Sloe Times

A journal of my adventures in learning and growing personally and professionally

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Poker: I know why...

I know why they frown on poker in the work place, it's things like this (quoted from a post atIggy's):
I'm thinking I might get kicked out of a casino if I jumped up, slammed my cards on the table and yelled, "IT'S THE FUCKING HAMMER, BITCHES!"

Being the visual type I am, instant picture pops in my head and I stifle a laugh just long enough to snort. Fuckers. This is worse than Grubby's AVN pictures. I sit in a corner and no one can see the inadvertant things that pop up on my monitor... It's kind of hard to hide laughing like a hyena in cubical-ville.

Friday, January 14, 2005


Poker/General: Time is not on my side

Two weeks into the new year and I have not had much time for anything really. My poker play has taken on a weak appearance as I've tried to tighten up and with the brilliant clarity of hindsight I'm not winning as many pots as I would have. For whatever it's worth, since I'm playing at .50/1 I've at least killed the habit of trying to bluff the calling stations which is obviously a bet saver right there, but on the other hand I'm not giving as much action as I have in the past and I'm definetly seeing a trend of not winning as often or as much as I have. Without some adjustments I'll probably actually bust out here in the next couple of weeks. Oh well, if change was easy, then everyone would be doing it.

On the weight thing, I'm down 6 pounds from the last couple of weeks strictly from diet change. I'm still trying to get my sleep schedule back on track after the holiday/vacation cycle where sleep was "optional." I'm hoping to actually get the exercise portion of the plan started next week, but at least I'm trending in the right direction. 6 down, 44 more to go. :)

The boy is at the stage where we're trying to get him off baby food and he doesn't want to. Pretty frustrating in general more because he's still not able to really communicate beyond a shake of the head and clamping his mouth shut like a vice. You just can't reason with someone who lacks the capability to reason in the first place. Don't get me wrong, fatherhood is great but with times like these where you're trying to make adjustments and develop your kid, it leaves me feeling a little(lot) stupid and discouraged. Granted, people have been raising kids for thousands of years and and in much worse circumstances so I'll count my blessings that in most ways the boy is a happy kid and other than the standard infant/toddler things is relatively low maintinance and fun to hang out with.

I'm jelous of Hdouble. Not so much because of his cool new gig, but more because he's actually getting to go work in an organization that does stuff he has a lot of passion for. As an IT person, I've personally evolved beyond the point where the hardware and software is geek-a-licious. I've developed my skills and knowledge to a point where I actually care about things beyond the technology and frankly it is depressing. So much wasted time and manpower out there all for the short term game with no concideration for the big picture. Whatever, I'm good at what I do and make a good paycheck. Perhaps in a year or two I'll reach a state (financially) where I can feel comfortable trying to do something myself and move from the rat race.

Friday, January 07, 2005


General: Hidden Treasure

So I've been trying to track down the background music that plays during the install of Windows XP for years. It's a catchy little tune but I seem to only remember I want it when I do an install of XP... funny that. Anyway, I just replaced a failed HD in one of my machines and was in the process of doing the install and lo and behold the music plays and I once again figure I'll be doing the failing search for the music. Lucky me, other folks have found it and posted it about it so my life is semi-complete. I have the music, it is cool, and it will now reside in my play list. The thing that now bothers me is that no one seems to know who the artist is or the real name of the track. Anyway, if you've also thought to yourself that it would be a groovy tune to have in rotation, do a search on your windows xp box for "title.wma"

Thursday, January 06, 2005


General: I am NOT a pack rat

I happened to be cleaning my office (or as my wife refers to it, the guest bedroom where I keep my computers) to spruce it up a bit before her friend comes to visit this weekend. Normally this type of activity is done at gunpoint, this time was no exception. The problem is that it's not that I'm a messy person from my perspective, it's just that the things I need "ready" access to start to sprawl as that list gets longer. Eventually there's only this pathway to show the carpet on the floor and it's generally considered a hazerdous work zone for anyone but me.

Anyway, so here I am cleaning up my office. I've been at it for four hours and I'm finally done. Or at least done to the standards required for guests. Anyway, while I was doing this cleaning I happened to notice that my file drawer has papers in it that are arguably as old as I am and honestly there's really no good reason why I still have some (all?) of them. Let's take an inventory shall we?

Manuals to household equipment (TVs, stereos, etc) that I no longer own. Ok, so that one is a no brainer, but the garbage is full so they'll sit until I have a "clean out the file cabinet day."

