Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Bad medicine, good mojo

So I was at the hospital today to talk with an earnosethroat-doctor and get my diagnosis and treatment plan.

It's a "pleomorph adenoma in the parotis which will require a submandibular exstirpation".

In English: I have a benign tumor in a salivary gland ("spit gland") that they're going to cut out. So in August or September there'll be surgery. Under narcosis and being admitted for one or two days.

For you gamblers, here are some odds that I found. Pleomorph adenoma is rare, about forty incidents per million people. 70-80 percent of salivary gland tumors are in the parotis, and the most common is pleomorph adenoma. Now, 25 percent of salivary gland tumors are malign (but mine isn't) and for those the five-year survival rate is 75 percent.

So, another hospital stay for me. Last time was, what, fourteen years ago, for... (need to catch my breath again) acute inflammatory appendicitis with peritoneal abscesses. Or: ruptured appendix with peritonitis. Gutshot. More stitches, I have thirtyfour subcutaneous so far. Let's see... Twelve in the belly from the appendectomy, sixteen in my right hand after a disagreement with heavy machinery (a whisker and a prayer from chopping off three fingers completely), four more in that hand a few years later after removing a complication from the previous injury and two in the chin from falling while very very drunk and experiencing barbecuical trauma. No half-measures for me, I go full throttle.

*Sigh*, you'd think my medical karma was positive. I've done my bit of treatment, assistance and help, and I'm a blood donor, over the years I've given ten liters or 2.6 U.S. gallons. That's 676 tablespoons or seventeen pints and a half-pint. About four and three eights cubic quatloos.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Gee, mail!


Through this very very very nice blog site called Blogger, if you've heard of it(?), I got an offer to join Gmail. (Since it's all Google, all day, all week.)

So, I now have a much coveted Gmail account. It's:
my first name (dot) my last name (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thank you, Google!

(Does the "I've got Gmail, you don't" happy-dance)

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Flea market findings

More great finds at the flea market in the park today:

  • A classic cookbook, the staple goods of Swedish homes - "The chequered cookbook" for 30 crowns (costs 200 new in stores).
  • A cool looking digital watch, stainless steel, black background with large yellowish numbers, 15 crowns.
  • A piggy bank with "Spel-pengar" painted on it, 5 crowns. Spel-pengar (Swedish) means "Gambling money". Ah-ha!
  • Repair tape for vehicle trimmings, 5 crowns. The seat on my moped has been slightly damaged, maybe I can use this.

Finally realistic prices. This flea market is of the kind where you can rent a table and sell whatever you like, and many of the sellers seem to think that "If it's old, it's antique and therefore valuable." or "In stores this costs X currency units, I will ask for 0.8*X."

Come on, it's a flea market, it's for getting rid of things, not making money and doing big business. If you want to ask for high prices, put in a classified ad.

Sunday, June 13, 2004


I've hit a slump in my pokerplaying, losing some heads-up and tournaments. Always the same reason; the blinds are high and partaking in a hand means committing your whole stack, and if it doesn't hold up, you're out.

And I pulled a back muscle in my sleep. Searing, stabbing, debilitating pain ensues when I have back and arm muscles in certain non-deterministic configurations. I'm talking Gaius Julius Caesar "Hi, Brutus! Greetings, senators! Nyy-AARRRGHH!" pain here.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Stick your head up

I might've found my niche in Hold'Em.

In normal "sit down and play" games, I've not done so well, maybe because I'm reluctant to use a large bankroll. In ten-seat tournaments I've done better since all start out at the same level, but I haven't played often, much or hard enough. In multitable tournament, well, I'm rising through the ranks but I haven't been in a paid position yet.

However, in heads-up play, you're two players sitting down at a separate table with equal stacks, there I've had more wins than losses and I'm on plus money-wize. All games seem to follow the same pattern; Small pots are shuffled back and forth for a while, then when the cards are good you make a play and scoop up a large pot (if you win). The opponent now has "only" half or a third of his original stack and you've broken a psychological barrier. Just wait, wait, wait for good cards and then hit him hard, commit him to the hand and then the opponent's reaction is often "oh, I might as well see this to the end, ALL-IN" and badaboom badabing, you've doubled your money. As I did today. Played a $10 heads-up table, won, and logged out. I think I've found my calling.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Doing well in multitable tournament

Oh yes and oh no.

I enter yet another Hold'Em freeroll tournament, this one with $500 prize money to be split unevenly between the 40 best (out of 979 entrants). And it goes so very well. After showing a full house tens full of kings, I'm in seventh place of 434 remaining players, having played about half an hour. After an hour of play, it's a five minute break and I'm in 39th place of 248. After an hour and a half of play, I'm still in there, 26th place of 121 and players are out from every table almost one every round. The blinds are so high now that for many, a blind is a tenth, an eighth or even larger part of their stack. I'm just waiting for good cards. Having had to call and then fold to all-ins with not good enough cards, I'm in 40th place of 68 remaining. Doing well indeed!

OK, here goes. I get ace and king Clubs. Theirs is not to reason why, theirs but to do and die. I go all-in with 15530 chips and it gets called by the chip leader of the table. The board comes out QJ985 and he had a ten, so I'm out at 64th place (of 979 entrants) after almost two hours of play. I think that's the best placing I've had in a multitable tournament. But not "in the money". (And 40th place only gave $2 anyway...)

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

A moped at breakneck speed

A doctor calls. I had a lump in my throat, almost literally. On the outside, below the jawbone on my right side, I'd noticed a small firm lump under the skin and May 18 I was at a local clinic to have it checked out. The doctor felt it once and said he'd send me on to Pathology for a diagnosis. I was there at the pathology place May 24 where they did a needle biopsy three times and said they'd let me know.

Today the original doctor called and said that it was a benign tumor (Cue Kindergarten Cop quote: "Eehtz nawt a toomah!" Well, it is, but it's not the c-word.) and my case will now be sent on to an ENT specialist. No, not talking perambulatory trees, Ear Nose Throat.

And on a lighter note, my moped was delivered today! A yellow whining bastard I can buzz about on. Bicycled home over lunch to receive it, then back to work and arrange with insurance over teh Intarweb and in the evening I went home, grabbed a sandwich, put on the helmet and pressed the start button. Ahem. Allow me to elaborate. I made and ate a sandwich. I put the helmet on my head. I pressed the start button on the moped. I did not in any way put a helmet on a sandwich and then pressed its start button. Seriously, how can you even think that? You nuts or sumthin'?

(Cue music: "Gitcha mowta rurnen, heedadonna hahwe. Lookin' fo' adVENtcha. And whativva cumsawhe. Yeah mumble and something mumble, ticka hum hum and mumble hum. Ixplawd into spays. Born to be wi-i-ild! Born to be wi-i-ild!") as I zoom along at the breakneck top speed of 50 km/h (about 30 mph).