Gut Rumbles

November 17, 2003

poker, dogs and guns

I like to gamble. I couldn't believe that Bill Bennett was idoitic enough to gamble on video poker for large amounts of money. Only a goddam fool does something as stupid as that. You CAN'T WIN against a video poker machine, not in the long run at least. You may as well buy a fistfull of lottery tickets every week.

I prefer card games.

I watched rounds three and two of the World Series of Poker last night on ESPN. They play no-limit, Texas hold 'em, and that's a fascinating game. You basically bet your hole cards against the other guy's hole cards, with five common cards that you both share. It's a good game. I've played it some, but I don't claim to be ready to sit down at a table with people who do this shit for a living. But I would like to learn.

I like blackjack in a casino, because I believe that I am playing against the dealer, not trying to make 21 on every hand. The house has a 2% vigorish in that game because the dealer wins with Blackjack. That's about the best vigorish you're going to get in a casino except for the craps table, but I don't understand that game. So, I play blackjack in a casino and poker with my friends.

I win a lot more money than I lose.

Gambling makes me feel very alive sometimes. I never gamble with money that I can't afford to lose, and I've learned to look at dollars as tokens in a gambling situation. If you think of it as money, you're screwed. Those chips are nothing but tokens, something you need to play the game and a way to keep score. If you can safely say, "If I lose it all, it's no different than if the tokens blew out the window of my truck on the way here today. I'll miss it, but it won't cramp my lifestyle at all," then BET. Otherwise, DON'T.

I've started thinking about getting a dog. I like dogs and I've had some good ones in my life. I ALWAYS had one as a boy and as a young man. I have the time now to housebreak a puppy, teach him to behave and to be my friend. I might enjoy a nice fuzzball who liked riding in the truck and slobbering out the passenger window everywhere I go. I want one who will stay inside and bark when a stranger comes to the house when I'm not home. I want one that will love Quinton as much as the dog loves me.

I may have to fence my yard, but that's a small price to pay for what a dog brings to a house. I want that now. Quinton would like a dog in the Crackerbox as much as I would. I'm planning a trip to the animal shelter to rescue a doomed doggie. I'll pick a mutt, but I intend to pick a good 'un. I like mutts. I am one myself.

Tomorrow, I pick up the new 30.06 I bought at Mack's Gun Shop. I don't know why I wanted that rifle, but I did, so I bought it. I also intend to buy 500 rounds of ammunition for it, and that shit ain't cheap. I'll probably never shoot that many rounds in my LIFE, but Mack is cutting me some slack on the price. I'm a good customer. I'll probably buy a fucking scope, too, because I can't see both ends of iron sights anymore with my elderly eyes. I believe that Quinton, Jack and I will go shooting in the woods this weekend, up on Cop 3's 90 acres just down the road from where I live.

We'll take the BB guns, the .22 rifle and my new 30.06. We'll bring beer cans, coke bottles and a few home-made targets with us. I'm going to allow both boys to shoot the .22, and I might let Quinton shoot the big rifle. I wonder if he can handle it. Maybe I should put some bricks in his back pockets first, just to weigh his little butt down. That sumbitch gun may take his shoulder off and knock him ass over teakettle.

We'll see. Maybe we'll have a puppy to take with us, too.


Air smell like snakes up there?

Sorry, just screwing off at work.


Posted by: terry on November 17, 2003 11:13 AM

Good luck with the puppy hunt! You seem like a dog person (that is a compliment).

We will be puppy (or dog) shopping either around Christmas or January. The Deputy who runs the local shelter has promised to call if a good "big dog" mix comes through.

Our dog had to be put down a few months ago. She had skin cancer, and despite two major operations it spread to her lungs.

She was a Chow/Shepard mix, which I highly recommend and hope to find again. The Shepard tempers the Chow aggression, leaving an exremely intelligent dog who can be trusted with a toddler.

Posted by: Anne on November 17, 2003 11:13 AM

Good luck in getting your new mut. I have been longing for one for the longest time. My husband on the other hand refuses and points to the fact that the apartment is a bit small and the cat will be annoyed - the sacrifice I make for him . .

