howeird: (Default)
Crashed hard last night after a day I had been anticipating for about a month. Yesterday went well enough, all the things accomplished, some timings not as good as they could have been, but the main reason for the trip went smoothly with the best results.
There are a lot of redheads in Seattle. Seattle women wear too much clothing.

Slept long and deeply. Spook was both on the bed and in the BnB. She was gone when I finally got out of bed at 9, but she came back to obsess over the shower drain. We played head butt, followed by Spook's special brand of petting, in which she walks under my hand, I hold it against her back as she walks her length, and I gently wrap my hand around her tail as she continues to walk. Then she circles back and repeats until she is bored.
Started a load of laundry, bedding first, then jeans & heavy stuff. With the jeans in the wash and the bedding in the dryer I drove to the ATM, got some cash, then to the car wash, which now costs $21 with the coupon, claiming it is $17 off the regular price. When I first started using this car wash, the coupon was for $12 and claimed $8 off. I'm giving a smaller % tip nowadays because I'm pretty sure most of the price increase is going to better wages.
As usual, they got the car clean, did not put the mats back where they belonged, and left the driver's seat set for a midget.
On to the massage place across the street, but I had to drive 3 blocks to get there because the car wash parked my car on the other side of the property, the wrong side of a divided street.

Excellent massage, though a bit too hard. Elbows and forearms are not my favorite massage tools. Very pretty masseuse, spoke American English like she was born here, but also spoke some Asian language as well. Sounded like Korean or a northern Chinese dialect.
Non-PC observation. I have many many friends and acquaintances from all over the world.  Speaking strictly from my personal observations (YMMV), Koreans are the only ones who consistantly learn to speak English with and American accent well enough to be called native speakers. This includes all the other Asian Asian countries, Brits, Canadians, the former Soviet bloc, Scandinavia, South and Central America, Africa and the Middle East. 

Many foreigners can sing with an American accent if they are covering an American singer's song, but once they start to converse, their accents return.

There are some rare individuals who can (I know of one Thai who lives in N. America), but in general it's rare.

I wonder why Koreans.
Home after the massage, made a turkey salami sandwich for lunch. Watched an episode of Elementary.  

Did some research and found another check printing app which will work with Quicken, in case Avanquest doesn't solve the problem with Check Designer. I may switch anyway, since Check Designer hasn't been updated in 3 years.

Went to Shoreline Starbucks to meet with Janice. Got there 15 minutes early. About 10 minutes after she did not show up, she messaged me, she was at a different Starbucks. So I took my frappuchino there. She had large laundry items and needed to use the nearby laundromat.

Home, dinner was Boston Market beef & pasta to which I added Havarti and Parmesan. Watched Match Game. The contestants continue to choose oddball answers, and the panelists go for the laughs instead of the win. It's sad when the winner has only one match.

Opened the dryer, and the shirts were still wet. One got tangled in the door catch, and the dryer shut itself off. Fixed that. The jeans and shirts are now dry and on the bed, the stuffed calico cat and teddy bear are in the dryer and the whites are in the washer. I need to finish both tonight because the park is shutting off power at 8:30 tomorrow morning for maintenance. Probably a knee-jerk response to an outage we had last week.

Also doing a load in the dishwasher because I'm out of knives.

Plans for tomorrow:
Be out of the house before the lights go out
Work
Maybe go to the big building to grab a unit from Boss
Maybe home, set all the clocks. Again.
howeird: (Default)
Hardly slept, woke in time to turn off the 5 am alarms as they launched. Showered & dressed, medicated and on the road by 5:30. At the Doubletree around 6, dropped off the car. Just missed the shuttle, so had to wait 15 minutes.

At the airport, boarding pass said TSA Pre, which saved me taking off my shoes and the body scanner, but it wasn't a much shorter line than the general boarding.

The gate was the last one at the end of a very long terminal, but I was way early. After the pre-boarding, 1st class, military and 17 special programs members, I was 3rd on board because my seat was in the 2nd to last row. Had to kick a stewardess out of my way who was being asked by a passenger in the last row for 4 seats together in  a 3-in-a-row seating arrangement. The rows are staggered, there is no continuous 4-seat arrangement.

Had the aisle seat, I forget why. Spent a long time hoping I would not have to get up to let two more passengers into the row. One more showed up in a few minutes, then nobody else, but it was a long boarding process, almost full plane.

We landed half an hour early. I knew something was up when the pilot had the staff prepare for landing way sooner than normal. Many points against Alaska, because we didn't get to pull into the gate until the scheduled landing time, Half an hour on the side runway waiting. This is their main hub, there were other gates nearby available. Now that nobody is allowed to meet passengers at the gate, there's no good reason not to change gates.

As soon as I turned on my phone, there was a message from Sis, she was in the cell phone parking area. Early. I expected her to be there about 11:30 or noon, but she figured on being ready to pick me up at 10 as soon as I was off the plane. Plan A had included scoping out the Global Entry office location before going to lunch with her.

She found me right away, we went to 13 Coins because that's what one does. We had omelets. For me it was 2nd breakfast (I had a banana at about 7) for her it was lunch (she is the original Morning Person). We chatted till about noon. She took me back to the airport, which was a long ride considering it's only a 3-block walk. Seatac was redesigned similar to SJC in a loop which prevents easy access by vehicle. Blame TSA, I think.

My appointment wasn't till 2:45. I had planned on hanging out at a Starbucks or similar, but like SJC there are no longer any major eateries on the "insecure" side of the gates. Just one Hudson's news & junk and a Seattle's Finest which only had half as many seats as needed.

I followed the directions and found the office I was looking for, then went down to baggage claim where there were seats (hardly any in the ticketing level) and read. Finished my trashy novel, which was ended somewhat precipitously with the last chapter being the obligatory sex scene between the fake kidnapper and his fake victim. If they ever make this a movie, that scene's music will be Lovers And Other Strangers by the Carpenters.

I still had an hour to kill. so I went to the area the maps said the art exhibit was, but there was only one piece, the rest of the hall was walled of to construct needless showplace stairs to the mezzanine level. There are elevators and stairs already. Found seats outside the USO lounge and read some more.

Finally 2:30 rolled around, I signed in for my 2:45 appointment. There were three 2:30 appointments and one 2:45 ahead of me. Three interviewers. I drew the quiet Korean-American one in the back cubicle. It went quickly, smoothly, and I know she isn't a Silicon Valley techie because she asked why I wasn't a full time Google employee.

She approved me on the spot, said it would take about 24 hours for me to be in the system, but here's the membership number, if I need to fly between tomorrow and when my official card arrives. She also said that it's good for driving to Canada. A very Seattle thing to point out.

Done by 3, checked through TSA for my 6:20 flight, because there are lots of places on that side of check-in to sit, people-watch, eat, buy stuff. After a lot of indecision, I ate at the expensive fish restaurant, which I will not do again because there was no view at all, except of that horse race in KY on the bar monitors. And a hockey game. Crab salad had the right amount of crab, but hardly anything else. 1/4 of a small avocado, sliced, some spring greens and vinaigrette. Not a crab Louie, by any stretch. But it wasn't billed as one. Tiny cup of clam chowder with little pieces of rubberized clam. There were plenty of other places to get dessert, so I fled after the flamer waiter brought back my credit card. He was soooo out, I wondered if he was an actor hired to play a gay waiter.

Went over to the nearby chocolate things stand, and saw a yummy looking devil's food layer cake slice. There was no price tag visible, so I asked the young woman behind the counter. She didn't know, so she reached in to pull one out and instead knocked it to the front of the glass-enclosed case. And reaching to get it, knocked a sandwich and a salad as well. Her boss showed up, opened the front of the case, put all the things back into place and told me $8.80. "The price tag is right there, but the cake boxes are pushed too far forward". But she didn't fix that. I walked away. Those are $4 slices most other places.

Eventually got a small mocha at the Starbucks by my gate, which once again was the last gate at the end of a very long terminal.

Boarding at 5:55, at 5:50 they announce that there are 1st class upgrades available, but I thought I mis-heard the price. Went to the counter and yes, only $50. Online they charge $80-100 more for first class. So I upgraded. Got a window seat.

Boeing needs to do better at designing plane interiors, because the windows are at child height, and in first class, where you would think they would pay attention, they are offset so there's no true window seat. There's a window between each row.

