December 31, 2012

Rememberies

As I move my content from Multiply (a site that I loved dearly and that I'm very sad to see go), I've found a silver lining. Moving posts and photos and videos and recipes reminds me of things that I'd forgotten about. Some of these events seem so recent, and yet when I look at their date stamp, I realized they happened 5 or more years ago. Some of these things seem like they happened ages ago, and yet they're stamped only a year or two previous. How could I have forgotten so quickly?

I'm still not done moving all of my posts from being "imported" to being "published," but I'm working on it. While I'm setting everything up, I'm rethinking my tags/labels, pondering what my new personalized theme should be (though I do miss the sunflower. I may just have to find a way to work that in.), and worrying (a little bit) about what great little tidbits I have on my Multiply site that I might miss as I transfer. 

I came across a very short post over there today. It's one of those things that I worry about leaving behind because it's so precious. Here's the post. It's a quote from one of my daughters (made on July 21st, 2009):


"Mom, while you were out I noted that the animals are not interested in Tabasco sauce." -- Anna


That's my girl. :-) 

December 22, 2012

That's not what it means to be an extravert!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, extraversion does not revolve around liking to be with people. There are many extraverts in the world who can tire out an introvert in a New York minute and it has nothing to do with the former being more social than the latter.

+The Wall Street Journal had an article in last weekend's paper entitled, "All I Want for Christmas Is... A Little Space." I got as far as the second paragraph and then threw it down in disgust, grabbed my laptop and started pounding out these words. Here's what the author, Sophia Dembling, wrote in that second paragraph,

"Extroverts love being around lots of people and lots of fuss. They need it for their well being. We introverts love being alone with our thoughts in a quiet room, and we need it for our well-being. It's a matter of energy. Extroverts gain it around other people; introverts are drained of it."

I'll admit that when people use the terms extravert (which they also often misspell, by the way. Jung spelled it with an "a" not an "o") and introvert, the above definition is increasingly the screwed up way that the terms are being defined. And I understand that language is dynamic and change happens. So fine, whatever, screw up the words however you prefer. But the more you screw them up, the less you'll really understand who the extraverts are and who the introverts are and why the person that drains the snot out of you is a very clear extravert even though they spend most of their time alone.

Let me start off by saying that there are four kinds of extraverts and four kinds of introverts. One type of extravert, the extraverted feeler (also written as Fe), is indeed energized by being around people. They want everyone to be happy all the time. They're party people. They'll walk up to a complete stranger and invite them to hang out for awhile. Being with people stokes their fires like you wouldn't believe. But there are 3 other types of extraverts who might be alright with the idea of being around people, but that's just not what makes their clocks tick. Extraverted thinkers (Te) love to accomplish things. They're consumate list makers who live to check things off that list. If being around people is on their list then sure, let's go hang with people. The pleasure there is not that the Te is with people, but that the Te can then check one more thing off their list. There are also extraverted sensors and extraverted intuitives. If you'd like to find out more about them, click on the "four kinds of extraverts" link above.

My point is that not every extravert is a people person. And not every introvert isn't. An introvert's primary function will be introverted (Fi, Ti, Si, or Ni), but their secondary function will be extraverted, and if that secondary function is Fe, then it's quite likely that that person is going to come across as being a people person, even though they're an introvert at heart. It's also quite likely that if you are an introvert, and being around another person drains you, it's not necessarily because they're peopling you to death. It could be. Don't get me wrong, I've definitely been peopled beyond my breaking point. But I've also been idea-ed beyond my breaking point (by an Ne) and activity-ed beyond my breaking point (by an Se) and tasked beyond my breaking point (by a Te... though I have to admit that because my secondary function is Te, sometimes I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to over tasking myself).

I encourage you to get to know yourself better in terms of understanding your own type. And I believe there's value in knowing and better understanding the types of those around you as well. But if you misuse the terms extravert and introvert, then it's quite likely that you'll end up mistyping yourself and others and the whole personality types thing will be a meaningless pile of horse dukey for you. I'm sure you've met people before that say, "Those personality tests don't work. That's all just a bunch of hooey." They're right on... if you're going to use the words to mean whatever the heck you want them to mean. In that case, you might as well not even bother.

December 18, 2012

Integrating Google+ with Blogger

Google products still aren't integrated as well as Multiply was, but it's getting better all the time. And every once in awhile there's a feature that Google has that Multiply didn't - such as being able to tag someone in a post. (On Multiply you could tag a photo, but you couldn't tag a person in any other kind of post.)

Rumor has it that we can now mention people by name in Blogger with the same kind of tagging system that's used in Google+. So, here goes: +Meirav M.   (note to self: "i before e, Except after c, Or when sounded as "a," As in neighbour and weigh"... or when spelling a transliterated Hebrew name.)

Woot! That was easy. When you type a @ or + and then start adding letters after it, Google pops up names of folks in your circles that start with that letter. It works slightly less well when your friends' names defy popular spelling customs.

OK, Meirav, how did it come through on your end? Did you get a regular notification? Did clicking on it bring you to this post? Curious minds want to know.

December 2, 2012

The Old Firehouse is in the Old Firehouse

For the month of November, the Old Firehouse that I made of Lego bricks was housed in the Albany County Public Library up in Laramie along with some other buildings, streets and other Lego bling provided by Stuart, another CoWLUG member.


For the month of December, you can view the Old Firehouse in the Old Firehouse Bookstore in Old Town, Fort Collins. I may go in at some point this week and bling it out with some Christmas accoutrements. It's right out in the open so you can peer in from the sides (not so interesting) or back (a smidge more interesting) or peek in the windows (would be more interesting if I added lights. I'm considering that).

October 16, 2012

Reaching Picasa's Photo Storage Limit

I've finally reached Picasa's photo storage limit. I knew the day would come because the amount of content I have on Multiply far and away exceeds Picasa's basic limit of 1 gig, but I thought I'd bump up against the limit and see what they say so I could tell everyone moving their stuff to Google products about it. Here's the message I just received as I was transferring an album of photos from Multiply to PIcasa (Google's photo product):

Whoops! You're out of space. You are currently using 100% of your 1 GB quota for photos. Upgrade storage

Photos are stored in your Picasa Web Albums account and are included in your 1 GB free quota for photos. Additional storage you purchase is shared between several Google products and is in addition to your free quota. Learn more

I had already decided that I would upgrade once I hit the limit. I checked out prices previously and they're comparable to what I've already been paying here in Multiplyland. Do I clicked on the "Upgrade storage" link. The first thing that greeted me was a review of the upgrade options. I had forgotten that Picasa's storage limit is lower than the other products'. Here's the Free plan:

Free

5 GB of Drive (0% used)
10 GB of Gmail (21% used)
1 GB of Picasa (99% used)


So, essentially, because I'd reached 100% (or nearly) in one of those areas, I have to upgrade to add more data to that area. I assume I could keep adding in the other areas without upgrading. But I want to transfer my photos, so I look through the rest of the options.

25 GB

$2.49 / Month

25 GB for Drive and Picasa

Bonus: Your Gmail storage will be upgraded to  25 GB.

There's also a 100 gig option for $5/month. But I don't think I'll need that much space. So I opt for the 25 gig option. It looks like you can't pay on a yearly basis. So I'll be paying $2.49 a month until I cancel. Here's the note on the site: "You will be automatically charged $2.49 USD every month starting October 16, 2012 until you cancel your subscription."

