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Today's Bridge: We had to schedule our game around chili day - most of the group wanted to get chili before it was all eaten, while I had to wait until my acid blocker kicked in. It went heavily in our favor, though. I opened the first hand in second seat with the mediocre S 10-9-x-x H J-x-x D A-K-x C A-J-10, which would be a great weak notrump, but since we play strong notrump, I was stuck with the less than ideal 1C. Jerry jumped to 2H, which was promising, so I bid 2S. He surprised me with a 3S response, and since my hand was as weak as it could be without my having had to fudge the numbers and my spades were pretty bad too, plus I had stoppers in both minors, I bid 3NT as a pass-or-correct. (Yeah, I'm reading way too many Bridge books now.) He did indeed correct to 4S with his S A-K-x-x-x H A-K-Q-x-x D x-x C x, but I'd said everything I had to say and left it there. When spades split 3-1, I only made two overtricks. I left him in 1H for the next hand, and he made two overtricks, so I'm glad I didn't jump to 4 as I was tempted to do. (I had four little hearts, a doubleton queen, and a jack.) Then the opponents got into an argument over suits and Dan C. ended in 5C, made with an overtrick when the ace of clubs was the only trick to be lost. That was the last of their success, though - while I don't think we ever got together enough contracts to make a game, they went for a few contracts that didn't quite come together. Dan rather unfortunately ended an auction 1D-1NT, and Jerry led a low club through the 10-x on the board to my Q-J-9-8-7. Surprisingly, my seven held, so I returned the queen to show Jerry my entire holding (clearly, that play indicates that I have everything between the queen and the seven that isn't in dummy, since they were equivalent to me on the first trick), but when he overtook with the king, he didn't lead the third club that I knew he had to have. My Q-x-x of diamonds behind dummy's A-K-x-x-x was a guaranteed entry, and it was Jerry who turned up with the ace - he'd led low from A-K-x and failed to unblock! Fortunately for us, Dan finessed in spades, giving me the doubleton queen and the clubs. I was really proud of my defense in the next hand, with my ratty S K-x H K-6-5-4 D Q-7 C 9-x-x-x-x. Ken opened 1S, I passed, 2C-2D-Dbl-2H (which I would have bid even without the double, in search of a fit), and Dan jumped right to 3NT. Doubling for a spade lead didn't seem like a good idea, so Jerry led the king of diamonds into S A-Q-x-x-x H A-10 D J-10-x-x-x C 6. I unblocked the queen, even though Jerry's lead seemed to indicate that Dan had the ace, and the king held. Jerry now switched to my suit, hearts, and when Dan ducked the ace, I had to take the king. At this point, a diamond lead seemed pretty fatal, since Jerry taking his ace would establish two or three diamond tricks in dummy, so I led a club. Dan played low, so Jerry got it for the ten and led a spade, again finessed to my king. This time, I went for the diamond to the ace for the setting trick. But we weren't done, since Dan threw away diamonds while running his clubs, despite the two major aces remaining on the board as entries, and ended up losing a couple of clubs and a few hearts, I think, for off four. He also risked a slam in spades that depended on a heart finesse that failed - I did my part by leading from K-Q-J-x-x of diamonds to knock out the ace and set up a diamond trick. Jerry didn't lead to it when he got the king of hearts, though, and had Ken held only two diamonds, he could have sluffed the other one on the hearts to make the contract. Sloppy defense, I say. My opening lead of the king of diamonds shows that I have the queen, and even if Ken started with a singleton, he can't sluff a loser if he has to ruff, so no harm done. We ended with a 1NT where I had H K-Q D K-J-9-x-x and no entries in the black suits. The queen took the opening heart lead, and Jerry cashed the king before leading the king of diamonds. Fortunately, Dan took the ace right away, and Jerry's remaining Q-10 of diamonds gave him an entry to the established diamonds I had left. Leading to his Q-10-x while leaving the king of hearts intact is a much better play, since that guarantees an entry to the diamonds if Dan holds up the ace until the third diamond trick, which he really should.

Otherwise, work was mainly about finishing the effort of arranging the panel I've been working on with a decent layout, particularly putting gaps between the various elements to space it out a bit. I made an early day of it and got to cook a proper dinner for a change, which I haven't done in a long time. I'd prefer if it wasn't because I'm back to having trouble sleeping - I had a few dreams, but I spent a long time lying awake as well. I have no idea why I was able to sleep over the weekend and not during the week, unless it has something to do with the acid blocker. That would be weird but not completely surprising. Also, I drank some caffeinated sodas on the days I managed to sleep, but it can't be the caffeine, because I drink lots of iced tea as it is.

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Yes, I'm THAT Nidoking. Sometimes I write fanfiction... often I waste all my time playing video games and watching anime. But it's not a waste if I enjoy it, right? I can quote from a movie, video game, anime series, or British comedy apropos of just about any situation, and one of my main goals in life is to entertain people. (The other big one is amassing as much anime and manga as I can... see below for a progress report.) That's me in a nutshell. ("Help! I'm trapped in a nutshell! What a bloody great nutshell this is!")
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