January 9 2002 RussCon Report

stairways to heaven the church, starfish midnight oil, diesel and dust
pink floyd, the wall pirate jenny, never-sea land the pogues, essential
the wind in the rigging billy joel, turnstiles ?

Game Results
Meta Party Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
21 of us played 14 games.
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Comicollage: daily ongoing comic jam with 7 artists and no planning ahead! There's a russ strip every Tuesday.


Next Tuesday and Thursday Alamo Drafthouse is running another silent film: F.W. Murnau's Faust (1926), with live accompaniment by Golden Arm Trio! I'll be going to the Thursday January 17 9:30/9:45 (it's unclear which time it really is) show. Buying tickets in advance (which you can do online) is strongly urged because their silent film events usually sell out, as several of us know from past experience at these wonderful events.
An art teacher I took last semester (Paul "Flip" Flippen) emailed me the following.
As you may remember, I teach a Painting class for Concordia University, Wednesday nights from 5:30 to 9 o'clock. This semester the enrollment has been rather low (less than 7 students), so Concordia is allowing students to sit in as an Audit.

Auditing means that you get to come to the class, and participate in all instruction, but you don't have to sign up for course credit (or worry about grades). The cost of auditing a class is a $100 registration fee. It would kind of work like a continuing ed. class: you get the knowledge, but don't transfer the course credit. It is a good deal if you had always wanted to learn more about painting, but don't need the class for your degree program.

If you are interested, or would like more info, contact David Kroft (head of the art program at Concordia) at 773-0383. Registration ends Friday.

I thought I would let a few of my former students know, in case they wanted to subject themselves to more of my ranting.

I wouldn't want to encourage people to miss RussCon, but I will say that if I didn't have the schedule conflict with RussCon I'd be all over this opportunity. Flip's a great teacher.

Game Results

WebOfPower3BobR 2 Daniel 0 RussW -2
Guillotine2Robby 1 Jerrie -1
Tichu2( Ben Marty ) 1 ( JimG William ) -1
TrivialPursuit6Matt 5 JeffF 3 Dan 1 Whendy -1 Clayton -4 MarkY -4
Attila4Marty 3 Whindy 1 Robby -1 Zach -3
Boggle5JeffF 4 Matt 2 MarkY 0 Whendy -2 Clayton -4
Volldampf6RussW 5 JP 3 RussD 1 Daniel -1 JonathanC -3 BobR -5
Tichu2( Ben JimG ) 1 ( William PJ ) -1
Boggle5JeffF 4 Marty 1 Whindy 1 Robby -2 Zach -4
Carcassonne5RussW 4 Whendy 2 JP 0 BobR -3 JonathanC -3
WhatsThatOnMyHead4MarkY 3 Daniel 1 RussD -1 Matt -3
Frank'sZoo6Whendy 5 JP 3 MarkY 1 JonathanC -1 Matt -3 RussW -5
SettlersExpress4JeffF 2 Whindy 2 Marty -1 Zach -3
Tichu2( Ben JimG ) 1 ( William PJ ) -1

In almost 4 years of RussCon, this was the first time Trivial Pursuit was played. I find that strangely comforting. Apparently won Matt by the unlikely appearance of a sushi-related question!

We played Volldampf with the right rules this time! It seemed indeed to work better not having the merchandise so sparse.

Apparently I was destined to win 2 of my games and come hideously in last in 2 of my games.

There are rumors that Matt is marked with the Number of the Beast... at least in What's That On My Head, he had the number 666 on his forehead!

Meta Party Game Evening's Soundtrack

Matt was the Meta Devil. Here is the Meta Game he emailed out:


This metagame is Russ' CD theme game, except everyone can potentially participate in making themes.

Basically, when you win a game, you add a CD and make a new set of CDs with a new theme. Everyone then tries to guess the themes.

Initially, Russ will choose a set of three CDs that share a common theme (say A, B, and C) and put them in the CD player on shuffle play. He'll put the CD cases in a row in the usual place:


Whenever a game is complete, the winner may choose to add a CD to the player and the corresponding CD case to the row of cases. If the winner can't or doesn't want to, the runner-up may, and so forth - tied players should share the task or decide amongst themselves. Feel free to bring CDs from home if you like!

Each new CD should share a common theme with the two CDs to its left. For an example, D, E, and F have been added to the right of the row of cases, one at a time:


There are four sets of three CDs: ABC, BCD, CDE, and DEF, each with a common theme. The theme and its composer's Russcon name should be written on a scrap business card or piece of paper and placed inside the just-added CD case.

