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April 29th, 2013

Carz

Nothing to do today, no coffee klatch because it's klatchee's bridge weekend with the gals by the sea.  I tried to learn bridge, but found the bidding conventions anti-intuitive. I understand suit hierarchy and trump cards (those are like wild cards in poker),  but not bridge's Secret Handshake.

I tried to sleep in, but somehow my body wanted me to wake up by 9. I did stuff online, then got showered and drugged and dressed. Had a headache, took some non-aspirin. Banana for breakfast, plus a handful or three of pistachios.

Somehow the big splotch of dirt next to the recliner looked nastier than usual, so I took the steamer to it. Also vacuumed the bare minimum of cat-shredded Payday wrapper near the kitchen.

Decided today was massage day, but not till afternoon. To kill time and assuage my curiosity, I went to my local Ford dealership to see what their navigation  system looked like. As soon as I walked in, Tim greeted me, I told him what I wanted to see (Fusion Navi) and he took me to a car in the lot which was equipped with one. The "Sync" system is impressive, lots of voice-activated stuff, good voice recognition (it understood me). The navigation system maps are outstanding - better than Garmin, even. All the street names are readable, even in half-screen mode (the other half can have play-by-play directions). Bright enough to see in direct sunlight. The screen is a fingerprint collector, but microfiber solves that. There were lots of customers, and lots of salespeople. Busy place.

I had a lot of trouble getting into and out of the Fusion, it is low to the ground and the roof line is not high enough to comfortably get inside from a standing upright position, and getting out has the added challenge of not enough leverage. I asked about the C-Max, and he showed me one, same Sync system, much easier to get in and out of. I liked that car a lot more, and it was less expensive. Both cars priced out at significantly higher than Kelly Bluebook, like about $5k more. I'll be paying cash, I think that still helps lower the price. But who knows? It may cost less on a credit union deal, and just pay off the loan as soon as I get it.

Next stop was Honda. Acres of cars, but horrible layout - customer parking was not where the signs pointed. I walked the whole length of the showroom to the reception desk without a salesperson noticing me. Receptionist went on the loudspeaker to get someone, when there were two guys within normal speaking distance. One of them took on the task, his name is Terhan Terhan. I told him I wanted to see the navigation system in a civic hybrid, and he fumbled with the touchscreen system looking for a car which his printout said had that. Out at the lot, he didn't know how to read the row/slot numbers, and used the remote to make the car beep. The car did not have a navigation unit. He went back and got the right key.

Like the Fusion, I had trouble getting in and out of the Civic. Unlike the Fusion, the maps were crap. Illegible, most of the streets were not labeled, it looked like it was drawn by grade schoolers. So that's off my list.

Forgot to get the info on Chevy, but that's okay because the nearest one is closer to work, none in Sunnyvale. I may go at lunchtime, and check out the Cruz.

Looking at hybrids first, but after all these years the prices are still way too high to justify the gas savings. I just like the idea of silent idling.

Home, as I was taking off my shoes I twisted something in my back right side, it felt like a kidney punch. Ow! Massage time for sure, but first play with the cats and get in some LayZBoy time.  Went to the Chinese place, this time got someone who was definitely not a CMT, spoke no English, and had no idea what I was trying to tell her about working on my kidneys. So a pleasant hour of relaxation, but when I got up my back still hurt like hell.

The microwave was still on my mind, impulse drove me to Target, where there were Sharp and Panasonic ones which have sensor reheat, but my back was not going to let me get one into the cart. But before calling for help, I inspected the boxes, and they all had major rips and pokes and tears. I didn't think what was inside would be any better than what I had. So I went home empty-handed.

By now the pain was unbearable, so I found the pain killer from my last operation (expiry date 12/13) and took one. Half an hour later it still hurt, but I was sleepy enough to take a nap for an hour.

Decided to RTFM on the microwave, and lo and behold, sensor reheat needs water added to the item for the sensor to work. So I fed it some chicken soup. And set the kitchen timer for 3 minutes Just In Case. Microwave turned off at 2:55. The soup was not hot enough, so I gave it another shot. This time it quit at a little over a minute. Nuked it for 2 more on manual. That worked.

Then I got brave and cut up some pot roast I'd already cooked once from a Costco package, added water to the gravy, and sensor reheated it. Worked fine. I guess I'll keep the darned thing.

Watched the latest Mentalist and was disappointed that they have gone back to the soap opera subplot.

Plans for tomorrow:
Early team meeting this week
Chevy

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Rough Start

Two nights ago I shot up 1/3 more long-term insulin than usual and in the morning my Hgl level was 112. Very close to Howard-normal. Last night I did it again, this morning it was 101. Nice. So I shot up my usual morning dose (half what I did at night) and took my meds, then went online for a bit. Opened the patio shades and saw Kaan had pooped next to the cat tree. Boo, hiss. Transferred that to one of the litterboxes and decided it was a hint - they needed changing. So I changed them.

The exertion met the morning insulin and threw me into mild insulin shock. That's actually kind of good news because it has been agens since my Hgl was uner control enough for that to happen. A piece of Scottish whiskey fudge brought me most of the way back, enough to drive to work. Early meeting this morning, no time for breakfast, but I survived. After the meeting I had a cup of noodles and was fine.

Last night also was night 2 of back twisty pain, one vicodin helped me sleep but did not dull the pain much. This morning there was still some pain left, and it let me know when I manipulated the litterboxes.

It has now faded, was gone by mid-afternoon.

After the meeting I looked for work to do, which took a lot of time because most of the bugs which are left require special setups which I don't have access to. 11:30 my alarm reminded me that CHM was having a brown bag talk by von Neumann's daughter which I did not want to miss. So hopped in the car and drove to MV for that, and was flabbergasted that the cafe was closed. So no lunch for me.

It was a pretty good interview, what I heard of it. The speakers in the back kept clipping.

Back to work, where I had a PB&J sandwich in the cooler, and chocolate milk. And mounds (the dark chocolate ones). And walnuts.

Found some work to do, also took a browser break to look at non-hybrid cars. Then Automation Guy invited me to the breakroom to chat while he had lunch. Mondays are wall to wall meetings for him.

Left at 6, drove to Courtesy Chevrolet through the insane San Thomas Expy traffic. What cretin decided the diamond lane should be the right-hand lane? And how many lobotomies were done to keep it that way?

"Mac" whose real name is Amir, had sent me info on internet prices for the Cruze. They don't have a hybrid but they have an "eco" high-MPG  version which is close enough. He showed me the nav system, which is almost as good as Ford's, but the voice recognition sucked, was slow, and did not recognize anything I said. Good headroom for getting in and out of the car, and comfortable. But the instrument panel is a joke. All analog, the speedometer is on the right, behind the steering wheel, and the tachy is on the left behind the steering wheel. Odometer is tiny, bottom center behind the steering wheel. And all are labeled very small, like 8 pt. fonts.

I asked Amir about paying cash, and he told me those days are gone - it's better to get a loan and just pay it off to get the title. There are usually price breaks to get it financed.

I took a quick look at the Sonic, which has an electronic speedometer, same nav system, but it's ugly, especially the tiny headlight pairs.

Home, decided to blow off BASFA and have dolmathes and clam strips for dinner, watch some TiVo and play online. Part of that was looking at the Ford Focus, which can be tricked out with all the toys of the Fusion & C-max, without the inflated hybrid surcharge.  I'll probably go back there tomorrow to check it out.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work - Automation Guy is teaching a 2-day class on tcl scripting
Ford - focus

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