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The Bay Area Science Fiction Assn. meets every Monday night at a restaurant, and for something like 15 years they met in places close to where I worked and/or lived. About a year or so ago, they had to move (venue closed, still empty), and the group voted to move to the other side of the bay, which made them a PIA for me to get to.

I tried a couple of times when there was a Monday holiday, but with the change of location came a change in attendance, and the meetings became, for me, more annoying than entertaining. Tonight wasn't so bad, the main irritant was missing, and the handful of people who used to hold their own conversations paid attention to the meeting. But some people just don't know how to stop talking. There were reviews which lasted forever, and then later the same people had more reviews.

Usually I make a pun or two, but there was no inspiration this time.

On the pro side, I took someone's advice and went home for an hour before getting on 237, aka the freeway to hell. At 7:30 it was almost speed limit all the way.  My main reason for going was to give a calendar to an artist who loves my work, and is technically homeless, so noplace to mail it to. Turns out she is running the art show for Contact again this year, it's in Sunnyvale, and she expects me to display some photos. It's not till April, plenty of time to have some new prints made.
Slept okay last night.
Up and out early. Wanted to phone AG, but I think his new commute will make that a non-starter.

There was a crowd in the break room, but also bananas and eggs and baby cheese. No Kind bars, no oreos.

Early in the day Boss forwarded to me a notice that my contract has been renewed until December 4. That would be my 2-year mark, and after that if I am still a contractor, I will need to find work elsewhere for 6 months. Boss is working on making me a vendor, which would do away with the time limit, but that's still to be worked on with my rep.

Put away the James Bond machine, the instructions on how to update it are wrong, and I need to wait for an official release before I can do any testing. The release is in limbo.

Meanwhile, the instructions for a different chipset box were updated, and I was able to put the latest release on it. First thing I did was install Twitch, and it failed big-time. Added info and logs to the bug report.

And that was about all the work for the day. Watched some games, and some YouTube and Netflix.

Lunch was crowded, apparently field techs, one of them wearing enough scent to kill a buffalo. They didn't leave till 1:30.

Heated up a tuna salad sandwich, longans for dessert.

5:30, I drove to the new office, and it is a dump. It's in a dark corner dead end. No charging stations. Probably enough parking spaces. The best way to exit right now is by cutting through the movie theater parking lot and out its exit, which has a traffic light. The street the dump is on has a traffic light newly installed, but not yet operational after at least a month. When they power it up it will solve that problem.

Home about 6:15, had till 7:30 to kill, so I spent some time with Zoe, who wasn't particularly interested, and then took the cars off the model train track, flipped over the tracks, and used a pair of pliers to snap all the connections back into place. Put the track back face-up, carefully set the cars on the track, and it ran like a champ. Scared Spook out of the room, but she came back after I turned off the train. The outlet is on a remote controlled switch which I can turn on/off from anywhere on my phone, but for the cars to move I have to keep the remote control powered on and the dial set to forward. Hard on the batteries.

7:25, on the road for Milpitas, got to the diner at 7:35. Meeting starts at 8, plenty of time to find the artist and give her the calendar.

Home at 10.

Plans for tomorrow:
Sync? Unlikely with the move.

I ate 4 rectangles of chocolates which adds up to 20 mg each of CBD and THC. Last week's pill was 11 mg:5.5 mg. That was at 11 pm. I was already in bed, reading on the tablet from the Kindle app. In half an hour I was getting sleepy, and I'm pretty sure I was asleep by midnight. So the good news is the stuff does help me get to sleep.

Very soon, though, I woke up needing water. Dehydration which made my throat scratchy. Not something I expected from chocolate. Two more early morning wake-ups for that.

Slept well after that, Spook was on the bed yelling at me at about 8:30. After a quick pit stop it was clear I was still somewhat under the influence, walking a straight line took concentration, and balance was not 100%. Back in bed, where I slept till almost 10, checked email and webcams on my phone, watched some video, then up and showered by 11.

Tossed a way-expired eggbeaters mini carton, opened one with yesterday's sell-by date. Nuked some frozen cooked shrimp. Made a simple omelet from that and Italian seasoning, dill, black pepper and American cheese. Nuked my last piece of sourdough bread, and poured the omelet over that. Made for a nice brunch.

Watched mindless TV (Say Yes To The Dress) until the first football game was an hour in. Started Tivo replay, and watched most of the game. Jaguars had it in the bag, and then in the last 5 minutes drew some outrageous penalty calls - some highly questionable, then mismanaged the clock and lost the game. I hate to see the Patriots win anther rigged game.

