Magical Monday 4.13.2015

So to be clear i am starting this post before midnight my time so i am going to count it as Monday.

I love my job at The Arena, hands down best job ever. But sometimes there are surprises that well i didn’t foresee, hence the word “Surprise.” With the new PPTQ (preliminary pro tour qualifier) system all the local shops get to have their own little “big” tournament. I am hearing some PPTQ’s  are not firing and i am not just talking about in Smallville, Ks but real places like Boston and Chicago.

Say what?

Yep some shops just don’t have the player base to draw in the players, that and format calls. Hint, no one that has legacy decks just laying around wants to play a legacy PPTQ (of 8 people) to go to a standard regional PTQ. And the shop owners are losing money paying judge staff for 10 people to show up. Now some places are getting 100-200 people PPTQs and they are having another issue. There PTQ are too skilled. And a lot of those players are traveling to “soft” PTQs to make things easier to pick up invites. If you live in a smaller state, Magicwise anyway, you might get to see a lot of just off the train pros looking to get back on the train by crushing your dreams. How much fun would that be?

My personal problem? Glad you asked, the lack of level 2s in my area, and for those non Magic kids reading you have to have a level 2 judge for your PPTQ or your winner doesn’t get to qualify for your PTQ. Kansas only has a handful of level 2+s (four) and they are in high demand at the moment. Basically, making it a sellers market and some of the judges are looking out for number one; as they should. But at least let us know more then two weeks out would you? When we contacted you 3 months out and have been speaking with you weekly and then you say oh i am booked that day. Surprise!

I really don’t think that WotC thought this PPTQ thing out. There are a ton of issues that anyone could have seen in advance if someone gave it a reasonable amount of thought? High population area issues vs low population areas for number of seats to the big show and judge availability are just a few…

As for my problem, we are emailing the regional judge overseer person for our area, to see if there is anything he/she can do to help. But i am not holding my breath. I have the feeling that we will have to cancel and cut our losses. See if i can’t paint some lipstick on this pig and take it to the dance as my date. If only level 1s could run the PPTQs for low population areas. Areas with an expected turn out of less then 20-40 players. And heaven help us if the Regional PTQs gave out PT invites based on number of players in said state.

Sigh….

Well i hope someone at WotC, is watching what is happening and can make some changes to the policy.

Guess, i am starting judge studying soon. Not sure how fast i can get my level 2 but i know that i could almost make up the salary from my part job just working a few PPTQs a month. Seems like a reasonable thing to me.

Okay need to do some reading and try to get to sleep before 2 am this morning..

 

<3s

Advertisements

Lets all go on an Adventure

So if you all remember one of my goals for the year is to write and if necessary e-publish my own pnp adventure. And i have been working on it on and off in the back of my head for a while now. I have a start (the hook/how to set it) and the overall scope but i am getting fuzzy on the details. So my brain has been tooling a round a few ideas and i want to run them by you.

I think i want to tie in to the DDo setting for this module, ie i want to set things in Stormreach and use some of the npcs and some of the locations. Ideally i wouldn’t use more back story then necessary so non-ddo people could pick up the module and with a few tweaks plop it into their campaign. But i really like the idea of using a back drop that anyone can see for the cost of downloading the game and playing for free for 5 mins.

The other there is always like a mouth watering description that gets the ball rolling on opening your wallet. Like this one from on of my personal favorite quests ever.

“Lost within the ruined House Cannith citadel of Whitehearth, an arcane workshop somewhere in the perilous Mournland, is the key to constructing a terrible magic weapon. Agents of the Emerald Claw will stop at nothing to recover the ancient device. As malevolent forces hunt for the artifact, only the most resourceful heroes will reach Whitehearth first and discover the secrets that lie within.” – Shadows of the Last War

If that got you a little bothered you can buy the pdf here.

So with that in mind this is what i got.

