Thursday, June 29, 2006

Follow-up

Some comments from yesterday's post:
Wes said...

I looked outside, and surprisingly no pigs were flying. I couldn't believe it. BSN posts about poker, and there are no pigs flying around in the sky. I'm confused.

Now, that's funny right there, I don't care who you are!...
Drizztdj said...

PLO8 tourneys is a strange mix where playing the nut-peddler and the maniac can be both correct.

Next time you misclick, let me know!

I've been thinking about this, and I can see what you mean. I suppose, if you know you have a strong hand in either direction, you might want to jam alot early to chase away the weak or get lucky enough to scoop. Either way, you build alot of chips. I would guess it's probably best when you know you have a solid low since most people are playing highs when there is alot of aggression pre-flop. At worst, you split, at best, you scoop. Is this correct?

Not that I plan to go back any time soon. Just trying to work it through as a strategy exercise.

Surfacing for Air

Just busy right now.

I've had the opportunity to play a bit more consistently the last week or so. I'm starting to feel better about poker. The ungodly bad run that started in April and led to me yanking my remaining money out is showing signs of abating. Since I'm lucky to average 2 SNGs per night, I use a 30-tourney rolling ITM rate to measure short term trends. I'm finally back to 40%+, which is where I've found I need to be to make a profit. It's been almost two months.

Bad cards begat bad play. I managed to plug a major leak (no, I'm not telling), but it was a direct result of frustration with the horrific number of 2-3 outers I was being killed by, not to mention losing 90%+ of my "coin-flips".

Anyway, plug a leak and the boat stops sinking.

I had a couple of funny tourneys the last couple days. I'm only playing with last month's ad money (once I showed Mrs. Big my cashout, she wasn't letting me have it back!), so I'm back down to $5 and $6turbo SNGs. In this $6turbo, the player sitting two to my right has obviously looked me up on sharkscope. He starts hammering me with "WTF are you doing playing $6 tables??"

I never respond to direct questions at the table, regardless. It's bad strategy.

A few minutes later he's looked at another chart.

"Ohhh, you've taken quite a hit to the bankroll."

Um, a little. It's all relative, you know? My "hit" was about a week's earnings in the opposite direction before I did "The Smartest Thing Ever" by cashing out.

But, no, I didn't bite. Stayed quiet. Waited. Getting outed by a dick at the table lit a spark. When we got to level 4, I knew he'd raise my blind on the first orbit to test me. I went over the top with 9-7o.

Fuck it. It's only $6.

Of course, he folded and never raised me again. He wound up being nearly blinded out on the bubble while I slowly built my stack. I saw him at T900 with blinds at 100/200, me at T3000 and roughly equal with another middle stack, and of course a much larger stack on my left.

Then lightning hit.

No, seriously, lightning hit. Knocked out the cable internet.

@#$%^&*!!!!!!!!

So, fully expecting these guys to make a deal to blind me off, I head out to do my thing. When I go back online 6 hours later, I get an email telling me I finished in 2nd place.

I should send half to that big stack - he played it perfectly, I guess.

Even though I wasn't there to finish it, words can't explain how satisfying it was to outlast that dick.

------------

So, today, I jumped on and clicked what I thought was another $6 NLHE Turbo. Instead, I wind up in a $15 PLO H/L. I'm not a very good PLO player, and I don't know how to play split games at all.

I mean, I know what a Low hand is, but I know nothing about starting hand selections nor how to maximize value when you know you're only playing the Low.

Hell, that sentence probably makes no sense to PLO H/L players. Whatever. I admit I'm ignorant. I think might have even folded a reasonably good low once when I forgot about the Low. I also learned that splitting the pot with a full house is like kissing your sister, and quartering it on the Low is like your sister pulling out the strap-on and bending you over and...

Never mind.

