Stories

Password Strength

They say you should use a strong password, one that is long, has uppercase and lowercase letters, digits, symbols, even spaces. You should have a unique password for everything in case the security for one of them is compromised. Until recently, I had used two passwords, one for important things like computer accounts, e-mail, banking, and electronic payments, and the other for everything else, like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. They had uppercase and lowercase letters and digits only, and were about eight characters long.

Ideas · Opinions · Stories

Will Faught

2 minutes

That’s All, Folks!

I concluded my Master of Science in Computer Science dissertation with the following words, which in retrospect seems remarkable: “Yada, yada, yada — everything I just said.”

Defense · Dissertation · Stories · Thesis

Will Faught

1 minute

ITunes Charge Dispute

iTunes just charged me $6 because I presumably elected to subscribe to The New Yorker magazine. (I didn’t.) iTunes says all charges are final, and provides no obvious way to dispute charges or request refunds. So I’ll dispute the credit card charge as soon as it appears on my statement. Let’s see how iTunes wriggles its way out of that one. What does iTunes do if you abuse credit card disputes and just dispute everything you buy?

Apple · Questions · Stories

Will Faught

1 minute

Priceless

United tickets: $506. Travelodge room: $226. Enterprise car: $226. University publishing fee: $56. Master of Science in Computer Science: Priceless.

Dissertation · Stories · Thesis

Will Faught

1 minute

Went Wireless

I finally bought Apple’s wireless track pad and keyboard for my iMac. No more awkward wires! Free at last! At first I didn’t like the idea of a track pad for a desktop, but it grew on me in the store. I like the two-finger scrolling too much to do without it.

Opinions · Stories

Will Faught

1 minute

Keeping Cool

It was 105 degrees today in Seattle! It’s almost midnight, and it’s eighty-three degrees now. No one in Washington has air conditioning. These people are completely unprepared for the elements. This place is known for a single element—rain—and people don’t use umbrellas. I’m sitting on my bed, under my only ceiling fan, with my only desk fan two feet away and pointed straight at me. I meant to actually do something with my time tonight, but it was just too hot.

English · Epitamy · Epitome · Heat · Led Zeppelin · Life · Seattle · Stairway To Heaven · Stories

Will Faught

1 minute

Inside Out

I just realized my shirt was inside out all day today. The tag is plain as day, and highlighted with a colored border. Kind of like a target, so people could conclude from a distance that I’m an idiot. The seams were also inside out. I don’t know how I could miss all that. Come on, Will!

Embarrassing · Inside Out · Life · Seams · Shirt · Stories · Tag · Target

Will Faught

1 minute

Nicaragua

I went on a vacation in Nicaragua in May with my friend Heather. I began writing about it a while ago, but then moved on to other things. I’ll post what I have, but won’t write more. Nicaragua, in case you don’t know, is in Central America, south of Honduras and north of Costa Rica, sandwiched between the Pacific and the Caribbean. Heather invited me to go with her about a month and a half before we went.

Corn Islands · Granada · Life · Managua · Masaya · Nicaragua · Stories · Travel · Vacation

Will Faught

5 minutes

Snug

About a month ago, I participated in six sessions with a personal trainer at a gym in Bellevue. It had been a long time since I had seriously exercised, and so I had didn’t have good running shoes or workout clothes. My trainer recommended I go to an athletic store in the Green Lake neighborhood to get some shoes. I found some great ones there, and while I was there I decided to look for some new exercise shorts.

Bellevue · Embarrassing · Exercise · Gym · Life · Shorts · Stories · Trainer

Will Faught

2 minutes

Redeemed

Apple redeemed itself with its awesome store in Bellevue. My MacBook’s hard drive went bad, and I took it into the store to see about getting it repaired. It turns out the hard drive model was known to have problems, and was covered under a special warranty. The tech at the Genius Bar replaced it for me for free in about ten minutes, and that was that. Nice.

Apple · Bellevue · Genius Bar · Hard Drive · Life · Macbook · Stories

Will Faught

1 minute

Mariners Game

I went to the Mariners vs. Giants game on Friday. I don’t usually enjoy baseball games in person or on TV, but a friend invited me, and I thought I’d give it another shot. The innings went surprisingly fast. I missed a lot of the game because I was chatting or drinking my beer. There was a funny Giants fan wearing a bandana a few seats away from us who stood periodically to silently taunt the Mariners fans behind him.

