Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Work, Eat, Sleep, Work, Work, Work, Sleep, Eat

Getting a bit worn down from all of the extracurricular house work, as I can't remember the last time that I had a day completely free from working on the Austin house in some form or another. Finally approaching the finish line, though, so there is that.

It's been a good learning experience, especially as far as managing my time and focusing my efforts, which'll hopefully pay off if I keep buying and fixing up houses. I went a little overboard on the fix-ups, especially given the average house in the neighborhood, and sunk way too much time mucking around with things I'm far from expert in (electrical and plumbing). Which I want to learn, so I don't necessarily mind the frustrating learning curve and wasting of much time, but with two houses that need to get renovated and sold, time is in relatively short supply, so I shouldn't be launching into uncharted waters when I just need to get done and get out of there and off ot the next project.

Not much else going on, other than all of the above. I still keep donking off money in Bracelet Racing futility, but keep funding continued futility through a nice run in SnGs and other MTTs. I need to stay away from the Friday night rebuy Bracelet Races, as they typically require a $100-$125 investment, so it gets kind of pricy and dumb when you play 3 or 4 and don't win a trip. I got fairly deep last Friday but only picked up the blinds with AA twice late in the event, and couldn't get a big double up I needed with KK vs. Q9o when the board came A 2 3 4 5.

The swing trading experiment continues to roll along pretty nicely, although I've only been taking long positions and the market of late has been cooperating nicely in general. It's kind of odd as I've always been much more of the buy and forget about it mentality in the past, so in some ways it's hard to be happy with picking up small pots and cashing out, but all those small pots add up. And you have those nice trades that work perfectly for you, like picking up Google at the lows of the day, just before they reported solid numbers, then unloading it near the high early the next morning, before it settled back down.

I'd be up pretty substantially on the year but got kicked in the teeth playing some dumbass natural gas microcap that I can't stay away from, ignoring my stops and finally taking a 20% loss, only to see that completely reverse itself in just a matter of weeks, powering up to the point where I'd have shown a 25% gain today if I'd held onto my shares. Probably the biggest positive change I've made is simply waiting for confirmation before entering positions, even if that means missing out on some gains by not pegging the absolute bottom. Not really sexy, grinding out $150 in net profits here, $425 there, $75 over here, but money is money is money.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blogger Donkaments LOL

I actually managed to drag my sorry non-participatory ass out to play in the MATH last night. I didn't realize it was a double stack tourney, though, so I was struggling to stay awake towards the end, and not as perturbed as I usually would have been to get bounced in 5th or 6th place when A7o sent my AKs to the curb. Congrats to the transgendered drunken midget for taking it down.

I felt pretty decent about my play, got some chips early and bullied some, and had my big pairs hold up (my connection was super clunky last night, so my apologies to whoever moved in on a short stack with A5 and I seemingly slowrolled AA from the BB; I was mashing the call button immediately but then got moved to another table before I could apologize.) I probably turtled up a little too much at the final table but I stole enough to stay not too desperate despite getting dealt 83o what seemed like twenty or thirty consecutive hands.

I'd fired up the $24+2 nightly Bracelet Race just before the MATH started, and managed to last all of 15 minutes. I think I missed the memo that went out recently that an OESD on the flop (with no overcards or flush re-draws) is the absolute NUTS and that you MUST get all of your chips in the middle, regardless of the action around you or whether or not you're priced in.

It has been fun to play a bit more of late, though, so I can't complain, as it's cheap enough entertainment. It's kind of nice to be a relative pauper as far as the funds I have online these days, as I actually have to hustle and scrape a bit and take the MTTs I do play in seriously.

Kind of nice to be back at the day job this week, to recuperate a bit from all the house renovation related labors. I'm back at it tonight, though, and probably looking at a solid 3-4 weeks of work every night after the day job and on weekends, to get the two investment properties ready to list. Kind of daunting in some ways but I'm still fairly upbeat about the whole endeavor, as it's the sort of work I enjoy and potentially a full-time gig, assuming I can keep grinding out profitable deals on the side for a year or two.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Much Ado About What Now?

This week has been pretty much a blur, as I've been off from the day job and putting in pretty solid 10-12 hour days, trying to get our house in Austin ready to sell. There's no phone, email, or television distractions at the house now, so I pretty much get up early, go there, work all day, and come home. Tack on an hour commute each way and it makes for a pretty long day.

On top of all that, the in-laws are coming to visit the weekend, and assorted extended family of the wife are coming over for lunch tomorrow, so tonight has been a mad cleaning dash once I got home.

Despite being pretty worn down, I decided it'd be a good idea to play the $30 rebuy bracelet race (still kicking in that one as of typing this, although a little below average stack with 24 players left). I also satellited into the $200+$16 late night bracelet race, so I'm likely going to have to mainline some coffee soon to stay upright and somewhat conscious.

Catching up on assorted news of the week, I have to admit that I don't get this Don Imus firestorm at all. Either side of it. I think I've been inhaling too many paint fumes.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't someone in his line of work pretty much resign himself to eventually getting canned for stepping over the line a bit too far and.or one time too many? Isn't that exactly his line of work, dazzling us with his audacity and assholery, as he flaunts the line of propriety and decency? I just can't see this as a freedom of speech issue, or that he was somehow wrongfully targeted or overzealously punished. It's not like he's going to struggle ot find another job or that he'll be somehow blacklisted. He wasn't exactly preaching the gospel of Jebus so it's not like all of this leaves him permanently stained.

On the other side of the equation, good lord. Aren't there more pressing issues revolving around race relations that some dude who gets paid to be an almost racist, bigoted persona calling a basketball team "nappy headed hos"? Jesse and Al were ready to march at the word "nap", which is admirable and I'm not knocking their efforts whatsoever, but I always can't help but feel that it kind of dilutes your effort when you rise to arms so quickly over something that seems to not be that terrible in the grand scheme of things. Not to mention all of the ink spilled about who has the racial currency to call someone a ho or not, yada yada yada.

In the end I can't help but think that he's a slightly bigoted, slightly racist entertainer who got fired finally for being too bigoted and too racist. But maybe this story is much more complicated and I'm just tired and/or dumb. Yes, indeed, bigotry and racism suck. Boo. But if anyone (an impressionable child or otherwise) was looking to Don Imus for wisdom and general guidance as to how to live their life and what mores to adopt, then we're in a whole other world of hurt.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Getting More Shillings from Your Shilling

Much of my affiliate work of late has been centered around trying to make the most of the traffic I've got, as opposed to cranking out new content, and I've been trying out various programs, kicking the tires of this program, trying that new program, etc. In no particular order, I thought I'd share some of the results here from some of the newer programs I've been trying, for the folks interested in such things:

  • Text Link Ads continues to treat me very well, and I'd highly recommend them for anyone with a blog who's looking to make some extra bucks. They pay promptly at the first of the month and have an active base of advertisers looking to buy text links on blogs like yours. They pocket a large chunk of what the advertiser pays, so you're likely better off selling text links on your site directly if you can from a pure dollars and cents perspective, but they provide access to your site to a much wider range of potential advertisers.

  • AuctionAds is a new program that's very similar to Google Adsense, except it features eBay auctions. What's nice is that you can target the ads using keywords that fit your site, so it's more niche-friendly than some programs, and since it pulls from eBay listings it almost always can find something relevant to display, unlike similar programs such as Chitika. It's also not a PPC program, so you can potentially make more if you refer someone to an eBay listing and they're the winning bidder, since you get a percentage cut of the final purchase price. If someone drops $500 on a poker table, you're obviously a lot better off getting a percentage of that action instead of getting paid something like .20 per click, like you do with Adsense.

