Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Get Out of My LINE!

I used to experience gridlock on a daily basis when I worked in Mexico and lived in the US.  Those border crossings are brutal.  And, of course, I never picked the right line.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Micros–Holiday Special

You will have to watch this several times just to get half the stuff.  Awesome!

Monday, December 20, 2010


The vast majority of blogs I read are hosted by Blogger.

Yet, most people treat Blogger like the ugly, redheaded step-child of blogging platforms.

I tried to switch over the WordPress a while back but they are not as flexible or useful unless you plan to host your site outside of the free WP site.  I couldn’t get flash to work unless I was willing to pay for it.  Screw that.  Blogger let's me do that for FREE.

Anywhooooo.  I popped over to the Blogger Dashboard today to make some modifications to my template when a message popped up notifying me that Blogger Beta (if you haven’t check it out you totally should) now offers a Mobile Template (Beta).  I turned that feature on and was able to see a preview:

Zooks64Net0011 I don’t know about you guys, but my phone is what I rely on to keep me entertained when I am stuck waiting somewhere. 

It was always annoying to try to read blogs on the phone because they just weren’t phone friendly – although, it is much better now with my Android phone than it was with my old Blackberry and WinMo phones.

One of the reasons I prefer to read blogs on my Google Reader is that I don’t have to try to block out all the formatting people do.  Not that y’all have fugly blogs, but let’s face it, I’m pretty sure none of you are web designers (and that includes me).  Just saying.

Speaking of design, if you are a Blogger user and haven’t checked out the new Template Designer you are totally missing out.  It offers so many options to make your blog look spiffy and not the least bit, erm, trashy. NTTAWT.

There is a huge selection of backgrounds many with customizable color options.  The designer makes it so easy to change column widths, headers, fonts, colors.  It is incredibly easy to use and the results are noticeably NOT STOCK BLOGGER TEMPLATE.


One of the best parts is the live preview.  Change anything and it is reflected in the preview.  No more saving and viewing only to find out that something didn’t turn out quite right AND it is live until you fix it. 

If you have grown tired of your blog template, or, if you think your readers have gotten tired of it just pop over the the Blogger Beta and have some fun.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Google Gives

I just spotted this in my reader.  I’m a HUGE Google fan but I’ve just had a real hard time giving up my Firefox.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  Most recently a few days ago.  My Firefox was acting squirrelly and I was just about to call it quits.  I loaded all my bookmarks into Chrome and was off and running again.  Then Firefox released an update and I was back like an addicted crack whore. 

But, this little article by TechCrunch will get me back to using Google Chrome – at least for the next few days.  Maybe by then I will assimilated and there will be no looking back.

Be sure to tech out TechCrunch if you aren’t already a regular reader.


I’m addicted to browser tabs. I probably open several hundred of them each day during my regular web browsing. And today brings good news: Google wants to reward me for that.

Well technically, Google wants to reward charities on my behalf for my obsessive web browsing. A new initiative today called “Chrome for a Cause” asks you to download a Google-made Chrome extension that will note your tab opening activity and allow you to donate to one of five charities at the end of each day based on your usage. Yep, just browse the web, and donate to charity.

The charities involved in this are: The Nature Conservancy, charity: water, Doctors Without Borders, Un Techo para mi Pais, and Room to Read. Here’s Google’s breakdown of how much you have to browse to donate to the various charities:

  • 10 tabs = 1 tree planted
  • 10 tabs = 1 book published and donated
  • 25 tabs = 1 vaccination treatment provided
  • 100 tabs = 1 square foot of shelter built
  • 200 tabs = 1 person’s clean water for a year

The initiative will run for five days from December 15 to the 19. Google says they’ll donate up to a million dollars on behalf of the extension’s users.

Find the extension here. Get clicking.

CrunchBase Information

Google Chrome

Information provided by CrunchBase

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Rush Flush

I had no intention of even trying to do that Rush Week promo on Full Tilt.  Hell, I haven’t even fired up FTP in ages except to try out the Rush app on my phone. 

Snuffy asked me if I was going to do it and I said, “Uh, hell no,” or something equally as obnoxious.  Then I had to sign in to do some research for a writing job only to have the Rush promo pop up in my face.  It was easier to just say yes and go on than to turn it down. 

There I was sitting there on the couch last night.  Nothing new on the intertubes.  Ho hum.  Aw heck, I should fire up FTP and play some Rush pokers cause they are sooooo much fun.  Not.  No, not really.  Not fun at all.  The last several times I played Rush I swore I would never, ever play that shite again.

