howeird: (Default)
Slept till 9, played on computer till 10:30, watched some football, decided Sunday was not a good day to drop anything off at Costco's photo department when I can go there at lunchtime from work.

Drove to Shoup Park, was a little earlier than I wanted to be, but not much. My favorite parking space was way open. 12:15 for a 1:30 downbeat. By 1:00 the parking gets impossible.

Excellent turnout, very appreciative audience. We played a lot of good stuff - Hoagy Carmichael, Frank Sinatra & Fred Astaire, medleys from Grease, Phantom of the Opera & Fiddler, 4 or 5 Sousa marches, a non-Sousa march, and the piece which lured me into this band in the first place, The Sousa Scramble. The latter being two pages of music, never more then 8 bars of the same march, sometimes only 4, ending with the original, very stirring Sousa Stars & Stripes finale (our usual S&S arrangement does not have the counterpoint Baritone Horn part). Oldest & newest Baritone players were absent, but Hue-bin was there, so I tried out my Anything Goes Chinese line on her, and she told me what was wrong with it - I had 3/4 of it in Mandarin and 1/4 in Cantonese. Turns out my original choice is all-Mandarin, and she liked it a lot better.

Home with a stop at Fry's to get a better car charger for the phone, and also picked up an ear bud headset and some AA batteries. Huge line today, but it moved quickly.

Spent some time fast forwarding through the 49er-Denver game, and while I am still not impressed with the alleged QB, at least they put up lots of points, and won the game.

At about 6 it was time to drive to the theater, no traffic so I was there in 15 minutes, way early for the 6:30 sit-n-sing. Unpleasantly surprise that the set is not complete - considering how far along they were when I left on Saturday and all day today to work, there should have been a lot more progress. As in it should have been done except for some trim.

They have a "spacing" rehearsal scheduled for tomorrow, which will be a total waste of time if the set is not finished. I doubt it will be. From what is built it is clear that my two trips to the balcony will have to be made much earlier than we have blocked.

We ran through all the big numbers with the orchestra. It is a tiny group, only one trumpet/cornet, one trombone, three people switching between sax and clarinet, the director on keyboard, two percussionists (lyre, wood blocks, etc.), one traditional drummer, and a string bass. It really needs twice the brass.

They sounded pretty good, but I'm not sure the trumpet player will hold up for the whole show.

We were crowded on stage with them, it was impossible for the leading singers without mikes. The conductor is making no effort to quiet down the orchestra, which was just plain not polite, though IRL all the leads will have mikes. But IRL the orchestra will be at the top of the balcony, and that will carry way more than they realize.

Home, Made franks & frozen veggies. Domino likes bits of franks, but she loves the corn kernels even more. Very strange cat.

Speaking of which, here is the old cat tree I'm replacing:


Plans for tomorrow:
Work (team meeting at 10)
Costco
AG rehearsal (?)
howeird: (Pi Waltz)
As planned Saturday was mostly about going through all the photos I had taken since the last Worldcon, and choosing 20 for the upcoming one. It took almost all day. There were patio breaks (lovely weather, not much of a view) with Domino, who has started to camp out there if I leave the door open. Now that it's cat-proofed I'm fine with that. In the mornings she finds a spot in the sun and splays out on the concrete, other times she either sits on her chair (it's a standard patio chair with a generic cushion) or on my chair (same kind of chair but the cushions are Chinese silk and there are 2 of them).

First pass was about 30 pix. I cut some good ones which I'd used before, and then a few which had no sci-fi appeal. That got me down to 20, but I remembered I wanted to have one of my Unwoman photos in the set, so I picked one and she gave me permission to use it, so it took the place of a not quite as good macabre make-up photo of one of my roller girl friends. Great make-up, less than great lighting job. And there was another tough decision to oust one of my model rocket favorites for a still life from Kanchanaburi. Thirteen of my best Thailand shots did not make the cut. They may not all make the 2013 calendar either.

That's one difference between hand-made art and photography. I can produce hundreds of gallery-worthy images a day.

Now I need to fill in the bid sheets and labels. Well, not now, but soon.

Next chore was to sign each photo using a macro I'd created in Photoshop last month. It's pretty nifty - I have a signature scan in cobalt blue which was sized to be like an artist's signature on my standard Nikon 12.3 megapixel JPGs, and the macro takes that, finds the right-hand margin and then the bottom margin and slaps the signature in the lower right, then merges it with the photo and saves the picture. It only takes about 15 minutes for 20 photos.

I had tried logging into Costco.com, but got a 500-level error which said the site was down for maintenance. It stayed that way all day and night, so uploading and printing would have to wait.

Part of the plan was to drink soda water with fresh-squeezed lime while I was doing this, but my soda siphon leaked all over the fridge, twice - the second time with a replacement tube - so that didn't happen.

After the photo project was as done as it could be without costco.com, I drove to Bevmo to buy a replacement siphon. They don't have any, they only have the cartridges. Boo. Hiss. There's a massage place next door which I had never tried, so I tried it. Very poor massage. She didn't know what she was doing. It didn't hurt so I didn't complain.

Home, ordered a siphon online (two, actually), watched some Olympics on Tivo. The only way to watch, because the commercials are repetitive and mostly stupid, and so are the announcers. Way too much intro crap, and they bundle events in the most bizarre way. They may show several hours of cycling in the same segment as a short burst of gymnastics. Swimming gets decent coverage, and there was some boxing which was contiguous, but last night one chunk was 11 hours, and Tivo can't FF that fast.

Slept well, almost slept in this morning. I tried Costco on the cell phone, and Google showed it was working. It needed the www. They really need to change the system down message on the costco.com site to a redirect. Anyhow, that let me upload and order prints. They should be done tomorrow afternoon.

Also printed out the music & script for Anything Goes and put that in a folder.

Noon-ish, put the baritone in the car and drove to the park for the monthly YOTB concert. The new guy showed up, and so did our student, so we had a record 6 baritones. Also 4 tubas, and two more trumpets than ever before.  It was an easy concert for us, he chose music which was not lip-splitting.

