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User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: Another day, another cup

Journal by Chacham

Well, my dollar store water bottle had a black dot in it, in spite of all my efforts to drain it and leave some air flow every day. In the garbage that went; i ain't playin' with that sort of stuff.

So, it was down to the cafeteria to get a styrofoam cup, which lasts a good few days before coming up with specks. At 15 cents for the cup, lid, and straw, it's not bad. I'm guessing i am allowed to take ice as well, but i'd feel silly asking the cashiers, who may not even know official policy, and worried if they act like they do. Stealing is stealing no matter what the item is. Regardless, i splurged and got Coke Zero, which clearly means i can take ice. Not much though. I want to keep it cold but not water down my drink.

At the register i saw a smallish bowl, half-full with pennies. I was thinking it was one of those win-win, give-a-penny-take-a-penny dishes, but at half full, looked a bit unused. So, i wondered aloud at her, "Pennies...does anyone use those?" She laughed. I was perplexed. Walking away, i felt silly.

User Journal

Journal: Verbiage: Some puns (2)

Journal by Chacham

As if Some puns wasn't bad enough, i shall here continue my plagiarism, brevity, and literary destruction:

Mick Jagger's dog asked his friend, Patricia Whack, for a loan, offering a small item as collateral. Puzzled, she asked her husband what it was. "It's a knick knack, Patty Whack. Give the dog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone."

Sixteen sodium atoms walk into a bar followed by Batman.

Did you hear about the man who got cooled to absolute zero? He's 0K now.

An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first orders a beer, the second orders half a beer, the third orders a quarter of a beer, and so on. After the seventh order, the bartender pours two beers and says, "You fellas ought to know your limits."

Pavlov was sitting at a bar, when the phone rang. Suddenly he gasped, "I forgot to feed the dogs!"

Three logicians walk into a bar. The bartender asks, "Do all of you want drinks?" The first logician says, "I don't know." The second logician says, "I don't know." The third logician says, "Yes."

How can you tell the difference between a chemist and a auto worker? Ask them to pronounce "unionized."

What's the difference between an etymologist and an entomologist? The etymologist knows the difference.

At a hotel, the bellhop asked a photon if he had any luggage. "Nope." he answered, "I'm traveling light."

He's more classless than a Marxist utopia.
She's so mean she has no standard deviation.

That taxidermist really knows his stuff.

A grizzly without shoes is bear foot.

A lighthouse, rose trellis, windstorm, dune, and Halloween costume got together for a beacon, lattice, and tornado sand witch.

What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?

User Journal

Journal: Verbiage: Beginning to learn Java

Journal by Chacham

I'm reading Learning Java, which i recently purchased, and was typing in the examples from the book. As the book is a monster to hold, i ended up upgrading the ebook for $4.95. Dual screens with one for the PDF and the other for the IDE make it oh so much easier to type in. I also have been reading it on the macbook while in the tub. Nothing like cozying up with a language manual, eh? :)

It's hard enough to learn Java itself. I remember it from the 90s when it was slow, clunky, crashed browsers, and promised way too much. But, it's matured, and for better or worse, it's out there. So, i'm now learning it despite my own prejudice, and now an then mentally mumble, "oh, how stupid."

The stupidities seem to have more to do with preference, and by no means is it language specific. For example, calling an offset an index, leading to the 0/1 bugs that foil so many, camelCasing, and repeating context inside the name. I'm likely to do my own thing for my own code, to keep it enjoyable. I'm even tempted to declare all arrays with one extra element and just starting from 1. Though, some array methods start from 0 regardless, so, i may not be able to hold onto that fantasy for very long.

This is also my first language where i'm learning proper inheritance. One rule that i wondered about is, if class B is a subtype of class A, a variable of class A can refer to an instance of class B, but not vice-versa. I thought that was backwards because B is A plus other stuff. The box isn't bug enough! If anything, i thought, it should be exactly the opposite. A variable of type B should be able to point to an instance of type A, because it fits, though there may be some defaults required.

