I knew this was probably the last time I would see him, but that doesn't make this easy... goodbye Revco.

[earliest picture I could find]

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[last picture of us together]


(no subject)

Square’s service, which makes anyone with a smartphone into someone who can accept credit or debit cards, does not come free. You must pay it 2.75 percent of the transaction for the privilege of accepting plastic, though the person who swipes the card pays nothing.

Am I correct in thinking that most people would read this as "Square's fee is borne by the payee" and not as "Square makes the fee visible to the payee and hides it from the payer"? I see this kind of thing all over the place. It's not even conceptually coherent for a fee on a bilateral transaction to be imposed (by fiat) on one party or the other. What actually happens is that either the transaction no longer happens (because the fee is greater than the surplus value otherwise produced by the transaction) or the fee is split based on market conditions, not the intention of the entity imposing the fee. Yet I think people think Social Security and Medicare cost half as much as they do for the same reason (the arbitrary allocation of half of the payroll tax to "employer" and half to "employee").


I hate everything.

1) My car is messed up, probably due to ramming a curb a couple of weeks ago. This destroyed a tire, but I'm worried the axle is damaged too. The steering wheel is rattling back and forth (at low speeds, highways are strangely okay) and the alignment is clearly off. I thought my dad was going to sell me one of his cars, but that's going to take way longer than I thought, bordering on unacceptably-long-might-as-well-shop-for-a-new-car. I don't have time to deal with the fact that Pittsburgh mechanics are super busy, etc.

2) My home internet service is out since this morning. I rely on being able to access one of my computers at home from anywhere (I'm finding out how much) but it will also suck when I'm, you know, there.

3) My housemate's girlfriend has been severely ill / in the hospital (which I only even know about by way of Facebook / G+, not a word said to me personally by either of them). Aside from plain old sucking, this means I don't want to bother him with my plain old shit when he's dealing with especially shitty shit.

4) My housemate's truck is parked so close on the street to the driveway that it's nearly impossible to get in / out.

5) The monitor on one of my computers at home seems to have just died. LED says it's on but no image on the screen. Tried connecting to another computer, same deal.

6) I'm broke (according to my weirdo system for when I'm allowed to spend money; not that I literally have none in the bank) and have a ton of past and near future expenses that are more or less unavoidable (e.g. Christmas presents).

7) Work frustration which I won't go into.

Whoa, I haven't posted to LiveJournal in a long time.


When netbooks first came around, they were tiny (7" and 9" screens were standard), super cheap laptops from a brand you'd probably never heard of (Acer or Asus, for example) that had low specs, Intel Atom processors, ran Linux, and more often than not had flash storage. By the time I got one, netbooks that came with Linux were very hard to find (and if you could, no cheaper than the Windows version of the same model) and most of them had standard hard drives. Now a "netbook" seems to be a small but not tiny (I think most would call an 11" laptop a netbook, and would scoff at a 7" if any are even still made) laptop that runs Windows 7, has a normal hard drive, may be from a major OEM, and may cost nearly as much as a budget "normal" laptop (although there are still plenty of Acer/Asus and very cheap netbooks out there). It still has an Atom processor (usually; a few Celerons/etc.).

I feel like something has been lost here. Although what I actually want is a 10" swiveling (i.e. convertible laptop/tablet form factor) touchscreen (stylus, not these crappy finger touchscreens) Atom-based device with at least 128G of flash (NOT hard drive) storage, an ethernet port, 802.11N, 2 USB ports, 2 SD ports, a headphone output, the highest resolution I can get (although 1024x600 is tolerable), and the option of Windows 7 or Linux with the Linux version not giving a dime to Microsoft, and which actually doesn't need to be all that cheap if it does all that. Which I think is a market segment with a size of 1. (Okay, maybe 2, since I might buy both versions.)

(no subject)

When I tell someone that (say) I scalded my hand cooking last night, my ideal response is "Thanks for telling me that, I'll try to take it into account". The far more common / "nicer" "Dude, sorry to hear that" is so unpleasant to me that I'll refrain from telling people I'd otherwise want to know so I don't have to hear it.

(There are times when I want sympathy, but even then, actually getting it almost never makes me feel any better. And I have basically no reaction to praise either (except sometimes a bit of discomfort). I wonder if there's an explanation for this beyond "people are different from one another sometimes".)

(no subject)

From an outside perspective, one would be justified in thinking that the reason I tell myself I “should” do certain things is to avoid actually doing them. Should doesn't really enter into it for most things I end up doing.

Dallas Symphony

Last night, my dad and I went to the Dallas Symphony. The pianist was ill, so the planned piano concerto was swapped out, making the program Beethoven's Fifth Symphony followed by Beethoven's Third Symphony.

Our seats were where the chorus sits for performances that have a chorus, behind the stage. The seats themselves were a bit uncomfortable (I wouldn't have wanted to sit in one for an hour straight) and we were significantly closer to the timpani than the audience on the normal side of the stage, making it louder than it should have been, but they were the cheapest seats in the house and the view was amazing—I was able to read the text and see that each performer's music stand had a copy of The Star-Spangled Banner permanently attached.

The conductor (Jaap van Zweden) didn't even use a score for the Fifth Symphony. He clearly knows it by heart—as, it turns out, do I. It was an incredible performance. After that, the Third Symphony was nice, but a bit of a let down—although I think just about anything would have been. I thought (and my dad also suggested this without my mentioning it to him) that they should have reversed the order of the pieces, even though it would have been a larger alteration to the program, because the Fifth was impossible to follow.


Xenosaga 3

A couple weeks ago, I finished Xenosaga 3, which I purchased about 4 years earlier. It was a better game than it had any right to be, in light of its predictably low sales and the fact that the series was canceled at 3 when it was planned to have 6 episodes. It was so good, in fact, that it's making Xenosaga 2 (which was still definitely the weakest of the series, and may have doomed it) look better to me.

It makes me a bit sad, actually, to see such excellent production "wasted" on something so few people will experience. Thanks ixiel for nagging me to finish it over the years (and for not abusing that power on things that aren't worth it). And if you have around 200 hours and a bunch of cash to spare, and a Playstation 2, you should play it. I do not expect anyone to actually do this.

That's what's mostly been on my mind lately. Oh, and this is a great song. I still wish Mitsuda had composed the whole series, but Kajiura composing the whole series would be a close second.

(no subject)

On the way to work this morning, I saw a bus with an ad on the side that said "If you don't answer the Census, we don't know how many buses to buy." This disturbs me for several reasons:

  1. The Census is every 10 years. Presumably they need to adjust their bus purchases more often than this.
  2. Private industry doesn't have a Census, and they generally manage not to either provide large quantities of unused goods and services, or deny them to paying customers.
  3. They apparently didn't intend or expect anyone to apply even the rudimentary level of thought to notice my objection 1.

Facebook isn't Twitter, but Facebook does apparently have a limit of 3 SMS lengths. So I might as well post anything requiring thought here.


They Might Be Giants Halloween children's concert

Music: not quite as good as a typical TMBG concert (too many educational songs). Crowd: more interesting than a typical TMBG concert (lots of kids in costumes). Overall it gets a thumbs up, though I imagine it must have been a little weird for Nikolai and Kim since this was the first time they've seen Them in concert. Whereas I can distinctly recall three prior concerts, so this is at least my fourth time—I think fifth, actually.

Also, it took longer to make this userpic than it did to write the post.