howeird: (Default)
This morning's Big Project was gathering up all the packages of syringes and insulin pen needles and CO2 cartridges which I don't use anymore and Hazmatting them. Also took a glass door which has been sitting next to the entertainment center, because it just gets in the way.

Next big project was taking the three suitcases I never use, Mom's luggable sewing machine which I have tried without success to give to costumer friends, and put those in the car.

Then I pulled all my suits out of the closet, and made a pile on the bed of the ones which don't fit. This included, much to my displeasure, the dark blue silk one I had made in Bangkok on my last trip and wore to the ambassador's party. Actually they took our jackets as soon as we entered, so I only wore it en route. And I went through my costumes, Elvis stayed in his garment bag and went straight to the dumpster. I did not wish the shower of gold sparkles on anyone. Kept my blue scrubs, but the green ones and the ghost ones went onto the pile, along with a garish blue velvet faux Renn blouse. Kept the striped coveralls and train engineer shirt & cap. And a black shirt which fits and has a train logo, from the gift shop at PDX I think. Put all the clothes into a big black trash bag, added that to the load in the trunk. Also from the storage room was Domino's old carrier. It's in good shape but needs the outside cleaned.

Made an appointment to have my nails done at 2, and went off to Goodwill.

Goodwill wouldn't take the cat carrier, but they accepted the rest.

I was heading for the new place, but Home Despot was on the way so I stopped in there to see if they had re-keyable locks. They did, but each on was $35 while a whole set of 2 deadbolts + 2 keyed door knobs all using the same key was $23. I was forced to decide quickly, because of the Jesus music. I will not be returning to that store until next year. We are talking 1960's vocals of the most blatant Christmasness. Joy to the World-ish stuff. What Child Is This? I wasn't alone, I nearly got run over by a woman in a sari pushing her palette with a large appliance on it as fast as she could toward the exit.

Now I was hungry, the apartment was on the way, so I made a Meatish Swedeballs TV dinner, petted Domino and then went for the manicure. They made me wait for 15 minutes, and even though my Michelle was there, she passed me off to not-so-good Jennifer or Jessica or J something, who did the worst job ever. My fingers still hurt.

From there to U-haul, long slow line to get packing paper and plastic wrap.

Next stop, the new place. Dropped off the locks, checked the mailbox (in it were two pieces of junk plus a set of pages from the mortgage CU.) Looked on the porch and picked up the Amazon box which had been delivered. This was a test, and they passed. It means I can let the UPS box expire whenever it does that.

Back to the apt., did some stuff online, watched Stanford try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and fail. Flipped back and forth between that game and USC-UCLA where the Trojans managed to succeed at that. They didn't use enough protection.

Looked at the calendar, it started sinking in that the move is IN LESS THAN A WEEK! and took my butt back to the storage room, and stuffed three boxes with camping gear, and broke down the rack it had been parked on. A big part of that was wrestling with a huge tarp, which needed to be folded properly to fit into a box at all. There were two more tarps already folded well enough. The tent and the picnic canopy are too large for the boxes I have, but they have handles so don't really need to be packed away.

Gave Domino her kitty crack while I indulged in a chocolate muffin, then assembled a file box and put most of the contents of the top file drawer in it & taped it shut, parked it in the livingroom by the other boxes. Repeated for all of the 3rd and 4th drawers. The first few files in the top are postage things which I may yet need, and the second drawer is all my current files, it will take 2 boxes and can wait till the day before the move.

I also pulled out the Red File which has all the paperwork around buying the house. That will go to the new place tomorrow.

An one last trip to the dumpster, with an elderly, el cheapo carpet steamer which I had asked the movers last time to toss out, but they just moved it instead. It has been sitting on the patio for more than a year.

Called my Baltimore sister, got her voicemail. Forgot she had gone to see her sis-in-law in a production of Hairspray. Her husband's wife is DDG, talented and smart. If only she wasn't married...

Called my Olympic Peninsula sister, we chatted for about an hour. Lots to talk about.

Plans for tomorrow:
New place:
- install the new deadbolts
- Re-wind the one too-tight window shade
- Show Janice around (sometime in the early afternoon)
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
howeird: (Default)
Driving to work, someone phoned me, I pushed the green handset icon on the in-dash system as I was turning into the driveway at work. Except it was the driveway next door, and I hit the curb pretty hard. It was someone from Nextiva support "reaching out" because of a nastygram I had written in response to their survey. They are the company which I pay a very small annual fee to for online fax service. About a week ago, it was time to renew, but my address and credit card info had changed, so I needed to update that. The web site only gave two options: phone or email. I phoned, was transferred twice and placed on hold for about 20 minutes total before I hung up and sent email. The nastygram basically said their phone reps suck lemons through a bong hose, and they might consider joining the current century and putting secure billing on the web site.

I drove out of the next door neighbor's lot (no one is in that building, and my company is trying to lease it) into my own, and parked. The nice man apologized for all the trouble with billing, and that they might have it online by the time of my next renewal. Might. I thanked him and went into the office.

The other team member working on the massively complex and so far unsolved customer issue was given some things to do which messed up her machines royally, so I took the initiative and did the same to mine, but they continued to work just fine. So I spent the rest of the morning running  a script which "exercised" my machines.

Somewhere after the first pass I needed to log into a system which uses the old company's user ID and the new company's password. Don't ask. Turns out it didn't recognize my password, so I decided to try to change passwords all around, which got me locked out of the old company's system. But it got me into the new one, which is what I needed. Now I just need to remember which of the 6 passwords I tried was the one I landed on. I was toying with using "Number6Of6The6Beast!" but it's too hard to type.

