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Tom Courtney

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not all skittles and beer [Feb. 10th, 2016|12:22 am]
Tom Courtney
[mood |exhaustedexhausted]

I find no-limit Texas hold-em a fascinating game. On the surface, it's pretty simple, but hidden underneath are layers of game theory combined with psychological insight. If you have some aptitude, pay attention, and apply some creativity, you can do well.

That all sounds great, but there's no two ways about it - if you do all that, you will have sessions where you metaphorically brutalize the table. You play at your opponents, and play at them again and again until just before the point where they play back at you, and then you let them breathe a little bit until it's time to go at it again. If you're playing with people who do not have pretty complete zen detachment - which most players do not - you are going to cause a fair bit of misery.

Yesterday was one of those sessions. It was lucrative, and I was fairly pleased that I could play as well as I did, but I wouldn't have called it exactly "fun". More like "accomplished", really.

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my current scheduled life [Feb. 2nd, 2016|02:59 am]
Tom Courtney
[mood |bouncybouncy]

3 Trolls Games & Puzzles has expanded to include a gaming parlor, with a substantial library of games. According to Andy, I'm the person who convinced him to do it. I guess one should be careful about what one says.

The upshot of this is that I'm going to be heavily involved in the expansion, as the, ahem, house shill. I expect to be there on Wednesdays during the day, and for the next couple of months, Fridays through Sundays from store open to store close. I'll probably be there at odd little other times too. Once we have our full space - sometime in the next two to four months - I expect we'll be running a lot of different game events, but for the moment, if you're so inclined, come in for general gaming.

Yes, I'm still going to be playing poker. Yes, I'm still going to be teaching German historical polearm technique on Wednesday evenings at the Knights Hall, and at other places by request. Finding time to sleep, that's going to be tricky. :)

But it all has definitely been a blast, and I don't expect that to stop anytime soon.

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You don't say [Jan. 12th, 2016|04:45 pm]
Tom Courtney
My day can be best summed up by two comments from our tour guide:

(1) welcome to the new visitors overlook. That smokey white spot off to your left was the site of the old visitors overlook.

(2) those of you interested in going inside a live volcano should take the path to your right. Watch your step.

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Of course they do [Jan. 8th, 2016|08:10 pm]
Tom Courtney
Of course Honolulu has noodle shops. Of course they're dive hole-in-the-wall places. And of course, the one we ate dinner in tonight was awesome.

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Adventure Of A Lifetime [Jan. 7th, 2016|02:45 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |giddygiddy]

Meredith and I are heading out to Hawaii for 11 days. We'll be with my mom and sister and a couple of neices. There's a seven day cruise around the islands, and the other four will be based in Honolulu. I imagine some golf will be involved - I'm bringing my clubs. I expect to have at least occasional internet conductivity, but I also expect to not use it very much. :)

Volcanoes, coffee and pineapple plantations, telescopes, and more ... here I come!

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Scottie, we need more power ... [Jan. 4th, 2016|07:02 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |analytical]

... but it's a start. In it's first week of operation, which featured both short and overcast days, our solar array produced 54 kwh of power. Not a lot, and certainly less than we use, but this time of year is definitely going to be the worst for energy production.

And as is the case with our car, when I find myself in a situation where some of the energy costs are "free", and some expensive, I'm beginning to optimize my behavior over towards using as little of the expensive energy as possible. Go figure. :)

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Achievement unlocked [Dec. 28th, 2015|07:24 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |ecstaticecstatic]

The solar panels went live today.Next stop, The Future.

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Lesson Of The Day [Dec. 23rd, 2015|08:22 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |surprisedsurprised]

When you dump a tablespoon of baking soda into a quart of boiling water, chemistry happens.

Why do I bring this up just now? Oh, no reason... :)

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State Of The House; plus The Other Shoe Drops; Better Living Through Chemistry [Dec. 18th, 2015|05:19 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |excitedexcited]

Work on the house is proceeding apace. The repairs are almost all complete, the house is now completely white, as it is primed for painting in the spring. I think that all that is left is to put in the new old door. Pamela left what may or may not have been the original door to the house when she sold it to me. The current front door has proved inadequate, so the carpenters fixed up the original - basically shaving 4" off the width, stripping and priming it to be painted with the rest of the house - and when they hang it and do the necessary repair to the door frame, I think they'll be done for the winter.

The electric company has put in the new meter, and the electrician tasked with inspecting the system has come and gone, and given the whole thing his blessing. All that remains now for his report to go to the electric company, and the electric company to acknowledge that he sent it and everything is in order, and then the switch to make the whole system operational can be flipped. Apparently, that takes about a week. So maybe I get to show off the system to the Christmas guests, but my guess is it will take a bit longer.

---

When I had my left hip replaced, the orthopedic surgeon noted that I had arthritis in both hips, and that eventually, the right hip would start presenting symptoms. That happened while I was on walkabout last week. My guess is that I'm going to have the right hip replaced sometime next year, probably after Randycon, and hopefully I can get a cortisone shot before our Hawaii vacation in January. We'll see.

---

At the prodding of Caitlin Brooks, I've been researching the idea of getting a testosterone implant. The life extension people are all in favor of it: they claim it helps slow/reverse the effects of aging pretty dramatically, and the implant makes regulating the dosage easier soas to avoid any of the known side effects. The problem of course, is that our bodies may well reduce testosterone production over time for a reason, and one monkeys with that at one's peril.

The idea has passed the first hurdle for me - I've consulted with my oncologist, and she says the evidence is that men with higher testosterone levels are not at higher risk for cancer, including prostate cancer. That's a biggie for me - I thought the drop-off might well be a cancer defense, but it seems to be something else. (The two big contenders for me are favoring young fathers over old ones and unintended side effect of other processes.)

So the next step is to talk to my PCP about the idea, and figure out if I want to jump or not. Currently I'm leaning towards yes, but there's a lot more research I want to do first.

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stay on target [Nov. 23rd, 2015|05:16 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |excitedexcited]

Our solar panels are installed and ready to deliver power. All we need to become a fully operational station is an inspection by an electrician and a new meter from the electric company. Hopefully, that will happen with all convenient speed. :)

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