Up at 7, as usual to KOMO's local news & weather, which is at once familiar and disorienting. Apparently they put toll booths back on the 520 bridge. I remember as a youth waiting and waiting for the tolls to come off. At the time, WA state law was that as soon as a bridge's initial constructions was paid for, the tolls had to be removed. With the tolls, and the horrendous backup they cause, people apparently are driving all around the lake to get to the other side, and the towns they are driving through are telling the state to pay for the increased road maintenance.
Though I was up early, I killed time online until a little after 9 so I could pick up a package at the apt office. Still got to work early-ish. Especially considering my test machine was locked up and being dissected by engineering so there wasn't much I could do.
The package was a CD which could easily have fit in my mailbox, it came by USPS, but I guess they sent it signature required, which seems foolish for a $15 item. It was Uncle Bonsai's Apology CD, a collection of tunes they played for live audiences when they resurrected in 2000. I wanted to hear the original version of their Just One Angel which bluesmancd did so movingly at conflikt. How was I to know that Uncle Bonsai's lead singer is a woman with a kind of reedy but strident voice? And she has a mirror harmony singer who sounds almost just like her? That's what I discovered after popping the CD into the car's player and listening to the first track, 20th Century Man. Talk about wall to wall clever lyrics at 90 mph, with more irony in the title than a pile of white cotton shirts.
I pushed the button to skip to track 6, the track which had set me on the hunt for this obscure group.
I should know better. It is really not a brilliant thing, to make one's self cry while trying to merge onto the expressway. Cry and laugh at the same time. The whole song's theme is "Hey God, I don't want to bother you, or any of those powerful archangels, but I need someone to talk to. Can you spare a minor angel?" Emo in a good way, but there are some very clever lines. My favorite is toward the end, she's talking about God:
Maybe it's a lack of sleep
That keeps him feeling vengeful
Maybe he'd be sweet and soft
If he could have his Sundays off
Angel Michael on his knees
Trying to find the time to help us
I don't need such expertise
I could never be that selfish
And then there are the refrains:
Isn't there a minor angel
Not an angel one might miss
I can talk to, I can turn to
There to handle this
Isn't there a lonely angel
Not an angel fully booked
I can call on, I can sing to
Isn't there a private angel
Second angel, No one's angel
Someone God excused
Just one angel
Just one angel
Angel only I can see
Just one angel
Just one angel
Watching over me
I guess the odd thing is I'm an atheist and even when I had religion, it didn't include he concept of angels as guardians. Angels were sent to Earth as a test, the outcome was rarely good. But this song speaks to me anyway. Go figure.
Got to work, and a second engineer called to ask if he could use my borked machine. Apparently the fix done in one piece of code triggered something in his code, and the two of them needed to coordinate. So I was without a test machine all day.
Which made me fell not guilty when I ran a series of errands at lunchtime. First stop, Kaiser, picked up a wagon load of insulin. They change brands of pens, but they use the same needles, so that's okay. It was a very slow-moving line. Next, PO, just to find out how much it would cost to mail the DVDs. I had stamps at home, but the prices just went up, and the web site was unclear about what category those fell in. And that was a slow-moving line too.
Okay, just for grins, since it's on my way back to work, I suppose I should stop in at Costco, which at 1:30 pm ought to be as deserted as it ever gets. People will be living off leftovers from Sunday for weeks. They sell a limited selection of microwaves, but it was worth a look.
I had done a lot of online research, and decided there were five things I wanted:
1. Not a Panasonic
2. A handle (not a push-button) to open the door
3. Less than 1250W power so I don't go up in flames again
4. Something close to the 1.6 Cu Ft size of the previous oven
5. A turntable
And it would be nice if it had a "reheat" button.
All but one model was a Panasonic. It was an Oster, which is not a bad brand. It has a handle, is 1000 W, and has all the buttons. But it's only 1.1 Cu Ft. Okay, so it's a little small in side but that means the smaller wattage will balance out, I'm not putting huge meals in there. And it has a turntable.
$70 plus tax. Looked it up online - the non-Costco version, and th cheapest was $110 plus $15 shipping plus tax. So I plopped it in my cart (it took me a good 10 minutes to decide). On my way to the register there was a beautiful young woman promoting the Costco version of the Amex card. No fee, cash back, man perks. I already have an Amex card, but there's an annual fee and the points they give are mostly useless. So I signed up.
Back to work, plugged Uncle Bonsai into the PC and listened to the album as I read some specs, did some screen captures and wrote a tutorial on an obscure feature which I'm the expert on. Left that to percolate overnight, will read it tomorrow, make adjustments and email it to the team.
Gripes which popped into my mind driving home:
I hate those blue headlights. They should be banned - they scatter too much harsh light. I hate it the most when one of them is across the intersection from me, pointing slightly uphill, while the light is red for 5 minutes.
Those el-cheapo car alarms which use the car horn instead of a chirper/siren. A car horn is supposed to be a warning to drivers when you're on the road, and I react that way any time I hear those idiot horn blasts when someone is arming/disarming their alarm.
Home, took the insulin in, brought the dolly out and manhandled the microwave onto it, and wheeled it into the apt. Walked across the complex to get the mail, all of it junk. :-(
Gave Domino her treat, petted Kaan, put the insulin away, unboxed the Oster and set it up. Took the box out to the dumpster. Forgot I had changed from my shoes to my Birkenstocks. I'll need to wash the soles now. Or not. They are my indoor shoes/slippers.
Unpacked the microwave and set it up. Glanced at the manual and put back the splatter guard which I thought was packing material.
I will try it out on a frozen dinner in a few.
Plans for tomorrow: