Thursday, September 23, 2010


Flying to Gothenburg tomorrow (must make some effort to call it Göteborg while I'm there), haven't packed bags, worked out where exactly I'm going or done any training. So can't blog at length. See you Tuesday, unless you're going to be there this weekend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ultimate Grand Master!

You become a 'Grand Master of Memory' by memorising 1000 digits in an hour, 10 packs of cards in an hour, and a single pack of cards in two minutes. It's comparatively easy, and lots of people have done it.

What nobody has ever done, yet, is become a Double Grand Master (a title which I have just this moment made up), by successfully memorising 2000 digits, 20 packs of cards and a 1-minute pack. That should be my ambition, really. I'm constantly frustrated by my inability to get 2000 in hour numbers, and it really gets annoying after a few years. So perhaps I'll devote my every waking hour to achieving that. Or maybe I'll just spend all my time lying around doing nothing, as usual. We'll see.

Possibly I'll change the definition of "Double Grand Master" by making it 1000 digits in 30 minutes, and 10 packs in 30 minutes, because if I do that, I'm one already. I'll put the initials after my name.

(Having written that, I had to go and look up who else is a DGM. It's me, Gunther, Hannes and Cornelia. Simon, the Deutsche Gedächtnis Meister, only has a best of 985 in 30-minute numbers)

In other news, I need new trousers. The pair of trousers that I think of as 'my only decently wearable pair' are actually decidedly indecent in the rear, thanks to a big ripped hole where I caught them on something sharp protruding from my bike. I ought to get some more before I go to Sweden. I don't like buying clothes, I tend to just hope that people will buy them for me...

Monday, September 20, 2010

But you're such a charming, handsome man

A reader has complained that it's a long time since I blogged about being handsome. I actually don't think I've ever blogged about that, but if that's what my loyal readership want, who am I to complain? I am, after all, quite devastatingly handsome. And an article in the Washington Post agrees! Well, the (mostly) flattering article doesn't technically call me handsome, but it does say I'm "smartly clad in a fedora and a faded cartoon T-shirt", which shows a degree of sartorial appreciation unusual in anyone, let alone American newspapers!

Anyway, if I haven't mentioned it before, I'm taking my handsomeness and cartoon T-shirts to Gothenburg on Friday, there to test my faded memory techniques against some people who are really quite good at it and will doubtless kick my ass, metaphorically speaking. It promises to be a great weekend!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Groundhog Day

It's a really wonderful film. One of those ones you can watch over and over again, appropriately enough.

Actually, life is just like that when you're voluntarily unemployed. I was just thinking that I've been a productive member of society for much too long now - I'm starting to come across as a normal person. Perhaps I ought to abandon all worldly posessions and go and live in a cave for a while. A nice warm cave with central heating and an internet connection, obviously.

On the other hand, someone mistook me for a student today - I was out cycling this morning and noticed huge swarms of people crowding into the university campus, so I rode through there and someone with a microphone asked me if I was a fresher just moving in. Which was quite flattering. Must have been the Blue Peter badge.

Speaking of which, I suspect my new nice badge fell off the back of a lorry - the person who sold it to me on eBay is obviously selling lots of them under multiple alisases, it's some kind of master criminal organisation, I can tell. But still, I don't care, I've got a badge again!