Monday, October 31, 2005

How much is my blog worth?






Wow, more than $0.02 - I was surprised.

You can do the math for yours too. To put it in perspective WWdN is worth $1,639,988.70 and CardSquad is worth $127,021.50.

No, I'm not selling. Don't ask. *laughs*


Offcourt Dress code for the NBA?

Some days the media really confuses me. I started by reading this article over on BBC which talks about how Hip-hop in the NBA is being outlawed. Players aren't going to be able to wear what they want as the NBA has laid down the law;
Banned under the new code are headphones, chains, shorts, sleeveless shirts, indoor sunglasses, T-shirts and jerseys and headwear such as baseball caps.
Sounds like hell. However, the write up on the new policy has a different story. If your an NBA player, and your on league business, you now have a dress code - business casual. Sounds familiar to the many codes that I've had to deal with while on the job.

What really got me, though, was when I read the BBC article it came off as "the players can't wear what they want ever" and it's really "when on the job, I'm required to". For the joy of playing the game and getting the salary that goes with it, it does seem a small thing to require.

Says the guy who chased down a loophole in his company policy so he didn't have to wear a tie. Good luck guys. Just remember, next we're stopping the MLB from chewing anything while being video taped.

Friday, October 28, 2005

One small step ....

Last year I set out to be able to run a mile. For me, this was no small feat. I have been a sprinter my entire life. The 90 feet from first to second was normal and a 100 yard dash was a big run. Beyond that, I couldn't do it. Or so I thought.

Last year I got stubborn and started running, wanting to get to a mile. I promised myself a hot fudge sunday for when I made it. And out I went. It took two months, and by the time I did it the sunday was furthest from my mind. Instead, the family went out to dinner.

This year, I kept going, doing my one mile and reaching for more. It's been challenging, I've gotten used to the mile and plateaued. Last night I finally moved beyond it, to 1.5 miles. Elated would be a good word, followed by gasping-for-breath. During my recovery all I could hear was the dialog between Luke and Yoda when Luke couldn't lift his X-Wing out of the muck of Dagobah...
LUKE: I don't...I don't believe it.
YODA: That is why you fail.
I believe, now. Here's to doing 2 miles before I have to hang up the running shoes for the season.

mini-me?

The past few weeks my older kids have gotten hooked on Lego Star Wars on the Xbox. Hooked means, for the first time, they want to play daily and are trying to solve the missions as best they can.

The most addicted has been my son. He's still figuring out the controller (not bad for a 3 year old) and has a hard time doing more than one thing at a time (like jumping and controlling where he lands). So often my wife or I will sub in to help him get past certain sections. I walked into this conversation yesterday...

Wife: He's just like you...
Me: Oh?
Wife: I've been using the controller, but he's been telling me what to do - even how to solve the puzzles!
Me: That sounds familiar *bratty smile*
Wife: *dirty look*

Ack. There's two of us! It was bad enough when I lost control of Saturday morning cartoons to the kids, now I have to share the Xbox! Where will it end!? *laughs*

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Supporting the Troops

I've been saying it for years, and its nice to see someone else (in this case WWdN) echo it;
Personally, I don't think one needs to support the president or the war to support the soldiers, but this is a favorite talking point from the RNC.
I'm unsure why this is such a confusing point. You can support the men and women who defend our country, who are asked to die so we can complain about morning traffic and overly hot coffee, without agreeing with the war or the President's policies.

The two are separate - think of it this way, do you blame Microsoft's programmers for the bugs or do you blame Microsoft? You can the utmost respect for an employee of Microsoft without having that same feeling toward the company.

It's no different with our troops. You can support their service, no matter where they are told to go, and still disagree with why they are there.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rules Lawyering...

There are times I really wonder about the state of our Government. Don't worry, no political ranting in this one. The NYTimes (free reg required) has an article up on how a Cease and Desist letter was sent to The Onion to have them stop using the presidential seal.