Checkout is done through Google Wallet, which is yet another Google product. I'd signed up for it earlier (in order to buy some Lego's for the Old Firehouse that I was making) so it defaulted directly to that. I don't know if you'd be given other options if you haven't already added this service. Feel free to add that info to the comments if you find out the answer on that one. 

Now that I've purchased my storage, it shows me what my current plan is, it shows the next plan up, which I'd seen before, which is 100 gig. And then it shows a plan I hadn't seen before (for 200 gig) and it shows one more option which apparently goes up into several Terabytes. Yowza! 

I was able to start uploading photos to my Picasa storage again right away. There was no lag time. I haven't received an email update on my purchase yet, though. Hmmm, I even refreshed a couple of times and checked my spam folder. So all in all I'd say that the process was pretty painless, pretty cheap, but I'm a little dismayed that an alert email wasn't sent right away to confirm my purchase (even though I know it went through since I have photos uploading right now.) I also don't know what happens if I don't pay up some month. Do I lose all my content? Some? How do they decide what would stay and what I'd lose? I'll be on the alert for answers to these questions. 

October 14, 2012

Saint Joseph's Church in Fort Collins



This is the building I'm hoping to do in Lego next.

This album is also a test to see if it's possible to still upload photos to Multiply.

October 13, 2012

Toxic Itch - Walking It Out

I've had seasonal allergies since college. My nose gets runny, my eyes and nose itch, and I tend to sneeze a lot in the mornings. It's miserable, but at least my allergies knew their place and didn't cross those symptom boundaries... until last year. Last year was the beginning of the all over, take me out of the game, body itch.

It often started with my scalp. Late last summer I worried several times that I'd gotten head lice. You wouldn't believe how much mayonnaise I smeared all over my head. (Mayonnaise is a non-toxic way to soffocate lice as well as many of their eggs. You coat your head with it, wrap your hair with a towel/rag/something, and sleep in it. When you wash it out in the morning, you'll wash the lice and their eggs out as well.) But after having a couple different people look through my scalp and not find anything, and given that the itching seemed to be fairly occasional and not limited to my neck and behind my ears (which is where lice like to hang out) I finally decided something else was going on. Besides, lice didn't explain the occasional hand itching or even the all over body itching that sometimes happened.

My hands were the other frequent victims of intense itching. I never saw welts or bumps, but they'd itch like they were very, very dry. They didn't look particularly dry, though. And putting lotion on them didn't seem to make any difference in terms of whether or not they itched.

And then there was the all over body itch. Sometimes when I was gardening or doing housework, I'd start to itch all over so badly that I'd have to run cold water over my hands to get them to feel better and then I'd lie down until the itching all over the rest of my body stopped. I tried benadryl, zyrtec and some generic allergy medicines but nothing seemed to help.

That's when I finally decided to see a doctor about it. She just shrugged and said, "Well, you'll need to stay out of the wind." So I tried, but noticed that wind or no, the itching continued. Eventually I started to see a pattern to when the itching occurred. If I did anything that caused me to sweat a bit, I'd itch. If I was embarrassed or surprised and I flushed, I itched. I started to wonder if there were toxins in my system and they were coming out when I sweated. Some time in February I came across an article online that said that muscles can store toxins unless they're flushed out through exercise. I started to wonder if that was my problem. When the itching began, I stopped doing anything that would bring it on, meaning that I stopped doing yard work, I stopped gardening, I cleaned the house even less frequently than I already was. I did whatever it took to not itch and that mostly meant not moving around too much. Even running errands would sometimes set it off - just from carrying bags from the store to the car and loading it up. I decided that had to change.

I decided that I'd just have to deal with the itch. I started walking the dog once in awhile, and by March I was walking her daily, in the hope that I could get rid of the itchiness. In the beginning I'd force myself to go at least 5 minutes past the point of utter itchination. Since I was walking in pretty cold weather, it helped a lot that I could take off my hat, mittens or jacket since the cool air seemed to help stop the itching while still allowing my body to remove the toxins. The more often I walked, the longer I was able to walk each time before being hit with the itchies. By mid-April or early May, the toxins must have been out of my system because I stopped itching for several months. But I knew that I couldn't stop walking or the toxins would just build up again.

I've been walking (nearly) every day now since last March. I've had two incidents (one at the end of September and one in early October) where I started to itch again. It was only my hands one time and my head another time, so it still wasn't nearly as bad as last year. It's an easy and cheap solution to a problem that was threatening to change my life. Now that it's the fall again and I'm mostly itch free during the time of year when it was the absolute worst last time, I decided that I need to write about my experience and hope that my story will help others that are experiencing unexplained, hiveless itching.

October 7, 2012

Photos of Brickcon 2012 - Saturday

Here's a slideshow of the photos I took yesterday.

October 6, 2012

Brickcon 2012 photos from Friday

These are the photos that I took yesterday of the exhibit hall and one of the competitions.

Scale: Actual, Lego Sized, and Wee Itty Bitty

One of the hardest parts of working on my MOC (My Own Creation) was shifting my brain to think at a Lego scale. I kept thinking of a (2 x 4 Lego) brick as comparable to a(n actual) brick. But if I had built at that scale, there's no way I could have fit my model into my carry-on luggage yesterday. I can't even count the number of times I did a Homer (hit myself on the head and cried, "Doh!") when I realized I was misthinking scale Yet Again. A 1x1 Lego brick (that means there's only one stud on top), is approximately one foot across in scale and just over one foot tall.

I finally managed to wrap my brain about the difference in size and then I had a new shift in thinking that I had to cram into my brain. If I were recreating the Old Firehouse in popsicle sticks or paper maché or some other medium, I might be able to replicate some of the intricate details. But with Lego bricks, which aren't maleable or customizable beyond a certain point, my mantra really has to be to *approximate* the original building, giving a nod to the reality of the architecture. 

Then a guy named Steve posted a note in the Brickon Facebook group that they were putting together a micro-Brickcon in honor of Brickcon's 10th anniversary. That's when I decided that I should do a micro version of my Old Firehouse. Although standards seem to vary on micro builds, I suppose you could say the scale is something along the lines of every 20 ft x 20 ft area in real life is equivalent to a postage stamp's size in Lego bricks. It's a major shrinkage. It was much easier making a micro version of the Old Firehouse than the larger version, but that's in large part because there's simply no way to include much detail. That's when I decided that a regular Lego model of an actual building is essentially a nod to the original. You can't get all the detail, but you find a way to represent as much as possible. When you shrink something down to a micro size, that's when you're not just giving a nod to the original building, but you're giving a nod to the idea of a nod. The micro building is a vague, but recognizable representation of the original. 


Here's a photo of me in front of the Old Firehouse in Fort Collins. In my left hand is my Lego model of the building. In my right hand is the micro version of the same building. (Thank you, Penny, for taking the photo.) 


Here's a closeup of the micro version sitting behind the regular Lego scale version. I was able to keep basics such as color in the general areas where the color would go, and windows in the general area where windows would go. But details such as number of windows, arches over windows or doors, some bricks sticking out further than others, etc. is all lost to scaling. 


I did manage to fit my MOCs into a carry on suitcase. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it. I took the base plates off and bagged the parts that had been attached (bookshelves, minifigs, tables and counters). I took the roof pieces off as well as the tower. And then I turned the MOC on it's side (so the front of the building was facing down into the suitcase - which it's not doing here in this photo just yet). I stuffed clothes and food inside and around the edges. 

