Checking in!

I’ve been busy creating a new product, Lore Bits. It’s currently on Kickstarter in the game section. They are game tokens/counters. They are doing pretty well, except for on Kickstarter.

I’m also writing a new book on Inventory Management, product costing, and manufacturing for small business. Partly inspired by the Lore Bits, my manufacturing background, and how little information seems to be available for small business owners.

Check out the Lore Bits on

New Store!

I’ve added an amazon store for writing books. Hopefully, you will all enjoy using it. If you click through the links a tiny sales percentage supports this website. This does not increase your prices at all. It merely supports a small business.


How to make a Successful Youtube Video

Well, there are the obvious things like video and sound quality.  Kickstarter peeps are even hiring videographers to film their funding pleas.  Would that money be better spent putting it into their products?  Who knows.

But what really makes a difference is snappy writing and editing.  A webcam and a microphone are entry level descents into yawning time without some judicious decisions.  If you were hiring a video crew and using professional video equipment, you wouldn’t waste time by making up the script on the spot, would you?

One of the worst videos that I’ve seen is a QuickBooks expert who made a 45 minute video of her being interviewed.  Thirty minutes of describing how wonderful she was.  Fifteen minutes of QuickBooks.  Put aside your ego.  Unless you are William Shatner; no one is that interested in you.

Solution:  Describe your professional or personal credentials in a few words.

The second worst video that I’ve seen had no subject.  They had recorded the QuickBooks session and had kinda wandered around the screen like a drunken tiger.  I know QuickBooks pretty well and even I couldn’t figure out what the topic was.

Solution:  Keep to one subject/topic.  Multiple videos are a great way to build a brand, don’t be afraid of that.

The third worst video was when the host talked over the expert that was invited to teach at the google hangout.  I had tuned in and I think the expert talked about 3 times.  It was an hour long hangout.  But I do know about the host’s new puppy.

Solution:  If you are going to interview someone; give them an opportunity to talk.  Structure your questions as if you were Oprah.  Ask the questions that your audience wants the answers too.

The fourth worst video that I’ve seen had no editing.  If something went bump, crash, or spilled it was on the video.  That might be the calling card of live streaming; but if you are doing a professional video you need to cut those out.

Solution: Film several takes of the same class.  Pick the best sections that work and then link them seamlessly together.  Remember that one of the most difficult things to film is a non edited shot of someone walking down a bustling city street.  Pick the best shot!

Writing Prompt

ToyRUs has pulled the Breaking Bad toys from store shelves.  Breaking Bad was about ethics, looking the other way, drugs, money and greed.  Even if you don’t think any of those things are bad, would you want your kids playing with a drug manufacturing kit?

Probably not!

So today’s writing prompt is to write an argument for something that you DO NOT believe in.  It’s a great exercise in logic and arguing.  Once you can figure out someone’s counterpoint to a debate, you can then structure your own stronger debate winning response.

Go ahead.  Make an argument for making drug manufacturing acceptable for children and should replace the traditional Easy Bake Ovens.



We watched The Mazerunner in a mostly empty theater on the third weekend that it was out.  A few points (spoilers).

  • Giant spiders have been done before.  Tolkien invented them.
  • Why was the Maze lush, but the surrounding area a desert?
  • Why didn’t the helicopter at the end, just drop into the maze and pick them up?
  • How is overcoming the maze going to help with creating a person who can defeat the illness?
  • If the maze needed to be constantly monitored, why was is still operating after all the operators are dead?

In short, there were some pretty bad plot holes in this movie.  I look forward the second movie where this makes a bit of sense.  If you take someone out their suspension of disbelief, it can be difficult to win them back.

One of the best examples of losing your suspension is one of the latest Dr. Who episodes, ‘Kill the Moon.’  (spoilers)

  • Dr Who seems to know the giant spiders (AGAIN) have a specific type of DNA.  How does he know the DNA type?  He just looks at them.
  • The moon is supposedly a giant egg that doubles in mass.  How does an egg double in mass.  I don’t think chicken eggs double in mass when they change into chicken things.
  • The egg hatches into something else and then leaves an egg behind.  How does an egg have the same exact size & shape egg inside itself?  (sounds like a philosophy question, but it’s basic physics.)
  • Apparently the new egg is in the same orbit, etc.  HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

Now, one where it’s done right is The Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.

  • The GIANT SPIDERS are more fluid and alien and while technically giant starfish look more believable, scare the crap out of me, and holy crap no one could win against them.

And that’s how you do giant spiders.

Foggy Geese

I was up and out early enough today to get lost.  Find some geese along on a foggy beach.

I even saw the Seattle Dive Team getting ready for training exercise.  There were four of them all decked out in scuba gear.  They had a large truck all marked up.

Can you write a short bit on what they might have found?

  • Seamonsters?
  • A Body?
  • Something Else?

Into the Thick of It

Do you ever get the impression that a salesperson is so busy putting on sales pitch, that they aren’t listening?

I feel that way today.  I asked someone who has repeatedly posted stuff to my google plus page why I keep getting notifications.

She suggested that I turn off the notifications.

Maayyyyyybbbbbeeeee she should stop posting so much stuff. :)

So today’s quandry is — When does marketing turn into annoying?

  • The customer has no need of your product.
  • They have told you to stop contacting them.
  • You have decided to pester them with multiple social media notifications.
  • You can’t seem to get ahold of them.

