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: (Applause)

Taken through my windshield in the Costco parking lot.

After the driest January in history, tonight's rain was a bit of a surprise (the weather reports were for a 40% chance) but it was light enough to not be a problem driving home.

Today work was spent following up on yesterday's test. Boss had wanted step by step instructions for the customers by noon yesterday, but the steps I was given were so far from accurate that it wasn't until end of day I was able to show the program probably had something wrong with it.

The routine went like this:
1. Upload all the files for an update to the test machine
2. Run a program on the test machine to use those files to update the machine
Sounds easy, no? Well, the way our network is set up, it took 2 hours to do step 1, and it turns out that the files needed to be uploaded to a particular directory, and the program had to be run from not-that-directory-or-anything-close. And the update takes about half an hour.

I needed to run 4 tests to validate the customers' process.

The good news is all the Seattle TV stations were live streaming the Superbowl celebration parade on their web sites, and Channel 13 (Fox) was the only one with rights to broadcast the ceremony inside the football stadium, which also bled over into the next door baseball stadium. I found that out just in time to watch.

Initial estimates, which the idiot media kept reporting was 700,000 people. But that was at about noon, and by the time the parade made it to the stadium there were probably a million. It was incredible. Seattle only has 600,000 in the city limits, maybe two million in Greater. Channel 13 is actually in the next city south, Tacoma. Wait a minute, I just checked and they have moved to downtown Seattle. Probably eons ago. Nobody pays much attention to them except when Fox lands some coup like the superbowl. And I think they used to do Creature Features on Friday nights.

Anyhow, I'm guessing [ profile] susandennis got quite a show from her condo overlooking the stadium parking lot.

Speaking of football, I finally got around to checking for actual video showing Navarro Bowman being pelted with food by Seattle fans as he was carted off the field after being injured during the final playoff game. What I saw was after his cart was well into the tunnel, a few pieces of popcorn fell from above onto the end of the cart. none of it hit him, and it didn't look intentional. In short, no food was thrown. What reminded me was this:

Marshawn Lynch started a thing where it's a compliment to throw Skittles at players. Here he returns the favor. He is now an official spokesman for Skittles. When I was lookng for a Seahawks venue to watch the Superbowl, the place I found posted a plea to leave the Skittles home - they are impossible to clean up, especially in the nooks and crannies. Notice it is not raining. Seattle got a break from that, but it was freezing. Snow flurries likely tomorrow.

Lunch was at "New Tandoori Cafe", a hole in the wall created from two holes in the wall. It is next to Thaibodia, which was my original destination until I remembered how bad they suck after 1 pm. Tandoori was just plain bozarre. Layed out like two separate spaces, one a diner and the other more like a coffee shop, you order at what would normally be a hostess desk, seat yourself, and wait. I had the lamb tikka marsala, which had an odd taste but not awful, and it cleared out my sinuses over the course of the meal. The naan was huge and excellent. There was sliced lettuce with onion slice which they called a salad (no dressing). Biryani rice was the usual Indian crap. Some day India will learn how to grow rice. Maybe. Maybe not because the population is used to eating pig food. There was no water served or available. They had coffee and a refrigerated case full of mango lhasi and soft drinks.

After work I was starting to set Mathilda Ave Starbucks in my autopilot, when I remembered I had a long Costco shopping list. So Costco it was. I managed to spend > $200 and not get ice cream (they don't have any I like) or snack sized ziplock bags (they have none at all). So on my way home I gritted my teeth and picked those up at Fresh & Easy. F&E is not easy at all, every checkout line is self checkout. :-(

Home, lugged all that stuff to the car in 4 trips. Nothing in the mailbox. On the stoop was the pair of walking shoes I'd ordered. I went a half size larger because the identical pair I have been using is doing rude things to my toenails.

Pulled up the Little Shop performance schedule and poked those days and tech week into my Google calendar.  I hope I survive. 4 shows a week, 4 weeks. I bet they would get just as many audience members if they only did 3 weeks. And/or cut out the Thursday shows.

The director added me to their "secret" Facebook page, and several cast members sent friend requests. The guy playing the voice of Audry II has as warped a sense of humor as I do. It looks like a fun cast. I've already (last night) fallen in love with the ASM. She's hot, and laughs at my jokes.

After dinner I watched Channel 13's stream of the parade, but it stopped as they got to the stadium. They were going to live stream the inside ceremonies at 11, but I forgot. It'll be online tomorrow I'm sure. I saw most of it live, but there are spot I wanted to rewind and turn on closed captions.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work. No idea what I'll be doing. I ought to re-format those instructions which are in 3 different fonts.
Starbucks after
howeird: (Hawks)
Woke up at about 6 am feeling very chilly, thermostat said 70° but it felt like 60. Went to take a leak, and started shivering so much I couldn't stand. Decided being warm was a higher priority and went back under the covers. It didn't take long to get back to normal, and I should have thrown on my heavy robe and gone into the kitchen where my blood glucose meter sits and seen how low it was, but one of the things about low Hgl is it messes with your sense of priorities. Used to be I could feel low blood sugar coming on from mile away, with extreme hunger and that trademark squirrelly feeling. No longer have that gift, I need the meter.

Got up at about 8, feeling very much like I'd had a low (very drained), and after I did my bathroom routine and got dressed I took a reading and it was 250. Way too high, but part of my diabetes issue is my body over-compensates for lows by shooting adrenalin and sugar into my system. I usually wake up with high readings, no matter how low they wer in the middle of the night.

But the good news is this put me ahead of schedule and I got to work on time.

It was hard to find parking where I usually park, in the back of the building (the entrance closest to the lab and my cube) because the landlord is destroying the front facade of the building and the front entrance is closed. The reception desk has been moved to the side (delivery) entrance. They had finished completely renovating the building next door, which the company will be moving into soon (not us, people from other offices nearby), and it looks like they are simply making the front of ours look like the front of that one. Last week they re-roofed the place. Didn't affect me, but the people upstairs had a lot of noise to deal with.

Team meeting should have been over in half an hour, but That One Guy who doesn't know when he's made his point made the next meeting group late.

Boss gave me a project to do - enter test cases in the new database for the upcoming product. I got about 10 done before the database crashed. Boss had to leave early, so I didn;t get any more entries done, but I did get a chance to research what some of the tests required. The specification documents are sometimes vague about specifics (LOL) and refer instead to standards (by number) which I have to go online to look up.

For lunch I told the GPS to find me the nearest Togo's, and it found the furthest of the nearest three. That's because I was out in the back of the parking lot by the railroad tracks and the GPS thought I was on the street on the other side of the tracks. Turned out for the best, though, because I needed to get some cash, and my CU was on the way to that Togo's. The second nearest also has a CU ATM, but there's nothing near the nearest.

Home, two boxes on the porch, one big one small. Small one was a 10-pack of paper 3D glasses. I lost the two pair I had by the computer and at work, for viewing the Mars mission images. And lately one of my artist friends has been experimenting with creating 3D pictures.

The big box had the ASUS 802.11AC router and the corresponding PCIE card for the PC. I had about an hour to kill, so I did the basic setup on the router, made sure the port forwarding worked for one webcam, and then headed to BASFA.

Lightly attended meeting, relatively, but enough critical mass to make it worthwhile. I gave away 5 of the 3D glasses, it turns out more people than I thought were wanting a pair.

I mentioned that Sunnyvale is doing Little Shop, and I may have something to do with it, and a friend who works part time at the Foothill College radio station said the school was doing it Real Soon Now. That's pretty normal in the Bay Area, as soon as the rights are released all the community theaters put it on their list.

Not much pun fodder for me, I think I told two less than brilliant ones. But I did get the Rumor of the Week - Denver must have smoked a super bowl last weekend. Wonderful 3-second pause before everyone got it. I was wearing my Seahawks jersey and stadium jacket, which helped.

