2014 SN Diary: Day 8, June 29

SN 6-29


Projected (as of 5/31/2014):
• 985 individual and 46 team entries
• Morning events: 113 pools in Jr Men’s Epee (flighted), Y14 Men’s Foil (flighted), and Jr Women’s Saber (flighted)
• Later in the day: 32 pools in Y10 Women’s Epee and Y12 Women’s Foil, plus 46 teams in Jr Men’s Saber and Jr Women’s Foil
• Expected end time: 9:35 pm

This will be a silly post, my second of the day written in bed. This morning was because today was my other day off, and this evening is because I’m already back from dinner bracing myself for tomorrow’s events.

Once I published my post about Saturday, I got up and dressed, and headed out to North Market for lunch. My plan was to eat lunch, followed by ice cream, and then pick up some cookies and a coffee for my refereeing daughter, who’s been bringing me similar treats when she could and I couldn’t. But as I was finishing my moussaka (couldn’t resist having it again), I got a fencing-related call that bothered me enough that I completely forgot my ice cream.

As I was delivering the cookies, I realized I’d also forgotten the coffee.

On the other hand, the check-in for Monday’s ginormous JME team event was nearly complete, well before the 3:00 pm deadline, so that event looks to be in as good a shape as possible. With 65 teams, it’ll be just barely a table of 128, and I’ll only need to scare up a single strip for that first match before we start the triple-flighted round of 64.

After a few random chats with BC staff and others, I finally remembered the small dish of Jeni’s dark chocolate and black coffee ice creams that was still calling to me, so I headed back over to North Market. Just as I finished the last (excellent) bite, I got a text about how one of our tables had just fallen off the BC stage. So I stopped in again at the venue to check that everybody was okay and that we didn’t lose one of our computer stations (that could have been a huge problem in the morning), but apparently the worst damage was that a mouse popped open and had to be snapped back together. (It makes me appreciate even more, though, the platform guards that the venue in Portland always provides to prevent exactly that problem.)

My alarm is set for 5:00 am. I suspect that once again my planned hour of reading will turn into barely a chapter before I black out. But that’s okay–if everything goes exactly the way it’s supposed to, we should finish up tomorrow night at about 11:00 pm.

2014 SN Diary: Day 7, June 28

SN 6-28


Projected (as of 5/31/2014):
• 907 individual and 10 team entries
• Morning events: 61 pools of Div I Men’s Foil and Div I Women’s Epee
• Later in the day: 71 pools of Jr Men’s Saber (triple-flighted) and Jr Women’s Foil, plus 10 teams in Sr Women’s Saber
• Expected end time: 9:50 pm

Too tired to finish this post when I got done last night. Our actual end time was about 10:40 pm, so this was one of our 16-hour days.

Using the paper tableau and handwritten bout slips for the Div I Women’s Epee worked well–we completely avoided the kind of delay we had in the men’s rep tables the day before (except for Donald Alperstein, who had a long stretch waiting around because he finished his whole section of the round of 32 before most other pod captains had even completed their first bouts). Of course, it also helped that the Div I WE was only half the size of the men’s.

We managed to avoid completely triple-flighting the Men’s Saber, too. Somehow Ariana found or borrowed enough referees that we saved about an hour (essentially an entire flight) during the pool round, and she even had enough to send the whole round of 16 to replay at the same time, which almost never happens. So the MS overtook the WF to finish well ahead of its original projection.

That left the Junior Women’s Foil to close out the day’s competitions. There always seems to be some curse attached to Women’s Foil these days–no matter how briskly they fence their pools and DEs, no matter how far ahead of projections they run, they always seem to hit a wall as soon as they get to the round of 8, where suddenly all those gains are lost, and time slows to a crawl. (I suppose this might have something to do with everybody just wanting to be done and gone, but the effect is always more pronounced with WF.)

