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Thursday, May 4, 2006
Random Update

What a difference one night makes. Tuesday, I threw a great series, my 679. Last night, only 193 pins lower for a 486. I don’t remember the last time I was under 500. I guess it goes without saying that we lost the rolloff and finished in second place. Tonight, I play my first softball game in forever.

Billy Wagner blew his third save of the season last night, giving up two runs to the Pirates in the top of the 9th, and costing Pedro another win. The Mets hung on to win it on a Delgado homerun in the bottom of the 12th, though. They’re now 18-9, and still 5 games ahead of Atlanta. The offense seems to be struggling a bit, and they’re still winning. When the middle of the order catches fire again, they’ll be almost unstoppable.

Thanks to Shane, I’m writing this post directly in Firefox, using Performancing, yet another Firefox extension. I’m now running 17 extensions. The Performancing metrics statistics are pretty neat, too, but I really would like Google to give me an Analyitics invitation code already. Not that I really use the stats for anything useful, anyway.

No poker news to report, as I haven’t been playing much. No real reason for that, except that I just haven’t been in the mood to play. When I feel like that, I get bored quickly, my play suffers, and it’s usually just a waste of money. I’m sure I’ll feel the need to play again sometime soon. In the meantime, go read some better poker blogs linked on the left there.

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Posted by alan to [baseball, bowling, geek, meta, poker] at 4:36 pm PT | Link | Comments (0)
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Signs Misleading to Nowhere

I don’t know how you people do it. Many of the blogs I read have deeply personal stuff that I couldn’t imagine publishing. Mine is pretty much limited to poker, bowling, baseball, and a few other random things – though I’ve been lightly researching on how to publish a children’s book, potentially. Honestly, I very rarely feel the need to write something personal, but the few times I do, I don’t do it anyway. I have a post that I’ve written in my head now at least a dozen times, but every time I try to actually get it down on virtual paper, it just doesn’t happen. I sit there for a few minutes, and then give up and go do something else. Even if I could write it, I doubt I’d get myself to publish it. That I’m even writing about the fact that I can’t write the posts I want surprises me.

Instead of writing it the most recent time, I went and changed the sidebars on my blog to WordPress Widgets. It’s a pretty cool plugin, and makes changing the contents of the sidebars pretty simple. Unfortunately, my layout is different enough from standard ones that I still can’t just drop in new widgets and use them without a little hacking, but it’s pretty much the same changes I need to make to each one, and they’re pretty easy. While I was at it, I added the cool little +/- buttons on each widget so you can collapse and expand each one. The main reason for that was so I can default the poker blogs section to be minimized and actually use that sidebar for other useful things. The last thing I need to do before I’ll consider it done is make it use cookies to remember which boxes are expanded and collapsed on a computer so it’ll always look the same when you come back.

Wasn’t that last paragraph about cool new features on my blog more interesting than my personal issues that no one really cares about? I thought so.

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Posted by alan to [general, meta] at 11:19 pm PT | Link | Comments (10)
Monday, April 24, 2006

I have a lot of things I want to talk about, but I can’t seem to find the motivation to do it right now.

Instead, I’m wasting my time finding things like LiveJournal Crossposter, a WordPress plugin that lets me crosspost everything here and at my LiveJournal that I set up just so I could comment on other people’s. Not really sure why I bothered setting this up, but I think I’ll leave it.

Five year college reunion, poker, bowling, baseball… can’t find the energy to actually write anything right now. Hell, this post is really just to let you all know I’m still here.

That’s all for now.

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Posted by alan to meta at 11:58 pm PT | Link | Comments (1)
Friday, March 10, 2006
The Space That’s in Between Insane and Insecure

Yesterday, I upgraded my blog to WordPress 2.0.2. It was relatively painless, though are a few things that are still broken. My gallery no longer works, but I’ve been wanting to find something new for that anyway. Part of the reason for the upgrade was to actually clean up a lot of the junk that had accumulated in my web directory. I had done a lot of customization, and was using WP before it had themes, so my layout and all the custom code was all sitting there. Now, I’ve moved it to a theme, and the only customization I’ve done to the actual WordPress code is a tweak to get my archive listing to look the way I want it to. I’ve also installed another plugin, Brian’s Threaded Comments, so you (and I) can actually reply to specific comments on posts now.

Thanks to Chris for the recommendation of Hamachi. It’s basically a zero-configuration VPN that lets me access my home machines from work as if they were on a LAN together. No more messing with port forwarding, and crazy configuration stuff. I’ve also had my father set it up as well, and now we can send files back and forth just by accessing Windows shares and copying things. Today, I actually copied files from my home machine to my father’s machine across the country, by just dragging them from one shared folder to another while at work. It’s very cool.

