Stub – add links

Interesting idea.

To me it makes sense, and maybe explains why we value things we touch more (merged consciousness)?

Also makes me think of the expanded awareness the neurologist experienced during her stroke.

And if it did become common, it would help the planet – more like the native American view that everything has a spirit and is connected.

Argh, TwitterTools hasn’t been working.

Next time I’m in LA I must try their ice cream:

Toy Story 3 was great (in 3D with dad & pirate), Monsters vs Aliens was cute (with mom & bro) and frozen Cioppino (TJ’s) is a BAD idea.

Emergency visit to dentist, bad, not needing a root canal on the tooth with a crown, GOOD! 1:08 PM Jul 2nd

Sweet, I just updated to Android 2.2, lots of nice new stuff!

The sun was shining through the clouds this morning and half the sky was covered with rays of light. Too bad I didn’t bring my phone/camera! 1:39 PM Apr 16th

Lindt Chocolate

We finished off the last of the most recent batch of bars from CostPlus World Market yesterday. I don’t really like their truffles, so I wasn’t expecting to like this bar, but I think it’s been one of the best so far. Part of the problem with their truffles might be that the only ones people seem to buy are the milk and white chocolate, I don’t even know if they have dark truffles.

We got the Lindt Excellence Chili Dark. It had a good dark flavor without being bitter, and the chili hit just the right balance of being firey, but not overwhelming the chocolate. It was also nice and smooth and soft. They don’t list the percentage, so it’s probably on the lower end of dark to get that texture. This is definitely one I’d be happy getting again.

Lindt Excellence Chili Dark Chocolate Bar

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Or in this case, pdf winner. 😀

In other news, I think I’m finally done with the project I’m working on with annoying guy at work. WHEW!

I’m getting back into being more productive at lunch too. Laundry is going and I’m posting!

One of my three credit cards is paid off. The second will be in 2-3 months, and then the final one by the end of the year.

I’m looking forward to getting to reduce my hours and find a good balance between work, relationships, me time, responsibilities, etc.

I’m actually thinking maybe a 2 hour lunch would be enough. Time to be productive and also get a nap. And leaves the evenings free to socialize or relax.

I’m sure I have more to catch up on, but right now I can only think of my to do lists. Like, finish taxes, google map directions & drive time for my nuerologist appointment, stuff like that.

So back to enjoying my lunch with my fiance and my kitties. 😀

Evolution of a Recipe – Everything Cookies

I’ve had enough people ask for this (and seen enough similar things on the web) that I figured I’d put this up for posterity.

A few years ago when I worked at the Edward Kemble Elementary School Library they had a special book sale for the staff. Among other books, I purchased Christmas Cookies – Classic Recipes.

I love oatmeal peanut butter cookies, but didn’t have a recipe for them in any of my cookie recipe books. This one did however have a recipe for Oatmeal Scotchies that looked good.

I switched half the butter for peanut butter, one cup of oats for nuts, and added a cup of chocolate chips (I hate cookies that are just a lot of dough and a little stuff. And yet I love sugar cookies, butter cookies, spritz cookies, etc. I guess I just want there to either be a LOT of “stuff” or none.

After some friends watched me bake these once, and asked what they were called. I didn’t have a name, and they weren’t really oatmeal scotchies anymore, so they came up with “Everything Cookies” since I seemed to put everything (but fruit! I don’t like fruit in cookies) in them. Seeing them in dough form they were amazed that the cookies stayed together which how much stuff was in them.

These are pretty flexible, I use whatever nuts I have on hand, and whatever chocolately bits. I’ve even chopped up Hershey Kisses when we didn’t have chocolate chips.

Jenny’s Everything Cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (I usually soften it in the microwave)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I usually use chunky for extra nuttiness)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs (I almost always use liquid eggs when baking, easier and healthier)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (sometimes I swap half or all the vanilla for almond extract)
1 cup chopped/sliced/slivered nuts (I prefer almond)
1 to 2 cup chips (I usually mix milk & dark/semi-sweet & butterscotch chips)
2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
Raw sugar to roll them in (optional)

  1. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. I’m lazy and always skip this – one less messy dish to clean!
  2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a larger mixer bowl. I love my KitchenAid!
  3. Gradually beat in flour mixture. I just toss in everything but the flour, then add the flour 1/4 cup at a time.
  4. Stir in oats, then nuts and chips.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. I usually just eyeball it and roll them into balls, but even if I use a tablespoon I always roll them into balls to help them stick together.
  6. This year I had raw sugar left over from rolling other cookies, so I rolled these ones into it and it gave them a nice crunch on the outside.
  7. It’s ok to flatten the cookies also if you like how that looks better.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 375°F. oven for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies; 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies.

