Good Show

Apr. 13th, 2014 12:49 am
howeird: (Default)
Slept till 11, took the relatively long drive to Summerwinds nursery and was surprise at what they didn't have. It took a while to go ahead and put that $35 rose bush on my cart, but I frankly could not remember what the were at Lowe's or Home Depot. Also bought a lot of strawberry plants, and six small planters of mint.

Spent about $85 all together.

Home, dug a hole and planted the rose bush behind the two I put there last week. When I went to bring the hose around, it had been disconnected from the faucet and the nozzle had been taken off and put on the ground. I'll have to call the manager about that - I am under the impression ll the plants in front of my house are my responsibility, no one should be messing with that hose except me. Next Saturday I'll stand guard - I'm 90% sure it happened when I was out shopping.

After a short hydration break (first the rodes then me) I raked the bark away from1/4 of the strip by the carport, used the shovel to till the soil. It turns out to be pretty rich, with some clay mixed in. Someone had planted there before, long ago. Then I got on my knees and painstakingly took each strawberry out of the container, and planted them row by row. Four sets of 6. And then I was completely pooped, so I decided to cheat, and planted the last two in their containers. The containers are split at the bottom, and while the container won't  decompose, the roots do have someplace to go. I may do it right later, but right now I'm calling it An Experiment™.

I was way too tired to plant the mint, so those are setting beside the recycle bin on the driveway. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow, after the show if there is still daylight.
I cooled off in front of the fan by setting up Office on the Windows 8 machine. It's pretty fast, but the touchpad is a little difficult and the touch screen has a slow response time. Not at all like a tablet. The ugly tile interface which they show on TV can easily be switched to a Windows 7 style interface in a single click. In fact, some actions like installing software flips to that format automagically.

Once again, 1/3 full audience sounded like a full house, especially on the laugh lines. I have several of them, but the guy I say them to has zero sense of comic timing and stomps on my laughs a lot.

I'm finally feeling comfortable with all the stupidly written lines. My attitude has gone from WTF to "who cares?"

Meet and greet after the show, the leading man from Brigadoon was there with someone who apparently is now his wife, but I (a) don't think she was when we did the show and (b) I know I have been onstage with her but we couldn't figure out when/where. She has a very distinctive nose. Porcine. Hard to forget that face, which is otherwise attractive. A couple of high school girls said they were doing the show at school next month. Valley Christian. I'll try to see it. 

Stopped at CVS for dark chocolate truffles (on sale for less than half price) and also picked up a couple of spray nozzles for the garden hoses.

Plans for tomorrow:
Sleep in again
Cast call at 1:00

Turds Day

Mar. 14th, 2014 12:36 am
howeird: (Musknik-Seymour-Future)
Hgl levels are back to reasonable. Yay. Irony is the levels are still too high, but the experimental insulin made me seesaw from record lows to record highs even using the same dosages.

Closed my Capital One card when they started charging interest, but also because they effed up the Target card theft routine by changing my card number and not sending me the new card for almost 3 weeks. Without the new number I had no way to log in with Quicken to see if there were any bogus charges. Of course there weren't. Got a 0% Citi card in the mail today. Took about a week, but Quicken was able to log in with just my online username/password the day I set up the account.

Lots of work at work today, putting the finishing touches on some test steps, then automation team meeting which was mostly not productive because motor mouth again wouldn't stop saying the same thing over and over.

Monitored the news - Ukraine and missing plane on CNN and BBC, but I had to log into the Bangkok Post and the Thai Nation newspapers to get their news. It looks like things are heading for the PM and cabinet to be kicked out for corruption. Again.

Was invited to be nominated to the board of Friends of Thailand, which is all Peace Corps/Thailand alumni, including one former US ambassador to Thailand. Quite an honor. Will know soon.

In computer news, as I mentioned the very affordable 8TB NAS drive which is due to be delivered tomorrow seems to not be NAS at all, but Thunderbolt connected. Thunderbolt is Apple's latest answer to USB 4, and even though it's an Intel platform feature, most PCs, including mine, have no way to use it. So I'll sell that on eBay, and also due to be delivered tomorow is a refurbished Synology 2-bay NAS enclosure and a pair of Hitachi 4TB SATA 3 7200 RPM drives. Total cost < $500 which is about $200 less than a no-name pre-built, and half the price of a Synology pre-built.

Lunchtime I went to Walgreen ISO a foam soda can holder, the solid, non-collapsible kind. They had nothing. Neither did 7-11. Bummer. They usually have them for sports teams. The novelty one I use at work is losing its bottom. Can't find what I want online either. Grrrr.

Had beef chow fun at China Stix, which is now accessible by a long pathway from the piece of new parking lot which has been built four stores away. The whole shopping center is being renovated, they are putting in a Target and a Sprouts and maybe a supermarket. China Stix has had its makeover and looks great except for the chain link fence and the huge dirt yard where their parking lot used to be.

From work I drove straight to the park where rehearsals would be, it was about 80° and the place was packed. I sat in the car for a while with the windows rolled down, playing my Big Number over and over again from the smartphone over bluetooth to the in-dash unit. It sounded great, but I didn't. It's much faster than my brain can tell my mouth what to say, with those awkward lyrics and ninja phrasing.

Moved to a picnic table and studied lines till it was time to go inside the clubhouse. Tonight's rehearsal was fine tuning Act 2, finishing the blocking (we had not done the last scene yet) with the leading man gone and the director filling in for him. The director has played this part before, I think. I first met him when we did Annie back in the 80s, so I know he can act and sing. It took me a while to remember that, though.

I have my first scene, which is short, memorized, but the second scene I am in is a challenge because his staging is way different from what is in the script and every other production of the show. And there are a lot of lines which have to be synced with the music, and the voice of the plant, and the backup chorus which so far has not come in on time ever. But we were missing two of them. And that's another thing. The script calls for three backup singers, he has cast four.

We got through in 2 hours, and then ran it without stopping in 45 minutes, which is close to how long it will run IRL.

Home before 10, barely. Watched some of the TV news, tonight every Bay Area channel, CNN and even The Weather Channel were playhig commercials at the same time, often the same commercial. And lots of them. More than the FCC allowable maximum.

And I am making eggregious typos which speelwrecker is not tagging. I will have to proofread this.

