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 [ 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  

    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.


Mar. 1st, 2014 12:09 am
howeird: (Default)
Slept well, no lows, got to work okay. Mostly continued the usual stuff there. Lunch with the gang, we poked our heads into the Philippine place, but (a) our resident Filipino was not impressed and (b) there was noplace for 5 people to sit. Went to Sushi Blvd instead, which is usually jam packed, but they were half empty. Had a bento box.

Home after work, the Thai flag was fine but the US flag had wrapped itself around the pole 4 times. I thought I had fixed that. Grrr. Grabbed the rent check and drove over to the community center and put it in the slot. Usually I walk there but tonight it was raining and blustery. While I was there I turned on the lamps in the billiard room, and played a horrible game of 8-ball which I lost by scratching on the 8-ball. We have a table at work now, but if I racked up on that there would be vultures in minutes. I'm not very good, I don't want to play 4-somes, which is what always manages to happen.

Back home, caught up on FB. Used my laptop, partly to charge it and partly to update Windows and Norton.

The last model friended me and tagged my photo. The one I took of her. Somewhat NSW so I'll hide it behind the cut )

Also proved the power of social networking:Way TMI ) In short, I helped two of my friends connect and find a theater internship for a deserving daughter. Yay!

Yesterday I was looking for a photo of a cousin when he was about 5 to embarrass him with, went through a ziplock bag full of photos where I thought this one was, but it wasn't. Instead I found a handfull of old pix with me in them, which I just scanned. It looks like I had something going with one of the violinists in the Fiddler on the Roof show I was in in Sunnyvale a long time ago. She's an FB friend but she rarely posts, possibly because she works for a FB app company. I wonder where I went wrong? Probably didn't follow up after the show was done.

Plans for tomorrow:
Photo shoot at 11
Little Shop of Horrors at Foothill College at 8
Stop off at Fry's somewhere in there to get a replacement power brick for my laptop (the one I keep at home died)
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
howeird: (Default)
But it isn't, yet. It is one of those weeks when I have zerozipzilch in the evenings but way too many things I want to be doing on the weekend. Saturday there's a photo walk meetup in Capitola, which I will only go to if it's not raining, and even then it may be a stretch because at 3 we get our scripts and read/sing through Little Shop and at 6:30 in deepest darkest southern San Jose there's the annual meeting of the San Jose Astronomical Assn. which I just joined. I'm guessing I'll be late and must remember to put something in the car for the potluck.
Friday night has been announced as a Bad Movie Night at the home of a couple of long time theater friends, by the husband, but his wife announced it as Saturday. If it is Friday I'll be there, Saturday probably not.
Work was more data entry, for a feature I was assigned yesterday. Tomorrow will be another feature. Something called Teletext, which is a European TV standard from the bad old days, the PAL version of closed captioning, except not just subtitles but it can also blank out whatever is playing and fill the screen with ugly HUGE ASCII text of different colors overlaid on bands of contrasting colored background bands.

Barf-worthy. The example video I have on my machine is in German, so I can sort of read it.
Straight home after toying with a making side trip to see some women interacting with a tall metal cylander bolted to the stage.
Domino kept yelling at me until I sat in the recliner and she jumped up on my lap. Then she head-butted my tummy so I petted her. She allowed that to happen for about 2 minutes, and then she was done with me.
I took a shot at starting to build a POI table from scratch with Google maps, but it is very tedious. I think I'll just do it the old fashioned way and enter addresses into the unit by hand as needed.
I am pretty well done with the overpriced in-dash Kenwood DNX890HD. It regularly reboots the iPod, doesn't show me all the backup camera views, wipes out all my settings and points of interest whenever I update the firmware and the map is 5 years old though it claims to be current. Tomorrow I think I'll talk to the folks at the Toyota place where I didn't buy the car and find out what it would cost to have the OEM unit installed. I can sell the Kenwood for a lot on eBay, probably come out even or close to it.
Time to bleed on a test strip, shoot up and create dinner. And unload the dishwasher and hang up the laundry from Monday.
Plans for tomorrow:
More boring data entry
Costco, pick up the 10 poster board photos I ordered for the Contact 2014 art display. I missed last year because with NASA Ames bulldozing their conference center, the conference was moved to LA. This year it is back here, at SETI the first day and the St. Claire Hotel the rest of the weekend.
howeird: (Default)

Went to bed way early (10-ish) and woke up at 7:30 and was at work by 8:30. Finished the script I was almost done with Friday, and then a circuit board for one of my old model machines, which has been keeping me from verifying a bug for about a month, arrived. Shifted the memory chips from the old to the new, popped it into the machine and it came right up.

