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Old 11-16-2009, 04:33 PM   #476
atakdog
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Re: The well: atakdog

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what sport achievements of your own are you most proud of ? Any cool football story?
No cool football stories really. I was center, because (believe t or not) I was the only one who could consistently remember the snap count. OF course I memorized the playbook the first week, and when we left the huddle I'd often have someone, even the quarterback at times, ask me what he was doing n the play...

In sports, I'm reasonably proud of a few things. As a wrestler I was pretty tough, which is one f the things required but wasn't entirely good. When I found myself in an illegal chokehold that the ref couldn't see, I had the choice of get pinned, or choke myself working to escape. I twisted into it, escaping the hold while crushing my trachea. I won that match. Ought I be proud of that? I suppose not, but it's who I was at the time.

Better would be my experience with crew, first at Yale and then at Michigan. I am not built for crew and didn't have the cardiovascular ability for it, but I joined the lightweight crew anyway. (That's up to 165 pounds, which required taking some weight off but was possible.) Practices were several hours per day total (two per day), plus biking or running to the river. The track stars and the guys who'd been rowing for years at prep school were fine, but I couldn't really keep up... but I didn't quit. When we'd take our pulses after a hard run (every few days) I had to lie because I knew they'd pull me from the boat: most of the guys were in the 165-180 range, but I rutinely ran at 200 and once clocked a 220 beats/minute. For those who don't know heart rates: that's bad. The 200 means I was overtraining badly enough that I couldn't real benefit from it; the 22 means my heart's in danger of going into fibrillation.

The first week back after break in January is the toughest. I had't nbeen making it, I knew — I was 4th boat, for one thing, plus the constant exhaustion — but I would have hung with it if I had a chance. I visited with the coach during off hours and asked what the minimum score I could get on an upcoming test (never mind the details) would be that in his experience was consistent with it being possible to succeed. He told me, and told me I wouldn't make it.

I went through that week, during which I was essentially a full time (and exhausted) athlete, and at the end we had our erg test. I asked the coach to cox me (very unusual), and he did... and I failed. By a lot. I simply wasn't strong enough cardiovascularly — but I was sure I had done absolutely everything possible.

I had agreed with the coach that I'd quit if I couldn't get the number he'd said, and I di, and that's actually a big part of what I was proud of. I made it through the pain, but that came naturally; what didn't was admitting that there was something that was simply beyond my capacity.



I did crew again at U of M, where it was was much less competitive, but there I was forced to switch from port to starboard, then back again, and I was still hampered by being just plain not good enough. I did have the pleasure, though, of stroking1 a four to victory in a regatta in Philadelphia, a victory (my only one) that I earned with a total of eight months or so of misery. It did feel good.


1The stroke, meaning the rearmost oarsman, sets the pace for the boat: the coxswain tells the stroke how many strokes/minute he wants at any given point, and the stroke does it while everyone else tries to match him. I wasn't the strongest rower in the boat, ever, but I could keep things steady no matter how tired I got so I was a good stroke.

Last edited by atakdog; 11-16-2009 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:37 PM   #477
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Originally Posted by Zurvan View Post
FWIW, 27 player vanilla = the perfect werewolf experience
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Originally Posted by Andynan View Post
too many, some of them posting too much, (like me) and some of them posting too little or not at all.

/imo
Zurvan's very close to right as a theoretical matter, imo. the problem, though, is that people are so much more active today on POG than when that theory was developed and when Zurvan played most of his games. Today, a 27eer is overwhelming to many people almost regardless what speed it is.

Give me a 21er, or maybe a 25-27er with not-terribly-strict posting limitations, and I think I'm theoretically happiest (though in practice posting limits and I are not on the best of terms...)

Last edited by atakdog; 11-16-2009 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:45 PM   #478
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Re: The well: atakdog

I just read your well rather than my Con Law book, therefore you can at least give me your favorite (either the reading of it, or the meaning behind it) United States Supreme Court decision.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:05 PM   #479
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Re: The well: atakdog

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I just read your well rather than my Con Law book, therefore you can at least give me your favorite (either the reading of it, or the meaning behind it) United States Supreme Court decision.
Blah. I remember none of the good ones by name. My favorites were the technical ones, the stuff from fed courts class and the ones you hit in first term civil procedure where Scalia is the brilliant jurist he used to be instead of the bitter reactionary he later became.

