Saturday, 13 January 2018

Weekly Roundup - Week 2, W/E 12/01/2018

Pub Quiz Results

Quiz #3 - Sunday 7th January, Turf Tavern, Carlisle (Team: 3)

Round 1: Pictures - People (Mixture), 6/10
Round 2: Current Events, 8/10
Round 3: 2017 News, 0/5
Round 4: Childrens TV, 2/5
Round 5: Alpha Links, 5/10
Round 6: Hidden Link Connections, 4/5
Round 7: Wipeout (General Knowledge), 0/10 

Total Score: 25/55 (45.45%), 3rd/6

Quiz #4 - Monday 8th January, Kings Arms, Dalbeattie (P) (Team: 3)

Round 1: General Knowledge, 15/20
Round 2: Map of Africa, 17/21
Round 3: Quotes/Sayings by Literary Figures, 9/20
Round 4: 2017 News, 14/22
Round 5: Played Music, 14/21

Total Score: 69/104 (66.35%), 3rd/9

Quiz #5 - Thursday 11th January, Anchor, Kippford (Team: 6)

Round 1: General Knowledge, 7/8
Round 2: Food & Drink, 4/8
Round 3: Lyrics, 2/8
Round 4: Acronyms, 3.5/8
Round 5: Dingbats (Joker), 14/16
Round 6: Human Body/Medicine, 3/8

Total Score: 33.5/56, 2nd/5

Quiz #6 - Friday 12th January, Grapes, Springholm (Team: 1) 

Round 1: General Knowledge, 37/68
Round 2: General Knowledge, 39/50

Total Score: 76/118, 1st/3

Overall Weekly Score: 203.5/333 (61.11%)
Month-To-Date: 276.5/439 (62.98%)
Year-To-Date: 276.5/439 (62.98%)

General Update

Hello and welcome to this, the first full edition of my 2018 weekly roundups! Last week I suggested I might speed up the process of writing these...I don't think that's happening. If anything they'll probably take longer now, but they should be more interesting and useful all the same in this format. I'm going to try and keep this introduction section brief most weeks, and just talk about anything that needs to be said. General life updates are good, though I will dedicate posts to anything that I feel needs it.

The sections in these roundups won't be the same each week, as what goes in depends on what I have to talk about in a given week. Of course, the busier I am, the less time I have to actually write these posts, but I'll fall off that bridge in due course, I'm sure. My weeks still end on a Friday, because it means I can write the posts on either Saturday or Sunday as is convenient. Next week's might actually be the following Monday as I'm busy all weekend, but that will happen. I'll try my best to not fall more than 2 weeks behind at any time.

By way of an actual life update, I must be honest, it's been a bit of a frustrating week. My mental health has been a bit all over the place, with non-quiz stuff throwing me off my game. January was always going to be like that though, as the post-holiday mental hangover and the grim reality of normal life resuming hits us all. It didn't help that I'm still not sure if my full-week quiz break was a good idea or not, and I'm leaning towards it being good in principle, but lasting too long. Least I know for next time anyway, and in any case I'm fully I'm back into it the swing of things now, as this post should show.

Pub Quizzes

So the week began on Sunday with the first Turf Tavern quiz of the year. Jack was with me, and we were later joined by another friend, who just slyly helped us out with a couple of questions (for the record, I didn't ask for that and I don't approve of it, but it's not always possible in practice to stop these things) before actually sitting down and properly joining us. The first two rounds are never the best for us, but round 3 really bothered, as when it came to the top 5 news stories Googled in Britain last year, we managed to somehow go for stories that were big in 2016 (Trump, Brexit, etc) missing the point entirely.  We'd have had a decent score overall of 31 if not for a stupid Wipeout mistake at the very start of the final round. The question was which Olympic event has races of 20 and 50km, and we put triathlon, having (a) forgotten about walking and (b) not thought that if it was triathlon, they might have given the length of the 3rd race. A shame, as I gave some good answers to tough questions elsewhere in the round. JDCS, minus J & C but with their unknown 5th person, utterly destroyed us all to win with 42, which we were never catching.

Before moving on, I have to say that we were given 2nd place, because the team marking us gave us one right that wasn't. That led to a tiebreaker, which I easily won for us. Nothing can be done about that, but I'm not counting it as a 2nd place finish for my stats.

Monday was the first Dalbeattie quiz, and P had pre-warned us that his usual pencil-drawn map round would be of Africa this time. I knew it was coming anyway, sooner or later. We did our homework and some last minute studying, hence our excellent score. The man's rounds are normally all lists, so it was interesting to see more general questions this time, though they weren't easy. Unfortunately, as I've done before too while hosting, he lost control a bit as the quiz went on and we ran over time. The music round was awkward too as he was using his own portable player rather than the house amp, the former turning out not to be loud enough for the whole room. My thanks go to my team, BTAS, for almost all our points there. Somewhat frustratingly, despite coming in 3rd (behind True Blue and the victorious Muppets) we weren't given money, as P hadn't been able to divide the prize fund up accordingly. Bit of a shame that, but oh well. My own quiz next week, so hard luck for regulars who like an easy quiz there...

Oh, one more quick thing re: the scores, P decided to do a bonus "First team to shout out the correct answer gets a point, but if you get it wrong then every other team gets a point" type thing between rounds. I'm ignoring those for my stats, and have accounted for this by deducting 3 points from each of the top 3 scores. Not a perfect solution, but the best I can do, as it means our score adds up to what it actually was.

