August 21, 2011

Golf and Quick Running update

I'm a really competitive and obsessive person. It was part of the reason I had success in poker. I was able to dive head first into it and do well enough to make a living. Quick tangent before I get started. I recently went on my photobucket account and had a ton of old graphs on there, so depressing. To see the money I was making before to the money I'm making now it's just so sad to me. I definitely took things for granted but for the government to shut things down, just one of the many examples of how life isn't fair.

Anyways being competitive and not being able to play poker this summer I've turned my focus to golf. Ironically I originally learned the game a few years ago in order to be able to play with clients and not embarrass myself. Anyways now that I don't have poker to occupy my time I've become much better. So far this summer I've shot an 80 twice and recently shot an 83 at a course I've never broken 90 at. Being a baseball player it's taken me a long time to iron out the swing and there are still some baseball tendencies however it's fun seeing the improvement.

In golf there's almost always gambling games going on, I used to be able to wager much more but now it's typically just a dollar a stroke or for a beer at the end of the round. One funny thing that has actually happened twice is coming down to the last couple holes the match has been very close. At this point invariably one of my playing partners starts talking about pressure and how well can I handle it? Saying stuff like "uh oh, they're in my head". I don't think much of it as it's part of usual trash talk between friends. However walking up to the tee both times I couldn't help but laugh at how ironic it is.

I felt no pressure in both instances thinking to myself I've been in pots for thousands of dollars in both cash games and tournies, playing for $10 here isn't going to affect me. Now obviously I can't say that as that would sound incredibly arrogant but it it's what I was thinking as I was about to hit my shot both times. I ended up winning each match.

My financial client list has started to build up so hopefully I'm able to make my annual golf trip to Turning Stone this fall with my brother. I always make it the last round of the year and it's so relaxing being able to have a room on the course, play 18 holes, and gamble the rest of the night. It's something I took for granted before but it's a trip I really want to make now more than ever.

I don't think I ever mentioned how I did in my 2 mile with the exception of my time. Anyways the top 10 in each gender place and I finished in 11th among the boys. Coming down the stretch this little kid sprinted by me and I could've caught him but remember thinking, "go for it kid, I'm not gonna try to catch ya." If I had known that that was for a top 10 place we would've had an amazing duel down the stretch. Now I gotta hope to get a little better to place next year.

In addition I'll be running a 5k in 5 weeks. I started training for it today. Right now my realistic goal for it is under 21 minutes but I'd love to be able to make the 20 minute mark. I'll keep everyone updated with my progress.

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"A great man will not trample upon a worm, nor sneak to an emperor." Thomas Fuller

Posted By bosoxx34 at 05:06 AM

6 Comments

August 15, 2011

Can't Sleep, lets blog

- Since I don't take sleep aids I still have trouble falling a sleep from time to time. Haven't blogged in a while so figured I'd just ramble a bit. Firstly wanted to talk about about the whole Girah scandal. I've followed it from the start and as usual when something like this comes up whether it be in poker or day to day life, when something doesn't add up, there's always more to it. That's certainly the case with Haseeb, I posted on the DC forums that this was like a 100 piece puzzle with 15 pieces missing. The sad part is, even though he has revealed a lot it's obvious he's still hiding something. The story still doesn't add up.

When I read about things like this I really do appreciate my upbringing. I forgot where I heard this, but Haseeb could do a lot better if he just listened to this advice "When you have a difficult decision, the toughest one is usually right." While it'll be difficult initially it's usually the one that has the least repercussions. However he insists on writing these long blog and forum posts where pieces of the puzzle become uncovered but we're just taking baby steps. I just don't get it, either disappear or come clean.

- One thing that I've come to realize from reading about this is that if I ever commit a crime and see Vanessa as the prosecuting attorney, I'm screwed. From her posts on this case it's obvious she figures out the tough questions to ask and can read between the lines incredibly well. 

- This season of Curb Your Enthusiasm has been incredible. I mentioned to my brother that HBO really makes a huge mistake putting Entourage second as going from Curb to Entourage is like going from the penthouse to the outhouse. The Palestinian Chicken episode might be my favorite of all time and single Larry is much better than married Larry. I used to rank Seinfeld ahead of Curb but I may have to reconsider.