From there to Fedex/Kinko's, where I bought a 3-ring binder and dividers and used their hole punch on the script & music. Then home for some Domino time and more Olympics.

6-ish, off to rehearsals. I was only half an hour early, but no one else showed up for 15 minutes. My friend David, another bass, who had performed in a matinee at Foothill that afternoon. People mostly arrived right on time or a few minutes late.  It was not very hard music, though some of the bass line is WTF. I hate it when it jumps all over the place, bass lines ought to stay toward the bottom of the staff. The final note in the show is kind of a WTF, almost everyone is singing the same note. Ought to end in thrilling mind-blowing 12-part harmony.

It was good to spend the day being musical.

Home, dinner, watched some Muay Thai instead of Olympics.

Voted for the Hugos. The only one I felt strongly about is the short story, and I'm 90% certain my choice will not win, due to the overwhelming popularity of one of the other entrants, whose entry IMHO was either the worst short story ever, or a brilliant "best related work" which probably would not have fared well against Jar Jar Binks Must Die.

As a fan of irony and recursive humor, I sincerely hope [livejournal.com profile] johnnyeponymous wins for the video of his 2011 Hugo acceptance speech melt-down. I also hope Drink Tank wins again because the sample submitted was one in which many of my photos were used as fillers, and I had an article in it too, which would make me something like 11/300th of a Hugo winner.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Costco: P/U prints, get gas, see if they can refill Epson inkjet cartridges. Otherwise buy a set.
Aaron's - leave the prints for mounting.
howeird: (Default)
I thought 10 would be early enough for the 10:30 band intro but I had to park 3 blocks away. 4th of July at Los Altos was very well attended, there were lots of activities for the kids, and the band was very well received. The PA system was a total fail, someone decided the speakers needed to be in the back of the park, facing backwards.

Our conductor has done a great job getting us to mind the dynamics in the pieces we play, but it backfired this time - people way in the back (about 200 yards away) said they could not hear us.

But it was a fun time for the band, at least.

Stopped off at Fry's, did not find an SD card wallet but did find one for USB drives which will work.

Home, changed out of my uniform and into jeans shorts and a flag T-shirt from last year, then to the cinema, bought a ticket for the 3 pm show, but it was only 2 so I went to Starbucks and finished the Outlook merge I had started last night. Or so I thought. Turns out the merge program does not remove duplicates from the inbox, and does not merge archive folders with current folders. Time to see the movie.

Brave was okay. As usual, the animation was pretty good, though they seem to have trouble making noses which are not layers of polygons. I thought the messages were way heavy-handed, and the reveal at the end was not justified by the actions leading up to it. It's natural for a mother to defend her daughter. It's not natural, IMHO, for a mother to do what this one did after engaging in a "to the death" battle to defend her daughter. I'd be less surprised to see ERII abdicate in favor of her eldest son tomorrow morning. There are some parallels there, but this is a spoiler-free review.

The 3D was understated, which was nice. Oddly enough, something which impressed me more than the movie was the closing credits. They were done in a beautiful gold Celtic-like font, with three levels of depth. Names, departments and main unit designations were top, bottom and middle as the 3D layers go. Every credit to the bitter end was done with this high quality workmanship. I wish Pixar woud get a clue and stop showing credits for all the myriad people who did not actually work on the film. I really don't need to know who all the caterers were, or all the lawyers, or all the folks who slopped the stables for the animated horses. There is a cute Easter egg at the end, but I was the only one in the theater who survived long enough to see it. The staff person cleaning up was in the second to last row by then.

After the show I went back to Starbucks to finish the Outlook merge. It worked better the second time, but still left dupes in the inbox.

Home by way of Sizzler. Skipped the ice cream there because there was still chocolate cream cake at home. Sat on the patio with Domino waiting for hummingbirds to find the feeder (one had done so this morning), but gave up when it started to get dark. As soon as I sat down in the recliner two hummers landed on the feeder. Nice to know they have found it. It'll probably be empty when I get back from vacation.

Doing laundry - waited till after the concert to do the whites, so I could toss in the white uniform shirt. Waited till it cooled off to throw them into the dryer.

Did a reality check on the bag of OTC stuff for the trip, and had to jettison the clothing insect repellent because it's an aerosol spray. Everything else is okay.

Watched some fireworks on TV, because I could hear the booms from someplace not too far. Great America said they were not doing any tonight, so this must have been Mountain View or Milpitas.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Pack
Put Domino's carrier in the livingroom.
howeird: (Default)
And Franz Kafka's too.

I was up and out early, work started as what should have been a simple integration between a GUI script suite I'd written and a tcl script the automation guy wrote, but it ended up taking all day. The most frustrating part is one of the Linux commands which was crucial to the test does not work the same way in the background as it does when it is run manually. I finally guessed a work-around. So now we have two high-priority tests automated, which apparently adds brownie points both to me and to automation guy.

Now he wants me to do more automation, but I don't know what to automate. Looking for likely victims could be the rest of the week's project.

We went to Sushi Blvd together for lunch. Big, generous, delicious bento boxes with your choice of two main dishes, plus miso soup, soy beans, tempura, salad with wasabi dressing, rice and gyoza. Cute waitresses too.

After work was a shopping run. Vitamins C and D, beta carotene, Immodium and small paper plates at Rite Aid. Cookie sheets and insect repellent towelettes at SavMart. Wallet and windows at Penny's. Home, a wallet I'd ordered online but was none too sure about arrived. Turns out fully loaded the Penny's wallet won't close without bending things, but the online wallet was okay. Neither was designed for the amount of $1's I have at the moment (20+) and it will only get moreso when I add the Thai bills.

Canceled the order on Amazon for an SD card wallet, because it changed from being scheduled for July 3 delivery to end of the month. Apparently it was from a shell company sourcing their stuff from Hong Kong.  I'll see if Fry's has something.


