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flabbergasting poker hand.

in about 2.5 hours i had already built up my initial $200 stack to $1000 because people were being pretty stupid against me - none of it was me getting lucky or them getting unlucky, it was all things like, "i just flopped the nut straight" or "i flopped the nut flush" and i would somehow get three-way all-in action. I also had AA twice and stacked my opponent both times - one who had about $200 and had KK, another who had about $450 and had QQ.

But the most flabbergasting hand of the evening was one against a quiet asian guy sitting immediately to my right. He was clearly a green player not just to the casino but to poker in general i think because he kept on doing strange sorts of actions. Some simple stuff like betting $5 into $75 pots or trying to make illegal raises - there was one point when someone had raised to $10 and he tried to raise to $15 (this is on a 1/2), but he did it as a string-raise, and didn't understand and tried to argue with the dealer when the dealer told him that he a) did a string raise and b) it wasn't a legal raise in the first place.

So in the hand in question, he had about $225 in front of him and in early position he raises to $10. I look down and see AhAc, so i raise to $30. Everyone else folds around to him, and he calls.

Board comes AK8 with a club draw. He checks. I bet $40. He calls. Turn comes 5d. He checks. I bet $60. He calls.

River comes 8. The guy immediately FLIPS HIS HAND OVER. He has KK. He looks at the dealer (Brandon) and taps his hand as if to say, "this is the hand that i have." It clearly wasn't a check. He thought that the action was complete.

I'm shell-shocked. Brandon looks at me with laughter behind his eyes. I say to him, "i have no idea what to do here." Because i kind of felt bad. This guy is clearly has no idea what's going on, and the extent of how much that was true was shown in this moment. I stare at Brandon and then at the player for about another ten seconds, not even quite sure if action was actually on me, and what i should even do about it. For a fraction of a second i consider checking, but then i come to my senses because that's fucking stupid. i throw in a green stack that clearly puts him all-in. He gathers his chips up slowly into a single stack and then pushes it over the line. I flip over my AA. Brandon takes his KK and folds it, and the player doesn't object, but is also looking at my hand and at the dealer as if he's unclear about whether or not all of the chips are going to go my way or his. The chips go my way, he stares at the board again and at my hand as if he doesn't quite know what just happened, and then he gets up and leaves.

Brandon left the table soon after. After about five minutes, i went to the table where he was dealing and discovered that he had just finished telling his current table what had happened. They're all "wtf" and ask me to confirm the details, so i do, and we all laugh.

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I'll write about my trip soon, but i wanted to jot this out there while i had the opportunity before i thrust myself back into work.

yesterday i took a peek at a few of the 2014 drum corps shows out there, and this is the impression i had of the ones that i saw:

1. Blue Devils.  Not nearly as good as their 2013 show.  Couldn't watch to the end, appreciated how well they performed.  Moving those platforms from a single platform into "lanes" for the corps to march through is a huge mistake - it's impossible to make that look good without big picture guidance, and it stuck out as a visual eyesore until they moved it to a new form.
2. Cadets.  There have been years where I could get over my personal bias against the Cadets, say, "yeah i don't like them, but their show was pretty great."   This show was kind of the antithesis of that.  I was done after about two minutes, but stuck it out for another two before i had to shut it off.  The hornline clearly had a bad night that night or they're just not that great.  But more than that, the show design was dull dull dull.  It felt like it was trapped in its own brand and didn't know how to get out.  The concept, the horn arranging, the overall show design felt antiquated and didn't feel anything different from the Cadets ten years ago.
3. Crown.  Very compelling show.  That metal drum solo thing was awesome, reminded me a lot of what David Lang would do if he were to write for drums.  Horn line was pretty outstanding, although the mellophone writing was a little show-offy for my taste.  Overall show design both visually and musically was pretty great, except for the closer - the drill was awesome, but the music felt out of character from the rest of the show.
4. Cavaliers. I like the show design overall, although I can't say that it was a superior show design to Devils or Cadets, it was just more to my taste.  The hornline must be super young because it was clear that by the end of the show they were tired as their intonation went to shite.  The marimba solo thing was pretty hokey, but it was unique and effective, so i appreciate it even though it wasn't exactly my sort of thing.

Probably this weekend i'll take the time to watch a bunch of shows in full length, maybe even grudge my way through the Cadets show even though i know i'll just hate it more, but we'll see.   I have a lot of stuff to take care of, and i'm on a huge momentum kick right now, so i want to keep that going while i have a chance.

