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Latest Humorous T-shirt Slogan:
"You Wish!"
This one has to be taken in context to be appreciated. The girl wearing this belly shirt was maybe 5'0" tall, with a muffin top going on, despite the fact that she was clearly in her third trimester of pregnancy. In addition she was wearing a thong that came up past her low-rise jeans and pushed her muffin top down over the edge to really emphasize the roll. I'm not in perfect shape so I don't expect that others should be, but when you are wearing that shirt, along with the rest of the outfit, you open yourself to scrutiny (and perhaps random looks of horror).

It's fun to hate:
The Soccer Moms who insist that they drive gas-guzzling SUV's for the safety of their children despite the fact that they are 6 times more likely to be in a rollover accident than any other vehicle. It's like beating your child unconscious with the butt of your gun so that he will remain on the floor, thus making him less likely to be hit by a random bullet coming through the front window.

When Shadowtwin reigns supreme:
There will be mandatory, passive birth control required to participate in any form of government assistance. If you can't afford to raise your child on your own we are here to help you, but we must first make sure that your reproductive organs are adequately contained. If you don't like that policy all you have to do is support your kids your damn self!
Vote Shadowtwin!

Wildly inaccurate, yet shockingly precise, predictions based completely on happenstance and arbitrary universal fluctuations.
Your Horoscope:

Sagitarius: 11/22-12/21
A typographical error in your Church's newsletter will lead to you performing sex acts on dozens of anonymous strangers in your pursuit of "oral highground."

Capricorn: 12/22-1/19
The stars did recently tell your wife to "listen to her heart" regarding whether or not she should leave you. The stars did not intend for you to listen to her heart. But once you used that bonesaw on her sternum (not trusting the stethoscope which just responded with a cryptic thumping sound), we're pretty sure she made up her mind anyway.

Aquarius: 1/20-2/18
The stars would like to apologize for stating in their last prophecy, "Be wary of the stranger you meet at beach this weekend. The stars aren't sure why, but they don't trust him." Through a cosmic hiccup, that information was supposed to be released this month. The August prophecy should have read, "A dark and handsome stranger will approach you on the beach, profess his love for you, and sweep you away for a jetset marriage. After which you will lead a long, happy, prosperous, healthy life as the Queen of a small island nation." We apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.

Pisces: 2/19-3/20
Your new stopwatch will allow you to time how long you can hold your breath underwater down to the thousandth of a second. Unfortunately, poor planning will mean that you are not able to actually share the information with anyone.

Aries: 3/21-4/19
Your innovative new device for beauticians to use while giving pedicures can be wildly successful and make you quite wealthy IF you change the name. Trust us, no one is going to buy a "Ped-O-File".

Taurus: 4/20-5/20
Your Mother always told you to wear clean underwear just in case there was an accident and paramadics had to see them. But as you board that plane today, the stars want you to know that you needn't worry about it. The debris field will be more than 8 square miles, making it impossible to find most human remains. Not to mention that the ensuing fire burned so hot that it disintegrated not only all fabric, but most of the thin metals aboard as well.

Gemini: 5/21-6/21
You just had to get that genital piercing, didn't you? The stars tried to warn you not to, but you went ahead and did it anyway... Now all your worst fears will come to bear when, at a campground this weekend, you run afoul of this guy:

Cancer: 6/22-7/22
The less traveled by areas of the Grand Canyon's north rim offer some of the most breathtaking views of this natural wonder. You will soon find out they also include some of the worst footings and none of the handrails. They do, however, provide equally awe-inspiring, terminal velocity impacts.

Leo: 7/23-8/22
The stars heard your pleas, begging for someone who you could share your love with and embrace for the rest of your life. If you are still single, throw your arms around the closest person to you at 3:44pm GMT on Dcember 9th -That'll be the one. Trust us, you won't have time to be picky...

Virgo: 8/23-9/22
The stars have piled up most of your things on the front porch. You can stay at a friend's house, but you aren't coming back home until you admit what you did and apologize. The stars' Mother was right about you... (you must have really pissed them off; the stars were in tears while they told me this)

Libra: 9/23-10/22
The stars have been doing a little thinking and a lot of math. The population of planet earth is roughly 6,796,590,704. That means that roughly 566,382,558 people share each astrological sign. About 18,620,796 have the same birthday. Based on average life expectancy as many as 248,277 people were born on the same day, in the same year, for every zodiac sign. How can one statement possibly predict the future of all of them? Ehh, fuck it. "A full moon while Venus is rising is an omen of good things to come."

