howeird: (localhost)
Woke up before 7, was in the bathroom when the two alarms went off, which is one perk of living in a house, no wall-share neighbors to hear your alarm going off. Got to the DMV at 8:30, found parking and made my way past the long line of people without appointments to the line for people with. 3 people ahead of me. 8:45 had the form filled out and was assigned a number, and told that contrary to what the web site says, yes, I can get a new license with my current address for a mere $26, and yes, I can also get a free senior citizen ID card. 5 minutes later I was being helped by a trainee and two veterans on either side of her. She was way too bright to be working at the DMV - she understood stuff the first time, is a native speaker of American English, and did not blame the slow computer for anything. After collecting my $26 she gave me a receipt, a temporary license and another receipt for the ID card and sent me to the line behind me. This was apparently the line for people with appointments because after the three people ahead of me were shot, they pulled me in ahead of abut a dozen others for my photo & signature. So not only do I get a new license with the right address, I get a photo which was not taken in 2000.

I was out of there by 9:10. Meanwhile the no-appointment line had reached around the building, in the 45° chill.

Which meant I was at work on time, because the DMV is only 1.5 miles away.

Not much to do at work, so I socialized. It was a good chance to chat with team mates who also had little actual work to do.

One cute thing, the media program we use for playing video over the lab network, VLC (videolan - it's free and you should get it) has a taskbar logo which is now sporting a Santa hat. My back wall neighbor has been receiving tons of toys from amazon, I figured she would get a kick out of it - she did.

My weakly report was pretty sparse this week.

Home, gave Domino her chew treats, relaxed until it was time to go to uke class. I'd put a load of bedding in the dryer this morning, took that out and started the load of shirts.

Uke class was not very productive, even though only 2 of us showed up and he gave us each a lot of personal attention. Problem is he goes at his pace, not ours, so while he's playing the entire song in the book, I'm still trying to figure out how to play a G. He showed a finger pick routine which could work, with practice, but he didn't allow time to practice. One thing I did learn is my fingers are too wide for many chords. Or rather, to play them the way they are shown in the book. With practice I think I can play tunes which have C, A, A minor and F. Are there any?

Stopped off at Safeway on the way home, mostly for TV dinners and ice cream. Also got a long thing sourdough baguette which I'll slice up to eat with the goat brie I bought the other day.

Dinner was a Healthy Choice Asian steam bowl. Not going to stay on my list, that series.

Spent some time on looking for a trip to take during NY's holiday. We get eve & 1st off, and I'll take Monday too for a 5-day weekend. Denver looked do-able. Grand Canyon did not - fares are sky-high on the Texas Eagle. And there's a bus bridge, which defeats the purpose of taking the train. Santa Barbara and even San Diego are possibles, if I don't mind arriving at SAN at 1 am. Also looked at Reno, but it is too !@#$%^&* cold. Did not look north, been there, done that too many times. Vancouver BC might be nice but that's a 2-day ride.

Got email from PG&E that they were billing me twice, once for December and once through January 8. I emailed the old apartment asking if this meant my apartment had been rented. They took their time replying, but said yes, I don't owe any more rent. So I went online with PG&E and had the gas & electric shut off, and updated my address. And emailed Allstate to cancel the insurance. Got an out of office reply, will shoot some email to the assistant.

Anyhow, typical that the apartment people didn't tell me on their own.

And it saves me about $3k. Which was part of the point of this whole exercise. So now I have officially lowered my rent by $1k/mo. Yay!

Plans for tomorrow:
Visit the mobile home park office, say hi,  and request a larger garbage bin
Unpack the 3rd BR.
Fill the car with cardboard and take it to the recycle center
Replace the kitchen light fixture
Call Fuzzy about fixing the second set of lights in the bathroom and the nearby dead outlet in the bedroom. They may be related. And ask about replacing the sink. And whether it is feasible to remove the second sink and install a walk-in shower. It may not be possible structurally. And a ramp to the side door.
Watch a bowl game, if there is one.
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

howeird: (Domino_yawn)
Switching back my home & work PCs to right-handed mouse. The elbow still hurts like heck at night, but the repetitive use injury seems to have subsided, and what I have left is probably a hairline fracture or something like it in the bone.

Escrow, round 3,281. I knew the paperwork was being Fedexed yesterday afternoon to WA, so I waited till 1 pm to call the CU for the required phone interview. toll-free number with robot answerer, 7 choices, none of them applied, hit 0, got someone who mis-heard my name but as soon as I told her I had the account # she put me right through to my rep's desk. The phone was answered by a very flustered woman who said my rep was elsewhere but could call back in a few minutes. I mean half an hour. Or probably at least an hour. I said okay, I was going to lunch, call shortly after 2.

Lunch at Carl's Jr which is nearby, I wasn't taking any chances of being back late in the massive rainfall. During my walk from the car to the door it rained about an inch.

Back by 2, at 2:10 I called back, realized they didn't tell me the extension of the person, so 0 again, this time a fill-in answered, it took a couple of holds and a couple of other people to get me to the right extension (again, they didn't say which one) and voicemail for "Pammi".  I left my name & number.

At about 3 she called back, confirmed some routine stuff, obviously had not read my file yet, and when it sounded like we were done she said I needed someone from my work to call her and confirm I worked there and my hire date. When I explained that HR is in Georgia and they all have gone home for the day, she said my manager was fine, and she or he could leave voicemail.  So at 5, when Boss was done with his last 1-on-1 of the afternoon, I hit him up, he was happy to do it, but I needed to give him my hire date since he didn't know if he could get that from our new system.

So now I wait. Again. I don't trust Pammi to get anything done in a timely fashion. Turns out the flustered woman who answered the phone that first time was her .

Spent most of work being frustrated by the non-working new laser system. At about 4 they replaced the ceiling modules and little by little the video improved. When I left, ESPN was playing a basketball game at 20 Mbps, only 3 continuity errors, slight jitter which I would not have noticed if I was Joe Customer. Better than the hard-wired cable. But the truth is I think they could have made that same upgrade on the router in the lab and improved the performance on the original cable.

Home by regular 40 mph roads, lots of slow traffic, not as much stupidity as there would have been on the expressway. There was only one intersection where I got caught because the people up ahead were nearsighted and thought they needed, at a full stop, to keep 6 car lengths behind the car in front of them. Lasix, people.

Nothing on Tivo, so I watched news and also that Simon Cowell + 3 brainless women alleged talent show. I watched some boy named Levi (he looked more like a Benjamin, definitely not a Cohen), dressed like Michael Jackson on a budget, forced to do a murderously slow rendition of something I have already forgotten, mostly packed into a UK phone booth with 6 white male "dancers" dressed as Bobbies, doing some inane and distracting routine on both sides of the box. The kid has a beautiful voice, but the song was less than an octave range, the arrangement did not allow him to belt or show off his range, and even though he did some great dance moves in the BS leading up to his stage gig, he didn't dance at all on stage. A total waste of his talent, and the huge cheer he got was because he's cute.

