Thursday, June 22, 2006

Random status post

Recent events:

  1. I just ate of the flesh of a large bouncy marsupial. (Guess where I am.)

  2. I missed the Pokerstars Blogger tourney. Start time for me would have been at 6:00 on a Monday morning.

  3. On the other hand, I'm abandoning play money Sit 'N Go tourneys for "cash" games. I went from treading water at about 80K to 550K over a couple of evenings.

  4. At one million play dollars, I plan to buy in for cash games and start at the micro stakes table. (Still way too much "it's only play money" jackassery even at the big stakes play money games.)

Miss my wife. Miss my dog. Miss my lord-and-master cats. Miss Brooklyn.

Don't miss the office. IHadOuts linked to a post from Lady Poker that was indirectly about workplace quality:
I know the precise moment I fell out of love with the game. It was last month when I was walking along the boardwalk in Atlantic City with my west coast friend, DC. We were talking about what it took to be a winning poker player and DC summed it up as follows, "To be a winning player, you have to surround yourself with losers."
Is that how I want to spend my free time?
I read that and thought that that's not how I want to spend any of my time, but it is how I'm spending far too large a percentage of my daytime hours.

Harsh, but I've got the data to back it up.

Change has to happen, and it has to happen soon. I will miss the international travel (I love seeing new places and wandering through new cultures) but I'm working in a stagnant company serving a shrinking market, where the average age of a programmer is about 50. One of the best I have to walk through the intricacies of Microsoft Excel. Another of the good ones can't understand why our imaging software should support annotations. (Bear in mind our core business is built around document checking processes, and our clients are screaming for a paperless distributed solution.) The head of this programmer's area has claimed for years no one can do non-destructive annotations. And because he's part of the group that speaks the Mother Tongue, us young upstarts (and I'm 42, and I'm a young upstart) can't convince mother tongue-speaking management that their staffs' skeelz are woefully outdated and the middle managers are blowing smoke.

So, if you look around and pretty much everyone you see is a certifiable loser, time to find a mirror and see if you're starting to fit in. For me, I think it's hasta la vista time.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Surprise, surprise.

Canadian Terror Suspects Linked to International Groups

Not that you'd know that by watching the evening news, reading the New York Times, or reading progressive blogs (at least, as of this writing).

And not that I think there's a conspiracy or anything (and no, this isn't sarcasm).

The trouble is this story, the terror-cell rollup in England, the (probable) success of data traffic analysis, doesn't fit the preferred narrative within the chattering class.

9/11 was a one-off. 7/11 was a one-off. Bali was a one-off. The only systematic evil being done in the world is perpetrated from Washington. Everything else is noise, or at worst reaction to legitimate grievances.

Data points that don't fit that framework don't get talked about, because in a real sense they can't be talked about. Not in civil tones, at least, because civilized people believe the framework described above.