Monday, March 27, 2006

Biggest Patriots Fan in the World (Not NE either)

That's right boys and girls, my George Mason Patriots have done what Texas, Illinois, Nevada, Arkansas, Northern Iowa, UAB, and Monmouth could not. The #11 seed hailing from Fairfax, VA is headed to the Final Four and holds my March Madness Pool fate in its underdog hands. I was thrilled when they got by Wichita State on Friday to add a win to my pool total along with Texas' unbelievable squeaky win with a 3 point buzzer beater drained by Quentin Paulino to give me two teams in the Elite Eight. From there I figured George Mason had about 1/5th the chance to advance to the Final Four that the Longhorns did, but I like the rest of the nation sat and then jumped in amazement as the Patriots somehow staved off the #1 seed UCONN Huskies in OT after an improbable comeback from being 4 down with under one-minute left in regulation. I still have a chance to win eight times my Madness Pool buy-in if these Patriots can shock the world and take home a national title. Right now there is no bigger GM Patriots fan.

I'm staying away from the virtual (and real) felt for awhile as I try to shake the effects of variance gone wrong. I'm experiencing some withdrawals but have stayed away from everything but crappy freerolls that are more like lotteries with over 9000 entrants (one of which I finished 188th in when 27 of 9000 entrants moved on in the satellite). More interesting than my non-adventures in the poker world will be reading the accounts of the 6 or so from our poker blogging community that received the opportunity to participate in a charity poker tournament this past weekend at THE PLAYBOY MANSION. I can wait to get my read on.

This weekend also brought the start of another season of softball as I am currently playing in a Friday night and Sunday night league. Thankfully the Friday night league game was cancelled this past weekend allowing me and my teammates to watch the Madness that has taken place on the hardwood this March. Last night I played my first double header of the season and it has started well as we played some clueless doutsche clowns that had never seen a softball in their lives'. Two run rules and 5 Keystone Lights later I called it a night. I'll be sure to roughly document my and my teams stats/records periodically on the blog like anyone cares.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Madness Resumes

This thing, this American thing called March Madness re-kicks off tonight with some Sweet 16 action and I have a feeling about what will transpire. Gonzaga, Bradley, Texas, LSU will move on and be joined by Washington, George Mason, Boston College, and Georgetown in the Elite 8. OK, you're right, that is not what I think will happen, but the results that would assist me the most in my bracket picks and more importantly winning my office draft pool (for pride only, yeah right). For me to cinch the title I could really us a University of Texas and George Mason final game on April 3. Get your cheerin' hats on and be thankful we have something to entertain ourselves with since we can't go to the Mansion.

Poker Blogger = Royalty

Too bad I'm not qualified yet. Maybe in a couple years I can attain what is a very prominent position these days: respected poker blogger. It will take a lot of writing practice, many bad beats, riding that roller coaster known as variance out so my tight ass will come out ahead of the fish, and maybe some trips to LV to take part in some SPBT and WPBT events. That should give me plenty of entertaining stories to write 7 novels about the absurdity that is the poker lifestyle, but that's why we dig this shit man.

Oh yeah, the reason I bring this up.................Joe Speaker, Dr. Tao, CJ, Bobby B, Mr. Can't Hang, and I'm probably forgetting someone here.....that's right BG all are heading to none other than the Playboy Mansion this weekend to participate in 1) Charity Poker Event 2) Grabbing bunny/playmate ass and hopefully 3) Taking plenty of pictures and notes to report back to the rest of us sorry saps. To say that us newbie/slacker poker bloggers are jealous is the biggest understatement this side of saying the Chicago Cubs are a struggling franchise. Well at least someone we know gets to have a great experience and I'm sure we'll reap the rewards in the form of tremendous pictures and stories. The best part is we'll have the Playboy Mansion stories coming from several different angles because needless to say Joe Speak and Bobby The Junk have different perceptions and widely differing styles in which to report the debauchery that shall be had this weekend.

Have fun fellas. Don't let us down. Pictures galore with Al doing SoCo shots out of bunnies belly-buttons would be nice.