But now, i finally got to an explanation from the book, albeit about casting, "Casts in Java affect only the treatment of references; they never change the form of the actual object. This is an important rule to keep in mind. You never change the object pointed to by a reference by casting it; you change only the compiler's (or runtime system's) notion of it." Aha! The reason a variable of type A can hold an instance of type B is that from a usage standpoint, B has everything A has, so who cares about the rest. Conversely, a variable of type B cannot hold an instance of type A because it does not have everything required. To use MBTI terminology, Java is for Ps, i am a J. (I just wish they keep away from databases, which is clearly J territory.) I almost feel enlightened. And from Java, no less.

Now to continue reading. I've been successful int trying to do one chapter a(n office) day. Currently in chapter 6.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: Sample Merchandise Sale (2)

Journal by Chacham

After last year's Sample Sale i was very excited to go to this year's. It was $10 promptly asked for at the door, and no real $1 table.

I got:

The canary was $20, the bag $5, All the rest went for $10 each. Had i realized what these were, i would have skipped the Toystate wired(!!) car, and just bought more of the Kyoshos. I really did not give the boxes the attention they deserved.

--

"Plain Old Text" doesn't seem to like HTML anymore. </LI> elements are being treated like new <LI> elements. A blank line after <OL> is treated the same way. The new guys just like breaking stuff, don't they.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: New glasses and contacts (2)

Journal by Chacham

I have tried two more brands of contacts, both hydrogel and toric, with little success. The first pair had the right eye not so bad, but the left was blurry. Ultimately, my appointment was for Sunday, and when i was late i received a phone call. Oops! I guess i've been relying on those reminder calls a bit too much.

He looked at them and they seemed ok, though he caught the left contact being off (rotationally). He mentioned he could correct for it by getting me a lens that would (mostly) work at that rotation, but it sounded a bit to risky. Math is good and all that, but it sounds risky to rely on the contact being off.

So, second pair. That was weird. When the light was on i saw better. And, he didn't see anything wrong when shining the light in my eye. Ostensibly, when my pupils dilated, the contact moved and my vision was worse. I was able to see that difference easily. Ultimately, i was seeing double vision on that second pair, with a shadow of each letter to the right, slightly up. I thought i was funny when i could position my head at the right angle (no pun intended) to see the letters without the shadow to the side.

He had one lens from the third pair, the other being on order. It was no better.

He said i was the worst case he had ever come across. Aside from being happy about the title, it looks like contacts are not for me. He said maybe there is a curvature of my eye too slight for the machine to pick up. Or, possibly, all the contacts had defects. Whatever the case, he suggested i was unlikely to find a good pair, and we agreed that i would just give up. I know the doctor from the community, and i trust his judgement. I'll just have to suffice at feeling special. :)

User Journal

Journal: Rant: Bring your Daughter/Child(ren)/Son To Work Day 2

Journal by Chacham

Okay, first came Take Our Daughters To Work Day, which was implemented as Take a Child to Work Day, now "officially", Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, but personally i consider it Take Our Cuties To Show Off Day.

Ostensibly, the original reason was to encourage the young ladies about the work place. Or was it to let mothers be known. Regardless, this well intended practice was aimed at women, for women, by women. In a sense, (good) discrimination to fight (bad) discrimination. Adding boys to this messed the whole thing up, right?

If the purpose was for the girls, that would mean the girls should be tweens. Old enough to understand, yet young enough to not have angst. 70 years ago, the participants would have been teenagers, but times have changed. Teens are the real tweens. They're young adults we treat as children, regardless of so much evidence otherwise. But, i digress.

Now, it seems the (average) age group here is 3-5. Parents spend half their time taking care of the children, and the other half attending events for the children. The only benefit seems to be showing off the children. And even that is discriminatory. They only show their children to friends, and seem wary of anyone else.

Just before, i heard one mother ask if child if he went potty already. Seriously? This is the kid you bring to work? Though, i guess it lets us see the more motherly side of these women (few men seem to take the option, and the ones who do, rarely show off) and they probably don't want to bring older children, for fear of what they might say.

Next up, bring your mom to school day. Wait, they already have that useless thing too...

