Cable Ties

Since I had to send my iMac off to get checked out, I took the opportunity to re-do my workspace.  I have previously used Belkin’s cable ties for cable management, mainly because they’re big and colorful.  I read good reviews of Velcro’s ties, and the price was right, so I bought some.

2014-04-20 20.32.35

This isn’t the best photo in the work, but the Belkin is at top and the Velcro at bottom.  Note that the Belkin has that big flag to help you identify cables and remove the ties.  Removing ties is not what I want to do.  I looped both ties around my left pinky for this image, and handling the Velcro unit was much easier, as you loop the tail end of the tie through a loop at the head, which you can then Velcro to the outside of the tail.  After that, you just start making loops.  They’re easier to handle, cheaper, and I feel like they hold things more securely.  Add in the cost factor and it’s a no-brainer.

Lessons from the Sacrifice (?)

  1. I really don’t care very much about Facebook, which is probably not something that makes my mother very happy.  I pretty much didn’t miss it.  I used the hell out of Facebook Messenger, but Facebook itself?  Nope.  I expect that my Facebook traffic will become even more broadcast-heavy and even less about interaction.  I browsed the timeline tonight but got very board.  Facebook is something that I would’ve loved to have had in college, but I’m just not there anymore.  [I mean, I’m in college, you get it, shut up, no you shut up.]
  2. I missed Twitter more as time went by, purely because you can usually just wade into the river and see how things are going on.  I used to sit on the river and watch it go by me, but I feel like that will happen less often now that I know that I can do it and not feel guilty about it.  It was a couple of hours today before my thought was, “What’s on Twitter right now?”  I’ve been on it a bit today, but I also read for class for three hours.
  3. I did miss my friends, but I fought that with a simple email: “Tell me a small story from your life in the last couple of days.”  That kept the focus narrow and light.  I could find out about how my friends’ kids were doing with their spelling homework without having to feel like Big Huge Things Are Being Communicated.  I didn’t do enough of it.
  4. I don’t miss the drama.
  5. I don’t miss being a cause or treble of the drama.  Well, I didn’t miss it, and then I stepped right in it when I got back.  Did I learn anything?  Hmm.
  6. I like email.  I knew that, but I like email a lot.
  7. I can get a lot done when I’m not dinking around on social media.
  8. RescueTime is awesome.
  9. I’m really ready for a break from school.
  10. Lastly, I was really aware of the fact that a lot of what I wanted to share was negative.  I took to doing some private journaling, and there’s a solid week (or more) of me just being really, really angry.  Now, I know exactly why I was angry and what my part in that anger was, but I think that the desire to spew forth the anger is a desire for someone else to make it right, as if that were even really possible.  I’m not going to be zero-anger, but I am going to shoot for less-angry.

I make no promises about that last one being true in these last two weeks of the semester.  No sleep ’til May Day.

Webb Divorce

Shameful.  Painful.  Terrible.  I’m glad that I was mostly off of Twitter and Facebook for Thursday while my corner of the Internet reacted.  I’m done with him.  I’ll forgive him eventually, but there’s nothing that says that I have to maintain a relationship with him.  Call me what you will for the public unfollow: I will not care.

Open Loathing

I hate school I hate school I hate school I hate school I hate school. May 2nd cannot get here fast enough. I will spend the summer as an auto-didact and will return refreshed for the fall.

No Future Support for Junk Mail Scripting

My Lion-ready scripts for routing junk mail to the FTC’s site still work, but I have a high crash rate when using Mail Act-On 3.x to initiate that script.  The crash logs say that MAO is to blame for the crash, and perhaps that is so.  But it also feels like I’m screaming into the void here with the spam reporting, and so I will no longer be updating these scripts.  They are provided as-is from the July 2011 release.

You are free to use them as you see fit, and if you want to update, upgrade, and publish them, that’s great!  All I ask is that you link to at least one of the posts here.  People do land here on Google, and so I’d like to keep that chain unbroken.  When I see incoming link traffic, I’ll make a link to your site so people know that there is indeed a future for them; you may also let me know via email.  It’s been a good run.  I originally released this script in 2007.

If you’re curious, all I’m doing is culling ham out of the spam folder using Fastmail’s Web interface, and I’m filing all known-bad messages in that ConfirmedJunk folder that I mentioned in the previous posts.  Those are simple commands for a batch of messages.  I really wish that I had a way to easily pull ham out of the Fastmail junk folder without using the Web interface, but they’re seemingly not set up for that.  It doesn’t take that long to fire up Fastmail in a browser, so I’m just dealing with it.

iMac OS Reinstall

Who knew that my white screens weren’t hardware-induced but rather an artifact of never wiping and reinstalling a machine that I’d been carrying over for six or seven years, from my first mini until now?! I’ve been down six months because I was convinced that it was hardware.

Finale of the Tip Jar Experiment

Well, I’m done with the tip jar experiment, and the changes that I made in Round 2 really didn’t matter very much.  I got a very mixed result.  In the first round, tip jar size and the time of day dominated the effects.  In making each day an experimental run, I controlled for that some, but the response I got was that size was statistically significant — but only after dropping out insignificant terms from the model, and the result was 180 degrees off of the previous result: smaller was now better.

There was no statistical significance to seeding or opacity, meaning that my main hypothesis is thoroughly shattered.  Oh well, that’s why you run experiments!  That there was no significance for either in 16 experimental runs tells me that it doesn’t matter.

One of the baristas told me on the first or second day that she didn’t think that I’d get good results given that “some baristas just get more tips than others”.  Even that didn’t necessarily hold true, as one barista got 3x the response today as she did a day earlier this week, and she always works opening shifts at that store.

What this tells me is that there are nuisance factors at play — things that you can’t control for.  The key nuisance factor is the amount of traffic the store does.  I could control for this by indexing the tips to that day’s sales.  Does that give me a perfect answer?  No.  Does that give me a better answer?  Yes.  However, I decided that situation was out of my control and that information was beyond what I could expect to be given.

Another nuisance factors is indeed what my friend suggested: some baristas just get more tips than others, for whatever reasons.  Now you could do some observations and see why that is, but you can also block for operators and say, “We’ll have Geof do all of these variations on his shifts, run the analysis, and see what turns up.”  Frankly, what may work for one barista may not for another one, but it could also be that isolating by blocking would help to reduce that noise factor.  Also, baristas tend to work the same shifts over time, so you’d be going back toward the time-of-day factor that I controlled for with this second run.

I really did think that I’d get conclusive results on this, but I estimated the main effects yesterday and realized that the small-jar days had three of the four highest responses; when I got a low response for the larger jar yesterday, I knew how this would come out.  It’s a little disappointing, because I’d like to be able to go back to the women and say, “Here’s your answer!”  I can’t.

The Bag Man

“I look at this as an investment. When you ask me why I do this … let me ask you something. Who’s your favorite sports team? Most favorite. Who do you live and die with? What if I told you that if you gave me $10,000 right now I could guarantee you they’d be better? That if they were usually bad that they’d have a winning season? Or if they were just a game shy of going to a championship that they’d get there next season?”

SBNation’s Steven Godfrey met with some SEC bag men to talk about the bag man game.  My response, like many Southerners, is, “Yeah, and?”