howeird: (Default)
Today was okay. Woke up at 6, looked around the house, couldn't find Spook anywhere. I did not look under my bed, or in the space between the sofa and the easy chair which somehow she manages to dive into in search of toys. Usually she comes out for treats when I get to the kitchen, but not today.

On the road way early, AG called with news that the person who took his place at Arris is going home to India, there will be no more automated testing, which is the same as saying there will be no more product. Not surprising, Arris made the wrong decision when they picked project specs & managers.

Stuff got done again at work. The installer came and by the end of the day had installed punch-key code locks on all the doors on the first floor, except one which has an in-handle lock and what's inside allegedly belongs to another group, thought I could swear it was open when they moved out, and empty except for a conference table and chairs.

I marked up my map of the floor with the combinations and sent it to Boss. The engineers next door were given the code to their doors (two doors, one code, same room).

It was chilly all day, no way to tell if the air conditioner is actually working. It should be summer again by the time I get back (Tuesday PM or Wednesday).

I ran the standard automation test suite on the not-ready-to-test unit from Oz, but before I had time to look at the results Boss gave me a whole new assignment, which I can't say much about except it involves testing some bleeding edge software on all the boxes. I installed it on three, Boss said to wait till after the holiday to do anything with it. First glance it looks seriously broken. As expected.

Part of that was firing up a TV which has been sitting in a corner behind another TV since before I got there. Very old software, took hours to figure out how to make it behave itself.

Lunch was Swedish meatballs and sharp white cheddar. Famous Amos for dessert.

No sign of the invaders back at the hole, but someone left a bicycle in what would be the break room if the room wasn't gutted.

Took a break at 4, the hot chocolate machine is still not working, and the minions apparently had the day off. One very attractive young woman sat across the way from me.

Quitting time, left all the machines running, they will automatically update over the weekend.

Orchard Supply, got another figurine for the garden, some catnip seeds to mix into Spook's greens, and a gallon of high in nitrogen & phosphorus with a touch of potassium liquid fertilizer. And some horticultural sand. You can lead a whore to culture, but...???

Home, watered down the compost bins, poured half a gallon of the fertilizer into each of them, and tied down the lids. Watered the two onions which are growing back where the tomatoes used to be, and also wet down the salvia. My milkweed starts are dead. Out front, did some OCD cleanup of the garden, got some poppy plants off of the lilacs they were smothering. At least I think they are lilacs. Watered the roses too, and filled the trays under the lime trees.

OCD time again, in prep for the kitchen lights installation Tuesday, I moved the cart and bar stools away from the kitchen island, and vacuumed. There was a lot of dirt under those.  Also sucked up the leaves at the base of the bay windows which fall off the plants hanging there. And then took everything off the island and wiped it down. First time since I moved in that it was empty. The lights are right above it, and the fewer things to knock over the better. I left the microwave cart in place, since I expect to use it a few times before then.

But instead of using it tonight I made a plate of cold stuff. Lox, marinated artichoke hearts, marinated olives, sliced hard boiled egg, baby carrots & hummus and a couple of pieces of baby cow cheese. Pistachio halvah topped with chocolate pudding for dessert. Watched another episode of Dark Matter, and they have finally gone too far with the plot reversals. Highly telegraphed, which is not like them. The wimp actor continues to phone it in, and the extras they brought in to be intimidating aren't.

Listening to the last of the Thai CDs from the current batch. Very cool concept, called Songs To Screen Project which apparently was a project where well known singers/bands had a song written for them which would end up being used in a TV show or movie. The track list gives the name of the song, the artist and what show it was used in. My new favorite band Klear has 6 of the 16 songs, one of them is the song which prompted me to buy their stuff. There's also a track by a singer I don't know which I liked a lot, called วันนั้น wan nan - That Day (in the future).

Took the vases of rose cuttings out of the sink and put them on the kitchen island, along with garden clippers and sand. And I also left the Z-wave switch on there for the installers to have a go at.
A note about the Hugo Award nominee reading packet. A few notes. First note is I am tossing any works of non-science fiction. Just a personal prejudice, based on the fact that most fantasy writers don't stick to the rules they have created for their world. I want to keep the science fiction in the premier awards given by the World Science Fiction Conventions. There are other awards and conventions for fantasy. Another note is some of the works have only submitted excerpts. I cannot judge a book from an excerpt any more than I can judge a movie from its trailer. I'll be tossing those out as well. And finally, some of the pdf's are not formatted to be easily readable in the Kindle app. Font sizes too small, word wrap disabled, etc. I won't toss those immediately, but it will make it harder to become my first choice.
Plans for tomorrow:
Prepare the rose clippings for rooting
Try again with the salvia - need to lop off the flowers
Plant another onion and maybe some garlic.
howeird: (Default)
Up and out early, my SmartHub says the 8:30 am scheduled power outage was right on time, but ended at 2:45 instead of 5:30. Spook was chomping at the food tower when I checked after the juice came on. Then she jumped up to the window sill to guard the neighborhood.

Grabbed the usual from the break room at work, then to the hole, where soon someone was knocking on the back door. HVAC repair guy, didn't notice the door bell on the front door.

He thought the air conditioner was on the second floor, so he called someone from facilities to let him in up there. I should have remembered it is outside next to the building. Anyhow, eventually he figured it out, got it turned on, and said the building had central air, which meant the thermostats in the rooms were useless. It was too chilly outside that early in the morning, but by the time I left it was clear that there was some minimal improvement in my room, but the main building was very cool.

Lunch was Lean Cuisine cheese ravioli which was good news bad news. The bad news is it is horrible, the good news is there wasn't much of it.

Back at the hole, several strangers with Google badges were trying to get in, but didn't have a key. They were legit - sort of. Their group had moved to another building months ago, but they apparently are moving back. I let Boss know, she'll have to deal with it, since she was under the impression she owned the whole first floor now.

Break time I punched up a hot chocolate and got slightly browned water. I'll mention it to the new crew, who have diligently been maintaining the coffee in that machine all week.

I expected Boss to show up with the Australian box, but she didn't.

Home, traffic was awful.  Listening to the MP3 CD of Thai female singers, they snuck in a couple of guys, but it's an interesting mix of every conceivable (and a couple of inconceivable) genres. The Thai equivalent of rapping to an opera aria. Sort of. Isan Likay in the style of Beyoncé.  I hit the skip button a few times. But liked the tracks I'd bought it for, new favorite group Klear and old favorite Endorphine.

In the mailbox once again was something from Kaiser which I've phoned and written them not to send. Right on the envelope it urges me to sign up for paperless delivery. Which I have done. Which they ignore.

Grabbed the broom and cleaned up in front of the garden, a pretty big pile of twigs, leaves and such. As I was finishing up, across the street neighbor Louis came over to complain about the idiotic results of the latest park inspection. They want him to paint his house. It doesn't need it. They want him to remove the trellis from his back yard fence. The fence and the trellis belong to the neighbor behind him. I reminded him that I'd already set him up with a landlord-tenant negotiator, now's the time to call and make that appointment.

Dumped the pile of stuff into one of the compost bins, and then emptied a bag of Bee's Friend dead plants into each of the two and watered them well. Master gardener sister says to cut them into small bits, but that would take way too long. I looked into renting a chipper/mulcher but didn't find any. She also said to add a nitrogen source, so I think I'll buy some fish fertilizer to dump on top. Or something.

Also need to pull out some of the poppies, which have overgrown their areas.

Dinner was herb roasted chicken, fudge ice cream. And another episode of Dark Matter. The actor playing the wimp is doing way too good a job. I don't think it's acting.

Swiffered the kitchen. It needed it badly. Visualized where I'll put the microwave carts on either side of the kitchen island to make room for the installers. Also put all the booze in the fridge which had been on floor. Except for the pilsner beer, which I think I will drop off at the break room at work.

Plans for tomorrow:
Start at the big building. Grab breakfast and wait for Boss, and get the Aussie machine. Drive to the hole and test it.
Root the rose clippings. I think they will go into pots on the porch between/behind the lime trees.


May. 25th, 2017 12:14 am
howeird: (Default)
Nothing much to report except while I was having lunch I was experiencing an insulin crash. They had M&Ms on hand, which saved me.

