To you… (a poem)

To you…

Maybe it wasn’t destined in this life.

Maybe the stars were never aligned.

Maybe defying the power of numerology was impossible.

Maybe the road not taken will lead somewhere else.

And… Thank you.

For a moment, you were everything.

For a moment, you were dazzling.

For a moment, our roads crossed paths.

For a moment, fate took pity on us.

And… In that moment, everything was magical.

Terms of Service

Holy crap… this pic is from the article (https://www.visualcapitalist.com/terms-of-service-visualizing-the-length-of-internet-agreements/) and it’s been zoomed out to 25% on Google Chrome.  And it still doesn’t doesn’t see the bottom of Spotify, Apple, TikTok and Microsoft.  Why can’t Terms of Service (TOS) be shorter and simpler to read?  Who actually reads the TOS?  No one because it’s too fucking long and moderately complex enough to discourage reading.

Ultimately, you(me) are the product for all these services.

 

Capture16

 

 

Workspace Upgrade

With COVID-19 and associated work from home requirements from my current company, I decided to revamp my old workspace at home with a standing desk and take some pictures along the way as I set it back up.  My goal with this workspace revamp was:

  1. use the two 27″ monitors I currently have
  2. switch between my personal computer and the work laptop while using these monitors
  3. minimize cabling mess that currently exists at the back of the existing monitors
  4. easily switch back to just using my personal computer once work from home requirements are over

Here was the initial desk setup.  The work laptop (right) is connected to a 24″ monitor (right) provided for by my work.  You don’t really see the massive amounts of cables behind the desks but you can sort of get an idea of how crowded my workspace has become.

Desk (0)

So my employer has been kind enough to provide all employees with a “Work From Home Allowance” due to COVID-19.  Google has provided similar allowances with their workers.  With this allowance, I had opted to buy a new chair and then when WFH was extended to spend the remaining amount on a standing desk.

Doing research on standing desks, there are quite a few companies that provide standing desks: Uplift Desk, Autonomous, Jarvis by Fully, Vari, and other brands sold through Amazon and Office Depot.  After research of the cost and options of what is offered, I settled on a more expensive Uplift Desk because it had the colors and options that I was interested in.  So here’s are the pics with some description

I opted for the a Dark Rubberwood 72″x30″ desk with two power grommets, a programmable memory keypad, wire management package, a CPU holder and dual monitor arms.  Let me just say that, knowing what I know now, the power grommet, wire management, CPU holder and dual monitor arms can be purchased more cheaply with better options from Amazon.  Wire management can also be done easily with small accessories also purchased from Amazon and Home Depot.  After setting up the desk, I’ve been slowly upgrading and buying the items I need to achieve the 4 goals listed above.

Power Grommets.  Unless ordering the largest size, pre-drilled wire grommets come standard with the desk.  Knowing that I needed power, I opted for dual power grommets.  But looking through Amazon and Home Depot afterwards, I realized that I could have gotten other grommets for cheaper that offered more options.  Options include things like USB hubs and embedded USB ports for charging.  I realized that reading the comments as well as the seeing the total number of reviews is pretty important.  Because of the “openness” of Amazon being able to sell anything, there are a lot of merchants that sell the same looking merchandise at various price points.  Sometimes I think they are the same but it just gets branded differently.  I ended up getting two of the USB 2 ports for charging with a max of 4A if only 1 port is used.  They also have a 4 port, 2A (4A max) option.  To be clear, I have no idea what grommet is good.  With so many similar looking options, I ended up choosing one that had a lot of reviews which ended up being this Amazon store: Jgstkcity.  I tried searching to see if they had their own website but found only links to Amazon and other websites selling their equipment.  To be fair, I also tried other grommets like the USB hub linked above.  Unfortunately the design of the grommet didn’t allow for easy assembly/insertion into the pre-drilled hole.  And unplugging USB cords from the hub lifted it out of the grommet.  So as much as I wanted the hub to work, it didn’t perform well and honestly requires a simple design change to make it work.

Wire Management. The included wire management package I bought comes with reusable zip ties, adjustable cable strap clamps, cable clips, power strips, and cable management tray.  Although it might be cheaper to use the items provided by the package, I ended up going out to Home Depot and Amazon to buy more of these items since I ended up having to redo cabling multiple times.  And since I’m about 75% completed, there’s more cabling management needed in the future.

Dual Monitor Arms.  Simply put… Amazon has cheaper alternatives like this Vivo Dual Monitor Desk Stand.

CPU Holder. Next steps will be to build a new ITX computer.  Why? My current computer is ~4 years old. But more importantly, it doesn’t fit into the CPU holder.  The width of the case is slightly too big for the holder by approximately an inch.  If I had measured more carefully, I would never have ordered the CPU holder since I have other options to place the current computer.  But since I installed the CPU holder, I might as well push accelerate the timing of my computer purchase.  Once I build this computer, the remaining cables seen in the last picture can be cleaned up since the length of the cables will be effectively fixed mounted in the CPU holder.

This New Block Editor is horrible

Does anyone else think this “new” block editor is horrible? What’s the rationale behind this change? And why does WP think this format is better than the older way of writing?

  • Are they trying to minimize the formatting tools options that used to run along the top? Those tools are COMMON to any word type document user.
  • Where are the visual indication of where the page margins are? It’s a bit disconcerting since I usually rely on those indicators
  • I think at the very minimum having a visual indicators of the BLOCK itself would be a good change.
  •  Once you switch to using this editor, there are compatibility issues after switching back to the classic editor
  •  

Using a layout block in dual column option… the lack of borders is really disconcerting since it now seems like the two columns are super wide and will basically ruin the width setting of the theme. I don’t know if there is a positive benefit in being able to change the column color.