Also recorded the Vikings/Eagles game, but Facebook friends who are Minnesota fans were posting not-happy thoughts, so I just FFed through it, watching the Philly score go up and up with no corresponding changes on the other side.

So it will be an east coast Superbowl. Boo, hiss.

Noshed on PNB, made what the box said was 6 servings of mashed potatoes, which fit into four 1-serving storage containers plus about a cup's worth which I ate. Good to have a side dish besides quinoa.

Broke down all the boxes, two of them for the gates needed to be slashed in half to fit the bundle size requirements. But had to wait till later to tape them together. **

Did some gardening, pulled up some bee's friend plants which are starting to take over the front garden. Needed to clear space for one of the more recent rose bushes. Dumped the pulled plants into the green rolling bin, but there isn't enough in there to justify rolling it out to the curb.

Used the last of my Round-up on some weeds growing by the shed. Nearby there are some saffron plants, had to be careful not to splash them. The main saffron section on the side garden is now just a bunch of stems. Turns out I missed the saffron collection time - I saw the buds but didn't try to harvest them. Chances are I was ill. Next chance will probably be autumn.

Delivered were three items from Amazon:
3-pack of litterbox cartridges
7-pack of Werther's sugar free caramels
2-pack of pin-to-screw-in light receptacle adapters

**The first two items are on subscription, and come in large boxes. So once they were put away I was able to break down the boxes, add them to the bundle and tape it all together. And haul it out to the curb, leaning against the recycle bin. 

Took the cover off the laundry room light fixture, removed the one remaining cfl lamp, installed the two adapters and screwed in a Wemo LED light bulb, which is supposed to link to my Samsung hub, and thence to Alexa and Google. But it wouldn't pair. I had it working a long time ago in the dining room lamp, but there's a grow light in there now.

Impulse, drove to Lowe's, only to find that they have stopped carrying remote-able bulbs. In fact. most of their home control stuff is gone.  So I drove back home, and ordered a 4-pack of <$10 LED bulbs which have the Samsung/Alex seal of approval. Two of them will go into the laundry room, the others will be spares. Or maybe the bathroom.

Kicking myself because I should have picked up more weed killer while I was there.

Plans for tomorrow:
Maybe visit the new digs in the afternoon.


Zoe was out last night (and continues to be). She spent a lot of time on the bed with me, but when she made her way to the head of the bed she kept biting my hand.

Slept well, pit stops were few and far between, but still at awkward times.

The pot pill had mostly worn off by bedtime. No sciatica pain, but I didn't have any yesterday either. It's sometimes intermittent. Not cyclical. When it comes, it stays for days, maybe weeks.

Eggs on sourdough English muffin for breakfast. My last eggs. I will transition to eggbeaters.

Plan A achieved. ATM, got enough cash to cover what I planned to buy. Then on to the Airfield pottery. It is in familiar territory, just past the soul food place on Coleman, they have gutted a drab brown apartment building and parking is the apartment's old lot, spaces on both sides and in the back. A Sikh in a rent a cop outfit made sure nobody had an easy time parking. Cretin stood behind my car as I was trying to back up to park between the lines. At the same time he was motioning for a F150 to park next to me.

Unlike Buddy's, this place was busy. ID was checked at the door, then there was a 20-minute wait to reach the receptionists (there were two of them, but they had to wait for there to be room inside). Inside it was another half hour in line. The outer line was interesting, it had a view of their pot farm. Lots of medium-sized plants, looking very healthy.

Finally got to a station (there were about 6-8 of them) and asked about live plants. We went over to the rack by the door, where there were about a hundred saplings, organized by type (banana-strawberry, blue sky, etc.) but I was only interested in a healthy plant, which he dug out of the mix for me. Customers can't touch. He had it boxed and brought to the station by a minion.

I also got two dark chocolate bars,  all THC, the other a 1:1 mix with CBD. This puzzled him until I explained I wanted to try both sides of the spectrum. The sapling was only $16, which floored me because online they say plants are > $100. Those must be the full sized ones. This left me with a bit more cash so I added some cookies. Low dosage 1:1 CBD:THC. Everything was in display cases by each station, making add-ons easy. Had to remind myself this is an experiment, and be happy 2/3 of my ATM withdrawal is still in my wallet.

Arrived at 11:30, walked out at 12:30. If there's a next time, online orders skip the long lines. As it turns out, somehow the banks have stopped being paranoid, and they accept all cards except AMEX.

Home, was going to wheel the very heavy box with the new cat tree into the guest room, but found it difficult to stand. All that time in line, I got a major contact high. Poured myself some ginger ale, sat in the recliner and watched mindless TV for an hour.

