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In other news, joined the CTC last week. May slip out and get a track pump on Friday. If I don't get stuck on site Tuesday, hope to look at a new bike that afternoon.
A big version is available here
Just back from the Pro-Wrestling NOAH show in (my once home but now largely transformed) Coventry. The crowd and I started out as cool and educated, clapping politely at well executed exchanges. By the end of the evening after a couple of beers, with two of the biggest names in Japanese wrestling exchanging chops and forearms, we all went mental and comprehensively marked out. Ace.
Who was there, then? And what was the big-head-drop count?
There were many drops on the head. Many. A goodly number of stiff clotheslines too and, as you might expect, some fierce chops.
Main event was Naomichi Marufuji and Mitsuharu Misawa against Go Shiozaki and Kenta Kobashi. Kobashi hit the half-nelson suplex on both Marufuji and Misawa, and by God it looked like it hurt. Misawa's a big chap and not exactly light on his feet, and he hit the mat like a sack of spuds. He took a hell of lot of chops too. His whole chest was red by the finish.
Also on the card were KENTA, Bryan Danielson, Jay Briscoe, Takeshi Morishima, and Doug Williams tagging with Nigel McGuiness. Big home crowd pop for them.
Things I learned from this evening: Aerials are off the top rope higher than they look on the telly. Taking a lariat off the ropes must hurt like hell. Even small wrestlers are big and big wrestlers are giants who walk the Earth.
Here's a slightly breathless review, although I don't disagree with any of it. Bison Smith over the top rope was breathtaking, and KENTA GTS on Edwards just made your eyes water.
While I'm here and remember, the venue was really pretty good. Nice size, comfortable seats (good when you're there for four hours), not overly excessive beer prices, and pleasingly informal staff. Not at all unpleasant. I even began considering going along for some ice hockey.
I saw Misawa there (and Doug Williams, now I mention it) myself many a-year ago.
(p.s. LAAAAARRRIIIIIOOTTTOOOOO and so forth).
Daniel's voluntary floor routine from a team competition he took part in at the weekend.
Voluntary routine means you can perform whatever moves you like. There are restrictions, you have to perform a certain number of moves, include certain types of moves, and so on, but precisely what you do and the order you do them in are up to you.
In this competition, the West Midlands Team Championship, a team consists of up to six gymnasts. The gymnasts do a voluntary floor routine and also compete on the vault. You do two vaults, with the best one scoring. Each score is out of 10, and there's some crazy scheme for how scores are decided but don't ask me what it is. You think the offside rule is tricky? That's just peanuts compared to gymnastics. Your floor and vault score are added to give your final individual score. The team score is the sum of the four best floor scores and four best vault scores in your team.
Daniel is a member of Revolution Gymnastics Club and was part of the Under 11 Boys team. They won the bronze medal. Yay! They were all terrific. I'd watched them train the night before, and wasn't convinced they would do especially well, particularly as they were in Under 11s when they were all (bar one) under 9s. At the competition, all six boys performed better than I had ever seen them do before. It was super.
(If I can play the doting Dad for a mo, Daniel had the second highest score on floor with 8.8, and the fourth highest overall score.)
Unfortunately, I missed recording Daniel's opening arabesque which is a pity because it was a cracker. The voice you can hear my Dad amateur coaching mutterings. It was recorded from the balcony at the rather splendid Walsall Sports Centre at the University of Wolverhampton Walsall Campus on Sunday the 15th.
Rode out on the Birmingham City Cycles run again on Saturday morning. It was a beautiful morning for a ride, although there were not so many as when I first went out with them. Perhaps because the group was smaller and despite the wind the pace was definitely higher, around 20mph according to my little computer thingy.
I was doing alright for most of it. I didn't check time or distance travelled, and I kept the pedals turning. Turning, that is, until we reached the spot where I began to flag before. Four of us had to stop at a roundabout and so got separated from the main group. I made an effort to close the gap, but I just couldn't seem to do it. I kept on working, but they didn't get closer. I looked back to find I'd ridden away the other three and was all on my own. So I thought stuff it, I'll slacken off and ride back with these guys. The group ahead disappeared, and I waited for to be caught. I stopped. Nobody arrived. I waited. Nobody arrived.
By now, it was clear I'd not only fallen off the back of the group, I'd fallen off the route as well. I knew I was near Sutton Coldfield, so I just followed the signs back to Birmingham. Checking the map later, I'd managed to make the wrong choice at every junction that would have put me back on course, meaning I enjoyed a healthy detour through Sutton, Kingstanding, Perry Barr, and Aston. Did have the pleasure, though, of being flashed at by one of those "Slow Down, Your Speed is" signs doing 30mph past Sutton Coldfield Cottage Hospital, and apparently hit 38.5mph at some point. If I'd known, I'd have probably been a bit scared. Caught the rest of the group in the end though, drinking coffee at a cafe in the Bullring.
Note to self: Take a banana next time so you don't get hungry.
Collected two new Pendolinos on my trip to London yesterday, to bring me up to twenty of the fifty two in service.
Last Sunday pedalled over to UK Games Expo with the Bean. When I'd booked the tickets I had, on a whim, entered myself in a competition game. The game was Carcassonne, and the winner got to go to the world championship competition held in Germany in October. It was only two quid, I'm not new to the game, so why not? I must be in with a shout.
Except I was really rubbish. In the first round I came last with 45 points in pretty low scoring game. In the second round I did worse, coming last again with 44 points when the winner scored 91. In the final round, I let the Bean play instead of me. He came second, scoring 52 points.
Later on we had a demo game of Heroclix, which is a little skirmish war game. His team of The Joker, Two Face, and Killer Croc flattened my Batman, Robin, and Alfred without me laying a glove on him. We played a game of Camper Tour. He won that too.
The little git.
The Games Expo is now in its second year, and seemed bigger and better laid out than last year. It was held again at the Clarendon Suites, aka The Warwickshire Masonic Temple, which means the walls are decorated with paintings of whiskery old fellows wearing fancy aprons. I looked around for a game of Illuminati, but didn't find one. Maybe I should take one next year. Fnord. The biggest single improvement was the expo programme which was better both by dint of being A4 rather than A5 and printed so that it was actually legible rather than simply a collection of strange pointillist abstracts. I bought four new games, and another arrived in the post later. I would certainly have spent more money if a) I'd more money and b) I'd brought a bigger bag to carry everything home in. Well done, chaps. See you next year.
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