It’s supposed to make about 4 dozen cookies.

So far everyone has agreed with me that the chewy taste best, but even if I overcook them and get harder ones, they still all get eaten. Be sure to preheat or you won’t be sure about the timing! Chewy ones won’t look done with they come out of the oven, but just let them cool on the cookie sheet for 2 to 10 minutes, once them come off easily with a spatula without smooshing then they’re ready. Though I’m happy to eat them hot and smooshy/crumbly. The perks and hazards of being the cook!

The recipe also had an option for pan cookies, and after looking at how much sugar (including high fructose corn syrup) was in the Nature Valley granola bars I loved, I decided to see if I could doctor this into a granola bar recipe.

Round 1 Everything Granola Bars
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs (I almost always use liquid eggs when baking, easier and healthier)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (sometimes I swap half or all the vanilla for almond extract)
3 cups oats
3 teaspoons ground flax seed
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Most of the fruit/nut/chip amounts were based on what I happened to have left in the cupboards.

Mix the same way as the cookies.

  1. Spread dough into greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 jelly-roll pan. I used my 10 x 13 (4qt) glass baking pan.
  2. Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until very lightly browned.
  3. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

It’s supposed to make 4 dozen bars. I don’t recall how many pieces we cut that one into. Everyone really liked it, but I think it had room for improvement. I’m not sure if it just needs way more fruit and nuts, or if the other parts need tweaking. The flavor was good, mostly it was the texture I wasn’t satisfied with. It was in between crunchy and chewy, and I want one or the other. I just haven’t decided which.

I’m working on round two of the recipe today.


I’ve been checking out yoga videos from the library trying to find a good one or two to buy and use at home. So far one has been damaged, one I liked, and the other two have been two slow/boring/annoying to use.

Tonight I have dance class, but my pirate can’t go with me since he has to do stuff for his advisor’s conference. We forgot to practice the steps (as usual) so I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed that I do ok. Once this quarter is over we’re going to look into taking gymnastics together instead of dance. We’ll get back into dance once we can afford to take private lessons together. Hopefully we’ll have time to go climbing Thursday or Friday night.

Oh, and I got the raise which pretty much everyone on campus got, but the extra money is still nice and should help pay off my debt faster. Last month was a bit tight, but that was partially because I decided to pay my property taxes all at once since they were less than $400 just to get them out of the way.

I need to start going through the pile of links I saved to blog about. I’m not sure why I saved this one other than my brother and some cousins being lefties.
From their homepage:
We specialise in products that are designed for left-handed people. No other shop in the world offers the range or incredible prices that we do. We offer left handed tools & products that really make a difference to the lives of people trying to adapt in a right-handed world and we know that they will love them – guaranteed!

I think I found the link from some article about lefties having shorter life spans. Mostly due to having to use or operate power tools and dangerous equipment that weren’t designed for lefties.

Spring Catch-up

First a PSA: Pet food recall – see the list of products recalled.

Random tid-bits:

I forgot to link to the site after watching An Inconvenient Truth, so here is their Take Action page (the home page is noisy).

Laser engraving on laptops. Looks neat and sturdier than stickers, but not good for those of us who change their minds a lot. Plus it’s not cheap.

Mac Laptop = Cat Toy video. Thankfully my cats aren’t like this… I don’t think.

More of the monster/ugly dolls.

Uploaded 138 or 139 new photos:

Mar 20:Went to dinner at Dos with one of HK’s coworker friends and then put away laundry and did dishes and HK took out the trash and recycling for me. So nice not to walk out and see the kitchen and go “Ugh!” I’m definitely putting some of the house profit toward a dishwasher, it’s just not worth the time and stress of hand washing everything. And I probably waste hot water doing it myself anyway. I really like how the new curtains on the sliding glass door turned out, though I think I want to add a few more panels at some point.Mar 19:This guy’s stuff has been around for a while, but since I can’t find the original video I saw, here’s another:

Also, I hate the time changes, they always mess up my sleep schedule. Slowly getting back on track. I smelled brownies walking back to my office and now I’m craving them. Thankfully I have hot chocolate mix (and chili, nutmeg & cinnamon to add to it).

I got a lot done this weekend, cleaned up my piles of paperwork, finally got the curtains up with HK’s help and a few loads of laundry. That plus much napping & relaxing which is the main thing I needed. HK & I went to Johnny Carrino’s in Natomas after his haircut Friday, but we filled up on bread and soup and ended up eating the leftovers the rest of the weekend. The asthma pill (Singulair) is working hella good and my allergies seem to have settled down without taking the Clartin stuff, yippee!

And! Good news! My house might actually close before April after all which would be awesome. One less mortgage payment to pay. 😀

Mar 17:

This sounds fun: Spring Party on Saturday 4/14/07…All you can drink beer and Margaritas, Fresh Mexican food, Wonderbread 5, DJ Rigatoni, Mechanical Bull and Gladiator Style Jousting….all for $35 and all proceeds go to local children’s charities!! Go to

Mar 16:

My office is so cold. I’m thinking of bringing in a throw or something. Rugs would be good if I had any. I have a space heater, but I blew the circuit the time I moved it to another plug to get it under my desk. An electric blanket would work better. I wouldn’t lose all my warm air every time my boss pops in and doesn’t shut the door most of the way behind him.

Mar 15:

Painted my toenails pink at work during lunch, and managed to not smudge them, yay! Now I can actually wear sandals sometimes.

Mar 14:

Had a ton of weird dreams last night, which for me means I didn’t sleep soundly at all or I wouldn’t remember. Probably why I was so tired this morning.

I forgot to check the racquetball rules, so my pirate and I just goofed off hitting back and forth to each other since there was a free court last night. Good workout, but it did not help my headache. It was fun though, and my headache didn’t get too bad till the last 10 minutes ish.

Article stuffs
I used to read Psychology Today when I TA’d in my high school library all the time. Now I have it on my Google homepage so I’m back into reading it again. Just in case you’re wondering how I find this stuff:Hormones Got You Down?

Hormones may play a pivotal role in women’s maladies—including PMS, post-partum, and others.
By:Natasha Raymond”research shows it’s not just the psychological stress of aging, childbirth, or cramps that brings on the blues. It’s the physiological factor that ties them together—hormones.””Hormones released by the ovaries—estrogen and progesterone—actually seem to influence the neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, that are known to affect mood. Normally, estrogen blocks enzymes that break serotonin down, allowing more of the spirit-lifting substance to stay operative in the brain and act like an antidepressant. But before menstruation, after giving birth, and during menopause, when estrogen levels dip, serotonin levels plunge, too.”

Love Isn’t Blind

How to form an enduring bond. Healthy relationships are built on love and trust, commitment and intimacy.
By:Hara Estroff Marano

“These are the five bonding forces that form the glue of your relationship, he stresses. And here’s the catch—they must grow together in a balanced way. You must keep your heart and your head in harmony. So you never let one of the five forces too far ahead of your progress in any of the others.

* Know
* Trust
* Rely
* Commit
* Touch

In other words, says Van Epp, there’s a safe zone you need to stay within as your relationship grows. And the basic rule for staying in the safe zone is, never let the level of one bonding dynamic exceed the level of the previous one. “

Swallow Your Fear

Navigating risky situations teaches you about yourself, increases your self-confidence, and helps you better manage life’s inevitable uncertainties.
By:Jessica DuLong

“”It’s the heightened awareness in physical risk taking that’s so valuable,” says Michael Gass … “The limited stimulus field helps people weed out less important information.” In the face of danger, instinct takes over. Your attention becomes keenly focused on your body and your surroundings. ”

“Once you accomplish this, you realize that you are not a victim of your emotions, that you can override them if you want.”

“Just as shocking the muscles makes them grow stronger, confronting your fears makes you realize you can live with stress. “Any time you’re afraid to do something and you do it, it makes you stronger,” he says. “Even if you fail.””

“”Physical risk taking is beneficial because it’s a consequential, obvious statement of what you’re able to do,” says Gass. And the ability to handle adversity can generalize into the less dangerous—but no less fraught—realms of personal and professional life. It was Stanford researcher Albert Bandura who first articulated the idea that greater feelings of self-efficacy produce increased effort and persistence on a task and, ultimately, a higher level of performance.”

“Self-determination in the face of uncertainty helps develop a strong sense of self. ”

“”The more practice you have in situations where you have to make rapid decisions with great consequence, the more likely you are to be able to act rather than freeze,” says Cline.”

I find evolutionary psychology fascinating! I took a class on environmental psychology that covered some of it and really enjoyed the class. Article:The Orgasm Wars

Evolutionary biologists think female orgasms may pick the best sperm.
By:PT Staff”They discovered that when a woman climaxes any time between a minute before to 45 minutes after her lover ejaculates, she retains significantly more sperm than she does after nonorgasmic sex. When her orgasm precedes her male’s by more than a minute, or when she does not have an orgasm, little sperm is retained. “”In their studies, women consistently identify as most attractive males whose faces (and other body parts) are most symmetrical.””A large and growing body of medical literature documents that symmetrical people are physically and psychologically healthier than their less symmetrical counterparts.”

“those whose partners were most symmetrical enjoyed a significantly higher frequency of orgasms during sexual intercourse than did those with less symmetrical mates.”

“Of course, symmetry is a relative thing, and a relative rarity at that. No one is perfectly symmetrical, and very high symmetry scores were few and far between in this sample, as in others. In consolation, Thornhill and Gangestad point out that the differences they are measuring are subtle, and most require the use of calipers to detect.”

“Degree of women’s romantic attachment did not increase the frequency of orgasm! Nor did the sexual experience of either partner. Conventional wisdom holds that birth control and protection from disease up orgasm rates, since they allow women to feel more relaxed during intercourse. But no relationship emerged between female orgasm and the use of contraception.

Nor can the study results be explained by the possibility that the symmetrical males were dating especially uninhibited and orgasmic women. Their partners did not have more orgasms during foreplay or in other sexual activities. Male symmetry correlated with a high frequency of female orgasm only during copulation.”

“He points to the following results as among those we should take to heart:

o A woman’s capacity for orgasm depends not on her partner’s sexual skill but on her subconscious evaluation of his genetic merits.
o Women’s orgasm has little to do with love. Or experience.
o Good men are indeed hard to find.
o The men with the best genes make the worst mates.
o Women are no more built for monogamy than men are. They are designed to keep their options open.
o Women fake orgasm to divert a partner’s attention from their infidelities.”

Not terribly scientific, the comments are more interesting than the article:Female Gamers Have More Sex

“According to a survey conducted by Gametart, a game rental service in the UK, chicks who game get more lovin’ than those who don’t. Out of a sample of 200 ladies (or should that be “laid-ees”?), the ones who gamed got, erm, fragged 1.1 more times a week than those who didn’t.”

And from one of the columns I read that also happened to look at evolution’s effect:The Pig Picture
The Advice Goddess by Amy Alkon

“The truth is, as you suspected, straight guys just don’t have the filth and disarray vision that women and gay men do. Studies show gay men’s attention to environmental detail is similar to that of straight women, but in general, “the female brain takes in more sensory data than does the male,” writes brain researcher Michael Gurian in “What Could He Be Thinking?” How much more visual detail does the female brain take in? Well, in an object recall test by York University psychologists Irwin Silverman and Marion Eals, women remembered the name and placement of 70 percent more items than the men did.””Men can be obsessive about detail, explains Gurian, but their mental and visual attention is usually single-minded and achievement-oriented. “”According to Silverman, Eals, and other researchers, a guy’s tendency to let his home become a pizza crust wilderness refuge probably traces back to our hunter-gatherer past. Men’s current visual and attentional strengths correspond to what would’ve made them successful hunters: the distance vision and mental focus needed to track and bring home dinner — instead of being eaten by what was supposed to be dinner. Women’s superior peripheral vision and ability to process detail would’ve helped them spot the family’s favorite edible plants in a big tangle of vegetation — while making sure the children weren’t playing in wildebeest traffic.

Culture or training may mitigate the modern man’s natural crud-blindness.”

Happy Pie/Pi/3.14 Day!

HomeTech ApartmentTherapy: Feel the Geeky Love: Happy Pi Day! Today’s date matches the first numbers of the venerable number that never ends: 3.14.

