howeird: (Captain in the Bath)
So many conflicting things to say about this. Let's start with why I went:
The very talented Cliff McCormick is playing Clyde. Cliff played Jekyll & Hyde in the Palo Alto production I was in, 7 years ago. He was great to work with, did the very difficult part justice, strong voice and great control. The ultimate professional while still being fun to work with. Also, the music for B&C is by Frank Wildhorn, who wrote the music for J&H. I auditioned for J&H because I fell in love with the score.

About the tech: This production is done on a bare stage with a few random platforms leading up to a cinema-size silver screen lashed to a frame with rope through a series of large grommets. Very rustic. All through the show, projections on the screen provide the background scenery, except at the start and a few times during the show when they play video of the children who are young Bonnie and young Clyde. The actual children never appear, even their curtain call is recorded. Especially at the start, but not so much later in the show, the projection video hands off to the live actor(s) coming out from the wings. The good news is when done well, this is very impressive. The bad news is the poor quality of the projection sabotaged the effect, and sometimes the timing was off as well. Other tech - the follow spots are atop ladders built against the wall, and the operators sit behind them. Very uncomfortable, and awkward.

About the acting: I didn't recognize Cliff. He's a Facebook friend, I have seen him in concert since J&H a couple of times with one of the women Hyde kills (they were an item, at least professionally, for a couple of years), so I was very surprised that I had to read the bio in the program to be sure it was him. He shaved his beard and hit the gym for this show, and put on a Texas accent as well. Allison F. Rich, playing Bonnie, was very good, but I was totally stunned by Clyde's sister in law Blanche, played by Halsey Varady. Her bio says she has played almost every leading lady in SJ Stage's history. Frankly, I think she would have made the better Bonnie. Rich is a tall leggy blonde, Varady is very petite - more like Bonny Parker IRL. Rich was also the music director, which is interesting because her intonation was off all night. Noel Anthony Escobar impressed with his beautiful voice in the preacher role, and his convincing switch to the sheriff. Again, had to check the program to see it was the same guy. Weak point was the cop in love with Bonnie, Ted Hinton, played by Michael Doppe, who struggled with words and notes and what key he was supposed to be in, and was completely unconvincing as the avenging angel his character is written to be. Also not quite up to the level needed was Will Springhorn, playing Buck, Clyde's brother. Some of that was the script, which changes Clyde's IRL stronger older brother into a henpecked weakling. He did well on the one song in which he was featured.

Also doing well in their one featured song were three women of the ensemble, beauty parlor customers Jill Miller, Courtney Hatcher ands Ashley Garlick. Their number You're Going Back To Jail was one of the few memorable tunes in the show.

Which brings me to the music. In a nutshell, Wildhorn wrote every kind of music he knew, and a few kinds he didn't. Most of the numbers are too long, not tuneful, and Don Black's lyrics seem to have been wedged in sideways. In J&K, Wildhorn had the honor of one of the best in the business, Leslie Bricusse, to work with, and a lot of time to try out the songs. Black is no Bricusse. The cast (and the band) handled the wide ranging music pretty well, McCormick's part was especially challenging.

One thing that did not work for me may be the fault of the script, by Ivan Menchell or director Michael Navarra, or both. This production makes it all about sex. Bonnie and Blanche spend a lot of time in period lingerie, Clyde even does a (tasteful) implied nude scene.

The show runs through July 27, more info at their web site.  


Apr. 27th, 2014 11:42 pm
howeird: (Pocari Sweat)
Slept till 10, did nothing productive, watched some Shark Tank, made brunch - four steamed BBQ pork buns (Thai = salapow, Chinese = Cha Siu Bao).

Off to the theater at 12:30, 15 minutes early for cast call. Waited for someone to open the door.

Sundays always start late, mostly because the crew doesn't have to rebuild the set.

This was our biggest audience yet, probably 30 empty seats. Hard to tell because it's festival seating. It was so nice to have critical mass for laughs.

My Big Number was a huge hit, and I still want to slap the music director for starting up before we milked the applause.

They applauded when I was eaten by the plant.

After the show my lobby visit was very short, nobody I knew was there, except for one of the ushers. The audience practically ran out of the theater - it takes me maybe 2 minutes to take off my mike and walk to the lobby, and the auditorium was empty by the time I arrived.

Strike after the show, I got to carry some stuff out to the dock and help load the truck, but there were far more people helping than they needed. Got done by 6. After-party at 7, but even going out of my way for a Safeway stop to get goodies, I was still 10 minutes early. Everyone else was fashionably late, having gone to dinner at some Mexican place, among other things.

