13 December 2006

08 December 2006

Nou vir 'n paar prentjies...

Die Eiffel toring... Soos julle kan sien. Dit is besonder indrukwekkend. Check hy verlig tot die wolke :) Ek het opgegaan met die toring tot bo, en dit was volmaan. (ok so dalk is dit nie toring wat die wolke verlig nie...) Jy kan nie die maan sien nie, maar so nou en dan het die wolke padgegee en oopgemaak. Dit was soooo mooi.
Die Seine rivier. In die nag. (obviously)
Meeste van die vrugte in die foto is egte vrugte :), die ingang van die winkeltjie is bitter smal.
Die Notre-Dame. Hier was nog 'n wonderlike ervaring. Ek het ingestap sondag oggend. (ek het sondag die PM shift gewerk) Daar was 'n diens aan die gang. Ek kon meer van die Latyn in die sang verstaan as die Frans in die preek, maar dit was ongelooflik mooi... binne en buite. En ek het regtig 'n heilige atmosfeer beleef (behalwe dat daar honderde toeriste deurloop tydens die diens...) Die katolieke verstaan iets anders van God. Die heiligheid en die prag.
'n Fontein naby die Notre-Dame... Ek moes versigtig loop, die wind het vreeslik gewaai en hy piepie mens nat... Gelukkig het die mond aan die regterkant nie gespoeg nie.

Die foto's is maar lae kwaliteit... Het nie 'n decent kamera gevat nie. (ek weet dis stupid, maar ek het steeds my ervarings, en dit bly myne, en ek sal dit nie verloor nie.)


07 December 2006

Worlds 2006 --- Paris

Hierdie is my weergawe van worlds vanuit 'n magic oogpunt... Ek sal nog pics post (selfoon pics...) en 'n ordentlike weergawe in afrikaans vanuit 'n persoonlike oogpunt ook skryf.

Hey all

Worlds 2006, Paris

The setting is fantastic, magical even (if you'll excuse the pun)... The venue --- La Carrousel de Louvre... Literally 100m away from the infamous inverted triangle that was featured in the horrible movie the da Vinci Code (the book was good though).

As you approach the venue, you walk through a massive hall where the one wall seems really old, medieval even --- made of stone slabs that has seen the effects of years of erosion (a plaque adorns it... it's french... so sorry, can't tell you what's that about)

A massive crowd of people is hanging around the entrance... talking in tongues, a cacaphony of languages, reminiscent of the Tower of Babylon, or the coming of the Holy Spirit.

When you enter the venue, a larger than life statue of Serra Angel awaits you.. This statue, while impressive, was not nearly as impressive as so many other statues of angels in Paris. Very few people about... I am late for the judge meeting. (the Metro, or subway, took slightly longer than I anticipated it would and we get off at the wrong terminal, so have to walk about half a kilo further)

Sneaking into the judge meeting, I see a whole herd of Zebra's (as the judges are called). I am one of roughly 2 judges not wearing the black and white... We were distinctly asked NOT to wear them to the judge meeting.

Luckily I'm in time to hear which team I'm in. Seminars, headed by a judge from Argentina or Brazil... Juan del Compare. He has long black hair and a full beard, with john lennon glasses... Looked a lot like John Lennon actually.

I also receive a schedule for my duties for the tournament. Seminars, Main -- Deck Check, Sides AM, Main--logistics, Sides PM (from wednesday to sunday).

Seminars is your "off day" at worlds. It starts at noon and continues until 6 PM, all the while you are just sitting there... Chatting about stuff. Judge stuff, but still stuff. In the mean time... The side events hall has filled up to more than capacity... we don't have NEARLY enough seats for all the players... there was a 250 player PTQ... and we had to tell the other 300+ people to come back on another day if they wanted to play in a PTQ (eventually I think there was a PTQ every day, and days 3, 4 and 5, there were 2... all of them in excess of 250 players)

I would have loved to have my off day somewhere in the middle though... to give my feet a rest. Still it was really interesting. I met judges from all over, the three L3 judges in the team were from Finland (Johana Vitaghen?), Australia (Ryan Dare), and Juan. Later through the day we are joined by L5's Sheldon Menery and Gis Hoogendijk and Judge manager Andy Heckt. We dicussed the role of the various levels of judges, and the pending change in REL (regular, competitive and professional replaces REL1, 3 and 5 respectively), and the big one... DQ's

Now Worlds 2006 -- Paris, would be known for DQ's. This is another reason why I would have loved to sit in in the later seminars.

The judge community is moving away from game losses in general (other than tardiness and deck related ones), and more towards Warnings for stupid play errors, and DQ's for cheaters. So, the whole issue of, this game has deteriorated too far, GL to offending player... is history. We don't do that anymore. Both players contributed (in different degrees) to the game state.

Day 2 is limited. I do a whole lot limited deckchecks and moving around draft tables... I wont be going into too much detail here. It was a long day. Probably the longest day of worlds (from the players' perspective).

Day 3 is Sides AM... We had rented another side event hall for the friday-sunday. Sides AM had to set up this hall... Luckily the tables had been set up, there was probably 800 tables in that hall... It was a big hall. We had to set up Tensa barriers (I'm not sure how you spell that word... I wasn't aware it was called that, it's those poles with the ribbon used to control queues... What I do know about them is this... They are HEAVY, very heavy, 12 of them... right across an 800 table hall) --- this day I started feeling my feet... It was a tiresome day.

Sides should have started at 9:00 as far as I know. But due to the vast throng of people trying to register for the PTQ's all PC's were used to help get that going. So sides eventually only started at about 11:00. And the noon team soon arrived to assist us (the teams' times overlapped, sides AM was from 9:00 to 17:00 and the sides noon from 12:00 to 20:00 and the sides PM from 17:00 to 3:00 AM (eek, I know).) This was one of the major issues as far as leadership was concerned, because you would have 2 different team leaders and at least 2 more head judges trying to run things... And people started getting into each others way.

Saturday was team day. Team Rochester was the format. You draft, you build, you play. 4 Rounds, sounds short... It isn't. It took roughly 45 minutes to draft, then 30 minutes to build, then 60 minutes to play. That is more than 2 hours per round and then there's always that little time extra because of deckchecks and pairings going up... turned out to be roughly 11 hours. Saturday night... Judge dinner no. 1... I leave early (about 12:30, beacause the metro closes at 12:40) By now sides have been totally hectic and seminars have had to cut their time short and start helping at sides... Suddenly glad I at least had an "off day", and since so many judges was involved in sides, the dinner was split into 2.

Sunday... Sides PM... starts at 17:00 so I walk around Paris for the first bit of the day, and around 2:00 PM I decide to go have a look at the venue at what's going on. Aparantly after I left the dinner, it was announced that sides PM would start at 1:00 PM because we need to clear the hall at 11:00 PM. So late again. But I start to work... I am on the $2000 amateur championship event that had 8 rounds (which we made 40 minutes to try and fit into the time frame, no top 8 and we still did not quite manage the 11:00 PM cut off.)
My feet are soooo sore by now...

Awesome event. WAAAYYY too many players and we were *slightly* understaffed... ok grossly understaffed.

Monday, I start walking Paris... Louvre etc. my feet killing me... Paris is beautiful beyond belief. I am changed through this experience. I appreciate beauty as a gift from God.

All in all, my ticket was paid for by wizards, I managed to sell my compensation for enough to cover my hotel costs and we got 100 Euro lunch money... I am only about 1K down, and I went to Paris for that. Not many can say that.

Cheers, and be good. God Bless.