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Shopping vs. shipping Fri, Jul 27, 2012
In the past week, I've had two shopping experiences where I got a better deal online (with free shipping) from stores whose physical location is less than five miles from my house.  In other words, I saved money by shopping online as opposed to going to the store.  I don't quite understand how this is possible, but I'm not complaining.  It seems like there's a slightly larger environmental impact by getting things shipped directly to my house, but other than that there's absolutely zero downside.

Unnecessary acronyms Thu, Jul 26, 2012
If, in a single sentence, you use an acronym and immediately follow it with its definition (or vice versa), and then you don't use that acronym again, you should probably just stop using that acronym.  It serves no purpose. #language

Eating shark Thu, Jul 26, 2012
A coworker recently caught a shark and gave me a couple pounds of its meat.  I promptly fired up the grill and created interesting dishes that don't usually include shark meat (shark tacos, shark quesadillas, shark pizza).  It was all surprisingly good.  I have to say, it was deeply satisfying to eat a shark.  Something just felt right about asserting dominance over one of nature's greatest predators.  Even though humans no longer really fit into the natural food chain all that well, it still feels good to remind everyone else who's number one.

Why I stopped using WordPress Tue, Jul 24, 2012
WordPress was the blogging backend I was using to power this site for the last many years.  It was so much better than the other options at the time (Blogger, Typepad, etc.) that it was practically a no-brainer.  But I stopped using it recently for several reasons: 
  1. It's big.  This is more of a personal thing than anything, but I really dislike large, complex things that perform very simple functions.  It just seems like too much overhead to me.  I realize most of the complexity exists in the background, but as a tinkerer, I saw a lot of what goes on in the background.
  2. It's slow.  This is more of a recent issue than a historic one.  As WordPress grew in size, complexity, and functionality, it seemed to get slower and slower.  All those javascript calls in the admin section and the various functional improvements seemed to add bulk, and with it, time.
  3. Useless features.  Again, this is more of a personal thing, but I used WordPress for pretty much one reason:  Blogging.  I never did and still don't need a link roll, post tags (I still don't see the difference between tags and categories), or post drafts.
  4. Too many changes.  I developed several little plugins to extend the functionality of my own site, and with each WordPress update, something would break.  A simple solution would have been for me to stop upgrading, but for whatever reason that new version number was always enticing.
All that being said, WordPress also did many things quite well.  It kept getting better and better at managing its bigness, like by doing automated upgrades and one-click plugin and theme installations.  The admin interface kept getting cleaner and more usable, and certain hacks would become standard features (e.g. there was a time when autosave was a plugin).  I think it's also important to point out that WordPress considers itself a content management system, not just blogging software, which definitely led to some of my complaints.  All in all, WordPress is great, but it's just not for me.

Micro USB chargers Mon, Jul 23, 2012
A pleasant and surprising development in recent years has been the almost universal adoption of Micro USB chargers.  I remember a time not too long ago when every electronic gadget came with its own proprietary charger and cable, and there was little to no crossover between brands or even devices.  So the charger you bought for your cell phone one year would be unable to charge the next phone you bought.

Caring for introverts and extroverts Mon, Jul 23, 2012
Found floating around on the internet:  How to Care for Introverts
  1. Respect their need for privacy
  2. Never embarrass them in public
  3. Let them observe first in new situations.
  4. Give them time to think; don't demand instant answers
  5. Don't interrupt them
  6. Give them advance notice of expected changes in their lives
  7. Give them 15-minute warnings to finish whatever they are doing
  8. Reprimand them privately
  9. Teach them new skills privately
  10. Enable them to find one best friend who has similar interests and abilities
  11. Don't push them to make lots of friends
  12. Respect their introversion; don't try to remake them into extroverts
And of course, the supplement, How to Care for Extroverts
  1. Respect their independence
  2. Compliment them in the company of others
  3. Accept and encourage their enthusiasm
  4. Allow them to explore and talk things out
  5. Thoughtfully surprise them
  6. Understand when they are busy
  7. Let them dive right in
  8. Offer them options
  9. Make physical and verbal gestures of affection
  10. Let them shine
Here's a better design of the extrovert one.

Firefox releases Wed, Jul 18, 2012
Firefox is a great web browser, but I think they've taken this whole "RapidRelease" thing a little too far.  Some basic math with their current release schedule shows a very dumb future: 

That means in a little over a decade since starting, they'll be on version number 35, at which point the idea of software version numbers will have lost all meaning.  I realize they're trying to get their version numbers to match Chrome's, and now Internet Explorer is trying to match Firefox.  But honestly, does anyone think they'll gain market share by being the first software company to achieve a triple-digit version?

Accident curtain Tue, Jul 17, 2012
Invention idea:  A giant, movable visual barrier to place around the scene of a car accident after it's been moved to the shoulder, to prevent traffic caused by rubber-necking.  An accident curtain.

Plumbest Tue, Jul 17, 2012
There's a plumbing supply company called "Plumbest," i.e. plumb, plumber, plumbest.  Pun-tastic.

Cheese horseshoe Mon, Jul 16, 2012
I was just at the supermarket, browsing the baked goods section, and I stumbled across a food item called a "cheese horseshoe".  It would take great effort to come up with a less appealing name for something you eat.

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