2022 Dec 11 | Susanville blizzard, influencers chessboxing

I'm going to be driving to Susanville for work, so I'm keeping an eye on the road conditions. The California Highway Patrol at Truckee, which is on I-80 just north of Lake Tahoe, has a Facebook page, and that's a great way to see what's new. Right now, there's lots of snow there and chains are required.

Now they actually closed down the highway. Glad I'm not trying to get through there now; you'd have to turn around and try to find somewhere to stay for the night.

Also tracking the Susanville CHP Facebook page. It's not up in the mountains, so there's not nearly as much snow, but there's still some.

This website by the Department of Transportation is great, too. It shows where chains are required and where roads are closed.

Even though I'm not there yet, there's still some ice on the windshield I have to scrape off.

I think I'd rather be here; Christmas with a palm tree.

Born sad? Aw, that's sad. I hope they're happy now.

Driving to Susanville. An area to put chains on, although they're not required right now.

Lots of trucks on the road.

Lots of snow plows ready to go, too.

Pretty mountains, as long as the road isn't icy.

Still above freezing.

I tend to eat Hershey's with Almonds while driving because chewing on the nuts keeps me occupied. However, I couldn't find one at this gas station. I couldn't believe they didn't have it, so I kept looking and looking. I finally found this one, which is white. Normally it's a dark brown wrapper, so I kept scanning over this.

Now it's freezing. And as I've gotten away from the coast and farther inland, there's snow. The speed limit is around 60, but around 25 seems safer.

I was able to stay behind this snow plow for a while.

But then he turned off, so there was new snow on the road.

Most people were going about half the speed limit. This truck in front seemed more in a hurry, so he passed the three of us, but then he realized it was rather slippery and slowed down.

A while later, the other drivers had stopped, and it was only one guy in front of me. I saw a cop ahead by a car just into the ditch. I figured we'd both drive slowly around them, but the guy in front of me must have hit his breaks too hard, because he started spinning and sliding down the middle of the road. He was now blocking the left and middle of the road, so I had to weave between him and the cop. Thankfully nobody got hit. A bit later when the other driver pulled into down, he rolled his window down and gave me a thumbs up.

A truck driver putting chains on. Chains still aren't required on this road, but a lot of the truckers are putting them on to be safe.

Stuck behind a slow-moving semi. We're almost to town, though, so no hurry. I'm not going to try to pass him and risk sliding into the ditch to save a few minutes.

Everyone behind me is thinking the same.

Got safely into town and checked into the hotel. The next morning, a World Cup game was on, so everyone was watching it during breakfast.

Until the snow messed up the satellite signal.

It's just starting to snow a bit.

Snowing more.

And snowing a lot. I had originally planned to drive today, but since I had seen this blizzard coming, I thought I would try to beat it by driving last night. It took nine hours of driving instead of six as I was going slowly the last half of the trip on the snow, but there was still less snow last night than there is now.

I was going to check out the Lassen Historical Museum.

Except the sign said closed. Google Maps says it's open, so I wonder if they decided to not come in due to the snow.

Then I drove out to the little local casino to watch the next World Cup match. Lots of snow on the road, but there are some pretty good paths from previous cars.

This guy waiting for a bus looks to be in a white lab coat. That's not nearly as warm as a real coat.

The casino.

Mostly just slots inside; nothing fun like poker.

That's OK; I'm just here for the game.

Someone's phone is trying to connect to the TV.

I'm glad they now have the video assistant referee to catch things the human refs miss.

The I went into downtown Susanville. Not too much to do, although there was a store called Highway to the Gaming Zone.

In front they had used videogames.

And in the back pinball machines.

And a few older arcade games. Nothing I wanted to play, although a woman there with her kids said they loved coming here.

Love the 90s paintball coloration on the walls.

I-80 is closed again. I'm going to driving back that way in a few days, and it looks like the blizzard will have been over by a couple of days by then, but I'll still have to keep an eye on it. I'm glad I'm not trying to drive through that area right now.

A deer by the side of the road.

I went to Lassen Ale Works for dinner.

Pretty empty right now, but a bunch of people are going to come for a party in 30 minutes.

I had a beer sampler.

And a lot of pizza and breadsticks.

Driving back to the hotel, this doe was walking in the middle of the road.

Her two fawns were waiting in front of this house. I hope nobody hit them.

They didn't have any paper plates, but that's OK; I can just tear the pizza box and use sections of it as plates.

My shoulders were a bit sore from the long drives, so I went to this little place for a shoulder massage. There were no other customers there and only one masseuse. We talked a bit, and she had originally moved to LA from China, then to the Bay Area. Just recently she came up here to manage this place for some of her friends who had moved back to China. It's kind of the middle of nowhere, so not much to do, and very cold and snowy in the winter, so hopefully she either enjoys it here or can move somewhere else soon.

Setting up my new laptop. The battery pack is huge, which is one of the drawbacks of getting a gaming computer.

Also backing up all of my old hard drives onto the new ones. The new ones are so much smaller.

Sunday night there was a chessboxing event in Los Angeles with various influencers.

It was streamed on Luwig's YouTube channel, who hosted it. He also had Levy Rozman, a popular chess YouTuber, and Matt Thomas, the 2018 chessboxing world champion, as announcers.

The tale of the tape histories were funny.

The first few matches were actually Super Smash Bros rather than chess.

Then we got into the chess. None of them had much boxing experience, and many of them had very little chess experience. The guy on the right let his pawn sit one square away from queening for the entire game. Although maybe that's from getting hit in the head a lot during the boxing rounds.

This was the only boxing knowdown, between two of the heavier fighters.

Andrea Botez, a popular YouTube chess streamer, came out on her sister's shoulders.

Her opponent was the women's grandmaster Dina Belenkaya. The stream was also being announced in French and Spanish.

Andrea was in better shape than Dina, so everyone knew if she wanted to win, she'd have to win the boxing match.

Although she was almost checkmated here.

She managed to stall for the final few seconds of this chess round to get to the boxing round. Stalling is actually against the rules of chessboxing, but it's a rather gray area of whether a player is thinking or stalling, so she didn't get called for it.

She went all out in the boxing round because she knew she'd be checkmated if the match went back to chess after this, and she got two standing eight counts on her opponent, but in the final few seconds of the boxing round, Dina hung back on the ropes for a bit. Again, she should have been called for stalling, but the ref didn't call it.

So back to the chess, and Andrea resigned. It was probably the best match of the night. Interestingly, Dina had checkmate before the time ran out in the previous round of chess but didn't see it. That seems quite rare for a grandmaster to miss, so the boxing must have really affected her thinking. In fact, many players missed very simple moves in chess; I guess getting hit in the head repeatedly makes it harder to concentrate.

This doesn't seem like it's going to be a very serious match.

The boxing was actually very good.

Although these two were by far the worst chess players of the night. The one guy kept looking to the audience for advice. It obvious wasn't a very serious match as the chess arbiter just laughed rather than yelling at him.

After the final match, a surprise: Ludwig, the host, had a match with someone else.

Although instead of chess boxing, they did chess slapping. They each got to slap the other one time between rounds of chess.

The chess game was very exciting, and both were very low on time and moving super fast, but Ludwig's time just barely ran out first. It was a really fun event to watch.