Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fiction is Good for the Soul

I’ve had a problem lately…I seem to be on non-blogging blogger. I understand that making a commitment to the blogging community places a burden of responsibilities on anyone who steps up and takes the challenge, and that I have been less then conforming to the true standards needed to be considered an active blogger, but I will try to improve the efficiency of my efforts as the cold winter months start to impede upon outside activities. I guess you could say I would rather be doing other things while the weather is still nice. That and work has been busy.

I gave the few readers of this blog a brief glimpse at a project I’m working on a week or so ago. It is my first attempt at fiction and you had the privilege (I guess it was a privilege) of reading the first few paragraphs of a literary masterpiece. Well, maybe not masterpiece but it will be a short story by the time I’m done. I’m looking at 15 – 20K words but it could be bigger or smaller depending on the amount of effort I end up putting into the story. I will give a brief synopsis for those of you who care about such things.

It is a story about a 45 – 55 year old man who is heading to Las Vegas for the first time. He is a math teacher at a…wait…maybe I’ll just show you some reviews.

From Ramblings of a Mad Man

“The heart breaking tragedy of a man on a quest is both moving and inspirational. Moving in that I had a bowel movement after reading the first couple of paragraphs and inspirational because it inspired me to head to the bathroom instead of crapping my pants.”

From JJ is OK


So as you can see, the reviews speak louder than words…well they are words so they speak the same as words. You can see that one review says the story is inspirational and they both have moving concepts in the review. I am very inspired by these reviews and will continue to try and live up to the expectations that my readers have set for me.

I’m guessing that this will take me a couple of months at most but being a procrastinator…anyway, I will post it when I’m finished writing it…or not.

Feeding the Rush

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Awake in a Dream

I opened my eyes but a cold grayness was all I could see. I wasn’t sure where I was at or how long I had been there but I knew one thing…I felt like shit. Reaching for my eyes, I felt an excruciating pain run from my right shoulder and down my arm that threatened to send me back into unconsciousness. I slowly fought off the desire to slip back into the darkness and tried again to reach my eyes with my other hand. What I found was a bandage that seemed to be wrapped around my head.

I sat there for a minute and collected my thoughts but my mind seemed to wander. After a while I started to pull off the gauze wrapped around my skull and felt them pulling at some unknown injury around my vanishing hairline. As I pulled it off of my eyes I was blinded by the brilliance of light that emanated from whatever room I was in. The light brought a new pain but one that slipped away as I slowly adjusted to my environment.

The room was certainly well lit and I looked around to try and understand where I was located. Reality struck home when I saw wires hooked up to me and an I.V. sticking out of my arm. Now all I had to do was figure out what happened to me that caused me to be sitting in a hospital bed.

As I searched my mind the beeping from the heart monitor came into my consciousness. The continuously repeating sounds didn’t help me focus on the situation at hand. I started to push my self up, ignoring the pain in my shoulder, when the door to my confusing life opened. She looked like an angel in her white nurse’s outfit and I hoped she could shed some light on what happened to me. But as I started to speak she asked me to lie back down and try to relax. The words I tried to speak wouldn’t come as I realized I couldn’t talk.

Fear bubbled into a froth as I started to panic. I tried to get up from my bed but my legs didn’t work and my useless right arm failed me for a second time. I heard her scream something as I continued my quest to break free of my confines. In ran what had to be a doctor and I was startled when my angel jumped across my chest and held me in place. I felt the needle slide slowly into my arm as the doctor did what he could to get me to calm down. As the drug began to take affect, I slowly lost the battle and succumbed to the sleep inducing injection.

To be continued…

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ten Things

1) Man do I feel better.

2) It is amazing the amount of stress we put on our selves when it isn’t really warranted.

3) What can be worse as a father then having your daughter go to her first high school dance and remembering how you were as a high school boy?

4) Why is it that when you find that old CD that you bought for one song, there is a scratch on that song?

5) Does anyone see the resemblance of the bitchy neighbor lady in Sarah Palin?

