Monday, November 30, 2009

Freestyle Motocross

This Saturday we went to see the 10th Freestyle Motocross in Prague's O2 arena.
The event was good even though the Czech team Bohemians should not have won. Ultimatos were the best riders and I thought that they would end up in finals with Casinos but no ... the Czech team had to get most of the support.

And I have to say that Justin Hoyer is crazy - backflip on a ski scooter o_O.

Also cheers to the youngest riders, keep it up guys!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday Night (whatever^_~)

This week is tough, me doing stuff for school, trying to move things around in our house and take care of 3 cats and a parrot. I can't believe that it takes so much time taking care of that small parrot. So well school decided to give us extra lessons last week and this week which did not really help me recover from anything. I worked on my projects but it seems that I haven't advanced much. In the meantime I also work on my TCG and RPG paper which might one day be published.

Anyway even though I counted to go to sleep early on Thursday I ended up at Cerny Rytir. I came at 18:15 which is not my usual arrival time (normally I arrive at 18:45). Final registrations were announced so I said I would go ahead. DCI Reported couldn't find my name so I had to give my DCI number. On the first pairings I realized my name is still Stefankova, Jaroslav (this means that my surname is in "female" form and my given name in "male" one). I don't know why but I thought that if I'm the only female at the tournament people would come to me. No, it does not work that way. Anyway I started calling out the name of my opponent not even sure how to say it. He turned around after a while and looked at me with a surprise in his eyes saying "oh, I wasn't sure how to call you ---". He was certainly taken aback that I'm a girl. Yeah, he counted cards in my deck, asking me for the number as well and when he was satisfied that it was well randomized and in order we started playing. At the end he told me that he liked playing with me and that he appreciated that I came up with my own deck that is not a net deck. That made me feel a bit better after quite a nervous game. (I'm often target for people who think that I don't know the rules and could use that as an advantage or something...well whatever what's in their minds at that moment).
Apart from this the tournament was nice even third round seemed to be pretty funny (not that funny after all) for many people. The player playing nearby was playing UWR deck but all he could was plains and red (and arid mesa, no he does not need Scalding Tarn^^). I managed to play a really funny game starting with 2 mountains, refuge and summit (having only black cards in hand). My opponent started with 4 swamps and nighthawk. I put down my nighthawk, he played another nighthawk, I played another nighthawk, he continued with malakir bloodwitch so I put down mine as well^^. It started to get awry my bloodwitch got hit by tendrils of corruption. I managed to play another vampire and could stabilize the game if not for another Tendrils of Corruption. I did not have any removal so I just laughed and waited for my apparent loss. After that I went to watch (Control)Bant vs Naya aggro. Bant player had Rafiq in play with Wall of Reverence (War Monk sent to Oblivion were Rafiq followed him few turns later). Naya Aggro had Bloodbraid Elf in play with Behemoth Sledge. He was attacking with it each round gaining a lot of life (more than the Bant player with later two Walls of Reverence). Anyway I thought that the Bant player would still win as he clearly could. But the Naya player top decked Ranger of Eos and got two Scute Mobs (note that it was turn A LOT - each player having 3/4 lands in play). Another top deck of his was a second Behemoth Sledge (a surprise to everyone watching the game). Stepan unluckily lost the game (the Bant player).
On Friday after quite exhaustive 5 hours of lessons I went to Cerny Rytir to check DnD4e player's handbook. After some time trying to find the book I realized that it's not even there. So I played few games against T2 R/G Valakut and Extended Valakut. I have quite a good matchup against R/G valakut after siding it would be even better as I don't need terminates and such against this deck (fallout takes care of all the goblins). The Extended Valakut wasn't that nice with me though. But we were drawing such weird hands that we could hardly call those games 'testing' (zoo was the winner but well...none of us can say which deck is better in this match up).

After that I was invited by Tank to a party. I went there to meet the other at Dejvicka and we found out that we are going to be only 4. It was good though. We were five (the other person living in the flat joined us). We talked about stuff, ate some, drank a lot (not in my case). I played the piano at first trying to remember some pieces - it didn't end up that well. I also played DDR to show them how the game is played. This horrified the owner of the TX4500 v2 so he did not even try to play afterwards. I gave him the master unlock code for the game so now he can play all the songs and on all difficulties. It was quite fun even though playing on that setup was quite impossible and the cable from the control box was getting loose when I was playing something harder (like a 10). The poor guy did not know much about TCGs too so ... well I think he discovered that there is another kind of freaks in the world^_^.

It was a nice evening but I had to leave for home. At midnight I arrived home and tried to get some sleep. But that silly bird decided to wake me up!!!!

EDIT: ouch this looks like a wall of text...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday 13th - public transport

I woke up late at 8:22 am and did not feel well. I got up finally 4 minutes later. I managed to get something to eat and got out of the house.