Plans for tomorrow:
Study lines
8 pm performance of Arsenic And Old Lace which three friends are in, at Santa Clara Players fairly close to work.
howeird: (Default)
March Fools Day is the day in 1961 when JFK established the Peace Corps. I served in Thailand from March 1975 to July 1977. More on that later.

Today started with a trip to Fry's to get a replacement power brick for my laptop. I keep the original one in the laptop bag, and it still works, but usually I run it on battery, as God intended, and charge it from a spare power brick at home. That one died. I wanted a 60W Toshiba, but all the retail ones these days are 90W and above universal (they come with a set of plugs, one of which will match your laptop).

Fry's was on the way to the photo shoot. Miki, the model, is one of those women which prompt cries of outrage from the average and larger-than-they-want-to-be-but-it's-not-PV-to-admit-it women on LJ and FB and nauseum of "nobody looks like that! These must be Photoshopped!" Here's Miki, the only photoshopping I did was to adjust the contrast level and maybe crop the background.
Cut because I care )

I got some good shots, and since this one was lingerie and not nudes, They are all mostly work-safe. It wasn't a very good shoot compared to the last two, for a number of reasons. The host did several lighting setups, all of them were difficult to shoot in. I won't bore you with the details. The model kept changing poses and expressions faster than the lights could re-charge and she sucked at taking directions.

I won't be doing any shoots for at least another 2 weeks, what with rehearsals and Consonance con.

Home, processed the photos, had dinner, threw a load of laundry into the washer and drove to Foothill College to see their production of Little Shop. Nutshell review:
The girl trio was spectacular. They sounded like they had been singing together for years. I asked after the show, and they hadn't. The whole production was way over-choreographed. The guy playing my part lost his character a third of the way through - he went from somewhat believable NY Jewish shopkeeper to Red Skelton in two easy steps. He managed to get cut from one of the musical numbers and some of the choreography, and they slowed down the two numbers where he has tongue twisters. They had a large cast, our director has chosen to make one guy play many parts, which I think is stupid and a Big Mistake, this show had a different person for each part, which meant they had some serious vocal power as an ensemble chorus. The female lead was very good, the male lead was okay. The band was excellent, but the sound system wasn't. All the cast were miked, and whoever was on the audio board had it cranked up too high. Toward the end there was feedback. We also had some mikes being bumped backstage at the start. The set was good. Costumes were iffy, except for the stunning red sparkley dresses the trio wore at the end.

Home, here I am.

Plans for tomorrow:
Janice's 70th birthday party at noon at her condo's community center
Rehearsal at the theater. My first time on stage there in 14 years. Or backstage probably. I doubt if we will rehearse on the Little Princess set. Sunnyvale has a big dressing room/rehearsal room backstage.
howeird: (Default)
Work not so much fun, lots of research, more data entry.

Got email from Garmin with a fix for the in-dash unit losing its map. Went right out to the car and invoked it. It worked.

Home after work by way of World Oil, for petrol.

Did some Facebooking then headed to BASFA

The meeting was jam packed, partly thanks to both a delegation from Contact and the rep from Potlatch, and the fact the there were no conventions out of town. Or in town for that matter.

It was a fun meeting, I got a horribly long round of applause announcing I was cast in Little Shop.

Home, spent 20 minutes re-updating the firmware in the in-dash unit, it didn't fix the backup camera issue or the POI loading issue :-(

Plans for tomorrow:
howeird: (How Electronics)
LJArchive, which has been downloading and storing locally all my LJ posts & your comments, has suddenly stopped downloading. The server doesn't respond. When I punch the server's IP address into the browser it gives me an LJ goat logo and what is basically a 404 message. I have since tried two other archive apps, with the same results. LJ has not posted anything about this, and comments on the archive sites are a year old, from when LJ changed the way it linked comments and the archive apps could only download main postings.

Took my time getting to work this morning because there was little work to do, or so I thought. Domino's litterbox was definitely wanting to be changed, so I did that, and was pleasantly surprised that the used cartridge fit completely into the new, larger garbage can, on top of more than twice as much garbage as was able to fit into the old one.

As I walked to my car, the caregiver for the woman next door was waiting for me. She had just bought a 2014 Corolla yesterday, and she claimed to hear the alarm going off. I could not hear a thing, so it wasn't the alarm. But I'm sure she can hear way higher frequencies than I can, and a 15kHz tone would sound like an alarm to someone who can hear it. When I unlocked the car with the key's buttons, it gave 4 beeps instead of the usual 2, so someone must have set off the alarm. I have an after-market alarm system, so I told her to bring it in to the dealer. They're open till 9. I'm sure she'll tell me what happened next time she's on duty.

The folks who are renovating the outside of our building had the usual entrance to the parking lot blocked off, so I used the driveway of the building next door which some time in Summer will be ours too. There used to be a chain across the connecting road, but it has been down for about a month. There was a bucket lift in front of the building, it looks like they are re-tiling the roof. As usual, our not having an ops manager means we get no real info on what is actually being done, just a vague email message about how long it might take.

When I told Automation Guy that I was running out of things to do, he gave me a follow-on to the project I did yesterday. This one required logging into one of his lab machines, which I don't like to do, I'd rather keep my under-destruction work on my own machine.

Lunch was Togos, followed by an educational trip to Fry's. I was looking for two things:
1. A network-attached storage device at least 8TB and capable of 100Gb/s
2. A Linksys router to replace the Netgear one which has been acting flaky. And to match the recently purchased Linksys cable modem. Dual band wireless and 4-port 10/100 Gb/s wired.

What I found was a trend in external storage to use USB 3.0 instead of Ethernet. Just Plain Stupid for anything more than 1TB. And none of the Ethernet ones could do more than 1GB/s. Seagate makes an 8 for $600, Netgear for $700. Hitachi has bet the farm on Mac users and Thunderbolt cable. A pity because they make the best high-capacity HDDs.

And there were so many different routers on the shelves with so little real information on the boxes that I relegated that search to online.

Back to work, I set up a couple of tests for Automation Guy, allowed him to volunteer me to demo them at Monday's meeting. To really show off these tests I need to play video from the lab's high speed network, but I won't have access to that in the conference room. :-(

After 6, I went online and looked for their latest protocol, called AC, and found refurbished 1/10/100, dual band ones on Linksys' site for $80 off. Bought one.

