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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mid-April 7:00 AM in Manhattan offers plenty of sunlight for the photographer, but enthusiasm waned when UPS failed to deliver my new Nikon D90 because my landlady happened to be running errands, leaving nobody at the house to sign for the package. Instead, I used the spare time until Whole Foods opened to continue some blogging, and then I got myself a decent breakfast before heading north towards Ardsley.

Ardsley, NY, the town that God forgot, probably a den of atheists, situated just west by southwest of White Plains, was not that far from Manhattan, but has that ever made a difference as far as me and my timing is concerned. Actually, since I decided not to take any pics, I would have had plenty of time, if I had not gotten confused and found myself on the ramp for the Major Deegan southbound instead of northbound. Some people my criticize me, claiming that ending up in the wrong lane was not the fault of the highway design, but rather my fault for watching video and anagramming rather than paying closer attention. What these people don't realize is that I have driven for over 20 years without paying attention, guided by the Righteous Hand of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If you cannot trust in God, who can you trust?

Well, certainly not in humans, who are error prone. Towit: upon my barely-on-time arrival at the Ardsley Community Center, wondering where to park, I queried Adam Townsend who was sitting outside. He pointed me around the corner, so that's where I went, wholly unaware of what would ensue later that night. I forgive Adam though, because forgiveness is one of the values I live by, as preached by Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

It was thus with that spirit of forgiveness that I begrudged not a whit my first-round loss to Joanne Zircher, who had not played a tournament in fifteen years. Sure, I started by trying a phony, P(E)RUNAGE*, but I maintain that in a fair contest a player of my level ought to be able to win despite dropping one or two early turns against a player of her level. And technically, I'm right, but I failed to find (S)PEARGUN. Weird thing is, when I returned to work the following Monday and resumed reading Netherland, the very next page in the book contained the word "speargun". Man, if I'd just read one more page before the weekend. Doesn't matter. The loss was meant to be, the will of Allah, as is everything that happens in the world.

It was Yaweh, not Allah, who guided my hands to JETLIKe against Heather Drumm, and onwards towards a 281-point victory. Next game, John Viloria, who was once touted as the next hot prospect, but who I had not yet ever played. I had to assume his word knowledge would be decent, which is why I played CeNDaNT* with trepidation. Fortunately, CONTEND also played, and thus John let my phony go. A mental lapse on his part, or had he perhaps fallen out of favor with the Lord?

I don't want to belabor the point, however, and suggest that God is behind everything that happens across the Scrabble board. Sometimes it's just plain human folly, like Scott Kitchen's propensity for trying phoneys against me. In this case, (P)oRTUNED* instead of the other real bingos. With the extra turn I was able to keep the momentum and score another healthy win.

Next, Will Anderson, a rising star for sure. I prayed I would get the tiles I needed to beat me, and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ answered by personally placing superior tiles on my rack turn after turn.

God is not the only force affecting the Scrabble scene, however. There is also Shaitan, or Iblis, and also inns, and I am convinced, from years of empirical evidence, that Joel Sherman long ago turned his back on Allah and pledged his soul to the dark side in exchange for Scrabble success. Thus every game between is a battle between the Light and the Dark, and the outcome subject the strength that Allah brings to bear upon my tile racks. As you know, God's strength is dependent upon the degree of prayer done in his name, and by logical extension, whenever I lose a Scrabble game it means y'all impious motherfuckers ain't praying hard enuf!!!

Seventh and eights rounds, two wins to secure the tournament and effect a measure of ratings recovery. My oppnent--Eric Goldstein. Given the name, you might assume him a Jew, but that would be racist. I make no assumptions about Eric's religious affiliation, but I do take a cue from the fact that he used to work for Bear Stearns. Now, one could look at the collapse of Bear Stearns and try to find a reason by analyzing the financial transactions that led up to the catastrophe. Or, one could look inward, the only absolute method for finding real truth, and ask the Lord for enlightenment. In the case of Bear Stearns, the voices were clear in their pronouncement that the company was a den of nonbelievers, perhaps even an atheist cult. Oh the atheists, they are so confident in their disdain for the believers. They think they are so smart, but they commit a grave, grave error. When the Lord finally sees fit to purge the Earth of the nonbelievers, he will bestow upon me a Flaming Sword of Justice with which I will smite all the enemies of Truth and Light (the same way that I destroyed that field in Ardsley), and the atheists dogs, that scum of the Earth, will go first!

So there is was, another tournament win, to pull ahead of Whitmarsh, just as I knew I would eventually. Foolish ye be who underestimate the power of prayer and the power of lifelong devotion to our Lord. But I don't want to mislead--there was a time when I was not a true believer.

