Diary

Jul 062002
 

Looks like I’m banned for good from Gerard’s tables, effective immediately. I could come back if I took down the site; fat chance. Try not to miss me too much OK? I also want to thank everyone who has sent me quotes and hands for your remarkable generosity; you know who you are. If I don’t use yours right away please don’t be insulted, and please keep sending them. I will probably get around to them, and as all experienced G-spex know, there is a superabundance of material.

I’m in the process of refining an XML-based method of storing hands that will allow me to post them much more quickly and add some useful sorting and searching capacities. Meanwhile I will try to adhere to my hand a day schedule. Thank you all for reading.

Jul 132002
 

Temper temper. Yesterday Gerard threw out all the spectators for disrespect, including the ones who were minding their own business. Careful what you wish for.

This week I’m inaugurating a special feature, the 1100 Collection. I’m going to need a logo for it, and as regular readers have probably figured out, logos aren’t exactly in my line. So it’s contest time. The designer of the winning logo will receive a credit, an autographed copy of Mike Wiss’s amusing book, Shadow in the Bridge World, and anything else I can find around the apartment. The contest ends when I say so.

Jul 202002
 

Sticks and Wheels week is over, but the Sticks and Wheels logo contest continues. Some very nice entries so far, and soon I will show some of them, but something tells me there are graphics geniuses out there from whom I haven’t yet heard.

A word of thanks to all you readers who continue to send me hands and quotes from Gerard’s tables. Everything I publish comes from you, and this note, though inadequate, will have to suffice to express my gratitude. I hope the pleasure you get from reading this site compensates the trouble you take to help me with it.

Jul 212002
 

The following people are banned from watching any table on OKBridge where Gerard is playing. I publish this chart for reference. If I’ve overlooked anyone, please let me know.

Jul 242002
 

I know I’ve delayed quite a while, because my decision was difficult. The winner of the Sticks & Wheels Logo Contest is bon, and here’s her winning logo, which now marks each Sticks & Wheels hand for easy reference:

The overall quality of the entries was impressive. Here are a couple of the other finalists. From dross:

From yag:

Thanks to everyone who played.

Jul 302002
 

It seems that my innocent tribute to Gerard got him so worked up last night that he quit OKBridge for good. Well, for two hours anyway. I apologize for the inconvenience. And now I see, looking over the site, that I have many other things to apologize for. The stat page, for instance. I was asleep at the switch and missed at least two versions of his card that day. They were changing rapidly, true, but that’s no excuse. It’s my job to keep on top of it. Sorry about that.

Another time I edited his guest commentary for spelling and subject-verb agreement without notifying my readers. I realize now that this was a clear breach of journalistic ethics. It won’t happen again.

When I began to write hands for the site I occasionally conveyed the impression that Gee’s bidding or play was less than expert — here, for instance, or here. And here and here too. (Also here and here and here, come to think of it.) It should have been obvious to my readers that these lapses were simply a matter of my inability to express myself clearly. But still, mea culpa.

Finally, I wish to clarify that the sole purpose of these pages is to help non-experts learn from the masters, from a particular master, to play better bridge. If certain malicious readers have taken what I write in some other spirit, then I deeply regret it. Really.

Aug 022002
 

Gee has a question.

It is remarkable that aaron only shows boards with a bad results and of course pin the blame on me, regardless of the reasons that led to that bad result. He has not shown anything positive at all I might have done during the course of the 500 or more hands I play a week, which makes a minimum of 26,000 boards a year (500 boards a week x 52 weeks a year), but found the 35 worst possible examples in the same period. Does that mean that I played 25,965 boards correctly during that period?

Why, yes! Yes it does! And now it should be clear why I don’t publish Gee’s “positive” results. If, let’s suppose, I were able to find two or three examples of brilliant bids or plays on Gee’s part, and published them, that would imply that he’d butchered the 25,997 other hands he played that year. Which would compromise the reputation for objective reporting that I work so hard to maintain.

Aug 092002
 

Today we really do have news. It turns out that Marilyn Monroe committed suicide because she was despondent over the fact that spectators laughed at her when she made mistakes playing online bridge. Her and so many others.

Aug 142002
 

Gee was wondering the other day how I knew what was going on at his table when I wasn’t there myself. Well, you know how, when you watch the news on TV, you find out about things that happen in faraway places, even though you weren’t there, because the nice TV reporters explain it to you and show you pictures and stuff? Same thing.

Aug 232002
 

I got a weird phone call yesterday from some guy with a French accent. Didn’t identify himself, just started in: “I just want you to know that I have your home telephone number and your address and my lawyer has…” I hung up at that point. I’m a very tolerant person. I wait until the second time before I call the police.

And here’s a little excerpt from yesterday’s spec chatter:

G: all of you specs… If you really care, and you seem to… most of you at least, please help me to chase aaron away from here so all this horrible stuff ends
Spec #1: aaron who?
Spec #2: Elvis Aaron?
Spec #3: the person who writes the website about G
Spec #4: what website?
Spec #2: only a small part of the website is about G tho
Spec #5: must have a lot of free time
Spec #3: he runs websites for his living
Spec #3: i’m sure a little blurb about G on his own doesn’t take much time
Spec #6: ughh
Spec #7: http://gee.aaronhaspel.com

Sounds like fun. Can I play too?