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

As I am contemplating the possibility of working onsite again for the first time in a long while, I'm thinking about what changes I'll need to make to make it happen. I don't think it's the freedom of working from home per se that I miss, or the ability to sneak off for a lunchtime nap.

 I've taken to the habit of dictating my email, blog posts, specifications, long form text, etc.. It started innocently enough, Anne broke her arm and was trying to work at least part time while she was rehabbing.  I started dictating my writing basically so I could understand the dictation functionalities in macOS just so I can answer questions if Anne asked.  Then I found something out first off my hands felt better. I've been struggling with carpal tunnel issues as I've gotten older and dictating more of my correspondence allowed me to save keystrokes in my hands for coding. I also find that I "write" better when dictating over typing.  When I type I tend to be a little more formal in my writing than I am when I dictate it. Of course, I can't do this in a modern office, especially if I'm working in a cubicle. It would be too distracting to my office mates and I fear I'd come off as a modern day Don Draper.

As a funny aside, I have added "SR:siri" to the bottom of my business letter template as a modern version of typists' initials.

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. 

College

This has popped up on a couple of friends feeds over the past day or so.  I thought I’d repurpose my response as a blog post.

  •  The biggest mistake mistake we've made is deemphasizing voctech in favor of a stronger STEM program. We all need plumbers. car mechanics, electricians, etc.   There will always be people who either by talent, means or interest won't attend college. These are good paying careers.
  •  We desperately need an impartial counselor in the Student Loan process, Someone to say "Your loan is $x / mo, entry level salaries in your field pay $Y/mo, Housing, food and necessitates cost $z/ mo. Is this a good plan? Can we find another plan?". The problem is that it's in no one's best interest to ask that question, except the student. The high school wants a higher percentage of their students to go to college. The bank wants you to take the loan because it's federally guaranteed. Parents want their kids dreams to come true.

Happy Drupal Security Update Day

 

 

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.

 

 

Lunchtime Learning
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Between Voldemort, Death Eaters, Dementors, the Daleks, Cybermen, Yeti, The Terrible Zodin, Dinosaurs and Moriarty, I'lll avoid the UK

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Thought

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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