so it’s almost the end of the year

it has certainly been a very long time since i last posted anything on this blog.  i don’t have any good excuse for this except for sheer laziness, which is no excuse at all.  i would apologize, but since you (plural) have probably given up on this little corner of blogosphere, the effort would probably be wasted.  therefore i offer no apologies.  instead, i hope we can catch up on things.

things have been busy.  due to my perpetual lack of money, i’m working a lot more than usual, so most of my time is spent making money that i don’t got.  i have not played any pool at all; i miss it sorely, but time is a precious commodity when you are broke.  alas, i must allocate that precious time away from pool.  it saps the spirit, but i hope the situation is temporary.  pool, like any good drug, is addictive to its core.  addicts like me are eventually drawn back to its lovely embrace, not unlike the grimy roustabout squatting at the street corner eagerly puffing on cheap weed with some jug wine.  perhaps some greasy mcdonald’s after the binge.  i could use some mcdonald’s myself.

i have been loosely following some tournaments here and there, but it seems pool is halfway to its grave, at least presently.  throughout the years we always hear some talk of resurgence, a renewing of the sport, a reboot, something–an injection of freshly minted cash, perhaps.  sometimes pool feels like a gold digger, forever looking for its sugar daddy to pay the bills.  but like any exchange of services, there has to be a take AND give, and pools seems to be long on taking and short on giving.  that sort of relationship just don’t last.   i think for now, pool will limp along on local tournaments and challenge events, until the situation improves–how, i cannot hazard a guess.  time will tell.

on the technology front, the tablet market has completely exploded with new products.  any tablet at any price point can be had by all and sundry; it is no longer a luxury item, but an everyday tool people use for just about anything we can think of–shopping, banking, web surfing, reading, gaming . . . you name it, there is an app for it.  even the cheapie tablets have become useful mini-computers instead of a novelty.  during black friday, you could find android-based tablets for under $50.  high-def it is not, but i think they are supremely useful as your daily web surfer and email checker.  laptops and ultrabooks continue to decline as the popularity of tablets rise.  i think in another five to seven years, laptops will probably languish in the bargain bins and fade into history shortly after.

due to my lack of pool, i’ve been watching more tv.  a couple of really great shows you may be interested: person of interest and almost human are my favorites right now.  they are on cbs and fox respectively, so you won’t need cable to catch the shows.  a lot of people are raving about the walking dead and sons of anarchy, but i’m done with them.  continued human depravity is not really my form of entertainment, and those two shows are the epitome of depravity.  maybe i’m soft, but i’m just turned off.  i’ll leave those shows to the zombie fanatics.

so that’s what i’ve been up to.  absolutely nothing.  just working, and hoping to play pool again when i can manage to free up some time.  but absence makes the heart grow fonder, or whatever the f~* cliché you feel like using.  i hope you’re having more fun than i do, gentle readers, if you’re still out there.  in the meantime, go buy a tablet or something.

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good bye, mr. kyle

chris kyle, a decorated former SEAL and best-selling author, was killed on feb. 2, 2013.  he was 38 years old.

kyle was best known as the SEAL sniper with the most confirmed kills in the US military history.  after his service, he penned the book American Sniper which became a best-seller.  details are scant at the moment, but it seemed that kyle was killed at a charity event by a former Marine with PTSD.  it was believed that kyle was trying to help the former Marine deal with his problems.  the motive for the killing is unclear for now.

a while back i recommended mr. kyle’s book on this blog.  for what it’s worth, i really enjoyed your book mr. kyle.  i’m saddened by your senseless death, and i thank you for your service to this country.  rest in peace.

shopping and behavioral control

howdy, gentle readers.  it has been a very long while since my last post; hope all is well with you.  not much is happening lately.  pool has been quiet, and i’m just trucking along.

soooo . . . this being the thanksgiving season, i decided to take advantage of the various black friday sales that littered the landscape.  i picked this one store to go to since it has the items that i want.  i will not give the specifics, but it is a very large chain store known to use an almost christmas-y color scheme.  so i arrived at the store, waited in line for a bit, and was finally allowed entrance to sanctum santorum, also known as the front door, where good little boys and girls were allowed to purchase everything their hearts desired, without the stale alcoholic lap of santa.  (that’s next month.)

when you walk into a typical large retain store, you’d expect to be able to roam around and pick out the items you want.  but for this black friday sale (technically black thursday in this instance, since they opened on thanksgiving night), the store has cordoned off all the aisles except for one U-shaped route, and we (the customers) were expected to use only this route that would require us to walk around the entire store.  moments after the store opened, the line broke, and a number of people just started to cut through the store to get to the sections they wanted, by walking.  no one ran.  meanwhile, the actual line was moving like molasses, because a typical shopper liked to browse and pick through the inventory.  which meant that the line would stop moving.

as soon as i saw this route, my gut instinct screamed “herding”.  the store tried to herd the customers like good cattle, never mind that we all have different wants and different shopping speeds, not to mention the high likelihood that people would be tired after a long thanksgiving day of cooking and eating and therefore less patient.  personally, i thought that allowing people to shop normally would be the better option.  i suppose the store can make the argument that the U-shaped route would keep the customers safer and discourage running in the store, but i’d disagree.  if people were to run, they would run anyway, and the tight route would actually create a bottleneck and make things more dangerous.  originally i thought all the retail locations of this store did the route, but i later found out that was not the case.  i guess the manager of my location decided on this route tactic all by him/herself.

in life, there seems to be people who always try to control how others act.  personally i have no idea what their motivations are, but certain folks really get their jollies off on controlling people.  from the ridiculous large-soda ban in nyc to smoking bans, some folks are always looking for ways to tell people how to eat, how to act, or what to do.  (by the way, i hate smoking.  but i really hate the hyper-aggressive ways various interest groups try to ban smoking.)  all i can say is that no, they do not know any better than the rest of the populace.  they just think they do.

so here’s a suggestion.  let me do my thing, and you can do your thing.  no need to “guide” me to how you want it done.

and a belated happy thanksgiving.  🙂