|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, November 29, 2003
Google Search: "mongolian beef" restaurant "des moines"
Yet another search term someone used to find my site. My fiendish plot is paying dividends...
Friday, November 28, 2003
CNN.com - 'It felt good,' GI says of Bush's visit - Nov. 28, 2003
A surprise visit to troops in Baghdad on Thanksgiving? Wow. That's really cool. As liberal as I tend to be, I'm not so liberal that I can't really respect and admire this decision. This is the greatest non-legislative, non-foreign policy related thing a President has done that I can remember. And the fact that it was kept secret (partly or mostly for security reasons) until it happened? Great. I love that he didn't beat his chest and scream "look at me" for the week leading up to this.
Thursday, November 27, 2003
Google Search: role playing book-Advanced Dungeons and Dragons character creation
IT WORKED! There I am, six selections down! I'm so excited...
Monday, November 24, 2003
CNN.com - Male enlargement ads prompt spam rage - Nov. 24, 2003: "He said his firm does not send spam but blamed a rival firm which he said routes much of their unsolicited bulk e-mail through Russia and eastern Europe. Mackay said such firms gave a bad name to the penis enhancement business. "
Just re-read that last sentence again. I should have that printed on a T-Shirt.
I’ve had a lot of hits lately from people who are looking up info on last week’s episode of “South Park.” I also had one hit from someone who apparently wanted info on Paul Rudd’s wife having a baby (I think I used “wife,” “Paul Rudd,” and “baby” close enough to each other, but completely not in that context).
What is also curious is that I’ve had some kinda snotty snipes at me in the comments widget under certain posts by people I don’t know (i.e. not Anna, Bob, Mike, or Iggy). Now, I would understand if they were directed at me for my comments on the Mormons not being treated as a cult (with my assertion being that maybe they should be), but they were on other topics altogether.
What I think people tend to get off on somehow is the anonymity that the Net provides, and it emboldens them to become something of a hit-and-run sniper on random message boards and websites. I participate on one message board online, and the phenomenon is prevalent there, despite the constant patrolling and strict guidelines set up on the site. On this board you’ll still see people who take a shit on someone else just because they can. For no other reason than that, really. It’s discouraging. I have found myself participating less and less over the years for that reason, as well as the ever-decreasing average age of the other participants on the board.
I was a little disheartened this weekend after being called “shallow” by someone in the comments widget, based on my assertion that I’m “proud” that I’ve slept with an ethnically diverse group of girls in my time. OK, maybe “proud” isn’t exactly the best way to put it. However, what I am proud of is the fact that I grew up in two of the least racially/ethnically diverse areas of the country, didn’t meet one single black person (aside from a pro athlete or two for an autograph) until college, and have, I believe, gotten through to this point of my life with very few hang-ups and preconceptions based on race and ethnicity. I’m not trying to say, “I have no problem with black people, I know one, and he’s cool.” What I am trying to say is that based on the geography of my upbringing, I could be a far less well-adjusted individual than I am today, and I take pride in the fact that I’ve had Asian, Hispanic, and Jewish (yes, I know, not technically an ethnicity, but I didn’t know any Jewish people until college either) girlfriends, and it’s not because I’m trying for some sort of “around-the-world” or “31 flavors” personal record or anything. I am proud of the fact that I can see the beauty in a woman regardless of what skin tone she might have, what religion she might practice, or what area of the world her ancestors are from. Frankly, if that’s not something you think I should be proud of, I don’t think I’m the shallow one.
Sometimes, when I’m just typing to occupy time, as I tend to do more often than not creating entries for this blog, I may not put things as well or as appropriately as I would have liked in retrospect. This was probably one of these occasions, and I feel a little bad about it. But I always feel personally shitty and an awful lot less like sharing in general when one of these anonymous serial snipers takes a pot shot. Thanks dude, made my day.
I’m eager to drive more traffic to my site. Lately, Google has done a great job crawling my page and keeping the search data fresh. I’m thinking there needs to be some hot catch phrases that people should be able to use to find my site. To that end, I give you my TOP TEN SEARCH STRINGS I HOPE SOMEONE USES TO FIND MY PAGE (in parentheses, words to fool visitors hopping in from Google):
10. Naked pictures of Bea Arthur Naked (click here, here, here, here)
9. Fast herpes cure (seven days or less, discreet ointment by mail)
8. Thai restaurant +”Des Moines” (from restaurantcriticdesmoinesregister.com)
7. Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master (win $1000 for unique dungeon/adventure design! Click here to submit)
6. “Facts of Life” fan fiction (See what Tootie and the gang are up to now!)
