Pool Room Reviews – Shuckers Bar and Grill

Before we left Miami, we grabbed some food at a place near the port called Shucker’s Bar & Grill.  The grub was decent (had some oysters from the raw bar, a burger and a few too many Stellas), but of course the first thing I noticed when I walked through the doors were the pool tables.  Since I work in the biz, I always check out the gear when I see a public table.  Needless to say, it was not pretty.
The tables were in pretty bad shape.  Dead rails, seriously worn cloth and craptacular pool balls.  As for the house cues, yipes.  Shitty ramin wood cues with slip on tips.
Despite the fact it was a Saturday night, there was no one on the pool tables for the entire time we were there (about 2.5 hours or so) and to be honest I’m not at all surprised.  From the looks of the room, at one point the tables were probably a bit of a draw.  Nice big room, ample space between the tables, lots of room to sit, flatscreens showing the ball game.  Now though, its just dead space.
If anyone did decide to play on those tables, they’d likely throw in the towel after one rack.  Playing pool is hard enough, but when you give your guests crappy gear to play with, there’s just no point.  Its sad, really.  This place was packed between people getting ready to go cruising and regulars pulling up on their boats (they have a freaking dock right there on Biscayne Bay!), but no one was gonna waste even a few measly quarters playing on those tables with those pool cues.
I hate to say it, but if you’re not going to upkeep your tables, why bother keeping them.  Why not just gut the room, put in a second bar with more seating and call it a day?  If you’re gonna use that much space for pool tables, you may as well spend the extra couple hundred bucks per year that it takes to keep them in decent condition.  Seriously, even if you’re paying retail, you’re looking at about 200 bucks for some Mali cloth and new cushions with another hundo for some decent one piece cues.
I’m just saying.
Posted in Pool. Tagged with , , , .

Mmmm… Turtle Burgers

I have a rule when it comes to travelling.  If I’m going somewhere that has a particular delicacy, I make a point to try it.  So, when we went to the Cayman Islands last week as part of our vacation, the choice was clear – Turtles.  The primary destination for us (as we were on a cruise, so you can only go to so many places in a day) was Boatswain’s Beach Turtle Farm.  Both of my kids love turtles, so it was a no brainer, especially when we found out that we could get hands on with them.

After a couple of hours of swimming and playing with the turtles, it was time to get our grub on.  When it came time for me to order, my girls were mortified when the phrase “turtle burger” came out of my mouth.  The waitress explained that this turtle farm was one of the largest legal producers of turtle meat in the world and that eating turtle meat on the island was pretty common, to which I then said something to the effect of “see kids, circle of life” which I thought was pretty amusing, but for some reason they didn’t.  So we talked a bit about how cows, deer, buffalo and lamb are all cute too, but that never stopped any of us from eating them.

My children decided to not try turtle meat, which was fine with me, because it wasn’t a huge burger.

As for how it tasted, it was fine, but not crazy good.  Pretty much like eating pork (yes, I’m a Jew and I eat pork, get over it).  As for the whole “turtle meat is an aphrodisiac” thing, all I can say that claim holds about as much water as oysters, artichokes and green M&Ms.

Sorry folks, it can’t be all about pool.

Posted in Food, Life.

There Is No Anonymous

Ah, the double edged sword that is anonymity.  It teases you with security and safety only to push you out into the light at the most inopportune of times.   Not all that long ago, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt had the following to say on the topic of privacy while being interviewed on CNBC:

“”If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

With technology where it’s currently at, it is extremely difficult to stay “anonymous” forever.  Everything you do, every place you visit leaves a trail in the form of an IP Address.  Every time you leave a comment on a blog, it captures your IP.  Every time you log into your favorite message board, it captures your IP.

Even if you’re smart enough to use an IP masking tool like this one, you’re still going to have other problems hiding your identity.  You can put the privacy shield on your domain registration, but if you want to have a revenue stream from ads or affiliate programs, you’ll need to give up a physical address and a name for them to mail the check to.  Plus, if you have more than one site hosted on the same IP using a virtual private server you can easily find all the websites hosted on that VPS by doing a couple quick searches.

Now even if you’ve covered all of the above bases, you’re still eventually going to get outed.  How?  Human error.  In my case, it was all about how I write and how I talk.  I’m a huge pop culture junkie and am constantly referencing movies, tv shows, music, etc.  Looking back on some of the discussions I’ve had, there have been those “oops” moments where I used a reference in a discussion that I had used earlier in a blog post.  I distinctly recall at one point talking to a couple of pool players, referencing a certain Mad Max movie and watching in horror as the epiphany struck.

Really the only way to be truly anonymous is to not have any contact at all with your audience which is absolutely no fun at all.  If you can’t go wood shack Unibomber style with your anonymous writing, you best have a solid exit strategy or else you end up scrambling, panicking and making yourself look like a chump.


Posted in Teachable Moments.