Today's Bridge: It was a non-tournament game, because CP and Mike were both out (and I suspect CP won't be returning for some time). Dan and I teamed up against Paul and Kelly, and I can't argue with Dan's assessment that we had most of the points in these two rubbers. We won the first rubber in a quick pair of 4S contracts, then moved on to a second rubber where they started with a bid 2D, made 4 (Kelly opened 1NT in fourth seat, Paul bid a natural 2C, and she responded a natural 2D... I didn't get that at all. Then they ended with a 3NT, made 6. Paul had opened 1NT on that one, and Kelly responded a weak 2H. She had 15 points... even with Paul's 15-17 point 1NT, I'd be looking at slam possibilities, especially with a strong heart suit like she had. It helped that I had a very weak hand, so the finesses all worked. Then Dan opened 2D, and I had a decent hand with strong hearts: S K-x H A-Q-J-10-x D J-x C K-x-x-x. Kelly bid 2S, and I bid 3H. A bit weak, but vulnerability was favorable. From there, Paul bid 3S, Kelly predictably bid 4S, and I wanted to double, given that I had the ace of hearts and almost certainly a spade trick, but I bid 5D, banking on that diamond fit and a reasonable sacrifice. Paul let that one go, and Kelly bid 5S. That, I doubled. I led the jack of diamonds around to Kelly's void, and she led the ace and another spade, pulling my king while Dan sluffed a heart. So I ran the ace, and Dan sluffed, then led the queen to pull the board's king and set up my high hearts, figuring that Kelly couldn't sluff a heart on anything and I'd eventually get a heart trick. Kelly led the king of diamonds through Dan's ace to a ruff, then led a spade to the board's singleton queen, having miscounted the trump. She took another diamond ruff, then led a club, which I took with the king and ran a high heart for off two. Then I led another high heart, forcing Kelly to ruff with her last spade, and she had nothing but clubs to lead to Dan's ace and the high diamond he still had. Off four doubled vulnerable. Had she not pulled the extra round of spades, I think she'd have still been off three. She'd just have been able to ruff one more trick, but Dan and I still had her side suits covered. Now, had they left us in 5D, I figured that even though Paul had five diamonds to the king, we wouldn't have been off more than two at the most, depending on how successful the trump coups in hearts are. Then Dan and I had a hand with no fits, where I opened 1D with S A-x-x H A-Q-x-x D A-J-10-x C Q-J, and Paul jumped to 3C. Dan bid 3S, and I was powerful enough to go up to 4H. I wanted him to bid 4S back, but he bid 4NT, which I had to take as natural. I gave him the choice of suits with 5D, and he passed. What he had was S K-Q-J-10-x H J-x-x D Q-9-x C A-10. I may have the queens and jacks in the red suits reversed, but it honestly doesn't matter. What it boils down to is that Paul led a low club, which I won with the queen, and I ran to the king of spades to take the diamond finesse, which worked. So I finessed again, ending in my hand, and Paul showed out of diamonds, leaving Kelly with K-x and me with A-J. I should probably have run to another spade on the board, but that would block me in spades and I couldn't trust the ace of clubs or the jack of hearts as entries. So I ran the ace, and it held, surprisingly. Then I screwed up by noticing that I should be able to win the rest in notrump. I led the ace and then the jack of diamonds, losing to Kelly's king. She led a heart, giving me the finesse, and Paul took the king. Then he led a club to the board's ace, and I ran the spades and the good hearts to make 5. What I should have done was led to the ace of clubs and run the final diamond finesse. If Kelly was out of clubs (an 8-1 split), she ruffs in and I can pull her king with a diamond left to cover a club ruff of my own if Paul indeed has the king of hearts when I lose that finesse. If not, then I run the trump finesse, pull her tenace, and run the spades from the board. Having lost no tricks to this point and having three hearts in each hand, I cash the ace and surrender the last two tricks to make the contract exactly rather than risk going off one for the chance at two overtricks. So I could have guaranteed the contract by playing that way. Still, that hand makes 6S or, surprisingly, 6NT because the only trick I need to lose in either contract is the king of hearts finesse. Dan would be playing, presumably, but we assume that Kelly leads a club, which sets us up for two club tricks total, and leaves us with a club stopper. We run a red-suit finesse, and if it works, we've set up a runnable suit using the spades as entries as necessary. If not, then we win the club lead and run the suit we've just set up as well as the spades, and sluff the losing cards from the other red suit. Given that, I think we'd have to run the heart finesse specifically, losing that, to get the runnable hearts and sluff the losing diamonds. Still, 5D wasn't too bad either, and with our 1100 from before, more than enough.
Today's Paper Mario: Mostly secret-hunting. I'll finish up finding what secrets I can, power up a few more partners, then take on the Pit of 100 Trials with the intention of reaching the bottom. I'll be a lot more powerful than I was last time, and I've taken on groups of the enemies from levels 31-40 in the regular game. I've found what looks like a hidden city but is probably just a plot-related area that won't be revealed as plot until I go back to the Door. More secrets to find first. Many, many more.
Today's Work: I committed the first round of software changes for the new hardware and checked out my work on removing a defunct data link. We also talked about creating PCRs for removing the dead code relating to the various dead links that are still sitting around. Most of them no longer compile, but the code's still there and it still makes using the tags file to search through the code a real pain. Not that it'll be any different without that code... there are still identically-named functions spread through multiple modules. But it'll simplify things a lot.
Today's Phone Calls: Turns out that Anime Nation had in fact changed my credit card number only for the shipment that they refunded the shipping charge from, and not for the main order. So they took care of that today and got Seven of Seven 6 shipped out immediately. The other calls weren't quite as productive. The auto shop had just contacted the warranty company (a week later, almost) and confirmed that they'll pay for the remove-ship-and-replace plan, so once the parts for the keyless entry replacement come in, they'll call me to schedule the first of two days of work. The doctor's office agreed that it was strange that they didn't have results yet, called the lab, then left me a message at home to call them back, which I'll do tomorrow. This should be the big announcement, or them telling me that I need to schedule another in-person visit to get the results.
My mentor advised me not to publish my scambait yet, and I suppose it really isn't interesting just yet. I'll see where it goes... I should be hearing from the diplomat soon, and getting to try a whole new set of stalling tactics on him. Should be fun.