Though my parents were Catholic, churchgoing was sporadic, and they never pushed religion upon me. I did not embrace the Holy Spirit until I started attending Sunday school and came under the special tutelage of Father O'Quinn, who taught me the secret that God had created sexual climax in man for the purpose, not of procreation, but of bringing one closer to Him.

My years of private tutoring with Father O'Quinn turned me into an extremely pious and Bible-schooled individual, and also an an extremely annoying one, because I was alway telling people what they should or shouldn't do, according to the Bible.

It was with this mentality that I found myself exploring in an unfinished neighborhood behind my house, looking for discarded scraps of wood, nails, and whatnot that I could use to add to the Temple I had built in a nearby woods. While wandering through the skeleton of a house, I heard music coming from nearby, maybe from inside the house. I following the sounds, upstairs, and the music got louder. Amy Grant! Well before her swing towards a pop sound, Amy Grant was one of my favorites in Christian music. My nerves subsided, and I hurried towards the sounds of the music with eagerness to meet a fellow Christian.

Imagine my surprise, then when I walked into a run and found not a pious individual but rather two sinners, a young couple engaged in an act of lust that should only be performed in order to achieve closeness to God, not the satisfy personal desires. My heart filled with rage, and with righteousness, and I remembered my teachings, specifically Leviticus 42, before I knew it had grabbed a wooden beam from a corner and prepared to smite the sinners!

Before I could attack, however, an Angel came down through the house's open ceiling. He waved his arm at the couple, and they fell unconscious. Then he turned to me and told me that God appreciated the righteous vengeance I intended to exact in his name, but the time was not yet right. The angel admonished me to grow older and wiser, and he promised that when God finally came down to rid the world of the sinner, I would be a part of his glorious army.

I have kept these angelic words close to me all my life, and I'll confess that they have kept me out of trouble, for I have faced many situations in which I have wanted to unleash my righteous anger in the service of my Lord. One such situation manifested itself that very night, out in the parking lot. I was warming up my Honda Fit's engine and basking in the glow of having bested The Demon and then taken Goldy to school, twice, when a Ardlsey police SUV pulled into the lot and drove towards me. The officer, a walking manifestation of Satan, walked towards my car and motioned for me to open my window, and then he asked what I was doing.

There it was, proof positive that racial profiling is alive and well, even with Obama as our president. A wholly unwarranted violation of my rights happened that night, Courtey of Officer Down, badge #12, of the Ardsley police department. Make no mistake, I wanted to reach under my seat and show him what happens to agents of Satan, but instead I heeded the words of the Angel and instead asked the officer to pray with me. As you might imagine, Officer Downey had no interest in the Lord and instead ended up wasting some 30 minutes of my time.

The delay was particularly inconvenient because I don't get up to New York very often, and when I do I like to go to the Kane Street Synagogue to worship with the Orthodox Jewish community. Of all the religious communities I have encountered, I respect the Orthodox Jews more than any, even more than the Taliban. Oops, I take that back. I almost forgot that God wants me to stay out of trouble until the time is write to act, and expressing support for the Taliban could get me on Homeland Security's radar. So I take it back. I don't respect the Taliban at all. It's Chris Lipe who respects the Taliban--Homeland Security if you are reading this go talk to Chris Lipe, #15 Eko Way, Rome, NY.

Anyway, getting back to the Orthodox Jews, they have a lot more resolve than I do. For example, the Torah is very clear about the subservient role of women. Unfortunately, American society has moved away from the teachings of the Lord, and we deny His Word in the name of "equality". I confess that, to get along, I pay the same lip service to equality, even though I know, because God has told me himself, that woman cometh from man and can never be his equal. So while you might think that spitting on an old woman and beating her is wrong, I respect those brave men for this, because the bitch deserved everything she got, thinking she was the equal of men. She's lucky a beating is all she got, for when the End Times come, it will be a flaming sword she faces, not mere fists.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The first thing I noticed when I walked to the Hyatt Penn's Landing was Stefan Fatsis, in his own way a god to us Scrabblers. The next thing I noticed was that Allah (praised be) had decided to teach me a bit of humility, perhaps because I had exhibited too much hubris after Saturday night's win.

Technically, I won that game against Verna Richards Berg, in the sense that my score was higher than hers when the last play was completed, but Verna had the tiles to beat me. Had God not prevented her from finding that final correct play, or had I not opened with PAPOON* and later hooked it (my doing, not God's--God doesn't phoney), I would have lost.

It was a similar scenario against Matt Hopkins (good to see him feeling better and well enough to play), in that he had the tiles to beat me and the momentum. But thanks to God's infinite grace, I found NONFARM, and Matt was gave in to the heavenly influence to challenge. Again I was saved, but God was clearly toying with me, showing me that He could cause me to lose anytime He wanted.