Home, spent another hour fine tuning the router settings. Now all the equipment in the house is at the IP address I want, all the webcams are viewable (Comcast gives a different IP address each time you change routers), and I was able to see Amazon Prime content on the blu-rays in the bedroom and livingroom.

The new router is noticeably faster loading web pages, and I'm getting more upload/download speed than Comcast says I deserve.

One of the real tests will be overnight, there's a certain Thai channel on the bedroom internet radio (the one furthest from the router) which has been dropping out a lot. FungFungFung "music every day, every hour". In Thai "Fung" means "listen". It can also mean "to hear" but there's another word, da-yin, which is closer to that. "Fung mai da-yin" means "I was listening but didn't hear you". Common phrase.

The radio in the office, mere feet from the router, is playing it, but there is some re-buffering, even at the low bit rate stream. But it isn't giving a 404 error anymore.

Plans for tomorrow:
Little Shop audition. I'm not sure I really want the part, Mushnik's songs are patter which I don't do well without eons of practice.


Feb. 2nd, 2014 10:06 pm
howeird: (Default)

Today was all about Plan F

Did not go anywhere. My one trip outside was to go to the shed and dig out the bottom storage tub which has all my musicals scripts, and look for music to Be Like The Bluebird which I want to sing for my audition Tuesday. I had found 2 out of 3 pages of it in the 3rd bedroom shelves, which I had transposed using a music scanning/editing program I still have on my PC, but that file is not on the computer anymore and I didn't want to go through an album full of poorly marked ancient backup CDs to try to find it.

Found the vocal booklet from one of the three productions of Anything Goes  I have been in, brought it inside and scanned TIFF and JPG copies (the music editing program can translate TIFF) and discovered it is just the vocal line. Useless for the pianist at auditions. Finally went online and bought a copy for $5. I could have sworn I had the piano/vocal book for that show, but didn't find it on the shelf. Anyhow, printed that out (it took two tried because the printer decided to feed two pages at the same time) and now I have all the stuff I need for Tuesday.

I didn't get out of bed till 11, it drove Domino crazy. She tried staring me down from in front of the bathroom door, and then jumped up onto the bed (well she used the pet steps, actually) and nudged my elbow. She jumped off when I tried to hug her. I had woken at 7 with low blood sugar, self-medicated with a Klondike bar, and went back to bed, which is why I was not feeling like getting up.

Word from the Seahawks fans meetup is the tav where they were meeting was over capacity by 1:30, for a 3:30 game. I visualized being in an unknown crowd elsewhere, and decided that it would be a better experience to watch it at home on Tivo with a half-hour delay so I could FF past the boring parts and hear the commercials.

I almost went out at halftime when Seattle was ahead 22-0, but it was halftime on Tivo and more like halfway through the 3rd quarter IRL, so I FFed through the halftime BS (Bruno who?) made a snack (dinner, really) and watched the rest of the game at home. And the after-show. 43-8, what a wonderful surprise. I guess I'll have to wear my jersey to work tomorrow.

There were some epic commercials:


Budweiser Clydesdales with puppy

GoDaddy Tanning Studio

Doritos Time Machine

Coke Multilingual America The Beautiful

Plans for tomorrow:
BASFA, maybe will leave before the Hugo nomination session, since I haven't read any of the eligible works.
howeird: (Hawaiin Shirt)
My first adventure today was taking the Kaffir lime tree (it's a dwarf, about 3 feet tall) out of its plastic nursery container, knocking all the dirt and mud off of the roots, and re-planting it in a pot with new, dry, quick-drain made-for-citrus potting soil. The 14-inch diameter Tecate clay pot sits on top of a 16-inch diameter 3-inch deep pan which in turn sits on a 14-inch wooden platform on casters.

The main point to the new soil and the clay pot is I had over-watered the tree, and needed to repair the damage. It still needed a light watering, but the pan under the pot is there to catch the excess water, and to provide the tree with some external humidity which it needs as a tropical plant.

It was a nice sunny day, and the tree got a lot more sun than it did in the house. The master gardener site says these are hearty trees which can survive overnight temps as low as 30°, and is drought resistant. I plan to leave it out on the backyard end of the driveway and just let it be. It probably won't need more watering for a month. Longer if it manages to rain first. A lot of leaves fell off, and they are in a faux tupperware tub in the freezer, for when I need them for a Thai recipe. The leaves are very aromatic and have a unique and pleasant (to me at least) taste.

That done, I went out on the front porch and sat a while, saw three hummingbirds feeding on flowers across the street, and checked my feeders, one of which I thought was being used, but it turned out to be leaking. Decided I needed to buy a new pair, so I went online and looked for 5-star rated feeders. Mine came up first. WTF? All the latest reviews said they had no problem with leakage reported by the stupid people who had not read the instructions. I went to the mfg site and played the video, and found out that unlike most feeders, where you fill it and walk away, this one you have to tighten the base, tighten the tube, fill it, screw the top in very tight, then forcefully pull up on the tube until it pops. This opens the ports of the dispenser and creates a vacuum which prevents leaks. I brought the two feeders inside, dumped what was left of the nectar, made a new batch, and followed the directions. It worked. Hung them back up outside, we'll see if some birds come over.

Still had an hour to kill before the first football game, so I read a few chapters in China Miéville's The City and The City.  According to Kindle I am less than halfway through. It's a speculative fiction murder mystery. Not sci-fi because there is no science behind the speculation, which is: What if there was a civil war which ended with a treaty that said the two factions would co-exist, but one side would have to pretend to not see the people and buildings of the other side, and vice versa. They would pretend to be two completely different cities, occupying basically the same area, each with its own laws and governments. I don't generally like murder mysteries, and this is turning into not an outstanding one, but it was chosen as the Book Of Honor at this year's Potlatch, which I plan to attend, and so I am plugging away.

Denver beat New England handily. Their defense completely stymied the Patriots. The 26-16 score was less lopsided than the game, NE didn't score a touchdown until the 4th quarter and one of those was kind of a fluke.

Seattle started their game by fumbling to the 49ers, who only managed a field goal, but it was a pretty even game all the way through, though again the score didn't reflect this. 10-3 in favor of SF at halftime. But between some majorly wrong and non-calls by the officials, and some majorly fumble-fingered play by SF, the Seahawks won it 23-17, deflecting a pass in the end zone and intercepting it with about a minute to go. Defense was excellent on both sides, Seattle's was just a hair better. Neither side's offense was Superbowl quality. Denver will probably win the big game.

Game over, I heated up a Fresh & Easy house brand dinner, turkey medallions, stuffing and veggies. Tiny portion, bland.

A note about today's winners: Colorado and Washington State legalized pot. Coincidence?

Plans for tomorrow:
Walk to light rail and take it downtown (SJ) to see the Tech Museum's Star Wars exhibit. Should be interesting and will be a photo op, they allow non-flash pix
Wear my Science Fiction Museum T-shirt. See if anyone mentions the football game to me.
Try not to offend too many of my MLK-worshiping friends by pointing out that RFK did far more to change civil rights for the better in America, and was also senselessly assassinated, but since he was white and sounded like Bugs Bunny, he doesn't get a holiday.
howeird: (Default)
Got up a little before 6 for no apparent reason, took my blood sugar and it was an all time low of 53. Dr. howeird prescribed ice cream with sprinkles. Followed by an egg cream.

Usually those hit me at 3 or 4 am, so going back to bed I slept through the alarm at 9:30, woke at about 10, and it was a chore to get out of the house by 12:30 to be in time for the library 1 pm presentation.

At 12:30 the room wasn't open yet, I had my laptop so I went online and ordered two pairs of briefs, which was on my list. Later I realized I had ordered a pair on Amazon while under the influence of sprinkles. It's okay, I can wear them all.

Also later remembered there were shirts in the washer to switch to the dryer.