Late in the evening, Charles Astudillo told me a parent had asked him where strip “AB” was. When Charles asked why they thought there was such a strip, the response was, “Well, there’s that sign that says ‘BC’.” We were all so tired we thought that was funny.

Over the past couple of days, balancing our caffeine consumption between alert and drowsy has become trickier as the space between manically wired and completely unconscious has become much smaller. A couple of weeks before I left home, Jawbone released a Coffee app to work with my Up fitness band, which I thought would be entertaining to use throughout SN. It correlates caffeine consumption with sleep over 10 days so that I will be able to see how my sleep is affected. As of Saturday morning, I have completely discombobulated the app, which has informed me that the amount of caffeine I’m consuming has no effect one way or the other on how well I sleep and that I am an anomalous outlier among the accumulated user statistics it is based upon. But that’s exactly what I expected it to tell me–I’m the only Up band user to work this many days on BC at a USA Fencing Summer Nationals.

2014 SN Diary: Day 6, June 27

SN 6-27


Projected (as of 5/31/2014):
• 458 individual and 53 team entries
• Morning events: 51 pools of Div I Men’s Epee and 15 pools (probably flighted) of Div I Women’s Saber
• Later in the day: 53 teams in Sr Men’s Foil, Sr Men’s Saber, and Sr Women’s Foil
• Expected end time: 6:00 pm

–First thing in the morning, we installed the new build of the Fencing Time software. This was to correct an error discovered yesterday in the formula used to calculate team seeding, so we will avoid the kind of delay we had yesterday when we had to correct the team seeding by hand.

–29 withdraws at close of registration dropped the Div I ME down to 48 pools and a DE table of 256. The pools ran in good time, but the DEs had to grind to a halt once we sent out the round of 64 bouts because of the way FT handles bout ID numbers across the entire tournament. Until the entire 32 was complete, we could not generate bout slips for that point on (the repechage portion of the event), which delayed the event by an hour or so. For tomorrow’s Div I Women’s Epee, we’ve prepared blank slips and paper tables so we can push the 32 by hand until FT can generate the necessary rounds. Fortunately, tomorrow’s WE is the only other repechage event here, so after that, we won’t be faced with today’s specific problem again in this tournament.

–Officials in all categories–referees, medical, and armorers as well as BC–are starting to feel the traditional effects of SN service. By past experience, today’s Day 6 feels like well onto the downward slope, but today only just ends the first half, with the most difficult days yet to come. Most of us who’ve been here since the beginning would be happy to nap by 10:00 am now, and tempers are beginning to fray a bit. We are all aware of this, though–so far, at least–so we can make a conscious effort to be more patient with each other. How well and how long we will continue to be able to compensate for our increasing testiness, we shall have to wait and see.

–Tonight I opted again for a room service dinner–my 2nd in 6 nights. Going out to find dinner would take more time and energy than I can handle tonight.

2014 SN Diary: Day 5, June 26

SN 6-26


Projected (as of 5/31/2014):
• 459 individual and 57 team entries
• Morning events: 46 pools of Div I Men’s Saber and Div I Women’s Foil, plus 8 Sr Women’s Epee Team matches in the round of 16
• Later in the day: 22 pools of Div 1A Men’s Foil and Div 1A Women’s Saber, plus 9 Sr Men’s Epee Team matches in the round of 64
• Expected end time: 6:55 pm

I was a mere minion today, working with Kristin and Marc on the Div I Men’s Saber, which was–of course–flighted, and refreshing my Fencing Time skills. It’s always fun to watch the faces of the referees who finish their pools quickly only to realize that their reward is a 2nd flight pool. We finished up shortly after lunch, and then–for the first time in years–I got to go watch my daughter fence. That’s a lot easier these days, now that I’ve outgrown that whole stomach-churning overemotional parent thing.

One of my co-chairs worked her last day today and the other is fencing tomorrow, so I’ll have one of my few solo BC chair days. With the humongous Div I ME, Div I WS, and 3 team events, it’ll be the first of our truly challenging days.

Let the circus begin.