Lunchtime the plan was to go to the UPS store and pick up what I thought was a Vikings Cheerleader calendar, then continue to Peninsula Beauty Supply to get some metallic silver UV-curable nail gel. When I shut the car door I heard a loud POP, and as I pulled out of the parking space and toward the road it felt bumpy and the "not enough air in your tires" light went on. I pulled into a space closer to the entrance, got out, and found the front passenger tire deflated. Pried out the (baby) spare, took one look at the bronze-age jack they provide, in many pieces, and another look at my tennis elbow, and called the free roadside assistance.

He got there in a late model Honda 2-door. But he had a real jack and a high powered electric nut driver, and got the tire changed in less than 5 minutes.

So, Plan B. Off to Toyota to get the tire fixed or replaced, because it's supposed to be under warranty. I get there at 2 pm, there are no managers to talk to. The guy helping me says it's his first week there. It's a sidewall puncture so it's not covered. I told him to have the manager call me tomorrow, meanwhile replace the darned thing. It took them about 90 minutes. They charged for everything, labor, weights, more labor.

Then I went to the beauty supply. She said they did not have any metallic colored gels, just pastels, but she remembered the manicure person just bought some online. She found it, I took a picture with the phone. From there to UPS, where the package was my blood sugar meter test strips. I wonder where the calendar is?

Back to work, the script waited till I was watching before it hung up. Timing issue, easily fixed.

Started it up again at 5:45, left at 6, home for just enough time to get the mail, update Quicken and leave for the second voice lesson with Peninsulairs.

This one had a bit more substance to it, maybe half an hour's info in an hour's time. Then they "treated" us to the full chorus performing two numbers. One would have been enough. Same one as last week to start off, You Make Me Feel So Young with a disgustingly corny add-on intro which Mack Gordon never intended. Here's how it should sound (with a whole lot of over-choreographed dream scene):
Read more... )

The other number was As Time Goes By, also with a long intro, but this time it was authentic, though it was cut from Casablanca. Here's Johnny Mathis singing it:

Read more... )

Anyhow, enough of them were out of tune to make it not as enjoyable as it should have been. Bailed as soon as I could.

Plans for tomorrow:

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:
howeird: (Weird Load)
In the one piece of good news today, I picked up the refund check from Toyota for their botched backup cam installation, and was pleased that it was for the full amount, the overpriced camera and the way overpriced installation charge.

I guess there was another piece of good news, Michelle the manicurist was made up and dressed very sexily, wearing a thin knit top pulled down to bare her left shoulder, and much of the dragon tattoo there. She is so beautiful.

Work was not so sweet. Boss had suggested four test cases for me to prepare for automation, one is still stuck on "is it a bug or a feature?", one has been sent to automation to finish, two turned out to have already been automated by others on my team. And they had been marked as such months ago. Corporate training still has not fixed the link to the class I want to take, so I basically had nothing useful to do most of the day.

Tivoed the 9ers' pre-season game from work because I had not known it was this soon.

On my way home I wanted to shove the Toyota check into an ATM, but there was a major backup in both directions on the road to the nearest one, so I just went home. Waited till 6:45 to go to band practice, watched the game until I left.

At band we practiced mostly music we have not played in a while, some of it illegible because of cuts and cut-and-pastes. Two pieces were just too fast for me to play. Baritones are not made for clarinet scales. And one of my valves kept sticking, not because it needed oil but because my finger pushes it at an angle. It shouldn't do that, probably needs to be re-plated. I think I'll go down to Starving Musician and see if they have a simple 3-valve used horn for a reasonable price, and if they might want to buy mine.

After practice I went to the CU and deposited the check, and since Safeway was next door I went shopping. On my list was ice cream (including Klondike bars) because for two mornings in a row my morning blood sugar levels were low, and ice cream is the perfect antidote because the fat slows down the metabolizing of the sugar. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Also, I get flavors which can be eaten without teeth, because if I'm having a low Hgl in the morning I probably haven't put in my dentures yet. Also bought some frozen meals, and a couple of bags of frozen fish fillets. And could not remember if I had tartar sauce so I bought a bottle of that. 

Home from practice, made a small frozen dinner. Then another. Then had some coffee ice cream. All this while watching the 9ers game. After the first half, it was clearly a game to fast forward through. Poor offense on both sides. I hear the Seahawks kicked butt in their game.

Oh yeah, Toyota customer relations woman was out of the office today so no progress was made on the missing license plates. She emailed the same people I had emailed a month ago, so that's not going anywhere. It really needs her to actually go and LOOK, and not rely on the word of people whose answer is "Huh?".

And in other news, after three days on one level of Candy Crush, it broke out of its rut and moved to the next level. Then two more almost instantly. And it dawned on me that online there was probably a hint which would help. And there was. Turns out what I thought was the point of the game wasn't, and what I thought was a graphical glitch was actually the whole point of the game on 40% of its levels. 90% of the lower levels. I'm not doing any better at the game, but at least now I know why.

Plans for tomorrow:

howeird: (Kaan-Domino LazyBoy)

Forgot some routine stuff this morning. Forgot to put the blue ice into my cooler, so the cans of Diet Coke I brought to work did not stay cold very long. Forgot to close the bedroom door, and when I peeked in on bedcam, Kaan was a large meatball on the quilt. At least he didn't poop in there.

