Posts

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

Someone finally did it

Someone used the word “poop” in the title of a breakfast cereal!

And make sure you have plenty of this on hand:

Sunday, February 16th, 2020

Job Interview Failure, But in a Good Way

The Stealth Building

I remember, many years ago when I lived in another city, sitting in an interview in the “Stealth Building,” staring at the guy across the table.

The first part of the interview went fine. Yes, I had experience in that. Yes, I could figure out that system. No problem. We took a break for lunch.

I went to get some food at the little food joint down the hall (inside the building) where they were very enthusiastic about feeding me. And everyone else. Very, very enthusiastic. Good food, too!

When I got back, we resumed the interview. Then, the problem arrived; they brought in their current tech lead.

I don’t remember exactly what he said, but he said it in a thick accent from… I don’t know where. The point is that he asked for one thing, and so I wrote down some code to show him how I would do that, then he changed what he asked for, so I made a subtle change to the code I had written… then he changed the spec again, and did it in an angry voice, and told me how what I had written was not at all what he was asking for.

Well, maybe not an “angry” voice, but certainly “annoyed.” It felt like an attack. I think he was intentionally throwing me off because he didn’t know how to express himself well. When you’re doing programming, it’s important to get a good, clear, specification of what is needed. Otherwise, much time is wasted. So I try to get specifics as much as I can. I suspect this annoyed him.

Just then, I noticed a shift in the atmosphere.

I was no longer “the guy.” Or should I say, “the geek.” When I arrived for the interview, things seemed good. They were interested, I was interested. I remember commenting on an old Radio Shack Armatron they had on display in the reception area. I used to have one. It worked fine… until I took it apart.

But going back and forth with that one guy killed it. There was no more interest, except an interest to get me out of the building as fast as possible.

And I remember thinking, “Oh MAN! I am so GLAD I screwed up that interview!” I really was glad. Why? Because there was just no way I could have worked with that guy. He seemed to be frustrated he could not communicate well, and took it out on those under him. That would have been a bad situation, so I really was glad I screwed it up. Or maybe I’m glad he screwed it up?

Doesn’t matter, things worked out well.

Some humble advice: If you are out boss-shopping, be willing to walk away from the interview, even if they have really cool toys from your childhood on display in the front reception area.

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

Group organizer != me

One time, in a large coastal city, I tried to get a bunch of my friends to watch a movie with me. I was excited about the movie, but I don’t remember which one it was. I do remember calling up about two dozen of my friends (did I really have that many friends at one time?) and asking if they’d like to meet me there, to see the exciting movie. Most agreed, and the date & time was set.

It wasn’t far into the future, and I arrived early. I was the only one there.

Also, no one showed up. I watched the movie alone.

I never tried to organize a bunch of my friends to do anything, ever again.

Thursday, December 26th, 2019

IPD = InterPupillary Distance

Several years ago, I got myself an Oculus Rift VR headset for Christmas. I was very excited about Virtual Reality and, because I wasn’t traveling that year, I dove into it.

The height of my Beat Saber career.

I went through all the setup guides and adjusted the thing to fit me as best I could. There was one problem though: The minimum IPD was not minimum enough for me. Why? Because… <sigh>… My eyes are too close together. And there’s nothing I can do about that. In fact, there’s nothing anyone can do about that.

It took me a few years to figure this out. Looking back on it now, I can’t believe it took me that long. Sometimes, I’d get headaches after using it, even if it was only for a few minutes. That should have been a clue.

And things didn’t quite look right. The aspect didn’t quite seem right. The distance of objects in VR relative to me and my hands wasn’t quite right. That should have been a clue, too. But I didn’t have any point of reference to compare any of this to, so… I didn’t figure it out for a while.

I gave my Rift to a friend who I knew had a capable system to run it.

So, until VR headset makers change the minimum, I will be unable to participate in VR. This makes me sad.

Friday, November 29th, 2019

Amazing Artist: Filip Dudek

https://www.artstation.com/fifthofnovember

Friday, November 8th, 2019

Amazing Artist: Gary Inloes

https://garyinloes.artstation.com/

Saturday, September 21st, 2019

My New 100% Natural Latex Mattress

Yep, I got it! When it came, it was folded and rolled up into two hefty boxes. Pictured here, several layers are still folded.

