I want a badass toaster oven


listening to
inane chatter of my boss
blah blah blah

granola (& ramen for lunch)
you can never build enough bankroll

obsessed with
Franklin Chef Convection FR1644 Rotisserie Oven-Broiler
the Joe Rogan of toaster ovens


2008 BCAPL National 8-Ball Championships
mini slideshow & weak commentary


Here are some pictures from my trip to the City of Lost Wages. I didn’t take many photographs this year because I came more in capacity of a player than as a spectator. When I play in an event, I have less time to lurk around and be snarky.

The requisite picture of the main room. Oooh. Aaah.

I saw these cues at the Viking booth. The cue in the middle caught my eye — but then again, I think it was supposed to. A closeup of the multicolored Pearlite butt end. Haha. I said “butt”.

a rainbow of fun... ...for just $550

No major pool event is complete without Tony “T-Rex” Chohan heading for the bar with money in his hand and a bright-ass yellow shirt with a big crown emblazoned on it in RHINESTONES. Rhinestones on T-Rex. As if you didn’t know yet, you are in Vegas.

The food choices at the Riviera haven’t improved much, so my better half and I spent most of our dinner times two blocks down the street at Kimchi, a 24hour Korean BBQ joint.

3049 S. Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89109

(702) 894-9944
www.thekimchi.com (website is mainly in Korean, with some EngRish)

One of the things I love about KBBQ places are the side dishes that come with your meal.

Left. Baby anchovies. I don’t know if they are fried or dried, but it’s crispy fishy goodness. Center. I think this is some sort of tofu. Could be wrong. Right. One of my favorites — beansprouts!

Left. The green salad comes with a dressing of sesame oil, vinegar, and chili flakes. Center. Another one of my favorites, spicy cucumbers. Right. This is some sort of gelatin — I won’t say what kind, since I have my suspicions.

Left. Good ol’ reliable nappa cabbage kimchi. Right. I was told this was a fishcake of some sort. Fishy + chili = tasty!

Here we have galbi (marinated short ribs) unrolled and ready to be grilled to perfection.

Add some onions and mushrooms… and a close-up! Hungry yet?

I managed to make a visit to the TARPIT before my own match. I took a photograph of the area right after the conclusion of the Shane “South Dakota Kid” Van Boening vs Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan. As you can see, Justin “Jolly Green Giant” Collett is interviewing Mr. Pagulayan about his victory.

I don’t know why I found it strange, and kind of funny, to watch SVB calmly peel and eat a banana, in the moments right after his loss.

It was a VERY good match to watch, and I’m glad I caught the last hour. I hope they play again!

Eating granola and ramen all the time isn’t necessarily good for you, so my better half was kind enough to take me out to some nice restaurants when we had the time between matches.

We went to Trevi at the Forum Shops in Caesar’s Palace one afternoon.

Forum Shops at Caesars Palace
3500 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109

(702) 735-4663

This was the first time in over a decade that my better half ate Caesar salad and he found the whole-leaf Caesar salad interesting — and very yummy. Trevi (formerly Bertolini’s) makes (in my opinion) the best Caesar salad that I have had in Las Vegas. The dressing is flavorful, and not too heavy, and you get to eat your salad with a knife and fork.

Here is capellini al pomodoro, one of my favoritest dishes in the whole wide world. It’s pasta with a fresh tomato-garlic-basil sauce sauteed in high-quality olive oil. With cheese. Yummy simplicity.

Two desserts. The one in the background is my favorite. It is chocolate gelato with fresh raspberries and whipped cream. The cake in the foreground was a mistake — they brought that to us first — but let us have it anyways (I sneezed on it to make sure we would). The cake was like a chocolate cinder block. It weighed a pound, I swear. I wanted to drop it on someone’s head froma great height so that the cake could indeed be named “Death By Chocolate”.

As you know, my TARPIT opponent wondered

what excuse she’s going to come up with when she loses. Probably some big picture of some food she ate.

Here is a big picture of the food I ate that is my excuse for losing.

