What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Measuring success. In a meeting it was casually mentioned that exceeding the standard wouldn’t be hard at all if we just changed the way the standard was measured. Well sure. As long as no one cares what something actually is, a perfectly acceptable description of it is “not my bathtub.” It’s technically correct but doesn’t tell you a damned thing about what the object actually is or how well it’s performing. The fact that there were a lot of allegedly smart people in the room who all nodded their heads in agreement of this asshattery leaves me so very little doubt about why this country is so utterly jacked up.

2. Walkers. The old woman who walked out from between two parked trucks on a one way street at 5PM without even looking in my direction (i.e. the direction from which traffic was coming) clearly has a death wish. I know this because she flipped me off and then yelled that I almost hit her. I hope I at least taught that wrinkled bitch a few new words. Fortunately for all of us I was more interested in getting home than jumping out of the truck and pummeling the Crypt Keeper with a tire iron.

3. Nest. It’s trying to be helpful. Maybe most people don’t notice the difference a single degree of temperature makes, but I do. Yes, my automated friend, I can feel the difference between 70 and 71. If I wanted 71 that’s the temperature I would have set. I appreciate that you’re doing your level best to save me money while keeping the house reasonably cool, but what I really need you to do is just go to the temperature I told you to go to and stay there until you receive further guidance. I’m fine with compromise, but not when it comes to comfort – and especially not when the cost is about $.37 a month.

Nested…

After sitting on the kitchen counter for a week (as most small home improvement projects do when I bring them home), I got the Nest thermostat plugged in this morning. All I can say at this point is that it successfully turns the furnace and air conditioning on when requested – but like most other people who buy a “smart” appliance, I’m really more interested in how it’s going to perform without direct human intervention.I can’t give you a review of how well that part works just yet, but will once we’ve passed the 30 day mark.

Installation was just about as simple as you could hope to make it. Two screws, four wires, and then snapping the “brain” into place is all there is. All-in, the process, including setting up bells, whistles, and cleaning up the packaging took about 40 minutes. That included drinking a cup of coffee and spending five minutes in the basement (where I had to go to kill power at the electric panel) looking for something unrelated in the boxes that still live down there.

Based on where my thermostat is located in the house, I have some lingering doubts about how well it will “learn” my living patterns over the next few days. That’s easy enough to remedy by manually setting a schedule for the system, but that does take away at least some small virtue of this type of automation. Still, being the creature of habit I am, a set schedule may prove to be more effective.

Regardless of how it gets to learn my preferences – either by observation or from me just telling it what to do – Nest surely has to do a better job than the old school mercury switch it’s replacing. Once you’re past the idea that you’re giving up another little slice of your privacy to a wholly owned subsidiary of Google (and the price), I think it’s going to be a hard device not to like.

If nothing else, it does look awfully nice hanging there on the wall.