Hrmm… Thoughts about Stuff

Discussions about ….. thoughts!

Well, haven’t we all been busy

Posted by chaosrunner on December 23, 2006

Looks like we’ve all been a little too busy to post recently, so here’s a quick blurb from me.

While I’ve been too busy to write for a while (between work, school, and the holidays), I have just posted my first article to Associated Content. Hopefully it should be accepted and published soon. Additionally, I’ve finally finished the first issue of the Heinlein Society newsletter, which should be getting sent out this month. Looking forward to seeing how that goes.

For more information on the Heinlein Society, check out

For more information about Associated Content, check out Join Associated Content

Finally, to see a list of my published AC content (updated automatically):


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Random: Just Writing

Posted by Philippe on November 22, 2006

I’m sitting here at 5 PM on the night before Thanksgiving, musing.  I’ve just finished working on various things — my game, my business, and my job search.  Its interesting to me that I’m forced to do both business and job search simultaneous. It seems that they should be polar opposites, yet the problem is that my business(es) aren’t financially stable enough to support me on a full time basis.  There are all these opportunities, yet none of them seem to ‘finish’.  They’re nebulous and closing my fingers around their ever moving target seems to be difficult.  The same goes for my job search.. I seem not to be able to “close” in on the right position, the open opportunity that fits my needs and my wishes. It makes it difficult for me to figure out what I need to be doing.

The game, at least, makes sense. When I am able to dedicate time and effort to it, it thrives and is extremely successful.  People enjoy it and there is a sense of vigor.  My dad’s always asked me, ever since I started playing around with online communities and providing service, “Why can’t you figure out how to make a living that way?”. Its a good question.  It even begs an answer … I wish I could answer it.  I’ve figured out ways to make a few thousand dollars a year from a single game — I don’t think that would be a problem.  But there’s no way that I can live off of a few thousand.  Much less pay back the time that it would take to develop up front.  Maybe I can figure out how to develop the up front and then adapt it, cookie-cutter-style, to simply copy it. Ten times a few thousand may be worth it.  But then you run into competition such as World of Warcraft, Stormreach, and Everquest…

In any case, the end of the year is when I truly start to run into problems, so I’m hoping that hope, perseversence and a little bit of luck will help me for 2007.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Random: Time Management

Posted by Philippe on November 2, 2006

Something that crosses the boundaries of people attending school, working full time, and homemakers … Time Management.

  • The skills necessary to successfully navigate the dangers of making sure that you have time enough to accomplish that with is necessary.
  • The patience needed to deal with everything that comes flying at you from every which direction.
  • The knowledge that if you do not have both the skills and the patience, your life will end!

Well, more seriously, your life will not end, but perhaps its continued existance will be more difficult. I have been running into these problems lately.  Whether it is due to my personal lack of time management skills or, more likely, simply due to too much to do within the available amount of time is not relevant, but what has occurred is that I barely have enough time to handle most of my responsibilities.

My average day currently consists of:

6:30 AM: Awaken and get ready to go to work
7:00 AM: Check business email and respond as necessary
7:30 AM: Leave for work
8:30 AM: Arrive at current contract
4:00 PM: Leave for home
4:45 PM: Arrive home, greet wife and child, help with necessary things around the house
5:00 PM: Check business email, voicemail and handle additional problems that have arisen throughout the day
6:00 PM: Shop for dinner, either cook or play with son, eat dinner
7:30 PM: Do homework
9:00 PM: Look for full time work by checking web boards, contacting personal network, etc
9:30 PM: Check Online Communities for fires
10:00 PM: Put son to bed
10:30 PM: Finish homework / business
12:00 AM: Go to bed
1:00 AM: Probably fall asleep 😉

Its no wonder that I don’t have time to do anything else or spend a great deal of time with my wife anymore.  Eventually, I’ll figure this out an, hopefully, be able to get things more organized.  Suggestions are welcome. ;P  At least when this contract is over, I’ll have more time again — granted, I will be back to the more difficult side of trying to make sure I can find away to generate a strong (and stable) enough income!