The only thing I could go on was card-sense and game theory. If they were double-suited or looked like they were pretty well connected, I was in the hand as cheap as possible. A maniac on my right ran over the table, knocking out the first 4 in about 10 hands. Then I picked up some modest pots off of him when he kept giving me great drawing odds (um... betting T30 into a T300 pot with two suited, connected cards on the board?). So, I got to hit some draws cheaply. I noticed one guy across from me was nut-peddling and figured he was the shark. I was the biggest fish, with Mr. Maniac #2.

We lost a 5th player along the way, then settled in for an extremely long bubble. The shark was only coming in voluntarily on his unraised SB and BB, then pot-betting the flop to chase us out and rebuild his stack. I'd been so passive that I began raising pre-flop with less-than-stellar cards. I got caught once and nearly crippled, but managed to scoop some key pots quickly to stay in it.

By this time, the shark was dominating, outplaying everyone. I made a point of staying out of his pots. Mr. Maniac couldn't help himself. I think he'd misread the early passivity of the shark and thought he could push him off some pots with us being on the bubble and all. I don't know if he really understands Omaha or what, but he just bled and bled on the bubble until he was gone.

I don't understand the game very well either, but I like to think I can spot players that are better than me and make sure I'm not playing them post-flop. I like to think I can apply the right amount of pressure to the right player at the right time in a SNG to get them to lay down a hand. For me, this SNG was not about trying to learn PLO H/L on the fly, but more about playing the player and position. We all KNOW this is what we need to be doing all of the time, but sometimes we miss the forest for the trees. It took mistakenly stepping into a game foreign to me to force me to tap into knowledge and skill that sometimes gets buried beneath bad-beat barnacles.

(Ooooh, BSN used alliteration... LOL )

Anyway, that was supposed to be the whole point of this post. I suck at all forms of Omaha and know it. But, I was able to put another small bolt back in the armor of confidence by making a conscious decision to 'play the game' instead of play cards.

We're all told from time to time to try a new game just to get out of a rut. A small minority actually do so seriously, studying the new game and moving into it conservatively. But, if you find yourself in a situation like this one (i.e. you're a fat-fingered retard that doesn't read his screen before clicking), it might be good exercise to practice those "soft" skills, rather than just calling bets randomly and hoping to get lucky or bust out fast so you can get back to your comfort zone.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More information

There is always feedback from my irregular posts about some mystery shops I do, asking for more information. Here's a good article about what it's like for the hardcore shopper - these ladies will shop just about anything, it looks like.

We've learned to stick with restaurants and theme parks.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Feed Flare

Been messing around with the feed flares over at Feedburner. I figured out how to write a flare to refer a reader to one of my other blogs (see the "Go to..." links below). Those are the only kind I've figured out so far, but if you'd like me to whip any out so you can promote other sites, or cross-promote your own, let me know. No charge, just looking to practice a little.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Congratulations

Adam has a final table and a win in the $20 180 SNGs already this week. If you're not reading him, he's won some WSOP and WPT seats, along with some significant showings in some online MTTs.

He's posting a series of MTT strategy posts and has gotten to part 2 without talking about hand selection, so that's a Good Thing! ;-)

Go on, check it out, all you're going to get here is drivel and gay posts...

Update:
He did it again! Check out the comments - another first in the $20 180 SNG.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fantastic!**

At the risk of having big gay nuts again, Ed Miller was the "Straight Guy" for the Fab 5 earlier this evening.

I swear, I was just channel-surfing and I caught them riding in a limo saying, ".. poker pro... Ed Miller...".

I had to watch.

Shut up.

Actually, they showed Ed announcing a charity poker tournament, and he did fine - way less nervous than I'd be, and he actually came across coherently.

No way am I talking about his makeover... uh uh... this is already the gayest post I've ever written...

**No, I didn't think it was fantastic - Ed just has a nervouis habit of using the word "Fantastic!" 3 times in every sentence, no matter what you're discussing.

--------

"Hey Ed, how was the game last night?"

"Fantastic!"

