Friday, July 23, 2010
To me Facebook sounds like one giant pain in the arse. Until someone can convince me that I should join up, I'm staying right out of it. You have to tell everyone what you've been doing every five minutes (or is that Twitter?) and upload photos constantly, presumably photos with people in them. And then there's this business of accumulating friends as if they were football stickers or baseball cards. If I was on Facebook I know I'd only have four friends, or something pathetic, while the bloke in the upstairs flat has 382. I feel inferior enough as it is, thanks. And what if you decide someone isn't your friend any more? You have to "unfriend" or "defriend" them, and that sounds rather messy. Best to avoid it altogether.
Last week the job search was really starting to get me down. Maybe I am unemployable after all, I began to think. Who would ever want me in their company? I've got plenty of skills and qualifications, but none of the ones that really matter, i.e. people skills. Next Wednesday I'll be meeting one of the recruitment agents and for that reason I decided to get a haircut yesterday. This was a shame; my hair hadn't been cut since that job interview and it was the longest I'd had it in eight years. Sure, I was beginning to look a bit like a caveman, but why shouldn't I look like the person I really am? I had my hair done in the city where it was quick and painless. I also bought two CDs in Real Groovy costing $6 between them, one by the French group Matmatah (unfortunately I didn't like this one nearly as much as an earlier album of theirs) and the Cranberries' To The Faithful Departed. I really must stop listening to such depressing music. I heard the George Thorogood song "Get a Haircut and Get a Real Job" on the radio today; if only the second part of that equation was as simple as the first. I have some good news at least: that publishing company want some more puzzles from me. Only ten, but it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
Last Wednesday Richard invited me round to his place; he lives in a boarding house in Remuera, built in 1855 (by New Zealand standards that's seriously old). Upwards of fifteen people live there and I can understand why he's thinking of moving out. Still, it was great to see him in his own habitat, so to speak. He cooked a very good meal and gave me the excellent news that he's now got a job on the phones at BNZ. He starts on Monday so they're not hanging around. To be honest I never expected him to get something as mainstream as that (and I hope I'm not being prejudiced against people with Asperger's by saying that) but good luck to him. I hope it all works out.
I've had my worst day ever of badugi today, losing $65. In my first session, on the 25c/50c tables, I dropped $17 in 124 hands. Worse was to follow as I dumped $39 in 114 hands on a 50c/$1 table, all laws of probability disappearing out the window. The whole lexicon of badugi nightmares came into play as I was monstered left, right and centre, normally by someone who called three bets pre-draw and drew three. My 5432 ran into number two in a massive pot in a display of rampant badugiflation. After a while I wondered whether it was all some sick joke and my opponents were drawing cards from some special deck stripped of all high cards and unhelpful suits. In my last session (at 20/50) I ran red hot in comparison, losing just nine bucks. The good news is that I'm still up $308 on the month and a lot more overall thanks to that big SCOOP result. It was funny cashing that cheque. "So where did it come from?" "Er, the internet," was all I felt I could say.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Yesterday I went to the monthly Asperger's group for the first time in three months. As always I got to talk to a very kind bunch of people, including one or two I hadn't seen before. Some of us might meet up and see a movie in the coming weeks.
On Thursday I saw the classic Italian film Ossessione and tomorrow I'll be starting a new term of lessons. I've gone back to evening sessions just in case I somehow find myself a job. I'm finding the job search process a bit frustrating but I'll keep plugging away. I still haven't heard anything back from that mental health job I had the interview for. I'm seriously considering studying for a Certificate in Mental Health in 2011.
To my relief that US$4000 cheque (the poker winnings I cashed out) arrived last week. Until I saw the money it almost didn't seem real. This month I'm up $333, mostly from badugi. Yesterday I tried five-card draw for the first time. It took some getting used to - my opponents were reluctant to raise, even with huge hands, so I'd often be betting and raising, not realising that I was behind. To give an example, on one particular hand I was dealt a pair of queens. I raised and we were four-way to the draw. I hit a second pair and bet out after the draw. I get one caller who promptly turns over three kings!
I had an interesting call from my grandma at 6:20 this morning. She wasn't making a lot of sense, and I was half-asleep, so all in all our conversation wasn't up to much.
