Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Old School

Bones threatened to fire his entire staff if I left him with no blog entries to read for another morning, so, in the interest of losers employed at big French banks who desperately hope to NOT get fired, here you go:
I went bowling last night. What's more old school than bowling? Actually, for me, bowling is kinda new school, because I grew up in Boston - land of Candlepin Bowling. I didn't go "Big Ball Bowling" - as I call what most people simply call "bowling" - until I was about 20 years old. In candlepin, you whip these little cannonballs down a lane at pins that are very subtly tapered: they look like cylinders, but they widen very slightly in the middle before narrowing out. They are symmetrical. I'm guessing if you didn't grow up in, or go to school in New England, you've never seen candlepin bowling.

Anyway, in candlepin bowling, you get three balls, and the fallen pins are not removed between balls. A good score for a novice player is over 100. In big ball bowling, however, a solid novice can bang out something in the 150-175 range. I was very consistent, bowling 112, 102, and 114 in my three strings.

I'm not ashamed to admit that this morning, my fucking fingers are killing me, and my right forearm is wicked sore. I guess I'm not in bowling shape. I did throw down 4 beers and 2 hard iced-teas though, which should count for something in the bowling fitness test.

Aside from candlepin bowling, another classic New England sport is Wiffle Ball. The North Andover Wiffle Ball league page has a great video montage set to a rockin' soundtrack. They also have some phenomenal "news" stories ripping on each other. I wish I could play in this league, alongside teams such as the Hulkamaniacs, the Moose Knuckles, and the Pink Pounders. Another strange piece of the Boston lexicon is that we call a "crew cut" a wiffle. Yeah - everyone gets a wiffle when they're a kid... But again, I'm guessing if you're not from Beantown, you don't know this term.

In other news, check out This is a site founded by fellow MIT grad Jeff Ma, who was immortalized in the entertaining book on the card counting MIT black jack team: Bringing Down the House. Basically, they try to apply the Moneyball concept to football: every situation in the game has an expected value. The difference between the expected value at the end of the play and at the beginning of the play is the value gained on that play. For example, the EV of "1st and goal from the 1 yard line" is very high: about 6.35 points: you score the vast majority of the time in that situation. However, the EV of "3rd and 17 from your own 20 yard line" is very low, and for that reason, a big conversion on the 3rd down play can actually be worth more in EV than the 1 yard TD plunge. The resulting EV's create values for each player. It's an interesting site, worth exploring.

Congrats to the Big Show for finishing 10th in a 1500+ person $200 tourney on Paradise this weekend. Also, the Vortex finished 3rd in a NLHE event at the Bike last week, earning himself some Player of the Year points in the process. He also took down a $30 multitable tourney on UltimateBet this week. Vortex is throwing down the gauntlet: he's on fire.

until next time,


Jeremy said...

Hey man, this is the Commish of the NAWBL (North Andover Wiffle Ball League). Thanks for the props, just wondering where you found our site cuz thats pretty sick. Later

Kid Dynamite said...

Jeremy -
a friend sent me the link. It's all over Wall Street now - stuff like that flies!

Jeremy said...

Thats probably the coolest thing that I've seen in awhile. Check out the site now, we have a new design coming for 2006, much more profession (at least for a bunch of alcoholic wiffle ball addicts). Pass the word around and feel from to email me at or IM on AIM at Kwaggmire. Thanks for the shout out once again.