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But it isn't, yet. It is one of those weeks when I have zerozipzilch in the evenings but way too many things I want to be doing on the weekend. Saturday there's a photo walk meetup in Capitola, which I will only go to if it's not raining, and even then it may be a stretch because at 3 we get our scripts and read/sing through Little Shop and at 6:30 in deepest darkest southern San Jose there's the annual meeting of the San Jose Astronomical Assn. which I just joined. I'm guessing I'll be late and must remember to put something in the car for the potluck.
Friday night has been announced as a Bad Movie Night at the home of a couple of long time theater friends, by the husband, but his wife announced it as Saturday. If it is Friday I'll be there, Saturday probably not.
Work was more data entry, for a feature I was assigned yesterday. Tomorrow will be another feature. Something called Teletext, which is a European TV standard from the bad old days, the PAL version of closed captioning, except not just subtitles but it can also blank out whatever is playing and fill the screen with ugly HUGE ASCII text of different colors overlaid on bands of contrasting colored background bands.

Barf-worthy. The example video I have on my machine is in German, so I can sort of read it.
Straight home after toying with a making side trip to see some women interacting with a tall metal cylander bolted to the stage.
Domino kept yelling at me until I sat in the recliner and she jumped up on my lap. Then she head-butted my tummy so I petted her. She allowed that to happen for about 2 minutes, and then she was done with me.
I took a shot at starting to build a POI table from scratch with Google maps, but it is very tedious. I think I'll just do it the old fashioned way and enter addresses into the unit by hand as needed.
I am pretty well done with the overpriced in-dash Kenwood DNX890HD. It regularly reboots the iPod, doesn't show me all the backup camera views, wipes out all my settings and points of interest whenever I update the firmware and the map is 5 years old though it claims to be current. Tomorrow I think I'll talk to the folks at the Toyota place where I didn't buy the car and find out what it would cost to have the OEM unit installed. I can sell the Kenwood for a lot on eBay, probably come out even or close to it.
Time to bleed on a test strip, shoot up and create dinner. And unload the dishwasher and hang up the laundry from Monday.
Plans for tomorrow:
More boring data entry
Costco, pick up the 10 poster board photos I ordered for the Contact 2014 art display. I missed last year because with NASA Ames bulldozing their conference center, the conference was moved to LA. This year it is back here, at SETI the first day and the St. Claire Hotel the rest of the weekend.
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9 am appointment for car's 5k mile/6 month free checkup. Got there 15 minutes early but spent 5 minutes parked in line along the curb, another 5 in the driveway, finally got to a service person. Pretty quick once there, signed up for the shuttle at 9:05 to take me to work. A shuttle load was just leaving. Another one had left before I arrived.

Waited and waited, finally both drivers showed up at 10:10, I was on my way in 5 minutes, and at work by 10:30. Expected to be there an hour earlier, worst case. Bottom line is two things: Lack of staff, lack of communications with both the drivers and the customers. An hour is too long to wait for a ride.

Work was the usual, with a 90-minute boss' boss' group meeting stretching into past 2 hours, with two or three conversations going at once. It's not that hard to run a meeting. Shouldn't be, at least. And some people need to learn manners.

Car was done at 4:30, Automation Guy gave me a ride at 5. No line this time, I was out of there in 5 minutes.

Home by way of the cheap gas station, the car took more than 10 gallons.

Turned on the football game, nice to see Denver lose at home. They almost made a comeback, but blew the onsode kick and were out of time anyway.

OCD set in, and I mounted all the webcams which needed more than just tape. Set up a cam by the side door/litterbox but had to mount it sideways. I need to find a better location.

Made a lot of progress on kitchen unpacking, the Box I Was Dreading is now unpacked and flattened. Also the small box with all the containers of tea. One more large box, which has the cast iron skillet and has been about half unpacked. One more box of dishes, and then the kitchen unpacking is done.

Got the dolly out and moved the two sets of drawers with the tools into the office closet where they should have been in the first place, because I needed a drill for the webcam mount in the piano room. Once that was done, I was able to take the round tall table (probably originally a telephone table) and put the lime tree on it, and moved it closer to the windows and over the heating duct.

While I was watching football, Domino parked herself on the carpet a few feet away. I threw one of her round beds there, and she is now in it, watching TV without me.

Had a low Hgl when I got home, had a Klondike bar and popped some Orville in the built-in microwave. It did a great job. Cooked my TV dinner in there too, also turned out well. I guess not having a rotating plate doesn't really matter. I may move mine to the shed, 'cause I need the counter space.

Plans for tomorrow:

Furnace guy is expected between 10 and 2. I'll WFH till he's done installing the new thermostat
Uke lesson. Maybe. I skipped last week because the move drained me.
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Driving to work, someone phoned me, I pushed the green handset icon on the in-dash system as I was turning into the driveway at work. Except it was the driveway next door, and I hit the curb pretty hard. It was someone from Nextiva support "reaching out" because of a nastygram I had written in response to their survey. They are the company which I pay a very small annual fee to for online fax service. About a week ago, it was time to renew, but my address and credit card info had changed, so I needed to update that. The web site only gave two options: phone or email. I phoned, was transferred twice and placed on hold for about 20 minutes total before I hung up and sent email. The nastygram basically said their phone reps suck lemons through a bong hose, and they might consider joining the current century and putting secure billing on the web site.

I drove out of the next door neighbor's lot (no one is in that building, and my company is trying to lease it) into my own, and parked. The nice man apologized for all the trouble with billing, and that they might have it online by the time of my next renewal. Might. I thanked him and went into the office.

The other team member working on the massively complex and so far unsolved customer issue was given some things to do which messed up her machines royally, so I took the initiative and did the same to mine, but they continued to work just fine. So I spent the rest of the morning running  a script which "exercised" my machines.

Somewhere after the first pass I needed to log into a system which uses the old company's user ID and the new company's password. Don't ask. Turns out it didn't recognize my password, so I decided to try to change passwords all around, which got me locked out of the old company's system. But it got me into the new one, which is what I needed. Now I just need to remember which of the 6 passwords I tried was the one I landed on. I was toying with using "Number6Of6The6Beast!" but it's too hard to type.

Lunchtime the plan was to go to the UPS store and pick up what I thought was a Vikings Cheerleader calendar, then continue to Peninsula Beauty Supply to get some metallic silver UV-curable nail gel. When I shut the car door I heard a loud POP, and as I pulled out of the parking space and toward the road it felt bumpy and the "not enough air in your tires" light went on. I pulled into a space closer to the entrance, got out, and found the front passenger tire deflated. Pried out the (baby) spare, took one look at the bronze-age jack they provide, in many pieces, and another look at my tennis elbow, and called the free roadside assistance.

He got there in a late model Honda 2-door. But he had a real jack and a high powered electric nut driver, and got the tire changed in less than 5 minutes.

So, Plan B. Off to Toyota to get the tire fixed or replaced, because it's supposed to be under warranty. I get there at 2 pm, there are no managers to talk to. The guy helping me says it's his first week there. It's a sidewall puncture so it's not covered. I told him to have the manager call me tomorrow, meanwhile replace the darned thing. It took them about 90 minutes. They charged for everything, labor, weights, more labor.

Then I went to the beauty supply. She said they did not have any metallic colored gels, just pastels, but she remembered the manicure person just bought some online. She found it, I took a picture with the phone. From there to UPS, where the package was my blood sugar meter test strips. I wonder where the calendar is?

