howeird: (Default)
For the first time in a while it's both before tomorrow and I'm mostly awake. No work. No rehearsals. Took it easy.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

    Trustworthy,
    Loyal,
    Helpful,
    Friendly,
    Courteous,
    Kind,
    Obedient,
    Cheerful,
    Thrifty,
    Brave,
    Clean,
    and Reverent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plans for tomorrow:
Look at lines, especially for a couple of songs I am not a soloist in
3 pm-ish, back to the hotel and pick up my photos - there is nothing in the Sunday program I am interested in
7-ish, Sitzprobe at the theater. That's French for first time singing with the band. Probably will go till 10.
howeird: (Default)
Feels like Friday.
Work included the distraction of a new build for the current product, and with it a test I could do easily to verify a bug was fixed. Continuing to research Teletext and wrote some more test case one-liners. Many of them I have no idea how to actually do the tests. Those require the box to get its input from a satellite feed, and we don't have any European feeds that I know of.

Lunch was Boston Market, the half rack of ribs was good, but twice as much as I should have eaten. Small, dry cornbread. Not very sweet sweet corn. Decent loaded mashed potato. The very large plastic glass they give for soft drinks is a keeper. Finished the second Giver book, Gathering Blue. It isn't a sequel to The Giver but is billed as a "companion book". Nope, I don't buy that either. Totally different characters and setting, and different magic. Started #3, which is a sequel to #2 right off the bat. I love her writing. YA book which doesn't make me feel overqualified.

Looked up the remodeling company which was suggested by a friend and advertises in the community magazine, but there are no Yelp reviews and BBB doesn't know about them. Not a good sign. The mfg rep said she would send references, and we got a new magazine today which I'll do some checking against.

Put the small Seahawks logo decal on the car, and the a little too large college sticker, which was falsely advertised as a window cling.

Home after work, did my best to avoid it, but eventually sat down with the music and the script and tried to learn the words to my songs. Not very successful. The phrasing and cadence of the song lyrics is counter-intuitive, and there is no place to catch my breath. Will need much help at the rehearsal Thursday with music director. The theater is occupied so we'll do it at his house, where we had the first read-through.

Tried playing the two versions of the songs I have from Amazon, but neither of them matches the script. One comes close but they chop out the intro to the Big Numbah. :-(

In other news, have been infuriated once again by Da Meedea warping a story for sensationalism. Arizona passed a bill, which the governor has not yet signed, which simply allows a business owner to refuse to serve anyone on grounds it would violate business owner's religious beliefs. But instead of reporting it that way, they are all calling it the "anti-gay" bill.

Yes, someone whose religion holds that homosexuality is wrong could refuse to serve gays. But it also allows a Jewish deli owner to refuse to serve men who are not wearing a head covering, or a halal store owner can legally turn away women customers whose arms are not covered. That would make it a "right to bare arms" issue. I'm sure that with enough research, a Navajo could come up with a reason to 86 someone on religious grounds. "You are trespassing on sacred ground, leave!"

I am all in favor of allowing a private business to choose its customers. Just as I have a choice in which businesses I patronize. It should work both ways.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Bingo at the community center. A tough choice because there's a NASA talk at Foothill too, but I probably could not get up there in time.
Put in some more script time
Change the sheets
howeird: (Default)
Potlatch-SF this year is in SJ. I missed the opening ceremonies, first panel and parties because when I got home from work I was beat, and felt like I was coming down with a cold, and the prospect of battling 101 traffic to get to San Jose was daunting. So I went to bed.

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

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

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

Home by 7:30, did some extra insulin.

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

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

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

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

Plans for tomorrow:
Find Girl Scout cookies. Buy some.
Potlatch by 11. Bring some of Nancie's cookbooks for the "books about food" session.
Maybe study some lines

Boring

Feb. 21st, 2014 12:15 am
howeird: (screwed)
Boring day at work. Spent most of it looking at the test cases I wrote the one-liners for, and deciding if they really needed step by step instructions.

Lunch was at Carl's Jr., because it is close and brainless and I was bored.

