After spending three of the five weekdays out of the office on business trips, it's quite restorative to spend part of Saturday in the office getting needful things done. The telephone remains silent, celebrating a Sabbath. The e-mail brings in only pleasant news, and not insistent matters requiring attention. I've gotten a lot done, seamless and almost effortlessly. Experience helps one know what to do, and then it is interesting to actually do it.
Today, besides achieving goals regarding work, I have played a number of games at the Free Internet Chess Server. I have managed to raise my blitz chess rating from a range hovering around 1350 to a range from 1450 to 1500. Each time I crest the 1500, and hope I am making a down payment upon my goal of 1600 by year end next year, I get into a cycle of losses.
Last night an opponent beat me 8 1/2 games out of 9, using a quiet positional style that I find the most difficult to oppose. I'd rather face slashing attackers at any time, because attack so often leads to miscalculation. Fortunately, I redeemed my rating from 1450 back up to 1470 by winning four out of five games from an opponent who kept challenging me to a rematch.
I ran into Anthony from Florida today, whom I knew "in real life" in California because he organized the best chess club ever, the now-defunct Wilshire Chess Society. We played a number of games, of which I won all but one, but that statistic is misleading because the games were in the main quite close, and Anthony, who prefers slow chess, graciously agreed to play blitz anyway. My blitz rating is sufficiently higher than Anthony's that his one win qualifies as an upset, so for the net match he, rather than I, may have picked up rating points.
The Wilshire Chess Society was the best chess club ever because for most of its life it observed simple rules: 1. there were no dues; 2. there were no regular meetings;
3. the club ran one tournament per month, with ordinary cash prizes, in a mall community room graciously leased to us for one Sunday a month for 25 dollars; 4. the players were by and large all sportsmen and sportswomen, so that little of the knockabout discourtesy that can ruin some clubs appeared (I experience a mild revulsion at the sound of loudly banged chess clocks and intentionally "pounded" pieces, accompanied by yells of curious chess parlance such as "You fish!" and
"patzer!!"); and 5. the officers merely made sure the tournaments ran, and paid the chess federation memberships for the club from the proceeds of tournaments and the markup on chess federation membership sales.
I set up a new yahoo message board for my own chess club, the North Texas Blitz Hegemony, hoping to get people to sign up for tournament announcements. I have not yet promoted it into even token success, though.
I am amused, though, that my other yahoo message board, the Feeder Guppy Rescue League, which I formed two years ago largely to facilitate a weblog humorous essay, actually thrives. It now has 35 members, and a recent link from the American Livebearer Association seems to direct impressive traffic to the site. I want to work on getting six or twelve or sixteen or some other raised power of four to join my chess club.
My new North Texas Blitz at aol.com handle has helped, as I have located two fellows interested in playing. But Collin County has hundreds and possibly thousands of chess players, so my marketing efforts must improve to attract these friendly folks.
I am beginning to see the effects of my healthier eating program on my appearance, as people have begun to ask me if I am losing weight. I did not get to "weigh in" last Sunday due to a delayed flight, so I am eager to go this Sunday and see if I have in fact lost further weight, or instead am still stuck at 15 pounds lost. Although the truism is that business travel is completely incompatible with weight loss (particularly for those of us who in general loathe salad), I've found my California trips easy to accomodate.
I'm surprised, though, that my solution for road food has proven to be sushi. I had a wonderful Dragon Roll at the place in the SF airport, which was fresh and quite tasty. I normally think of myself as an "eat sushi when it is courteous in situ to do so" rather than a "mackerel roll, hooray!" kind of guy, but it is hard to argue with the fundamental fact of low points pursuant to this odd scheme for healthy eating I am following.
I am going to spend my remaining afternoon getting exercise, and pondering on ways I can improve my natural disposition towards earnest, well-meaning social ineptness into earnest, well-meaning, social eptness.