I scored a free ticket to the "$250,000 Game Show Spectacular" (from http://www.showtickets4locals.com/) and went to the Hilton to see it today. It was more entertaining than I expected it to be. Chuck Woolery is really, really good at this kind of thing--funny and spontaneous. He's apparently there on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with Bob Eubanks and Jamie Farr hosting other days.
The show consists of a bunch of game-show rip-offs that audience members are invited on stage to participate in. (If you go, it's worth knowing that nearly all of the participants are selected by random-number drawings, based on a ticket they give you upon entering, so all the stuff they tell you about standing and jumping up and down and shouting "Pick me!" is pretty much hooey.) There were quick, miniature versions of Let's Make a Deal, Card Sharks, Name That Tune, The Newlywed Game, and The Gong Show, plus a few other games that didn't have any apparent connection to any known television show.
In one of the attached photos (apologies for the crappy cell-phone camera resolution), Chuck and his impossibly effervescent assistant Cindy are trying to get audience members to do a disco dance as part of The Gong Show. (It's a really great gong! If I had been one of the "judges" during that portion of the show, I would have kept hitting it just for the pleasure of hearing the thing reverberate, until they took my mallet away. I have just added to my list of life goals: "Own a huge gong that you can hit any time you like, just for the hell of it.") On-stage participants all won either tickets to another Hilton show ("Menopause," Barry Manilow, etc.) or dinner at one of the Hilton restuarants. The winner of each game got between $100 and $500, usually $200.
Between games, they show clips of bloopers and funny moments from televised game shows (as you can see happening in the other accompanying photo). The best was from The Newlywed Game. Bob Eubanks asks a young woman, "What one thing does your husband absolutely forbid you to put on his wiener?" The woman instantly responds in dead earnestness, "Oh, Ben Gay."
The "$250,000" name comes from the final game, in which ten audience members are selected at random, and by basically a random process are narrowed down to one. That one picks three envelopes out of 20, and if the amount of money in those three envelopes totals exactly $1000, the contestant wins $250,000, and everybody in the audience pockets $100. Failing that, the contestant gets to keep the money that was in the envelopes, which today totalled about $700. There is only one winning combination.
How many ways are there to pick three envelopes out of 20? That would be the formula C(20, 3), which is 1140--so don't be getting your hopes up. They'll be able to run this thing a long time before having to pay out the big bucks. There were probably 200 to 250 people there today (early afternoon show on a Thursday, which I assume is probably about as small a crowd as you can expect). So you have at best a 1/20 chance of getting onstage for the last game, a 1/10 shot of being the person who gets to choose envelopes, and a 1/1140 chance of picking the right three envelopes. In other words, your chance of scoring the quarter-million are, well, about one in a quarter-million.
See other news/reviews of the show:
In keeping with being a grump about things, I have to add an observation here about how stupid people are, as a general rule. In one game, contestants had to guess whether each of seven cards would be "high" or "low." They were told that "high" cards were 10, jack, queen, king, and ace. Low cards were 2 through 8. There were no 9s in the deck. The instant they announced these terms, I thought, "There are more low cards than high ones? Doesn't that make the best strategy pretty obvious?" We weren't told anything about the distribution of the cards--specifically, whether a whole standard deck (minus the 9s) was used, whether the selection was truly random, etc. But having no other information, your best approach has to be to go "low" every time, because the seven cards you have to guess about apparently came from a deck containing 28 low cards (four each of 2 through 8) and only 20 high ones (four each of 10 through ace).
But not even one of the three contestants did this. Instead, they tried to just blindly guess. I checked as they went, and guessing "low" every time definitely would have won the game; nobody got more than three out of seven right, and two of the sets of seven contained four low cards, so guessing "low" every time would have scored a winning 4 for two of the players. Oh no, better to rely on your keenly honed psychic abilities rather than a probability-based strategy, I suppose. I have no idea why the cards were set up with this kind of inherent bias, yielding an obvious advantageous strategy. But it's not a flattering comment on the human race that zero out of three randomly selected people can think clearly enough to exploit it.
Low IQs were similarly on open display in the final game. The ten contestants were each given a roughly 12" x 8" card, one side of which was red and the other black. They had to pick one or the other and hold the card with this side forward. Then Cindy would pick at random from a deck of cards. If the card she picked was red, all of those who had red showing would play again, and those with black showing were eliminated, and vice-versa. Seven of these imbeciles picked red on the first round, and only three of them picked black, even though they could all see each others' selections and had plenty of opportunity to change their color if they wanted to.
