howeird: (Applause)
This came to me in a bizarre way. Testing lip sync on long videos at work, sometimes I watch Thai TV shows. I speak Thai well enough to tell if the audio is in sync, and it's also a way to practice. This week's favorite show is Thailand Mask Singer, where celebrities are dressed in elaborate costumes and head-covering masks which totally hide who they are. Call it "The Voice" taken to its logical conclusion. Two contestants sing a solo, a panel & viewers vote, the winner continues to the next round, still anonymous, but the loser has to unmask.

This week was season 2, week 2, and the winner of the first round (there are two rounds a week) was wearing a "salapow" outfit. You probably know it as steamed pork bun. They usually sing in English or Thai, but this time I couldn't understand the lyrics. It wasn't in a language I recognized. They do flash the name of the song and the singer who made it famous, so I copied that and looked it up.

The original singer was
Kim Bum-soo, so we're talking Korean. The title which they gave in Roman characters is Bogoshipda, which means "I Miss You". There are several dozen Youtube renditions, the music video from the soap olpera it was the theme of, by KBS in concert, and even a cover by an African-American man singing it straight in Korean while a pair of Korean rappers inserting rap crap.

But there is a duet KBS does with a young woman which totally blew me away. I share it with you here:




howeird: (Hawaiin Shirt)
Was up WAY too late last night, tried to sleep as long as possible, made it to work just in time to get a diet Coke and be at the 10 am team meeting. I was out of things to do, so I volunteered to test a new tool which was developed to help customers monitor a bunch of our boxes.

That didn't take long. It actually took longer to write up the results.

But it did make me late for lunch, which was Plan Aed for a trip to a new nails place I found on Yelp as close as Sassy Nails, but in the opposite direction on El Camino. Orchid Nail Lounge, found on Yelp. I didn't find it, probably because (looking at Yelp again) it isn't on El Camino but on one of its cross streets. But while I didn't find it on the right side where I expected,  on the left I saw Barbie's Nail Spa, so I took the first available U-turn to get there, but before I reached it I saw a much less provocative name, Nails by Kathy, next to  Thaibodia, which was also due for a visit. Kathy was not in, but her sister Ann was, but she was in the middle of a manicure and asked if I could come back at 2:30. No problemo, went to Thaibodia for lunch because their service is notoriously slow and I needed to kill an hour.

Ordered the drunken noodles, and yes, it took 20 minutes to arrive despite me being the only one ordering at the time. And it was dry and anything but drunken, with the wrong kind of noodles, and the chicken and onions cut too large. As I was digging in, she brought a salad-like object. And in another trip the soup. Yup, service still sucks there. I asked for "medium" spicy but it was more like 5 stars. So it took a long time to eat. The Thai Iced Tea was excellent, and helped detoxify the noodles, a sip for each forkful.

It didn't take as long to get my check as usual, and my change arrived in less than 5 minutes, so I was 15 minutes early back at Kathy's. The person being manicured was a very attractive woman somewhere near my age, with platinum hair streaked with black (a Quality hair dresser job) and she struck up a conversation. We had a nice chat, I gave her my card, she Ann said her name was Joy. Joy was wearing a light button-down sweater over a corset-like chemise. Nice figure.

Ann was lovely too, and single - very odd for a nails person. Kathy was out because her son had something serious enough for the ER.

So, two attractive single women who will talk to me, in one day. Yay!

Last night the director had announced we were doing publicity photos, half an hour early,  and asked me to bring two pairs of pants - khaki and black, a white dress shirt, suspenders and the costumer was bringing a bow tie. I remembered to grab the clothes and put them in the trunk of the car before going to work. But I forgot my script.

So I left work half an hour early to go home and get my script, and while I was there I got the mail, which included a lovely surprise from [livejournal.com profile] lemmozine - a set of his Indegogo project CDs. I'm listening to one now. He sounds different than in person. Mostly in a good way. When I Grow Up I Want To Be Snidely Whiplash is currently entertaining me. The singing is adequate but the finger picking is nothing short of amazing. And this isn't even one of his more challenging numbers. Thanks, Lem!

The lamb stew was done, and had started to cool, so I acheologicked a place in the fridge for the crock, and in doing so discovered a 3/4 full bottle of rosé I had completely forgotten about. It was from an experiment to see if a small dose of wine before be would help me sleep. It didn't.

Got to the theater about 5 minutes late, to find the director and most of the cast sitting outside. I asked if it was a case of the best planned lays, but director said no, it was just really nice outside. And it was, mid-70s. A Jekyll-Hyde day, started off with rain.

We went inside, I got changed into black pants, black suspenders and white long-sleeved shirt and bow tie. The photo session was a total clusterfuck, the music director and the stage manager both took pictures with real camera, and The Voice of The Plant used his cell phone. Here are a couple from the music director which came out okay:





Changed back into civvies and the plan was to block Act II, but as usual, the director got so caught up in minutiae that we didn't make it to the end. Had I known that would happen, I could have gone home an hour early, because I get eaten early in the act, and don't appear again until the finale.

I'm called for tomorrow, but he gave us Wednesday off, mainly because for some unknown reason neither the theater nor the usual rehearsal backup place was available. I may also be called for Sunday, but I need to send a message to the choreographer because she probably doesn't need me. I'm called for Thursday, at the backup location, but that looks like it may also be a waste.

Meanwhile, while punching holes in the revised script I'd printed Sunday, I found the black nozzle had clogged toward the end, so had to re-print the last 12 pages. Punched them and loaded it all into the folder behind the original. I need to print index tabs and transfer my blocking notes, but maybe that will be Wednesday.

Home, made a frozen dinner.
Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Rehearsals
howeird: (Default)
Most of my timepieces are on the internet or atomic clock radio signal, so I only had to change the time on the microwave, and two clocks which have a DST switch. And the car clock, though the GPS shows the right time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


 
Plans for tomorrow:
Study lines
Con at noon
Rehearsals at 7
howeird: (Default)
Usually every other week on Wednesdays afternoon the highlight of the week is my 1-on-1 with the boss. He's not just the boss, we're also friends, we use the same model Nikon, we share an attachment to Thailand. He even built a house there.

But things are crazy for him lately, he is tasked with way too much paperwork and database building for the upcoming new product (work which other companies would hire two other people to do) and between that and family obligations he changed our last three sessions to Thursday. This week it was canceled entirely. :-(

I caught up on some audio analysis, and there was a follow-up needed from the Monday demo (I'd found a a couple of bugs in the code and needed to show Automation Guy so he could pass them along to the programmer).

