Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

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Another Day, Another Impulse Buy

Well, a planned impulse buy. The Sony car nav system was not working for me - Tom Tom's maps are unreadable, Major points of interest were missing (like Del Valle Park, probably the largest park in CC County), and it kept losing connection with my bluetooth phone, putting up an annoying full screen notice when it re-connected - but no notice when it dropped the connection.

After reading reviews, I had planned on a Pioneer system in the price range of the Kenwood I ditched recently for rebooting at random.  Did the research last night, found a place nearby with 5-star ratings over a dozen years of being in business, and put an after-lunch item on my calendar to buy a system and have it installed there. No more buying online and paying someone who did not know that system to install it.

Got there, the owner dropped everything to help me, showed me the Pioneer they had, but it was a less-featured model and the map looked almost as bad as the Tom Tom. He had two JVCs next to it, I picked the one without the built-in traffic module (South Bay traffic reports have never been accurate on GPS for me), but with HD radio, which the Pioneer did not have. I am not a huge fan of HD radio, because it is an all or nothing signal- you either have brilliant 5.1 audio or no audio, which can get real annoying. Analog when the signal is weak you still get audio, just degraded a bit.

He said it would take an hour, took 45 minutes longer than that. 90° outside, and about the same inside, but every now and then there was a breeze coming through the open door. I read the manual and Darwin as I waited, and sweated a bit. Wish I had worn a T-shirt, glad I wore shorts.

One annoying thing about the unit which I knew in advance, is the USB/iPod connection was in the front, but I had press-on clips to guide the wire out of the way. The iPod lives in the console between the driver and passenger seats.

He did a great job, hid the GPS antenna and put the BT mike in the molding near the top driver's side corner of the windshield. Much better acoustically and visually than on the steering column. All in all he did a great job, and I was surprised that the audio quality is way better than the Sony. HD radio sensitivity is better, presets are easy to assign and once assigned they change from the freq to the station call letters when the data is available in the stream. It even picks up HD AM stations. The map is brilliant, but it did choose some slightly off routes. However, when I take a different turn, it catches on immediately, and does not say "recalculating". And unlike the Garmin it figures out the new route I'm heading for instead of trying to push me back to its chosen path.

Not going to BASFA last night got me a pleasant surprise. There are two neighbors I see a lot, one is my age, I think he's an architect, the other is a young girl who has lived here almost as long as I have, and I have seen her go from stroller to scooter. The only safe place to play on the scooter is the courtyard in front of my apartment, so I see her a lot. She's a bit shy but loves my cats. Anyhow, they both came over together at about 8 pm and gave me a plate of chocolate chip cookies which he said she made, with him supervising.

That was very sweet of them. But I'm not interested in getting to know my neighbors. Especially my under-aged neighbors. Smiling and saying hello is about my limit. It's a series of very long stories, but IMHO that way lies dragons. But I suppose it won't hurt to bring the cats outside while she's playing.

My first project this morning, while it was still cool enough, was to cook up a couple of cups of macaroni for a few cold meals. Also looked up my A1C test online from yesterday, it was down more than a point. Endo doc will be semi-pleased by that.

Went to Shoreline Park, found a shady spot in the Rengsdorff House parking lot, and set up the audio/nav system. When I tried to feed it a local address, it said it was 633 miles away. Odd, but part of the problem was the default setting for POIs is Washington DC. I have no idea why it didn't tell me 2500 miles or so. After I told it to use my local coordinates, it shaped up.

Walked to the lakeside cafe and had a diet coke & apple pie, then found a bench in the shade to watch the doings on the path and the lake. No eye candy, which surprised me, what with the very warm temps in their 2nd day.

At about 6 I headed for Starbucks to grab an hour of air conditioning, but there was not much to look at there either. Oh well. At least the chai latte was good.

Home, threw a chunk of extra sharp cheddar into the food processor and grated it, tossed that on top of some of this morning's macaroni, added half a cup of best of the egg, chopped up three slices of cotto salami and mixed it all together. 6 minutes at various power levels in the microwave and I had me a nice dinner very similar to Greek pastichio. Nibbled on it while watching reruns of Storage wars. I lie. First I tried to watch the Colber Repor, which was hilarious during the segment on who the generic GOP Prez candidate should be, but it soon degenerated into his usual stupidities, which consist of 30 seconds (or less)  of material droned into 5 minutes of crap. Bad SNL skits, basically. It is indeed a shame when I find Comedy Central less watchable than Gene Simmons: Family Jewels. Which was really pretty good. And even educational. Go figure. Then Storage Wars.

In the background I continue to rip classical music CDs. Have not looked at many of these in years. I had forgotten how much good music I have. Much of it not by famous artists, but all of it listenable.

Plans for tomorrow:
Laundry?
Minor shopping. A couple of items Safeway has on sale, plus zucchini for the tropical fish; and a couple of drug store things.
Try another pickle from the last batch, to see if there is any hope.The recipe I used as a guide said wait a month. The last batch from a mix was fine in a week. This will be 2 weeks.
Tags: shopping
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