Everyone showed up from the cast and crew, the choreographer, drummer and the synth player (who works where I do) did not show. The hostess was one of the co-producers, she has a big beautiful house with a huge front and back yards, and two buildings behind the house which look like people may live in them. I didn't ask. And she had 5 chihuahua type dogs which bark when someone comes to the door, but are very friendly once you are inside. And two very shy cats. She is a major proponent of animal rescue.

She had a very large spread of munchies, and guests added to it.

During the party I chatted with the director. He has no clue, nor did I give him one, that I really don't want to work with him ever again. He's co-directing the next show, which is funny because it's A Chorus Line and he is disabled in a way that makes it impossible for him to walk straight, let alone dance. Even when he was abled (in a show we did in the 1980s) he couldn't dance.

As expected it was a loud party, with the usual loudmouths, and a couple of people who become screechers when alcohol is added. I stayed till about 9:30, when they set up the karaoke, because this group doesn't have the consideration to shut up and listen when it's not their turn to sing. Lucky for me the crew took that as their cue to leave, so it paved the way for me.

Home, took out the garbage, took my blood sugar measurement and it was way high as I thought it would be because I forgot to shoot up before the party. Also saw I had forgotten to take my daily meds this morning. That happens when I wake up late.

Took a shower, made myself a lime soda, caught up on email and Facebook.  Updated my FB cover to a non-show one. and profile photo to a close-up in the dressing room.

Plans for tomorrow:
howeird: (Default)
Usually just the exercise of being in a show is enough to make me hurt in the usual places, but that wasn't enough today.

Had a very long sleep this morning, after staying up too late last night after the show. Went looked online for cordless hedge trimmers, and the corded one won;t do for the hedges on the side of the house where there;'s no outlet within 50 feet. Home Depot's web site had what I wanted, so I headed there, but while they had the trimmer, they did not have any extra batteries. They had plenty for some Korean brand they were pushing, but no Black & Decker. I was also looking for a garden hoe, and strange but true there were none of the type I wanted. And the "help" was no help at all. So I put the trimmer back on the shelf and went to Lowe's.

They wanted $10 more for the trimmer, but they had batteries and a hoe. The batteries come with three free spools of weed whacker cord which I have zero use for unless I need to garrote someone for fun & profit or maybe set up a Rube Goldberg door opener. But the price was the same as without, and they had no without.

Home, had just enough time to unpack the trimmer and set the battery on the charger before heading for the theater.

Sundays are always late, because the crew doesn't have to build the set (Thurs-Fri they have to take down the set after the show because there's children's theater performing in the following afternoon). So being 15 minutes late nobody noticed.

My microphone pack went south during the mike check, it took them a while to get the replacement up and running, but after that delay we were good.

For a sunny Sunday (80°) it was a big house. For Easter it was downright miraculous. About 100 people. This means word is getting out. The show went very well, lots of audience reaction, but after the show the big WTF is only half a dozen people stayed to meet the cast.

Stopped off at Denny's and tried the new bacon bourbon BBQ burger. It was pretty good. Would have been better without the burned bacon. The waiter kept speaking to me in Spanish. I guess the mustache makes me look Mexican.  He also kept calling me "patrón". Kind of amusing because literally it means "boss" but implies I Am Old. It reminds me of a song by Shel Silverstein called Time, in which a man is bemoaning his getting older, and says "Today in the park, a grown man called me 'Sir'".

Home, slapped the now-charged battery into the trimmer and attacked the two way overgrown hedge plants on the side of the house. They are on the border with the neighbor's carport, neighbor has a narrow strip which is part decorative stone, part dirt garden with a pile of rust-colored large-stone gravel in between. I had to trim back the plant so it wasn't taking over their property. Previous owner had let it go way too long.

Raking up all the trimmings both from today and yesterday was a lot of work too. It all went into the garbage, the trimmer went into the shed and the battery into the laundry room to re-charge.

All that needed recovery and rehydration. My recliner and the standing fan helped. So did a couple of glasses of seltzer with lime and one of coconut water. Watched some mindless TV too.

Caught up on FB and Quicken. And here I am. Debating whether to have dinner, or if the burger at 5-ish was dinner, or maybe I just need a couple of scoops of ice cream.

Plans for tomorrow:
Maybe BASFA, mostly to hype the last weekend of the show.


Apr. 16th, 2014 11:13 pm
howeird: (Default)
County assessor's letter arrived today, looks like they are doubling my property tax. Boo. Hiss. Turns out they re-assess any time it is sold.

Got to work just in time for what was billed as a hands-on demo of a very complicated video analyzer. It was nothing of the sort, partly thanks to the two bozoids from upstairs interrupting the sales engineering rep before he even showed his first slide.