Boss is arranging for us to get trained on a new device from a well-known local company, named after a Japanese sci-fi monster. No, not Gojira.

Facilities guy never showed up to do something about the air conditioning. Looks like the heat is on all day, regardless of the temperature.

Lunch was Swedish meatballs. There was diet Coke! Famous Amos and M&Ms for dessert. Back in the hole, Hgl was 97. Very low for postprandial.

Break, finished one short story, started another in the Hugo 2017 packet. I think this one is my #1 - made me cry. By a well established YA author, but the story is adult.

Capri Nail Spa after work, had to wait an hour. Got more reading done. They stayed open longer for me.

Home on 101, traffic was heavier than it should have been after 7.

Took some rose cuttings, stuck them in vase, will root them soon.

Delivered was the long-awaited set of Thai CDs. One was an MP3 CD, I'll listen to it in the car. 50 tracks of female pop hits.

Also delivered was a 3-month supply of insulin syringes.

Marie C chicken fried beef-like substance, double fudge ice cream with walnuts. Watched another episode of Dark Matter. Best Netflix sci-fi so far.

Rent bill was in the park slot, tried to print a check, once more no MICR line. Boo, hiss. Ended up uninstalling, re-installing and patching and then creating a whole new account and check design. This time Spook is the background image, but so light you can hardly recognize her. I sure hope it keeps working, I'll need to print a check Tuesday for the contractors.

Plans for tomorrow:
Out the door early, 8:30-5:30 power outage.
Work - Boss should have a unit for me which failed because of no password. Passoword provided, but Boss was at a customer site.
After work, home. Reset the clocks.
howeird: (How Sandwiches)
is over, writing this now.
One of the things I keep saying is that when I don't come straight home from work, I forget that I'm starting my evening behind schedule (as if I have a schedule!), and end up not writing my journal until late. Hence, going to sleep late, and waking up wanting to stay in bed longer.

This morning I was up 10 minutes early, and instead of waiting for the alarm I got out of bed and showered and dressed, and was on the road half an hour early, and at work half an hour early. Grabbed a banana, egg and Kind bar, and a diet mountain dew because there was no plain diet Coke, and I had forgotten to put any in my cooler, though I had planned to. I bought those mini cans just in case.

The spreadsheet project got easier as I figured out some find/replace shortcuts and a work-around to the Google spreadsheet's nasty habit of converting long strings of numbers into scientific notation, even after setting that column as text. Had to put quotes around each one, which is ugly but functional.

Updated two units, ran the automated tests on each one, and cut and pasted the results into the spreadsheet. It got easier because the first time I had to gather the test names, but after that all I needed was to add the values for each test. Large chunks of tests yield no values, and that was a PIA at first, but after two runs it was clear that the values would be similar across the board, and with just a little bit of looking at the source I could match them all up correctly.

It's way more clerical than I like to get, and I have no clue what the values mean, but that's what Boss wanted, and it means we didn't have to try to get the programmer to add an item to his code which should already have been there.

What's funny is this routine was almost the same as one of the exercises in that lame Python class, but it would have taken me days to write a program to do what "grep" did in less than a second for 200+ columns.

Still no progress on getting the hole cooled down. It's clear the heat is on all day. It wasn't too bad today because the outside temp started at 57, and didn't get up to 85 until EOD. The next two days ought to be cooler. I let the Engineers in the next room know facilities is working on it, and Boss suggested facilities install portable aircon units.

Lunch was turkey tetrazini. Still no palatable cheeses in the fridge. Took a long break again, as indoors temps rose to 85.

Phoned the contractors, my rep thought his guy had called me back. The work is on for next Tuesday, which I am not thrilled about because Monday is an unpaid holiday, so missing two days of pay, unless they finish a lot more quickly than I think they will.

After work, headed to Sunnyvale Goodwill, and though I was there well before 6 pm closing time, they were acting like they were closed for donations, and there was no place to park, so I booked it to the bigger better one in Mountain View, and even though this time it was slightly after 6, the beleaguered woman working alone took my stuff (and the guy's after me) because she hadn't closed the gate.

Out to the main parking lot, parked, and then went inside in search of vases. Found 7 I liked, bought the best 4, plus a cute garden figurine of a squirrel. Walked all around the place looking for other garden stuff, but nothing else registered. Almost bought a cow-shaped butter dish & matching butter knife, but both were child-sized. I do need a butter knife. Maybe some other time. I didn't see any cutlery on display.

Home, opened two doors because it was cooler outside than in. Unloaded the dryer, shirts are on the bed waiting to be hung.

Dinner was a bunch of shrimp egg rolls and that red honey mild chili sauce and some black olives. Fudge ice cream with walnuts for dessert. Ginger ale gave way to wine spritzer, but only half a can. Watched another episode of Dark Matter in which they introduced and then killed two new attractive female characters. Stunning Ruby Rose was one of them. They let her keep her Australian accent, but they hid her tattoos.

Somewhere in there I went out front and surveyed the damage. I'll need to take a rake to the front garden. Headed all the rosebuds which needed it. Watered the potted jasmine, I may un-pot it and plant it outright.

Plans for tomorrow:
Go to the big building, update the laptop as needed
howeird: (Default)
Hello, my name is Howard and I'm a carbonaholic.
Hello Howard
The past two nights I consumed carbonated wine beverages in an attempt to calm some anxiety and sleep better. It worked. I have been clean and sober for 24 hours.
Actually, I wasn't drunk, just a little disassociated.

So I slept well, though it still took me a while to fall asleep, but it always does.

Was out and on the road early, for a change I phoned AG instead of the other way around. Just as I pulled into the work parking lot AT&T's local tower decided to die. The bad news is it was just before we said our goodbyes, the good news is I missed a stupid Indian recruiter call. He had also sent email. The only thing on my resume which matched was the word video. He missed the part about it requiring a bilingual English/Spanish speaker. It was the first requirement on the list.

Messaged Boss and the appropriate partner manager that I'd bricked the set top box, manager messaged right back to bring it to him in the big building and he would resurrect it. It was early enough that I could drive and park in the garage.

Also took Boss a unit I was done with, the one from Latvia. We had an informal sync as well. She said she would rattle some cages about the lack of air conditioning in the hole. Boss has lived in Cambodia, she knows I've survived worse.

Manager gave me the unit back, fixed but with an older build on it. He said the version I bricked was broken, not ready for prime time. Which is why I was testing it in the first place. But I'm okay with the solid one. Boss gave me a couple of projects.

Back in the hole, it was still pretty cool outside, the heat inside was working. It continued working as it got up to 85° outside. 83° inside. Boss added a comment to the facilities report asking for some relief, maybe a portable unit or two for me and the engineers next door. No response.

Lunch was quiet, I just missed another gaggle of sixth graders by waiting 10 minutes longer to leave my room. Swedish meatballs. Mango jelly. Famous Amos.

One of the projects required some parsing of XML files, but after way too much online research it turned out to be do-able with grep. But after two passes, it's clear that there are big gaps in the data Boss expected to find.

Break time I was starting to melt, so I stayed in the cool of the break room for half an hour. 

It looks like the rest of the week will be a cool-down.  

Home right on time. Totally forgot about Target which is good because this morning it occurred to me that Goodwill would be a better place to shop for flower vases, and I have some things to donate. Hang on while I check their hours. Sunnyvale store is open till 9. From work I should be able to be there around 6:15.

Dinner was a cold plate. Lox, HB egg, marinated olives, marinated artichoke hearts, soft sheep cheese. Cola.  Halvah for dessert. Watched the 6 o'clock news on Tivo. They were way behind on the Ariana Grande bombing. I'd been watching the story on from work. The level of panic and lack of police/security control was appalling.

Spook is not pleased with the heat - she is spending a lot of time sprawled out on the floor. Air conditioning vents, you know. Though she slept most of the day on the guest futon, near a window with the blinds half up, on the sunny side of the house. Go figure.

Did a load of laundry, but won't start up the dryer till morning.

Now that the bee's friends are mostly gone, the front garden looks a mess. The good news is a few plants which had been smothered by them are now out and looking okay. I'll do some work this weekend.

