Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt"

"...Breathe... Breathe in the air..." - Pink Floyd


An interesting thing occurred to me last night during practice.
It was after my match (which I lost due to the fact that I couldn't put together a 2 ball run, pathetic) and I was playing a game of 14.1 (Straight Pool.) It was after I ran the first rack, set up not exactly perfect for the break shot. I decided that I would use a little bit of top english, a touch of left, and a firm medium stroke.... after I decided all of this, I got down on my shot, and executed, perfectly.
What's interesting is I haven't EVER done this in my past.
I see a shot, and decide what kind of route I need to get position on the next ball, then I bend down to the table... when I'm on the cue ball taking my practice strokes, that's when I decide what kind of english I'm going to use.

I went 3 or 4 racks with this in mind. Decide the shot, THEN get down on the shot... don't do a half/half thing. Which is awesome. I was getting perfect position... within inches of my goal. Make a ball, go 3 rails, and getting right where I want, within 3".... an amazing feeling.

Too bad I didn't realize this before the match.

0-3 Other guy, not me. Damnit.

This weekend I have a tournament... it starts Saturday, ends on Sunday.
I think it's a double elimination, but I could be wrong. I know there's a re-buy but I don't know how much.
A couple of guys from my team are going along. We were talking about how perfect the game makes us feel. Nothing to think about, nothing to worry about. Just get to the table, hold the stick, focus on 1 sphere, one pocket, move to the next ball.

Maybe it isn't the right word, but it's the first that comes to mind.
Closer, but isn't the perfect word.


There's nothing that compares, at least not that I'm aware of.
Maybe an artist drawing or painting. A doodle after sketch, develops into a masterpiece or 7 other doodles. 8 hours later the artist realizes they're 5 hours late for work.
A guitarist playing riffs upon riffs creating muffled noise and distorted solos to every other ear, but to the guitarist it's a 6 hour getaway from the world.
Forget Food.
Screw the water and bathroom breaks, just play.
A scientist on the brink of a new discovery. Test tubes and magnifying devices everywhere. 72 hours of data and research, the scientist realizes he's this close to messing up a clone because he hasn't eaten or slept for 2 and a half days, but he's about to cure AIDS.

Top of the world.


And I'm about to get nearly 48 hours straight of this mind-peace.
I can't wait.




Dreamt is a word, right?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain. (I know some people like that also)

Tuesday was a league night... in a race to 4.
My opponent was a cheater. Outright.
Didn't bother me, it just gave me more motivation to stomp the crap out of her and take the match. Much like a recent post by Pool Minnow about an opponent she played during a tournament.

Congrats to her for the win, btw.

Cheater made me hate her more than I hate gum on the underside of my hat. Not that this happens often, but if it does... I reallllly hate it. Trust me.

So we played a race to 4
I took the lag, then cheater won the first rack, it was then that I realized cheater didn't like to play fair.
Cheater would move a ball with her hand/stick and not think twice about moving it back. Just take her shot and move it back "best she could"

I played, I watched her make balls without even thinking about position.

When the cueball and object are close enough (usually within a chalk's width), a double hit is possible/more likely. You can tell if there was a double hit by the direction of the cueball after object ball contact. Please see exhibit ADoubleHit

Cheater would double hit and not say anything, even when the cue stopped in an obvious run out position for me, or her....

I played, I watched her cheat at little things like this. I figure cheater must have really needed this win.

In the 2nd game I scratched (a secondary object ball knocked the rock in a weird direction) Immediately cheater encouraged her team to celebrate as if cheater just won the Olympics.
Cheater would jump and scream loudly. I came close (once) to dropping the eight ball early, to my left it sounded like a 2nd grade wedding reception was suddenly released onto the playing field of a homecoming football game.

I played, I watched her team's excellent sportsmanship skills.

Cheater would foul by missing everything, sometimes not even hit a rail... Cueball just rolls methodically 1 diamond away from her stick, would cheater call it? NOooo... just walk away from the table as if it was a completely legit. "Maybe he won't notice"

I played, I watched her avoid playing safe for the beautiful sell out.

Cheater would win the first rack, and that was it.

/remove soapbox

4-1 Rabbit

Thursday Night was an interesting night.  Not due to the league match, but due to the games after the match. I'll probably explain in the next post.

The league match was against some new guy. According to his dress and lack of words, I think he was a truck driver in town for the week on a delayed delivery.

We shook hands, we went to lag, out of the corner of my eye I see something beautiful. Awe inspiring. Absolutely incredible.
His cue stick was amazingly white. More than the snow atop Pike's Peak Peak in the middle of a December snow storm.
But that's not what caught my interest. It's not what excited the inner's of every muscle in my body. The color wasn't what alerted my body to the fact that every tendon was connected to every bone and every joint interlocked with fluids of cushion.

I stand to take the opportunity to admire the stick.... that's when it struck me.
Not the stick, it's not what struck me.

The realization of what was soooo damned attractive about this stunningly white cue stick.