When I arrived in Seattle for Brickcon, I was pleased to see that most of the building was still holding its shape. I spent and hour this morning, however, picking up chunks of pieces that had fallen off and thinking, "Now where in the world does THIS go?" You would think that pieces would fall off in ___ shape and you'd think there'd be a _____ shaped gap left in the model. You'd then put the pieces in place a viola! your MOC is good as new. But I swear some pieces rearranged themselves or perhaps even reproduced themselves because there were some pieces that I never did figure out how to put back in and other pieces that I know I didn't have in certain places before. But the finished product looks basically the same so I'm rolling with it. 


I printed photos of the Old Firehouse so that people could compare the MOC to the original. 


This is my MOC on display in the architecture section of the Exhibition. It's looks rather barren right now. The table is ginormous but there's not currently enough models to fill it up. Hopefully someone has a few more tucked away in their back pocket to help round out the table a bit. The Exhibition starts tomorrow morning and will continue through till Sunday afternoon - October 6-7.

September 29, 2012

"We can rebuild it...we have the technology"

When you build a Lego set, all of the pieces that you need come in the box, along with step by step directions that help you build the set from the bottom to the top... in that order. When you're building your own creation from scratch, however, you start with a whole mess of pieces (or, like me, you keep ordering more and more from Bricklink) and you get half way through when suddenly you realize something is missing right smack in the middle of what you've already built. It's at times like that when you have to take a deep breath, carefully tear your beautiful creation apart, and insert the required pieces.


There are often times when I've been building and realized that I didn't have the pieces that I needed. So I ordered some bricks online, but I kept building with temporaries in certain spots because I often don't really know what I need until I get to that part of the build. If I kept waiting till new pieces arrived, this project might take all year. So I insert place holders and keep moving on. 

I had to tear apart my MOC (My Own Creation) recently to insert some orange pieces. On the Old Firehouse in Old Town, there's a spot above the windows of the Happy Lucky Tea Shop where the paneling is orange, then white, then orange. I wasn't able to order enough orange pieces to follow that pattern on my MOC, so I decided to at least keep the idea and just flip the colors. I had plenty of white pieces, but the orange pieces (with a part called a "door rail") were spread among about 20 different shops in the U.S. with a couple here and a couple there. To order them all, I'd have spent probably $100 just in shipping. So I found the two shops with the most, bought as many as I could, and went with a white, orange, white pattern. But it meant that I had to tear my MOC apart (see above photo) so pull out the place holding white pieces and insert the new orange ones. 

It's at times like this that the following mantra keeps running through my head, "We can rebuild it... we have the technology." I might not be working on the Six Million Dollar Man, but when I bust apart my creation and pieces go flying everywhere, I just have to keep reminding myself, if I built it before, I can rebuild it again. I do try to preserve as much as I can in large chunks, or like is shown in the photo, just kinda move pieces out of the way without removing them entirely. But that's not always possible. 


I also added a cowgirl to the bookshop today. She's standing at the checkout counter ready to buy a Halloween related book (with a red spider on it). That's the cash register on the right. The blurry white box in the front of the photo is the "free books" box in front of the store. (And you can just see the shadowy bike handle on the right.)


I've pretty much finished the front of the Old Firehouse. If you look in the windows of the tower at the top you can see some pieces at a slant. There are still windows there that are waiting for some pieces to arrive in the mail that will secure them into place. And I'm short a few roof pieces that I'm also hoping will arrive in the mail soon. (I actually need to go look and make sure I ordered those pieces. If not, I think it's too late to go Bricklinking now. Brickcon starts in 4 days! I'll have to go look for a set at the store that has the pieces I need. Or *gasp* dig through Nathan's bricks to see if he has what I need.)

I built a few bookshelves in the Old Firehouse Book Store and still need to do some work on the teacup and teapot shelf in Happy Lucky's. Once I get that all finished, I'll post some photos here of the inside detail work. The higher I build, the harder it is to work on the inside. That's just one more thing that would have gone in order if I'd been following directions. But making something from scratch is all about doing and then taking apart and doing over.

September 22, 2012

Meg's MOC Update - The Devil is in the Details

Nearing the top of the building!

I promised in my last post that I'd focus in on some of the details in the Old Firehouse that I'm trying to replicate in my MOC. Because the building was created in two stages, the two sides are rather different from each other - despite having a few similarities. The older/left side of the building has details that are all created through the placement of brick or the addition of red sandstone. There are several points where the brick juts out just a bit here or there to add texture. Unfortunately, since a 1 x 1 brick is equivalent to a foot across, and these bricks on the building jut out an inch or less, I have a hard time showing that detail in my MOC. Sometimes I did capture it because I thought it was an important and noticeable detail of the building. Other times I had to add the affect some other way (change in color, change in brick type).

Notice the white stone, then brick that sticks out.
The white at the bottom is the stone, the orange is the unpainted brick that sticks out. 

The area above the downstairs windows - where Happy Lucky's Teahouse is - is what I focused on today. The more I look at the photos I have, the more detail I see. And since this is the "newer" (1901) part of the building, for some reason they used a lot more wood detailing, which means the details become finer and harder to emulate in brick.



If you start at the dangling holiday lights and work your way up, you start with a really thin colored line. (I don't even know what to call that color of paint that they used. It's like a cross between salmon and skin tone. Ugh. For my MOC, I'm just calling everything that color - orange. That way I have three main colors, red/white/orange. And since it's paint, it can always change. But since the red sand stone is actually rather orangish, I'm going with orange. Alright, back to the details...

Colored line... white line... colored line.. bigger white line but not so big that you could show the distinction in brick... colored line with squares of white sticking out on it, colored line, white line, colored line, brickish line, red sandstone. Pull hair out now! 

Here's how I tried to recreate that back and forthing of color. I couldn't really show the ins and outs of it, though, because each forward or backward of wood detailing is too small to catch with Lego bricks. So I used some door rails to show a bit of jutting out action, but I had no orange door rails so they're all white. (I did order some, but I wasn't able to find a store with enough that I could go orange/white/orange like I should. So instead I'm going to make it white/orange/white and stick my tongue out at anyone that points out the difference.) For those that don't know (and I didn't until my son told me about them) a door rail is a plate (that's a very thin Lego piece. Three plates equal the height of one brick.) that has been modified by having a bit of a rail stuck off the side of it. So when I put the plate into place, the "door rail" sticks out past the rest of the Lego bricks.

You only get a sense of the white jutting out bit by the shadow showing up between the white squares. 

Oh, and then there's the windows. Oi Vey! The windows! Bricks help us, there is no such thing as a window that's three studs across in Lego-land. What's with that? So despite the fact that there should be 4 evenly sized windows across the top bit here, I had to go with a 2 stud window, two 4 stud windows and another 2 stud window instead. It breaks my heart to be that far off. I could leave the spaces and scrap the windows like I did for the two large windows below them. (They do make windows that would fit those spaces, but they're all currently located in Europe and I don't have time for two little plastic windows to get onto a boat and float over here.) I don't know. Maybe that's what I'll do yet. But for now, we have 2 - 4 - 4 - 2. And a wincing motion every time I look at it.

Here's a picture of the front of the building so you can compare the windows and share my pain.