Spent most of the rest of the work day messing with that.

Called Audio Design, told the installer the camera was not giving me all the views, he said to tap the top of the screen for one view. Tried that before heading for lunch, it didn't work. Something is wrong, the setup won't let me access the four views. I'll bring it in to them Saturday.

Lunch was supposed to be Thai food with Celine at Toyota, but she did what I was afraid she would do, she invited two other people, both salespeople, one semi-handsome but brainless guy and a fairly plain married woman. We did some palm reading. Turns out Celine knows more palmistry than I do by a lot. 

Instead of Thai food we walked to Pollo Loco, but the line was out the door so we went to Subway instead. Yuck.

Back at Toyota I gave the parts person the backup camera, she will see about some sort of refund, but I'm not too concerned.

After work there were some meds to pick up at UPS, and peanut butter to buy at Trader Joe's. I didn't think I would, but I like their natural style PNB, especially as a celery dip. And a snack right out of the jar.

Home, just enough time to change shirts and go to BASFA. not a heavily attended meeting, but the rude people were rude at first, finally settled down. Except for D, who was tipsy (probably from a memorial service she had gone to prior). She usually manages to be rude without adding alcohol.

I got in a couple of good puns, did not win the Dr. Who UK postage stamps in the auction. :-( Or the Gojira trailers DVD.

After the meeting [ profile] johnnyeponymous posted on FB that a long-time acquaintance and someone I admired greatly, Hugh Daniel, died earlier in the day. Apparently natural causes (not surprising, Hugh was a mountain of a man, probably a heart attack waiting to happen).  I'm not sure how old he was, probably in his 50's or late 40's. I am pretty sure I first met him when I was working at Televideo, 1986, he was a little older than college age at the time. He was charming, personable, his thing at sci-fi conventions was to show kids how electronic things worked by taking them apart. Sometimes he had adult versions of his Dr. Destructo routine. It surprised me to learn later he was a computer/network security expert back when there weren't any. Anyhow, very sad he is gone, many many people will miss him. I don't think I have any photos of him doing the Destructo thing, but here he is regency dancing with [ profile] targeter:

Plans for tomorrow:

Not MyKea

May. 30th, 2013 10:53 pm
howeird: (The Gov - Arms Wide)
Spent the work day expanding my script to look at 4 video programs instead of just one. tcl's inane syntax bites.

Lunchtime took me to Michelle's Nail Spa, this time I had an appointment. Glad I did, the place was packed. Michelle is a cutie, and runs the place well. There was some serious eye candy at the manicure stations, both giving and receiving.

Next stop was Toyota, I brought Celine (sales rep) a bag of Lindt truffles and one of my 2013 calendars. She was happy to have presents, and we made a lunch date for Thai food Monday. :-)

Rebecca was also there, she promised to look into the refund which had not arrived in my Discover account yet, and I read her palm as I'd promised. I also read Celine's. Simplest of readings, life, brain, heart and travel  lines.

Picked up a package at UPS, the Kenwood backup camera.

Back to work, at 4 there was a meeting with the IT people who are re-designing the lab. We have more equipment coming, and they need to do a better job of managing what we have. We used to have a lab manager of sorts, but he wasn't very organized and was let go when Google bought Motorola.

One of our team has a talent for making meetings last longer than they ought to by about 50%. :-(

Left work with one last try at today's code running. To be continued.

Home after work, measured the hodgepodge of plastic drawers which are in the office closet. Time to organize that stuff better, and get new containers which are not bent under their own weight. They have moved so many times...

In the drawers are mostly tools, printer paper (T-shit press-ons, biz card blanks, greeting card blanks, labels, etc.) and office supplies. The bottom drawers of the two cabinets have heavy tools, and are very hard to open.

