Archive for December, 2011

Personal Computer (PC)

2011-12-18 01:36:48 PDT

So, … I fairly recently got a new personal computer, more specifically, a laptop. My old one finally “died” – well, pretty much so – started experiencing a major hardware problem rendering it generally unusable, and not particularly economically feasible/worthwhile to repair – we’re talking about a laptop that’s over 8 years old.

So, … Personal Computer. Originally called that, as I seem to recall, as they were “personal”, as their cost was finally low enough that they generally wouldn’t be shared – or simultaneously shared – among multiple people at once, but that typically there would be one user – at least at a time – and very often just one user, using such a given computer, hence “personal”.

But, “personal” computer seems to have evolved a bit – and I’m not talking so much about the hardware, or even the operating systems and software in general. The “personal” bit. Seems to me, that now, much more often, has to do with how one customizes and configures the computer. Everything from specific hardware bits – which might not vary all that much – particularly in certain environments, to the more variable bits of exactly what operating system, software, and how things are configured on the personal computer. Most notably, what does one do and/or have done, to be able to get things set up and arranged, so one can use one’s personal computer rather to quite efficiently? Typically, that starts with things like particular choices in hardware – what’s too small, underpowered, doesn’t have what’s “needed” – or needed for suitable or optimal efficiency, … and also, what’s too big/heavy/clunky – overpowered, noisy, wasteful, maybe even takes too much desk space or whatever. But I think much more often, most of the personal customization is in operating system – any particular choices there – as applicable/available – and then more notably down into software and its configuration, and also configuration of how one accesses the software, utilities, data, etc. one needs and wants to use.

Personal – so … it takes a while to set that up. Getting going on a new computer – that part is rather to quite fast – but getting up to – or back to – optimal speed, … that takes longer. There may be the getting used to the newer/different hardware (who the heck reshuffled some of the keys I commonly use when I had to go from a PS/2 keyboard to a USB keyboard – ugh! … well, at least that was work, and I get paid to suffer that) … differences in keyboard, mouse, screen, peripherals, even things like – oh, sound, … this one had a mute button, you push it, it mutes the sound – always, … that one, it has a mute toggle button – it toggles the state from whatever it is – want to be sure to have it muted – now one has to look at the lit or not lit state of the button first … “dozens” of “little” things like that, but they do quite add up. Then the operating system. Different, or different or newer version? Exactly how one gets to whatever’s “standard” in that operating system / version – a bit different with changes, even for quite the same tasks, or their equivalents … more stuff to get used to and adapt to. But personal – that comes in too. There’s doing things like tweaking menus or “hot keys” or the equivalents or whatever – so one can quickly and easily launch or get to the applications one most frequently uses. There are the tweaks, like adjusting what starts “automatically”, when one powers up the computer, or logs in. And there’s all the installing and configuration of software – again, too, “personal”, as one adjusts it to one’s liking (Yes, I hate automangle – as I and many others call it. Much software has such (mis)”feature”s enabled by default – I tend to go through and ruthlessly disable such (mis)”feature”s to the extent possible. When I first learned how to type, it was on a manual typewriter (okay, sure, they had electric typewriters at school … maybe even in the library too – but I was taking “serious” academic subjects for electives, so didn’t have extra slot to put in some school typing class – so, I bought a manual typewriter at a garage sale, got some relevant materials on how to type (my mom gave me an issue of Woman’s Day containing an article on learning to type – I think it was “Teach yourself to type in two weeks” – or something approximately like that.) … and taught myself how to type. I know how to use the shift key much better than any automangle algorithms. I much better know how to use proper capitalization on many technical terms, abbreviations, acronyms, proper names, etc., than any automangle algorithm ever would. Oh, and CapsLk … that really should be a CapsLk – lock, not toggle – if CapsLk is active, I want all the alpha characters in upper case, I don’t want silly system toggling, so that if I type some letter with the shift key – such as in a long bunch of otherwise naturally capitalized typed out text, I don’t want it to give me those in lowercase – ugh. If I want lowercase, I know how to release the CapsLk – geez, … heck, it even has an LED to indicate it’s active. And yes, on systems where I feasibly can tweak that behavior, I do so, … and some other keyboard behavior customizations too.)