Back to work, the script waited till I was watching before it hung up. Timing issue, easily fixed.

Started it up again at 5:45, left at 6, home for just enough time to get the mail, update Quicken and leave for the second voice lesson with Peninsulairs.

This one had a bit more substance to it, maybe half an hour's info in an hour's time. Then they "treated" us to the full chorus performing two numbers. One would have been enough. Same one as last week to start off, You Make Me Feel So Young with a disgustingly corny add-on intro which Mack Gordon never intended. Here's how it should sound (with a whole lot of over-choreographed dream scene):
Read more... )

The other number was As Time Goes By, also with a long intro, but this time it was authentic, though it was cut from Casablanca. Here's Johnny Mathis singing it:

Read more... )

Anyhow, enough of them were out of tune to make it not as enjoyable as it should have been. Bailed as soon as I could.

Plans for tomorrow:
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Wanted to sleep till 9, but Domino woke me up at 6:30, a rare occurrence, so I checked my blood sugar and it was 108, a little lower than I want to be, though not in panic range. Had a scoop of ice cream and went back to sleep.

Around 9 or 9:30 KCEA fired up on the radio (my weekend alarm - it's the radio station of one of the local high schools, they mostly play 1940s music except when they are broadcasting the school's sports games). The rest of that story )

Had a lot of little things to take care of, including walking to the apartment office to pick up a package. There were two. One from my Baltimore sister (she warned me something was en route) and one from My sister sent me a cute t-shirt with pictures of a lot of musical instruments on it and the text "plays well with others". And an amusing drinks cup which is a replica of a telephoto lens. It's amusing, but since the bottom is the narrow end, it may tip over easily when filled. The "shade" is also the cover, but they didn't make it with screw ridges, so it's easy to knock off.  I'll probably just put the cup on my desk at work for show. Right now I have about a dozen coffee mugs there from places I have visited, mostly Starbucks mugs.

About noon I finally packed up the Nexus and the camera and drove to the park & ride, and took light rail to downtown Mountain View. A good move, the place was packed for the street fair. It was huge this year. All the way from the start of Castro Street to El Camino, booths side by side on both sides of the street. Not quite a mile. The whole Wells Fargo parking lot was a kiddie area, with all kinds of bouncy houses, slides, a climbing rock, bungee bouncing, and this amazing thing where the child is inserted into a large plastic globe which is inflated and sealed, and slid into a huge pool of water.

The kiddie area used to be on one of the side streets, all of which were closed for a block in both directions from Castro. But unlike other years there were no food trucks, and only two or three food vendors on each side street. Possibly on purpose because Castro Street is restaurant central for Silicon Valley. One thing I saw is far too many restaurants which were there 3 years ago are no longer there. The best Thai place is now Mexican. Double Rainbow ice cream has gone through a few changes and is now a European bakery and Greek grill. Lots of changes, but very few empty storefronts.

There was a lot of eye candy, but not as much skin as I expected from a sunny 93° day. My walk started well, a few feet ahead was a woman wearing a floor-length shift made of a clingy material, and when she walked it stretched and became translucent, showing off her thong and very attractive bottom. It was also awkward taking photos because there wasn't much room between the path between the booths and the sidewalk.

On one of the side streets I bought a turkey leg and lemonade, and found a seat in the shade where I could sort of watch the big screen Comcast set up showing the Oregon football game. The turkey leg was overdone, I only ate half, but the lemonade was good.

I have been looking for a hat with a soft wide brim and perforated crown (baseball caps don't work for photography) but the ones I have seen online were $90 or so. Found just what I was looking for, in my size, at the fair, for $20. WIN!

I kept hydrated and took my time walking the length of the fair and back, stopping at the Greek place for baklava when I felt Hgl going low. It was soggy, which is a major FAIL. At 4 I was at the light rail station, apparently I had just missed the train by 8 minutes, the next one was at 23 after. But the train was in the station and air conditioned so not a bad place to wait. 

Back to the park and ride, and then home to the air conditioned apartment. There were 6 college football games to surf, so I did that before, during and after dinner. After he finished his treats, Kaan jumped up on my lap and head butted me a bit, finally jumped up to the top of the recliner and pwned that. Somewhere before then I had grabbed Domino and trimmed her claws, she had been getting them caught on things. She didn't hardly resist, but jumped right off when I was done and hid in the computer room. She's still here, curled up in a corner, asleep. Snoring from time to time. Last time I looked, Kaan was at the top of the tall cat tree.

I did the DNA test and got it sealed and ready to mail. Also filled out my annual "how far do you drive to work one way/how many miles do you drive per year" survey. I have put 3k miles on the car since I bought it May 21. That's about on track for 12k per year, but much of that was two trips to Morro Bay, much more driving than usual. So I'm guessing 10k.

List my S3 phone on eBay, also the Toyota original radio and one of the in-dash units too.
Watch football
5 pm meet Janice for coffee to hear about her trip to Fiji and the sudden death while she was away of the father of two children she often babysits. I'd met him and his ex (mother of the kids) many times at Janice events, and at the park. He was way too young for a heart attack, I thought, but Janice says there were heart issues from his childhood. He was very Type A, which didn't help.

Day of 2's

Jul. 23rd, 2013 11:00 pm
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Took my time getting to work after firing up the VPN and seeing there was no new email. Parked on the far side of the lot because some major sewer line pumping with three huge tank-truck vehicles were working right in front of the driveway next door, close enough to hurt my car if I was parked in my usual spot.

Got another automation done. Yay.

Today they finally changed the sign out front and over the receptionist's desk to the new company name & logo. It's a very attractive logo, similar to the last Canadian Worldcon's.

Lunchtime I went to the car wash, and for the first time since I bought the car, the windows were clean. Toyota dealer had used dirty rags, which left an annoying residue when the air conditioning shoved new car plastic fumes at it.

On the way back had a late lunch at a new place called Ginger Cafe, which is across the street from PF Chang. Ginger from the outside looks unassuming, and I'd figured it as just another low-end Asian place.Not so - it is every bit as classy as PG Chang, maybe moreso. The menu is pan-Asian, with dim sum, Thai iced tea, etc. I had what they called Saigon Street Chow Fun, which was mixed seafood, chicken and veggies on a bed of wide noodles. It was way too peppered for me, I only finished about 1/3. The Thai iced tea was good, but they didn't need to add that sugar. Lobster dumplings apparently used fake lobster and had corn nibblets as filler. Pricey ordering a la carte, I must go there again and have a lunch special which does not have 2-alarm symbols next to the name.

Back to work, got some feedback on last week's automations. One was accepted, the other needs work (hard-coded IP address should be a variable, and that sort of thing).

Tried to take the Sharepoint training, but it was all aimed at salescreatures, and they were a series of ADD videos, each video with a different presenter in a different audio setup. One guy narrated it over the phone! This is Official Microsoft Stuff™ and I am flabbergasted. Finally gave up and prowled around on my own. That didn't work so well either.

Home, picked up a package at the apt, the new seat covers for the car. I'll put them on at work tomorrow, not enough room in the carport.

Across the street to Lowe's, bought a couple of small potted flowers to replace the ones on the patio which have fried. Also bought a small can of Goof Off, which is mostly lighter fluid, and in the parking lot with a hand towel I keep in the trunk, I removed the adhesive which had been holding the little bug-eyes. I also bought a pair of non-swivel bug eyes, but they are only 3" replacing a pair of 2" ones, so I have not installed them. Online checking says they also make 3 3/4" which may work better for me.

