Thursday, January 25, 2007

Don't Steal From Tiger Woods!!!

I know I am posting a *grip of videos lately, but wow!!! I would not fight Tiger.

*from the Urban Dictionary

grip (originates in from Southern California)

To have a abundant amount of something

Yo! I got a grip of cash today, lets go spend it.


Theres no need to buy more beer, I have a grip at home.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Steve Pimps Acupuncture, Part II

An amazing song called, Miracle Drug, by U2

I had an interesting experience this morning so I thought I'd come out and write about it. I had a visit early with the pain psychologist and then another acupuncture session right after. What I have been doing with the pain psychologist is work on biofeedback. What it basically is, is a computer thing that attachs to your body and you tell yourself to relax. This little graph line moves up or down depending how well you do. Each session gets you to new levels. I am doing well at the Hard difficulty level but I have not nailed it yet. Interesting thing after the session is what he talked about. He had a discussion with the pain doctor and basically told me, they don't know what is wrong. Normally with this much time, they can pin point the pain I am feeling. Right now, they have no idea but to keep trying the relaxation stuff.

In the above song at around 3 minutes, the Edge comes in and sings this verse:

Beneath the noise
Below the din
I hear your voice
It's whispering
In science and in medicine
"I was a stranger
You took me in"

Later I went to another acupuncture session and I basically did the same relaxation thing, but this time with pins and needles stuck in my neck, face and hands. I was worried because after the last session, I got a real stiff neck and yesterday I had a huge migraine headache, like the type I had when I started this blog back in November of 2004. (Yeah I started a blog over headaches) Today's session of acupuncture was relaxing and my sore neck and shoulder are gone this morning. I get to go back on Friday.

I was laying in bed though the another night when the song Miracle Drug came up on my iPod. I had heard the song many times but for some reason, at 2 in the morning, I got totally absorbed into the song. The words sort of struck a chord with me, (Key of A actually, which the song I believe is in, though I haven't checked with a guitar yet). I was listening to these words though, and I wanted to know desperately what the song was about. That and I heard 3 distinct voices instead of just Bono's. That verse above though stuck way out. I knew it wasn't Bono singing it and I later found it was the Edge. (Yes I am going somewhere with this). But the thing is... those words:

Beneath the noise
Below the din
I hear your voice
It's whispering
In science and in medicine
"I was a stranger
You took me in"
Brings a tear to my eye thinking about this. The din is basically distorted loud noise. I think we as people have "noisy" lives. We live in chaos really, between work, family, paying bills, planning your life out, achieving goals and all that good stuff. Under all that, and I thought about these words in the acupuncturist's chair, I wondered, "What is the voice I am hearing? Is there a voice? And is it only a whisper?" Only a whisper? What am I thinking... I think the voice is loud and clear. I need to treat myself better, whatever that means... My life is entirely filled with happiness and joy and utter success, which I am not at liberty to talk about in detail but I really am the best at what I do. Yet with all that, that whisper is a shriek and it's the real cause of my chronic pain. It's telling me something and I think today I figured that part out. But what? What is it?

I did feel like a stranger when I initially went to that pain clinic last year. I still do sometimes. Maybe because when I am there I see people that feel real pain. People with chronic health issues in wheel chairs and 40 to 50 years older than me. Their pain is real...

Is mine?

(What the song is actually about, fascinating!!!)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Steve Pimps Acupuncture

Play while reading post.

Okay... so I had my first session of acupuncture today. It was quite an interesting experience. Basically, the place was like 8 or 9 blocks from my house in some plain building that I drive by 3 to 4 times on a daily basis. The building was seriously dated. It looked like it probably did in the 50's. Just one simple doorway, down a long hallway. Kind of felt familiar like I had been there before. I opened the door to the office, right into a waiting room. At first glance, I knew the room looked laid out in perfect Feng Shui. Horseshoe style chairs around the perimeter set in a horseshoe pattern. A center piece at the top of the horseshoe near the office window. A giant Chinese portrait on one wall and a mirror that reflected it on the other. The room felt cozy yet open. The exam rooms I later saw were laid out in the same horseshoe type pattern, just inviting you in.

