I must plead guilty to a little sloth in recent days, as the boys have been away at camp, and the missus has been home with school out for the summer. What has really been occupying my time, aside from work, has been Fifty Hand Deuces Wild Video Poker.
That's right - Fifty hands at once! It's a nifty little game that I've been playing in casinos for several years now. But for some stupid reason, I've never taken the time to learn how to properly play the game. If you take the time to learn the strategy, and practice, practice, practice, you can actually have a decent chance of breaking even. And considering that the missus and I are heading to Atlantic City in a few days, I figured this would be the opportune time to bone up on the game. I've been spending hours at the computer, learning to hold on possible flushes while rejecting two-pair combos. It's not hard to learn... It's just hard to remember everything - so I've prepared a cheat sheet!
Of course, I have no reason to be inside at the computer - not with the weather being as gorgeous as it has been recently. I cannot remember a cooler start to summer. It's the 4th of July, and I am sitting in front of an open window. The high yesterday was 76 degrees, and it's not supposed to get above 85 in the foreseeable future. Didn't anyone tell the weather Gods this is DC in the summertime? Even without blasting heat, we're supposed to have insufferable humidity - but it's like early spring out there! I've even seen pictures of my kids up at camp wearing sweatshirts! If this is global warming, I say BRING IT ON!
While we say hello to this wonderful weather, we say goodbye to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. I was an early admirer of Palin when the nation met her just before the GOP Convention last year. I thought she was plain-spoken and easy to look at... a diamond in the rough, to be sure, but someone who could excel on the national political stage with the right amount of seasoning.
I wish Palin had gone back to Alaska after the election last fall, and worked as hard as she could to focus on her job., and then perhaps run for the Senate, so she could start to earn the bonafides she would need for the future. But I think she fell in love a bit too much with the national stage, and I believe the conservative wing of the GOP saw her as a beacon among the ruins of the Republican Party far too much to allow her to be absorbed back into the wood work.
Palin continued to be overexposed at a time when she should have been giving the spotlight a break. Then, the Letterman saga came - that wasn't her fault, at first... but she way overplayed her role as a victim, and turned what should have been a positive into a negative.
Now, she is resigning. If she is doing this to make a run for President in 2012, she is going to regret it. Whoever runs against Obama is going to get creamed, and Palin doesn't need to do this to raise her public profile. However, friends of Palin say they think she is getting out of politics - that she's simply had enough. If that is indeed the case, then I will truly admire Sarah Palin once again. Most politicians cannot kick the addiction of power and adulation. I hope Sarah Palin can.
Onto less weighty issues... One of our favorite summer pastimes has been living vicariously through our children, who are away at Camp Airy. I don't know whether parents have become more protective, or whether camps see this as an effective marketing tool (probably both), but it's become commonplace for camps to post photos of campers on a daily basis on their websites, so parents can go on-line and see how their kids are enjoying camp. Robin and I both on onto Airy's site every day to look for our boys. Here's Spencer (in front) with his fellow cast from "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum"...
And here is Brad in his most common camp habitat - the Arts and Crafts pavilion. He's the one in the right corner - his good bud Evan is sitting across from him:
The boys don't write very often - if we hear from them three times during the month they are away, that's a lot. But I did receive something else interesting in the mail yesterday... My new driver's license!
I was due to re-up for a new license this summer, and I had been preparing to make my once-every-five years sojourn to the MVA. But when my application arrived in the mail, it included a flier offering to let me renew my license by MAIL! All I needed was to have my optometrist fill out a form confirming I had had an eye exam in the past year, mail in the form and presto - license by mail.
I'm not sure how secure our world is that I can get a license with a picture that's five years old in the mail, but if it saves me a couple of hours at the MVA, I'll take it!