I found this photo on the web and it has been such a help. There's currently an awning over those four, evenly spaced windows. So having this photo that showed me how it was all supposed to look under the awning has been a huge boon.  ... Well, it would be a huge boon if it meant that I could see there are evenly spaced windows under there, find Lego windows that would fit, and then fit them into place. Instead, I wish Lego made a brown awning with Happy Lucky Teahouse printed on it to cover the four evenly spaced windows that I haven't been able to reproduce. *takes a moment to cry into her hanky*

I have a week and a half for new bricks to arrive before we leave for Brickcon. At that point, what's not built is going to remain not built. So I at least need to get enough done that I'm not going to be mortally embarrassed in front of all those MOC masters.

I sorta forgot that the turret sort of thing at the top has more than just one side to it. I quickly ordered some windows for the sides today. Hopefully I have enough red brick to finish this off. (I should. I still have piles of the stuff. And lots of other stuff that I ordered "just in case" and I haven't needed. Then again, some "just in case" stuff turned out to be very handy. I envy the Lego builders who work in Lego filled workshops where anything they might ever need is at their finger tips.)

I'm still not sure how much I'm going to do on the inside of the building. I'm realizing that once I put the floor for the second story in, you can't really see much inside on the first floor. So even though I have some book shelves in there, I'm not sure how much I should fill them out. I need some little lights for the inside of my building. (I did order one. We'll see how it works.)

September 16, 2012

Meg's MOC Update - FC Old Firehouse

I spent 7 hours working on my MOC on Friday. It was a welcome break from all the other things I had been up to this past week (which involved way too many meetings. Rob was joking by Wednesday night that I should print a picture of myself and post it somewhere around the house so the kids wouldn't forget what I look like. Granted, I only had two evening meetings when the kids would even notice that I was gone, but I had several during the day time. I was feeling meeting-ed out by Friday, to say the least.)



My focus on Friday was to rebuild the front of the building to make it sturdier, and then I tried to build as much as I possibly could in order to figure out what pieces I was missing and would need to buy through Bricklink.com. The four windows to the right, with the orange line with white squares below them, really need to sit higher than they do. But I didn't have the windows that need to fit into place below these. In fact, when I went to order windows that would fit, I found that they're only available in Europe. So I instead ordered some pieces to make a window frame without using a pre-made Lego window.


I have just under three weeks to finish this MOC before Brickcon. I was able to get enough pieces in place (plus a few as place holders) that I could measure the approximate height of the finished building (about 14 inches) and was able to register it for the exhibition.  (Mine was the 285th MOC to be registered. I wonder how many total will be in the event when all is said and done?) 

My biggest concern at this point is that I won't have enough time to order parts that I need. Many Bricklink shops have a very fast turnaround time. (A few orders have come in as quickly as 3 days!!!!) But there are a few that take quite a bit longer.  I think I've been able to approximate features well enough so far that my MOC resembles the actual building and people will make the connection. (Of course, no one at Brickcon will have any clue what building I'm modeling this after, so it's neither here nor there for those folks. But I'd like to have this go on display at the book store (that's located in the west side of the Old Firehouse) and later in the library (if they'll have it) and folks there will definitely know if I got it close or not. So I want to get it right the first time.) But the very top part of the building (not just the tower but the gingerbread along the top) will take a lot more creativity to approximate well. Nathan is my go-to resource when I don't have any clue which pieces will work in a certain situation, but some times even he is stumped. (I have yet to figure out what the name of the piece is that would make a reasonable fire hose pole, so I haven't been able to order it. And though Nathan has a piece that will work, I've made a point of ordering my own Lego bricks on not using any of his.) 



I should have several packages arriving this week with needed pieces. I'll try to finish the building as best I can so I can make any last minute orders this week and hopefully be completely done with ordering pieces by next weekend. I've also realized that I need to be thinking about the inside of the building. Since the beginning I've been trying to figure out what time period this building is going to be in. I really wanted to do something early 1900s that would include a horse drawn fire wagon as shown in old photos. But if you look at the photo above, you'll notice that the entranceways in both the old and newer parts of the building were bricked shut! That wouldn't look good in a MOC!!!  So despite having ordered Lego horses and people and even little fire hats, I've decided against going with the early 1900s. That leaves late 1900s and early 2000s to work with. And the real bummer at this point is paint! Grrrrr. Paint. They've pained SOME of the brick "brick red" and the rest they've left unpainted at all (and the bricks are actually rather orange-ish). So I'm trying to mimic that paint/not paint job in the colors of the bricks I'm using. But there are some areas where it's really questionable which way I should go. I just keep reminding myself, "approximation is the goal."

By next weekend I should have a nearly finished model. At that point I'll try to zoom in on some of the specifics in the building and how I addressed them in Lego brick. I'm also thinking of taking the Old Firehouse down to the Old Firehouse and showing the MOC off to the folks who work at the bookstore and the tea shop. I'd really like to get a photo of myself holding my MOC while standing in front of the building.  :-)



September 8, 2012

Meet Maeby

We've been talking for a few years now about getting a second pooch. Our red heeler, Laika, is about 12 this year. (She's a pound puppy, so we're not entirely sure how old she is. But we've had her since 2002 (as I originally announced in this blog. That was before my Multiply days.) so she's at least 11 since she wasn't a puppy when we got her.

Naomi has wanted a corgi of some sort (meaning "a corgi mix"). We've been open to a few other working dogs though. We fostered Daisy, a heeler/whippet mix, but she was a bit too lively for most of the family. Then we tried a puppy from Petfinders that was listed as a Corgi/Heeler mix and was mostly likely a Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix. She was a real sweetheart, but since I didn't know what breed she was, I figured we really had no idea how large she would get and I wasn't up for a large or overly-protective dog. (We fostered a pit bull over the winter holiday and though she was also a snuggler, I felt like I couldn't walk near my own kids at night for fear of being snapped at.)

So we've been keeping our eyes an ears open for a Corgi mix. My sister found a little girl in Wyoming that looked promising. Naomi was a little worried about growing attached again, only to lose the dog. But I talked her and Anna in to going up to Wyoming with me. We visited Oreo and another Corgi/Terrier mix that nearly licked us to death. His name was, appropriately, Dash. The girls liked Oreo so we brought her home with us. We dithered about with names for several days until we finally settled on Maeby, the character in Arrested Development. The name fits our pooch really well. She's a very cautious, easily scared little gal. She huddled on a little doggie bed under our dining room table the first day we brought her home and we're still working on getting her used to going in and out of the door to the house. But she snuggles every night with Naomi and she jumps for joy when I come home after being out running errands. She plays with Bo and I even caught her playing in the back yard with Laika once, though Laika vehemently denies that anything of the sort ever happened. Even Tibbs has chased her around, though I suspect he meant it more as an aggressive move than the fun play time that Maeby took it as.

I'm thinking of fashioning a little jacket/cape for her to wear that discourages strangers from trying to pet her. That still freaks her out too much. But given that she's too afraid to go anywhere on a leash, I don't think I need to be in any hurry about that. I hope she'll become more social in time. But the reality of that happening? Well, it's probably a maybe.

My First MOC as an Adult

Last year, Nathan and I attended Brickcon in Seattle. I was amazed by the variety and detail in the MOCs that were on display there. (MOC means My Own Creation and refers to individually made creations as opposed to completed kits sold by Lego.) I was so inspired, in fact, that I've decided to make my own MOC to take to this year's Brickcon.