They finally opened the front entry again, which gave me a chance to look at the changes. I thought they were going to fancify the superstructure above the doors to match the building next door which the company is allegedly leasing. Same architecture, same landlord. But no, they didn't touch that. They removed a 3-foot-high wall about 10 feet in front of the door which surrounded a Japanese maple, and probably was supposed to have landscaped flowers planted around it, but never did. It was a hangout for the smokers, who have been using the back parking lot while construction was in progress. It looks like the formerly grass borders left and right of the doors has been dug up and new irrigation pipes installed. The bike rack and a few of those concrete trash containers have been moved aside, probably will be back in place Monday after the ugly grey flagstones are sand blasted this weekend. Anyhow, now the entry is flat and unobstructed, so the handicap pathway doesn't look ridiculous.

Automation Guy sent an invite to us all for his son's 5th birthday party, but it's on Janice's 70th, which has been on my calendar for weeks. And I have a rehearsal after.

Spent some time online researching the chunnel train, which can take me from London to Brussels in about 3 hours. It's too early to nail things down, but I would love to get there and to Ireland during my Worldcon trip. There's also a high speed train from Brussels to Amsterdam. Hmmm. I probably can't afford it, but maybe I'll take a longer vacation. Gotta put that in the back of my mind, many other things to apply brains to before then. I have all the important stuff done: con membership, airline reservation, hotel reservation for the con days.

Went to the Mathilda Starbucks, got a mocha but there was nowhere to sit inside. I tried sitting outside, but it's dark and loud from street noise and chilly. So I went to the cheap gas station and filled up, and then came home. The mocha is still in the car.

Took care of some finances. Paid off my Amazon/Chase Visa card, and will call them tomorrow to close the account. The application said 14% but the paperwork says 19.24%. And the credit limit they gave is laughable. Insulting, even.

Found my mortgage statement and found the line which showed how much I owe escrow for the insurance change. The refund check from the previous insurer will cover that, and I'll have enough left over to get a massage. Or buy a dozen boxes of Girl Scout cookies. I printed a check for the lender CU, slapped it into their envelope with a copy of the statement, and it is now return addressed and stamped and ready to mail.

I also chatted today with the MetLife folks, and they can give me the same auto policy as Allstate for a dollar more. I told them to set me up to switch in April. Worth it to be done with Junior. Long story, Read more... )And Allstate's ads have taken a turn for the evil - those "havoc" ads. MetLife has stuck with the positive ads. State Farm ads are stupid and misleading, Farmer's are annoyingly condescending and too high-budget. Flo gives me the creeps, and the reptile dysfunction company seriously needs to take 99% of the money they spend on ads and use it to lower their rates.

Started reading the second of the Giver books. Darn that lady can write!

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Play
Maybe I'll finish my taxes.
Maybe study lines/learn my songs




 
howeird: (Weird Load)
It felt like it should be Friday all day. Big disappoint dept.: the Friday Bad Movie Night was moved to Saturday, and I am already triple booked. :-(

Nothing to talk about at work, except I got to attend an engineering planning meeting for one of the features of the next product I'll be helping with. Maybe.

I brought a small frozen meal for lunch, in an attempt to have lunch with all the folks who eat in the break room almost every day, but they don't talk to each other hardly at all, and there are ping pong balls flying and a gang playing doubles pool in the far corner making lots of noise. I think I'll resume going out for lunch.

Home by way of Costco, two projects to pick up. The 500 slides scanned to DVD were in, which was a surprise (I expected another week at least) and the posterboard photos for Contact 2014 were there as expected. I went with 11x14 except for one 16x20 of a breaching whale. Last time, 2 years ago, it was all 12x18 and 20x30 and there wasn't enough room for all of them. Also 11x14 cost $10 each as it is. Now I have to go online and buy a bunch of hangers for them. Stick-on plastic ones work fine.

Home, email said Avanquest finally updated CheckDesigner to work with Quicken 2014 (which I bought months ago). Tonight's adventure was putting that on the PC, and updating Quicken, then updating the laptop (it needed Norton and the latest 20 updates from Microsoft) and putting Quicken 2014 on that and downloading the online backup onto it. Laptop is in the bedroom now, hooked up to the charger. I usually run it on batteries as God intended.

Lots for Facebooking today.