The cuttings I did yesterday look lame, a couple of them don't look like they will make it. But online I saw that I can do rooting with roses in just about the same way, so that will be next. Roses are a lot more robust than sage.

Plans for tomorrow:
Goodwill - donations & shopping
howeird: (Default)

Fired up the PC to write this, but got distracted by Facebook. I'm blaming the Barefoot wineries wine spritzer. Almost finished the second little can (will do so before I finish this, I bet).

Last night's apple cider did what I wanted it to. Relaxified me, let me get to sleep and stay asleep. The lights going on woke me. Spook was being spooky, meowing but I could not tell from where. Walked to the kitchen to see if she was looking out the window, and she came out from the guest room. I think she had been under the futon.

Took my time getting showered and more time getting dressed. Nothing at all on the agenda for today except minor gardening. It was going to be very hot, so a trip to Baylands park, which is always breezy and usually 10° cooler than home, was a possibility.

Checked the PC, weekend backups were done. Out of curiosity logged into Amazon, and surprise, surprise, they let me send back the Versacheck software. And they now have a drop box in my favorite Safeway, and a slot available. There are two drop boxes closer in 7-11s, but one is in a sleazy location and the other has maybe 3 parking spots.

So I boxed up the software, printed the return label, slapped it on the box and put that and my tablet in the car.

But first, while it was still relatively cool, I went to the front garden with my wide brimmed hat, clippers, and a pair of big black trash bags. The plan was to replace the ugly wooden stakes with the pretty green plastic ones holding up the Bee's Friend plants. But the plan changed when I noticed that all but one of the plants being held up were dead, gone to seed. So I started removing the ties, pulling up the plants, cutting them into smaller pieces (many branches, most of them more than 4 feet long. Main stems > 6 feet) and bagging them.

Got four of the six done, it was now getting very hot, so I took a break inside, drank some ginger ale and relaxed in the recliner. #6 still had flowers on it and wasn't quite dead yet, so I thought I'd put that one on a pretty stake at the end of round 2 this evening. Meanwhile I rewarded myself with a Coke float, double fudge ice cream.

Drove to Safeway, deposited the amazon box, and since the next part of the plan was Baylands, I bought a sandwich, chips and a diet Coke. Took the long route, which my GPS was not thrilled about. Longer in miles, but shorter in that it only used one street.

Parked in front of the restrooms, because I had this feeling...

Found a nice place in the shade overlooking the field. Planted the camp chair, put the soda bottle in the holder on the arm, took out the sandwich and smeared some of the included mustard on it, and on my hand, and on the wrapper.

Watched people on the field. There was an Asian father and young son, each with a basic boomerang. The son didn't have a clue, and dad didn't share. Dad, however, had the technique down pat. I haven't seen that much skill with a boomerang since I visited Australia.  At one end of the field were two RC planes, the other end were a couple of tiny speed racer drones. Not far from the boomerang was a kite flier.

Ate half the sandwich, and it was time to use the restroom. Glad I wasn't too far from it.

Back to the chair, ate half the chips. Read one of the Hugo nominee short stories on the tablet. After about an hour I packed up because despite the breeze it was still too hot out there. House is air conditioned.

Home, tried to watch an Amazon Prime show but it was lame. Office, PC.

One of my FB friends posted a video on how to make cuttings from my salvia/sage bush into plantable saplings. I'm hoping to replace the Bee's Friends with those, since on my carport garden they thrive in full sun, and both bees and hummingbirds love them. So I put the PC to sleep, rushed to Lowe's to buy root growth hormone (which I'd never heard of before) and potting soil for seedlings.

Got halfway down the driveway before remembering I had my slippers on. Back inside, put on my Tivas,  and out again.

Found what I wanted right away, but thought maybe I could get a couple of flower vases. I only own one. Toured the whole store, they didn't have any. Better to order those online, maybe.

Home, followed the instructions on how to take a cutting and prepare it. Got six cuttings, took them inside. Filled six peat cups with potting soil after putting them in a holder which can take 7, and soaking them a little. After filling them I watered them and poked a hole in the center of each with a pencil. Found an error in the instructions - it forgot to tell me to wash off the pencil afterward.

Dipped each cutting in water, dipped the root end in the hormone powder and planted it in the hole, pushing the soil against it.

Put the holder on the kitchen table, cleaned up the counter and took a picture.

It's going to take a while.

When it started to cool off I went outside for round 2 of the Bee's Friend project. Lots of work. There were a lot of vines behind the staked ones. And there were so few flowers left on #6 that I pulled it too. Two huge trash bags now rest behind the house, all the stakes are now behind the shed. Ended up not using any of the pretty green ones. Part of the task was pulling up some hanks of poppies which were growing past the barrier and into the street. Hosed a lot of small bits out of the culvert and into the barrier.

Took 10 minutes to recover from that, then took out the garbage and recycles. Dinner was reheated green curry beef, on reheated jasmine rice. Very yummy, even if it did give me the sniffles. Ice cream & halvah for dessert. Watched another episode on Netflix of what is turning out to be a pretty interesting sci-fi show, Dark Matter. They have a unique way of fleshing out the characters.

Sunnyvale emailed the cast list for Fiddler. I am suddenly elated I said no, their choice for Tevye was very wrong. For Lazar they picked someone who had directed the last children's production. Interesting, they did not list anyone as playing the rabbi. Not a huge issue since that's a part which traditionally is plucked from the ensemble. Which means they will get someone who can dance.

Plans for tomorrow:

howeird: (Default)
Very sleep deprived and anxious this afternoon, sat in the recliner concentrating on breathing, considered other useful things. Took some aspirin. Thought about breaking out one of the expired drugs I'd been given to dull the senses after operations, and before Cat scans and MRIs. Not a good idea. Decided that on my way home from meeting Janice I would pop into the nearby 7-11 and buy some wine spritzers.

Watched an episode of Match Game, they were all about R-rated questions this time. Cheap laughs. As usual, some of the questions had no obvious answers. One or two did, and this time the panelists tried to help the contestants win. But one of the contestants (a former Miss Arkansas or maybe it was Alabama) didn't help herself at all. Huge smile, dumb as a rock.

Off to Lowe's, but they didn't have 14" pots, so on to Home Depot which also didn't have them, so got a pair of 12" pots, saucers to go under them, and 35 quart bag of potting soil. Went for convenience - I could have made a third leg of the trip to the recycle center and fill the pots with mulch for free. Also bought some green garden stakes to replace the ugly wooden ones holding up the Bee's Friend plants.

Home, took the 2 paw paw saplings outside, planted them in the two pots, watered them and dumped the leftover soil into the compost bin.

Told Google to wake me at 4:45, and took a short nap. It did what it was told.

Off to MV, it only took 7 minutes. Janice was right, on a Saturday there are no huge crowds. I told her about Fiddler, and about the mobile home park foo, and watching the Thai DVD at 2 am. She told me she also was up at 2 am with anxiety insomnia. In her case it is about cutting the cord with someone she has known since that person's birth, has been a friend and supportive to, and now this person is in college a couple of  hours from here, and needs some mentoring by a social work professional. This week Janice will introduce the young one to someone who can find help, and be done with it.

We were both pretty tired, but made it to 6:30.

7-11 did not have what I was looking for, so on to Safeway, which had too many choices. Settled on barefoot wine spritzers, Cooks small bottle 4-pack of champagne, and a 6-pack of Angry Orchard hard cider. Also bought two bottles of Fumé Blanc (St. Jean and another local brand). Those are more for marinating than drinking. Probably.

Home, dinner was a smoked turkey leg, the last of the cole slaw and some marinated olives. Double fudge ice cream and pistachio halvah for dessert.  Angry orchard to drink, and it seems to be working. Watched an episode of Graham Norton, one of the more fun ones. Enjoyed the UK Eurovision entrant who was the musical guest. Good looking redhead. 

I'm on my second Angry Orchard, and even with the ice cubes my typing is suffering.

