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I slept pretty well once I got to sleep. Woke with the 7:30 alarm, that was too early so I shut it off and shut off all the lights and went back to sleep. Up again at 9. Still too early. Next thing I knew it was 10:30.

Took me a while to get it together, and since there was a lot of April Fool's stuff to pass along on Facebook, it was 2:30 before I realized I had a quadcopter to assemble. I expected it to be simple and quick, and I'd still have time to get to the park and try it out.


It was simple, but the manual was thrown together at random, and was designed for a copter which already had its blades installed. Which it didn't. It took a while to figure out how to do it, using the "how to remove the blades" section. While the blades had not been installed, the very tiny plastic bit which goes on after the blade is in place was installed. It took a while to figure out that this had to be removed before the blade could go on. On paper it was simple. Rotate the plastic bit counter clockwise, remove the locking pin, and lift the plastic bit out.

The not-simple part is the locking pin is a microscopic metal cylinder and the plastic bit has a groove which needs to line up precisely to get the pin in or out. Not possible with Caucasian adult male fingers. Had to find a long-nose pliers. Then a second one because the tip of the first one is bent.

It took most of an hour to get the thing assembled, and then I put it in the middle of the livingroom and powered it up.

The blades made a terrific noise, but the copter stayed on the floor.

Took it back to the laundry room, where I'd assembled it, and tried again on the not-a-rug floor. Same thing. Held it up and powered it again, and before the blades tried to remove the side of my hand, it was clear that the blades were pushing air up, not down. Usually this means the polarity of the battery is wrong, so I grabbed a different battery. No change.

Cleverly hidden in a completely unrelated page of the manual it said to make sure to use the blades marked A on the A side, and the blades marked B on the B sides. I could see the A and B on the copter, but not on the blades. They had included twice as many blades (8) as was needed, so I looked at the four I had not used. All of them in teeny tiny not hardly raised at all lettering said B4 and B3 right where the blade meets the center shaft. Can't see this once the blade is on the device.

So I removed the two A side blades and replaced them with B side blades, again needing to use the needle nose pliers and by now my hands were shaking, something inherited from my father. It took a while. But after I was done, the copter flew.

By now it is almost 4, too late to go to the park. So on to the next project, a trip to Orchard Supply for two things:

A real ironing board
A planter & trellis for the green pea plants currently growing on the dining table

The reason for the ironing board is I am wearing a lot of Hawaiian and other not-perma-press shirts now that I am not working. The collars on all of them and the button hole panel on the Hawaiian shirts ought to be ironed. I have not had this problem before, and the ironing board I have been making do with is portable, meant to go on a table. Hurts my back to put it on the bed. So a real ironing board I can stand up at seemed in order.

Got to Orchard, two months after they remodeled and reopened the store, minions are still stocking shelves for the first time. As in, for two months the shelves have been labeled and ready with no items on them. And the minions were blocking aisles all over the place.

I only had a vague idea of what I wanted in the way of a planter. It took a few trips through the garden dept. but I found something. Also bought another bag of garden soil for it, because the one on the driveway looked to be too small. Found the perfect trellis too. Also found seed pots to replace the ones going into the ground. And to replace the ones not growing longon seeds in them.

Home, set up the planter next to the tomatoes, installed the trellis behind it, filled the planter with soil, brought out the seed pots and planted them. Only 5 had sprouts, out of 7. There was room for 7 in the planter, but I spread them out. Actually there is room for 7 more in another row. 

Back inside, I poured out the contents of the longon pots, nothing had sprouted, so I threw out the seeds as well as the soil, which was all fungusified.

In the mail was my new Kaiser card. Yay! Along with directions for a new Kaiser member. Boo!

Watched some arena football. Flipped all my calendars.

Got a call from a recruiter in LA with a great-sounding job, sort of. Quality control for streaming media for Major League Baseball. Baseball bores me to tears, but what makes it boring also makes it less likely for customers to complain about video glitches, other than major things like no video, or an extended transmission interruption. And most of those would be equipment at the ball park. There are only two issues. One is the recruiter is in LA, and he doesn't listen very well. After I emailed him my resume, which starts with a bulleted list of my selling points, he replied to that message asking for my resume and a bullet list...

