Saturday, February 26, 2011

My 2011 Oscar Predictions!

I just made my 2011 Oscar Predictions! Make yours with the Official Oscar iPhone App.

Please keep in mind, I think I've only seen 5 of the movies nominated. See if you can name the 5. With two kids and a Mrs...Oscar caliber films...are they on the outside of a Happy Meal box? I didn't think so.

Short Film (Animated): Day & Night, Teddy Newton
Documentary (Feature): Inside Job, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Short Film (Live Action): The Confession, Tanel Toom
Documentary (Short Subject): Killing in the Name (I chose this one because that's a kick a$$ song from Rage Against the Machine - like I've seen a short documentary not produced by employer this year...geez),
Film Editing: The Fighter, Pamela Martin
Actor in a Leading Role: Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Sound Editing: Tron: Legacy, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Foreign Language Film: Biutiful, Mexico
Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Sound Mixing: True Grit, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Makeup: The Wolfman, Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Actress in a Supporting Role: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Animated Feature Film: How To Train Your Dragon, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
Music (Original Score): How To Train Your Dragon, John Powell
Visual Effects: Alice in Wonderland, Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Art Direction: Alice in Wonderland, Production Design: Robert Stromberg, Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): True Grit, Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Music (Original Song): I See the Light (from "Tangled"), Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
Cinematography: True Grit, Roger Deakins
Costume Design: Alice In Wonderland, Colleen Atwood
Writing (Original Screenplay): The Fighter, Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. Story by Keith Dorrington &
Best Picture: True Grit, Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Directing: True Grit, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Well that was fun - Multi table Rush On Demand

Just finished playing my first multi-table rush on demand tournament on Full Tilt. Now granted, it was a $1 tournament, but it was definitely stacked with really bad players.

I've on again off again success playing rush poker. Some of my biggest wins and biggest losses have been at the hands of this cruel game played at warp speed (exhibit A, exhibit B (one of my favorite posts)) In many ways, this played like tournaments of old. Lots of people making completely unbelievable bluff, a lot of tight wads waiting for aces, people attempting to steal from the little blind, etc, etc..

It would have been fun to win this, but it just wasn't in the cards.I'll take this 4th place finish and probably try one of these again. Have you tried these? What did you think?

Repeat after me, Lagavulin

For February, the Bourbonators were treated to a Single Islay Malt Whisky aged 16 years by the Lagavulin (pronounced Laga-voolin) Distillery of Scotland. For us yanks across the pond, this makes it a scotch. The name Lagavulin comes from the Gaelic Laggan Mhouillin, "the hollow where the mill is". Interesting things you find on these boxes.

It is said that this is the oldest legal distillery to still exist in Scotland. I took the liberty of looking it up on a map and briefly considering making travel plans to it's home. The box described it still having 4 onion shaped stills. The box goes on to describe even more picturesque details of it's origins, but really, I'd go back for the whisky. Let me explain.

The host of this months meeting was hoping I'd be able to stop by the liquor store on my way over. Not really a problem because I drive right by one...if I leave home on time...ya right.

I was in a bit of a rush to get there. Good thing I know exactly where the whiskeys are kept. This particular store doesn't have the greatest variety in the world, but it's got most of the majors covered and usually has room for a few rarities.

I've really been in the mood for DoubleCasked lately. Probably the Balvenie from a few months ago. The first employee to ask me if I need help was a nice young girl I was willing to bet had absolutely no idea what fine whiskey was. I told her I was looking for a new whiskey we'd not drank before that would be as good if not better than the Balvenie and also DoubleCasked. I've seen that blank expression in people before. She was, without a doubt, completely clueless. She just smiled and asked another employee walking by. A nice young man, she asked him, "Do you know anything about whiskey?" To which he replied, um, no.

"Don't worry guys, I'll be ok," I told them. It's really not a big deal to me. I don't expect that on the last minute  on a Friday night that there's a whiskey expert in a liquor store.

I went back to reading boxes. I probably should research this more than I do, but that just wouldn't be my style.

The manager comes over and asked if he could help. He said he was quite familiar with whiskey. I said sure and told him what I wanted. We had a budget of $80 and I was really thirsty for a DoubleCasked whiskey that was as good or better than the Balvenie.

He point to the bottle of Lagavulin and said, "I'll bet none of your guys have tried this and I think they will all be very happy with it."

I looked at the box, then the shelf. I replied to the manager, "I'm not a real math whiz, but I'm pretty sure that with tax, the $84.99 price tag is still over $80."

"Well, let's just see what I can do about that." We walked over to the checkout and he hit the computer. Typing and clicking and typing some more. He put down the mouse and looked up at me and asked, "Is $79.18 with tax gonna work?"

Again, I'm no math whiz, but I do believe that falls below the $80 mark.

"Sold!" I said.

Wow. Was I glad I got this. It was FANTASTIC!

The nose had that smell of creosote that Cam tells me is from the peat. The smell isn't all that great, but the taste was really quite exceptional. The tasting notes from the web site describe it as:

Palate: Dry peat smoke fills the palate with a gentle but strong sweetness, followed by sea and salt with touches of wood.
For me the balance of all that made it work. Nothing was really "too" much. It wasn't too smoky or sweet. It was smooth all the way. The light burn of the 43% alcohol was hidden by the linger of it's flavor. Nom nom.

There seemed to be a unanimous agreement that this bottle was worth it, even if I was late. I will send a big thanks out to the manager at Apollo Northwest Liquor. He made an excellent recommendation. We will be back!

If you are interested in more information on this, I found the wikipedia article very interesting as well.

As for the poker. I was the grand master of coolers...receiving them. Oh well, I was conforted by the warmth of this amber nectar.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Updates to the whiskey blog and me scratching my head

I've got enough drafts/notes for posts to flood this blog if only life came with more time. Sigh. I've been busy working on some stuff for my whiskey club's blog. I've added two pages, one that lists all of the whiskey's I have records for (posts written here and photos on my phone...memory will fail me on this every damn time) and the other for our poker points. I should probably write something up someday explaining poker Better add that to the queue.

In case you were wondering if I actually play poker any more, the answer is an emphatic yes. I still love the game. I played poker at the bar just tonight. I knew it was going to be a rough night when one of the guys tells us he just wants to get done early. Guess who turned into a lucksack. Friggin' people with places to go. His play did make me question something. I felt like there was something fishy.

He kept claiming that he really just wanted to lose his chips so he could drive to Sioux Falls to visit his girlfriend. I realize this is completely free, donkey poker, but this scenario kept happening. There was one guy at the table that he routinely called a raise from. Now this guy was fairly tight/aggressive. He seemed to have read a few poker books and was well versed in the ones he said he read. The action would be the tight guy would bet every street and the dude needing to leave would call only to fold the river claiming he was on a draw. If he played anyone else at the table, he would play like he normally does. Raising when he hit something, almost anything or he slow played me once when he flopped a boat. He did shove J6o into two large raises, kinda dumb...of course he won them and proceeded to send more chips to the aforementioned guy.

At free, donkey bar poker, I really can't imagine why anyone would dump chips to another player. It just struck me as really odd that he'd play complete spewy to one guy, but aggressive and tight to everyone else.

Things that make you go hm.