The library presentation was on the care and feeding of fruit trees in this neck of the woods, by a master gardener who loved the subject and was a very engaging speaker. At the start of the show she ditched the lavalier mike for the hand-held one, under the mistaken impression that the latter was louder. It bit her constantly because she did a lot of gesturing and used her body to show what parts of a tree to prune. Can't hold the mike your mouth and do that at the same time. There was a lot of good info, and even though I didn't get a chance to ask about my lime tree, she gave all the hints I needed.

As I usually do when in the library, I looked at the books on CD section. Decided it was time, and checked out the Basic Vietnamese set. I ripped it to the PC and it's now on the iPod for car listening.

Inspired by the talk, I went to OSH and bought some stuff. It took a lot of walking around and weighing pros and cons, but finally settled on a 14" heavy tecate pot, not one of the tapered one, but one which is 14" diameter from top to bottom. Also got a stand-off to keep it above the clay dish I also bought, and also got the 14" wooden platform on rollers which was on the original list. And generic potting soil.

The hints I got were this:
- I had gotten the roots too wet
- The plastic bucket which the tree is in needs to be replaced by a clay one which breathes, evaporates water and drains better
- No fertilizer is needed, but soil which drains well should replace the moisture-holding stuff now in the pot
- Lime trees are drought-resistant and can stand temps as low as 30°. They survive frost
A huge part of the talk was about the fruit itself, but in the case of my lime tree, those lime are horrible, it is the leaves which are aromatic and yummy in Thai food.

And from the stuff on the ultimate Kaffir Lime web site:
- Find a way to make the air around the tree more humid
- Don't put it in a bigger pot

I was sort of also looking for a bigger tree, but they just had one smaller than mine.
And from another list, looked for a bird feeder, but their prices were ridiculous. $40 for the one I liked best. Did Amazon's scan thing, and found it online for half that. Almost bought bird seed, but will wait till I have the feeder.

Next stop, Northwinds nursery. They had a 3-year-old Kaffir which was rife with diseased and/or insect-chewed leaves, and they wanted $100 for it. Not a big selection of feeders, nothing to buy here.

Final stop, Home Depot. They had 3 trees, all the same as mine. I picked up some better potting soil marked as "quick drainage" and "for citrus". And also bought a plastic deep dish big enough to put under the pot and hold water to create a humidity field.

Home, unloaded everything, found a spot on the end of the driveway which I think gets enough sun, and staged the new stuff there. It was getting chilly and dark so I made a note to do the re-potting tomorrow before football.

And I wasted the rest of the day online, in front of the tube, and making dinner. Twice. Ravioli from frozen in Alfredo from a jar mixed with string cheese. And 2 hours later a grilled cheese sandwich on Health Nut bread with American Singles and very sharp cheddar. Made in an omelet pan with lots of margarine. Nailed it. Crispy golden brown bread, melty cheese.

Rescued the shirts from the dryer and hung them up. Decided to be OCD this time and arrange them from darkest to lightest, all the ones of the same color together, with the Hawaiian styled ones between the solids and the stripeds. I usually just hang them up in whatever random order they came out of the basket.

Thanks to some FB postings from [ profile] scendan, went online to see if the Tech Museum is open Monday, it is, so I think I will hobble the three blocks to the light rail station and take the train there to celebrate MLK's massive contributions to the world of technology, especially his influence on Star Wars. They allow non-flash photography, so I'll bring my 50mm f 1.1 and/or my 35mm f 1.8.

Plans for tomorrow:
Take the lime tree outside, shake the dirt off and re-pot it
Watch the Patriots play the Broncos
Maybe tweet rude remarks about it
Watch the Seahawks play the 49ers. Either way I win, but I have to say that I lean toward Seattle because they have the most beautiful logo in the NFL, and I love their colors. SF has, hands-down, the ugliest logo in the league, and the only place Red and Gold belong is in Chinese New Year parades.
howeird: (Default)
The plan was this: the game starts at 10 am, Tivo is set to record it. Start watching at about 10:30, fast forwarding past commercials.
The reality was this: started watching at 10:30, comcast signal went good-bye at 10:40. Their web site said it would be back on by 12:45, which might be after the game is over. Or not. And I figured it won't take that long to fix.

So, I watched a recording of Elementary to pass the time, checking the cable modem every other commercial break. No joy.

Without cable my phone still has a 4G connection, so I was able to keep track of the score on an app I have for that.  The score was not in our favor at the end of Elementary, so I was not interested in going to a sports bar to watch. I figured Togo's would have it on, and it was time for lunch, but not with that score.

I did some reading, made lunch, took out the garbage, took care of the litterbox, bundled some cardboard for recycling (going to try curbside this time), looked at the score and it was better after halftime, so I grabbed my coat and hat, planning on Togo's or Faultline or Round Table, when I saw the modem had all its lights on.

Turned on the TV, watched the final 6 minutes of the game, and the network's post-game wrap, and that's when the cable went out again.

Time to get out. Coat and hat, and the coupon for $1 off breathe-right strips, and headed to the 1st street Target. Got the strips and vitamin D. Stashed those in the car and grabbed my laptop and headed for the in-store Starbucks (Target has excellent wi-fi) but that branch doesn't take the phone app, and I don't carry the physical card.

So back to the car, and to the Mathilda branch which is a straight shot on 237. Plenty of empty tables, but the wi-fi was dead slow, so after catching up on FB I went home.

Cable was back on, so I watched the end of the Denver game, was not surprised that they won.

Next week is going to be interesting. I am both a Seahawks and a 49ers fan. I think this will be the real superbowl. My prediction is the team with the most points will win. You can take that to the bank. The West bank, the left bank, the snow bank.

But seriously, the teams are so evenly matched, and both so prone to make Big Plays...

One good thing about Janice getting back together with her BF is she didn't have to not see the game.

I bailed on the graduation party when the hostess posted that there would be a walk and lots of stairs.

Someone else whose birthday it was had chosen The Boardwalk at 12:30. Uh, no. Win or lose, the place would be packed with fans, many of them drunk. This person picks the seediest places to invite people to keep her company and can't figure out why she never gets any takers.  :-(

7 pm my Hgl was 97, it was also around that in the morning. Bizarre because I made no major changes in eating or insulin from yesterday, when it was in the 300's. Since I had lots of time, I made an omelet, sliced sausage sauteed with kafir lime leaf, Best of the Egg, lactose free milk, topped with slices of string cheese, extra sharp cheddar and American singles. Yummy! Could have used some thyme, but fine without.

My nephew's wife gave him a hockey stick for his birthday yesterday, and that solved the problem of what to do with the two Sharks pucks which have been in the trunk of the car ever since I bought them at a BASFA auction. Nobody can say that his uncle doesn't give a puck.

Plans for tomorrow:
team meeting presentation
howeird: (Default)
Slept till 9, when my calendar alarm went off telling me to call my aunt in NYC. Noon her time. I decided to wait an hour, shower, shave, brush my teeth, take my meds, get dressed and find my Seahawks jersey first.

Called at 10, cousin's wife answered the phone (I knew she would because cousin posted she would be there). Had a nice chat with aunt, though the connection did not seem to be very good. I could hear her just fine, but she said I was fading in and out. She sounded good, and followed up with email which told me she didn't understand what I said about the cats, and suggesting phone was the best way to communicate with her.

Went to MV Goodwill looking for a tall (30") night table, did not find one but found exactly the microwave stand I have been hunting for. Could not find a price, so asked the nice lady, who looked around and grabbed this gorgeous marble cutting board, put it on top of the stand where it fit perfectly. $30. I bought the set and slid it into the back seat. Still wanting to find a nightstand, I pointed the car toward the Santa Clara branch. Stopped on the way to get a cat bed or two to put where Domino has been sleeping on the floor. Found exactly what I wanted for $12 each, bought two. Also bought three cans of different flavors of Fancy Feast to see if Domino likes any of them more than the classic Savory Salmon, which she seems to be eating less of lately.

