easy on the candy, bub

Just a short note to let everybody know I'm still here, underneath this mound of work. Updates should resume sometime in the not-so-distant future. The current lack of new content is brought to you by a number of factors: Lor being out of town on business for an extended period, the resulting shifts in my sleep schedule and things to do around the house, my work in general, and a few projects around the house that are taking much longer than anticipated.

To follow up on my recent banking question: after a bit of research, it looks like we will be ditching CheckFree. The current plan (subject to change) is to use our bank's on-line bill paying service, install LinuxPPC on the PowerMac 7500 that was running CheckFree, and use GnuCash for checkbook reconciliation and other financial stuff. This setup won't meet all our needs (Lor won't be able to do much stuff while she's on the road, for example), but it easily matches the current system we have, and it's cheaper to boot. Plus, I get to play around with LinuxPPC again, and Lor will get introduced to Linux -- and I've been trying to come up with a way to accomplish those last two goals for a while now.

The other day, a woman I don't know approached me and asked me if my license plate meant "go to hell". When we moved to Maryland, we found that personalized plates were only a few dollars more, so we got a plate that reads GENEHCK. When I explained that it was just the name of my website (and my profession, but I didn't get into that), the mysterious woman said, "Oh, my friend said that it means go to hell in Yiddish". Seeing from my confused expression and my wedding band that I wasn't the angry-yet-clever-and-single Jewish guy she was after, but rather a married, geeky goy, she quickly moved on. So, members of the loyal Genehack Corps, if any of you can shed any light on what "ge ne hck" means, in whatever language, please, drop me a line.

Finally, today's (other?) bit of absurdity came in the snail mail: an envelope with a credit card company return address, bearing on the front the notice: "This is not a bill. It is a pre-approved credit card offer." Okay, let me get this straight: the company is pre-approving cards for people that have a habit of tossing bill-looking things in the trash without opening them? Yah, that's a sound business model. It would make a lot more sense if things were labeled the other way around: "This is a bill. It is not a pre-approved offer for a card with a US$500 limit and a 28% APR."

(I made a few minor changes to the layout template -- those of you with smaller screens who were having problems with the layout, let me know if this helps. I think in the long run, I'm going to ditch the right hand side bar, but that's going to require a bit more hackery -- hopefully the current kludge will suffice for now.)