Diveball: Your Next Favorite Game

Today, only dozens of people in the world know how to play this game. In 5 years, it will be massively popular (on the order of 100k or 1M+ players). I’m going to popularize it. I’m publishing this post in part to spread it wide and in part to plant my flag before it becomes huge.

How to play is linked here. (I’ll update that document as I iterate on the particularities of the rules. The basic structure, however, is solid.) I’ve also pasted the current version of the rules below:

Diveball

Materials:

  • 1 pool table
  • 1 cue ball (that’s the white one)
  • 1 7 ball

Setup: 

  • Each of the 4 players stands at a corner. 
    • Players are on a team with the person directly across from them (i.e. the player with whom they share a long side). 

Definitions: 

  • The 7 ball is “dead” if it stops moving. 
  • The 7 ball is “scored” if it enters one of the corner pockets. 
  • Each player has a “kitchen”, which is the one-forth of the table closest to them. The boundary of the kitchen (the “kitchen line”) is formed by connecting the second dots on the side of the table. (Players who share an end will share both a kitchen and a kitchen line.) 
  • A team has “possession” when it is their turn to play. 
  • A player performs a “shot” when they touch and/or release the cue ball such that it hits the 7 ball. 
  • A player performs a “pass” when they transfer the cue ball to their partner (without the cue ball touching the 7 ball). 

Play: 

  • A team wins a point in one of three ways: 
    1. Making the 7 ball dead during their opponents’ possession
    2. Scoring the 7 ball (note: scored only applies to a corner pocket). 
    3. Their opponents commit a foul. 
  • “Possession” works like this: 
    1. The serving team begins with possession. 
    2. A team passes possession to their opponents by touching the cue ball and then the cue ball touching the 7 ball. 
  • Serving works like this: 
    1. Set up for a serve by placing the 7 ball in the middle of the kitchen line opposite the server. 
    2. A legal serve is one where the cue ball hits the 7 ball, then the 7 ball hits the back wall before it stops, goes into a pocket, or hits a side wall. 
    3. A server has three attempts at a legal serve. 
      1. If they fail, the opposing team receives a point and the 
  • Note: the 7 ball is not scored if it enters one of the side pockets. Instead, if this happens, no teams score any points and the player who hit it into the side pocket chooses the next server. (They may choose any of the 4 players.)  

Illegal actions (i.e. “fouls”): 

  1. Touching the 7 ball. 
  2. Touching the cue ball when it is not your possession. 
  3. Touching the cue ball while it touches the 7 ball. 
  4. “Playing from the side” – i.e. failing to have both feet behind the horizontal line that determines the end of the table when making a shot. 
  5. “Playing in the air” – i.e. failing to have at least one foot on the ground when releasing the cue ball in a shot that prompts the cue ball to hit the 7 ball. 
  6. The cue ball contacts the 7 ball while any part of the 7 ball is in the releasing player’s Kitchen. 
    • To avoid violating this kitchen rule, you should pass the cue ball to your partner when needed. 

A game works like this: 

  • Randomize the first server. 
    • After each point, the partner of the player who last legally transferred possession serves the next point. 

A match works like this: 

  • Play “best two out of three” games (i.e. the first team to win two games wins the match).

Clarifications: 

  • If the cue ball goes in any pocket, the point continues. Whichever team has possession had better fish it out fast! 
  • If the 7 ball jumps off the table, award no points and serve afresh. 
  • The 7 ball is only scored in the corner pockets. If it’s hit into a side pocket, no points are scored and the player who hit it into that pocket chooses the next server. 
  • The 7 ball is only deemed to have “stopped moving” when it is no longer rolling nor spinning AND the cue ball is stopped or touched by a possessing player or touches a wall. 
    • Therefore, the balls do not have to collide before the 7 stops moving; a team need only release the cue ball before the 7 ball stops moving, so long as the cue ball hits the 7 ball directly thereafter. 

17 syllables on my most exhausting week in memory

New job + old job = tough week. I couldn’t do it, but I care.

