Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category.

House Owning Party

I’m not sure I’ve got everybody’s e-mail address (Actually, I’m only in contact with a few of you here), so I’m reproducing this in LJ

Howdy everybody. As some of you may know, I recently paid off the mortgage on
my little dinky condo, so in memory of the house-warming party I thought it
might be a good execuse to have a party. I don’t know if this will actually
work, but it’s been ages since I’ve seen most of you, and longer since I’ve
hosted anything.

So, I’m going to give Memorial Day weekend a shot. (May 26-28) Come Friday
evening if you like. If you don’t want to spend the whole weekend here, how
about Saturday afternoon? Or just call first to make sure we haven’t gone
off adventuring somewhere. I’m in South Elgin, IL; I’ll deal
with directions and such later.

If tradition holds, we’ll hang out, catch up, watch some movies. I’ve got
board games, DDR, and possibly a Wii by then. I may think about other
possible ideas and field trips. Ideas welcome.



I’ve been strangely attracted to several of the Gallup books. I started with First, Break All the Rules, which just had a really good title. Basically, they attempted to figure out what makes managers effective and employee’s satisfied by polling and surveys, which is about as scientific as you can get when studying people. One of the ideas is to focus on strengths instead of weaknesses. They make some vague references to system of strengths, but don’t go into any detail.

The next book, Now, Discover Your Strengths addressed that area. Of course beyond the list of strengths and a code for the web based survey, it is largely exposition. Anyway, the survey results (the free-with-purchase version is pretty sparse on details):

  1. Input
  2. Restorative
  3. Intellection
  4. Ideation
  5. Analytical

Which is almost suspect for being so monotonously about information. But that doesn’t really surprise me much either. Of course there are lots of theories about identifying the difference in people. I take some confidence from the survey backing, as opposed to one person’s ‘professional opinion.’ Like scientific theories, one of the main tests is explanatory power, and this does explain a few things.

When reading the book, I picked up on Responsibility and Harmony (i.e., ‘can’t we all just get along?’) as two that might explain some of my recent doings. Since the cheap versoin doesn’t show the ranking beyond the top five I don’t know where they ranked. But Restorative (likes fixing problems) explains both.

It’s not so much that I like taking on responsibility; I usually don’t offer until it’s obvious nobody else is stepping forward – the most direct way to solve the problem is to do it myself. Of course, I’m probably not the best person to do most of these things, which is a nice clarification – if I can find someone better suited to the task, I will have better solved the problem, and can get on with my life.

Harmony is a simple matter of fixing discordant social situations.

Now I’m just left with the problem that work best with ideas and logic, whereas most of the activities I’m involved in, well, don’t.

Ideas are Cages

Ideas are like cages, with which we try in vain to pin down the world. Too often we catch ourselves instead.

New Game Patterns Book

The people from have finally published a book, Patterns in Game Design. It appears to be written mainly from a computer game design perspective, but looking through the table of contents, there appears to be some generally applicable material.

Online Calendar

Such is my life these days that I can’t really commit to anything unless I have my calendar available, which generally means being at home. Since I have an online journal, online e-mail access, and online bookmarks, I figured that surely there was an online calendar. Actually, there are several; I didn’t have the patience to look at all of them in detail. I choose because they had a good selection of view modes. It sometimes returns ‘document contains no data’, but there is a paid service option if it works out. The other little issue is that sometimes the event colors mixed up, especially on the list year view. Anyway, it is available if anybody is curious.

Numerology: this is a little spooky

You entered: Justin Lee Love

There are 13 letters in your name.
Those 13 letters total to 52
There are 6 vowels and 7 consonants in your name.

Your number is: 7

The characteristics of #7 are: Analysis, understanding, knowledge, awareness, studious, meditating.

The expression or destiny for #7:
Thought, analysis, introspection, and seclusiveness are all characteristics of the expression number 7. The hallmark of the number 7 is a good mind, and especially good at searching out and finding the truth. You are so very capable of analyzing, judging and discriminating, that very little ever escapes your observation and deep understanding. You are the type of person that can really get involved in a search for wisdom or hidden truths, often becoming an authority on whatever it is your are focusing on. This can easily be of a technical or scientific nature, or it may be religious or occult, it matters very little, you pursue knowledge with the same sort of vigor. You can make a very fine teacher, or because of a natural inclination toward the spiritual, you may become deeply emerged in religious affairs or even psychic explorations. You tend to operate on a rather different wavelength, and many of your friends may not really know you very well. The positive aspects of the 7 expression are that you can be a true perfectionist in a very positive sense of the word. You are very logical, and usually employ a quite rational approach to most things you do. You can be so rational at times that you almost seem to lack emotion, and when you are faced with an emotional situation, you may have a bit of a problem coping with it. You have excellent capabilities to study and learn really deep and difficult subjects, and to search for hidden fundamentals. At full maturity you are likely to be a very peaceful and poised individual.

