Father’s Day Sale: dress shirts

I find that the best prices for dress shirts happen on Father’s Day. Here’s a list. If you don’t get them today / this weekend, plan ahead for next year.

Macy’s has a long sleeve shirt for $18 each. It’s a nice looking shirt, but I’m not shopping for long sleeve shirts.

JC Penny has a long sleeve Super Slim shirt for $17.50 (but it is ugly, in my opinion). They also have some clearance items in the $7.50 and $17 range JF J.Ferrar Mens Spread Collar Long Sleeve Stretch Fabric Dress Shirt. In my opinion, these look better, but I don’t really want long sleeve shirts. Also, I don’t fit in the “regular” size; I’m fatter than that. Van Heusen Stain Shield Mens Spread Collar Long Sleeve Stretch Fabric Wrinkle Free Dress Shirt for $14 – but again, for regular to slim fit. The blue one looks pretty good to me. JF J. Ferrar Mens Stretch Short Sleeve Broadcloth Slim Dress Shirt for $17 – nice that it’s short sleeve, but I’m not a slim fit.

Kohl’s has the Men’s Apt. 9® Untucked Button-Down Shirt for $17 (or perhaps $14.44 with a discount code). They do have XXL size, and six colors. So far, this is the best deal for me. Note free shipping if you buy $50 or more. The only thing I’m not really a fan of is that these shirts are 100% plastic; I prefer some cotton in my shirts. Then there are clearance items: Men’s Sonoma Goods For Life® Flannel Button-Down Shirt for $12.60 (or perhaps $10.71 with a discount code). If I lived up north, these would be great. But I live down in the desert (essentially) so I don’t need a Flannel shirt. Lastly, another clearance item: Men’s Sonoma Goods For Life® Perfect-Length Button-Down Shirt for $18 (or perhaps $15.30 with a discount code). Only one in my size, and I’m not looking for long sleeve shirts.

Joseph A. Banks – nothing less than $40 per shirt.

Nordstrom Rack – nothing less than $30 per shirt.

Perry Ellis – Untucked Roll Sleeve Linen Blend Tri-Color Stripe Shirt for $20. The color is nice, the fabric is nice, the price is not bad at all. It’s a little unusual cut of looking like a long sleeve but … it’s not. Then there is Untucked Total Stretch Slim Fit Solid Shirt for $20 (but it’s just the one color).

Dillards has Gold Label Roundtree & Yorke Non-Iron Slim-Fit Point Collar Solid Dress Shirt for $15. Long sleeve, and only available in black or white, but still not a bad deal.

Walmart has George Men’s Poplin Shirt with Short Sleeves for $13.50. Looking like a good deal: mostly cotton, short sleeves, large size, a variety of prints. There’s one that I do like. I think this bumps Kohl’s out of number one spot for me.

Costco has a sale on shirts – Tailor Vintage Men’s Short Sleeve Woven Shirt for $10. This is might even be better than the Walmart shirt. The print on the shirt doesn’t do much for me, but the price is right, and the material is mostly cotton. Then there is the Sierra Design Men’s Short Sleeve Woven Shirt for $13. TWO pockets – that might be handy. Same good material, and not bad colors. Lastly, Pacific Trail Men’s Long Sleeve Woven Shirt for $10. Great deal, and two pockets. Nice bright blue, but long sleeves.

I went with the Costco short sleeve Sierra Design shirts for $13 each. And yes, I ordered ten of them.

Southern California Edison wants a rate increase of 23%

If you want to file a public comment regarding this Southern California Edison (SCE) application, the link is here

This is regarding their application A2305010: the initial applications is here. The 23% increase number is shown on page 5.

Essentially, they are saying that they need to:

  • Upgrade their SAP Business Suite Enterprise Resource software, and that will cost $35 million.
  • Replace all the smart meters they installed 15 years ago that are getting old. If there is a dollar amount assigned to that, it didn’t jump out at me.
  • Finish their Service Center Modernization Projects: apparently new buildings. The document says “Please see Exhibit SCE-06, Volume 07, Enterprise Operations, for more information on the various service center modernization projects.” Where that document is, I cannot find. I did find a company that says it helped SCE design new service centers in a $180 million program. This application, A2305010, says it’s asking for $25 million.
  • Wildfire Management at $17 million. This is probably the only one I agree with. The Paradise fire a few years back was devastating, and indeed it came from negligence on the part of Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) letting their transmission lines go unmaintained.

There is a lot in that application, including that they are paying about 10% on debt, and that medical / dental / optical benefits to employees is growing.

I don’t know about you, but my electric bill has already jumped up way too high; and an increase of 23% would be terrible to me.

AND ANOTHER THING: I’m submitting my public comment now. This isn’t a gripe at SCE but rather at the CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission). I happen to run my own email server, so I can create as many email addresses I want, for free. If I want to filter incoming items, I can use the recipient email address for that filtering. So why wouldn’t I create an email address like california-public-utilities-commission-subscription-service@example.com ?

I did successfully subscribe to several of their daily digest notifications about various CPUC motions. I clicked on the link to verify the account. Everything is working fine.

