Monday, November 26, 2007

Older Women are Looking for the Right Figure

Something I noticed in Yahoo News today via the Drudge Report.

Item: "Older white women join Kenya's sex tourists"

The article starts:

"MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - Bethan, 56, lives in southern England on the same street as best friend Allie, 64.

They are on their first holiday to Kenya, a country they say is "just full of big young boys who like us older girls."

Hard figures are difficult to come by, but local people on the coast estimate that as many as one in five single women visiting from rich countries are in search of sex."

Did they really write "Hard figures are difficult to come by"? I guess that is the point of the story.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Podcast List

When I travel, and that seems to be quite often, I'd rather listen to podcasts than music.  There is so much music that I have heard so many times before.  At least with a podcast, I feel like I've done something useful, as if I had read a book.

The purpose of this post is to list the podcasts that I load onto my MP3 player for traveling.

Honorable Mention

The Current List

Looking over the list, I can't help but see what a geek I am.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Poker Conversations and more

  • Expensive weddings
  • Stiff legs (2 or 3?)
  • Vegas in less than 2 weeks
  • Hollywood, CA
  • Brian should find something more interesting to do (than text us messages)
  • Vegas in less than 2 weeks
  • What to do with an English Degree
  • Aruba reading
  • "Is it time to play Omaha yet?"

For a good while last night, it seemed that I couldn't get a good hand unless someone else got a better one. I ran into AA three times with quality pairs (KK, QQ, and JJ). A few other times, I was able to give the right read and get away without losing my stack, but not often enough.

Thankfully, I was not involved in the worst hand of the night. I don't remember all of the cards perfectly and I don't remember the pre-flop action. They saw a flop of KJK. I know Nate started out with AA and Falstaff had a typical Falstaff hand of Q10 or Q9. In any case, there were three players as LA Lindsey was also hanging around and calling every bet. Finally, by the river, Falstaff had put both Nate and Lindsey all-in and showed his turned straight. Nate showed his AA in disappointment. Lindsey started to muck and showed what she thought was trip kings. "No", I said, "that's a full house." Lindsey, who couldn't read her flopped full house, took a pot worth 200+ credits. Ouch. She finished the night up about 220.

Me, I lost 50 or so. Oh well, Vegas is only 12 days away.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Short Post

I'm headed to FLA this afternoon, so there is not much time to write.  I'm using the down time while I download podcasts to listen to during the flight.  I find podcasts much more interesting that music.  I'll have to post my podcast list another time.

Update on my Zero to Infinity project:  I started with a $1 cash in a Poker Stars freeroll.  That one dollar is now up to $8.76.  I've only played $.01/.02 no-limit.  I'll try moving up to $.02/.04 when/if I get it up to $10.

I'm planning to be insanely busy tomorrow.  A post will be difficult, but we'll see.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Home Game Report

The gang gathered at Special K's Place last night.  Not this blog, but my actual home to throw down some cards.  The regular location was out as the irregular Falstaff was out of town on business. (Aside: Why does his business include running a poker tourney?)  He was kind enough to loan us a set of chips with which to play.

A few players were running late, so we didn't start up until 7:30.  It gave the players who arrived on time a chance to meet and chat with my wife, Dr. K.  She never comes around the regular game and doesn't like Vegas, so this was something of a rare appearance.  Diamond Jim had a buddy with him.  California Al is in town for a couple weeks.  Jim sure didn't want him to come all this way and not get to play hold' em with the gang.  He was not disappointed.

I noticed right off that the game was much slower starting out without Falstaff present.  That boy likes to mix it up with straddles and by pushing the action.  It seemed like an hour before we got our first $5 bet.  Nate arrived about 9 and then the chips started flying.  We had 8 players for the balance of the night: just the right amount.

I think Jim, Nate, and T were the winners on the night.  Skoon was so up and down all night, I really don't remember where he finished.  I know I lost the rest of my chips on the last hand of the night when Nate hit his 5 outer on the river.  That's okay, they were my original chips.  My best starting had of the night was pocket 9s or AKs.  It could have been worse.  Skoon got pocket As five times (I think) and won with them once(1)(uno).  Yikes!

We have a saying that originated with Jim that I would pay that much (bet amount) to watch a monkey fuck a football.  As it turns out, we are not the only ones.  I was reading BadBlood's post about his new/old home game where he writes

"But now I go back to the games from which I came. I'm just thankful that the player base will have me back. Strange as it seems, part of me misses when Teddy says "Aw hell, I'd rather watch a monkey fuck a basketball." 

I think football is a better line, but you get the point.

I don't remember much of the conversation topics, but they included:

Thanks to all who made it to the house.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pictures of the Day

I'm posting a picture because I don't have anything to write. So there.

This is a picture of a relative that was found among my Grandmother's stash of pictures. It is a tintype (or ferrotype), about 2 in. by 3 in., that is very hard to see. You have to get the light just right.

To get this shot, I put the tin in the corner of a picture that was already on my wall and focused the lens of my 6 MP DSLR to get the picture with room on all four sides. That way I know I got all of the picture in my shot. Here is the result that came out of the camera:

Raw from the Camera

Once I got the file into Photoshop, I cropped the picture down to a nice size, keeping the originals unaltered. I used the levels and color balance controls to bring out the image. My eyes popped when I saw how much of the image was really there, but I could also see the damage on the image.

Image Adjusted

The time consuming part of picture restoration is in the clean up phase. I probably spent another 3 hours on this image and I'm sure that I could spend another 6 that would make a noticeable difference. This is the final product. From the 2"x3" original I got a nice sharp 5x7 and could likely push it to 8x10 without much loss of sharpness.

Fianl Image

I love the eerie and powerful feeling of working on these images. I can't help but think about the man in the picture and what he would think about the technology that is now at my fingertips.

I mentioned above that this was a relative. I don't know that for a fact. I'm going by the features of his face and the fact that my grandmother had the picture. This man looks like several of my relatives on the Curtis side of the family. I suppose he could also be a Gray or a Temple. The Curtis' and the rest were located Southeast of Richmond, VA near present day Burrowsville. Being a tintype, that would put the date of this shot somewhere between 1870-1910. I guess it is possible, though unlikely, that someone will see it and know something about him. I'd love to put a name with the face.

I guess I had something to write after all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Time for a Tagline Change

I was reading a friends blog today. He was nice enough to post a link to this site with a short description. He took the description of the blog from the tag line in the header above. As I read it, it seemed that the description of myself as a redneck seemed pretty played. It was funny (to me) at first, but it's time to move on.

Those who know me probably believe the geek part without a problem, but I live near the center of a large city, I work for a very large software company in a technical position, and while I do own a pickup truck, its main duty is to haul home improvement supplies from Lowe's to the 1908 bungalow that my wife and I are renovating. The redneck doesn't fit, at least not compared to the real rednecks that inhabit "this neck of the woods."

So I guess that makes me a poker playin', picture takin', pool shootin' son-of-a-gun, er, geek. I haven't written much about the pool shooting part. I'll have to add a few notes about that next time I shoot league pool in a couple weeks. Later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

MASS Decides that On-line Gambling is worse when State Allows Gambling

This article from the Boston Globe ( titled Internet gambling is a target of Patrick bill will soon be all over the blogsphere.

So the bill will allow 3 casinos in the state that previously had none but ups the penalties for on-line gambling to 2 years in jail and $25,000. You would think that they are trying to stifle competition or something.

Monday, November 12, 2007

More Pokerage

Last night found the regular gang at the Casa de Falstaff for a special Sunday evening edition of Friday Night Poker. We started with a hold' em tournament. My cards were completely dead. I got involved with the first hand where I saw a cheap flop with A8 and caught my A on the flop. I bet and got a call. The turn put a possible high straight on the board and my bet drew a big raise from Nate. Suddenly, my pair didn't look good and I got out. I proceeded to sit patently and wait for some cards, and wait, and wait.

