Sean Reiser

Hi I'm Seán Reiser, this is my Personal Blog

“A person is what they think about all day long”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
St Agnus Carhwsewal

Got into a conversation about the old ceiling in St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Center. This was the ceiling in the 1980s.

Instead of listening to the sermons, I'd sit in a pew and try to solve the ceiling.

English Level

One of my problems is that I tend to overthink things.  In my head, I suspect this question is asking me if I'm a native English speaker, but when I see “professional” I'm thinking, “do I get paid primarily for my English skills?”   I have friends and acquaintances who make their primary living as writers. They make money off their novels, create marketing content, and write television shows, plays and movies. They’ve won awards. They have two hour debates over the use of an Oxford comma. They are professional writers.

When you add in the 260 point chasm between my Math and English  SAT scores from high school I really don't class my English skills as "professional".  I even think I'd be lying if I call my skills advanced. I'm mid-level at best.  I could probably get a B on a regents level High School English class.  I have average skills  so I’d class ,myself as mid-level.

As I say, in tech 53 is the new 85

33

I was filling out a job application for a senior architect position on LinkedIn this evening, and one of the questions I was asked was how many years I've been working in technology. I put in 33 years and it tells me it's an invalid value. Did some testing the largest number you could put it was 29 years.  I seem to have three choices:

  1. Lie, which would invalidate my application
  2. Track down the company and send an email to their HR department
  3. Skip it and move on.
I have to admit it does wonders for one's self-confidence.  I'm not saying it's age discrimination, because I believe it is incompetence, not discrimination.  But it's clear to say that somebody could interpret this as a message "people over 50 need not apply".  So I lied on the application, and corrected it in my cover letter.

In the "it figures" category, the bedroom air conditioner died last night halfway through this week long heat wave. We headed over to PC Richard and ordered a new unit. By the time we could sign off from the co-op it'll be next Friday before it's here, just in time for the heatwave to end.  We jerry-rigged some fans to blow air into the bedroom from the living room and around the living room AC overnight. This is the most expensive way to go I suspect that we're also cooling off the living room while we're sleeping but it's good for a couple days.

Luckily Anne is out of town for a few days so I can close off the bedroom and sleep on the couch for a few days using the living room unit.

Laptop

For a long while I’d put a translucent apple rainbow sticker over the glowing apple cutout my on MacBooks Pro. Most people would ignore it, some people understood, a surprising number of people thought it was a statement on gay rights. It was just nostalgia for me. Dating back to my first computer in ’84, my Apples had a rainbow logo.

While I was working with a non-profit I was presenting a new design for their logo and website, presenting from my laptop. This non-profit is one of those places that Sr Democratic operatives work when the Rs are in power. Participants in the meeting included a former Attorney General, a former Assistant Sec of Defense (who would rejoin the Obama Administration as Secretary), someone who would become President Obama’s Chief of Staff and the guy who wrote the 9/11 Commission Report (all very serious people, who I think could have me killed with one phone call). The meeting went off well, and with some minor modifications, they used the designs I presented  

Well, after the meeting the comms director gives me a tongue lashing. About how important people don’t want frivolous things around. She became a dog with a bone, so eventually I removed it just to stop the argument. Now a days The Apple doesn’t glow any more. so the rainbow logo isn’t as fun on my machine. 

Temperature hit 95° today. Scorching hot even inside the apartment.

Was on the phone with somebody the topic of the weather came up. Is asked where my air conditioner was set and I said it was at 79°. The reason I keep it there is that at 80° my hands sweat and the trackpad on my laptop stops working.  I'd probably keep it a little warmer if I could, especially in the current world with the cost of  electrcity.

 

An Open Letter to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez

Dear Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez:

First off, I'd like to thank you for the hard work you do as a Congressperson. We may not be always in agreement politically, but I respect the work you do and the office you hold.

I was reading the above article about the situation that members of Congress are in, having to maintain two homes in order to properly do their job. This is something I've actually thought about often,because I've been in a similar situation. For several years I had a temporary gig in Northern Connecticut, but still maintained other work back here in New York City. After working the CT gig for a month, spending 4 hours a day commuting on top of the 8 to 10 hours a day working was getting to be too much for me. Since the gig was open to renewals, I didn't know when things were going to end.  So I found some temporary Connecticut housing in a SRO which I rented on top of my Astoria, Queens apartment. I understand something of the costs of maintaining two households as well as a longer than average commute and the costs that entails both financially and personally.

I have to question your discussion is when you say it's difficult  to maintain 2 households on your $174,000 salary. The average New York City salary is about $75,000 a year, so you were making $100,000 more than your average constituent. In my head, I've always justified congressional salaries because of the added expenders Congresspeople have with housing and commuting.

I got to thinking about the numbers.  An average rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in the Washington, DC is just under $3,000.  If you figure another $500 a month for maintenance and utilities on the apartment and $1000/mo to fly back and forth from NYC, you're still collecting $120,000 a year, $45,000 a year more than your average constituent.

In my younger days, like you, I was a service worker. I couldn't imagine how I'd react if somebody at one of my tables was complaining to me that they had trouble making ends meet on a salary that was twice what I was making.  I imagine I'd feel this person who is out of touch with people in the lower and middle class of society.

Again I respect who you are, I respect what you do, but I wish you'd think of the large number of people you represent who aren't earning what you're earning in times where inflation is running amuck and it's harder each day for the average New Yorker to make ends meet. I don't like using the word "privilege" but this is what it feels like.

Thank you again for your service.

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For health reasons, I'm thinking about how I can have a more organized lifestyle. As I've hit middle age, the notion of sleep and eat when I get to it isn't working like it used to. I need to find ways to eat at regular intervals, sleep at the same time of the day every day for at least six hours, and find more time for exercise or walking.

The current regimen of doing some work on the overnight, sleeping a couple hours, waking up in the morning to do more work during the day, and taking a short nap before the overnight when I work some more is working less and less. I'm often tired and not in a great mood. The notion that I'm only off the hours that the Internet is closed needs to change. Seven day weeks with 12+ hour days without vacations is no longer sustainable.  Since I've removed a large amount of soda from my diet last year, I'm taking less caffeine. My homemade iced tea isn't a strong as Coca-Cola. Which is good for me on one level but my "super power" of being able to go extended periods of time with little or no sleep it's fading away.

On the plus side, my diet has improved greatly over the last few years. More home-cooked meals ,more veggies, less junk. I'm not perfect I never will be but I've taken steps to improve this part of my health.

Been ill the last few days so I haven't been able to post. Got a couple things I wanna write about but it might be a day or two until I get to it since I'm catching up from my time off.