Remember that time when I said I was going to try and make a substantive post every two weeks? Me neither.
So, here's what's been up since my last post:
Well, obviously, we're more than SEC Champs these days. Since we whooped up on OSU, we've become the first school to hold both the basketball and football National Titles in the same calendar year. I don't have much to say about that except that it's great to be a Florida Gator. Oh, and I feel we're a strong favorite to repeat in basketball... and look out for us in football next year.
Speaking of next year's football team, it looks like Urban Meyer is a recruiting genius. But we don't have a chance next year because we're losing so much on defense, right? I don't think so. I think our defense was great this year because we had a lot of talent, but also because we were so well coached. I think after spring practice and our first couple games this fall, we'll be back on track. Also, our schedule is much more favorable this year and our offense is going to put up some serious numbers. I think our coaches will have the defense ready (though maybe not quite as good as last year), and our offense is going to put up better numbers this year. I think this year's offense will make last year's look pretty timid.
Moving on, um... I've been reading a lot. I recently finished reading Tipping Point. It was excellent, and it helped me have a new perspective on causality. It was interesting to get a better picture of what can make things "tip". Here's the analogy that comes to mind for describing what a "tipping point" is: Paper burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit; it doesn't burn at 450 degrees (in theory, or whatever). It's not that 450 degrees isn't hot, but that 450 degrees isn't hot enough to cause the paper to burn - to tip. At 450 degrees, the paper is just hot; at 451 degrees, everything is on fire. But there's not much difference between the two numbers. That one degree is just enough, in addition to the previous 450 degrees, to make a bunch of stuff happen and finally catch the paper on fire. And so it is with social epidemics - things will often be going on as they always have, and then some small thing suddenly causes those things to become something bigger and much more obvious. The book basically tries to break down the individual factors that contribute to something reaching its tipping point.
I am currently reading Fast Food Nation, which is pretty boring, but educational. I guess I'm learning a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in the "food industry". The book goes through a brief history of "fast food", then goes into the specifics of where most of that food is produced, who produces it and how very evil the whole process and industry is. Ironically, I keep finding myself craving a good hamburger while I read it. That ain't right.
I've had a good run playing poker online recently. I spent some time working on my cash game, had a really, really good run, then took a break when the law of averages roundhoused me in the face (but still ran at about 5BB/100 hands for about 5K hands). I jumped back into MTTs and recently had a pretty big score in a $30 tournament. There were 113 people and I took 2nd for $678. Normally, I'd be very pleased with that finish except I battled back from a 2-to-1 chip deficit to a 10-to-1 chip lead (over about 25 minutes of solid heads-up play)... but then I lost a coinflip (AKs vs. TT), a 70-30 (King high vs. QQ), then lost another coinflip (all-in on a QTx flop with two hearts - I had KJo, he had 8h7h and flushed the turn). By the time all that was over, the blinds were so high we were just gambling. I lost one more flip and that was it.
Anyway, I've been to Jacksonville several times over the past couple months and I've enjoyed being able to get home so easily. I've seen my family several times and I've spent time with some friends too. It's nice to be able to head up to Jax whenever I want, and it's especially nice that I don't have to burn vacation time or like $500 a trip. As I think back on my time in Dallas, it really seems like it was just an extended internship or something. I never really felt "at home" there, and I was always in a "wait and see" mode. I knew I'd either move west to pursue acting, or I'd move back east to be near my friends and family. Texas was never really a long-term option, and I'm really glad I ended up back in Florida. It's hard to describe the overall increase in my quality of life since I moved, but it's pretty drastic.
I bought a digital piano a few weeks ago. It's a Kurzweil PC88 and it's in pretty great shape, especially considering it's probably 10 years old. I have been surprised how much dexterity I still have, and it's been fun playing "by ear" instead of just reading sheet music. I can tell my musical ear has definitely matured since I've been playing the guitar. It's nice to be able to just sit down and play something that's in my head (at least a slimmed-down, easy version). Hopefully I'll stick with it and become pretty decent.
I think that's about all I have for now. I'll try to make it back before April.