Dragon Magazine, Issue #80. Oh, now here is some fine history. This issue was published in December of 1983. It featured lots of things, but for the budding young computerist that I was, it also featured a AD&D character generater written in BASIC. Well, it published the program listing, you had to type it in without errors and save it to cassette tape (TRS-80 color computer 3 at the time). What fun what fun. How could I ever throw this away?

Speaking of AD&D the next folder contains old character sheets and laminated hex and grid paper for mapping. Can't have a real game without proper supplies. Never mind that most of the stuff dates back to first edition AD&D and the game has recently published the 3.5e rules which may as well be a different game if you try to compare the two.

Moving on, we have "The World of Greyhawk Fantasy Setting." Hmm, more 1st Ed. AD&D stuff. Next.

Ahhh, "The Rules of Warfare" a quick and dirty rule book for playing Battletech that I put together for playing at gaming conventions. Too bad those rules have changed in the last 15 years as well.

Maps to the computer game "Wizardry" (Moved up to the Tandy 1000 which was an 8088 with 2 5.25" floppy drives by this point). Did you know that if you cut a divot in the other side of the floppy disk you could flip it over and have double the storage?

Maps and a guide to playing Baulder's Gate. At least this one is within 10 years but probably greater than 4 years old.

A strategy guide to playing Masters of Orion 2. Hmm, somewhere on floppys (3.5") I have the original MOO. Probably in a different drawer desperatly needing some attention.

This next one requires a little background. Back in the before time (that would be the time before the greater population knew anything about the Internet), BBSs were all the rage. A buddy (in the virtual sense) ran a BBS on his Atari ST and it had what I would call the "All Time Greatest Door Game" named "Space Empire Elite" or SEE for short. This had to be around the early to mid 80s. Anyway the point of the game was to trade, occupy, and conquer. Not only your local galaxy on the BBS but using FidoNET other galaxies on other BBSs. Ah, the good old days. If you're as nostalgic as me, I believe someone has written a clone for the web called Black Nova Traders. They've done some things to it that I don't like (I'm a traditionalist when it comes to some things) but there it is.

Last file worth mentioning tonight. So it's getting on to the late 80s and anybody who is anybody is on the Internet. Not like those posers on The Well or CompuSERV, the real deal, pre World Wide Web. I'm talking WAIS, gopher, and MUDs baby. Writing C code to extend and mutilate the TinyMUD server, writing pseudo C code to build dungeons and play environments for other players to explore. Too damn much effort and things just were not stable enough (giant resource hogs on machines that my p3 1Ghz system in the corner could crush without computing too hard) so lo and behold there's MUSH. MUSHes (Multi-User Shared Hallucinations) were a nice change of pace because they used a LISP like programing language for building and some clever hackery within the framework that didn't require much of any tinkering with the source code. Life is good. So in my drawer is the complete printout of all of the MUSH commands for version 2.2.1 (I think) and also the "MUSH Manual" written by Lydia Leong back in 1995.

How can you possibly get rid of such rich history? I am not a pack rat, I'm an archivist. :)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Poker: The bet just doesn't matter

So I'm sitting at the tables tonight, finally getting recovered from the plague that overran my house. I have to say I sat down to a real winner tonight. Maddog288 (that really is his Party handle) is running over the table with PFR, PFRR, etc. It's a fairly weak table but he's showing down some weak hands that are just catching. I got to thinking about how I would have played with someone like that a year ago. I probably would have been very passive, not played at all, or at best check-called my good hands. Well, not the new and improved sloejack, no sir-e-bob. I took one look at his play and how loose and agressive he was being and decided that I would use him to recover my challenge status. And then he left the table. Bastard. Of course not before I picked his pocket for about 20BB and he mine for 10BB. So I net +10BB for the 30 minutes or so he was there and I get to go away and blog (brag?) about it.

Anyway, playing against someone like that who was showing such raw, naked, stupid, agression was enlightening to me. I can honestly say that I am a much smarter player today and was able to resist joining the melee and look for my opportunities to fleece the player. It didn't always work out, like the time his K2 beat my AK with a KQKJ board that rivered a 2. However, I didn't even flinch (I am the super man), I actually smiled and waited my turn. :) This in and of itself is a nice change of pace where last year I would have steamed, pissed and moaned, etc. His bets were staggering for $.50/$1 but I paid it no mind, slotting his activity as his way of showing me just how much money he would like to donate. About the smartest thing that fellow did was get up and leave the table. That did make me sad. Not just because he left, but because the table broke up shortly after. I guess those sharks lost the scent. If you troll those low limit waters, keep an eye out for my new buddy. :)


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