We carefully aligned all layers per the instruction video.

One thing I like about this natural latex stuff:  It’s soft, but it will never wear out or break down.  When I say “never”, I mean within the next 50 years, which means I’ll never need to buy another mattress.  I will pay for good stuff, and this is good stuff in every way.

After all three layers were positioned right, we put the cover on.  This is the cover I got from buildyourownmattress.com.  It zips up from two pieces, so you lay the bottom piece down FIRST (I may have had trouble with this first step), then put the mattress layers on top of that, then zip the top part down over the whole thing.  It’s also machine-washable!

Complete, with another mattress cover I also got from buildyourownmattress.com.  It’s this:

This second cover just goes over the top, like a fitted sheet, and it’s breathable but water-proof… ya know… in case I… spill my drink… in bed.

And don’t forget your cat.  Your bed isn’t complete without your cat.

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

GrumpyCaaat!

Sooo saaaadd!!

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Big Brother Facebook is Listening

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

My Dad Loves His Natural Latex Mattress

Two posts ago, I posted a video from Lee Carter talking about toxins in your bed, how that was evil, and a better way: natural sap-of-a-tree latex mattresses. I got one for my dad. Here’s how it came in the mail:

Well, it’s been a few months, and he loves it! Unfortunately, we didn’t get any pictures as we were putting it together. 🙁

BUT… we will get some pics as we assemble mine! Unfortunately, I haven’t ordered mine yet. But I will, just as soon as I save up some more dough. These mattresses ain’t cheap, but we’ll never need to replace ’em, so that’s going to save us lots of money over the long term.

Sunday, April 14th, 2019

Interesting Artist: Khyzyl Saleem

https://khyzylsaleem.artstation.com/

Monday, January 21st, 2019

Toxins in your bed, and a better mattress

Toxic chemicals are in your mattress (and there is a better way). Behold!:

I took notes. These are the points which I think are important in this video:

  • Lee Carter (in the video above) has received a legal letter to stop telling the truth about this topic.
  • Mattresses these days contain toxic chemicals.
  • All foam mattresses today are 100% polyurethane foam (PU).
  • Polyurethane (PU) foam is plastic, as stated by materials science engineer Thibaut Deveraux.
  • All “memory foam” mattresses have a law label, and it states “100% polyurethane foam”. This is 100% plastic.
  • Polyurethane foam (plastic) is used because it is dirt cheap.
  • Why this matters: Polyurethane foam (plastic) softens substantially with use and has a very short useful lifespan.
  • ALL warranties from polyurethane foam mattress companies DO NOT COVER softening of the mattress, and these companies know most consumers don’t read the fine print.
  • Polyurethane foam (plastic) mattresses will go flat (or sag in the middle) within just a few years of regular use, you can bet on it.
  • There are online-only mattress companies popping up all over the internet, and they all have one thing in common: 100% polyurethane foam (plastic).
  • These online-only mattress companies make huge profits because polyurethane foam (plastic) is so cheap, and the mark-up is so large.
  • These online-only mattress companies can afford to give you a 100-day trial (or longer) in your home because they know it’s not going to soften in that timeframe; it takes several years.
  • NeverTurn mattresses (I have one of these) use marketing gimics to promote half a mattress that you “never have to turn over”. They took out the expense of putting the upholstery on the other side and marketed it to you as a good thing, but now you’re only getting half a mattress; it’s all marketing bullhonkey.
  • “Foam Encased Wireless Edge” is a marketing gimic. Works great in the showroom, but that polyurethane foam soon softens with regular use (you might notice it in less than a year). The mattress company is really saving money by reducing the steel by 18% (plastic is cheaper than steel), but they are marketing it to you as a feature.
  • There seems to be a mattress store on virtually every corner. This is because mattresses these days don’t last like they used to, so people need to buy more of them to get a decent night’s sleep.
  • Latex rubber foam (sap-of-a-tree latex, not synthetic latex) is a superior mattress material, and lasts for many, many decades. Because it is extracted from specific trees, it is not cheap; it is expensive.
  • Synthetic latex does not last as long as the real stuff, the sap-of-a-tree latex.
  • Mattress companies who claim to sell real latex mattresses are encasing their latex (which is often synthetic) in polyurethane foam! In my view, this completely defeats the purpose of using latex in the first place, and it seems to me they are only trying to cut costs on their end, rather than sell a better product.
  • Lee Carter had to learn all this the hard way.
  • Lee Carter wanted it done right, so he did it himself and became a latex mattress manufacturer. He now produces and sells his own latex mattresses, only 100% natural latex, the sap-of-a-tree latex rubber, and not synthetic latex.
  • There are two different kinds of latex, and two different ways to manufacture it. The first is the “Dunlop” method, also known as the “primative” method. The second is the “Talalay” method.
  • The “Talalay” method is more technologically advanced, and is therefore more expensive. To offset the cost, they use a “synthetic blend” which is typically 70% styrene butadiene, and 30% sap-of-a-tree latex.
  • Synthetic latex does not hold up as well as natural sap-of-a-tree latex. Stay away from the “Talalay” method, as 99.9% of all companies who use this method use synthetic latex, and it will not hold up over time.
  • You may hear that the “Talalay” method is more consistent, but this is on the manufacturer’s end, not the consumer end, so it does not affect the consumer.
  • “ILD” = Indentation Load Deflection (foam firmness testing): https://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/ILD
  • Regarding people who are allergic to latex: During the manufacturing process, the latex is baked. It starts out as a liquid and is processed and baked (this is a very simplified explanation). The protein which causes an allergic reaction in people is broken down and destroyed. Therefore, these latex mattresses cannot cause an allergic reaction.
  • Polyurethane foam / “Memory foam” (plastic) is very hot because it is a closed-cell material and does not breath at all.
  • Latex is an open-cell material (plus has a hole every inch), is not hot, and breathes very well.
  • Polyurethane foam / “Memory foam” (plastic) molds to the shape of your body and doesn’t want to let go, so it’s hard to get up or turn over.
  • Latex has “instant-recovery” and does not hold the mold you made in it with your body, so it’s easy to get up or turn over.
  • A “stretch-knit” cover over the latex mattress is best, not quilting it.

