Tues. Feb. 5, 2019 – record keeping

60F and 99%RH, basically yucky. Technical term. Yucky.

Everything was sweating and moist all day yesterday. The concrete floor in the garage is treacherously slippery in those conditions. It seems like everything is a soggy mess.

So imagine my joy when today starts the same way!

I’m working on my contribution to our tax preparation, and it occurs to me that all the spying has already collected the information I’m compiling. Google knows everywhere I’ve been, and the routes taken, and from the speeds can infer transportation mode. They could go a long way to doing my business mileage, instead of me having to add up every page in my log book. There’s some overlap, like going to the UPS store for business, or for personal shipping, but hey, give them a window to my ebay account and that could be straightened out too.

People put up with invasive technologies when it reduces one of their burdens or saves them money. I bet people would be clamoring for ebay/google/quicken integration if they would automate some of the tax reporting burden. It would be terribly invasive, catch cheaters and the innocent, and some people would hate it. But since it’s happening ANYWAY, I feel that I should get some benefit….

‘come to the dark side, we have cookies’

n

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32 Responses to Tues. Feb. 5, 2019 – record keeping

  1. nightraker says:

    ‘come to the dark side, we have cookies’

    Sounds like the story about the guy who wanted the NSA to restore his lost local email archive.

    THAT reminds of the ringer driver from the first Gumball rally movie, pitching the rear view mirror into the back: “What is behind me, doesn’t concern me!”

    Cue Hagar singing: “I can’t drive…55!”

    Scattershot today.

  2. Harold Combs says:

    60f and fog on the commute this morning. Forecasters say our temps will vary only about 5f degrees for the rest of the week. Even with thunderstorms. High of 65, low of 60. Boring and “moist” all week till the cold front moves in on Friday.
    The church we are trying to buy a house from, held a committee meeting and decided on a counter offer. Not a very serious one. We countered with our best possible offer but the committee won’t meet again till next week. I am not holding out hope. They don’t seem serious on wanting to sell. Good thing we are not in a rush to find a place.
    Had my year end performance review with our new director. He was refreshingly honest admitting the company metrics were mostly BS. Bonus will be small again this year but better than nothing. I did score a whopping 2.5% rise in pay, much better than the last few years. Director asked me to reconsider my plan to retire in a year, and I may. We are finally getting funding and personel (mostly in Poland) to create a credible Information Security organization. We will see if management torpedoes this one like they did the last.

  3. Ray Thompson says:

    Director asked me to reconsider my plan to retire in a year, and I may.

    My organization that I retired from did the same to me. I had originally set my retirement date as the end of February 2016. They wanted me to stay longer as they had not hired my replacement (an offer had been made). I agreed on the end of June to allow time to train my replacement and make the transition easier. At the end of June the organization asked me to use my vacation days and only work a couple of days a week until the vacation was consumed. They wanted to do this for two reasons, 1 to avoid paying me for 45 days, 2 the replacement still needed some additional assistance.

    In retrospect I should never have agreed to any extension. I did it mostly so the system I had designed and built would not fail. The replacement told me that if I had not been there he would have quit after the first month.

    I should have stuck with the end of February date and walked out the door. But I was being nice. My staying longer provided me with no benefits and the organization did nothing to reward my change of plans. I should have severed the connection with no regrets. I owed the organization nothing but the key to the door.

    Knowing what I know now I should have waited until December 31, 2016, the same year. Not for the organization’s benefit, but for the tax implications and the shafting I got by Obuttwadcare.

  4. JimL says:

    45º and cloudy in the sister city to 4 world cities – Dungarvan, Ireland; Xibo, China; Lublin, Poland, and Mérida, Yucatán, in Mexico.

    It’s cooling off today, but not as brutal as it was last week. This is good weather for this time of year, if a bit warm.

    This weekend’s ski race is now in doubt. If it’s too wet, the chips don’t read and results just suck. Not to mention the fact that skiing in slush isn’t terribly easy. We’ll see.

  5. JimL says:

    @Ray – whether it was the right thing to do or not, I’m glad you stayed. Failure of a system is never pretty, and efforts that prevent failure are always worthwhile. Your little bit, along with everyone else’s little bit, adds up to a LOT.

    Thousands of failures in a year can bring down a country. Thousands of successes lift a country up. Our nation needs successes, not failures. When I leave here in the not-too-distant future, it will be so that I can continue to succeed. I will also try to ensure that my current employer continues to succeed. It’s worth something.

    Every time I think about a company that I dislike, I consider the people that are eating, feeding their families because of that job. Because that company is in business. It makes it easier to deal with sometimes. Unless the company is evil, I want them to succeed.

