Archive for July, 2015

So you haven’t seen Game of Thrones??


I need a Game of Thrones fix!!  And winter is coming..


The Tv show is currently in season 5, and Im waiting for episode 9 of 10 to air.  There are a few days to wait, so for two reasons, I had this idea that maybe I should write about it;   To address my cravings by allowing my mind to wander back through the experience to soak in the best traits again, as I write about them. Also to perhaps convince certain people who haven’t seen the show, to drop what they are doing and watch it! 




I searched things like top ten reasons to watch Game of Thrones, and there were some excellent reads, with amazing facts I had no awareness of.  I read a few similar articles, but none of them summed it up entirely in the way I feel it needed to be portrayed to ‘Throne virgins..”   There were spoilers in some of the articles, and not enough info in others, and way too many advertisements in others.  So Ima try this, and hopefully sell it to some new viewers, and likely pacify the tingle that keeps reminding me of my minds hunger for the next episode to air, and the one after, and the 10 after that!


So lets start at the bottom, with a base introduction. The show is an adaptation from a series of fantasy novels written by George R.R. Martin.  I cant say much about the novels because I havent read any of them, but theyre called “A song of Ice and Fire,”  Which after watching almost 5 seasons of the tv show, seems pretty fitting.    The first episode aired on April 17th, 2011.  Every season has 10 episodes that are each 1 hour long, which is in my opinion, the most ideal way any lengthy show should be presented.  Ten episodes is a nice round number, where nothing drags on and no fillers are needed.   It leaves enough room at an hour per episode to jam in just the right amount of excitement to get everything across, while leaving the viewer breathless and scrambling for the next episode. 





So, I can search wikipedia, or those sites about the top ten reasons to watch, (and I will, believe me) and copy facts to my writing to share with any readers, but I will try to do most of this in my own words, from the perspective of someone who hasnt read the books.






Now, you must first understand me.  I do not watch television. I dont have cable, I dont have satellite, and I dont have any interest in it.  I last had cable about 6 years ago, and I watched the discovery channel, the history channel, some shows on the learning channel, maybe some Trailer Park Boys, or Family Guy, and poker!  But I never got into small series shows, or reality shows like survivor.  I do watch hockey.   This is the full extent of my cable relationship.



However, a few years ago I got into “The Walking Dead.”   Someone had convinced me to watch it (somehow) and it blew my mind because it was crazy and awesome and like nothing else I had seen. I tried to convince other people to watch it, and I even did.  Now a few years later, though I dont have anything bad to say about it, the fact is that the excitement I had for that show has dwindled to the point where I do not urge to acquire new episodes at this time.  Ive watched maybe four seasons, and now fallen behind, and Im not sure where to catch up.  Unlike Game of Thrones, Walking Dead has something like 16 episodes per season (45 min each), and there is a break in the middle of each season, so when the next half starts, people are like ” Cant wait for next week man, season 5 walking dead!”  When in reality, its part two of season 4.   That just aint as clean as Id like my television experience to be.  But I am glad I watched that show, I really enjoyed it for a long time.




Game of Thrones on the other hand, has never failed at blowing my mind.  It still has my full attention after almost 5 full seasons, and I always, Always want more!   It began about 6 months ago, I decided to give it a try.  I had season 1 on an external hard-drive that I had bought off a friend, where it, and many other shows, and hundreds of movies were already preloaded. I think I watched all the movies already and I was on a break from a bad week of poker, so I succumbed to episode one and pushed play.   It was the greatest television decision that Ive ever made.


Yes, I watch a lot of movies.  What movies dont I watch?  I dont watch harry potter or lord of the rings.  I dont watch the hobbits or any trending fantasy wizard stuff with magic, or any kind of children-targeted films.  So when I watched the fairly intense opening scene of Game of Thrones, I wasnt quite sold, but I was a bit confused and curious.
Speaking of curious, 14 paragraphs and I havent even touched on what the show was about, so for the completely oblivious, here it is.



Game of Thrones which I will now refer to as GoT’s, takes place in a fictional world that resembles earth in the times of Knights and Kings and swords and shields and horses and castles.  There are basically seven Kingdoms on two continents ruled by one King.  The story weaves through dozens of noble families, good and bad, each pieces of a puzzle in very unique ways that draw conflict relating to the King, and the Iron Throne, and power and riches.

King Robert Baratheon of  house Baratheon is Married to Queen Cersei Lannister of the evil House Lannister, the most powerful and wealthy house in the land, feared by all.  Across the seas and in far off lands, others lay rightful claims to the Iron Throne and conspire to take it with armies. Secrets are whispered across seas and in the streets of Kings Landing, the city of the Royal Family, while unrelated corruption already takes place within the Royal walls itself.


