Thursday, May 24, 2007

Go West, Young Man

So, I mentioned that I might eventually share some more Scavenmixen. In that line, here's the (greatly anticipated and feared) Go West, Young Man road trip mix, one of many from this year's epic journey.

1. The Better Boyfriends - a clip from "The Power of Crisis Compels You" - And now it's time....
2. Roadside Theatre - There Was a Time/Dyin' If I'm Lyin' - There was a time when that wilderness went on forever.
3. The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist - Have I ever told you a story of cowboys and Indians and midgets and frontier psychiatrists?
4. Moxy Früvous - Get in the Car - Don't give me that, you know who you are. Get in the car.
5. Dar Williams - Traveling Again - More speed, more deeds, more sky, more weeds.
6. What the Kids Want - Broken-Down Plan - It's the pearl of the Midwest, it's the town on your trip that you loved best.
7. They Might Be Giants - The End of the Tour - The engagements are booked through the end of world, so we'll meet at the end of the tour.
8. The Long Winters - Carparts - I'm leaving under cover of darkness.
9. Soulcrate Music - Thunderstorm - A black cloud over Sioux Falls.
10. The Long Winters - (It's a) Departure - I like the old days, but not all the old days; only the good old days.
11. DragonForce - Evening Star - We will sail on, forever on.
12. Relient K - Pressing On - Out of mind, out of state.
13. Kid Koala - Alright: Music for More Morning People - Statistics show that too much caffeine is not good for you, and I know it's sooo easy because I myself used to have, oh, 63, 64 cups a day.
14. Napoleon XIV - I Owe a Lot to Iowa Pot - ...and that's NOT just Iowa corn.
15. Jonathan Coulton - Just as Long as Me - It's a sad and lonesome story and the shorter folks don't care.
16. Calibretto - Don't Go into the Woods - Don't go into unknown places.
17. Maldroid - Heck No! (I'll Never Listen to Techno) - HECK NO!
18. America - Sister Golden Hair Surprise - Well, I tried to make it Sunday....
19. A New Found Glory - Dressed to Kill - You're always on tour, and you're never home.
20. The Arrogant Worms - Horizon - Cataclysmic combustion, picturesque powered pistons, accelerating automotive alarms, stunningly stupefying stereo stunts. One man, a dream, a car.
21. The Magnetic Fields - Reno Dakota - You know you enthrall me.
22. John Reischman and the Jaybirds - Prairie Girl - (BANJO SOLO!!!)
23. Toots and the Maytals - Take Me Home, Country Roads - West [South Dakota], mountain momma, take me home.
24. Becky Stark - The Car Song - Pump all the gas that your stomach can hold.
25. Johnny Cash - I Fought the Law - Great big rocks and the hot sun.
26. Eisley - Marvelous Things - Oh what marvelous things!
27. Bon Jovi - Livin' on a Prayer - We're halfway there.
28. Dar Williams - Iowa - You were wandering out on the hills of Iowa.
29. The Magnetic Fields - Two Characters in Search of a Country Song - You were Calamity Jane and I was Wild Bill
30. The Mountain Goats - Jenny - 900 cc's of raw, winding power, no outstanding warrants for my arrest.
31. David Byrne - A Million Miles Away - I can see your house from here.
32. Garth Brooks - Ain't Goin' Down 'Til the Sun Comes Up - Goin' round the world in a pickup truck.
33. The Arrogant Worms - The Mounted Animal Nature Trail (live) - They're never hungry anymore, their last meal left them stuffed.

And that's it. I'm sure most of the road trippers understand how these songs tie in. (#15: All the road-trippy Judges were just really tall). Except for the random songs nobody's heard of. I recommend, in that case, that you look them up. I mean, I like them all, and I'm the objective standard.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Scav-end "Rememberies"

