Oy

Feb. 28th, 2014 12:45 am
howeird: (Default)
Bingo last night meant late dinner, late insulin and 6 am insulin reaction Hgl of 60. Treated it with Klondike bars, went back to bed but had to be up at 7:30. Low blood sugar in my case makes a short term insulin and sugar rush followed by huge sucking-the-life-out-of-you feeling.

Got to work, got some stuff done, had lunch at Round Table and about 4 was drained and feeling like if I didn't drive home now and take a nap I would not be safe to drive, so I went home and took a nap. Domino was all over me. I'm not sure if she knew I wasn't feeling well or if she was pissed I had not given her some treats.

Managed to actually sleep about an hour and a half, which was time to get up and do one little project online and go to rehearsals.

First music rehearsal, we pounded out my two solo numbers (one ends up as a duet) both of which are fast an tongue twisters. I'm closer now to being able to imagine actually doing this on stage without a script. But not quite there yet.

Coming home was an adventure because there is some mega-thing at the Hindu temple on the corner, they have almost zero parking, and they drive like they are in Mumbai. Took me 15 minutes to go the last two blocks. Police had a car parked at the beginning of the block, but were doing nothing to try to direct traffic. The temple had not done the neighborly thing of telling us about this big event, which won't be over till 6:30 tomorrow morning.

Home, the model from my last shoot asked my FB name so she could post one of my photos of her on her page. She posted it, but didn't tag. Not a problem because she posted one with my signature on it. It was a pose which they call "implied" which means from what you can see you may imply she is naked, but she may not be. In this case she was, and it would be pretty tough from that pose to argue she had anything on. But none of the censorable bits show.

Got Janice's new remote programmed, in time for her 70th b'day party Sunday.


Plans for tomorrow:
Depends on the weather. They are predicting horrendous winds and rain, and I may decide to WFH where we have underground wiring, culverts and are two feet above the ground.
Celebrate the end of Black History Month

Tradeoffs

Nov. 28th, 2013 12:33 am
howeird: (Default)
Worked from home this morning, was able to finish two online classes before it was time to pack up Kaan and bring him to the Humane Society. The call it "surrender" but I prefer "recycle".

I will miss him. He is by far the most affectionate cat I have ever owned. Also the fastest, strongest, best jumper (had to shoo him off the top of the piano last night) and the only one who ever played fetch.

But balancing that out, Domino hated him at first sight. In his efforts to befriend Domino, he ended up bullying and terrorizing her. Lately his way of trying to get her to play with him was to take a running start from a room away, and leapfrog her.  When she went into her hidy hole, he would park himself in front of it. He would also block the bedroom door, keeping her out.

I had to keep the bedroom door closed at night because he would wake me at 6 am to play fetch. Or when I was asleep he would curl up against my back so I couldn't roll over. But I will miss him curling up by my head, or in the crook of my arm when I was in the recliner watching TV. And I will miss his head butts.

I'm sure he will be adopted quickly. When I brought him to the Humane Society HQ, they said the Sunnyvale branch where I had adopted him had requested he be sent to them again. They missed him.

I was hungry and hypo so I stopped off at IHOP for lunch. They have lost their touch making the multigrain & nut pancakes. They don't hold together. Used to.
At work I fired up the webcam app and saw that Domino had reclaimed the recliner.


And when I got home, she pwned me


She was on my lap or the arm of the recliner most of the time I was sitting there. As usual she sat in front of my while I ate dinner, staring at me. :-(

Her evening dose of kitty crack went mostly uneaten, probably because there was no Kaan to keep it away from.

Stopped off at Lowe's on the way home, spent about $400, mostly on three electronic keypad deadbolt door locks. One of them will be returned if the re-keying kit they gave me works with the one keypad lock already in the new house.

Bought some Goof-off for helping remove the Jesus sticker (I don't think anyone in CA sells lighter fluid anymore, [livejournal.com profile] lemmozine), and some plastic wood in case I need to drill new holes for the out-of-alignment strike plate. And a combination lock for the missing one on the small shed. I need to look into having those sheds removed and a new one installed. Major $$, though.