Plans for tomorrow:
Baylands Park if it is too hot at home.
Read some more Hugo nominees
Remove the Bee's Friends plants which have gone to seed, replace the wooden stakes with the green plastic ones for what is still flowering.
howeird: (Naga)
Horrible night again, thanks to mobile home park management arrogance, which I can't even address till Monday, + no word from contractors (ditto), + waiting to hear from Sunnyvale Players about Fiddler.

Surprise call this morning from them, did not expect to hear on Shabbat. They offered me the part of The Rabbi. I was still half asleep, told her I would have to think about it.

Thought about it.

- The vocal director would be a huge part of rehearsals, and she just isn't qualified.
- He has the two stupidest lines in the show
- No matter what is promised up front, I know the choreographer and she would insist on The Rabbi dancing with the ensemble.
- Most of his time would be spent in the green room
- The commitment is for a month of Thurs-Sun with one double-header
- They don't know where they will be rehearsing

Called back just before noon and declined.
It's 88° in Castro Valley, so not going to the rodeo.
Coffee with Janice -she asked for 5, I suggested 5:30 to avoid the crowds
Still feeling squirrelly from tension & lack of sleep. Got out of bed at 2 am to watch a Thai DVD which has been sitting on the TV stand for a couple of months. The title translates as "I was born during the reign of Rama 9", Rama 9 being the king who died last October after 70 years on the throne. I admired him very much, and the ads for the DVD sounded like they would be showing clips from his life, and talking to people whose lives he directly affected (they had their choice of pretty much everyone in Thailand).

It wouldn't play in my blu-ray player - probably wrong region or format. But it played on the PC.

Turned out to not be what was advertised. It's a 3-DVD set of the entire season of a very slickly produced TV drama, totally staged, with some scenes thrown in toward the end of Mom praying to a photo of the king to heal her son, and of a couple doing the same, praying to save their marriage. The final episodes show a newsreel clip of the king's final public speech, with hundreds of thousands of people in yellow shirts surrounding the palace, holding photos of him, and/or Thai national and royal flags. The last episode Mom and estranged daughter hear about his death, and it segues into a mishmash of the actual scene around the palace of about 2 million mourners, cut away to the main characters in the TV show being ushered by an actor in a police uniform to seats on mats on the pavement as if they were part of the public scene.

Production values were very high, but I feel cheated.

This is the actual event, I am in awe every time I see it.

I have some pots to buy and fill with soil & saplings.


May. 19th, 2017 10:50 pm
howeird: (Default)
Another 1 am blood sugar crash. I have to stop eating right. No, I need to stop shooting up too much bedtime insulin.

Once again, up with the alarm, showered and out the door early. AG called at 8:25, I was already on 101 past his exit. He was just stop-and-going near Great America Parkway.

Grabbed a banana and HB egg from the other building after dropping off my cooler and "weather station" in the hole.

Finished a test, which revealed an unexpected bug, so I was finishing a bug report when Boss showed up for our delayed sync-up.

Lots of follow ups from various engineers about bugs I'd filed. I filed more this week than in the previous months. Being given a pre-pre-release, known broken build to test was the reason. Boss likes the way I write them, but she usually has to fix the titles to something more catchy.

It was chilly in the morning outside, but in the low 70's in my room.

Lunch was delayed 10 minutes when about 30 middle-school kids invaded, took every seat in the room after each collecting a bottle of water from the fridge. One tried to snag a Red Bull, but didn't get away with it. They aren't supposed to be told to make themselves at home, they are supposed to be in and out as soon as possible. Argh. Get off my lawn.

Back at the hole, the temp continued to increase. Had to keep my door closed because I was playing a lot of audio. Eventually, shared this with facilities:

The outdoor sensor I'd placed outside on the window frame closest to the device. It was in direct sunlight - air temp at the time was "only" about 85.

Took my break right before I took the picture, the other building was at about 72°. Three people were holding a meeting in my usual space so I sat in one of the cushy booths instead. Usually those are full of people with laptops and headphones.

Last deed of the work day was to troubleshoot one of the devices by back-dating the firmware, but it failed, and it seems to be bricked now. Everyone else was at the beer bash, so I'll tell Boss on Monday.

While I was doing that I was chatting with Middle Sister, it was thunder/lightninging in Baltimore. Fire sirens with each flash.

Grocery Outlet for lox, took a while for the minion to finish stocking the entire section, so I toured around and picked up some of my faves. Famous Amos 12-pack, marinated artichoke hearts, hummus, coconut milk (the white stuff), HB eggs, smoked turkey (was rung up as ground lamb, correct price, though) cat treats ($1 less than Amazon).

Home, dinner was a bagel-based turkey salami sandwich, cole slaw and artichoke hearts. Home made lime soda. chocolate ice cream with crushed pistachios.

In the mail was a letter with a Santa Ana postmark, no return address, with a printout of email purportedly from the manager of the Fremont Toyota dealership to a sales manager asking her to "reach out" to me to see if I am willing to sell him my 2008 Corolla.

On it was a post-it from the alleged sales manager asking me to call a number if I was interested. The same number appears at the bottom of the email, under the "General Manager"'s name and address. The number is the right area code, but wrong prefix for the dealership. The dealership's page does not list any employee names, unlike most Toyota dealerships. Looking on LinkedIn, manager's listing says he's legit. I think I'll send him email from there. I sold that car in 2009, I think. 

Did not sleep well last night because of fuming over the mobile home park manager's fascist letter to all residents about complying with the list of "violations" and then seeing things on my list which are total bullshit. I am still fuming. They claim my shed, which has been there since way before I moved in, needs to be moved so it is 3' from utilities. It is more than 3' from any utilities. Always has been. The note says "see management". It really needs a LOT more than that to explain it to me.

Plans for tomorrow:
I don't know. It looks to be a very hot day out in the east bay, the rodeo starts at 1 pm, so maybe not a good idea. I'll check the weather over there around noon. It would be a great day to go to the baylands park, though. Always cooler and windy there.
Plant the pawpaw saplings. The roots have been soaking, they look a lot healthier now. I probably need to go to Lowe's for pots, and the recycle center for mulch. Or maybe I will open up the compost bin and use dirt from the bottom of that.


May. 18th, 2017 09:23 pm
howeird: (Default)
My commute home probably would have been easier if MVFD had not evacuated Shoreline Amphitheater right as I was heading for Shoreline Blvd.
I am so tired. This will be short.
Woke on time, downloaded the Hugo packets and dumped them onto my tablet.

Out the door half an hour early but AG still managed to call before I left. Called him back from the road. Power went out as planned at 8:30.

Busy day at work, testing and re-testing because engineers wanted logs from random failures. Will do more of that tomorrow.

Many more passers-by, thanks to the conference, and the company swag store being down my block.

Nothing notable at lunch.  Break time I unzipped the Hugo files and copied them to the Kindle folder. Kindle app would not see them on the SD card. Bummer.

Power at home was on 2 hours early, 3:30.

Home drive took half an hour.

Delivered was a set of doorbell batteries and the weather station for work. Indoor outdoor temps, humidity, barometer and allegedly over the air time which never works for me.

Nuked dinner, more mango delight for dessert.

Reset some clocks, the Google Home device and amazon TV box.

Plans for tomorrow:
Sync with boss
Follow up on air conditioning issue
howeird: (Default)
At auditions tonight, I was sitting next to my Don Quixote from the Man of La Mancha we did at the same theater in 2000. I mentioned that the woman who played Aldonza (opposite him) in that show had been Tzeitl when I did Fiddler there in 1994. I am trying out for Lazar again, and Lazar gets engaged to Tzeitl but ends up marrying someone else. I mentioned to Don Q that on Facebook she posted today from her IRL anniversary celebration in Hawaii. As I was driving home, it dawned on me that the two of them went on to play opposite each other in a couple of more shows, and IRL got married and divorced and both are now married to someone else.

I am seriously embarrassed. Especially since Don Q refrained from reminding me.
Sleep was weird. Woke up after half an hour and a very intense dream, then slept straight through to 6:30. Tried to get the last hour in, but sleep eluded me and Spook wanted head butts.

Up and out in record time. I will need to do the same tomorrow because at 8:30 the power will be turned off till 5:30.