Home, planted the flowers in the patio window thing, sat out there with the cats for an hour reading A Scanner Darkly.  Philip K. Dick. [ profile] johnnyeponymous is doing a Dick issue of Drink Tank, I should ask if there is time to write something. It won't be very complimentary, I'm finding his writing slow reading.

Dinner was frozen veggies and chao sua bow, or however they spell BBQ pork-filled white bread steamed round things.

Plans for tomorrow:

- including going-away lunch for the founding CTO, being done on the cheap in the break room. I expect it will be some kind of buffet, but he deserves a banquet room affair off-site. And they have a town hall meeting right after that.
Install gaudy velour seat covers
Install bug-eye mirrors
Hang out @ *$'s
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Finally got around to it:
- Fixed the valet button for the car alarm, added a foot of wire and repositioned it where it can be reached
- Took all the month+'s cardboard from online purchases out to the dumpster
  and also the last used crystal litter container
- Started a full backup of drive E, which has all the big stuff (photos, videos, etc) about 1.6TB
- Adjusted the settings for the car audio so the same source plays in the whole car. I'd guessed wrong previously, and had the iPod playing in the rear speakers no matter what was playing in the front. This also disabled the equalizer

Lunch of baked beans and ham with a pickle, out on the patio with the cats.

4:30, drove to Palo Alto, went to Stanford Theater with a group of librarians to see Desk Set, and stayed for the organ interlude and Adam's Rib. Two very different movies, despite having the same leading players. In the first movie, a little old lady named Ida Moore showed that small actors in small parts could make a big impression.

Home, though I was starving and very tempted to have dinner in one of the many open-late places on University. And oh, so much Stanford eye candy.

Had falafel with hummus, pickles and orange crystal lite for dinner with a banana for dessert. With chocolate syrup. And malted milk. And whipped cream. 

Plans for tomorrow:
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Last night I started a full incremental backup of my internal 2TB mirrored disks to my network-attached 3TB drive, which already has most of my photos and my web site backup. Let it run overnight because it said it expected to finish late tonight or early tomorrow morning. This morning after doing my usual things online I shut off the PC by mistake. Turned it back again, and started the backup running and thought it was staring from the beginning. :-(
Home tonight, it did the right thing- incremental backup means it only backs up the stuff which has changed since the last backup. It finished at about 10, just after I got back from BASFA.

About BASFA, it's amazing how one inconsiderate loudmouth can destroy the meeting. Someone has a habit of not waiting till the meeting is over before going around the room starting up loud conversations.

Work. I almost didn't make it in time for the team meeting, low Hgl at 5:30 am, 77 this time, chocolate milk saved me, 127 at 9 am. But lows always slow me down.

Not much to talk about, both boss and boss' boss said their doors were open if we wanted to talk about last week's layoff foo. I'll try to talk to boss' boss tomorrow, to put things into perspective. Meantime, I got to play my crickets sound effect app.

We also got one step closer to the next big product, boss sent around a list of the features we expect in the first release, and we signed up for testing them and writing new test cases as needed. I took at least two which were previously covered by the two guys in Belgium who got the axe.

Other than that, mostly looked for other things to work on, finding none I pulled up a very technical paper on HEVC which is the next ultra-high def video standard and started to slog through it. Slog is the wrong word, try to absorb is more like it. It's based on the last two standards, and then came steroids and Ecstasy and some crack on a Mandelbrot platter.

It was 94° outside so I went to always airconditioned Togo's for a #9 combo (Monday's special).

Home after work, timed my online playing to get to BASFA at 7:30, which I did. As usual they were out of prime rib so I had shrimp scampi fettuccine.  I don't think I told any puns. :-(

Home again, couldn't park because person in the next slot has all the doors & hatchback open on a car which was not his, apparently unpacking from a camping trip, or something. After a loop around the block I got there just in time to watch the Prius C pull out and drive off

Speaking of Toyotas,  Monday has come and gone with no word from them about my license plates, so tomorrow morning I'm filing a police report as I said I would.

In other bad news, the Texas protest was lame. I estimated from the photos about 3,000 people, and from what the media is saying, 10% of them were anti-women. In a state as populous as Texas, one would think they could muster 10,000 for a cause with a whole weekend to prepare. We did during Seattle's Vietnam War protests. Worse news is the anti-abortion law was shunted to committee and won't be voted on until next week at the earliest. They have 30 days.

Plans for tomorrow:
Police/DMV foo
Try to stay cool.
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Went to bed way early (10-ish) and woke up at 7:30 and was at work by 8:30. Finished the script I was almost done with Friday, and then a circuit board for one of my old model machines, which has been keeping me from verifying a bug for about a month, arrived. Shifted the memory chips from the old to the new, popped it into the machine and it came right up.

Spent most of the rest of the work day messing with that.

Called Audio Design, told the installer the camera was not giving me all the views, he said to tap the top of the screen for one view. Tried that before heading for lunch, it didn't work. Something is wrong, the setup won't let me access the four views. I'll bring it in to them Saturday.

Lunch was supposed to be Thai food with Celine at Toyota, but she did what I was afraid she would do, she invited two other people, both salespeople, one semi-handsome but brainless guy and a fairly plain married woman. We did some palm reading. Turns out Celine knows more palmistry than I do by a lot. 

Instead of Thai food we walked to Pollo Loco, but the line was out the door so we went to Subway instead. Yuck.

Back at Toyota I gave the parts person the backup camera, she will see about some sort of refund, but I'm not too concerned.

After work there were some meds to pick up at UPS, and peanut butter to buy at Trader Joe's. I didn't think I would, but I like their natural style PNB, especially as a celery dip. And a snack right out of the jar.

Home, just enough time to change shirts and go to BASFA. not a heavily attended meeting, but the rude people were rude at first, finally settled down. Except for D, who was tipsy (probably from a memorial service she had gone to prior). She usually manages to be rude without adding alcohol.

I got in a couple of good puns, did not win the Dr. Who UK postage stamps in the auction. :-( Or the Gojira trailers DVD.

After the meeting [ profile] johnnyeponymous posted on FB that a long-time acquaintance and someone I admired greatly, Hugh Daniel, died earlier in the day. Apparently natural causes (not surprising, Hugh was a mountain of a man, probably a heart attack waiting to happen).  I'm not sure how old he was, probably in his 50's or late 40's. I am pretty sure I first met him when I was working at Televideo, 1986, he was a little older than college age at the time. He was charming, personable, his thing at sci-fi conventions was to show kids how electronic things worked by taking them apart. Sometimes he had adult versions of his Dr. Destructo routine. It surprised me to learn later he was a computer/network security expert back when there weren't any. Anyhow, very sad he is gone, many many people will miss him. I don't think I have any photos of him doing the Destructo thing, but here he is regency dancing with [ profile] targeter:

Plans for tomorrow:

Short Day

Jun. 1st, 2013 12:05 am
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Work saw some progress on scripting after initial head-banging. Went out to the car at lunchtime, drove a few blocks. It was 85° and I wasn't hungry so I just turned around after a mile or so and came back. I was planning on leaving early.

Which I did.

But first, I called Toyota to let them know the refund showed up in my Discover account, and called Audio Design and was able to make an appointment to get the Kenwood backup camera installed.

And got to the train station in time for the train before the one I had planned on. This one, as it turned out, was an express between all the non-express stations, and passed Redwood City without stopping. I got off at San Carlos, walked through the tunnel to the other side of the tracks, and in 18 minutes caught the next train south, next stop Redwood City. I think I still got there sooner than if I'd waited for the second northbound train.

