7/30/2007

07-30-07 - 1

Went for a bike ride around Palo Alto and passed the Pulgas Water Temple which is a cool bizarro old public works monument to the aqueduct that brings water to SF from Hetch Hetchy. (Hetch Hetchy is a great valley in the Sierra Nevada near Yosemite which was supposedly just gorgeous until it was dammed and flooded to provide a drinking water supply). It's such a surreal random thing. Supposedly its sister, the Sunol Water Temple is way more amazing.

Turns out the cycling straight out of Stanford is like the best around; there are lots of routes and the roads are smooth and the traffic is tolerable. If your legs can make it up to Skyline then there's a world of options but I'm not in good enough shape yet to anything more than hit Skyline and collapse and coast back down.

I remember when I worked at HP I would drive up Page Mill to go hiking and mountain biking in the open spaces all around there. I would see road bikers on Page Mill and I thought they were just stupid/insane = nuts. That road is crazy steep and narrow and pretty high traffic, cars go flying around the turns in both directions and there's like no shoulder. Now I can almost relate to them. Sure would be nice if the road surfaces were better though.

7/27/2007

07-27-07 - 1

Well Dan's bike got stolen off the street in our neighborhood while she had it locked outside a restaurant grabbing lunch. It's a fucking $300 bike, so retarded, now I'm gonna have to buy a replacement. I guess we'll have to buy better locks too. One of the things that pisses me off is it's a well travelled neighborhood, there must've been people watching it happen who did nothing.

In the mean time I was biking up San Bruno Mountain. I did "Paradise Loop" the other day and have decided that I hate all the rides I can do out of my house. They all involve nasty crowded streets, stop signs, crossing train tracks, horrible pot-holey deadly roads, pedestrian obstacles, and so on. Blech fuck puke.

7/26/2007

07-26-07 - 1

So the market has started the correction I've been predicting for a long time, which I've written about here, but in a nutshell is based on the fact that the US economy is currently built on a foundation of hot air blown by the balloon of false housing equity. It took a huge hit in the last few days but I believe that this is only a small correction compared to the plummet that we might see. Unfortunately I still have a ton of money in stock because I don't know what else to do with it.

It's funny whenever the market starts to correct these days, the talking heads are shipped out from the financial think tanks to try to prop them up. They talk a lot of nonsense about how it's not that bad, it's just a small correction, don't panic, etc. It's really just one step away from what they were doing in the dot-com days talking up stocks that they were IPO'ing.

In more happy news Trader Joes has this "Glass Mountain Syrah" for $3.99 that's quite superb, spicy, chewy, with some depth.

7/24/2007

07-24-07 - 1

Ah LOLOLO , ADM has this new commercial about how they grow soy in America and export it to China and how wonderful that is. "We take massive government subsidies and use that to grow a commodity at huge expense and export it to a massive agrarian country at a huge loss - ADM - we have the know how and experience to make big profits for our executives and shareholders while screwing up the world economy".

7/23/2007

07-23-07 - 1

The villification of Barry Bonds is totally retarded, and is largely the creation of the media and Major League Baseball. Barry has always happilly played the villain character that was his role, and he continues to be the scapegoat now. His role is to accept all the blame and hate for the whole steroid era, to provide a sacrificial lamb for the public to focus their anger upon, and then to forget everyone else that was involved. The people who are the real villains here are Bud Selig and all the owners and managers and everyone else involved in MLB. Back when McGwire and Sosa were battling for the single season home run record, it was incredibly obvious to anyone with half a brain that they were huge juicers (along with Canseco, Giambi, Palmeiro, and pretty much every slugger in the 90's and 2000's). MLB did nothing, because it was great for popularity, at a time when baseball was at an all-time low in popularity following the strike and the surge in popularity of the NFL. Before the "home run kings" ballparks were empty and baseball was in big trouble. They saved the game and made the organizations rich and the owners and executives all gladly turned a blind eye.

The Michael Vick thing really makes me sick. Not what he did - but the reaction. The stupid American public cares more if you hurt some dogs than if you drive drunk, rape a woman, murder someone, or all the other things that athletes have done in the past that didn't raise that big of a stir. Hurting people, meh, everyone does that, hurting dogs, ZOMG WHAT A MONSTER!

7/20/2007

07-20-07 - 1

A little poker update/brag. I've been moving up in the poker world. I've been at the 200NL games for a while, but started trying the 400 and 600 games last week, and am now taking shots at the 1000NL ($10 blind) games. They're much tougher and more aggressive and you have to make good reads and aggressive plays all the time. At the moment I'm mostly just trying to play pretty safe, target only bad players and stay out of pots with the goods players, because $1000 is a lot to me and I don't really want to get in a lot of high-variance insanity. I've been doing really well so far despite some insane big bad beats and some really bad spew plays by me. I'm gonna try to stay focused and concentrate on the game and put in the hours. Unfortunately my body is just wrecked right now and spending a lot of time on the computer is incredibly painful for me.

Anyway this is one of the more interesting pots I've played that illustrates the kind of stuff that's going on. Villain is a decent aggressive TAG. I open a lot of pots and cbet and he's sick of it. I mess around here because there are very few real hands that he would make this play with. Good aces like AK he will reraise preflop, same for AA and JJ. AJo he might not even call with cuz he's out of position, or he might reraise it. So about the only hand he can have is 55, but I have a 5 so there's only one possible way to make bottom set. I'm guessing his hand is something like 88 or perhaps 67 or something. Of course in the really aggressive games I can't make this play cuz he might check-shove the turn with air and I couldn't call. The fact that I have a pair is also nice just in case he has something like a flush draw, that way if he calls the turn I can check down the river and win.

