Life, Stress, and Flowers

I haven’t written in ages. Not that I haven’t wanted to,  but I think I’ve had too much to talk about. And yet, much of the things I NEED to talk about are too personal almost to talk about (you really don’t want to know the gory details, but you will). Then I felt guilty, for not writing. So I hid from it, avoiding the need. Now it’s been months. So much more has happened. I’ll have to spam to get it all out. Expect spewage.

Life: Hundreds of new words, moments uncaptured on film, plus Christmas with lots of pictures.

Stress: Working on the adoption, money or lack thereof, organization (or lack thereof), work layoffs (waiting with bated breath to see if my name is called)

Flowers: Well not lots of flowers, I don’t get flowers. But one new flower: Iris Marie. She’s cute. Hoping to be grandma only this time. Passing her back when she makes a mess.

Alright, there’s my goals, lots to write. Plus I’m thinking of what I want to be when I grow up, with music taking over so much of my life. And oddly enough, took one of those tests (personality or some such) and it said my top career would be – drum roll – yep, Music. They must not know I can’t sing a lick, can only sort of play the piano.  But then, there is more to music than that. Can I? Use my passion for all things music and make a career of it? Is teaching still possible? Or my desire to learn about websites, creating them, designing them.

Well, you never know. I’ve still got a whole ‘nother life to live. Anything could happen!


Cookie Exchange

We have a cookie exchange at work every year, and every year I try out something new. Not sure why, obsession I guess. I’ve got lots of good recipes that I know come out just right and taste great, but I have to try something new.  So I found a recipe in a book at the store and of course came home to find it online. Although I did cheat, and use the camera phone to take pictures. Hate buying a book for 1 recipe. But then, I got to thinking, I wonder if I made a few changes, how would that come out. Of course I looked online to find something comparable, combined the two recipes, looked for another that used banana in it, worked that one in. Then went for it. Here’s the adventure.

Part I: I made a double batch, so I’d be sure and have enough to experiment with a bit, and plenty for the cookie exchange. The mixing was pretty straight forward except for some changes with flour. Knowing about the consistency I wanted, I added enough flour to get there. Then came the baking. First batch I used way too much dough. These cookies do expand when you’re cooking so leave room! Consistency is more like banana bread in a smaller size, not quite what I expected, added more flour, still the same. Decided to go with that, the flavor was great. Very banana-y. Still have to frost them to see what I get from that. Oh yeah, baby loves them. She kept trying to get me to give her more!
Continue reading

Happy Birthday Baby

A little late, but this is your life.
(Mouse over the image for caption or to pause slideshow)

Regarding Magpie.

First – twitter is unique in that it IS okay to advertise – in a sense. Think about @zappos or all the real estate people. Travel agents. The difference is, when someone needs something, they post, they INVITE a sales pitch. This gives a smart marketing company or person the opportunity to jump in and offer services. Hopefully by this time they’ve built up some “cred” by being real, interacting in ways other than just being a sales bot.

Second – I’ve got someone with magpie in their stream. Granted they’re not anyone I follow faithfully, they’re just there, hidden in my low priority stream of tweetdeck. But that advertising? Annoying. I’m ready to block him. It fits right in with those people who I follow that immediately ask me to subscribe to their blog, or buy their product.

If I want it, I’ll find you. Build a connection and when I need it, you’ll be top-of-mind. That’s how twitter works, and how advertising is evolving. Stop with the shove-it-down-our-throats advertising please.

originally posted as a comment on John Chow’s website

Picture Days

Okay, so I forgot it was picture day. You didn’t have your cutest outfit on, your hair was it’s usual mass of curls. So I didn’t expect to hear how much of a ham you are. You impressed the photographer. You watched all the other kids and posed just right. The photographer said her job was done. If I’d been there I would have told her yes you are smart. But you’re also a ham. I’ll post the pictures when I get them. Preschool – who knew they started grabbing your money so soon.

Role Playing Tweets

So you can all read the background regarding the first TwittRPG, so I’ll give you a minute of my own background with RPGs. First, technically, I’m a virgin. Well when it comes to RPGs anyway. I managed to get to first base on my own, with the basic box way back when I was in high school. Would be interesting to run across some of the characters I generated but never used. Keyword there – never. No one in my highschool was interested in an inexperienced player.