Work was a saga of continuing sagas. Needed to re-run a long boring test because the sales engineer forgot to mention that the issue was seen on one of a paired device. Our boxes have a feature where one can be set as a backup to as many as 10 units, and will automagically pretend to be any one unit which has failed, or has been taken off-line. In this case it was a 1:1 setup, which made it do-able.

I was going to nuke Candy Crush on my phone, but discovered that it takes about the same amount of time for me to finish a level (either pass or fail) as it does for our machines to reboot.

Late lunchtime was a serial surgical strike. UPS to pick up a package (it was a 6-pack of body wash obtained at a bargain price), maincure, and a stop at Petco to buy a second Littermaid automatic litterbox and a box of their poop containers. More on that later.

Home, checked the mail (this means a 2-block walk so I only do it every other day) and there was nothing except a pennysomething crapola newsprint thing. I had expected to hear from the DMV by now about my replacement license plates, if only to have them tell me I need to pick a new moniker.

Unpacked the car onto my little dolly, filled the body wash bottle in my on-the-wall shower dispenser and parked the other 5 containers of Old Spice in a convenient spot. Ran the SmartScoop litterbox a few times to confirm that it misses 80% of what it's supposed to be raking up and dropping in the container.

Grabbed my Baritone Horn and headed for YOTB practice, but there was a Kenney Chesney concert at Shoreline, which pushed a ton of traffic onto my route - Central Expressway, and that was tied up by a major crash and the train crossings. Took an alternate, faster than 5 mph way, but when I got to the park there was no parking, so I had to circle the block and park up on the main road where I usually park for our concerts. I was about 10 minutes late, left early enough to be 10 minutes early. :-(

Which meant I missed most of one of my favorite pieces, The National Emblem March, which sounds like a Sousa piece but was written at the turn of the last century by Edwin Eugene Bagley. Sousa called it the best march he had not written himself. :-)

We blew thorugh (pun intended) most of the program for this Sunday's concert, doing some pieces more than once but mostly working on specific problem bits. The more I play this 4-valve horn, the more I miss a lighter 3-valve. I think I'll drop in on Starving Musician and see if they are interested in a trade.

Home by way of Walgreen's and CVS, looking for a tall kiychen garbage can with an attached lid. The clumping litter fills those recepticles way faster than the crystal litter did, and I need something to dump the poop into so I'm not running it out to the dumpster every 2 days. Neither one had anything. And by the time I got to the new huge drugstore in downtown MV they were closed.

Had dinner, treated the cats, then assembled the new litterbox, pulled out the Bad One and transferred its litter into the new one. I need to WD40 the new one's gear track. Tomorrow.

Parked the Bad One on the patio, where the sun will bake it tomorrow.

Now to take drugs and get some sleep. Last night I found a radio station in Brussels which plays a combination of French and American easy listening. They speak in a highly accented French, which I can ignore until, as happened at about 5 am my time, some motor mouth held forth.

Plans for tomorrow:
Shop for a garbage pail
Send my name in to Dragon Theater as a possible director.
howeird: (Default)
Work? Kinda boring. Lunchtime I had a manicure, this time I went with silver nail polish.

A little more sparkle than I wanted, but their flat silver looked more grey.

Email from the senior of our two Belgium QA team members wishing us well - they were laid off the other day. Boo Hiss. When I got home I sent a supportive reply, which is what he did in 2009 when Moto laid me off.

Verifying bug fixes got more futile, as we have added yet another product release after this one is out, which means re-testing them all again in a few months.

Left work at 5:30 hoping to get to NASA by 6, but I got caught at the first red light by stupid drivers and my tummy decided I really needed to go back to the office and use the facilities. Which I did.

Next time, went the other way, a much wider intersection, but the guy in the right lane almost got himself killed by jumping the light in a place where at least three cars run the red coming down the left turn lane. This is an intersection which needs much longer delays between  one light turning red and the next turning green. And probably could use traffic police during rush hour.

Got to NASA about 6:15, in plenty of time to make the rounds of the several bnooths which were set up outside to hype educate abou Ames projects, then go inside and see the plane with the IRIS satellite/Poseidon rocket lift off from the SoCal AFB. Vandenberg, I think. Then it was about an hour's wait till airborne launch, so I hit the gift shop and bought a couple of cute T-shirts for the grand-nephew, and went outside to collect a lanyard & IRIS mug and put all that in the car.

Back inside, I couldn't get close to the big screen (so many TALL people standing) but they had a smaller screen toward the gift shop which I watched, though someone had set up a professional video camera on a tripod in front of it, so I had to watch from an angle. At about 2 minutes to launch the child started screaming, and his stupid parents would not take him outside. He calmed down at about 20 seconds to launch.

The local MC led a countdown off the clock on the video feed, but it was fast by about 10 seconds. Then the mission control countdown started at 3, and at 0 nothing happened. There was a gasp from the crowd, but then the rocket dropped away from the plane (cheers)  and in a second or three the rocket fired (huge cheers). I stayed for another half hour, as the stages of the rocket fell away and they announced it was in orbit.

Somewhere after the first stage dropped, the MC noted that many people were in the room who had built the thing, and they got a good 2 minutes, maybe 3 of cheers and applause. It's rocket science, and it warms my heart that there are still people who appreciate it.

Home, a modest dinner of lasagna and green peas. I guess I also read another chapter out on the patio with the cats. And decided I had made the right choice going to the launch party instead of band practice.

