September 17th, 2013

Satan Claus

Another Manic Monday

Going out to the car this morning there was a garbage truck by the dumpster, but it was only the recycle one. No time today to do the dump thing anyway.

Work was another day of letting the machines crank away and monitoring the video. Nothing strange with the quality, but the content sure was bizarre. First there was the shooting at the Navy base. I have a relative who works there sometimes, but she is on this side of the country today. All the alleged reporters did their best all day long to not find out anything along the lines of who what when where or why. Even the police were sending off a false report of a suspect whom they said later wasn't even a person of interest. There were many helicopters buzzing around the area.

Then there was Colorado, where there were many helicopters buzzing around the area, looking for survivors of the massive floods. It was just one dam break after another. Probably exacerbated by the erosion caused by the massive forest fires earlier this year.

America's cup did not go well for the home team. They seem to not have the faster of the two boats.

But the most important item is They™ crowned Miss New York as Miss America, totally ignoring her flailing attempt at talent (Bollywood dancing? Gag me with a soggy roti) and her rambling, squeaky voiced answer to the finalist question. Miss California IMHO was the better choice, and Miss Florida should have been runner up. Both showed more poise and grace, with a more upbeat attitude, I think. But I don't think it will be a disaster, and if she uses the scholarship money to become a doctor as she said she plans to do, that's a good thing.

Lunchtime started with a trip to the PO to mail another birthday card to my soon-to-be-60 sister (she gets one a month until she hits the big 6-0) and to drop off the eBay sale item. 15 minutes wasted in line because some bozo in DC thinks someone brazen enough to mail a <?!?!?> won't be brazen enough to hand it to a postal clerk. Sheesh.

Halfway to work there's an iHop, I made the mistake of letting them put me in a booth. The way I am shaped, my tummy wedges against their tables, and it is very uncomfortable. I justified not moving by thinking I was there for a quick lunch, would not be there long, and there were screaming children in the back room where the chairs are. But service was glacial, and the screaming was still very loud from where I was sitting.

After work I went to the car and phoned my sister. The car's bluetooth is a lot clearer than the earbuds, since the audio comes from the 4-speaker system, and there's a directional mike. By the time we were done chatting it was too late to stop at UPS or the beauty supply place, so I went home, swapped my button down for a Westrcon T-shirt and went to the basfa meeting.

We were still down a few people who were not yet back from Worldcon, or who were suffering from con crud in its various nefarious forms. There was much humor, but also much cross-talk by the people flanking me. The auction item I brought sold for $5, which was reasonable, but I expected it to go for more than that. My review flopped. No one got the joke that Megapython vs. Gatoroid could be misread as Gatorade. And once again the rumor of the week which should have won got derailed by too many add-ons. Sigh. Brevity is the soul of wit, people. And while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it is rarely as funny as the original. </rant>

Plans for tomorrow:
Beauty supply
Peninsulaires voice lesson #2 (of 6)

Chain Of Unfortunate Events

Driving to work, someone phoned me, I pushed the green handset icon on the in-dash system as I was turning into the driveway at work. Except it was the driveway next door, and I hit the curb pretty hard. It was someone from Nextiva support "reaching out" because of a nastygram I had written in response to their survey. They are the company which I pay a very small annual fee to for online fax service. About a week ago, it was time to renew, but my address and credit card info had changed, so I needed to update that. The web site only gave two options: phone or email. I phoned, was transferred twice and placed on hold for about 20 minutes total before I hung up and sent email. The nastygram basically said their phone reps suck lemons through a bong hose, and they might consider joining the current century and putting secure billing on the web site.

I drove out of the next door neighbor's lot (no one is in that building, and my company is trying to lease it) into my own, and parked. The nice man apologized for all the trouble with billing, and that they might have it online by the time of my next renewal. Might. I thanked him and went into the office.

The other team member working on the massively complex and so far unsolved customer issue was given some things to do which messed up her machines royally, so I took the initiative and did the same to mine, but they continued to work just fine. So I spent the rest of the morning running  a script which "exercised" my machines.

Somewhere after the first pass I needed to log into a system which uses the old company's user ID and the new company's password. Don't ask. Turns out it didn't recognize my password, so I decided to try to change passwords all around, which got me locked out of the old company's system. But it got me into the new one, which is what I needed. Now I just need to remember which of the 6 passwords I tried was the one I landed on. I was toying with using "Number6Of6The6Beast!" but it's too hard to type.

Lunchtime the plan was to go to the UPS store and pick up what I thought was a Vikings Cheerleader calendar, then continue to Peninsula Beauty Supply to get some metallic silver UV-curable nail gel. When I shut the car door I heard a loud POP, and as I pulled out of the parking space and toward the road it felt bumpy and the "not enough air in your tires" light went on. I pulled into a space closer to the entrance, got out, and found the front passenger tire deflated. Pried out the (baby) spare, took one look at the bronze-age jack they provide, in many pieces, and another look at my tennis elbow, and called the free roadside assistance.

He got there in a late model Honda 2-door. But he had a real jack and a high powered electric nut driver, and got the tire changed in less than 5 minutes.

So, Plan B. Off to Toyota to get the tire fixed or replaced, because it's supposed to be under warranty. I get there at 2 pm, there are no managers to talk to. The guy helping me says it's his first week there. It's a sidewall puncture so it's not covered. I told him to have the manager call me tomorrow, meanwhile replace the darned thing. It took them about 90 minutes. They charged for everything, labor, weights, more labor.

Then I went to the beauty supply. She said they did not have any metallic colored gels, just pastels, but she remembered the manicure person just bought some online. She found it, I took a picture with the phone. From there to UPS, where the package was my blood sugar meter test strips. I wonder where the calendar is?

Back to work, the script waited till I was watching before it hung up. Timing issue, easily fixed.

Started it up again at 5:45, left at 6, home for just enough time to get the mail, update Quicken and leave for the second voice lesson with Peninsulairs.

This one had a bit more substance to it, maybe half an hour's info in an hour's time. Then they "treated" us to the full chorus performing two numbers. One would have been enough. Same one as last week to start off, You Make Me Feel So Young with a disgustingly corny add-on intro which Mack Gordon never intended. Here's how it should sound (with a whole lot of over-choreographed dream scene):
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The other number was As Time Goes By, also with a long intro, but this time it was authentic, though it was cut from Casablanca. Here's Johnny Mathis singing it:

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Anyhow, enough of them were out of tune to make it not as enjoyable as it should have been. Bailed as soon as I could.

Plans for tomorrow: