Ecorider

Showing posts with label TomZ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TomZ. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Another successful puzzling weekend.

As always, it's a sad time when friends go their separate ways.  Sunday was the end of the event and it was doubly sad because it was time to say good bye to friends.  I always hate that part of the puzzle events.  Saying good by is painful even at the best of times.  This weekend it was extra hard because I know it might not be until after the first of the year that I see my friends again.

Because I'm so bored at these things, I first decided to go to my favorite shop and get a few puzzles for Otis.  Every time he comes over he brings me some so I decided to return the favor.  This time I picked him up a few classic puzzles, Make the letter: A, K, M, T.  A Hanayama (or maybe Beverly) soma cube type puzzle and a Lotte Crunky bar game/puzzle/toy.

When I got there, it was just bug and I for a short while, Michael came next and Da Yan.  It was a real treat because I enjoy watching all the kids faces when they realize who they are talking to.  When Uwe showed up, I think they were all in puzzle heaven.  I could give a more vivid description, but all I can think of right now is a tad bit vulgar so I'll pass.

After a while, a chap brought out some dice and showed us how to stack them using cups.  It was good fun and we all had a go.  Me?  I could get 4 to stand up.  Bug managed 3. I'm not sure about the rest of the guys.  Matt came around 7 to pick bug up as it was a school night and I took the opportunity to introduce him to Da Yan.  I've been going and spending weekends with the guys for around 3 years now, and this is the first one Matt has met.  See all you non believers, I'm such a good girl my husband trusts me. All I get up to is good clean fun.  Had to snap a photo with him in it just to make sure he was there.  It might have been a dream otherwise.



After Matt left, I had to take some photos for Uwe.  Turns out he pulled out some of the 4 layer pyraminx's and gave them out to a bunch of kids.  The deal was if they could solve them he would let them keep the puzzle, if not, they paid for it at a slightly reduced cost.  Good deal hey?  This was as close as they got on Sunday, but all were given a weeks grace period and trust to be honest.  Here's hoping one of them solves the puzzle.  

After Matt and bug left, the awards ceremony began.  Michael was up first, I followed as did Da Yan and Uwe.  There were a lot of awards and I bet this took over an hour to do. I think The Japanese ruled the day, but I could be wrong.  Remember, I don't take much interest in the competing bit so I take about as much in the awards.  All that won though were lovely kids and they had huge smiles and all wanted to shake hands with us.



When all was said and done, We took the time to snap a photo of the four of us in front of the stage.  And I enjoyed watching all the different countries competitors take photos in front of their flags.  I'm pretty sure they enjoyed it as well. The kid with Michael was the youngest competitor, the girl with me was a pyraminx winner, and the one with Uwe won on one of the Meffert's puzzles.  Gear cube I believe.   




Time to head out to dinner before removing all our puzzles and taking them home. Otis joined us and it was another first.  We had never all had dinner together before.  Michael pointed out that we have never been at the same place before so that makes perfect sense.  The food was good as was the beer. Even Uwe had a Stout with us.  But we did have a slight problem.  The photo on the right shows Otis and Uwe so engaged in conversation that you will notice, the rest of us had empty glasses--Otis was in charge of the pouring.  He got so engrossed in the conversation he forgot his beer duty.


Around 10:30 Otis took Uwe to the train so he could make the border crossing and we all went down stairs to pack up.  30 minutes later and we were in a taxi heading to Michael's shop to store the toys for the night.  As always, we ended up in a bar somewhere playing drinking games.  This time I joined in the fun and learned how to count to six in Mandarin. I still lost quite a lot even after learning because I had to count on my fingers.  A poker player I'll never be.  Otis at the end of the night was looking a bit forlorn at the cube I just stole.  Thank you Michael for talking Mf8 into letting me keep it!  It is just so pretty!  I've lusted after it for around 2 years now and can't wait until the rest of you get a chance to play with it. Brilliant puzzle it is.
As for other puzzles, well, Da Yan was his usual generous self and gave me a crazy pillowed three sided puzzle that he made, and another that I can't tell you about because it isn't out yet.  During dinner I pulled out TomZ's constrained cube (the Shapeway's version) and because we were discussing it, He made me another using the pieces of another cube he has made....And that one I"ll leave alone because it still isn't my place to say.  I gave him a copy of my pionir pyramid along with a bracelet puzzle I've put together and a copy of the square in a bag.  And no, I know he won't copy it!  He's too honest, and quite frankly, too bright to have to do that.  

