February 8th, 2013


Almost Friday

This morning Kaan woke me with a long black tie wrap from the microwave packaging. We played fetch with that about 4 times, then he brought in his favorite nylon pretzel toy. I needed to get ready for work, so only did two rounds with that.

I had wrapped up everything at work which I could do for the various projects, which gave me a chance to read some specs about our next Big Thing. It's supposed to eventually be a combination of three products, but at the moment the only part which is ready to be specced is ours.

With the other half of my brain I listened to pieces of the Senate hearing for the probably next CIA director, someone I have serious doubts about. He promises transparency, and he goes even further to promise he will give all the intelligence committee members all the material about everything, in a timely manner.

He was grilled pretty well by a couple of the GOP members about the secret prisons and torture which went on when he was a head of CIA ops in Riyadh. (John Brennan looks so completely white middle aged middle class male that most people would be surprised to know he is fluent in Arabic. What struck me as odd is he pronounced all the Arabic names like a completely white middle aged middle class male.) He admitted he was copied on a ton of memos, and knew what crap was going on, but said he never wrote to or even verbally expressed his displeasure with those things to his superiors or to anyone else in that chain of command. His excuse boiled down to "that wasn't my job".

But is was. He was high up in the CIA structure, and would have been listened to had he chosen to be a whistleblower.

Feinstein and the rest of the Democrats were all gaga over him, as well as the Republican vice chairman. There will be a closed session next week, then the confirmation vote.

We'll see what happens. He's certainly more qualified that anyone who has held that post this century.

Also on the video feed was an overly long press conference by the Riverside PD, one of those poorly teched ones where you can't hear the questions and the spokescritters don't repeat the questions, so the answers are out of context. The chief did not seem to realize that the perp had already tried everything he could the legal way. Chiding him for resorting to violence was just stupid.

Later, CNN brought in pretty boy Cooper who had been sent a package by the perp with a CD containing a lot of useful material which they showed a little of. He also completely missed the point of the coin the size of a nickel, which was something PDs give to officers as a sort of medal, which had three bullet holes and a fourth nick in the side. The sharpshooting skill is world class to put what was probably 4 out of 6 rounds into such a small target from probably 25 feet or so, judging by the coin being mostly intact.

I have a feeling we'll be hearing from this guy for a long time. But seeing as he's pretty smart, maybe not again for a month or three.

Lunchtime I went to the Starbucks near Santa Clara train station. Parking the car was easy, but parking my butt was not. The place was packed with people with laptops and people with luggage, and people with both. I zipped up my jacket and sat at one of the outside tables. It wasn't too cold, but the glare from the sky made it hard to see the laptop screen.

Back to work, tried again to tackle an automation script, but the program kept changing the names of the constants. And miscounting the variables. Not fun.

Boss liked the tutorial I'd written and asked me to send it in for our Knowledge Base.

Left at 5:30, went home, had a lot of time to spend with the cats before heading for rehearsals. I left at 7:10, which normally would get me there just after 7:30, but I made almost every light and got there early. Which meant having to sit through the dance exercises which I can't do, and then the horrible screeching bagpipe noises which he uses for the Scottish dance step practice. Those would kill my knees completely if I did them. I would have gone outside but it was cold and drizzling.

We ran the section which he said we would, and he could have let about 1/3 of us go at 9, but made us hang around for an extra half hour. :-(

Still, got home before 10, gave the cats their treats , heated up a lamb shank and some dolmathes for dinner, watched an episode on Animal Planet which follows Maine wildlife wardens. In this episode, two of them clearly are out of their jurisdiction trying to chase down whoever shot a target arrow into the windshield of a passing car. They kept harassing the potheads in the house nearest to where they found bits from the fletching, but a car moving at 70mph and an arrow going maybe 90, those tail feathers (plastic, it looked like) would not have landed anywhere near where the shooter was. After everyone had handled the arrow with their bare hands, they brought it in for fingerprint and DNA analysis. As if. No wonder they are in Maine.

Found my videotape of Peter Pan from 1988 and captured the minute or so where the current Brigadoon director, as a young teen, ran around the stage in an ostrich suit. Posted it on FB and tagged him.

Plans for tomorrow:
Thought about going to see Promises, Promises at South Bay Musical Theater, then remembered that they rudely refused me a chance to audition when I was going to be coming back to town from Conflikt a day after callbacks. So I guess not.
Howard Street

And now a question for

Wondering if you actually tried your ATM card or just didn't notice this:

My no-name ATM card from an obscure credit union works just fine, is why I'm asking.

