Heaven’s Gate Cult – Wat

A little light reading for your Sunday night.

In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate Cult committed suicide in a house in San Diego.

I watched the 45 minute documentary on Youtube and it’s pretty bonkers.

A summary:

Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles founded Heaven’s Gate, a sci-fi religious group, claiming there was a level above human, ‘heaven’ more or less, and joining the cult could take you to that level.

Marshall Applewhite

The group was super weird. They were entirely celibate, some going as far as castrating themselves, and often used enemas to “cleanse” themselves.

In 1997, the Comet Hale-Bopp passed the earth as millions watched. Applewhite took that as the sign that the group was ready to move to the “next level”.

39 members killed themselves shortly after. The group documented goodbye messages. Here’s some of what the members said prior to the suicides:

“I couldn’t have had a better life then I’ve had in these 21 years, and if it’s good here I know it’s going to be twice as good when I get up there.”

“This isn’t a troubling circumstance, don’t take it as that, it’s just a gateway.”

“What we’re doing is we’re going home. We’re going home to those individuals who sent us here to do this task. and this is the happiest and joyous thing that you can possibly imagine. We’re going home!”

The question posted in the documentary – if these 39 people all lived and died believing this and doing exactly what they wanted, is it really a wasted life?

Things like this fascinate me for some reason.

I Haven’t Brushed My Teeth in 4 Days

I left my booth brush in D.C. this weekend so I haven’t brushed my teeth since Saturday afternoon (it’s Wednesday night), though I’ve been flossing and using mouth wash.

Most people would go out and buy a toothbrush the next day.* Tasks like this are arguably my biggest flaw. I don’t know why, but I could’ve told you it would take me days to get a tooth brush.

This is what happens if you don’t brush your teeth for 11 years.

How do people hold themselves accountable for this shit?! I’m still using the personal scrum but it’s not perfect. For example, I still have “hang poster in room” which has been there for three months.

Is this just part of getting older and being more mature? Does this disappear when I hit 30?

*I just went to CVS and bought one, but wanted to write this BEFORE I brushed.

Predicting the Sixers ’17 – ’18 Season

Health

This, more than anything, will determine the success of the Sixers this year. If Embiid can play 60+ games, and Simmons / Saric / Covington / Redick have no major injuries, this team has a lot of potential in the East.

Additions

JJ Redick – A 1 year, $23 million deal is a major overpay, but for a team with a ton of cap space and in desperate need of a shooter, this is a good move.

Markelle Fultz – Looked good in his Summer League Debut and should be a much needed reliable scoring option.

Vegas / the Eastern Conference

With most major free agents going to the West, the Sixers odds of making the playoffs / winning a playoff series increased dramatically.

Vegas ranks the East in the following order:

  • Cleveland (100% ahead of the Sixers IMO)
  • Boston (100% ahead of the Sixers)
  • Washington (80-90% ahead of the Sixers)
  • Milwaukee (60-70% ahead of the Sixers)
  • Toronto (60-70% ahead of the Sixers)
  • Philadelphia

My Prediction

Assuming this team is healthy, I’d put the O/U at 44 wins.

The East is so bad that a genuine ‘bold‘ prediction would be “The Sixers host a playoff series”. You could make that statement and people wouldn’t look at you like you were crazy.

As a slightly biased observer, my predictions are:

  • 46 – 36
  • #5 seed
  • Ben Simmons is voted Rookie of the Year
  • Joel Embiid makes the All Star Team
  • Brett Brown is a Coach of the Year Finalist

Book it. Here’s some Joel Embiid for those who live under a rock.

Deadass thought I took a dribble but it doesn’t matter.. They say “Travels” are not called in the league… #TheProcess

A post shared by Joel “The Process” Embiid (@joelembiid) on

1500 / 800 Results Are In – Winner Is…

1500 – 4:15.30

800 – 2:08.75

Winner – Coach Carl Blickle with guesses of 4:16.05 and 2:08.87 for a net difference of 0.99 seconds!

Read a great post-race interview here… Thanks a TON to Dave for finding it.


The 1500

Famous. I made it.

I wanted to be aggressive, ideally hitting ~2:15 or so at the 800.

