July 26th, 2012

Working on the computer, Working

The power to customize: Any programmers dream

This is why I like programming: If it doesn't do what you want then just hack it to.

My web-based feed reader is outdated by many versions, but it's not publicly accessible so I'm not terribly concerned. It's not going in the direction of things I'd want anyway, so the crude mobile-based interface works pretty well for me both on desktop and laptop (and it avoids the 150+ queries per request the desktop version would be doing).

I have a number of hedonism feeds, and mark the pictures I like. I do like to 'review' them from time to time so I hacked a special feed list into the mobile interface that shows only starred hedonism items, and just now made it so it shows them in random order. It's quite nice.

Then I started working on a bookmarklet that would automatically page through them on a timer. I added image resizing so it always scales images up to the full size of the window, changes the background to black, and even paged multiple images when there are more than one in feed item. Finally I dropped that code into the feed reader's JavaScript, added a few keyboard shortcuts to enable, pause/play, disable, or customize the change delay. Essentially I made my own image slideshow functionality and slid it into my feed reader.

I love the power to customize.
  • Current Music
    "Red 5 Jumps (Radio Edit)" by "Red 5"
  • Tags
South Park Self, Disappointed

Contingency Planning: Going Blind

It's probably not a bad idea to give some thought to contingency planning for even those remote yet terrible possibilities, like going blind.

Given that my primary trade pretty much requires having eyesight, going totally blind would be an absolute disaster. At the very least I would need someone who could still see to set things up so I could still use my own computer, but it goes beyond that. I still need to eat, obtain groceries and food, and possibly even still be social. I would also want to minimize any difficult to navigate aspects like stairs so an apartment on the fourth floor without an elevator is out.

The first thing I would probably do is move in with someone I knew, like one of my siblings. Preferably my brother so he could help set up the computer aspect of things, but possibly someone else. The second thing would be to negotiate delivery of groceries and other common items like toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. At that point I would more than likely hole up by myself, listen to audio books, do speech-to-text writing, and maybe even continue programming. I'm not sure what career choices a blind person has, but I'll cross that bridge if I have to.

I also have a contingency plan for an incurable disease. Not so much for losing my hands, but at least losing my feet would mostly just require logistic adjustment rather than a complete change.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
Ctrl+Alt+Del - Scott & Ted

Utility messup fixup

Vindication! Sort of.

The "utility" company guy finally got back to me this morning at *looks at phone log* 6:44am. I was sort of up. I was doing my usual "wake up, be too tired to wake up, fall back asleep, repeat" cycle (I need to find my sleep pills, then find a day to use them). Anyway, there was some confusion as to what the issue actually was, but once we got that sorted out he agreed the bill was definitely too high, would contact some other department about the final water usage, and contact me back. He called back only a few minutes later explaining they had paperwork which said I didn't turn the keys in until the 5th of June, signed by the assistant manager, even though the lease was up the 3rd of June and the keys were actually turned in on the 11th. I would need to contact the apartment community and get them to call him to change that.

I immediately called the apartment community, spoke with the assistant manager, and once again got in a verbal debate regarding just how much I'm supposed to be responsible for. He kept saying that I was legally bound to pay for the rent and utilities to the end of the lease date regardless of when the keys were turned in, despite what the utility company guy said and despite the logic that you shouldn't be charged for usage during a period you weren't even in the apartment. He even tried asking me if I had paperwork confirming when the keys were turned in, but I told him they had all that paperwork. I think he finally got the point that I wasn't going anywhere until they changed their mind, so he said he would call the utility guy up right then and explain the move out date, and would take my word on telling them the keys were turned in on the 11th. I think he finally did the math on how much of their time, and thus money, I was causing them to waste by contacting them.

A few minutes later the utility guy called back saying the assistant manager had confirmed everything, that the two daily rate items would be refunded for the 22 unused days, and they would get a credit appended to the account and additional refund check mailed out. He would also email me a receipt with the new bill rate and what-not as proof of everything that has been discussed (I have yet to get that, but figure it'll take some time to run the paperwork and print out a new bill. I'll give them a couple of days).

No one wanted to give a reason why the daily rate was used instead of metered rate during the last month, but at least this was progress. For lowering the final bill by almost half, and not having to deal with this anymore, I'll take it.
  • Current Mood
    satisfied satisfied
Ctrl+Alt+Del - Scott & Ted

Talk of hating something just makes it more popular

Yeah, Backstreet Boys came on and I'm not skipping it. So sue me.

Right now there's something soothing about the music in my old collection versus whatever plays on Pandora and Spotify. It's not really nostalgic, but it is familiar and seems to be helping my mood. I'll take it.

It seems like with each new thing that some segment of the population dislikes the intensity of their hate grows. Backstreet Boys & N*Sync back in the day, whatever a while back, and lately a certain very young and effeminate male singer or sparkly vampires. No one seems to realize that the more they publicize their hate of something the more widespread it becomes, strengthening a feedback loop putting it back in their face to continue hating. I wouldn't be surprised if the statistics certain businesses use to say people like something is based largely off how much people talk about it while saying they hate it. In that way each person who talks about hating something just encourages it to continue rather than die a quiet death. It'll never go away the more you talk about it.
  • Current Music
    "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" by "Backstreet Boys" on "Millenium"