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I used to work for a chemical manufacturer and I swear that a quarter of their budget was spent on notebooks!  Everybody had notebooks. The chemists, naturally, the engineers, the tech service guys, quality control, even the maintenance department had notebooks.  Another quarter of the budget was used to buy filing cabinets to hold all the notebooks.  

I took a look at some of these notebooks.   They had every piece of information that you could possibly need and more. Date, time, ingredients, humidity, temperature; there were whole notebooks on temperature alone. Water temperature, air temperature, room temperature, steam temperature, before temperatures and after temperatures. 

Everything was covered, nothing was deemed too unimportant to make note of,  “just in case”.  I remember thinking it was a little on the other side of overkill.  But now I’m a dicesetter, a derandomizer, an influencer of outcomes, a purveyor of precision!  Now I know why all the notebooks.

I have a practice sheet that has 200 little boxes on it, each measuring ” square. The right side of the page has a margin of 1 ” for, of all things: NOTES!  I put the date and time on the sheet, I record all my passes and all my seven outs, hardways, bets and payoffs, and SRR.  

Really bad seven outs get special attention! “Short throw”, “Flat arc”, “Wobbled”.   Nothing is too unimportant to note. (Where did I hear that before!) Some sheets just have combined outcomes of the dice: 6, 10, 9, 5. Other sheets show the outcome of each die: 4/3, 2/4, 5/5, 6/3.  On those sheets, as a quick reference, in the upper right hand corner, I write down what faces of the dice are acceptable for each set I work with. 

A good toss gets a check mark; a bad toss gets a circle around the number that was unintended. With the crossed sixes, a “2” generated from the right hand die is a bad toss.

This type of data is basic boilerplate; can’t live without it. The really good stuff is scrawled in and around that 1 ” margin!  What position was I throwing from, what was my stance, how did I hold the dice, where were my fingers touching them.  Was I leaning forward or straight up?  What was the release point and follow-thru? How was the spin? Any mirror images?  What was the pre-shot routine, where was the target, how high did the dice get during the toss. 

All this info! Why be so meticulous?  The chemists knew why, and, now so do I.  The notes are for those days when the touch leaves town, when feel goes on vacation, when I can’t get past four throws before the devil shows, when the dice feel like some foreign matter in my hand. This is why I take all these notes. 

Especially important is when I have a good series of throws in the 30’s 40’s or 50’s without the devil.  When that happens, I can’t write enough. I want to know everything that could have possibly taken place that allowed me to make all those numbers.  I’m just like the chemists; I want to make sure the formula can be duplicated again and again.  The notes will guide me.  They’re my best friends.

Excuse me, I have to build a shelf…

… For my notebooks.

Good skill,

Mickey D.

Back To Mickey D


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