Nearly a year ago, when I was down in Geraldine, I posted some pictures of Dad's model plane crash. Well today there was drama on another level entirely as his plane caught fire!
Richard has kindly invited me over to his house for dinner on Wednesday, so that will be one of the highlights of the coming week.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Badoggie: a badugi topped by K-9, such as K954. As the name suggests, it's a bit of a dog.
Badugiflation: a phenomenon in which your opponents are showing down huge hands, i.e. fours and fives, left right and centre. Your sixes and sevens, which were bloody good hands back in the day, just don't cut it any more.
1. A really rough jack badugi, like JT85, as opposed to a smooth jack.
2. Absolutely nothing.
Thus if you're sitting on a king or queen badugi in a live game and your opponent proclaims he's got "jack shit", you're none the wiser.
Knuts: the worst possible badugi, namely KQJT. Either play it fast or dump it, depending on your position and your opponents. Pronunciation of the 'k' in 'knuts' is optional. Appropriately for this hand, "knuts" backwards is "stunk".
Monstered: we've all been there, and if you haven't, you soon will be. When your virtually unbeatable hand gets beaten, you've been monstered.
Number two: normally number twos stink, but not in badugi where the term refers to 532A, the second-best hand in the game. Losing with this hand (it can and does happen!) requires the ultimate monstering.
1. An eight badugi. The word is used similarly in golf to refer to an eight on a particular hole.
2. Someone who likes to pat-bluff, or snow, a lot. Snowmen are tricky customers.
Ugi: a badugi which isn't bad, such as an eight or nine. You'll often end up calling off multiple bets in a big pot with your ugi, in the vain hope that it'll somehow be good.
So there you have it. Best of luck at the badugi tables and may all your pat snowmen hold up.
I did have some real excitement last week, in the shape of a phone interview. I'd applied for a job at my local mental health support centre; the impromptu interview took me by surprise a bit. "Is now a good time?" Sure, it's a bloody great time! But I'd met the interviewer before, and I handled the questions as well as I could have hoped. Whether that'll be good enough, somehow I doubt it (I come from a very different industry after all) but if I did get it, I'd be over the moon.
After catching the end of this morning's third-place World Cup match, I saw a programme about an Auckland teenager who, three years ago, got into a car with one of his drunk mates behind the wheel. The resulting crash left him brain damaged. The programme certainly brought home the horrors of drink-driving, but what really amazed me was that after the accident, none of his so-called mates, not even his girlfriend, wanted to know him any more. I didn't have any friends to speak of at that age, but if that's what teenage friends are like, perhaps I didn't miss much.
In other news, I'm back badugi-ing again. I've asked to cash out most of my SCOOP winnings ($4000) and am anxiously waiting for the cheque to arrive. Yesterday I made eighty bucks at the tables (a mixture of 25c/50c, 50c/$1 and $1/$2) but I gave back thirty today. I'm also trying to get a handle on triple draw, although the variance in that game seems even more severe than in badugi. I'll be restricting the bulk of my play to weekends and will try to give weekly updates on my progress from now on.
I mentioned Uncle Dan's untimely passing in my last post. His funeral will be on Wednesday.
Last week my aunt, in her wisdom, tried to get my gran into a home without telling her. People arrived at my gran's door to whisk her away, and surprise surprise, she wasn't having any of it. In fact she went absolutely ballistic from what I can tell. So she's still at home after all that, and I'll give her a call tonight.
In better news, my brother is coming to New Zealand! After all my talk of spending "proper" time with him in the UK, we managed to completely miss each other. There was never a day when we were both free. We still talked on the phone and have exchanged several emails since. He'll fly into Christchurch on 18th August (the first time he'll have been in the country since 1997); I'm looking forward to that a lot.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Dan captained Air New Zealand 747s for many years. He invested his (considerable) salary in the stock market and made several squillion dollars by employing a long-term buy-and-hold strategy. He had a number of Warren Buffett books on his shelves. Dan's reluctance to spend his wealth (he and his wife lived in the same house in Christchurch's Memorial Avenue since the sixties) didn't go down too well with some members of the family but I always got on well with him. He was a pretty decent golfer too.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
It's 2am so I really should be thinking about bed.