Cool coffee table design (though way more than I would consider paying) coffee table

News: Digital TV Transition Subsidies

To aid in the Digital TV transition, households with at least one TV set will be able to request up to two $40 coupons meant to subsidize the cost of purchasing digital to analog converter boxes. The converters are expected to cost around $50, but make sure you get in line quickly, applications for the first wave of coupons valued up to $990 milion will begin January 1, 2008…..and continue until there is no more money available. Somehow, we think that won’t take long.

– via the New York Times:

U.S. Sets Rules for Digital TV Payments
Published: March 13, 2007

The government will offer households as much as $80 each to help convert televisions to receive digital broadcasts under a $1.5 billion program.

Households with one or more TV sets can ask for as many as two $40 coupons as long as the first allotment, of $990 million, is not depleted, according to Commerce Department rules published yesterday. If the initial amount is inadequate, an extra $510 million in coupons may be offered to households without pay-TV service.

The subsidies are intended to help consumers prepare for the end of analog TV broadcasts in February 2009. After that, TVs without digital receivers will not be able to show over-the-air broadcasts.

Sets connected to cable TV and satellite systems will not need converters, the Commerce Department said.

Converters are expected to cost about $50 each, according to Congressional testimony. Households can apply for the coupons starting Jan. 1, 2008, the Commerce Department said. Retailers who want to participate in the program must apply for certification by March 31, 2008.

Thinking & Linking

I like the organization concept behind this medicine cabinet idea. Using stuff you’re storing anyway, to organize other stuff, thus saving space. Doesn’t look bad either!
medicine cabinet

I really like how this lamp looks, and was trying to think how to do something similar but cheaper involving a shaped hole puncher or three and heavy paper or light plastic sheeting. I can never find affordable lamp shades I like so I have a bunch of lamps with bare bulbs.
lamp shade

The same company has these great little mirrored shapes… or shaped mirrors to decorate with.
mirrormirror 2

I would love to use this adorable espresso set to serve tea in, or maybe even ama-zake. The saucer is petal shaped, and the cup handle is shaped like a twig. The spoon looks like leaves.
espresso set

I need speakers at some point for my computer/media center. These JBL Spyro‘s are soooo cute! The satellite speakers are shaped like flowers. I doubt I’d actually go with just a 2.1 system though.

Clocky runs & hides if you snooze the alarm! Now that’s a good way to get forced to wake up on time. You have to find it to turn it off!

I prefer the glide rocker I have (less chance of pinched kitty paws or tails – or kid’s hands for that matter) but this rocking chair‘s shape is just downright sexy.
rocking chair

This is a spiffy little bag cushion play thingy.

Happy Heartbreak – it’s funny, just watch the commercial. (And for those who are slow, no it’s not real.)

Still trying to sell my WoW trading cards.

Seven Things I Learned from World of Warcraft by John August


Those who’ve seen my movie, The Nines, can infer that I had a bit of a World of Warcraft problem back in the day. “The day” being a period of about four months in which most of my waking hours were spent either playing the game or wanting to. The luxury and danger of being a screenwriter is an abundance of unstructured time. WoW can eat hours in a gulp.

Moderation just didn’t work. I had to give it up cold-turkey, canceling my account and throwing out the install disks. With my newfound time, I had a kid, wrote a couple of movies and directed one of my own.

I have few regrets about giving up Warcraft. But in retrospect, I did learn some valuable things from my time in Azeroth, lessons that have stuck with me. So I thought I’d share a few.
1. Kill injured monsters first

W When facing multiple bad guys, the temptation is to go after the one who’s hitting you hardest. This is often a mistake. That injured razorback, the one who is running away? He’ll be back in 15 seconds, likely with other baddies in tow. So take a few clicks to kill him now. Once he’s dead, you can focus completely on the guy who’s smacking you.

The real world may not have druids and paladins, but it’s chock full of monsters. They’re called “term papers” and “errands” and “mysterious car problems.” At any given moment, there may be one monster that looms larger than all of the others, who clearly needs to be attacked. But before you do, look around for injured monsters — the half-finished tasks that probably need only a few more minutes to complete. If you don’t deal with them now, they’ll be a constant distraction, and may eventually come back stronger.

