Category Archives: about

18 Months Without Practice (Yikes!?!) / Father’s Day Shout-Out to AZACH’S WORLD

Hey, gang. It’s been 18 months since I’ve posted a video, and just about the same amount of time since I’ve practiced cubing. Maybe a random solve here or there when they kids find a cube somewhere. But that’s it. The simple explanation: I got really, really busy. All good stuff. Just very distracting and time consuming. Not much spare time over the past 18 months for hobbies.

Cubing is not like riding a bike. You don’t do it for a bit, and you forget. Quickly. Below is a solve I posted as an excuse to accomplish something else entirely. You can see how rusty I am. My recognition is abysmal (let’s be honest, it was never great); my technique and finger tricks are embarrassing; and I forgot several cases (or at least they didn’t come reflexively). Oh well. I’ll start practicing again, and I’m sure the muscle memory will come back.

So, why all of a sudden crawl out of the woodwork to post a crappy solve? Because it’s Father’s Day, and my son has been begging me to. That’s why.

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Excuses: 34-Sec Ao5

It just takes an on-camera 34-second Ao5 (this one as a submission for Paradox Cubing’s 10k Subscriber Contest) to remind me that well, uh, I kinda suck at this cubing thing. I know that 34 seconds is impressive to 99.9% of the general population. But three years into this thing, I should be at speedsolving levels, and 34-seconds isn’t really there.

Nevertheless, since I’ve never been bashful about being mediocre and it not really bothering me, I figure that I might as well post the average. But then to show that, gee, maybe I am a wee bit self-conscious about the time, I’ll follow up with an excuse video.

(cube: Dayan Zhanchi; music: Grateful Dead, “The Eleven” (2.14.68))

Sucky, right? And in multiple different ways:

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So, What’s this Blog All About?

I just posted a bit of an self-reflective video on my Youtube channel discussing my vision for the channel and this blog, and arguing that even a slow solver can be a solid and relevant contributor to the community:

The rough script is below. Continue reading

Dual Commentary with TazzVidz

stick-figuresAbout a month ago, TazzVidz approached me about doing a dual commentary on his channel. I was a bit skeptical at first. But then I decided that it might be refreshing to do a humble, earnest dual commentary.

I’ve written here ad nauseam that I think I’m a good cuber, but a mediocre speedsolver — dubbing this site a blog for the mediocre. It was in that vein that I did the interview/commentary. He layered the commentary over a video of *him* doing a 4×4 Ao5. I think it came out great:

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One Year In: Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang

g-logo‘Twas exactly a year ago today that I first solved a 3×3 cube. It was a Rubik’s brand cube — barely worn in, and totally un-lubed. I spent the morning watching RobH0629’s fantastic tutorials, scribbled a few notes, practiced a dozen times, and, finally, just before leaving for Thanksgiving dinner, got my first cheat-sheet-free solve. On video, to boot. At the time, I was quite proud of myself. Proud enough to have the chutzpah to record it and send it around to friends and family.

At the time, I had no expectation of diving more deeply into things. I figured I’d speed up a bit and occasionally could keep myself busy on the couch. That I could solve a cube at all seemed like quite an accomplishment, and one that I fancied as a parlor trick of sorts. I had no idea how bad that name-brand cube was. Nor did I recognize the inefficiencies of the Beginner’s Method. I laugh still at that final algorithm (F2 U R’ L F2 R L’ U F2) — which I now realize is a just a horribly clunky U Perm.

Fast forward a year, and I have dived much deeply. I bought a few fancy speed cubes (or 20); I started this blog (for reasons that still probably seem a little bizarre) and frequently waxed verbose about this hobby and my self-consciousness surrounding it; I beat the Bieber; and I started replacing the Beginner’s Method steps one at a time — fancying up my cross technique, learning F2L, and memorizing some OLLs and PLLs. Last month, I posted a (partial) PLL attack video demonstrating that I had learned 17 of the 21 PLL cases. My execution was far from masterful, and speed far from snappy. Still, it felt like an accomplishment. Only the G’s remained, intimidating as they were.

No longer. Today, on my Cubeiversary, I can say that I know all 21 PLLs. The G’s, they are to muscle memory committed! Picking up where the attack video left off, here is my execution of the four G variations:


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a purpose, finally: a blog for the mediocre

So, at about 10 months into this thing, I feel like I’m starting to really hit a groove. My ability to learn new algorithms has accelerated dramatically, my fluidity has really increased, and my average speeds continue to fall steadily (if not quickly). At the same time, this blog is starting to gain some traction. Having done absolutely nothing to market or cultivate it — no twitter account, no facebook account, not even sharing it with many friends and family — site visits have really increased lately, my videos have gotten more views, a few folks have subscribed, and I’ve even got a dialogue going (via my youtube inbox) with a few followers.

As I wrote in my inaugural post (and then reiterated in my second and third posts), this blog was never about showing off. I was never going to be as good as the very fast cubers — for want of time, ambition, youth, and (probably) ability. I knew that going in, and know it even more today. But I sensed early on that this would be a fun adventure. Of my many hobbies, this felt like the one most easily chronicled — the one with milestones that lent themselves to tracking, with small accomplishments susceptible of tip-giving, and with enough jargony in-crowd patois the strategic sprinkle of which would give the appearance of skill and achievement. I was correct on all fronts.

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