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Showing posts from November, 2011

Dell is inept

For the last several weeks, I've been trying to unsuccessfully place an order with Dell.

Let me tell you, that company is inept.

The only reason I'm trying to place an order with them is because I want a powerful desktop replacement laptop, and they have the only one I can find with an 18" screen.

But goodness, it's practically impossible to place an order with them.

Because I live in the Caribbean, I cannot have the order shipped to me in the first place. They don't ship anywhere out of the US. So I have to bug a friend, or use a freight forwarding service.

So, I'm now ordering an expensive laptop shipped (against my preference) to the US, but the card I'm paying with is from outside the US. So my order gets canceled by their verification team.

I contact the verification team, they ask me questions, and they finally say okay, you can try ordering now. Can they reinstate my existing order that they canceled? No. I have to get in touch with their reinstatement de…

LOL Slovenia

I just found this gem:

Čas je, da gre politika v stečaj!

Apparently, Slovenia has had an issue with high-profile companies going bankrupt in circumstances that may have involved fraud (but probably involved state favoritism and incompetence). The legal system in Slovenia is incapable of punishing people responsible, so the parliament passed a law which imposes the following blanket punishment:

Everyone who had an ownership or leadership role in a bankrupt company is prohibited from co-owning or leading another company, for 10 years after the end of the previous company's bankruptcy proceedings.

Bankruptcies in Slovenia can take decades, so the effective duration of the punishment may be much longer than 10 years.

Not only that, but people who had an ownership or leadership role in a bankrupt company up to two years before the bankruptcy are also subject to the same prohibition.

Is that ridiculous, or what?

Who on Earth is going to want to run a business in Slovenia?

Suppose a company is i…

There are no healthy foods - only healthy diets

I'm not a nutritionist. However, for the last 5 years or so, I've successfully based my diet on the following suspicions:Popular nutrition advice is probably misleading and puts exaggerated emphasis on fresh fruit, vegetables, and "natural" ingredients.While some people are highly sensitive to additives, and others to a lesser extent, most people aren't.For most people, what matters in diet is, by far, calorie count. It's no use to be eating a vegetable rich diet if you eat so much you're overweight. Conversely, a restricted calorie diet will lose you weight, even if it consists of sugar and fat. As long as your diet gives you enough vitamins and protein, not being overweight is what matters most for health.There's no such thing as a healthy food. There are only healthy diets. What matters is how the numbers add up, not the individual things you eat.

In this CNN article, a KSU nutrition professor lost 27 pounds over two months on a diet consisting larg…

Costa Rica vs. St. Kitts for the fitness-minded IT professional

My wife and I are originally from Europe. We currently live in St. Kitts, and are considering a move to Costa Rica. We're returning from a 5 week trip to Costa Rica, where our intent was to see what daily life would be like for us. Here are our findings.


Health care
St. Kitts: There are foreigners living in St. Kitts, as well as medical and veterinary students from the US. Everyone we talked to has warned us to stay away from the local hospital. A student who visited the hospital reported shoddy hygiene in multiple respects, including a cow walking the corridors. People who need a serious medical procedure, and can afford to, go to Puerto Rico, or the US. If you need to go to the local hospital in an emergency, such as an appendectomy, you can expect worse scarring, and probably a greater chance of complications than in the US.

Costa Rica: Costa Rica is a medical destination for visitors from the US, providing high quality care at lower cost than available in the broken US healthcare…

Diamonds are a marketing campaign

This article is fascinating for showing how much larger than the stones themselves the diamond product is. The stones aren't the product at all. The product is public opinion about diamonds. The suppliers create public opinion through product placement and advertising, and control price both by controlling supply, and by marketing diamonds in such a way as to discourage resale, which has the potential of upsetting the price in a big way.

That is the diamond product. The stones themselves are inconsequential.

The article is from 1982. It doesn't seem like a whole lot has changed since then; but it would be fascinating to read of later developments in the story.