Friday, January 28, 2005

It's Friday...You know what that means...

Do some looking around most anywhere these days and you will find some kind of discussion as to the redeeming social values of poker, or lack thereof. While most of us take the game seriously, the fact is, for a majority of us it is just a hobby (that takes a lot of our time). I also think that many of us would like to do something to “contribute”. I am not wealthy by any stretch, and save a few specific organizations, I blanche a bit at the thought of giving my hard earned money to most charities. I’m not sure why, but I think that the Seinfeld episode with George Costanza’s Human Fund has something to do with it.

Last night, though, I had an idea. For a while now, I have been a contributor to Folding@Home. To read up on exactly what it is, just follow the link, but I’ll try and sum up. “Folding” refers to protein folding, and it is a distributed computing project at Stanford. You simply download a client which uses your spare CPU cycles (computer brainpower) to help fold proteins and send the work unit back to Stanford. The client doesn’t get in the way of anything you’re trying to do, either. It simply uses the power that your processor doesn’t. If anyone accuses you of completely wasting time while sitting at the PC playing poker, with this you can claim: “I’m doing my part to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.” In case any poker bloggers ( or anyone else for that matter) want to contribute, please consider joining the team I created. The team name is ‘Thinking Big’ and the team number is 42205. Stanford tracks the work done and awards points, not for prizes or anything, just a ranking system. Perhaps as poker players, one day we will be able to say that we have not only liberated the fish from their chips, but also the brain from various diseases.

Unnecessary Shit

Since it is Friday and the second installment of “Unnecessary Shit”, this would probably be the most appropriate time to explain it’s origins a bit. (For typing ease I will begin referring to it as US, how mildly ironic),

It was during my time in the military that my friend Jonbo first introduced me to US. It is in a nutshell, this: Any wildly random action taken that doesn’t fit into current context in any way, shape, or form. Perhaps a couple of examples would be better……

  • You're at a store (type doesn’t matter, but the more subdued, the better) wearing, say, flip-flops or some other loose-fitting footwear. Everyone around you is shopping quietly and nicely. You suddenly let out a “Hup!”, kick your leg, and then chase after your footwear that just flew to a random location. This will prompt some priceless looks from observers, ranging from disgust to pity because quite obviously, engaging in this type of behavior must surely mean you are retarded in some way. Regardless or your age, you can literally see people wondering where your mother is.
  • In this example you are at work, which is often the most entertaining place of them all to engage in US. Equipment needed: Empty (or very close to it) plastic water bottle, the shape and size are of no import. While standing around talking to a couple of co-workers (the bigger the group the better), if the conversation begins to lull or grows tiresome, simply yell out the aforementioned “Hup!”, whip yourself around 180 degrees and chuck the bottle as hard as you can, and turn back around as though nothing out of the ordinary happened. This works especially well in rooms with a hard tile floor (as opposed to ‘soft’ tile?) as it will make an incredible amount of noise. From those who know you, this should prompt some ‘your pretty weird, but I think it’s pretty funny’ looks. From the ones you don’t really care to know or don’t really like, this will keep them at a healthy and respectful distance going forward.

Now, engaging in US does take some practice. It can be very easy to slip over that fine line where it is no longer funny, but has fallen over into the realm of poor taste. Should you accidentally cross over that line, don’t be disheartened. Just as in poker, where a move can quite suddenly be either genius or folly, so it is with ‘Unnecessary Shit’. While there is definitely a time and a place for such immature shenanigans, with practice you too can find those places you never knew were there, because they weren’t before. Congratulations! You have now added lightheartedness and a bit of the strange to seemingly unfit places and situations, thereby liberating yourself by another increment from normal societal constraints.

Considering the frights that Grubby gave those of us who work with his running porno collages, I will simply link to this week’s Unnecessary Shit. Just make sure that if you are at work, no one can see your monitor. I’m not sure if it is fake or not (probably fake), but it IS completely unnecessary.

It’s snowing outside (unbelievable, I know), so today is going to be a poker day, if I can find some good games. Otherwise it may be a video game day and a poker evening. Either way, I should be around tomorrow or Sunday with some poker content, where I’ll be endeavoring to Think Big, and my head will be Much Bigger.