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Posted by Jazmin on November 1, 2006

NaNoWriMo, NaBloPoMo, I wonder how many more Na-whatever-Mo’s there are floating around. Those are, for the uninitiated, National Novel Writing Month and National Blog Posting Month. Pronounced with the full proud mumble of a nearly unpronoucable acronym adopted as pop culture buzzword. The net (at least my corners of it) are alight with the already lamenting cries of ‘I’m behind in my word count! I havent started and it’s after /noon/!!’

It is a love hate relationship with deadlines. Most of us need the incentive of accountability to push into doing anything. Doubly so when it is something so easily pushed aside in favour of the always essential but never popular Real Life ™. You know RL.. the laundry, cleaning, work, errands that make even the most easy going of people sometimes look to one another and say ‘Y’know, this being an adult thing really sucks’. Real Life. RL to those fond of acronyms. It nearly always wins, except when you can hold up a longer and less pronounceable acronym and state with pride ‘I cannot do dishes! I am doing NaNoWriMo and I am 900 words behind today!’

I really should probably caveat my ramblings here.. I am not trying to disparage or mock any of the NaXXMo’s. Heck, even in my most wildest thoughts I don’t dream of trying to write a novel in a month. Nearly 1700 words a day. You have got to be kidding me. Anyone who knows me knows that my relationship with deadlines is more akin to the infamous quote by Douglas Adams. I don’t have enough confidence in my own writing skills or my own ‘Ooh shiney’ tendancies to do that. Which, ironically, makes me nearly the target audience for NaNoWriMo.

I am going to try for NaBloPoMo. It’s more my speed. Either here or here. I will beg indulgences for while we are out of the country and without net access. 6 days of November. So my goal is 24 posts in 24 days. We shall see.

Posted in Conversation | 1 Comment »

Rant: 100%

Posted by Philippe on October 24, 2006

What does 100% mean to you?

Does it mean:

  1. 20 out of 24 hours of uptime?
  2. 22 out of 24 hours of uptime?
  3. 23.8 out of 24 hours of uptime?
  4. 24 out of 24 hours of uptime? HINT: This is the answer.

Seriously! If you are a service provider and you have a 100% network and power uptime guarantee, are hosting corporate customers, and then have a 4 hour outage due to power on Saturday and then another 3 hour outage on Monday … you don’t have a 100% network and power uptime!

I’m sure that that’s surprising to many people who read this, but … come on! First off, 100% network and power uptime providers should have the following:

  1. Backup Power Systems
  2. Backup Network Providers
  3. Failsafe switches

If you don’t have those? Don’t guarantee 100%. If you want to guarantee 100% … get them.


Posted in Business, Rants | 3 Comments »


Posted by chaosrunner on October 23, 2006

So I was watching Food Network this evening (which isn’t a big surprise for anyone who knows me) and an episode of Bobby Flay’s show ‘Throwdown’ was on. He went to Philadelphia to challenge one of the best purveyors of cheesesteaks in the city, Tony Luke. I’m from Philadelphia originally and while it may be a bit of a stereotype, I love cheesesteaks. Well, not the cheese part. I’m not fond of cheese, except for mozerella on pizza. But that’s beside the point.

There was a lot that was said during the episode about what makes the perfect cheesesteak and I have to agree with a lot of it. It’s not any one thing. The bread is important and it’s the thing that most places outside of Philly seem to miss. Even if the same type of steak is used, it’s not the same if the bread’s not right. But even with all of the ingredients being the same, it’s still not the same. There’s something of the city’s attitude that’s essential to the sandwich. Without it, you’re left with something that’s a little less than a Philly cheesesteak.

Posted in Conversation, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Another voice..

Posted by Jazmin on October 20, 2006

Before this collaboration begins to read as Phillipe’s thoughts alone with only occaisaional comments from others, I felt I should add another voice into the mix.

