So ... this weekend I played in a Dominion tournament. I played a 4p game, against one extremely good player, one quite good player, and one decent player. I was in the low end, in terms of rating; not completely out of the running, but likely to win one game, if any.

I won all four.

I literally spent half an hour going, "what the hell just happened? what the hell?" I beat a player ranked 42 four times in a row.

I ... was more than a little bit stunned. To be fair, I had some awesome luck; to start off, none of the spreads had devastating attack cards, which favored me greatly, as I hate those cards. So, I had a lot of experience with the cards and the best players didn't buy many of the attack cards that were available (i.e., Fortune Teller). And then I also had other types of luck: for instance, in two games, other players could have ended the game but didn't because they either would have lost the game or tied (with me!), and I managed to get to 8 in time to buy the last Province—obviously I played well, but I also got lucky. It wasn't that I necessarily that I had good shuffle luck, or always got 8 and never 7 or 9; but that my opponents didn't end the game because they just happened to have a tying score, that sort of thing. Subtle, but somehow it ended adding up to me having four wins. Yay!! It was awesome, I must admit, even though I didn't really deserve to play in the semis!

On the other hand, when I played in the semis, I got crushed. :P Not that it was unexpected; and I certainly learned a lot. I also shouldn't have been crushed quite so much—there was a mix-up with turn order that resulted in me playing 4th position twice, and another player in 3rd position twice; but, neither of us had any chance of moving on in the tournament, so we all agreed that it didn't matter. That mix-up resulted in changing the results of the last game we played, such that I would have done slightly better than I did; but I still would have been a distant last.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I got to play even though I didn't have any hope of going on to the finals! I will certainly look over the logs for the final match, though. Maybe next year ...

In other news, I went to Boston to see the tall ship show. I almost didn't get to see it, because I thought I remembered from two years ago that the docks were all swarming with people and that it was really obvious that there was an event going on. But this time, there wasn't anything anywhere until the fish docks, and there weren't tons of people, so I got really confused. But! I got to see a ship from Ecuador, one from Brazil, and one from Indonesia. I didn't go on the Colombian ship because it was extremely crowded. :P The one from Brazil was probably the coolest, although the Ecuadorian one had pirates on it, so.

That's about it. Back to obsessive counting! And I'm going to try to find out if I can apply for an NSF grant to fund my research next year—someone in my house did that for the summer, so I'm going to ask her how/what she did.
I got back last night at around 11:30, because we got lost on the way back from the airport. We had a midnight snack (bread with brie and guacamole, plus some peanut butter), I took a shower, and then I went to bed.

And slept until 2:30 in the afternoon.

Oops. The worst part was that I was convinced it couldn't be later than 10. Off by four hours ... Anyway, I slept for fourteen hours, which kind of makes sense given that I was awake for 27 straight hours the day before, due to the time change.

So, the day is almost over and I have been awake for ... what, less than five hours at the moment? Time for lunch! Actually, luckily, I'm kind of tired anyway, so I'll hopefully go to bed around midnight and then kind of be back on a normal schedule ...
So, I attempted to find the Finnish aviation history museum, but I failed. :'( I attempted to follow the instructions, but basically just walked around the airport parking lot. It was a nice walk, at least—it is very cold here, so I appreciated getting a good winter chill in my bones before heading back to the Land of Heat. There was snow, too, so I will at least have seen some snow before going back to school!

I have a few pictures, but my only real impression of Finland is that it is a lot flatter than I anticipated. At least, the airport is flat ... unsurprisingly, since it is an airport. That's about all I've got.
Today we went to Nagoya Castle. It was pretty cool, though a little cold, and since most of the signage was in Japanese, I didn't get quite as much out of it as I could have. But the castle itself was really cool, and the paintings very pretty; I have lots of pictures of the Nagoya skyline, too, because the castle was seven stories tall. We also walked around the gardens for a little while, which was nice, though it got really cold.

After, we had to find a place to withdraw money from so we could pay for our Kyoto hostel place, which took forever. The Family Mart allegedly had an ATM that took Visa, but it actually only took Visa that was issued in Japan. So, we finally traipsed around and found a 7 Eleven that took Visa, and possibly also took 50,000 yen more from my mom's card. Oops. (しまった!) Hopefully that didn't actually happen. Anyway, it worked out, after a bit of stress, so.

Then we started playing Dominion and creating a Doctor Who Dominion set. Yay! I am so totally making this happen! Which means I need to learn how to use Photoshop, but whatever!

