Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Blogging Doldrums

Blogging is a weird thing. If I don't do it daily (or close to daily), it gets increasingly hard to drag myself back to blogdom, and increasingly easy to just shrug my shoulders and say "Meh, not much huge and interesting is going on anyway, there's no point in babbling about boring daily crap." Which, in many ways, is sort of the point of blogging in the first place, as far as capturing daily minutiae that you'd otherwise lose, which in itself isn't very valuable as discrete words but collectively picks up some strength, when you look back at the journey it chronicles over time.

Or, you know, something like that.

The pretty much complete implosion of my affiliate business has had me down for awhile, for all the obvious reasons, and has honestly sucked a lot of life out of ye olde blog here. The UIGEA was pretty much a double kick to the junk for me, as I not only lost pretty much all of the monies from the affiliate streams I'd built up over time, but all of the freelance gigs I was pulling in as well creating content for Ongame, as they battened down the financial hatches and put a kibosh on all the money they were spending developing domains they owned. The perfect storm completed itself with the few non-gambling freelance writing contracts I had not getting picked up again at pretty much the same time.

The silver lining (sort of) was that all of the above was complete and utter gravy money, and we'd always treated it as such from Day 1. ScurvyWife and I don't spend much money or have expensive tastes, both have day jobs that pay decently well, no kids, etc. So all that money going bye-bye is far from a financial catastrophe and doesn't really impact us, as far as being able to do all the things we want to on a day-to-day basis. But it's been a dark cloud over my heads for months now, and the cause of much teeth grinding, as I kept trying to find hidden outs, some way to immediately rectify the situation, some way to replace all of that extra money. No matter how much I ground, though, there just wasn't an easy answer.

The holiday break was nice, though, as far as sorting out my head and giving myself a needed kick in the ass to get back to work. I've managed to keep my nose pretty close to the grindstone the last week or so, as far as buckling down and getting some new projects underway, revamping some older mainstream affiliate websites that I still had floating around, and other similar things. There's just no upside to wallowing and being angry about Frist & cohorts, and no sense in waiting around for some magical machine to descend from the sky, to fix everything. It's pretty painful to basically exchange dollars for pennies, as far as the monthly income I can expect to generate from affiliate sites I have up, but that's the reality, and whining and moaning won't change it.

Like many things done to us that we moan and/or cry about and/or shake our fists at, in the end I pretty much have myself to blame. I lumped all of my eggs in pretty much one basket, and didn't do much to diversify things. Instead of continuing to crank out sites in a wide range of industries or reinvesting cash into other pursuits, I was pretty happy and content to cruise along, doing what I was doing, cashing checks, etc. Granted, I did a pretty good job of being smart about pulling out profits and investing it in real estate, IRAs, and stocks, so it's not like I blew it all on strippers and blow, but I also left a godawful amount of money just sitting there on the table, and did nothing to cover my ass if the online gambling affiliate market went poof, which it essentially did if you were largely dealing with US players and traffic.

Drawing the obvious poker parallel, I'm now faced with a situation that's pretty similar to blowing through your bankroll and going busto and starting from scratch playing micro-limits. One nice thing about the affiliate business is that, like poker, you're pretty much guaranteed to make some money, if you're savvy enough and willing to put in the time. Like micro-limit poker, though, it's really slow going at first, as you build traffic, as you're literally building up an income stream pennies at a time. The obvious problem, though, is that it's really, really damn hard to play .02/.04 limits when you're used to playing 20/40, especially when you have to put in hours each and every day, because it's the only way you're going to rebuild your roll. You know it'll work, as you already have the proof of concept, but it really doesn't make starting over from scratch any easier.

Which is a really long-winded, slant apology for the blah, repetitive nature of things around these here blog parts of late. So, you know, sorry...

