One ring to bring them all

December 22, 2010 by

Tanya assembled a huge team of pub quiz cronies for a field trip to the west side of San Francisco on Sunday: Chris, Hannah, Kyle, Tim, Adi [!], Charlie, Maureen, Carissa, Amy, Stan, Penny and I and at least another person or two that I’m sorry to have missed. We spread across several pews at the Presido Interfaith Chapel and, after halftime, several tables at Adath Israel. But though she had a vast supporting cast, it was Tanya’s show all the way, and her MVP performance more than earned her the giant first-place price: new husband Richard!

Tanya single-handedly bought us an early lead; while Adi, Chris and I could do nothing more than gape dazedly at the marriage contract (not only was it in Hebrew, the men all had a few toasts before the ceremony), Tanya ran circles around MC Goodman’s Hebrew round. In fact, she ran circles around Richard.

With glasses of prosecco and Israeli Petit Syrah in hand, the rest of us rallied at Adath Israel and pitched in here and there. I aced the short but difficult Random Questions that Charlie Tossed Out round. Despite a little confusion about who was going to get to be Wonder Twins with whom now, we easily polished off the DJ’s music round, and the team’s game all-hands peformance got us through the Traditional Festive Jewish Dances round without too much damage.

But Tanya owned the handout round, because she’d overseen the entire menu. While the rest of us didn’t even realize there was no dairy until we noticed there was only soy milk for the coffee, Tanya had already fed Richard a slice of mango spice wedding cake for double points. As long as they both shall live.

There was some talk of getting together for a quiz in the East Bay early next year. We’ll look forward to it, but it’ll be hard to top Sunday’s event. It’ll be especially hard to top Richard. Have we mentioned just how tall that guy is?

Mazel tov!

The end of an era?

February 10, 2010 by

I called the Chieftain and learned that there will be no pub quiz there, Brainstormer or otherwise, “for at least the next few weeks”.


Do Not Follow Me

December 6, 2009 by

As you can probably tell from the date of the last real post, we’re not posting to this blog these days. We’re still going to pub quiz, although only intermittently. If you’re not on the mailing list and you’re wondering if we’re going this week, just ask any of the regular attendees.


The Three Eye-for-an-Eye League

May 26, 2008 by

Heroes are born of adversity. Though we barely pulled off Tuesday’s hat trick victory, we did it with the come-from-behind style that fans the hate in the hearts of our enemies. In a close game, every point is the point that won the game; everyone will have a story to tell their grandchildren.

Kai: Adited our guess at the date of the Hindenburg disaster from 1936 to 1937 at the last moment, starting the climb up from the basement that culminated in passing the last of the opposition.

Me, with an assist from Kai: Slowly and painfully extracted the names of the vitamin B’s from my deepest subconscious until the one we needed, B-3, niacin, finally emerged.

MVP Adi: Nailed heavyweights Larry Holmes and Jim Morrison.

By the numbers:

R1:  8/10 (-3)
R2: 10/12 (-2)
R3:  9/11 (-3)
R4:  9/10 (-2)
R5:  8/10 (-1)
R6: 14/20 (+1-Highest score of the round)

First place: 58 Second place: 57 Third place: 53

Also making up Tuesday’s incarnation of the Evil David Hasselhoffs were Chris, Tanya, Scott, and Sol.

I and, I believe, Chris will be out this Tuesday (the 27th). Hoping for some awesome ringers to keep the streak going. See you all in two weeks.


The League of Extraordinary Comebacks

May 17, 2008 by

Stan read the final score. The Chieftain fell silent for a moment. We exploded into laughter. The uproar of our delight and relief didn’t quite cover the sound of every other jaw in the room hitting the floor. The Evil David Hasselhoffs had accomplished the most devastating comeback in Chieftain quiz history.

Let the numbers tell the story:

R1: 10/10 (5-way tie)
R2: 7/12 (-5)
R3: 9/10 (-5)
R4: 9/10 (-5)
R5: 7/ 8 (-3)
R6: 23/23 (+8 — Next closest score was 12)

After an easy first round ending in a five-way tie, we completely lost it in the matching round of names of couples in novels, dropping back by five points. We ran as fast as we could only to stay in place for the next two rounds.

It couldn’t be a good omen that the music round, on which we depend these days to atone for any sins we might have committed in the first four rounds, was truncated due to technical difficulties. We closed the gap to three points (and confirmed that the answer to question 1 was Led Zeppelin, which has extreme personal significance to Tanya and Scott), but that was still a long way in a crowded field.

But the stars aligned; while we aced the 23-point last round, the next highest score was an anemic 12 points. In a single round, we’d gone from three points out of first place to victory with an eight-point lead, and a respectable final score of 65.

Speaking of comebacks, Tuesday also enjoyed the first appearances of both Valerie and Ken at pub quiz in far too long a time. Ryan, Kai, Scott, Tanya, Colby, Chris, Adi and I made up the rest of the team. MVP goes to Scott, with an assist from Adi, for naming all five of the boxers who defeated Muhummad Ali, at one point each.


A League Of Our Own

May 9, 2008 by

This week, let’s let Khai say it in numbers:

Here are the scores from last night’s exciting quiz. (made better for us winning)

R1: 10/10 (-1)
R2: 12/13 (-1)
R3:  9/10 (TIE)
R4:  8/10 (+1)
R5: 10/11 (+2)
R6: 18/20 (TIE)

That’s a stratospheric final score of 67, folks. The Chieftain was packed and the competition was tough in this first week of league play. We fought our way from a lag to a lead by round 5, but the opposition got a perfect 20/20 in round six to tie the game. For a change we won the tiebreaker when we needed to, coming closest, with our answer of 11, to the correct number of rings which Uranus is now known to have.