Plans for tomorrow:
Laundry - sheets & pillowcases which used to be bright yellow
Nothing on the calendar, maybe hang out at the new-ish Starbucks across the street from my UPS box.
howeird: (CamoOcto)
Woke up to KOMO news at 7 am, which is 10 am DC time, which is when Supreme Court decisions are usually handed down. DOMA came first. As usual, they mis-reported it as being struck down when they really left it mostly intact, except for the handful of states where gay marriage is legal.

Switched to DC's WNEW news station for more educated commentary, and waited for the Prop 8 decisions. Again, mis-reporting that it was struck down when what they really did was refuse to hear the case on a technicality. Switched to the local news, got educated California commentary which explained that (a) Supreme Court decisions don't take effect until 25 days after and (b) there is still a stay in effect against overturning Prop 8 which won't be lifted until those 25 days are over, and maybe not then. In the good news side, Gov. Brown has told all the county clerks to start printing up new marriage license forms.

And last night's brave stand by Texas  Sens. Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte, backed by a packed peanut gallery, has to do it all again because the Putzoner has called a special session.

So that's how my day started.

Tried again and failed again to connect to the company VPN, but started early enough to not be late for work.

 Took on a particularly challenging bug fix verification because I own the feature it is about. I needed to borrow a pair of machines with a particular setup, and the engineer who loaned them to me last time let me use them during my lunchtime. But they were not the same pair, and didn't work. He fixed that, and then fixed some files which delayed testing again, so what should have been a 20-minute test took 2.5 hours. But no worries, late "lunch" at Starbucks, complete with much eye candy. Not much left to do back at work, but the day was almost over.

Called the car audio place and made an appointment for Saturday morning to have the backup cam re-attached directly to the in-dash unit now that the firmware has been upgraded.

Called the nails place and made an appointment for tomorrow lunchtime.

Straight home, thinking of going out later, but the patio and Kindle beckoned, and the new flower pots needed watering.

Online, ordered 10 packets of Domino's favorite dental treats from Petco. Half the price of Amazon.

Frozen spaghetti & meatball low-cal dinner, bananas & whipped cream w/cinnamon and nutmeg for dessert.

Watched an episode of Restaurant Stake Out.  Scheduled Tivo to record the next Crossing Lines because three diverse friends have posted good things.

Fired up the VPN again, and when it failed I phoned Motorola support, since we are still on their network even after a year of being owned by Google and then sold to Arris. Turns out they have switched to a very new and vastly improved product from Juniper called Pulse which the support guy installed for me via remote desktop. Impressed at how efficient he was.

Email from Petco, confirming my order, but ship-to was my last year's address. Went to their page, fired up chat, the supportless person said there was nothing she could do because the order had been processed. I pointed out it won't actually ship until tomorrow. She suggested I have UPS hold it for me. I suggested I can stop payment on the order. She didn't reply to that after 3 minutes, so I ended to chat and gave her all 0's in the survey.

Plans for tomorrow:
Band practice or NASA event? Hmmm.

Nailed it

Nov. 12th, 2012 10:19 pm
howeird: (Default)
Got to work early, 8 am for the 9 am team meeting so I would have time to talk to the IRS. Their machine said they were closed for the holiday. We should have been, too, but I guess they make up for it with a 2-day turkey day.

Set up my personal laptop for VPN, which I thought I had done last summer. I guess not. Or maybe they changed the routine when Google bought us.

Lotsa work at work, again. Some automation clean-up, and some verifying fixed bugs, low-hanging fruit department.

Lunchtime the plan was to go to the new nails place next to the new Wing Stop, and get my nails done, but if they were booked, go have lunch at WS. Nail place said come back in 45 minutes so I had lunch (WS is hella slow, 15 minutes for 8 wings with no orders ahead of me). Back to the nails place and the nice lady got out a bowl of soapy water and a soft brush and got the WS sauce off my finger tips.

She did a good job, quicker than most places because she skipped a couple of unnecessary buffs and files. I will return. It's much closer to work than Satan Row, less expensive, and the waiting area is comfortable enough. And there are plenty of places to eat nearby. I'm not all that thrilled with WS, they do not offer wings with no sauce. FAIL.

Back to work, got a call from the sleep clinic I'd gone to last time, we made an appointment for 11/27 to do it again with a CPAP machine in the mix.

Home, turned MNF on right away, turned off the crock pot which had filled the apartment with chickeny soupy aromatic goodness, unloaded the dishwasher, checked email on my phone and there were two messages which needed answering so I fired up the PC.

At halftime I decanted the chicken gizzard soup into 4 1-quart containers. It was just barely cooled off enough to not melt the containers. One fit into the freezer, the others are in the fridge. It needs some rice or barley, I think. Simple recipe behind the cut: )

The football game was torture, it was raining pretty hard, but that went away by the 2nd half. Very close game, Steelers won it with an interception/FG in overtime.

Dinner was turkey pot pie.

Plans for tomorrow:

Home early for a shower and then off to the nostril appliance sleep study at Kaiser. (overnight)
howeird: (Default)
Around 1991-2 I was a tech support guy for an HP Labs group which promoted university research projects by donating equipment. One of the projects was at CMU, which was working on the Mach operating system (think Unix without an AT&T copyright). Rick Rashid was the head of that project. The HP person who was liaison with Rashid pronounced his name Rah-sheed, accent on the final syllable,  giving me the impression the man was from India. Just as I was getting familiar with his project & grad students, he quit to go to Microsoft. We were told he was taking over the Windows NT group.

