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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in stm4e's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
2:25 pm
Good Idea, Bad Idea
Good Idea: Finally getting rid of Norman Chad in the WSOP broadcasts. He was cute for a while, but it's been old for years now.

Bad Idea: The whole "showing the WSOP live" thing. Maybe I'm not doing it right, but I Tivo-ed a bunch of it, and tried watching it last night, and man. I was hoping that "live" would mean "we jump around a lot and show you cool things around the room as they're happening", but instead they keep the action at one table for a half-hour at a time, and you're stuck there. Watching the dealer shuffle. Watching hands get folded around to the blinds. Watching an occasional flop taken down by a c-bet. Watching the dealer shuffle some more. And the worst part is that they don't show the hole cards during the hand, and often don't show them afterwards either. I've heard rumors that it's because of some kind of Nevada gaming regulation, but it really drags from the enjoyment.

Now I'm not the first person to talk about this (see, for example, here and here), but I was watching it, thinking it would be cool to have "live" action (even if it's "DVR live"), and about5 minutes in I said to myself "Gee, this is all the excitement of sitting down at a poker table for hours at a time and not playing a single hand!". The other problem that I haven't heard much about, though, is that these broadcasts are long. Recording the shows from Day 3 through the final table pretty much killed the storage space on the Tivo, and each day has 6-8 hours of stuff. Who is the audience for this? If I had 6-8 hours a day to watch poker, I'd spend that time.. well, I was going to say "I'd spend that time playing poker", but that's not true anymore. I'd spend that time doing something fun, though! And if the point is to get a feel for the table dynamics and things (which I can't imagine the casual fan wanting to do) then you really have to pay attention and can't be doing something else while having this on in the background.

So, I don't know. Maybe it would be a fantastic thing if we could see the hole cards. I do see the problem they're trying to solve- you don't get a sense for how the match is really going if you just show a few giant pots. But I don't think this is the correct fix.
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
1:47 pm
Do as I say, not as I do
It occurs to me that the way I live my life is not the best example to set for a growing kid. It doesn't matter a whole lot now, but as I think about the various non-standard ways I do things, I can see that "leading by example" is probably not going to be my strong point.

Take for example the way I work on big projects (creating tests, writing large-ish programs, grading large assignments, ...) I've evolved this strategy of spending a lot of time doing what outwardly looks like goofing off- surfing the web, playing mindless flash games, taking long car rides, watching TV (actually not so much of the TV- that actually requires too much concentration. Having some sports on in the background helps though).

Anyway, the point is that to all external appearances it looks like I'm not doing anything, and then as the deadline gets close, I kick it into gear and whip something out in a couple of hours. What's happening underneath, though, is something pretty different. I think the reason I can do the work "so fast" when I sit down to actually do it is that all of my goofing-off time is being spent organizing my thoughts and my ideas and my approach to the problem. Partially consciously, but a lot unconsciously too. So, when I'm done goofing off and ready to go, my work is already close to finished, because it's mostly formed in my head already.

It sounds a little self-serving ("No, really, I'm not playing stupid games. I'm working!"), and I'm not sure people really believe me when I explain it to them, but decades(!) of history has borne this out by now. I was famous in college for whipping out a term paper in an hour and a half and getting an A on it. People were jealous I could work "so fast" when they had to spend days on the same paper. The difference was that I already knew what I was writing when I sat down, while they spent hours in front of the computer agonizing over their introductory paragraph.
In grad school, I got into mild amounts of trouble for playing Othello and doing other things so much during "official work hours" (I think the problem there though wasn't that I was spending less time working than other people- it was that I spent more time looking like I wasn't working than other people), but I thought up the idea for my thesis while watching the college basketball tournament one year.