Tomorrow, I’m playing in a $220 buyin, 700+ field tournament at Chumash. I’ve played in it a few times before, and cashed once. The payout structure is very steep; they pay 100 places, with first getting $50k and 9th only $1500. It should be fun, I hope.

Sunday is the first event in the WPBT-POY (Player of the Year) Race, set up by Byron.

What: Pot-Limit Omaha

Where: PokerStars (Private Tourney 20742121) (password wpbt72)

When: Sunday, March 12th at 9:30 PM EST (that’s 6:30 PM PST, according to the supercomputer I use to keep track of time-zone changes).

Cost: $20+2 (couldn’t make a $15 tourney and there were slightly more votes for $20 than $10)

Requirements: Be a poker blogger who wants to take part in this year-long experiment. The poker blogging requirements will be light. Even if you post as often as Hdouble, or mention as much poker as AlCantHang, you are good. This rule will be enforced on an honor system. Non-bloggers will not be eligible for the title and the as yet unannounced prize at the end of the year.

Monday, we have the DADI Shorthanded Poker tournament, set up by Jordan and TripJax.

D.A.D.I. Shorthanded Poker
Monday, March 13th starting at 9pm

Finally, this year’s first WPBT WSOP Satellite will be held on Sunday, March 19th. Thanks, Iggy.

WPBT WSOP Satellite Tournament
March 19th – Sunday
9pm EST
Paradise Poker
$30 NL
password: email Iggy

I think that’s it for now.

This new WYSIWYG in WP 2.0 is interesting. I like it, but at the same time I’m so used to typing in my own HTML code for most of my stuff that it makes it strange to use sometimes. I’ll have to get used to it.

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Posted by alan to [geek, meta, poker] at 3:34 pm PT | Link | Comments (5)
Thursday, October 27, 2005
In Focus

Because everyone else is doing it:

My blog is worth $890,844.12.
How much is your blog worth?

My blog really isn’t worth nearly that, even by whatever method was used to come up with the value. Sadly, as far as links back to the actual blog, it’d be worth far less than that. Tehcnorati counts every link to my terror alert page as a link to my blog, though, which pumps up my value nicely.

Here’s a little reminder that the third weekly WWDN Tourney, this one called the Up4Poker Invitational, is tomorrow at 9 PM EST (6 PM in California! I can play from home!). It’s a $10+1 at PokerStars. Don’t forget to sign up and play! These tournaments, and the Blogger Championship on Sunday have pretty much been the only poker I’ve been able to play lately. I still need to get a new desk and set up my computers again so I can get back into it.

Last week, I cracked and bought a $700 item from Woot. It’s something I’d been planning to get eventually, just not quite so soon. Well, my InFocus ScreenPlay 4805 showed up yesterday, with Fedex nicely redelivering a second time when I called them after they tried to deliver while I was at work the first time. It came a 76″ 16:9 screen, and the 10 disc Matrix DVD collector’s set (eBay, here I come!) Sadly, it also came with a wimpy 6 foot s-video cable. I was able to connect two composite video cables I had together and get the thing working (it’s awesome!), but composite doesn’t compare to s-video or component. I spent a little more than I had to on some longer cables, because I think these look pretty cool, and I do want to run both s-video and component to the projector. I’m not one of those people who thinks Monster cables are better because they’re more expensive, though. I also got myself a ceiling mount for it. I can’t wait until it’s all set up. I don’t know if I’m going to mount the screen; it looks pretty damn good on my wall. Very pleased with my purchase.

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Posted by alan to [geek, general, meta, poker] at 3:07 pm PT | Link | Comments (3)
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Now What?

Dammit. Another rakeback program killed. I can’t say I’m really surprised, but this sucks.

We regret to inform you that Party Poker has asked us to remove them from the Frequent Flopper program. As you know, Party Poker has implemented a new policy to stop rakebacks on their site. (Actually, this isn’t a new policy; they are just actively enforcing it now). Since we don’t offer cashback with our program and OUR program was approved directly by Party Poker over a year ago, we thought we were going to be able to continue to list them on our site. In fact, we spoke to Party Poker in person about this just a couple of months ago during a London visit. However, the only thing that is certain in this world is change. We have no choice but to comply with Party Poker’s request. We are no longer taking sign-ups for Party Poker via the Frequent Flopper Program and our last payment will be made to our customers by June 10th for the period ending May 31st. This will not affect any other PSO/Party Poker promotions. We apologize for any inconvenience.


I don’t know where to play anymore, now, and I guess I don’t have a way to generate PSO points other than referrals (I already have accounts at all of their other frequent flopper sites). I guess I’ll have to keep playing at Party for the fish, but, they’re certainly not doing anything else to want to make me stay.

