Thursday, October 31, 2013

Complaint: Curly Braces with Confluence v3.x (Jira) and SharePoint

There is an issue with Confluence when using curly braces and URL. This should be easily replicated by typing in any URL with curly braces, like http://test.com/?param={test}. Another example is to copy the URLs in Sharepoint into Confluence.

What happens is that Confluence attempts to convert the curly braces as macros. At the same time, it tries to convert them into clickable links. I was unable to find a way to disable this. I even tried to use the forward slash, '\', to disable to display the curly brace. Since that did not work and I could not disable the conversion, I removed the http portion which helped display the link.

The workaround to fix this problem is to convert the left curly brace with %7B and right curly brace with %7D. For example, http://test.com/?param={test} will become http://test.com/?param=%7Btest%7D. What I do not like about this workaround is having to listen to people complain about having to do an extra step, or even worse not pay attention and not change the braces because not making the change really messes up the page especially if they are embedded in tables.


I apologize that I do not know which version of Confluence is being used. I do not have access and couldn't find it before having to leave work.


Update 1/27/2014 - I have found that the latest this version is 3.x.

Reference

Work Life: Upgraded to Confluence 5.1.5

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cooking: Food Volume

Different ways to cut: Dice, Mince, Slice, and Julienne

Onion

Food to other metrics (approximations):
Small onion = 4 ounces by weight or about ½ cup chopped
Medium onion = 8 ounces, or about 1 cup chopped
Large onion = 12 ounces, or about 1½ cups chopped
Jumbo onion = 16 ounces, or about 2 cups chopped

From my experience:
1 pint container = 3 small onions (Julienne, loosely packed), 4 small onions (Julienne)

Medium Shells (Pasta Noodles)

1 lb medium shells (cooked) = 3 quarts (loosely packed)



Reference:
http://spinarecipe.com/cooking.php?cook=31
http://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/13479/how-much-is-a-small-medium-large-onion

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

HOWTO: Add google anaytics to blogger

I'm a little disappointed in myself in taking a while to figure this out which turns out was a rather simple process since I've worked with Google Analytics before. The step I just didn't consider editing the template to add the script files needed for Google Analytics. I thought there would have been an easier way through either Blogger or Analytics. Somehow my brain just didn't get past those options.

Below is the link I used to get that one step. Google Analytics has changed a bit since the article was written so not all the steps are exactly the same. I just needed steps #9-13.

Reference:
http://www.wikihow.com/Add-Google-Analytics-to-Blogger (10/29/2013)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: Coconut Water with Lychee (FOCO)

This was the first time I've tried coconut water. I like lychee so I figured I go a slightly safer route by going with a flavored version. I was really thirsty and no discounts on gatorade/powerade.

At first it tasted pretty good. I tasted the lychee but was not quite sure what the coconut flavor was. There was an odd taste especially in the after-taste. It was not a bad after-taste but also not a taste that builds a crave like orange juice.

The label says it is all natural not that is critically important to me since I was looking for sports drinks. No added sugar which I like. It was refreshing and somewhat quenched my thirst.

Overall, I enjoyed it but is a bit pricey. One of these days, I'll remember to bring my water out with me. Although while I was in line, I noticed they also had bottled water on sale. I was a little sad that I didn't see it earlier but I was already waiting in line for a while.

Life: Blurred Vision in One Eye

Over the weekend, one of my contacts became defective so I could not reuse it. Unfortunately, I was also not home so I've been going around most of yesterday with one eye with good vision and the other quite blurry.

Although this is not the first time this has happened, this has not happened for a very long time for me. The experience was interesting. The farther away I look, the less of a problem I have with a partial blurry vision. If I had to look at a computer screen, I can still read but there is a blurred overlay which becomes stronger as I reach the right part of my vision (my right eye is missing the contact lens).