Dinner at Fishes Wild again, short ribs again. Tried to order it with only one side of salad, they had no way to do that apparently and delivered a double serving of salad. Yummy ribs!

Walked across the street to the bakery, but they were out of the best desserts so I just walked to the theater.

Got there a wee bit early, maybe 10 minutes, and ran into Meredith, the theater owner and long-time friend. Strange seeing her as a blonde - I like her better as a redhead, Oh well.

Saw the second reading of Sexbot 2600 which started 15 minutes late because there was a festival next door and parking was a bitch. Glad I took the train.

Much bigger house than last time, so the feedback session was more interesting. The playwright had made a lot of changes, most of them improvements, most of them based on feedback from last week. The changes pointed up what still needs work. But it's pretty much ready for prime time. I'm planning on going a week from Sunday for the final reading.

Plans for tomorrow:
Drop off the car at 10 am
Bus to the mall/Santana Row and hang out
Pickup car late afternoon
Avenue Q at Bus Barn in Los Altos at 8
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Two nights ago I shot up 1/3 more long-term insulin than usual and in the morning my Hgl level was 112. Very close to Howard-normal. Last night I did it again, this morning it was 101. Nice. So I shot up my usual morning dose (half what I did at night) and took my meds, then went online for a bit. Opened the patio shades and saw Kaan had pooped next to the cat tree. Boo, hiss. Transferred that to one of the litterboxes and decided it was a hint - they needed changing. So I changed them.

The exertion met the morning insulin and threw me into mild insulin shock. That's actually kind of good news because it has been agens since my Hgl was uner control enough for that to happen. A piece of Scottish whiskey fudge brought me most of the way back, enough to drive to work. Early meeting this morning, no time for breakfast, but I survived. After the meeting I had a cup of noodles and was fine.

Last night also was night 2 of back twisty pain, one vicodin helped me sleep but did not dull the pain much. This morning there was still some pain left, and it let me know when I manipulated the litterboxes.

It has now faded, was gone by mid-afternoon.

After the meeting I looked for work to do, which took a lot of time because most of the bugs which are left require special setups which I don't have access to. 11:30 my alarm reminded me that CHM was having a brown bag talk by von Neumann's daughter which I did not want to miss. So hopped in the car and drove to MV for that, and was flabbergasted that the cafe was closed. So no lunch for me.

It was a pretty good interview, what I heard of it. The speakers in the back kept clipping.

Back to work, where I had a PB&J sandwich in the cooler, and chocolate milk. And mounds (the dark chocolate ones). And walnuts.

Found some work to do, also took a browser break to look at non-hybrid cars. Then Automation Guy invited me to the breakroom to chat while he had lunch. Mondays are wall to wall meetings for him.

Left at 6, drove to Courtesy Chevrolet through the insane San Thomas Expy traffic. What cretin decided the diamond lane should be the right-hand lane? And how many lobotomies were done to keep it that way?

"Mac" whose real name is Amir, had sent me info on internet prices for the Cruze. They don't have a hybrid but they have an "eco" high-MPG  version which is close enough. He showed me the nav system, which is almost as good as Ford's, but the voice recognition sucked, was slow, and did not recognize anything I said. Good headroom for getting in and out of the car, and comfortable. But the instrument panel is a joke. All analog, the speedometer is on the right, behind the steering wheel, and the tachy is on the left behind the steering wheel. Odometer is tiny, bottom center behind the steering wheel. And all are labeled very small, like 8 pt. fonts.

I asked Amir about paying cash, and he told me those days are gone - it's better to get a loan and just pay it off to get the title. There are usually price breaks to get it financed.

I took a quick look at the Sonic, which has an electronic speedometer, same nav system, but it's ugly, especially the tiny headlight pairs.

Home, decided to blow off BASFA and have dolmathes and clam strips for dinner, watch some TiVo and play online. Part of that was looking at the Ford Focus, which can be tricked out with all the toys of the Fusion & C-max, without the inflated hybrid surcharge.  I'll probably go back there tomorrow to check it out.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work - Automation Guy is teaching a 2-day class on tcl scripting
Ford - focus


Apr. 29th, 2013 12:33 am
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Nothing to do today, no coffee klatch because it's klatchee's bridge weekend with the gals by the sea.  I tried to learn bridge, but found the bidding conventions anti-intuitive. I understand suit hierarchy and trump cards (those are like wild cards in poker),  but not bridge's Secret Handshake.

I tried to sleep in, but somehow my body wanted me to wake up by 9. I did stuff online, then got showered and drugged and dressed. Had a headache, took some non-aspirin. Banana for breakfast, plus a handful or three of pistachios.

Somehow the big splotch of dirt next to the recliner looked nastier than usual, so I took the steamer to it. Also vacuumed the bare minimum of cat-shredded Payday wrapper near the kitchen.

Decided today was massage day, but not till afternoon. To kill time and assuage my curiosity, I went to my local Ford dealership to see what their navigation  system looked like. As soon as I walked in, Tim greeted me, I told him what I wanted to see (Fusion Navi) and he took me to a car in the lot which was equipped with one. The "Sync" system is impressive, lots of voice-activated stuff, good voice recognition (it understood me). The navigation system maps are outstanding - better than Garmin, even. All the street names are readable, even in half-screen mode (the other half can have play-by-play directions). Bright enough to see in direct sunlight. The screen is a fingerprint collector, but microfiber solves that. There were lots of customers, and lots of salespeople. Busy place.

I had a lot of trouble getting into and out of the Fusion, it is low to the ground and the roof line is not high enough to comfortably get inside from a standing upright position, and getting out has the added challenge of not enough leverage. I asked about the C-Max, and he showed me one, same Sync system, much easier to get in and out of. I liked that car a lot more, and it was less expensive. Both cars priced out at significantly higher than Kelly Bluebook, like about $5k more. I'll be paying cash, I think that still helps lower the price. But who knows? It may cost less on a credit union deal, and just pay off the loan as soon as I get it.

Next stop was Honda. Acres of cars, but horrible layout - customer parking was not where the signs pointed. I walked the whole length of the showroom to the reception desk without a salesperson noticing me. Receptionist went on the loudspeaker to get someone, when there were two guys within normal speaking distance. One of them took on the task, his name is Terhan Terhan. I told him I wanted to see the navigation system in a civic hybrid, and he fumbled with the touchscreen system looking for a car which his printout said had that. Out at the lot, he didn't know how to read the row/slot numbers, and used the remote to make the car beep. The car did not have a navigation unit. He went back and got the right key.

Like the Fusion, I had trouble getting in and out of the Civic. Unlike the Fusion, the maps were crap. Illegible, most of the streets were not labeled, it looked like it was drawn by grade schoolers. So that's off my list.

Forgot to get the info on Chevy, but that's okay because the nearest one is closer to work, none in Sunnyvale. I may go at lunchtime, and check out the Cruz.

Looking at hybrids first, but after all these years the prices are still way too high to justify the gas savings. I just like the idea of silent idling.

Home, as I was taking off my shoes I twisted something in my back right side, it felt like a kidney punch. Ow! Massage time for sure, but first play with the cats and get in some LayZBoy time.  Went to the Chinese place, this time got someone who was definitely not a CMT, spoke no English, and had no idea what I was trying to tell her about working on my kidneys. So a pleasant hour of relaxation, but when I got up my back still hurt like hell.

