Tuesday, January 19, 2010


As I went out to take care of the ducks this morning, it was audibly apparent that the frogs are already at it on the pond, or at least warming up. I estimated about ten frogs in all, and two varieties. They usually start to get active toward the middle of February, and may know something about the weather ahead that I may only suspect. Given that last year we kept water in the pond until all of the tadpoles had morphed, we should have a bumper crop. I wonder how much extra electricity we used working the pump to keep those squiggly tails wet. Our good neighbor to the east complains that they keep him up at night. Just wait until April!

We’re having sweater weather, even if one has to occasionally throw on a rain slicker. Good weather for the ducks, don’t you know? Still, I was amazed when I found seven eggs in the coop: three Magpie eggs and four Runners. Every bird that could, gave. The remaining two birds, the Ancona and another Runner, are in stages of molt. The Magpies are now five years old and the runners six. By most accounts they should be done with this egg-laying business. However, the oddity of this bounty does little to salve the wound of another eighty pounds of feed on my shopping list today.

The warm weather also means that we use less firewood, which is a good thing considering that we have already burned two-thirds of our four-cord supply, a good portion used during the prolonged cold spell in December. What remains of the stacks resemble Jenga blocks on the brink. I try to stay on my toes when loading the buckets. I want to keep my toes. I’d also like to not buy another cord come March.

In other news, I have booked my flights for Las Vegas in March. I bring this up only because I will have to rearrange the remaining pile of wood before I leave. We can’t have DW damaging her cute little tootsies.

Actually, I’m pretty excited about the trip. It has been two years since the PAOers have gotten together. There will be several folks returning, plus some new faces, even though many of us have more than a passing familiarity in that we have played thousands of hands with each other. I’m also hoping to meet some of the LV based bloggers I read. However, I don’t know that I want to sit at the same poker table with any of them.

It may be a phase that will pass, but I have cut way back on the number of hands I’m playing each day. I’m down to about 100, either at PA or Stars, and I’m spending more time at the former, which has not been the case the last several months. And even though it may be temporary, of course there are reasons. I’m spending more time with artistic endeavors (God, that sounds so pretentious!), reading a pile of art periodicals, and researching photo techniques. (Speaking of photography, I started to watch the BBC4 series, “Genius of Photography.” There are clips on YouTube.)

Less poker might also be good for the ticker. I get too worked up, and I have to admit that I monitor my roll like I’m being graded, which only adds fuel to the fire of adrenalin. Until I can get the emotional aspect under better control, it’s best that I play with fake money or at the lowest stakes possible on Stars. Add to that an attempt to change my playing style, to be more aggressive. Aggression stimulates what? You got it.

Still, with Las Vegas looming, I have to keep playing and trying to improve my game. Admittedly, I’m pretty ABC, and I pass on a lot of opportunities to play a better game. The good news is that I now recognize when I play a hand too passively, and have begun to remedy it with some pretty lovely bluffs. The bad news is that until I get some time in with new strategies, I’ll probably experience a bit of a downturn in profits. It hasn’t happened yet, but my roll hasn’t budged either. Hopefully, the steepest part of the learning curve will be short-lived.

Of course, writing the above gets me itching to play, so I put up an 8-game table while playing a PLO table, a $10 buy-in for each, and now have an additional $10, the price for: one hundred kilowatt hours, two-dozen duck eggs to paying customers (none), two-fifths of a bag of feed, one-twentieth of a cord of wood, or ten minutes at a penny slot.

I think I’ll go read for a while.


joxum said...

Ah! Kraftwerk - immer gut!


TenMile said...

Ah, I have a question. It's just a small thought that I wonder. There's little you need think about, you understand; and I'll not take exception if you don't consider.

But, why do you bring up poker/weak heart in the same breath, so to speak, the same week you dwell upon the thoughts of photography in nude studies - of either sex?

Just asking.

bastinptc said...

Dwell it is, and I suspect my somewhat staid relationship(s) with the dungeon stimulates the questioning.

I have been also been thinking about my diaristic default, and the little value it must have for others. Again, in the gradual transition to the light, is it really necessary to look back on one's shadow?

Crash said...

1. Speaking as someone with adrenalin and palpitations problems for decades, It was my experience that even small amounts of extra adrenaline, on a daily basis, caused much more trouble than big stress on an only occasional basis. Like your nightly poker. Pills fixed mine. You have a tougher case.
2. The aggression does not have to be just for bluffing. It also thins the herd when you have the best hand but don't want others to improve.