what is best in life


BMW > Greyhound

I had the pleasure of being part of a caravan from Southern California that traveled up to Sacramento to attend the 4th Annual Chuck Markulis Memorial Tournament. The two cars in my group were BMWs and I am happy to confirm that sleeping while sitting up in a leather-upholstered BMW is quite preferable to doing the same in a Greyhound bus.

If our transportation situation was slightly better than that of the average pool player, our lodging situation evened things out. Five of us crammed into an economy hotel room and we made it work.


how did it all go

About as expected.

  • win
  • loss
  • win
  • loss

The second win was against a previous nemesis. Since that person and I have first clashed, I have found my attitude towards him has changed somewhat over the years. I understand, now, why he behaves the way he does, and in understanding why, I pity him. Life gave him the short end of the stick and he has spent a lot of money and bravado trying to make up the length.

But, don’t worry, pitying an opponent’s situation has never stopped me from wanting to crush them into oblivion.

I ain’t that enlightened.


contingency plan

The contingency plan I first mentioned a few weeks ago after a particularly disgusting tournament is this: the best way to get over a bad tournament is to jump into another one. I’ve done that for three weeks now and the tournament coming up this weekend is the last one.

All the matches I have lost for the last three weeks, the money I have won in tournaments for the last few months, the random revenue generated from a year of crafting and raffles and selling the odd billiard product, and all the practice I have put in my whole life is now going to be fired at one last event.

It is, of course, the 2011 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships.


a hack in more ways than one

As always, it’s the simple things that throw me off the track. Although I have done my best to carefully budget for this trip, there were two things I did not remember: baggage fees and how to get to the convention center.

I usually fly Southwest, but due to a prior commitment which I must attend right before flying out to the U.S. Open, I am not flying Southwest, and will not be able to take advantage of their “two checked bags for free” deal. Since 9/11, all pool cues may not be carried on board and must be checked in. Most airlines, aside from Southwest, now charge for any checked baggage. There is no way around this fee, and damn them all to hell — but I gotta pay it.

Without going into specifics, let’s just say that the cheapest flight I could find to accomodate my schedule is going to to result in some seriously close shaves. I usually take public transportation because it is extremely affordable. In this case, that is not an option because I don’t have the time. The cost of going from the airport to the convention center via shuttle is going to be almost the same as shipping my cues in the cargo hold.

But, all these fees together is still cheaper than not having my cues and/or forfeiting.


so, yes, let’s raffle some stuff off

Because I’m too far in to quit now, and this is the last hurrah.

This raffle will have five prizes: 2 fuzzy keychains of the winner’s choice (I’ll make it for you if it is not on hand), a Magic Ball Rack set, a set of Shot Pads, and The Greatest Cereal Bowl Of All Time™.

yay! up up and away!
Fuzzy keychains including, but not limited to, the previously featured Mario series!


more magical than Harry Potter Write your own instructional book! Write your own instructional book!
Magic Ball Rack and Shot Pads for your billiards training.


oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun... (that's a song my little cousins used to sing, good memories)
The best ceramic I’ve made so far featuring Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man In The Arena” quote. Have greatness for breakfast every day!

I had planned on keeping The Greatest Cereal Bowl Of All Time™ for myself, but I don’t mind sending it off to a good home in return for a shot at glory.


fine print

For this raffle and its FIVE prizes (so awesome, am I right?!), cost of numbers are

  1 for $5 3 for $14 5 for $20

It’s first-come, first-serve on the numbers so if someone has chronologically beaten you to your choice — pick another one. You can pick numbers first and PayPal later.

Once all 56 numbers have been selected (hopefully this will not take too long), the next Mega Millions lottery drawing will determine our winner.

Prizes will be distributed in the order of the numbers drawn, as shown in the Mega Millions drawing video.

  • 1st number: Fuzzy keychain of your choice
  • 2nd number: Magic Ball Rack
  • 3rd number: Greatest Cereal Bowl Of All Time™
  • 4th number: Set of 4 Shot Pads
  • 5th number: Fuzzy keychain of your choice

I will ship internationally although you may have to wait a while for it to arrive. 🙂


You have until October 31, 2011, to enter. In the interest of time, if the raffle is not filled by the end of Halloween, I will distribute the remaining numbers (for free) proportionately among those that have entered and the Mega Millions draw on November 2, 2011, will determine our winners. For example, if there are two people on the raffle list, one who bought 3 numbers and one who bought 5, the remaining numbers will be divided between them at the appropriate 3:5 ratio. 🙂


I will update this list as often as I can (when I have Intarweb Access). Please check the comments to make sure your pick isn’t taken. Also, your email address may not make it past the spam filter, so check to make sure I update the list with your name.

[UPDATE] The raffle is now closed. Those of you who entered (12 people) will each get an extra number from unclaimed remainders. The way I went about assigning the number was this: I went from top to bottom and wrote down the order of names as they first appeared. Then I went down the list of remainders and assigned corresponding numbers in numerical order. If your name appeared first, you got the first unclaimed number.

  • 1. G + J
  • 2. Brian in VA
  • 3. Brian in VA
  • 4. James R.
  • 5. BilliardTraveler
  • 6. G + J
  • 7. Brian in VA
  • 8. gsm1sw
  • 9. Ali
  • 10. Edward Moore
  • 11. G + J
  • 12. BilliardTraveler
  • 13. Dana
  • 14. HK
  • 15. Brian in VA
  • 16. demonrho
  • 17. Dana
  • 18. G + J
  • 19. Brian in VA
  • 20. James R.
  • 21. BilliardTraveler
  • 22. HK
  • 23. Ali
  • 24. BilliardTraveler
  • 25. Brian in VA
  • 26. Edward Moore
  • 27. demonrho
  • 28. gsm1sw
  • 29. gsm1sw
  • 30. TOTORO!
  • 31. EA
  • 32. BilliardTraveler
  • 33. HK
  • 34. demonrho
  • 35. Edward Moore
  • 36. Ali
  • 37. Dana
  • 38. G + J
  • 39. Edward Moore
  • 40. BilliardTraveler
  • 41. Dana
  • 42. demonrho
  • 43. Dana
  • 44. HK
  • 45. HK
  • 46. Edward Moore
  • 47. demonrho
  • 48. G + J
  • 49. demonrho
  • 50. TOTORO!
  • 51. gsm1sw
  • 52. Dana
  • 53. EA
  • 54. Edward Moore
  • 55. HK
  • 56. Ali


Just send it!