Though Scav Hunt is now over, its legacy remains (as see above). Now that certain periods of "the urge" (in the They'll Do It Every Time sense) have passed, I feel I can comment on the various ridicu-awesome things that I had the privilege to judge in the past few days. First: The Fourth Quadriennial Scav Hunt Light Tackle Lil' Wobbler Round-Up. Up at 5 AM on Friday, at the Point by 5:30, just in time for dawn to break. Only three competitors showed up: a team of two (Bruce and Nolan) from Snell-Hitchcock, and a guy (Tom) from Max Palevsky. The former had an actual rod and tackle, while the latter brought a stick with a nail hammered into it, a circa-1960s film reel entitled "The World of the Molecule" scavenged from Searle used as the reel, and a Red Stripe bottlecap as the lure. Because this set-up lacked any real casting mechanism, Tom had to just twirl the lure around, bolas-style, toss it into the water, and then manually troll it in. He did this for hours on end, which earned my deep and serious respect, especially when he ran out of bait (which was only a dead leech from the slomming item) and tried to use a broken vodka bottle to catch tadpoles in the water. Mad respect also to Bruce and Nolan for actually catching fish, including a nice big gizzard shad, and the random guy from F.I.S.T. who showed up not to compete, but just to watch fishing occur, because apparently the dude loves fish. I can sympathize. Altogether, this was easily one of my favorite events of the fourdays, especially because it was so different in tone from most of the Scav shenanigans--just a nice, quiet start to the day, sitting around with a few guys and chatting it up for a few hours.

Another relatively low-key event that I had a great time at: ScavenFeast 2007. There was a ton of incredibly delicious food to be had there, all of which was enjoyed. My personal fave raves would have to be the algae-Provençal bread and cranberry sand dollar cake from Broadview, the bacon-date skewers from F.I.S.T., the dark matter-based whisky cake from Snell-Hitchcock, and the spiced Swedish meatballs from BJ. As for individual items, the one that consistently gave me the most joy to judge would have to be the Simpsons clown bed (again, see above). I just never got tired of seeing that horrific harlequin given physical form and properly intoning, "If you should die before you waaaaaake...HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!" Even better was the fact that during the Saturday night HQ visits, I saw a number of these beds occupied by overtaxed Scavvies in need of a crash-spot, heedless of the menace posed by this clown, which will eat you. God, I love you guys.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Pub Crawling on the SS Quads...

Judge Christian's rage-filled and hilarious monologues not-withstanding, the Scav Party turned out aight. In the final estimation, though an underwhelming ScavParty, as a regular party, it was pretty okay. Not the Scav Party of our youth, but no one did anything exceedingly stupid on camera, and it passed relatively smoothly. What's good and what is lamentable about this should at once be obvious to the astute reader. Moreso than anything, it was a large group of hardcore scavvies getting together for a bash. Certainly it was a little less epic, but on the other hand partying with Scavvies is better than partying with frat row, and the the former group almost never decides to brawl. On the other hand... who doesn't love a little element of danger?

In many respects, the actual lack of booze was not the thing that contributed to the slightly dour mood, so much as the mere thought of administration control of any aspect of Scavhunt. We're supposed to be the renegades! Not playing to the man! Of course, this was better than no party, and I had fun, but still meh....

Yes, ORCSA is very very very very stupid. Yes, their restrictions were idiotic. Yes we fought them tooth and nail. But so much was made-up last minute that... you know what? You've heard this all before.

The booze situation may have overshadowed the fact that there were some really nice party set-ups. The Prancing Pony kept Middle Earth jumping, the BJDJ was excellent Gonk 3.0 made us give hopes for the rebellion, I got some letters of transit, saw wizards duel and Can-Canners Cann-Canning, drank my first (virgin) Flaming Moe, ate a hotdog with John Belushi, and well... am a frayed knot. Girls jumped out of cakes, we swayed to Piano Man, we beat each other with foam light sabers and unicorn-hair-filled sticks, Sam played it again, and Han always, ALWAYS shot first. Better than some former scavparties, I hear judges with more history tell.

Would this have been been if this had been less restricted? Obviously. Was it still a good time? Yes, Yes, a thousand times. What does the future of the Scav Party hold? Only time will tell.


Friday, May 11, 2007


I was going to put up a post about all the awesome things I saw today, but I can't. I'm too sad and angry right now, because Administration is ruining Scav Hunt. ORCSA has crossed lines that simply cannot be crossed. It's like those movies where someone steals Christmas, then Ernest has to save it. Only there's no Ernest for us.



Stick to the stuff you know

...and it's been pretty obvious so far that all you scavvies know how to do is be awesome. Don't break out of that box.

