There are some people who read my blog who may not agree with everything I say in this post. To those people I implore you to read to the very end. I’m hoping to make some very valid points that everyone should understand. In short, this post is about the Second Amendment and our right as American citizens to bear arms. Immediately I can tell you that my stance is that I am pro-2A. I also believe that everyone should be pro-2A, and I will explain why in the following paragraphs. With that said, I also believe that there needs to be a sensible level of gun control in our nation. Again, I know that I probably scared some folks away, but like I said, read to the end.
I know there’s an underlying story that I’m trying to write here. I want to write the middle of that story, but I don’t know what to write. So I started it, but am now writing something else instead. I have a few drafts on here. Some things that I’ve started, but didn’t quite like, or didn’t quite know how to finish. So I saved them as drafts, and there they remain; unfinished. I want to finish them, but I know that I’m not ready to finish them now. When I get the urge to write them, then I know I will be ready. Just like I got the urge to write my last published blog, or this one. I know that I said I wanted to publish new stuff every week, but that just added pressure. It made this seem like a chore. I f’cking hate chores. I don’t like anyone to tell me what to do. I even hate it when I tell me what to do. I added an SEO plugin to my website. It tells me how to improve readability, and tells me to add focus keyphrases, and other bullsh’t. I even hate that thing telling me what to do. It’s like when you’re at the store and you swipe your debit card. Then the person behind the counter thinks you don’t know how to do it. They tell you “Press ok”, and “put in your pin number” and it drives me crazy. Almost as crazy as when someone says “pin number” Personal Identification Number is what PIN stands for you f’cking dipsh’t……
It seems to me that programming is one of the most underappreciated art forms. I’m talking specifically about back-end programming; not front end UI design. A degree for web design is an arts degree. But back-end, logic is not ever really considered artistic by the masses. When I was younger my older brother tried to get me into programming. I always complained and said I didn’t like it and was not interested because it was not creative enough for me. I’d say it was boring and that I had no interest. Then I actually started doing it. I realized that it is a very creative art form. It allows creative and logical minds an outlet to build amazing things. There are a few major downsides though.
People rarely express any gratitude or excitement about what you’ve built. If it works as they expect and they’re happy then they tend to just use it and keep to themselves. They don’t often make it a point to reach out to those that built it and even say thank you. Programmers are so far removed from the Sales and Support side in most companies that they rarely receive any positive feedback at all. The positive feedback comes in through the support teams and makes its way up the chain to the management and administrative teams, but it rarely flows back down to the programmers. People are always very quick to express displeasure though. When something doesn’t work correctly it will often times fall right down on the programmer’s shoulders and that could mean long nights and weekends working to fix a critical bug. So there is very little gratification in being a programmer.
As a programmer it’s difficult to talk to people about my work. Unless you are also a programmer, you just won’t understand. When I start talking about how I used a specific design pattern in my code most people’s eyes will glaze over and they’ll drift away. It’s not a topic that you can really understand unless you have some training in it and have done it before.
Now that I’m thinking about it more I realize that this problem is not only a software engineering issue. It’s most likely inherent to all forms of engineering. Engineering is very creative work. That’s what Engineers do all day is create things. Sometimes they are building things to solve new problems, and other times they are looking at new and more efficient ways to solve old ones. So make sure and thank your engineer friends and family. It’s because of their very creative minds that we have all these cool things that we tend to take for granted on a daily basis.
I like to think I invented this game. I’m sure the concept has been used before but I’ve fleshed out quite a rule set to allow you to have fun playing scrabble on road trips, or just generally anytime you drive around in your car with friends or family.
What you Need
A good vocabulary, the ability to spell, and a quick wit. While playing this game you will be trying to ramble out words faster than other players in the car, and those words will give you points. It might be helpful to designate one person in the vehicle to be a scorekeeper (Obviously not the driver) or just to keep track of your own individual score as you play. Or you can just play for fun and decide not to keep score.
To score more points than anyone else in the vehicle. Or just to come up with the most creative word combos.
How to Play
While in the car, use any license plates you can see to create words. Most license plates do not have vowels in them, so you will be working off of only the consonants that are available. You can add in only vowels to make your words. You can also use the letters Y and W as wildcards. The word(s) you create must use ALL letters from the license plate. When there are no letters on the license plate it cannot be played. Words cannot be used more than once per license plate. Each added letter results in 1 point. When multiple words are created, word combos can result in much higher scores than single words.
Example: You see a license plate with the letters ‘MNK’ on it. You could yell out ‘monk’ adding in an ‘o’ for this word this results in 1 point total because one letter was added. You could also yell out ‘monkey’ as you can add in ‘y’ as a wildcard. This word would give you 3 points. You cannot use the word ‘Man’ because it does not use the letter ‘k’. In these examples, once the words ‘Monk’ and ‘Monkey’ are used other players cannot use these words unless the same letters appear on another license plate in view.
If the license plate has no consonants:
Then you can add only consonants to make the words. In this case you are limited to only the vowels that display on the license plate.
Example: You see a license plate with the letters ‘AOU’ you could use the word ‘about’ as it uses all three of the vowels provided and only adds in consonants. This would give you 2 points as you added in 2 letters.
