recent blog posts by eli

new year new me - Monday, January 2, 2023 at 06:53 UTC

After experimenting successfully with rewriting some simple front-end components for, I decided to go ahead and port the same changes over to my main website.

Thus, you will notice that now has the same unified theme. Creating a custom, dependency-less front-end for my websites has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I'm glad to see this goal begin to come into fruition.

yet another blog redesign - Sunday, January 1, 2023 at 00:34 UTC

When I first created ehLabs in 2015, my aim was straightforward: to build a real-time chat application. Initially, I wanted to build this application for my employer, but my proposal was rejected due to prioritization concerns. As a result, I decided to pursue this project on my own. Since then, ehLabs has developed into a comprehensive content management system and social media application, powered by IPFS. However, I have always had one reservation about it-- the front-end technology.

When I started ehLabs, I had no knowledge of front-end engineering, and I still possess only a limited understanding of it. In order to quickly get the application up and running, I opted to use Bootstrap. While Bootstrap is a useful tool, it has its own set of issues and represents another large external dependency that requires regular updates. My dream has always been to do everything myself.

Many of my peers argue that the "correct" way to handle front-end development is to introduce NPM and choose a framework like Angular, React, or Vue. However, to be honest, this approach seems unnecessarily complicated to me. I do not have a need for a lot of real-time data (beyond chat), and all I require are a few basic CSS components such as a navbar, footer, and carousel. Therefore, I would like to avoid using JavaScript as much as possible.

The path I wish to pursue is to create my own set of CSS components for this site. You are probably reading this post on the initial iteration of this endeavor. My goal is to keep the V2 design of ehLabs simple and avoid imposing a specific color scheme. The legacy site's gray-blue color scheme was not universally appreciated.

This will be a long journey, but I believe it is the best course of action. I am starting with the design of the blog views. I will not set a deadline for myself, as this site is a personal project that I am undertaking for fun.

Dining Out In San Francisco This Holiday Season - Thursday, December 29, 2022 at 23:23 UTC

I recently had the opportunity to dine out at a few different restaurants in San Francisco over the holidays with my grandma and wife. Overall, the experiences varied quite a bit and I found myself using different tipping percentages at each place based on the level of service I received. In the past, I would have been guilted into a standardized tip suggestion of 18-20% or more, but I am no longer conforming to this standard.

At the first restaurant, a very famous and notable seafood place, the wait staff was very slow and the food we had was mediocre. The clam chowder, in particular, was watery and lacking in flavor. To make matters worse, the staff didn't tell us that they were cash only and didn't have an ATM, causing further delays and inconvenience. To wait for a table, we had to stand in line for over one hour, and the line was so long that they refused to serve many people behind us. Given the slow and mismanaged service and subpar food, I felt justified in leaving a one dollar tip. It was clear that this restaurant was more focused on its reputation and attracting a high volume of customers, rather than providing a high-quality dining experience. It was a disappointing visit and one that I would not recommend to others.

At the second restaurant, another famous and highly rated place, we had to wait in a long line and when we tried to sit at the bar, the bartender wouldn't let us order food and the hostess was crabby when we asked to put our name on a list. Despite the fact that my grandma is unable to stand in line for hours, the hostess refused to accommodate us and instead snapped at me when I asked if we could put our name on a list while we waited at the bar. Given the poor service and the hostess' unprofessional behavior, I left a one dollar tip for the two drinks we had. It was clear that the staff at this restaurant were more concerned with turning over tables and getting people in and out as quickly as possible, rather than providing good customer service. It was a regretful experience and one that I would not want to repeat.

The third restaurant was a local chain place that I had often overlooked due to my assumption that it would be touristy and overpriced. However, we were pleasantly surprised. While the restaurant wasn't cheap, it was priced well for the neighborhood we were in and the staff handled the crowds with ease. We were able to sit at the bar while we waited for a table, and the bartender was extremely kind. Given the exceptional service, we decided to leave a 20% tip – higher than the standard tip but justified given the great experience.

At the last restaurant, we had to wait in line for a table and the waitstaff seemed busy, avoiding eye contact with the customers as they rushed around trying to appear busy. Despite the wait, we eventually got a table and the waitress took our order without any mistakes. However, the service was only standard and the food was not great. Given the overall experience, I left a 15% tip before tax – the standard tip for standard service, despite their suggestion starting at 18% after tax. While the service wasn't necessarily poor, it also wasn't exceptional and therefore warranted a standard tip.

In conclusion, it's important to base your tip on the level of service you received. While the standard tip in the USA is 15% before tax, it's important to deviate from this if the service was exceptionally good or poor. In the cases of the first and second restaurants, the service was not up to par and I left virtually no tips accordingly. In the case of the third restaurant, the service was exceptional and I left a higher tip to reflect this. And in the case of the final restaurant, the service was standard and I left the standard tip. Do not be swayed by tip suggestions on your check and tip according to the service and overall experience you receive. Even during the holiday season, no one is entitled to a tip for a bad experience.

