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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

handling the perceptions of others

permalink Sunday, 12FEB2006:

it was a 2d early weekend wakeup day in a row after a 4:30 a.m. touchdown the night before. no neighbour excuse this time, just my own lack of prudence at the online poker tables. after succeeding very well at the $300 buy-in tables on friday, i attempted to move up a notch to the $500 buy-in tables on saturday. yeesh, the competition was much hardier, so i have a ways to go yet before i'll throw real money at those tables.

anyway, the reason for today's rise before dusk was to assist with neil's mahaha project. auditions were held at the arctic college and we set up sound and camera equipment to film the proceedings for later review. there were many talented folks who were not cowed by the requirement to be fluent in both english and inuktitut. however, they *were* a bit intimidated by the boom mike hanging over their heads (operated by malcolm and myself) and the 2 cameras that hovered around the room (operated by tony and JFre). alison and celina coached the would-be actors while neil watched everything with his keen eye. anna handled traffic control at the lobby.

in the evening, i took in the late show at the astro. 'matador' (2006#7) was a riot, with pierce brosnan playing an anti-bond role, showing how all the glamour and finesse can still just lead to emptiness if not rooted in some solid bedrock. greg kinnear was a good foil as the normal 'nice' guy who becomes his friend. the snappy R-rated dialogue made the movie an unpretentiously fun romp thru adult realities. the soundtrack also had a couple of juicy moments with 'heat of the moment' by asia and the 'all these things that i've done' by the killers being particular standouts.

  • link of the day: amy gahran reviews the art of ego-surfing

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radio show for valentine's day

permalink Monday, 13FEB2006:

Aur.Oral Exposures setlist for 13feb2006:
  1. Designs on You - Old 97's
  2. big big love - k.d. lang and the Reclines
  3. I Want You to Want Me - Dwight Yoakam

  4. I Get Ideas - Brave Combo with Lauren Agnelli
  5. True Love (The Princess Bride)- Billy Crystal
  6. Soulfully - Catie Curtis

  7. Unbreakable Heart - Amy Sky
  8. Kiss Me You Fool - The Northern Pikes
  9. I'm Gonna Soothe You - Maria McKee

  10. Harlequin Valentine - Neil Gaiman

  11. For the Hand of Magdelena (live) - The Lowest of the Low
  12. Forever at Your Feet - Oh Susanna
  13. Bad Time - The Jayhawks

  14. seven year ache - Roseanne Cash
  15. Back - slobberbone
  16. Thanks a Lot - Neko Case and Her Boyfriends

  17. Holding On - Blue Rodeo

a podcast of the show is available at yousendit (81:09; 33.3 megs). i downgraded the quality level to 56k to cut down on the filesize. note that the link will only be live for one week, but you can always email me afterwards and i'll re-post.

  • ip link of the day: outrage at penalties for filesharing prompts an attempt to create the pirate party of sweden
    Until last summer, it was legal to 
    download copyrighted material for 
    personal use.  But in July, 
    parliament passed a law making it 
    illegal.  In November, two men were 
    convicted for uploading copyrighted 
    material and were fined around 16,000 
    Swedish kronor (1,180).
    Falkvinge was so angry that he started 
    the website.  He is now trying to 
    register the party the old-fashioned 
    way: collecting in writing the 
    signatures gathered online.  He claims 
    the party, which relies on "pure energy" 
    and the remnants of his November pay 
    cheque, has close to 800 members.
    Falkvinge is optimistic about the 
    party's chances of getting into 
    parliament, which is elected by a 
    proportional system that favours small 
    parties.  "We just need 4% of the vote 
    or 225,000 voters - one-quarter of the 
    million people who have been 
    criminalised by the new law."

