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malachan-style ten-parter - Many a mickle maks a muckle

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July 30th, 2003


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11:08 pm - malachan-style ten-parter
1. Can't put it any better than the very funny syndicated groovymother does:
Well, this is just immature and childish, and should be ignored by any right-minded individual: What happens when you replace the word ‘wand’ with ‘wang’ in the first Harry Potter book.
I'm sure none of you are nearly immature nor childish enough to enjoy the likes of (actually from PoA)
Then he whirled his wang at the dementors. Shot silver stuff at them.
It's the new version of lines from Star Wars which can be improved by substitution of the word "pants", about which I have a story I'll share some day.

2.
Dr and Mrs Collier are delighted to announce the birth of their son Toby Michael Collier, 3.491kg (7lb 11oz) at 11:48pm on 29 July, 2003.
Or, to put it another way, congratulations to bopeepsheep and imc for producing smallclanger. *glows with contentment at what is both a happy ending and a joyous beginning*

3. I have been scratching myself far more than usual recently, mostly on the sides and back of my legs and knees. (Not a euphemism.) Does this have any particular significance, other than that I have nice (relatively) long fingernails at the moment?

4. Middlesbrough Gamers Club attendance seems to have stabilised at about 65 over the last four weeks, which is slightly down on earlier in the year, but this figure is possibly slightly depressed by summer holidays. Two weeks ago, while I was seeing 2ndavemusic in NYC, there was apparently a meeting where apparently there was such poor behaviour from several club members that the committee apparently imploded. Rather glad I missed it, in some ways.

5. The selectors have released the details of the UK team for the World Puzzle Championship; there were seven candidates for the team of four and I have been placed as first reserve. No qualms with the selection of the first three (including ericklendl), but the placements 4 to 7 seem to be in the reverse order to me - that is, I would have put our third reserve as fourth team member, with the second reserve as first reserve (and vice versa in both cases). I'm not upset to be missing from this year's team; as I saw it, there were five stronger candidates than me. Good luck to the guys and I look forward to following your progress. However, puzzle fans, I have been forwarded details of another online puzzle competition starting tomorrow. I quote:
Good aftenoon!

From July 31 till August 7, 2003 site http:\\diogen.h1.ru spends 3-rd round of "Internet puzzle competition".

The competition consists of puzzles requiring for solution only of pencil and papers. In the package are switched on as classical puzzles, often offered on different puzzle competitions, and non-standard and the optimization tasks.

The original texts of puzzles in Russian. To you the versions of the text will be offered Russian and English.

The puzzles of this round will be placed July 31, 2003 by the way of file of the format MSWord 97 on page http:\\diogen.h1.ru\ipst.html. The participants having problems about the internet and wishing to receive the puzzles by an e-mail (a provisional file size 80 KB) should inform to us on it.

Participate in present round can all wishing. The outcomes of the previous rounds are not taken into account.

The solutions will be accepted till August 7 to the address diogen@zmail.ru.

We shall be grateful, if you inform on "Internet puzzle competition" to the potential participants.

Beforehand we apologize for possible inaccuracies of translation. If you want to specify a statement of any puzzle, please write to the author on e-mail.

Sincerely yours,
Andrey Bogdanoff & Anton Nikonov.

PS. If you do not want to receive announcements of "Internet puzzle competition", inform us about it.
There's a cruel "translation" joke to be done here, but I shall resist. I shall follow with interest.

6. More people than I expected picked up on mention of "Wanted" in the last post. Excluding the Usual Suspects (Messrs. Weaver, Bother, Strellis, Lendl and Holic7, not to forget my favourite off-LJ Liverpudlian) is there anyone for whom the mention of "Scavengers" rings unprompted bells?

7. A few interesting news stories from the BBC; tomorrow (modulo several provisos) a skydiver plans to leap from a plane over Dover, glide over the English Channel and land in France. He's missing a trick; I'd PayPal $5 to be able to follow his progress live, first-person perspective, from a camera he wore. This strikes me as being one of the most spectacular stunts yet - and probably a relatively safe one. Stunts good, snuff bad.

8. The BBC report that Grimsby Town pay a record transfer fee of -£2,150 for their latest signing. Mixed views about this; it's an imaginitive initiative of the type of which I generally approve, but things like this and the Doncaster Rovers owner playing himself offend me aesthetically in that they mess up the "youngest" and "oldest" statistics for no good reason. I suspect (hope) there may be FA age regulations stopping the kid from playing, anyhow.