I wasn't sure what building to attempt. I had been tossing around various possibilities, all older buildings downtown, when I came across a sign for a fundraiser to help the victims of the High Park Fire this summer. They used the Old Firehouse as their attention grabbing image and it immediately struck me that the Old Firehouse would be an appropriate building to begin with. It's old (The older (left) half was started in 1881 and finished in 1882. The addition (right half) was added in 1901.), it honors the fire fighters who helped to control the High Park Fire this summer, and it would definitely be a challenge for me and something I could be proud of if I pulled it off.

Lego Container, Computer with Pics, and MOC in progress
Step one was measuring the dimensions of the building. I contacted the city to see if there were any blueprints lying around. If there are, no one knows where they are. So I ended up taking an early morning walk with the dog and a tape measure. I was able to get the dimensions along the base of the building, but I'll be guessing/approximating for the rest of the building. But as I've started work on this project, I've learned that approximating is really the name of the game.

I made an initial order through Bricklink and when it arrived I started building out the base of the building. I discovered two things right off the bat, I had ordered bricks that were way too big! and I needed a bigger baseplate. Scale has been a bear to get into my head, for some reason. I'll imagine a section of the building with such and such bricks, then when I get right down to putting them together I realize that I way over planned. (A 1 x 1 Lego brick is equivalent in scale to 1 foot across and 1.2 feet in height.) I immediately had to reorder skinnier bricks so that my wall wasn't the thickness of the Alamo. (Didn't the Alamo have thick walls? Or am I thinking of some other famous old building?) I've basically gone through this same routine several times, ordering a bunch of bricks thinking they'll work best for such and such part of the building only to put them together and find that they don't at all create the effect I thought they would. Needless to say, I'm learning quite a bit about Bricklink through this process. And I'm spending way more money than this project really should cost. But I keep reminding myself that I'm a beginner and I can use the leftover bricks in my next project (hopefully). I've started keeping track of which shops sent the bricks in a timely manner and without an exorbitant shipping fee and which to avoid. But sometimes you have to go with whoever has the pieces you need.

I finally got fed up with waiting to get started and I just dived right in. I think I'm going to redo what I have so far, but at least I've gotten my first arch in and started to see how what I need for the next stage up (above the arch). You can see in the photo to the left that the bottom row is white (representing the white sandstone they used as the foundation), except where it isn't. The red pieces are standing in for white pieces that I ordered ages ago that still haven't arrived (because the gal invoice me about a week to a week and a half after I made the order!). Then you'll note there's orange on the left, but not on the right. That's another total oopsie. It turns out the building was originally all the same color of orange-ish brick with some orange sandstone as decoration. But at some point someone painted some of the brick, turning it closer to red, or maroon perhaps. So this starts all sorts of debates in my head - am I aiming to make this building as it looked originally? (If so, I probably wouldn't build the eastern addition.) Or should I build it as it is today (but then will I have to add the awnings?!!). Yada yada yada. The point being that I started out doing the brick red and the painted brick red. But then I realized that the brick at the bottom matches the brick higher up, but I had planned on doing that in orange. So, to be consistent, the unpainted brick at the bottom really should be orange. Back to bricklink I go.

I think I've finally decided that I'm going to do the building (mostly) as it is today. That, however, means that now I need to fill out the bookstore and the tea shop on the inside. So I've been researching how to make bookshelves in Lego (and I've been ordering more bricks through bricklink) and since I've got most of the basic structure worked out (at least at the base) I'm starting to realize that if I'm doing this in today's style, I need to add in the windows where the fire engine used to go in and out, and I'm also trying to figure out the doorways (which have lots of extra glass around them).

My mantra to myself is that I'm just trying to create something that echoes the Old Firehouse. There's no way I can get all the details right. Part of building with Lego means working with the limitations of Lego as well. It's a steep learning curve, but Nathan is my advisor and patience is my guide.


September 4, 2012

Still Testing Stuff

The Great Multiply Migration of 2012 is still in process. As a result, I'm still trying to figure out the features of here, there and assorted other wheres. Sometimes even when someone tells you about a feature, you don't really grok it until you've done it yourself. So I'm just gonna do a whole bunch of whatever in this post and see how it works to do it.  I'll write about it as I go so this won't just be a testing post, but also a learning post and hopefully a help to others.

Insert Photo(s) into Blog Post: Click on the scenery image button above. (It's just to the right of Link and left of the movie icon.) Add photos using the options along the left hand side. I've already made posts where I added photos using the upload feature. So this time I'm going to try loading something from a URL. I'm wondering if the photo will be brought over here, or if the image will still link back to the original URL.

Hmmm, I added the photo yes, it does hotlink the photo rather than pulling it into Blogger. It looks like it will also provide a link, if you click on the photo, back to the original page.  (But when I tried clicking on the photo in preview mode, it didn't do anything. So maybe I'm wrong about that.) I also discovered that when you move the photo around, it wants to snap to the top of a paragraph.
You can have a part of your post indent itself. This is handy if you're quoting someone (and that's what the icon shows is quotes). I suppose if you post a lot of poetry, or quote other folks a lot, this might be useful. And when you hit return, it pops you back out to the original margin.
Tags: To tag your post, use the "labels" section on the right hand side when composing.

Schedule your post: You can schedule when your post will publish using the scheduling section to the right. It's pretty straightforward.

Permalink and Location tagging: You can set up a permanent link for your post. I don't really get the advantage of that. Is it presumed that the link will change a lot otherwise? You can also geotag your post. This might be handy if you travel a lot and are writing about your experiences. ... I suppose.

Comments: You can allow or not allow comments on a post - on a per post basis. Ditto for Backlinks (which is when someone links back to your post from another post... I think.)

Privacy: Just looked again at privacy settings. They're horrible. You're either all the way on or all the way hidden. There's no per post setting of access. And folks have to have a google account to view your blog if you set it to private.     I guess that makes sense, since there's no other way for them to know if you're the person in question or not. And I suppose that does line up with how Multiply worked. But I don't know everyone's email addresses! I wonder if knowing their Google username is enough. I wish you could set privacy based on G+ circles. That would be so much easier.

OK, enough of that for now. Post comments, questions, complaints below.

September 3, 2012

Xanga - ads, ads and more ads

Ah, now I see how Xang'a staying afloat. On my Xanga home page there are two garden ads and a Penske ad, as well as a Xanga premium ad, all of which are stuck on the page so that if I scroll I can scroll past them. And then an HP ad as a mini popup on the left hand side of the screen that stays there no matter how much I scroll.  So there are essentially 5 ads on the page and one of those 5 I can never get rid of even by scrolling to the bottom of the page.

Premium is only $25 so in that sense it's close to what Multiply charged. Except that there's a 10 gig limit of storage space, which means many of my photos and video wouldn't fit. I'd have to upgrade to something that costs even more. 

And that doesn't even include the surveys you can sign up for or the Xangacredits you can buy. 

They have a jillion different income streams. I guess it's working for them. They're still going and I haven't heard about them getting bought out by a South African company that wants to change their focus. 

August 22, 2012

Go Forth But Don't Multiply

http://manilastandardtoday.com/2012/08/21/go-forth-but-dont-multiply/
This is a link to an article in Manila Standard Today.

Quote from the article:

"Can an online company survive and prosper by alienating and evicting a good chunk of its loyal user base? And will sellers who thrived in an informal environment stick it out when more rules are put in place? Multiply will certainly be an interesting case study in business re-engineering in months to come."