Normal flight, except someone let a loud child into 1st class. I should add that neither flight had the Obligatory Screaming Baby, but this kid made up for it.

I found another book to read, free again, sci-fi this time, and totally unbelievable YA stuff. But not bad enough to erase. Yet.

First class is supposed to have a "meal". What it had was a plate with 3 slices of a cross between salami and prosciutto, one slice of farmer cheese which they claimed was mozzarella, two small slices of tomato, a sprig of basil, and some kind of salad dressing substance which contained olive oil and something which could cause vomiting in laboratory animals. Oh, there was also a wrapped chocolate-ish sweet with almond chips embedded.

Arrived on time, off the plane quickly, but then there was the mile-long walk to the exit. SJC after 8 pm is a ghost town. Blame the neighbors, who imposed a curfew on plane noise. Most of those neighbors moved in well after the airport was a thing.

Had to call for the shuttle, 15 minute wait. I was the only occupant. When I called they asked for my valet ticket number, I thought it was just to verify, but when I got there they asked if I needed directions to the freeway, I said I just needed directions to my car. The guy was puzzled - my car was right there. I was so shocked I forgot to leave a tip. But I can do that online.

Home in 20 minutes. Nothing in the mailbox, no deliveries. Plugged in the car, and Spook was behind the carport door when I opened it. She does that often, and gets hit by the door because she's lying on the mat in front of it.

She followed me to the bedroom, and when I threw my jacket on the bed she jumped up and curled up on it.

And followed me to the kitchen meowing for treats. Twice. The first batch is on the carpet, mostly chewed.

And now I am going to take drugs and crash.

Plans for tomorrow:
Car wash
Janice coffee
Maybe Pear Slices in between
howeird: (Train)
Fitful night, took forever to get to sleep. Had a moment of "what if I don't wake up?" which popped me awake.

Spook started on the bed, but then went to the cat bed on the floor which had been the BnB. By wake up time she was nowhere to be seen. Maybe under the futon in the guest room. Took her a while to come out. She did occupy the shower after I was done.

Packed all the things in the cooler so I wouldn't need to go to the break room for breakfast stuff. No idea why.

Busy morning, juggling bug reports from two different STBs. I had a local one and a European one plugged into the Chinese TV. They European people lied, they had not upgraded the software. The local guy finally got back to me near lunchtime telling me the flavor of software I needed. Loaded that and no more bug. Meanwhile, Europe Guy told me a way to get music into Google Music Play, but it took a lot of work and translating the Google Help file to get there. But now my test account has about 1500 songs on it.

Lunch was Chicken a la king, one of my first comfort foods. Mom used to buy these boilable packets of them. I think I only managed to set one on fire.

And the rest of the day was kind of boring, except break time was enhanced by three different groups of college-aged and newbie-aged people. Disappointing that only about 1/4 were of the female persuasion. All three of my sisters have had technical jobs, though only one of them was formally trained as an engineer.

Straight home, in the mailbox was the deposit check I'd printed for the contractors, and sure enough, it was missing the line at the bottom with the routing info. Email from Avanquest, which makes my check printing software, asking me what build I had, which was somewhat silly because their form asked for that too. But not so silly because the Help/about box shows version 13 but I have version 14 (which shows in Control Panel/Programs).

The weather has suddenly turned colder, cloudy and windy. Looking at Seattle weather, it will probably be wet and even colder. I have my Husky Marching Band Alumni waterproof hoodie jacket out, But I may decide to go with my ancient Seattle Sonics jacket, which is not waterproof but more subtle.

Plans for tonight:
Dinner
Early to bed
Enable the 5 am alarm

Plans for tomorrow:
Up at 5, out the door by 5:45
Be at Doubletree SJ by 6, leave the car with valet parking
Hotel shuttle to SJC
7:30 flight to SEA
Light breakfast in the airport
Meet sister for lunch
Global Entry interview at 2:45
Return flight at 6:20 pm
Home by 9-ish
howeird: (Default)
Turns out the program manager for the Engineers next door filed a ticket about the air con. Facilities person claimed they fixed it Monday, but I don't think so. The case is still marked "working on it". It was cool most of the day, only got up to about 80° by EOD, so with a window open and a fan on, it was tolerable. But I took mu time at lunch and break across the street, where the thermostat was set to 72.
Slept way too well. I had tossed the BnB onto the floor, Spook did sleep on the bed for a bit, but bailed for the guest room early. Once again, I had to dodge her as I left the shower.

Been adjusting my insulin, getting better results upping the pre-meal high-test and lowering the baseline low-grade.

Lots of visitors to the complex today, not just the break room building. Funnier than anything was a bunch of quasi-Suits, men and women wearing suit jackets but no ties and maybe not matching pants. They were all smiles walking down the sidewalk towards the company store, and half an hour later looking grim and tired walking back toward the main complex, empty-handed. There isn't much worth buying in the company store. An nothing that can't be bought online.

Emailed the programmer that I was able to crash a machine with a particular test. He was going to try it on his box.

Pulled my passport out of the fireproof box, and added it to the tiny pile of Saturday trip stuff on the photograph. Took the ziploc of rose petals, placed it on a table and piled two books and a couple of small exercise weights on top of it. It ought to be pressed by Saturday AM. I am not thrilled at having to wake up at 5 am to get to the airport in time.

After work, Capri Nail Spa, three days late for my manicure. Very pregnant manicurist, she said she is working there because they have done away with the toxic chemicals. It was a half hour wait, there was one very beautiful young woman to look at in a pedicure chair across the way.

From there to OSH, found the heavy duty extension cable after a lot of looking, they did not have a 1:1 version, I had to settle for 1:3. Also bought a jug of softsoap refill, and some beef jerky. Wandered around the garden department looking at ornaments. There were three or four I could see putting in the front garden, but my hands were full and they weighed a lot. And the $50 price tag was also a bit extreme.

Home via 101, it would have been quicker if the car in front of me had realized she was on a freeway and accelerated accordingly.

Dinner was Boston Market beef & pasta, to which I added a slice of Swiss and some Parmesan. Dessert was Breyers lactose-free ice cream.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Straight home
Gather things for the trip.
Try to get to bed early.
howeird: (Lazar)
Three friends reported having surgery. Two reported their own, one a relative's. One surgery was today, the others were past tense.
Sleep was quite good except I forgot the breathe-right strip, and had episodes of almost waking up because I was snoring.

Spook's thing with the shower is not about wanting to be doused. But I think she could use a bath. I value my life more than to try giving her one. She would need to be sedated by blow dart first. I've taken other cats to be washed, but none of those people knew how to handle a scared cat.

I was late out of bed again, 15 minutes late to work, and Boss messaged me she was coming down to do our sync,  she had a new unit for me to test. And that was the last I heard from her. I think tomorrow I may start out at the big building and - wait, she usually is in another town on Thursdays. There's a team meeting at 2 I may go to, I'll have to walk. It was close to 100° today, but the air con in my building is not working. The partner manager for the engineers next door filed a ticket with facilities, which claimed they had fixed it Monday (they had not, Monday morning was chilly). I added my 2 cents to the ticket.

Contractor's admin called, she said the MICR numbers were not on the check I'd given them. Bizarre, I had printed three checks this week, the other two cleared. She'll send it back, and I'll replace it using the envelope she'll include. More later. **

M finally gave me access to the builds for the reference STB. I flashed it, and ran some tests, but I may have missed a step, it kept rebooting. I beat up on it all afternoon. Extremely hot in the room.

Lunch was beef & broccoli, I added cow brand soft cheese and cashews. Pretty busy.

Break time was hijacked by someone who set up a monitor and laptop in the middle of the break room and was jabbering to about 30 people about how expensive and complicated it was to get a manufacturer to build a display. Total BS. Aimed at young naive Googlers, "you have to have a dream and stuck to it" kind of talk. Because it costs $20 million to tool up to build a display. All the time he was talking, the only thing on the monitor was the word "Displays" in white on a blue background. Idiot.

I got a cup of ice water and took it outside the break room to a kind of sofa section and read my book.

Notification on my phone saying my Smart Hub was offline. The app confirmed it, and also got nothing from the webcams. I called Comcast to reset the cable modem, and that cleared it up.

