I was bored and when I get bored I look for something to do. My idle mind tends to gravitate towards mischief, so instead of conducting unhealthy Google searches I decided to tweak my blog. It’s not dramatically different, really. I’ve always loved the banner so I kept that. I changed the name to this somewhat Bukowski-esque title. Compared to the previous title this is a bit shorter, a better play on words and it rolls off the tongue more easily. Do I need to explain that this is a witty sarcasm? That I’m not really exiled or in pain? (Well…not much.) In the past, I was told that The Unbearable Banishment was an insult to my bride. Further, I was asked that if life is so unbearable, why didn’t I just leave? It’s just a joke, brothers and sisters. Not a cry for help.
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I took the girlies to the horse track and showed them how to bet the ponies. Not the complicated data dump that constitutes real wagering. Just the basics. This is a dangerous game to play. The only attention I ever got from my father—and I mean ever—was on Thursdays during football season when he’d let me fill out a betting chit. It doesn’t take a Freudian scholar to figure out where my love of gambling and casinos was born. That’s something I DON’T want the daughters to inherit so I’m careful.
Horse racing is a dying sport, but it’s still a pretty big deal in New Jersey. You wouldn’t think so, but NJ is horse country. The area where I live is dotted with pretty horse farms. This was by no means our first visit to the track. The track is excellent! It’s not a total dive, but it’s still a bit seedy around the edges. It’s mangy enough to be interesting, but not so much that it’s dangerous or scary. If you look around, you can still find some sharps right out of a Damon Runyon novel.
I taught The Daughters how to read the Racing Form. Just look at that logo. A classic design.
Kids will place a wager based on the jockey’s silk color or the name of the horse. You’d be surprised how far that’ll get you. My father-in-law and I pour over stats—track condition, jockey weight, previous running times, opponents, etc.,—and more often than not throwing a dart at the page is just as effective.
The worst thing that could happen happened. 11-Year Old Daughter won $33 on a $6 across-the-board bet. She bet the number three horse because she’s third in her class. Now she thinks she’s got it all figured out. Very dangerous.
We’ve spent the last few weekends on the boardwalks pumping badly-needed capital into the local storm-damaged communities. Restore the Shore! Hurricane Sandy fucked this place up pretty good but it’s amazing how much progress they’ve made. Some of the amusement park rides are still out of commission but pretty much everything else is up and running.
Daughter and friend stroll through the Jersey scene. I’m glad they’re going to spend their youth near a beach community. What great memories! I grew up near Lake Erie. Why do you think they call it eerie?
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Scary quotes du jour
“You can have privacy or you can have the Internet, but you can’t have both.”
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat on the recently revealed government surveillance programs.
“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment.”