Streaming Live Sports 2021

Every once in a while, I upend my family room and change how everything works. My family loves it. (not) Well, guess what, it’s time again. I currently have a lot of services. Netflix, Hulu, Prime, HBOMax, Disney+, and YouTube TV. All of this streams through a Roku sound bar. Platform I love the Roku…

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Terrible UX: Kia’s new logo

Sometimes I just shake my head in dismay. Today, I was watching the Australia Open on television. In the back of the court is a giant logo that looks like this. My son and I looked at it and said, “What company is that? KN? Maybe the n is backwards. KVI? Maybe the V and…

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When Prophecy Fails

About 15 years ago, I read a book recommended by a mentor at Intuit (Bill Mirbach) called When Prophecy Fails by Leon Festinger. (Wikipedia Article) The book, published in 1956, studies a small UFO religion in Chicago called the Seekers that believed in an imminent apocalypse and what happened when the world did not, in…

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Cartoons Sketches from 1992

I used to doodle all the time. My brother just sent me an old notebook he found. I had this running series of comics about the Assumptions. Creatures from the planet Assump. Get it? Anyway, here is a good sampling of them. RCC was my community college – I wasn’t a good student Assumption Lifecycle,…

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Post Office Idea

Years ago, I used to write holiday cards for all of my coworkers. I would hand write the card and leave it on their desks. Now, in the age of Covid, we are all working from home. This presents a problem. How can I get everyone their holiday cards? I don’t have their addresses and…

Covid Protocols and Tennis

There are Rules My kids (the older 2) are pretty strict about Covid protocols in general. When playing tennis with others, we were following the Official USTA Rules. The rules say “Bring your own can of balls and ONLY touch those. Don’t touch any other set of tennis balls”. The invitations to play tennis also…

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A Brief History of Me (So Far)

Can you put your life into bullet points? Can you summarize and really boil information spanning decades down to its essentials? Let’s give it a try. Act I (Growing up)Born outside NYC in the foresty suburbsWas pretty bad at school, but I read non stopGot into Art pretty early. Loved to drawWent to a local…

Covid Decision Making Framework

I don’t know what the question is, but the answer is a spreadsheet.- Glen Lipka I love collecting weird data and making charts out of it. In the last year, there has been a ton of interesting data. Decisions are made often with lots of bad bias. One area my family struggles with are decisions…

UX: Putting a Chair Together

My son (16) put together a new chair for his home desk last night. It wasn’t very complicated, but he struggled with it for a few hours. This was his first attempt at putting together any kind of furniture. I didn’t help him because I wanted him to experience the feeling of trying to put…

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Live anywhere?

What if… What if all information companies and information jobs were given permission to work remotely? Several companies have already announced that their workers can work from home permanently. Each of these workers has to decide, “where do I want to live?” For the majority of my life, I had to commute to work; which…

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What do you believe?

My sister made me listen to a Joe Rogan podcast about a guy claiming to have worked in Area 51 on flying saucers. After 5 minutes, I knew the guy was lying about everything. I tried to listen, but it sickened me to my stomach. There are people who believe: QAnon is a real guy,…

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Unsafe at Home by Just Jared

My seventeen year old son just released his second music album. It is a big step forward from his original Album. He has been upgrading his home studio and learning more about mixing and music theory. He is planning on attending college for music, but because of Covid is going to take a gap year.…

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Government Sponsored Design

I was listening to a podcast by Malcolm Gladwell about a 20th century U.S. General named Curtis LeMay. He is a fascinating and influential character by the way. In the episode “May the Best Firebomb Win” Gladwell tells of a contest for our nations elite universities (Harvard, Yale, etc) to design the best incendiary bomb.…

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Personality Test 2020

I take a Myers Briggs quiz every year or two. I am having my design team do the test for a remote bonding exercise. Here are my personal results from the past: 2014: INFP | Mediator/Idealist.2017: INTJ – The Architect2019: INTJ, -A/-T The Architect 2020 INFP-T – Mediator/Idealist. Results map I think these two personality…

New Host: A2 Hosting

I have been hosting with asmallorange.com (ASO) for 6 years now. They were a decent host for the most part. I was using a simple shared hosting package. However, in the past year I became a bit disgruntled and disappointed. Complaints Complaint 1: Free SSL Google has long said that they will optimize for secure…

Letter -> GPA Spreadsheet

I love spreadsheets. I believe the spreadsheet represents the most innovative and amazing user interface ever created. Imagine explaining to someone how a spreadsheet works assuming they had never seen it before. They would absolutely laugh at you and say that is unintuitive and difficult to use. Yet it is used for millions of different…

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Used to…

Things I used to do and believe, but don’t anymore. Wear jeans and a watch. 1 year ago.Build computers from parts. 30 years ago.Think I could work at startups forever. 5 years ago.Believe my hair would always be thick. 25 years ago.Read books non stop. 15 years ago.Have nightmares of being chased by something, every…

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Pet Peeves 2020

Last time I listed Pet Peeves was 7 years ago. I just compared lists (didn’t check first) and surprisingly they are completely different. Shy ZoomersWhen someone on the video conference doesn’t show their video. I can’t focus without seeing people’s faces. People shame me for asking them to show their video, which makes it worse.…

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“All Lives Matter” is a Mean Thing to Say

I know when some white people hear Black Lives Matter they automatically hear “Only Black Lives Matter”. This is human psychology at work right there. Unfortunately, that is not what activists are saying. What they are saying is that the laws, police, institutions, financial systems, education systems, and fabric of our society is set up…