What interested me was the wording:
Citing the United States Code, Mr. Dixton wrote that the seal "is not to be used in connection with commercial ventures or products in any way that suggests presidential support or endorsement."
Now, last I looked, The Onion wasn't "supporting or endorsing" anyone - sounds a little contrary to the idea of satire to me. So, what was the real purpose here? Got me.

Onion, if your reading, use Paint to flip the image 180 and slap it back up there. It's no longer the Presidential Seal at that point, right? *evil grin*

Back to Action!

Last night I sat down at a 300 free-money SnG, 1 table (9 players) game at PokerStars. Figured I'd try to apply some of the things I learned at the Blogger Tournament and get back into the swing of things (lately I've been playing F.E.A.R. and GuildWars - the horror!).

For those that haven't played at PokerStars free-money tournaments - the 300 is what everyone can afford on day 1 of their PokerStars play. Play is generally ... well ... silly at times. I've been at tables that have imploded on the first hand dealt as 7 out of 9 players went all in pre-flop. Only the top 3 places are in the play-money. I tend to play the 300 level to wake-up when I've been quiet in the poker world.

So I sit down and get dealt two low suited cards. I fold, I'm not chasing anything from this position - learned that lesson. Flop came down, and three people went all in. One won, we're down to 7. 10 minutes later another 3 go all in, and 2 more are taken out. Down to 5.

Pretty quickly we're down to 4 as another player goes all-in against our aggressive chip leader. He picked a bad time. The chip-leader and the player in front of me start beating on each other, and the other player is now sitting-out (actually, he's been sitting out since he tripled up on the first hand *sigh*).

Eventually the aggressive player is aced, going all in (now that he's short stacked) with his 7-5 offsuit against the pocket 4s of the more conservative player. That leaves us with 3. The new chip leader eats up the tripled-up-sitting-out player pretty quickly leaving me in heads up.

Funny, at this point I've got 10% of his chips. Why is that funny? I tend to play well out of this position! We battle it back and forth for awhile, trading chips, until I sucker him into a hand...

I had 9-8 suited, the flop comes down 9-8-4. I check, he checks. Turn is another 9. Bells go off, I check again. He bets, high. I raise, he puts me all-in. I almost typed "Thank you", as he flipped over his pocket Queens. Ut-oh. Luckily, the river wasn't a queen and I doubled-up. That put us about even, with him a little up.

We traded chips for awhile again, with the larger pots falling my way. I double up again (on a set of 9s no less!) later on to put him where I was to start, and finished him off a hand later.

Next, back to the 2k tournaments!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Lessons learned...

It's good, after you get done beating yourself up for not folding, to review the game. I placed in the top 25% of the tournament, not bad for my first attempt at one. I played well, up until that last hand.

I learned quickly the way the table played and adjusted, not losing my cool or going on tilt over badly played hands - recovering and moving forward. My luck held, and I was able to double up and get back into things.

Everything that will make me a better player. Most importantly, I realize that you must keep the ultimate goal in mind at all times and not succumb to "this is the best I've gotten recently" and give up analyzing your position - even if you will "go down in chips" while you figure out a new table.

Not bad for a first attempt. I look forward to next year!

Pokerstars Blogger Tournament - Hour Two

Blinds started out at 75/150. Achieved my first goal, I have lasted into the 50th percentile. Now to see if I can score some swag. Would help to know where the pay outs were.

I just doubled up, which sounds good until I say I need to do it again - and while trying to finish this sentence end up going all in with pocket 5s against big slick and pull it off. That puts me back into ok position, maybe I do have a chance! And don't let me complain about bad luck after those two double-ups. A-Q vs J-10, and 5-5 vs A-K.

Ick. Finally got table bounced, took almost two hours but it's happened. Into a brave new unknown I go! 379 players left at this point. And half the table here is in the double digits - lol - I barely have 2k.

