Hi everyone! I'm Adam, or Addy, whichever you prefer, the "Quizzing Ronin" and "Erudite Esotericist". I've been writing this blog long enough that the time has come to fully explain both what it is that I do, the self-enforced rules and guidelines I adhere to, and the shorthand/terminology that is used here. This post will be post-dated and always at the top of the front page. I will review and update it regularly to ensure it remains current.
All information accurate as of: January 2018
Most of this post is below the cut, but my first and key rule will be above it:
Rule #1: I will always respect people's right to privacy, above all else.
Rule #1a - I do not name individual people, ever.
Summary of Myself and This Blog
First and foremost, this blog is where I discuss my quizzing activities. I'm an active pub quizzer based in South West Scotland. I do multiple quizzes a week at various venues in my local area. I also enjoy travelling out to different areas and doing quizzes there. At some venues I have a main team, at others I join any I can. When travelling I typically seek to join a team or else I'll do the quiz alone. I think of myself as a "mercenary" in that regard, but I don't seek payment. In practice, I'm something of a knight errant, without all the romantic connotations. "Ronin", the Japanese masterless samurai, are a close equivalent, which I have adopted as my online handle.
I also write and host quizzes (currently at one live venue and online), I'm active on quizzing Facebook groups and websites...in general I just love quizzing! More than that, I love learning and trivia and knowledge itself, and I find that these things are much more fun when done with others. Locking myself in a library for endless hours has never been appealing, I must admit.
The majority of posts are about the live quizzes I do; in 2017 this took the form of detailed reviews of every quiz I did, but in 2018 this will move towards a more broad coverage of all my quizzing activities.
My Twitter: @quizzingronin Please do follow me there! I'm on Facebook and I have email too, but I'll provide the latter on request, and the former only if we know each other somehow. I can also be contacted through comments on any post.
Rule #1: I will always respect people's right to privacy, above all else.
Rule #1a - I do not name individual people, ever, unless given explicit permission.
It's already stated above but worth putting again and explaining here.This blog is mine and I've never asked permission from anyone to write anything. I never intend writing anything which requires permission. I express my personal opinions here, and retain my right to do so, but this is a public blog and I will neither name any individual nor write anything I would not be comfortable saying to their face. I will also not give any identifying information about a person at any time.
If I am given permission to name a person, that is different, but it needs to be clear. Celebrities or persons known to the public may also named if my posts are about their public activities; for example, Chasers or Eggheads might be named if I'm talking about those shows, but if I encountered them at a competitive quiz then I would not name them in a review of such an event.
Rule #1b - I do name venues, team names, and make reference to people via initials
For obvious reasons, as I review the quizzes I do, I mention their venue. These are public places of business and I am a consumer of said business. Past a certain point in writing my reviews, I realised that for reasons of practicality, I needed to make reference to specific people while protecting their privacy as per above. At most quizzes, I find the regular teams keep the same name, or else have a default name they can be referred to by. These other teams are often my competition, and since I'm reviewing my own performance, making direct references to the other teams is both important and valid. Doing so will also often prevent me from referring to individuals, another benefit.
For people, to avoid using names, I typically use first initials, provided their names begin with common letters. Someone at one quiz I do has a first name beginning with Y, which is sufficiently rare that it would be too easy to identify that person from it, so I go out of my way to avoid doing so. A person's gender may also be mentioned for reasons of practicality as well, though I typically don't if the flow of the writing doesn't require it.
Rule #2 - I will consider any objections to anything written in this blog, within reason
As I said, I don't want to violate anyone's privacy or make anyone uncomfortable with what I write, and will remove any offending content as soon as it is brought to my intention. That said, I am honest, and my reviews are intended to be as frank and objective as possible. I will always provide credit where it is due, and readers will generally find that I am glowing to the point of almost sycophantic about the quizzes I do. However, while I will do my best to be tactful about it, not everything I write here will be positive.
Any such criticism will only ever be directed at a quiz itself, or possibly a venue which as a business does not have immunity from such comments. I will never criticise an individual or a host on a personal level, and no comments on a quiz are intended as a reflection upon its host in any way whatsoever. That said, hosting is itself a criteria which may be reasonably judged as part of an assessment of a quiz. I realise how difficult quizzes are to write and how much effort goes into it, having done so myself, with both successes and failures along the way, yet I remain a consumer who is entitled to an opinion. I also have personal preferences in terms of organisation, subjects etc, and these will inevitably bias my commentary to one extent or another. This is unavoidable, but I don't believe it to be a problem.
Essentially, what I mean is that while I'll remove content on privacy grounds, I won't censor myself because of an objection to a fair/reasonable criticism. Additionally, part of the reason I delay writing my reviews until after a week is over is because it means I'll be less likely to make unfair judgements based on a raw emotional reaction to a quiz, either good or bad, so I try and help myself in that regard.
First and foremost, my reviews are intended as commentaries on my own performance, including relative to other teams and to past performances, and unless I'm visting a quiz for the first time, I'm probably not directly focussing on assessing a quiz itself. As such, most of the comments are fairly focussed in that regard.