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MGM Grand Detroit poker room

to get to the poker room, you have to go past a bouncer and up an elevator where both the poker room and one of the night clubs exist side by side.  There's enough separation between the two that it's not a big deal, when i was playing i never really noticed any outside noise.

The room itself holds 9 tables.  The tables are laid out pretty spaciously - they could have fit a few more tables in there, but i'm not sure what sort of demand there is at that room since out of the nine tables there were only five games running on a holiday thursday evening.  It took me about 25-30 minutes to get an actual seat.  I should have called ahead.  For some reason even though they used the Bravo system, their information didn't show up on my Bravo app.  I'm not sure why.

The dealers were competent at their job but they were generally pretty quiet.  not unfriendly, but not very talkative or social.  There was one exception, but he pretty much talked to just one person who he knew outside of work, and he was a pretty bad dealer in his unprofessionalism.  He was only half-focused on his job as dealer, the rest of it was focused on watching the baseball game.  Dealers at Harrah's New Orleans will glance at the tvs sometime, but they only ever glance.  This guy was blatantly watching, with his eyes glued to the tv while he was shuffling and while action was going on.  He also didn't have great customer service skills.  He asked me when i first sat down (he was the first dealer) if i wanted to post my blind to come in right away, and when i said no, he said, "um, okay" in a way that felt judgmental.  He made similar sorts of commentary to other people every now and again when they would do things that felt strange to him.  nothing big and not for too long, but it was clear that he didn't really like the job or was in a super bad mood and couldn't "keep it off the field" (in band/drum corps terms).

All of the tables were 1/2 (there was an interest list for 2/5, but that game never started) and on my table all of the players were horrible.  There were four players that were super tight nitty - if they ever invested money in the pot, you fold, period.  There were three player who were more aggressive and better players, but they were generally pretty easy to read - strong means weak and weak means strong.  there was one person in particular who always overbet the pot when he was on a draw, every time without fail.  he busted before i got a chance to exploit that knowledge on one particularly stupid hand where he flat-called when he flopped trips and then tried to bluff-bet the river when the board paired again (Q66, 3, Q) when it was clear the other player had a Q.

a lot of the hands i was getting were trash, so my image was fairly tight.  in the span of 1.5 hours, i played maybe 4-5 hands, and in all situations i never had to show my cards to anyone.  only one of them was a semibluff, where preflop i reraised a $15 bet to $65 with KK intending to ship the flop if it was heads up because the guy who initially raised had a super wide raising range.  Board had an A, and i shipped the turn and villain folded.  all of the other hands i had strong enough and monopolized on my image and my understanding of the players.  One guy bet on a K board when i had KQ which to me meant he likely had air or he had a weak kicker, so i raised his turn bet so that if he called he'd likely check the turn and i could check behind (in the offchance that he had a monster which was less likely but still possible), and he mucked when i raised.

All in all it wasn't a bad experience and i wish i could have stayed longer, but i have a prediction that the casino across the street, Motor City, would have been a better room.  if i go back to the detroit area any time soon i'll give it a try and see what happens.

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Edge of Tomorow (2014)

I wanted to go see the X-Men movie, but Megan had already seen it, so we watched this instead.  The only thing i knew about the movie was that Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt were the headliners, the former of which i generally dislike and the latter of which i like quite a bit.  In that, my expectations were met.  Tom Cruise was very Tom Cruise and i internally rolled my eyes a lot at how Tom Cruise he was.  Emily Blunt was very Emily Blunt, which translated in my mind as being generally pretty bad-ass.

The cinematic style of the movie made me have to close my eyes some of the time because the beach action scenes and a few other action scenes were shaky camera which makes me feel nauseous.  For the beach scenes this didn't bother me because i found those action scenes in general to be pretty annoying even with the cleverness of some of the variants involved.  i know that that's a personal preference of mine; those scenes were all about flash and fast-paced and chaos of battle, and i've always been much more about focus, subtlety, and "less is more", which clearly reflects in my own creative work.

As far as the movie itself, i'm pretty sure i liked it.  It had a decent mix of serious vs light-hearted moments, the pacing was very solid, and despite the fact that it had some nagging issues both small and big, that didn't detract from me being captivated by the movie.  In general, i measure how much i like or dislike a film or television show/episode based on how much the issues i recognize are a) things i recognize right away versus things i recognize more after the fact and/or b) whether or not those things end up distracting me from the movie itself as i'm watching it.  There were only a few moments in this movie where i felt like a poorly scripted line or a poorly executed idea truly distracted me, so i think i walk away from it thinking it was a success.