Switched it off as soon as the first airhead started praising him like he was the next MJ. He may be, but not tonight.

Dinner was TV turkey w/stuffing and a couple of chocolate chunk cookies.

After the news, turned the TV off, did some housekeeping & packing. Put the accumulated cardboard in a big black trash bag, hauled a huge pack of about 86 rolls of Costco TP out of the bedroom closet, and also pulled out the trash bag from the livingroom can. Took all three out to the dumpster, threw way the trash but parked the TP (it's all wrapped in plastic within plastic) near the dumpster in a dry spot. Someone is bound to find it useful. Lots of tenants have kids. And we also have dumpster divers who visit regularly.

Back to the bedroom closet, filled two medium boxes with my makeup kits, a mostly-working camcorder, binoculars, slide projector two pairs of shoes and my three attaché cases. Also discovered in the back on a low shelf was my 50 states US quarters set and a shoebox containing my dad's collection of dimes, all wrapped in rolls he made out of notebook paper because he was a Child of the Depression and it never occurred to him that any bank would have given him coin wrappers for free. They are labeled by year, mint and condition. It includes Mercury dimes. Quite a few rolls of them, but mostly in "time to melt them down" condition. I had planned to take them to a coin shop a year ago, but never got around to it, and hid them out of sight.

So here I am, will do some facebooking and read some more Kindle, and try to get some sleep.

Plans for tomorrow:

Work from home till the apartment inspectors are done. 10-1 is the window this time. If they don't show up, I will be sending a very nasty nastygram to Corporate.
Football. Saints vs Falcons, should be a good game.
howeird: (The Gov - Arms Wide)
After signing/initialing each page in a 2"-high stack of papers for the escrow people, some of them saying what stuff I am not responsible for and others saying what dire consequences may befall, out came the loan papers.

The loan offer I had accepted was for a 5-year loan at 5.x percent interest. I had declined, I thought, an offer from the same lender for 15 years at 8.x percent.

Turns out the offer was actually for 20 years:  the first 5 years at 5.x and the next 15 years at 8.x.

So two shocks:

1. I will not be done paying after 5 years

2. The monthly payment after 5 years increases by $100 or so.

I almost canceled.

But even with the increase, I'm still looking at close to $1k a month less rent+mortgage than my current rent. And there is already 30% equity in the place, maybe a reverse mortgage can be had before the price goes up. There is no penalty for paying it off early, but the whole point of this exercise was to pay less rent.

So I signed. And more rudeness ensued. My rep was supposed to tell me to bring "my checkbook" which I don't have one of, but I could have brought three checks. I had printed three this morning, but only brought one, just in case the asst mfg rep was right and there was another wire fee to pay.

She was wrong, but they needed one check for the direct debit, one for the $5 fee to join the CU which is issuing the loan, and one for the $5 fee for the required 1-year membership in a mobile home owner's association, the one they chose was FOBA in San Antonio. Some shady deal here, because as far as I can tell from their web site and their newsletter, they are useless.

So I had to drive all the way home from San Jose, print two checks, and drive all the way back. As if that wasn't enough, escrow lady said I needed to call the CU tomorrow for an interview/confirmation of the things I had just signed. Crap. Today was supposed to be closure, dammit.

One good thing is the office building has a 2nd Harvest donation barrel in the lobby, so I was able to bring some items for that. (We don't have one at work this year)

And then back to work.

There wasn't much time left to do any actual work, and I was pretty depressed.

The lab babe had set up a new system which is supposed to replace the high-speed cable from the lab to each desk which we use for playing/testing HD video without having to sit in the hot/noisy/overcrowded lab. Instead of a cable to each desk, there is now a cable to a device mounted on the ceiling, which shoots data on a laser beam to a receiver on top of each cubicle wall, and a cable from there to the desk computer.

When I left to sign the papers, we had done a torture test, and it failed. My connection kept crapping out. Lab babe said she would also be back around 3, and would check in again. But she didn't. And I had no connection at all.

I shouldn't call her Lab babe. It's just that she is shaped like Barbie and dresses to make sure there is no doubt about that, has a bright, cheerful smile, and had her job description changed from being one of the engineers who troubleshot customer-reported issues which tech support escalated, to doing legacy testing and helping with special projects in the lab. During my first stint at Moto, she was a team-mate, loaned to us from Moto's St. Petersburg Russia video test lab. At the time I thought she was really sent to us as the final exam for the sexual harassment education class. She was laid off a little before I was, and we had both interviewed for our old jobs back at the same time, but while I got my old job back, she didn't, but was later hired by the lab manager. I think we were both up for both jobs, actually.

But I digress.

I forgot to mention yesterday a miracle happened, and as I was watching football, both cats were on my lap. Domino parked herself on my left thigh, and after she had been there a while Kaan jumped up and I steered him to the right side where he curled up. Domino growled at him a little, but petting her and pointing his head the other way allowed them to coexist for about half an hour.

I was expecting to hear from the Humane Society by now about bringing him back, but so far no. My drop dead date is 12/2.

In other escrow news, I had been planing on sending flowers to the mfg rep when the sale was final, but she got so many things wrong, especially the loan information, that this is no longer a plan. According to the paperwork, she makes $1800 on this deal.

Been listening to The Scarlet Letter in the car on the iPod. I love Hawthorne's style, I would have enjoyed reading it in school. It is read by a woman, which seems wrong as it is obviously being told by a man. She mispronounces words from time to time. How can you get "clandestine" wrong? Could be the British pronunciation, she has a British accent, which is also wrong, the story being written well into the Tyler presidency.

It looks like I will be hauling out my trumpet Sunday for an afternoon with TACO, the Terrible Adult Chamber Orchestra. It's as much a knitting circle as a musical organization. Like Ye Olde Town Band, it's Los Altos based. One of our tuba players may join me.

Plans for tomorrow:
Call the CU
howeird: (Default)
Despite the new BP meds, my readings are still way too high. I blame this house buying thing. Was just forced to sell another large chunk of mutual funds to pay for first & last at the mobile home park, and two years' up front taxes and insurance. Grrrr. That's on top of December and January rent on the apartment lease. Well, the part when I'm not living in the apartment from the second week of December till Jan 24. And unknown closing costs.

The good news is I get to hang onto the downpayment and closing costs until just before escrow closes, so another ~ 5 weeks.

Lots of work at work today. More tomorrow. Mostly "push 'go' and wait"  tests. The waits are between 5 and 500 minutes. Automation guy figured out a way to do tests from my desk which normally would have to be done in our noisy, hot, under-construction lab.

Lunch was at the Round Table pizza buffet. 12:30 and the place was almost empty. Strange, they have an extensive salad bar and a good selection of pizza, including a lovely apple cobbler desert pizza.

Automation guy asked me about Obamacare for his mother, who has zero income for the last 7 years. I went to the CA web site, and it looks like even with no income she would be charged $8/month for minimal coverage.

No return call from the movers. I'll try again tomorrow. I still have the guy's email address. Hmmm.