Monday, March 20, 2006

All Is Not Quite Lost/TO: good/bad/ugly

Well I still have a shot in my office pool thanks to the miracle Patriots of George Mason. All I need now is a showdown between the afore-mentioned Patriots and the Longhorns in the championship game and I'm gold, Jerry, GOLD. This sounds simple and yet also like it has no chance to happen, but I'm not discounting the strange and unexpected in today's NCAA basketball crapshoot world. I mean this March Madness thing has turned into a LeeJones 45 man Turbo S&G in which the guy who goes all in with J8s (this is synonymous to WSU and George Mason matching up in the Sweet Sixteen) on the first hand triples his stack and goes on to maniacally dominant the entire tourney. As you can probably surmise by the tone of this post, the poker life of this humble blogger has been solely on the wrong side of that variance curve with no signs of changing. I heretofore will take a lengthy hiatus from the game and comeback refreshed and ready to dominate in the near future.

To completely change subjects I will admit (even though I didn't list them as one of my main interests) I am a confessed Dallas Cowboys fans and have been since they sucked balls back in 1989. This weekend brought an interesting turn to our franchise when Jerry Jones took a Janet Jones esque type risk when he signed Terrell Owens to a 3 year deal in an attempt to bring this franchise some respectability and a chance to do some damage in the playoffs. As for my opinion on this issue, I feel somewhat like I've flopped the nut straight and have a redraw to the nut flush and am all in against the poor guy with only the str8, so I'm on a complete freeroll for the whole pot. Let me explain that analogy by saying I'm risking nothing as a Cowboy fan to bring in TO because our team has been hopeless for the past decade (ever since the franchise took to snorting coke as opposed to perfected their football skillz). So either TO ruins the team chemistry and we are still hopeless, ORRRRRRRRR, he dominates and turns into a choir boy at the hands of madman Parcells and the Cowboys become a legit offensive force and thus a complete team with a chance to compete with the best in the NFL.

I am thinking of starting a pool on the over/under of when TO destroys the team single-handedly and am contemplating about Week 5 right now. Let me know if you think this line is reasonable and which side of the bet you like. You fictitious loyal readers of this blog.

Friday, March 17, 2006

F^@$ March Madness

Welp I'm deep in the hole here. I only pay for one gamblin' adventure for March Madness, and I get f*#$@d in the ass. Farkin' Arkansas, Nevada, UNC Wilmington do me in the freakin' butt you know. I need UT and the George Mason to take it to the house if I have any chance to take it to Lee Jones's asshole. I'm so ready to down that $1 million guaranteed I can't stand myself. Someone respond to this drunken post or else this blog is roasted.

This blog entry has been edited in in an attempt to not offend the elderly, youth, and all of humanity in general. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I'm Back/March Madness/WBC

That was a long break due mainly to just laziness. I have been fairly busy with work, poker, menial tasks and outings in the OKC. Last weekend I hit the Hornets/Pacers game and was fairly disappointed in a couple of things: 1) the Hornets played lack-luster basketball and lost and 2) a brawl nearly broke out when Chris Paul was fouled excessively hard and Desmond Mason stepped in to assist in any needed ass-whoopins but the referees quickly diffused the situation to my great disappointment. I thought at minimum there was a small chance that a Pistons/Pacers type brawl could break out, Stephen Jackson would enter the stands and hit me in the face, and BLAMMMO instant Poker Bankroll. It wasn't to be.

The past weekend was also big in that Sunday was indeed Selection Sunday which sets us sports fans for one of the best months of the year. This year I have less college basketball knowledge than I normally have because I have been paying extra attention on the NBA because of our own Hometown Hornets. I think this lack of knowledge may assist me in filling out a more accurate bracket as it seems the more you know about these college hoops teams the worse you pick the games. As of yet I've not entered into any paid contests for the brackets and I don't plan on doing so, but I have entered a few pride contests amongst groups of which I am associated with (now that's anonymity at its finest).

The WBC is in its 2nd round and the US snuck out a win against the venerable Japanese team with the assistance of a controversial call that took away a run scored on a sacrifice fly by Japan. A-Rod came up clutch for a change on a well struck ball that trickled through the Japanese infield for the game winning single with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning. Last night though a new favorite has emerged in this inaugural World Baseball Classic as the Korean team punished the US 7-3 and remained as the only unbeaten team in this contest. I still think that the Dominican lineup will be tough to beat as they can score with anyone and will more than likely win the entire tourney unless their pitchers totally abandon them.