Stan must have known, when at one point he described us as “possibly the most winning team in the Chieftain”, that it would show up online. Perhaps it was just Google bait. Oops.

Tanya, Colby, Erin, Kai, Ryan, Chris, Scott, Adi and I made up the team, with a brief cameo by Hannah. Though we started out as Operation Chaos, our name mysteriously Adified to The Evil David Hasselhoffs before the first scores were read. Seems like someone was emboldened by a heroic number of Malibu and cokes.


Dewey Beats Truman!

April 26, 2008 by

For Tuesday’s quiz Chris, Kai and I were The Projected Winners, with 16.7% of the Results In. That was for the first round; we increased the percentage after each round. All that investment in team name technology paid off in some laughs from the competition, but not in a victory: although we managed to stay within shooting distance of first place in the first half, we dropped back rapidly in late rounds to finish ten points out of first with the not-bad-at-all “Best Small Team” prize of a pitcher of Czechvar.

The theme rounds were “Songs from the ’90s with ‘Kiss’ in the Title” and “Celebrity Lesbians”.


This pub ain’t big enough for both of us

April 18, 2008 by

It was another tense night at the Chiefain as our budding rivalry with the Seal Cub Clubbers’ Club (last week’s 1000 Monkeys) continued. Though Stan insisted his natty sport coat wasn’t for us, we know it really was.

Chris, Hannah, Kai, Carissa, Scott, Tanya, Kelly[!!] and I made up the team. After a fiercely partisan debate, The IRS Can Kiss My Ass was elected team name.

We came out strong with a perfect score and a bonus, but dropped two points back in the matching round of celebrity nude scenes. The one-two combination of Scott and Kai not only kept us in the game in the sports theme round, but brought us back up to a three-way tie. We thought we’d gotten seven; we were about to attribute our eight-point score to Stan’s desire to say “three-way” when we realized it was Kai’s vast knowledge of Steffi Graf’s Golden Slam that had gotten us a bonus point.

We held steady in the photo round (9 points), but another competitor dropped away, leaving us face to face with the Clubbers. After the Wonder Twins unleashed their wet, wild powers in the music round we pulled ahead by a point, 47-46, but it was still anyone’s quiz. Sidewise glances flew in both directions after every question as each team tried to figure out whether the other would score. Our faces fell as we realized we’d gotten only 12/20 points, but so had the Clubbers. We’d held on to our lead, and that was good

This week’s outside food: Scott’s burger and chili-cheese fries from Carl’s Jr. Now that’s chutzpah!


It is our choices, Carissa, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities

April 13, 2008 by

There is nothing new under the sun, said the prophet, but how about in a darkened bar? Long-time observers of the Chieftain scene might have been forgiven, these past few weeks, for thinking that something different was in the air, and not just lingering VOCs from the Cosco Busan. For another week, the team once known as the Evil David Hasselhoffs threw aside tradition, shaking off the twin curses of the large team and the sixth round to wind up a night-long nailbiter with a decisive last-round win against 1000 Monkeys Typing.

Honoring fallen gun nut Charlton Heston, this week we (Hannah, Chris, Colby, Matt, Scott, Tanya, Kai, Adi, Carissa and I) DBA Cold Dead Hands. [Thanks, Mike!] Though we didn’t choose the name for Carissa, it called her out of the night as from an open grave, just in time to drive a stake, or perhaps a Slytherin house pin, into the heart of the Harry Potter theme round — with considerable help from closet Potter fan Colby, who knows exactly how Dementors do do what they do so well.

After dropping Harry Potter, we were two points out of first place, having shaken off the rest of the competition but still trailing 1000 Monkeys. We closed the spread by a point in the picture round and by another in the music round to even the field. Teams of yore might have choked in the clutch, but not this crew — while the Monkeys eeeked out only twelve points, we pulled down sixteen, scooping up the gold with margin to spare.

Archivist Hannah reminds us for the record that last week we called ourselves the Leftover Beer Drinkers (as the Chieftain was down to only those beers of which they’d bought too much for St. Patrick’s Day), and that besides the various heroes mentioned in the account, we were also joined by Rachael and Eric.


A few sandwiches short of a picnic

April 8, 2008 by

Musical sandwiches, that is. After clawing our way over the first four rounds into a three-way tie for first, our Wonder Triplet-less team imploded in the music round, scoring only two points and dropping like a stone to fifth place. Tanya and Scott arrived from the new Stones film moments after we handed in, just in time to hear the bad news. We finished the evening holding 54 points and the shameful bronze, three points behind a tie for first.

Competition for Most Vuong Player was fierce. Although Hannah very impressively recognized both a young Pat Buchanan and Oksana Baiul in the picture round, bringing us to that three-way tie, Ryan took the laurel by correctly answering the free-pint question (what country has a 100,000% rate of inflation?) several rounds after he left. (He’d suggested something to do with Zimbabwe for a team name.) No less than two of us won on that answer, one a beer and one a hat.

Perhaps in imitation of the night’s other near misses, your reporter finds himself without any notes about the full roster or our team name. Anyone in possession of last week’s team name is asked to turn it in. As usual in this game, your satisfaction at having remembered it despite the haze of beer will be your reward.

Our only consolation? Stan says the other teams hate us because we win too much. Now that they’re off their guard, let’s kick ’em in the back.