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Ojan Vafai
Works at Google Inc.
Attended UC-Berkeley
Lives in San Francisco, CA
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Ojan Vafai

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Wait, really? You're website goes offline every night?? Sigh.

It's just weird. I don't understand what could possibly be going on that they need to do this.

+William Chan explain the government to me!
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Still fairly common for government and large institution websites as they limit the operating hours of the website to the operating hours of the phone support staff. 
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Ojan Vafai

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I've decided to acquire a bike for getting around the city. Any suggestions on type or where to get one? I tried out a couple Trek and Giant hybrids today and they seemed reasonably nice (is hybrid the right word? They weren't road bikes or mountain bikes).

The only real difference I noticed between the Trek and Giant ones was that the gears on the Giant one transitioned a bit more smoothly and the Trek ones rattled at some gears.

I read one post from someone suggesting that the top tube should be 1-4 inches below your junk while standing, but the guy at the bike shop definitely thought it was OK that my junk was touching the tube and advised me away from getting a smaller frame. Halp! What are the tradeoffs?  I'm just doing casual city riding. There's the obvious thing of wanting a lower tube so that I don't land on it accidentally. But, other than needing a bike where the seat goes high enough, I don't see any advantage to having a bigger frame.

I'm definitely not in the market for a super fancy bike. I'd rather have a cheaper one that's less likely to get stolen. In fact, I'd be happy with a used bike in marginally good condition. But, I do care that I'm able to get around with minimal exertion since over-exerting exacerbates my health problems. So a reasonably light frame with a smoothish ride.
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whatever you get, make sure it has hardcase tires.
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Ojan Vafai

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I don't have a life-threatening illness, but I can relate to a lot of the chronic illness bits of Lisa's writing. It somehow is very comforting knowing that my bad experiences in life are shared by others closely enough that I can feel a strong affinity to their writing about it.


"The worst part about a gust is that it’s impossible not to glimpse into the abyss below as you flail. Just a peek at the long way down can be so much harder to recover from than simply regaining physical balance. A friend of mine said to me, “Lisa: Don’t. Look. Down.” And, she’s right. It’s almost always a mistake. But, how can you not?"


I was just today telling a friend that one of the hardest parts of coping when I get worse is the fear that this will be the beginning of a long, drawn out bad spell. In practice, I haven't had a really bad spell that lasted more than a day in over a year, but there's always the fear whenever I regress more than a little bit.


"It could be nothing. It could stabilize like this. It could reverse. It could progress. More unknowns. Always with the unknowns. If I’d realized there was this much not to know, I could’ve sailed through medical school. Exam question: What is the cause of this disease? What is the prognosis? Why does the medicine work for some patients and not others? Answer: Don’t know. Can’t say. Don’t know. Grade: A+"


People who have only had standard and/or minor illnesses rarely grasp how little doctors know about how the body works. People who've had undiagnosed or untreatable conditions have a whole different perspective on how far we have yet to go in leaving barbaric guess-and-check style medicine behind. When they don't know what's wrong with you or they know what's wrong but not how to fix it, the best they can do is try somewhat random things in the hope that something will stick.
Having advanced cancer feels a lot like walking a tightrope. Creeping so carefully, trying to balance on the slimmest of margins, never any real chance to let down your guard. Every so often a gust...
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Ojan Vafai

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Tested positive for HSV (the non-sexually transmitted version incidentally). Not sure whether to be happy at finally having a test come out positive. I guess this just confirms the diagnosis from my eye infection I had ~5 years ago.

Haven't talked to my doctor yet, but I think it's very unlikely that this would explain my long-standing GI symptoms.

In either case, I'm so used to doing lab tests and having them come back negative. It was surprising and kind of exciting to have something come back positive.
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Congrats... I guess? :-P

And you're in the majority! Here are Wikipedia's stats for prevalence among 12-to-70-year-olds in the U.S. from 1988-94:

HSV-1: 68%
HSV-2: 26% (female), 18% (male)
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Ojan Vafai

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Any of you who remotely ever interact with me in person know that I've been recently obsessed with Mr Money Mustache. I've not shared much here on that subject, but this comment from one of his readers is amazing and needed sharing.


http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/09/what-if-everyone-became-frugal/#comment-24240

Particularly, the closing paragraph: "You can not change human nature. Nor can you imagine other wise. To do so would put you, and your thoughts, on par and equal to that of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi’s as they tried to take over the world and create the perfect race. Frugalistas? Nazi’s? Tell me what’s so different."