It's creator, that's what grabbed my attention so fully.
The cue maker was Budweiser.
I was about to play against a guy that's using a cue stick made from a beer company.
My thoughts.... "Wouldn't you do better with a house cue?"

In a race to 4, I win.

4-0 Rabbit

Oh Customer's, how I loath you

Every now and then we send out update CD's for the system that I support.
It has bug fixes and address updates and usual junk like that.
Every single "patch cd" that's sent out has exact and precise instructions on the CD case.
Every time we send out a bulk amount of these CD's, inevitably our call queue escalates due to people having issues trying to update their system
Here's an example:

"Hi, I just got the update CD and I need to put it on my computer."

"alright, have you already put the CD in the computer drive?"

"yeah, it's in there right now. Didn't do nothin' tho' "

"Ok, click on edit... then options... a new window will open up"

"Got it, it says--" [proceeds to read each and every word starting from the top left corner, and won't allow interruption.]

"Click on the Update Tab in the upper left corner, the very first thing you read off."

"Ok, now it says--" [Started to read again...]

"--I have the same thing on my screen, I can see exactly what you're looking at"

"Oh! Can you see me?"

"Umm.. no, I'm just using a copy of what you're using... it's like looking at something you've faxed to me."

"oh, cause I was gonna do a dance for ya'"

"haha, that's nice of you.... Go ahead and highlight CD-Rom, then Update to the right of that"

"Ok, it has an error message... Somethin' about puttin' a CD in a drive or something?"

"........................where's the CD at right now?"

"right here"

"I'm not see...exactly where....'here' is"

"I'm holdin' it in my hand"

"Ok, let's go back to where we started...."

After 3 attempts the member realizes that she has to not only put the cd in the drive, but also LEAVE it in the drive... not eject it immediately.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Amoeba's are more intelligent than customers.

On Tuesday night, I played another league game.
Playing a race to 3... he needed 4 games.
He got up 3 games... then I caught up 2, then he beat me in the end.

I lost focus.
Completely and totally lost focus.
There were 4 different shots that I could have taken to avoid selling out, but instead I decide to remove the 1 possible safety... and sell out.

2-4 Guy that didn't lose focus

Last night was league night... and I didn't play. So I'll mark that up as a Bye week.

On a MUCH better note... SPORE!!!!!

I've been waiting on this thing for more than 2 years now... They've released a ... release date.
and now I only have some odd 6 something months to wait, pending further postponement.

You start out as a single celled organism in a small droplet of water... through eating and avoiding death you get points. With these points you can upgrade your plankton. Like a spike for eating or grow fins for better movement, etc. After upgrading your little guy you get to move up in the world and create a creature. Over time you develop your creature in each and every way shape and form that you desire. 6 arms 8 eyes and a tail... don't forget a mouth though.

After surviving long enough, you can choose to move out to land... or create bubbles and stay under water. Create a tribe, then a civilization, cities, countries, eventually a planet of various creatures of your own creation. Then build yourself a UFO, fly to another planet... and abduct their creatures and take them back to your place. See if they'll survive... if so, maybe you'll end up cross-breeding. Who knows.

The game is set up to create it's own creatures that will give a challenge to each of your goals. For instance... You're trying to run around and collect food... it'll randomly generate some baddies that you have to kill, or be killed. And you say "but I created my guy with TONS of armor, and a hell of a lot of WEAPONRY!! I can kill EVERYTHING" The game will make a T-Rex that will smash your little guy.

You can start random wars, you can get attacked. You can make friends... beautiful day.

Sept. 7, 2008
Here's a quick clip that gives a good impression of the "little guy" editor

.... and jesus I can't wait.
Awesomeness, in a CD size game

I work in Technical Support, and some days it's ok... like the other day when it was -5 degrees after wind chill. I'm ok with not doing construction to pay the bills.

Other days, I want to kill myself... and take 3 quarters of the nation with me. In the future I'll randomly give examples of calls that I will probably end up in jail as a result of.

Come along with me on this journey of frustration.

Customer: I need to print a receipt for a refund I did earlier. Then send the print out to my customer.

Woe is me: Ok, go into ticket search and find the refund ticket you'd like to print out.

Customer/Caller: Ok, I found it.

Woe is me: Alright, go ahead and double click on it to open the details. Now at the bottom, there's going to be a "print" option... go ahead and click on that.

Customer/Caller: Print? or configure?

Woe is me: Print. (Configure... what?)

Customer/Caller: Ok

Woe is me: Now in the upper left hand corner, put a check mark in "print receipt," and remove the check for "print invoice."

Customer/Caller: Ok

Woe is me: Now click on Execute at the bottom.

Customer/Caller: I have execute, output invoice, and escape.

Woe is me: Click Execute.

Customer/Caller: it says "are you sure you want to print a copy of this invoice? Yes or no?"

Woe is me: If you click no, it won't print out. (did you read the question?)

Customer/Call: my printer's making noise? Is it supposed to do that?... Oh ok, it's my invoice. It's the original sale.

Woe is me: ummm... ok. When you were in ticket search, did you double click on the refund, or something different?

