Spank Dat Ass (or How to Achieve Success by Avoiding Der Wieg)


KEYWORD: streamy

you should now have the five keywords

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Nerves and anticipation, not much lesser in degree than during the run-up to the USSO, made it all but impossible to concentrate at work. Given that I hardly ever concentrate at all, my productivity was reduced to a glacial pace, and I finally decided I might as well try to fly out earlier. I had anticipated this possibility and bought refundable tickets, only $14 more expensive than the next available option.

After the usual 10-minute delay at the SR-92 eastbound to I-880 interchange, I cruised to the airport. The Economy Lot was easy to find, the shuttle arrived quickly, and I was soon at Terminal 2 and expecting to keep on cruising. Wrong. The security line seemed extreme (though not entirely unexpected given recent news events), and I prayed it would move quickly, but thankfully I was saved by the advice of a Southwest agent who told arriving passengers that Terminal 1 had no line. Unlike at larger airports, where transiting between terminals requires a shuttle, the other terminal at Oakland was within walking distance.

Once again the name printed on my boarding pass elicited laughter from the (seemingly-foreign) TSA agent once she eventually realized what "NOLASTNAME" meants. The loss of my toothpaste to an inspector was, however, no laughing matter. As I walked on, I wondered how I could avoid having to buy toothpaste everytime I fly. My first two ideas were to put a small amount in a Ziploc bag and carry it in my pocket, or to put a small amount in a used Chapstick tube. As an additional precaution, I could shove said tube up my rectum, like a spy. I always wanted to be a spy.

But they let my gel deodorant through!

The loss of the toothpaste was easily dealt with, but what really sucked was I had forgotten my long-sleeved shirt. If the air-conditioning at the airport was poorly regulated like at most hotel tournament venues, I would have to put on my pajama top and risk looking like a dork. And we all know that there's nothing I hate worse than looking like a dork.

No HHRs, but some PT Cruisers, and also something called a "Caliber" that appeared to have a roomy trunk. Yep, the seats folded down all the way, exactly what I needed. The Caliber (and the other two) are in the "standard" category, not the "intermediate", the Enterprise rep pointed out. $5 per day more, but that's still way cheaper than a room.

Snow Patrol, "Run"

I'd been doing some ituning the previous day, and I couldn't get one particular song out of my head. I commented out loud that I wished I had brought my Belkin Tunecast (to transmit the song from my laptop to the radio). The Enterprise rep pointed out that the Caliber had an input for computers and other devices. Wow. The thought hadn't even occurred to me. Welcome to the 21st century. I immediately started thinking about getting the type of cable I needed, and as I set out for the new Starbucks in Vancouver I called ahead and asked whether there was a Best Buy nearby.

If I had hurried (as in, sprinted) to the rental counter and then hightailed it up to Vancouver, I would have had enough light for a decent photo. Instead, I found myself hoping for one of those lenses with optical vibration reduction I'd read about on the plane. Of course I also wanted the new Nikon D80. Just reading the review in USA Today had made me start to salivate. But that's over two grand in camera equipment right there, heavy stuff.

After chatting a bit with a cute barista who keeps a blog but does not write about Starbucks (to avoid attracting stalkers--the price of being attractive, I suppose), I rushed away in the direction of the Best Buy, back across the river in Oregon. I only had to drive 8 miles, and it was only 8:50, but the answering system at the Best Buy reported they were closed already. I figured it was wrong, but rather than take that chance I just stopped into the Wal-Mart Supercenter on the Oregon side, which was just as well because I needed to buy some goddamned toothpaste. Now don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against toothpaste. It's the TSA's stupid rules I have utter disdain for.

Back in the electronics department, I found my plug, and as I was leaving I spotted the most adorable young lady... and then I spotted the shopping cart holding a baby. Instant disgust. Throughout the Wal-Mart, in fact, were plenty of young women with babies, and I bristled as I saw each one. I couldn't be sure of whom I hated more, the parents, or the government for allowing the destruction of the planet to proceed as it does. I wondered how long I could hold my smoldering righteousness in before I had to cut loose and start effecting through force what my words fail to achieve.

At the register the associate-in-training asked me if I was a Washington resident. I said no. Oregon? No. Where are you from? Texas. It's still taxable in Texas, she explained, and then she proceeded to discover that while she was asking stupid questions the register had automatically locked her out because it was past the end of her shift. Wow, what a great innovation in retail store management! That meant she had to walk me over to another register where we cut in front of some lady, whom I ignored while the associate-in-training apologized profusely. If I'd been in the same position (not that I would have been), I would have taking it for granted that my mighty authority as a Wal-Mart employee allowed me to cut ahead.

At the other register, I handed the associate, also in training, $13.00 for my $7.80 purchase. He appeared puzzled, looked at the bills a few seconds, and then handed me back the three ones. I handed them back to him without a word. He continued to look puzzled and said he did not understand. I told him to just punch it in and he would understand. So he did, and when he saw the change amount displayed, $5.20, he understood. "Ahh, I understand," he said. Then he added, presumably thinking he was being clever, "I understand, young grasshoper." I couldn't help it. I had to respond, "No, I believe you are the grasshopper." The associate-in-training paused a second, knodded, and then chuckled like it was the funniest thing he ever heard. Is it any wonder that I looked at my mother like she was crazy when she suggested, after I had been unable to find programming work a few months, that I work at Wal-Mart. Shit, I'd rather eat out of dumpsters.

Back in the car, I waited through Sarah McLachlan's "Fallen" and then a pretty cool track from a local Portland artist (need to check if the station has a online playlist) before testing out the cable I had bought. AARRGHH!!! Static! I tried shifting the cable around, but still static. Goddamn it! I thought about returning it, but I decided to wait and see if there was still static when I got out on the open highway, away from power lines (which I thought might be causing interference).

I had to go back into the Wal-Mart anyway, because I had forgotten to grab a pillow and blanket. At $2.82 and $4.88 respectively, they would make my sleep much more comfortable and still beat the heck out of the price of a room.

The drive to Hood River was uneventful and quick as I was distracted by music and anagramming (during the rare straight stretches of highway). I exited the interstate a couple of miles before the Starbucks and drove down the main drag, a segment of US-30, and then westward on State Steet before turning off and noticing that some of the parallel streets were dark and quite. I sat in the car and wrote for a moment, and then I got the urge to kick off "Run" again. I immediately noticed that there was no static, and my ears perked up. What was the reason? I thought a few seconds and turned on the car. Still no static. Then I turned on the power converter that provided power to my laptop's weak-ass battery. Bingo. Static. Good to know.

I had to take a moment to enjoy the music, for the acoustics in the Calibre were superior to those of my cheap (but reliable) Civic. It was an experience that was almost sensual in its degree of pleasure. No, that's not quite right. Not ectstatic either. Geez, despite my copious liberal arts experience I can't find the words to describe the experience, but it was almost like I felt a sense of relief that I was finally listening to the song without ambient noise spoiling it. Maybe a little like when I'm so sex-crazed I feel like I'm about to explode and then I finally get some release. Maybe. Or definitely like everytime I take a sip fo Tradewinds tea. Of course, in the same way that every sexual experience leaves me wanting something even more intense, hearing the song through the cars' speakers, excellent, though they were, made me long for the days when I had my own apartment and stereo system with speakers positioned for even better sound quality. Ah, well, that's just one of the sacrifices of the nomadic lifestyle.