-------

"Hey Ed, what do you think of the war in Iraq?"

"Fantastic!"

--------

You get the picture.

So, yeah...

This is what I've been doing with myself lately...

And don't forget the rest of the guys over here...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Book Review: Take Me To The River, by Peter Alson


I received a galley copy of Peter Alson’s latest book, Take Me To The River, subtitled “A Wayward and Perilous Journey to the World Series of Poker”. You may be familiar with some of Alson’s previous stories, specifically Confessions of an Ivy-League Bookie and One of a Kind, the Stu Ungar biography co-written with Nolan Dalla. Being a fan of both books, I was excited to be getting a preview of this latest story.

The galley copy comes with an admonishment printed on the cover to not quote material from the book because it is still going through editing, so I will refrain from discussing some specific items where Alson was surprisingly frank about several people generally known in the poker world, and known personally to some readers of this website. While told only from Alson’s perspective, I found it refreshing that he would do so and hope some or all of his observations make it into the final print. It makes this a much more interesting story, in my opinion, allowing his feelings to come through especially since this is supposed to be a first-person narrative and not a fan book for some of today's celebrity personalities in poker. The willingness to express an opinion in print about people that might be controversial in this setting is something we usually see today from bloggers, not well-known mainstream authors.

I was concerned when I started the book because the first-person “writer plays poker in the WSOP” ground has already been tread several times, most notably by McManus and Holden, along with Alvarez’ early account of the WSOP. However, Alson confesses his own concerns about being able to bring a fresh perspective to this format, and I believe he pulls it off through his relationships with surrounding characters, a compelling mixture of little-known grinders and well-known internet players. Most of the known professionals come up in this book, but they are not central to the story and I believe the book is better for it. I have found blogs for at least two of Alson’s friends that receive a good deal of coverage in this book. Both started blogs in the last year, and one even spammed this blog’s comments, along with the comments of many of the blogs in the blogroll in this site, several months ago in an effort to generate traffic.

[Note to Mike May: All you had to do was ask for a link – we’re not mind readers, and we don’t bite. For the readers – what I’ve read so far is well written and interesting. I hope Mike continues to post because his background and perspective is unique amongst poker blogs. Also, his blog may have one of the best titles I've seen yet: Adventures In Probability Management]

Alson gives some insight into his own background as a poker player, something not discussed much in Confessions…. A solid player who has made ends meet from time to time playing in NYC’s underground clubs for years before the current wave of popularity, it’s interesting to read how he views the game today while having friends from both the old-poker-world and the new-poker-world.

Alson’s own growth as a human being is chronicled as well. After a lifetime of bachelorhood, he’s on the verge of marriage while at the same time risking what seems to be a significant portion of his income on several WSOP tournaments. The early middle-aged angst we saw in Confessions…is now in full bloom with the impending nuptials, and his own uncertainty had me saying “Do it… no, don’t do it… oh, just grow up…” out loud. He is able to bring this part of the story to a satisfying conclusion. However, one gets the feeling that we will see a new set of “what the hell do I know about…” scenes in the next book. Just a prediction.

Finally, I was glad to see that Alson did not subject us to detailed analyses of tournaments already a year old. Most of the tournament stories are told only through his eyes, and we all read more than enough tournament reports as they were happening last summer.

[Of course, now that it's been a year and he'll have a whole new set of experiences to write about in Vegas, I'm anxiously awaiting the start of Pauly's 2006 WSOP reports. He's staying with Grubby, so I put the over/under on the first strip club visit at 10 hrs.]

The fact that Alson also admits his interest and motivation to follow the tournament action dropped considerably for those events in which he wasn’t participating, or had gone bust, also makes this refreshing. We all know how much it sucks, and how disinterested we become, if we're not in the game being played RIGHT NOW. The honesty with which he described his feelings about the people and events during those 6 weeks makes this book unique.