It is Korean spicy tofu soup. I ate this the night before I had to play along with some rice. I’m sorry. I should have eaten IHOP. Perhaps then, I would have won. Oh well. You can’t have it all, I guess.

soooo goood yolk!

After my match, I went out for a proper dinner with some friends, and we had medium-rare prime rib with crab legs at the Paris hotel’s 24-hour cafe. I tell people all the time, I very much like their prime rib — it’s always cooked right, and comes with the hottest straight horseradish I’ve ever had. I love that stuff!

Later that night, at the Splash Bar, Mr. Pagulayan swore that he was strong enough to piggy-back Mr. Chohan. You can see Mr. Chohan’s apprehension in the left picture. In the center picture, Mr. Pagulayan demands that Mr. Chohan allow him to show off his muscles. On the right, we have the proper conclusion of this challenge — Mr. Chohan carrying Mr. Pagulayan.

Mr. Pagulayan insisted that if he wasn’t the strongest pool player, he was definitely the best-looking. Here, he struts his supermodel stuff.


Random Seaside Fun
occasionally, I do not play pool


A visit to the seaside is a most refreshing thing after being incarcerated at the Riviera for 10+ days, with one hour each day for KBBQ.

This is the ferris wheel at the Santa Monica pier. It was sold earlier and they are dismantling it to ship it to the buyer. I forget how much the actual wheel sold for, but I do remember some of the fine print: the buyer automatically had to pay about $50,000 to purchase the stand for the ferris wheel, and the motor, also. But hey, if you’re buying a dang ferris wheel, what’s another 50k?

Storm clouds over Santa Monica. There was some loud thunder later that afternoon, and we actually had rain (really!) for a little while later in the evening.

Hollywood Billiards 10-Ball
let’s have a tournament just because

too much pool

Hollywood Billiards
5750 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

(323) 465-0115

Hollywood Billiards is one of my favorite pool rooms. It is spacious, with great equipment (the downstairs tables and your hair-loss are courtesy of Ernesto “Four-Inch Pockets Are Too Easy” Dominguez), a full bar, good food, and plasma TVs and couches everywhere. It’s like the fancy recreation room you never had — just twenty times bigger and forty times more expensive.

This was my breakfast Saturday morning.

Left. It’s Hollywood, so they should have gotten Jay “Real Men Don’t Need Toupees” Helfert a studio exec’s chair, but they did a good job with a last-minute hack job. Right. Efren “Scared Ya, Didn’t I?” Reyes, working on getting his next victim to play… cards. Mr. Reyes made an appearance but, to the relief of many, did not play.

There were many colorful characters at this tournament. Among them were, Louis “Real Men Use Glow-In-The-Dark Cues” Ulrich and his glowstick. My favorite shirt of the tournament belonged to one of the local legends. That’s a happy plaid.

My breakfast Sunday morning.

Instead of IHOP.

How many people do YOU know in this photograph? 🙂 The manager at Hollywood Billiards was nice enough to let me run upstairs to take this photograph.

The downstairs view.

Left. As the tournament drew to a close, it was time for Mr. Helfert to enjoy slacking off. Right. Jose “Dang It” Parica after his loss to Ramil “Ernesto, These Pockets ARE Too Big” Gallego in the finals.

What Have I Done Lately
nothing much

I’m in the process of sending my cue out for an overhaul. It’s got more battle scars then I do, and deserves some R&R. In the meantime, I am also getting a new case, since I feel like now I deserve something a little bit better than my Bus Hustler’s Special with Packing Tape.

Since I will be without my cue, I am sitting out the world of pool for a little while.

At the California Women’s State 9-Ball Championships, I tried to donate some of my recent TARPIT windfall to the pot. The tournament director declined my offer, citing that I had worked too hard to earn the money and I shouldn’t just give it away. I bought raffle tickets with the money I had intended to donate, since I knew that money was going to the prize fund anyways.

I ended up winning a very nice cue in the raffle.


So, now I have a backup cue to play with…