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Woke up several times last night, most of those times Kaan was at the foot of the bed and Domino was under one of the clothes racks near the bed. Up for real at about 9, walked to the apartment office at 10 to get a package which I couldn't figure what it might be. Turns out I forgot to whiteboard the two items from the US Mint. For obvious reasons the return address on the package gives no clue where it is from. Got it home and it was only one of the two items. Both were ordered within 5 minutes of each other. Go figure.  This one was the full proof set of 2013 coins, which I did not remember ordering. I thought I had ordered the 2013 special quarters. But it includes those so maybe I decide the price was right for every single type of coin minted this year.

Got to Goodyear in plenty of time for the appointment. About 5 minutes after appointment time a tech came out to ask me what tire needed replacing. Apparently the note I wrote online didn't make it. Also apparently they don't look very closely - I expect he looked for flats or bad tread. After I explained, he got it. It took an hour (less time than Toyota) and was $105 ($50 less than Toyota). Lesson learned.

Home, football time. The Maryland game was on ESPNU, and just by dumb luck while trying to figure out why Tivo was not showing any channels between that, 788 and 790, I found I also had the Pac 12 channel, and it had the Washington game. So I flipped between them. Huskies totally blew out Idaho State, the Terps handled West VA handily. I was sort of disgusted to see Rick Neuheisel as the halftime Expert Commentator on Pac12, especially during a UW game.

During the next game, email said there was another package for me at the apartment office, no doubt the other US Mint order. I put on shoes & hat and went out into the covered outdoor passage, and the sky opened up, pouring down rain as hard as any Oregon coast storm. The guys coming out of the upstairs apartment going to the moving van said some rude things about how they thought they had just moved to Sunny California, WTF?

So I went back inside, watched more football and went onto the patio to read. I had been reading David Gerrold's The Man Who Folded Himself which had lots of good reviews, but gave it up about 1/4 of the way in. This was a case of enough material for a  short story being stretched into a novel, and he lost me when he started getting way too anal/philosophical about some of the paradoxes possible with time travel when the traveler not only meets himself, but also falls in love with and has sex with himself. Nuked that and pulled up another of his, Child of Earth, which seems like it was intended to be YA. It's billed as being in "The Sea of Grass Trilogy" but further research shows the second book was published 5 years later and is out of print, and there does not seem to be a 3rd book. Anyhow, for now I'm still reading it. We'll see for how long.

The moving van blocked my car all day, which encouraged me to watch more football.

When the rain let up, I picked up the 2nd Mint package, this was the Girl Scouts 100th anniversary commemorative set in a gift box, which I put into a priority mail package, printed a label and will mail Monday to my youngest sister, who was both a scout and a counselor. And I went online to order two sets of the quarters, one for her and one for me, and one set of 3 of the Ft. McHenry 2013 quarters for my Baltimore sister.

And while I was spending money, it occurred to me that maybe someone in the US is now making the very comfortable cut of briefs I found at Marks & Spencers in Inverness about 10 years ago and haven't seen since. M&S only ships within the UK, and I don't feel right about asking cousins to buy underwear for me. Or anyone else, except my valet.

Dinner was the last of the frozen fish fillets, with a side of dolmathes.

Plans for tomorrow:
Looks at weather maps.
If it looks like we will be spared the rain, the plan is to go to the gay rodeo in La Honda.
If it looks like rain, I will probably do a Costco or Safeway run and watch a lot of football.
And maybe shampoo the dirty spots out of the carpet and mop the kitchen floor.

howeird: (Default)
the way the government is running these days, April Fools' Day would be a Federal holiday.
This morning was quite the time suck. I was intending to sleep till 10, do my morning routine, change the litterboxes and relax or read until 1 when it was time to go to rehearsals.

But Kaan wanted to play fetch at 9, and I had the GoPro by the bed with the battery charged, so I snapped it onto the headband mount, fired up the app on my cell phone, and recorded some rounds of fetch. And that needed to be transferred to the PC, edited and exported for Youtube. But the transfers take a while, and I had read the help page on Turbo Tax which showed what I had been doing wrong in trying to amend my taxes, so I multi-tasked between the two, and before I knew it it was 12:45 and I hadn't done any of my morning stuff.

So I took meds and grabbed my reading glasses and jacket, punched the address of the rehearsal into the GPS and headed for some middle school in San Jose, which was more like in Cupertino. It only took 20 minutes to get there, and rehearsals did not start till 2, so I had a lot of time to walk around, watch soccer practice and discover I had forgotten to bring my Kindle.

This was the first rehearsal with the orchestra, and it was okay. Cast and musicians wandered in over the course of the first half hour. Seating was inadequate for such a large cast, and that orchestra is twice as large as it needs to be in most sections. I recognized a few of the musicians, one has worked several shows I have been on, a very good double-reed player. At least one of the two cellists sounded great. String bass player was familiar, and excellent. Overall, they sounded okay. Intonation was pretty good, they mostly played all the notes, and by the time we open they should be fine.

