Archive for September, 2010

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terrible.

September 30, 2010

A guy catches his girlfriend/wife cheating because he installs key-logging software on the computer. In my opinion, it’s a toss-up between which is worse. A lot of people seem to think cheating is the worse. To be fair, there are situation-specific details that can tilt the balance one way or the other. But in slightly more generic terms, it boils down to a violation of trust in the relationship.

Yes, cheating is terrible. I don’t think anyone’s going to argue with me on that. There can be all sorts of reasons why your relationship isn’t working out and why people seek out additional relations. But if cheating is an option, so is getting out of the relationship. I’m sure that’s easier said than done though. There are financial considerations, especially if one person is dependent on the other’s income. There are emotional considerations, in cases where you love the other person but they’re gone all the time or are emotionally more distant. And in those situations, cheating might seem like the “better” option. Just to reiterate – so no one gets confused – I am not condoning cheating.

And on the other side, key-logging is also terrible. It’s an invasion of privacy – like reading someone else’s emails or recording their phone calls. I guess the argument can be made that few people would go through the trouble of such personal investigation without extreme suspicion. To which I would say if you can’t ask your significant other and trust her answer, the problems with your relationship go beyond possible cheating.

The biggest difference I see between key-logging and cheating is that the latter probably spurs the former. And if hard evidence is found for the cheating – well, maybe that can justify the means to obtain that proof. Or in other words, your terrible actions are just evened out because of someone else’s terrible actions. I’m not all for that reasoning. It means you’re doing something that may or may not be bad, but you won’t know until after it’s done. That should mean you shouldn’t do it!

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classy.

September 27, 2010

I went to New Glarus this past weekend for their Oktoberfest festival. I love going to this little town. It’s always fun and the town is just so cute. This weekend was one classy weekend. Highlights from Saturday:

  • Woman in the gold lame pants, with matching gold frilly purse. Not only did we see her, but we overheard her friend tell her, “Oh, you look great!”
  • Man wearing the I ❤ To Fart shirt. Girl wearing the jeans with side cutouts from hip to ankle. Motorcycle group with assless chaps (yes, they were wearing jeans underneath). Classy all around.
  • Toddler in a cute little German outfit – similar to this, but with a plaid shirt and better socks.
  • Toddlers playing leapfrog. This would not normally be adorable, except these two kids were too small to actually jump over each other. Result: they only ever made it about half way over the other, or rather, they just kinda fell on top of each other a lot.
  • Festival food – pint of Moon Man, apple brat with sauerkraut and mustard, part of a giant pretzel, cheese samples

Can you tell all I notice is fashion and babies?

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compliment.

September 24, 2010

I just finished a major project at work. It’s been on my mind for months, but it basically took over my life for the last three weeks. For this project, I worked with many people who were extremely good at their jobs – which is probably the reason they were assigned to this group. So comparatively, I’ve been feeling like I’m not as on top of things as I should be. Paired with the inevitable scrutiny and difficult questions that come with a high-profile project, I was just constantly feeling behind.

But last week, I got a compliment!

That sounds really stupid and trivial. But this was special for two reasons. First, it was directly to me for something that I didn’t think anyone had really noticed. Owning my part of the project was a logical extension of what I was already owning internally. Being extremely involved was just an expected part of that ownership. It was just nice to have that acknowledgment. Second, it came from someone who I rarely ever hear give compliments. This pretty much made all the difference. To have a compliment to come from such an unexpected source – it really just made my day for several days. It almost makes me not want to compliment people so that when I do, it ends up being that special.

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switch.

September 20, 2010

I’m going to be trying something new again. Since April I’ve been lax on the blog updating. Which is hardly even true. It just went from almost three times a week to maybe once every 10 days. But recently I just haven’t had time. And more importantly, I haven’t had anything to say. For some reason, I feel like I’ve got no deep thoughts left on anything.

But I still seem to have somewhat shallow thoughts on everything. They just don’t make it into full-blown posts. So my new plan, to keep me posting regularly, is to change it up a little bit. Blog posts will now be shorter and hopefully more frequent – with longer posts interspersed when I’ve got the time and ideas.

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service.

September 18, 2010

A while back, I had a terrible evening. It all started because I had scheduled a payment for my credit card for the wrong date. Then proceeded to not realize this until the day after it was due. Quite sad. Especially since I chose to ignore the email reminders because I knew that I had scheduled a payment (and didn’t think to double check).

So, never having not paid a credit card on time, I have no idea how the fees and interest really work. If I don’t pay the late fee, does it count as balance that they will then charge interest on? If I don’t pay the interest, then will that count as balance for which they can charge more interest? It’s all very confusing to me. Plus, I refuse to try to call this company because not only does it take me forever to reach an actual person, it actually takes me forever to even find the number I’m suppose to call. After hunting for a number for about 10 minutes, and even trying one out, I gave up. So I just overpaid to cover my balance, the late fee, the interest, and a little bit more just for good measure.

Then, while trying to make my payment, I get a nice little alert that I’m over the credit limit on my other card. That’s never happened before either. Does that mean more fees? What happens to the purchase that pushed me over the limit (because it looked like one of the plane tickets I bought to get to a wedding)? Can I pay off some of that card so that I’m back under the limit? And why in the world is my limit so low? Luckily, this card company has the Live Chat option. Best thing ever – because it’s really easy to just ask your question and get an answer. So I chatted with a nice lady online, who was able to tell me that I wouldn’t get any fee and that I wasn’t truly over my limit. This was only slightly troublesome because I didn’t understand her explanation of why I wasn’t over my limit and it’s harder to ask clarifying questions online.