Now that I have my own office at work, and my own area at home, worrying about what other people think isn't as big a deal. Though I'm not entirely convinced my wife believes me yet, and I can't imagine what kind of example I'm setting for our child. Because really, the way I do things isn't what you should do. It's just what has ended up working for me (mostly) because my brain is wired so weird. One of the big lessons of High School is how to develop good study habits for yourself so that when you get to college (and are on your own) you have a skill set to fall back on. I can't imagine I'd be a credible source of enforcing the Right Way To Do Things.

Me: Joe, if you have a project due next week, you need to start today or it won't get done?
Joe: Why? You don't start anything early!
Me: I start working on things early, it just doesn't look like it.
Joe: Well, then that's what I'm doing too. Now let me go back to texting my friends while I'm "working".

Luckily, my wife is much more organized than I am, and should be a better role model. But I wonder how many other things I have that are like this and will mess him up as he gets older..
Monday, January 17th, 2011
11:30 am
Where's my darn pretzels?
Last Friday we went to the Columbus Beerfest , which apparently is a Columbus Tradition that has been going on forever, that we just found out about. We're a bit out of the loop.

The idea is that they take out a giant hall in the convention center, bring in a lot of beermakers (some local, some national "microbreweries" like Rogue. Miller Lite was there too, humorously placed next to the water station. They were the only ones who brought Booth Babes), and they'd all give tastings of the various beers that they made.

I think if I was 10 years younger, and gone with all of my grad school drinking buddies, I would have loved it. As it was, I think it wasn't really for me.

First of all, the "tastings" were (we measured the glass when we got home) 5 ounces, or about 1/3 of a bottle. Which adds up over time, especially since lots of the beers we tasted were pretty high in alcohol content. Theoretically, you could get 25 tastings (they gave you tickets), but really you could probably have as many as you wanted, because hardly anyone actually took the tickets. There were dump buckets around, but it took us a while to a) find them, and b) get over our innate dead of WASTING BEER(!). I think if you wanted to spend an evening drinking lots of good beer, this format works great. If you're interested in tasting, it doesn't work so well.

The other problem was that it was hard to decide what to taste- the place was pretty packed, they didn't really have maps of who was there, and when you could find a sheet of the various breweries, you had no idea what kinds of beers they brought. So you had to plow your way through a ton of people, get to the front, see what they had, and even then, the names of the beers don't tell you much about what kind of beer it is. Sure, it's cool that you named your beer "Original Sin", but what sort of beer is it? Karen wishes they had programs, and while I think that would be an organizational nightmare, I wish there was something. Some of the breweries had large posters describing all their beers, so you could read it from far away, and that was a good idea. Other places didn't seem to put much thought into things. Once place had 2 different kinds of ciders, and I asked them what the difference was. His response was "They told me to say that this one was organic, and the other was more pasteurized". Which doesn't really enter into my decision making at all, so that was useless.

Also, I was hoping for a lot more.. wacky beers, I guess. Some mead, some blueberry beer, stuff you couldn't get normally (one guy had cranberry cider, which looked cool, but he ran out before I got to him). Instead, most places had a stout, and IPA, an ale of some kind, and maybe a porter if you were lucky. And what I learned was that it doesn't much matter (to me, anyway) what the differences are within a category, as long as I choose the right category. So, I'm not a fan of IPA (too bitter), so none of the IPA was worth trying. I was hoping to see some new _categories_, but it was pretty straight-foward.

But it was a fun experience, even though we went in with the wrong kinds of expectations. I wouldn't mind going back, and just treating it as an excuse to drink lots of good beer, which is probably the right approach to have.
Friday, December 10th, 2010
2:11 pm
Variations on Politeness
This was going to be a "These darn kids nowadays" rant, but I think it's more of a "people are weird, who can figure?"

So today's the last day of classes, and everyone's stressed and tired (including me, including my wife- what can I say, I have an aura).

In the last hour, I've had:
- A student barge into a class (of 5 students) while I was teaching it, asking one of the students to borrow his laptop. Not at the beginning or end of class either, right in the middle. That's never happened before.
- A student come flying into my office, whip a bunch of papers out of his bag, grab across my desk into a back corner where I had a stapler, staple his papers together, and run out. The kicker is that the homework he was stapling wasn't even for my class! His only attempt at asking or apologizing was to say "Well, your office is the first open one I saw".

But then..
- I got an email from a student I worked with a few summers ago who asked me to be a reference for him when he applied to be a Navy pilot. I barely remember this happening, and the Navy never contacted me or anything. Anyway, his email today was long, described the process and his future plans, and went out of his way to thank me several times. Since I'd almost forgotten all of this, it was nice to be reminded.

So, lots of different personalities out there, and I need to remember that I shouldn't get all crotchety and stuff when the students act like jerks. Especially at the end of the semester- I'm not much of a prize when I'm stressed either.
Friday, November 19th, 2010
2:11 pm
Advertising of the future
It's funny, I was just thinking about writing a post about how now that my New Best Friend, the Tivo, makes me skip almost all commercials, that the natural response from TV would be to do more in-show product placement, and that wouldn't be so bad.

Then, I see, how yes, it really can be that bad..

Never mind.
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
4:39 pm
Why I like baseball better than football
I was going to title this "Why sports with a clock are always inferior to sports without them", but that's probably overstating my case. I'd much rather watch football than golf. And I don't dislike football, don't get me wrong. I'm in a couple of pools, and running one for my family this year. But I think that the reason that it's seen as such a huge success of a sport is because they only play one game a week.

But anyway, I was watching some games on Sunday, and in most games, the game is over with time still on the clock. Mathematically, irreversibly, coaches-on-the-field-shaking-hands over. And that's always upset me.

I hate that a team losing by just one point can sit there helpless for 2 minutes of a game- over 3% of the entire action!- and have no chance to do anything but watch the other team tale a knee and run the clock out. I remember as a kid making up all kinds of crazy scenarios:

"Ok, we're down by 10 with 15 seconds left. We need them to fumble the snap, and have us run down and score. Then we need an onsides kick, and to run that back for a touchdown, then we can win. Let's go!"

Somewhere in there, it feels like they changed the rule that the play ends right when you take a knee (as opposed to having to be tackled). I may be wrong about that, but now it seems like everyone just gives up (with good reason) when run-out-the-clock time rolls around.

And, I'm sorry, but that's just boring. And lame. And it makes me think about baseball. Since baseball's not timed by a clock, you have to actually go out and fail 27 times before you've lost a game. It's always theoretically possible that a team down 15 runs in the ninth inning will come back and win. Sure, it's very unlikely (as it should be), but the chance is there, and you have to go out and earn your win, rather than just walking off the field and killing time. I guess it appeals to my sense of fairness more, I don't know.

Can it be fixed? I don't know (and really, it's not like anyone is going to listen to me anyway). Someone told me that if you time it, there is only about 10 minutes of actual plays happening in a football game. Maybe if you changed the rules so that you had 4 quarters that were 2-5 minutes each, and stopped the clock after every play, that might help things. At least then "running out the clock" would involve people running plays that took a long time on the field, giving the other team a chance to do something about it.
Saturday, September 4th, 2010
11:25 pm
Parental Annoyance Toys
Some toys look good in the store, but their flashing lights and repetitive sounds quickly grate on an adult's sanity. I think my parents have been waiting for years for a grandchild so they could inflict on us the misery that was inflicted on them when they were new parents.

In some ways, either through luck or by semi-intentional design, we've avoided a lot of the problem. The baby's almost a year old now, and since we haven't seen a reason to put any "child-friendly" shows on the TV, I'm pretty sure he doesn't really view the television as something that's for him. When I'm holding him watching TV, he's more interested in the lights and buttons on the DVD player than anything actually on the screen.

But you can't avoid it entirely. In a fit of sadistic glee, my parents bought an "Interactive storybook", where the book has buttons that play songs, and recognizes when you turn pages, and that kind of thing. Also, in a fit of weakness in the store, I bought a push-button farm thing that plays songs and talks when you press the keys, the animals,whatever.