Finland!

Dec. 28th, 2011 04:25 pm
Okay, so today has been a very interesting day. Or whatever a day counts as when it's currently 4:15pm and completely dark and I'm not entirely sure which day of the week it is much less what time zone I'm in much less how many hours I have slept in the past … some unknown number of hours. Also, I really need a shower and would love to change my clothes, but my bag is not, apparently, actually going to emerge in the Helsinki baggage claim.

I arrived at my gate going to Nagoya, and the guy there said that my bag would be in the belly of the aircraft, and that I could pick it up in Nagoya. Normally this would reassure me, but when I asked if he could check the number of my luggage to see whether it was on the plane, he said 1) he couldn't do that yet, because they hadn't loaded the luggage on, and 2) the two numbers I already had were, neither one, correct, so he gave me a third number. And then he said if I couldn't find my bag in Nagoya I should give them that third number in the hopes of finding it.

All of a sudden, I am seriously hoping that I have clothes to wear when I get to Japan.

Also, I randomly got the chance to translate. It was exciting. He was a native Chinese speaker (or so I assume, since he spoke Chinese to his son; Cantonese, I think, though I suppose it could have been Thai or Vietnamese or Cambodian. It definitely had tones, and it definitely wasn't Mandarin, and he definitely looked East Asian.) who also knew Spanish and was coming from Madrid; I translated his Spanish into English for the Finnish-speaking (and English-speaking) agent at the ticket booth. It was like language telephone except with only three people!

Also, the Helsinki airport is leagues ahead of all other airports I have ever been to because it has completely free wireless.
Yesterday (today? two days ago?) I had the greatest flying adventure that I have ever had. By which I mean that I missed the first of three flights to Japan, and thus had to be rerouted from the very beginning. The plane to JFK was a good two hours late, but they only told us it would be late 15 minutes before the flight was due to take off; and then they said they would call people's names up who had connecting flights they might miss to sort everything out. But then they never called people's names, probably because two ticket agents (plus a whole cohort of support staff!) spent literally two hours helping three people. And one of them was going to Spain—Madrid! Meaning there had to be a million flights a day, and it couldn't possibly be that difficult. On the other hand, I (for example) was due to have a layover in Helsinki, and there most definitely are not a million flights a day from North Carolina to Helsinki.

Anyway, they eventually rerouted me through London Heathrow instead of JFK, and theoretically I will be able to take the same flight from Helsinki to Nagoya that I would have taken had the JFK flight been on time. It remains to be seen whether my luggage will make it through all of this, though I tried extremely hard to make sure that someone was keeping track of it. It seems that perhaps my luggage never got taken off of the JFK plane that I never got on, and so it will hopefully end up in Nagoya … But I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

So basically this means I will be taking three flights to three different countries within the space of 32 hours. Hopefully I will sleep enough to be partially coherent when I arrive in Nagoya and it is day. It is 8:20am in London as I write this, and it was most definitely still dark without even a hint of sunrise when I landed about an hour ago—so when, exactly, does the sun rise around here? Not that I care, I'll practically be flying back into darkness when I finally get my flight to Finland; but I am curious, I didn't think England was this much farther north than New Hampshire, yet the sunrise is significantly later.
Warning: much ranting and linguistic nerdiness to follow.

Ranting: The internet is not as useful for travel plans as you might think. )

Linguistic nerdiness: Although this is potentially not really PC, there was a sign outside the station that said "Ah & Ah: For out-of-towners, that's R & R." It was advertising "upperclass" travel to London, I believe; but it was pretty funny. Of course, the vowels aren't quite right, but most people reading that probably wouldn't think of that. The Boston non-rhotic dialect(s) has (have) a slightly different vowel than the British non-rhotic dialects, so I think it was trying to play off of the superficial similarity (as the sign was in Boston). It would be more interesting to see if the sign occurred elsewhere where there is no local non-rhotic dialect—maybe they were trying to make fun of and/or imitate both the Boston non-rhotic and the London non-rhotics. Anyway, it was entertaining and thought provoking.

The great geek vs. nerd debate. )

I am now lamentably finished with the second season of Merlin.  I say lamentably only because 1) there is only one more season to go, and 2) I really ought to have been doing homework instead of watching 26 45-minute episodes of a TV show about magic and dragons.  I most definitely like British science fiction / fantasy TV a lot better than American sci fi/fantasy, but luckily I think I've started to exhaust the typical British canon, especially since I have tried Torchwood and don't like it.

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lailoken

July 2012

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