I've been getting back into the metalcasting stuff, and am finally at the point of being able to make stuff that looks reasonably cool. I've been playing around with lost foam casting, which is basically making something out of styrofoam, burying it in loose sand, and then pouring molten aluminum into the mold, with the metal simultaneously burning out the styrofoam and taking it's place, which happens quickly enough to prevent the sand from collapsing so you get a surprisingly detailed reproduction of whatever you originally made out of styrofoam. On the bright side, it greatly speeds up the creative process, as you don't have to make a wax model, encase it in plaster, burn it out in a kiln, etc. (which is what I previously did, which is called the lost wax process). The major downside, though, is that it's hard to get a smooth finish on any pieces you cast, as they pick up the detail of the styrofoam, so you end up with what likes like styrofoam aluminmum, as far as the finish. You can apparently coat the styrofoam with a mixture of drywall compound and water, though, before casting it, to get a smoother finish, so that's the next thing I'll experiment with.

Like anything, these hobbies seem to build on themselves, as now I'm looking at assorted plans to build a DIY hobby CNC router, to be able to be a little more precise in cutting out foam patterns for stuff.

I've also been getting back into more actively playing assorted markets, as far as trading options and dipping my toe into precious metals markets for the first time. Interesting stuff, and probably something I'll babble about in the near future.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Got back in late last night from our whirlwind Thanksgiving tour, which mostly consisted of driving and eating and driving, pretty much in that order. We got some pretty decent loot from my mom and stepdad (we went ahead and pretended it was Christmas, as we won't be able to visit again during actual Christmas), including a remote controlled helicopter (yes, my mother still thinks I'm ten years old; no, I didn't ask Santa for a remote controlled helicopter for Christmas). I also got a nice mitre saw, which is what I actually asked Santa for.

'Twas good to see all the assorted family, but man, it's nice to be home. All of our critters managed to survive the week or so without us and don't seemed to pissed at us, which is good.

Way to lay an egg at the end of the year, Longhorns. It doesn't help much for the officials to randomly yank touchdowns away from you for phantom offensive pass interference but it's your own fault for stinking up the joint versus the dang ol' Aggies. Good luck in the Holiday Bowl getting thumped by some Crap Ten team like Cal.

Next week I start with the first real estate class towards getting ye olde realtor's license. Can't say I'm necessarily looking forward to it, but I should be able to knock out most of the certification classes in December and just be done with it.

Not a whole heck of a lot else going on. Played a goodly bit of poker over the last week or so but am feeling a bit burned out of late. I may cut back a good bit on the pokering over the next few months, as I really need to buckle down and finish up some projects around the house, especially if we're going to buy another fixer-upper house sometime in the not too distant future.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ahh, Tennessee

The plan this year was to spend Thanksgiving in Tennessee with my parents, as we pretty much have a choice/obligation to spend either Christmas or Thanksgiving here, and we did Christmas last year. We decided to just go ahead and take the whole week off and drive out, with a pit stop in Dallas to see her parents for a few days, then off to the lovely hills of Middle Tenneessee, which is where we are now.

Umm, whee?

I get along with my parents so visiting isn't that painful, but you pretty quickly reach that point where everyone is caught up on everything worth talking about, you all mention how great it is to have everyone back home, then sort of nod your head a few times and think, umm, now what? The fact that my parents live in the middle of nowhere sort of exacerbates the situation, as they just got a movie theater in town LAST YEAR, so the entertainment options are pretty slim. Before that we had to drive thirty minutes or so to the next county over if we wanted to see the moving picture shows. No, seriously.

But I shouldn't complain, as it's good to be home, nice to have people cook mny meals for you, and all that good stuff.

I have managed to get lots of poker in. Unfortunately, I've lost the ability to win even a single frigging coin flip, despite flipping the damn coin 162,192,182,192 times. Definitely whee.

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While it's not as large as 2+2 and other forum sites, the Cardschat site is clean and well-organized and is a breeze to navigate. If you're looking for a new poker forum site to frequent, give a whirl, as it's a solid forum site with a nice mix of active members and discussion threads.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Commence Workplace Rant

It's been awhile since I had a good rant about the absurdity of the place that sucks eight hours of my life on a regular basis, aka the workplace. These days I mostly try to forget the fact that I work at HyperMegaGlobalCorp the second I step out the door, so I haven't been inclined of late to point out assorted absurdities. But who am I to deny you wonderous tales of the daily joys of working as a cube monkey in corporate America?

