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Dec. 31st, 2009 @ 08:37 am semi-charmed kind of life
Singing along with third eye blind just now, ivy says "I want something else.." then stops and sternly admonishes herself: "I don't think that's how you ask."

I'm hanging it up. This is the final blog entry. Put away the kleenex, you three. You knew it was coming. Tomorrow the future officially begins, for real this time, and blogging is going to be SO '0-X by about 10AM.

I may reopen somewhere, but if I do it'll only be about software, and niche software at that.

In case anyone wonders what happened to me the last couple years: I was reborn. It took half my (projected) life, but I unexpectedly discovered something I'd only caught in glimpses before: pure, limitless, intrinsic motivation. I am addicted to the multiplier effect which emerges as I spend more and more time on software. And most of all: "It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself."

Happy new year, and happy lives to everyone straggling across the finish line with me.
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Nov. 6th, 2009 @ 08:55 am revisiting the wasteland
I'm heading back to vegas for the first time since god knows when. Having both jeff shulman and phil ivey at the final table was too good to pass up. Look for me in the crowd holding up a banner: "I NAMED MY KID AFTER PHIL IVEY AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY SIGN."
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Jun. 26th, 2009 @ 09:49 pm there's one in every crowd
How's the kool aid..

...civil liberties groups generally oppose long-term detention, arguing that detainees should be prosecuted or released.

Sure, SOME. "Generally" speaking (and I am making air quotes right now) civil liberties groups oppose long-term detention without charges, although they have to "argue" this, which tells you pretty clearly it's not true or nobody would have to argue, now would they. You have to hand it to the WP -- I am really fucking sick of how it is always assumed that all civil liberties groups walk in lockstep on the divisive subject of indefinite unreviewable detention. Embrace the broad spectrum of opinion that makes America so great.

In summary, I stand with Civil Libertarians for Harsher and Lengthier Detainment as well as the Society for the Preservation of Torture and Civil Stuff on this issue.
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Jun. 21st, 2009 @ 08:46 am life's little mysteries
(As opposed to life's big mysteries, which were all solved a couple thousand years ago.)

If you swore to someone that you just moments ago had witnessed several impossible things, culminating in oh say someone being slain and then rising from the dead, almost anyone would deem you to be crazy - the exceptions mostly to be found in institutions.

And yet if your beliefs are identical, held with the same certainty as if you had just witnessed them (in fact higher certainty than if you had witnessed them, as presumably even if you are religious you have been conditioned by reality to doubt the impossible in your actual day-to-day life) but instead of being a witness, you read about them in a book or someone told you about them - then, your beliefs are unremarkable.

I'm sure it sounds like I'm ragging on religious people here (and things being as they are it's hard not to sound like that at all times, even if I'm just reading a shopping list) but I say this to ask a specific question about the epistemology of the rapturous: what is the calculus by which the second version is LESS crazy than the first? Shouldn't believing something impossible happened because you were there and saw it be LESS crazy than believing it happened and NOT having personally witnessed it?
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Apr. 7th, 2009 @ 06:54 am more from ms. mcchainerson
Yesterday after ivy finished reading me the entirety of "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!" and then made her own fancy paper chain to count down the days remaining to her fourth birthday, I told kathleen "if she doesn't need me to read or you to do crafts, we are officially irrelevant."

As they left for the store I gave ivy a hug and said "Good-bye, Ready McReaderson!" (That's pronounced "Reedy" McReaderson.)

Having heard that construct before, she replied "Also, Chainy McChainerson and Crafty McCrafterson."

The best is that she always says such things with a straight face, as if that's how everyone talks. (Around here, of course, it is.)
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Apr. 6th, 2009 @ 01:11 pm greatest kid comment ever?
We have a giant bucket of little plastic animals (doesn't everyone?) A recent visitor asked ivy about one of them.

"That's an alligator," she said, adding: "alligator is the past tense of crocodile."
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Mar. 31st, 2009 @ 07:49 am poker? I don't even know her - no, really
I set out to write a response to naturalborn's comment and quickly realized that I might as well be trying to write a novel in swahili. I cannot express how distant, foreign and irrelevant poker now seems to me.

Still, that doesn't mean I've become incapable of appreciating this particular genius (h/t rafe, and I think that's my first "h/t" ever, usually I let people suffer in obscurity but I feel bad about it, so...)
"Return to the Sacred" by Jonathan Ellerby is an amazing book! In March, 2008 I was feeling super stressed out, and super burned out, by the dual pressures of trying to be one of the greatest poker players in history, and dealing with the fame factor that drives so many celebs over the edge. I was starting to melt down and it was affecting my health (a little bit), and I couldn't figure out why. I mean, I had the poker records, the fortune, the fame, the wonderful wife, the great kids, the 12 million "Milwaukee's Best" beer cans coming with my picture and likeness, the NYT bestselling book ("Play Poker like the Pros"), one million subscribers on my "Phil Hellmuth's Texas Hold'em" cell phone game, a column in 40 newspapers, a piece of 18 different companies, I was on television every day, and I had much, much more. So what was the problem? Why do so many celebs with so much wealth and success melt down?

Well, first my wife convinced me to go to "Canyon Ranch" in Tuscon with her, which is the world's leading health spa, for one week. Then I called my friends at Taser and borrowed their jet for the ride down there. My wife and I joined the "Life enhancement" program, although I insisted on renting one of the best houses on campus. I thought, "If we were going to spend $18,000 for the week, then why not spend $30,000 and go in luxurious style?" Since I was starting to feel horrible around my chest and stomach (just for three or four days, thank god!), I ordered every test under the sun, and when my health scores came back "Perfect" (across the board, yes!), I knew that this physical unrest was all related to the mental side of the coin.
Believe it or not, it goes on from there. I wonder how thrilled this Ellerby fellow is to have obtained such an endorsement. Were I him, it'd be lawsuit time.
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Mar. 13th, 2009 @ 02:26 pm how far hellmuth taunting has come
Hellmuth vs. hoss_tbf
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Mar. 5th, 2009 @ 04:42 am why does it sound so familiar?
Lying With Style:
Classic style is focused and assured. Its virtues are clarity and simplicity; in a sense, so are its vices. It declines to acknowledge ambiguities, unessential qualifications, doubts, or other styles. It declines to acknowledge that it is a style. It makes its hard choices silently and out of the reader's sight. Once made, those hard choices are not acknowledged to be choices at all; they are presented as if they are inevitable, because classic style is, above all, a style of presentation with claims to transparency. ...
I am especially fond of "declines to acknowledge it is a style."
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Jan. 29th, 2009 @ 09:22 am finances and oil
Thanks for all the stock picks. Having already been killed on USO and more recently DIG, COP, and a number of others, my natural inclination (you may recall I'm a gambler at heart) is to double up on everything. That would really stick my neck out, but hey, retirement is overrated. Here's an article "Oil Rises, Oil Falls" supporting that move. Someone talk me out of it.
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