Went to Ikea, and found nothing in their top floor room displays, while I was up there I had dinner - Swedish meatballs. Went downstairs and found some not-quites. Either they were too wide or the drawers were mesh. Not good to store screwdrivers, nails and such.

Home, went online, Walmart has some possibles. I may head there this weekend. Depends on logistics.

The plan is to call Audio Designs and try to make an appointment for Saturday morning to get the current camera uninstalled and the new on installed. If that doesn't happen I'll shop instead. Avenue Q at Bus Barn Theater Saturday night.

Plans for tomorrow:
Call Audio Designs
Call Rebeccah, tell her the refund finally showed up
CalTrain to Redwood City for round two of Sexbot 2600 at The Dragon
howeird: (OMGWTFBBQ)
First full day of Conflikt, I was up and dressed just in time for the 11 am lunch. IMHO if it's before noon it isn't lunch. And this wasn't much of one. Salad buffet, pasta salad, sandwiches, soup. I plucked a tuna salad croissant from the pile, poured my own clam chowder because the server deserted her post to help a filker who was carrying food for three or more people.

Found a place at a table with 3 others, I think they seated 8 and eventually we had 5. I wanted to sit with some friends, but there was a baby there. We are talking baby too young to talk, but not too young to squeal. Maybe a year old. Maybe. The clam chowder was delicious until I came to a piece of shell and some rubber bits. The tuna salad tried valiantly to escape its prison, but somehow I kept it off my shirt.

There were many babies and children too young to be in a concert venue. They made a lot of noise, ran around, and their parents should be ashamed of themselves. Much applause to [ profile] hsifyppah, who stayed home with her baby last year, and braved the con without him this year. And a slap on the wrist to concom for not making any arrangements to keep the children out of the concert hall.

There also seem to be more transvestites here than usual, I think I've seen 4. Three of them very tall for men, let alone women. Just an observation, not  a value judgment.

Once again the sound check process made everything late.

First concert today was Toronto's Heather Dale, who had Ben Deschamps mostly on guitar, and had gotten the incredibly talented cellist Betsy Tinney to join her. Heather is amazing, she has so much fun singing and playing music. Recorder, tin whistle, keyboard, lovely voice. I laughed a lot, especially when her pied piper conspiracy song ended with half the audience following her around the room. She made me cry twice, the most with a song about a French orphan girl who accepts a dowry from the King to go to Quebec and marry. The song is told fro the standpoint of a sailor on the ship carrying her to the New World, and of course ends with him proposing to her.

Some time after I went back to her table and bought the CD it was on, and I asked her if she knew the Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy musical Naughty Marietta, which has a French orphan girl with dowry going to New Orleans. She hadn't, so I told her a bit about the show. I expect she'll find a copy to watch. She is even more charming in person.

Next up were Interfilk guests Bob & Sue Esty, both on harps. Not my kind of music, I bailed after the 2nd tune.

Back in time for the Interfilk auction, where a "somewhat borked" music recorder which I thought I might snag for $50 went for > $200 as many of the musicians offered to record a piece on it if the bid was $xxx. By itself, worth maybe $100, with those recordings, priceless.

After my dark chocolate salmon sold for $45, it was time to head for the light rail. Got off at International District station, walked a couple of blocks toward the restaurant when I heard my name being called. It took me a while to triangulate it, and [ profile] susandennis was there to lead us to Ho Ho Seafood. Got a seat right away, the waitress gave us a grand tour of the menu, but I was decided as soon as she said New Year special - lobster is the same price as fish. So we got lobster in black bean sauce with ginger, and Susan added a beef dish.

We chatted like old friends, which we are, kind of. Susan found me in an LJ search about 5 years ago and "friended" me, so I jokingly think of her as my stalker, since at the time all my LJ friends were people I had met. I friended her back and we have read each other's journals since then.

The food was delicious, the service excellent, and we had a great time. I took a photo of us (2 really) with the camera GPS's remote shutter release, I'll upload those when I get home to a real internet connection. Watch this space.

I totally forgot I'd brought one of my calendars to give her. Oh well.

She walked me back to the light rail tunnel, it was about 15 minutes before a train arrived. Back to the con just in time to hear the last three numbers by the GoHs Jeff & Maya Bohnhoff. They were spectacular as always, standing O, encore.