Traffic was the usual mess, but I remembered to stay in the diamond lane longer, and exit spaces opened up. Still way too many drivers not paying attention to the "exit only" markers. Once I was at the exit, it was fine. Glad I got there early while there was still parking near The Hole.

Grabbed a banana and egg from the break room, again no diet Coke, so got a diet Mountain Dew and a caffeine free diet Coke.

The day started out cold and windy and overcast, and while the clouds and wind continued, it got warm.

Lunch in the break room was normal, the usual suspects plus a few drive-bys. Turkey tetrazini. Mango woon.

Lots of work again, one of the managers asked me to test a new build, had to delay that as I was still working on another unit of his, and another of a different manager's. Need to file some bugs for him tomorrow.

Break was a bust - the machine forgot how to make mocha, and a hoard of unruly Asian children (6th or 7th grade, actually from Asia) were let loose, and took over the place. The guides are not supposed to let them do that.

Back at the hole, the room was very warm, what with the door closed & locked. Opened a window and the door to make it better. Need to file a report with facilities - but will wait till the thermometer arrives.

Took off at 5:30, traffic was miserable again. Looking at the car's report, the second alternate route is more than a mile longer than the first alternate route. It also has more assholes.

It took 40 minutes. Got home and just vegged in the recliner, feet up, reclining, and had Google Home play Mozart. Apparently it was streaming it via my phone.

8:30, headed for auditions. Lots of waiting, but they kept to the schedule. The callback email only had one name on it for Tevye, and he was not there. Turns out he will try out tomorrow. Three other guys were, one of them being Don Q. Don Q and another guy were also trying out for my part - they were not on the callback email. The only other number, 20, was not there. I got to read twice, against two different Tevyes.

Into the rehearsal hall/dressing room for readings. Three Tevyes against 5 Lazars. I think I gave the best Lazar reading. I'm pretty sure the guy trying out tomorrow is better than any of the other three Tevyes.

Then a planned 15-minute break (aka wait in the lobby) and this is where they were behind schedule. "To Life" with Tevye and Lazar was supposed to be the only thing going at that time, but they also ushered in the Goldas. There were a lot of them.

The vocal director did not impress me. She gave us all a hint from the director that we should pronounce the gutteral "ch" in L'chaim. She had no idea why. She thought it was just some idiosyncrasy of the director's. And she pronounced Lazar Lay-zahr, equal emphasis on both syllables. Gag me. It's clear she doesn't know the show, or the culture. She also couldn't tell from the music that Lazar sings the lower part in the harmony. It's pretty clear, since his part in the rest of the piece is lower than Tevye's.

After wasting our time having everyone sing L'Chaim, Do You Love Me and most of If I Were A Rich Man together, she called me and one Tevye up to sing L'Chaim, and then the rest of the gang in pairs in a way where every Lazar got to sing that part and every Tevye that part, without doing the whole matrix.

They let the Lazar-onlies go when that was done. They were seriously out of time, and vocal director told the Tevyes to show up tomorrow for Rich Man.

I don't know if I will get the part. I have a bit of an edge because one of the co-directors has worked with me before, and I'm the only one who nailed the accent. But one never knows. So the waiting begins. I don't expect to hear anything until at least Friday, maybe longer.

Plans for tomorrow:
Up with the alarm
Out before 8:30
Home, reset too many clocks
howeird: (Default)

Slept like a log. Spook almost didn't let me get out of the shower, she was in such a hurry to contemplate the drain. Or so I thought. She batted at something, probably water droplets, on the far wall, and rushed out again, sat down and licked the water off her tail. Her tail was stolen from a raccoon, I think.

Hgl was a comfortable 119. 

Out the door half an hour early. Traffic was miserable on 101 until I got to my exit, and discovered the whole mess was because drivers kept moving to the right lanes as they became exit-only, for not-their-exit.

Quite a crowd in the break room, grabbed a banana, HB egg and diet Coke, and a Kind bar, and a big bag with almost no actual caramel popcorn in it. The bag's marketing blurb says this is a feature - packing less Bad Stuff in a snack bag. Gag me.

The morning started with troubleshooting three different devices, almost simultaneously. Two STBs and a TV. Was asked to test a new-to-me feature called Talkback, where the TV does text-to-speech on anything you move the focus to. It's one of the accessibility features allegedly for the blind, except it is impossible for a blind person to turn it on herself, because it's a long series of clicks on the remote. They tell me this will be fixed with a simple key combination. It speaks 84 languages, some more than others. I need to file a feature request because the Thai voice is too soft. I won't be filing one about the Hebrew voice being too polite. ;-)

Boss says for now just test English, we have localization testers for the other languages.

Lots of people passing by on their way to and from the company store. Developer conference check-in was today, a couple of miles away at the city amphitheater. Many of them carrying out the incredibly plain company paper carrying bags. No color, no logo, just a line of text.

Lunchtime, the break room was almost empty, just the people who stock the snacks, two women who usually take a lunch break there and one very tall slender woman eating something unidentifiable in the brown cardboard containers Google provides instead of leak-proof food containers. She spent the whole time standing, her meal on one of those tall tables.

No break today, because just before break time a worker bee came by and installed a combination lock on my door. He had instructions to do three, but was unclear on where to put the other two.  Actually, he was supposed to install 5, plus pick the lock on a 6th door and re-key it. I messaged Boss, she will sort it out. Meanwhile, my 3-digit code is in my memory and in my Keep app. At first glance I thought it was the number of degrees Kelvin which equaled 0° F or C, but I was off by a lot. The best mnemonic device turned out to be an area code. The city with this area code is both easy to remember and has no connection at all to me or the company.

Chances are I'll forget the city before I forget the number.

One of those three test devices was supposed to update, but it didn't. It's a European box, so probably will do it on their time zone. Hopefully it will be updated by the time I get there tomorrow.

Email arrived inviting me to callbacks for Fiddler, for Lazar Wolf. There is one other guy called. Cleverly hidden in the callback schedule is the name of the guy playing Tevye, I'm 90% sure he was pre-cast. Which is not a bad thing, in this case. I have met him, and I think he's an excellent choice. Looking forward to reading/singing with him tomorrow night. Once again I drew the 9 pm slot, but this time we're in the theater, a far far better environment than last night's tryouts. They will do dance callbacks Thursday there, I am not called for those.

Planning for the future, advance ordered a bunch of saffron crocus bulbs which will ship mid-August. The theory is they bloom in late fall, are easy to cultivate, and the reason saffron is so expensive is one flower doesn't produce much. So I ordered 45.

Also ordered was a thermometer/barometer/hygrometer for work. It has a remote for outdoor temp/humidity which I may or may not set up. There's something wrong with the climate control in my room, but I need objective data. 

Home, traffic was a mess, even the back roads. 101 was a parking lot. Checking the map, what I thought might have been an alternate escape route on the near side of 101 is a loop back to the alternate back road via the outline of a golf course.

After taking care of some online biz, I took the beef out of the marinade, washed it off, set it aside and put some rice in the cooker. It took a lot of rinsing to get the dust & bran off of the rice.

Chopped up half an onion and some garlic, put a tiny bit of peanut oil in the wok, and little by little built my trademark green curried beef recipe. Had a panic moment when the first carton of coconut milk had gone bad and the second was coconut creme, which needed to be mixed with water - no problemo because the stuff in the wok was creating enough of that. Bamboo shoots, straw mushrooms, green peas, baby corn, water chestnuts and half a small packet of curry paste (about a tablespoon).

First serving was over rice, and it was so delicious I went back for seconds, but without the rice this time.

Mango agar treats for dessert (left over from non-break at work).

I need to pack up the rest of the rice and freeze it, same for the main dish. I think there are two more dinners left.

Printed out the sides and music for tomorrow. The music is a little higher than I remember it. The script is the same, but I'm a better actor now, and have some ideas.

Plans for tomorrow:
Auditions II

howeird: (Lazar)
Even with the halvah I had an early morning Hgl crash, in the 50's. Boo, hiss.

The good news is it was very soon after bedtime, so by the time I needed to wake up the afterlag was gone.

Took some extra time making sandwiches for lunch so I didn't need the microwave in case going to lunch early meant fighting a crowd in the break room.