- One of my good friends was the first to get married this weekend. The wedding (or what I remember from it) was a blast and I wish him and his beautiful bride the best.

- With all due respect to Notorious BIG, I disagree with him on "Mo Money, Mo Problems"

- My fantasy baseball team the MoLesters is making a late season charge. I was 20 games back of first about 7 weeks ago, since then I'm 52-25 in second place and only 5 games back of first. I have a tough schedule the last 2 weeks, but its been a fun run.

That's all I've got, hope everyone is doing well. For those that can play online poker, hope you're crushing.

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Consider what you think justice requires and decide accordingly. But never give your reasons: for your judgment will probably be right but your reasons will certainly be wrong. ~ Lord Mansfield

Posted By bosoxx34 at 08:55 AM

13 Comments

August 07, 2011

Little Reality Check

Yesterday I worked with at my Dad's story for the first time in a long time and as I expected it was a reminder of how easy I once had it. Not much will humble you like being on the go for about 9 hours in an 80-85 degree warehouse putting cases of beer in peoples car and sorting empties. The good news is the actual work is easy the bad news is it's exhausting especially when busy which it was yesterday.

As far as how my finance job is going, it's slow. My boss says it's never busy in the summer and I have 4 or 5 clients lined up for the fall but in the meantime I've had to watch my spending since getting home from AC. While I'll have some income coming in in the fall it won't be near what I was used to. As the old saying goes "you don't know what you got 'til it's gone" and it's times like these that really make me miss online poker and the how easy it was to have money. In fact I was cleaning out my car the other day and saw an old bank statement from August 2008 and I'd give up quite a bit to be able to go back to how much I was spending back then.

On a completely different note I was channel surfing the other day and came across the last 20 minutes of Secretariat on a movie channel. Excited that I was going to see the Belmont I kept it on and was cautiously optimistic. It'd be awfully tough to mess up arguably the most famous and captivating race in history. Unfortunately Disney managed it do it. For some unknown reason they didn't use Chic Anderson's call and they somehow made the victory seem less dominant than it really was. It was almost a blessing in disguise that I was able to catch the last 20 minutes so I didn't have to waste my time watching the first 100 minutes of the movie.

Speaking of horse racing, after watching the debacle of Disney's recreation of the Belmont I decided to rewatch Zenyatta's run in last years Breeders cup. For those that don't know about Zenyatta, she's a philly (a girl) that was 19-0 in races against the boys. She was attempting to go to 20-0 against a very tough field, he style is that of a closer and she generally always like a bat out of hell down the stretch. I won't spoil the race for you, enjoy.

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"He who walks with the lame learns how to limp." Scottish Proverb


 

 

Posted By bosoxx34 at 05:06 PM

6 Comments

August 01, 2011

Atlantic City Trip Report

Last week I went down to Atlantic City with a couple guys I know from 2+2. The plan was to golf and gamble it up and I think it's safe to say that it was pretty successful. AC is about 6 hours from my house so I set off about 230 in the morning to get there for our 10 AM tee time. Met up with Mike and his friend Brian at Harbor Pines golf course, which was in great shape and really really tough. I didn't participate in gambling between the two but did propose a game. I forgot the name of it but its basically this the pot starts at a $ amount, in this case it was .50. Then whoever 3putts first takes over that amount, then for each subsequent 3 putt the pot is doubled and whoever 3 putts takes it over. 

I've seen and heard of some insane amounts being wagered on a 6 foot putt by the end of the round, the main reason for starting it at .50. So going through the round there were quite a few three putts in the beginning and it sort of stabilized until I three putted 16 to take over the $32 tab, $16 to each player. I thought I was going to owe as the putting from both my playing partners had improved. On 17 Brian had a 7 footer on his first putt that he blew it 6 feet past the hole and missed his second coming back.

