Saturday, June 21, 2008

Prolegomena To any Future Blogger Community, or ReAssembler, The Nimble Epicure: Essay Eleven

What exactly does applying to become a 9-1-1 Dispatcher for a large city Police Department have to do with being an epicure, a chess expert, an editor of a security magazine, and a parser of unusual English words? What does this have to do with phenomenology, or French Deconstructionism or Structuralism, German anthropology, fencing, demi glace, or vinology? Kind readers are invited to read on:

I think of myself significantly eclectic, but our subject for today wins the blogger Ne Plus Ultra Award for catholic breadth and scope, reaching far corners of learning, culture, and taste and--yes--this includes chess too. Without further ado: we now bring you Derek Slater to our series, otherwise known as what I myself like to express as reAssembler.

Before we embark on our essay, let us visit for a moment recent essays along these lines and, in so doing, reintroduce or recapitulate the Prolegomena Series dating from the summer at our blog here.

I commenced an essay series, of course, starting with the mighty Temposchlucker, the omnipresent and nearly unstoppable Blue Devil Knight, continuing through the superior in all ways Wormwood, then introducing the wildcard feature, including topics or guests such as Peter Norvig--Director of Research at none other than Google; the essays continued with ventures to Grandpatzer and Robert Pearson or Wahrheit, and some others too many to mention or elaborate here. Readers can find these in my archives at right (Chess Relearner, WFMU, and the once infamous but now good friend chessDog).

Since we left off last with Blunderprone as Essay Ten, and he hales from Boston, it is perhaps not at all inappropriate we continue our connnect to the Boston Brahmin's by picking up on Derek here.

I am very proud of having found Derek here before, I think, most of the regular bloggers seemed to have found him, sporting him high up in my blogroll from the very inception of my efforts to give the broadest inclusiveness to the list.

Early readers who are alert will recall that he used to call his blog Chess Cooking (housed at the svelt and savy and semantical Wordpress), of all things. What strikes us as apparent and still remains is how evenhanded and wide ranging his blog is. His blog is funny and engaging in the same way Liquid Egg Product's is--a not wholy unrelated associated alternate wordpress blog--but perhaps without the degree of Saturyday Nightlivesque Jocularity of the latter.

Derek is marvelous in his use of language, explicating the lattest etymologies for us less prolix or polymorphic or euphoneous writers, commentating on the lattest episode of Top Chef (yum, Padma Lakshmi's features and charms), or as the case may be bringing our attention to a new classic chess game of Nakamura against Krashenkow involving bombardement of heavy artilary such as not seen since the days of Morphy or Tal, writing about modern safecracking,

He exhibits his urbane, no fuss, no muss--use of English in a way that hardly gives surprise when discovered that he is a professional editor for CSO, a publication about security. That such a man entrusted me with his direct email was endearing to me, and while we do not correspond regularly, when we do it is never without profit or succinct charm. He is one of the rare chess bloggers to engage me on the stock market, humble in these ways, and never ever unappreciative.

If I were to come back to earth again as one of the other bloggers, creation would indeed tempt me to perhaps come back as temposchlucker, or BDK, or even Blundcerprone. I might even wish to be Grandpatzer, or Phaedrus. What could that be like?

Well, if I were temposchlucker, I might get to focus on myself free of distraction, like a vast combine in some vast Ukranian estate run by serfs relatively free of rebelion.

And if I were BDK, would get to experience keen inteligence unfettered by neurotic complication with an academic position, a wife, a dog, a triathlon training regimine, and the ability NOT to save (never mind all my books) all my papers and emails from as far dating as the paleolithic era. Why stop here?

If I were Blunderprone, I would get to be the head of a family, with a solid job, music, food, drug memories of the 70's, and a now a solid recovery and the bonus of great practical inteligence keeled by a giantly good heart; or if I were likeForests, I would get to see what it is also like to never express resentment or blame, with a daughter that I love, and, again, undistracted chess study??

And if I were Grandpatzer, I could see what it would be like to live without an emotional merry go round going on inside my head like a Carnival bar no other.

And the best for last, if I were Phaedrus, I would get to see what it would be like to be a chess expert, with a decent position in society, the sort of beautiful wife who never leaves me bored without fiery emotions and spice, and two adorable children that I truly love, and limitless tolerance. How can you not like all these possibilities?

But if I really had to come back to earth as another blogger, much as I would enjoy being tempo or BDK for a week or a month, I would first choose to be reAssembler. Why allow such a thing?

ReAssember, for me, affords the possibility of hard work while always appearing to have fun, a life always free of blame or vindictiveness, and subtle taste embracing food, current affairs and popular culture, words, sport, chess, and the lattest in technology.

How can we not admire others and respect them greatly without revealing so much about ourselves, but Derek seems to swim in life with much better shock absorbers than me, doubtlessly making for a smoother ride, and I truly admire than, all done without a hint of possible narrowness, and a good kind heart. I do greatly appreciate him, and hope that you will too!


OpenID liquideggproduct said...

Derek's blog was the first I read consistently, and through him, discovered yours and many others. We quickly discovered an uncanny number of similarities.

It's one of the few blogs I'd recommend everyone to visit. (At least, those old enough or literate enough to get value out of it.)

When he took a work-related hiatus a couple months back, there was the nagging possibility that he'd drop off the blogosphere forever (predicated by his "flywheel" post).

Fortunately, he's bothered to stick around.

Sat Jun 21, 06:57:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Polly said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Derek at the USATE last February. Though his team wasn't very kind to our team. LOL

I enjoyed reading your essays from last year on various chess bloggers. Having joined the chess blogosphere several months after that I misssed them the first time around. It's nice to get a second chance without having to go hunting.

Sat Jun 21, 07:53:00 PM PDT  
Blogger tanc(happyhippo) said...

Derek's blog is one I read with fair regularity. And he never fails to give me a chuckle in many of his posts. :)

Sun Jun 22, 07:39:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Derek Slater said...

There's an expression - when someone offers you a compliment, say thanks and then try to live up to it.

I'm not sure I can be troubled to live up to this :) but thanks nevertheless. Unduly generous, as expected.

Reassembler is like stone soup; everybody who visits adds a different ingredient and because of that, it's tasty and interesting. If kinda weird.

Sun Jun 22, 12:56:00 PM PDT  
Blogger chessloser said...

someone should seriously just print out your blog, bind it, and sell it as a two or three volume chess book. i would buy it. it is the most eclectic, intelligent, interesting, amazing chess literature out there. seriously.

Sun Jun 22, 09:08:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks for the heads up. I've never really read his blog, and will have to take a look.

I have to admit, when I think I've found a cool new blogger or chess resource, 99.9% of the time I look at your sidebar and it's already there.

Mon Jun 23, 11:11:00 AM PDT  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

The First time I met Derek was through a service offered at our Metrowest Chess club a few years ago. He was the desginated game analyzer for the weary ones who submitted questions to the "experts". He was generous, kind and patient with the response to my horrendous game and perplexing question as to why i lose in won positions. That was back when I was in the 1300's.

His insight was direct and offered a glimpse as to how an expert views a position. " I just see that white's queen is hanging and perhaps goign after it like this woudl have helped your game." I had no clue about tactics ( still don't really).

He's just as refined in person as he presents himself on the blog. Not loud and boisterous like the blundering one. But then again, I have yet to head to USATE with the crew.

Derek, I'm glad to have you in my network!

Thanks David for continuing the series.

Tue Jun 24, 05:18:00 PM PDT  

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