Ask vs Guess

I stumbled upon this discussion today where someone brings up the difference between people raised in an “Ask Culture” or a “Guess Culture”. I like this thought it explains behavior that cause most roommate fights. I also think that regardless of if a person is an asker or a guesser, people will be in different places in their personality and will be more or less amenable to the two different forms of behavior.

It was written in response to someone who really didn’t want a friend of a friend staying at their house, but didn’t want to be rude and say no.

This is a classic case of Ask Culture meets Guess Culture.

In some families, you grow up with the expectation that it’s OK to ask for anything at all, but you gotta realize you might get no for an answer. This is Ask Culture.

In Guess Culture, you avoid putting a request into words unless you’re pretty sure the answer will be yes. Guess Culture depends on a tight net of shared expectations. A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won’t even have to make the request directly; you’ll get an offer. Even then, the offer may be genuine or pro forma; it takes yet more skill and delicacy to discern whether you should accept.

All kinds of problems spring up around the edges. If you’re a Guess Culture person — and you obviously are — then unwelcome requests from Ask Culture people seem presumptuous and out of line, and you’re likely to feel angry, uncomfortable, and manipulated.

If you’re an Ask Culture person, Guess Culture behavior can seem incomprehensible, inconsistent, and rife with passive aggression.

Obviously she’s an Ask and you’re a Guess. (I’m a Guess too. Let me tell you, it’s great for, say, reading nuanced and subtle novels; not so great for, say, dating and getting raises.)

Thing is, Guess behaviors only work among a subset of other Guess people — ones who share a fairly specific set of expectations and signalling techniques. The farther you get from your own family and friends and subculture, the more you’ll have to embrace Ask behavior. Otherwise you’ll spend your life in a cloud of mild outrage at (pace Moomin fans) the Cluelessness of Everyone.

As you read through the responses to this question, you can easily see who the Guess and the Ask commenters are. It’s an interesting exercise.

I also think people, even worthwhile people can be dicks sometimes regardless of why.

Moving Day

My belongings in easy to transport containers.
My belongings in easy to transport containers.

Updating has been difficult lately. Mostly because I’ve moved! I’m now about 5 blocks further away from the hosue I grew up in. Every year I seem to go 5 more blocks down 8th ave.

Getting all of our stuff into this new house was a chore. Andrew and myself have just a tad too many things to throw in a bag and deliver to a new homestead. It would have been an impossible task if it weren’t for a few friends who showed up in the nick of time to lend a hand.

My good friend Jason was the first to show up and stayed with us all day and into the night. This is the 3rd time he’s done this and all he’s ever asked for was lunch and dinner. (and beer – which I still owe him) My brother was around for a little while and helped move my television into our van. It was a gift that I’ve been paying for ever since. While beautiful (HD, good speakers, lots of inputs) it’s about 300 pounds of suffering, that moves once a year. It took a few hours before we moved it out of the van. Caroline showed up a bit later and immediatly called for backup. Both Caroline and Tina moved box after box well into the night. I’m fairly certian I’m slightly responcible messing up their plans for the next two days, school and work come secondary when you’re as tired as they were when they left. Late comers were Jeremy, my Mother and Mike, who helped get some of the details (and heavy lifting) that we were missing after hours of labor.

The entire night ended (for most people) with a lovely diner at my favorite restraunt Two Boots. Thanks to my Father many delicious dishes were had by all of us. We were tired, hungry, and grumpy and it made the night good again.

Thank you everybody who helped. I’m still sore, but I would have been broken if it weren’t for you. Me and Andrew are getting the place setup and will have a housewarming in a few weeks. Much free food for everyone.

Even today as I write this, I still have other boxes left to move. I also figure my moving karma slightly lacking, I’ve helped a few people in my time, but I think after 3 moves in 3 years I need to give a little bit more back. Just remember, if you helped me, you’ve now got positve moving Karma, it’s going to come in handy one day.


Random Image FB

I had a brief lived application on facebook. It mostly worked right and would load all your photos and put them in a big FB random tag and stick it on your profile. I had it upgraded by Koudelka who played around with Facebook’s javascript subset and got a little Ajaxy (+) link that would load a new photo. After that I ignored it. =)

Until it broke, and you had to hit the + to get a photo at all.

It was shitty hack. Code that was never planed.  I killed it this morning. I’m backing it up but.. you don’t want to see its code. It was a mercy kill. It will be tough but.. the 16 people who were using it will have to move on.

I like to think that in a world of fb apps that include inviting friends to be zombies or go out on hot virtual dates with bumper stickers and snowball fights, my app was a little bit of hope. Hope for functionality without advertising or annoyance. Too bad it was broken.

I will miss you “Random Profile Image” but honestly.. not that much.


If you really do want to see it’s code let me know.

Update: I had over 3.2k photos logged (I don’t have the photos, I just knew about them so I could pick a random one.) that’s an amazing amazing amount of photography to share.

23 year old Throwies Part 1

So this past weekend I celebrated my 23rd birthday. I had a lot of fun.
birthday bag all lit up
Normally I plan a party like this.

1) Pick a day (and forget to tell people right away)
2) Find a venue (my house, your house, whatever)
3) Add people
4) Add music
5) Add beer
6) (optional) Add hard liquor

And no matter what, as long as there are people + beer + music people seem to have a good time. Honestly I never though Id ever throw parties, but it’s worked out quite nicely a whole bunch of times. I think it started with just a few friends, and slowly expanded to have like 10, 15, 20 people at at time. Which is just right for my tastes. People I love having fun, that’s the idea.