So once in the room I was greeted by the doctor. A sweet older chinese lady, perhaps in her mid to late 50's. She had a few questions regarding my pain. Immediately she went to questioning my stress level.

"You very stressful person", she said as she looked me over.

She first grabbed my right hand, pressing it in one place that made my fingers tingle. I have been trying to repeat the same grasp myself with out the same result. She grabbed my left hand and did the same thing. Producing the same result.

She then grabbed my shoulder and says, "Oh... very tense. Too much stress. Think relaxation. You will get better."

Then I laid down on the table on my side.

Then the needles start. BAM!!! One into the side of my neck that actually sort of hurt. She jammed four more into my neck that I did not feel. Then one right into my ear that I felt might have pierced it. Then one right into the center of my forehead. Then one into that spot she grabbed on my left hand.

She stuffed a pillow between my knees and said, "You take nap now. You relax, forget stress." She shut the lights off and the whole room was pitch black.

And there I was with 8 to 10 needles stuck in me, laying on my side, in a pitch black room.

20 or so minutes later she came back. Lifted me up and says, "You feel good now, right?"

I am like "yeah, but numb."

She wiped some blood off my forehead and says, "You come back right away, Monday or Tuesday. You need treatment many times. You come back, okay?"

I walked out of the building.... the most relaxed I have ever felt. Now about an hour and a half later, my left arm feels much better and so does my neck. However... My lower back pain kicked up. Perhaps I need her to work on that next?

Crazy experience...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Steve: Can We Just Go?!?!?

Okay... here is the final scene from poker night, the other night. Watch how I get pissed off... I just dealt the river and I am abruptly halted by my friend Scott who wants to film the final action as I lay down the last card.

Then his freaking battery goes dead.... LOL!!!

Watch me as yell, "Can we just go?" Really shocked there are no "f-bombs" from me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This Video Makes Me Uncomfortable

Ice storm in Portland yesterday. It is frightening yet, you want to keep watching. Don't drive on ice!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Steve Wins Big


Stock footage from a 2005 tournament

On Friday night, I participated in another Texas Hold 'em tournament with my friends. No limit of course, $25 buy in with around 20 people. A little hard to sit in a chair that long on Friday but here is how it went down:

We started with three tables. I was relagated to the kitchen table with 5 other players. One great player named Todd, a couple of regulars, two teenagers and one friend who hadn't played before with us, that came out swinging on the first few hands. He got the cards I guess to back himself. I waited around on the table for around 20 minutes and finally got a three of kind to rack up some chips from one of the kids. I then took out the first guy who had roughly 20% of his starting stack. I was doing okay... Then it was time to move as a few more players dropped on the other tables.

I moved to the main table this time and I noticed some big players I hadn't played with before. And right off the bat, I lose 75 % of my chips in like 4 hands. Then a lucky break happened where I got to move again, off the table to the small one in the dining room, with my little stack. The first hand I did something entirely stupid and went all in with a pair of 3's, caught a 3 on the flop and doubled up, eliminating the player next to me. On the very next hand, I went all in on a pair of Kings before the flop, and picked off the next player. I then won another hand for the third time, eliminating more of the competition. Suddenly I had what the computer said, was an above average stack heading to the main table which was around $20K in chips.

So I was now back with the big boys, and the blinds were bigger. 9 people were at the final table. I then precede to drop down to my last $3,500 in chips. I was a goner so I laid low only planning to play the big blind when it came back. I then got some cards the first time around and won. Waited again for it to comeback and doubled up again, this time taking out a player on the far end. So now I am back to like 15K in chips but still had two monsters in front of me who had probably 60% of the total chips between them.

I then made an improbable move, all in on a pair of 3's with an Ace high. Totally stupid after the flop but the competition didn't know. One of the big dogs went in with two pair. I was a goner and when it came to the River card I had a 5% chance of winning. I got a third 3 and doubled up. Now I went on the offensive. Had someone make a big bet before me to steal a pretty big pot that was brewing before the flop, I looked at my cards and had pocket Aces and put him all in. He didn't bite but I wounded him good. He built it back up over the next three or four hands. Then another show down occurred where he had a pair 9's on the flop and a possible straight. He checked on the flop and so did I, then he made a small bet on the turn which was a queen. I was sitting with ace queen suited so I jumped on it. He called thinking I had an 8 with the 9's for two pair. Never saw the queen and I took him down.