Another BP raiser was in the mail, an envelope from the lender, which makes me nervous because the loan is still not finalized. Turns out it was just a form for me to sign to get a copy of the appraisal, an appraisal which I had paid $350 for. Of course I want a copy, idiots. You shouldn't even have asked, just send it. Probably required for them to do so by CA law.

Tivoed the Seahawks game, was so disgusted with how poorly they played that I shut it off halfway through the 3rd quarter. I see from the final score that they didn't make any points after that, and only won because the Rams were even more inept on offense. 14-9 in what should have been a total rout. Route? Look it up, howeird. Rout.

Caught the 9th inning of the World Series**. There is nothing in sports more boring to me than a pitcher's duel. I was glad to see Boston win, after they were robbed in that previous game. That guy coming into home was out. He never touched the bag. If there's a rule which says he was safe, that rule is asinine, wrong, bogus & un-American. I has spoken.

** okay, the 45th inning if you want to be technical. The 9th of tonight's game.

Saw a Best Buy Christmas commercial on the tube. Guess where I'm not buying anything until late January?

Oh wait. It's not a tube anymore. It's an LED panel. Or maybe an LCD panel. One or the other, I can't afford plasma.

Thinking seriously of giving Domino up for adoption. She still fights with Kaan, and she has never been affectionate toward me for more than 3 minutes at a time. But she likes other people, and is well behaved. She would make an excellent senior's companion. I think I'll talk to the humane society folks. The park lease is specific about only one cat per household.

Took a look around the kitchen counters with an eye to throwing things away. Three soda siphons which leak. A small stack of black plastic thin microwave containers from Costco refrigerated food packs. The electric fondue pot stays.

Plans for tomorrow:
Start packing.
Check the dumpster - if it's empty make a donation or three.  
howeird: (Default)
And dress by compact fluorescent light.

Sometime soon we are about to Fall Back. Which only makes things worse.
So, today at work was a bit overwhelming, thinking about how to write a suite of test cases. Needs to be two for each test, one for telnet one for ssh. Tomorrow I need to write one series. How did it get to be Thursday already?

Last night I faxed a form to my broker to wire transfer half of my life savings to my checking CU account so it will be there when I need to wire it from there to somewhere for the downpayment. They called me at about 9 am to say they wired the funds, but it didn't show up in my CU account until 2 pm. Still waiting to hear a final okay from the lender. Have heard nothing from the escrow people. I write as if I know what all this stuff means, but I do not. I do know that today the checks cleared for the termite inspection and the appraisal. I also know this will mean a small tax refund for me, but have no idea how much. TurboTax will do that for me. 

Went on Yelp and looked up moving companies. Also found my LJ entry for the last move. It didn't mention the company. Found the receipt, Advanced Moving. I may use them again, but with 3 men, not 4. I thought the piano would need 4, but they did it with 2. Very routine. The part which pissed me off was how much wrapping paper and boxes they used for packing up the kitchen (I had The Plague and was in a show, did not get all the packing done in time). This time I'll have everything packed. I'm thinking December 5.

Lunchtime was manicure time. Automation guy heard me make the appointment, and offered to drive me to his wife's nail salon and have her do it for free. No thanks. The salon is in Redwood City, an hour round trip. And I don't want free. And I'd already made the appointment. Maybe next time, because once again Michelle was way late so someone else did the honors. She is slower and not as skilled and not as easy on the eyes. Michelle wins beauty contests. When she came in she showed me the latest photos from the San Jose Vietnamese pageant, which she won.

Back to work with a stop at the CU ATM, got some cash, partly because I needed some cash but mostly to see if the wire transfer had gone through. It had. Using the CU phone app it did not show up till later.

Home, Thursday Night Football, disgusted that with 5 minutes left to play in a not very lopsided game, the announcers had already stopped paying attention and had awarded the game to Jacksonville. They pretty much had decided on the winner last week. If it was my home team, I'd be flooding ESPN with nastygrams.

Got a rude reminder from Comcast this week. My 1-year new customer discount has expired, the bill went from $120 to $150 a month.

Dinner was a few chicken wings and three salapow. Aka Cha siu bao, aka BBQ pork steamed buns. Domino sat at my feet staring at me till I gave her some chicken.
Plans for tomorrow:
Pick up a package of socks from amazon locker, probably.
Roti for dinner, I think. I have a lot of penang curry paste left and three packages of frozen roti.
howeird: (Default)
So the latest news is I have been approved for mobile home park residency. And it seems I misunderstood, it was the owner who wanted to close escrow before Thanksgiving, so I said okay. I don't think I will actually move until December. Need to find movers. I frankly can't remember how the ones who moved me here were. The ones two moves ago broke stuff, left stuff behind and stole some DVDs.

And I sent the fax to have the downpayment funds wired from my broker to my CU. That will be combined with some funds in my CU savings and wired to the escrow people or whomever, when they ask for it. I am very nervous about spending half my non-taxable retirement assets.

Last night Kaan spent all but the last hour curled up next to my head. Domino spent some time parked by my feet, but not much. I had a low blood sugar episode at about 3 am, which totally blew my away because my pre-insulin reading was off the charts high and I had only upped my nighttime dosage by 4 units. And done without dessert. That would be 20 units of regular, not all that much for me. A Klondike bar got me normalized.

Today I got some work to do which will take a week. I hate it. I had hoped Sales Engineering had learned their lesson, but they have not, and I am stuck with testing something we shouldn't be sending to customers. Argh. On the bright side, I finally got my main machine back. Yay!

Which reminds me:
Yay rhymes with stay and is an indication of joy "Yippee!"
Yeah rhymes with pear and asserts agreement. "Yes!"

Just in case you may have been using "yeah" when you really meant "yay". The confusion: both can be used to cheer a happy occurance.

Lunchtime I picked up two packages at UPS. More of the Jockey shorts I had ordered a 3-pack of last week. Enough for 2 weeks. And the Original Broadway Cast of the musical Matilda because the girl who played Dorothy to my Cowardly Lion in Fremont, CA in 1986 is one of the leading players, Mrs. Wormwood. The two parts could not possibly be more different. The show starts with the doctor telling Mrs. Wormwood that she cannot possibly get on a plane this afternoon to compete in a ballroom dance competition, because she is in labor. She had no idea. Didn't know she was pregnant.

I have the original London cast recording, and was not impressed. This one is much better engineered, and from an audio standpoint is a joy to listen to. But the composer thinks he's Sondheim, and the only musicals music I like less than Sondheim is wanna-be Sondheim. So far I haven't found a tune, just a lot of clever patter. And a lot of time signature orgies. Like Carmina Burana, which seems to change time signatures every 5 bars. Only not as gracefully done.

The good news is Amazon refunded $8, which is the difference between the pre-order price and the release price.

On the way back to work is a Denny's. I tried to have lunch there but it was a bad decision. Awful waiter. What I ordered did not come with a salad, but he thought it did so he asked me what kind of dressing I wanted, and I told him. They have discontinued my favorite sides, so I got mac and cheese, and sweet corn.

