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Shiner Hef Pints

posted by TripJax @ 7:44 PM, ,

The Mookie And Goot Beer...Let's Do This

posted by TripJax @ 10:08 PM, ,

Slingbox Pro-HD Review

Okay I've mentioned it several times lately, so I might as well get this over with.  A few weeks ago I finally bought a Slingbox Pro-HD.  I've been ogling the system for some time and finally bit the bullet and used some poker money to purchase it.  I don't even have an HDTV yet, but I plan to buy one in 2009, so I figured it would be best to get the HD box in preparation.  In the meantime, it still works fine with my old ass TV.

For those that don't know what a Slingbox is, I'll give you the short and sweet now, but you can check here if you want the full scoop.  In essence, a Slingbox is a set top box with NO monthly fees that transmits your cable, satellite or basically any TV/DVR source directly to your laptop, desktop or mobile device.  You simply have to have a broadband connection for your Slingbox and a broadband or wifi connection for your receiving device.  You also have to have the Slingplayer software loaded to your receiving device; however, this is free for your laptop or desktop (a small one-time charge applies to mobile phones).

So maybe right now you're wondering why you would want one of these.  Let me give you a couple of scenarios that might come up.
As you may have already figured out, that last scenario is somewhat the plan I envision.  More often than I'd like to admit, I end up hogging the main TV in the living room in order to watch whatever sports I'm most interested in.  In order to keep her happy, I'd much rather watch whatever ChickJax wants to on the main TV and just have the laptop broadcasting whatever sports show I'm interested in.  I almost never need the sound on for sports, but if I decide I'm interested enough, I can just pop one of my iPod headphones in my right ear on occasion and check out the action at hand.

Though I've really hyped this system up so far, I must give both sides to the story; thus, I offer my Pros and Cons...

  • Though it is promoted as very simple set-up, unless your day job is a Geek Squad rep, you'll probably end up making at least one call to their customer support.  With some detailed router reconfiguring (not mentioned in the set-up instrux) your average joe won't be able to get it done alone.  Luckily, not only do they have live phone support, they can also work with you via email or live chat, with the ability to dial into your desktop if given permission.
  • You have to manage some workarounds in order to truly have 100% control of your live TV without interrupting your broadcast at home.  I'll go into further detail in a moment.
  • Occasional choppy feed, though this has been rare so far.
  • Some issues with Slingbox interfering with wifi connection.  I'll explain further below.
  • Currently not available for iPhone, though this is expected (and greatly anticipated by me) in the 1st quarter of '09.
So to go into a little more detail with a couple of the Cons listed above, I'll first delve into the misconception I had with my particular setup.  Let me first warn you that I'm a tard when it comes to electronics, so I will inevitably call something by the wrong name or just plain explain it wrong, but just deal with it yo.
Moving on...I have a basic DVR that can record up to 80 hours of programming.  It can record two shows at once -  though if you go that route, you either have to be watching previously recorded programming or one of the shows currently being recorded.  If you are only recording one show you can watch any other channel available.  
That said, my assumption was as long as I didn't have anything recording on the DVR, I could watch whatever I wanted on one digital cable tuner while ChickJax watched whatever she wanted on the other digital cable box tuner without either one of us interrupting the others programming.  Obviously I had a distorted view of how digital cable boxes work (or at least mine).  Turns out whenever I change the channel on the laptop, it changes the channel on the main TV.  Obviously not conducive to any of the ideas I listed above for potential Slingbox uses.  I did find a workaround that, while not ideal, pretty much gets the job done for me.
Instead of connecting the Slingbox directly to my DVR, I just put in a coax splitter and ran the cable coming from the wall separately to the Slingbox, the DVR and my broadband cable modem.  I then adjusted the Slingplayer software to recognize my Slingbox connection as basic cable with no cable box.  While this keeps me from seeing all bajillion channels I currently have available from my digital tier cable box, and also kills my chances for watching previously recorded DVR programming, I still get over 75 basic cable channels and, more importantly, I'm watching TV on my laptop from anywhere I want without interrupting ChickJax's TV viewing.
At some point I may just get another DVR box that would solely be for my Slingbox, but for now I'm not really worried about it.  The cool thing is I could set it up in a room that doesn't even have a TV, as long as their is a cable connection from the wall for the Slingbox to connect to.
The other problem I'm experiencing on occasion lately is a poor or completely lost internet connection for surfing while the Slingbox is broadcasting programming to my laptop.  I'll be getting pristine TV on my laptop, but my internet browser won't be able to connect to the network.  I'd be interested to know if someone has a fix for this problem.
Well, that's about it for me.  For those who were looking for a basic review, I hope the above gave you at least a bit of insight into this system.  I'm still very early into the experience and have a lot to learn.  If anyone can offer any support for workarounds to my problems, please be sure and comment.  Also, if you have any questions you think I can answer, shoot me a comment and I'll try my best to help.
I plan for my next purchase to be an HDTV; however, at some point I will also invest in a Slingcatcher.  Just think of a Slingcatcher as a Slingbox in reverse.  It can take what you have on your computer and broadcast it to your TV (think Hulu, YouTube, etc...).  That or it can broadcast your Slingbox connected in one place to a TV connected to the Slingcatcher.  I'll go into more details with that down the road.
Until next time, may the felt be with you. 