I am so sad for one of my team mates. He is a new dad, and lived in a motel for a couple of months while his wife was with her family having the baby, while he scouted out a new apartment. His biggest complaint about the old one was the noise (it overlooked the expressway & freeway). He says the new apartment is worse. :-(

Plans for tomorrow:
New house:
Drop off the rent check
Take "before" photos
Remove the Jesus sticker
Paint over the Jesus calligraphy
Install two of the keypad door locks, and their accompanying dummy door knobs
Try to re-key the third door. Replace the keypad if that doesn't work
Check to see if the satellite dish has been removed
Put a lock on the small shed
Take "after" photos
Back to the apartment, bake a pair of turkey legs, make dressing. Maybe buy an onion somewhere for that.
Watch some football
howeird: (Obama)
Obama decided to announce today that he supposes it's okay for men to marry men and women to marry women. I'm going to take off my CynicMan costume for a moment and say it is a lovely sentiment, one with which I completely agree.

He presents me with some semantic difficulties, because with most people who have been brainwashed into a fundamentalist Christian belief system, one would call them born-again. But he was not born a Christian. His mother was a humanist, his father Muslim. As was his step-father. He was mostly raised as a free thinker. His brainwasher, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, despite his other faults, was well known for being a a strong voice against sexism and homophobia.

One would think he has been at least neutral on the subject for most of his life. A puzzlement.

What bothers me about the announcement is it came the day after North Carolina voted to ban gay marriage. And way too late to influence California voters on Prop 8, which is still working its molasses slow way through the court system. And right after he formally launched his presidential campaign.

I'm bothered most because this announcement, 4 years ago, might have led to the repeal of DOMA, when the Democrats owned Congress.

But that's all water under the bridge. He's come out of the closet. Let's see if he takes the next step and assumes a leadership role on this subject. 
howeird: (Lazar)
This post was inspired by a tangent on [livejournal.com profile] smallship1's pages, which did not need to be further cluttered up with my nostalgia.

As a musician raised as a practicing Jew and avid choir member, I was steeped in the concept of most religious music being in a minor key. I sang in Hebrew, and while I never gained fluency in the language, the cantor was thorough about making sure we knew what each word of each song/prayer meant. I mention this because I know some folks who know the sounds but not the meaning, whether it be Hebrew or Latin.

I went to a public school, and was not in chorus, mostly because I played trumpet in the band, which was at the same time as chorus, as if they were separate religions. Unfortunately, this made me think for a long time that my singing was just something I did at Temple, and my real music was with the band.

But I digress. Since I went to a public school in suburban NY, every concert was just before school break, which meant Easter tunes at spring break and Christmas tunes at winter break. End of the school year was all secular. We also played Jewish tunes, mostly thanks to my mother, who helped organize the PTA, which had a large percentage of Jewish members, and lobbied the school board - or maybe just the local administrator - to represent all religions in the concerts which were represented at school. At the time this meant Js and Cs. There were no Muslims or Hindus or Pastafarians - there well may be now.

Long story longer, playing Easter and Christmas tunes in the band was always uncomfortable for me. We chose the popular ones, the ones everyone knows the words to. And though I was only playing the music, the lyrics would be in my head. I had mixed feelings about the Jewish songs, because although it was fun to actually know a tune some of the other band members didn't, a school concert was not the place to be playing them.



I said all of that to tell you this story:
Many moons ago I worked for HP, my job was to support recipients of grants. I worked for six very high-powered research scientists, and one of them was from Mainland China. He was the audio expert, very proud of his new car with Infinity speakers and a high-end cassette player. He popped a tape into the machine just as we pulled out of the parking lot and wanted me to listen to this beautiful music. He was in love with the music, and it was a thrill for him to hear it played with such good fidelity.

It was beautiful. The audio was first rate. The orchestra excellent. When it was over, he raved about what great music it was, and I was at a loss how to reply. The tune was Ave Maria. It was quite a WTF, because he was not Christian, and he had no idea this was religious music. I could not get the words out of my head, even though this was an instrumental.