Book has gotten too complicated. She is trying to bring six different sets of characters together, and it's started to not work.

5:30, took the alternate back road, but forgot to make a turn and got onto Central the wrong direction. Luckily the first exit was that turn. Stopped off at Lucky's to buy ginger, shallots and bananas, and "something to make cold sandwiches with". Ended up spending $120 because my favorite frozen dinners were on sale, they had several flavors of Lactaid ice cream, dark chocolate squares by G were half price and I had finally found an easy traditional Southern fried chicken recipe, so I bought wings & drumsticks in bulk. Whose idea was panko, anyway? That stuff sucks. Nobody sells real fried chicken anymore, the only place I've seen it is Sizzler's salad bar junk food section.

Home, put stuff away. No mail, no deliveries. Checked online to see if I could track the pawpaw plants I ordered, but they don't do tracking. They do say 2 weeks from ordering to shipping, and it's only been a week and a half.

The only other delivery I'm expecting is some Thai CDs, shipped by slow boat.

There had been a power outage, all the clocks were off or blinking, even the ones with backup batteries. Had to power cycle the google home box to get it back online.

Fiddler producer emailed the list to set expectations. More than 100 have signed up for auditions, so not everyone will be cast. Maybe 30 will, I expect. I would like to be in it but I won't be heartbroken if they decide they need an all-dancing male ensemble.

Dinner was Boston Market beef & mashed. Lactaid mint chocolate chip for dessert. Vanilla ice cream with mint flavored dark chocolate chips. Pretty good.

**Tried to reprint the contractor's check, and the preview showed the MICR line was out of whack. I re-installed the check printing software, and now it won't connect with Quicken at all. That was an issue with them some time back, but the patch for it didn't work this time. They haven't updated the product since 2014. I need to find something which can print checks on blanks, including the MICR (routing info) line. Quicken still wants you to buy pre-printed from them. I like to design my own.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Home
howeird: (Default)
Nasty night of much waking up, looking at the clock and WTF-ing. Despite being awake 15 minutes before the alarm, I just couldn't get out of bed, took a very quick shower (was going to skip it, but then the annoying little hairs from the haircut reminded me).

Usually, when the car is fully charged, it pushes a notification to my cell phone and tablet, but by one of those wake-ups at about 3 am it had not done so. The screen for the app said it was waiting to charge. It said it was scheduled to charge from 7:30 pm to 3 am. Which it had not.  There is a feature built into the car and accessed through the app called "value charge" for people/places where electricity costs more during the day than overnight. I'm not subject to that, so I don't use the feature. Somehow the car thought I did.

When I got out to the charger, it showed two alarms, one for the wall outlet and one for the vehicle. Hmmm.

Was not on the road till 8:45. Managed to be at work at 9:05. Once again, no diet Coke in the break room. Cherry diet, caffeine free diet, zero, green (splenda sweetened), diet & regular Mountain Dew, regular Coke, all the Pepsi products, a metric ton of bottled water and a bunch of designer waters and sodas. But no plain diet Coke.

Grabbed a diet Mountain Dew, a banana and a Kind bar, and a packet of baby carrots and some hummus dip. Did not grab an egg because I brought one from home.

Boring boring boring morning.

Spaghetti & meatballs for lunch, Famous Amos for dessert, and a handful of M&Ms to snack on later at my desk. Lots of people, some serious lookers, and some Guidos.

Boring boring boring afternoon. No break, because at break time partner manager for the guys next door came in to meet with them. I was expecting him to get them to put together a machine for me, but that didn't happen.

I was so bored I wrote a shell script to automate the many-step process of installing a new build on an Android TV. It took an hour to find a shell command which meant "wait till the previous command has executed". But once I found it, building the script was just a cut and paste job. Tested it, was amazed it worked first time.

5:30, drove to the garage and plugged the car in. No problems with the charger. I went upstairs with my laptop till 6:30, looked at the soups in the main cafeteria, and none of them were appealing. I went across the way to another eatery which had advertised split pea & ham, but they had two other soups, so I got a chocolate ice cream cone instead. The sandwich place two buildings over had split pea water, no ham.

Captured two neutral portals. They won't last.

Back to the car about 7, 80% charged, no errors.

Home, decided to blame the wi-fi switch which lets me remotely turn off the charger. Took that out of the loop, but in order to connect straight to the wall I had to move the mounting screws over. So far it's charging just fine, will check in the morning. I may need to unplug it during the day, which is a PIA. Maybe I can get a short heavy duty extension cord. The one I had been using was meant for a computer appliance, not large enough guage wire.

Dinner was Marie C beef & mashed, frozen mango chunks for dessert. Watched another episode of Dark Matter. Waiting for it to get more sexed up.

Ziplocked most of the dried rose petals for little sister. Need to put the rest in another bag for me.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Orchard or Home Depot for that cord.
howeird: (localhost)
People just aren't posting. Or reading.

Meanwhile of the handful of people I read regularly on LJ, only one has posted on DW, and not for a week.
Happy May Fools Day. I only have two calendars in the house which needed flipping. One of my unemployment austerity moves was to not buy any NFL cheerleader calendars for 2017-18. I may rethink that, since they are usually 18-month calendars, and are relatively inexpensive.
Typical night, Spook did her 6 am walkover at 7:30 when the lights came on. I wasn't feeling like playing that game, read a chapter in the latest free book, took a shower (an she barged into it as I was exiting).

Wearing jeans shorts & Tevas, since it was supposed to get hot. 57° in the morning, but 92° at 5:30 on my way to get a haircut.

Work was uncomfortable. The building is not air conditioned (or heated, for that matter). But we're on the ground floor of a 2-story building, so not so bad.

I was asked to test a unit I'd never heard of, turns out it's from the guys next door, and manager asked me to connect with them to get one. I connected, they promised one today, but didn't deliver. Typical.

Found a Youtube channel which I loved. The Thai show "I Can See Your Voice" is a 90-minute program with about 30 minutes of actual content. The channel I found edits the show down to only one contestant (each show has 6) and a minimum of celebrity panel chatter. The format of the channel is a special guest star sings a song, and the contestant joins in. Just before the contestant starts singing, they pause, and play a clip of each celebrity guessing, from a 1-second excerpt of the contestant's audition tape, whether the contestant has a beautiful voice or an annoying one. So far, each contestant on this edited channel sings as well as, or better than, the guest star. And being the polite society Thailand is, the guest star gives full props to the contestant, and it may end up in a duet, and usually hugs all around. To add to the confusion, each contestant is dressed and made up for a costume party. Some of the costumes are elegant, some are Walking Dead. Few match the quality of the singer.

Here's one of my favorites:


love the outfit.

This guy blew away the guest star:


The encore is funny, the MC says this guy had 121,000 views on YouTube for that song, the guest star was asked how many his original had, and he said 200.

Lunch, Asian beef. Lots of people in the break room. Break time I tried the Italian sodas for a change. The free book I'm reading was making no sense, so the author pulled a twin sister out of her butt. I am not amused.

Very warm day, so straight from work I went to Great Clips for a haircut. Then walked around Piazza's grocery, which used to have all the cheeses, but they remodeled and now they have all the meats and only a Safeway selection of cheeses. And the prices are NASA-worthy. $5 for Ghirardelli chocolate squares on sale which are $3.50 everywhere else. They also got rid of the Jewish food freezer. Used to get matzoh balls there. I didn't buy anything but the air conditioning was nice.

Home, too hot to cook, had a bagel with sheep cream cheese, velveeta, sardines, sliced HB egg and lox. Ice cream for dessert. Shot up extra insulin because although I prepared two syringes this morning, I forgot to bring them to work.

Watched an episode of Graham, Norton. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, plus a star struck Hunger Games gal and a young Brit actor who had been in the same film as Freeman but never met him (they had no scenes together).

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
???
howeird: (Default)
People just aren't posting. Or reading.

Meanwhile of the handful of people I read regularly on LJ, only one has posted on DW, and not for a week.
Happy May Fools Day. I only have two calendars in the house which needed flipping. One of my unemployment austerity moves was to not buy any NFL cheerleader calendars for 2017-18. I may rethink that, since they are usually 18-month calendars, and are relatively inexpensive.
Typical night, Spook did her 6 am walkover at 7:30 when the lights came on. I wasn't feeling like playing that game, read a chapter in the latest free book, took a shower (an she barged into it as I was exiting).