As the show goes on, every house becomes knee deep in some insane conflict that somehow ties its way down a brilliant rope, in a plot to either protect or take the Throne. Sounds pretty legit right? I know! Its like a great European History movie, except while all this is happening, while everyone is playing the game of thrones, theres a force in the north like no one has ever seen, preparing to bring winter with their army and kill every last person alive.


The show is the most well written piece of work I have ever seen, or could possibly imagine.  Every single character is perfect.   Every plot is maximum brilliance.  Every twist will blow your mind.  Nothing can be predicted.  Youre just sitting there one minute and the next minute something happens out of no where and its just like BAM! Your neck loses control of the weight of your head and it falls back, usually until the wall or the couch stop it.  Your mouth will be open.  Try to remember to breathe out and maybe blink a bit. Its just your brain shutting down for a second, like a small crash or a quick malfunction as it struggles to processes what just happened.











That was my experience.  The excellent dialogue carries the story so well, attached to the cunning, clever, and mischievous scenes.   The plots and conspiracies are deep and twisted, and everything is so intimate, and dramatic, and intense, and just when you feel great about watching the show and experiencing such excitement, that BAM! thing happens again, and youre like WTF???


I think people are naturally drawn to have hopes and predictions as they watch, about the outcomes and certain courses of action.  Every time I thought I had an idea about what was going to happen, I was wrong.   And there are so many possibilities on which way the show could turn, that even choosing a prediction can feel like being in a candy store when youre 7.


The show did something to me that I cant yet identify. It may have widened my imagination a little.   I like to think it makes me think a little differently.  Ive learned things from the show that I cannot seem to explain.   I can feel the characters much more than in any other film or television show, like the acting is just top-notch!  And to think of George R R Martin, sitting there drawing a map of a world and naming cities and countries and roads and seas.  Naming families and creating histories and drawing sigils for each of them.  That work itself is huger than I can even imagine, and the fact that he did it so well, and then the story it turned into blew the fucking world away is just incredible.














To me, all the names sound like names that were used hundreds of years ago, but I really dont think they were at all.   Listen to some of these characters names!


Tyrion Lannister.   Daenerys Targaryen.   Jorah Mormont.   Petyr Baelish.    Sandor Clegane.    Margaery Tyrell.   Stannis Baratheon.   Ramsay Snow.   Eddard Stark.   Arya Stark.   Mance Rayder.  Roose Bolton.   Oberyn Martell.   Barristan Selmy.   And one namers like Ygritte.   Hodor.  Gendry.  Varys.  Gilly.  Bronn.   Melisandre.  


Fun Fact!  In 2012, 150 baby girls in The United States were named “Khalessi”  Which is not a name, but a title from the show.


I found that when I downloaded the video game for my phone, there were hundreds of other names of characters that I hadnt seen in the tv show, which possibly may be from the books, or may just be from hundreds of names that were invented but didnt get used.

And here are some city names to check out:   Bravos.   Meereen.   Volantis.   Vaes Dothrak.   Quarth.   Astapor.    Thats some pretty creative inventing of names and places I think.  Kings Landing,  Winterfell, The Iron Islands, Dorne, Casterly Rock, Harrenhal, Valarya.


Im not sure how they did it in the books, but for the tv show they actually invented 2 languages.  Yes, 2 languages, and I dont mean they whipped up a few phrases, there are verbs and vowels and past and present tenses, masculine and feminine, etc.    One’s called Valaryan, and ones called Dothraki.   And there is actually High Valaryan and Low Valaryan!  Im having trouble finding how many words there currently are, but it looks like in 2013 there was close to 700 Valaryan words and 4000 Dothraki words. for more Valaryan info for more Dothraki info


I mentioned Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.  Now, yes, of course I have seen a couple.  I watched Lord of the rings 1 and 2.  A couple of Harry Potters.  And you know, theyre fine.  Good story, spectacular effects, decent acting.  Magic, spells, wizards, witches, goblins.   Any 11 year old kid can probably watch any of them and love it for ever.  Theyre fine movies, but at the end of the day, I believe theyre for kids, and Im not much into fantasy or any of that stuff.


Now GoT’s is not for children at all.  No no no no, absolutely not.   It is gruesome, it is vulgar, and theres is quite  a lot of sex and nudity.  Do not let this deter you, all that blood and killing and swearing only adds a spicy kick to an already unprecedented masterpiece.    But, underneath all of the politics and killing and eloquence and mischief, there is a level of fantasy.


