Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Why would anyone in the right mind purchase this product.

A gem from the article:

"The weird thing is, it smells like a chocolate Pop Tart. That's the best way I can describe it. It really does have a chocolate scent to it," explained Shane Compton of Hewitt's Garden Center.

I do not think I want my flower bed smelling anything like any sort of pop tart.

Some things are just ... TMI

At a local restaurant, we're enjoying our early dinner. A waiter answers a cell phone, and takes the call outdoors. No biggie. It didn't even phase me.

What happened next, however made me uncomfortable: He proceeded to explain to us the reason for his taking the call.

I didn't care. I didn't want to know. The right thing to do would have been not to say a word. In short, I don't really care about a complete stranger's dating life. Really. I don't. Revealing your excitement about the call was a far worse sin than simply taking the call and saying nothing about it.

I don't like feeling awkward when I'm on a date with my wife.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Massachusetts Says to Lower Middle Class: "Up Yours"


They approved the mandantory health insurance bill. This means that every citizen in MA will now be requred to have insurance, or face penalties. I'm sure the insurance companies are salavating over the new business this will bring. What concerns me is the fact that a family of 3 at 38,000 is at the top end of the "sliding scale" for affordable health insurance. This is fine, if you are married and have children. What is the top for those who do not have children? What about people who can "afford" insurance by their definition, but have an illness such as dabetes? I'm sure someone making $40,000 per year would be just fine having to shell out around 700-800 per month on insurance.

I'd make it a point to have employers be required to offer insurance to their employees, rather than requiring the individual. Have the insurance based on the wages the individual is paid. Penalise those who employ people but don't offer insurance. Leave the individual alone.

While they have penalties for employers, it doesn't apply for very small businesses (nor should it apply), so the worker in those businesses will either have to find another job or go out on their own for health insurance (which means that person will not get the deep discounts offered for groups, believe me, it becomes a significant chunk of your income that way, especially if you're making $12/hour or less.)

Norton Antivirus Upgrade Path

Today's Dilbert just about sums up my user experience with Norton Antivirus. I take it Scott Adams is a Norton user as well.

Flash back to the heady days of 2005:

Again, after some severe procrastination, I decided to update my virus definitions. Norton's site wanted to charge as much for a year's worth of virus updates as it did for the new version. Guess which choice I took? That's right. The new version. Great. After about 24 hours of frustration, pain and agony, resulting in some bizarre steps that could have been construed as ritualistic, I finally got the upgrade on, but not without seriously ripping apart the program to the point where it was no longer operational. A distant memory, now, but it was a horrible user experience. Software installation shouldn't be painful.

Fast forward to last weekend:

After much procrastination, I decide to purchase another year of virus definitions. Click the purchase button, expecting it to helpfully take me to a website where I can purchase the update, but instead I get a nasty dialog demanding that I give it a code. So, figuring I cannot go on without the code, I go digging. I find 3 candidate numbers and dutifully punch them into the little white box. None work. What the hell? All I want to do is get another year of definitions. Why won't it let me continue with the purchase? So, I click on a button it recommends if I don't have the code. It lists about 2 dozen different phone numbers, depending on which part of the world you live on. I ask my wife to grab a phone for me, and proceed to dial, only to find out their number has changed! Gah! It took me a while to notice the hyperlink. Well, well. That link takes you to the purchase site.

I could have saved half an hour and some pain and agony if the program had directed me to the purchase site first, then asked for the code.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


At a local interchange, they can't seem to get the signs right. There's a problem with the signs going from the northbound lanes of one freeway to the other freeway, It used to throw me every time, until I stopped paying attention. Now, at the same interchange they've put up new signs, which don't make any sense. Anyone not familiar with the area or the interchange has the potential for either missing their exit or winding up in a serious accident when they make the mad dash to exit.

I really wish the bozos putting up freeway signs showing the lanes that exit and where to would do the job right!