I do not feel dizzy or disoriented, but does take me a few extra moments to process what I see. My depth perception is slightly off. If I play Scramble, I noticed that I do not quite reach the letters that I intended to hit. After a game or two, I have adapted to the discrepancy. Reading a book was difficult at arm's length but if I have it within the vision of my right eye, then there was no problem... literally with my nose in the book.

Later in the day, I also had a volleyball match. At times, I can actually sense that I am reacting slower. I also noticed that I react slowest when the ball comes straight at me. If I have to move to reach the ball, then I almost have no problems receiving the ball although sometimes the placement was a little off. When the ball comes straight at me, I cannot quite tell when the ball has reached me which results in me not bumping/digging the ball properly. I had no problems serving. I did not have a problem hitting the ball either although it did take a little more concentration.

The worst was driving home. The vision was probably made worse because it was dark outside. The lights blur more so makes it more difficult to see the signs. I noticed that I had a tendency to close my right eye. After a while, it becomes to tired to remain closed.

Homes: Buying a brand new home - New Address

Not all systems will be able to find the new address. I just tried to change one of my addresses and it was rejected.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Life: Common Foods I Haven't Tried

Tomato Soup

This is just something no one around me cooks or buys. I rarely order soups in restaurants, but when I do I stick to what I am more familiar with. I do like grilled cheese. I also like tomatoes. This is just one of those that I just haven't bothered to try or does not reach soup form (although I've had tomatoes in soup... hmmm).

Pumpkin Pie

I am not sure why I never try pumpkin pie. There are several reasons to why I have not tried it but it is probably the most available foods on this list. Even then, I have not bothered to try it. The idea of pumpkin as food is kind of weird to me. I think I've only had it in a soup once and it was ok... a bit too sweet.

Root Beer

I only remember that when I was really young, I thought it was coke and since then never tried it again. Nowadays, I just do not drink soda so never got around to trying it. I figured it is not bad to keep it on my list of things not to try ever since I have more than enough unhealthy things that I do eat or drink.

Coconut Water

I'm not a fan of coconut strips. I probably had foods that contained coconut water, but not plain coconut water. I see a lot of people drinking them in the city during the summer. The canned drinks seem to be getting more popular recently too.

Durian

I smelled this once and just couldn't get myself beyond that.




Reference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Singapore_MRT_Fines.jpg

Complaint: Google Drive and Blogger Spell Check Inconsistent Identification

Spell check in Google Drive documents appears inconsistent. I'm not sure how to pull the version of Google Docs, version 10/24/2013 3:00 AM ET. Some are tagged, others are not. You can see OCT2009 is tagged if at start of date range. You can see DEC2007 is tagged if followed by a comma.


In blogger, "résumé" is not considered the correct spelling. It is not tagged in google drive.


Both were used in Google Chrome, 30.0.1599.101 m.
Misc: Why can I paste as plain text in blogger but not in google docs? Couldn't they at least put in version number in the source?


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review: Dr. Phil's Test (but not Dr. Phil)

1. When do you feel your best? A: Late at night, although early morning has become more common recently. [c] [a]
2. You usually walk... A: less fast, head down. [d]
3. When talking to people, you... A: stand with your arms folded, maybe have one or both your hands on your hips or in pockets. [a] [c]
4. When relaxing, you sit with... A: your legs stretched out or straight, but I think I switch between all of them. [a]
5. When something really amuses you, you react with... A: a sheepish smile [d]
6. When you go to a party or social gathering, you... A: make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know [b] [c]
7. When you're working or concetrating very hard, and you're interrupted, you... A: feel extremely irritated, although I wouldn't say extremely. I feel more indifferent but definitely not a welcome break. [a]
8. Which of the following colors do you like most? A: light blue, black, gray, white, dark blue, green, orange, brown, purple... although couldn't there be a large influence from just school colors(?) [c] [b] [g] [f] [e] [d] [a] [g] [e]
9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep, you lie.. A: stretched out on your back... I can sleep in any position [a]
10. You often dream that you are... your dreams are always pleasant [f]

1. 2 or 6 points
2. 2
3. 4 or 5
4. 4
5. 5
6. 4
7. 6
8. 5, 7, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 1, 3
9. 7
10. 1

31-40 Points: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful and practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is ever broken.

