by Tass on Dec.26, 2010, under Personal, Random Stuff, Whorli

My lovely female half, Whorli, got me the best gift ever yesterday. She got me a Bobble Tass! We had seen Douglas Fargo (from the TV show Eureka) play with his own bobblehead figureine, and I mentioned that that would be super awesome. So she found a website that creates custom bobbleheads:

Isn’t he just the cutest?

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More Concrete Evidence On 5min’s Benefit

by Tass on Dec.05, 2010, under 5min, Personal, Statistics, youtube

I first started making money off my videos in April 09. From that time until 2.5 weeks ago, I had a total of 6 days over $xxx.xx (where that is an arbitrary number that I won’t share). In the past 16 days, my combined YT + 5min revenue has been at least $xxx.xx all 16 days (and will be over today as well).

Of those 6 prior days, my overall highest single day ever had been 137% of $xxx.xx. In the past 15 days, I’ve been over that 137% value 7 times (and may or may not be over it today… won’t know until tomorrow). That means my SEVEN best days ever, in almost 2 years, have all taken place in the past 15 days.

A Happy Tass I Am.

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2nd (Not Quite) Annual Double Cheeseburger Quarter Mile

by Tass on Nov.27, 2010, under Personal, Random Stuff

4 years ago we ran the Double Cheeseburger Quarter Mile (DCQM) and I lost to my fat friend Mermel. We decided to finally have a rematch.

Victory was sweet and felt like death for at least the next 2 hours. I’m not sure I want to ever do this again… but I suspect we will be doing it again next year.

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Bowling Update – End of Oct ’10

by Tass on Oct.28, 2010, under Bowling, Personal, Sports

I think this will become a regular month-end piece. You probably don’t care… but, well, I don’t care that you don’t care. :) Anyway, I’m still subbing in my dad’s league on Tuesday nights and bowling my league on Wednesdays.

Last night was the 1st quarter playoffs, and we started out tied for 2nd place, 5.5 games behind the #1 team. We needed to win at least 11.5 games (out of 17). My team only bowled average, but we somehow won 16 points and took home the round. The 1st place team rolled over for us. This guarantees us a spot in the year-end playoffs and gets us some extra cash (the league is weird in that money is paid out based on position finished during each quarter, and then a bonus to each team in the playoffs based on final position).

At the end of September, I noted that I wanted to go the whole year without throwing under 600. Alas, as soon as I wrote that, I shot under. But, every other series this month was over 630, including my first 700 of the season. Dropped about 1.5 points on Tuesday, but gained almost 4 points on Wednesday. Overall average: 216.67.

I’m trying to understand why I’m 7+ pins different between the 2 leagues. Probably just variance.

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Phillies Loss Not My Fault

by Tass on Oct.16, 2010, under Personal, Random Stuff

Just got home from Game 1 of the NLCS, after a disappointing loss by my Phillies. But the blame is not mine! In the past 3 years, the Phillies are 4-2 in playoff games I’ve attended (I’d say all-time, but I honestly don’t remember if the Phillies won or lost the 2 games I attended in 1993… vs the Braves and Blue Jays). They won Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS, a memorable game involving Brett Myers out-dueling (and out-hitting) CC Sabathia and a Shane Victorino grand slam. They won Game 3 of the 2008 World Series, after a 90 minute rain delay and finishing with a walk-off infield single. They won Game 1 of the 2009 NLCS against the Dodgers (in LA)… despite a very shaky 9th inning by Brad Lidge. They lost Game 4 of the 2009 World Series after battling back all game; some funky Damon baserunning and bad Lidge pitching. They won Game 2 of the 2010 NLDS last week, despite poor pitching by Roy Oswalt (thanks to even worse defense by the Reds).

And then they lost today… 2 Cody Ross solo shots and what appeared to be a very poor decision to jump for a ball at the wall by Raul Ibanez. Not to mention way too many strikeouts by Rollins and Howard. Let’s hope they can bounce back from this… it’s the first time the Phillies have lost Game 1 of a series since 2007, and that didn’t end very well.

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Bowling Update – End Of Sept

by Tass on Sep.30, 2010, under Personal, Random Stuff

So my main league is Wednesday nights. I’ve also been filling in on my father’s team Tuesday nights, until they find someone to replace me… which I doubt will happen. So, I’m bowling 2 leagues back-to-back nights. My goal is to average 215+. I’ll be happy with anything over 210, but 215 is what I’m shooting for. My highest book average is only 208, and that was 4 years ago (I’ve been battling hand injuries pretty much ever since, and my hand finally feels great again). So, I’ve been keeping track of my scores in both leagues, and figured I’d share the progress with you:

I’m pretty much right on track for 215, and overall I feel like I’m not bowling my best. So we’ll see where things go from here… the seasons are early, and averages can still move a lot in a short period of time. Also, another goal would be to shoot 600+ every series… not a very realistic goal, but so far so good.

