Category Archives: solves

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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Travel Solve: Ixtapa (30 sec)

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.

Hasta luego....

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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GIANT 3×3 Cube

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:

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Google Doodle, Hot Mic

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.

Not quite as sloppy as Obama’s “last election” comment to Medvedev; as embarrassing as Jesse Jackson’s on Obama; as noteworthy as Bush on the NYTimes; as potentially calamitous as Reagan joking that “we begin bombing in five minutes“; nor as, uh, interesting as Donald Sterling’s. But still pretty funny, especially when I discover the hot mic at the very end of the video.

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.

Great doodle, Google. Thanks for marking the day!

Cubing Through China (34.1 Ao10)

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.

(cube: Moyu Weilong with Cube Specialists fitted Bright+ stickers)

Bad lighting notwithstanding, the video and solves aren’t half bad. Continue reading

Cubing Through China (A Preview)

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!?!