“Magic Items are disappearing from all over the city from the mundane to the extraordinary. The Coin Lords have put out a huge bounty on anyone that can stop this horrific crime spree. The local thieves guild has an even larger prize for anyone that can give them the secret to this mysterious criminal master’s success.

Who’s side are you one?”

Thoughts?

<3s

Job Updates

Thought I would throw out a little updatez. Think most of you know I have been job hunting for a while now and ended up taking a job at the post office. And i want to say I don’t think it is for me. As most of you know I have a little more then a hint of dyslexia. I tend to get the last few letters/numbers/words out of order. So if say i wanted to sort all the mail for 1234 green while i am sitting at their box out of my next pile i would have to extra careful not to get the mail for 1243 green out also. Or more often then not I wouldn’t get all the mail for 1234 green at once. What was happening  was i would have 5 letters for 1234, check and see 1234 1234 1234 and 1243 1243 and just put three in the mail box. Roll up to the next address and then realize that i still had mail for the last box. Once i realized i was doing that i had to be even more careful and that took even more time.

Things you might not know about the post office is that it is super time sensitive.  That is that when people send mail out in their mail box it has to be back at the post office by a given time so it can be processed and sent out to be sorted. Unless you live in a MAJOR city odds are it has to dive out of town some. Ergo a must be back time is in effect at most postoffices. Any mail you don’t deliver must be returned and taken out by the next person. Ergo extra work for them. And in my case it will be extra work on Mondays ie the craziest of the days.

Also you have to scan most packages now at the time of delivery. If the scanner is not working you have to manually enter the 16-22 digit number (like 1234 5678 1234 5678 1290 12). I had more then 5 packages that didn’t scan and again with my dyslexia manually enter packages were very time consuming.

My first solo run might be my last as i got back late even though i headed back in time, but you have to get gas on your way back if you work the Saturday shift (Mondays are too busy to get gas) but my gas card wouldn’t work, making me late for the the truck anyway. But to top things off 3 different people helped me out by taking around an hour of deliveries on top of their normal load. Even with their help i still returned with more then a third of my route. Even if i was able to double my speed I would still have tons more work for the regular. Something i can’t abide is someone else having extra work because of me.

I am not sure what to do. My wife said i had to see for myself and my regular saw my issues and made some comments but i hate to quit. There are lots of good things about the job. It is a total rush, 1000% pressure all the time. I didn’t even have time to eat, drink or piss in the 12 hours i was out killing myself. I do like that rush of an impossible deadline when i have the ability to reach the goal in time. But i was totally crushed on Saturday night some things were out of my hands but most of my delays were due my limitations. And i don’t want to hurt others because of my short comings.

Anyway i am debating things maybe too much like i tend to do. But that makes content, right?

<3s

Life is Coming Around to the Idea of Me being Amazing.

If you have been following along you all know my personal woes in the last few weeks. But things are feeling better. To start off i got called in for an interview with the post office. I know it sounds strange but i have been doing a lot of thinking about what i want to do and what i wanted to due when i was little.

And i remembered in the way way back……. Back in first grade my school was close to the post office and one day we walked over for a field trip. I remember loving the idea of delivering letters and packages. Then later in way back when I was looking for my first job i wanted to be a postman but that finishing school thing got in the way. Then i meet my wife and my life took a lot of turns and twists. So i have the feeling that my interview will be good tomorrow and i will have that under my belt.

But I haven’t given up on a maybe moving in to QA @ Turbine. I took yesterday and started playing with perl. Yes the P in perl is lower case why i am not sure… But i can say i like it. I am a PHP guy through and through, syntax-wise any how, and perl is like the love child between Java and PHP. Or that is how i see the syntax… I am barely (less then 6 hours) into  it but i have gotten most of my simple starting scripts to work easily enough. I am missing something in the way libraries are called i think, skipping ahead on my reading some, and i am having issues sending an email but i am sure that will be explained soon enough.

