Travel Time

Gourlay, you’ve posted one time in the past 12 days. What the frick are you doing. “The best blog in the freakin world.“? More like the best cause of death/depression among your freakin’ readers. I know you could be posting. Post about your 10×155 bench press or the movie Whiplash that we watched together on Sunday. Post about your compression socks. “Furniture makes me happy“. If I open your blog one more time only to see that picture of the Ikea stand that you built like two years ago, I’m going to freak out.

Anyway, I digress.

I found out some good news today. In six weeks time I’ll be heading to Chicago for a work conference. This time I will be exhibiting as opposed to attending. Another difference is that I will not be going alone. A member of our support team will be joining me. She’s a girl around my age. I won’t have to eat dinner alone this time which will be a pleasant change.

My boss asked me a few days ago if I’d be interested in doing this, and my response was pretty simple, “Yeah, why not?

At 23 years old with no real obligations, now is the time for me to travel as much as possible, be it for work or pleasure. If they want to send me to Chicago, I’m more than willing to go. It’s the third largest city in the country and I’ve never been. Vegas, gambling capital of the world? Ship it!

It doesn’t really matter what the city is, I’ll go. I have 21 vacation days which I don’t know what to do with. Maybe I’ll visit Mark in Denver or Tristan in Vermont, or just take a long weekend somewhere that I want to see.

Now that I’ve conquered the airport alone, the possibilities seem endless. This is only the beginning! Any recommendations?

Socks

After my big win I figured I should buy a few gifts. But after all the giving-thoughts, I figured I should buy something for myself. What’s something I really want? It doesn’t have to be crazy expensive, just something that I’ve wanted for a while, but haven’t actually gone out and purchased yet. Nothing immediately came to mind.

And then it hit me like a brick wall

I want socks. And not just a few pairs, I want a ton of socks. My running / laundry schedule has been dependent of my sock availability for far too long. Not anymore. I’m going to buy socks. I’m going to buy more socks than I need. It won’t be 90+ like JC has, I still don’t understand why he has that many, but it will be a lot.

That’s it. Socks. A lot of them. What the hell else should I buy? Literally nothing stands out to me as much as socks.

 

My Full Vegas Experience

The Conference

It was great.

The Gambling

Day 1
I played four spins of Roulette, betting black all four times. I hit 3/4.
Net Profit for the Trip: $50

Day 2
I played two spins of Roulette, betting black both times. I lost both.
Net Profit for the Trip: $0

Day 3
I played hold em’ for an hour and lost $200. I put $100 on the black jack table and made back the $200 I lost (I was +500 at one point!)
Net Profit for the Trip: $0

Day 4
I put $200 on the black jack table and did okay for two hours. Then I hit a rush of cards at the end.
Net Profit for the Trip: $1500

Day 5
I put $500 on the black jack table. After two hours I was totally even on the day. The dealer advised I walk away and take my +$1500 home to Philly with me. I walked away from the table.

After walking around for 5 minutes, I said “Fuck that. If I lose $500, I still go home +$1000. But that $500 can turn big quick“.

I sat down and 30 minutes later I was at $4000. The absolute highlight was being up $2000, betting $1000 on one hand, and hitting a black jack after a first card 10 for a +$1500 payoff. I was in disbelief. After the flurry of cards, I sat out, counted my chips, and managed to walk away then and there, on top.

Net Profit for the Trip: $5000

Matt Stafford
The next highlight was seeing Matt Stafford at the table next to me. I was so confident it was him, I even stood up and walked over, but chickened out half way through thinking “There’s no way he’s playing black jack at a $50 minimum bet table”. He eventually got up, and I asked my dealer if it was him. He checked the player’s card he checked in with, and it was indeed Matt Stafford.

Are You In or Are You On

How come you’re IN a band and you’re ON a team. Could you imagine saying “Oh yeah, Lebron James, he’s in the Cleveland Cavaliers” or “Oh yeah, John Lennon, he was on the Beatles”.

Is there an actual reason to this or did it just happen like that? I don’t know which I think is more right.

george wutWhen I write it out, I think saying Lebron is IN the Cavs sounds worse than Lennon was ON the Beatles.

However, both scenarios are of talking about groups of people. And in my mind, you’re IN the group, not ON the group.

