Friday, July 24, 2009

A Fellow of Infinite Jest, of Most Excellent Fancy.


Anagram of the Day: Oriental --> Relation

Boom! Figured that anagram out myself, thank you! Thank you so much! Really, no, thank you... ah, one of the side benefits of being a Scrabble Head. Well, it's a double-edged thing, really... it's subconscious now. I see a word, anywhere, a sign, a car trunk, a book title, and I immediately start to anagramize it. I first look for S's and set those aside. I look for ER and ED, for TION and ING. That's what I did with Oriental, actually... I pulled out the TION and set it aside, which left R, E, A and L. After that, it was quick work.

You'd think with all of the subconscious anagramization that I do, I'd be awesome at Scrabble... if you add up the near 1,000 games I have between my old laptop Scrabble and the Scrabble Online version on my MacBook, you'll find my winning percentage against Maven is quite a bit below 50%. It has my "rating" at about 1600 - 1650. If you know anything about the Scrabble Tournament Ranking System, you know how mediocre that is... they don't necessarily take into account winning/losing, as much as they judge how well a play you made with the letters you had. Who knows what it would be if I actually played against real people instead of the Pro ranking of Maven (approx 1700 score). It drops Bingos on me all over the place, which is frustrating. I might get one per game, whereas Maven will usually get 3, and sometimes double that.

Scrabble is only partially about skill... a lot of it has to do with the letters you pull, which is really random. Boggle's the same way, sort of. Word Wars is a cool movie about competitive Scrabble, as is the book Word Freak, by Stefan Fatsis. Most of the best players in the world are complete freaks, nuerotic, extreme nerds, pill head, etc. Not a crowd I'd like to pal around with. But they're fun to observe, from the safety of this side of the page/screen.

Anyway, I certainly didn't intend to talk about Scrabble tonight... just sort of happened. In fact, how did I get on that topic again? Oh, yeah, the anagram. There's a strange sort of satisfaction I get when I can anagramize a big word in my head. Oh, sure, I could cheat and go to one of dozens of "anagram solver" websites, where you plug a word in, and it will give you every possible anagram variation, but what fun is there in that? Those world-class Scrabble freaks hang out and test each other to stay sharp. They'll pick a 7 to 10 letter word, automatically break the word down in their heads, and put the letters in alphabetical order, then say "OK, guys, how about this one: A, B, B, C, E, L, R and S." Then the others will listen to the letters once, rearrange the letters (in their heads, mind you), and race to see who can announce the word first. "Scrabble!"

This is the part where I force myself to change subjects...

I watched a fascinating documentary last night on the history of the way the Holocaust has been portrayed in Hollywood films since it happened. They showed how it was handled with kid-gloves initially (except for Chaplin's The Great Dictator, of course), and slowly, in waves, began to get more and more gritty with it. It was a fascinating evolution. Of course, they had to show "The Scene" from Sophie's Choice. Man, even pulling The Scene out of the film and inserting it into a documentary, I still cried like a baby watching it. Man, that Scene is way up there at/near the top of the list, as far as moments in cinema that strip me bare and run me through with a rusty saber. Sure, go ahead and grind me to powder, thank you very much!

Whenever I contemplate the Holocaust, I marvel that so many people could band together to perpitrate such an unfathomably evil horror. I get the same knot in my stomach when I marvel that I live in a country where murdering children is legal. Not only legal, but a fiercely fought-for "right". The whole issue drips with illogic, contradiction, insanity and hypocrisy. If I could, I would make abortion illegal so fast, it would make everyone's head spin. I mean, I would outlaw it right now.

This conversation sure took a turn toward the macabre... Guess I should have stuck with talking about Scrabble! Seems kind of absurd to try and go the "funny picture/video clip" route now, eh?

Tomorrow is The Summer 2009 Lan Party at the Wilson's house. I'll be driving Dimitri up tomorrow morning. It won't be an all-nighter this time... it's set for 9am to 9pm, which should be fine, of course. I bought a copy of the Warcraft 3 Battle Chest today and installed it on my system. I'll bring a few other games along, just in case we want to mix it up a bit. I'm looking forward to it, that's for sure.