    Note that this does not apply to telemarketers that don’t honor the DNC registry. I want every swinging one of them to fail.

  6. Ray Thompson says:

    @Jim – I had written the business system from scratch. 14 years of work. No off the shelf system provided the requirements of the organization. It is a complicated web based application but not overly complicated. It was necessary for my replacement to understand how the system worked and the general logic. Tens of thousands lines of code written by someone else would have been rough on my replacement. I was also concerned for the staff.

    What I didn’t like was adjusting my plans for the organization for nothing in return. The organization knew on February 1st of the prior year I was leaving. They stalled on getting my replacement. Maybe for reasons I don’t know as keeping me for an extra 4 months was expensive at my salary rate.

    I would have hated to see my carefully crafted code abandoned for lack of support. Or worse some zit faced dork destroying the code with ill advised changes.

    I did spend my final year heavily documenting the code. Probably as many lines of comments as actual code. I also wrote three documents totaling about 100 pages describing how the code worked, how processes worked, configuration instructions, and other general information. My replacement found that effort invaluable.

  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    @ray, it’s a bit horrifying that the doco didn’t get written, and the code didn’t get commented until you were leaving! 14 years of “if Ray gets hit by a bus this all falls apart” should terrify any organization.

    Of course, this is the case in a lot of places, and mgmt rarely knows or particularly cares until it starts to fail.

    n

  8. Nick Flandrey says:

    Switching gears, in the formerly great Britain, panties are getting soiled over a GUN TURN IN…

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6659351/Wild-West-Britain-Terrifying-arsenal-24-firearms-seized-police-just-one-month.html

    “24 firearms including a Kalashnikov that have been seized by police in just one month as violent crime grips the nation

    A terrifying haul of weaponry was seized by police in just over one month
    The arsenal includes pistols, a revolver made in 1898 and a Kalashnikov rifle
    Since 2012 the number of firearm possession offences has jumped by 87%”

    Let’s take a gander at this article. First off, is it really “terrifying”? I mean, yeah, having these ‘guns’ in the hands of the state is concerning, but terrifying? They might be terrifying in the hands of the guy robbing you, but locked up at the local pokey?

    And that statement that offences have ‘jumped’. In 6 years the number didn’t even double? So what! We have no idea if this was due to increased enforcement. Drunk driving arrests increase when the cops set sobriety checkpoints. Doesn’t mean there are more or fewer drunks.

    One was a dreaded “Baretta” pistol, loaded with BLANKS.

    Several are the dreaded “self loading” pistols. Here in the US the press clutches their pearls over “semi-automatic” pistols, so they can get the scare word “automatic” into every article.

    The AK was voluntarily surrendered at a turn in program, and was DEACTIVATED (whatever that means to the author.)

    The rusty revolver isn’t even legally a firearm in the US, was handed in voluntarily, and was likely Grampa’s sock drawer gun, and never a threat to anyone.

    The MP40 with no magazine isn’t a threat, but it is a cool gun and probably shouldn’t be wasted on a car thief, but that hooked machete doesn’t even get a mention?? And the text says “sawn-off pump action shotgun and a potentially live grenade”. WTF is “potentially live”? A dead parrot is a dead parrot, not a ‘potentially alive’ parrot.

    Several of the 24 “weapons” are air guns, described as “gas powered imitation gun” Again, not a threat.

    Missed the chance to comment on the deadly “Glock”, with pictures of two of them, ONE of which is a replica…

    Another is a blue training gun, so not a firearm either.

    Of the 17 guns specifically mentioned, one was loaded with blanks, one was ‘deactivated’, one so old it’s not even a legal firearm in the US, on is an air pistol, two others are replicas, or training aids. Several were turned in voluntarily.

    And it’s been 9 years since the last time this many were sent to their examiner, and the total was 1300. 1300.

    I personally know people with that many guns. REAL guns, with appropriate ammo. And they’ll never kill anyone, or rob anyone, or be used in a crime. Because they are valuable and are secured.

    So my question for Paul and the other UK residents, is this just “journalism” at it’s finest, or are people really quaking in their Doc Martins over 24 guns?

    n

    added– meanwhile in South Africa, real terrifying crime

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6670073/South-African-woman-held-toddler-fended-armed-robbers-responds-criticism.html

  9. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’m looking at coverage of the Half Time show, which was apparently as lack luster as the game itself, and I can’t help wondering if they would be saying the same sort of things about a minority singer, female, or non-white…

    -they are bagging on his tattoos
    -mocking his dancing as ‘white dad’ dancing
    -mocking his choice of clothing
    -and his choice to go shirtless

    I will mock him too, although I’ve never eaten at Chipotele so I didn’t get the bag reference… and of course I didn’t watch the show… but I’ve got opinions!

