Tuesday, November 23, 2010


"Also, back to the Ferrari for a minute, there was that brief controversy about people who I thought were friends getting offended when they felt the wife and I were either bragging or ungrateful for the success we've had in life. That bothered me a lot more than it should. I had these brief fantasies about totally shutting down, but I like too many of you to let a few naysayers get to me. I once heard that successful people could only have successful friends because everyone else just ends up being a drag (actually, it was that rich people could only have rich friends, but if I imply we're rich I'll get more detractors and the wife will scream, "No we're not!")." - Dr Chako

I'm guilty. I'm one of the people who said mean things about Dr. Chako. I throw myself on the mercy of the court.

I'm not one of Dr Chako's friends, however. I'm definitely not one of the people "he thought were friends" whatever that means. I don't know him. People I do know say he's a wonderful person, and I have no reason to doubt that. If they say he's good people, that's good enough for me.

But let's face it. Some of the things he has posted are a tiny bit offensive. Not huge sins. Absolutely not "HOLY SHIT WHAT AN ASSHOLE" offensive. Just a tiny bit of "that's just not quite right" offensive.

Examples? Hmm. Posts about his "Ferrari fetish." Saying things like "The least expensive house on my block is worth $1.5 Million." The drama about his wife's job.  Trouble with the live-in servants. His job search and his lengthy commute. Everybody's life has shit, but for some reason a lot of his seems very shallow to me.

Nobody thinks he's "bragging" or "ungrateful." Nobody wishes any ill for him or his family. Nobody resents him for what he has. The bad news is that he is rich, no matter what his Vice President at HP wife says. (HP is a completely evil corporation btw, but that's beside the point. Maybe she's trying to remove the evil from the inside. I don't know.)

But why can't people who find things he says occasionally offensive be his friends? Why should he care if anyone's offended by how he talks about his life? His life is what it is. His troubles are absolutely as important to him as yours are to you and mine are to me. I write offensive things all the time. Everybody doesn't like me, and I can live with that. If I have ever written anything that's offensive to you, rest assured you are still allowed to be my friend, if you want. (I've no idea why you would, but that's your prerogative.)

Look, people are struggling out there. A person I know has been unemployed for two years with no unemployment benefits because he was a contract employee. He's 60 years old and all alone. He's losing his house and trying to sell his vehicle to pay for food. Trouble with the Au Pair just doesn't seem like a crisis to me by comparison. And I know, if you have an Au Pair and there's trouble, it probably sucks. But maybe you should keep some of those troubles to yourself?

I understand it's an online journal and you write about what's happening to you. But there's a fine line between talking about your life and whining about trivial things. Of course he's free to write about whatever he wants and if anyone doesn't like it they don't have to read it. Part of that freedom means others are equally free to criticize him. You take the bad with the good.

I'm sorry if I'm "a drag" because I'm not rich. I actually think I'm a moderately successful person. It was touch-and-go for me for a while, but I got lucky and caught a break. I had a very close look at a future that wasn't very bright, and I sympathize with the people who are facing that themselves. I don't resent anything Doc has. I'm not jealous of his life at all. I wouldn't trade places with him for a second. I have friends that are far more successful than me. I also have friends that are not. I don't think all rich people can only hang out with other rich people. But certain ones probably should.

I'm sure if I actually met the Doc I would like him. I'm almost positive he doesn't come across in his blog like he is in real life, at least not all the time. I'm sure that after what I've written he wouldn't like me. I'm sure he'll be offended by this. I'm offensive. It's what I do.

All I'm asking is, try to think about the people out there who are struggling and aren't sure where they're going to live next month before talking about how unhappy you are that your Ferrari is in the shop again. Is that too much to ask?

Everybody loves a Ferrari. Show off your Ferrari. Don't talk about Ferrari problems. Your Ferrari is in the shop? I know almost nothing about them but I thought that's what they did.

I have a ton of trivial problems in my life. Little shit that someone who is really struggling would find shallow and offensive. But I don't blog about them.

That's what twitter is for.

P.S. I know I'm an asshole for saying these things, but it's really what I think. Everybody out there that loves Doc and hates me, you're absolutely right, he's a better person than me. You don't have to tell me in comments, I already know.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Over a year ago I bought a Netbook, kind of on a whim. It's a fun little toy, good for browsing the internet and other minor tasks. It didn't quite have the horsepower to play streaming video, but it was good for listening to music and playing online poker.

When Windows 7 came out I decided to give it a shot on the netbook. The install wasn't unpleasant, it seemed to run alright. As time went on it seemed to grow less and less stable, at first browsers would crash, then the whole OS would blue screen. I never really did any serious computing on it, just looking things up on Wikipedia or IMDB, so random crashes didn't bother me too much.

One day I got a wild hair and decided to load Ubuntu on it. If you don't already know, Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that installs like Windows on computers and has a nice pretty interface that's fairly intuitive. I really liked the change of pace and I especially liked how stable it was. They make a build specifically for Netbooks and it seemed to install seamlessly and run much faster and smoother than Windows ever did. Even streaming video was tolerable. This came in very handy for things like YouTube videos demonstrating how to do a valve adjustment on Scooter #2. When you can carry the wireless computer right into the garage and watch the video while you're looking right at the parts that need adjusting, it's a whole new world.

Ubuntu can even run some Windows applications through an emulator called WINE. (I believe it's short for WINdows Emulator. They're creative like that.) Alas, poker software would not run on Wine for more than a few minutes before it crashed.

I was pretty happy with Ubuntu otherwise, and rarely booted into Windows. Which meant no poker. Everytime I loaded up Windows 7 I would poke around for a little while and if I left the netbook to go do something else, I would come back and it was booted into Linux. Ubuntu was the default OS selection and that meant Windows had crashed again and the computer had reset itself. I couldn't even trust it enough to play poker on it.

Poking around on it last weekend I discovered the partition on the hard drive that held the original install files. I experimented with it and discovered I could run the install without disturbing my Ubuntu install. Off I went, back to Windows XP.

For some reason it ran much smoother than I remember. Maybe I had adjusted to the crashes so much that I forgot how solid XP ran on the machine. Since it was running smoother I decided to play some online poker again. I tried some Rush Poker on Full Tilt, and it worked flawlessly. I even dragged a few pots. I fired up some O8 ring games on PokerStars and again it was crash free, and I managed to find the same old fire-on-every-street-with-nothing donkeys that inhabit the low limit O8 games.

The true test came last night, I actually entered a Tournament. It wasn't a huge deal because if the netbook became crashy I could switch to my desktop to finish. But the little-computer-that-could didn't even flicker as I played the Mookie for 3 hours and split first place. Fifty-two bucks (minus the 11 entry) in my pocket, this netbook is finally paying for itself!

The Mookie is still a fun tournament with enjoyable people just playing poker to have a good time. I recognized a couple of names from the old times, amazing since I haven't played a Mook in eons. I even won some pots with the hammer, once when I was the smallest stack out of three remainders.

Next week I'm on vacation for Thanksgiving, and it will be really nice to have the old netbook running right as rain again.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010