It did not take overly long to get the food, but he slammed it down on the table, all at once, this huge salad in its own meal-sized bowl, the main course and corm and mac on a small plate, and a side plate with garlic bread which doesn't come with it and I didn't order. The corn was cold and not sweet. The mac was mac and Alfredo sauce. The main dish was fine. He didn't charge for the salad so he got a tip, but it was a close call.

Back at work, 1-on-1 with the boss, not much to talk about.

Home, caught up a bit on Tivo, two episodes of Elementary. The writing is getting better. So is the acting, all around. I can now tolerate the leading man. I will always have a problem with the WTF character names.

Plans for tomorrow:
Thursday night football
Maybe Starbucks
howeird: (Weird Load)
The loan people are being assholes. It is making me crazy. Crazier. Highest blood sugar reading I have ever had. Highest blood pressure reading too, I think. I need to unscrew my brain and set it aside to cool.

Work was a little crazy too.

After work I flipped a virtual coin and chose Costco over UPS. Costco was full of insane people, more than usual. It's not a race, little man from the subcontinent. It is not a family gathering, Spanish-speaking aisle-blockers. And alleged adults of all stripes, your grocery cart was not built to be pushed around by your younger family members, the ones who have no fine motor skills.

It's not prejudice, it's postjudice.

Lunchtime was a trip to Kaiser lab for a serum potassium blood draw. I got the trainee. It was her first day without direct supervision. She did well. Two areas for improvement: more confidence, and when you see that vein bump standing right there at the crook of the elbow shouting "bleed me!", you don't have to trace the vein from the wrist on up. #2 is a reflection of #1. She will be gangbusters in time.

Starbucks across the street, tried their Orange Valencia drink, with a chocolate croissant. "Would you like the croissant heated up?" "Not unless you want to see me wearing it".  Some eye candy, in between reading from the Kindle app on the Nexus. The Long Earth. It hovers between YA and adult sci-fi.

Lamb shank and creamed corn for dinner.

Costco check-out featured an athletic young woman who re-packed everyone's conveyor belt items with a combination of Pythagorean genius and Olympic passion. I told her she is awesome. It surprised her.

In other news, the tennis elbow is 90% not hurting. Irony - there is an annoying abrasion where the strap meets the bottom of the elbow curve.

Plans for tomorrow:
howeird: (Hawaiin Shirt)
Already wished [ profile] johnnyeponymous a happy birthday, though in different words, but for someone bigger (and louder) than life, once is never enough.
When I got under the covers last night, rolled over onto my left side, Kaan curled up against my back, then Domino climbed up on my right side and parked there for about 15 minutes.

A few days ago I started keeping a log of morning and evening Hgl readings and insulin dosages. Part of this was to remind me to eat dinner before 9 pm. I am still seeing no correlations. And had a low (73) at about 11:30 after our Monday morning team meeting, despite having a banana for breakfast. Fixed that with a glucose tablet and a Snickers bar.

Meeting included a good presentation by one of our non-programmer team members who has been on loan to the group upstairs, which showed how to use my favorite software to automate their user interface. I've seen their tool, it's not nearly as good, yet he says they won't convert. I hate software religions and their closed-minded fanatics.

Lunch at Carl's Jr. I don't go there often but they are the closest eatery to the office. Must remember to ask for no whipped cream on the shake. They make an excellent east coast style shake, but the whipped cream tastes like plastic.

Boss had added back into my 2013 goals something I had taken out because there was no easy way to go back and check how much of the goal I had accomplished. It was a project everyone is on, to document in our test case database where in the engineering specifications the test was written from. Sometimes it's not in the main spec, but in a design spec for a particular feature, or a marketing spec (those are outlines more than specs). I figured out a way to at least see my own test cases, but the database choked on my search. Boss fixed it, and I saw that just from two features alone I'd done half again as many as my goal. And found one more feature which was easy to add another dozen to.

Somewhere in there the admin for the loan arranger emailed asking for my latest pay stub. I know I had already emailed it to her boss, but since I had it on my work PC I sent it to her. Then the mfg rep emailed asking which loan company I was going with - pissed me off because she works next door to the loan arranger, that's who she should have asked. I phoned back and told her.

She said someone wanted to change the escrow closing date - my target is 11/30, which she reminded me is  Thanksgiving weekend. I said a week later would be fine. Two weeks even better. She said they wanted it earlier. I said no. I didn't really hear who she said wanted it earlier. I may call and ask. If it's the seller I may change my mind. I don't have to actually move on escrow week, but I also don't want to pay 2 rents for any longer than I have to.

Work. Also watched the next hour of the IPv6 presentation. Stupid Questions™ stretched 20 minutes of material into an hour. A couple of people in the class were asking questions just to show they already knew the answers. One guy kept repeating exactly what the teacher had said, but in the form of a question. The good news is that the 20 minutes was very useful information, if IPv6 ever goes viral.

Stopped off at 7-11 for two packages. One was a 2-month supply of low-sugar Quaker instant oatmeal variety packs, my favorite at-work breakfast. The other was the Uke beginner's book which the class will be using. Or at least I think it's the same one. We'll see. Class starts on my birthday.

Home, decided Costco would make me late for BASFA, and I had moon cake tins to auction. Plus it was [ profile] johnnyeponymous's birthday and I wanted to see him auctioned off. I don't know why, but none of my jokes seemed to work tonight. Attendance was poor, but noisy, and several people bailed early, which made the final round of auctions a non-starter. I think I'll stay home for the rest of football season.

Plans for tomorrow:
Kaiser, serum potassium blood test (because of my latest BP meds)
?? - expecting two packages at UPS
howeird: (Default)
And now it is after dinner. My diabetes doctor reminded me that it's all in the timing, especially with the new 5x insulin, so whatever evils I am fighting on the Internet, dinner's at 8, insulin at 9. We'll see how long that lasts. I set up reminders on Google calendar, only to discover my phone is no longer syncing with that. Damned AT&T. Have to tell the phone to sync manually. I'll have to check with Google on why that changed all of a sudden.

Found it - Samsung's fault - cleverly hidden in the Data Usage section when you hit the menu button. Boo, Hiss.

Okay, about today. Did all my to-dos with too much time to spare.

- 7-11 picked up an amazon locker delivery of socks allegedly designed to provide better ventillation
- OSH, bought a rubber mat, a squeegee and a pack of AAA batteries
- Sports Authority, found 1 lb and 2 lb mini dumbbells. Looked at shoes, found some nice Asics, but $150? No thanks.
- UPS, piked up a Zappos package with $50 shoes
- Petco, confirmed they give vaccinations tomorrow at 2

Home, tried on the shoes, they fit okay. Kaan helped me tie them. Knot. These are the first shoes with laces he has seen on me. All my others are slip-on or Velcro.

Watched bits of the Stanford game. Poorly played by both sides. Stanford won but not by a lot. Then on another channel the UW game came on, horrible display of inaccuracy by the QB. It was a rout by halftime, final score I see was 53-24. Urp.