And AG also reminded me there was a response to a code bug I had filed which claimed the script worked just fine when the coder tried it. Turns out the coder had made a mistake in the documentation, putting a lower case letter in a variable name where it needed uppercase. AG merely had to change the doc. Linux is funny that way, "Output" and "output" are different variables.

Spent a little more time browsing websites for CNN, BBC, KGO and whatever the local NBC channel is.

After work I killed an hour at the former batcave Starbucks, reading on the Nexus Kindle app, James Gunn's latest novel (he is 90), Transcendental, and it's quite good. Much, much more fluid writing style than that last China M. book.

Home, on the front porch was a small packet from Amazon, the Taylor Swift DVD, Taylor Swift: Journey To Fearless [Blu-ray] (2011). Popped it into the DVD player, and was amazed. I bought it to see what all the Grammy hype was about, and now I know. Not just a pretty face/body. It's the story of her 15-month world tour, and her show is almost as much a theatrical performance as a concert. Amazingly well directed, rehearsed and performed, many of the songs are more pop than country. Lots of costume changes, and the backstage stuff with the cast and her parents looks like the two or three best musicals I've been in, where lifetime friendships are the norm. Production values vary widely,  range from home video to phonecam to HD music video and everything in between. Lots of segments with her mom, a few with her dad, many with her best friend, a couple with each cast member. It's a long show - they present it as a three-episode mini-series. Worth full price. It will be very interesting to see if she has a long music career or gets married, makes babies, and disappears. One thing I have to say to those bozoids who made fun of her Grammy performance, is she performs with a lot of passion, and doesn't need to scream to show it.

Somewhere in there dinner was Marie C, with Breyers' oreo ice cream for dessert.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Maybe go downtown and see the all-female 1776. I'm not fond of the show, and even less fond of women playing men's roles in a historical piece, but I have so many friends in this thing I have to see it.  

Two Ning

Jan. 29th, 2014 12:31 am
howeird: (Default)
The piano tech arrived a couple of minutes early, I was on the PC, VPNed into work and actually working.

Tall Hungarian fellow, the first thing he did was claim that tuning it the right way would cost more than buying a new piano. He makes the mistake that I actually play the piano, though he does understand the concept of emotional attachment. No, that's not the phrase. I'll think of the right one and poke it in later. Sentimental value. That's the phrase.

He had sent me his prices, and I knew we were looking at about $300. He way underestimated how well built this relic is, and was sure we would be busting strings right and left at $80 a string. The piano was flat by about 2%. He was afraid that tightening the strings, which are almost all the originals, would break them if he did it all in one fell swoop like all the other piano techs have done for the past 46 years. So I let him do two passes at $45 and an hour each. He also wanted to adjust the action, which is something it needed, but he gave up before he had finished the 5 & 6 octaves. I use 5 a lot, 6 not so much.

I've probably told the sentimental value story before, here it is again )

So that was my day, plinking sounds in the background as I read documents & email for work.

During a break I updated my theater resume, it needed the new address, and was set to print it, but could not find any card stock. Tried photo paper, but it's a 2-sided resume, and the back of Kodak paper doesn't take ink.

I quit working at 5, and headed for Fry's to get some card stock. But they have castrated their stationary department, and had none. So I slogged in rush hour traffic up to Office Depot, and paid way too much for a ream. Used to be able to buy card stock in smaller doses.

Since I was now right across the street from Safeway I went there to stock up on produce and frozen food. Oh my, the eye candy was out in force. The woman in charge of the self check-out is DDG, looked like she ought to be on a ski slope posing for a breath mint commercial. Or chapstick. So beautiful! And many customers were in the "mommy, I want one!" category. Enjoyable trip.

Home, big envelope in the mailbox, turned out to be the docs for the replacement insurance. Fully approved, they included flood insurance for no extra $$, and it's for full replacement cost of the home, not the cheap-o $150k which Allstate had lined up. I dashed off email to Escrow Lady with the details, because insurance for the first 2 years is suppose to be paid out of escrow, and asked who else I need to contact. In theory the old insurance gets canceled as of today because I didn;t fork over the bogus $200 they claimed I owed because the community doesn't have a staff member living here full time.

Printed the theater resume on card stock, printed the audition forms and filled them out.

Dinner was the rest of the Marie C lasagna and some garlic sourdough bread.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
1-on-1 with the boss, maybe. He moved it to Thursday the last 2 times.
I expect to hear from the director about coming in to audition.  
Maybe set up the telescope on the tripod. It's a VERY solid tripod. Too bad it's a new moon. I should check to see in SJ Astronomy club is getting together for a dark sky night.
howeird: (Naga)
Worked from home until the furnace guy arrived at about 1. Well within the 10 am - 2 pm window. He said the thermostat I'd bought would work, but was unreliable, and the one he had to sell cost less too, so I bought his. I doubt that Honeywell is less reliable than Emerson, but I didn't need the wifi anyway.

CU had sent a note last week that someone would come by to check the outside of the house. He came by just after the furnace guy left, as I was changing belts on my pants. I don't think I've lost weight, but my butt no longer hold up my pants.

Work was more spec reading. Weekly report was very short. Today's WTF is they scheduled an all hands meeting in the break room at the same time as the holiday party a couple of miles away. I may call in with eye trouble.

Home after work, discovered the new webcam wi-fi stopped working. Sending it back to Amazon, ordered a pair of white ones (need one for the office and for the side door). Also ordered body wash and toothpaste. I know you were wondering. I was going to order Fancy Feast, but the 2-day delivery was after a week's handling time. I'll get a case at Petco, everything is on sale this month.

Grabbed my uke book, trimmed the nails on my left paw and went to class. This time I was actually able to play some chords, C, Am, F,  though Em is a challenge and my fingers don't want to unbend after playing a G. Strumming is not working either, I am more comfortable using my thumb, and playing melodies a note at a time.

Stopped off at Lowe's on the way home, returned the thermostat. Then Fresh & Easy, because I needed frozen veggies for dinner and wanted to give the neighborhood grocery a chance. Very limited choices, reasonable prices, but all the aisles are self check-out. One of the staff was nice enough to bag my stuff (I brought bags) but I gathered that was not usual. The prices are not low enough for me to work for them, so I'll be only shopping there as a last resort.

For dinner I reheated some duck and sweet corn, and finished off the chocolate cookie mint ice cream. I had another low in the middle of the night, which is where much of that went. Have to lower my pre-bedtime insulin by a lot, now that I am no longer mega-stressed about the house, and am eating less.