Baseball · Giants · Ken Griffey Jr. · Life · Mariners · Stories

Will Faught

2 minutes

Talk To My Lawyer

I was driving in slow traffic in December when a driver wasn’t watching where he was going, and his car hit the car in front of him, and it hit my car. My neck was jerked back from the impact, from which I have suffered and continue to suffer whiplash. I was in a similar accident a few years ago in San Luis Obispo, where a driver hit me from behind at a stop light on a rainy night.

Accident · Car · Insurance · Lawyer · Life · Progressive · Stories

Will Faught

3 minutes

ITunes Smart Playlist For Unrated Songs

I had never tried to make a smart playlist in iTunes until I recently moved everything to my new iMac. I wanted to make a playlist of unrated songs, but it wasn’t clear how to make a condition saying the rating must be zero stars. The iTunes help was useless, and so was everything I found online. “Just make a condition saying the rating must equal zero stars. Easy.” Not so!

Apple · Help · Itunes · Life · Programmer · Rating · Smart Playlists · Stars · Stories

Will Faught

1 minute

POS AARP

Dear Mr. Faught, Thank you for contacting AARP about our membership solicitations. Please accept our apology for any aggravation these mailings may have caused. It’s my pleasure to honor your request. I’ve removed your name from our solicitation lists, and regret that mailings prepared before today’s date cannot be recalled. It will take approximately 4-6 weeks for this process to take full effect. If you should receive solicitations after that time, please call us toll-free at 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277) and a Member Service Associate will be happy to assist you.

Aarp · Dma · Jerks · Life · Spam · Stories · Support

Will Faught

4 minutes

Mortified Giggling

A week ago I called Sam Bent, another software engineer at Microsoft, twice for help. The first time went fine, but the second time I had his full name in my head when I dialed the phone, and I opened with, “Hi, Sam Bent.” It didn’t sound like, “Hi, Sam Bent?” as if I was checking if it was him. It sounded like I had used his full name like a first name.

Giggling · Laughing · Life · Microsoft · Mortified · Phone · Sam Bent · Stories · Varun Puranik

Will Faught

2 minutes

Strange Sounds

I was anchoring my bookcase to the wall when I heard these strange sounds coming from behind me. I walked a little toward the sounds, trying to pinpoint their source. I looked up at the window, saw streaks and dots, and realized that it was raining. I hadn’t realized it until then, but I had never heard the rain in my apartment before. Strange, since I live in Seattle.

Apartment · Life · Rain · Sounds · Stories · Strange

Will Faught

1 minute

My Birthday

I had a wonderful birthday. Thank you to all who made me feel so special! My parents and Nick flew to Seattle to be with me on the weekend before my birthday. I’m afraid I wasn’t a very good host, as I didn’t know the area very well, and wasn’t very prepared for them. Furthermore, I got lost driving the five blocks to their hotel and almost drove the wrong way down Mercer.

Belltown · Birthday · Dad · Dan Ellis · Drinks · Hallie Mass · Life · Mike Shim · Mom · Parents · Stories · Sushi · Tom Bouldin · Varun Puranik

Will Faught

2 minutes

Improbable

On my flight home for Thanksgiving, I sat a seat over from a cute girl named Rae who was around my age. We eventually chatted, and I learned she studied art history at the University of Washington, she was from California, and she was going home for the holiday too. I was gauging our conversation and toying with the idea of asking for her number, but I chickened out and figured I could find her online later.

Birthday · Dan Ellis · Hallie Mass · Improbable · Life · Michelle Lee · Microsoft · Nate Black · Rae Dixon · Seize The Day · Stories · Sushi

Will Faught

3 minutes

Year 0 F.E.

That’s F.E. for Furniture Era, the period in which I finally have something to sit and eat on. It’s been a long time coming. I recently went to the closest Ashley Furniture store and furnished almost my entire apartment: couch, love seat, chair, ottoman, end tables, coffee table, dining table, chairs, bed frame, dresser, and night stand. It’s all going to be delivered tomorrow morning. I can’t wait! I hope nothing is delivered damaged or otherwise has to be returned.

