Saturday, June 2, 2018

Good Stuff

Here's some raw emotion in case you think Oggy is an unfeeling animal.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Covering The Table

Covering the table

It's just cruel to the forces of fortune to put me in front of a Roulette table. The strategy here is called 'covering the table'. On a table with one green zero the payout is 36:1. So, if I cover every number, betting $35, EXCEPT for 2 this case 28 and 30, then I'm betting $35 to make $1 on a payout of $36. It's a ridiculous bet, to wager $35 in order to profit $1. Ok, but the strategy is simply to turn the odds in your favor so you are winning more often.

I've tried another system on Roulette called the Martingale system where I chose Black and then doubled my bet every loss. I concluded that 6 consecutive loses will either brake my bank or I will reach the table limit and can't bet enough to win back my losses. It's a brutal game...basically 50:50 odds it will come up black and to lose 6 consecutive times is amazing. What is even more amazing is that I have yet to win. Within 5 or 6 bets, after a few wins, I will go on the streak of losing 6 straight and that breaks my bank. See, the Martingale system works for lucky people. In my case, I will lose and then double my bet. $1 becomes $2...lose...then $2 becomes $4...lose...then $4 becomes 8...lose... Then $8 becomes 16...lose...then $16 becomes $32...lose...and lastly $32 becomes a $64 dollar bet....which I lose. The investment is $127 in order to win $128...or $1 profit which is called a 'coup' since that's the original bet amount. At that point I will need to bet $128 in order to simply win back my own losses plus $1. It's very predictable in a way that should not be predictable. In the screenshot you can actually see the streak of 6 that broke my bank before I went to the cover the table strategy. 6 consecutive losses is all that it takes.

If you can make a $128 bet to profit $1 then Vegas is the place you should go because my conclusion is that the whole essence of gambling is based on that insanity. In gambling you will eventually be asked to make a huge bet for an insignificant profit, if only in a vain attempt to break even. This is guaranteed.

Well, I don't want to talk about merely bad luck of 6 straight 50/50 losses. I want to talk about an amazing run of bad luck where I covered the table, picked 35 numbers out of 37 possibilities...AND LOST 3 STRAIGHT TIMES. Yes, reader, in the screen shot you see I did not cover #28 and #30...and #28 was the number that came up. Ok, well, you will have to take my word that the previous two attempts I had covered different numbers and chose to omit #15...and Lost...and in the previous game I omitted the Green Zero...AND LOST. Three straight bank busters. My interest in mathematics faltered exactly around the time we got in probability equations so I don't want to 'prove' how bad my luck is. Just accept that I had 35 numbers of 37 105 numbers of a possible 111 and the ball dropped into one of those 6 omitted numbers THREE STRAIGHT TIMES. 

This is the whole problem with gambling is that once the losses are recorded, my whole grind strategy WILL NEVER RECOUP THE LOSSES even with amazingly good luck. See? I could go on an incredible streak with the same strategy, but I just lost $105...and I'm betting in order to profit a single dollar. So, I will need to win 106 times in a row in order to break even. Statistically, I think it's possible to win 106 times in a row if I cover the table, but I just defied the odds with three straight losses so why do I think my odds will even out?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


I think this song was in a country songbook I owned but I'd never heard the song so I didn't bother playing it. Then I ran across the song again in another songbook and decided it was time. The lyrics were intimidating and now that I've learned it I know why I steered clear earlier. This is some long long phrasing for a country song, but that's what gives the song its uniqueness. It's like a whole paragraph that only has two rhymes. 

"She played tambourine with a silver jingle and she must've known the words to at least a million TUNES. 
But the one most requested by the man she knew as Cowboy was the late night benediction at the Y'all come back SALOON."

Two rhymes. Tune and Saloon. But that's a lot of words to remember without a rhyme. I sort of learn songs by memorizing how the lyrics rhyme together but other times I need different approach. For example, the song "The Weight" by The Band has 5 different verses. So, how do I avoid singing the wrong verse, since the story isn't exactly linear? Well, the first verse is "I pulled into Nazareth..." The second verse starts where the first verse ended when the narrator got denied a bed, "So I picked up my bag..." And in that second verse is a line "I said 'Hey there Carmen, come on let's go downtown'..." and I used that line to remember that the third verse starts with "Go Down Moses there ain't nothing you can say..." because the word Go is in the second verse. The hard part of the third verse is not singing, "...nothing you can DO" Because that word rhymes with "judgement Day in the next line and if I sing DO then it will not rhyme with Day. The Fourth verse still throws me because I sometimes get nervous and start to sing the fifth verse. IF I do that then I have to sing the 4th verse last. But the fourth verse is "Crazy Chester followed me..." How do I remember that? Because of the way Levon Helm sings it in this affected southern accent and this is my one chance to ham up my southern accent in the song as I impersonate Helm impersonating Crazy Chester. The fifth verse starts "Catch the Cannonball and take it down the line..." referring to a train, I think. The train is leaving the station so this verse gets sung last. But each line of the verse is rhymed with the last word in the line so it's easy to remember the words once I remember the start of each verse. However, with this Oak Ridge Boys tune, there are only 2 rhyming words in each of the first two verses. The third verse doesn't have any rhymes but still works. And the rest are sung in this effortless story telling style that tells the story but don't rhyme, so the singer has nothing to do but remember what he is singing because the rhymes don't happen often enough to help. I simply break it down into sections...we introduce the audience to the singer who plays tambourine in a smoky bar...then we demonstrate that all the patrons in the bar actually pause when she starts her version of Faded Love, in some kind of moment of prayer to lost love. The Bridge is actually a blatant reference to the song Faded Love and its context within this song. The last verse introduces the nameless cowboy and gives some context to why he requests this song and how he always leaves the bar after it is played. I break the song into those three stages... Bar Singer...Bob Wills...Cowboy...and I get through the song ok.