Shit! 11:24 already. My whole point in taking the earlier flight was so I could get to Hood River by 10:00/10:30 and get 8 hours before leaving for Portland.

Friday, September 1, 2006

I had my alarm set for 7:15, but its a good thing I got up at 6:57 because I had a little confusion finding the Starbucks. By the time I got on I-84 it was 7:22, but I need not have worried. Traffic was smooth all the way to where I exited in the Hollywood district.

Yay, the hedgehogs are safe!!!

I took exit 2, and at the corner where Halsey veers right I spotted someone who looked really familiar. Yep, it was Mark Gooley all right. I pulled into a parking lot and called out to him, to see if he had been stranded. As I suspected, he was just heading over to the light rail station. Since I had photographs to take on the way, plus maybe breakfast if I spotted someplace appealing, I figured he would beat me to the Red Lion. Actually, when it comes to getting to a tournament on time, most of the time you are better of riding a turtle than riding with me.

Just before 33rd Ave on Broadway I spotted a sign for the Good Eatz Cafe. Must not have been too good, either at cooking or at business, because the place was closed and for sale.

When I arrived at the Red Lion and looked around the car for what to bring up to the room, I discovered that the previous driver (presumably) had left his Sony digital camera in the car. Dude is lucky I found the camera, but unlucky he rented from Enterprise. The representative I spoke to when I called dismissed my suggestion that she look up the previous renter's number and give him my contact information. She intstead said they would take care of it, by waiting for him to call. I did not have a great deal of confidence in this process. I had had previous experiences in which I had left some item somewhere, called, been told the item had not been found, and then returned to the location anyway to find the item. Too many wage-slaves just don't give a fuck, not at $5-6 bucks an hour.

The tournament room was on the sixth floor, and when I went up to the elevator there was a man whispering details about his location, the date, and some other stuff into a recorder. As soon as he spotted me he moved his recorder away from me and quickly scooted away and out a door. I later asked the hotel staff at the lobby counter, and one of them said a person fitting the description had been staying at the hotel for months. Strange.

Step One

Dominick Mancine seemed out of it Friday morning, and perhaps because of that he made a mistake that could have cost me the game. He meant to play (E)MEERaTE, but he wrote down an E. I did not notice, and I was lucky that I blocked the S-hook with NIMBI, because I would later have an unplayable ANTIARS. The game ended up being close, and, with one tile in the bag, I prided myself on having found KELVIN to get rid of the K and V and give myself the best chance of going out first.

I could have made it three in a row, but I had not yet gotten around to looking at the list of new sixes, which includes JINNIS!!! So first I played TRIOLE(T)S for 70 points instead of ESTRIOL/(JINNI)S for 81, and later I challenged when Paul hooked ERASING to the that spot I should have blocked. That was the game right there.

My long-overdue (three years!) rematch with Nathan Benedict was a great game. I'm not the newb I was in '03, I thought to myself, and I hoped Benedict would be thinking the same and less inclined to try some freaky phony. No serious action until turn five, when my previous play of W(AD)E, leaving EOTUZ, yielded OUTSIZE, forcing Nathan to play STAITHE for 67 and give me a 44-point comeback. Otherwise he would have had ATHEIST for 101 and probably gone on to wipe the floor with me. Then I found AN(T)LERED (proud of myself for that, though I couldn't see LEARNED), and then J(A)TO for 57. But Nathan was undaunted, coming back with double-double DETRAIN/(T)AX for 92. I led by 32, but with both blanks unseen, I figured that lead could disappear in an instant. Another good find, HAKIM, yielded me a blank, and the next turn I played (I)FF for 27 to leave myself INNR? and an actual chance of winning. As I expected, Nathan bingoed with the blank, RECaLLS, but only for 71, and his lead was only 4. The bag looked like AOOOUGNRVWY, and I held CINNOR?, so even with no place to bingo (other than through an F), I felt I could win it in the endgame if I could avoid drawing dreck. So I played off as few tiles as I could, CO(P) at A1 for 21, both to block a possible 24-point play by Nathan and on the off chance that I might draw into an iNG bingo starting with a C. Whaddayaknow, GW came out of the bag, and with what Nathan was holding if he had blocked the C for few points I would have outscored him in the end. Whew!!!

Nice view of the city from up here. (Though I probably shouldn't mumble that aloud with a half-chewed PowerBar in my mouth--I think it sounds weird.)

Fourth game, nothing exciting until Mark Milan bingoed with oCARINA and I countered with ACIDY from the triple. He challenged, and this gave me a slight lead and the momentum. From a rack of HILMRRU, I knew (C)HIRM opened the triple, but I was hoping for that reverse reverse psychology to come into play. I hoped Mark would challenge based on the logic that he would think that I would think that he would think that I would be emboldened to try a phony after his failed challenged because he'd be to scared to challenge. Got that? But he left it alone and hit the triple with AXEL to pretty much even the game. sTRUMAE (bad play) gave me a good advantage, but Mark held the two final eses, and he was able to set up (BOO)N to bingo on the triple. I didn't not notice that WHIFF was also open for an S hook, so I looked at the tile pool EGIOONRS and tried to work out all the bingos. I managed to come up with everything except ISOGONE, NOOGIES, IGNORES, and I was unsure of ROOSING. Regardless, GELATO blocked everything. Except the WHIFF hook (that I had missed when playing sTRUMAE), of course, which I couldn't do anything about. Had Mark drawn a different tile out of the bag, I would have lost, but he ended up with EROSION, which didn't play. So basically I lucked out. sTRUMAE, as proud as I was of the word, was truly a horrible play.

Streets & Trips showed a place called Cafe Today Five just down Holladay. Learning from experience, I called to make sure the restaurant still existed and was open. But I should have gone further and asked exactly where, because after circling the block twice I still could not see the place. I called back and learned they were inside the Liberty Plaza. Time was running low, too low to find parking and find the place inside the building, so I had to settle for mediocre-to-yucky Burgerville across the street from the Red Lion. Later I would learn Burgerville is a chain, which means I broke my long streak of avoiding fast food burgers. Yuckola!!!

Time was up, so I had to take my lunch back to my game with Michael Baker, who would be none too excited about the prospect of getting grease on his tiles. Before we got started I noticed I had lost my scoresheet from the first two games. As far as I can remember I have all my scoresheets from every tournament game ever, and so I rushed off to find it. I doublechecked my backpack and then went down to the lobby. Took me a while because I had to wait for the elevator. I hate tournament venues that require elevators because the make it impossible to rush off, whether to visit a Starbucks before it closes or just to get outside and scream at the tile gods. I guess you can always scream in the elevator itself, but that tends to freak others out for some reason.

Where Did I Go Wrong?

My game against Michael started off so well, with my finding AC(R)IMONY, and then a 37-point play for 54-point lead and SAUTEED on my rack. But then Michael laid out the FO(O)TRUGs*. The word didn't make sense to me. FOOT, RUG--isn't that redundant? But I can't use that kind of logic when deciding on a challenge, and I really had no basis other than the fact that he had taken several minutes to make the play. So I chickened out, taking 35 for ETUDES, and hoped to draw well for the rest of the game. I didn't.

