howeird: (Default)
I've been having trouble falling asleep, and the result is at about 3-4 pm my body approaches hibernation mode. Today I didn't do much, slept till 8:30, used the guest shower again (now that the soap/shampoo dispenser is mounted in there, it is way more comfortable than the closet-like master shower).

I really need to call a remodeling person to see about fixing the master bath.

Went to the Domain Hotel at about 2 and collected my photos, and had a chat with Mo, the art show maven. She tells me Contact may take a year off again.

Other stuff I did in the morning included studying lines, and trying to figure out if the very nice Synology software can do an incremental backup. Looks like it can't. Bummer. I need backup software that can take advantage of the 1Gbps transfer rate. Put all 500 slides from the last scan back into the folders.

Home at 3:30, had a late lunch, studied more lines, re-filled the bird feeder, sat out on the porch until it got into full sun. Ignored Domino's yells for treats because she pooped outside the box, this time right next to it.

Took out the garbage & recyclables, this time all the cardboard fit into the bin. Put into folders the 100+ slides from the first scan which were actually from 15 years earlier, and put into another folder the 50 or so not related to my Asia trips. This all in the 3rd bedroom. So now one can walk the length without stepping on slides or albums.

6:30 or a little before, drove to the theater, hung out in the park by the pond, and watched the two swans. And wondered why they seemed to stay in almost the same place. And why they didn't seem to be made of feathers. And how come there was a ring around the base of their necks where their heads moved. Turns out they are plastic. Probably there to scare away the Canada Geese.

I need to go there with my 300mm lens, the phone camera zoom is useless.

Sit 7 Sing with the band. The WAY TOO LOUD band. The SM eventually gave us a few mikes to share, but he didn't turn the monitor up enough to make a difference. The band is pretty good, and most of the tunes we only needed to do once. But since we didn't start till almost 8, we didn't get out till 9:30.

Home, made elbow macaroni, with chopped up sausage, and melted some sharp cheddar & swiss on top. Fudge brownie ice cream for dessert because my Hgl was down to 69.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work. Lots of typing & cutting and pasting
Rehearsal. He thinks we will run Act 1 2x, without books. He is dreaming.
howeird: (Default)
For the first time in a while it's both before tomorrow and I'm mostly awake. No work. No rehearsals. Took it easy.

Got to the Contact conference in time for Seth Shostak's talk, which was very entertaining, about SETI's new theory that red dwarf stars are the best place to look for inhabitable earth-like planets. It made a lot of sense, except he didn't say anything about the effect on life that red sunlight might have. One good thing is he reminded me I need to make an effort to tune in to his [ profile] podcast.

Next up was someone formerly at ILM now with the CA Academy of Sciences whose presentation a couple of years ago was exceptional, but this year he phoned it in, and showed boring snippets of fish-eye video which the CAAS uses in some of their environmental displays. Boring.

I ducked out a little early to drive to the office, grab a photo I wanted in the Contact art show, drive back and hang it with the rest of my display (there was plenty of room).

Before I left for the conference this morning I had printed a tag for it.

It was still lunch time, I walked a block to KFC and ate there.

Back to the hotel, there was supposed to be a panel with Larry Niven, but he didn't show and nobody even mentioned that he was supposed to have been there (it was pretty clear in the program, with a bio and everything). Boring panel about several artists, social scientists and real scientists coming up with visualizations of space aliens by basically looking at the science and pulling ideas out of their butts.

The next talk was almost as boring, a part-time anthropologist with horribly crude slides made from purloined web photos placed at random angles. Her assertion is that until we are all  

    and Reverent.

we will be unfit to welcome visitors from the stars. She rates the US as 4.something out of 10 in meeting her requirements. Frankly, it was more like 0.3 from what I can tell. I asked her why everyone has to meet these requirements when it's only the best of the best and some military jocks who will actually have First Contact and her answer was something like "can't we all just get along?"

I ducked out before the next speaker started, I wanted to read some more in the book I'd started on Kindle, which was by someone I sort of know and respect. It also gave me a chance top duck into the art display and see that it had been set up, with lots more than just my 10 photos. The book failed, and I made the mistake of going back into the presentation room while Ms. Global Warming was slogging through her doom and gloom scenarios. Bottom line, according to her, is we will all die in 2022. Most of her stuff was on ways to make coal burning power plants cleaner. No clue about nuclear. A couple of unworkable alternates (kites?). She needs to get a life.

The final talk of the day which I was very much looking forward to again was a no-show, I walked out a minute into the not at all interesting to me replacement.

Hung out in the art show with the art show director and one of the more impressive artists, and the guy whose book I had just failed. He does some pretty good drawings.

There was quite a crowd at the 5 pm art show reception, but a gaggle of people gathered in a traffic-blocking mass in front of my photos to pass around 3D-printed alien models. I think 2 people actually saw my stuff.

Went to Lowe's to get a replacement for the broken kitchen faucet aerator, also got a couple of self-watering planters for the drying-out vines hanging from the kitchen curtain rods, and a fuchsia to replace the hummingbird feeder outside.

Home, took care of that, made dinner, watched two episodes of TMZ, remembered not to feed the cat any treats no matter how much she yelled at me.

Have been going over my lines in my head, I think I know them all, mostly in order, and maybe also with blocking.

Plans for tomorrow:
Look at lines, especially for a couple of songs I am not a soloist in
3 pm-ish, back to the hotel and pick up my photos - there is nothing in the Sunday program I am interested in
7-ish, Sitzprobe at the theater. That's French for first time singing with the band. Probably will go till 10.
howeird: (Default)
Most of my timepieces are on the internet or atomic clock radio signal, so I only had to change the time on the microwave, and two clocks which have a DST switch. And the car clock, though the GPS shows the right time.

And now I remember the waterproof clock radio in the shower need to be set, too.

Got to Consonance just before noon, which I thought was Tim Griffin's concert but it was Margaret & Kristoph's CD release party, which I found  out while vacuuming up delicious coffee cake in the con suite. I went down to the party room, wove my way to the CD display, but a couple of boorish, inconsiderate people slammed into me to get where I was, so I left. The place was beyond its capacity, anyway, and I can get the CD any time.

Tim's concert was supposed to be for kids, but most of the kids were camped out in the back rows, on their smartphones, completely oblivious. Bela's tribe was up front and appeared to have levels of interest commensurate with their ages. Tim didn't do the songs of his I would have expected for a kid's concert, but since the audience was mostly adults, maybe that was for the best.

2x10s were mostly non-descript, except the Gold ones. I didn;t know Barry had such a beautiful bass-baritone voice, he is usually drowned out by taking a back seat to his wife, who did not sing this time. Lynn was amazing just by being on her feet, and moreso by dancing a little. It has been an unusually tough year for her all around, and especially for her ankles. Bill surprised me by somehow convincing Kristoph to accompany him on a parody of one of K's songs which starts and ends with a finder-twisting lightning-fast guitar lick. Bill has a habit of choosing his own keys when he sings, and changing them early and often, often in mid-word, which makes him a better candidate for a capella.

The Surprise Concert was Mike Whittaker with Rika. Offstage, Mike is a high energy, witty and charming person. Onstage too, until he starts to sing, and then he switches to "ose" mode. Rika seems to almost always be in ose mode, so it was a match. Lucky for me I had a rehearsal to get to, but first needed to spend quality time with some glucose and study my lines. So I left after three songs.

