First thing is: I had so many pictures from the cave trip, I realized putting them on the blog would be impractical. So, here’s a video.
Today I pulled out my shorts for the first time in several months. I had lunch, and then I played some krokay. Turned out, today was the perfect day for it. Even though it seemed like I was getting a lot of cancellations due to workload, four of us still managed to show up between Noyce and the Forum to take in the first really nice spring day. I had gone scouting yesterday for places to play, and decided there looked like a good place. As soon as I saw it by daylight, I knew it was perfect. I started the course at the higher end of the area, beneath some pines. From there, I dropped it down two walls, one short and one tall. It took a brief detour around some trees and a little shrine to Ganesha, and then came into a picturesque brick-laid pavilion (the center wicket was wedged into cracks between the bricks). The turn wickets were directly in front of a devilishly troublesome pit. Just to keep people guessing, I put the first inbound wicket in a completely obstacle-free area of flat grass. Thence back down to the pavilion, and finally back up two sloping tiers of a terrace in order to get back up the walls to the starting point.
Man, we just had tons of fun. It was so much nicer today than the winter games were, since we had no snow to contend with. The course lent itself to especially cutthroat playing, with lots of interaction. The other three guys were stuck at the turn wickets for probably ten turns apiece, knocking each other into the pit and all over the place. Having Seth along makes any game instantly a bit more irrational, unpredictable, and hazardous. Even though I got away from the turn wickets far ahead of everyone else, they closed in on me pretty quickly, thanks to a wrong turn I took. I still managed to become poison well away from the others, and took Seth out directly. But in the time it took me to do that, James got out of my grasp and too far toward poison to stop, so I focused on Dan instead. After some uphill-downhill dancing, in which I had to be careful to avoid the wicket placed near the edge of the wall, I finally managed to take him out as well. By this time, James was poison, making today our first multiple-poison game of the year. Neither of us got too close to the other. We both planned our shots to end up far off in case we missed. We both hid for a couple turns around a wooden shelter some people had put up over Ganesha while we were playing. Eventually, one of James’s shots left him too close to me, and I eliminated him to claim the win.
Wow. What an absolutely excellent course. It’ll be just spectacular with a full complement of six people. Imagine all the interaction, the multiple poisons! I can’t wait. At the same time, though, I plan to get off campus sometime too, for a forest game.
A few days ago, I got an email to the effect that there was a spot open in the kayaking course. Since I have a lot of free time on Thursdays, I biked right on over to it. So now I’m learning to kayak. I’m beginning to have a lot more fun with my life. Dave Zeiss (who’s in charge of the GOOP trip) taught it in the pool. We spent the first lesson learning how to recover from flipping over, which is actually not very hard, and learning the basic paddle strokes. I wonder what we’re going to do with the rest of the semester, since we learned so much in one lesson. Incidentally, as we were kayaking we saw that it was snowing. When we got out, there was somewhere between a half and a whole inch on the ground. That was two days ago. And now it’s nice. I overheard someone talking about Iowa’s “schizo weather” today; sums it up excellently.