Went out on the patio to read, Domino curled up on her chair for a while, but Kaan stayed inside, on my computer chair. He also camped out in the pet carrier, which is good. He's in there now. Should be easy to get him in there for the trip to Petco tomorrow.

Watched an episode of Elementary. I am liking the direction they are taking it. Nuked my remaining The Mentalist episodes & season pass. A shame. Solid acting, pretty good writing, but the producers have decided to obsess on something they should have ended in Season One.

In the mail today were two items: The US Mint's holiday catalog. and a Truth in Lending letter from the CU which is loaning me the $$ for the house. It gave my credit score, from the same source I got mine from 4 days before, and it was 23 points less. Still excellent, but that's effed up. So I went online like they said, and got my free credit report, but it didn't include the score. 16 pages of other stuff, though.

Mfg rep emailed last night that Mon & Tues there were inspections scheduled on the house. During some of my down time this afternoon I read some of the park's monthly magazine, it was 60% canned content, 20% local info from the community association, and 20% ads. The ads were very useful - the park isn't allowed to recommend service providers, but the magazine was full of ads for everything from maid service to re-leveling contractors.

Some friends are in Zombie Prom, a musical opening November Fools' Day at Sunnyvale community theater, I bought a ticket online for opening night.

Plans for tomorrow:
Car wash
Rabies shot for Kaan
Coffee with Janice before she runs off to India.


Oct. 14th, 2013 10:29 pm
howeird: (Default)
Almost not worth the typing.

Work started with a 15-minute weekly meeting which two of The Usual suspects drew out past the allotted hour nitpicking over something better discussed off-line. :-(

But it was an hour in which I didn't have to try to find something to do which looked like work.

While in the meeting, the loan broker from the mfg called, I had to let it go to voicemail. She was supposed to have called Friday. She followed it up with email to my home mailbox, which I logged into. Three loan offers from two lenders. Bottom line is all three were more per month than I had been led to believe was a conservative estimate. Two were from a CU which has expanded to be a major mfg homes lender, the other was a Father & Son bank which did the same thing. All three had interest rates higher than they should be in these interest-free times. The CU played this game of offering 3% lower interest for a 5-year loan than for a 15-year loan, but the way that math goes is the monthly pay-out is $200 a month more for the longer-term loan. Boo, hiss. The bank's loan is 20 years, the monthly and interest rate splits the diff between the two CU offers.

There's a medium-term advantage in paying off the loan in 5 years, but I was looking for a bigger immediate advantage.

The email needed rent verification for the last 2 years. Last night I had faxed in a request for the year I have been living here, and got it, so I phoned and asked how to get the same for last year, different address but that company bought the company which owns the place I moved to, so the nice lady gave me my old account number and I faxed that in and they sent that paperwork to me. Twice. I am so happy I kept my fax account.

Next was 2 years' salary verification from the new company. Email to Payroll got me the fax & phone for the HR department which has the form for the lender/landlord to fill out. Too late to phone the east coast, so I faxed a request. With luck they will send the form tomorrow before I get to work.

Work stuff, took a class on IPv6, the new internet protocol standard. After an hour of pretty interesting and mind-bending info, the guy says they are about to run out of tape, so the teacher says change it. End of lesson. Back to the course catalog, there are 5 more sessions. I enrolled for the next one. Will take it tomorrow.

Home, didn't feel like going to BASFA. Probably won't for the rest of the football season.

Watched most of the MNF game, but was disappointed with it being mostly a defensive battle. Points excite me, tackles don't.

Caught up on LJ & FB, went online to make appointments. Domino needs her rabies shot and while I'm at it, she need some serious mat removal under sedation. And I penciled in a follow-up doctor's appointment for my elbow, which is hurting in places more consistent with having banged it than just tennis elbow. Maybe an x-ray is in order. Maybe drugs.

Plans for tomorrow:
Hearing test @ Kaiser
UPS pickup
howeird: (Default)
Today many loose ends were tied up, tomorrow some more will be, and soon after that the waiting begins, I hope.

Today started at Kaiser, had my quarterly fasting blood test. Already have most of the results, and they are contradictory. Still waiting for the A1C which is kind of the key to everything. The best news is my cholesterol numbers have been improving dramatically.

On my way out I saw a sign there was a farmer's market in the outdoor space between the clinic and the hospital, so I went to check it out. There were two excellent vegetable stands, though the one which had stuff I would have liked to buy was still setting up. Two flower stands with lots of pretty blooms, also setting up. Salmon also setting up. Indian baked goods were ready to sell but had nothing I wanted.

So, to work. Got there at 9, at 10 drove a few blocks to the CU and had a teller deposit the check from the brokerage. Didn't trust the ATM to make it immediately available, which the teller did. So my deposit on the home is covered.

Back to work. There was actually some work to do, a new build came in on the older product, which I have one of. Verified one fix, punted another back to Engineering. They never really fixed the bug because they couldn't reproduce the customer's issue. And neither could I.

For lunch I went to Birk's, a swanky place which is supposed to be a steak house, but they don't serve any steaks at lunchtime. WTF? Had the pasta paella. It was very oily, the pasta was not something I recognized, long straight tubes slightly less in diameter than macaroni. There were small shrimps and a couple of overdone pieces of lobster claw meat, but most of the seafood was some grey fish meat. The whole thing was disappointing. Dessert was great, a small slice of chocolate and mocha fudge cake. A $3 slice for $9. Oh, yeah, a $1 cup of pretty good clam chowder appetizer for $5. The pre-meal bread was warm and tasty. Service was excellent, at first, but slowed down at the end. And even though I was all the way across the place from them, the rowdies at the bar were distractingly buzzed and loud. I should probably try it for dinner, but if they can screw up paella that bad maybe I don't want to know what they do to steak.

Not much else at work except my weekly report.

Got a call from mfg rep, she was picking up the park application and wanted me to come in tomorrow to go over disclosures and make an appointment for the park interview. Still trying to decide what costume to wear to that.

Home, was planning on seeing Gravity but then I realized I'm free Sunday matinée, which gets me the reduced price and also the senior price, without having to fight for a seat.

Dinner was in two parts. A very small Banquet entree of Swedish meatballs, then I warmed up one of the packets of Thai curried chicken drumsticks from the potluck. Need the freezer space. Mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert.

Netflix delivered a copy of Prometheus, which was recommended to me by Automation Guy. Horrible acting all around but it looked like it might turn into something interesting so I stuck with it. Until the flame thrower came out, and   the flamee exploded inside his helmet. . That's when I hit the eject button.

So here I am on the computer.

Plans for tomorrow:
Meet with the mfg rep
Dump all the dead plants in the patio planters, except the catmints, which I'll bring inside, which means finding a place to put them.
Pick up a package at UPS
Maybe watch the UW-OR game. Something tells me the Huskies are not going to look too good this time.
howeird: (Default)
to write this. Got distracted by writing a condolence letter to my aunt. The last surviving member of my parents' generation family. As far as I know only one of them died while incarcerated in an insane asylum.