Scorpio: 10/23-11/21
They say you never know how you are going to react to a crisis. After a home invasion this weekend you will: You will scream, "Do whatever you want to my wife, but leave me alone!" You will then create a distraction by throwing your newborn at the assailant as you dive through the window to safety. Now you know.

Music lost to history:

Aerosmith - Dream On When I started doing these, I could never have imagined that I would be putting an Aerosmith song here. Since I was born in 1974, this song is well before my generation. It was recorded in 1972 and released in 1983 on Aerosmith's Self-Titled Album, but to read the information on it at Wikipedia most of us would become familiar with it from a re-release in 1976.

Like most of the music being released in the late 60's/early 70's that was pushing the rock-n-roll envelope, Dream On relies heavily on solid composition and and melody. Before the era of the modern effects processor, these bands had no distortion to hide behind (or very little), and synthesized instruments hadn't yet made their way into music. In that way the music always sounds more raw to us today because, quite simply, it was. While it seems laughable to think about today, music like this was so far removed from the bubble-gum pop of the 50's that it still wasn't accepted into the mainstream. As the baby-boomers became the target demographic, the rock-n-roll movement really started to pick up speed, with bands like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith clearing the path for the much darker and heavier bands like Black Sabbath.

While I (and most of my generation) are probably far more familiar with the Aerosmith of the late 80's and early 90's, the reason this song makes it onto my MLtH page comes down to one thing: Age. Not necessarily the age of the song; In fact, as I sat down to do the research for this today, I had no idea when it was released, but would have guessed (closely) the mid 70's. Tyler was born March 26, 1948, meaning that this song was written when he was only 24 years old. I'm not sure why, but I have always thought this song was pretty amazing given his age at composition. I suppose it is human nature to wax poetic about the days of yore and the imminent passage of time, but the melody sets a mood that makes you feel it right along with him. As the song nears the end and his lyrics become more more frenzied, you can almost feel the pain (longing?) in his voice. Listen to it with headphones and no distraction sometime, you'll see what I mean.

I wrote a short bit some time ago about Kelly Sweet's cover of this song (see the video on Youtube). While I have since gotten over the initial hatred I felt towards the cover of the song, I still just can't like it. The words are there; she hits the notes; but I just can't hear it in her voice. As if there is somthing very personal about the song and Tyler's deliverance of the lyrics that just can't be duplicated. At least to me.

That said, I have heard Aerosmith doing the song with an orchestra, and it also seems to lack the passion of the original. So perhaps the thing that I like so much about it is the under-produced, raw sound of it, or it may be that I am still hearing it through the ears of that impressionable youth that heard if for the first time in a dusty old Van with my Uncle Art. Either way, it seems it is Lost to History.

Music Lost to History Archive

I Can't Believe it's Not Porn!
WhorePresents.comYep, it's not porn. It's not a site with gifts for sale either, which is probably a good thing since I can't imagine that any woman would be at all flattered to get a gift -no matter how nice- in a box that says "Whore" on it.

Daily Reading:
Magazine Man
Shane Nickerson
Wil Wheaton
Hoyazo's Poker Blog

My reading list changes from time to time, and there are many sites that I visit that are not on the list. They are listed in the order that I visit them, enjoy!

Locations of visitors to this page

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009


My wife downloaded the Monopoly game for her iPod and we had it with us on our trip to California this year. I played the game a few times during the drive, mostly to keep me from staring out the front window. Even with sunglasses on, if I find myself looking out the window for extended periods on very bright days it gives me terrible headaches. The little monopoly game kept my focus inside the car, which seemed to have worked for keeping the headaches at bay.

I also have trouble sleeping in hotel rooms. My sleeping is sketchy in the best of conditions, I don't really know why. In an average night I may have three stretches of uninterrupted sleep that range from 2-3 hours each, with each one requiring me to go back through the falling asleep process (which can take from 10 minutes to more than an hour). If I don't have somewhere that I have to be in the morning, I usually just get up after the first increment of sleep and occupy myself until I feel tired again. If I try to go right back to sleep I often find myself just staring at the alarm clock for a couple hours before eventually drifting off, only to wake up feeling extremely tired in the morning. It is entirely possible for me to get only three hours of sleep -when I am feeling really tired- and wake up feeling better than having had 7 hours of that incremental sleep under normal conditions. When I am on vacation I try to only sleep when my body tells me to, which often leaves me awake till 3am or so. Or if I get to sleep early, I will most likely be waking up between 3 and 4am, with little chance of getting back to sleep for at least a few hours.