41-50 Points: Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them up.

Analysis

Range

The lowest you can score is 15 (5 questions have 1, 5 questions have 2). The most points you can score is 64 (4 questions with 7, and 6 questions with 6).

Average

1. 4
2. 5
3. 4.8
4. 4.25
5. 4
6. 4
7. 4
8. 4
9. 4
10. 3.5
Total Average: 4.155 (average of averages); 4.232 (average of responses)

Conclusion

If we assume that none of the answers have no relationship to the questions, answers are all guesses. Assuming that we guess on a normal distribution (we do not have bias to certain letters or numbers), the averages above can be used. Thus we should be scoring around 41-42. Very unlikely someone will be 60+ because you can only score a max of 64; same as 21 points with minimum of 15 points. 30-40 and 50-60 should have a lower distribution than 30-50.

Looking at the different descriptions, most people will fit 30-50 score. My scores are not sufficient to prove or disprove this test (see snopes). A strong indication will be to see if the outliers fit the description provided.

I think there may be small correlation between personality and the answers, but the scores can be manipulated to fit the main bell curve making it more popular and believable. Also, there is an error with question 5. It has 5 possible answers in the point list but the question only had 4 options.

My interest in this was primarily to see why so many people find these kind of things interesting and believable, and to see if someone could scientifically use that information to misinform the public. For most of these tests, they seem to be thrown together and see which ones survive the email chains. When there is sufficient chain mails, a hypothesis could be drawn to purposely create tests that are believable and popular but have absolutely no correlation between responses and the results.

Reference

http://www.slideshare.net/javachai/dr-phil-test-1
http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/trivia/philtest.asp

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cooking: Different Materials of Cooking Utensils (Plastic vs Wooden vs Metallic)

For me, each type has good use. Currently, my preference is with the metallic cooking utensils because I am starting to get used to cooking with stainless steel. Overall, I use each kind differently (although I do not personally own wooden utensils).

I first started with plastic. Plastic is great because they are much cheaper. For me, cheap is a great place to start. Also, they work for the most part with either stainless steel or non-stick pans. They are thin enough for cooking any generic dishes. Especially cooking for 1-2 people, plastic has served me well for several years. Plastic is very easy to clean.

The drawback to plastic is once you start cooking high volume dishes in a single pot or cooking heavier foods, plastic bends too easily. The worst is when I'm cooking a lot of fried rice. The spatula would bend, then flip up a lot of food when I am not careful and in a hurry to cook. Another drawback is that plastic can melt if you are not careful where you place the utensils. I have not had this problem, but I have seen some warped utensils in other kitchens.

Wooden utensils are great in that they can be used with pans of any material. They are also stronger than plastic so can be used for any type of cooking. Wood does not melt so runs a lower risk of damage, although they can burn. They do not heat up so typically safe to the touch.

The drawback to wood is that they are not very thin. This makes it harder to flip foods or get smaller scraps of food. Wood takes a little more care when cleaning and could mold if left in liquids.

Metallic utensils are great in that they are thin and strong. Metallic is very easy to clean.

The drawback to metallic is that they cannot be used with non-stick or at least should be avoided. They can easily scratch non-stick pans. Once non-stick pans are damaged, I've been told that it is not recommended to reuse those pans. Depending on the utensil and its design, you should be careful touching metallic utensils especially if they are left in hot pans for any extended period of time.

There are other materials out there that I have not tried. They appear to be better but I can barely be called a cook or chef so I make do with what I have. The types of utensils I use are the generic ones that you can find anywhere. There appears to be new designs where you can get "wood" that are also flat at the edge.