It's a small/webbish world after all

The house kitty corner to ours was sold last spring and a new gal moved in. It turns out I knew her already through Twitter. The house right next to ours had renters in it who had to move. New renters moved in. I just realized this morning that I also knew the guy next door through Twitter. Kinda trippy. 

August 20, 2012

DailySocial - Multiply Tutup Layanan Blog Per 1 Desember 2012 | Indonesian Tech Startup Media

http://dailysocial.net/post/multiply-tutup-layanan-blog-per-1-desember-2012
Interesting post about the demise of Multiply. The article is written in Indonesian, but (with Chrome, at least) you can use the translate button that appears at the top to read it in English.

August 14, 2012

Thoughts on Blogger

I started my first blog using Blogger, way back before Google bought the place. It was a bit funky to use, back then, so I did most of my posting on my own site. But when I discovered Multiply, it was a far superior service to Blogger and it was much easier to post here than to post to my own website.

Well, with Multiply essentially shutting down, I've decided to go back and try Blogger out again. I thought I'd post my thoughts and discoveries as I go in case any of you all are interested. 

I just made a new post and was delighted that I could upload both photos and video to the post. You can also easily edit the added photos even after they've been included into your post. You can resize them with just the click of a button or move them around. Very nice. 

I also like that you can add a custom domain if you'd like. It's something that we've asked for many, many times here in Multiply-land and never gotten. 

I don't see much in the way of privacy settings, though. You can make it so that search engines can't find your blog. And you can choose not to be included in Bloggers list of bloggers. But I don't see any way to set some posts for just a certain circle of friends or anything like that. :-P 

You can include a message to people in the comment form. I assume that tells them something like, "Leave me a note!" when they go to comment on your post. Haven't tried it out yet, though. 

Commenting is a global thing - you can either turn it on for all posts or off for all posts. You can moderate or not moderate comments as you prefer. What's interesting is they also provide an option to only moderate comments after the post is 2 weeks old. So when you first post and are more likely to get a lot of feedback, there's no moderation. But once the post is a bit stale and it's possible it's hit the spammer circuit, that's when moderation kicks in.   ... nope, i take that back. now that i've got commenting turned on, it appears that i can henceforth turn commenting on or off on a per post basis. 

OK, I'm still relearning Blogger, but I'm going to post this so that people can add things that I've missed. I'll also update the post as I learn more, so don't just stick to comments but take a glance back at the original post now and then as well so see if there's anything new. 

I think Blogger will work well for me. Especially with all the new upgrades since I was here last. 

Now to figure out where to take groups....

Additions:

1 - you can set your blog to be visible to only certain email addresses. but it's an all or nothing sort of thing. either all your posts are public or all of your posts are private to these specific email addies. there's no per post settings. there's also no way to set the privacy to one of your Google+ circles. hopefully that will come because it would be much easier than the current system. 

2 - you can't upload a file (other than images) to blogger. you have to upload it to another site (like scribd.com) and then embed it. 

Moving Back In

After spending the past 8 years blogging, community building, and sharing photos, videos, recipes, reviews and links over on Multiply.com, it looks like I might be moving back in to my Blogger space. The site has changed quite a bit from back in 2002, when I first landed here. The themes are far more customizable, I'm hoping it's a bit more integrated with the rest of the internet now, and the user interface is a bit easier to make sense of.

Oh, I do like the changes to photos. You can easily modify the photo after you'd added it to the blog and you can change the size with the click of a link. Gotta admit, that's something Multiply should have added at some point.

I'll be curious to see how my photos integrate with Picasa.

Feel free to post thoughts about the move from Multiply to Blogger if you'd like. Or comment on Blogger in general. No Multiply bashing, though. Naspers is taking the site somewhere that I don't think even the founders are too happy about. But sometimes the economy dictates business growth in a way that even founders can't control. I love what Multiply was and I hope that some day something like that is built again. I'm hoping the use of G+ to integrate all of Google's products might come close to what Multiply was in the early days.

video
OK, one last test before I go. Can I add a video to this post? Woot! Sure enough! OK, I'm feeling much better about coming back to Blogger. So far, so very good.

August 7, 2012

Multiply is becoming a shops only site.

You all know that I've loved this place since I joined back in September 2004. I'm going to miss it very much. But Myspace and Facebook have taken all the users and the only funding the company could get was towards turning the site into a shopping venue. :-P So I'll be moving my stuff elsewhere. I'll let you know once it gets there. In the meantime, I'm on Google+ as +meg d  and I have a website about local places/events/stuff at http://www.northofprospect.com which you may find interesting even if you don't live around here. 

July 8, 2012

MBTI functions explained

On Personality Cafe, there are descriptions of the functions in personality typing. I've copied some over here directly. Other's I've rewritten here and there. These are the same functions that I've described in my two posts on the flavors of extraversion and introversion. Sometimes it's helpful to see them all listed together in one place. One of these should describe you best with another describing a more occasional aspect of yourself.

Introverted Sensor: They work on the specific and the detailed. Seek to be thoroughly aware of all facts before coming to decisions. Not open to new understandings, they are comfortable within tradition and the established. They enjoy being in control and well prepared for whatever life may bring.

Extraverted Sensor: They are active and crave new experiences. In touch with the immediate physical reality, they enjoy a fast changing environment. Strongly materialistic, they require strong sensory experience.

Introverted Feeler: Considerate, helpful and often introspective, they strive for a sense of harmony and well-being. With strong inner feelings, they are loyal and caring. They follow deep personal convictions rather than social values, making them appear somewhat original and unconventional.

Extraverted Feeler: They expect cooperation and harmony within a particular institution. They follow well defined rules of conduct and respect the social hierarchy. They are loyal and may fight for a cause, but always within tradition and accepted norms.

Introverted Thinker: Enjoy coming to new understandings, problem-solving and logic. Independent, skeptical and critical. Appear self-absorbed while they use step-by-step logic to discover the principles and connections that underlie the overall picture.

Extraverted Thinker: They organize, dictate and control. Easily come to decisions as they set out logical plans of action, or impart rules and regulations. They may rise to a position of authority that allows them to maintain order and efficiency within a given organization.

Introverted Intuitive: They are stimulated by problems and enjoy an intellectual challenge and coming to new understandings. They possess an abstract and analytical mind that helps them to discover the underlying principles behind a particular situation. Intensely individualistic, they can walk the road less travelled.

Extraverted Intuitive: The most open-minded of the types, they are fascinated by the new. Impulsive, adventurous, and creative, their minds entertain future plans and new ideas. They do not live in the immediate physical reality, but in a world of relationships and possibilities. They abhor routine.

July 6, 2012

The "Flavors" of Introversion


I have been known to look right at a person and never see them. Though my eyes were pointed in the right direction, I just plain wasn't using them. I was looking inside my head instead. I can't even begin to tell you how upsetting this is for people who feel like I'm deliberately ignoring them. And the fact that I'm so absorbed in whatever's going on in my brain means that I don't even realize that I've done anything wrong because I literally didn't see them there. I've had people approach me on it later and all I can say is, "Really? I did that?!" As horrible as this is for the poor folks around me, it's a great example of introverting. I was thoroughly wrapped up in my inner world.

Everyone introverts. Yup, even extraverts are introverting some of the time. A good friend of mine who is extraverted to the point that when I spend time with her I need recovery time afterwards tells me that when she's really maxed out or under a tremendous amount of stress, she retreats to her room for alone time. I know, all you introverts are shaking your heads saying, "It can't be true." Since most extraverts don't seem to "get" me, how in the world could they behave in a way that they obviously don't get? I suspect that though extraverts do introvert at times, they consciously introvert fairly rarely. It's not their standard mode of operation. So it's difficult for them to understand that for an introvert, it really is our regular way of being. 

