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 Post subject: Disjointed thoughts about returning to cubing.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:23 am
Location: massachusetts, USA
Hi.

A while back, I had decided to get rid of nearly all my puzzles, save my 3x3 - 5x5, megaminx, and personal mods (which were hardly eventful, but I was young). The reason being that I had found myself in a rut of non-progression, and found it hard to really be a part of the community when my only interaction was online. I rediscovered and progressed my yoyoing, leading into the downfall of my cubing. I found it fostered progression more, since you could explore and create new concepts without the need for additional hardware, as I felt it was with puzzles.

During this time away, I really pushed my hobby. I invented new yoyo moves and concepts, released videos, won/placed in state and regional contests, and attended/hosted events (I now host the annual MA/NH Yoyo BBQ). Along with this, I made tons of new friends, some of which I consider to be the best I've ever had, again something I never fully achieved with puzzling. Looking back, I think that was mostly my fault, but I also think that accessibility to a local community was and still is very small (though a few yoyo shops are getting puzzle clubs rolling, and cubing is gaining popularity).

Anyhow, I still lurked around the sidelines to a degree. I bought two SengEn FIIs upon recommendation when discussing my hiatus with a fellow yoyoer on an IRC channel (I had a pretty crummy experience with a certain channel at one point, which kept me from frequenting these channels. I've submitted a thread regarding this, and am aware that it was just this particular channel.). These served me pretty well, and I still have one, which I am using to teach my roommate with. I also continued to lurk around on the forums and a few YouTube channels. Oskar's channel in particular really kept me holding on, and I regained even more faith in the growth of cubing when designs and collaborations began being produced for a larger market.

I learned a new method of solving the 3x3 during my "lurking" period when I bought the FIIs. Corners-First (Ortega)/Edge Keyhole has been a blast, and it reinforced my opinion that speed is one of the least interesting facets of cubing for me, when I can have a blast just doing a smooth solve with a fascinating method. After I've demonstrated absolute command of this method, I will most likely move onto (or maybe create?) a new method to keep this mentality fresh. I don't want to learn Fridrich; intuitiveness and wonky-ness is my main aim. This is the same reason why I don't really solve higher order cubes that much. I prefer a whole new turning /method/ as opposed to a larger number of similar possible turns. (Although, I am working on a reduction method for the 4x4 that revolves around the corners, turning it into a 2x2; 3x3 reduction methods bore me a little. Has anyone done this yet?)

I think what really confirmed that I wanted to return was when I bought a Curvy Copter puzzle through complete impulse. There was just something about it that really jabbed at me when I saw it; between its almost simple appearance, to its true dual challenge because of the ability to jumble. I know I've said on occasion that I don't like shapeshifters or jumblers at all, and I'm still mixed, but this reintroduction to current puzzles through the Curvy Copter really took me back to the fun I recall 5 years ago, when everything was new and exciting. This time, however, I wasn't looking at a truly innovative puzzle online, I was holding it in my hands in the college library, trying to keep my giggles under wraps as I jumbled it for the first time.

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I'm trying to keep things on a small scale at the moment. I've purchased a Dayan ZhanChi, Rex Cube, and a whole bunch of CubeSmith stickers for all of my new and old puzzles, such as the Eastsheen 4x4 and 5x5 I decided to keep. I might buy some new higher order cubes at some point (higher order being >3x3) because my 5x5's core has cracked for the third time, and I don't really feel like messing with it anymore. It's in a plastic baggie at the moment. I don't know, I may buy another to see if I can learn a method to reinvigorate my appreciation for larger cubes, but I can't find myself being motivated enough. Perhaps at a later date. The 4x4 is holding up, so I might just stick with that in the meantime.

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To put a clincher on this big fat mess, I've been creeping my way back into cubing, like a puddle being absorbed by the edge of a rug, I guess. The innovation that is not only more present, but also more /accessible/ these days really really excites me, and my new outlook on puzzling methods is my attempt to keep things fresh for a longer period. I'm not sure, I'll probably stick to the edge for a bit and lurk. Just wanted to share my experiences thusfar, if only to say that I'm making my way back and having a bit of fun and making discoveries in the process.

Also one last thing, I made this thread immediately after solving my friends's 7x7. I got the feeling that if I can still do it after 5 or so years of not touching or thinking about one (and I only solved it /one single time/ back then), as far as my brain is concerned, cubing is here to stay.

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If you made it this far, thanks for reading my smattering of thoughts.

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-Patrick Condon


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 Post subject: Re: Disjointed thoughts about returning to cubing.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:48 pm
Location: Canada
It's interesting to see how puzzling can stick in some one life :lol: . Even if you loose interest in cubing, it will always cath up a day or another :shock: .

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 Post subject: Re: Disjointed thoughts about returning to cubing.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:04 pm
Location: Sioux Lookout, Canada
Hi Patrick. That was an interesting introduction.

Hobbies ebb and flow, particularly when we're young. One of my hobbies during my teens was photography. I've been involved in photography to one degree or another ever since. Another hobby was disc-jockeying, but that interest faded.

This is a great forum to read and learn about the incredible variety of twisty puzzles. I enjoy the challenge of solving puzzles where I can take my time and - in some cases - develop my own solutions. I look for puzzles with interesting geometry or solving characteristics.

I am intrigued by your idea to reduce a 4x4 to a 2x2. I'm going to try it. Perhaps eventually you will combine your interest in yo-yo with puzzle solving.

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 Post subject: Re: Disjointed thoughts about returning to cubing.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:07 am
Location: Germany, Bavaria
Following Pete's suggestion, I moved the posts about 444 reduction to a 222 to this thread in the Solving forum.

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