There is some irony here, because the reason I knew the words is my mother loved Nelson Eddy's voice, and it was on both an LP and a 78 of his which she played from time to time.

Processing

Apr. 16th, 2012 12:15 am
howeird: (BKK Gargoyle)
The weather was wonderful, so I made the trip across the bay to Wat Buddhanusorn and the Thai Songkhran festival. Got there at 9:30 and it was already packed - snagged the second to last parking spot in the back lot. Not long ago, being that early would have meant a prime place in the front lot. My boss was early enough to snag one of those.

Everything was on Thai time, which means "whenever", and they scrambled the order of performances quite a bit. The place got more crowded than I have ever seen it, food lines were forever, and not easy to tell which line was for what. And no places to sit. at. all. Very difficult to secure a place to take photos, unless you wanted to sit on the cement. Or, like boss, are 6' +. I got some good shots, but found that all this time my camera had somehow set itself to lighten every frame by 1 f-stop. This happens often, I'm not sure how. It's supposed to take two hands to make that change.

So I'm running all 300 or so pix through Photoshop batch command to decrease brightness by 50%. It will make a handful too dark, but it's easier to fix a few by hand than a couple of hundred.

I stayed for the dove release, which I had rushed to after scoring a roti (the dessert kind with sweetened condensed milk and sugar). Photos of the doves were taken with a large patch of my shirt sticky, and some also on the viewfinder protector, and the camera strap. And my left hand. After the doves I found some water and got the camera and my hand clean, but the shirt had dried on.
 
Read more... )
At 2 pm I tried once more for food, but it was still a long long wait and I was tired and my knees hurt, so after checking out the kids' water fight (which was not as massive as it usually is), I bailed. The real water fight didn't start, judging from boss' Flickr set, till 4:30.

Found the nearest Starbucks, which got me the use of a restroom, out of the sun,  and some calories.

On the drive home my eyes were not enjoying staying open, and I remembered that when I woke up at 7 after going to sleep at 1, I had promised myself a nap after the temple doings. Home at 4:30, asleep by 5, for 2.5 hours.

Decided I owed myself dinner out, headed for The Armenian Gourmet. It is not open. It may be permanently not open. Next tried nearby Barn Thai, but they don't do weekends, apparently. Then to Pat Thai, which was open, I had half a duck and seafood, but it was closing time so I got that boxed up and a mango and sticky rice to go. Took those home, reheated the duck & seafood, and finished dinner.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Burlesque meetup in silly valley (I forget where)
howeird: (Default)

A not-early day at work, the overnight test passed, as did the follow-up one using one of our torture streams from Belgium. This was one of those days of difficult tests, where I spent as much time trying to decode what was supposed to be tested for as running the actual test. One of those was a test I'd run in 2009, in which I had documented the results well, but not the method of running the test. I had to ask the resident super-genius for a clue, and he figured it out - I was doing everything right but I was using the wrong kind of video input hardware. The test failed to mention that it only worked if the source was an IP multicast, not if it was coming in on a coax cable. The whole day was like that, but I figured all the other ones for myself.

Lunch was at KFC, and that will be my last trip there for the year unless I do take-out. Constant stream of heavily religious Jesus music. They were tuned to KBAY:
Do You Hear What I Hear
Up On the Housetop
(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
Silver Bells
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Deck the Halls
Do They Know It's Christmas?
Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Holly Jolly Christmas
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
LAST CHRISTMAS
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
People who like this song:
Angels
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
Do You Hear What I Hear?
Feliz Navidad
The First Noel
Little Drummer Boy
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
Winter Wonderland
Sleigh Ride
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
My Grown Up Christmas List
Frosty the Snowman
Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer
I'll Be Home for Christmas

From their web site playlist for the time I was waiting to order, waiting for my order, and trying to eat. A shame, I like the food, lots of choices, clean place with real chairs at most of the tables, and occasional eye candy.