So, instead of playing my usual stakes I figured I could just donk around at $10 Rush.  That can’t be that painful, right?  I mean, how long can it take me to get 10 FPPs at Rush?  (I totally forgot that FTP decided to change their FPP formula to reward the agrodonktarded players and penalize the nits.  And by nits, I mean me.

I play the few small pairs I get until I pick up KK.  I raise it up and get a caller.  An A on flop but I still bet at it and get raised.  I fold like the nit I am and move on.  Since I have the auto-top off feature turned on I have no idea how down I am when I pick up KK again.  The flop comes out 8 high and, once again, my c-bet gets raised but I’m not going to fold this time. It all goes in on the flop and I’m rewarded with a nice double up versus 99.

Then comes THE HAND.

  • Pre-Flop ($0.15, 9 players) Hero is CO
  • sJ s9

2 folds, DieBySword901 raises to $0.20, 2 folds, Hero calls $0.20, 2 folds, izei84 calls $0.10

  • Flop ($0.65, 3 players)
  • sK h5 sQ

izei84 checks, DieBySword901 checks, Hero bets $0.40, izei84 raises to $1.10, DieBySword901 folds, Hero calls $0.70

  • Turn ($2.85, 2 players)
  • s7

izei84 checks, Hero bets $2.85, izei84 calls $2.85

  • River ($8.55, 2 players)
  • sT

izei84 checks, Hero bets $6, izei84 folds

  • Final Pot: $14.55
  • Hero wins $13.98 (net +$3.83)
  • izei84 lost $4.15
  • DieBySword901 lost $0.20

Yeah, I was feeling jiggy.  I mean who wouldn’t play that in position??? 

I was totally not going away on that flop.  I had second nut flush and a gutterball straight flush draw.  I think that’s donkey for, “I’m ready to gambol, bitches!” 

Why oh why couldn’t that guy have the As?  Sigh.  I was convinced he did or I wouldn’t have bet so much.  As it was, I’m sure he wasn’t calling any bet on that river.

I’ve hit four royal flushes on FTP and a few straight flushes but I never suspected I would actually hit one at Rush since I mostly set mine my pairs and hope to stack somebody.  Rush just doesn’t lend itself to playing a lot of soooooted connectors. 

I managed to get my 10 FPPs in just 115 hands.  As soon as I was done with the Rush Flush hand I logged off.  Nothing like quitting while you are ahead.  Smile

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I’m thankful that we don’t do our big meal on Thanksgiving Day. 

My brothers-in-law go to their in-law’s houses for Thanksgiving Day so we get together as a family on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Yeah, that can really mess you up if you are one of those crazy people that shop at the butt crack of dawn on Black Friday.  Luckily, I’m not one of those people.  I usually buy my stuff online and thank the UPS driver profusely when he cheerfully delivers my packages.

Instead of slaving over a hot stove today…. wait a second, we do that today too.  Sigh.  We are busy pre-preparing as many dishes as we can so we can spend the day tomorrow cleaning house and setting the table. 

My in-laws purchase and prepare the turkey.  I just throw its ass in the oven and wait for the little popper to tell me it is done while the four men watch sports, and the six children run amok in the basement.  We womenfolk drink in the kitchen.  It’s a win/win situation.  I have to have everything presentable by 2:00pm.  I plan to be tipsy from about 2:15pm on.  Just so’s you know.

The replacement tree was delivered bright an early on Monday morning!  Just in time for the torrential rains to hit next two days later.  It really is quite a feat to watch them remove the old stump then return to install the new tree.  The same guy installed two other trees for us when we first moved into this house 6.5 years ago.  He truly is an artiste.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I have a reputation of being quite the Nit.  Unfounded I must say.  But, if you work it right you can play on your image and win pots you have no business winning.

In the last cash game I was able to steal a pot from QQ with nothing better than a turned pair of Yaks on a K high board because the victim was convinced that I would never bet anything less than a K there.  Smile 

Here’s Phil Laak taking advantage of his reputation for being a nit:

Plays like that set you up for plays like this:

Schwartz never saw that coming.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Toy

I have a new toy!

No, it doesn’t need batteries.  Battery, yes.  Batteries, no.

I have had my eye on this Toshiba netbook for some time.  I even recommended it to a neighbor that was looking for a netbook.  She bought one when a great deal came up.  I held off. 

