV, Movies, and music stuck in their brains! Some sample questions:
  • Who was the oldest sibling of the Huxtable family?
  • What was the name of the boat in Jaws?
  • Well known for his role on "Star Trek:The Next Generation", this actor was also the host of Reading Rainbow
  • Since 1975, this has been the price to "Buy a vowel" on Wheel of Fortune
  • Identify the movie by the quote: "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
Some of the questions were dead easy. Some of them, I was surprised I could bust them out. And some of them, I was surprised the teams could bust out! Mallory's boyfriend's name? WTF?

Topping things off, Arnold Schwarzenneger in Commando! "Remember when I said I would kill you last? .... I lied"

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Chronicles of Vegas 2006 Vol 3

The tower suites at the Wynn Las Vegas are mothafuckin sick-tacular. I have never been at a hotel this schwanky my whole life. Let me break this shit down for you:

- Marble entryway
- Two washrooms
- Living room
- Master washroom is about as big as the bedroom
- textured walls
- paintings on display
- 2 plasma TVs (one in the living room, one in the bedroom playing HDTV (not like ghetto Shaun)
- 1 LCD TV in the washroom
- Mirrors on the ceiling
- DVD player
- Doorbell outside
- 4 hinges on the door (who needs 4 hinges?)

Even the stand-up shower was super-sized. I felt like a king ... I stayed in there longer than usual, giving my balls the thorough royal wash. The TVs were hooked up to some kind of media center, so when we turned it on, it had my name on it ("Welcome Alexis Torreno"). Fucking right!

The suites were so high class that there was a separate registration area, and a separate set of elevators. The entryway was guarded at two spots by security. It actually took all of our brainpower to sneak in 8 extra guys and their bags without tipping off security or the ladies at the check-in desk that we were in a suite for 2.

The rest of the hotel was just as swanky as our room. It was the re-dirk-ulous. When they designed it, they were probably thinking, "how can we take something small and make it glamorous?" They had a spiral staircase ... escalator!

The US National basketball team was practicing in Las Vegas, and we suspect they were staying at the Wynn. My brother's friends say they saw Dwayne Wade. Me? I stood outside waiting for a cab beside Bruce Bowen. What a rip-off. I think I can take him.

And we all know about American TV. We ended up spending just as much time in Cuba watching MTV2 as we did on the beach. Well, in Vegas, they had...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Chronicles of Vegas 2006 Vol 2

I am an accomplished poker player. For real. I've been playing at my friend's weekly game for about a year now. I've made final table to a number of tourneys, and took down a 40-player tournament once. I've read from poker authors Gordon, Sklansky, Brunson, and others. But LV ain't having none of that. None of it!

First up, a $55 no limit tournament. I play pocket tens, calling a raise in front of me. A third player calls as well. The flop has three undercards to my overpair. The bettor goes all in. I go all in as well to isolate. The third player calls. We flip, and I'm ahead. The turn and river make a straight for the third player. Out in 15 minutes.

From there I go on to lose $200 in 2 days. Was I doing something wrong? The only thing I figure I did wrong was play $2-$4 limit. There is a fine line between courage and stupidity. And I couldn't tell which side these players were on! I have never experienced as many bad beats in my life as I did over this weekend:
  • A nut straight on the flop loses to a full house on the river. My opponent was playing A-2 offsuit
  • Trip nines on the flop loses to a straight on the river. My opponent was playing Q-7 offsuit
  • Trip aces loses, because I was playing A-Q, and my opponent was playing A-K
  • I bet aggresively with pocket jacks. 6 players get widdled down to 2. The river is a jack. Too bad my trips also make my opponent a straight on the river.
There were others, but these ones stung me to the core. I spent my last day watching the 2005 World Series of Poker marathon on ESPN2. Therapy for a broken poker player.

I'm going back to Vegas with my wife at the end of the year. Someone please remind me about this post. Remind me to not play poker in Vegas!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Chronicles of Vegas 2006 Vol 1

For my brother's stag, I had to show him the same hospitality that he showed me for my stag. So there was only one place to go: Las Vegas bitches!

With Vegas comes stories. Some stories remain in Vegas. The rest, I share with you.

In this chapter, we'll learn about my journey. It started a few months earlier, when my brother's friends suggested flying from Buffalo instead of direct from Toronto. There were significant savings to be had.

So I started by booking one ticket. When I reloaded the page, the price jumped. Panicked, I decided to look for another flight. I would fly by myself, and put my brother and his friends on a different flight. After I found a second flight, I booked it, and then the price jumped again. Fuck. Two and half hours later, I finally booked everyone into a flight. Half of us would travel in the afternoon, and the rest in the evening. The significant savings? Not so significant anymore.

Fast forward to the first day of the trip. We make the road trip to Buffalo with little incident. After clearing security, we find our gate and relax. We're 2 hours ahead of schedule. As our boarding time approaches, we get bad news -- our flight is cancelled. What's worse, the only alternate route leaves at 7AM the next day. Fuck!

We had to check into a Buffalo hotel and spend the night. At least we had chicken wings for dinner and got to watch the 40-year-old Virgin commercial-free. My brother was already in Vegas. Fuck!