So, yes, “personal” – takes some tweaking/adjusting/customizations/personalizations. On new system – may depend on usage, but I’d think it typically takes me about 2 weeks – much of it done a bit at a time (but typically heavy the first few days or so) – of customizations – personalizations – to quite optimize a computer and its setup and configuration, to my uses. I’d guestimate that from a basic “stock”/generic install – or even a typical “standard” image in some work environment (that theoretically has the tools they think I’ll need – but in reality is the vision of someone in IT of what they think will be most efficient and appropriate for the entire company – or some large chunk thereof), … from that, to what I typically end up with within about 2 weeks of customization/personalization, is a resultant configuration that probably gains me about 20 to 25% more in general efficiency and productivity. “Right tools for the job” (and “right” configurations/tweaks/customization/personalization) – it makes a quite significant difference – and certainly not just for “work” computers. Certainly too, for computer(s) that are mine, and that aren’t (or mostly aren’t) used for “work” or the like – at least in the conventional sense (generally nobody pays me to do stuff on my own personal computer(s)).

Personal Computers. So, … I think nowadays, the “personal” bit isn’t nearly so much that each person has their own – that’s so expected now, no one really much thinks of that as part of it being “personal” (here’s your “personal” computer too – just like billions of others – doesn’t feel/sound very “personal”, eh?) … I think most of the personal is in how they’re individually personalized for us (by ourselves and/or others) – we – at least to a large extent – generally get to “shape” them to fit our will (well, at least as feasible) to be the right personal fit for us, each individually. I think that, today, is where the personal in Personal Computer has morphed and migrated to. In the early days of “Personal Computer”s – they weren’t nearly as easy to tweak and customize. Sure, maybe a skilled programmer could – to a fair extent – but for most users, they weren’t nearly as flexible and configurable as today.

Anyway, … so, … me, new computer, … going through that personalization bit with the computer … will take me a bit to get it fully set for myself (and me adjusted to it – new, and somewhat different hardware … and keyboard – yeah, “of course”, somebody had to slightly rejigger exactly which keys are where again (<sigh>). And the pointing device (a.k.a. “mouse”) is also a bit different too – that’ll take a bit of getting used to. So, … probably about another two weeks or so – likely a bit longer, being quite busy with all the holiday Xmas stuff and all, … and then I should be about back to my optimal efficiency on the new laptop, … probably even surpass where I was before in some week(s) or so past that – as new laptop has some useful capabilities the old one didn’t … and “of course” it’s also fair bit faster, more storage, etc., etc.

Advertisements

Xmas – not a fan of

2011-12-14 03:46:56 PDT

Xmas, Christmas, “the holidays” – no, not any, you know the ones I’m talking about, the one’s bunched up around the end of the year.

Guess I’m really not much of a fan of Christmas, etc., … and increasingly so. Why? Oh, a few zillion reasons, let’s see …

  • Way too dang commercial. Mostly about buying junk.
  • Stuff for everyone all at the same time. Rather/quite overwhelming that can be.
  • I mostly only get stuff I don’t need, and generally don’t especially want/need.
  • I mostly end up getting other folks stuff that, for the most part, they really aren’t all that interested in, don’t care about much, if at all, and often really don’t want or much care for anyway.
  • all that production, transportation, consumption, and yes, waste, can’t be good for the environment
  • It manages to suck up a lot of my time and energy, notably as I try and track and carefully consider and come up with something for “everyone”.
  • “Spirit of Christmas?” You gotta be kidding. It was a pagan holiday that got hijacked/commandeered, and subsequently commercialized essentially to death.
  • The whole gift thing – sure, nice genuine gifts, sentiment, etc. – that can be fine – excellent even. But slap everybody on the same schedule, with expectation, if not “obligation” – or nearly so, … it gets pretty sucky. Seems more like obligation exchange than gift giving.
  • Of the whole “holiday season/time” – how much of it is enjoyable, vs. not? It’s a pretty sucky ratio. Maybe several hours to a few days or so of it are relatively nice … at best. But it’s “paid for” with weeks of suckiness. Most of it just isn’t worth it.
  • much etc.

So, … what to do, what to do? I don’t know, … certainly not sure yet. Too bad it doesn’t just have a nice big “opt out” button. Needs to change, though, … need to change it. Seems it’s not going away – but I rather wish it would.

Random stuff about me (OkCupid, etc.)

2011-12-11 22:15:28 PDT

From a (too) long draft of message I put together to send somone on OkCupid. I’ve stripped out pretty much anything about them that might reasonably be personally identifiable … and … about same for myself – but all-in-all, that doesn’t remove all that much, and may still make for a rather – perhaps even quite – interesting/informative read? I used <…> and the like, for bits I redacted or in general made a bit more generic / less identifiable.