It was a disjointed, scattershot presentation with a lot of interruptions. No actual hands-on, and the presenter talked so softly and with a thick accent it was mostly useless. His marketing rep (identified easily by her Apple laptop) spoke louder and more clearly, but it is apparent this is an amateur company and we are using their product strictly because of a low price point compared to the professionals.
Finished my digital signal processing project and wrote it up. Customer description of the issue was wrong, much worse than the actual issue. In short, some versions of the product pretended to allow you to add a text crawl or overlays or change the resolution of the video on a trigger or a schedule, but when you looked at the output it wasn't there. But any pre-existing ones continued to work. Most of our customers don't change those after they put them in place.
Got my nails done. Had to wait 10 minutes for the owner to get back from dialysis. Would rather have it done by her little sister, but she was booked. No time for lunch but a snack at the bakery a few doors down.

Back at work, not much to work on, so I researched telescopes, and ordered one which looks much better for photography than the one I have. Two main points" f/5 compared to f/12.1, eyepiece is at the top on the side, not at the bottom middle.  Also has a unique tripod built for scopes.

Meanwhile I need to organize all my lenses and put everything in the carrying bag, and think about putting it on eBay or Craig's list.
Costco on the way home. Spent almost $150 and am pretty sure I'd have done better at Safeway. Prices at Costco are skyrocketing, but the requirement to buy in bulk remains.

Home, heated some canned dolmathes from the produce store and three pork buns from Costco. Watched two episodes of TMZ. I am soooo behind on my Tivo watching.

Took the second load out of the laundry, could only find 5 of 6 socks. These are my black socks for the show. #6 showed up on the floor as I was hanging up my shirts.

Email from baby sister, she will be here Saturday. We may have time to do lunch. Pissed because she is flying into SFO not SJC, and wants to go to the farmer's market, as if she will be able to bring anything back home with her. Original plan was a bike ride. Looking forward to seeing her & her husband, they are both acoustical engineers with lots of Navy experience, and I am eager to pick their brains about the search for the Malaysian airliner. Due to the nature of her work, we can't mention stuff like that in email, let alone FB.

Plans for tomorrow:
Leave at 5
Show at 7:30
howeird: (Default)
In more ways than one.

Slept till 10, Domino kept trying to wake me up by yelling at me. She doesn't meow, she wails in a scratchy voice. Highly annoying. She knows how to meow, but rarely does it.

Wasted time till 12:30, drove to the theater - it only took 10 minutes with Sunday traffic. At 1:00 cast call time the place was still locked up. It was a bright sunny day and this happened:

I walked around to the front of the theater and saw this:

I think the church group which had something going on in the Senior Center (they had blue flags and signs all over the place) is responsible. I had gone to the Sr. Ctr to join up, but they are closed on weekends. WTF? That means there probably is no reason to join, except maybe to get in on their weekend trips. If there are any.

Stage manager finally showed up 10 minutes late. He's supposed to be half an hour early to let in the crew. Not that it matters, the cast call is insanely early anyway.

It was our largest audience, by a lot. 2/3 full. And they LOVED it. Huge laughs, major applause. The show is where it should have been opening night. Janice was there with a date. Also there was a fellow I was in Pirates of Penzance with 10 years ago. The director also showed up, but thank goodness he will be in Tahoe next weekend. I like it better when directors show up for opening and closing and leave us be the rest of the run.

Home by way of Lowe's. My older sister in Israel responded to my posts on FB about planting roses asking me to plant a yellow rose. I'm pretty sure she meant in memory of her recently departed husband. So I bought a yellow rose bush, and also a small hedge trimmer, but I need to call the manager of the park to find out if I am supposed to be taking care of the overgrown bushes which line the street.

Planted the rose bush, watered all of them and the blue flowers on the other side of the front walkway. Finally went to the carport strip and planted the mint.


Strawberries & mint

Took a shower, got dressed again in fresh things, played online, microwaved some Safeway lasagna for dinner. Ran Windows update on the Windows 8 laptop - 83 updates, it took hours. Windows 8.1 update is finally running, it took 4 tries. The Windows 8 version of Microsoft Update sucks lemons through a garden hose. The progress bar is unreadable, and it takes two or three rounds of "configuring" after the reboot, with wildly inaccurate % estimates. "100% complete" can stay on the screen for 15 minutes. 16% can jump to 96% in a minutes.

This 8.1 experiment is the main reason I got the machine. Someone in Thailand asked an old friend in Spokane who has a computer troubleshooting service why the 8.1 upgrade wiped out Microsoft Office. It shouldn't have, unless she had a preview version. I bought the same make, almost the same model as her, and will see in the morning.

Garbage & recycle is at the curb, along with most of the cardboard boxes, flattened and bundled, from the last 2 weeks. Saving two. One for the WD external drive and one for the Kenwood in-dash unit, both eBay bound.

Plans for tomorrow:
(demo for automation at the weekly meeting)
Take the telescope out at about 11:30 pm and see if I can photograph the eclipse, which should be total about midnight.

