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June 10th, 2005


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10:24 pm - This LJ's looking very spotty these days
1. Am off to London town on Thursday 16th June, returning Friday 17th June, to dock with wmk06 on her trip to Europe. Would anyone else from those parts be available to be seen on that trip? Anyone kind enough to offer crash space for the night? *grins*

2. The world has nagged me into getting a mobile phone - or, rather, doing something with the mobile phone I was given for the Christmas before last. Much against my better judgement and cultural mores, there may be a "send a text message to jiggery_pokery" option springing into life when I can get it to work. Some day I might even tell you the number.

3. Puzzle preparation continues apace; I retried the 2001 qualifying test as part of my practice schedule. In 2001, competing for real, I scored 110; this year, with the benefit of experience, I went as high as... 95. Oh. For those practicing at home - just six more days to register, remember! - perhaps beating me may not be such a daunting challenge after all.

4. In boxing, apparently the cruiserweight division's weight limit was recently raised from 190 pounds (13 stone 8) to 200 pounds (14 stone 4). Given that the best light heavyweights - 175 lbs. and below - have proved that they can bulk up sufficiently to compete in the unlimited weight category, doesn't this make the cruiserweight division even more irrelevant than before?

5. Call me cynical, but I wonder if pre-eminent British polling site YouGov's transition from paying lots of small 50p payments (which accumulate until payout at £50) to paying a small number of large payments, distributed by lottery, is coincident with many accounts starting to approach the crucial £50 level? Wouldn't it be lovely if YouGov were to offer those it polls a choice of a definite 50p or, alternatively, a chance to win hundreds at their preference?

6. Three cheers for Cartridge World, a chain who sell and refill printer cartridges. I went there for a refill today after my driving lesson and promptly left my driving lesson record book there, also forgetting to collect my change from paying for the refill. I phoned them up later and asked whether it was possible that I had left my change there, which might explain a £10 discrepancy at the end of the day. Sure enough, I got a phone call letting me know that they would send the money through along with the record book which I had left there and forgotten about.

7. British board game fans note that the booking deadline for Manorcon is next Friday, June 17th. Without my work hat on, this is easily the best con in the country for board games ranging from the likes of The Settlers of Catan (and shorter) up to Diplomacy (and longer). I've missed the last two years' events due to Nimbus - 2003 and my gorgeous girlfriend dezzikitty but it would take incentives as large as those to make me miss out on the event for another year. Birmingham University, 15th to 18th July. It's friendly and welcoming to those whose passion for, and desire to learn new, board games exceeds their knowledge of specific ones.

8. One news story we haven't been hearing nearly as much as perhaps we could have done is that new calculations have reduced Britain's calculations to the EU budget by £630,000,000 - so we stand to get pay less money than we used to. In these times when the EU want to limit the size of the rebate Britain pays, but Britain (comfortable in the size of its current contribution) does not want its rebate to be reduced, would the win-win solution not be for Britain not to accept this contribution cut? In this way, Britain pays no more than it used to and so can claim victory that way and Europe can be pleased that they're getting £630,000,000 more than they had expected from us.

Obviously more money for Britain is good from our perspective, but when we've been performing better than the other major contributors for years it probably stands to reason that it's our turn to contribute more to the pot - after all, if the reverse were true, then we'd want to get more back. Additionally, there must be at least some of the moral imperative to make poverty history in Eastern Europe if we wish to do so in Africa. Admittedly only one of those two regions has catastrophic, almost inhospitable natural geographical disadvantages and years of government that we would consider bizarre, but... er, hang on...

9. The World Series of Poker has started! Already it's looking like last year's roughly threefold growth is set to continue this year - after 2,576 players last year and 839 the year before, this year's announced limit of 6,600 is set to be reached fairly soon and they might conceivably break their self-imposed limit yet. However, there's a whole month of poker competitions before that, already well under way. (Happily, the British players seem to be sending a very promising number of representatives to the final tables.) Indeed, the opening $1,500 no-limit texas hold'em event attracted 2,305 entries, the second highest in WSoP history behind only last year's main event. Mike Paulle and Daniel Lazerek are blogging live from the event.

