Two Competitions, Two Weeks

Just wow. My brother is going to the same college as I am so my parents decided we can send the car out too. I agreed to drive it up, and on top of that I bargained to also go to US Nationals in Columbus, OH; and then the Canadian Open in Toronto, Canada.

The Journey

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I never realized how long it was until I talked to Weston Mizumoto on the end of the second day of driving. OVER 2500 miles!? Well whatever, went forward with it. They say “it’s the journey not the destination that matters.” Whoever said that probably didn’t road trip much, everyday was a zen struggle to remain calm, comfortable, and clear minded. I held that mindset until the final leg of the journey driving back from Toronto. Where, after nearly running out of gas (in Canada), I sustained myself through the entire drive on nothing but a box of Triscuits and a RedBull. Needless to say when I finally got out of the car at school, home away from home, I was pretty jittery. A quick run to the still open cafeteria fixed that.

The Competitions

They were AMAZING. US Nationals has never been so organized and smooth, they also were able to announce next year’s Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada! I do not yet know if I will be going or not, it seems like it will be pretty cheap though (and as some one brought up, if I need some money I can probably get by with cubing on the street with a hat out).  I did ok in the competition, I got a 25.77 OH average, and beat my former 5×5 single and 3×3 single! I got to meet two former world champions, Yu Nakajima and Breandon Vallance, two amazing cubers, Breandon even took the 3×3 event! I was witness to an interview with Nakajima, never encountered a more soft spoken and wise cuber, he had a lot to say, (albeit in Japanese). The competition finished well.

The Canadian Open was simply a new experience, I haven’t been out of the country in years and not to Canada in more than a decade.  Cultural differences aside the competition was very similar to US competitions. Only two days long I have never felt happier nor more sad in a competition. I finally got my official sub-15 3×3 average and on the other hand I didn’t make 4×4 cutoff. Didn’t make Square-1 cutoff either, but luckily registration fee was flat rate, not pay per event which racks up quickly if you’ve ever registered for Nationals. I don’t know when I’ll go back to Canada for a competition, perhaps if there are anymore 2 day competitions up there I could justify going.  Still, met my cubing goals of the summer with these two competitions and wouldn’t have it any other way.

The End (for now)

I have never cubed so much in preparation for competitions. I found out I can do averages of 50 OH and that I am certainly capable of sub-15/14. But right now I am worn out, I’ve been cubing straight since 2006 my longest break I can remember was about seven days. I am now taking more of a break, I’m not going to do any serious cubing until October. In that time you might see videos from other things I do, you might not. I’m not quitting, I already plan to be at the Indiana 2011,  just need to do some other things for awhile, that’s not cubing.

The (Temporary) End of Tip of the Week

So episode 10 was posted the other day, and it’s the episode where I really decided to stop making Tip of the Week for a while, mostly because I don’t have the same resources here to work with, and I don’t think I’ll have as much time to make videos overall. (see the final episode here)

I said this in the video, but I want to thank everyone again who liked it you made this possible through your views and ratings. Even those people who didn’t like it helped with this production, you provided criticisms that forced me to try new tutorial methods and teach different or new concepts with a twist. Making any tutorial or video experimentation is always important, the critics and haters make this experimentation possible to a point.

Well that’s it for now I felt like writing that out to everyone. I’ll probably compile a playlist like thing here on my site eventually under the cubing section. Also I’ve been wanting to put all the episodes on iTunes for download, I don’t know how much of a demand for it there is but it would be fun and probably good to know how to do. So if that happens I’ll tell you all.

Other Thoughts:  the Swedish band “Movits!” is really cool, I would say it’s like Vampire Weekend with a 1920’s ragtime jazz band, oh yeah except Swedish (not Norwegian).

New Personal Best Average of 12!

Timed with CCT.