I didn't get involved in another hand (save seeing an occasional cheap flop not hit me) until level 4. By then I was very short on chips. I caught J10o in the big blind and checked. I caught both a jack and a 10 on the flop. Since I needed some chips, I decided to check in hopes that at least one of the 5 players still in the pot would bet at it. The very next player (T) pushes all in for just a little more than I had. It folded around to me and I insta-call. She turns over Q8 looking for a gut-shot 9.

Now I'm not going to pass judgement on what she did here except it is something of a good play if she expected everyone to fold. Given that I was an 80% favorite to win the hand at this point, it was a very bad play if she expected to get a caller. Of course, this was one of the 20% as a 9 was the next card on the table and I was out of the tourney before I even won a hand.

The tourney finished up after another hour. Nate won with Jim coming in seconds and Dave was on the bubble.

We started up the cash game at this point and my cards didn't get much better. I got "beat up" in the second hand against Falstaff when my QT sooted couldn't get any traction. Then I sat quietly for about the next hour waiting for my cards to come. For those at home keeping score, that is three hours of poker without winning a hand.

Then things turned around. I didn't start getting great starting hands, but my playable hands started hitting. From that point, if I saw 4th street, I won the hand all but twice. One of those was a showdown with Nate trying to trap me with a river check. I didn't bite. The second was Falstaff overplaying his little pair into a ATA board where I had a T. I didn't want to take a chance on ruining a good night.

In any case, I ended the night up a healthy amount in league points (about 164 points after the tourney and cash game). I hope to host the game this weekend in Falstaff's absence.

What the ... ?

Why is this so interesting:

(from Scientific American) Ovulating Strippers Make Bigger Tips

You would think from this that we are all just a bunch of animals. Hummm?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Microsoft Releases Live Writer

I don't normally pimp software, but this was something I want to try out. It just so happens that Windows Live Writer lets me update this here blog. In fact, the purpose of this post is to try out the new toy.

So far I'm not impressed. The editing area is small, though it does pick up on the color scheme of my blog and mimics it. It does have spell checker and it looks like it will log me in automatically which I've had trouble getting blogger to do that.

The controls are familiar with the normal functions. It can keep track of multiple accounts which is good, even though I only use this one account. It will also work with other programs to blog content (very un-Microsoft like). Actually, the fact that MLW works with blogger is a minor miracle.

Here is a recent picture (testing the photo options):

Falstaff in Hamlet

This is Falstaff in a summer production of Hamlet.

The photo editing features are crude compared to Photoshop, but are great compared to the blogger interface. WLW let me add the border and gave me good control over the link, alt text and other effects. Link options (like the one to Falstaff's page above) are improved over blogger as well.

Oh, did I mention that Windows Live Writer is free from Very cool.

From what I've seen tonight, I'm going to keep using this, assuming that it uploads what I want from this post.

Hitting the "publish" button now.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The pressure for legal poker builds

I know that the fine amount that the WTO is trying to levi on the US is old news ($100 billion), but the countries and places that are applying pressure is growing.

Also see what I wrote on this topic a month ago.

It looks like we are right on schedule.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What day is it?

I knew that as soon as tried to be like a real blogger that I would be in trouble. I thought writing something every day from Tuesday until Vegas (12/6) would get me in the mood (OK, I’m already there) and make me feel like a real blogger. Heck, I thought I might even pick up a few more readers. Then, wouldn’t you know, my workload exploded. I’m in training and we had a deliverable for today that took me until 1:00 am to get to a point where I could turn it in.

Now it is late on Thursday and I haven’t done anything but work all week. Our stove broke, but I haven’t had time to look at it. My truck needs to get to the shop for transmission work, but that will wait. One of my little dogs isn’t feeling well. The yard has been ignored for too long. My sheets miss me. I think I still have a wife.

This training class ends tomorrow. I’ll get plugged back in to my life then.

Did I mention that I feel better than I’ve felt in about 3 years? More on that later.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Since I obviously don't have anything else to post...

The link to Maudie's poker blog has changed to

If I can't write anything interesting, at least I can point you to someone who can.