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Froggy the Great

Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

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Site owner emails me: "Help, I'm missing about $3000.00 worth of credit card transactions from my system over the last two months. See attached report." 

The list he sent me is the report of declined pre-authorizations. 

I explain that the report is of transactions that were attempted, but declined, the customer didn't get a car wash, but the site owner is still adamant it's missing money I have to help him recover. 

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1 minute ago, kristof65 said:

... the site owner is still adamant it's missing money I have to help him recover. 

 

I recommend Thugs R Us.

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1 minute ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

I recommend Thugs R Us.

LOL.

Well,  if we had a way to resubmit the transactions and he got paid for them, it would be theft.  So why not just recommend he get thugs to shake those card holders down?  Maybe he'd get the point then that he's asking us to help him commit a crime? 

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I would reccommend a new client... 

This one doesn't understand credit card systems, which is kind of a necessity to run a business these days. 

 

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I discovered the other day that it's not just small animals that exhibit the Flehmen response - big animals can too. It makes sense, just one of those things you don't think about until it pops up.

 

Now I want to paint this super seriously. Very elegantly with graceful watercolors, emulate some of the traditional Chinese art I've seen.

 

But keep the face and hang it in the bathroom. My friend already wants a print. :lol: 

411350891_flehmenresponsetiger.thumb.jpg.b469a6c282748e04fab19fad6adbd579.jpg

Edited by Morihalda
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2 minutes ago, Gadgetman! said:

I would reccommend a new client... 

This one doesn't understand credit card systems, which is kind of a necessity to run a business these days. 

 

It's partially a language barrier, too.  The guy is a recent immigrant from India or Thailand or something. 

Car Washes seem to attract a lot of immigrant owners

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An image from work this week. In the foreground is quite possibly the most successful created emergent marsh I've ever seen. It's completely free of invasive species and has one of the highest recorded vegetation index scores we've seen outside of some naturally occurring ecosystems. It is, for all intents, a pristine habitat. And in the background is one of the most notorious coal fired plants in the country. 17 years ago it became so bad the utility company operating it decided it was cheaper to buy the entire town it's located in rather than correct for pollution. Of course, by that point many of the residents had already developed health issues.

 

I thought the presence of such beauty in the shadow of such tragedy an interesting image and worth sharing.

 

20190619_100950.thumb.jpg.db696119df47228a6fda4539ed66f952.jpg

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9 minutes ago, Colonel Kane said:

I am sorry if this offends anyone, but I have Workman's Pride.

No offense taken.  You should always do work you can be proud of.

 

9 minutes ago, Colonel Kane said:

The higher ups will always set unrealistic goals for those of us in the trenches and we are the ones who will pay the price when grand schemes fail. That is life. 

But does it have to be?  Can't we make things better?

 

I have a knee-jerk reaction to "heroic" work because there are two prevalent cultures in IT operations:

  • The IT workers' hero culture, which prizes heroism and the capabilities of the workers.
  • The managers' culture, which is allowed to make poor decisions resulting in the necessity of that heroism (or worse, deliberately makes the decisions expecting the staff to act heroically).
    • Also, to be noted: Managers will praise your heroism but will not give you compensation.  Even if I work 80+ hours in a week, I won't be given comp time to make up for the non-work time I've lost.  Plus, since I'm salaried and exempt, I don't get overtime either.

The hero culture is a problem. Fixing it is probably beyond my ability, or the scope of the forums.

 

I'll be quiet now.

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2 minutes ago, Xiwo Xerase said:

No offense taken.  You should always do work you can be proud of.

 

But does it have to be?  Can't we make things better?

 

I have a knee-jerk reaction to "heroic" work because there are two prevalent cultures in IT operations:

  • The IT workers' hero culture, which prizes heroism and the capabilities of the workers.
  • The managers' culture, which is allowed to make poor decisions resulting in the necessity of that heroism (or worse, deliberately makes the decisions expecting the staff to act heroically).
    • Also, to be noted: Managers will praise your heroism but will not give you compensation.  Even if I work 80+ hours in a week, I won't be given comp time to make up for the non-work time I've lost.  Plus, since I'm salaried and exempt, I don't get overtime either.

The hero culture is a problem. Fixing it is probably beyond my ability, or the scope of the forums.

 

I'll be quiet now.