If the shelter comes up empty, check out for shelters and groups in your area with pups looking for good homes.

Posted by: Anna on November 17, 2003 11:19 AM

I'd like to help you shoot your personal rifle.

Posted by: Lady Mae on November 17, 2003 11:24 AM

Get a greyhound from a race track if you can. We have 2 of them, and love them to death. I've become a big advocate since we got ours. They "cat test" them if you have a cat. They come house broken. They are the biggest hearted dogs I've ever seen. Watching them run takes your breath away. Last year was the first time more than half the retirees got adopted and this still left over 8,000 dogs getting the needle. Ours are so polite and gentle I'd trust them around a newborn. I'll never have any other kind of dog.

Posted by: Full Auto on November 17, 2003 11:56 AM

I've just recently had a stalker and no gun in the house. My Dad has offered me one of his and he's going to teach me how to shoot it this week. So I'll be doing the same thing. I plan to go for his testicles. He's already been in my house and I've had to have the locks changed. Now he's leaving me messages in spanish and I have an unlisted number. Sent you a funny football picture through your Pigmenteer address. You'll love it. My son that's in Youth Challenge has decided to become a writer. He's becoming a little philosiphic. Told me to look up String Theory. He's a self taught guitar player. I want a Harp.

Posted by: Lexia on November 17, 2003 12:25 PM

What?!?!?! You want a four-legged poop factory?

I think a dog would definitely enrich your life. They are a joy to have around. Even the ones you think are ugly like my little baby!

Posted by: sugarmama on November 17, 2003 02:34 PM

Sugar, I've never messed with your dog except to mess with YOU! Ruby would love me.

All dogs do.

Posted by: Acidman on November 17, 2003 02:45 PM

Having rescued three Saint Bernards in my lifetime, I can't say enough good things about the breed. I can easily picture you with a Saint...they're BIG, they're intimidating enough to make people think twice about fucking with you and your property and they're wonderful with children.

Another plus is that Saints drool, which many people find offensive. It's a good way to get rid of people you don't like. Breed rescue organizations are just like your typical dog pound but deal with specific breeds. I'm sure you could find a Saint-cross if you really wanted a mutt. Really...they're great dogs!

Posted by: Chablis on November 17, 2003 03:56 PM

Remember you can't take a dog with you everwhere nor can you leave it at home alone.

Posted by: Georgia on November 17, 2003 04:38 PM

Your dog would be welcome in my home, as long as you come with it.

Posted by: Lady Mae on November 17, 2003 04:44 PM

I like dogs a whole lot damn more than I care for cats, but cats can be cool. For all their unconditional love, dogs can be dumber than dirt when left alone. Georgia is correct. Cats on the other hand, do just fine. Hell.......I'd leave a cat alone anytime......I'd even go somewhere I didn't have to, just to leave one.

Posted by: MARCUS on November 17, 2003 04:56 PM

DON'T get a Lab, unless you adopt an adult one. Labs are notorious for chewing anything and everything in sight.

My son has a black lab mix named Charlie who now weighs 120 lbs and could rest his chin on my kitchen counters. Charlie was known to eat butane lighters, parts off of bicycles (handlebars, pedals, seats - he was working his way towards the frame, I guess) and most of a couch my son was storing in the garage for when he moved into his own place.

They are smart dogs, and lovable - at eight weeks, Cary taught Charlie to fetch the newspaper every morning. At first he'd drag it in because it was bigger than he was. Eventually he got to the point where he'd go outside, figure out where the paper had landed, snatch it up, then while holding it his mouth, take a piss and survey the yard. Then he'd bring the paper in. I half expected him to hop in the recliner with it and look at me to bring him his coffee.

When Cary moved out, I swore to my daughter (after giving thanks to God and all the powers above) that we would have no more dogs; not for a long time anyway. That night, as she and I walked out of WalMart, someone was giving away German Shorthair/Border Collie mix pups....white with black spots....and I made the grievous error of holding one.

His name is Boomer. He's a bouncing, leaping, tail-wagging airhead. And he chews on stuff, too. But not as bad as Charlie did.