Both of these are by the same company, and they have some disturbing similarities. For one thing, the language is kind of stilted sometimes. Maybe it's because I've heard it a million times, but when I hear "Join the barnyard jamboree!", there's a half-second pause between the words "barnyard" and "jamboree" that grates on me, and only gets worse the more that I hear it.

Also, the toys nag you to play with them. If the baby wanders off, after a few seconds, it says something like "Hey! Press the button of the dog!". Eventually, it switches itself off, but it sort of sounds desperate for a while there: "Hey! Don't you leave me, you baby! What, are you playing with some other, lesser toy? Come back and play with me!"

There are some good (well, less bad) things about these toys, though. As computer chips get cheaper, it's cost-effective to have lots more sound samples in a cheap baby toy. Which means that where in my parent's generation, they'd probably only hear one or 2 things over and over and over again, we at least get 25 or 50 different saying repeated. Which is good for our sanity.

I'm a little worried though- his first birthday is coming up, and who knows what craziness the grandparents will spring on us, get the baby hooked on, and then leave town laughing as our ears bleed..
Thursday, August 26th, 2010
4:21 pm
My favorite administrative line of the week...
From the Provost's office about our yearly self-evaluations..

In response to the increasing number of faculty who prefer to prepare their self-reports with a word processor...


Really? There's an increasing number of people who don't want to break out the old typewriter? It's not 100% yet?

Actually, the sad thing is that it probably isn't 100% yet. I'm a bit of a Luddite myself, and that makes even me go "yikes"..
Thursday, July 29th, 2010
3:33 pm
Security is our top priority
So we hired this company to manage all the tax forms and stuff that we need to pay the person who watches the baby. (This, by the way, is what makes me a little sympathetic to the Tea Party type people- if I have to pay someone extra money to deal with all the forms because I want to be honest and actually pay taxes on our minimum-wage part-time babysitter, there's something wrong with our tax system).

Anyway, they do everything on the web, which is nice, but their "secure server" was down for a few days, and so I couldn't get to the forms. They were very apologetic, but didn't want to send the files I'll need over email, because it's so insecure. Which, well, ok, I guess I understand. I don't really think anyone's sniffing my packets, but I guess it never hurts to be safe..

So today, their server is back up, and the send me -via email- my account information to the "secure server", including my password in red text in the body of the email message. The password itself is... well, let's just call it "remarkably insecure" and leave it at that. And there doesn't seem to be an easy way to change the password, either.

I'm not really that upset (well, I am a little upset about not being able to change the password- what the hell?), but I think it's interesting how people get all paranoid about people reading your email, but think that adding one (easily defeatable) step of distance from that makes everything secure.

"We can't send you these private documents by email, because its insecure, but we'll tell you over that insecure system exactly how to get to them. We pay attention to your security!"
Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
11:18 am
On the whole, I'm ok with this..
I sent them my Lost post, and came back with...


I write like
Douglas Adams

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




I'm just glad it's not someone like Dickens :)
Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
9:33 pm
Color Coding
Random quick thought..

Lots of kids toys are brightly colored. Lots of adult tools and things are dull colored. The baby is starting to learn that when we put something in front of him, it's usually because there's a more "interesting" (i.e. dangerous or breakable) thing behind it. In a way, I think we're training him that brightly colored objects are boring and dull colored objects are fun to play with.

I may have to go buy a neon green keyboard soon :)
Thursday, May 27th, 2010
1:29 pm
Expectation
This morning, I'm trying to sleep while my wife is in the other room entertaining the baby. All of a sudden I hear a scream from her.

Uh-oh

Then I hear her say "That's AWESOME!!!". So, I breathe a sigh of relief, roll over, and try to get back to sleep, thinking that if something truly awesome happened (we're waiting for the baby to start crawling, to say a word (and know what it means), and similar things), she'd come get me.