Morning to work by the back-most roads, then 101. The last 3 miles was at 65mph. Talked to AG on the way, we both got to work at the same time.

Grabbed a banana, hb egg & coke from next door. One of the engineers beat me to it - he lives in Campbell, here is no way to predict that commute. One day an hour, another day 15 minutes.

A couple of facilities guys came by way earlier than scheduled, did a quick check of the doors. I went next door at 12:30 to have lunch, it wasn't crowded, I warmed up the sandwiches and had some thin mints for dessert.

Back to the hole, the real locksmith was there at 1 (instead of 1:30) and we chatted till Boss arrived. She was early too. turns out she wants to make the first floor a series of labs for partners, each with a coded lock.

After locksmith was gone we had a sync, and she gave me a pre-pre-release box to beat up. Filed about a dozen bugs on it, some of them were doozies. More to come because as I was about to leave, it decided it didn't want to boot up at all. It was sending logs to my linux machine, which means I can probably fix it over USB.

Meanwhile another partner manager wanted me to run a test and grab logs for something not on the formal test plan. I know how to do it, but have to finish the project I'm on first.

Final snack, at my desk, a couple of squares of mango treat.

Left on time + 10 minutes, thinking I would have dinner and leave at 8 for the auditions at 9. Changed my mind when I got home. Had a Kind bar and some soda.

Delivered was the two paw paw trees, saplings, actually. Dormant, dried out bare root, as promised. I think I need to soak the roots before planting them. Maybe tomorrow.

In the mail was the Global Entry card. It's ugly. The holographic seal covers most of my photo. Had to go online to activate it. Gotta hand it to them, they make it dead easy. I'll park the card with my passport, since they would be used together. Or not. Maybe I should fly to San Diego or somewhere like that for a weekend. Alaska & Southwest have my number on file.

But not this weekend, planing on going to the rodeo in Castro Valley Saturday.

7:45 got antsy, drove to the audition hall which I remembered as being half an hour away. But it was just a dozen minutes, I was there before 8 for a 9 o'clock call. Parked behind in the back lot, fired up Ingress and found a portal down the block, which I hacked. It was already fully charged green, but there was nothing for it to link to. The theory is I get extra credit for hacking in a new area.

This is the rehearsal hall we used for Anything Goes, and I tried out for Hello Dolly there too. It's a nice space in a horrible neighborhood alongside the freeway. Since I was there last, the other side of the street has become a homeless dump. Not a shelter, just a long row of shopping carts. bicycles, trash and items left there by homeless people. One guy parked in the lot in a red Mustang was obviously living in his car. He started out parked on the street, moved to the lot, then drove off as I was done auditioning.

Auditions were super organized. A receptionist took the forms, checked them, handed out a number tag. Then said wait outside till 8:55. After returning, everyone was lined up in numerical order as 8 pm victims straggled out. Then we were let in, lined up in front of the ballet mirror wall facing the staff. We gave our names and were told to take seats on the side benches, and come up one by one to hand music to the accompanist and sing. I was second up, and I liked my performance, and by the applause I guess others did too.

Next, we were called up to form two rows, and the choreographer taught us a way too complex but [where's my thesaurus?] short routine, which we did following her about 37 times, then to music twice as many, and then half of them were told to sit down and the rest of us did the routine once in the front row and once in the back row. And then the sitters danced and the dancers sat. I could not follow the logic of the dance routine. After 5 times through, I stopped trying to keep up. I do not want to be doing that choreography on stage. It will look great, but it's more stylized than I care for. I just hope they will allow for a non-dancing butcher.

When it was over, the director said email would go out inviting people to call-backs and co-director added that only certain roles were needing callbacks, so don't panic of you aren't called back. Callbacks are Wednesday and Thursday.

As we left, the 10 pm group was gathering. 8 pm had more people, they took the full hour, we were out of there in 45 minutes.

Home, gave Spook some treats, made a Boston Market beef & noodles dinner, ice cream w/walnuts for dessert.

Did I mention that yesterday I ran windows update on the laptop? It needed it. But not for the ransomware thing - that was installed months ago.

Plans for tomorrow:
Break the new box some more
Check my email for a callback notice.
Maybe wok up the beef slices being tenderized in the fridge. Which means I need to steam some rice.
howeird: (Default)
Lots of waking up early in the morning, but then settled down to sleep till 9.

Headed for the Indian/Mexican/Arab market mostly to find that package of big green olives. Shahia brand, plastic rectangle, packed in dilute brine.

A product of Turkey. They had a whole section of olives, mostly in glass containers, mostly smaller.

On my way to that aisle I found frozen falafel (have been looking for that for ages), bought two packs of 12.
Also picked up a can of stuffed grape leaves from Greece and a small bucket of pistachio halvah.

On to Safeway, came home with a 2-week supply of frozen meals, a bottle of meat tenderizer and cole slaw.

Home, put all the things away. Opened the meat tenderizer and a 2-year-old bottle of cheap white wine (Naked Grape) and poured some of each into a gallon ziplock bag, mixed well, and added a quart bag of beef slices. Put that in the fridge to marinate for a future date. Probably will make Penang or green curried beef out of it.

Poured half the olives into a container which already had olive oil, brine, oregano and garlic plus a couple of already marinated olives. Got out a second container and made the same marinade and added the other half of the olives. Topped it off with some white wine. Those will soak at room temp for a week or so before I sample them.

Lunch was going to be a bagel and turkey salami, but I just wasn't feeling it so I had half a dozen falafel balls dipped in garlic hummus. Mango agar treat for dessert.

Delivered, the doorbell actually rang for this (it helped that I'd replaced the dead battery) was an undercoat brush. Comb/rake actually. I tried it on Spook, she was confused. She wanted it to be a face brush. I wanted it to pull the fine undercoat from her back and sides. She was not thrilled about the way it felt, but for the amount of time she let me comb her, it yielded a lot of very fine fur.

Watched episode 2 of Who, and continue to be unimpressed. Capaldi is a meh Doctor, and his companion is even meh-er. Of all the actors and actresses in the BBC pantheon, it's hard to believe they couldn't come up with a companion who --- oh wait a minute. It's not just Pearl Mackie. It's also the scripts which make her an ignoramus. I also miss K-9. I know it's too much to ask for another companion as brilliant as Elisabeth Sladen, but the writers ought to be able to at least get close to the bar that was set by Sarah Jane Smith, Romana, Adric, Lela, etc.

Off to MV to chat with Janice. Got there at 4:40, it was cold & windy, three huge Asian groups had stolen all the chairs indoors and globbed themselves around too-small tables, as is their habit. Since I was early I drove down the block in search of portals, and found one which I changed from blue to green, and deployed 7 resonators - I have plenty more but the rules prevented me from doubling up on the ones I had in stock. Also took a quick look at the Google building on Pear Ave, and saw they had two or three rows of car chargers.

Back to Starbucks, J & I found a 2-seater in the back and waited for the hordes to dissolve. After half an hour it was almost empty. While she was in line, I captured a portal out back. Again, not enough resonators to link it.

Had a good chat, then I went back to the Pear Google building and plugged in the car just to make sure the chargers accepted my card. Then on to home.

Dinner was Marie C fried ground beef in white sauce and mashed with string beans. Dessert was two more of the mango squares. Yummy but not filling, so I carved a small section out of the pistachio halvah and munched on it when I sat down here.

During dinner watched the next Who episode, and OMG the writing was horrid. And Moral®. And which cretin's idea was it to name a female companion Bill?
Some pretty good special effects, but the monster ought to have had some color to him.

Doorbell rang again - next door neighbor Lee gave me a large plate of cherries. She doesn't like cherries, but they have a tree or three. Not here, I think up at her mother's place in Sacramento. Great cherries, but I have to be careful, they tend to become rocket fuel in large doses.

Plans for tomorrow:
1:30 appointment with Boss & locksmith to get coded locks on my door in the hole, and also on the doors for the engineers.
9 pm audition in San Jose for Fiddler (to be performed in Sunnyvale)
howeird: (Default)
The plans were to go out with my camera somewhere and get shots of eagles (A), pelicans (B) or flowers (C). When I made those plans it was 90°+ and calm. Yesterday the temps dropped to the 50's and the wind was at 20 mph.

