Sunday, January 31, 2010

Do it Anyway

My mom shared this with me this weekend, and I liked it so much I had to pass it on. This was written by Kent Keith when he was only 19-years-old:

People are Often Unreasonable

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may just never be enough;
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Thought of the Week

Neither tubing down a hill nor walking up that hill are as tiring as chasing after my poor niece as she slides down the hill in front of her tube.

Family Photo

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Language Comprehension

After school Laura and Rosa were still left in the classroom working on math problems at the board. Rosa came every week for tutoring so I knew her pretty well. We had a conversation that went about like this:

Rosa: I got detention on Friday. Should I tell my mom? If she finds out I’ll get in trouble.

Me: You might want to just tell the truth. You already lost your validity last year.

Rosa: Yeah... I know.

Laura: How does Mr. Burrill know about that?

Rosa: We talk.

Me: Well… I don’t think you should lie to your mom.

Later Rosa leaves. Laura and I are alone in the classroom.

Laura: You know I had the same thing as Rosa.

Me: What?

Laura: You know. What she was talking to you about before.

Me: Um?

Laura: Earlier when she mentioned… you know…

Me: No. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Laura: Uh… about losing her virginity.

Yeah… didn’t know that.

Thought of the Week

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.
--Mark Twain

Breaking News

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rush Poker

Warning: Those of you that do not play poker can just go ahead and skip this column. There is no summary at the end, and no interesting storyline for the average citizen.

For poker players, Full Tilt has just revolutionized the way poker is played.

People have often asked me how I can play poker on-line, and if there is significantly less strategy because you can't get reads on people you cannot see. I have often defended the similarities, because the majority of your read is determined by the players previous actions within this hand, and their previous actions to hands prior. Thus, the strategy on-line is similar to playing at a live table. For the most part the games are similar.

They were. Until this week.

With Rush Poker a player is moved to a new table immediately after folding a hand. It is crazy, and it is instant. Usually, getting a cold deck of poor hole cards is extremely frustrating. Now you can fold ten hands in a row in a minute.

I consider myself a heads-up specialist. The reason why I prefer heads up play is because you are constantly making decisions in order to outwit your opponent. It is not about patience; it is about making a play. Now, I have a way to always be involved in a hand while playing at a table with multiple players, and as soon as I fold I'm instantly moved to a new table and involved in a new hand.

This is something that would be impossible to imitate in a live game. It is only possible by technology, and it is going to completely change on-line poker.

This game constantly has new opponents so many strategies of an observant, analytical poker player will be taken away in this new format. However, it also allows you to play so many more hands. So if you are playing with an edge over the field of players you will just get that many more chances.

I just went on and played 48 hands (9-handed) in less than 12 minutes. I made $90 and I never sat around waiting for a hand. Often when I play poker on-line I'm surfing the net or watching TV or trying to find some way to distract myself so I don't get bored playing poor hands. Well, Rush Poker, takes that patience element out of the strategy and allows you to just play.*

It is fast. It is crazy, and it is going to make good players (and poker sites) very profitable.

I don't know who came up with this idea, but it's brilliant.

And if I was gambling man, I'd be willing to bet-- Poker will never be the same.

*If this was a poker blog I would write further columns about how Rush Poker changes the strategy of the game, and how you can maximize your profit in this game. However, this is not a poker blog so you'll have to e-mail me or call me if you want to talk about it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day Off

I took a day off Thursday to do some work. I know this is a personal problem, but it was worth it. After working four hours in the morning I transitioned to a pile of mail on my kitchen table.

I read my Christmas cards.

Then I opened a notice from PG&E and discovered my bill was past due. Next I opened up another one and learned that it is really past due. I had auto-pay set up, but it turns out I haven’t been paying lately. I called customer service. The guy informed me, “Yeah, you’re scheduled to be shut off today.”

Good thing I took Thursday off.

I paid my bill over the phone with a service charge of $1.45 and I called back and asked the lady to put me on the, “Don’t shut me off list.”

Last month I was late paying my car insurance so next I called the company in San Diego to see if everything was okay. I was without coverage for five days, and had a balance of $3.20. Because I had paid in full for the year she put me on hold to check to see if she could waive the fee. She came back and told me that she was not authorized to waive amounts greater than $3. I asked to pay the balance over the phone, but there was a $5 fee to pay with credit card over the phone. I went on-line to take care of it.

Fortunately, they had my bill broken down into monthly payments in case I couldn’t come up with the entire amount at once.

I don't mail a lot of stuff, so I'm no exactly sure the current price of a stamp, but I do know that it is more than my monthly car insurance balance.

Except for rent I have all my bills set up to pay automatically, and I usually forget rent about quarter of the time. So far I haven’t accrued a late fee.

In the end I still have electricity. I still have car insurance. I still have a place to live, and I’m only out $4.65.

Thought of the Week

Male sperm is faster, but does not live as long.

Consistent with life.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

On-line Chat

Monday, January 11, 2010

If you know me...

My niece and I were doing some math over Christmas break. Since she is only ten she doesn't know the algebraic steps to solving two-step equations. Yet if I gave her a problem with an integer answer she would figure it out in her head. So I left her with a problem that she did not understand to figure out on her own.

Just now she texted me on g-chat:


No preface. No "hi." Just began the conversation with 5/13.

I guess we really are related.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Having a Positive Attitude

With the current economy my barber is also not getting as much business, but is glad to still be working. He told me:

"I cut 10 in a day we have chicken for dinner. 18 we have seafood. 25 haircuts and we go out to eat. But they're all good. Chicken is good too."

Thought of the Week

Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own.


I feel like this might be a metaphor for teaching 8th grade.

Free TV

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Journal Entry

Just before Winter Break I had my student write in their journals about their families. I asked them to tell me who lived in their household and give their ages.

One of my girls wrote this:

My house is a one story house. I live by Will C. Wood Middle School. I live with my mom-old, my dad-old, my grandma-very old, my grandpa-very old, and my little sister-10 years old...

Thought of the Week

Fortune favors the prepared mind.
--Louis Pasteur

Nerd Dreams

Friday, January 1, 2010

Failed Photos

The people have spoken and unanimously asked for me to keep pilfering from Fail Blog. In effort to keep everyone happy if I plan to post several at once I will do so in a link so you won't be forced to view the pictures against your will. I don't want anyone to feel inundated with unwanted laughter.

I have organized my selections into themes. However, there were several pictures from 2009 I thought were funny that didn't fit into my categories. For the literate there were some story ones that were pretty hilarious too. Enjoy.

Happy New Year!


These are from a book called 'Disorder in the American Courts' and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.


ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
_________________________ ___________

ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS : Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?