But not everyone introverts in the same way. Just as there are "flavors" of extraversion (extraverted sensing, intuition, feeling and thinking) there are also "flavors" of introversion. As you've probably already guessed that means introverted sensing, intuition, feeling and thinking. 


***   Perceiving Functions: How do we take in information?   ***

Ni: Introverted Intuition
I'm an Ni, so I feel like I can reasonably describe what this function is all about. I feel like I'm a collector of connections - not just any old connections, but ones that fit with topics that I find to be really important. In other words, whereas an Ne is so into ideas and connections that they're easily distracted from one idea by the next idea or topic that comes along, I tend to exclude possible connections that aren't relevant to my obsessions, but I have find connections in places you never might have thought a connection could be found. The connections pop out at me in "a ha!" moments, clear as day. This "connection finder" is always turned on. This ability helps me to see patterns in where things have been, where they are now and where they could be going. 

Here's some quotes from other folks on Ni's:

"Intuitive introverts tend to be highly creative, both in the sciences and the arts.  They are the most creative of all the personality types and are capable of adding great works to the collective wisdom of humanity." -- Clear Reflection Coaching

"Ni’s constantly wonder and guess in their head - they do this so often that they often don’t even realize that they are doing it.  It more or less becomes a part of them. Ni’s easily get lost in the mind and are thus very introspective, and often pull out ingenious ideas and insights.  They view life more globally than any other type, striving to never let themselves forget about the big picture.  Ni’s constantly shift their perspectives, and view and understand things from different angles and in different ways. Under extreme stress Ni’s become paranoid and overly withdrawn." -- FamousType.com
Si: Introverted Sensing
I'm the mother of an introverted sensing son and feel like I have a pretty good handle on this function as well. Introverted sensors are data people. Most Si's I know like lists of information. My son can spend hours pouring over websites that list when Lego sets were made, how many pieces were in each set, how successful each set was in the market, etc. My son's friend who doesn't like legos at all, instead focuses on Dungeon and Dragon rules. He spends hours pouring over the rule book, soaking up every detail of every rule. Si's tend to be traditionalists, in large part because they like data to remain constant. If something has always been done such and such way in an Si's life, then they want it to stay the same over time so that all of the data points (when you sit and when you stand, for example) to stay exactly the same. I know one Si who is also very tied to his own past. He seems unable to extract events that happen to him today from events that happened 10, 20 or 30 years ago with different people in different places. Si's are commonly found in the military and in traditional churches because both places value tradition, rules and conformity. 

Here's some quotes from other folks on Si's:

"Introverted Sensing often involves storing data and information, then comparing and contrasting the current situation with similar ones." -- cognitiveprocesses.com

"Introverted Sensation gives us the will to accumulate information--names, dates, numbers, statistics, references, guidelines, and so forth--related to the things that matter to us. ... Such facts are highly selective. ... They're part of our self-experience. They define the specific nature of our passions and interests. They become our basis for taking in new data." -- Lenore Tomson


***   Judging Functions: How do we make decisions?   ***

Ti: Introverted Thinking

Introverted thinkers like to be precise. In my experience, they'll use a million dollar word, not because they want to show off or act wiser than thou, but because they believe that word conveys their meaning more exactly than the more common terminology. They search for inconsistencies in an argument. 

Here's some quotes from other folks regarding introverted thinkers:

"The Introverted thinking function allows a person to categorize and analyze data. It is the ability to identify inconsistencies, know how things work and problem-solve." -- personality.info

"As a right-brain function, Introverted Thinking is not conceptual and linear [contra Extraverted Thinking]. It's body-based and wholistic. It operates by way of visual, tactile, or spatial cues, inclining us to reason experientially rather than analytically." -- Lenore Thomson

Fi: Introverted Feeling

While an introverted thinker looks for inconsistencies in ideas, an introverted feeler is more likely to look for inconsistencies in behavior. If someone is being fake or insincere, introverted feelers will be quick to pick up on that. Introverted feelers are very sensitive to their own feelings and to the feelings of those in their close circle of friends. 

Here are a few quotes from other's regarding Fi's:

"The Introverted Feeling function allows a person to know what they value. It is the ability to see through others and know what they are really like as if they had an internal radar. When it identifies a person with similar values there is a desire to connect." -- personality.info

"The introvert of feeling-type finds support and guidance by shaping his own  feeling-attitudes in accordance with an inner ideal. Here the activities of  feeling are hidden, and from the outside there is, as a rule, little to tell us that we are dealing with a person of  feeling-type." -- Dr. J. H. van der Hoop

"Jung continues to discuss the introverted feeling type (IF) by stating that this type is often silent, inaccessible, hard to understand, hides behind a childish or banal mask, and is inclined to melancholy. In fact, as many as 65-85% of people diagnosed with major depressive episode are introverted feelers. Introverted Feelers value peace and harmony above almost anything else; strong emotions are struck down “with murderous coldness” or nearly paralyze the IF. In women, especially, introverted feeling tends to come off as cold because the strong feeling component is introjected rather than sent outward by projection onto others." -- The Third Eve

(This is a repost from my old Multiply.com blog and is back dated accordingly.) 

July 3, 2012

The "Flavors" of Extraversion


I've often tried to explain what it means to be extraverted. I've generally failed miserably. But I'm gonna give it another shot because I've learned some stuff. And it makes sense to me. And I think it could be helpful to others who still equate extraversion with being a "people person."

Not all extraverts are people persons. Stick that in your brain and let it marinate awhile. In common parlance, that's how we've used the word, but in personality chit chat, that's not what it means... at least not for all extraverts. You can be a very extraverted person and yet appear somewhat cold or distant to people. And you can be a strong introvert and yet make people feel warm and loved when you're around. It really all comes down to your functions. And in this post, I just want to focus on the extraverted functions: Ne, Se, Te and Fe. I'm still learning some of these myself. Te is my secondary function and Se is how I get when I've been pushed to the brink and then some. So I sorta have an experiential sense of what they mean. But when it comes to Ne and Fe, I'll be relying a lot on what others have said about those functions. And if anything I say doesn't seem quite right, or it does seem right on, or you have examples, please pipe up. You're probably more of an expert on your first function, and possibly your second function, than you may even realize. Speak from your experience and we'll all end up learning more.  :-)

In personality nomenclature, the first letter - N, S, T or F - refers to the four preferences - iNtuition, Sensing, Thinking and Feeling. The second letter (usually written in lower case) refers to the direction (or attitude) of preference - is it inward (introverted) or outward (extraverted) focused? So Ne is another way of saying "extraverted intuition," Se is extraverted sensing, etc. I'm going to try to describe each of the flavors of extraversion. Hopefully you'll see yourself in one of these (even if you're an introvert). Either your first or your second function is extraverted. We all have to deal with the outside world at some point (whether it's at work, while shopping, school, dealing with the tv repairman,....) so we all have a preferred method of dealing with the world.


***   Perceiving Functions - How do we take in information?   ***

Ne: Extraverted Intuition
My impression of an extraverted intuitive is that they love having a bunch of ideas thrown at them (such as in a brainstorming session). They soak up ideas, thoughts, beliefs and meanings and find themes among them, weaving concepts together to develop strategies or larger concepts. Even when they see basic, ordinary, run of the mill stuff that anyone else might pass over, they can look at that person or object or event and see all sorts of possibilities in it. 