I'm still worried about our leading man, though. Excellent voice, but I have not heard him project well either in dialog or singing. We have a woman singing tenor and playing a man, and she is having a tough time learning a very difficult part and making herself heard. She's really an alto with a very low bottom note, I think. Lovely person, fun to be on stage with. There are three or four very weak soloists in the ensemble who have one solo line each. I like the share the wealth idea, and none of them will destroy the show if their line is not heard. But I'd rather have strong singers all around.

Maestro managed to work it so the chorus could eave early, which was about 4 or so. By 4:30 I was waiting for a manicure, a half hour wait and once again I regretted forgetting my kindle. I think it was tattoo special day, several of the women clients had a lot of ink on them. Two of them were very large canvases.

Next stop, my local PO to get another priority mail envelope (I had one for the IRS, needed another for the Franchise Tax Board). They have a display in the unlocked section for all the various free envelopes, but it was empty. So I went to the little PO near Sunnyvale CalTrain, and they had about a thousand express envelopes, and almost as many small flat rate boxes, but only padded flat rate envelopes. Around the corner is one of those contract stations, and he was open and gave me the kind I needed.

Home, took care of the litterboxes and staged them by the door then crashed on the recliner until I was ready to take them to the dumpster.

Printed PO labels from the site for the tax stuff, and now those are ready to drop off Monday.

Launched Quicken, saw that both my paycheck and bonus arrived in my account, so I paid off my Amex Blue, Capitol One  and Discover cards. The first two were small amounts, Discover was about equal to a paycheck. Will have to wait another paycheck to pay off Amex Costco card. That one's a 0% interest card. Actually, so is the Capitol One and Discover, but the latter is coming close to the end of its grace period.

With Things Being As They Are In The World™, I want to be as solvent as possible.

Broke for dinner. Last night I'd baked a 10-lb honey glazed spiral cut bone-in ham, the first time I have ever even thought of doing that. I did it in honor of Good Friday, and all my superstitious non-meat-eating friends. Before I went to bed I pulled all the slices off which I could, bagging them and throwing the bags in the freezer. Whichever company does this ham poops out before they cut the last few inches, so those I had to chop off in ugly chunks, which went into a bag in the fridge for further processing. Tonight I threw the chunks into the Cuisinart and made chips and slice-lets, and took about 1/3 of them, threw that into the cast iron skillet with some eggbeaters, string cheese and American Singles, and had a nice ham & cheese scramble. The remaining bits went back into the bag, and into the freezer.

Took the litterbox cartridges out to the dumpster, where a Chinese mover was trying to understand an Indian tenant. It was not pretty.

It rained intermittently all afternoon, but it's still pretty warm.

Fed the cats their Fancy Feast, caught up on LJ, FB and Twitter. Part of that was looking at the Hugo nominations (science fiction fans vote on these).  The Bay Area club is very strong, and works up a list of nomination suggestions for members by gathering them from the membership and posting them on the web site. I think LA, DC and maybe Boston does this too. There may be others. Anyhow, I was not surprised to see us well represented. Also not surprised to see [ profile] seanan_mcguire on there 5 times, and actually wondered why she wasn't on there for graphic novel-ish things too. I'm a fan of her, but not the genres she writes in. I was bothered a bit that she was running against herself in one category. Officially the Hugo is for the work, and not the author, but I'd bet real cash dollars that most people vote for the author as much as, if not more than, the work. I'd be in favor of a limit of one nomination per author per category. Which would also widen the "short performance" field which had three Dr. Who episodes running against each other.

And once again I have a dilemma on voting for fan artist, because [ profile] dinogrl and [ profile] maurinestarkey are both nominated, I love both of them and their work, and it's apples and oranges because Mo does stunning drawings and paintings, Spring does the most amazing genre jewelry. And dinosaur poop. Mo won last year so I think I'll vote jewelry this time.

I was tempted to throw my name in the ring, my photos have been seen by fans in the Bay Area, Denvention, Chicon and Boskone. But photography never draws the ooohs and aaahs of hand-crafted art. And I think that's probably As It Should Be.

My left knee has been hurting a lot the past few days, and not responding much to Tylenol. Can't take Ibuprofin because my liver is already waving the white flag.
Plans for tomorrow:
Fry's, buy a couple of reams of printer paper. I made a couple of mistakes printing the tax forms, fed the shredder a lot of paper.
It may continue to rain, in which case I'll catch up on Tivo & maybe throw Princess Bride on the blu-ray. My newest great-nephew was named Wesley, which made me want to puke at first, but on his first posted FB photo a light went on and I wrote a comment: "As you wish..."
I also may try to have a late lunch at Shoreline Park, especially if it rains.
Oh yes, Easter Sunday. Time to bite the head off a hollow chocolate bunny.


Jun. 18th, 2012 12:14 am
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After doing some more research on Compact Flash cards, I was surprised to find out that Lexar and a couple of other high-end manufacturers have 1000x models. All I have in my collection are 266x and 133x. Looking at some of the numbers posted on various camera geek sites, 1000x is in the area of diminishing returns (my camera probably cannot write that fast) but 600x looked like a plan. After some digging, I found 633x CF cards on sale and ordered 4 of the 16GB ones. I'll use those before I use the SD cards. The trade-off here is monetary. 10 of the 16GB SD cards which have an equivalent speed of about 80x cost $130. 4 of the 633x 16GB cards are $170.