Turning Non-Verbs Into Verbs Shows You A Savvy Business Man and Have an Enormous Penis

I'm not exactly sure when this trend started, but our former President (who either just got canned or fled of his own accord) was obsessed with turning non-verbs into verbs. At first it was fairly tame, such as talk of "projectizing" this or that, or encouraging us to lead by winning and ensure that we "calendarize" our goals on a daily basis.

Then it took a turn into the absurd, capped by the announcement that he was leaving the company to "realize his aspiration of CEOing a start-up company". Umm, okay. I hope that CEOing goes well. May your aspirationing be successful. Hopefully no doorizing will have a negative impact on your ass on the way out.

Respect the Buffer Urinal, Fool

In the nearest bathroom there are exactly three urinals. That's a nice, solid number that works well, especially since the general bathroom traffic isn't all that high. Usually no more than two people are using the urinals at any one time, so you take one on the end, the next dude takes the one on the other end, and you have a nice buffer urinal in between and everyone is happy.

Except for the dumbasses that botch it all by sauntering in and taking the middle urinal. This is especially annoying because not only are they not recognizing the value of the buffer urinal, but they're actually walking a farther distance to do so, by walking past the first urinal they come to, which would keep the Buffer Urinal principle intact.

Serial Primpers and Bathroom Talkers

There's usually a 90% chance that the particular breed of dumbass that ignores the Urinal Buffer princple will also compound their dumbassery by either attempting to talk to you (after forcing you to piss next to them) or will reveal themselves to be a Serial Primper, after washing their hands.

Bathroom Talkers, I really don't know what to say about you. I don't even like talking to strangers in general, much less ones that are holding their penises in their hand.

Serial Primpers will quite literally stand in front of the mirror at work, in the men's shitter, primping and adjusting their clothes and hair for a good five minutes after they've finished their primary business. Ironically, Serial Primpers are almost never involved in any function that involves face-to-face contact with clients nor any general importance in the business, whatsoever. The amount of time they spend primping is usually inversely proportional to the importance of their role in day-to-day activities.

People Raised By Wolves Who Cannot Figure Out the Coffee Makers

We've got two types of coffee machines. One is the normal kind that you put a filter and ground coffee into a basket, hit "brew" and it does its thing, brewing lots of coffee in a canister with the transparent level marking showing how much is brewed. The other is the type with all of the fancy individual packages that you can choose from, that you insert into the fancy machine, put your cup under, and it brews exactly one cup for you of whatever flavor you chose.

Nearly every week I'll encounter someone poleaxed in front of the coffee machines in the morning, breathing out of their mouths, absolutely flummoxed. Usually it's the fancy machine that blows their minds, as they simply stand and stare at its unfathomable complexity, empty cup in their hand, hoping against hope that it will magically somehow fill itself.

In the past, when my heart wasn't completely blackened and shriveled, I'd try to help them, pointing out that you just hit the button that says "coffee or tea", at which point the machine opens up the slot that you slide the individual package of whatever you want into, you slide it in and close the slot, put your cup underneath it, and you're good to go. These days, though, I just smile and stand there, waiting for them to either ask for help or to give up, defeated, and to slink away with an empty cup.

Equally amusing are the people that avoid the fancy machine and use the old-school one with the filter, but who don't understand that they can dispense coffee before the entire batch is done brewing. Since it's a large coffee maker, it takes fifteen minutes or so to brew an entire batch. These people will literally stand their the entire time, ignoring the fairly obvious fact that they can engage the machine and get what's already been brewed at any point. The best part of these folks is seeing the look of utter amazement and joy when you step by them and get a cup of coffee as it's brewing, as you can see the lightbulb appearing, and the word balloon of "OH MY GOD I DON'T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL IT'S FINISHED THIS IS THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD!!!" forming in the air above their heads.