On my way home I saw the moon, and it was heading for the sweet spot above the end of my driveway. It was too low to see when I got home, so I set an alarm for an hour, and interrupted my computerizing to mount the telescope on the tripod, install the right angle attachment and a lens, and went out and looked. The moon exactly filled the field of view, full moon , pretty bright. Next step was to try out the camera attachment, which didn't work as expected - the extension tube is the wrong size - but I was able to direct connect the camera. It wouldn't stay aimed, the weight of the camera kept pulling it up too high. But I managed to get a series of acceptable shots, after some Photoshop tweaking for brightness and sharpness. The final one at 1/2000 of a second was the best.

When I got the tripod inside and took off the scope, I saw that the mount could be moved a couple of inches to better balance it, which I did, but there was too much to do (500 slides to organize) and I want to take some pix when the moon is not full. And see if I can get some help at the SJAA on using a telescope lens and extension tube. Orion swore they sent me the right ones for my scope, I just don't know how it all fits together.

Watched some skeleton races, it's like luge except the racer is on her tummy. A much better arrangement, I think.
Plans for tomorrow:
Work
???

Moving Day

Jan. 16th, 2014 11:28 pm
howeird: (Default)

My 1-on-1 was moved from yesterday to today. Then my nails appointment was moved from today to tomorrow. And finally my trip to Ardenwood was moved to next Thanksgiving.

That latter bit goes like this: I recommended the butterflies walk to my boss, who lives maybe 10 minutes from there but has never heard of the place. I went online to find the hours, and instead found this:
Read more... )



The irony here is that when there were a thousand, around Thanksgiving, I had time off and could have gone, but my notes said the last time I was there and saw a lot of monarchs was in January. :-(

Did some more work at work, and was assigned a bug which I had lobbied hard against. And the one guy who had the hardware was gone by the time it was assigned.

Another move: The demo which I was planning for Monday at 10 had to be moved to Tuesday at 11 because Monday is MLK day, another religious holiday for someone else's faith. IMHO, he is the most overrated figure in American history and deserves a holiday named after him about as much as Walt Disney. One thing which separates the two, of course, is Walt wasn't assassinated until this year, and only on cellulose.

The demo couldn't be scheduled for 10 because the guy I couldn't find today has the room reserved from 10-11.

Lunch was supposed to be at the bad Chinese fast food place next to Jamba and Starbucks which is eye candy central, but there was no parking, so I went to Boston Market instead. I liked the brisket, the mashed was okay but the creamed spinach had coagulated. Their soft drink glasses are hard plastic and huge.

Straight home, after doing some email I took the telescope and a tripod out onto the end of the driveway, but the moon had set. Venus and maybe one of the big planets was visible so I thought I would try those, but the outside light is on a motion sensor and kept going out, and I was having trouble fitting the quick-connect mount on the scope to the tripod, so I brought it inside. Seems to be the wrong size, so I put the one from the tripod onto the scope, and that seemed to work. But then I couldn't find an eyepiece which fit. Digging in some of the carrying case pouches I found one, but that's when the scope fell off the tripod. It didn't appear to be damaged, but the quick connect was way loose. Decided I need to do this in daylight, and maybe even read some instructions and/or go to the San Jose astronomy group and ask for help.

Watched some American Idol. The new judges are not as solid as the old ones. And they mostly agree with each other. And once again the show wastes way too much time on the truly horrible, and does not spend enough time on winners. They also would do well, I think, to run it like musicals auditions with an accompanist and contestants required to bring music in their key.

What else? Yesterday there was a note in my "tube" (under the mailbox, for the park's magazine and park business) saying my bigger garbage can will be delivered Monday and not Feb. 3 as originally told to me. I need to print out a note and tape it to the current can so the helpful person next door doesn't wheel it back onto the carport after the garbage is collected. I may need to do it in Tagalog.

Blood sugar has been closer to normal lately, for no apparent reason.

Been reading the Potlatch Book of Honor: The City and The City by China Miéville. Imagine a city where people have learned to not see inhabitants of a different culture, and to believe that those people actually inhabit an entirely different city, in the same space as yours. The concept is very intriguing to me, but we learn about this strange construct by way of a murder investigation. I'm not a fan of murder mysteries, and Miéville is not very good at writing them from what I have seen so far. The plot moves like mole-asses and I'm not getting any feeling for the characters. For the first chapter I thought the detective narrating the story was a woman, but then he starts referring to himself as male. I usually get this when the writer is a woman trying to write a man's character, but China is definitely not a woman:


It's going to take me a while to finish the book.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Nails

howeird: (Default)
I don't do birthdays. My sisters know that I will send them random gifts whenever I see something (affordable, mailable) which is Meant™ for them. I will send cards, usually ecards. And middle sister and I have a tradition of sending a card a month leading up to decade years. Which reminds me, she's due for one right now. Luckily I buy cards throughout the year, see above.

