Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

Hum, sans hoes

Slept better than usual, wanted to just stay in bed all day. But Domino was yowling at me in her scratchy "where are you?" "Feed me NOW" voice. She is perfectly capable of a kitty meow, but rarely uses it. Annoying.

Was out the door by 9, I think. Rain, blustery wind, dark skies. Like we had changed planets from last week. We don't need the rain. The mountains need snow, and all this wet stuff falling in the Bay and in the industrialized strip between SF and SJ is wasted. It would be more valuable bypassing us and falling on the Sierras where the reservoirs and river heads are. </rant>

Work started with boss pointing out that the 50+ test cases I entered in the database were all tagged the same way, and needed to be tagged with their sub-features. I had not sen the sub features because I expected them to start with the name of the feature, but they weren't. So that took a while.

After I finished that there was nothing much to do, so I emailed the team that I was running some errands and then having a later lunch. First errand was in the parking lot, updating the firmware for the in-dash unit. As advertised it took 11 minutes. I was hoping the update would allow the unit to read an SD card so I could upload the map info to it, but it didn't. However it did solve a problem I've had since May where the very fancy rear view camera acted like a dumb as a rock $15 model. Now it acts like the $150 model I bought - in addition to looking straight back, it now can show me approaching traffic in a split screen left and right, another view paints guides for parking in reverse and it can also look straight down for children's toys, children or terrorists. But I repeat myself.

Next errand was Costco where I paid $150 to have them scan the 500 slides I'd boxed last night. Boxes 1 and 10 are a mixture of slides I missed from the 1970s, the other boxes are from a trip made in 1989, which I hope has some significant views of intercropping in the south.

After my assignment in Bangkok bombed out, Peace Corps totally ignored my request to stay in town and sent me 18 hours by train south to the Rubber Research Center. The project was to get the rubber tree farmers to uproot all their old trees and replace them with a new strain which would yield 10x  as much rubber. Sounds like a no-brainer until you learn that it takes a rubber tree 7 years to start producing rubber. Most of my photo work was done to teach the farmers how to grow cash crops between the rows of rubber tree saplings so they don't go broke in the interim. We also were encouraging them to divide the plantation into 8 sections, and uproot/replant one section a year, so by the end of 7 years, that one section was now producing more than all 8 sections combined. After that it was all gravy.

It was a hard sell because with rubber trees, after you plant them nature does the rest. They are naturally insect resistant, and the few diseases are easy to treat (I took photos to teach that too). Orchids are the biggest parasites, which makes for another profit center. The other crops need some care and are not as easy to harvest. But we found that pineapple and chili peppers worked well because the farmers like to eat them, and they bring a good price at the market. They also grow pretty well in a wide range of lighting conditions, so as the rubber tree canopy grew, it wouldn't kill those crops until maybe the 6th year. As those died, the crops in the other sections still thrived.


When I left Thailand I had not idea if the farmers had bought into the plan. I was only there for a year. That was 1977. When I returned in 1989, I was jazzed to see most of the south's young rubber fields looked like my slide show.

Next stop was UPS, dropping off the Linksys router. They never got back to me with an RMA, but it didn't cost much to ship back, and it also didn;t cost that much for the router, so if they don't give me a refund I'm not out that much. And I can challenge the charge on the credit card.

UPS HQ is right near my favorite Chinese soup place, Chef Lee's, and it was an ugly day made for a big bowl of soup. House Special Wor Won Ton. Chicken broth with bits of pork, beef, shrimp, bok choi, slices of other veggies. They make the best in the area. When I worked nearby I went there for lunch a lot, and they were always almost empty, but today it was packed at 2 pm. Good to see. Nice folks, good food. I've had other dishes there, but that soup is my fave.

Back to work, had a chat with a couple of support engineers about 4K video, and also chatted with Automation Guy who had some Americana questions.

My weekly report did not take long. I spent a lot of hours on projects, but they could be summarized in very few lines.

Thought about going to Mathilda Starbucks and getting gasoline after, but it was an awful rainy windy day and I felt like home would be a better choice.

Dinner while watching 2 week old Elementary which keeps getting better. Reheated the chicken satay and peanut sauce (mixed some extra yellow curry paste in & chunky PNB) but I forgot what a microwave does to that stuff and ended up with brown spicy pasty powdery stuff. Also threw 4 of the beef wellingtons into the nuke, and they were delicious.

Sliced up a banana and topped it with chocolate ice cream and sprinkles.

Domino got another 1/3 can of kitty crack, we have now changed to Ocean Whitefish & Tuna which she seems to like better than the salmon.

Online, looked up the problem I was having with the SD card, and found it had to be formatted FAT32. Did that, took it out to the car and it uploaded info about the map. Ran Garmin's update app against it, and was told the map is up to date. Bummer because even though it claims to be 2013, it was published in 2012 and the info on it is from 2010. I am constantly running into exits which aren't there, and it can't find half the places I am looking for. To make life more frustrating, the firmware update erased all my saved locations. There apparently was no way to back those up or restore them. Grrr. All the portable Garmins can do this, which is why I got this unit in the first place - only Kenwood uses Garmin.

My favorite photo meetup send email about a model I really wanted to shoot, but it's on the same day as a book convention I have a ticket for. Another shoot I was attracted to is Sunday, but I have tickets to a show. The morel they are shooting tomorrow is pug ugly, they bring her in because she does Goth things I am not interested in photographing.

Plans for tomorrow:
Maybe 10 am library talk on electric vehicles.
Chill
Tags: cat, food, photography, who cares?, work
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