We Shall Help You Balance Work and Play

Earlier in the year we received an email from the mothership about how they understand that we feel pressured to balance our work and personal lives, and that they're taking decisive action on that very issue, because they love us so much and want us to be happy.

Moving forward, they're drastically cutting the number of vacation days we can carry over from year to year, reducing the amount from the current figure of 25 days to a paltry 5 days. This wasn't because of any accounting issues or any such thing. Oh, no, heavens no. This was because we had expressed concern on our employee satisfaction survey (officially known as the Winning Culture Survey) that we felt perpetually pressured by goals and bosses to the point that we couldn't take time off, thus leading to vacation days accruing and stacking up.

So the obvious, caring solution was to reduce the number of days that we can accrue and carry over to the next year (instead of, oh, say reducing goals and expectations and unreasonable workloads). Voila! Now you'll simply lose those days that you previously were able to carry over, so you'll never have to worry about piling up a bunch of vacation days that you don't feel like you can use! See, we really do love you and react to your concerns!

Turn Off Your Motherfucking Calliope Ringtone, Motherfucker

No matter how many memos or e-mail reminders go out, some people either can't remember or simply refuse to turn off their cell phones when in the office. I work in an open cube area, so it's pretty loud and annoying when someone's cell phone goes when they're sitting there with it at their desk. Invariably it's also turned up as loud as it will possibly go, so we're not talking about a quiet, subdued ring here.

As annoying as that is, I've largely accepted that it's one of those things that will happen, each and every day. The last few weeks, though, have been extra-cool, as The Old Dude Who Wears Gold Chains and Goes to the Tanning Salon 182 Times a Week (like, seriously) has recently busted out a new ring tone. I can't really do it justice in words, as it's this hideous calliope music that sounds a lot like "It's a Small World After All" but isn't quite that.

The fucking thing keeps going off, every day, loudly, and I keep waiting to see a bearded Russian lady and bear come waltzing by, trailed by a car packed chock full o' clowns.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Lay Them Bitches Down, Daniel-San

Managed to satellite into Sunday's FTOPS #2 event pretty cheaply and got off to a good start, sitting with nearly 8,000 at the first break. Dropped down to about 7,000 near the second break when the hand o' doom struck, and I donked off all of my chips with QhQc on a 8h 9h 10c 3h board, with all the chips going in on the turn, and villain's black kings holding up when the river was a non-heart, non-queen, non-jack.

And that's not the absolute donkiest way to go out, but the pre-flop/flop action pretty much screamed that he had KK/AA (pre-flop there was an initial raise from UTG, I re-raised a hefty amount, villain then min-re-raised on top of all that action; on the flop I bet out the pot and villain once again min-raised me), but I managed to talk myself into calling the pre-flop re-raise to see a flop (possibly ditching it if a K or A came on the flop), then talked myself into calling the flop re-raise to see the turn (ditching it if I didn't improve), then managed to talk myself into shoving on the turn, based on the highly dubious logic that I couldn't call him if I checked and he fired at me again, and that I might have picked up flush outs, etc. (Jebus that's a long, ungrammatical sentence.)

Just not goot play. If I'd folded to his re-raise on the flop I'd have still had 4,000 or so, which was a good bit below average but still enough chips to work with. But instead, whee, there go all of my chips. The more disappointing aspect of it is that it pretty well sums up the last year or so of poker for me, which has been lots of grinding with little progress to show for it. Most of that's my own fault, from leaping to and fro from different games and stakes with no real purpose or direction, but I should be at the point where I can lay down QQ as outlined above. Boo, me.