Yes, that's right. Frugalists are the new Nazis.


This post somehow brought out all the crazies. Here's another amazing one: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/09/what-if-everyone-became-frugal/#comment-22823

"That’s the problem with elitists. They get their information from theory, opinions and textbooks. I get my info from living in the real, actual world. It’s a sort of 6th sense. It comes from experience, NOT reading textbooks. Ugh"

Who needs textbooks and facts when you have a 6th sense! Read the earlier comments from this person for added shock value.
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<3 MMM. I almost certainly wouldn't have ended up in Colorado if I hadn't read his posts about it.
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Ojan Vafai

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Anyone have a spare fitbit flex (or other wrist one) that I could borrow for a couple weeks? I want to try out the silent alarm feature to see how it would work for me.
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Thanks. Turns out the Fitbit One has the silent alarm as well. I'm giving it a try.

In either case, I went ahead and ordered the Charge HR because I want the heartrate measurement.
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I'm old moment of the day: Realized that in Back to the Future II, the future year they went to was 2015.
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where's-my-hoverboard moment of the day
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Ojan Vafai

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Wow. This video gets worse and worse. Cannot be hushed here!

+Brad Fitzpatrick did you end up just waiting for the batteries to die?
 
Do NOT buy a +Nest smoke alarm. They false alarm and are unhushable pieces of crap. Please spread the word.

Watch this horror video of me trying to quiet mine.

You can stop or mute this video if it's annoying, but you cannot stop an actual Nest protect.

This went off in my house all day, annoying my neighbors.

When I got the Android notification that my house was burning down I immediately assumed it was false, since my Nests had already cried wolf before.  I also checked video cameras and saw my house wasn't actually burning down, so I stayed at work. My poor neighbors, though.

Disclaimer: I am a Google employee. I paid for these myself. So I speak as myself.
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Another great post from Lisa. This describes one of the more surprising things about being sick. One of the harder social parts of being sick is communicating to people when I'm feeling better. The one that bothers me the most is "I'm sure you'll be better soon." No, actually, I won't.


"I hate to always have to temper my good news with such blunt realities, but I find people often misconstrue my good news if I do not. And, here’s where I’m a pain in the ass. I want to celebrate good news when I get it, while also having people appreciate the continued gravity of the situation. It’s a bit of a paradox, but nothing makes me feel less understood than an enthusiastic “you’re almost there!” or “get well soon!” Greetings like those betray a total misunderstanding of my situation."

http://lisa.ericgoldman.org/updates/update-6-112414
Photo by Paul McCoubrie MRI Results If you are a hypochondriac, cancer might be just your thing. No more poo-pooing symptoms or brushing off complaints; when you have cancer, doctors pay attention....
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Glad that you are sharing that. Now those who love you knows how you feel =)
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Ojan Vafai

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Lol
I've read Goodnight Moon almost every night for the past two years.  It's a wonderful book which my son enjoys.  Here are some of my issues with the bedroom depicted in it. 1.  The Size of the Bedroom This bedroom is enormous.  There is no one, I think, who has not noticed this.  As someone…
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Ojan Vafai

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Things that make me worry tech is in a bubble: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/242003
From our perspective, Airbnb for toilets seems like a shitty idea.
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Ojan Vafai

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What does it mean when a credit card has no visa/mastercard/amex/etc logo?

I see the other cards citi offers have the visa logo.

/confused
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Thanks! Time to switch cards then. 2% is greater than the 1.5% I get from capital one. :)
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Software Engineer
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  • Google Inc.
    Software Engineer, present
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Boston, MA - Changchun, China - Berkeley, CA - Mountain View, CA
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  • UC-Berkeley
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