Wearing jeans shorts & Tevas, since it was supposed to get hot. 57° in the morning, but 92° at 5:30 on my way to get a haircut.

Work was uncomfortable. The building is not air conditioned (or heated, for that matter). But we're on the ground floor of a 2-story building, so not so bad.

I was asked to test a unit I'd never heard of, turns out it's from the guys next door, and manager asked me to connect with them to get one. I connected, they promised one today, but didn't deliver. Typical.

Found a Youtube channel which I loved. The Thai show "I Can See Your Voice" is a 90-minute program with about 30 minutes of actual content. The channel I found edits the show down to only one contestant (each show has 6) and a minimum of celebrity panel chatter. The format of the channel is a special guest star sings a song, and the contestant joins in. Just before the contestant starts singing, they pause, and play a clip of each celebrity guessing, from a 1-second excerpt of the contestant's audition tape, whether the contestant has a beautiful voice or an annoying one. So far, each contestant on this edited channel sings as well as, or better than, the guest star. And being the polite society Thailand is, the guest star gives full props to the contestant, and it may end up in a duet, and usually hugs all around. To add to the confusion, each contestant is dressed and made up for a costume party. Some of the costumes are elegant, some are Walking Dead. Few match the quality of the singer.

Here's one of my favorites:


love the outfit.

This guy blew away the guest star:


The encore is funny, the MC says this guy had 10,000 views on YouTube for that song, the guest star was asked how many his original had, and he said 200.

Lunch, Asian beef. Lots of people in the break room. Break time I tried the Italian sodas for a change. The free book I'm reading was making no sense, so the author pulled a twin sister out of her butt. I am not amused.

Very warm day, so straight from work I went to Great Clips for a haircut. Then walked around Piazza's grocery, which used to have all the cheeses, but they remodeled and now they have all the meats and only a Safeway selection of cheeses. And the prices are NASA-worthy. $5 for Ghirardelli chocolate squares on sale which are $3.50 everywhere else. They also got rid of the Jewish food freezer. Used to get matzoh balls there. I didn't buy anything but the air conditioning was nice.

Home, too hot to cook, had a bagel with sheep cream cheese, velveeta, sardines, sliced HB egg and lox. Ice cream for dessert. Shot up extra insulin because although I prepared two syringes this morning, I forgot to bring them to work.

Watched an episode of Graham, Norton. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, plus a star struck Hunger Games gal and a young Brit actor who had been in the same film as Freeman but never met him (they had no scenes together).

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
???
howeird: (Default)
Except for waking up an hour after I got to sleep and thinking it was almost a full night, I slept well. When I woke up at 6-ish Spook was in the BnB with her front leg stretched toward me. It was not a hint.

I was up and ready to go at 8, but my innards were not. I have learned to trust my gut, so to speak. When I get into the car, if there is any hint of tummy foo, I go back inside and deal with it. This morning it needed two trips & extra immodium and lactase.

Punched the destination into the car's GPS, it knew where the Western Railway Museum was and how to get there. As advertised, it took an hour and a half.

Easy enough to find, but the last stretch of Hwy 12, about 10 miles of it, is all torn up - ruts of crumbled asphalt where the tires want to go and concrete barriers to keep traffic off the shoulders and center line. Nasty. And making things worse is most people are driving 70 on this 55 mph - in the best of times - road.

The museum building is modern, clean, has a series of exhibits about electricity and the 1900's era RR system, which was very impressive. Train ferries made Sacto to SF train rides possible and pretty fast.

$9 admission for old farts, $10 for younger farts. A ticket to the "wildflower excursion" train is included. I got there at about 11:30, the next train was at 12:30. I hit the loo, then bought a Payday bar and a box of apple juice at the cafe. Took a walk through the barn where the collection of trolleys is kept. They are all in storage, only one or two allows people to board. Most are in seriously dilapidated condition.

Volunteers have done an incredible job of restoring an electric engine/car and three more vintage passenger cars for the excursion rides.



It was a short trip, similar to the Niles Canyon ride but without the rugged terrain. Very pastoral, rolling hillsides dotted with 3-wing wind catchers.


Except for the parlor car ($7 extra) the windows are all barred, and they don't open high enough to take pictures. The other bad news is there were no wildflowers except for a small field of gold-somethings at the end.



There was a conductor who gave a couple of short talks about the history of the trains and the track we were on, which would have been better if he hadn't been fighting a noisy engine starting up. There wasn't a word about the flowers. They had flyers showing about 20 varieties, but those were not visible on the ride. I saw some thistle...


Took a trip through the main building displays and gift shop, lots of t-shirts and other train attire, and a huge selection of wooden track to buy for the kiddies, who would get bored in an hour because they are kid-propelled. The model electric train exhibit was out of order. Of course.

Took the long drive home in one fell swoop, though I had considered stopping for a meal somewhere along the way.

Home, made 4 pieces of cinnamon raisin toast, uploaded the photos, then onto the bed (Spook was in the BnB) to read. Spook climbed out of the BnB and sprawled out between it and my legs. That didn't last long.

It was early yet, my body was sore from 3 hours of driving, so I looked up a new massage place. Not really new, it had been in the shopping center next to the UPS store for ages, but the ad showed it is under new management. Went for the 4-hands special, and that turned out pretty nice. They were speaking something which sounded like, but wasn't, Korean to each other, tried to tell me it was Cantonese and they were from Northern China. No dear, Cantonese is southern and Singapore. No matter, pleasant people, good rub.

Home, dinner was 4 of 5 Koa Mok Gai packets. Ice cream dessert. Watching a series on Netflix called Dark Matter. Excellent use of sexy, powerful, technical women. Crappy use of he-man cross between Mal and Jayne. Mostly Jayne. Sexy android rip-off of Seven Of Nine. And yes, she's the 7th crew member.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Whatever
howeird: (Default)
Except for waking up an hour after I got to sleep and thinking it was almost a full night, I slept well. When I woke up at 6-ish Spook was in the BnB with her front leg stretched toward me. It was not a hint.

I was up and ready to go at 8, but my innards were not. I have learned to trust my gut, so to speak. When I get into the car, if there is any hint of tummy foo, I go back inside and deal with it. This morning it needed two trips & extra immodium and lactase.

Punched the destination into the car's GPS, it knew where the Western Railway Museum was and how to get there. As advertised, it took an hour and a half.

Easy enough to find, but the last stretch of Hwy 12, about 10 miles of it, is all torn up - ruts of crumbled asphalt where the tires want to go and concrete barriers to keep traffic off the shoulders and center line. Nasty. And making things worse is most people are driving 70 on this 55 mph - in the best of times - road.

The museum building is modern, clean, has a series of exhibits about electricity and the 1900's era RR system, which was very impressive. Train ferries made Sacto to SF train rides possible and pretty fast.

$9 admission for old farts, $10 for younger farts. A ticket to the "wildflower excursion" train is included. I got there at about 11:30, the next train was at 12:30. I hit the loo, then bought a Payday bar and a box of apple juice at the cafe. Took a walk through the barn where the collection of trolleys is kept. They are all in storage, only one or two allows people to board. Most are in seriously dilapidated condition.

Volunteers have done an incredible job of restoring an electric engine/car and three more vintage passenger cars for the excursion rides.



It was a short trip, similar to the Niles Canyon ride but without the rugged terrain. Very pastoral, rolling hillsides dotted with 3-wing wind catchers.


Except for the parlor car ($7 extra) the windows are all barred, and they don't open high enough to take pictures. The other bad news is there were no wildflowers except for a small field of gold-somethings at the end.



There was a conductor who gave a couple of short talks about the history of the trains and the track we were on, which would have been better if he hadn't been fighting a noisy engine starting up. There wasn't a word about the flowers. They had flyers showing about 20 varieties, but those were not visible on the ride. I saw some thistle...


Took a trip through the main building displays and gift shop, lots of t-shirts and other train attire, and a huge selection of wooden track to buy for the kiddies, who would get bored in an hour because they are kid-propelled. The model electric train exhibit was out of order. Of course.

Took the long drive home in one fell swoop, though I had considered stopping for a meal somewhere along the way.