On to the SC Goodwill, nothing fit what I wanted. I may have to punt and simply find a tub or something that's a foot tall to put the current night table on. The new bed is so high I can't see the clock or reach the light switch on the night table.

Thought about the one in Sunnyvale, but it was out of my way (it's off the main drags), they have almost no parking, and not much furniture.

There's a post office with a drive-through lane near there, I was able to mail sister's birthday card, but they changed the boxes so a calendar won't fit, and once you're in that lane there is no easy return to the main parking lot, which was full anyway. I went to the Sunnyvale PO and mailed it there. I don't think I wrote about this - one calendar came back "address unknown" which was sent to the same address last year. It's a woman I worked with in 1978 and dated and boinked after we no longer worked together. We have kept in touch, when I moved back to WA in 1997 she lived next door. Very strange coincidence - Read more... ) Anywho I went to, found her correct address, printed a label, put the calendar in a new envelope, stamped it and return addressed it.

Home, watched the Seahawks try and fail to give away the game in the last 4 minutes, after beating up the Saints big-time. Wore my "HOWARD" Seahawks jersey, and kept it on. Broke out the chips and clam dip. It turned out great, and Domino was all over me for both - she loves dips and cheeses and she likes to lick the salt off of chips.

Tivo time, a rare episode of Shark Tank in which more than one supplicant was made multiple offers. Meanwhile, Domino sleep-tested the new bed in the office. It's a keeper.

At 6:30 headed out, paid $21 to see the Miss Santa Clara pageant because I thought several friends from the Anything Goes cast were competing. Turns out only one of them made it, and there were only 5 contestants. Sad but true, the person I went to see was not up to the level of the top 3. She won Miss Congeniality, which suits her. The girl they chose was also my choice, as was runner up. The new Miss Santa Clara is gorgeous, is a knockout in everything she wore, and while all of them chose dance as their talent, only the winner and runner-up impressed me. Ironic, because I know Miss Congeniality as a dancer, but as tap and not interpretive, and 10 or 15 lbs lighter.

Unfortunately, the row in front of me was occupied by the high school friends of the Miss contestants, and the girl in front of me screamed like she'd seen a murder every time one of their friends showed up. the boy next to her tried to scream, but it sounded like a bad transmission. It was a lot of horrible noise I could have done without.

Plans for tomorrow:
Since I won't have guests over, I'll probably watch the game with a half-hour head start, on Tivo and FF past the commercials.
Graduation party for a friend
howeird: (Default)
In early to work, most of my team was there early except for the two who were out sick. Short team meeting, because we're in a major lull right now. I woulkd have nothing to do except Automation Guy asked me to test some new SNMP scripts, since I'm the expert on that. Took a lot of setup because the engineer who wrote the scripts designed them to only work on the automation server. When I finally got a test run, the results were unreadable because engineer didn't specify the machine which we were collecting SNMP data from, so it made a file merging all data from all machines. I'll have to read up on the command line commands to see if I can fix that.

Bottom line, this should keep me busy all week.

Yesterday's having a guest over for the game meant moving my recliner to the side and the sofa into the center of the livingroom. And the sofa is too low for me. One of the ads during the game was for a Lay-z-Boy clearance sale, and since that's where I bought my recliner about 3 years ago, not on sale, for too much $$, lunchtime I went there in search of a second, similar recliner, but at sale prices.

Every item in the place had a clearance sale tag on it, but prices were $800-$1200. I told the salescreature I expected a sale price on a good-looking push-button recliner to be $400 or so. He had nothing. He showed me two totally gruesome things for $450 (tags said $650). Bailed quickly, went to China China buffet next door for lunch.

Straight home from work, wheeled the garbage and recycle cans back to the end of the driveway and moved the car up a bit. In the mail was a flyer from Allstate encouraging me to get insurance from them. Already have it, thanks. Also in the mail was an envelope inside an envelope. One of my Peace Corps buddies and his wife had tried to mail me a Christmas card on 12/12, and it was returned to sender "unable to forward". I'll be bringing that to the PO to find out why my 12/4 change of address was not honored. I've gotten some stuff forwarded, like from Allstate, sent to the old address. Anyhow, the bounce allowed them to add a thank you note for the calendar. This is the volunteer who was my "next door" neighbor during my second year. We had trained together, ad he had been sent south to a teacher's college which was on the other side of the wall way at the end of the research rubber plantation I worked at. He married his boss, the ceremony was at the local US consulate, and I was there taking photos. We totally lost track of each other until last year, when he did a web search and found my photos.

Came straight home to watch the BCS championship. It was an exciting game, but the redheads gave it away to the redskins in the second half. They had it won, and just stopped tackling.

A Seminoles joke my youngest sister showed me en route to her house.

Dinner was a Marie Callendar country chicken TV dinner. Also been making a dent in the gallon of egg nog left over from NYE. Maybe I'll cook up another batch of pigs in blankets. My Israeli sister calls them cocktail franks. Pigs are not kosher.

She's slowly recovering from her husband's death. It was very sudden, cancer which was caught after it was way too late. Israel has free national health, but it's no good if you don't use it. Anyhow, she is answering all our individual email in one reply-all, which I suppose saves time, but there are only four of us. After her 5 children and 27 grandchildren (it might only be 23, I lost count) went their separate ways after the funeral,  neighbors' teenage daughters have slept over (one a night) so the house wouldn't feel empty. I really don't think she needs that, but she's the psychologist, so...

Anyhow she's about done with that, and is back at work which she supposedly semi-retired from a year ago, but it's good work for her, she translates Hebrew into English for a non-profit educational group. There was a time when she was also fluent in French, German, Yiddish and had a working knowledge of Arabic, I think.

Guilt by association dept: A theater friend posted a birthday note and youtube clip of famous country picker Earl Scruggs. I thought he was on the last Steve Goodman appearance of Austin City Limits which is on Goodman's DVD. So I plugged their names into Youtube, but discovered it was Jethro Burns, of Homer and Jethro who was on that DVD. But it also found a memorial montage of clips of John Prine, Arlo Guthrie, Kris Kristopherson, Goodman's widow, his agent and someone who knew him through Johnny Cash's band. Half an hour, low production values, but very touching and interesting. I've heard many times Arlo's bit about how Goodman's City of New Orleans found its way to him, but Prine says it was originally pitched to Johnny Cash, who said no because he didn't want to be stereotyped as a train singer (Folsom Prison Blues had already established him as one).

I have the DVD, but am not up to meganostalgia right now.

Plans for tomorrow:
Mancini's is supposed to call with an ETA for the new bed Wednesday
Maybe watch another episode of Breaking Bad - Just to see what chemistry lessons they have in store.


Jan. 5th, 2014 10:18 pm
howeird: (Default)

Domino did a lot of yowling last night, I don't know why. I thought she was getting used to the big house. Woke me a few times. And I woke up early.

Took my time getting going, not much to do. I needed produce and TV dinners. The local grocery is no good for those, or anything for that matter, so I went to the Safeway at Rivermark, which is tied for closest. The other is in the opposite direction and is smaller.

The limes were on sale, larger and fresher than Costco's. Ditto the bananas. Got some huge tangelos too. Most of the frozen dinners were on sale, for very misleading prices. Bought some.

Home, unloaded stuff into the fridge/freezer. Watched the end of the morning football game. Wondered if Janice had changed her mind. She showed up 10 minutes late but there was no score, nothing really to rewind for. She's a lot more demonstrative than I am, but at least we root for the same team.

She's very allergic to cats, so of course Domino spent most of the afternoon trying to get past me to her.

49ers were their usual mediocre self, Green Bay hung right in there till the final second. SF won by a field goal.