The microwave was still on my mind, impulse drove me to Target, where there were Sharp and Panasonic ones which have sensor reheat, but my back was not going to let me get one into the cart. But before calling for help, I inspected the boxes, and they all had major rips and pokes and tears. I didn't think what was inside would be any better than what I had. So I went home empty-handed.

By now the pain was unbearable, so I found the pain killer from my last operation (expiry date 12/13) and took one. Half an hour later it still hurt, but I was sleepy enough to take a nap for an hour.

Decided to RTFM on the microwave, and lo and behold, sensor reheat needs water added to the item for the sensor to work. So I fed it some chicken soup. And set the kitchen timer for 3 minutes Just In Case. Microwave turned off at 2:55. The soup was not hot enough, so I gave it another shot. This time it quit at a little over a minute. Nuked it for 2 more on manual. That worked.

Then I got brave and cut up some pot roast I'd already cooked once from a Costco package, added water to the gravy, and sensor reheated it. Worked fine. I guess I'll keep the darned thing.

Watched the latest Mentalist and was disappointed that they have gone back to the soap opera subplot.

Plans for tomorrow:
Early team meeting this week
howeird: (Spam)
I posted this on FB, no need to reply here if you posted there.

If I'm still employed by May 15, it's probably safe to buy a new car to replace my 2008 Toyota Corolla. Between trade-in and savings I can pay cash if it's less than $30k.

So, I am looking for suggestions. My needs are simple. A 4-door, compact car with good MPG, gasoline or hybrid (not all-electric because I have no place to plug it in), reasonably aerodynamic (none of those square boxes), automatic (because my knees can't do a clutch), and powerful enough to safely accelerate to the speed limit on our insane freeway on-ramps.

Not a Toyota, because their quality is slipping. Not a German car for personal reasons. Any input on Ford and Chevy would be appreciated, even if it's not your fave.

Now what?

Mar. 9th, 2013 08:29 pm
howeird: (Default)

Well, at least I got out of the apartment.
Dropped the car off at Pro Audio at 10 am, to have them fix the trunk release and install a backup camera. Took the bus to the mall, and after walking around a bit got a mocha and a pastry at Starbucks and parked outside with my laptop at one of the big tables by the cupcakes. The tables inside are too small for me to put both the laptop and the food. Let alone the mouse.

Lots of beautiful women going by, many compliments from them for my stegosaurus backpack.

Went up to the food court to see what was new. Not much, but two big changes - Le Boulanger shifted from the corner (best location in the court) over one, grabbing the space Ivar's abandoned, and a place claiming to be Thai but is actually Chinese has taken the corner. The chefs there today were an African-American and a Hispanic man. All the help was Chinese.

Biggest line was for Mongolian grill. Bigger than MacDonald's.

1:45, the car should have been done by now, but no call from them. Caught the 2 o'clock bus, car was outside and ready to go. Looked like it had been done since noon. They have had some staff turnover in the front, not for the better. Trunk release works fine. Backup cam is too wide angle, and has no indicators of how close I am. And they remounted the screen angled a little bit away from me, making it harder to see - more glare. But I don't have time to have them mess with it.

On the way home I got gas at Costco - $4.039/gal, which is the same price as the nearest Arco, except Arco charges 45¢ for the ATM card and doesn't take credit cards. Costco AMEX card gives me cash back.

Home, pulled out Nancie McDermott's Quick and Easy Thai and attempted to follow the recipe for crab cakes, but with shrimp instead of pork and a full pound of crab instead of 3/4. It called for 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, but when it was all mixed it didn't seem to be thick enough (the recipe says they should be able to be shaped into patties) so I added another 1/2 cup. They fried up great after I got the timing right, but it turned out to be too much bread - can hardly taste the seafood. Nice and crunchy, though, and with egg roll sauce they should be fine.

Or not. I hate to do it, but will probably throw the lot out. That's a lot of $$ in crab meat, but what's the use if you can't taste it? Maybe tomorrow I'll go to Costco and get more crab. 

And now I'm out of things to do. Maybe I should start on the aerogramme project. I looked up my order on, and it is still in the queue and not expected to be done until the end of April. That's a lot slower than their web site led me to believe, but not surprising, considering it's 48 rolls of B&W film.

Oh. Yes. Two things at the mall. I stopped in at the Sony store and they have two models of those "go-cams" hdras10 and 15, those little ones which can be clamped onto a helmet or used as a windshield cam. Nice wide angle lens, which none of their affordable handycams has. And affordable. I think I'll get one to record Kaan fetching. And I'm sure I'll think up other uses. The 15 has wi-fi, the 10 just records to micro-SD.

There was a table set up in the hallway against the wall of an empty store which I thought was for Die-Annette-ics because there was a posterboard display next to it with the challenge "ARE YOU A GENIUS?" over a set of questions and an optical illusion Albert Einstein image. I laughed at the questions and was going to move on when the very pretty lady behind the table asked what was so funny. So I told her the answers to all the questions, and how cute it was that the concave mold of Einstein appears to be convex from a distance. She said I must be very smart, but did I know about Jesus?

Here are the questions:

1. Say and spell the word "stop". What do you do when you come to a green traffic light?
2. How many animals did Moses bring onto the ark?
3. Say and spell the word "silk". What does a cow drink?
4. What is the raised lettering deaf people use to read with?

We had a fun conversation, she had all kinds of lame reasons to be Christian, but her old testament knowledge was almost non-existent (she thought the 10 commandments were all the laws that were in there) and I finally walked away (with a smile) when she tried to prove there is a god by trying to prove a negative. My parting words, which made her jaw drop, were "Prove to me that the cow did not jump over the moon."

Also at the mall, once online I replied by private message to Beth's call for Conflikt feedback. Would have posted it publicly, but there were some names named whom I know read LJ and want to keep as friends. 

Plans for tomorrow:
Maybe see a movie. Silver Lining Playbook and Oz The Great and Powerful are at the top of the list. 
Meet Janice for coffee. Last one before her Caribbean trip.
I had originally planned to help paint at the Lyric Theatre shop, but the highly annoying and mostly incompetent Janey-come-lately SM has been pounding the cast with it every day this week, so I figure they will have more than enough people. I've already more than earned my helper points by building the web site.


howeird: (The Gov - Nightshirt Close-up)
Lazy morning, I got out of bed at 9 to email work that I'd be in at 11. Got there at 10:30.

At 6, Kaan wanted to play fetch, and when I did not, he decided to play fetch with himself all over the bed. So I threw his toy out the bedroom door. He dropped it against my back 3 seconds later. He is one fast kitten. Runs like a greyhound, fetches like a lab or retriever. Disguised as a sealpoint Siamese.

At 8:30 he tried again, this time he got tired of it after maybe 10 throws.

Work was mostly wrap-up stuff. Except for one project which another department asked me to do 2 days ago, but then the person who was supposed to do that side of the work never got back to me. Person did when I copied both our bosses, but person is on travel all next week so if person's boss doesn't help, they won't get this project done. Any other department at work which asks me to do a project (or really asks my boss, who assigns one of the testers) will work together with me quickly and keep on top of my progress.

The good news is it is probable that when the company sale is final Any Month Now™, that department will go away. Or be absorbed into the new corporate bureaucracy.

I think I spent more brain cells on my weekly report than I did on actual work today. It was a busy week.

International Women's Day. I have a hard enough time with Pride Day and Black History Month, so a day for the majority of the world's population is not a big whoop for me.

