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tony died last sunday night

it’s taken me more than a week to write this post and “announce” to the world that tony, my best friend and loyal companion, died on sunday jan 15th 2012 at roughly 7:30pm. i loved tony more than anything or any person over the last ten years. he was an incredible dog with a human soul. if you knew me or any of my bands then you of course knew tony. in many ways we helped define each other. if you did have the pleasure of meeting tony then you know exactly what i mean when i say this — he was indeed a different breed and definitely a special being.

on saturday the 14th tony was diagnosed with severe lymphoblastic lymphoma and given a few days at most to live. over the next 24 hours some of his closest human friends came to see him and say goodbye. what all of these people had in common was that he really loved seeing them. thanks to all of you for dropping whatever you were doing and coming to see him. i believe it was extremely important that he saw you so that his tail would wag one last time (and it did) even if he couldnt stand up.

by the morning of the 15th tony could barely walk, wag his tail or lift up his head. he spent most of sunday outside on the porch resting in his bed as if he knew he was soaking up his last few glimpses of the warm california sun. looking back on it, i believe tony had decided that was the exact place where he wanted to spend his last moments on earth. in fact, right after it got dark out and i carried him inside he got up and somehow stumbled on his own just to make it back to that spot. this dog was a true fighter even at the end. watching him get up and walk back to that spot was a testament to just how tough, strong and proud he was. it was gut wrenching. a little while later tony was put to sleep on that porch, on that bed, while i was holding his head whispering “i love you” over and over and over again into his ear. i can’t describe how sad that moment was – as if half of my heart was forever ripped out of my chest.

to the people that have called or left messages – i appreciate it. even if i haven’t responded or don’t end up ever responding i appreciate the thoughts…thanks. if you have a pic of tony please post it on my facebook page as that would be really great to see and definitely make me smile.

the picture above was taken the evening of the 14th during one of the brief moments tony was able to stand up.

i love you tony.
– fran

wsop circuit event recap part 2

after the break i was moved to another table.  i had resigned myself to the fact i was going home unless i went on a huge rush — and that’s when i had my first ever spiritual poker moment.  i’m not sure why, but after i sat down i prayed to god and said “god, please give me a good hand”. yes…i am serious…i did that and will shamefully admit to it. now guess what the hand was that i was dealt? yup…aces.  i played them exactly  how jesus would have wanted me too…like the hammer of the gods. i doubled up and then in that same orbit i was dealt ace-queen (won), ace-jack (folded to huge bet) , ace-king (lost), 1010 (doubled up) and then kings (doubled up). by the time they broke this table i was not only public enemy #1 but one of the chip leaders in the room with 86k. i’ve never had a run like that before…praise the lord jesus christ.  once in the main room i was moved from one table of aggro players to another. i didnt mix it up too much because the action was crazy.  i spent the next few hours playing position, picking my spots and chipping up when i could get it in good.  i lost with ace-king 2 more times but still had chips and seemed to stay around 20 bb until the very end of night. after i was in the money i just kept playing position and preying  (different kind this time) on the players that were short stacked and scared to go home. i only got my money in bad when i open shoved with A8. i was called with a-k and a-q. i thought i was out in 17th place but instead tripled up when an 8 came out on the flop. i coasted into 10th place when the game was called. the last 5 hours the game really wasnt poker as much as it was like dodgeball. it’s sort of like the footage of the allies landing on normandie beach. tons of soldiers getting killed next to you…all you have to do is somehow make it onto the beach and into a little hole and you have a great chance of surviving.  overall,  i was extremely pleased with how i managed my play in these mid to late chaotic rounds. cashing at this tournament only confirmed what i believe, and that is, that i’m a going to be a force to reckon with.