This morning the wind was even stronger, and it was chilly. High winds make photography difficult, and chilly makes them uncomfortable.
At about 3 am I thought my Hgl was low, but when I took a reading it was high. 172.  Grrr.

Got out of bed at around 9, Spook let me pet her a lot. HgL was even higher. 184. No apparent reason, dinner was not late, and it was less caloric than usual.

Took my meds, shot up more insulin than usual.

Decided it was about time I ate out so I headed to Lawrence & Tasman and my favorite place for house special wor won ton soup. I knew they had sold to another Chinese place, but not that it was a Chinese version of a Pho place, which makes no sense to me because there is a huge Pho place nextdoor. Maybe some sense, since the Chinese have their own noodles. I got there at noon, there were only a few customers, but by 12:30 the place was almost full. The new owners installed nicer furniture, and did away with the huge round tables in the back, in favor of 4-person booths along the sides and 2-person tables 3-across, 3 deep, which could be (but weren't) moved together for larger groups.

I had the beef sirloin "knife cut" noodle soup. I expected chow fun noodles from the description on the menu, but got what looked like undercooked, long chow fun noodles cut into three strips (1/3 as wide). Most of the bowl was noodles. There were only about 6 small chunks of beef, but what there was was delicious. Two pieces of baby bok choi, the head of a small scallion, and a whole red chili pepper. And of course beef broth to cover. Not going back there, as everything was a variation on this (like a Pho place). I really miss having a good place nearby where I can get that wor won ton soup and shrimp with lobster sauce. I should say affordable, because a few blocks up Lawrence there are two Chinese places.

Home, because my tummy insisted. Otherwise I'd have gone to the Asian market. Thought about going to the Indian/Mexican/Arab market but all I need from there is olives, not worth the trip.

Teased Spook by sitting in recliner#2 next to the sofa, and when she settled onto the sofa, moved to the guest room futon. Found her Mouse Vader toy in the sheets.

Delivered was a crushed Amazon box with a large container of cat treats. Shippers don't understand the simple physics that skimping on packing material means an air pocket, which means crushed box. No damage to the contents because they were in a solid container. Wondered why they had not rung the bell, found the battery in the bell button was dead. Fixed that, need to order replacements.

Napped in the recliner a bit.

So bored. Vacuumed.

Made a batch of agar agar mango "woon". That's cooling on the counter, when it starts to set it goes into the fridge, and will get cut into squares sometime tomorrow. This time I kept it simple, only mangoes, one thick layer. Remembered to add pandan leaves to the water as it boiled, and removed them before adding the agar powder. A little salt and sugar also went into the mix. I just hope it gels enough.

Planted two onions which had started to sprout, put them out where the tomato experiment had been last year.

Took a needle out to the car hoping to reposition the windshield washer nozzles, but they don't move. :-(

Before I got bored, I was online with all the airlines where I have membership numbers, and added my "known traveler" number. There was noplace to put it on the two which need it most - EVA Air and Finnair. My number should be all I need to get in the short line, but it would be nice for it to be on the boarding pass.

Finished Trixie And Me. Turns out to be a short story, not really a book. Novella? Well written, the trick ending is set up right from the start without telegraphing. The author may have an image in his mind of the inside of the alien ship, but he doesn't communicate it to his audience very well, except it's organic. It's the second book in the series, I suspect reading the first book would spoil most of this one. Not sure I'm interested in the next book.

Plans for tomorrow:
Coffee with Janice
Maybe find some new area to play Ingress.
howeird: (Default)
Slept well, on the road on time, traffic was as usual.
Finished up testing on one unit, re-opened testing on another.
Watched the rest of The King's Speech. It's a very good movie to test lip sync.
Breakfast was a leftover PNB&J sandwich. Lunch was turkey tertazini. No break today, windy and nasty outside.
Still no word from the contractors.

Instead of heading home, I went to Shoreline Park, discovered that the bistro is now open till 6, used to close at 4. It was way too windy to stick around, so I headed back, taking a detour down Crittendon to what had been SGI's cluster of buildings after they sold the HQ to Google. It is now a cluster of Google buildings. I thought Ingress might have portals there, but they are all inside the campus and it was just too cold to explore. Some other time.

Headed home, bought 5 gallons of gas on the way. It was down to 1/4 tank. Been using some gas lately. I'd been setting it to battery-only, but the car decides by itself that the gas engine is not being used enough and switches to gas-only by itself. So I set it to auto-detect. It's a hybrid, and a lot of the engine cycles recharge the battery. I don't like using gas when I don't have to, but Ford has other ideas.

Spook has been very vocal tonight. She also dug up an old toy - a Star Wars mouse. This one looks like a mouse disguised as the small robot from the second to last movie. She has been carrying it around in her teeth, and batting it around. It was her favorite toy for weeks after I gave it to her, then it disappeared.

Dinner was an omelet. Quite a production with sautéd garlic & onion, chopped turkey salami, black olives, milk & eggbeaters. Forgot the cheeses, draped those over and microwaved for 90 seconds. Perfect.

Brushed Spook, and ordered an undercoat brush.

Delivered was a mess of he meat sticks, some meds for me from Kaiser and from Amazon.

Checkjed my repair contract, they have till the end of JUNE. I'll chill.
Plans for tomorrow:
Water the indoor plants. Plant a couple of onions in the garden which started growing in the bag, which I thought was mesh but was actually solid plastic.
Wanted to drive to a lake but not in this weather.
howeird: (Default)
Tonight's after work adventure was a trip to The Pear Theater§§ very close by, for a series of short locally-written plays billed as Pear Slices. They have done this every year since the theater was founded, as part of a project to help develop local playwrights. When it started, and for many years after, the plays were fresh and well honed and mostly very enjoyable. Once in a while there was a clinker, of course, but they have all been watchable.

Not this time

Two of the plays bored me to tears. None of them held my attention or made me want to see it made into a full length play. None of them left me laughing.

There was one about a high school girl whose grades are in the toilet because she imagines she is a super-hero, and goes out with her gang of super-heroes at all hours to fight multi-tentacled aliens. It had promise, but the playwright decided she was just a plain girl, when he had a chance to show us she really did have a super power. There was even an opening toward the end which would have made the audience think "hmmmm". But he blew it.

A spoof on the convoluted twisty plots of detective stories started out well, but got way too repetitive, and in the end made no sense at all.

One could have wowed me, had it not been written by someone whose social sense was in the 1900's. It was about a marriage proposal, and in 2017 the premise did not work at all. It was the last play of the evening, and came closest to entertaining me.

One of the problems I had with this year's production is the casting. One cast member in particular just rubbed me the wrong way in all his roles. None of the others made me want to see them onstage again. In past years I have fallen in love with at lest one cast member.
Back to morning. I think I slept well, but got up a couple of times way earlier than usual. Spook abandoned me until I got up. All she wanted was to get into the shower after me.

101 all the way to work, traffic was slow at first, but lightened up near the exit.

Lots to do at work, finished testing the latest box, tomorrow I need to send a note to the manager explaining that some crashes were not as bad as they looked.

Lunch was pot roast, had the place to myself. Break time the hot chocolate machine was broken, so I just read from the latest book. Trixie And Me is trashy free sci-fi, and so far is promising, but he's taking a long time to get them out of the organic alien ship where we found them held captive, and his description of their escape route is murky. But any day now they will get to his ship and I think things will become clearer.

Called the contractors at 2:30 for an ETA, got their machine. Did not hear back.

5:30-ish I parked in the garage and plugged in the car, went upstairs to play on my laptop but it was freezing in the main cafeteria, so I went across the complex to another one, where it was warm. Had to leave at about 6:45 as the hoardes attacked (the food line opens at 6:30). Drove down the block to Starbucks, bought a mocha & coffee cake, and at 7:30 drove another block to the theater.