Customer/Caller: I opened the original sale.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

An exciting Week (for me)

When I'm at work... I'm bored.
Very bored.

I have a small table of green felt that I purchased at some store for $2.99.
Other than that, it's a pretty boring cell of cubical likeness.
Extremely bored... so I make things.

I made this today: Hoover2

It's a hovercraft... sorta

It's not efficient enough to actually transport anything, but it can move all on it's own Balloon... CD... adhesive... you know, the usual.


Lately I've been working on a new (to me) shot... basically a lot of top or bottom english with a bit of side. We're talking 10-11... 1-2, or 4-5:30 o'clock... Nothing fancy, but the actual shot is using the side english to throw a ball into a pocket, and still get the planned follow or draw.

I played on Thursday night... it was a much more accurate show of talent/skill.
I played a first timer... a New Guy to the league... so it was a race to 3.
In about 8 swings he was 2 games up, and I realized that I was trying to run the table every chance I got.
It's curious playing people who have never played league before. They're nervous (usually). But the part I enjoy is thinking they could be a pro in the making... and no one knows.
Or they could be a person that knows which end of the stick to hit the cueball with, and understand the other balls are supposed to go in the pockets... annnnd that's about it.

So in the 3rd game I had a hill to climb, and I knew I wasn't looking forward to missing because this New Guy was a decent shot
I started playing safe after safe until I had 2 solids on the table, and he had the 8. I saw a chance to win the game if he went for it.
The 8 was sitting near the side pocket, but you could make it in only from certain angles... Basicly that half of the table. I had a very makable (it's a word, "makable".. sure it is) ball on this end of the table. So I play safe but leave the shot wide open... he goes for the 8 in the corner, scratching in the side. Perfectly as planned.

won the first, then I won the 2nd rack.
Now we're sittin' pretty at hill-hill.

1I break, make nothing and he chooses solids... I couldn't blame him. I had a tough cluster to break out, and I didn't see any easy way to go about it.
So he makes a few, I make a few, he makes a few and misses on the 5, leaving it near the 8. He leaves me down table near my cluster and 1 other stripe I still have sitting out in the shade.
Immediately I see the opportunity for a break out, but I'm set up to miss the pocket if I miss the draw for the break out. A careful shot, so then I decide to 2look for a lockup safety. Lapping around the table I realize all his are out in the open... I don't see any safeties to my satisfaction.
So I play for the break out... I have to hit the 12 JUST BARELY to the left in order for the draw to come back in the right direction... doing this will miss the pocket by a nipple... so I add some right english to make the ball.

Works perfectly, and I run out.


Match is mine.

3-2 Rabbit

The best part about the end of the 3rd game is everyone was watching.
My Cap'n was, the rest of my team was, his cap'n was watching because he just finished giving a coach to my opponent, the table next to us was watching (I was in their way, so they paused).... oh MAN did that feel grand.

For the actual cuetable, click here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Gambling is more fun than playing for free

Overall League Record

Tuesday L L W Future Future Future
Thursday W W W
Future Future

[Picture goes here... reader... you don't see this. Ignore it until there's a picture here.] Tuesday was league. Not a spectacular display of talent during the match.

I was spotting a game in a race to 3. She won 1, won 2, then I rattled the 8 and she ran 3 balls, then out. Rightfully so, she did play a better game. I was too aggressive and lost. 1 reason why I hate this game.

2-2 She wins

Before the match I was playing with a guy on my team that is a bit better than I am. He plays lock up safeties, so we'll call him The Professor. In 9ball, he'd spot me the 8 to make it even. We hit around 2 racks into the pockets... mostly by lucky position and chance safes. Nothing was going as planned for either of us.

So The Professor asks if I wanted to play for something cheap. Maybe a race to three for $5. So I say sure and we play a rack... I win. 1-0

Meanwhile another team member is working to arrive at the pool hall and play the last match of the night, instead of forfeiting the 5th game.

After our first game he shows up and we step aside and let him warm up. After The Professor finished his nacho's... our 2nd rack began. He wins. 1-1

Match time... I go spot a game and she wins, as mentioned.

over the next hour Professor and I play 2 more racks, and now we're tied at 2-2

He's not playing his A game, and I'm not really... so we decide to delay it until next league night, Tuesday.

This was my first 1 vs. 1 gambling thing.

I decided I really like to gamble on my game. It was cheap, but it was a TON more fun. I was no longer just "showing off" my developed skill. Now I was getting paid for it. I didn't focus on the game any more intently when I was gambling, I just played the table. 1 shot at a time, it was nice... relaxing in a way. "Relieving" might be a better word.

Completely opposite what I expected. I figured that I'd get tense and stressed out and bobble easy shots. If anything I focused more under the "pressure" of losing money. If it was $1 I wouldn't care and it would be a simple game for fun. $5... I can make purchase of a full meal (lunch). Or I could buy his lunch. I'd rather he bought mine.

Point is... I like it, and I'm not going to stop any time soon. But I'm not going to go out playing $100 racks or anything crazy like that either.