Tonight I met him in person for the first time, at a Computer History Museum event in which he was interviewed by a NYT writer. Turns out his name is pronounced Rash-id, (rhymes with placid) accent on the first syllable, he's from Iowa, and he left CMU to create and head Microsoft Research, an organization which had not existed at that time. When I asked him after the interview about the NT rumor, he said "someone already had that job", as if that was an answer. At that time heads of departments at MSFT changed from time to time, and it would not have been out of character for Bill Gates to replace someone whose program was failing with someone from the outside. But anyway, three misconceptions blown right out of the water.

He's a very upbeat guy, articulate and enthusiastic about the future of tech. It was an entertaining interview, but I was distracted by my misconceptions.

Nothing to mention about work, except Automation Guy gave a demo of the GUI he has developed.

Lunchtime I drove to Santana Row, hoping to get my nails done, but the place I went to didn't have anyone available. They thought they did, but by the time it was clear they didn't, it was too late to go elsewhere.

Plans for tomorrow:
Try for a manicure again.
Maybe go to Foothill for the Kepler update.
howeird: (Dr. Howeird)

At work a tad bit early, spent the morning researching and trying to apply some new stuff to automation, but it didn't work. Not enough info or examples. Automation Guy says he has never done what I am trying to do.

Lunch at Gombei, an alleged Japanese restaurant across the street from Kaiser, with zero Japanese staff. The tempura shrimp arrived covered with tartar sauce. The teriyaki beef was grilled beef cut into tiny pieces with some weak teriyaki-ish sauce ladled onto it. The tempura was on top of the salad. Despite the bizarre presentation, it tasted fine.

I went to the big Kaiser clinic near work instead of the tiny one in Mountain View where my regular doctor lives because (a) she didn't have any open appointments till Thursday and (b) it's a long drive. And I also wanted a second opinion. My knees - especially my right knee - have been bothering me. Right knee has been too painful to sleep with, especially nights we had a show. My regular doc says arthritis, but I think it's more than that.

Today's doctor is a very pretty, young blonde Russian woman. Her legs don't work at all, which kind of put my knee problems in perspective. She has chairs strategically placed in the office to grab onto so she doesn't have to put on the arm-cuff crutches which were next to her desk. For the most part, she sat at her desk.

She said it's arthritis. But my right knee is swollen and warm, and may also have fluid building up. She totally ruled out torn meniscus or anything like that. She was surprised I had not had my knees X-rayed, so she sent me to the lab for that and sent in a referral for me to the orthopedic department. Turns out she is an expert on sleep disorders, and she figured out I have sleep apnea. But not from being old and fat. She looked into my mouth, and said the shape of my palate shows I have had this problem since childhood. That's very possible, I was rarely able to stay awake in class, and used to sleep till noon on Sundays.

So she also referred me to a sleep lab, one which does a much more thorough job than the cattle call I went to a few months ago. She thinks with tuning I could learn to live with a CPAP. I think she's wrong. But there are other solutions.

Before X-ray I went to the pharmacy down the hall and waited for prescriptions. It was a long wait. One was for vicodin, to take a small dose at bedtime for the knee pain. Another was for Ambien, to take to help me get to sleep when I get to the sleep lab (in a couple of weeks). One was for a topical anesthetic to rub on my knee, but the pharmacy was out of stock and it wasn't covered, so I said forget it. And one was for what the doc said was prescription strength Tylenol, but it turned out to be OTC. It was a long wait because the doc has to fax over a signed document for the two narcotics (which I saw her do from the office) and then the pharmacy has to either lose them, or match them with the wrong prescription.

Drugs in hand, I went to the elevators, and saw they were setting up to give flu shots. Hmmm.

The X-ray lab is next door at the hospital, so they armbanded me since technically I was being admitted to the hospital. As soon as I sat down in the very full waiting room a tech took me back to have the pictures taken. First was standing, both knees from the front, then lying on left my side, then my right side, then on my tummy.

That done, I walked back to the clinic side, went back to the 3rd floor, and got a flu shot.  While I was in the elevator, the sleep lab called to say they were putting me in the pipeline for an appointment, and to confirm which lab was closest to me. It's not at Kaiser, it's outsourced.

Back to work by 5. Not much work to do, actually. Got a call from Orthopedics, and set up an appointment for Thursday morning.

Home, thought about Starbucks, but spent the evening soaking my remaining acrylic nails in acetone, and peeled them all off. Applied clear nail polish/strengthener to them, and will wait a week or two before having them done again.

Listened to the 9th inning of the Giants' game on the drive home, and watched the 7th and 9th innings of the A's game. Both were a cardiologist's delight, both won by the right team.

Spent some time on FB looking at all the photos cast members were posting. I must have succeeded in being cast curmudgeon, because there were none of me.

I think I mentioned that two of the dancers knew someone I'd had a crush on the last time I'd played that theater. I don't think I mentioned that I finally figured out how to spell her new (married) last name, and we're FB friends now. She went from being an opera singer and 2-time Miss California runner-up (well, top 5 actually) to having three children, which started her on the path to founding a baby buggy detailing company. Talk about a career change! Her branch is [ profile] here. Nice photo of her.

Plans for tomorrow:
Do more unpacking.

howeird: (Default)

I woke up at about 7, Domino was curled up at the far foot of the bed, and I had no intention of getting going that early so I poked around on the internet radio through all the BBC choices, and stumbled upon a live feed from the Queen's jubilee parade - which was a floating down the Thames. Turned on the bedroom TV and poked around until I found BBC America, which was carrying the parade live as well, but it was in SD and the Comcast channel guide sucks puppies for finding the channel line-up, so I went out to the livingroom and found the HD equivalent on Tivo, and watched it there.

