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.
Quickie post on creeping internet from Ixtapa, Méjico. Nothing special (no fancy edits or intros/outros). Just a 30-second solve on a Weilong from our cabana sadwiched between the pool and beach — in dedicated furtherance of my travel series (e.g., Utah, China).
When I’m home, I’ll try to figure out how that black edge got dislodged during F2L. Also, I do know that Fung OLL. But with the pressure of the video — a stressor I’ll never quite understand — I two-looked it for some reason.
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))
So, yeah, another “hardware” post. I haven’t stopped learning algs or anything like that. Mucho in the works…just not ready to commit to film yet.
I recently bought from The Cubicle a HeShu Super Big 3×3 cube — or just Giant Cube for short. How giant is giant? Well, not that giant. Let’s go with relatively giant. At 18cm wide, the Giant Cube is a bit more than three times the size of a standard 57mm cube (three times 57mm = 17.1cm). As shown in the video below, a cubie from said Giant is just a bit bigger than a whole 57mm cube:
Today, Google marked the 40th Anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube with an interactive doodle. Super fun.
I noticed the doodle late last night, but grew frustrated when, like a name-brand Rubik’s cube, it didn’t seem to do easily what my fingers (by way of the mouse) wanted it to do. Trying again with more patience, I got the hang of it and recorded a fun solve taking 2:16, about 4 times longer than my average solve time for (real) cubes.
Hilariously/disturbingly, in so doing, I also joined the list of folks with open/live/hot mic slip-ups — when I didn’t realize until the very end that my Snowball iCE mic was still plugged in. So, yeah, I apparently mutter to myself when I solve, narrating as I go. Awesome.
I generally don’t audbily talk myself through solves. I think it was just the awkwardness of solving through a mouse on a screen.... You can hear my frustration when I got cases with algorithms that would be clunky virtually — and can even hear me grab a Zhanchi when I got halfway through the R PLL, helping transfer muscle memory into mouse clicks.
Badly jetlagged from my trip, I had thrown together pretty hastily the preview of my video with 10 solves across 10 unique locations in China. Somewhat better rested now, I pieced together the footage into a (long) video clocking it with an Ao10 of 34.1 seconds. I think that’s my best on camera average, and not bad considering that I was fighting exhaustion the whole trip.
No, no, no. I haven’t forgotten about the blog. I haven’t given up cubing. I haven’t stopped making videos. I just got, well, uh, busy. And I had that whole surgery thing. And then I got sick. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Excuses excuses.
And while 8 days in China didn’t exactly free up a ton of time, I did manage to get some fun and unique footage of solves throughout my journey. Here’s a preview:
Planes, trains (a very very fast one, in fact), airports, balconies, offices on a fiftieth floor, 11th Century towns, 21st Century streets, and one very humble courthouse. Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. Exhausting trip. Fun footage. And now jetlag hung around my neck like a 50 lb weight!?!