Fast forward to about 10 years, finally found a dm willing to start a brand new campaign just to each those eager but naive players. Sweet! I finally got to second base! Over the weeks that followed we managed to get chars built and dip our toes. Then it was over, gone, kaput. I remember not what happened, but I never even got my character up a level!

Then, there were MUDs. Very different, but a great avenue for a fertile mind ripe with old characters yearning to be played. All text based, and all very different. I even did a bit of coding. So there you have it, the sum and total of my experience with the RPG world. But still eager to delve into that universe. And then there was ChattyDM.

When I found twitter, I searched out people talking about my favorite hobbies: like RPGs, geeky stuff, board games. And I kept up with the ones I found interesting. Chatty is very interesting and very smart. It seems very appropriate that he would be the one to run the first RPG that linked Twitter and the gamer world.

Way too much about me but it explains why I was so very excited to be involved in the first place. All the other guys were obviously gamers from way back. I was new and was glad they didn’t ask for a list of my experiences in roleplaying. Like any good DM Chatty gave us a world to live in for a short time. I’ll try to do a nice logical summary of how the game went, good and bad. Because there is always room to grow.

First, unlike other things, twitter lets you hear everyone who’s talking.
Good: Reaction time can be faster, more likely to “hear” what someone else is saying. More of a round-table kind of feel. Sharing ideas is all part of twitter.
  Bad: People in different time zones, makes it hard to actually coordinate. Although the far- reaching part  is what makes twitter cool.
Personal note: we played while I was at work mostly, making it distracting, and I had a followers not happy with the spammy “discussion” so I had to change handles.

Second, the amount of characters made it necessary to be thoughtful in answers.
Good: I had to really think about what I was saying, be concise and not ramble. I imagine some times a character in “Real Life” can go on for a bit.
  Bad: Sometimes it was really hard to get everything you wanted to say across in just one tweet.  I can also see how some “characters” would feel the need to be more verbose to stay in character. (not pointing any fingers at zombies or anything)

Third, Role playing aspect was easier.
Good: Especially for people new to RP, it’s much easier to slip into character when it’s textual. And with only 140 chars, you don’t have to worry about longwinded speeches as an elf or whatever.
  Bad: Did it make it too easy? To play a character that is more play-acting than really thinking “in character”.

Fourth, the campaign is limited.
Good:  I can see this being a campaign run in an hour one night a week for a few weeks, or have the whole campaign last 3 to 4 days with twice-a-day actions.
  Bad:  Well it is limited, and like was said above, getting everyone together in that finite window is tough.
Personal note: The timing that chatty came up with was awesome: Scene, round table discussion between chars, 1 tweet per char, answer to actions, then bonus tweets if earned. I think the round table discussion often got spread out over the day whic was our “fault” not a problem of the genre itself.

Fifth, it has the ability to create RPG groups from all over the world.
Good: Twitter seems to be a really good platform for connecting people that might otherwise not be connected. Imagine a synergy of role players! The creativity that might spark!
  Bad: Time is the biggest factor here. All the different time zones makes it difficult to bring people together.

Overall, it was great fun. Chatty brought up a good point, it’s similar to RPGs, but it’s almost more of a group-storytelling adventure. Which makes it great for novices. I’m not going to spend a lot of time saying why it’s good, I have a feeling my inexperience will butt up against actual rules I know nothing about. I do believe that there’s a lot to RPG, a lot of complexity, and this turns some people off. This is an adventure, an interaction, an entering into a world and finding our way in it. Thanks to a wonderful DM we were able to maim, puzzle, get eaten, think, and discover as a group. As for myself, I actually went and found that online character generator and designed her, complete with back story. But some new people might like the idea of becoming a character without going through all that. Twitter lets you go there, in 140 characters or less.

Cause Recession sucks!

Well I still have my day job (but that may fall through so if you’ve got leads!?) – and I’m just a baby, nearly virgin of the blogosphere, but some people DO make their living off the blogs. So help a brother/sister/blogger out and click it! Page views are GOD in the making-a-living-off-the-internet world. At least until they find a better way to track the metrics. So Click-through! Keep those mousies clicking but if you get sore fingers, blame your porn/smut clicks, not the ones I said to click through on!