I do quite like your profile. Hope you may like mine too – or at least find it of interest? Maybe I can help you <…> Not that I’m necessarily looking for a “date” or “dating” per se, anyway.

(Your) “I’m looking for”, some selected things on your profile I quite note (among many I quite like), etc. …

“For new friends” <…> – yes, definitely, me too – and that first and foremost. Make it well to there – well – if that happens (a rather non-trivial if), then can figure things out from there (e.g. if there’s mutual interest/compatibility beyond “friends” … and if there’s not, “just friends” can be quite fine/excellent too). Of course too, it’s very possible to quite (even very deeply) love one’s friends – doesn’t necessarily entail or require anything beyond “just” friends (if that’s even an adequate/fitting word in that case – but for lack of better jumping to mind).
<bit about only interested in local and long-term> – yes, too, I quite agree.
<friendship (first)> – absolutely.
<not looking for casual sex and/or just sex> – quite (if sex is even on “the list”, it’s definitely not at the top … okay, it’s *somewhere* on the list, … I think? Where did I put that list? Oh, … it’s filed under prerequisite conditions for ;-))
<not casual sex> – highly agree. OkCupid has a “box” for that. And both of us did *not* check *that* box.
<passion, connection, etc.> – definitely, … at least for certain definitions of “passionate” and “connection” …
<sex bits?> Not necessarily goin’ there … but not necessarily outside the realm of possibilities, either.

<personality type>:-) That’s generally quite cool. When I took the test on OkCupid, I came out ISTJ:
http://www.okcupid.com/quizzy/results?quizzyid=16567335035599898597&userid=694038354298009838
But at least that time I took it, both the N and J came rather to quite close to either the 50% mark (borderline), or “average” for those that took the test … though I and T are no where near the middle or “average” on me. Had a read through <personality reference bit> … don’t know that I’d seen it before, … well written, amusing, and at least relatively accurate :-). I’d taken the test also, some years back, … not sure if it came out ISTJ at that time, or not – I do remember at least one, if not two, of the characteristics being rather to quite close to borderline – so likely test results were fairly consistent – even if the particular letter labeling categorization might not have come out exactly the same. Anyway, I’m “truly” somewhere around I[NS]T[JP].
<increasing/bringing some fun stuff> – maybe/perhaps … at least somewhat. Though I’m far from an extreme expert or especially adept at such. I do tend to run on the relatively shy/introverted side of things … but do much better when suitably “warmed up” – but that can take a while.
<taking some time/work to get comfortable> – yeah, me too – very understandable.
<social anxiety / trying to be more social> – yeah, … I could do with more of that too. Who knows, maybe we could both help each other out there.
<analyzing a lot, etc.> – I do a lot of that too :-) … at least the (over-)analyzing bit … not always the explaining (but if/when I do explain, it’s generally well covered … if not overly so). <about observing a lot> – I do a lot of that too (and thought/analysis of/on it).
<qualifying statements> – I do a helluva lot of that. :-> I think it comes from several factors (in addition to just “personality” bits). I tend to be highly honest/truthful – and in that, too, I tend to be highly accurate … so, … tend to often quite qualify statements so they are quite absolutely true, and unlikely to be false, potentially false, misinterpreted, etc. Not that I’m 100% successful with that – but I do do it pretty effectively and thoroughly. I think the other bit too, is also profession (well, okay, more than “just” profession). Being a <specific career/profession bits>, I often *very much* appreciate, and well understand the importance of highly – if not absolutely and completely – accurate statements, and (typically) reduction/elimination of any ambiguities – at least where such is significantly probable to be problematic, and I tend towards well practicing such accuracy and completeness.
<about saying/interpreting quite literally> – yes, me too, quite so. Not (necessarily) withstanding puns, irony, satire, humor, etc. :-)
<particularly if intoxicated/tired> – interesting correlation. I don’t do <intoxicated> anymore (well, at least not via drugs/alcohol – did all my drinking before I was 21 – not that alcohol scares me away from bars or the like – though the smoking did keep me quite out of bars). When I get tired/exhausted – I mostly just slow down rather to quite a lot (and was about the same on that the very few times I was ever drunk).
<not effective at detecting flirt> – I’m so-so at that, … I’ll often miss it, or catch it a bit too late (after it’s run through the analysis – “Oh, … that was a flirt attempt!” <smacks self on forehead – well, at least mentally>).
<about thinking about reality> – reality is a pretty interesting/complex thing – especially when examined closely or largely (be that (astro)physics, or
philosophy, or …).

