howeird: (Both Ends + Middle)
So my plan was to save up PTO time for London in August, I was planning on working Thursday and Friday. Monday was already claimed as a day off to make up for putting in for the day after I moved but working that day.

It was dead boring, nothing at all to do at work today so I followed boss' lead and made it my last work day of the year. We have 24-25 off and 31-1, so with just 2 more PTO days it's 24-1. 9 days.

I may take a train ride, I may drive down to Morro Bay and take another whale watching trip (the grey whales are in town, and I want to give them one of my calendars, which has a cover and one month of whale pix).

Also planned is re-do the shed. Pull out the shelves on the right side and back, probably install bike hooks.
While at work, Costco emailed that the calendars were done, so I went there after work. Since I was there, I also picked up the 4 things on my list, and though there were tons of people there were also tons of cashiers, none of the lines were more than 3 deep.

All the time I was there, parents were murdering their children. Stupid parents don't know enough to duct tape their mouths shut first, so the screams don't give them away. Some day I am going to call 911 and report child abuse in progress.

Home, started playing the Tivo of the 49ers game in progress. The absolute best way, skipped through the commercials (they kept playing the same 5), and a lot of the "last game at the stick" schtick. At about the 2 minute warning it was almost in sync with real time, so I was able to turn on KNBR radio and listen to the post-game, which was still going when I finally got tired of it at 11.

After that was over, I slapped return address labels on 30 calendar-sized envelopes and fired up my Excel address book. Sadly, removed an uncle and a brother-in-law (my aunt and older sister lost their husbands recently).

Fired up Word 365, which was HORRIBLE at trying to decide what kind of mailmerge I wanted. It has a nice feature called Address Block which will fill in everything for you, but they expect a 2nd address line, and I would have had to re-do my spreadsheet with several more column, which is a PITA and I won't.

Finally got it after six or seven tries, and then the stupid program wouldn't print from the tray with the label stock. It kept going to the default tray, even though it insisted it was using the rear tray. Had to load the label stock in the cartridge, and while it worked it was not quite centered, and I was lucky that bending the stock like that didn't peel and jam the printer.

Slapped address labels on the envelopes, counted them up. 19 domestic, 7 foreign (which will probably grow to 8 when I get a new address from a friend who moved from Germany to Sweden). says the domestics are $2.75 apiece, which is 6 Forever stamps. I don't have that many. The Canada ones are $8.55 and all the rest are $12.75 which is a hoot because that's more than the calendars cost.

I have a few $2 and $1 stamps, but not nearly enough.

Plans for tomorrow:
See Frozen 3D at the Mountain View cinema. Mercado is not playing the 3D version. I may follow that with Hobbit 2 or I may do that for Jesus's post-solstice fantasy birthday celebration.
Empty the shed, etc.


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

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

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

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

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

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

And when I got home, she pwned me

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

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

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

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

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

Plans for tomorrow:
New house:
Drop off the rent check
Take "before" photos
Remove the Jesus sticker
Paint over the Jesus calligraphy
Install two of the keypad door locks, and their accompanying dummy door knobs
Try to re-key the third door. Replace the keypad if that doesn't work
Check to see if the satellite dish has been removed
Put a lock on the small shed
Take "after" photos
Back to the apartment, bake a pair of turkey legs, make dressing. Maybe buy an onion somewhere for that.
Watch some football
howeird: (The Gov - Arms Wide)
After signing/initialing each page in a 2"-high stack of papers for the escrow people, some of them saying what stuff I am not responsible for and others saying what dire consequences may befall, out came the loan papers.

The loan offer I had accepted was for a 5-year loan at 5.x percent interest. I had declined, I thought, an offer from the same lender for 15 years at 8.x percent.

Turns out the offer was actually for 20 years:  the first 5 years at 5.x and the next 15 years at 8.x.

So two shocks:

1. I will not be done paying after 5 years

2. The monthly payment after 5 years increases by $100 or so.

I almost canceled.

But even with the increase, I'm still looking at close to $1k a month less rent+mortgage than my current rent. And there is already 30% equity in the place, maybe a reverse mortgage can be had before the price goes up. There is no penalty for paying it off early, but the whole point of this exercise was to pay less rent.

So I signed. And more rudeness ensued. My rep was supposed to tell me to bring "my checkbook" which I don't have one of, but I could have brought three checks. I had printed three this morning, but only brought one, just in case the asst mfg rep was right and there was another wire fee to pay.