Home, forgot to stop off for bird seed, but also forgot my Lowe's discount coupon. It was 6:45 when I pulled into the little shopping/big condo center hoping to curl up with the Kindle app at Peet's, but they were closing. Very poor planning, to close at 7 when you have "expensive condo owner late-evening magnet" written all over you.

Domino was on top of the new recliner again. I had checked a few times today on the webcams, and she mostly stayed curled up in the bed in the office, but she also spent some time on the cat thing which I had relocated to the kitchen in front of a window with a view of the street.

There was a lot of Facebooking to do, and somehow I got trapped into watching a particularly ballistic episode of Millionaire Matchmaker. The matchmaker is incredibly sexist, ageist and loud. Want a second opinion? Fine. She's also ugly.

There are two former Peace Corps volunteers in the Bay Area Science Fiction Assn. The other guy served in Ukraine. Both our countries are in the early throes of a civil war. In both cases the official government is passing laws to restrict free assembly, and they are both failing, Thailand more emphatically than Ukraine. But Ukraine's protesters are showing much more skill setting things on fire.

Plans for tomorrow:
Tweak the new automation demo
Finish reading the marketing doc
Glance at the release doc Boss sent around today
Write my weekly report
Maybe go to opening night of the all-female version of 1776 being done by friends in downtown SJ. It might be better to wait till they have a few performances under their belt and need audience members. I don't think this show will be all that popular.

Read more... )


Dec. 19th, 2013 02:10 am
howeird: (Default)
But first, happy birthday to [ profile] smallship1, [ profile] howbearca and [ profile] mettemu!

So my UK cousins sent me their annual letter in Microsoft Publisher format. There are no known third party readers for this format, and I did not have it on my machine, but I thought it was part of my Office 2010 DVD, which meant I needed the disc & its license code, which were in one of the 87 boxes still unopened in the 3rd BR. This morning I opened about 6 of the more likely ones, did not find it. After work I opened 4 more, found it, and read the list of apps, Publisher was not one of them.

Coincidentally, my copy of Outlook stopped working, somehow completely disappeared from the machine. It would not re-install from the DVD after 2 tries I punted.

Office 2013 is only $99 for the download, includes all the apps, 1-year subscription, so I got that. I was able to read the .PUB file, which included a lovely photo of the cousins, and also restored Outlook, complete will all the data files. But they have traded the professional looking UI into something which looks like it was designed by kindergarteners with a very limited supply of pastel colored crayons. :-(

Work went more quickly than usual, the part of the spec I'm reading is new information, had to pay attention. Also tried the new espresso machine, did two demitasse shots, which may have helped. Lunch was a trip to Fry's to look at cable modems, but they didn't have anything better than what's on its way from Amazon. I did pick up an N network dongle for the PC but it turned out to not be the dual band one, so i will be filed. Not worth returning.  Was not feeling too hungry, so just lived on the snacks in my cooler.

Had a long chat with Automation Guy about the specs.

1-on-1 with the boss was a lot of braindump. He handles those well. One reason I wouldn't make it as a manager.

Home, eager to find that Office DVD. Tackled two more projects. Moved my microwave off the counter, onto a temporary cart which is too small for it. Need to buy a real cart, or decide that the built-in microwave will work for me. That counter now hosts the blender & cuisinart, which clears the island for more counter space. Also put up the last of the 3 under-counter lamps. And bagged some boxes/foam which were messing up the livingroom.

Before the move, the desk drawer lost one of its two bolts, which was probably on the floor in the old apartment. The movers ought to have at least asked about it, but just leftg the drawer hanging. This evening I got on my back under the desk and saw I could borrow a bolt from another location, and it needed a hex driver. after going to the tool drawers and finding my hex bits, I was back on my back, and did the deed, which included having to unstick the driver from the bolt. When I got up, the back of my head pressed against the wooden floor protector, and I was hit with a wave of nausea, almost passed out. I couldn't shake it, so instead of dinner I fed Domino her kitty crack and went to bed. Slept for a couple of hours, was still a little woozy, so took a Dramamine and opened a bottle of diet Coke, decided I needed something salty which translated into two sausages and a cup of corn with margarine melted on it. That elped. Watched an episode of Shark Tank and Restaurant Stakeout.

And here  am, at 1:05 am, but the nap means I'm wide awake.

In other news, I peeked in on the webcams a few times during the day, and saw that Domino has found many places to park, including the top of the big cat tree, which is a place she had never gone before, under the piano bench, top of the small cat tree, window sills by the front door (one of her stair steps is there, the other is at the foot of the bed), the small round bed on the livingroom floor, the seat of the recliner, and the pillow on the sofa. Never saw her on the bed, which used to be her daytime hangout.

Plans for tomorrow:

Work. Find something to do after I finish reading the spec.
Home, football
Maybe start unpacking those opened boxes in the 3rd BR.
howeird: (Anything Goes)
Posting this from my main PC in the new home. It took all morning, but the whole PC setup is set up. Now I am going to go out for lunch, and there's a program at the library on 3D printing at 3.
howeird: (Default)
But it felt like a Wednesday anyway, despite the 4-day weekend. Fully recovered from my vacation, including entering all the credit card slips into Quicken.

Work was typical, I was 2/3 done with a script when I got stuck because Automation's documentation sucks. And Automation Guy took and early lunch and was in meetings after. Finally got him to take a look, and it was simple but completely non-intuitive. But it worked. Tomorrow I'll send it in for the programmers to finish up, which I can't do because it has to run on one of their machines using machine-specific proprietary license files.

Last night after I journaled the remembery said the Seagals 2003-4 calendar release party was last week, so I went to their site to see what the new calendar was like. Unfortunately it is the same blah FAIL as last year's. So I went instead with teams which understand that a cheerleader needs her own month, and if you have 40 cheerleaders like the Seahawks do, you have to show some tough lust and go with just as many photos as you have months on the calendar. Seagals are cramming three per page, which makes them too small and creates too busy a design.

So instead I went with:
Redskins (My only repeat - a 15-month calendar with brilliant photography and design)
Colts (just to try something different)
Buccaneers (possibly the most attractive cheerleaders)
Ravens (because they are almost Washington and have a similar design)
Saints (because NOLA women have a reputation to uphold. Maybe "uphold" is the wrong word.)

On the walls from last season are
Dallas (inconsistent)
Jets (boring photography. Photog thinks it's all about the location)
Dolphins (boring photography, and they slap two smaller images of the pinup girl on the lower right of the main image)
Redskins, as mentioned above

In the dumpster:
Seagals 2013.

