Finances

I seriously need to change my habits. I’m spending too much money and my cost of living went up %250.

I thought it’d be easy — doesn’t one always think so? — but it’s not. For starters I need to stop buying other people food just because I can.

Need to be much more careful with these sort of expenses. They really creep up on you.

This month will be more or less okay, but I really need to pay attention during September.

I thought I was done working like this

Turns out I might have to keep working like this for at least another six months at least.

I finally solved my woes to find a new living space… but it is at the very margin of what would let me save money. I’m going to be living paycheck to paycheck for a bit and I don’t like it.

Not one bit.

I hope I can either find a new job that will let me compensate for my new astronomically high living costs or save enough money to find another living space that will be cheaper.

Either way I’ll have to work 70+ hours a week to be able to afford all this.

Living space search goes on

It’s a bloody pain in the ass, is what it is.

Craigslist has been taken over by spammers (I’m looking at you, fucking Roomster), padmapper is useless to find roommates and the market is getting more expensive all the time since all the new housing excitedly approved by the city is luxury housing.

Yeah… most people in this city do not have a grand to drop in rent monthly. And that’s without taking into account the security deposit (usually a month’s rent) and the rental application. So if you’re looking to live in one of those hot new apartment buildings you’re looking at at least $2500 USD, give or take a few hundred dollars.

The entire structure is setup to screw renters. Same goes if you actually try to buy a house.

I’m just annoyed because I’ve looked at a few places and they all suck.

A computer conversation

There was a tweet from @findchaos that made me remember a conversation I had with a coworker at my kitchen job a few days ago.

The gist of it was “I’m looking for a new computer that’s good for everything and has lots of gigs to do what I want because I don’t want to spend a grand on an apple laptop“. Cue the questions regarding use (“Are you going to use for facebook? Youtube? Are you going to play on it?”) and connectivity (“Do you have WiFi at home? No? Are you going to use a hotspot from your phone then? No? So how are you going to get online???”)

This guy is from a poor part of Mexico. Whenever I ask specifics I just get grunts or non-answers, because he gets embarrassed. He knows he’s in over his head on these matters and I am understanding, but there’s so much I can do without kissing his ass which I will not do.

So with that said, I recommended a few models from the Dell XPS line, the Lenovo Thinkpad line and a couple of Samsung laptops I saw for cheap on Amazon. The guy was quite insistent that he wanted a “Sony laptop” if he couldn’t get a cheap Apple laptop. It didn’t matter what the sub-brand was since Sony has a few, most of them with the esoteric model names so favored by this manufacturer. I kept asking if he wanted a Vaio, but he just answered “I want a Sony laptop if I can’t get a cheap Apple laptop”.

After a while of circular arguments on his part I eventually ended the conversation with “If you don’t want to pay over a grand for a computer from Apple and you don’t like what Sony or Dell or Lenovo or Samsung or anyone else has to offer then I can’t help you. You have to decide what you want and all of it costs over 500 dollars from what you say you want.”

That shut him up.

From this I get a few things:

  • Apple is quite uncaring of people like my fellow cook. I’ve seen their support and as they’ll help you as long as you give them money, which most in his position don’t have, otherwise you’re on your own. For them, an Apple device is a status symbol.
  • Other computer manufacturers should try to fill in this gap. Even though these people are mostly illiterate they are already online through facebook and whatsapp. They are quite willing to spend the funds, it’s just that they don’t even have brand awareness of others because no one has even tried beyond a few ads in the most popular telenovela.
  • I think more efforts to promote Chromebooks would help as these people pretty much only use facebook, youtube, whatsapp and a few others. Particularly now that Google is working on having chromebooks have the capacity to run Android apps and even use the Google Play Store itself.
  • People like him want to know more but the classes available are designed for people with 9 to 5 schedules. The vast majority of Hispanic immigrants do not have that schedule and if governments want to better integrate them into US society at large more efforts should be made to allow for schedules where people have free time in the morning and work in the evenings.
  • I should probably start a side business giving people like him advice on what to buy and for a commission, buy it for them through Amazon. Offer training for an additional charge.

