Archive for January 2011
(Saturday 8:30am) Just got a phone call from Elaine Glowniak who has been forced to cancel her Hudson weekend. No, strangely enough, not by thearctic-like weather in Ortonville, but by a faulty electrical system which keeps the drinking water for her chickens from freezing. “To come to Hudson, attractive as it is, would be a death sentence for my chickens,” she moaned softly. “Oh, darn!”
(Sunday 8:43am) 15 hardy souls turned out to compete for a share of the riches of Scrabble (copyright til you die) in Hudson. I should be ashamed of myself for playing so horribly but I was way too busy having fun to notice (yeah, right!) the psychic pain of losing.
The world of Summit Open XXVIII standings after Round 7 according to Dan Stock!
Place. Name (Seed): Won-Lost,Cume — Rating Before ± Change => Estimated
1st. Daniel Stock (#2): 5-2,+743 — 1664 + 8 => 1672
2nd. Lou Cornelis (#1): 5-2,+678 — 1888 – 9 => 1879
3rd. Heather Steffy (#4): 5-2,+221 — 1551 + 12 => 1563
4th. Connie Breitbeil (#8): 5-2,-40 — 1262 + 54 => 1316
5th. Lilla Sinanan (#5): 4-3,+407 — 1445 – 14 => 1431
6th. Pat Hardwick (#11): 4-3,+122 — 1155 + 15 => 1170
7th. Walter Konicki (#13): 4-3,+21 — 1115 + 44 => 1159
8th. Pete Zeigler (#3): 4-3,+1 — 1584 – 3 => 1581
9th. Michael Bassett (#10): 4-3,-49 — 1164 + 8 => 1172
10th. Kevin McCarthy (#6): 4-3,-98 — 1433 + 0 => 1433
11th. Terry Oblander (#9): 3-4,+19 — 1261 – 21 => 1240
12th. Joyce Stock (#14): 3-4,-204 — 865 + 10 => 875
13th. Frank Lee (#7): 2.5-4.5,-20 — 1315 – 23 => 1292
14th. Christopher Sheppard (#12): 2-5,-482 — 1117 – 25 => 1092
15th. Drew Perry (#15): 1.5-5.5,-517 — 855 – 17 => 838
16th. Daniel Roll (#16): 0-7,-802 — 495 – 27 => 468
Scrabble in Flint, Michigan, in November, 2010. Celebrate yule with fle’s family on the west side in Lansing.
Celebrate yule with Danny Schey at Taqueria La Rosita on McGraw near Danny’s home in Detroit.
And so it went, the weekend, November 19, 20, 21, & 22, spent in a state of ecstasy, or was it the state of Michigan?
A few weeks later in January CB and I headed back out of Cincinnati toward New Year’s celebration with my daughter and step-daughter and their families in Lansing, Scrabble (copyright til you die) in Flint and a luncheon visit with Danny in Detroit.
Eighteen hardy souls ventured out on Michigan snow paths and ice ponds to bang heads 12-14 inches above Scrabble (copyright til you die) boards (especially engineered to pamper faces felled by the sheer weight of the words they support). Flint, Michigan. The Courtyard by Marriott.
Not an easy place to find; not an easy place to leave if you’ve dedicated 2 1/2 decades of your life becoming addicted to a game which, much like other forms of gambling, virtually guarantees loss, heartache and plummeting self-esteem bastioned up very occasionally by victory, victory which the snickering gods of the tilebags hand out knowing the victors do not know that for each victory there shall surely follow 27.231 humiliating defeats.
In any event, we Scrabble (copyright til you die) addicts gathered in a small room and pumped out seven games in two divisions.
Mark Garrod, wearing his Michigan State sweatshirt and sporting a new near-beard, beat hell out of opponents in the top division (5-2) to take home the money and a grin that will surely last for a while.
Steve Knapp, lately transplanted to Northville MI from the cereal capital of the world, came in 2nd, also with a 5-2.
Over in my own group 2, I was the third-rated player and finished third to the tune of 40 bucks! Of course, I gave away one and lost another (to Mike Stafford) by one point, should have won it all! Should have. 5-2.
Elaine Glowniak whipped the crowd into blind obedience much like a lion trainer keeping her surly charges in line until Connie Breitbeil (CB) discovered and exploited weaknesses in the 7th and final game, defeating Elaine by more than a hundred points, but Elaine would not be deprived and survived (6-1) to win a caboodle of cash and 1st prize bragging rights for another moment or two.
The win over Elaine gave CB the number 2 place. She also had 5-2 with a cume of 400 plus.
