Wednesday, August 31, 2005

religious fanatacism, school, birthdays and work

This is another weird dream post. Aside from random work thoughts interspersed here and there (which is disturbing), the other strange thing is that I found myself living in this dorm room with my old roommate Vikas. It was a large, albeit crappy, room -- CWRU style.

I then found myself in this seminar-like classroom listening to some preacher present slide shows with answers to all sorts of questions that non-religious types might use to challenge their faith. I think I spent more time wondering what I was doing there than I did paying attention. They also called on people to ask questions by rolling a roll of masking tape down the room and seeing where it lands. They spilled my drink dammit.

After that whole weird fiasco, I was returning to my room when someone that I didn't know informed me that it was my birthday and that there would be some crazy celebration. Odd, I wondered, since I didn't think it was my birthday. The guy also told me I was from Sweden. I found that hard to believe, but the sign on our room indicated to Vikas and I both were from Sweden (even though he's an Indian from HK).

Awesome, eh?

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Within the last hour:
Read a chapter in [Romance of the] Three Kingdoms
Read a review of MIT Sloan
followed by some Nine Inch Nails

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

insurance enthusiast

Me being the insurance enthusiast, I just did a ton of quotes for auto insurance. Here are the sites I tried:
  • Progressive Direct
  • Drive Insurance, from Progressive
  • Allstate
  • State Farm
  • Liberty Mutual
  • esurance
  • 21st Century
Best rate? Drive Insurance, by far! Progressive Direct, esurance, and 21st Century did OK too. Allstate, State Farm, and Liberty Mutual had some ridiculous rates. I also got rates from American Family and some other company from Progressive.

Best site? Progressive Direct, by far! Not just because I work there and I do a ton of test quotes. It really was better! Worst? Allstate, by far! I was doing quotes at work while I was sitting in on a usability session. Average Joe was going through a test app for Progressive, I was doing the quick quote at Allstate. Average Joe kicked my ass, by far! He did the whole thing and did the followup survey in the time it took me to get an Allstate quote. Of all the other sites, I think the only ones that had a *full* quote longer than Allstate's "Quick Quote" were State Farm and Liberty Mutual. What's up with that?

Monday, August 22, 2005

link of the day?

Thank you Greg.

I'm not sure how you find this stuff, and I don't really want to know. I do hear that amazon does have a good recommendations for products based on prior purchases.

weird dream of the day

I'm at some place taking a class. Not sure what for. The important thing is that we're about to get off on our lunch break!

At the break, I go over to the dining room. I never see anyone I know there, but I end up going anyway. As I get close to the door I notice that it looks like the room is completely empty. Seems odd, but I don't really care because that means more space for me, right? When I pass through the door though I kind of see why. The place was pretty nasty to begin with - it's more like a restaurant's kitchen than a dining area, but there was a bunch of bacon laid out over all the tables (which weren't wiped down by the way). I also saw that at the far side of the room Darin and TC were huddled down around a giant pile of bacon of their own. Did I mention that each strip of bacon was about twice as long and twice as wide as what we typically see at the store? I walked over to say hello but they just looked up at me and didn't say anything. Meh. They're busy. I go over to the fridge (a walk-in fridge) to get my lunch.

There wasn't much in the fridge, but I couldn't find my lunch. I remembered it was in a brown paper bag, but all the brown paper bags looked like they've been there for a while. I checked one just to make sure. Not mine. Crap. I guess I gotta go buy my lunch.

I go back outside of the that room to where they sell food. They only had one stand and it sold crap like instant noodles and the like. Not for me. I kept wandering around thinking that maybe I would find something else. Sure, it's silly in real life because there was only one store, but in a dream it works! After walking in circles a few times my mind installed a couple of new stores!

This new store sold bread and stuff. Seemed OK. They had a huge sign with pieces of bread attached to it that served as a menu. I ordered a pound of lamb bread (like pepperoni bread... but with lamb?). I got it and had to pay some ridiculous sum like 8.23 or something. I tried to give exact change because I thought that I had some pennies and a couple of $1 coins (clearly I've been traveling to other countries too much... 1 euro, 1 $CAD, or 100 Yen maybe, but one US dollar???). I give the person a $5 and then I dig though my pockets for the coins. Crap. I have three pennies but they're all from different countries. Whoops? I also discover that instead of having $1 coins, I had a nickel instead. Sigh... I give the lady a $10 bill instead.