The case I studied most was one in which I and a partner were Justice Kennedy. For a term we had to work out what he would do on the case — result and reasoning. With Kennedy that was always tricky, because at the time he was the swing vote most of the time and he used a variety of approaches. Much fun.

(The case was one you'll never encounter, Bennis v. Michigan. A majority held that, in part because of a line of cases dating back to 17th century admiralty law, the state could seize property of an innocent person if someone else used it in the commisison of a crime [I'm simplifying a lot]; we predicted correctly which side Kennedy would go to, as he wound up writing a dissenting opinion.)

So sorry, I'm no good for you in this instance. Old con law cases get known because they decided big issues that we now take for granted; new con law cases get known because they were politically slanted or because they sucked. The sweet spot started around the time of Brown v. Board (god damn "all deliberate speed") and ended about twenty-five years later, but those don't get studied in con law much because they're about rights, not structure.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:14 PM   #480
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Re: The well: atakdog

Have you investigated the possible role of diet in your neurological symptoms?

I found that eliminating all sugar and grains from my diet results in a clear improvement in my tendency to depression, self-destruction, and lethargy. It seems that a large percentage of people cannot process the massive amounts of glutens and sugars present in the SAD (Standard American Diet) and experience systemic inflammation which negatively alters brain chemistry and serotonin production along with a host of health problems.

I feel pretty terrible for the first month on a diet eschewing grains and sugar, then the skies clear and I begin to feel much more balanced and hale.

This finding does nicely dovetail with my opinion that corporate agriculture is a primary factor in social dehumanization, and that corn, a weird giant mutant grass, is an evil intelligence using US Government policy to finance its unnatural prevalence.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:20 PM   #481
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Re: The well: atakdog

In case you didn't see, there's a vanilla 17er signup that went up yesterday.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:24 PM   #482
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Re: The well: atakdog

Given your analytical nature, have you ever looked into alternative therapy's such as NLP? Not so much for the bipolar but more as a way of finding a productive way to utilize your mental processes?
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:31 PM   #483
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Tell me about your brief homeless period???
OK, here we go. This one's long (like the others aren't...)

Second semester, third year of law school. I have been living off of credit card debt for three years. (Never applied for student loans because the applications scared me — brilliant, eh? I'd made a fair amount the previous summer, but the year before that had had an unpaid externship for a District Court judge — I wasn't exactly rolling in money.) This was not working terribly well, but I could make it through the end of the year, and after that I had my clerkship lined up.

And then the worst event of my life occurred. I had two dogs: Donner, a male German shepherd who had been with me for years, and Tallulah, a female great Dane who was basically a puppy. Donner had been my principal reason for buying my house (since gone), he had been there at my lowest; he was my baby.

We were out for our late night walk around midnight in the fairly quiet East Bay neighborhood where I was renting a room. Donner took off at one point, toward the house. he was never obedient despite my best efforts (and the help of a lot of professional training time), so there was no way I could get him to come back. So I watched him run, calling at first annoyedly and then desperately as a car bore down on him.

He was hit hard but to crushed, and thrown into the gutter. He regained consciousness after a while and was in terrible pain — he cried, and Tallulah attacked him because it scared her, and my hand got chewed up badly as I tried to separate the two... but eventually he seemed to be OK. He stood up and I could feel no broken bones. We walked to the house. I gave him a doggy aspirin (Ascriptin, actually, which is aspirin buffered with an antacid — much better than straight aspirin for dogs). And because he seemed fine, we went to bed

The next morning, Donner woke me up to tell me was dying. He couldn't breathe. I carried him to the car and raced to the pet hospital, at one point topping 80 on the shoulder of a packed freeway. He lay there on the seat next to me, and his breathing stopped as my right hand lay on him. I felt his last breath and least heartbeat, a few minutes away from the hospital; he was gone when we arrived. (Note: it was pulmonary embolism; it's reasonably likely they couldn't have saved him at that point anyway.)