I found my scoresheet, not in the lobby, not at the Burgerville, but at the Starbucks. I had no recollection whatsoever of having left it there, just like I had no recollection of ever having played Michael before. Early-onset Alzheimer's? For a Scrabble player, the prospect of memory loss is scary like nothing else.

In a game that stayed close through the end of the middle, I gave it up to Bruce D'Ambrosio by first failing to find AIRFiEL(D), which allowed Bruce hit the only line with StATUES, and then failing to find LeNTISK(S). The next day, when Quackle showed me what I missed, I proceeded to let out a low guttural growl of disgust, because I had recently anagrammed that rack and should have remembered that TINKLES has an anagram.

Head starting to hurt, probably from fatigue.

A vicious outdrawing, and my third straight loss, to Mr. Craziest himself, served to turn what had started as a great tournament, at 3-1, into a potential disaster. In the bathroom, D-Man (not the obscure Marvel Comics pseudo-superhero) was feeling none the better. I pointed out that going from 2-1 to 3-4 is not as bad as going from 3-1 to 3-4, but it did not seem like my comment made him feel any better.

I managed to at least even out my record in what ended up being an unmitigated disaster for the poor Mark Milan. My 200+ point win managed to catapult me into third place, but it was the expected ratings boost that I really cared about. That much closer to 1800. Still, since I had already determined that my log would be titled "Spank Dat Ass!", I need a record much better than even in the main event, and some wicked victories to boot.

I was in a hurry to get out towards Hillsboro, but I drove through town instead of around the city in the hopes of finding some grub. Well on the west side I found Pizza Oasis, where the women had, like throughout the rest of Portland, that tattooed hair-dyed artsy look that I love. Unfortunately, my Starbucks t-shirt doesn't get me many points in Portland, especially with these arsty types.

Meanwhile, I had been corresponding with a female from north of Seattle who looked semi-cute in her photos but was quickly accumulating a host of negatives. First, she doesn't watch TV. Next, she had never heard of The Sopranos, which means that she also lives in a cave, given that they have reached cultural iconic status. Next, she works 96 hours a week. And fourth, her latest revelation, she doesn't drive, which meant she could not meet me halfway between Portland and Seattle. Still, I did not regret sending her a copy of the Lost season 1 DVD (from I considered it my duty to get as many people hooked on the show as possible. Though if she really worked 96 hours a week, when would she have time to watch it?

Though not as bad as going 4-4 when I wanted to go 8-0, my evening of Starbucking did not go as planned. I was slower than I had hoped in reshooting stores heading out to Hillsboro. Part of the reason for the delay was my spotting what looked like a really cute redhead walking along Main Street and moving her hips in a provocative manner. I pulled along side and asked where the Starbucks was, just for a chance to talk to her in the hopes that should would ask for a ride. No dice there. A few blocks down, I finished shooting the Starbucks and turned to see the girl, who had caught up. When she spotted me she quickly turned away. I wasn't sure why, but I had a suspicion is was the camera.

Holy cow! Somebody stole the Gateway Arch and hid it in Hillsboro, Oregon!

Choosing to drive straight to Dallas from Hillsboro along state roads turned out to be a mistake. Actually, it was just the first portion, along SR-219 to Newberg, but I lost enough time that I reached Dallas just after 9:00 to find the Starbucks closed. It had crossed my mind that the store might not stay open late on weekends like most stores, but I neglected to call. As a result, I ended up stuck having to wait in Dallas until morning. Not a choice I would have made. Hmmm... Portland? Dallas (the small podunk version)? Portland? Dallas? Boy, that's a tough one. And if I finally decided to find out whether Ecstasy produces memory enhancement and more creative anagramming--where was I going to find a dealer in Dallas? Bah!

September 2, 2006

Since my plan to be back in Portland in the morning for reshoots was foiled by the underperforming nature of Dallas store (or my dawdling), I instead slept as much as I could. I visited the Dallas store, then reshot some in Salem, then up I-5 and I-205.

Ooh, cops in unmarked white mustangs. Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky, and potentially dangerous to my driving record.

Meanwhile, Kink 101.9 continued to satisfy with its mix of music.

Another new store in Clackamas, where I received the dreaded look of disdain from a dour-faced barista.

10:39, and I was getting really hungry. So hungry, in fact, that upon seeing a partially obscured store sign, "RELAX THE BACK", what popped into my mind was "RELAX THE BAGEL".

One more new store at 39th and Holgate, and there the baristas were much more pleasant, and recommended a couple of places where I could find biscuits. One, Fat Alberts, in Sellwood, was too far out of the way. The other, the Original Hotcake and Steak House, did not take pick-up orders on weekends. But it was roughly on the way to the Red Lion, so I headed there anyway and hoped for a short line. The place operated differently than I had expected. No waitstaff. Patrons ordered themselves at the counter and then sat down. The line seemed to be moving quickly, so I decided to wait. Next thing I knew it, was 11:52 when I got my order in. The Red Lion was only 2.2 miles away, but how long would it take to get my food--that was the burning question.

I got my breakfast right around 11:59, and I rushed off to my car in the hopes that I would only lose a few minutes off my clock, or maybe even not at all. I had no idea whether Fontes runs his tournaments like clockwork, or more like Texas tournaments. Unfortunately, as often happens with me, freaky circumstance got in the way. After barely a year of use, my laptop battery had degraded to the point where it held barely 20 minutes charge, if that much. The laptop ran out of power while in the restaurant, and rather than wait for it to boot up again, I burned rubber... and completely failed to realize I could not turn directly from Powell onto Grand. I ended up on the Ross Island Bridge, cursing all the way across the river. My laptop was booted, and I had my map up, but somehow, as if pulled by a giant magnet, I ended up on I-5 southbound!!! AARRGHH!!! I was beyond livid, screaming and pounding the steering wheel even as I looked desperately for an exit. Nearly three miles I had to drive, before I could turn around, and I could see my chances of an early victory disappearing before my eyes.

I rushed up to the playing room to find a little over 18 minutes on my clock. Not bad, except it was Nathan Benedict! Oy!!! Almost blew it right away, with a phony, NONNY*, but Nathan let it go. I've been wondering whether he was unsure, or whether he just wanted to take advantage of the counterplay, 42 for AMEER. But after Q(AN)AT brought me within 12, a fizzled rack, BFGIIIL, allowed Nathan to pull away, and I got that sinking feeling. But miraculously, my seven-tile exchange yielded EELRRTU through a C, and I was back in it. I started to pull away, but it wasn't long, before, as I expected, Nathan came back with ESERINE. We were only seven turns into it, and both blanks were unseen, so it could have gone either way. But the blanks fell my way, and despite Nathan's best efforts, and a brilliant Z set up at the end, I managed to eke out the win. Yes!!!

A won challenge, AN(T)IWEAR, helped me towards my second win, against Marilyn Murray, and then it was on to the oft-troublesome Paul Avrin. I played fine, but I with three plays that exceeded a 4-points equity loss, I can't blame the 12-point loss on anything but me.