At this point the cashier starts being retarded. I should have known this when she combined my order with the next person in line for apparently no reason (which was resolved). She took the money, then gave me the change for the $10 without ever giving me back the $5. As I'm about to say something, she starts to question whether I was charged the right amount. The lady really wants to keep that $5 bill I guess. After spending a good number of minutes scampering around, she finally goes and consults the giant price chart. I'm looking at it and see that I was indeed charged the correct price, although I also saw I was supposed to order by length, not weight. After staring stupidly at the sign for a few minutes, she points to the wrong one and says that that one's mine. I tell her that it's not, but it's the other sign to the left. She looks confused and eventually agrees with me.

She finally goes back and tries to make change. She can't count too good. It feels like it's taking forever. I look at the watch. Must be 3:30 in the afternoon or something. Missing class. Not sure what the implications were. Oh well... what's done is done.

Interpretations anyone?

Friday, August 19, 2005


OK. I admit that perhaps I was being a bit rash with the whole promotion rant the other day.

At the same time I can't argue with the results. Say what? I got promoted today!

Thanks, Carol. You rule! You knew that already, but I say it again! You rule! Or how about "You rock!"

Thursday, August 18, 2005


No, but today I did get to hang out with Progressive's entire Board of Directors. Basically spent half an hour in a room with just them and the CIO going through a usability session and explaining what was going on, what we look for, and what we get out of it.

It's funny that I wasn't really nervous at all. I checked myself a few times thinking that I really should be nervous, but I just wasn't. Despite the fact that I didn't get a chance to think about my 5 minute intro speech until half an hour before, and that I didn't have access to my notes (they were on the other side of the room), and that I didn't have my laptop to take notes, everything went really really really smooth. I even knew detailed answered for all the questions that were asked. Not because I studied, but because I've been in my position forever. 3.5 years. Long enough for most people to think that I've been promoted during that time. <hint>

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

deja vu?

Fun with GMAT practice tests...

8/14: I can do math, but I can't read!
Verbal: 36
Math: 49
Total: 690

8/17: I can read, but I can't do math!
Verbal: 45
Math: 40
Total: 690

Reminds me of when I took the SATs. One test with a great verbal score, ok math score. Another test with a perfect math score and a ok verbal score. And what did that get me? CMU, baby.

Good news is that it shows that if I don't take the test after a full day of work, I should be able to do good math and read? Maybe? Yeah?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

hot or not.... or not...

Another fun hot or not knockoff. I have to admit that this one is pretty amusing...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

another sweet site, more crap from fox

Don't ask me how I come across this stuff...
FOX's Man vs. Beast - what's with the little people???

Friday, August 12, 2005


Check out these sweet links. Beware, adult content (er... kinda... technically?)

Why is there even an WHY!?!?!?!?!

Thursday, August 11, 2005


We are winners. Who's we?


Sunday, August 07, 2005

thanks, best buy

Free response feedback on their survey after buying my bro a gift certificate:

The cashier pressured me to give her positive feedback in the survey. I think her words were "Tell them that you were completely satisfied and you can get a $500 gift card." So does that mean that since I wasn't satisfied I can't win.

After seeing your unhelpful staff again, I now remember why I haven't been in your store for such a long time. I hate shopping there. But your gift cards are cool (same reason I went the last time).

Also, why do I get 22" of receipt for buying a single item. That thing is giant, unwieldy, and wasteful. It's almost as big as that gift card I purchased.

Friday, August 05, 2005

model citizen

From an IM conversation:

"right now my peers are people with art and design backgrounds"
"clearly the model [computer science] grad"


Side note: More Japan photos are being uploaded as we speak (er... I type) to my Flickr account.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

i like veggies

So I came to this realization as I was in the produce section at Marc's last night. I love fresh food. Never really thought about this, but after I raided the produce section, I had already filled up a good chunk of my cart. Maybe it's a sign of a problem.

It's a good thing though. Fresh fruits and veggies keep you regular.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I'm pretty tolerant of heat, so oftentimes I find a/c unnecessary... especially if I pay for it. On the other hand, I can understand if other people find it hot and want to turn it on.

But... when I find myself cold and using blankets and stuff when I sleep, isn't that taking it a little too far???