The same seven days are also, suspiciously coincidentally, the National Chess Week for Barnardo's. The aim is to raise half a million pounds for the children's charity by getting players to donate £1 for every game of chess played during the week in question. The week has got terribly little publicity and if they get within one zero of their goal then they'll have done extremely well. Nevertheless, I am particularly pleased that all these fine weeks are going on with my birthday (Thursday) slap bang in the middle.
The Middlesbrough Gamers' Club contribution to the latter has been a rather hastily-organised one-off in-club chess tournament. I sometimes think the club is rather slow-moving, but this time idea to inception took place in less than three weeks, largely due to two diamond geezers who run the Cleveland Chess Association web site. They came in and ran the show, we had 16 players. Ten minute games, five rounds, Swiss system, four finishing on 4/5, 5-minute Blitz semis and finals, book token prizes, the club gives £125 to Barnardo's, Bob's your Uncle. It was not at all disastrous, which makes it "all right".
In other chess news, the direly under-strength England chess team did finish half-way in the European team championship, with four matches won, one drawn and four lost, which is both a good result considering the squad who played and a dreadful result considering the squad who could have played. Russia won as expected with eight match wins and a draw, but seven of those eight match wins were by 2½-1½, which smacks of laziness.
ericklendl points out the (English-language) 7th World Scrabble Championship is in progress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. No messing about here; eight games per day for three days then the top two play best-of-five for the crown. I'm shouting for the English, as usual, particularly the ones I've met (Mark Nyman, 6-2 after day one, and Pete Finlay, 4-4 after day one) - the latter of whom invited me to the local Scrabble club a couple of months back. Failing that, Jim Geary (4-4) always writes with a ballsy attitude and we always like Japanese champ Keiichiro Hirai (7-1!) because he let us use his stuff on the MSO website back in the day. (Yesno, Scribblerus - and want an invite code?) After day one's eight rounds, the podium is occupied by a Thai, a Sri Lankan and a Japanese, which rather pleases me.
Talking of ericklendl, individual and team results from the World Puzzle Championship are available. As far as the team results go, I'm going to say "strength in depth", "online qualifying test", "mmm-hmm" and leave it at that.
There's another way to interpret One Week, too. A week and a bit ago, I posted a bit of an upset rant about my lack of business. You all gave very kind replies, which I haven't really faced up to responding to, even though they were very much appreciated and distinct food of thought. One of the mrstrelloids suggested Here's an idea. Keep a diary of everything you do for one week. Here are the results - aggregated totals of 168 hours in the life of jiggery_pokery between Monday 13th and Sunday 19th October 2003.
- IN BED: 70 hours. (7 spent at night before I get to sleep, 48 spent in sleep overnight, 7 spent between waking up from sleep and geting up, 8 hours of going back to bed during the day.)
- ON PC FOR PERSONAL AMUSEMENT: 35 hours. (31 spent not doing other things, 4 spent while eating at PC.)
- MIDDLESBROUGH GAMERS CLUB: 14 hours. (8 hours at club, 1 hour in travel, 5 hours on PC doing club business - producing meeting minutes, proposals, arranging chess, etc.)
- WATCHING TV: 12 hours. (3 hours spent alone, 3 hours after meals, 6 hours at Fuchsia's.)
- CHATTING AT fruufoo's WEEKEND-LONG PARTY WHILE AWAKE BUT NOT WATCHING TV: 9 hours.
- MEALS: 7 hours.
- WALKING: 6 hours. (Including time spent looking for the exercise book which is still missing and time spent helping shista get a chair from midnightschilde's house.)
- DATABASE COURSE CLASSES AND COURSEWORK: 4 hours.
- PERSONAL HYGIENE: 3 hours.
- SETTING WORLD PUZZLE CHAMPIONSHIPS PRACTICE PUZZLES: 3 hours.
- HOUSEWORK: 2 hours.
- PREPARING LIVEJOURNAL POSTS I MIGHT EVENTUALLY FINISH AND POST SOME DAY: 2 hours.
- PAYING WORK: 1 hour.
Cash spent during the week: 30p, newspaper with jobs listings; £3.00, MGC meeting fees; £4.68, provisions for fruufoo's party; £1.66, bus fares. Total: £9.64. I would trumpet this as "net +36p for the week" were it not for the £200 of standing payments every month: National Insurance, phone bill, computer magazine subscription I must get eventually round to cancelling, chipping away incredibly slowly at the credit card, £20 savings...
Those are frankly very ugly numbers, definitely unsustainable in the future. Is this a typical week? Most weeks will have less time spent in bed, less time at fruufoo's party, slightly more time watching TV and somewhat more time on the PC for fun. (PC fun time consists mostly of LiveJournal, but to a lesser extent following the world news, following leisure news I'm interested in and participating in other communities. Sometimes there are computer games, too, but none at all last week.)
I'm not proud of these numbers; in fact, I'm ashamed of them. Hopefully I'm ashamed enough of them to change them in the future - but, two days of this week down, inertia reigns again and they don't look so very different so far. I recognise this is really not the way that a supposedly mature, responsible adult should behave.
Incidentally, I do recommend the exercise, if only as a tool for quantifying self-horror. Let's see if someone can achieve a low-score even lower than mine...
Other things: ten things that are radical about the weblog form in journalism and the counterpart ten things that are conservative about the weblog form in journalism. I particularly like #1 in the radical list, with mention of the concept of the gift economy. That pretty much sums up my existence at the moment quite neatly, comparing the several hours worked for (and my level of interest in) the Middlesbrough Gamers Club, WPC puzzles and this weblog to the single hour of paying work.
Finally, just because it's fun, the menu card at McDonalds in Delhi. Not so much beef, for obvious reasons.