Why I Left Detroit

I moved away from Detroit on December 19, 2017. My lease at the David Whitney Building ended in March of 2018. I always wanted to write about the number of reasons why I decided to leave and it came down one thing. I felt unwelcome. Why am I writing this now? I recently thought about a condominium complex, the Ashton, that was going up in Detroit around the time I lived there. At one time I had thought about making a life in Detroit, starting with buying a home there. I had filled out the online form. No response. I called the sales office and left a message. No response. Finally, I walked to sales office in Birmingham and spoke to the manager. The kind woman there said that the agent in charge of selling units to the Ashton was not there and that if I left a business card he would get back to me. Again. No response. A few weeks later, I followed-up with an email about me having gone there. No response. I went to the sales office again and again the agent was not in. Recently, I looked online to see what became of The Ashton and came across an article: Luxury Detroit condo project The Ashton fails, to become Cambria Hotel.

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Why I Stopped Using Waze and Switched to Google Maps

They had stopped innovating. That's my conclusion. Many years ago, in another lifetime, we were pitching at Google Demo Day. As a part of the lead-up to the pitch, we attended a two-day workshop with instructors and coaches from all throughout the Google organization. They also gave us personalized hoodies with our company logo! (I gave mine to my sister Lily). I learned that Waze, the driving app, is a subsidiary of Google. Curious about it, I installed it on my phone.

It was a life-changing decision. The speed limit warnings, the police alerts, the real-time traffic updates, the rerouting, the gamification, the map editing, the ability to use Spotify, I loved it all! Until recently. Over the last few years I had seen my friends who stuck with Google Maps talk about new features introduced in the app. Turns out they were just adding the same functionality of Waze into the primary Google Maps app. Rather than investing in Waze and making it better, Google took the best parts of Waze and used it for their own flagship, Google Maps.

I can't even blame them for it. This is what happens during integration. Like a bacteria absorbing a foreign body, when a company is acquired it can be an independent, like mitochondria, or it can be digested for nutrients. Often times the founders wouldn't have an idea. We've seen it with Instagram. We've seen it with Whatsapp. Founders leave when they become disillusioned with their acquirer limiting their product vision.

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SimplyMac Simply Sucks. Ameritel Wireless Johns Creek: Simply the Best.

A few weeks into the Apple Store worldwide shutdown, my iPhone 8 Plus, the battery health down to about 50% was turning off after 5 minutes of taking it off the charger. This was a huge inconvenience as I needed to have it plugged into a charger constantly. Ordinarily outside of a pandemic I would have just gone to the Apple Store and paid the $49.99 for an out of warranty battery swap. Looking on the official Apple website, it pointed me to authorized repair shops. There, I found a chain called SimplyMac. The closest one to my parents' home was all the way up in Cumming, the earliest appointment 7 days out. Not knowing where else to go, I decided to bite the bullet and make an appointment.

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Delta Tango Faucet

My parents live in a suburban home that was built after 1994. I can tell because when I exercise in the unfinished basement and look up at the ceiling, the wood beams have a stamp showing the year. One of the things that mom has been asking me to help since moving back home in March is to repair the faucet in the kitchen. The hot water doesn't stay off when it's moved to the off position. Mom says that it was because when our relatives stayed with us they used too much force on the handle and broke it. Dad says that the faucet always had a small leak since they moved in, but it's gotten worse in recent months.

This week, thanks to an abundance of confidence brought forth by the successful replacement of my phone battery, I finally decided that it was time to fix the faucet. At this point, the hot water had been turned off the faucet for a few weeks and I wanted to turn both the water supplies off so I can open the faucet. As I was opening up the hot water valve to see how bad the leak was, there came another leak — on the shut-off valve itself! Thus began a day-long adventure on Youtube.

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Outlook good? Outlook not so good.

I am really used to Microsoft Outlook. In fact, I'm so used to using it that one of the first things I downloaded when I purchased the iPad Pro was Outlook for iOS. It's not the best or the easiest to use, but it sure is compatible with Live.com and OneDrive. It all started in 1997 during my Youth Apprenticeship at Siemens Energy and Automation's plant in Alpharetta. Part of the training were courses on how to use the various MS Offfice applications. Even though Gmail has gotten so much better over the last few years, I still am the lone holdout on our team who uses Outlook. This may be changing.

Last week during the workday, I received a prompt while working on an Excel file to update MS Office. When I clicked to do so, it said that my Office needed to be updated. I clicked on it and it said that I needed to close my office apps, but then it halted from an error. I closed all Office apps and restarted to run the update again. It again halted. Finally, I went to where it was installed in "Add or Remove Programs" and chose the "Modify" option to repair the installation. It managed to uninstall office. When it came to the next step of updating. It failed again. the same error.