Well-worth reading!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My name is BSN, and I is a Idjit

Played a 400 FPP satellite to Saturday’s FPP WSOP freeroll on Stars last night. I’ve got plenty of FPPs to buy-in direct, but it was a small field (144) with 14 seats, so I decided it would be good practice, if nothing else.

Yeah.

I’m chugging along, top 10 stack most of the night. Not playing many hands, raising when I do play. Pick up AQo UTG and raise it up 3X the BB. UTG+1 pushes for about 2/3 of my chips. With 28 left, I can easily fold to the seat. He can’t. It was the first time all night he’d come over the top of me, and what did I do?

I called.

What a donkey, eh?

He had KK (no surprise there). A glimmer came with a Q on the flop, but no 5-outer on the turn and river.

Don’t know what I was thinking. You “only” raise 3X there so you can toss the hand if someone makes a move like that. Calling off 2/3 of my chips with AQ when I can fold to my seat?

Idjit. That’s what I am – an IDJIT!

Book Review: Deadman's Bluff

As a novice and amateur when it comes to writing book reviews, I expect I am going to make some mistakes. Case in point: While reading Deadman’s Bluff, James Swain’s continuation of the story begun in Deadman’s Poker, I got so caught up in the story that I did not stop periodically and take notes about what I liked or didn’t like about the story.

Quick read? Oh yeah.

So, going back to re-visit the story is not THAT big of a deal.

The basic plot remains the same: the fictional World Poker Showdown is in the process of being won by cheaters, and Tony Valentine is on the case. The Vegas story arc picks up in the latter stages of the tournament with the blind nephew of an Atlantic City mob boss cheating to build a massive lead going into the final days. The method used to cheat begins to become more apparent, and Gerry goes to Atlantic City to trace the leads back to a friend, murdered in the earlier book. While there, Gerry gets involved in busting a blackjack-cheating ring run by the same mob boss. Tony continues to apply pressure to the tournament cheater, and between the two of them the action brings the story to a very satisfying conclusion.

Along the way, Swain continues to entertain and inform us through comic-relief Rufus Steele, an old-time hustler modeled after Amarillo Slim. Rufus continues to build a massive bankroll through a series of scams and hustles and gets paid off every time despite angle-shooting that pushes the ethical edge. These sequences are great training for inventive bar bets.

You will have to read Deadman’s Poker before you read Deadman’s Bluff; the two books cannot be read separately or out of order. But both books represent a great continuation in the Tony Valentine series.

* Cross-Posted at Florida Yard Dog

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I think...

...it's figured out. For now. No backgrounds or fancy crap. I did it at 1024x768.

------------

Upcoming posts:

1. Book review of James Swain's Deadman's Bluff, part two of the book reviewed here last week.

2. Book review of Peter Alson's Take Me To The River, coming out soon, I believe.

-----------

I'm registered for the blogger tourney at Stars on Sunday, but I don't know if I'll actually make it.

It's Father's Day, dammit!

I'll be traveling to one of da' brudders home. Bringing my thumb-drive along, otherwise know as Poker-on-a-Stick. Maybe, rather than blinding out, I'll just go all-in the first hand and try to double-up or bust out. Let the poker gods decide for me... ;-)

-------------

I've got an ass-load of FPPs, but haven't maintained my Silver/Gold status since moving to Jax. Just not enough playing time now that the PC is in the bedroom. So, I can't blow them on an iPod or anything right now. Might try a direct buy-in to some of the WSOP FPP freerolls. We'll see...

-------------

Dogger9

I normally don't post press releases, but he took the time to thank me for a post from last year, so what the heck...

BSN,

Please let me introduce myself - my name is Bernard Lee. I was fortunate enough to finish 13th at last year's WSOP Main Event. After the event, I wrote a blog and you were very kind to comment favorably about it. http://bigslicknuts.blogspot.com/2005/08/dogger9-archive.html First,
I wanted to thank you for your kind words, as I have had a few people tell me about your nice comments.

