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August 2nd, 2013

Misunderstood, but still kind of fun

Finished the video class I was taking, there were even more audio WTFs  near the middle of the final session, it sounded like a tour group was being let loose on the cafeteria. I would not be surprised that the class was taught in the back of the cafeteria. Good stuff, though a chunk of it was an in-depth review of a piece of equipment I rarely use. Looking up the names of the instructors later, the guy with the Irish accent is actually from the Ireland office and is the resident expert in that piece of equipment.

There was no test, the training site just has me push a button to say I've seen the whole course, and issues a certificate. I tried to launch another, more recent class, but got a 404 error. Email to them was too late in their Atlanta day to respond to.

Lunch at Sweet Tomatoes, which is not as good a salad buffet as Sizzler, but the clientèle is more attractive. Continued to read 50 Shades and finally, at Chapter 6, we get past the juvenile giggling and into the very detailed sex scene. There was a small preview of the Dom/Submissive stuff, which is probably when I will delete the book from the Kindle, having my curiosity satisfied as much as it needs to be, and move on to that Margaret Atwood number which is next in the queue.

Back at work, Engineering asked boss to have me repeat the boring hour-long test 10 more times. It ties up my test machine, so I can't do any other work, but was able to used Candy Crush as a timer for between runs of the test (after each test the machine is programmed to not allow that particular activity to occur again for another 15 minutes).

6 pm, dove into the usual bad commute traffic to downtown San Jose. It's horrible from where I work to Hwy 87, where it is always a surprise, sometimes 65 mph, sometimes bottlenecked. Downtown to the parking garage I like best is one lane 25 mph with several long stop lights. Found a good spot in the garage and walked down the block to Cinema 12, where they were showing the 48-hour film festival. This is not (thank goodness!) 48 hours of films, it is two 2-hour evenings of locally made - last weekend - films which had to be done start to finish in 48 hours. They ranged from absolutely horrible to "they accomplished that in 48 hours?"  I was there because my theater buddy Jeremy was posting about it a lot on FB, which I thought meant he was in the film he was plugging, and would be there. He wasn't and he wasn't. :-(

To add to the amateur quality of the evening, the audio was WAY TOO LOUD, and about halfway through the lamp went out on the projector, and the projectionist was nowhere to be found. It took about 20 minutes to get that fixed and the video/DVD/whatever to be cued up to the start of the movie which was almost done when the video disappeared.

And it happened again twice after that, but they were right on it those times.

The one I went to see was called "Please Hold", about a call center where one woman is covering about six phones, all for different companies. She is crisis line, travel agent, tech support, customer service, phone sex and advice line.

They laid down some rules which sometimes helped but usually hindered the films:
There must be a BBQ spatula prop
There must be a character named Michael Loy who is a researcher
Someone must say "She didn't have to be that way"
And each team (there were 22 this year) drew a random genre which they had to use. Some were strange, like "Assassination Bromance"  and some were basic, "Mistaken identity" and "Dark comedy". Some of the films were much more successful than others with their assignment.

Two other films I especially liked were "The Hit" which was the mistaken identity one. A couple who are paid assassins find their quarry already dead - killed by a BBQ spatula. Great production values and good acting, lots of clever banter, including a bit where the couple's deal was whoever made the kill got to choose where they went afterward for dinner. And "21 Pieces" where the victim of a carjacking (by spatula) turns out to be the high school pal of the carjacker, who is collecting art works, usually against the wishes of the owners. Up in his attic lair, we see pieces of a Last Will and Testament jigsaw-pinned to a bulletin board. Apparently the thief's dad was an artist and hid the pieces of his will in 21 of his paintings.

The best production look & feel was a "skype drama" with a name which was a play on the name Donna, I think. We see a Skype window on Donna's computer, but we also see Donna's face close up, and a curtained pair of doors behind her. During the chat, a figure appears behind the curtain, and when her friend warns her, she turns around too late to look. The ending is predictable, as is the murder by spatula off-screen, but the video quality, audio and lighting was the best of the night.

And as with most indie film events there were all kinds of beautiful women. Also outside the cinema, since Bally's fitness is across the pedestrian mall.

Home, dinner was gluten-free chicken mild Italian sausages from Costco. Yummy. Almost made a third one, but there was one more slice of cake to be consumed.  

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
???
Busy weekend, though, a show Saturday night and a photo thing Sunday afternoon, both in SF.

 

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Loncon3 planing shock

Took a quick look at Worldcon 2014 hotels, and the two nearest are >$400 a night. That's the AAA discount rate. Travelodge a couple of blocks away is just under $140 a night. I have cousins who live near Heathrow and I think one in London whose home is a B&B, but I'm not sure if it's a real B&B or if her kids/grandkids just jokingly call it that. But those are both too far to get the full convention experience. I'll add time to my trip to see them, of course.

Actually only one of the hotels was open to bookings for 14/8/14 - the others I used last week of July dates.

Will look at air fare sometime soon.

Not Much To Say

Before getting dressed I logged into work and started up one more test run. For most of the day it was "hit go, wait an hour, check results, hit go". Lunchtime I joined three cow-orkers for sushi. wrapped up the testing at about 4 pm, wrote my weekly report and then youngest sister called, which gave me a chance to try out the Bose earbuds. The mike part worked fine, she said, and it was a lot easier to hear too.

She recommended I add to my patio planter something called nepeta, aka Cat Mint. She said it may calm down the cats enough to de-mat Domino and trim Kaan's claws.

Stopped by Lowe's to see  if they had it in their garden section, but no. Then to Summer winds nursery, but they were already closed. Headed toward OSH, but they mostly only have indoor plants. Did a U-turn before getting there and frappucinoed myself at Starbucks.

Caught up on FB and made a (to me) funny meme image:

which has been in the back of my mind for weeks. I'm sure I am not the first person to have thought of it.

Also before work today I re-positioned my "treecam" to point at both cat trees. They are on opposite sides of the livingroom, on either side of the patio doors. Odd that I had not thought to do that when I moved the second tree a couple of months ago.

And now it's dark. I think I'll unplug and head home.

Home: Steamed lobster claws and green peas for dinner. Yum. Got Domino's attention, Kaan couldn't care less - he ignores people food.

Plans for tomorrow:
Hunt for cat mint
evening drive to San Francisco to see a friend in a charity concert.

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