Reference:
http://housewares.about.com/od/nonstickcookware/tp/Nonstick-Pans-Facts-And-Best-Nonstick-Pans-Care-Tips.htm

Question: Protect the People or Capture Bad Guys

If there was ever a situation, is it better to protect the person but letting the bad guys get away or allow the person to be hurt to capture the bad guys?

On the society-level, I feel that it is better to capture the bad guy because they are likely to hurt other people. But then if they are likely to do it again, there is a better chance they will be captured. But then, more people will be hurt.

On the individual-level, I feel sorry that they have to be in that situation and then have to push them down further to help other people. Why do they have to be punished further for the group (especially, if they feel that the group let them down in the first place)?

In the long-term, I believe the proper education of people should allow the individuals to be comfortable and safe from their peers to do the right choices. But in the meantime, which option is more just?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: lendingtree.com

Oddly, I heard from two different sources about very low mortgage rates around mid 2% which seemed odd because most of the signs I've seen at banks were around mid 4%. I tried to look the rates up online but I wasn't exactly sure how to find those rates.

The closest I could find were ARMS but no low fixed rates. I stumbled across lendingtree.com and tried their site until I reached the part where they want your personal information. At this point, I did my research on the site and found that lots of people had issues of being swamped with emails and calls.

At this point, I did not continue with the service because I dislike spam emails and phone calls. Besides that, it seems that the service is useful. As that I am too lazy to create yet another email just for these types of marketing (also getting a throw-away phone number is even more troublesome), I am ending my research at this point.

Reference:
http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2013/03/is-lendingtree-a-good-idea/
http://refinance-mortgage-review.toptenreviews.com/lendingtree-review.html

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Complaint: Microsoft Exchange - Group Mailboxes

I like that group mailboxes decrease the amount of mail circulating within the group, but there have been a few things that do not work as I expected them.

The reason we switched to using a group mailbox is because it allows our team to have a central location for emails. Since we use a lot of personnel rotations for each role, this can be confusing for people outside our group. Also, this forms some bad habits within the group of not checking all emails (even though they should be checking the email when they are off-rotation).

Sending mail from group box

When sending emails after changing the 'from address' to the group email id, the sent mail is saved in my personal box's sent folder. This means that I cannot tell if someone in my team already responded to the email nor the team knowing that I responded to the email without copying ourselves.

Sending meetings to the group box

When someone accepts the meeting in the group box, the meeting automatically goes to the deleted folder. This does not allow anyone else in the group to see the invite to accept. On the other hand, this is good if the invite only needs a single representative from the group.

Rules

You need additional permissions to add rules to the group mailbox. Since I do not have it, there are limitations to what I can add. One rule that I would like is to copy certain emails to my personal box. I think it should be possible to create a local rule to copy from one mailbox to another, but I cannot find a way to get the rule to check the incoming mail to a group mailbox.

Overall

Group mailboxes are still usable and useful to have especially when you have low email quotas. Otherwise, a distribution list (DL) may be an better alternative.




Reference:
http://douglastclee.blogspot.com/2013/10/complaint-outlook-2010-adding-rules-to.html

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Game: Candy Crush Saga... Quitting Addiction

Ugh... I cannot believe I am still playing this game. I just finished the latest stage at 500. I do not know why I still play this game and not spending my time doing something more productive. The dropped pieces seem more consistent now.

To make some productivity from this experience, I wonder what made me addicted. Is it convenience, the challenge, ego, curiosity? The game seems so convenient to play. If I am waiting on something for 2 minutes, I can easily pull it up and play a game whether I win or not. So do I play because it is convenient? It is just as convenient to just open a book which at least I can be learning something. It cannot just be convenience though. There is some challenge in it. But it is not for bragging rights because I use an anonymous account. I think it is mostly curiosity and a little bit of OCD to complete the game. Is the next level more challenging? What did they do for the next challenge? There is an element of the unknown because each level has been different. Mainly, I think it is some form of OCD because there are other curious things and other challenges. Just thinking that there are about 10-20 levels left (putting my 100% completion to like 98%) makes me just want to finish it up.