My Hgl was shouting warning messages at me, so I parked in front of Specialties' a couple of blocks from the house, had a mocha and a sticky bun, and got back down to human as I looked at my Act 1 lines, and then Act 2.

Home, the SM had posted a new PDF of the script, this time with all the typos fixed and the new lines inserted. I bought a subscription to Acrobat Pro so I could make some other changes, and highlight my lines. That took till 6:40 to print out, I needed to leave (I thought) so I didn't 3-hole punch them and went with my older script. There was a production meeting under way, and we didn't get going till almost 7:30. :-(

Lots of my time wasted. We had been expecting to do a run-through of At 1, but instead the director micro-adjusted all the scenes I wasn't in and blew off re-choreographing my big number.

He did that after Act 1 was done, while the cast was in the back room learning the final number. 

Home, should have had a snack, shot up and gone to bed, but I had stopped at Safeway on the way meaning to buy ice cream, bananas, limes and lactose-free milk. Decided it was time for the revenge of the beef-disguised-as-lamb from last night and bought a $23 leg of lamb and all kinds of things to toss into a crock pot with it. A huge bundle of fresh mint topped the list. I also stocked up on frozen dinners, which was on my list, and ended up spending $115.

So at home I took stuff out of the three bags, arranged them by where they get stored (idiot checker bagged frozen stuff in all 3 bags when it all would have fit easily into one, nothing was in any kind of order). Put stuff away except for the lamb fixings. Chopped up celery, onion, carrots, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Anyhow it's in the crock pot on slow cook.

Plans for tomorrow:
Take the stuff out of the dryer and run a load of whites
Rehearsals, surprise photo shoot at 6:30. I need to bring costume stuff.
howeird: (Hawaiin Shirt)
Costco, picked up the box of scanned slides and the two DVDs they were scanned to. Had just enough time to copy them to the PC before heading back to Consonance. There are so many of the solid musician types there this year, made me miss [ profile] lemmozine. Seanan is elsewhere, which I think raises the level of musicality a bit, and lowers the chaos factor. The latter may or may not be a good thing. Brooke is also elsewhere, and I miss her music & energy & creativity. And am sad that tragedy struck her in a way which makes it impossible for me to sing my favorite song of hers which I am capable of singing. There are a couple I like better but my mouth doesn't know what to do with the lyrics.

I got there in time for the 2x10s, the first person on stage sang boring bardic balladish balderdash. Steve Savitsky came down from his transplanted home near Seattle and sang his old tune about how his house is always open to all on one night of the week, except maybe now it isn't. And he sang a song he wrote about/for Naomi, which was very touching and I would have asked him for a recording to send to my cousin who has MS except for the bit about how Naomi's SO stands beside her, because cousin's husband bailed when she got the diagnosis. Brett Glass, whom I had not seen in so long I still don't recognize him, sang a cute Time Lord song accompanied by his laptop orchestra. Jane Mainlander, who is often the most entertaining person at the con, bored me with a couple of songs about Sherlock Holmes spin-offs. One was a tribute to Joan in Elementary which I thought fell short. Needed a more upbeat tune. Nick pleaded con crud and instead of singing told the story of the Pied Piper. His voice sounded fine, and while he is a wonderful storyteller, it didn't work for me. I needed a trick ending, or something.

International guest Rika Körte, who impressed me singing harmony last night, did an entire set above her range, and the sound people made it worse by over-modulating. Nothing in her set was memorable. A good chunk of it was in German.

Interfilk guests Robin Holly and Jonathan Turner were mostly entertaining. Jonathan did most of the singing, he has a bad habit of swallowing the words at the end of a line, especially punchlines. He did a funny one about how he won't sing Bob Dylan.

Home, pulled some weeds using the claw thing I'd bought a while ago for that purpose, but many of the weeds were too deeply rooted to get them all.

Did some more processing on the photos, renamed them, and started the upload to Flickr. Left the machine on as I returned to the con.

Clare Cook was a first-timer with a 30-minute set, mostly Clancy Brothers, and she thinks Irish Rovers originated the song The Merry Minuet. She updated it in a way which was charming and awkward and not entirely necessary. I liked her alternative ending:
What nature doesn't do to us
Will be done by our fellow man.. woman..person of indeterminate gender

And that brought us to the GoH concert, Margaret & Kristoph. Mark Osier sang their intro, to the tune of Let It Go from Frozen. Brought down the house when he changed the chorus to "They're our GOH" (pronounced "go")

As usual, M&K gave a consummate musical performance with only a tiny bit of filk content, and they brought up several people to help, with Brett Glass playing bass on a few numbers, one tune he had Brett, Paul Kwin, Maya & Jeff, Jim Partridge, Paul Kwinn and Beckett Gladney (on harmonica) to sing about things lost in the dryer, and lost beer.

They got a standing O, did an encore, and then things broke up for open filk. I went across the street looking for food (it was almost 10 and most places were closing) and found a restaurant called Chef Wang's Indian Chinese. Staffed by Indians, I was the only non-Indian in there. I ordered the Manchurian lamb but I think they gave me beef. It was very spicy. My sinuses and tear ducts have been completely irrigated. The corn & crab soup used fake crab. I can check this place off my list.

Home, put the final touches on the Flickr set, caught up on FB and fed the cat. And had some ice cream as an antidote to dinner.
Some photos behind the cut )
Flickr link is -->here<-- 

Plans for tomorrow:
Study lines
Con at noon
Rehearsals at 7
howeird: (Default)
Potlatch-SF this year is in SJ. I missed the opening ceremonies, first panel and parties because when I got home from work I was beat, and felt like I was coming down with a cold, and the prospect of battling 101 traffic to get to San Jose was daunting. So I went to bed.

And woke up at 11, made dinner, watched 5 episodes of TMZ (which is more than 1/2 commercials), went to sleep again.

So this morning I delayed the hunt for Girl Scout cookies and went to Potlatch, and enjoyed the conversations and readings but had to mail at 4:30 to get to the homeowners assn Chinese New Year dinner. They had snotlickers, egg rolettes, and soda/wine to start, the main course was fried rice, chow mein and something like chicken nuggets. There was also hot and sour soup which I declined. Dessert was an unidentifiable but tasty scoop of ice cream and almond cookies. I was stuffed. Made a couple of friends, two of them on my street and one not. Got some good advice on gardening and construction protocol (check everything with the manager first, the only thing you can't plant are trees).

I joked that I would not be setting up the meth lab or marijuana farm, and the guy who has lived here for 40 years said if I did it wouldn't be the first.

Home by 7:30, did some extra insulin.

Janice's remote arrived, lightning fast delivery by an eBay vendor. I hooked it up and created an account on Logitech for it, but that's all I can do till she gets me the makes/models of her gear.

Flag poles & anti-wrap-around clips arrived yesterday, after dinner I unwrapped them and now have two wrap-resistant poles, one with the Stars and Stripes and one with just the Stripes (Thailand). The holder is designed to display one flag at full and the other below at 3/4. They are not long enough to add my C&GS flag. :-(

Also waiting to be done were the index tabs for the Little Shop script. Downloaded Avery's template, printed out 14 inserts and slid them into the tab holders, and now they are on the script, very unevenly but mostly functional. The most useful thing is now I can easily flip to the music. I'm only in 4 numbers. I only tabbed 3. Oops.