    Just can’t see the same sort of comments publicly for other artists.

    n

  10. Greg Norton says:

    Let’s take a gander at this article. First off, is it really “terrifying”? I mean, yeah, having these ‘guns’ in the hands of the state is concerning, but terrifying? They might be terrifying in the hands of the guy robbing you, but locked up at the local pokey?

    Didn’t you see “Hot Fuzz”?

  11. Harold Combs says:

    RE: UK GUNS …
    The Brits get all bent out of shape over G*U*N*S. Especially the media. When we lived there, the local paper had a story about an ARSENAL (GASP) discovered in a local home. There were FIVE DEADLY WEAPONS confiscated. One single shot .22 rifle, two air rifles, and two single shot 12 GA shotguns. No ammunition was found. Remember that the UK passed incredibly restrictive gun laws in the late 90’s designed to eliminate gun crime. Afterwards, gun crime soared, as usual. The baddies can get just about anything they want on the black market but the good guys can’t even keep knives nowadays. The UK has become a nation of victims. As an American, I was always proposing pro-active measures to stop the high rate of theft from our business but the timidity of the people and the pro-criminal laws kept me from doing anything.

  12. MrAtoz says:

    Gingsburg is finally seen in public. I wonder if she will actually go to the SCOTUS? The latest rumor is she will be kept on life support until Disney can finish the animatronic robot of her.

  13. Ray Thompson says:

    the code didn’t get commented until you were leaving

    There were a lot of comments. My process was to significantly add to the existing comments. Every query, every decision block, sometimes before every each line in a block of code. There were a couple of short documents I had composed years earlier with the bus scenario in mind. What I did with the new and improved documents was significantly expand the narratives. Passwords and critical information was in the disaster recovery plan that I had written.

    If I had suddenly been taken out of service there was enough information for an intelligent person to keep the system going. Changes and full understanding would have taken some time. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for my replacement. I did not want my system, my code, to fail.

  14. Ray Thompson says:

    The latest rumor is she will be kept on life support until Disney can finish the animatronic robot of her.

    Making a robot that just sits, occasionally snoozes, should be easy. Disney should have it done in 3.2 hours as speaking is not required.

  15. Nick Flandrey says:

    I was at the Hall of Presidents last year and it was very impressive. Very lifelike, with a real nice multimedia presentation too. I now encourage anyone who is there anyway to take the 20 minutes and sit in the airconditioning.

    n

  16. Greg Norton says:

    The latest rumor is she will be kept on life support until Disney can finish the animatronic robot of her.

    Nah. They’re working with BJ’s people on a body double like they found for Hillarity.

    Pajama Boy might work as a substitute for Ginsburg, but they’d have to put the age on him.

    What? No, doesn’t matter. You assume Hillarity’s double is female. The needs of the many Progs outweigh the psychological damage to the individual in the pantsuit … especially on the nights BJ comes home drunk and horny. Make too much of a fuss and the Secret Service storm in with the Tasers.

  17. Greg Norton says:

    I was at the Hall of Presidents last year and it was very impressive. Very lifelike, with a real nice multimedia presentation too. I now encourage anyone who is there anyway to take the 20 minutes and sit in the airconditioning.

    Among the other Eisner brain farts in Florida — cutting back on AC in “Pirates” and the other dark rides.

    Had to try and make up revenue for the CSI mistake somehow.

  18. Greg Norton says:

    I’m working on my contribution to our tax preparation, and it occurs to me that all the spying has already collected the information I’m compiling. Google knows everywhere I’ve been, and the routes taken, and from the speeds can infer transportation mode.

    The insurance companies are starting to offer a discount for attaching a gizmo to your ODB-II port which tracks distance, speed, and any nanny gadget warnings your car issues. I’m surprised a company hasn’t offered a similar gadget for personal record keeping.

    Maybe one exists and I haven’t really looked for it. I’ve seen OBD-II “splitters” in auto parts catlogs, allowing you to plug 3-4 gadgets into one port. Gotta be a reason for those.

  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    Some people have android based radio head units. There is a dongle that lets you display and record performance details on your radio screen, like a” glass dashboard”.

    N

  20. lynn says:

    The new 50 gallon water heater is installed in the office building (yesterday) and the new 40 gallon in the warehouse. The fans and dehumidifiers (the wailing banshees) will be here until Thursday afternoon. The feed air to the dehumidifiers is running 40+% humidity now. It was 55+% after the 1,000+ gallons of water was dumped into the office building and attic. It was 47+% when I left last night at 10pm. The Champion Restoration people would like for the humidity to be at 35% when they come back.

