Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014


You might want to tackle today's Kennections puzzle:

A hike--and POKER!

Yesterday Nina and I drove the last 25 miles or so of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We stopped at several scenic overlooks. At Waterrock Knob, we took the hike to the top. It's only a half mile each way, but it's straight up. And then straight down. The up part strained our aging hearts and lungs. The down part strained our aging knees. But it was fun anyway, and gorgeous.

Then we headed into Cherokee to the casino for a couple hours of teh pokerz. I was up about $240, until I played "one more hand," and lost $80 of that when A-Q made top pair/top kicker, but lost to bottom two pair. Sigh.

But the best hand of the day was, of course, with The Mighty Deuce-Four. I was in the small blind, and called a raise, as did several others. The raiser then bet $25 into a $40 pot on a flop of J-3-5 rainbow. I was the only caller.

Turn: Ace. Of course. Because Deuce-Four always makes the nuts. I checked. He bet $35. I had $109 left; he had more. This was a tricky spot. I couldn't tell if his smallish bet here (about 1/3 pot) was because he was afraid of the ace, or because he loved it and wanted to maximize his chance of getting a call. If the latter, then a check-raise should get me paid off. If the former, it probably didn't matter whether I put it all in now or on the river, because he would fold either way. So I opted for the all-in check-raise. He insta-called.

Which turned out to be surprising, because he had unimproved pocket queens. I guess he felt pot-committed, but he was drawing dead to my wheel.

Ah, my beloved Deuce-Four! It's been a while, but you're still a reliable old friend.

Here's Nina's view of the day:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

British Isles trip, part 29: Best photos

I wanted to put into one place all of my favorite photos from the trip. I was going to put them in this post, but then decided that it would be better to put them into a slideshow on Google+. The link below will take you right to it. Then you can flip through them at your own pace.

I hope you have enjoyed my British Isles photos a fraction as much as I have enjoyed going through them and reliving some wonderful memories from the best vacation I've ever taken.

Best photos slideshow.

Friday, September 26, 2014

British Isles trip, part 28: Odds and ends 4

Bear with me--we're almost done.

Here's our whole tour group. Can you find me? Or Waldo?

(I'm not sure who to credit for that photo. Some passerby volunteered to take it so we could all be in the picture, then one of the tour leaders emailed it around.)

Slow down in the roundabouts. After all, whit's yer hurry? (Burgh of Girvan, on the western coast of Scotland, near where we took the ferry to Belfast.)

Scotland would very much like you to return for another visit:

Apparently, boys will be boys, in Scotland just as in the United States. I noticed this in a restroom:

My brother is the one who discovered this important archaeological find, on the beach in a little Scottish town where we stopped for lunch. It's obviously the original scale model the Druids used in planning Stonehenge.

Of course we alerted the proper antiquities authorities, and expect fame, glory, and riches to be coming our way soon.

Speaking of my brother, I love this picture that my sister-in-law Cyndie took of me and him in York:

Here's another thing I noticed only because of watching years of "Top Gear": the dreaded caravaners!

On the show, caravans and the people who tow them are a source of endless contempt because of how they clog up the roads on weekends and holidays.

Finally, here's a little video clip of a pair of fetching young women performing flute and harp at Loch Lomond. Their music is, well, not ready for prime time. But when playing the video to see if it was worth posting, I noticed a strange and interesting visual effect that I had accidentally captured. Apparently the frame rate on my camera is very close to some multiple or fraction of the vibration rate of some of the harp strings, so it looks like they're moving in slow motion. You can actually see standing waves on the strings after she plucks them. It looks like they're just completely slack, but of course if they were that loose, they couldn't vibrate.

Cool, eh?

All right, folks, that's the end of my trip pictures. Of course I have a bunch of my family, but I'm not going to post those here. If you really want to see them, they're in an album on the same site with the other "photo dump" links I've posted.

Tomorrow I will do one final post, consisting of what I think are my very best images from the whole trip, collected in one place.