Next week is Carolina at their home. They beat SF recently, at SF. I think they are the better team, but it depends on whether both teams show up with all players.

Watching the GoDaddy Bowl, but so far have not seen any sponsor commercials. :-(

Plans for tomorrow:
BCS championship

howeird: (Default)
One of my challenges in life is, when I have several disparate things which need doing, my brain freezes trying to choose which to do first. And next. And next. And each step of the way there is usually a moment of "I don't really have to do that one yet".

Today was a series of getting over these blocks and putting milestones behind me. My usual rule is tackle the easiest first, because I am basically lazy.

But this time I was stymied by the easiest to do not being the easiest to plan. All I needed to do was mount a bracket somewhere in the kitchen and hang my 3-tiered mesh fruit basket from it. Sounds easy, until you look at the layout of my kitchen and find there is no clear answer to the question of "where?".

Second task first, then. Mount two fancy garden brackets on each of two posts on the porch, hang a hummingbird feeder from each one, and fill the feeders. Turns out the wood screws I'd gotten were not sharp enough to dig their own path, so I had to drill pilot holes first. I think altogether it took half an hour, part of that time being spent misremembering where I'd unpacked the hummingbird food mix.

Third task was by far the most daunting. Install two towels bars in the master bathroom. I cannot believe she only had the one by the shower, and used lame stick-on hooks on the back of the door and the back of the cabinet. The directions on the box were clear, they came with all the mounting hardware, and all it took was marking the bracket location with a pencil, drilling 3/16" holes, screwing the brackets on, sliding the rack mounts over those and screwing them down. Maybe an hour for the two, because placement for the second one was not intuitive.

Finally the first task, made simpler by taking the calendar an Thai hills tribes necklace off the wall and mounting the bracket where the latter had been, hanging the basket in front of where the former had been parked. Moved the calendar to the wall next to the porch/kitchen door, and moved the necklace to a wall in the livingroom on which the previous owner had slapped her collection of crosses.

Watched the Rose Bowl until it was clear Stanford was not going to run away with it, threw some laundry into the washer, and decided to go for the minus-first project, which should have been done last week: Put my "NOLA Art" on the wall.

Which meant taking down the necklace, moving it to the top of the piano for now, screwing in the tie rack, and hanging all the large beads which fit. Then moving the sofa about 2 feet to the left, which I should have done almost a month ago after the new thermostat was installed, screwing the second tie rack above that gap, and hanging the remaining large beads every other peg and all the small beads in sort of random places, trying not to have two of the same color together.

Watched enough of the sports reports to see that Stanford didn't come through.

Brunch today was a pastrami sandwich from Togo's I'd bought yesterday, had the leftover duck soup for a snack later, and most of a baked brie in pastry shell and a handful of leftover pigs n blankets for dinner. Dessert was some lactose-free chocolate ice cream which Breyers does so well I'll pay extra for it. Very very chocolaty, and the lack of lactose doesn't make any difference to the taste.

Domino tried to jump onto my lap during the soup phase, it smelled and sounded more appetizing than it was cat-friendly. All bones, not much meat. She likes the cartilages, though.

Time to print a January Hgl log sheet for the fridge. Looking at December, the numbers are way too high, I probably should go back to shooting up before meals. I suppose it would help if I always had dinner at about the same time.

Plans for tomorrow:
Hand out calendars
(there are two kinds of people in the world - those who want to see all the photos right away and those who want to be surprised each month)
Maybe get my nails done
howeird: (Default)
Decided to take the Nikon 18-200 instead of the Tamron 24-270 after using the Tamron this afternoon to shoot pix of RC planes. Even the in-focus pix were not as sharp as I thought they should be. In the camera case the Nikon 55-300 was on there, which I used last time for whale watching, but it's so heavy it gave me tennis elbow.

This morning was a slow start, Domino had abandoned me overnight, could not find her on the webcams, finally looked and she was curled up in the office between the cat tree and the spare chair, in front of the heating grate. It's one of her favorite spots when I'm on the PC, and is on the other side of the tree from the webcam. If I look real close I can see her, usually. Almost out of Whiska's treats for her, 10-pack on order. She yells at me and leads me to the kitchen each morning until I shell some out.

Lazy day, mostly. Watched the Notre Dame-Rutgers game (Pinstripe Bowl - oy veh - at Yankee Stadium on the worst kept grounds evah) until the Tivo got equal to real time. Nibbled on soft goat cheese and sourdough slices, then finished off the "extra sharp" Vermont cheddar, which is about as sharp as Kraft medium. Domino loved licking the soft cheese off my fingertips, but wasn't too keen on the cheddar.

At about noon-thirty it was warm enough to go to Baylands Park, which is free from November to March, took my camera, a camp chair, the Nexus in case there was no action, and watched Radio Controlled model airplanes and choppers being flown. There was one guy about my age with a medium sized model of a Cessna 2-seater, I think, a late-model barnstormer. He flew it out past the park, out of the way of the others, and did some very smooth Himmelmans, barrel rolls, but mostly take-offs and landings. No touch-and-go, he said that was for his partner the retired Marine pilot. Lots of action, first time I have used the Nikon since tennis elbow, except for pix of the new house a month ago. I need to keep wearing the arm strap.

Made reservations for the Morro Bay Best Western for tomorrow night, and for the 1 pm whale watching tour. Little by little I have been gathering cold weather gear for that. My Seahawks stadium jacket and UW Huskies sweatshirt.

I had watched on Tivo a recent Actor's Studio with Laura Dern and her dad, and thought for dinnertime I would pull up Amazon Prime on the blue ray and see Silent Running, but they wanted $$ for that, so I browsed and found the 1929 not so classic Fritz Lang film Woman in the Moon. It gets of to a slow start and continues slow and steady from there. Excellent B&W camera work. This is one of the first serious rocket to the moon movies, and it was amusing how much tech stuff they got right, and how much they got totally wrong. Stuff which was well known back then.

Dinner was some re-heated Penang curry sauce on beef ravioli and mixed veggies. Much better than last night, after doubling the amount of curry paste. I'm usually a curry wimp, but Penang is relatively mild. Domino perched on my leg, expecting to be fed, and unusual for her, she didn't hop off when I offered her a piece which didn't smell like food to her. Had to push her off finally.

One nice thing about post-Kaan, is she is now doing a much more thorough job of grooming herself. She had let that go when Pumpkin died, and got dirty and matted. She's now the soft-furred thing of 15 years ago.

Plans for tomorrow:
Up at 7
On the road 8:30 or 9 at the latest
Morro Bay around noon - the tour is at 1, but will probably be late by 10-15 minutes.
Check into the hotel, they have evening cheese tastings, but I may be too late for that
Check out at noon, hang out at the coffee shop along the waterfront
Drive home late afternoon, shoot for 2-ish.
Plan B is to stay all day Monday and drive back Tuesday morning.
At the moment I don't have plans for NYE.
howeird: (Default)

The first half of Plan A was to see American Hustle at 11:50 at the AMC, which is pretty close to home. Matinee senior price was $7. The second half was to see The Hobbit in IMAX at 2:20. But with 20 minutes of trailers, 138 minutes later was too late to do the second half, and the place was packed, so I went home. Met my next door neighbor in #6, she said she was widowed 3 years ago, she had company which saved me from a real conversation. She has a pretty thick accent, I think Philippines.

Was hungry, but it was too early for a meal. I made popcorn, but that wasn't enough so I cut up more sourdough batard and had a triangle of goat brie with that, as Domino stood on my lap trying to intercept the cheese as I spread it on the bread-ettes. I gave her a few fingertips worth.

Tivo had one episode of Restaurant Stakeout, which was another miracle success. This time Willy totally failed with most of the staff, and what finally saved the place was the owner doubling the staff, and the chef providing cheat sheets to the dumb as rocks android wait staff for the daily specials.

