Thursday, January 30, 2014

Prop time, 2014

As I have done the last couple of years, I am listing the prop bets I would make on this upcoming Super Bowl between Seattle and Denver. Prop bets consist on things other than the final score of the game ranging from individual and team performances in the game to things that happen during the broadcast to non sport things like pregame and halftime agendas.

In these bets I would wager $100 to win the number after the plus sign so if it was +300 I would collect $400 being the $300 from the bet plus the original $100

Sea scores exactly 3TD +275 (X 5)
Sea scores exactly 2FG +220 (win) $320
Sea leads at half by 7-9 points +800 (X 22)
Both teams combine for 5TD in the game +400 (X 6)
First misc TD is an interception return +400 (win) $500
First score of game is Den FG +350 (X Sea safety)
Last score of game is Sea rush TD +500 (X Sea pass)
Both teams combine for 3FG in game +275 (X 2)
Sea def or special teams will score a TD +225 (win) $325
Any def or special teams will score a TD +155 (win) $255
After first quarter Sea leads by 1-6 points +450 (X Sea up by 8)
Sea -7 1/2 +350 (win) $450
Sea -3 1/2 +180 (win) $280
margin of victory exactly 10 points +700 (X 35)
Den scores exactly 1FG +200 (X 0)
Den scores exactly 2TD +250 (X 0)
Sea wins by 7-12 points +500 (X 35)
Lynch scores first TD of game +550 (win) $650
Lynch MVP +375 (X Malcolm Smith -field-)
Manning 2 total interceptions +350 (win) $450
Manning 2 total TD passes +200 (X 1)
Lynch scores first Sea TD +180 (win) $280
Welker scores first Den TD +450 (X D. Thomas)
Lynch scores TD in first half +135 (win) $235
Earl Thomas has interception +250 (X)
Washington Capitals hockey player Alex Ovechkin has more points than Sea sacks +120 (push - 1 each) $100
Manning has a pass intercepted for a TD +400 (win) $500
Wilson 0 TD passes +275 (X 2)
Welker scores a TD +105 (X)
Welker 7 or 8 receptions in game +250 (win) $350
Sea first score is rushing TD +200 (X safety)
Total points 41-50 +250 (X 51)

These I would wager $220 to collect $420
Sea +2 (win) $420
Total points in game under 47.5 (X)

This I would wager $200

Seattle wins +115 (win) $430

Total amount wagered would be $3,840. 
Total collected $5,545
Profit $1,705

Note: On all winning bets, I collect the amount bet along with the payoff. For example, the $100 bet on Seattle having exactly 2 field goals is returned with the $220.

Unlike last year, I could not find a wager to state Sea would score 27 or Den 17 and I was going to wager on what will be the first song Bruno Mars would perform but the song my daughter said without seeing the possible choices was not among them.

It is better I don't involve the halftime show since I will be playing Rock Band during it like I have done the previous 4 years.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

squeezing the sponge

Recent events got my brain working on analyzing myself.

On December 24th, per request I brought my XBox 360 and Rock Band to my mom's house. As it happens when Rock Band is played in my family, I become the one who does funny voices and comments and either alone or with my daughter the weird, crazy songs that I have downloaded for the game.

Last Sunday at Luke's 40th birthday party featured karaoke in a building which reminded me of a strip club private show room as we were in a special room with seats

I was coerced into performing the song The Gambler with Carrie's husband, Josh. His voice mostly drowned out mine and after the line that began, "If you want to play the game, boy," I said to be funny, "Game Boy? up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right..." No reaction. When I did that song at my mom's house while attempting to sing it with my sisters, two people who knew the Konami code chuckled. I then remembered that in my group of friends that I am not the crazy funny one but the "normal" one whose singing is so bad it has become a joke and spent the rest of the time there unable to gather the courage to do another song.

After I explained to Carrie that in my family, I am the crazy, funny one, Luke and Carrie who did not realize that called me live on their podcast to talk about it. I explained that outside my friends, I end up repeating many of the funny things I hear in songs, movies, and tv shows like a sponge and like a sponge, what comes out when it is squeezed is usually not as good as what it soaks in.

In my group of friends, there are many inside jokes that when applied elsewhere lose their effect. If I go with my daughter tomorrow to her future high school called Fenton, deliberately sit in the SATAN! section, act like the song in the Denton Dossier is playing, and reply to the person at the mike with a robust OOOKKKAAAYYY! nobody other than my daughter would get it.