Something on my to-do list almost got to-done. The idea was to replace the CFL bulb which some energy program installed in the laundry room with an LED one which can connect to the home system. The idea is to link it to a sensor on the dryer, which already turns on the kitchen lights when I come home. It would be nice to also have the laundry room on that, it's the carport entrance.

Got out the stepladder, and removed the plastic dome. There were two bulbs (I thought there was just one). I twisted one, and discovered the hard way (fall, smash) that it's not a screw-in, those idiots installed a pin-connect fixture. Closed it up, will look online to see if there are remote controllables in that form factor. I'm not keen on replacing the fixture.

Lunch was HC meatball marinara steamer bowl. Medicinal marinara, I think.

Fired up the Roomba, Zoe stalked it, but ran away when it came right at her.

Finally was sober enough to do the big cat tree project. The two small cat perches in the guest room were relocated next to the sofa, in half of the space made when I moved the #2 recliner across the room to clear a path to the thermostat.

I wanted to use the power screwdriver with an allen wrench attachment, but apparently that bit kit is at work. Couldn't find one in the office closet, so I had to build the whole thing manually. The instructions were pictures only, but pretty clear. While I was building it, Spook found the furry balls which were going to be hung from the top tiers, and chased them all around. For the most part she stayed out of my way.

After about an hour's work I took a break. Then back to work, and finished in another 40 minutes or so. Took the food tower out to fill it, and brought in some more water, and sat on the futon. Spook wanted to be petted a lot, but finally she tried out the scratching posts and climbed the tree. She didn't get to the top, she got distracted by the fuzzy balls, now tied with elastic cord to the bottoms of the top two tiers. It's solid, I'm happy.

Dinner was a turkey drumstick and mixed veggies. Popsicles for dessert. I took a while to get up for dessert because Zoe was curled up in the crook of my elbow. Waited till the end of the Sharks game - they won 2-1, the last 10 minutes was all defense, the penguins went empty net at about 5:00 left.

Played another 3-hour Oak Island recording, once again it was all recap. I wish Tivo had a 30-minute skip. Right now it's FF, 2FF, 3FF and 30-second skip.

Watched the news. Too much women's march (easiest thing in the world to cover). I don't march for several reasons. First off, by the time CA votes, the election is over. Second, women need to stand up for themselves without men. Third, CA has two women senators and about half of the reps are women. It hasn't changed a thing. Fourth, those pink pussy knit hats are nauseating. By wearing them, women are giving power to Trump's obnoxious words. And twelfth, Trump is doing what he promised to do, which is more than I could say for Obama after a year.

Also too much weather. Much of it wrong. And the sports guy simply re-ran stories and interviews he ran earlier in the week.

Did and put away two loads of laundry - jeans & t-shirts, shirts & socks.

Discovered that all the jeans in the guest room closet are 50". In the bedroom are 50 & 48, and new two thin 46" Wranglers. Ordered two pair of Levi's 46" from JCP. They were on sale - buy one, second is half price. $100 for two pair.

Transferred the $$ from Paypal eBay sale to my bank.

In about an hour I'll eat one of the high test THC chocolate squares. Make that 4 - one is about half the CBD of the pill. 20 squares (rectangles, actually) per bar, totaling 100mg of CBD and THC each. The other bar is only THC.

Plans for tomorrow:
Observe the overnight pot effects
Watch football
eBay, put the Huawei unlocked & Samsung Verizon phone up for auction. I have the original boxes, should get more for them.
Maybe make mashed potatoes from mix. I have two boxes of mix, have not been well enough to do anything with them
Swap the cats after dinner



Another good sleep, another Spook petting session on the bed right at 7:30. Took my time getting out of bed.

Morning stuff done, packed lunch and got onto 101. Mixed traffic, unpredictable stopped sections and 65 mph sections.

No bananas in the break room, but a Kind bar and a couple of small packets of a new peanut butter product. There were eggs, and diet coke (though I brought my own vitamin water, which they were out of).

In the Hole, more Twitch, then fired up another TV and browsed YouTube. Watched the bald eagles take turns feeding the two fledglings. Dad definitely favored the stronger one. Weaker one had to turn around and make space for himself - after 15 minutes he gave up on waiting for dad and stole bits of fish out of dad's beak as dad was feeding himself.

Tuna salad sandwich and longans for lunch. Diet Coke.

Back at the lab, I had the building to myself. Not unusual for a Friday. Today is the day my team moves out of the prestigious Googleplex and down a back alley into a slum of its own. It is a tiny building on a dark street. I theoretically have a corner/ slanted window desk space. Since I'll almost never be there, I deeded it to the guy with the no-view seat next to me. I didn't know about the view at the time.

