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June 28th, 2013

Rocket Science


Countdown to the launch of the IRIS solar telescope, ferried to launch altitude by a specially equipped plane.
Work? Kinda boring. Lunchtime I had a manicure, this time I went with silver nail polish.

A little more sparkle than I wanted, but their flat silver looked more grey.

Email from the senior of our two Belgium QA team members wishing us well - they were laid off the other day. Boo Hiss. When I got home I sent a supportive reply, which is what he did in 2009 when Moto laid me off.

Verifying bug fixes got more futile, as we have added yet another product release after this one is out, which means re-testing them all again in a few months.

Left work at 5:30 hoping to get to NASA by 6, but I got caught at the first red light by stupid drivers and my tummy decided I really needed to go back to the office and use the facilities. Which I did.

Next time, went the other way, a much wider intersection, but the guy in the right lane almost got himself killed by jumping the light in a place where at least three cars run the red coming down the left turn lane. This is an intersection which needs much longer delays between  one light turning red and the next turning green. And probably could use traffic police during rush hour.

Got to NASA about 6:15, in plenty of time to make the rounds of the several bnooths which were set up outside to hype educate abou Ames projects, then go inside and see the plane with the IRIS satellite/Poseidon rocket lift off from the SoCal AFB. Vandenberg, I think. Then it was about an hour's wait till airborne launch, so I hit the gift shop and bought a couple of cute T-shirts for the grand-nephew, and went outside to collect a lanyard & IRIS mug and put all that in the car.

Back inside, I couldn't get close to the big screen (so many TALL people standing) but they had a smaller screen toward the gift shop which I watched, though someone had set up a professional video camera on a tripod in front of it, so I had to watch from an angle. At about 2 minutes to launch the child started screaming, and his stupid parents would not take him outside. He calmed down at about 20 seconds to launch.

The local MC led a countdown off the clock on the video feed, but it was fast by about 10 seconds. Then the mission control countdown started at 3, and at 0 nothing happened. There was a gasp from the crowd, but then the rocket dropped away from the plane (cheers)  and in a second or three the rocket fired (huge cheers). I stayed for another half hour, as the stages of the rocket fell away and they announced it was in orbit.

Somewhere after the first stage dropped, the MC noted that many people were in the room who had built the thing, and they got a good 2 minutes, maybe 3 of cheers and applause. It's rocket science, and it warms my heart that there are still people who appreciate it.

Home, a modest dinner of lasagna and green peas. I guess I also read another chapter out on the patio with the cats. And decided I had made the right choice going to the launch party instead of band practice.

Plans for tomorrow:
Laundry - sheets & pillowcases which used to be bright yellow
Work
Nothing on the calendar, maybe hang out at the new-ish Starbucks across the street from my UPS box.

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Q Branch has outdone itself...

Originally posted by kevin_standlee at Q Branch has outdone itself...
Match Game SF is one of Westercon's "opening acts," as our "daytime" show is on Thursday, the first day of the convention, at 6 PM in the hotel Atrium just before the Opening Ceremonies. We have a second "Late Night" show on Saturday night at 10 PM (or after the Masquerade, whichever is later) in the Folsom Room.

The online schedule application Westercon is using is superb. Check it out!

Originally posted by bovil at Q Branch has outdone itself...
Originally posted by bovil at Q Branch has outdone itself...

...and Westercon 66 has a mobile-friendly online schedule, thanks to our friends at Finncon and the 2015 Helsinki Worldcon bid!


My Westercon66 Panel Schedule

Thursday

3:15 pm Comedy in SF/F - Folsom (Ground - OffSide)
4:30 pm Care & Feeding of Performers - Cabernet (Ground)
6:00 pm Match Game SF - Atrium (Ground)
8:30 pm Opening Ceremonies/Meet the Guests/Fireworks - Atrium (Ground)

Friday

3:00 pm A Single If... - Folsom (Ground - OffSide)
5:30 pm Exomusicology - Merlot (Ground - Back Hall)

Saturday

11:15 am Storytelling the Old-Fashioned Way - Folsom (Ground - OffSide)
12:30 pm Page 119 - Is The Book Any Good? - Merlot (Ground - Back Hall)
4:15 pm  Finding Your Muse - Folsom (Ground - OffSide)

Sunday

11:15 am Is Theater Dead? - Folsom (Ground - OffSide)

westercons westercon66

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It's open till 10, so no hurry.

So, in a move which the Supreme Court would call premature, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dropped the stay on gay marriage, and Attorney General Kamala Harris performed the ceremony for th two women who brought the case to court in th first place. I watched it live, and except for the happy couple looking very sharp in silver business suits, it was as simple as could be.

Supreme Court decisions take effect 25 days after they are handed down, except if there is an appeal. The Appeals court really should have waited, because if there is an appeal, any marriages performed in the interim will be in limbo and the stay would probably have to be put back in place.

We've seen this before, and it's not a place I want to see my friends be. Another month wouldn't have killed them.

On the other hand, I'm elated that we have a court and a governor who are brave enough to break the rules so some people can achieve their dreams.

Having said that, I wish the government would just get the hell out of the marriage business.

Another bleeding day

Ate too late last night to have my fasting blood test at 9, so I went to work, did some stuff then drove to Kaiser and bled for them at 11. Starving. Back to work, had a cup o noodles. Lunchtime was at China Stix, which is now 1/3 its size because major construction is being done. I'm not sure if the sports store is expanding into their space, or if both places are being renovated. The whole ghost town of a shopping center has construction going on.

My weekly report looked like I did a lot of work, but I didn't really. Or at least it didn't feel like it.

After work went to Toyota to fins out if anyone had located my license plates. I had gone online to the DMV, and they will not replace two plates, they will only replace one. CA requires two on the car. Used to only be one. Anyhow, I really don't want to change my plate from HOWEIRD. And I also don't want to be liable for someone using my plates on their getaway car.

The sales manager called around and went upstairs to look in drawers, but nothing showed up. He said if he doesn't find them by Monday he'll file a report so maybe I can get the plates replaced. If he doesn't, I'll file a police report for stolen plates.

Right now I'm in the Starbucks across the street from my UPS box. It's fairly new, not crowded, open till 10. It has a drive-thru. I seem to have snagged the only table near an outlet.

Need to slurp up some yuppie food stamps at the ATM, then spend some time with the cats. And put the sheets in the dryer. It was about 90 degrees today, starting to cool down now.

Plans for tomorrow:

Drop the car at the shop to have the backup cam wired back the way it is supposed to be
Santa Cruz - Uncle bonzai concert

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