Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Come-back: did you know....

Trying to get back on track, folks...
I did have some sort of vacation (holidays in Brit-speak) in hospital. It was very valuable, in terms of putting things into perspective. But not much to do with bridge, so I will spare you the details and accompanying musings. I am alive and very much kicking, and (attempting)getting back. I might use a powerful kick in the b*** to get into my happy-puppy-player-TD-entertainer (no Joplin bridge tune?)-mood&mode, though... You can do this via the chat toy or posting a comment.
In a nutshell for the curious ones? I moved back to my hometown (Rousse) for good, putting an end to a stage (at least) in my academic career. I am still working at the (local) university here but the switch is somewhat painful (very different milleau), difficult (time-consuming) but NEVERTHELESS a great challenge (and challenges make me tick, even if only like a clockwork orange). The students are terrific, absolutely so; the colleagues are fantastic; I have solved some of the logistic problems (i.e. I don't have to commute 115 km to get to work; I just walk for 5 minutes and voila!)
but... Maybe the problem is I hate to say good-byes (just a tune I love; not some kinky twist on an Oedipal complex with the Alma); or the effort to re-adjust is taking its toll.
Enough of that bitching... I am happy, even if a bit anxious - and quite a bit tired, too.
The happiest discovery of late is that days CAN be stretched to have 27 hours 36 minutes.
* 06.00 - 08.00 having a shower & coffee + cooking breakfast for family + reading/preparing lesson plans - coefficient 1.5 cos I am doing it simultaneously => I gain 1.5 hours minimum
* teaching, on average 4 hours a day; at least 10% of the time, while the kids are doing written exercises, I am checking other kids' tests => 36 minutes plus
* fitness - 1 hour a day - I listen to lectures on the mp3 player while sweating on the treadmill; now this is a gold-mine, time-wise - another 1 hour gained yeah!
* the "gig" that actually pays the bills - 3 hours a day of stand-by translation; when I am not busy, I write my lesson plans, respond to emails etc - about 1 hour plus.
The problem? I have to be careful when crossing streets! BUT if I manage to find a water-proof mp3 player, I would be able to add at least 20 minutes of some lectures to the day.
If I weren't such a stupid disorganised git (like Sir Walter Raleigh), I might stretch the day to accommodate at least 48 hours - but, hey, I am getting there!
Adding a clip, because it is soooo funny :)
Any suggestions/ideas (chocolates in the mail - pls, only the very black, no sugar, no milk, no nonsense variety only, very much please!) welcome!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Still alive, and

even kicking. Though there is no time to play, whenever I get the chance, I resort to bridge - this time testing some options for live video embedding. The picture is blurry, the audio is even worse, but hey, it is a start. Miss you, all - and, hopefully, see you around soon!

Second attempt:
Second attempt, embedded (huh... I hope):

If you see a broken icon, it means you don't have the Flash plug-in installed. Hm, now I wish I could find out how to add the start/pause/stop buttons.
P.S. Fixed! Not a very elegant solution but it works - press the green arrow to start the clip.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Summer Wine Indy

It was meant to be restricted to a small, 20 max, friends-only indy, sort of a get-together party (and so I could play too!) but I typically forgot to set the friends-only restriction when opening the tourney, and before I knew it, the 20 slots were taken. But, optimistically, we got to meet new people and it was fun, without any incidents, barring the odd disconnection. Surely a tourney like the one on the picture below is a nice sight to behold :)

Congratulations to the winners:

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Springold 2007 on BBVu

The Springold 2007 Knockout Teams is being broadcast on BBO Vugraph this week. I was lucky to run into the match between the Cayne Team (Versace - Lauria; Fantoni - Nunes today) and the Mahaffey Team.
I tried to google up more on the history of Springold but among the numerous interesting sites that came up, nothing was making sense for this problem exactly. The mystery was solved by cardpotato (a great guy who enjoys helping old ladies like me cross the street), who suggested this link . Springold is just one of the many events in the Nashville NABC 2007.
For a complete schedule of BBO vugraph broadcasts, please check here.

P.S. Paul, i know you are reading this - so here's something for you. :)

Joye Silver (BBO ME argent) was one of the commentators in the Open Room (where Fantoni and Nunes were playing). And, no, I didn't persuade him to change his level to "novice"! Looks like it is contagious enough! ;)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tournaments, unplugged

Saturday was my personal black day for tournaments, both as a TD and a player,with all the usual issues blown out of any sensible proportion. It never fails to amaze me why rude, antisocial people ever take to bridge at all. I am still at a loss what the particular offence, "native goat roper" is supposed to mean, for example. It may well be that I should better remain in blissful ignorance about it.
Life, however, can be so sweet on the funny side of the street. It took me several days to stop sulking, and see everything from a new perspective.
Top auction:

Top alert:

Top lesson:

The multi is my pet-peeve. I would hate to get repetitive but the problem of abusing multi keeps raising its upgly head over and over.

Top reason for calling TD to a table:
Please, tell my partner to stop drinking beer! During the previous tourney he told everyone "Cheers!" instead of "glp"!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Minibridge, anyone? :)

Well, this is my latest discovery (as in discovering the wheel...). I have always been curious about minibridge, especially since it seemed to be a more natural way to introduce an already keen, very cute 8-year old to bridge (and, hopefully, he will realise sooner than me that bridge is not a computer game!).
BBO offers minibridge as an option but whenever I tried to make a table, noone joined. So yesterday I was lucky to hop into the 4th seat and actually play some! Gosh, I loved it! Here is how you play it: you count your points and press the appropriate button; then you look at the combined point count for both pairs.

The pair with less than 20 hcp become defenders (if both sides have 20, you just redeal). The person in the other pair that has more hcp is able to see partner's hand, and, after analysing the hcp power and distribution declares - yes! just declares - a contract (there is a menu between the play zone and the chat zone):

It feels very unusual, and is in fact great fun :)))
Apart from being a fun way to introduce kids to the game, I thought it might actually be a great tool for beginners (and obnoxious novices) because you can practise declarer techniques and counting. For defenders, as well - counting partner's hand is slightly easier but nevertheless quite a challenge - well, at least for me!

In fact, I liked it so much I will continue researching this topic!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Happy Birthday to TD ah que!!!
Many happy returns of the day, and many fun tourneys! Be very very happy!

original designs by JGoode at