wsop circuit event recap part 1

i hate folding like a bitchi played in a no-limit hold’em deepstack tournament at the bicycle casino this past saturday.  i’m  pleased to announce that i was one of 11 people left standing when they decided to chop the pot at 3am. technically i finished tenth (apropos) out of 580 entries. this was the second “big” tournament i have played at the bike and it was the second time i cashed. i seem to run pretty good there as opposed to commerce. here’s a rundown of some of my thoughts about the day. i arrived late and kinda liked it – maybe getting there earlier made me a bit more nervous. this would make sense as it’s the same kind of thing when i play shows – i like getting there right before we go on rather than waiting around as it tends to do strange things to my psyche. i tend to be a little nervous before any show i play. anyway…outside of the first 2 hands that i played like a fool i fell into a good groove early. by the break  i had a great read on my table but a below average chip stack. the most critical hand up up this point came when i called an all-in in lp from a shorter stack only to get reraised all in by the armenian guy on my left. i didnt t see that one coming at all but i had  to fold. i despise getting big chunks of chips taken away from me without even a fight. it was a bitter pill to suck on and swallow for sure but it was a crucial fold as i would have been driving home early. by the second break i had to regroup as i was indeed in a very critical lack of chips situation. during this break i caught up with a good friend and poker mentor of mine. he reconfirmed what my only option was at this juncture…chip up fast or go the fuck home.

2011… a year to forget

was taking tony for a walk tonight and it dawned on me how f’n horrible a year 2011 was, im sure it was for a lot of people, but for me in particular it was unusually baaaaad. i thought 2010 kinda sucked but wow…2011 easily eclipsed that. i’m wondering if it was some sort of karmic payback. i can’t figure it out but i am thinking back to people i may have wronged in the past – dont think i ever wronged anyone that badly though.

here are the highlights (umm lowlights) that immediately come to mind: worked for one of the biggest and nastiest liars i have ever worked for. followed that up by working for the most sneaky, greedy, lying piece of shit scumbags i have ever worked for. collectively i think both of these people somehow indirectly transferred all of their terrible energy on to me. it was like i stepped in their bad energy shit. i can’t believe i invited these people into my home, fed them and treated them with respect. it still amazes me how shitty people can be…it seems like being “a stand up guy” is a rarity. how they look themselves in the mirror every day is a mystery to me.

while working for awesome guy #2 i hurt my back pretty badly which culminated in 6 months of semi-life changing miserable pain. as a result of not being able to run or be active in any way it took a toll on me psychologically….inactivity breeds depression.

top everything off with tony getting pretty sick with pancreatitis and that’s what i remember about 2011. i’m actually starting my 2012 now because i’ve decided to end 2011 earlier. it doesnt deserve the extra 3 weeks left in december.

ahhh that year in review felt cathartic. sometimes you just need to type it out. next post – 2012 the year of hope…or maybe i should try to list some positives from 2011. that might be a good exercise – had to be a couple at least.

if i did nothing for 3 years

my back would eventually heal itself and get better. at least that is what the back specialist i have been seeing told me. pretty cool actually. it made me feel like there was indeed some hope. i have opted to NOT get an epidural – which even if i had the the 5K to blow would still think twice about sticking a needle in my spine. i ended up leaving with a gang-load of prescription meds most of which i had very little desire to ingest.

one of the drugs, called celebrex has apparently done the trick. it’s like a super strong aspirin -NSAID. in less than 2 months it has decreased the swealling of the nerve so much so that im almost “back” to normal. i still have some pain in my calf and hamstring but that’s nothing compared to what it was. i can at least deal with this. i’m even going back to the gym this week. finally! man, that was a crazy 6 month trip down memory pain. it gave me so perspective on people that have to live with constant pain. i mean…24 hr constant pain will eventually drive you to the edge but it will also make you seek out many different therapeutic options. i dont think i posted about the hanging upside machine. i know i have a pic somewhere.

CELEBREX (celecoxib) is chemically designated as 4-[5-(4-methylphenyl)-3-(trifluoromethyl)-1H-pyrazol-1-yl] benzenesulfonamide and is a diaryl-substituted pyrazole. The empirical formula is C17H14F3N3O2S, and the molecular weight is 381.38; the chemical structure is as follows:

slow playing ace-king

case in point (1) – last night at a home game i pushed all in with a-k. very questionable call so early on and in retrospect it was overly aggressive and a play i dont normally make at that juncture. one factor that contributed to the shove was what i considered a very wide range of hands that i felt my opponent was representing. but hey, i should’ve considered his re-raise to actually mean he had a decent hand to respect. i knew he didnt have aces or kings and i was correct but unfortunately not rewarded with an a or k when the cards came down. another factor was that i was mentally in a more aggressive and impatient mood. impatience will kill you every time. i should have folded or at least tried to see a flop cheaply. lesson learned and walk of shame avoided.