Finished 360th.

My KJ diamonds vs his AK clubs. Yup, he picked up the aces. Oh well, I still had fun. Prizes were only for the top 100 players. There's always next year!

Pokerstars Blogger Tournament - Hour One

It's 20 minutes before the start of the blogger tournament. I just got done explaining how unusual this tournament is to my 5 yo.

"How do you win Daddy?"
"Well, aside from the 1st place winner, I have no idea."

Sums it up. I'm curious to see how things play out. An odd start to my tournament career. I wasn't able to get out to the casino this year for a tournament, not enough vacation days, so this'll be the only one I'm in.

And we start with 1471 players.

I nearly jumped when the seats were assigned, no, no one famous (except for Joanne from the CardSquad blog), just that it was starting. It wasn't until I had a seat that I felt that tinge of excitement. Up until then, it was always "a few weeks away".

Won my first hand, 230 chips, with pocket 10s. Man, I've gotta relax. Been trading chips with players at the table for awhile now. The level of play is very different compared to what I've been playing. It's going to be an interesting evening.

Took 45 minutes before there were any kills at our table, then we lost two of the original quickly. Lost three total before the first break.

There are 1059 players left. I'm ranked 538 in chips.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Corroboration! See!

One of the problems I always encounter with my friends and playing online is the "But these idiots drive me nutz". Normally they are referring to the people who go all-in on the first hand with cards you'd likely muck without consideration and go on to draw out the stronger hands. This is especially true with the lower levels of the free-money games as players can 'afford' to try to double (triple, quad) -up and idle into the money - because if they lose the game will ante up more for them.

Unfortunately, this is not the only place you find these kinds of loose-aggressive players and learning to play against them is important. Sadly, my words just echo across the table of my monthly tournament. So, go read over on CardSquad: "Reader Question - Playing Against the Maniacs".
Unfortunately, no matter what levels you play, you are going to find these maniacs. They are at the $100-$500 events almost as often as they are at the $1-$10 events, so saving up to deposit more of a bankroll is not going to help this particular problem. Many people have a misconception that the higher the level, the better the players are – it usually isn’t true. The ironic thing is, no matter how frustrating they may be, these are the types of players you actually do want sitting across the felt from you.
See. Its not just me. Now, go find a real excuse before our next game!

I am Elrond?!

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?*chuckling* Head on over to TK481 to try this yourself, but here are my results...

A stern yet benevolent organizer who often knows best, your wits are keenly fixed on aiding efforts you deem worthy.

"Now at this last we must take a hard road, a road unforseen. There lies our hope, if hope it be. To walk into peril to Mordor."


I didn't expect this one to pop out!

Don't blame me for this one, WWdN started it!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

F.E.A.R. - First Impressions

Short version, I'm hooked. Now onto the details...

Odds are, if you're into PC games, you've heard of FEAR, but if not, here's the blurb from the website:
F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) is a unique fusion of stylized first person combat and supernatural suspense in which you are an elite soldier trained to deal with situations others can not even imagine. Be the hero in your own spine-tingling epic of action, tension, and terror and discover the true meaning of fear.
Reads like many blurbs, but for once, it has been accurate. I got in my first hour of gaming last night doing FEAR's single player missions. This is what I had expected Quake 3 to be - scary, not from the "look we removed a wall and an imp is behind it" but from the "I swear I saw someone out here!" or "WTF WAS THAT?!". I was freaked out before I hit the first combat.

And then I got really hooked. I walked into a warehouse area where I ran into my first two baddies. The rectangular room had a series of pallets with space between them. My two foes split up, one heading to my left, the other right. Okay, cool. Then the one on my left opened up with his machine gun pinning me behind cover - then lobbed a grenade. A little more advanced than what I've seen AIs do in the past, but wait! Then his friend rushed into me - he was moving under the cover fire of the other guy!

I died. Reloaded, and got my revenge. I'm hooked.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Lets talk Games!