Which reminds me, I need to take out the garbage soon.

Before lunch I looked up places which claimed to have the Nexus 7 32GB in stock, and GameStop came up a winner. So that's where I went at lunchtime, and my next stop was UPS to return the Kindle Fire. When I had picked it up, the UPS guy had wanted to know how I liked it (Amazon ships in a clearly labeled box) and was surprised I didn't. In that same strip mall is a classy looking place called Ocean Blue Sushi Club. This is a huge place, good for  three company team lunches at a time, but at 1:15 it was so empty that the hostess was not at the front door, and it took a good (or bad) 5 minutes for someone to take my order. The food was very good, not as expensive as it could have been.

After work, home, sat out on the patio with the Nexus plugged in (it had about half a charge), set it up, and it actually grabbed all my Android phone stuff from my Google account, including the wallpaper photo of Domino in the window and the locked device wallpaper of the park bench.

It seems lighter than the Fire, and it is more comfortable to hold in portrait mode. Very smooth Youtube playback on my 5GHz wireless connection, and Kindle app worked better on it than on the Fire. More accurate "last page read" and easier brightness adjustment.

It's basically the computer part of the Android phone, minus the phone functions and fees. After it finishes charging I need to see ho to turn off the keyboard click. The voice recognition so far has been flawless. But give it time,,,

Marie Calendar's roast chicken frozen dinner & the last of the chocolate chunk ice cream. While watching the Tivo replay of the Seahawks-Denver game, in which the theory is completely demolished which says the team which controls the ball for the most minutes wins. Denver has a superb team, but Seattle was far more opportunistic. And they have more attractive uniforms. And the best helmet logo in the NFL. One nice touch is a walk-on from the University of Washington was one of the stars of the game. Great to see a hometown boy show up the draftees.

Have also been looking online for a used 3-valve Baritone horn/euphonium. Starving Musician's prices are too high, so I may sell them the 4-valve one I have now. Lots of promising junkers on eBay where the shipping fee may be higher than the high bid. Fine, if the horn plays.

Plans for tomorrow:
YOTB rehearsal (last one before Sunday's concert)
howeird: (Naga)
I think I woke up 6 times between 4:30 and 7 am. And then slept through the 7 o'clock alarm about 12 minutes. Been having some dreams which were interesting while I was having them, but I can't remember anything when I wake up except I know I laughed out loud at least once.

Got to work at a reasonable time, and now that I no longer live at the apartment from speed bump hell, the two speed bumps at work are nor such a BFD so I have been parking in the back lot where the rest of my team does, because it's a direct shot to the lab from the back door, and through the lab to our cubes.

The fun stuff today was this:

Workers had installed the ceiling units a week or two ago, today a couple of Israelis installed the receivers on top of the cubical walls, and were aligning them when I left tonight. It's pretty ridiculous, because we already have the same speed network wired to our desk machines via USB. These still use cables from the receivers to the PCs, so it's pretty much a boondoggle.

In other news, engineering finally gave me the answer I was waiting for about a test case, and while it was not the answer I wanted, it was an answer. As a result, I had to nuke a test case instead of automating it, and file a lengthy bug so they could fix the documentation to show the wrong answer is now the official answer. In all honesty, the impact on the customer is almost zero. The part which is not zero is only a matter of philosophy and won't affect the end user in any way.

Spent some of my break time seeing if a weekend return to Morro Bay is feasible, and emailing links to my photos to the folks at the whale tour company.

In medical news, my diabetes doctor is putting me on U-500 insulin, which is 5x more powerful than the regular stuff. The theory is it only takes half an hour to kick in, and it lasts for 24 hours. Which for me probably means and hour to see results and gone in 12 hours. He is also prescribing a different syringe, because the U-500 doses are in ml and not insulin units. Frankly, the insulin syringe units are easier, 100 units is 1 ml. He has prescribed the dosages in .46 ml and .32 ml which would be 46 and 32 units on the insulin syringe. Multiply by 5 and that corresponds to the 230 units I take during the day and the 160 I take at bedtime. And here's the irony - the insulin is ready to be picked up today, but the syringes are on back-order.

I'll be sticking my finger a lot to see what it really does. And I stocked up on ice cream in case I "over-shoot".

Lunch today was Hometown Buffet, which has suddenly developed a salad bar which almost rivals Sizzler. I went there because I needed to stock up on next=door Rite Aid's  generic benadryl spray and cream.

Two package pickups after work. At the apartment was what looked like a coffee table book box from Amazon, which turned out to be six pairs of reading glasses. At UPS was a USPS Priority Mail box which had the Nikon 16-85mm lens which is the complement to the 70-300 which I used on the whale trip. There were times wandering around town when I could have used it, and it would have been a good lens for taking pictures of people on the boat, but the boat was rocking too much (4 foot swells) to risk changing lenses. And I don't really want to carry two cameras (did that in college and in Peace Corps, it wasn't pretty).

News from Toyota, they think they can get my HOWEIRD plates re-issued from the DMV, they want me to send them the same form I sent to get the non-HOWEIRD replacements. Maybe as a dealership the DMV will do things which they won't do for Joe Slob Public. We'll see.

The Nexus 7 I ordered from Best Buy online when they said the store was out of stock was supposed to have shipped 8/7 but UPS didn't get it till today, delivery set for Friday. And now the stores have it in stock. I may just swing by the store tomorrow and pick one up, and refuse the UPS package when it arrives. 

Plans for tomorrow:
1-on-1 (Should be interesting. Boss will have seen the whale pix - he's a friend on Flickr - and I've seen his White Sands/Yellowstone pix from his last week vacation)
howeird: (Default)

I left the apartment at 11:30 with a croissant and a baritone, took a slightly alternate route to Shoup Park which did not include the bumper car merge lanes of San Antonio Blvd or the jaywalk capitol of the west bay, Los Altos' Main Street. It took maybe 7 minutes longer, but was much safer. Someone was parked in my spot, the same someone was parked there Thursday night, so I'm thinking it may be an abandoned vehicle. I don't think it was a band member because there were still plenty of spots down in the park's lot.

It was about noon, th concert doesn't start till 1:30, but everything was already set up.