<on importance of chosen family> … yes, I generally find the bonds of those related by choice to commonly be much more meaningful and strong. I’ve not disowned my biological family (nor they me … well, with perhaps approximately one exception?), but, one gets what one’s born into – luck and quality can and do vary radically there. Very different (and generally *much* better) when one chooses. Certainly are friends(+++) that I have been or am *much* closer to and more “connected” with, than most (or all?) of my biological family.

<truth/honesty> – Yeah, I am, … quite … not perfect or a saint, but quite dang honest, truthful, etc. And I sure hope you are quite so also (would at least appear likely to be :-)).

<respecting relationship(s), independence, etc.> – yes, absolutely. I’m not the clingy or jealous type, and I quite generally presume one best knows what one wants/needs, etc. – or at least ought to (who the heck would I be to know, or even reasonably have a clue, regarding such for another? … unless I knew them at least rather, if not exceedingly darn well). And I’d want/expect you (or most anyone) to be quite (or at least sufficiently) independent.

<on very out/open on one’s life> – very cool. I applaud and congratulate you on that. Example well set. I highly support you – and anyone else – on that. For me, eh, bit of a mixed bag. Were society a helluva lot more “accepting” of … whatever (well, pretty much anything and everything) – fairly likely I’d be very open about … well, whatever – maybe more or less anything and everything. So, rather, … it’s more of case-by-case choice – and often reevaluated and adjusted – at least for me, anyway. I’m often more of a (quietly – or not quite so) nudge things more in the direction I wish to see – rather than smack folks in the face with (whatever) … but it also quite depends (circumstances, issue, etc.) – sometimes I’m much more likely to be quite direct or even confrontational – but really “all depends” – can depend upon a whole lot, e.g. even quite the specific person and the nature and degree of their “attitude” – and how probable I think I’m likely to be to “adjust” – or at least somewhat nudge/alter/influence their attitude/opinion/take on … whatever. “world where we are not stigmatized” – here here, I agree! I think we may just take some different approaches on how to fix the world (and often multiple different approaches concurrently may be more effective than just a single approach). “If you don’t agree, we’re not likely to” … I do agree – at least to a quite large extent – and sure as hell support how you’re going about it. Just not quite the same way I may go about such things.

<on liking () and …, etc.> – Cool. :-) I tend to use ’em a fair amount, … even a lot, … okay, maybe sometimes “too much”(?) and (occasionally) berated for them? :-/ (well, not picked upon for them *too* often, anyway). (So, how *much* do you like parentheticals? (and how ’bout if they’re nested? (deeply even?)) – and do unbalanced parentheses (possibly excepting emoticons) annoy you?) Do you, too, like or at least tolerate some other bits, such as *emphasis*, or maybe other random bits? (or even something like [cough, cough] for some web context that can’t handle <cough, cough>?)

<specific art form> – Cool. I’ve got near zero artistic talent myself, but sure can and do appreciate such. Among those I peeked at, this one quite caught my eye:
<…>

<very good at alarm/timing> Interesting. I wonder if it well correlates to <personality type>s or those rather/quite close to such, or perhaps something else we may quite have in common. If you wish, have a peek here:
http://www.okcupid.com/profile/MichaelBerkeley/questions?search=alarm
regarding some of my “timing” bits. I tend to do that quite well – asleep or awake. My mom tells me I was born quite on time – on my due date … hmmm, not sure how they’d calculate the due “hour” – but I probably started out less than 1% off, anyway.

<snuggling>. Snuggling rocks. :-) Our Western (so called) civilization is way too anti-touch / touch-phobic – quite sucky that is.

<food/cooking> – cool … I do quite like to cook, and very much like to control what ingredients go into what I cook – I cook almost everything from scratch, starting with basic ingredients – I really prefer not to have a bunch of cr*p (or any, generally) in my food. But I’m not an absolutist, either.