Apartment · Ashley · Delivery · Furniture · Life · Stories

Will Faught

1 minute

Moving In

I finally posted online pictures of moving into my new apartment. When I took these, my boxes had just been delivered, so nothing was yet unpacked. My apartment looks sparse even now because I still don’t have any new furniture, but it looks a little more lived in with the boxes unpacked. My living room. The entire apartment building is five years old, so everything feels new and seems in good condition.

Apartment · Bathroom · Bedroom · Boxes · Closet · Den · Furniture · Kitchen · Leed · Life · Living Room · Moving · Office · Stories · Study

Will Faught

4 minutes

Neighborhood Thief

I went shopping at the Costco in Seattle for the first time today. They didn’t give me any bags or boxes in which to carry my stuff, so I had to carry a few items at a time from my car to my apartment. On my first trip, I put together an armload of provisions, and thought I could add to it a two-pack of Clearasil facial cleanser, but it was too much.

Clearasil · Costco · Garage · Home · Life · Neighborhood · Reflections · Robbed · Seattle · Stories · Thief

Will Faught

2 minutes

Wake Up Call

Since I moved to Seattle, I’ve wanted to reduce my Coke consumption so that I could sleep better and earlier, and because it’s not healthy. I broke down while at the store last night and bought some Coke. I drank three cans’ worth in a glass with ice—and it was good—starting at 9:30 PM, so I was hopped up on caffeine for the rest of the evening, and I didn’t get ready for bed until about 2:30 AM.

Alarm · Building · Caffeine · Coke · Fighter · Fire · Home · Life · Neighbors · Stories · Truck

Will Faught

2 minutes

Apricot-Glazed Pork Roast: A Tragedy

My parents gave me a really good book of crock pot recipes for Christmas, and I thought I’d try one out Wednesday night. I went to the store for the ingredients the night before, and woke up extra early the next morning to put it together. I didn’t have a proper lid for my crock pot then, but I had a heavy metal one that was the right size, so I figured it’d work just as well.

Apricot · Burned · Christmas · Cooking · Crock Pot · Food · Glazed · Life · Pork · Recipe · Roast · Smell · Stories · Tragedy

Will Faught

1 minute

Airing Of Grievances

I flew from Seattle to Sacramento on Saturday, December 20. I reserved a flat-rate taxi ride from my apartment to the airport, and it started to snow as I approached the airport terminal. When I later glanced out a terminal window, the tarmac was carpeted with snow, and more was still falling. Earlier flights were delayed, but fortunately my flight was delayed only thirty minutes, so I grabbed a beer. We boarded without further delays, but we didn’t depart until hours later.

Airplane · Flight · Grievances · Ice · Life · Sacramento · Seattle · Snow · Spokane · Stories · Taxi · Weather

Will Faught

3 minutes

Graduation Party

My parents threw me a graduation party while I was home for Thanksgiving. It was either do it then or never. They invited lots of family friends in the area, and I invited Heather. My parents assembled lots of tasty hors d’oeuvres and wines and played music and we all stood and sat and chatted and snacked and sipped away the evening. There must have been twenty people there at one point.

Food · Graduation · Life · Neighboors · Parents · Party · Stories · Thanksgiving · Wine

Will Faught

1 minute

Holiday Vacation

I started my holiday vacation this evening! Well, actually I started it around 1 PM since I couldn’t drive to work or work remotely and I realized the latter about then. So I effectively had two extra days of vacation, yesterday and today, but they didn’t really feel like vacation since I felt so bad for being an idiot and not setting up my work computers to accept remote connections in advance.

Life · Reflections · Stories

Will Faught

1 minute

Snow Day

It really came down today. I woke up bleary-eyed and tired, got up later than I meant to, and got ready. I didn’t even glance outside until I was all set to go. I tried logging onto my Microsoft mail remotely to see if there was any mention of canceling work, but the mail servers were so impacted that the web pages wouldn’t load. For a while I didn’t know whether I should try to go or not, so I decided to try and see if I could even leave if I wanted to.

Life · Microsoft · Seattle · Smart Card · Snow · Stories · Weather · Work

Will Faught

2 minutes

IKEA

The IKEA stuff I bought is so eager to become faulty that it started before I even finished setting it up. The dresser I bought was horribly damaged as it was delivered to my apartment, the screws for my dining table — despite my best efforts and aching hands — don’t fit their holes, and a finished surface of my dining table is cracked. I’ll have to return both items. I’m questioning now whether I should let them keep their stuff and go elsewhere for furniture.