Thursday was also beset by problems, as the usual external hosts cancelled at short notice. Rather than stopping the quiz, the owners decided to put it on themselves, to their credit. One was host, and myself and usual partner L (not the same one from the Granary, which didn't run this week) joined the other, along with 3 young staff who sadly seemed a bit lost for the most part. The quiz went generally fine, and beating the impressive Donuts team again was a result I'm happy with, though the same can't be said for some of my answers elsewhere. A difficult quiz, but I had a chance to show off real knowledge and couldn't rise to it, ultimately. We got above 30 though, and finished 2nd, so we made the best of it. If I'm not going to actually win, I'd rather play well and finish lower down than play badly and finish 2nd, but I'll take it.

Friday was a bit of a nervy quiz, for 2 reasons. 1. It had been several months since I'd been back at the venue, due to conflicts with the Haugh of Urr quiz and other things, and 2. I was intending to do the quiz alone. It's about the only venue where I felt I could, and as the result shows, I did it! Wasn't easy though, as I missed some very easy questions in the first half, leaving me 8 points behind. I was furious with myself, but rallied in the 2nd half for a 3 point win. 

I can't say I'm happy with my overall performance, but I pulled out some good answers, and ultimately got only my 2nd ever win on my own, and my first since late 2014. I'm seriously happy about that, and ultimately I did prove something to myself. My first win of the year, and a great confidence booster ahead of future quizzes and my first competitive event next weekend.


Working from an office has a big advantage - no TV in front of me! But I've a short attention-span and I do like to have something on in the background while working. Podcasts are great for that, plus I can learn something in the process. I currently listen to only 1 regularly admittedly, but I've got 3 queued up, so once I've listened to the backlog of all 4, all 4 will be weekly events.

The one I listen to weekly just now is Trivial Warfare, who have an amazing Facebook community, the Trivial Warfare Army, where all sorts of quizzing discussion happens. The show is American based but with a strong international fanbase, and they really do acknowledge that well. It's American style trivia, so there's not all that many questions, but lots of interesting discussion which helps contextualise answers. I really really like that, though its presence in the TV show Eggheads is always controversial so clearly not everyone likes it. There's also a huge amount of camaraderie among the hosts and contestants, which is what really makes the show. It would still be excellent without the community, but I love that it has such a great one.

I've actually been on the show, and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, no exaggeration. If you'd like to hear that, here is the link to my episode!

I'm listening to Complete The List right now as I write this (preview: it's great), and will also hopefully be able to talk about Triviality and Something, Something Birds in next week's roundup.

My Own Quiz

As I said above, I'm hosting my quiz next week in Dalbeattie. Well, on Monday, to be specific. I really ought to have it completely written by now, but it's testament to my having fallen back into my old ways somewhat that I haven't. My break didn't help, admittedly, as I knowingly left myself with only a week to do it. I've 1.5 rounds left to write, and I'm doing it now, as I write this. It's not uncommon for me to do lots of things at once; I seem to procrastinate on one thing by doing another.

I don't like writing my quizzes last minute as it means I don't have enough time to go back and refine and perfect them. I think of writing a quiz a cross between sculpture and engineering, and the best quizzes need to be polished/fine-tuned to bring out the best in them. So it's possible that this won't be my best. Hopefully it will be okay though, I have put a lot of work into it and I'll do my best on Monday to give people a good time.


This one is really here so that I can either confidently say that my spreadsheets are up to date or else guiltily confess to having not done them. I'm a big fan of spreadsheets, but I've not really done enough with them in the past. Creating them is one thing, using them another. To be fair, I've had to try and figure things out as I go along, but I know what I'm doing now with my stats, roughly, so if I can keep the figures updated as I go, I should be able to use them well.

So I can say that my main data spreadsheet is as up to date as it can be so far. I've got all the results recorded, in a master spreadsheet and separate worksheets for each venue. I've not broken it up by subject yet, which I could actually do, but there's no huge rush yet. Categorising it by venue is something I didn't do properly last year, so I wanted a head start on that this time. I'm happy with where I am with this, so far.

Areas of Study

Again, this is about self-manipulation. Hopefully a desire to say more than "I haven't done any" will in some way motivate me to actually do some. This week it's mostly been African geography for the Kings Arms quiz, and the various subjects in my own next quiz which I can't discuss right now, obviously. I've got a mini-globe on my desk so that I can periodically look at it, and will hopefully, in time, pick up where countries physically are, which is something I struggle with. Likewise I'm going to keep my periodic table mug on my desk for the equivalent reason.

In weeks that I've been writing a quiz, I don't need to do much specific studying as that comes naturally anyway. Other weeks, I won't always have that excuse!

Week in Summation

This section used to be just about pub quizzes, but I suppose it covers everything now! As I said, I'm happy with the quiz results but not the scores. Percentage-wise, I was a lot higher at the two I did last week, though I can't always fairly compare between quizzes. I gave some good answers through the week but had horrific mistakes too. Story of my life, really!

In general I've done a fair bit, though not just quite enough. I've still got a lot to do at the moment, and the next couple of weeks are going to be very hectic so I'll be short on time. I'll get there though! I'm taking nothing for granted, especially given my tendency to start but not finish things, but setting things up right is critical and I'm doing that quite well, so I'll take the week as a win. Yeah, I'm sitting reasonably okay right now, and definitely will be once by quiz is done and dusted. Bring on next week!

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