The other issue is it is located in downtown SF just far enough from the CalTrain station to be inconvenient. The building appears to have a garage on the first 2 floors, and I do have commuter lane stickers on the car, but 'd rather not drive 2-3 hours a day in the 2nd most miserable traffic on the west coast.

Looking at the job description, there are some devices they want to support which I am not very familiar with, but nothing I can't learn. Xbox, AppleTV, PS3/4.

While I was trying to put a tiny locking pin in place, the Indian manager of the Indian asshole recruiter called. I told him I was busy, call back in 3 days, and hung up. Because he was supposed to email, not call, 3 days ago.

Just before I started writing this, I was Photoshopping the photos from last night's shoot. Mostly just cropping, and some auto-contrast and "lighten midtones". I'm about 2/3 done. There are a few excellent shots, very few. Some people will like a lot more of them than I do, my friends who are all about shadows and angles, and not so much about eyes and faces.

Plans for tomorrow:
Maybe take the copter to the park. It might be a short visit if it's as crowded as I think it will be on a Saturday
Finish processing the photos and upload them to Flickr
Iron the shirts
Plant some seeds in the seed starter pots. Some green peas, but also some seeds from my sister.
Carmina Burana concert some friends are in


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 2nd, 2016 04:27 pm (UTC)
I, too, am a "new" Kaiser member, having been one twice previously.

First was the first 5 months I worked for the city. That year all insurances were covered by benefits 100%. 1987. I went to Kaiser once for the doc and once for an eye exam. Felt like a piece of meat getting shuffled around and the eye doctor was over an hour bus ride to the north because the closer one had no available appointments. I opted to switch insurances on January 1.

Second was 2 years ago. ACA covered it for about $3 a month. I went there once to try to get drugs for less and because one visit is free. Ended up getting a huge bill for some useless labs and about a dollar off on one med. Went up to $30 a month the next year so I skipped it.

This Jan 1 Kaiser again was the cheapest option. Went in January and the doc referred me to their program for people who cant afford "affordable" care. I am currently getting free OP care and meds, which is fantastic. I do. however, get an impression at some levels that Kaiser's corporate culture is similar to a cult religion. They have mantras I keep hearing. And many of their people exhibit forced smiles and zombie eyes.

Apr. 2nd, 2016 06:27 pm (UTC)
Kaiser service depends on where you are. One thing they suck at is enforcing the same standards at all their facilities. I have no experience with Denver, but would not be surprised it's as bad as you say.

In Silicon Valley, I have had excellent care & service, which includes being able to fill prescriptions by mail at no extra charge (even insulin). My primary care physician is in Mountain View, which is a small clinic with only basic services (no ER) including a lab, radiology, pharmacy and classrooms. For specialists and surgery and weekend lab/pharmacy services I can go to Santa Clara , Redwood City or way south San Jose. Santa Clara is closer to where I had been working the last 5 years, and I could see a doctor there if I didn't want to make the longer trip to Mountain View.

OTOH when I had my eye stroke and tried to get care in San Diego, it was a mess.

I signed up for Kaiser when I moved down here because I'd been a member of Group Health HMO in Seattle since we moved there in 1965. They are excellent, and like Kaiser, they had a basic services clinic in Renton near where we lived, but for big stuff the hospital is on Pill Hill near downtown, a long trip by bus but not a difficult one. They are partners with Kaiser - the first Conflikt at the Hilton, my insulin was destroyed when the fridge in my room froze everything in it. I was able to go to Group Health in Renton, and in an hour walked away with a replacement vial. It cost the standard $10 co-pay.

My only major problem with Kaiser was back in 1980-something my primary care physician sucked. He had a problem telling patients Bad News. A friend who had the same doctor mentioned the same issue, so I switch primary care physicians. That's another advantage of Kaiser, no-fault change your doctor. New doctor immediately told me I had Diabetes (old doctor never used the D word), and signed me up for nutrition class and support group and found me a diabetes nurse to work with my med doses.

YMMV, as they say.

Edited at 2016-04-02 06:28 pm (UTC)
Apr. 2nd, 2016 08:23 pm (UTC)
Actually, the service really isn't all that bad. Getting all the appts I wanted was easy.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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