posted by TripJax @ 8:27 PM, ,

666 Posts

I've never been one to keep up with the number of posts I've written, but after reading Shamus' 700th post, I figured I would take a gander at how many I've written since my first post back in November 2004 - back when my blog was named Poker In Arrears.  I have to admit, when I logged into Blogger and saw the number, I was both surprised and disappointed at the same time.

My surprise stemmed from my last post being number 666.  Of all the damn numbers out there and I go check the one time it is the Number Of The Beast.  My disappointment was because I have only written 667 posts (gonna go ahead and count this one so I can get past that other number).  Having written for 5 years, you'd think I'd be well over 1000 posts, but the last few years have brought with it a sharp decline in posting.

I still plan to make that 1000th post (and beyond), but I'm guessing it'll hit in the next decade.  I hope you will join me along the way.

I swear post 668 will bring that Slingbox Pro-HD review I noted a few posts back.  In fact, I'm going to start writing it now.

Until next time, may the felt be with you.

posted by TripJax @ 9:58 PM, ,

Free Beach Trip

The Slingbox Pro-HD review will have to wait a day or so...

This past Thursday a mass email was sent in the a.m. by a fellow
employee offering up his beach house for free to the first taker. I
had been hella busy all day, but around 4 p.m. I was strolling by his
office and asked who the fucky lucker was getting away for the
weekend. I was surprised to hear no one had officially sealed the
deal, though there were a few nibblers. I took the bait.

Yeah, it's January, but getting out of town was the main thing. We've
been enjoying the getaway since Friday, but we head back home tomorrow
(Monday). Pawleys Island, SC has been good to us the last few days.
Totally unexpected, but exactly what I/we needed. I offer a picture
of KidJax giving LilJax a smooch while on the beach

Until next time, may the felt be with you.

posted by TripJax @ 10:05 PM, ,

Trust Fail

Even my coffee mug hath let me down. Fail is indeed everywhere.
Luckily I have a new iPhone Fail application that makes delivering it
to you all hella easy.

I've received several comments about my new slingbox pro-hd, mentioned
in my previous post. I plan for my next post to be a review.

Until next time, may the felt be with you.

posted by TripJax @ 1:24 PM, ,

Slingbox Pro-HD

Oh snap! I can't wait to set this bad boy up tonight. I'll post later
with details.

posted by TripJax @ 5:23 PM, ,

Great Poker Analogy

Check out the great poker analogy by Robert over at The Vegas Year. That is all.

Until next time, may the felt be with you.

posted by TripJax @ 8:35 PM, ,

Old Soups

One of my favorite non-pokery blogs out there is, but I
also dig The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks (quotation-

I came across this while at lunch last week. I might just have to
submit it to the blog, but first I figured I would submit it to my own

posted by TripJax @ 9:24 AM, ,

Biggy Football

Well tomorrow winds down another college football season and another Biggy Football pool for me.  I've been playing in this pool for over 10 of its 35 years.  What started as an easy way to combine all of my sports betting into one season long pool has, over the years, become an obsession.

The pool is basically a group of people/teams - usually between 40 and 50 total - who each plop down 400 bones in order to make NFL and NCAAF picks each week for a season.  At the end of each week, whoever has the highest score for the week gets a small payout of either $50 or $100, depending on the week.  At the end of the season, the remaining pool is paid out to the top 30% of the teams that make it into the money spots, similar to the way a poker tournament or sng is paid out.

