Man de la Maza

Monday, November 29, 2004

Home for the Holidays

The four day Thanksgiving vacation is just what the doctor ordered. Watched a few movies, caught up on sleep (including a whooping 13 hours Friday night), raked some leaves and did a few chess problems. Had a good run last night , 80% solve rate. Even when I was missing, I was right on track. Nice to drop back to 15 problems. Those last few are always the hardest.

If I keep my schedule, I will have done exactly 1000 problems by this time next week. A week after that I will be halfway in time through the whole 155 days. Wow! Another interesting mathematical truth, I will complete the remaining 6 circles in less time than it took to complete the first circle. This is true of all the remaining circles. Bet it begins to feel like the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" towards the end.

I've been thinking about the other things I could do after this quite a lot over the weekend. In fact, I have been more excited about the thought of doing an hour a day of exercise than I am about finishing the chess problems. I imagine that if I dropped this and switched over to exercise in two months I would be much more excited about finishing chess problems than an exercise regimen. Though I need to improve my health, I think my carcass will hold together until the end of February. If not, let my epitaph read -- "He died of an obsession with the game of Kings".

Movie Reviews
Got a special rent all you want thing at Blockbuster so I watched a lot of movies over the weekend. Here are my rating using the patented chess piece rating scale.

Calendar Girls (bishop) -- light comedy but not entirely predicatable. Enjoyed it.

Supersize Me (rook) -- a good documetary with the appropriate sprinkling of humor. Michael Moore should see this one and review the basics. I may never eat McDonalds again.

Snatch (knight) -- OK. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was much better.

Elf (pawn) -- Sorry, just didn't think there was much to this one.

Seeing Other People (knight) -- Had the occasional moment but otherwise forgettable.

64 Days down, 91 to go
898 Probs down, 311 to go in Circle One


  • Congrats on a relaxing Thanksgiving, Don. While it seems clear that your chess skills are improving dramatically, I have serious concerns about your movie selection capabilities. Next time you're faced with an opportunity to see so many movies in a short period of time, may I suggest the following:

    David Fincher double (or triple) bill: Try "Fight Club" and "Panic Room" together. Notice his unique visual style and how he uses it to serve various narrative purposes. If you can stand a pummelling to your soul, add "Seven," with Kevin Spacey as a truly nasty sick yucky villain.

    Best of Spike Lee: "25th Hour" -- unheralded movie but excellent, starring some great people including Ed Norton. "Do the Right Thing" is always good for a re-see and then there's always "She's Gotta Have It," for an entertaining quirky movie that has held up pretty well over the years I think.

    Children's stories: "Spellbound," a great documentary about spelling bees -- if you can believe that, and "Rabbit-Proof Fence," about two Aboriginal girls escaping encampment in Australia, a simple but beautiful story.

    Please, next time you are looking at something like "Elf" and wondering if it's worth a try, give me a call first!

    By Blogger Lord Lessismore, at 8:18 AM  

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