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Half-marathon training plan [Jan. 10th, 2014|12:49 pm]
Posting this plan here. Hopefully I will therefore feel compelled to stick to it.

Week of Jan. 5: 25 miles

Jan. 12: 26.4
Jan. 19: 27.8
Jan. 26: 29.3
Feb. 2: 30.9
Feb. 9: 32.6
Feb. 16: 34.4
Feb. 23: 36.3
March 2: 38.3
March 9: 40.4
March 16: 42.6
March 23: 44.9
March 30: 47.4
April 6: 50
Final week: taper down, rest, go for a short jog or two, get ready for Saturday!
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BEZIQUE/ONANISM, etc. [Dec. 27th, 2013|07:50 pm]
Disclaimer: I am very bad at programming. I lack formal training except for a couple of high school classes 10 years ago.

The code below represents one way to answer the question: "What are all the pairs of seven-letter TWL Scrabble words that can stack, one atop the other, to form seven valid two-letter words?" It is by no means the most efficient way to answer that question. If you're looking for efficiency, ask someone who knows what they're doing.

Anyway, here's a Java solution. It's fairly simple: Write a thing that reads the list of valid sevens. Then within that thing, write a second thing to read the list of valid sevens; for each pair, s1 and s2, use a thing that checks the pairs of letters, one by one, for a valid two. If a two is invalid, move on to the next one; if all seven twos check out, print the pair.

The result: It ends up printing 49,974 valid pairs. Not printing the whole list here; that would be a really long blog post. If you want the list, contact me privately with an email address and I'll send you a text file.

import java.io.*;
public class stacks {
public static boolean two(String top, String bottom, int spot, String[] twos)
String two = "";
two += top.charAt(spot);
two += bottom.charAt(spot);
int index2 = 0;
while (index2 < 101)
if (twos[index2].equals(two)) return true;
return false;
public static void main(String args[]) throws Exception {
int index = 0;
String[] twos = new String[101];
FileReader fr3 = new FileReader("twos.txt");
BufferedReader twosReader = new BufferedReader(fr3);
String s3;
while((s3 = twosReader.readLine()) != null) {
twos[index] = s3;
FileReader fr1 = new FileReader("sevens.txt");
BufferedReader sevensReader1 = new BufferedReader(fr1);
String s1;
while((s1 = sevensReader1.readLine()) != null) {
FileReader fr2 = new FileReader("sevens.txt");
BufferedReader sevensReader2 = new BufferedReader(fr2);
String s2;
while((s2 = sevensReader2.readLine()) != null) {
if (two(s1, s2, 0, twos))
if (two(s1, s2, 1, twos))
if (two(s1, s2, 2, twos))
if (two(s1, s2, 3, twos))
if (two(s1, s2, 4, twos))
if (two(s1, s2, 5, twos))
if (two(s1, s2, 6, twos))
System.out.println(s1+" "+s2);
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NOLA 2013 [Jan. 30th, 2013|04:02 pm]
As for the Scrabble aspect of the trip, meh#. I played fairly crappy and went 10-10 for the second year in a row. I was pretty happy with my knowing and finding of the words (including some cool CSW-only stuff like HEXENES# and HARDOKE# and DINNERED# and MOOLVIE#), but a few tactical errors did me in. I blew one game because I was supposed to pass with one in the bag and didn't; I blew another because I failed to block a 60-point play in the endgame. A third game, I had a tie against Wiegand if I played NINNY to block his bingo out; I played NY# instead so he bingoed and I lost. Blech.

Enough about wordgames#. Time for the good stuff: food.

My top 5 food recommendations from the weekend:


601 Chartres Street

A nice casual restaurant in the French Quarter with an interesting mix of Cajun food and typical pub fare. Lots of delicious seafood, and burgers too. I had a muffuletta that was large and quite satisfying. Enjoyed this place. Would go again.


630 St. Peter Street

The "Complete Creole Dinner" option at this place was awesome. You got one gumbo course (seafood/okra or chicken/andouille gumbo), one platter course (I'd recommend the combo platter, it's a giant plate covered in etouffee, jambalaya and red beans and rice), a side (spinach, corn, turnips, mashed potatoes) and a dessert (the brownie pie was rich and decadent and AMAZING). Loved it here. Would absolutely return, no question.

