Category Archives: negative

McMansions appearance against function: defense

In the United States at least, large cheaply built houses are commonly termed “McMansions”. The term appears to be a portmantle of “mansion” (a large house) and “McDonalds”, the fast food franchise.

Many of these McMansions are built to look castle-like with (fake) stonework, quoins and in some rare cases, battlements. I have not seen a moat yet.

Anyway, my comment to these styles is, “that’s stupid”. The construction of these houses isn’t enough to stop a normal burglar or home invader, much less a siege engine. If you’re into paranoia about your house, look into survivalist architecture. If that isn’t yet a thing, I expect it to be made one to fill the perceived need.

I wonder if @legallysociable has any thoughts on this?

Annoyance at co-“workers”

First note: I am not giving out any identifiable information. There are enough trolls out there I don’t want to feed them.

Second note: This is exactly what the title suggests, a rant about some people who I work with/around. If you don’t want to read it, I will understand if you skip this.

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Tree interfering with lines

On the way to work for a couple of weeks I noticed a decent diameter tree, maybe 30 cm, fallen across some non-electric lines. I think they were cable or telephone. Unfortunately, I don’t remember ever learning how you are supposed to report these things. They aren’t in an obvious municipality, so I can’t just go to the local DPW and tell them.

What I wish is that 8-1-1 wasn’t just utility marking, but a general utility number for things like downed lines (well, maybe that is covered by 9-1-1), trees in lines, service outages and similar matters. Currently you have to call the local utilities special number, which is hard to remember. It’s also hard to find out when you’re in the middle of nowhere and see something like this.

Further SAP ATS trash

Applying to a firm that uses SAP for its HR software (“applicant tracking software”) is miserable.

Today I am a-going to post some further observations about why. Most of them have to do with localization, but some are just plain bad English use.

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Parker needs a new website URL system

Parker Hannifin is a company that makes various fluid engineering tools. They also have a hideous URL scheme for their website. For example, their homepage’s URL is:

Similarly, “About Us” is

Not only are they ridiculously long, they are completely meaningless to the end user trying to parse them. Don’t think that website users don’t look at URLs. We are not in the age of “AOL Keywords” or similar dumbed down URIs and indecipherable strings like this are ugly and distracting.

Out of order addressing in PeopleClick\PeopleFluent

I was applying for a position to a company that uses PeopleClick for HR software. Here is a screenshot of part of the application, showing the information they wanted about me:


Look closely at that middle block of blue text. It wants, in this order, my:

Address 1
Email address
State or Province
Postal Code

Address 1 evidently means “number and street”, which could be stated less confusingly. Anyway, all of this is reasonable to ask for from an applicant, but consider what it looks like:

123 Main Street
United States

Why did they put the Email address field in the middle of the postal address? No other HR software that I’ve seen or used does this. People naturally are used to entering their mail address in a complete series. Putting Email in after street address is asking for confusion and messed up applications.

I have one fear when I see this: That this is a deliberate trick to try and weed people out. I hate those, especially when they appear in things that should be aboveboard, like HR forms.