The Idea Series: Week 4

This week, I lost the Old Blog. Let this be two lessons: a) make backups of your work; b) you don’t have a backup until you’ve tested it. I had to re-create the entire blog, this time opting for WordPress, and I had to do some deep digging to find copies of several posts totaling several thousand words written. But I did find them!

Anyway, let’s get to the Ideas.


10 of the Best Things that Happened to Me

This got too long, so it’s going into its own post.



Weather finder

Sometimes I’m in the mood for rain. Living in Northern California, this makes things kind of difficult most of the year. It would be neat to punch in my ZIP code and say, “point me to the nearest place that’s rainy right now,” or “I want some sun,” or any variant thereof.

Interactive algorithm workbook

Like visual programming. Arrange blocks, watch time complexity increase or decrease. Figure out multiple solutions to multiple problems visually.

Desktop world building / wiki software

Righter after writing this, I discovered ConnectedText.

Deal finder app

Say, “I want to be notified when this specific cardigan is available under $40,” and get an email when it’s time

Progress gamification

Done by Habitica.

Year round NaNoWriMo tracker

I like the fun charts the NaNoWriMo site give you when you participate. I’d like to have a plugin for Scrivener or something like that so I could see these charts year round.

.Net datagrid-like JS implementation

The data grid in .Net is great. Pass an object, get a table whose columns are the object properties and whose rows are the values. As far as I know, there’s nothing quite like this for JS. You still have to specify all the properties to get columns from them.

Roguelike game engine

There are countless wonderful resources for building roguelike games. There’s the Doryen Library (libtcod), SadConsole, BearLibTerminal, zircon — I could go on forever. Due to the nature of roguelikes, it would be almost infeasible to write an “engine” for building them. However, it would be cool to have some kind of semi-opinionated tool, in the same vein as RPG Maker, that helps you build maps, pick which mapgen to use, set up entity spawns and AI, in a user-friendly interface and which handles all the drawing and window management for you with minimal coding on the user’s end.

Pipe dreams.

App finder

I don’t know what I meant by this.

Visual web app builder

Like Winforms, for the Web. shudder


10 Things I Wish I Had Done

I did not get to 10 things this day. I found that I don’t really have many regrets in life — I’m generally happy with where I’m at, and while certain things I’ve done in the past were not always very smart, they all contributed to me being here today.

Finished high school / finished college

I graduated from high school at 16 and left. I went to college for less than a year, then decided it wasn’t for me. All my life I’ve been impatient with the education system. Ever arrogant, I thought I was better equipped to teach myself. I never realized the importance of actually going to school — the social importance — until years later.

Traveled more when I had more free time

There was a long stretch of my life when I’d work a job just long enough to save three to four months’ expenses, and then I’d quit. I didn’t do anything or go anywhere — I just hung out with friends, took pictures, sometimes wrote. Sometimes I think I should have spent that time traveling instead.

Finished NaNoWriMo on time

There’s always this year!

Quit drinking sooner

Alcohol is a money pit, a time suck. It’s borrowing happiness from tomorrow. I’ve never woken up the next day and thought, “Yeah. I’m glad I did that.” Even if nothing really had happened. Drinking just sucks. Also, my waistline is eternally thankful for me cutting back on the beers.


10 Ideas for a better life

This one will also go into its own post.


10 Ways to Conserve Water

Shower less

Your hair will thank you.

Stop watering your lawn

Grow a garden with that water, or xeriscape.

Upgrade appliances that use water

Newer dishwashers and clothes washers use far less water than older ones.

Eat fewer nuts

At roughly a gallon per almond, this is a highly wasteful snack.

Rain barrels

Catch and recycle.

Use less paper…

It takes 2-13 liters of water per A4 sheet of paper.

If it’s yellow, let it mellow

Flush when you have to, save gallons

Look for ways to reuse water that is normally thrown out

Catch the cold water while you’re waiting for the hot, and use it to water plants

Do less laundry

Jeans don’t need to be washed more than once every few months at most, and undershirts help your outer shirts last longer and go longer between washes.

Don’t run the faucet while brushing teeth



10 Restaurant Ideas (or businesses)

  1. Barcade
  2. California Brew Thru
  3. Coffee shop + library
  4. Upscale versions of fast food items
  5. A place that only serves meals from shows
  6. A full-on medieval inn / tavern
  7. A coffee shop themed bar
  8. Vampire Cafe
  9. Prohibition bar
  10. Nail salon + mimosa house


10 Small Business or App Ideas

Drop-shipping detector

An AI-powered browser plugin that knows when you’re browsing an online shop that’s really just drop-shipping, and offers to redirect you to the direct seller when applicable. (Ethical status: questionable.)

Custom pen design & manufacture

Because this would be neat.

Web based Lego builder

Make a set online, order the pieces through the app, and then rebuild it in real life.

Novelty metal keychains

Because they’re neat.

Custom car magnets

Upload a design, get a magnet. Like custom T shirts.

In-home laundry service

An add-on maid service. This has to be a thing. I’ve never looked it up. I’ve always wanted it, though.

Nootropics mix and match

Specify supplement and amount, and get them pre-packed in capsules. 160mg L-theanine + 80mg caffeine in a little pill for focus. Etc.

Medical travel agent website

For those who can travel, but not afford certain medical work. Or dental work. Basically, AirBnb plus foreign-doctor-Yelp.

Resume builder

Probably exists.

Workout routine comparison

A website with a database of workout routines where you can compare them against each other and see the target muscle groups, how often they’re worked, etc., and you can build your own. For instance, phrak’s greyskull LP variant vs. Stronglifts 5×5.

It’s been a month already since I’ve started this. I don’t feel like it’s a “habit” by now. Every day it’s still kind of a chore, if I’m being honest, but it’s definitely the type of chore that you dread beforehand, and are glad you actually did it once it’s over. So at least there’s that.

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