Sunday, January 11, 2015

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 12th

Happy New Year everybody and may it be a good 2015 to you!

I honestly feel very worried about this year.  I feel like all sorts of bad things will happen to me or people I love.  I hope not, but I had this eerie feeling on New Year's Eve about it.   You just never know -- I will hope for the best and make the most out of the worst.

I want to make a special salute to the guy who invented Raisin Bran.   He looked at his bowl of Total one day and said, "hey why don't I add some raisins?"  Then he added them and decided to save the step for the rest of us.   What a great man that guy is, the Raisin Bran inventor.

What is green anyway but a color?  And the name of a guy who plays for the Golden State Warriors?  And the light that says you can go now.  

You know how when you go all the way into the pool people say you're underwater?  How can you be underwater?   When you put yourself in you are IN the water!  If you were underwater you'd be beneath the floor of the pool. 

Well it happened, during a trip I made to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, CES, I made a stop at the NYNY Hotel and Casino.   Never got a room there before, but my goodness, what a great spot.   It's got the feel of a mini NY, and even brought over some of NY's best spots.   Gallagher's is in the fake NY within the building, and outside of the building, next to the fake Brooklyn Bridge, is a new Shake Shack location.  No joke!  I went in to try a burger, and truly, it *was* the bread.  Very good.   Incredibly good!   Still not as good as In N Out though, oh ho ho ho!

Nonetheless, I loved it.   CES itself was a dream.  I think I would have liked to spend more time in the cumulative exhibit halls, but that would have required another day.  I will try to make that happen next year provided I have the means and the allotted time to do so.   CES really showcased it all -- new advances in robotics, stylish, exciting new TV's, some good interviews on stage, and for me, the best in high end home audio systems over at the Venetian's "Tech West" section of CES.  The Convention Center is the meat of the show, which is known as "Tech East".   I have more to tell but maybe another time.  Truly great.

I decided to start playing craps using the "don't pass" bar.   This all started when I met a old friend of mine, formerly a coworker, who coincidentally was in Vegas at the same time for CES.  I had no idea.  HE had no idea!  And when he saw my posts on facebook about Vegas, he messaged me to say he was in town.  How cool was that?  We went to a buffet at Caesar's known as the Bacchanal.  Ohhhhh baby, we have a new entry to the Dave in the City "top buffets in Vegas."  I thought for a while that the Wynn and the Cosmopolitan were the two best and nobody was close -- not so!  Bacchanal at Caesars now becomes the third entry in quite a triumverate.  Here's what they do at Caesar's that they don't do at the others, pre-shucked oysters.  YOU WON'T EVEN BELIEVE IT.  So good!   So exceptional... they even made this kielbasa that just blew me away.  Yes, sausage... a huge fan of the sausage there.

Anyway, after that experience, my friend asked if I could show him some of the games, so we went to one of the craps tables at Caesars, 10 dollar table.  I put in a few bones and showed him how to put the bet on the pass line... and then those clowns went 7 out four times in a row!   Outrageous!!  I got so mad and one of the dealers, the lady there, said "you could try the don't pass bar!"  I told her "oh nobody does that bet, people would get all mad at you."

Then, after getting cleaned out at Caesars, I thought it over.  I was in bed thinking of the "don't pass bar".   The next day, my buddy and I were at the LINQ and I tried it out.  I tried to keep a low profile until I foolishly said "wow, quite a run you got going there" to one of the fellas.  He was the shooter and the shooter was hot, and he was tweaking me saying "well you gotta bet on luck, don't bet against luck!"

Up to his turn, I was doing pretty well w/ the Don't Pass bar... I put down the bones on the bar and the point rolled a 4.. 4 had almost no shot, so we felt good about it, and then won w a 7-out.  I tried it again, no odds, just the don't pass, and BOOM it hit again.  A guy or two left the table, then said shooter just went off, but after a while I adjusted and put my bones on the PASS line, then it 7'd out.   He was a nice dude and all too, he was a UCLA alum in fact, noticing our two UCLA denoted CES badges.  We wore those badges the whole trip, it was quite the conversation starter!

Anyway, despite the probable dirty looks I got, the Don't Pass appears to be good craps strategy.  I think I came out of that exchange down just ten but I was at that table for a pretty good while.

Good trip, lots of fun, I want to be back!

Since that day I have been testing out craps strategies on various simulators... an app on my phone, web apps, etc.  Fake dollars of course.

The Calvin Johnson rule is a dumb rule -- get rid of it!

With that said, I think the Packers are a deserving entry into the NFC Championship game.  I don't think it really matters whether Dallas or Green Bay goes to Seattle, the Hawks are playing at an exceptional level right now, defensively.  Good luck to both teams.

That's all from here... if you want to hear one of the most influential albums of the last ten years, pick up on "" from Justice, a French Dance Music group.   It's otherwise known as "Cross."  I've heard it a couple times in full and songs from it over the last decade since the album came out.  Incredible music!  A great collage of samples.  Lots of fun!   

I'mmmm back, baby!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Say Hello to Ottis and Andy in Seattle: Co-Champions of the "Kids Club" Football Picks Contest!