<on direct gaze into eyes> interesting/cool – I don’t particularly manage to do that (and I probably ought to improve that). I think much of that is, perhaps(/likely?) – watching someone’s reactions as I’m talking, I often find at least a bit, if not fairly significantly, distracting … so much of the time when I’m talking, I won’t look directly at the person. I suppose too, it depends a lot upon what I’m saying or attempting to communicate too. If I’m trying to recall or intelligently cover applicable bits I’m trying to say (“information dump”), and not especially concerned about reaction(s), I’m much less likely to look directly at the person(s) I’m talking too. On the other hand, something I know(/feel) quite well, and perhaps too if I’m much more comfortable/relaxed with the person and/or more interested in their thoughts/feelings/reactions to what I’m saying, I’m much more likely to look rather, to quite, directly at them.

“books, movies, shows, music, and food” – much I like in what you mention there. A (very) few I’ll comment on (and in no particular order): <…> and yes, most remakes generally suck – with relatively rare exception <…> – those are at least many that caught my eye, as ones I rather to exceedingly like. I do also quite like your list, in that I also see a lot of “oooh, I wanna check that one out!” ones that I’m not yet personally acquainted with. I could go on at length about many you mention (and too, many of my favorites) … but I’ve already rambled on pretty long here.

<picky with food, likes to cook for self> – I’m a pretty adventurous eater – but I also do quite like do my own cooking.
<a particular food/ingredient> – yum. :-).
<a particular food/ingredient> – yes, I keep it in stock at home (okay, maybe roughly half the reason is for <another useful property/benefit>).

<intelligent communications> – definitely something I very much enjoy.

<passion … intimacy> – Nice. Passion is great – very nice to be passionate about … whatever/whomever. Intimacy – yes, lovely to have and share that very well – but too, whole lot of kinds of “intimacy” – not all for all connections/interactions (but hey, best with “everything” – but can’t always have/get “everything” – or might not otherwise be suitable).

<expolore location, etc.> – sure, … not that I’m an expert on <location> … but I did live there for about 16 years – though that was over a decade ago. But I do know at least some parts of it rather to quite well, and much of it at least fairly well (I’m a Bay Area native, and have lived in the East Bay just about all my life – so I do know <location> at least fairly, if not rather, well).

<particularly interested if gay, etc.> – sorry, I’m not. Guess I was born that way – can you fault me for it? (a very best female friend of mine quite expressed to me before, “I wish you were a woman” (and she’s not at all gay – she’s highly straight … and hates men))

She publicly answered <same or about same number as below> questions
She answered <well over 1000> questions
Impressive. :-)
<quite high percentage> Match – well, yeah, but that’s just the quantifiable bits. Somehow I suspect OkCupid’s math may be a wee bit fuzzy. E.g. how do they turn:
You match.
<category percent matches – all <=84%>
into: <quite high percentage> Match?

Anyway, I'd be quite interested to hear from you. Certainly feel free to message me here, or if you'd like, give me a ring:
<phone number, etc.>

Footnotes/references:
<referenced some bits>

OkCupid – fuzzy math?

2011-12-11 21:02:21 PDT

Okay, I generally “get” how OkCupid’s percentages are calculated, on e.g. match, etc. In fact they do explain that very well.

However, … fuzzy math? I’ve yet to make sense of how they come up with some of these numbers – particularly/especially with the above in mind. E.g., I not too uncommonly find “matches” which, at least on the surface, give a rather baffling set of numbers. I might guess at where the “enemy” % comes from, and maybe even “match” vs. “friend” uses uses different questions, or different weightings among questions, … but in any case – even just with the match bit … how does one come up with a combination like the following – I’ll not uncommonly see something like this:
99% Match
63% Friend
You match.
85% on Ethics questions
93% on Sex questions
91% on Religion questions
88% on Lifestyle questions
86% on Dating questions
82% on Other questions
So, … given all the individual categories/breakdown – and especially since it also includes a category of “Other questions” – how the heck does one take those percentages, that range from 93% to 82%, yet come up with a composite for “Match” of 99% (higher than any of those individual categories), and “Friend” of 63% – lower than any of those individual categories. Somehow the weightings don’t seem to add up, as one might expect. I don’t know, perhaps for the various subcategories, they don’t use weightings at all – and maybe that would explain it. I.e. in, oh, say “Ethics questions” – let’s say there’s a large range of well matched, and highly unmatched question responses … but let’s too, say the ranking on how important, is high on the matched, and low on the unmatched – that would give a high “Match” % … whereas the rating for “Ethics questions” may be significantly lower … and same might occur across all the categories, thus leading to the “apparent” discrepancy. If such is the case, seems OkCupid ought to apply the same weighting/”importance” matching algorithm when showing the various categories – otherwise the results displayed are quite non-intuitive – and also generally not so useful or consistent. Besides, isn’t it better to know the results in the categories, based upon / including the “how important” rating?
Maybe they’ll “fix”/tweak that some day. :-) In the meantime, it’s rather confusing – if not at least counterintuitive. Maybe too, someday, they’ll explain how exactly they come up with the “Friend” – and also “Enemy” – percentages (though I’d guestimate on “Enemy”, it’s the “unacceptable” answers and importance ranking – quite similar to “Match”, but unacceptable, instead of matched/acceptable). But, … what exactly does “Friend” come from? How’s that different from “Match”, exactly?

