October, 2007:

TV Experience Just Got Better

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In this post, I mentioned that I ordered a video sender from X10. The device was priced well, arrived quickly, is nicely packaged, and probably works as well as they describe it to. So, I have no complaints about X10 as a company, or this specific product. Well, the one semi-complaint about them is that I agreed to sign up for their email newsletter, and they send one every day, and it’s a giant file, with lots of image links, etc. I haven’t unsubscribed yet, but I’m close…

On to the device itself. Like I said, it likely performs exactly as described. Unfortunately, my setup was not conducive to the limitations of space and intervening walls, floors and stuff. In addition, given that the device is 2.4Ghz, it also could have been suffering from interference from my WiFi setup, but I did try all four independent channels on the X10.

My new TV is in the bedroom, and the DirecTivo (which is what I wanted to broadcast from) is downstairs, diagonally opposite the bedroom. So, the signal needed to travel the length of my house (diagonally), and through one floor and at least two walls, possibly a closed door as well, etc.

With a lot of jiggling, positioning, running around, etc., on rare occasions, I could get an acceptable picture. There was a hint of snow, but not that bad. The audio was passable, and had annoying hisses. If Lois moved her leg in the bed (no, I’m not exaggerating!), then the snow worsened, and the hissing got really bad. She had to immediately reposition, in order to get the picture back. Clearly, this was not going to work long term.

If either of us walked in the path of the beam, the picture went bananas…

Just before we left for Zope this past trip, I ordered the following device from Amazon.com. I had it shipped directly to Zope, so that I would have it ready when we got back last night. I was nervous, because the device costs more than twice what the X10 did. Obviously, I can afford it, but I hate buying things that just don’t work.

Anyway, even though my cordless phone system (a Uniden) is 5.8Ghz, this new RF-Link device works flawlessly. The picture and sound are as good as I’d like. We can break the beam with our bodies and the picture and sound are still good (if slightly affected), and the IR extender is working perfectly as well. Whew!

Ironically, I have a good use for the X10 device, so it won’t go to waste, but it won’t get the yeoman’s duty that I was expecting it to.

Finally Back on Track in Big Poker Tourney

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I’ve had a bit of a dry spell in the big one, including some very near cashes. Tonight felt like it was going to be another one of just missing the money, barely.

Thankfully, this one has a happier ending (no surprise, given the title, right?). 😉

Here is a log of my notes, nothing else needs to be added.

**************************************************

937 entrants, top 100 paid

<sarcasm>Great start!</sarcasm>

My best hand in the first 10 has been K6. I have had 2-3o
twice, 2-5o twice, 4-8o, etc. Only down 25 chips, so it’s
not a big deal yet…

Just called a small raise from the big blind with A9o (my
best hand by far!). Flop was bad, so I folded to the raise.
He showed, and had KK. Next hand he raises again, I folded my
A6o in the small blind. He shows AA. Still only down 55 chips, so nothing real to report yet.

880 left, in 358th
863 left, in 253rd

Wow, some people are amazingly stupid. Aggression is one
thing, and in general, very powerful. That said, it can
easily cross the line into complete stupidity, and I just
watched someone cross that line multiple times, after he had
a reasonable stack. I guess he thought his early luck had to
hold up, no matter what. He’s now gone…

Made it past the first break 🙂

687 left, in 364th
505 left, in 363rd
478 left, in 154th
409 left, in 150th

Made it past the second break 🙂

321 left, in 200th

Starting to slide, just because of the blinds. Haven’t
played a single hand in a while, so it’s not that I’m
“losing” any hands. This can’t last long, one way or
another…

233 left, in 212th
203 left, in 132nd
193 left, in 149th
164 left, in 149th
159 left, in 140th

Made it past the third break 🙂

143 left, in 134th
137 left, in 134th
129 left, in 117th
123 left, in 115th
120 left, in 115th
117 left, in 114th
114 left, in 99th

I won with ATs against KK. A came on the turn, thankfully.
The very next hand, I had AK in early position. I folded.
The big blind went all-in with A9o. Thank goodness I folded,
as the flop came A9X. Whew.

113 left, in 106th (because of the blinds and antes)
108 left, in 102nd (going to be very close!)

All-in with ATh. We’ll see if anyone calls…
NOPE! Thank goodness! 🙂

106 left, in 91st
105 left, in 97th
104 left, in 96th
103 left, in 94th
102 left, in 94th
101 left, in 94th

ONE MORE TO GO!

MADE IT!!! It’s been a long while since I’ve cashed in the
Big One. Whew! Still short stacked, but I can relax now…

99 left, in 91st
91 left, in 89th
86 left, in 82nd
84 left, in 80th

Moved up one more level in the money!

Now out, in 79th!

Won my entry last Saturday. Got back $400 tonight. Sweet!

The Wailin’ Jennys CDs

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After seeing The Wailin’ Jennys perform last Saturday night at Tarrytown Music Hall, I informed you all that I’d be buying their CDs. I ordered the two full-length CDs from Amazon.com on Monday. Their current one is Firecracker, and the older one is 40 Days. I paid $13.99 for each, but the links I just posted show them at $17.98, so you might prefer to search around for a better price.

That said, I love Amazon.com. The vast majority of things that I buy online are from Amazon.com, Buy.com and eCost.com. In addition to the Jennys CDs, I purchased the latest Rascal Flatts CD (Still Feels Good) and Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby CD (Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby).