Until yesterday, I would not care. Now I do.

Last Friday the subject of Track 24 (the song I created for the Luke Ski tribute CD) came up in the gaming group and I was going to explain to someone who had no idea what it was what led to it until I realized it would take longer to explain it than the song itself.

In full detail this led to that track being made and what my plans are:

March 6, 2004 7AM: I wake up and find myself walking the hallway of the Marscon party rooms when I hear music in the karaoke room. I walk in to see someone I know still in there from the night before. She coerces me to grab the mike and for the first time in my life sing karaoke sober. I look up, she is video recording me. Fifteen seconds into the song, One More Minute, I realize two things. One: I can't sing. Two: Now I understand why I was booed performing karaoke in a bar in 1996. After I did Walk the Line, the person hosting karaoke recommended that I should not do karaoke.

March 11, 2004: The husband of the person who recording me, Luke Ski, was doing his weekly internet show featuring music from the previous weekend's convention and played what I performed. Someone in the chatroom stated that my performance woke her up on the floor below.

Over the next couple of years: I try to get Carrie (whom I first met that weekend) to help me sing as she has a degree in music. She states she can't help me.

March 2, 2007: While eating dinner in the restaurant downstairs, I got a text demanding that I HAVE to be at the Marscon opening ceremonies sketch. During the sketch which bounced around various topics, convention agent Luke Bauer was introduced and he asked for a report from Chloe played by Carrie. Among what she reported was that there was a Madman on the Loose in the karaoke room threatening to sing William Shatner's version of Mr. Tambourine Man. Luke asked if it was Ken Sherlock, and after confirming went, DAMNIT.

After that I thought it would be cool if in the karaoke room there would be a 24 style showdown but we never got the time.

March 5, 2007: While driving home from Marscon, I realized it would be cool if I learned how to sing and surprise everyone next year by doing a competent version of Mr. Tambourine Man in the karaoke room. I then purchased an on line vocal training program which still to this day occasionally sends me an email.

April 20, 2007: While at Penguicon, I notice the karaoke room has Mr Tambourine Man and was going to give it a shot but Worm Quartet was about to hit the stage so I could not stay to do it. After screaming SATAN! and SHIT! FUCK! DEATH! BEER! my voice was too trashed to attempt it.

late June 2007: Having finished the course, I contacted a vocal coach and made an appointment for mid July.

July 7, 2007: I tell DJ Particle, who was casting live at Convergence, that I was taking voice lessons and that live on the show I was going to sing when "Luke Bauer" appears to "stop" me. This was planned by me so I could surprise people at Marscon 2008.

July 18, 2007: I go for a voice lesson. After 10 minutes the person stated he could not help me since I have no sense of pitch or tone and that I hear like a color blind person sees.

December 2007: Luke asks me to record something at his house where I do the voice of a Russian being interrogated and then tortured.

Jan 4, 2008: The song Jack Bauer is released. The recording I did turned out to be in the song where my character is being tortured by Jack with the singing of William Hung (the She Bangs person from American Idol)

Various conventions that year: I appear with Luke on stage during that song dressed in a suit and George W. Bush mask being interrogated in the song. 

March 7, 2009: While in the Marscon Dementia Radio party room at 2AM, I stated I caught myself singing and apologized. Luke shows up right after I left and DJ Particle loudly "thanks Luke Bauer" for showing up just in time to stop me from singing. That night, I suffer the reoccurring nightmare I would get about being removed from the fan showcase performance since I can't sing. They next day, I was barely able to function almost doing something that would have been very regrettable. I proclaimed that anyone could babble with music into a microphone for 2 minutes, have it recorded, and get it on DJ Particle's top 20 countdown.

March 7, 2010: I get singed permission by the music guest of honor to perform at the fan showcase and have DJ Particle read it. The music of Mr Tambourine Man starts and just before I sing, my daughter's voice is played instead stating she purposely edited the file so I can't sing and asked me to put the mike down and let someone else sing. I repeat that in 2013 but have the file "glitch" preventing me from performing.

March 6, 2011: I walk into the room during the fan showcase as DJ Particle is making a Luke Bauer joke, shake my head in disgust, and storm out.