On the 18th hole he just made a mess of it going up the right side the hole time. By the time he finally got into the greenside bunker I just told him to pick up and stop the bleeding. Mike, his good buddy quickly interrupts me and syas no he has to finish out he could 3 putt. So he proceeds to blast out of the bunker and just roll up onto the green, leaving himself about 50 feet. He hits a nice lag about 6 feet away. From there I was holding the pin and couldn't watch just hoping he would drain it as any more money lost would just add insult to injury. Unfortunately I didn't hear anything hitting the cup and Brian owed $64 apiece. 

From there we went to the Borgata to check in, it was my first time in AC so seeing the Borgata for the first time was pretty cool. It looked very Vegas to me and the rooms were great. From there we met up with our other 2+2 friend Hawk where he and went to the racebook for the free drinks and Mike and Brian went to the poker room. For me the rest of the night was filled with alcohol, losing $ in craps, and stuffing my face at fat burger. The next day all 4 of us went to register for the daily $100 + 20 poker tourney. We each swapped 10% and went to work.

I had never cashed in a live tourney before (I've only played about 4) and this structure wasn't great. A couple things that stood out to me. The younger internet players typically handled themselves much better at the poker table than the older players. Many times the "live pros" would stand up and scream when there was an all in, berate their opponents, and just typically be rude and disrespectful. We had one guy at my table who would constantly try and angle and act like he didn't know what he was doing. Also, this structure was terrible and it turned into a turbo within a couple hours.

Anyways, Hawk busted quickly and Mike's stack was going througha  ton of ups and downs, however Brian and I were able to build workable stacks. I forgot how easy bad live tournies could be. I won my first 10-15 pots without showdowns and there was just very little resistance in the beginning. At about the 4 hour mark I had about 15 bigs as well as everyone else. I had chatted it up with some people at my table and it was certainly better than my previous live tournies as far as personality wise at the tables. Then my buddy Mike got moved to the one seat and I was in the 3. From here it was a lot of fun basically just chatting with him.

He's played a lot more live poker than me and immediately spotted that the angle shooter in the 10 seat was a piece of work, Like the second hand he gets to the table he gets it in with 22 against A4 when a kid in the 4 seat goes "Are you any good at coinflips?" Generally the typical response is I'm running really well, or I never win them. Mike just shrugs his shoulders and goes "Eh, I'm ranked top 10 in my neighborhood." Which i thought was outstanding. 

Shortly into hour 5 I was short and pushed with 7s in EP, the 4 seat called me. Then the 6th, 8th, and 9th also called me. Mike just goes to me "well this is what you want." I rolled over my 77 and was against 99, jto, ATcc, and KK. I see the hands rolled over and just immediately go, "Oh hey I'm the favorite." the flop comes 758ccx. So I have to fade a bunch to quadruple up, the turn is an offsuit 6 giving the 99 a straight. So now I need the board to pair and the river comes a 7 for quads. I just smile and rake in the chips now having a very good stack.

Unfortunately the only bad part about this was we now had a few new guys at the table with 45 left (36 get paid) and they were all internet players. It had to be one of the toughest daily tournament tables of all time. For the next hour it was just a bunch of raising and 3 betting, then with about 40 left our other friend Brian got moved to the table making it that much tougher. On the bubble Brian shoved A9 and ran into aces. The person holding aces was another older gentleman who was immediately berating him for shoving with A9 on the bubble. The board rolled off 45678 which was great. What followed that hand was awesome too. The 5 seat was berating Brian, Mike and I proceeded to needle the 5 seat by me agreeing with him and Mike agreeing with Brian, I was talking in a sarcastic tone throughout but he never picked up on it.

From there I finished in 35th when 55<TT. Brian finished in the 20s and we were left turning in our drink vouchers while sweating on Mike. With about 15 left he got it in with 84 against TT and rivered a straight to stay alive. From there he got tot he final table and was playing really well, he was one of the few trying to steal PF and go from there. With 5 left he shoved KTcc into the chip leaders AK. I go, "show me a club in the door." The 8c was in the door followed by 9c and 5c. I go "boom, ship it." when Mike just points at the other guys cards and he had the Ac. So we had to fade 2 cards and fortunately we did. Mike eventually got HU and doubled early to get to even in chip stacks. He then called a shove with A5 against the other guys J6 and J6 won to ship the tourney.