6) Does anyone see the resemblance of your high school friend’s hot mom in Sarah Palin?

7) Can someone tell me why the price of gas is going down even though our economy seems to be turning into a pile of shit?

8) Does anyone feel sorry for all those companies who granted bad loans?

9) I don’t have a problem with the people getting loans they couldn’t afford because they were doing what the system allowed them to do…and they also have to pay the price.

10) I don’t like bailing out the idiots who over sold there products because it would got them big bonuses that they can now retire on while everyone else fixes their mess.

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Couple of Weeks Away is Good For the Soul

The burden of having a job has beaten me down like a rented mule. I have been inundated with work for the last couple of months with the culmination coming to a head today. I write this as I wait for the ISO auditor to come and finish the second day of audits for my company’s re-registration…a necessity to do for so many corporate businesses now days. Anyway, I will be glad when it is over and I can go back to reading blogs at my desk.

They other day I sat back and evaluated my year as a poker player. Let me tell you, I was not impressed with my results. I had losing months for the first 7 months of the year and even though I have not had to re-load, I got to the point where I was lower than any time previously in the history of my online game. So from there I dug a little deeper and found one big thing that stood out. I played three tourneys this year for the cost of $966, which I never have been able to do in the past. Now I made the choice to play in these events so I must take the consequences of my actions. But if you take them out of the picture, I have had a solid year. I’m still down a little overall but am lose to getting unstuck…and that is a good thing.

My typical summer swoon hit again this year but I had a play to lesson the affect this time around. During early August I went on hiatus and actually went into the client software and forced a mandatory leave from the game. I think it allowed me to refocus but more importantly, it allowed me get away from playing while life’s distraction interfered with my decision making. I know that my work life was intruding on my game and I came to the realization that I have to separate the two if I want to have success.

Now this wasn’t a new revelation for me but something that I have to remind my self of from time to time. But I can see it in my patience at the table and my results as of late have indicated such. Overall, I looked at my life time results that indicate that I cash in 20% of the tourneys I play. I truly think this is a little high because it means I might be trying to slip into the money instead of doing what I have to do to get deep. Anyway, the number I like is the percentage of final tables I have reached. I’m at 11.5 % during the last two years of my play with almost half of those being top 3 finishes. This is more of an indication of how I have been playing overall. The breakdown of the top three spots show me getting 1st place 33% of the time, 2nd 42% of the time and 3rd 25% of the time. Not bad but I would like a few more first place finishes.

So when I look back I realize that variance plays a part in my results and that 2 years of data show that I can make money playing the game. Does that mean I wont go broke? No it doesn’t. If I don’t maintain my bankroll management skills I could go broke at any time. I have a few friends who think I play to small and don’t take enough shots but I think they are wrong. I think playing above my bankroll will lead to more frustration if I go to the wrong side of variance for a short time while taking those shots. I am happy grinding it out until I get to a level that won’t deplete my bankroll if I lose a couple of tourneys.

Along these lines, I had a talk with a friend the other day. He was complaining, again, about the beats he has been taking and the frustrations he has been feeling about the game poker. This gave me the idea to look at his results and I found something very interesting. He has been cashing in 19% of the tourneys he plays. Sounds like a great number but when you dig a little deeper you will see the problem. He final tables about 8% of the tourneys he plays, which isn’t bad but he has had very few top 3 finishes…more specifically, he only reaches top 3 about 1% of the time. This is a glaring weakness in my mind so I took this information to him over the weekend. We spent about an hour going over the details and the biggest suggestion I had for him was to spend some time playing SNGs. I told him to challenge him self to play x number of SNGs and to track his results over time to see if he can improve his results in a final table situation. I know that my history of SNG play helps me when I get to the final table so I think it can help him. Anyway, I also told him to evaluate the payout structure when he gets to the final table and compare his place equity to the payout. Basically I told him that he needs to quit folding to the final table for en extra few bucks and try to get into a position to get deep.

So there you have how things are going for me…have a great day.