A very serious request

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A very serious request

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:40 pm

I have a very serious request for all of you who care about promoting good quizbowl in not-so-strong regions of the country.

In Missouri there is a bid going on for the state contract next year between Shawn Pickrell, Jim Garrick (I think), Triple Q, and Questions Galore. Triple Q's bid was $200 per game, Garrick's was $85, Pickrell's was $80, and Questions Galore is $28. Because of the price, there is an incredibly strong chance that Questions Galore will get the bid. Anyone who has dealt with them should know they are a horrible question company who have consistently shown no understanding of the MSHSAA distribution, pyramidality, consistency, or acceptable questions at all (they asked "What rock musician's name can be respelled as "narcoleptic?" without any other clue whatsoever). On the otherhand, I know for a fact that Pickrell's questions are very appropriate for this bid, and are well written, pyramidal, and edited consistently, and I have faith that he could produce a worthy Missouri state championship. If you care at all about getting a good state championship, please write a letter, email, whatever to mshsaa explaining why Questions Galore is awful and they should choose Pickrell instead. Their website is http://www.mshsaa.org and the academic competition director is Stacy Shroeder (and if you can find her email, please post it here and let me know).

Thank you.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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Post by STPickrell » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:58 pm

I am honored by the interest being shown.

My understanding is that Jim Garrick also produces good questions for the ASCA series competitions. While of course I would prefer that I win the contract, I believe the state of Missouri would be well-served by Garrick's questions.

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Post by quizbowllee » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:29 pm

StPickrell wrote:I am honored by the interest being shown.

My understanding is that Jim Garrick also produces good questions for the ASCA series competitions. While of course I would prefer that I win the contract, I believe the state of Missouri would be well-served by Garrick's questions.
Jim's questions are pretty good. Despite the occasional hose, he has improved Alabama's high school questions by an enormous amount.

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Post by Matthew D » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:40 pm

I will agree with Lee's assessment of Jim's questions...

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MO questions

Post by bdavery » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:42 pm

Charlie, I know your heart is in the right place on this. But since I'm an adult and you are not, I will tell you something important --and you should pay attention even though you think little of my question-writing skills. (This applies to the rest of you readers under age 21, too.)

You have probably read about sports deals where someone is offered a contract for X dollars per year, with the proposed details often leaked before a contract is actually signed. It happens so often now that kids don't even think twice about it.

In the real world, however, it is different. If you ever have a real-world job where you have to evaluate a number of sealed bids for a contract, and if you leak any detail about those bids to anyone, _you will be fired_ quicker than you can answer a power tossup. And if you are working for a government entity or large corporation when you do it, you will be lucky to stay out of jail.

In the real world, contract details are _never_ public knowledge until after a contract is signed--and usually not even then. People forget that at their peril. If Charlie's details are correct and Questions Galore now loses this job even though they were the lowest bidder, they can sue MSHSAA for big money and will probably win.

I have advised Stacy at the MSHSAA office (as well as their chief financial officer) that someone in their office or on their advisory committee has a big mouth and should be told to shut it. (That person's mouth is apparently as big as all Missouri if even a high-school kid like Charlie knows so many details.)

So be careful about talking contract details in the future, as your defense of "I was doing it for the common good" doesn't work in real life.
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Re: MO questions

Post by quizbowllee » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:46 pm

bdavery wrote:Charlie, I know your heart is in the right place on this. But since I'm an adult and you are not, I will tell you something important --and you should pay attention even though you think little of my question-writing skills. (This applies to the rest of you readers under age 21, too.)

You have probably read about sports deals where someone is offered a contract for X dollars per year, with the proposed details often leaked before a contract is actually signed. It happens so often now that kids don't even think twice about it.

In the real world, however, it is different. If you ever have a real-world job where you have to evaluate a number of sealed bids for a contract, and if you leak any detail about those bids to anyone, _you will be fired_ quicker than you can answer a power tossup. And if you are working for a government entity or large corporation when you do it, you will be lucky to stay out of jail.

In the real world, contract details are _never_ public knowledge until after a contract is signed--and usually not even then. People forget that at their peril. If Charlie's details are correct and Questions Galore now loses this job even though they were the lowest bidder, they can sue MSHSAA for big money and will probably win.