    I probably will wait a month or so to get the hallway trim and sheetrock restored as to make sure everything is absolutely dried out. I am hoping that we can just dry out the carpet even as worn as it is already. I will probably need to replace about ten bags of insulation in the attic. Fun, fun, fun.

    BTW, the old 50 gallon water heater that failed had a huge crack in the tank. Maybe a foot long.

  21. Greg Norton says:

    BTW, the old 50 gallon water heater that failed had a huge crack in the tank. Maybe a foot long.

    Do you have a water softener?

  22. lynn says:

    BTW, the old 50 gallon water heater that failed had a huge crack in the tank. Maybe a foot long.

    Do you have a water softener?

    Nope. It was 15+ years old. Electric. I should have replaced it earlier.

    I just found out that our insurance deductible for the office building is $1,000. Maybe they will help. Of course, my property insurance for the building was $7,000.

  23. nick flandrey says:

    Will they cover water damage?

    n

  24. Ray Thompson says:

    Will they cover water damage?

    Most policies will cover water if the water comes from inside the structure. Exterior water ingress requires flood insurance. The policies will not pay for fixing what caused the leak.

  25. nick flandrey says:

    Ok, self defense and survival–

    Colorado jogger kills a mountain lion with his BARE HANDS after it attacked him on a running trail and bit on the face, back, legs and arms”

    Fought off a mountain lion with his bare hands. F’in A….

    n

  26. nick flandrey says:

    More store closings–

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6671249/Teen-clothing-company-Charlotte-Russe-closing-nearly-100-stores.html

    “The clothing store has become the latest of several retailers to close stores within the past two years.

    In 2017, Gymboree announced the closing of 350 stores.

    Payless ShoeSource closed 400 stores in April 2017.

    Last year, Sears announced that all 846 of its stores could face closure, potentially affecting thousands of workers and risking another heavy blow to an already beaten-and-bruised retail sector.

    And one of the most devastating announcements of them all came last March when Toys ‘R’ Us announced the closure of its nearly 800 US stores. ”

    –that is a LOT of stores. I would not like to be holding any REIT partnerships that own malls….

    n

  27. Rick H says:

    Re: that guy that killed a mountain lion – by choking it – deserves the “Chuck Norris Award”.

    (I laugh every time I ask Alexa “Where’s Chuck Norris?” )

  28. Greg Norton says:

    –that is a LOT of stores. I would not like to be holding any REIT partnerships that own malls….

    You probably do hold REITs through your 401(k), IRA, or pension plans. The big mall owners are publicly traded, and they borrow a lot of money via the bond market.

    Life insurance companies are also big mall landlords.

    Payless was a rerun of Toys R Us — private equity bought the company out and loaded up the chain with debt.

    As I’ve noted before Sears as a general department store stopped being viable when the court ordered the terms of their credit card changed 25 years ago. They still had a pretty good shot at survival about 20 years ago, when they drove the appliance market, but the CEO couldn’t give up on apparel and bought Lands End — a terrible deal for both companies.

    I had a friend in college whose mother bought carpet on her old terms Sears card in the late 80s. As soon as the payments stopped after her parents divorce, Sears came out and took the carpet, down to the tack strips.

  29. Greg Norton says:

    In 2017, Gymboree announced the closing of 350 stores.

    Gymboree clothing was cr*p when my kids were that age. I can’t imagine that it got any better.

  30. nick flandrey says:

    iirc the guy who bought Sears did so to sell off the land, and walked right into a down market. Forced to actually run the stores, he didn’t do a very good job.

    Sears came and got a $200 chop saw I’d been using for a couple of years, covered in spray paint, and generally worth about $15. I made the guy come out three times before I was home to give it to him. NO WAY was it worth it for them.

    n

  31. nick flandrey says:

    Hmm, bought by a fund, run up the debt building stores every 3 feet, pay big salary and bonuses to mgmt of the fund, then it craters leaving the other shareholders holding the bag. Where have we seen that before?

    Anyway, lot of rent not getting paid, lot of paychecks ending. Even if the merch is being sold thru other stores, since none of these were manufacturers, a lot fewer people are getting paid.

    n

  32. Greg Norton says:

    iirc the guy who bought Sears did so to sell off the land, and walked right into a down market. Forced to actually run the stores, he didn’t do a very good job.

    Idiots like Jim Cramer cheered Eddie Lampert when he pasted together Sears and Kmart, claiming that Lampert was gointg to create “the next Berkshire Hathaway” based on money from the real estate holdings. Managed properly, the real estate had genuine value, given location and available utility infrastructre of most of the stores, but Lampert wasn’t the person to do the job.

    It does require a special lack of talent to blow the lead Sears had in appliances in 2000.

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