And some history )
So I guess you would say my female role models match up against pretty much any male role models out there. Which is why I don't think International Women's Day is any biggie. For every Hilary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren there is a Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman.

Brigadoon is shaping into a pretty good, fun show. Which is why I was all WTF over the beautiful publicity postcards they came up with:

Lovely picture with enough info on the front.

But the back:

So. Where do I put an address label and a stamp? And where is the USPS required 1/4 inch blank space at the bottom for their barcode?


Sold an item on eBay which left here with a pristine screen and one small scuff mark on the back. It arrived in Anapolis, the buyer said everything was fine, it was in her office charging. It was sent to her residence, which is not her office. Next day she says there is a small crack in the corner of the screen. I tell her the item was insured for what she paid for it, she should take the packaging and the phone to her PO and file a claim. Phones can get broken just by the package being dropped, something about garvity, acceleration and instant deceleration. But she says no, she will just buy a protective sheet for it. Yes, it might cost more than what she paid to replace the screen, but isn't $250 in your pocket better than $0? So I'm convinced she broke it herself and was either trying to scamme, or just too embarassed to admit it.

Another similar phone didn't sell, and someone sent a message asking if it sold or not. I replied that no, it did not sell, and I was re-listing it as soon as I took pictures of it. Unfortunately, eBay's phone app sent the reply to the first buyer, whose name is Crista. Second buyer's name is Chris. Crista went ballistic, thnking I was going to try to re-list her phone (how? Idiot). As soon as I got to a real computer at home I sent her an "OMG, oops, sorry" message and sent Chris the message which should have been sent in the first place.

Then I took photos of the phone front and back so there is evidence that the phone was fine when I shipped it. It is now re-listed and set to start on Sunday at noon, ending Thursday noon, when most Americans who have jobs are on their work computers playing on eBay.
A fairly famous and incredibly talented woman I am acquainted with (have known her from both sci-fi and opera for 20+ years) has posted on FB that she has finally kicked her abusive husband out, filed a restraining order and divorce papers. She almost did this a few tims before, but never got up the courage. I am heartbroken to hear what she has been going through, until last week I had no idea. I stopped wondering long ago why women who appear to be strong and independant allow themselves to be regularly battered by the people they love. In this case it is especially shocking because she has a HUGE number of people around her who would not hesitate to help her.
That's quite enough for not having anything to write about.

Except this: if [ profile] smallship1 hasn't heard, at Consonance there was an announcement, and a note in the program encouraging folks to visit your online store and buy stuff. It was very well received and I hope there have been/will be some positive results.
Oh, and this: looking at the photos Boskone returned, the ones which sold were of a crescent moon against a black night sky, a very colorful Chinese temple dragon, and [ profile] lemmozine in his guitar sunglasses.

Plans for tomorrow:
10 am appointment to have the car's remote trunk release fixed and the broken backup camera replaced.
That will take 3-4 hours, which will probably be spent at the mall. I shoud bring my cane.
Maybe I will start organizing those aerogrammes I sent home from Peace Corps 

howeird: (Default)
ADD strikes again. Reading my email there was a reminder to bring my theater resume to auditions Sunday, which meant adding the last two shows I was in, tweaking the photo and printing it. Done. Strange but true, the last show I did for this theater group is not listed on their history archive.

Work was busy, more automation stuff, two bugs to revisit, a new employee to send some internal software to, and some heavy duty packet chasing.

Lunchtime I picked up the RMA car alarm remote, they sent a new-in-the-box one. Getting it out of the box took more time for the tech than pairing it to the car.

Next stop was only a few doors up the block, Mattress Discounters, which is practically across the street from its two biggest competitors. Tried three of the Sealy Posturepedics, found the one which felt like the one at the sleep clinic, and before I even asked, he dropped the price $150 for the queen mattress and box springs, and also gave me a deal on a new frame (just the basic one, but I think I've had the one I have been using for about 20 years). This replaces a 15-year-old mattress which was wonderful when I got it, but no longer.

It didn't really matter which of the 3 places I bought it, they all have a best price guarantee. Sleep Train's commercials annoy me, they are everywhere and everywhen. I hate it when they make the radio talent do the commercials, with their train whistle pipe. And the name - what on earth is the connection between sleeping and taking the train? Mancini's Sleep World also over-advertises, and they were out of stock on the one I wanted when I checked online.

I looked into Costco, but they charge extra for hauling away the old mattress, and for the model I wanted they charged extra for the box springs, and the frame is sold separately.

Anyway, the way MD does it, they call from their dispatch center the same evening to say what 2-hour window they will arrive, so all I knew was Saturday.

More work at work, then off to Palo Alto for Stanford Theater's showing of the original 1920's version of Phantom of the Opera, with Lon Chaney. Along the way Mattress Discounters called, my delivery will be somewhere between 9 am and 11 am. Excellent! I headed for my secret parking lot, all 5 floors were filled solid, and it was so much fun waiting for people to turn around their SUVs and Urban Attack Vehicles in the most awkward places. That ate about 15 minutes. I parked across the street at the CalTrain lot, which meant buying a $4 ticket 2 blocks away. When I got to the theater the line was half a block long, which is fine because it probably went around the block at the time I'd planned to be there. This theater I'm not a senior, but it's not very expensive.

I found a seat in the balcony, one with leg room - the second section from the bottom, with an aisle in front of me. Never again. The number of people walking in and out during the show was obscene.

This theater usually begins with an organ concert, so when the organist stopped playing after his signature opening number and turned around to chat, I was puzzled. He gave a complete history of not just the print we were going to see, but all the prints ever made (another of which will be shown over the weekend), and how he got his first shot at playing a theater organ at college by organizing a Halloween showing of this film. Then he turned around, the organ lowered into the pit, and I got un-puzzled when he started to play the accompaniment. Dennis James is his name, and he played straight through, no stops, no intermission, for about 90 minutes. The print was a hodgepodge of splices of various quality, apparently there is no existing original print intact, but it was pretty good. It would have been better with the first 40 minutes, where they establish the relationship between the mystery voice and the soprano. Anyhow, standing ovation, loud applause. Worth full price.

I am by now starving, and I have always wanted to try the Peninsula Creamery, which is open late and probably older than I am. There is no place to sit, because 1/4 of the place has been reserved for a middle school drama troupe, and it's a popular place without that. After about 5 minutes a spot opens up at the counter, I read the very large menu, decide what I want, and wait. After 10 minutes of none of the staff even looking at me, I am fed up with being ignored and having my back to all the Sweet Young Things in the main seating area, so I leave. By this time the reserved section has been filled to overflowing, so I don't feel guilty, they have plenty of other customers. Some other time, then.

I go across the street to a new place called Thaifoon, it looks like they are closing soon, I ask the waitress in Thai when they close, and she asks in English if I want to see the menu. I'm 90% sure she is Thai, so I just say "no" and walk on by. Every place I go to is either closing in half an hour, closed, or not real food. Finally I remember the Cheesecake Factory waaaaaaaaay down University, they are open till midnight or 1 on Fridays. Fast service, my only gripe is it is so dark in there I need to use my cell phone "flashlight" app to read the menu. I am across the room from the bar, and between me and the bar TVs is eye candy. Lots of it. Especially right in front of me is a strawberry blonde, green-eyed petite woman having drinks with a female friend. Lovely view.

