Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Politics and Poker

Many of you know that Dr. Tape is a big fan of poker.  Playing it, watching it on TV and reading the latest books or magazines about it are among my favorite pastimes.  Back in December I actually came in 8th out of 858 entries at a World Series of Poker circuit event at Harrah's in Atlantic City. Here is the link showing the results; http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-tournaments/4017-2012-wsop-circuit-harah-s-resort-atlantic-city/1096979/results. So far it is the highlight of my poker career.

Recently the topic of legal, on-line poker has become very hot in this country.  Some states are moving towards legalization while others are "exploring" the possibility.  Is this a good thing? I am not quite sure.  The allure of being able to play poker from home in my underwear is very appealing.  Just boot up and join in.  No more 2 hour drives to Atlantic City or Foxwoods.  But the potential for malfeasance looms large. Can they prevent cheating on-line?  I am not an expert so I don't know what the story is but there are rumors abounding that the hands weren't actually random and that there is software that allows one player to see what cards the other players were dealt.  Can this be true?  And of course there are the politicians.

The thing that is currently holding up progress is the politicians.  With the economy in the tank and our municipalities in over their heads (like Stockton, CA) politicians are always looking for new sources of tax revenue. When they smell potential new taxes its like a group (herd?, flock?) of Great Whites attacking a wounded seal.  They all want a piece of the action and they will fight to protect this turf. After all that's what they live for. Right now if you win less than $5000.00 in a casino (at least the casinos that I go to) nobody (ie the taxman) knows about it.  The way things are shaping up with on-line play is that you will be taxed from the very first dollar. I think this is being lost on the people that are advocating on-line play.

What will the result be?  I fear that legalized on-line poker will become a vast wasteland similar to off-track betting on races.  It will become a patronage job given to some well connected political lackey that will mismanage it into oblivion while squeezing every penny out of it that they can. That's why its a casino for me. Or a good home game.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Life Is My House

Back in 2001 when Dr. Tape was still married my wife and I saw a movie called My Life As A House. It told the story of a man who was diagnosed with some untreatable form of cancer and his quest to build a house before he died. It was actually quite good and featured lots of gratuitous sex.  I mean LOTS of it.

I am thinking of this because I have recently purchased a new house. Well, new for me anyway.  It was actually built about 60 years ago. I am currently in the process of renovating it. My goal is to finish it before I die.  Which is hopefully 20 or more years away.

My days have become filled with anticipation of that call from my contractor telling me of some newfound issue that needs to be addressed before anything else can be done.  Nothing major or house threatening but still a pain in the butt that eats into the day.  I just found out that the front of the house is leaking.  Badly.  It needs to be torn off and re-sided. With new windows and front door. Well, the door doesn't really count because I needed one anyway. Oh wow, I just got a call from my contractor saying the siding I want isn't in stock and it will be 2 weeks to get it.  Just another bump in the road.

The fact that all this is happening to me is quite a shock.  I mean I watch all those home improvement shows on TV.  I love Home Depot and Lowe's.  I built my own deck for Pete's sake. (Who is Pete anyway?). I shouldn't have these issues.  They are for people that don't do their homework.  I guess you never know what you will find behind door #2.

I an effort to help speed completion of this venture I said that I would do the painting.  Let's just say that it isn't going quite as smoothly as I had hoped. The big problem is the blue painter's tape.  It seems to be very finicky and it is giving me headaches out the wazoo. I find it difficult to believe that I, Dr. Tape, is having an issue with TAPE. The irony is immense. I think next time I will just keep my mouth shut and hire a painter.  Or leave the walls bare. The way things are going either way looks much more appealing than painting.

I will keep you posted on the progress we are making.  After it's all done there is a big BBQ at my place.

"There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -- Frank Zappa