Archive for May, 2013

Don’t ask, just trust, you owe us

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

I got a $20 bill today for literally nothing, and I don’t mean that in the good way.

I mean, I got an invoice from my doctor, saying I owe them my co-pay for some recent services rendered.  Given that I had a motorcycle accident, I do not doubt that I will end up owing them far more than just that.

The problem is the bill doesn’t say what it’s for.  At all.  It says there’s “new charges”, and “pending insurance”, but it doesn’t show any line items for the values, just a big empty space where they should go.

I’m more amused than angry.  As a programmer who has done bulk processing application work before, I sympathize with the developer even, somewhat.  But I’m still going to call someone and point it out.

My Lobotomy

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Took out parts that made me sad

Put in parts that make me glad

Why on earth would I be mad

At the guy who lobotomized me?


Opened up my brain pan wide

Took a look at what’s wrong inside

And did something never tried


Watching Xanadu

Monday, May 27th, 2013

As I’m sitting inside, watching another excellent biking day go by, I happened across Xanadu, a 1980 musical film, with Gene Kelly, Olivia Newton-John, and lots of roller skating.  I remember loving the movie when it first came out, listening to the soundtrack over and over, and imagining that someday I’d get to go out to a night club like that.

Now, as I’m watching the big grand opening musical number, all I can think of is the liability issues of having drunk people, on skates, with rotating platforms, and multiple levels of floor space.  I remember a DJ friend, who had taken over an old bank space in St Louis, who’d built a special dance floor in the middle of the fountain, complete with a strobe light in the floor.  He found amusement in the number of people who’d fall in the water when the strobe went off.  The days before ubiquitous cellphones =p

I still enjoyed most of the musical numbers, and wonder if DJ Earworm has ever seen the live mashup number, with sliding stages.

I had forgotten how much of the film takes place on skates; I did remember how much I wanted skates after it came out, and how I’d wear them everywhere/when I could.

Google Play carries Julian Cope =)

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

I’m not a big fan of the current UI and navigation flows, especially as relates to adding music to your library, but the fact that they have more Julian Cope than I do, has impressed me.  If they continue to have better coverage of my fave artists than Rhapsody, I could be in for a difficult decision in 30 days.  But of course, the second artist I search for, local musical genius James Coates, I find that, while they have his most recent album, which Rhapsody doesn’t, they don’t have his first album, which Rhapsody does….so it looks like the one-true-music-store has yet to be built; or rather to get the right legal agreements in place.

Really not a big fan of the way it kept stuttering and skipping, every time I searched, but maybe that’s just my local machine; I will try some other machines before I declare the play-programmers completely inept =p

Yes, you can see me dancing, so what?

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

I bounce around when I’m listening to music.  OK, I’m bounce around a lot, in silence too.  It’s just more rhythmic when there’s a beat to go along with.

Now that we are in an open office, anyone walking past can see.  I don’t have a problem with people seeing me dancing like a freak; I’ve been to my share of club-nights.  What is getting under my skin is the ‘look’ from my manager, as if I should be embarrassed by being seeing.  If you feel weird about seeing me move, that’s all on you.



Liberace makes me cry

Monday, May 20th, 2013

I have limited memory of Liberace, directly, from my childhood in the ’70s.  I was aware he existed, but never really knew much about his life/style, until after he was gone.  I have memories of bits and pieces of the first TV movie I saw about him and his boyfriend.  More than anything, I remember how sad and hopeless it made my future seem.  If a guy like that couldn’t find a stable happiness, what hope would a shy guy have, of ever attracting the right kind of attention, from the right guy?  If money and fame couldn’t protect a gay man from the mockery of society, what hope for someone of normal means?

Terms of the Contract

Monday, May 20th, 2013

I get so annoyed by people, breathlessly pointing out that some company is going to abide by the terms of it’s contract, instead of going out of their way to instead act in a way that would benefit the consumer.  Of course they are going to do no more or less than the contract requires them, that’s why you have one.  Would you express the same disgusted disbelief, in the other direction, “why didn’t Joe pay ACME corp an extra 10%, since he really needed their product?”  Seems doubtful.

If you engage in fraud when signing up for insurance, it seems perfectly reasonable to deny a claim based on the fraud.  If I choose to save money on my premiums, by buying cheaper coverage, getting less coverage seems like a reasonable and rational outcome.  If someone gets cheaper insurance because they told the insurer they were non-smokers, and it turns out they deliberately lied, I’m OK with them having to pay for their own care….well sorta; since a lung cancer treatment plan generally ends up costing more than insurance and saving can ever cover, it’s not like the end bill wasn’t going to end up going to the State already…..which reminds me, I have to point out to my doctor, that motorcycle’s don’t generally include personal injury for the driver, only liability for injuries I cause others, and that they need to stop asking me for something that doesn’t exist, and use my regular health insurance.


Google+ photo failure

Friday, May 17th, 2013

With much fanfare, and free laptops, Google announced, among other things, significant ‘improvements’ to the wasteland that is Google+.  Of the stuff they touted, 99% of it sounded worthless and a complete waste of time, since they were features that are only useful if people actually started using Google+ exclusively, instead of Facebook.    The only new features that sounded worth checking out were the photo sharing related ones, so I fired up Chrome and logged into my + zone for the first time in months.

The first thing I see is that the UI design idiot who ruined Gmail, has had his hand in the UI for +, and made a mess of things there too.  Basic tasks that you can do with a single click on Facebook, take several to dozens of clicks.  But it sure looks ‘clean’ while doing nothing. eye-roll.

Anywho, the photo stuff…so first problem is, of course, they didn’t do any sort of QA on the uploader process, and it is very easy to crash, as a result.  As few as 240 pictures cause the uploader to crash.  I give the Chrome team props, that at least when the poorly written code from the G+ team kills the browser, it only kills the G+ tab, but still, it seems shamefully negligent to not have tested the uploader with the browser produced by your own company.

If you do manage to get some pics to load, the automatic animation builder works surprisingly well.  I’m still working on finding a stream of images that it will turn into a panorama, and will report those results when I have them.

Overall, it sounds like 2 good ideas, and 41 terrible ones, released before they were ready, by people who just don’t care about quality.  I doubt it will save plus.

Micro-managing idiocy

Friday, May 17th, 2013

The new manager reprimanded me today for taking on new work, instead of grabbing unfinished tasks from my co-workers.  That or she wants me to sit around for the first 2 hours of a day until other people come in, to ask them what they need help with, instead of grabbing a task that is ready to be done, and not yet worked on.  I get that the process is important to you, but it isn’t more important than actually getting work done.   Can she seriously not think thru the consequences of her demands?

Don’t touch that

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Unless you really want to play with my cat’s poop, in which case, unless you are my vet, I’d suggest therapy.  After a day of OK, Mabel poops on the floor again =(