Jan
23
2009
0

Science Fair

Tuesday Mrs Muttrox told me that she have volunteered me to be in the Science Fair. “Come up with something sciency”. I was unclear exactly what was going on. But the kindergarten boy and I had done hovercraft once, so I went with that. This is not exactly high tech science. You cut a hole in the top of a shoebox lid, aim a blowdryer through the hole and you have yourself a hovercraft. It’s pretty neat.

I arrived early to set up. I hit the first roadblock. Apparently this was not a science demonstration by the parents, but a science demonstration for the children. The boy wasn’t even arriving for another hour. Every table around me had trifold cardboard backstops with elaborate explanations of how their experiment worked. I had a kinetic art marble contraption on one side, a potato battery on the other, and a rock tumbler behind me. I had a shoebox lid and a blow dryer. I foresaw the next two hours of humiliation for the overwhelming lameness of the exhibit. I called home and told Mrs Muttrox, “You owe me for this!”

Strangely enough, it turned out fine. Most kids could care less about a potato with some wires in them. Giving them the blowdryer to play with making something actually float? Big winner.

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Jan
22
2009
0

Yes we Did, links version

Cuz is right, electing Obama is only a start. But what a start it is!
Day One: Reduce corruption.
Day Two: Close secret prisons and detention camps.
What will Day Three bring?

Satellite imagery of crowd

America’s new robots.txt file

Presidential approval ratings since 1946.

Classic Onion Headline

Headline of the Day

GTFO!

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Jan
20
2009
1

Yes we did!

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Jan
18
2009
1

NFL Predictions

I’m 1-7 so far in the playoffs. Sports Guy matched me last round, here’s his funny reaction. I don’t much care about either of these games or feel strongly about either of them. But what the heck. I’m masochistic like that.

NFC (Cardinals v Eagles): I still don’t believe in the Cardinals. But the Eagles suck also. They shouldn’t have beat the Giants, they haven’t shown anything in a few games. It kills me, but I’m going with Arizona.

AFC (Ravens v Steelers): I like the Ravens. I love their defense, I think they are really coached and capable of beating anyone any given Sunday. But the Steelers have looked great, they look like the only legitimate team left. I hope the Ravens win, but I’m going with the Steelers. Ah, what the heck. I’ll predict the Ravens.

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Jan
18
2009
1

Poker Update (partial)

21 players. $25 buy-in. Very strict house rules. Looks like we’re playing real poker tonight folks! I’ll stick to the notable hands.

I get A-J. I raise the 50-100 blinds up to 300. Someone else raises it another 500. Two more people call. I have decent pot odds with a decent hand, I call also. The flop is K-K-10. Three people bet 500 to me. Hmm. I think someone must have a king. So the only winner for me is a Queen which would give me the straight. Four outs, two cards left, that’s somewhere around 18% odds. 500 into a 4500+ pot… I think I’m supposed to do it. But I don’t trust the pot odds, so I fold. The turn is (of course) a Queen. I let out a huge swear. One player goes all in, the other two call him. The river is another Queen. The remaining two players go all-in with the little they have left. Everyone turns over their cards. The two big stacks both had K-10, for full houses of Kings over Queens. The smaller all-in turns over a pair of pocket Queens for a monster four-of-a-kind! He becomes unquestioned king of the table for the next few hours. I suddenly feel very lucky I folded as early as I did.

It’s a loose night. It’s very hard to get people to fold. Our table has two or three people who will call any pre-flop bet, and will casually bet most of their money with absolutely nothing. My philosophy is when they are loose, you should be tight. I don’t play many hands. The hands I do play I often steal pots on.

There are 4 minutes left for rebuys. I have about 2,200 to an average stack of 3,000 or so. I decide to play super-aggressive. I raise 500 pre-flop with K-6, another 500 post-flop, then he folds. The same thing next hand, I end up making 1,500 profit when a 9 pairs up. With buy-ins over, I have about 4,000. Nice. There have been 12 buy-ins, so there are 33 total stacks out there. I have roughly the average stack.

Now blinds have gotten up to 200-400. With A-4 suited I raise the blinds on a semi-bluff to 1,150. (I like to vary the 3x bet by just a little here and there, it sows confusion.) The big stack (4-of-a-kind guy) raises another 2,000 over that. I think he’s full of it, but with only 3,500 left reluctantly fold. I would have been effectively all-in, I’m not ready to risk the night on my read of him.

Twenty minutes later I get 4-4. I raise to 1,200. Again, he raises another 2,000. I think he remembers that other hand and is just trying to bully me with the big stack. And even if he has two big cards I’m a coin flip. I instantly call (hoping my insta-call will intimidate him into a fold). The flop is 4-x-x, giving me my trips. That’s a nice break for me! I go all in, his pot odds make him call. He turns over K-Q suited, I double up through him. I am suddenly a strong second place in chips at our table.

(He’s one of those loose players. K-Q suited is a fine hand to start with. It’s a fine hand to raise pre-flop. But to come over the top with a re-raise? These guys don’t know semi-bluff, they just figure they have something half-decent, they’re going to go all the way and see what happens.)