This was my obstacle.  First hint of fantasy had me questioning if I could take something like this seriously, which I normally cant, because its too childish..  I wasnt looking for a witches and goblins show to take on, you know?    But GoT’s is not like that AT ALL.   The fantasy aspects are subtle and quick for a long while.   It starts to pick up later on but by then you will be standing where I stand, and realize that its not only watchable,   but too exciting to even care if a minotaur trotted by.


All in all its a brutally adult show that has a few things in it that do not exist in our world.   Theres no wizzards or minotaurs either.


But check this out :   Game of Thrones is the most pirated show on television!  Awesome right?   The average episode costs 6 million dollars to make.  The show is filmed in 6 countries over 3 continents!   Its the first show of its kind to ever reach the Imax theater.   Even the opening credits won an Emmy.  They say 42% of watchers are women.  morewine-1433865375

Ahh, the opening credits.   Going all the way back to the very first episode, it started off with a 5 minute scene before HBO introduced the opening credits.  After watching that scene I was too busy trying to figure out what I just saw to pay much attention to the credits.  Then after a minute or so the song was still playing and I remember thinking it was a bit too long, and that slightly irritated me.    But after hearing it a few times it became awesome.    Iconic, as described in one post.


The song plays to an animation of a map that zooms over the lands and shows the construction of castles and other buildings.  The relevant cities for each episode are identified as it flies by, and it really helps one get a better sense of what is happening and where.    Its always different.    But the song, the song  became my favorite thing to hear for a good month.  I even learned it on guitar, and I also downloaded other people covering the song with different instruments like pianos and electric guitars.  Theyre nice to listen to once in a while, but the original, done by an orchestra, will pretty much always be Epic.   And theres great music throughout the whole series.


Ive watched the first season like 4 times.  Lame?  Kinda, I guess.  It gets lamer:  I want to watch it all again!  I think about why that is, and in words I guess its like watching the show..   feels like home to me in a way.  Lets say Im having a long day at work, and I really feel like being at home on a couch.  Well that longing isn’t to be on a couch surrounded by a fan, a chair, a printer, a plant, a table, and a guitar.  Its a longing to be on a couch surrounded by Castle Black, the Wildlings, Winterfell.  I want to be hearing Petyr and Varys talking.  I want to be seeing the Mountain and the Hound fighting, and be watching Khaleesi do things and listening to the imp talk his way through anything.  The music and everything, it just feels so natural and relaxing to be watching it which is totally wrong because usually its chaos and havoc and seven hells!



Plus there are a few things that you didn’t catch the first time, right?  After the first season I watched the second.  I didn’t have the third so I watched the first 2 again!  Then I just started streaming and downloading season 3 and then season 4.  When I finished 4, 5 wasn’t released yet, so I watched them all again!  and yeah, Ive caught a few things that I missed and some things make a bit more sense, like name references is season 1 that seems meaningless but now that you’ve seen season 3 youre like ohhh, that’s why he said that in season 1..    Or something.


Lets look at some more interesting facts.  It looks like the show almost didn’t get aired because the original pilot was horrible.   Apparently they re shot the entire episode with 5 different actors and actresses, and it was a hit!    The show boosted Northern Ireland’s economy by $100 million!   It saved a pig farm that was in trouble by using its animals.  And remember I told you it was the most downloaded show in the world?  Well, since then, I have now seen episode 9 and 10 of season 5, and I believe each of those episode broke its own records in downloading!  unreal eh?


So If youre looking for a show to watch, do watch GoT’s.   If you hate television but goggled GoT’s for some reason, youre almost there.  If youre looking to fill a void in your life, the show may fill it.   If youre bored, you wont be anymore.   What kind of people would be disappointed by GoT’s?  Dull boring people who suck.  Like, imagine you never watched the Matrix?  How silly would that have been.













Ode to Time


Just a little something..


This world of ours..   What a place.   How perfect!  How typical.  How horrible!

No one knows why we are here.  We have names for unfathomable ages.  The Silurian Period was over 400 million years ago.  The Azoic age was between 3.8 and 4.5 billion years ago.   A million of anything is unthinkable.   A million years??  Four hundred million years?  4 Billion years??


4 000 000 000 years.         I have been alive for 25 years, and I probably only remember about 22 of them.   I have done many, many things in this time.  Things commendable, reprehensible, memorable, and plain exhilarating!   Yet I have barely left my city.  Ive never even seen an ocean.