Naturally, you're 50/50 to win either way, but the results of winning aren't equal. As it was, those picking red had a 50% chance of being one of seven players left, while those picking black had a 50% chance of being one of just three players left. Why wasn't it obvious to these idiots that it's better to have black in that situation? If any of the seven choosing red had enough brains to pass about the third grade, they would have switched to black until there were five of each color showing, after which point switching becomes disadvantageous.
I don't understand why people fail to think and act logically in such situations. It's not like it took any hard math or deep deductive logic to figure this out. There was maybe a ten-second window in which Chuck was asking if everybody was happy with their choices, the contestants were all gazing up and down the row at each other's colors, looking dumb, without anybody changing, and I was sitting in the audience, looking at the 7/3 split, and mentally screaming, "Change to black, you red-card cretins!" But I guess they couldn't hear my thoughts (a fact for which I suppose I should be grateful). People can be so dim-witted it makes you want to just shoot them on the spot and put them out of their misery. Except, of course, that they're too stupid to understand how miserable and pathetic their existence is at that level of intelligence.
I just Googled "newlywed wiener Ben-Gay" to see if others have commented on the clip I described above--because it must be at least semi-famous--and one of the hits was this blog post: http://giveamanapaintedfish.blogspot.com/2007/10/show-me-money.html. But that led me to read a previous one from the same author (http://giveamanapaintedfish.blogspot.com/2007/10/wee-o-ortne.html), which is about how head-slappingly idiotic people are about basic strategy in even such a strategy-thin game as "Wheel of Fortune." It's a hilarious post, very much in keeping with what I observed today about how many people walk around functionally brain-dead. I have no idea who this blogger is, but I think he and I could enjoy a few hours of yelling at hopeless game-show contestants together.
Despite the moronic side of humanity being made manifest at the Hilton yet again today, it was a decently fun way to kill 90 minutes, if you're so inclined--and especially if you can get yourself in for free. And it takes place in the same theater that Elvis used to revive both Vegas and his own career from 1969-1972, which makes just being there pretty cool (even though it's now mainly used by the distinctly un-cool Barry Manilow--not that I dislike Manilow, but you can't call both him and Elvis "cool" and have the word mean the same thing, and I suspect that even Barry himself would concede that point).
Incidentally, I recently bought an Elvis CD consisting of live recordings from those famous shows at the Hilton, though it was then called the International. Great CD, if you're into Elvis (and who isn't???). See http://jiath.notlong.com/. I just now learned, though, that there's a second "gold" version of this CD that has a second, bonus disc containing the entire first Elvis Hilton concert from August 21, 1969. Elvis connoisseurs say that that may have been the greatest performance of his entire career. Dang. Now I wish I had gotten that one instead!
One final note: On the back of the show ticket is a +$10 table-games coupon. For any even-money bet of $10 or more, this coupon adds a free $10 to the bet. I never play blackjack or craps or roulette, for a bunch of reasons (mainly: they don't excite me in any way, and I understand pretty deeply that they're essentially just throwing money away). But I'm also smart enough to recognize that deals like this turn a negative expected value into a positive one. On the roulette wheel, for example, I can now bet $10 and have just a little under a 50% chance of winning $40. That's a bet I'd love to be able to put down a few thousand times in a row. Suppose you do it 1000 times (not that the Hilton is likely to give you 1000 of these coupons, but this is just illustrative). You'd expect to win 18 out of every 38 times betting on odd or even or red or black, because in each case there are 18 winning slots for the ball to drop into and 20 losing ones, (including 0 and 00). In 1000 trials, that's 474 wins at $30 each (they push you $40, but it's only a profit of $30, because $10 of that is just your bet back), for $14,220. You'd lose your $10 the other 526 times, totalling $5260, giving you a net gain of $14,220 - $5260 = $8960 in 1000 spins. So the average profit (expected value) per spin with the coupon is +$8.90. I put my $10 and my coupon on "odd" and, of course, the nasty little ball insisted on landing on 12. But it's still one of the few smart table-game bets you can make in this crazy city, especially for being a free bonus with a free ticket.
