Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Additional Notes about Scrabble

2 notes I meant to post but never did:

1. Two of the top Scrabble players in North America are named Steve Saul and Chris Cree (not far from Chris Creel). Chew on that one for a while, Richmond peeps.

2. I came out victorious in my first game of Clabbers, last night, 447 - 356, a tightly fought battle with my younger brother. What turned the game around was when I used all my letters (they call it bingoing) on teepees.

Yes indeed.

On Board Games

No, I am not completely abandoning my blog again...my time in the past week has been taken up by something else, and that is what this post is about.

My little brother introduced me to WordBiz about a month ago, which he found out about through one of his friends from school. WordBiz is the online scrabble club, it's a piece of software you download, and you can use it to play Scrabble with people online. In fact, they even have player ratings which are similar to chess ratings...if you win a game your rating goes up, if you lose it goes down (how much it goes up or down depends on the rating of your opponent and the margin of victory or defeat). My rating is 1067 right now, which I would say is about average...My average score per game is 338 and per move it is 15. Just for comparison let me look up the average scores per game and move for the top rated player...He averages 432 per game and 27 per move.
Yes Scrabble is pretty fun and I used to think it was the best board game ever. But, I was wrong...oh so wrong. You see the best board game of all time is a variant of Scrabble called Clabbers.


Clabbers is a variant of Scrabble in which the word you play only has to be an anagram of a playable Scrabble word...in other words you don't have to play the letters in order. So if you wanted to play toxin on your first move, you could arrange the letters so that the x is on the double letter score, which would give you more points. Clabbers is easy to explain but very very complicated to play since it increases all the possibilities by about a million. For example, let's say the word "rtae" is on the board, which is playable since it anagrams to rate. There are many possiblities here...you can put a d on the end (which makes rated), or a g (for grate) or an s (stare), etc...

Really though last night I watched a game of Clabbers on WordBiz between Brian Capelletto and Trey Wright, who most of you have never heard of, but they are 2 of the best Scrabble players in the world (in fact, Capelletto won the World Championships in 2001 and Trey Wright won the North American championships this year)...the game was beyond insane. Example: the word "aictnu" was on the board (which anagrams to "tunica" apparently a word in Scrabble), and Brian in the process of using all his letters put an l at the end of it to make "lunatic"...and so on. They were making 9 letter anagram words hooking off 8 letter anagrams, etc. The final score was 598-497.
So that's it, a pointless post, but I do have to recommend you guys play Clabbers some time.

Download WordBiz at www.isc.ro my username is miserlou so if you do download it, talk to me and we can play a game of Scrabble or Clabbers together...

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 22, 2004



I have decided to give another go at this blog, hopefully more successful than last time! I have a few ideas for posts in the pipe, but for now, I thought I'd relaunch with a puff piece, since that's pretty much all I've written so far...


1. I hate Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which is a disease you get from ticks. No, I've never had it, and I've never met anybody who's had it...there's a deeper reason, and like most things it goes back to Nintendo for me. In the old game Super Jeopardy for the SNES one of the answers to the questions was "Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever", but the game didn't give you enough room to type it in, all you could get in was "Rocky Mountain Spotted Fev" which it counted as wrong. We tried everything we could to get that damn question right..."Rocky Mountain Fever", "Rocky Mountain Spotted", "Spotted Fever", but eventually we concluded that it was just impossible to get correct.

2. My favorite baseball player in history is Greg Maddux, my namesake. If I'm not allowed to include Braves, I gotta go with Rickey Henderson. My favorite cheese is the Danish cheese "Cream Havarti"

3. My old elementary school principal used to pronounce my last name "Fuh-noo" (ie, like you would pronounce Canoe), which led to a lot of laughs from my peers. However, it's been picked up...in High School, everybody called my older brother Fuh-noo, and so I got a little of that runoff (his friends who were still around called me Little Fuh-noo).

4. I was a terrible Little League player, but here's a little known fact about my failure-ridden career...One year I only got something like 3 hits or so, my batting average must have been about .050, I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was sad. However, included among those 3 (or so) hits was a triple (to lefe field, no less) off the best pitcher in the league...most flukish play ever. This guy threw ridiculously hard for the kids of our age and I just came up swinging like an idiot like I always do, but one of the ones I randomly hit and it was a soft liner that went right over the third baseman's head, took a weird bounce, went past the left-fielder into the corner, and I got a triple. Highlight of my little league career by far.

5. I don't really like football, but I do like football video games, because I like to try and pound out ridiculous statistics. Anyways, one time I was playing one of the Madden games and I wanted to see if I could break the record for must rushing yards and most receiving yards with my halfback in the same game, so I put the computer on the easiest mode and made them the team with the worst defense (the Saints, I think), and I picked the '75 Steelers with Franco Harris. Anyways, Franco broke the record for most rushing yards (he shattered it by getting something like 330 rushing yards) and came very close to breaking the receiving yards record. I think the record was something like 363 and he got 354, I don't know the numbers but it was only about 10 yards off. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

6. On the subject of video games, another fact a lot of you probably don't know about me is that I almost always pick female characters in multi-player games. I was thinking about it and I believe I narrowed the reason down to two games, Mario Kart and Street Fighter II, which were the first two multiplayer games that I really played a lot. In SFII, I always picked Chun Li, because my strategy of arbitrarily jumping around and attacking worked well with her since she was so fast and could jump off walls. In Mario Kart, I always picked Princess, and there is a reason for that. My older brother and I liked the same type of racer...the all around good racer with good acceleration, Yoshi and Princess, who raced exactly the same. Since my brother was older he got Yoshi and I was stuck with Princess.
Anyways, I think because of my early experience always picking chicks in those games I always pick them now...I'm not really sure.

7. Boy Meets World is my second favorite show of all time. Pete and Pete is first, and Freaks and Geeks is third. Boy Meets World has it all, fake drama, sweet characters, and a lot of its jokes are legitimately funny...man, it's quite a wacky show. And Topanga is pretty hot, during that brief window of time where she's old enough to be hot but before she got really fat.

8. Here's something you know about me if you went to college with me, but wouldn't otherwise...I had a reputation for being attracted to short girls in college. We would call a girl under 5 foot tall a "minus" and my friends and I were always on the lookout. I won't get into the reasons as to how this reputation came about, but it is a reputation that dogged me my last couple years of college. In fact, JP and I even wrote a song about it.

9. One summer (probably when I was around 12 or 13 or so) I read the entire Guinness Book of World records, cover to cover, over the course of about a week. This was one of the huge older ones filled with words and paragraphs, not the new hipper ones, so it took forever. I must have read it for decent comprehension to, because I used to get questions in Academic Bowl from it fairly often.

10. Off the top of my head I can think of two shows that I have seen way too many episodes of. I don't mean shows that most people would think are bad, but I love, like Boy Meets World. I don't even mean shows that I don't really like but watch on occassion to fill time, such as Friends or Just Shoot Me. No, these two shows are far more horrible...Strange Days at Blake Holsey High, and Big Wolf On Campus, both of which you've probably never heard of but I've seen at least 10 or 15 episodes of...these are not high quality shows, but I can't avoid watching them when they are on. Look them up on imdb if you want more info.

Okay, that's all...hopefully I'll make another post in the next couple days, we'll see.