She was wrong, but they needed one check for the direct debit, one for the $5 fee to join the CU which is issuing the loan, and one for the $5 fee for the required 1-year membership in a mobile home owner's association, the one they chose was FOBA in San Antonio. Some shady deal here, because as far as I can tell from their web site and their newsletter, they are useless.

So I had to drive all the way home from San Jose, print two checks, and drive all the way back. As if that wasn't enough, escrow lady said I needed to call the CU tomorrow for an interview/confirmation of the things I had just signed. Crap. Today was supposed to be closure, dammit.

One good thing is the office building has a 2nd Harvest donation barrel in the lobby, so I was able to bring some items for that. (We don't have one at work this year)

And then back to work.

There wasn't much time left to do any actual work, and I was pretty depressed.

The lab babe had set up a new system which is supposed to replace the high-speed cable from the lab to each desk which we use for playing/testing HD video without having to sit in the hot/noisy/overcrowded lab. Instead of a cable to each desk, there is now a cable to a device mounted on the ceiling, which shoots data on a laser beam to a receiver on top of each cubicle wall, and a cable from there to the desk computer.

When I left to sign the papers, we had done a torture test, and it failed. My connection kept crapping out. Lab babe said she would also be back around 3, and would check in again. But she didn't. And I had no connection at all.

I shouldn't call her Lab babe. It's just that she is shaped like Barbie and dresses to make sure there is no doubt about that, has a bright, cheerful smile, and had her job description changed from being one of the engineers who troubleshot customer-reported issues which tech support escalated, to doing legacy testing and helping with special projects in the lab. During my first stint at Moto, she was a team-mate, loaned to us from Moto's St. Petersburg Russia video test lab. At the time I thought she was really sent to us as the final exam for the sexual harassment education class. She was laid off a little before I was, and we had both interviewed for our old jobs back at the same time, but while I got my old job back, she didn't, but was later hired by the lab manager. I think we were both up for both jobs, actually.

But I digress.

I forgot to mention yesterday a miracle happened, and as I was watching football, both cats were on my lap. Domino parked herself on my left thigh, and after she had been there a while Kaan jumped up and I steered him to the right side where he curled up. Domino growled at him a little, but petting her and pointing his head the other way allowed them to coexist for about half an hour.

I was expecting to hear from the Humane Society by now about bringing him back, but so far no. My drop dead date is 12/2.

In other escrow news, I had been planing on sending flowers to the mfg rep when the sale was final, but she got so many things wrong, especially the loan information, that this is no longer a plan. According to the paperwork, she makes $1800 on this deal.

Been listening to The Scarlet Letter in the car on the iPod. I love Hawthorne's style, I would have enjoyed reading it in school. It is read by a woman, which seems wrong as it is obviously being told by a man. She mispronounces words from time to time. How can you get "clandestine" wrong? Could be the British pronunciation, she has a British accent, which is also wrong, the story being written well into the Tyler presidency.

It looks like I will be hauling out my trumpet Sunday for an afternoon with TACO, the Terrible Adult Chamber Orchestra. It's as much a knitting circle as a musical organization. Like Ye Olde Town Band, it's Los Altos based. One of our tuba players may join me.

Plans for tomorrow:
Call the CU
howeird: (Default)
But that's how it shakes out today. I did a lot, considering how little I accomplished. Woke up at about 9, played fetch with Kaan. Took my Hgl readings and shot up, did some stuff online, like changing my Twitter password. Also killed the connections between Twitter and Facebook, because that seemed to exacerbate the friendslist spam issue.

Tried connecting the phone to the USB 3.0 cable which arrived yesterday, plugged into the PCIE USB 3.0 card which has been in the PC for ages but has never worked. I thought it was the cable, but it's the card. Windows says it has the latest drivers. Will have to replace that, but not till after my trip, because why bother?

Showered, dressed, took my meds, decided today was round tuit day. When I get things in boxes, eBay things, things, etc., unless they are HUGE boxes I get out my box cutter, slice through the tape, fold the box and slide it into a space between the livingroom garbage can and the coffee table. After a few months this gets to be an eyesore, which was today. So I loaded all the boxes onto a dolly and wheeled them out to the dumpster. It took two trips. And it also took me un-stupid-ing what some stupid person did in the dumpster. A couple of days ago, sent me my order of 6 litterbox refills. In the past they had put them into a square box (the items are rectangular) just long enough to fit, with a pile of inflatable plastic pouch filler to fill in the empty side. This time they used a box twice as large, with enough filler to re-carpet my livingroom. Literally. I had noplace to store such a large piece of cardboard so I broke it down right away, flattened it, and put it in the dumpster (the apartment does not recycle cardboard. Boo. Hiss.) This morning, the box was back to its full HUGE shape again, blocking anything else from being thrown away. Flattened it again and it was all good. So, this took two trips, partly because at the bottom of the pile of boxes I had found a box of 1,000 super-sized drinking straws which had FAILED and were there to throw away; plus a box from Costco of my first pass of 2013 calendars, on which they had made a printing error (they re-printed the right way, but had no use for the misprints).

Now there is a bit more room in the livingroom next to the trash can. Whoopee.

Next on the list was Kaan-ifying the patio, now that it is swept and no longer crunchy to walk across. Domino can be out on the patio unattended, because she is too short to jump the wall. Kaan is tall enough. The solution: put a row of flower pots on the wall and fill them with flowers. Not pots exactly, but those long narrow planters. And the flowers should be ones which attract hummingbirds. Measured the wall width and depth, 139" x 6.5". the 139 could also be 125 if we subtract the sides.

So, off to the nearest nursery, paid way too much for 4 30" planters and 14 4" square-potted plants. 7 each of Salvia and Fuchsia. Also got a big bag of potting soil, more than I thought I would need in my lifetime. Took those home and set up on the wall, and saw I could use two more plants and a trowel.

Long drive to Saratoga looking for a nursery I liked 12 years ago which I thought was on Saratoga-Sunnyvale road. The further I drove the more certain I was that I was on the wrong road. Must have been Saratoga Avenue. But no problem, Yamagami's was up there, they are huge and mostly less expensive than the local place. But they did not have Fuchsias in 4" and their salvia looked scrawny, so I popped for two 6" Foxgloves and a trowel.
Read more... )
Home again, set up the folding table on the patio, and spent about two hours transferring the plants into the planters and filling the spaces with potting soil. Used the whole huge bag, almost - not enough left to save - then watered them.
Read more... )

While I was doing this, Domino had claimed the patio seat/pillow which she used to curl up on at the last two apartments, Kaan kept walking around, not sure what to make of this new space.

Done, folded the table back up, vacuumed the mess off the floor, got some Crystal Lite on ice and my Kindle and sat in the chair I used to use, and did some reading. Kaan made several attempts to sniff at Domino and got hissed at each time. Somewhere during my reading Domino went inside and perched on the top of the small cat tree and Kaan curled up where Domino had been. 

Back inside, made dinner, way early (6-ish). Finished the book over a portion of Marie Calendar's alleged country fried steak. Took a peek outside, Domino was back in her spot, no sign of Kaan. I looked all over for him, was scared he jumped the wall anyway, but nope. Inside, looked up and found him on the top platform of the tall cat tree. I had been thinking a couple of days ago it has been a month or more since either of them has used the cat trees. :-)

The book: All the Stars by Andrea K Höst. Aliens invade earth, spraying dust which gives some humans blue skin and super powers, and other humans green skin, making them drones of the aliens. People who escape the dust stay human. Set in Sydney, Australia, with Aussie spelling. Fairly consistent world building, no blatantly "pulled it out of my butt" moments. Probably meant to be YA, teen romances occur, teens are the main characters. I gave it 4 stars out of 5, but could see 3 stars as a reasonable rating as well.

Facebook is all photos of fathers, this Hallmark Day. I refrained for several reasons, mostly because Dad didn't believe in any Hallmark Day except the original one, Mother's Day.
 TMI below the cut )

Plans for tomorrow:
Pack for Seattle (3-day trip, not much to pack)


Feb. 10th, 2013 02:16 am
howeird: (Danvers Hookers)
The Logitech Orbiter webcam is one of the most advanced USB-connected cameras ever created. I found mine in a box of lower-priority computer gear from my last move. Plugged it in, installed the software and when I launched it, a message popped up that it did not work on Windows 7. Went online, and lo and behold, they never built software for it after Vista. And they don't sell it anymore.

A shame, because this is the only webcam I can find which has a motorized tilt/swivel base. And it has a superb glass lens by Zeiss.

Late morning, woke up at about 9, played fetch with Kaan for a little bit, put pants on somewhere around noon, after loading up the dishwasher with the stuff I made fondue with last night, stripping the bed and putting the sheets into the washer.

There was light sour cream in the fridge and Knorr leak soup mix and minced clams on the kitchen counter, so I made clam dip.

