austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

My part of the crowd is not with me tonight

We went back to Fremont the weekend or so after that. This was for the finals, both of the monthly tournament and for the league. It wasn't a big crowd, maybe ten people there, but that still crowded the Blind Squirrel League's alcove for this stuff. Showing up were mostly the higher-seeded people, bunny_hugger and I included, and people with real or plausible bids for the state finals. It turns out this was more than just the large number of casual people who play a game but aren't really interested in playing not turning out. AJH sets up an 'A' and a 'B' division, with separate playoff nights, to avoid overcrowding. I also imagine it avoids interlopers like me, who wouldn't show up for league nights but would swoop in for finals, getting stabbed in the kidneys by someone bumped down to ninth place merely because I poked in and put in a game on Taxi that nobody else saw.

There were two rounds of finals to do, with not precisely the same people in them. AJH, organizing this all with his curious genius, set things up so any pair or group of people who were free to play a meaningful game did. This would save considerable time, at the cost of my having no idea who I might play next or what I was playing for. I got to feeling like I was in some strange existentialist joke. Why am I there? What am I doing? Why? I don't know, someone just tells me to play a game of Road Show and I do. Is it fun? I'll know when I'm done.

The joke would get better for the September and October tournaments when I looked at the numbers and realized that I was sure to get into the state finals. This doesn't mean I stopped playing, or stopped trying to play my best, and I'll still be going out to Fremont sometime in December for monthly and league games at least. But all I could do by the next round of playoffs is affect whether in the first round of state finals I lose to CST, to SMS, or to RLM. I don't have a preference there.

Well, I'd put in mediocre performances for August anyway, getting 6th in the monthly and 7th in the league finals. bunny_hugger would take 3rd in the monthly and 5th in the league finals, netting her an awesome fourteen-plus points for state rankings. She'd officially leapt into the running for the top 16 in the state.

Somehow everything got wrapped up by a reasonable hour, maybe 5 pm or so. With not much else to do we drove west, to Michigan's Adventure. This time we could better appreciate the scenery in a really remote area. It let us find, for example, a Boy Scout campground that was a century-plus old. And a summer camp bunny_hugger's brother had attended as a teen.

Though it was a Sunday in August Michigan's Adventure was this time not insanely packed. This is because it was also getting on to evening. While the park would stay open another several hours, families were getting out of the water park and going home instead of joining lines. We got to enjoy the small but cozy park and to ride pretty much anything we wanted. We missed the petting zoo, which closed earlier than anything else at the park, but otherwise, it was just what we might hope for. A solid amusement park that might as well have been waiting on us, apart from the coffee stand somehow still not being open.

Well, now we had a new understanding of how to arrange Blind Squirrel events. Take a summer day, go put in pinball scores, and then enjoy the evening at the amusement park. Get home in time to feed our pet rabbit. Good scheme, isn't it all?

Trivia: Through the Revolutionary War the Board of Proprietors of East New Jersey --- owners of what would otherwise have been public land --- could not meet as all their property records were kept in British-occupied New York City. (Many of its members were, too.) Source: New Jersey From Colony To State, 1609 - 1789, Richard P McCormick.

Currently Reading: Michigan: A History, Bruce Catton.

PS: The End 2016 Mathematics A To Z: Local, one of those handy words to have around.

Tags: blind squirrel league, michigan's adventure, pinball
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