My sisters' birthdays are in the same month, so I remember those no matter how hard I try to forget them.

Tomorrow is my only American nephew's birthday, but I've been sending goodies for his infant regularly. And his wife bought him a new hockey stick. There's a Red Green joke in there I think. I may send him a puck, just the be weird. Not for his birthday, but for his hockey stick.

Aunt is home from the hospital, I'll try to call around noon her time.

Got into the car this morning, put it in gear, and back into park. I had left the computer running with FB open. In the last three places I lived, the computer was visible from the kitchen, so if I left in the middle, maybe waiting for a download or an install, I would see it while I was filling my cooler or taking my meds. But now the computer is out of sight and hearing from the kitchen.

Still got to work at a reasonable hour. Put together the demo, finished it, and also had time for two little projects.

At 5:30 when I knew the conference room would be free, I took my laptop in and hooked it up to the projector, because some people kept getting BSODed when they did that. Mine worked fine that way, but it wouldn't connect to the new in-house wi-fi. The instructions are online so I had to go back to my desk to install the wi-fi app, and then it worked. Glacial. My desk is right under a repeater, so that's bad news.

Keeping my fingers crossed for Monday morning.

Lunch was at China Stix, which now looks 90% done, the only thing left, I think, is to re-pave the parking lot, but looking at the huge amount of construction, that won't be till summer at the earliest. A new Target is going in, and it looks like also a supermarket. The beef chow fun was under-beefed and overcooked. Unusual for them. There was also an unusually large amount of eye candy/fashionistas.

After work the former Bat Cave Starbucks, which is now looking pretty, except it still needs a patio. The KFC and donut shop across the parking lot are now 90% re-faced. I did not know it was Marty's donuts. I don't think they had a sign before.

Got Norton's updated, which was the main thing, but it took a long time on the not-Comcast connection. Not too bad because there were only 4 of us online.

Lucky's, impulse buy of bacon & onion dip, chopped clams, Lay's original potato chips. While I was there I got some more paper plates and bowls (on sale) and Parmesan cheese.

Home, poured the clams into a bowl and nuked them on 6 for 4 minutes, glopped the dip into the bowl, mixed carefully because the bowl was filled to the brim. Poured most of it back into the dip container, and put both into the fridge for tomorrow. I hope it glops up enough.

Dinner was beef pot pie. Marie is putting way too many potatoes in them. And the crust is getting more cardboard-y. Must scout for other brands. Banquet is already a FAIL. Stouffer's isn't very good either.

Janice has made up with her boyfriend, so won't be coming over Sunday for the game. No time to meet her in the afternoon, another friend's graduation party comes first. At 40 she decided now was the time to go for a master's and PhD.

Domino has claimed the recliner I'd bought for company:
Read more... )

Plans for tomorrow:
Call Aunt
Seahawks game at 1:30. I may wear my jersey. If they win I'll keep it on when I go out to watch the evening game. There's a bar in Alviso...
howeird: (Weird Load)
The loan people are being assholes. It is making me crazy. Crazier. Highest blood sugar reading I have ever had. Highest blood pressure reading too, I think. I need to unscrew my brain and set it aside to cool.

Work was a little crazy too.

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

It's not prejudice, it's postjudice.

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

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

Lamb shank and creamed corn for dinner.

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

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

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
1-on-1
UPS

When's Day

Sep. 11th, 2013 11:10 pm
howeird: (Default)
Work, support person broke my machine, which is what we have been trying to do all week. Details are NDA.

Lunchtime deposited a check & got cash at the CU, then to Carl's for chicken tenders.

Afternoon, elbow is still hurting. Shoulder too. Made a doctor's appointment for tomorrow morning.

Home. Thought about going to a podcast some friends were doing, but thought about rush hour traffic and stayed home, baked some fish fillets, nuked some frozen veggies and watched some TMZ.

And watched the cats. Domino continues to make every move by Kaan in her direction into major drama.

The switch back to crystal litter and the quiet automated boxes is a win. The computer room no longer smells like durian.