Yes, I do still play. Got the external soundcard (re-re-re-re-)installed last night. On my laptop I use a SB Audigy NX and a set of Zalman headphones for gaming, and kicked up GuildWars to prove they still worked. Man, been a long time since I've been on.

I like the adjustments to the UI. I kicked up my E/Me, Zorn Lightwind, and cleared out some quests I had hanging from Piken Square. I like the new spell interface, showing both my cast time and that of my target. Really helped to spike'em a few times *evil grin*.

F.E.A.R. should arrive today. It's been awhile since I've looked forward to a FPS on the PC. I did enjoy Half-Life 2's graphics and continuation of the story, and Doom 3 had ID's signature graphics, but they didn't set me on fire as much as the original Half-Life or Medal of Honor.

On the Xbox my kids are now hooked on Lego Star Wars. Can't blame them. After they go to bed the wife and I are still trying to unlock the secret level. I'm also in the mines of Far Cry: Instincts - very enjoyable, awesome graphics, and good story - I'll post more about it later on.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Rebuilding, again...

Got my laptop back late last week and finally got around to starting the reinstall/rebuild of my environment last night. Not sure if I'm proud of how well oiled this process is now, or scared. I've had to rebuild my Alienware apps so much, I've got it down to a science.

Last night was the basics; email, browser, PokerStars client (Blogger tournament is this coming Sunday!). Thunderbird and FireFox for me. I use CRM114 and Cygwin (procmail, fetchmail, uw-pop3) to eliminate my spam. Maybe this time the laptop will survive long enough for me to write the reclassification script so my home laptop can see the results I get on my work laptop. Its nice to go "Hey! A Spam go through!" instead of "OMG, how many did I get today!?".

On the tools/environment front, I highly recommend Cygwin. I've been hooked on it for years now and its hard to imagine slogging back into a regular Windows CMD window. It'll be interesting to see what M$ Longhorn does for their new command shell, will it even come close to all the GNU tools that already exist? Reuse M$, just bring Cyg in and your done...

Monday, October 17, 2005

T-Shirts that make you think...


Got this from my brother-in-law - a series of Homeland Security T-Shirts. Left me staring and thinking for a few minutes.

Fall Game Day

After three years of Spring game days, we finally got a fall game day to go off. Nine people were able to attend and we played games (that's non-networked, on a table, using wooden pieces and manual scoring type games) for twelve hours. Even mother nature got in the act rescinding the flood she'd been dumping on us to show the sunset for the first time in a week.

Here are the games I was in on;
  • Palazzo - Fun Auction and building mechanic. Enjoyed it enough to play it twice! (4/5)
  • Wyatt Earp - A fun trick taking game with a western theme. (4/5)
  • Poison - Fun, light, trick taking game with a haloween theme. (4/5)
  • Bluff - Perenial favorite of the group. Dice, math, and lying. (4/5)
  • Wallenstein - One of my new favorites, don't get to play it live often. Played with 4 new players and still lost! lol.
  • For Sale - Auction mechanic. Jury still out on this one.
  • Colossal Arena - Manipulative card game. Jury still out here too.
  • Kingdoms - Another favorite, simple math mechanic with random screwage. (5/5)


Wallenstein you can play online at SpielByWeb
Kingdoms (Auf Heller und Phennig) you can play online at BoardGameGeek.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

P2P must be the cause!

Seriously, what else could it be? Lame music? Nah, we have enough people in our pockets to meet anyones needs. Gotta be those people with the PCs stealing our millions from us - must be.

Arrr, we been caught: A federal grand jury indicted three men in what prosecutors are calling the largest bust of pirated CDs in U.S. history.

The indictment follows the arrest last week of Ye Teng Wen, 29, Hao He, 30, and Yaobin Zhai, 33, on charges of illegally reproducing 325,000 music and software CDs.

From an article on Wired. Couldn't possibly be operations like this could it RIAA?