I Lost a [Game]

I was so very close to winning my third straight game against Dominick, and then I went and lost it for the silliest of reasons--I miscalled the blank, EeTRAPS*. What's even funnier (not really, and definitely not at the time) is that Dominick had done the same thing against me the previous day, but I hadn't seen it. Grrr... Still, I had the blank, and a well-balance rack. An optimal endgame would have won, but I made three mistakes in a row and paid the price.

The spirit of Nelly manifested itself that morning when the the air-conditioning went out. It was a sunny day in Portland, and the room started to heat up from the light coming in through the same windows that offered such a great view. I wanted to run down to my car for a snack before my next game, but the elevators were out too. Sixth floor. Ouch. I decided to just go ahead and face Craziest for what turned out to be a crazy game indeed. I tried to hook JOE (which I had misplayed) with ABEIRS? for a double-double. I first laid down BRASsie, but for some reason I picked it up and played BAsSIER*. Albert challenged it off, and then, since a bingo was inevitable, he got jiggyy and tried to block with CON(C)EITY*. I figured that's what he was up to, and I slapped that shit right off the board. After my double-double I proceeded to build up a significant lead, but the problem was most of Albert's players weren't shit. Far from it. Dude knows some words. First PIGNOlI, and then E(P)IMERE for 42. E(P)IMERE was gutsy, because there were three eses unseen. Albert gambled I wouldn't have one, and he got paid big time, scoring 57 with STAW on his next turn to catch up. The rest of the game was tense, and I might have won it if I played INSULTS correctly. But I forgot the H, and my misplay gave Albert 48 for HOME/(S)H, and that was enough to win him the game. Stupid SH!

Later I would learn that Craziest had undercounted STAW by a whopping 12 points, so even if I had "won" by a few points in the endgame, I would have lost it in the recount.

Better luck for lunch, a pretty good super burrito from Aztec Willie's (15th and Broadway).

Outside the restaurant were a pair of young womenses, and one of them asked me if I liked good coffee. I was in a hurry to get my food so I just said Starbucks was "good enough", but when I returned I asked Lala why she was asking. She was promoting Peet's (across the street), as I had wondered, but rather worked for an Italian-style cafe named Mio Gelato. Their promotion did not start until Tuesday, but I told Lala I would try to drop by and try the coffee anyway.

Incidentally, Lala and her friend both claimed that Original Hotcake and Steak House is awful and suitable only for the inebriated. I didn't think the pancakes were bad at all. Not stunning, but not bad.

Rebecca Slivka was first up after lunch, and I outdrew the fuck out of her for a 200+ win. Finally, an honest-to-goodness spanking. I'm sure that when I sim that game I'll have given up tons of equity, like trying GLOM(E)RAs when I had no idea if it took an S and no real need to bingo. But hey, when the tiles are good enough win by 200+ points, who gives a fuck how much equity you dropped??? Sure, spread mattered for placing higher and winning the tournament, but with Benedict and Weigand, plus a few other 1800s, in the field, placing wasn't even a serious consideration.

My game with Daniel Goodwin was wacky, to say the least. I exchanged BDDDGRRT, and he played OI. A rocking start. I then play OHM, leaving EOUN, and draw and I and both blanks. Daniel set me up to hook MO for the double-double. I spent about five minutes working through bingos, trying to find the most defensive. I settled on an adjective, ENvIOUs, but I should have focused more on the 3LSs, because Daniel the proceeded to spend all of 2 seconds scoring 50 with (O)X. Grrr... I quickly forgot his play and focused on my rack AEIINRS, but there was nowhere to play it. So I, perhaps for the first time ever excluding an out play, played for one point, (s)I. My announcement elicited a few chuckles from the others. Daniel plays QUERN for 50 to up by 21, and I draw a B!!! I tell myself over and over that BARNIES* is no good, and I resist the urge to just play off the B. I play BR(U)IN both to score and make hitting the TWS off the Q more difficult. No more bingos came down in what became a tight game, and I had moderately better tiles in the end.

Final game of the day was Mark Milan, who was having a miserable tournament. I was expecting him to unleash his frustration all over the board, but having LOOBIES on my opening rack eased my fears some. Mark bingoed back, PERSONAE, but 39 for AZINE and 68 for QUA(R)E pretty much eliminated my worries that I would suffer the curse of the scrub. Mark got close in the end, aSTUTE(L)Y, but I came right back with ERASING, and that was that.

5-3, a good start, a little bit of spanking, and I went away feeling a bit satisfied, but more than anything exhausted. I went over to the Starbucks to get online and massage services that worked late, but after a few minutes I decided I didn't even have the energy to continue looking, let alone actually drive someplace, and I left to find a campground. While listening to a just-ituned song single by The Fray, a strange sadness came over me, and I felt tears starting to well up in my eyes. There was no reason for it. Extreme fatigue sometimes causes me to feel like crying, but I did not think I had reached that extreme yet.

For no particular reason that I'm sure had nothing to do with the women I met earlier, I stopped in at Mio Gelato. I didn't want coffee because I needed to sleep, so I went for a small cup of ice cream. I rarely eat ice cream, but I go out of my way to do it every so often so people won't whisper and say "Watch out for that guy... he doesn't eat ice cream."

Final stop, Wild Oats, for a dose of my latest addiction, pomegranate juice. Expensive stuff, at four or more dollars a bottle. I found myself having to make a conscious effort to cut back. Thinking about it, a bottle of the juice every day over the course of a month would add up to the price of half an hour with a halfway decent hooker.

The weather was cool enough--heat wasn't the problem, like back in Phoenix. And while 5-3 was a decent start, my head was not yet filled with thoughts of winning the event and the associated anxiety. Nevertheless, sleep was hard to come by that night.

September 3, 2006

At 7:17 I knew I hadn't gotten nearly enough sleep. I set my alarm for 8:30, but the fog lifted and I figured I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep. I figured I might as well take some photos and try to survive on caffeine and fake Excedrin. I reshot stores in downtown right until the last minute, stopping only for some victuals, a Top Pot donut from Starbucks, and then a real meal, a bagel sandwich from a cool-looking New York-themed place called Kornblatt's. Instead of bacon they had pastrami to offer. Unusual, but tasty.

You Let Him Know That You Know Best

Took me a bit to find parking, but I only lost a few seconds off my clock, and then proceeded to get into a wild game against Peter Huszagh (aided by the fake Excedrin, no doubt). I countered his opening PLAINtS with CREAK(I)NG only to watch him score 69 with ADZ. I came right back with REFUGEe(S), but even as I played it I cursed myself for not being able to find a play that didn't open the triple line. But I lucked out, and Peter only scored 21 for WAI(R), then 8 for OLIO, while my (L)EVY leaving EIRS led to SORDINE and a 64-point lead. No more bingos or wild plays, and I cruised on to a 90-point win. Not quite a spanking, because it did not meet the 100-point threshold set by the Advisory Board, but I took the win gladly.