On toxic chemicals in your mattress:

  • In 2007, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began requiring that all mattresses sold in the US must be flameproof. Sounds like a good idea, right? Sounds like they are trying to protect us from mattress fires, right? Negative.
  • The Consumer Products Safety Commission did this to make the chemical industry (and large mattress manufacturers) filthy rich.
  • We consumers are sleeping in toxic chemicals to make them rich.

Some chemicals put in mattresses today, and what the CPSC’s risk assessment report says about them:

  • Ammonium Polyphosphate: “There were no available data on subchronic or chronic exposures, pharmacokinetics, carcinogenity, or reproductive, developmental, or neurological effects.” Meaning, they have no idea.
  • Antimony Trioxide: “Antimony trioxide would be considered ‘toxic’ under the FHSA (Federal Hazardous Substance Act).”
  • Boric Acid: “Boric acid meets the definition of ‘toxic’ under the FHSA (Federal Hazardous Substance Act).” Personally, I’ve used boric acid to kill roaches and other unwanted bugs in my house by spreading it around in the back corners under the sink and behind the toilet and so forth.
  • Decabromodiphenyl Oxide (Deca for short): “Deca meets the definition of ‘toxic’ under the FHSA by virtual of its chronic organ system toxicity.”
  • Melamine: “Under the FHSA, melamine is considered acutely toxic…”
  • Vinylidene Chloride: “Vinylidene chloride is considered ‘toxic’ under the FHSA based upon the systemic toxicity from subchronic and chronic exposure.”
  • Formaldehyde is also used. It is a carcinogen, which causes cancer.
  • The “Risk Assessment of FR (Fire Retardant) Chemicals in Mattress Barriers” report, from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, states that three of these toxic chemicals are being absorbed by the person sleeping on the mattress: Antimony, Boric acid, and Deca. Read that again, let it sink in.
  • Lee reads a few of his many testimonials from people who have had very negative reactions to new mattresses.
  • The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) could have required mattress manufacturers to state what is being put into their mattresses right on the law label, but the CPSA does not want consumers to know.
  • The CPSC claims they are requiring all these toxic chemicals in mattresses to enable consumers to escape a fire and not die from flames. Most people do not die from flames but smoke inhalation. Most fires do not start in the bedroom but a room with a heat source such as a shorting electrical connection. The mattress being flame retardant is not going to save you.
  • Also note that your sheets, pillows, and blankets are not required to be flame retardant. This doesn’t make much sense. What good is a flame retardant mattress if all those other items burn just fine before the fire ever reaches your mattress?
  • There is something fishy going on in the Consumer Products Safety Commission. What could be driving them to require toxic flame retardant chemicals in mattresses?
  • Large mattress manufacturers have a lobby group called International Sleep Products Association (ISPA). ISPA supported these new fire retardant regulations (back in 2007). This doesn’t make much sense either. Why would mattress manufacturers WANT this new requirement? Why would they want the additional trouble and expense making their mattresses?
  • Lee found a few articles which may suggest why they supported this:
  • 1) An article in Furniture Today, written in June 2007 (the new law went into effect in July 2007) stated that a top 100 store chain would have to close its bedding factory rather than make a “major expansion” in order to meet the new federal flammability regulations, then outsource all mattress manufacturing to International Bedding Corp., a top 10 bedding producer. Hummm… could it be that this new requirement is designed to cause the smaller mattress manufacturers to outsource their business to the larger mattress manufacturers, the ones who have a lobby group?