Mike Stafford used the tournament to practice his dexterity with the clock, stopping his clock at exactly minus 1:00 in our game, enough to give him, in a recount, a one-point win. He hit the final clock showing EXACTLY plus 1:00 in his game with Pat Hardwick (which he lost by 10 points).
Miki Sutherland has become one of my favorite directors. Not only is she meticulous and fun, she provides a helluva picnic lunch at her tournaments of which yesterday was one! Janet Gray, Kathy Washburn, Elaine, CB & I joined Miki for an hour or so of sandwiches and socializing. Elaine introduced us to a new smoked tofu and an incredible liquid sourdough-like drink (you have to save some of it to give birth to the next batch).
The toughest part of my day was reporting myself for overdrawing AFTER I’d made a 40-something point play. (I played three and discovered I still had 5 tiles on my rack). Lost my points. Lost my turn. Lost the game. Michael Bassett was not sufficiently consoling to make it go away (as if I would have – hee hee). A few games later, I was playing newcomer Mark Sienkowski who had a similar situation. Played VAC. Still had 5 on his rack. I was not sporting enough to make it all go away.
As always the few moments between games were filled with catching up on the latest gossip. Divorces. Illnesses. Aggravations. Who’s backing WGPO and who’s solidly behind NASPA. I do like them thar tournaments.
Today’s should be interesting. The usual Sunday “open” with 8 or so of us hardy souls in the mix.
A year ago the Asian Buffet opened just north of Dayton, not far from a Motel 6, advertising hundreds of gastronimic choices. The Lunchbunch saw and soon sniffed and stuffed our way through 50 or so of those choices.
A month or so ago, the Asian Buffet opened its second smorgasbord of culinary delights on South Gilmore at I-275 in Fairfield in spittin’ distance of the Cincinnati Mall. The Lunchbunch saw. The Lunchbunch saw. The Lunchbunch conquered 60-odd of the endless platters of food, some of which actually looked edible.
1:30 because Bob was delayed by a nooner with his gum trencher. Willie, who had driven a thousand or more miles back home through hills and dales of snow-white from hell, er… the hills of Vermont. While travelers along her route were falling to the ice and snow monster left and right, Willie and her chaperone, Donna Courtney, escaped the serious stuff, just like Moses was riding his souped up camel clearing the way for them, a way that quickly disappeared after them.
The two of them apparently took the two of them on quite the fantastical trip, stopping first in Ontario at Donna’s mom’s home for one last holiday treat, then to East Enosburg, Vermont, site of Willie’s “other” home for Willie’s bi-monthly supervisory cum report card visit, and finally to Albany to Annette Tedesco’s famous New Year’s 3-day Scrabble (copyright til you die) tournament. (Willie had a tough finish of 7-13-1A in the 2nd group; Donna was 11-11 with a minus 136 [almost perfect, Donna; you almost won a prize). Given all that and her marathon coming home party, Willie was first on the scene. Bob was second. CB and I were 3rd, well in advance of 1:30 in a hail of pithy cursing from Bob wondering what the hell we meant coming in late like that disrespecting Willie like that, disrupting the restaurant management’s welcoming ceremony like that and forcing 100 people or more to brave the bitter cold, driving sleet and slithering ice to allow us to enter in at our “proper” place in the line. We apologized profusely before we promptly forgot all about it.
I was in such a hunger – get off my diet – frenzy, I couldn’t wait to get to our table before digging in, so I stopped at the Mongolian Barbecue for some eggs and noodles and hot sauce (even though it sadly turned out to be tasteless – unique in my Mongolian Barbecue life).
Willie dazzled us with stories of the semi-arctic north as we fed our faces fully and frequently.
Donna and Willie spent New Year’s Eve at an Indian (Native American) powwow held at the hotel where the Scrabble (copyright til you die) tournament was held. “I’d do it again,” said she. Her niece Lindley has eloped, a final decree of divorce from Scrabble (copyright til you die). And Chicago player Jeremy Cahnmann is so pissed at NASPA (the budding civil war between NASPA and WGPO) that he refused to renew his membership, preferring, instead to limit himself to WGPO tournaments. However, as is the case with a lot of us, he didn’t cut off his friendships in the rebellion and so flew from Chicago to Albany to help Annette and her team run the tournament there.
Willie sent back a photo of her newest kitty kat in her Vermont bedroom. You remember, the one that neither intakes nor outtakes but takes good care of her mistress’ mobile needs or superficial and/or more signicant emotional needs.