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: Off to the bookstore for a book! 2

Journal by Chacham

I love books. Well, i love reading them. There are people who do love books, such as an erstwhile coworker that told me she cried when they were lost or damaged, or something like that. She convincingly conveyed to me that she was emotionally attached to her books. She also no longer works here.

I used to work at OLDE, which put me close to John King Books which has over a million books. Though he's just one match away from retirement, i visited a lot during lunch. It was under 10 minutes each way, leaving me over a half hour of perusing each day. Too bad i was only there a few months.

Regular bookstores seem to be going away. Also, there price of a new book at a decent bookstore is high. And, with the advent of online bookstores, the brick & mortars are even less attractive. Well, until i tried looking for a book on Java. There's a bajillion book's on Java, each with its own target audience. Then there's a bunch of versions of Java, how well the target audience is hit, and we have confusion. Even Amazon's reviews were to no avail.

So, off i went to the bookstore. Well, actually, off i went to Home Depot to get new drip pans for my range. I asked someone where to find drip pans, he pointed and gave me the aisle number, asked a second person when there. Minutes late i was checking out. Awesome.

So, i decided to go to Border's, which used to be close by, and found Books-A-Million in its stead. After some initial hesitation i walked in, walked around, didn't seem to be what i want, and left. Eventually, my sister called me back and found a Barnes & Noble not too far away.

Walking in to B&N had some (very) slight nostalgia, and had i had enough time, it'd feel like a candy store. I did have a half hour or so, so i walked around before asking for help. So many books. So many topics. So much variety. And people just sitting and reading. On closer look, they're not holding the books nicely. And look at all the bent covers. Don't you people know how to hold a softcover book? Hold the binding in one hand, possibly pinching a little above it with the thumb and forefinger, then gently push apart the pages. Otherwise, the binding breaks, the cover bends, and you just helped make a book unsalable at normal price. Part of doing business, right? Perhaps, but it still isn't right.

Ooh! What's this, toys? What's a book store without toys? And half price! I came back on my way out and got an Extreme Thumb Wrestling Kit for $5. List price is $9.95 and the big red sticker meant it was half price. There's no ring and only one cape, but who can resist your own mask and mask holder?

But where were the computer books? Ah, ask the man at the information kiosk. I was mildly embarrassed when he pointed to the next bookcase over, and was soon perusing what they had. I settled on Oreilly's Learning Java, 4th Edition, which seemed right, even though it's a version behind. The $50 is more than i would pay online, but i knew that i would be paying more for the pleasure of holding it in my hands before purchase.

I got in line to buy my new candy. In front of me were a couple teenagers. One wearing those pajama pants people call clothes, with a boy with two earrings. It's noting new, but i still find it remarkable. Eventually i was up to bat, and the twenty something asked me if i wanted to join the club. I knew i would hardly ever buy books at the store, so when i found out it is usually $25 a year, it was easy to say no. I told her i usually purchase online. I mentioned Amazon, she mentioned bn.com was comparable, i mentioned they (used to) filter their comments, she said she would look at it or something. It was goodbye at first fright. Well, she asked.

On my way out, i finally found the car which i had parked directly in front of the building. And while looking to back up, my younger brother drove by. I stalked him until he parked in front of the next store, said hello, and left. All in a day's work.

And now the paperweight is on my desk. It's about time i stopped posting and started reading.

User Journal

Journal: Verbiage: Some puns 1

Journal by Chacham

Just reviewed tearablepuns.org. I laughed, i cried, they were tear-able.

Here's the ones i liked, some reworded:
  (Yes, i reviewed all of them.)
  (I rejected some because i've heard them before.)