811 Conti Street

Calling this place a bar would be generous. It's a dark, musty, disgusting hole in the wall. But it's DELICIOUS. Go there. Get a poboy. I had the shrimp one on Saturday; I loved it so much that I went back and had the pork belly one on Sunday. The sandwiches are big and juicy and flavorful and perfect. They're even perfecter when dipped in horseradish aioli. I'm drooling just thinking about them. I would fly 6 hours back to New Orleans and 6 hours back, just to eat one more meal here.

311 Bourbon Street

The beignets here are ridiculous. Basically they take three of them, they toss them in a bag, and then they fill the bag with powdered sugar. I think every table in the Collins playing room was covered in powdered sugar stains by the final morning of the tournament. But the beignets were arguably not even the best part! The hash browns breakfast is amazing -- chorizo hash with potatoes and peppers and onions, a couple eggs on top, splash some hot sauce all over everything. God, so ridiculously tasty. I would walk through hell in a gasoline suit to eat here again.

any bar, you name the bar -- New Orleans has several

They have Abita. Abita is wonderful. I would let terrorists chop off each of my fingers and toes, one by one, just to drink one more Abita.
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The TV Quote Quiz [Sep. 30th, 2012|10:59 pm]
chaithedog wrote an awesome post recently, quizzing peeps on movie quotes... so I'm gonna totally gank his idea and do something extremely similar. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing... the TV Quote Quiz!

Pretty simple... I post 10 quotes, you name the shows. A few guidelines:

-Pilots only. That's right, all of these quotes are from season 1, episode 1 of their respective series. Some of these shows have a gazillion episodes, making it really hard to pinpoint individual lines of dialogue, so I thought this might make things a tad easier.

-Since I figured the audience for this quiz would skew youngish, I'm only doing fairly recent shows. I was originally intending to go "21st century only," but I screwed up and included one episode that aired in 1999. Oops. Not changing it, though. I love that show.

-These are a mix of comedies and dramas, a mix of network/basic cable/premium cable shows, and even a mix of nationalities... kinda. One of the 10 shows originated overseas.

Without further ado, the quotes:

1. "Can I ask you a question? Why do you smoke Old Golds?"

2. "He ain't no president. Hamilton? He ain't no president!"

3. "I'd rather live like this than be like my aunts and uncles, whose eyes have never stung from the sweet sweat of a hard day's work."

4. "I gotta know what you think so I can get you to think what I think."

5. "I had a friend who used to smoke. You know what he's doing now? He's dead. You think smoking makes you look cool? Let's go dig him up now and see how cool he looks."

6. "I'm a friend first and a boss second. Probably an entertainer third."

7. "The little one, she's four. She had kind of a rough week. We went to the doctor today. Turns out she's got an infected vagina."

8. "What's wrong with McDonald's? You should work at McDonald's. It's great. It's fucking incredible. You know how many people McDonald's feeds every day? You know how many people it employs around the world? Plus they make an incredible product. It tastes tremendous, it's affordable, and it's fucking consistent. I can walk into a McDonald's in Nigeria and order a Chicken McNugget, and when I bite into it, you know what it's gonna taste like? Gonna taste like home."

9. "Why would I want to get to know a guy who's so in love with himself that he hangs out in bookstores admiring his own work?"

10. "You got a brain the size of Wisconsin... but we're not gonna hold it against you."

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sticky sticky... [Sep. 20th, 2012|11:21 am]
I accepted COM* in Oregon back in May. I've been meaning to learn this list ever since. I think I've got it down now!

ARIS#    (Cockney slang) arse [n -ES]
CEAS#    urging flight, also SESSA, CAESE [interj]
CENS#    a type of payment (something that is paid) [n -ES]
COMS#    short for combinations [n]
DEUS#    god [n DEI or DI]
EMYS#    a freshwater terrapin, also EMYD, EMYDE [n pl.]
FEIS#    an ancient assembly [n FEISEANNA]
FRIS#    the fast section of a Hungarian dance, also FRISKA [n -ES]
GRIS#    a grey fur [n -ES]
HORS#    outside [prep]
HUSS#    a type of dogfish used as food [n -ES]
JASS#    jazz, a musical form with syncopated rhythms [n -ES]
KANS#    a type of Indian grass [n -ES]
KEKS#    trousers [n]
LIAS#    early Jurassic rocks, LIASES [n -ES]
NADS#    testicles (a male reproductive gland, also TESTIS) [n]
NYAS#    an untrained young hawk, also EYAS, EYASS [n -ES]
PAIS#    the people from whom a jury is formed [n PAIS]
SEPS#    the serpent-lizard [n -ES]
SESS#    a tax [n -ES]
SIES#    yech, an expression of disgust (South Africa), also SIS [n pl.]
TEMS#    to sift (to pass through a strainer, also SIEVE) [v -ED, -ING, -ES]
UTIS#    din [n -ES]
VERS#    a verse [n VERSES or VERS]
VIBS#    shoes with Vibram soles [n]
WELS#    a large fish, the American giant catfish, introduced into European rivers, aka SHEATFISH [n WELS]

