Monthly Archives: March 2012

The lottery

As I am sure everyone knows the Super-Mego-Ultra-Nuclear-Lotto was up to half a billion dollars last night. So naturally, there was considerable talk about it at work. Both PezWitch and my own team each had Lotto Groups and we both threw in $5 each, her team collected $85, my team collect $40. Normally I am not a big believer in the lottery, in my mind it is a tax on the stupid and should generally be avoided. However the one thing to consider is, if you buy a lottery ticket, your chances of winning are astronomically low, however, if you don’t buy a ticket, it is ZERO. In this particular case, where there was a lot of talk around the office all day, in my estimation, it was worth the $10 to me, just to listen to my co-workers dreams. It is not often that you have so many people together all at once talking about things that make them happy and to see glimmers of hope as they threw done their $5 and put their name on the list. Over all, yesterday was a pretty good day and even though we didn’t win the millions, we did win in life, even if just for a brief few hours.

MTG – Preconstructed decks

So there are a couple of cards out there that are a bit on the pricey side that I needed for my latest deck creation. Rather than drop $15 each on the cards, I decide to buy two precontructed decks that I knew had the cards, which cost $25 each and I got a butt load of other cards as well. So after pulling out the 10 or so cards I wanted, I was left with a wad of cards and it seemed like a good idea to try to build a decent deck out of it and actually, I was able to construct 2 identical decks and I think a pretty good deck at that. My only real problem with it is the Phantasmal Bear and Phantasmal Dragon can be destroyed by anything that targets them, so even a Giant Growth or a Stave Off become creature removal.

4x Phantasmal Bear
4x Neurok Commando
4x AEther Adept
4x Master Thief
4x Phantasmal Dragon
2x Spined Thopter
2x Frost Breath
4x Negate
4x Mind Control
4x Mana Leak
4x Preordain
20x Island

So on to the deck I was building. I wanted to build something with the aforementioned Phantasmal Bear and Phantasmal Dragon because they are extremely cheap creatures and illusions have a pretty good Lord card, Lord of the Unreal, which gives all illusions +1/+1 and makes them hexproof, so they can not be targeted by anything, solving the great problem with illusions. I poured in a generous amount of counter spells to protect my creatures and disrupt my opponents strategy.

4x Phantasmal Bear
4x Phantasmal Image
4x Lord of the Unreal
4x Adaptive Automaton
4x Phantasmal Dragon
4x Ponder
4x Unsummon
4x Negate
4x Redirect
4x Mana Leak
20x Island

The best part of this deck is the Phantasmal Image and the Adaptive Automaton, both of these cards mimic other cards when they come into play. When Phantasmal Image comes into play I declare it mimicking the Lord of the Unreal, because it is an illusion, it gives itself a +1/+1 and hexproof making it much harder to kill than the original Lord of the Unreal. When Adaptive Automaton comes into play, I declare a creature type as illusion and Adaptive Automaton gets a +1/+1 and hexproof from the Lord and additionally gives all the other illusions in play another +1/+1.  A perfect early game would look something like this;

Turn 1: Drop an Island, cast Phantasmal Bear
Turn 2: Drop an Island, cast Lord of the Unreal
Turn 3: Drop an Island, Cast Phantasmal Image, declare it an image of Lord of the Unreal
Turn 4: Drop an Island, cast Adaptive Automaton, declare it an illusion

On turn three I had one 2/2 creature and two 4/4, on turn four I have one 2/2, one 4/4  and two 5/5 creatures. At this point it would be very difficult for another player to overcome this onslaught especially when this mass is protected by counter spells and hexproof.

MTG Modern format

My friends and I have come to a tentative agreement to more of less follow the Modern Constructed deck rules. The idea here is to allow the largest number of cards while still maintaining some reasonable limits to both eliminate broken decks and allow n00bs access o the game.Going with Vintage or Legacy would have certainly allowed for way to many Channel/Fireball or Black Lotus/Mox XX/Dark Ritual/Mind Twist combinations and the Standard format would have limited us to a constantly rotating block of cards. This also provides us with a Banned/Restricted list, because there are some really fucked up cards in this game.

So here is my first deck built in the Modern Constructed Format. It is a discard deck, or as it is referred to in this day and age, a Mono Black Control (MBC) deck. The 12 Specter creatures and the 4 Mind Rots are all to force my opponent to discard cards and keep him at 0 while I finish him off with a Sengir Vampire. I weep for the absence of Dark Ritual, however, most of this deck can be played on 3 mana so speed and consistency should really not be an issue. This deck came in at about $35 including shipping.

4x Reassembling Skeleton
4x Hypnotic Specter
4x Liliana’s Specter
4x Guul Draz Specter
4x Sengir Vampire
4x Disentomb
4x The Rack
2x Doom Blade
2x Go for the Throat
4x Mind Rot
4x Distress
20x Swamp

Happy Pi Day

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230781640628620
8998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117
4502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461284756482337867
8316527120190914564856692346034861045432664821339360726024914127372458700660631
5588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146951941
5116094330572703657595919530921861173819326117931051185480744623799627495673518
8575272489122793818301194912983367336244065664308602139494639522473719070217986
0943702770539217176293176752384674818467669405132000568127145263560827785771342
7577896091736371787214684409012249534301465495853710507922796892589235420199561
1212902196086403441815981362977477130996051870721134999999837297804995105973173
2816096318595024459455346908302642522308253344685035261931188171010003137838752
8865875332083814206171776691473035982534904287554687311595628638823537875937519
57781857780532171226806613001927876611195909216420198


And ladies, please do not forget it is Steak and BJ day.

A life without email

I think I could probably eliminate email out of my life without a lot of difficulty. The problem is, would I be replacing it with better services? Besides email I communicate with other people is a variety of fashion; this blog, forums, texting, instant messaging (IM), telephone, good old snail mail and actual person to person talking. Certainly all of those methods have their advantages, but I think they are situational. If my wife is sitting in the next room, I am unlikely to call her on the phone or send an email, although, I have been known to instant message her. I think especially in my personal life, I could eliminate email, however, in my professional life, it would be impossible or at least insane to try it.

At work, I get a ton of email, most of it is informational and does not require my immediate attention, heck, some of it, I never read at all. However, if all of that were moved to texting, IM, phone and person to person, I think it would be like drinking from a fire hose, there would simply be no way to control to out pouring. With email, I have a set of rules which prioritize much of my email based on who is sending it and certain standardized subject lines. This allows me to break all these communications into bite sized chunks to be dealt with throughout the day. No other medium of communication allows me that kind of control.

I think expectations of each form of communication also plays a factor. When I email someone, I do not expect an immediate answer, I know it will take between a few minutes to a few days. Someone texting me, IMing me or calling on the phone, have an expectation of me responding in short order and some people get angry when you don’t. People using phones are so bad, I rarely answer mine, I will almost always let it goto voice mail. And while I do do a lot of IMing at work, I don’t even remember the last time I used Yahoo!, MSN or Skype for IMing anyone. Oh yeah, It was about a month ago, PezWitch made me fire up Skype so she could send me link, apparently she had Skype open already and was too lazy to open her email client.

http://calnewport.com/blog/2008/07/02/e-mail-zero-imagining-life-without-e-mail/

http://lifehacker.com/5888714/could-you-ever-ditch-email