Speaking ill of the dead department:
Andy Griffith, a cornerstone of my childhood, passed away today, and many people have posted clips of his works. I was never impressed by his acting, he always played a Southern yokel, which is what he was IRL as well. He did make sure his TV show was G-rated, and there was no foul language. Some folks have pointed me to his first movie, Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd, as a masterpiece of acting. The studios at the time were plugging him as the next Brando. Not hardly. He played himself as a country singer who gets too famous, says crazy things and gets a huge ego. He shouts a lot. But even surrounded by a stellar cast (Tony Franciosa, Patricia Neal, Lee Remick, Walter Matthau) he didn't seem to pick up any real acting skills. It's a similar character to Ernest Borgnine's Oscar-winning Marty, but there's no comparison. Though he was married to his first wife for 23 years, and his third wife for 29, the one in the middle was shades of his character in "A Face" - a stunning younger actress marrying him for money and fame. That only lasted 8 years.

Perhaps the best thing I can say about him is he started Ron Howard's career off right, and gave a much-deserved boost to that of Jim Nabors. 


Plans for tomorrow:
10:30 am downbeat for the Los Altos 4th celebration with Ye Olde Towne Band providing the patriotic music. We should be done by noon.
Then I think I'll go see Brave.
Not sure what I'll do for fireworks. If anything.

Sunday

Jun. 24th, 2012 11:17 pm
howeird: (Default)
Did I mention that in my OCD moment yesterday of organizing the piles of stuff in the box in the bedroom I found a Palm TX and a charging/sync cradle and a USB sync/charge cable for it?

Last night I plugged the latter in and was able to set the date, but when I hit a button it went dead. I played with it some more today, but the cradle is missing its power adapter and the USB cable has a broken Palm connector. I ordered a connector online ($3) which may arrive in time for me to play before vacation.  That little guy worked really well for its time.

Had a bit of a low blood sugar at 1 am, but it wasn't low enough to worry about. I drank some High C, which I probably shouldn't have since it is red. Not too concerned, the no-red thing was not supposed to start till tomorrow.

The Gatorade diet is working fine. It's really a clear liquid diet, and may include:

 * water
 * broth
 * bouillon
 * consommé
 * white grape juice
 * apple juice
 * 7-up
 * Sprite
 * KoolAid
 * Gatorade
 * Jello
 * popsicles.  

No alcohol and no purple or red drinks.

Gatorade is way high in sodium, so I have been switching off with iced tea. Since I'm not getting any other calories, I'm going for the non-diet stuff.

Played online for a bit, played with the cat, then hauled my baritone out to the car and drove to the concert, an hour early. Got my favorite parking spot. It was probably still free 30 minutes later. Turnout was good, but down from last year, except this time we had some captive audiences - people who were there for picnics and BBQ parties and the playground. It was a relatively easy set of music, most of the high notes were in the first half. We were done by 3:30, which is a little early but it didn't feel that way.

Next stop was Starbucks down the end of Miramonte, where there used to be a Blockbuster. Two hours early for my coffee klatch with Janice, but there were seats by the AC outlets, and if there's one thing I do well it's waste time on the internet. Janice was on time as usual, I packed up the PC and we moved outdoors. Part of the deal was to go over logistics for Tuesday, she'll be my ride there and back. She's retired, but that just means she's busier than ever. This will give her time to read.

Safeway, got some jello, Sprite and more Gatorade for tonight and tomorrow.  And popsicles.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Home & start drinking the colon gunk.

howeird: (Trumpet)

Early this morning, long after I had told myself to go to bed, I did one last search through Seagate's forums and found someone asking exactly my question - how to have two of their Goflex-Home drives on one network. A tech support person answered that the drives were designed to be unique on the network, and support any number of computers. And then gave some instructions of how to fool two drives to each talk to a different computer on the network. Stupid support person didn't see that if one could set up two drives on one network, then his claim that one computer could not use both is bogus.

So I did the simple thing he suggested - after getting addresses assigned by the router, set the drives to no use DHCP anymore, and hard-code those addresses into the drive. Wasy, since each drive has a browser GUI which one gets to just by calling out the IP address. Piece. Of. Cake.

I copied my photos folder to the new drive, standard Windoze dragon drop, and it said at first it would take 21 hours, but when Win7 realize this was a 1GB connection, it change to 6 hours. That was at 2 am. When I checked at 7:30 am, it needed me to click something and after that it was done in 5 minutes. 500GB. Yay!  I think I'll also send it my old Howard directory, which has a lot of my old dox & spreadsheets.


Work was almost solid writing automation for that new feature. It was a lot more unique procedures than I had expected, but it was done by about 5. Big boss' staff meeting at 3 helped pass the time. It was almost a total waste of time, he had nothing new to tell us.
Home, picked up a package (I was expecting the VCR) which was the GPS for the camera, the top-of-the-line model, with a nice personal note from their saleslady thanking me for letting her send the still-in-beta (till Saturday) version, with just a quick reference sheet for documentation, and no wireless remote (both of which will come after I'm back from vacation). It's a lovely piece of gear, about the size as a bicycle's speedometer, with a readable LED display. I took it out onto the patio, and after about 20 minutes it got signal, which the camera had no trouble recognizing. I've had it charging, and will set up the few parameters after I write this. We're talking total win here.

Then off to band rehearsals. Attendance was so surprising the conductor took a picture. Five tubas. We usually only have two, sometimes none. And 5 baritone horns, which is what we had most of last year until our youngest section member went off to school somewhere. New guy plays well, nice guy. My last rehearsal this year will probably be next Thursday, then a concert on the 24th and July 4th, then I'm on vacation and may play in the July 29 concert but will probably miss the July 26 rehearsal.

After that, it depends on Anything Goes. my part may be small enough to let me go to band rehearsals and the August concert. Maybe. But definitely not September.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
TGIF


howeird: (Default)
Really only did two things today, but both were major. Ye Older Towne Band had its first concert of the year, attendance was less than it might have been, but there was so much else going on, and we'll be back the last Sunday of every month through September. I got there way early and snagged my favorite parking spot - the closest one to the park without being actually in the park - I save those for the handicapped and those whose instruments are too big to carry that far. And there are usually picnickers who are already there.