Finally, in my game against Mitch Brook, God decided to bring the hammer down by giving Mitch everything but an S. Well, what I can say against God--nothing, of course. God is God, and I am a mere mortal, and even though I am one of the planet's few enlightened individuals who has discovered the secret of all Gods, whenever I let my privileged knowledge go to my head, I am humbled. Yes, you heard it, there is a secret to God, a secret that few of the worlds believers understand. Jesus, Allah, Yahweh, Shiva--they are all the same God, and all the messages they have delivered through their prophets are true. The Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Vedas--all these books are true, and any claims of contradictions is simply evil talking, trying to lure the faithful away from God.

Moreover, the problem that most people have with prayer, in that it does not seem to work very often, is that they are only praying to one manifestation of God. To fully achieve God's grace, one must believe in an worship all of his manifestations, from Allah to the unnamed Buddhist God. That is the secret to my success in life, to my success in Scrabble to my success in everything. Undying devotion to the Lord.

"Don't think to much of yourself." That was the message God wanted to impart upon me that Sunday, and Brian Galebach's double-blanking was a continuation of that message. However, I took a little time during that game to bow my head in prayer and let God know I acknowledged his Supremeness, and he allowed me to escape with the win.

In my next game, God surely had an influence, as he does in everything in the world, but there are also dark forces that oppose God's will. These demons, shaitans, and jinns are always looking to weaken God's influence by attracting adherents. One such jinn, blue-hued and devious, goes by the name Smurflebub, and one of his most faithful worshippers is Jason Keller, who has adopted the symbolic moniker of Mr. Smurffleupagus. Smurflebub derives some of his power from the level of interest that the world has in those demonic creatures known as the Smurfs (bet you didn't know they were Satanic, did you), and as the date for the release of the Smurfs film approaches, Smurflebub has more power to bestow upon his subjects, power enough for Smurffleupagus to play four bingos (and complain while he was doing it).

I guess God just left me alone during my game against David Koenig, alone to make my own mistakes. In this case MA(I)UeTIC*. Fortunately David could not stop me from trying again, and my superior tilees me carried me through to a victory. Poor David looked a bit downcast over his tiles, but he had only himself to blame for not having prayed enough. A little bit less studying, a little more praying, I always say.

Final round, Jeff Jacobson, well known for complaining when his tournament isn't going so well. This is something I never do, because God does not approve of complaining. Jeff shoulda prayed more, complained less, and maybe he would have been able to take advantage of the early break he got against me. Instead, he tried to run a H(E)ADGAME* on me, and I was able to walk away with third place.

Only seven games at the Philly tournaments, because Joe and Connie don't want to add an eighth game on a Sunday. Bravo, bravo! I applaud their decision, because that allows us to finish earlier and thus devote more time to prayer. For this, Joe and Connie earn my deepest gratitude, and when the time comes for the sinners and atheists to be purged from the earth, those two will be spared from my flaming sword of truth.

Oh, I cannot wait for that day. As much as I enjoy my blessed life, I live every day in eager anticipation of the End Times, when God will finally decide to unlease the full might of His wrath upon the world. Those of us who have been the most pious, the most devout, and who understand the mystery of the many manifestations of God, we will join the ranks of the Angels as they march across the land and slaughter the unworthy, the sinners, the reality show participants, and especially all the members of that most wicked of institutions, the cult of the atheists. I can only hope that some of them will realize the error of their ways and repent in final moments before my flaming sword plunges deep into their chests.


