June 29, 2006

Movies: Wordplay

Finally saw Wordplay last night since I hadn't been able to make any of the group outings to see it. Was really fun to see so many friends and Palindrome teammates and all in it and the movie was excellent too, with the solvers for the most part presented quite sympathetically, with one exception that I didn't like too much but really my only complaint against it. Also, thought the music and graphics were very well done to quite reasonably show an activity that would on the face of it seem very difficult to present in a movie. Highlighting a few clues at a time a bit before they were solved on screen, and thus giving the audience a chance to figure them out, seemed a really effective way to draw the audience into the puzzles. The Merl Reagle "Word Play" puzzle construction sequence was also fascinating and the celebrity simultaneous solve of it really fun. ****

Posted by aarondf at 12:16 PM | Movies | Comments (0)

World Poker Tour Season 4 Final

The best player almost certainly won in Joe, but I was unbelievably impressed by the poise and generally excellent play of amateur David Matthew. He seemed barely intimated by the moment and the competition at all. He did do pretty well at hitting flops and did make a few colossal blunders (the all-in before Joe specified his raise amount of course being the worst of them [although would be interesting to try that as a bluff of incredible strength]) but still, he overall just played amazingly well.

Posted by aarondf at 12:12 PM | Games | Comments (0)

June 26, 2006

Maybe moving soon - help appreciated looking for new place

Well, I learned suddenly last night that I may need to quickly move from my current place. I am hoping I can push it off to something like next June but may very well need to be out by September 1.

I have been thinking about buying for a while and am planning to look at places to buy first and rent second. I could without difficulty stay somewhere for a month or two if necessary with most of my stuff in strorage if buying takes like 3 months instead of 2 as seems very likely but this would only be a really temporary thing and would prefer to avoid the hassle of moving twice.

Any advice anyone has to offer I would love and can either post here or email me. First off, what do people think of this as a time to buy? Seems to me lots of stuff is on the market and prices have flattened out but are they likely going down and I could probably save myself a significant amount of money by waiting 6-12 months?

I am not sure yet quite what price range I am looking at but would guess something in the 400-500k range. I am pretty flexible about location and current towns I am starting off thinking about are Watertown, Belmont, Arlington, Somerville, Framingham but not restricted to even this large set. I really do not want a condo and do want a single family detached house but given the short timeframe may be forced to consider something less than perfect for a while.

Anyway, if anyone has suggestions on particular places to buy or rent or websites to use or anything else, please let me know. Current website I already plan to use is Zillow.com (which gives historical pricing information on houses and comps and such)

Posted by aarondf at 05:26 PM | Miscellaneous | Comments (0)

June 19, 2006

Catching Up

This is going to be a rambling post, which I should probably do as a bunch of separate entries, but don't feel like figuring the splits.

Over Memorial Day, went to David's (thanks!) place in CA for a gaming (mostly Titan) weekend and had a really nice time. First couple of Titan games I had unbelievably horrible master board luck and just waited a surprisingly long time in both to inevitably be killed. Then had a couple of games where I made one very bad decision, that in each case (and very likely in the first case) may have cost me the game, in addition to some bad battle board luck. My final Titan game was a 2 player game where my opponent had unbelievably good master board luck for the first 10 or so turns, such that even with no battles and my luck only being a bit below average, it looked nearly impossible for me to come back. Somehow, though, the dice completely turned and I started getting the amazing rolls and Rob the bad ones and I got back in it. On the final turn, I attacked Rob's Angel stack that was much better than I thought and should have lost but ended up crushing it, a like top 1% outcome for me, letting me live and giving me an Angel call for my attack on Rob's Titan, which I ended up killing in a still pretty close battle but favoring me with the Angel call. I was honestly shocked to come back in this game given the early position.

When I got home, I was at work for one day before I came down with what seems definitely to be the same horrible illness I had twice over the winter and has knocked me out for nearly two weeks - today is the first day I seem to be basically completely recovered. On the one day in between, I also went to a Dark Star Orchestra concert with DavidK that was wonderful although probably a bad idea, given I could sense I was coming down with something, although not at all the magnitude of it.

Oh, another gaming anecdote worth noting. On Saturday at Nate's party, I played two Tichu games. In the first, we were down 500-0 after two hands but came back in a hurry to win, largely by virtue of 3 Grand Tichu calls. In the second game, we had an even worse start and got more and more aggressive in (Grand) Tichu calls only to have _absolutely everything_ in the game go wrong. I think we called 3 Grands and 3 regular Tichus and missed them all, several with overcalls. The final score was 1055 to -655, an unbelievable 1710 point loss and the greatest score differential I think I have ever seen. Would have been 1810 too if they had bothered to overcall on the last hand.

Posted by aarondf at 03:31 PM | Miscellaneous | Comments (0)