Secondly, I wanted to keep you abreast of what has been going on since the WSOP. Since this blog, I have had the good fortune to turn this into a few additional opportunities. Last September, I became the weekly poker columnist for the Boston Herald and this April, I became one of the columnists for ESPN.com Poker website. Finally, I have just signed with a new website Pokersyndicate.com and the press release was distributed this past week (see attached and/or the following link) - http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060612/clm520.html?.v=31

I wanted to send this to you as an FYI not only about myself, but also about the website. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me.

Thanks again for your words back in August, and I hope to see you at this year's WSOP.

Best regards,

Bernard Lee

Monday, June 12, 2006

Here we go again...

Been working to figure out what's happening with my post-pages, and finally gave up. Found a new template, set it all up on a test blog, it looks great in the blog preview... and looks nothing like it should when it's published.

The sidebar titles should have a green background, with the titles centered in the background. The links should still be orange. Can a couple of you tell me what you're seeing?

Oh yeah, I designed it for 1024 x 768 - I doubt 800 x 600 looks right, haven't checked other resolutions.





Update: This is what it SHOULD look like... odd....

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Old Man

When I played poker in a home game prior to my unemployment, one of the regulars was Old Man. I’d only known him slightly over the last 25 years, having gone to school with his kids and had mutual family friends in common. He told us to call him Old Man when we started playing together, and he looked much older than he was. When I was told he was 66 years old I was shocked, because he’d looked 66 twenty-five years ago. When he started playing poker with us a few years ago, it was easy to see he’d spent a few hours at the tables in his time. He was fearless, and pounced on weakness, and always tried to get position on my brother and I during seating. When I last checked, he’d personally busted my brother in six consecutive games until this past weekend when BuccaneerMike finally managed to win wrestle one away from him during a game that went into the wee hours yet again.  

I received a text from my brother today that he passed away in his sleep last night. In our small town, he was what was known as ‘good people’. Very involved in the community and children’s sports, even long after his own were grown. When I last saw him last summer, he was still full of energy and able to play with us all night long when he was winning. His eldest son played in the game as well, as badly as his father played well. Most of the other players were related to him by marriage or blood, and it always came down to them vs. us, BuccaneerMike and I, when we down to the final four. We always felt like our tendencies and tells were the topic of conversation over a couple of Thanksgiving dinners in their house. Remarkably, despite the ferocity of the competition and occasionally the level of the stakes, we all truly enjoyed each other’s company over the table.

I realized today how much I’ve missed spending that time with my friends over the last year, and how I’ll be losing chances every day until I get back in the game, literally and figuratively. Old Man lived a full life, and was still living it by spending time with family and friends, right up to the end. It’s an example I hope to take with me.

Q&A

Pokerwolf asked:
Doh!

How'd you get made, BSN?

And how does one become a Mystery Shopper? I've always been curious about it.

I actually posted a full review of the visit here. It’s a blog I am setting up for non-pokery, non-weight-loss stuff. I am constantly asked for writing samples in my job search and I can’t send anyone here because of the subject matter, my language, and honestly – a lot of what I write here is just extemporaneous. I never intended for it to be representative of my ability to communicate in the written form – something more than a few people have pointed out.

Anyway, the full report is over there. It boiled down to the structure of the shop being the giveaway.

As for mystery shopping, there are lots of companies on the web. My wife coordinates all of the assignments for us, but we’ve done fast food, casual dining, even Hooters. We’ve also done a lot of shops for Disney (I won’t go now unless I’m being reimbursed), and had some hotel shops as well. I wish I could point you at some high-quality companies, but Mrs. Big knows them all. Maybe I can coax her to do a guest post…

About the only word of advice I have is don’t sign up with anyone that wants you to pay them to teach you how to do them or put you in their database. There are plenty of reputable companies out there. Typically, there is a market research firm handling the assignments for the client, so one firm can send you on a variety of shops. For restaurants, the compensation will usually cover the basic meal for two people with the survey you fill out being the price you pay (this particular shop wound up costing me money, adding insult to injury). We've found some surveys to be too much trouble to bother doing (i.e., McDonald's 7-page survey for a $7 shop???). It takes 30-45 days for most companies to process reimbursements.