Class 10 speed is 6 MB/s, 633x is 95 MB/s. 
Costwise -  $1.30 a MB/s for the SD card, $1.79 a MB/s for the CF. Pretty close.

In raw mode, I get about 750 images per 16GB card. If I shoot as much as I usually do on trips, that'll be one card every 2-3 days. For 18 days. Yeah, I'll have more than I need.

Today I did some laundry - shirts, and forgot about them while I went to the movies (MIB3-3D review is in the previous post). Loved it. Especially loved that there was actual acting.

After, I parked myself at Starbucks, and even though it was 85° outside there was shade, and a much better view of passing eye candy, of which there was a lot, it being a hot day and lots of people going to the flicks. Walked to Microcenter to see what they had in the way of CF cards, and "not hardly anything" was one way to describe it and "what they did have was way over-priced" would be another.

Home, too warm for the patio, but the aircon kicked in every now and then, which kept things cool enough. I am remembering that in Thailand a 76° day is called Winter.

Watched an episode of Eureka, and am finally starting to find Felicia Day annoying. Or her character, at least.

Finally remembered to put the shirts in the dryer, and eventually take them out and hang them up. Now the colored stuff is in the dryer. One nice thing about the apartment, the people upstairs get the heat from the dryer, not me.

Forgot to do so many things today, like take care of the boxes in the bedroom and take pictures of my eyes. But I did remember to box up the broken VCR to send back to the eBay seller who obviously did not check it like he said; and T-shirts to nephew and sister and their respective spice.

A lot of folks liked the photo of my dad I'd posted on FB, so here it is:

4/11/2008 at the Seattle homestead. If it wasn't crosswords it was sodoku, or an annotated book from the Old Testament - he had the complete set from Soncino. If that date is right, in this photo he was 84. Hmm. That does not sound right. But yeah, that was the last week they lived in the house. They moved to a senior apartment complex on 4/15/2008. Dad did not like Father's Day, he thought Mother's Day was enough.

Plans for tomorrow:
Maybe BASFA.


In A Pickle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plans for tomorrow:
Enjoy the nice weather. Maybe finish the OSC book and move on to Slave Girl of Gor.
Go to the Sunnyvale Art Gallery open studio event and hopefully see my G&S friend Connie, who has some work on display.
Coffee with Janice
Test a batch of pickles

Good News

Apr. 25th, 2012 11:16 pm
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Got a lot done at work, finally found a bug, and had it confirmed by the guy who had run the same test on the last release. Also finally got a loan of some equipment which had been tied up in an all-week test, just needed it for 15 minutes, but it took longer because IT decided to take the video network down for an upgrade. WTF? With half an hour's warning in the middle of the day when people are running long-term tests?

Lunch was at Thaibodia, one last chance to redeem themselves. The waitress did not speak Thai - she's Cambodian. Pat Thai had the wrong kind of noodles. Thai Iced Tea was not very strong. They're off my list.

One-on-one with boss, we confirmed that he will be in Thailand the whole time I am there. He showed me on Google maps where his house is. Turns out his eldest, whom I have not met, is going to become a monk and I'm invited to the festivities. We'll know the date later, and it depends on whether I have commitments elsewhere. Those are a blast, I would really like to see it.

And to top it all off, I got a raise. Not huge, but a decent chunk of change. It doesn't mean my job is secure, it just means the company finally followed through with its merit program (the raise is from last year's team performance).

It was raining hard when I left work, but still pretty warm, so I went straight home. Watched the rain from the patio, but no thunder/lightning this time.

In the mail was a bill from Sprint's collections company - which made me livid because I had just sent an angrygram to Sprint telling them to stop sending me bills for a phone I never used, and returned to them well within the 14-day approval period. So I gathered up all my paperwork, copied it, circled the appropriate areas, and wrote a nastygram to the collection company, which included the angrygram. Effing idiots.

Plans for tomorrow:
No idea

Rain Rain

Nov. 19th, 2011 10:42 pm
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 It is no fun taking photos in the wet&windy&cold  on an airport runway, so I did not go to this morning's model rocket launch. I watched TV. Sat in the recliner with my feet up, an ace bandage on my left knee and a cold compress on top of it. Saw another entertaining upset, Michigan walked all over Nebraska, 45-17. If anything the game was more lopsided than the score. Also watched LSU clobber Ole Miss, and was thoroughly disgusted that one of the announcers thought it was rude of LSU to take a knee four times when they found themselves at the 1 yard line with about 3 minutes to go and ahead 52-3. It's called sportsmanship, idiot. He thought they were insulting the Ole Miss defense. No, the insult would have been to go for it.

Pumpkin has managed to use up a litterbox in a day, a new record. He is  back down to 13 lbs. I need to figure out how to check his Hgl levels. It's time for insulin, I think.