And … the CPUC public comment form field has a maximum limit on the email address size. It is barking at me that the email address is invalid. It is not invalid: you just have a programmer who didn’t size the form field correctly. The SMTP spec says an email address must not exceed 254 characters, and mine has 71. Now I have to create a new email address alias to comply with your dumb programmer’s code.

The more I use OpenSuSE, the more I wish I was on something else

I recently did an “upgrade” from OpenSuSE Leap 15.3 to 15.4. As expected, it did not go well.

I ended up doing a manual install (as if the disk were new, except for /home), and then re-installing every application I need. Thankfully, there aren’t that many I need.

But I didn’t add any weird repositories. Today I happen to need to use Audacity. Hmmm. The version on this machine is 2.2.2 The current version is 3.3. Well that would explain why the Noise Gate plugin isn’t present.

I did add some weird repository to get the latest version (there appear to be seven of the them). Nope. Doesn’t work.

I happen to be running NextCloud. Every time I start the machine, it warns me that the desktop client is out of date. Okay, I’d like to add a repo please. Nope. Only manual installs, like the uncivilized practice, are what is done here.

I suspect that repositories are considered difficult, so the decicion was to do away with them over time: let programmers define flatpaks and snaps, instead. I kinda hate flatpaks and snaps; but, what I’ve got here isn’t working, either.

Another new irritating thing is that I use “focus follow mouse”. Every time I’m on a Windows machine (one day a week), I’m reminded how nice it is to wave the mouse over the screen I want to work on, and that’s the window with current focus. Lately, however, this stops working after a while. Time to reboot. What is this, MS Windows?

Did I mention that about four times in the last three weeks (out of multiple times a day), the power down function doesn’t? It appears to go mostly down, but leaves the motherboard running. I’m trying to save electricity here, since rates went way up, and if I’m not using the machine, there is zero good reason to be burning electricity wastefully. Power up takes less than 20 seconds, so why not?

Well, because sometimes the machine doesn’t go fully down. I later want to power it up, but it’s locked up in the mostly-down state. I have to go to the back of the machine and flip the switch on the power supply. That could just be a Linux thing instead of OpenSuSE thing, though.

Was somewhat forced into Ubuntu Snapper, and now kernel stuff is broken

I wasn’t fond of the idea using Snap, but I recognize that might be my dislike of change speaking. I needed to add a domain name to my Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, and all signs said to install the Snap version of Certbot. Okay, maybe I’m in the wrong, and should just get with the program.

And now since adding Snapper to my Ubuntu machine, every time I go to update packages to keep things up-to-date security-wise, I get a kernel upgrade warning that always fails to install. Thank you, Snapper folk, for breaking my system. I so very much appreciate adding your stuff and creating trouble in my life. Don’t know where I’d be without you.

All that really happens is that after every update, I get “Pending kernel upgrade” “Newer kernel available”

“The currently running kernel version is 6.1.10-x86_64-linode159 which is not the expected kernel version 5.15.0-73-generic.”

“Restarting the system to load the new kernel will not be handled automatically, so you should consider rebooting.” Thank you. Do you have any more ideas that don’t work? I’ll try those too.

I suspect that because the running kernel is newer, it’s just some entry somewhere that says I’ve got an older version installed. Nothing I easily found told me where to fix that though.

All I’m really doing is complaining that I didn’t have this problem prior to installing Snapper to support the Let’s Encrypt certbot.

Expedia Untrustworthy: my frustrating encounter at a Holiday Inn Express in Gridley, California

My stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Gridley (Oroville Lake) wasn’t particularly terrible. However, during the checkout process, something incredibly bothersome occurred: they adamantly refused to provide a printed receipt (folio). The counter agent simply refused, conveniently attributing it to management’s decision.

It’s possible that this nonsensical decision stemmed from misguided management. I don’t hold the agent responsible for following instructions. Nonetheless, two aspects make this situation particularly irksome:

Firstly, I understand why financial departments require receipts: scammers exist. Secondly, they lied about sending me an email receipt.

Anyone can make a reservation, receive the email confirmation, print it out, present it to the finance department for reimbursement, and then cancel the reservation. Financial departments are aware of this, which is why they rightfully demand proof of actual hotel stays. The receipt (folio) contains the final charges and the checkout date.

The Holiday Inn Express in Gridley, California, flat out refused to provide me with the receipt/folio: all because someone wanted to save a penny on a piece of paper.

This would have been less troublesome if they had actually sent me the email receipt as promised. However, they failed to do so. I highly doubt that the agent knew for sure—she was probably instructed to inform customers that they would receive an email.

To clarify, the email receipt did not end up in my junk mail folder. I’ve been an email administrator for twenty years. I ought to be able to figure that out, no?

This ordeal frustrated me to the point that I decided to leave a negative review on Expedia. That’s when I discovered that Expedia allows property owners to censor the reviews they display. Each time I submitted a review, I received a rejection message claiming it was unacceptable. I tried toning it down and making it friendlier, but it still didn’t meet their standards. Only after significantly revising it did they finally accept it.

The most valuable lesson I learned from this experience is that Expedia’s review system is untrustworthy. I have no intention of ever using their service again.