Good Show

Apr. 13th, 2014 12:49 am
howeird: (Default)
Slept till 11, took the relatively long drive to Summerwinds nursery and was surprise at what they didn't have. It took a while to go ahead and put that $35 rose bush on my cart, but I frankly could not remember what the were at Lowe's or Home Depot. Also bought a lot of strawberry plants, and six small planters of mint.

Spent about $85 all together.

Home, dug a hole and planted the rose bush behind the two I put there last week. When I went to bring the hose around, it had been disconnected from the faucet and the nozzle had been taken off and put on the ground. I'll have to call the manager about that - I am under the impression ll the plants in front of my house are my responsibility, no one should be messing with that hose except me. Next Saturday I'll stand guard - I'm 90% sure it happened when I was out shopping.

After a short hydration break (first the rodes then me) I raked the bark away from1/4 of the strip by the carport, used the shovel to till the soil. It turns out to be pretty rich, with some clay mixed in. Someone had planted there before, long ago. Then I got on my knees and painstakingly took each strawberry out of the container, and planted them row by row. Four sets of 6. And then I was completely pooped, so I decided to cheat, and planted the last two in their containers. The containers are split at the bottom, and while the container won't  decompose, the roots do have someplace to go. I may do it right later, but right now I'm calling it An Experiment™.

I was way too tired to plant the mint, so those are setting beside the recycle bin on the driveway. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow, after the show if there is still daylight.
I cooled off in front of the fan by setting up Office on the Windows 8 machine. It's pretty fast, but the touchpad is a little difficult and the touch screen has a slow response time. Not at all like a tablet. The ugly tile interface which they show on TV can easily be switched to a Windows 7 style interface in a single click. In fact, some actions like installing software flips to that format automagically.

Once again, 1/3 full audience sounded like a full house, especially on the laugh lines. I have several of them, but the guy I say them to has zero sense of comic timing and stomps on my laughs a lot.

I'm finally feeling comfortable with all the stupidly written lines. My attitude has gone from WTF to "who cares?"

Meet and greet after the show, the leading man from Brigadoon was there with someone who apparently is now his wife, but I (a) don't think she was when we did the show and (b) I know I have been onstage with her but we couldn't figure out when/where. She has a very distinctive nose. Porcine. Hard to forget that face, which is otherwise attractive. A couple of high school girls said they were doing the show at school next month. Valley Christian. I'll try to see it. 

Stopped at CVS for dark chocolate truffles (on sale for less than half price) and also picked up a couple of spray nozzles for the garden hoses.

Plans for tomorrow:
Sleep in again
Cast call at 1:00
howeird: (How_Transit_1)
Way behind because work and Little Shop has eaten all my time. And thanks to the way too late rehearsals (a disorganized director who has zero consideration for anyone's time) I did the opening weekend with a cold. Dayquil, Nyquil and extra vitamin C have helped, but it's no fun singing with a scratchy throat and putting out an effort with a fever and runny nose.

Audiences were small-ish but very appreciative. Lots of laughs, major applause. The theater holds about 300, we've been maybe 1/3 full. Enough for critical mass.

Another thing about the director is he either has pretty low standards or lies a lot. He tells us the show is "golden" and has major praise for the incredible talents of the cast and crew. Most of the cast and crew are still in, or just out of childrens' theater. It shows.

On the other hand, I'm not embarrassed to be in it. There is a lot of raw talent, everyone is doing their best.
Yesterday the sun came out, and after staying in bed till noon, I went to Home Despot, bought painting paraphernalia, came home and painted the shed as per the community manager's missive. I should have done that months ago and glad it is done.
This evening after the show I stopped off at the grocery and bought what fixings for chicken soup I didn't have, and some that I did but preferred fresh to frozen. The cauldron is on the stove as I type, an hour into its process of rendering down. I had to siphon off about a quart of liquid, it already tastes pretty good. What is in it, you ask?
Chicken giblets
Chicken legs & thighs
Chicken stock
sliced carrots
sliced celery
sliced and chopped parsnip
sliced and chopped onion
kafir lime leaves
mint leaves
water to cover

The pot is too full, too many legs & thighs, but those should boil down eventually so I can slice in some fungus.

Garbage has been taken out, planning on being in bed by 10.

Plans for tomorrow:
Possibly concurrently
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.
howeird: (Default)
Up and out early this morning, a HUGE WTF because last night was seriously sleepless. I kept dropping off into day dreams in which short snippets of events were presented, and I kept waking myself up saying "huh". The kind of "huh" one makes when one is shown a new truth to ponder. Can't remember any of those truths, but they were impressive at the time.

Work was kind of slow but I needed to be there to answer some questions about a couple of previous projects, and at the end of the day to start an overnight test for IT.

