October 9th, 2005



Nasty nasty night last night, work foo caught up with me, there is a very real chance I will be out of a job in two weeks, or less. Fell asleep at about 3 am, though I was in bed by 11. And then some @#$%^&* rang my phone at 6 am, and hung up after 2 rings. No caller ID. I kind of got back to sleep for another hour, kind of.

The rest of the day helped put the foo in its place.

Loaded up the car for the NorCal Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) picnic - two roasting pans worth of Thai yellow curried chicken drumsticks, a faithful old camp stove, two tanks of propane, camera, bike. On inspecting the camp stove, it was missing one of its pair of propane feed attachments, and I remembered one had sprung a leak so I'd tossed it after my last camping trip. I'd seen them at REI, but that's too far in the opposite direction of the picnic, so I scheduled my trip to swing by OSH and Walmart. Neither of them had the gadget, but Walmart had sterno and an inexpensive rack which would serve well as a warming rack. I also picked up extra serving spoons.

I had planned on arriving after noon, but what with the early wake-up call, I was there by 11:30. That gave me time to try the sterno experiment, which did not work - the curry had been in the fridge all night and it was going to take propane to heat it up. It was kind of awkward with only one burner, but by 1 pm when the potluck began, both pans were ready, and one stayed on the camp stove while the other was on the rack over the sterno.

It was quite a spread, with lots of food and desserts which only a gaggle of RPCVs could produce. Something from every continent, and not much repetition. Very yummy, and most of us went back for seconds. The work I'd put into the curry was well worth it - it got lots of compliments, and all that was left to take home was one drumstick and about a half quart of curry base and veggies. Stupid me had tossed the plastic covers for the pans, and thanks to a short stop in Hayward on the way back, my car now smells like curry, and looks like someone puked on the passenger side.

The picnic was sparsely attended compared to the past few years, and a couple of people I'd hoped to see didn't make it, but a lot did, and there were also some new faces. I met two women who had just returned in the last couple of months from their tours, one of them turns out to be a neighbor.

Things broke up at around 3, and I had hoped to ride my bike around the lake a few times, but apparently Saturday is a pedestrians-only day at Lafayette Reservoir, so I just drove home.

Which is when the lack of sleep finally caught up with me. Domino and Pumpkin both kept me company, and I woke up at around 6:30, just in time to get up and dressed and go to Saratoga to see the next-to-last performance of Oklahoma!. I'd seen the preview (which you can read a review of here) and it was worth the second look-see. They had solved most of the audio problems, and while the orchestra was still too loud once in a while, they mostly were not. They were much improved, tuned up, with only one or two lapses in intonation. The conductor standing up was more of a problem this time, since I was in row 3, only two seats left of center. I missed a lot of the action. At $24 a ticket, this really needs to be fixed.

The show had evolved, mostly in a good way. While my review of the cast didn't change any, I saw lots of nuances added which helped the show, but they were all little things, the cast stuck with the original director's vision, and it's a rare tribute to a director when the final performance is almost identical to the preview, only moreso.

No plans for Sunday, though I'll probably take a bike ride with lunch as a halfway stop.

Happy birthday Booter!
  • Current Music
    Tapestry albm - Carole King

Sunny Sunday

Tried to sleep in, but only managed to make it to 8:30. Pulled the curried mat out of the car and put it in the washing machine, but that didn't get it clean, so I gave it a shower, which did. Went out to the car with a bucket of pine cleaner and water and a big sponge and wiped the curry "puke" off the carpeted passenger side floor. Took the car out of the car-port and parked it in a space in the sun with the windows cracked open.

The car still smells slightly like curry, but at least (a) that's a pleasant smell and (b) it no longer looks like someone puked in there.

Hopped on the bike and did 11½ miles in a Different Way. I'd heard they had opened a new trail, and I thought it connected Ellis St. (near AOL) with the Stevens Creek Trail, which is the one I bike on most of the time. So I went down to where I thought the trail was, but it wasn't. Turns out I was a block off, the trail starts on Whisman, and since there is no way to get to Whisman from Ellis except back to Middlefield, I added about 2 miles to my trip with the wrong turns. Turns out the connection to the SC Trail was not a shortcut for me after all. My odometer read 7 miles when I stopped for lunch at Shoreline's Lakeside Cafe, but I only put on another 4.5 miles on the return trip, going by my usual route. It was a nice ride, though.

At home, I watched a little of the Seahawks game, turned it off at halftime and went to Starbucks for a while. Came back and watched the 49ers lose again.

Today's crafts project was to find a way to remove the highlighter from a textbook I'd bought online -- used. They said there would be "some" highlighting, but this book had almost as much dark orange highlighter as it had ink. Nobody seemed to have a highlighter remover pen, and the only stuff I saw online was to remove it from fabrics, and cost too much. Then I ran across and article which claimed that rubbing alcohol would do the trick. So off I went to the bathroom, and put some alcohol in a cup and used a Q-tip to try my luck. Nothing. It got the page wet for a moment is all.

The the light dawned, and I thought maybe bleach might work. So I diluted some laundry bleach 1:1 with water, and tried again. It worked. So I went through the whole book, and the bleach mixture just needed to be put onto the highlighter, no rubbing, and in a minute or so the highlighter was gone! Took me half an hour to do the whole book, and now all I have to do is wait for it to dry, and erase some pencil markings.

Called Mom in the hospital, she's doing fine, and sounded great. Got email from my aunt that she's out of the hospital, too. Talked to Dad and he's happy that Mom is improving, so things are better. And I've come to grips with the work foo, so things are okay for now.
  • Current Music
    NFL background noise