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Sorry, but I haven't yet shared the information about myself that would typically display here. Check back later to see if that changes, or if I instead choose to remain an enigma.

chess, writing, coding
June 03, 2010

So today I finally wrote a program I'd been kicking around--a chess puzzle solver. Basically you have X chess pieces on a board and you want to start at a given one and capture the others. It would help to solve a mini-puzzle in an online game.

Surprisingly, the weird-move pieces (pawn/kt) were easier than the more conventional ones (rook/bishop/queen.) They only had fixed squares, so I had all sorts of tests to make sure a rook can't hop over a piece in its way.

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Relative importance
May 24, 2010

I remember a passage from CS Lewis's Screwtape Letters where the letter writer discusses the thoughts of one man. Basically, the man sat down to think of something important just before lunch. But then he said "that's too important to think of before lunch." The next day he said to himself, re: another thought, "that's not important enough to think of before lunch."

In either case, the importance was just a MacGuffin to cop out. It pops up in different contexts.

Writing piece a is too [from the gut/potentially unrefined] to [work on/write a rough draft for] right now, because I am too [busy/alone and catching up with my thoughts] at the moment.

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A puzzle
May 18, 2010

Man, I'd love to see this in a game, somehow. I remember at some math program I was at, the teacher in charge posed this puzzle:

--spinner A always comes up 4.
--spinner B comes up 1, 5, or 6 with equal chances for each.
--spinner C comes up 2, 3 or 7, with equal chances for each.

The teacher lets you pick first. Which is the best one to pick?

B is. It loses to C 55% of the time--1/5/6 vs 7 and 1 vs 2/3. C loses to A 2/3-4, and A to B 4-5/6, 66% of the time.

Offshoot question:

Design 3 wheels A, B and C so that each is equally bad for the first person to play.

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Crossing the Line
May 14, 2010

"Kid, you're lucky we've always let you do what you want. But then you went and pushed your luck and did what you REALLY wanted. Greedy."

A tough 1%
May 11, 2010

So my progress bar on the title went up another 1%. That's a lie, actually. It should've been at 68% to begin. I mistakenly deleted a ==== separator from something that was barely more than ideas strung together.

Still, it feels good to put that down, then some. It'd been a while since I moved. Also wrote an app that looks for a specific word in chapters and spits out all instances, whether it is commented or not.

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2, the batch file
April 29, 2010

So yesterday I wrote a script called It opens up my daily writing file e.g. c:writingdaily20100429.txt in wordpad. Then I decided...

...why not write a batch file called 2.bat which calls I mean, there's no sense in half-assed laziness. It's paid off already. (Windows start key) R 2 (return) and boom!

Having that utter convenience does trump the utter convenience of web sites I can waste time at. It may take a while to recoup the time writing the script with strictly the keystrokes saved, but taking down one more annoying barrier is a good feeling. It led to several more.

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Achievement unlocked: GOBS OF POETRY
April 20, 2010

I now have a limerick for every day of the year. Sadly, a few may be redundant. But I had ~300 at year's start and 370 now. I'm generally satisfied at the weird rhymes, and I have a small pile of ones that I can't put into a small story yet. Maybe I'll share a few if I haven't blogged a bit. Many are funny months after being written. Sometimes I even (sheepishly) fix the meter. Some are more profane than you'd expect from if you've read my reviews.

It's great to hit my first real organizational writing goal--it'd been for the end of the year, but I figured I could get done early if I sat down and wrote where I got. I've had goals where I said, write X amounts of notes.

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