Life in San Diego
Okay so I didn’t reach my goal of posting at least two blog posts a week (not even close). I’ve been having too much fun exploring San Diego and spending time with my family down here. I also have had a pretty heavy work load helping out Jam Legend and Poll Everywhere on some very cool projects.
San Diego has been great and I’ve already lived in a couple places. I first moved to La Jolla where I got a good taste of the beach life. Recently I moved to the downtown area in the heart of the Gaslamp district. I’ve never lived in an urban setting before so I figure I’ll test it out for a couple months and see how it compares to suburban living. So far I’m loving it and there’s always something fun going on.
The food has been the best part of living in San Diego. I’m a die-hard Mexican food fan and I’ve seriously been eating it about every other day. If you visit here, you NEED to go to El Indio! Best. Mexican. Food. Ever.
Thank You, Third Party Checks!
“Good banks, bad banks, doesn’t matter. What we need are new banks. And I actually think what we need — and I think the valley can play a role in this, I think there should be a new wave of financial institutions that should be created from scratch today. And they should take the role.” — Marc Andreessen.
I totally agree with Marc. Banks today are outdated and specifically our checking systems. I think checks themselves are broken and especially third party checks. A third party check is a check which is paid to the order of Person A and then actually endorsed and deposited into Person B’s account. Let’s say John owes Joe $300 and John was recently given a check from his Grandma for that same amount, $300. Instead of John depositing the check into his account, waiting for it to clear and then writing a new check to Joe, he can instead sign his Grandma’s check over to Joe immediately without having to write a new check.
The only legitimate use of third party checks is to prevent writing another check and in return, saving some time. Sounds like a big hack to me. It creates a loop hole which opens up a world of fraud. And I was recently a victim.
A couple of weeks ago, I mailed in a check to be deposited into my bank account. I looked online today and noticed it wasn’t in my account. Doing some research and talking to a friend who works at Chase, the check was actually cashed last week by someone else. Somebody must have broken into my locked outgoing mailbox in my condominium complex, stolen my check, endorsed their name on the back (turning it into a third party check) and deposited it into their own bank account.
I’m very mad at the individual who did this but even more mad at the banks who still accept third party checks. It’s absolutely ridiculous. At least they could call me (the guy on the “Pay to the Order of” line) and verify that I am indeed transferring the check to Joe Schmo. I can’t believe how easy it is for people to steal checks using this stupid third party check loophole.
Third party checks need to be burned, and immediately!
Wheelize Your Potential
It happens all the time. I’m sitting at my computer hacking away at a feature or two and I run into a coding dilemma. I have two ways of solving it:
1. The easy but sort-of-hackish way
2. The difficult but correct way
Sometimes it’s very tempting to choose Option 1. “C’mon” you tell yourself.” It’s a tiny hack that’ll make the code just a tiny bit less-readable and less-scalable. I’ll clean it up later.” Choosing Option 1 allows you to make the quick fix and move on to cooler, more exciting features. But, it pollutes your code and doing it often can make your code unmanageable.
Choosing Option 2 however will take hours of work because of the major refactor it requires but it won’t pollute your code. It’s a chore and chores suck. Refactoring code is like cleaning up your house. It needs to be done but it’s tedious and boring. The feeling afterwards however is very rewarding but it’s hard to build up the motivation to get started.
Sometimes you stare off into space for an hour trying to think of an Option 3. Other times you take a break and play Counter-Strike for 20 minutes. Maybe you decide to go outside and take a run.
I find the easiest way to get around this road block is to just force myself to begin Step 1 of Option 2. It’s hard to overcome the static friction to get the wheel in motion but once you’re rolling, kinetic friction is much easier to manage.
How do you deal with this coding dilemma? Do you always choose Option 2? If so, is it hard to get yourself rolling?
It’s about time…
I finally have my own custom designed, personal blog…and it’s about time!
Over a year ago, I purchased a domain-name (weshather.com) and a 256mb slice but I never ended up setting it up and making my blog live. My biggest excuse being that I was too busy with other things like working on Team Apart. But this was a bunch of bologna and really I was just too lazy and didn’t see the value in it. There is actually a ton of value in having an online presence that a blog provides for you, especially somebody in my field. It legitimizes you as a developer/designer while advertising your skills and services and also gives you a place to vent.
Last week, I realized I still haven’t set up my blog. Bah! I figured the domain name weshather.com was a little boring and too conservative so I decided to go with hiwes.com. Plus it’s four characters shorter! It took me a couple days to design and implement my wordpress blog theme which I’m happy with for now. I’ll keep tweaking it but I think it’s simple and aesthetically pleasing enough to launch. Give me feedback on what you think.
My goal is to post at least twice a week on this blog and hopefully I can keep it interesting. Please slap me in the eye if my posts are starting to bore you and I’ll add some spunk immediately. It’s about time to wrap up my first blog post so I’ll leave you with a picture of this delicious fish sandwich from the Wilde Rover in downtown Kirkland because I’m starving and I need to get some lunch.