In writing this I forgot the original point of the post, but that’s okay. At least this is now out there since it happens somewhat often. People ask me something, I try to obtain more information to provide better advice, then they clam up because they realize they don’t even know what they want or what the person that wants the thing wants.

I’ll just go along with it.

There are a few things that I have to make clear, though, as the entire conversation was conducted in Spanish:

  1. “Lots of gigs” is a valid unit of measure for people like him. I don’t know whether they refer to RAM or to storage capacity, but I go along since they usually mean a bit of both. The actual phrase was “hartos gigas”.
  2. Apple is the same whether they are talking about an iPhone (“Un telefono Apple”) or a computer (“una laptop Apple”) regardless of whether the computer is a desktop or a laptop. The only difference is whether it is a mobile device or not.

Confusion and mayhem

Source: Gordon’s Notes: Systemic failure in American medicine: combining ICD-10-CM with “leaf code” reimbursement rules

It’s confusing and quite abstract if you don’t work in healthcare, but it does make sense when you think about it in terms of money, as I did. The only times I’ve stepped in a hospital in the past five years are when I buy coffee from a store inside of one.

The system as described by Gordon lacks something crucial when talking about illness, disease and health conditions: specificity.

When you can’t properly code something in a very specific way, everything else built on top of it goes out the window.

“so relaxing”

me: i love reading because it relaxing
me: *screams at books*
me: throws it at the wall
me: *cries over characters for days on end*
me: *curses author’s name to the winds*
me: so relaxing

me: i love reading because it relaxing
me: *screams at books*
me: throws it at the wall
me: *cries over characters for days on end*
me: *curses author's name to the winds*
me: so relaxing

How about Uptown?

At the moment I am looking for a new living space. This means looking at a lot of posts in Craigslist, Zillow, ApartmentSearch, PadMapper, etc. This goes for both places that I would rent on my own and for roommate situations.

My frustration comes from landlords playing fast and loose with the wordings they use in their posts, specially when they don’t bother to put in an address for the place or even the cross-streets. They usually use phrases like “close to Uptown” or “in the Uptown area” to hide the true location of the place.

If you drive a car for everything sure, anywhere in Minneapolis or Saint Louis Park is “close” to Uptown. But the nature of the neighborhood is to be able to walk from home to a place and back. You can’t say it’s close when you’d have to walk 30 minutes to get to one of the neighborhood’s borders. Neighborhoods have borders and names for a reason.

Google Maps of Minneapolis

If you search for “Uptown Minneapolis”, even Google Maps suggests the actual neighborhood and its boundaries

Map of Uptown in Google Maps

So… landlords, please save everyone a lot of work and just put in the address of your property.

It’s forced

Lots of things happening right now. Guess the calm I’ve had over these past few months is now coming to an abrupt end.

Right now I guess I’m just writing this to remind myself that I should write my thoughts down. That’s how this blog got started. That’d probably be a good thing.

A new mythology

These characters no longer truly belong to the writers who are writing their stories. They exist independent of their individual fictions. In our minds, many of their traits are already set in stone.

Source: Captain America Isn’t Bi or a Nazi, He’s Just God | Myths RETOLD

Fandom lets us ignore the shitty decisions made by ‘owners’ of our contemporary myths at the bottleneck of IP law.

Source: Captain America (Updated): On the heroic epic, the nature of story, the implied contract with the reader, the dumpster fire that is Marvel Comics’ choice to pursue this storyline, and why indefinite copyright is harmful to contemporary myth: a cranky Twitter rant.

The corporate behemoths that now own all of these characters have no idea how to plan for the long term. They keep wanting to bring stories of the past into the present, but what about stories of the present taken into the future?

