Friday free-for-all #89: More This or Thats

The usual Friday questions, this time based on the “This or that?” premise.

Friday Free for All

Here’s the next in an ongoing series in which I answer random questions generated by a website. Feel free to give your own answers or ask your own questions in the comments. This edition brought to you by some “This or that?” questions.

When sleeping: Fan or no fan?

I am definitely a fan person, but not necessarily pointing at me — it depends on the weather and temperature in the room. I may have a ceiling fan going on its own, or a table fan in addition to or instead of. But, for me, it’s more about the white noise plus, when it heats up, about airflow.

In cold weather, the ceiling fan is off and the table fan is pointed away from me, and I’ll be under several duvets and blankets on top of the sheets, wrapped up like a human burrito. I may even fire up a space heater — on a time, of course, for safety.

Besides the fan, though, I also have a white noise machine. Well, not strictly white noise, but about a dozen different looped digital sound effects, from which I always choose “Rain.” Its major drawback is that it will play one hour, at most, and if I don’t fall asleep within that hour (which I rarely do) then I’m just suddenly confronted by silence, plus I now know that it’s one hour since I tried to go to sleep.

I did finally hit on the idea of using my Bluetooth headphones and firing up a ten-hour rain/storm video on YouTube, adjusting the time so it plays for the number of hours I want to sleep, the only problem being that wearing the headphones in bed is awkward, since they’re over-ear and not earbuds.

I might invest in a Bluetooth speaker before long.

Movie at home or movie at the theater?

The answer for this one always used to be “Movie theater for latest release that I really want to see and/or date night activity that came between dinner and sex.” Everything else was fine to watch at home, especially when Blockbuster was around (and around the corner) so it was easy to rent something recent, although more fun to shop from their discount table.

Nowadays, and since long before COVID actually, the answer became mostly at home, unless it was something I really, really wanted to see, but even then I’d skip the opening weekend crowds and wait until the hoopla had died down. This was I came to loathe the typical multiplex audience, who seemed to have no concept that they were in a theater and not at home.

I saw one film in a theater, finally, right before the lockdown, and it was the latest Star Wars film, which I caught very late in the run on a weekday afternoon with three other people in the theater. After that, I didn’t see anything again until the summer of 2021, this time taking advantage of reserved seating to catch a film on opening day with six other people in the place.

I saw two more films in theaters in 2021, The Green Knight and Dune, and that was it. As much as I wanted to catch In the Heights and West Side Story on the big screen, it had just become too risky again.

Mac or PC?

Absolutely, hands down, PC forever. Macs are overpriced pieces of shit designed for people who have no idea how computers actually work, couldn’t swap out a hard drive if their life depended on it, and would be clueless on file management if Macs didn’t take over for them.

What I love about PCs is that you can get under the hood, as it were. Over the years, I’ve upgraded PC memory, hard drives, CPUs, internal drives like CD-ROMS and DVDs, replaced power supplies, and so on and so on, none of which would have been possible as a consumer with a Mac.

Whenever any of my computers had a problem, I’d head down to the late, great Fry’s to get the parts I needed and have them installed and running by that night. When the Mac stans have a problem, they have to haul it into to the Apple Store, leave it for who knows how long, and hope that most of it is at least covered under some sort of warranty.

Not to mention that whenever Mac updates its OS, updating for everyone is mandatory no matter how old their machine is and, if their machine is too old, they’re SOL. Windows doesn’t force updates, although they will eventually stop supporting older versions of Windows, at which point it’s up to the user whether they want to take the risk of using a vulnerable machine on the internet.

Finally, for all the Mac-heads who think having their phone and their computer totally integrated is the greatest thing ever, it’s not. I’d rather have the control of allowing what I want synced between all my devices manually instead of having it happen by default — which is how Mac does everything, because their designers just assume that their users are too stupid to figure it out themselves.

Of course, that does seem to cover about 90% of Mac users, which is why I prefer PC.

Working alone or working in a team?

Unless it’s doing improv or putting on a play, I’m much more of a working alone sort, with brief and intermittent meetings to brainstorm content and the like. But I’ve sat in on “collaborative” meetings to try to create a document or plan or outline together, and it is excruciatingly non-productive.

Tell me what you need written and set me loose, and I’ll have it to you by the deadline, and I’m totally fine with working that way.

Things that drive me nuts, though, in no particular order.

1. Meeting by Power Point. PP is perhaps one of the worst inventions ever. It’s basically one of those elementary school film strips or an overhead projector show — I may have been among the last class who even experienced those, so ask your parents. But the idea is that whoever is running it shows you one picture at a time and, since they generally tend to have words on them, will read you every last damn one of them.

Power Point presentations are no different. They’re just fancier and shown using computers. But they’re basically a crutch for someone who cannot function without a script, which means they really have nothing to say. Better to just send out the deck to everyone, let them read or absorb it in their own way, and then give feedback.

2. The “show and tell” meeting. Sometimes these can be useful if it involves introducing a new product that everyone must see or getting feedback on finalists for new branding/logos and the like. But if it involves going around the room with each person giving a “This is what I did last week” speech, then can it; it’s not necessary. Instead of wasting time on a meeting, have each person send their report to a central email, like the assistant to the boss, who will summarize and compile them, then send them out to everyone. Simple and done.

3. Any meeting where anyone from the C Suite “helps,” especially if it involves brainstorming anything creative. Sorry, but no one up there is actually creative, they only think they are. Or, rather, what they’re creative at is getting people to dump money into the company on the 1% level or get people to buy the company’s shit on the 98% level.

Now, they can deal with the 1% — that’s their milieu, after all. But when it comes to the 98%, here’s how it should work. “Okay, gang. We’re rolling out this product line targeted at this demographic. We still need to come up with colors and product names, as well as a marketing campaign. All the info is in the file I just sent.

Now I’m off to golf with the president of Really Fucking Big Company, so knock yourselves out.

This is how any meeting with the C Suite Elite should be. They give the pitch and piss off, and then everyone else does the real work. (Your mileage may vary if you have a CEO or others who started at the bottom and worked their way up, but if their money came from their family, then your mileage will match the prediction.)

One thought on “Friday free-for-all #89: More This or Thats”

  1. I use fans – both ceiling and nightstand as well, no space heater though. I can’t stand earbuds so I’d have to have over a head or Bluetooth speaker too.
    At-home movies are the thing for me these days, unless the theater is empty. I hate crowds.
    I’m with you when it comes to PCs. Once upon a time it was so easy to change components. I have leftvover hard drives, memory cards, cd drives – the works. Those were the days.
    For most things, I find working alone best.

    Like

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