Photoshopped the company picnic pix, mostly volleyball. Some good shots, most made better by severe cropping. They are on a USB drive, I'll bring those to work tomorrow.

Quicken said the DMV took my money for driver's license renewal. Yay. Mine still has a couple of months left on it. almost exactly.

Plans for tomorrow:
Doctor
Work
YOTB rehearsal
howeird: (Default)
But it felt like a Wednesday anyway, despite the 4-day weekend. Fully recovered from my vacation, including entering all the credit card slips into Quicken.

Work was typical, I was 2/3 done with a script when I got stuck because Automation's documentation sucks. And Automation Guy took and early lunch and was in meetings after. Finally got him to take a look, and it was simple but completely non-intuitive. But it worked. Tomorrow I'll send it in for the programmers to finish up, which I can't do because it has to run on one of their machines using machine-specific proprietary license files.

Last night after I journaled the remembery said the Seagals 2003-4 calendar release party was last week, so I went to their site to see what the new calendar was like. Unfortunately it is the same blah FAIL as last year's. So I went instead with teams which understand that a cheerleader needs her own month, and if you have 40 cheerleaders like the Seahawks do, you have to show some tough lust and go with just as many photos as you have months on the calendar. Seagals are cramming three per page, which makes them too small and creates too busy a design.

So instead I went with:
Redskins (My only repeat - a 15-month calendar with brilliant photography and design)
Colts (just to try something different)
Buccaneers (possibly the most attractive cheerleaders)
Ravens (because they are almost Washington and have a similar design)
Saints (because NOLA women have a reputation to uphold. Maybe "uphold" is the wrong word.)

On the walls from last season are
Dallas (inconsistent)
Jets (boring photography. Photog thinks it's all about the location)
Dolphins (boring photography, and they slap two smaller images of the pinup girl on the lower right of the main image)
Redskins, as mentioned above

In the dumpster:
Seagals 2013.

Which reminds me, I need to take out the garbage soon.

Before lunch I looked up places which claimed to have the Nexus 7 32GB in stock, and GameStop came up a winner. So that's where I went at lunchtime, and my next stop was UPS to return the Kindle Fire. When I had picked it up, the UPS guy had wanted to know how I liked it (Amazon ships in a clearly labeled box) and was surprised I didn't. In that same strip mall is a classy looking place called Ocean Blue Sushi Club. This is a huge place, good for  three company team lunches at a time, but at 1:15 it was so empty that the hostess was not at the front door, and it took a good (or bad) 5 minutes for someone to take my order. The food was very good, not as expensive as it could have been.

After work, home, sat out on the patio with the Nexus plugged in (it had about half a charge), set it up, and it actually grabbed all my Android phone stuff from my Google account, including the wallpaper photo of Domino in the window and the locked device wallpaper of the park bench.

It seems lighter than the Fire, and it is more comfortable to hold in portrait mode. Very smooth Youtube playback on my 5GHz wireless connection, and Kindle app worked better on it than on the Fire. More accurate "last page read" and easier brightness adjustment.

It's basically the computer part of the Android phone, minus the phone functions and fees. After it finishes charging I need to see ho to turn off the keyboard click. The voice recognition so far has been flawless. But give it time,,,

Marie Calendar's roast chicken frozen dinner & the last of the chocolate chunk ice cream. While watching the Tivo replay of the Seahawks-Denver game, in which the theory is completely demolished which says the team which controls the ball for the most minutes wins. Denver has a superb team, but Seattle was far more opportunistic. And they have more attractive uniforms. And the best helmet logo in the NFL. One nice touch is a walk-on from the University of Washington was one of the stars of the game. Great to see a hometown boy show up the draftees.

Have also been looking online for a used 3-valve Baritone horn/euphonium. Starving Musician's prices are too high, so I may sell them the 4-valve one I have now. Lots of promising junkers on eBay where the shipping fee may be higher than the high bid. Fine, if the horn plays.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Manicure
YOTB rehearsal (last one before Sunday's concert)

Finally!

May. 29th, 2013 10:19 pm
howeird: (Howard The Duck)
After two weeks of trial and error and error and error, Automation  Guy finally sat down and figured out two things I needed to do to my code to make it work. As it turns out, only one of them was needed, and he did it wrong. But between that clue and the web, I managed to do what any other language would have done in 30 seconds.