I struggled (for the first time) whether to pay for expedited shipping, because I wanted to play the Jenny’s CDs for my friends who we are visiting with this weekend. In the end, I decided that it could wait, and I opted for the free shipping. The site estimated that it would ship on October 8th (next Monday). I got the CDs today. That’s 3 days after I ordered them, with free shipping. Did I mention that I love Amazon.com? Well, if I didn’t, then let me say so now: I love Amazon.com! 🙂

On to the CDs. I just listened to both of them. Since the Jennys played for nearly two hours on Saturday, they covered the majority of both of these CDs, so many of the songs were already familiar. The CDs are luscious and gorgeous, as was their live performance. Just like I previously reported, these are the ultimate stress busters.

The only thing from that previous post that I would like to amend is my analysis of One Voice as sung by the Jennys and Angel Band. I reported that I was more used to the Angel Band version, but that I would likely grow to prefer the Jennys version. Now I’m not so sure. The Jennys version is gorgeous, without a single thing to complain about. In fact, it’s 34 seconds longer than the Angel Band’s version, and my only complaint about the Angel Band version is that it’s too short.

Having just listened to both versions 4 times each, I am still leaning (ever so slightly) to the Angel Band version. They choose to sing the lyrics with more power. The Jennys almost whisper the song (stunningly so, it’s not a complaint), and I like the power. Angel Band also sings it ever so slightly more up-tempo (which I think largely accounts for the 34 second differential), and that’s sort-of nice too. So, two great versions to pick from, depending on your mood. 😉

All that said, I’d pay some good money to hear Girlyman do a version. I have little doubt that I’d prefer it instantly. I hope to find out one day! 🙂

Don’t forget, you can listen to Girlyman for free here. 🙂

Welcome WordPress 2.3

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The only plugin that I had installed which supposedly wasn’t compatible with 2.3 was Google Sitemaps Generator. There was a newer version available, which was compatible. So, I just took the plunge and upgraded. Smooth as silk.

This is now the first post that has any tags associated with it. 🙂

September 2007 Poker Update

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So, the streak had to end at some point, and it turns out, that September 2007 was that time. No complaints (at least not that I’m willing to voice publicly). 😉

At one point during the month, I quoted an ancient line to Lois: “If I didn’t have bad luck, I would have no luck at all!”. Seriously, I can’t even count the number of bad river beats I took this month. Like I said previously, that’s actually a good thing. If you get your money in with the best of it, and someone draws out, they are lucky, but playing incorrectly (most of the time).

All that said, it was hardly a horrible month, so my play continues to be relatively successful. Grand total for the month is down $130.69. Nothing earth shaking, and hardly a meaningful percentage of my current account balance. In other words, it isn’t affecting my play in the least, which is a good thing.

In fact, while the “cash” is down, I have a $215 credit toward any future tournament (which I’ll likely use to play in the weekly big one this coming Sunday), so I am actually up this month, though unless I cash in that tournament, I will never see that phantom profit.

Speaking of which, I’ve done well in qualifiers lately. I won an entry to the big one yesterday on Friday. Then on Saturday, I won another entry (which is the $215 credit I mention above). I have also won a bunch of seats into the nightly 7pm Omaha Hi-Lo that I like so much.

Finishing up, I played in the big one last night. I couldn’t get people to play with me when I had big hands, until one did, and he got very lucky on me. I’ll conclude with my notes from the tourney, but you can skip them if you don’t care, since I have nothing else to add after them…

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910 entrants, top 100 paid

Crazy start. First hand, I’m dealt KK under the gun (UTG). A
“pot” raise, given that the blinds are just 5-10, would only
be 35 chips, with 9 people to act behind me! So, I raise to
a whopping 55. Everyone folds, and I’m ahead 15 chips.

I then fold every hand (10 in a row), and I’m back to even
with 2500 chips. Then, I’m UTG again, and I get AA. Now, I
might be willing to raise less, but I think it might look
smelly, so I raise to 55 again. Again, everyone folds, so
I’m up 15 chips again. Then I fold the two times I’m in the
blinds, so I’m back to even.

866 left, in 386th
857 left, in 278th (finally won a hand with JJ)
795 left, in 335th

Made it to the first break 😉

688 left, in 353rd (won another hand with JJ)
633 left, in 315th

Again, KK UTG. Raise, everyone folds…

597 left, in 295th

TT UTG. Raise, everyone folds. This one, I’m happy about 🙂

QQ in middle position. Raise, everyone folds. Not happy
about that, but I have a feeling that when I’m finally
called on one of these, I will be beat, so I’m not going to
complain. At least the blinds are rising, and I’m winning a
drop more with these hands than in the beginning…

544 left, in 259th

Well, I was 100% correct. I raise with QQ, I get an all-in
to my immediate left. I have more chips than him, so I’m not
at risk. Everyone folds, I call. He has 77, so I’m crushing
him. A 7 comes on the flop, so I’m way behind. However, to
tease me, 2 clubs come on the flop, and I have the Q of
clubs. Then a club comes on the turn, so now a club on the
river, and I would win. No club, and I have only 1400 chips
left.

Next hand, I am the big blind. I have K6 of clubs. One guy
raises. I realize he has a better hand, but I’ve watched
people in this type of position before, and the ones that
bet like idiots, win their fair share, and then I’d be right
back in it. Otherwise, I’d be out, and that would be fine
too.

So, I pushed all-in. He called. He had AJo. I wasn’t
crushed, but was behind. An A came on the flop (what a
surprise), so I am out in 479th.

None of the people that played poorly at my table (but had a lot of chips!) made the money. In other words, I didn’t underestimate their abilities, I just got unlucky…