I have advised Stacy at the MSHSAA office (as well as their chief financial officer) that someone in their office or on their advisory committee has a big mouth and should be told to shut it. (That person's mouth is apparently as big as all Missouri if even a high-school kid like Charlie knows so many details.)

So be careful about talking contract details in the future, as your defense of "I was doing it for the common good" doesn't work in real life.
I'm 26 and would gladly break the law to keep Questions Galore from writing anymore in Alabama.

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Post by DumbJaques » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:57 pm

I sincerely doubt Questions Galore could sue anyone for "big money" - I'm unclear as how they could possibly receive anything more than the original contract *might* have guaranteed them. Also, did MSHSAA say anything to the effect of "the contract will go to the lowest bidder" or make any such claim? Surely asking for several groups to submit bids is not an automatic pledge to award the lowest one the contract. The idea that anyone would be sent to jail or sued for millions of dollars over a quizbowl contract is ridiculously absurd.
I have advised Stacy at the MSHSAA office (as well as their chief financial officer) that someone in their office or on their advisory committee has a big mouth and should be told to shut it. (That person's mouth is apparently as big as all Missouri if even a high-school kid like Charlie knows so many details.)
My surprise that anyone associated with MSHSAA would ever want to hear from you again notwithstanding, you really are assuming an awful lot here. I don't think this equates to a big-time corporate contract and I doubt either side even has the legal capacity to have put any of the necessary conditions in. In any event, the idea of MSHSAA taking your "mature" or "adult" advice after you degraded their students and assisted in pointing out how much of a mockery your own questions for them were would be quite surprising.
But since I'm an adult and you are not
While I will *not* defend Charie's maturity level, that's a stupid thing to say. Evidently, you also think "adult" means over 21, which casts some doubt on your superior knowledge of the law. You acted like a spoiled infant the last time you were on the forum, but even if you hadn't, someone's age is not the measure of their maturity or knowledge of corporate law or anything like that.
So be careful about talking contract details in the future, as your defense of "I was doing it for the common good" doesn't work in real life.
As Charlie isn't associated with the organization, he doesn't really need a "defense" here. I'd be surprised, again, if anyone seriously did.



I'm 26 and would gladly break the law to keep Questions Galore from writing anymore in Alabama.
That's because Lee Henry is the goddamned Batman. Also, you are now my personal hero. Fight the man!
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Post by Matthew D » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:01 pm

I would have to say that a large number of bids for government contracts may NOT be sealed bid and for all that we know they did go through a seal bid process...
and it appears that I was beat to the point on other points...

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Post by The Time Keeper » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:02 pm

Some retard's sample questions page wrote:29. During World War I, the Triple Entente [on-TONT] consisted of France, Britain and Russia. Spell the French word “entente”.
answer: E-N-T-E-N-T-E
I don\'t see what the problem is, guys!

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Post by AKKOLADE » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:57 pm

Every time I try to make a serious response I just start going pffffffft hahahaha in real life

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Post by The Time Keeper » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:59 pm

leftsaidfred wrote:Every time I try to make a serious response I just start going pffffffft hahahaha in real life
Great Fred you've just gotten us all sued.

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Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:08 am

i can't get sued

judge wapner will throw this case out

OF THE PEOPLES COURT

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Post by Tegan » Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:25 am

MHSAA website wrote:The Association reserves the right to reject any or all proposals on any basis. The Association also reserves the right to waive any informality or nonsubstantial irregularity in any proposal. Incompletion may be a basis for rejection of any proposal.
I am no legal expert by any means, but nowhere in the notice did it say the bids would be sealed bids, and this statement looks that if any company does not get the contract for whatever non-Civil Rights related reason, there's likely not much legal recourse.

I have composed a letter and sent it on.

indirectly Dolemite wrote:29. During World War I, the Triple Entente [on-TONT] consisted of France, Britain and Russia. Spell the French word “ententeâ€

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Post by jbarnes112358 » Sat Jul 14, 2007 3:49 am

Does anyone have samples of questions from "Questions Galore"?

I am sure that if Charlie says that they are not of a nature that would best serve the academic development and preparation of Missouri high school students, then I would tend to believe him. But, in order to write somebody a letter, I would need to see first hand evidence.

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Post by Philip Marschall » Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:35 am

Actually, if you can infer anything from the titles of their worksheets, that will probably give you a good idea of their question quality. A few of my favorites were "Chemical Symbol Words," "Famous Georges," "Electoral Votes," "Phrases that use "Eye"," "Traffic Safety," and "Colors." It's almost reminiscent of Celebrity Jeopardy.