As far as poker goes not too many exciting events happened. Played a few cash games with some small success and played more low level Turbo S&G's on Lee Jones's site. What is frustrating is making all the right moves when play gets to 6 handed in those 18 man S&G's and either not getting action on your monsters (all folded when I had KK, QQ, AA twice) and then getting sucked out on by the shortstack when you do get action (my second KK got snapped off when the shortstack flat called my 3x BB raise with A9o and hit his A on the flop). Oh well, I am making the correct decisions and I know in the long run they will pay off. I will attempt to incorporate more poker in the blog in the near future, but before I can do that I need to incorporate more poker in my life on the virtual felt. Until next time, this is the Cubs' year.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Better Prop Bets and DADAW

Well after getting destroyed in my virgin attempt at becoming a prop bet pro in the Duke/UNC game I took a step up last night during the Hornets/Lakers game. No, there was no bet on the score of the game, how many points Kobe's selfish ass would score, or how dominant (the certain ROY) CP3 would be for the Hornets. Instead me and my fellow HornetsCentral bloggers Rod4Sooners and Wooldoor Sockbat met at the local Buffalo Wild Wings to take advantage of $.50 leg night, a big screen with the big game, and attractive waitresses. Now the attractive waitresses is where the prop bets enter into the equation and Wooldoor and I went to war for a $5 prop on the over/under of one of the hot waitresses (I believe her name was Amber). Wooldoor insisted that his, "you have to look at the eyes" method of judging a woman's age was infallible and that he estimated our girl to be about 27. I quickly interjected and said she was in the range of 23-25. I received the 25 and under on the bet and was eventually proven to be the winner as she confessed she was 23 years-old.

Now to the expanding of the DAD acronym to DADAW. After the Hornets predictably gave up their 8 point 4th quarter lead to that selfish (but still skillfull bastard) Kobe Bryant and the Lakers I headed home and had a cheap Turbo S&G on my mind. The tourney started with a bang as I folded the first two hands, but found JJ UTG and did something I will hardly ever do in that situation as I limped in the pot for T20 because I had already identified a wild maniac that was directly to my left. As expected he raise to 6X BB or T120 and got one caller and I call as well and we see a flop of 252. I again play passive and check to the maniac who bets T200 and the other caller quickly folds and I estimate that the maniac will call my raise to T700, but he doesn't and I take a nice early pot. 2 hands after the JJ, I receive KK in the SB and see it all folded around to me and I put in a nice raise to 5X BB to see if the maniac will play back at me. Sure enough he calls and we see a rag flop of 852 all diamonds and I hold the K of diamonds I bet somewhere in the region of 3/4 pot and maniac quickly calls. The turn and the river blank off and I collect a decent pot and I see that the maniac was calling me down with J6o. Nothing interesting happens for a while besides we are down to the final 9 (out of 18 starting) in just 16 minutes with the blinds still at a reasonable 50/100. I stay out of the way for a while and then comes the fateful hand as I look down at the two black AA on the button. UTG and UTG+1 limp and I drool as the player to my right raise to T600 (blinds are 100/200 now) and I gladly push in my last T1800 and folds around to the Donk who calls with J8s. I am rejoicing now that I can really play after this big hand as I'll have T4000+ and a good shot at running this final table until I get that nauseating feeling when we see a flop of T9T to give this Drawing Donk and OESD. No tension to the river as the turn gives us the deciding Q and I'm eliminated in 6th place (two out of the money) because the Donkeys Always Draw And Win.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bonds, Barry Bonds

More big baseball news today and instead of a literal death, this may mean the figurative death to Bonds' records he holds now (7 MVP's, 73 HR single-season, 708 HR career total) and records he may break including the career HR records of Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron. Oh how the mighty fall fast. Read up on the excerpts from the upcoming book to out Bonds and the rest of the BALCO brewhaha in this article from SFGATE.com. Want some good laughs? Read the comments section attached to the podcast link in the article. These left-coast Bonds fanatics can't see past their admiration for what I believe is still one of the greatest baseball players of all time. I mean I admire the guy for all that he had done in the game until '98, but come on fellas all these facts and witnesses can't even be made up in Hollyweird. BTW, yes I am going for the record for post entries in a day (even though all of the words in my several posts don't equal the words in Pauly's one great post today).

