gambitch - now available in blue Our constant efforts to reinvent ourselves reveal how much we fear our own images.
Saturday, August 09, 2003
In closing news, the interview has been rescheduled to Tuesday. That is good. gambitch [
On TAR4 tonight: Jon and Al have been eliminated.
It's really painful that they had to go. I love the clowns, and I really thought that, the way things were going, they were gathering enough steam to mount a serious challenge (pardon the pun) for the million dollars. But it wasn't to be.
It all started at Incheon airport, when the sudden fog caused a number of flight delays. Critically, the clowns were booked on Korean Air tickets that were supposed to fly out to Brisbane through Singapore. Curiously, that's the third time they've transited through Singapore in the course of this race alone. Must speak well for the geographical location of the place. Anyway, the other three teams (who all arrived at Incheon after the clowns) picked up tickets on Singapore Airlines which would have reached Singapore a little earlier.
So while Korean Air's planes were stalled at the airport, the Singapore Airlines flight took off relatively on schedule. It didn't matter then that the clowns were compensated with a direct flight to Brisbane - they still hit the airport later than the rest, and by the time the plane touched down in Aussieland, David and Jeff were already doing the Fast Forward (which involved the rather familiar task of saving a babe using the Australian surf technique - familiar because both guys are funloving folks and Jeff lives in a surfers' community), and Kelly, Jon, Reichen and Chip were all doing face-first rappels off the Holiday Inn.
But the clowns definitely put up a good fight. I'm going to miss those fellas, the same way I missed John Vito and Jill back in TAR3. They were an adorable lot too, but again they got bowled out in one of the latter legs. At least the clowns lasted right up till Australia.
So now it's Kelly and the boys who are left. We've got two alpha-male teams, one gay, one a pair of straight buddies, but both equally aggressive. Then there's Kelly and Jon, who've got spunk and who don't give a damn about the rest. This is going to be one exciting finish. gambitch [
Friday, August 08, 2003
The money's coming in pretty cool. My company now has slightly over a billion bucks in cash alone, and there are some 12.8 million shares out there. I still have around 27% ownership of the company, so the mission is pretty tough - and World War II is coming soon! That doesn't seem to influence the game environment though.
What is influencing it is the change in supply chains. My fruit canneries have just stopped taking steel and need aluminum to make cans, which is fine, except there are no aluminum smelters on the map yet. So I've got lots of cars of raw bauxite waiting at the ports in Dover and Wilmington, and some more in Mobile and New Orleans, all with no buyers. Amazingly, the shipments of produce sitting in my canneries don't seem to be rotting, and I'm exploiting the loophole to stock up - dig this - 700 cars of fruit in Columbia, South Carolina!
So I've got lots of steel and nowhere to send it to, right? Wrong. My plant in Washington's now redirecting the stuff to Dover to turn into some fine goods for the towns on the east coast, while the Birmingham plant is sending the steel to the automobile factory in Atlanta. Yep, that's right, Atlanta. Without the Great Lakes and Pittsburgh in the area, I've had to pick good ol' Georgia to be my car plant headquarters.
So how much closer am I to my objectives? Progress is evidently slow, but I'll bide my time and think about building the industrial empire to spike stock prices upwards soon enough. As long as World War II doesn't get in the way... gambitch [
I've gone back to Railroad Tycoon II for a while. This time I'm building in the southeastern areas of the USA. As a rough guide, the northernmost towns include Dover, Delaware and Columbus, Ohio. Westwards it pushes to Topeka, Kansas and Houston, Texas. So that's a rather large map.
There are no competitors in this game - it's just me with a bag of money building as large a network as I can or want. So I've connected something like 20 cities on the eastern half of the map, from Washington to Miami to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and even pushing deep into Ol' Smoky and connecting to Chattanooga. Passengers, mail cars, coal, iron, produce, cotton and wool, among other things. I'm shipping a whole lot of stuff and managing resource distribution in pretty good style.
So where's the challenge? With this particular game I'm on now, I'm trying to gradually buy over the company which I'm running. I have a little over one quarter of the stock, which isn't bad, but I'm short on personal supplies of cash. And there's like a quarter of a million stocks still out there in the open market. Stock prices are also pretty strong at around $70 to $80 a share. Buying my way into a majority is going to take quite some time, but meanwhile I can sit and listen to the locomotives chug along the tracks.
It's an obsession, trying to build a powerful train network that ships all these goods around and make money for both the company and yourself. The company's doing well right now, coming to $100m in cash alone, but the personal wallet's a bit thin. I'm resisting the temptation to cheat, because this is about managing your way to the top.
Meanwhile there's a lot of train dispatching and track coordination to do too. There are a few bottle-necky areas that I'm gradually learning how to ease off through good track layout and train routing. gambitch [
Thursday, August 07, 2003
Word has it that United accepted conditionally a 15 million pound bid for Veron. And apparently the Argentine wizard has gone down to London for a medical.
I find that an absolute pity if he indeed does go. We need him for Europe. We don't necessarily have adequate replacements, particularly since the word on Kleberson was rather uncertain to say the least. We need a genius of Veron's type, and there aren't enough of those right now.
In other news, Juan Pablo Sorin has moved to Portsmouth. With all the attention on Veron few may be noticing the otherwise very significant arrival of Sorin into English football. I think he can do very well, but will he content himself with a couple of years with Pompey? I doubt it. Next season, expect the big boys to try to grab him again. gambitch [
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
The interview was called off at the last minute, for the rather mundane reason that the interviewee (I was the interviewer) had a car breakdown in the middle of the highway after finishing his morning golf game.
Now to wait for the new interview date. gambitch [
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
An interview tomorrow. I should take care not to crease my shirt. gambitch [
Sunday, August 03, 2003
(Put to the Sword)
it began at a moment's notice
before we realized what was going on
and suddenly we were set on a path
a path part of me never meant you to walk
or maybe i did
but in a way that would be
like a delicate dance
not quite a ballet on water
but something a little close
a quiet spectacle for only you and i to know
from the moment you realized it
it became all about how long we could hold
before working out a solution
that would have preserved the concerto
for i knew my place and my voice
i was not destined to be the lead
and had to content myself with adding to the harmony
and i was ready to
and i was willing to
because this was a song i wanted to sing
but you cut me off
you said no
i could understand why
you were entitled to what you wanted to protect
and it was something i believed you deserve
i still do
never meant to change
but you went one step further
you couldn't commit yourself to promise
to keep us holding together
and so you pulled away
and so i was put away
locking myself behind the door
and slipping the key underneath
i waited for you
to pick it up
and free me from my own imprisonment
you've put me to the sword
you didn't mean to
you never intended it this way
i'm left to wilt in the sun
the sunshine you once wanted to lead me out to see
has now become my fiery iron maiden
because it's not just about the L word...
you mean more to me than that describes
in front of you i found myself
with you i could be real
and strip away the layers of armour i donned
to shield myself from this cold and faceless world
it's not just about love, darling
there's so much more... too much more...
all that's left is your beautiful duet
and in the usual dark corner
an unharmonized voiceless broken soliloquy... gambitch [