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Watertown, MA 1-day tournament! [Sep. 17th, 2012|04:24 pm]
Everyone come! (OK, not everyone, I can only fit 24 in this particular playing room. But hey -- 24 of you come!)

Watertown, Mass.
One-Day SCRABBLE® Tournament

8 fully-rated NASPA games
Saturday, December 1, 2012

9:00 a.m.: Registration
9:30 a.m.: Games 1-3
12:30 p.m.: Lunch
1:30 p.m.: Games 4-8
6:30 p.m. Awards

Due to the limited size of the playing room, this event will be capped at 24 players. Paid entries only will be accepted.

Tentative plan: 18 TWL players, split by rating into three 6-player divisions, and one 6-player CSW division. (This may be changed slightly based on players’ lexical demands.)

Entry Fee: $60 for all divisions

Arsenal Center for the Arts (Mezzanine Classroom)
321 Arsenal Street
Watertown, MA 02472
(617) 923-7085

Evans Clinchy
58 Albion Street
Medford, MA 02155

Payments will be accepted either by PayPal (eclinchy@yahoo.com), or by check/money order mailed to the address above.

You must be a member of NASPA to compete in this tournament. Join today at http://www.scrabbleplayers.org!

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NYC CSW [Sep. 6th, 2012|03:32 pm]
Oh, hey, I won. I suppose I should write something about it.

This totally came out of nowhere. I went in expecting to be mediocre (and knowing that there was nothing wrong with mediocrity in a field this ridiculously dense with talented players). In the beginning, I was indeed mediocre. In the middle, I was still mediocre. Then at the end, I just randomly won all the games. My records this weekend included 1-1, 2-2, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, and then whoa, that's weird, 13-8.

Doesn't really make much sense. I wasn't expecting to do well this weekend. I'd taken a solid five months off from studying CSW this year (three in the winter between New Orleans and BAT, then another two in the summer between Montreal and Nationals). My prep work for this tournament was basically five days of cramming. Seriously, I didn't even look at the fours. I still don't know them.

I went to bed Sunday night feeling fine about being .500 -- I'd had an awesome weekend with my friends and eaten fantastic food, and as long as I could scrape together an 11-10 finish, my rating wouldn't take much of a beating. Cool. Then I started drawing lights-out, and I survived a couple scary endgames, and suddenly I was in contention.

The last game (http://cross-tables.com/annotated.php?u=12311) was a laugher. Doesn't take a grandmaster to pluck bingos outta the bag one after another and play them. Pretty representative of the whole day for me -- when I needed a lucky break, I got it, simple as that.

Eventually I wanna get good enough at CSW that I can win tournaments like this even when luck isn't on my side. That's gonna take more comphrensive knowledge of the shorter words, more practice with some of the crazy preendgame/endgame situations that come up using the big book, and just more experience in general. But this was a good step for me. I'm excited and confident about Scrabble again, and definitely looking forward to October. Lake George and Can-Am shall be excellent.

Here's some bingos (now with more pound signs!):

wordsCollapse )

In closing: Joy Burgers, El Aguila tacos and Earl's grilled cheese sandwiches are all drooltastic. This is not debatable.
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Annual tradition [Aug. 12th, 2012|08:04 am]
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Jiminy Christmas Peak games, part four [Jun. 25th, 2012|01:02 am]
Needed to win all four of these to break 2000. Would I fail? Or would I get terribly terribly lucky?

Round 13 against key_lime_guy
Round 14 against dugy1001
Round 15 against Jan Cardia
Round 16 against Brian Galebach
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Jiminy Christmas Peak games, part three [Jun. 23rd, 2012|06:12 pm]
Wherein I start playing a bunch of people with LJ usernames (and one of them beats me):

Round 9 against dugy1001
Round 10 against spherulitic
Round 11 against key_lime_guy
Round 12 against dugy1001
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