For the record, the two photographers (minus a few camera phone pics by other people) were Mike and Jenny.

So for my birthday, I decided I wanted throwies. I got the idea from The Graffiti Research Lab, they developed them and gave them out to large groups of people encouraging them to “alter their surroundings”. One of their biggest targets was “The Alamo” or “The Cube” that’s in the village over on Astor Place. (I’m borring from wiki for the details, but I remember picking throwies off the cube after the event. Oh and I have to mention the unrelated Rubix Cube prank.)

the cube all lit up

So instead of buying beer in large quantities, I bought throwie parts. And with the help of the very simple instructions from instructables I decided on what parts to buy and after they arrived I stole a few rolls of packing tape from work, got a few box cutters (from my surplus order a few weeks ago) and I was all set. That’s literally all the preparation I did for my birthday.

So once people started showing up (a few I had to convince to leave a showing of “the life of Brian” at another party, I promised they could finish the movie at my house but once they saw the lights everybody forgot about it.) I sat them down at a table in the living room and showed them how to make a few throwies. Nobody .. well almost nobody knew that was coming, but as it turns out, arts and crafts (like this anyway) are a lot of fun, and people are easily bribed with pizza.

Working for pizza is a pasttime

Come back later for part 2.


Dear Roborooter.

I am at sarah’s. She is cool, and my girlfriend. She loves me. And wine. but maybe not as much as I love wine.


(that’s sarah’s laugh)

We just spend some time reading her old diaries from 1992, she says lots about herself from back then. Bad speller, angsty, named her diary chi-chi. It’s interesting. I used to write stories about kids who had aliens kill them and then the ambulance would come and the doctors would bring them back to life. But sometimes the kids couldn’t come back and the parents would be sad. I must have been like.. 4 or 5 years old.

They’d have me write a book in preeschool, now I don’t remember it too well. but they would have me tell a story and they’d write it down, and I’d draw pictures and then write the story back in the book. It would be a blank hard cover.

(Sarah just brought up a great book called “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs” man I love that)

umm, dr Seuss is cool

ok that’s enough of this blast from the past roborooter diary inspired by a 8 year old sarah. Good night.


PS little sarah liked hotdogs

About as easy to find as a size 14 shoe

I spent yesterday walking around manhattan with my friend Brian looking for (among other things) size 14 shoes. Manhattan doesn’t carry them. In fact most places don’t carry size 14 shoes, they carry up to size 13. I’m a 12 personally, so when I goto a store looking for shoes I look for a shoe I like and try to find it in my size, Brian has to look for his size and then see if it’s a shoe he likes. It’s crazy.

So we went to the internet instead. Even though stores carried my size I didn’t end up liking what most of them had, so I was happy to find a nice pair of Vans and order them online. Brian still couldn’t find any decent looking shoes. He’ll have to try again later.

But back to Manhattan, We went looking for either Vans or Airwalks, I’m a fan of sketchers too, but I wasn’t in the mood. So we skipped the sketchers store and hit up about 10 different shoe stores on 34th St. In one store the guy didn’t even know the brands existed. When we went downtown and walked a good chunk of broadway, we found a Van’s billboard (“Vans: Off the wall since 1960”) but only a few stores that carried anything close to the same style of shoe. I was disappointed with america.

And Thank You Vans for letting me know your off the wall, you’re so off the wall you’re not even in shoe stores. Jerk.

Today, I clean!
(Bathroom, outside, entryway, hallway, living room, kitchen, countertops, toilet, ..other.. and that’s just the stuff I’ve cleaned so far. Who would think that such a small apartment would have so many places for dirt.)
This is going to take several days.


They’re opening up a commerce bank down the block.

I’m happy about the commerce bank being built down the block. The private parking lot was nice and all, and I did enjoy looking at the converted pig box that used to serve as a delivery.. vehicle, but I think the bank will be a lot more useful. I’ll be able to walk down the block to count my change for free. (oh and do banking and things)

I was looking for a link on the penny arcades but I found nothing that just showed what it was (it counts the coins) but I did find out that they’re easy to rip off. Apparently a bunch of them have been robbed. I just hope when I go to rob a bank my first instinct is to go for the spare change. I just hope they don’t have this guy working security. I took that friday night.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted (so sue me, cancel your subscription), I’ve been working mostly, taking breaks for trips to beaches and birthday parties. (Matt, I found your dream girl by the way.) And occasionally the friday night game of pool with Jason.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned my credit card fraud problem, I got most of my money back the other day (all but 4 bucks says quickbooks) and I’m sitting pretty about it. Now I just need to solve my no credit problem (more on that another day).

This is looking pretty attractive. There were talks with Tivo and netflix for a home “download” box where you could download your movies overnight and watch them as much as you want. Their always worried that it could be used for evil, like to copy the movies or something, but I can do that with dvds. I just did a quick Froogle Search I found out it runs around $600 bucks. No longer as attractive.

Don’t get me started on $800 dollars in one day, if you’ve heard my rant then you know I want my money back. Unfortunately the people who need to give my money back haven’t heard it yet. You know who you are! You best be better getting with the check writing you people you.
(I thank you Hawkeye Pierce)

On that note I watched The first DVD of Season 1 of Mash today. It’s a lot better without Devry Commercials or a laugh track. I love this show, every eyeful.

Good night folks, I’ll be here all week.


PS Look for new Audioslave, Cold Play, and The White Stripes