Yay, filter spam in GMail by country

I’ve been waiting for this forever. Filter email from Russia or China in GMail!

  1. Click “Create Filter” located at the top of your Inbox
  2. In the “Has the words:” field, enter: lang:Russian
  3. Select “Delete it” within the Action List, and (if you have existing Russian Spam) select: “Apply Filter to Conversations below”
  4. Click “Create Filter”

Of course, if you expect to receive legitimate email in Russian or Chinese, don’t do this. 🙂 But I’d say 80% of my spam is in Chinese…

Truro, please call your local math teacher

From the Cape Cod Times comes a story of counting votes gone awry. From the article:

The exact count of the vote — 136 to 70 —had town officials hitting their calculators yesterday. The zoning measure needed a two-thirds vote to pass. A calculation by town accountant Trudy Brazil indicated that 136 votes are two-thirds of 206 total votes, said Town Clerk Cynthia Slade.

Brazil said she used the calculation of .66 multiplied by 206 to obtain the number.

But using .6666 — a more accurate version of two-thirds — the affirmative vote needed to be 137 instead of 136, according to an anonymous caller to town hall and to the Times.

Almost makes me cry. “A more accurate version of two-thirds”? What?

Quick, pull out your calculator. Two-thirds of 206 is 137.33 (with repeating 3’s), which means you actually need 138 votes. So the town accountant and the anonymous caller were both wrong. Err, so do you think they changed the results of the vote?

Save Chuck!

NBC is likely to cancel Chuck, one of my favorite shows on TV. No, please no! Even the critics don’t think it should be cancelled. There are a lot of reasons not to.

And a fansite is trying to get people to buy sandwiches at Subway to show support.

On April 27th be sure to BUY A $5 FOOTLONG from Subway and if possible, drop a note in the comment box at the franchise letting them know you’re participating in the Finale and Footlong campaign to save NBC’s Chuck, of which Subway is a product placement sponsor.

I’ll put that on my calendar…

Just Married!

wedding

I just got married! Woo-hoo! My lovely wife’s name is Kim, and we enjoyed a wonderful wedding at Sierra Madre Congregational Church and a honeymoon down in Huatulco, Mexico.

We had two amazing photographers, from Karen Leah Photography, and Karen just
blogged about our wedding. Kim and I were complimented on our choice of photographers so many times. Karen and Brian were very good, and they were also very enthusiastic, supportive, and competent. We’d really recommend them very highly!

Now I’m back at work. I’m enjoying a life without wedding preparation again! Coming back from the warm weather and beautiful water in Oaxaca to rainstorms in Pasadena was tough.

I will be a groom

I get to be a groom after all. For a little while, it looked like I would be reduced to Person A on the California marriage licenses. As reported by CBS,

When same-sex marriage became legal in the state on June 16, the health department issued new gender-neutral marriage forms with the words “Party A” and “Party B” where “bride” and “groom” used to be.

The latest paperwork, which county clerks will be required to use starting Nov. 17, will have blank spaces for applicants’ names and personal information next to the words “First Person Data” and “Second Person Data” and boxes for checking “bride” or “groom.”

UCLA Fans at a TN Game

I drafted a letter last week, after being at the Rose Bowl to see UCLA beat TN, 27-24, in a depressing, but exciting game. I was really disappointed in the UCLA fans for the three and a half quarters. They only seemed to realized that they were at a football game sometime in the fourth quarter.

But I waited too long to send the letter to the UCLA Athletics Dept. or to one of the local papers. Oh well…

Congratulations to the UCLA Bruins and Coach Neuheisel for an exciting
win last night. The Bruin defense really kept their team in the game in
the first half, and the offense came through when it mattered. The
resilience of the football team was impressive.

Unfortunately, the experience at the Rose Bowl as a fan was anything but
impressive. As a transplanted Volunteer fan, I was excited about the
chance to see Tennessee play in the Rose Bowl. I was sitting in section
14 with five friends, tickets that I was told were in the visiting team
section. In reality, it was a fair mix of Vol and Bruin fans. Bruin fans
appear to believe that when you go to a football game, you sit down and
don’t raise your voice until the fourth quarter. My friends and I were
on our feet cheering for most of the first quarter. That didn’t sit well
with the fans in our section, who called security over to tell us to sit
down. We were rather incredulous when the supervisor told us we were not
allowed to stand up again until halftime. Is that what passes for
football excitement for UCLA? I’ve never been in a quieter stadium
during a game in which neither team ever led by more than seven points.

The security supervisor was very cordial and told us that it was
considered UCLA courtesy at the Rose Bowl to stay seated. I hope every
Bruin fan who makes the trek to Knoxville next year realizes that they
probably won’t be able to see much if they stay seated. If the football
monopoly in Los Angeles is truly over, UCLA fans will need to be
educated about how to cheer at a real football game.

Dear FDIC

The Motley Fool has an article about the DFDIC deal with IndyMac loanholders..

But no, I won’t qualify for this help, and you probably won’t either. In order to get help from the FDIC — help that as taxpayers, you and I are paying for — two things have to be true:

  • Borrowers have to have overextended themselves on their mortgage loans, most likely by either pulling out too much of their equity via refinancing or by getting burned by an adjustable-rate mortgage.
  • The bank where the loan was taken has to have been so badly mismanaged that it gets taken over by the FDIC.

Yep. I’ll admit to thinking that myself. How come I never get benefits from making bad decisions?

But there’s certainly an element of “help your neighbor” sort of thing. The rest of the economy, which I do benefit from, will benefit from having homeowners (wait, you can’t call them homeowners since they owe more than the house is worth…) who can’t pay their loans get supported by government money.

I just have to remind myself of that. Often remind myself of that.Rewarding bad behavior is not a habit I want to see my government get into the habit of doing.