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Rack and Ruin

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Nth Pliskie




Skipped Back 10

January 4th, 2011

Amusement of the day


January 1st, 2011

Famine: Confirmed!


winterene's ratings change per game played at tourneys that other players have attended (in 2010, minimum 5 tourneys)


Name	         Famine Per Game
1. Brian Bowman      -3.89	
2. Jim Fonti	     -3.34	
3. Janet Elliott     -3.25	
4. Jason Idalski     -2.59	
5. Karl Higby	     -2.44	

I encourage everyone to Find Their Own Famine.

(edit: you can remove the "y=xxxx" field if you want to determine lifetime famine)

December 27th, 2010


(Well, at least until my rating is higher than his.)

December 20th, 2010


"The word “solstice” ... reflects what we see on the first days of summer and winter when, at dawn for two or three days, the sun seems to linger for several minutes in its passage across the sky, before beginning to double back."


I can barely think of anything right about that paragraph.

What actually happens is that, in the days before the Winter Solstice, the Sun rises farther and farther south of east each morning until, for a few days running, it rises at more or less the same spot. Then it starts rising farther and farther north again. The sun doesn't "linger" anywhere, nothing happens "for several minutes", and it doesn't "double back" except over a course of days.

I realize this is an Op-Ed, but c'mon, NYTimes, don't you have editors?

December 16th, 2010


Coddled North American players may be happy in their childish little sandboxes playing BURRITO, but the real money and international recognition is in CHIMICHANGA.

The strategy is much more complex: Do I play CHI? Do I play MI? Do I play CHANG? Do I play ANGA? Try to phony with CHAN*?

Endless, endless possibilities.

December 15th, 2010


Got no idea.


As I was sitting at Starbucks yesterday, a woman and her [grown] daughter came in with a SCRABBLE set. I of course had to bounce over and say, "hey, there's a club in Worcester! it meets tonight!" Both seemed excited to hear about it. They encouraged me to hover and kibitz a little, and the daughter at one point had EINOSSS on her rack and found the common bingo. However, it was homeless as a 7. She asked me what I would do, but I wasn't allowed (by Mom) to say "play (C)ESSIONS" down from the C for 72!". So I hemmed and hawed a little, talking in generalities about leave vs. score, etc., etc.

And then she played SESSION(AL) from the triple for 80.

So okay, okay, she double-checked the word before playing.... in the spiral-bound OCTWL they had with them. I goggled and said, "wait, what? NOBODY has that! Where did you get that!?" (It was OCTWL1, mind you). Oh, the mom said, "I used to play with some guys in Framingham a long while back." And she had a printed book/list of all of the fours. Again: OWL1.

So who knows? Maybe they'll play more and drop nines on us like acid rain from the firmament.

December 7th, 2010

Winter: please have someone strap you into a chair, Clockwork-Orange-style, before reading this simple little item:


Sorry, man.

November 24th, 2010

Baseball trivia

About what topic did Commissioner Bowie Kuhn receive more mail in 1973 than he did about the American League’s addition of the designated hitter to the game that season?
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