Funny, just checked your site and I see we found the same Roshambo news item… ;-)

Judge Orders 'Rock-Paper-Scissors' To Settle Dispute

WFTV.com - News - Judge Orders 'Rock-Paper-Scissors' To Settle Dispute

Only in Florida...

Mystery Shop

Had a mystery shop at a restaurant in St. Augustine this afternoon. For the first time in 12 years of mystery shopping, I got made.

If anything, it made the service worse. Every time my fork went down, she was there asking to take my plate.

Um. No. I want to eat it.

I suspected during the meal, given this level of attention. Then, I overheard the waitress cluing in the bartender when I stopped to shop the bar afterwards. The bartender came right out, asked me how I was doing and how my meal was with a big grin on her face after ignoring me prior to this. I kept a straight face, mumbled, "Fine", and kept my eyes on ESPN.

Couldn't have pulled that off without the poker training. Used to be a terrible liar.

There - I tied it in to poker. ;-)~

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Book Review

Deadman's Poker
Deadman's Poker

Just finished reading Deadman’s Poker by James Swain. I last wrote about his books here.

I have to say that I enjoyed the book quite a lot. The plot involves the fixing of the World Poker Showdown, a fictionalized version of the WSOP, utilizing an unrevealed (in this book) cheating scam. A character reminiscent of Amarillo Slim makes the cheating accusation after busting out on Day 1 of the tournament, and Tony Valentine is called in to investigate. Along the way we’re treated to a number of prop bet scams, the workings of which are revealed in due time during the story - great stuff for the degenerates among us, fascinating for those of us that enjoy figuring out how magicians and conmen do their tricks.

Valentine’s son is along for the ride, and Swain has continued to mature Gerry and the relationship between father and son. Of course, while Gerry shows more flashes of being able to think on his feet in dangerous situations, including a gritty, distasteful sequence of events leading up to the climax, but it still takes Valentine riding to the rescue with the infantry in tow to save the day in the climax of this two-part story.

Two parts? Yep. The story continues in the next novel, Deadman’s Bluff, released only one-month after Deadman’s Poker. Up next on my reading list, of course.

We’re also provided with some Poker Protection Tips at the end of the book, the same tips that are available at his website. Swain knows his scams, and I’ve seen interviews on Tampa television where he displays impressive sleight-of-hand skills. I’m not sure I’d want him in my poker game, unless he was handcuffed, ear plugged, and blindfolded (but, as we find out, blindfolds and hoods can’t stop a determined scammer in this story!).

Anyway, this is an action story that moves right along. Having read the previous books in the Tony Valentine series, I knew what to expect and was not disappointed. Great stuff!

Monday, June 05, 2006

BWAHAHAHA!

Gotta hand it to the Full Tilt-ers, you guys have the Best. Ads. Going.

Give me a WOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooo!

Phil Ivey’s was my favorite. Sure hope his wife (and her father) doesn’t know about it.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Coolest. Tool. Ever.

Found this one through one of the blogs Iggy pimped today.

Now, I can post a hand history without posting a hand history... sorta... anyway, if you're into them, you can click and check it out. If you're not, fuggedaboutit...

Scene was a $5 turbo rebuy MTT sat to a $160 WSOP double-shootout. Like all rebuys, and turbos, and especiallt rebuy turbos, it was wild during the 30-min rebuy period. Of course, when you pick up one good hand, one medicre hand and make a great read, and one sh**ty hand, and get lucky AND make a good read... well, this is bound to happen:

Two-outer: http://www.pokerhand.org/?359466
Three-outer: http://www.pokerhand.org/?359467
Three-outer: http://www.pokerhand.org/?359470

All in the rebuy period, of course.

