I have been getting a lot of spam comments on messages. I'll bet that's a symptom of the network issues they are having. I mark them as spam and delete them before you see them (non-friend comments are screened)
Day Jobbe was dead boring on my core stuff - it took two of us about 4 hours to upgrade my machine to today's build - but pretty interesting on the side stuff. The engineer who started out as my go-to guy when I had technical questions has made me his go-to guy. I think a large part of this is because English is not his primary language (French is), and he just doesn't have the English technical jargon. But another part is I probably have a little bit deeper knowledge of streaming video, after being involved with it for 20+ years. He's about my age, but I don't know how long he has been in the video field.
So we had some some interesting conversations today about pass-through digital audio, what the difference is between the audio track on a movie and in a digital transport stream, and how the names given in the product specs don't match the names in common usage in the industry.
After I had a working machine, things went very slowly because the tests I was assigned this week are not the easy-peasy user interface ones from the last two weeks, they are very time-dependent tests which are require a lot of thumb twiddling. A typical one goes like this:
1. Wait till a 30-minute TV program begins (this usually means waiting till on the hour or half hour, often longer if there are no 30-minute programs scheduled in the channel guide)
2. Allow the program to play for 15 minutes
3. Rewind to the beginning of the program
3. Start recording the program
4. Wait for the program to finish recording (that's another 15 minutes)
It took me two hours to get two of these done, because the channel guide fools me by telling me a program has started running when it really has a minute or two to go. It should go faster tomorrow.
Since I had all that spare time, I phoned the number on the IRS form which claimed my parents had underpaid their 2009 taxes by a ridiculous amount. It took 15 minutes to navigate through the automated system, then 30 minutes on hold to talk to a human. The human had the IQ of grass, had absolutely no idea what she could help me with, typed up some notes onto the system which she expected to just sit there forever. She asked for my phone number and the best time to reach me, and I asked when I should expect a call. "Oh, we don't call you", she said. It took maybe 5 minutes to assure her that there was nothing else she could help me with, she kept making suggestions, and then not knowing a thing about how to handle them.
Went to CVS to pick up my meds. I am good till about the middle of next month now, at which time I expect to be back with Kaiser and no more of this deductible crap and the clinic charging the wrong insurance company. Paid $147 for what the contract agency's insurance wanted to charge me $1300 for. I'm still paid on BCBS through the end of the month.
Home, signed up for an internet fax account. I have a fax number now, and used the service to send a fax to the IRS in what I hope is the first step of establishing myself as executor of my parents' estate. I'd already done this for their living trust, but they had paid their taxes outside the trust as married/filing jointly (one of the differences between a living trust and a court-filed trust). The fax went through, but I have no idea what happens next.
BASFA was way crowded, blame a rumor Charlie Stross, whoever he is, might show up. It made for too many side conversations but it helped the auction prices.
Stopped off at the bank, deposited a check for $3.44 which AT&T sent. They had over-charged me on my final wireless bill. No excuse for that, all that was on that bill was my early termination fee. It probably cost them $25 to produce the check.
Plans for tomorrow:
City Lights' staged reading, if I remember.