Saturday, May 21, 2011

Still Breathin'!

Still breathing over here. Thank God.

Before hauling my ass over to Japan, I was totally aware of their working habits: long hours, sometimes over 6 or 7 days a week. But since I work for a US firm I thought I'd avoid all that. Turns out, I was wrong!

It's not only the marathon feeling of everyday existence, but the sheer pace of it, too. And it is the reason why I've hardly posted at all. Everytime I think of starting a post, there's always work. Pretty damn crazy.

Surprisingly, I can actually keep up with the locals, even outlasting most of them. I didn't think I had it.

Anyway, I think perhaps an OS break should be in order. Peter Long dropped in a couple of days ago and mentioned something about the KL Open. If nothing else, I gotta try out some of that Laksa. As good as Japanese food is, it's pretty boring compared to other Asian cuisine.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Beautiful Problems

Canadian playwright Andrew Laurenson has a new play.

...follows one man’s personal journey into learning what it means to take responsibility for his life. The story is inspired by one of the most famous chess games of all time: The 1997 Man versus Machine showdown in which Garry Kasparov, thought by many to be the best chess player in history, lost a match to Deep Blue, an IBM supercomputer.

It was considered a watershed moment in technological advancement, the humiliating defeat spelling doom for mankind. But the more Laurenson thought about it, the more he realized the Kasparov match — and his own games — weren’t so much a competition against machine, but a showdown against man and beyond that, himself.

I have a problem with my work hours which is the cause of my quietness of late. And, of course, there's nothing much beautiful about it. Once I'm done, I should be back to normal schedule. I'll even post a link to what I've been working on.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mofo Chess Piece

U-huh. OK then.

Chess bosses have added two new pieces to the ancient game in response to the introduction of ‘cool’ slang words to Scrabble’s official dictionary.
The new pieces are the Gangsta and the Shorty.

The Worldwide Chess Federation made the announcement after 3,000 slang words including ‘innit’, ‘thang’ and ‘fo-shizzle’ were added to the Collins Official Scrabble Words reference guide – or Scrabble Bible – released today.

The Gangsta is a described in a press release from the Federation as “a sneaky mo-fo, for sure.”

Believe it or not.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Missing Chess

It's the only form of chess I play these days. It's bullet, the opponent's not very good, but at least he's an IM. And, as they say, a win is a win.

ICC 1 0
My Opponent (IM)
The Closet Grandmaster

1. e3 c6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nf3 d6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O a6 7. c4 O-O 8. Nc3 Nbd7 9. Bd2 Re8 10. Qe2 e5 11. d5 Rb8 12. dxc6 bxc6 13. Rab1 Qc7 14. b3 Nc5 15. e4 Bg4 16. h3 Bd7 17. g4 Ne6 18. Be3 c5 19. Rfd1 Bc6 20. Ng5 Nd4 21. Bxd4 exd4 22. f3 dxc3 23. Rbc1 Nd7 24. h4 Bd4+ 25. Kh1 Ne5 26. Nh3 Qd7 27. Nf4 Re7 28. Nd3 Nxd3 29. Rxd3 Rbe8 30. Rcd1 Qe6 31. Rxd4 cxd4 32. Rxd4 Qe5 33. Qd3 c2 34. Rd5 c1=Q+ 35. Bf1 Bxd5 {White forfeits on time} 0-1

I miss chess.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

On Holiday in Osaka

Normally I put up an out of office notice, but in my excitement, I totally forgot this time. The reason for the lack of updates over the last few days is that I've actually been on holiday in Osaka. It's Japan's second biggest city.

There's plenty of good food here and things to do, but I wouldn't recommend more than 2-3 days. It's a grittier and dirtier city than Tokyo with more drunks and homeless people, it seems to me. There's also plenty of yakuza.

For those seeking the Amsterdam-like experience, and I'm not talking about Mary Jane laced cookies, there's that too.

I'll be back in Tokyo this Friday.