It was chilly and windy. The wind makes it awkward - we bring clothespins but if a piece is 3 or 4 pages, there's no good way to clip it to the music folder without having to flip it over at some point. Which means missing a few measures of music. It was a shorter concert than we usually do too, so my lip is not as demolished as it might have been. And we played a lot of pieces in which baritones had the melody, which I like.

Stopped at a produce stand on the way home and scored some nice looking 49¢/lb bananas and 89¢/lb red delicious apples. And half a dozen big 6/$1 limes. Next stop was Lucky's. originally just for sourdough slices to go with the goat cheese I bought a few days ago, but decided to pick up some microwave frozen entrees too, which meant no Starbucks stop. Home, had an early dinner, toyed with the idea of going into the city to see the Golden Gate Bridge fireworks, but the news pointed out that there was really no way to get there - the major bus lines were not running, and there was no parking. Tried the goat cheese on the sourdough slices - the cheese was bland and will be recycled, the sourdough slices appear to have been mislabeled, they taste like plain baguette slices. :-(

At about 6:15 I realized if I was going to make it to the show in Saratoga, I had best leave now. Got to the theater at 20 till 7, house manager was my theater son Ed, whose wife was in the show. Box office lady gave me the senior discount even though I'm not their official senior age. This was a special show, one performance only, local actor/director/playwright/song writer Ted Kopulos's Out Of My Trunk, Out Of My Mind - Four Sure. The 4th time in 10 years that he has pulled out some stuff he wrote, found a cast to perform it and made it into a concert-plus. He's an amazing director, and many of the numbers were thoroughly staged. Everyone in the show (10 of them) are excellent musical theater performers, and with one exception were well-rehearsed. Bob Sunshine was the accompanist, I am always blown away by his keyboard skilz. Many of the numbers are Broadway-worthy, a couple should have stayed in the trunk. All of them were brilliantly performed. I had been onstage with four of the cast, worked backstage with two more, and would have been cast in the last show Ted directed for Sunnyvale except tech week was my nephew's wedding. Oh yeah, and they also changed which show they did.

And there was some very confusing theater people drama. cut for boring speculation )

I hope the finale, Now, finds its way to YouTube. Ted wrote a musical called It's Your Year, Charlie Brown for the opening of the Charles Schultz Museum in Santa Rosa, and this was the finale for that.
Home in time to watch the last half of the Golden Gate Bridge fireworks, but my internet signal decided to crap out on me (no one was showing it live, it was streaming or nothing). Meanwhile, a mile away Great America's fireworks sounded like they were in our BBQ area.

Got email from the art show director for the next Worldcon (in Chicago) inviting me to participate. I won't be going to the convention, but I do have a supporting membership which is good enough to be in the art show, but it would mean having the photos matted and paying a $25 fee to have them hung. It sounds like they are doing the U-shaped display which is horrible  for the size prints I do, and difficult to light. And they are restricting mail-ins to 2 panels, when a U is 3 panels. Stupid. Not sure if I want to do that.

Plans for tomorrow:
Many choices. I could catch the death throes of BayCon, but that would be depressing. Maybe there's still some jazz worth going to see in Sacto. Fireworks again at GA? I'll have to check. Hmm. their web site doesn't mention tonight's. Strange.
howeird: (Default)
Forgot that I have band practice tonight, which might mean no update till tomorrow unless I do it now. So I'm spending lunch hour at Starbucks ingesting alternative forms of calories.

Yesterday was busy at work, and got busier. Lunch was with automation guy and sales guy at Andy's BBQ. Made the mistake of ordering the Italian sausage. I keep forgetting that it's nasty stuff most places.

Managed to scratch my reading glasses. Good thing I buy them 5 at a time, and always have a spare in the car.


Where did all these people come from? 1:25 pm on a school day doesn't strike me as coffee rush hour.
After work hopped on the expressway and  went to the Computer History Museum for a panel discussion called "Univac to Web 2.0" with the theme allegedly being how political polling and campaigns have been/will be affected by Internet improvements. The panelists were two former Obama PR people and one PR guy who had headed Meg Whitman's campaign after being a Bush white house minion. The moderator was a Harvard historian.

None of them knew squat about technology.

Things started out promising, with the CHM CEO showing a clip from Walter Cronkite & crew on the first election night where CBS used Univac to predict an election. 1952, the machine predicted Eisenhower in a landslide but CBS went with all the other polls which predicted an almost tie race with Adlai Stevenson.  One of the panelists noted that the Univac had better data. He pointed out that the polls were done by telephone in a time when only the relatively affluent had phones.

The panel devolved quickly into discussions of past political campaigns, with almost no mention of technology. The moderator chose (written) questions from the audience which did not touch on technology. I was sitting in the back row and saw many people bail after the first 20 minutes. It just wasn't very interesting. One amusing item is two of those panelists now work for Facebook. In roles for which they have no apparent qualifications. Hmmmm.

Home, there was another note from Roxio support, it blamed Tivo for the problem, with no hints on why he thought this or what it may be. I replied that I want my $$ back.

I'd done some searches at work and found out two things: There is a freeware program which can convert Tivo to MPEG without the reduction in resolution which Roxio performs, and  the issue I was seeing was probably because I was using Tivo's fast transfer (which creates a transport stream file) instead of normal transfer (which builds a program stream file compatible with DVDs).

So, before I went to bed I started a slow transfer, and this morning I ran the file through both Roxio and the freeware program, and they both worked. I was able to import the converted freeware file into Corel's video editor, edit out the commercials, insert chapter marks and export an ISO file which I'll try to burn to a DVD later.


work so far has been a bit wonky. A couple of new assignments will be challenging to write tests for, because they are about how other devices communicate with ours, and the results will only show on those other devices.

Someone on flickr.com has created a phony group called "flickr" which he/she/it claims is for newbies to see what all kinds of things are on the site. I received an invitation to post my SportsClock mockup on their group. Declined. But it did inspire me to put in a full description of the image, which was created in MSPaint and is not  a photograph.