Watched some of the NFL combine on Tivo. 6'7" 325lb offensive linemen running the dash is not my idea of a good time.

Plans for tomorrow:
Find Girl Scout cookies. Buy some.
Potlatch by 11. Bring some of Nancie's cookbooks for the "books about food" session.
Maybe study some lines
howeird: Me onstage (Cowardly)
Well, not really, just one, which happened yesterday and it was so epic I completely forgot to journal about it. When I got home from the mattress place by way of Kinko's, my body was trying very hard to believe I was already in the bathroom poised for victory. After draining the lizard, I felt that warm wet sensation which usually means someone was too quick on the trigger. I took my pants off, and the whole right rear side from the waist to the knee was wet. Water wet, not pee wet. Wet enough to empty the pockets, remove the belt and toss it into the dryer.

Totally puzzled, I could not think of how that happened. The driver's seat of the car was dry, so was the floor of the bathroom. I could not think of a water source which I could have encountered in the time frame, except for the remote possibility that one of the mattresses I sat on had a leak.

Got to work early, thanks to being very nervous all night about the astronomical blood sugar reading. I woke up at 2 am and it was 190, which is too high for the insulin dosage, so I shot up another 6 units (equals 35 units of regular). But when I did my morning reading it was up by 8 points. The human body is not a precision instrument, but this is ridiculous. I'm gonna write my diabetes doc and tell him I want to go back to the last regimen, shooting up before each meal. As poorly as that was working, it was far better than this.

Main reasons to be at work early was twofold: I was going to leave at 11:30 to be home foe the noon-2 bed repair window, and boss had emailed me a very complicated test to run for Engineering and I needed to re-learn how my older model machine worked so I could send video and 4 audio channels to my new model machine. And then mess with which audio streams were sent and seeing how the new machine handled the changes. The bottom line is I couldn't fool the new machine into misbehaving. It played all the audio I sent it, and didn't miss a beat (literally) when I added a stream or pulled one or two, or completely replaced the 4 original streams with 5 new ones. That was a lot of work, I hope it's what engineering wanted, because the email from them was open to interpretation.

After that I continued to update the test database with setup requirements and steps. Got home by 11:45, and immediately got a call from the bed people that they would be there toward the end of the window. So I fired up the VPN and remote desktop, and continued to continue. Got about 5 done before the bed guys showed up at 1:45.

Domino wanted to help, after all it's her bed. I put her in the bathroom to get her out of the way. They did a quick job of taking off the mattress and lifting the frame up on its side, removing the legs from the frame, removing the wheels from the legs and screwing the wheels straight into the frame. Frame back on the ground, mattress back on the frame and it was all done in 15 minutes. Now the bed is just a tad lower than I like, but I can always raise the feet a little (adjustable frame) where before it was just way too high.

Domino yelled at me as I made the bed, and jumped onto it after I was done. It is now low enough for her to not need the pet steps, so she has her choice.

Back to work, completed the first feature set, and proceeded to plan the next one, which I can't really do without the actual machine. November, they say. This feature involves testing that the device sends alerts to designated PCs when certain events occur.

After work I took the copied script/music for Little Shop to the Mercado Starbucks, waited for a seat by a non-high-chair table opened up, and highlighted my lines and underlined my cues. Many of my cues are not underline-able, as they are ends of songs or scene shifts. It is a big part, and my character leads off most of the dialog. There is one tricky section where my lines alternate with music the plant is singing. One thing I discovered at the launch rehearsal is the guy playing the voice of the plant and I are from the same planet. This is often not the case with one's duet partner in community theater.

That all took about an hour, which was still early enough to throw some Costco spanikopita into the oven and watch the Tivoed Olympics. Some major crashes in the women's snowboard, and it was good to see the Jamaican bobsled team, out there again. There is also a Thai skier, but he didn't make the US broadcasts. I hate that they lump disparate sports into a single 3-hour broadcast. Tivo doesn't do a good job of skipping chunks of video, and figure skating just looks rude in 3x FF. And there are way too many fluff stories (making nested dolls has no place in a sports broadcast). And I can do without the tutorials by US team members.

I've been spending time on for coverage which makes more sense.

In other sports news, I subscribed to Sports Illustrated online, which will get me a year's print issues plus online access. And a Seahawks bonus package for free. Which I will send to Baltimore sister.

Looked at my online calendar and saw a big empty space where the London Worldcon should have been, so I poked in the flight and hotel info and marked which days are con days and one long mark for the entire vacation time. One thing I would like to do after the con is take a significant side trip. Ireland is high on the list, Paris is trying to win me over, a chunnel train ride is tempting. But I have cousins to visit as well. One in Brighton, a couple in Olney and a couple in Buckinghamshire. There are more, but I'm not surer where. Cousin Howard has always been an enigma. To the best of my knowledge he is not fannish like all the other cousins, and I have no real idea where he lives except "far from the rest".

Irish rail has some lovely looking London-Dublin rail/Ferry packages, which poetically start at London's Euston station and end at Dublin's Heuston station. And once in Dublin there are train tours to some very scenic places.

But first I need to survive Little Shop.

In mortgage news, I called the lender CU and they said Allstate was wrong, the refund check is to be sent to them to be put into my escrow account to cover the new insurance which they already paid. There will be an actual amount owed on my next CU statement, and I should use the enclosed envelope to mail it in.

Serendipitously, MetLife mailed me a card saying that the new company gets a 15% discount, so while waiting for the bed guys I phoned to find out what it would cost to move my auto insurance to them. The guy asked where I was located, and when I said CA he said Metlife wasn't licensed to sell auto insurance in CA but he will transfer me to someone who can. So I hung up. But now I'm thinking I may have misunderstood him, and he was saying he personally wasn't licensed in CA. I think I'll go online and try again.

Bought the other three Giver books on Kindle.

Plans for tomorrow:
Start studying the words to my songs

Surf's Up

Jan. 25th, 2014 01:39 am
howeird: (Default)
Totally forgot about Mavericks surf completion this morning until it showed up at work during my CNN break. But there were no waves showing on the live streaming, just a bunch of surfers and boats bobbing on a fairly flay sea. Only one surfer had scored any points. The usual suspects and I went to lunch (Round Table's pizza buffet) and when we got back I was busy doing actual work until about 4. Looked again and now it was almost over, they were showing reruns of 40-foot waves being ridden, and five or six surfers had scored, one of them 3 times, and one of his was a 10.

Stayed till almost 6, finishing up some work for Automation Guy, who said that since I did the work, I could do the demo again, at Monday's team meeting. Okay, he's right, I give good demo.

Headed for Lowe's, where I discovered I had forgotten the discount coupon, so instead of buying a lot of stuff I needed, I only bought wild bird seed and an American flag with a flagpole kit. The house has an empty flag pole holder. Will go back tomorrow with the coupon and buy two garden hoses, some hose hardware, and maybe a couple of indoor plants.

Home, put the flag pole together, attached the USA flag, attached an almost-as-big Thai flag below it, and set it aside until tomorrow because flags should be posted in daylight.

Filled the bird feeder, took down the empty hummingbird feeder and hung the seed feeder in its place. Tapped on the full hummer feeder to burp it, and the bubbles meant maybe there had been some activity.

