Dec. 10th, 2008

peterbirks: (Default)
You kind of know that, when your train is reduced from 10 carriages to six (cue, sardine time) and when the coffee machine decides to spray coffee an hot water in random directions rather than, as would be preferred, in the general direction of the cup (how difficult can gravity be?) that the day has not started well.

Pacific was down for most of last night. I telephoned support and had a typical conversation. "Turn it off and turn it on again".

"Done that, twice".

"We have been told that there is a problem with the loading screen. Leave it running for a short while and the lobby should appear".

"Done that. for 10 minutes".

"It might take a bit longer than 10 minutes."

"How much longer? I'm an old man."

"About 20 minutes".

"And precisely what is happening during that 20 minutes?"

"Well, that's the time we've been told by the IT department".

"Ahh. So you mean that your server is down and the IT department has told you that it will be back up in 'about 20 minutes'".


"So I might as well go away for three hours and then try again. Leaving the loading screen running is pointless".

(Nervous laughter).

It actually came back on by midnight, a fact that I only discovered because I had insomnia. I'm still not in a good mental state, so I didn't think that it would be a good time to play.

Low-stakes Heads Up might be useful for learning the game, but it's becoming apparent that, against any player who is not a total fish, the variance is such (equals, you often need the best cards) that you get slaughtered by the rake. Two 45 minutes sessions of $20 HU both ended up with me and my oppponent paying about five bucks in rake and both lsoing money. Sure, opponent lost more than me, but that's a fairly useless definition of 'victory'.

That doesn't mean that these stakes are not worthwhile for me. I need to get 'into the zone' of how the good players play at this level so that I can hold my own at financially viable levels such as $50NL HU and perhaps eventually $100 NL HU (which would be very swongy).

But, the good times at Ring $100 cannot last forever, and HU still feels as if it could be my kind of game (in a manner that 6-handed down to 3-handed does not). After all, I've always said that multi-wayers get me into trouble -- and that's never a threat heads-up.


UK government debt now riskier than McDonald's and Coca Cola -- official.

Why buy gilts when corporate bonds are seen by the debt default market as safer?

There appears to be an 'official' estimate that there's about a 7% chance of theUK defaulting on its debt over the next five years. When you allow for the margin in selling the cover, the 'real' chance is probably closer to 3.5%. That's still uncomfortably high. Less than a one-outer.

Corporate bonds have a short-term attraction as well as gilts, although both will eventually get killed in the inflation madness.

Two hundred quid from the bank yesterday = $294.50. I know that there's no big difference between £200 = $302 and £200 = $294.50, but, hell, it feels different. My own little feelgood factor.

Compared to start of year when £200 was over $400, and the psychological boost is considerable.


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