by David Valley
I was driving back to L.A. from Palm Springs with my fiancée, Kim, to get started on establishing our new quarters. Both Kim and I own condos which we will put up for sale while we start looking for a larger one suited to our living together. We want to find one in or near Marina del Rey so we can be close to Hobby and Sue’s yacht home. We were still on the I-10 heading west when Sue said, “We’ve kicked around some ideas about when we should get married, but you didn’t have a lot to say, Joe.
What do you think?”
by David J. Valley
After being faced with a put-up or shut-up situation, Hobby and I succumbed to the idea of marrying our long time girlfriends. It was a weird deal, to say the least, but it goes to show that our ladies have gumption and we needed some serious prodding. It wasn’t a bad thing. We were fortunate to have these exceptional ladies in our lives and our commitment was way overdue.
When Hobby and Sue joined us at breakfast with the news that they were also getting married, it was a time to celebrate. “Hobby, I hope you have some champagne in your wine closet,” I said.
by David J. Valley
Hobby and I were driving to the downtown Palm Springs casino, about a ten minute drive from his villa. “I noticed you at your desk today, scribbling away. Were you writing your last will and testament?”
“No,” Hobby said with a chuckle, “I was working on my New Year’s poker resolutions.”
I just finished a jog around my neighborhood when my cell phone rang. Hobby’s number showed on the screen. He had been traveling with Sue. “Hey, Hobby, are you still in Vegas?”
“Oh, yeah. We’ve seen all the top shows in town and Sue is flying to L.A. as we speak. How about coming over for a few days? I’ve got this huge two bedroom suite at Caesar’s comped for another week and there’s a special tournament this weekend. It’ll be fun.”
“I don’t know. I’ve got some work I should do.”
“C’mon, Joe; you can get away. I’ll even treat you to dinner anywhere you want.”
Funny how I could just smell a sizzling steak, it’s the power of suggestion.
I put down my cup of coffee to answer my cell phone. “Hi, Joe. I forgot to tell you, Muriel is coming this morning to do me. Are you interested?” Hobby asked.
Before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion, Muriel is a 60 year-old lady who, once a month, goes to Hobby’s yacht, Lazybuns II, to give him a haircut, manicure, and pedicure. She also acts like she’s his mother, bossing him around and chiding him for any slackness. He gives her a bad time too and they both enjoy the badgering. I sometimes have Muriel do my hair and a get a manicure. After a quick assessment, I decided it’s about time. “Yeah, I could use some touching up. I’ll be over in about an hour.”
Hobby and I flew to Panama City to meet Mike and the crew on Lazybuns II after it cleared the Panama Canal. Anyone who flies very often has a share of horror stories to tell, but never have I had so many things go wrong on one trip. The details are boring, but the bottom line was that we arrived a day late. Once on the ground at Panama City, Hobby called Mike and learned all was well with Lazybuns. We could take a water taxi and be aboard within an hour.
By Shari Geller and Lou Krieger
According to a report in the Reuters news service this afternoon, the U.S. may have opened itself up to a new challenge in front of the World Trade Organization when it shut down certain offshore Internet gambling sites last Friday. Apparently, officials from the tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, which licenses Absolute Poker, among other internet gambling companies, are considering bringing an action against the U.S. before the WTO for discriminatory trade practices.
Antigua's finance minister, Harold Lovell, issued a statement on Wednesday calling the recent shutdown discriminatory against foreign businesses and an illegal attempt to quash offshore competition for legal gambling dollars, calling them examples of “economic protectionism at its worst.”
Hobby and I were having lunch at the Blue Coyote, a Southwestern restaurant in downtown Palm Springs. I have always held Hobby’s margaritas as the standard of excellence, and have never found any others to come close, until I tasted the Wild Coyote Margarita.
Except for a few business trips I’ve been staying with Hobby at his Palm Springs villa. Lazybuns II was still under repair due to unanticipated problems. Now with winter setting in for residents in coastal California it was good to be in the warm desert. Lately we’ve been checking out some local private poker games to supplement our trips to nearby casinos.
At daybreak Lazybuns II was underway, leaving behind the unfortunate Miraflores experience. At a private poker club a card cheat used a shiner to get an advantage at Hobby’s table. When Hobby exposed him, the man pulled a knife. Bad idea, Hobby snapped his wrist. That brought an end to our evening of poker; we decided to clear out before the bad guy’s friends got nasty.