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it came out of the wordwork

Life happens.. and Second Life, too, a not so concise overview
Monday it didn't snow here, so I managed to get to the Waterville Chess Club's Monday night meeting for the first time in a month or more. It was good to be back, and in celebration I played two club-rated games, both with 30 minute time controls.

Against Vaughn Sturtevant I drew, with black. In theory coming out with a draw with black against someone rated very close to you is OK... in this case I went from an ordinary game to a game with great winning chances.. .except I was very low on time. I offered the draw after a hurried move left me with one of those theoretical 55 move wins... and we both had less than two minutes on our clock. Vaughn was kind enough to accept it, since at that point becoming a winner would have been a matter of luck or hand speed rather than skill.

Against Mark McPheters ... I won, with black. I've been playing an unorthodox (surprise!) opening with black, one that tends to draw white into a slugfest on the kingside while my space on the queenside slowly expands.. .turning into threats to queen that pesky Queen Knight Pawn late in the game. Mark's game wasn't a complete re-run of the game against Vaughn since Mark managed to stave off that pawn, but the cost there was a slowly collapsing castled position and Mark eventually tipped his king.

I think I picked up about 12 or 14 club-points on the night for the 30 minute games, so that's something after so long a lay-off.

I didn't get to play Ed Hatch, fresh from his great tournament in Bangor, but when Dr. John got back from choir practice (he's in the Chorus of the Kennebec)... we played our usual madcap series of 10 minute games. I took the first, lost the second and then lost a few more, finally losing my patience with myself before finishing up with a win ... in that one the position on the board was even in material, with locked central pawnchains, but I could demonstrate several forced wins of material with accompanying mate threats ... .as John put it ..."I'm out of time...and ideas"...

I got home quite late Monday night, so late the cats had given up on me... and then yesterday was a bunch of packing and running around, including an interesting and informative two hour seminar on the upcoming postal rate increases. What's still not clear is exactly how much these "clarifying" increases are going to cost us and our readers when it comes to sending things overseas. It looks like some things we've previously sent as "letter packet" will now have to go international priority. I may make several test mailings the week of May 14 just to see what happens. I can't alas, speak to what's going to happen to the small press magazines with this change, since those changes have been delayed until July. Not only that, one of the presenters at our seminar (we had four, all told, IIRC) said that changes to the periodicals arrangements will be "sweeping".

The group at my seminar was quite an interesting mix of high end mailers, small businesses, and eBay fanatics, so there were a lot of good questions, and I scored a "3A template" for the First Class mail changes.

After all that PO excitement I picked Rolanni up from work, dashed over to Unity where we collected a lot of neat stuff at *that* Po, including 5 or 6 new PKD Award candidates, and then dashed back to the credit union in Winslow since several book dealers had paid outstanding bills... then a stop at Subway for a delayable dinner... and home to do email check-ins, work on some chapters, and then eat while dealing with some phone calls and getting online with Second Life where Friend of Liad/SciFi Ranger/Chatrez stalwart Shawna Montgomery was celebrating her "Rezz Day". I stayed while I could in-world, but another phone call came in and it seemed best not to return to festivities after.

This morning -- one of the flowers out front has bloomed, but it isn't my prized day lily, which is months away, I guess. In the morning email some good news from a friend overseas, hooray, about a book finished after some (multi-year) delay.

Have fed the birds, have moved piles of stuff around the kitchen so it looks a little better, and I *do* need to schedule a take down of the ceramic Christmas tree sometime in the next week or two. Later, some packing, work on chapter 14 and 15, and heck, a peek at LUC2, which is brewing not so quietly.

Oh, and why is the coffee gone?