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An Interesting Phonecall

by Tass on Sep.08, 2010, under 5min, Personal, youtube

I was contacted last week by the site 5min.com, which is like YouTube… only much smaller, and focuses exclusively on short how-to type videos. They seem to include game walkthroughs as part of “how-to”, so I won’t complain. I was very intrigued to speak with them more about what they were offering, especially given my recent issues with YouTube.

So, it turns out, their business model is quite fascinating. Not only do they share revenue with the content providers (me)… they share revenue with the content embedders (sponsors). I don’t know the splits, and I don’t know all the details in regards to embeds on sites that they don’t have prior deals with… but it’s a VERY interesting concept, as it makes my service MUCH more desirable to sponsor sites (when the alternative is having a developer do it or them doing it themselves).

I have a follow-up with them next week. This could be a great next step in my business.

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Still No Ads

by Tass on Sep.07, 2010, under Personal, youtube

It’s now the end of the 7th, and Saunavihta Vortex and Sieger still do not have ads enabled. That’s 7 and 5 days respectively. I understand there was a long weekend, so that’s only 4 and 2 work days… but that’s still a bit ridiculous. Those 4 vids total over 25,000 views so far. That’s 25k without ads. It’ll be even more by the time ads do finally get approved, which is a minimum of 12 hours from now.


edit: now over 55,000 views w/o ads, 12 hours later. email’d YT… let’s see if that does anything.
edit2: ads were approved, somewhere around the 80,000 views lost mark.

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Gave My Dad A Whoopin’

by Tass on Sep.05, 2010, under Personal, Random Stuff

It’s been a long time since my father has been better than me at sports. Probably since I was 14, maybe 15 (depending on the sport). However, he still greatly enjoys the competition. Over the course of the summer, I’m somewhere around 40-3 in basketball… maybe 100-12 in bowling (scratch; I do give him handicap, since we bet on the games)… and 6-0 in baseball (by a combined score of ~95-3).

Today, however, marked a new level of beatdown in our 1-sided battles. The final score of our baseball game was 27-0. We play by a 10-run rule, but I scored 23 runs in 1 inning… and only ended the inning because I was bored and tired, so I switched to batting right handed… and still got 2 hits before being retired. We play 1 out per inning, the game lasted 4 innings. I offered him the ability to quit multiple times, but he’s stubborn and wouldn’t. Maybe next time I won’t be so nice and will keep going until he legitimately gets me out.

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Giving Handicaps In Sports

by Tass on Sep.04, 2010, under Personal, Random Stuff

I love bowling. I’ve talked about it before in my blog. When I was in LA, I bowled in 3 different scratch leagues. A scratch league means that there is no handicap given to even out the differences in skill between the teams. 1 league was a singles league and the other 2 were team leagues (3 and 4 man, respectively). I really like scratch bowling, for 3 main reasons. 1) I’m a pretty good bowler, and am confident in my abilities to be competitive. 2) I want to push myself every single game to win and improve. 3) If I am going to lose, I want it to be because I was beaten, not because my opponent bowled slightly over his average… winning scratch but losing because of handicap is unbelievably frustrating.

Most handicap bowling leagues use some variation of a 90% differential. This means that if you have 5 man teams with 100 pins difference in average, the inferior team is only losing 2 pins per person over 150-200 pins. Aka, about 1%. Figure at absolute most, you’re down 3%. I’ll leave the statistical variance calculations to someone else, but it’s clear that that is extremely minimal. In poker, 53% vs 47% is still referred to as a coin flip. And that’s what 90% handicap leagues are, mostly… coin flips, at least for individual games. In the long run, that 3% edge widens (and 3% is a very generous number), but it still gives way too much help to inferior teams on a week by week basis. I don’t understand the 90% handicap except in a youth league, where the goal is to make things fair and even for everyone. In a money league, where tens of thousands of dollars are being put into the pool, it should be more about skill and less about luck; for anyone to want it to be so heavily luck based is extremely illogical and baffling to me.

My belief is that, just like in scratch leagues or any professional sport, the best teams SHOULD win. Just because the St. Louis Rams or the Pittsburgh Pirates have been terrible for years doesn’t mean they stop playing… they still go out there and compete, even though their odds of winning are far less than 47%. However in bowling, I keep getting told that nobody will bowl in a 70% handicap league (or scratch) because all the “bad” bowlers will leave. This was not the case in LA… many people liked the challenge, even though they knew they had no shot (and the good bowlers liked the bad bowlers because they were free money). I suggested a 70% handicap for the league I’m currently in (which is the supposed “big boy” league of my area), and I was shot down by more than 90% of the league; good and bad bowlers alike. It makes me sad.

What are your thoughts on handicap in sports? And to note… the only time I find handicap acceptable is when it’s for wagering on a game-by-game basis, and even then I wouldn’t ever give an opponent 90% of our difference (I usually give 80%, if it can be calculated).

tl;dr version: the majority of the people in my league are giant pussies that either aren’t confident in their abilities, don’t want a competitive environment, or are afraid to challenge themselves with superior competition.

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