Monday, August 14, 2006
  Some Weekend Wrapup
Well, the Montreal trip/bachelor party went off without a hitch. Well, one small hitch on the way up...I got lost. And after a bit of a day, it caused a brief, minor meltdown on my part.

Not a big fan of getting lost in places where I have no idea where I'm going. Less of a fan of plastic bottles of piss flying out the windows and open doors of a minivan traveling at speeds up to 90 mph in Vermont. But that's a different story altogether.

Onto some moments from the weekend, as well as some other stuff that's grabbed my attention.

Roxanne - Roxanne was a "dancer" I met in a quiet part of a "club." Nice girl, good family. We spoke French. We even did the kiss thing that French people do (author's clarification: by that, I mean the peck on both sides of the cheek, NOT french kissing...)

Roxanne is a student who is helping to pay for her studies as an interior designer by "dancing" at this "club." But she was not alone. In fact, there was a very impressive and intelligent crew of entertainers at this place. Lots of students looking to help ease the burden of the cost of higher education by combining working and studying.

Nothing goes better with a thong than a stack of FAFSA forms. I really wished I worked at Sallie Mae, I could've taken care of a lot of student loans that night. Too bad they don't accept Pell Grants for lap dances.

Like Chris Rock said, "I've never seen a college that lets you pay tuition with singles."

Tatiana - The Russian bartender who worked the afternoon shift at (look up the name of the bar) before her "second job." She never embellished on what exactly that was, but she too is a student... All kidding aside, Tatiana - a native of Moscow who has traveled the world before landing in Montre-bec three years ago - was a great bartender.

Easy on the eyes, quick with a pour, and even quicker to join the boys for a few drinks... including the "Russian Roulette."

Smitty the cardshark - One of the bachelor party members had a heck of a night at
Casino Montreal.

And by heck of a night, I mean bad.

Puzzling. Funny. Incredible.

On the cab ride to the casino, Smitty made several boasts. But one that was made several times was, "we're going to make alot of money."

He's probably not the first person to utter such a phrase on the way to a casino...well after 3 a.m. ...after drinking for the better part of 10 hours ...

In one hand, he had a "tip sheet" which he printed from the business center of the hotel, which told you when to hit and when to hold, depending on your hand and the card that the dealer was showing. I've seen folks use these before, a few with some success, but mostly others with none.

That's why they call it gambling. If you want a sure thing at a casino with your money, your best bet is to leave and catch a cab home.

So Smitty scours the place, looking for a cheap table. With most of the tables running between 25-100 minimum bet, the cheap tables were both hard to find and crowded. But there was a spot with a seat, first spot to the dealer's left.

All bets in.

Dealer deals.

Smitty's first card: an ace. Good start.

Smitty's second card: an ace. Aces. Two of them. You know what to do, right?

(dealer shows 8...but so what? ...pair of Aces...two of know what to do...I don't even need to tell you...)

Smitty consults the sheet. Maybe he's being a bit overcautious. 30 seconds elapse. Maybe he's being extremely overcautious.

Smitty holds.

On two aces. On "two" - or "twelve." Two aces.

The story would be more funny/sad if the next two cards were royals, but I'm not really sure what they were.

Suffice to say, Smitty did not win his hand.

I'll reiterate: he was dealt two aces.

Montreal has great beer; why doesn't the U.S.? - Going to Montreal is like going to a whole different country. A country where they speak a different language, have funny looking money, and serve great beers.

(Canada is not a different's merely America's hat)

In America, esp. the MKE, you can go to a bar and be able to choose from Miller, Miller, Miller, Spotted Cow, Leiney's (Miller), or for a change, Miller Lite.

Up there, it's Boreale, Leffe brun or Leffe blonde, Kilkenny (Guinness' best beer), Smithwick's (and "real" Smitticks, complete with a nitrogen tap and everything), or any number of terrific brews.

Montreal is quickly turning into an annual trip - no small feat, considering they haven't had baseball up there since the strike-shortened season of 1994.

Random Quick hitters - Kudos to Bradley Airport for providing free wireless internet. Additional kudos to my Dad for not.

Apparently one of our d-bag neighbors in the JTN made a comment about how someone in the area had a wireless signal that he's been using. Pops laughed and mentioned it was his.

This was over a couple of beers that my Dad brought over while both were doing work in their respective yards on a Saturday.

The next day, same situation, and the aforementioned d-bag neighbor didn't reciprocate with a beer. Not a big deal, but still... Combine the no beer-back with the fact that he's a colossal d-bag and has been since the folks have been there for just short of a decade, and Operation Encryption went into play.

With a little help from yours truly, the signal now requires a network key. So for the price of one beer - domestic or imported, no matter - d-bag neighbor has to call Cox Communications for his high-speed internet, as opposed to ripping it off from my folks.
Big ups to the Sox for a big weekend sweep. Much needed play, even if it wasn't textbook fashion. Huge play from Mike Lowell and Wily Mo Pena. Granted it was after a few Leffe's and much distraction from Tatiana (see above), but I made the claim and will stick by it: Wily Mo will be the right-handed Papi in three years. Three full years of working with a great hitting coach (Papa Jack) and having the unofficial hitting coaches of Papi and Manny there
to guide him, it will only pay dividends. If WMP gets 500 at-bats next season, look out. Sure he'll strike out, oftentimes with gargantuan swings, but once he learns to shorten his swing, widen his zone, and go the other way with two strikes, also look out.

As for Mike Lowell, I don't much care if he doesn't hit another home run the rest of the way. I'm not sure his bat is the key here. It's his glove. He's just .002 percentage points behind Oakland's Eric Chavez in fielding percentage for all major league 3B. And that's with playing 70 innings more than Chavez. Barring a complete collapse, akin to a 3B Mackey Sasser, Lowell should win the Gold Glove at 3B.

Oh yeah, and he does carry a bat. Talk about a guy who deserves to be on the list of comeback player of the year. Lowell has shortened his swing, and it's no coincedence that he is among the AL leaders in two-baggers. This past weekend, after getting hit in the head with an Adam Loewen fastball, he went on to make a highlight reel catch in foul territory and knock in a run. Saturday, he went 2-for-4 and yesterday, he got the Sox off to a 4-0 lead behind his 1st inning Granny. If you had asked any Red Sox fans if his .287 batting average, 14 HR, and .800+ OPS
would be OK for a "throw-in" in the Josh Beckett, you'd have a lot of yes answers.
Tiger and Phil are set to play together for the first two rounds of this week's PGA Championship in Medinah. Something makes me think that they'll be playing all four rounds together. Which means in between the five Red Sox/Yankees tilts, I'll be watching golf.
The lawyer for former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett said his client was "struck" after being arrested early last week. Clarett, wearing a bulletproof vest, was driving an SUV with three semiautomatic pistols and an assault rifle. And he was taking swigs from an open bottle of vodka.

So he got struck? Good. I hope it smacked some sense into him.
That's all. Not too much longer before I board my plane back to the MKE. Be well. And Happy Victory Day (R.I. TLBR readers only)

Your humble and obedient servant,
How come Rhode Island celebrates VJ day with a day off? Any particular reason, or just good old fashioned patriots to our north?
Rhode Island celebrates VJ Day because it's the Smallest State with the Biggest Heart. That probably doesn't answer your question, but it does allow me to use J-Malls' catch phrase about the Biggest Little.
I'd gladly provide a few beers or a round at J-Town's finest nine-hole muni for free internet access...

Great Weekend North of the border-eh!

Thanks Man!
Let me know when you want to get on my Country Club.

I'll call ahead, make sure we get a spot on the championship course.
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