For that reason, IN is correct to me. I’m going to start saying that to everyone and see how often I get called out.

The Mystery Next to Me

Hayley dropped me off at the airport today. I haven’t actually written this before, so for those who don’t know (Amos), Hayley is my lovely girlfriend. We also happen to be next-door neighbors.

While on the drive to the airport she said something like “I always imagine that I’ll sit next to some dreamy guy.”

It’s funny, because I think that to. Something about the scenario of being randomly paired with other human beings that you’re probably going to talk to is exciting.

Ultimately, I ended up sitting next to an older guy who lives in Vegas and is from up-state New York. We talked about New York, Vegas, college sports, gambling, etc. He’s a nice guy, but doesn’t meet the Seinfeld episode when Jerry get’s upgrade to first class. Maybe these opportunities never come to fruition.

Then I think of this scenariopaige

Say Hayley and I didn’t know each other, and ended up on a five hour and fourty minute flight together, what would happen? Would we have the standard talks of “Oh I’m from here, I went to this school, I do this for my job, these are my hobbies, etc.” or would something more happen?

Realistically, odds are that nothing would happen. We’d say nice meeting you and have a good life. The mystery next to me would have had a chance, but never come to fruition.

A similar scenario actually happened when Alex, Scott, and I moved to Manayunk next to three girls our age. The myseteries next to us.

Of course we’re hoping they’re cool, attractive, and like to drink. Maybe they’ll like us, maybe not. Maybe I’ll hook up with one, maybe not. Maybe I’ll date one, probably not.

Fast forward five months. Is this actually going to happen? The mystery next to me that everyone imagines but never actually comes through? It almost seems too good to be true.

In the end, that’s exactly what happened. The mystery that everyone initially imagines DID come through.

So although I’m writing this next to a 50 year old man who lives in Las Vegas and is from up-state New York, the mystery next to you CAN actually come through. The perfect Seinfeld scenario does actually happen. It’s not just a figment of our imaginations.

So next time you’re getting on a plane, moving to a new area, or having new neighbors move in, just know, you’ll probably end up dating them.

Thoughts on a Plane

-Okay, 5 hours and 40 minutes, this shouldn’t be too bad.
-Forgot to bring my book on my carry-on, bad start.
-That’s okay, I have my iPod.
-Why is there so much Billy Joel on my iPod? Songs from River of Dreams, for example, should not be taking up space.
-That bathroom looks tiny, do people seriously shit in there?
-Okay, time to take a nap.
-Wow this is uncomfortable.
-How the hell do people sleep on planes?
-Okay, this is kind of working, nighty night.
-Okay, I’m awake, how much time has passed?
-45 minutes, are you shitting me?
-I guess I’ll write some blogs.
fisted once-God damnit my background says “I WAS FISTED ONCE“. How could I possibly explain that if the guy next to me saw?
-I’m in the window seat, it would be a pain in the ass if I had to get up and go to the bathroom. I’ll hold it.
-God damnit this 5 hours and 40 minutes isn’t going by that quickly, not sure if I can hold it.
-The guy in front of me just mixed a Heiniken with a shot of Jack Daniels.
-I shit you not, he just did that. I’m not just saying that for blog material.
-He’s foreign so maybe he’s just confused. Poor guy.

Being a pilot is so easy!!!
Being a pilot is so easy!!!

-Wonder what the pilots are doing now?
-How easy of a job is that, “Okay, we’re taking off! [push lever all the way forward] We’re airborn! [throw on cruise-control] *5 hours and 40 minutes later* [press the land button] Alrighty, we made it alive! Thanks for flying with us, leave the $5,000 you spent on this flight in my pocket, HAGL.
-It’s pitch black out of the window, how do I even know we’re going anywhere? We could land in Chicago and I’d think it’s Vegas.
-You currently have to pay for Wifi on the plane. Give it 10 years, it will be free.
-Alright, we made it. I’m alive, so is everyone else. I’ll throw $50 on black ASAP and that will decide if I’m going to have a good trip or a bad trip.

