Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Down and out

Semifinal: I wasted lots of time on a 950 (means that it should be easier than the usual 1000, but wasn't), and didn't have quite enough time to discover the bug in my 550, and as a result went into the wildcard instead of advancing directly.

In the wildcard, I got shafted by another poker problem, which took me ages just to understand and longer to debug, and I went in with the wrong structures for the 1000, so I'm out of that too.

Las Vegas is the same as last year: gawdy and not much to do unless you're a gambling addict, and I'm stuck here for two days after the TC stuff ends. As you can guess, I'm not in the best mood at the moment. The single cloud on the horizon is that I'm spending a lot of what's going to be left of my prize money on going to see Spamalot on Friday.

Down in the park

If a year ago you'd told me I'd get sunburnt in England, I would have laughed at you. Not any more. As the first leg of getting to Las Vegas for the TCO 2008, I stopped off in London and spent the day with Carl. The weather in England has glorious (which means 25° plus). We spent the afternoon just picnicking in Richmond Park, which is absolutely huge and, unlike Cambridge, has some geography. Somehow we managed to meet up with some friends of Carl's, starting from instructions like "we at a pond".

After that it was off to the Las Vegas. The transatlantic flight was heavenly, since it was basically empty and I could get 3 seats to a row to myself for some shuteye. And even though it was late, I still have enough time to make my connection without panic, and all my luggage arrived. So it's a good start all round.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Birthdays and things

Last weekend I had a birthday party, which I try to do approximately once a year. Carl and Mike came up from London, and Much Fun Was Had By All. We ended up playing Jenga (or rather, a knockoff Eastern European copy my parents brought back from their trip), and we succeeded in building a maximal tower, shown right.

This weekend is a bank holiday weekend, so various people invited friends from London to visit Cambridge, and the weather was nice enough to go punting. I'd been once before, but didn't actually do the punting. This time everyone took a turn, including me. It looks pretty precarious standing on the back of a wobbly punt, but it's actually surprisingly hard to fall in. At one point I got too close to the bank and was nearly taken out by an overhanging tree, but still managed to keep my balance.