I had the combo shrimp scampi/Steak Diane, neither of which were exactly what I think of when someone mentions those dishes, but they were both delicious. Had the caramel pecan turtle cheesecake for dessert which was excellent except for the stale swirl of chocolate fudge on top half the size of the piece of cake. Service was okay, but looking at how far she had to trot to get to her tables from the kitchen, I gave her a big tip.

Back to the car, the alleged jazz group which was at the plaza was breaking up for the night. When I passed by on the way to the theater it sounded like 11 people with musical instruments they had just seen for the first time today, each playing their own tune in their own key and without anything identifiable as rhythm. This is a major reason I don't like jazz. It gets sloppy. In fact, sloppy gets high marks most of the time. I enjoy playing jazz because I'm a sloppy player, but I don't enjoy listening to it. There are exceptions.

Home, give Domino her whipped cream and open up a new package of dry treats for her. She still yells at me. I shift a lot of boxes and some furniture into other rooms so there is a better path for the bed.

Way past time for bed. I set the alarm for 7 so I will have time to shower & shave before they are due. I can take a nap after they leave.

Plans for tomorrow:
Up early
Maybe go to Convolutions for the afternoon & parties
Figure out what music I'll audition with. Practice it.
Fall back
howeird: (Don't Vote)
Made huge but slow progress at work, resurrected my original test machine, despite a broken internet widget. Ran a test which has been on the books for months, just as I was leaving at 6:30, the engineer showed the changes I made to test his fix somehow disappeared. Mystery to be solved tomorrow. He's one of my favorite ones to work with, but come to think of it we have no bad apples on that team.

TMI boring process stuff behind the cut )

Had a long chat with Automation guy. Just a chat. Sometimes he needs something to wake him up so he comes over and chats with me.

Called the former apartment customer service center to find out why there was a $500+ charge on my final bill which said "accelerated rent" when I had pre-paid the week of rent I owed for October, and moved out a week early. We walked through the numbers on the bill, and it turns out the "accelerated rent" is an accounting software bug, the amount of the check they sent is the deposit minus the cleaning charges. It looks like maybe someone is doing some embezzling at the head office. Bottom line is I got the $$ I was entitled to, almost 2 weeks before I was entitled to it. Yay!

Still no word from the sleep clinic on what all I need to do to be ready on the 30th.

So, the apartment fixit guy called me this morning, the leak in the small bathroom was not from the sink, it was from the air conditioner condensation line, which was somehow mysteriously loosened and several feet from where it should have been. There is a very loud blower drying out the space under the sink, and they replaced the TP that was soaked.

I was so engrossed in work I didn't even notice it was lunch time till 1:20. Went to the nearest burger joint and had the nearest burger.

After work I went to Costco for gas and sundries. The line for gas took half an hour, people were being slow. It is the only place in town with gas for <$4/gal. $3.99.9. Somehow I spent 90 minutes in the store wheeling the cart around. I got everything on my list except sauerkraut (they don't sell it) and a couple of things which made their way onto the list as I saw them.
The list:
- kleenex in small boxes
- TP
- napkins
- Dolmathes
- Hot dogs, and if I found ones I liked, buns
- Bananas
- Bathroom sized dixie cups
- BBQ beef ribs package
- Pot roast package
- Two packages of half a duck each
- Lox

Home, surprised they had left an 8-pack of TP. I was expecting two or maybe 4. They did not replace the Kleenex, which was also soaked, so I bagged that and hauled it to the dumpster.

Re-arranged the freezer and unloaded all the stuff. Couldn't fit the three matzoh balls so I made soup, which I put in the microwave, then went onto the computer and forgot all about for 2 hours. Re-discovered it when I opened the door to put in the spare ribs. Had both for dinner. Dessert was frozen Tollhouse cookies.

My routine on FB these days has been to hide almost all the political posts/pictures/links. Once in a while one of my buttons will be pushed and I will point out to my Obamaniac friends that rant under the cut )Your choice is between The Master and a Dalek.

Plans for tomorrow:
Something with eye candy
Maybe write a review of Allegiance
howeird: (sewer)
Lots of progress on the move today, starting small with putting the few things back on the walls which were taken down from the old apartment. Calendars, a canvas print of mom's wedding picture and a Thai hill tribes necklace. Something new which is on the back wall of the office is a photo taken by MZig of me polka-ing with Guenevere in a 1974 production of Camelot. It had been taped to the wall by the fireplace in the ancestral homestead and apparenly my little sister salvaged it along with the myriad family photos around it when the folks sold the house. She had it re-matted (dad's masking tape destroyed the original matte), framed and shipped to me.

Then I unboxed all the photo binders and slide carousels and put them back in the bookcase they came from. Without going into more boring detail, there are no more boxes in the apartment to unpack except half a dozen in the office - books to go back on the bookcase. Two boxes are music books and sheet music.
That was this afternoon.

This morning started with a trip to the PO, I had a couple of packages to mail, and I wanted to check if the box from Thailand was there waiting for me. Turns out the local PO is closed for everything except pickup on Saturdays, they checked and there was no box for me. They keep international packages a month, which means it has not arrived yet. Whew. I'll have to wait till Monday to mail the packages.

Next was dropping off the car at the audio shop to have them pull the piece of crap Clarion unit and install a Pioneer. This would take 3 hours, so I hopped on a bus and rode it all the way to the end of the line. It passes through downtown San Jose, ending at a transit center near the southern border. I had been on most of those streets before, but coming from different directions, so it was an education to see what was there. The new city hall is a total WTF. Huge waste of real estate, big empty plaza and something which looks like an astronomy observatory art centerpiece. Pretty, but a huge waste of funds. Found a pocket of police corruption - six massage parlors in a row.

Took the next bus back, got off at Santana Row, walked a couple of blocks to one of my favorite bakeries and had an artichoke heart salad and a chocolate croissant. And later got four goodies to go. Excellent Napoleon, except for the raspberries. Walked back to the bus stop, got to the corner just in time to see my bus driving away. 15 minute wait for the next one, not too bad. But who knew the sun would come out? It was supposed to be cloudy and cool all day, but now it's 75° and I'm in a black t-shirt.

Car was done long before I got there, they did a great job, and this unit works the way I expect it to. Much much more intuitive than the Clarion, so much so that I spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to skip to the next song on the iPod, before I noticed the >> and << buttons under the volume control. The Clarion had a kludgy touch screen button.

Home, it was easy to punch in my current location as the home location on the GPS, and there's a one-button "take me home" feature. The map was easy to read even in the sunlight.

While I was unpacking I watched some football, and saw the blown call which cost Stanford their win. Huskies were lame against a not trying very hard USC team. LSU fought to a win after a listless 50 minutes. Yankees lost in extra innings after a miracle 9th inning comeback. Yay!

I thought that after I got all the boxes off of the couch two days ago Domino would go back to napping there, but it took me sitting on the couch today to get her to re-adopt it. She is very comfortable in this place and will park anywhere.

After the books are in the bookcase, there is a HUGE project yet to do. I need to pull almost everything out of the storage room, set up the big rack in the livingroom, and unpack all the phono records and vintage family photos onto it, as well as my framed & mounted photos. Don't want any of that where it's not climate controlled.

Ordered a copy of the OBC recording of Brigadoon from Amazon.

Both going and coming was a bit awkward because the fire station on the corner was having some sort of party, which featured giving rides in the fire trucks. There was a line around the block, and the garage area was filled with people sitting at tables like it was party time. Visitors were using the apartment parking lot to drop off their kids, which was rude, and dangerous. looking at the firefighter web site, it was one of these:
  • October 13 - Firefighter Pancake Breakfast
  • October 13 - Compost Workshop
  • October 13-14 - Extra Dumping Weekend

  • Or maybe all three.