Don’t you just hate it when … (whine, grumble … – annoying too common web bugs)

2011-12-11 20:31:37 PDT

Don’t you just hate it when …
Well, it’s annoying anyway … website bugs that ought not exist, yet one encounters, e.g. in the last few days:

Registered on a website just fine. Logged off, go to log in again – it fails. Apparently the algorithm used when processing password for registration, and that used for authentication (to log in) don’t quite match, so in some cases a password will work fine to register on the site, but then one can’t use that password to login on the site following a successful registration. And then to top it off, the site’s password reset thingy doesn’t work – its supposed to send an email to the registered email address, … but never does. And yes, the registration “took” – as it wouldn’t let me create it again, as the login/account name already existed if I tried to do it again with same name. “Oh well”, … annoying that. But why must the same types of bugs/flaws be “reinvented”/rediscovered countless times in numerous places? I was hoping “we” might all be evolving a wee bit faster than that. I guess not quite yet, anyway. Oh well, reported the bug, etc., hopefully it’ll get fixed, … and after getting tired of waiting (okay, maybe not a super high priority bug for them), I just reregistered, creating a different account, and using a much weaker password (still moderately strong, but quite a bit shorter, and devoid of all non-alphanumerics) … at least their algorithm could handle that without messing it up.

Don’t you just hate it when …
Web thingy send-a-message type things quite fail to work. E.g. earlier today on OkCupid, … try to send someone a message – fairly long – well under size limit … and it simply fails – with not even any specific diagnostic – it just “chokes”/stalls on it (times out after quite a while). Tried a second, and third time, same each time. Likely something about the length, or specific content (character(s) or specific text patterns?) … in any case, it just wouldn’t work – but even more annoyingly, it would offer no useful information as to why it wouldn’t work. And yeah, I reported the bug to OkCupid – hopefully they’ll get around to fixing it. After enough annoyance, frustration/delay – I did send message to user – but dang short one, saying, well, slightly redacted:

<first name>,

I do quite like your profile. Tried sending you a message … thrice, even, but OkCupid seems to be tripping up on something – and not indicating what (send just stalls indefinitely – I did give
OkCupid a bug report). Hmmm, perhaps email (as work-around, if
nothing else)?
You can email me at:
<my email>
or message me here with your email
or call me, if you prefer:
<my home phone number> (home+msg.)

Yeah, hardly the long(er), more personalized message with content I wished to include … but no idea why OkCupid appeared to be tripping up over it. And silly OkCupid – it doesn’t let one send message to self – so I couldn’t use that to try “divide and conquer” to see if I could isolate it to specific text that might’ve been causing a problem with OkCupid in the attempted send. Oh, and OkCupid’s policy – one account per person – so it’s not like I could even do a test send to myself on some other account. Anyway, reported the bug, blah, blah, blah, … hopefully they’ll get it fixed. Maybe even soon. :-)

Likewise (haven’t bumped into it in a while), with YouTube … likely still the case, but, try to post a comment on a video, with, e.g. a < character in it, and it fails. But that's not the (specific) problem, … it's the way it fails. The diagnostic is nearly useless, it's something like, "Error, try again" … well, trying again fails again in exact same way, but that's what the diagnostic says each time. Geez Google/YouTube, … y'all are smart! :-) … give a (much) better diagnostic, … you know, e.g. "Sorry, can't accept these characters: <…" or whatever – indicate specifically what in the content is being disallowed and preventing the posting of the comment. And yes, I did (much earlier) report that as a bug. Hopefully they've fixed it (or at least will at some point).