I am not a business person, I do not work in a coporate world (academia is not corporate, no matter how much some people try to make it so). I am a fibre artist, a knitter, spinner, lacemaker, gamer. All of that is a longwinded way of explaining (warning perhaps?) of a totally different perspective. 🙂

Nothing illustrates this more than my occaisional treks across campus, especially during that brief flurry of activity that happens on Winegard Walk just after class ends when students have a mere 10 mins to hurry off to another class. Except that I do not, as staff I likely have a meeting to get too, but on my way back to my office, I can stroll. Enjoy watching the students, watching the leaves upon the green. Pause to watch a young man practicing juggling on the lawn of the arts and social science building. Pause to wonder what an amateur camera crew (four people with a video camera looking perplexed) and a young woman who stands in front of the camera laughing are trying to capture. Watch young couples walk hand in hand from the major cafeteria back down into the heart of campus. On a university campus, it is not spring when young people’s fancies are perked, but rather autumn. October is generally about when they have seen each other in class, in residences, at the bars just long enough to have caught someone’s eye.

Everytime I have to walk across campus, I’m reminded of the energy of working with youth, who are still (generally) idealistic, still living in an unreal world of academia and campus life.

I should walk across campus more often.

Posted in Conversation | 1 Comment »

Rant: Craigslist & Spam

Posted by Philippe on October 19, 2006

OK. Craigslist. AWESOME concept, great implementation, excellent place to find things…

In theory, it has this capability where your email address will be anonymous so that you can post without spam spiders finding your address and then using it for their own nefarious means. Its supposed to cover your tracks and people send to which then forwards to your home address. Sweet! This means I can post job openings, resumes, ads, etc without having to worry about Mr. Spider running across my email and locating it.


I have an email address.. we’ll call it for fun. So I post with, mark it anonymous, and wait for the resumes. Do I get resumes? Sure. I get a couple. Excellent. Craigslist is doing what its supposed to be doing. Perfect.

A week later. Ms. Kaitlin sends me an email.

“hunggry mouthful of speermnot” as the subject line.

On my jobs@ email account. That isn’t a member of ANY mailing list, ANY clubs, or ANY outside location other than my website (which has been up for six months without gaining spam) and Craigslist as an anonymous poster.


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Business: Traffic v Sales

Posted by Philippe on October 18, 2006

Seriously. I’d write this on my corporate blog, but the whole thing makes no sense to me.  Why, in gods name, would a person want 100,00 untargetted hits to their website?  I guess I can comprehend the nature of the beast if it was your personal website and you had no real goal with it other than to “get people to look at it”, but from a business perspective?

My god. People have become so interested in watching their graphs grow and don’t pay attention to what the results actually are.  This semi-rant is built because of a comment that was made on The Small Business Forums. Someone asked how to improve traffic and examples were given including such things as spam, buying expired domain traffic and other options.  How does this ACTUALLY help your business?

Do you want 100,000 untargetted hits? Or do you want 1 sale? Personally, I’ll take the 1 sale even if its from 2 hits.  Then I have a 50% conversion rate.  100,000 hits that turn into 1 sale, or even worse .. 0.. what a waste of time!

Posted in Business | 2 Comments »

Business: Places for Help

Posted by Philippe on October 17, 2006

Finding help in business is difficult. Generally, you’re lucky if you know someone that can be a mentor to you. Places such as SCORE help for single questions, but are rarely the long term assistance that you need. More often than not, the people that are involved in SCORE are very busy and have other responsibilities — they can not hand hold you through everything.

To help with this, a few communities have been created.  When I started one of my own companies a while ago, I started looking for places that could offer this assistance. Most are dead and unused. The most active one that I have found is currently “Small Business Forums“.  There’s about 20-25 people who regularly seem to respond to postings and, generally, they appear to have a clue.

Because of the lack of centralization, I created one myself. This one is very heavily in development, but we’re open to allowing people on board.  Its called “Small Business Development” and entails articles, whitepapers, and forums — and an online real time community. I’m hoping to actually launch it by January 1, 2007 and have more articles and whitepapers available for review.

Posted in Business | 2 Comments »