Elementary stepped into the future, I am thankful they resisted the pressure to make it a Christmas tree festooned episode. Instead they promoted the Christmas spirit by nailing the head of a Holocaust victims' fund for triple murder, money laundering and drug dealing.

Since I had time and a decent kitchen, dinner was a minor production number. Put some egg noodles (twisty) on the boil, sauteed two slices of onion and a tablespoon of crushed garlic in corn oil, added 1/4 lb of ground beef, a dash of sage and a dash of ginger, and when it was almost cooked poured in a few shots of Canadian whiskey.

Drained the noodles and put them on a plate, dumped the ground beef on top. Should have used a bowl, it got cold quickly. Domino loved the little bits of beef I gave her.

Afterward she got her Fancy Feast and I got my Breyers Thin Mint ice cream.

Watching high school football, a local school called De La Salle is very good. There are some college teams they could hold their own against.

Made a poor man's egg cream. Love my SodaStream because now I always have seltzer handy. Just fill a glass halfway with seltzer, top it off with chocolate milk. They make lactose free 2% now. Yummy.

Plans for tomorrow:
Post office, buy a lot of stamps and apply them to envelopes with calendars in them.
Maybe see The Hobbit, but not in IMAX.
Visit the office, request a larger garbage bin.


Dec. 22nd, 2013 10:10 pm
howeird: (Weird Load)
Got my short but time-consuming to-do list done. Slept in until 9, though it took several tries. Woke up about every 20 minutes between then and 7.

Unpacked the two boxes of Video cassettes and DVDs, and found one more box to unpack, it was labeled "Mom's albums" so I thought it was part of the stash of snapshots in a box I don't intend to open. But it turned out to be a set of photo albums which belonged on the big black rack with the LPs, 78s and such.

The flattened boxes more than filled the back seat, had to put a couple in the front seat and three in the trunk. Totally forgot the one on the driveway which the movers had bleached. I had not flattened it yet, and it was all closed with plastic tape, which is a no-no for recycling. I'll get it later.

Had the cardboard recycling dumpsters to myself, so it went quickly.

Back to the house, packed the trunk with the old ugly kitchen curtains and livingroom shades, and the short roll of Astroturf which used to go under the two litterboxes. Took those to Goodwill.

Stopped at OSH and bought a pair of garden hose nozzles (there are three hoses at the house, only one had a working nozzle) and an aerator/sprayer for the kitchen faucet. Previous owner had a Pur unit on there which did the aeration, but I hate those things.

Between my left knee acting up again (thanks to all the box hauling) and my right elbow still ouch-ing, decided t was time to try the massage place next to the nails place. Good call. Standard price scheme, and DDG northern Chinese woman who spoke reasonably good English, and walked on my back with her hands. There was actually a pair of rails for back walking, but she knelt next to me and pushed, hard. Good solid job, I shall return.

Stopped off at Target for bath rugs, parking was insane - full of vultures in the main garage, but plenty of spaces in the second garage which is the same distance to the doors. Go figure. Got to the entrance, the line for the cash registers went from the last register all the way to the other end of the store. There was one young man in the long empty corridor perpendicular to the registers, directing people to the next available register. It was even more insane than the parking, so I returned my cart and left.

Home, went online, ordered a pair of bath rugs at, but when I tried to check out it gave me a 404 error. Tried three times, FAIL. Probably will try Penny's later.

Watched football games for the rest of the evening. Stated with a bowl of popcorn, graduated to Marie Calendar beef dinner. Thin mint ice cream FTW.

Plans for tomorrow:
Watch what will probably be the last game played at Candlestick park, which should have been torn down in 1989 after the quake. Laugh at the phony nostalgia stories.
howeird: (Default)
Started the day as a total slacker. Woke up at 8, not feeling rested at all. Did not do anything on my to-do list in the morning. The recycle trip was nixed because it came to my notice that there was one more room to unpack, and it would be better to do that before making a recycle run.

Decided to attack the most difficult thing first. Found the right circuit breaker on the first try, uninstalled the ugly halogen spotlight 3-lamp fixture over the sink and replaced it with a much more attractive 3-normal-bulb fixture. It took a bit of doing because I needed to remove most of the old mounting hardware and use what came with the new light, but in retrospect it was all straightforward. It worked, nothing caught fire, nothing exploded.

Found college games to watch, found myself falling asleep in the recliner. Domino found a new place to perch - on my tummy. She is so skinny, I can feel the bones of her spine when I pet her. I'm chalking it up to old age, because she isn't hyper (which she would be if it was thyroid relapse). I finally took a nap in bed, had some weird dreams.

Back to the recliner, but remembered the baguette and brie, so I cut tiny bread slices and watched the Wazoo-CO State game while scarfing up cheesy bread. Between the cheese and the bread, there were several trips to the guest bathroom, and popped some anti-lactose pills & immodium. Tasty meal, though.

Was dilemmaed about the result of the WSU game. They had it sewn up, but made a series of stupid decisions and lost to a last minute field goal. Normally I root against the UW's nemesis, but I'm told that when playing outside the league one roots for one's state.

Also watched Tulane fail to grab victory from the jaws of defeat in about the same way. Maybe they will be demoted to Onelane.

It was fun to see San Diego State thoroughly mash Buffalo, and funny that it was the Idaho Famous Potato Bowl. They played on Boise's blue field.

Dinner was going to be TV, but it's a day when I have time to cook, so I boiled some water and heated up some ravioli. The gas range is not as good with the heavy pot as I expected it to be. But it cools down a lot quicker when you turn it off.

Bit the bullet, went into the 3rd BR and started unpacking. All the boxes were labeled by which bookcase/shelf/rack, and in what order. Unpacking is the reverse order from packing. There were some things that were out of order due to size, but for the most part it was load from the bottom up.

So now I have unpacked:

Shelves 1:
Photo and slide albums
Shelves 2:
Small electronics (mini-camcorder, GPS, mini shortwave radio)
Misc bookshelf things (tarot cards, NatGeo DNA kit, loose photos in a ziplock bag, jewelry holder shaped like a Chinese temple, HP 5-year pin, etc.)
More books
String books
Thailand scrapbooks and journals and chotchka
Big rack:
Parental stuff:
- 78s
- LPs
- Framed family photos
- Dad's 8mm camera
- Parental diplomas
My calendars
Small racks 1&2:

Yet to be done:
Small rack 3, which will be DVDs and videotapes and beanie babies. And maybe large CD collections
There is a pile of clothes, towels, pillows, hats and fanny packs which were used for packing material. They will go into the closet.

Even more annoying than the seasonal ads on the radio are the PSAs. There are a total of three which are being played over and over, sometimes two times in a row, ad nauseum. Two are by young undocumented aliens claiming they deserve to be full citizens. One if from a boy who claims to be Thai, which is a hoot because he may be the only undocumented one in the country. The third is an annoying boy asking question after question (Why is the sky blue? How do you hit a baseball? - crap like that) and not soon enough a voice-over says you don't have to be a foster parent to help a foster child. If that's the foster child, the help would be strategically applied duct tape. We have programs in place for foster children, PSAs calling for additional help are out of line. As for undocumented children, their parents need to solve that problem.

Plans for tomorrow:
Finish unpacking
watch the Seahawks game it it's on local TV
see a movie? Frozen is on the list.

howeird: (Trumpet)
Most of this morning was spent watching a football game I wasn't really interested in, because the ones I wanted to watch are not on free TV or ESPN here. Boo, hiss. I thought about going to the movies but my tummy was being cavalier, and it seemed better to stay where there was a pause button and a handy loo.

Was feeling settled enough to go out for the 2 pm monthly gathering of the Terrible Adult Chamber Orchestra (TACO) which bills itself as a fun, no-fault place to play (or just listen to) music. With 60 people it was not a chamber orchestra, but a symphony.