§§The Pear started out as the Pear Avenue Theater, a tiny black box in a warehouse space at the end of Pear Avenue. They did not expect to do well, or have to move. They did well enough to expand to the next warehouse space, and then someone, probably Google, bought the property and they had to move. Somehow they found $$ to move one block over to La Avenida St., across from Microsoft, into a building which they share with a Pilates place. They at least doubled their auditorium space, and have two real restrooms (before they had one tiny one shared with the cast). The Pear is still a reasonable name, because La Avenida is one-way and one has to use Pear Ave to get to the theater.

No dinner, snacked a lot today.

No mail, no deliveries. Re-mounted the car charger which I'd taken down for the quarterly inspection.

Plans for tomorrow:
Maybe plan a fishing/photo trip for Saturday.


May. 10th, 2017 09:35 pm
howeird: (screwed)
But first, slept very well, odd considering my morning Hgl was 235. Spook abandoned me early for the guest room futon.

On the road on time, but traffic was a huge mess - I did take the long way around, 101 was moving well by the time I got to my entry point.

Ad hoc testing at work, Boss ignored our sync again.

Email from corp warning us that next Tues-Fri is Google's answer to MacFest, something called I/O, which will be held at the amphitheater down the block. The roads to that place are the ones I take to work, so I will follow their advice and not arrive before 10. It's looking like one of those days I'll be taking off for the contractor work - still have not heard from them. I'll call tomorrow.

Lunch was tuna something, added muenster from home. Too many oreos and M&Ms for dessert. Lots of visitors. Break time also was busy, some very nice figures on their macbooks.

15 minutes before go-home time, Asia product manager comes by with a unit from Japan to test. He says it's technically not ready for prime time, but that just makes it more interesting for me. I was able to set it up enough to have it running the short automation test suite as I left.

Straight home, too many people DWS. Missed a couple of lights because of that. :-(

Watered some of the flowers & the porch trees.

Delivered was VersaCheck Gold 2017, which advertises being able to print custom checks from Quicken, which I was hoping would replace CheckDesigner. Installed it after reading the feature set. Created a check design, assigned my Epson printer, and tried to print a check. Gypped! Turns out the $90 software will not print a single check unless you buy $20 worth of check printing licenses. Not much I can do once the package was opened, so I posted a nasty 1-star review on Amazon. I'll have to put up with CheckDesigner.

Dinner was the last of the Kao Mok Gai. There are still some packets of curried rice left (Kao Mok, minus the Gai).

Watched the 6 o'clock news via Tivo. Nice to FF past the same inane ads over and over.

Dessert was a bowl of frozen tropical fruit chunks.

Plans for tomorrow:
Hang out in the cafeteria while the car charges
Pear Slices at The Pear.
howeird: (Default)
Did not sleep well, woke up every hour. Took me till 8 to get out of bed.

On the road on time, took back roads, which had been clear, but now crews have one long stretch down to one lane as they repair the damage they did previously. Tomorrow I'll take the alternate back road. Freeway was very slow once I got on it.

At work by 9, AG called as I was going to the break room, he was still stuck in traffic. He had a call from a headhunter for a job as AG in the department at Netflix I used to work for. I warned him about the boss, and their lame automation program. He reminded himself that he needs to stay at Amazon for 3 more years to collect his stock bonus. Netflix stock is a joke compared to Amazon's. I told him to go to the interview and tell me what they offer him.

Did some automation testing, had an email conversation with the European products manager about some non-intuitive behavior in the boxes from over there. He agrees with me that they are doing it wrong, but Boss tells me it is up to them. I think he may get them to fix it. We'll see. Meanwhile the update we expected Monday won't be in till Thursday.

Lots of brief eye candy visits at lunch & break. Diet Coke is back. Captured a neutral portal in the next building.

5:30 drove to the cinema, caught the 6:30 showing of Groot 2 3-D. They didn't put a lot into the 3-D effects. And I'm a little pissed because when I looked online yesterday, tickets were full senior price, so I went today instead, but in the theater they advertised that Monday senior tickets are less.

I thought the movie was okay, a lot more funny lines than last one. Some actors who had done well with small parts last time were rewarded with larger parts. I don't think the directing or cinematography was as good. Those recliner seats in the back row suck, they don't have enough pillow, so you're looking at the ceiling with the leg platform extended. Or without. And in shorts the vinyl makes my legs sweat.

I expected to take 101 home, but there was as much traffic after the movie as there is after work. I think there was an accident or just people behaving badly at the intersections.

Home, everything in the mailbox went straight to the recycler. No deliveries. Still no call from the contractors.

Small Stouffer's all meat lasagna for dinner, mint chocolate chip lactaid ice cream for dessert while watching news on Tivo.

Plans for tomorrow
howeird: (Default)
Thought I had it under control, but shot up too much "regular" last night and had a very low 61 reading at 1 am. Lactaid ice cream to the rescue. Overshot that and was at 172 by 8 am.

Other than being so zonked at 1 am that my vision was pulsating with my heartbeat, I slept well. It happened early enough that there wasn't a big energy drain by the time I needed to leave for work.

Got out of the house at 8, because of the scheduled power outage at 8:30. Monitoring my webcams and smart hub, the power went out right on time, but did not come up at 1, it was 1:30 before I got the notice from the hub.

AG called at about 8:20, I was almost at work by then, though traffic was very slow. Commuter lane was slow too, I didn't stay in it long. Many large vehicles in the commuter lanes which did not belong there - dump trucks and such who are carrying two people, so they think they are a car pool.

Kept chatting in the parking lot well after arrival. About 8:45 I said goodbye and grabbed a banana and HB egg from the break room.

Checked email, Boss was going to be late - her bike had a flat. On the way, looking down at the trail, even that was slow and lots of traffic.

No word from Boss after that, I did ad hoc testing on three devices. My test account now has 1500 of my favorite tunes on it.

Sent a note to a partner manager to let him know something worked which is related to something else which didn't.

Lunch was turkey tetrazini. Lots of eye candy.

Break time also had some drive-by eye candy.

Not sure if the air conditioner is working yet, it was fairly windy and not very hot outside. My room seemed hotter than it should have been.

Home at 5:30. Took back roads II, my car data says it's half a mile longer than back roads I more than a mile longer than freeway to work. Freeway from work is longer than to work because there is no parallel entrance to the exit I take.

Went around the house setting clocks. A PIA. Even two which have backup batteries were way off. One was 2 hours ahead.

Expected to hear from the contractors today, but didn't.

Avanquest sent email that my software should be able to update now, and it was. But it took SIX updates to get it to the current build level. I will be switching to Versasoft, which has a 2017 release. Had to pay more to get the level which links to Quicken. And I'll have to redesign my checks all over again. But I'm done with poorly supported, out of date Checksoft.

The reason I went with them in the first place (2007) is they were the only ones which linked to Quicken and could print the MICR line (that computer font at the bottom of the check with the routing, account and check number). Back then Versa wanted to sell you either pre-printed checks (a major security issue) or magnetic ink (a needless expense which could jam your inkjet printer). Now Versa prints the MICR line on generic blanks using regular black ink - the banks use optical scanners now, not magnetic.

Major embarrassment on FB, I introduced two Peace Corps alumni friends, thinking they both served in the same country. But one was in Uzbekistan, the other in Ukraine.

Dinner was a toasted "everything" bagel with melted Havarti, onion, lettuce and turkey salami with marinated artichoke hearts and olives on the side. I need to hit the Indian/Mexican/Arab market for more of those lovely olives, there's plenty of marinade left. Chomped a bunch of pistachios as an appetizer.

Watched the last hour of the last episode of Genealogy Roadshow. It looks like PBS yanked it.

Drinking ginger ale with actual ginger. FWIW.

For those of you who want to do the least you can do in These Trying Times™, text RESIST to 504-09 and it will fax your message to your US Senators. You provide a name, zip code & message, it does the rest.

Nothing in the mailbox, no deliveries, and someone, probably my next door neighbor, who likes to park one of his 4 cars there while he juggles which 3 are in his carport, put my bins back where they belong. I was up early enough this morning to not take out the bins till morning (usually wheel them out the night before).

Online, bought a ticket for Pear Slices this Thursday. It's a few blocks from work, I can hang out in the cafeteria maybe even eat dinner there.

Plans for tomorrow:
Maybe see Groot 2 at 6:30.

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