Home, made 4 pieces of cinnamon raisin toast, uploaded the photos, then onto the bed (Spook was in the BnB) to read. Spook climbed out of the BnB and sprawled out between it and my legs. That didn't last long.

It was early yet, my body was sore from 3 hours of driving, so I looked up a new massage place. Not really new, it had been in the shopping center next to the UPS store for ages, but the ad showed it is under new management. Went for the 4-hands special, and that turned out pretty nice. They were speaking something which sounded like, but wasn't, Korean to each other, tried to tell me it was Cantonese and they were from Northern China. No dear, Cantonese is southern and Singapore. No matter, pleasant people, good rub.

Home, dinner was #4 of the 5 Koa Mok Gai packets. Ice cream dessert. Watching a series on Netflix called Dark Matter. Excellent use of sexy, powerful, technical women. Crappy use of he-man cross between Mal and Jayne. Mostly Jayne. Sexy android rip-off of Seven Of Nine. And yes, she's the 7th crew member.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Whatever
howeird: (Default)
Had a good night's sleep, Spook slept elsewhere. Stayed in bed till 9 because I could, though morning Hgl was low, about 74. Usually I feel it, not this time.

Mostly did things online all morning, tried watching the NFL draft, but the NFL channel I paid extra for was stopping every 3 minutes to play 15 minutes of commercials, during which a line on the bottom of the screen announced each pick. During the 3 minutes of actual show, it was a panel of middle aged white guys discussing their clothes, what they had to eat today and basically not doing their job.

Had lunch - an "everything" bagel, soft sheep milk cheese as cream cheese, HB egg sliced, some lox. Yum! 

At about 1:30  drove to Boardwalk as planned, had a chocolate shake and an order of fries.  The shake was a FAIL, looked the same as a Carl's Jr. shake, half the size it should have been, topped with whipped cream, solid soft serve too thick to drink. The fries were good. Served with a tiny tub of chipotle something which I set aside. Ketchup in the bottle had been diluted. They had the NFL channel on, probably from cable, higher quality than SlingTV gave me.

The obligatory rape-screaming baby was there. Precocious, because the local cops don't teach that scream until the kid is in grade school.

This incarnation of The Boardwalk is much smaller, cleaner and organized than the old one.

Home, spent some time looking up names & numbers for the karaoke songs I wanted to sing. Took a nap in the recliner.

Just before 6 I headed for the church in Campbell where the meetup was, there's no quick way to get there from here, I arrived about 6:30.

Paid $10 for entry + 6 extra tickets. A ticket buys a song or a drink or snack.

Many good singers, some interesting/obscure song choices. The DJ was on top of things, it moved right along. The lack of booze, background noise and people hanging out by the doors smoking was a huge plus.

I did three songs - two on my own tickets and one "challenge". Anthem was my first number and I knocked it out of the park, though I had to drop the Big Ending an octave to do so. Second was With One Look which I screwed up a little when the machine chose a different tempo for the bridge than I'm used to, but I managed to save it in the end. The challenge was Some Enchanted Evening, which I started straight but snuck in a bit of French accent later. Nailed it too. At about 9:30 when I hadn't been called up for my 3rd ticket song, and the three singers coming up were all painful to listen to, I hugged the DJ goodbye and went home.

My project for next month is to practice Aladdin's Proud of Your Boy until I don't break down crying anymore.



I was a difficult boy for my mother to raise. One of the Stupid Things™ Mom's hospice care psychologist did was have her write letters to us kids, and maybe Dad too, which were given to us by said psycho while we were sitting shiva for Mom. I set it aside, almost threw it away. When I finally read it a couple of weeks later, it basically said what this song says. When I hear the song it reminds me, and when I try to sing it, I can't. Yet.

I know with practice and time I'll be able to do it justice. I managed to do that with Errol Flynn, a song which had a similar impact on me, for similar reasons, though my Dad was neither an actor, liar or drunkard.



Dinner was a late mac-and-3-cheese with turkey dog slices and fresh frozen oregano. My chef's knife is very sharp, a little slip as I pulled it out of the block caught the junction of my index finger and palm. Blue ice, peroxide and a bandaid made it stop bleeding.

Plans for tomorrow:
Try to get up & out in time to make the 90-minute drive to Suisun City's Western Railway Museum for the last day of the wildflower tour train. Sadly, Amtrak doesn't go there, though there is a stop for Suisun City/Fairfield.
Plan B might be getting the bike out and taking it to Shoreline park.
Temps in the 80s again predicted.
howeird: (localhost)
Had a good night's sleep, Spook slept elsewhere. Stayed in bed till 9 because I could, though morning Hgl was low, about 74. Usually I feel it, not this time.

Mostly did things online all morning, tried watching the NFL draft, but the NFL channel I paid extra for was stopping every 3 minutes to play 15 minutes of commercials, during which a line on the bottom of the screen announced each pick. During the 3 minutes of actual show, it was a panel of middle aged white guys discussing their clothes, what they had to eat today and basically not doing their job.

Had lunch - an "everything" bagel, soft sheep milk cheese as cream cheese, HB egg sliced, some lox. Yum! 

At about 1:30  drove to Boardwalk as planned, had a chocolate shake and an order of fries.  The shake was a FAIL, looked the same as a Carl's Jr. shake, half the size it should have been, topped with whipped cream, solid soft serve too thick to drink. The fries were good. Served with a tiny tub of chipotle something which I set aside. Ketchup in the bottle had been diluted. They had the NFL channel on, probably from cable, higher quality than SlingTV gave me.

The obligatory rape-screaming baby was there. Precocious, because the local cops don't teach that scream until the kid is in grade school.

This incarnation of The Boardwalk is much smaller, cleaner and organized than the old one.

Home, spent some time looking up names & numbers for the karaoke songs I wanted to sing. Took a nap in the recliner.

Just before 6 I headed for the church in Campbell where the meetup was, there's no quick way to get there from here, I arrived about 6:30.

Paid $10 for entry + 6 extra tickets. A ticket buys a song or a drink or snack.

Many good singers, some interesting/obscure song choices. The DJ was on top of things, it moved right along. The lack of booze, background noise and people hanging out by the doors smoking was a huge plus.

I did three songs - two on my own tickets and one "challenge". Anthem was my first number and I knocked it out of the park, though I had to drop the Big Ending an octave to do so. Second was With One Look which I screwed up a little when the machine chose a different tempo for the bridge than I'm used to, but I managed to save it in the end. The challenge was Some Enchanted Evening, which I started straight but snuck in a bit of French accent later. Nailed it too. At about 9:30 when I hadn't been called up for my 3rd ticket song, and the three singers coming up were all painful to listen to, I hugged the DJ goodbye and went home.

My project for next month is to practice Aladdin's Proud of Your Boy until I don't break down crying anymore.



I was a difficult boy for my mother to raise. One of the Stupid Things™ Mom's hospice care psychologist did was have her write letters to us kids, and maybe Dad too, which were given to us by said psycho while we were sitting shiva for Mom. I set it aside, almost threw it away. When I finally read it a couple of weeks later, it basically said what this song says. When I hear the song it reminds me, and when I try to sing it, I can't. Yet.

I know with practice and time I'll be able to do it justice. I managed to do that with Errol Flynn, a song which had a similar impact on me, for similar reasons, though my Dad was neither an actor, liar or drunkard.



Dinner was a late mac-and-3-cheese with turkey dog slices and fresh frozen oregano. My chef's knife is very sharp, a little slip as I pulled it out of the block caught the junction of my index finger and palm. Blue ice, peroxide and a bandaid made it stop bleeding.

Plans for tomorrow:
Try to get up & out in time to make the 90-minute drive to Suisun City's Western Railway Museum for the last day of the wildflower tour train. Sadly, Amtrak doesn't go there, though there is a stop for Suisun City/Fairfield.
Plan B might be getting the bike out and taking it to Shoreline park.
Temps in the 80s again predicted.
howeird: (Default)
Slept well, but yet again woke at 6:15. Spook continues her fascination with the shower.

AG called while I was in the shower again. I called him back when I was in the car, but he was early to work so it was a short call, apparently he had a boss' boss meeting at 9.

Morning break room was very active, I had to shoo a few people away from in front of the drawers where the snacks are kept. They had no idea, until I opened the drawers. They were too intent on drinking the espressos they had made with the fancy barista machine. I do not understand how anyone would go to that much trouble to sip mud-colored water which has passed through a slurry of ground beans. Unless it was chocolate.