Watched an episode of Elementary and was disappointed on many levels, but mostly that they chose to make the leading man more of an asshole than ever, when they had the chance to let him defrost. They also changed writing styles from chronological to one of discovery in no particular order. Nice try, but not well executed. 

During the day finished unpacking the last big kitchen box, and just have the one with the breakable dishes, which I will do after I write this. Also moved the big cat tree into the office, Domino gave it a try but she prefers the recliner. I also put the leopard pattern velour slipcover back onto the sofa.

Plans for tomorrow:
To-do stuff:
Take down the livingroom shades and put up the new ones
Take down the kitchen curtains and put up the new ones
Pack the car full of flattened boxes and take them to the SMART station.
Meet Janice for coffee 3:30, earlier than our usual
Hang the transporter room somewhere. Probably next to the sofa.
Put up the curtain rod & curtain in the guest bathroom
Obtain a small set of drawers for the main bathroom closet. Reverse sides (I set up everything by the sink near the shower, because the movers had blocked the one near the door. Turns out the light above the one near the shower is broken.
Call an electrician. Need to have the bathroom light, one bedroom outlet fixed and the kitchen light replaced. Though I may do that last one myself.

 
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:
Work
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)
Last night my elbow hurt like mad, up at 4 am took Ibuprofen, watched TV - there was a huge wind storm up in Oakland, and unrelated to that BART's computers were on the fritz leaving about 1k people stuck on board, and the system shut down just in time for the morning commute. This the day after the BART board approved a contract after removing a family leave perk. Somehow I don't think those are unrelated. Iburofen worked after an hour. Kaan spent most of the night curled up by my head. Dominowas under her favorite rack, growling at him a lot. Annoying.

First thing this morning was waiting for the apartment office to be open. I knew what time, I just had to wait. Walked over there and ripped them a new one. Two, actually. One for missing two appointments and entering without permission, one for the inspector adding a painting fee to the move-out paperwork. My lease is clear that there is no fee if I am there <2 years.

Somehow that did not make me feel better. Adding to the list of reasons I am moving is after the apartment was sold to another megacomplex they replaced the entire very competent and friendly staff with phonies.

Work, did some research, found a tool on Microsoft Tech Net which I swear was created by the Clue Fairy, which showed me which program was blocking the one I was trying to use. That let me run a test to see if a notification was sent when a TV program sends a signal that it's time to insert a commercial. I didn't see one, but next week I need to talk to the advertising feature expert to make sure I am using the right video feed. Many of them have a placeholder for that signal, but never actually send data.

Lunch was an unplanned experiment. I was planning on going to a Thai place I haven't been to for a while, but I parked in the wrong lot and on my way there I was lured into a place I had never been before which used to be a French bakery/cafe, but is now a Korean cafe. The food was fast & good. But not good enough to go back on purpose. On my way there I stopped of at the CU to drop off a big bag of canned veggies for the 2nd Harvest barrel.

For the first time in weeks my weekly report didn't take a lot of time to write. I had spent 90% of my time on 2 line items.

Kaiser answered my question about who to call to see about returning my CPAP. But I never got around to calling because I was keeping the line open for Escrow to call, which they didn't. Boo, hiss. Oh yeah, I also need to send mfg rep an update, mostly to tell her what she got wrong.

When I was almost done with my report, the phone rang, it was a long-time family friend in Seattle who had lived in Israel some of the time my big sister had been there, and she's a nurse so she knows all about sudden death cancer. I had left a message on her machine yesterday. She knows a lot of Ben's friends in Seattle, so word will get around. It was good to hear her voice, and to hear her condolences.

Home, just gave myself time to degauss, then to Uke class. Today was chords. Today sucked. The nails on my left hand are too long, and because of the manicure they would need to be trimmed by a professional with a Dremel-like rotary tool. Using a nail clipper will shatter the acrylic. And my fingers are too wide. And not limber enough. C is easy, so is A-minor. G might work after I trim my nails. Those are the chords for Edelweiss which was the first thing I learned on guitar. And the last. Unfortunately the alleged beginner's book wants D, G7 and E which are not in the cards for me any time soon.

Domino just clawed her way onto my lap. Ow!

Stopped by the library and returned the three audio books I'd borrowed, and ripped to my iPod. Am enjoying The Scarlet Letter for three reasons. First of all, Hawthorne's writing is much more modern and articulate than my high school teachers led us to believe (which is why I never read it), secondly there is a lot of highly insulting to the bureaucracy anecdotage in the preface, and thirdly I had been under the impression that the story ended with Hester being awarded her "A", but that's actually where it starts. The rest is almost Dostoevskian in it's psychoanalysis and similar in style to Turn of the Screw.

Home, TV dinner, another piece of Black Forest cake (2 more slices left). Domino barfed up her entire portion of Fancy Feast, but as soon as I was done cleaning that up she was scarfing up what was left in Kaan's bowl. Idiot cat.

Something I left out of yesterday's doings is I dumped my three drawers of belts and suspenders out onto the bed, threw away the ones which were mangled, and after measuring each belt, took each one which is too small for me, rolled it up and rubber banded it, and tossed it in a bag for Goodwill. I also added a VCR to that pile, it was sitting in the corner of the office, I thought it had defective heads and had bought a replacement, but the replacement showed the same symptoms. A bit of troubleshooting showed it was my connection to the PC which was bad, I solved that with a USB video adapter.

Plans for tomorrow:
Goodwill
Pack up the office closet
Pack the breakable dishes (I only use the soup bowls and have paper ones for the interim).
Do a load of dishes
Maybe launder a load of shirts
Maybe see a movie. Ender's Game. There doesn't appear to be a 3D version.
howeird: (Hawaiin Shirt)
No low Hgl this morning. Yay!. But this new insulin is not handling the dawn syndrome so my pre-breakfast readings are way too high.

Up early, figured that 40 minutes was worth trying to sleep, and the alarm woke me at 7. No shower because I didn't want to re-open the cut on my finger, but the hasty bandaging job had to go, I needed to cut it off, and then iodined it and bandaided it.

Work - team meeting was interesting, one of the team had automated our ad insertion server simulator. In Plain English: a program which plays ads during the TV show. His demo didn't work, I tried it at my desk and found a handful of mistakes. But he did a lot of work to get that far, so props to him.

Spent the day finding and verifying old bug fixes. Most of them were easy to test. Some would have been easy if the person who filed the bug had included a screen shot, and had written a more descriptive title.