The number 13? Not on my watch!!
The two crows that tried to start their own flock were charged with attempted murder.
If attacking clowns, go for the juggler.
I gave away my dead batteries free of charge.
I'm still working on a construction joke.
You can't explain a pun to a kleptomaniac. They take things, literally.
I tried to make a belt out of watches. It was a waist of time.
What do you call a herd of giggling cows? Laughing stock.
What do you call a sleepwalking nun? A Roaming Catholic.
I know a guy who is addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop anytime.
Secretary, please tell the invisible man I can't see him today.
She got fired from the hot dog stand for putting her hair in a bun.
A boy swallowed some coins. The doctor checked him out and said, "No change yet."
This book on beating gravity is great; i can't put it down!
After surviving mustard gas and pepper spray, he was considered a seasoned veteran.
My flashlight died. I'm delighted.
C, E Flat, and G walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry, no minors."
It was nice when i let my fingernails grow a little. But now it's getting out of hand!
I _would've_ kept off the grass, but I don't understand sign language.
A guy stayed on a merry-go-round for three days. He set a whirled record.
No one seams to like my jokes about patch work! I've tried sew hard...
When the shoe salesman offered me Velcro shoes, I said, "Sure, why knot?"
Two silkworms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
Male deer have buck teeth.
That was a very emotional wedding. Even the cake was in tiers.
Did you hear about the guy who lost his left arm? He's all right now.
She gets her way by pretending she's sad. She's an expert in sighcology.
She applied at the post office but they wouldn't letter. They said it's all mail there.
The roundest knight at the Round Table was Sir Cumference. He had too much pi.
What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta.
Witches' parking only: All others will be toad.
That theatrical performance about puns was just a play on words.
When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
Without geometry, life is pointless.
I dyed my hair today. It was the highlight of the week.
About Rosh Hashana: shofar, so good.
My doctor told me to cut down on sodium. I took his advice with a pinch of salt.
The paint catapult won the competition with flying colors.
Never trust atoms. They make up everything.
I can have dinner at a native American restaurant. Who needs reservations?
A pun at maturity is fully groan.
As a couple, oxygen and potassium make are OK.
I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it.
Noone laughed when i fell while skating. But the ice sure cracked up.
Pinning pictures on a bulletin board seems a bit tacky.
A man drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.
The man who fell into an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
The calendar's days are numbered.
He drove his expensive car into a tree and found out how his Mercedes bends.
He often broke into song because when couldn't find the right key.
What's the difference between a democratic system and a feudal system? In one your vote counts, in the other, your count votes.
The best way to communicate with fish is to drop them a line.
She was only a whiskey-maker's daughter, but he loved her still.
No matter how much you push the envelope, it will remain stationery.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
Hungry? A boiled egg is hard to beat.
A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.
Corduroy pillows are making headlines.
The egoist took revenge on another, I for I.
I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
Dreaming in color is a pigment of your imagination.
A pessimist's blood type is B-negative
---
Submitted a couple:

Bobby told Billy he stopped a stampede. That's was the biggest bunch of bull he ever herd.
Useless people online are e-feckless.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: New glasses and contacts 3

Journal by Chacham

As i am having a harder time reading things up close, it seemed like a good time to get new glasses. Off to a local optometrist i went, a member of the community, and got my new prescription. I warned him i'd being going to Zenni for the frames, which he seemed to not be enthused about. Though he mentioned the reason being quality, and i do believe he was earnest in his comments, the loss of profit from selling designer frames had to be in the background somewhere.

Zenni isn't as cheap as i thought it would be. I didn't want to get the thick "1.57 Mid-Index Single Vision", base lenses, so i took the recommendation for "1.61 High-Index Single Vision" @ $19.95. As if that wasn't enough, my prescription caused an "extra fee" of $12.00, making the upgrade in lenses a whopping $31.95. That's more than the frames! (The frames were $23.95) Once at it, i splurged for the "Oleophobic (oil and fingerprint resistant) premium anti-reflective coating" @ $14.95, grumbling internally at how (at least some of) this stuff used to be free. The sub-total was $70.85 for that pair, and i took another.

The second frame was the same frame, but absolutely nothing special about the lenses. I figure, it's really the frames that break, not the lenses. And, should i lose my glasses, it's not so bad to wear the thicker lenses whilst waiting for a new pair to arrive. That pair was a (sub-)total of $23.95, lock, stock, and barrel. Over $45 less. Sheesh! and stuff.