9. The BBC also reported the Pentagon's terrorist attacks trading market plans, only to later edit the same page and replace the "has proposed plans" with "has abandoned plans". I am not impressed. I took it as fundamental that when BBC News put something online, it would be edited for journalistic errors only, rather than for matters of content. This smacks of a very mild form of retroactive history - "we have always been friends with Asia" and all that. Anyway, I found the trading market concept intriguing, though I wouldn't say I had thought about it fully enough to decide whether I thought it "good" or not. It certainly put me in mind of a step towards the ultra-libertarian Assassination Politics which did the rounds a few years back.

10. So many more Nimbus-related things to talk about, but not today; it really seems to have given me my zest for writing back, which is happy, albeit inconvenient. Instead I will close with news of the convention I didn't go to because I was at Nimbus instead. I had attended Manorcon every summer from 1995 to 2002; happily, the 2003 occasion is reputed to have been about as good as the others. (I am particularly pleased to note that after I ran a Quest-like hunt there in '01 and '02, the '02 winning team carried on the tradition for '03. Apparently it was "a bit obscure this year", which too carries on the tradition.) Poker fans might enjoy this excerpt from John Harrington's report.
Talking of anti-social children, I took along number one son (aged 12) and for once didn't dump him on Geoff Brown for the week-end (I think Geoff is getting wise to this move now). Ordinarily number one son conks out at about 10:00pm on account of his early morning paper round but on Friday night at 10:45pm as the poker was about to start he was still wide awake, keen to play a game and with no one to play with. What to do? I wanted to play poker so even though it cost £20 to enter, even though he had only ever played the game once before for match-sticks at school, even though we had to write down the ranking of the hands for him, I paid £20 for Jack to play too. What the hell, it's all part of his education and with some hard bitten poker players round the table such as Pete Birks (plays poker virtually {geddit?} every day), Alan Sharples (paid for his first house out of his poker winnings), Richard Beattie (hard to read player) and Mick Haytack (who I think got a medal in the MSO poker tournament) I didn't think he'd last long, at which point he'd sling his hook and go to bed.

It almost goes without saying that number one son won the tournament, scooping 100 pounds as the first prize. I just wish they had had a trophy for it as I would have loved to have seen the looks on people's faces when he went up to collect the award. In truth he did have two monstrously lucky hands, both times when he was on the verge of going out. The first time he drew to an inside straight and on the second he won with a pair of twos after the flop failed to produce anything of use for the other two players still in the hand. Oh, and he had a nice habit of being dealt an ace as one of his two hole cards at least 50% of the time, although this does often cause as many problems as it solves.

I look forward to Pete Birks's analysis of where it all went right. At least number one son had the class to give back his £20 entry fee to me but the little sh*t did not give me any share of his winnings!

Current Mood: refreshedrefreshed
Current Music: Ruffus - "Eighties Coming Back" (a.k.a. "Estonia", for Nick)

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:ericklendl
Date:July 30th, 2003 04:43 pm (UTC)

Ooh, excellence!

(Link)
1. I am neither immature nor childish, and furthermore I have not just had to wipe any spittle off my monitor. Absolutely none. Gracious no. :-)

2. Well done them. The world needs more small Clangers.

3. I think it's just scratchy season at the moment. I've got three horrendous scabs on my left ankle where I've not been able to avoid raking at a minor itch.

4. Oh, I don't know - seeing some disgraceful home town behaviour might have lent some perspective to your own minor peccadillos. I'm imagining the entire Middlesbrough Gamers Club kissing your ass, for some probably incredibly tactless reason.

5. I'm reasonably happy with the selection. The choice of third reserve confuses me massively, but the three other candidates for the final place weren't that easily separated in my estimation. There's one who - for poor reasons - I'm happy isn't on the team, as it would have forced me to revisit and resolve some poor behaviour of mine in Brno. That's a sleeping dog I'd rather allow to lie, really.

Is that puzzle competition actually real? Have to confess that the e-mail wound up in my "unsolicited mail from people I don't know from unfamiliar domains" pile.

6. Ironically for a usual suspect, I never once watched Scavengers :-)

7. Landing in France doesn't seem *that* safe a bet at the moment. Though at least he's landing in the right bit of France - hopefully.

8. Can't swear that that's a League record. A Norwegian businessman bought Cambridge United's number 51 shirt for the 2002/2003 season, but I can't remember how much the auction raised. Certainly it's not an original initiative by Grimsby. 15 year olds have played, and in extremis I don't see why a sufficiently talented 12/13 year old couldn't follow suit - compare Martina Hingis et al playing senior women's tennis at a very young age.

9. Intrigued by the concept, unhappy about the implications. One thing to use it as a predictive tool, quite another to say "You stand to gain a huge amount of money if a given world leader is assassinated". Choppy waters and then some.

