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[May. 12th, 2017|07:05 am]

Along with upgrading operating systems, i've decicded to switch to firefox. I started because i thought a google update might have something to do with the crashing, but i'm going all the way after reading an article that asked one to reflect on how much of your life is mediated by "the big five": Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and .... oh, right, Facebook. Because i don't use Microsoft products personally, i use Microsoft's search engine much of the time. Google was still getting all my browser traffic, though -- and they get whatever leakage of my life comes through my phone. No need for them to have access to all my browser usage.

I think i feel a little different about Apple and Amazon than Google: i am actually a paying customer for the first two, but the only way Google can make money is by monetizing what it knows about me. (Ditto Facebook.)

I can't remember when and why i switched from Firefox to Chrome, but switching back is quite a distraction. The number of places I am authenticated is remarkable.

--== ∞ ==--

In other news, Christine had the car checked out before i drive to Ohio and YOICKS! That's a bill that we didn't need to see. And when i chatted with my Dad i realized where i had been trained to Trust No One Selling You Stuff. There was a small lecture on ferreting out whether filter changes can wait a while longer. Then when i shared about the septic field blockage, i got advice on how you can gamble on not really fixing it, since sewage hasn't started pooling on the surface. I think we're doing the right thing getting the trees removed and planning to replace ripped out line, but the whole conversation went to my feeling of being sold a bill of goods. (That idiom makes no sense.)

And then there's the frustration at this cluster of trees on the first turn of the drain line was not called out by the guys who did the septic inspection. On one hand, the whole field was so overgrown that perhaps it was "obvious." But someone marked the turn that occurs at those trees, and it would have been nice to have received a statement that that particular issue was severe.

I dunno that the real estate agents would have responsibly handled it anyhow. I think i just insulted all porcine kind by thinking of the agents as swine.


Well, it's our house now and i hope to never have to buy or sell a home again. That might not be a realistic wish, but knowing my grandmother is still living in her home at 100.... (And i know how scared Christine is of aging and needing memory care. Oh future, be good to us.)

Anyhow, this week gave us many more expenses than we expected.

Then, there were my parents. I called yesterday morning to see if they could join us for dinner to celebrate the first year of our "owning" a home and belatedly their anniversary at a seafood restaurant Christine likes. My mother immediately hijacked the invitation with her own, which really disappointed Christine (who wanted to go to her choice of restaurant). She also didn't know if they were grandkid sitting Thursday or Friday night. When i caught up with my Dad midafternoon, i was able to unhijack the invitation (he knew Christine's suggested restaurant, Squid's, a local seafood place comparable to Mom's choice of Bonefish). He still didn't know about the evening. (Turns out my sister had probably straightened things out with my mom by then.)

Meanwhile, Christine and i are shuttling around to deal with longer car repairs than expected. Finally, i text my sister to find out my parent's availability just before i go into my last meeting at 4. At this point, planning on getting to a restaurant at an as yet undetermined time was looking like a hassle, so i was glad to find my parents were kiddo-sitting that evening.

It's not that horrible, i know, but somehow the unintentional rudeness of hijacking the invitation and the lack of consideration from my mother for not contacting me as soon as she knew her plans really depressed me.

On top of all the bills.

So, we are out of sorts here at casa grey cat.

Also, ticks.


[User Picture]From: tx_cronopio
2017-05-12 01:08 pm (UTC)
Ugh re dinner hijacking! That would annoy me immensely.

It must be the week for money worries -- right there with ya. It was funny to read about your dad -- mine was kind of the same way, I grew up half-assing everything and buying the cheapest possible options, and you know? It hasn't worked out very well. I have to admit, one of the things I learned from Engineer (ptui ptui ptui) was to buy something of quality and then maintain it -- cheaper over the long run. Not sure if that's applicable to septic tanks, I know nothing of septic tanks :).

I'm a little concerned about how much business I do with Amazon, but right now, in my hermit phase, it's just been so easy. And I'm not particularly concerned, except just on a basic philosophical, "this ain't good to be so centralized" level. If someone wants to pay to find out that I spend too much on dog treats and books, well, go for it. But yeah, it's a thing. I just finished reading The Circle, which is all about that, giving all our power and info to one megacorp -- it's very readable, although he does kind of beat you over the head with his message before it's all said and done.

Wishing you a calmer and happier weekend!
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2017-05-12 10:46 pm (UTC)
*Promptly goes to Amazon to look up The Circle*


(Yeah, Amazon is so much easier than trying to figure out where i can get x, y, and z in the area. Like party decorations. Sure, there's probably some store somewhere, but i've no idea.....)
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[User Picture]From: gurdonark
2017-05-13 04:23 am (UTC)
I jumped to Firefox about 3 years ago, after a time on Chrome.
Though I sometimes use Chrome or Chromium, I find Firefox more comfortable for me now. Of all things I would not have predicted, the search engine box is something I grew extremely used to using. I've tried Midori, but I am not as fond of it as firefox.

I have an inconsistent relationship with Google products.
I search using duckduckgo.com, so that I can anonymize my searches a bit. This markedly dilutes the extent to which ads are targeted to my on-line searches. I have a gmail account, but do not primarily use it as my daily driver.

On the other hand, I am perfectly happy to allow Google to know my whereabouts, as I use Google maps and the Google Fit application regularly. I run Android on my phone, though I would run a Linux distro if only any of them made it past beta.

I avoid the Apple ecosystem, though they make some lovely devices. I hated the way iTunes used to take over one's music system through not-entirely-straightforward install permissions, and I disliked that the early days of the iPod used music in a DRM encumbered format. Yet Apple in the long run gets a lot of credit for breaking down music drm, so times have changed.

I've never been a Microsoft hater, but I use a lot of old shareware and freeware to make music. Ironically, it runs better on Linux via WINE than on current Windows versions.
I skipped Windows Vista, use Windows 7 at work, avoided Windows 8, and have not tried windows 10.

I am, as you know, really into shared, liberally-licensed music, writing and arts. Linux is a bit ideological for me, not in the Free Software Foundation sense so much as in the "good to share" sense. I love software repositories, because I like not having to hassle with buying proprietary software.

1 year in your new home! Hurray!

Tolstoi should have put some tag about how happy or unhappy, all families have a lot of stuff.

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