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!