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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 17, 2004 8:22 AM. The previous post in this blog was Good readin'. The next post in this blog is Holy Velveeta!. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Once in a while

So much of my working life is spent reading and editing, and so much of my leisure time is spent on the internet, that I don't get a chance to read books for pleasure as much as I would like. But occasionally I squeeze one in, as I just did with James McManus's Positively Fifth Street.

As a former newspaper reporter and an aspiring card shark, I greatly enjoyed McManus's acount of his 2000 visit to Las Vegas, wherein (a) playing as a rookie, he reached the finals of the World Series of Poker and (b) he covered the trial of the couple accused of murdering Las Vegas gambling magnate Ted Binion. If you're part of the current craze of watching poker tournaments on television (I'm told more people now catch poker on the tube than hockey), or if you like a good yarn, you'd like this book, too.

Comments (11)

just in case that wasn't a joke:

more people watch Curling than hockey. there is no hockey on TV

Professional hockey doesn't even realize that it is dead yet. When the strike ends, Hockey will not be bargaining with the networks from a position of power.

TV Poker is the new golf. Nearly anyone can figure out how to play it so we all relate.

Plus, there is the luck factor. Every once in a while (when the wind is blowing just right) a golfing hack gets a hole-in-one with his brother-in-law's borrowed clubs. Afterward he can convince himself that at that very moment he played the hole as well or better than anyone in the world and it connects him to a sport where the pro's play that way consistently.

Similarly, a dead money amateur can win a poker tournament with solid play and a decent run of luck.

Speaking of wagering, anyone want to lay 5 bones on this race?

Christine Gregoire Democrat 1367886 48.87%
Dino Rossi Republican 1368019 48.87%
Ruth Bennett Libertarian 63121 2.25%


Jud

Don't they have to call it -- notwithstanding recounts virtually guaranteed & automatic -- today, Jud? "Sounds like" odds are on Gregoire at this point, based on counties left, population # and leaning.

Drat. I voted against the old empire & for the new.

I don't think hockey is dead, it's just that it's a regional sport, unlike the NFL or MLB (or hell, the NHL in Canada). Spend some time out East and you will see some serious hockey fans - it just never caught in the NW.

Sally, I believe the deadline is (was) 4pm today. I tried to guesstimate the results based on the leftover counties but just couldn't do it.

As for 4:49 pm today, Gregoire is the "winner" by 28 votes.
Christine Gregoire Democrat 1369608 48.87%
Dino Rossi Republican 1369580 48.87%
Ruth Bennett Libertarian 63253 2.25%

Anyone care to use this against all those "my vote doesn't count" people?

Jud

"Anyone care to use this against all those 'my vote doesn't count' people?"

Ain't it beautiful, Jud. My vote counted in a few places in Washington State this year. I always have argued for participation in state & local races & issues. Who knew a gubernatorial race could slice this fine, in a state this large?!

Um, I voted in the State of Washington this year. And while the newspapers this morning report that Rossi won by 261 votes, my vote didn't affect the result. If I had not voted, the margin would be 260 votes or 262 votes (you'll have to guess which). Either way, there would be a recount.

The point is, people, no one individual's vote counts in any statewide (and usually every local) election. This doesn't mean one should not vote. But calm down on the propaganda that my vote makes a difference. I voted because I like to participate in the process and feel a connection. Sometimes the masses agree with me, other times they're ignorant. But my vote does not count.

Arguably, my vote MATTERS (in some psychological or civic sense), but it does not COUNT (in terms of making a difference in the result of any given race). Never has. Never will. But that's okay--I'll still do it.

"If everyone thought that way," you cry, "we'd be a screwed-up country." Please. If everyone DID think that way, then it would be true that one person's vote would matter. But not everyone does. Most drink the Kool-Aid and think that the future hinges on what they do behind a curtain. And as long as the voting population reaches a critical mass (which it almost always does), one measly vote won't make a difference.

And don't bother replying with the "one vote burned Andrew Johnson" or "one vote allowed Hitler to rise to power" sap. In those examples, the voting population was even smaller than Rossi's pre-recount lead over Gregoire.

One final point: some scholars argue that low voter turnout is a sign of stability. In nations where chaos reigns, voter turnout is often far in excess of what we just experienced a few weeks ago. The very high turnout in this election might suggest that America feels a little less stable than it did a short time ago.

No one's vote counts because everyone's vote counts. Whatever. And I thought I had some lonely conversations sometimes.

Not really that lonely.

I completely agree with Count Me In. I look at voting as the opportunity to officially register my opinion in a giant public poll.

Putting up a lawn sign or writing a letter to the editor or simply talking to friends about my political opinions will have a much greater chance of influencing an election than my one measley vote.

Do the math Sally.

I have never compared voting to other available political activity with any favoritism. The math I do says in any presidential election, it isn't worth getting off a couch or going to a mailbox. In a local or tight election it is. If you convince a whole lotta people of that, will "your vote" count less -- or more?

Do the philosophy with the math.


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If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
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Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
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Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
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Opula Red Blend 2010
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Tarantas, Rose
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La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
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The Occasional Book

Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 225
At this date last year: 71
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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