Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Sielecki's fantastic Keep It Simple 1.e4

"So I go there, then he goes there, then I go there, and if he goes there then I GET TO HAND HIS ASS TO HIM!"

With Christof's book you may find that there's no need to spike your opponents tea with laxative, no need to deploy the "annoying humming" manoeuvre (which you immediately deny when an arbiter is called, obviously), no need for the old "obsessive J'adoube tick" to disturb your luckless opponent.

You can win by learning good moves.

Indeed, this repertoire is easy to understand and learn because it - by and large - seeks consistency of theme against Black's responses. Sielecki's prose clarifies so much without being verbose, and the lines are detailed enough without overwhelming the reader. Not only do you have the full content of Chessable's version, Christof has now added fully annotated sample games at the end of each section. I'm hoping he produces the same for his 1.c4 repertoire...

Keep it Simple is perhaps the best book of its kind, and I own more than I care to admit.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Two Rules for Being a Man

Following Mike Bird’s 50 Maxims for Being a Man, I’ve been inspired to pen the Chris Tilling Really Very Holy Ministries Two Rules pertaining to the same. Mine are obviously more condensed, more 95 Theses, or even 39 Articles, than Mike’s 2 Kings.

First, congratulations for being a man! Well done, you! But, and this is really important, don’t be a dick about it. Seriously though, this is 1st class stamp level litmus test golden rule wisdom. It’s going to be tough to top this one, actually.

Second, this one hardly needs to be said, but … spend more time thinking about the stuff you want to buy on Black Fridays a couple of days before Black Friday, otherwise things get way too busy when you should be focused on making purchases, and you’ll end up getting overwhelmed thinking about which shopping carts duplicate items and get confused about where you found the cheapest deals, and then you’ll miss the best buys and all because you didn’t plan ahead.

Wait, got another one

Third, and as I recently learnt, don't feel you need to eat reindeer jerky only during advent just because it feels seasonal. Eat it when you want, and simply because you can. The first steps to alpha male assertiveness - because lobsters - can be small, but you'll be king lobstering in the right direction.

Crikey, got another!

Fourth, sin boldly! Of course, I don't mean literally sin boldly, I mean do righteous stuff boldly. Never sin.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Apostle Paul Charity Foundation - Urgent Request

Was way up north recently, further north even than Derby. What a barren place this far north is - driving through villages I passed so many empty faces, hunched shoulders, purposeless lives, street urchins covered in coal dust, old people watching our car with pleading expressions, grey bricks, small corner shops, brown corduroy trousers and wellington boots covered in actual dirt. No sooner had we passed through one town I found myself mesmerised by field after field of emptiness, dotted with occasional animals. Even the cows had haunted, empty eyes, dammit.

For those of us who live south of the Thames, this is heart-wrenching, and it was all I could do to urge James, my taxi chauffeur, to drive faster. As my shock increased, I just wanted to stop and buy them an avocado latte, offer them stable high-speed fibreoptic broadband, or handout some of my quinoa and pumpkin seed low GI healthy protein salad. But this was beyond my financial means and there is so much need.

So I’ve decided to start a charity fund for the needy up north. Please generously donate and we will see that every one of these people – and that is what they are don’t forget – can to try a taster of the new hemp and chia organic Fregola dish Waitrose are selling at the moment.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

From a "Devotional" I will never publish cos need to keep job etc

Day 4

Character. Not all of us have it. This wouldn’t be a very good devotional if we didn’t think a little about character, ponder how to improve it and look to those who offer us noteworthy examples.

To wit, I turn to a beautiful episode from the life of the greatest theologian of the 20th century, Karl Barth. Pope Pius XII allegedly called him “the greatest theologian since Thomas Aquinas”, whichis quite the admission for a Catholic, to which Barth apparently smiled and responded something about this proving the infallibility of the Pope.

Nice. Man had humour, too.

But Barth, and this is today’s lesson, also knew when to listen to criticism. In this case, his commissioning editors.

To cut a long story short, Barth had a bit of a dispute with a onetime theological friend, some dick called Emil Brunner.

Sadly, Brunner had lost his theological bearings, having begun to sacrifice chickens to Zeus, so Barth wrote a short, sharp response. In one of his less guarded moments he submitted the manuscript to the publishing house, “Theologischer Verlag”, with a bit of a wordy original title. Although admittedly unconfirmed, it ran as follows:

No, an Answer to Brunner, the Privileged Cis White Male with Bad breath and Dandruff Who Can't Get Laid Because His Face Looks Like It Has Been Repeatedly Hit With a Shovel. Sad.

At once, the publishing house advised caution. But despite the fact that Barth’s cause was noble, he was teachable; he listened to critique with humility. He heard the objection and hit the delete button (certainly a skill I have yet to master).

And within days, the book subtitle had been shorted, and it was published simply as No! An Answer to Brunner.

That, my friends, is character.

I think we all know the take-home point today, and it will be worth spelling it out for you to prayerfully ponder:

What book subtitle have you written that needs to be shortened?