December 1st, 2011


I talk too much

Today at work reminded me of George Burns' famous line about his wife: "I asked her 'how's your brother' and she talked for 20 years". My next door neighbor likes to come over and ask me things about American culture, languages and other stuff that he figures I know more about than him just because he didn't grow up in America. And I tend to branch off into stream of consciousness mode. For instance, today he wanted to know what a "bird's-eye view" was, and half an hour later we were comparing the use of tone marks in Thai vs. Vietnamese.

Other than that, it was dead boring. I tried to read the presentation on test automation, but hit a snag right off when the slides didn't match at all what I saw on my PC.

Had a 4 pm appointment at Kaiser to be in an info session about sleep study. The Homestead campus parking is a nightmare. It was not designed, it just kind of fell from the sky. I finally found a place in the hospital's parking garage, which is a considerable walk. I was 15 minutes early but there was a long line. Bottom line, the classroom filled up most of the way, about 50 people. Very few fat folk, no one who took up more than one chair. That surprised me.

They gave us a form to fill out, but it wasn't collected until after, and won't be used unless/until we take the study.

The doctor gave a pretty good presentation, and surprised us all by telling us they don't do the test in a clinic, they set us up with the equipment, send us home to sleep, and the next morning we return the stuff and they download the biometrics and take it from there. The theory being we sleep better in our own beds. Which makes sense until you consider that we are all there because we can't sleep for shit in our own beds. I did learn a few things about sleep apnea and snoring which I did not know. At least two of them were not true. But in his defense, the doctor prefaced these items by saying they were not true for everyone. Some people with sleep apnea don't present any of the classic symptoms, some who do don't have the malady.

But he hit enough buttons that I wanted to be tested, so I joined the long line again, and the best I was able to get was 12/15 at 3 pm. You would think they would  be scheduling evening appointments. Oh well. My main concern is it's no picnic getting there when the diamond lanes are enforced, and when parking is its most difficult.

By the time all that was over it made no sense to go back to work, so home it was. There were four boxes waiting for me:
Two new automatic litterboxes
The high-powered steam cleaner
The RMA batch of calendars from Vistaprint

That last was my first project. Looked at every page of all 25 calendars, and all the images were ok. One calendar had been trimmed wrong, the loops which are supposed to hold the spiral binding were clipped off. But I'm letting that pass since they printed 25 to replace 15 bad ones, so I'm still ahead by 9.

The litterboxes are parked in the study until the ones in place now need a change of refills.

Put the steam cleaner together, and there was a mystery moment when it looked like there was a hose piece with nowhere to plug it in, and no mention of the piece in the quick assembly guide. The full manual had the clue - this is the high end model and the hose is an optional attachment for cleaning furniture. So I set that aside, filled up the tank, and took a few swipes at Poo Corner, which went well, so then I attacked the high traffic area in front of the cats' food & water station. Excellent. I am pleased. Now I need to haul the old cheap one out to the trash, and that huge box too.

All that was done on schedule - I wanted to wait till 7:30 before going to Walmart across the bay, which is now the closest one to me. It's also a newer, nicer store with slightly higher class clientèle. W*M is my preferred purveyor of body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and (depending on the price) ding dongs, donettes, and other Hostess goodies. Got what I came for, plus a couple of other items which were on my "pick them up if you see them" list.

Home again, put everything away, made a microwave dinner, munched on some of the pistachios I picked up at W*M, and watched a little bad TV. How come all the repo reality shows are populated with the ugliest, stupidest repo agents?

Plans for tomorrow:
Shift some cardboard to the dumpster

It's December Fools' Day!

And my first foolishness was forgetting to flip over the calendars in the apartment. Just did the one at work, which is my photo calendar, December is a late sunset on Maui, with the last light streaming through the clouds.

Tell Me A Story

I've been reading on the Kindle from a recent collection of "dystopian world" short stories. The one I finished at lunch today, and the one at bedtime last night had established a protagonist, built the conditions for a cold, cruel work environment, and were poised to launch the protagonist in one of two or three possible directions when they abruptly ended with a very cryptic event which gave the impression that the author had painted him/herself into a corner and decided the story needed to commit seppuku at that point.

In the case of the first story, it seemed like the author did not want to choose which path Our Hero would take, but instead of presenting this as a dilemma to be pondered by the Fair Reader, just up and ended the tale before the protagonist arrived at the decision point. In the second story, the author has sprinkled some images here and there which are used in the very abrupt ending, but there was not nearly enough build-up to justify the physical transformation, and the author has not given us or Our Hero a motive to take the next step. In fact we don't really know what the next step's choices really are.

The anthology includes a couple of classics (one which was a classic when I was in grade school) and one of last year's Hugo nominees. Most of the stories have endings or decision points, but the ones which don't are frustrating. Had I been the editor, they would not have made it into the volume.

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  • Current Mood
    cynical cynical

Falling Asleep Again, What Am I To Do?

I felt like i was channeling Marlene Dietrich at work today. There's a classic satire Forbidden Broadway does of her Falling in Love Again which mocks the bored delivery she gave of the song in one of her films. Oddly enough, the three or four versions I see on YouTube are fairly energetic. 
Maybe it was this 1954 recording:

She sure looked great for for 62 in this clip:

David Maloney, a folksinger who is about my age, sang it at his last two concerts, and it was a hoot. I should get the sheet music and use it for auditions.

Anyhow, this morning the automation guy solved the mystery for me, turns out his class presentation completely skipped the part about needing to download and get license files from him of the program we use. So he set me up with that, and I spent most of the rest of the day running the tutorials which were pretty cool, but for some reason I kept nodding off. I slept really well last night, or at least I think I did.

Quick lunch at Carl's Jr., didn't finish it. $6 burger is worth $1.98.

While I was at work the apartment rep called, she said the maintenance guy tried to come into the place to fix the heat like I'd asked, but the cats were poised to escape. I told her they can easily be shooed back inside, not to worry. When I got home there was a note that they'd been there (they never say what they did), and enough evidence that they had c hecked all the vents and looked at the heater/aircon unit on the patio. No way to check it - the neighbors are heating my apartment at the moment - 71° with my thermostat set for 68. The problem is that when it gets to 67, the fan comes on but not the heat, and it wasn't coming into the master bedroom at all.

The 12 kitty litter refills were there when I got home, but there was Seahawks game on, so I watched till halftime and then unpacked those, folded up the empty boxes they came in, put them into the big box which the steamer had come in, added a couple of other boxes which were waiting for their recycle time, put them all on a hand cart and rolled them out to the garage dumpsters. Lots more room in front of the door now.

Heated up some matzo balls and chicken soup for dinner. Dessert was coffee ice cream.

Seahawks won handily, and iced it with an interception with 30 seconds to go which put the ball a couple of inches from the goal line. Instead of running up the score, they took a knee. Classy move.

It was a pretty clean game, not a lot of penalties, only one tiny skirmish after a field goal.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work, more automation fun
Maybe go to the Retrodome. Maybe.