Well, despite feeling strangely stressed I swept my pool and first DE's to get to the round of 8. My first bout there was with Blakley, a leftie out of Texas. Twice he got handily up on me and I had to work hard to catch up. Till it was 9:9 with 4 seconds remaining. Note that I had not kept track of the time and was not registering that it was attacks at distance that were working for me. Both major errors but easy to do in the heat of a fight. Then I got too close and he attacked to score a final touch. Now my last and fatal mistake. I accepted that I had screwed up, Obviously. So I disconnected and after signing, wandered off to deal with the defeat. Now to add salt to my mental state, the next morning I went to warm up with the same weapon. It was TOTALLY DEAD and obviously had been the night before. Just a little late to register a protest and request a weapon check. So things to add to the check list of preparations in a bout: 1. Always look at the the time between encounters. 2. Try to keep track of what's working. 3. Always do a continuity test and a shim test after a bout. Even if it's your last bout. And if you just lost ask the referee to do the continuity check. Otherwise Portland was a nice place, what little I got to see of it. They must love hamburgers as that seemed to be the majority of eateries near to the venue. Locals explained to me that there were two types of weather there this time of year: 1) warm, overcast and rainy or 2.) Clear, Cold and Windy. We encountered the latter and Saturday was frankly too miserable to walk around much. But there was a major mall with an upscale food court 3 blocks away that was interesting if you are into expensive shops and lots of children getting hyper-active waiting for Christmas. And the MAX transit system was an excellent means of transportation. Don't know where they were all going but despite the cold weather over the weekend there seemed to be crowds of folks on the streets.