And not to pick specifically on, e.g. (particular) vendor, OkCupid, YouTube – they're all quite good … excellent even (but alas, not perfect), … but still, annoying bugs, and all too common (far too commonly encountered also on numerous other web sites).

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox … for now. ;-)

Lost One

2011-12-09 03:05:04 PDT

I’ve lost one good friend to severe mental health problems – just far too threatening/dangerous and highly repeated major pain in the rear to remain as friend, not to mention years of ongoing highly unfriendly behavior. It went way beyond my possibly being able to do anything to help said friend.
As another good friend of mine once phrased quite similar situation, “My friend doesn’t live in that head anymore.”

http://www.okcupid.com/profile/MichaelBerkeley/questions?search=more%20important%20for%20a%20mate

See also:
[updating 2012-06-21]
I used to have a related question, answer, and explanation on OkCupid (and had it linked from here). But having it there isn’t particularly useful or beneficial to me, or really anyone else. Notably, a “Yes” answer, while true, doesn’t exactly help in folks trying to find matches to me, and the explanation there might not exactly help much – at best. May have much more to do with human nature and psychology, than anything else. E.g. someone reads that “Yes” answer, and they may already quite form some conclusion/bias/perspective in their head (hard to avoid that, folks being human and all that). So, from such a then disadvantaged position, if I then try and “argue against” such a position/bias – well, that tends to often be more counter-productive. E.g. similar to news stories that come out incorrectly, or even dead wrong. Folks tend to believe the initial reports (or here by analogy, their own initial “conclusions”/biases). When news media then issues retraction/correction, what’s the net result in what people believe? Oddly, more often than not, they believe the original incorrect report, rather than the corrected information – even more so than if corrections (and counter arguments, etc.) had never been made. Ah, what an “interesting” thing human beings are.

Regardless, bit further below here, I now add what I’d earlier had present on that on OkCupid. I’ll also note, were I to write it all up again, I’d make it even much less identifiable regarding any of the specifics that occurred.
But regardless:
I’d already put that up on OkCuid where it’s been publicly visible for quite a while now.
For reasons of reasonable explanation of those various bits – it’s not like I don’t want to be able to reasonably say and explain what happened, but I don’t want to overly do so either. What’s here, and was there, is really mere tip of the iceberg. E.g. she also managed to cause numerous serious problems in multiple persons lives with her behaviors and actions, repeatedly made numerous false claims under penalty of perjury (and that was by no means the worst of the damages she caused; not that she was intentionally lying, but rather her head being so messed up that as far as she was concerned, from her experiences and memory – all that horrible cr*p was true – even though it had in fact never actually occurred (her recollections also very radically changed over time)). Additionally, though not exactly super-easily findable in general, a whole lot of that information is matter of public record and is in fact available to the public – and essentially all of it as direct consequence of her own actions. So, there’s probably a lot of information, that, were she in her right mind and/or reasonably understood the consequences of her own actions, she’d probably prefer not be made public, but that she herself in fact put or forced a lot of such information into the public realm. Anyway, for those reasons, I do now include below, what I used to have on OkCupid for that question/answer/explanation:

Has any person or organization ever filed a restraining order against you?
Yes (my answer and acceptable answer)
No (not my answer, but also acceptable answer)
Importance: Irrelevant (knowing how absurdly easy it is for anyone to obtain a temporary restraining order and without needing any actual basis and with no costs or fee, I consider the basic Yes/No answer itself to be of “Irrelevant” importance on searching/matching – however, if it’s “Yes”, I’ll almost certainly want to know more … and that’s probably fair chunk of why I included explanation on my “Yes”)

Yes, very mentally unwell (psychotic, “crazy”) ex-friend (can’t otherwise really say I’ve got any ex-friends – but she quite earned herself that distinction). She’s got severe mental health problems – delusional disorder, persecutory sub-type, highly paranoid, etc., etc. The last legal go-round with that (and hopefully it remains the last!), not only was not even a temporary restraining order issued (not the first time she’d filed; and no “permanent” (non-temporary) restraining order was ever issued (temporary is actually quite easy to get – can file and shuffle some papers about without fee, and only requires one side of the story – written testimony and no other backing required)), but at hearing she was “denied *with prejudice*”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/With_prejudice#Civil_law
She’s also caused lots of serious problems/hassles for others besides myself, and also runs risk of potentially being determined to be a vexatious litigant:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vexatious_litigant#California

