I just got back from a long trip to the US. Flew to Vancouver, then drove, (with many stops) all the way to Louisville KY, then all the way back to Vancouver much more quickly, then turned around and drove back East to Banff Canada where we spent a week before driving back to Vancouver and then flying back to Taipei with a tough layover in Shanghai.
In many ways the trip was amazing. I got to see many family and friends. We traveled through a lot of very amazing scenery. I also made it to and played in the Twin Ports Open that I had mentioned before. I will be honest. I scored 1/2 out of 5. (The tournament report has me at 1.5 because I received a bye for the last game. However, I played a rated game with a "house player" for the last game that didn't count in the tournament and I lost, so I think of it more as 1/2 out of 5.) I have various excuses. I will also admit to a small amount of sourness about this result. On the other hand, I really had a great time. I really loved being there with other chess players and playing the games. I also feel, that while the result is "accurate", I also feel that I felt happy with much of my play. Part of that has to do with the fact that because I had no rating, just a fresh blank uscf id, I had to play in the open section. I will try to do some more detailed analysis of the games and post them here. So results-wise not so great, but in terms of doing something I enjoy doing it was quite a success.
On the whole, I felt a strong rush of motivation toward chess playing again. I bought a bunch of hard copy chess books in the US. I also made some resolutions. Unfortunately, it remains a fact that I live in a country that, while I love it in many ways, just doesn't have much of a chess scene. Partly, to be honest, there are some things I need to overcome. I am not a great people person. I have let some personality conflicts keep me away from the small chess scene here, and probably it would be good practice for me to work at those issues.
Anyway, I also came up with a variety of topics I am interested in writing about on the blog, or some things I want to do with the blog. As always, I remain a changeable person, but in the short term this blog and my chess activities look like they are on the upswing.