Just go to their page and click on the link to worksheets on the left!

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Re: MO questions

Post by Matt Weiner » Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:50 am

HEY LOOK EVERYONE I FOUND MY MAGIC GLASSES THAT LET ME SEE WHAT POSTERS ON THIS BOARD REALLY MEAN
bdavery wrote:I don't like Charlie because an old exchange with him led to the exposure of what an immature dolt and atrocious question writer I am, so I'm going to make baseless legal threats on behalf of people I'm not affiliated with in order to try to get back at him in a manner as petty and incompetent as you've come to expect from me!

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Post by MahoningQuizBowler » Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:54 am

This isn't the first time something like this has gone down.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/qtcentral/message/766

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Re: MO questions

Post by quizbowllee » Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:32 am

Matt Weiner wrote:HEY LOOK EVERYONE I FOUND MY MAGIC GLASSES THAT LET ME SEE WHAT POSTERS ON THIS BOARD REALLY MEAN
bdavery wrote:I don't like Charlie because an old exchange with him led to the exposure of what an immature dolt and atrocious question writer I am, so I'm going to make baseless legal threats on behalf of people I'm not affiliated with in order to try to get back at him in a manner as petty and incompetent as you've come to expect from me!
Matt, I didn't know you could so accurately translate Tool-Speak! You must've used Rosetta Stone Language Software.

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Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:41 am

MahoningQuizBowler wrote:This isn't the first time something like this has gone down.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/qtcentral/message/766
Could you copy & paste the text? I'm not a member of the group yet, and would like to read more hilarity.

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Post by BobGHHS » Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:36 pm

If we can still get in there, I think the group might be closed down to new members, since its not used anymore...

Basically, it was the same situation for the Ohio contract a few years back.
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Post by Frater Taciturnus » Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:17 pm

BobGHHS wrote:If we can still get in there, I think the group might be closed down to new members, since its not used anymore...

Basically, it was the same situation for the Ohio contract a few years back.
so a pattern is starting to form? Someone writes horrible questions, better players lobby for better questions, writer is insulted and acts petulant, everyone goes "LOL"
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Post by MahoningQuizBowler » Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:09 pm

As requested...oh, and so I don't get sued for plagiarism, I do hereby recognize and affirm that these words were copied and pasted from the Yahoo group qtcentral, and that the author was Bryce Avery. In no way, shape, or form do I claim to be using these words for personal profit. This original work was created 1 May 2005. Now, enjoy...

Congratulations to the winners this year, BTW; those messages on this board
congratulating the winners seem to have gotten lost in the noise (and sour
grapes) about the questions afterward, which would have been better
discussed after a few days had gone by to let everyone cool down.

The beauty of capitalism is that someone always thinks they can do something
better for cheaper. That's how I got in the business myself, so for me to do
anything but welcome competition for next year's bid would be inappropriate.

That said, it needs to be a level playing field for everyone involved
(including me). I encourage Cathy to send a blank copy of the contract I
signed for this year (with the number of rounds, but _without_ the price) to
everyone who wishes to put together a serious bid. And everyone who wants to
try can give it their best shot.

But everyone bidding needs to understand: it is _both highly unethical and
downright illegal_ to try and get this job by getting any aspect of my
financial details with OAC and/or saying, "Let me know what the current
price is and I'll beat it." I'm sure Cathy and the committee recognize that
keeping those details a secret to my competitors is their duty, is common
practice, and is only fair to me (if I don't get to see my competitors'
numbers, then they can't see mine). It is also the committee's duty to
ensure that anyone seriously trying to get on the committee doesn't get the
writing job (since they would have inside information on their competitors
that no other bidder would get). And I'm only too happy to remind them of
their duty, _by lawsuit if necessary_.

If you don't know what to bid, how to bid, how much to charge, or how to
write a winning proposal, then either learn, or consider your losing bid to
be an essential part of your education.
If you want to compete with the pros, then put your best shot up against
mine and let the committee decide. But be a man. Don't be a slug (or a
crook) by trying to get the job some other way.

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Post by DumbJaques » Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:24 pm

_by lawsuit if necessary_.
AAAAAAHHHH RUN IT'S BRYCE AVERY.