Although I saw this next sequence of photos, and I became afraid...


Don't know who that kid is, but it shows the physical transformation that occurred once he got hooked on World of Warcraft, lol. Hard to believe that's the same dude, but apparently it is! Dang! I don't want that to happen to me! Maybe there was a medical reason as well...

Went out on a "date" with wifey tonight. Around here, that means eating out someplace without one or more of our kids tagging along. It was nice, I suppose. Plan A had a line out the door, so we quickly decided on Plan B, and had a decent meal, and saved about half of what we would have spent at Plan A. And we had a good chat. Chalk that one up to constructive relationship building.

Random Bits: The Order of the Stick updated today! Yay! Also, isn't that a killer Great Pyramid pic at the top of this post? Plus, I tried to find more cool blogs to subscribe to tonight... found one that looks promising; I'll let you know. Finally, I can't wait for Diablo 3!!!

Well, dang, this is sort of an unorthodox post tonight, my apologies. Think I'll just finish this one up and call it a night. Gonna pass on digging for movie quotes tonight, other than the obvious two spots, if you don't mind. Havah pretty much has the contest wrapped up for July in any case, but still, I'll be back with more tomorrow. Just not feelin' it tonight. Of course, no quotes means no comments.... and you all know that I judge my self-worth by how many comments I get! Meh, I'll live...

Until tomorrow, remember, you cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal. Except my life.

Current Book: A Cavern of Black Ice, by J.V. Jones (less than a week to Best Served Cold, woot!)
Current Movie(s): Music Box, Replacement Killers (lame) and Backdraft (I may watch Snatch again tonight)
Current Game(s): Half-Life 2 (again), Mahjong and FATE: Undiscovered Realms
Current Skin Tone: Pasty White

13 comments:

Bobinho said...

"you cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal. Except my life" = Hamlet

Bobinho said...

Title also from Hamlet ;)

David Wagner said...

Thought I'd force-feed you a little culture tonight, Bob! A little Hamlet never hurt! Vitamin H, I call it!

10 points for the Emperor.

Bobinho said...

good thing i was already up when you posted :) it's 7:50 am here atm...

Abbie said...

dave, although I know I would lose royally, I would love to play boggle/scrabble with you!! just so that if I manage to get, oh say 50 points, I'd feel like a champ 'cause I played against you :P gotta birthday coming up or anything? good post!

Vye said...

Notice how he had a woman and now he doesn't? Guess she wasn't geek material...

See ya at the LAN Dave.

havah said...

Nice Hamlet quotes, Dave...not the usual "to be" etc fodder. :D

Awesome photograph at the top. If you hadn't said what it was...

I haven't played Scrabble in years. I didn't even know there was a computer version...as if there isn't a computer version of every game by now. I wonder if I can find it online. Just not at yahoo...yahoo freezes me up for some reason :(

Enjoy the lan party tomorrow. :)

Paula Titus said...

That scene from Sophie's Choice is also etched in my memory. There was a time when I couldn't tell you the actors or name of the flick, but I could describe the emotion. That's what great artistry is all about.

That photo sequence is downright scary. Poor kid.

havah said...

I'm beginning to wonder if I've ever seen Sophie's Choice. Hmm...

Rebekah said...

I had never compared the holocaust to present day abortions. It is so commonly accepted... I don't know but your so right.

An uhg, that _poor_ wow guy. Now I understand what pastor was warning about. Run, all you who value your girlfriends.

:D Just kiddin.

Paula Titus said...

Havah - check this out- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82Oc5ny3hjg

Sorry, I couldn't find the scene in English but you can still understand what happens.

marky said...

I don't think I've ever known anybody that can go from talking about scrabble to the Holocaust so effortlessly!

Good job.

Wave goodbye to life as you know it if you start playing WOW. I've stayed well away from it for that very reason. The kid picture was unnerving enough to cement my opinion!

Avari said...

Me Too. I want to all I can to end abortion!