Home Networking Setup

Being at home with a full family means lots of people video conferencing all at once. This is putting a strain on our home networking setup. I have tried a few methods. Here are some of my learnings. 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi The tried and true Netgear router. It works for a room, maybe…

Dungeons and Dragons

When I was a kid, maybe 12? I played Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) with my cousin and some other kids. My cousin was the Dungeon Master (DM). I distinctly remember a session where we were arrested and put in a local jail. During our daring escape, we let everyone in the jail out and it…

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Told You So Failure

I’ve wanted to build this app for decades. Last year, I finally got up the nerve to go to Upwork.com and get a freelancer to do it. The project is now over and I have to call it the worst project I ever worked on. Complete nightmare. Total failure. I spent $4,000 and got exactly…

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Giving and Taking Feedback

This is a little long. I wrote it up to answer the question, “What is the best way to give feedback on a design?” I hope its helpful for you. GIVING feedback Feedback on the deliverables/decisions This should be the most common and best forms of feedback. You should: Identify a logical error. It may…

Remote vs. Onsite

Working from home started out pretty rough for me. No exercise, gaining weight, and other issues plagued me. Then slowly something started happening. I started getting used to it. I am clearly a creature of routine. I like to let my mind wander as I take a shower, brush my teeth, etc. I can be…

2020 Calendar

Here is my summary of 2020 and how it will unfold. It gets pretty hairy, so buckle in. Good news is that if you love pasta, it will turn out well for you in the end. January: Constitutional CrisisAhh, remember the good old days when we argued about impeachment and Russian interference? It feels quaint…

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Symptoms

⚠ This post is mostly for journaling purposes. In the past 36 hours, I have developed a mild cough and some wheezing. Also, I am super dehydrated. Yesterday and today, I drank nearly double my normal intake of water. Lastly, my nose has been running more than usual. It’s possible this is just due to…

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Silver Linings

Cloud: We are basically under house arrest.Silver Lining: If Corona hit three months ago, we would have no showers, and only one toilet for 5 adults. We would have lost out minds. Cloud: Our savings have lost a third of their value. Retirement seems like it will never happen.Silver Lining: We paid for the bathroom…

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Working from Home

Well, it seems like I have to work from home for at least a few weeks. Plus, all colleges are sending students home to work from there. So the house will be full of disgruntled people itching to get out. Unintended Consequences Whenever something weird happens, there will always be winners and losers. For example,…

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Post Apocalyptic Nightmare

There are many movies about the “end times”. They are fairly popular because we all have this fear, deep down, that our civilization, our society, everything we know, could all collapse. Whether that is a meteor like the dinosaurs, or Climate Change drowning us all, or aliens showing up and waging intergalactic war, we all…

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A Conversation with God

I recently had a full conversation with God. Here is how it went down. Me: God, why are people so mean to each other?God: (silence) …Me: Is it because we are evolved from aggressive primates and violence was always the answer in the jungle?God: …Me: Or maybe it is because we don’t teach empathy in…

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Tesla Model 3 2020

My lease (Kia Sportage) was over and I needed to get a new car. I know I am just a single car owner, but I believe electric cars are the future and want to do my part. My first thought was the Kia Niro since I was leasing a Kia already. I drove it and…

I’m not for everyone

Surprise, neither are you. There are people and places where you are going to fit in well and thrive. There are other places where people will dislike you, ostracize you, and generally make your life miserable. We are not one-size fits all. Part of our human journey is finding the people and places that fit…

Just Jared 2020

My 17 year old son just released his first album on Spotify. He gets paid a fraction of a penny for every stream, so if everyone listens 20 times, it may pay for 12 minutes of college. Just Jared – Self Titled, 2020 https://open.spotify.com/album/5jebBNCZ2vhEluowUQieeY?si=2Y-mtCCETXCxi1vlItb-pA My Review The album is really eclectic with a variety of…

Bathroom Remodel

We recently embarked upon a bathroom upgrade. We had never done something like this before. Certainly, we learned some lessons. In the end, I give us a B+. Here are the lessons and story of the project. Problem and Floor Plans We are actually remodeling two bathrooms. The kids bathroom was too big and the…

2020 Predictions

What is a successful percentage to be right on yearly predictions? 30%? 75%? I was looking back at old predictions and I have a pretty mixed record. The Jets have never once won the superbowl! Anyway, it’s that time of year. We should all make predictions. It’s worth seeing what you thought a year ago…

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2019 In Review

One of the nice things about blogging is that it creates a journal of your life. I know when I got my dog. I know when I visited Japan. I know when I met Hillary Clinton. To a degree, if I didn’t blog it, I am not sure if it happened or not. On that…

Tennis Level: 4.5

I currently play tennis about 2 times per week. I started around 12 years old and played through my teenage years. On the east coast, you play more in the summer and less in the winter so my play was erratic. My game was OK, nothing special. I played middle of the pack. And then…

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Uppercase Lowercase

I enjoy thinking about how things evolved, especially words. Like for example the word uppercase comes from the original printing press. If you don’t know how a printing press works, I’ll explain quickly. There were all these little pieces of metal that had letters cast into them. A person would put those letters on a…

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We are all of us

It’s so easy to say, “I didn’t break the law, he did!” or “I am not racist, those guys are!” or “I wasn’t unkind, they were!” It’s finger pointing at its finest. It’s easy to avoid responsibility for things we didn’t explicitly do ourselves. However, we didn’t do anything to stop them either. We didn’t…

How Essential is WiFi at work?

We had some WiFi problems at work. It went on and then went off. On and off, back and forth. I think the problem is that we have added too many people in the room and the hardware is getting overloaded. It raised the question in my head, “How much do we need internet to…