Waited around for open filk, but babies. OMGWTF?

So here I am in the bar, finishing off a quart bottle of sparkling water. There's no wi-fi and no Verizon signal at all in the convention center, huge-assed FAIL.

Also, in order to get from the hotel to the con, you have to walk outside under a covered walkway - covered but totally outdoors, so windy and wet and freezing-  up some stairs, up an elevator and to the end of the hall. No free wi-fi in the hotel rooms, just in the lobby & bar.

Bottom line - I won't be back next year.

Plans for tomorrow:
Lots of music to listen to
Lunch with [ profile] lemmozine
Meet my sister & her husband for dinner at 13 coins

Part Two

Nov. 22nd, 2012 01:07 am
howeird: (Default)
Went home after work, had just enough time to put return address labels on the calendar envelopes, and see that I need to update my address mailmerge spreadsheet and doc.

Drove to Mountain View, usually this is a half hour drive at 6:15 pm, but there was little traffic and I only hit about 5% of the red lights. I was there at 6:30 for a 7 pm date.

This was a date with a purpose. And old usenet friend (we met online in 1989, and have been friends ever since). I had told her I liked the chicken-fried steak at Denny's and she said I had to try it at Chili's. We both ordered it, and in 15 minutes the waiter brought something which looked great, but when I cut into it, it was a chicken  breast. FAIL. He tried to make excises, but my answer was "steak is steak, whether you call it country-fried or chicken-fried". Idiot. Both of use went through the menu, and what he had brought us was not even on it. FAIL x 2.

In another 10 minutes he brought us replacement dishes, and yes, that was steak-like substance in there, but it was a rush job, the breading was all bubbly and had been cooked in burnt oil. Mine was all gristle, I only ate half of it before giving up. The corn on the cob on a stick was also very chewy. Mashed potatoes were good, the gravy was thin and looked a lot like Ranch dressing, though it tasted like gravy.

It was my friend's treat, for my birthday last week, and she paid with a gift card, so I didn't complain. On top of the slow and stupid service, the place is LOUD.

Home, redid my address data and labels, watched an episode of The Mentalist  (now I am only 4 behind) and stuffed envelopes.

Which is when I noticed there was none for my UK cousins, who are second on my data list. Word messed up and started the merge at #3.

While I was at it I subtracted one person who is entitled  postcards from my trips but not a calendar, and added a newly found Peace Corps pal, redid the doc and printed 5 pages of labels.

So now all the ones I plan on mailing are ready to go, but the PO is closed tomorrow and I'll be out of town till Sunday night. So Monday. Which is fine, nobody needs one before late December.

Plans for tomorrow:
Sleep in
T-day dinner at lunch time at the brother of a long time QA friend and fellow iconoclast. Brother lives in the same complex as my usenet friend, next building over.
Pack for my trip
howeird: (Both Ends + Middle)
I slept really well last night. Got up once at about 6 am, then at 9. Sundays the alarm is at 9:30, with a folk guitar podcast on the Internet radio. It's getting old, I may change it back to one of the Thai music radio stations.

Domino yelled at me for a while, then jumped up on the bed and head-butted my arm for a while. I turned on the TV and watched pre-football and a little bit of football, I had nowhere to be till 3 pm. Played on the computer, explored some sites which I used to visit regularly, and saw why I stopped.

Opened the piano, played some of the tunes I was thinking of auditioning with. Old Man River has been getting old. But How To Handle a Woman started too high and got higher, I can't sing the top 3 notes anymore;  My Way is fine until the climax, which is too high in the music I have (Elvis and Sinatra both used this arrangement); What Kind Of Fool Am I gets too high too quickly, and I don't really know the words to Fine, Fine Line or This Nearly Was Mine.

Watched some of the Raiders game, grabbed the book with Old Man River and my theater resume, and headed for the Lyric Theatre warehouse aka rehearsal hall near SJO. It's a really convenient location for me, a straight shot down Central from both the new apartment and work. My appointment was for 3, I was there at 2:30. They took my picture and printed onto the application form which already had all my particulars (I had entered them online when I made the reservation), checked a couple of boxes, answered some questions (my only conflict with rehearsals is Conflikt), signed on the line, and hnded it back to the itinerant registration worker. She stapled it to my resume and handed it back to me with a page of "sides" - and said I could choose any of them as my cold reading, went into the Green Room and waited for 15 minutes for my time to arrive.