Two surprises this morning at the mailbox. Mine and most of the mailboxes on the block had their doors open. And in the park's mail tube was my rent/utilities bill. This is the first month electric and gas was billed, and it was a hefty $ 68 each. And the larger garbage can cost me more, but only about $7 for twice the capacity. Everything else was the same. Yesterday the mortgage deduction hit the checking account, but it was the same as last month, which means they haven't processed the new insurance yet. It should go up by $5 a month when that is done.

Watched an episode of Shark Tank. One of the applicants was a total fake, snake oil salesman. Everyone saw right through him immediately.

Dinner made me late. I decided to heat up the frozen Marie Calendar lasagna in the oven. Took an hour. Cut the fungus off a piece of swiss cheese, sliced it up and added it to the top of the container and 10 more minutes. Tried to cut it into squares, but it was a hot mess and I ended up using a pancake flipper to slap the goop onto a plate. Tasted great but looked like a disaster.

The chocolate fudge ice cream was nice too.

This morning's Hgl was 89, and I was feeling a bit squirrelly, and puzzled because I'd made a snack at 11 pm of a grilled cheese sandwich. And I had three pieces of chocolate from the night stand while I was reading in bed. Same insulin as usual. Weird.

Plans for tomorrow:
Nothing time-related
Lowe's, stuff for the house.
Looking forward to LJ and FB reports on Conflikt. Decided to skip it because the venue sucks and last year I had very little fun because my favorite performers decided to make it a relaxacon and didn't do much singing. Will be at Consonance for my major league filk fix.
howeird: (Naga)
Got to work early, left late. Another frustrating day of scripts not working. The ones the automation team wrote did things my test case didn't want done, so I had to write my own. One more to look at Monday, except this time it may just be a typo in the Official Scriptlet.

"Quick" meeting called by boss' boss lasted an hour, with lots of pauses for crickets. Should have taken 10 minutes, but he decided to update us with some relatively minor stuff after dropping the bombshell. Bombshell is that our CTO, whom I think was a founder and definitely was the engineer most responsible for our first Emmy, is leaving at the end of the month. He's from France, his wife is also from Europe, and they have parents over there they want to spend more time with. He apparently has wanted to do this for about a year, but timing sucked.

The other news is the part of the company which bought us which had been sort of making a similar product will move from their little office in Redwood City down here to Santa Clara. No time frame, though.

Lunchtime, picked up a package at the apartment, and another at UPS, then had lunch next door to UPS at Rama V Thai, thought I'd give them a second chance. First time the service was so-so, the food sucked. This time the service was pretty good for a huge Friday company teams lunch crowd, but very different food sucked. They did the mango/sticky rice well, though.

5-ish, gave Automation Guy a ride to pick up his car, which was being 25k maintained at the dealer.

Back to work, wrote my weekly report for 2 weeks (missed doing it last week because Westercon66).

In other news, Oakland's Fox channel, KTVU, snuck this exclusive scoop into their noon "news"cast:

Followed by a very lame apology shortly after, followed by a more serious apology tonight:

The bottom line is in their eagerness to scoop the big channels, they disengaged their brains. Disgusting.

Dinner was out on the patio again with cats wandering in and out.

Got email from Chris Doyle, the Westercon66 program chair who did a most excellent job, asking for feedback. I went somewhat OCD on her and did one-liners of all the panels I was on. I think I got them all in. And a gripe or three, only one of them serious, and the rest possibly more the responsibility of the hotel.

And there was a lot of facebooking to do.

And it took some time to print labels and prepare some earrings from Springtime Creations to be mailed to three relatives who have holes in their ears.  One needed a customs form.

Looked over at the new litterbox, it already needed the poo-bag changed. Kaan has been at work. Maybe also Domino, though I haven't seen her in action. Took care of that. It was not as easy as the directions say. This machine makes a loud whiny noise, contrary to their marketing blurbs.

Plans for tomorrow:
P.O. if I'm up & out in time
Audio Design to have alarm & speakers & amp installed in car
Find a way to kill about 4 hours. Coffee shop, Valley Faire Mall, etc.
howeird: (Default)
Work was more of the same. Automation Guy left early to take his kid to the dentist so I have to wait to find out why his "framework" is throwing an error message at my program.

Lunchtime plan was to go to Cost Plus on Coleman (HUGE shopping center, many lunch opportunities after shopping) to buy coasters. The "Thirstystone" sandstones ones I just got are not thirsty at all, they will be a [ profile] basfa auction item Real Soon Now.

My GPS did not know about this one, and I'd forgotten to write down the address, so I just drove to where I thought it was, but that turned out to be a Lowe's with no eateries nearby. So I used GPS to find the next nearest one. None of their 4 coaster designs looked thirsty, but they did have a 15-pack of British beer mats. Not as long-lived but 15 will last a while, especially for ~ $6.

By now it was too late for a restaurant lunch so I perused the food aisles, found Hokkien noodles with Thai peanut sauce in a Chinese food take-out box which doubled as a microwave container, a bag of Walkers chocolate chip shortbread cookies and a bar of dark chocolate with orange rinds. Back at work it made for a yummy at-my-desk lunch.

Home, wiped out from last night's 3 am bedtime. Had dinner out on the patio with the cats, gave them their treats, Read more... )decided it was early enough to take a nap so I could be awake at about 10 to go to the club down the block for an hour. Kaan was already curled up at the head of the bed on the left, and when I cyrled my arm around him and started petting him, Domino jumped up to the right side and snuggled, so I turned over to her side, since she never does that unless I'm very ill. She stayed curled up in my arm for about 10 minutes, a world record.

I used the Samsung voice thing (their version of Siri) to set the alarm for 10 pm, fell asleep, woke up at 9:45 and waited for the alarm to go off before getting up and going out.

Spent an hour at the club. Delightful time. Spent about $20 in $1 bills.

Home, did the Quicken thing, updated my FB cover/profile folders with shots taken of me at Westercon.

And now it's bedtime.

YOTB rehearsal 
howeird: (Naga)
Up early for the 9 am team meeting. Wondering if/when those will change to 10 am now that we don't have a Belgium office to fit into the mix. Short meeting, we're between major products and most of the work is done for the next release.

Spent an hour cranking out a criminally easy automation script. All the test calls for is confirming that a tab and two text fields exist in the GUI.

Took a break and compared AT&T to Verizon. May switch from V to A and get a Samsung S4. Automation guy has done this, he gets a better signal than I do. Easy to see on an Android. Forget the bars, go to settings, About Phone and there will be a signal strength selection. it's in negative dB, so the lower the value of the digits, the stronger the signal. -40 is super, -60 okay, -100 is crap. He gets -76 to my -98.

Lunchtime I went to UPS to pick up (I thought) two packages. Forgot I already got the first one Wednesday. The one package was two meds from Kaiser, so worth the trip. Stopped at Denny's on the way back. The obligatory cranky child left before my food arrived.

Afternoon I tackled a series of more difficult automations, which I plan to have fill up my week.

Home by way of Lucky's which only had one type of windshield washer fluid, half the size of the usual, for $3. Gag me. Walked to Valero next door, also only one choice, but a full gallon for $3 including tax. Not a bargain, but it would cost almost as much for the gas to drive to the nearest auto store.

Home, massaged and posted the pix from [ profile] mettemu & Bryan's Westercon session on mold making. They are here:

Mette glues the mold holder in place. That's Christine Doyle's hand holding the tablet, which was hooked up to a projector aimed at a screen off to the left.

