Monday in Gatlinburg

We’re all here.  I made my connection in Dallas with no trouble.  Really enjoyed the flight from Dallas to Knoxville because I was sitting by a window.  I always want an aisle seat so I get a bit more space, but on the regional jet American uses for this flight the aisle seat is also a window–there is only one seat on the left of the plane. Tennessee is really beautiful to fly over–it’s very green, with gently rolling hills and a meandering river or two.

We landed and I stood in line forever to get the car from Hertz.  Mike thinks I am mean to people like the car rental clerk, but I think I just won’t accept their behavior.  I gave this guy my reservation, license and credit card, and said “Please don’t try to sell me anything.  I don’t want any insurance, gas, GPS or upgrades.  Just the car, please.”  He instantly tried to sell me insurance.  I became more insistent that I wasn’t buying. Mike thinks I’m nasty, I think they should listen when I say I don’t want it.

Then I got my choice of “full size” car–a Dodge Avenger, Chevy Impala or Chrysler 200.  I pointed out that I own a Chrysler 200, and it is NOT a full size car.  The Chrysler 300 is a full size car.  The clerk informed me that Hertz considers the 300 a “luxury” car.  Apparently, they can just define words any way they want.  I’m not a fan of Hertz.

Then I got to the house.  The rental company has an iPhone app, which gives you the code to the lock on the house.  It didn’t work.  I called the company, which is closed on Sunday night.  Got the service, which put me through to the emergency repair people, who said the code from the app is not right, the correct code would be on the paperwork in the office–which is closed.  And they absolutely knew that we would be in late Sunday, and had promised that the app would help us out.  More bizarre incompetence–but the repair guy gave me the door code, so in I went.

And then the alarm went off. Buzzing and ringing and screaming.  I had no idea of how to turn it off, but I just dropped a couple of items in the refrigerator and headed out for dinner with Mike.  The alarm seemed to quit after about 10 minutes, just as I was leaving, so I didn’t worry.

Coming back after dinner, the alarm went off again.  I called the office, got the service, got put through to repair but got an answering machine. Went out to the car for more items to bring in, and the guy called back.  Saw the message on the phone and called him, got the code and turned off the alarm. Went to the bathroom.  Heard a loud knock on the door–Gatlinburg Police.  I don’t look much like a burglar, and they’ve seen this problem before, so no problem.  They did tell me to keep the door closed–little worry about thieves, big worry about bears coming out of hibernation very hungry and inquisitive.  I closed the door. Carefully.

The tournament started today with a one session Swiss team.  We drew straws, and Jack and Bruce played in the pair game while Bob, Danny, Mike and I played the Swiss.

The guys in the pairs game had a 59% game and were third over two sections.  We were second in the teams, which amazingly paid 16 masterpoints–because it was a huge event, with 55 teams in the A/x and 150 or so more in the B-C-D, so we got paid for all of that attendance.

A desultory dinner in the coldest restaurant I have ever been in.

Started the KO’s in the evening.  We are in the middle of the second bracket, and won the first match.  They have a new system which projects the teams on the wall, showing your total points during the start when they are forming the brackets then your table assignment.  It is much faster and easier, and it was exciting to see team 163, the Lynch team with Meckstroth, Rodwell, Passel and a couple of Poles whose names I can’t spell but the team has 220,000 masterpoints, about triple the next highest team.   I’m glad we aren’t in their bracket.

And that’s the news.  More tomorrow.

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