Lunchtime I followed the GPS to the closest to work U-Haul, but it turned out to be a gas station which sometimes (not today) acts as a drop-off point for U-haul vehicles. They had no supplies. Will try a known good one tomorrow. After that wild goose chase I went to Bennigan's for lunch. Big salad, and of course the main dish arrived way too soon, and even then it was not as hot as it should have been. They called it "drunken pot roast" but they use wine, not the hard stuff, so that's lame. For dessert I ordered the pineapple upside-down cake which is FAIL with extra FAILsauce. Picture a martini glass, filled halfway with canned crushed pineapple in heavy syrup, a slice of pound cake stuck into it from the side, with the other side taken up by a squirt of whipped cream. There was supposed to be rum in it, but there wasn't. Awkward to eat, had to keep dipping the cake into the pineapple. At lest this time the service was good, but I would have been happier if they had not seated the couple with the LOUD CHILD across the aisle from me. There were dozens of empty tables elsewhere.

The eBay item sold for $15 more than the low bid price. It was a major project to get it to fit into USPS "large" flat rate box with enough bubble wrap to protect it. I'll drop it off tomorrow.

Got a reply from the Terrible Adult Chamber Orchestra, their next meeting is 11/27, which I'll go to if I'm not up to my ears in moving. Otherwise the last Sunday in December, if they don't cancel because of the holler days.

Watched a fairly exciting last quarter of football, and also managed to get my laptop working with the new company's VPN. Reading the directions helped. I had emailed them to my personal address, but had forgotten that they would show up on the laptop's email download.

Today's packing accomplishment was topping off the "top of the piano" box, which has been sitting next to the piano since the last move, with the beads from my NOLA art hanging, two other items hanging on the livingroom walls, a piece of art bought at Westercon66, one of my two Microsoft Windows beach towels, and a book I was going to auction at BASFA until I remembered how horrible the auctions have been lately.


I forgot about "There". A long time ago an acquaintance from a Usenet group asked for volunteers to beta test There.com, a virtual world. I became a lifetime charter member, but never got the hang of the place and eventually stopped going. After a while There.com was shut down because the acquaintance decided to focus on DoD contracts which used this technology. Linden Labs did a better job with 2nd Life, and most There users switched over.

Today I got email that There.com was back, and I was still a charter (free) member.

Small world story - that acquaintance later married a friend from theater, and is a major supported of her Dragon Productions little theater in Redwood City.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
UPS
PO
U-Haul
Pack a little more.
howeird: (Domino_scanner)
that I would get some sleep tonight, because I'll be going to a show tomorrow night and really don't want to doze off in the theater and possibly be eaten by zombies.

Last night's library event threw off my schedule, I didn't get to sleep until after 1 am,  and the alarm goes off at 7.

Somehow I managed to spend the whole day at work researching stuff, but not accomplishing anything which could be measured. I forgot that I had promised one of the automation people to write several step-by-steps for test cases which are missing them. Tomorrow, I promise.

I did get some personal stuff done. Went online and re-worked my list of movers. The one which moved me last time hasn't responded to Saturday's voicemail or Tuesday's email, I suspect they are out of business. They are definitely out of mine. #2 choice's web site was clearly primarily a commercial mover, specializing in whole office building moves.  So #3 it is, a company called The One Move. Weird name, but their web site is excellent, I filled out the form asking for an estimate and Josh called me within 2 hours, asked all the right questions, and gave me a verbal estimate followed by a written one. We are booked for the morning of December 5.

Lunchtime I went to the Sunnyvale Petco and talked with the Humane Society person there. She said that for Sunnyvale residents they definitely do accept surrendered cats, regardless of what the web site says, and she gave me a number to call and some clue on how to find the application form in the web site. It's a 4-page for which needs to be printed and filled out by hand, which I did at work. It's a pretty reasonable barrage of questions, written to not impose feelings of massive guilt.

I've been listening to Gaiman's Fragile Things in the car, most of the first disk is snippets describing, 1 by 1, in detail, how he came to write the short stories on the remaining 8 discs. I skipped those, and am in about the third chapter of the first story, which is a Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulu number. For reasons unknown, he is careful to avoid calling Holmes or Watson by name. And he pronounces Lestrade with a long "a". I've always said it with a short "a". "ah".

Got the scheduled call from the diabetes doctor about 2 hours late, we decided I need to swap veggies to replace pasta.

Home by way of Lucky's, for veggies and TV dinners. And it dawned on me that canned veggies were a wiser choice with an impending move than frozen. So I did a price comparison, and the canned ones were on average 20% less expensive, ounce for ounce. So I came home with very heavy shopping bags. Also got bananas and apples and limes.

That's the plaza with the batcave Starbucks, which is no longer cave-like, the facade has finally been completed, it is very pretty, and while there is still a fenced pathway it is only there while they complete the patio in front. I give it a week. Now they are tearing into the KFC and donut shop on the other side of the parking lot.

Juggled watching football (a dead boring game got very interesting at the end, went into overtime and was decided by a safety) with writing a cover letter and faxing the forms to the Humane Society, FB, LJ and Quicken. My paycheck was deposited a day early, and my mutual fund sale made it onto the broker's feed a day late. I won't need that cash until about the 21st. And December 1. And January 1. The movers will take Discover Card, which means almost a month of free money plus a whopping cash back.

And now my conscience tells me I need to pack one more box of CDs.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Zombie Prom at Sunnyvale
Domino_scanner

Am I Blue?

Oct. 9th, 2013 12:06 am
howeird: (Default)
After the latest Windows update the PC bluescreened. Had to go to safe mode/no network and do a system restore to last week. Seems to be working now. Turned off automatic updates.

Boring day at work, the only useful thing I did was write up a doc on all the new company classes I took, and email it to the team.

Lunchtime I took the non-freeway route from work to the mfg home, then back via Sizzler. Round trip was about 27 minutes. Might have been faster if I remembered that the new place is virtual north** of the current place.

Email from the rep claiming I sent CU statements for July and September, not August. I was sure I had sent all three, so captured them at work and emailed them to her.

Home pulled up the email, and sure enough I had missed the August one. Weird because it is in the folder on the desktop where I've been keeping all the paperwork.

Looked up the listing online, Redfin says it's pending sale. Yay! Sent the MLS# to Baltimore sister who works for a financial giant, and has access to that. She claims it's the one she chose for me. I didn't know she was looking at specific listings. But it's good she has come around. Her impression was "manufactured home" was a euphemism for "trailer" and "trash".  I looked at listings near Baltmore, hoping to show her she was wrong about that, but everything within 50 miles is $42k mobile dwellings, half a notch up from an RV, in that they are towed not driven.

