Ah, Woods Hole, Hello Old Friend

I am now back in Woods Hole for yet another summer and, I have to say, it feels nice. Some of the old crowd is around and we'll have new folks too. And, as soon as this weather clears out, I'll get some sailing in.

New Car; more of a truck I guess

Today I bought a new vehicle, specifically a 1993 Ford Explorer XLT. It's a half-decent vehicle with some minor problems but as far as I'm concerned the price was very right ($2k). Tomorrow, I'm going to play the look at my vehicle's innards game and try to move it from half-decent to good condition.

Now, when I say that it's more of a truck than a car, that's because, as far as vehicles go, it feels more like the pick-up trucks that I've driven than the cars that I've driven. This is in comparison to vans and some other types of SUV that I've experienced, which feel more like cars. I assume 1993 must have been before the big everything SUV bubble hit us.

My Kind of Games

I've been looking for a game to amuse myself (and others) with that's a bit more complex and interesting than the standard fare. My current investigations have led me towards the likes of Nomic, Double Fanucci and Mornington Crescent.

Double Fanucci is a card game from the Zork series of games. As things currently stand, Double Fanucci is thoroughly unplayable because I neither have a deck of Double Fanucci cards nor do I (or anyone else) have any idea what the rules of Double Fanucci are. Some information about the game can be found at wikipedia, Encyclopedia Frobozzica and Do-It-Yourself Double Fanucci. If I could manage to get a Double Fanucci deck, it might be interesting to try to construct rules but, until then, there's not much to be done with regards to Double Fanucci.

Mornington Crescent is a game devised by the BBC radio show I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue. The game is either easy or hard, depending on whether you get what's going on or not. The object is fairly simple: be the first to get Mornington Crescent station. Mornington Crescent is a thoroughly playable game, as long as you have some creativity, a sense of humor and know how the game works. In order to learn a bit about the game, take a look at Mornington Crescent Illustrated with Expert Play. Once you give up trying to figure out what's going on, take a look at what wikipedia has to say about the game (bit of a spoiler). This is a game that I should like to find opportunity to play someday despite knowing the trick behind the game.

Nomic is the most playable of the three, being completely real and having clear, well-defined rules. The interesting bit about Nomic is that the rules are modifiable during the course of play. The plastic nature of the rules is the interesting feature of the game and makes for very open-ended game play. To get started, take a look at the inventor's Nomic page and his description of Nomic (including the initial rules). Also, Nomic is pretty popular so you can easily find plenty more info on the rest of the web. Nomic, being thoroughly playable, is something that I hope to convince some people to join me in playing sometime in the near future.

Scud, The Tick and the Man Who Liked Comics

I was sitting in my apartment, reading Scud: The Disposable Assassin (hard to find but absolutely awesome) and I was reminded of Michael Carroll, the man who introduced me to the likes of Scud. On top of Scud, Mike introduced me to the comic rendition of The Tick (I was already aware of the television cartoon) and many other comic books during our middle school years. Mike's a good man and in addition to having been one of the best friends that the likes of me could have had, probably helped in making me the man that I am.

In spite of not having seen Mike in a few years, I still feel rather amicable towards him and the experience that triggered this post has told me that he is inextricably linked with comic books in my mind. In fact, he's linked with my memories of an entire period of my life. Fancy that.

In closing, I'd like to raise my metaphorical glass to Michael Carroll, wherever he may be.


Earlier today I bought a boat. She's a beautiful 1987 Hobie 16 catamaran. She has white hulls and the sails are red and white. Her hulls are flawless, the trapeze is in great shape, the sails are in good shape and one cleat needs replacing. I am going to have a great deal of fun sailing this summer.

As any good (superstitious) sailor knows, it's bad luck to rename a boat so I have two options: keep the old name or perform a complex de-naming ceremony. I did some reading about de-naming ceremonies, which range from spilling champagne while invoking Poseidon to sailing backwards across the equator, and some thinking about the boats current name, Synchronicity. Having done the thinking, comparison, and superstitious soul searching, I have decided that sticking with the current name, which it has held for 18 years, is a good one. Synchronicity is a term defined by the psychologist Jung to mean a meaningful coincidence. Also, it's a pretty and powerful name, carefully written on her side.

The Dervish Dancer Who By His Whirling Realizes The Spiraling Of The Universe

I went to see a performance by some whirling dervishes with Taylor today. The performance was quite something and the music was absolutely spectacular. The affair certainly satisfied by curiosity and expectations as to the nature of dervishes. Low quality photos on moblog in a few moments.

Ok, just to let you know what whirling dervishes are, they are a Turkish sect of Islam that practices whirling meditation. Whirling meditation is, rather like it sounds, a meditation where the practitioner spins in a circle until they are so overwhelmed that they enter a gnostic state, often collapsing. In performance, the dervishes do not go fully to collapse, but they are still quite impressive.

P.S. The post title is stolen from the Vangelis song Dervish D (Inspired By The Dervish Dancer Who By His Whirling Realizes The Spiraling Of The Universe).