June 28th, 2008



Raise your hand if you know that Barak Obama's mother's first name was Stanley. She was born Stanley Ann Dunham. I wonder if the McCain campaign will make anything of that?

It's been very busy at work, we're up against a difficult deadline during vacation season, and I spent a couple of days trying to set up some tests on ad insertion without quite having the machines available that I needed. Finally got it all together today, and cranked out a bunch of useful work.

To add to the fun, IT gave me a desktop machine with the Motorola official image on it, which little by little I am transferring my files and apps to from my non-Moto machine. Whoever designed the image did a whack job. Partitioned the disk and put the program files folder in the smaller partition, hiding the much smaller personal settings files on the larger data partition in a very non-standard subdirectory.  In other idiocy, the fellow who runs our test lab says we need to take a Moto class on chemical hazards, soldering safety and emergency procedures to qualify for ISO 2000 certification. Total BS. We are not a lab in the sense of the ISO requirements, we are a video equipment test facility. We have no chemicals, do no soldering or repair work, and the only emergency procedure we need is to dial "9" before dialing 911. The whole course is targeted at repair labs in remote locations, which is not us. Grrrrrrr.

I am out of bananas and salad fixings. On purpose, because I was going to be away for a week. I will remedy that tomorrow, just after I get my nails done, buy some litterbox liners and kitty litter, and before I buy some whipped cream for Domino. Every time I open the fridge she is there, hoping it is whipped cream time. Stupid cat has not figured out that she gets one squirt of whipped cream a day, when I have dessert after dinner. Pumpkin, who doesn't like any treat I try to give him, yells at me to give him something when he sees the whipped cream can. Sometimes I can get him to eat a dental "treat", sometimes he just rolls it around and walks away. One of them eventually eats it, because it is usually gone by morning.

Moto is having a one-day photo contest. The photo needs to be taken Sunday, and all it has to be is "something in your world". It will be a promo for their new half-camera/half-cell-phone. I'm planning on pumping up the tires on the bicycle and riding to Shoreline Park. The kite flying area ought to be good for that kind of picture.

Reloaded my Starbucks card online, then went to Starbucks. The $ was already there when I paid for my frapp.

Lyric Theater is doing Camelot next year. They started life as the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of San Jose, but even after the name change they stuck to G&S and G&S period pieces till  this season, when they broke with tradition and did 1776. I don't like the move. Much as I love Camel-snot, it's a musical and not an operetta, the difference being the quality of the music and the voices needed to sing it. I have to ramp it up a notch to sing G&S compared to any standard musical. And there's a part of my ego which jumps for joy that I can hold my own. I played King Arthur in Camelot when I was in my 20's, it was my second musical. Sadly, the only parts I can play now are King Pellinore and Merlin, both non-singing roles. Harumph.

In small world news, it looks like the woman who played my wife in Man of La Mancha may be related to me. Her maiden name, which I did not know until this week, is the same as my cousins in London, and her ancestors from that side of the family came to America via England, from about the same part of the world, and had the same ethnicity as my cousins' ancestors. I've emailed the particulars to my London family and we'll see what they say.

Saratoga Drama Group is changing its name, probably at next month's annual meeting. The list of most likely choices does not include the name Saratoga in any of them. I'll be suggesting Saratoga Musical Theater or something like it. They only perform in Saratoga, in the theater used for city council meetings, and I feel strongly they ought to identify with the city in which they are located. Most of the suggestions so far are much too broad - Silicon Valley Stage, South Bay Musical Theater, Northern California Musical Theater, Broadway South Bay, etc. Give me a break, people. 

Received PR1 from SiliCon 2008, and see nothing about an art show. However I did go online and run their spiffy program to suggest myself as a panelist. Even uploaded a photo. I suggested a panel on community theater as a logical next step for fans - we have costumes and role playing, techie stuff and sometimes special effects. And a basic panel on fan photography, with a discussion of digital camera recommendations. And I also offered to be Token Atheist.  I want to be on a panel just to be clever and witty and tell bad puns.
  • Current Mood
    cynical cynical

Red Sun

Originally uploaded by how3ird.