    No plans for tomorrow except unpack more, watch football, program the presets in the new car unit and maybe go to SJ and catch the matinée of The Merry Widow which a couple of my friends are in. But probably not. Hate matinées.
    howeird: (Default)
    Leaving work today the sky was so dark I turned my headlights on. But the sun was going down between the cloud ceiling and the horizon, and it was a ball of very bright, blinding by contrast.

    Frustrating work day, Automation guy had asked too vague a question, and the wrong one at that, to the folks whose software we're using. The answer I got was not very useful. I tried to make it work, but didn't see how. I'll have to send them my own question.

    Went to lunch at Yo Yo sushi with Automation Guy and one of our team. I'd had a late breakfast, and forgot my insulin pen, so didn't have much appetite. Good food, but I couldn't eat much of it.

    3 pm boss' boss' team meeting, was supposed to run will 4:30, but ran till 5:15. It was dead boring for me, and the lack of ventilation and the low lights had me dozing off a lot. The reason it ran late is BB waited till the end to spring the most controversial point. Can't talk about it here other than to say it's the age-old story of bean counters restricting resources when expansion is the obvious need. I put a snarky line about that in my weekly report.

    Got back to my desk just in time to see the Orioles bite it on My Baltimore family is not pleased, but they are also close enough to DC that they can root for the Nationals tonight as a reasonable substitute. The Walgreens team is up 6-1 in the 4th, so it is looking good. (The Nats wear a script "W" on their uniforms which is almost identical to the "W" in the Walgreens logo).


    Not doing much right now except having an unsweetened green tea (iced) at the Starbucks near the movies, and enjoying a lot of eye candy.

    I didn't have time to eat the Dolmathes I'f brought to work, I think that will be part of dinner when I get home. Tonight the CD unpacking begins. Should be exciting. NOT!

    Plans for tomorrow: 10 am to the car audio place to replace the piece-o-crap Clarion I bought on eBay with a Pioneer. I may go to Santana Row while they are working on the car (thanks to the free bus pass from work).
    howeird: (Default)
    Laundry is done. I just need to take the whites out of the dryer. And evict Domino from the basket of shirts.

    New business cards are printing, the first 10 are in my wallet. A few will be made into luggage tags.

    Got all the bathroom boxes unpacked and organized. That required going out to the storage room and opening a box which the movers had packed which was supposed to go into the dining room. Long story medium sized: The apartment prior to the last one had an open area under the bathroom sink, which I bought three plastic drawers to put inside. The last apartment had drawers built in, so I had put the plastic drawers in the storage closet by the dining room. This apartment has the open design, so the plastic drawers came out of storage and into the bathroom again. I know, TMI.

    Moved some heavy boxes around the office, the ones with the files were where I wanted the file cabinet to go. Those are switched, and the bottom drawer's contents have been unpacked and loaded into the cabinet. The pile of flattened boxes grows by the front door.

    So much for the moving chronicles.

    At lunchtime I went down to the place where I had bought the alarm and had them send it in for replacement/repair. And also put a deposit on another electronic goodie for the car, which they will install a week from Saturday.

    Work was busy, wrapping up an automation project, but each time I ran the program it refused to cooperate at one particular point. I tried several variations, none worked. 99% of the script runs great, just this one little dialog box "OK" button seems to be invisible to it. Tomorrow I will ask Automation Guy to take a look.

    Plans for tomorrow:
    Anything Goes performance.
    howeird: (The Gov - Nightshirt Close-up)
    But first things first. Today's OCD moment had me scanning in the photo page from all of my passports. What brought it on was wanting to have a high-rez image of the page which had my entry and exit visas for Israel and the UK after my Peace Corps service. Mostly to remind me of when I left Thailand.  The answer is mid-June 1977. Got to the UK in December of that year.
    Today's chores were changing the litterbox cartridges, and taking out the garbage. Threw out a whole filebox's worth of stuff from when I edited the Norcal Peace corps Assn's newsletter, it included many 5.25" floppy discs. The group has copies of all the newsletters, and no use for the files, as they have since become an online publication. I haven't been a member since about 2002.
    Watched some of the Raiders game. Boring. Brunch (I stayed in bed till 11) was a banana and some pistachios.

    Went to the theater a little late, but still found parking. The show was sold out, apparently several bus loads of elderly people made up a big chunk of the audience. They were not as loud as the last two nights, and they laughed at different jokes and gave applause to different characters at the curtain call. Last night's favorite comic relief was Mr. Whitney, the almost blind, always drunk wall street tycoon. Today it was Erma, the nymphomaniac floozy with the Brooklyn accent. They are both, IMHO, superb in their parts. They also liked the ingenue more than the leading man and leading lady. The leading lady has come a long way, but the bottom line is she just isn't Reno Sweeney.

    About 10 minutes before curtain, this group has an annoying tradition of gathering at the loading dock for announcements and The Moment. Today's Moment was by the leading lady, and it made me think of [ profile] lemmozine, aka Blind Lemming Chiffon:

    ~ Come to the Edge ~

    Come to the edge, he said.

    They said: We are afraid.

    Come to the edge, he said.

    They came.

    He pushed them and they flew.

    Christopher Logue

    My part went well enough. I *hate* matinees. It is just too surreal to be under the lights inside when outside it is a bright summer day.

    Every year the group raffles off the opportunity to have a walk-on role with a line or two, for every show. They decided to give the winner for this show her appearance today, as a substitute for a woman I walk across the stage with. She had four lines. This is her second go winning the raffle, so she was ready. Her name is Maureen, she is retired but not much older than me, and she looked great in the costume they found for her. She said her lines well, on cue and with one more rehearsal she could easily have taken over the part permanently. I was relieved. The woman she replaced got all of us to sign a program which we gave to Maureen after the show (she watched Act II from the audience).  Apparently she also had 10 friends and relatives at the show. Kewl.

    No more performances till Friday, so I expect to be at BASFA tomorrow, and will start packing the apartment Tuesday after work. I can box up the CD and DVD collection for starters. And the file cabinet. And the parental 78s and vinyl collection.

    In my search for passports, I found a treasury bond Dad gave to me (and identical ones to my sisters) a long time ago - maybe 20 years ago - in case we needed funds to get to their funerals. When the time came, I didn't, and the bond had not quite matured. I ought to look it up online and convert it to something tax-free in my IRA or brokerage account if it has matured.

    Mars Curiosity has started sending back 3D images, and somehow the paper glasses I keep near the computer are gone. Amazon to the rescue.

    I also did some reality checking on the VCR's warbling audio. It's doing it on all the tapes. I suspect the problem is not the VCR but the capture card in the PC. One way to narrow it down is to connect the VCR to a TV set. Maybe later.

    Home after the show, found a workaround which lets the in-dash car unit operate the ipod. Frozen spaghetti and meatballs dinner with corn cobettes and two Klondike bars.

    Spent some time watching the 49ers stumble around. I don't care what anyone says, Alex Smith is not an NFL-quality QB. He is saved by running backs and a field goal kicker. Time to bring in the first backup, who looked much better in the pre-season.

    I'm at the Mercado Starbucks, where they have the A/C set to stun. Not enough eye candy to hang out very long.

    Plans for tomorrow:
    9 am team meeting
    Generally be very happy that rehearsals are over.

    May 2017

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