5. Kenny Rogers song lyrics here (Gambler, Islands In The Stream, Click here for chicken recipies)
4. Unicorn drawings (on a cloud, on a rainbow, on a cloud by a rainbow, on a rainbow by a cloud)
3. Camryn Manheim Shrine (she’s simply fabulous! Click here, here, and here!)
2. Macaroni Art Gallery (unique and challenging modern macaroni art on a grand scale. Click here for actual size macaroni Eiffel Tower!)
1. Free Aqueduct Daily Selections (See today’s picks here! Look at yesterday’s results! 59% winners, up 355 units on Trifectas for season 03-04!)
Consider it a sociology experiment. I bet you that #1 is most likely to hit, followed by #6, #5, and #3. If you’re searching for a Thai restaurant in Des Moines, you’re probably better off eating your Fruity Pebbles with coconut milk, it won’t be a lot different. And for the sick, sick bastard who’s wandering in looking for Naked pictures of Bea Arthur You’re only looking for these as a gag, right?
I was reading the USA Today over lunch, and had a couple of thoughts:
- It looks good that by the end of the week President Bush will sign anti-spam laws into effect. It will mandate that spammers can’t hide/forge return addresses, can’t harvest email addresses from the web, and must provide true “opt-out” ability from the emails that are sent.
I’m completely and utterly unconvinced that this law will work. What will happen is that the spam houses will simply move offshore or overseas, and this will give this law absolutely no teeth. What this law is ostensibly doing is giving India (which, I’d bet, is where most of these spammers will move their services) another leg up in IT. Where I think the biggest failing of this law comes in is that it pursues those who send the mail rather than the companies that are enlisting the services of spammers. I guarantee you that penis pills and mortgage lenders are just going to find someone else to send their unwanted mail. I really don’t believe this will clean up our inboxes at all. Leave it to Republican rule to be blinded to the fact that it’s the sellers of the goods, not the spammers that are truly the problem here.
- New rules go into effect today that will allow you to port your existing phone number to and from different cell phone carriers.
This is a law that needed to be in place from day one. Of course the wireless carriers fought like mad to keep this from happening, as this was their best weapon for preventing disgruntled consumers from switching service. Here’s what gets me though. In the paper there was a side article that talks about the advertising blitzes that are going to follow in the upcoming months that reflect this new change. The prevailing attitude is one of, “Hey, you asked for it, now we’re going to deliver!” Duplicitous bastards. These companies are only delivering it because the government says they have to. And now we’ll not only be bombarded with more wireless advertising than ever before, but it’ll all have an ingratiating tone that reeks of duplicity. By the way, is it me or would you too guess that there are more commercials advertising cell phones than any other single product out there?
- Letters to the editor blasting the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s decision to allow gay marriage.
Look, I’ve talked about this at length. If you want to know my political leanings, I’m somewhat of an economic Republican with very Libertarian leanings. I think it’s incredibly backhanded of Republicans to generally believe in “less government intrusion” into your life, but at the same time be the party most likely to attempt to define and regulate their version of morality. I think the government is great at doing a lot of things. Building roads, maintaining an education system, protecting our borders, and taking great care of our National Parks. Where I really don’t want the government intruding is into my private life. By “private life,” I’m referring to any decisions I make that do not have a direct and/or injurious effect on another person. For example, if I want to buy heroin and shoot up (not that I ever have or ever will), I don’t believe it should be in the government’s capacity to tell me I can’t. Now, were I to go out and rob a liquor store while under the influence, I can see government intervention being a good idea. I’ve done direct harm to someone else as a consequence of my actions.
My point of contention is this: The government should not be in the business of regulating morality. The argument of morality is the only argument I’ve heard against gay marriage. I don’t believe “because the Bible says it’s immoral” is a good enough argument against. If the government affords rights to one set of society, it should open up those rights to anyone else in society who wishes to take advantage of them. Special protections should not be afforded to a segment of society based on morality issues that the entire society does not necessarily adhere to.