This gave me a lot of time to get nervous. Two lovely women came in for their appointments right after mine, which helped.

Called downstairs to the vast empty warehouse from the green room above, the dais was populated with familiar faces, except one. I think she's the assistant choreographer. The producers, stage director/choreographer, music director and accompanist are all people I have worked with before.

Found the black X on the floor about a mile from the dais, gave the accompanist my music and showed him where to stop playing, back the X and sang my number. I think it went very well, I was a little tentative on one of the ending notes but diaphragm support saved me. Then I read a paragraph from the sheet, which was supposed to be a speech by the mayor to the whole town. I used my stage public address voice. The director asked me to make it bigger. Imagine 10,000 people. This didn't work the way the side was written, so I asked and he agreed that the HUGE VOICE came after a line which was an aside to the person next to me. Anyhow, I don't know where it came from, but it sounded a lot like Charlton Heston in The 10 Commandments.

On my way out I let the director know about my torn meniscus, so he would understand just how non-dancer I'll be for the show. He thinks I may be healed by then, but I doubt it. It would not prevent me from being cast in any of the Old Fart roles.

I was pleased with the audition, and don't care if I'm called back or make the show. It would be nice to work with these people.

I was out of there by 3:10, and my coffee date was not till 5, so I drove to Walmart in search of shelves or plkastic drawer sets or something to replace the linen cabinet missing from the new apartment. Autopilot took me to Costco, but I turned right around and got going in the right direction, an saw that The Milk Pail was on the way, so I stopped in there for some French goat an sheep brie-like cheeses, was reminded they don't sell sourdough baguettes, but as I was heading for the cash register there was a basket of nice ripe large limes. 16 for a dollar! Usually they are 50 cents each. I bought 8. My cashier was a gorgeous Scandinavian woman, about 25, who was very cheerful and bantered well. She was not banded.

Then Walmart, but that was a FAIL, they already have converted the garden section into a Christmas store, and the aisles are piled 7' high with boxes plastic wrapped together which either need to be hauled to storage or shelved. Hard to tell which. I didn't see anything which would work for shelf space.

To Starbucks, there was nowhere to sit inside, but it was 80° outside and no one was smoking, so I grabbed a table there. It was 4:30, Janice showed up a little before 5, which was a surprise. She told me a lot about her adventures in China where she had spent the last 3 weeks on a tour. There were three nurses on the tour, and she needed all of them. Petite mal seizure climbing the steps to a temple in Tibet. Tripped on the step leaving a squat toilet and mashed up her arm. And something else I forgot. But she did get to Tibet (which was iffy when she left) and she also saw the panda preserve.

It got cold and breezy about the time she had to leave, so I headed off to the Target store, found something which will work for storage, a welcome mat, mint Klondike bars, and breathsavers, but  did not find a  non-glass butter dish. I'd left mine in the fridge at the old apartment.

After I put stuff in the trunk, the phone rang and it was a contract recruiter congratulating me on my new job in San Mateo. Huh? After I told her I',m not that guy and am happy in my work she wanted to keep chatting. Data mining. I don't know how she ignored the noise in the parking lot, but she kept chatting for 20 minutes. I finally decided the Klondike bars had melted enough and told her goodbye.

Home, unloaded the car, had to spray Domino a few times to get her out from being hit by the fridge door. Was disappointed that there was no Sunday Night Football. Decided dinner would be pasta shells with beef frank slices in a sea of creamy goat cheese, but in the end the cheese turned all crumbly. Tasted great, but the texture was all wrong.

Checked my DNA test progress at NatGeo, they received the samples and have begun testing. 4 weeks and I may have an answer.

Plans for tomorrow:
BASFA if football becomes a boring pitchers' duel


Nov. 19th, 2011 12:22 am
howeird: (Dr. Howeird)
It was a medical morning. The plan was to get to Kaiser at 9 for a fasting blood glucose test, get my blood pressure checked and recorded, then attend a 10 o'clock group physical therapy session for the kneedy.