Too much rain...

Without the pun, I've been feeling under the weather. My eldest was sick earlier in the week, now the youngest is fighting it and I woke up with that familiar sore throat of doom. One of the perks of working from home is when your feeling cruddy, you can take lunch as a nap. Always helps me fight it off.

I woke up after one of those photo-realistic dreams, full color, sound. It felt real. I was in a house (after I woke up I realized I didn't know who's house it was, but it wasn't mine), and there was a water leak in one of the bathrooms. There was, what I thought was, a shut off vavle on the wall to the left of the sink. So I turned it, and got soaked.

Turns out the wall could be removed and there was this pristine storage area where water stains were visible. I kept chasing the leak for awhile, realizing it was upstairs. So I left where I was to head upstairs to find my wife looking at another leak.

It was close to that that I woke up thinking "The house is full of leaks!" and realized I was in my house, not that one.

I can't wait for the rain to end.

Statler and Waldorf do reviews...

Bonus points to Movies.Com and Henson co. for coming up with a logical conclusion; Statler and Waldorf are qualified to berate more than Fozzy. The Duo have come out of hiding to do movie reviews and give out balconisms.

From the Balcony stars the two hecklers, and other Muppet friends, doing what they do best. This has a nice old-muppet feel to it, even when Pepe hits the streets. If you enjoy the muppets, you should give it a look.

Spam-a-lot started a trend....

Ready for The Princess Bride, the musical? Nope, no joke. According to this article it is already being planned.
Composer Adam Guettel and screenwriter William Goldman will collaborate on a musical version or the hit fairy tale film "The Princess Bride," the New York Post reported.
Makes you wonder if the entertainment industry is in a spiral. It seems that if something is successful that it must be copied. Movies, music and now musicals.

Inconceivable!
(sorry, it had to be said!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Whether you think you can...

Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right
-Henry Ford

I had been in a slump in my Texas Hold-em SnG's as of late. Lost a good 90% last week, started turning around at the end of the week placing 6th out of 45. Not bad, especially going in short stacked and surviving 3 other players.

Last night, though, I was able to tighten up my game and have a few more things click. I managed to place 1st out of 27. It was a mixture of things that lead me to it, some fun hands, learning the players, etc. Mostly though, I finally sat down without defeating myself.

Last week I sat down going "Here goes another, thankfully fake, 2k" where last night I came in as "I'm going to do my best and be happy." Sounds like a bad 80s tune, I know, but it never clicked with me, till last night, how much you can defeat yourself before the first cards are dealt.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Alienware laptop on the way back!

Looks like my latest round at the Depot of Alienware is coming to a close. For those joining the fun, I bought a brand new Alienware 7700 this spring and, so far, it's not lived up to expectations. After waiting a month for it to build, I had it for under a month before the screen died. Had to ship it back to Alienware, who replaced it.

Then had it for a few months before very random hangs started when USB peripherals were attached. Rebuilt the OS from the RAID array up, did bios, worked for a solid 10 hours with tech support - thought we had it fixed, nope. Back to the Depot for more repairs.

Now its on the way back. I'm not sure if I'm excited or apprehensive. This'll be the 3rd or 4th time that I've had to do a complete reinstall of all apps and settings. I'm tempted to put my user profile on the external drive so that if it dies again, I'll be backed up....

.... that's probably overkill. Maybe hourly backups instead.

Good customer service Pandora!

I'm impressed. I had a problem with Pandora yesterday, I went to add a band and I got a song instead. So I, a non-paying-demo-user, wrote in to tech support to ask if there was something I could do and ask why-did-this-bite-me. I not only got one answer, I got two! And they both told me about the back-end quirk that bit me, what they were fixing , and how it'd be fixed today.

Sure enough, it was fixed. Added in the band no problem this morning.

Great customer service! Keep it up!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Flashbacks to the free music streams...