As far as some of the nagging issues that surfaced after watching it and thinking about it:

spoilersCollapse )
All that said, i still think the movie was pretty entertaining and all of those quibbles are minor.  I probably would have liked it better if the main protag would have been, say, Nathan Fillion or something, but you take what you can get.

Pretty sure it fails the bechdel test, but i'm still getting used to looking for that specifically when i watch movies (which isn't often).  There's one other female character that i can recall had a speaking part other than Emily Blunt, but the two of them never interacted.

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quick update (and ties).

Things have been stupid busy since i've been all motivated and stuff with my LEAP Motion project, things are ramping up at Tulane, and the first leg of my summer travel starts tomorrow.  It's actually been making my sleep schedule habits all weird because i work best at night, so my habit has been to get home from work, crash and take a 3-6 hour nap, and then get up and do a bunch of work until 3-5am until i take another nap before having to get up for work.

It's made it so that i've fallen off of the map on here again in some ways, both backed up as a friends feed lurker and as a writer, but i guess only by maybe 3-5 days.  There are a couple of backlogged entries that are still in draft form somewhat inspired by belenen that maybe while i'm at home i'll take the time to write or at least get more complete, but i actually anticipate that a lot of my spare time is going to go towards programming and music-writing more than anything else.

The one anecdote that i'll relate at present is one concerning ties.  I have a weird relationship with ties.  I used to hate ties as a concept because i felt like it got in the way of my preferred formal neck ornaments which was usually one of my pendants/necklaces.  Now i kind of like them, but i'm incredibly picky about the color and the style.

Two weekends from now i'm going to be officiating a wedding.  The official colors of the wedding are a sort-of aqua blue and various forms of peach.  I decided that for the officiating i wanted to try to find some sort of white tie with a peach tint to it, and it's amazing how many hours i went around various local shops (because i don't trust online shopping as it relates to exact color all of the time) and found nothing even remotely close to what i wanted.

I'm going to try again when i'm home to find one, and if i can't find one that i really like after a few hours of searching, i think i'm just going to go with a white tie.  I think that for the future, i may try to find an online store in which i can be assured of the quality of the tie itself and i can basically create my own design being very specific about the colors down to the hexadecmial values and how one value could pattern or gradient to another.

For a frickin' tie.

Because i'm absolutely ridiculous sometimes.

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great talk about violence against women.

a lot of this talk has always been fairly obvious to me (which is one of the big reasons why although i have no issues with curse words, i very consciously try to avoid using the word "pussy" to imply weakness or "balls" to imply strong because those are gender biased), but it's nice for the issue and its potential long-range solution to be articulated so well.  Here's one of my favorite quotes that happens in the last couple of minutes:

"we know so much about how to prevent domestic and sexual violence.  There's no excuse for a college or university to not have domestic and sexual violence training mandated for all student athletes, coaches, and administrators as a part of their educational process.  We know enough that we can easily do that, but you know what's missing?  The leadership.  But not the leadership of student athletes, it's the leadership of the athletic director, the president of the university, the people in charge who make decisions about resources."

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LEAP Motion variables

so i mounted the LEAP motion on a clamp to put it sideways and discovered that it works okay, but there's a reason why it's better the way it's meant - because you don't get false reads from things like your elbow or your body depending on how far away you are from the device itself.

still, once i was able to mess with it a little bit and make some adjustments, i got the sideways thing to work okay, we'll see what happens as the piece develops. In my head, i now want the LEAP to do four things:

  • Simply trigger a sound when a hand enters the motion field (already programmed)
  • Trigger a sound when a hand enters the motion field, then pause-but-still-play-the-sound when the performer's hand closes into a fist and then continue when the hand opens up again
  • Trigger a sound when a hand enters the motion field, pause-but-still-play-the-sound when the performer's hand closes into a fist, then stay frozen and allow the performer to place it anywhere within the octophonic space using the motion field as a map.

That visual mechanism for the last thing i'm unsure about. I could make it so that opening the fist in those specific instances does that, but i want something to be visually different about that circumstance (even though the triggers themselves won't be free for all, i'm not going to leave that to chance based on some of the hand/fist tracking issues). Maybe i could do a single finger visually and put that on the performer to know when to put the single finger out for controlling that sound.

i'm not sure if the piece really needs anything else for the LEAP motion to do. If i add a bass pitch to the sound halfway through that could complicate things, but i'm sure i could figure it out. Right now i just want to program the other two things first and start to actually put the first part of the piece together along with figuring out the UI and the cueing mechanisms and the cuelist.

life this week - and this summer, really.

