Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Would You Like Fridays With That?

Up with the alarm, and on the computer in minutes, to phone Scottrade so they can unlock my account. It seems that after I had established my online accounts they changed the rules and implemented a "secret questions" scheme where you have to choose from a list of questions, and give answers to 5 of them. The first time you log in on a different computer, it is supposed to randomly pluck from these 5 q's and if you get it wrong twice, you're toast. On every effing computer you may use. Since I had never set up my questions, it threw the first two at me, which were:

Who was your first boss?
Who is your favorite athlete?

I have no idea who my first boss was. My first job was filling in for my high school photography teacher for the month between the start of high school and when I had to leave for college. I suppose the principal was my boss, but maybe not because I was actually paid by the school district under a special "paraprofessional" program.

I have no favorite athlete. A long time ago I would have said Warren Spahn, who was not only a great pitcher, but also had just about the best batting average (including 35 career homers) of any pitcher. But I'm not much of a baseball fan anymore. In college I may have picked Sonny Sixkiller, except he did some truly stupid things after his senior football season which kept him out of the NFL. , There are just too many great athletes in so many sports to have to choose between them.

Luckily, they had about 30 secret questions to choose from, and I found four which were easy to remember and none of my friends would know, plus one which was a little tricky to guess but some of my friends may know. And then I needed to do the same for my IRA account.

Lately I have been selling off loser stocks from my IRA and keeping them in the cash account. I'm old enough to pull from my IRA penalty-free, and I may decide to do that to help pay for Pumpkin's final bills.

Work. Pretty light in the morning. Took a late lunch time because the gang decided to go to the mall, which is 45 minutes RT, and they chose a place which is meh. So I bailed. It was time to go to Kaiser and try to get a free sharps container (I have a prescription) and a drug which is sometimes special-order. And I needed enteric aspirin and multi-vitamins. Turns out they don't give away the sharps containers, they are OTC for about $3.50. And I waited 20 minutes for them to tell me they had to special order the drug, so I'll have to come back next week for that.

Hoped to go to Gombei for lunch, but all the restaurants in that shopping plaza close at 2. Plan B was Starbucks in the corner of the plaza, but there are only 4 tables and they had about 30 people around them.

Stopped in at Vesuvius instead, thinking I had not been there before. As soon as I walked in I remembered I had been, similar circumstances - late lunch - and I was the only customer. Paid too much for their baked rigatoni special, which had a single pale meatball on top. It was a big portion, tasted good enough to box up and take home.

Afternoon at work was a summer festival. I volunteered to verify that a bug was fixed which required doing what I like best, analyzing the actual video quality of a stream playing over the network.  I set up the file to loop forever. The clip appeared to be about 10 seconds long, and where it looped there was a big burst of "tiling". It looked like someone had planted a bomb in the middle of the video. There were 13 programs on this file, and 5 of them burped at the loop point. An engineer was assigned to look into it, and after she had taken a look, she pointed out that the clip file said it was almost 4 minutes long, so why was it only playing for 10 seconds? Turned out our streamer machine is whacked. It has been hit and miss for a couple of weeks, but the person who knows how to fix it was "promoted" to a field marketing position, and he has more important things to do, mostly far away.

So  we asked around and I was reminded that several of the PCs in the lab can stream to a cable connection, so me and the engineer spent an hour trying to figure out the spaghetti of the lab, which used to be very simple but was broken long ago and the person who knows how to fix it was laid off. One of the lab IT guys was kind enough to string a cable from the PC across the lab to the box we were testing.

Now we had 4 minutes of play time. The first program looked great, but #5 was all explody at the loop point. 

Neither of us is sure this would not happen at a customer site. We decided to pursue it further next week, mostly because the people we needed to talk to about it were all busy and/or getting ready to go home.

 I hung around for another hour, did my weekly retort, and went straight home.

The Samsung 3D Blu-ray player was at the door. After petting the cat, getting the mail and taking my coat off, I set it up in the bedroom. Connected it to the network, looked at the internet content menu, and no Amazon video. Hulu, Netflix, Vudu and several others. So I went into the support menu and found there was an update ready. I ran that, and after it installed it also cranked a while in the content menu, deleting some things and adding others. Still no Amazon.

I had ordered this thing on Amazon, I could have sworn I ordered it from their Amazon streaming video products page. But looking again, I see they don't have any Samsung devices listed there.

So I filled out an RMA form, and it will go back tomorrow. In its place I ordered an LG, which was $20 less. Which is about what they will ding me for returning the Samsung.

Time for dinner.

Plans for tomorrow:
9 am-ish, if the weather is non-rainy, NASA Ames for the LUNAR model rocket launch.
8 pm Finain's Rainbow closing night at SBMT in Saratoga. Way too many friends are in or around this show.
Tags: entertainment, medical, work

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