In the United States, today is the holiday of Thanksgiving, where we talk about how thankful we are for stuff.

For example, it could be stated that I am thankful that I don’t need to talk to my doctor about Viagra (yet).

What are YOU thankful for?


I had two seizures this week and still do not feel good. We will try to get back to entertaining you some time next week.

In the meantime, I will be sleeping and honing my Starcraft 2 skills.

Magnus Carlsen and LeBron James are the same person

While I don’t always keeping up with the latest chess news, some of you do. Thus I discovered through Lousy@Chess about Carlsen’s decision to withdraw from the current World Championship Cycle.

Sometime ago, I tried to give non-chess players a rough sense of what ratings mean. As of this writing, the post is still true. Carlsen and James are both the best in the world, but without a championship to their names. Anyway, here’s some more ways the two are linked:

Magnus: getting help from an actual champion, Garry Kasparov
LeBron: getting help from an actual champion, Dwyane Wade

Magnus: disappointed loyal fans with his decision
LeBron: disappointed loyal fans with The Decision

Magnus: lost respect by trying to make the path to the championship more to his liking, rather than winning purely through his skill
LeBron: lost respect by trying to win championships on a “super squad”, rather than elevating a team through his skill

Magnus: has 6 letters in his first name
LeBron: has 6 letters in his first name

Why I lost respect for Kevin Garnett

As we know, NBA players talk trash to each other on the court. It’s natural; many of us did that on the playground as well.

Charlie Villanueva made some news this week when he accused Kevin Garnett of calling him a “cancer patient”. The media was up in arms, because it’s obvious you can’t say that since it has the word “cancer” in it.

Garnett defended himself with:

My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact ‘You are cancerous to your team and our league.’

If Garnett doesn’t deserve scorn for such a transparent lie, he should be mocked for how mind-bogglingly weaksauce that “insult” is. (As a point of comparison, my trash talk consists of “Your improper arm extension impacts the accuracy of your free throws.”)

If any of you want to adapt this for your chess games (say if you’re playing a kid who stubbornly continues a dead-drawn endgame), try the following taunt to throw your opponents off their game: “You are cancerous to our club and the USCF.” That’ll show ’em. Of course, FIDE, FICS, etc. can be substituted for the USCF as needed.

Shawn Bradley ran for office

Wow. I am remiss. Our favorite ex-NBA player, Shawn Bradley, ran for a seat in the Utah legislature.

Back in March, he just managed to file for running the Friday before the deadline, which was probably a good of an omen as any.

Naturally, he lost. Apparently it was a too tall of an order for him.

To be honest, I would have been disappointed if he won.

: Wait a minute. You didn’t talk about that chick, Kristi Noem.

: “That chick”? Could you be a little more respectful? And who’s she?

: You know, she won the South Dakota election and she’s going to be popular because she’s pretty hot.

: Look, that’s your domain, make your own post. I ain’t stopping you.

: And I found out why Christine O’Donnell lost.

: Yeah?

: I was looking through her Flickr feed. In every single one, she was wearing pants, never skirts or dresses. So people got scared off because they thought she was lesbian.

: Boy, I can’t wait until you get your gig on CNN, man.

What I won from the McDonald’s Monopoly game

All-in-all, during the McDonald’s Monopoly game, I spent about $50 on eating there. This is about $50 more than normal for this same time period.

I won:

1 free Redbox movie rental (worth $1)
180 Coke Rewards Points (sort of worth about $9, depending on the reward)
Medium Fries
Any breakfast sandwich, excluding McGriddles (seriously?)
Small McFlurry or Small Fruit ‘n’ Yogurt Parfait

Needless to say, McDonald’s won’t be wanting to use my name and picture for their promotional materials next year.


In the United States, yesterday was Election Day. For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook, here is the official LEP view on things: voting for a “D” or an “R” doesn’t change the fact that money buys power in this country. It also won’t change the trend of more money being concentrated into fewer hands. Who gets into power only determines how the United States will grow weaker, not whether it happens.