Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Live Cornhole [rebroadcast]

[Originally broadcast on August 22, 2105]

Bringing you thrilling, live coverage of the Fourth Annual Cornhole for Cash Tournament from Blechschmidt Meadowlands

The official boards are set up and participants are arriving. Warm ups have been a display of both athleticism and flailing desperation by various bag tossers.

The official first toss was scheduled for 2pm but traffic is tied up for miles around the Meadowlands. Like the Seattle Opera, it is highly unusual for play to start late although the Commissioner has granted a rare exception.

Draws for teams are underway.

Our team managed to secure "Game of Throwns" as team name.

First toss was made at 2:45 and Game of Throwns played in the second round. The format was changed to triple elimination to compensate for the lower than usual turnout because, heaven forbid, the tournament might end sometime before midnight.

The competition is fierce among a select group of tossers but the overall mood of the tournament is more sedate than previous years. There is more encouragement of teammates and opponents alike and less smack talk than is usually heard on these courts.

Perhaps, this is due to the influx of younger players coming up through the cornhole ranks. Although a force to be reckoned with, they don't yet posses the vocabulary for it. In addition, most of their moms are also in attendance.

Half the contestants are wearing sunglasses while the other half are wearing reading glasses. Two of the youngest attendees are already vying for the top spot of Commissioner.

Youngsters, vying.

There are no separate divisions and kids of all ages are tossing the bags although there are noticeable differences in style between the generations. The old guys are nursing various aches and pains and are doing their best to mask their various physical handicaps. The youngsters, without experience, are erratic in their tosses but present themselves as secret weapons when they hone in. A recent champion just turned 14 years of age and I was personally crushed by a Sixth Grader.

Official brackets
Even as I type these words, controversy erupted over whether or not the Yellow Chickens' wins were properly recorded. The official record showed they were undefeated. The tapes were reviewed while highlights were broadcast on the big screen. Participants refreshed their drinks and fans rocked out to the stadium music being broadcast to the delight of participants and neighbors alike.

It is unknown who threw the review flag but it's probably someone who was afraid of losing to the previous champion from Enumclaw. (Oh wait, aren't they all from Enumclaw?)

It was officially determined that Ethan, 2013 Champion, and teammate Martin of team Yellow Chicken were undefeated going into the final rounds.

[Live reporting was suspended as we moved into the Semi-Finals. The following report is reconstructed from the rather hazy memory of this correspondent.]

Brother versus brother.
The intense action of the final rounds made it all but impossible to continue live reporting. The amicable atmosphere and easy-going mood disintegrated into serious competition as the day wore on. On the courts, it became a family affair with father, son, uncle and grandson all reaching the Semi-Finals.

Grandson versus grandfather
It was hard to know who to cheer for as the semi-final round got underway to determine third place as favoritism to one family member was seen as disloyalty to another. "We just want have a good match," said Dugan of the match up between his team Corn Chuckers with partner, and son, Beero, against  Uncle Jeff and Anthony. The Corn Chuckers prevailed, beating out Anthony and Jeff by a surprising 5 points. Jeff and Anthony (2012 and 2014 defending Champion) left the competition in Third Place. (Sorry, Anthony, you can only win on even years.)

The stadium lights came on just before the final matchup between Dugan and Beero of Corn Chuckers against Ethan and Martin of Yellow Chickens. There was a time out while the stadium seating configuration was adjusted to accommodate the influx of spectators for the exciting conclusion of cornhole competition.
Standing room only.

Seating configuration for the final matchup.

Yellow Chickens were still undefeated while Corn Chuckers already had two losses. The pressure was on for Corn Chuckers who needed to defeat Yellow Chickens three times to take the title while only one loss would mean Second Place.

The Commissioner announcing the final matchup.
Competition was unbelievably fierce. Three of the four remaining competitors were related to each other but that didn't stop them from doing whatever was necessary to get in their opponents heads. Jibes and insults were thrown as much as the bags but that had little influence on performance. Frequently, both teams would land all eight bags between them resulting in no score for the turn. It made for an intense, if not painstakingly slow, battle.

It was noted that many players had picked up footwear sponsors during the off season. Beero opted for professional footwear while Martin donned flip flops. While Beero and Martin both possessed mad cornhole skills, it was the cornhole progear that gave Beero an early edge.

With the first win of the final round Beero celebrated with a victory lap shouting, "They're human, baby!" While this was only the first loss of the day for the Yellow Chickens, they were deflated as much as any Super Bowl football.

Youth eventually won out with the Yellow Chickens taking it all the way to the hole, footwear notwithstanding. Ethan and Martin captured the 2015 Cornhole for Cash title, adding their names to the prestigious trophy.

2015 Champions, Yellow Chickens

Cornhole for Cash Winners
Ethan and Martin of Yellow Chickens (2015)
Anthony and Blake of Nothing But Net (2014)
Ethan and Mark of Elite (2013)
Anthony and Yours Truly of Cornholio (2012)

(Do we detect a pattern here?)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Woman's Reasoning

I have this cute little Coach wallet that doubles as case for my iPhone 5c. It has just enough room for my phone, a few credit cards, and some cash. It has an outside zipper pocket for loose change. It also has a wrist strap which is very useful when I want to have both hands free.

I've had it for almost exactly one year. I got it at the Apple Store when we were there getting a new iPad for Hubby. He dropped his old one, shattering the glass, just days before last year's draft for his fantasy football league. This year's draft is this Sunday.

He had many hours of research into his draft pick strategy and all of it was stored in an app made suddenly unavailable. We made an emergency trip to the Apple Store to get it replaced and while I was waiting, I had little else to do but shop. (And I only got a wallet!)

A year later, his new iPad is in fine working condition (knocking on wood), Hubby has refined his draft strategy in response to new keeper rules, while the stitching on my iPhone wallet wrist strap has loosened to the point it may unravel completely. 

I took it to a shoe repair shop to see if the strap could be re-stitched. Only by hand, I was told, because the leather, doubled over, was too think for their machine. Also, they didn't have matching thread so while it might be relatively expensive (relative being in the neighborhood of $25-$30), it wouldn't be all that attractive. 

I love that little wallet and use it constantly but it only fits an iPhone 5. Seeing as I'm faced with getting a new wallet, I might as well go ahead and get an iPhone 6. 

See how I got there?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

This is just cruel.

Today is the first of the month and that means I get a new KenKen puzzle - a special one, one I can't get any other day of the month. I look forward to this every month, getting my special puzzle.

First thing this morning - okay second thing - I opened my email to get the link to this month's puzzle and I see this:

I was already excited to get my puzzle but there's a picture of coffee here so I thought there might be some kind of bonus involved. Like free coffee or a new Chemex coffeemaker. Maybe there was some kind of contest. (My best time for an Expert 9x9 KenKen is 15 minutes so maybe I could win!)

I read the entire email - including the fine print - and there was nothing to do with coffee. Meanwhile, my own cup has run dry and I still don't have the puzzle.

Oh, the inhumanity!

Could we just go back to bed and pretend this never happened?