November 22nd, 2012


Part Two

Went home after work, had just enough time to put return address labels on the calendar envelopes, and see that I need to update my address mailmerge spreadsheet and doc.

Drove to Mountain View, usually this is a half hour drive at 6:15 pm, but there was little traffic and I only hit about 5% of the red lights. I was there at 6:30 for a 7 pm date.

This was a date with a purpose. And old usenet friend (we met online in 1989, and have been friends ever since). I had told her I liked the chicken-fried steak at Denny's and she said I had to try it at Chili's. We both ordered it, and in 15 minutes the waiter brought something which looked great, but when I cut into it, it was a chicken  breast. FAIL. He tried to make excises, but my answer was "steak is steak, whether you call it country-fried or chicken-fried". Idiot. Both of use went through the menu, and what he had brought us was not even on it. FAIL x 2.

In another 10 minutes he brought us replacement dishes, and yes, that was steak-like substance in there, but it was a rush job, the breading was all bubbly and had been cooked in burnt oil. Mine was all gristle, I only ate half of it before giving up. The corn on the cob on a stick was also very chewy. Mashed potatoes were good, the gravy was thin and looked a lot like Ranch dressing, though it tasted like gravy.

It was my friend's treat, for my birthday last week, and she paid with a gift card, so I didn't complain. On top of the slow and stupid service, the place is LOUD.

Home, redid my address data and labels, watched an episode of The Mentalist  (now I am only 4 behind) and stuffed envelopes.

Which is when I noticed there was none for my UK cousins, who are second on my data list. Word messed up and started the merge at #3.

While I was at it I subtracted one person who is entitled  postcards from my trips but not a calendar, and added a newly found Peace Corps pal, redid the doc and printed 5 pages of labels.

So now all the ones I plan on mailing are ready to go, but the PO is closed tomorrow and I'll be out of town till Sunday night. So Monday. Which is fine, nobody needs one before late December.

Plans for tomorrow:
Sleep in
T-day dinner at lunch time at the brother of a long time QA friend and fellow iconoclast. Brother lives in the same complex as my usenet friend, next building over.
Pack for my trip

And then there was turkey

Slept in, had to shut the door on Domino's yelling.

Watched some of the Detroit-Houston game, but shut it off in disgust when the head ref made a game-changing bad call, and compounded the error by refusing to let the play be reviewed. It was a touchdown play, ALL touchdown plays are required to be reviewed. The review refs upstairs failed by not correcting him. This guy was arrogant and wrong, and it cost Detroit the game. I hope he's fired and fined.

Diddled on the computer, refreshing my memory of things to do in the afternoon in Sacramento and Reno. Found some stuff, but not exactly what I was looking for.

Can't remember if I posted about this yesterday, but I went online and bought a "pleather" SF Giants jacket and a world series champ patch to sew onto it. Also bought another internet radio because the standard radio in the kitchen craps out when I turn on any appliance. And it doesn't receive Thai or Seattle programs.

A little after noon I headed over to Eric's, who lives in the apartment-like codos at the same address as Janice's duplex-like condo. Eric is the brother of Logan, who worked with me the two times I was at Kasenna. They are from Corvallis, which means they know all the Pacific Northwet jokes. Both are major league computer geeks, Logan is also a huge fan of alternative music (he used to be a DJ at a Corvallis radio station) and stand-up comedy.

Conversation with Logan while Eric tended the kitchen, which included some catching up (but not much because we see each other from time to time and follow each other on FB). We traded elephant stories, but his included projectile diarrhea, so he wins. Then we inevitably moved on to Tila Tequila and her feud with the Jugalos which are a very rude subset of the Insane Clown Posse's fans. You can read the story here. Unfortunately, the rest of the story is she ODed on prescription meds, which caused a brain aneurysm, and she came out of that partly lobotomized, with paranoid delusions of being persecuted by The Illuminati. Click for videos of her before and after. Very sad. Of course we also chatted about computer stuff - Logan worked for Hotmail when Microsoft bought it, at a similar time to when I worked for the Windows Media group in Redmond.

Eric brought out the food - a wonderful spread. He had made a whole turkey but carved enough for our small gathering, lots of dark meat, stuffing, mashed potatoes and yummy dinner rolls. I passed on the pan fried Brussels sprout halves. Had I not recognized them for what they were I would have tried some, they looked so good. But looks and taste are not always parallel.

Dessert was both pumpkin and apple pie.

At about 4 we were all fading so I took my leave.

Home, watched the Redskins-Cowboys game, which was much better. Lots of scoring on both sides, not a lot of mistakes on either side, and the refs only blew a few calls, none which changed the game, though there was one non-call which would have delayed a touchdown by one or two plays had it been called.

Gave the beast her whipped cream treat and put away the laundry in between games. And ran the dishwasher through another dry cycle, because everything was still damp. I may need to ask Maintenance about that. But first I'm going to enjoy my trip, and call them back to fix the new toilet.

The story about the toilet isCollapse )

The final game was a rout of the Jets by the Patriots. The Jets literally handed over the ball three times for touchdowns. Every now and then the Jets would make a great play, but it wasn't enough to be in the game. It was kind of fun, especially since we have a family rivalry going with some of my NYC family.

Broke out the pistachios for snacking, had some pickled herring and some celery with Onion dip. Domino was very interested in both of those.

At halftime I packed what I needed for the trip except for last minute toiletries & insulin. The Ultrabook in its neoprene sleeve fits perfectly in the laptop sleeve of the day pack which I got as swag from an internet convention. Only taking along a pair of T-shits & undies/sox, the camera with an extra battery and the phone charger. The Kindle will go in the outside front open pocket and meds and Hgl metering stuff in the front zippered pocket. Water bottle goes in a holder on the side. I also packed a folding knapsack Just In Case. I'm planning on making surgical strikes at Sacto & Reno Starbucks (the Sacto one is next door to Amtrak, the Reno one is a bit of a walk) for mugs to add to my collection.

Plans for tomorrow:

Train leaves at 12:50 from SJ Amtrak, I'll drive there by noon in case their free parking lot is full & I need to park in the neighborhood.
Arrive in SAC around 4 pm. Walk a couple of blocks to the hotel, and after check-in walk a few blocks to Old Town for dinner and maybe some entertainment.
Saturday the Reno train is due to leave at about 11 am, and get there just after 4. Then back at 11-ish on the Amtrak-run bus to SAC and train to SJ