Now we were down to three players. An older gentlemen sat across from me, and I swore the whole time I was there I thought he'd end up winning. I just kept playing him and finally took him down with a full house that flopped. Suddenly I was head to head with the last guy next to me who had roughly 25% of what I had now accumulated. The very first head to head hand was now starting at 1:45 AM. We had been at it since 7 PM. Many money games were going on around the house. Other people then discovered we were at the end. So the first hand is dealt and I had a 9, 8 suited. The flop comes and it was a 7, 6, 8. My opponent bets strong. I call him all in. He turns a K 7 and I show my 9, 8. The turn and flop came and suddenly I was the winner.

Before the game had ever started, we had a side bet on who would win. I had the 3rd to the worst odds of winning due to previous play. A longtime friend from high school had picked me in the beginning. He won 40 bucks because I won. I took home around $200. Very exciting evening I must say.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


One of my favorite singers, Greg Graffin from Bad Religion. Sometimes when I think of all the shit wrong in the world, I like to listen to this song. This version is so awesome with Greg on acoustic without the rest of the band.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Steve Takes the Needle

Sometimes it is rather hard to come up with blog topics and other times, like today, there are so many ideas they are hard to choose from. But this should be a good story:

So I am back from the steroid shot experience and I don't feel any different yet. What an experience though. I had these visions of this giant needle going up the top of my butt crack into the base of my spine and me screaming in pain while chewing the end of the table off with my blunt set of incisors.

Nothing like that...

Not at all... but the story is interesting...

I hate pain, I hate that wincing feeling and I especially hate needles (quiet lawryde, Mr. Got some really cool Tattoos so I can deal with needles no problem). So the whole time, I was thinking about the feeling I mentioned above with the whole biting off the end of the table stuff. I was so stressing out when I got in there. They walked me in and took my vitals. My heart was pumping a cool 120 bpm and my blood pressure was like 185 over 100. Not at massive coronary levels but dude, I was freaking.

So the doc reviews the chart and my pain threshold. He describes some things. I found out through the process that his brother was my Biology teacher in high school. Told me the worst part was the novocaine. The rest was easy.

So the plop me on the table and roll up my shirt. I am laying there. And like my heart rate is like 145 bpm.

The doctor goes into this story... "So have you ever bought anything from Dell..."

"No," I say, " I am an Apple guy.."

"So let me tell you this story anyway... watch it, this is gonna get cold. I want this wireless keyboard."

And he goes on and on with this horrific story about Dell and getting blue tooth to work with the new Windows Vista system coming out. Meanwhile, my heart rate is cruising. 160, 170, 175... And I am slowly not paying attention. I mean, I can talk for hours about computers. I am no expert but, I have first hand experience with Windows and the stupidity of Bluetooth with it.

He's like,"So they said it wasn't a technical problem it is a sales problem so I had to go to my sales guy and WHOA!!! Slow down there buddy, at 185 bpm we're gonna need to get the crash cart."

I'm like, "I know. Get on with it already. This is totally normal for me to freak out."

I am taking the deepest breaths possible and he is carrying on with the story trying to take my mind off of it. A little pinch from the novocaine and it was over. Never felt the shot hitting my spine or anything.

Once my heart rate came down to like 140 bpm when they were cleaning up, I was totally focused. I am like, "Oh yeah, I tried installing this bluetooth device to my work computer which is a PC and the device driver wasn't signed by Microsoft but you can do this..." And I go on diagnosing the problem.

Pretty funny. They were so cautious. They thought I was gonna drive out of there at first and wanted to make sure my wife pulled the Hummer around the corner.

We'll see how this works.


Yeah, I write that nice post last night about my new chair. Sunday I couldn't get out of bed easily and this morning, oh my, I am near dead. I feel like someone is jabbing a knife through the center of my back. I can at least function enough to answer the phone and work on my computer but Jesus, this sucks! So much for work today.

Today though, I get "the shot". Cortisone right to the spine. We'll see... My God, it hurts today!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Steve Pimps Furniture...

