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Author Topic: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......  (Read 6769 times)

the Earl of Whirl

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I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« on: December 17, 2011, 12:01:03 AM »

Actually, it wasn't that dark or stormy.  The reality is I needed a first sentence.  Sorry.

I did meet a mysterious man tonight.  I was telling my friend sitting next to me about my new moniker, the Earl of Whirl.  This man of mystery sitting just the other side of my friend leaned in and seemed interested.  Actually, he seemed a bit sarcastic about my Earlness.  "What do you whirl" he said with a snicker.  I told him how I whirled all kinds of things.  Most recently, I added, my whirling has taken me to the world of whirled tops.

He raised his eyebrows.  It seemed like a look of derision.  I felt like I was on the defensive so I went for the big guns a little earlier than normal.  I even compete with tops, I stated boldly, and I am the current world champion.  "Really" came his reply.  I felt his skepticism so I confronted him about it.  Of course, I can tell by your facial expression that none of this really makes any difference to you.  "Well" he sighed........
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2011, 12:12:11 AM »

"I do know something about tops."  To myself I thought, sure.  What do you know?  You probably know about that little kiddy top that you pump and think I compete by seeing how fast I can get one of those things whizzing. 

"How do you get your tops going?"  I begin to launch into a long explanation about the string and the wind and the spin and the tricks and the fun and the competition and, did I mention, I am the world champion.  Dagnabbit, I didn't mean to say that last part again.  I shouldn't be so defensive.

"So, you keep it going on a string?  How do you compete?"  I felt myself pulled into another long explanation about freestyles, and three minutes and scoring and judging and tricks and regeneration  and more.  I have to change this conversation around, I thought to myself.  By the way, I said, where are you from?"

"I am from California.  A little town named Chico..........."

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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2011, 12:18:10 AM »

Yes, yes!  Of course I know Chico.  What a great name for a town.  I was introduced to the place during my senior year in college.  At the track and field nationals that year I competed against a guy from Chico.  He was a good athlete.  He was a nice guy.  I remember how much I enjoyed hearing his stories about the land called California, a place I never thought I would ever get to visit.

Oh, I added, there is also something else about Chico that is significant to me.  That is the place where they hold the nationals every year in top spinning.  You may have heard more about it in connection to yo-yos, but there is top spinning there.  Have you heard of this big day in your town?

"Why, yes!  I have heard some about that.  In fact, I was just in the Bird in Hand toy store the other day looking at all the awards and displays."

So what do you do in Chico, I asked.  "I work at the college".......................
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2011, 12:27:05 AM »

You work at Chico State?  Oh, I see.  It is really California State University, Chico.  Sorry.  Yes, what great memories I have of that school.  No, I have never been there.  But someday I hope to go there and look around.  I have my memories of that guy from nationals some 35 years ago.  Has it really been that long ago?  Actually, as I think back I guess it has been 36 years!  Wow, time sure flies.  I still remember his jersey.  What was it, red?  Oh, sorry.  Cardinal and white.  And they are the wildcats?  Pretty neat.  What do you do there.

"I am a professor in physics"........
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2011, 12:35:49 AM »

Physics?  That is interesting.  The top I used at the world championships of top spinning was made by the guys in the physics department at UC.  Sorry, I mean the University of Cincinnati.  They know a lot about tops down there.  They really love top spinning there.  What's that?  You are interested in top spinning too?  Really!  Seriously?  And here, I thought you were being sarcastic to me with your top spinning questions.  What is your connection to everything tonight?

"I am the uncle of the bride."

You mean, the woman who is marrying my oldest son is your niece?

"Yes, and thanks for the great meal tonight.  As father of the groom, I assume you are paying." 
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2011, 12:39:35 AM »

Chris Gaffney.......chair of the physics department.......California State University, Chico.......

http://phys.csuchico.edu/dept/directory/facstaf/gaffney.shtml

I will be taking a small top to share with him at the wedding tomorrow!
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 11:04:31 AM by the Earl of Whirl »
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ta0

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2011, 12:55:38 AM »

What a neat story!  I did not have any idea where it was going . . . but those are quite a few coincidences!

I think next year you should go to Chico!

