Here’s what I learned about myself while I was in Austin on business travel.
1. Leaving my son breaks my heart
I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Moishe before I left, and he doesn’t seem to understand what the phone is. I think he thinks it’s some sort of toy that records people’s voices. After I left, Sarah said he would ask about me, and then sulk by laying facedown on the ground in complete, desultory silence. No whining, no crying, no tantrum, just an immense sadness.
2. I cannot keep computers for three years, and I hate my IT company.
My IT company has a bad habit of installing things on my machine that are resource intensive. Often, when I’m trying to use my computer the awful backup program kicks in and bricks my computer for 45 minutes. The cpu and disk get allocated and the thing is useless. Same is true for the virus/trojan scanner.
Sarah’s seen me at my worst. Computers are tools, designed to serve us, and here I am working around my computer’s backup schedule? This offends me at a very deep level. Even cancelling doesn’t always work. The backup system doesn’t cancel right away, and the scanner doesn’t have anything like that. At that point my computer is bricked, and I often think, what do you do with bricks? You throw them! But I never do that.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Backup programs like MozyPro backup when your machine is idle and allow you to set a limit to the amount of cpu share they consume. Next time I buy a work machine, I’m configuring it myself. Fuck my IT company. Speaking of getting a new computer…
3. I realized that I can’t keep computers for the normal 3 year replacement cycle. I’m way too hard on machines and put in far more use than that. I’m going to satisfy myself with a two year cycle and stop feeling guilty about that. The third year is almost impossible because the machine’s drive is starting to fail.
4. Poker has made me a much better observer of human nature. I just saw someone I’ve known for almost ten years and brought up a topic I knew would make them uncomfortable. As it came out of my mouth, I wondered, hey, does this person have any tells?
Their whole face started twitching, and then they shifted stance. They started uncomfortably touching their ears, hair, face. It was so obvious once I looked for it.
5. Practice practice practice
I’ve kept up my system of practicing poker daily, and recording that on a calendar. I believe it has made me a better player, as my wall calender full of X’s and my bigger bank account confirm. I’ve started bleeding off my winnings to a Fidelity account and keeping a base bankroll of about $2,500-$3,000 mostly in a savings account. For the once or twice a week live games of $1/$2 NL and $6/$12 limit I think it’s plenty.
Online I’m still playing microstakes on the same $200 I put into Sportsbook.com months ago, though I’ve lost a hunk of it. Speaking of which…
6. I’ve finally figured out my I suck at online poker, and do better at live poker. The players live suck more, and I don’t focus well when I play online. I surf the web, do other stuff, talk to people and lots of other distracting things when I play online. For the sake of my bankroll, and to actually make my commitment of at least 30 minutes / day of poker really worth it, I’m going to re-double my efforts to focus when playing online. In particular I’m going to try just listening to music and doing nothing else while I’m playing.