On the brighter side, things are clicking along fairly well on the SnG front. And that's even with running pretty badly the last few days, from a purely statistical sense. One of the nice things about the turbo SnGs (and one of the frustrating things) is that the majority of the time you reach push/fold territory when blinds get high, all the chips go in pre-flop and you get called, at which point it's blatantly obvious whether you were ahead or behind. So it's easy to note what hand bounced you so that you can go back over your last 0-8 streak and see exactly how non-goot you're running:

7th: KK loses to 77
5th: AKs loses to A8o
4th: JJ loses to 1010
9th: AA loses to JJ
4th: KJs loses to K10o
5th: AKs loses to QQ
4th: AJo loses to A4s
4th: AKo loses to 66

To be fair, the above is also ignoring the times you get donkfish lucky and cash, so it's kind of silly to point out the statistical unlikelihood of losing the eight consecutive hands outlined above.

Like, oh, say raising a hefty amount with QQ UTG, getting one caller from MP, than a solid regular player on the button pops it again for a largish re-raise (but not all-in, in that I-have-kings-or-aces-please-Jebus-reraise-me fashion), then calling to see a flop of A 10 5, rainbow. Check-check-check. Turn is Q. You shove, MP folds, and button insta-calls with AA. Except, umm, the river is the case Q for runner-runner quad Qs. Whee, one outers.

I'm still having intermittent issues with the FullTilt client, but I do think the turbo SnGs are softer there, as more Party regulars seem to have transitioned to PokerStars than to FullTilt. I'd split my play roughly equally on both sites until the last few weeks, but more and more often I'd find myself at Stars in games with tough players that were still 8 or 9 handed with blinds of 100/200, which is pretty rare at FullTilt. Rakeback is also a goot thing, which is another vote for FullTilt, so I'm pretty much solely playing there these days.

I'm still in the process of noting Sharkscope results for players, which is kind of a funny process, as I usually pull up their results and copy and paste the results into the player notes, then using the color flag option on FullTilt to note broad categories (red for profitable regulars, green for losing lemurs, orange for break-even decent players, etc.). The funny part is guessing beforehand, based on the name chosen, whether the player will be a winning or losing player according to Sharkscope.

Some of the trends make sense, as far as annoying-ass names that are difficult to look up actually often trending towards solid, profitable regulars. It surprised me at first, as I'd assume that someone who chose "16261513281" or "hoop4u____27162o0li" was just a dumbass (and more than likely a losing player), but if you're a profitable regular you're aware of sites like Sharkscope and, if signing up for a new site, possibly inclined to make your handle as hard as possible to quickly Sharkscope.

There's also the contrarian trend, as far as any handle with "fish" in it usually trending towards a profitable player, and anything with "cash" in it usually belonging to a losing player. Players with famous pros incorporated into their handle, such as IveyBluff322, are almost always losing players. "Pimps" are actually surprisingly good at poker, while "gangsta" can go either way. Pretty much the whole weak is strong, strong is weak thing, which I suppose makes sense.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Like several others before me, I decided to hop on the ReviewMe bandwagon. So, with no further ado, here's my own two cents.

I like the idea, as it's pretty simple and the interface is clean and easy to use. ReviewMe hooks up advertisers who want their products or services reviewed on blogs with bloggers who will do just that, in exchange for cold, hard cash. They're very upfront about the fact that these are paid reviews, going so far to state the following in their terms:

"You must disclose that the post is a paid post in some way. Here are some ideas: "Sponsored Post:", "The following is a paid review:" "Advertisement:".

Does that mean you have to glowingly sing the praises of whatever it is that you're reviewing? Nope. ReviewMe doesn't allow advertisers to require a positive review, although they do note the natural outcome of advertisers paying for reviews, which is that most reviews do, indeed, end up being positive more often than not, as few people would want to risk chopping the head off the goose laying the golden egg. Reviews must be at least 200 words long but other than that there are no real guidelines as far as style or format.

Signing up as a blogger is free, quick, and painless, and you'll immediately get the going rate that you're paid for each review, which is based on some sort of formula thatt takes into account your blog's Alexa and Technocrati rankings, as well as an estimate of your RSS feed subscriptions. You can choose to receive payment via PayPal or check, and have access to stats to see what you've earned by period, etc.

