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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

November
13
2009
10:44 am
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I received notice recently that one of my all-time favorite performers is once again coming to Austin.

coulton

See there?  It even says that he’s one of my “favorite performers”.   Here’s the bio write-up from the eventful site:

Jonathan Coulton is the Contributing Troubadour for Popular Science magazine and the musical director for John Hodgman’s Little Gray Book Lectures. His songs about vengeful nerds, ennui-afflicted clowns, partially-imagined historical figures, and devotees of a certain Swedish prefab furniture store are insanely clever without ever being too clever for their own good. They repeatedly lure you into laughing before suddenly breaking your heart. And the sick part is, you keep coming back. Coulton’s is the voice of every spooky elementary school kid who could never quite keep his shirt tucked in or shoes tied; every lovelorn mason and mad scientist; every one of us who has ever sat despairingly on the floor, surrounded by parts of an Ikea endtable, weeping over our allen wrenches. He is ready to soft-rock your socks off.

My interest and involvement in JC has waxed and wayned over the last year; I even wrote a parody song of a parody song of his, sang & recorded it and started a video but then I dropped it for no apparent reason.  I also have footage of me interviewing him DITL-style (along with Paul and Storm as well) and I have yet to incorporate it into one of myDITL’s. 

Yes, I am that potentially famously procrastinatorial.

I’m even slightly interested in the Summer Cruise he tempted everyone with on his blog. 

If you want to meet up for the show here in Austin in February, drop me a line.  You know I’ll be live-tweeting the whole thing.

I found two strategies to doing better in a gambling place like Vegas or Reno.

Find a place that actually closes

I learned this in Puerto Rico in 1999.  It’s much harder to gamble away your winnings when they throw you out at closing time.  Of course, this kind of place is very rare as most casinos are 24×7.    One might also equate this to “bring a spouse along” but that’s not the case for me.

Track your winnings and losses

Gambling can play tricks on your mind.  You might buy in for some amount and try to mentally keep track of “I’m up this much or that much” but once you dig in your pocket again, or forget how much you bought in for, you can get lost in how much you’re actually up or down.

For my Reno trip, I decided I was going to track every gambling session by how much I bought in for and how much I walked away with.  I’d type into my blackberry the casino name when I got there, the game, the  buy-in and the walk-away.

Did it help?  Maybe.  I think so.

Much like when you track exercising or food intake, the simple act of accountability forced a different behavior.  Knowing that I was recording my walk-away-money made me think about leaving ahead more often.

I will now share some of my stats with you, by time, game, and hotel.  Since giving specifics on dollar amounts may cause unwanted tangents (“you only bet THAT MUCH?!?!? what a marooon!” or “how could you bet THAT MUCH when there are children starving in Africa??!?!?”) I decided to give my stats in percentages of my actual budgeted gambling amount.  The amount is mostly irrelevant to the stats, the budgeted bankroll may have been $10 or it might have been $100,000.

The first day was incredible.  I more than doubled my money!  I wasn’t down until the 2nd half of the last day, and just as I was down 50% of my bankroll, a fortuitous win brought me back into the positive side.

Thank you, Star Wars Slot Machine.

These other graphs show how I did per game and per hotel:

One can infer from these statistics that next time I go gambling, I should go straight from the Airport to Siena hotel and just play craps.  When done, go directly back to the airport and only play Star Wars slot machines.

All in all, the trip ended up being close to “free” because winnings and comps took care of most of cab fare, food and tips.  The flight and hotel were free already.  That’s about as good as a vacation as you can realistically hope for.

In case you’re sick of hearing about gambling stats, here’s something for you so you can hear about gambling funnies.

There are a ton of people doing this meme, and I’m not one to do memes very often, but I actually kind of like this one.

Think of 20 albums, CDs, LPs (if you’re over 40), that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life. Dug into your soul. Music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the wazoo, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean. Then when you finish, tag 15 others, including me, make a donation to Any Blogger Can, sit back and drink a brewski, watch your favorite DITL. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill.

Here are mine. Except I did 22 albums.

And I’ll warn you ahead of time that I seriously doubt the existence of any human being out there with even five of the same albums as me. Shoot, I bet there isn’t anybody with even THREE of these on their list. What can I say? I’m very weird awesome in my own way.


Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

There are people who say they like this album, or were “changed” by it, and then there are the rest of us who really were. You know who you are – the kind of fan that lists an album because it’s cool to list an album. If you can’t sing every lyric, every studio-added sound effect or murmur and can’t sing out the rooster parts or actually played the end of the album in the infinite loop, you don’t count.


Yes – Tales from Topographic Oceans

We start the eclectic. This is a double-album with only four (4) songs total. Yes, one song per album side. I told you I was weird awesome.


Mannheim Steamroller – Fresh Aire II

I could list several of the Fresh Aire series because I immersed myself in all of them at one point or another, but I’d have to say Fresh Aire II was my first and most potent.


Mannheim Steamroller – Fresh Aire III

There was this one song, Mere Image, that I played dozens of times per week. Yes, it was that fetching. I still do sometimes. I even dreamed up my own music video to the song and still want to make it come true. It has a wistful nostalgic energetic make-you-cry-after-dancing feel.


Olivia Newton-John and ELO – Xanadu soundtrack

I made my own homemade version from the DVD because the many of the songs had versions on the actual published soundtrack that were different from the movie and that devastated me to no end. I hate it when movie soundtracks do that!