How to Save a [Game]

Before the tournament S. Spencer Sun had told me he thought he was overrated at his new peak in the mid-1600s, so I was particularly irked that I was going to get beaten by a barely-expert who, after four turns, had taken a 91-point lead with ROAMING and HEX (61). After finding nothing with some pretty promising racks, DELNOST (missed the B), DELNRST, and GNORRST, my top-simming play of ORT yielded FGJNRSV. Spencer's lead blinded me, and though my rack screamed exchange, I felt I needed to score and played F(LITE)S, the worst-simming play. Quackle doesn't even suggest anything other than an exchange. After a year and a half of simming, I fear I have hardly improved in my ability to choose when to exchange and when to play through.

Then Spencer scored 36 with (V)APOUR and, off his O, 34 with (O)ZONE, to go up 109, while I had not drawn a vowel as I hoped and had to exchange, CGJNNRV. My prospects looked pretty bleak. That's when I got a real break, AIRIEST to cut the lead to 80 (after Spencer's (S)CALY). Over the next four turns I tried to draw into a bingo while there were still open lines. I managed to cut the lead, but not until turn 13 did I have a chance to bingo (had ARGaLIS on 12, but didn't know it). I played (C)IG at B13 to create an additional line, but Spencer blocked it right away with (G)OUT, forcing me to start with an E ((Y)E(T)). The only other line was hooking ORT, but I had a strong (and incorrect) suspicion that it did not take an S. (C)IG had yielded the second blank, and I held ALNRS??. I looked and I look, but I did not see eNSnARLS, and I finally had to give up and start scoring. (PIE)R/(HE)R for 13 cut the lead to 38, and then Spencer gave me a huge break by playing (N)IN*! With two blanks, I had no compunctions about giving my my S for (R)AS/(JOB)S for another 16, and the lead was suddenly just 22. Then I made a mistake and challenged INC(HER)S/(ORT)S, but it worked out in my favor because Spencer emptied the bag, ending up with UNNK. He played (I)NK for 12, and that plus the eighteen from his previous play put him up by 52. But the board was so tight that I was actually able to stick Spencer with the N, and with my six remaining tiles, ADLW??, I was able to score a whopping 61 points to win by 9. I was just as stunned as Spencer doubtlessly was, to lose such a lead by getting stuck with, of all tiles, an N. Too bad for him that neither (TAO)N*, (ERE)N*, or (A)N(NU)* are good

One interesting note--Quackle did not give the crucial N-stick play the highest equity value. Not sure if I'm using it correctly, because I figure it would be able to detect that by computing all possible plays. Regardless, I deem that an N stick and 52-point comeback qualifies as a spanking.

Five-game winning streaks have been unsual in my Scrabble career, and I was really hoping to beat Bruce D'Ambrosio and then have a crack at tying my 7-game record, and possibly breaking it. I did not play horribly, and I found my bingo, SAURIAN, at the first opportunity, to take a 64-point lead with only 17 tiles in the bag. But one those tiles was a blank, and I failed to keep the board closed, and in the end I could not stop Bruce from bingoing out to win by 9.

Was feeling pretty good after spanking Ed Liebfried to the tune of 242 points (with an even draw) to go 8-4, but then I noticed the Division 1 roster and realized I had only played 4 of the top 12 players, which mean my next 8 games were going to be brutal. Der Wieg, Meyer, Saldnha, Baker, Saldanha, Dave Johnson, Van Leunen, and Wolford.

I was about to head out to grab lunch in a hurry when I noticed a line of players and remembered that lunch was provided. Darn, I had missed it the previous day. On the other hand, I had discovered Aztec Willie's. I have never been much of a burrito person, but of late I have discovered a liking for super burritos from quality restaurants.

There was a free seat next to Dominick, but I just grabbed the silverware and left, opting to be antisocial and study some words in the hopes they might help blunt the effects of the beating that I expected would come. I looked at the new sixes and saw the freakiest word, HRYVNA (also HRYVNIA), the currency of the Ukraine. Where do they come up with these words, and how is it pronounced, I wonder?

As I listened to that Fray single again, I felt myself starting to tear up again. I had to wonder if it was something about the melody, or if I was actually sad and didn't realize it.

He Smiles Politely Back at You

Next up was my second meeting with the every-polite, ever gracious Dean Saldanha (as all Canadians should be). I wasted no time in demonstrating how American I am. As soon as I started to lay down my opening JOIST, I saw the snapback. My hands started to pull back, but I realized just as quickly that it would be inane to not make the play because of such a remote possibility. And whaddaya know, Dean had the BAN!!! I couldn't help myself. I ejaculated, "Motherfucker, I knew it!!!" Thankfully, for my sake, I put the occurrence out of my mind and played an excellent game. Other than missing a bingo I don't know, M(A)RAVEDI, I gave up very little equity to the point at which I bingoed three straight times to assure my victory, ABOULI(A)s, COAGENT, and (F)RaILEST. After the game, Dean gave me props for COAGENT, and a week or two later Nick Meyer would too. I was reminded of the time I played DIOPTASE and got no cred at all from Rod MacNeil, Marlon Hill, and Jan Dixon. Now that could mean one of two things--either COAGENT is a harder bingo, or Dean & Nick are nicer than those other rogues. Hmmm...

Days after the game I would experience something strange. I would have a memory of wearing headphones when I made my abrupt exclamation. Of course that makes no sense. I couldn't have been wearing headphones. So how does a false memory like that get into my head? Am I going nuts?

Next up was Opie himself, who always seems to get the better of me on ISC. Well, when I saw my first rack, DEEILOR, I thought it was finally going to be my time. But he came right back with CANA(R)IES, and perhaps that put me on edge and caused me to take a bit of a risk, (E)DIFICeD*. Sounded perfectly plausible, but Ron busted me. So I lost a turn, and then it took me four more to bingo. Who knows--play D(E)IFIC, and I might have bingoed sooner, drawn that second blank, and won the game.

After that game, I was sure glad for that extra fake Excedrin I had taken.

I was deathly afraid of losing another game, and that led me to take a pretty big risk against Alice van Leunen, AURORAN*. That was a pretty tense moment, a game-altering moment, and in the end Alice blinked. My rack-clearing phony yielded the Z for a 40-point M(A)IZE. I missed MO(R)ALIZE and ZIR(A)M for more points, but I extended my lead to nearly 40, pretty comforting with only 14 tiles in the bag and a bingo-unfriendly board. Once I drew the second blank, I was pretty much assured of the win even without a bingo.

Try to Slip Past [her] Defense

Next up was the prodigious little sister, Dielle Saldanha. I found myself at 10-5 with a huge spread and a chance to actually win the tournament. I was feeling hot, and if I could get past Dielle I'd be golden. Yay, verily, the degree to which I wanted to spank that ass could not be overestimated (just ask Nick Meyer). The game, while far from a route, turned out to be pretty exciting, and quite possibly the best time I'd had with a woman in recent memory.

