Sunday, August 08, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Public Service Announcement 

No, I'm not dead. The thing is that there really hasn't been anything new to write about. Dealer school is very consuming so I'm not doing anything too too terribly exciting on my days off. Really I've just been watching Alton Brown on his show Good Eats which I highly recommend. In fact, if anyone's wondering about what to get me for my birthday (which is incidentally very, very close) either one of his 9-disc DVD sets would be a very nice present. Co-ordinate it amongst yourselves, just so I don't get copies.

As much as I have written about this on my blog, I feel as though I should insert one last (probably not the last, really) paragraph about dealer school. People are dropping like flies from the school. After about the first week I had a sense of how intense a ride this was going to be. Made sense to me given that graduation meant that I could work for any casino, anywhere in the world. This was going to be some high caliber stuff. I should have realised that because we are being paid to attend the school and because our tuition is covered, the instructors wouldn't hesistate to can people they felt were not up to scratch. Much less hesistant then they would be with people that were paying their own way. That being said though, I'm still really shaken when someone points out that another of our number has bitten the dust. The worst part is that it's not an event. Very often we switch our seating plan so you wouldn't neccessarily realise that someone has left/been asked to leave. I'm starting to suspect that they shuffle us everytime someone drops out so that as few people notice as possible. It's always a few days after the fact in the lunchroom when people mention that so-and-so hasn't turned up today and they're hoping that they're not too sick that someone else butts in with "that guy? he's gone!"

I'm hanging in there pretty well. I hold some class records (which really doesn't mean anything) which means that I'm still buffered by people below me that are likely to be canned first. I was just saying earlier this week that I think that by this point most people have already passed the course as long as they don't do something mind-numbingly stupid. I guess I was wrong. At least we're now done with blackjack and we're all learning how to deal various other table games based on our aptitude for it. I scored 100% on the Mini Baccarat test -- one of only four people who have mamanged to do this. *big grin* I'm glad that I did too because it's a very nice deviation from dealing blackjack all day and it means that I'll have som variety in the casino as well.

Here I am talking about doing well on a gambling aptitude test when my godbrother has just told me that he's been shortlisted for the air force (after undergoing a series of medical and aptitude tests) I think I should stop now.

Last weekend I did manage to get out of the house and do something fun. We went on a bike ride along the Iona to celebrate Jim's Dad's birthday. It was the first time I had ridden a bike in two years. It felt really strange because I used to ride in Pasir Ris all the time. Not to mention that I'm used to be 21-speed mountain bike (now sulking in my parent's garage because I'm willing to wager that no one has taken it out since I last rode it two years ago) and the bike that Jim's dad lent me was a foldable made by know, those ones with tiny wheels that most respectable people spend hours laughing at. The bike was surprisinly nice to ride though and I promise to stop bashing foldable bikes for the next little while at least.

Out on the Iona the tide was ridiculously far out by the time we had reached the end of the trail. The trail extends 4km out into the ocean which is really nice because you are rewarded with being in the middle of a nice body of water (Fraser River I think) Like I said though, the tide was so far out that we could walk another half kilometre beyond the bike trail (this is half a km beyond the end of the 4km jetty) onto rocks that are usually underwater. I saw the coolest wildlife out there. Apart from being splashed with a bit of Commorant poop while we were out there it was a very nice experience. The most mind-blowing thing out there though was a postrate jellyfish. Bright red and as big as Jim's size 11 foot this was something that both Jim and his dad had never seen before (they are both avid outdoor people) . Here's a picture to give you some idea:

There were also a bunch of bright pink starfish that I just has to have a picture of. I have too many pictures of the starfish (including one where it appears that Jim's sucking on one of it's legs) but this is the one that I like the best. It's a kooky pose and it makes it look like Jim and I are being wedded by Triton:

That's what I've been up to lately and I can't promise more regular blogging although my appreciation extends to all of you that are still reading my blog despite my prolonged absence.

posted by Joie! at 9:28 a.m.


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