I used to love listening to the customizable free music streams that were out there. Trade ratings for free music, great deal! Too good to last unfortunately. However, Pandora has kicked up to fill in part of that gap. I've just started toying with it, so best you check it out yourself.

Here's the blurb from their FAQ:
Pandora is a music discovery service designed to help you find and enjoy music that you'll love. It's powered by the Music Genome Project, the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Just tell us one of your favorite songs or artists and we'll launch a streaming station to explore that part of the music universe.
I've been having fun throwing some fun tunes at it. "Blow Me Away" from Breaking Benjamin (Halo 2 Soundtrack), "Turn the Page" from Metallica, and even "The Current" from Blue Man Group. Got some interesting tunes to listen to. First 10 hours our free, then there is a subscription fee.

ID focus on XBox 360?

That title sounds like I've been delving more into the press corps. than the blogging world. Take a look at M$ announcement about the 360. Nothing surprising in there (I'm still waiting for the annoucement that Halo 3 will be 360 only), except for this tidbit:
Id announced here that it was not only making a new installment of its Castle Wolfenstein series for the 360, but was also creating much of the game with the 360's software-creation tools rather than with more traditional tools used to make games for PC's.
Carmack goes on to explain that the 360 has great tools, etc. Still, surprising to me to see ID doing a console only title. Did I miss something or is ID diversifying? Be interesting to see if they can keep their style into the 360.

Friday, October 07, 2005

What happens when Trek and B5 Collide?

You end up with a 1:43 hour Finnish movie! Star Wreck!
The first Finnish full-length scifi parody is made from astounding special effects, action and loads of dark humour. It is the product of a core group of five Finns and many people who've helped us during the seven years it has been in the making.
My wife summed up how it was; "You looked up after an hour of watching it and then asked how long it was?!"

Guilty as charged. If you like Babylon 5, Star Trek and Star Wars, you'll enjoy it. The subtitles were a little off at times, but you could never be sure if it was purposeful or not. Besides, any show that has Capt. Fukov and an anonymous redshirt named Lt. Fubar can't be all bad.

Coincidence?

Sometimes the universe really does work in strange ways. Yesterday I ran into an article talking about how the EU is moving to stop the monopoly that the US Government holds on the internet.

...It called for a "new co-operation model" that would not only oversee public policy matters but also create procedures for changing the internet's "root zone file", managers of country domains (such as .uk or .de), create a new arbitration service for the internet, and produce rules to cover the domain name system (DNS).

In essence, a new version of the current overseeing body ICANN and an end to the US government's overall control of the DNS...

And then today a friend points me at an article on ZDnet about two of the big players being stubborn;
...One of these companies, Level 3 Communications, has cut off direct communications with rival Cogent Communications, causing many of each company's customers to lose access to potentially significant swatches of the Net...
I can only imagine the trouble if a US backbone company ever did this to an overseas backbone company. Certainly makes you wonder about the stability of the net. If two providers can throw hissy fits and screw up customers (explains some of the sites I normally visit being "down") like this it will only throw more fuel into the fire of the US's internet control.

Kermit turns 50!

Now I feel old, or not, Kermit still has a few decades on me. CNN has an interview with my favorite frog. Oh, and his puppeteer too. Sounds like Disney is finally doing some things for us old fans - like releasing the first season of the Muppet Show, complete.

Yes, my copy is in the house earmarked for the kids for Christmas. The kids love the Time Life Series, it'll be nice to get some other shows.

As usual, Kermit has some sound advice for us all:

So, has it gotten any easier being green?

It has if you keep the proper perspective on life, says Kermit.

"That song ['It's Not Easy Being Green'] is mostly about being happy with who you are," he says. "There have been lots of changes, but you just continue being true to yourself."

The bible isn't 100% accurate...

Shock! Horror! Go Catholic Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland! Check out this article in UK Times Online.

