dealing with three hours of jet lag

Some time ago, I shared my technique for dealing with jet lag between New York and California/Vegas (three hours). This strategy doesn’t work as well for more disparate time zones. The strategy actually changes depending on whether it is a work trip or vacation. Anyway rather than reply in a private email, putting it on the blog.

New York to the West Coast – work trip

I like to fly early in the day where possible so I have more time to enjoy being in the destination city. On a six hour flight, you spend a full day traveling, but can take a nap on the plane. I try to take an hour nap so I can stay up later. I don’t always get the nap in, but I do stay up.

When I arrive, I try to keep busy whether it is walking around or seeing stuff or even working. I make sure to eat extra. I make sure to have a light mean/snack late in the day. Even if my flight arrives late, I eat something when I arrive. I also ensure that I don’t go to sleep before 10pm; ideally closer to 11pm.

Ten pm doesn’t sound late. But your body thinks it is 1am. And has spent the day traveling. (and in my case got up early to get to the plane). The key to forcing the staying up is to “reset” so you wake up at a normal time in the local Pacific time zone. Knowing I’m going to get up at 7 or 8am for work means 10-11pm is a good time to fall asleep. In ensures I won’t be up at 4am! The light snack serves the same purpose. Without it, I wake up in the middle of the night because my stomach thinks “Breakfast!”. I try to tell it to go back to sleep and it keeps telling me “No; Breakfast!”. My eating the snack, my stomach doesn’t wake me up.

Getting up at a good time locally means my body is in sync for meals local time. And that I won’t be tired to go out after work with people.

Flying home to New York – work trip

I’m able to sleep on the plane so I take the red eye home. This also lets me do something in the destination city before flying home. I get 5 hours of sleep on the plane. This is enough so I sleep another 2-3 hours when I get home. If it is a work day, I can still work the afternoon. I don’t feel the same way as if I slept in my bed. But it’s enough for one day. That night, I make sure to go to sleep a little earlier to catch up.

New York to the West Coast – vacation

For vacation, I always fly early in the day and arrive around lunchtime. Same thing; I make sure to either eat a lot (like a buffet) or use the above technique about a snack.  Just like work, I make sure not to go to sleep too early. Then the next day, I sleep until 7:30/8:00 am. It’s a little harder when visiting family because someone who lives in California isn’t going to want to be up at 7:30. I make sure to keep my iPad within reach of where I am sleeping so I can always read. (not a book because the light isn’t good enough to read.) This works well.

Flying home to New York – vacation

This is the exact same technique as for work. Red eye plus nap. It’s harder from Vegas because the flight is an hour shorter. Still worked though. And for vacation, I can plan to have the day off. Sometimes I work half a day anyway because i don’t want to use as much vacation though.



find and replace in adobe acrobat reader … or java 8

Scott and I are doing final edits of our OCA 8/OCP 8 Practice Tests book. We wanted to use parens after method names in the explanations. I noticed that I missed two in an early chapter so wanted to do a search in Adobe Acrobat reader for “main method”. Unfortunately Acrobat ignores the parens so “main() method” matched too.

Rather than figure out how to do this in Acrobat, I just coded it.

Path path = Paths.get("test.txt");
.filter(l -> l.contains("main method"))

Broke up the reading/editing with some code too 🙂

the relative in trouble scam

The most recent AARP newsletter has an article about the “grandparent scam.” A retired person asked me about it and we had a good discussion about potential future variants of it. First of all, this isn’t new. In fact, AARP wrote about it four years ago. Some thoughts beyond what is in the article:

  • Never give any personal information or financial information if you didn’t initiate the phone call in the first place.  I’d say banks and such don’t call and ask for personal information except that one did. The solution was to call back to the known number of the branch.
  • Don’t rely on caller id. It can be spoofed with your child/grandchild’s phone number.
  • I’d like to think a grandparent/parent would recognize their child’s voice. But if not, ask questions. And not questions like your pets name or mother’s birth date. The former is likely on Twitter/Facebook. And mother’s birth date is in the public record so a horrible security question in any case.  I’m talking questions that are hard to search for an answer to if you don’t already know them like “remember when I visited you in Arizona two years ago” and see if they know that never happened. Or “what’s the last injury you had” since that is hard to search for.
  • Verify using another channel. Ask for a number to call back. The police or hospital or any legit emergency would give you one. (and verify this is the right number; don’t just call back.) Then call the person on their known telephone numbers. Call their relatives. Send a text. Odds are the person really is ok.
  • Don’t wire money or buy a pre-paid cash card or buy BitCoin to pay someone who called you. Hospitals take this lovely thing called a credit card. Even if someone is arrested, you can call a local bail bondsman and pay them and they will pay the local jail. (At least that’s what the internet says; I’ve never been in a position to find out if that is true!). Which goes back to you initiating the transaction.

The point that a lot of information is online is a good one. And that’s just what we know about. Think about how many websites have been hacked in the last five years. That means your “security questions” aren’t safe. Also, the “bad guys” don’t limit themselves to google. Paying for a background check would yield more info if someone wants to target you. And the dark web probably has all sorts of information.