The other fun poker development is The Poker Show, hosted by Late Night Poker commentator Jesse May, of whom I have written once or twice in these parts. It's an attempt to do a traditional Carson/Letterman style talk show with poker player guests, running features and co-host Padraig Parkinson who I'm well prepared to believe is extremely funny most of the time but so far (two shows in) doesn't look quite used to being expected to be funny on demand, though he does get an odd zinger in. On the negative side, the music is terrible, there's lots of time dedicated to a small number of adverts (repeated over and over again) and some gags outstay their welcome quickly - for instance, the Fabulous Las Vegas canned laughter gag only worked once, if that, not twice a show. On the positive side, everything else. Net result: +EV. It's far better than, say, chess.fm, and that was the best going at the time.

10. Earth is sending a spaceship of its finest specimens to conquer the universe and there is only room for one passenger within whose contribution will be a voice to commentate upon the universe's sporting events. There are clearly only two real contenders. Who survives? You decide!

Poll #510557 Voice of voices

Who's the voice? Or, rather, whose the voice?

Jesse "The Voice Of Poker" May (see The Poker Show above)
3(27.3%)
Sid "The Voice Of Darts" Waddell (see here and here)
5(45.5%)
Alan "The Voice Of The Balls" Dedicoat (NB this has deliberately been included as a blatantly wrong option and anyone who selects it is confessing to ignorance and poor taste of the highest order)
3(27.3%)

Current Mood: calmBack to work tomorrow!

(31 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 10th, 2005 09:28 pm (UTC)
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I was convinced there would be enough people who would vote for him just to spite me that he would win, but I underestimate the decency and cultural appreciation of my Flist.
[User Picture]
From:citizenpsmith
Date:June 10th, 2005 02:58 pm (UTC)
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I can't offer you crash space, I'm afraid, but you'd be very welcome to come up to the Finchley Games Club for some quality gaming on the Thursday evening.

(And I contest your "best con" assertion for Manorcon, and counter by nominating Baycon.)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 10th, 2005 09:35 pm (UTC)
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Does BayCon feature a Treasure Hunt?
Does BayCon occur within walking distance of the nation's finest curry houses?
Does BayCon take place within 350 miles of here? (Yes, actually. 338.)
All crucial components of what makes Manorcon so great.

To be fair, bmibaby now fly between Teesside and Newquay. *consults map* Mmm, Newquay's not nearly as close to Exeter as I had hoped.
[User Picture]
From:hmtriplecrown
Date:June 10th, 2005 03:21 pm (UTC)
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Jesse May getting +EV? I'm shocked. I haven't been impressed with anything May has done which has aired in the states--two series of Late Night Poker and commentary for a domestic tournament two years ago.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 10th, 2005 09:39 pm (UTC)
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Now you've got me worried as to what they did to LNP when they broadcast it in the US that you do not recognise it as the finest poker show yet. To be fair, it was always rather a full hour (...plus?) by British commercial TV standards so they may have had rather to gut it to fit into a US TV hour.

The thing that gets me about US TV poker is the way they try to cram so much in and you often only end up seeing the all-in hands. LNP had time to take things slowly and allow the tense pauses that made it great. If these were all edited out of the US version then no wonder you didn't rate it.

I really need to reload my dealer button (...Barney?) icon.
[User Picture]
From:hmtriplecrown
Date:June 11th, 2005 08:05 am (UTC)
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Here, we got each episode (presumably an episode is when each table has an end result) in two half-hour parts. I'd say all poker shows over here are condensed in some form. Fox Sports Net did a live broadcast of a final table at a tourney in New Jersey about 9 months ago. When it got heads-up, it got boring since one person would raise, while the other person would get junk and fold. This continued until both players had prime hands, which took some time.

Going back to LNP, I preferred Barmy Barney's commentary to anything that came out of Jesse May's piehole. :-D
[User Picture]
From:meggitymeg
Date:June 10th, 2005 03:34 pm (UTC)
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one hunnnnerd an' AAATIE!
From:mr_babbage
Date:June 10th, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC)
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You'll fit in fine.

In other news, I fear 'the voice' that would survive is that of Marcus Bentley.
[User Picture]
From:meggitymeg
Date:June 10th, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC)
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You know, a couple of trips back, I discovered that I really do like watching darts on TV. :D I can't remember where we were - Islington? Sunderland? I have no idea - but we spent an entire day watching darts. :P
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 10th, 2005 09:41 pm (UTC)
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Hmm. I would guess that it was the Lakeside World Championships on BBC 2 which places it at about the New Year which suggests London. (That was only with Tony Green commentating, too, plus the really rough-voiced scorer who sounds like a pirate.)