Then if you do get the message, how do you respond?

  • Annoyed angryness?  They have been communicating just fine.  You were the one mis-interpreting the sales potential.
  • Passive aggressive statements?  See above.
  • Or thank them for their time?

It’s surprising how few people take the third tactic.  After years of running a service based business, I don’t take it personally when someone  chooses a different provider.  In fact, I’m happy to let them go.  I spent hours working for people.  Why spend that time worrying about their problems; if they don’t respect your opinion.



Early in the Morning

It seems peaceful.  Don’t open your email before you get your coffee though.

Grocery Store

I just returned from my local grocery store.  Early Thursday afternoon, if that helps.

I had three people talk to me.

I shall avoid the grocery store at all costs during that time.  Wild Unicorns dragging a sleigh of jolly toads couldn’t make me go there.

Tiny Death Star

I can’t find a good source for Tiny Death Star hints and suggestions, so I’m writing my own wiki.

Tiny Death Star is a great casual game for android and Iphone.  There is a kindle version; however I’ve heard it stops working after a while.  The game is designed to chug along while the device is inactive.  So if you start a build that takes hours, if you pick it up six hours later, the level is built.  This is not a game for impatient people.  This is a game for people who want to check in every hour or so, do some stuff, then let the game cook.  It’s based and created by the same team that built Tiny Tower.

Hint One:  Have extra residential levels.  There is no penalty for having unemployed people.

Hint Two:  Increase the stock levels by increasing the store ranks.  Click on the store. Look down at the bottom.  Usually it will start at 1.  Once you increase the rank, the store will need to be stocked less.

Hint Three:  The Imperial levels will bring more cash in chunks.  Build extra units of the equipment to save time.  Have at least 10 extra of each unit.  Check the Inventory on the menu page.

Hint Four:  Drag up the question mark people to the highest level.  They will tip the elevator operator twice what that level is worth.  Also, the higher you move people the more the elevator is paid.  Also depositing them takes a minute off the build time.

Unlocking people:  Buying or waiting?  Buying will cost a fair amount.

Level Building:  The levels take an increasingly large amount of time and money to purchase.  I’m at level 21 right now, and it’s taking 6 hours or more to build a level.  This is more like the zen of waiting than anything else.  If you can’t wait that long, you can always purchase a level.  Which will cost $$$$ overtime.

Imperial:  21 possible levels

Hints for Imperial Levels:

  • The VIP with the yellow hard hat will instantly finish a project.
  • Moving Bitizens to the Imperial Levels will knock off a minute of the build time.
  • You can move most Bitizens to those level, even if they are requesting a different floor.
  • Have at least 10 extra of each component.  This will allow you to complete assignments sooner.
  • There is no payment from bitzens if you move them to these floors.
  • Vader gives you assignments.  His hologram will appear green when the assignment is complete.  You will need to click on that level and finish the assignment to collect the bonus.
  • The assignments do repeat.  Hence the need for 10 extra of each component.

Residential: 55 possible levels

Hints for Residential:

  • Five Residents can live in each apartment level.
  • Use the VIP to secure new residents.
  • There has been complaining about waiting for new residents to show up.  I haven’t had that problem.
  • At least one or two residential levels to optimize your stores.

Retail: 19 possible levels

Recreation:  16 possible levels

Service: 16 possible levels

Food:  15 possible levels

Helpful hints for stores:

  • Three Bitizen job slots per store.
  • The first slot sells it’s products for one credit.
  • The second slot sells it’s products for two credits.
  • The third slot sells it’s products for three credits.
  • Raising the Rank will increase product capacity.  Use Bux to do that.  Also a VIP will do the same thing.
  • Assigning a Bitizen to their favorite job will also double capacity for that product slot.  A star will appear next to the store when a Bitizen has been matched.
  • Each Bitzen has a strength schedule for each category.  The range is zero to nine.  If you assign a bitizen retail strength of nine to a retail store, your production times will be improved.
  • Once a product is produced, you will need to return to the level to ‘Stock’ it.  An alert will appear.  Those alerts are shortcuts to that level.
  • An exclamation point will appear if your store closes because it is out of stock.


  • Moving the Bitizens around is one point source.
  • Generally, the floor level is doubled to get the points.  Floor 2 is worth four points.
  • Question Mark people have twice the point value of regular Bitizens.
  •  I move Question Mark Bitizens to the top floor for the most points.
  • VIP’s have special powers.
  • Upgrades can be purchased for real world cash and Imperial Bux.

Finding People:

  • The imperial alert will alert you to find a particular Bitizen.
  • The people icon alert has the same purpose.
  • Scroll through the levels to find people.
  • The people are not in the Imperial Section.

Scenes:  Doing things unlocks the scenes.  These unlockings are few and far between.  They are adorably cute though.  For this section, you need to match the question mark bitizens with levels.  So for example

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi = Blast Doors in the Imperial Floors. (Duel with D. Vader)
  • Luke/White = Extending Bridge in Imperial Floors. (Tarzan Rope w/Leia)

I haven’t played out all the sections yet, so I’ll post them when I find them.  One hint is that when you go the Store/Bitizen, there is a movie icon that tells you how many scenes there are for that bitizen.  Not all the bitizens have scenes.