And in other cat news, 3 nights ago I set out the usual two canned food bowls, putting the brand X low-carb in the one on the left and the Friskies normal carbs on the right. The Friskies was completely consumed, the brand x almost untouched. Just for grins I swapped bowls, putting the empty one on the left and the full one on the right. In 8 hours it was empty. Next I only put out one bowl, with Brand X. It disappeared too. I have no idea what is going on.

Went to OSH and got 2' of Astroturf-like carpet, and then went to NASA for a lecture on the Mars missions, with a focus on Curiosity which is the next gen rover due to launch Friday morning. Then to Pet Club for a couple of litterbox refills.

Home, laid out the carpet under the study windows, and set up both litterboxes on it. The windows have inserts which would allow me to keep them open a couple of inches, I just need to ask Maintenance how they deploy. Anyhow, the small bathroom is a bathroom again, or will be when I vacuum it. Keeping the door closed for now, don't want any presents left in there.

The Big Game is on, but random samplings have shown it to not be living up to the name. I suspect Stanford was shaken more than they should have been by last week's blowout by a bunch of quackers.

Finally dumped out onto the livingroom floor the box with the stuff from the TV stand cabinets. Threw out a lot of manuals for things I no longer own, and a lot of cables and wires ditto, and bundled up a lot of other wires and put everything in its place. Except a power strip and heavy duty extension cord which came out of the bedroom and don't belong anywhere anymore.

Packages received today included something which claims to be a battery charger for my Droid Bionic, but it has no illustrations, and no English. There is a lot of Chinese on the box. But even if I get a friend to translate, the device looks iffy. I was expecting something like the charger for the HTC batteries, where you slap the battery into the charger. This one has two sliding prongs - plastic on the top, metal on the bottom - which are supposed to grab two contacts on the battery by the edge. Don't know which two, and even if I did I wouldn't trust it.

Also incoming was a pair of wireless speakers which I wanted to put in the study so I could hear the TV, but I need to build a connector. Or I may find something at Radio Shack. Or Fry's.

Plans for tomorrow:
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The day started way too early with an 8:15 am appointment at the vet to get Pumpkin weighed. Once again had to pull him out from under the bed. It's easy now, he's much lighter. Good news, he gained ¼ lb since Wednesday, the vet says no insulin yet, just keep feeding him what I've been feeding him. :-)

Home, relaxed with the cats till 10, then went to the office to pick up a package - two more wi-fi webcams. Started setting them up. Piano tuner showed up a little after noon, he did a good job of electronic tuning and explained that 100+ year old strings are in pretty good shape, a couple of them waver a little, but nothing short of a complete re-stringing would fix that, and it would cost more than the piano is worth. While he was plunking I finished setting up the webcam software which was more bother than the first two were because my router has some odd ideas about what a port conflict consists of, and it does not like using port numbers < 8000 for pass-through. I mounted one on the computer room wall which had been pointing at the cat's food station because its infrared was not working. One of the new ones took its place, and another old one was swapped to the top of the piano so I can see both the couch and the area in front of the patio door which the cats like to park in front of. The last one points at the foot of the bed, another of the parking areas. The first three are viewable by the public, the 4th is not. Read more... )

Piano tuner guy said my name was not on the gate directory, and my entry code did not work. I checked on the way back from dinner and he is right. Been here a month, there's no excuse for that. Will be calling the office Monday morning about that.

Printed up my theater resume/head shot for tomorrow's audition. Pirates of Penzance at Lyric Theater. The director is someone I directed at Stanford many years ago. I've played the police sgt. twice in that show, this time I want to be a pirate. It's more work, but more fun. And more comfortable costumes. I've decided to sing something which does not show off my voice: Where Is Love from Oliver. I wanted to sing As Long As He Needs Me, but it's too high. Ditto Happiness from that Peanuts musical.

Set up all the webcams in the call phone and in the PC. Discovered Pumpkin was curled up behind my chair as I was doing that.

Watched Stanford clobber some Pac12 team. Watched Cal do something similar, but not as thoroughly. Odd to see them play in SF in a baseball stadium. Kind of bizarre that in the middle of the budget crunch Cal, and UW are building new stadiums.

My eye is still bothering me. Will do urgent care Monday if it is still irritated.

Broke out the vacuum-shrink clothes bags and shrunk two comforters and six pillows. The amount of air in those things is amazing. I also re-did all my t-shirts, they are now on their shelves sorted by subject, though the subjects have some slack built into them. They include:
  • Travel (with separate sections for Thai and NOLA)
  • Local
  • Humorous
  • Science/Sci-Fi
  • Theater
  • X-rated
  • UW
  • Seattle
  • Blank
  • Vanity

I'll auction off a few at BASFA which are topical and no longer fit me. May also auction off a space-themed comforter, but that depends on attendance.

Went for a late dinner at Sizzler. Horrible service. The ice cream machine was serving liquids, many people mentioned this to the manager but nothing was done about it, not even an "out of order" sign. That corner of the room became the Spanish-speaking employees' chat area at about 9 (they close at 10) which was annoying because I was sitting there.