But now that I am at a nice round level of 500, I am going to try to break this addiction and find something more productive to do with my micro-breaks like blogging more. It has helped quite a bit to get out of other bad habits and really helped me focus on other more important issues.

Somethings I noticed in the latter stages- The chocolate moves onto the sprinkled candy like regular candy but not striped and/or wrapped unless it is the last available move. No more tornadoes. I actually enjoyed playing the last couple stages. Even then, I want to move on from this game and here's my stake in the ground.



Edit:
10/21/2013- Doing well so far. Haven't opened the game yet.
8/6/2014 - I have started playing again about 2 months ago. Finished all levels.

Reference:
http://douglastclee.blogspot.com/2013/07/game-candy-crush-saga-rigged.html

Monday, October 14, 2013

Complaint: jobofmine.com Has Stolen Information from dice.com

They have stolen information from dice.com. I do not know if they stole it or bought it from someone that did. Either way, there is some shady business. I would not trust this site.

This is why in today's age, it is more important to be lost in too much information than to remove all information about oneself. There are some small unique quirks that are intentionally used. This helps me identify where the information is coming from.

I also wish that there is some law that can be signed that forces companies to provide details where they received the information. This is to primarily target those companies that are buying contact information from other third parties. This would also make it easier to target companies that use shady business practices like trading email addresses for marketing purposes.

Edited: 10/24/2013
My apologies. I had thought the info was copied from monster.com, but in actuality, it was from dice.com.

Homes: Condo vs Townhouse vs Free Lot vs Single-Family Home vs Apartment vs ???

I am glad I am not the only one confused by what people mean by condo, townhouse, single-family home, and apartments. I used to be on the same page as most people on several forums of non-experts.

For the purposes of mortgages, condos, free-lots, and coops are types of ownership. This basically means what you actually own. The common form is the free-lots which are your typical suburban homes where you own the land and building. Condos is where you own the building or part of the building (unit) but not the land. I am less familiar with coop, but the ownership structure is more that you own a share of the entire building (I think). Typically, the latter two (i.e. condos and coops) are typically not single-family homes but in theory they could be.

Townhouse, single-family homes, and apartments are architectural designs of homes. Single-family homes is a building that does not share any part of the building with another building. Townhouse is a building unit that is typically a part of a larger complex of 3 or more other other townhouses. The ones that I have seen typically share walls but they could be stacked (per online references). Apartments are units that typically share walls and are stacked where each unit also share the same hall and other building facilities.

The most confusing terms are probably townhouses, condos, and apartments. The confusion seems to be that they are typically confused with common standards. For example, townhouses were typically known to be free-lots where you own the land and the unit. But it is possible to just own the unit, but share the land. In this case, this is more known as townhouse style condo.

Apartment units where there is a single owner are also condos. An apartment tenant could be living in an apartment and/or condo. Whether it is a condo or the entire complex is owned by a single owner, the tenant lives in an apartment. If the unit owner only owns that unit in the complex, then the tenant lives in an apartment that is also a condo.

If a tenant says that they live in an apartment, this means that the tenant lives in a unit that shares walls and highly like also ceilings and floors of other units. But you do not know if they are paying to the same person as their neighbors. If a tenant says that they live in a condo, this means that they pay a person that is unlikely the same person that their neighbor also pays. But you do not know what style of building that the tenant lives in. But given probability, apartments are typically a part of a larger complex that is owned by a single person or entity, and condos are typically apartment-style.

In other words, if you own an apartment unit, you are a condo owner of an apartment unit. If you have a tenant that lives in that unit, the tenant can say that they live in an apartment and/or a condo. In theory, you can even have a single-family home condo. This means that you own the building but not the land.