If the license plate has some vowels and some consonants:
Then you can either make due with what you have. You can also substitute any vowel on the license plate for a single consonant. When you do this you cannot use that vowel in any words you create; unless that vowel occurs on the license plate more than once. Substituted letters are not worth any points.
Example: You see a license plate with the letters ‘ATL’ you could use the word ‘late’ and earn a single point as you used all three letters of the license plate. OR you can substitute the letter ‘A’ for another consonant, but then the word you make cannot use the letter ‘A’ so with the same letters you could make the word ‘toll’ substituting the ‘A’ for an ‘L’ and adding in the letter ‘O’. This would only be worth 1 point as the substitution does not count for points.. Using the letters ‘AAL’ you could substitute one of the ‘A’ characters for an ‘S’ and make the word ‘also’ In this case there is still a letter ‘A’ in your pool of letters so you can use this one, but you cannot use any additional ‘A’s.
Creating multiple words per license plate (Word Combos):
You can create multiple words using the characters on the license plate. When you do this, if you can use those words in a sentence where they are sequential, you get to multiply your points for the letters added by the number of words created. This can result in some very high scoring word sets. However, the multiplier can only be applied when those words can be used in a sentence sequentially. If they cannot be used in a sentence then you only get points for the letters added.
Example: Using the letters ‘FRS’ you could create the words ‘use fire’. Then you would say the sentence ‘When all else fails, use fire’. This would earn you 4 points for the letters added, multiplied by the 2 words you created, worth 8 points. You could also create the words ‘if’ ‘are’ and ‘sew’ (Remember to use the wildcards). These three words cannot be used in a sentence sequentially so you would only earn 5 points for the letters that were added. Reminder, once these words are used, they cannot be used to create other word combos either unless the letters appear on another license plate. So sometimes it may make sense to use common words like ‘if’ or ‘are’ to block other players from creating other word combos.
- Players earn 1 point for each letter added.
- Substituted letters are not worth any points
- Creating multiple words can result in a multiplier if those words can be used in a sentence.
Additional ways to earn points:
- If you create a word that uses ONLY the letters on the license plate without adding anything then you automatically get 1 point.
- Using the letters ‘ATR’ you create the word ‘art’ this is worth 1 point.
- If you can name a common acronym for the letters on the license plate, IN THE ORDER THEY DISPLAY then you can earn an automatic 3 points
- Using the letters ‘FTW’ you can say ‘For the Win’ and earn 3 points. you could not do this if the letters were in the order ‘TWF’
How to Win
When the road trip is over, the player with the most points wins.
House rules are always welcome. Feel free to comment below with your favorite house rules so that other players can use them.
Example House Rules:
- No Onomatopoeia:
- Onomatopoeia words like ‘Boom’, ‘Slap’, or ‘Cough’ cannot be used.
- Single Language Only:
- All words created must be from a single specified language. This is a good fairness rule when one person in the vehicle is multi-lingual but other players are not. This does not mean that the word must originate in that language, only that it must be a word that can be used in that language.
- Single Word Only:
- Only single words are allowed. This would negate the multiple word rules in the game.
- No personalized plates:
- Plates that are personalized (IE: OUTATIME) cannot be used to make any words.
I’ve been thinking… It might be dangerous….
Sometimes people like to say that there are no stupid questions. If someone ever says that to you, I urge you to use a sampling of my stupid questions below.
I’ve been writing for many years. I learned to write in a time when we were taught that when you are building a list of things, you always put a comma before the word ‘and’. I am a big fan of this practice. If i say ‘I like oranges, limes, and sometimes apples’ I will put that extra comma before the word ‘and’ That is the Oxford Comma. I like it and it likes me.
Tonight I was at the bar. The manager walked up next to one of the servers. He told her how to do her job. She’s been there for a while. I know because I’ve seen her there before. When he was done he said ‘We strive for perfection here’. I immediately thought how stupid that was to say. As a manager myself, sure, you want people to be the best they can be. Perfection, however, is impossible. To be truly perfect you’d have to somehow embody everyone’s image of perfection simultaneously. That is not possible for any human being; from a realist standpoint. I don’t want my employees to strive for perfection. I want them to strive to be the best they can be. I want them to feel fulfilled, not pressured. So I say, strive for your own image of perfection. Try, every day, to be a better person than you were the day before. Challenge yourself, and be the best you can be. Throw everything else out the window.
I come off as a creep. I know I do. Or maybe it’s all in my mind. I like that song. It’s one of my favorite songs, but it makes me cry. Every time. I know that I come off as a creep. I don’t mean to. I just do. If I could not, I would not. I feel like that’s just me though. It’s because I have a hard time talking to people. Whether you’re male, female, a dog, I don’t care. I can’t talk to new people. I’ve been betrayed by people, people that I’ve let in as close friends. So I have a hard time talking to new people. I have a hard time opening up to anyone that I don’t know. I keep things short, I keep things down to only what needs to be said. All the while though, I’m curious. I have ADHD. So I’m constantly looking around; constantly watching everything that happens around me. I appear like a weirdo, someone that just watches everyone and never talks to them.
I haven’t written in a while, so I feel obliged to write. Well, here it is. I wrote something.