Break is called. It’s 12:10. I call home to see if the babysitter can stay later. She can’t. Oh no! What do I do? Can I pay her, lock up the house and come back? It’s only two blocks away, what can happen in the early hours of Sunday morning to a locked house in a safe neighborhood? It takes me a few minutes to realize how stupid I’m being. I can’t leave three young children alone in the house. I reluctantly turn my chips over to a proxy friend and come home.

So here’s the situation as I left. Ten players left. Top seven finish in the money, the top three get really good payoffs. The average stack is somewhere around 8,000. I have 12,000. We’ve just combined into one table. The proxy I picked is a conservative player. Since there are ten people, some of them are very loose players, and some of them are very very drunk*, I figure if he just plays premium hands and nothing else we should finish in the money. I’ll keep you posted with an update as soon as I know.

* There’s drinking to have a little more fun while playing, and there’s just out and drunken idiocy. Dude, you’re fifty years old. You’re trading shots back and forth like liquor’s going out of style. When I tell you it’s 400 to you, stop replying with “What’s the bet?” I just told you. Stop asking who’s in, look and see who has cards. Stop taking two full minutes to decide and fold 10-4, and yes I know what you have because you hold your cards up so I can see them and I already told you once I can see them so I’m not telling you again. The bet is 400, the same as it’s been the last six hands. Stop trying to raise 200. Stop asking me who bet what when the chips are right in front of them. Just… just stop.

Quality of Hands: One low pair in four hours. But plenty of A-J, A-10, K-10, K-Q etc. I had A-K once but everyone folded my pre-flop raise. I think I was neither lucky nor unlucky with starting cards.

Tonight: ????

Update: We came in fourth place for $79. The drunken wrecks apparently self-destructed soon after I left. I’m happy with fourth place. How should I split the pot with my replacement? 50-50? Should he take it all because he was a full replacement for me with no preconditions? Do I get it all because it was still “my” stack? I offered to refund his entry fee of $25. That feels about right to me. Getting from 10th to 4th with an above average stack and a few seriously inebriated players at the table deserves something, but not too much. For purposes of tracking my wins and losses I’m going to count the full $79.

Tonight: $54
Running Total: $529

Written by in: Default |
Jan
17
2009
0

Links o’ Interest

Ninja cat does it the hard way

The Princess Bride continues to impress. Trivia about The Princess Bride

Heavy Metal bandname flowchart

Safe sex fail

World’s worst firemen

Terrible pre-med student

I’m an idiot

Now that is irony

Winter Valentine

Most embarrassing book

How to steal a car with 3 drink cans

Russian knife roulette fail

Some sweatshop perspective. Over the last ten years I’ve shifted from the liberal “Sweatshops are evil” viewpoint all the way over to the economics “Sweatshops are awesome” perspective.

Africa’s size in perspective

How studying Islam led to atheism

Map of the Bush years

The MIT Blackjack’s team view of the financial crisis

Debt-to-GDP Ratio

Slow-motion video of a water drop falling into sand

So much for the 4th Amendment.

Written by in: Default |
Jan
17
2009
0

Confrontation at the Airport

Mrs. Muttrox is away for the weekend. The family drove to the airport to drop her off. Arriving there, I pulled alongside the curb near a walkway to let out Mrs. Muttrox. She said goodbye to the children. We both got out, exchanged hugs and kisses and well wishes. She walked to her terminal and I got back in the car.

As I got ready to pull out I saw one of the bicycle police coming down the curb. I waited for him to pass so I could pull out, giving him a little nod as he passed. To my surprise he came over to my car and started yelling at me.

“There’s not an airport in the world that you can do this at! You are parked in front of a yellow line! There is a sign in front of you and a sign in back of you that say active loading only! Why do you think you can just sit here waiting to pick someone up!?”
“What?”
“This is an active loading zone only, you cannot wait for your passenger!”
“I’m very sorry, I thought dropping someone off meant the same as active loading. It doesn’t?”
“You were not dropping someone off, you were waiting!”
“I just dropped my wife off ten seconds ago. She just walked into the terminal.”
“I have this book of tickets and it isn’t for fun. This is against the law, you did not drop someone off!”
“I just did!” (I’m starting to get worked up) “I just pulled up and dropped her off and now I’m leaving!”
The policeman yells to himself about people or something and walks to the back of the van. I am getting ready to point out that (a) I was outside of the van and pickups don’t do that (b) he can call the airline and see her ticket (c) he can ask my kids in the back of the van why we came to the airport (d) he can call Mrs. Muttrox’s phone and ask her, etc, but he keeps on going and walks down the line yelling to himself.

I pull out. Or rather try to, between the stress of arguing with the cop and the kids yelling at me wanting to know if I’m going to jail I forget to release the parking brake and can’t figure out why I’m not moving for a good fifteen seconds, during which I am more stressed because I am convinced the cop is going to see me sitting there and come back for Round 2.

I love the airport.

Written by in: Default |
Jan
14
2009
1

Selling the Old Car

After buying my new car, I put the old one up for sale. It took me five months to sell it. This is a car in good shape with extremely low mileage. But the buyers just aren’t there. I ended up selling it for a good thousand bucks below what I think it’s worth. When the buyers offered the price I checked with Mrs. Muttrox. Before I could even open my mouth she said, “Take the offer. Whatever it is, take it.” She was right, after five months it was time to just get rid of it.

But there’s good news. We’re blowing the money on a new hot tub. Oh, that’s gonna be so awesome!

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