No amount of copyright law will change the fact a character’s mythos are an organic thing that grows, changes, mutates, evolves, as time goes on and more people are made aware of it.

dantozek: It took several years but I’m finally done. I have…

dantozek:

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It took several years but I’m finally done. I have finished pencil pages dating back to 2014 and roughs from even earlier. Crazy it took this long but i learned a ton and will use it going forward to my next project. If you liked this do me a favour and reblog or just tell someone else about it that be super cool of you! Everything above is owned and created by me Dan Tozek. 



















dantozek:
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It took several years but I’m finally done. I have finished pencil pages dating back to 2014 and roughs from even earlier. Crazy it took this long but i learned a ton and will use it going forward to my next project. If you liked this do me a favour and reblog or just tell someone else about it that be super cool of you! Everything above is owned and created by me Dan Tozek. 

Most Cyclists Are Working-Class Immigrants, Not Hipsters

Misidentifying who, exactly, rides bikes is hardly a new problem, Longhurst said. Historically, every generation has created a new idea of who rides a bike, but the older associations have stuck around, too.That creates a situation in which cyclists are simultaneously associated with elites displaying conspicuous consumption, those sacrificing for the good of society, competitive athletes, children, and sometimes those who are coming home from their job washing dishes at 2 a.m. because other options aren’t available.

Source: Most Cyclists Are Working-Class Immigrants, Not Hipsters

I’m one of those people. Since I’m usually at work it is extremely hard for me to participate in initiatives to extend biking infrastructure here in Minneapolis. Same goes for most of the people who work in the service industry, regarless of their race or country of origin.

We bike because it’s cheap and convenient. And when you’re going home anytime after midnight, usually the only option you have to get home since taxis are relatively expensive and mass transit cuts service.

No, I’ve never gone canoeing drunk at night in one of the lakes. I was probably working

So knowing to disclose deeply personal information about yourself—the best stories are not necessarily why you want to be a banker at Goldman Sachs, but how you reached the summit of Mount Everest—knowing that’s what interviewers value creates a disadvantage for individuals who don’t have those types of stories, or don’t know how to tell them.

Source: Recruitment, Resumes, Interviews: How the Hiring Process Favors Elites – The Atlantic

This is me. I don’t have stories about crazy adventures while young — I much preferred to be alone. I don’t have epic tales of surviving an extremely busy shift in the kitchen — at the end of those days usually you just want to go home and pass out.

While I am fortunate enough to know how to tell these stories when pressed, the fact is most of these stories are not something the interviewer would appreciate listening to, nor appreciate if they have no way to identify with me given my employment history: car washer/valet, cybercafe attendant, call center rep, sysadmin, barista, cook, server. If they’ve never been one of these it will be almost impossible to imagine the situations you live.

Meritocracy is a myth and it is high time people realize this.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

The Life of a Completely Blind Iranian Programmer

Source: How I got through Docker’s censorship – Parham Doustdar’s Blog

The most interesting part is being blocked by both the country government and the companies based in other countries. You not only have to develop ways to make packet traffic flow from outside the country into your own, but also to make funds available to you locally.

Not an easy feat.

Windows 10 waking up on its own

For the longest time I couldn’t figure out why it was doing this. One night it annoyed me enough that I went digging for the cause and found this link on how to disable devices from waking the system up.

In my case the device manager looks like this:
Windows 10 Device Manager

Under “Mice and other pointing devices” disabled all the HID devices except for “Microsoft USB Dual Receiver Wireless Mouse”. Both the keyboard and the mouse use the same receiver and I wasn’t sure if disabling it would also disable the keyboard. The article itself warns about being unable to wake the system up if you disable all devices.

Now, I previously had already disabled waking abilities on all network adapters but for some reason they always get re-enabled after a Windows 10 update. Worth double-checking after any and all updates.

As a bit extra, I noticed Spotify would wake the system up from sleep as soon as my phone connected to the local wifi network. Not sure why the Spotify developers think their application is important enough to warrant this, but the problem does go away once you disable waking abilities on network adapters.