10. It probably contradicts my reaction to 8., but I'm not sure that I like reading about a 12 year old essentially winning a significnt amount of money playing poker. Seems like dangerous waters again. I'm on a general downer on gambling tonight though. Explanatory note - you shouldn't be able to lose to Barry Town one week and beat CSKA Moskva the next.

Oh, and the Ruffus - I've finally switched my MuVo playlist away from all of 2003 to something more of a pot pourri, but Ruffus did make the cut. So did FLY, and so - peculiarly - did Jemini!

Will this post as one comment? Let's see...
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 4th, 2003 01:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Ooh, excellence!

(Link)
4. The gender balance of the MGC is a little out compared to what I would prefer were ass-kissing to be involved.

5. I say "legit", but can't find the promised English version anywhere on the site. Except to say that question 8 seems to be based on English language words, which seems very strange for me.

10. Reading about a 12 year old winning much money at poker is cool. Reading about a 12 year old losing much money at poker is much less cool. Reading about a 12 year old losing much of his Dad's money at poker is, on balance, more cool than not.

The comment limit is 4300 characters. Proud of you :-)
[User Picture]
From:hedwig_snowy
Date:July 30th, 2003 06:52 pm (UTC)

Two Quick Thoughts

(Link)
1) I have informed Scotland Yard's Children's Division in regards to the deliquency of British youth. :-) and 2) From the Disney movie "The Lion King" Hyena: 'Hunker down and scoot' :P
[User Picture]
From:fruufoo
Date:July 30th, 2003 08:33 pm (UTC)

Assassination politics

(Link)
I hadn't heard of that online before, but then I don't tend to read much except fandom stuff.

Scary.

I can't say I disagree with killing off political leaders rather than armies full of people, but that idea gives waaaay too much power to rich, like-minded groups, IMHO, and anyone radical in a good way would probably get bumped off too. *shudders*

Some political leaders may be annoying, but having to be careful not to draw attention to yourself all of the time so as not to be on the hit list is my idea of dystopia.
[User Picture]
From:addedentry
Date:July 31st, 2003 03:15 am (UTC)

9.

(Link)
BBC News Online does 'update' stories throughout the day while keeping the same URL - for instance, yesterday's Train in speed record bid became Train smashes speed record between 10 and 11 a.m.

Normally this is unobjectionable, but I agree that the Pentagon futures stories should have been reported separately. Why don't you drop them a line to ask about their editorial policy?
From:dinahrae
Date:July 31st, 2003 10:34 am (UTC)
(Link)
First off, there's nothing wrong with being immature and childish once in a while. Sometimes that's the only way to get a laugh out of a situation.

Secondly, I guess congratulations are in order! Of course I have no idea what is what when it comes to the WPC (yes, I am too lazy to type that out - though, of course, with typing the explanation that I am too lazy to type I have defeated the purpose of not typing in the first place), but it sounds as if you snatched a really good place even though you're not directly on the team.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 4th, 2003 01:31 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks. :-) Qualifying for the UK WPC team hasn't taken a lot in the past, because relatively few UK folk actually try out for it. However, I definitely felt like I did better this year and I did better relative to the rest of the world at large... so, all told, I was pretty pleased, yes. :-)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 4th, 2003 01:32 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh, you'd better believe that I have the tapes. :-D (Not all of them - about five or six of the thirteen episodes. The fabled "both teams lose" episode sadly escapes me and I missed it at the time.)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 4th, 2003 02:14 pm (UTC)

SPOILER FOR A NINE-YEAR-OLD GAME SHOW WHICH NOBODY WATCHED AT THE TIME

(Link)
The endgame had both teams trying to erect a swing and scramble over the Abyss, transporting all their salvage with them plus any Bonus Salvage they might care to carry with them, getting the whole lot back to the spacecraft within six minutes. Any team who failed to get back within six minutes got Locked In Out and so lost. One episode, both teams purportedly arrived back too late. Commander John Leslie whinged, whined, bitched and moaned at the Android like a good 'un, but she insisted that he fly the craft and not wait for them. Result: zero teams returned home, two teams lost.

Ahh, what a show. It was better than Ice Warriors, at least.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 4th, 2003 02:32 pm (UTC)

Re: SPOILER FOR A NINE-YEAR-OLD GAME SHOW WHICH NOBODY WATCHED AT THE TIME

(Link)
What really irked me about the show was the trite plot development efforts and even, I seem to remember, a feeble attempt to get a love interest between Il Commendatore and the sodding miserable android (Marvette?). That and John Leslie was a hideously piss-poor actor.

Dude, those were exactly its good points *sobs into milk*

I think this is the fifth consecutive comment I have posted under young fella-me-lad here. Definitely in that sort of mood tonight.

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