YOTB rehearsals tonight
Plans for tomorrow:
work
pack for weekend trip
go to sleep early to make it to the train on time Saturday.
howeird: (Party)
Two major milestones today. First was the final concert of the year for Ye Olde Towne Band, with the accompanying after-party. It's a potluck, and this time we had leftover main courses, but salads and desserts were in short supply. Usually it is the other way around. The other milestone was making the apartment aquarium-free. A nice middle-aged couple came over to claim all the fish, which took a huge weight off my conscience, and then I drained the tanks, unplugged everything and hauled the whole kit and kaboodle out to the dumpster area. Maybe someone will want the stand. An unexpected bonus closure is when I went out to the dumpster,  90% of the mess PG&E had made was gone. If they are really done, it will be all gone tomorrow, and good riddance. But the pipes which have been stressed to 1,000 times their load-bearing specifications remain, 20 feet from the nearest apartment units, and each apartment has a gas furnace, so the sooner I am out of there the safer I will feel.

Lost Altos did a world class WTF today - it took me half an hour to go the length of the town en route to the concert because they applied asphalt to the right lane on both sides of the main street, and blocked off all the side street access (because with all traffic in the left lane, it would have to cross the wet asphalt to get to the alternate routes). Glad I left for the concert way early to get my potluck items in the fridge.

One more closure item to take care of, which I need to get a dolly for - haul the old exercycle out to the dumpster. I would donate it, but it won't fit in the car, and it has some cosmetic rust which I don't have the wherewithal to clean up. There are some other items to go to Goodwill, but none of them are major milestones.

One of the side effects of de-tanking the livingroom is I was able to put the big speakers in their original locations, which improved the sound from the A/V box significantly. I also moved things around to put the center surround speaker in the center, in the audio stand under the TV, which is also an improvement. All this will be even further enhanced, I hope, when I get into the new place and can put the entertainment center against a wall instead of 5' from the glass patio doors. It all depends on where the piano fits. Tonight I think I'll go online and look at the floor plan again.
 
cat TMI )

Watched Sunday Night Football. I like how their announcers call the game without talking about unrelated games and gossip, and explain why they think a call was made rather than giving advice to the coaches and players and trying to call the plays themselves. And their camera crew and director rarely mess up, which is tough to do in a live game situation.

Which reminds me, yesterday's Oregon game in Arizona provided a cute little WTF. The Oregon cheerleaders all had deep tans. The Arizona cheerleaders looked pale.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work (team meeting at 10)
Hello dolly? OSH probably.
Monday Night Football
howeird: (Default)
One good news bad news thing about work is on Thursdays they bring in fresh fruit (lately bananas and apples) which is placed in the break rooms in the morning. I got to work at 9:30, there was no trace of the stuff. They don't buy nearly enough to meet the demand.

Spent most of the day running 2-hour tests, and I think most of them passed but I could not mark them as such because there is a series of bugs with the display which sometimes shows a program is recording when it isn't, or shows a program is not scheduled to record in the future when it is. Not a total waste of time, but close to it.

I left the cubicle a few times during the thumb-twiddling parts to hang out in my team's area and play movie title hangman, and eavesdrop on team members who were running real-time tests. And I also did some optical audio testing, and closed a few bugs.

Toward the end of the day the manager's manager came by the team area, and had another of a long series of management "whoops" moments. She forgot my exit interview is tomorrow, and she won't be in the office tomorrow. I can leave my badge in her desk drawer. I did get a chance to tell her how great the people have been. She already knows hjow sucky everything else is there.

I wrote to the Moto HR admin asking why I had not heard anything from her when I sent my acceptance letter a week ago. She wrote back that she did recceive it, and my start date will be Aug 22 unless the security clearance doesn't come back by then. Not as helpful as it should have been. 

Home, relaxed with Domino on head-butting me for petting - a new habit of hers. Picked up my baritone and headed off to Ye Olde Towne Band practice. We had three new pieces to try, the first was Louie, Louie I told my section about the unique place in Washington State history this song holds. The other pieces were a difficult circus march and a not particularly tuneful German waltz.

Home from band, watched the Seahawks beat the Chargers in fast forward (recorded on my home Tivo). It was a squeaker, went down to the last minute.

Got some more shirts from KingSizeDirect, they are excellent.

Plans for tomorrow:
Last day at contract job
Maybe have dinner in Alviso. Vahl's has a piano bar on Fridays, I think. No need to fight rush hour traffic.
howeird: (Default)
Well, not so busy, really. Spent the morning trying to figure out why Word 2007 was no longer spell checking. Priced Office 2010 and decided to buy a copy. Later.

Got a start on the data spreadsheet for the Renovation Art Show display. I do this for each con art show I'm in, it's pretty simple, just a list of the item #, title, who is the model, who created the costume, where the photo was taken and what size the print is. That's used to build a mailmerge document which generates a sticker for the back of the photo and a post-it label to slap under the photo in the art display.

Did not have time to finish, needed to grab my baritone and head out to Shoup Park for the monthly Last Sunday concert. I got there at 1:10, and all the spots I usually park in were taken, so I parked a block away. When I got to the site, there was already a big crowd set up to watch us, and the park was filled with picnickers and kids playing. By the time we started playing at 1:30 there were about 3x as many people in the audience as there were the first concert I played there 2 years ago.

I played well enough. Better than usual on the high notes, I still had a lip left at the end of the concert. Strange, though, I wasn't able to hit the lowest note. Probably the two are related.

Home, changed into civvies, went to Fry's and found Office 2010 on sale for $20 off, which paid the taxes plus a couple of pennies. Home, made a snack which turned out to be almost dinner, installed Office, caught up on LJ, FB and Twitter, finished the art show stuff but discovered that though I had permission from all the people in my pictures, there are two photos I don't know how to credit. One will be fixed with follow-up email, and if not there's enough info online to fake something which won't insult anyone. The other was a verbal okay, or if it was email I can't find it. I'm okay with showing the photo, but would really like to give credit to the person in the photo, who may be at the con.

All that done, watched a bit of Shark Week on Discovery Channel, made another snack (and discovered they both love cheese-in-a-can), gave the kitties their usual nightly treats, and here I am.

