December 22nd, 2012



Made some progress at work. Lunch at the Pho place with Automation Guy. Made him nervous by pointing out that boss' absentee pattern could be a symptom of job hunting.

Stopped off at the Arab/Mexican market looking for cardamom and any other spices they had for cheap. Cardamom was very expensive, but less than the mainstream stores. Got a great deal on a big jar of cinnamon, not so great on a small packet of nutmeg. Will do some online searching.

Ordered jerseys for my WA sister and her husband, who share the same last name with the defensive captain for the Seahawks. I've been waiting for those to appear for a while, just coincidence it's holiday time. Spent more than an hour on the phone with both American sisters tonight, Baltimore one said she loved the Chanukah present. A T-shirt with a dragon lighting a menorah with his fiery breath.

Finally got a notice that the SF Giants jacket I sent back for exchange about a month ago got there and a replacement shipped today.

Dinner was celery, and the bagel and lox sandwich I'd made for lunch Thursday.

Plans for tomorrow:
Finalize a new name for Siamese cat
Lunch with an ex-wife who moved to the Sacramento area many moons ago
Coffee with Janice in the late afternoon
Washington is in the Maaco Bowl, I'll catch it on Tivo so I can skip the obnoxious commercials.
Maybe The Hobbit after coffee.

It looks to be a messy weather weekend, I'm not traveling.

2 Out of 3

Or maybe 4. I had a good night's sleep, which started with both cats curled up on the bed, far enough apart to stay out of trouble. I stayed in bed till maybe 9:30, when I got up they were both elsewhere.

Marilyn called, she wanted to know how she would buy her Amtrak ticket back to Sacramento. The Santa Clara station has no facilities at all. The web site doesn't say a word about that, so I told her she can buy one on board. And I wondered why she had not bought a round trip ticket, since she knew in advance she was coming back by train. But I didn't ask, Marilyn often makes no sense at all. She played my wife in a show at Santa Clara Players and then I directed her in another play there, but she long since sold her house and moved to a Dell Webb community outside of Lincoln, CA, a sub-suburb of Sacto.

I picked her up at noon at the old Victorian mansion where she was staying, it belongs to one of the more ancient members of the SC Players. I've been there before but it's always impressive. We all chatted for a while then M & I went to lunch, I took her to a place we used to go after rehearsals which was close to her house back then. At the time it was a failing Chinese restaurant with few customers, and we figured it had to be a front for a drug tong, because they obviously weren't paying for the place with legitimate business. Now it is an amazingly successful and very noisy Hong Kong style eatery called Cooking Papa. It was packed. The menu choices are insanely diverse, and delicious. Marilyn was completely blown away by the then-and-now difference. One of the reasons for their success is they don't take reservations, so you're almost sure to get a table Real Soon Now. And the available parking is just a little less than the available seats, unless folks seriously carpool, which they sometimes do. When we go there from work, we usually have 6-8 people in Automation Guy's Urban Assault Vehicle.

I took her to the train station, which was recently re-opened after something like 3 years closed for renovation, but it was a huge FAIL job, starting with no place to drop off passengers, and only pay-for Caltrain parking, and no station as such. The model railroad club apparently bought the old station building and all the parking in front is supposedly reserved for their museum. They also did nothing to improve the two Caltrain lots, which seriously need repaving and re-striping and some ticket machines. All the museum spots were taken (the museum was open till 3 today) so I parked in the Caltrain lot and took my chances that we could get Marilyn set up at the Amtrak track, and I'd go back and move the car to a museum spot because one came open as we were walking past it.

Another FAIL is there is no Amtrak signage whatsoever. And no ACE signage. Both of these train lines use the third track farthest from the street, Caltrain uses the two closest. It is a LONG walk down a ramp, through a tunnel and up another ramp. Used to be a short walk across pedestrian crossings over the tracks. The good news is you won't get run over by a train, the bad news is you'll have a heart attack instead.

I parked M in a seat facing the Amtrak track, told her to weait for me, and went back to the car, moved it to a less illegal spot, and when I got back there was a Union Pacific freight car on the track and M was walking with her very heavy roller bag to the far end of the station. I called her on her cell phone and got her back. She didn't understand that the crowd of people she was walking toward was (a) the same crowd of people who had been at the other end when we first got there and (b) they were railroad museum visitors intrigued by the chance of a close-up look at a parked freight train, not passengers.

The Capitol Corridor train came through about 5 minutes late, probably thanks the the UP train, and the conductor let me settle her into a downstairs seat with her luggage, and told her he could sell her a ticket later.

When the train pulled out in 3 minutes, she was not in that seat, or anywhere near a window. Sigh.

Home, because there was something to pick up at the apartment office. I traded them the two packages for a pair of my calendars. The manager was in and thanked me for hers, Laurie the sales rep was out selling so I left one on her desk.

Drove to Mountain View to meet Janice for coffee, Laurie phoned me to say thanks. I've been getting a lot of compliments on the calendar, makes it worth taking the trouble.

Had the usual update session with Janice, and thought about going across the street to see The Hobbit, but I was exhausted, and decided to go home and watch the UW-Boise game on Tivo. But there was an extra MNF football game, and also the Alabama-Georgia game was wrapping up and it looked like it might become an upset, so I watched those instead, and while I was watching they showed the score of the UW game which made me less interested in seeing it.

So I took out two tripods, mounted the flash on one and the camera on the other and set up to take pictures of me & Kaan. That's the Siamese cat's new name. It is an archaic Thai word for tiger, is mostly used to say "the year of the tiger" which is my birth year. And there's the obvious Star Trek reference. The photos were not so good, Kaan mostly kept his eyes closed, the camera was not correctly doing TTL with the slave flash, and autofocus was focusing on whatever the camera was centered on, which usually was not me & the cat. I'll try again later, maybe in a couple of days.

What prompted the photos was a follow up email message from the person at the center who had done the adoption. I answered with a lot of details, including the new name, and some photos Photoshopped down to an email-able size.

Oddly she did not mention receiving my first email message a couple of weeks ago. Hmmm.

Anyhow, here are a couple of my favoritesCollapse )

Plans for tomorrow:
Blind Doe having sex
Maybe see a movie
Maybe watch football
Maybe put 500 slides back into their holders