Interesting morning, I woke up at about 3 am and found myself pushed to the far side of the bed with Kaan stretched out across the bed instead of from head to foot. After a trip to check the plumbing, I repositioned him and took back my half of the bed. Slept till the alarm/lights went on at 7. Decided I needed more sleep so got another hour in.

After I was up and dressed and drugged, I realized I had nothing useful to do at work, so following the logic of the spheres, I removed the work-provided out of date, mostly useless Symantec Endpoint Protection software which was required to VPN into the office, and installed the latest Norton's which Comcast gives me for free.

Just for grins, I launched the VPN software to see what would happen, and lo and behold, it downloaded a new version and in 5 minutes I was connected to work. I launched email, and it told me it needed a security number, which it had left on my voicemail. At work. So I called my work phone and there it was in voicemail. Then I remote desktopped into my work PC and sent email to the boss that I would be in around 10:30 because I had installed the new IT software, which IT had not bothered to tell us about. Typical.

Wrapped that up, went to work, found some useful things to do but mostly piece-o-cake things. On my lunchtime to-do list was to rectify the situation with the car where it was showing a woefully depleted gas tank. There were only 2 pairs of cars ahead of me, about a 10 minute wait. Pulled up to the pump, and the card reader was being held together with the thin plastic tape which is used for ??? nothing I can think of. It took three passes to get it to read my membership card, then it misread my ATM card and I had to start all over. Finally turned to push the button for the type of gas I wanted, and sticker shock hit big-time. $3.899! The last time I filled up it was something like $3.489. Thanks Obama for helping make the rich even richer.

And about that 9/10 of a cent - something my dad taught me the first time he gave me a quarter and sent me to get a gallon of gas for the mower was the price they show in big numbers is almost a cent less than the price they will charge you. One would think that some time in the last 50 years Congress or the FTC would have ordered the price to be displayed in full cents. Or at least for the 9/10 to be the same size as the rest of the price.

Next stop, since I had a ton of time, drove way down to across the street from where I used to live to see if my eyes were deceiving me, or if the Carl's Jr which had been there forever was really now a Pizza Hut. Well, not quite. It is a Round Table Pizza. So I had lunch there. I like their pizzas, and liked the brand new clean place, and the friendly staff. I did not like the salad buffet which was designed for people < 4'10" tall with a 40" reach. The stuff in the salad buffet was good, except for the day-old mushrooms.

Back to work, read some specs, wrote my weekly report, and bailed at 5:30.

Since it was early, I went to the Starbucks on Mathilda near Lucky's, ordered a mint tea, and tried to do some stuff on the laptop, but the wifi was over-tapped by the dozen or so people on it, so I folded it up and went shopping. There was nothing I needed but the freezer was looking depleted (i.e. things were not falling out when I opened the door) so I got some stuff. But first I headed for the wine department and was surprised to see they had the obscure wine which I liked at the Coast Starlight wine & cheese tasting. A Riesling from Chateau Ste. Michelle. They also had its sister, the sweet Riesling, and they were on sale for $8 a piece so I bought them both.

Home, stuffed the freezer, petted the cats, finished installing stuff on the laptop which took no time at all over the 5GHz connection, and decided to make some more fondue from scratch. Smaller batch than last time. Cuisinarted two blocks of Emmenthaler, and one of Gruyere. Poured about 2/3 of the Reisling into the pot and stirred the cheese in. Last of all, a few shots of Kirsch. It needed some corn starch to thicken, but not much. I already had a big bag of cubed sourdough defrosting, and sliced in a banana too.

Very yummy meal, as I watched CNN lose all sense of newsworthiness by devoting full time to showing their people out in the snow in NYC and Boston. I guess in Atlanta snow is much more important than a trained counterinsurgent sharpshooter evading the LAPD; a 15-year-old Middle Eastern girl, who had been shot in the head, speaking in clear concise English that she was not deterred from promoting female literacy; or Buster Posey admitting he and Tim Lincecum were friends.

So I switched to the Weather Channel, where they were matter-of-factly forecasting snow for South Dakota.

Earlier today I entered 5 of my Lincoln misquotes in a juried art show at the Ark Art Gallery. The theme is text in art. It's a stretch, but who knows?

In other art news my Boskone art show photos made it to Boston. Glad I didn't send them by ground.

Plans for tomorrow:

Maybe go to the set shop to work for a couple of hours. Maybe.
5 pm coffee w/Janice. I hope to hear about her adventures as a Red Cross volunteer in NJ.
Cheetah's? I need 1's and I need to break a $100 bill.
It also may be time for a massage. I've been having cramps in my calves in the mornings lately. Pretty normal for me in the winter.