I had brought my Kindle, but instead of reading I found a nice shaded park bench  and phoned my Baltimore sister. We had a nice chat, she encouraged me to try a gluten-free diet to see if it solves my tummy issue. I told her I don't have any cellulite. She laughed. Both because it's celiac, but also because "everyone has cellulite".

We chatted a little about my missing the Princess Bride quote-along. Her one and only son named his one and only (so far) son Wesley. Wes is 4 months old, and nephew says the first thing they are teaching him to say is "As you wish". :-)

We had nice but not optimal weather for the concert, it started out windy and stayed chilly through the whole thing. I got a chance to try out my new fancy music holders, see-through plastic strips about an inch wide, with a short L on one end with a magnetic strip to help hold it onto the stand. It took a little experimentation, but by the 3rd or 4th number I was able to use them without the aid of clothes pins. Much easier to flip pages and slide multi-page music into place.

It was a fairly easy set as far as lips go, but challenging reading. Lots of medleys with lots of time and key signature changes, and we had one case where two numbers in a row were in the same time signature but one was at 120 and the other at 40. Threw me off big-time.

At halftime one of the tuba players (we have 4! - 2 of them female) raved about a new Thai place which just happens to be one I have triued to go to many times, it is in the same stip mall where Janice and I have coffee every week we are both in town, but we usually do that on Sunday, and this new place is closed Sundays. I was pleasantly surprised that she uses Phad Thai as her test for whether it's a good place. She said their "medium" is very spicy. It really shouldn't be. But she said they barely speak English and the waitress is cute, so I need to get there on a non-Sunday and check it out.

Home by way of an auto supply which had a pair of the right size bug-eye mirrors. Then to the Milk Pail, which only had one piece of my favorite sheep milk cheese, but they also had French brie on sale for $5/lb so I bought two $3 wedges. And 99 cents a pound for green grapes. I skipped the limes, 8 for $1 but too small and coloring looked like they were picked off the ground.

Kaan was waiting right at the door, but he's scared of the baritone case, so he scooted away. Come to think of it he's scared of anything I'm carrying low to the ground. A couple of days ago he did bolt, but came right back when I shouted at him. Good doggie.

Put the stuff away, checked on the computer's restore program (16 hours to go. It was 32 when I left this morning. Their estimator sucks). Got undressed and tried to take a nap, but Domino decided to park herself near my head, and then Kaan jumped on the bed and there was hissing and growling and they both took off for parts unknown.

Remembering I had not showered this morning, so I took care of that, got dressed and headed for Starbucks. Cookie crumble frapp. Cute barista, some nice customer eye candy both at the tables and coming through for "to-go".

Time to go home and have some dinner and do some more reading, and maybe preview the DVD I'm auctioning at BASFA tomorrow.

Plans for tomorrow:
Talk to boss about the new automation foo and other things to do

So It Goes

Jul. 3rd, 2012 12:36 am
howeird: (Default)
Kind of quiet team meeting this morning. Boss is in Thailand, Boss' boss asked some good questions as usual. Unlike a month ago, we are now pretty well settled in between old and new projects.

Worked with automation guy to take one of my features to the next level. What happened instead is he showed me what he needed to do to run a command line command and then call my GUI automation widget, then go back and retrieve the info from the command. That part took maybe 5 minutes, but I needed to spend the rest of the day writing new GUI automation tests which fit that scheme. It would have taken half an hour less if I'd been paying attention to one particular detail.

Lunchtime, went to Starbucks and found some details online on how to get Win 7 and MSIE to display all my webcams in one browser window. Had to temporarily nuke some security features, and when you do that MSIE is relentless about chiding you about it. One cam refused to display, which is odd because on the same network my phone app had not problem with it. Just for grins, I looked on the web site and saw the firmware is way out of date, so I'm just finishing up fixing that on all 5 cams. Boring. It's a 2-part update, one to the system code and one to the web code. I was hoping the web code would fix a grammatical error, but it didn't.

Home, did not turn on the computer. Tried to read more of Ken Liu's The Man Who Ended History, but like his short story The Paper Menagerie, he's on a personal Chinese identity crisis mission, and unlike the short, he has inflicted a stilted, shattered format on his readers. The entry is really a TV treatment written by someone who has never taken a scriptwriting class.  Or maybe he has, and tried to apply it to a written form. Long story short, I bailed out of it about 2/3 of the way through, and am starting in on "Mira Grant"'s Countdown Catherynne M Valente's Silently And Very Fast.  Skipping Seanan's for now, hoping hers is the best but so far The Man Who Bridged The Mist is looking pretty good to get my vote.

Okay, all the webcams are done.

Walked to BASFA, it was very lightly attended. Nice to be at a meeting without the avid stirring of spoon in iced tea glass. Not nice to have many auction items and not a lot of people to bid on them. I only got one pun in, and it was so-so. The salmon shrimp scampi was good, the waiter bringing broccoli after I'd told him twice not to was bad. He brought the checks quickly, but should have asked about desserts first.

Home,  had some Popsicles for dessert. Domino has been curled up in various corners within sight, instead of parking herself in the livingroom yowling at me. She finished about 3x the usual amount of whipped cream. I need to use it all up before my trip.

Plans for tomorrow:

Work - follow up on automation
Starbucks after work. Or Cheetah's.
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:

howeird: (Danvers Hookers)
Because I have 2 days to catch up on

Work was busy, and very stressful. I had three projects going at once, and two of them were not working out very well. Lunch was at Mr. Chau's which is under new mismanagement. The old Chinese lady behind the counter says "pay first" before I tell her what I'm going to have. I tell her how many items + drink and she rings it up and I pay her and then ask how does she know what I'm having? She says again "pay first". I wave my receipt at her and said "I've paid first, now what?" 

I pick out my usual 2 items plus chicken salad, and sit down to eat. They are inedible. Even more inedible than usual. The sauces are stale, so is the meat. The salad is okay. I pack it up and leave after 5 minutes.

After work I decided to see The Avengers. I've already written about that.

At work and on my new Toshiba laptop I see clearly that my typing skills have seriously degraded. I sometimes type different words than the one in my head. I often hit two keys at once, hit the wrong key (usually an adjoining one, but sometimes one on the other side of the keyboard). Dyslexic typing has set in - sometimes I catch myself typing the letters of a word out of order. When this light dawns, I realize the ASUS Zenbook I sent back to Office Depot did not have a wonky keyboard, it had a wonkey keyboardist. OD was out of the model I wanted, so I ordered one via Amazon. it should be here Friday 5/18. I'll sell the slower, lower-resolution, smaller SSD driveToshiba Ultrabook on eBay, since it isn't on Amazon's trade-in list. That'll pay for half of the ASUS.

