BitWarden is inconsistent

I moved from LastPass to Bitwarden a few months ago. I have configured BitWarden to use my Yubikey second factor authentication key. I have about five different machines that I use, and on each of them I install Firefox and then add the BitWarden Firefox extension.

Only on one of the machines does BitWarden consistently prompt me to put in the Yubikey when I log in to the BitWarden Firefox extension. At least under LastPass, it consistently made me add the Yubikey no matter which machine I was logging in from.

Just now, I added the BitWarden Firefox extension to a Raspberry Pi I’m playing with, and this time, BitWarden prompted me to insert the Yubikey.

That it is inconsistent really bothers me. I want a second factor 100% of the time, not 🤷

Microsoft fouled up when they got rid of

In the real world, people like to find solutions and then link to the solution as a form of documentation. It is a way of being helpful. I can feel good about myself if I help you out (or at least I’m trying to help you out). The result is that there tend to be a lot of forum discussions and blog posts that have a link to a script that solves the problem.

As solutions go, was a great idea. People write a script, that script works, so the author donates it to world at large by publishing it (free of charge and disclaiming all complaints about damage). Microsoft benefited because if you knew nothing else, you knew to go search there for possible help. If I’m trying to solve a problem, and I find the solution on, then I’m helping if I tell people “here was my problem, and I found the solution: foobarbaz at”

Unfortunately for us, someone at Microsoft felt the need to push the world into complying with their grandiose idea: “Let’s get rid of Technet and replace it with !”

This was a terrible idea.

And no-one at Microsoft was grown-up enough to stop it.

So now, the world wide web is littered with broken links to solutions that used to be helpful, but now go to

I don’t know what they were thinking, but it was probably someone wanting to pridefully change the world to comply with the way they thought the world ought to be. All they really did is break a previously good thing.

Roku survey email – willfully blind? Or ignorant?

Got a survey email from Roku. “Take our survey, maybe win a prize.” Sure, I like Roku. The guy that started it had done the original ReplayTV and I loved those. Autoskip commercials? I’m in.

“What reasons do you most enjoy streaming on a Roku? Pick an answer, or we won’t let you continue the survey.”

1) “No fucking commercials”

2) “None of the above”

Oh wait – neither of those are an option. I’m out.

The options they wanted to railroad me to were (pick one):

  • Choice (content)
  • Free (I do subscriptions, they are not free)
  • Choice (time-shifting)
  • Choice (content)
  • Choice (time-shifting)
  • Higher quality. This one is actually interesting, but not the reason I go with streaming. I enjoy the higher quality, but that was really more about the display resolution that came from upgrading the hardware.
  • “It’s cheaper” – well, this one probably comes closest, but in no way does it imply the real reason it’s cheaper. I value my serenity, and all commercials (promotion of consumerism) are exactly the opposite of serenity. They are active destroyers of serenity. That’s their job. So for me, no commercials is cheaper from a stop-wasting-my-time point of view. But “It’s cheaper” implies dollars, and streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime is not less dollars.
  • Choice (content)
  • Choice (content)

I don’t need to fill out your survey, Roku. And from your ReplayTV history, you should remember and embrace your past of getting rid of commercials. That’s what people really want.

Why did you send out a survey that ignores the obvious?

Willful ignorance implies you have an advertiser. They want to hear that they should spend advertising dollars with you; so you are sending out a survey to bolster that position. Sorry, my answer is that advertisers suck, and I’m happier in my life without them.

Or it could be that you’re just Ignorant. What do people really want? Are you too busy for some introspection to figure it out? Here’s a question to ask:

“If you have the choice of watching something with commercials, or without commercials: which would you pick?”

No other factors; just the simple choice: which would you pick?

And now you are a little less ignorant. You’re welcome. 🙂

AT&T bill – something that (seems to me) should be illegal

I received my bill in the mail on Friday, February 7th, 2020. The bill says it should be paid by February 15, 2020. Trying to squeeze people into late charges much?

The bill says it’s Issue Date is January 25, 2020 – two weeks prior to delivery. Of course, it’s prepaid bulk mail, so there is no actual postmark.

I remember the Post Office doing some new initiative where they get mail to us in 24 hours (although I assume that applies to local delivery only). I don’t think this is a post office problem. My guess is that AT&T is just being a shitty company. Hard to prove, though.