Some lookers in that crowd, so I forgave them.

Work was boring, all I had to do was one update to the other day's test spreadsheet. Still don't have access to the files I need from M. Got a new build for another device and ran the automation scripts on it. Nothing new.

Lunch was turkey tetrazini with Tillamook jalapeño cheddar, cashews and an HB egg added. It was a tiny bit more spicy than I'd expected, and I was blaming the cheese until later, when I discovered that the reason there were two jars of cashews on the counter is one was peppered. WTF?

More visitors during lunch, this time a tour group made up of a dozen burly young men, led by a tiny employee. She may have been Thai. Less than 5' tall, maybe 80 lbs. Asian face.

Called the contractors and left a message to call me back about the kitchen lights, but they didn't.

Watched Youtube footage of yesterday's NFL draft, 49ers coverage mostly, until 4, then fired up SlingTV on one of the test machines, logged in as me, and watched round 2 live until 5:30.

Straight home, took an alternate back street route, more direct than the usual one. One very long light at the street the IFH crosses, about a mile up the road, other side of 101.

Delivered was an LP and a box of breathe-right strips.
Went inside just long enough to get a shopping bag, and harvested a lot of rose petals, mostly yellow ones, they smell the best. The red ones don't have much scent.

First project was the big bag of rosemary, I separated out the branches into single strips, and eventually had two quart ziplocs full, which went into the freezer. The trash bag is now about 1/3 full, with the mint, oregano and rosemary bits which were not up to edible standards.

Next project was the LP. The Rothschilds, a 1970 musical by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. They also wrote Fiddler on the Roof, and the show sounds like it. I'll be using a song from it next month as my Fiddler audition piece. The phonograph is already set up, I watched the NFL draft for half an hour at a time as the PC recorded each side of the LP. It was pretty easy to chop those two files into individual songs and then batch convert them from large wav format to mp3.

Yanked the USB drive out of the car and added those, but first time around I had forgotten I needed to set the album name in "properties" and give each one a track #, and also add the singer(s) to the song name. Back in the car, I am able to call them up by artist, genre, album or title. Win! While I was at it, I gave the USB drive a name so the car didn't say "UNKNOWN".

Caught the dregs of the draft over dinner. Marie C chicken fried ground beef patty. The string beans were huge.

More draft action tomorrow afternoon, I may or may not tune in.

Processed the skate park photos and uploaded them to Flickr. Some good ones. Here are a couple:






Plans for tomorrow:
NFL draft? Maybe check out The Boardwalk for that. It starts at 10 am, lasts all afternoon.
Karaoke meetup in the evening. It was a lot of fun last time, 3 months ago.
howeird: (Default)
Slept well, but yet again woke at 6:15. Spook continues her fascination with the shower.

AG called while I was in the shower again. I called him back when I was in the car, but he was early to work so it was a short call, apparently he had a boss' boss meeting at 9.

Morning break room was very active, I had to shoo a few people away from in front of the drawers where the snacks are kept. They had no idea, until I opened the drawers. They were too intent on drinking the espressos they had made with the fancy barista machine. I do not understand how anyone would go to that much trouble to sip mud-colored water which has passed through a slurry of ground beans. Unless it was chocolate.

Some lookers in that crowd, so I forgave them.

Work was boring, all I had to do was one update to the other day's test spreadsheet. Still don't have access to the files I need from M. Got a new build for another device and ran the automation scripts on it. Nothing new.

Lunch was turkey tetrazini with Tillamook jalapeño cheddar, cashews and an HB egg added. It was a tiny bit more spicy than I'd expected, and I was blaming the cheese until later, when I discovered that the reason there were two jars of cashews on the counter is one was peppered. WTF?

More visitors during lunch, this time a tour group made up of a dozen burly young men, led by a tiny employee. She may have been Thai. Less than 5' tall, maybe 80 lbs. Asian face.

Called the contractors and left a message to call me back about the kitchen lights, but they didn't.

Watched Youtube footage of yesterday's NFL draft, 49ers coverage mostly, until 4, then fired up SlingTV on one of the test machines, logged in as me, and watched round 2 live until 5:30.

Straight home, took an alternate back street route, more direct than the usual one. One very long light at the street the IFH crosses, about a mile up the road, other side of 101.

Delivered was an LP and a box of breathe-right strips.
Went inside just long enough to get a shopping bag, and harvested a lot of rose petals, mostly yellow ones, they smell the best. The red ones don't have much scent.

First project was the big bag of rosemary, I separated out the branches into single strips, and eventually had two quart ziplocs full, which went into the freezer. The trash bag is now about 1/3 full, with the mint, oregano and rosemary bits which were not up to edible standards.

Next project was the LP. The Rothschilds, a 1970 musical by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. They also wrote Fiddler on the Roof, and the show sounds like it. I'll be using a song from it next month as my Fiddler audition piece. The phonograph is already set up, I watched the NFL draft for half an hour at a time as the PC recorded each side of the LP. It was pretty easy to chop those two files into individual songs and then batch convert them from large wav format to mp3.

Yanked the USB drive out of the car and added those, but first time around I had forgotten I needed to set the album name in "properties" and give each one a track #, and also add the singer(s) to the song name. Back in the car, I am able to call them up by artist, genre, album or title. Win! While I was at it, I gave the USB drive a name so the car didn't say "UNKNOWN".

Caught the dregs of the draft over dinner. Marie C chicken fried ground beef patty. The string beans were huge.

More draft action tomorrow afternoon, I may or may not tune in.

Processed the skate park photos and uploaded them to Flickr. Some good ones. Here are a couple:






Plans for tomorrow:
NFL draft? Maybe check out The Boardwalk for that. It starts at 10 am, lasts all afternoon.
Karaoke meetup in the evening. It was a lot of fun last time, 3 months ago.
howeird: (Default)
Blame Facebook. Or Canada.
Slept well, not many wake-ups. Again 6:15 was one of them, just enough time to nap before the 7:30 alarms. AG phoned while I was in the shower, I forgot to call back when I got on the road.

Been adjusting my insulin dosage. The new meter takes so little sample and bluetooth connects to a phone app, so I have more data now. And it's disturbing how high my pre-meal readings are. So I've upped the pre-meal fast-acting dose. Too soon to tell for sure, but seems to be working.

At work on time, the electronic lock was not active. Boss had me file a "fixit ticket" on it to get my keycard on the ACL. Since it isn't an official building or a standard company keycard sensor, They are stumped. Meanwhile, Boss is working on getting locks on the lab doors, the kind that need a code punched in, since the building is not on the corporate security network.

Finished the main tests on the Latvian box, and then ran the new automation script on it. Boss shared both results with the appropriate people, partly to share the results and partly to justify my existence. We've had a lot of down time lately, but that comes with being at the whim of third party manufacturers' schedules and slippages. I'm having fun with these units from all over Europe and Asia. Rumor is there is one from Thailand in the works.

Speaking of which, Peace Corps "World Wise" program sent my name to MV library as a possible speaker in June. I started to email the contact at the library, but found myself tooting my own horn way too pompously. Will try again later, with a pinch of humility. Hard to do when the topic is Making The World A Better Place. Which I did, twice, but I didn't see the results for 15 years, and I was a tiny part of a huge project in both cases. Both projects continue to bear fruit now, 40 years later.

Contract company called, they estimate the work will be done the week of May 8. I need to call back, I don't think they are planning on installing the kind of kitchen light fixtures I want. The guy was talking about needing to install a different kind of ballast, and I was aiming for direct-line, no-ballast lighting.

Lunch was turkey tetrazini, added some string cheese and cashews. Famous Amos & generic chocolate pudding for dessert. Marinated olives appetizer. A couple of redheads passed through, one with a tour, the other with a child. Much less impactful second day of "inflict your offspring on unsuspecting co-workers" day. The morning session across from the break room was "Dinosaurs Rock" with an inflatable mini bronto in front of the room.

Afternoon break was almost deserted. Turn of the Screw is surprising me by my not really remembering what I read in 10th grade, but the story more and more matching what I told my English teacher about it. I remember that conversation mostly because out of the 100 or so books I read that year, it was the only one I didn't really understand. We also talked about Catch 22 and On The Beach (which to this day my brain automatically adds "by Nevil Shute") but those I Got®, so no BS required.