It rained most of the evening.

As I write this, I'm transferring my tunes (including ringtones) to the new phone. Moto uses a different directory structure than HTC so I had to wipe the SD card and restore stuff from backup.

Plans for tomorrow:
Morning: football & relax. Sleep in
Afternoon: movie & coffee w/ a friend
Evening: Pirates Auditions

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Moving has made me miss friends performing in Oliver, HMS Pinafore, 42nd Street, Gypsy, Shout, Bandstand Beat and probably a couple of other shows I truly wanted to see. Foo.
Woke up this morning with a handful of Pumpkin. Petting him revealed huge mats - I found the kitchen scissors and chopped off several of the bigger ones. He was not amused.

I mentioned that I had not found the wireless controller which turns on the lights in the apartment, or the radio from the night stand, or the bedroom's DVD player or the Comcast box I have to return to them or pay $500 for. This morning I heard a clock radio's backup alarm beeping from deep inside the closet in the computer room. I had to unpack the entire walk-in closet to get to it, it was at the furthest corner below several other boxes. All those items were in there. The box was clearly marked "bedroom" in the chief mover's handwriting. It had to be one of the first boxes into the apartment, when there was plenty of room in the bedroom closet. Foo.

But I did manage to set up the DVD player and test it. I need to re-think the clock radio, though. It's awkward for a bedside alarm machine, the buttons are not in intuitive places.

That made me a few minutes late for work, but not the 20 minutes it would have been from the old apartment. Yay.

Work started out slowly, but when I finally got together with the Person Who Knows, I was able to knock out two test cases in maybe half an hour. There was some administrative work to be done, and I took time during a break to try to set up automatic payments with Comcast, but for some reason they have tied that to the IP phone service, and want a PIN number I don't have and should not need for this. I'll try calling a human tomorrow - the online chat people don't understand much English.

At lunchtime I went to the CU and did the verified signature thing, and got my full account number for direct deposit (the one they give out when you sign up is missing a bunch of ones and zeros which are filler to appease the federal banking system).

Had lunch at St. John's, which was way noisier than I remembered it, and out of >100 customers I saw maybe 4 women.

Just as I was getting ready to wind things down at work, a bug I'd filed was reported as fixed, so I gave it a try and it failed. The engineer came over to see, but then it worked. And it stayed working, so I closed the bug. He thinks it's the home made test software QA uses to get around buying a lot of very expensive servers, and I would tend to agree.

After work I went to the 2nd nearest Safeway (the nearest is in the evening commute direction) and was somewhat boggled - it is maybe 3x larger than the ones I used in Mountain View. Lots of eye candy. Lots of Halloween candy. Took a while to find where they hid the dishwasher detergent. Took longer to find the ice cream, but that's because I was coming from the detergent aisle. Got lots of frozen stuff, microwave dinners mostly, one or two of which will be dinner after I write this.

Weather has been very odd. Cold in the morning, very hot and humid in the evening. One thing I am grateful for is last week when we had the unseasonable several days of rain, I heard nobody say "but we need the rain". I want to smack people who say that, it just annoys me. This year topped the rainfall charts in the Bay Area so no, we don't need the rain. There is no more room for it to be stored.

This evening I have slacked a bit on the unpacking, I'll have the bathroom all done tonight, may get some more of the kitchen done. I thought about printing new return address labels, but I am out of the blank forms. And new business cards are designed and ready to print but that printer is still on the floor across the room.

Plans for tomorrow:
More unpacking
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Seriously sleep deprived yesterday from being up too early for movers' estimators, and staying up late. Dragged through the day, no time for a nap after work but I did lie down for half an hour. Almost did not drag myself to band rehearsals, but playing music always perks me up. Home again, heated up some clam chowder for dinner, gave the cats their treats and went to bed.  Turns out I was unusually productive at work.

Today was much better. Crashed my test machine while running a test which said they fixed the problem of "if you do x y and z, the machine will crash". The program manager and I had a chat, and we talked to the programmer, and he came over to my desk to see what I had done to make it happen. Good stuff, it's why I like the place.

It's Friday, so a bunch of us climbed into the brand new SUV of the guy in the next cube from me. Seated 7 comfortably with room for one more. 19 mpg. We went to a new nearby Greek place. Good salads, good meat, overcooked veggies, so-so rice. $12 for lamb shank special seemed reasonable. Most items are $10-$11. About 2 blocks from Fry's.

Got home a little earlier than expected, taking Central Expressway and Middlefield home is faster than the freeway, and less crazy. Had two bills to pay to get the medical center and hospital off my back until I can write the nastygrams which need to go to both the insurance company and their CFOs. Better to not have anything bad on my credit rating from them not knowing that Los Angeles in not in Georgia.

Also needed to print out, sign 4 times, initial 7 times, scan back in and email my moving company order. Decisions. Their schedule of insurance rates is truly strange. $500 deductible costs a mere $70. $250 deductible is $135. $0 deductible is $422. I chose door #2. The only things they could break which would cost more than $250 to fix are the piano and mattresses. $422 would be more than the risk is worth, I think.