This “injured monster theory” is why I try to return every phone call the day I receive it, and respond to every email within 24 hours. If a warning light comes on in my car, I go to the mechanic that day. Whenever I find myself thinking, “I need to remember to…” then I know I’ve failed. I don’t need to remember. I need to do. I need to finish.
2. Grinding is part of the game…

W In WoW parlance, “grinding” is the process of killing a bunch of fairly easy monsters, one after the other, strictly to rack up loot and experience. There’s no adventure to it, no real challenge. It’s tedious and mindless, but it’s often the fastest way to level up, which is why everyone does it.

Daily life is full of mindless tedium, but there’s an important distinction: grinding has a point. While the task may be dull and carpal tunnel-aggravating, there’s a clear goal. You’re doing X in order to get Y. You’re xeroxing scripts in the William Morris mailroom in order to get a job as an assistant. You’re proofreading your script for the seventh time in order to send it to your friend, who works for that producer. You have to be willing to do serious grunt work in order to move ahead.
3. …But grinding is not the game

W It’s easy to confuse what you’re doing with why you’re doing it. Just remember: you’re not paying $15 a month to kill the same set of spawning critters. Grinding is a means of achieving a specific goal, whereas the game itself is supposed to be entertaining. So once you level (or get enough deer skins to fabricate that armor), stop grinding and start exploring.

I worked for a year as a reader at Tri-Star, writing coverage on 10 scripts or books a week. It was good money, $65 a shot, but it was wearying. Most of the scripts were terrible. Apart from offering lessons-to-avoid, there wasn’t any point in reading them other than the money. But I convinced myself I was “working in the industry,” so I kept reading them, one after the other, dutifully writing up my synopses and comments. Executives would congratulate me on my witty notes, and there was some suggestion that I could get a job in development. So I quit.

In place of reading, I got a mindless internship in physical production at Universal: filing, copying, researching clearances. I didn’t use my brain once. That left me with abundant energy when I got home from work, and with it I finished two scripts.

Both jobs were quintessential “day jobs.” In theory, writing coverage should have been the better job, because it was closer to screenwriting. And truthfully, I did learn some valuable things–for the first month or two. After that, it was a whole lotta more of the same. The second job was a better fit because there was no confusing it with my true ambitions.
4. Give away stuff to newbies

W You start the game with almost nothing: a weapon and the shirt on your back. Each new piece of gear you accumulate is tremendously exciting. Cloth armor seems luxurious. But as you level up, that early gear becomes increasingly irrelevant and basically worthless. It’s not worth the trip to the store to sell it. So don’t. Instead, run back to the newbie lands, find the first character of your class, and hand him all the stuff you don’t want. It will take two minutes of your time, but give the newbie a tremendous head start. (Not to mention building your karma.)

This site,, is really just me running back to the newbie lands and giving away what I can. There’s no financial incentive in it for me. I could certainly put my advice in a book and charge $15.95 for it. But I see it as the take-a-penny, leave-a-penny flow of information. On a daily basis, I find myself searching the web for answers on topics in which I’m a newbie (Flash programming, DC mythology, teaching toddlers to swim) and leaving thankful that someone out there took the time to write a tutorial on exactly what I needed. So in exchange, I write up what I know about screenwriting.

If everyone took the time to build a site about the areas of their expertise, the world would be significantly cooler.
5. Keep track of your quests

W WoW is refreshingly open-ended–you could spend all your time skinning bears, if you felt like it. In order to provide a sense of structure, the game helpfully provides quests: multi-step missions, generally to collect, kill or deliver something. While the system does a solid job tracking these official endeavors (”13 out of 25 tusks”), most of the time what you’re really trying to do (”find a better shield”) is frustratingly amorphous. The trick is to identify these unofficial quests and break them down into distinct steps:

* browse the auctions to compare prices
* pick preferred shield
* sell off unneeded linen to raise needed cash
* bid

At any given point, you may have 10 of these pseudo-quests, and unless you take charge of them, you’re liable keep running around, cursing your stupid shield.