Saw something on UPI's web page that ULA was launching a satellite at 4:30-ish my time, from Canaveral - so a night launch. When the time came, I was on it. This time (unlike the Vandenberg launch last week) it went without a hitch. They even had an Air Force captain to explain to the MC what the satellite project was all about. The Captain is an adorable 20-something very female PR type. I saw two silver bars and thought Lt. - but Air Force Lt. (I looked it up later) is one bar. Anyhow, her makeup was flawless.

Shut off all the TVs, and aimed for home. First two legs were slow, a little slower than usual. The rest was pretty sparse.

Home, in the mail was my 2018 CA fishing license, and a ridiculous note from my mortgage company.

The mortgage company had changed its name during last year. The note was a copy of my insurance with the old name of the mortgage company, demanding I have the insurance company change it and I need to send them the corrected title page.

That is so stupid. They should be contacting my insurance company and getting it done - they're the ones who changed their name. They need to deal with it.

And the experiment begins. At 6:45 pm I took one of the pot pills. 11 mg CBD 5.5MG THC. I started to feel a little drowsy (the intended effect) at about 8. The label said between 60-90 minutes, accurate, that.**

Two hours later I have made dinner - green curry shrimp and roti. The roti comes pre-made and frozen, but needs to be cooked. It was pretty good. Watched PTI and the news.

I swapped the cats soon after I got home. Zoe was very nervous for the first couple of hours, but she had settled down. Jumped up on my lap for a bit while I was watching the Graham Norton NYE show. She's been on the cat tree but now is on the floor by my feet yelling at me. I know not why.

Had to go into the Spookified guest room twice, in response to FB. Once to look someone up in my high school yearbook who died today. He was a year younger than me and his only activity was football. So no, I don't remember him. The second time was to look up the spelling of the name of one of the Peace Corps staff who was also a housemate for a while. Tried to find him online, but didn't. I found someone with the same name and maybe the same age on Linked In, who lives in Thailand, but his bio makes me doubt it is my Tom. And then I found him on LinkedIn, just by adding the name of the city in Thailand where the not-my-Tom is living. Turns out that's where my Tom was posted in PC.

Plans for tomorrow:
The pot place closer to me. I did some research this afternoon. They have an in-house pot farm viewable by the customers. They also sell plants.
Build the cat tree in the guest room. First, move out the small cat nooks back to the piano room.
Bedtime - try some of what I bought

Well, one good thing happened

Slept okay. Spook waited until the alarm to jump up on the bed and jump right off again.

While taking my meds, my contract rep called, confirming our lunch date. He suggested my favorite lakeside café. It's the last place I took my previous rep. And she apparently took him there when she handed over the job.

Eddie's a good guy, I like him. We talked for almost 2 hours. Boss is still out sick, but I'll let him know when she's back so he can arrange to meet her. By then my team will be in its new slum dwellings. There's a team breakfast there Monday, but I don't do breakfasts. Especially since the move puts the team in the middle of the most horrible intersection in Mountain View. It takes about 15-20 minutes to get off the exit from 101 there. My hole is 2 exits past that.

Work-wise there was nothing to do, so I trolled around Twitch all day. Eddie is a gamer, he knows about Twitch.

Because of the trip to lunch, the car needed a charge, so I parked in the garage, and once again there was some kind of special event upstairs and pizza & street food & desserts were being served until 6. I grabbed a bread pudding cup, sat on a hallway sofa, took out my tablet and read. After a bit they had tables set up again, I moved to a more comfortable seat by a table.

6:30, car was 90% charged so I drove home. Heavy traffic till the turn off of Shoreline, then pretty light the rest of the way.

Nothing delivered, the only thing in the mail of note was a thank you card from previous rep for the calendar.

Dinner was duck soup. I feel like Groucho. Used the leftover soup stock, all the pieces of duck which don't have much meat, plus a couple which do, diced celery, onion, garlic. 10 minutes at 50% in the microwave, twice. So delicious. There is still enough duck meat left for one more dish.

Watched PTI and the news. Those poor kids. And how horrible that their neighbors sort of noticed but kept silent.

The other day my shredder stopped shredding. Turned out the bin was full & clogging the blades. Fixed that.
Need to put away the whites tonight, ran out of undies this morning

Plans for tomorrow:
Look up on the food web page what's going on with Thursdays at the big cafeteria.
Swap the cats

It Could Have Been a Boring Day

Slept well, except for Spook leaving a small foam ball on my bed. She jumps on the bed and bats it around, then runs away. At 4:30 am.