After work it was time to brave the stupid traffic on Lawrence Expressway. They seriously need to change the timing of the lights for rush hour. And it would be nice if CalTrans or whomever is in charge of the diamond lanes visited a proctologist and put the commuter lane somewhere other than the right-most lane. It is a royal PITA to have to try to move through standing still traffic to get one lane over. Not to mention how not-fast traffic is in that lane at every intersection.

All that to get to Lucky's for paper plates, stuffing mix, breathe-right strips, an Ace bandage and ice cream.

I was tempted to go to the Starbucks there, since the car trunk was cold enough to keep the ice cream frozen, but then I remembered they are all about Jesus too. Probably way crowded what with finals week, anyway.

So, home, fed the cats, and here I am.


Last night's curtain hang was a FAIL. the allegedly thermal protection curtains are way thin - I could see the outside lights through them, with the blinds closed. And the gaffer tape did not stick well to the panel I'd put on the patio door. That curtain is pretty light-proof, I just need to affix it differently. 

A thought struck me that I have always liked Thai silk curtains. Went online and checked out a place I have been a few times, Thai Silks in Los Altos, but they only have the bolts of cloth, and I'm not set up to build curtains from raw materials. Not that I can sew a straight line. Some more looking kept bringing me back to Half Price Drapes. The descriptions were not as clear as I would like, not because there was anything wrong with the description but because since the last time I shopped for silk the terminology has changed. Used to be heavyweight Thai Silk was this lovely shiny stuff with lots of texture, because it's not really possible to spin it tightly. At least not by hand, which is the way most of the good stuff is done. But that textured look is now called something else, and what is called Thai silk is closer to Japanese silk, more finely spun and tightly woven. Okay, I asked myself, where is this place? Turns out it is in Livermore and it is open Saturdays. So I will take a field trip. I may not be able to afford a 100W84L curtain in that stuff, but maybe something will be on sale.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
???

howeird: (Default)
Got to do some actual work today. Plucked some test cases from the newly-reset database and ran a couple. Two co-workers went home with colds.:-(

Lunch was at Denny's, kind of by mistake. I decided to drive down a road where I'd seen an off-brand gas station on the theory that where there is gas there is food. But there wasn't, and the road made a 90° turn to El Camino, and heading back toward work got me to Denny's. Had the Senior chicken fried steak, which was pretty good, and < $10.

Petco had sent me a notice that they had shipped the package of 6 litterbox refills which I had canceled after they missed the previous 2 shipments. So I called Fedex and told them to send them back. They sent the notice Sunday, but the package didn't actually get out their door until today. When I called, it was still sitting at Fedex in LA , about 3 miles from the Petco warehouse. 

The Christmas/winter decorations are up all over the place at work, and it is really disgusting how much of them there are, but very impressive how quickly they were set up. After work I went to a party store and got a cardboard palm tree and a couple of paper leis, which will be replacing the xmas stockings which were stuck on the outside of my cubicle.

There's a Safeway next door to the party store, so I picked up a handful of items which I'd forgotten the other day.

Fed the cats, swapped out the 2nd litterbox even though it didn't quite need it, and here I am at the tool of satan.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Figure out a way to not attend the lunchtime holiday party in the break room, surrounded by Christmas trees and other highly denominational and asininely wintry decorations.
Oh wait, looking at the Moto calendar, the party is the 15th, and I have my sleep apnea appointment that afternoon. Easy enough to take a half day off.
howeird: (Lazar)
Having been brought up to fast on this day, and having thrown those shackles aside, I feel like wishing an easy fast to my friends who still cling to those beliefs is about as helpful as throwing an anchor to a drowning person.

My friends and family know I always wish the best for them, regardless of the time of year, the phase of the moon, or the color of the sky on their home planet.
howeird: (Default)

The x-posting can of wyrms LJ just opened is not a huge concern for me. I don't link outside the box, except my own stuff, and rarely even that.

But a bit about how I see the three sites:

LJ is a journal site. I use it to write about myself, what I think and what I'm up to. It's for me. I would like to make all my posts public, but sometimes I will make a post friends-only if it is about work foo or theater foo. I have been known to make a post custom locked so I can talk about something which a friend or two don't need to hear right now.