Addendum, November 5, 2007
I went again today. It was a virtually identical show (no surprise there) except that it was hosted by Bob Eubanks, who I didn't enjoy as much as Chuck Woolery. Didn't win anything. The back of this ticket had a 2-for-1 cocktail offer, instead of the $10-added betting coupon. Dang. I assumed that I would score $10, but I guess not every ticket gets one.
Once again, during the high-low card game, not a single one of the three contestants picked up on the fact that there are more low cards in the deck than high cards. And, once again, the strategy of picking "low" every time would have won, because one of the rows had six of its seven cards low!
Predictably, again, in the last game, the people on stage didn't figure out the red card/black card optimal strategy. Eight of them went red and only two black on the first round. The card drawn was red, so the best strategy would have lost, but still--just being one of the two people selecting black there meant that your odds of being the person picked to play for the $250,000 prize zoomed from 1 in 10 to 1 in 4! People can be so dense sometimes....
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Angel Largay, "The Maniac, the Donk, and You," column in Bluff magazine, October, 2007, p. 106:
Which brings us to another point. Don't stare down a donkey in $3/$6, because it just makes you look silly. You can't get a tell on a guy if he doesn't know what he has.
Monday, October 22, 2007
The following is a letter I wrote to the Tropicana casino's general manager back in August, 2006, just a month or so after I moved here. I'm not sure why it has taken me this long to get around to posting about it, since it's a pretty obvious candidate story, given the general subject of this blog. Maybe I partially blotted that horrible day out of memory. Anyway, here's the description of the most unpleasant session I've ever had at a poker table:
August 21, 2006
I recently moved to Las Vegas. I make a living playing poker. I have been exploring the city’s poker rooms, trying to decide which one(s) to make my main place(s) in which to play. I thought I should tell you why, after one visit, the Tropicana is off the list.
I was there for less than an hour yesterday. Seated to my left was a man named Scott, apparently well known to the staff. As I was being seated, he was in the middle of relating a story about strippers at a club he had recently visited, and how he had cleverly insulted one of them. He then repeated the story to one of the employees who had, sadly, missed the first telling.
He first tried to address me directly when I was in the middle of a hand, trying to concentrate, so I ignored him. This apparently bothered him tremendously, because he escalated his attempts to get my attention—again, while I am still trying to concentrate on winning a hand. The dealer did nothing.
Because Scott was so obnoxious, I continued to ignore him after the hand was over. This really set him off. He wandered over to the front desk area of the poker room—just a few feet from the table at which we were playing—and proceeded to berate me to Vince, who I understand to have been the manager in charge of the poker room on that shift. He told Vince that I had the personality of a speck of dust. He told Vince that I looked like I had just come out of chemotherapy (perhaps because I’m somewhat thin and keep my hair cropped very short). He said, “I think I might be sitting next to a serial killer.” As he had made known that he wanted to order pizzas for anybody else at the table that wanted to join him, he told Vince that when the pizzas came, make sure that they only brought plastic knives and forks because of the serial killer at the table. All of this was loud enough that everybody at the poker table could easily hear it.
Your employee, Vince—the supposed supervisor of your poker room—did not attempt to stop Scott, did not tell him to behave civilly. Instead, Vince laughed loudly at each of Scott’s jibes. It was humiliating.
When Scott returned to the table, he was apparently making faces or gestures at or about me whenever I turned my face away, because a woman to my right would frequently look past me at Scott and laugh when I was faced away from him. Again, the dealers did nothing.
Scott was frequently absent from the table, chatting with the staff or making cell phone calls. The game was held up many times while the dealers would wait for him to come back to the table to take his turn. When he was seated, he frequently acted out of turn. He criticized the way others played. He spouted profanity. He told numerous off-color jokes and stories. He complained about his cards, the dealers, the cocktail waitresses, and everything and everyone else. He continued intermittently to attempt to get me to react to his shenanigans and continued to make obnoxious comments about me to everybody else at the table.
In hundreds of hours spent in poker rooms, I have never been treated so rudely and abusively by another player. Yet, as far as I could tell, not a single dealer or floor person ever took any measures to stop any of this conduct, and, as I mentioned, the supervisor on duty actively reinforced it by heartily laughing along, rather than expressing even the mildest disapproval.