Yesterday held a lot of cool things outside of the Ha Ha Haus of Comedy, and I thought you might like to hear them. Most prominent, of course, was our first episode of "Making the Band", where we met The Four Triangle Massacre, Syphylys, The Plurals, and Morrighan. I couldn't find the myspace for those last two, but when and if I do (Edit: I did), I will correct this. I'm really looking forward to hearing some DOOM POLKA at four today, I gotta say.

Other occurances yesterday: Totally sweet version of "Stick to the Status Quo" in Bartlett, complete with slack-jawed cafeteria employees. One easter egg slipped to the judges. One class interrupted with delicious beverage.

The Masque of Youth! What can I say? The ceremony was suitably pompous, and I have trouble imagining that the original could have been much better. To do it justice might take several thousand words; fortunately, several pictures were taken.

Despite cooler temperatures and a bit of a wind, the tea parties were by and large ramped up from yesterday. I was able to find at least four "Mystery Teas", all of which we fantastic! Furthermore, we received our second egg, and also dispersed many of our own on unsuspecting scavvies. Team Judge is totally going to win this year.

Other occurances today: Borg of the Jungle, clad in a sarong, swung from a tree and got hilariously stuck, dangling by his high-tech vine. Once freed, it was able to assimilate the entire quads in a matter of minutes. Judges, other teams, passerby - all of their uniqueness was added to the collective. A shining example of one of the many ways to complete an item.

I sat in on a class where the teacher got a phone call (with an extremely appropriate ringtone) informing him that the city was in danger. He immediately sent forth his crime-fighting protegees amidst cries of "Oh no!" "Oh no!" "Oh no!" "OH YEAH!" as the Kool-Aid Man burst into the room. When the crimefighters and the giant pitcher had gone, the professor turned back to the chalkboard and started writing equations as he resumed his lecture. The class, including myself, found this hilarious. The professor turned towards the class and said over our laughter that the material was important and we had to get through it.

That's all I was witness to, unfortunately. I hear there was another cafeteria musical, another superhero, and a dorm room in the Reg as well, but I missed out. I also slept through the alarm to go fishing, but I hear it was awesome.

Now you can laugh yourself to sleep!

So I found a sandwich platter at the BaSiLiCa; it's probably still there. But that is not what this story is about.

The night began with a wonderful performance by our MC, Judge "not a professional comic" Tricky. It was extra wonderful because there were cookies. The rest of the acts: no cookies. That was their first mistake.

The night had everything, from angry comics getting boo-ed off the stage to professional comics warming things up for headlining students. There were improv monologues, well-rehearsed skits, and many humourous songs. There were absolutely no such thing as tractors.

All in all, a smashing success. I congratulate all who performed, you were all great in our eyes. Nota bene: This may include great embarrassment. In any case, you made our, and from the sound of it each other's, night.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fit to a Tea

There's nothing quite as satisfying as both a nice cup of tea, and a good quads item, and thankfully both are in abudance this hunt.

Admittedly, I'm not much of a Tea Drinker, but I must say that more than a few tickled my pallette in the right way (Specifically the Apple-Cinnamon, Caramel, Sweet Peach, Mint, and Honey Vanilla Varieties... basically ones that were doing everything in their power not to taste like tea.)

What's more, each teams presentation had its own charm, from the Majestic Tea-House of the Snell-Hitchcock moon, to Colonel Palevsky's Tea Parlour, to the teams with a simple "Tea, Blanket, and cute kimono girls with clever conversation" set, just were great. Though I didn't know many of those presenting, everywhere I went it was like I was amongst old friends. Clever in concept, excellent in execution, and certainly a service to the school. I may be speaking too soon, but this Hunt is awesome!

I guess it's the weather, really... I really don't know how my opinion would change if it were 50 degrees and raining out. I'd probably be more antsy to get back to Judge HQ rather than lounge about the Quads cracking jokes. We praise you Weathorr. May tomorrow bring more of the same.

Bringing the Class

As I sit in my International Politics and Statecraft in Mesopotamia class, I can't help but think just how phenomenally most of the teams came through with the captains' attire. To the captains who read this - uncomfortible as your garb may be in this beautiful, beautiful weather, you all look spectacular.