The plan was going to be start the day at Kaiser for my quarterly bloodletting. But I had forgotten to fast, so instead I went to work an hour early. Whirlwind lunch period, went to Peninsula Beauty Supply and bought metallic silver (sans sparkles) nail polish. Tried Rite Aide and Walgreen's but neither had the elbow cold pack device I'd seen online. Onward to have my manicure, but first a stop next door at the orthopedic supply store. The guy working there had no idea what was on the shelves, he did find something vaguely resembling what I wanted but the one I have already is better.

Michelle was not there today, so the very young one did my nails again. She is adorable but not nearly as attention-holding as Michelle. I kept nodding off.

Next stop, the library to return a couple of DVDs. And to return a call which I couldn't take because my nails were being done. It was the mfg rep's office, asking for some details which were already on the loan application. :-(

Back to work, took one more online class, a pretty good one from 2011 where one of the engineering presenters is now boss' boss' boss.

Home, took the laptop inside to update it. This month's Windows 7 update was about 32 items, it would take forever to download at Starbucks. Pretty quick on the 5GHz wi-fi.

While that was going on I watched some of the Bears-Giants game. Glad I did not watch the A's game because they blew it. No pennant for them.

When the laptop was done successfully I created a restore point on the big PC and ran the updates again. At least this time if there was a BSOD, I wouldn't lose anything. Actually, I was blaming the blue screen on a RAID controller driver issue because at work I had looked it up and there was a new driver at for that. But when I got home and ran device manager, Intel said I had a current driver. The diff is the new driver was only if your RAID was also your boot disk, which is a mistake I don't make. Not anymore.

It took a couple of hours, but did update just fine.

Plans for tomorrow:
Fasting blood test
Drop off broker check at CU to cover the loan deposit
Gravity in 3D
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Wednesday Marilee of Alliance Manufactured Homes gave me printouts for two homes in Willow Ranch Park, a 55+ community of 236 spaces, about 5 miles from where I work. In the interim I sent her financial items and identified which mutual fund to sell for a downpayment. Today I brought the final form, and she drove us out to take a look. She also had found one more listing in the park new today. All three had advertised open houses today at 1.

The first one already had a "sale pending" sign on it, and was not viewable. The second one we went to was the new listing, a 3Br 2ba double-wide built 15 years ago. The owner was home, but there was no scheduled open house. However, she (Bobbi) invited us in, and after some chatting in the kitchen (she was making kale chips) she gave us The Tour. She is still very much still living there, is the original owner, and has kept it in great shape. The appliances apear new and top of the line,  and it's very roomy. Big livingroom, wide steps to the livingroom door will make it easy to move in the piano. Fully carpeted, laundry room is inside but off to the side. Lots of closet space, a storage shed at the back of the carport. No lawn, no view, but a front porch suitable for mint juleps. It was 85° outside but comfortable inside even without air conditioning.

Next stop was down the road a bit, a 2Br 1Ba which also wasn't having an open house but the owner let us tour it while he went out for a walk. Not very well taken care of, it was only a notch better than a trailer. He has already packed everything up and is living with just the essentials - TV, computer, couch.

I really liked the first one we saw. When we got back to her office I told Marilee I wanted to make an offer. The listed price was fine, a good $20k less than others in its class. I was a little taken by surprise that she needed a 3% deposit (I don't have that much in my checking account) but I do have ore than enough in my brokerage cash account to cover that. We did the paperwork for the loan, and the plan was for me to go home and print a check while she went home before her next appointment at 4. It was a little after 2.

Home, I printed a check and also logged into the brokerage account and placed an order to sell one of my mutual funds, which will cover most of the downpayment. I have to call them tomorrow to mail me a check for the deposit plus another $5k to complete the downpayment. Drove back and dropped off the check.

Home, watched football.

The timeline goes like this:
By Friday confirm for her that there is enough in my checking to cover the deposit.
Need seller approval (maybe tomorrow)
Loan approval within 10 days
Park approval after that
Health & safety inspections are done somewhere in there. I'll pay for the inspections, Bobbi pays for any required repairs. I doubt there will be any.
Escrow closes in 45 days or so ( we are targeting 11/30)
My current lease is not up till 1/24/2014, which means if I move out before then I will owe them rent through that date unless someone rents the apartment.
Bobbi is nowhere near close to being able to pack up and leave, so this is probably mutually beneficial.

Interesting things about Bobbi's home:
On the windows by the doors are signs declaring this to be a profanity-free household. I don't effing swear, so that works for me.
The whole wall alongside the fireplace holds a collection of crosses from around the world.
Above the bedroom which serves as her office, she has had a calligrapher paint a Christian affirmation
The kitchen walls have small picture snippets painted by a very good 3-D artist. One makes it look like there is a tear in the wall and a brick wall behind it.
The kitchen has a central island, and she had rigged a cookware holder hanging from the ceiling a few feet above it. Very handy, very French Cheffy.
howeird: (Default)
Though the nice lady at the manufactured homes office was definitely optical C6H12O6. More on that later

Work continued to continue. Togo's for lunch, turkey & swiss. Automation Guy asked me to come to Kaiser with him to keep him company while he picked up his new glasses. And then he stopped in for a flu shot, the line was very short. I went along because I wanted to pick is brain about the automation script issue, and he made a suggestion which seems to have fixed the problem.

The one test case I scripted turned out to also take care of 6 others, and I also finished a 7th and tomorrow will do an 8th. After that they get tough.

After work I drove over to the office of Alliance Manufactured Homes and met with Marilee, who had taken my email and found some homes for sale on three of the parks. She said land rental is about $1k, and expect it to go up $30/yr. Which reminds me, she also suggested I confirm that the CU will do a mortgage on a home on leased land. As opposed to parked under a bridge, I suppose. She ran the numbers on them, and we're talking $800/mo at her financing's exorbitant 6.8% and $5k closing costs with $65k down. So $1800 with the land rental. That's only a 38% savings over my current rent - I was hoping for 50%.

We made an appointment to see two homes in one park on Sunday.

Home, watched the latest episode of Elementary, was happy they have backed away from the soap opera format they had been trending toward, but sad they continued to steal names of characters from the Holmes stories. Glad they didn't kill off Lucy Liu, and they finally let her do some martial arts choreography.

Am done listening to the news. Am especially done listening to all the Democratic reps for the Bay Area moaning about how the Bad Guys are Being Stupid. I want some action from them. We need a new Speaker, and not that Pelosi failure.

In other news, Putin is being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Between Snowden and Syria, he gets my vote. Maybe they can make Obama hand over his still-unearned one.

Plans for tomorrow:
Manicure (?)
Pick up a package at UPS
No band rehearsal! We're done till next May. My 2 music stands and the expensive Baritone are in the patio storage room, the cheap baritone I'll take to a repair place Saturday and see if they will make if more playable.
howeird: (Dr. Howeird)

At the team meeting, boss tried very hard to get someone, anyone, to comment on boss' boss' plans to cross train his two sets of QA engineers, but no one would bite. Several people chimed in about other things which took place at the meeting Friday. I knew if I started talking about it, the meeting would last another hour, and go nowhere. Boss' boss was at the team meeting, which he usually is. It's one thing I like about him - he comes to keep in touch, and only contrinutes when asked, or when there is something important he needs to share.