That done it was off to Palo Alto, a nice neighborhood not too far from me, with my old beater baritone horn, which a 10-year-old girl was wanting to play. I'd mentioned at band I was looking for a good home for it, and one of the tuba players saw on her neighborhood web site someone was looking for one. The girl was overjoyed, she said it was in better shape than the ones at the school (which they don't have any for her to play). She has had two lessons at school, but it's a class of 30 kids, and her mom said they are learning way too slowly. But the girl was able to get notes out, and just needs a good teacher. Mom is looking into private lessons, which is a good idea. The horn weighs as much as the girl does, but she knows how to hold it sitting down, which is a start.

Journal  interrupted by a major thunderstorm, which I went onto the balcony to watch. Mostly cloud-to-cloud, but a couple of huge ground strikes, one looked like it hit Google HQ. It looked to be way in the distance, thunder mostly wasn't reaching me. But then it started dripping, so I put the covers on the litterboxes and came inside. Now it is POURING. The lightning has stopped, though. Huge raindrops, clouds must be at 15,000 feet. I'd have expected hail, but nope, just wetness.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, win-win. The girl has a non-traditional instrument she is totally jazzed about, Mom got it for a really good price, Dad used to play trumpet so he can help with valve oiling and maybe even some starter teaching. And I have one less big item to move and find a place for in the new apartment.

email from my Baltimore sister & brother-in-law that their apartment was not only flooded, but they were given till Monday to move out, along with 23 other units. Property managers found them a home at another of their locations. Their son is getting married next month, I'll see it then.
Plans for tomorrow:
Boss' daughter's birthday party (a chance to take pictures and speak Thai)
Laundry tomorrow or Sunday
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The hoarder part of me went on an external hard drive buying spree many months ago, and there have been five of them cluttering up the floor in front of the CD shelves. Two of them were set aside because my previous motherboard could never hold an eSATA connection, and at 1TB, USB and Firewire were not fast enough to do a backup in my lifetime. One was USB, and had to be retired when 300GB was less room than my backups. Another eSATA was dropped, and may or not be broken. I am currently using a 6th drive, network attached, which does the incremental backups once a week in about 35 minutes. It only backs up drive C, which does not include my photos - those are on a pair of internal hard mirrored drives.

Saturday's backup failed - I had done so much changing on iTunes, which is tracked on C:, that the PC went to sleep before the backup was done. I had to start it again, after changing my power settings to not sleep. It took all day. Maybe it was slower because I was also formatting a USB Toshiba external drive which I had been tripping over all week. I figured while I was on this jag I may as well format the eSATA drives, now that I have a working connection. I was stupid - I knew it would get to be furnace temps upstairs in the computer room today. Even stupider, after I formatted the 500GB eSATA, I formatted the 1TB drive, I ran a bad block scan, which took hours, and then backed up all my photos - another 3 hours.

And now I have one of the two firewire drives formatting - it had a partial photo backup and some iTunes stuff on it.

Not sure what I am going to do with the sanitized drives. Recycle, probably.

As if it wasn't hot enough, I decided to edit my Dad's home movies of the arctic, split the file in half and post the halves on Facebook. That took way too long. While I was at it, I did some net searches and found that the JPL had pdf-ef all the bulletins from the AIDJEX project he was data manager of, and they had a link to some photos which were taken up on the ice by the staff photographers, and there were two of him. I had never seen those before. Posted them on FB too.

Finally shut the PC off and wet to Starbucks for the air conditioning and a Frap. Inside/outside cooling. Read more Darwin on the Kindle there. The stoopid Kindle free version does not include any of his charts, and I was reading a section where he was going into detail explaining the charts by referring to their various points. A1 and F2 and M3, etc. Kind of useless. But each chapter I read I am more and more impressed with the depth and breadth of research he did personally, and read about, and how there is something on almost every page which was controversial when he wrote it, but is now taught word for word in science classes. Also, I am 1/4 of the way through the book, and he has not mentioned The Beagle or Galapagos yet.

Almost fell asleep there. I woke up too early this morning, and the lack of anything useful to do made the day go by very slowly. The heat did not help. Had a Jones for a nap and an Italian sausage sandwich. Went to Tony & Alba's and ordered two sandwiches, which I would not done if they had told me before I ordered them that it would take 20 minutes on account of them filling a huge pizza order first. Read some more Darwin in their not air conditioned, too-small joint with inadequate fans. Once I got them, I went home, took a nap, woke up at about 10:30 and had a sandwich and put the other one in the fridge.

Caught the last 5 minutes of the Miss USA pageant, was surprised they picked auburn haired Italian Miss California over blonde Miss Texas. I was offended by the way they spirited the losers off the stage as soon as each runner-up was announced. They didn't even wait to give her the huge bouquet of flowers first.

Watched some news, and here I am now.

Plans for tomorrow:
Job hunt
Maybe find a pool to swim in. They have the apartment pool roped off for some unknown reason.

howeird: (Default)
I had one an hour ago, can't remember it.