Got the mail, no check from the broker yet. 50-50 chance it would be there today, 90% tomorrow. I'll want to walk it into the CU office when I get it. That's for the deposit and  closing costs. The mutual fund already sold and the funds are listed as available - that's for the downpayment. I won't need a check for that for a while yet.

Peninsulaires voice lesson #5 started as a clusterbleep, sort of. Whoever was supposed to conduct the warmups was not there on time, so we got a guy who had done it before, but wasn't very good at it, but after 5 minutes he had to go to rehearsals and pulled a chorus member off the risers who had no clue what to do. But there were enough officials around whose brains were pickable, so it was only half a fail.

Next up was the lesson, given by the same guy who has been doing it. Most of the time was spent reviewing the first 4 lessons, which gave him very little time to add anything new. As usual, he kept us standing way too long after each singing round. When he was done, another guy, who had been leading the singing of an actual song all these weeks (Grand Old Flag) got us up on the risers and put us all in the sections our voices matched, but unlike a real chorus, he had the bases on one end, the baritones on the other and tenors & leads in the middle. Most choruses like to go from high to low. He did a little bit better job this time of teaching the individual parts, but they are completely non-intuitive except for the lead part (which is the melody we all learned in grade school or in my case on late night TV from Jimmy Cagney). We sung it about six times, and it sounded horrible. Partly because it was in a key way too high.

I bailed at the break, not interested in seeing the highly annoying chorus sing two numbers.

From there to Safeway, I needed ice cream and frozen dinners. But first, this one had a CU ATM, so I deposited two checks.

Home, tried to fit the frozen stuff into the freezer compartment, but had to pull out the curried chicken (3 servings in separate freezer bags), and one frozen dinner, and had a second one for dinner. The Klondike bars had to be released from their boxes and stuck in any available nook and cranny.

--
Trivia: my uncle Dave was born in 1922. 91 years old.
--

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
1-on-1
???

Much Done

Oct. 6th, 2013 12:58 am
howeird: (Default)
Busy day, went mostly as planned. Somehow doing stuff online to prepare for tomorrow's mobile home tour/financing, a stop at the PO to drop off a couple of packages (the gov't shutdown didn't affect the PO), delayed my noon visit to the uke shop until about 1 pm. The nice lady showed me some of the differences in the ukes, and the prices are clearly marked above each one. There were not many for less than $100, which I decided was my limit since this is for starters. And I wanted a soprano (the smallest adult size) because of the irony of big man, small instrument. After tryng out a few, I bought the Kala KA-S, a very pretty mahogany box with rosewood fretboard. Sounds excellent for $72. Another candidate was Daniel Ho's starter kit for $99, which included a carrying bag, but also a DVD and instruction book which I don't need, since I'll be taking a class which has its own book.

Back near home, got gas, since the price is down and I still had a trip across the Bay later. On to Target, hoping to score Dean Edell readers for work, but they have dropped his product line and now only have crap Foster Grants. I did manage to stock up on insulting birthday cards and got a replacement for the hair trimmer which broke this morning.

Home, watched some football but all the games I was really interested had to be relegated to Tivo.

Early dinner was sausages and baked beans.

7 pm, on the road to Newark memorial HS, whose theater was the venue for Stage 1's Les Miserables. I'll do a fuller review tomorrow, but for now let me say that the standing ovation lasted more than 5 minutes. Every member of the cast had at least one solo line and every voice was excellent. There were some casting disconnects because it was cast for the voice first, and in several cases they completely ignored looks as a factor. More later, probably with spoilers.

Plans for tomorrow:
Catch some early football
12:30 meet mobile home rep for two open houses and start the financing thing.
howeird: (Default)
Work, finally finished the script, total of 6 test cases covered. Would have been 7, but discovered that a spec change obsoleted one test, which meant i had to file a bug report because they didn't document the spec change. And I'll have to write new test cases to cover the change, but not this week.

Went for Thai food with Automation Guy but 17 groups of engineers decided to take their whole team there, so we went to the sushi place instead. Why do they tempura-fy broccoli and sweet potato? Gross.

The Loan Arranger did not have an answer for me about leased land mfg homes. Home rep cutie wanted to add another one to our tour Sunday, but it is in totally the wrong location, so I said no.

Home by way of UPS store, 2013 special quarters and a YA book called Smarty Marty which was billed as a baseball primer for grade school kids, written by the woman who does the sidelines coverage for SF Giants baseball on TV. Then to 7-11, Amazon locker held 12 packets of Werther's sugar-free caramel hard candies, which are my new bedtime snack.

In the mail was my refund from DMV for the license plate they refused to make. Silly rule, but it saved me $98 and the embarrassment of telling AAA to return the plates.

Also in the mail were blank checks from Discover Card for me to use to transfer balances from other credit cards. They have been shredded. Idiotsidiotsidiots, don't they know that those things get stolen and are identity theft tools?

Watched the Browns beat the Bills. The Bills looked better in their tighty whitey pants than the browns did in their brown pants. Announcers pissed me off by starting the game wrap-up while there was still plenty of time for Bufallo to make a comeback. Which they didn't which also pissed me off.

Sunnyvale's rec district pamphlet had several classes I was interested in, and the beginning ukulele classes are at a time I can actually go to, so Saturday I think I'm going to trek to the Ukulele Source in San Jose's Japantown and buy a starter uke, armed with suggestions from [livejournal.com profile] lemmozine and two other Facebook friends, one of whom built his own.

And just when I was ab out to give up theater, Palo Alto Players sent an audition notice for Young Frankenstein, the musical. Tryouts in mid-November, show runs April-May.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work - Automation Guy is giving a class almost all day. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
howeird: (Default)
Work was same old same old. One more run and I'll be able to turn in the script I've been working on.
Also need to document the classes I've taken from new company catalog, and share with my team.

Round Table for lunch, ate half a small pizza. Took the rest home.

Home after work, relaxed with the cats & watch the other half of Shark Tank.

Went to the Peninsulaires' 4th voice lesson. This time they did okay, hardly wasted any time, we got to sing a lot. Vocal exercises about different vowel sounds. They have their own theories about how vowels should be sung which are reasonable, but not as universal as they would like to believe. The example words they use show the theory came from New Yawk, where "long" and pronounced "lawng" - on the left coast it is mostly pronounced "lahng".