The day started off with one of my bugs being closed as "NoBug". The chief engineer said the feature worked as specified, but me and the engineer assigned to the case were unable to find that in the spec. I looked again, and found it. We didn't find it before because they changed the chapter title to something which was not the proper name or abbreviation for the feature.

A very complicated test suite which I had put off because it needed the help of someone in another department who is usually ultra-busy turned out to be a no brainer. I asked him if he could help, and he showed me he already had those tests running successfully for about a month.

Lunch break I went to a place called My Nails, pretty close to the apartment, and made an appointment for a manicure & haircut Saturday morning. The place in Mountain View I'd been going to has gotten to be a crap shoot on whether my favorite manicurist is available, even if I make an appointment, and it's not worth the drive to be told at 10 "come back at 2".

Then Sizzler for lunch.

Plans for Friday:
P/U Zenbook from apartment office
Lunch at home
Retrodome Game Show at 8

In A Pickle

May. 5th, 2012 10:01 pm
howeird: (Default)
I had a much more clever subject line in my head, but that was half an hour ago before Roxio crashed whenever I opened a Tivo file. Downloaded & installing the latest release now, very disappointed it is not maxed out for 64-bit. But not at all surprised it didn't work - I was in their tech support for 18 months, and not much had changed except Sonic made them an uglier logo.

Last night I slept all night, first time in ages. Woke up at 6:30, made a pit stop and then went back to bed for an hour. Got to the PO in plenty of time, huge slow line, not helped by the fact that all the clerks were not native English speakers, dealing mostly with people who were non-native speakers whose native tongue was not Chinese or Hindi. Mailed the previously returned calendar to Japan. Next stop, nails place. My fave was booked till 2 again, but she said it was okay with her for The Princess to do the honors again. Princess is not as skilled, and takes some shortcuts, and I can see the difference. But the whole purpose of this exercise is to armor-plate my very thin nails, and she gets that done. Went next door for a banana nut shake and an almond croissant. It's really marzipan-filled, but may as well call it by the easier to remember name.

Next stop, Best Buy to make an appointment to have the poorly installed in-dash GPS antenna placed up near the windshield where it belongs. New guy there, apparently the old guy was fired and new guy's day was all about warranty repairs to fix old guy's mistakes. He said if I could leave the car for 3 hours, he could work on it in between the others. It's noon, nice bright sunny day, so why not.  

Across the street is a Starbucks, Safeway, massage place with a $50/hr special, Rite-Aid, cold stone, sushi place, Marie Calendar's, an Indian sweets place and assorted other shops, so I shuffled over there. It's a long block to the crosswalk, and another to the shops, and I am horribly out of shape and sciatica set in as I was also regretting having that snack at the coffee shop. It was lunchtime, with several places to eat, and I was too full even for Starbucks. Safeway has a seating area for anyone to use, so I found a place in the shade, read some more OSC, played on the phone, and somehow survived one Safeway employee who decided to pick the most up-wind seat and smoke.

Eventually I wandered to Marie's and ordered lunch. Should have just had a pie, but I still had 2 hours to kill. Waiting for the food took 15 minutes of that. It was pretty good, and I finished it all.

Back to the Safeway seats, read some more and my phone rang, the car was ready. 2:30. It was a very long walk back, by now it's 75° and I'm pretty full and thinking if I can't handle two blocks of walking here, what am I going to do in Thailand in 2 months?

New guy showed me the work he had done, putting the GPS antenna up where it needed to be. He also pulled two sets of cables which I'm not using (amps, backup camera, etc) and told me the mount for the in-dash unit was not bolted in, it had been free to slide out. I let him blame it on the old guy, but it probably was done by the idiots who installed the new alarm system which had disconnected the main plug for the in-dash unit.

Drove home, sort of kicking myself for not having put the new map into the unit, it was still home on a table.

Got home around 3, took a nap. Woke up in an hour with Domino curled up behind me. Went back to sleep. Woke up sort of when the doorbell rang. Decided it was probably a package, but not worth getting dressed for. I did need to hydrate, eventually got dressed, opened the door, and a USPS delivery notice was there saying to pick it up at the office. Went to the office, and it was [ profile] lemmozine's package of eBay magazines. Needed a signature, of course. Back to the apartment, checked the mailbox, there were the siphon parts I'd ordered. Installed the new straight tube to replace the old yellowing curving one, and that made an instant improvement.

It was starting to cool off, so I pulled the 28 pickle cukes out of the fridge & washed them. Got the cauldron out of the closet and the monster canning tub off the top shelf, turned on the vent fan and started filling things with lots of water.  

One batch of pickles done. I had enough mix for 1 more jar and enough cukes for 3 more. So I sliced up a bunch of chips & half-spears and am boiling one more jar as I type this. All the others I did all the way with grape leaves & garlic cloves, but this last jar is just the cukes and the mix. I may bring a jar from the first batch to BASFA to auction off.

Roxio install is done - it needed two passes. I'll finish this novel, reboot, and see it it works. If not, I'm going to raise hell with Tivo. They need to partner with a company whose software works.

Plans for tomorrow:
Enjoy the nice weather. Maybe finish the OSC book and move on to Slave Girl of Gor.
Go to the Sunnyvale Art Gallery open studio event and hopefully see my G&S friend Connie, who has some work on display.
Coffee with Janice
Test a batch of pickles
howeird: (Puke Massage)
Got to work way early so I could sneak into the lab with Windex and a cleaning rag to clean the window in front of my cube on which some bozo had written with EZrase marker and then tried to use EZrase cleaner to get it off. It got the marker off but left a messy blob on the window.

And I needed to chat with automation guy about a couple of things before the 10 am team meeting. And to call Toshiba support which set me up with a much newer driver for the Ultrabook's wifi.

Somehow we managed to stretch 15 minutes of information into an hour at the meeting. There was supposed to be an engineering meeting I was invited to in the same room right after, but no one showed up.

I filed a few bugs, and immediately got flack from the project manager. Lately he seems to be in goaltender mode.