Facebook is a social networking site. Originally I signed up because hundreds of my theater friends are active there, and they post calendar events letting me know when they are performing and when there are auditions. And it's an easy way to keep in touch. They are mostly not on LJ because they are mostly computer lightweights. In addition, I have family in England whom I love dearly, and they are on FB. It's a closer connection than I get with individual email. Also, I have assorted long-distance cousins, a sister and a nephew I keep track of there.

Twitter is mostly a joke.  I rarely post anything there, but I do monitor two of my local radio stations, CNN, NASA Ames and many of the astronauts, a handful of celebrities and Olympic gold medalists, and the Pacific Science Center's daily calendar item. I have been known to go for days between logging on.

Dreamwidth has a clever name, and I signed up very early. I spent maybe two weeks before it was clear they did not offer anything better than FB, and where Frank The Goat gives updates on features, specials and contests, DW tells its users what kind of code debugging they are doing, and why something didn't get done because after the dog ate it, he had to be taken to the vet.

howeird: (Default)
Some LJ friends have been discussing what makes one a Christian, and are expressing alarm that some very vocal self-professed Christians are vehemently against same-sex marriage. I was raised in a Conservative/Orthodox Jewish household, and can point you to the passages in the Torah (aka Old Testament) which declare same-sex intercourse to be punishable by death, but it's been 30 years since I read the Gospels, and frankly can't remember if Jesus or his gang of 12 ever said anything either way about same-sex sex. If anyone can enlighten me, I'd appreciate it.

And no, I'm not talking about generic "love everyone" missives, I'm talking about lines which are as explicit as the ones in Leviticus.

AdvThanksance
howeird: (Satan Claus)

I'll be on the Amtrak Coast Starlight tonight and most of tomorrow, which will take me out of the realm of Christmas. I'll regret missing some of the football games, but not the inane commercials, of which there will be about twice as many as there are during the regular season.

My favorite two Christmases were 1975 and 76, when I was living in Buddhist Thailand. It's all messed up now, with malls going ape with the winter decorations, but back then there was only one department store in the country which catered to farangs, and they didn't do Christmas.

Many of my readers know the truth about the winter holiday, which goes something like this:

- Jesus was born around April or May. It's very easy to trace this based on the description in the New Testament of which holiday Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem for, and matching it with the Old Testament's very detailed descriptions of tithing holidays. Bethlehem, for those who joined us late, is a suburb of Jerusalem.

- It may snow in Jerusalem every 20 years or so. Bethlehem, which is down the hill a ways, gets even less snow.

- Fir trees are not indigenous to Bethlehem

- There may have been fireplaces in Bethlehem in Jesus' day, but they were for baking bread, Bethlehem is Hebrew for "house of bread". No yule logs...

- The Messiah is supposed to being world peace. 2,000 years after Jesus was born, there has always been a war going on somewhere.

I could go on for days, but I'm only posting this to establish my basic bah humbugging. Comments disabled - you can post your own views on your own sites.

howeird: (Default)
Maybe it's because I was raised Orthodox Jewish, and maybe it's because I read both Testaments and the Koran in college, and maybe it's because my Medieval History minor was based on researching the Children's Crusades, and maybe it's because I lived in a Buddhist country for almost three years followed by Israel for half a year. Or maybe it's because I'm just an old curmudgeon. Bottom line is I hate Christmas, can't stand Jesus music, and I'd rather have my fingernails pulled out one by one while being waterboarded by a sadistic Abu Ghraib guard with a dog leash and a strap-on than go to a "holiday" party. That includes allegedly multi-denominational/non-denominational parties because, after all, we atheists don't have holy days, hence no celebration thereof.

The intellectual argument )

Playboy used to run the incomparable Gahan Wilson's cartoons full-page, full-color. One of my favorites from, I think, the 60's showed a crowd of people dressed in hooded robes worshipping a sign which said "Nothing". A person not dressed for worship is talking to one of the robed ones, and the caption is "Is Nothing sacred?"

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