This one's for iamradar. Taken at 6:24 AM on 6/24/08 at the Sacramento train station. The last time I saw a sun blocked like that was in the aftermath of the Mt. St. Helens eruption, and befoe that in the dust bowl of Northeast Thailand's summer, when the rice paddies dry up and blow away.

Down here in Silly Valley the smoke has not been so bad, or maybe I'm just doing better drugs.


2 Tired

Stayed up too late last night/this morning, and woke up too early, thinking if I got to the nails place when they opened it would be a better start. I got there at 10, turns out they open at 9. Waited 15 minutes for my favorite nail artist, Niko. We had an interesting chat about talent vs. skill. She thinks she's good at doing acrylic nails because she has been at it for years. But I think it goes beyond mere skill and practice. I think there's a huge dollop of talent, too. She doesn't buy it -like many talented people, she believes "anyone can do it" because she can. I gave her the example of my musical talent - I can pick up almost any musical instrument and make music with it. How good the music sounds depends on how much I've practiced, but just the fact that I can do it at all I think can be chalked up to talent. OTOH, no matter how much I practice, I can't draw a picture of a person which looks even remotely like the person. I don't have that particular talent.

I sometimes wonder where talent comes from. Is it a gene? A hormone? Maybe there's a story in this about a once-in-a-lifetime musical genius who makes a goodwill tour of a distant planet, where their advanced medical screening at customs detects a chemical imbalance, which they cure at the local clinic. It also "cures" his musical ability. Brrrrr.

After the manicure, I went next door to PetSmart and got a much needed hug from farmount, but had to go to Pet Club across the street for the baby betta food and inexpensive small tank heater, which PS doesn't stock. Also picked up a piece of cat furniture.  Then next door to Costco, which is no longer stocking my favorite breakfast-at-work, Jimmy Dean's croissant sausage and egg sandwiches. So I bought croissants. But I did get a lot more of my groc shopping done than expected.

Home, set up the 5 gallon tank, took the lid off the 2-gal tank the bettas have been in, and discovered a bubble nest loaded with eggs. So the move to the bigger tank will wait till the babies hatch. 

Next it was Walmart and Safeway,  where I got Jimmie Dean turkey sausage patties to go with the croissants, and the rest of the groceries, including buy one, get one free light whipped cream for Domino. Home, sitting on the easy chair with Pumpkin on the arm, he leans over and starts licking the croissant. I gave him a piece, but he didn't want to eat, he just wanted to lick. Domino declined the offer. Pumpkin explored the new cat tower, just a simple cylinder with two diamond-shaped holes and a round top suitable for curling up in. He tried slowly climbing it - he is taller than it is when he's up on his hind legs - and managed to get it to fall on top of him when he tried to climb into the top platform. If he jumped, he would be fine. I later tried to put each of them on top, they just jumped right off.

Plans for tonight: Maybe cook up the periwinkle which I bought on my last trip to the oriental supermarket. I have garlic and olive oil, that ought to do it.

Pump up the bicycle tires, ride to the park with my camera, take an award-winning photo. Bring a book, do some relaxing/reading at the park. The book is The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett. I'm reading it to find out what Discworld is, and it has done that for me. In his later Discworld books, Pratchett has given up on referring to directions in Discworld terms, and both Going Postal and Thud! may as well be set on Your Standard Earth-like Magical Planet™. However, I find the concept highly amusing of a world which is flat, disc-shaped, and rides on the backs of four elephants which are carried on the back of a giant turtle. Though I think the elephants technically belong in another myth-time continuum, and I would not have missed them had Pratchett left them out.

On the TV stand are three items which ought to be viewed this week. Netflix has sent Enchanted, and I bought the Doctor Who box set of K-9 Stories from amazon.co.uk, and there's the DVD of Hardware Wars which I bought online at the Positronic Film Festival before last.

  • Current Music
    Bad Starbucks Reggae