Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

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Two's Day Gnus

farmount made me late for work.

Yeah, I know, "I wish". But really, sort of, kind of, in a roundabout way she did. In an earlier post she recommended books by C.S. Friedman, so I got a couple, and am well into his In Conquest Born. I usually read during lunch, and today I just couldn't put it down. Got back from lunch late.

Vacation Spending
My vacation is costing me almost as much up front as I plan to spend in-country. Today I bit the bullet and ordered the $275 travel pack by Eagle Creek. Nobody had it for less, nobody. REI had it on sale for $275, but then there's CA sales tax. Some online places charged tax plus shipping. Finally got it from eBags which has no CA sales tax and free shipping. That's way more than I wanted to spend on a piece of luggage, but I have a raft of excuses, starting with "it'll last a lifetime", and ending with "It's exactly the way I would have designed it". Interesting trivia is this is the 22" model - the bigger ones have a higher SRP but are on sale for as much as $100 less. Why? Because 22" is the carry-on size limit.

And I may need to spend a wee bit more and get some of those travel pack things which let you pump the air out and squeeze more clothes into the same space. But maybe not, since my plan is to only travel with 3 changes of clothes. This worked well for me last time - I bought T-shirts and shirts and pants along the route, didn't wear sox, and mailed my dirty laundry back home once a week, by surface mail, so I was home before it arrived.

Also arriving today were the Tevas I'll wear over there, and a blank journal from Paperblanks. The sandals are hybrids called Trail Wraptors. Initial try-out has them feeling pretty comfortable, and they are highly adjustable. I'm happy with this choice. The journal has a fake old leather look, with a heavy, slightly magnetized flap which will keep it closed. I'll put it in a giant zip-lock baggie for the trip.

Work woes
For a change I have work to do, and for a change the place I work is not the problem. But it's been a sad week for customers. Hard drives failing, 3rd party repair people showing up without the parts they needed, or without the clues they should have had. But the worst one was this afternoon, when two identical machines at a customer site started refusing to work correctly, and would not completely recover from a reboot. I was able to log into one and do some magic to read the system logs, and they were definitely hacked. hundreds of failed password attempts in an hour, before something broke through. Suffice to say their password was something so easy to guess that someone should be shot.

Lucky for us & them, one of our senior engineers just happens to be on-site teaching a class, and has a free day tomorrow. He's the one who set the password, so....

Bike Foo
I didn't want to spend the $$ before my vacation, but with 3 weeks of probably good biking weather ahead, I kinda had to. So I took the bike to REI, and told them it needs:
  • A tune-up
  • New tires
  • New inner tubes
  • A replacement gear shift cable
And they told me it also needed
  • A new chain
  • A new rear gear casket (maybe)

The good news is I was planning on spending as much for just the tune-up as they are charging for the whole thing. The reason being that with the actual repairs, they throw the tune-up in for 1/3 off. And replacing a chain means they don't need to clean it, so that saves bucks.

B of A just called, they have my Baht ready to pick up. It wasn't expected till tomorrow. Went there and spent forever waiting in line behind a Samoan man who was counting $1000 bills, and when it looked like he was all done he decided he needed a money order. And next was an older American man who spoke no Spanish with a young Hispanic man who spoke little English, needing to send money to another country. Fortunately they were in the wrong line and a manager came to take them to his office. The nice lady behind the counter had to wait for a second employee because it takes 2 keys to unlock the lock box, but she was very friendly and efficient, and laughed when I showed her how to read the Thai numbers on the bills, and then pointed out they also had the denominations in English. Easy to miss, since they are in a much smaller font diagonally across from the big Thai numbers.

So now I'm set for taxi and train fare, and for the first time ever have a 1000 Baht bill. They didn't have that denomination 30 years ago. Oddly enough, the portrait of the King on all these brand new bills shows him as a the youngster he was at coronation, instead of the 80-ish man he is today. Personally, I think he looks better in the photos from when he was in his 50's.

Tonight, Tonight
I have no plans at all. Maybe I'll rip some Sarah Chang CDs into the Sony mini-disk player. And maybe some Igor Kipnis too. Turns out the Sony software doesn't recognize my highly organized tree structure for saving WAV files, so it tries to put all 2500 tracks in alphabetical order instead of breaking them out by album. Boo, hiss. But it does work correctly if you feed it an album at a time. Or maybe I'll practice Perl for tomorrow's class. Or both.

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