Not sweaty, so maybe the drugs are working. Actually, I know the infection is cleared up because medical TMICollapse )

After yesterday's waste of time at work, I slept in, and didn't leave the house till 9:15. At work by 9:30, the last 7 minutes was in the exit only lane.

Grabbed a banana, egg, kind bar and baby cheese. Lots of people in the break room doing what appeared to be actual work. One woman created a major league breakfast with oatmeal, banana, apple, cashews and maybe even trail mix (it has a lot of raisins).

Good news in the Hole, Internet was back up. I had to reboot my linux box to get online, but then messaged the manager who had done all the heavy lifting, to let him know it was fixed. Then I had to do a sudo reboot to install a special security patch. Strange but true, that didn't break anything. The patch had nothing to do with the outage.

Just as I was about to resign myself to a day of CES replays (the two tests units on my task list were not ready for me), Boss asked me to test an app on one of the more stable Android TVs called Twitch. It's mostly an app which lets you be a voyeur and chat room nag for a whole slew of online computer games. It took a while to find actual content, and when I did, it was in Thai, because of the time difference. US gamers are not on at 10 am. That's 1 am in Bangkok.

After it was clear that the GM was an obnoxious bore, and was taking forever to set up the game, I poked around some more, and found gamers from all over the world, but only saw the chat column on the right hand side, no content on the big video space which is most of the rest of the screen.

Boss suggested a gamer she knew who would be on at 2. So, 1 pm lunch, Tuna salad sandwich and longans. Some eye candy but they were seated behind me.

I finished the way too long space opera trilogy  Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins: A Collected Trilogy by Randolph Lalonde the other day. There are more than a dozen sequels, but his writing did not grab me enough to justify continuing, especially since the trilogy was way too long as it is. Now I'm on to a more compelling piece of writing, Follow Me: A Quest in Two Worlds by Ken Howard. A genius mysteriously disappears and is presumed dead, but on his PC his little brother finds an advanced RPG obviously meant for him to find & play.

Back to the Hole, found Boss' gamer, and a bug. So a chunk of the afternoon was confirming the bug applied to most of the game sessions, and then writing it up. By now there were no more Thai gamers online, but plenty from Europe, Korea and China. And the US. There were not a lot of women hosting games, but there were more than I expected.

End of Day, drove home, same route as yesterday but it took 20 minutes longer with traffic. I kind of knew that would happen. Maybe tomorrow I'll take that route but get on 237 instead of Maude.

Nothing delivered.

Tom Ka Gai reheated for dinner. Frozen melon balls for dessert. Watched PTI, the news, and two separate Oak Island offerings, the first one, though, was FF central - it was a compilation of everything I've already seen. The second one was mostly padding, but there was a full 20 seconds of a new discovery. Okay, it was 15 minutes of TV but 20 seconds of actual content. The next episode will probably have a scientific analysis of that new discovery. I also expect them to actually sift through the piles of dirt which the now-massive drill has dug up. Or they may punt that one more week into the future.

Spent some Zoe time lying on the futon, and she jumped on top of me, but when she decided my jeans was a scratching post I left her to her treats, and refilled her water.

Threw all the bedding into the laundry. Will put different sheets/pillowcases on the bed but the blanket and quilt will go back on.

Plans for tomorrow:
Lunch with contract rep

Weir5d night, Wier6der day

Last night was one of those sweaty ones, yet Spook spent most of it on the bed, same spot she use to park long ago, same spot Zoe prefers. It has been maybe a year since Spook spent more than 2 minutes on the bed. And she wanted to be petted. And she brought me a ball to play fetch with.

I woke up a lot, sometimes for Spook, sometimes because I had gone to bed way too early.

Was up 10 minutes before the alarm, but waited till the lights came on to do my morning routine. Turned on KCEA, they were playing a song I heard on my car USB drive yesterday. Bing Crosby. Good Good Good. Not his best work. Chorus was The Andrews Sisters, not their best work either.

Took meds, shot up, packed a frozen tuna salad sandwich, a tangerine, my last packet of Famous Amos and a sandwich bag's worth of longans. Out the door 10 minutes early, at work half an hour early. Grabbed a banana, egg & Kind bar and another tangerine. And a 2-pack of oreos.

In the Hole, tried to log into my linux box, it made noises like my network cable was unplugged, which it was not. Got the same thing when I tried my laptop. Called tech support, got a horrible cell phone connection, could not understand a word the tech was saying. Had him call me back, got a good connection and we went through a lot of troubleshooting before it occurred to me that I should see if the Android TVs could connect. They are a lot more intelligent than Google's error messages, and immediately showed that while I had a solid connection to the wi-fi router, there was no connection through to the internet.