All in all, it looks like a decent way to make some extra cash. The biggest question for me is whether or not they have many advertisers that will actually pay for reviews, as the system is set up so that they push the review requests to you, behind the scenes, and you decide whether to accept them or not. The default review is to review the ReviewMe site itself, so everyone gets that gig when they sign up, but only time will tell if more review opportunities crop up. Part of me wonders if the site is initially paying for reviews of ReviewMe for the link pop they'll get, hoping that in turn will buy them publicity and actual advertisers, etc., but that's just conjecture on my part, and only time will really tell if this turns out to be a viable way to make some extra cash via your blog.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Scraping the Bottom of the Blog Post Title Barrel

Not much pokering the last few days, as the middle of the week gets pretty slim on free time, especially Wednesday nights as we don't end up getting home until about ten at night. Rewinding a bit, Monday was a pretty damn grim day at the tables, as I dumped just shy of a grand, wiping out all of the steady gains of late and putting myself in the hole for November.

On the bright side (if there is a bright side), I was fairly non-plussed by it all, chalking it up to just one of those days. Play enough SnGs and it's inevitable that I'm going to run KK into AA in three consecutive SnGs, each time into the only stack at the table that can bust me. People with decently sized stacks are inevitably going to make horrible, unnecessary calls on the bubble, for all of their chips, with hands like K5h, when the short stack at the table has 2BB left. You're going to have days where you lose every 80/20, over and over and over, despite getting your chips in with the best of it.

But man, those big hits do hurt, especially when I rarely notch any offsetting +$1,000 days. But none of this is new, yada yada yada, and I still don't have much of a sample size to work with, having only logged 300 or so SnGs in this latest iteration of grinding out many SnGs.

Not a whole hell of a lot else going on in ScurvyLand. I'd fallen into the habit of consuming a completely craptacular diet in recent months, eating at Wendy's every day for lunch when I'm in the office, and usually something similarly fast-foody at night for dinner. While I'm lucky enough to be pretty perpetually skinny, I finally reached a saturation point where I was just like, umm, no, no mas. So I've been pretending to be some sort of herbivore the last few weeks, eating lots of bullshit foods like vegetables, fruit, grains, and crap like that, eating smaller meals throughout the day, blah blah blah. And, damnit, as much as it pains me to admit it, I do feel about 1000% better, less malaisical, more energetic, all that positive crap.

I'm also finally getting most of my tools and metalworking toys moved over to the new house, have bottles for the welders, and should be cranking up my efforts to blow myself with molten metal again soon. Haven't broken the news of those hobbies to the new neighbors yet, but they'll probably figure it out fairly quickly, what with five foot tall flames shooting out of trash cans and welding arcs dancing around and what-not.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More November Surprises, Por Favor

That certainly was a nice November surprise to wake up to this morning, Mr. Rove. Thank you!

Don't let the door hit you on your way out, Mr. Leach. Bet you didn't see that one coming, did you?

*Cabbage patch*

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Ugly poker day yesterday. And that's about all I have to say about that.

It's going to be interesting where we are tomorrow morning at this time, as far as election results. The Democrats taking the House is a done deal, but I don't think they're quite going to be able to get over the hump in the Senate. Missouri and/or Virginia is/are going to decide it, and I just can't see both going the Dems way. Arizona is suddenly getting closer, though, and how freaking sweet would that be, if Kyl got the heave-ho.

I've definitely been more involved in the races this go around, and have definitely enjoyed reading assorted scribblings out there in the blogosphere about politics and what-not. Repeated, increasingly shrill assertations that the polls are not trustworthy due to the fact that smart, savvy Republicans are lying to pollsters have been good for more than a few belly laughs, which are always appreciated. I'm sorry, kids, but, umm, no. Hold up any measuring stick you want and the last six years falls horribly short. Epicly short. Maybe even unprecedentedly short, in the relative wee history of our country. That's why the polls are what they are. That's why the people feel the way they do.