Way back when, I remember a consultant telling us of a mainframe that printed checks on the other side of the country. ZIP code starts with 9? Print it on the East Coast and mail it from there. ZIP code starts with 0 (zero)? Print it on the West Coast and mail it from there.

This could be something similar. Or, it could actually be that they just put a pallet full of paper bills on a storage rack for two weeks, and then sent them out.

Apple Watch is kind of stupid – it cannot connect to Ford Sync

I had a need to leave my iPhone behind, but I wanted to listen to an audiobook while I drove somewhere. I downloaded the book to the Apple Watch, and then went to the car to run my errand. But the Apple Watch would fail to pair to Ford Sync.

Ford Sync was introduced to the world in 2007. The Apple Watch was introduced to the world in 2015. Apple, a company with plenty of money to do research and development, should have gotten this right.

It’s not like Ford is some small niche car company.

The Apple Watch and Ford Sync would talk with each other and show me the PIN, and ask me to verify that the PIN showed up. It did. And then the pairing would fail. This is stupid. Apple has enough market share to do quality control, and be good at this sort of thing.

But apparently at Apple, Quality is Job 3.

Fruit of the Loom and Jockey underwear

Fruit of the Loom Men’s Breathable V-Neck T-Shirts are no longer available

I’m bummed. I suppose I should have seen that they weren’t terribly popular, and stocked up on them while I had the chance.

But I didn’t, and now they are no more.

Technically, I don’t terribly care if the brand is Fruit of the Loom or not. I’m generally a fan of that brand, because I think they just put out a high quality product. But if someone else comes up with a T-Shirt made of the same material, I’d happily buy from them.

These particular T-Shirts were made of a fabric that had both polyester and spandex in it. So the shirts cling to my torso well, which makes moisture wicking particularly effective in them. Hello 21st Century! I’m a fan.

The label says they are 91% cotton, 5% polyester, and 4% spandex. The label is also sublimated dye into the fabric, so here two years later, the label is as clear as can be. I do like tagless shirts. But most of the other tagless T-Shirts I have were printed with some crap ink on top of the material, that then flakes off in the wash. But these Fruit of the Loom shirts still look good, which is a testament to high quality design and manufacture.

They are simply high quality T-Shirts. Which is why I am bummed they didn’t make it in the market. They were made in Pakistan. Anyone over there have a stash left over that they want to sell?

Jockey Men’s Underwear Sport Microfiber Boxer Brief; pricing on Amazon signals me they think I am a chump

Again with the theme that I like modern fabrics / materials, I like the Jockey Men’s Underwear Sport Microfiber Boxer Brief. The material is great: 80% polyester, 20% spandex. I also very much like the horizontal fly, and the positioning of it.

However, at one time, Jockey was selling these on Amazon in two-packs, for $24.

Today, you can buy them from Jockey themselves, and the price is two for $24.

But today, on Amazon, Jockey only sells them in single packs, for $18.

$6 per piece markup, because I’m buying them from Amazon? What do they think I am? A chump?

Apparently, Jockey thinks I am a chump.

Yeah, I’m buying Terramar Men’s 6″ SilkSkins AIRCOOL Boxer Briefs with Fly instead. $11 per piece. From Amazon.

I have three reasons for buying from Amazon, and not buying direct from Jockey:

  • Amazon Prime rewards credit card: I’m building up points; Jockey isn’t going to give me that through direct sales, and in order to get that through Amazon, I have to pay 50% more per piece than Jockey themselves will sell it to me. Apparently, Jockey thinks I am a chump.
  • Amazon Prime delayed shipping: I get $1 toward music / mp3 files for download.
  • Amazon Smile donation: one half of 1 percent of my shopping goes to a charity of my choice. Sure, for the one purchase of six pieces of underwear, that only generates 36 cents of donation; but that’s better than nothing, and over time, it builds up.

The fly on the Terramar is way high up, which is not where I would like it to be. I don’t know if the legal system is structured so that Terramar can move the fly down to the location that Jockey has it, without getting sued by Jockey for copying the design.

The Terramar briefs are also a slightly different material: 86% nylon + 14% spandex versus 80% polyester + 20% spandex. The result is that they don’t grip as tightly as the Jockey briefs. I prefer the Jockey Microfiber brief material. I have since come to prefer the Terramar briefs. When one is sitting in a chair, the Terramar briefs are more comfortable than the Jockey briefs. Also, the material is softer, which is nice.

But so far (that I know of), Terramar has never structured a deal where they insulted my intelligence for buying their product through Amazon.

