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Friday, May 12th, 2017 07:05 am
Along with upgrading operating systems, i've decicded to switch to firefox. I started because i thought a google update might have something to do with the crashing, but i'm going all the way after reading an article that asked one to reflect on how much of your life is mediated by "the big five": Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and .... oh, right, Facebook. Because i don't use Microsoft products personally, i use Microsoft's search engine much of the time. Google was still getting all my browser traffic, though -- and they get whatever leakage of my life comes through my phone. No need for them to have access to all my browser usage.

I think i feel a little different about Apple and Amazon than Google: i am actually a paying customer for the first two, but the only way Google can make money is by monetizing what it knows about me. (Ditto Facebook.)

I can't remember when and why i switched from Firefox to Chrome, but switching back is quite a distraction. The number of places I am authenticated is remarkable.

--== ∞ ==--

In other news, Christine had the car checked out before i drive to Ohio and YOICKS! That's a bill that we didn't need to see. And when i chatted with my Dad i realized where i had been trained to Trust No One Selling You Stuff. There was a small lecture on ferreting out whether filter changes can wait a while longer. Then when i shared about the septic field blockage, i got advice on how you can gamble on not really fixing it, since sewage hasn't started pooling on the surface. I think we're doing the right thing getting the trees removed and planning to replace ripped out line, but the whole conversation went to my feeling of being sold a bill of goods. (That idiom makes no sense.)

And then there's the frustration at this cluster of trees on the first turn of the drain line was not called out by the guys who did the septic inspection. On one hand, the whole field was so overgrown that perhaps it was "obvious." But someone marked the turn that occurs at those trees, and it would have been nice to have received a statement that that particular issue was severe.

I dunno that the real estate agents would have responsibly handled it anyhow. I think i just insulted all porcine kind by thinking of the agents as swine.


Well, it's our house now and i hope to never have to buy or sell a home again. That might not be a realistic wish, but knowing my grandmother is still living in her home at 100.... (And i know how scared Christine is of aging and needing memory care. Oh future, be good to us.)

Anyhow, this week gave us many more expenses than we expected.

Then, there were my parents. I called yesterday morning to see if they could join us for dinner to celebrate the first year of our "owning" a home and belatedly their anniversary at a seafood restaurant Christine likes. My mother immediately hijacked the invitation with her own, which really disappointed Christine (who wanted to go to her choice of restaurant). She also didn't know if they were grandkid sitting Thursday or Friday night. When i caught up with my Dad midafternoon, i was able to unhijack the invitation (he knew Christine's suggested restaurant, Squid's, a local seafood place comparable to Mom's choice of Bonefish). He still didn't know about the evening. (Turns out my sister had probably straightened things out with my mom by then.)

Meanwhile, Christine and i are shuttling around to deal with longer car repairs than expected. Finally, i text my sister to find out my parent's availability just before i go into my last meeting at 4. At this point, planning on getting to a restaurant at an as yet undetermined time was looking like a hassle, so i was glad to find my parents were kiddo-sitting that evening.

It's not that horrible, i know, but somehow the unintentional rudeness of hijacking the invitation and the lack of consideration from my mother for not contacting me as soon as she knew her plans really depressed me.

On top of all the bills.

So, we are out of sorts here at casa grey cat.

Also, ticks.
Friday, May 12th, 2017 01:32 pm (UTC)
*useless handpat*

And ticks suck. I didn't intend a doble entendre. But there it is.
Friday, May 12th, 2017 04:02 pm (UTC)
*virtual hug if appreciated*

I sure empathize with your desire to share as little as possible with the tech giants, and the hope that they aren't trading our data among themselves. (Given past slimy collaboration between some of them - e.g. their combination in the interests of keeping tech salaries low - I'm not so sure about them not trading data, doubtless in total disregard of any ostensible privacy policies. Illegality clearly doesn't bother some of them... fines are just business expenses, like taxes - to be avoided as much as possible, but only for financial reasons.)

The thing that makes me furious at google, is that I _am_ a paying customer. I have a Nexus phone. That hasn't stopped them from "fixing" podcasts and instant messaging - the former I now have to pay for from a third party, with a less adequate app; the latter I'm now getting from a fairly wretched google app, after they discontinued what they had put them in originally. And google maps is getting worse and worse ... it constantly changes its mind, contradicting itself immediately after I do what it wanted, probably because it thinks I missed whatever turn they told me to do.

But of course, I'm more valuable as a target for spammage, even though I'm adblocked as much as possible, AND make a practice of remembering successfully intruding advertisers for the purpose of not buying from them. (Google is unlikely to care about stiffing their advertisers by selling them bad prospects any more than they care about making their users hate them.)

That said, I figure Facebook is the worst, followed by Google - they essentially sell nothing *but* their users' time and privacy. Amazon is known to be nasty to its own employees, so even though they tend to do many technical things well, I doubt they have any ethics, just practical considerations. (Think of them as Uber-lite on that score.) Microsoft and Apple sell to their users, which means pissing off users translates into lost profits. So I'm less concerned about them - particularly Apple, due to some of M$' past history.