*loves* *rushes to get ready for work*
[User Picture]
From:brigbother
Date:June 10th, 2005 04:02 pm (UTC)
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You laugh now, but I think he's solely responsible for the popularity of the Geordie accent on telly in recent years.

Ant and who?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 10th, 2005 09:40 pm (UTC)
(Link)
[User Picture]
From:monarx
Date:June 10th, 2005 10:26 pm (UTC)
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Blast, I wanted to say that. :-)
[User Picture]
From:beingjdc
Date:June 10th, 2005 04:10 pm (UTC)
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fsvo 'crash space' probably but don't rely on me until I've checked the work diary, Thursday evening currently looks free, as potentially does Friday lunchtime.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 10th, 2005 09:42 pm (UTC)
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Hurrah, sirrah, and thank you!

*doesn't rely on you, but hopes*
[User Picture]
From:beingjdc
Date:June 11th, 2005 07:08 am (UTC)
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Well you're in the spiffy diary so that's progress. I've noticed that a bit with YouGov, but I'm only at £32.50 so maybe not so much...
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 11th, 2005 12:42 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! beingjdc there, marvellous.

NB I have got the mobile phone working so at some point I guess it would be useful for you to know the number. Will mail forthwith.
[User Picture]
From:beingjdc
Date:June 11th, 2005 05:34 pm (UTC)
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I see no mail :)
[User Picture]
From:wednesdayschild
Date:June 10th, 2005 07:23 pm (UTC)
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I've signed up for the test because it should be good fun at the very least. Of course, I haven't done any puzzles like that for, well, years, but never mind. I'll just hope not to disgrace myself too badly!
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 10th, 2005 09:43 pm (UTC)
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Hurrah! Now you've FINISHED FINALS then you have time to look through more past papers just for fun, if you like. :-D

Also do you think this is the sort of thing that your boy fiancé (wheee!) would enjoy? The more, the merrier!
[User Picture]
From:undyingking
Date:June 11th, 2005 12:31 am (UTC)
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Can I nominate Ray "The Voice of Rugby League" French?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 11th, 2005 12:51 pm (UTC)
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Hmm. You can and I broadly defer to your knowledge of rugby league but isn't Eddie Waring the voice of Rugbeh Leeg in perpetuity? Three points for Sen 'tellens, he's off for a nearly bath and all that? See, Ted Lowe remains the voice of snooker for all time despite the fact that he's been off the TV for (mumble) years and quite possibly has passed away.
[User Picture]
From:jvvw
Date:June 11th, 2005 01:50 am (UTC)
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Jon and I are going to Manorcon this year by the way.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 11th, 2005 12:52 pm (UTC)
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Hurrah! More reasons to look forward to it.
[User Picture]
From:imc
Date:June 14th, 2005 09:50 am (UTC)
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Sadly it now looks certain that I will not be in front of a computer at 6pm BST on Saturday. Some other time, perhaps.
[User Picture]
From:wmk06
Date:June 14th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC)
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Good job me, finally commenting less than 24 hours from when I should (knock on wood) be arriving in London! At any rate, let me know where and when you'd like to meet up. Preferably email me at kpteas@wm.edu since that's likely all I'll be checking.
[User Picture]
From:wmk06
Date:June 14th, 2005 04:30 pm (UTC)

Good job me, commenting with 12 hours 'til I leave!

(Link)
Gah, comment eaten. At any rate, let me know where and when you want to meet up on Friday, preferably via an email to kpteas@wm.edu, since that's likely to be the only thing I'll check.
[User Picture]
From:wmk06
Date:June 14th, 2005 07:19 pm (UTC)

Re: Good job me, commenting with 12 hours 'til I leave!

(Link)
And it would seem that my school email isn't working at all, so maybe commenting would be the best way to go.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 14th, 2005 11:49 pm (UTC)

Re: Good job me, commenting with 12 hours 'til I leave!

(Link)
Have posted filtered to you alone with my mobile phone number. Landline phone number also available. Also, remember how to make phone calls for nothing if you get really stuck.

I suggest meeting you at your hotel after breakfast on Friday morning, but I know neither where nor when that is.

Travel safely, take care and enjoy your trip!
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 16th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC)

Re: Good job me, commenting with 12 hours 'til I leave!

(Link)
Am in London and looking forward very hopefully to seeing you! Please call me on my mobile phone, whose number is in the next post.

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