TMI here )
That's the short version. I won't bore myself with the long version.

Suffice to say it worked, and Automation Guy said he couldn't think of any reason to use this IRL. He is so very wrong about that.

So this gave me time to call Rebecca at Toyota and leave her a message about a) I haven't seen the refund on my Discover card for the trunk release which did not need to be installed (about $550) and b) the backup cam sucks, I have a Quality one on order and will have it installed by a Kenwood authorized dealer. She called back in a timely fashion and said she would check on a and talk to her service manager about b. I told her the bottom line with b is she got ripped off by her supplier, who charged her something like $600 for a $20 camera.

And I also had time to look up my Dad's patents (I think he had 11 of 'em) on www.uspto.gov. Except anything before 1976 needs a TIFF plug-in to9 view, and I couldn't get one to install on Chrome or FFox or IE at work, so I had to wait till I got home except for one I found on Google patents which blew me away:

Safety Device for Ballistic Missiles


He also co-authored one of the seminal papers on video data compression which is still referenced by patents which apply to the equipment I work on. Unfortunately the paper is so old that OSPTO has no links to it. Cited in patent 4,064,530 December 20, 1977 held by CBS:

Application of the principle of recursive filtering for noise reduction in television signals is described in a paper by Murray J. Stateman and Murray B. Ritterman entitled, "Theoretical Improvement In Signal To Noise Ratio of Television Signals By Equivalent Comb Filter Technique" published in 1954 in IRE National Convention Record, Volume 2, Part 4. This paper describes how redundancy and knowledge of the past signals can be used to reduce the noise reaching the television screen.

It amuses me that two Murrays co-authored.

Anyhow, it is a basic method still used to clean up streaming media signals.

Home by way of Walgreens, two items I wanted to get:
A key ring (the one holding the car key is too flexible and falls off)
Lindt chocolate for the Toyota sales rep - the one who sold me the car, not the one who messed up the camera order. (she has "liked" their page on FB).

They had no key rings as such, but I found one attached to a $3 lens cleaning kit, which I have a use for too.

Also remembered that today would have been Mom's 90th birthday, which means all three sisters have birthdays coming up next month. So I hung out in the card aisle finding appropriate paper cards. I will be visiting two of them on youngest's b'day, which is a few days before oldest's. Middle one I'll have to mail. Tomorrow.

Middle one is turning 60, so she will get a card a month till then. :-)

My favorite Mom picture:


I also love her wedding portrait:


I did the sepia toning, the original is B&W

Home, forgot to have dinner.

Bought a ticket for Avenue Q at Bus Barn. One or more friends are in it.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
???
No band practice
If sales rep is working I'll bring her the gifts (incl. one of my calendars)
howeird: (Costume Malfunction)
Up way too late, photo shoot at 9:30 am in Mountain View. Texted I'd be late, but I wasn't. Organizer was. :-(

Model was a super-skinny, multiple-tattooed young woman who posed well but had to keep being reminded to keep her eyes open, and not look so grim. The best shot I got was of one of the female photographers. LOLz. Somehow I managed to take 200+ pictures, but will have to go through them to see if any are more than mediocre. One of her tattoos was very interesting, it was a minimalist drawing on the back of her arm which looked like Marilyn Monroe. Very clever. All her tattoos were clean and very legible, including the entire Serenity Prayer which took up all the space between just below her bust to her hips.

We went till a little after noon, several locations around Shoreline Park. I missed the best one (by the Bay) when  I had to take a restroom break. Tummy was bothering me ever since I woke up.

I would really have liked to have lunch at the Lakeshore Café, but I was very very tired. Home, took a nap, woke up with Domino laying on my upper right chest. Didn't even feel her. She bolted as soon as I woke up, as usual.

Still running a little late, wanted to get to Starbucks by 4 for the 5 pm date with Janice, but it was 4:30 at least, and did not finish the writing I was doing. Good chat with J. She liked the Starwars/Starbucks T-shirt I brought back for her from Thailand. August is not a good month for her, and this year is no different. She's holding up okay, but 'nuff said.

Home again, it was a bit of a challenge because there was an event at Shoreline Amphitheater, some country western young people's crush, and nobody was obeying the traffic lights or the "keep intersections clear" or "don't walk". They needed traffic police, but did not have any. I ought to send a nastygram. When there is an event at the city-owned venue, they need city traffic cops at the freeway exits and big intersections. Lately they have left that to the event organizers, who have not been doing enough.