  • 400 in ~68.7 and I was in 7th. The pace was slowing so I went.
  • 800 in ~2:18.0 (~69.3) and stepped on the gas cause I felt good.
  • 1200 in 3:26.0 (~68.0) still feeling good.
  • Last 300 in 49.3 (65.7 pace) for a final time of 4:15.3.

Somehow that’s a 1500 PR, as my fastest in college was a 4:15.57.

I can definitely run faster. I was running around people the whole first 400, was alone from 450 on, and had more in the tank when I finished.

I want to run a mile TT where a rabbit (Drew?!) goes 67 / 2:15 / 3:23. I think ~4:30 is in the cards with how I felt yesterday.

The 800

Does anyone actually like the 800? I got out in literally last place.

My 200 split was 32.4 while my next 200 was 31.4. That’s not how you run the 800.

I was rigging up pretty good for a 2:08.75. This was no doubt a harder effort than the 4:15.

The 800 sucks.


Thanks for guessing!

1500 / 800 Double – Guess My Times & Win

I’m racing the 1500m and 800m at GA’s track tonight. Closest to guessing my times in both events wins $10 and a hand written note by yours truly.

Race Fitness / Thoughts

2:09.11 from freshman year in college. Can I beat that?

I ran 4:38.1 two weeks ago for a full mile closing in 66 so I had more left in the tank (worth ~4:17 1500m). I’m going to go out harder this time (~2:15 at 800) and hope for the best.

The 800 is going to be a total crapshot. I’m really bad at running the 800. I’ll have ~45 minutes rest. Anywhere from 1:59 – 2:20 is reasonable.

Choosing the Winner

Smallest number of ABS(Guess 1500 – Actual 1500) + 2(ABS(Guess 800 – Actual 800))

Good luck!

Tonight’s NBA Draft and Dan D’Antoni on Basketball Analytics

With the NBA draft coming tonight, this rant by Dan D’Antoni from late 2016 seems fitting. This is why a player like Jahlil Okafor has close to zero value in today’s NBA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yIOPpuh9no

I’ll dedicate another post to the Sixers upcoming season but here are my quick thoughts on the draft & off season

  • I think LA will and should take Lonzo.
  • If LA gets Paul George I’ll be upset because their pick will probably convey to the Sixers next year as a late lottery pick.
  • De’Aaron Fox will be a disappointment.
  • The Knicks won’t trade Kristaps Porzingis.
  • If the Celtics add Gordon Hayward and whoever they take at #3, they’ll still only be the second best team in the East next year.
  • I’m pumped the Sixers moved up for Fultz (and at such a low price).
  • The Sixers, will MAKE THE PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR

Upper Dublin Bagel Squad vs. The World

Today was an example of why the home-grown stores like Upper Dublin Bagel Squad struggle to keep up with the Wawa’s and Dunkin Donuts’ of the world.

The Bacon, Egg, & Cheese on an Everything Bagel: A+

10/10. I love Sizzlis, but they don’t compare. If there’s any reason to go to a non-chain, it’s for stuff like this.

Price: D

A breakfast sandwich and medium coffee is $7.50. A Wawa Sizzli and medium coffee is $4.50. That’s a dramatic difference.

This is the single biggest reason I won’t go here more than once in a blue moon.

Box of Coffee: F

It took over 10 minutes for me to get a box of coffee this morning.

When I get a box from Dunkin, it’s rapid fire. This place isn’t equipped to handle box-of-coffee orders and is another scenario where I’d choose Dunkin over them.


It’s not a matter of emotion and wanting to keep the locally owned stores in biz. It’s a matter of efficiency. More people want cheap / efficient compared to an A+ sandwich over a B sandwich.

I’ll stop in once a month when I want a treat, but for now, I’m still loyal to Wawa & Dunkin.

Reflections on Losing $18,000 in 15 Minutes

I wrote my last post 7 hours after going from $18,000 to $0 at Sugar House (for the record, only $1,500 of it was mine when I walked in, the other $16,500 was profit).

I was hungover and having a very difficult time wrapping my head around what just happened. Now that I’ve had a few days to soak it in, my thoughts have changed slightly:

I thought about not sharing this with anyone.