Steve Vai – Passion and Warfare

There’s a song on there that kind of feel like dueling electric guitars and I frequently would daydream about my brother and I performing this on stage. Alas, he is the guitar player and I’m the guitar hero.


Michael Jackson – Off The Wall

So shoot me. Wait, I already shot myself for this one.


The Moody Blues – On The Threshold of a Dream

This is one of many tastes I picked up from my dad, who had this and the next album on vinyl. I would put it on and be amazed. When I discovered headphones it sent me to the next level. This is one of those albums that you put on, close your eyes, and let the sounds take you over. In fact, a lot of my picks are sensual albums – you don’t just put them on in the background or flick on the radio to listen. They are to be enjoyed specifically, not as the soundtrack to your daily life.


The Moody Blues – In Search of the Lost Chord

Om.

Tracks 7 through 12 are the ones to get lost in.


Steely Dan – Citizen

I had to put in the “Everything” compilation album because once I discovered the ‘Dan, I consumed every song they had and played this collection on repeat for about a year.


Metallica – Master of Puppets

It was hard to choose between this and Ride the Lightning but I listed to Master of Puppets a tad bit more. Plus, it has Orion on it.


The Statler Brothers – Old Testament and New Testament

I had the double-album set. I can still list all the disciples because of this album.


Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water.

My first CD, ever. I got it for my 15th birthday.


Yes – Going For The One

This is another one of those that will be unique to me, and guess what? Awaken? intense 15-minute long song.


Celtic Woman (custom rip)

This is another one where the released soundtrack differed from the video release (DVD) so I ended up ripping my own MP3’s off of the video so that it would match. I’m linking you to the DVD instead of the CD since it’s the one with the music I love. The CD actually took off a couple of tracks!


Rush – Hemispheres

It’s hard to choose just one because of Grace Under Pressure and Signals and Power Windows and AFTK and 2112 and… and… and… But this is the one I sank into deeply and didn’t come up for air for weeks.


Jon Anderson – Olias of Sunhillow

I don’t expect anyone to understand this one. But, man oh man. I love this album. It’s like the Lord of the Rings put to music but without J R R Tolkein.


Jonathan Coulton – Thing A Week series

Can’t list one of the TaW albums since I got the whole collection and put it on repeat. Definitely changed my view of self-published music in a very positive way. This guy is my hero.


Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II

Again, this is an artist that has so much to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one album. I choose it because my dad had it on vinyl and it was my first Zep album. I wore that puppy out once I heard What Is And What Should Never Be. This is the first time I actually made a tape that was just entirely one song repeated over and over from the album. I did this to save on battery life on my knock-off Sony Walkman because rewinding took up too much battery.


Don Harriss – Elevations

As a senior in high school, I’d sometimes put this CD in, lay back, close my eyes and simply float. Especially on track #2. I seriously think I floated a few times while wearing headphones. Too bad they weren’t wireless back then. I think it was the wire that stopped me from hitting the ceiling.


Ozzy Osbourne – The Ultimate Sin

I remember freshman year in High School – as a band geek *and* a computer geek, I wasn’t all that popular, but that was fine with me. In fact, instead of being popular I was more of a target. But there was this one time when my walkman and collection of tapes was “confiscated” by The Current Cool Guy in the gym along with the “let’s see what Dork-Man is listening to, shall we?” verbal introduction to a humiliation assault. As he went through picking out The Ultimate Sin, Black Sabbath’s We Sold Our Souls for Rock and Roll, Van Halen’s 1984, Motley Crue’s Theatre Of Pain, Led Zeppelin and Rush, he said aloud “wow, for a nerd, you listen to some really cool music” and handed me back my stuff and went on to the next nerd. Later that week he borrowed The Ultimate Sin from me and I was left alone the rest of the year.


BONUS ENTRY! The Simpsons – Songs in the Key Of Springfield

Let’s go crazy, Broadway style!


Whew. This was harder than I expected, but I stayed true to the meme.

So.  Did anyone have even more than one that they shared with this list?

Yeah. Didn’t think so.

(Bonus topic: I spent more than an hour on this post.  It meant a lot to me.  However, I anticipate a very low comment turnout.  I’m finding that the more important (ie, personal) a blog post is to me, the less other people will care about it.  Sometimes the stupidest shortest post generates the most interest.  There seems to be a direct inversely proportional relationship between the amount of effort I put into a post and how interesting it is.  However, I will post it anyway because I’m one of those “this blog is about ME” people.  At least for now I am.)

August
23
2007
7:35 am
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No, not *that* JC… I mean Jonathan Coulton.  I just read he’s coming to Austin next month!

Jonathan Coulton in Austin, TX

If you haven’t seen his Baby Got Back video, take the less than 4 minutes it takes and invest it in JC.  You’ll enjoy it.

Jen, a friend of mine, saw JC in Austin not too long ago (holy cow it was almost a year ago?) and got me a CD signed by him.  His music and comedy is great, so I’m hoping I can make this show.

I love technology humor too, and he’s done a lot of that.  I have a penchant for that kind of thing, and when I get independently wealthy, I will devote much time to music and try to be a lot like JC.

May
29
2007
11:00 am
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Jonathan Coulton is way too talented for this song…

Jonathan Coulton Baby Got Back


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