Opened another jar of the last batch of pickles, and whoa, salty! But I've been cutting down on my salt intake for years, so maybe these are fine for other folks.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Expect The Call from Moto and all the wheels which that will set in motion
BASFA maybe. Am tempted to bring a jar of the "relish" pickles, just in case anyone likes that taste. I don't, but there wouldn't be relish in the stores if there weren't a lot of other people who do.
howeird: (Default)
Work progresses. Had a tutorial from one of the senior testers on the test and bug tracking software programs. Sat down with another senior person to regress some bugs. Installed the latest build on my two boxes. Had a 1-on-1 with my manager, who gave lots of helpful details on How Things Are Dun Around Here. Heartbroken to discover that one of my favorite cow-orkers smokes. Ran a bunch of tests. Thought I found a bug, asked around, read the spec and no, it's a feature. Good news, less typing.


Yesterday the CPA's package (more than an inch thick) of the parental estate taxes arrived. With the wrong name for both me and for the living trust. Major WTF, they pulled both of those names out of thin air, when they had a TaxID doc with everything all spelled out for them. Dashed off email to the partner, he replied they would fix it. Best news is no one owes any $$ to the IRS.  I'm sure the CPA's bill will more than make up for that.

Ye Olde Town Band rehearsal was bizarre. I was 15 minutes early, but we started 15 minutes late. Conductor is out of town (I don't think this was expected, but it may have been). The person he picked to fill in was a brave man, and he did okay. But he did not give any warning before starting a piece, so I was playing catch-up most of the evening. Usually it takes us an hour and a half to run through a concert's worth of numbers, he breezed through them in an hour, and took requests for the next half hour. And he was not slipshod about any of this, he did stop us and go over problem spots as needed, he just didn't insert any padding between numbers.

My final unemployment check arrived, they did pay me for the whole first week. I was wondering, because the two days I worked the second week will bring in $200 more than a week's unemployment. But they did send the check on a different form, one which did not allow for another request.

I don't think she reads this, but just in case, I hope [livejournal.com profile] britgeekgrrl had an enjoyable birthday, and sincerely hope the coming year will be many thousands of percents better than the last one. She deserves so much better than Life has dumped on her.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Decide which 11 photos are going to Reno, make sure they are all framed, and if I have time make a map for [livejournal.com profile] yourbob to use for hanging them. 
howeird: (Default)
We had perfect weather for the concert, not too hot, and not too breezy. Too much of a breeze makes the music hard to manage. My lip almost lasted for the whole concert. We had a big crowd, very appreciative. I love it when the parents bring the kids to look at our instruments up close afterward.

Relaxed at home and tried to make a decal for a project, but the printer kept munging the decal media. I need to get some clear label stuff instead.
Oliver auditions were in the community hall of a park behind the apartment complex I lived in when I was broke and starving. more about the apartment )

Anyhow, filled out the paperwork, was assigned a number (8), and after about 10 minutes me and two other men, one of whom I knew from Jekyll & Hyde, were let into the room. Big room, very resonant. The J&H guy sang first, he sounded great, but it was a little hard to hear him over the piano. I went next. I told the accompanist to give me the G which I'm supposed to start on, and he did, but I kept hearing a lower note in my heard. Weird. I'm usually excellent at matching notes. He helped me find the right note, and when I hit it it sounded right, and I totally nailed the song. And the room just reverberated to my voice. I love when that happens. Got a huge applause from the panel.

It was actually auditions for two shows, the other being 1940's Radio Hour, and I told the director for that show he's legendary (and he is) so if he wanted me in his show I would be happy to be in it, but I don't think there is a singing role for an older man in that show. After I sang he said he would love to have me in his show, but as it turns out my nephew's wedding in Baltimore will be during Hell Week, so that shot that. But it was a very nice compliment.

The dance audition was not so good, the choreagravators for 1940's did the honors, and while it was a lot of easy steps, there were too many of them, and they did not flow. I did what I could, and no one was injured. What I hate about dance auditions is I don't have that talent for picking up a routine quickly. I could have nailed it with a normal rehearsal schedule. I don't think there will be much dancing in Oliver.

Callbacks are Tuesday, I expect they will call Tuesday during the day, because there will be more auditions Monday.

Thinking about it, the only things which would have made the day better would be getting lucky, and getting a job.

So, in pickling news, I did some research and it seems the commercial packets of pickle mix I have been using have a chemical in them which makes them edible in 24 hours. My recipe, which lacks that chemical, will probably not be ready until after a month. I also found a couple of better recipes for home-made pickles, and I had used way too much dill seed, could have done without the coriander and mustard seed, and should have added a small hot pepper to each jar.  I'm a very patient man, for small values of patient. But a month is a long time to wait so I picked up some pickles at Safeway last night.

Plans for tomorrow:
Expecting at least one, maybe two phone interviews
Try the decal thing again, with clear labeling media
BASFA, I have some not so bad CDs to auction, and maybe a Rolodex.

Anecdotery

Jun. 24th, 2011 06:00 pm
howeird: (Default)
I had this great idea for a nostalgic, tell-all kind of post as I was walking across the parking lot, but by the time I had my mocha frappuccino it had retreated to the tip of my tongue, the back of my mind. Or maybe one of its many ragged edges. If I keep staring into space maybe it will come back. Something about a person. A person of the male persuasion.

Frak.

Meanwhile, I have the new-ish bluetooth stereo headset on my neck, earbuds shoved firmly in place because there is a jerk at the table behind me, facing me, who has been blabbering non-stop into his cell phone as if he was in his livingroom. Half an hour now, one would think his battery would be drained. Sounds like his mind has been already. Marketing blather.

So I guess this will be my daily journal entry. Started at the clinic with a follow-up with my endocrinologist. Routine, suggested by my nephrologist. She is one hot number, knows how to dress too. She doesn't do white lab coats. Last time was a very sexy muted orange and black diagonally striped dress, this time a knit white top over a black dress. The knit was too tight to call net, but open enough to accent what she wanted accented. Nothing new except my A1C is much lower, but needs to go down one more notch. My BP was actually low, and I've lost another 3 lbs since last month.

