3.092 tech, swbb

Friday 03/04/2022

Still not feeling 100% when I got up, but improved through the day.

The City of Palo Alto used to have a simple Residential Parking Permit (RPP) program. There was a simple online signup, or you could go to City Hall, and you got a sticker for your back window, and then you could park on the street in the Downtown area for more than 2 hours. For a small added fee you could get a “hang tag” that a visitor could put on their mirror. I got my sticker in 2019, and then through the pandemic they kept extending the time it was valid, up until now.

March 1, they have a whole new program. No more stickers; license plates will be read electronically and checked against the permit database. Permits and hang tags both now cost $50 each. Well, so be it. But the worst part is that the way to get a permit or tag is only via a new web portal which is absolutely the worst-designed, most user-hostile, web design ever. Absolutely horrible to try to use especially by a person uncertain about computers and with not-great eyesight. Which is most people at Channing House.

Why do Channing House residents need parking permits? We have secure underground parking. Well, one, not all of us do. There are some holdouts who feel affronted at paying $65/month (soon to go up to $90) for the parking garage. But the main reason is that Channing House uses the spare hang-tags for visitor and employee parking. We residents are encouraged to purchase permits so we can purchase hang-tags, which we can give to the management, who will reimburse us.

So a whole slew of seniors, some of them very savvy and experienced users (like me, Craig Allen, a few others) and lots of them not so much, are butting heads with this vile reeking dumpster fire of a website. And those who fail, call the tech squad.

I have not yet succeeded in getting into the damn portal but today I got dispatched to help someone who has. Joanne’s only problem was that, where she was supposed to upload a picture of her drivers license (yes, they want you to do that, along with a utility bill) she couldn’t figure out how to get the picture as a JPEG to upload it. I solved that pretty quick. Discussed it at supper with Jerry and Betty. Jerry is a highly skilled computer user and is having trouble with it.

Never mind. Stanford Women played in the PAC12 tournament semifinal tonight and beat the Colorado Buffs handily. Which was satisfying because the last two times they played the games were very close and very physical. We out-bufallo’d the buffs this time, maintaining a 9-12 point lead until the 4th quarter and won going away, by 24.

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