Phone support handed the ticket off to field service, and a very nice/competent Chinese-American tech with the unlikely name of Dante traced some cables and ran some tests off the wi-fi router and found that it chains to another router, but that other router had no connection to the outside world.

I gave him info which pointed him to who might know what ISP our building uses, which was passed along to N, the product manager who is my acting boss (Boss, sadly, has the flu), and also in charge of hosting the engineers in the next room (they were also off-line).

Dante had joked that maybe someone forgot to pay Comcast.

Turns out that is exactly what happened. N found the ISP was AT&T, the credit card it was charged to had expired 3 months ago, so they cut off service. N put the account on his card, and it will probably be back in service tomorrow morning. Or within 24 hours.

So he sent me home. I was across the street in the break room, which has corpnet, with my laptop, for most of the afternoon. Before going home I explained the situation to the lead engineer in the next room. We had a good laugh.

I did get to eat my tuna salad sandwich and Famous Amos. There was a LOT of eye candy all afternoon.

Home, traffic was light so I took Maude Avenue to Fair Oaks, a back way which avoids the IFH. At 3:30, traffic is light enough to see the lane turn signs, and not get trapped making a turn I don't want to make.

Delivered was a CD, Oleta Adams, The Very Best Of. Her song Get Here made me smile a lot at Karaoke. Some lyrics:
You can reach me by railway
You can reach me by trailway
You can reach me on an airplane
You can reach me with your mind
You can reach me by caravan
Cross the desert like an Arab man
I don't care how you get here
Just get here if you can
You can reach me by sailboat
Climb a tree and swing rope to rope
Take a sled and slide down the slope
Into these arms of mine

Lee was out trimming her jungle when I went to get the package, so we chatted for about 15-20 minutes. We haven't had enough sunshine for her passion fruit vines to thrive, she was taking them down from the carport where she had them strung. She complimented my severe rose bush trimming, said they will come back bigger than ever in the spring/summer.

Inside, had a good visit with Zoe, who curled up on my tummy and purred.

Since she's determined to call that room home, I'll unbox the tall cat tree and assemble it this weekend.

Watched PTI, another Shark Tank episode, and yesterday's 6 o'clock news. Lots of MLK-related "news".

Unlike most of my contemporaries, I was not a fan of MLK, Jr. I was in favor of his causes, but his Gospel Preacher act annoyed the heck out of me. I should add that, being brought up in a Jewish liturgical chorus I have never been a fan of gospel music either. There is not a lot of depth to the tunes or lyrics of gospel music, especially compared to Jewish music. And then there's the Jesus component, which Jews know is nonsense.

MLK helped push southern states over the blatant segregation hump. But Congress is still racist, and most white southerners still appear to judge by skin color. And clothing. Integration was achieved more by the armed efforts of JFK's and Lyndon Johnson's US marshals than by non-violent protest, from what I saw at the time.
Moving right along.
The antibiotics are working.

Afternoon snack was the longans I didn't have a chance to eat at work.

Dinner was a wok creation. I cut up some duck into small pieces, diced half an onion, some garlic, a stalk of celery and all the leftover mushrooms. Wokked everything except the mushrooms in peanut oil, added a dollop of coconut milk, and when things looked done, added the mushrooms till they looked done. Probably should have poured that over rice or pasta, but it was delicious by itself.

Last slice of cake for dessert. May need a popsicle later.

Plans for tomorrow:

It Was Only A Matter of Time

Kept waking up for no apparent reason. The fleece blanket I bought at BB&B the other day works well with the quilt. Very comfy. Stayed in bed till 9:30 or maybe later. Spook made a brief visit at some ungodly hour.

Decided today was the day to visit Buddy's Cannabis, which turns out to be in an industrial section of San Jose, Not really very far by 101 & Old Oakland Road. They had been getting massive publicity because they were the first place in CA licensed to sell recreational pot, and with many cities delaying their licensing process, they got a lot of "foreign" visitors on NY Day. They were swamped for days, but this morning it was very quiet. Security guard at the door asked to see my ID (have to be 21 to enter) and then the receptionist asked again (probably for legal or marketing). And then there were comfortable seats to wait in until a salesperson was free. 3-4 minutes.

I told him what I was looking for, something edible & not gummy to help me sleep without getting me high. He only had one product which fit, capsules which had a 2:1 ratio of CBD to THC, both in fairly low dosages. $60 for 12 was a bit steep, but I expected that. $10 of that was taxes.

Headed home, but needed to stop off at a grocery for chicken broth. The Walmart food store in the Mercado was on the way, and they actually had something better - chicken soup stock, unsalted. I also picked up some chicken broth, unsalted.