Turns out, he got his first tooth. Well, not really, he has a rough spot on his gum where a tooth may or may not be coming in soon. So it's not even really a tooth. A "proto-tooth", I guess.

Needless to say, this does not fit my definition of "AWESOME!!!". Sure, it's cool that he's finally getting a tooth after months of what looked to be teething pains (but maybe weren't- who has teething pains 4 months before the tooth arrives?). But really, meh. It's just a tooth, you know? I'd be much more excited if he learned an actual skill.

Or maybe it's that, since he likes chewing on my nose, I'm in for a lot of pain in the near future..
1:16 pm
Minority Opinion
In the face of all the outrage and complaining (and, frankly, bandwagon-jumping), I feel compelled to come out and take a stand.

That's right, I liked the Lost finale.

I'll admit that I was in the "The writers have no clue where this is going camp" at the beginning, but I really do think that they came up with a plan over the last few seasons. Admittedly, I was helped a lot by finding a place where there were lots of good ideas, and theories, and analysis. So, yeah, this season was fun for me, and I had a good handle on what was going on before Sunday, and I was pretty happy with the way they wrapped it all up.

But I know a lot of people weren't, so let me try to take on the common objections I've been hearing.
Commence complaining!Collapse )
Which is a shame, because I think that while, sure, it has its flaws, there is a lot of good stuff in there too. Say what you want, but I like having a show that makes you think and has original ideas and plots, even if it falls short sometimes. Better that than another CSI or Law & Order variant. Or worse, some new horrible reality show.
Sunday, April 25th, 2010
2:23 pm
Object Permanance
Around now (7 months) is the time when the child should be learning "Object Permanence"- the fact that things still exist after they leave his line of sight. The classic description of this is something like:

"If you get the baby interested in a toy, then cover the toy in a cloth, the baby will remove the cloth to find the toy".

But I don't know how to test this in practice. The problem is that I can get him interested in a toy, but then the act of covering it is moving a big white moving cloth across his field of vision, which gets him interested in the cloth. So he removes it, revealing the toy. But I'm pretty sure he's doing it because he finds the cloth interesting, not because he's removing an obstacle in the way of the toy he'd looking for.

And now that I'm dealing with it in practice, I can't figure out a way to hide something he's staring at without giving him a distraction to go after instead. One thing I tried doing was dropping a ball into an opaque box. He gets interested in the box, but again, that could be because he just saw lots of color and movement in the vicinity of the box.

So yeah, I don't know..
Sunday, April 18th, 2010
4:48 pm
Commence Rocky Theme Now..
So, PokerStars has these new things called "Knockout tournaments"which are really just bounty tournaments. Interestingly, they seem to have started deploying them at the Sit-and-Go level, which strikes me as kind of odd.

As it stands now, if you're a cheap wimp like me, you play at the $5 Sit-and-Go level, where 9 people sit down, pay $5 each (plus an extra $.50 for the house), and the top 3 places get paid:

  • First place gets 50%, or $22.50

  • Second place gets 30%, or $13.50

  • Third place gets 20%, or $9



In the bounty version of the tournament, everyone kicks in an extra $1.25 (and, no extra money for the house, which is nice). But with only 9 people contributing, it seems kind of strange..

For one thing, whoever wins the tournament gets 2 bounties (their own back, and the bounty of whoever came in second). For another, you have to knock out at least 2 people before this shows you a profit over a regular $5 sit-and-go (and once you knock out two people, it's extremely likely that you'll be in the top 3 places and get paid anyway).

