Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Weird Bits

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.

Question for You
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?


Anonymous said...

Your office is an icebox? Yikes. I dont know how anyone can work in a building like that, I'd start self-insulating the windows or something. It has been bitter cold out here lately (with one 55 degree day in between) so i guess that means global warming is a hoax, yeah? All it takes is a few cold days. Never mind that it was 72F in NJ the weekend before Christmas, or that we had 8 straight days of 90F heat last summer, or that it was 107F in Newark the summer before, or that last winter was one of the warmest on record, or that we've had two devastating hurricanes in two years, and the year before that we had a span of 35 rainy days out of 40. Those particular days are all isolated incidents. But a week of wintry weather in the middle of winter completely invalidates all theories on climate change. Uh-huh.

Anyway...you placed 69th out of 70 in Bowl picks? Which one(s) did you get right? In my limited experience with gambling/fantasy sports i've found that the more you research something the worse you're going to do. I've never won a hockey league in my life but I've dominated at two sports I know nothing about - basketball (finished 1st of 12) and World Cup Soccer. I finished 3rd on Yahoo one year. Not 3rd in a league, 3rd overall. Like, out of 50,000 or 500,000. Cant remember the exact number but i printed it out and stashed it somewhere. Frickin' Senegal cost me a shot at glory, if not money. It was a free league.

Now that you mention it, I did get a lot of hits from Russia and Malaysia, among others. A day before my last post I had a view count of 232, which destroyed my one-day record of 80. I had no new content, the hits were on random old entries, and no one left a comment. Weird indeed. Since then i made my blog private so that only other bloggers can view it. Problem solved!

Facie said...

I just started blogging a little bit more; for awhile I went weeks or so without. But I do recall checking my stats once or twice during my nice holiday break and seeing some big numbers. I always assume it is some weird spam thing.

Yesterday was so freaking cold. I almost cried walking from my car in the garage to the office. In fact, my fingers were getting numb inside the garage while I was putting my parking ticket inside my purse and my purse in my backpack. I think our high was 2, maybe 4. When I was driving into work, it was negative 3 according to my car! Fortunately I have a cool balaclava now.

bluzdude said...

When those right wing hacks start using this cold weather to “disprove” climate change, it just makes them look even dumber than they were before. It’s on the intellectual level of when a baby puts his hands over his eyes, and then thinks you can’t see him either. The matter isn’t just everything getting hot, it’s the matter of weather volatility and extremes. So either they are too stupid to take that into account, or they know but don’t care, because taking action is bad for business.

Freakin’ Senegalese bastards…
In my buy-in pool, picking the winner against the spread for most of the “Who Gives a Sht Bowl” games earn one point. The 5-6 somewhat respectable games earn 2 points, and the BCS bowls earn 3. So there was only one poor schmuck out there who did worse than me. I should go over to his house and start talking smack.

Sounds like you got the same kind of hits I was. I just wonder what they were up to…

Deb K said...

Yeah, well, I have little to contribute but that won't stop me as I'm determined to keep commenting on your blogs so you don't stop. I kept warm by wearing the cashmere coat two sizes too big that I bought at our community aid store for $6. Half price Wednesdays are the best for bargains.

bluzdude said...

I visit each of your new posts, Facie, but I'm pretty sure I don't constitute a "big numbers."

We need to remember these days when we're complaining about temps in the high 90s, with 80% humidity.

bluzdude said...

And I appreciate every single comment, too! They really help keep me going.

I always feel like hot stuff when I'm wearing a bargain.