Glowy-type chess pieces

Pretending to add something relative to chess. For this render in particular, it helps to have a larger version (click on the pic). It’s called “Chess Spirit”.

The problem with this pic is the difficulty of picking out the pieces, especially the Bishops and Rooks. A big part of that is what I tried to do with the materials: each piece is clear glass with a glowing light inside determining the color of the pieces. The models were created by Matt Clara (I don’t have time to develop my own at this point, not that I’m all that skilled at it anyway). If you look on his webpage, the pieces are a lot easier to pick out, probably because the materials used in those pics aren’t funky.

On the board, only the center squares are obvious, but the effect is interesting, so I didn’t bother to correct it.

Chess Spirit

Rerolling

As of Thursday, I was rather satisfied with the size of the blogroll: I didn’t want to link to 50 different indistinguishable blogs in some sort of back-scratching link exchange. Unfortunately, other people have to go out on the Internet and be reasonably interesting. (It should of note that there are a number of blogs that I occasion, but don’t feel their content particularly compelling. Personal friends and family always get listed whether they’re boring or not. 😉 )

SO, I’ve decided to try to sort out the list to keep myself, as well as you straight. There are now four categories:

Chess Blogs Blogs with primary focus on chess. Blue Devil Knight, Chess Improvement, and ookwelbekendalsemc (don’t ask) are newly added.
Enemies: I Hate Pink! should be part of the Axis of Evil, and I will defeat her evil schemes one of these days.
Not-Enemies: Most everyone else. It should be noted that l3rucewayne’s Blog, Reassembler and Sailing to Byzantium deal with chess, but cover other topics as well. Reassembler in particular aims to be eclectic.
Zombies: Blogs updated once a month or less. They only remain linked b/c they’re friends.

56, 57, 58, …

All those Marlins fans

Yesterday afternoon was the last home game for the Florida Marlins this season. If you don’t care, that’s all right, because Miami doesn’t care either.

At no time was this more striking than a couple weeks ago, when the almost equally poor Washington Nationals came into town for an afternoon game:

When Byung-Hyun Kim threw the first pitch, 375 spectators could be seen. That is what happens when two of the worst teams in baseball meet for a 1:05 p.m. game on a 91-degree September afternoon.

“It’s a little sad when you can pretty much count how many people are in the stands,” Marlins first baseman Mike Jacobs said.

When one of the players cussed after striking out, it was clearly heard over the television, and the broadcasters had to apologize.

Granted, I felt bad for the Marlins, but not so much as to make the effort to go to at least one game this year. It’s hard to want to go when the parking costs more than the tickets.

Heck, I can do that, too.

Tonight I ran across some gasbag who decided to create his/her own award for blogs that make you think. It’s called the “Thinking Blogger Award”, and it’s really just a slightly more clever version of those somewhat annoying memes you might see floating around. Which, of course, I would never participate in. Oh, right…

Anyway, I haven’t been nominated for that “Thinking Blogger Award”. (And even if that did happen, I would probably reject it just to preserve its sanctity.) However, I decided if a random dude/dudette can create some sort of honor out of thin air, so can I! Plus, I’d have two different size awards instead of just one. So it’s…better…er…

Worthless Blogger Award, large size Worthless Blogger Award, small size

Perhaps the Worthless Blogger Award is of dubious use, since the majority of blogs would be well- to overly-qualified to “win” this distinction. Think of it as one of those “Certificates of Participation” you received in elementary school so you wouldn’t feel bad, even though you didn’t come close to having enough talent to actually win one of the real awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

If you’re on my blogroll…um…I guess you’ve just been nominated to receive the “award” as well. And if you’re wondering how the Mascot all of a sudden has hands now, I suggest you improve your skill at suspension of disbelief.

[Edit: OK, I’m sick of posting now. Think I’ll quit for a few days…]

Kramnik needs to tone down the diplomacy

World Chess Championship 2007 logo

For those of you who care, the world chess championships are in progress, and if things hold as they have been, the current champion Vladimir Kramnik will lose his crown to Vishawanthan Anand. Anand is comfortably ahead of the field, having a lead of 1.5 games with 3 rounds left to play.

While Anand won his 11th round game, Kramnik accepted a draw after only move 13 (and if this is Grandmaster chess, I don’t want any part of it). One of reasons: “I felt it would be somewhat insulting to reject a draw because my opponent is very strong.”

Dude, you’re playing to win the world friggin’ championship of chess, and now you’re desperately far behind. Don’t you have to at least try to score the full point instead of agreeing to a 13-move draw? And you’re sitting there worried about your opponent’s feelings!

Out of the Ether put it very well: “I think what I’m coming away with here is that one has to fight to win.”

Miami Heat ticket packages

Miami Heat logo

One of my friends just e-mailed with some of the ticket packages your Miami Heat are offering this season:

Pat Riley Season Ticket Plan
– Exclusive events with the team/players
– 300-level seat locations still available
– Save over $1,000 for a pair of tickets
– From $731 per seat

D. Wade’s Big Name/Big Game Plan
– 20 games, including the Pistons (Opening Night) and the Lakers
– Featured match-ups: Nash, LeBron, Iverson, Dirk, KG, and Durant
– $499 per seat

Shaq’s Weekend Pack
– 11 games, including the Spurs (defending champs) and the Knicks
– Featured match-ups: T-Mac, Yao, Arenas, Kidd, KG, Pierce, and Allen
– $299 per seat

Etc.

You get the idea. But what about us poor people who can’t afford that stuff? How about the following additional packages:

Smush Parker Pack
– 10 games; opposing team must have losing record
– Featured match-ups: Marbury, Pollard, Jones, and hopefully someone will pick up Shawn Bradley
– $100 per seat

Gary Payton’s Senior Pack
– 8 games against teams with an average age of at least 30
– Special rate for fans 55 and older
– Includes a free tube of Super Poligrip
– $80; bring your own wheelchair for seating

Penny’s Nostalgia Pack
– Any game where both Shaq and Wade are “injured” (should be about 10)
– Rony Seikaly will play instead of Shaq
– Tim Hardaway will play instead of Wade
– $50 per seat (in the Miami Arena)

我談中國好

點這個崗位? 我是好奇的發現知道漢語的極少數讀者能多麼恰當或窮地讀這。不, 我不學會中文, 而是曾經網站處理翻譯。有希望地, 至少您將得到好笑設法讀這。 2008 年表決為鮑勃・多爾。

You non-Chinese readers can use Babel Fish to figure out what this was all about (it’s traditional, not simplified Chinese).

The toughest online course ever

My skills at not procrastinating have improved. Instead of starting the defensive driving course the day before it’s due, I’ve decided to start the week before. Boy, do they ever want to make sure you’re paying attention:

DOTS Defensive Driving Instructor

Yes, sir, Picture of Random Guy Yelling and Pointing in the middle of the chapter text. I completely understand that according the Florida Law no one has the right-of-way. No, sir, I’m not doing other stuff while waiting for the 50 min timer for Chapter 1 to finish, even though it took only 15 minutes to read, and I don’t need to memorize it because the exam is open notes.

Get away from me, Rainmaker!

The “Rainmaker”

What are you looking for in a mortgage broker? How about someone who describes himself in radio commercials as “humane”?

Whoever created that ad for Richard Ruble, “The Rainmaker”, felt it was useful to stick it in there. But what does that mean? He doesn’t send you to Guantánamo for missing a payment, unlike those other guys?

I’ll take Senor Cardgage’s promise of “Low rates, percent signs, I dunno” anyday.