No document written by man is 100% accurate. Yes, I believe the Bible has been written by man, so therefore, it can't be perfect. As the saying goes, history is written by the victors. I've never seen the bible as anything different. Sure, it tells an amazingly engaging story, but to divine the true facts from a writers embelishments is as challenging as figuring out where Osama is hiding. I'm sure someone can do it, but it's going to take a lot of work.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Limits...

No, no limit poker (for a change). I've gotten back to working on my weight loss goal - 40lbs for the year. I've dropped close to 30, but recently had slacked off and gained some back. Enough to be miffed at myself monday and jump back onto the diet (thanks Peter and Rick) and change up my exercise to enjoy what time is left this fall.

I did my afternoon run, and made it back to a mile - huge for me. Having always been a sprint runner, it took me all of last season to get up to a mile. As I reached the house after the mile I felt burned, and remembered I had to mow the lawn.

I have a human-pushed-mower, yes it still runs on gasoline, but it isn't self-powered. I was sore from the run, and the workout I've been doing this week, as I started. The soreness worked well, the grass was high and the sore muscles kept me at a decent pace to let the mower do its thing.

As I got done I realized how my perception of my limits was skewed. I had finished the run, done the mowing, and later would do my workout - when I didn't think I had any energy left after the run.

Guess that's the key for me at this point; I'm convincing myself I can't do it vs. getting it done. I've improved to the point where I'm mentally holding myself back instead of it being physical.

Cool.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

There is hope for the Halo movie!

Thank Tolkien for letting him come help. Peter Jackson has been tapped to do the Halo Movie. No idle SlashDot rumor, this one was over on Reuters! Makes my day. Doom was doomed from the start due to a complete lack of any story in the original game.

Okay, stop composing the flame for a minute. I love the Doom series, and have played them all (and Quake, I'm an addict, what can I say) but what is the story arc in Doom? Hell breaks loose, you quell it with a few rockets and BFGs, and then it happens again. While ID has produced some amazing looking games, the story line hasn't grown out to the likes of Half-Life, Halo or Knights of the Old Republic. So, where's the content for a movie?

Right, cast the Rock and pray. *chuckles*

Anyway, back to Halo...
Jackson and his wife, Fran Walsh, will serve as the executive producers for "Halo," which is targeted for worldwide release in mid-2007 by Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox film studios.
*keeps his fingers crossed* Maybe some background on the Master Chief and the whole missing army of his peers?

Interesting Rules...

Funny how things can resonate with you. I've been playing as much poker, legally, as I can. Massachusetts frowns on actual games, so all I can do is play-money. Today over on CardSquad they were talking about Poker Beginners - Some Rules to live by.

The funny part being is that the wife and I were just talking about the first and last one in that they have bit us recently while playing in the 2k level sit-n-go's...

Practice patience above all else. Being able to fold mediocre hands consistently is very important, and will pay off in the long run. However, being able to fold strong hands when you feel you are beat is the mark of a strong player.

When you have a bad hand, just fold it. You may have hundreds (or thousands) of these a week, just let them go. If they are worth reflecting on, then set aside some time after the game to go through these scenarios.

Know your limitations when it comes to bankroll and time. Don’t stay at the table longer than is comfortable for you, and never buy-in short.

In Texas Hold’em, the first two cards dealt to you should be considered a foundation in which all the other cards will build on. Make sure you have a strong starting foundation.

If you can’t afford to lose, then you will not be playing your best game. Drop to a limit that is more in your comfort zone, or leave the tables for the night.

Never let yourself get married to a hand, always look for the possibilities that others may have gained due to the cards that fall on the flop, turn, and river.

Another desktop bites the dust?

