March 8th, 2013


It's been a while

Almost a week. It has been a busy week, with rehearsals every night till 10:30 or close to it. We just started Act II tonight. Been at Act I since January 14, but most of the rehearsal time was with leads and featured dancers. We didn't get to do music until Feb 14. Most of the action is in Act I, II is relatively short and repeats much of what was in I. We're about a month from opening, and I think we're in good shape. My biggest concern is that many people don't have theater voices, and this is being done without mikes in a huge venue.

A lot of things have changed because the director was too stoked on choreographing and not on staging in a way to maximize the singing. Now that we have the songs down, and the music director is participating, some things have been fixed. The sword dance has, but the country dance which follows it is insane.

Work has been way too busy as well. They gave me two customer-requested projects to test, one of which is a total cock-up. Salesclown sees a customer doing neat things to monitor the devices, and has one of the engineers cook up a Java app which does similar things. It crashed the machines, so he made it non-intrusive, but that also destroyed most of the advantages of having it in the first place. The other is  areal feature with actual specs and I've been testing it for ages, but someone in Hardware decided it ought to be tested for a week on a fully-loaded system. This is like a Ford engineer wanting to know how well the temperature display in the dashboard works when the truck is towing a load. It works fine, of course, but it ties up the only two machines I have which can be used for a much more important test on another feature I'm in charge of.

It got so boring that yesterday when I forgot my insulin, I decided to just work from home the rest of the day. It's less boring at home, and I was able to proofread another doc for the next release. Our tech writer was probably raised in California, which means she has a somewhat unsteady command of how to make plurals of subjects and objects agree. I think that's what they call it. For instance, "Edit the following lines that controls the system setting".   Should be "line that controls" or "lines that control". That sort of thing. These are huge docs, 188 pages for the last one, so it is no surprise they need another pair of eyes. The thing is, though, I'm supposed to be editing for technical accuracy, not proofreading.

And here I am, up too late again.

I've taken the laptop to Starbucks for lunch a couple of times, but keep being sucked in by Facebook and Twitter. Mostly Facebook.

The company ping pong tournament has started, about 80% of the engineers are in it. I am so out of practice - haven't played since Microsoft (1999) and these guys are way better than me anyway. It's insane when they play doubles. Arcane rules - instead of the person closest to the ball hitting it, they have to trade off - each team member can only hit the ball every other time in a volley. That's a stupid as 3-card-draw solitaire.

Am still amused at the difference in audio setup between Conflikt and Consonance. Conflikt has bleeding edge tablet-driven sound boards but with a minimum of efficiency, each setup taking 15-30 minutes. Consonance had an old manual attenuator bank (one of the best) and everything labeled. None of the setups took more than 10 minutes. Conflikt had far more feedback issues and guitars being unplugged when the line was still hot (when the audio folks said it was okay to unplug). Consonance wasn't perfect, but there was no feedback except during the auction when auctioneers parked in front of the speakers (and that was momentary). I think I'm done with Conflikt. Not just for the screaming babies, poor audio, and much of the major talent sitting in the back of the concert room chatting. My folks were alive and in South Seattle, almost Renton, when the con started out in Renton. Even Seatac was close to them. But they left the planet in 2010, and my only other family is 2 hours away, and mid-winter is not a good time to visit.

Plans for tomorrow:
No rehearsals
Maybe start organizing my letters home from Peace Corps.
The Gov - Nightshirt Close-up

So much time to write, so little to write about

Lazy morning, I got out of bed at 9 to email work that I'd be in at 11. Got there at 10:30.

At 6, Kaan wanted to play fetch, and when I did not, he decided to play fetch with himself all over the bed. So I threw his toy out the bedroom door. He dropped it against my back 3 seconds later. He is one fast kitten. Runs like a greyhound, fetches like a lab or retriever. Disguised as a sealpoint Siamese.

At 8:30 he tried again, this time he got tired of it after maybe 10 throws.