[Notes on the CD player: If the CD player is full, you can use the "Exchange" feature to replace a previous CD with your own without stopping play. Ask if you need help with this feature. Also, try and keep the CDs in order in the player - the first 3 CDs will be in slots 1, 2, and 3 - put the next two in slots 5 and 6, then the next one in slot 1, and so forth.]

Before you leave, look at the row of cases and write your guesses for the themes on a scrap business card or piece of paper. Be sure to label your guesses with your Russcon name.

The metagame scores as follows:

1) Each essentially correct guess of a theme scores one metapoint.

2) The composer of each theme scores bonus metapoints equal to half of the number of right guesses or half of the number of wrong guesses, whichever is *smaller* (rounding down). In other words, you want about half of the guessers to get it right. Group choices (by tied winners) split the points evenly.

3) You may not guess your own theme(s). Put "no guess" or "composer" or somesuch.

Ties are broken by whoever guessed the most themes, then by who composed the most themes, then by random draw.

(Credit where credit is due: this metagame was partly inspired by Dan's "Thematic Mischief" metagame of 10/22/01.)

I thought this was quite a fun game (especially since I've been having fun with collaborative creation lately). Coming up with a 3rd CD to share a theme with 2 existing CDs was a fun challenge! 7 themes were created. Sadly only 4 people made guesses (Matt violated one of the Meta Game prime directives: don't assume people will actively participate). That caused no points to be earned by composers via Matt's rule 2 (due to its infernal rounding down).

To see what the themes were for each successive overlapping trio of CDs, hover your mouse over the images to see the alt-tags:
australia australia australia RussW composed

Sea Biscuit guessed

non-uniform "hand-written" titles non-uniform "hand-written" titles non-uniform "hand-written" titles BobR composed

Matt guessed

bricks bricks bricks Matt composed

BobR guessed

"p" bands "p" bands "p" bands Matt composed

BobR, Sea Biscuit, RussW guessed

maritime-related songs maritime-related songs maritime-related songs RussW composed

Sea Biscuit guessed

new york city new york city new york city RussW composed

Sea Biscuit guessed

a->d recording a->d recording a->d recording MarkY composed

All the themes were guess right by at least one player except for MarkY's. Only "P" bands was guessed right by all players. Sea Biscuit guessed 4 of the 7 themes correctly, neatly beating Matt (1), BobR (2), and myself (1) (who were the only others who guessed). So Sea Biscuit is next week's Meta Party Devil and will design the Meta Game. I suggest something involving Stephensons Rocket.


Rank ratings:
 1.0000 Ben (3 games played)     
 0.8125 JeffF (4)
 0.4286 JP (3)
 0.4000 Whindy (3)
 0.3636 Marty (4)
 0.3333 JimG (3)
 0.2222 Whendy (4)
 0.2000 Dan (1)
 0.1250 RussW (4)
 0.0588 Matt (4)
 0.0000 MarkY (4)
 0.0000 RussD (2)
 0.0000 Daniel (3)
-0.2500 Robby (3)
-0.5000 JonathanC (3)
-0.5455 BobR (3)
-0.8889 Clayton (2)
-1.0000 Zach (3)
-1.0000 Jerrie (1)
-1.0000 PJ (2)
-1.0000 William (3)
New Win ratings:
 1.0000 Ben (3)
 0.5625 JeffF (4)
 0.4375 RussW (4)
 0.3333 JimG (3)
 0.1176 Matt (4)
 0.1111 Whendy (4)
 0.0909 Marty (4)
 0.0000 Whindy (3)
 0.0000 MarkY (4)
 0.0000 BobR (3)
-0.1250 Robby (3)
-0.2000 Dan (1)
-0.2143 JP (3)
-0.2143 JonathanC (3)
-0.2222 Clayton (2)
-0.2500 RussD (2)
-0.3000 Daniel (3)
-0.4000 Zach (3)
-1.0000 Jerrie (1)
-1.0000 PJ (2)
-1.0000 William (3)
Ben is clearly the Devil! JeffF is Vice-Devil. Marty & I are Co-Vice-Vice-Devils. Jerrie, PJ, and William are all Generous Angels. MarkY wins the rare and coveted Extra Average Award.


Telegraph article about playing golf in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Some cute definitions.

Troy and the terrorists. I have no idea.

i never meta trio of cds i didn't like