Lunchtime started with a trip to Petco to pay too much $$ for two different kinds of pet "no-go" liquid. The to the local park and tried to study my lines, made a little progress, also was treated to a very beautiful and shapely Asian woman walking around and around the circular path, wearing a stretch track suit. Yum.

Home after work, loaded the steamer with the larger of the two pet products, and went over all the carpet in the long hallway and in the piano room where the cat has barfed and/or pooped. She was scared of the machine noise, which is good.

Rehearsals again didn't start anywhere close to on time, but Seymour grabbed the music director and Audrey and me and we went over some tough harmony in a short section of one song while the choreagrivator got her girls on stage and made way too much noise for dancers.

We ran Act 1, director rescinded his incredibly stupid command to be off book. I am about 50% there, but it's a random access 50%, so I held onto my book except for a couple of musical numbers.

After Act 1 we ran three numbers I am in, and I got sent home a whole 10 minutes early.

My Big Number is a clushetrfuck, but the director is fine with that, as long as we keep moving and have fun. We do, and we do.

Plans for tomorrow:
Act 2  
howeird: (Default)
Friday was a late night and so is tonight.

Friday, lots of work at work, lunch at Togo's which was a special treat because there were two redheads working, one old enough to be the other's mom. Who knows? But the older one was very freckled, with bright red hair, the younger had that alabaster complexion with closer to auburn hair.

After work I had sometime to kill so I went to the Starbucks of the usually full parking lot, but there were parking places and places inside to sit, because most of the customers were taking their orders to go, which provided a steady stream of Friends of Spandex candidates. I studied my lines over an iced mocha, but looked up often. :-0

7:30 it was over to Santa Clara Players were three friends were in Arsenic and Old Lace. And another friend runs the box office and was producer. My friends did well, but it was horribly directed, and makeup sucked, and the leading man was dropping lines all over the place. He's supposed to be in his early 30s, but his hair was gray and he carried himself like a 50-year-old. The villain was horribly miscast, much shorter than the leading man (the part was written specifically for, and mentions Boris Karloff several times). And he wwsn't scary enough. But he knew his part well. Teddy was excellent except for on HUGE detail. He couldn't play the bugle. Hardly got a blat out. The whole show revolves around him waking the neighbors with his bugle.  Director should have gotten him lessons. I thought about trying out, because I play bugle, but I'm done with stage plays, too many lines to learn..

Dr Einstein is a friend I had not seen onstage before, and he was excellent. The two police officers had much bigger parts than I remembered (I directed this in college in 1969).

And I never thought I would say this, but the woman playing Elaine was way too sexy. Actually it was the costume. She's supposed to be a preacher's daughter going to the theater with the leading man, but they had her in a diaphanous pink gown with way shiny earrings. Should have been something much more conservative.

There was no pre-show or intermission music, but they played snippets of songs as the lights came up on the two acts, and during the curtain call. The lights-up music was vaguely wrong, I can't remember what it was, the curtain call was to the Adams Family theme, which was disgustingly WRONG. A&OL is not about fun-loving freaky but harmless creatures, it's about criminally insane cold blooded murderers. Another horrible call by the director.

Turds Day

Mar. 14th, 2014 12:36 am
howeird: (Musknik-Seymour-Future)
Hgl levels are back to reasonable. Yay. Irony is the levels are still too high, but the experimental insulin made me seesaw from record lows to record highs even using the same dosages.

Closed my Capital One card when they started charging interest, but also because they effed up the Target card theft routine by changing my card number and not sending me the new card for almost 3 weeks. Without the new number I had no way to log in with Quicken to see if there were any bogus charges. Of course there weren't. Got a 0% Citi card in the mail today. Took about a week, but Quicken was able to log in with just my online username/password the day I set up the account.

Lots of work at work today, putting the finishing touches on some test steps, then automation team meeting which was mostly not productive because motor mouth again wouldn't stop saying the same thing over and over.

Monitored the news - Ukraine and missing plane on CNN and BBC, but I had to log into the Bangkok Post and the Thai Nation newspapers to get their news. It looks like things are heading for the PM and cabinet to be kicked out for corruption. Again.

Was invited to be nominated to the board of Friends of Thailand, which is all Peace Corps/Thailand alumni, including one former US ambassador to Thailand. Quite an honor. Will know soon.

In computer news, as I mentioned the very affordable 8TB NAS drive which is due to be delivered tomorrow seems to not be NAS at all, but Thunderbolt connected. Thunderbolt is Apple's latest answer to USB 4, and even though it's an Intel platform feature, most PCs, including mine, have no way to use it. So I'll sell that on eBay, and also due to be delivered tomorow is a refurbished Synology 2-bay NAS enclosure and a pair of Hitachi 4TB SATA 3 7200 RPM drives. Total cost < $500 which is about $200 less than a no-name pre-built, and half the price of a Synology pre-built.