Redacting just the identifiable bits (name), here’s what I opened with last time in court – all of course 100% true and thus of course zero credible evidence to ever refute any of it:
o I’ve done nothing which in any way could be reasonably construed to
have harassed [redacted] in any manner whatsoever.
o Any and all claims by [redacted] that I have in any way harassed her
and/or threatened to do such or anything illegal or harassing to or
towards her are in fact false, and likely appear to only exist in and
from her delusional paranoia.
o There is and can be no credible evidence for that which in reality
does not exist.
o [redacted] is not a credible witness. She has made and continues to
make numerous false and misleading statements even under penalty of
perjury.
o If there’s any harassment, libel, slander, illegality and/or abuse of
legal process involved between [redacted] and myself, it is [redacted]
having made and making false and misleading statements about me, my
character, her making false allegations, and her repeatedly taking
unwarranted and unsupportable legal actions against me.
o [redacted] has caused numerous problems and damages to myself and
others, and continues to unjustifiably and wastefully consume time and
resources from myself, this court, and others.

Other than said psychotic delusional paranoid ex-friend, no one (person, organization, entity, whatever) has ever filed restraining order against me (or heck, even suggested/threatened such).

And yes, I promise not to send a military attack helicopter after you to threaten and intimidate you. (Yes, said friend was (and probably still is) certain I sent a military attack helicopter over that landed (or nearly so, hovering for an inordinately long period of time) on roof of her cottage where she lives, when she was home, just to threaten and intimidate her and “send her a message” … not only did I of course do no such thing – but she lives in a densely populated urban area, and no one else saw, heard, or reported this alleged helicopter incident … as, “of course”, there was no such helicopter incident (of course she likely believes they’re also all conspiring with me against her, to cover up the helicopter incident)).

So, … yeah, I can put up with some mental illness from someone (e.g. certainly have) – but no way to the ongoing royal pain in the rear end level to which she raised it, and where the illness also left her incapable of at all being a friend at all in the least (decidedly unfriendly would be an understatement), so, yup, she got herself officially demoted down from friend, to charity case, and finally to ex-friend. Too toxic and dangerous even as “charity case” for me to attempt to further help her in any way. Her family occasionally remains in touch with me – they’ve also been unsuccessful at helping her, and have gotten to the point where there’s nothing further they can do for her either.

And no, not generally planning to publicly identify said ex-friend – or for that matter anyone else, as having or having had whatever mental, medical, physical, or whatever disorder(s) or illness(es) without their informed (and competent) consent. (for reasons of medical/personal privacy/confidentiality, etc.)

[2012-06-23 – made some very slight edits to clarify a bit]

See also:
https://michaelberkeley.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/23/

[2013-04-29 – adding a bit which I almost can’t believe I didn’t include earlier, but perhaps not directly relevant to what I earlier mentioned, and hence earlier omitted.]

And, also, certainly don’t need or want to be receiving credible death threats from a “friend” or ex-friend. Yeah, she quite did that, and very obviously put considerable effort and time into her planning. Not good, especially since she’s also no idiot. Highly mentally unwell, plus smart, can make for particularly dangerous combination. Quite unsettling. Never received such from anyone else, ever, and hopefully never will.

Getting Involved

2011-12-09 00:02:32 PDT

Did break up a fight last week. Apparently no weapons were present, lots of people around and close by (crowded commuter train), but most quite standing back. The one guy had the other in a head lock and was seriously and mightily pummeling away at his head and face with his fist. I wasn’t going to just stand there and watch the guy’s head get beaten into a bloody pulp while folks waited for the police to eventually show up. As soon as there was relatively safe opportunity to stop the assailant’s pounding away at the other guy’s skull, I got behind him, grabbed his arms, pulled them back, away behind his back, and pulled him off the other guy, and held him back until he no longer appeared to be posing an immediate threat. And yeah, the assailant was bigger, younger, and probably stronger than I. I might not have done the same in a dark isolated alley with no one else around (I felt a wee bit safer with about 50 folks behind me – even if most of ’em didn’t appear particularly willing to get involved beyond making a call and saying some words). Certainly not an everyday occurrence (don’t recall having broken up a fight before, and fairly rare that I see a fight – especially up that close (was less than 10 ft. from me when it started)) … but … that was last week, anyway. And no, I’m not going to tell my mom! She worries way too much (I think she still worries when I cross the street.)

http://www.okcupid.com/profile/MichaelBerkeley/questions?search=mugged