I am pleased to announce the winners of our "Kids Club" Football Picks Contest.  And the winners ARE:

Andy in Seattle
Say Hello to Ottis

Both finished with a 34-29-3 record to complete the first place co-championship.  Way to go fellas!  We'll give you the final standings here:

Andy: 34-29-3
Ottis: 34-29-3
John: 32-33-1
Ron: 27-35-4

Major props to Andy for coming from way back in the standings, numerous games under .500, to reach first place.  An incredible comeback for Mr. in Seattle.  Oat Man did a good job keeping pace despite some 0-4 weeks (everyone had their share of 0-4 weeks with the unpredictable college season).  Now we'll show you how their final picks went.  These were four bowl picks made in mid-December plus two picks from NFL Week 16.

Andy in Seattle (2-4 for Week 16)
Hit with: Rice, Duke
Missed with: Alabama, USC, Patriots, Broncos

Say Hello to Ottis (2-4 for Week 16)
Hit with: Mizzou, Vikings
Missed with: Alabama, LSU, UNC, Broncos

John in CT (3-3 for Week 16)
Hit with: Duke, Vikings, Packers
Missed with: SDSU, Cincinnati, Minnesota

Ron in NJ (2-4 for Week 16)
Hit with: Texas A&M, Vikings
Missed with: NIU, LSU, Auburn, Lions

One overarching observation about the final picks: Bowl games are nearly IMPOSSIBLE to predict.   The later you get into Bowl Season, the harder it gets as well.  Teams like Florida State, Alabama, and Baylor seemed like good plays but ultimately failed to cover the spread.  NFL went better for most of the club and most fellas either split or swept the two NFL games to close Week 16.

It was a fun year, and a great contest.  Props to all who participated: John, Ron, Andy, and Ottis.  Here's to future success picking games!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dave's Christmas Thoughts of the Day: December 21st

Ho ho ho Merrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry Christmas!

Last blog entry before the big holiday season.   Well!  I have a question for you.   When you shower, do you take the bar of soap and scrub your feet?  I bet almost nobody does... isn't that funny?  How do they get clean?   Somehow I've gone on this way and not worried about it.   I do rub a dub the tops of the feet sometimes, but never the bottom.  It's funny this only occurred to me this year.

All done with the present shopping except for a couple things.  I have a gift to purchase for one of my grandmothers and an additional item to add for my father.  Aside from that, it's all in the books.   I did almost all the shopping online this year.  Saved me a ton of trouble and I really haven't fought through any lines.   For me it's the way to go!

Ever try the "Beef Bowl" cut at Lawry's?   I'm dying to give it a spin sometime soon, and perhaps my moment is at hand.  I've developed a sort of tradition at Lawry's.  Every year during the winter or Fall, I make one trip to Lawry's for a meal.  Unfortunately, most of my friends don't care for prime rib, so to date I have made every trip to Lawry's myself.  It's too bad too because it's a great experience.  Anyway, the "Beef Bowl" cut is an enormous, monstrous, simply ridiculous cut of standing rib roast that usually is served to participating players in the Rose Bowl game.  However, it's available to order as a civilian if you can pay the price.  I haven't up to now but maybe that time is changing.   I get a nice little cash bonus from the departments (not in the thousands or anything, but enough for a good steakhouse meal) before the Winter Break.  It's truly a nice gesture by all.   I can use it this year to furnish this beef bowl prime rib meal.   Here's a look at it:

I got a version of the picture with a guy seated next to it so you get an idea just how bit it is... the beef is six inches thick!   Outstanding!!!!!!!!!!!!

Would you be able to eat the whole thing?  I'd love to try and find out.

On Saturday I kicked off the college bowl season with a trip to Tony P's for breakfast.   I think I blew everybody away coming in so early... it wasn't even 10am yet.   Everyone was friendly, nonetheless.  I ordered the pancakes and bacon... that was some of the best pancakes I've had in my life!  Eating that while watching Nevada and Louisiana-Laffayette punt the ball around was a good time, the game wasn't good at all, but the food was exemplary.   I ordered coffee with it and had about a dozen refills.  No wonder I was up past 1 that night.

The little things make me smile.   I never knew Mitch Hedberg did promos for the Atlanta Thrashers long long ago.  That made me smile.   I know it doesn't sound like much, but he did a good job with them.

I know what Mentos are, but it was funny to think about it going through the years.  It was candy, so I thought, but what particular candy was it?  It was last year when I learned Mentos are mints.   They can be chewed too so that they go down more easily.

A big atta boy to the Pittsburgh Steelers for making the playoffs!   First trip to the 'offs in three years!   Feels like it's been quite a long time, but nice to see the 'offs again.  I hope this time they don't get embarrassed at the end as they did against Tim Tebow back then.   The Steelers' defense really isn't any good, but they can have good games when they cheat with an aggressive blitzing pass rush.  Horizontal offenses like the Chiefs are such a good matchup for the Steel City and it played out Sunday afternoon.   A NICE win for the Steelers., setting up Sunday night vs the Bengals with a chance to clinch the AFC North Division.  Looking forward to it!