No, reason for you to be quite, but you are right, but as far as fixing it, well it will never happen. I am a student of history, ( I use to tell students I worked with I was ancient.) As far as I can tell, bosses, not everyone of them mind, expect more than what people can handle. Maybe in fifty years it will happen, buy I doubt it and by that time I will not care one way or the other.

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So I'm trying to get more professional with the tutorial videos I create for my client.  The microphone I was using for my last series just isn't cutting it - getting too many pops when i say certain words, like "speed" and "test" 

 

Any recommendations for relatively inexpensive microphones that are better than my mediocre HP gaming headset? 

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50 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

I've been thinking about getting a foam cutter, and if I do, I'm going to spring for the Proxxon. When everybody who uses a foam cutter swears by the same manufacturer, I figure I should probably follow their example.

 

That said, if you have access to a band saw, they work great for cutting foam and the small ones are about the same price as a Proxxon table.

 

Advantages:

  • Very fast (much faster than a hot-wire cutter). You can cut about as fast as you can safely feed the foam.
  • Very clean cuts. No worries about burning the foam if you pause for a second. Very little worry about flexing the cutting tool and getting a wonky cut.
  • No worries about getting just the right temperature.
  • No toxic smoke.

Disadvantages:

  • Hot wire cutters can give you nasty burns if you do things very wrong. Band saws can give you nasty amputations if you do things very wrong.
  • Band saws are very messy when cutting foam unless you have some sort of dust extraction system.
  • Band saws don't do cuts other than straight or smooth curves well at all.

 

I have a small table saw and band saw. I use them to cut foam a lot too. 

 

Table saw advantages

Very fast

Lots of room for ripping up large sheets

Accurate dado/rabbet, miter, cross and other cuts

 

Table saw disadvantages

Wide cut. 

Lots of foam saw dust which is way worse than wood saw dust to clean up

Hard to cut small pieces. I'm not brave/stupid enough to try cutting 1" or less square chunks on a table saw. I like having all my fingers.

 

I agree with what you wrote about bandsaws with one addition. The edges of the cuts are often rough needing to be sanded. Mine is small enough that I can only cut pieces just under 9" long and 2" thick on it. I made my foam cutter big enough to handle better than that. It can cut 6" thick and 12" wide and I'm not even sure how long. 12" x 12" and 4" thick it the biggest chunks I've run through it.

 

The biggest advantage for the foam cutter is the versatility and wide range of cuts you can do. And the cuts usually don't need any extra sanding or other work. Look at some of the jigs and videos from Shifting Lands. Amazing stuff and very easy to do with the proper equipment. The odds of burning yourself are small but it can happen. When you get the temp set right there's not too much fumes and you're literally only removing the width of the wire from your foam. Very handy for free hand and small/tiny pieces.

 

Now the problem with mine isn't that it won't cut. It's that the wire is too hot for fine work. This causes a lot of fumes, cuts are wide and can be sloppy if I stutter while pushing it through, can even make a hard layer of plastic on the edge of my cuts and leads to wires breaking often. The harder layer can be a pain if you're trying to do texturing on the foam like I am with the ton of walls I made this spring. In the short time my variable switches work for me I can do really nice work by adjusting the temp. But when it goes to full heat I'm limited to cruder large cuts.

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6 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

So I'm trying to get more professional with the tutorial videos I create for my client.  The microphone I was using for my last series just isn't cutting it - getting too many pops when i say certain words, like "speed" and "test" 

 

Any recommendations for relatively inexpensive microphones that are better than my mediocre HP gaming headset? 

Now see I would try to work in the phrase speed test into every sentence......

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Just now, Colonel Kane said:

Now see I would try to work in the phrase speed test into every sentence......

Note to self. Don't let Kane write my scripts...

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1 minute ago, kristof65 said:

Note to self. Don't let Kane write my scripts...

I may try to to do good job, but I can see opportunities, speed test, to mess with people.

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The mics I have most experience with are 'Conferencing'  table mics.

They're built to handle normal speech, mostly, and does it beautifully. 

Doesn't weork well with mumbling, paper sorters or nervous chai-shuffling, though.

 

We generally use the mics that comes with our Cisco Videoconferencing kits. New mics have mini jack plugs, but older have some special audio connector. 

 

Common to all these mics is that they're designed to be positioned quite a distance from the users, often 3' or more.  

Headset mics needs to be small and lightweight, and for some silly reason they try to handle a way too broad dynamic range. 

On the headset I use for Skype at work I have bent the mic so that it doesn't point so directly towards my mouth, and have taped on some foam, too. 

 

 

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