And THEN, I had to talk to Sprint customer service to get some help on working my phone. This was quite difficult because I could easily explain my problem, but had a very hard time explaining what I tried to do to fix it. I was transferred very quickly from basic customer service to more technical help. The woman who helped me was actually really great. She probably thought I was an idiot because I spent about five minutes trying to get the battery out of my phone (it was really hard!). But Sprint customer service now definitely wins. I lost the call partway through while we were waiting for my phone to start up again. This is the worst because you can never call them back and get the same person. But Sprint actually called me back to see if everything was working once the phone started! I was very happy with that phone call.

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enneagram.

September 11, 2010

Yay! New personality test to be taken! It comprises of almost 40 questions, in which you choose the statement that best describes you. Then you get scored between 7 different personality types. My top scores were between the Perfectionist and the Achiever.

These “choose one or the other” type tests are getting trickier for me. Questions about whether I’m sociable or if I focus on relationships or if I’m  independent – choosing one always makes me question the other option. As opposed to the questions about being spontaneous or goal-oriented, where I have no question about what to pick. I don’t personally think I’m all that sociable and I’m not a great conversationalist. But I really like meeting new people, and I sometimes I’m friendlier than the average person. Usually, I end up going with options that make me seem much more closed-off than I really am.

Anyways, my results below:

Perfectionists are realistic, conscientious, and principled. They strive to live up to their high ideals. Achievers are energetic, optimistic, self-assured, and goal oriented.

How to Get Along with Me

  • Take your share of the responsibility so I don’t end up with all the work.
  • Acknowledge my achievements.
  • I’m hard on myself. Reassure me that I’m fine the way I am.
  • Tell me that you value my advice.
  • Be fair and considerate, as I am.
  • Apologize if you have been unthoughtful. It will help me to forgive.
  • Gently encourage me to lighten up and to laugh at myself when I get uptight, but hear my worries first.
  • Leave me alone when I am doing my work.
  • Give me honest, but not unduly critical or judgmental, feedback.
  • Help me keep my environment harmonious and peaceful.
  • Don’t burden me with negative emotions.
  • Tell me you like being around me.
  • Tell me when you’re proud of me or my accomplishments.

The Good about being me

  • being self-disciplined and able to accomplish a great deal
  • working hard to make the world a better place
  • having high standards and ethics; not compromising myself
  • being reasonable, responsible, and dedicated in everything I do
  • being able to put facts together, coming to good understandings, and figuring out wise solutions
  • being the best I can be and bringing out the best in other people
  • being optimistic, friendly, and upbeat
  • providing well for my family
  • being able to recover quickly from setbacks and to charge ahead to the next challenge
  • staying informed, knowing what’s going on
  • being competent and able to get things to work efficiently
  • being able to motivate people

The Bad about being me

  • being disappointed with myself or others when my expectations are not met
  • feeling burdened by too much responsibility
  • thinking that what I do is never good enough
  • not being appreciated for what I do for people
  • being upset because others aren’t trying as hard as I am
  • obsessing about what I did or what I should do
  • being tense, anxious, and taking things too seriously
  • having to put up with inefficiency and incompetence
  • the fear on not being — or of not being seen as — successful
  • comparing myself to people who do things better
  • struggling to hang on to my success
  • putting on facades in order to impress people
  • always being “on.” It’s exhausting.

As a Child

  • criticize themselves in anticipation of criticism from others
  • refrain from doing things that they think might not come out perfect
  • focus on living up to the expectations of their parents and teachers
  • are very responsible; may assume the role of parent
  • hold back negative emotions (“good children aren’t angry”)
  • work hard to receive appreciation for their accomplishments
  • are well liked by other children and by adults
  • are among the most capable and responsible children in their class or school
  • are active in school government and clubs or are quietly busy working on their own projects

As A Parent

  • teach their children responsibility and strong moral values
  • are consistent and fair
  • discipline firmly
  • are consistent, dependable, and loyal
  • struggle between wanting to spend time with their children and wanting to get more work done
  • expect their children to be responsible and organized
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yelp.

September 5, 2010

If you aren’t aware of Yelp, you should be. As a traveler, I find it unbelievably helpful. Even as a non-traveler, I can’t count the number of times I’ve looked up local restaurants and bars. It doesn’t quite take the place of a personal recommendation – but if you pass by a random bar, it definitely aids in the decision-making process. Unfortunately, it works best in major cities – where lots of people will be contributing. And it suffers from the normal recommendation problem – a lot of people are only willing to review places they love or they hate. So you end up with a somewhat skewed image.

But now that I use Yelp quite regularly, I realized I was way behind on contributing. Then I realized, that if everyone was like me, the site would be totally unhelpful because no one would be reviewing anything. And I couldn’t be THAT person. So I have made it a new goal to actually post reviews of the restaurants, hotels, and other places I visit. I’ve started mostly with restaurants, but hotels will definitely begin to make it on the list since I’ve started getting pickier about my hotels.

While writing my reviews, I’ve learned that I dislike writing bad reviews. I tend to assume my experience was a fluke – a bad waitress or bad timing or whatever. Or I assume, it just wasn’t the kind of place for me – and I don’t think my review should really reflect a place I would never really choose to go in the first place. It seems misleading to me, even though as an audience, I can pretty easily pick out which unhappy reviews are relevant and which are just ranting. Classic example: Amazon reviews that are one star because the package never arrived. You can’t comment on your purchase it you never got it! Or it’s possible that I just have relatively low standards, so most places come out on top.