As is my habit, I browsed the store, and picked up some other stuff. Sugar-free fruit popsicles, Klondike bars, dark chocolate bars, frozen melon balls & mango chunks, and a bottle of Squid brand fish sauce, because I couldn't remember if I ever replaced the old off-brand bottle I dumped. 

Home, garbage had been collected, so I brought that back to its place by the air con unit. The cover had blown off the aircon again, puzzling since there was no wind. Hmmm.**

Put some stuff away, but also got out ingredients to make Tom Ka Gai. Out on the porch, I watched hummingbirds as I gathered a dozen Thai lime leaves for the soup. Inside, cut up a pair of limes since the recipe called for fresh squeezed juice. Pulled 4 cans of coconut milk from the cupboard, saw I already had a bottle of Squid fish sauce, but opened the new one anyway.

The recipe was out of my friend Nancie's book, Real Thai, which I think is still the best Thai cookbook on the planet. Nancie was in my Peace Corps group, and we have kept in touch through the years. My autographed copy of the book was a pleasant surprise - I was at the Gilroy Garlic Festival mumble mumble years ago, and heard her voice from the demo tent. And smelled the basil. After the demo I went up and bought a book, and despite the years & beard & fat she recognized me right away. We have kept in touch ever since.

I sliced 20 pieces of galanga, and a small lotus root (not in her recipe, but I like the pretty patterns), smashed up and cut 4 lemongrass stalks, cut up half a pound each of chicken breast & thigh into small bite-sized pieces, dropped in 10 peppercorns, and 6 of the lime leaves.

Into the pot went 4.5 cups of coconut milk and 1.5 cups of chicken stock. Brought to a boil and simmer, added all the ingredients, cooked for 15 minutes, then added straw and oyster mushrooms (cut up), lime juice and fish sauce and took it off the heat.

The book didn't say what to do with the other 6 lime leaves. I emailed Nancie, and apparently in all these years (1992) nobody had caught that. She said they were to line the serving bowl with (since the first 6 were now cooked and flavorless).  I have two batches left, will try it with those.

Ladled a serving's worth into a bowl and that was dinner. 1/2 a pound of longans for dessert. Watched a mindless Bravo show, Beach House, because there were pretty women showing off as much of their anatomies as possible, hoping to hook up. The insecurity of pretty women continues to amaze me. The men they were after were no prizes. IMHO.

Also watched PTI and an episode of Shark Tank. And surfed between Beach House and Animal Planet's show about Alaska trappers. I don't get why this show is on Animal Planet. It's mostly about surviving in the middle of frozen nowhere. But then, what is a reality hookup show doing on Bravo, the cultural entertainment network?

In checking out the web site of the folks who made the cannabis capsules, I found a licensed dispensary closer to home, and their price was just over half of what I paid at Buddy's. And they had more choices. I may have to visit, if the capsules work. Next weekend, because I don't want to try a new sleep aid on a work night.

The brokerage funds arrived in my bank account, so I paid down all my credit cards. Paid off two, paid the balance on another, and just over half the balance on the one I owe the most to.

Ordered a replacement cover for the aircon unit, since the reason this one blew off was all the glue holding the cinch tabs had disintegrated.

** And then the Aha! moment. Turns out the guy who set up the Nest thermostat had set it to heat + cool, which is what I'll want in a few months when we have summer days and cool nights. It was actually turning on the air conditioning to bring the temps down when they got above the median threshold. Major waste of gas & power. So I changed it to just heat.

Had a couple of good visits with Zoe. She of course figured out how to open the closet doors, now that she knew they could open (thanks, Spook! NOT!). So now she likes to hide on top of a moving box in the closet. I'm pretty sure inside the box is a very expensive Thai silk, blackout lined curtain which used to hang above the sliding glass doors in the bedroom of my last apartment. It's not wide enough for my livingroom, and way too wide for the bedroom.

Plans for tomorrow:
If boss is better, sync
Home, rest
Slept almost all night without a pit stop. Backup doctor's suggestion of upping one of my drugs seems to be paying off.

However, it may also be responsible for the latest lab test, which said the infection is back.

My regular doc emailed me that it's lower grade than before, but had me pick up another round of that drug which licked it the last time.

So instead of relaxing all day, I drove to Santa Clara (only pharmacy open at Kaiser on a Sunday) and waited 10 minutes to place an order which only took 5 to fill.

On the way home I stopped in at my local Chinese market in search of makings for Tom Ka Gai, a coconut milk based chicken soup, which requires galanga(l) and lemongrass. They had no galanga(l). [editor's note: most Thai cooks call it galangal, but in other Asian stores they sometimes leave off the final l].