Lunchtime I went to Walgreen ISO a foam soda can holder, the solid, non-collapsible kind. They had nothing. Neither did 7-11. Bummer. They usually have them for sports teams. The novelty one I use at work is losing its bottom. Can't find what I want online either. Grrrr.

Had beef chow fun at China Stix, which is now accessible by a long pathway from the piece of new parking lot which has been built four stores away. The whole shopping center is being renovated, they are putting in a Target and a Sprouts and maybe a supermarket. China Stix has had its makeover and looks great except for the chain link fence and the huge dirt yard where their parking lot used to be.

From work I drove straight to the park where rehearsals would be, it was about 80° and the place was packed. I sat in the car for a while with the windows rolled down, playing my Big Number over and over again from the smartphone over bluetooth to the in-dash unit. It sounded great, but I didn't. It's much faster than my brain can tell my mouth what to say, with those awkward lyrics and ninja phrasing.

Moved to a picnic table and studied lines till it was time to go inside the clubhouse. Tonight's rehearsal was fine tuning Act 2, finishing the blocking (we had not done the last scene yet) with the leading man gone and the director filling in for him. The director has played this part before, I think. I first met him when we did Annie back in the 80s, so I know he can act and sing. It took me a while to remember that, though.

I have my first scene, which is short, memorized, but the second scene I am in is a challenge because his staging is way different from what is in the script and every other production of the show. And there are a lot of lines which have to be synced with the music, and the voice of the plant, and the backup chorus which so far has not come in on time ever. But we were missing two of them. And that's another thing. The script calls for three backup singers, he has cast four.

We got through in 2 hours, and then ran it without stopping in 45 minutes, which is close to how long it will run IRL.

Home before 10, barely. Watched some of the TV news, tonight every Bay Area channel, CNN and even The Weather Channel were playhig commercials at the same time, often the same commercial. And lots of them. More than the FCC allowable maximum.

And I am making eggregious typos which speelwrecker is not tagging. I will have to proofread this.

Plans for tomorrow:
Study lines
8 pm performance of Arsenic And Old Lace which three friends are in, at Santa Clara Players fairly close to work.
howeird: (Hawaiin Shirt)
Was up WAY too late last night, tried to sleep as long as possible, made it to work just in time to get a diet Coke and be at the 10 am team meeting. I was out of things to do, so I volunteered to test a new tool which was developed to help customers monitor a bunch of our boxes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plans for tomorrow:
Take the stuff out of the dryer and run a load of whites
Rehearsals, surprise photo shoot at 6:30. I need to bring costume stuff.
howeird: (Default)
Rehearsals are great for getting a good night's sleep. Slept till the alarm went off, only woke once during the night.

Work on time, barely. Some work on the specs and tests. 68° at lunchtime, which was also dentist time. They did X-rays and a cleaning, no cavities, and the dentist didn't mention the insurance company slam dunking her request to re-do two of my crowns the right way.

Went next door to see if the little nail place could repair a broken nail, but the person who does acrylic left early. SO I went to the other next door for a light dim sum lunch. Light, because they were out of half the things I wanted (it was late).

Drove straight to the rehearsal hall, which tonight was a park clubhouse which I've been in many times before, for auditions and rehearsals, and because a LONG time ago I lived in the apartments across the street. King George apartments was a run-down, poorly built and even more poorly maintained place - my first night there the sewer backed up into the livingroom, they had to wet vac it and replace the carpet - owned by a Chinese family named King. I lived there from 1995-97, when they gave us all 8 months' notice, paid us about 3 months rent and the promise of first dibs on the new apartments they were going to build there. They bulldozed it right down to below the sewer pipes, and in about 3 years opened the Renaissance apartments, a 3-story affair (King George was 2 stories), high end. When we left, a 1-BR cost $300/month, when they re-opened it was $1600. Looking at the apartments from the park, they have about 1/3 vacant.

Rehearsal added some cast members who had conflicts, but the leading man was not there (he's in the show now onstage). Director filled in for him, sort of. About an hour of my time was wasted. This director doesn't have the concept of only calling people whose scenes he is blocking, he want to do it in chronological order, which in this case is very inconsiderate. The scenes are modular and it would have been easy to schedule nights off. I have no nights off during the entire Sunday-Thursday schedule, even though I'm not in half the scenes.

Home, by way of two 7-11s, I needed $300 cash from the ATMs, but those give $100 bills for anything over $200. I don't like to carry hundreds.

Had a light dinner. Caught up on FB. Downloaded all my financials on Quicken and both my state and fed refunds had come in, so I paid off a couple of credit cards.

And now to sleep.