I’m Writing This on a Plane

Me on the plane
Me on the plane

I’m writing this on a plane to Las Vegas. For those who don’t know, I’ll be there until Thursday for a work conference. I’ve been to a few conferences for work before, but this one specificaly is a first for a few reasons:

1) I’m going as an attendee, not an exhibitor.
2) I’m going completely by myself.

It’s a strange feeling. My company is sending me to Las Vegas, expenses paid, to learn and hopefully make them more money. They’re putting complete trust in me to attend this conference, take notes, learn, be a responsible adult, etc. This event does two things:

1) Make me feel like an adult.
2) Make me question if I’m an adult.

Obviously, I feel like an adult because an organization is investing in me, and ultimately I plan on learning as much as I can to return to them, that’s my obligation.

But at the same time it makes me question if I’m an adult. I look at the scenario and I think “Should I really be here? Am I important enough? Am I going to be out of my league at this conference?” I sat in the wrong gate for 45 minutes only to realize 20 minutes before takeoff that my plane was in an entirely different section of the airport. I’m such an adult.

While it is a little scary, ultimately, I realize the opportunity that I’ve been given. It’s nothing out of this world, but I get to go to Vegas. That’s pretty sweet.

Odds are I’ll roll the bank on black a few times and come home a millionaire, quit my job, leave my family and friends and move to Hawaii for the rest of my life.

Sergey Bubka and the Sixers

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There’s no real reason anyone under 35 should know who he is. There’s no real reason anyone over 35 should know either.

However, as a professional athlete, he pulled such a badass move with his career:

  • In May of 1984 he broke the world record in the pole vault at 5.85 meters.
  • Two weeks later he broke it again by 3 centimeters.
  • Five weeks later he broke it again by 2 centimeters

Then, miraculously, some bro broke Sergey’s record by a single centimeter.

This clearly pissed Sergey off, as he re-broke the record minutes later in the same competition.

Sergey then went on the break his own world record 13 more times. Each of the 13 times, he broke the record by one centimeter with his final record standing at 6.14 meters. In total, he broke the outdoor world record 17 times.

What a coincidence…

pole vault failSergey didn’t magically get one centimeter better each time. He set the bar one centimeter higher than the previous record, cleared it, then stop jumping. The mark would be ratified, then he’d break it again. He never jumped to his full potential (except perhaps his last).

Why would he do this?

This is what makes him a badass. In basically all contracts for athletes of his caliber, they get a bonus for breaking the world record. Why break the record once and literally set the bar high, when you can just keep breaking it by tiny increments and take in the dough? He intentionally didn’t jump to his full potential each time.

How do the Sixers tie in?

To draw a modern day comparison, the Sixers are going out of their way to be not as good as they could be. They’re “planning” for the future by not reaching their potential now. They’re taking advantage of the system.

In a way, Surgey was doing the same thing. He took advantage of the system to “plan” for his future.

I’ve made it known that I support Hinkie, and am on-board 100% (though I know Tom disagrees). The Sixers are exploiting a hole in the system. Sam Hinkie is not hiding at all what he’s doing. He’s sticking it to the man, which I think is badass. In some crazy way, he’s the Surgey Bubka of the NBA.

Unfortunately, Bubka was the best ever at what he was doing, and Hinkie and the Sixers are just about the worst ever. And every basketball fan in Philadelphia could make the Sixers 12-man roster. So there’s that.

But it’s good to see they have a vision and a plan how to get there, and they’re sticking to it.

The End of the Wall Clock

How many more years will the wall clock last?
Sure, we can look at the picture to the right and think “Okay, that says 10:10” but it’s not as practical as a digital clock. We’re just so used to it that we don’t think twice about it.

Mark my words, by the time we all die, these clocks will be all but out of existence. They’ll be antiques, used only for show and the few clingers who still have functioning ones. They will not be regularly produced and in a hundred years, very few people will be able to look at the clock to the right and say “Okay, that says 10:10“. Instead, they’ll look back and say “Why would the tards from 100 years ago use something like that?

Is this a sad thing? Some people feel an attachment to this type of clock which is why these things are still being used. The 60 year old CEO or 75 year old grandma likes the idea of the “old fashioned clock on the wall“. Personally, the ticking of the second hand makes me want to rip these things off the wall and smash them over my knee. The bottom line is this, it’s less practical than a digital clock.