case in point (2) – a few hours later at a casino i was confronted with a-k 3 times all of which i slow played to satisfyingly results.

iwnbts at viper room

2 weeks ago i played a show with iwnbts at the viper room in la. it was the first show i played in support of the second record. gotta admit – had a great time – wish i had more rehearsal time with the material but overall it was a good show. powered through it. some bands have completely different rehearsal strategies – i prefer to be overly prepared but then again sometimes it’s fun when it becomes a tornado on stage. special thanks to nik and jason for coming out of the closet to support.

west indian girl sluggishness

as far as west indian girl goes….i can’t really provide any more updates on the new record. at this point all the tracks are with rob and who knows when that will be finished. if and when something gets released i will let you know. as far as i’m concerned – don’t hold your breath cos i’m not. did you know slugs move at .03 mph — tough to beat that but we do.

in case you need any west indian girl cds – shirts or posters please email me here and i will take care of you.

slugs move at .03 mph but we move slower

poker sunglasses

in my heart of hearts i don’t really think sunglasses should be allowed in poker but if they are allowed and people are using them, then why not try to incorporate that edge at some point into your game. the day when golfers were allowed to use metal heads instead of wood gave them an edge. if you still kept using wood heads you were at a disadvantage. get the point.

reluctantly, if you can’t beat’em join’em. i actually don’t like wearing sunglasses inside but i tend to love it specifically when i’m playng against someone else wearing sunglasses. tough dilemma here because i do feel like i have joined the ranks of semi lameness when i wear them but ….fight fire with fire right?

while i was in vegas i couldn’t help myself and got a pair a these bitches. the fact they are gucci takes the humor to a whole other lever.

who loves ya baby – could that be my new poker catch phrase?

i was talking to a friend of mine about my poker catch phrase…sort of like hank kingsley’s “hey now” catch phrase in the larry sanders show. right now – kojack’s who loves ya baby is really making me laugh. i’m gonna try it out the next time someone tries pushin me around only to get smacked in the face. i think it would be hilarious if that was the only thing i ever said at a tournament.

the cost to release a superstar album – repost

the cost to release a superstar album – repost

this is an interesting/odd read. not sure how much i believe it given the state of the industry these days but the comments are worth reading. it actually sounds exactly like a deal for a baby band circa 1994-96. be curious to hear from any musicians as to what they think of this. not only is it incredibly difficult just to get a deal with a major these days, to have a budget like this is even more rare. deals aren’t being handed out like they once were…let alone “superstar” deals — thus the article is almost pointless in its scope.

3 herniated discs look like this

here is what the mri of my back looks like. although i can’t really tell where they are…there are not 1, not 2, but 3 disc herniations. so…for what it’s worth, to anyone that didnt really think the wincing and ugly faces i was making [when i trying to deal with certain things (like putting on socks/shoes and getting into/out of cars)] were for real, well…you can all suk it.

i’m not sure i used the [] and () correctly but i enjoyed trying.

working with assholes part duex

it makes me laugh.

m.r.i or v.a.g.ina – u decide?

how many of u have ever had an mri? i got one last tuesday and i must admit i sort of enjoyed it. kind of a mind game though. i can understand how people could get freaked out in the tube. best part about it was the noise – like an experimental electronic dance sampling loop. some great, some heavy and some harsh beats going on in that machine. wish i could have recorded it.

google images for mri machines if u have a second….stating the obvious here but doesn’t it look like a giant vagina

glasses – malcolm x style

i was invited to “model” some sunglasses this past weekend for one of my favorite publications – wstrncv. i tried on a pretty cool pair from john varvatos that would be a welcome addition to my poker sunglasses arsenal. i also tried on some barton perreira’s that looked like malcolm x glasses. in fact, and i kid u not, the style name was called “malcolm”. damn, i love malcom x. listen to the last quote in this clip. fucking great. inspirational.