No complaints, it was a fun sweat, Mike played well and I was then back to even on the trip. However, craps blows and I finished down a bit on the trip. What makes it worse is Mike and Brian had never played it before and I was talking about how it has to lowest house edge in the casino, blah blah blah and I don't think we ever stood at a table for more than 20 minutes. Either way it was a blast and it all but concludes the summer of Mike. There's a possibility I may be making one last trip to NYC at the end of the year to watch the US Open but that really depends on if I can score free tickets like last year.

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Things that hurt, instruct.
Benjamin Franklin


Posted By bosoxx34 at 06:34 PM

9 Comments

July 24, 2011

Blast From the Past

I miss poker, could only put in so many hands because of school. 

My hands from March of 08:

User Uploaded Image

 

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Man is only truly great when he acts from his passions." Benjamin Disreali 

Posted By bosoxx34 at 04:47 AM

21 Comments

July 21, 2011

Lets Talk Baseball

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately, my life isn't that exciting without poker. However the good part about the summer time is baseball is in full swing. Out of my team totals bets Pittsburgh, Boston, Atlanta, and Milwaukee are all looking pretty good for the over. The only one that's in trouble is Philadelphia under 97.5 wins. Also if you look back to my original post I have a shot to pick 7 of 8 playoff teams, Oakland really let me down. 
Cliff notes on a long boring post that I'm not going to write is the Redsox are really good, the Phillies are really good but their line-up is awful, I'm not concerned about the Yankees although a Sox/Yankees ALCS will take more years off my life, I'm rooting for the Pirates in the NL Central, the playoffs should be really exciting. What I'd really like to talk about is Jose Bautista, how awesome he is, and advanced stats. 
 

These are some allegations of him using performance enhancing drugs however unlike some players in the past people aren't as loud about it because he's a very likeable guy. Someone who always had talent but always struggled a bit. I'm going with the naive approach on this one. In September of 09 he changed his swing to hit more flyballs, One of the great myths that go around little league clinics is you want to hit the ball on the ground. The opposite is true, you can't have too many extra base hits with top spin grounders through the 4 hole. Ideally you want to plug gaps and hit the ball hard in the air.

JoeyBats has mastered this. In September of 09 he hit 9 homers, in 2010 he hit 54 and so far this year hes hit 31. He's been the best player in the AL this year although it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't win the MVP since the Blue Jays are going to finish in 4th place in the toughest division in baseball. If you go by WAR (Wins above replacement) hes been the best player in baseball this year and yet if you look at any mid-season awards that don't focus on advanced stats he's not on anyone's list. He has a 1.157 OPS this season. That's better than Pujols' best, DiMaggio's, and Griffey's. The guy is a machine.

If you want to read a bit more on advanced stats here is a blog that debunks a few myths. I can't tell you how many casual fans would choose Ichiro over Giambi but Ichiro has a very empty batting average with a low OBP which makes him incredibly overrated at the plate. As an all around player he's (or was) very good but as a hitter criminally overrated. 

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Chuckie: Well why don't you give me your fucking sixteen cents you got on you and we'll put your sandwich on layaway. There you go, keep it right up here for you, We'll put you on a program. Everyday you bring your six cents and at the end of the week you'll get your sandwich. 

Posted By bosoxx34 at 09:19 PM

6 Comments

July 15, 2011

Abby Wambach and The Women's World Cup

Abby Wambach is one of the better women's soccer players in the world. How do I know this? She's from Rochester. We've always known about Wambach just from the press she gets locally here, it's impossible not to. Also, the bar that sponsors us for our beer league softball team is owned by her brother so with the women's world cup going on it's impossible not to follow it. However, I wasn't really expecting the rest of the US to join in.

Let me first say that the United States loves jumping on the bandwagon, especially with soccer (I know my European readers, it's football). If the woman's team wasn't very good we wouldn't hear much about them. However, most people jumped on board last Sunday in the quarters against Brazil. Like I said, America loves to jump on the bandwagon so when you consider that, plus controversy, a few charismatic players and tangle all that up in an international event you have the perfect storm. 

