September 10th, 2002



Observation: even on normal days, it takes as long for me to commute from Everett to Boston on the T as it did for me to commute from Everett to Needham in my car. And then there are days like today, when it takes longer. I really need to get one of those deals where I can walk to work. Well, okay, what I really need is one of those deals where I work from home.

Still sniffly and sneezy. I've been pretty lazy about cutting back on dairy, even though the people feeding me have been really good about it. I just need to pass things up. I had some cookies last night, but I did manage to not put any cheese or sour cream in the otherwise-vegan black bean soup. Mmmmm, that was good soup. I should get the recipe.

I have the morning to work on my stuff, then there's a meeting at 12:45 (or possibly 1, it's not very clear), and then I have New Employee Orientation (TM) from 1:30-3:00. At which point I will finish up whatever and then leave, since I'm skipping lunch today. I really like the 35-hour work week thing. Two jobs in a row with a 35-hour work week. And two jobs in a row that I somehow managed to never fill out a job application. I hate filling those things out, so that's pretty cool. You know, I don't think I provided nay references, either. I could have been some whacko who interviews well, for all they knew. Which, of course, is how the whackos get in.


So I have the preliminary JottoZendo up and running. How it works:

It picks a secret word as normal.

Then it picks a letter in the secret word at random. Let's call this x.
Then it picks one of the 13 most common English letters (e, a, t, o, n, i, etc.). Let's call this y.

Then, it score as normal, except:
It only scores x in a word if that word also contains y.

For example:
Say the secret word is "nodes".
x is "o".
y is "l".
"glove" scores 2.
"codes" scores 3.

For a double letter example:
Say the secret word is "toons".
x is "o".
y is "r".
"booty" scores 1.
"crore" scores 1.
"croon" scores 3.

I've tested it some, and it seems playable, although I can't concentrate very well here at work. I should really do some work, but this just had to be done. If anyone is interested in playtesting this, let me know.

Manuscript Editor

The manuscript editor position at the New England Journal of Medicine that I had applied for is up on Monster. The qualifications they list are way beyond anything I have. I guess having a referral from the inside really does help, since my resume was enough to get me a phone interview by HR. *sigh* I just hope I get opportunities like that when this job is over with. I really hope I'm not stuck in the textbook world forever.


Finished my first real JottoZendo game. Definitely playable, and definitely a lot more thinking involved, and definitely longer games. I got a score of 15. The secret word was "stout", and "n" enabled "s" (my shorthand for "the 's' only got scored if there was also an 'n' in the guess). I wonder how it would affect the playability if I allowed the "enabler" to be any letter, not just one of the 13 most common. I can only imagine that it would make it more difficult.

And I also wonder about different types of scoring rules. Anyone have ideas for that?

Here's my game:
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