I find it amusing, too, that the Republican defense of late has shifted away from a debate of any real issue, and devolved to: "Well, if you think we've screwed up so badly, what's YOUR plan for doing better?" And to be fair, I do agree to some extent. There's nothing more annoying than someone standing there, criticizing you for doing the best you can at whatever job it is, without ever lifting a finger themselves to help you.

But that doesn't mean that you get a free pass, either. If you're the absolute worst pitcher in the major leagues, with a 28.92 ERA and a 0-14 record, you're terrible. I get to boo you and talk about what a bum you are. Defending yourself by saying "I'd like to see YOU get out here and do a better job," isn't really much of a defense. Of course I can't do a better job; I'm not a major league pitcher. Criticizing the minority party (who as such has no real ability to set or enforcy policy) for not crafting better foreign and domestic policies is sort of a silly, circular exercise, no?

Lest anyone come throw me in a cell existing somewhere on an unmarked map and pull out my toenails, one by one, if I had to go down a checklist and mark my response to assorted Republican/Democrat issues, add them up, and have the majority determine your party affiliation, I'd probably end up Republican.

I think anyone should be able to have as many guns as they like, am for the death penalty, believe in privatizing Social Security, and generally agree that we get more economic bang for the buck through business incentives than in doling out welfare checks. The less guvmint, the more better.

I'm doomed to consider myself a Democrat, though, for a relative handful of issues that I'm at complete odds with the Republican party about, including abortion rights, religious tolerance, stem cell research, and gay marriage. Pretty much all of the touchy-feely people stuff, where the Republican party seems to insist on attempting to legislate the decisions that we should all be free to make, as tax-paying citizens of an age of majority. The louder you insist that you're right, damnit, and that it's for my own good, and that Jebus will ultimately hold me to his bosom, the faster I will slide over to the Democrats side, despite the fact that I probably agree with you on more of the hot-button issues that commonly get bandied about.

So, umm, yeah. Go vote.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

How the Crizzap is it Monday Again?

Logged a ton of SnGs since Friday, and have managed to stay good and stick to the $60s. I still haven't quite calibrated my variance and/or bad beat meter yet for SnGs, but Saturday was truly ridiculous. Time after time after time after time I'd get all my chips in the middle late with AKs versus A2o and, as certain as the tides, a 2 would flop, with nary a K in sight. KK versus 88? Boom, there's your 8. AhKh versus AsKc? What's that, villain, you want four spades on the board? Here you go, buddy. Enjoy.

I managed to get stuck nearly a grand fairly quickly, clawed back to -$200, then donked my way back down to -$800. I nearly shut it down for the evening but ran one more set of four SnGs, won a couple, then stuck around to grind my way back, barely, to the positive side. I had two different streaks of nine straight non-cashes, which is, umm, fun. My only saving grace was that I was winning most of the ones I cashed in, managing to eke out a profit despite a pretty pitiful ITM%.

Sunday seemed destined to be more of the same, getting buried right off the bat, but I caught fire in the last 8 or so I played, finishing up +$800 or so on the day.

It's kind of odd looking back at my stats over the last 300 SnGs at the $60 level, as I don't feel that I'm running particularly that well, but I'm sitting at just about 10% ROI and have some extra dollars in my accounts to show for my time. I suppose it's the whole calibration thing, as I tend to focus on individual streaks too much, especially the negative ones, and chalk up the times that I notch four or five 1sts in a row as lucky flukes and not reproducible nor sustainable. And sure, they aren't, but that's not really the point. It was just as unlikely that I had eight straight 4th place finishes, yet I tend to dwell on those and accept them as par for the course. The glass is half empty, damnit. Look at it.

