Free Car Jack!

We found a free car jack under our Prius today! Yay! I’m sure the catalytic converter shield we installed on the car has nothing to do with this!

 

They left the car 1/2 jacked up on a fine hydraulic jack. But they took the bar you use to pump it up. They must have had to leave in a hurry.

Megan had the shield installed. I think it was around $400. The insurance deductible is $500 so it almost doesn’t make sense to get one until you factor in the week of waiting for the car repair and the fact that there’s nothing stopping them from stealing it a second time!
The mechanic who installed it (Steve’s Auto in El Cerrito) said that thieves sometimes cut through the shields so if you make them, make them sturdier than you think they should be, and that’ll be about right.

Actually Getting Rid of Daylight Savings Time

I’ve been railing on the idiocy of Daylight Savings Time on this blog for literally 20 years.

Now, the dream that actually helps dreamers sleep at night might actually come true! The Sunshine Protection Act has been moving it’s way through the hallowed halls of congress and might actually (mostly) get rid of daylight savings time forever in the US! Hurray and Huzzah! The “mostly” part is that we’d permanently be one hour off of the actual solar time. That’s moderately less idiotic than switching our clocks twice a year.  I’ll take it. I’m glad to hear that politicians still find it necessary to meddle with the fabric of time itself.

Here’s a promotional poster for it: sunshine-protection-act-2019-one-pager

Write to your federal house representative in favor of the Sunshine Protection Act!

Here’s my letter to my house representative:

This may seem like a small issue but I beg of you to please say “yes” to the Sunshine Protection Act, (S623). It passed the Senate on March 15th, 2022 Get rid of Daylight Savings Time! That twice-a-year change screws me up for a week. Does it mess up your week? It messes up everyone in the country’s week! Get rid of it!

Voice Typing for Gmail??

Voice Typing for Google Docs works so well. Why oh why isn’t there a voice typing feature for Gmail? I have seen a few

There’s a Chrome extension called Dictation for Gmail with 100,000+ users but I simply don’t trust the organization behind it enough to push this button:

I can’t find out enough information about dictation.tools and Greg Sadetsky, the developer of this “free” extension, to trust them with unlimited access to my email! I would pay money for this!

 

Windows Sandbox Virtual Machine

Windows Sandbox is a nice, quick virtual machine that you probably already have.

It’s great to use virtual machine software like this when you need to download and run suspicious software that might have a virus or be otherwise unsavory. Instead of hoping and praying that your anti-virus holds up, you just start a Sandbox and ‘tada!’ you have an extra throwaway computer! Run programs in it, access the internet, copy files wherever. When you’re done, close the Sandbox and everything in it is GONE forever.

Find out how to turn on Windows Sandbox here. (I didn’t say “download” it because you already have it if you have Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education build 18305 or Windows 11!)

It’s not as powerful as other virtual machine software like Virtualbox or VMware but it’s way easier to set up!

Clippy Lives!

I’m starting to use a web-based Microsoft Outlook for a new job and I swear to god Clippy still works there!

To translate into English: every “helpful” prompt the app gives me is asinine, anti-helpful and makes me think scornfully, “What the hell were they thinking?”

 

Dynalist: My Favorite Productivity Tool

After 5 months of continual use, I can say that Dynalist is my favorite productivity tool!

In brief, it’s a To-Do list manager. The format is pleasantly simple: start with nested bulleted lists, add some slick search tools, keyboard shortcuts, works-anywhere (Chrome, android app, etc), and Google Calendar integration and BAM, I’ve got a great todo-list, note-jotter, keep-me-on-time tool!

It’s sweet spot is working with short bullet items, up to 30 words or so. You can also write longer documents in it but for true document writing, it’s better to just link to a Google Doc.

I tried several other todo list managers last year and this one came out on top! I paid for a year’s access but if you don’t need the Google calendar integration, the free version works perfectly well!

Time For Your Second COVID Booster Shot

If you’re over 50 and it’s been 4+ months since your COVID booster, it’s probably time to get your second booster.

In photos: Total Reported COVID deaths,   CDC

Yes, people are still dying from COVID.

A Joke

What if soy milk is just regular milk introducing himself in Spanish?

Taking My Winnings

After 8 calls to PG&E over 5 months, they fixed the rattling manhole cover outside of my daughter’s school. It’s the little things, right?

I feel like I’m putting a lot of energy out into the universe and not getting much in return.

The offending manhole cover

It now sits flat! Hurray!

 

My notes. Too many notes about too small of a problem!

 

3-18-22 follow-up:
On the Madera Parents Facebook group, my message about this got 45+ likes and 18 personal accolades. It seems more than just a few other people were bothered by this issue!

 

Remarkable Credit Card Fraud

On Friday we opened a new credit card account. On Monday we got a phone call with the caller ID showing as being from the credit card, and they said the new account had been frozen and we’d have to send personal like a photo of a Social Security card. It was fairly believable but then the caller asked for “confirmation” of our email address. It became clear that they didn’t have it so we hung up. The credit card had not been frozen and the card was still on its way. I hadn’t ever seen that kind of fraud attempt! Stay alert my friends!

[update 3-24-22]. Oop. It was legit. We got 2 letters in the mail a few days later, one with the new card, and one saying “There’s a problem, call us.” Darn it, all the had to say on the initial call was “look on our website and call us back on the number you see there.”