I had not eated all day, except for the frap and banana nut bread at *$s, so boiled up some corn cobettes and put a cookie sheet full of wings and drumettes into the oven. Took twice as long as the package said. :-(


Got email from Anything Goes, I have no rehearsals until move-in. That sucks. Move-in is the 25th, the first acting rehearsal is the 27th.


Been watching the Olympics closing ceremonies. While the jerks on NBC are saying the athletes are coming in as "one world" not as one country, I am seeing athletes coming in as a national group, many of them waving their country flagettes vigorously, especially the Koreans who looks way stupid, no matter how well they did in the games. So many Bad Costumes™. I want to find the costumers and ask what drugs they are on, and tell them to flush them down. No theme, a mish-mash of music, a closing ceremony done by committee with an unlimited budget. I sure hope all those people on stage in the bad costumes are being paid well. They are working very hard.

The head of John Lennon was macabre. Whose bright idea was it to make it lying down like a sarcophagus? And Batman & Robin escaping an exploding yellow taxi-like cartoon car? Sheesh.
I did manage to get something useful done online at Starbucks. I looked up the Yelp reviews for movers, and it reaffirmed I chose the wrong company last time. Blame dyslexia. As with last time, the best reviews were for a company named Advanced Moving Company. I had chosen Advantage Moving and Storage. Not as big a mistake as it might have been, they basically slowed down and left the job incomplete when it was clear they would be over the guaranteed estimated time. They broke a lamp and left the pieces scattered on a bedroom floor, too. So tomorrow I'll phone Advanced and schedule a visit.

Plans:
Tonight: Go through the photo shoot pix, fix what ought to be fixed. Upload some to Flickr and the meetup site.
Tomorrow:
Work
Pick up bike from repair shop
BASFA
Look for slides from '89 and '75-6 of my work sites
Study my lines
howeird: (How_photog-viewfinder)
Is what it felt like. Team meeting at work, boss is back from Thailand. Closed one feature request, tested a new feature which was buggy in the previous build, the thing which was wrong was fixed in the new build, but they broke something else (less severe). So one giant leap forward and a micro step back.

Lunchtime was Costco for gas, refill inkjet cartridges (or buy new ones) and p/up Worldcon prints. Got gas, but they don't refill the cartridges I need and don't sell them either. Picked up the prints, was suspicious when both auto-corrected and non were in the same envelope. Got them back to work and discovered they had made a booboo and forgot to turn off auto-correct on three prints, which made two of them useless and one not quite as good as I wanted. Instead of going back to hassle them I just ordered them from the other Costco, to be picked up after work. After 7 pm, actually. That meant no BASFA.

Had time to drive down to Great America and take a peek at the 49ers stadium construction in high gear. Four big orange cranes barely fit on the site. Lunch at Togo's nearby, then back to work.

Not much to do, so I read some specs.

Home, took a nap, picked up the three prints at Costco in MV, then drove to Aaron Brothers in Svale and had to explain all over again what I wanted because the fellow I talked to last time was not there. The nice woman understood just fine, came up with the same price. Something I forgot to ask last time was if they shipped, but they don't. Not a big deal, I need to send by UPS with pre-paid return, and I think I have a box from the last move. If not I'm sure UPS will help with that.

Home, dinner was corned beef and stuffing. Domino liked the corned beef till it dried out. Replacement soda siphon arrived, and is working just fine. Same brand as the last one. Email from Amazon said the other brand was out of stock, so got only one not two.

Watched some Olympics, but this FF for hours is getting old. And Tivo's list of what's in each program is not always correct. I think I'll switch to BBC online or Youtube to see what I want. So far none of the boxing matches have featured actual boxing. Have yet to see any women's gymnastics except floor routines. And very few US team sports. At Togo's they had the USA-Hungary women's water polo, but they apparently left the horses behind. The TV display was broken, so we only saw the USA score. :-(

No rehearsal tomorrow night. Not sure what I'll do.