What has happened that i am not please about happened in the greenhouse… During the day it has been sunny enough most days that someone (me) has to go and open it up as to take the internal temp down to a reasonable temp. But then with the last 2-4 hours of sunlight left someone (aka the son) needs to go and close it up. Well the Monday night i sent him out and reminded him that i had pulled the window and he needed to close it. Well he didn’t. Tuesday in the early hours it frosted and killed almost everything in the greenhouse. So i got to take a few hours and do some tearing the old plants out. So much waste because a window didn’t get closed. I should have checked on it myself i guess. Live and learn.  That said as i was cleaning out the aquaponics flood and drain bed i noticed that some of the cold hearty lettuces are coming in. Maybe there will be something growing in to eat the fish shit so they don’t all die to ammonia bloom… Woot?

Okay looks like a worth wild post. Now i need to go do some more cleaning in the green house, it was really packed and there is a lot to remove before i can work on more recovery. Then i need to hit the stores. I need to get some not jeans for my interview and with the cold some of the hose in the aquaponics got brittle and broke when i was cleaning so i need to fix that up too. Also gives me a window to make some layout changes… Maybe get that other bed setup…

<3s

Day 12, Baby Eagles

Today’s chapter was a short one, with the moral of never rest for long on one’s laurels. To this end the author told the story of baby eagles. How the nest is built out of thorns and then covered with not so pointy stuff. Then as the babies grow they remove the soft outer layer to motivated the little pen stickers to get them out of the nest. Then they tease the little guys by bringing them food just out of reach until the little buggers go for it and fly…. or not and we have less eagles. Okay so i added that last little bit. But you see the point, live is a unconformable struggle prompting us to grow and fly.

Wow that was good, i need to write that down…

Homework:

12.1, What can i do in the next 48 hours to put me on the path for what i want to accomplish?

Start to read up on Perl, C# and QA best practices for Turbine, get an opening and closing on the new pod i have done with Tobril and company and get that up someplace. And compose my list of topics for my adult book idea. Wow that was a lot and it didn’t that very long to have answers.  Does that mean something?

12.2, What idea have i gotten that could be worth more then a life time of hard work.

Well i don’t want to go in to too many details but have i talked about a my card sorting machine?

12.3, Am i the creator of circumstances or a their creation?

Both i think, right? I mean aren’t we all? There are times when we grab life by the horns and then times when we are getting dragged out of the arena.  Think the trick is to keep getting up after we get speared and try again.

12.4, What seeds did i plant in my mind 5 years ago that brought me here today?

Well for one i thought that i had a life time career at Great Plains, think that was some soft bedding in my nest.  I also think that i had the notion that as long as i was a certain level of profitable that i was golden. But if you challenge the wrong person while they are in the wrong state of mind then that is not true. I need that lesson in more often in less world crushing doses.

 

Oh shit that is the end of the book. Guess the time of reading and putting my mind at ease is over. Time to take what i have learned and fly.  Guess tomorrow starts a dev diary?

Day 11, Sleepless Mornings.

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning my sleeping brain decided to get back to the task at hand of writing a cover letter for one of the Turbine positions i plan to apply. When it jumped forward to the interview process where i was trying to explain why i was let go. That thought is better then coffee or a million pounds of crack if you don’t ever want to sleep again.  I spent the rest of the night calming myself down, clearing my mind of the bull shit then going back to sleep where my brain would shoot right back to that same problem once again shaking me awake.

Repeat until 6:30 where it is time to start making progress on the day. Grumble, Frumble, shit fuck balls motherfucker dog kicker…. I might be in a bit of a foul mood. Worse of all i still don’t think i have an answer to the problem and i know that i am too brain dead to make a dent now.

 

Homework?

Today’s chapter was about looking at doing something on my own vs looking for another job.

11.1, Do i know anyone that was fired then started their own business, successfully?

I don’t know. I can’t think of anyone. I know a few people that could have but i can’t think of anyone that did. Do any of you fit the bill?

11.2, What skills do i have that could be the basis for a creative business?