Apartment · Crack · Dining Table · Dresser · Furniture · Ikea · Life · Reflections · Screws · Stories

Will Faught

1 minute

Finding Home

Microsoft put me in touch with Angela in Seattle, a rental provider, who helped me find an apartment. (Actually, Microsoft put me in touch with Susan on the east coast, who put me in touch with Angela. Every relocation service that Microsoft provides uses multiple levels of agents who contract the person beneath them, the last person contracted being the one I end up meeting face-to-face. When I was shipping my belongings from Grass Valley to Seattle, I met the driver Boe, who was contracted by Ronnie, who was contracted by Joey, who was contracted by Chanda, who was contracted by Microsoft.

Apartment · Building · Housing · Life · Microsoft · Properties · Renting · Search · Seattle · Stories · Tour

Will Faught

3 minutes

Capitol Hill

I’d heard good things about the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle as a place to live, especially for my first year here, so I decided to venture into the city to check it out. I read a little about it and decided to visit Volunteer Park first, which seems to be near the north end of the neighborhood. The park was quite large and green and had an old water tower, a reservoir, an Asian history museum, and a conservatory.

Capitol Hill · Clouds · Conservatory · Flowers · Leaves · Life · Museum · Pictures · Plants · Reservoir · Seattle · Space Needle · Stories · Sunset · Volunteer Park · Water Tower

Will Faught

2 minutes

Dinner Curse

Last week I thought I would cook something that would yield enough leftovers for the week. My cookbooks are still in storage, so I found a simple tuna casserole recipe online that only took about half an hour to make. I later discovered, after hearing it bang around in my car’s trunk for a few days, that I had left out one of the two cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup called for by the recipe when putting the dish together.

Casserole · Cooking · Dinner · Food · Garbage Disposal · Kitchen · Life · Onion · Sink · Smell · Stories · Tuna

Will Faught

2 minutes

Sequim

I visited Aunt Deb and Uncle Ron last weekend at their home in Sequim, WA. It was so great to see them again; it had been a while since the last time. I got to take the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston across the sound on the way. The deep blue water was flat and still, and the sky was a lighter blue and dappled with thin, wispy clouds. Some seagulls that were following the ferry at about the same speed were flying just above the top deck where I stood.

Aunt Deb · Beach · Choir · Dinner · Edmonds · Ferry · House · Kingston · Kitchen · Life · Seagulls · Sequim · Stories · Trip · Uncle Ron · Washington

Will Faught

2 minutes

Starting At Microsoft

There’s a condition that afflicts many innocent, hard-working people around the world every day. Its victims suffer from light sensitivity, disorientation, lethargy, sleep deprivation, and depression. There is no cure, but some drugs temporarily alleviate its symptoms. Many people manage to live somewhat normal lives through proper treatment. I’m referring, of course, to waking up before 9 AM, which I had to do all this week and expect to continue doing until my body gives out.

Brian Chapman · Colleagues · Development Lead · Dwayne Need · Functional Programming · Life · Manager · Microsoft · Office · Office Mate · Orientation · Reflections · Sleep · Stories · Varun Puranik · Work

Will Faught

2 minutes

Connections

One reason I hesitated to move to Washington was because most of my friends and family are in California. I started college not knowing anyone, but joining a fraternity facilitated making friends and filled my schedule. Once again I’m faced with starting over, and I wonder if Microsoft will play that role of friend maker and schedule filler. I moved up here expecting only to know my aunt and uncle, who live in Sequim (pronounced squim for some reason); Dan, who was in my fraternity and works here full time now; and Tom, with whom I worked on a school project and who works at Microsoft too.

Dan Ellis · Friends · Life · Microsoft · Networking · Reflections · Stories · Tom Bouldin

Will Faught

2 minutes

Space Needle

I drove to downtown Seattle yesterday to check out the Space Needle and the surrounding Seattle Center. I got the sense from my past visits here that natives don’t really do this kind of stuff, so I thought I should get it out of the way before I’m totally submerged in life here and would be too embarrassed to do it. The Needle is quite tall, which gave me a nice view of the sound and the cityscape below.

Life · Monorail · Mt. Rainier · Park · Seattle · Seattle Center · Space Needle · Stories · Westfield Center

Will Faught

1 minute

I Moved To Seattle!

