Showing posts from August, 2013

I Hate Shopping

Forgive me, I'm recovering from learning today that Peter Egan is retiring from Road and Track.

What I'm about to write is Dharmic revenge for my actions as an 16-25 year old: Ten years on from that, I hate shopping for anything durable.   I don't mind shopping for food, theatre tickets, or the average temporal thrill, but when it comes to something that's going to take-up residence at my house, I'd rather not.

Basically, I separate shopping from buying.  Shopping implies going somewhere, looking at something, maybe trying it out, then walking away and thinking about it.

This has a few distasteful outcomes for me:

Outright obsession.  Though better since I got a handle on my brain chemistry years ago, I can still obsess about some shiny object, night and day, for a remarkable time.  Mostly these are mechanical things: Guns, cars, motorcycles.  It's a fever, in my blood, with all the positives and negatives.Disappointment.  I'd been obsessing about something …

A Snapshot



Sturm und Drang

You said what you believed.  You gave suggestions.  You swore too much, and called "bullshit" at least once.

Good for you.  Old, impolitic, devil-may-care you arose and you had the "tough conversation."

Rant: The Google & StackOverflow Problem

George Carlin (God rest his soul) had this great bit about humanity.  From memory:
"How's the earth doing?" people ask.  "We're destroying the earth."  How's the EARTH doing?!  Earth is doing just dandy.  Four billion years and counting.  Like we're really going to hurt the Earth.  You wanna know how the Earth is doing? Why don't you go on down to Pompeii and ask those people frozen in place under Vesuvius.  The EARTH is doing just fine.  It's not going anywhere....we are.  (::Wild applause::)
Pack your S*@# folks, we're going away.  Time's up.  Earth needed oil, and we got the dinosaurs.  Then it needed plastic, so it got us.  It's got plastic, so...

So, today, I had a prolonged technical discussion with a colleague from India.  This guy and I are far from infallible, but I trust this man.  He's careful, diligent, and professional.  He told me "The Frobulator won't support foobar()."

We discussed i…

Giving up my SmartPhone, Two Weeks on

Here's a huge reason why I gave up my Smartphone two weeks ago:

I see this.  Everywhere.
You're not at the event, you're watching it through your phone's viewfinder.You're not interacting, you're looking at the palm of your hand.  It's quickly becoming normal to be 'social' while talking over or around a screen with 10% of your brain.You're not thinking, you're regurgitating what you can find on Youtube, Imdb, Google, or Siri.  While this information may be instantly correct, it obviates the need for you.  You're not driving, you're looking for the next point where you can zone out (straight stretch of road, stop sign, line at the drive-thru) so you can carry on whatever triviality you just hit on FB, Instragram, SMS, or whatever. So, I took a step off the running train.  Blowback has been both expected and encountered:
"What is that?  A Crackberry?""You did WHAT?""What?  Couldn't afford a real phone?"…

On LastPass After I lost the 2-factor Grid

So, since the first of the year, I've been a happy LastPass user, using the browser integrations in Chrome and Firefox.  It's great:
I never need to type a password --> Especially handy if you're projecting on screen.I never reuse a password across sites --> Even salted, hashed password files can get compromised.The 'Generate Password' feature lets me generate an arbitrary length password of arbitrary complexity--> Not vulnerable to dictionary attacks.You can use a neat 2-factor authentication system. I've also enabled 2-factor auth wherever I can (Google Profile, Twitter, etc.).

However, the thing with a two-factor authentication system is, you must have both factors to log-in.  In my case, factor 1 is my master lastpass password, which I have to enter whenever I launch a new browser.  This is something I know.  Factor 2 is an alphanumeric grid that lastpass generated for me and that I have with me in my wallet.  This is something I possess.

It's al…

Ch-ch-changes, 2013 Edition

The Dumb Phone As my tweet stated:
Quit my smartphone cold turkey at noon.  Wonder how bad the DTs will be #addicted One of the supreme joys of ADHD is the vulnerability you have to, well, anything that stimulates your limbic system.  Basically, early in the day (pre meds) and late in the day (when the meds tail off), my brain turns into this mush of neurons that's desperate for stimulation, for something to make the cacaphony of input from visual, auditory, and sensory signals even out and make sense.  However, early and late in the day is the only time I regularly see my family.

Not. Good.

Since I got my Atrix in 2011, I've been on an increasingly slack-jawed path to staring at YouTube videos and obsessing over the current trending topics on Twitter.  General pathology looks something like this:

The last thing I see at night and the first thing I see in the morning isn't my wife, it's my phone.  Forgive my bluntness, but that's fucked up.  I got convicted of tha…