I kept looking for a new netbook since my old one is horribly underpowered for I want it to do.  But, alas, I am really really cheap.  Really cheap.  My first netbook was a HUGE deal for the money.  I really loved having that little lightweight wonder to haul around with me when I left home instead of my 8lb 17.3” ASUS.

Late last week the dual core version of the Toshiba netbook I had been lusting for all this time went on sale for the same price that the single core version was at several months ago.  What a dilemma.  Should I bite the bullet or hope for a better price?

I rushed over to my friend’s house and abused her netbook to make sure I could live with the keyboard and form factor.  It took me about 15 minutes to decide to buy one.  It arrived on Monday!  I have been messing around with it ever since.

I love Toshiba.  I really do.  This is the 3rd one in our house.  But, OMG, those people load up an absurd amount of bloatware.  I removed about half of it; it has made a HUGE difference in how long it takes this machine to load.  I will do a little more research but I suspect that most of the programs left can also be removed with little or no impact.  Hell, they even included a CD/DVD writing program – this netbook DOESN’T HAVE A CD/DVD DRIVE!  Doh.

The original plan was to sell the old netbook but TOH has expressed some interest in having it (Not Zerb called him a douchenozzle for wanting to keep it, oh yes he did).  That will officially up the count of computers in our house to, gasp, six.  We are totally outnumbered.  If they ever decide to revolt we are toast.

Too bad the extra ram stick I ordered turned out to be defective.  A replacement will be sent but until then I will have to live with the 2gb it came with. 

P.S.  I was working my way through my reader on Monday and ran across a deal on an Acer netbook comparably equipped for $100 less!  Sigh.  But, it looked like that deal was live for about a nanosecond because the second time I went back to look at it the deal had expired.  Had I not already purchased the Toshiba I would have ordered one of those in less than nanosecond time.  Acer may not be a top brand but that little netbook I have has held up quite well in spite of all the abuse I have dished out.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

PokerSlut Tour XIX HORSE

A horse is a horse, of course, unless it’s a donkey.  Then all bets are off.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Sundays, but not today.  Go give yourself a sugar coma sneaking candy from your kids’ treat bags.  That is, after all, what Halloween is all about.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Just a little windy out here today.


Just a little.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

PokerSlut Tour PLO DS

Not only will I be hungover from my Home Game, I will be trashed from attending the Central Illinois Youth Symphony’s Wine Tasting and Silent Auction fundraiser. 

So, come take my chips.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Home Game

I’m hosting a home game tonight.  After the boys spend the whole afternoon at a swim meet I should be primed to drink and play poker. 

Maybenotsomuch but I will do it anyway.

Poker is starting to wear thin with me. 

The PokerSlut Tour has been running for what feels like an eon.  It has been a struggle to get the numbers back up after taking the summer off.  I suspect it may run through this season and maybe one more but unless the poker landscape improves in that time frame I see the end of the PokerSlut Tour on the horizon.

I lost my ass at the SlyPalooza in Michigan only to come home and lose even more at my local boat.  I have been trying to play more online but I have been so busy with “real life” that I haven’t had much time for it.  I was doing well until the other night when I lost four buyins playing 6M 25nl. 

Yeah, poker is wearing on me. 

Maybe I’ll just plan on drinking and donking out early tonight.  Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

Friday, October 22, 2010


If only….

I would kill for a T-1 connection.  I live out in BFE.  I doubt we ever get fiber optic service out here. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

PokerSlut Tour XIX Limit Holdem

Yes, it is time for that slow painful death known as Limit Poker. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hot Date!

euchreTonight is drunken euchre.

TOH is out of town at his Alma Mater’s homecoming.

I have a date.  Wooohoooooo  ooooo.

I offered to drive since he doesn’t know where we are going so there won’t be any drinking for me.  My neighbor might want me to bring her husband home alive after agreeing to loan him to me for the night.  If not for her I’d be stuck at home with the kids tonight. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gay Marriage

My BFF T sent me this.  Awesome!

If you mind the f*cking language, well, then don’t hit play.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Falling for Fall

In the last few days the Ash tree in my front yard has gone from luscious green to burnt yellow and is now spewing leaves all over my yard.  I guess that’s what happens after a few frosty nights followed by several 80° days.  My poor tree.

I guess Fall has finally made it here.  I find it hard to believe since I’m sweltering in my office even as the air conditioner is running. 