This weekend was super hectic, but in a good way, as I got much done. Mowed and fertilized the lawns at both houses, finally finished weeding the gargantuan rose bed at the new house, and knocked out another big chunk of painting in the living roomm/dining room, and started on the guest bedroom. I've been taking the piece-meal approach to painting this time, as I fear I'd go nuts if I tried to finish it all in one fell swoop, given that it'd take me a week or two of ten hour days to finish it, so I've been plugging away for a few hours here and there, etc. Still a bit overwhelming, especially at the new house, as the list of projects remains pretty ginormous, but getting everything painted inside would be a pretty big job knocked out.

Friday, November 03, 2006


This NanoWriMo thing is hard, yo.

I need to get of my normal mindset when it comes to the writey stuff, as I tend to dwell a good bit and get things pretty much to my liking before inching along, which ain't going to cut it with the whole write-a-novel-in-a-month thing. As the good doctor mentioned in advice earlier this week, you're pretty much doomed to crank out crap, and the real point is to get into the swing of writing things down, consistently. I'm a bit north of 3,000 words but I need to get a move on as I'm going to lose some time to travel for Thanksgiving and all that jazz.

Have had a solid day so far as the $60 Sngs, clocking in a little shy of +$500 for the day. I'm probably going to be a wuss and shut it doqn for the day, as I've still got a crapload of painting to do that I haven't even touched. I should just plow through the silly desire to book a positive day, as this is pretty much the sweet spot for me to grind out poker time, but I've already gotten in 50 or so SnGs, so I'm probably done for the day.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I want a do-over on today so far. Living 45 minutes from where you work can be a pain in the ass, especially when a wreck in the morning stretches the drive to work to 2 hours, and then you have to hop into the car an hour later and make the round-trip yet again. Bah.

Living in the country is kind of fun, though, come Halloween time. Many, many trick-or-treaters, and we got cleaned out of candy by 8 PM or so. It was fairly crazy driving down a street next to our house, as the neighborhood apparently goes all out with scenes and mini haunted houses and what-not, and it was pretty much pandemonium with many hundreds of peoples running around, freaking out.

Only got in 10 or so SnGs last night but I managed to post a nice little $300 profit, which was a welcome change from the junk-kicking of the previous two days. I also finally got a response from Full Tilt support about the whole site taking a dump on me the night before, which was a little underwhelming.

Starting with the positives, the did actually read my email and claimed to review the SnGs I was involved in. They also added a $24+$2 token to my account, which was nice. And that's pretty much it for the positives.

It took them nearly 24 hours to get back to me, though, and they didn't really address my issues, seemingly shuffling me off into the category of someone trying to scheme money out of them and get refunded for the SnGs I was in when I lost connection. In my email I made it really clear that I was NOT asking for a refund, and that what I really wanted was clarification on whether or not they were addressing the widespread connectivity and client issues they've been having of late, and how they handle SnGs if the site goes down completely in the middle of one. The only quasi-answer I got was that when I sign up for a MTT or a SnG on their site, I'm fully responsible and assume all risk of what might happen if I lose my connection. Which, umm, I understand, but that's kind of a poor line to take, methinks, especially when I pointed out in my email that they were in danger of losing me to PokerStars, if I couldn't be sure that their site would allow me to complete SnGs that I signed up for.

More annoyingly, they claimed that after reviewing the games that I only lost connection for a minute and a half. That's just simply not true. I wouldn't have blinded off in all three if that were the case, aside from the fact that it was well over 15 minutes before I could reconnect. I have to assume that it's an honest mistake on their part, but even so it doesn't instill me with much confidence, as far as similar issues in the future being addressed appropriately. Again, I wasn't asking for a refund, so they had no reason to downplay how long I was unable to reconnect to the site.

It's cool they gave me a free $26 token, which they didn't have to do, so give them credit for that. It's not cool, though, that their client is still really buggy and prone to taking a dump, and not cool that people are still having connectivity issues that they're unable or unwilling to openly address. I'll still probably straddle PokerStars and Full Tilt for the near future, but one more incident like the last one will probably cause me to give Full Tilt the heave-ho, as there's no reason to flush $240-$300 in SnG entries down the toilet each time I have connectivity issues and can't log in, get blinded off, etc.