Willie is quietly sending out requests for people of goodwill to interview for chaperone on Scrabble trips. Pay will be mostly “from the heart,” she says, and benefits that will be derived from her (Willie’s) company. “I need somebody to talk to and to listen to and I don’t think I can do that on the road with my new kitty Lulu,” she moaned bitterly.
Meantime for one trip anyhow Donna Courtney, worked out well, very well, indeed.
Donna who has not been as busy at tournaments of late as she was in the past felt the shock of the kiddie kings. Playing and losing to 9, 10, and 11 year olds before she found her bearings and her respectable .500 finish.
Willie tipped (to even out the score). CB paid. Bob chose for CB and me (How’d that happen?) Next week is even cheesier. Willie is going to the Reno tournament next Thursday, ergo Lunchbunch must needs be scheduled on Tuesday. It is Willie’s turn to choose in the Dayton area. BUT Joyce needs the car. SO. Bob worked out a deal with Willie to exchange weeks. SO! SO! We’ll meet at 11 at Mi Camino Real. Play Scrabble (copyright til you die) at a library. THEN CBFL will drive Bob home so hes doesn’t have to walk or get stuck.
Willie pays. Fle or Bob tips. (will have this figured out by tuesday).
Afterwords for the 2nd consecutive week at Meijer’s on South Gilmore in Fairfield. Willie suggested we leave Asian Buffet and head for Scrabble (copyright til you die) as a means of keeping her awake short of toothpicks. We only played two sets due to ineffectuality of keeping Willie awake. She yawned and she yawned. And won one, despite Bob’s persistent offers to render aid. CB went shopping after one (must have caught some of Willie’s sleeping sickness or was it because she’s a perpetual motion machine?). She won one. After losing them all the previous week, Bob won 3. I won 1. Which is all fair as fair can be, except for BOB who says he’ll be glad to conduct classes on the “proper conductivity” of the game. “Reasonable rates for my friends. Always!”
“You’ve reallly underdone yerself this time, mi amigo,” Bob said, “Looks like you’re taking us to a fakey barbecue place, an expensive yuppified barbecue place. I don’t believe this. Gonna be another waste of good money. Can’t you ever get it right? I love you but your taste sucks!”
I had read a Polly Campbell review of the place in the Enquirer which assured me SmoQ BBQ would smoke any meat you throw at it and that it would most likely be muy tasty!
Less than a week later at the smoQ BBQ in Springdale, the same Bob greened a tad sheepishly, looked over at me and said, “You do know how to pick ’em, don’t you, mi amigo? Everything we’ve ordered has been excellent. I’m really glad you didn’t let me talk you out of it. This is some of the best babecue around. When it can compete with Goodies, you know it’s good and Smoq wins the contest in brisket and okra and would whip their butt in fried green tomatoes except Goodies doesn’t have fried green tomatoes.”
These are our appetizers. Clockwise from the upper righthand corner: chicken and sausage gumbo [excellent, rib tips [very good], fried okra [excellent], fried green tomatoes [excellent, although they didn’t taste a lot like fried green tomatoes used to taste in West Tennessee when I was a kid], corn chowder [very good], and (in the middle) fried barbecue ribs [excellent – a first for all of us – that Evan brought us a sampling bodes well for future sales as far as I’m concerned]. I suspect servers sometimes weary of bringing the Lunchbunch extra bowls and plates and flatware so we can taste a little of everybody’s everything. (Photo by fle
The entrees of the day: brisket sandwich (Bob) (excellent), buffaloaf [meatloaf made with buffalo – probably bison – meat(fle) (also excellent), and pulled pork (CB) (good). Also shown: beans and rice (Bob) (superb), baked beans (nothing special), mustard coleslaw (mixed results ranging from okay to very good), homemade potato chips (okay). (Photo by fle)”
Fle’s pick, duh. Fle paid. CB tipped. Next week is Willie’s turn but with all this travel confusion and Bob’s gum doctor appointment and fle and CB’s Scrabble trip to Flint on Thursday, next week has been scheduled for Tuesday (January 4) afternoon at 1:30 at the Asian Buffet outside the Cincinnati Mall. Willie should be back from Enosburg Falls, Vermont and the Albany (NY) New Year’s Tournament in time to make the late date. Then we’ll play Scrabble in the same Meijer we played in this week.
Bob went 3 for 3. CB won 1. Fle was OH for 3. Still a good time was had by all, as is always the case when we discovered a couple of Bob’s “I swear they’re words” are not; and a couple of his “I know they’re phoney words” are not.