After the exercises, they changed directors and we got someone who has no clue at all how to teach 4-part harmony to a group. This is the third time we have run through You're A Grand Old Flag, but the last two times he only taught the melody and the non-intuitive "bass part" which is really a baritone part. The baritone part is all over the place and the tenor part is closer to soprano. They sing it way too high for me, and too high for any man who is not adept at falsetto or is a castrati. I did my best Milli-Vanilli impression. I tried singing it down an octave, but he said not to. :-(

Bottom line is he did not rehearse each part separately, so nobody really knew what they were supposed to be singing except the leads. The agenda said we would be broken into octets for this, but it never happened. Not a major issue because they did not have enough instructors to do that. They did have enough to break us into the 4 parts and teach us those separately, but they didn't think of that.

But still, better than the last 3 lessons combined.

On my way out there were flyers for West Valley Light Opera's Fiddler on the Roof which the first instructor is in, though he has not verbally mentioned it. I know the director and half a dozen of the cast, but this is a company which kicked me out of a show once, and the person who did the kicking produced this show, so I'm not going. Won't go to any of their productions. My other excuse is it's in a crappy facility in Saratoga which is a PITA to get to.

Home, dinner was a tiny Banquet dinner, watched some of the news but am so damned tired of the media hyping the government shutdown. Which would not have happened if the "news" "organizations" had not gotten obsessive about covering the idiots who caused it.

So I switched to The Voice where I saw he last two contestants, one of whom was so Country he had to scrape the cow poop off his boots before entering the theater. Excellent voice, though. The other was a single mom with a voice like a buzz saw. All four of the judges loved her, even though she chose a song with half an octave range and sang it was if it had no detectable tune. I think they all thought she needed their coaching. SOmething tells me that no matter how she does in the competition, she will be picked up by some record label, probably CeLo's, even though she chose Adam.

Then I channel surfed, Bones grabbed me because sexy redheaded doctor against he-thinks-he's-sexy no-clue detective. Way too much gossip and innuendo for a crime drama.

So here I am, wrapping things up.
   
Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Meeting with mobile home manufacturer's rep.
howeird: (Default)
Had a painful night last night, my elbow would not stop hurting. Finally took 2 nighttime Tylenol, which didn't do much for the pain but made me stay drowsy when I finally hauled myself out of bed at 10. Part of the delay is just as I was trying to get up, Kaan, jumped on the bed and parked himself against me.

My plan was to sleep till 10, anyway, due to not enough sleep Thursday night.

After my usual Saturday routine, I hunted for and finally found the crock pot (it was at the back of the cabinet under the kitchen sink, behind the paper bag collection) decided it was too small and instead found the giant wok-like pan I'd bought for this kind of project. Its flat bottom is anodized aluminum, the right size for a large burner, and it curves out to a much wider circular bowl. Non-stick surface, very solid, great for not burning things.

Into that went three cans of coconut milk (the white kind), three cans of water. Heated on 5 (out of 10) for 15 minutes, then stirred in 1 Tbsp Thai yellow curry paste. A taste test said "what curry paste?" so I added another dose. Better, but still a bit mild. Better mild than too strong, I figured.

Added the chicken drumsticks, covered the pan, and gave it half an hour to come up to a simmering boil. Added baby corn, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, because those don't overcook. Turned the heat to 3, another half hour it was at a boil (much to my surprise), added the straw mushrooms and green peas and turned the heat down to 1.5.

Let that simmer for an hour, which was just a wee bit too long, but the drumsticks were holding together, so I caught it in time. Sort of. Could not spear them with a fork, they were too tender, so I used a slotted spoon to put them into my official potluck food containers (they fit perfectly). Next I used a wok strainer to scoop out the small stuff, and distributed it fairly evenly between the two containers.

What with the added water and chicken fat, the curry sauce was way too thin, and there was way too much of it, so I boiled it down. Added a dash of fish sauce and a little dark brown sugar suggested by Nancie McDermott's recipe book, Quick and Easy Thai. And I also added another Tbsp of curry paste, since this was going on top of and not inside the chicken.


That took about 2 hours, but after 1.5 it was time to pick up a package at UPS, so I turned off the stove and did that. Then I decided to try out a new massage place I saw in The Metro, punched it into the GPS and discovered the address was the parking lot of the Santa Clara American Legion post. :-(

Not to be discouraged, I went to the one I've been using, not too far from home, and Jessica made my right shoulder feel much better.

Heading home, passed Fry's, remembered I needed to buy some canned air, so I cut off an obnoxious SUV which had been pacing me as I tried to slow down to change lanes behind him.

Canned air was on special, 3-fer, so I got a a pack of that, and also a pack of microfiber cloths. Looked for but did not find backup software. Decided not to spend $700 on an 8TB backup drive. Or settle for the small package of inkjet internet shipping labels (they only had the large economy size in laserjet ).

Home, emptied the console storage bin of 8 CDs, which are waiting to be shelved where they belong. I had been listening to the London cast recording of Matilda which is what was in the Amazon locker yesterday. I am disappointed in the music. One tune is memorable on first play, two more might be after listening a few more times, and there is a monologue near the end which is a non-ingenue actress' wet dream. It is not listed on the track list, they have buried it after several seconds of silence after the final song, not in its own track. Read more... )

From the album, which includes a lot of dialog, it is clear this is one of those shows which will be spectacular as a production, as long as they find a super-strong set of children, because it's all about kids in an exclusive private school.

The reason for my interest is I was in a production of The Wizard of Oz in 1986, Dorothy was played by a very talented girl named Lesli Margherita, who is now starring in the Broadway production.
This is her then:
Read more... )
This is her now:Read more... )

Finished the coconut milk curry reduction in between flipping between the very wet Oregon Ducks and Stanford games (Stanford playing WSU in Seattle for some strange reason), and miffed because none of the channels I get was showing my 17th-ranked Huskies. I had to rely on my Baltimore sister's FB updates for that. Also peeked at the Mariners-A's game, which showed the April Fools broadcast, Mariners leading in the 6th by a hefty margin.

Poured the curry sauce into each of the containers on top of all the other ingredients and let it seep in. Back into the fridge, and after it was clear that Oregon and Stanford were blowing out the competition, I fired up the PC and made card stock tents naming the dish and its ingredients.

Caught up on FB, Twitter & LJ, and also took a look at mobile home park listings, and found 5 nearby which are for old farts.

