Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, Even Overhead

This past weekend was the excellent Midnight Madness: Back to Basics Game. I'll post photos soon, a write-up eventually. Yes, yes, I'm slow. But I'll post about one thing now, because it happened just now. But first I need to explain a little about Saturday: There was one puzzle which involved standing on the peak of a huge pile of landfill and looking around for three giant posters which had been posted in windows of Google HQ. During the game, we spotted two of the posters, but never saw the third.

This morning, I was still pretty drowsy when I got in to work. Post-game sleep schedule, post-bus ride grogginess, I wasn't so alert. I walked in the door, walked up stairs--and was so tired that I walked on up past my floor and up to the tippy-top floor stair landing, roof level. It was the pedestrian equivalent of sleeping through your bus stop. Finally, I snapped out of my lethargy, looked up, looked up at the big window at the top of the stairwell, looked up--at the third poster. I'd spotted it at last, a mere ~40 hours late. This window didn't have line-of-sight to the landfill's peak, so I no longer feel so sheepish about not sighting it during the Game.

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Links: Some Photos

I think I should point out some things about some photos.

Photo, by Steven Pitsenbarger, of Jack o' Lanterns (2006)

This deserves an explanation. I did not take this photo of Jack o' Lanterns. Steven Pitsenbarger took this photo. I did not carve those pumpkins. I carved one of those pumpkins. Sometimes I am sloppy about attributions, and I didn't attribute this photo the first time I posted it. That's too bad because a bunch of people like that photo, and have been using it as the background of their MySpace profiles and other things.

Photo, by Catherine Rondeau, of me

This deserves an explanation. This is a photo, yes, of me, and yes, I'm kneeling next to a toilet, and, yes, I am wearing a flotation vest and look as if I'm contemplating something unpleasant. I wish to make clear that I did not dive into the toilet after this photo was taken. Nor have I ever dived into a toilet, really. (Except, perhaps, in the figurative sense. "When it came time to do chores, Larry dove into the toilet with zeal and a scrubber brush.") Catherine Rondeau took this photo, and it is important that you understand the context. We were on a boat. Thus, the flotation vest. I was explaining how to work the bizarre nautical toilets. (They're bizarre? You need to pump them! If you do it wrong, you could sink the boat! Really! Or get really icky liquid on you! They require explanation! Really!) I mean, I don't want you to think I was contemplating doing something really nasty, or that I had lost a best or something.

Finally, if you are familiar with Bernd and Hilla Becher's "Typology" photographs, you might, as I did, find these photos amusing. I did not take these photos. According to the interpretive text, some weirdos in Rotterdam took the photos.

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Site: Shinteki Decathlon 3 Notes

I was talking with Matt A. at Paul and Anisa's wedding reception yesterday. He said that he read this blog, but he didn't make it all the way through most posts. He's not so interested in book reviews. But he does like the rants about... whatever's going on in my life. Most of the book reviews are preceded by those rants. Then there's a segue in the post where I say something like "...which brings us to the point of this post". That's usually where Matt stops reading. That's a pretty reasonable attitude. Matt doesn't spend three hours of each weekday commuting by bus; he's not looking for book reviews.

Which brings us to the anecdote before the point of this post. A few days ago I was at the bus stop next to work. My bus had filled up with coworkers, and I'd been left behind. Thus I was sitting and waiting for an hour. The good news was that yet more of my co-workers showed up meanwhile, so I had an excuse to chat with some of them. A couple of them were gamists--Mark Pearson of the Warrior Monks; Corey Anderson of the Burninators. The bad news is that I don't remember either of those conversations because during each of them, a fly flew up my nose. It was very distracting. As flies flew in, memories flew out. So I can't report on those conversations.

Which brings us to the point of this post. The way I remember things is to write them down. So you'll be glad to know that I wrote up my notes from Shinteki Decathlon 3.

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Book Report: Soldier of Sidon

This is another book about Latro, the soldier who has lost his short-term memory. To remember things, he writes them down, then reads them each morning. Except that sometimes his mornings are too busy for reading. For example, his slave (actually a Uraeus snake in disguise) may be warning him that the wax woman hidden in the hold of the ship is coming to life again.

A fun read. It's bleak in places. Our hero is enslaved. He has picked up a river wife, and is distressed when he remembers that he is already married. There are battles; there is treachery. You feel relieved for Latro when you remember that he will forget.

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