Rule #3 - This blog is completely apolitical, though I am not
I don't intend using this blog for talking about anything other than quizzing, but I occasionally may venture into other areas. Politics is one area I absolutely refuse to touch. The world is an often unpleasant place, and there is great deal wrong with it, that's true. That's also irrelevant to my hobby. I don't ask questions of the people I quiz with, I'll travel anywhere and join anyone. No political commentary will ever appear in this blog as far as I can help it.
The same does not apply to my life outwith these writings. I am a politically active person, to an extent. My Facebook certainly and my Twitter occasionally contain political content. I'm not going to state the nature of my beliefs here, but I won't apologise for them and I won't censor my content in ways I don't already for my own reasons. If you follow me on Twitter, please be aware that you may see content you disagree with that does not relate to quizzing.
Over the course of writing this blog, I've started using quick shortcuts, which I tend to assume regular readers will pick up fairly easily. By listing these here, I can more easily justify such ease-of-use abbreviations. The list is non-exhaustive and I'll update it over time. This list includes certain specific, recurring initials that I use, and only includes anything used currently. Retired terminology is not included, but I will explain anything from a previous post on request.
([Single Letter]): The Kings Arms, Dalbeattie has several hosts, all of whom thankfully have different first names, and the bracketed letter after this quiz's name is how I differentiate. All are regular participants in the quiz when not hosting, but I almost always refer to teams, not individuals at this quiz.
BEEST: A rival team at the Turf Tavern, Carlisle, the name being an amalgamation of the initials of their standard lineup. SEE also refers to this team, this being their common 3-man lineup.
Big Tam's Appreciation Society, a team I semi-regularly join at
the Kings Arms in Dalbeattie. Essentially my default team, in fact, if they have a space for me. Any team I join there usually gets
the appellation "Imaginary Friend" (e.g. BTIF) but I'll usually use the
original name here.
Full House: A maximum score in a given round. This seems to have become my standard cliche for such a thing, though I will use other similar terms at times.
GK: General Knowledge. In a way, this includes any non-specific round that cannot be categorised in other ways. Some quizzes use different names for it: trivia, pot luck, pot pourri, etc. Other times it's not actually called "general knowledge" but clearly is in practice. The difference is mostly relevant in practical terms for the statistics I keep.
Imaginary Friends: My own standard team name of choice when quizzing as an individual, and typically appellated to the end of any team I join at the Kings Arms in Dalbeattie. Not usually referred to here, but worth noting all the same.
Jack: A personal friend who has given explicit permission to named in this blog, though before August was usually the person known as "J". We are always teammates at the Turf Tavern in Carlisle (when he is present) and he often comes through to the Granary in Dumfries. Currently, the initial J explicitly does not refer to Jack, but rather anyone else with a first name of that letter, as of about October 2017.
JDCS: My default name for a group of teachers who frequent the Turf Tavern, Carlisle quiz, as fixed team names are not used there. We have a bit of a one-sided rivalry with them. They may have extended their number to 5, but I don't know the 5th person's name at present.
L: My usual teammate at the Granary, Dumfries. In the context of this quiz, refers to a specific person who generally won't be seen elsewhere. At other quizzes, L would refer to someone else unless stated.
M: Currently usually refers to one of my teammates at the Granary, Dumfries. Can also refer to one of the NCP, currently semi-regular the same quiz, and a teammate at the Turf Tavern, Carlisle, who is absent from the quiz for the foreseeable future because of work commitments.
NAT: Not All There, a rival team from the Anchor, Kippford. Almost always among the highest scoring teams on any given night there.
NCP: Newbridge Caravan Park, formerly my team's friendly rivals at the now-defunct Ship Inn, Dumfries quiz. Currently, several of them attend the Granary, Dumfries, and the group are still referred to as such.
NKD: No Kan Do, a regular team at the Kings Arms, Dalbeattie. One of the hosts (P) is from there, thus it's a team I'll sometimes join.
RR: The Roofrax, one of the regular teams at the Granary, Dumfries. M's former team.
SEE: The smaller version of BEEST, our friendly rivals at the Turf Tavern, Carlisle.
SQ: Sporting Quizbon, our friendly rivals from the Granary, Dumfries, and one of the most successful teams at the venue.
TB: True Blue, perhaps the most succesful team at the Kings Arms, Dalbeattie. Two hosts are from this team (G and S) and I'll sometimes join them.
My current default team at the Anchor, Kippford. I was previously with
The Motley Crew but they have not been present for the 2017/18 season.
Neither of the Ls is the same person from The Granary, Dumfries.
Tourists: Another very successful team from the Kings Arms, Dalbeattie. Main quiz organiser K's team, and not one I usually join, though there's no specific reason for this.
Two's Company/Three's Company/Four's Company: My team at the Granary, Dumfries. L is my default partner, though M is a standard presence these days, having stopped joining The Roofrax, and Jack is also commonly with us. The team name simply reflects the numbers in a given week, and doesn't usually change otherwise.
UC: In the context of this blog, Universally Challenged, a team at the Granary, Dumfries, rather than the TV show their name is a pun on. A prominent group of students.
WB: Wee Beasties, another team from the Granary, Dumfries. Tend to have about 10 in their team, and to be successful when they do attend, but that is currently only sporadically.
I believe that's everything I need to say for now, but I'll review this shortly to see if I've missed anything. Please get in touch if you like!