Time.   It seems like I have been alive for so long and done so very much, when in truth I have been alive for 2 seconds and Ive done nothing at all.   How could 1 million years even exist?  I have been alive for around 9000 days.   People typically live to about 30 000 days.   A million years ago was 365 million days ago.    So what was happening where I stand now,  a million years ago?  How about 400 million years ago?   Was there God then?   Is there God now?

Ok so we know about the dinosaurs.  Giant reptiles and birds, and likely fish that existed millions of years ago.  Along came an ice age and everything became extinct 65 million years ago.  At least that’s what they tell us.  You know, the teams of people around 12 000 days old in numerous countries who have been finding bones and studying them for the last 20 000 days or so.    I like history, but more like the last 100 years.   After the dinosaurs what happened around the world?  I don’t know.  Around 10 000 BC, there were people all of a sudden.   Then the next thing I know was the first year recorded!   That was 732 000 days ago.  Less than a million days ago!


So lets see, year one, what comes to mind?   Jesus Christ, Southwest Asia, and the fact that someone realized that time is occurring, and decided it would be perpetual and recorded.  Now there was a roman empire somewhere in all of this.   I think it lasted from 20 BC to 1400’s AD.  So then what?  What happened in the year 106?  Or the year 600?  or how about the year 1000 or 1388?  How did they keep track of all this time and how did they spread the word?   Like some cavalry rode from country to country with a fucking white flag and somehow translated the fact that time is being recorded and they are to now know this as the year 216 AD?  (assuming everyone knew what a white flag represented!)  Oh yeah, and by the way, its 530 pm..



I heard of Lief Ericsson’s voyage in the year 982 that led to the discovery of Greenland and ultimately North America when he landed at Vinland the Fair, known today as Cape Cod Massachusetts.   But then you wake up in the morning and go to school and they teach you that it was Christopher Columbus in 1492 or whatever.    ??    WTF? 



Anyways, I digress to morality and violence.   I wasn’t there, and I tend not to believe in most of what Hollywood produces, but as far as I know, for 1800 years people have been fighting each other with swords.     Swords and fire, catapults, bows and arrows, rocks and cannons.   Can you imagine the pain of dying from a sword impalement?  Or even living after one?  Just trying to imagine that is like trying to imagine a million years.   Yet people have felt this pain.  Millions and millions of people have felt unimaginable levels and variations of pain and death in every single place that exists, for as high a number of years that you can come up with.  Death by a sword through the chest.  Or an arrow through the neck.  Severed limbs, scalded and bludgeoned.  Hangings and asphyxiating, tortured, and eventually…   shot.


After millions of years, dinosaurs and empires, sword fights and torture chairs, we live in a world where you get shot with a little bullet from up close or bombed from far away.  2200 years of cutting and slicing to finally advance the weaponry to a little metal thing fired from a distance with the power of a thousand swords.  You don’t even need to make eye contact.   Have we just created a more reasonable way to kill?  One not so dreaded.  One ostensible to sympathy, promising to be quick and respectable like a bullet to the skull or instantly in an explosion?  Or is it more cowardly with the ability to fire a trigger from 300 yards or punch in some launch codes from 7 countries over?   Not to underrate the almighty bullet, them things can cause some awful harm.    Large caliber rifles, shotguns, non fatal casualties of war – once again, I cannot fathom the pain ensuing from this method of fight.


How many people died by the sword during the roman empire, or prior to that?  What was happening in China during all those years, or Brazil, or Zimbabwe?  Don’t know, but Im sure millions of people were slaughtering each other with metal objects.  How about all the people who died in Virginia closer to our time, or the people of Rwanda, or Europe in the 1940’s?  France, England, Scotland, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Russia!  Now Im just listing places that come to mind when I think of horrible deaths on large scales.


So many people have felt pains I cant imagine for periods of time I cant even conceive.  Me?  Broken nose once or twice, cuts and bruises, some that needed stitches.  The pain of a broken heart!    The worst pain I have ever felt was getting sprayed with Bear Mace (unimaginable pain!)  and getting kicked in the balls.  I think a toothache I once had would fall a very close third place.


Speaking of bears, what about the brutal and savage deaths of animals throughout these millions of years?  From cavemen taking down mammoths with stone tipped spears to cheetahs sinking their teeth into a gazelles neck, to chickens getting their heads twisted off by people or machines.  Human to human, human to animal, animal to animal, machine to human, machine to animal, there is no escape. I wonder who has felt more unbearable pain if it could be measured through these millions of years, humans or animals?  (OUCH, I stubbed my toe!)