Reverting Back to Our Fishy Ways

Again this article is too good to be missed. What at first looked like a hoax, joke article turns out to be a strange phenomena in which these folks walk with all four limbs. Fairly strange, but I thought there was an interesting poker analogy here. Sometimes, although we hate to admit it, we revert back to playing poker like we did when we first learned the game and play so-called ABC poker. This in some respects can be good if involved in a low-limit or even micro-limit games because often the donks that inhabit these regions have nothing but Level 1 ideas flowing through their head and it is fruitless to attempt to bluff these folks. However if we revert to a playing style that is so by-the-book in a highly competitive no-limit game we will be easily read and exploited by the adept players around us. Interesting connection I know, but really was just looking for some reason to link this article I found on the Drudge Report.

Baseball's Big Loss

The baseball world has lost a big man, literally and figuratively. Kirby Puckett has passed at age 45 and the Minnesota Twins and MLB lost what was at one time, not only one of the best CF's of all-time but more importantly the shining face of a franchise and sport. The man was solely responsible for sending the '91 Series against the Braves into one of the best game 7's to ever be witnessed on Earth with a dramatic homerun and tremendous defensive play. I had no personal stake in that series (although I was a defacto Braves fan since my Cubs were sitting at home during the 90's in October) other than a huge baseball fan and that was the most exciting World Series I can remember. Thank you Kirby for that and all you did for the game and the Minnesota community. If not for you I'm not sure baseball would have survived up in that great region of our country. Rest In Peace.

Why I Pwn Donkeys

Hell of way to start the day. I open up my internet browser and see an article with this title on my homepage. I like to think that like this good man I pwn all donkeys, but sometimes it's just not that simple. More to come today, but when I witnessed this article I didn't want it to go to waste when I actually started to "work" at work today, enjoy (you fictitious crowd of mine).

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Re-buy? Who me?

I'm not a re-buy type of guy, I'm a low-roller who tries to sneak up on folks which can be tough when you play the tight-aggressive style that can slip towards weak-tight at times. In any event I'm going to attempt to complete my first foray into the live blogging community in my first of many tributes to the great Dr. Pauly.

4:30pm: I buy into the $3+re-buy satellite into the LeeJones $1 Million guaranteed Sunday tourney knowing full well I'm gonna play it like a freeze-out (even though I know this is not correct re-buy strategy). I won't be afraid to get it all-in early with big draws.

4:32pm: Sweet cards Lee. Let's pick it up a bit. The best I've seen is T8o in the CO position and that ain't gonna do it.

4:39pm: still not a damn thing goin'. 86s, 74o, etc. etc.

4:46pm: I see AJo UTG and am antsy to play, raise it to 3x BB and make a continuation bet when the flop comes all rags. I work over the only doutsche clown with KJs who tries weekly to bluff me off my lead in the hand when the board comes off all blanks for both. Tough shit for him though because I read the BS in his eyes (yes this is online poker). Chipped up to T1985.

4:51pm: MP and I see AA, one limper and I conservatively bump it to 5X BB and no action. Whaaaaaa!? In a $3 re-buy? What shit. I almost limped too because the previous hand the table maniac made it 13XBB from the button but I biotched out on the "slowplay the maniac" move because I thought the limper would increase the action. No go and I'm at T2015.

4:55pm: I think I've successfully guaranteed myself no action by playing 2 out of the first 25 hands dealt. Whoops. I'll have to turn maniac in LP for a minute.

5:04pm: Q9s looked good from the CO, but with 3 limpers I try to hit a big hand and flop comes KT5 all of diamonds I fold to a bet and a raise. Very next hand get AQs and raise to 4X BB, get one caller and bet out on a KJQ flop and end up taking pot off of maniac. Fold QJs next hand to min-raise and would have won an all-in, but I don't have quite that gamboool in me yet.

5:09pm: Well that was fun. 3 hands later I get AA again UTG and bump to 4x BB and get call, call, call, call, call, raise all-in to T1400, I re-raise all-in for T2900 and get one more caller for 3 to flop with my AA against 88 and 55, so much for not getting action eh fellas? Board comes 896T8 and the maniac sends me home with quads. Would like to have seen what I could have done with about T8000 at that point when the tourney average was T4000, but LeeJones didn't want me to. What are you going to do?