If there is an over supply of the number 7 in your makeup, the negative aspects of the number may be apparent. The chief negative of 7 relates to the limited degree of trust that you may have in people. A tendency to be highly introverted can make you a bit on the self-centered side, certainly very much self-contained . Because of this, you are not very adaptable, and you may tend to be overly critical and intolerant. You really like to work alone, at your own pace and in your own way. You neither show or understand emotions very well.

Your Soul Urge number is: 7

A Soul Urge number of 7 means:
With a number 7 Soul Urge you are very fond of reading, and retreating to periods of being alone and away from the disruptions of the outer world. You like to dream and develop you idealistic understandings, to study and analyze, to gain knowledge and wisdom. You may be too laid back and withdrawn to really succeed in the business world, and you will be much more comfortable in circumstances that are tolerant of your reserve, your analytical approach, and your desire to use your mind rather than your physical being.

You are very timid around people that you don’t know very well, so much so at times that casual conversation and social situations can be strained. You tend to repress your emotions to the extend that some people have a good bit of difficult understanding you. You tend to be very selective with friends and you don’t easily adapt to new environments or to new people very quickly.

The negative traits of the 7 include becoming too much the introvert and isolated from others.

Your Inner Dream number is: 1

An Inner Dream number of 1 means:
You dream of being a leader and one who is in charge. You want to be known for your courage, daring, and original ideas. You seek unconquered heights. People may get a first impression that you are very aggressive and sure of yourself.

The Death of PayPal

Years ago when PayPal offered the option to notify me of policy updates I took it. The notices had been a minor annoyance since then, but nothing to actually worry about – until the last one.

The new policy is that items offered on eBay with PayPal must accept all forms of payment PayPal accepts – including credit cards, and furthermore you must in no way indicate a preference for certain payment types. In order to accept credit cards, one has to upgrade one’s PayPal account, whereupon a fee is charged on all transactions, credit card or not. The credit cards I understand – the credit card companies charge fees, so those have to be passed on. Its the parasitic infection of all transactions that bothers me.

Now, it happens that I personally already had this kind of account; I was selling an item I didn’t have great hopes of finding a home for, and didn’t want to scare away the buyer. It was partly my own fault for not specifying payment type – the main problem being that I didn’t realize that a straight-up credit card payment was possible through PayPal. But I did have the option (then) and chalked it up to a learning experience.

Being denied that option, however is the kind of corporate BS that I don’t take, so I canceled my PayPal account.

Strangely enough, a little latter I browsed an article about the downfall of PayPal, which all started when they got bought by eBay. It was certainly reassuring to know I wasn’t alone in seeing a problem.

A little while later, I saw deeper in the latest issue. eBay is double dipping. By forcing everyone to the fee-bearing accounts, they make a percentage of every sale, twice. To be fair one is for a listing service and the other is for a payment service, each of which carries it’s own costs. But the lesson of communism and it’s ilk is that super-concentration of power leads inevitably to corruption, and the heavy-handed policy changes of PayPal-eBay have just that scent of greed.

Rumor has it…

… that my evil(?) twin is working at the Bristol Ren Fair I’m planning to go check it out this weekend. Anybody interested in joining me?

Human potential.

“[...]It would come to quickly represent every knowledge base, and every skill base you could imagine, plus, a virtually unlimited amount of time, energy, and resources. And we were right, but we were off by one order of magnitude. We had around three million people on the A.I. project, and about three million people on ilovebeess as well … Damn, there’s nothing they can’t solve, there is nothing they solve instantly.”

-Jordan Weisman, from an interview in Game Developer magazine, May 2005

Think about that. there’s nothing they can’t solve Could this method be applied to “real world” problems?

Actually, there are problems. The alternate reality games are kinds of puzzles – there is an answer, the answer is known, and there is some logical path of conclusions that leads from the information given to the result desired. I suspect you’d have to satisfy most of those properties for the method to achieve the same level of success.


Since I was tinkering with FotoBilder, I uploaded some of the pictures of my flowering basil I took a while back.