I fail to see how any Christian person who believes in the so-called “sanctity” of marriage is at all affected by enabling gay partners to form the same sorts of partnerships under the law that they have the opportunity to form. If you don’t want to believe they’re married under the “eyes of god,” then by all means be a bigot. But how does this do anyone any harm at all?
The Lions played poorly this weekend. And that’s all I’m saying about that.
I played quite a bit of poker online this weekend, and had a lot of fun doing it. Unfortunately, the money wasn’t rolling in the same way it did early, but I can say that I probably played for close to five total hours over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and am within $5 of where I started on Friday (still something like $78 up as a total).
I’m also reading the Sklansky/Malmuth book (Advanced Hold ‘Em for Advanced Players, or something like that), which I know is a solid primer for an experienced player to be able to take his game to the next level.
I’m noticing, though, that online poker is a much different game than what Sklansky/Malmuth are charting. Maybe it has a lot to do with playing for low stakes (as I am), or maybe it’s all about the “fish (not so strong players),” but I can tell that were I to play the Sklansky/Malmuth method, I’d experience huge swings in my cash flow, and I’d bet that I’d lose far more than I’d win.
Why? Well, the thing is that S/M assert, “Raising or folding are always better options than just calling.” Raising, in S/M theory, does a couple of things. First, it “thins out the herd,” which helps improve the odds that you have a playable/winnable hand. Second, it prevents players sitting on a miracle draw from getting a free or cheap card, and making that draw happen. What is also assumed, to some extent, by S/M is that in most cases your opponents are also under the S/M “either raise or fold” theory, which means that in an ideal circumstance, you will have a pot that is bet, raised, and re-raised by two or more players, all while preventing non-miracle hands from occurring.
The shortcoming of this technique for playing online is easily apparent. Playing online is not a “re-raise” environment. It’s a multi-player call environment. A raise might thin some out of the pot, but without a couple of re-raises, you’ve got too many players in to see a flop. If there’s more than four in to see a flop, you can count on at least one hand being ugly (maybe a suited 6/9, maybe an off-suited J/8), but unpredictably so. So realistically, it’s nearly impossible at most tables to prevent these ugly hands from seeing a flop, which gives them three more cards with which to derive a miracle.
It’s also common for inexperienced players with solid hands to try to do their version of a slow-play. To them, it’s a check and call all the way through the river, rather than a solid check-raise on the turn or river. The check-raise is a rare animal in the rooms I’ve sat in. It appears that most people are more content to go to showdown in a cheap pot, rather than try to gamble themselves into a richer pot, thinning the herd along the way.
Because of this, it’s really difficult to assume anything about your opponents’ hands. It’s not difficult after playing with them for 30 minutes to differentiate the players who play decent hands versus the players that play anything (I kept stats on one guy – in 35+ hands he put money in the pot over 77% of the time). I’ve learned the following for almost certain though:
1. If there’s a pair on the flop, someone has the set, regardless of what cards appear.
2. Seeing an ace on the board on the flop usually dooms you if you don’t have one down, and have made/been dealt only a smaller pair. Even if you do, two pair isn’t unlikely regardless of the flop, as many people will play anything with an ace.
3. Open ended straight flops, when they get augmented on the turn or river, are bound to be hit by someone.
4. Playing a suited big slick while only holding one pair of the two off the turn or river is probably not smart. I’ve lost more money on A/Ks than on any other hand. It’s because someone is probably holding two pair. I’d want to see a flush or a straight draw, or a set, in order to play that one to showdown.
5. I did also learn that if you steadily bet into a pot with an ugly flop (three suited, no true straight potential) and a less-than-helpful river, you’ll get a lot of pots off the folds of your opponents.
My brother also made a comment about playing online at the freebie site about “stupid players” who stay in on everything and make their miracles happen. I think it all boils down to patience. I want to play against these stupid players. Frankly, I want them to win an $11 pot with a miracle straight draw when they stay in on 3/7 off suit. I want them to think those hands are playable when I come in with KK or AK. It’s easy to get frustrated with those players when you take a beat you shouldn’t have, but over the long haul you should be able to take far more of their chips than they take from you by playing patient poker. They won’t hit every draw, but you should be the one sweeping the table when they flip over a pair of fours instead of the miracle straight they were hoping for to your set of queens at showdown.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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