So, I started wondering, is this really effectively the same as a $6.25 Sit-and-Go? (If one existed). Well, if each of the 9 players each put $6.25 into the prize pool, the payouts would be:

  • First place gets 50%, or $28.125, an increase of $5.625, or 4.5 bounties

  • Second place gets 30%, or $16.875, an increase of $3.375, or 2.7 bounties

  • Third place gets $20, or $11.25, an increase of $2.25, or 1.8 bounties



Obviously, this won't be the case, even on average, because some of those bounties will go to people who don't make the money in most tournaments. So it seems that if you think you're likely to make the money, you'd rather this was a "real" $6.25 Sit-and-go, so you will win your 50% (or whatever) of the full prize pool. And if you're not likely to make the money, you'd rather play at the $5 level, because you're only going to make money on the bounties if you knock out 2 people, in which case you've probably made the money. If you only knock out one person, it ends up being the same as if you played at the $5 level anyway.

(It's also possible that this is more favorable to whoever comes in first, because they often go on a roll and eliminate several people. But they have to eliminate 4-5 people just to break even with the $6.25 Sit-and-go, and I don't think people "run the table" enough to bring the average up to that point)

So, I don't know. I think what I'm going to do is to treat this as a separate level in my bankroll management (albeit one with much more variance), and only play it when I make enough money at the $5 level to afford the shift up.

Also, none of this applies to having bounties in tournaments, especially the several-thousand player PokerStars tournaments. There is is possible to eliminate 10 or more people, and not finish very high in the money, which changes the formula somewhat.
Sunday, April 4th, 2010
11:50 am
Yes, we experiment on our child. Why do you ask?
A couple of weeks ago I took the baby down to Ohio State so he could participate in a "cognitive development" experiment. The research question they wanted to explore was how children learn how to categorize objects (say, "dogs") from seeing a few specific objects (say, specific instances of dogs).

The way they tested this was a little strange. They had him looking at a computer screen, and tracked his eye movements. Then they put on the screen some strange abstract shapes, that I guess were supposed to represent the "categories" of objects he was supposed to learn (but I was holding him and watching the screen, and I have no idea what was similar or different about the objects). The idea, I think, was that as he got used to the "categories", he would spend less time looking at things in that category, but when a category he hadn't seen before comes up, he'd spend (relatively) more time looking at it.

At least, I think that was it. Some grad-student type person ran the experiment, and didn't have access to our specific data (it was all just fed into some program). Which I guess is a good research method, but frustrating for me as I try to figure out what was going on.

There also seem to be a bunch of innate confounding variables in the experiment. For example, the kinds of families that have the time and resources to spend an afternoon taking their child into the campus for the experiment on a Wednesday afternoon for no money kind of self-selects your pool a bit. Or the fact that babies are pretty easily distracted and may look someplace randomly.

I think these are pretty typical problems for social science research, because they didn't seem to worried about them. It's a very different world from what I'm used to, where I can make a computer program do pretty much exactly what I want it to (and if I can't, it's a flaw that needs to be fixed)
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
10:54 am
The Olympics with the new addition in the family
No, I'm not talking about the baby. I'm talking about the Tivo we got for Christmas. Which in a short time, has changed our lives. Maybe more than the baby has. (No, that would be a lie). But still, it's amazing how much our TV watching habits have changed in just a couple of months.

You can especially see this in the Olympics. I pretty much Tivo-ed every Olympic program over the two weeks, and then watched them on my own time. I know lots of people are complaining about the over-commercialism and the lots of sitting around and talking, but with the "fast forward" button, you don't see any of that. Yes, you can get though a 4-hour program in under an hour (especially if you watch things like skiing and luge on fast play, so you can see what they're doing, but have it all move faster. Unless there's a crash, then you rewind), but given the amount of things I had recorded, that's a good thing. It's also cool to be able to watch a whole hockey game in an hour. You can fast-forward through all the play stoppages and intermissions, and just get the 60 minutes of actual play. (For a while I was speeding through some of that too- if a team clears the puck during a power play, speed forward till it comes back into the attacking zone)

I guess all of this could be done with a regular VCR except for the fact that the Tivo holds way more, can be paused while I watch another program, and can record 2 things at once. It's actually amazing how restricted you get when you can only record two things at a time. I'm really amazed that Tivo hasn't come out with a 4-head DVR, like some other companies have.

