Monday, May 07, 2007

Just A Nice Day

A.J.: Joe, I need to ask your advice. Now I know you know a lot about love and women and all that sort of thing...
Joe: Oh yeah, my wife left me for another woman and my girlfriend forced me to leave at gunpoint. Does this qualify me?
A.J.: Oh yeah, definitely.
"Empire Records"

Poker – finally got a decent win in, just over $100. Was just under $200 with an hour to go, but some miss-timed moves brought that down. Enjoyable though, as I made one tough call on an all-in which I might have normally folded and it turned out I was way ahead.

But on to more important things, Saturday was just a brilliant day, and it did not include poker at all. In fact, I might not have left the house at all and still had a great day. I always start Saturday tired, because Friday night is poker night and that means I don't get in until 7am so sleep is scarce. But that is fine, because I know the footy is on Saturday arvo and that is something to look forward to, especially if hawthorn is playing.

It all started with the mighty Hawks having a good win in the footy, with Lance "Buddy" Franklin kicking 9 goals after missing two really easy ones in the first quarter. For those that care, I honestly think he played just as well last week and the week before, only this week the delivery to him was so much better. If that continues, then look out.

Since we had no plans for the evening, the Distraction and I settled in for our usual "We're doing nothing so this is what we'll do" Saturday night. It is so simple and fun that if we don't have any social engagements on a Saturday night, I still have something to look forward to.

While dinner is cooking, we go to the computer room to place our bets on the gambler's last salvation – greyhound racing. So far we are 2-1 on greyhound nights, but we are still down about $3 overall. We go for 8 races, and put just $1 on a dog each for every race. Betting on favourites, while not forbidden, is frowned upon.

With our bets made online, we need to record the info so we can follow along for the night, and have the times of each race written down so we know when to switch over to sky channel for when the race is about to begin. Our little run sheet is at the ready as we settle in on our fantastic couches which we got as a combined wedding present from all our guests.

But first, the footy is back on. It doesn't matter who is playing, we have live footy presented in beautiful digital format thanks to the last minute deal Foxtel did with the free to air providers. Reception for the free to air channels in our block of units is so bad it makes it almost impossible to watch.

Usually by now we are on our first or second bourbon and coke for the night – always made the same with Jim Beam green label, Pepsi Max, heaps of ice in these large plastic "Budweiser" cups that a friend bought back from the States for us a few years ago.

The footy is good, but it is really just something to watch between races and before the real show we want to watch starts – well, that is unless Hawthorn is playing but the Hawks don't play many Saturday night matches so this is rare. For Saturday night footy, a decent game is all you can ask for.

By now, we were on to race 3 and still no winners for either of us. We both have a second place but we're not betting on places (or a "show", for my North American friends. In Australia betting parlance, "place" means 1 st, 2nd or 3rd. We don't have the "show" bet). The third race stated at 8.28pm and I get my first win for the night, paying $2.70.

But now is time to change over to that staple of Saturday night viewing on SBS – "Iron Chef"! Who cares if the episodes are 10 years old, it's still gold! I have to admit to being a Nakamura fan, but this week it was Iron Chef Sakai doing battle using Scallops and vacuum cooking.

The pace is so frantic, we sometimes forget to turn over to the dog races when the next race is on, and have just seen them turning the final bend before we switch back to see who wins the battle in the kitchen. On this night, it was Sakai easily. Out of the four nights we have watched Iron Chef and the greyhounds, the Iron Chefs are 4-0.

So now we go back to watching the rest of the footy and the rest of the races. The footy is a pretty good game with the team I want to win getting up, and we are on to the final of the 8 races we have put bets on. So far I have one win, and the Distraction is a big zero. For the final race my dog is paying $4.50 and the Distraction's is a rank outsider.

Her dog leaps to the front, but the all important first bend is where everything happens. Mine gets tripped up and is now running half a track behind the rest of the field. The favourite is right behind the Distraction's pick and is looking like it will take over at any minute.

Somehow, her pick is keeping the lead and on the final bend, he finally kicks it into the next gear as everyone else tires, and he storms home by 3 lengths to pay a healthy $22.70, making our run 3-1 and a profit overall! The Distraction is over the moon, and the world closes another beautiful day.

Isn't this much better than whining about bad beats?

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