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August 24, 2011

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August 17, 2011

Albert Einstein said it best ()

by fluffy at 2:31 PM

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

I don't know why I thought the sixth startup I worked for would work out any better than the first five, but there you go. Looks like I'm going back to a corporate job where I belong.

August 15, 2011

August 11, 2011

Note to self: avoid fluoroquinolones (, )

by fluffy at 7:41 PM

So I got an ear infection about a week ago, and when it didn't clear up on its own I went to my old doctor Monday morning (I haven't yet had an intake appointment with the new doctor so it seemed easier to just go to the old doctor even though the old doctor has screwed up enough times that I am looking forward to switching away from him, why no this isn't foreshadowing in the slightest).

So Monday morning I got in as soon as I could ("How long's the wait?" "No wait." "Great!" An hour and a half later, "The doctor will see you now.") and after five minutes of the doctor rambling at me about things that weren't at all relevant for the situation he prescribed me "a really good antibiotic, no penicillin so don't worry about that" as well as some Allegra, and told me to just take one every night before bed.

Monday night I didn't sleep very well but I figured it was just the infection.

Tuesday night I didn't sleep at all.

All day Wednesday I was feeling tired and drank caffeine which had no effect and was feeling tired and depressed and worthless and suicidal, and I was desperate for sleep so I took my antibiotic and laid in bed and still couldn't sleep, and I got up and checked the warnings for the Allegra, thinking it might have pseudoephedrine in it, but it didn't, so I checked the warnings for the antibiotic and it said that if you experience sleeplessness, nausea, dizziness, joint pain, depression, hallucinations, or suicidal thoughts, call your doctor immediately. (That's just the list of the stuff I was actually experiencing. The actual list of counterindications is much longer.)

So I called my doctor immediately and left a message (marked urgent) and read up on levofloxacin (fun facts: it prevents caffeine from being metabolized fully, it can cause sudden and debilitating spontaneous tendon ruptures, and it has a huge number of severe side effects, has been banned in several countries due to safety concerns, and the FDA indicates that it is only to be used as a last resort!), tried going to bed, and then two hours later gave up on sleeping and got online and started ranting about how if I die overnight it's my doctor's fault and just generally illucidly ranted a bunch. My friends convinced me to go to the emergency room, which I did.

I learned the following:

  • St. Luke's emergency room still has patients put on their own gown even if they come in presenting with suicidal thoughts (and the thought of tightening the neck straps crossed my mind more than once)
  • Levofloxacin is pretty much not the right thing for my doctor to have put me on, because of the side effects
  • Levofloxacin also wouldn't have even treated my ear infection anyway, what with it being fungal, which the ER doctor saw right away
  • Levofloxacin will also still be in my system for a few days (and as I later read online, apparently it can cause problems for as much to a year as it's been taken, if I'd taken the complete course)

The ER doc prescribed me some heavy sleeping pills to counteract the sleeplessness, and an appropriate antibiotic for my ear.

Meanwhile I'm still having occasional hallucinations but I'm at least tired enough to fall asleep tonight, I think, and generally feeling better anyway. Also just one day of the appropriate antibiotic (a topical drop that I apply 3-4 times a day) has helped my ear quite a lot.

Oh, and the doctor never returned my call. Thanks, Dr. Lim. You fucking suck and I hope you lose your medical license. Asshole.

So which hospital administrator and/or accreditation board should I contact about this? (This, incidentally, isn't the first time he's prescribed me an inappropriate treatment for a partial solution for a potentially-life-threatening problem and failed to actually handle any sort of followup with anything remotely approaching good medical care.)

August 9, 2011

Current Google status (, )

by fluffy at 12:23 AM

So at this point I have migrated my calendar data to my own DAViCal installation (which is mostly working except for sending/receiving invites - gotta figure out what's going on with that), deleted both of my Apps accounts, and also deleted a bunch of GMail accounts which I had lying around which had somehow (and rather creepily) gotten linked to each other anyway. I still have one gmail account for Android Market and I see no reason to get rid of that just yet, and I've relinked my YouTube account to that since there's no way to have YouTube without a Google account anymore.

It's kind of scary to be without a safety net here but on the other hand, it was also kind of scary about what sorts of stuff Google was doing in the background without my knowledge as well. (I mean, for a time, trying to log on to my YouTube account to relink it was logging me on to a completely different gmail account that I'd forgotten about, and it was insisting that I needed to create a new YouTube account as part of it! Very broken in stupid ways. But once I deleted that old gmail account, that freed up the legacy YouTube account to be relinked. Puzzling all around, though.)

Many of my friends who were on G+ with pseudonyms that hadn't gotten nuked yet went ahead and deleted their accounts too. We're all back to using LiveJournal and email.

Oh, and for a while I was thinking I'd made a mistake since all of the CalDAV clients I found for Android were standalone calendar apps (rather than CalendarProvider implementations as they should be), but finally I found CalDAV-sync which seems to be working quite nicely. It's $3 and still alpha, but that's worth it (hopefully they don't get nuked from orbit for no reason like Better Android did). They also have a CardDAV provider as well, for when I finally remove my addressbook from the one gmail account.

One missing thing for this is the ability to subscribe to friends' shared calendars, but I can still do that via my Android gmail account for now.

Hopefully there will eventually be some turnkey F/OSS suite to make it easy to set up this stuff. Email is well-known and so on, but CalDAV is still sort of nascent as far as interoperability goes.

