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Remembering My Brother In Law...

the way he would have liked to be remembered. Ben was an electronics whiz, he built the world's first Doppler radar, by hand. He knew all about waveguides and antennas, working for decades as the all things radar guy for the Israeli water service, which is in charge of cloud seeding and increasing rainfall in general. He also repaired radars for the Israeli Navy - it took a decade to convince the bureaucracy that he was more valuable to them doing that than driving an ambulance.

We were tinkering with a short wave radio I'd brought to Israel, and when it didn't pull in the channels, he attached it to a wire extension. "Metal in the air" he said was the key. The more metal in the air, the better the antenna. He also mentioned achieving this by curling the wire so there was more surface area per inch of height. There's a trade-off for that, though, it can interfere with its own signal.


So the HDTV antennas I bought for cheap at Fry's are not doing as well as I wanted. In the bedroom I get one broadcast station loud and clear, which is all I really need in there. But in the livingroom I want more, and the antenna in there is not doing so well. KTVU is my main station, its tower is only 9 miles away, but I hardly get it. So I spent some time researching, and I think tomorrow I will brave the Xmas crowd at BestBuy and get a $100 unit with an order of magnitude more metal in the air. There's a more livingroom-friendly one for $70, but it's only a few square inches larger than the cheap one, so probably not a big improvement.
Spook did it again, second time this week. When she thought it was time for me to wake up (6-ish) she walked onto my chest, stared at me and meowed. She let me pet her a little, then she jumped off the bed.

When I finally did get up around7:45, she was on the shower bath mat. She moved to a corner of the bedroom when I went into the bathroom.
There was very little traffic, and I was at work 20 minutes early. Tried the car charger, but it said it was closed this week. A lie, because there was another car connected and charging. Maybe tomorrow I'll go online on corpnet and see if I need to register my chargepoint card with them. It works on the outdoor chargers. Strange but true, freeway speeds gave me much less battery drain than slower or stop & go.

The email arrived telling me I didn't need new s/w for the unit I was testing, I just needed to connect to it by ethernet. That didn't work, so I messaged Boss, who said, no, not ethernet, wifi. I just needed to find the right one of our 47 wifi SSIDs. It took a while, but I was able to finish my testing, and saw in the logs what was causing one anomaly. Boss was not in the office, but she lives on the chat system.

Lunch was a bologna and swiss sandwich, brough from home. PNB&J tomorrow, probably. Snacks have changed, there's a big container of trail mix, and there was also a Kind bar. Nothing chocolate, though, except mini kit kat bars, and I don't call that swill they are coated with chocolate.

Had a nice chat with the Russian woman who sits on the outer desk in our pod, on the other side of mine. She was impressed that I could count to 6 in Russian. And Malay and Fijian. I told her I haven't been to Russia and she mentioned that it's a lot easier to get there by being born there.

Just as I was leaving, I did something stupid online and was locked out of the corporate system. Deal with it tomorrow, since I couldn't get help (tech support closes at 5, and you can't chat with the 24/7 people if you're locked out). On my drive home I realized I just need to reset my password.

I took the route toward Best Buy, decided I didn't have enough info to buy an antenna yet, and got on the wrong Middlefield Road which trapped me onto a jammed freeway entrance. Two more exits put me on the faster back roads so no big loss.

Home, dinner was a Marie C pasta and beef thing. Ice cream with walnuts & honey for dessert. Famous Amos late snack. Watched the latest Elementary and then the first episode of MacGuyver on the Nvidia via CBS all access. The former is back to being more about the mystery and less about the soap. The latter was on the same model as the original, and well done. I'm not sure I like where it's going, but the cast is good, the writing has its moments, and production values are sky high. Switched over to the Tivo but couldn 't get any channels, found the antenna cable had come loose, which helped, but not enough.

No deliveries today. Calendars are on track for tomorrow evening, so none get to co-workers till next year. That's okay, I only ordered 50 and the mailing list is at 35. Boss will get one, but others at work may not.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Best Buy
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