During the meeting my phone vibrated 3 times, it was my doctor's office, but it's the generic number so I didn't know which doctor. Then email saying there was a message from my doctor on the Kaiser site. It was both doctors. Main doctor asking me to keep taking the sleeping pills latest BP meds (I said no, I can do one at night and that's all) and one from diabetes doc asking for an update, and also asking if I would be willing to try a BP med I was on in 2009, which made me pee like a racehorse. I replied to him, and he called back and we had a good chat. Which reminds me I need to run the program which does my Hgl numbers and send him a list.

After the team meeting I thought I would have a boring day, so to make it less so I started looking at the corporate training offerings, most are videos of PPT slide shows with narration. I found three, two are 1-hour tutorials on aspects of video which probably have useful information to add to the mass of what I already know, and one is a 6-hour course on something a little off my beaten path but worth taking a look at - the networking standard which is coming up next year and will enable non-cable modems to almost compete with cable modems for continuous video delivery. Or something like that.

That brought me to lunchtime. I totally flaked on going to the PO because (a) there is no rush to mail the package and (b) it's Hell Day at the PO. Took my cooler to the break room and created a ham sandwich out of components I'd brought, expecting to make a picnic. Talk about lazy - too lazy to drive to the park.

Watched one of the tutorials. It was voice over a video of PPT slides projected on a screen, horrible video quality, which is ironic because the tutorial is by a guy who (as I later fond by online search) holds 4 patents and wrote what appears to be a doctoral dissertation on the math behind making network video clearer.

I give the course a C. The presenter is an expert, knows this stuff inside and out, but he didn't define some important math terms so he gets an A-. But the image slides, which were crucial to understanding the verbiage, were unreadable. The large print word slides were readable but fuzzy. So the videography gets a D-.

Just when I was about to tackle the next one, email arrived asking me if I had seen a certain bug which a customer had just reported, about a feature I am the expert for. cut for boring geek stuff )

This is a show-stopper, so now we know there will be one more build.

Just in time, the Loan Arranger from my CU called, and we did the math around buying a "manufactured home". Turns out I can swing a 25% downpayment (which [ profile] lemmozine pointed out on FB goes towards the care and feeding of the ducks), and the result on a standard 3br place would give me a mortgage payment half of my current rent. Taxes would up that some, but I'm already paying utilities/water/sewer/garbage, so yeah, I can afford this. He said it is best to get pre-qualified, so I'll make an appointment to do that.

By now it was almost time to go home so I updated my notebook and did so. Completely forgot that I was going to stop by Target and check out the Sodastream devices. I am down to one 1-liter seltzer siphon, having broken 5 in the past 2 years. That's more than the high end Sodastream costs.

Home, did not feel like going anywhere. Watched as much of the Raiders-Broncos game as it took to finish eating dinner, turned it off very disappointed in Oakland's offensive line and horrible tackling, and brainless penalties.

Took solace in emptying the dishwasher and getting caught up on FB. And then looked through Craig's list to see what prefab homes were available, and where, and for what price. There are some excellent choices out there, a couple of them in "communities" (aka mobile home parks) I have driven past many times. There are also a few in the swamps, or what used to be the swamps. on the other side of 237 from Alviso. Those are mostly 55+ which I am well qualified for, and not having screaming children living next door would be a plus.

Plans for tomorrow:
Peninsulaires (voice lessons, and a chance to say "no, I don't want to be in a chorus which sings screwy harmonies and emotes the song to death")

howeird: (Default)
Last things first. Just watched Miley Cyrus' latest video for her song-like object called Wrecking Ball.
Cut because I care )

I watched it because I saw on CNN where Cher of Miley's MTV awards shenanigans "her body looked like hell". I thought her body looked like heaven, and CNN said I could see it naked in her video, which is the best way to tell how a body's body is. And I am here to say Cher never looked half as good. Miley doesn't dance in the video, which is probably a good thing. The song is whiny and repetitious and more of a sound loop than a tune, but oddly enough her harsh singing voice sounds a lot like Cher's.

Aside from Miley, the video has issues. There are poor edits, major lip sync problems, continuity is sorely lacking and the images don't match the words. On the plus side, the videography is stellar, lighting is excellent. Makeup is a tiny bit overdone in the close-ups but fine in the long shots.

I wouldn't buy the CD or the DVD, but I'd sure watch more of her nakedness.

Started the day once again at the doctor's having my blood pressure checked. It was still high, but in a weird way. The first time the diastolic was okay but systolic was high. Second time it was reversed. I told the nurse the new meds put me to sleep, but she didn't pass that on to the doctor because tonight the doctor said to double the dosage. I won't be doing that.

It only took 5 minutes to run the test - it is supposed to take 20, they didn't do it right. That was enough time to go to the car wash, which the care sorely needed. Not that the car has sores.
Work was way too much fun today. After they took away my test machine, they had the gall to ask me for the test script I was using. This after running it more than 10,000 times and proving it had nothing to do with the customer's issue. First time I have ever raised my voice at this office. Unlike them, I document everything I do on the bug database, if they had bothered to actually read the bug docs they would see the script was right there.

Lunchtime was manicure time. Michelle was having allergy problems, and she got trapped into helping a wedding party who all wanted pedi/mani, so instead I was serviced by the very young-looking waif Tiffany. She did a very good job, and is pleasant to look at, but not the beauty queen Michelle is.

Since it was only a little jog way from on my way back to work, I went to the small Asian grocery on Lawrence to buy moon cakes (today is the day). They were almost all sold out, I think it was actually last night. Bought two tins at $20 each, one from SF and one from Sandy Eggo. At check-out each got its own re-usable shopping bag with the bakery's logo. I also bought a couple of pounds of longans, which will be devoured in the next couple of days.

Home after work, let the cats onto the patio for a bit. Watched football until it was time to leave for band practice.

This time I remembered to glue in my teeth. Used the new old horn, and have to say it does not sound as good as the old new one, but the mouthpiece is better for high notes. It's really small but still a trombone/baritone one. My lips did not hurt tonight, I chalk it up for playing all summer. One more rehearsal and one more concert and we're done till next May.

Home by way of 99 Ranch, to see if they had an moon cakes, but they were closed. :-( Will try them tomorrow maybe.

Finished watching the game, except Tivo cut it off with 3 minutes left on the clock. After I told it to add an extra hour. This time it didn't matter.

Dinner was a hodge podge after digging out the freezer. I have about 4 lbs of ham in there, sliced, from last Thanksgiving. Or maybe it was Xmas. Found three frozen matzo balls which I didn't know were left. So I made matzo ball soup with ham bits. Also reheated a small serving of corned beef and stuffing. And had some ice cream.