  • 2) NewsReview.com: posted an article on 2007-06-07, an interview with Richard Lash (who owns Square Deal Mattress Factory in Chilco California), which stated: “The new fire standard will cost mattress manufacturers more than $100 million per year to implement and is the most expensive change the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has ever made, according to a report by ConsumerAffairs.com. The cost will be too much for some small companies to absorb, Lash said. He’s confident of his own factory’s survival, but he is concerned the codes will be the death of other small mattress companies. … There are currently only 600 mattress manufacturers in the U.S., and the new safety codes could eliminate a third of them.”
  • The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) doesn’t seem to care what is best for you, the consumer. The CPSC didn’t disclose what chemicals are being added to your mattress (wouldn’t you want to know?), or how toxic those chemicals are (wouldn’t you want to know?), or how they are being absorbed by you every night (wouldn’t you want to know this, too?), and they also did not give you a choice in the matter. That does not seem to benefit the consumer at all, but rather the large mattress manufacturing industry (the ones with a lobby group), and, of course, the chemical industry.
  • Lee spoke with someone from a chemical company who produces the chemicals which are now required to go into mattresses. This guy saw one of Lee’s videos and was trying to convince him that the chemicals weren’t all that toxic, reduce the perceived toxicity of the chemicals, and so forth. Turns out they were a member of the ISPA! Is this a conflict of interest of the most severe kind?
  • How many chemical companies are doing much better today because mattresses are required to be flame retardant? Investigative reporters: That might be worth looking in to.
  • The Consumer Products Safety Commission is bought and paid for, and they do not have the consumer’s best interests in mind when they set regulations.
  • There is a point here which is important: We have a system here where congress passes laws with representatives for the people. I know, it’s not a perfect system. But with the CPSC, there is no representation. The CPSC serves whoever is paying them, and it’s not us consumers (it’s the ones who are benefiting from all this nonsense). That’s called “Regulation without representation”.
  • A “CertiPUR-US certification” on a mattress is meaningless; they don’t put the toxic chemicals into the foam, they put them into a thin layer on top of the foam and under the top quilted layer.
  • CertiPUR considers 0.5 parts-per-million to be a safe limit for antimony. Lee’s tested sample from Rachel contained 1,750 parts-per-million!
  • The test from the top fabric of Rachel’s mattress contained 207 parts-per-million! That’s over 400 times what CertiPUR considers toxic!
  • The Consumer Products Safety Commission does not even regulate how much of these toxic chemicals a mattress company uses!
  • There is a loophole in the regulation of this toxic fire retartant chemical requirement in mattresses: It’s okay for a mattress seller to sell you a chemical-free mattress if your doctor prescribes it. Why put this loophole in the regulation if the toxic fire retardant chemicals are entirely safe?
  • Lee has a form to make this easy. He can fax this form to your doctor or chiropractor, they sign it and fax it back, and it’s then legal for him to sell you his all natural latex mattress, no chemicals at all. He ships all over the country, and shipping is free.

http://mattresseducation.net/
Lots of info on this site.

http://www.buildyourownmattress.com/
855-502-8453 (855-50-BUILD)

His mattresses are made from three 3-inch layers, with the two bottom layers the same firmness (ILD) for support, and the top layer a little bit softer for pressure-point relief.