I am a quiet, mild-mannered, non-confrontational person by nature. Furthermore, as a player, it is not my job to deal with or attempt to control other people who are misbehaving. It’s an unpleasant task, but it falls squarely on the poker room staff. I am not going to divert my attention from the game and risk provoking a physical response from a jerk—nor should I have to. If the staff of the poker room won’t intervene to stop such abusive conduct, then it won’t get stopped. But at the same time, nobody who is serious about playing poker can or would tolerate such abuse. It’s impossible to play in such an environment. In other words, if the staff won’t set and enforce limits on obnoxious players, you’ll simply lose as patrons those who are serious about playing.
That’s the case here. I understand that idiots such as Scott can show up anywhere. His existence and presence is not a blot on the Tropicana poker room per se. But when the staff not only allows such behavior, but encourages it, you have made a choice. You can have, as players, people like Scott, or you can have, as players, people like me, who are civil, polite, and respectful of others, and who expect such simple rules of conduct to be followed by everybody. You cannot have both. For reasons that I cannot fathom, you have chosen to allow jerks to behave in any ill-mannered way that they want to in your poker room. So be it. I will simply chose, in response, to patronize the other 50 or so poker rooms in the city, and leave the Tropicana to the Scotts of the world, and to Vince, the dealers, and the others of your staff who apparently enjoy, or at least see nothing objectionable in, his crass conduct.
A final thought: I noticed that posted in the poker room is a list of general rules. I did not inspect it on this visit, but if it is like most others I have seen, it includes something like “Abusive language and conduct will not be tolerated.” If you do, in fact, have such a rule posted, I hope you will seriously consider removing it, as it is abundantly clear that your establishment does tolerate such behavior, and you have in your employ a supervisor that clearly finds it amusing, rather than offensive. If you are going to permit and encourage this kind of rudeness, at least don’t publicly post a lie to the contrary.
I should add, as a coda, that the general manager of the casino responded quickly and personally in a highly apologetic and apparently sincere letter. Here's what he wrote:
August 25, 2006
I received your letter and wanted to thank you for sharing your unfortunate experience with me. As you can imagine, it is not the goal of the Tropicana to offend our customers. The only way that we can address an issue such as this is to be informed and go forward from there.
Our policy in the poker room states that discourteous behavior is unacceptable; and, it is unacceptable to me that this policy was not enforced during your visit to our room. We have spoken to Vincent and shared your letter with him. There is no justification for this kind of behavior and, on behalf of the Tropicana, I would like to extend an apology to you. We expect our employees to conduct themselves and their areas of responsibility in a professional and positive manner. Anything less will not be tolerated.
I understand that you have many options when it comes to choosing a place to play and there is certainly no reason to play in a hostile environment. I believe, if you were to visit our rooom in the future, you would find that your first visit was the exception to the rule rather than the rule itself.
I sincerely hope that you will reconsider and give us another opportunity to serve you. I would like to offer you two complimentary tickets to either the Folies Bergere or the Dirk Arthur Xtreme magic show. If you would like to accept this offer, please contact [name and contact information omitted here for purposes of posting].
Again, you have my deepest apologies.
Gary Van Hettinga
President and General Manager
I have to say that that's one of the best corporate responses to a complaint that I've ever received. I have often wondered since then whether Vincent got a real dressing down, or just a
perfunctory "Don't worry about this--we just have to look like we're doing something to respond to the complaint" kind of talk.
By the way, I did accept the free show tickets: front row for the Folies, with a friend.
Now that my main base of operations (the Hilton) has closed, maybe it's time to give the ol' Trop another try, as I was invited to do.
Somebody recently pointed me to this story (in two parts):
The author, Ashley Adams, is one I recognize from his column in the Poker Player newspaper. He's obviously been playing at a high level for many years and has tons of experience in poker rooms, so his credibility is, for me, quite a bit higher than it would be for some random Joe who told the same story.
The strangest part is having a book of house rules that (1) differs from what is posted on the wall and printed in their brochure, and (2) is deemed inaccessible to players. Weird. This may be the first case in the history of casinos of a customer being ejected for asking too many questions about the rules.
Mandalay has generally been among my favorite places to play--and most profitable. I have seen the staff explain and enforce the rules about reading and cell phones. I don't mind either one. I had not been aware of the rule against listening to music while playing. If that's true, it's the only place in Vegas I know of with such a prohibition in place. (I don't know what the above article was written, so perhaps this is no longer the case.)