All in all, it was a great weekend and as always I look forward to the next one. I hope Tom and Leslie and Ming and Aj and.....can all join us!  I'm thinking December when I head over for a conference. Boring English lecturer by day, not so boring puzzler by night.....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's a small world

 I know people say that, but really, it is!  I have proof right here!


Apparently I know this guy.  Ok, so here is a story for you.  At IPP last August, we took this boat ride.  Katherine being herself got bored and decided to go bother people.  Me being me went hunting for her.  She found this little guy that she thought was adorable and began chasing him around the boat.  I'm not sure who enjoyed that more, him or her.  So IPP is over and we all go on our merry way...
Fast forward 6 months and enter SmaZ's shop. It was one of those days.  I spent a good 3 hours in a meeting, fielded around 70 emails about wiki being down-at least 50 came from one rather um....challenged....young person who couldn't find the library even though it's right in front of you when you enter the campus, and when he did find it didn't know how to use the card catalog, even though it's on line, dealt with some puzzle nonsense that I'd rather not deal with, and Michael asked me a question.  Well that was all it took.  I was on a Rant!  A long winded rather vocal one.  And all the while the man in the photo above is standing in the shop.  I paid no attention until he asked a question about a cube.  And there you have it folks.  Rox sticking her foot in it again.  Well, he stayed and chatted for a bit.  Solved a mimi puzzle, played with the washer cylinder and discovered a little something I hadn't (still not solved though).  SmaZ gave him a gift of a puzzle, and he purchased a dino barrel and left to go back to Denmark.  Talk about great timing.  Things like this just don't happen do they?  Ah, and go take a look at his webpage.  A bit of eye candy there, that's for sure.

So why go to SmaZ's in the first place?  My friend Otis is in town for the holidays and we agreed to meet up over there.  (I'm sure he'll come to the house and play for a while next week, but we had some puzzles to swap out with each other....) After we met at 6:30 or so, we stayed a Michael's for a few more hours before heading out for dinner.  As always we each brought a few puzzles along to play with/brag on so out they came during dinner!  Otis brought that beauty of a TomZ puzzle with and I quite enjoyed twisting it around.  Lots of puzzle talk, lots of playing, one unsolved as I left, and no puzzles harmed during the night!

And now for the real reason to get together last night.  Puzzle exchanging!
I gave Otis my 'springtime in Wisconsin' and a puzzle monster.  I think he liked them.  If not, he smiled nicely.  He brought me a set of 6 dice boxes from mimi puzzles that Gabriel blogged about, and that I can't get locally.  Surprise, surprise, he ALSO brought along a BLUE puzzle for me, and 3 chinese knots....

Michael and I did a bit of swapping as well.  I got one of his new Soduko cubes, and gave him a Oskar's treasure chest.  Yes, I'm generous like that.  Don't tell on me though.  I'll get in trouble.  The full set of what I brought home is to the left.

Now when I got home, I had another surprise waiting for me!  I picked up the mail and inside was a late Christmas gift from my friend Charlie!  I thank you so very much.  A nice job it turned out to be.  And how ever did you know that blue is my favorite color????  Thank you again my friend!
 reviews of these will all come eventually.  In the mean time, I have this thing called a job that I'm supposed to be doing, and I've got about 10 minutes to cut off my time so I need to get back out and get working a bit more.  I can't let a person 10 years my senior beat me in the next race, and as it stands, if I don't start moving and stop puzzling that's exactly what is going to happen.  Have a great weekend all!  And in case I don't get another post in before Monday: 
新年快乐

Friday, August 12, 2011

Puzzle exchange and puzzle party.




Wow is all I can say. I really dropped the ball on these posts this year, but will attempt to make up for it now.

At the exchange, there were a number of different puzzles out. One nice variation on the bandaged cube, a nifty couple by Bram, Sheridan's is always a hit. I don't even know where to begin with all those. I brought 5 on the plane with me to work on the way home, but only managed to open one. Dead doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.