My new cell phone was delivered to the apartment office at about noon, so at 1 I went to get it, spent the next hour and a half starting to set it up, and then was off to the opthtalmologist for my annual "how bad is Howard's retinopathy?" exam. My eyesight has gotten worse in my left eye, I missed one of the characters in the middle of the last line. After my eyes were dilated and had bright lights shined into them, I was pronounced "the same" and reminded to keep my blood sugars under control. Which they have not been. And that makes me wonder. My blood pressure has been, and I expect that's also an important factor.

It had gone from 70F and sunny to 68F and overcast with steady 20 mph winds, but it was still very bright with my eyes dilated. I picked up an insulin prescription, which needed to go into the fridge so I went home and sat in the dark with the cat for a while. It still hurt too much to watch TV, let alone work in front of the computer, but I figured it would be okay to take care of a couple of refunds and go to Costco.

Microcenter, returned the 240GB SSD which I figured was not worth putting into the Ultrabook. Will wait till the price comes down on the 360GB, which only one vendor online seems to have in stock. Fry's, returned the copy of Norton Ghost which I didn't need because I was able to beat Perfect Image into submission.

Then to Costco, my eyes were still making my brain hurt, but their lighting is a mile high in the ceiling, so not very intrusive. The place was a bumper car race with random pedestrians and children running around. One would think it was the Thursday before Easter. I only had three things on my shopping list:

Cheeses really was two or three things. I always buy the big carton of Kraft American Singles, and then it's a toss-up whether I get Swiss, muenster, sharp cheddar or brie. Or something else.

Out the door with $140 worth of items, napkins were not one of them. I realized I had bought napkins my last groc outing. Pistachios were <$5/lb, so I had to buy a bag. Bagels had just come out of the oven. Which required cream cheese. String cheese was on sale, so was muenster. I'm almost out of chocolate syrup, and the big 2-fer is less than a single one at Safeway. Two gallons of 2% was $1 more than 1 gallon at the other stores. I will be drinking  a lot of milk until Use By April 26. Pre-cooked bacon as a nod to Barenaked Ladies. AA and AAA Duracels, which would have been on my list if I'd been thinking. And 4 packages of butter, because I'm almost out of margarine and it's a toss up which one will kill me faster. And finally, a 12-pack of those cute little square tissue boxes. More expensive than the large format ones, but they fit on a desk better.

It was cold enough to not need to worry about things melting, so I took myself and the Ultrabook to Denny's to test the wi-fi driver. Amazing improvement. Where I was getting no connection before, now it hooked up immediately, stayed connected and was pretty fast. Yay! I was able to set up Kindle for the PC and continue reading AL, Vampire Hunter. By about 8:30 my eyesight was back 95%, only 4.5 hours after they were dilated. They keep telling me it should only be an hour.

There is still a lot of phone setup to be done, getting my own ringtones in place is always a hurdle. Most of my apps downloaded from Google without me having to do anything. And there are still croissants to bag & freeze.

Plans for tomorrow:
Play with new phone
howeird: (Default)
More scripting at work. Stupid network delays made perfectly good scripts stop at random places. Feh.
Lunchtime PO trip to mail two eBay sales. Should have added some nominal shipping charge because the two came to about $23 for a gross revenue of $200. Wasn't really going for income as much as getting a couple of photo items out of the apartment I don't use. Moto Bionic phone did not sell, didn't even get watched. Lowered the price a tad and re-listed. The two extended batteries alone retail at close to the base price.
Then a message to pick up a package at the apartment. Turned out stoopid Garmin tech support in Germany required a signature for a free replacement SD card. It worked, though. Except it apparently has to stay in the GPS, which means I don't get my POIs. Will be emailing support about that, because it sucks.

At about 5 my PC decided once again that it was not connected to the Intranet. Too late to call IT. I could get to LJ and FB just fine, so did. It came back at a quarter to leaving time, but that let me do one more script.

Home, the sleeve and retractable USB cord from Amazon were at the door. The ultrabook fits into the sleeve exactly, no room to spare, and both fit into the case, which was what I was hoping for. So the case with the mouse and power brick and assorted cords and headphones can stay in the car and I'll just take the computer out in its sleeve, and pocket the mouse when I am SBUXing. BTW, bought 100 shares of Starbucks, kicking myself I did not do so a week ago when it was $5/share less. The price has doubled since the start of the year, for no apparent reason.
But I like what their CEO said about same-sex marriage, very publicly and gracefully,

and even though they pay a crap dividend, I want to own a piece of them. Friends in Seattle email me each year about the fab stockholders' meetings, maybe next year I'll go up there for that.

The clock just chimed midnight, so time to wish [ profile] susandennis a happy birthday. The good news is there's a Mariner's game. The bad news is it is in Tokyo, 3:10 am PDT.  They play the A's today and tomorrow. Maybe the Seattle station will play it on a delay.
It has been raining all evening. Wind blowing hard too. Went out tonight, had to dodge pieces of trees in the road.
Plans for tomorrow:
Same old same old @ work
Computer History Museum for a reception & talk. Food will probably be gone by the time I get there. Last time it was vacuumed up by 6:15. :-(
howeird: (Pocari Sweat)
Was up till 3 am copying stuff from the main PC to the Ultrabook, mostly by wifi. Woke upo at 8 with Domino on my tummy. Rolled over and went back to sleep for "an hour". Woke up at 11. Decided to try for the 2 o'clock manicure slot, which left me time to remove the giant slab of corned beef from the crock pot and slice it into freezer bag portions. It did as much shredding as slicing, which is the brisket part I really love. I heated up a piece of garlic bread, put some horseradish sauce on the plate and had a portion for brunch. Yum.

Manicure place at noon - she actually took me at 12:30, which gave me a little time at Clocktower coffee shop with the Ultrabook. It's raining, so I put it in a Fry's cloth shopping bag.

After nails were done I went to the PA Fry's and found a serviceable case for the 13.1" screen. Also found a nice sleeve, but since it was in the Apple section it was 3x what it was worth. It's not an Apple case, it just happens the fit the 13" Macbook. I'll order one online.

It has been raining all day, pretty hard at times.