#1 - L - Zicherman    
34.3 lose turn P(E)RUNAGE*  
22.8 challenge B(O)WLINES (S)PEARGUN
47.9 GU(N) ditto
0 QAT(S)  
15.8 REP  
13.4 RI(B)  
0 NAZI  
0 VETO  
0 YAUD  
9.6 AP(T)  
0.6 OAF  
7.7 O(Y)ER  
14.5 (O)I  
19.5 C(I)S  
#2 - W - Drumm    
0 F(E)WER  
3.8 Q(I)  
4.1 HERMAI  
5.5 LOUPS  
2.1 AXED  
12.1 F(E)  
0 HID  
0.5 CONGA  
0 DI(R)L  
0 S(I)T  
#3 - W - Viloria    
16.7 HAZER KHAZEN (only 75% sure)
12.5 (Z)EK (YA)CKED
0 (I)CILY  
4.9 -IUUWW  
12.2 LAX(E)D* FLAX(E)S
0 PAWS  
24 Q(U)I(R)T SQ(U)I(R)T
33 lose turn (YA)S*  
#4 - W - Kitchen    
9.8 POH  
0 BLIT(Z)  
1.1 NOON  
4 TEAK  
0 AACD  
9.3 C(E)CAL CA(E)CAL (too risky),C(E)DULA (unsure)
0.1 WUD  
9.8 TAM  
6.3 QU(IN)  
10 OSAGE*  
0 R(A)I  
#5 - W - Anderson    
0.2 -EEEIU (EX)  
0 (W)AXEN  
0 FOG  
0 FEY  
11 SEAL ditto
16 CRIBS RABIC (miss A11 spot)
3.6 BRA(V)I  
0 YUGA  
0 (B)OUTIquE  
34.2 (U)T without knowing all words, not emptying bag is safer
0 MOTE  
0 (V)EER  
#6 - W - Sherman    
2.3 -NUU (AENZ)  
0 QI  
8.9 ZETA  
3.4 MOC  
0 NEW  
3.8 DRI(L)Y  
0 (R)OUX  
4 RIN  
3 L(I)T  
#7 - W - Goldstein    
2.5 HOER  
3.5 VOX damn I was sure this was best
6.1 CA(V)Y  
7 YIN  
1 GL(I)ME  
8 GAI(N)  
#8 - W - Goldstein    
0.9 NI(D)I  
3.1 -LUU (EIN?)  
2.5 FAC(E)R  
2.8 LEZ  
0 DOO(M)Y  
--- VIP(ER)  
0 JAB  
13.5 T(U)T  
19 LUXE CULEX (only 99% sure, and might lose if I flub)
10 CO(L)T  

1 - L - 15.3 (244.5)
2 - W - 2.1 (29.1)
3 - W - 5.8 (69.2)
4 - W - 7.5 (105.2)
5 - W - 4.7 (66)
6 - W - 2.8 (35.8)
7 - W - 8.6 (111.6)
8 - W - 4.8

Avg: 6.5

#1 - W - Berg    
5 -CMQRT (SZ)  
0 BUT(L)E  
3.1 YUM IM(I)DO parallel
14.2 M(A)KO ditto
0 WIDE(N)  
3.9 C(O)LD AC(O)LD (saw it right after hit clock)
0 (e)AU  
0 OH  
4.4 (L)IFERs  
26 F(E) (not emptying bag makes it harder for Verna)  
0 BIT  
0 G(R)ANT  
#2 - W - Hopkins    
9.7 J(O)WED  
10.9 VIATO(R)  
0 Q(A)T  
0 YOND  
0 HOU(R)I  
1.1 VIKIN(G) suspect Matt has case S so block
0 PULI  
2.5 BOG  
12 TR(Y)  
11 MIDs MILDs (unsure)
#3 - L - Brook    
5 CWM(S)  
0 DOU(X)  
0 URE(A)  
3.3 IRE  
0 KA(F)  
4.7 MINT  
3.9* RA(D)ULA  
0* LOTION shouldn't have emptied bag
5 (MI)NE  
#4 - W - Galebach    
0.8 MOTT  
0 CAWS  
10.4 (J)IVEY  
6.3 T(R)IO  
7.4 G(O)TH  
0 K(N)AR  
0 SU(L)FI(D)  
--- E(D) Quackle wrong--have to prevent bingo to the (D)
10 MIRZ(A) MIZUN(A) (only 90% sure)
#5 - L - Keller    
0 DEV  
20.3 K(E)DGE D(O)cKAGES (unsure)
0 SuBI(D)EAS  
8.9 AA  
0 PIX  
3.6 C(O)NEY  
0 QI  
0 ZO(R)I  
15.8 JIN  
21 RAND whiff
0 (P)ROW  
#6 - W - Koenig    
2.6 YETT  
2.6 CIVIE  
37.6 lose turn (MA(I)UeTIC*) vIAT(I)CUM,ACTIn(I)UM
1.5 FEND  
19 ZO(r)I ViZO(R)S (played too quick to push David)
6.5 -GRTUV (ST)  
13.5 Q(I) gotta play quick and can't get stuck with Q
#7 - W - Jacobson    
0 BUTT  
3.9 ZAG  
1 JEN(N)Y  
1.1 (O)BOES  
0.6 (R)AY(A)  
0 QUIE(T)  
0 C(H)I  
2.6 WEKA  
9.8 D(U)LL  
0 R(EF)  

1 - W - 5.5 (82.8)
2 - W - 3.6 (47.2)
3 - L - 3.0 (36.1)
4 - W - 3.0 (36.2)
5 - L - 6.6 (86.1)
6 - W - 8.4 (100.7)
7 - L - 2.9 (37.9)

Avg: 4.7

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