Friday, July 27, 2007

Scores on the videoprinter

Very quick post tonight, because I really should get some sleep (not to mention finish reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), and we start tomorrow morning at 8:30am (we finished today at around 8:30pm).

Clemens isn't there - he showed up briefly just to say he wasn't taking part, I don't know what the story is there - but we've got the full complement of the rest of the world's best Germans (unless Steffen B├╝tow or Jan Formann are still active enough and German enough to fall into that category). Andi is also half there, in his usual way - he doesn't want to get up early tomorrow, so he's going to skip half the disciplines. He says he's definitely not going to the world championships, but I'll believe that when I see it.

30-minute numbers didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped, but I ended up with a respectable 1000 exactly - Gunther got a new world record 1160, Cornelia 1016, Simon 985, Johannes 890, Andi 740, someone whose name I've written down on my piece of paper as "AK" got 700 (Alisa Kellner, of course - I knew it would come back to me eventually), and Boris 660. Going to be a tough competition, obviously.

But I did seriously well in 30-minute cards, with 16 packs - Gunther got 11 and an extra few cards, Cornelia nine and a half and Simon nine. Scores on the doors after two disciplines:

Me 2064.1
Gunther 1820.2
Cornelia 1570.0
Simon 1513.1
Andi 1078.2
Boris 1013.0
Johannes 1010.9

Binary went well too - with a bit of luck I've beaten my record there. Gunther no doubt did well too, so I should still be narrowly in the lead after day one. Tomorrow, of course, we have the untranslated German-language events, so expect me to drop down the rankings. I'd write more, but it's bedtime and Harry's in a tight spot.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

And now for today's post

Hi! I'm in Stuttgart! No time to write anything else, but I thought you might like to know.

Blogging in an unusual location

I couldn't get on to Blogger last night, so I posted this on the LJ account I never use:

Having found an internet cafe in Tuttlingen, I'm darned if I'm going to let the fact that Blogger isn't working stop me from blogging. I'll do one here instead, and copy it over later. It'll be a short one, because German keyboards have the Y and Z in the wrong places and I can't type very quickly. But I had to record the fact that I left my hat on a train, again, on the way here from Zurich airport. It's getting a bit silly now.

I wouldn't have done it if I'd been travelling on my own, but I had the TV people with me, distracting me. It's quite definitely their fault, rather than mine. But never mind, I'll see if I can get a new hat when I go to Stuttgart tomorrow - I've got the whole day to myself for once, and plenty of time to get properly outfitted for the competition on Friday. Well, almost the whole day, they want to film me again tomorrow night - I might ditch them, depending on the mood I'm in, because I feel like I've hardly had a second to myself for the last couple of weeks.

The woman at the hotel complimented me on my German! She might have been jumping to conclusions a bit, because all I'd done at that point was nod while she rattled off explanations of where breakfast and the lift were. Although I did understand the breakfast thing, and it's in another building down the road, so I'm quite proud of myself there. Tuttlingen is a really nice town, by the way, a lot bigger than I'd expected. The venue for the championship looks nice too, from the outside. Looking forward to it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Look North

"Look North" was the local counterpart of East Midlands Today that I got when I was living in Boston. I never really understood why it was called Look North. It covered Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, which is kind of up in the north, so why would the people watching it want to look north? The only thing up there is Newcastle and Scotland and the Arctic. There's more things to see if you look south, or east, or west.

Anyway, East Midlands Today was kind of like a dumbed-down version of the Central Tonight interview - they gave me the whole of the sports news to memorise a pack of cards, and then only had me recite precisely six of them before making impressed noises. Other than that it was just the usual questions, although at least this time the studio was just around the corner from work, rather than in Birmingham.

Speaking of Birmingham, tomorrow I'm flying from there to Zurich, and thence by train to Tuttlingen. Then a day's sightseeing in Stuttgart, assuming I can escape Nick and his camera, then two days of memorising against the world's best. Woohoo! See you (and by that I mean write a blog that you will subsequently read) on Sunday, unless I find a net cafe and the time to blog while I'm there.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dance your cares away (clap-clap)!

Boomerang are showing Fraggle Rock! They started tonight with the first episode, and I found out about it fifteen minutes beforehand, so I was thrilled. I don't think I've ever seen the first one before, or at least it didn't ring any bells in my ever-unreliable memory. Strangely enough, they're showing the US version, even though the British version with Fulton Mackay is available on DVD (I've been sort of meaning to buy it for ages. Maybe I still will).

Oh, and I also started the new job today. It seems okay, although it's one of those companies with a lot of bureaucracy and lots of people to get to know from all the little departments I'll be doing the accounts for. Plus the commute to Nottingham is inconvenient. But it's still preferable, morally speaking, to staying at home doing nothing all day. And I only have one more day till I flounce off on my holidays. Yay!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Not more memory talk!

Sorry, I know I've been on about nothing else for the last week or so, but that's just because I've been doing nothing but talk memory 24 hours a day. Starting tomorrow, I'll shut up about it for a day or so.

But today I felt that I'd have to do some practice for Germany. All this media attention had completely knocked me out of the memory-competition frame of mind, I hadn't found the time for even a pack of cards except the one I did on the telly, and I'd completely forgotten exactly what I'd planned to do in Tuttlingen. I figured I needed to spend the day doing a lot of work, just to get me back in 'the zone'. I promise never to use that expression again.

Anyway, I did a 30-minute numbers, 30-minute cards and 30-minute binary, and got 1164, 18 packs and 3255 respectively. Which is extremely encouraging - if I could do that in the competition, it'd be two world records and a score that should beat everyone except Gunther in the other. Although doing it in the competition is a different kettle of fish altogether, obviously. And I would expect Clemens and Gunther to be somewhere around 1200 in the numbers too, because that record's ripe for the beating.

18 packs of cards is doubleplusgroovy, though - I attempted 18 and got them all flawlessly correct. And the binary isn't too disappointing, because I'm never going to be on top form after two other half-hour disciplines in a short period of time. So now I'm going to give my brain a rest until Friday (you know, except for the new job, I might use my brain a bit for that), and look forward to Tuttlingen! Historically, I always do terribly at the German championship, and I'd really like to break that pattern this time round.