Update 6:11pm: After an hour of untilt time I thought I would post the Hand History here for a couple of reasons: 1) To prove I'm not totally full of shit. 2) Any comments on the play here, or as I think this is pretty typical of maniacal play in re-buy tourneys?

Umm ok. For some reason I don't get a paste option when I right-click in the post section, so I guess I'm not posting the HH here. Anyone clue me in on how to (if at all) Copy and Paste Hand Histories or other content into these posts?

Birthday Bash

No, it wasn't my birthday being celebrated yesterday, but rather my 1 year-old nephew (or as I like to call him, the next Ryne Sandberg). You talk about excitement: booze, strippers, casinos. No not really. I thought poker was a stimulating challenge, but that was prior to attempting to separate children's trucks and toys from their respective packages, so the little ones could entertain themselves for hours on end. The only problem was it takes about half an hour to take each toy out of the package (that's a little exaggerated but not by much). I mean the manufacturers of these toys must think that criminals are filtering into Wal-Mart's and Toy'R-Us pilfering these huge trucks and slipping away with them in there 6 foot cargo pockets because they have about 16 or 17 high density twist ties anchoring each 2.5 centimeters of the toy to its box. After all of the presents were opened and all the one year old kids had been thoroughly covered in icing and cake it was time the party end and I get a well deserved nap.

After slobbering liberally on my pillow to signify the successful completion of my nap I was off to the virtual felt to try and reverse what has been a less than joyful visit to the negative side of the variance whore. My last two sessions had been poor enough for me to drop approximately 4 buy-ins at my usual no-limit tables, which for my style of play is indicative of a very wild swing in the wrong direction. My sessions started off positively with me advancing to the final table of my first 18 man 2-table Turbo S&G, and chipping up about 8 BB in the first 2-3 orbits of my NL cash game. Soon enough though that ugly whore, variance reared her Medusa-like head and I was out of the S&G two off the money and my chips had slipped to -15BB or so in my NL cash game. No huge mistakes but rather taking the wrong side of a coin flip here and there coupled with a passive player not raising me when my pre-flop raise with QQ to 4x BB found a K-high flop and the villain decided to call my value bet on the flop, check it to me on the turn (I check behind), and one last check followed by calling of my one last value bet on the river only to flip up AK off. I wasn't too disappointed in my play because I didn't have a solid read on this villain as of yet and most players at this level play their hand fast at least after my strong 2/3 pot bet on the flop, but this must have been one of those tricky guys who likes to get snapped off giving good odds to chase, but it was successful here so who am I to argue.

After approximately a short 150 hand session at two NL tables that found me a full buy-in in the red, and 3 solid but unworthy of cashing S&G Turbo's I was ready to get on to watching the best rivalry in college basketball history: UNC @ Duke for Duke's senior night. I've never been quite the sports gambling type, but with my acclimation to the poker and more the poker-blogging community I couldn't pass up the opportunity for some small prop bets on the B-ball game. Well that turned out about as well as my poker session from the afternoon when I went 1-3 in prop bets in which I felt I had the best of it in 3 of the 4 after considering them carefully. The first prop was set with 8 minutes left in the first have and set the over/under for the first half at 63 when there was 41 total at the time. I had the under and went down in flames on the first prop. The second prop was set for Reddick's total points and was set at 28.5. I gladly take the over after considering 3 main factoids: he started the game with 9 points in the first 3.5 minutes, he has averaged just over 30 ppg for the entire season, and this is his senior night for his last ever regular season game at Cameron and UNC was his opponent. Well after his 3 for 4 start from the field he never got going and I don't think he ever reached 22 points, so now I'm 0-2. At the half UNC was playing surprisingly well and was within a point of Duke and my compadre wanted to give me Duke -5 1/2 and I gladly accepted. That too went down in flames as UNC dominated Duke on their floor on their senior night in very impressive fashion. I snaked out my only win in the props by correctly guessing the end time of the game to be post 10:06pm CST and that was like taking candy from a baby.