Work was mostly wrap-up stuff. Except for one project which another department asked me to do 2 days ago, but then the person who was supposed to do that side of the work never got back to me. Person did when I copied both our bosses, but person is on travel all next week so if person's boss doesn't help, they won't get this project done. Any other department at work which asks me to do a project (or really asks my boss, who assigns one of the testers) will work together with me quickly and keep on top of my progress.

The good news is it is probable that when the company sale is final Any Month Now™, that department will go away. Or be absorbed into the new corporate bureaucracy.

I think I spent more brain cells on my weekly report than I did on actual work today. It was a busy week.

International Women's Day. I have a hard enough time with Pride Day and Black History Month, so a day for the majority of the world's population is not a big whoop for me.

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So I guess you would say my female role models match up against pretty much any male role models out there. Which is why I don't think International Women's Day is any biggie. For every Hilary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren there is a Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman.

Brigadoon is shaping into a pretty good, fun show. Which is why I was all WTF over the beautiful publicity postcards they came up with:

Lovely picture with enough info on the front.

But the back:

So. Where do I put an address label and a stamp? And where is the USPS required 1/4 inch blank space at the bottom for their barcode?


Sold an item on eBay which left here with a pristine screen and one small scuff mark on the back. It arrived in Anapolis, the buyer said everything was fine, it was in her office charging. It was sent to her residence, which is not her office. Next day she says there is a small crack in the corner of the screen. I tell her the item was insured for what she paid for it, she should take the packaging and the phone to her PO and file a claim. Phones can get broken just by the package being dropped, something about garvity, acceleration and instant deceleration. But she says no, she will just buy a protective sheet for it. Yes, it might cost more than what she paid to replace the screen, but isn't $250 in your pocket better than $0? So I'm convinced she broke it herself and was either trying to scamme, or just too embarassed to admit it.

Another similar phone didn't sell, and someone sent a message asking if it sold or not. I replied that no, it did not sell, and I was re-listing it as soon as I took pictures of it. Unfortunately, eBay's phone app sent the reply to the first buyer, whose name is Crista. Second buyer's name is Chris. Crista went ballistic, thnking I was going to try to re-list her phone (how? Idiot). As soon as I got to a real computer at home I sent her an "OMG, oops, sorry" message and sent Chris the message which should have been sent in the first place.

Then I took photos of the phone front and back so there is evidence that the phone was fine when I shipped it. It is now re-listed and set to start on Sunday at noon, ending Thursday noon, when most Americans who have jobs are on their work computers playing on eBay.
A fairly famous and incredibly talented woman I am acquainted with (have known her from both sci-fi and opera for 20+ years) has posted on FB that she has finally kicked her abusive husband out, filed a restraining order and divorce papers. She almost did this a few tims before, but never got up the courage. I am heartbroken to hear what she has been going through, until last week I had no idea. I stopped wondering long ago why women who appear to be strong and independant allow themselves to be regularly battered by the people they love. In this case it is especially shocking because she has a HUGE number of people around her who would not hesitate to help her.
That's quite enough for not having anything to write about.

Except this: if zanda_myrande hasn't heard, at Consonance there was an announcement, and a note in the program encouraging folks to visit your online store and buy stuff. It was very well received and I hope there have been/will be some positive results.
Oh, and this: looking at the photos Boskone returned, the ones which sold were of a crescent moon against a black night sky, a very colorful Chinese temple dragon, and lemmozine in his guitar sunglasses.

Plans for tomorrow:
10 am appointment to have the car's remote trunk release fixed and the broken backup camera replaced.
That will take 3-4 hours, which will probably be spent at the mall. I shoud bring my cane.
Maybe I will start organizing those aerogrammes I sent home from Peace Corps 


But wait, there's more!

I recommended the pizza buffet at the new Round Table which had taken over what had been a Carl's Jr. so the gang went there for lunch, and it was a big hit. One guy even managed to build a complete meal from the salad bar. And they have apple cobbler in the shape of a pizza for dessert.

On the way home I picked up a case of kitty crack from the local Amazon locker.