Got there at 8:45. Took a number: 92. Now serving #66. Had the needle in my arm at exactly 9 am. Found the blood pressure lady, she is in a corner of the lobby on the other side of the building and she has no connection to Kaiser's system, so though I get a reading, it isn't official. Boo hiss. Ducked into the cafeteria for orange juice and a muffin and took my morning meds, then got to the PT class 5 minutes early, which was late because they had a form to fill out.

Good class, teacher is a young man who obviously has some serious ballet background. Very good presenter, knows his stuff, and had us do a range of isometrics which mostly worked. Actually they all worked except the last one, which was weight-bearing and hurt my knee too much to put on my agenda. Ironically it was a quad stretch which he said I didn't need because that's a very strong and limber muscle in me.

A couple of nit-picks, it took one of the class members three tries for teacher to figure out that he was being asked to describe the physiology of why knees poop out with age. Once he got it, teacher pegged the answer. I was disappointed that he didn't describe any swimming pool exercises. And I need to find out if the exercise room at the apartment is free or if I need to pay extra for it. Need to get on a bike again.

It was a 2-hour class, lots of individual attention. Most of us had issues with our left knees, which makes sense to me if we're all right-handed.

Got to work at about noon, actually had some work to do for an hour, then lunch at IHOP, enjoyed the egg nog pancakes a lot. Back at work, there was a new build and I was able to close one bug which it had fixed.

Email from HR saying I needed to take the Harassment in the Workplace online course again. It is required every two years and the last time I took it was 5 years ago. It is incredibly stupid, and the bottom line is you have to be psychic to know if you are being offensive because it's the other person who decides that. It's to the point where a lot of the friendliness is sucked out of the workplace because you never know when you say something like "nice outfit" he/she will hear "wanna fuck?".  There are three women at work I would love to take to lunch, but there's no way I'm going to ask with the draconian rules Moto has in place. The whole course took 15 minutes, I got 100% right on the test, but only agreed with two of their answers.

Back to my real job, ad hoc testing on software for most of the rest of the day.

Needed windshield washer fluid, cold compresses and an Ace bandage so headed for the nearest Walgreen's, which is in a mostly deserted shopping center which once had a supermarket and some other huge store which turns into a Halloween store each year. There were dozens of kids on bicycles making like the parking lot was their motocross. Almost called 911 to report gang activity, just to be a curmudgeon.

Home, had dinner while watching OK State get put in their place by Iowa State. Both teams played very very well, and it ended in double overtime. It could have ended in regulation if OK's coach hadn't wimped out and gone for a field goal (missed) when they had 4th and 1 on about the 11 with almost 2 minutes left. Or if Iowa hadn't taken a knee with 38 seconds left. Mostly I was pleased to see a lot of good sportsmanship during the game, and after.

Plans for tomorrow:
Model rocket launch at NASA, though with the low clouds and rain forecast, this will probably be canceled
Talk on Mars at NASA in the afternoon
Assemble the second daylight reading lamp and hook it up in the bedroom. I have one here in the study. It sucks as a stand-alone light but is a great enhancement to the off-color CDLs which light the room.

Up 2 Late

Oct. 30th, 2011 12:50 am
howeird: (Default)
Took a long time to write my review on FB of the show I saw tonight. I'll post it here when I finish this.

Busy day today. Walked over to the CU with all the necessary paperwork and tried to open a Living Trust account in which to park the $$ my folks left behind, which are now sitting idle at B of A. They refused. Apparently, a credit union cannot open a Living Trust account if none of the original owners of the trust are still living.

Went from there to Santa Clara Players' 50th birthday party, which was supposed to be from 11 till 3, but when I got there at 11:30 nobody was there except one person minding the food in the historical house a few doors from the theater. A walk to the theater showed a closed door, and I heard people reading lines and some audience reaction. They had started a show by the board members at 11, everyone was in there. I waited till it was over, chatted with a few old friends, was somewhat surprised by how many people I knew did not seem to notice me.