NASA announced USPS is coming out with a special Forever stamp for the next solar eclipse which will show the sun, but when you put your hand on it and heat it up, it will turn into the dark disc of the moon. I looked on usps.com, it's not listed yet. NASA article said it will ship in June, on whatever day the eclipse is, from somewhere like Montana.

Home, lots of slow traffic, I took the longer of the three turns at the IFH. Less waiting, minimal additional distance.

Nothing in the mailbox, nothing delivered. Yesterday morning there was a 3-month supply of low-acting insulin and in the evening three litterbox refills.

Spent about an hour on the couch with the big bag of mint clippings, and now have two quart bags of mint leaves in the freezer. Tomorrow's project is to do something similar with the rosemary clippings, but probably will just cut them into similar lengths and make up bunches. Maybe.

Watched the NFL draft on SlingTV as I worked. Way too many commercials. The NFL channel has it together, though, instant clips of the players as they are drafted, on-stage interviews with them by Dione Sanders, and some analysis of how that pick helps the team. One of the analysts has way too big a problem with teams drafting injured players, totally forgetting that (a) the season doesn't start next week and (b) better to have NFL team doctors than some GP or even college team doctor help the guy heal. And (c) the draft is a long term investment, instant gratification is not an item.

Dinner was Maire C beef & mashed, lactose-free chocolate ice cream for dessert, nothing added. Shot up an extra 10 units of high-test.

Plans for tomorrow:
Call AG when I get on the road
Work. There's another device on my to-do list, but Boss hasn't told me she has it.
Friday! Look into driving to Suisun City for the Western RR Museum wildflower train ride. Sunday.
call the contractor
howeird: (Default)
Blame Facebook. Or Canada.
Slept well, not many wake-ups. Again 6:15 was one of them, just enough time to nap before the 7:30 alarms. AG phoned while I was in the shower, I forgot to call back when I got on the road.

Been adjusting my insulin dosage. The new meter takes so little sample and bluetooth connects to a phone app, so I have more data now. And it's disturbing how high my pre-meal readings are. So I've upped the pre-meal fast-acting dose. Too soon to tell for sure, but seems to be working.

At work on time, the electronic lock was not active. Boss had me file a "fixit ticket" on it to get my keycard on the ACL. Since it isn't an official building or a standard company keycard sensor, They are stumped. Meanwhile, Boss is working on getting locks on the lab doors, the kind that need a code punched in, since the building is not on the corporate security network.

Finished the main tests on the Latvian box, and then ran the new automation script on it. Boss shared both results with the appropriate people, partly to share the results and partly to justify my existence. We've had a lot of down time lately, but that comes with being at the whim of third party manufacturers' schedules and slippages. I'm having fun with these units from all over Europe and Asia. Rumor is there is one from Thailand in the works.

Speaking of which, Peace Corps "World Wise" program sent my name to MV library as a possible speaker in June. I started to email the contact at the library, but found myself tooting my own horn way too pompously. Will try again later, with a pinch of humility. Hard to do when the topic is Making The World A Better Place. Which I did, twice, but I didn't see the results for 15 years, and I was a tiny part of a huge project in both cases. Both projects continue to bear fruit now, 40 years later.

Contract company called, they estimate the work will be done the week of May 8. I need to call back, I don't think they are planning on installing the kind of kitchen light fixtures I want. The guy was talking about needing to install a different kind of ballast, and I was aiming for direct-line, no-ballast lighting.

Lunch was turkey tetrazini, added some string cheese and cashews. Famous Amos & generic chocolate pudding for dessert. Marinated olives appetizer. A couple of redheads passed through, one with a tour, the other with a child. Much less impactful second day of "inflict your offspring on unsuspecting co-workers" day. The morning session across from the break room was "Dinosaurs Rock" with an inflatable mini bronto in front of the room.

Afternoon break was almost deserted. Turn of the Screw is surprising me by my not really remembering what I read in 10th grade, but the story more and more matching what I told my English teacher about it. I remember that conversation mostly because out of the 100 or so books I read that year, it was the only one I didn't really understand. We also talked about Catch 22 and On The Beach (which to this day my brain automatically adds "by Nevil Shute") but those I Got®, so no BS required.

NASA announced USPS is coming out with a special Forever stamp for the next solar eclipse which will show the sun, but when you put your hand on it and heat it up, it will turn into the dark disc of the moon. I looked on usps.com, it's not listed yet. NASA article said it will ship in June, on whatever day the eclipse is, from somewhere like Montana.

Home, lots of slow traffic, I took the longer of the three turns at the IFH. Less waiting, minimal additional distance.

Nothing in the mailbox, nothing delivered. Yesterday morning there was a 3-month supply of low-acting insulin and in the evening three litterbox refills.

Spent about an hour on the couch with the big bag of mint clippings, and now have two quart bags of mint leaves in the freezer. Tomorrow's project is to do something similar with the rosemary clippings, but probably will just cut them into similar lengths and make up bunches. Maybe.

Watched the NFL draft on SlingTV as I worked. Way too many commercials. The NFL channel has it together, though, instant clips of the players as they are drafted, on-stage interviews with them by Dione Sanders, and some analysis of how that pick helps the team. One of the analysts has way too big a problem with teams drafting injured players, totally forgetting that (a) the season doesn't start next week and (b) better to have NFL team doctors than some GP or even college team doctor help the guy heal. And (c) the draft is a long term investment, instant gratification is not an item.

Dinner was Maire C beef & mashed, lactose-free chocolate ice cream for dessert, nothing added. Shot up an extra 10 units of high-test.

Plans for tomorrow:
Call AG when I get on the road
Work. There's another device on my to-do list, but Boss hasn't told me she has it.
Friday! Look into driving to Suisun City for the Western RR Museum wildflower train ride. Sunday.
call the contractor
howeird: (Default)
Slept okay, got up maybe 4 times, but took my time getting out of bed. Had to wait for a phone call from the latest mobile home repair company making sure I was home for a 10-noon estimator appointment. The call was set for 8-9. Since 8 is my usual shower time, I didn't have my usual shower.

AG called at 8:15, I told him I'd call back. Contractor call was at 8:25, I called AG back at 8:30. He's having thoughts of changing jobs. It's been a year, but this is all panic from having a steady job for 10 years and then suddenly being caught in a mass layoff. Sad part about the layoff is he unwittingly trained his replacement. Who is now moving back to India. Anyway, I pointed out that his new job is high paying, secure, and he's moving up in the department, and the only real issue is the commute, but he's okay with the long drive.

At 9:30 I went outside and passed the time by clipping herbs in the garden. All of them are getting a little out of hand. I harvested enough rosemary to fill half a kitchen trash bag, a quart bag of oregano and another half trash bag of mint. I was finishing that when the estimator arrived at about 10:30.

Good guy, articulate, aware that his big LA-based company gives higher estimates than the fly by nighters, and he knew the competition. What he told me about them matched what I'd found out online. Bottom line is I signed an estimate for $2250, to replace the carport posts and the kitchen lights. He said they would make a best effort to install the remote controlled light switch in the kitchen as well. I don't think they'll have any problem with that, I was in that switch box and all the connections are there. It just needs more finesse than I have. 10% deposit check printed and contracts signed.

Heading to work at 11-ish, it took almost an hour to get to the main building to pick up my next test unit (I checked work email from home, Boss had left a note). Today was the first of two breeders' days, people from all over Google were bringing their kids to work, and even though they were supposed to park by the amphitheater and take shuttles, they all wanted to park on campus. The underground garage was quadruple parked, the lot for the building across the street was full too. I was lucky to find a spot near the hole. Had to walk to the big building, it took till noon.

I met the guy who wrote the software I'm using, he and Boss and I had a nice chat. I told him about a glitch I'd seen, by the time I got back to the hole he had filed a bug about it. Saved me the trouble. Bug filing system is not kind to newbies.

Got the new unit set up and started the regular testing, it's a nice set top cylinder and it's for Latvia. Good news is that after the first screen, there's a setting to change to English.

Lunch was lasagna noodles & meat sauce bake, I added some cheddar. Famous Amos for dessert. Lots of visitors, mostly men, no lookers among the women. Or men for that matter.

