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General blog entries that aren't articles in and of themselves.

Spam by Any Other Name

It's one thing to sign me up for spam. It's another for a company to do it and claim it's some kind of benefit.

Someone (who shall not be named) sent me a link to a property that was on Zillow.com yesterday. This was fine, as I've been thinking about such things lately, but what happened next was surprising. I got an email from Zillow:

Since a home was recently shared with you, we created a free Zillow account for you to browse millions of homes, save and share your favorites, connect with professionals and shop mortgages.

 

Seriously?! Not only did this indicate that the spam would start, but it also created an account on a site I'd never used nor wanted. I had to go delete it and unsubscribe. Now yes, it's one thing for someone to sign you up for spam. It happens. But that's typically someone pretending to be you, and one would hope that in 2017, double-confirmation would happen. In this case, however, Zillow knew that the account they were creating was for someone that hadn't visited their site and, as you can see from the message I got, I wasn't asked if I wanted the account. They just created it as if they were doing me some kind of favor.

Zillow? FAIL.

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The Tiki Bar

Work on the Tiki Bar got a big boost this past weekend, when the roof and much of the internal framing was completed. With the help of a friend, the rafters were cut and installed, roof panels put on, and asphalt felt put down on the roof. The plan is to now cover it with palm fronds for looks. I then got some help from J to install the bar framing and start putting up shelves. We also installed the mounting bracket for the television and a pair of outdoor speakers.


The next work session will see the walls cut and mounted. The idea here is to do them with OSX and then cover that with distressed wood for looks. Once the walls are on I will be able to apply sealer and then put in the electronics, including TV, sound and lights. At that point, even though the bar top itself won't be done, the Tiki Bar will be complete enough that I can start the process of making the video podcasts. The first couple will have the bar in an unfinished state, which should be interesting.

It's nice to make progress! The last five weekends were rained out!

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You're Being Treated Like a Child

My son likes to think he's a lawyer and, unlike many children who ask the same question over and over will often ask the same question multiple times but with different angles. At some point, usually pretty early (I like to think I'm a smart guy), I realize he's doing this, and I shift into giving a response that I've found works well. I can't claim credit for it, I read it on a parenting blog.

In short, when a child persists with the same question, simply respond, "Asked and Answered." It quickly shuts down the repeated questions because you're giving a repeated answer instead of trying to craft a new response to a repeated query.

This past weekend, White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller was asked, time and again, about claims of rampant voter fraud. But it wasn't a case of being asked the same question multiple times, but simply asking for any evidence, much less proof, every time he made a new claim. And every time he made a new (and often different) claim, and was pressed for evidence, he simply responded

Asked and Answered

As if he were dealing with a petulant child. Or, more accurately, as if he was treating the media like a petulant child.

Because he was.

Welcome to the new Ministry of Propaganda. They seem to be finding their legs.

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Bonjour, Monsieur Jarre!

Welcome to the future! I'd heard that Jean Michel Jarre was working on a new album, and last night saw a post that noted that it's out. I remember growing up in the '80s, and when an artist I liked had a new album, I'd have to make my way down to Big Music and go see my buddy Bob. He'd almost always have it in stock, but sometimes he'd have to order it and it would be a couple days before I got my hands on the CD. Before that it was waiting for the vinyl to show up. Those were the days, right?

So last night I see the post and click through. There we are on iTunes, with the album available. One click and my account is debited the $14 or so, and the download begins to my iPad. I'm not worried about single-device, of course, since I know that any iDevice I have (or even my PC with iTunes installed) can get the bits. I close iTunes, open my Sonos controller, and tell it that I'd like to listen to the album on the master bedroom speakers, please. Five seconds later I'm listening to the opening notes of Jarre's new offering.

And wow, this is good stuff! Collaborations with a whole bunch of other artists (including Tangerine Dream!). Clearly Jarre's style, and even more cool, clearly some of these artists are fans, as you can hear their components are often in the style of Jarre's older works. Musical respect.

The takeaway? This is the future I imagined when I was 21. If you'd asked me to describe "a day in the life" when I was in college, this is it. And that's simply amazing.

The album: https://itun.es/us/rpbO8

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Haiku

Life moves pretty fast
Web site left alone too long
Must update daily

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