Plans for tomorrow:

Put on my band uniform, glue in my teeth, grab my horn and participate in Ye Olde Town Band's last concert of the year.
Potluck dinner afterward.
howeird: (sapphire)
Time for a haircut. Maybe tomorrow.

Almost didn't go to work this morning, I was up way too late, 'cause when I buy a DVD I am compelled to watch it, even though I've gotten a late start because of band practice.

Checked in via VPN, there was actually some email with something for me to do, so I got motivated and did the morning routine and got there at about 10:30. Email was from Automation Guy, when I talked to him about it, he said he had already fixed it, because it was his minions' fault. So nothing to do.

I found a few things, but also had time to watch the news, and found a link to a company which manages a dozen mobile home parks in the area, many of them 55+. That link had a link to another page which shows what's for sale, including prices, sizes, floorplans and snippets about the park, but there is  no mention of how much the lot rent is.

Reply from CU Loan arranger saying how to finish filling out the application, so when I got home I did that, printed it, signed it, scanned it and emailed it to him. Yesterday I sent more finance-related pdfs than I knew existed. Looking at my 2011 tax return reminded me that I was fired in February and didn't find another job till July. And I quit in September to take my current job.

Lunch was at Carl's Jr because it was close and I wasn't very hungry. Paid for it with a touch of Montezuma's.

Home for a while to let traffic subside, and to do the mortgage stuff. Next stop, 7-11 to pick up a CD from the amazon locker. The London original cast of Matilda, which I figured it was about time I listened to, because someone I was onstage with in 1986 is starring in the Broadway cast, and has been Facebooking about their recording the OBC album. Word is she came very close to being nominated for a Tony this year. Maybe next year.

Thence to New Wing Yuan Market for makings for Thai Yellow Curried Chicken drumsticks, which is what I'm making for the Sunday band potluck. But it was 8:05 and they closed at 8. Strange - what kind of supermarket doesn't stay open till 9? Time to punt. Of course I could wait till tomorrow, but Lucky's usually has a goodly selection of Asian food, so I went there. They had what I needed, but I pretty much bought two of everything in that section, it's now a very small section.  

Back home I had dinner while watching Restaurant Stake-out which you would think would be getting old, since it's very formula, but they manage to find a wide range of personality disorders, so that's something I can identify with.

Listening to the news, there's a pair of women who went to CA to get married, then moved back to Mississippi. One of them wants a divorce, and when the judge said in MS their marriage was not recognized, so they couldn't get a divorce, she sued. Idiotic. When I was a kid, the routine was people routinely went to Reno to get married or divorced, because the laws there were (and still are) liberal. Lenient. Loose. Pick a word. She claims that she needs the divorce to protect her financial standing (Social Security, etc.) but as long as she lives in MS she doesn't have that. She doesn't really need a divorce because where she lives she isn't married. But if she really wants one, there's always Boston or go back to SF. She's already spent more on lawyers, I bet, than it would cost to make the trip. The Supreme Court has already ruled that people living in states where their marriage is not recognized don't get Federal recognition.

While we're on politics, I listened to the UN speech by Iran's prez live the other day, and was completely blown away. One by one he blew off the things his fanatical predecessor ranted about, and talked like a reasonable person who wants peace and a return to normality. It's worth listening to:


In other news:
Probably the most important entertainment news of the month

Where was I? Oh yeah, relaxing at home, watching TV, Kaan jumped up on my lap and after about 30 different poses, settled in for the rest of the night in the crook of my left arm, with his face buried. By the time he got settled it was time for me to turn off the TV and write this. :-(

FB has finally added the ability to edit original posts, if you're using a browser. AFT, as they say in French.

Plans for tomorrow:
Try to find the crock pot. Looked almost everywhere, can't remember where I put it. If I can't find it I'll make the chicken in the big flat-bottom wok. That probably will be better anyway.

Hopefully the maintenance guy will visit in the morning. The air conditioning vent is leaking, and apparently has been all summer, I just never looked up at the corners to see the blossoms of mold before. What clued me is when I moved the cats' dry food tower aside to clean up what looked like catpuke, it wasn't catpuke at all but a tiny Grand Canyon eroded into the carpet by slowly dripping water from above. Maybe a drop an hour, or less.

Maybe visit a mobile home park or two.
howeird: (Default)
Took my time getting to work because today was Company Picnic day, so from noon on there was no working. I checked on the machines, did some serious research and then went to the park. The food was plentiful and varied, but not very good. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the caterers had BBQ in their name, but not in this particular offering. Soggy salad with fruit mixed in, a fairly decent macaroni shell baked thing, chicken breast slices in some kind of lemon sauce, gristly slices of roast beef, sausage made from unidentified body parts and sawdust. The ice cream, OTOH, was excellent, 8 flavors to choose from and lots of toppings.

All the group tabes were taken so I sat at one of the couples tables, and was joined by Soon, one of the women on my team. She is from Kota Baru, Malaysia, which I visited a few times when I was living in southern Thailand. I would go there for lunch on weekends. So we have Malaysian food in common. Very different from Thai food, most of it, though they overlap some. Soon is actually Chinese-Malay, so she speaks Chinese with three of the team who are from there.

After lunch there was a short volleyball tournament, I got some good photos which I need to process, tomorrow I think.

That was over at about 4, there was softball after that but softball is not photogenic, so I went back to the office to pick up my cooler, and then home for a shower and a nap.

After the nap there was enough time, so I pulled the crystal litterboxes out of storage, cleaned out the noisy smelly leaky clumped litter ones and put the crystal ones in their place. Now that I know that nothing I can do will keep Kaan from pooping in Verboten places from time to time, the crystal litter is the easiest to deal with. They last at least a week unattended, completely deodorize, and are very quiet.

At 7 I headed to the Peninsuliers' voice lessons, about 2 miles up the road from me. They wanted us there at 7:15 to get name tags, for a 7:30 lesson.

They had a folder with my name on it, and a name tag on a lanyard inside, as well as a syllabus and sheet music for "She's A Grand Old Flag".

By 7:40 there were about 50 of us, plus the actual chorus. There was an introduction which mostly said the group was a barbershop harmony chorus, and pointed out the people in charge of the group and the lessons. They gave us a short break to grab complimentary water bottles, and when I got back my seat had been taken by a newcomer who is about 6'6" in all directions. Asshole. And he was, too.