You can have Home Owner Association (HOA) for any type of homes. HOA covers any shared areas or properties. HOA are less likely in established single-family home developments. Gated communities will typically have HOA or HOA-like groups. A development that is still under construction is also likely to have an HOA-like group to establish certain mandates that helps the builders sell the homes.

Typically, HOA for townhouses and apartments is to cover the costs of shared properties or areas. For townhouses these are common lawns and building exteriors. Apartments also include elevators, hallways, lobbies, front-desk if there is one, etc.

So most importantly to understand, there are two different classifications: type of ownership and architectural designs. Some of the terms are commonly interchanged which causes a lot of confusion to people who do not really have to deal with it on any regular basis.

Please feel free to correct or clarify. This is my current understanding on this matter.

Reference

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NR1MTmc-hw
- Video on Townhouse vs Condos

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB125199127870183559
- This also has similar definitions

Revisions

2/27/2014 - Added references

Life: Satis-'fried' my BK Curiosity

After driving by the Burger King's latest Satisfries ads several times, I finally gave in last night before my flight home. Actually, it was primarily because it was free. Overall, I like them better than their previous fries. If memory serves, I prefer their very original fries but that was a long time ago (maybe I had happier memories back then :D).

The fries are crinkle-style. I taste more potato. I think it is because of this that it is "healthier" (by being less unhealthy) than McDonald's fries. I like that it tastes less greasy and less oily, but it is a bit drier so I really wanted a drink afterwards (but didn't because of my ego).

I don't think I have any particular inclinations toward the new fries compared to Wendy's and McD's if they were all unsalted. I liked Wendy's previous fries because they were less salty. The sea salt seems to make it taste saltier. McD fries are still the same McD fries. If all were placed in front of me, I'd eat whichever one my hand happens to pick up especially if they were unsalted.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Life: Malala Yousafzai - Pro-Education

I just watched Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show and was very inspired not only by her vision, conviction, and courage, but also how articulate she was in presenting her beliefs. Her articulation greatly pronounced what she wanted to share.

I have read many articles on speech improvements. One of the items was eliminating silence fillers like 'um', 'ah', etc. I do understand how fillers can be detrimental to your communication even when there is good intentions and good wisdom. But the way Malala answered each question, her idea was even more persuasive.

Of course, I am a bit biased in that I also believe education is the best answer to all the violence. I am awed that someone as young as her already has that comprehension. At the same time, I am slightly saddened that it took a rather poor environment to inspire her to be so great. I wasn't even aware of the world till after college and even then it was very limited.

Reference:
http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/tue-october-8-2013-malala-yousafzai
http://www.debramoorhead.com/blog/index.php/eliminating-uhs-ums-and-ahs-from-your-speech

Ryan Homes: Experience So Far

I am currently in the process of buying a new home. I am not sure if I could be any more confused about all the things needed, all the terms, and all the technicalities. I stumbled across a blog that basically went through their experience, and thought to share my experience so far and hopefully continue in the future. I am kind of saddened that there hasn't been any updates since 2010 in the blog but it did go through 2 years after they moved in.

Up to this point, I have "signed" the contract. I am not exactly sure if it is official because most of it seemed to be that I have reviewed it.

First Deposit

After signing, I had to pay $10k for some good-faith payment. There are a bunch of conditions to how I get this money back if financing does not work out. I am not completely clear on this.

Flooring

During this time, I also picked out the flooring with Advanced Flooring & Design. I went with the ceramic tiles in the kitchen and wood flooring. The vendor lady was helpful and kind. I could tell she was getting a little impatient with me though but remained professional and courteous.

Low-Voltage and Security Options

Low-voltage was with Guardian Security. The "representative" claims that he is only there as a consultant and not as a sales-person but the meeting still felt very sales-like to me. I felt pressured into the different options. Also, I was not familiar with all the options so I did not get a lot of time to think where I wanted all the ports for phone, internet, and cable. The mood seemed to have gotten worse after I declined the security option. The security option sounded very tempting where they offered no installation fee if you bought a 5-year service. He also threw in a tidbit that new homes are more likely to be broken into. The "consultation" seemed very much like a sales-pitch to me even if that was not his intention.