Finished in time to get to [ profile] basfa which was almost all Westercon66 survivors, but half the usual crowd. It was fun, but I was pun-free.

Home, shopped the masquerade photos and posted them. They kinda suck because I didn't get a good place to stand, was mostly shooting into the lights and the helpful Donald whose job was to stay on the right-hand side of the steps to lend his arm to contestants leaving the stage kept going over to the left side and blocking my view, and making the exit more awkward for the contestants and himself as well. :-(

A furry runs the sound board.

Donald on the wrong side. Tia is onstage, the only under-18 contestant. Killer costume, made by her mom, I think they said, she wore it well.

Plans for tomorrow:
Get a new phone & carrier
Make an appointment to get a real car alarm. And maybe real speakers.
Hang out at Starbucks (?)


Jul. 7th, 2013 10:49 pm
howeird: (Default)
Woke up several times between 6:45 and 7:45, wondering why it felt like my 8 am alarm should have gone off already. Got to breakfast by 9, had a cheese omelet, forgot to bring Lactaid to the con and regretted it the rest of the day.

Finished packing, checked out before 10. Went to the Top 10 real-life Star Trek inventions panel, but it was packed with tall people with hats, the panelists could not be heard very well at the back of the room, and I left after 15 minutes of audience side-tracking the conversation.

Sat in the back of Folsom, where my final panel was being held, and heard some kind words by ex participants for the Clarion writers' workshop.

I was moderator for the last panel of the con for me, Is Theater Dead?. Six panelists, we started with 6 audience members, which grew to about 12 by the end of the time slot. Four of us have actual performance cred, one was more a wanna-be writer/director and for real early childhood education academic. The sixth was an artist with zero theater background, who still made some good points. The panel, including myself, had a lot to say, the audience just kinda absorbed it until about the last 15 minutes and then started participating. I was surprised we were still going 5 minutes after I called time.

No lunch because breakfast was still making its presence known. Caught the last two items of the art auctions, neither of them was the item I'd placed the 4th bid on, so I went to the art showroom, and saw I was still the high bidder. Bought two pieces for $73, after taxes. One will probably be a gift if I can figure out how to ship it to Canada.

I made another round of the Dealer's room, but nothing really caught my eye.

Hugh Daniel memorial was moved from the tiny room to the ballroom, was well attended, there were many boxes of tissues circulated, [ profile] figmo MCed and left us laughing with Hugh's favorite song. It's one of mine too. After I got a chance to give Hugh's sister another hug.

Closing ceremonies never officially announced closure, but maybe that came after the feedback session I didn't stay for.

I had some feedback items, but they are so basic I know other people would bring them up:
-- The conference rooms' layout was WTF City. They were too small, SRO was blocked from the panelists, door latches were not duct taped so they made big noise when people entered or left. There was no built-in way to prop them open.
-- All the panels needed mikes, not just the ones in the big room. Again, something one would expect any conference room to have.
-- Hilton conference center is set up for each of the rooms to display an itinerary on a screen by the door. Those screens were taped over with a piece of paper which said PROGRAMMING. I'm guessing Hilton couldn't make their system work. At no time did the actual program for each room find its way to that space, even on a piece of dead tree.
-- I've mentioned the art show and Andy explained what happened, "measure twice, build once" apparently didn't get done.
-- Masquerade fan photo shoot was a mob scene. It needed to have been set up beforehand.
--Filk concerts were not in the online program

But regardless of the above, this con was a HUGE success, lots of fun, lots to see & do, and I am proud to have been a part of it.

Left at 3:45, stopped off to top off the car's gas tank, made a stop at Safeway for munchies and a diet Coke, then next door for Lactaid because the munchies had cheese. Told the GPS to take me home and it decided to go by I-5, and changed exits twice when it detected heavy traffic. I finally turned it off when it took me through downtown Livermore, joined the scrawl to 84, then 680 was clear sailing to 237 and home. Total drive time ~ 3 hours.

Downloaded the photos from Mette and Bryan's demo and from Masq and geotagged them. Later in the week I'll cull out the good ones for Flickr and FB.

Sent a couple of FB Friend requests to panelists, de-friended my Toyota salesgal who has been posting in Chinese that she would rather live in LA, and the 4th of July made her homesick for China. And she lost my license plates.

Both cats have complained about my absence, Kaan has been very demonstrative, jumping onto the top of the recliner and onto the piano keyboard cover.

Plans for tomorrow:

UPS has 2 packages for me
howeird: (Howard The Duck)

I slept in, but not too in because at 11:15 I wanted to be at [ profile] mettemu's and Bryan's mold making demo. As usual it was informative, fun and a study in improv. I took many pictures with my real camera which I'll upload when I get home.

I had a late lunch at the hotel eatery, the menu was on Xerox paper with a Westercon logo, and was very limited. I had a Cobb Salad which probably would have arrived sooner if they had not taken the time to make the chicken disgustingly lukewarm.

I wasted time in the lobby and in my room and the green room and then went to the Folsom room, which is the largest of the panel rooms, to catch the end of the Dr. who podcast. Two of the three podcasters were on the Comedy in SF panel with me yesterday. It was entertaining.

In the same room next was a panel I was on, [ profile] johnnyeponymous moderated, and also included Ctien, David Gerrolds and the lovely Rebecca Inch-Partridge, called A Single If...

Chris took suggestions from the audience, and we discussed them, I mostly provided comic relief and bad puns. It was fun.

I killed time for an hour, then moderated the panel on Exomusicology. I was afraid we would run out of things to talk about but with a great set of panelists and very participatory audience we ran out of time. Cliff Winnig, Frederick J. Mayer, J.E. Ellis and Lynn Gold were the panel. It was a full room and only one person left early.

6 pm, time for dinner. I figured if I was lucky I would be back by 8 or so and catch the two featured bands. But this happened:

I went to a place named Bandera, which Google and Yelp both recommended for steak. It is about a 10 minute drive from the hotel.

It was a 35-minute wait to be seated. The place is pitch dark and extremely loud. People shouting over people shouting over people shouting over... I almost turned around and walked out. After my drink order was taken I was forgotten for about 15 minutes.

I had the prime rib, which was huge and delicious, and came with a nondescript lump of mashed potatoes, a generous cup of au jus and a tiny cup of excellent horseradish sauce. For the diet Coke, they brought the can, $3 for a 25-cent item. They charged for each can. I also ordered the roasted peanut cole slaw as an appetizer but they brought it with the main course. It was peanuts mixed into shredded purple and green cabbage topped with Italian vinaigrette, with too much pepper. Not my idea of cole slaw.

Nobody checked on me for about an hour.

The much-touted banana cream pie was all display (whipped cream, banana chunks) and not much pie.

The bill came with dessert. I put my Discover card down, face-up, easy to see what it was. A server took it, then brought it back saying they don't take Discover, and walked away. I put down an American Express card and waited another 5+ minutes for someone to collect it. The check came back pretty quickly.

The prime rib was great, but not good enough to ever go back there. The service was so slow I barely managed to justify a 10% tip.

Back to the hotel. By now it is 9:45. I listened to the Phenomenauts for 3 minutes, but ran screaming from the over-modulated distorted) audio and mush-mouthed singers. It hurt.