A bunch of other judges have already chimed in with their thoughts on the list release, but I think it went quite well. All teams had the list within an hour, which is just enough time before people's enthusiasm begins to wane as the clock chimes 1. But yes, it's been great so far and the Hunt is only 12 hours old. 72 hours to go.

More like BALLSgowns

There's nothing like a room full of pretty ladies, and sure enough, the Captains' Ball this morning was nothing like a room full of pretty ladies.

To be honest, the Ball was actually very much like a room full of pretty ladies. I just said that other bit because I'm really cheesy. It was truly a sight to see. Many captains wore make-up or heel to great effect. MacPierce's Cap'n Rob had a particularly stunning pair of earings; they really pulled the outfit together. Fortunately for you all, they'll have to be dressed up at every major event, so there will be plenty of opportunities for ogling and blackmail photos.

Also on the bill this morning was the "Go West, Young Costner!" road trip sendoff. BEWARE! Rattlesnakes! The Clan Costner was impressive, to be sure. The sheer number of sharpie'd-on sideburns was enthralling. True, the Robin Hoods were a little too much "Peter Pan" and not quite enough "highway banditry", but everyone loves generalised pagentry. Some of the Costnerastoga wagons were quite impressive, as well. There was also a mighty fine smoothy, but I was able to name three of the ingredients right away, no problem. They're still secret to you, though.

We also gave them our official Badlands Mix, the one we listened to as we drove through the State Park ourselves. Composed by Jim Ryan, here it is:

Badlands Mix:
1. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
2. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
3. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
4. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
5. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
6. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
7. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
8. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
9. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
10. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
11. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
12. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
13. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
14. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
15. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
16. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
17. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
18. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
19. Bruce Springsteen - Badlands

We wanted to make it a round 21, but this is all we could fit on the CD. It's a great mix, though. If you don't have any of those tracks, I encourage you to acquire them immediately.

As the Fourdays progess, perhaps we'll share some other favorite mixes with you, but right now I'm getting kind of thirsty. I think it's time for a spot of tea, dont' you?

PS. The list and the photo hunt cues are online, for those of our viewers watching from home.

For Stat-Heads like Me...

The Order of Teams Getting the List was as follows:

1. Max P. (Who apparently had the fortitude to have a black light pen WITH THEM AT IDA.)
2. Broadview (Who did us a major solid by offering to help collect the lists from the fountain when it looked like the Police would shut us down.)
3. BJ
4. Shoreland
5/6: Snell/Broover (Showed up at almost the same time)
7. MacPierce
8. The Fist


This was easily the most wild and madcap list release in recent Scav history, and from my limited perspective at least this resulted in much joy. Jim has already detailed the basic idea behind this year's release (spy instructions, invisible ink, actual lists in the Law School fountain), so I will just note the particulars of the frantic search. Like an enraged nest of fire ants, the teams swarmed--first through Ida following the photo clues, then, after they received "blank" papers, vengeful pseudopods from the larger teams streamed out from sundry points on campus, engulfing all those unfortunate enough to stand in their way. Myself and Judge Jonathan were trying to drive over to the fountain when a massive contingent of Snell-Hitchcockers surrounded our van. The situation could only be described as zombie movie-esque, with the crazed horde pounding on the windows and positioning themselves in front of the car, doubtless eager to crack open our skulls so that sweet, sweet secrets could flow forth. Eventually we were able to back up without harming anyone and pull out (even then, they clung to the sides!), and after some more shenanigans we made it to the fountain, where we learned that three teams had already received their lists, and indeed, Max actually beat the Judges there. For all the fooferall and how-do-you-do, however, List Release was a happily short affair this year, with most of the teams receiving their lists in well under an hour, and even the straggler, F.I.S.T., picking up the goods only a few minutes after 1:00.

What are the scavvies doing right now?

So just a few points about Junior Pilot. I was pretty much right about everything: the gun-toting scary guy was the Air Marshall, the.... actually, I can't recall any other predictions. Huh.

So, all in all, the first night of the Fourdays is a success. All but one team got their list within three quarters of an hour, and I got to tell a team that the reason their list was blank was because they'd opened it before getting back to headquarters. Awesome.