It was, however, terrible.

Not the players, most of them sounded adequate or better. But the two people conducting were awful. Everything was painfully slow. When there was a choice between conducting in different counting schemes, they always chose the most difficult one to follow. Nobody conducts in 6/8, people, it's done in 1 or 3. Slavonic Dances sounded like English country dances on Quaaludes.

The choice of arrangements was mostly poor. Worst Fiddler on the Roof medley ever.  Ditto Phantom.

An hour and a half of playing, 45 minute break to nosh, drink wine and socialize, and the balance of the 3 hours for announcements and playing. I had to leave at 5 so I missed playing  Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head so slowly I could dodge between the rain drops.

My trumpet playing was horrible. I had not played trumpet at all since leaving Seattle in 1999, and it would take a lot more practice to play in a real band. I almost kept up with the other trumpets.

Got to Starbucks just in time to meet Janice, we had a good chat. If all goes well I'll invite her to see the new place Friday, before there is a cat living there. She is gravely allergic.

During TACO time, I missed a call from my last living aunt. I'll call back tomorrow.

Got email from my rep, she says the seller will be out of "your home" by 5 pm tomorrow. I am not pleased. We moved Escrow closing a week earlier, to tomorrow at the seller's request, she was supposed to be out today. Yesterday, technically. I don't care, I'm not moving till a week from Thursday, I don't even need to be in the place to measure things till Turkey Day. It's just the principle of it all which bugs me.

Having mild anxiety moments this evening. Too many things up in the air, I guess. Still haven't heard from Humane Society about returning Kaan.

Plans for tomorrow:
Team meeting
Maybe I can haz new home. Maybe.
Day of the Doctor in 3D 10 pm maybe. I've seen it on TV, I usually don't like to see things twice in a short span of time.
howeird: (Default)
the most exciting thing I have done all day is take out the garbage.

Last night to fix the problem of being kept awake by the hurting elbow, I took two night time Ibuprofen. That fixed those two problems but since I rarely take any sleep aids or booze, it takes a few hours after I am awake before i'm awake. If you know what I mean.

It was fun watching Arizona beat the crap out of Oregon and Stanford do in Cal in the first half, but I don't have a dog in those hunts, so there was a patina of boredom for me. Kaan was making a nuisance of himself jumping up on the bar stools next to the kitchen counter and trying to park himself on the open case of Fancy Feast cans, which almost spilled them and did spill him. I took the stools and put them in front of the sofa, which I should have done a year ago, I guess.

When I sat on the sofa, Domino used my lap to step up to a bar stool (they are padded) and parked herself there until I got up

Rotating socks, so there were about 2 dozen to throw out, as well as bathroom and kitchen garbage. Hauled those big bags out the the dumpster which was full, but I threw them on top anyway to mess with the dumpster diver who should know better than to ply his trade during peak donation time.

Loaded up the car with some miscellaneous stuff for Goodwill. Watched more football, got more bored, looked in the office closet for potential donations and found 6 back packs, ranging from a kiddies's Mickey Mouse to a heavy wheeled one with about 47 pockets. The two packs I use at cons are already boxed to move, and I left two more, one is my favorite World Traveler suitcase pack which has just the right pockets for diabetes stuff, electronics accessories and clothes for a 2-week trip.It's a good size for carry-on.

So, first stop Goodwill with a bunch of oddball but useful things, then Target to exchange my empty SodaStream cartridge for a new one. The CS desk people knew exactly how to do that, it only took a minute, and the discount was worth it. On to Lucky's and poured 678 pennies into the coin machine and had it deposited in my Paypal account for a hefty 9.6% fee. There are free options, but I wanted to test this out

And now am in the former Batcave Starbucks, which has a steady stream of to-go customers, and all but one table is taken. People have not been staying for long.

All the packing I listed in plans for today has shifted to Thanksgiving Friday. I am a week ahead of myself.

Last night I sent a nastygram to the mfg rep & asst, in the form of an update, but including all the mistakes they had made. Today rep emailed that she was sorry it was a bumpy ride, but she will call Monday to let me know when/where to pick up the keys. I'll see it when I believe it.

First order of business will be to change the locks.

Did not see a movie. Don't plan on fighting Sat nite crowds/prices.

I think tonight dinner will be steamed pork buns with a side of eggs. UW plays at Beaver State at 7:30, it won't be pretty.

Last night I started a Novastor backup of my RAID to my 3TB NAS drive. This morning's check showed it expected to be done by 9 tonight. Incremental backups scheduled every Sunday starting a week from tomorrow.

Plans for tomorrow
Sleep in
TACO 2-5
Janice coffee 5:30
Maybe a theater friend's birthday party after that.
howeird: (Default)

Once again I worked from home till afternoon, once again the apartment inspector never showed up.

My big sister's husband turned 76 on November 10. Four days later he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which had already spread to other organs. Ben was the kind of guy who didn't let a little debilitating pain get in his way, so I'm not surprised he didn't see a doctor as soon as he had symptoms. When Ben was growing up, everyone who had cancer died, and as soon as he was diagnosed he gave up.

Yesterday my sister emailed that cannabis and hospital rest had helped, but this morning she wrote that they had overdone the morphine last night and he was not doing well. Email forwarded from a niece (there are three of them) said her dad said he "was done".

This afternoon sister emailed saying he passed away, the funeral would be Friday. In Israel, it's almost 8 am Friday as I write this.

It is a shock, but not a surprise.

Ben was an American, had been a master sgt in the Air Force for 15 years before moving to Seattle. He met my sister at a Jewish religion class at Hillel while she was in college, courted her that summer when she was cook at a camp for Jewish kids, and they were married a year after she graduated. Unlike my sister, he was not very religious, but he loved her, and agreed to her dream to move to Israel and make babies until most of the population was made up of their peace-loving children. Unfortunately, they took after their mother, and are your basic religious fanatics, most of them living in the Occupied Territories.

He was an electronics genius, he built the world's first operational Doppler radar by hand, from scratch. During his career with the Israeli water service (they are Israel's NOAA) he consulted with the University of Colorado, and meteorology departments in Italy, Russia and Israel on radar tracking for cloud seeding. He taught electronics and programming at universities in Ber Sheva and Haifa. All male Israeli residents are required to serve in the army until age 55, and he was drafted to be an ambulance driver (typical army stupidity) during the war in Lebanon. Eventually they made him the Israeli navy's main radar repairman.

He leaves behind two sons, three daughters and 27 grandchildren.
After the no-show inspection, I went for lunch at Togo's, it's on the way. At work we wrapped up the laser testing, apparently they nailed down the bug, but I'm not sure if the fix was implemented. The system works better than before, which is good. But data through the air can never be as reliable as data over a wire, so I'm not sold on this scheme.

At home I used the limitations of VPN to take two required health & safety classes which Corp HR insists are required by OSHA. The second class starts by saying OSHA only requires it for people who handle chemicals as part of their job, which is hardly anyone at this company. No one at my site. I passed both classes easily, but it was a total waste of time.

Had my 1-on-1 with the boss, he moved it from yesterday because stuff is piling up for the coming release and new products. I told him about the needlessly complex path to home ownership, and he shared his. Same deal, surprises being sprung which should have been handled up front, and way too many documents. He also built a house in Thailand, there was none of this crap over there.

Home by way of Lucky's because they have a Jewish food section. I had falafel in the freezer, but needed humus and tehina and pita. It took forever to find pita, and the only types they had were whole wheat and 8-grain. Compared to several hundred types of taco and tortilla wrappers.

Watched the Saints and Falcons flail around for the final half while enjoying my Ben Memorial dinner. He was fond of a shot of schnapps now and then, maybe I'll have a sip in his memory.