Stuck around till 7, partly to make up for being late, but partly to finish the screen saver tests. Which go like this:
Set the screen saver to start in x minutes (the choices this time were 5, 10, 15, 30)
Hit play
wait 30 seconds
hit pause
wait x minutes
if the screen saver doesn't start, wait another 2 minutes just in case
record the results

In between tests, I took the required privacy/security training. Very amateur, written by college freshmen for high school sophomores. The sparse graphics were poorly done, and inconsistent. Some looked like Legos. None included photos. My job doesn't deal with any of the privacy or security issues they covered. The closest they came was to not talk about anything the company has in production except for what has officially been published. I don't work on the company's products, only on third party hardware. 

Went straight home, took back roads until Ellis and then the freeway, which was slower than it should have been in the right hand lane.
Miracle - the two festive stretches of potholes on the ramp from 101 to 237 have been oiled over. That's rural WA talk for a layer of asphalt. That needed doing a year ago.

Home, Spook was out and about, having recovered from one more intruder event.

Contractors did not call with the ETA for the work, but estimator said it might be tomorrow, so okay.

Dinner was another packet of Kao Mok Gai, this time I defrosted it some in the microwave then wokked it. The paper towel thing was a better solution - wok made the rice more soggy. Just for grins I stirred in some eggbeaters. That's more of a central/northern Thai thing, not strictly ethnic for KMG which is a southern dish.

Watched some NFL program on who the 49ers ought to draft. It's really great that finally they are hiring women broadcasters, but they are only hiring spokesmodels, none of these women have any actual sports knowledge to contribute, all the analysts are men. The women only act as announcers and moderators. I know there are sports savvy women out there, I know several. Many are theater friends who would be every bit as good in front of a camera as the spokesmodels. A couple of them are serious eye candy as well. ESPN is HQed in Bristol, CT, not a hotbed of sports fandom or feminism.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work. I have mine cut out for me
Home, do something to get the mint and rosemary into freezable form.
howeird: (Default)
Slept okay, got up maybe 4 times, but took my time getting out of bed. Had to wait for a phone call from the latest mobile home repair company making sure I was home for a 10-noon estimator appointment. The call was set for 8-9. Since 8 is my usual shower time, I didn't have my usual shower.

AG called at 8:15, I told him I'd call back. Contractor call was at 8:25, I called AG back at 8:30. He's having thoughts of changing jobs. It's been a year, but this is all panic from having a steady job for 10 years and then suddenly being caught in a mass layoff. Sad part about the layoff is he unwittingly trained his replacement. Who is now moving back to India. Anyway, I pointed out that his new job is high paying, secure, and he's moving up in the department, and the only real issue is the commute, but he's okay with the long drive.

At 9:30 I went outside and passed the time by clipping herbs in the garden. All of them are getting a little out of hand. I harvested enough rosemary to fill half a kitchen trash bag, a quart bag of oregano and another half trash bag of mint. I was finishing that when the estimator arrived at about 10:30.

Good guy, articulate, aware that his big LA-based company gives higher estimates than the fly by nighters, and he knew the competition. What he told me about them matched what I'd found out online. Bottom line is I signed an estimate for $2250, to replace the carport posts and the kitchen lights. He said they would make a best effort to install the remote controlled light switch in the kitchen as well. I don't think they'll have any problem with that, I was in that switch box and all the connections are there. It just needs more finesse than I have. 10% deposit check printed and contracts signed.

Heading to work at 11-ish, it took almost an hour to get to the main building to pick up my next test unit (I checked work email from home, Boss had left a note). Today was the first of two breeders' days, people from all over Google were bringing their kids to work, and even though they were supposed to park by the amphitheater and take shuttles, they all wanted to park on campus. The underground garage was quadruple parked, the lot for the building across the street was full too. I was lucky to find a spot near the hole. Had to walk to the big building, it took till noon.

I met the guy who wrote the software I'm using, he and Boss and I had a nice chat. I told him about a glitch I'd seen, by the time I got back to the hole he had filed a bug about it. Saved me the trouble. Bug filing system is not kind to newbies.

Got the new unit set up and started the regular testing, it's a nice set top cylinder and it's for Latvia. Good news is that after the first screen, there's a setting to change to English.

Lunch was lasagna noodles & meat sauce bake, I added some cheddar. Famous Amos for dessert. Lots of visitors, mostly men, no lookers among the women. Or men for that matter.

Stuck around till 7, partly to make up for being late, but partly to finish the screen saver tests. Which go like this:
Set the screen saver to start in x minutes (the choices this time were 5, 10, 15, 30)
Hit play
wait 30 seconds
hit pause
wait x minutes
if the screen saver doesn't start, wait another 2 minutes just in case
record the results

In between tests, I took the required privacy/security training. Very amateur, written by college freshmen for high school sophomores. The sparse graphics were poorly done, and inconsistent. Some looked like Legos. None included photos. My job doesn't deal with any of the privacy or security issues they covered. The closest they came was to not talk about anything the company has in production except for what has officially been published. I don't work on the company's products, only on third party hardware. 

Went straight home, took back roads until Ellis and then the freeway, which was slower than it should have been in the right hand lane.
Miracle - the two festive stretches of potholes on the ramp from 101 to 237 have been oiled over. That's rural WA talk for a layer of asphalt. That needed doing a year ago.

Home, Spook was out and about, having recovered from one more intruder event.

Contractors did not call with the ETA for the work, but estimator said it might be tomorrow, so okay.

Dinner was another packet of Kao Mok Gai, this time I defrosted it some in the microwave then wokked it. The paper towel thing was a better solution - wok made the rice more soggy. Just for grins I stirred in some eggbeaters. That's more of a central/northern Thai thing, not strictly ethnic for KMG which is a southern dish.

Watched some NFL program on who the 49ers ought to draft. It's really great that finally they are hiring women broadcasters, but they are only hiring spokesmodels, none of these women have any actual sports knowledge to contribute, all the analysts are men. The women only act as announcers and moderators. I know there are sports savvy women out there, I know several. Many are theater friends who would be every bit as good in front of a camera as the spokesmodels. A couple of them are serious eye candy as well. ESPN is HQed in Bristol, CT, not a hotbed of sports fandom or feminism.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work. I have mine cut out for me
Home, do something to get the mint and rosemary into freezable form.
howeird: (Default)
Today's Youtube fun was finally being bored with Korean girl groups, or maybe the word is frustrated. The way they do their videos is they have about 11 sets of costumes, and they apparently have performed the whole number in all 11 of them, and then the editor snips them so that you only see between 1 and 3 seconds at a time before another costume appears. And it's shuffle mode, no discernible order. The boredom part is Korean TV seems to have cracked down on costume limits - used to be leotards, one-piece camel toe swim suits and bikinis were allowed, this year I'm not seeing anything more risqué than gym shorts.

I tried Thai girl groups, but they are not as pretty or anywhere near as in shape, and their choreography is lame (mostly hand-ography). Hong Kong had some okay groups, but again not as pretty as Korea. So I switched gears and went for asians who sing well, especially in English. And found some in the Philippines. In fact, at least two are following in the footsteps of Lea Salonga, getting roles on Broadway.

Rachelle Ann Go:



Sarah Geronimo with a favorite from They're Playing Our Song:




Jonalyn Viray:



howeird: (Default)
Today's Youtube fun was finally being bored with Korean girl groups, or maybe the word is frustrated. The way they do their videos is they have about 11 sets of costumes, and they apparently have performed the whole number in all 11 of them, and then the editor snips them so that you only see between 1 and 3 seconds at a time before another costume appears. And it's shuffle mode, no discernible order. The boredom part is Korean TV seems to have cracked down on costume limits - used to be leotards, one-piece camel toe swim suits and bikinis were allowed, this year I'm not seeing anything more risqué than gym shorts.

I tried Thai girl groups, but they are not as pretty or anywhere near as in shape, and their choreography is lame (mostly hand-ography). Hong Kong had some okay groups, but again not as pretty as Korea. So I switched gears and went for asians who sing well, especially in English. And found some in the Philippines. In fact, at least two are following in the footsteps of Lea Salonga, getting roles on Broadway.

Rachelle Ann Go:



Sarah Geronimo with a favorite from They're Playing Our Song:




Jonalyn Viray:



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