Of course my wife doesn't suffer from any such sleeping problem. So when I wake up (of if I can't fall asleep) I have to find things to do to occupy myself that won't bother her. In the hotel this year I found myself on the laptop, but without internet access the first day I started making notes about Monopoly instead:

I played Monopoly against the computer three times during the trip, which just cements in my mind why you should never play these games with friends or family: emotion. Honestly, if you ever play the game with someone you know, it can only end one way: People shouting at each other, the game board flying, accusations of theft from the bank. That's how it was in my family anyway. With the computer there isn't any emotion. The computer is also more likely to make trades since it is looking at the potential value of the property to his future bankroll, while a human opponent seems to see only the potential value of the trade to their opponent's bankroll.

I played two of the games on medium difficulty and one on hard. I would have played them all on hard had I known that there was a setting for difficulty. The only difference I could see between medium and hard was that the computer would actually mortgage properties to outbid me on anything that made it to auction on hard mode. Of course once I realized he would do that I used it to my advantage; mortgaging my own properties to drive the price up, but always stopping just short of what I thought he was really going to pay for it, then unmortgaging the properties before the next roll.

The game went the same way every time. The computer was using the same strategy that a lot of people use; He was putting all his eggs on Boardwalk and Park Place all three games. He didn't land on them both, of course, so I was able to make a trade to him in all three games. While I don't remember precisely the way the trades went down, I do know that in one game he traded me one of the yellow properties on top of the board, one of the purple on the left of the board, and the only railroad I didn't own for Boardwalk. This gave me a Monopoly on yellow and purple, along with all the railroads. I also had both utilities and all the orange and red properties. He ended up having the 5 actual properties on the right side of the board (three greens and the 2 biggies) but I owned every space between the jail and the go to jail corners -and had a minumum of 2 houses on each property. I hit his green spaces a couple of times, but I made enough money off of him hitting my properties usually three times on the other half of the board that I was always able to stay on the offensive.

My monopoly game in a nutshell is this: Try to get all four railroads and avoid trading. At any given time every player has a minimum 8% chance of landing on a railroad -that doubles if they are on Batlic Avenue, States Avenue, Indiana Avenue, or the Community Chest space on the east of the board- with an overall chance of 9.75% to land on one (you can't roll from the Go To Jail tile). If you have all 4 railroads, every player has a roughly 10% chance to owe you $200 every time they roll the dice. There are no other properties that give you that. If you own Boardwalk and Park Place, for instance, there is a 69% chance that the opponent won't be in range to land on one with any roll of the dice. So if you own both the overall odds of them landing on one are about 4.26%, counting only rolls of course (it is closer to 7% for any 3 card set). This completely dismissing the fact that there are many "Advance token to 'X'" cards that will skip you past that side of the board completely.

To look at actual values of rent, the $200 you get if you own all the railroads may not seem like a lot, but it really is. There is no other property on the board that commands that amount without building houses. Boardwalk is the only property that can fetch $200 with a single house, all the rest require more. Roughly half the spaces will get more than $200 with 2 houses, but that requires a pretty decent investment, while the railroads require no additions. Also having the extra space on every side of the board gives you one less chance to land on someone else's property.

Whether you are playing a single opponent or multiple, consider only trades that will give you railroads early on. If someone is willing to trade you your third railroad in the second orbit, but this will give them a monopoly on a set, they probably don't have enough money to build houses on the property you are trading them anyway. The rents that are being traded the first 4 or 5 times around the board are under 50 bucks, but if you can get those railroads you can be making 4x the base rent of Boardwalk while the others are trying to trade their way into those monopolies. Every time a player hits your railroads they lose their salary for that orbit. That can be devastating if it starts to happen before they have built houses or hotels, or especially if they haven't completed any monopolies.

Always consider any trade that will give you that fourth railroad. It may not seem like a good idea to trade away Boardwalk for a railroad, but if it completes your set you should really consider it. Unless you are trading it to someone who already has a couple of monopolies, or a ridiculous amount of cash, you can usually do this safely. The more people there are playing, the easier the trade for that last railroad will be. If you have Marvin Gardens and someone else has the other two of the set but no monopolies, they will usually be happy to trade that last railroad to you so that they can start building some houses. This is a bit tougher if you are playing a single opponent, but if you can pull it off you are in a great position to win the game.

I guess I must have been pretty bored the night I sat down to write that out, but that is pretty much my game. The railroad strategy has always worked for me. Of course there are times when a trade has come back to bite me. Catch the wrong end of variance and hit Park Place with a hotel on it a couple orbits in a row and you can go from sitting pretty to bankrupt real quick. More often than not, though, you will be able to keep your opponents from building much if you control the railroads.


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