CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

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Jennifer Steadman
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CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:23 pm

FOCAL is coming back to Birmingham, and that can only mean one thing: it’s the Co:Brum/FOCAL finals double header!

At the end of the busiest ever Countdowning year, just two tournaments will remain - Co:Brum and the FOCAL finals - and once more they’ll be happening side by side. While our top 8 battle it out for who can take the title of FOCAL champion for the year, everyone else can compete for the chance to win their own title: Co:Brum champion 2017! And, as a thank you to everyone for helping this be the biggest, most successful Co-event year ever, we’ve lowered the entry fee from last year, and will be re-investing levies into goodies for attendees.

Date: Saturday 2nd December 2017
Venue: Strathallan Hotel, 225 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, B16 9RY
Admission: £12.50
Doors open: 10.30am (draw at 11am)
Presented by: Jeff Clayton and Jen Steadman
Games to be played: 7 (plus the grand FOCAL final)
Finishes by: 5:30pm

WHAT?
Come along and join us from 10:30am to play seven 9-rounders, before watching (or playing, for 2 of the top 8) the showpiece grand final to decide the FOCAL champion 2017. The event will use a classroom-style format, with the draw done with traditional Swiss pairings after the initial round (as requested by you, the punters, last year).

This year, we’ve decided to theme a little, beyond the standard “It’s a bit Christmassy” vibe, and go for... an “anti-Christmas” theme. Think grinches, bad tempered elves, and fallen stars. We’ll have lots of ways for you to get involved in the unfestivities over the coming months!

WHERE?
Our venue once more is the 4* Hallmark Strathallan Hotel in Birmingham, just a couple of miles from all central bus and rail hubs, and with connections from Birmingham International Airport.

HOW TO BOOK
The entry fee is £12.50 including a buffet lunch; please advise upon booking of any special dietary requirements. Refreshments are not included in the price but are available to purchase. To secure your place, send your entry fee to Chris Marshall, FOCAL treasurer, via PayPal to chrismarshall82@btinternet.com (please remember to select payment to friends and family), or via cheque (address available on request)

Each of the top 8 players will have their entry fee refunded, by way of a prize.

Bookings including the buffet lunch can be taken up and until Wednesday 15th November. After this, entries may still be taken for the full price but players are not guaranteed lunch.

STAYING OVER?
FOCAL have once again arranged for a dinner, bed and breakfast rate to be available for the nights of Friday 1st December and Saturday 2nd December at a rate of £73 per night for single occupancy or £99 per night for double or twin occupancy. You can take advantage of this offer on either or both nights. E-mail focalcountdown@gmail.com to request a booking form, or you can download one from our website.

Hotel room bookings can be taken up to and including Friday 3rd November.

ANY QUESTIONS?
Please feel free to email us at focalcountdown@gmail.com.

See you in Birmingham in December!

Going (17):
Zarte Siempre
Jack Worsley
Paul Worsley
Mike Brown
Adam Dexter
Gevin Chapwell
Tim Down
Graeme Cole
Tom Cappleman
Nathan Pace
Tracey Mills
Mark Mills
Kevin Davis
Jayne Wisniewski
Stewart Gordon
Thomas Carey
Stephen Read
Last edited by Jennifer Steadman on Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:25 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Matt Morrison
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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Matt Morrison » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:39 am

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:23 pm
After the busiest ever Countdowning year, just two tournaments remain - Co:Brum and the FOCAL finals
Did I misunderstand or did you just take a big steaming dump on Zarte and JR? (and maybe others?)

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Jennifer Steadman
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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:00 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:39 am
Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:23 pm
After the busiest ever Countdowning year, just two tournaments remain - Co:Brum and the FOCAL finals
Did I misunderstand or did you just take a big steaming dump on Zarte and JR? (and maybe others?)
Z wrote it, so he'd be taking a big steaming dump on himself if so. (Although we know he's a deviant, so...)

Serious answer: misunderstanding - it means 'after the qualifying events have concluded, just two tournaments will remain', but can see how it's probably more easily read as your interpretation. (I'd also be dumping on Eddy and Alan.)
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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:02 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:39 am
Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:23 pm
After the busiest ever Countdowning year, just two tournaments remain - Co:Brum and the FOCAL finals
Did I misunderstand or did you just take a big steaming dump on Zarte and JR? (and maybe others?)
It certainly looks like it.

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Zarte Siempre » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:23 pm

As Jen said, I wrote it, just a sentence that makes perfect sense if you're involved. Clumsy phrasing, no need to start any grumbling. One extra word should make intention clearer :)
Possibly the first contestant to accelerate with a mic clipped...

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:38 am

Honestly one of the worst sentences ever.

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Heather Styles » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:55 pm

An "anti-Christmas" theme is a terrible idea, even by you guys' standards. It's no better than anti any other religious festival.