Lots of people have experienced death, in many cases deaths of people, so this really shouldn't have been something I couldn't handle, but it was. It was not just that my dog had died, it was that my baby, the one who had convinced me not to kill myself a few years earlier. Also, it was my fault: I had had him off leash; I had not taken him to the vet the night before.

Sometimes my depression comes on for no reason, but sometimes it has an external cause. Obviously this qualified, and I became pretty much nonfunctional. I stopped going to school, or really doing anything. Tallulah and I just walked for hours, and sat, and walked again, day after day.


[that's part 1; continued in a bit]

Last edited by atakdog; 11-16-2009 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:34 PM   #484
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Re: The well: atakdog

Atak,

Why aren't you naming your pets in here?
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:56 PM   #485
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Re: The well: atakdog

[homelessness, part 2]

My landlady — basically, the owner of the tiny house in which I rented a room — got scared of my depression. She knew that I wasn't keeping normal hours and that I didn't talk very much. She also knew what had happened to my dog — she'd actually heard him crying after the impact. So she did what I guess she thought was best: she evicted me, unlawfully, without warning. Her boyfriend came over one weekend and changed the locks after putting my few possessions (that weren't in storage) on the ground outside.

At that point I had few options. I didn't have much money and the credit was running thin, and I had an enormous and not all that friendly dog (Tallulah later relaxed a lot, but at that time, around age 2, she was shy-sharp and, quite frankly, dangerous) and couldn't find another place that would take us for just the few months I needed. I stayed with one friend for a little while, until Tallulah scared the hell out of his mother one time and we had to leave. I stayed for perhaps a month with a woman whom I'd sort of been seeing, but then her husband came home from overseas and I had to leave. I lived in a hotel for a week but then realized I couldn't keep that up (in part because no place allowed dogs, and hiding a great Dane is nontrivial).

My family would gladly have helped — I have various relatives who are well off and who love me despite everything — but I couldn't tell them. I don't know why — I think part of it was that I knew I should have applied for the loans, so it was my fault and I was afraid they'd be angry (while knowing that of course they wouldn't). In fact it was years later before any of them even found out about this. (They knew about Donner, but none of the rest of it.)

I effectively had no money, and I couldn't find a place to stay. So we lived outside for a while, sleeping in parks and a wildlife refuge across the bay. Tallulah liked to cuddle (really, she kind of insisted on sleeping on top of me), which served me well on cool nights as my sleeping bag was in storage and I couldn't bring myself to get it out. I showered at the gym at school — I had started going back to school (but not to class — just the library and such, as it was all I could handle) at the insistence of a couple of my professors. I had enough money for food. That's another reason I'd left the hotel: I knew how much I'd need to make it through the semester, as long as I didn't have to spend any on shelter.

That I don't know exactly how long this went on is strange, because I always remember details like that. It may have been a week; it was probably between one and two weeks. Not really so impressive, I realize, but it felt pretty important. It still does.

Eventually, a classmate met me on the beach one day when I was out with Tallulah (it was a dog-friendly beach, and she had one too), and asked about what was going on. I didn't know her well at all, but notwithstanding that she offered me her living room floor — and that is where I spent the rest of the semester. In fact, I stayed the summer with her too, in a different place. Now, she's one of those friends I know is out there if I ever needed her, but I haven't talked to her in a long time.

So that's it, at least the homelessness part. The effect on my schoolwork was longer-lasting. I never went to class again after the accident, but I did take, and actually do well in, all my finals. I had all my credits, and was off to my clerkship.

Except...I had gotten confused about the requirements. True, I had all my credits, but I didn't complete the final project n one of my classes and thus didn't satisfy the school's ABA-required writing requirement. (Though I had written quite a bit, I guess nothing had been big enough or something — I don't even remember what the problem was exactly.) I did not graduate. I still haven't been able to stomach writing a sufficiently substantial legal research paper, and therefore I still haven't graduated.

And that is really why I've never practiced law. A research paper that I associate with the death of one dog and huddling for warmth every night with another one scares me, a dozen years later, so badly that I still can't face it.

Last edited by atakdog; 11-16-2009 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:57 PM   #486
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Atak,

Why aren't you naming your pets in here?
I'm being silly, I guess. I'll change it.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:02 PM   #487
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Re: The well: atakdog

atak:

should you decide to write it,
i'd be available to edit it
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:06 PM   #488
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Re: The well: atakdog

For the record: I have never put that whole story together before. People who know me very well know most of it, but it's never gone together into a coherent whole. In fact, having written it out I am realizing some things I didn't know about the whole chain of events.