Sold the OEM radio/CD fr5om the new Corolla on eBay to someone in Manteca. Looks like a resale business, actually. Only got $100 for it, which is a shame, but since I got it for free with the car, that is fine, we both win.

In other windfall news, in the mail today was a check from the state Controller, it was the refund for overpaid capital gains taxes. When Google bought Motorola Mobility they gave us a formula to compute how much $$ we had lost on Motorola and Motorola Mobility stock when those two companies split. I had sold all my MMI stock last year, and my cost basis was a guess. Google's formula said I had lost around $30k, when I had guessed $8k. Not the actual numbers, but a reasonable facsimile. The IRS allowed me to amend the return online, and the refund from them took less than a month. I got it May 8. California doesn't allow that, and they don't do direct deposit for revised returns. I had to mail it in and wait for a check. Amusingly, on the check stub it suggests the refund will be faster if it is sent online and direct deposited. 

Plans for tomorrow:
Deposit check
Moon cake?
howeird: (Default)
Actually woke up when the alarm went off at 7, got to work in plenty of time for the 9 am staff meeting, only to discover it was at 10. We rotate every other week so our Belgium staff can conference in before they go home. The confusion is because we are now a different company, no longer owned by Google, and the new company uses Microsoft Exchange and MS Outlook while Google forced us to use their piece-o-crap gmail. I had set up my gmail to sync with Outlook, but you can't have both an IMAP account and an Exchange account on the same Outlook profile, and while I was able to move my email from one to the other, calendar items got left behind.

So I created new ones, but got the weeks wrong for which week was which time.

It was a pretty lively meeting after we got through the routine stuff, I had a lot of hints on how to migrate email and one of the other guys was all hyper about the 401k plan, but we're in kind of a limbo there, US employees are not financially fully Arris until May 1.  But this guy likes to beat a dead horse until all its limbs are in different counties.

There was a webinar on the 401k plan which I listened to this afternoon. It was during my usual lunch hour so I didn't get out for lunch. A shame because it was sunny and almost 90° out. Tomorrow I shall do better.

I have one each of the two models of machine we sell, and I loaned them to the person who manages licensing, knowing she had to mess them up pretty bad to do her testing. She got done quickly, and I spent the rest of the day putting them back into working order. That's something I had to do, she doesn't have root level access to my machines. One of them is refusing to cooperate, I may have to chat with the engineer for a clue or three. Tomorrow.

Home, turned on the aircon, watched some Steve Harvey, played with the cats. When I pick up Domino she immediately sinks in her claws and looks for a place to leap off.  Kaan just becomes a big passive lump in my arms, and he will stay lumped until I pour him out onto a familiar surface.

Was not sure about going to BASFA, was feeling lazy. But I went and was glad I did. I got 5 zingers in, and they were all big time groaners. Tall Kevin's wife made a rare appearance, it was very good to see her, along with kuma bear. They recently relocated to Nevada.

Home again, realized I needed to buy tickets for two local shows many friends are in, so went online and did that. Little Women and Miss Saigon. Decided not to see Funny Girl up in Saratoga. Many friends in the cast, but I have run out of Saturday nights. Saratoga is a pain in the butt to get to during rush hour, and I don't go to matinées when the weather is this good.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work, finish recovering that one machine
Someplace with eye candy after work.
howeird: (Default)
Saturday I did as planned, went to the apartment office, showed The Letter to the rep, and had her relay the message to the asstmanager who wrote it that one does not send a collection notice to someone to whom you have not previously sent a bill. And one does not set a deadline of less than 48 hours for payment. And one does not send it using boilerplate which suggests opening an auto-pay account to someone who has had an auto-pay account since last October. And one does not post said notice outside the apartment door, as it is tacky, not a legally binding notice (no proof of delivery), and shouts "nobody's home!".

Next stop, a place called Click Away to see what they would charge to fix the camera lens on the Samsung. $150 or so. Have to think about that.

Most of the afternoon was spent building the Brigadoon backup web site. HTML by hand was tedious, but the diversity of material and naming required it. Maybe. I got about 70% done before it was time to go to MV and meet Janice for coffee and then to see a play down the block from there.

Janice finally told me all about her trip to NJ to be a Red Cross volunteer. Lots of drama, FEMA has cut so many people loose who still don't have places to live, and rents have skyrocketed. Also lots of drama among the volunteers, some of whom had no idea how much work they were expected to do.

Got to the theater in plenty of time, especially since the house opened only 10 minutes before curtain. Staged reading of a new musical called In The Hands of the Raven, by SF composer Peter Alexander. How I got to this show goes like this: I was in a Palo Alto Players production of Jekyll & Hyde - The Musical which starred Melissa O'Keefe and Cliff McCormick. Both were great to work with and very talented singing & acting. Peter brought them in to sing some tunes he had written, did a few cabaret shows with them (I went to one) and some of those songs plus a few others were fitted into a story Peter had in his head. He had gone to Alaska, was astounded by the number of ravens there, did some research on native American folklore and then wrote something which ignores all that and goes off in his own direction.

Basically, he changes the natives' belief that the raven is a joker and thief and turns them into the beings in the afterlife which Christians would call angels, watching over us. With the Hindu twist that the ravens in the afterlife are the souls of people who have died, and who will be reincarnated Real Soon Now.

This was a staged reading, everyone had scripts which they used more or less, the stage was mostly bare, with the occasional table, some folding chairs and a podium. Music was provided by a grand piano in the corner which should not have had its top open even a little in this voice-smothering space. The pianist also played an device which looked like a small accordion without keys, a shaker and a rain stick. She and a couple of the cast played a hand-held round drum now and then.

I can't give a real review, because the cast mostly could not be heard in the side seat I was in, and almost all the lyrics were lost to the too-open piano. People in the reserved center section obviously heard more than I did. But I got the gist, and have some conclusions. One is the title is wrong, as there are several ravens, and the actors playing living people are definitely not in their hands. The theme is dealing with grief (or more accurately, not dealing with it). I liked many of the tunes, will check out the lyrics sometime soon.

After the show the stage turned into a reception (neat trick, because the final scene is a reception) and Melissa found me to ask what I thought, in detail. And I got some hugs. I am blown away that someone as talented and famous and beautiful is thrilled to see me. But I'm not going to fight it. The director also buttonholed me, he asked me if I would sit down with him sometime 1-on-1 and give feedback. He has seen me in a lot of shows, and wants some experienced honest opinions. I said yes, of course.  I also got a chance to chat with some of the cast. Everyone did great, but I wish they had found someone to play Melissa's mother who could sing. Not required for that part, but helpful. They built very clever pleated raven wings which I really liked. The only other costumes were some dresses for Melissa and a red one for "Candi Apple".

While I was not blown away by the show, I'm looking forward to the next step. Hopefully a fully staged production in a small theater. They have their sights set for off-Broadway, but I think LA is a better choice for this material.
howeird: (Default)
An update to something I mentioned here recently:
PayPal unlocks Jay Lake genome account, apologizes

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