Having $18,000 in chips and not have the discipline to save even one dollar of it could be seen as a fault in my character. It’s judge-worthy. But what’s the point of having a personal blog if you’re NOT going to write about that?

It didn’t feel like real life when I woke up.

I felt like losing it all was a dream and that I would check my pocket and find the money. It was a very hard / depressing reality to accept.

The reason I didn’t walk away when I was up, more than anything, was because I was drunk. 

Plain and simple. This didn’t fully occur to me that morning because it was so soon after. The magnitude of how much I was up was lost on me because I was drunk. That’s why I didn’t put any of it aside or have any goal in mind.

The reason I got up to $18,000 in the first place is because I was drunk.

I bet $4,000 when I had $10,000 and DOUBLED it to $8,000 (and won). Betting 40% of your stack, then doubling it, is not a sober-person move.

I don’t think I need to evaluate my life.

I felt like I had sinned the next morning, like this was a deeply troubling issue that I had to face up to. A few days later, I don’t feel that way, and I’m not swearing off gambling.

I’ve already ‘moved on’.

I’ve told a dozen people in person and the reaction has been the same from everyone. It’s a great story and a bone-head move and I’m taking it at that.

…But if I DID walk away up $16,000…

What the actual fuck would I have done? Left with 160 $100 bills? Left with all of my chips instead? Gotten mugged somehow out of the casino? Do I report it as earned income? I’m just curious for the next time this happens.

Gambling Problem

I debated whether I should write this post or not, but ultimately decided I should.


About what I could’ve left with.

I went to Sugar House Casino last night and took out $2,000 to gamble with.

I played for 30-45 minutes and worked my $2,000 up to about $6,000.

Then I went to the high limit room. I was betting ~$2,000 – $6,000 a hand. 10 minutes later my stack was $18,000.

10 minutes after that my stack was $0.


When I was at the first table, I was sitting with a middle aged guy who was betting $25 – $50 a hand. He was telling me it was his son’s graduation this weekend and he was so proud. I threw him a few $100 chips to bet on hands and ultimately he ended up like $1500. He was so pumped.

Gambling is a mindset. When you start betting $500 on a hand, there’s no “thrill” to $50 bets. At the moment, I’ve pushed the “thrill” limit too far.

It’s very easy in hindsight to say I wish I took a minute, took a deep breath, thought about where I was at, and walked away. Even put $10,000 aside and just gamble the other $8,000, it sounds so easy now. But you don’t win $16,000 if that’s your mindset from the start.

The funny thing is the flow of the game is exactly the same whether it’s a $25 hand or a $2,500 hand, I’m just betting 100x more than I normally would.

Additionally, the thought of going back to the casino and winning back the $2,000 I lost seems so realistic. It’s just a few hands. It can happen so quickly. Obviously the opposite can (and more often does) happen too.

Gambling is a dangerous thing. I’m not addicted to gambling. It doesn’t consume me throughout the days, weeks, or months. But when I gamble, I have a problem, and you can bet all of the “I lost everything gambling” stories start like this. If I wasn’t walking away up $16,000, would I have walked away at 20? 30? 50? I genuinely don’t know.

$2,000 is a lot of money, but it doesn’t change my life. I’m still alive. Sure it stings for the short term and I have to look myself in the eye and tell myself that I screwed up, but this will just be a great story to tell down the road (assuming I’m not broke by then).

I feel for kids these days

Here’s a video that was posted back in April where a ~11 year old kid goes HAM on the Mets. You get the point after about 10 seconds.

Kids these days are cursed with the ability to film themselves at all times. 10 – 20 year olds shouldn’t be able to film themselves out of respect for their future selves.

As a 25 year old, technology like this was just becoming accessible when I was growing up. Alex and I once recorded a voiced over Linkin Park song to include the word “Jew” like 20 times in it just to piss Ben off. I’m pretty thankful that file isn’t still available.

When the ~13 year olds of today grow up, a large percentage of them are going to have videos like this Mets kid to look back on and cringe. Whether it’s choreographed dances, singing your favorite song, rants, whatever. In 15 years he’ll probably sigh every time someone brings it up.

Some may say it’s a good thing. I for one have no interest in looking back at myself in the most awkward years of my life. I remember them well enough and would gladly choose to not relive them.