His Perfection 40 mattress: the two bottom layers are 40 ILD, and the top is 30 ILD.
His Perfection 30 mattress: the two bottom layers are 30 ILD, and the top is 25 ILD.
His Perfection 20 mattress: the two bottom layers are 25 ILD, and the top is 20 ILD.
His Perfection 16 mattress: the two bottom layers are 20 ILD, and the top is 16 ILD.

I’m planning on getting one of these soon, and I’ll post here on how it goes.

On his buildyourownmattress.com site, he lists these varieties of mattresses:

  • Ultra Soft
  • Soft
  • Medium Soft
  • Medium
  • Medium Firm
  • Ultra Firm

AR: Arrangement Recommendation

  • AR 4: two bottom layers: ultra firm, top: medium firm.
  • AR 3: two bottom layers: medium firm, top: medium soft.
  • AR 2: two bottom layers: medium, top: soft.
  • AR 1: two bottom layers: med soft, top: ultra soft.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Cyberpunk 2077

I can’t wait for this game to release:

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Star Citizen, scale

I’m starting to get excited again. Just look at the incredible scale of this mission!:

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Amazon Prime no more

I was an Amazon Prime member until recently, meaning after they jacked up the price to $120 per year. I don’t use Amazon Video, Music, etc, so the only advantage Prime gives me is “free” 2-day shipping.

I’m the kind of person who doesn’t care much how fast the thing gets to me. So I cancelled Prime. It was not easy to cancel. Amazon REALLY does NOT want you to cancel Prime. Really. Like… REALLY. They DO NOT WANT YOU TO CANCEL PRIME!

But… if they really really do not want me to cancel Prime, why did they jack up the price?

So now I’m Prime-less. Saved some money. I don’t miss any services on Amazon. I order stuff like usual. No problems.

EXCEPT… It seems to me that Amazon is deliberately delaying orders now. I only have a few months experience with it, but it definitely seems that they are delaying orders to make it take longer. I’m not talking about the type of shipping. I’m talking about the time it takes to get the tracking numbers after I order.

ALSO, some items I order regularly are no longer available to me. I went to buy another bag of cat litter, and Amazon said, “Prime only” or something. So I searched Walmart.com for the same item, found it for the exact same price, and now I buy those items from Walmart.com instead of Amazon.

It’s almost as if Amazon doesn’t want my business if I’m not a Prime member.

I’ll continue to post updates of my experience with Amazon after Prime.

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Amazing Artist: Khyzyl Saleem

https://www.artstation.com/khyzylsaleem

This guy’s technical perfection is astounding!

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

Good groves: Magnatron 2.0

Goood groooves!:

I bought it:
https://newretrowave.bandcamp.com/album/magnatron-20

Not the vinyl but the digital download, then I downloaded the whole thing in FLAC.

Groovy, man!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story

I don’t see what all the griping is about, Solo: A Star Wars Movie was AWESOME!!

I loved it so much I’m going to see it again, and then buy it once it comes out on Bluray.

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

Interesting Artist: Tony Skeor

https://skeor.artstation.com/

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

Star Citizen is not fun

I’ve been investing in, and playing, Star Citizen since I heard about it a few years ago.  I’ve purchased many, many ships.  I’ve spent many, many thousands of dollars on the game, and to assist development.

Now that we’re well into alpha version 3, and things are really coming along… it’s not fun.  What do I mean by this?  Take mining as an example:

Mining is FRUSTRATING rather than fun.  I personally believe games should be fun.  That’s just my opinion.  I have a friend who likes to play games which are kinda impossible, and very, very frustrating.  That’s his choice.  I don’t play those games.

I play games which are fun.  That’s the whole point, in my book.

If you’re considering getting a Star Citizen game package, my recommendation is to get the minimum you can (such as the Aurora starter ship, like I did) and then WAIT another few years.

Will they make it fun?  Don’t hold your breath.  Christ Roberts wanted mining to be this hard.  They did this ON PURPOSE.

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