I've heard this before; "All we need are thin clients". Most of the time I've wondered if they were talking about computers or their actual customers - the former hardly ever became thin and the latter is still chasing diet fads. However, an agreement between Google and Sun did catch my attention (funny though, the first link I see is Yahoo! news).
If you believe McNealy, Microsoft's approach of putting a lot of software on PCs is ``a remnant . . . that's so last millennium.''
There were some rumblings yesterday, before the press conference, that Google would be putting Sun's Star Office (or OpenOffice depending on the source you were reading) online similar to GMail. Interesting concept, wonder how well it would work. Its one thing when your HD crashes, its another if the 5th hop out from you to Google dropped out while you were working on a presentation.

Pokerstars Blogger Championship - part deux

Doh. I typo'd my registration. They were nice enough to ask me to retry. w00t.

The most interesting part, was after that question:
This is a yearly event so if you want to start a blog for next year, then its a good excuse as any to get a blog started!
Sweet!! Get those blogs going!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Phil and A.Rod...

*still laughing* Talk about two peas connecting. I was reading over on the Card Squad Blog and ran across this one;
"Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankee third baseman, has supposedly hired Phil Hellmuth to be his poker coach. <snip>"
What a match! I wonder who will learn to pout more?

Monday, October 03, 2005

PokerStars Blogger Championships!

Curious? Check out the registration page for more information. The tournament is scheduled for October 23rd, 2005 - 16:00 EST. I hope my blog qualifies! I play on PokerStars all the time, play-money only (thank you MA for not trusting adults with their own cash) and have a lot of fun. This sounds like a blast.


Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 8379908

Finished up reading The Da Vinci Code

I enjoyed it, but I tend to like the idea of hidden societies, codes, and ordinary people getting sucked into the extrodinary. I wouldn't recommend it unless you can seperate reality from Fiction. My wife and I got into a few discussions about the book where she felt I was attacking the church when all I wanted to do was explore an idea in the fictional universe. The challenge is in the book bouncing around the line of "reality". Since the setting is "today" and the concepts could be true, it evokes a deeply emotional response in many people. I can see why it caused a stir during its release.

Just keep in mind that it's fiction, and you'll probably enjoy it. I gave it 3 out of 5 over on Amazon. It was a nice break after finishing up The Reality Dysfunction (all 3 of them).

MDM.EXE and the trials of Security Descriptors

I fixed it. Man was that odd. I finally found an entry in the Event Log that lead me to the problem;
The application-specific access security descriptor for the COM Server application C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\VS7Debug\mdm.exe is invalid. It contains Access Control Entries with permissions that are invalid. The requested action was therefore not performed. The application set this security permission programmatically; to modify this security permission contact the application vendor.
Up to this point I had chased all the obvious solutions, checking my user rights, groups my account was a member of, etc. which were all fine. Then I went into Component Services and found the problem.

Here's what I did;
  • Navigated to /component services/computers/my computer/DCOM Config
  • Selected Machine Debug Manager
  • Right click, properties
  • Click on the Security Tab
  • Bottom of the screen, Configuration Permissions, click on the Edit... button
  • Click the "Advanced button"
On my system, this was a mess. Accounts were double listed, one with Special rights, others with normal (full or read) access. I cleaned this up so that each account had only one entry. Saved it out, and restarted the Machine Debug Manager service.

Things are back to normal now! Back to chasing where I muddled up this IDispatch interface.
-qor72

Saturday, October 01, 2005

What did I do?

Okay, this one has me stumped.

I was doing my normal thing at work, in this case writing some DCOM on WinXP SP2 for a new product for the company. I was working in ASP for testing (final frontier for the product) and C++ (ATL). Decided I needed to get closer to the code so I banged out a ATL test file in C++, compiled, and hit Debug.

I'm working in VS2003, and it proceeds to tell me - I don't have the proper rights to debug! Okay, few googles later and I've tried all the solutions. This was working - I've been developing C# for over a year now with no issues - mostly webservices.

The only thing I had installed was the MS Script debugger (now uninstalled). Dunno what did it, but the permissions in my registry for REGISTERING com objects was fubar, had to manually fix that... anyone got any ideas??