Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Now you know....

Thanks to Netflix' "The Crown", I now know far more about

  • the Succession order for the British monarchy
  • the Great Smog of London
  • the Suez Canal crisis
  • the Church of England
  • the many affairs of Princess Margaret
...than I did a few weeks ago mostly due to compulsively Googling everything to learn the backstory / rest of the story about some plot point that's being introduced.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Grr. My brain cannot bend like that.

I have no idea how my cat did it, but he managed to change the settings in Windows 10 on the computer at home so that one monitor's video was oriented 90 degrees CCW and the other monitor was a full 180 degrees out.  On top of that, I think he managed to get the CTRL keys stuck "on" in some exceedingly sticky and silent way.

I'm assuming it was the cat, anyway.  I do have two toddlers.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

That's a little steep, Google.

One of the things that I always appreciated about "Google Phones" (Nexus 5, 5x, 6, 6p, etc) was that they tended to be marketed as an incredibly good value proposition - near-flagship specs for a very mid-range price.

Looks like Google's giving up on that idea.

Google's new phone, the "Pixel" has a starting price of $649. 


Optioned up, it tops out at $860.


...and they're marketing it as a Verizon exclusive*.


...and they took away the headphone jack.

Triple-nope with a scoop of vanilla on top.  This is not a phone that I'm interested in cross-shopping at those prices.  The 32GB on the stock phone isn't sufficient for a decent music collection (no, I don't stream) and a decent set of apps at the same time.  The 128GB upgrade jumps right to "overkill" and costs another $120 (which just ain't gonna fly).

Sorry, Google.  I think you lost your touch on this one.  I'm sure the hardware is wonderful, but I'm not dumb enough to drop that kind of dough on a phone.

*Yes, you can buy them unlocked online through Google, but marketing it as being tied to VZW is a major turnoff to anybody with a lick of sense in them.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Burn, baby burn.

Trader Joe's sweet pickled jalapenos in a vodka martini is not a bad thing at all.  I do recommend you try it.

Friday, August 12, 2016

That's... just foolish.

This must be one of the silliest ideas I've seen yet as regards smart-watches.

I can't say that I've ever thought to myself "Gee, I wish I could have uncomfortable, lumpy things strapped to my wrist at every possible angle so I can never rest my arms on my desk".

I wear a watch - it's a Timex with a NATO band that I've rotated so that all the hardware is well up and away from any part of my arm that will touch anything else - it's the only way to fly, really.  I can't imagine wanting to encumber my wrist to that extent.

BUT: if it wasn't for the hilariously ludicrous $210 price tag, I could finally get a pair of watch bands sized for my <4-year-old children.  ...which is also something I have never actually found a need for.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lay's "Szechuan Chicken"-flavored potato chips are not particularly tasty.  Please let this serve as a warning to you.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Nice way to start your day.

It's a rare day when you wake up and find an email from your wireless provider saying "Hey - we're cutting our rates.  Have a nice day".

If those sound good to anybody and you feel like trying Ting, I do have a referral link you can use that's good for a $25 credit on your account (or $25 off of a new phone from the Ting store, however you want it).  I have zero qualms about recommending Ting to anybody with fairly moderate data needs.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sesame Street - the neighborhood's just not the same.

So long, Bob.
So long, Gordon.
So long, Luis.

At this point, let's just rename it to "The Insipid Elmo and Fairy School Show" and quit pretending it's got any continuity ties to the Sesame Street that I grew up with.

Yeah, I get that Bob, Gordon and Luis are old as the gum stuck to Oscar's trash can at this point, but it's still a sad thing to see them 86'd from the show.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Good idea / Bad idea

Fun: Getting a new electronic toy

Not fun: Not getting to play with your new toy because it's gotta spend the first hours of its life downloading 1.5GB of system and app updates.

However: Yay for a new phone and Yay for Ting making it absurdly simple to activate one (even a CDMA one).

Monday, July 11, 2016

False in Advertising

If you're going to name your company "Weatherproof Vintage", I think you have some responsibility to make sure your clothes are either Vintage and/or Weather-proof.

No, what we have here is just a plain old button-down casual short-sleeve shirt.  It might stand up to sunshine and a light breeze, but not rain, snow, sleet, monsoon, locusts, etc.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Phone Home

At the $250 price point right now:

New hotness, a lock to get later versions of Android, but massive, lower specs and untested?

Last year's flagship with a great camera and full warranty, but might not see an update to Android 'N'?

Two-year old flagship of reasonable size (5") and waterproof, but probably only about as powerful as the Motorola, only a 30 day warranty and unlikely to get an update to 'N'?

I'm thinking way too hard about this and my wife is laughing at me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Motorola announces next revision of the Moto G

... and it's a very mixed bag in my opinion


  • Prices (though unannounced) will probably be reasonable
  • Screen and camera both improve (5.5" is larger than current, but not terrible)
  • Expandable storage via SD card is still there
  • Fingerprint reader if you like such things
  • No longer waterproof.  3rd gen was true IPX7 waterproof.  The new ones are just "splash resistant".
  • 3 separate models adds some fragmentation.  Probably less likely to see rapid software updates.  Probably also going to drive the price-point of the "good one" up quite a bit over the el-cheapo "Play" model.
  • No indication that they've gained the gyroscope/compass that the 3rd gen was lacking.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stand in the place where you live

...Stand in the place where you work...

The office got a new seating chart yesterday, which meant I got to relocate.  I decided to try a standing desk this time around - fortunately our cubicles are very modular, so with a little effort all of the desk surfaces in the new cube got taken apart and reinstalled at standing level.  Working on getting my monitors at the right height today (as well as figuring out why Windows won't see one of them now).

Monday, May 9, 2016

Bunch of geeks

Because my office is a bunch of nerds, most all of us are sitting outside where one of my coworkers has a pair of binoculars set up to project Mercury's once-a-decade-ish transit across the sun onto a big sheet of paper. Pretty neat, really.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

This... is not my forte.

All of these colors (and more) claim to be gray.

Clearly, someone is lying.

I have decided that I will make my decision based on the cleverness of the name.  So far "Dorian Gray", "Amazing Gray" and "Grayish" are in the lead.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bitten by Python.

I like new programming languages, but some of them get a little "quirky".

Python, for instance, scopes the code based solely on indentation.  This is silly.  Spend two characters on some curly braces like everybody else does and quit making me have errors because my editor put a TAB in instead of a batch of spaces.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lifehacker - What Unexpected Expense Hurt the Most

I like to think that I'm pretty financially responsible - and paranoid.

So here comes Lifehacker.com with an article asking people to tell about the unexpected expenses that hurt them the most.  Reading through the comments is interesting.  Not only does it fuel some paranoia about having a good emergency fund, it apparently makes me realize that I'm in way better shape than most.

Reading the comments so far, everybody's nightmares are all under five figures.  Kind of surprising.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Moving over from Wordpress to Blogger so I can cut some bucks out of the budget.  Sorry, HostGator - $120/year just looks so expensive when it gets billed as $360/3years.

Now to see if I can find a WP->Blogger importer.