Statistics for 04-13-2009 20:26:54

Average: 18.87
Standard Deviation: 1.45
Best Time: 16.03
Worst Time: 21.81
Individual Times:
1. (16.03) D U’ B2 F2 U B’ D U2 R’ U’ L2 R2 U R2 B L’ D B’ L B’ U2 L2 D L2 R’
2. 18.13 L2 D U’ B’ U L2 U2 L’ R’ D L D’ U’ F D U B2 L’ R F’ U2 R’ B2 U2 F’
3. 21.21 L’ D2 B’ D U L’ R2 F U2 L R’ U2 L’ R2 D’ U F2 D B’ F D L B F2 D’
4. 20.36 L2 D2 U R’ U B2 F2 R’ D2 L2 R2 D’ U’ B L’ B2 U L2 D B F D’ F2 R2 F2
5. (21.81) L’ R2 D’ U L R’ B F D L R2 D2 F L2 D U F2 D F’ U B2 L2 D2 U B2
6. 16.94 R2 B L B2 R D2 L’ R2 B’ D’ B D’ U’ B F’ L R2 B’ L2 R’ B F’ L2 B2 L2
7. 17.27 R B’ D’ U L2 R’ U2 L’ R B D2 U B’ F2 L’ B’ D U2 B’ L’ B’ F’ D’ F’ D
8. 20.33 L’ R2 D’ R’ D U’ L2 R’ U F’ R2 D U B2 D’ U2 B’ F R2 D’ U’ L’ R2 D B
9. 18.13 D’ U2 L B’ D2 U2 B F L2 D’ B’ D2 B2 U B’ F L F D2 U’ B L2 D B’ F
10. 17.40 L’ R’ B’ F’ U2 L B F D U F2 D2 B U’ F U’ L2 R B L2 B2 D’ R2 B F
11. 20.19 B’ L2 R’ F2 D2 U R’ F2 L B D U2 B L2 D’ B L2 R F D’ U2 F’ L2 U R
12. 18.72 R’ B’ F’ D’ B2 D U2 L2 R’ F D B2 D U2 B F’ L D2 U’ B2 F2 U2 B F’ L

OOOOOHHHHHHHHHH yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh.

Admittedly it’s not a pure average of 12, it’s a rolling average in an average of 24, the range here is from solve #12 to #23 so it was pretty close actually.  And I was thinkning of filming it, but I didn’t want to set everything up.


Chaos and Madness Ensnare…

…my computer. Its been a strange last few days many of my computers recently have been under the influence of some very nasty trojans, being trojans, they’re all very deceptive. On my MacBook (the Windows side of course) something called Relevant Knowledge was installed on my computer without me knowing it. Trying to keep the 70gb partition I have for Windows celibate from cyber infections one of them evidentally piggy-backed on to the computer through a small program I downloaded.

As if this wasn’t enough of a horror story, turns out on the same day, one of my friend’s got the same thing on his computer, only worse. He got something called vortumonde which after looking it up for him, due to that his internet wasn’t working, and the program is about equivalent of stabbing the hard drive disks with a magnetized hatchet. So he spent all day trying to figure that out meanwhile I frantically searched my computer for things that shouldn’t be there. He’s afraid to turn on his computer now.

Now today, something called trojan.zlob.g infested itself rather nicely on to the main computer my family and I use as file storage the works. This file also disables browser actions and actually is really easy to remove. Once again the internet came to save the day with a quick resolution to the problem from Yahoo! Answers the post from AlexJ was the answer here. All this while rendering a new video series which I will now have to post tomarrow as I do not have enought time to really render the rest.

So the final lesson? Be careful what you download, and run spyware and malware scanners at least once a week you never know when you computer will get the technological equivalent of parkinsons disease.


I’ll make a video of this no doubt, but it should be written. Plenty of people have been asking me to go to some competition somewhere. I have to emphasize to them that I can’t go to every competition that comes around in North America. As much as I’d love to my travel range is rather limited, especially during the school year. The Princeton open in 2008 was different, I was on spring break and I had relatives on the east coast that I hadn’t seen in a while, so the competition was convenient in that sense.  Other competitions on the East coast would normally not be open to me.

For the most part you can expect me to attend more competitions in the West.  California, constantly has compeitions that are well run and orginized, furthermore it seems Colorado is starting to hold more competitions which would be beneficial to me given that most of Colorado is within a 6-8 hour drive away. For now the only thing I can promise to people is the still unannounced Caltech Winter Competition at the San Francisco Exporatorium, there are always fun competitions.