Saturday, October 5, 2019

Hales Corners Chess Challenge XXX, October 5, 2019

Hola everybody!

Good to See Ya, Good to See Ya.
Alice Down the Toilet Looking Glass.
Missed Connections.
Aching Legs.
Leave It to Ellen.
Thank Goodness for Taxis (the pre-Uber kind).

That's the summary of my day at the Crowne Plaza Hotel where the 30th rendition of the Hales Corners Chess Challenge was held today. Some details below, more details tomorrow.

NO SKITTLES ROOM.  Not sure how that can be accomplished, but I hope that can be addressed before the next HCCC - my legs cannot take standing around for hours waiting for games to be completed.  There literally was no place to sit and be comfortable while waiting for players to finish their games, and nowhere to hang out in between rounds except in the hallways - or in one's car (I don't have one of those - refer to previous mention of taxis above).  I'm really happy I'd decided before I left the house this morning not to bring my computer - I would have had nowhere to use it!  I saw some of the younger players sprawled about on the floors here and there, but I can't do that, folks.  Once I'm down that low, I'm out for the count and it would take 2 or 3 strong men to get me back up on my feet, LOL!  Me strong like bull, but my knees -- not so much.  And you need strength in your knees to move from sitting on the ground to a standing up position unless you have something to hold on to and clamber up.  Just wait until you're 68 - you'll see...

We did get a group photo of the chess femmes and moi, with a borrowed cell phone glued to one ear while I was on hold waiting to connect with a Yellow Cab.  Such is life.  Ellen showed me one of the photos, but thank Goddess I didn't have my glasses on - it was a colored blur where I could tell it was people standing in a group, but that's all I could really make out without my Walgreens reader on.  I would have probably grabbed her phone away from her and figured out how to hit the delete button before she could snatch it back if I'd actually been able to see that photo! 

I left about 20 minutes after Round 3 began.  I can report that while Round 1 seemed to wrap up fairly quickly in both the Open and Reserve sections, Round 2 was very much different.  Players were fighting right up until the end of their time, or close to it. 

I love taxis!  The ride was less than 20 minutes (both ways) in a spotlessly clean car, with a driver I know is licensed as well as licensed by the city as the owner of a taxi license, $21 plus I always tip 20%.  For that, I connected with a very nice driver whom I can now actually call directly and make arrangements with him for transportation wherever and whenever I need it, with a wait time of 15-to 20 minutes, no more and often less.  He's driven in Milwaukee since 1991 - pre GPS days - so he knows this city and surrounding areas like the back of his hand.  I will definitely be calling him for future rides.  Yes, I'm sure Uber and Lyft are less expensive, but in all the years I've taken Yellow Cabs, I've never had any issues and was never frightened for my life like some of the scary stories I've read about people's experiences in Uber and Lyft services.  Call it an old lady thang - I like the thought of being safe as possible. 

I will report more tomorrow, once I have the photos emailed from Ellen in my hot little hands and know the final results for the chess femmes.  It was good seeing Robin and being introduced to Chris Wainscott, Rachel Ulrich was taking time from her busy sophomore in college schedule to visit the tournament and support sister Susan, and Mr. Ulrich was there as well.  I hadn't seen them for several years.  I met some other parents and stayed long enough to prove that yes, there actually is a real person known as Jan Newton who acts as the official "voice" for Goddesschess.  I think the last event I played in (of 2 or possibly 3 - the extent of my "tournament playing" career) may have been in either 2012 or 2013, so its been awhile since this unforgettable (ahem) face was last seen in the sacred halls of a HCCC event.  Ta for now, darlings!
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