Oh, and there's probably still a few Google account remnants out there. My apps accounts' associated Google accounts are still active (with no way to shut them off), and since I have FeedBurner and AdSense/AdWords associated with one of them, that'll probably continue to exist for a while. Which reminds me, I must get rid of all the AdSense on my site... (I've made like $29 over all time on Google page ads, so I mean, yeah. No big loss.)

August 6, 2011

Saturday clinics (, , )

by fluffy at 7:38 AM

So I've been having some minor hearing trouble with my left ear, and last night it became pretty obvious that it's due to an infection or the like. So I figured I'd go to a Saturday clinic to get it looked at (I am between doctors right now). Of course, St. Luke's Hospital (whom I've ranted about so many times in the past) no longer lists their clinic hours on their website, and only provide a phone number; calling that phone number just results in a message that says, "Our office is now closed. Please call back during business hours." They never state what those business hours are.

My health insurance provider's website also doesn't provide hours of operation for any of the doctors in their directory. Searching the Web is an exercise in futility; San Francisco has so many special-purpose clinics that those dominate the search results for any search on "clinic" (Saturday or otherwise), and searching Yelp for "doctor open Saturday" finds a bunch of restaurants which have one or more reviews including the word "doctor" or "Saturday" (e.g. "went here for brunch on Saturday") and plenty of other non-doctors (e.g. chiropractors).

It's like this xkcd, except about things in real life.

August 4, 2011

Service transition (, )

by fluffy at 6:56 PM

So for obvious reasons I'm moving my crap away from Google. I'll keep my main gmail.com account for use with my Android phone (because there's no reasonable substitute on the Android side) but for everything I care about, I'm going back to self-hosted über alles.

Dreamhost's shared server offerings are no longer adequate for my email needs, though. As such, I will probably switch that to a VPS. I've gotten a few good recommendations for Linode. Any others I should look into? Normally I'd just sign up for Dreamhost VPS but I've heard bad things about them lately, and also bad things about Slicehost.

It'll be nice to have sane bogofilter-based filtering again, in any case.

The other main thing I use Google for is RSS aggregation. Are there any good server-side aggregators with decent user interfaces? My usual fallback is FeedOnFeeds, but there's something that always causes me to get fed up with it and switch back to Google Reader. I have no idea what the hell that reason is, but it always becomes a giant "oh yeah" thing when I start using it. The only thing I seem to have written up was the last time I switched back to FonF after Google pissed me off the previous time. (Someday I'lll learn that he doesn't hit me out of love.)

It'd also be nice to have a decent CalDAV server, since I occasionally use my Google Apps ones for various things. So that's another thing to put on the VPS (Dreamhost's WebDAV doesn't have CalDAV extensions). I assume that I can find such a thing via, er, a search engine.

And ON THAT TINY NOTE, what should I use for searches instead of Google?

Names (, , )

by fluffy at 5:42 PM

Suspended from Google+ (, , , )

by fluffy at 2:09 PM

I'm actually surprised it took this long, but I've been suspended from Google+ for "violating community standards." Of course, to reinstate it they want me to change my name to my legal name and provide a copy of a driver's license, or otherwise show that the name that everyone knows me as is my real name from a "reputable source" such as "Facebook, LinkedIn, or a news article."

I was already having a more or less apathetic relationship with G+, and now I guess this settles whether I'll be using it anymore.

In other news, other parts of Google are much the same. "Do no evil" just isn't good enough, guys.

August 2, 2011

Aikon Technologies: the worst recruiter (, )

by fluffy at 9:36 AM

Many, many years ago when I was trying desperately to get a job after grad school, I put my resume everywhere I could. As a result I ended up on the mailing list of Aikon Technologies, a bunch of ridiculous spammers who are the embodiment of the worst practices of tech recruiting. I constantly get job listings from them for things I have no interest in and which aren't even listed on my résumé. Oh, you want me to take a 6-month short-term DBA contract in Cleveland?! SIGN ME UP.

Every week it's a different name and email address contacting me with the exact same form letter. They have an unsubscribe link which does nothing. When I send email to the recruiters to tell them to unlist me, they don't respond (or if they do, it's just to send me the exact same job listing).

A lot of tech recruiters act in this way (using a shotgun approach to trying to recruit talent and find jobs so that they can get that delicious referral bonus), but most of them at least try to target based on résumé keywords, and will remove me from their database if I ask once or twice. But not Aikon Technologies.

Trying to spam filter it is a difficult thing though. I'm worried that if I mark the individual messages as spam, ALL recruiter emails will appear as spam, and there's no way to just mark an entire domain's crap as being spam (you can have it delete all emails from a domain but that's not quite the same, and also not what I want).

So it's just time to get the word out: Aikon Technologies are a bunch of spammers with absolutely no ethics when it comes to candidate placements, and no company in their right mind should take them seriously as a tech recruiter.

August 1, 2011

iTunes rant of the day (, )

by fluffy at 10:09 AM

I am trying to store my iTunes library on a NAS again, but this is really painful. iTunes seems to insist on normalizing every Unicode character in my library differently every time, and gets confused when there are a bunch of different folders on the NAS for a single artist or album just because there's Unicode in the name. Attempting to fix it via changing the "sort artist" field or the like doesn't really help much, either, because when I change half the songs the other half go "missing."

To make things even worse, iTunes has no way to show just the files it thinks are missing, and none of the various iTunes help threads out there are ever answered by anyone who seems to understand what the problem is.

It would be nice if iTunes didn't try to be so anal about naming its files exactly how it's listed in the id3 tag, and further if it would provide an easier mechanism to reattach to missing files en masse. The fact there's no way to say LOOK ALL THESE FILES ARE IN THIS DIRECTORY is simply flabbergasting.

Basically, iTunes still really fucking sucks.