Questions

A lot of this is moving way to fast for me due to pressures from my parents so I have not put as much research as I would like to put into such a huge investment. I still believe renting is not much more expensive than buying a home. Although, I admit once you pay off the mortgage it is worth it. It is also probably worth the price after 10 years. But, I haven't stayed in a single place for over 3 years even changing states 4 times during that span.

  • How do I shop for mortgages?
    • Each bank seem to assume that I will be signing on with them so I'm not sure at what point I should tell them to wait for me to see what I get from other mortgage loaners.
  • How do I shop for attorneys?
    • I have only spoken to one so far and it seems that she already assumes I am going with her even before telling me what her rate was.
  • How accurate are the reviews online?
    • Unfortunately, I did not bother to research and just trusted my father that this was a good company. After doing my own research (today), I found a ton of negative reviews and no positive reviews. I specifically did a search on "happy with Ryan Homes" to find any positive reviews. Since I'm already somewhat invested (although very uncomfortably), I hope that a townhouse would not be too terrible since there would be multiple owners. Also, there are plans for 4 more lots so my lot has to at least last till those are sold.
  • Why do mortgage loaners ask for so much information?

Overall

Overall, buying a new home takes up a lot of time. I have not been able to spend a lot of time on it because of work and all the research needed (and the lack of time to research). I have also had to take time off from work to deal with different vendors to make certain options. Currently, I am feeling very uncomfortable which is rather normal considering how many unknowns I am dealing with so far.



Reference

http://www.buildingwithryan.blogspot.com

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cooking: Electric vs Gas Stoves

I've moved around a lot so I've used both electric and gas stoves. Interestingly, I seem to alternate between the two each time I move. Unfortunately, I have only started to cook at a higher frequency in the last couple years.

I find that gas stoves heat up much faster. Electric takes a while especially to get to the higher temperatures. So, I found that boiling water takes long with electric stoves. While cooking, I find that electric does cook a little more consistently as long as the pot is around the size of the cooking area. Also, the pot is more level when cooking which also helps with the consistency. Although, it would probably be a pain if the entire stove was not level.

When turning off the heat, gas stoves immediately stop  providing heat while the electric will continue to provide residual heat while it cools down. So I need more room with the electric stove because I have to move the pots/pans to another location if I need it to cool down faster. Or, I sometimes turn off the heat sooner in expectation that the food is still cooking over some heat.

Although I prefer gas when cooking, electric stoves are much easier to clean. It is harder to keep electric in mint condition though because I noticed that rings would start forming around the cooking area. But the "damage" seems very negligible to me even though sometimes I have tried scrubbing a bit longer to get rid of the rings (which it doesn't).

Overall, I do not have a huge preference with one over the other but they provide different pros and cons for me.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Complaint: Turbotax Error - Unable to Download

ERROR: "Unable to download getTaxReturnPdf from myturbotax.intuit.com. Unable to open this Internet site. The requested site is either unavailable or cannot be found. Please try again later."



This error occurs when I try to download previous year returns through Internet Explorer 8. I got around this using FireFox 17.0.8. I have not tried this on later versions of IE because that requires me to try this again from the other room (maybe I'll get to it later or perhaps if someone requests it).

Complaint: Outlook 2010 - Adding rules to group mailbox with limited access

I do not have full access to the group mailbox, but I do get to read and compose from the group mailbox. So, why am I not allowed to create a rule to copy emails from the group mailbox to my main inbox? I am allowed to run the rule on specific folders which then would copy, but I cannot get it to automatically trigger when it comes into the group mailbox.

Worst case, I should be allowed to do this from client-side instead of server-side since I still technically have access to the emails and could manually do the function.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Life: Recovering from Sluggishness

I've been busy for the last couple months and been starting to feel very sluggish.