Well i think i have covered the whole writer/storyteller idea. I have been working on ideas, some are good and others are less then good. I could also do that podcasting thing, but i would be one of the totally unknown podcasters trying to make a living poding. Very unlikely to happen.

11.3, Do i have any ideas that would fall into the “peacemakers, storytellers or healers” category?

Not sure what this is asking. I know that he means like mediation/health businesses when he says peacemakers/healers category. I don’t think i really have an idea there…

11.4, Do i have an SWISS income idea?

SWISS means Sales While I Sleep Soundly, aka he wants to know if there is something i could do then generate cash flow while i am doing something else. He talks about digital book sales. Sound familiar?

11.5, Do i give myself time to “sit of ideas”?

By this he means take time to let your imagination run wild. I want to say fairly often, i mean you all have seen my writing it is mostly about being in my head. 🙂

11.6, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires”. How does this apply to being content in a job you hate?

Think the point is you can’t be content in something you hate and delight in the Lord. But if you do something you love then good things will happen for you. This is a lot like a self fulfilling prophecy.

11.7, How does my culture/environment/expertise limit my being able to see new opportunities?

Right now i am kind wallowing in the “no on loves me and i don’t love no body” mind set. That is blocking out a lot of my field of view. But my father worked himself to the bone for 20+ years the plant he worked at for so many years shut down and he has struggled ever since. Think he is now happily unemployed, knowing him he is running a “gun store” out of the house. That was always his dream, by the way. Opening his own brick and mortar shop… I really need to get my shit together and get on at Turbine and or knock out a few of these book ideas.

 

<3s

 

Day 10, Entrepreneur?

If any of you were waiting I am sorry for the late update, i had to drive out of town to take the assessment test for the post office and i think it went fairly well. Most of it was fairly easy but i think i might have been a little slow in places. Any way that is not important right at the moment.

Today’s reading was all about getting your mind looking at other job models like starting your own business. I have lots of ideas and but i am lacking some skills to get some things rolling. Others i do have the skills for but i wonder if i can make them happen and still support my family?

Okay lets jump to homework then maybe look at some of the options i have been mulling over.

10.1, What do i think of the word Entrepreneur?

It is a good fine word. I have always wanted to have my own business. But i often feel i am great with ideas but often feel that i am missing on some skills. But while i am thinking on it why do i spend time on learning/working on other skills vs the ones i need to make some of these ideas real…?

10.2, Do i have what it takes to be on my own?

This question might be a big part of the answer to how i left of the last question. I just don’t know. I have a family to help support and what if i fail more then a few times. I can’t let Torrance carry the bag because I am riding on the fail train…

10.3, Are you an “accidental” entrepreneur?

Maybe, think i am more motivated to work on some of my ideas more now then ever before. But i still want that traditional X$ a year JOB.

10.4, What service or product could i promote?

Like i said before i have a few book ideas and have had a ton of shirt ideas as well as a few “modules/Dnd quests” in mind.

10.5,What invention could i develop?

As a “thing” I have had this idea for an “aquaponic tree” that would allow any one to grow some simple produce.

10.6, What are 3-4 ideas that i have had on the back burner or have seen others develop?

see above think i talked about 3 or 4 already.

10.7, Describe 3-4 times in my own experience when i was paid on results vs “putting in time”.

I want to go back to that time when i cleaned out the goat barn. Other then that i don’t really remember a time where i got paid via results. Maybe if you look at it from the right angle my live in nanny days could be thought of like that.

10.8,What would prevent you from doing something on my own?

Again i want to say it comes back down to profit and support of the family. Am i going to try this writer thing but that is low cost just time and doing but that doesn’t really count as on my own…

10.9, Is it exciting or frighting to think about being my own boss?

I would love it, assuming i knew i had X+ income each year. Are you kidding? Writing, poding thinking up apps and tee shirt ideas all day would be amazing. Hell i even thought about doing some standup. But at some point you have to turn ideas into realty and i have never done that with out someone paying for my time but then they get the big bucks each year, right?