Here's some quotes I found in a conversation comparing Ne's to Ni's. 

"Ne focuses on parallel possbilities that may not link one after the other but exist side by side and may all be true. On top of this they may have other possibilities that branch off the initial possibilities identified." -- thor odinson

"Ne  primarily  diverges from one idea, concept or even word to multiple meanings." -- Tenacity

"Ne is interested in open-ended exploration of theories and possibilities." -- Magic Mirror

And I thought this quote was helpful (especially when you jump down to Se and compare the forest quote describing them): "Extraverted iNtuiting  thinks of the fractal patterns, the wide range of possibilities in the forest, how this forest is part of the ecosystem and is affected by polllution from the city..." -- InterStrength

Se: Extraverted Sensing
Extraverted sensors want to take in the world (and perhaps even take on the world). They want to touch, taste, smell, see, hear, roll in, ride on, climb over, crawl under, and/or slide through the world around them. They want to suck up physical experiences like sponges. They will actively seek input until there are no more inputs to receive or until, in their boredom, they find something else to move on to. 

Here's some quotes from other folks on being Se:

"Extraverted sensing experiences the world in all its vibrancy. It sifts through sensory data and identifies what is most relevant and most critical in the current situation. It seizes opportunities as they present themselves. It troubleshoots and seeks a tactical advantage. It wants immediate gratification." -- Andrea Wenger

"Extraverted Sensing notices the rich detail in the whole forest - the trees, their color and texture, their sounds, their smells, the pattern of light and dark..." -- InterStrength


***   Judging Functions - How do we make decisions?   ***

Te: Extraverted Thinking
Being a "thinker" doesn't mean that other people don't think, it's just the term that Jung came up with to describe those who make decisions based on logic. Thinkers are not usually considered people persons (even when they're extraverts). 

Extraverted thinkers are the people you want to call when you want something done and you want it done sooner rather than later. An extraverted thinker is energized when they've made a list and managed to do everything on it. Accomplishment is golden. In fact, not doing something that you know is going to have to be done sooner or later seems to actually be painful for extraverted thinkers. They just want it finished. They want it checked off their list NOW. They tend to have very clean homes (since a speck of dirt is a check list item waiting to be crossed off).

Here are some quotes from other folks on what it means to be an extraverted thinker:

Te's "strive to rationally structure, order, and control the outside world.  They are systematic, methodical, deliberate, and strategic in their approach. They proceed carefully and slowly, looking ahead to avoid potential obstacles and to prepare for contingencies. Extraverted Thinking (Te) involves Thinking-based judgments that incorporate facts, data, or other objective considerations. Through the impersonal and objectifying lens of Te, the world becomes a giant machine, a system of interrelated parts that predictably functions according to the laws of cause and effect." -- Personality Junkie
"What Te does is seek organization and efficiency in the outer world." -- Grey

"In social situations Te displays the qualities of leadership and strength because they're able to make decisions about external things in a manner that doesn't pander them to subjectivity. -- Diphenhydramine

Fe: Extraverted Feeling
An extraverted feeler is going to invite you to stuff. Their goal in life is for everybody to get along. (Unless you upset them somehow. Then extraverted feelers are really good at hurting your feelings.) If an extraverted feeler gets even a sense that you need something that they think they can provide (whether they actually can or not) they'll get all excited about helping and start behaving as if it's a done deal when they haven't even begun step one of planning. They seem to feel first and work out the details later. 

Here are some quotes from others on Fe's:

"An extroverted feeler is always talking about how they FEEL about things.  They care how people feel!  This type never forgets to have the birthday cards, bake the cake for a party, plan the potlucks — you know the type!  They “emote” — all the time, and everyone knows how they feel!" -- Valentine Bonnaire

"If we dive deeper, we find that we are excellent at reading situations, expressions, and people’s actions.  Feelers can pick up on tone and change it.  Naturally, we encourage people to use their strengths, do what they enjoy and follow their dreams.  It is true that the extroverted feeler feels a feeling of euphoria when seeing their partner or another person happy.  They do in fact, recharge and revitalize their minds by creating harmony." -- Young Life Perception

(This is a repost from my old blog on Multiply.com and is backdated accordingly.) 

July 2, 2012

I'm not an Introvert nor an Extravert. I'm both.

I've had many people tell me that they're neither introverted nor extraverted. "I fall right in the middle," they exclaim, rather proud that they can't be put in a box. I've always tried to point out that "Yeah, of course you're a bit of both. But you're probably a bit more one than the other." Then follows the usual discussion of what does it even mean to be one or the other and finally a repeat of their denial that either description fits them very well.

I've continued to study the difference between introversion and extraversion (as well as the differences in the other preferences that make up the Meyers-Briggs type descriptions) and I maintain that people are a bit of both, but still fall more one way or the other. However, I've also come to understand what the two terms mean so much more clearly (It's not all about whether you like hanging out with people or not.) and probably better yet, I've started figuring out what the functions are all about. And understanding the functions, in my opinion, makes all the difference in the world. 

You've probably heard that introverts prefer time alone and extraverts prefer time with people. And definitely that's sometimes true. But it's not always true. And a lot really depends on the circumstances. (Get me on a topic I'm interested in and I could probably talk your ear off. Talk about anything else and you probably won't hear a peep out of me.) 

Stop thinking about introversion and extraversion in terms of people. It's not all about whether you like crowds or just being with a couple of friends or meeting complete strangers or avoiding people entirely. Wipe all that from your mind and let's start fresh. 

Think of introversion and extraversion as arrows. The first one points inside a person. The other one points outside a person. ... They're not pointing at people! Stop that. Didn't I tell you to stop thinking in terms of people? We'll add people back in later. But right now I want them out of your head entirely. *Waits, drumming her fingers on her desk.* Are they out? OK, let's continue. 

When a person is being introverted (notice, I didn't say an introverted person. So I'm not just talking to introverts here. I'm talking to everyone, because everyone is introverted part of the time.) that's a time when they're looking inside themselves at stuff. They could be looking at feelings, or ideas, or data, or memories, or well... anything else that's inside-ish. When a person is being extraverted, on the other hand, that's when they're looking outside themselves. (That doesn't mean they're being selfless. That's something else entirely. You can be completely selfish while looking outward.) While extraverting, a person is interacting with things that are other. That could be people, but it could also be nature, or textures, or distances, or a whole host of other things. 

But like I said, everyone tends to behave more one way than another. Some people do the pointing in thing more, but there are times when they're pointing out so much you might never think of them as being an introvert. And there are extraverts who usually interact with everything around them, but there are times when they're a bit more reflective or thoughtful or pensive and therefore look very much like introverts.

In terms of functions, your primary function will match up with whether you're extraverted or introverted. Your secondary function will be the opposite. There's a lot more to functions, but I'm going to save that for another post. The point I want to make here is "Yeah, you are both introverted and extraverted. Good on ya. But whether you want to cop to it or not, you operate more in one mode than the other. You just do. And the rest of your personality type (the S/N and T/F stuff) is affected by your primary mode of being either extraverted or introverted. 

Stay tuned for the "flavors" of extraversion.

(This is a repost from my old blog on Multiply.com. It is backdated to its original posting date.)