(I started a new job this week. It’s co-founder at a startup. I’m still ghostwriting for some people & editing for others. The co-founder role is a full time gig. My former job is still a full time gig. Dear Lord [that’s you, Smidgen], How are we gonna get through this?)

(The ending “I couldn’t do it but I care” is intended as an allusion to the impossibility of stretching oneself until necessity and desire intersect. I’ve done things this week that I couldn’t have done. But must + want => can. So I do.)

A Chaotic Neutral Grocery List

A Chaotic Neutral Grocery List

  • Peachy-O’s stuck to the points on an aloe 
  • Hot Wheels cars joined as a bathroom mat
  • Cigarettes before bed, but not after sex
  • Cats in tiny bikinis 
  • Ringing the doorbell instead of calling upon arrival 
  • Toe socks*
  • Thinly veiled criticism 
  • Mr. Pibb instead of Dr. Pepper 
  • Not complimenting another drunk girl in the bathroom 
  • Arguments with your mom but not with your lover
  • “Enjoy your meal!” and responding “you too.” 

*Remind Chaotic Evil to pick up toe shoes

This guest post brought to you by Maggie “Maximal Awesomeness” Harper.

Two Terrific Ten-minute Jottings

Dr. Seuss on Breakups

One sheet, two sheet, three sheet, four.

Slam that paper to the floor.

Rip it, tear it, burn it good.

Light it up as though it’s wood.


As you hear the crackling flames,

As you feel the warm remains,

Eyes reflect the flickering embers,

Spleen and liver scarce remember…


What he did to break your heart,

How you swooned back at the start,

How you cried o’er these letters,

Before he ripped your heart to fetters.


Now kiss all the gifts he gave.

Rub your cheek and feel his shave.

Toss this bear into the fire.

Hear it roar like your desire.


You may feel crick in your neck,

Weighty eyes as though you’ve wept

Tickling soft palate above your tongue,

Ringing ears as you’ve been wrung.


All these wants, stuffed in your mind,

Salty-sweet of love unkind,

Prickling poke of lover’s yoke,

Brilliant blaze, gone up in smoke. 

A Humorous Happening

“I did not knot the naughty Norwegian nurse, nay!” I say to the barrister as she lifts her haughty head higher, sliding her specs down her protruberant and bulbous nose. I wish to honk that nose and I know that she knows that I know she knows it!

“But sir,” the barrister bellows in a reedy, sinewy snarl, “You were locked in her chambers, the only one!”

I snort and hock a particularly phlegm-filled hunk of malevolent mucus into the bin.

“And I’ll have some decorum in my courtroom!”

“Awright,” I relent, congealing into the visage of an upstanding citizen. “I’ll take you there: see, the shipmate and I had spied a trifle of glinting gold in that there stowhole not two days prior to her nursehood’s ‘napping. An’ we, ‘aving ‘eard of ‘er reluctance to part with treasures, either internal or ex-, went a-sniffing our way ‘round the floorboards above, where the bilge’d been spilt and reeking and rotting salty sea water only a few days prior. So the mate, ‘e says to me, ‘why don’t ye stick yer wooden leg under that there board and heave to with yer hips and cascade it over, lettin’ us shimmy downward into Her Highness’s quarters and ransacking her all good ’n’ proper?’ Only that cankered, leprosy-ridden, flea-infested mate sneaks down ‘imself and grabs the gold and hoists ‘imself back up, only to push me down into the hole myeself, to be caught by yer most High and Honorable lawmen!” 

Jaywalking & You: A Guide

This is not a guide to jaywalking. It’s a humorous story; I lied.

Now that I’ve got your attention, please enjoy this anecdote. ‘Twas written by a dear friend of mine, Archibald Smittens*, who is a real person** who actually exists***.

*: Not his real name.

**: Not true.

***: Censors have attempted to verify this for years. None have, as yet, returned alive.

[Your Humble Editor also feels obligated to preface by saying that the low-fat version of cream cheese DOES NOT taste the same. He does not wish to spread such malicious lies. Anyway, without further ado…]

3 Perspectives on Jaywalking

Perspective 1:

The red hand. Just great.