The glasses were $94.80 and shipping added $4.95. Luckily, i found a "15% off order over $75" coupon code which removed $14.22, and i got charged $85.53 for the two pair. Not bad, but a whole lot more expensive than i originally thought. (I figured $20-$30 for both!)

The glasses arrived a couple weeks later and work nicely. I showed (shown?) the glasses to my sister, mentioning how the thicker lenses were only noticeably thicker from the side, and even then not that much. She agreed with the former comment, took some issue with the second, and mentioned the reflectivity was different as well. I attribute that to the coating. Later, she mentioned concern that the thicker glasses might weigh more on the nose, meaning comfort could be a concern.

So, the next day, i weighed the glasses. My old glasses weigh in at 27 grams, the thicker lens glasses are 20 grams, and the thinner lens, 19 grams. Holy 1 gram Batman! Is that really real 32 bucks? I think not, and it has been duly noted. (A quick resolve to a weighty decision, you might say.)

I'm still reflecting on the coatings. Well, actually, i'm not. But i kind of think that i might want to think about them at some later time before having to make a decision about a subsequent order. Add a few more words and that might actually represent what i'm feeling. You know what i mean, right?

I called joke-a-day some years ago and remember two. Q: How do you make a cheesepuff? A: Chase it around the block. A cop stopped someone for speeding and asked for his license and registration. Reviewing the license, "Hey, it says here you need glasses." The driver responds, "I have contacts." The cop screams back, "I don't care who you know, you still have to wear your glasses!" Cheesy, punny jokes, who could ask for more?

(Did i just end two paragraphs in a question?)

(Was that three?)

(Stop it already!)

I tried contacts some time ago and didn't like them. Anything trying once is worth trying twice, right? So, i opted for the more expensive exam and a couple weeks later received my Acuvue Oasys lenses. (I picked up the contacts on Monday on the way home from the office, and the new glasses had just arrived in the mail. What luck.) The lady up front showed (shown seems wrong here) me how to put them in and take them out. (No hokey pokey though.) I had a much easier time putting them in, as she put it, i didn't have an issue touching my eye. Taking them out was a pain. She showed me by dragging them down with one finger and then picking them up from the bottom of the eye. I remember pinching them off. And youtube videos show that, and the optometrist confirmed it. Pinching is the way to go. And oh, so much easier.

She told me to wear them 2 hours the first day, and increase by 2 hours every day, for 8 days. This would help me get used to them. (The optometrist told me later the first day could (should?) be 4.) I wore them home for two hours. Things seemed brighter and crisper, but not as clear. The next day at work i realized i could only read by blinking a lot, as things got blurrier immediately after a blink. My right eye has a harder time reading (optometrist suggested it could be due to a bad prescription when i was younger, causing my brain to develop it only so far) but reading on the computer was hard. I could do it when i leaned close(ly?) to it. Large or further away letter were not such a problem. I looked online, i scheduled an appointment, and saw the doctor the next day.

A reading test showed (bah!) what he expected, my right eye was weaker. He was surprised i couldn't read the bottom line. He looked into the eyes and saw nothing wrong with the contacts or my eyes, it was not rotating out of its orientation, and suggested i had a problem that is rare for soft lenses, and very rare for this brand. Apparently, i'm his second case ever. I forget the name for it (it's a simple name) but the lens cups up over the eye leaving a spaces between the eye and the lens. Blinking flattens it which is why it gets better. This is really an issue that crops up with hard lenses. IIRC, he said It can also be sen by the optometrist. However, in soft lenses, the effect would be too small to be seen, and as such, he has to rely on my reports.

So, he got another sample set of contacts. Different brand, though also silicon hydrogel and toric. For the right eye he found an exact match. The left eye is too strong a prescription for him to keep in stock, so he gave me something else and compensated with a lens from his drawer. (Math works?) Reading test with the right eye showed no difference, that is, the same issue existed. The left eye was showing me double vision. (Guess not.) The lens was bad. Off with its head! He got me another. The same issue existed (no, not the double vision, silly), and he had no more brands to try.