GTD enthusiasts would label these WoW quests “projects,” and each of the bullet points “next actions.” That’s geekery, but it’s an acknowledgment that most of life’s work consists of a bunch of little activities in the service of a larger goal. You don’t write a script; you write a scene. You don’t design a website; you tweak the CSS so the navigation looks better. No matter what the project is, you can’t finish until you get started, and you can’t get started until you figure out the steps.
6. Storage is costly

W Perhaps sensing that messy teenage boys are a key demographic, World of Warcraft won’t let you leave something on the ground. If you don’t pick up that fallen warhammer, it will vanish, never to return. So one quickly learns the importance of storage: belts, bags, backpacks and chests. Unfortunately, there’s never nearly enough space, and adding more becomes ridiculously expensive. (That’s by design, clearly. The developers want to minimize hoarding.) So always keep in mind the carrying costs. If you never use that second bow, get rid of it, and use those slots for something you need.

Unlike World of Warcraft (or hard drives in the 90’s), digital storage is now cheap. Crazy cheap. I remember having to carefully comb through my hard drive, trying to figure out exactly what I could purge in order to install the newest version of Quark XPress. Today, I have 80 gigs available on my startup drive, and this was the first time I checked in over a year.

But while the cost of bit storage has plummeted, the cost of storing atoms is still huge. My neighbors just had a POD delivered, essentially a cargo container that gets trucked off. I’ve watched as they’ve filled it with furniture and boxes, all the time wondering, “Is all that stuff really worth keeping?” It’s like paying rent on things you already own.

Last year, we cleaned out our garage. Instead of a traditional yard sale, we did a virtual version. We took pictures of everything we were getting rid of, built a page in Backpack, and sent the link to all our friends. Whoever wanted something could email us and take it. They got a free desk, and we got a free garage.
7. Overthinking takes the fun out of it

W Remember, the game is supposed to be fun. Yes, you can spend hours pouring through the forums, finding exactly the right talent tree. Or you could wing it: explore some new lands and kill some big monsters. Obsessive planning won’t make the game more enjoyable. It will just make it more like work.

I’m often asked about outlines and treatments, and whether they’re necessary before sitting down to write a script. They’re not. Like a map, they can help you figure out where you’re going, but when you follow them too closely, you’re apt to miss a lot of amazing scenery along the way.

On a bigger level, as you look back at any period of your life, you don’t remember what a solid plan you had. You remember what you did. You remember the adventures, the scrapes, the unanticipated detours that turned out to fascinating. So don’t plan your way out of an exciting life.


Sex by Schedule
The link between sexual behavior and your hormones, and why regular sex is good for you.
By:PT Staff

Biologist Winnifred Cutler found that regular sex is good for you. It orchestrates a woman’s body biologically, regulating the flow of hormones that make it fertile and, in turn, increase well-being. It also props up testosterone levels in men.

Embrace once a week. Weekly intercourse—but not less—tunes the menstrual cycle to 29.5 days, optimal for fertility and general endocrine health.

Here’s the tricky part: the findings mandate monogamy. Only committed relationships allow sex so regularly. If regular sex is not possible, then it’s better to abstain altogether. That’s because intermittent sex drives hormones wild, sending estrogen to lower lows (and higher highs) than the more moderate lows of celibacy. (Lows are responsible for bone loss, depression, and even heart disease.)

Banish the thought that you can keep yourself hormonally humming with your own hand. It isn’t the orgasm but the presence of another person, preferably male, that does the trick. Men add chemicals that fire off nerve signals to the brain and alter endocrine patterns.

The Dance of Life

Since I’m still waiting for my new headphones to arrive from Amazon so I can listen to my iPod again, my brain goes full tilt while I’m biking to and from work. Last night I was just planning out dinner, but this morning I started thinking about how life can be like dancing in a crowded ballroom.

You should look where you’re going, not where you’ve been or don’t want to go. Sometimes you bump into people, sometimes people bump into you. It’s fun whether you’re doing it with friends or lovers, and even if you show up alone, if you put yourself out there you can find someone to join you. Everyone makes a mistep now and then. Sometimes you’ll spin until you’re dizzy, but don’t worry, you’ll recover and maybe realize it was fun. Or learn to avoid what makes you dizzy. Be aware of yourself so you don’t accidentally hurt someone. Even if you plan carefully, sometimes you have to interrupt them, delay them or change them completely.

I might think of more to add to this analogy that was running through my head.

This is just too funny: Stained Glass PC Case.
stained glass pc case

And these bird houses are gorgeous, but I’d pay $25… not $125. I care about the design, I’m not going to pay $100 for something to be hand made.
bird house