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Gabe Kaplan and A.J. Benza, commenting on "High Stakes Poker," Season 1, Episode 11, after Barry Greenstein jokingly comments that there are now three kinds of poker players--Texans, Jews, and foreigners:
Kaplan: In 1980 I made a bet with Doyle [Brunson]. He took all the Texans in the tournament [WSOP main event]--there were only about 70 players--and I took all the Jewish players. It came down to two Jewish players and two Texans, and Stu Ungar won.
Benza: Was Stu from Texas?
Kaplan: Yeah, the lower east side of Texas.
[Note: The last four players were Ungar, Brunson, Johnny Moss, and Jay Heimowitz.]
I just took the Donkey Test (http://www.donkeytest.com/). I was enough of a sucker that I even paid the $9.95 for the analysis that is pasted in below. It would be far more worthwhile, though, if they provided an explanation of what they considered the correct answers. In a lot of cases, they are close judgment calls, and I'd appreciate a detailed discussion of how they justify one answer being unambiguously the right one.
They also are sorely in need of a copy editor. One of the reasons I was so slow was the horrible spelling, grammar, and punctuation in the questions, even missing words, so that one has to figure out what the sentence is saying or asking by context. That's just inexcusable. Having been an editor in a former life, that sort of thing annoys and distracts me far more than it does most people. I found myself wasting a lot of time mentally proofreading. Fortunately, I don't do this too much during live poker games. (Except when other players say things like "I should have went all-in." It takes all my cognitive energy to suppress the urge to shout, "It's GONE, you pinhead, GONE! Should have GONE all in, not should have WENT all in! Did you fail fourth-grade English???")
Since speed was by far my worst scoring category, I guess you can see one of the big reasons I don't much like playing online! A man needs time to make good decisions.
It correctly pegs me as tight-aggressive, although it's puzzling how I can score what appears to be a perfect 20 on the "tight" and "aggressive" scales, but simultaneously 13/20 and 16/20 on the "loose" and "passive" scales. That seems inherently contradictory.
I think it's correct to single out general logic and ability to interpret betting patterns as among my strengths. I was happy to discover that it didn't identify any horrendously weak areas for me. I wonder how much my score would have improved if I had gone faster, since that's clearly what dragged me down the most.
Overall, I'd have to say that it was a better test than I expected when I started it. Many of the situations described are really, really tough. I hate poker sessions in which I'm repeatedly forced to make such difficult decisions, and being faced with several dozen of them in a row like this is agonizing! (I think this is secretly how the CIA tortures the Guantanamo Bay detainees--compels them to take a brain-twisting poker test, then refuses to tell them which questions they got right or wrong, or why.)
Poker IQ Score
Your General Poker IQ Score is 124 and shows how skilled you are in general. Anyone with a score this high is considered to be a mid stakes pro. This score is better than 94.52% of all persons taking this test. You should expect to win in mid stakes NL hold'em games and in tournament games.
You scored higher than your average score in 10 individual ability categories. 3 of these better scores could be called statistically significant and may indicate special abilities, or that you were distracted on those parts of the IQ Test that counted more heavily in the other ability categories.
Solving many of the IQ Test's problems required the ability to analyze your position at the table, considering blind levels and stack sizes, the tendencies of your opponents and the strength of your hand.. Many poker situations require analysis of position. The ability to play in and out of position strongly is required for skilled NL Hold"em players.
Your Positional Play score of 126 is not significantly different from your average score. This score is better than 95.85% of all persons taking this test.
Understanding what changes occur when out of position but required to put in half a bet are important. By far, the blinds will be any NL Hold"em player's least profitable seats. It is important to play out of the blinds correctly in order to minimize losses over time.
Your Blinds score of 125 is not significantly different from your average score. This score is better than 95.22% of all persons taking this test.
This is the ability to change your strategy, hand strengths, calling and pushing ranges as blinds and antes rise. It is most useful during tournament play, but is useful in dealing with short stacks in deeper stacked cash game play. It is important to learn tournament skills even for cash game specialists. Strong tournament skills should translate to more tournament cashes and deeper finishes.
Your Tournament Play score of 122 is not significantly different from your average score. This score is better than 92.88% of all persons taking this test.