But that meant I was able to write this at a reasonable hour, and will get to bed likewise. No parties for me tonight, the rooms are too small and they are mostly aimed at drinkers.

Which reminds me of something incredibly rude which happened last night. Shortly after the lights went out I poked my head into each party room to see if it had a view of the fireworks. At the Casino Royale room, a woman in a purple dress blocked my way, and said they were no longer serving drinks. As if the only reason anyone would want to be in the gambling room would be to drink. On my next pass about 15 minutes later, she had blocked the doorway with two chairs. Horribly rude. I won't be going back there.

Plans for tomorrow:

If I am lucky and wake up early enough, the 10 am panel "Where is my Tricorder?" is on. I know where it is. My cousin Harvey has a patent on it.

11:15 I'm on a panel about storytelling, which I probably shouldn't be on because that's not something I do. I can be comic relief.

12:30 I'm on a panel I should be on - how to choose a book - read page 119?

4:15, I'm moderating  a panel I shouldn't be on, Finding Your Muse. The good news is everyone else on the panel will probably have a lot to say on the subject

Masquerade is at 8 pm, followed by Match game R-Rated which I am not on the panel but will volunteer to be a contestant because Lisa said I should.

howeird: (Captain in the Bath)
I moderated the panel on The Care And feeding of Performers with my tummy grumbling because I had another panel just before it and no chance to eat lunch. And then Match Game SF half an hour after that. So I bailed on the opening ceremonies/meet the guests and drove out to the mall and had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.

As I was eating dessert there was a lot of banging going on and I was about to complain to the waitress until I saw the fireworks through the window behind the bar. I took half the cheesecake to go, and went outside and watched from the sidewalk, kind of through trees but they only hid the low stuff, so I saw enough. went to the car after, mostly to get away from all the smoke, turned on the engine and air conditioning for a bit, but after 5 minutes it was clear that there was no way I was leaving any time soon the way the traffic was. Sacto drivers have no consideration at all, cutting each other off and making a huge mess blocking intersections and making intersections that aren't there. The mall had a minimal amount of traffic minions, and they were stationed ineffectively.

As I was waiting (turned off the engine, rolled down the windows, took out the Kindle) I saw what looked like a designated area for people to shoot off their own fireworks, and it was strategically located near the Arco station.

I was there for an hour. Still a lot of traffic when I left, but mostly sane. On the way back to the hotel there were two other fireworks displays going on not too far away. went up to the party floor 12) but none of the parties on that side of the building were paying any attention to the fireworks, most of them had that window blocked.

So I went downstairs and caught the last 1.5 episodes of MST3K with voiceover done by two of the guys who were on the comedy panel, who do a Dr. Who podcast. The episodes were Dr. Who, Sylvester.

Back to the 12th floor in search of hydration and munchies, but there was not much by then.

And then the power went out.

The whole hotel was blacked out, it was half an hour before emergency lights came on. About another half hour and lights came on again. It was fun, except for three or four people who thought turning on a flashlight was a good idea. I found a party  which had a battery-lit lemonade dispenser which was dispensing sangria. Very pretty.

Found another party which had opened its balcony doors, I joined folks out there and we watched two or three fireworks which were still going on at about midnight. Professional grade stuff.

Back to the beginning. Got my butt out of bed and dressed and downstairs for breakfast by 9:30, pancakes & bacon & berries. No panels till 3:15, so I went to the dealer's room and picked out some earrings from Springtime Creations, [ profile] dinogrl's emporium. There was a bit of a challenge to get the credit card reader set up, but it worked and I got the confirmation email right away. Walked around the dealer's room but there wasn't anything else I was interested in. Back in the lobby my phone rang, unknown number for I didn't answer. Called th voicemail and it was Discover card, that last transaction triggered a fraud alert. So bogus because I used the physical card. I called back, told the robot the last 3 transactions were real, and it said okay and let me go.

Next, the art show. Total FAIL. More than total. It needed three times the space, and a very different layout. The way it was set up there were three rows of paneling, each starting at the door and dead ending into the far wall. Once you got to the wall you had no way out except the way you came, and that was too narrow for someone to be looking at a picture and for anyone to get past. Lighting was terrible - poorly placed mini spotlights, clipped to the panels at acute angles. I am so glad i did not participate in this show.

Then 3:00 I worked my way to the cleverly hidden Folsom Room for the panel Comedy in SF - aka the David Gerrold Show. He is a long-time Star Trek staffer, he wrote the script for The Trouble with Tribbles. Very articulate and entertaining panelist, also the Guest of Honor. I was sitting next to him, and lots of people were taking pictures of him so i suppose there will be one or three popping up which include my 15 nanseconds of fame. I didn't contribute that much, but did get in some good lines. That was an SRO crowd.

Then off to the other side of the hotel for a panel I was moderating The Care and Feeding of Performers. There was one no-show, but fortunately [ profile] figmo had agreed to join the panel when I asked earlier in the week, and the three of us were barely outnumbered by the audience (I counted 10 at the peak). Storyteller Todd Gallowglas was the third, he had lots of amusing anecdotes.

Just enough time to buy a K protein bar and mounds candy, which I scarfed down in the ballroom aka Atrium, where Match game SF was happening at 6. I was one of the panelists. It was a lot of fun, though i only matched the contestants once. Lots of laughs, and lots of audience joy. Wish I was also on the R-rated panel Saturday, but I'll at least be in the audience.

Plans for tomorrow:
Sleep in 'cause it's about 2 am now
My first panel is at 3 pm but there are others I want to see, including [ profile] mettemu's Making Molded Pieces.
howeird: (Colonel Sanders)
Unlike the usual blue screen, what faced me first thing this morning told me there was an issue with a drive, and I knew it had to be for the USB 3.0 card I'd just installed. Made the mistake of letting Windows try to repair it, finally went into safe mode and disabled the two conflicting drivers (I'd pulled out a defective card and replaced it with a working one) and now everything is back. But I had to wait till I got home from work to try it out.

Well, almost, safe mode disabled Norton, I had to weak that when it came back into unsafe mode.

While I was messing with the blue screen, what looked like an 18-wheeler parked itself in front of my computer room window, and started making horrendous noises.  A closer look showed it was a chipper/mulcher service. They were done mulching and were snowblowing when I went out to my car, and had also moved so they were not blocking the carport. I'm not sure what they had done, I didn't see any trees missing. The stuff they were blowing around was landscape quality wood chips, so maybe they were just filling in the empty spaces. 

My Care and Feeding of Performers panel looked like I was the only performer on it who needed care and feeding. I may be wrong, but from what I see on the web, one is a storyteller, which does not strike me as at all a needy performance type; and the other is mostly a writer. So I was very happy when [ profile] figmo agreed to be on that panel, and I got her added by the program chair.

I would also have liked to have [ profile] johno and Chris, but they are burning both candles at all four ends and the middles doing con suite and other crucial constuff.

Work today was too much fun. An engineer found a bug, and between his challenging English syntax and typos, I needed Boss to translate what exactly it was I needed to test. Boss was in the bug meetings where things are hashed out in more detail than in the database. It turned out to be one of those tests which required starting a process then going into the lab and pulling the plug on the machine. Then plug it back in, wait for it to boot, and check to see what the logs showed. I had to repeat that several times to know whether it was fixed in the current build.