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Amazon. Hate that I love you

Rihanna put out one of the best albums ever in 2008 — Good Girl Gone Bad. There were many hits, but "Hate that I Love You" feat. Ne-Yo is the theme of this post. I used to sell on Amazon. I didn't ship out a few orders on time. My selling rights were removed. I bought a Doxie Q scanner carrying case that failed to protect the scanner. I complained about it in a review. The review, and my ability to post reviews — also removed. I have a neutered Amazon account. An account that has been a Prime subscriber for many many years. When I was told to listen to the podcast "Land of the Giants", I had learned even more how many ways Amazon is taking over the world. It's amazing.

The truth is — there is no escaping from Amazon. It's a great company that really treats the customer first. I had experienced this twice in the last year. Last summer I ordered a vinyl of Kacy Musgraves' Golden Hour from Amazon. It was delivered to my then-girlfriend at the time who lived in Inwood. It was stolen. When I truthfully told Amazon what had happened, they immediately sent another one out. Free. I could not believe this. What about all the other packages from Amazon that get stolen from porches, mailrooms, mailboxes, every day? How are they making any money? Then I realized. They don't. Amazon Web Services makes enough money to keep Prime and Amazon sales going even if they make no money.

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Great Wall Supermarket in Duluth sucks

When people ask me where to get the best tasting edamame, either in the shell or shelled, I always give one answer. Trader Joe's. They have the freshest, tastiest edamame. It's reasonably priced too. This is not an advertisement for Trader Joe's. It's a testament to how crappy Asian supermarkets, especially Great Wall Supermarket at 2300 Pleasant Hill Rd, Duluth, GA 30096 is.

A couple of weeks ago, my parents purchased some bags edamame in the shell from this store. When they went home and opened it, they were spoiled. They were in fact so rotten that when they thawed there was a slimy ooze in the bag and it smelled of fermentation. I have encountered this problem before. Questionable edamame from other Asian grocery stores I thought were just part of the cost of shopping there. That's also why I never buy meat in an Asian grocery.

When I tried to go to the GW-supermarket website, writing to them about this issue, the contact us form failed when I tried to submit.

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Update - Apple iPad Pro Keyboard Failed Completely

First of all, I want to say thank you to the Youtube user comeinhandynow whose How to Fix the iPad Pro keyboard explained where the failure points were. The amount of labor involved in fixing it and also how ugly it looked after breaking into this not-designed-to-be-user-serviced accessory seemed excessive. Long story short, the Smart Keyboards failing after about a year's time was par for the course. I had originally thought of, instead of buying another keyboard, to just say goodbye to all this jazz and upgrade to an iPad Pro 12.9, but even used ones were fetching around $700 on eBay as of this writing.

Damn you, Apple. With no other options left, I had to purchase another Smart Keyboard for the 9.7 iPad Pro. Let's think about this — it'll be my third smart keyboard for this device since I got it in December 2017. My third keyboard in as many years means that the cost of owning this device is at least the value of a new keyboard every year. Not to mention depreciation.

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Apple Smart Keyboard Intermittently Working? Maybe this might help

As you know, I'm not exactly the biggest fan of Apple products. It all started in 2015 when I reluctantly switched to my sister's hand-me-down iPhone 5. This switch (from an HTC M8 — fantastic phone) was because the entire development team of my previous company was on Android at the time and this was the easiest method to test the app. Jump ahead to 2017 — that startup was acquired! As a celebration of the sale, I decided to purchase an iPad for myself. Having used a Microsoft Surface 3 and the iPad 4 (The ipad 2 size but updated to lightning cable), I really preferred the iPad for my primary use case — reading books.

I decided to splurge and get the iPad Pro 9.7". It had already been out for quite some time when I bought it in the winter of 2017, but being the only 9.7 iPad that supports a smart keyboard, it was the only choice to get Microsoft Office (free only for 10.1 screen sizes and below). I was looking on eBay for one. At that time the market price for iPad Pro 9.7 32GB were around $350. However, looking through the auctions I saw one that was priced closer to $300. Why?

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COVID-19 Coronavirus and Racism - It's not what you think

Lately there's been a many articles about businesses in Chinatown suffering because of the Coronavirus. At first blush, you're thinking — "Oh no! How dare they not patron these businesses because of racist beliefs" or "If the coronavirus came from Italy you wouldn't cancel pizza". That is an extremely one-sided and prejudiced view in and of itself. Increasingly the narrative has been that "Event happens where minorities are affected and this is because racism". This time is different. Racism is causing this problem. It's Racism by Chinese people towards Chinese people.

Yes, business in Chinatown is down. However, before COVID-19, the vast majority of customers to these businesses were Chinese to begin with. Sure non-Chinese accounted for a portion of the revenue, but you go to a restaurant there and it does not look like a Panda Express. The decrease in business is because Chinese people are scared of other Chinese people. Take my father for example. When I talked at the dinner table about allowing more Chinese people to immigrate from China, he basically made the argument that we came here because we were the "right kind" of Chinese immigrants because he came as a poor graduate student and that the people moving here now are all EB-5 Scions of corrupt businessmen and government officials buying up all the property and not having anything to do with us, i.e. they are the "wrong kind" of Chinese people.

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