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no fun to be alone

permalink Tuesday, 14FEB2006:

i can definitely get why some people feel the need to host anti-valentine parties ... but i'd rather just stay home.

after much prodding from repo, i finally decided to see if i could find some 3d party software that would allow me to incorporate comments on this site without too much overhead. i found a javascript-based service called HaloScan that seemed to fit the bill. so i've gone and added comment links for all the posts on the current main page. my sad worry is that 'Comment (0)' will haunt the posts from now to eternity and expose my ramblings as mere electronic background hum from a lonely digital mountaintop.

  • ip idiocy link of the day: cory doctorow argues that publishers should be sending fruit baskets to google rather than suing them:
    ore than 75 percent of the books in 
    Google's index are not in print.  A 
    substantial portion of those books have 
    disputed, unclear or missing rightsholders. 
    In many instances -- the majority of 
    instances, if my own experiences in 
    getting "clearance" for the copyrights 
    in out-of-print books is anything to go 
    on -- Google won't be able to contact 
    these rightsholders in anything like a 
    cost-effective manner.  The majority of 
    works in the world's libraries would not 
    be scanned, would not show up in Internet 
    searches, and would cease to matter to 
    our cultural discourse. They will have 
    been effectively suppressed.
    It gets worse: every twenty years or so, 
    the entertainment industry manages to 
    secure an extra twenty years' worth of 
    copyright for everything ever made.  That 
    means that these works have every chance 
    in the world of staying in copyright for 
    something like forever, even though they 
    have no visible rightsholder, even though 
    their copyright status keeps them from 
    being rescued from the scrapheap of 
    history, even though suppressing an 
    author's work is far, far worse than 
    merely infringing her copyrights. 
    Tim O'Reilly, the publisher of O'Reilly 
    and Associates, framed the piracy-vs-obscurity 
    question, and he also gave us its 
    corollary: "Piracy is progressive taxation." 
    That is to say, the most widely pirated 
    O'Reilly books on the Internet are also 
    the most profitable ones.  Most writers 
    can only dream of achieving enough market-share 
    to warrant anyone's effort to pirate their 
    works -- indeed, one of the few things that 
    gives me hope for science fiction as a genre 
    is that it's the only kind of fiction that 
    Internet users can be bothered to pirate in 
    any great quantity.

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stranded on a broomball oasis

permalink Wednesday, 14FEB2006:

iqaluit broomball chronicles:

players: kerry, christian, me
honourable mention: julian

what can i say ? 2 games in a row with only 3 people makes for some very tired and sweaty fellas when the buzzer sounds. at least we each got multiple hat tricks :)

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encore, por favour !

permalink Thursday, 16FEB2006:

uploaded setlists for my last 2 radio shows to - even got a few comments already! it looks like the site has added some functionality to play linked versions of the tracks automatically, but it didn't work for me. i did add a link to the podcast of the entire setlist / show that i had uploaded to yousendit earlier.

saw 'the matador' for the 2d time this week and the repeated viewing was just as good. the soundtrack of mexican-influenced tunes held up again, so i'm adding it to my amazon wishlist for future purchase consideration.

and yes, i *am* aware that 'encore' is not a spanish word :)

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decision difficulties

permalink Friday, 17FEB2006:

work today was very frustrating as it was the third day in a row that my email account was down for 'technical issues'. i had made a local backup of my inbox and all its folders to my hard drive last week after a similar denial of service, but all of the pending emails were still on the exchange server. i ended up borrowing a co-worker's account to send out the emails. there's all sorts of talk about e-filing, but if we can't even keep our email up, what's the point ?

we'll be moving to new offices in the next couple of months. the most frequently used items will still be in a main library space, but a lot of the topical or regional reports are going to be scattered into nooks and crannies all over the building. decisions that will make sense to me now will, of course, make absolutely no sense to my unfortunate successor. what will happen to the stuff that still won't fit ? there's a fellow in a shack on the beach who now has an ample supply of kindling for his stove. i'm heartened that the books will at least be serving a more honourable purpose than taking up valuable landfill space.