So whats next?  Is this the empire of the United States?  How long until that country, or mine, become occupied by an overpowering foreign military who has come up with better ways to kill?  Or how long until our leaders bring down and occupy countries that are currently not dependent?   How long before a map has to be significantly rewritten?  Or the next world war?  Nuclear missiles will fly like bullets resulting in a perfect ending for a world reprehensible and bitter at its own predicted demise.    I believe the missiles will be exploded because they exist, and they will exist until they are exploded!  No one is going to dismantle them.  So they will sit there until some jackass uses them.  Apparently, people can wait about 2000 years.


Ive never read the bible, but Ive heard all the talk about the apocalypse near our time.  (our time:  the baby born this second to the oldest person alive)  Maybe the apocalypse is inexorable because it was written?  After it happens, will the remnants of mankind rebuild into another destructive and perhaps vengeful existence?  Or maybe some smart ones will proselytize the fact that the way we lived proved only a million days of pain, death, and all hell unimaginable in a turmoil and anguished animosity.    The survivors of the new world may also recall the biblical prediction and the prognosis of our destruction, and choose to further document this with brand new warnings of its accuracy.  Or they just might blame the whole thing on religion period, and throw it all into the fire.   But most likely, there will be no survivors!


Maybe it will never happen, and people will be living under domes on Mars, or some planet with grass a galaxy away.  Will the pain follow us there?  Interplanetary wars.  Planetary Monarchies.  I can see it now.  Well have destroyed more than our share of the universe.   What will be where I stand now, in the year 3000?  Or 5000?  Imagine that party?!    When will they stop recording time?  I guess when there is no one person left to maintain its existence.


alien_gardner_by_modern_anahataAliens will come here, will they salvage and interpret any forms of documentation to bring our legend back?  Will there be anything left to salvage?  Maybe not by the year 4567, but how about the year 31019?  or maybe a million years from now!  or 750 million years, dare you think higher?





This world of ours..  What a place!    I was brought into it, somehow escaping all forms of pain and suffering that has completely surrounded my species for hundreds of centuries.  I watched and listened for 25 years and it recently struck me how perfect our time falls into history on the grandest scale of things.  How typical we truly are.   Its funny looking at every single person on this big sphere and observing how they’ve adapted to cultures meshed with rules of the world, with the furthest thought from everyone’s mind being anything that took place prior to their own existence.  Your fence picket needs replacing and the mortgage payment is due soon, when just 100 000 days ago a battle of a million men too place where everyone fought and died horrible deaths beyond your darkest nightmares, right where you stand.  Kings and Queens, slaves, martyrs, armies, horses!  People with enough power to take anybody’s life undisputedly in a second or a week, abound in the times before anyone’s existence.   Times of true heroes that are barely remembered in classrooms, heros that would make your idol look pitiful!


What would ancient romans think of us or say to us?  I try to put myself in the shoes of Julius Caesar, if given the opportunity to learn about the ways of the year 2000, and its journey to and from!     Watching it on a big screen or Imax Theater of course.   I think I could predict the end.   And I would probably say repeatedly  “I saw that coming”  and “what did you think would happen?”   I would of course be astonished by technology and things like commodity control, but in the end I would probably shake my head and ask how the hell did it get so bad!  But I am not him, or any Roman, or any living being within 700 000 days of them.  Im just a 25 year old kid who somehow ended up born in the easiest, most pathetic, cruel, predictable, typical and civilized place in all of time, which one could unabashedly abnegate as a result of the humility it provides upon realization!


This was work of Lachesis? I will be Prometheus!









As you can see, I have not written in my poker blog for some time, which I did say would happen periodically.  On a bit of a bad luck streak in poker and in life too. (broke my brand new phone, wrote my car off)  Also, like my life, I have a few articles that are half complete, and I don’t really want to finish them at this time.  (Kind of like my dishes and my laundry)   So lately, when I feel like writing, Im leaning towards writing in another section totally unrelated to poker.   And way back in my very first post 4 years ago ( )  I mentioned that I would write about other things eventually.   Well, this day has come.

There are things Ive written already, and things that I have only ideas to write about.   For example the first thing I will post after this, was written in 2005!   But rest assured, I will post more about poker in the future, and like I said, will never ever stop playing.  Just a break..


And so Rants n Reasoning is incipient,  I hope to induce some new writings.  Or at least find relevant reasons to post all my gifs and photos!



My poker blog, as you can see, has now transformed into a blog about much more than poker.  And just to elucidate any confusion, Rants n Reasoning was a category in my poker blog where anything that wasnt about poker was put.




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