7AM rolls around, and we fly to Boston. From there, we fly to Vegas. 24+ hours later, our cab drops us off at Imperial Palace. We have a welcome party of 4 there to applaud our arrival. You fucking bitches. I make a B-line to one of the hotel rooms, shower, change, and come back down to the casino in about 15 minutes flat. And then I head straight for the poker tables...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cassie: Me & U Video (Official)

Heavy Rotation. This shit is hot!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Gmail owns Hotmail

Fucking Kev, I hate you for saying that Hotmail is "the same shit" as Gmail. It has forced me to write this. Hotmail is not the same as Gmail. Here is why:

1. Disk space: I opened a new hotmail account just to see what's changed since I last used the service. They graciously offered me 30 MB of space, until a certain period of time, when they will increase the limit to 250 MB. Thanks Microsoft! Google gave me 1 GB when I first opened my Gmail account, and started increasing the limit from day 1. Right now, I'm at 2.8 GB. By Gmail's third anniversary, I'll be at 3GB. 3 gigs bitch!

2. AJAX technology: Google is one of the first high-profile companies to exploit a wicked crazy web technology nicknamed AJAX. It allows web applications to be built without requiring page refreshes after every mouse click. Page refreshes make applications slow -- think about when you normally go through your Hotmail account. Go to website ... wait. Click on inbox ... wait. Click on an email ... wait. Click reply ... wait. Type your message and click send ... wait. In Gmail, tons of functions are AJAX'd to make them faster. I can reply to an email without needing to wait for a page refresh. I can type an address into the To: field, and it autocompletes. I can switch back from emails to the inbox without a refresh. It's lightning fast and responsive. Hotmail? Click ... wait.

3. Search, Don't Sort: You probably have a good time organizing your email into folders. Or maybe you don't have your email in folders, you like to go page to page looking for that email written a month ago. In Gmail, Google indexes your emails the same way they index the web. That means I can run searches to find my emails. And since my ass has tight Google game, I can find any email I want in one search. Fucking right!

4. No graphical ads: Hotmail is slow as fuck! I don't know how you can stand it! Gmail has no graphical banner ads to slow down page load (and waste my time).

5. Keyboard shortcuts: Power users love keyboard shortcuts, because they allow you to move faster through an application. Like Ctrl-C for copy, and Ctrl-V for paste. I can switch to the inbox with g-i. Compose an email with c. Reply to an email with r. Hotmail? I couldn't find the send button.

6. Threaded conversations: I bet you like to see TeamID spamming your inbox. Replying to the same gatdamn email. "re: Why Shaun is gay" showing up 20 times. Not for me. My emails are threaded, so all replies show up in one spot. And you get a wicked interface to expand/collapse individual emails within the thread.

In conclusion, fuck hotmail. And fuck you too Kev.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Great Neighbourhood Race Countdown

Only 2 weeks until Team ID's third running of the United Way Great Neighbourhood race. Like Destiny's Child, half of the roster has been switched. Jon "I'm too lazy and stupid to sign up online" Yu replaces Ruby "I don't want to sweat on my birthday" Heer. And my wife is running for me, cuz my Google game is tighter than hers anyways.

But that's not what this blog is about. Check out this picture right hurr. It's a picture of The Natty's team, Team "Where My Girls At" ... They posted it on the United Way website -- By the way, how come there was no picture of us? What the fuck?

But when they posted the picture, they cut the Natty out! Oh punk! I learned in Yearbook class never to crop someone out of a picture just because they don't fit. Maybe the United Way thought it would make the picture look better if she was out. Pwn3d son!

Why The World Does Not Need (to watch) Superman

Potential spoilers below. Read at your own risk.

I apologize for pimping this movie. I apologize for showing any interest. I apologize for my friend Ruby, and my wife Cathy (and my sexually confused friend Jon). They are blinded by the pretty boy looks of Brandon Routh. Once you go a bit deeper, Superman Returns is full of cliche, in-your-face metaphor that's been seen before.

Man leaves. Woman can't wait, and moves on. Man returns. Man tries to get back into woman's life. Woman is confused, and cries a lot. Done. That's the whole movie. In one scene, Lois sits in front of her laptop, ready to write an article titled "Why the world needs Superman." The article is blank, and she's having a hard time starting. As tears stream down her face, the shot cuts to the cursor, which of course is shaped like the letter "I". The world doesn't need Superman, she does (the dirty tramp!). How you gonna play Cyclops like that? That's not his son!

Throw in a little Christ-figure for good measure: "I hear them crying for a saviour every day" ... "He seems to be everywhere at once" ... "A son becomes a father, and a father becomes a son" ... Get a shot of Superman in the crucifix position as he falls. Have him stabbed in the side.

A little Greek mythology for you perhaps? The references to Prometheus, or the shot of Superman with the world on his shoulders a la Atlas? Yawn. I could keep going picking this movie apart ... too easy.

The movie may have been better if you gave Kal Penn (of Harold and Kumar fame) more lines than ... zero. Geez, why are you so serious?

A few tips for director Bryan Singer. Please don't use so much symphony music. Please don't recycle plotlines from previous Superman movies. Watch the sappiness factor. And CG Superman looks as bad as CG Spider-man. Stop overusing CG!

In closing, I have an answer for you Jon. You were looking for the 15 minutes of the movie that suffered when Singer allegedly left Superman to help Peter Jackson direct King Kong. It suffered somewhere in the beginning ... all the way to the end.