No Limit Hold'em Ring Game (6 max) , 4 players
Blinds : $5/$10

Stacks:

UTG: fish: $389
BTN (Hero): cbloom: $1077.50
SB: TAG1: $3631.95
BB: TAG2: $1463.25

Pre-flop: (4 players) Hero is on the Button with 5h 6d
fish folds, Hero raises to $35, TAG1 folds, TAG2 calls.

Flop: Jd As 5d ($75, 2 players)
TAG2 checks, Hero bets $56, TAG2 raises to $175, Hero calls ($119).

Turn: 8c ($425, 2 players)
TAG2 checks, Hero bets $333, TAG2 folds.

Results: (final pot $425)
Hero wins $423 (+$213)

7/12/2007

07-12-07 - 2

In the disaster that is the current Iraq War we can see the wisdom of the restraint of GHW Bush in the first Gulf War. First of all we see that intervening in Kuwait probably was a good move. It sent a clear message that agression wouldn't be tolerated, and also provided an excuse to bomb the hell out of Iraq's military faccilities, install the no-fly zone and the dismantle the weapons programs, all of which was a huge success. I wasn't so sure about the righteousness of even the first Gulf war; in a theoretical moral sense I'm not sure if it's anyone's business getting involved in the wars of other nations, but in hindsight it was sort of like stopping Hitler right away when he annexed the Sudetenland, it stopped a larger potential problem from forming.

At the time, the hawks and jingoists and war-mongers wanted the military to move on to Bagdhad and kill Saddam. GHWB told them not to, the reason being that while we could easily run tanks to Baghdad and topple the government, we could never control the country afterward, and we were already worried about the Shi'ite insurrection in the south having strong ties to Iran (which is why we let them get massacred soon after). Unfortunately, that wisdom and restraint proved fruitless since we made the exact mistake that we avoided then only a few years later.

07-12-07 - 1

Seeing the President's or Vice President's interviews reminds me of these political arguments I would have with people in high school, where at some point somebody just starts completely lying and making up false information, or perhaps really believing some nonsense that they were told, and you just have to stop the argument because you can't have a rational argument when people are taking falsehoods as part of their foundation. The sort of curious thing is that in public politics you can totally get away with it. Basically nobody calls you out, or if they do it's back page material, while your lies are quoted on the front page and on the TV news which is what really matters. I guess there's no crime for the Pres or the VP or others to go to the press and just lie their asses off. They're not in court so it's not perjury, it's not about someone so it's not libel or slander or whatever, it's just lying and it works really well as a political strategy.

7/08/2007

07-08-07 - 2

One of the ways all you capitalist pigs defend your actions is by clinging to the willingness of the consumer. You claim you are making a product or a service which the consumer chooses to pay for, they don't have to, therefore you are doing no wrong. This is ludicrous false logic and rationalization. Clearly, the willingness of the consumer has no relevance to whether they are being robbed or suckered. The whole basis of a "con" is that the consumer happily enters into the con. Today, millions of people enter in credit card, cell phone, and health insurance contracts which are diabolical in the Kafkaesque ways that they suck money from the consumer. Even Ponzi's investors happily bought into his schemes. This has no relevance in whether the seller is suckering and robbing his clients.

07-08-07 - 1

The idea that "partisanship" is inherently bad or that it discredits any argument is also ludicrous. If one party is just *wrong* then being against them is not "partisan". Just because that party disagrees that they are wrong doesn't lend credence to their claim. Having a large group of people who support an evil/absurd cause does not make it a "matter of debate".

7/03/2007

07-03-07 - 1

I'm watching the "Crumb" documentary, and one thing that's really interesting about it is the totally retarded reactions of the critics to his work. There's the pompous guy critic who's trying to interpret it in terms of the legitate artists (Goya, Picasso, etc.) to give it credibility. Then there are the girls who find it offensive/dangerous/pornographic - which it is of course, which is the whole point. It makes me realize how even these days there is so little "art" which really admits to the dark sides and reality of human thought.

7/02/2007

07-02-07 - 1

Not one presidential candidate out of about 20 has the guts to propose a real solution to the Iraq problem. For all the talk of Bush being "independent" and "strong" and so on, he didn't either. Now that we're in this mess a real solution means putting in 500,000 troops for at least 4 years, using the draft if necessary. How about putting more troops in Afghanistan? How about securing Palestine and Lebanon? How about clearing the tribal areas of Pakistan? Not one candidate is actually "tough on terrorism". It may seem obvious that the major candidates aren't going to take unpopular positions like this, but usually in an election there are some fringe candidates like your Pat Buchanan types that will take the more extreme positions and this time we have not one.

On the other side at least you have Gravel, who is clearly a nutcase but he seems to be the only one (other than maybe Ron Paul) injecting some sanity into the debate on Iraq - over and over he asserts that it was a mistake from the beginning to get into Iraq which no one else admits.

BTW it looks at the moment that the Dems have a cake walk to the Presidency. Aside from Bush driving towards ever lower popularity, the Republican frontrunners are just all awful.

old rants