How people find this blog

Just poking through my web logs I found some very odd referrers to this blog. Having mentioned the word ‘poker’ a couple of times (there, I’ve done it again) invites hordes of robot spiders from various poker sites pinging the odd page in the hope that I’ll go and look at their sites. Yeah, right. Along with poker sites there are a huge number of loan sites trying to get a look-in. I suppose the train of thought must be ‘he’s a gambling low-life with some debts that need clearing, let’s hope he spends enough of the day sober to go look in his weblogs, see who’s visiting his site and then track back to our site and take a loan out’. That’s what most debt-ridden gamblers spend their extra time doing, I’m sure: visiting referrers to their site.

Even less explicable is the sites selling V|AgrA and it’s various sidekicks. The only connection that I can see with poker is that they’re both common subjects for spam e-mails. The argument seems somewhat circular: people who spam try to push drugs and gambling, here’s a site that mentions gambling, therefore they must want drugs. Either that or there are a high proportion of debt-ridden gamblers looking to consolidate their loans whilst maintaining 36-hour hard-on. There are also a few of those Canadian pharmacies selling weight-loss pills, so we’re building up a picture of a pretty fat gambler here. (Uh-oh – another keyword there. Here comes the spam again…)

Further removed, there’s a link to buy cheap tires using some online coupons. Or something. I didn’t follow that one up. I suppose our fat, debt-ridden gambler who can’t get it up needs to drive somewhere every now and then. Although how they have time to get out of the house what with the gambling and pouring over their logfiles is beyond me.

In the category of less seedy referrers, I can’t think what some people were looking for when they typed a few words into Google and came to this site. Admittedly, for the most part Google gets it pretty spot-on, but there are few times when a blog on a diverse range of subjects can come up against some very unexpected matches. I’m currently ranked seventh for the keywords pope football hungary goalkeeper. What was that person looking for? Which pope was it who played in goal for Hungary? Were they happy with what they found on my site when they got here? To the person who found me third for “what is the best formation in paintballing”, I only hope that my strategies for Medieval Total War helped you in some way. If not, and that person ever comes back to this site for more advice, I can say that the ‘hiding formation’ can often be one of the most successful. And I can’t quite think how someone entered “bbc sport” and came here instead. Surely the BBC site itself would be the natural starting point…

Quotes on games and laziness

These are taken from Schott’s Sporting Gaming & Idling Miscellany and seem particularly relevant given my recent poker playing experiences:

“To play billiards well is the sign of an ill-spent youth.” – Herbert Spencer

“It is better to have loafed and lost, than never to have loafed at all.” – James Thurber

“Man is a gaming animal,. He must always be trying to get the better in something or other.” – Charles Lamb

“It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.” – Jerome K Jerome

Playing real poker, for real money!

Pacific Poker was just the warmup act and last night I got to play poker for real, with real people and for real money, face-to-face around a table. We played what seemed to be a loose interpretation of Texas Hold ’em and all put some money in a pot and then took an equal number of chips. Whoever was left with all the chips at the end took all the money. It was so much better than online poker which was probably a lot down to the fact that we didn’t take it too seriously; if you start in the frame of mind that you’re going to lose your money then betting is much less of a worry.

Of course, I may not have enjoyed it quite so much if I hadn’t come out £90 richer than when I started…

Food colouring

This article on food colouring on the BBC website is interesting for the fact that some colourings allowed in the UK are banned elsewhere, but the most bemusing thing is that so many colours come from coal. I’d always thought coal was black, but apparently not:

  • TARTRAZINE (E102): A yellow food colouring made from coal tar.
  • BRILLIANT BLUE FCF (E133): A blue colouring made from coal tar
  • BRILLIANT BLACK BN (E151): Another coal tar derivative to give a black colouring. (Okay, this one makes sense.)
  • BROWN HT (E155): A brown, coal-derived colouring. Dark brown/black – close enough to coal to believe this one
  • GREEN S (E142): What is it? Green colouring from coal

Where does all this yellow, blue and green coal come from? Why are we not having more interesting fires?

BBC NEWS | Magazine | Colour by numbers

How to make the Panasonic DVP520 DVD player multi-region

I was recently given a Region 1 Godzilla DVD of Destroy all monsters. (Amazon claimed it was Region 0 but it turned up as region 1.) A spot of googling revealed how to get the DVD to play in our Panasonic DVP520

  1. Make sure there’s no DVD disc in the drive
  2. Press system menu on remote control
  3. Go to preference settings
  4. Press 1,3,5,5,6,6
  5. Press 0
  6. Press system menu on remote to exit

Panasonic DVP520 DVD player

Destroy all monsters

Royal Mail loses postal monopoly

Given that Royal Mail currently delivers post at a loss I can only see that the addition of more overheads which other firms will be incurring to provide a similar service will increase the cost of posting letters dramatically over the next few years. This seems very similar to the path that directory enquiries has gone down which has changed from a free service over the years to a very expensive one with a high level of customer dissatisfaction.

Royal Mail loses postal monopoly

News of IE 7 release causes Xbox to catch fire

Okay, maybe the events aren’t directly related. But I do find it entertaining that a Microsoft product in the physical world has bugs in it the same way that their software does. Maybe there’s more truth in the (I presume) apocryphal “If GM Produced Cars like Microsoft Produces Software” story than I previously thought.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Fire fear prompts Xbox cable swap

IE 7 to be released

London’s 2012 Olympic bid

I’m not sure whether Tony Blair popping across to Singapore for the Olympic bid (I reckon
he’s just after picking up some cheap gadgets) is going to make a huge
difference to our chances. After all, as far as I can tell most of the world
hates us for following America into every war they feel like starting.

According to Radio 4 this morning, London is in second place to Paris.
Well, according to Googlefight this morning,
London is way ahead

Blair eyes Olympics 2012 mission
London beats Paris to 2012 Olympics

London 2012