Oh, well.

Posted by: Trish on November 17, 2003 05:33 PM

Acid, just remember to take some ear protection for yourself and the kids. Damn .30-06 is LOUD, Bubba, even outdoors.

Also, BAD IDEA to take a puppy shooting, especially one who hasn't yet bonded with you. You'll spend all your time chasing after the dog, and no time shooting.

And Lady Mae, show some self-respect, fer gawdsakes. Besides, he's twice your age.

Posted by: Kim du Toit on November 17, 2003 05:56 PM

I agree with Trish about labs. We currently have a lab husky mix -- we got him as a pup, and he chewed everything in sight. Used to really piss me off. Then one day he jumped up on the barbeque and took a whole rib-eye off the grill. My husband threw him out on his ear and the dog never did that again. However, they are very smart and loyal, he's alerted us to many a bear in the trees around our house that we wouldn't have noticed until one snuck up and bit us in the ass. And let me tell ya, they have attitudes. He gets pissed when we leave him in the garage during the day -- we can always tell when we get home and he has purposfully overturned his water bowl with his nose. Stupid dog.

Posted by: Alaska Kim on November 17, 2003 06:03 PM

Marcus, we're friends, you've been here fishin', drinkin' n' burning fine cigars.

So, you can vouch.

I've got a cat who IS a dog. Just don't tell his DNA that; he's already confused enough, as it is.

I mean, how many cats y'all know who are trained to stay on the deck, NEVER jump onto the dock n' roam. Who come when called or whistled. Who obey "no".

Who greet ya at the hatch when ya get home like a long lost friend, and lick yer face and wag their tail.

Who'd rather be on your lap, ride on your sholders or sit by your side than be anywhere else on the planet.

Who've never met a stranger. And fetches.

Not bad for an 8 year old, 15lb yellow tabby.

Y'all figure a cross of Garfield, Marmaduke, Dennis the Menace and Ferdinand the Bull.

I've got that cat.

Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Posted by: Jim on November 17, 2003 07:50 PM

I can vouch.
A cat that thinks it is a dog is OK.

Posted by: MARCUS on November 17, 2003 09:28 PM

I doubt factory load .30-06's will be much of a problem for your boy. If he's tackling other kids in football games, he can take a tap or two on the shoulder.

Help him out with the first few rounds so he doesn't develop a flinch, and as Kim said, bring ear protection.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on November 17, 2003 09:28 PM

Okay..back. 'Monsters Ball' is on HBO tonight and I had to watch "the scene." That Billy Bob Thorton is one lucky sunuvabitch. The Mickey Rourke of today. I hope Halle got mucho bucks for that scene. Just proves what a great actress she is to do that with him.

Yeah, Jim's cat is "all that and a bag of chips!"
But Jim didn't train it. That just comes natural to the animal---born in. A "watch cat" it ain't! Unless you're scared of rubs and infinite numbers of figure 8's done between your legs while trying to negotiate the narrow gangplank to Jim's boat deck. That cat is not afraid of human contact. Harley is a cool cat fo' sho'.....and he doesn't hurt for a meal, either!

BTW Jim, I visited Specs new humidor downtown---wasn't impressed. They widened it about 4 feet, but the inventory is basically the same. I did see the welcome addition of plenty of Romeo y Julieta Reserve Maduro in all the sizes. That's a fine smoke!

Quibbles and Bits has a fine review page on his site too. Although he was more lenient about his assessment of the Lone Wolf.

Thanks, Rob, for the bandwidth, I mean!

Posted by: MARCUS on November 17, 2003 11:40 PM

He does not seem to me to be a free man who does not sometimes do nothing.

Posted by: Gallers Donna on December 10, 2003 07:58 PM

Dreams are made to be destroyed. Nightmares are forever.

Posted by: Alam Rumaan on December 20, 2003 10:37 PM

Keep the good work.

Posted by: Hooper Chris on January 9, 2004 10:03 PM

Often the test of courage is not to die, but to live.

Posted by: Craig Barbara on March 17, 2004 09:16 AM
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