We had three instructors. The first one had us up on risers, students and chorus, and taught us some nonsense tune/vocal exercise. He blew it, forgot a piece of it, which was pointed out by one of the regulars in the Baritone section. Next guy came in and did it the right way, but it was still pretty lame and kind of like being asked to do a math exercise at an interview because the interviewer knows the answer to that one exercise. Not a bad exercise for near the end of warmups before a concert. Totally inappropriate as the first thing to teach beginners.

The lesson was very basic, he had us do some positioning (I wouldn't call them exercises) to illustrate how to breathe from the diaphragm, and how to stand and be comfortable and relaxed. Some of them did the opposite of that for me, some of them were Standard®. We stood for about half an hour as he spouted off about singing, and there was maybe all in all 5 minutes of breathing exercises and singing tones in that half hour.

The chorus joined us at 8:45, and another instructor went to great lengths explaining the sheet music for "Grand Old Flag", which was lost on anyone who doesn't read music. He had everyone sing the first 16 bars of melody a couple of times, but it is too high for anyone except a tenor, so I sang it down an octave. Then he sang the bass part, which is bizarre barbershop harmony, and we tried it with basses singing that part and everyone else singing melody, but it was totally non-intuitive, even after three go-rounds I didn't get it.

When he was done, they invited us to stay for the last half hour of chorus rehearsals, I stayed for two run-throughs of a Sinatra tune You Make Me Feel So Young to which they had added a long introduction and changed the harmony to barbershop. It sounded great, but wrong. And this group doesn't just stand and sing, they earnestly emote and move and gesture, sometimes matching the words of the song, sometimes looking like they forgot to take their Immodium.  

Behind the cut is a quartet doing the song with that inane intro
Read more... )

Home, made a frozen dinner unfreeze, fast forwarded through the second day of America's Cup racing. Love the graphics, don't love the announcers. Love the views of huge crowds along the Embarcadero and of Alcatraz and the GG and new Bay bridges.

Watched the latest Who Do You Think You Are? with that flamer from Big Bang Theory who said "wow" 3,647 times. Yes, I counted. When shown proof that one of his ancestors in Paris hosted Benjamin Franklin and John Adams in the early 1780s before the French Revolution, he seemed to have no idea how extraordinary that was. I was also disappointed that he didn't try to follow another branch further into the past from a degreed New Orleans area doctor pre-Civil War. His ancestors must have been something special for him to be graduate #55 from the south's first medical school.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
1-on-1
Get cash from the ATM
Costco? Starbucks?
howeird: (Weird Load)
Interesting day at work. Some of us spent a lot of time talking about how to better coordinate the three databases we have to work with. We have one to track automation stuff, another for test cases, and a third for bugs. We own the first two, engineering owns the third. Apparently we will be migrating to a single one which will do the work of all three. Or that's how I think they said it will work.

Lunch was a place in the Rivermark megastripmall (the one where 6,000 customers vie for 120 parking spaces) called New Jersey Mike's Subs. That was a mistake. I went in there expecting a NJ style hero sandwich, and was especially looking for Italian Sausage, but they didn't have that. I ordered a grilled Reuben sub to eat there, and got something on very soft, slightly warm bread with 900-island mayonnaise. It wasn't horrible, but I left some over. The antidote was across the street at Prolific Oven, a very chocolate covered cream puff. Expensive, though. I'm guessing that in 5 years the price has doubled.

I also peeked in at Game Stop, looking for a stand for the Nexus, but they had nada. And the guy working there had no idea what they had in the way of first person shooters for PC or Wii. They had Doom 3, but wanted $30 - it's online for half that.

Straight Home after work, sat on the patio with the cats, doing stuff on the laptop.

Looked for ways to see tomorrow's sailboat races, but the cruise companies all wanted $250 and up, and the seating areas are all out where it's hard to get to by public transport. And the only seats worth taking pictures from were $100.

Dinner was swedish meatballs & klondike bars. I watched the latest Who Do You Think You Are? and was flabbergasted that Chris O'Donnell had no idea why it was anything special that his 4x great grandfather would have been the Lt. in charge of the cannons at Fort Sumter in September 1814. And he had no idea why the Star Spangled Banner was written.  The park ranger who explained it was way over the top over-acting, but he did a great job of building the story up.

Dinner done, next on Tivo was the Seahawks - Packers game. Kaan jumped up on my lap and wedged himself between my arm and my body, and stayed there for the whole hour it took to FF thorough the game. Tivo cut it off with 5 minutes left on the game clock, but I already knew the final score. It was not as impressive a win as last week, but the 2nd string QB was amazing. The game was called by the Green Bay announcers, but they gave Seattle players the credit they were due. Unlike the Denver announcers last week.

Plans for tomorrow:
Take the litterbox clumps out to the dumpster
Fry's, buy a copy of Doom 3 and Grand Theft Auto 4
Starving musician to buy a less cumbersome music stand and ask if they might be interested in buying my baritone horn when the summer is over
If I don't find the stand I want, there's also Guitar Center and West Valley Music.

In Short

Aug. 23rd, 2013 12:59 am
howeird: (Trumpet)
Played with the Nexus 7. I am very pleased with it.

Accomplished at work what I had set out to finish, and also verified a bug was fixed in today's latest build. It was a fairly complex setup, took about an hour.

Manicure revealed that Michelle (owner and the one who does my armor plating) is a Vietnamese beauty pageant winner. She is gorgeous, and I would love to have her model for me. Two of the other workers are also quite pretty.

Lunch at Dairy Belle, grilled cheese was delicious. But the one and only employee disappeared when I was ready for my chocolate dipped cone. Boo, Hiss.

Home, Kaan pooped on the bathroom rug. I need to remember to keep that door closed when I'm away. Nice to have a washing machine, for events like this.

Band rehearsal, we practiced most of the pieces on the menu for Sunday's concert. Mostly whipped through them, but there was some remedial work because this was the first time we had a full turnout since Summer started. Boss man says this is the best band ever. A large part of this is how big it is, and how very completely the parts are covered. Not many concert bands can boast four tubas or four Euphoniums, or enough trombones to cover every part 3 times over. And we have a killer trumpet section.

I took home my copy of the Carmen suite, it was copied awkwardly, needing two page turns. Scanned it and printed it out so it just needs to be flipped once.

Bought a beater baritone horn on eBay. There were about six which were candidates, but this was the only one with a rotatable bell, and billed as ready to play. I'll sell my 4-valve to Starving Musician if the eBay one lives up to the claims. Shipping cost 1/3 of the total price, but still under $300 which is half what Starving's cheapest goes for. I expect about $800 for my current one.

Time to check my blood sugar level and go to bed.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
???

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