Being an adult is difficult

It is frequently very difficult for me to say "no" to people.  This week I said "no" twice in situations where it would have been easy to say "yes" and then have my life fucked up as a result.

Go me.

Global Warming

You know how when climate crisis deniers say things like, "look!  it's snowing!  obviously global warming is a hoax!" and people like me rush to point out, "Hey, there's a difference between WEATHER and CLIMATE!"

Well here in New Jersey its 70 degrees out and Christmas is only a few days away.  When we see relatives this holiday season I'm going to use every opportunity to say, "Gosh, it is Christmas and its 70 degrees out!  Global Warming must be real!" and if anyone starts to clarify that there's a difference between weather and climate I'm going to just say...

Suggestions?   I have no idea what I'm going to say.

Those poor, poor, misguided google employees

When I was at Google I complained that Google Drive was unsearchable and, to be honest, I was sick and tired of friends emailing me snarky comments like, "I can never mind anything in Google Drive!  If only this product was made by a company that knew something about search!"

The reply that I got from the product manager was that the average Google Drive user has less than 80 documents.

My reply was to explain to them that 'average' is not as useful in this situation was 'median" is.

This is where you can insert a joke about them wanting to send me their standard reply, but they couldn't find it.


Now that I don't work at Google, nearly every week (and often every day of the week) a coworker complains to me about how frustrating it is that they can't find the doc they need in Google Docs.  They think it is hilarious to bring such complaints to me, often in public forums.

So today I was shocked when my RSS reader brought me this headline:
"Better search experience in Google Drive"

I feel sorry for the develoeprs that wasted their time improving Google Docs search. How does it feel to be writing code that solves a problem that doesn't exist?


Bank transparency

I keep a certain amount of my investments in CDs.  Each time one matures, I move banks to get the best rate.

According to my best research, two banks were tied for the highest interest rate for 5-year CDs right now.

  • Bank A: 2.25% APR.  Penalty for early withdrawl is 6 months interest.

  • Bank B: 2.25% APR.  "There may be a penalty for early withdrawl"

Wait... what?  What does that mean? Nowhere on their website do they say what it means.  So I called them up and spoke with their very friendly CSR who explained the penalty is 180 days of standard interest. This is pretty much what I expect and seems to be the industry standard.

Ok, so really my choice is:

  • Bank A: 2.25% APR. Being up-front.

  • Bank B: 2.25% APR.  Making customers work to get the information that any investment book would tell them to get before they invest.

As you can guess, I went with Bank A.

And I let Bank B know that their website needs some editing. https://twitter.com/yesthattom/status/619978179575296000

Even if they are able to show me where their website has that information, it is too late now.  I've sent my millions (well... millions of microcents) to their competitor.  (Oh, and if anyone from Synchrony Bank is reading this... the page that needs to be updated is this one.)

My next CD to mature is before the end of the year.  If they have the highest APR and have edited their web page, they're back in the running.

NOTE: I'm sure someone is going to point out that I could get a better return with something other than CDs.  Actually most of my money is elsewhere. This is my emergency fund which has a month or two expenses liquid and the rest in CDs.  All my other investments are managed professionally.

Elephant and gorillas

I keep seeing people get these expressions wrong. I'm writing them down here so I can link to them later.

  • "the elephant in the room" -- The uncomfortable thing that everyone knows but isn't talking about. A drunk father complains "why is everything so messed up?" and nobody talks about the elephant in the room... his alcoholism.

  • "white elephant" -- Something you can't get rid of; that costs more to dispose of than to keep.  Related: a white elephant sale or auction is a charity event held soon after Christmas where items are sold that have been donated by members.  If you received a "white elephant" for Christmas, you bring it to this event and donate it so that the charity can make money and the gift can find a home by someone that would appreciate the item.

  • "Seeing pink elephants" -- a euphemism for drunken hallucination. Old cartoons would show a drunk person hallucinating and what they would see is pink elephants.

  • "The 800 pound gorilla" -- The big thing that nobody even tries to fight, usually a company; so big they don't have to obey the law or pay attention to competitors. In the 1970s, IBM was the 800 pound gorilla that nobody would even consider fighting. In the 1990s that was Microsoft.

Things that are wrong wrong wrong:

  • The 900 pound gorilla.  Where did the extra 100 pounds come from?

  • "The 800 lb elephant". Mixed metaphor.

  • "the white elephant in the room".  Mixed metaphor.

  • "the 900 pound gorilla in the room".  Mixed metaphor; wrong mass.


String theory theory

I wonder if there would be more funding for String Theory if there was an obvious weapon that could be built as the result of the research.

I suspect the reason String Theory can't be used to build a weapon is that, if I understand the situation correctly, included in the theory is the quality that we can't touch it or prove/disprove it by means of physical evidence. You can't build a new kind of bomb out of something we can't see or touch.

If that's what holds back funding, then we should find the jerk that wrote the paper saying that String Theory has that particularly quality. I mean... fuck! ... he could have held back that one important detail, right?

He ruined it for everyone!
  • Current Mood

Yahoo Messenger web interface? Ugh.

Yahoo! has stopped supporting Yahoo Messanger for Mac. I don't know why but that's not relevant.

Instead they make you use their web-based client which isn't too bad. However it does have 2 problems:

1. I have 1 account with 3 aliases. I can't tell which alias someone is chatting to when they send to me. Can anyone tell me how to figure this out?

2. The web client doesn't support sending files. This is ok because I can use other systems to send files.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix the first issue?


I'll be in Philly on Wednesday night

Hey Philly friends!

I will be speaking at the Philadelphia area Linux Users' Group (PLUG) meeting on Wednesday night (Oct 1st). They meet at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP). My topic will be "Highlights from The Practice of Cloud System Administration" and I'll have a few copies of the book to give away.

For more info, visit their website: http://www.phillylinux.org/meetings.html

Hope to see you there!
  • Current Mood
    excited excited