Two packages picked up from UPS, one was a rotary nose & ear hair trimmer. The kind which looks like a miniature hedge trimmer is useless. And 4 6-packs of Nike crew socks. Had to throw away a 2-week supply of Dickies brand, holes in the toes after the first wear on too many of them.

Two weeks from moving. Two more packing projects before the crunch:
- Pack up the camping equipment which is on shelves in the storage room
- Box everything in the office closet which is not in drawers
- Box up the blank CDs/DVDs and ink cartridges in the office credenza
(those last to really are just one project)
This weekend I'll also do a full backup of my RAID array. It has all the big stuff, photos, videos, docs.

Plans for tomorrow:
Call the apartment office and yell at them for the no-show.
With luck, escrow will close. If it does, celebrate.
Uke class #2

Sunny Day

Nov. 17th, 2013 11:44 pm
howeird: (Default)

Yesterday's library trip netted three audio books, which I ripped last night to the iPod. Listening first to The Scarlet Letter. It was required reading in school but I never read it, I can't remember why. There are two possibilities - one is that I was expert at listening to the class discussions and gleaning enough from what the teacher and students said to participate and pass the tests. The other is that it was required before 9th grade in Seattle but after 9th grade in suburban NY (I moved west in mid-9th grade). I doubt that, though, because in every subject I took, except Washington State History, I had already learned everything they taught us in 9th grade in Seattle. And some bits of 10th, 11th and 12th.

Also on the list but not read, I picked up Pride and Prejudice. The third book is a posthumously published Michael Crichton work called Pirate Latitudes.

The plan was to see the 11 am showing of Thor in 3D, as I was en route my youngest sister called, we had a very short chat since it is not far to the cinema from my place. Long enough to catch up a little bit at least.

Turns out Flixter was wrong, the showing was 11:10, which meant I could have chatted a lot longer.

I also saw Ender's Game playing in 2D at 11, but I want to see that in 3D. I suppose I should look online to find out if there is a 3D version, not IMAX.

Thor II, actually. I liked the premise, that the 9 worlds are entering convergence and barriers between them are becoming fuzzy, but the special effects did a miserable job of showing this. There is some fine acting from Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Tom Hiddleston as Loki. In a league of his own is the actor playing Bad Guy™ Malekith. Telling you who would be a spoiler. Jaimie Alexander's warrior princess is far more attractive to me than Natalie Portman's completely unconvincing astrophysics PhD. Tadanobu Asano is completely wasted in a barely larger than cameo role, while Idris Elba does a fine job in what should have been a tiny role (Heimdall) but the writers have made him a pivotal player, bringing diversity which was not in the original Asgard.

There are some attempts at comic relief, which fell flat for me, there is not a lot of humor or clever repartee in the script. The score is excellent. Audio mixing is so good I didn't even notice it. 3D was used to give depth to the movie, not to throw things at the audience or make us dizzy. Some of the makeup and costume special effects were very well done, some may have been CGI. Hard to tell anymore. But it all boiled down to effective design.

The Loi Krathong scene was very touching.

Way too much gratuitous violence and destruction.

Worth senior matinée price.

A quick trip home turned into a bit of football watching, the Raiders got off to an excellent start. Not so the 49ers.

Was meeting Janice for coffee in MV at 5:30, I usually get there an hour early to play on the laptop and secure a good seat. Loaded up a shoebox full of chef's knives and other extra kitchen implements I never use, and another small box of coffee cups and small glasses and soup bowls which are breakable and I have too many of, and a mattress cover and took them to Goodwill. GPS said there was a drop-off in MV either by Target or across the street by DQ, but I didn't see one so went to the one in Palo Alto. Despite the detour, I was at Starbucks at 4:00. Almost ran out of things to do online.

Had a good chat. Janice is to blame for giving me the idea of buying a mobile home so I told her all the crapola it put me through. She missed out on the FB stories because she was off for the last 3 weeks touring India, which she said was a daily revelation. Mumbai was a lot cleaner and more modern than she expected. The Ganges funeral pyre industry is a nonstop fire factory. And so on. I'm looking forward to photos. India is not on my list of places to visit.

Home, made the second container of Costco split pea soup for dinner. Yum! And a piece of Black Forest cake for dessert.

Earlier in the day as I was on the computer, Domino tried to jump up onto my lap, I gave him a boost and she stayed parked on my right thigh for about half an hour. And she sat on my thigh while I was watching football. She knows something is up. Not too surprising, since (a) I keep the bedroom door shut and (b) all the shelves are empty and there are lots of boxes stacked up. Kaan also has done his share of jumping on my lap, and I had to chase him off the top of the piano twice.

I was going to bring the CPAP to Goodwill, but decided to try to find the paperwork and return it to the place that sent it to me, but it looks like I threw that out. Maybe Kaiser knows.

Plans for tomorrow:


howeird: (Hawaiin Shirt)
I guess this means I won't be retiring to Thailand after all.

Productive morning. Took some stuff to Goodwill, hit OSH for new burner shields to replace the front two burners on the stove, which were more carbon than aluminum,  and also got some small sponges to replace the ones whose original color is no longer identifiable. OSH didn't have rubber bands, so Office Despot for those and I needed to go there anyway to buy an envelope large enough to mail "The Toast" picture to my middle sister. It's from my Bar Mitzvah album:
Read more... )

Home, watched the Raiders game as it was recording on Tivo, that way I could skip the commercials and halftime crapola. And the lowest FF speed is slow enough to see the action and it mutes the annoying announcers, who seem to get more inane every year. Every game.

A little before 2 pm I poured Kaan into the carrier and took him to Petco for two shots which the vet had not reminded me about. One is optional for indoor cats but since he'll be going back to the shelter where he'll be with unknown cats, I figured it was worth it. The onlookers, who mostly had dogs smaller than Kaan, were amazed when he came out (or actually was pulled out - it looked like childbirth) at his size. And how he jumped back into the carrier as soon as they were done with him. On my way there I had a mini-attack of anxiety as the whole surrendering the cat made  a memory chain to buying the house and the concept of putting down 3 years' rent so that in 5 years I'll own something on someone else's land which I may not be able to afford when I'm on Social Security.

Home again, watched the 49ers have an off day. Carolina was also having an off day, so SF only lost by a little bit. Somewhere in there I also saw the end and OT of the Ravens game, which they would have won in regulation if one of their members had not decided to do the tip drill to a Carolina player in the end zone. They still won, but by 3.

4 pm, and all the football was dine till the night game. Time for more packing. The first thing on my list was to take the box of my letters from Thailand (the folks had saved them all) and a theater poster and put them in the tubs in the storage room in which they belonged. That involved pulling out the smaller cat carrier, both baritones and one storage tub. And then putting them back, chasing both cats out of the room.

Real packing continued with boxing the computer CD albums, post cards & birthday cards, Peace Corps era Thailand maps and a couple of things which should have gone into the storage tub but wouldn't fit.

Watched some of the NOLA/Dallas game, but took time out to fill two medium-sized boxes with linens and my space-themed comforter. Those were on a rack consisting of a series of detachable units, which are now stacked with the two boxes on top of them. T-shirts will be some other day.

I had planned to go to the movers' this morning to get some supplies, but on their web site the prices are outrageous. And they don't have most of the kitchen packing things I need. So I'll hit up U-haul during the day some time this week.

Somewhere in there I made dinner, the rest of the Costco brisket, a cup of corn and some egg noodles. While slicing limes for my drink, I sliced a bit of the tip of my left ring finger. Very deep cut, lots of blood wanted to come out but I was near ice and tissues and managed to get to the bathroom where the band aids and medical tape are. The bleeding is stopped, but I know it will start up again if I take off the bandage too soon, so I think it will stay on another day.

Plans for tomorrow:
BASFA maybe. Football maybe but frankly I'm kind of footballed out after this weekend.
eBay sale should finish, may have to get the item ready to ship.

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