Greetings from the “New Frozen Tundra,” the eastern half of America! Today was colder here in Baltimore than it’s been in ages. It was 8 degrees at my place, and we got off easy compared to the Midwest and North. I’m just glad I didn’t have to be outside for very long.
But it was even cold inside today. All of our cubicles at work face windows, as does my boss’s office. Her walls make the office like one of those interior sections of your refrigerator, that channels the cold. You should have seen us in her office staff meeting today… One woman had a crocheted blanked over her lap, my boss wore a heavy scarf, another guy and I had ski-caps on, and one more woman simply nursed some hot tea. We looked like we were the management team for a call center in Siberia.
Anyway, we all know it’s cold. But in my case, it also extends to my luck with picking winners this year. I just finished up with the annual college bowl picks and I got whipped every which way.
In one online program, I just had to pick the winners, even up. I won 15 and lost 20, easily the worst I’ve ever done since I started keeping track in 2005. My winning percentage was .428. I’d never been below .531 before.
In our program from work, where you have to pick against the spread, I placed 69th out of 70.
To make matters worse, I paid my entry fee late… so late, in fact, that I was already mathematically eliminated. It’s one thing to pay up when it’s early and you think you have a shot at winning. It’s another when you know the money is going straight to someone much smarter than you… who, in my case, are everyone else in the pool.
My problem is that I actually did some research before making the picks. I found a site that ran computer simulations and stuff, and made game projections. I’m pretty sure I would have done better if I’d just flipped a coin. Next time, I’m just going with my gut. My gut is bound to do better than 68th place.
I had some weird stuff happen on the blog right before Christmas. On December 22nd, I started getting hits on old posts from all over world. They came from Europe, Asia, the Pacific Islands and South America, and none of them had referral source. There would be hits in clusters around a handful of old posts, each one from a different country. Then a bunch of different places would hit a handful of different posts. None left comments, obviously, or navigated any further than the landing page. Then the onslaught stopped on Christmas Day.
It would be different if I thought I was getting readers from all of these places. But I’m pretty sure that people all over the world didn’t suddenly become fascinated with Game Jersey Mojo. It seemed to me like it was some kind of hacker’s Denial of Service attack on the Blogger system, like PCs across the world were activated with a zombie computer virus. But I can’t see that the hits actually did anything besides spin my Stat Meter numbers.
What I want to know is if you noticed anything of the sort? It couldn’t have been just me. What’s going on out there?