I'm in the Starbucks sliver store (it's long and narrow) using the Ultrabook. Been here since 3:30, will leave by 4:30 to get home, grab the camera and my Roller Derby ticket voucher. Derby in south SJ, one of the sk8ers is a woman I met about 15 years ago when her then boyfriend was a leading man in a G&S production I directed at Stanford.
howeird: (Default)

The Asus Zen is a FAIL. The deal-breaker was it doesn't type all the keys I hit, especially the "a". I sat in front of a simple text file and pounded in some of our favorite patriotic phrases about the sunshine soldier and the summer patriot and when in the course of human events, and half the a's were missing. If I typed really slowly (10 wpm) they would all be there. Also a PITA is the home and end keys require holding down the Fn key. And the touchpad doesn't scroll.

I wanted to test it with a bluetooth mouse, and I know I have one around here somewhere but cannot find it.

Moot point, though, the main part of the computer is the keyboard, and if that doesn't work for me it's a show-stopper.

To make life even more interesting, the return terms said I needed to wipe all my stuff, and you can't test the machine without setting up a Windows account, so I did the F9- factory reset, which is supposed to reload the machine into its virgin state from a partition on the drive, but it just kept coming up with a "starting windows for the first time" message and then rebooting. From the split-second display of an error dialog, it seems the reset partition is missing a few crucial pieces, and the machine needs a recovery disc, which they did not include, so I'll let that be their headache.

Also points against it is it is too heavy for a thin book, and the cover is difficult to pry open.

The Toshiba ought to be here Friday or Saturday, and Office Depot's RMA email said they want to pick up the package from me Friday between 8:30 am and 5 pm, but that's not going to happen so I'll call and see if I can just drop it at an Office Depot store.


Mar. 14th, 2012 09:10 pm
howeird: (Default)
I almost bought an ASUS Eee tablet on impulse this afternoon, because it is presented as being a netbook with what looks like a standard fold-up keyboard. But it's a tablet with a fold-up docking station. In other words an oversized smartphone without the phone part.

Oh well.

In other news, I was successful in putting the POIs from my stand-alone Garmin into an SD card which the in-dash GPS can read.

Lots of things resolved at work. The head of our customer on-site troubleshooting team assured me that I'd found a bug. It took a lot of time and tedious "push 'go' and wait for 15 minutes" to run the tests I needed to satisfy myself that I'd tried all the combinations, but in the end a new check box on the user interface doesn't turn something on and off which it was supposed to.

Had my 1-on-1 with the boss, mostly wrapping up the two bugs I have open, and making sure I got the message about an engineering meeting for a feature for which I'll be writing test cases eventually. I usually don't go to those, but this feature is Special™.

Lunch was at Coco's, which I saw at the [ profile] basfa meeting had corned beef & cabbage for the week. I love good corned beef, can tolerate cabbage in corned beef juice. It was far and away the worst cut of corned beef ever. The way they cut it, it was mostly fat & gristle, and only about 1/4 of the meat was edible. It was cooked well, though. My experience there is sending something back only gets you the same thing, more slowly. Also, the red potatoes they serve with the meal are wrong.

Maybe I'll try an Irish pub instead. Trouble is there isn't one within a lunchtime drive of work, and Saturday they will be drunken zoos. Maybe dinner tomorrow night?

The DVD of Barbarella I ordered arrived, I watched the first half hour or so when I got home. Well worth the $9. There is a lot more nudity than I remembered, but oddly enough the Jane Fonda scene I thought was right after the opening credits was further into the movie, but what she does during the opening credits is a lot more erotic than I remembered. There's also a lot more nudity among the extras, which I missed when I saw it in the theater. Looking at the release date, I bet I saw it on my 18th birthday. The rating system had just been put in place, and it was released about 3 weeks before my birthday.

Also arrived were a pair of biz card holders I bought for the conference, which I had only ordered yesterday. That was fast!

Bizcards are done. Time for dinner with Jane.

Plans for tomorrow:
Dinner at an Irish Pub(?)
howeird: (Default)
On of my oldest Bay Area theater friends is on FB and goes on emo jags where she posts every self-pity picture she can get her hands on. Some of them are very tragic, many are just plain tacky, more than one a week is overkill.

Kept dozing off at work this afternoon, only for a second at a time, but still. I blame the prescription strength allergy meds. They help me not cough at night, but I was given the 24-hour version. No more for me until I can get the 12-hour ones.

Did not complete a single test case at work. Two big ones didn't work because the person who wrote the instructions got some critical details wrong, and since the document was written,  the syntax has changed for the command I needed. The ones Boss suggested last week which I looked at today all needed special equipment which I don't have access to. I'll work with the expert for the first two tests tomorrow morning. I give him a 50-50 chance of figuring out how to make them work.

Lunchtime, went to Fry's for lunch. Worst pastrami sandwich ever. 3/4 gristle. Food in the big electronics store's café is always iffy. The reason for pastrami is I figured if Jews went to Chinese restaurants for Christmas, it was only fair to have Jewish food on Chinese New Year.

I was at the store to buy a wireless repeater, they had the one I wanted on sale, and as an added bonus all the ones on the shelf were returns, which meant another $5 off.

9 am meeting day, so I bailed at 5:30. Home, headed straight for bed. Only got an hour's nap. Watched TV in bed till 9, when it was "must make pickles now" time. I'd left the cukes in plastic bags, which was a mistake, a couple of them had started to melt, I had to wash all of them thoroughly.  These ones were too thick to fit three in a jar, so I sliced all of them into spears. Sterilized the jars & lids, started the mix to boiling. Watched Tivo while I waited for all that. Was about two spears short of the 7th jar being full, but that's okay. The mix was only enough for 6 jars, so I took the jar of way-too-spicy pickles from two batches ago out of the fridge, heated up the juice and used that for jar 7.

I'm not too sure these will come out well. I had turned the heat down on the canning pot after I took the sterilized stuff out, and forgot to turn it back up when I put the full jars in. They are supposed to be in boiling water for 10-12 minutes, but they were in sub-steaming water for that long, and after I turned up the heat it got to a boil in maybe 5 minutes. I'll find out when I'm back from Seattle.

Speaking of which, I added Wednesday to my hotel reservation. Plan A had been to rent a car and drive to Bremerton Wed afternoon (plane lands at 2:30) and find a motel, then continue to sister's place in Kitsap County, spend the day there Thursday and drive to the hotel that evening. But it seems like a better idea to stay by the airport overnight and do the whole trip Thursday. Conflikt starts Friday.

Set up the wireless repeater, but can't tell if it is working. The lights say it is. Cell phone showed a full strength signal before and after firing it up atop the piano.

Plans for tomorrow:

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