Impulse said go to Milpitas and 99 Ranch market, The major Asian supermarket, but my bladder said stop at home first.

I think I had already installed the tall gate in front of the guest room. It fit well, and Spook could see no way over it or through it. She actually tried to dig under it but the hall runner was in the way. Zoe did not like that Spook was in sight, and stayed hidden.

But I digress.

On to Milpitas. They had bags of longans for $1.99.lb. That was the first thing that went into my cart. 3 bags, about 5 lbs altogether. I am addicted to that stuff. Next, found a lot of choices for galanga, got a medium sized one. Looks like a pale oversized ginger root. Lemongrass was next, then a couple of types of mushrooms, coconut milk in cans and frozen, lotus root, kind of as an experiment. I figure it will work well in Tom Ka. Bamboo shoots in refrigerated bag instead of canned. Chicken thigh meat (small pieces) and also about two lbs of Satsuma tangerines (with leaf-on). And half a roast duck, chopped. Might add some to Tom Ka. Maybe. And I always stock up on Ha gow (frozen).

Home, put stuff away, heated up some quinoa and some of the duck and called it dinner, dessert was about a pound of longans.

Was watching the Saints pull off an upset win with 40 seconds to go, when I heard screeching from the guest room. Spook had found a way through the bars and was bird dogging Zoe, who had retreated to the far end of a shelf containing old family photo albums. Spook was attacking from under the futon.

I went back to see the Vikings win - boo hiss - and then back to the cats, had to drag Spook out by her tail & scruff. In the process the gate came loose too much to bother with, so now we're back to Zoe in the guest room with the door closed, and me seriously considering giving Zoe away to a friend. That won't be for a few weeks at the soonest.

On the bright side, the Steelers lost. On the not so bright side, the Patriots are bound to absolutely CRUSH the Jaguars.

BofA keeps sending me these annoying messages that my EDD card balance is ready to review. EDD is the unemployment department, they issue a BofA debit card to pay unemployment insurance. I had set up an auto-transfer which sent all my EDD $$ to my checking account. I have not been on EDD for more than a year. When I tried to log into my EDD account, it said I don't have a user name. So I phoned the number on the screen and talked to a nice lady who told me that EDD doesn't allow cards to be deleted, because most people will use them again, but she was able to take my email address off of the account so I won't get annoying messages.

In other news, having a discussion on FB with a friend who should know better, who claimed that American Cheese is not allowed by the FDA to be called cheese because it contains vegetable oil. So during my 99 Ranch run, I took a picture of Kraft American Cheese (the one he claimed was oily) and there is nothing in there except dairy products and preservatives. No oil. He tried to backpedal and say there were other kinds of American Cheese, but I found out that there's a Federal regulation which requires anything with that name to only contain dairy products. Kind of like a trademark. And he's still making up stuff, so I'm done.

Plans for tomorrow:
It's MLK Day, no work (no pay)
Take drugs & take it easy
Do some research on edible cannabis, the kind for pain relief not the kind to get high on. zyzyly has mentioned gummies, but unfortunately those stick to my dentures. Maybe visit the local apothecary. Maybe. 
Slept well. Up at about 10. Missed the window to get to the photo studio at the end of the photoshop workshop, left the house in time to get there just before the model shoot. Gave the owner a calendar, he liked Miss October, who was shot in his studio.

Nearest BB&B was at the Great Mall. Did the sodastream exchange and got everything on my list, then took it to the car. TMICollapse )

Usually Zoe would have visited the bathroom during this event, but she was nowhere to be seen. It was her turn in the house, Spook's turn in the guest room.

Looking all over, I saw this:

The vent had been in place when I left. I looked around where it might let out, but saw and heard nothing.

It was time to check on Spook, and saw this in the guestroom:

And then I saw this:

Off to the left, floor level, Spook was staring at Zoe.

The vents are a straight line, about 25 feet apart.

I invited Spook out, and closed the door. Zoe is back in her safe place again.

I am eager to hear what my Humane Society counselor has to say. Won't hear till Tuesday at the earliest.

The round table for the train set arrived, it's now set up and after some work with pliers to close gaps in the track, it runs fine.

Took some lactaid and extra immodium. Relaxed till 6:30, then drove to Campbell for karaoke. I had a fever, and got real cold toward the end, but sang 5 times.

Home around 10:30, not hungry. Hgl measured, overnight insulin injected. No update on Kaiser tests, don't expect any until Tuesday.

Plans for tomorrow:
Catch up on sleep
Catch up on football
Two Sundays this week, MLK Day Monday,no plans. Janice is in PV.


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January 2018



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