an in-between move

Cool kids read The Bellman.


Don't read this blog!

I mean, thanks for dropping by my little corner of the blogospheric backwaters, but the blog you should be reading is The Bellman. The stuff I post there is much, much less likely to be imbued with dormitive powers.


[German, from zwischen, intermediate + zug, move

Literally an "in-between move". A move in a tactical sequence is called a zwischenzug* when it does not relate directly to the tactical motif in operation. |source|

image copyright TWIC

From this position, black played a zwischenzug: 19…d5
(Linares 2002, 1-0)


about your blogger

David Rowland studies philosophy at the University of Illinois - Urbana / Champaign, where he's an active member of the Graduate Employees Organization. He used to play a lot of chess, but wasn't all that good. He has a blog. And email.


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$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone





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some folks I know

Mark Dilley
a daily dose of architecture
Safety Neal
January Girl
mimi jingcha
Hop, Skip, Jump
ambivalent imbroglio
Brooke & Lian


some blogs I read

strip mining for whimsy
It's Matt's World
School of Blog
Fall of the State
Dru Blood
Echidne of the Snakes
Colossal Waste of Bandwidth
Running from the Thought Police
Bionic Octopus


some philosoblogs

Fake Barn Country
Freiheit und Wissen


some labor blogs

Confined Space
Working Life
Dispatches From the Trenches
Labor Blog
Eric Lee


some A-list blogs

This Modern World
Matthew Yglesias
Andrew Sullivan
Political Animal
The Volokh Conspiracy


some other links

Rule 33
This Week in Chess
War Nerd
National Priorities Project
Bible Gateway
Internet Archive
A Weekly Dose of Architecture
Orsinal: Morning Sunshine
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Safety Sign Builder
Get Your War On


some philosoblogging

Six views about reasons
Seidman on reflection and rationality
And another thing
Tiffany's argument for strong internalism
Internalism v. Externalism
What do internalists believe anyway?
Rationalism and internalism
The experimental method in philosophy
Advertising to children
On moral skepticism
A linguistic argument
More on Williams
Williams on reasons
General and particular
Normativity and morality
Political intuitions
What it is, what it was, and what it shall be
Objectivity and morality
Thinking revolution
Abortion and coercion
Moore on torture
On the phenomenology of deliberation
Even more Deliberation Day
more Deliberation Day
Deliberation Day run-down
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge, cont.
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge
Every shepherd is an abomination
Droppin' H-bombs
ad hominem

Friday, November 19, 2004



Back in the summer of 1998 I didn't have a watch. One day, having just dropped my automobile at the mechanic, I was walking down North Lamar in Austin wondering when the next bus might come by. There was a McDonalds restaurant. A sign said that every single Happy Meal came with a Bug's Life pocket watch. A fateful decision was made.

In the fall I bought a real pocket watch with a spring loaded stainless steel cover. By Thanksgiving I had lost it and was back to the Bug's Life watch. It's green, by the way, and shaped like a leaf.

I bought another pocket watch in the spring, but left it in my pocket when I did the wash that weekend. I bought another watch that summer, but it disappeared when I moved to Illinois.

It first occured to me that there might be a curse when I left the Bug's Life watch beside a fountain and found it again, unmoved, nearly a week later. I was sure when I left the watch, not entirely by accident, on the quad and it found its way to my mailbox.

Another time I handed my watch to a five year old. She'd come with her father to meet me at an airport and wanted to help carry my luggage. My bags were too heavy for her, so I let her carry the watch. Heedless of the danger that the curse held for her, I neglected to get it back. Months later, when I came back to town (watchless, due to an unfortunate accident) I asked her if she still had my watch. She ran to her room and produced it. Elapsed time: 36 seconds.

I've lost track of many of the ill fated watches I've owned in the last six years. They've all been lost or destroyed in seemingly explicable circumstances. The Bug's Life watch, with it's well worn hearing aid battery, has kept on doing whatever the digital equivalent of ticking is.

Recently, I thought the curse had been broken.

This summer a friend of mine gave me a new watch, a pocket watch, with a chain and a clasp and even a little case that slid onto my belt. The case broke on the second day and, like a fool, I thought that the curse had missed its mark.


A few weeks ago I was playing basketball with some friends. While chasing after a loose ball my feet got tangled up with those of another player. I went down, hard, bouncing my face off the floor and sending shards of my front teeth scattering across the court. Ouch.

You're wondering what this has to do with the curse, aren't you?

Hours later, after a trip to the emergency room for stitches and to the dentist for obvious reasons, I did some laundry. I wasn't at my best and didn't check my pockets. The upshot is that my watch is in worse shape than my teeth.

This was the first time that the curse of the Bug's Life watch had operated through a direct injury to me.

Frankly, it was a little off-putting.

The next day I took the Bug's Life watch out of the drawer. After six and a half years it was still going strong. I started to put it in my pocket but couldn't. A curse is a curse but enough is enough.

When I came home that night the Bug's Life watch had stopped.