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May 2nd, 2013

Weird Dream Channel x 2

Two days ago I noticed a blister on my left foot, just below the big toe. There were also tiny blood blisters on the side of foot parallel to the blister. All night I tossed and turned, dreaming about the USB implant in that side spot, and how I could not reach it to plug in my iPod.
Yesterday my trip to a Honda dealer was a FAIL when the rep did not know how to activate the voice command system. I went onto Youtube and found the answer later. All night I tossed and turned, dreaming about variations on voice commands. "I need Chinese food" and "Find me pizza" were the most over-use. Regardless of what I said, the nav system would find it, and then display a map with no street names on it. Just like IRL. :-( 

I Need A Hybrid

None of the cars I have looked at have all the features I want. I thought the 2013 Corolla might, but they have done the same stupid thing with the speedometer as Ford & Chevy. My 2008 has it done right.

Today I checked out the Prius C, model 3 out of 4 which has everything except power seats (their pump-action height adjustment is stoopid. Chevy Cruze also has that). The sight lines are very limited, almost no rear view, and the side mirrors only show half the next lane. The nav system has all the street names, but they are pretty small, even zoomed in, and the color scheme is not contrasty enough. While the voice system recognized most of that I said, there are just too many menus, and the system keeps going back to the main menu in between commands, no matter how deep into the menu you are. Annoying. Let me clarify:

Say "navigation"
and it brings up the map
Say "chinese food"
and it brings up the list of possible POI categories
Say "restaurant"
and it goes back to the base menu, and asks what category, and after 5 seconds brings up a list of the categories
say a category
and it goes back to the base menu and after 5 seconds brings up the list of restaurants in that category

And so on

With Ford, say "find chinese food" and it gives a list of the nearest 5 chinese restaurants.

It was not too hard to get into the car, but tricky to get out of. Chalk some of that up to being parked too close to the next car.

Cup holders are near the floor under the dash - awkward. Center console is too far back, awkward.

I looked at a Corolla through the windows, the saleswoman was not too keen on selling me a car for $12k less. But seeing the speedometer had been placed off to the side was a leveler. If all the cars in the <20k range have that FAIL, I may as well get a Ford.

I think I should give this a rest for a while, not knowing if I'm going to be laid off soon.

Speaking of which, we got official email that all out Google bonus shares will vest in a couple of days, which would give me about 8 shares, big whoop. After taxes that may be a month's take-home. I suppose I could use it as a downpayment.

Work today was mostly trying by trial and error to hack up one of the tcl scripts from the class to make it do something useful for me. I managed to lock up the automation system. Automation Guy fixed it right away. I did manage to do what I set out to do.

Lunch was at Starbucks, I am in love with the new hot dog croissant. That and iced green tea and I'm a happy camper.

After work I picked up a package at the apartment office, something I have not done since getting the UPS box and finding out about the amazon lockers. It was a repaired in-dash navi/entertainment system which had been in the car previously, but it kept resetting to factory defaults, and locked up when I tried to update the maps. Turns out it had a defective CPU. $185 to repair a $1200 system, well worth it. If it had voice commands I'd put it into the next car I buy, but now that it's fixed I will probably sell it on eBay. I'm pretty sure Kenwood has a system with voice recognition, maybe that's the route I should go. Buy a car without a radio and have that installed after.

Walked in the front door and one of the kitties had left a small pile of mostly liquid poop in the foyer. Yuck. Cleaned it up. Both of them looked guilty, I couldn't tell whodunnit.

Next was the aforementioned trip to Toyota of Sunnyvale, where a young Chinese woman named Celine helped me. It took a few minutes to get the hang of her accent, but she knew her stuff, and did a good job.

Home by way of 7-11 and amazon locker, where there was a pair of NewBalance shoes to try, now that the similar Brooks ones have put blisters on my left foot.

Dinner was a Marie Callendar turkey plate. Following the timing directions on the box, the new microwave undercooked the first pass and overcooked the second. Not by much, though. No smoke, no flames, no Cajun blackened anything.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work - more tcl
San Jose art walk? Not sure.

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