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Password Managers

Posted on 05/21/2017

Password managers are a great tool for remembering your passwords and making sure they are random, long, and secure. Some password managers remind you to change your passwords every so often or when there has been a reported breach of a service. However, there is another extremely important reason to use one: leave your important information for your loved ones if the unexpected happens.

As I wrote previously, my step-father passed away unexpectedly. He wasn't the most tech-savvy person, but he did have a couple email accounts and a Twitter account. Most importantly, he had an iPhone with the "Find my iPhone" functionality enabled. In order to turn this functionality off, you need the AppleID and password for the owner of the phone. This is a great security feature that disallows a thief from erasing your phone and using it as their own. However, if you are the rightful owner (or someone has bequeathed a phone to you), you cannot disable "Find My iPhone" without the AppleID password or access to the person's email address to reset the password.

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Updated on 04/07/2019

Bobby Lee Roy Frazier

Posted on 05/13/2017

On April 24th, my step-father died unexpectedly from a heart attack. He had been dealing with a stomach bug and had gotten up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom (presumably to vomit). He collapsed on his way back to bed. My mother, who had been sleeping in a different room because she needed to sleep well before going to work, found him on the floor in the morning. This event was obviously very emotional, and I realized that we did not write a proper obituary or eulogy. Here is my attempt.

Bobby Lee Roy Frazier was born on July 7, 1962 and died on April 24, 2017. He is survived by his wife Joanie, sister Velda, brother David, daughter Tiffany, step-sons Josh, Donnie, and Christopher, and (step-)grandchildren Makyla, Justice, Reality, Blake, Lucas, and Elizabeth.

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Updated on 03/08/2019

ESPN Pre-Draft Rankings

Posted on 03/31/2017

Fantasy sports are a great way to be involved in the sports we love. They give us an excuse to root for players that aren't on our favorite team. They also give us the opportunity for competition and bragging rights.

I have been involved in an ESPN Fantasy Baseball league for about 13 years now. Unfortunately I won't be available for the draft this year and will need to auto-draft my players. I didn't want to manually rank every player on ESPN's list, but I couldn't find anyway to do it automatically. I think it would be nice if ESPN allowed a user to upload a .csv file to update the rankings all at once. Alas, they don't allow one to do that so I had to come up with something else.

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Updated on 03/08/2019

Full-Time Job

Posted on 03/30/2017

I have been in school for 26 years continuously without more than a summer break. That has been my full-time job to this point. I have been interviewing at places like Google, but I recently accepted a job offer that I never thought I would entertain.

It is very common that one teaches while they are in graduate school. In math, everyone teaches while they are in graduate school. When I started teaching, I didn't enjoy it. I found it difficult to motivate myself when I felt that the students were not motivated. I complained about my students and put in minimal effort. When I told people I was studying math, they would often ask me if I wanted to be a teacher. My response was always, "Absolutely not!" However, I have had a mind-shift in the last couple years. I began to think that I might be teaching past my time in graduate school. If that was going to happen, then I needed to be more dedicated to teaching, to my students, and to understanding how people learn. Ultimately I found that a deep desire for student success and understanding goes a long way.

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Updated on 03/08/2019

Being a Night Owl

Posted on 03/05/2017

I've heard that people who wake up early are happier, healthier, and more productive. I wanted to be more productive so I decided that I would get up early. I thought I would have more time to get things done, but I could never make it stick. I would get up at 6am for a while, but one morning I would silence my alarm, fall back asleep, and wake up two or three hours later. I was also spending 8-10 hours sleeping each night. I knew that I didn't need that much sleep, but I couldn't figure out why my body felt it needed it. Finally, after failing for years, I flipped it on its head. And it worked.

Some people just aren't morning people. It didn't matter how much I wanted to be one. I always found myself sleeping too much and feeling bad that I wasn't being as productive as I wanted. A few weeks ago, after returning from a trip to California, I had some catching up to do. I knew it would be a late night, but that was fine because I didn't have anything to do the next morning. I stayed up until 5am and got everything done. I woke up at 10:30am feeling rested and ready to go. It was incredible that I felt better after 5.5 hours of sleep than I did when I would get 9.5 hours. Not only that, but I got a lot done in the seven hours between when my wife went to bed and when I went to bed. It dawned on me: I am a night owl and I should embrace that.

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Updated on 03/08/2019

My First Interview

Posted on 03/03/2017

In November I was contacted by a Google recruiter. She wanted to know if I was interested in working for the company. Of course I said, "Yes!" I made it through the entire interview process. Although I was recently told that I would not get an offer, having my first "real" interview with such a large company was an amazing experience.

I guess the process started about a year ago when I applied for a graduate internship with the search giant. I had a relative who worked there (they no longer do), and my application was given to someone who does recruiting for full-time positions. I was asked if I was interested in a full-time position instead of the internship position for which I had applied. I told them I was, but never heard back from them.

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Updated on 03/08/2019

Apple Watch

Posted on 10/28/2016

I am the 2016 champion of my fantasy baseball league. This league is very competitive and I am glad that I have bragging rights for the next year. Bragging rights were not my only honor, however. A monetary award that covered the price of a 42mm Space Grey Aluminum Apple Watch accompanied my victory. I've been wearing it every day for the past 3 weeks and I am not impressed.

First, I want to say that I think smart watches are great. I wore a Kickstarter Edition Pebble for years before the screen went crazy. I loved that watch and was very disappointed when I put it in the drawer in my desk for good. Apple is very good at taking what others do and making it better so when it looked like I was going to win $500, I knew that I was going to use that money to purchase an Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is a huge upgrade over my original Pebble, but it is difficult for me to justify the price difference over the newest Pebbles.

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Updated on 03/08/2019

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