After all that excitement I couldn't resist climbing my way back to the felt at Lee Jones's virtual casino to reverse. I climb into a few of my normal Turbo S&G's and enter a third at a level of 4X my usual Turbo buy-in because I figure I have to reach some level of equality with the biotch we know as variance as I am usually a strong favorite in these 18 man Turbo's. Well I start pretty conservative in the big buy-in Turbo as I just want to give myself the opportunity to reach the final 9 with around an average stack and just outplay my opposition from there. Prior to that though I was playing very fast my 2 lower buy-in Turbo's and made the final 7 in both only to find my way out after running AJ into AK and another lost coinflip. Now I was very focused on the higher buy-in Turbo and was determined to take the thing down as we headed to the final 9. I am at about half the average stack as the final table begins and I know I will have to make some moves in late position and in MP for that matter if I am to have any shot at surviving the bubble with any chips. I successfully steal the blinds and antes from the button and cut off with nothing better than 82s and am set for some actions when I find a hand. I finally do catch QQ in the BB and get some strong action and more than double up to put me in line as the chip leader with 6 players remaining. I stayed aggressive with sub-par hands in late position which keyed my strong finish as I coasted into the final 3 with very few confrontations. I gamboool it up as I have over 1/2 the chips with 3 left and put a beat on the 2 man to get it to heads up when my JQo takes down his Ax. I get it well behind when I am a 6:1 leader in chips and double my man up, but soon after I take down 1st in the Turbo as my OESD takes down his flopped second pair on the river.

That's all the ramble I have in me right now as I'm trying to pay a little closer attention to this Cubbie pre-season game. We're currently knocking it around the yard on the Giants rag-arm staff. Also, shout out to the right-fielder of the SF Giants in this one Daniel Ortmeier as I played with him at The University of Texas-Arlington back in my athlete days.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Real Gamboooolery

Those poor saps in Washington DC think we poker players are low down, no good gamblers. Well if they would like to witness some true, hardcore gambooolers, all they would have to do is flip their televisions over to NBC this week and watch some of these participants on the semi-new show, Deal or No Deal. I mean to think this gentleman last night threw away something like $167,000 on the "advice" of his 9 year-old daughter with a 3:1 shot at receiving a higher sum of money. I really think that he was about to take the banker's offer because his brothers (I think they were his brothers or at least his friends) and his mom were screaming for him to take the deal, but then Howie marches his young daughter on stage and asks her if her dad should take the money or press his luck and hope for no whammies. Well, the girl is a future no-limit star in the ilk of Tuan Le because she said to hell with the $167k, we're going for the big bucks. Thankfully for this young man he picked a case with a low $ amount and he ended receiving $250,000 from the banker instead of flipping a coin (there were two cases left) for 1/2 a million bucks. Now that my friends is gamboool, not pushing in with the second nut flush draw on the flop in a $1/2 nl game with $750 sitting in front of you. Applause to those with bigger nuts than me.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Links, Cubs, Hornets, etc.

I am obviously very much a newbie here but I have learned how to add some links, so I will occasionally add some links over to the write of this ridiculously cool blog (As you can see now there are links to some great poker content now: go click and learn boys and girls). Also I would like to celebrate not only the beginning of lent (yesterday), but also the beginning of another disappointing Chicago Cubs year with me listening to our exploits on MLB Gameday. For more insight into my interests in life in general, I have recently re-committed some of my time and more of my cheering exploits to the NBA and more specifically the OKC Hornets (yeah, that's right biotches, I said it) as they have recently blessed us with the first major-league sports franchise in what has been a long time coming for this great Metro area in the middle of what Charles Barkley calls, "a vast wasteland." Hmmmm, I will also occasionally mention that I drink some adult beverages, mostly Keystone when it comes to beer, and you may hear future references to Keystone that refer to my dog because that is her name and she's one of the biggest characters in my life. I'm sure I'll come up with some more, but for now this is all the BS I can think of that I would like to share now.

Testing 3,2,1 or is it 1,2,3

Houston, we have a test post. As a beginning statement I'll just say as a major donk one of my favorite hands to play is T7s, it's probably a major weakness, but at least I only play it in the CO or on the Button when I know that the other doutsche-clowns in the hand are weak or I have that weird premonition that I'm about to flop the absolute Donkey Nuts. I'll expand a little later, but initially this post was created at the same time as starting a blog just to post in the comments section of a fellow poker-blogger (if I can actually call myself that).