Saturday, March 31, 2007

Round Three

D had a frustrating game last night, but won in Round Three this morning. P has won all three rounds so far! And E wound up playing an almost four-hour game on Board One (fuzzy picture) against Marc Tyler Arnold (rated over 2300, top player in this tournament). Round Four is underway - I guess I should head back over and check on the guys - or at least buy another latte.


It's nice to have one of these events on the west coast - though the trips to Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Louisville the last three years have been fun. I'm glad there are still some big crowds of kids from back east, representing both some big inner city districts and a bunch of really high end suburban private and public schools. About 1000 kids are registered this year.

K-9 Chess Championships

Weather is great and Convention Center is just across from the hotel. We found a great crepe place for dinner last night a few blocks west on "L" Street.

Friday, March 30, 2007


I arrived just in time to wish D good luck in the first round. M&D got in last night and then joined up with others this morning to visit the state capital across the street. Apparently Arnold wasn't in, or at least wasn't taking visitors. We hoped he'd speak at the opening ceremony, but no such luck!

This blog must be about one year old, since I began it at last year's Nationals in Lousiville.

D has joined up again with P & E and all three won their first rounds.

Sea Tac

I left Vancouver yesterday after the morning sessions and lunch. Battled construction (pre-Olympic frenzy, I suspect) getting out of the city and a 45 minute wait at the border. I got home in time to take M&D to the airport. And then I came back again this morning to catch my own flight. Took pictures of airplanes and fish mobiles while admiring just how long some people are willing to wait in line at Starbucks!

English Bay

I walked down Denman to English Bay several times this week - our annual stays at the Sylvia make this place seem a bit like home. A falafel sandwich one night sitting on a bench at the beach and a late afternoon (when these pictures were taken) stroll admiring the beach when there aren't 400,000 people lining up to watch fireworks (see blog from last August). Thursday morning - the last day of the conference - I got up early and had coffee at Delany's before going over to the Sylvia for breakfast. I wish I'd had my camera - beautiful light on the freighters in the bay and just incredibly relaxing (and much cheaper than the conference hotel, too).

Burrard Inlet

Back to Vancouver, though this time without the family. The Puget Sound Georgia Basin Research Conference gets up here once every four years - we're at the Westin Bayshore on Coal Harbour. Despite threats that the weather will deterioriate, it hasn't, yet. Between technical sessions and preparing Wednesday's talk, it's been busy, but by foregoing some of the social functions, I've managed some nice runs in Stanley Park and a chance to explore some of the damage from December's storm. Pretty impressive. Many trees down and much damage to the seawall promenade, particularly along the stretch between Third Beach and the Bridge.

As usual, I'm impressed with the level of development along this shoreline. And the public accessibility. It's fun to watch the walkers, joggers, dog trainers, bicyclists, tourists, rowers, leaf blowers, limo drivers, condo owners, and seagulls. Not to mention constant seaplanes.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mercer Island

We struggled to round up the requisite five players for a team - some of our players actually have other things to do on Saturdays than play chess! Our final five included a wide range of experience, from D with hundreds of games to J with only four rated games prior to this event! They did great, taking 2nd Place to Odle, which is probably not just the top MS team in the state, but the top MS team in the country! P managed a draw on Board 2 in our match against Odle, keeping them to 24.5 points (out of a possible 25).

Friday, March 02, 2007

North City

Friday evening at Hot Wire while D plays chess at SCC. Jessica Star Rocker is playing to a small audience tonight. Nice acoustic act with good voice. Some of her own songs and some wonderful covers of others, including a really great quieter version of Girls Just Want to Have Fun.

Retrieved my car this morning from the shop, after they fixed all the seals and oil leaks that weren't done right during our holiday jaunt to East Wenatchee. It's true that I hadn't put much money into the car for the first 140,000 miles. But, boy, gettting to 145,000 has been awfully expensive. Won't seem bad if the car goes 100,000 miles without further mishap - though I'll spend the whole time wondering if the head gaskets were really done right - especially on those long nighttime drives across US 50 in Nevada that I fantasize about, but haven't actually done in two decades. What a warped sense of nostalgia.

The car's not the only thing suffering from too many miles. I've seen more doctors in the last two months than in my entire life - plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, surgeons, dermatologists, oncologists - not to mention all their elves. I now have one less mole and one fewer lymph nodes than I began the year with - but it looks like it hadn't spread. Cancer is a powerful word - though always best when applied in the past tense.

Out of boredom, I'm violating one of my principles and am posting a blog without a photo, but short of taking a crummy picture with my cellphone of the reflection of the neon North City LOUNGE sign in the wet pavement of 15th Avenue Northeast, offering up a picture of the recent needlework on my forearm, or pulling some unrelated photo out of the archives, that's all I can do tonight.