Then there was shopping to be done. Office Max for envelopes to mail the calendars, OSH for rollers, wheels and sliders for some of the heavy stuff in the closets. Also found a nice plastic shelf thing which will do well for my T-shirts. Then to Target for a clock radio. Found exactly what I was looking for in the form of a Memorex 7101 and also got a welcome mat and a set of coat hooks. Then home, cuddle time with the cats and flipping between the Cal-UCLA game and the Stanford-USC game. Got disgusted with both, and turned the TV off. Set up the rack, and the radio. The radio is a piece of crap - it did not get any FM stations at all, no matter what I did with the antenna, and hardly received any of the stronger AM stations. I'll probably return it.

Then off to see Snoopy at Sunnyvale Players. Two people I know are in it, plus the choreographer, stage hand and in a roundabout way, the director. The roundabout way went like this: a few months ago I went to try out for Oliver and it turned out to be a combined audition with 1940's Radio Hour. The director of the latter show wanted to cast me, but since I had the wedding to go to on tech weekend, that ruled me out. When I went online to see who was cast, the show had been changed to Snoopy. After tonight's show the director told me the producers had not managed to come up with a big band to put on stage, so he suggested a change of show to something with a smaller cast, one which he was familiar with.

Back home, fed the cats ( I took [ profile] lironess' advice have had success with a more manual approach to liquefying the canned food) and started being online for way too long.

Plans for tomorrow:
See a movie and coffee klatch with Janice.
Continue unpacking (the bedroom will be the main target)
Maybe watch some football.
howeird: (Default)
Can't believe I did not update this all week. Well, yes, I can. I was up way too late every night doing other things, mostly.

Monday: Showed up for orientation at the Sunnyvale campus on about 3 maybe 4 hours' sleep. Orientation did not have any information I didn't already know, except that they are doing away with Kaiser HMO in 3 months, which makes me want to scream. I was looking forward to hassle-free billing and not having to go all over the south bay for specialists. Boo, hiss. They basically knew nothing more than I did about the Google acquisition. We got a tour of the campus, totally wasted on me because I won't be working there. I would have bailed early but they still had my passport. It should not have taken that long to get them back. As soon as that arrived I was out of there.

Drove to the Santa Clara office, my boss was out sick but everything was ready for me, and then some. My old 2009 magnetic calendar from my ex-dentist was on the white board. Three of the plastic picture hanger hooks I'd left behind were still on the walls (I would rotate photos regularly). The cable I had not finished soldering when I was laid off was in the cabinet. There were some of my wall clips in the drawer (for holding small docs), my desk was at the raised height I'd gotten them to do special for me, and they gave me the same laptop I was given when Motorola bought Terayon a few months after I joined. I know it was the same one because it still had my old ID number hard-coded into the Perforce software safe. I have the same phone number, and they kept my bug tracking system login the same (I had to ask what it was, it's been a while).

The whole QA team was in the aisles pretending to not have been waiting for me. People came out of the woodwork to welcome me back - something which has continued all week. You know the pen ceremony in A Beautiful Mind? It felt a bit like that.

Most of the day was spent doing stupid Moto paperwork and training which I had before, but can't prove because they changed my company ID number. One of them was about the hazards of ESD which has nothing at all to do with my job. Another was a generic "what to do in an emergency" which was based on the Illinois HQ buildings, which I'd already taken and was not amused last time about the sections on floods and tornadoes.

Was totally wiped by the end of the day, came home, spent way too much time on the computer processing Worldcon stuff, and went to sleep way too late. Skipped BASFA because I did not think many people would be there (I see from the minutes I was way wrong) and needed the sleep (which I didn't get).

Tuesday: Boss was there, for smaller values of "there". He is still sick. He gave me some clues on things to start working on, which turns out to be a machine I had never worked on before. It was brand new in 2009. Hung three of my Worldcon art show photos in my cube. Looked at my training sheet and saw I still had one class to go - a hazard/emergency one specifically for our building, it said. Well, not really, it was specifically for any California site which was not the main Sunnyvale or San Diego campus. It was much better than the one with tornadoes. As I was in the "what to do in an earthquake" section, my cell phone beeped. There was a message from my Baltimore sister that they had been told to go home, there was a 5.9 quake. Trains were not running so she had to hitch a ride with a co-worker. Insert Twilight Zone music here. I called her just to tie up the phone lines. Three weeks or so after we moved to Seattle she was walking to school when a much larger quake hit. Been there, done that. Home, found more picture hanger clips. Stayed up too late again, more Worldcon stuff.