Quality of product

I’ve also noticed that the Fruit of the Loom stuff fits well, where other brands are built for short people. Perhaps by cutting the material short, the manufacturer thinks they are going to save a half penny per undershirt. They save a minuscule amount of money; and, I expose ass-crack. Wonderful.

Or, I can get the Fruit of the Loom stuff, and the shirts fit correctly from the beginning. The Fruit of the Loom stuff is also built with good “registration”.

In the printing industry, there is the concept of how well things are printed in relation to each other. Ink gets laid down in colors (passes), so the registration is how well the red print lines up with the blue print lines up with the yellow print. You want green (but only want to pay for three color printing)? Print yellow on top of blue. But the registration had better be good, because otherwise one edge of the green image will be blue, and the opposite edge, yellow.

In T-Shirts, the registration is between the neck hole, and the sides (seams). The badly sewn shirts have the neck hole off-center from the sleeves. I won’t wear these for work; but, in place of a pajama top, an oversize T-Shirt works fine. One interesting piece of technology is cloth that is woven into a tube, so there is no seam at all. I have no idea of how this is done; I imagine that it is a technological miracle. And I suppose if seams bothered me, I’d really like the seamless feature. However, if the fabric doesn’t have side seams, then the line of where the side falls is where the bottom of the sleeve (armpit) joins the shirt. Poor registration is a big problem here. I’ve seen T-Shirts where the neck hole was two inches off center from the armpit holes. Not a fan.

I’ve never seen this problem with the Fruit of the Loom shirts. Which is another reason I like the brand.

Hanes brand does have registration problems, in my experience. The cheapest Amazon house brand shirts are the worst.

Much of happiness is hope, no matter how deep the underworld, in which that happiness was conceived.

Called upon properly, the internal critic will suggest something to set in order, which you could set in order, which you would set in order, voluntarily, without resentment, even with pleasure.

Ask yourself: is there one thing that exists in disarray in your life or your situation, that you could and would set straight? Could you, and would you, fix that one thing, that announces itself humbly, in need of repair?

Could you do it now?

Imagine that you are someone with whom you must negotiate. Imagine further, that you are lazy, touchy, resentful, and hard to get along with. With that attitude, it’s not going to be easy to get you moving. You might have to use a little charm and playfulness. 😉 “Excuse me” you might say to yourself (without irony or sarcasm), “I’m trying to reduce some of the unnecessary suffering around here. I could use some help.” (keep the derision at bay).

“I’m wondering if there’s anything you would be willing to do? I’d be very grateful for your service.” Ask honestly, and with humility.

(offers reward for doing the dishes)

Then you could listen. Maybe you will hear a voice inside. Maybe it’s even the voice of a long lost child. Maybe it will reply. “Really? You really want to do something nice for me? You’d really do it? It’s not a trick?” This is where you must be careful. That little voice, that’s the voice of someone once burnt and twice shy. So you could say, very carefully, “Really. I might not do it very well, and I might not be great company, but I will do something nice for you. I promise.” A little careful kindness goes a long way. And judicious reward is a powerful motivator. … and then do the damned dishes.

And then you’d better not go clean the bathroom, and forget about the coffee or the movie or the beer, or it will be even harder to call those forgotten parts of yourself forth from the nooks and the crannies of the underworld.

Jordan B Peterson – Twelve Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

Selling some stock

I happen to have a need to raise some cash, so it’s time to sell some stock. Some of it, I’m going to liquidate, and call the loses final. Others, I’m going to shave back and get the cash, but leave as much as I can in there, so that they continue to grow.

APRN – Man, what a stinker. I was using the Blue Apron service, and loved it (for a while), so I bought in shortly after they did their Initial Public Offering (IPO). The next day after, one of the stock guys I listen to said (essentially) “don’t buy APRN – this IPO is just a liquidity event for the initial investors; they are going to take your cash and run. It’s going to be a terrible stock.” That information was too late – I’d already bought. Worse, when it was near it’s bottom, my pride told me to put in some more, so as to dollar-cost-average my loss, so that if it did come back, it would be easier to cross into the black. All in all, I will be down 91%. All I’m really getting is peace of mind, to no longer be reminded of this stinker.

ADXS – Another stinker. This one was supposed to be a good biotech play; but something happened, and the entire market has just trashed this stock. I might as well get out, because it looks like it will never come back. Down 99%. Worse – the trading commission is actually more than the liquidation reap of what is left. Thankfully, I only had $500 in there in the first place. Again – peace of mind, getting rid of this stinker.

