Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Old Queen's Head

That was the venue of the Sheffield Regional - it's another pub with a long history, dating back to 1503 according to the rather cool stained-glass thing upstairs in the function room we were occupying. Which makes it older than the Queen it's named after, unless the sign with its picture of Elizabeth I was lying to us, now I come to think of it. Anyway, the room was nice, but would have been better as an othello tournament location if there'd been a door separating it from the noisy pub below. Still, I happened to have a pair of earplugs, left over from some memory competition, in my bag, so I was fine.

Well, fine in the sense of having some of the background noise muffled, anyway. My othello-playing varied from okay to not-okay, though. I started (before finding the earplugs) with a very groovy 55-9 win over Iain, who's much better at othello than me, but was then outclassed entirely by Aidan and Steve, who normally don't pose me too much trouble. Aidan, actually, had a really great tournament all round, and ended up joint second with Iain, after Geoff, who beat everyone without any apparent problems.

I was fourth, which leaves me 50 points clear of Geoff in the BGP with one regional to go. Farnborough on June 13th, and I'm still fairly probably not going to go. It's a very long way, after all, and I'm not sure I'd want to win the BGP by virtue of turning up to more regionals than my rivals. Also, what if I did decide to go along, and ended up losing? That would really annoy me.

Anyway, we had a new player today as well - a stratego player I've met once before at the MSO. Stratego is a really cool game that I haven't had enough opportunity to play in the course of my life so far (I practically never managed to fit it into my schedule at the MSO, somehow - just twice in ten years). I need to make an effort to get into the stratego tournament circuit, if I can fit it in around othello, memory and general laziness.

A few further non-othello-related observations I think are worth mentioning:

Did you know that Men's Health magazine comes in two different sizes? I noticed in W H Smith's in the train station today that there's a full-size, A4 kind of version, and also a smaller version, sort of half-way between A4 and A5, with all the same content, but worse quality paper. And the funny thing is the smaller one costs the same as the big one. The complimentary copy I got was the big one, by the way. As is only right.

Also, the Npower advert with Wallace and Gromit, in which the Npower representative apparently barges into their house uninvited and installs a new boiler, certainly seems to be an accurate portrayal of Npower's sales policies.

One more thing I forgot to mention yesterday - in the course of a general conversation at work about how old people look I mentioned that people always think I'm about ten years older than I am. To which the boss's PA replied "No, I wouldn't say that, you've got a young face. I'd say you look about late-thirties, early-forties." I need to dye my beard. Or scalp.


Chris M. Dickson said...

The "two editions, identical but for page size" thing happens a lot with women's magazines - the theory is that the smaller one will fit into a handbag when the bigger one may not. Not sure how that justifies a smaller man's edition, unless the Men's Health readership is sufficiently metrosexual to habitually carry around manbags. Not impossible.

I am so out of the loop on all things MSO these days. David J. Bodycombe (winner of Creative Thinking twice in the early years) is having a wedding blessing in London in late August, so I may well make it down at some point this year, unlike last time.

Geoff said...

Ben has already sent me his Othello transcripts! He really IS zoomy.