No plans for tomorrow except work.
howeird: (Default)
Was up at 6:30, this time the alarm did go off at 7. Domino was in and out of the bedroom all night, up on the bed some of the time, curled up on the carpet other times. And she's back to squawking at me a lot. Since I was up early, I started looking through Thailand photos for ones to use in the Worldcon show. Getting that show together is tomorrow's main project.

Got to work, boss had sent email he would be in late, but ended up working from home. I can imagine how much email he had to catch up on. He was in Thailand a week longer than me.

We got a new build which supposedly has a feature I'm supposed to test, but I couldn't see it. Probably because the machine I have doesn't have the right board. I'll have to see about getting that fixed Monday. In the meantime me and automation guy both saw a minor cosmetic bug which is laughably trivial. We alerted engineering but it's not something which merits a bug report. Yet. I managed to crash the machine with ad hoc testing, once.

For lunch the gang went to our new favorite Japanese place, great bento boxes. But they never listen to me when I tell them to go after 1 pm. We waited about 20 minutes for a table. By the time we left, the place was half empty.

Back to work, there was nothing pressing to do, so I filled out an application for a Keypoint credit union account, but they lied - it could not all be done online, so I went to the branch down the block from work and finished it. They needed to scan my ID, and have me sign some forms in person. I could have mailed in copies, but that seemed silly.

Next step is to close my Patelco CU account, since I haven't really used it. I have not been impressed with their operation, and I just don't happen to like the name of the company.

After I get the ATM card from Keypoint I'll close the Tech CU account. I was going to wait until they stopped being a CU in September, but they messed up while I was in Thailand, so I am out of there ASAP.

Back to work, was planning on going to Costco which is close by, but was feeling lagged, so I went home a little early, took a nap, and then went to Costco. Where I saw this:



They had whole lambs in the next bin, also halal. Maybe the next time I get married...

I managed to keep mostly to my shopping list, except they were out of bananas. I heard one of the customers being told by one of the produce guys that there had been a run on bananas today. They had a good price on organic blueberries, but the green fuzzy stuff told me don't do it. Got mixed nuts, pistachios, a huge slab of cream cheese, a pound of lox, a dozen sesame bagels and a package of chicken wings.  Plus Lactaid milk, a big bag of limes and two loaves of multi-grain bread.  

From there to Safeway, which always has a better deal on light whipped cream (Domino's treat). They also had nice looking bananas and a 2-fer sale on celery. I bought a few apples, too pricey to buy more. Also passed on the baseball-hard nectarines. Got some ammonia (there's a carpet stain from spilling red punch) and windex for the car. And Marie Calendar turkey pot pies. Tartar sauce to replace the one turning green in the fridge.  And orange Crystal Lite, though they only had it in to-go size. So instead of 2 tubes making a gallon, it took 8. Needed small ice cream, and they had Haagen Dazs bars on sale (dark chocolate/chocolate) and Klondike bars. Did not find big packs of Breathsavers at either place. Must stop in at Rite-Aid or CVS.

Home, put stuff away, did not have room for the huge slab of cream cheese, so I cut it into 6 chunks (the package is designed for that) and put three into ziploc containers and into the freezer, then popped the dough blade into the Cuisinart, threw in half a pound of lox and three chunks of cream cheese and made salmon schmear, which is now in ziploc containers in the fridge. That was messy.

Dinner tonight was pistachios and blue Gatorade, while watching some of the Olympics opening ceremonies. Muted the sound soon, because the announcer wouldn't shut up, and it seemed in horrible taste to be playing "staying alive" right after the guy who wrote it died. And some of the words suck as Olympic inspiration. The Gambia and Malaysia had cool costumes, most everyone else's sucked. The USA's looked like campfire girls. For anyone who thinks Iraq is back on its feet, they only had 8 athletes. Iran sent 53. Afghanistan sent six.

Right around Jamaica I got totally bored, and deleted the recording. I've got Tivo set to record all the sessions with swimming and boxing, which should give me lots more events, since they are bundled. Not that I will have much time to watch, what with rehearsals and all.

1:20 am. Doesn't fell like it, thanks to a nap and Ibuprofen.

Plans for tomorrow:
Sleep in
Look at a lot of photos. Pick 20, use Photoshop to sign them, upload them to Costco and have them printed. Fill out the Worldcon paperwork (bid sheets, etc.) and email that.
I thought about going to the Garlic Festival, but it's a long, hot drive.
Maybe go to Shoreline Park.


 

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