After touching upon the difference between silicon hydrogel and hydrogel lenses, he explained that silicon seems to be better (more breathable), and as it has been the product of choice for some years now, advances in anti-rotation have gone to it. Rotation is a problem for toric lenses. So the hydrogel lenses might rotate a little. Nonetheless, that was what i should try, and he said he would order two, no three, sample sets for me to try. He also went into expense, and how it should affect if i want fortnight or monthlies, but i pushed that away as i have not yet decided if i want to wear contacts or even how often. I'm trying to see how it goes, and i have too little information to go on. And now i am not sure if anything will work anyway!

So, it's back to glasses for the next week.

[After posting this, i saw the tagline: Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter Weird,

BTW, the latest changes made slashdot uglier, but i'm seeing faster page load times. Maybe it was worth it.]

User Journal

Journal: Document: DRI displayed differently

Journal by Chacham

In order to get a better picture of DRI and related information for vitamins and minerals, i started a Google Doc: Vitamin and Minerals DRI and related

It's incomplete, may have errors, and only for Males, 31-50. Though, i would add more if it weren't so tedious. The source material for most of the information comes as separate documents, or one that has all the sheets together, albeit with a different orientation. This focuses on matching up the EAR/RI pair or AI (those are mutually exclusive) with the TL, if any. Plus, it makes the other units used more clear. IIUC, many labels misrepresent folic acid because they ignore the DFE. Having the IU as a number right by it also helps.

Then there's the little notes. Why don't we use D1? (It was a mistaken label. It was found later to be D2 and another chemical.) Why are Potassium tablets 99mg or less? (FDA regulation) What is the difference between Cartenoids and Retinoids? (Retinoids are Vitamin A, Cartenoids are Provitamin A, meaning they are converted to Vitamin A as required.) Little notes i'm picking up to help things make sense. Interests come in bursts, but if anyone else is interested, that would likely change.

The document is available to anyone with the link, but not editable. Please let me know if you are interested.

User Journal

Journal: Verbiage: 42 is here 9

Journal by Chacham

Last night, as the calendar shifted to 27 Adar, i became 42. My birthday is actually in Adar 1, but not being a leap year, there's no intercalary month, so its just plain Adar.

42 is cool and all, but as each year passes, i care less and less about birthdays. It's not more than just getting older. It's about understanding things, realizing how stupid young people are (like i was, back then) and just a general non caring. Life simply is.

In other news, slashdot is changing styles again and overall is slower and looks clunky. I feel some odd attachment to writing JEs once in a while, perhaps to justify my almost two decades since first checking it out. has it really been that long? I wonder if i would attend a slashdot meetup. Probably not. It's sounds great on paper though.

You're not still reading this, are you?

User Journal

Journal: Verbiage: Scales and "fake repeatability"

Journal by Chacham

I love Amazon reviews:

A review on a scale explains how (cheaper) scales provide repeatable numbers.

People love repeatable numbers. Consistency is more important than accuracy. Of course some get the two mixed up. But that's okay, as long as you get what you want.

(Cheap) bathroom scales are affected by slight differences in foot placement. Another scale compensates it otherwise. Other people just go for three consistent weightings.

Similar to the 80/20 Rule, perhaps, most people just want a decision made for them. Sure, we all know the numbers change, but which do i use? Three weightings? That's unscientific! Proximity to the last time? That's silliness! Yes, what if the manufacturer of the scale is willing to do just that for you? Finally, an accurate, consistent scale!

Currently, it has 12,639 out of 15,649 5-star reviews. That's ~80%. Who woulda thought?

User Journal

Journal: In Passing: To the gym to all those 2015 resolutions

Journal by Chacham

Leaving the office yesterday, i got in at the 6th floor. First it stopped at the 5th and a man got on. At the 4th floor, another man and woman entered. From there we went straight down the other 4 floors unabated.

Mr. 4th floor recognized Mr. 5th floor and they chatted. Moments before the gates to freedom something like this transpired:

Mr 4th floor: "Now off to the gym to say hello to all those 2015 resolutions."
Mr 5th floor: encourages him that he'll be able to keep them.
Mr 4th floor: "No, i have no problem with the gym. I mean all the other people."

Excessive login or logout messages are a sure sign of senility.

Working...