For those of you who have never been to an exchange, it works like this: each participant brings 100 puzzles along to swap out with someone else. When you make the exchange, you describe the object of your puzzle to your current exchange partner-wash rinse repeat 100 times over and there you have spent the past 6 hours in the most enjoyable way. This was my first exchange, and I have to say, I was overwhelmed. I feel like such a dolt amongst these people. Maybe given a few more years of it I'll know what I'm doing.



After the exchange were 3 lectures. One was on puzzle locks, one on burr tools, and one on smart games. I enjoyed them from the back row, and caught up on TP posts at the same time. (They did loose me a bit in the middle there!)

Once this was finished, it was time to make a tribute cube with Oskar. Now I was nominated chief heckler and think I managed ok. David Litwin, bless his cotton socks, helped me to put my dino cube together. He and TomZ were both great helpers all round.



The banquet was held that evening, and you can find a few photos of the entertainment as well as a video linked on my YouTube channel

Sunday was the last official day of IPP and it was the best for getting puzzles. This years puzzle party I didn't purchase nearly as many as I did last year. But I did bring home a few mazes, a few Russian puzzles, a few other toys I'd been looking for. I have no idea how many I got, and will end up counting later on. I did walk out with 2 bags full though....probably 30+

More lectures followed, but David and I both realized that there is a TP member who lives in Berlin so we invited her over to see a few toys. I skipped the lectures and went to an impromptu meet up instead. It was great fun, and I've got to brag a bit about those who were there. Indulge me please!

That evening was the awards dinner and Once again Panda's team of puzzle builders got an honorable mention! I was very pleased that Panda let me use this for my exchange puzzle!

Leaving this time was not quite as hard as last year. We all took off in different directions at different times.
Monday saw some of us on a trip to Potsdam, Tuesday I went geo caching with Pavel, Wednesday I left for HK.

Now for the really exciting bit: Which TP member was caught in a dress???? Follow the posts on Twisty Puzzles to find out! And no, it isn't the first photo up there! That wouldn't be any fun now would it?


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 0




Yesterday was one of relaxation. Well, sort of. NOT! How can it? this is IPP and it's supposed to be exciting.

The morning started out with breakfast at 9:30 with Dave and Tom. Klara joined us for a bit, and after finishing we went off in search of some sights that hadn't been seen in many many years. I wanted to show the bug Check Point Charlie and the museum there and all thought it would be a great idea to spend the day walking around together.

The museum was eclectic. A mix of everything, and a bit odd for my taste truth be told. Bug got spooked a few times, so we didn't stay all that long. Next stop? Alexander Platz. Both Dave and I had been here in our wild young days (don't listen to him when he says he dull and boring :) )

The radio tower is still tall, and that is all one can say about that. We had lunch in the square, then took a walk around the area for a bit. After filling our tums, we headed out in search of toys!
We found a little shop after much running around, and had a peak inside. Dave pointed the puzzle corner out to us, and I dove right in and grabbed a packing puzzle. Asparagus! Unbelievable. I've been hunting for years and found it in Berlin. Happy girl! Klara got a violin, and I picked up a few other toys. Not much of a haul, but great company. Next stop, back to the hotel to drop off some things, and then Tom, David, bug, Matt and I decided to head over to Brandenburg gate. Again, Dave and I saw it before but I wanted the bug to see it and they humored me.

Dave remembered a giant gold ball in the middle of the city which later turned out to be a statue so we headed out in search of that as well. As it turns out, it was right down the road from us. Well, not exactly- a few miles I would guess. Ah well, we're all fit.

Sight seeing done. On to founders reception. interesting. High tables, no chairs. finger sandwiches. Ok, I've seen that on tv. Been there, done that, did not buy the t-shirt (boo for the bad lines) and do not like it. But then who comes for the food. It's the company that is worth while. And company there was. 2 hours of standing around talking, and playing with toys. Tom pulled out his as did Frank and the next thing we knew, there was a table full of twisty puzzles.

Bug was thrilled by the magic of Mark, and Laurie told her she had more instore for her this evening. She's happy.

One of the highlights of the evening was meeting Christoph Bandelow. Greetings were sent all around, and I know Dave was very pleased.

After a few of us went to have some food. A bit of talking in the lobby, and I hit the bar with the big boys. Poor little bug had a nightmare and needed mama, so at 1 I had to call it a night.

Today is the exchange and I really need to get some food in my tum! More photos later.