Got to work by back roads, on time, picked up breakfast and went to the hole. Very frustrating trying to run tests because the partner's server was wonky, and half the time I had to restart the test again, sometimes more than once, because the unit couldn't connect to their server.
Just as I was about to give up, it was noon, time to drive to Redwood City to have the car done. Got there way early. 12:15 for a 1 pm appointment. The rep said they would not work on the modem, even though I'd put that in my appointment request. Got the 10k work done. Walked down the block to Togo's which is also a Baskin Robbins, had an Asian chicken salad. Bad Mexican pop music was blaring from the speakers, so loud I almost didn't hear the phone ring. They were done with the car in half an hour, after saying it would take an hour. They didn't check the wipers either.
After I paid, the cashier said she would have it brought out front, but it was sitting right there already, still had the plastic cover on the seat and floor.
I thought about going back to work, but with the server problem there was no point. Redwood City was deep in smoke from the northern fires, I kept the air on recirc and the aircon on. It was also pretty bad at home, 20 miles further from the fires. Had trouble breathing when I got out of the car.
Delivered was the Qi induction charger for the phone/tablet. Not sure if I'll keep it a home or work.
Watched PTI and an episode of Penn & Teller.
During the afternoon I made bit by bit progress on setting up the Lionel train kit. First problem is the track did not snap together flush. Turns out there are plastic U and ball fittings on the under side which need to be pushed together with pliers. But they still come apart as more sections of track are connected. Finally flipped the whole oval onto its back, and dabbed with a hot glue gun on top of each little connector.
Next issue - the locomotive and tender connect with an awkward male-female push-in-from-below thing which has electrical contacts. The engine gets power from the track, and passes it to the tender which has all the sound effects. Needed to turn them both over, shove in the connector and strap it in with gaffer's tape. Without the tender, none of the other cars can connect.
Final issue was easy, the cars couple not by push-and-lock as advertised, but by the car to the rear sliding its coupler over the one in front. The trick is the wheels have to line up with the tracks or the set shorts out. Or the wheels make sparks.
By dinner time, I had all the cars connected and running around the track. Spook didn't seem to be interested until I started pushing the button to make the tender speak. It has two or three messages, such as "all clear ahead" and "the train is moving". Spook ran away when the locomotive with it's headlight glaring, came around the track toward her, speaking. She hasn't come close since.
Final setup was putting in the smoke fluid, and turning on the smoke and turning off the tender's annoying chuffing sounds, which are controlled by tiny switches under the locomotive.
Dinner was Marie C chicken fried something, orange soda and for dessert I nuked apart some of those chocolate coated cookies and made a la mode. Forgot the cherries.
In other news, reminder from the vet that Spook is due for a checkup and shots. Online I asked for either this Saturday or the 28th. The 21st is booked, CampbellCon, a local science fiction convention where a long time theater friend is Guest of Honor. Robin Shelby was Robin Navlyt when she played Oliver to my Mr. Sowerberry in a TheatreWorks production back in the 80s. She quit a production of Rags which I was also cast in, to be the person operating inside the Slimer animatronic suit for Ghostbusters II. I also ended up bailing on the Rags show to spend a month between HP jobs to go to Thailand. We keep in touch on Facebook, where several members of the Oliver! cast hang out.
And a very odd phone call from MA, some fund I have invested in claimed to need me to vote by proxy right now or they wouldn't have a quorum. Yeah, right. I don't own that many shares, and there is no way you're holding a vote at 10 pm EDT.
I am overwhelmed by the tragedies. One after another after another. But one thing bothers me to the core. While Houston, NOLA, FL, Montana, Houston and Wine Country neighbors helped neighbors and the first pleas for help were answered locally, Puerto Rico just sat there waiting for Federal aid.
Plans for tomorrow:
Sync with boss (afternoon)
Make an appointment to have the car modem fixed.