Category Archives: Business

Single-Serve Soy Sauce Silliness

I was cleaning the fridge today and found we’d accumulated enough single-serve packs of soy sauce over the last year or so to amount to a full measuring cup.

Seems like such wasteful packaging. I try to remember when ordering Chinese takeout to tell them not to include any, but forget now and then. And often sushi comes in sets prepackaged with single serves. . .

single serve soy sauce

Hitting 10K Tweets on Twitter

This was not planned, but I just hit 10,000 Tweets within days of my 10th anniversary on Twitter.

I recall it took me several attempts to get into the flow, starting and stopping several times the first year, and then it just kept rolling.

I have no idea if this is near average, low, or high. Don’t really care, just find the nice, round 1K/year average interesting.

Cipywnyk 10,000 Tweets

Mystery of the Painful Ankle

Somehow my ankle got screwed up, and I have no idea what happened. I recall stumbling on some stairs, but it didn’t hurt at the time. Sigh.

Woke this morning with some minor pain, but by the end of the work day, much of it spent on my feet, I was feeling more twinges.

Got home, made dinner, sat down to watch the news, got up and YOW!

Nearly fell down the pain was so sharp.

What the heck?

I’ve been RICEing it this evening, and have it loosely wrapped for bed with a tensor bandage with a topical patch inside.

Sure hope it’s better in the morning, because I have another six-hour delivery shift. . .

bum ankle

UPDATE (Nov. 6): Well the ankle has pretty much come around, but a week of walking funny has resulted in a painful muscle in the foot.  Everything is connected . . .  Heading off to work with a topical patch and ankle brace.

Has LinkedIn Jumped the Shark?

I am seriously considering shutting down my LinkedIn account.

I just saw someone boast on LI that they had 30,000 connections.

Excuse me? How could you possibly know, and have worked with, 30,000 people?

The original premise of LI was that people who had worked with each other would connect, and vouch for each other. Or at least acknowledge that they’d worked together.

It’s completely debased. It’s now Facebook with a resume.

Another numbers game.

And LI is driving this debasement. Every time you accept a “connection” these days, it pops up dozens, if not hundreds, of other suggested connections. It wants to mine your email address books, if you let it.

I was wondering when I would see a cat photo on LInkedIn.

Today was the day.

Sigh . . .

Ah, the Computing Life. . . Sigh

As I set up my new (refurbished) Windows 10 computer, I wonder how many hours, days, perhaps even weeks I’ve spent on building computers, installing operating systems, installing software etc. since I got my first computer nearly 30 years ago.

For those who missed the tale, the latest Windows 10 update kept bricking my last computer — the update just couldn’t complete without the result being a completely frozen machine. After three or four attempts cycling through three or four backup C images, I threw in the towel. It appeared that machine had some weird combination of hardware that Windows 10 Update just couldn’t work with. And Windows Update refused to stop trying to update, no matter how many settings I tinkered with.

So I got a refurbished Lenovo through Best Buy for $469 — 12GB of RAM and a 3TB hard drive. I’ve got Office 365 set up and running, ClipMate set up (I put this wonderful utility on every PC I have), and am now installing Adobe Creative Cloud and all of its apps.

It’ll be awhile before I have everything on the machine. It’s going to be a “where is..? oh, yeah, I still need to install it. . .” cycle for the next several days.

Consequences of Car Crash Drag on for Weeks

A fellow ran a stop sign and T-boned our car nearly two weeks ago, and the recovery process is still dragging on. Thankfully it’s “recovery” as in getting life back to normal, not “recovery” as in being injured. I was fine, but our trusty 1998 Subaru Outback ended up being written off by the insurance company.

Dealings with the Insurance Corporation of BC have been great. Staff have been calm, courteous and helpful. While we’re not happy that it was decided to write our vehicle off, we understand there’s not much to be done for a nearly 20-year-old car, no matter how well we’d maintained it over the years. Unfortunately, we’re unlikely to get more than a few thousand dollars for it, but we’ll push for the most. I’m collating maintenance records, and bills of recent purchases of value like snow tires, new battery, etc.

Our insurance for replacement vehicle coverage will run out this week, so we have to get on with getting a new(er) car. ICBC extended the rental coverage by nearly a week because they’ve been inundated and haven’t provided us with a buyout yet.

So we’re shopping for a new vehicle, and while that’s exciting in some ways, it’s also stressful. All sorts of decisions to make like new vs used, cash vs finance vs lease, etc.

We’re pretty much settled on what we want. I want another AWD (all-wheel drive) vehicle. I loved the Subbie’s performance in winter conditions. My wife wants a hybrid, and unfortunately Subaru has none available in Canada.

You put “hybrid” and “AWD” together, and the result is Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, for the most part. There may be a few others that fit those parameters, but they’re too big  or even more expensive.

We test drove a 2018 RAV4 Hybrid yesterday, and it seemed huge compared to our old Outback.  Mind you a new Outback is also huge compared to the models several generations ago.

We’ve also considered used RAV4s, but it appears you’d save at most three or four thousand dollars if getting a recent “Certified Used” hybrid, so why not go new and get a full warranty, more financing options, etc.

Looking forward to getting this all settled as soon as possible!

98 Outback towed away
Saying goodbye to our faithful companion of nearly 20 years.

Lots of memories associated with this car.

Both of my late parents were still alive when we got it. It transported hutches, dining room tables, coffee tables, armchairs. . .

My wife and I did dozens of trips across western Canada over the years. Many camping and canoeing trips. . . North as far as Kitimat, west to Tofino and Long Beach, east as far as Brandon, south as far as LA and Joshua Tree. . .

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Update Bricks my Computer – Again!

Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update has bricked my main computer twice. I am fortunate to keep regular images of my C: drive, but still, each time it’s taken hours to swap drives and restore everything.

I keep clicking on the postpone update message, hoping they’ll get their act together and release something stable. I’ve gone into update preferences and attempted to shut down updates. Yet it appears that the second time MS went ahead and overrode my preferences.

This is extremely aggravating, time-consuming, and costly. And I’m not the only one. Sharing my experiences on social media has turned up plenty of folks, some in major institutions complete with IT departments, who have had the same problem.

Yes, I have Mac and Linux boxes, too, but my workflow has been Windows based for decades, with various utilities and such that I’m loath to give up, or find equivalents for on other OSes.

Meanwhile, today I bought another HD, so that I can keep multiple images of my C: drive. At least having imaged drives reduces the aggravation somewhat, in addition to regular data backups on NAS devices for additional insurance.

Year-End Digital Data Backup

I back up regularly, but I also make a point of making sure I have fresh images of my main computer hard drive, and backups of all data drives, at the end of the year.

There’s no such thing as having too many backups — both onsite and offsite.

Yes, make sure you also have a backup stored with a relative, or at a trusted friend’s place. Or in a safety deposit box.

My project for this cold and rainy afternoon was to check my drives and backups.

My 3TB D: drive, which is dedicated to photos, was near capacity, while my 2TB C: drive was 80% free. I’d been contemplating upgrading to 4TB-plus on D:, but ended up moving several hundred GB of old photos from D: to C:, giving me enough room on D: to keep me going well into the new year.

Now setting up backups of the new configuration to my NAS (network attached storage) RAID drives.

Again: there is no such thing as too many backups!