This is starting to sound like a Tivo commercial, and I do like it a lot, but there are some things I wish it would fix.

  • When you tell it to record a "season pass" (all the episodes of a show), it automatically puts it at the lowest priority (so it won't record your new show if there's a conflict with an older one). If I want it to be a higher priority, I have to manually change the priority, and I have to manually tell it to go back and record all the things it didn't want to record when it was a low priority

  • If you're recording a long, 6-hour program (like, say, the Olympics), and there's a conflict with a small portion of it (say, a half hour in the middle), you can't record any of your 6-hour program. I'd like an option to say "Record as much of this as you can, but leave gaps when you need to record something of a higher priority". You can simulate this with the "Manual recording" option (which records off a station like a VCR program), but it's a pain to deal with.

  • Lots of shows (like the Daily Show) have the exact same program several times a day. I'd like the option for it to move a scheduled recording to another time automatically for me, to reduce conflicts.

  • Tivo gives you the option to start recording early, and stop recording late (And BTW, I found myself a few times wishing I could start recording late, and stop early, to manually fix conflicts). If you are recording the same channel with two programs that you set to overlap (for example, we have the Simpsons on at 5 and 5:30), then for a couple of minutes, you're using both recorders to record the same channel at the same time. This leads to conflicts. I'd like the option to have it "realize" that it's all the same channel and snip one of the two recordings if there's a conflict.



Most of this wishlist is probably for ways to make the Tivo a little more "programmable", so maybe they're not good requests for a general audience. Still, it's really awesome to have it automatically figure out what shows you want on a bunch of different channels (like the Olympics were) and have it record for you.
Friday, February 5th, 2010
7:19 pm
No.
Now, let me assert before we begin that Monopoly is a crappy game. You know it's a crappy game because nobody actually plays by the rules. There are so many other games out there that are better (especially for the time it takes), and I think that in our years-long Quest To Teach the Child Good Games, we'll be teaching him Monopoly relatively late in the spectrum, if at all. (And probably only then so he'll know how to play something if he's stuck playing games with the "normies")

But it's still a classic, and so when I saw The new version of Monopoly, I just get sad.

They've had the ATM machine (so no actual money, apparently the current generation of kids is too stupid to deal out bills) for a while now, and I don't mind the inflation of prices ($2 million for passing go instead of $200)- though I don't see the point either. But a circular board? Musical selections from "popular songs" when events happen? Really?

I don't know, this whole thing gives me the kind of feeling I get when I see a 45 year old guy try to hang out with high school kids and be cool with them. You just look at it and say "No".

And that's what I'm saying here. No. Or else where does it end- should we jazz up Checkers as well?
Thursday, January 21st, 2010
9:57 am
Maybe I'm a Luddite, but..
..I don't get the benefit of "tabbed browsing" or "tabbed email". Personally, I'd like my web pages to open up in several windows, so that I can click on the bar at the bottom of the screen, see all of my options, and go to the correct one right away. The difference is that if the pages are in different windows, I can see the title bar of all of them at the same time, by clicking on the Firefox (or whatever) tab at the bottom. If they're different tabs in one window, I can't do that (and, if I have a lot of tabs, I can't even easily figure out which is which in the tabs (because they scroll off the screen).

And now, Thunderbird 3 has "Tabbed email!" Like it's the most awesome thing ever that people have been clamoring for. All I see is screen real estate for the tab that could have been used making the message panel bigger.

I guess I'm behind the times. Someone pass me a punch card..
Monday, January 4th, 2010
12:21 am
Year End Poker Wrap-Up
I didn't do as well this year, and the baby basically stopped me from playing for 3 months. But I'd like to get back into it, and this is a good way to think about where I'm at..

Long story short, I made about $50. Better than losing, I guessCollapse )
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