The ability to play big pairs correctly is important for any successful NL Hold"em player. Although over time big pairs will be the most profitable hands, playing them incorrectly can lead to disastrous results. Beginners get themselves into trouble by slow playing and/or overplaying big pairs, and often try to be excessively tricky with them. Although poor players sometimes play their big pairs correctly, it is rare. In general better players will win more and lose less with JJ+ as they gain skill and experience.
Your Big Pairs score of 109 is significantly lower than your average score. This score is better than 72.57% of all persons taking this test.
Small and Medium Pairs
The ability to play small and medium pairs is typically difficult for beginners. Typically beginners will call too much pre-flop with these hands and overplay overpairs on the flop. Folding a set is rarely correct but sometimes necessary.
Your Small and Medium Pairs score of 107 is significantly lower than your average score. This score is better than 67.96% of all persons taking this test.
Bluffing is big part of NL Hold"em. Bluffing and semi-bluffing at the right times is important. So is recognizing that an opponent is likely to be bluffing and acting accordingly. Balancing your own bluffs and adjusting opponent calling ranges is essential.
Your Bluffing score of 123 is not significantly different from your average score. This score is better than 93.74% of all persons taking this test.
Adjusting your play based on the "texture" of the flop is important. The flop cards should be analyzed in light of your opponent's tendencies, his suspected hand range, and the strength of your own hand. Failing to include the flop texture in your post flop decision making is a typical beginner mistake and is easily disastrous. As you gain experience in NL Hold"em and play against more experienced opponents, it will become second nature and of paramount importance.
Your Flop Texture score of 130 is exceptionally higher than your average score. This score is better than 97.72% of all persons taking this test.
Sometimes you are required to call when you know you're losing because the price is right. Sometimes you must fold because you're facing a bet that is too big or because an opponent does not have enough money behind to justify an implied odds call. Failing to make the correct odds calls is a major error. Sometimes it is correct to call in some surprising situations.
Your Pot Odds score of 121 is not significantly different from your average score. This score is better than 91.92% of all persons taking this test.
Logically analyzing the action during a hand is important. Players with strong logical ability are quicker to see where a given set of conditions is leading, better understand the technical aspects of the game, often move up quickly in stakes and have little trouble with bankroll management.
Your Logic score of 132 is exceptionally higher than your average score. This score is better than 98.36% of all persons taking this test.
An awareness of betting patterns serves a number of purposes. It is useful for analyzing the playing styles of opponents and for finding errors in your own game. Often beginning players have no awareness of common betting patterns. Experienced players are sometimes able to watch a hand, adjust for the skill, experience and tendencies of each player and determine almost exactly what each player holds.
Your Betting Patterns score of 136 is exceptionally higher than your average score. This score is better than 99.18% of all persons taking this test.
It is important choose which hands to play by adjusting for position, stack sizes, and the tendencies of your opponents. Beginners often have no awareness of relative hand strength, often play weak hands out of position, or easily dominated hands against tight opponents.
Your Hand selection score of 120 is not significantly different from your average score. This score is better than 90.88% of all persons taking this test.
Aggression is important in poker. It increases your equity in most hands by giving you an extra way to win the pot. Your opponent may fold. Playing passively yields only one way to win -- with the best hand at showdown. Beginners typically play too loose and too passive. Excessively aggressive players will lose less than passive players. A balanced tight aggressive strategy is typically best for NL Hold"em depending on game conditions and stack sizes. Loose aggressive style is more difficult to master but can often be extremely profitable.
Your Aggression score of 128 is not significantly different from your average score. This score is better than 96.90% of all persons taking this test.
Solving problems quickly indicates a combination of experience and card sense. Experienced players can often play most hands automatically, and only require significant thought for the most complex situations. Experienced players should easily answer a good amount of the questions on this test, leaving extra time to focus on the more complex situations.
Your Computational Speed score of 83 is significantly lower than your average score. This score is better than 12.85% of all persons taking this test.
Addendum, October 21, 2007
I am delighted to report that the owner/author of the Donkey Test read this entry (I doubt he's a regular reader; I assume he has some sort of automatic notification system in place for when people link to and/or comment on the test) and asked about the errors I noted. I dashed off a quick list of 30 or so of them, and he has already made nearly all of the edits I suggested. It's a rare pleasure these days to find somebody who cares about getting such things right, when they are pointed out. The Grump's hat is tipped to him.