It took me many many attempts to record this song without any mistakes. And there are only 4 or 5 chords! But the lyrics are not easy to remember.

This song is probably the best country western song because it manages to include a lonely cowboy, pinball, Amarillo, a bar singer, smoke, booze, a clever melody metaphor and it pays tribute to Bob Wills (Faded Love is a BW song) all in 3 verses. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys is my second favorite country western tune.

Stages of Flying a Kite

Stage 1: Can Oggy resist a Star Wars kite? No he can not.

Stage 2: Assembly. R2-D2 and C3PO? And some other droid! This thing is awesome! And it comes with string!
Stage 3: We have Liftoff...but not enough string. Shit! Lame piece of crap

Stage 4: Ok, I'm bored, time to get a taco.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Turn Of Century Literature

I'm not a long-time fan of H.G. Wells but I now know what I've been missing. The only writer of pure prose that is in the realm of Wells is H. Melville. Thomas Wolfe and J. Conrad deserve mention. Let me say that for all the convenience and facile enjoyment that technology has given humanity it has done nothing for our ability to write at such length and detail on the human condition. The literary acrobatics of this self-taught draper's assistant turned sci-fi pioneer are nothing short of amazing. It's like a dictionary having an orgasm. A Wordgasm! I could take any paragraph of Wells in his turn-of-century prime and copy it here as an example but I'll snip one from his 'Earth-based', socialist/suffragette novel The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman. Behold, this 5 sentence karate chop to your verbal thorax:

It has been said that Fate is a plagiarist. Lady Harman's Fate at any rate at this juncture behaved like a benevolent plagiarist who was also a little old-fashioned. This phase of speechless hostility was complicated by the fact that two of the children fell ill, or at least seemed for a couple of days to be falling ill. By all the rules of British sentiment, this ought to have brought about a headlong reconciliation at the tumbled bedside. It did nothing of the sort; it merely wove fresh perplexities into the tangled skein of her thoughts. 
And another roundhouse kick to your mental groin...

It has been said, I think, by Limburger, in his already cited work, that nothing so excites and prevails with woman as rapid and extensive violence, sparing and yet centering upon herself, and certainly it has to be recorded that, so far from being merely indignant, and otherwise a helplessly pathetic spectacle, Lady Harman found, though perhaps she did not go quite so far as to admit to herself that she found, this vehement flight from the social, moral, and intellectual contaminations of London an experience not merely stimulating but entertaining. It lifted her delicate eyebrows. Something, it may have been a sense of her own comparative immobility amid this sudden extraordinary bustle of her home, put it into her head that so it was long ago that Lot must have bundled together his removable domesticities. 

And finally, an elbow to your heart...

Her marriage had carried Ellen out of the narrow world of home and school into another that had seemed at first vastly larger, if only on account of its freedom from the perpetual achievement of small economies. Hitherto the urgent necessity of these had filled life with irksome precautions and clipped the wings of every dream. This new life into which Sir Isaac led her by the hand promised not only that release but more light, more colour, more movement, more people. There was to be at any rate so much in the way of rewards and compensation for her pity of him. 

Dear Reader, Wells wrote hundreds of books with this exhaustively precise and probing narrative style. It's not even legal to write this beautifully today. The famous works we know as movies or Orson Wells hoaxes are but a tiny sample of his library. If you are like me then you have to read and reread these paragraphs to try to wrangle the meaning from them. It's like learning to read again. We are out of practice at reading this kind of writing, at least I am. Unless you are a fan of William Vollmann, who is the last living torch-bearer of the elite prose writers of yesterday, then you are content with feeding your brain with verbal vomit in the form of staff writers' sloppy flatulence at online media brothels.

Wells commented that he wanted to write a story that would justify a woman smashing a post office window in protest. This explains all the detail he pours into each phrase. I finally reached the point in the story where the woman smashes the window (after hundreds of pages) and I conclude that Wells has accomplished his mission. I understand why the woman smashed the glass. No one, in any era, would be mystified. It's common for a character to do some rash action and the audience to say, "Oh, she would never do that..." In the case of Wells, this is not a problem. He has covered all the angles and justified his character's actions quite sufficiently. So effective was Wells at his prose that Winston Churchill credited Wells for rationalizing social security and socio-political equality, which were totally objectionable suggestions when Wells wrote his support of them in the dark ages circa 1900.

If only all writers of future-based fiction were so pioneering with their ideas.

Basically, if modern fiction is too transparent and sophomoric for your tastes then you are but a click away from the pinnacle of English literature in the works of elite writer H.G. Wells.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.