Monday, January 31, 2005

...and a little bit of that

A little FireFox hacking…

While I know that a lot of the other poker bloggers out there are MUCH more tech savvy than I am on things web-related, but I found something really cool for the FireFox users among you. Some of you readers may even be asking, “What is Firefox?” Long story short, it’s an open source browser that kicks (and is currently kicking) the crap out of the Microsoft’s offering of Internet Explorer 6. If you don’t have it, just click on the little button at the very bottom of my sidebar and get it. **begin Arnold** You’ve got to get youahself a moah secuah browsah. Do it nowww **end Arnold**

And as for the cynics and skeptics who may be reading, NO, I do not get paid if you download and install Firefox.

Anyway, with that in mind here is the hack for all broadband users:

1) Type "about:config" into the address bar and hit return.
Scroll down and look for the following entries:
network.http.pipelining network.http.proxy.pipelining

Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.

2) Alter the entries as follows:
Set "network.http.pipelining" to "true"
Set "network.http.proxy.pipelining" to "true"
Set "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once.

3) Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it "nglayout.initialpaint.delay" and set its value to "0". This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives.

WARNING: This hack may cause whiplash. Yea, it’s that fast.

A little television observation…

Normally my posts are finished in the morning, but due to brain-scattered-ness (reasons unknown) I couldn’t seem to pull one together so I did some schoolwork and read for a bit while drivel from the telescreen washed over me. Then, a voice; raspy and strange, but somehow familiar, was tunneling its way into my cortex, so I look up…..

It’s Kirstie Ally. Egad.

It appears that she is no longer shilling for Pier 1 and is now doing some sales work for Jenny Craig. Now, some may know this, and some may not, but Kirstie is from my hometown of **cringe** Wichita, KS. I was 17 when I saw her for the first time, wait forrr iiiiiiiiiittt…

Without makeup. E-frikkin-GAD.

Throughout the years since then, I have always wondered why Kirstie was ever any semblance of a “star”. Everything about her annoyed, from her look to her voice. Today, as I watched her shamelessly promote Jenny Craig, I understand, if only a bit.

With her self-effacing, “You may have noticed, I’M FAT”, to the way she balls up and shakes both of her tiny Tyrannosaurus Rex fists while scream-grunting “FETUCCINE!!!”, I just couldn’t help but laugh and like her at that moment. It takes a pretty big (no pun intended) person to do the necessary things to keep themselves and by extension, their career (and the attendant paychecks) going.

Who knew a diet commercial would give me a better view of Kirstie? Just goes to show you that miracles can, in fact, happen on occasion.

Or maybe the brain scattered ness of this morning hasn’t ebbed yet….

A little political ranting…

Most days I try to put it out of my head, and my anger recedes back to a simmer. Then, I see Dubya or one of his demonic entourage and the anger comes boiling back, which sends me seeking out some kind of engrossing activity to bring it back down to a simmer, and the cycle continues….

Then today, I happened upon this. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, needs to read it. People out there who voted for George’s second term, you especially need to take time out of your breeding, cheap beer-swilling, minivan-placarding schedules and READ IT. Take it to heart, be ashamed, and then do your soul a favor and find some way to painfully punish yourself for the grievous and ignorant error that was your vote.

I never thought I would actually utter the words, but for now, and for at least the next four years, I am ashamed and embarrassed to be an American.

“How dare you not love your country! Love it or Leave it!”, I can hear many of you saying. Anyone saying or thinking this only further demonstrates their ignorance. It is precisely the fact that I love my country that makes me so ashamed and embarrassed.

I’m a big fan of the psychology forum on 2+2. There seems to be a lot of talk lately about compulsive gamblers—should I be feeling bad for them, should I intervene, yada yada yada. This parallels quite strongly with an argument I hear quite often. The one that goes something like this: “If we hadn’t stepped in those people would be destroying themselves.” Maybe, but instead of trying simply to help or take a diplomatic route, our not-so-esteemed leaders thought the best way to handle it would be to conquer and force our will, all on information that has been proven to be COMPLETELY FALSE. Add to that the fact we now have debt that most likely our children’s children will be dealing with, a world position that is seriously undermined, and what happens? The Stuttering Ignoramus is voted into a second term. YOU HAVE SERIOUSLY GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. Yea, I know, people suffer all over the globe every single day, regardless of what we do, but that’s no excuse to make it worse…and YES, we have made it worse. Bottom line: You can’t force a country to be like you, even if they spurn your niceties, any more than you can force a compulsive gambler that does the same, from losing their money.

Am I a bleeding heart liberal? Hell, no.

Do I support anything Republican? Not a whole hell of a lot.

What do I do then? I don’t align myself with any party’s dogma, and actually think for myself. I sure wish more of the general public would do the same.

And now, the poker…

Last night, after getting the hell beat out of me at Party (up 11 BB’s, only to crash at -10 BB’s 2.5 hours later), I was in no mood for more ring games, but still wanted to play me soma dem cards. So I hopped into a $5 +.50 SnG at Stars, turned out a second place (but for complete heads-up boneheaded-ness, it would/should have been a 1st), and was feeling much happier. Still wanting to play, I declined another SnG and decided instead on the $2 Sunday Night NL Crapshoot.

2613 players, 1st place pays a grand. NICE. It’s been quite a while since I played in any kind of MTT, so I figured this would at least get me warm for the WPBT event on Wednesday, and boy, did it get me warm.

As anyone who has played for any notable length of time will tell you, it definitely takes skill, but it also takes a little luck to do well in a really large tournament. You need to play well and dodge a few bullets along the way. Oh, and you really should do your damnedest to get a decent stack while the monkeys are throwing around their chips like so much poop.

True to form at this low buy-in, the monkeys were flinging the proverbial poop everywhere. You couldn’t put hardly anyone on a hand. After about four orbits, I get PP 10’s. One of the super flinging monkeys with a little less than half of his original 1500 chips goes all-in, and this is where I decide that I need to get lucky, so I go all-in to try and isolate, and get a third caller. WTF? 3-way all-in, and my PP10’s are up against PP Q’s and Rockets, can you say ‘poor timing’? Oh well at least I’ll have 150 chips left to try and mount a comeback while the blinds are still small.

The poker gods ring up a karma debit, I sign the receipt, and triple up with a straight after both hands flop their sets. Boy, it’s nice to be on the other end of the suckout, for once.

Rather than bore you all with a three page narrative of a low stakes MTT, I’ll briefly sum up: I played better than I have in quite some time, and dodged a few bullets along the way. I picked my aggressive spots well, made more steals than would previously have been comfortable for me, and generally solidified a lot of lessons I have been trying to teach myself. Out of 2613 entrants, I finally exited in 33rd place, when my AQ failed to draw out against JJ.

At first I was pretty upset. I made it all that way, only to end up with a payoff of $15 for 5 hours of work. I REALLY wanted to make the final table and perhaps win, as I have yet to make the final table in a NL MTT. I have made many finals in PL MTT’s, but for some reason just can’t seem to make it over that invisible hump, and end up busting out somewhere between 10th and 40th nearly every time.

Then I gave myself (truthfully, it was my wife, God bless that woman) a figurative “kick in the ass” for being so results oriented and felt much better. The lessons learned are always worth the effort, even if the monetary reward is smaller than you would like. What is it they say…..A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step?

After last night, I can say that I’ve taken a few more.

Watch out for me on Wednesday, because I now actually believe that I’m Thinking Big, but I never doubt the fact that my head is Much Bigger.