And now, the sleepy judges drift off to sleep. Except me. I'm burning eight copies of a very special road-trip Scavenmix. The teams will love it.

So what are the teams doing now? They are right now, even now, as the Hot Side Hot slumbers, losing points, never to be regained.

San Dimas High School Football rules!!!

And so it begins...

After what seems to be one of the most successful list releases ever the Judges have retired to their Casa de Amor and are enjoying the pure pubescence of Pilot Junior. The list release involved the following: A recorded message addressing the Scav Captains which told them to open some envelopes that had pictures inside them that led them to the basement of Ida Noyes. They were led into the deep dark locker room where certain Judges were lurking inside lockers with envelopes. These envelopese were marked "Do not open until Xmas ... and by Xmas we mean HQ". The captains were led to believe that inside the envelopes was the list. They were wrong. Inside the list was a packet of papers with the list title page. The rest of the pages were blank. Or at least until they shined a black light on them and noticed that there were secret messages written in invisible ink, such as "Sorry Mario, your list is on another page". The third page of each packet instructed the captains to go to the Law School Fountain. We proceeded to throw the real lists into the fountain where the teams had to wade through knee deep water to secure their lists. As intricate this sounds, and as worried we were that it wouldn't work out, all the teams had their lists by ten after one (within an hour and ten minutes after everything began in Ida).

I must say that we all were incredibly impressed with the way List Release began. It has truly been a credit to the ingenuity of the teams and indeed an incredibly goood omen for what will surely be the most epic Hunt ever. It has begun, but indeed it has only just.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

1.5 hours

I don't think I'll be doing this in 45 minutes.

Are you ready?

No, you are not ready. But I'll see you at Ida an hour hence, with jinglebells on.

Once more, I say to thee, "Suit up!"

3 hours

"I'll meet you at the bar in fifteen minutes. Suit up!"

4 hours 'till 4 days!

What would you do if I told you there were fours left before the fourdays?

Would you scream? would you shout? Would you wriggle all about?

6 hours

Are you ready?

No, you are not ready.

I'm not ready, either. I was practicing just now, and my Soul Cal skills are mad rusty. Not that that means anything to you, but, you know, Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared.

But you won't be.



12 hours

So now, the time when we should all be doing last-minute pre-homework, is of course the time when we are least able to do it. What else can we think about? Seriously.

This is especially true for those of us who anticipate this being our last Hunt. Now, the boundaries are often notoriously poor on this matter, but even if I do come back next year, it won't be the same. I'm sure it's the same on the teams. This year, it's something AWESOME that I helped build, with my own two hands and a red pen. Next year, who knows? It'll be someone else's baby. And while someone else's baby is always less stressful, I believe it's always your own that's the cutest.

Also, for the record, this list -especially this roadtrip- will rock you. You may well never be the same. Are you ready?

No. No, you're not ready.

Jitters, Shakes, Butterflies, Wobbles, etc.

For the last few hours (because, yes, I woke up at 7.30 this morning with the jitters) I've been trying to come up with a better way to say that I'm deliriously excited for 12:01 tonight, and I've found that really? Can't do it. All I can seem to manage is sipping nervously at my coffee, pondering the shaved lemons that are sitting on the counter and pretending like all of the schoolwork I have due during the hunt will magically disappear if I will it so.

It's like Christmas morning and my parents are demanding that I work on an essay before opening presents.



If there is a list...

Just to clarify, Jim's post should in no way indicate that there is or is not going to be a list. (insert cackle)

Prelude to the Fourdays!

Welcome one and all to the Scav Hunt Blog! This website will keep a running commentary from all active (and a few non-active) Scavenger Hunt Judges during the next fourdays (May 10-13).

We have all been slaving away at providing a fantastical list that will shock, awe and amaze you all once it is release at 12:01am this evening. I personally want to thank each one of the Judges for working as an amazingly cohesive yet individualistic unit this year. As it is my first year as Head Judge, I must say this is the biggest thing I've ever done and it at times has been overwhelming, hard, and frustrating but in this calm before the storm I am nothing but ecstatic. I hardly slept last night, not out of frantic preparation but out of sheer excitement. I offer one prediction and that is that this will be the best Scav Hunt... EVAR!!!!


Head Judge Jim