Hard to believe the Steelers made the playoffs after looking so dead, so lost, so beaten in the first month of the year.  Kudos to Mike Tomlin for getting his boys to believe.  That's a good offense too... it's been fun to watch although frustrating too because they often were playing down to bad teams and losing because of it.

Christmas is a great time of the year.  It's one very few moments of the year where most of society comes to a pause so we can all be together, with our families and some friends, to recognize the birth of Christ, and celebrate our own livelihood.   Many of us, the non-religious ones, emphasize the personal and family reunion aspects of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  However, I always recognize the religious undertones of this time of year.

I also like cookies!   I associate cookies with Christmas, inexplicable as it may be.   Santa eats cookies.  Families bake cookies.  I eat cookies.  It all comes together.

I am so thankful to be healthy again after the absolute worst flu of the year 7 days ago.  It was so bad that I couldn't move.  It basically killed my weekend.  I felt terrible... and I wasnt all there for three days straight.   The next four days were recovery.  I haven't gone to swim the whole time, even up to now.  However, I now am back to full health, and today, on a Sunday evening, I feel so very grateful.  Thanks so much for good health!  I hope to retain my well being through the rest of the month.

I am thankful to once again make it through another year alive, with a roof over my head, and good family to turn to.  I'm thankful for friendly faces and dependable people.  I'm thankful for continued employment and a good hobby with the DITCOW podcast.   It is great to be a functional part of society.  I hope for more good things in 2015.

And to all of you who read this blog.  My thanks to you for reading, and I hope you've enjoyed it.  Go out there and have a great holiday season!   Take care and see you again soon.  Merrrrrrrrrrrrrrry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 16: December 16th

It arrives!  The final week of "Kids Club" picks in a most exciting contest.  Here we go, the picks for Week 16 - Four Bowl Picks this week plus two NFL picks.

Say Hello to Ottis (32-25-3)  
Alabama -9.5 vs Ohio State
Missouri -5.5 vs Minnesota
LSU -7 vs Notre Dame
North Carolina -3 vs Rutgers
Vikings +7 at Dolphins
Broncos -3 at Bengals

Andy in Seattle (32-25-3) 
Alabama -9.5 vs Ohio State
Rice -2 vs Fresno State
Duke +8 vs ASU
USC -6.5 vs Nebraska
Patriots -10 at Jets
Broncos -3 at Bengals

John in CT (29-30-1) 
SDSU -3 vs Navy
Cincinnati -3 vs Va. Tech
Duke +8 vs ASU
Minnesota +5.5 vs Missouri
Vikings +7 at Dolphins
Packers -10.5 at Bucs

Ron in NJ (25-31-4)  
Northern Illinois +10 vs Marshall
Texas A&M +3.5 vs West Virginia
LSU -7 vs Notre Dame
Auburn -6.5 vs Wisconsin
Vikings +7 at Dolphins
Lions -7 at Bears

First place is up for grabs.  We'll announce the winner of the contest in January!  Good luck to all the picks! 

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 15 Results: Big week for Andy and Ottis, Two way tie for 1st

And we are set for a monster finish to our "Kids Club " football picks contest.   Ottis had the best week, going 4-0, Andy was second best at 2-1-1.  Ron managed to salvage two pushes in an otherwise bad week for him and John held steady at 2-2.  Let's break it all down.

Say Hello to Ottis (4-0) 
Hit with: Patriots, Jets, Broncos, Cowboys
Missed with: [none]

Andy in Seattle (2-1-1) 
Hit with: Chiefs, Patriots
Missed with: Ravens
Ties: Seahawks

John in CT (2-2) 
Hit with: Patriots, Jets
Missed with: Rams, Chargers

Ron in NJ (0-2-2) 
Hit with: [none]
Missed with: Giants, Browns
Ties: Seahawks, Texans

15 weeks down, and one big week left, here are our standings entering week 16...

Ottis: 32-25-3
Andy: 32-25-3
John: 29-30-1
Ron: 25-31-4

Away we go!  Tonight we have our "Bowl Preview" show on the DITCOW podcast (@ditcow).   On this program we'll also provide our final "Kids Club" picks of the season.  This week each panelist provides six total picks - 4 bowl picks plus 2 NFL Week 16 picks.   It shall provide for an exciting conclusion in our contest.  Tune in!  (

LOCKS of the Week Result: 1-0. Season Record now 19-27

Cowboys came through for me!

So with that hit, my 1-0 week brings me up to 19-27.   I may attempt one final round of LOCKS this week, but we shall see.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dave's LOCK of the Week: December 13th

Just one LOCK of the week this time, and it was two weeks in the making.

When the Eagles beat the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, I felt an air of flukiness to it.  The Cowboys were short on rest, Romo was still hurting and the Eagles fast start took them by surprise.  The boys look like they panicked.. overthrowing in desperation and Tony Romo's throws were just off.

I thought at the time that when these teams meet again the Cowboys will get it back.  Yep, I like the COWBOYS +3.5 at the Eagles.  My LOCK of the Week for Week 15.   Here's to more success!