As soon as I played VIG under Dielle's opening QAT, I suspected it would be a tight board. I was right, and there was nothing in the way of excitement until turn 9, when Dielle finally bingoed with REDLINe, but only for 60. I came back with 45 for ZINE, and it was a 10 point game. But REDLINe had opened two TWSs, and Dielle got the second one for 43 to put me at a serious disadvantage. My next play, OLEA, was extremely weak, for two reasons. First, I held the J, the final high-point tile, but did not want to give up a counterplay. (s)AJOU would have done it, but I missed it. Second, I hoped to open a bingo line with OLEA, but I forgot it doesn't take an S. Next turn I chose to gamble, (DEWAX)ER*, and it worked to score a few points and buy me some time. Then on the next turn I took another gamble, and I think I made a breakthrough.

Holding EIJRSU?, I could not see a way to safely play the J or JU or to give myself a safe bingo line. My earlier self would have been loathe to exchange when already 43 points down, or to throw back the J at that point in the game (because she could score with it). But it seemed very unlikely that I would win without a bingo, so I had to do it, I threw back the JU. I drew PD, and I was able to use the P to open a line with (LO)P. And that's where Dielle lost it. With a C on her rack (plus HEADS), all she would have had to do is play any word beginning with C. Instead, she played HEADS for 40 and a 100-point lead. But I finally had the bingo I needed, and a tough choice to boot. Time was ticking, and the first bingo that came to me, FRISkED, only scored 93 points. I also saw FInDERS for 98, but I wasn't sure of LOPER. There were plenty of others, but nerves got to me and I finally just gave up and went with FRISkED, which could have cost me the game. Only the fact that Dielle played JA(R) for 12 saved me. I had drawn two Us, and I had exactly one chance--(X)U for 9 and then (R)U(N) for 5. Had she played JA(R) in a different spot, for 16, or blocked the X, I would have lost instead of winning by 1. As nervous as I had been against Dean, I was positively trembling during that endgame against the little sister.

After the game, my nerves were shot. And my energy was all but drained. I changed my mind about the endgame challenge, and decided to try to get as much rest as possible for the main event. But first, with daylight left, and the ever-elusive prospect of taking that perfect photograph could not be ignored.


After sunset I returned to the city for some healthy foodibles from the natural foods place (including more pomegranate juice, yum) and then retired to the same street as the night before. Later, when I trouble sleeping, I drove around some and finally ended up on the east side not far from Hawthorne, where I needed to photograph a few stores.

A bit of my usual wackiness ensued in the middle of the night when, after picking up my phone to check the time, I dropped it in my cup of pomegranate juice. The phone, of course, went dead immediately, and I quickly removed the battery and hoped that it would be okay when it dried. I was confident it would, but that still left the issue of not having an alarm to wake me on time.

September 4, 2006

Waking up wasn't a problem, but the morning could have been disastrous anyhow. Around 6:35 I squeezed the kiwi, and when I opened my door to dump out the juice I nearly whacked the shit out of a cyclist who happened to be riding by. As I contemplated the near miss I noticed a couple of white pickup trucks careen around the corner from the main street (Stark, I thin) and sped towards me. Next thing I knew one had pulled right behind me, and another in front. The one in front started to back up, as if to block me in, or at least it seemed to. I wasted no time--I pulled out quickly and drove off. I think one of the men got out o his pickup and stared at me driving off, but they did not follow. The whole incident was probably just a conicidence, but in my half-asleep, probably half-dream, state, it's easy to see how I could have imagined the worst.

I found a new parking spot and tried for more sleep, taking it on faith that I would wake up in time. Thanks to good ol' Mr. Sun, I was up around 7:25 and shooting. A good thing, too, because I suddenly remembered that the start time had been moved up to 8:30. Crap. I shot the two stores as quickly as I could and rushed over to Original Hotcake. Despite the opinion of Lala & Co., I was compelled to try the biscuits. I arrived at 8:00 to find just two people ahead of me, a good thing because by 8:11 the line was really starting to grow.

Crap. I can't remember if I arrived on time or not. Hence the need for taking notes.

From the moment I finished playing on Sunday night many of my thoughts had revolved around that pounding that Wiegand was going to unleash upon me. I fully expected that he would be my first opponent Monday morning, so I was rather pleasantly surprised that he was not. Still, former 1900 Nick (not Nicky) Meyer was no slouch, but at least I had beaten him once at club and, after three games, suspected he could be pushed on time if I gained the momentum. Such strategizing turned out to be unnecessary, because I pretty much drew the bag (in Spanish, "la baga"). To Nick's credit, despite drawing only an S, he held me to 31 points.

Both blanks once again, against Dave Johnson this time, and my chances were looking pretty good. Of course, neither Benedict nor Wiegand were giving up any ground, but I hardly cared, as I was convinced I was going to make my 1800 rating!

Of course, my greatest piece of luck had nothing to do with the tiles. It was the fact that I had not yet had to play Dave Wiegand. I had no idea how I had managed to avoid him for 18 rounds, but I was extremely grateful.

Third game of the day, and my amazing luck continued, with both blanks again! Eight power tiles in all, and I walloped Gail Wolford to further healthify my spread.

Meanwhile, Nathan was playing Michael Baker, and I was as eager as everyone else to learn the outcome of that game. I walked by a couple of times to try and read their scoresheets, but neither one of them writes largely and neatly enough for me to tell. Outside, while we waited, there was a healthy debate about whether they were going to Gibsonize Nathan or do straight KOTH, and the merits of each.

Straight KOTH it was, which meant I got Goodwin, and a chance at second if I won and Dave lost. A final outdrawing would have been ridiculous, but nevertheless I still could have had the better of Goodwin if I had played the endgame correctly. What bugs me most about the lost is that I think my endgame strategy was sound. Thanks to a couple of good words, PlISKIE and A(JO)WAN, Daniel was up 42 (actually 43) going into the endgame. Looked pretty bad, but so did his tiles. In this position, there is a play, other than my HAR(L) that would have won the game. And given all the equity I gave up leading up to this point, I definitely should have won.

Back to Aztec Willies' for lunch, where I made the mistake of ordering the spicy chicken burrito. I've never been able to take spicy foods, and I've always felt bad about that, feeling that any true Hispanic male should be able to handle the hottest of peppers, straight up. And this chicken wasn't even that spicy, yet I could feel my mouth burning. I could feel my coefficient of machismo dropping, as real men can eat raw chili peppers without even blinking.

And You Begin to Wonder Why You Came

First up in the late bird was Allan Simon, and it looked like my amazing luck was about to make an abrupt turnaround as Allan exchanged 6 and drew into D(E)FINItE. I decided to try and push him around with IRO(N)IZER*, but he wasn't going for it. Then AX for 40, and two turns later CLAWS hooked to DEFINItE (phony, but I had to let it go) for a 91-point lead. My DEBAR/(IRONIZE)D for 34 gave him YU(R)T for 33, and then I drew the blank but had to dump Q(I) for 11 (EILNO?). I finally bingoed with OLEFINs, still down by 43, but that's when my luck turned. Allan only came back with 11 for NOR (not giving me the R at A8 I needed for (R)EMOVERS), and I began to catch up, finally taking the lead with THERM(E) at A1. The pool looked pretty bad, and I could have easily drawn dreck, but despite Allan's drawing the J and remaining S, my more balanced tiles won the endgame. Funny thing is, I only guessed at THERME because of ISOTHERM. But ISOTHERME* is no good. I knew I had caught a break, for sure, but I could sense that I had overstayed my run of good tiles and should have gotten while the getting was good.