“i don’t worry. im a man who believed i died 20 years ago and i live like a man who is dead already – i have no fear whatsoever of anybody or anything”

working with assholes

one of the more difficult lessons i have learned over the years is that going into business with people and/or working with/for people seems to rarely pay off in the “feelgood” kind of way. when it comes to business most people tend to err on the side of selfishness and greed. it’s usually short sighted and geared less towards long term employee/partner happiness than to immediate ego satisfaction. why are people like this. i was like this once…you know what i learned– trust and mutual respect is one of the most important qualities to any employee/partner long term relationship. add to that mix getting rewarded for a job well done and that relationship is built to last.

i happen to be doing business with a musician right now who i have the utmost respect for as far as that business goes. he understands loyalty and he understands what people bring to the table more so in regards to their respective strengths rather than their weaknesses. unfortunately that last fact is all too often reversed in that most people tend to harp on a weakness instead of playing to a strength.

i’m sure every one of the people i have some sort of business deal with (and that’s actually quite a few) is thinking this post is about you…ya know it might be but then again it might not be. sort of like i might have a set of aces or maybe just 5-2 off suited. u just never know unless you call me – and then you can ask and i will tell you.

questions to ponder: how many of you work with people you actually respect? what makes a good boss or partner or co-worker?

this is a good article on how not to be douche at work.

bass gear for tech heads 3: wooly mammoth sound

coma rehearsals are underway and that’s the view of my current rig. as a proud owner of 2 ampeg 8×10 cabs it’s tough to admit that i have a new love as far as speakers go. it’s an aguilar 4×10 top with 1×15 low. love love love the extra fatness on the low tones – seriously it’s like a wooly mammoth is trying to crawl out of my rig….specially with all the low c tinings maaa-a-annnn this shit sounds tough.

dear aguilar – i would like an endorsement.
dear manager – i would like u to proactively help me get an endorsement.

oh yeah…that would be an ashdown head on top of the cabs…makes for a beautiful combination. not sold on the aguilar heads yet…maybe if they endorse me i will go all the way with them. right now it’s just to second base.

playing poker is like being a dj but with testicles

nothing makes me happier than that picture you see here now. it’s called fran winning his weekly poker game. here’s why i love poker—win or lose i have absolutely no one but myself to blame or pat on the back. all the decisions i make i’m responsible for thus if i lose it’s my fault (and i kick myself for it) but, if i win it’s all me. ahhh if only everything i was involved with worked this way—bands, businesses etc etc. is this what it’s like to be a dj?

again – quality poker is a combination of good decisions plus a big dose of luck. avoiding the walk of shame is so much fun.

not exactly sure where i was going with this title…deep down i’m not really a big fan of dj’s just cos i’m a “band guy” but i see their collective utility. i wish every dj was a wedding dj cos they’re more fun. a weeding dj however would be interesting though…garden parties anyone?

really? hit me again.

Really? Really? You had to park behind my truck sooo closely that u were actually hitting the back of my newly chromed bumper. Why would u do that – there are plenty of spaces on this street to park. U had to park right there didn’t ya. you were too lazy to walk 50 feet away and park. Judging by the all the dents and scratches on ur front bumper it’s obvious ur an old pro at this game. I took great delight backing into ur car 3x while trying to get out of my spot. Ur welcome.

It would have been better to tell you this in person but i didnt see u nor did i have the time or energy to leave my passive aggressive note on ur windshield – this will have to do.

rise of the planet of the apes

most movies completely suck these days…right? because of this fact i stream all my movies online just cos it’s bullshit paying for this shit…which is exactly what the motion picture association asks the consumer to do – pay high prices for zero quality. anyway, the apes movie was pretty decent given the competition. if you can suspend “some” of your disbelief – like how the guy kept a full grown chimp at his house for 3 years before anyone noticed, then it’s good. the end was particularly satisfying…humans suck and i’m sure we would learn so much more as people if we all had to walk a day in their shoes…ie with a leash or a collar. i’m not talking about the sexual leash and collar stuff btw. all hail ceaser…ruler, of the world. FYI click on the pic to stream this movie