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    Tuesday, November 29, 2005

    My Survivor Summary Is Posted

    Read it here. I must say, I'm rather proud of it.

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Here's The Mail It Never Fails

    Every day when I log onto Outlook at work, there is a message from the Quarantine Center. This is the place where spam and junk mail is routed. (Although considering the amount of spam and junk that makes it through, I’m not sure what the routing rules are.) There are little icons by each piece of mail to tell you why it got sent to Quarantine – a gift-wrapped package for special offers, a letter for bulk email, XXX for sexually explicit mail, etc. And here I have some questions as well. Like, why is Natuarl Large Breasted Teen Fucks listed as a special offer and not sexually explicit? (And yes, all spelling is taken from the email titles as is.) Why is The Larger the Better bulk mail and Pen!S Enhancement sexually explicit? And don’t get me started on Viagra. (Well, I guess that depends on what you want to do with me after you get me started on Viagra. But I digress.) It Only Takes A Few Moments To Order Viagra is sexually explicit, Viagra At $1.59 Per Dose is bulk mail, and Viagra Works For Men Of All Ages a special offer. Can we get some consistency here people? I mean, if, if I say, I want to delete out all the bulk mail and special offers so I can concentrate on sexually explicit, I don’t want to worry that I’ve missed out on a natural large breasted teen who fucks. Although come to think of it, that is kind of a special offer. But still. If I am looking for busty girls, and I do an XXX sort, I’ll get the Sweet Busty Girl Getting A Loud Orgasm but miss out on the Busty Teen Brunette Fucked On Campus and Nasty Busty Girl Cumshooted. And that’s just not right.

    I was going to end it there, and let that be the post. I think it’s funny, it plays on an image I sometimes cultivate, and it works. It’s not a true image, of course, and I would never consider opening a sexually explicit email at work. I like, and need, my job. But then, as I was deleting the emails in the Quarantine Center, I came across one that was so tempting to open. So tempting. Here’s the header, and the ellipse at the end is part of it:

    If Your Penis Is Smaller Than Your Wife’s…

    Now tell me that isn’t a tough to resist opening line. I mean, don’t you want to know how it ends? Your wife’s what? Your wife’s penis? Point one, can you consider her your wife if she has a penis? Point two, is she really hanging around your life if your penis is smaller than hers, unless she has a really huge one, in which case we are back to point one. This, my friends, is quality marketing. When you get someone totally uninterested in your product wondering what your ad pitch is, you’re onto something. Bravo, I say. Bravo.

    Saturday, November 26, 2005

    My Rain Forest Position

    The leaders of the Iowa Rain Forest project sent the Coralville city council a letter with several demands that they wanted met or else they would seek a new location. (Read about it here. Or not. I really don't care either way.) The demands include a larger piece of land, a site farther away from I-80, and a letter of support signed by each member of the city council. But these weren't the only demands. Oh no. The project also wants the city council of Coralville to agree to:

    * Build a dome over the stretch of I-80 that runs by the project to keep noise down
    * Sign a letter stating that Carrot Top is a misunderstood genius
    * Agree that Wednesday's in the Rain Forest will be "Carnivale Day" where all female staff and visitors go topless
    * Sign a letter stating that the works of Pauly Shore, particularly Bio-Dome, are among the Best.Movies.Ever
    * Reroute the Iowa River further east so that there is less chance of flooding
    * Sign a letter stating that people who oppose the project are doodyheads

    No word yet on whether or not the council will agree to these demands.

    Now here's the thing. I actually am not opposed to the project. It's a cool idea - no, it's a great idea. It's a bold, unique vision, and if it ever opened, I know we would go. I could see us going about as frequently as we attend the Children's Museum, which is 4-5 times a year. Indeed, I think that, all things being equal, if it opened, it would be a rousing success.

    The arguments against the project seem to be based primarily on the inital visceral reaction some folks have to the concept. I have seen more virulent fact-challenged rants related to this project than to any other Iowa issue. Innocuous letters to the editor that dare to suggest the project might not be a bad idea spark lengthy diatribes criticizing the letter writer's intelligence and motives.

    But visceral reaction aside, the arguments against fall into two main categories. First, that the place wouldn't be successful. They argue that there wouldn't be enough traffic to keep the Rain Forest open. People who think this obviously never worked a summer shift in a restaurant on First Avenue. It's one of the busiest stretches of one of the busiest highways in the world. The people would come. Oh yes Ray, the people would come.

    The other argument is that it is a waste of taxpayer money. The flip argument against that is that if you support Bush, or you support the war in Iraq, you have permanently forfeited your right to ever complain about wasteful federal spending.

    Screw that. It's not a flip answer. If you support Bush, or if you support the war in Iraq, you have permanently forfeited your right to ever complain about wasteful federal spending. Hell, the CPA lost $8 billion in U.S. cash and you don't hear a peep about that from the anti-Rain Forest folks. The Iraq war costs over $9 million dollars an hour. The total project cost is currently slated at $180 million. In other words, the total cost of the project could be funded with what we spend in less than a day in Iraq. So if the money is the thing, and you support Bush and the war, complain about that for awhile and maybe you'll get your right to gripe about wasteful federal spending back. Otherwise, shut the fuck up.

    And for those of you who didn't vote for Bush, and don't support the war, and still worry about wasteful spending, think about this. This is a project designed to appeal to a wide base. It is both educational, scientific, and cultural in nature. Funding this project would create a unique resource available to many, many people. Isn't this exactly the sort of project that should have federal funding? Hell, isn't this exactly the sort of project that should be more or less completely funded by the feds? If this isn't, what would be?