Plans for tomorrow:
Consonance. I will probably miss Kathleen's concert, but really want to hear Mark's Toastmaster concert.
howeird: (Default)
March Fools Day is the day in 1961 when JFK established the Peace Corps. I served in Thailand from March 1975 to July 1977. More on that later.

Today started with a trip to Fry's to get a replacement power brick for my laptop. I keep the original one in the laptop bag, and it still works, but usually I run it on battery, as God intended, and charge it from a spare power brick at home. That one died. I wanted a 60W Toshiba, but all the retail ones these days are 90W and above universal (they come with a set of plugs, one of which will match your laptop).

Fry's was on the way to the photo shoot. Miki, the model, is one of those women which prompt cries of outrage from the average and larger-than-they-want-to-be-but-it's-not-PV-to-admit-it women on LJ and FB and nauseum of "nobody looks like that! These must be Photoshopped!" Here's Miki, the only photoshopping I did was to adjust the contrast level and maybe crop the background.
Cut because I care )

I got some good shots, and since this one was lingerie and not nudes, They are all mostly work-safe. It wasn't a very good shoot compared to the last two, for a number of reasons. The host did several lighting setups, all of them were difficult to shoot in. I won't bore you with the details. The model kept changing poses and expressions faster than the lights could re-charge and she sucked at taking directions.

I won't be doing any shoots for at least another 2 weeks, what with rehearsals and Consonance con.

Home, processed the photos, had dinner, threw a load of laundry into the washer and drove to Foothill College to see their production of Little Shop. Nutshell review:
The girl trio was spectacular. They sounded like they had been singing together for years. I asked after the show, and they hadn't. The whole production was way over-choreographed. The guy playing my part lost his character a third of the way through - he went from somewhat believable NY Jewish shopkeeper to Red Skelton in two easy steps. He managed to get cut from one of the musical numbers and some of the choreography, and they slowed down the two numbers where he has tongue twisters. They had a large cast, our director has chosen to make one guy play many parts, which I think is stupid and a Big Mistake, this show had a different person for each part, which meant they had some serious vocal power as an ensemble chorus. The female lead was very good, the male lead was okay. The band was excellent, but the sound system wasn't. All the cast were miked, and whoever was on the audio board had it cranked up too high. Toward the end there was feedback. We also had some mikes being bumped backstage at the start. The set was good. Costumes were iffy, except for the stunning red sparkley dresses the trio wore at the end.

Home, here I am.

Plans for tomorrow:
Janice's 70th birthday party at noon at her condo's community center
Rehearsal at the theater. My first time on stage there in 14 years. Or backstage probably. I doubt if we will rehearse on the Little Princess set. Sunnyvale has a big dressing room/rehearsal room backstage.


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)


Feb. 27th, 2014 01:50 am
howeird: (Default)

It was pouring down rain this morning, so I didn't take the freeway to work. Not much doing at the salt mines, but two meetings helped pass the time. One about the upcoming product and the other my bi-weekly 1-on-1 where we spent as much time talking about telescope photography as we did about work.

Home, both flags were soaked and wrapped around the poles defying the anti-wrap devices I had installed. Took the Thai flag down and threw it in the dryer with the bedding which had come out of the washer.

Had just enough time to walk to the community center for bingo. $5 for 4 cards, I won $9.50 on one bingo. Did not win the door prize or the 50-50, which was $5. So all in all I lost 50 cents. But I met a lot more of my neighbors and got some gossip on the people in #8.

Walked home, it was raining but not too hard. Seattle and a little more.

On the commute home I played my Little Shop songs several times, but still don't have the hang of most of the patter and syntax. Grrr. Usually I pick that up quickly, but usually the songs are well written. These are songs which were cut from the movie. For a reason. :-(

Late dinner.

Plans for tomorrow:
My first Little Shop music rehearsal

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


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:
Maybe I'll finish my taxes.
Maybe study lines/learn my songs

howeird: Me onstage (Cowardly)
Well, not really, just one, which happened yesterday and it was so epic I completely forgot to journal about it. When I got home from the mattress place by way of Kinko's, my body was trying very hard to believe I was already in the bathroom poised for victory. After draining the lizard, I felt that warm wet sensation which usually means someone was too quick on the trigger. I took my pants off, and the whole right rear side from the waist to the knee was wet. Water wet, not pee wet. Wet enough to empty the pockets, remove the belt and toss it into the dryer.

Totally puzzled, I could not think of how that happened. The driver's seat of the car was dry, so was the floor of the bathroom. I could not think of a water source which I could have encountered in the time frame, except for the remote possibility that one of the mattresses I sat on had a leak.