Sorry Bryce, but organizations are allowed to take more factors into consideration than simply price. For example, the fact that you are a massive tool, regularly insult students, threaten to sue them, and write HORRIBLE HORRIBLE ABORTED FETUS QUESTIONS all probably play in. Your knowledge of the "law" really does seem to equate to your assertion that the legal status of adult is conferred upon reaching age 21.

I doubt you'll see this message, since I hope we've succeeded in exorcising you from the forum for another 3-4 months, but Jesus Christ, after the complete ass you made of yourself last time, this is what you come back and do? Are you trying to ruin your "business?" For fun, I hope someone gets together all the ignorant and insulting crap you've posted over the years and sends it to everyone you do or have ever done business with. Of course, you'd probably just sue them for plagiarizing your amazing prose.
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Post by quizbowllee » Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:53 pm

You KNOW he's reading every word of this and thinking to himself "I'm not going to dignify this with a response. I'm too mature to stoop to their level."

OR -

I picture him in a dark room, the light from his monitor illuminating a sinister sneer as he wrings his hands together like a vile criminal. He is saying "Soon, these feeble-minded HSquizbowlers will foul up, and I will be able to exact my sweet revenge!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!"

I've had a beef with Bryce for a few years now. His questions are terrible.

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Post by The Time Keeper » Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:59 pm

quizbowllee wrote:You KNOW he's reading every word of this and thinking to himself "I'm not going to dignify this with a response. I'm too mature to stoop to their level."

OR -

I picture him in a dark room, the light from his monitor illuminating a sinister sneer as he wrings his hands together like a vile criminal. He is saying "Soon, these feeble-minded HSquizbowlers will foul up, and I will be able to exact my sweet revenge!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!"

I've had a beef with Bryce for a few years now. His questions are terrible.
I bet he's writing horrible spelling tossups while perusing his copy of The Clueless Idiot's Guide to Threatening Frivolous Lawsuits.

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Post by quizbowllee » Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:05 pm

Can we nominate him for the Academic Ambassador Award at PACE 2008?

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Post by The Time Keeper » Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:10 pm

quizbowllee wrote:Can we ask him to write PACE 2008?
I think you meant this.

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Post by quizbowllee » Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:36 pm

Dolemite wrote:
quizbowllee wrote:Can we ask him to write PACE 2008?
I think you meant this.
I guess we'd have to go see :chip: instead.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:56 pm

Bryce Avery must be a graduate of a prestigious Internet law school.

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Post by PaladinQB » Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:42 am

Previous experience led me to wonder about Mr. Avery's claims regarding the bidding process. Having been involved in a bunch of government bid processes where bids were publicly opened, I was a little suspicious of:
Mr. Avery wrote:In the real world, however, it is different. If you ever have a real-world job where you have to evaluate a number of sealed bids for a contract, and if you leak any detail about those bids to anyone, _you will be fired_ quicker than you can answer a power tossup. And if you are working for a government entity or large corporation when you do it, you will be lucky to stay out of jail.
So, I did a little checking. I am not an attorney; hopefully someone who is will correct me if I make any material mis-steps.

The Missouri Sunshine Law would seem to indicate that after a bid opening, the bids and all information included in them are public record for government bodies. See Missouri Revised Statutes, 610.021 (12).

The Supremes found in 2001 (Brentwood v. TSSAA, 531 U.S. 288) that the Tennessee activities association was a "state actor." Now, the Michigan Supreme Court found in 2004 (Breighner v. MHSAA, 683 N.W.2d 639) that this doesn't mean that the state open records law applied to the Michigan HS activities association, but in Missouri they seem to take a broader view of what constitutes a government body for this purpose. See the Missouri AG's opinions on point, particularly the one where the Missouri School Boards Association is judged to be subject to the Sunshine Law.

At any rate, if the MSHSAA is subject to the Sunshine Law they have an obligation to disclose the terms of all bids when they are opened. Since that happened on June 19th, I would say that Charlie's source at MSHSAA would be more likely to be fired for _not_ revealing the details of the bids than for revealing them. I am 100% with Bryce in that it is unethical to reveal sealed bids before the opening (i.e., when somebody could still submit or change a bid), but open government demands that the public be able to evaluate all the options once all the bids are in.

If the MSHSAA is not subject to the Sunshine Law, then of course they can run their bid process however they like. With that said, revealing bids after the bid process is closed can hardly be considered unethical, much less illegal.