My first thought was it doesn't hold a candle to Seafair. Only 1,000 vessels. What a crock. Seattle gets more than that for the yearly opening day regatta. And I guess I'm spoiled, but the royal barge had some fancy gold stuff on the bow, but it was nothing compared to the King of Thailand's royal barge. BTW, he marked 63 years on the throne a month ago.

But there was a lot of music. A lot of very beautiful music. The BBC did not do as good a job as the could have (their announcers talked over almost everything) but you could see a lot of boats fitted out with orchestras, choruses, chanty singers, bands, you name it. The highlight was supposed to be the London Phil at the end of the event, but I haven't looked at the Tivo to see if they made it onto the air. It was pouring down rain by that time.

I missed the ending because it was late and I needed to get showered and dressed and manicured. I phoned my little sister, and that made me even later. She had posted on FB how she did not like Lactaid as a cure for lactose intolerance and I wanted to know why. Turns out she is against taking supplements of any kind. Had I been thinking, I'd have pointed out that the insulin  which keeps me alive is a supplement in the same sense - it replaces something my body should make a lot of, but doesn't.

Off to the manicure place, only two people working, both busy. Read from my Kindle for about 45 minutes before there was an opening. Usually there are 5 people, but the owner said her daughter got mad & quit, and two people were out sick. Two times there, waited both times and both times the manicure was just adequate. Time to try the little place nearest the apartment instead.

Togo's for lunch, then home to attack the patio cat fence project. Cut a piece of fencing, wrestled it into place and gaffer taped it, but it needed something more to neaten it up and hold it against the gate. Went to Fry's and bought some 7" tie wraps. Tried those, they are too short for the top (horizontal) rail (it looks smaller because it's rectangular, not square) but I managed to tighten things up on the smaller vertical rails. That was enough for today, I was not about to do 18 speed bumps just for a pack of 14" tie wraps. The gaffer tape is not holding, so I'll need to tie wrap the top. Tomorrow. 

The TV was still on BBC and they were doing the life of the Queen, probably three hours of it, and I watched two hours before the host got on my nerves, as did all the living PMs except Thatcher raving about how they need a queen and royalty and all that. Most other countries manage to fill the ceremonial role with someone not-royal, and considering the poor track record of her eldest son.... (Thailand has the same issue, but their monarchy is not reliant on direct descent, as I understand it, any prince can be named king).

More cat stuff:
Mixed the Iams dry food she pecks at half and half with Pumpkin's diabetes high-protein dry food, which she vacuums up when I toss handfuls at her, and stocked her food tower with that.
Took care of the litterbox.

I suppose I ought to make dinner.

Plans for tomorrow:
Cat fence
BASFA if there's time. I expect it will be packed.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then Sizzler for lunch.

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

In A Pickle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plans for tomorrow:
Enjoy the nice weather. Maybe finish the OSC book and move on to Slave Girl of Gor.
Go to the Sunnyvale Art Gallery open studio event and hopefully see my G&S friend Connie, who has some work on display.
Coffee with Janice
Test a batch of pickles
howeird: (Default)
Probably the most powerful thing my father ever told me is that, like us, he and his father did not get along, and one of his biggest regrets was he never had the chance to reconcile with his father. His father was a handyman, and fell off a roof when my dad was 19. It took decades, but by the time my father was gone, we were on good terms with each other.
Someone who had a crush on me when she was in high school (I was 23) is now one of the production staff at Seattle Opera. Over on the Book of Face, she posted the trailer for their current production of Madame Butterfly, as well as an article in a not-quite-local paper about the 6-year-old girl whom she found to play the part of Pinkerton's son. I did not want to be rude to her over there so I'll say it here.

First, there are plenty of boys in Seattle who could have played that part. Plenty of girls too. Okay, so the kid is only from Lynnwood, but that's a nasty commute from the northeast end of Lake Washington to the opera venue in downtown Seattle, at least an hour one way after school.

Seattle used to be a place where young opera talent could get a break, but they decided to cast an older performer (14 years since her debut) as the leading lady. She looks older than that. The role calls for a teenager. The woman has enough vibrato to stress test a 747. The fellow playing playful boyish Pinkerton is a stuffed shirt. Nice voice, though. The mix was horrible - the orchestra in most of the clips was too loud to hear the soloists' words. It does not look like a production I would go out of my way to see.
This morning listening to KNBR, the local all-sports station, they played a Home Despot commercial and an Orchard Supply commercial back to back. OSH was advertising patio and outdoor furniture on sale, and I've been thinking about buying a chaise for the patio, so I went there after work. I did an online search and found nothing I wanted, but often the store has more than the web page. I did find a nice one for $99 at Anyhow, OSH had nothing I wanted. Heavy iron ones for $179 which needed a pad for more $, a horrible flat plastic one in gray, and something called a Zero Gravity Chair which looked a lot like the dreaded Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. Almost went straight home, but remembered that everything I had planned for this weekend fell through, so I had time to make pickles. Detoured to the produce place and picked up 4x7 pickle cukes. And a nice big celery bunch. And some medium big limes. Celery meant needing bleu cheese dressing, so next detour was to my local supermarket, which did not have the brand I liked but they had "good enough".
Home, the 2012 map from Garmin was under my welcome mat. I'll try it out tomorrow.