Each week your picks are NOT played versus the spread, but rather a confidence scale. There are 18 slots.  If you are confident in a team from a particular game on the list, you can put them in the 18 slot.  If they win you get 18 points; however, if they lose you get 0.  Basically you fill all the slots with the games on the list.  It can get interesting when you are trying to pick upsets, hedge certain picks as well as take calculated risks in the right spots.

There also slotted games, which basically means you must pick a winner from a specific game in a specific spot.  The slotted spots are 11, 7 and 5.  This makes it real interesting when you have a game with little or no spread and a close to 50/50 split on the decision by Biggy teams.  That's where you start to seperate the teams who are headed to the money and those headed to the cellar.

There are also picks for the college high score, pro high score, shutout bet and over/unders.  It all probably sounds a tad confusing, but it doesn't take long to get the swing of it.

So why am I writing about this on a poker blog?  Well, I wouldn't mind seeing some new teams (I'm looking at you, dear reader) on the list next year from some of you jokers.  In addition, I've pondered just starting another similar pool for the folks I know on these here intertubes.  My concern is we wouldn't have enough entries to make it worth while. Keep in mind, of the $400 entry fee, I only pay $200 a year as I have a teammate.  The cool thing is I used to work with this guy more than ten years ago, before he eventually moved to Colorado.  We probably wouldn't keep up much were it not for the Biggy each year.

If you are concerned about the entry fee, keep this in mind.  If you break that $200 down across a full season, it really isn't much money for having some fun with sports.  And trust me, you will suddenly care about games you wouldn't normally give two shits about. Also, it is a great replacement if you are tiring of Fantasy Football.  If you wanna check out how it works, go to the link at the top of this post.  My biggest gripe these days is it is time for the commissioner to graduate from Geocities and use a blog for keeping us informed.


Until next time, may the felt be with you.

posted by TripJax @ 9:55 AM, ,

Teach Yourself To Play Online Poker

I've been playing at Bodog for quite some time now, especially during the numerous Bodonkey blogger events.  If you are interested in giving it a try as well, then download the software and teach yourself to play online poker at Bodog.  Once you've got the hang of it, be sure to visit Smokkee's site often to find out info about upcoming Bodonkey events.

Until next time, may the felt be with you.

posted by TripJax @ 9:29 AM, ,

Bad Bankroll Management Tournament

I decided to play in the Bad Bankroll Managment Tournament recently because it made complete sense.  I cashed out $500 from my FullTilt account in early December via bank transfer - of which I have yet to see the funds hit my bank account - and was left with only $100 to play around with.  What better way to fonk away half my remaining funds than to play in a tourney that promotes bad bankroll management.  Sweetness!

I geared up earlier in the day by playing one of thoes matrix sng's.  I knew I was meant to sign up for a particular one when there was a player named TripHigh already signed up.  I figured it must be Jordan from HighOnPoker multi-accounting, trying to emulate me.  The player ended up playing back at me quite a bit, which raised my suspicions even more (I keed, I keed).

As for the decision to go matrix, I figured I could get more bang for my buck by playing 4 sng's for the cost of one.  I wasn't really looking for anything out of it other than to dip my little poker toe back in the water.  I'm sure every single one of you has noticed I've been absent for a while (yeah right).  I ended up making three dollars and change on an $11 investment (score!), but more importantly, I actually played some friggin' poker.

As for the BBMT, I did not fair well, but it felt great to play some poker that actually meant something.  Fifty bones isn't much money, but when your roll is only $100 at the time, it tends to get you motivated.  Alas it was not to be and I fonked somewhere in the high teens (only 23 signed up), but I enjoyed myself.  I also thoroughly enjoyed reading JGoat's fine job of live blogging.  How the hell did he know I once tried to molest Evil Knievel?

On a positive note, I'm starting to get the itch to play poker and blog more.  Strangely, I think I am a better person when I'm playing poker and blogging.  It must have something to do with doing the things you enjoy bringing out the positive in you.  All I know is 2008 sucked and I played poker and blogged much less, so if I play poker ang blog a ton more, 2009 should rock for us all.  Yeah, that's it.

Until next time, may the felt be with you .

posted by TripJax @ 8:41 AM, ,

Two Zero Zero Nine

Here is BoyJax looking like Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and
GirlJax looking like a blur as we ring in the new year.

I, for one, welcome 2009 and hoist a big middle finger to 2008. Let's
light this candle.

posted by TripJax @ 10:37 AM, ,