Basically, I haven't been feeling well. When I do get in 6-8 hours of sleep, I still feel slow. I feel tired but not sleepy. Sometimes, I cannot stay as focused or concentrate on my tasks. I also succumb to being lazy and not wanting to do things.

Usually when I notice this, I typically change my diet because typically it is the increase of greasy and fatty foods due to the convenience of eating cheap fast foods. Since I've already been eating somewhat healthy, there has not been a big change to my diet. I already cut juices, drinking water practically every time, and eating more vegetables.

Perhaps, some of it may also be coming from the sudden onslaught of hay fever. Having to deal with all the sniffling, sneezing, and itching eyes, I had to put more effort into concentrating on tasks.

Then my intramural sports league started back up. I started to exercise in preparation since I have become even more out of shape. I have started noticing that I feel more energized and found it easier to focus on tasks. After a couple more weeks, my hay fever has also started to go away.

It always seems odd to me that the more I do not want to move, the more important it is for me to exercise. I kept pushing that I'll do something the next day. Fortunately for me, I do have a breaking point where I will just get up and move. Unfortunately, it does not come often enough. Although I am good at keeping an agenda, regular life events seem to disrupt that flow (weddings, reunions, visiting friends, friends visiting, etc). I really need to find a way to psychology get myself back into regular exercising mode.


Reference:
http://douglastclee.blogspot.com/2013/10/life-fighting-hay-fever.html

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Life: Fighting Hay Fever

I have never really had hay fever before this year. On the rare occasion that I have hay fever, it usually occurs in the morning particularly a cold morning (or at least I thought it was a cold morning). Once I get to class, work, or whatever activity, it disappears. Usually all I have is a runny nose and (on bad days) lots of sneezing.

This year, I have the runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Recently it has been getting better, so I am trying to figure out the source of this problem. I read at whatallergy.com some foods that would help, but these do not seem to help me because I use a lot of garlic and onion in my food, squeeze lemons and limes into my water, eat fish, etc. I have done that more so than in the past.

Since it does not seem like it is my diet, there have been other odd things in my health. I seem to get random rashes this year. I think it has to do with mold. My parents' home was flooded so I had helped clean that. My dad being himself probably did not clean the mold properly. After a period of time, I started to get tingly feelings every time I go into the basement which I thought was just psychological since who really wants to spend their time cleaning a basement and being yelled at as if I had special powers to prevent a storm.

They are also in the process of moving, so some of the things have been transferred to my place. I noticed that I would get tingly feelings when doing certain things like cleaning dishes. My body also seem to react in certain places. Thinking back, I was cleaning dishes from my parents' or near stuff that was recently moved over. Besides my parents' stuff, I noticed that I also get it when I was cleaning old dishes (guilty of not always cleaning my dishes :S). So, I started to suspect that I have developed some allergy to mold.

To confirm this, I've moved back to my main bedroom (I was sleeping in my second bedroom because they had to re-carpet my condo and was too lazy to move back later). My body seems to be getting much better and I have been sleeping much better too. My hay fever has not quite gone away yet but seems a little better.

Also, I have noticed that my hay fever will temporarily disappear while I eat. There does not seem to be any correlation whether I am snacking or eating a meal, or whether it is hot, cold, or room temperature. Within maybe 5 minutes of not eating, the hay fever will come right back as if I never ate.

Counter to mold, I had the worst "hay fever"-like symptoms when I visited Vancouver. I do not know what it but I think that could only be pollen since it was not as bad indoors where there is air-conditioning. I also did not get any sleep the night before and only "slept" a few hours in the plane. I think I may just have had a cold since it started during the flight there.


Reference:
http://whatallergy.com/2010-07/ten-foods-to-fight-hayfever
http://www.energiseforlife.com/wordpress/2009/04/06/hay-fever-cure/