I think I played the first two fine. I shouldn't have been in the third hand, but there was alot of raising going on with junk and all-in continuation bets on every hand with nothing, so I just wanted to defend and see if I could get a little lucky (note: this is stoopid). Made a solid read, then got real unlucky.

So, what should have given me the chiplead and an easy ride to the 18 seats for the sat, turned into a total of $35 tilted down the tubes.

Coming together...

Thanks to Fat Dan for the advice about posting my graphics in posts on the blogger server, then pointing the template to them there. Learn something new every day.

Hopefully I can work out the column width issue for the comments and post-pages over the weekend. I've been banging my head against the wall troubleshooting the style sheet like Maudie suggested. I'm sure it's something that's been staring me in the face, taunting me, teasing me...

-------------

Received some review copies of books from a couple of authors today and dug right in. Hopefully I can get a couple honest-to-goodness poker-related posts up in the next week or so that might interest those that come here for poker (whaaaaaa???).

It's either that, or I'm going back to hand histories and bad beat stories... ;-)

------------

Again, just pimping the blogroll one more time - please make sure I didn't lose anyone when I cleaned up my bloglines account. If you're linking to me, I want to be sure I'm returning the favor.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Here it is...

Ok.

There's still a bug or two to work out:

1. For some reason, in the posts with images or html the text that comes after the html isn't picking up the font size coded in the content div. I could fix it by going back to each post individually and modifying the html by hand, but I'm just not that anal. However, if anyone knows a quick-n-easy fix, I'd surely appreciate it.

2. The 'post pages' (the individual pages for each post) and the comments pages are not picking up the same column widths as the main page, so the columns are going vertical rather than horizontal. I thought the Post Pages picked up the same formatting as the main page - No? Gotta find a fix, but I'm too tired to grind through the technical help.

Anyway, I picked up the base template at Firdamatic, then did massive changes to the code. About the only thing I didn't touch was the code that manages the posts. Every graphic element was done from scratch by yours truly.

Go easy on me.

The biggest thing I wanted was a 3-column layout because alot of my links and blogroll were being buried way downin the sidebar. Splitting everything between the two sidebars helps make it easier to find that stuff, and the whole page just feels more balanced to me. I'm weird like that. When I arrange my food on a plate, I'm careful to balance the look of the plate. And, no, I don't like my food to touch, although I will combine it on my fork.

Sorry, got off on an OCD-fueled tangent through my mind.

I must have looked at hundreds of free templates without finding anything satisying. If I liked the look of a template, there was no coding to pick the blogger data and posts. If I liked the functionality of the template, there was something hinky in the layout that would scare me off.

I suppose on the next iteration I should try Wordpress, but I don't think it works with blogger (yes? no?), and I don't want to go about learning how to set myself up on another server and messing with re-directs and risking losing valuable links back to me. I know we almost never talk about it, but the advertisers that contact us are pretty open about wanting higher-ranked pages, and unfortunately Google makes link-quality king in their algorithms. I'm just not savvy enough to figure out how to do it and make it seamless to all of you and to Google and to potential advertisers. I make little enough from the ads, I certainly wouldn't want to risk losing it because I'm mentally challenged.

Yeah, so, if anyone has some ideas to solve the issues I posted above, I'd appreciate you dropping me a line. If you spot any other buggy crap going on, let me know.

Housekeeping

After a lot of hard work, I should be ready to put up a new and improved blog. This one is feeling a bit cluttered, so I'm trying to clean things up and make them more readable. At some point int he process, I said, "Screw it, I want a new template..."

Then I said, "I think I need some new graphics..."

Then I said, "Damn, I guess I need to learn Photoshop..."

Yeah, you get the picture...

In the meantime, check out the blogroll and let me know if you're linking to me but I'm not linking to you. I'm in the process of cleaning it up and weeding out stuff that has been abandoned. That should be the last step before I put this monster up.