Feb 2013: Carrie tells me she is doing a tribute CD for Luke to be given to him in the summer and asks me to perform in it. My first thought was "Jack Bauer" but at 6:24 it was way too long and I agreed figuring it would be a bonus track worthy song.

April 2013: I figure out a way of doing a 27% length version of "Jack Bauer" where I torture the character with me singing "Mr. Tambourine Man" and after threatening to do the full song causing the spy to comply, ending it. Since I did not cover the full song and wanting to create a joke since iTunes list songs that way, wanted to call it Track 24 and have it as the 24th track on a CD.

June 1, 2013: After 2 months of rehearsing, record the two choruses and one verse on the first attempt. It took a little while with the torture scene due to exact timing but it was done in less than an hour. Since it turned out to be a 2CD set, some creative numbering was done by Devo Spice to get my track to be #24 on the second of 2CDs.

June 3, 2013: I find out the person who ran the karaoke room at Marscon who was running it in that day in 2004 died.

June 22, 2013: The CD, Worst Tribute Ever, is released and Luke is overwhelmed.

June 23, 2013: I was going to perform Track 24 as a surprise during karaoke. However, the DJ was initially uncomfortable with getting music from another source as my backing track was on my ipod and by the time he figured out how to do that without risking his computer, I was too tired and my nerves were too shot to attempt it.

June 28, 2013: Track 24 appears on DJ Particle's weekly top 20 countdown at number 17. Had my company's firewall not blocked the site's registration email confirmation, it could have been number one for that week.

January 16, 2014: I announce live on the air that I will not perform Track 24 at the upcoming Marscon Fan Showcase the way it appeared on the CD if Carrie Dahlby's indie gogo project to fund her third CD reached its goal.

March 8, 2014 (planned): Perform Track 24 at the Marscon Fan Showcase. (twist?)

Date TBD 2015 (planned): Perform Track 24 at the Marscon Fan Showcase. (twist?)

It took almost an hour to write the time line that produced a 2 minute song.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Baccarat and the NFC Championship game

Being CDO (like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order as they should be) the concept of balance was something that would often lead to losses at casino gambling as I would leave during a hot streak believing it would turn equally as cold and plodding through a cold streak expecting things to turn around.

I then read a book (probably given as a gift) that changed my philosophy logically explaining that hot streaks should be ridden and cold streaks should make a person not bet and leave the table. The phrase that stuck in my head is: A person loses once betting on a streak and wins once betting against it. Using that logic definitely made my casino trips less bad and for a short streak in 1996 profitable. Unfortunately on the trips made alone on my birthday and Dec 25 with my mom and aunt I reverted to my old form where I plodded through horrible luck on my birthday and on Dec 25 stopped early up a couple hundred and then saw the next deal where my hand would have been dealt a pair of aces.

Baccarat is the game which the streak strategy is most prevalent as there is a choice of two bets to make and the casino provides cards (and now a display) where a gambler can see the recent results.

Though I like playing that game, I usually stand out when I play it since it is located in the high stakes room where people play much more than the $10 or $15 minimum that I play and that it is by far the game preferred by players of Asian origin. On Dec 25th, the Horseshoe casino closed their craps table due to lack of players but had 18 baccarat tables filled with people many of whom took their shuttle from Chinatown.

If you have read this far you are now wondering what the hell does all this have to do with today's NFC title game versus the 49ers and the Seahawks, a game which I believe is even since the 49ers are playing better right now.

Over the previous 8 seasons there have been patterns (defined as a repeating streak of 3 or more occasions) with Super Bowl champions and participants. The last three Super Bowl champions played during the first round of the playoffs and since the 49ers are the only remaining team that did, logic would initially dictate that they will win and then in 2 weeks and that had been my thought.

However, that is not the only pattern. Before the past three years there were two winners that were a team on a bye and before that three winners that played the first round. So there is a 3-2-3 pattern which would suggest a Seattle win.

If this was happening at a baccarat table I would play the money on Seattle as long as the person representing the casino would have provided enough time for me to have made up my mind.

The AFC title game is far less complicated in my mind. Since it is going to be 60 degrees in Denver (while people in the Chicago area deal with 20s and soon sub zero lows) Peyton Manning should be able to run his offense normally which should be too much for New England and its injured receiving corp.