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Zarte Siempre » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:47 pm

Heather Styles wrote:
Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:55 pm
An "anti-Christmas" theme is a terrible idea, even by you guys' standards. It's no better than anti any other religious festival.
Oh that's a pity, will you not be coming?
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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Heather Styles » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:10 pm

If you'd made it an anti-Hannukah theme, would you be imagining that was in any way cool?

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Heather Styles » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:18 pm

(Also, ad hominem attacks are usually a sign of a lost argument.)

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Matty Artell » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:41 pm

Hannukah isn't *quite* as ingrained into our culture as Christmas.

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Heather Styles » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:54 pm

Matty Artell wrote:
Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:41 pm
Hannukah isn't *quite* as ingrained into our culture as Christmas.
You're right, Matty. It wasn't an exact parallel. It just makes me sad that Focal, which I worked hard to establish, has come to this. I feel sorry for anyone whose idea of fun is to knock what is essentially a festival of love, light, peace and goodwill.

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Matt Morrison » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:01 am

I think if Christmas was still a respected religious festival, like Hannukah or Diwali or something still is, then you'd be absolutely right Heather. However, Christmas has become something pretty gross and superficial these days. However one's experience is balanced (individually or as part of a family) to prioritise the good of Christmas (love, goodwill) or the bad of Christmas (commercialism, consumerism, excessive presents, showing off), either way it's become pretty un-religious for most people.

I think typically anything positioning itself as anti-Christmas is not only _not_ trying to be heretic or blasphemous, I don't even think it's really being anti the good-side of the non-religious bit of Christmas, the family and the love and stuff you point out as being good. I think "anti-Christmas" is mostly a mix of being against the _bad_ side of the non-religous bit of Christmas, the shallow consumerism, and expressing a personal disinterest in the light-hearted celebratory side (decorations, singing, traditions).

No one has any problem with being against the consumerism, as even if we all partake in it to some extent we all still know it kinda sucks, and being against the celebratory side is just... that's just the humbug bit. Each to their own. It's not me, as I love Christmas for the reasons you mention, but I'm not offended by anyone not liking Christmas because I don't think they are expressing a dislike in the good honest valid notions you point out.

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Heather Styles » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:09 pm

Thanks, Matt, for a thoughtfully worded and helpful post. I suppose I would only say that if one means anti-consumerism, perhaps say that, and leave Christmas out of it. In homes and churches in many parts of the world, it still is a meaningful religious festival.

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Jennifer Steadman
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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:45 pm

If you'd like to stay at the venue on the Friday, Saturday or both, details are here!
proud tiara owner and annoying publicity person who tells you to click links to the the FOCAL website.

(and also to my TRAVEL BLOG)

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Zarte Siempre » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:22 am

Good day to you!

It’s now just a month and a half until our end of year event, and so this seems like a good opportunity to announce one of the things we’ll be doing!

See, traditionally at this time of year, many groups such as ours will be having a secret Santa, but for us, the only option was to have a secret Satan!

The premise is thus: Anyone choosing to join in has a budget of £5 to come up with the most useless possible gift for the person whose name they receive in a random draw. Such gifts should be bought with a sense of fun, and not designed to offend (gentle ribbing is fine though).

Copouts such as “I just didn’t buy anything because that’s a useless gift” will be punishable by death, then mockery, then some more death.

If you’re interested in getting involved, please leave an “in” reply in response to this message – the random draw will be done 2 weeks prior to the event to give everyone a chance to sort out their pointless shopping! (No need to in if you've done so on the near-identical FB post)

Let’s have some fun!

Z x
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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:19 pm

In. But specifically in on the c4c post rather than the Facebook post.

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Zarte Siempre » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:16 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:19 pm
In. But specifically in on the c4c post rather than the Facebook post.
Noted. Eyerolled at, but noted.
Possibly the first contestant to accelerate with a mic clipped...

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by DJ Marky Mark » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:07 pm

Me and Tracey Coming in on train at Birmingham New Street at 9am, is there public transport from the station to venue.
My Name is Mark Mills and am the one who has to put up with Tracey 24/7

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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Zarte Siempre » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:38 pm

DJ Marky Mark wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:07 pm
Me and Tracey Coming in on train at Birmingham New Street at 9am, is there public transport from the station to venue.
If I'm reading it correctly, the numbers 120, 120A, 127 and 128 will all take you to the venue from Birmingham NS
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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Adam Dexter » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:06 am

DJ Marky Mark wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:07 pm
Me and Tracey Coming in on train at Birmingham New Street at 9am, is there public transport from the station to venue.
Yep you'll want a bus heading to Edgebaston or the Hagley Road... there are loads that head down there as it's an artery road to the rest of the West Mids / M5 :)
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Re: CoBirmingham/The FOCAL Finals 2017

Post by Mark Murray » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:37 pm

Just over couple of weeks left at which point hotel will want to know details of who will be staying at the hotel Friday/Saturday night or both nights. As with last year, they may consider circumstances for rooms on these nights after this date (dependant on availability), however if you have decided that you will be staying at the hotel either (or both) nights, please send payment to Chris ASAP to avoid disappointment.

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