While doing this, I uncovered two other bugs, and one of those reminded the program manager that there was a third one - misspelled error message - to fix at the same time.

That done, it was about 1:30, I left voicemail for the sales manager at Toyota who had promised to find out by EOD yesterday where my license plates had gone, saying I was filing a police report. Police report is required when asking the DMV to replace both plates. Called Sunnyvale PD and asked, they said I could file a police report online. Went online, it said in bright red letters that missing license plates could not be reported online, and to call the same number I had just called, and ask to speak to an officer. Which I did, but there apparently is only on desk officer, and he was on his phone. I left my name & work number and ws told it woud be a while. Turned out to not be today. :-(

I went online and filled in a DMV license replacement request form, which I printed out. It needs to be mailed in with the $76 fee for whale tail vanity plates.

Fresh out of bugs to test, I opened up the HEVC tutorial (written by 3 German engineers) and made my way through it. If you have seen Sony's ads for their super-duper 4K TV sets, that's basically a stop-gap until the HEVC standard is solid.

I knew it was going to be too hot to go out to eat, so at about 3 pm I joined Automation Guy in the break room. I had brought corn dogs. My afternoon snack was a can of sardines. pre-lunch was celery dipped in Trader Joe crunchy peanut butter.

Somewhere around 10:30 am my diabetes doctor called as planned, he liked my lower A1C number, all my other blood test results were better than last time.  Looks like the key is simply to eat dinner before 9 pm and not keep a pile of Oreos by the bed.

Came  home by way of my local gas station/car wash and squirted about half a tankful - didn't want to have to stop for gas on the way to Sacto tomorrow.

The PC took a while but fired up normally. Safe mode had totally munged my icons, so I spent some time putting them back where they belonged, mostly. Caught up on email and Quicken. Put the whites in the dryer and shirts in the washer. In a minute I need to put away the whites and put the shirts in the dryer.

Had dinner out on the patio with the cats. It had cooled down to about 76° after a high of 90.

Took about 20 minutes to pack. This is a rare treat - I almost never drive to a con I'm staying at. I either fly, take the train or do the commute thing. It means I can over-pack and not worry about having to lug things around.

Just remembered - packed swimsuits and sandals.

All that's left to pack are meds and toiletries.

Plans for tomorrow:
UPS store - hard rives & cables have been delivered
Early dinner, finish packing
Change the litterboxes (already topped off the food & water)
7-ish, drive to Sacramento and westercon. Get there ~ 9.
howeird: (Default)
I had hoped to sleep in, on account of staying up late. What woke me was low blood sugar - at 9:30 am it was 77. Luckily there was some chocolate milk in the fridge, and that got me back up. 127 by noon. Okay, so I over-shot a little, but my target is 130, so there.

Also got my blood test numbers back, they are all better than 3 months ago, but still nothing to write home (or here) about. Got my exercise taking out the garbage from the bathroom and livingroom. And hauling my baritone and the heavy music stand to the car. And from the car down the hill to the park. And playing from 1:30 till about 3:30 with a 15-minute intermission. Talking with the baritone player I sit next to, he may be bowing out temporarily while the pain drugs for his damaged foot get balanced. He said he was having trouble finding the notes on the page, and it sounded that way too. According to an article in a long ago Stanford newspaper, he started grad school there in 1962, which would make him at least 76.

I wasn't playing very well either, but we had an easy set of tunes, not a lot of high notes, and my lip lasted until the last number before the finale. The finale is easy, so I was okay for that.

At showtime it was only 77°, and we were in the shade of our huge oak tree, and it was breezy. It had climbed to 81° by intermission, I didn't check after that. We were expecting high 90s.

Went straight from there, hungry, to Starbucks where I was meeting Janice at 5:30, the plan was to have lunch before she arrived, at the new Thai place there (Rengstorff & Middlefield) but it's closed Sundays. So I went to Starbucks and had a pair of their yummy croissant hot dogs. And a huge iced tea.

Read on the Kindle while I ate, then put that away and launched the laptop and Facebooked and Twittered. I build a dummy Twitter account to follow news and a couple of personalities, but it isn't linked to anything and I'm not accepting followers. Hope that will prevent the hackers. If it doesn't, well, I don't care if CNN, BBC or Recall Nancy Pelosi get invitations to watch gay porn.

Janice showed up on time, we had a nice chat, I told her about Uncle Bonzai, she told me about her latest assignation. I also told her, and she was shoocked, that the Kindle Paperwhite has no audio capability. I showed her mine. Most of her Kindle purchases are audio books, and she was wondering why they dikdn't download, and Kindle support didn't have a clue either. Turns out she usually puts those on her iPod, so no real harm done.

Safeway, I was almost out of TV dinners, and they had a sale on Crystal Lite and Cheez-its.

Home, put the food away, brought the baritone and the laptop inside, heated up a dinner and ate it on the patio with cats wandering around. Looked at the mail - the Kindle Paperlite holder was there, it doesn't quite work as advertised for a unit which has ads. Instead of turning the machine off when the cover closes, it displays an ad forever.

Bought NovaBackup last night, started it up backing up my 2TB mirrored RAID drive to a 3TB network drive. I ordered two more matching drives, now that they are on sale for $90 each, and the plan is to format them, change to RAID 4 or 5, and restore to what will then be a hopefully faster) 6 TB array. At a later date I may need to buy a bigger backup drive. But for now, it says this backup won't be done till late tomorrow night.

Created an email message to all the people on panels I'm moderating for [ profile] westercon66. Only one bounced, but he has other addresses and the second one went through.

Plans for tomorrow:
howeird: (Default)


3:15 pm Comedy in SF/F - Folsom (Ground - OffSide)
4:30 pm Care & Feeding of Performers - Cabernet (Ground)
6:00 pm Match Game SF - Atrium (Ground)
8:30 pm Opening Ceremonies/Meet the Guests/Fireworks - Atrium (Ground)


3:00 pm A Single If... - Folsom (Ground - OffSide)
5:30 pm Exomusicology - Merlot (Ground - Back Hall)


11:15 am Storytelling the Old-Fashioned Way - Folsom (Ground - OffSide)
12:30 pm Page 119 - Is The Book Any Good? - Merlot (Ground - Back Hall)
4:15 pm  Finding Your Muse - Folsom (Ground - OffSide)


11:15 am Is Theater Dead? - Folsom (Ground - OffSide)

[ profile] westercons [ profile] westercon66

howeird: (Default)
Work was the usual. Lunchtime I drove out to McCarthy Ranch Walmart and bought 3 5-drawer units to replace what is in the closet and broken. Got them home, it is the same set of drawers as 2 in the closet and the same brand as the 3rd set in there.
After work got a haircut at Great Clips, then went across the street and picked up a second set of pet steps.

Home, hauled all that plastic (in 2 trips) into the apt, set up the steps on the opposite side of the long computer room window. Domino sniffed at it, cli,bed it, and walked across the sill to hiss at Kaan who was about to climb up the original steps. FAIL.

I may get around to the closet drawers. Probably not tonight, for no apparent reason. I need to take the cat carrier and a chair and a couple of bags of paper plates out, then pull all the drawers out, pull out the frames and then put the new ones in and fill the drawers. Pretty much a 1-for-1 swap. The weight of the stuff in the drawers over time warped the frames and the drawers and they don't pull out easily now.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, much has been posted about Hugh Daniel. His housemate says it was a heart attack while housemate was out  in the afternoon. I am reminded that the way I met him was at a Stuart II party, Edith was his date. She had a collection of fun, smart, geeky guys, and she added me by the end of the party. This makes the second of that group who are no longer with us, and both are a huge loss.