Anthony Bourdain gives his opinon on tipping - Sunday, December 25, 2022 at 06:10 UTC

Look, I know I'm gonna catch some flak for saying this, but fuck tipping. I'm tired of being told that I have to fork over an extra 20% just because I ordered a fucking burger and fries. And don't even get me started on those mandatory charges that get added to the bill - "service fees," "gratuities," call them whatever you want, they're just a way for restaurants to pad their profits.

And let's be real here - has anyone ever actually noticed a difference in the quality of service they received based on whether they tipped or not? I sure as hell haven't. In my experience, the service has always been mediocre at best, no matter how much I left on the table. And now, with all these restaurants making customers bus their own tables, it's like we're expected to do the job of the staff ourselves. What the fuck is that all about?

But here's the thing - it's not just about the poor service and the inflated prices. It's about fairness. In California, there's no separate tipped minimum wage, which means that all workers must be paid at least the minimum wage, regardless of whether they receive tips or not. So why the hell should we feel obligated to tip? It's not like we're doing these workers any favors by leaving a few extra dollars on the table.

So let's just put an end to this bullshit, shall we? Let's all just stop tipping. Maybe then, restaurants and other businesses will start treating their employees better and paying them a fair wage. I've been tipping less this holiday season, and you know what? It's been great. No more feeling guilty for not leaving enough, no more overpriced bills. It's time to stand up for what's right and say enough is enough.

Created with ChatGPT.

Here is a tip for this Holiday Season - Saturday, December 24, 2022 at 22:33 UTC

Tipping has long been a controversial topic in the service industry, with many people feeling obligated to leave a gratuity regardless of the quality of service they receive. While it may seem like a small gesture, the truth is that not tipping can have a much bigger impact on the industry as a whole.

One reason I choose not to tip is due to the consistently poor quality of service I have received at many restaurants. Whether it's slow service, inattentive staff, or just a general lack of effort, I feel that if I am paying for a meal, I should not have to also pay for good service. In many cases, I feel that I am being taken advantage of as a customer, and that the staff are simply going through the motions in order to get a tip.

Another issue I have with tipping is the mandatory charges that are added to the bill at many restaurants. These charges, which are often disguised as "service fees" or "gratuities," can add a significant amount to the overall cost of the meal. While these charges are meant to be distributed among the staff, I feel that they are often used to pad the profits of the restaurant instead. In these cases, I feel that I am being asked to pay twice for the same service, and that my money is being misused.

In addition to these issues, many restaurants now require customers to bus their own tables after their meals. While this may seem like a small task, it is one that is traditionally done by the staff in order to keep the restaurant clean and presentable. By having to bus my own table, I feel that I am being asked to do the job of the staff, and that the restaurant is saving money by not hiring enough staff to do the job properly.

Another issue that I have with tipping is the fact that the suggested tips on checks seem to be constantly inflating. In most cases, the default suggestion for a tip now starts at 18%, and it only gets larger from there. This can add a significant amount to the overall cost of a meal.

While it may be argued that these suggested tips are meant to reflect the cost of living and other factors, I feel that they are simply a way for restaurants to increase their profits. In a time when many people are struggling financially, I feel that these inflated tip suggestions are unreasonable and unfair.

Furthermore, I believe that these suggested tips can create an unhealthy dynamic between customers and staff. In some cases, customers may feel pressured to leave a large tip in order to receive good service, while in other cases, staff may feel entitled to a large tip regardless of their performance. This can lead to a cycle of dissatisfaction on both sides, and can ultimately harm the dining experience for everyone involved.

One final reason I do not tip is that there is no separate tipped minimum wage in California. This means that all workers in the state, regardless of whether they receive tips or not, must be paid at least the minimum wage. This is in contrast to other states, where tipped workers are paid a lower minimum wage and are expected to make up the difference through tips. In California, there is no need to tip in order to ensure that workers are being paid fairly, so I feel that it is unnecessary to do so.

This holiday season, I have been having a good experience tipping less. While I have always felt a certain level of discomfort when it comes to tipping, I have found that not leaving a gratuity has actually been a liberating experience. I no longer feel the pressure to conform to societal norms, and I am able to be more selective about where I choose to eat.

One thing I have noticed during this time is that there has been no discernible difference in the quality of service I have received. In fact, the service has been just as mediocre to bad as it has always been, with mediocre food to match. This has only reinforced my belief that tipping does not necessarily lead to better service, and that other factors, such as proper training and good management, are much more important.

As a result, I have decided to make it my New Year's resolution to tip less in 2023. While I know that this may not be a popular decision, I feel that it is the right thing to do for myself and for the industry as a whole. By standing up for what we believe in and refusing to accept poor quality service, we can help to create a better dining experience for everyone.

Ultimately, I believe that the best way to bring about change in the service industry is for everyone to stop tipping. By refusing to leave gratuities, we can send a message to restaurants and other businesses that we expect better quality service and fair wages for all workers. This holiday season, I hope that others will join me in standing up for what is right.

Next Page