Disclaimer: Not an attorney; most of my law knowledge comes from Law and Order. Jack McCoy would definitely be able to convict Bryce Avery of depraved indifference to question writing standards.

Edited to cite the Michigan case.


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Last edited by PaladinQB on Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by DumbJaques » Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:54 am

Also, something nobody has mentioned: Charlie's "source" for this wasn't some deep throat in back of a Kansas City Burger King, it was a member of the board itself who created a thread on the Missouri boards to inform people of the bids and solicit feedback. Not only did he fully explain everything, but he acted as a representative of the board and signed his name. I'm sure the board members were laughing their asses off when Bryce's snitch email went through.
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Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:13 am

It should also be noted that no one except Bryce ever said this was a sealed-bid contract to begin with. He precisely fulfilled the three-step Internet Law process of "make up a fact, make up what the legal consequences of that fact would be, threaten lawsuit which I would have no standing to file even if the legal consequences and the situation on which they were based were not both made up by me."

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Post by Byko » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:55 pm

For reference, here is the link to the thread containing the original information:

http://z4.invisionfree.com/Academic_Com ... topic=1559
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Post by jewtemplar » Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:48 pm

Reviewing my gmail indicates that Bryce Avery was responsible for the 2005 National Science Bowl questions, which featured a disarmingly large proportion of questions repeated verbatim from previous National Science Bowl competitions. To be honest, Jefferson owes him its 2005 NSB championship, because of a round-ending question about the use of yams in the first oral contraceptives that allowed us to scrape ahead of State College in the playoffs. Good times indeed. I complained, and as I recall some interesting shit went down, but now I understand.

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Post by DumbJaques » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:10 pm

Sorry Sam this thread is only for people who can find their asses with both hands AND a map.
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:37 pm

Certainly not me, I play quizbowl in Missouri.
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Post by Frater Taciturnus » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:16 pm

When do we find out the big winner?
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:26 pm

I dunno. I hope I hear that people wrote a little angry note or something and took heed of my request. Please???
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Post by theMoMA » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:51 pm

The best I could do for an email address is email@mshsaa.org. That's apparently the blanket contact, if anyone is interested in shooting off a quick note.

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Post by Deckard Cain » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:58 pm

theMoMA wrote:The best I could do for an email address is email@mshsaa.org. That's apparently the blanket contact, if anyone is interested in shooting off a quick note.
My experiences with MSHSAA lead me to believe that an email sent to that address will find its way to the right person.

Out of curiosity, did anyone who sent an email to them get a response?

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Post by jewtemplar » Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:06 pm

DumbJaques wrote:Sorry Sam this thread is only for people who can find their asses with both hands AND a map.
Come again?

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Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:10 pm

http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewto ... c&start=50 Go to page 2 somewhere towards the middle and you'll find what Chris referenced.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

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Post by STPickrell » Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:45 pm

I believe in this instance, it is perfectly acceptable to re-open a month-old thread. I got off the phone a couple hours ago with Stacy Schroeder (the MSHSAA person in charge of academic competition), and have been given the OK to write this.

The MSHSAA's Academic Competition Advisory Committee has voted to recommend the Scholastic Bowl Company of Virginia, Inc. (i.e. me), as the question writer for the 2007-08 state series. This is subject to the Board of Directors' approval, although I understand this to be more of a formality than an item of serious contention.

In addition, I will be taking this year's VHSL matches and repackaging them for additional Missouri competitions. I have 36 matches available.

Therefore, I ask that the rule of silence be followed regarding my questions.

I thank everyone who supported me during this process. I hope to write for the Missouri series for as long as I am wanted.

Any Missouri coaches may also read the following thread: http://z4.invisionfree.com/Academic_Com ... topic=1580

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Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:01 pm

So finally a more legit state tournament could happen. Maybe it'll be more legit if, you know, more then 5 games happen, but this is certainly an improvement.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

Tegan
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Post by Tegan » Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:25 pm

StPickrell wrote: The MSHSAA's Academic Competition Advisory Committee has voted to recommend the Scholastic Bowl Company of Virginia, Inc. (i.e. me), as the question writer for the 2007-08 state series. This is subject to the Board of Directors' approval, although I understand this to be more of a formality than an item of serious contention.
Dual congratulations to S. P. and the students of Mizzou.

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