From there to Custom Audio, to see if the talented Mr. T. Le could pair the car alarm remote I'd bought on the Clifford web site with my Clifford car alarm. Nope, he couldn't get it to work. Because it was the wrong one. Clifford's web site said the same unit worked with both the 10 and 12 series of this model, but they lied. He sold me (and paired successfully) the right version. Custom Audio charged me $120, Clifford soaked me for $240. Home, RMA applied for, lunch made & inhaled.

Then to OSH with my music stand. At rehearsals I discovered that what I thought was a permanent fix for the one stupid design item in an otherwise brilliant design was not. The stand has two screws on the main shaft, one has a handy soft plastic/rubberized handle, the other has to be adjusted with a hex tool. The nice man, whom I looked for for 10 minutes before finding him, helped me remove the hex screw and find a replacement hex head bolt and wing nut which can be adjusted without any tools.

Next stop, CVS, picked up my monthly insulin.

Home, dropped that off because it needs to go in the fridge, and then to Starbucks. Thought about Clocktower, but they are not air conditioned and it's a bit too warm today for that.

And now for the daily dose of recruiter stupidity:
Read more... )

No plans for tonight, which is sad because I really wanted to go to the preview of a local community theater's Sound of Mucus, directed by one of my all-time favorite theater people and I know at least half the cast. But this particular group kicked me out of one of their shows for what I suspect was being the wrong religion, and as long as the asswipes who did that are still involved with the group, I'm not patronizing anything they do. What added insult to injury is the person they called to take my place was told I'd gotten sick, and he had no idea it was political. He is a long time good theater friend and continues to be. He just happens to teach Sunday school and is happy to spread the word of Jesus to anyone who asks. What I admire most about him is until you ask, you won't even suspect he is That Way.  When I told him years later I had been the person he replaced, and what the circumstances were, he said had he known he would have refused the part.

So no plans for tonight.

Plans for tomorrow:
Litterbox duty
NASA/Ames for a long-awaited model rocket launch
Possibly go to the Fremont Thai Temple's annual bash, which they hold at a much larger Zen Buddhist temple down the block.
Pick up a friend at SJC who has spent 2 weeks volunteering with Red Cross flood aid in Montana.
howeird: (Default)
Pumpkin has fallen into a pattern of spending the night downstairs on his sofa cushion, and coming upstairs at about 6:30 am or thereabouts and curling up near my feet. This morning was like that. But it's Sunday, and my alarm does not go off until 9, so I basically went back to sleep after the impact of a 20-pound of catquake. That's maybe a 3.5-4.0 on the Richter.

Did my usual job hunt (DICE.com sends me email lists for all the jobs which match some keywords - I have ones for tech support, video, QA, streaming media and technical training. If there are not matches, there is no email for that category. Being a Sunday of a 3-day weekend, there wasn't much, and I expect less tomorrow morning. The Indiots try phoning me again this morning, I let it go to voicemail, and deleted the voicemail. There was follow-up email from the caller which copied six other people (it's like the CYA Olympics over at Piepeople Consulting), claiming he had tried to call several times. Yeah, right. It's this kind of mendacity and misrepresentation which prompted me this morning to go to my email server and block all mail from his domain.

It was very windy this morning, but the sky was blue in every direction, so I did the layers thing. Concert uniform is white shirt & black pants, and a white cap if you have one. I don't have the official cap & shirt, they did not sell it last year but they will be taking orders at the next rehearsal. My only white T-shirt I made into a printed shirt, so it was going to be worn under my white dress short-sleeved shirt. 

 
If you feel so inclined, the design is available for sale on http://shops.cafepress.com/Shop/Edit/howeirdcreations.

But I digress. Dressed, too soon for the concert, too late for lunch, made some popcorn. Domino jumped up on the arm of the recliner as I started eating, but went back to her cat bed on the couch when I showed her what I was munching.

Off to the concert venue (a park in Los Altos) times to be 45 minutes early because that's the only way to get parking close enough for lugging my baritone horn and the music stand.

There was a big audience, sunshine, and a little surprise. There are so many trumpets now that the tubas (we have four of those) were put next to the baritones. We only had three this time, one was ill, but the other three were very sociable. The woman sitting next to me is the wife of one of the French Horn players, she's about 70, and said she inherited a small tuba about a dozen years ago, taught herself how to play, and then moved up to a medium sized one. Prior to that she had been a singer. She plays very well, I'm impressed.

The concert went well, huge applause for every number and a long round of applause at the end. I didn't lose my lip until the third to last number, and was able to mostly fake it an octave lower.

Home, changed, deep fried some corn dogs and nuked some baked beans for lunch. Watched some TV, then decided to go back to the Clocktower for mocha and pastry. I may make this my regular spot. Maybe. Not much traffic here, but they have some cute employees.

Thought about catching [livejournal.com profile] caprine's concert at Baycon tonight, but am just not feeling up to being a fan.

No plans for tomorrow except to stay away from the park, which is bound to be full of screaming children and their rude parents. Or maybe I'll go and yell "Hey kids, get off my lawn!". I do need to refresh my memory for next weekend's audition. Probably will do Old Man River, instead of something G&S. The bass numbers I know for that need a chorus. Lyric does Star Chamber auditions, no chorus available. I don't know how it is now, but Stanford used to have open auditions where other auditioners could join in as chorus.
howeird: (Default)
Someone was supposed to phone me for a job interview screening thing at 2, and I needed to pick up a rare prescription drug across town at about noon. Got to the drugstore and the idiot child said they were out of stock, looking at the computer rather than looking in the pile of recently filled prescriptions. After 10 minutes of waiting her boss gave her the package to give to me. On my way out I found waterproof pre-medicated Band Aids I've been looking for, but more importantly dark chocolate hollow bunnies for Sunday's head-biting ritual. Big WTF: they have lots of hollow milk chocolate bunnies and solid dark chocolate bunnies, but it's rare to find hollow dark chocolate.

Lunchtime, Round Table next door was having a pizza and salad buffet, so I did that, and walked to Smart & Final for some fudgesicles.