Went online and discovered The French Store had microfiber sheet sets for about half the price of the cheapest cotton ones, and several of the reviews pointed out that they were good for avoiding night sweats, which has been a problem for me the past couple of weeks. So, off to Targét, and looked for those after plucking Q-tips and house brand electric toothbrush heads from the shelf. It was quite a long hunt. All the packages look alike for each brand, and there did not seem to be any microfiber. There was Jersey, which might also do the job, but no microfiber. Until I looked at the identical rows of house brand sheets, and there on the rack meant for Queen Easy Care sheet sets, some customer had slipped in a microfiber. But it was white, and online the perk was many bright colors.

There was no one to ask. All the help seemed to be over in the grocery side.

Finally found them on the end display, but there were only the sheet sets, no separates. I use 3 or 4 pillows, you see. So I picked a blue and a yellow, and then snagged an extra pair of pillowcases in those colors in Jersey material.

On the way home I stopped in at Fry's, where they now have two long rows of security cams, but those are all either $300 wireless internet cameras or analog made to attach to a video recorder or a video card. Way in the back of the store is a section of webcams, but few of them were high quality, and only the Microsoft top of the line said it swiveled. But it didn't say it swiveled by software command or digitally - using the digits on your hand. It definitely did not tilt by motor.

Home, had just enough time to flip between CNN, HLN and TWC trying to get an update on the LA killer cop.** Instead I got in-depth coverage of what looked like normal snowfall for early February in NY and Boston. I've seen more snow in Boston on Thanksgiving weekend. There was a view of heavy machinery removing cars from the road, with the excuse that they needed to be removed in order to plow the roads. This was in an upper upper middle class neighborhood on Long Island about 30 miles from where I spent my first 14 years. When I was a kid, the plows would have been out at the first prediction of snow, and the roads would be clear enough to drive on by daylight. The plows would also push about 5 feet of snow up against our driveway, so we did a lot of shoveling to get Dad's car onto the road. But the roads were drivable. So much sensationalism by reporters based in Atlanta who probably only saw snow in some big winter storm there, where plows and snow preparedness is not an issue.

HLN - Headline News - was playing a 1-hour show about a road rage shooting from several years ago. Not at all what I expect to see on a channel created for up to the minute news bytes. The Weather Channel was showing the wide variety of snowfall amounts from the storm, and pointing out that they were normal for this time of year, and the only remarkable thing about the storm is how wide a path it made.

**A sort of a rant and cynicism about the cop thing )

Drove to MV and had a short coffee klatch with Janice, who did not tell me anything about her NJ Red Cross experience so she could ask me some dating advice.

We were at the Pear Avenue Starbucks, across the street from the Computer History Museum. Parking was maxed out, but I didn't see anything on their web site about the event. They really need to fix that - they don't list non-museum events, which they have a lot of. Google and other businesses hold parties and meetings there.

Stopped in at 7-11 for potato chips, which were on sale.

Home, had chips and my home-made clam dip for dinner. Neither of the cats liked the dip. Very strange.

Janice had given me a DVD to watch, so I did. The Power of Two is the story of Japanese-American twins with cystic fibrosis and how lung transplants saved their lives. And their campaign to encourage people to sign and carry organ donor cards. And to help change the attitudes in Japan, which are strongly against organ donations from brain-dead patients.

It's a fascinating and touching movie, I'm going to see if it's available in PAL format and send it to my cousin in the UK who has MS and has been campaigning for better government policies on disability care and funding for people with "hidden" chronic diseases.

Went to Cheetah's to break a $100 bill, and get a lot of singles, and enjoy the show. I was there for about 90 minutes, and left after the Playboy model danced. She is not your typical PB model - about 5' tall, very petite. But she is beautifully toned, and has a great smile.

Yesterday's shopping included Pepperidge Farms frozen turnovers. I just made 4 cherry and 4 apple. There is one less cherry left.

Plans for tomorrow:
Set shop? I'll only stay if there is painting to be done. Any heavy lifting is out
Put the last 300 Thailand slides back in their folders
Consider what the next batch of slides will be. If they can put B&W negatives onto DVD as positives, I have a bunch of Thailand photos which are actually in order.

howeird: (Pocari Sweat)
Not depressed anymore. Not too thrilled that all the news channels have forgotten that there is news in places other than Sandy Hook, CT. I really don't need or want to see next-day interviews with any of the victims' family members, or clergy or shrinks. In a week or two, I do want to hear what law enforcement has pieced together as a coherent theory of what led to the crazy guy's acting out his delusions.