AA and ARNC – Way back when, I heard that Alcoa was a good idea, so I went with it. There was probably a momentary opportunity to make some money (listening to stock picker guys who don’t have that great a track record (again)). There was some sort of corporate fight over control of the Board, and it split into two stocks: Alcoa and Arconic. And then both fell. I don’t have much of this loser, but I’d like to get rid of it anyway. Down 15% on Arconic. Forgot to look at the down percentage on Alcoa.

XOM – At one time, Exxon-Mobile was the greatest petroleum company in the world. Might still be. But I had a single share, and I’m down 20% on it. I’ve held it a long time, but it never quite ever made it back into the black. Might as well be done with the mental overhead of seeing it on the list.

NUAN – Nuance Communications. This was another stock suggestion by one of the guys I listen too. Problem is, someone whispered in his ear that with all the AI stuff going on, these people were going to get swept up in the growth of the industry. But that’s not how technology companies work. So it’s been dead money for a long time; I will be down 1%, but at least I’ll have the cash I put in way-back-when. By the way, after I bought the stock, (months later) out of the blue, the networks team sends me work order to help integrate the Nuance software with our email system. I had no idea; but the fact that they were making sales (well, at least one) caused me to hang on to this stock probably longer than I should have.

SQM – This is a South American mining company; I bought it because I thought they had a lot of metals needed in the high tech battery industry. But the more basic resources are down, and South America in general is not a fun place right now, so I’m down 54%. I’m getting out.

REMX – VanEcke Rare Earth Metals ETF. Similar idea to SQM, but ETF’s are probably not a good long term hold. I’m down 40%, and getting out.

CRSP – Crispr Theraputics. Actually, I’m up 142% on this stock, so I’ve sold enough to cover my initial cost, and will let the rest ride.

INTC – Intel. Similar story: I’m up 90%, so I’m selling not quite 1/2 so that what remains is “free money”.

MU – Micron Technology. I bought both Intel and Micron about the same time, because I love the idea of their Optane memory technology. The two companies have a research / manufacturing partnership for this technology, and I think it’s great. Since I’m up 44%, I might as well sell enough to cover the cost I initially got in at, and let the rest ride as “free money”.

CY – Cypress Semiconductor. This was a 5G play, and I’m up 63%. Same story: sell what it cost, so the rest is free money.

SWKS – Sky Works Solutions. You know that stock picker guy I listen to, who so often steers me wrong? Well, he was talking to a different stock picker guy, and they both liked this stock, and they were right. Apparently the company makes wireless modem chips that go to a small cell phone company you might have heard on named Apple. I’m up 19% (although at times, this stock was up 50%). I needed to get the total amount a cash from today’s sales to a certain point, so I sold five shares.

And there you have it: thirteen sales to generate cash I will need in a few days. Some of it was getting rid of losers that make me feel bad. Some of it was selling the same dollar amount as it cost me to get in; what is left in, I am happy to let ride. If it goes up, that is great! If it goes down, I don’t really care, since I’ve gotten my initial investment out of it.

Strawberry Perl did a brain-dead thing to me

When one installs Strawberry Perl, one gets a file structure that has a directory named “site”. Underneath “site” is “bin”.

But of course, there is also a “bin” directory where the perl.exe is stored too. Why wouldn’t you store your source code in the bin directory with the perl.exe? If you are in that directory at the command prompt, perl.exe doesn’t have to do any searching to find your Perl script.

Somewhere along the line, I was told “Don’t put your source code in the bin directory where perl.exe is stored. An upgrade will come along, and delete everything in the directory where perl.exe is – including your source code! Put your scripts in ../site/bin because that won’t get wiped out during an update of perl.exe”

And, I just upgraded Strawberry Perl, and it wiped out everything.

Yes: including the ../site/bin directory dedicated to being my safe place for my source code! It’s the place (that was supposed to be) protected from accidental-upgrade-based-deletion.

Just “bin” – expect everything there to be wiped, when an upgrade happens. But “../site/bin” – the whole reason we have this extra folder structure is because there should be a place for your code that doesn’t get clobbered during an upgrade.

And Strawberry Perl clobbered it anyway.

Sigh. This make me really leery of trying to make scripts I could distribute to my users. Should we need to push an upgrade to Strawberry Perl, if someone had written their own scripts, we would clobber their work! Gah!