In other news, spammers have quickly figured out my comment preview button. Today I found one legitimate comment amidst 277 spams, waiting for moderation. I’ve outright banned a few words from my comments and will see how that does. If anyone has a good spam prevention solution for WordPress, please let me know. All the ones I’ve tried lately have way too many false positives that I never find out about.

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Posted by alan to [meta, poker] at 4:37 pm PT | Link | Comments (0)
Thursday, May 12, 2005
New Post


The trackball at home didn’t seem to help. I rearranged my desk, and started using my mouse again, and so far so good. The SmartGlove seems to be helping a bit. I picked up some stress balls from Staples. Get ’em while they’re on clearance. I’m taking glucosamine and chondroitin. I still haven’t been playing much online poker, but my wrist feels much better. I played softball for the first time since I got hurt this week. I did fine, but we still got killed. Next week, I’m going to try to start bowling again. We’ll see how that goes. It has been almost two months now.


While I haven’t been playing online poker much (I played – badly – in the WPBT WSOP Satellite last night), I did manage to make it up to Chumash last Friday. The game there is now $100 or $200 (not in between – weird) buyin NL, $2/$5 blinds. I played for around 5 hours and made $215. I didn’t play any terribly exciting hands, and was never all-in. Just won a few decent sized pots and stayed out of the way with my junk. It was good to play live again after my horrendous play in Vegas last month. I actually felt like I played well this time.

I really do want to get back into playing online poker again, but don’t want to reinjure myself. I rearranged my desk so my keyboard and mouse are on the desk instead of in the keyboard drawer, and I think that will help, but there’s not enough room on the desk for it. So… I just ordered my second 2001fp (for $352.90 after crazy coupons and the $150 Dell gift card I got from ECD), and it will replace my CRT on my desk. That should free up enough space to leave the keyboard and mouse up there permanantly. Then I can get back to playing online again, I hope. ECD and PSO have so many new rooms that I need to do (Noble Poker, Superior Poker, Poker Rewards, Paradise Poker). Plus, I’m letting Party skin bonuses slip away because I can’t play. On top of all that, I actually want to play. It’s frustrating not being able to.

For the record, I just bought a 20.1″ LCD monitor for my health.


I recently installed a plugin for WordPress to force comment previews. Hopefully, it’ll be a while before spammers catch on to this one. It seems right now they just submit and then ignore whatever comes back. I haven’t gotten any spam since I installed it, and you should be able to leave comments now without getting redirected elsewhere. You’ll just have to preview it first, which I like having there anyway.


I’m heading to New York this weekend for a Mets game wedding, and will be going to my first game at Shea in a few years while I’m there. The Mets are in second to last place in the NL East, but they’re really not too bad. Well, they have the best offense in the East, I think, but their pitching sucks. Only Philly in their division has given up more runs. Anyway, they’re still over .500 (barely – by one game), and only 3.5 games out of first place. There’s still plenty of baseball left to play, plenty of time for them to drop out of the race entirely. Or replace the entire bullpen, starting with the closer. This will be my first baseball game of the season.

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Posted by alan to [baseball, general, meta, poker] at 2:38 pm PT | Link | Comments (1)
Friday, April 29, 2005
Stupid Spammers

Dammit, my comment spam filter seems to be blocking all comments now, and redirecting people to the FBI, but when I turn it off I have dozens of spam comments within minutes.

I hate spammers.

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Posted by alan to meta at 2:36 pm PT | Link | Comments (7)
Friday, November 12, 2004

I noticed my site being very slow to load lately. After messing around with it a bit, I came to the conclusion that it was the actual page generation that was being slow, and not the web server or connection. Digging a bit more, I found that most of the slowdown was because of the script I was using to track how many hits my page was getting. It was storing a whole lot more data than necessary, and filling up a MySQL table with far too many records (it was at over 73,000). That’s been fixed. I also cleaned up the database I’m using for the newsfeeds on my sidebars so it deletes old data, and only keeps what it needs to. The boingboing and slashdot tables were at around 2000 lines each. That produced some speedup as well.

The page generation time has gone from 2.5-4 seconds to generally under 0.3 seconds. At some point, I’m going to see if I can cut down on the number of database queries I do. That should help bring that number down even lower.

[Note: If you’re interested, you can view the source of the page, and see how long it took to get to various points of generation in comments in the HTML.]

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Posted by alan to meta at 7:44 pm PT | Link | Comments (4)
Monday, November 8, 2004

Taking my cue from Michael, here is my first check:

This one was for September 8th through the end of the month. Not too shabby. Thank you, Google.

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Posted by alan to meta at 5:33 pm PT | Link | Comments (5)
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