Flying Purgatory

I knew it, I thought as my luggage dropped off the conveyor. Just moments before, I had predicted that my bag would be next, confirming my place as world-class psychic. Of course, I had made the same prediction for every bag before it as well. My patience was simply wearing thing going into my third hour of waiting.

I had missed my connecting flight due to flight delays. I did however manage to rush onto the next available connection to San Francisco, congratulating myself on being lucky enough to get one of the last few tickets on an already overbooked flight. When I landed, I discovered that my bags were not so fortunate and had to wait until they arrived on the next connecting flight. What was the point of getting on the earlier flight, then? Sigh…

Of course, by the time I get my luggage, the only transportation to my hotel in the distant suburbs of San Francisco is a taxi driven by a man with a heavy accent and no idea where Pleasanton is. At one point in the trip, he passed me his cell phone in order to get directions from some superior of his who was presumably staring at MapQuest.

I finally cross the hotel threshold safe and sound at 3AM Pacific time, roughly 18 hours after I left my apartment. I did get some neat photos though, so I’ve got that going for me.

Quote of the Day

From The Importance of Being Earnest:

Jack: I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever now-a-days. You can’t go anywhere without meeting clever people. The thing has become an absolute public nuisance. I wish to goodness we had a few fools left.
Algernon: We have.
Jack: I should extremely like to meet them. What do they talk about?
Algernon: The fools? Oh! about the clever people, of course.
Jack: What fools!

Happy Howliday

My flatmate Dave and his girlfriend Kayci have decided that today, the 14th of December, should be a holiday. No particular reason for it, just that the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas was not filled with enough action.

However, they didn’t have a theme or name or anything for this momentous day. I tried to helpfully suggest themes, but they wouldn’t have any of it. I don’t think they trust me much in that regard ever since I suggested they go as an incomplete system and an inconsistent system, from Gödel’s incompleteness theorem.

So I have declared today Howliday. It is the day when we celebrate and fear banshees in all their glory. If you are very good, the Banshee Queen might leave a year’s reprieve under your pillow!

Texas Hold ‘Em In Your Mouth

My friends Dave, Nick, and Marc and I, after watching the excellent Triplets of Belleville, decided to play a little cards. Being cheap, however, we don’t like to play for money and being gamers, we don’t like to play for nothing.

All was well, for after putting our heads together, we decided to kill two birds with one stone, as Nick has a tub of Fireballs that he wishes he didn’t. I present to you a marriage between Texas Hold ‘Em and Fireballs, which I call Texas Hold ‘Em In Your Mouth.

The basic premise of betting being committing to increasingly undesirable effects in the hope of being the one to experience a desirable effect, the rule of this game is that the more you bet, the longer you must hold Fireballs in your mouth.

Each bet you make (represented by wrapped Fireballs themselves) increases your time by 10 seconds with a base time of 20 seconds. So if you bet four Fireballs, you’re in it for one minute. After the specified time, you are free to spit out the Fireballs. We found that one Fireball wasn’t enough of a deterrent, so we recommend two Fireballs at once for the allotted time. It is considered sporting to move them around in your mouth for maximum effect.

People who fold before making a bet need not eat Fireballs. Even though the folder has the base 20 seconds, it isn’t enough time to get the pain going and it prevents completely wasting the Fireballs. The winner also gets to avoid Fireballs. As the result is the same for folders and winners, a non-blind player’s incentive to bet at all is merely to make other people suffer. Since that isn’t always enough, blinds are important to encourage play.

The upshot of this is that you have entertaining punishment, people can improve at the game without losing money, and you can ditch a Fireball surplus. Everyone wins.

I find it interesting to note that this entire game revolves around having the least to do with a candy that people apparently buy without duress.