My luck reversal continued, and got worse. Bruce hooked CARTONS to my MUNI and then did something weird. I played (C)RAZY, and he tried F(Y)OT*! I challenged it off, not even suspecting what he might have been up to. He says it wasn't his plan, but my B(R)IE gave him a hook for FOOTING. Then we played off a W and drew into GOITERS. Meanwhile, nothing was working out for me. After crazy, scores of 27, 18, 25 (for the J), 23 (for the Q), 14, and 19. And then Bruce hit again with (D)EtOURED, and I was screwed. No bingo chances at all, even with blank, except near the end, ENcHAI(N)E(D). Wouldn't have won the game, but it would have been nice.

Somewhere Along in the Bitterness

Third game, third time my opponent, Karen Merrill this time, led with an early bingo. And a really harsh one at that, ZINCaTE. Then she got greedy and tried DESK/(ZINCATE)D, and I started a long, slow, crawl to even the game. And just as I came within 4 points, blam, she bingoed again with DINNERS. And then again with (T)RILOBEd. I was pretty irritated, not just at the game, but at not having cut my losses and left when I was sure my good luck couldn't continue.

As He Begins to Raise His Voice

As (mildly) peeved as I was for having stayed, my next opponent was Paul Avrin was practically seething, having a much worse time of it at 0-3. I kinda felt bad, but more than anything I just didn't want to play him, because his lowered rating from the main even was going to factor negatively into my new rating. And despite his lowered rating, he was still an 1800 player around a year ago, and he knows a lot of words. Low rating + solid skills = a dangerous combination. Thankfully, I eked out a 4 point win (very lucky, given that I let him get away with a ridiculous phony, AGONIzE(R)), and I was able to leave with some hope that I hadn't completely lost all the ratings points I had gained.

Drive Until You Lose the Road

No time to dwell on the LB however. I had to rush off immediately and try to get a standby seat on the last Southwest flight back to Oakland. The trip to the airport went smoothly, as did the rental car return, and check-in. As I approached security, I contemplated what to do with my toothpaste. It was only 50 cents at Wal-Mart, but ever cheap as I am, I kept trying to think of ways to hang onto the tube. From a strictly scientific perspective, the idea of insert the tube up my rectum was tempting, just to find out what would happen. But I finally decided that I didn't want to be that cheap, and I tried just leaving it in my pocket. Worked like a charm. I guess the machine we go through won't detect that. Weeks later, the TSA would lift the ban on small liquids, and the issue became moot.

No luck with Southwest however. The flight was full, and my only chance was for somebody not to show up. I waited until boarding was completed. When all the C group passengers had boarded, the representative called me up. He said they were waiting on one passenger, "David", and if he did not show I would get on. Unfortunately, "David" showed, and I was stuck out. As I walked back towards the main lobby to retrieve my pillow and blanket, I happened to glance to my right and see an Alaska Airlines electronic sign that read Oakland, 8:05. Hmmm... it hadn't even occurred to me to try another airline. In fact, my first thought was whether it would be worth it to get my refund, rent a car one-way, and make the drive. I walked up to the Alaska counter and made inquiries. Two seats left, and at $145, a price comparable to Southwest. It took about five minutes, but they issued me a refund, and I promptly bought a ticket on that 8:05 flight and saved myself a night at the airport. Isn't a America a great country, where a person can just buy a plane ticket on the spur of the moment like that?

September 5, 2006

After bragging to a coworker about how I'd come in third and hit 1800 to qualify for Division 1, my curiosity/anxiety about whether I'd truly hit that mark got the better of me, and I turned to the ratings calculator, something I had not done regularly in about a year. I was sure the post Early Bird estimate, 1719, was accurate, but since all my opponents' ratings changed for the main event, and the main event was rated in two parts, I expected it to be off. But I wasn't expecting to see 1780. No!!! Even with the inccuracies, I did not expect the true rating to end up above 1800. Which means that the points I lost in the Late Bird were significant, and points that I would need to regain in order to cross over 1800. AARRGHH!!!

September 6, 2006

S. Spencer Sun, bless his heart, posted a link to the cross tables that Fontes had sent him. My hands trembled with anticipation as I clicked. My eyes blinked fervidly (boy, that's really bad writing) as they jumped around the screen, finally zeroing in on the magic number. 1800!!! Exactly!!! ZOWIE!!! Amazing! Unbelievable! My sense of relief was great indeed. I had to explain the meaning of the rating to a coworker who probably did not understand, and surely cared not a whit.

September 7, 2006

I finally got around to calling Enterprise again and asking that they notify the previous renter about his lost camera. Once again the representative suggested I mail the camera back to Enterprise. Dumbfuck! Not only would that cost twice the postage, but I wasn't about to ship off a $160 camera without knowing for sure it would get in the hands of its owner.

Lay Down a List of What Is Wrong

39.2 lose turn  
4.7 P(I)TA  
6.7 Q(I)  
0 EH  
0 THERM(E)  
0 GI(B)  
15 BETRAY BYE (set up A(BYE))
0 P(I)  
1.2 MUNI  
17.5 (C)RAZY  
1.6 B(R)IE  
1.3 (I)VY  
11.1 L(Y)E  
0 J(O)  
0.7 QU(AI)  
2.8 (W)A(V)E  
10.4 DENI  
9 BENT(O)  
19.8 (F)LIP  
19.1 (L)AM  
14.3 (R)OC  
35.6 CUVE(E)  
0 GAU(C)HE  
9.6 VIT(A)E  
3.5 IONI(Z)E  
0.6 PUD M13  
0 FID  
8.6 MEM  
25.6 (F)ATTEN (worst) (F)ANJET
0 HAJ  
6.5 (Q)UOD  
4.5 V(O)X  
0 JOYS  
0 WE  
0 ZEST  
2.4 (WE)RE  
3.2 P(I)TH  
34.9 LIP  
15.9 GRU(E) mistracked Y
8.6 U(G)H  
0 AID  
9.8 NONNY*  
0 Q(AN)AT  
9.6 -FIIILBG  
1.1 DIXI(T)  
0.1 GRoSSED  
10.2 NODE  
23.5 FL(E)Y  
65 F(I)SC missed Nate's ZA setup
0 B(AA)eD  
0.2 AGEE  
5.7 TIC(K)LE  
0 VEN(A)E  
2 MUNC(H)  
7.1 (W)HO  
9.6 EXODOI  
17 QuASI  
0 FRAY  
0 MUST  
65.4 RESoRT no way!!!
0 L(E)T  
3.1 AXON  
3.2 (D)INO  
7.2 K(A)LIF miscalc score
0 (V)OW  
0 METO(P)IA*  
3.9 ADIEUS  
0 BRR  
0 DOG  
1.3 -LQST  
16 TUP  
15.3 H(U)G  
0 T(ON)G  
0 FLAK  
0 V(U)GGY  
0 (A)MP  
8.2 HINT  
5.6 ABID(E)  
0 FINE  
23 miscall blank  
0 (C)AP  
7.7 RE(BA)RS  
12.7 J(I)NN(I) JE(E) (risky!!!)
28 (W)O(O) forgot (WRITE)R
2.5 JOE 8H JOE 8G
--- lose turn but so does Albert  
0.5 BRASsIE  
5.3 HARE  
1.8 BIOTI(C) ABIOTI(C) no! no! no! danger!!!
3.5 ZAG  
0 LOW  
2.1 RAY  
7.6 (A)QUAE (T)OQUE (did I not see it, or choose elsewise?)
1.9 LILO  
4.1 INSULTS chose wrong place
26 lose turn  
0 OF  
6.4 ROSEN*  
10.6 FAU(V)E FO(L)EY
0 VOW  
8.1 YOD  
0 (HI)TS  
0 P(AI)N  
5.2 -BDDDGRTT keep RT?
3.9 MHO HO
0.4 ENvIOUs  
9.9 (s)I  
2 BR(U)IN  
16.3 ASPER  
9.7 TONIC  
0 WOOF  
11.6 VINAL UNLIV(E) unsure
4.1 HADE  
11.1 AR  
4 BLUET BL(AWE)D unsure
0 T(AWE)D  
0 WOO  
3.8 QUA(R)E QUA(R)T (why?)
0 LU(P)IN  
0 RIDDL(E)  
16.5 ERASING  
7.3 (L)EVY  
1.5 (F)AVA  
0 NORI  
1 HON(E)D  
15.3 ENS  
0 JE(E)  
19.7 BI block line
26.2 (HO)W  
6 LA  
0.7 DELT  
0 ORT  
18.2 F(LITE)S exchg anything
1.9 -CGJNNRV  
7 PIE PEH (need open board)
8.8 (Q)I(S) ERVIL (play fewer tiles to extend game)
14 VOE EVIL,OVER (no idea why)
13.2 (C)IG ARGaLIS
14.2 (PIE)R unsure of (ORT)S,miss eNSnARL
13.4 (R)AS  
24 lose turn  
0 (I)N ignore Quackle, need to stick N
0 W(AE)  
0 t(WEEDY)  
1 (HAEM)s  
0 (GO)D  
4 (B)A  
0 L(IN)  
0 WI(Z)  
10.5 (J)IMP  
5 T(Y)KE  
7.5 EMBED  
3 (T)OLLS  
0 CARD  
5.8 VA(N)S  
7.3 VO(G)IE  
25.8 WAX  
0 E(T)IC  
3.8 LOGO  
9.9 EON  
2.7 COILED  
9.1 QUI(P) QUIET (risky)
6.3 A(W)A(I)T  
0 MINI  
0 XU  
2 AYIN  
2.2 RALPH  
0 (WE)T  
0 (QUAKE)S  
0 FE  
0 (A)L(E)  
0 (V)IZOR  
3.6 (R)E(D)RAW  
0.5 (F)RaILEST  
9.8 OUG(H)T block line
6 ORE  
0.4 REOILED J4  
41.9 lose turn C(O)DIFIeD
6.5 DIF  
0.7 COKED  
3.2 -ABIIU  
13.2 MINT(Y) ZIT/(AD)Z
0 -RRUVW  
0 ZA  
7.6 TIS  
0 (W)E  
1.4 JEE 8G  
8.8 LINE  
0.2 UNSIgNE(D)  
0 OY  
3.2 QI(S)  
7.3 AURORA(N)*  
59.8 M(A)IZE MO(R)ALIZE,ZI(R)AM (how did I miss these???)
0 eX(ER)T  
2.9 VIG  
3.3 BRAT  
0 TRUN(K)  
7 MOL(T)ER  
0 HO  
2.7 TENIA  
5.5 U(N)FIT  
9.2 DE(WAX)  
13.1 ZINE  
17.3 OLEA (s)AJOU,(s)OJA (avoid giving J counterplay)
8 (DEWAX)ER*  
0 -JU  
17.8 (LO)P (I)D,PIED (???)
0 (X)U  
0 (R)U(N)  
0 NIX  
48.5 KITH (A)ZUKI (saw but thought it was ADZUKI)
10.8 BAM  
0 (A)DOZE  
12.2 YAR  
0 JU(D)O  
2.1 MO(W)ED  
4.1 EURO  
27.1 SLaSHER  
2.7 WIG  
21 QUIET(ER)  
0 (ZA)G  
0 ABA  
17.8 EF  
0.8 iRONERS  
3.2 VAN(E)  
4.3 GOOSED  
4.2 DATO  
0 X(E)NIC  
0.2 MED  
0 KORE  
0 OF  
0.5 ETESIaN  
0 BET  
12.1 HO(P)E (BET)H leaves EGOSU?, but tight board
0 S(I)Z(Y)  
11.3 V(UM)  
42.7 (R)ung seems awful high
16 lose turn  
0 BU(N)TeR  
0 QAT  
5.7 O(G)EE exch OEEEI
3.7 TEENIEr  
4.1 (P)REZ (P)RIZE (few Es left)
0 IF  
49.6 ACID AECIDIA (missed (rE) hook)
0 FE  
39.2 lose turn  
4.7 P(I)TA  
6.7 Q(I)  
0 EH  
0 THERM(E)  
0 GI(B)  
15 BETRAY BYE (set up A(BYE))
0 P(I)  
1.2 MUNI  
17.5 (C)RAZY  
1.6 B(R)IE  
1.3 (I)VY  
11.1 L(Y)E  
0 J(O)  
0.7 QU(AI)  
2.8 (W)A(V)E  
10.4 DENI  
9 BENT(O)  
19.8 (F)LIP  
19.1 (L)AM  
14.3 (R)OC  
35.6 CUVE(E)  
0 GAU(C)HE  
9.6 VIT(A)E  
3.5 IONI(Z)E  
0.6 PUD M13  
0 FID  
8.6 MEM  
25.6 (F)ATTEN (worst) (F)ANJET
0 HAJ  
6.5 (Q)UOD  
4.5 V(O)X  
0 JOYS  
0 WE  
0 ZEST  
2.4 (WE)RE  
3.2 P(I)TH  
34.9 LIP  
15.9 GRU(E) mistracked Y
8.6 U(G)H  
0 AID  

Average Equity Loss Per Turn (using Quackle 0.92)    

1 - 4.7 (66)
2 - 5.7 (92.2)
3 - 3.7 (45.2)
4 - 9.6
5 - 4.9 (54)
6 - 12.7 (190.1)
7 - 9.8
8 - 3.7

Avg: 6.9

1 - 10.5 (136.1)
2 - 8.2 (107)
3 - 3.4 (51)
4 - 6.6
5 - 2.9
6 - 5.8 (81.2
7 - 6.2 (92.6)
8 - 2.5
9 - 7.6 (106.9)
10 - 4.7 (103.3)
11 - 5.1 (66.2)
12 - 4.1 (65.2)
13 - 6.3 (69)
14 - 6.7 (101)
15 - 15.6 (218.8)
16 - 5.8 (86.8)
17 - 9.9 (128.5)
18 - 4.7
19 - 5.9 (82.6)
20 - 10.8

Avg: 6.1

1 - 6.0 (84.5)
2 - 9.6
3 - 13
4 - 9.3 (130)

Avg: 9.5

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