9:27—three minutes left. The coffee shop’s only what? three, four blocks away? I can still make it…

The woman next to me just quickly skimmed the empty road and then jaywalked. More like a leisurely jay-stroll. What’s she thinking? Back home, no one would ever do that. Ma would’ve killed me. It was either jaysprint or jaysplat.

Still no cars, and that red hand’s still there.

Well, maybe it is time for a jaysprint.

But I’m in a suit; that’d look weird…right?

Middle-aged guy checks his watch, gulps down a half-chewed bite of bagel, and then rushes across the street. Didn’t even look both ways. Actually looked kinda cool doing it.

Well, until he dropped the bagel.

Maybe I should bolt across too. Like one of those guys from the movies.

Oof, curbside puddle. Just great.

Ah a dry patch. Perfect.

Wait.

Who am I kidding. I can’t.

My foot returns to the curb, defeated.

The empty road stares back.

Maybe… Just maybe…

My foot lifts off again.

Maybe just this once…

And the red hand turns into the white man.

Oh well. Right. Left. Empty road.

At least, Ma’d be proud.

Perspective 2:

Damn good bagel today. Think I’m gonna stick with this low fat stuff. Tastes pretty much the same as the regular cream cheese.

Countdown stops. But that stupid hand’s still there.

Chunks getting stuck in my teeth? Gotta check before I walk in the office.

Oh wow, now dumbass over here walks across the intersection. No hesitation. No urgency either. The hell’s wrong with her?

No cars out there, but seriously, lady? Can’t wait like two goddamn seconds for this light?

What’s the deal huh? Late or something? What’s the time anyways?

It’s only 9:28. Really? C’mon lady?

9:28!

Shit! Move people, move!

Yeesh. Took ya long enou—

Shit! No time to pick it up.

Perspective 3:

Red.

Right. Left. No cars.

Let’s go.

Travel Log 191014 (Redacted Version)

Start: Myschevia Festival, Armadillo Acres, Hughes Springs, TX. 

End: Outside the Town Square, Downtown Hughes Springs, TX

Notent Notables: 

  • Drove from Hughes Springs to Gilmer to retrieve Smidge. 
    • Smidge did well at the sitter. No accidents, no fights. Nothing to report. Great. 
  • Drove back to Hughes Springs so I can pick up my letter from [redacted] when the post office opens tomorrow. 
  • Met all sorts of great people during my last ranger shift at the burn, during teardown/exodus.
    • Helped the Fairy Tale camp remove their tent stakes. 
    • Hugged many people. 
    • Discussed fireworks with [redacted], the firework designer at Myschevia; he invited me to help design them next year. (He designed the greatest fireworks show I’ve ever seen, even better than the 6 years I’ve seen them at Burning Man). 
    • Received a new art to hang on my wall.
    • The North Texas Regional Burn’s walkie talkies are crap. They still run a very well-organized burn. 

Quotent Quotables: 

  • “In a culture so steeped in toxic masculinity, any emotional expression must come out through machismo.” -A Guy at the Burn, on why the North Texas Regional Burn is so Punk Rock.

Next stop: Austin. (Tomorrow?)

  • The poly pod I met last night wants me to visit them. 
    • They have “three dogs and a driveway.”  I want to [redacted]. 
  • [Redacted], the dude with the [redacted] tattoos invited me to [redacted]. 

The Fiercest Chihuahua You’ve Ever Met

In this corner, at five-pound-four and thirty inches long, she’s the fiercest chihuahua you’ve ever met. She defends her food with the courage of a Rottweiler. She’s a fierce mama bear with six gnawed nipples to prove it. She marks giants’ territory as her own and likes her scritches… ruff.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen…

 

 

 

 

The one and only…

 

 

 

 

 

Smidge

IMG_7309

 

Want more Smidge? Comment with a request. 

Pancho & Lefty.

Me: “Sometimes I talk to myself subconsciously through song.”

Friend: “Music has mystical, magical powers.”

I’m learning to play the mandolin. Today was day two. I listened to Pancho & Lefty on repeat. Every version by every artist. Then I played it over and over. Then I recorded this.

I’m not a singer. I’m not a musician. That doesn’t matter. Today I was.