I wanted to catch the bus so I more or less ran to the bus station. There many people were waiting for the bus. The bus left quite full. But I managed to sit down. I was glad for that. At that time I still did not know what would await me at Nove Butovice.

I went downstairs to the station and was shocked. Too many people were waiting there (even for a 8 minutes long wait for another train). After a while I heard on the radio that the subway is not operating. They were telling us to go outside and use the other means of transport. I went upstairs to the main bus station and could not even go through the door. There were so many people standing there waiting for a bus "somewhere". I gave up the main bus station and went to try a different one. There were some people waiting there but no one managed to get on the bus as it was already full.

There were many people on the other side trying to catch a taxi. Some were fortunate some not. (there are usually 2 or 3 taxi drivers there - today it was not enough).

I also so many people walking in the direction of Motol. So I decided to join them.
I set on my "journey". I passed one bus station, second one and arrived to local gas station. There I crossed what years ago was a field and emerged on the other side next to following bus station (buses still full o_O). I continued in the direction of the golf course and decided to go right through it even though its forbidden. When I managed to get on the other side of the course I found a track that goes around the golf course (so if this happens to me next time I can use that track labeled 'A').

After 45 minutes of walking I arrived to Vozovna Motol and finally got on number 10 tram. I sat down as my injured leg hurt as hell. Too bad I encountered there some crazy older lady who started to yell at me how bad person I am. Really I don't need to get more upset than I am already.

Anyway I managed to get to school. But it seems we won't manage to do anything today.
End of story no. 1

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Don Miguel's bar

If you don't know where to go out to eat in Brno you can try out Don Miguel's restaurant. They serve South American dishes and they are really delicious. The personnel is well educated and polite. The only minus would be the fact that the place probably won't count as calm (compared to other Mexican restaurants I went to it could be though).

It is located at

Palackeho 35
Brno - Kralovo Pole

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bloodlines by Loren Coleman

A third book in the Urza Saga cycle. Bloodlines is an genetic engineering project that when completed should produce a heir to the Legacy Weapon. Many bloodlines projects were established all over Dominaria, the strongest being run in Benalian plains. Here in this place Gerrard Capashen is is "bred" and will become the hero of the upcoming novels (glad he dies later on...).

One rogue bloodline project is run by Gatha a rogue Tolarian student. He runs the same project in a Keldon mountains enhancing the Keldons. Phyrexians find out about the project and start to fight the Keldons. This way they know what they should improve.

Also the artificial plane of Rath which will become important in later novels is introduced here and we learn about its development (and development of Phyrexian negators by Davvol).

The book has several problems. One is that the book spans over a thousand years or what which makes it quite difficult to follow (especially when we still have the same characters in the book and they are not even planeswalkers etc...). The second problem is...this book works as a link between Urza's Saga and Weatherlight. That means that the Urza's Saga is not truly finished and this book would not even work well as an introduction for the following cycle.

Still the book holds a lot of important information about the Magic: The Gathering storyline.

Personal Rating: 2.5/5

The book is not really that good. There are storylines that don't really go well together. It is hard to orient in the book and the timeline and the story itself is not concluded. We learn a lot about the MtG storyline and its characters/spells but that does not make it good either. There are many forced things in my opinion and brake the "natural flow" of the book even if there would be one.

I also miss a lot of logic in this book. Especially....about the bloodlines itself o_O.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Time Streams by J. Robert King

A third book telling the story of our White Planeswalker Urza te Artificer. Urza gathered intelligent and young mages and artificers and together they created New Tolaria Academy at the very same place the old Tolarian Academy stood. This time this should be the place where the ultimate weapon to defeat Phyrexians would be build.

After the old Tolaria was destroyed by Urza himself time streams cover most of the island. Some of them are slow and some of them are fast. Urza comes back with the students and together they study the streams and start building the New Tolaria.

Unfortunately in one of the fast streams a Phyrexian survivors build a fortress and labs. The book mainly focuses on the battles between the Dominarians and Phyrexians.

The book shows Urza gaining more and more sanity and with time he really starts to do good. He creates alliances among the goblin tribes, Viashino and forestfolk. Even Serra's Realm inhabitants join the coalition and they together create the Legacy weapon.
The book is fast paced with a lot of stuff going on and highly emotive. Especially the difference between Karn and Urza is striking (a machine being more human than any other human and Urza being else completely). It shows many values and shows that Heaven does not always need to be a "heaven". This book also describes all the spells and cards precisely. This description is even more subtle than in other books so it does not disturb you at all (it's well incorporated).

Personal Rating: 3.75/5
I don't give it more for several reasons. It is a third book to a series of books (and to understand it you need to read the first two. One being really good and the second one...??? I guess I will rerate that one).
The battles are sometimes never-ending and that's not something I like in any kind of books. Sometimes the skips in years are to big for me. Just one sentence telling you that 6 years has passed? It takes time to adjust to that. Some things are forced even though that's not the authors fault but more of a fault of the game designers.