Friday, June 20, 2008

My Pool Captain is a cool cat

Something a little fun that my captain of my Wednesday night league is doing is sending out a team newsletter that talks about the previous week. He does it in this great format and sends it out to us by email and it looks like a real newsletter! Since I can't duplicate it on my blog, I'll post the text version of it. Pretty darn cute.

Volume 1, Issue 1
June 19, 2008
$2.50 (in Canada)

The Official Newsletter of the RAILBIRDS

Special Points of Interest:
· Current Rank in our division: 2nd
· Weeks until playoffs: 10
· Next Week: Pocket Monkeys
· Hotshot of the Week: Not Lance

Breaking News
This week The Railbirds played Royal Austin Monkeys. We sure made monkeys out of them. The team won 4 out of 5 possible matches.

In the first match Ken Mayes played against another SL2. The first game went to his opponent, but did little to deter our teammate who went on to win the next two for the win. The match ended 2-1.

In the blind spot Lance went up hoping to get one of their SL6s but was surprised to learn that they were putting up another SL2. Unfortunately, Lance’s opponent shot lights out and won 2-2.

The third match Rick pitted Jennefer up against an SL6. Her opponent won four in a row before Jennefer got on the board. Smart playing and good shooting ended up winning game six to make it hill hill. In the last game our teammate made a bank in the side and a long eight ball shot in the corner to win the match 3-4.

The fourth match Rick played against an SL5 and won quite easily 5-0 with three break and runs.

In the fifth match we played Wayne against an SL3. . On the last break with the scored knotted at one apiece Wayne hit the rack only to have the eight ball shoot out at warp speed and land in the comfort of the side pocket. It ended 2-1.

Shannon, Jaime, and Wendy sat out this week.

Since we have one eight ball break this season we will talk about how Wayne actually achieved the accomplishment. On the break place the cue ball on the second diamond two inches from the rail. Now with bottom English hit the second ball as full as possible. This allows the eight ball to separate from the pack. It usually sends it in the direction of the side pocket opposite from where you broke. Every once in a while another ball will kick it in the corner for the win.

Simplicity or Syncplicity?

We have all been in that situation - your PC or Laptop goes on some sort of fritz. The first thought is usually, "Fudge!", and the second thought, "Gawd, I should of backed up my data!". It's a pretty heart sinking feeling when you realize all the work, photos, programs, resources, documents, data, etc you have store on your machine may be suddenly gone.

Backing up your data can be a pain, but it's one of those necessary evils that should be done and you'll be glad you did just when you least expect it. There are several options for backing up - copying your data to another drive, burning the data to a CD, putting them on a USB drive, putting on a server, etc.

Well, here's an awesome solution that makes it easy. It's called Syncplicity (cute name, huh?) and it is exactly that. You just download their application from the website and it backs up all your files or specific folders - it's your choice. I would recommend doing a complete back up of everything since you may forgot about certain folders that are stored miles deep. They make it easy to do - it's web based and you just click a button, bam, backed up. Note: this is for Windows only - not compatible with MAC users. No worries, it should be available for MACS by the end of the year.

It's got some really cool features as well:

  1. It will sync and back up all your computers continuously (no need to schedule a back up or sync) - this is great if you work on a pc at home and laptop at work - you don't have to remember what is on which computer. Syncplicity will look to see if there are duplicate files and leave them alone - if there is data on one that is not on the other, it syncs and you now have everything in one area or on your other computer. It's smart. Very smart. Did I tell you that it's SMART?!
  2. You have access to all your files anytime - even if your computer is turned off. There's times where you need to remote or vpn into your work machine to get a doc and with this, you don't have to worry about not having access because that machine is shut down. Nice. Very nice.
  3. You can share specific folders with authorized users - this is a cool feature because you no longer need to email the most updated copy of a document you changed - it automatically syncs the newest saved one and they always have the current copy. Wowser.
  4. Unlimited Storage - nuts! That is a beautiful thing.
  5. It's secure - uses 128 bit SSL to transfer your data.
  6. All your files are encrypted once they are stored (and encryption keys are stored in a different data center) - only you will be able to access your files.

The best part - don't worry about waiting while it initially backs up your data. It does it seamlessly in the background so you can work on other things.

You are prolly wondering how much this service is...Well, it's in Beta, so it's completely free. Yes, free - free is good, very good. They are wanting to charge something for the service in the future, as they should. This is a pretty powerful tool.

Try it out - it's pretty sweet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Crazy 8's

I just got home from a new league that I just joined tonight. I usually play APA leagues since I feel most comfortable with the people that play APA and it keeps teams in a good balance of players since they cap the skill levels allowed to play on one team.

Tonight's league is BCA. It has a few different rules and it's 'call pocket'. You play each player on the opposite team one game straight up. You will play 5 games total. If you win, you get 10 points (a point for each ball and the 8 counts as 3 points). The goal is for the team to get a higher amount of points than the opposing team per round.

The AWESOME team I was lucky enough to be invited on was amazing. We are the only team with 3 females on it. There are 8 teams total and there are two other teams that have one female on the team and the rest of the division is male. I love that our captain mixed our team up to a co-ed format! I was pretty nervous about playing BCA since the level of play is escalated compared to APA. There is no handicap and it's one game against your opponent - that's it. So you want to play your best and always think that if you miss your shot, you may not get another turn at the table.

We won 4 - 1 tonight and I can't imagine a better BCA team to be on. Everyone was so welcoming, friendly and talented. I admired the play of everyone on the team and that gives me the aspiration to play like they do. It was my first night, so I decided to pray to the 'pool gods' to give me a little boost. I shot a 46 out of 50 and won 4/5 matches! I was so excited and owe it to the pool gods. Thank you!

I can see this team going to Vegas in the BCA finals - I look forward to us shooting there. It's just a gut feeling.

Tomorrow is APA and I look forward to the league - it's another great team and I can see us going to Vegas in APA! Yes, I have many visions. *smiles*

Good job everyone and look forward to next week.