Archive for September, 2005

swimming journal

September 18th, 2005

2005 total: 5km
since 2004: 25.5km

your weekend reading

September 16th, 2005

I found this issue of a Jaunary 2005 Scientific American lying around the house, open on page 70, an article entitled "Exploring the self-esteem myth". (Yes, that's the online printer-friendly version, also happens to be the reader-friendly version with less ads in it.)

Basically, it attacks our intuitive perception of how self-esteem affects our lives with some scientific studies. Among other things, research shows basically no correlation between self-esteem and academic performance. Most social skills also tend to fall into that group. Another myth put to bed is that of bullies having low self-esteem, doesn't seem to be the case.

But one aspect closely connected is happiness, extensive studies show that high self-esteem correlates with happiness, so we still need it, just not in the way we thought.

pedantic? sometimes

September 15th, 2005

I was playing around with amarok today when I realized how good it is for id3 tag handling. So I started cleaning up the tags in my music library, fixing typos in artist names and such, amarok makes this all very quick and convenient. Also categorizing into genres and just killing dead weight. I don't know how long I've had this song on my harddrive but it's time to say goodbye to "Gary, Gary, Gary, Gary Pallister". Among others.


DHL, your report card is ready

September 14th, 2005

Closely related to the previous entry but this one deserves a thread of its own.

Merchandise: electronics, 2lbs.
Route: NY, USA -> Trondheim, Norway
Fee: $49
Courier: DHL Global Express

Notice the immodest fee, $49 for shipping, that's not peanuts. I get an email from DHL saying the package has been sent and I got an url for tracking. It gets into Oslo within 2 days, that's not bad.

But that's a Friday 7am, even though there's no shipping on Saturdays, nothing more gets done. By Tuesday it finally gets to Trondheim and they try to deliver while I'm not home. Gee, they do have my email address and they're supposed to send me delivery notification, so how about an email on Monday saying "expect delivery on Tuesday at __ o'clock". No, that would be too convenient. On Tuesday at 11am they come by, noone's answering the door so they leave a note saying they came by.

I come home, see the note, call them up. "Will you be home tomorrow between 10 and 4pm?" "Can't you tell me a more specific time?" "No, the delivery guy has lots of packages *blahblah* *some excuse*." So I stay home all day waiting, thinking it'll be 11am probably, as last time. The whole day goes by, no sign of him. I also gave them my phone number over the phone, they were supposed to call me. Meanwhile the online tracking page shows "delivery attempted" at 3.54pm, which is bs because noone came. No note today either.

I call them up again, the customer service guy doesn't understand how this happened. He says he has no choice but to reschedule for tomorrow. *sigh* I don't feel like sitting home another day for this. "How about I come by and pick it up." "That would probably be the easiest." Yeah for you guys. It takes me half an hour to find the place, out on the peer. I give him the tracking number, 20 minutes on I have my package.

So for $49 I have the privilige of driving to the terminal and getting the package myself, door to door delivery my ass. They never called or emailed about delivery, since I'm not a psychic I didn't know when to expect him the first time and after that he just didn't show up. Global delivery specialist..

brave new world

September 14th, 2005

So I'm sitting at home because I'm expecting a package from bloody DHL (will you be home tomorrow between 10 and 4? *sigh*) and I'm working at a moderate pace while I absent mindedly open some websites in my bookmarks as 2 brothers on the 4th floor sing about how it makes them "Feel so good" when I glance cross the front page of the Guardian and spot this story about attitudes toward plastic surgery.

The story turns out to be very interesting. No, disturbing is the word I'm looking for.