This is something basically no one thinks about. There’s no reason to think like this. What do you care if we keep using these clocks or digital clocks? You don’t. Neither do I. It’s stupid.

But I’m just saying, these things will be GONE.

My Can and Can’ts of Drinking

Drink Preference

Can: Beer

From Natty Ice, to 90 Minute IPA, and everything in between, beer is the way to drink. This needs no explanation. I do have preferences, but there is essentially no time where I would take any other type of drink over a beer. Done deal. Lights out. Seeyuhlater.

Can’t: Mixed Drinks

I will never understand mixed drinks. I’m primarily a beer drinker, but I can dabble with shots. Mixed drinks on the other hand make zero sense to me. Why dull the pain over time when you can just rip a shot and get it over witfh? The only mixed drink I voluntarily order is the trash can, and I only do that because it makes sense economically and I don’t want to go to the bar every time after finishing a beer.

Drink Method

Can: Beer bong

Did you say beer bongs?
Did you say beer bongs?

The beer bong is like a drinking hack. Why sip on eight beers when you can bong them all while Tom Brady beats the Ravens? Those who “can’t” bong beers are really missing out. A drinking must in my opinion that trumps basically all other methods when the intention is binge drinking. Shotguns are messy, chugging is limited, beer bongs are perfect.

Can’t: N/A.

I don’t want to sound like a tool, but nothing comes to mind as an absolute “can’t” in terms of a method to consume alcohol. I don’t prefer shots, but I can do them. I don’t prefer shot guns, but I can do them.

Hard Alcohol

Can: Vodka

I don’t do shots that often, but when I do, vodka is by far my hard alcohol of choice. Does it taste good? No, not really. But even shitty vodka goes down easy. Best of all, no chaser is required for really any type. For me, there’s vodka, then there’s everything else, then there’s below.

Can’t: Whisky

barfMy father is a whisky drinker, specifically Johnny Walker Black. I was never fond of whisky, but over the past few years, it’s become basically a no-go for me. Every whisky shot now ends with me hovering over a trash can or toilet on the verge of puke. It doesn’t matter what chaser I use. Call me a poon, I’ve learned to pass on these.

Games

Can: Flip cup

Chugging a flip-cup amount of beer is not difficult for me, and flipping the cup is also not difficult. On my list of top 10 drinking games, flip cup is #1. You get drunk quickly, you get everyone involved, and it takes a certain level of skill. Flip cup is an all around A+. Maybe I’m biased because I’m good at it, but that’s how I feel.

mep mep
Beer Pong? Meh.

Can’t Beer Pong

I shouldn’t say I “can’t” play beer pong, but it is definitely my worst drinking game when compared to it’s overall popularity. I’m bad at it and I feel like it takes away from the party atmosphere since only four people can play. I don’t know why this is the staple drinking game. It’s something nice that goes on in the background but to often do people try to make this a central part of the party.

Consequences

Can: Blackout

Blackout Sam at a party.
Blackout Sam at a party.

The black out is a semi-regular occurrence for me. I know some people say they’ve never blacked out, which I don’t understand. I don’t try to blackout, it just happens. I get carried away with drinking and it’s fun and in the moment and next thing you know I’m blacked. I would be more concerned about this if I was a violent drunk or did really bad things, but black-out Sam is a pretty peaceful creature.

Can’t: Puke

PUKEI’m not boasting about this. The last time I puked from drinking too much was freshman year in college. I’ve puked from a bad bong or a whiskey shot, but it’s been 5+ years since I puked from drinking too much. Novice drinkers puke before they blackout. Alcoholics puke after they blackout out, or not at all.  I can’t get myself to the point where I throw up because I’d be so blacked I’d just fall asleep.

General Motor Skills

Can: N/A

Can’t: Speak, walk straight, dance, keep eyes open, remember names, play guitar, stay awake, etc.

nic cage laffWhen the drink is on, all bets are off. I’m not good at hiding my drunk. I begin slurring significantly, walking can be hazardous, I suck just as bad at dancing when I’m drunk compared to when sober, I don’t listen to people when they say their name, I forget how to play guitar, and I insta-pass out beyond a certain point. When I put it like this, it makes me question why I drink as often as I do. Life is short.

Anyone else?