Monthly Archives: December 2007

I won the lightning tournament!!

One of the sides events of the London Tournament was the Lightning Tournament, where you play Go (with handicap) with a really short time per player. During the qualifications the time was 10 minutes per player (sudden death, i.e. without byo-yomi), and in the knock-out finals it was 12 minutes. I won 5 in a row in the qualifications, and then 3 more games in the finals, getting the FIRST position, with a prize of 100£. Incredible!!

Moreover, I formed a group with Lluis (my teacher, 6 dan from Korea), for taking part in the Rengo tournament (2 players against other 2), and we did a good job, getting the first position (without prize money).

In the main tournament, my result was more normal (4 win, 3 lost), but I especially enjoyed all the side events. A really interesting tournament to keep in mind.

Digitalizing the “Clot Roig” and the “Clot Negre”

Red stones next to "Clot Roig"During my stay in Novelda, my hometown, for Christmas I had an idea: “digitalize” some almost secret places near the river Vinalopó, which is next to the city. The river itself is quite small, with a width of around 2 meters, but the bed is quite wide, due to scattered floods. Walking up next to the river you can find a lot of small salt water sources. And some decades ago, some people decided to build natural pools to have baths in those waters, and get benefit from its mineral composition.

The biggest pool is called “el Clot” (the Hole), and it’s quite famous among the local people. During summer there are groups having baths every day. It’s around 2 meters deep in the center, and quite long (you can swim some meters). It’s 1 Km far from the river’s bed, and gets the salt water from “Salinetes” a gully with some sources. The best part of having a bath is the concentration of salt: you float like a cork, and it’s almost impossible to drown. When you go out, your skin is covered with a layer of salt!

Black stones next to "Clot Negre"But I knew there are more “Clots”, smaller but with different features, in the river’s bed itself. So I started to (re)find them. I’ve taken pictures, and geo-localized them: now are part of Internet (photos on Flickr)! The first one is the “Clot Roig” (red hole-pool), with a strong red colour, due to its ferrous waters, that covers the nearly stones. The second one, quite more difficult to find, is the “Clot Negre” (black hole-pool), with (guess it) black water. You can see the difference in these two pictures: surprising colours. Moreover, both of them have a lot of bubbles coming from the deepest part in the center.

If only it was summer, to have some baths…

Possible places to visit

I write this here just to keep the list in an accessible place 😉

Destination Reason Dates
Amsterdam, The Netherlands Go May 10-11
Carcassonne, France Tourism a weekend
Canada Tourism
Cormons & Venezia, Italy Go May 31-June 1
Costa Rica Tourism
Dublin, Ireland Go March 1-2
Dubrovnik, Croatia Tourism
Formentera, Spain Tourism January
Granada, Spain Tourism
Hamburg, Germany Go May 17-18
Helsinki, Finland Go February 9-10
Isle of Man, UK Go August 17-22
Loire Castles, France Tourism
London, UK Go December 27-January 3
Malta Tourism
Mont Saint Michel, France Tourism
Prague, Czech Republic Go
Rome, Italy Tourism
Wales Go June

*Go means “Go Tournament” plus “Tourism”

Any other suggestion?

DIY greenhouse

DIY greenhouse How can I build a greenhouse, a small one that fits in the balcony, to let my tomatoes become red?

This question have been bouncing inside my mind during some weeks. With the cold weather my tomato’s plant can’t grow red tomatoes. I was expecting its death, but for some reason the plant continues blossoming. So I decided to give it an opportunity. And the way to let it do its best is giving it a house. But how can I build a greenhouse?

The plastic is a bathroom curtain (1 euro at Ikea). I took the opportunity to change the old curtain and gave it a second use. On the other hand, this morning I found a clothes horse (to dry the laundry) on the street. Somebody had decided to throw it, because one leg was broken. And I gave it a second use. I joined the pieces, and… voilà, a greenhouse. It’s so warm inside 🙂

I hope I’ll have red tomatoes and peppers soon!

3 meals per day: when, why, how many?

Korean lunch Last Saturday I was invited to a Korean lunch. It was delicious, but we had it at 12h, when I usually have lunch at 14:30 or 15h. This shift of 3 hours made me feel sleepy around 20h, when I decided to move forward my dinner, usually at 22h. During the whole evening I was wandering what are the correct times for the 3 meals…

I know that Spanish schedule for the meals are a bit weird for the rest of the world: we usually have breakfast at 8h, sometimes a second breakfast at 10h, lunch at 14h or 15h, and dinner from 21h onwards. This is probably due to our time zone: we use the Central European Time, but we are quite West from the center of Europe. So this implies we have sunsets later than the rest of Europe, and this could be the reason for this lunch-time and dinner-time shifts. But which are the best times to have lunch and dinner?

It’s more, think about the amount of food. We (Spaniards) are used to having a heavy lunch, just the opposite of most countries in Europe, where they have dinner as the largest meal of the day. A lot of dietitians say that the heaviest meal should be breakfast, but we don’t follow this suggestion (and in my case, I can’t eat anything for up to 2 hours after waking up).

Maybe they should study the energy we use during the day, and draw some graphics, to find the optimal times for meals, the amount of meals per day, and the correct amount/type of food. It’s like a big equation. I’m sure they have done these studies, but: 1- I can’t find any useful one using Google, and 2- most of the people are too bound to their cultural ways of eating. But we can’t take our diet lightly, “we are what we eat”. And it’s almost certain that we are quite far from our optimal way… how can we optimize our lives without thinking about a thing we have 3 times per day. Doesn’t this worry you?