I can’t wait for Halloween - by then the weather is down right chilly at night.  I usually sit on the front porch and hand out candy to the kids.  I had to stop wearing my witch’s cape and making up my face after I scared the begeesus out of the little kids in the neighborhood a few years ago.  Maybe after they have grown up some they will be ready for my witchiness; by then it won’t require any makeup Winking smile.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


I always knew I was an excellent multi-tasker…

P.S.  Windows Live Writer automagically resized this comic to fit my blog’s width setting.  Just sayin.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Windows Live Writer

I listen to several tech podcasts: CNet’s Buzz Out Loud (the boys and I think Molly Wood is a scream!), This Week in Tech, This Week in Google and Windows Weekly among others.

The Windows Weekly has been very helpful; based on Paul Thurrrott’s unabashed love of his Windows Home Server I ended up buying one and fell in love with it myself.  For less than $300 I picked up a refurbed (roxors!) HP MediaSmart Home Server with a 750gb hard drive.  Now that we have five computers in the house the home server has been the a life saver for backing up all the machines.  I don’t really use it much for media sharing but I have set it up to collect music and pictures from all the machines.

Recently Leo Laporte and Paul Thurrott discussed the newly released Microsoft Essentials.  With the exception of the Windows Movie Maker I have no use for the programs bundled in the Essentials package.  Paul waxed poetic about Windows Live Writer;  he uses it to write his many blog posts. 

Let’s admit it: Blogger sucks as far as it’s interface for composing posts.  A long time ago I started using the ScribeFire add-on to Firefox.  One of the reasons I gave up on Chrome was how horrible ScribeFire was in Chrome – well, that among other reasons.  Recent updates to ScribeFire have left me less than dazzled by the program but it was significantly better than Blogger. 

I was more than ready to give Live Writer a try.  After setting it up I spewed out a post.  I was more than delighted to see that it pulled in my Style Sheet in perfect detail.  Everything about my post was exactly as it would appear once posted unlike any other posting program I have tried.  It offers all the expected options: links, photos, videos, and the usual formatting stuff.  Spell checking and word count are also very handy. 

You can publish to multiple blogs and numerous blogging protocols are supported.  I’m not usually a Windows fangirl but this little freebee has really impressed me.  If you have a blog, particularly a Blogger blog, you should give it a try.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Wake Up!

My youngest is sleep challenged.  Or rather, wake challenged.  Talk about grumpy and impossible to wake up. 

I thought it would improve now that he can actually sleep in later in the morning but, alas, this isn’t the case.

Mind you, this boy is only 11 years old!   Oh the hell I will go through when he actually hits those teen years.

I can’t tell you how many times I have felt like doing this:

I’m sure I have a stray water bottle running around here somewhere…

Monday, October 04, 2010

HP Fail

My FIL (father-in-law) has been having problems with an HP laptop that he bought about 3 years ago.  He uses it only for travel.  Every Sunday he fires it up, checks for Windows updates and runs a virus scan. 

Not too long ago his screen started giving him fits.  We thought it was probably dead and found a nice little ASUS to replace it but first he took it to the computer shop.  I warned him that he shouldn’t invest a lot of money into fixing it as it wasn’t worth it.  He ended up getting it repaired against my advice.  He even said he was excited to buy the new machine but instead opted to get the old one fixed.

A few weeks later he told me that it wouldn’t start up.  After a lengthy conversation I determined that there were probably some updates that hadn’t completed installing and that he should fire it up again and give it some time to finish doing its thing.  Sure enough the laptop made it back into the world of the living…. until…. 

Until he called me again saying his machine was acting squirrelly.  He wasn’t wrong.  There was definitely something wrong with it.  When Windows 7 came out I bought him a copy to upgrade the laptop.  He opted for an in place upgrade instead of a completely fresh install (my preferred option).  Somehow something managed to get totally messed up. 

I suggested that we do a completely new install of the OS and hope that fixes his problems.  I picked the machine up from him and spent a few hours getting the new installation up and running.  Everything was working fine until I got a frantic call from him yesterday saying it wasn’t booting up. 

He was finally resigned to replacing it since he was going out of town in a week and really wanted a laptop to take with him.  Luckily there was a nice deal on a 14” Toshiba at Amazon.  I ordered it with my Amazon Prime account with free 2-day shipping.  You know what I’ll be doing come Tuesday afternoon.

