Sep 4, 2012 · 3 minute read · Comments chessPittsburghPittsburgh Chess Club
Start of first round Tonight was the first round of the latest six-round Tuesday night tournament at the Pittsburgh Chess Club, my first tournament in almost two years, the 14th Fred Sorensen Memorial.
The tournament There was quite a large turnout for this tournament. Apparently a good number of people who had not played for a while (like me), chose to come back also! There were also new faces.
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I have to confess that I have never been interested in playing chess online. I also do not like to play chess against computers, and not just because my first experience playing chess against a computer was bizarrely negative. I understand that many people take great pleasure in both of these activities, but I still restrict myself to playing chess only against humans, and face to face. Here’s why.
So tonight I stopped by the Pittsburgh Chess Club to renew my expired membership and pre-register for the next 6-round Tuesday night tournament, the Fred Sorensen Memorial, which starts on Tuesday after Labor Day. This will be the sixth time I’m playing in this annual tournament.
It’s been almost two years since I played tournament chess.
Here’s a look back at previous years of the tournament and reflections on why I’ve played off and on, and what makes this “comeback” different from all the rest.
This race is special because Run Around The Square was the first race I ever ran in my life, back in 2000, and because it is also the first race Abby ever ran (just last year, 2011): so today was my 128th lifetime race (according to my race log I keep) and Abby’s 5th lifetime race.
My goal this year
My goal for the race for this year was to run it faster than I did last year (which also would automatically mean running it faster than any year since six years ago, 2006).
My time from last year was 24:36, and I believed from my last timed interval workout, on Tuesday, that I could run 24:30 today at fastest, so there was little room for error. I had hoped months ago that I would be in shape to run considerably faster in Run Around The Square this year, but travel and other interruptions caused me to train only haphazardly for races this year.
Did I achieve my goal? The story turns out to be more complicated than I expected.
Aug 23, 2012 · 4 minute read · Comments PythonPittsburghprogrammingSConsdomain-specific languages
Yesterday I gave my first lightning talk in my life, as far as I can remember.
I spoke for probably around five minutes at the monthly meeting of the Pittsburgh Python User Group, which had a module show-and-tell night.
I originally had not planned to attend the meeting, since although I have been to meetings of the Python group since January 2011, I stopped going over a year ago. But I suddenly decided on short notice to volunteer before the meeting to give a little talk on the Python-based tool SCons.
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The inaugural Steel City Ruby Conf was over two weeks ago. I was so excited by it that I vowed to change my life in several ways. Although I was way too busy with work, and a wedding to fly to (that Abby and I expanded into a full-blown vacation), I knew that the excitement would fade if I did not do at least one thing in order to remember and revisit the experience, so I wrote up a very short blog post immediately after the conference in order to publicly commit to both writing more and also doing something new.
Here’s part 1 of my actual review of the conference.
Aug 21, 2012 · 5 minute read · Comments chessPittsburghCarnegie Mellon University
Franklin's United States Chess Federation Life Member certificate So far, I’ve only written a few times here about chess, because over a year ago, I deliberately decided (for the nth time) to quit my involvement in chess.
But because this summer, I finally finished paying for and receiving my United States Chess Federation (USCF) life membership, I decided to put some chess back into my life.
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