January 10th, 2013


Starbucks Foo

I like Starbucks because they offer free wi-fi with no time limit, the furniture is comfortable for laptop use, I can pay via my cell phone, they have chocolate drinks, it is a haven for people-watching and there are a lot of them. This week I have been derailed several times because the ones nearest work do not have enough space/tables to meet the demand, two of them share a tiny parking lot with several other popular shops, and despite what the gummint would have you believe, underemployment is rampant in Silicon Valley, so there is no good time during the day to be sure there will be parking and a place to sit. When employment is at an optimal level, few people hang out there during the day, most of the traffic is take-away.

But today I remembered the hidden one, next to the pizza place and sharing a huge parking lot with a supermarket. That's where I did most of my facebooking today.

Humpty back days and some chimpanzees

Okay, I lied about the chimps.

It was a not-fun day at work, some bizarre network issue kept video from reaching a bank of test machines, including a pair I am borrowing to test a European scrambling system. My usual machine was unaffected, but I didn't need video on it because today it mostly was used helping troubleshoot an esoteric bug having to do with updating the firmware using Java.

Lunch was not eaten, because the plan was to go to the Starbucks by the AMC Mercado theaters and Facebook and Twitter from there. At work I have stopped using the PC, and have been doing all my antisocial networking from there on my phone. It's very limited for a fellow with mild dyslexia and fat fingers.

I arrive, find a parking spot in the same row as Starbucks, halfway down, and at the head of the row there is a glass repair truck, loaded for bear with window panes. Uh-oh, I think, someone maybe busted a window.

As I get closer, I see men in hardhats standing between me and a van which is parked in the fire zone directly in front of Starbucks' door. Closer still, and there are several people in hard hats in the store, and there is paperwork on the door but it is not a note to customers, it looks like plans. I walk to my left a bit to get a better angle, and they have gutted the entire store and are completely remodeling it. The Starbucks sign is still on the building, but that's not a guarantee.

Plan A is shot, but not far away just off San Thomas there is a Starbucks, but the parking lot is full, and nobody is leaving. I get a glimpse inside as I turn around in the narrow lot, and the line is long.

Plan X, then. Back to work, buy an ice cream bar, nibble on it while watching a doubles ping-pong game and chatting with Automation Guy. Has a new lunch cooler, very much like the kind I have been looking for. The brand is "TCL". His automation programming is in a language called tcl. Pronounced "tickle".

The after-work plan was to hit up PetsMart for a carpet-covered scratching post for Kaan, it had to be at least 4' tall. Petco only had sisal posts. Domino loves sisal, so the big cat tree is all rope-wound posts, but Kaan likes carpet more. Also, Domino's tree only has Domino-height posts. I was also looking for more toys and a "calming" spray which the vet recommended, saying it used natural feline face pheromones. Found the toys first, they were on sale, and there were some similar to the pretzel Kaan likes. They had four brands of the calming stuff, but reading the ingredients, it was all imitation pheromone-like scents made from flowers. I bought the one which had the chutzpah to lie on the ingredients list and say "2% pheromones", while the write-up on the inside flap listed which flowers they used.

In the next aisle there were lots of posts and cat trees, many of them carpeted. I actually had three good candidates, but chose the more expensive one, a cat tree which has two carpeted posts which go from floor to top, 40". When Kaan stretches, his paws only go about 4" higher than the top. Domino claimed it first, perched up on the top level, and Kaan tried to play with her, but she fought him off. He continues to try to play, she is getting bolder about fighting back. Which is why I sprayed the cat trees and the couch/bedding with the calm stuff.

After Domino abandoned the position, Kaan took over. The top ledge of the new tree is bigger, a better fit for him than the sisal tree.

While they were fighting, I was watching a Nova special on how Neanderthals were really much smarter and more advanced than I was brought up to believe. They ran some DNA studies, I was disappointed they made no mention of the National Geographic one, and came to the conclusion that most people alive today not in Africa have at least 2% Neanderthal DNA. Mine tested at 1.2%. Maybe they have a different genome sample.

Watched some of the news, near the top was the Puritanical, hypocritical vote by sportswrongers to not elect anyone to the baseball hall of fame this year.

Not mentioned at all were Gabby Giffords and AstroMark starting a PAC to out-lobby the NRA.

Backing up, after the cat tree purchase a light went on, and I remembered the Starbucks next to the pizza place with the huge supermarket parking lot. Many free tables, the only thing I don't like about this one is they close at 9, but start mopping the floor at 8. WTF? I got there about 6:30, stayed till 8.

During my drives, I was playing the CD from Brigadoon and after I'd had enough of that I switched to the ipod and For Good from Wicked, which reminds me of my mom, and makes me cry. Or rather, one phrase in it does:Collapse )

Plans for tomorrow: