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Journal of No. 118


May 31st, 2004

Maxicon @ 03:18 pm

Current Mood: Memorialized

Pat (and Eleanor and Tanya) once again opened their house to hordes of gamers for Memorial Day weekend. Rebecca and I showed up on Saturday evening and immediately got involved in helping Kirsten with dinner, namely setting up the grills so veggies and meats could be heated for use in the construction of burritos. We had also brought along some chopped jalapeno, serrano and habanero peppers with a helpful sign outlining their relative hotness in Scoville units.


So while I nursed the coals into flame, Morgan was running his physical games in the backyard. They were all very amusing... he did a great service in the cause of Maxicon. When we arrived, he had linked people together by means of some cord 'handcuffs': a loop of cord about each wrist connected by cord. The object was to unlink yourself from your companion. The solution thwarted people for a good long time. As I dealt with coals and grilled veggies, I turned the problem over in my mind. If the handcuffs were absolutely tight, then the topology of the problem was the same as two linked solid rings.... no way to extricate yourself. So the solution (if any) depended on the fact that there was a loop about each wrist. I closed my eyes and imagined elastic deformations of the topology. Eventually, the solution presented itself. I felt like Sherlock Holmes for having intuited the solution without even having touched a rope. I'm not sure I've described it well enough, but this page has a description and nice animated GIF of the solution that looks very much like my own internal image.

The veggies and meat having spent their time on the grill, it was time for a burrito. I dumped a few tiny fragments of habanero on mine, and it was indeed a tear-filled delight to eat it. Not long afterward, it was time for my game, very loosely based on Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels... in particular, Jurisfiction, the internal police force of literary characters protecting literature from being unduly altered by malefactors. The players were Rebecca (Count Dracula), Aaron (Conan), Kirsten (Wendy Darling), Chun (Athos the Musketeer), Laura (Lessa of Pern) and Dan (Dr. Watson). I sent them on a nice chase after the One Ring, sending them through the Fellowship of the Ring, Beowulf, The War of the Worlds, the Odyssey, The Voyage of the Beagle, a limerick, an instruction manual, a Chinese fortune cookie fortune, and finally Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. As in _The Jane Eyre Affair_, I thought I'd let my agents tinker with the ending of Rebecca, producing something that readers preferred to the 'original' text.
The adventure really went excellently well. The players enjoyed being various literary characters, and I managed to string things together into something wildly enjoyable, despite most of it being pulled out of my butt at the last minute. I gave an excellent speech as Bilbo, who had been duped by Mrs. Danvers. That was my own personal high point. But I think most everyone had a good time, even if the whole thing didn't make a lot of sense.

After that, I chatted and played a little Set and a little Pit and suddenly it was 4 AM. Hit the sack.... woke up by the brilliant Santa Clarita sun at 7:30 and started a new day. Rebecca and I wandered off to get away from all the icky gamers and got some breakfast in town. Came back and played a couple hours' worth of Rich's Pax Romana. I liked the overall gameplay, but I think it could use some more variety.

Then to Ian's Something or Other, which turned out to be Og. As Ung, I had a pretty successful day... I managed to get my intelligence raised through the action of strange alien technology, and I'm certainly the prehistoric human with the largest Pilot Alien Spacecraft skill in the entire world. It's perhaps too bad that I finally landed the ship (managing to get back to Big Rock) a few thousand miles from out home cave. Hopefully. we'll convince the locals we are gods and live a life of luxury for the remainder of our nasty, brutish and short lives. Me Make Cave Fly. Fly Fly Fly. Me Fly-Cave Go Fly Bang Small Smelly Me You Thing Fly-Cave. Fly Fly Fly. Fly Small Suns. Go Fly Me-You Cave? Go Fly Big Rock. Big Rock You-Me Cave. Small Smelly You-Me Things Make Sun Fire Me-You Cave. Go Big Rock. Strangely enough, when you've played Og a few times, all that sounds perfectly reasonable.

Then I ditched Pat's hentai game for Chun's Devil game. My tolerance for loud shouting had been killed by Og! and lack of sleep, so I wasn't sure I could handle Hentai. I probably should have stayed. Anyway, the devil game was all right and I wound up as one of the right-hand men of Beelzebaal, so it was successful enough.

Finally, I sat down at the poker table and sobered up enough to drive home at the same time that I got too tired to drive. I did okay. If I hadn't misplayed one hand, I would have come out ahead, but I think the sleep deprivation really got to me. The game broke up around 12:30 AM, and I was $1.15 down. GIven my Thursday and Friday leading up to the weekend, I think I got about 15 hours sleep in 4 days.

Drove back home, slept blessedly in bed and woke up to house-y chores. Rebecca mowed and edged, while I snipped and raked and trashed. Another trashcan full of plant-y matter has been created. Rebecca wanted to go to the local BBQ place to pick up some ribs, but Memorial Day seems to be a big day for them. They were closed all day yesterday cooking up the orders that were placed on Saturday. And there were a line out the door for other people. So Becca gave it a miss and drove by Phat and Juicy Burgers, which was closed, so we would up ordering some pizza, which went well with a Los Olivos Pinot Noir that cost significantly more than our pizza.

Now to enjoy the remnant of the weekend.............
 
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Comments

 
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 1st, 2004 03:19 pm (UTC)

Rope tricks

(Link)
I did the rope trick you mentioned with my AP Physics students today. I had some GREAT laughs!! If you've seen the SciFi channel commercial with the wrestlers, some of the students were remeniscent of it. Thanks for the idea!!

-Judy
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:June 1st, 2004 05:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Rope tricks

(Link)
awesome possum. Glad it was fun!

Journal of No. 118