Home by 1:40, had a fudgesicle for dessert, plugged my earbuds into the iPhone, listened to some music and waited for the interviewer to call. Nothing. 2:30 I call the recruiter, he calls back later to let me know the boss of the interviewer will call me at 4 to do the phone screening himself. Fine.

Unpacked the new telescope, put it together, mounted it on my best photo tripod and took it on the balcony to see if it would work for ultra close-up hummingbird pix from across the balcony. Nope, it would not focus that close. It took a while to figure out which way to turn the focus knob (there's no indicator on the scope, the instructions don't say, and it's not intuitive). Finally pointed it at a tree about 100 feet away, and was amazed at how much magnification it gave me. Tried out the camera mount attachment with mixed results, mostly because my best tripod does not have the best quick-release gadget.

Put that all aside at 3:55 and plugged in to wait for the call. 4:05, the original interviewer phoned, not her boss. She turns out to be very new to her job, and a lot of her questions were based on the very bad guess that all audio/video transcoder devices have the same features and thus have the same set of tests performed on them. It was a bit awkward, but we finally reached some level of communications, but I really wish her boss had been the one calling.

It would be a good job to land, but a lot depends on what recommendation she makes to her boss, and I don't think she's qualified to make one. That doesn't mean she isn't excellent at her job.

Thursday nights are Ye Olde Towne Band rehearsals in Los Altos, I took the long way around because they are tearing up my usual route, apparently the town has $$ for beautifying downtown, but they have to make it really ugly first. We played some new music, and tried getting through the worst arrangement of music from Gigi I have ever seen. The conductor played a recording of the band's last public performance of the piece - 11 years ago - and I did not hear on it the part which was in front of me. Maybe they only had one Baritone Horn then. I'd say none, but I did hear short snippets of what sounded like a Baritone. We got through the first page and a half (out of 6) before he sent us home.

Have been obsessing over Elisabeth Sladen's untimely passing, ordered the 3rd series of the Sarah Jane Adventures which has been on my wish list since before it started shipping (I have seen the first two) and then looked her up on IMDB to find her first appearance on Doctor Who. 1973. Amazon has it available, part of the John Pertwee Years DVD set, so I ordered one of those too.

Plans for tomorrow:
P/U more drugs at CVS
More job hunting
maybe see Cabaret at Sunnyvale Community Players but maybe not. I just looked at the cast list and am not impressed.
howeird: (Default)
My plan had been to get to Best Buy at 11, leave the car to have the new deck installed (one unit with an HD radio, iPod connection, Garmin GPS, bluetooth hands-free phone connection), call Janice and we would go over to her place and watch the DVD I'd made of her Fiji guest's trip, where I would take notes and come home later and edit.

Got the Best Buy at 10:30, which was fine with the installer. Called Janice, her plan was to do the editing at my place at 1:30, and then bring me back to BB. I went to the nearby Starbucks, hoping to camp out till 1:30, but after 20 minutes of the place being packed and drafty and noisy, I walked home. The rain had stopped by then and it wasn't terribly cold.

Took half an hour, felt like twice that. 

Watched some football, Oregon-Oregon State, and was surprised how poorly the Ducks played. They just barely won.

Janice came over, we did the edits on the original video, and pared the 2-DVD set down to one. Major win.  She dropped me off at the BB shopping center where I went to the Hawaiian place for a late lunch, but only got halfway through before the installer called to say he was done.

So I packed the leftovers into my day pack and walked over there, collected the car and went to Walmart for a few items, then home. Read the instruction manual while watching the Huskies in a nail-biter slip past the Cougars. That's two cardiology games in two weeks. The announcers think this will get them into a bowl game in San Diego, but I doubt it. They looked awful, and tried several times to give the game away. Any team from another conference with a similar record will probably eat them for lunch. But they still have the best band around. Love the purple & gold ski caps they added to the uniform.

Cranked out a DVD, decided it needed transitions, so re-edited the video and tried again. Much better.

Watched some of the USC-UCLA game, nice to see Neuheisel hasn't learned how to coach yet. UCLA's band seems to have gone downhill a bit. It's hard to tell with USC, during the game they just play this boring drone, but this is the school Hollywood gets most of its local musicians from, and the few times I have heard them in a half-time show they were spectacular. But it's been a while.

Dinner was the left-over Hawaiian meal. BBQ mixed plate, yummy.

Plans for tomorrow:
Photo shoot at 11
Watch some football.
howeird: (Default)
Started the day as an impulse shopper. I had suggested a TV to a friend, she emailed that she'd ordered it. I decided I wanted one too, and also got a blu-ray player and 802.11 N wi-fi adapter.  The TV and player were basically half price, free shipping.

Cut for boring )
There's more football to watch.
howeird: (Default)
Most of the day was spent at Shoup Park, dropped off the cookies at about noon, hung around in sweltering heat (lots of shade but it was 83° air temp) till the concert at 1:30. Played the rental horn which is seriously out of tune on at least one of the valves, looks like a manufacturer's defect on its adjustment slide which keeps it out ¼". I could be wrong, I need to take it back to see what their tech says.

Pleasant surprises: Janice brought one of her Great America companion kids to the concert, grade schooler who plays clarinet. Turns out one of her music teachers is in the band, which she didn't know about before she came. And a long-ago friend from my TheatreWorks days saw the announcement on FB and took a break from moving to come.

Very big audience, lots of enthusiastic applause. This was the last concert of the season, and we played an encore, then after breaking down the setup had an after-party potluck at the park's garden house. Amazing spread of desserts, I was happy that about 3 dozen of my cookies were taken, while some of the other desserts were untouched. And it left me enough to take home & freeze to nibble on at home for the next couple of weeks.

Watched some Sunday Night Football, may go back and tune in for the finale.

Tomorrow: Phone interview with east coast QA manager 10-ish for west coast job. Possible follow-up in-person interview later in SJ. 50-50 chance it will get that far.

Meanwhile, prospects continue to be poor, plans to move somewhere cheaper are coming closer to the fore.

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