To me, the tragedy is just one more proof that there are no gods, nothing supernatural is watching over us, and  things do not "happen for a reason".

There was a good football game on the tube, Nevada vs Arizona. A wonderful high-scoring game with almost no defensive plays, with less than 2 minutes to go, Nevada was ahead 48-35 and the announcers were doing their usual going overboard singing the praises of the Nevada coach and how he has beaten a ranked team in a higher division. As they were pontificating, Arizona scored twice and won by 1 point.  

My traditional lunch for a college football game is hot dogs. A while ago I was all out of buns and almost out of hot dogs, and Costco had both deeply discounted, but you had to buy a wagonload. I had divided up the buns into packs of 4 until I ran out of zip-locks and threw the remaining dozen into the freezer with them. When I opened the freezer to get a couple of buns I saw there were far too many left, taking up valuable ice cream space, so I pulled out that dozen bag (plus two for lunch) and grabbed the Fannie Farmer cookbook and found a recipe for bread pudding. It needed some tweaking, but I had all the ingredients, once I realized there was an unopened carton of "best of the egg" in the fridge "best used by 9 November 2012".

recipe and such beneath the cut )
Cut yourself a piece of pudding, add a dollop of hard sauce and let it melt. A short shot of microwaves can be used to encourage this.

Serves about 12.

While the pudding was baking, Milo disappeared. I could not find him anywhere. Domino was on the top level of the cat tree, a place I have never seen her go before. Hmmmm. How does one lose a 16-lb cat indoors?

Speaking of lost, the other day I reported that I could not find my Polaroid tripod. I found it, it was in the bedroom closet under my scuba gear bag, which had fallen over behind the shirt rack. There was also a monopod which has small tripod legs which can extend. Now all I need is a remote.

Found Milo in the bedroom sleeping among my T-shirts. Two black ones were at the top of the stacks, and his dark fur blended right in.

The bread pudding was marvelous, the hard sauce was very hard in the alcoholic sense, but melted at room temp FTW.  I ate three slices, almost decided to have half the pan as dinner.

It took me so long to write this, dinner will be very late. ;-)

The pudding project derailed my plans to go see a movie, but so did the football game and a lot of online "research".  No way am I going to the cinema on a Saturday night with several blockbusters in their first weekend. Maybe tomorrow. I may go to Cheetah's.

Plans for tomorrow:

Massage maybe
Janice at 2:30 to give her a calendar and a key, but that's just for an hour, probably
Movie maybe
howeird: (Obama)
Obama decided to announce today that he supposes it's okay for men to marry men and women to marry women. I'm going to take off my CynicMan costume for a moment and say it is a lovely sentiment, one with which I completely agree.

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

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

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

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

But that's all water under the bridge. He's come out of the closet. Let's see if he takes the next step and assumes a leadership role on this subject. 


May. 1st, 2012 01:41 am
howeird: (Default)
Sleepless night, even though I went to bed way early, because I wanted to call Sprint at 9:30 Eastern. Woke up a few times, Domino didn't help, she was head-bumping me and being vocal. 4:30 I finally gave up trying to sleep, because both knees hurt a lot, so I grabbed a pair of cold packs, and slapped them on when I got the recliner reclined. Domino stared at me from the foot rest. Half an hour of that and then 4 Ibuprofen, then back to bed. Woke about 6, knees felt okay. Called Sprint at 6:30 my time, and was told the person who had sent me a letter Friday telling me to call as soon as possible was out of the office until Wednesday.

Looking at the letter again, the date on it was Feb 26. The date of the postmark on the envelope was April 26. The letter said to call between 8 and 5 Eastern Standard time. New Jersey is on Daylight time at the moment.

Between the cretin's absence and lack of attention to detail, tonight I gathered up all the paperwork, copied it, and sent it with a letter to the director of the organization saying (a) we will do this all in writing and (b) assign someone with an IQ greater than her shoe size to handle the case.

Dragged into work at about 8, 9 o'clock team meeting was weird because boss did not show, and nobody was able to make the conference call work until 10 minutes after. Boss' boss came in at about 15 minutes, and told us boss would be late, but we had not gotten the memo. After that the meeting went well, boss showed up eventually, and confirmed that my bug forced an extra build for two releases. Everyone was having trouble staying awake.

