Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hair Ch-ch-ch-changes

John and I have both made some changes to our appearance in the last week. We both wanted to look our best for the wedding. John had a clean, even cut. I had grown my hair long so that I could get curls for the big day.


Two months after the wedding, my hair was long and unmanageable.  I finally got my hair cut this past Thursday. It's probably been 3 years since I had a shoulder-length cut.  See the previous post from the Horse Track to see my new do.

John has occasionally mentioned since we started dating that he had once shaved his head, and he liked it. He decided that since there's nothing coming up soon, now would be a good time to give it a try again.

Behold... the shiny bald one:

$2 Across the Board on Horse #4

Before the Hitachi Consulting Dallas Summer Party yesterday, all I really knew about horse racing are things you could probably attribute to any racing... there's some set distance, they start at the same time, and the first to the finish line wins.  Oh, and having watched several horse related movies, I knew what a jokey is and a bit about what they do.

Now... I'm still probably not even what you would call "proficient" at horse racing, but I think I could make decent picks. Also, and maybe more importantly, I know how to make a wager. I had no idea going in that I'd be learning so much jargon in one day.

Our first bet.  John placed this one... it didn't win anything.
We made at least one bet on each race.  Hitachi gave each employee $10 in Lone Star Bucks, which was a nice starting point.  We dipped into our own money by about $5 at one point, but we got all of that back by the end.

Horse #2 taking the Win!

Our first winning bet: Race 2, $2, Across the Board, Horse #2 - #2 got the Win, so this was $7.90 payout on our $6 bet.
Our first win brought in $7.90.  Our biggest win brought in $16 - Across the board on a horse the handicapper put in 5th and ended up taking the win.  Our biggest loss was a race where we had 2 Horses Across the board (to Win, to Place, and to Show), but only only one of those horses Showed... meaning we got $4.40 for our $12 bet.

John in his "Studying the Numbers" pose
We had fun. I enjoyed learned how to place some bets... though we only place simple bets, I learned about exactica and other more exotic bets too. Since John is a statistics and numbers person, by the end of the day, I knew how to choose between two somewhat equally ranked horses by the identifying which one would have a higher payout if I won. Though, I never waiting to the very last minute to place my bet; I now understand why the pros would.

The starting gate.  Sometimes they started far away, so I liked when they were close to us.
We ended the day up $4.50... we thought it was going to be more because were going to get Show money for Horse #1 in the last race, but some craziness happened and the officials bumped Horse #1 back to 4th... no money for us.

All in All, a pretty fun day.  It takes a while, and you definately need good company to chat with between races.  But, I wouldn't mind going back some time.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Red, White, and Boom

There hasn't been much exciting to post about recently.  John and I have both been busy with work, but we did take some time to enjoy July 4th weekend.

On Saturday, we went up to the studio space John has been doing a lot of work out of recently so I could see the space.  Then, in the afternoon, I made cookies!  We successfully resisted eating all the cookies on Saturday, so we could bring them with us to the fireworks show on Sunday.

Sunday, we met up with some friends in Fort Worth to go to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra patriotic concert and fireworks show at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens.  We had lawn tickets, so we showed up 1 hour and 45 minutes before the show to stand in line. At 6:30, they let us in, which consisted of everyone rushing to grab space on the lawn.

After we were situated, it was dinner time.  (The show didn't actually start until 8:00)  Our friends had smoked some ribs and made a corn salsa, and another couple brought some pasta.  We brought the cookies for desert.  It was one of the best picnics I've had in a long time!

The evening was carefully planned so that about the time we were grabbing up space on the lawn, the sun was ducking behind the Botanical Garden's trees, and a light breeze made the weather not too bad to be outside for several hours.  The orchestra was nice, and the fireworks were fun. All-in-all a pretty good July 3rd.

For the real July 4th on Monday, we just relaxed at home.  I cooked both lunch and dinner, which I think is a first for me.  We got to watch more fireworks that evening too... This was our first 4 of July in this house, and we learned that we can see 2 fireworks shows from our back porch (though not nearly as close up a show as we had gotten at the Botanical Gardens).