Wednesday: Hung two more photos. One of my cow-orkers loaned me a machine to run bug verifications on, and I got together with the guy who could tell me which bugs I might have a fighting chance of working on, but none of them fit. They all were tech support bugs, needing customer equipment. I couldn't even ask support to close any of them because they needed to be kept open for the next release. So I started cherry-picking test cases, finding the easy high-priority ones, and ones which looked like they might be easy once I  learned how to do them on the new machine. After work I went to Costco and bought a Motorola Atrix phone ($99 with new contract) to see if the long battery life, light weight and sharp screen were enough to make me put aside my HTC Thunderbolt. Both 4G, both Android, Moto is on AT&T, HTC is on Verizon. More on that later. More staying up too late processing photos, uploading them to Flickr, and labeling all of them.

Thursday:  More testing. Lunch with my next door neighbor, with whom I have kept in touch during the interim. He said it was a great little Japanese place, and it was certainly little and Japanese. Their definition of tempura is not my definition of tempura. Ye Olde Towne Band rehearsal, the last one before Sunday's concert. E, a female tuba player who sat next to me at last month's concert, and whose husband sits in front of me in the French Horn section, has been an FB friend since the last concert. She came up to me as I was putting my horn away and asked if she could ask some personal questions. Sure, my life is an open book, but it has a lot of typos. "Are you in a relationship?"   No. "Are you gay?" No. "Are you open to a relatioship?" sure. "Will you be at the concert Sunay?" Yup. So I will be meeting a friend of hers at the concert. E is about 10 years older than me, she says her friend is my age. That's about 30 years older than my preferred date, but maybe at least I'll make a freind. E says I'm the only one she knows who might be a match (she has read my web site, and follows me on FB). AFter rehearsals, a late dinner. A pair of pillows arrived which I had ordered before the con. I thought they were the same kind as the ones I loved at the Marina Bay motel in Santa Barbara back in May. They are not, but at nearly $100 each and a 30-day no questions return policy, I tried them out. Not even close, they will be going back tomorrow.  Also delivered was the replacement Kindle, and I spent some time on the PC printing an RMA UPS sticker for the broken one and sealing it in the box to be returned. Another late night.

Friday: Which was today when I started this. Was fairly productive at work, learned a bunch of things about the new machine, almost found a bug but it turned out to be a Java cache issue in my browser. Six of us went to Santana Row, The Counter for lunch. I am not a burger gourmet, but even I could tell these are excellent burgers. And lots of eye candy (we sat outside).  Before leaving work I looked for a UPS drop box online, it said there was one on the corner a few blocks away. There wasn't. No worries, I'll just use the one on Shoreline Blvd near Google. Got there, but only after being caught in amphitheater traffic.

Home for a bit, went for a massage, watched the last quarter of the Rams-Chiefs game. I am totally blown away by how much better the Tivo Premier's HD picture is than the 3rd generation HD box. Football use the best equipment to broadcast their games, it's a treat for the eyes. The audio is not quite as good, but neither were the Rams' announcers. Decided the Atrix is going back to Costco. I did a factory reset, and will take it back Monday after work. I'd return it tomorrow, but (a) Costco on the weekend is a zoo and (b) it would mean driving to work to get the charger I left there. I got it at the Costco there, so I want to return it there. Plenty 'o' time to do that and make it to BASFA. Reason for the return? Everything is too small on the screen, or too big. The UI is just insane, the android clock widget doesn't update automatically, it's a mess.

Plans for tomorrow:
Litterbox duty
break down a bunch of boxes and haul them to the dumpster
Ship back the pillows.
Maybe take a nap.


Apr. 20th, 2011 05:52 pm
howeird: (Default)
Probably should make this f-locked, but what the heck. In the previous post I mentioned that mustard on top of the sauerkraut in a hot dog was a FAIL. Here is the rest of the story:Read more... )

So anyway, that's why mustard on top of the sauerkraut in a hot dog is a FAIL

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