AND then you can also use a classic editor in the new block editor?  What the fuck?

And then you can have multiple “blocks” within a dual column? This clearly going to fuck up with the HTML settings

Removing blocks also isn’t that intuitive at times. Need to click on the block (good luck trying to find the right block), then find the little pop up, then click on the three dots to see the option. Highlighting text would be much faster but you know what? It still leaves a “block” in it’s place as opposed to fully being deleted.

I also don’t understand why a new paragraph warrants a new block.
Although SHIFT+ENTER seems to keep them in the same block.

And what does group do? Seems a bit pointless since it combines them all into 1 large block but still with various “sub blocks”… which again leads me to the need to have some sort of demarcation of the various blocks within the editor.

What is VERSE block?  
roses are red
violets are blue
WP blocks
just screwed you

Oh that's interesting... it keeps it all neatly under one large block.
And where do i format the "preformatted" options?  Because font and size look different

seriously this is stupid

Imitations of Imitations

Lately when browsing in Amazon, I’ve been seeing a trend of a seeing imitations of imitations of the real product.  If we suspend any thought about IP theft related to these products, the constant iterative process of tech is pretty fascinating.  Sometimes you’ll see normal everyday US-centric products on Amzon (like a cable grommet).  You then add power outlets.  Then as the need for USB charging arises, USB only chargers appear.  As technology becomes better/faster/smaller, the ability to have a USB hub and charging as well as video outlets, audio jacks and ethernet ports (example or example).  But this iterative process doesn’t surprise me.  From a Wired documentary about the innovation found in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, the constant iterative process of tech is pretty normal.   One thing Wired discussed was the lack of IP enforcement.  In many situations, the shop owners know that enforcement was impossible and so actively sharing ideas so that new ideas can be born became the norm.

But back to Amazon… I’ve been seeing these imitations and have been trying to find out what was the original product and how did that product evolve to what I’m seeing.  In addition to this, I’m also trying to see if they have a website which would at least indicate a serious global nature of the Amazon store.  What I end up doing is opening a bunch of links to investigate more.  Because of this cross checking, I’ve ended up finding something even better that is also carried in Amazon but wasn’t on their first few pages.  One of these would be this high quality leather desk pad from Galloway Leather.  I ended up purchasing it because the first option I wanted was out of stock.  Although it’s now on the first page of my feed (thanks to algorithms, maybe?), I originally had to go to the 2nd or 3rd page for it to show up.  Ironically it was an “Amazon’s Choice” which makes me wonder that the Amazon algorithm probably didn’t think I wanted this type of high quality material.

How would you handle COVID-19?

Since hindsight is 20/20… this is what I would have done with COVID-19.

In late January, announce that the international borders will be closed within 10 hours of the announcement.  The 10 hour buffer allows any current en route flights to land without issue.  Empty inbound international flights are still allowed in order to accommodate any outbound international flights.  The crews from these inbound flights will be sequestered to just two or three hotels only.  This action isolates the crew so to allow contact tracing to be easier in case of outbreaks.  Domestic travel can still operate normally until otherwise told.

I think if just this measure was put in place there might not have been an outbreak in both Seattle and New York.  It’s still possible the cases could appear as there were only 15 confirmed cases back on Feb 15, 2020.  Given the incubation length and the potentila asymptomatic transmission possibility, a January closure would have mitigated the most damage.  According to the NY times interactive modeling, the 15 early cases were linked to transmission from China.  However, what’s more important is that any subsequent cases would be linked to these 15 cases AND there would be no new influx of cases.  Although travel was restricted from China on Feb 02, 2020, restrictions were imposed far too late from Europe on Mar 13, 2020.  Between late January and mid-March, countless travelers passed through the international airports and silently spreading the infection.  Through genetic testing, the outbreak in New York was linked to a European strain.  It shows just how partial restrictions are pointless.

If these borders were to have been closed in late January, I see a number of different scenarios that would be different

  • COVID-19 cases would be limited and probably very manageable by the healthcare professionals
  • Stay-at-Home requirements might never have been issued
  • Businesses would remain open
  • Healthcare system would function at normal capacity without needing to be in constant emergency “war zone” mode
  • No Masks
  • No Social Distancing

What would you do?

FELIX!

For some time, I’ve been debating on “changing the brand” (if you could call it a brand) away from Eureka!  It was originally supposed to be a food blog back in the day.  So for me the idea of Eureka! was tied to the California state motto of “I found it!”  Clearly a clever whimsical play on words and meaning on finding food.  The state motto is related to the California Gold Rush era whereas traditionally the term Eureka! is attributed to the anecdote of Archimedes discovering the concept liquid volume displacement of a solid.

But it’s evolved into a personal blog of mine where I share my random thoughts, coffee addiction, and any thing I find either interesting, outrageous or thought provoking.  I also use all my social media accounts in this fashion as well.  And because of this evolution, the idea of Eureka! didn’t really make sense anymore.  So I spent quite a long time thinking of a clever blog name but none of the ideas really really reflected the type of blogging I was doing.  But do you know what did make sense?  FELIX!  Yea… original…

OCDing?

Perhaps an effect of the work from home requirements, I’ve been somewhat dissatisfied about my current mix of USB cable situation.  I started to categorize all the various cables, cable lengths, and USB Type connectors currently in my cable box.  At the same time, I also frivolously decided that nylon braided USB cables sparks joy (maybe?) over the current PVC wrapped cables.  The 6ft and 10ft braided cables I had bought a few years ago have held up pretty well.  They’re nice to touch and are definitely much more flexible than the PVC wrapped ones.

The result?  I have these new braided cables (not all shown) while also keeping most of the wall chargers, USB hubs, and travel adapters.

Cable3