  • Sponsored Reviews is a new paid review site, much like ReviewMe, but with a twist. In their system, you set your review price, then you browse through all of the potential reviews that advertisers have listed. If you find one you'd like to review, you subit an application and your price. If accepted, you write the review and get paid. I just signed up so no trip report on payment promptness, etc., but on the surface I prefer the way it works to ReviewMe, as I'd rather see all the opportunities instead of sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for an advertiser to send me an offer.

  • Agloco swears that its rolling out its viewbar thingamabob, that'll pay users for surfing the Web, but that's been their claim for a few months now. Honestly, who knows if this thing will really make anyone money in the end, either people using the viewbar to get paid for surfing or affiliates who have referred lots of people. I have no clue, but hey, you've got little to lose from signing up and encouraging others to do so. If anyone makes money from this thing, it'll be people who get in on the ground floor and have lots of referrals under them.

Compatible Poker

I'd like to weclome Compatible Poker to the advertiser roster here, joining all of the other fine sponsors you'll find i the sidebar to the right. Compatible Poker is pretty much synonymous with Poker for Macs these days, as the site has done an excellent job of positioning itself as a top resource for poker players looking to satisfy their online poker jones on Macs and Linux operating systems.

They've also launched a new section focusing on information regarding the status of online poker for US players, which details the poker and casino sites still accepting US players, which e-wallets are currently still serving the market, and breaks all of that information down on a site by site basis.

Compatible Poker also provides sign-up bonus codes for all the sites covered, a forum and forum members-only freerolls, and poker strategy articles, as well as general news and rumors from around the world of poker.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Same as it Ever Was...

In some ways, not much exciting has been going on. In other ways, I've been busy as crap, and it shows no signs of letting up for quite awhile.

Poker has been, well, poker. I've been sticking to Bracelet Races and other MTTs on Full Tilt, and have little to show for my efforts. Last night was pretty indicative of the way things have been rolling, as I went out just before the money in a $33 rebuy and out in 10th in the Bracelet Race.

In the rebuy I had QQ versus AK versus AK in a ginormous pot that would have given me a hefty chip lead on the field, but a lovely flop of x K K squashed that. I was utterly card dead for hours in the Bracelet Race but barely kept my head above water by stealing here and there, got lucky and doubled up with Q6h versus K9o, and had a decent stack with 10 players left. Lumped a good bit of that stack in from the button with 1010 and the SB insta-shoves. He'd been re-stealing pretty light and I talked myself into calling, assuming at worst we were flipping coins. He had AJo and the flop was safe but the turn J killed me good. Win that hand and I'm a solid second in chips with 9 players left.

None of those beats are all that terrible, and I'm really not even griping. For what seems like forever, though, I just can't seem to get over the hump in MTT spots like that, as far as reaching that critical juncture late with many chips at stake and not being able to get there. Such is life in the MTT world, I know, but I still can't quite eradicate the whiney part of my brain that keeps muttering "Jebus, when am I going to actually win one of these hands?"

Still busting my butt in general, working on both the Austin house and the new flip house, trying to get both of them ready to list. I can't say I love dealing with getting bids for new roofs and kitchen counters and what-not but so far it hasn't been too painful. Now if I just had a helper monkey to, umm, help me with all the silly grunt monkey work that needs doing.

I miss my rat buddy. It's odd how much pets became a part of your routine, as far as feeding them, cleaning up their crap, etc., and then suddenly there's a big gaping hole there. My wife and I are both jonesing for more rats pattering around the place, but we're trying to be smart and get some from a breeder this time, as far as hopefully getting ones less susceptible to tumors and other maladies that can be exacerbated by poor genes and breeding. Then again, pretty much everything is a crap shoot, and well-bred rats can just as easily get tumors, so we may just go yoink some baby rats from the pet store, instead of waiting months for the breeder we found to have rats available for adoption.

I've been dabbling a bit in swing trading of late, with reasonably good success. The indecisive markets of late have helped, and, honestly, I've simply gotten lucky on a few trades, but the process seems to suit me in some ways, as far as narrowing my focus to 10-15 stocks and moving in and out of positions based on pre-set targets/conditions, with little emotional hanging-on.