And congratulations on your son's wedding!
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jim in paris

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2011, 01:21:42 AM »

Hello Mike

that's an Encounter of The Top Kind

thanks for sharing this great story and the split into chapters is all the more fun to read ;) ;)

Mr CG deserves his free pass to HOF ;D

jim
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trompillo

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2011, 04:06:34 AM »

Mike Good story¬°¬° I enjoyed reading, congratulations on the wedding of his son.
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johnm

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2011, 10:08:44 AM »

Great story!  Congratulations to your son's bride!  Hout  ;) lucky she is to be joining your family.  How many married members of the forum would trade their favorite top for a parent-in-law that spins like you?

I hope that you have left out many details of the story (perhaps due to time limitations during this busy event?) such as when you pulled a top out of your pocket to demonstrate some of your craft.  It seems rather unlikely that so shortly after your recent promotion to the Earl of Whirl you would neglect your ambassadorship duties and appear topless at a social event (that would be quite embarrassing for your son).  Perhaps an investigation is in order.  Should it be discovered that you were in fact topless as a representative of our group, the administrator may have to impose some type of punishment such as 1000 RCS and perhaps a demotion from your immortal member status.  Additionally, haven't you adapted your championship medalion into an eye catching tie clip or at least a flashy belt buckle for these types of events?  I suppose a jury of your forum peers might look favorably upon your case if an additional great story about your follow-up meeting were to appear in the near future. :)
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2011, 10:28:18 AM »

Ahhh.....you have caught me mighty johmn.  But, have you?  Yes, I was topless.  No, it was not to shame this group.  Yes, I felt like I should have a top.  No, I did not hinder the evening festivities.  Yes, my son asked me not to embarrass him.  No, I did not have animal balloons in my pocket or juggling balls either.  Yes, I can stop these yes and no responses.

The Earl is preparing to make a side trip to the Hall of Fame to pick out a couple of tops that he is "allowed" to carry with him before the wedding to give to a certain doctor of physics to take back to a certain town that rhymes with "freak-oh!".  It seems like a backwards way to get some of our spinning ware into that city.  I am feeling that over the past few years SpinQueen and Mr. ta0 did not do a very good job of getting around to everyone in town to evangelize new top spinners.

If I can be forgiven for being topless last evening, I guess we can let the amazing ta0 and the hot SpinQueen slide this time.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 11:06:21 AM by the Earl of Whirl »
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Dick Stohr

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2011, 12:08:05 PM »

Neat story Mike!  Our very best to the newly weds.  Now you have additional reasons to visit Chico.  You got to do it.
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ta0

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2011, 01:17:31 PM »

Quote
I am feeling that over the past few years SpinQueen and Mr. ta0 did not do a very good job of getting around to everyone in town to evangelize new top spinners.
Well, I left one of my tops over there, years ago, and I have carried Figaro every time I go. I even walked around Chico State campus with a top in my pocket (I bet I also threw it inside campus, but I do not recall specifically.)

Perhaps he knows the professor from Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo who has a huge collection of tops? (topspinng.com is down today, so I cannot check his name, I think he teaches agriculture, though).

You should also insinuate that he needs to hire a postdoc from Cincy to establish a spin program over there  ;D
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 03:05:59 PM by ta0 »
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jim in paris

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2011, 03:06:04 PM »

Dear citizens of spin ,

i hereby acknowledge that this distressful,if not pathetic, story plainly concerns the sub-named Earl of Whirl ...
indeed ,  as the honorable JohnM pointed out :
 "It seems rather unlikely that so shortly after your recent promotion to the Earl of Whirl you would neglect your ambassadorship duties and appear topless at a social event
according to an apocryphal parchment that i happen to own , the sentence for this sort of behavior is :
a redemptive photo with
 Mr Professor CG , AND Earl of W ...... tops in hand


 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

jim


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poptop

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Re: I can't believe it! It was a dark and stormy night......
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2011, 03:11:24 PM »

Right on Mike!  Whirl to the Earl!

Congrats on the wedding and the interesting encounters.  Something tells me we'll be seeing you in Chico next year????

Oddly enough, over the past week or so, I've been browsing a few books listed in Ta0's papyrus section hoping to bone up on spin physics.  Gyroscopic inertia, gyroscopic precession, conservation of angular momentum...it's like reading the rules of our game (even if I don't understand them all).  ;)
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