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!?!
Here’s a dirty little (not-so-)secret fact: I’m a mediocre cuber. Indeed, mediocrity is, in a sense, the raison d’être of this blog.
me·di·o·cre [mee-dee-oh-ker] of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate
synonyms: undistinguished, commonplace, pedestrian, everyday; run-of-the-mill
antonyms: extraordinary, superior, uncommon, incomparable
More accurately, I’d say that I’m a pretty good cuber, but a very mediocre speedsolver. My technique is decent. I know all PLLs and can execute them efficiently. I understand intuitive F2L very well, and have learned a lot of tricks for more complicated cases. And I’ve got about 60% of the OLLs under my belt. But when it comes to putting them all together into full solves, I’m just not that great. My cross stinks. My look-ahead is non-existent. And, under the pressure of the clock, I tend to confuse F2L cases and forget OLL cases. That’s why I average just under 30 seconds.
And that’s why I very rarely record full solves and, even more rarely, averages. Well, after my surgery and with this damn cast still on my arm (¡au voir mañana!), I thought I could record an average of 5 (Ao5) with a built-in excuse. And so I did. Here’s the video with a 39 second Ao5 (and with BIG apologies for so much of it being out of frame!):