i also got around to making some changes to the work website that i maintain so that the domain will be much shorter (and thus easier to type). however, the aliasing of the old domain only gets a visitor back to the main page of the new domain, meaning that anyone linking to the subsidiary pages of the old domain will run into dead ends. so, i'm trying to figure out a way to just map the longer domain name to the shorter one and keep the sub-directory pieces of the URL intact. it amazes me that something seemingly so simple would be so difficult to accomplish.

my email came back for about an hour late in the afternoon, just in time for curtis to send me a note trying to arrange a poker gathering for the evening. i called him up to tell him that i was interested and then rounded up a few more folks to fill out the table. cyndi and jim were a go, as were kevin and geoff, so we had a table of 6 to start with.

in the first game i played solidly and found myself about even with cyndi when we were down to heads up play. we decided to split the pot to get another game going. in the second game, i washed out early, but not before watching geoff get trumped by both myself and curtis after going all-in. curtis was the short stack, but confidently predicted that the main pot was all his after seeing the flop. me, i had the nut flush draw, so i figured that i had a good shot against geoff for the side pot. another heart came up and i was good, but to geoff's credit, he turned over a Q4, which matched a Q4 on the flop. curtis did end up taking the main pot - with a STRAIGHT FLUSH! wow.

we played a couple more games after that, but while i played well enough to get to the final 2 in both (first against cyndi, then against jim), with winner take all, 2d place didn't cut it. even worse, i was a massive chip leader in both cases by the time we got to heads up action. so, it seems that i do well with multiple opponents and then collapse in the face off circle. i feel like i'm completely transparent, so maybe next time, i'll try playing the flops blind and maybe cut down whatever read the other player is getting from me.

the other problem is that i really do enjoy *playing* the game, to the detriment of my pocket book. for lower stakes, i think i can afford to muck about, but for any larger bills, i have to focus my attention away from the table to be effective. i know that all the poker books advise you to note all the details about your opponents, but i just can't keep all that crap in my head. i'm more of a pattern guy and i need to be more methodical about the way i play, at least if i'm going to play for money. also, i have to know when to walk away, as i was actually even for the night after the 2d game, but kept playing looking for a score - greed is BAD. playing tired was also another problem factor to avoid in the future.

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school of hard knocks

permalink Saturday, 18FEB2006:

iqaluit broomball chronicle:

team black: julian, JFre, me
team white: mark, kerry, kevin

to make up for the lack of numbers, we tried laying down the nets forward by 90 degrees so that the 'top' of the net became the scoring surface. this made for a much lower-scoring game. JFre scored first, but mark responded quickly. i scored the next goal, lifting the ball over kevin's outstretched leg, but kerry tied it up again. after that, there was a lull in scoring, where julian had some great chances that kevin refused to let pass.

mark finally finished off his hat trick, first by waiting until my 'last-minute' dive petered out before lifting the ball onto the net, and for the final goal, riccocheting the ball off of my mis-angled foot. i had a chance to narrow the 4-2 margin in the final moments before the buzzer, but in going for the ball, i failed to grasp the significance of mark winding up. whoooeee - i felt like i had just chomped on the biggest jawbreaker in the world as mark's stick slid right up mine and smashed into my helmet cage.

given my broomball head smack, i decided to forgo my planned poker activities for this evening and decided to stay in to give my head a chance to clear. i made up some mixes to trade with blasikin. he has a couple of chinese-themed mixes that look excellent.

i also got a chance to get back to a fragment of radio that i acquired while chopping it off of the tail end of my show from monday. while i was finishing up in the booth, i heard an enchanting song that i knew i wanted to hear again. extracting it from the wav stream was easy, but figuring out what the song was from my limited french was a wee bit more of a challenge. i ended up typing in some of the lyrics into google and eventually found a match up to natasha st. pier and her hit song 'un ange frappe á ma porte'. then i went to amazon and added the album featuring this track (just released last month) to my wishlist. and just think, if that lyric site was banned like the MPA wants, i would never have been able to track down enough info about the song to place it into my shopping cart.

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