Category Archives: Thoughts

Interesting Snack

I have lately started snacking on roasted seaweed. It is quite popular in Japan.

One of the things that struck me about it is the size of the package: only five grams. It comes in nine sheets that are about 6 by 9 cm each.

Eating it one sheet at a time, I have noticed that a lot of my eating of snack foods has been rather automatic: just stuffing it in. This is important to me since I need to lose some weight. I hope it is useful to you.

Point-of-View Blindness

You have a point-of-view. It lets you see some things. Unfortunately, if you use it wrong, it can prevent you from seeing things.

I was recently talking with someone (Dan) who is having trouble with math. He sees that. He tried to get help from another student who does understand the math Dan is having trouble with. The other student, though, does not understand how Dan does not understand. Because of that, his explanations confused Dan more than ever.

That other student would not make a good math tutor. Understanding math is not enough. One also has to understand how someone else could fail to understand. That requires stepping past one’s immediate point-of-view.

There is nothing special about your point of view other than it being yours. It might not be enough when you are dealing with others. Consider that the next time you try to teach or persuade someone else.

Unnecessary Change

The computer field has a lot of change. Personally, I think that there is too much. Quite often, changes appear to be made for the sake of change. When this breaks something that was working, it is somewhat irritating.

My local corner store is a combination Esso/7-11. I have an Esso loyalty card.

It used to be that I would be prompted to swipe my card; the swipe would then be acknowledged with a message.

Obviously, this was too easy.

Now, there is no prompt. There is an acknowledgement of the swipe (I think): the display blinks once.

Who thought that this would be better?

It is not as if there are not other changes that would be more useful. For example, if I wish to redeem points and make a purchase, it has to be done as two transactions. My Petro-Canada loyalty card does not have that limitation.

The Not-Scam E-mail

How are you doing with keeping up with all of the minutiae of modern living?

My latest grade is a D.

I received a failed billing E-mail. I was inclined to think it probably a typical scam.

It wasn’t.

My domain’s registration had expired. I found out when I went to prepare this week’s posts: my blog was not there. This led to a frantic phone call to reregister and then many browser refreshes until it came back.

There are a lot of scams out there, but every so often, the notice is actually valid. Unfortunately, this was a surprise.

I hope I have not forgotten about this in two years.

What have you set aside that you should not have?

Computer Stuff Can Be Invisible

It is easier to deal with things when you can see them. While computers are very useful, sometimes, they hide things.

A note attached to a fridge works quite well. The note on the fridge is in your face. If you have a notes file on your computer, you have to explicitly look at it. If you do not, you do not see it.

A local company has been running an ad on the Web that I have seen many times. It is a very nicely done ad, but it is about a winter need. Spring is nearly half over. It was too easy for them to miss this. I sent an E-mail yesterday letting them know.

Job Fairs Are Fairer

These days, it can be very difficult to get any response from a job application. Many employers only reply to those they short-list.

Last week, I attended a job fair. It was the first time in quite a while that I had the opportunity to speak to employers about employment.

It felt good to be treated as if I mattered.

I think that employers should do this more often.


Ah, spring. The snow has melted. Greenery is starting to make its appearance. Potholes in roads are exposed in all their thunking glory.

Take care when driving.


I sometimes get a bad sore throat — which I call “fire throat” — when the seasons change from winter to spring. This year was yet another case. Break out the Fisherman’s Friend. (I need enough throat cooling that I can get a sugar buzz from cough drops.)

Some time later, my voice gets rather froggy. Interestingly, this is a good sign. Oddly, my voice is quite normal when I have the sore throat; it only gets froggy when I am recovering.

Have you ever seen something that is similarly deceptive?

Some people can have what looks to be a frown on their face and be in quite a good mood. (I am one of them.)

What have you seen like this?


Are you concerned about overdoing it? Are you worried that in doing some thing that you will go too far?


Just apply Gene’s Law of Overkill.

I came up with this recently: “Gene’s Law of Overkill: First, you have to kill. Only then can you overdo it.”

So relax and just kill something[1][2].

[1] Please confine your killing to things like problems, personal bests, etc.

[2] This law has not been tested rigorously. If you end up in the Big House (a.k.a. pokey, jail, slammer, etc.) as a result, please let me know so I can make a revision[3].

[3] And please indicate whether you want partial credit for the revision.