Linus and Lucy on banjo

Silent Night on Banjo

A Minute of Beach Boys on Banjo

The Tilt Store

I want to share a funny email I received from my friend, Rich.

Rich wrote:

So I had to go to the local mall for a job meeting today. It was my first time there. Right before I walk thru the doors as I was walking from the parking structure to the food court I was thinking about:

1.       How I played for 6 hours yesterday and lost $19.
2.       How the jerk that 3-bet me preflop with an A478 won when I finished with Nut, Nut, Nothing.
3.       How I left the game last Friday night about 2 hours later my table hit the bad beat jackpot 5-handed for about $40,000
4.       How I really want to get a T-shirt made that says, “ The real miracle is not that you hit, It’s that I missed!”
And then off I go in my mind, until I walk into the mall and the first store I see is……………….(see attached)
So I laugh and think……..Yeah I know!

Tilt Store

Tilt for Beginners — My new column at

I’m writing a column again! It’s a series called, “Tilt for Beginners.” Each month I tell a story or two from my life, or yours, and offer advice. For example, this article…

… is about me playing poker in Montreal and becoming a beginner again, because of the playing cards. That one comes with an image by my good friend Ken Silbert that makes me laugh just thinking about it.

Other articles-so-far are on the topics of quitting, rules, and being criticized, all from the perspective of being new to the perils and pains of poker.

The first article tells the story of how this series came to be, along with much more about what the series is about:

If you have any questions or stories or topics you would like me to write about, please send them to me at Thanks!

Give a Man a Fish

My friend Ken writes emails to me that are full of this kind of fun. This bit I felt compelled to share. And I quote:

Give a man a fish and his hand will stink all day, but teach a man to fish and he’ll never get the smell off, even if life hands him lemons. — friend Ken

The view from my desk chair

This image might show up weird on your device because I put the full size image into this post so that the Hemingway quote would be readable. Try clicking on the image to view it in giant size.

If You See Kay

When alone at the grocery store, I often finish up by grabbing a bottle of wine for my wife Kay, as I did on this trip. The bottle I selected met the required specifications as to type of wine and price. If it were up to me, I’d base my choice on the label. I don’t drink wine, but I’ve spent a lot of time in wine aisles and wine stores while Kay shops, and I must say, for a non-imbiber, I know a cool looking 750 milliliter bottle when I see one.

The bottle I had chosen for Kay today was utterly ordinary. The classic font, the cautious colors. At ten paces from the wine aisle, in sight of the registers, I suddenly wanted a do-over. I parked my cart, picked up the boring bottle, walked it back to its shelf, and that’s when I spotted it, about twenty bottles to my right. I was drawn at first to the colors and shapes. And then, when I got close enough to read the text, I had a rapture moment. Check it out…

Puddle Season

One thing that sucks about living here in paradise is that the heart of puddle season is only a few months long. The rest of the year there are no surprises as you walk around gazing at the ground. For example, you would never see a car about to get rear-ended by a redwood.

The bumper stickers say:

Well-behaved women never make history


Peace also takes courage

A Throw That Threw Me

On my walk there are rocks available. Not a lot. You kind of have to know where to look. Many times I have picked up one, two, or three rocks and thrown them at trees. I know this seems like a mean way to treat a tree, to throw rocks at it. Not to mention all the tiny and very tiny organisms making a living on or in the tree whose lives would never be the same after the day the meteor hit.

My selfish calculation puts my awareness above theirs, and concludes that the increase in my happiness that comes from throwing a rock that hits its target is more than the decrease in theirs, so it’s okay.

This rationalization creates a fountain from which can spring a jolt of joy when something like what happened yesterday happens. I picked up one rock. I threw it really hard at the strike zone of a tree. I nailed the exact spot I was aiming at — THUNK! — and then, nothing. No more movement. No more sound. Wha???

At that moment I felt like I would never need to throw another rock. To those organisms who gave their lives that I might have that feeling, thank you.