I'm going to take a break now; I'll be back later. I have made promises, and I will keep them.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:11 PM   #489
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Re: The well: atakdog

Doug,

(Great Well, thanks for linking to it.)

Who is the smartest person you know?

Who is the smartest person you've met?

Who is your favorite bridge player?

What is your favorite bridge story about someone else?

What is your favorite bridge story about yourself?

- TWP
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:28 PM   #490
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Re: The well: atakdog

You can have my law review paper and turn that in (that is, if you really don't care about anything more than satisfying your long paper requirement), but then I want to be of counsel when you open your doors.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:35 PM   #491
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Re: The well: atakdog

Atakdog,

In order to take the bar exam you don't need to have graduated from law school, do you?
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:43 PM   #492
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Atakdog,

In order to take the bar exam you don't need to have graduated from law school, do you?
Fairly certain that you do now. They felt the near monopoly wasn't good enough so they changed to rule to enforce a total monopoly.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:44 PM   #493
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Re: The well: atakdog

tag atak
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:47 PM   #494
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Atakdog,

In order to take the bar exam you don't need to have graduated from law school, do you?
Each state is different. In CA I don't think he's have a problem but I'm not as familiar with Illinois (if he wanted to remain in Chicago).
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:07 PM   #495
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Re: The well: atakdog

When I looked into it, a while ago, a degree was required in 49 of the states; Louisiana accepted a five-year internship (I think it was) instead.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:36 PM   #496
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Re: The well: atakdog

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tag atak
Hey, I didn't even tag you first.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:58 PM   #497
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Re: The well: atakdog

If you could choose to visit any one country (except Scotland, which is obviously teh best), which would it be and why?
Are there countries or places you would refuse to visit on ethical grounds?
Most exotic/different place you've been?
Which countries would you refuse a free trip to, and why?
Why did I end up playing in 2S last night on Yahoo, with 35HCP and 10 spades between us? Where should I play to avoid this sort of idiocy?
Have you been back to Brazil?
Do you think Spanish sounds mundane and bland compared to Portuguese?
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:07 PM   #498
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Have you been back to Brazil?
Do you think Spanish sounds mundane and bland compared to Portuguese?
He lived in Brazil. I had asked him to expand on his experiences there but I think he missed that.

I definitely think Spanish sounds bland compared to Portuguese. Any language that is almost entirely vowel sounds is insane.

Good questions though. I'm interested in hearing more about Atak's travel experiences in general. Its possible that I missed some posts....
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:15 PM   #499
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Did I answer this yet? My head is spinning today — I may be able to explain in a while.

Vanilla. Almost any size up through perhaps 29, though 25 would be a better cutoff. And actually, 13ers are the minimum for really seeing how the game should play out imo — most of the skills are just as important in a 9er, but its' harder t see the interplay (and seer play is far different).
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i completely agree that 9-27 player vanilla games are the best for honing and estimating ww skills
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andynan View Post
I will go one step further and say its games with between 13 and 19 players, 21 being reasonable. 23 is clearly a cutoff point, but only lasts one day at 23... but then its 21 which is not that great... and then its 19, okay I'll stop here.
Quote:
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Along these lines: I greatly prefer vanilla games with a n0 peek, including for skill development, in this case leaving hints (or not) and seer hunting.
Thanks for the input everyone!
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:18 PM   #500
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Re: The well: atakdog

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He lived in Brazil. I had asked him to expand on his experiences there but I think he missed that.

I definitely think Spanish sounds bland compared to Portuguese. Any language that is almost entirely vowel sounds is insane.

Good questions though. I'm interested in hearing more about Atak's travel experiences in general. Its possible that I missed some posts....
Yeah, I know he lived in Brazil when he was a kid - I asked him about it before, and it is on the list of things to get a detailed response. I'm curious about the differences between Brazil now, and Brazil when he lived there, which must have been during the dictatorship.

I do think that Portuguese vowel sounds are the main thing that makes Brazil feel more exotic than most of the rest of South America.
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