I really enjoy shopping for computers.  But you knew that already, didn’t you????

A neighbor told me she was in the market for a netbook so I recommended a Toshiba T215d that I had been eyeballing for myself.  After I trashed my netbook’s LCD I seriously considered buying one the Toshibas to replace it.  There was even a killer deal running on the red one.  I got to play with hers for a bit and I was impressed.  Toshiba has one of the best reliability records for laptop computers as opposed to HP who has one of the worst reliability records for laptops (1 in 4 machines is expected to fail within the first 3 years). 

I have owned several HPs and have been disappointed in all of them. My Toshiba has been an excellent machine and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another one (we have two now) and recommend them to my friends.  My experience with HP has not been good and I have had several friends that have had machines fail as well. 

I can’t wait to get my hands on my FIL’s new Toshiba.  I’m sure he will be delighted with it and I expect it to give him many years of trouble free service.  I’m still lusting after that Toshiba netbook.  Who knows, maybe I’ll find a killer deal that I can’t pass up.  Or I’ll get a real job and be able to afford new toys.  Nah, that’ll never happen.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Blind Type

When I first saw this a while back I was thrilled!  I really wanted to try it but it hadn't been released. 

I just read this on AndroidGuys:

Ever wonder what happened to the company BlindType? You know, the one's that have the bad ass predictive keyboard (to see a demo click here). Well Droid-Life is reporting that the company announced today that they have been acquired by the Big G, Google. This is great news! See the official statement below!

We are excited to announce that BlindType has been acquired by Google!

We want to thank everyone for their overwhelming support and positive feedback.
We know that typing on your mobile device can be a frustrating experience, which is why
we’ve worked hard to make touch typing easier and faster than ever – the way it should be.

We’re excited to join Google, and look forward to the great opportunities for mobile innovation that lie ahead.

The BlindType team

Does this mean BlindType is going be built into the Android stock keyboard? Let's hope so! That is one great keyboard!

Monday, September 20, 2010


I'm sitting on my front porch with my panting puppy wondering where the hell is fall?

It is 86 fripfrapping degrees outside right now and I have a closet full of new mommy jeans damnit!

I'm ready for fall.  Bring it on.  Now.  Please.

I think I have finally got the swim team finances under control.  Well, at least until the first meet entries are ready to be processed.  They are probably sitting in my folder at the pool as I type.  Oh joy.  I also volunteered to order the team shirts.  As soon as I get this order in I'll be handing out 120 lime green tshirts. 

The PokerSlut Tour has started up after the first hiatus in the 3+ years it has been running.  I think some people forgot about us but with some (not so) gentle reminders we should be back on track soon.  I am also trying to host a bi-weekly cash game.  I had to miss a week for the first night of swimming but the 2nd installment is scheduled for tonight.  If you find yourself in the neighbor feel free to stop by and donk off a few of your hard earned pesos my direction.

Even though I resigned my position as the HOA President last December I haven't found a replacement sucker volunteer so I have been stuck doing some of the unavoidable duties, ie., hold the annual meeting this past Sunday.  We had a small turnout but it seems like we have some renewed interest in running the association.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

TOH (The Other Half) is in Germany.  He went on a whirlwind 12 day journey to Germany and Austria for work complete with scenic half day train ride through the Alps.  No matter how much he tries he can't convince me that business trips are a pain in the ass.  I used to LOVE to go on business trips when I was gainfully employed and had an expense account.  Poor guy has been plied with beer and food at every stop.  Yeah, I feel real sorry for him.

The boys and I have been roughing it all alone.  We have become enthralled with the latest (2005-present) BBC production of Doctor Who.  The other night we were up to 1am finishing off season three.  Torchwood is also on the must watch list.  I'm not sure when we are going to squeeze that in with all the swimming and other activities we have lined up.

The oldest has been playing the cello for over three years.  He was invited to audition for the local Youth Concert Orchestra and Youth Symphony.  That is coming up this Thursday and I can tell he's apprehensive.  I'm sure he will do fine - if his last minute homework crunching skills are any example he performs well under pressure.  *hangs head and shakes it in frustration*  I once hoped he would get a horrible grade on a project he threw together the morning it was due because he'd been denying he had any homework.  The little snot got an A. 

Now that I have soothed my guilty conscience for not posting on here I will sign off and try to convince the panting puppy that we should be in the comfortably air conditioned house.

Sunday, September 12, 2010