April 25th, 2013


Skipped a Day

LJ wouldn't let me log in last night so I missed a fairly boring day. At work I managed to brick one of my test machines, and spent most of the day trying to resurrect it, but it looks like coincidentally some hardware failed after I updated the flash memory chip. I was supposed to have my 1-on-1, but boss was tied up in a meeting.

Last night I went on a wild goose chase looking for credit unions which had ATMs I could use for free, but the first two which Google Maps pointed me at are now an empty lot, and the new HQ of LinkedIn under construction. The third was a CU business office without an ATM. So I went to a 7-11, which said my card was no good, and then a second 7-11 which took it after 3 tries. I need to get a new card, I guess.

This gave me a lot of 20s, and I needed 1s for the pop machine, so I went to my local cashier, aka Gentleman's Club. I have not been there since rehearsals started, and it was good to see my favorite pole dancer. And I came away with more than 20 1s.

Back home, put a small plastic bag of frozen Chinese BBQ pork in the microwave, pushed 200 and sat down at the TV and watched an episode of something. After 10 minutes I smelled something burning. The microwave thought I had hit 2000**.  The plastic and pork was slag, the whole place was filling up with smoke. Opened the patio door and one of the computer room windows. Wanted to open the front door but there's no screen and no way to keep the cats inside. Had all the fans going, too. Luckily the smoke detectors stayed silent, but the apartment still smelled like smoke tonight when I came home. More on that later. Went online and ordered a microwave which has sensor cooking.

Which brings us to today, which was mostly boring, trying more to un-brick my machine until finally I gave up and filed a trouble ticket. This gave me a chance to do ad hoc testing on the other, newer model. Boredom was relieved by boss re-scheduling the 1-on-1 to today. I spent most of it explaining how to convert gmail to outlook. Arris uses outlook exchange, google forced us to switch to gmail. I had never really switched, I like Outlook better than any web interface, so I set up my gmail on outlook with google's sync program.

Automation Guy told me the sales engineer who works out of our office was given his notice. I never got why he worked out of our office - his territory is upstate NY. I didn't know him very well. But it was a reminder that the company was sold, and some people would be redundant.

Lunchtime was not fun. Just as I was pulling out of the parking lot, my tummy acted up, I zoomed to the back door, carefully got out of the car and made my way to the men's room Just In Time. That taken care of, I headed back out, thinking of going to Sizzler or Togo's, but on impulse pulled into McDonald's across from Sizzler, because they have free wi-fi. And the food is incredibly cheap. They make good chocolate shakes.

After work I needed to get petrol, and also wanted to buy a "Fragile" stamp, lactaid, alcohol pads and Fabreze. I decided to go to the Target just past the rehearsal hall, stopped at an ARCO station, but it wouldn't take my ATM card. Continued on to Costco, which takes AMEX, and filled the tank. Stopped in at Staples next door, but they didn't have "Fragile" in their stamp collection. :-(

Continued on, thinking Target was down the block, but it wasn't, so I turned around and went all the way to the other side of town to Rite Aid instead. Got what I had on my list, went home, and emptied most of a can of Fabreze into the air. The idea being to get the particulants out of the air. Also opened the patio door and the computer room window and turned on all the fans.

A few hours of that and the place smells mostly okay.

Unplugged the microwave, soaked the glass turntable and got the gunk off of it. Decided not to use the tool of Satan again, so made myself a ham & Swiss sandwich for dinner. Amazon says the new one will be delivered to my UPS box Saturday.

In the mail was yet another envelope with a bulk mail code where a stamp ought to be, and no return address. State Farm agents have been doing this for a few months. It is now illegal (thanks to the anthrax scare) to mail something without return address. I'm torn between writing to State Farm HQ or the post office. Also in the mail was a form letter from a credit union I had closed my account with, saying I was qualified for a pre-approved mortgage. 

I had set Tivo to record the NFL draft, so at about 7:30, which was 2 hours in, I started watching, fast-forwarding through the commercials and BS. There is one commentator whose head looks like a caricature, very hard to look at. I was disgusted with the video snippets they did of all the players - it was all Gangsta, black jersey, dark background, poses like rappers with the hands. Eeeeew. When it was all over, almost everyone drafted was on the defense. There was only one QB (not one of the better ones) plus two or three receivers. Out of what, 32? Boring. From time to time they would show QB candidates looking like the world had ended. More tomorrow.

Plans for tomorrow:


** When I did tech support for computer terminals, there was something called "keyboard bounce" which was pretty common. It made a single press appear as two or more presses. It can be caused by a bad keypad, a bad contact, a defective keyboard processing chip and cockpit error. This machine has bounced on me three times this week, so I'm ruling out cockpit error. :-)