For those that missed it, the US went up early against Brazil until they tied it up in the 60 something minute on a debatable takedown in the box. Since it impeded a clear opportunity to score, a red card was given as well as a PK. The US goalie, Hope Solo guessed right and stopped the first penalty shot but the save was nullified as the referee, who had a rough game called encroachment on an American player leaving early. Marta, by far the best woman's player in the world stepped up for the retry and banged it home. This must've been when things started to trend on twitter as it seems most people turned it on around this time.

Very few things in sports make me stand up and say "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh" especially when the Sox/Bruins aren't playing. Off the top of my head it has to be something amazing and unexpected such as Pujols/Lidge in the 05 NLCS, Burress's TD catch against the Pats in the superbowl, or the David Tyree catch during that same superbowl. So when Solo guessed right and stoned the Brazilian shooter that was one of those moments.

Added into the equation is Solo probably being one of the most outspoken figures in woman's sports. She's a very good goalie, probably the best in the world and in a time when so many athletes speak in cliches she's one of the few that don't. She criticized the coach 4 years ago when she was benched against Brazil (a loss for the US), she'll criticize things via twitter, and she'll say things after the game like "You always want to see the better team win, and we're the better team." After it was clear that the kick was going to be retaken she must've said something to the ref and got a yellow card.

User Uploaded Image

 It was after this that a 2+2 thread started "The Hope Solo swag thread". Which was funny because soon after the game Blake Griffin tweeted this. "This will probably be my only tweet about women's soccer but Hope Solo has serious swag. Congrats to the us women's team #worldcup".

If this was a movie, this would be about the halfway point since the game because a classic after Brazil tied it. From there the game went back and forth, in overtime Marta scored a very impressive goal whether it be for a girl or guy. It was pretty much the only way they were going to be able to beat Solo. I wish I could find video of it, but my brother and I were in awe as we were watching it. Before this most fans were just hoping to get it to PKs down a man.

From there the US kept attacking but couldn't bang one home. Wambach had a good chance around the 100th minute but the Brazilian goalie made a nice save. In the second half the US brought in Megan Rapinoe who had a couple rough first touches. Since she has bleach blond hair my brother and I called her "chlorox" the rest of the game and the origin of the nickname wasn't positive. The ball kept finding her and she seemed to be just off with her crosses and set pieces (with the exception of one in the 2nd half).

With time winding down in the 2nd overtime a Brazilian defenseman ebellished a call to stall. It was obvious she was faking however was trying to milk the clock, because of that the ref added 3 minutes of injury time something I've never seen before in a 15 minute frame. In the 122nd minute Rapinoe made one of the best crosses I've ever seen from a girl. Coming up the right side she hit it with her left foot (she's right footed) into the box. The goalie misplayed it and Wambach who has to be the best woman in the air was there to drill it home. I really can't emphasize enough how good that cross was from her wrong foot. If you've never played scocer before go outside and kick a ball with your non-dominant foot, see how far it goes.


From there it came down to PKs. Pretty much every American fan was confident, probably none more than Solo. She stopped the 3rd shot from Brazil and the US made all 5 of their PKs. Here are the full game highlights.


The American's were then able to down France 3-1 in a very entertaining semi-finals, with Wambach scoring the game winner in the 80th minute (obviously on a header) and now play Japan in the finals on Sunday afternoon. They have America's support, they're really an easy team to root for. Yes they're talented but they're extremely well conditioned and have a level of grit to them that every sports fan loves their team to have. I joke around with my friends that aren't from Rochester that Wambach leads the way in that regard to the grittiness because she's from my home town and that's debatable but Rochester is a pretty blue-collar town and she fits in very well with that.

I'll be watching once again on Sunday afternoon, hopefully they can bring it home.

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"History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats." 
---Bertie Forbes

 

Posted By bosoxx34 at 09:19 PM

13 Comments

July 10, 2011

The Summer of Mike

One of my all-time favorite shows is Seinfeld. There's one episode where George gets laid off by the Yankees and has nothing to do all summer. He then realizes he can do anything he wants and proclaims it the Summer of George. 