And on the opposite side of the fence, today is my oldest younger sister's birthday.

At her son's wedding, October 23 2011. Which happened to be my late Dad's birthday.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work (1-on-1)
howeird: (Default)
At Conflikt in Jan. there was a very sexy woman selling her home-mixed tea blends, many of them named for Firefly/Serenity characters. She had an obnoxious young daughter with her. Or rather, mostly running around loose. She's based in Seattle, so it was a surprise to see her at Consonance. I had wanted to buy some Darjeeling from her up there, but she had sold the last batch. I asked again here, and she had not brought any. But she gave me a discount coupon to buy online.

Ookla the Mok West had a whole table full of CDs. I am told their lyrics are easier to hear on those, but their concert completely turned me off to them. And the audio in the pieces I saw on Youtube were distorted. :-(

Another three tables was apparently a combined offering from three dealers, but managed by only one. All by hand, too slow for me. Surprised to not see anything from the Toastmaster, Scott Snyder, whose concert was epic.

I had Stuff To Do in the morning, got there in time to catch a new guy's set, Adam Sakellerides, who was later join ed by the way too cute LARP addict Nicole Dieker whose screechy singing drove me out of the room during her solo concert last night, but she's great at harmony in her real range. Adam has a ways to go, but this was his first ever gig, and not much slack needs to be given because he was well prepared.

The second round of 2fers was disappointing. I don't even remember the first two,  Bill Roper's two were ose. The surprise was Bill Laubenheimer, who got some major audience participation, especially in his second number. 

I stayed for just enough Puzzlebox to run screaming from the overly enthusiastic drummer. This is not the Puzzlebox I grew up on. The story is their keyboard babe married a drummer.

Somewhere they announced the 2014 guests, with Kristoff & Margeret as GoH and Mark Osier as Toast. Here's Mark's acceptance song:

I had to bail, needed to hit Ranch 99 for Asian foodstuffs and bring that home before meeting Janice for coffee. Managed to pay for next year's con, too.

Back home, made ravioli for dinner. Very strange, the string cheese turned to cottage cheese in the microwave. I must have gotten some non-fat stuff or something by mistake.

Watch Shark Tank and was pleased to see one of the sharks make an actual investment as opposed to putting money into a company which already had great financials. Once. Out of 5 or 6 times.

I had taken a cheap SD Sony camcorder to the filks, it's tiny and records to memory so it has good battery life and is noiseless. Image stabilizer worked well, but I did it hand held so there's nothing I want to put online. The stills I took with it sucked real bad, very low resolution, very grainy. Odd because the video is sharp. Took 15 minutes to find the firewire slot in the back of my PC and plug in the cable. Only to find this camcorder only has USB. And I needed to download an app from Sony to get the PC to recognize the camcorder.

Plans for tomorrow:
Brigadoon music rehearsal
howeird: (Default)
But I should have started studying lines an hour or two ago. Just that some financial stuff came in which I had to deal with, and the the sucking sound of Facebook, and recording a voice message to my aunt & uncle in NYC (uncle has macular degeneration, and would rather hear my voice than read text). And then there was a reply to [ profile] lemmozine which I had only half-finished this morning. Oh, and I had to bring the laptop in and figure out why it had failed to VPN to work last time I was at *$'s. Worked fine, which meant finishing an installation of linux, which pretended to work but didn't.

So here I am, before midnight.

Morning started with a walk to the apartment office where I waited for way too long for two reps to explain something to a new renter which one could have done by herself. Picked up two packages.  One is a remote for my camcorder, the other is a set of Bose earbuds.

Back to the apartment, it was now too late to install a VM on my work PC, so I got in the car and headed for Mountain View to be way early for my doctor's appointment, but after a block I turned around to get to the bathroom. Now I was only slightly early. Doctor gave me the exam I expected, and hindsight, she says, tells her last week I had a bladder infection, which triggered bacterial prostatitis, but now the bladder is fine and the prostate is mostly fine. Continue to take drugs, and get a blood test in a month to verify the prostate thing was transient.

Mountain View is lunch heaven, and I was feeling like wor won ton soup would go down well, so I had a huge bowl of that at Fu Lam Mum, which is also where I go for birthday lobster when I'm thinking straight. They have a super dim sum brigade, but this time I needed soup. Huge portion, I took home 5 juan tons.

The north end of MV has about 6 new eateries, including a Greek bakery on the corner which replaced a place called Neto, which was a bakery too, but seemed ashamed to pin down its ethnicity. I'm pretty sure it's the same staff, and all they did was change the sign and add a couple of Greek columns to the display behind the cash register. I bought some baklava and tiramisu, and headed to work

The project at work was to install a virtual machine on my PC with fedora linux, and install snmp bits. It took 4 tries to get fedora installed properly, the VirtualBox software from Oracle sucks the big one, and never asks for the OS. But won't run without it.

A little after 6, I bailed when it was clear I had succeeded with linux, but not with snmp.

Home, I did that stuff above, checked out the remote (it only works with my tape-based camcorder, not with the smaller lighter better memory-based one). Plugged in the earbuds and now I know why some people stay attached forever. Bose audio is excellent, it makes craptastic MP3 listenable.

Plans for tomorrow:
AM, go to the car audio place which installed the alarm and have them fix the trunk release, and install a backup camera. I had given them one to put in when the alarm went in, but it was junk and died months ago.

Work after that

Consonance by 8 pm. 
howeird: (The Gov - book throw)
Had about 2 hours of cat time, nibbled on some celery with ranch dip.

Rehearsals was supposed to be a stumble-through of Act I, I think we got 3/4 of the way. Now that we have most of the set, it is clear the scene changes will be long and painful and there are too many of them.  I hope they get a large run crew.

I got to sing my solo twice, but the second time I didn't get the cue I was looking for, and it was a total FAIL. I also need to memorize the part. I'm not called tomorrow, so I'll do it then.

[ profile] consonance_con finally published their schedule for this weekend - not just the schedule but the whole effing program book. Interfilk GoH is Merav Hoffman. I don't really remember, but I think I once walked out on her concert for being boring. She has nothing on youtube, everything on bandcamp is for pay. I just need 30 seconds of audio to know. I guess it doesn't really matter, it's Saturday, and from the looks of the schedule I'll be there from 1 pm till midnight. Friday I'll wait till after commuter gridlock, maybe halfway through the sing-along concert, then toastmaster concert. Open filk depends on how sleepy I am.

Not much on Sunday - a concert by someone I've never heard of at 12:30, Adam Sakellarides**, 2x10s, Puzzlebox concert I'll probably bail on because I have seen them so many times.

**Looked him up on Youtube. Nasal voice. Some clever lyrics, but mostly cliché. 50-50.

Plans for tomorrow:

WFH early - I need to install VM on the work PC and then linux. Should be doable with RDP.
P/U two packages at the apartment office
Mountain View, doctor's appt
Plan A: take the car to the place which installed the alarm and have them fix the trunk release, and install a new backup cam
Plan B: Go to the office and twiddle my thumbs all afternoon.

May 2017

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