Relax The Back


Dude, this is it. This is the thing to buy. The Perfect Chair from the Relax the Back store. I saw this thing at the Best of Sacramento back at the end of November. While wandering around the different restaurant vendors, drinking my free wine, I saw this chair and I had to sit in it. So I walked up and waited for a demo. This older gentlemen got me in it and showed me all the features.

After around 5 minutes, I felt something I hadn't felt in months. It was temporary relief. In the fully reclined position, my legs had all the weight off of them and I could actually feel me spine start to stretch in the "Zero Gravity" position in this chair. I left the Best of Sacramento show in utter relief. I had taken the card from the gentleman at the show and it turns out, he was the CEO of the Relax the Back chain of stores.

I sat and looked at the brochure for a month. The one I wanted had the motorized recline which makes the chair easy to get out of. I just couldn't see plunking down the $2499 for the one with the Premium Leather. (Had to get the premium leather because I am a Republican)

As it turns out, the Thursday before New Years, my cell phone broke (God knows I would die without my phone) so I ran to the nearest Sprint store to get it fixed. So as I waited I walked down the strip mall and found a Relax the Back store. I sort of knew it was in the area, but I never bothered to go find it. I had 15 minutes to kill while waiting for the phone so, there I was. I was in the showroom and not a single other customer was there so I had to talk to the salesperson. Being in sales myself, I hate talking to sales people. This guy was totally non-offensive. I mean, he had an easy job: Throw people into a chair or bed and tell them the financials, the products sold themselves.

So I found the chair I sat in at the show. I jumped in and fully reclined the chair. Wow!! What a feeling of instant relief from pain. Even if it was temporary relief, the price of admission was worth it. Maybe after taxes I could do this? I was trying to calculate what my write off would be with Elijah this year on the books to see if I could afford this. And then the sales guy comes up and says, we have "same as cash" deals for certain products. I got the opportunity to buy the chair in 6 months "same as cash".

I then went to see if I could be approved for this and sure enough I was. Just a formality but I was really thinking about it. $2700 though after tax was a lot of money to decide on with out my wife present. I really did feel better in the chair than laying in bed, sitting on the couch or anything else I had tried to do when I came home from work after a hard day's driving. Even if it was only for 1/2 an hour a day that I could sit in the thing I felt it was worth it.

But... I left. The cooling off period was much needed. I got home to Kristen and told her what I could get the chair for and that it could easily be paid off by June. I guess I talked about this chair a lot because she had no problem with me getting it. So, I called the guy the next day and bought the chair. A black one (like my heart) with a motorized recline on it. Picked it up in my truck and brought it home. It's been a week now and I LOVE this thing. I also got a ergonomic platform to hold my laptop. So I can recline, not hold the computer and keep my hands in a rested position. Work has never been easier. I can answer all my emails quite easily now and I can do it without too much pain.

Relax the Back, Perfect Chair, great product!!! Thanks!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007



Make it stop! Make it stop! Please!! Stop it before it get's too much power!!!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Needles and Pins

Great cover song by the Ramones, called "Needles and Pins" and that is all I can think about this week.

This is me:

Yesterday... Dentist. Repairs old filling. Has to shoot me twice because the first novacaine ain't biting.

Next Monday, steroid injections right into the base of my spine. Supposedly this will help my lower back to help me walk better, with out that limp. Hey, I can run and jump and climb and lift just about anything right now but walking without a limp sometimes can't be done. Hopefully these will rid the pain in my lower back and leg.

Also beginning next week: Acupuncture. Six sessions with a lady from China sticking needles and pins up and down my neck and down my arms. Woo hoo!! Fun. I get to go six times too!! If the first one doesn't work I get to keep going...

Had three sessions since before the holidays with the pain psychologist. This guy is cool. I get to clip this thing onto my ear and sit for 20 minutes while I try to relax. The screen beeps green when you start going along, but keeping it green is the hard part. I sat in red for a couple of minutes until I got the thing moving. All this from this tiny plastic clip on my ear lobe.

I hope to bring a camera for the acupuncture. For some reason I want a picture of me laying on the table with all those needles in my back.

Maybe after all this crap, I can get a tatoo.