Watched the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are? which followed Quincy Jones' daughter Rashida's search for her Jewish mother's ancestors. It was incredibly moving, I'm pulling it from TiVo onto my PC and will make DVDs for my sisters, and my aunt.
Work was boring. I cranked out a ton of test cases for a new feature, but I think I'm at a dead end for now. Will pursue it Monday.
Lunch was a rare case of me driving the gang, irony being we went to a hole in the wall Japanese place across the street from my apartment. I've eaten there once before and was not impressed. But it was a nice day so we sat outside. One of them has a very loud voice, and is virtually un-interruptable, so it's nice that he has interesting things to say. He does pause from time to time, but not often.
I forgot to go to the PO, mostly because I usually do that at lunchtime.

Plans for tomorrow:
PO, mail the calendar to Michi in Japan
Manicure (my nails have grown way faster this last 2 weeks than usual)
Best Buy - see about having the GPS antenna in the car placed where it gets a better signal
Make pickles. Plan A: 7 jars w/4cukes each. Plan B: same as Plan A, but spears instead of whole pickles. Plan C was pickle chips, but I've already scrapped that.


Clone Wars

Apr. 7th, 2012 02:05 pm
howeird: (Weird Load)
Geeky TMI under the cut )
This morning I was at Top Hair & Nails a little after 10, got an 11 o'clock appointment. Went next door with the Ultrabook to Clocktower, and neither that or the phone could connect to their wi-fi. Everyone else was having that problem. It was a LONG wait in line for iced tea and a bagel, because there was only one person running the show, instead of the usual 2 or 3.

So now every alternative to Starbucks which advertises free wi-fi has let their router go to hell. Most of them seem to have merely stopped subscribing to an Internet ISP, Clocktower's router is just plain broken.
Meeting Janice for coffee at 5 and going to ace photographer Rich C.'s birthday bash at 8 or 9.

No plans for tomorrow. Maybe I'll take the train somewhere.
howeird: (Pocari Sweat)
Was up till 3 am copying stuff from the main PC to the Ultrabook, mostly by wifi. Woke upo at 8 with Domino on my tummy. Rolled over and went back to sleep for "an hour". Woke up at 11. Decided to try for the 2 o'clock manicure slot, which left me time to remove the giant slab of corned beef from the crock pot and slice it into freezer bag portions. It did as much shredding as slicing, which is the brisket part I really love. I heated up a piece of garlic bread, put some horseradish sauce on the plate and had a portion for brunch. Yum.

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

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

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

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

Plan B FTW

Jan. 14th, 2012 11:15 pm
howeird: (Default)
Plan A was to be up at 10, and at the nail parlor by 11, then continue to the Pet Club, then on to the car wash, and back home in time for the football game. Slept late (yay!).  I was about to leave when the phone rang, it was aunt & uncle calling from NYC, to check on my cold. Uncle said that next time, have some black elderberry syrup on hand, it's good for preventing colds at their onset. He said the original marketing was done for  product from Israel called Sambucol, but he has since been using generic concentrate. His health ideas are usually pretty sound, he turned me on to Melatonin before it was a household name.

Didn't get to the nails place till 11:30, her next opening was at 2. So car wash then Pet Club. As I was driving out of the parking lot my insides told me they needed a restroom, stat. Pulled into the next driveway and used the one at the Krispy Kreme. I was way early, they have free wi-fi there, so I bought a snack and went online for a bit. Wifi was not very solid, and it was competing with McDonalds next door, Starbucks a block away and the city's Google service. So I packed up and went to the coffee shop next to the nails place and read a Kindle book on the netbook until it was appointment time.

I gave the manicurist one of my 2012 calendars, she liked it a lot. They had the game playing on the TV out front, I was able to half watch it while my nails were being done. San Francisco got off to a great start, New Orleans was making all kinds of critical mistakes.

Home, watched till halftime, then unpacked the car and brought all the pet stuff inside. The second half was not as good for the 49ers, and when the Saints scored a touchdown and got the lead with 2 minutes to play, I figured that was the ball game, turned off the TV and went to the PC to look up the ending of Casey At The Bat. Then I hear a huge cheer from the apartment's community room, which is a block away down the path which runs along my computer room windows. I thought the game was over and there were too many NOLA fans at the party. But I turned the TV back on, and there was Vernon Davis scoring a touchdown for the 49ers, winning the game. OMG.

Watched a lot of the post-game show, then switched to the Patriots-Broncos game. At halftime New England was so far ahead it was pretty clear they were going to slam dunk this. My car was parked in the outdoor lot and needed to move to the underground garage, but I also needed to find more vitamin C so I drove to Target, which didn't have any in the dosage I wanted, and then to Walgreen's, which did. Neither of them had black elderberry syrup, though.

Home, watched the last 5 minutes of the ball game, and some of the post-game. Tim Tebow didn't mention Jesus or God at all, he just said he was happy to have had the chance to play, said nice things about the Patriots & Tom Brady, and also how much it meant to him to have gotten to know his teammates and coaches.

I think the best image from either game was when Vernon Davis got to the sidelines after his catch, the coach hugging him. At 2:12 in the clip )

Plans for tomorrow:
Probably football.
If it's warm enough, I may got out to Ardenwood Farms and get some pix of the wintering monarch butterflies.
howeird: (pumpkin-face)
Went back to sleep at 7:30 or so, slept till 10:30. Had a very weird dream which I will post later.

Up and out of the house and at the nail parlor by 11:30, waited about 10 minutes for my favorite manicurist to finish giving a guy a hair cut-and-dye. It was very busy, and they were having their company potluck in the back, so I didn't have a haircut while I waited. 

Carl's Jr for lunch, mostly because I used their restroom.

