Printer Issues

Ever note the similarity between printer/router setup directions and console video game cheats. While pressing up arrow, press, a then b 7 times withing five seconds. WTF.

Google Maps Mouse Scrolling

Update: mouse scrolling at google is back in action. All is well in the world.

So google maps zooming by mouse scroll wheel has met its demise, which is truly tragic. Perhaps just because I was used to using it, as there seems to have been a vocal minority that was quite annoyed by it (which doesn’t make sense, if you don’t like it just don’t use it). That and they redid the image search results layout. Between the two (and not having boxes to check to keep the old behavior, which is truly tragic). I decided to give bing another go. So first it was off to bing maps. Which has mouse-wheel scrolling. I was like awesome, then I went to the place that I was looking at on google maps. I’m looking for the place I saw on google maps. Still looking. The island didn’t make the cut. Awesome. So bing fails. Awesome mouse scrolling on their maps, and very pretty maps. They’re just missing a few little things (like maps that actually reflect reality). Any other suggestions?

Also I’m really torn here. I sort of love google, and I hate trying something else.

I’m now looking at mapquest (of old), which is so sold out to holiday inn it’s annoying. I mean, is it possible I might be looking for something other than holiday inn? It’s like looking for books on stingrays and having the library pull up all books on either stingrays or the civil war. Because the civil war is historically very interesting and who wouldn’t be interested in it. If I were looking for holiday inn’s (or the civil war), maybe I wouldn’t use “stingray” as my search term. Evil. Also mapquest, instead of saying “we don’t have imagery at that level”, samples surrounding images at that zoom and clones it. How’s that make sense. Totally erased the islands I was looking for, they exist as a sort of hazy tint, on amazingly clear cloned images of waves. Point in favor of mapquest, the islands make the cut on the map view (not in the satellite view, which is weird, because the reverse is true on bing, i.e. they have photos but they didn’t put it on the map, which makes sense, since photos are the ones that you “start with” in mapping).

What’s with the constant need to confirm and know who else is coming

Why is it any time I plan an event everyone responds maybe, and they ask 1) for me to confirm 2) who else is coming.

1) I planned the event, it’s happening at the time and place I said. It will happen, I am not canceling.
2) I don’t know, come and you’ll find out. Also if everyone takes your approach nothing happens.

So grow up, say yes or no, don’t ask for confirmation or who else is coming. It will save what remains of my sanity.

Apartment Woes in NY

So due in no small part to my troubles with my current management company I am in the middle of searching for a new apartment.  I’ve had a lot of bad experiences in housing in New York, so I feel like I’m pretty cautious at this point.  It’s worth checking out a broker you might be using, or a management company/landlord.  Just google the address of a building, or a phone number of a broker, or the brokerage agency.  You’ll find all sorts of useful information.  I have an upcoming appointment about a broker/no fee apartment (building pays the fee) with “best apartments” (the name is too similar “stellar management” for me to feel totally at ease with this).  So a few google searches unearth some interesting reviews.  They don’t have a great reputation, in fact they have a pretty amazingly poor reputation, so bad that I almost cancelled my apointment.  I’m still planning on going, I’m just not planning on giving them anything without some sort of assurance that what they say holds water, so to speak.  Anyways, far and away the best review of “best apartments” I have found:

Don’t try to intimidate me and don’t raise your voice.  Just don’t do it.  I might be small, but I am scrappy as hell and I will take you down, a*hole, kicking and screaming.  I realize your office looks like the dungeon of misery, but that doesn’t mean you get to take your frustration out on me.

Anyways the best apartments apartment (clearly their name has problems other than being structured similarly stellar management) is under renovation, which you would think would be a good thing, it means you’d move into a modern apartment where things work, and the appliances are shiny, blah, blah, blah.  However I interpret this in a very different way.  This means that you won’t necessarily have somewhere to live when your lease starts.  So what do you do in that case?  How can you make sure you’ll have somewhere to live?  I’m strongly considering attempting to move to a less desirable apartment just because it’s ready, as in ready today, and because the guy I dealt with was a total pleasure.  Anyways wish me luck with “best apartments”.

The Incompetence of Stellar Management

So I live in an apartment building in New York City which is owned by a management company named Stellar Management (to avoid confusion this is Stellar Management of 156 William Street).  Note that a management company has a very similar relationship with a tenant as a Landlord would.  A landlord is oftentimes also the property manager/supervisor and responsible for making repairs to the building and residences, however the management company employs someone in this capacity.  Stellar Management is owned by one of its founders Laurence Gluck (some background here).

Anyways, getting back to the point, stellar management, totally incompetent, and unresponsive.  I have been living in my current apartment for nearly 2 years now, and renewed my lease at the end of a one year term.  Stellar management increased rent at that point in time and also requested additional security deposit.  I sent the security deposit in the mail, however I received a call a while later stating it had never been received (note this is possibly the only time stellar management initiated communication).  I figured it had been lost in the mail and just put another check in the mail.  I looked at my bank account a while later to see that the replacement check had been deposited… Along with the original.

I was not a happy camper at this point in time, as I was essentially scammed, either through malice or incompetence.  I immediately called stellar management, however none of the people associated with my building were answering their phones, so I left messages on every machine, and waited for a return phone call.  A few days passed, so I called again, and left messages again.  I shuffled through some paperwork I had and found e-mail addresses associated with some of the people at stellar who work with my building.  I e-mailed detailing the problem, and got responses saying that I needed to contact so and so at another e-mail address.  So I sent the same e-mail to the new address.  The same thing followed, until I had accumulated 5 email addresses.  However, no response was forthcoming.  I continued to call, leave messages and email.  Eventually I elicited a response, from person a, saying it would be fixed by tomorrow.  I waited a week or so and sent the email again, eliciting another response from person B, saying person A had fixed the problem.  I of course responded that “tomorrow” was a week ago, and I had not been told that the problem was fixed.  I received a response a few days later saying that the problem was fixed, however I am disinclined to believe this until I see a bill zeroed out, and even then I will worry it will reappear at a later time (as happened before).

Finally I needed to contact stellar management to discuss my move out date with them.  I intend to sign a lease starting august 1, and my current lease ends 7/31, one might think that this would work out beautifully.  However my prior experiences with stellar lead me to believe otherwise.  I have been attempting to contact them for a week now to discuss, however I have only reached a human being on the phone once, and the resolution of the phone call was that they would send an email to the same person who I had both sent and e-mail and left a phone message for.

Finally, not personal experience, but it’s worth noting that stellar management has defaulted on $250 million in loans as reported Here.

A very unfortunate story showing the business practices of Stellar Management here.