Got to work early, thanks to being very nervous all night about the astronomical blood sugar reading. I woke up at 2 am and it was 190, which is too high for the insulin dosage, so I shot up another 6 units (equals 35 units of regular). But when I did my morning reading it was up by 8 points. The human body is not a precision instrument, but this is ridiculous. I'm gonna write my diabetes doc and tell him I want to go back to the last regimen, shooting up before each meal. As poorly as that was working, it was far better than this.

Main reasons to be at work early was twofold: I was going to leave at 11:30 to be home foe the noon-2 bed repair window, and boss had emailed me a very complicated test to run for Engineering and I needed to re-learn how my older model machine worked so I could send video and 4 audio channels to my new model machine. And then mess with which audio streams were sent and seeing how the new machine handled the changes. The bottom line is I couldn't fool the new machine into misbehaving. It played all the audio I sent it, and didn't miss a beat (literally) when I added a stream or pulled one or two, or completely replaced the 4 original streams with 5 new ones. That was a lot of work, I hope it's what engineering wanted, because the email from them was open to interpretation.

After that I continued to update the test database with setup requirements and steps. Got home by 11:45, and immediately got a call from the bed people that they would be there toward the end of the window. So I fired up the VPN and remote desktop, and continued to continue. Got about 5 done before the bed guys showed up at 1:45.

Domino wanted to help, after all it's her bed. I put her in the bathroom to get her out of the way. They did a quick job of taking off the mattress and lifting the frame up on its side, removing the legs from the frame, removing the wheels from the legs and screwing the wheels straight into the frame. Frame back on the ground, mattress back on the frame and it was all done in 15 minutes. Now the bed is just a tad lower than I like, but I can always raise the feet a little (adjustable frame) where before it was just way too high.

Domino yelled at me as I made the bed, and jumped onto it after I was done. It is now low enough for her to not need the pet steps, so she has her choice.

Back to work, completed the first feature set, and proceeded to plan the next one, which I can't really do without the actual machine. November, they say. This feature involves testing that the device sends alerts to designated PCs when certain events occur.

After work I took the copied script/music for Little Shop to the Mercado Starbucks, waited for a seat by a non-high-chair table opened up, and highlighted my lines and underlined my cues. Many of my cues are not underline-able, as they are ends of songs or scene shifts. It is a big part, and my character leads off most of the dialog. There is one tricky section where my lines alternate with music the plant is singing. One thing I discovered at the launch rehearsal is the guy playing the voice of the plant and I are from the same planet. This is often not the case with one's duet partner in community theater.

That all took about an hour, which was still early enough to throw some Costco spanikopita into the oven and watch the Tivoed Olympics. Some major crashes in the women's snowboard, and it was good to see the Jamaican bobsled team, out there again. There is also a Thai skier, but he didn't make the US broadcasts. I hate that they lump disparate sports into a single 3-hour broadcast. Tivo doesn't do a good job of skipping chunks of video, and figure skating just looks rude in 3x FF. And there are way too many fluff stories (making nested dolls has no place in a sports broadcast). And I can do without the tutorials by US team members.

I've been spending time on for coverage which makes more sense.

In other sports news, I subscribed to Sports Illustrated online, which will get me a year's print issues plus online access. And a Seahawks bonus package for free. Which I will send to Baltimore sister.

Looked at my online calendar and saw a big empty space where the London Worldcon should have been, so I poked in the flight and hotel info and marked which days are con days and one long mark for the entire vacation time. One thing I would like to do after the con is take a significant side trip. Ireland is high on the list, Paris is trying to win me over, a chunnel train ride is tempting. But I have cousins to visit as well. One in Brighton, a couple in Olney and a couple in Buckinghamshire. There are more, but I'm not surer where. Cousin Howard has always been an enigma. To the best of my knowledge he is not fannish like all the other cousins, and I have no real idea where he lives except "far from the rest".

Irish rail has some lovely looking London-Dublin rail/Ferry packages, which poetically start at London's Euston station and end at Dublin's Heuston station. And once in Dublin there are train tours to some very scenic places.

But first I need to survive Little Shop.

In mortgage news, I called the lender CU and they said Allstate was wrong, the refund check is to be sent to them to be put into my escrow account to cover the new insurance which they already paid. There will be an actual amount owed on my next CU statement, and I should use the enclosed envelope to mail it in.

Serendipitously, MetLife mailed me a card saying that the new company gets a 15% discount, so while waiting for the bed guys I phoned to find out what it would cost to move my auto insurance to them. The guy asked where I was located, and when I said CA he said Metlife wasn't licensed to sell auto insurance in CA but he will transfer me to someone who can. So I hung up. But now I'm thinking I may have misunderstood him, and he was saying he personally wasn't licensed in CA. I think I'll go online and try again.

Bought the other three Giver books on Kindle.

Plans for tomorrow:
Start studying the words to my songs

May 2017

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