    And despite having said all that, I now find that I can't support the project as it currently stands.

    Do you see that wiggle room I put up there, that thing about all things being equal? It's there for a reason.

    See, all things are not equal. The leadership of this project couldn't sell ice water in hell. I have no faith in the management team of this project to do things right. It has been completely mismanged from the get go, and not only has it not gotten better as time has gone on, it has gotten worse. Take that demand letter they sent to the Coralville city council. If I was a member of the Coralville city council, even being generally in favor of the project as I am, I would tell them to go to hell. (Where, as I mentioned, they would fail in their endeavor to sell ice water.) It is a childish, amatuerish stunt, and it is not the first, though it is definitely the biggest to date. Had they passed the project on to people capable enough to see the thing through, I would still be with them. But they haven't, and I'm not.

    So if you want to rant about project leadership, I'll join you. If you want to rant about the other stuff, well, count me out.

    Headlines We Love To See

    Cyclones Blow Chance To Win Big 12 North - it was attached to this story. The headline was on the main Yahoo NCAA Football page, though it isn't there now. Pity.

    Poker Friends, Unite!

    I've started playing for cash at Full Tilt. I'm doing pretty well - I haven't made money, but I haven't lost any either. I am still at about the same level I was when I first opened an account. Oh I've gotten close to going bust, but I've built it back up again. So I'm happy with that.

    Further, when I first put the cash down, I played a lot of $24-$2 tourneys. Now these payout pretty well, but it's also a lot tougher to cash out. Indeed, I never made the money in any of the tourneys. So I switched to playing $5-$.50 Sit and Gos. These are nine or eighteen player mini-tourneys. They run constantly, and start whenever nine (or eighteen) players sit down at a table. One launches every 20 seconds or so. Three places are paid on a nine player Sit and Go - $22.50 for first, $13.50 for second, $9.00 for third. Four places are paid on an 18 player Sit and Go - $36 for first, $27 for second, $18 for third, and $9 for fourth. As a result, it is a lot easier to finish in the money - all you have to do is beat six (or fourteen) other people. Not only do I finish in the money more than half the time, I win probably 15% of the Sit and Gos I enter.

    Here's my question. The other day, there were four of us left in a nine player game. I was short stack with around 2,000 chips left. The third place player had slightly more, about 2,200. I get dealt K-Q suited (Diamonds). The blinds are 80-160 and I am in the Big Blind. First player to act folds, second player calls, small blind (the guy with 2,200) calls, and I raise it three times the Big Blind, a raise of 480 to 640 all together. The first guy to act folds, the small blind takes a few moments but eventually calls. So, at this point, I have over a quarter of my chips in the pot. He's in the same boat.

    The flop comes down Ad-7d-3c. He bets the blind, 160. I go all in. He doesn't hesitate a moment to call. Not one moment. I show my K-Q, he shows A-J. I catch neither a diamond, a K, or a Q, and I am out.

    Here's where I get wondering. Why call my bet? Sure, you've got top pair. Sure, you've got a decent kicker. But if it were me, I would be thinking "he got a set" or "he hit two pair". A raise of approximately 1,200 chips in that place, a raise that puts me all in but 200 or so chips, would make me fold.

    I work hard to cultivate a tight table image. I don't run a lot of high chip bluffs. Most of my bluff plays are small, two or three times the pot after a flop if I am in position and no one else has bet. And indeed, I had a decent draw on this hand. And maybe that tightness is why I would never dream of calling a bet like I made, at least not with just top pair.

    Now, am I just smarting because I got beat on the hand? Or am I right in thinking this was an idiotic call on the part of the guy who called me?

    Linkage Update Update

    Added the wonderful Major League Baseball Trade Rumors blog to the side roll.

    Friday, November 18, 2005

    Linkage Update

    Added firedoglake to the links. Great site - your one-stop shop for the Plame investigation.

    Doughboy Dance Party

    Go Doughboy! Go Doughboy! It's your birthday! Go Doughboy!

    (Make your own dancing Doughboy here. Link courtesy of The Poor Man. Offer void in Wisconsin.)

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    The Thing Is

    For, or, say 7-8 months of the year, my job is a 8:15 to 4:30 thing. I can usually fill my days up, but I have plenty of time for writing and reading and other good stuff.

    But for the remaining 4-5 months, my job is nuts. Case in point – last Friday night at – sorry, last Saturday morning at 2:00 am I was sitting at my kitchen table with my laptop working on stuff that had to be completed in a few more hours. And that was the prelude to my weekend.

    Fortunately, that period ended today. Oh yeah, I have another assignment. But it’s not a major assignment, and my spare time at work will increase exponentially. So, expect more posts in the near future.

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    I See How It Is

    Pictures of cute toddler? Tons of comments. Post about cute toddler tossing his cookies (literally - barfed oreos are not pretty)? One comment, courtesy of the ever-wonderful Alice.

    Fair weather commenters, all of ya...

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    So Far This Morning

    I've cleaned up toddler puke and cat puke. If the dog ralphs, the trifecta pays off at 43-1. Sadly, I didn't purchase a ticket, but I wanted to keep those of you who did informed.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    A Quick Interlude

    Interrupting my work-related posting lull to say that this? Is the


    three-year old