Today started at Best Buy, 10:30 dropped the car off to get the old in-dash unit pulled out and the new one installed. He said it would take an hour. It took 2 hours. I spent most of that on the benches outdoors around the plaza, then into Starbucks when it got cold and windy and looked like rain.

They have a fixed price, and it is pretty reasonable for work done on a unit they didn't sell.

First thing I did is back into a very low wall where I thought there was road, getting out of their very long driveway. No real damage at 3 mph, but I did take make an amateur embossing of the wall on my back bumper. It'll come off the next car wash.

Sat in the back parking lot setting up the easy stuff, pairing the bluetooth with my phone (it also does audio over bluetooth) and making sure everything worked. I'll do the radio presets tomorrow.

Went shopping for assorted groc, hit three stores in all. My next batch of pickles will be gherkins. I bought enough for 6 per jar (the bigger cukes were 4 per jar) and another jar of grape leaves for crispness. This time it'll be my own pickle recipe. Got Siberian pirogi this time (Ukranian last time) and cheese bourekas, which are puff pastry goodies we used to get at the Sephardic temple bazaars. The Crossroads World Market has some neat stuff.  Too bad their challah was a week old. At Milk Pail I think I found [ profile] susandennis' famous sheep d'argental cheese. Ate some of that after lunch on Ritz crackers, and it was excellent, with a bit of an after-bite. Love the strong aroma. Orange rind.

Home, unpacked the documentation which came with the new car unit, and discovered the installer had not read the instructions, and did not mount the removable nav unit anywhere it could be reached without taking out the whole unit. I called to find out if I was mistaken about that, but nope. This is a Tom Tom which needs a PC on a network plugged into the USB port on the nav unit in order to update maps. The unit comes with a free update which has to be used in 90 days. He ignored the mounting hardware for it. I'll bring that in Tuesday morning, so he can correct the mistake.

I have reservations for camping out at Del Valle Tuesday night, I think I have to be there by 4 to not lose the spot. This is going to be interesting, because thunderstorms are forecast for tomorrow, and I won't know if it will be good enough weather for fishing until Tuesday morning. I'm not keen on camping in the rain. Let me rephrase that. I'm not keen on packing up a wet tent and dealing with cleanup/dry-out after.

If prospects for job interviews Tues/Wed come up, that takes priority over camping. At the moment that does not look likely, but things can change quickly on a Monday.

Plans for tomorrow:
Job hunt
Watch the rain
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Wounding time before the eclipse starts. Writing is productive, so it's not chronocide. Up early, which means when my first alarm went off. Was on the road 5 minutes before the diamond lanes opened up, and of course this would be one of those when the lead engineer is late, and I forgot about our sorta-boss' effing 10 am Monday weekly meeting. Only half the crew were working, and most of them are taking some time off even though they are Hindu and Moslem. Go figure.

I didn't get a machine to test till after 11, and right off the bat found it had the same showstopper bug as the last model I tested from this manufacturer. As soon as I added the info to the previous bug (which was still being worked on my our resident streaming expert) things started perking. He came over to compare notes, he had a real good theory about the cause of the problem, which I quickly debunked. The device has a tool which measures the network connection speed, and it has always reported way low bandwidth compared to all my other network tools. After some chatting with the manufacturer's rep, it turns out their test of for connection to the manufacturer's server - in Korea. O-tay! Many of my tests were blocked by that bug, which meant less work now, more work later.

Most of the rest of the day was spent in the boring tests. Also logged some bugs against test cases which had cut and paste errors.

Bailed at 6, intending to go straight home and watch the Bears-Vikings game, but my alarm said I had an appointment at Psycho Donuts, which is about 3 miles from work. Got there, bought some decidedly non-psycho donuts. I guess you have to get there early. Then home, missed Bret getting pounded, was impressed by the rookie backup, but the Vikes were no match for Jake Cutler and a very impressive Bears team on both sides of the ball. Except when they were in the Red Zone, which was a mess because the coach kept sending in "run 'em up the middle" fiascoes.

During the game Domino did some running around, trying to get Pumpkin to chase her, which looked way too much like how she was acting at the time of her hypothyroid diagnosis. She has lost a little weight lately too. That was a little more than a year ago. Might also be because I had her favorite window open (screen closed) and she smelled neighborhood playmates. 

After the game I went outside and looked for the moon, and was surprised to see it visible through a thin layer of rapidly moving clouds. According to NASA's diagram, eclipse starts at 10:33 with totality starting in an hour and a quarter.  I don't think I'll stay out past that.

Because of the game I didn't go to BASFA. I have some things to auction, but those will wait till after the holidaze. Also decided not to drive out to Coffee Society for a 9 pm photog get-together. Did not want to miss the eclipse. Ironic because my first reason was I thought it would be raining.

Enough already.
Plans for tomorrow:
Who knows?


