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11th-Jan-2014 02:03 am - Scrabbler on the loose
I've uploaded my recent tournament games from the Linden Outlook tournament on cross-tables. It's interesting, that it's not always the case your best-played games are the ones in which you score the most points. At least that's my experience, and there's nothing to dispute that notion here.

This is a tournament where I averaged 467 points a game, over seven games. Not sure if that's a tournament record for me, but if not, it's very close. I ended up 4-3 with over 500 points in cume to finish in second place, overall. It would have been nice to win one of the close ones and to have taken home the brass ring, but in truth, I didn't really deserve it. Got unlucky in one or two, and lucky in some others.

Anyway, for anyone seeing this who isn't familiar with c-t, here's the link. Just hit the plus sign next to the second name from the top to view individual games. Comments are welcomed.

22nd-Sep-2012 12:16 pm - My tweets
21st-Sep-2012 12:16 pm - My tweets
20th-Sep-2012 12:25 pm - Running Scrabble
I used to be a runner. I liked that classification. I'd like to be one again.

I can't call myself a runner anymore, other than in spirit. I'd like to say I've tried countless times to get back into it, but I'd be lying. Three or four attempts, maybe. Each time some part of my body, usually a knee, has said, NO, you're not a runner anymore. Give it up.

Well, I'm out to give it another go. I expect things to go wrong, and to go wrong rather soon. But this time I'm not going to quit. There will probably be some physical therapy involved at some point, a few doctor visits and a lot of ibuprofen consumption. But I expect to complete a 5K by the end of the year, and am holding out hope to complete the Crim 10-Mile next August.

In that vein, I've also been thinking about the Scrabble-Running biathlon that some of my word friends started while in Orlando for the nationals. The rules for that event seemed to have players alternating making a play on the Scrabble board, and running a quarter mile on the track. This is the YouTube video of that competition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DGNmJjkgac

Here's an outline for how I'd like it to go:

Contestants start on the track with a quarter-mile run. The runner who finishes first, goes first in the Scrabble game. Rather than running after every turn over the board, the contestants run a set distance, say a quarter mile, for every 50 points scored. A typical game of 400 points would see players covering two miles (in addition to the opening distance).

I also think there needs to be bonuses for faster runners, and/or penalties for slow ones to somewhat equalize the Scrabble-Running equation. Starting with the run is a step in this direction. But adding a time standard for each running segment seems like a good idea. For example, with a time standard of a 6-minute per mile pace, quarter-mile laps would need to be turned in 90 seconds. Take longer than that and you lose points; Go faster and you get points. To do this would require a running clock for each player, separate from the game clock.

The game could end the traditional way, with one player going out first, or we can add another simultaneous, longer run at the end. For instance, the Scrabble portion ends 430-410 in favor of Player A. Both players now line up for a mile run, with Player B needing to run 21 seconds faster than Player A to overtake him and win the event.

Suggestions, ideas, thoughts?
25th-Jun-2012 02:33 am - Michigan Madness
Gosh, I haven't been on LJ in ages. Anyway, I thought some of you might like a look at this 509-502 game I played against Mike Stafford earlier today. If you can find what would have been my winning outplay, you're pretty good.
14th-Dec-2011 11:41 pm - There is no room
I just changed the cats' litter boxes. There is nothing remarkable about that statement, other than it being true, and other than the fact we have outdoor cats. Forget the fact our outdoor cats have litter boxes. It makes little sense, but that's immaterial here.

What is material, is that the litter boxes are in the garage.

Our cars are in the driveway.

That the cars are in the driveway has nothing to do with the cats. No, the cars are in the driveway because our upstairs bathroom is going through a total overhaul, and the men working on the project need a place for their tools and equipment.

There are workhorses upholding a makeshift table, a giant saw for cutting tile and cement board, and a few five-gallon buckets. The remaining space is taken up by a cacophony of objects, including what was once in the bathroom and is now on loan for this exhibit, an exhibit I like to call, "A Bunch of Crap." These things will move back into the bathroom when the project is completed: a claw-footed tub, and a vanity. But this is not all our garage holds. There are also some of the kids' toys from the summer. A big wheel, five bikes, some athletic equipment, two ladders, a lawnmower, shovels for the snow that is sure to come, rakes for leaves that have come and still remain. A couple of Rubbermaid cans to hold our rubbish. And, lest I forget, two fresh litter boxes.
9th-Dec-2010 11:39 pm - Ben

The 5-year-old earlier today:

"Does God make people?"

Me: "People make people."

I thought to myself, "And people make God," but stayed silent.

"How does a man make people?"

"Actually, it takes a man and a woman."

"How do they make people?"

""It's pretty complicated. I'll explain it to you when you're older."


Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

3rd-Dec-2010 12:06 am - Quick thoughts

I had never seen the name Brett Smitheram before today. I am so out of touch, even inside the small provincial world I live in.

Just judging from the scores at the Causeway tournament (which Mr. Smitheram leads), it seems as though there are many blowouts and very few tightly contested games. I realize this is a cursory judgement and an unscientific finding, but if true a big argument for the TWL.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

14th-Oct-2010 12:37 am - A STEE no mo.

I was nearing the top for consecutive # of tourneys as a STEE before Saturday. Now it looks like I'll be starting over. Here's the game that made the difference: ETTE

27th-Aug-2010 11:31 am - Observations
Is it just me, or is it easier to write when you're upset about something?

Or am I justifying my paucity of posts by saying, in general, I'm a happy person?

OK, now that I have that out of the way, here's today's rant: Borders Books is going downhill, and picking up speed on the way. At least in terms of its brick and mortar stores, and at least from what I saw at its Flint location the other day.

Borders is a Michigan institution, and, for a period of time, was my favorite store. I could spend a good couple of hours there. On Saturday, however, I had a hard time filling up 30 minutes. I went only because I was in the neighborhood, and discovered in the time I was there that there is little reason for me to go back.

I searched the magazine rack for a particular poker magazine. Not there. I searched for any poker magazine. Not there. I looked for other magazines I like to read, Esquire, The New Yorker, and another magazine someone I respect has said is worth reading, The Atlantic. Not there, not there, not there. It was jaw dropping. I looked at some computer magazines, and saw one of interest that detailed the best apps for the iPhone/iTouch. I was ready to buy, and then noticed the price tag - $20! Another jaw-dropper.

Next I ventured into the heart of the store and saw a new album by Ray LaMontagne on an endcap. My interest was piqued. Wondered if I could listen to it and headed back to the music area. Noticed the area had been reduced in size by more than half. Understandable given the trend to on-line music purchasing. There were several small signs saying you could listen to music at special 'listening stations', but I couldn't locate any of these stations. Caught an employee coming off his break and asked him if it was possible to listen to this album. Maybe, he said, taking the album from my hands and walking me over to a computer screen. He typed it in, and expressed surprise that the album was even in the store. "Nope," he eventually said, this wasn't one of the few albums available to preview. "But if it's any help, it is selling well!"

I asked him what was up with the magazines. He told me they get different publications on a rotating basis, and they get what they're given. WTF?

In the end, I enjoy being able to buy product online. I just never thought it would come at such a cost.
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