I moved to Seattle! Yes, it finally happened. No, the thesis isn’t done; I’ll have to fly back when it’s done to defend it. Seattle couldn’t wait any longer. I would have written about this sooner, but I’ve felt so tired in the evenings since I moved here. Moving is always such a chore. Thankfully Microsoft made the move very easy by shipping my belongings and car here, providing temporary housing and a rental car, and connecting me with a rental agent in the area.

Announcements · California · Car · Clothes · Fall · Flight · Job · Leaves · Life · Microsoft · Moving · Pictures · Provisions · Roads · Sacramento · Seattle · Shoes · Stories · Thesis · Trees · Washington · Weather · Work

Will Faught

6 minutes

Happy Fourth Of July!

I went to the Pismo fireworks show for the Fourth of July with Esther. I had never been before, but our timing was perfect. It was pretty cool, there were tons of people there, on the street near Splash and on the beach on either side of the pier. The place was pretty well lighted and there was plenty of space to sit on the beach. The fireworks were launched from the end of the pier and they seemed to explode pretty close to the ground.

Barbecue · Beach · Esther · Fireworks · Fourth Of July · Independence Day · Life · Pier · Pismo · Stories

Will Faught

1 minute

It Wasn’t Meant To Be

I was in Seattle last night. I had planned to fly home to San Luis Obispo at 7:20 PM and ultimately arrive at around midnight. But the fates had other plans. Katherine dropped me off at my hotel and I was already running late. I ran through the glass doors, up the stairs, and entered the elevator. The elevators there required guests to slide their room keys to operate them. Judging by the title of this post, can you guess if my key worked?

Delay · Flight · Katherine · Life · Microsoft · Seattle · Slo · Stories

Will Faught

3 minutes

Out For The Count

I threw my back out in class today. I sat down and felt something go. I’m writing this with only my left hand, so I’ll be brief. Ouch! How old am I? God. I can hardly move without sending a spasm of pain down my back. Okay, I just slowly and painfully and switched into a crossed-legged sitting position that feels pretty good on my back, once I settled into it, so now I can type with two hands.

Back · Bus · Class · Life · Stories · Threw

Will Faught

1 minute

Just In Case I Have To Kill My Dinner

I went to a shooting range several weeks ago for my friend Jose’s birthday. I had never been to a firing range before. There were about ten of us and the range was divided into five lanes. Each lane had a different pistol and boxes of ammunition that you used to reload the weapon when it was your turn. I had never fired a pistol before, but I was still surprised at how nervous I was to fire a pistol.

Birthday · Guns · Jose · Life · Pistols · Shooting Range · Stories

Will Faught

2 minutes

Dish Network Is Shady

My roommates and I tried to cancel our TV service last week. Dish Network told us they would charge us a cancellation fee because we were apparently signed up for an 18-month service plan. That didn’t make sense because we started the TV service when we had only six or seven months left on our lease. So apparently they felt they should sign us up on our behalf. How thoughtful.

Crooks · Dish Network · Fee · Life · Plan · Shady · Stories · Tv

Will Faught

1 minute

Presentation Tips

If you ever have to give a 40+ minute presentation about a paper you don’t adequately understand, the following tips may help: Copy every major idea verbatim into your notes and read that to your audience. Ask your professor to explain the things you didn’t understand whenever possible. Waste time by copying every example from the paper onto the board and explaining them in detail. Have a partner and alternate talking about topics.

Life · Paper · Pater Landin · Presentation · Reflections · Stories · Tips

Will Faught

1 minute

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I had a great night. Sadly, I forgot to bring my camera and snap a few shots of my friends and I. I guess one of these days I’ll remember. Maybe if I get a slimmer camera. My watch was off by about half a minute from the cell phone network time again, just like last year. The people around me were counting down to my watch while everyone else was staring intently at their cell phone screens, waiting for the minutes to hit zero.

Dancing · Life · New Year'S Eve · Reflections · Resolutions · Stories · Watch

Will Faught

1 minute

My Shoe Died

I was walking out of class on Tuesday and it just died. The strap of my right flip flop broke off. So I had to walk all over campus with one shoe to do my other errands. I asked in the Health Center if they had any plastic booty-thingies for feet and the X-ray technician jumped on it and fixed it for me. Such service! Thank you, Dorothy the Technician, from the bottom of my heart!

Broken · Flip Flop · Health Center · Life · Shoe · Stories

Will Faught

1 minute

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