Aug. 24th, 2010 12:54 am
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I am up too late, it must be Monday. Work was a summer festival. We had new firmware to install on four models of the same brand's blu-ray players. The firmware was specifically to fix four major bugs we had found. Long story short, three of the bugs were still there, and it took not much time to fail the devices again. I passed some time watching more of The Sarah Connor Chronicles than I had to (it was the TV series in which another engineer had seen the bug which had been fixed) and I went outside to see what 93° felt like. With only 20% humidity, it was not too bad. Nothing compared to a summer day in Bangkok.

Just before I decided it was time to go home I bought a refurbished Nikon D300s on from a camera store in GA. Last Saturday's photos of the model rocket launch reminded me how much I missed 1/8000 sec. and 6 fps shutter repeat. And I still have a bucketload of CF memory from when I had the plain D300. The only thing I don't miss is the incredibly stupid 10-pin connector which serves both the GPS and the remote. Which is why I'll still use the D90.

Left at 6 instead of what has become my usual 7, but then I had gotten my butt on the road on time this morning and was there at about 9:15. Parked at eye candy central, the Blossom Hill @ Los Gatos Blvd Starbucks and read a couple of chapters on the iPhone from How To Teach Physics To Your Dog. The title should really be "Quantum physics" and the guy's dog conveniently follows more of the theory than most Physics 101 students would. But it covers a lot of the bases which they didn't know about when I was in school, and the more he explains, the more contrived quantum theory seems to me to be.

Babes rehearsals were intense. I discovered that a scene which the rehearsal schedule seemed to say only included the leads actually has everyone onstage. I don't do anything in the scene except be a warm body, so missing that rehearsal was no great loss.

While I was at work, TheatreWorks called, asking if I could step into a minor roll in their mid-October show. Quite a compliment, unfortunately it's the same schedule as Babes. That's the second invitation I've received from being in the TBA database. Maybe something will come up which I can actually do.

Had a major financial panic tonight. Got home and ran my nightly Quicken update, and saw a huge difference in what Quicken said my checking account balance was and what BofA said it was. Quicken had failed to match a big deposit entry I had made with the cleared event and it led me to invest twice as much in a money market account than I should have. In other words, two big deposits in the register when only one had been made. Nothing will bounce as a result, but it means I'll have to juggle a credit card payment and pull some cash from an account I don't normally touch, until the money market brokerage lets me put half back on the 1st. After which I can un-juggle the credit card and pay back the other account.

You would think after all these years, Quicken would have fixed their pattern matching algorithm.

Enough already.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work. We get to test our new in-house "attended automation testing" tool. Yippee
Babes rehearsal
And there should be a new Nikon lens to pick up from the lock box. 

Fanime Fail

Jun. 4th, 2010 08:30 pm
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Thanks to crappy lighting, the pix I took at Fanime masquerade are grainy and blurry and too contrasty to make pretty, so they won't be posted on Flickr.

In other photo news, it looks like I will be doing two shoots the weekend after this, with two different Meetup groups, one of which is new, run by one of the better photographers who was at many of the other shoots I went to.

Thought about going to Little Shop of Horrors at the Bus Barn tonight, but decided their prices don't justify the production quality lately. And I needed a nap.

Turned the pilot light off on the furnace this morning and shut off the thermostat. Tomorrow when I change the litterboxes I'll leave the covers off. That'll make it easier for Pumpkin, and the crystals will stay active longer. Opened the sliding door to the balcony and pulled the screen door into place on the computer room side. Will be taking the cat door out tomorrow morning.

Long boring day at work, till almost the end, when I figured out that a network traffic shaper program which I thought was an in-house project is actually built into Ubuntu. It is an arcane command line app, not intuitive and the man pages are more confusing than the app itself.

Plans for tomorrow:
Palo Alto, pick up 8mm film to DV Tape transfer
Go to Greek dinner and a play with a Meetup group
Maybe read some more of the voters' guide
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Long day at work, watched Return of the Mummy for my full length movie test, the TV I was testing didn't give me HD as it was supposed to, but it did for the pilot episode of Weeds. Had to play snippets of several other HD movies to see if it was bad enough to file a bug. Lots of routine repetitive tests which should have gone through quickly, but the unit decided to lock up during some of those, and again it took time to narrow down the symptoms and repeatability. Filed three bugs, which may be a record for me in one day. Stayed till 7:30 because I had an audition at Saratoga, which is one freeway exit away.

The audition was for the whole next season at South Bay Musical Theater (which changed its name last year from Saratoga Drama Group). Very short audition, they had us sing the piece we brought with us, but everyone was stopped after about 32 bars. That worked fine for me, but some people were counting on their spectacular endings.

I was called back for the part I wanted in Music Man, Forum offered me a part which would mostly be sitting in the green room, so I declined.  Knowing the director, I suspect he has pre-cast at least one of the two parts I wanted. Maybe both. Did not get called back for Mack & Mabel, but that's probably because I don't tap dance. The audition sheet for M&M didn't say what vocal range the characters were, which is not a good sign.

Plans for tomorrow:
try to stay dry.

Overnight lows in the 40s, rain the week of Memorial Day - WTF?

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