Worldbuilders (aka ‘Tis the Season for Giving)

Patrick Rothfuss is holding a raffle again this holiday season, this year with a snazzy new name. Worldbuilders! All proceeds (and more, 50% of donations are being met) go to Heifer International. If you either like helping people, like giving people fuzzy animals, or like SF/F books, I would highly recommend donating money to the raffle.

Once again, if anyone wants to give me a Christmas present, donate some in my name/send me the prizes.

The blog post explaining the rules and how to enter is here.

183. To an Inconstant One. Sir Robert Ayton. The Oxford Book of English Verse

(Note: Nothing whatsoever to do with me, I just really enjoyed the poem)

183. To an Inconstant One
I LOVED thee once; I’ll love no more—
Thine be the grief as is the blame;
Thou art not what thou wast before,
What reason I should be the same?
He that can love unloved again,
Hath better store of love than brain:
God send me love my debts to pay,
While unthrifts fool their love away!
Nothing could have my love o’erthrown
If thou hadst still continued mine;
Yea, if thou hadst remain’d thy own,
I might perchance have yet been thine.
But thou thy freedom didst recall
That it thou might elsewhere enthral:
And then how could I but disdain
A captive’s captive to remain?
When new desires had conquer’d thee
And changed the object of thy will,
It had been lethargy in me,
Not constancy, to love thee still.
Yea, it had been a sin to go
And prostitute affection so:
Since we are taught no prayers to say
To such as must to others pray.
Yet do thou glory in thy choice—
Thy choice of his good fortune boast;
I’ll neither grieve nor yet rejoice
To see him gain what I have lost:
The height of my disdain shall be
To laugh at him, to blush for thee;
To love thee still, but go no more
A-begging at a beggar’s door.

Anticipation

I can’t understand people who say “I’m just waiting until MM/DD/YYYY, then I can [verb phrase- relax, have fun again, be with you, etc.]” Why are they doing whatever they’re doing until then if they’d rather be doing something else? A friend of mine recently advocated the Gap Year- a year off to work (or do other things) between high school and college in order that people might figure out why they’re going to college. Why wouldn’t someone know? Why would anyone do something just because “that’s what’s next.” The notion that someone might go to high school just to go to college, and to college just because they don’t have any better ideas repulses me.

For the Gamer Geeks

I’ve been over indulging in time wasting activities lately. While I haven’t re-read The Dresden Files (an old standby for when the creative portion of my brain develops narcolepsy) yet, I have been watching The Guild, considering re-reading The Name of the Wind, and generally failing to get things done.

It’s too hot to go for a run, I tell myself. Wait until the sun goes down. Hopefully I’ll actually get that done.

In any case, while Facebook stalking Patrick Rothfuss, which I don’t usually do, but I was seeking pictures of GenCon, which I missed again this year, I discovered the greatest thing ever to happen to gaming kind.

I’m not actually a gamer, I do like to pretend sometimes.

Idea #16: Metro Delivery Service

A group of children operates a swift delivery service via the city’s subway system. The group is divided in to two castes- those who stay inside the subway, and those who execute the final delivery on the outside. The kids on the outside run in order to deliver their packages rather than using the buses in the vast majority of circumstances. The only cost incurred would be getting the ‘Worms’ in to the subway system. Rather large profits, then, for whoever organized the children. All they have to do is pay the kids and give them just enough money for a single ride on the subway. This is because the ‘Crickets,’ those on the outside, wait by turnstiles and the packages are handed over.

Where do these kids come from? Good question. During the summer they could be anyone. During the school year ambitious individuals might make a few runs during lunch breaks and after school, but clearly there will be a lack of service during the day unless kids skip school. I suspect that there are a number who skip school, but not enough. Or are there? How many schools are there within range of a given stop on the subway? If there are five kids within range of a given station who do this work, only one of them would need to skip on any given day to act as Cricket. The Worms can be found anywhere on the system. There needn’t be terribly many Worms, depending on the size of the system as a whole. They can even carry multiple packages at once. But you need a Cricket at every stop, or within range of every stop if there’s some way of communicating which of two nearby stations a Cricket needs to be present at to receive a package.

Do they have pagers, cell phones, anything to allow for this? More costs, less profit if they do. Perhaps they are only allowed to use them on weekdays during the school year, when the crew is understaffed. During the summer there would be excess kids, no need to have flexibility.

The packages are anything that needs to be delivered fast. Money, in many cases. Small things. Things accidentally left at home, or at the office. Drugs, conceivably. Keys. Books (really fast inter-library loans). Stolen goods, anything.

How are the kids tracked? How are the kids paid? Who runs this? I need to figure all of that out. Better yet, this an idea I can integrate into my current project, ‘Dog.’ From now on all ideas which can be used in this project will be in the Dog WIP category.

Silly iTunes

When looking up Dr. Horrible on iTunes to see whether I would buy it for myself or put it on the birthday/Christmas list I realized that a number of the songs on the soundtrack were shorter than 30 seconds and being sold for $0.99. With free previews which contained the whole song.

It is possible to snag the 30 second preview of a song. I’m not sure how it works, but they show up on mp3 search engines for new songs when the full version isn’t available all the time. Why on earth would iTunes try selling those individually at all, let alone for 99 cents rather than 69 cents? On that note, while I’ve seen plenty of $1.29 songs since iTunes destandardized its pricing scheme, I have yet to see a single $0.69 song, even though they supposedly exist. If the eight second long Dr. Horrible theme song isn’t deemed to be worth less than $0.99, what could be? Donkey’s braying? Dogs barking?

There must, somewhere on iTunes, be a recording of Steve Jobs sneezing once, which is priced $0.69- the only item in the entire store at that price.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog is great, by the way, and you can watch it for free on the website. Go do so, it’s only 42 minutes long. Believe me, it’s worth it.