That's sort of how my summer has been going so far. I've been laid off and am sort of having one last Summer of Mike before I have to enter the real world. That's not to say things haven't changed since Black Friday, I've had to cancel a few trips, cut down on my spending, etc. For example, now walking a golf course doesn't seem so bad when you're saving $15. Also in order to take some of these trips I haven't been going out that often so some sacrifices have been made. 

However I have been fortunate to go to Boston, NYC, and a golf trip this summer and in all honesty I'd much rather save up by not going out on a couple of weekends to go to these places. In a couple weeks I'm going on a golfing/gambling trip to AC and to end the summer I'll be going to the US Open one last time. Things have been different but may as well enjoy myself. Poker wise I have been trying to stay sharp by downloading a few videos for if and when poker comes back. Honestly the sooner the better as I'm not going to make much money for a few years as a financial adviser. 

Also this summer I have been attending some of my players, current and former summer league games. I have a good relationship with a lot of my players and have never had a problem with getting kids to play hard for me. If there were any, they just didn't make the team the next year, but as a coach you never know how much your kids like or enjoy playing for you. That's why it was satisfying last game I attended when I had 3 players playing on 2 separate teams, all 3 kids came up and said hi during the game including one running across the field before he had to go to centerfield for the inning. It's things like that which make it easy to come back for another year of coaching.

Finally it was extremely depressing not to be able to go out to Vegas this year. I would've loved to play in the trampoline dodgeball game and it looked awesome to be able to play in. Hopefully with some good fortune I'll be able to fly out next year for the series, I'm not sure what dodgeball  team I'd align myself with, probably the one that made the biggest offer as I'm a free agent. 

Hope all of my readers are doing well

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"Wink at small faults, for you have great ones yourself." Scottish Proverb

Posted By bosoxx34 at 01:24 AM

8 Comments

July 04, 2011

Blah 13:28

Long story short, ran the first mile way too fast again. The pace felt really slow but when I got to the mile marker the guy said 6:20, I knew I was in big trouble as the 2nd mile is much more hilly and had nothing left the last half mile. Thanks for the advice all, I'll try again next year.


Posted By bosoxx34 at 12:49 PM

8 Comments

July 01, 2011

What to eat/drink day before the race?

Last year for the July 4th race I cramped up in the middle of it, I really would like to avoid that this time. Trying to make good time while it feels like a bunch of swords are piercing your stomach isn't a whole lot of fun. Right now I'm planning for pasta the night before and am just hoping for the best but any help would be appreciated.

In the meantime running is going well. I've been able to move my daily jog to 5.6 miles and tomorrow I plan on doing a test run jog of 2 miles as a smimulated race out on the pavement. In the meantime I hate not eating junkfood, I have a huge sweet tooth and to pass up on it hurts so much. I usually go to my buddy's house every 4th on the beach and there's an ice cream place right across the street. After the race I may have to head there before going to the party. It sounds so good right now.

I'm a competitive person so to beat 13:15 would mean a lot and I also have a couple bets going on this. So the tentative plan is tomorrow to run 5 miles in the morning followed by a 2 mile simulation at night. On Saturday I plan on running 5.5 miles and on Sunday another 2 mile simulation leading in to Monday. It should be interesting.

In the meantime I went to Pittsburgh this weekend to see 2 Sox-Pirates games. PNC is such a nice ballpark and we had great seats for both games. I was thinking about this earlier but as sad as it is I wouldn't chose Fenway park as a place I wanted to relax and watch a ballgame. Much of what makes that stadium great is the atmosphere and the history. However the seats are extremely uncomfortable and if two random teams were playing there I wouldn't go unless I had any interest. In the meantime newer ballparks like camden yards, jacobs field, PNC Park, Yankee Stadium, etc are all very nice places to kick back and watch a game.

In Pittsburgh we played this course, Cranberry Highlands that was in great shape and just an awesome course. The picture below is the 3rd or 4th hole and is a great par 3. With water on the left and behind the hole with it being 80' downhill. I came up short and left of the pin, duffed my chip then 2 putted for a bogey. Still a sick visual.

User Uploaded Image

 

Won't blog again until after the 4th, for all the Americans have a fun and safe 4th of July. To the Europeans, run well.


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Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.

- Swedish proverb

 

Posted By bosoxx34 at 04:38 AM

27 Comments


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