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How do they even survive?

In the “Jeez, people are stupid” category, I was reminded yet again today how many folks just make you shake your head in amazement.

I had a minor surgical procedure done earlier today. No big deal, but I’ve had a bad reaction (agonizing pain) in the past when it was done in the doctor’s office, so I generally prefer to have them do it under a general anesthetic.

So we happily got a late-morning surgical slot (I hate getting up at 5 AM for any reason).

They brought me right in, I changed clothes, and the nurse in pre-op was asking me the zillion routine questions, when she gets to the trick question: “What did you have for breakfast this morning?”

I roll my eyes and answer “Nothing, because I haven’t eaten anything since midnight, as instructed.” She grins, clicks the mouse and is about to move on when I asked “OK, how often is it that people ate something first?”

She leaned in and murmured, “You wouldn’t believe how often. Then they say things like ‘Nobody told me I couldn’t eat anything.’ ”

“Aw, c’mon. I was told at least four times. Maybe more.”

“Yep. And then we have to cancel their surgery, and they act all upset. And then they come back a few weeks later and do it again. I’ve seen people show up and get their surgery cancelled three times. It’s one reason why we don’t put in your IV until after we ask you these questions.”

A couple of years ago, Dori had an in-office procedure, and the doctor was running really late. The doctor finally came out and said, “I’m so sorry to keep you waiting. The guy before you stopped on the way in and had an Egg McMuffin, and I had to decide if I was going to reschedule him or go ahead. I finally went ahead because I was sure that if I sent him home, I’d never see him again.”

So let me just express, again, my appreciation for nurses and doctors, who do their absolute best in the face of a crowd of patients who are really too damn stupid to live.

We Voted

…and so should you, if you haven’t already.
One of the things I’ve always treasured with Dori is how she values voting (and to a lesser extent, politics) as much as I do. Other than the very occasional elections where it’s only local judges or school boards where I don’t know enough to vote intelligently, we’ve voted in every primary and general election since we’ve been together. Voting is one of the things that make us a family, and I’m happy and proud to say we’ve passed that value on to our son Sean.

I spent yesterday at a Microsoft Dev Camp in San Francisco with sessions taught by Microsoft evangelists. The camp’s focus was on Windows 8 for HTML5 and JavaScript developers—in particular, creating applications using technologies these developers already knew and selling them in the Microsoft store.

Those who’ve been around awhile might remember that this is one of my hot buttons (but in a good way). Otherwise, go read Apple doesn’t, Microsoft might (almost seven years old!) for some background.

Does Microsoft get it this time? Sadly, no. In fact, I’m fairly sure that they don’t remember having solved this issue previously.

Other takeaways:

  • Windows 8 is a disaster from a usability standpoint. Or more precisely, Win 8 makes perfect sense if you think that people use an OS because what they want to do is use an OS. Most of us use an OS because we want to get some task done: write an article, play a game, surf the Web, etc. The OS is in the background handling its required tasks, and it usually only presents itself when something has gone very wrong.

    MS appears to think that people want to sit and stare at their desktops and admire the way they look. I’ve never known anyone where this was their primary usage, although I don’t doubt that MS focus groups were able to dig some up. Sadly, this appears to be a case of the Windows tail wagging the computer-user dog—MS sells Windows, and makes a lot of money doing so, therefore, Windows must be at the center of all your computer using-tasks.

  • Because of its “learn from how you use it” nature, Windows 8 is going to be a support nightmare for help desks and consultants.

  • I think that a lot of people really don’t understand that Windows RT isn’t a full version of Windows 8, and this is going to bite MS. Hard.

  • Someone needs to teach MS evangelists how to use Powerpoint. Fewer words on the slides, please. And if I ever rule the world, reading the text off slides will be grounds for immediate death.

  • I signed up to an all-day event to be lectured at by MS evangelists, and I knew what I was in for. However, I thought it was reasonable to expect swag in return. Total haul: one ballpoint pen. That’s it. No t-shirt. No cheap-ass bag like the dozens I already have. No pad of paper. No voucher for a copy of Windows 8. Clearly, they misunderstood the terms of the understanding people have with evangelist-led events.

  • MS doesn’t understand how the Apple app store works—but thinks they do. Examples:

    1. They’re not allowing 99¢ apps. Apps are either free or have a minimum cost of $1.49. How many times have you found yourself saying, “Hey, it’s under a dollar, so why the hell not?” Developers, write off all those buyers.
    2. Here’s the chart they posted on how they perceive the opportunities in their store:Microsoft opportunities I’ve tried to add up the number of misconceptions several times now, and I keep failing because I’m laughing too hard.

Of course, I could be dead wrong (it wouldn’t be the first time!) and both Windows 8 and JavaScript-native apps could be huge hits. But I’m not betting that way.

Monday night is the last in this year’s series of Presidential debates, focusing on foreign policy. Consequently, here’s the latest version of our

Presidential debate Bingo Cards

And as always, if you use a mobile browser or you want to print cards out, we recommend this direct link.

Once again:

Bingo cards for the 2012 Presidential Debate

are now available.

If you use a mobile browser or you want to print cards out, as before, we recommend this direct link.

2012 VP Debate Bingo

Now available:

Bingo cards for the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate

If you use a mobile browser or you want to print cards out, as before, we recommend this direct link.

More Bingo to Come!

Thanks to everyone who pointed to and enjoyed our Debate Bingo Cards. We’ll be doing them with additional and adjusted content for the remaining three debates, so make a note to check back here on each of those evenings.

Those who’ve been reading this site for many years might remember that I’ve previously done up Bingo cards for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates. This year is no different, so here you go:

Debate Bingo

Tell your friends, and enjoy!

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