Drove to my old neighborhood from 2 moves ago, and pulled into the DIY car wash. The machine kept not taking my quarters, so I went to the machine for tokens, but it took a lot of tries to get $3 worth. It refused to take any of my $5 bills. Got the car rinsed and all soapy and foamed with the brush, when the alert for more coins started. It took another bunch of tokens & quarters, the alarm cleared and the "active" light stayed on, but the water didn't come on. I had to pull into two different bays to find a machine which worked so I could rinse the foam off.

Drove home, after watching an episode of Storage Wars I went into the smaller bathroom, laid out some towels, filled the tub about 1/4 full of warm water, collected Pumpkin, took off his collar and placed him into the tub. He yowled a lot, but did not try to claw his way out. I was able to shampoo him on top and sides, but didn't get his tummy too well - though there was enough shampoo in the water that he got clean enough there.

Splash-rinsed him off because I don't have a spray hose and forgot to grab a plastic bowl or anything. It took longer but I got most of the shampoo off him. Wrapped him a huge bath towel, and set him on the bed, but he wouldn't stay still to be dried off, and each time I put the towel on him he ran away. He finally sat on the carpet in front of the food dishes, between two towels I had put down and started grooming himself dry.

I pulled the portable radiant heater from the closet and tried to aim it at him, but he went across the livingroom to his spot by the patio door. Eventually he hopped up onto the sofa, so I sat down next to him, pointed the heater at us, and pet him while he groomed himself. That lasted about an hour, when he finally decided he needed to go into the closet and sulk.

But he's clean, and he is grooming himself again, so I'm happy. I won't be putting his collar back on. He's an indoor cat now, he's chipped, and one thing taking the collar off did was show me it had badly scraped under his chin. Should probably take off Domino's too.

Nothing else on the agenda for today. This morning I tried using Lightroom's watermark feature, and it is totally lame. When I installed Photoshop CS5, it did not import the watermark action from CS4 which took me an hour to build, but I hear there is a way to do that, just have to find the macro on the disc drive. Here's the deal: I want my watermark to be transparent. Lightroom took my transparent watermark and made the text part opaque. Photoshop lets me merge it into the photo so it is just a raised, clear copyright notice which does not get in the way of seeing the photo. So maybe tonight I'll figure out how to import that into CS5.

No plans for tomorrow.
howeird: (Default)
Got up at 5 am and was out of the apartment 15 minutes later looking for the moon. I thought it would be visible from the patio, but it was around the other side of the apartment, I had to bundle up, and bring the camera and tripod around the the pool, which gave me a pretty good shot. It was about 35° out, too cold to want to set up the telescope, and besides which, about 1/4 of the moon was already eaten.

I took 95 photos over the course of a little more than an hour. Had to stop when the moon went below my horizon, just a little after totality. If I'd been on the shore of the Bay I might have had another half hour but still would not have seen the full recovery.

Looking at the photos, I made some wrong choices for exposure length - one of the disadvantages to my camera is the viewfinder isn't big enough to tell things like that. The last several shots were at between 4 and 6 seconds exposures, f/11-14 or thereabouts. I would have done better boosting the ISO and going with 1 second and f/11 or 16. Last chance till 2014, I am told, but this summer I hope to try some telescope shots of the moon again, now that I have the right kind of scope.

Being up so early confused the cats. As soon as I had the photos uploaded (about 7 am) I went back to bed.

Up at about 10:30, did not make it to the nail parlor in time for my usual 11 am walk-up, but they scheduled me for 2, which was fine, it gave me time to get another case of canned food from PetSmart and some produce at Safeway, and then sit down at the coffee shop next door and write the Charlie Brown review.

Just hung around with the cats, chicken soup w/matzo balls for a late lunch.

Around 6 I headed to Fremont, forgot how much closer my new place is and was way too early for the 7:30 show at Irvington HS. Moon Over Buffalo was one of the best high school productions I have ever seen, and was better than many college shows. The daughter of one of my FB theater friends was leading lady, which was why I went. She and the girl who played her daughter were both superb. Leading man was very good, especially considering the vast amount of lines he had, at least half of them were that difficult kind which are not orderly or in response to cues. He reminds me, however, of the guy who was leading man in most of my high school plays, a very talented actor who knew exactly how talented he was. Not conceited, but not humble either.

The audience was about 250 people, maybe 3/4 students, and they got more and more into it as the show progressed. At some point in the first act the laughter changed from laughing at seeing familiar faces in unfamiliar roles to genuinely enjoying the play itself. The final applause was the combination of clapping and shouting which I last heard at the end of a state championship football game. It felt so good to hear that aimed at a theater production.  

It was closing night and the director (aka drama teacher) had flowers for everyone. Everyone. Cast, crew, staff, assistants, supporters, parent volunteers, raffle basket coordinator. Everyone. And it was clear that he is well loved. It's his first year, and I hope they find a way to keep him despite the draconian budget cuts.

The end of the evening was super high-energy. I'm very glad I went. It totally made up for last night.

Used a program called TuneUp to clean up duplicates, correct mistakes in tagging and add cover art to my iTunes library. It took about three passes and a lot of manual intervention for all the art work to show up, and for all the tunes from a single album to show up as a single album. For a couple of albums I needed to download the art work and D&D it into iTunes. But it was easier than parsing 5300 tunes by hand, and it is complete and synced with the iPod which will go back into the car tomorrow.

Plans for  tomorrow:
Oil change for the car and maybe wash it too
Clean up & post the best of the eclipse photos

May 2017

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