Since this past weekend, my life has been predominantly about three things: music writing for Tulane, LEAP Motion/Max Programming at home, and poker. I think my summer - even when i'm traveling - will be a lot about those three things.

The past couple of weeks have been generally semi-low key in a lot of ways - things were busy, but i was taking a middleground to background approach to both Tulane and personal projects.

That's changed drastically in the past couple of days. I decided yesterday that i needed to revamp the drumline exercise packet sort of from the ground up to follow the model of what's practical for our rehearsals. I've also been ramping up some revisions to our databases in response to some stuff (long story) that happened last semester.

I get home from work and i immediately want to start programming. On Monday, Mark and i got drinks after work which always makes me super tired, so when we were done i crashed and took a nap for 3.5 hours and got up at 22:00. As soon as i got up, the first thing on my brain was, "i want to go into the electronic music lab." So i did and ended up working in there until about 3am. Yesterday, i got home from work and basically started doing Max programming straight when i got home for about four hours, pausing only to eat some leftover chicken curry i cooked on sunday for dinner. I probably would have kept programming for the next few hours, but Mark's cousin is in town, so we went out to grab drinks and chat.

Both of those things are occupying my headspace so completely right now. All of my time is spent thinking about them in a foreground, middleground, and background space. As soon as i wake up, i'm thinking about it. In the shower, walking to the car, walking to get tea, all of it. Some of it is mind-wandery, but most of it is very focused.

Everything else right now is fading away. Well, aside from friends. Friends and people in general always come first. Reading my livejournal friends list has come back into my daily routine even though sometimes i have to skim and i don't comment much. But some of the other things that have typically distracted me in the past, things like FTL or reading that book again or watching episodes of my favorite shows over and over again or devoting myself to more than just causal Ingress, that stuff has already fallen off of the map and been reduced to such a degree it may as well not exist.

And it feels great. To have that focus, to have that drive. It's a natural drug, a caffeine and a high that is like nothing else.

Poker will continue to occupy my weekends. That's my release valve and slush fund, it's a lot of instinct that's borne of me taking poker somewhat seriously for the past few years. I get to meet a lot of strangers and casual acquaintances, i have fun hearing their stories, and then i do my best to take their money, not even necessarily for the income rewards but for the pleasure of the game itself and its complexities.

For those that don't follow me on other social media, i've been vlogging about my LEAP and Max stuff. Once i get the new trigger modules programmed i'll probably do another one. Here's the main one that i've been sharing a bunch:

LEAP notes

so i bought a LEAP motion a while back, but it's been collecting dust not doing anything until today when i plugged it in, downloaded the aka.leapmotion object for Max/MSP and started to fiddle with it for the purpose of my new project. When i get my Google Glass replaced, i'll be doing some video logs, mainly for myself, but also for others to follow along with my journey with the device and how i want to potentially use it.

My initial playing around with it makes me think that my initial conception for its use isn't going to work because the control field is too small - it's great that the LEAP can control/detect individual finger movement on an x/y/z plane as accurately as it does, but the way i want to use it has much more to do with grand sweeping gestures, full arm movement, and that doesn't seem to be the LEAP's forte. I could use it that way at a basic level, "detect when entering field to trigger this", but more complicated things may be, well, more complicated to control.

still, it has potential enough that some basic experimentation to see if i can make it work for this project is worth the time to create an interface for it - if it's not useful for this particular project, it'll be a good way to set it up for something i want to do in the future. look for some video documentation soon, starting when i get my Glass back.

fly by

i've been doing that neglecting-of-the-friends-page thing again. to be fair, i've fallen off of the map of social media reading in general, facebook and g+ have been fairly neglected too.

I skimmed the friends page a bunch today, but i have a friend visiting from out of town, so i need to stop and actually Do Things.

But in general things are less crazy than they have been, and i'm going to put some sort of sticky or something over my Steam icon or something as a passive way to tell me to prioritize LJ like i know that i want to and used to and try to keep up every day. and i'll tell one of my good friends to slap me (well, virtually, since she's not a local) if i don't. Even on the WSOP tournament days in the coming weeks. Well. Unless i don't go home at all and am not by a computer.

so sorry, LJ, particularly new people. i'll do better. because what i skimmed today is a good reminder of how awesome you all are, and i shouldn't neglect you even if social media in general has fallen to the wayside for me.

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