I did my usual morning email and FB and stuff, but by 11 I was thinking it might be best to go home. Something came up which woke me up for an hour, but at noon or so I drove home, took a nap for an hour, and then went to the PO to mail an eBay item, and then to work. I'd packed a bagel and cream cheese with lox which worked okay for lunch, along with a tangelo and some cracker jacks. I think what was going on last night was low blood sugar.

The rest of the day was fine, I was awake and had work to do, some of it around that bug. It was fixed in today's build of the first product. It didn't make it into today's build of the other two products.

Home after work, let Domino walk across my lap a few times. Walked to BASFA, which was not heavily attended, which made it more enjoyable for me. I got some good zingers in.

Walked back home, caught up on stuff, did some eBay, bought replacement parts for my soda siphon, wrote the nastygram to Sprint,  caught up on LJ & FB.

Plans for tomorrow:
howeird: (Default)
So, Domino is only mildly curious about the robocat when I throw it across the room. This is not going to become the faux companion I had hoped.

Meanwhile, if [ profile] susandennis wants a break from bears, there is this amusing book: Clicky
howeird: (Cats Eyes)
Was up till 2 am, slept deeply, up once at 5:30 then at 8:30 there was a yowl, and Domino was sitting up on the floor next to the bed telling me she was unhappy with my recumbent status. She does not understand weekends. I rolled over and went back to sleep. She jumped up on the bed and climbed over me a couple of times, then curled up by my side, where my hand would reach her middle.
cut for more ose )
Plans for tomorrow:
Work - 9 am team meeting
After work, who knows?


Oct. 1st, 2011 07:05 pm
howeird: (Default)
Been thinking about posting something about this for years. I've mentioned parts of it here and there.

When I was going to grade school in the mid-50s, I loved to read, but was slowed down enormously by what my teachers said was just a lack of concentration, but which I know now is two forms of dyslexia. Make that three.

The first symptom was not being sure if "d" was D or B and if "b" was D or B. q and p were also confusing but not as much because q is not that common in a grade school reader. Unlike many dyslexics, I did not see R as mirror image, but I did have trouble remembering which direction to start writing an S and an e.

Another symptom is I would write words with the letters out of order. Teachers said I was thinking faster than I could write. Maybe so, but it was another form of dyslexia.

And the third one came later in life, and is getting worse as I grow older. I do not touch type. I tried to learn once, but by that time I could "hunt and peck" 100 wpm and 5 wpm the "right way" was very frustrating. And I am not good at memorizing things like keyboard layouts. What has been occurring more and more is I will look at the screen, and discover that the keys I saw my fingers hit were not the keys they actually hit. I *knew* I hit the right keys (or wrong keys) but different characters would sometimes appear on the screen. Sometimes I catch it before it happens (the last three times I typed "dyslexic" my finger went to the s instead of the d). Backspace is my friend. Spellchecker is my savior.

I still read much more slowly than most people I know. Sometimes whole words shift positions in a sentence. Often the word that I want to see (a word I like better) takes the place of the word on the page. It's always a similar word. I will lose my place on the page, and have to hunt around for it. I may be a line off, or several paragraphs away.

When email made the @ sign popular, it took me a year or more to be able to draw one by hand.

This is a sour grapes entry. I know if I had been born 10 years ago instead of 60, my kindergarten or first grade teacher would have caught the dyslexia, I would have been given extra help reading, and would read faster and with better comprehension and retention today. My whole life might have turned out completely differently. But that's a sci-fi novel in iteslef.

Table Talk

Jun. 17th, 2011 01:24 pm
howeird: (CamoOcto)
I'm sitting at a table in the Chinese fast food place, vacuuming up the tangerine boneless ribs and house chicken when a couple in their late 20's takes the table kitty corner to mine, in the corner nearest the front windows, maybe 3 feet away. He is Asian, she is Caucasian, and he is talking quietly and quickly in a language I do not recognize. It isn't anything Asian, though. She answers, also in a quiet voice, a mile a minute. She faces the window, so her back is mostly toward me but since she is closer to me than he is, I can hear her a little better. It's an Eastern European language, not Russian but related.

After a few minutes of this quiet back and forth, she starts sobbing and crying while she is talking. His side of the conversation is not angry at all, his tone of voice is reasonable. It might be him breaking up with her, or he may be her shoulder to cry on. I don't understand the words, and here are no real cues.

The conversation ends, they take their (soft) drinks with them as they leave. They walk close together through the parking lot, past my car. She notices my license plate. She looks back and sees me looking at them, then they move on. I think she was wondering how much of her conversation I understood.

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