October 31st, 2013


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A full day. Solved the mystery tunnel problem at work, and finished all the test cases on the to-do list. One of them I marked FAIL but it will probably never be fixed because (a) the person who wrote the code doesn't know how and (b) there are at least 3 easy work-arounds.

In an orgy of screen captures with lots of cropping in MS Paint, documented the tunneling process, and sent it to Automation Guy who is also the gatekeeper of the team's library of tips'n'tricks.

Lunch at Pollo Loco because I love their chicken and it has been a while. Their latest scam marketing deal is to offer rice and beans as the two sides with the combo plates, and charge extra if you want something edible instead. And they still don't understand "no tortilla, por favor".

It was chilly this morning, so I wore my Sharks jacket to work. It was still chilly at lunch time, so I wore it to lunch, but by the time lunch was over it was 72° outside and the sun was streaming in through the windows and I forgot my jacket on the back of the chair. Got to the last stoplight before work before I realized this, so wasted 10 minutes going back and grabbing it. Surprised it was still there, it's a nice jacket, $200 retail, XXL which means Gangsta size.

This morning I had put the 2nd baritone in the storage shed and hauled out the two sealed boxes which I was sure contained (box 1) 20x30 framed poster sized photos from the last Worldcon art show and (box 2) 18x12 sized ones. When I got back home after work, I opened them both, box 1 was what I knew it was, but box 2 had no photos, instead it was a 2/3 full box from USPS of non-flat-rate boxes (folded) sandwiched between two lazy Susans which I had given up for lost. I absolutely hate how movers pack things randomly. The boxes and photos are now in the dumpster, the lazy Susans are leaning up against the rack of shelves in the livingroom, next to the framed Thai temple rubbings and both will go into boxes later for the move.

On the Sunnyvale library for a NASA update on voyagers and Mars missions. Ames down the pike in Mountain View is the main site for coordinating the Mars program, among other things. Got there at 6:40, the door was still locked for the meeting room. Looked around the DVD collection, nothing caught my eye, wandered over to the audio books section and found Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things. checked it out, and saw the door was open. 10 minutes before the talk and only about 10 people were there. I grabbed a seat in the front row, put my camera and the Gaiman disk set on the chair to my right. Plenty of empty seats, no guilt. People kept arriving, but there were at least 20 empty seats throughout the talk. People, mostly kids, kept coming up, blocking my view, asking if they could sit there. Nope. Next time, come on time if you want a good seat. There are plenty of seats in the back, and plenty of standing room on the sides if you're short. Besides, this was announced as an adult talk, children not encouraged to attend. Of course there were 4x as many children as adults. I'm pretty sure this made the speaker dumb things down a bit.

There were a ton of questions, which cut into the 1-hour program considerably. Most were on topic, but also things which anyone interested int he subject ought to know. I learned one thing I had not known: Mars' atmosphere is too sparse to use for slowing down incoming craft, but dense enough that retro rockets might blow back and burn up the craft.

Home, ripped the Gaiman CDs to the iPod so can listen in the car. Also watched the latest Shark Tank and was happy to see Mr. Wonderful buy half interest in a scam business.Two Guidos from the brass knuckles collection company give small business loans in exchange for taking over the business' credit card processing, at a 26% payoff.

Deleted the Tivo of the Seahawks game, having heard how awful the ending was.

Caught the re-run of the last pitch of the World Series, kind of anti-climactic. Glad it's over in less than 7, and that the home team won it at Fenway after being nixed for 95 years. Meanwhile, the Giants need hitters. Enough already with pitchers. Pitchers don't score points. I don't care how many runs the other team scores, as long as we score more. More hits on both sides makes the game more exciting.

And speaking of sweeps, two of my FB friends this week have reported hilarious Roomba failures. I have too much stuff on the floors to make one practical. And they cost 3x more than a serviceable vacuum.

Got a note from mfg rep, nothing happening until about 11/20 or 21, when park lease gets signed and I hand over 2 months' rent. Scottrade shows the mutual fund sale to pay for this is now in my account, where it will stay until then.

1st choice Movers have not gotten back to me. Time to hit up #2

Plans for Halloween:
No costume. No candy
Work. I need to write some step-by-steps for test cases for the offshore automation folks
Movies straight after work. Or not. All the good stuff opens Friday. :-(

I promised myself

that I would get some sleep tonight, because I'll be going to a show tomorrow night and really don't want to doze off in the theater and possibly be eaten by zombies.

Last night's library event threw off my schedule, I didn't get to sleep until after 1 am,  and the alarm goes off at 7.

Somehow I managed to spend the whole day at work researching stuff, but not accomplishing anything which could be measured. I forgot that I had promised one of the automation people to write several step-by-steps for test cases which are missing them. Tomorrow, I promise.

I did get some personal stuff done. Went online and re-worked my list of movers. The one which moved me last time hasn't responded to Saturday's voicemail or Tuesday's email, I suspect they are out of business. They are definitely out of mine. #2 choice's web site was clearly primarily a commercial mover, specializing in whole office building moves.  So #3 it is, a company called The One Move. Weird name, but their web site is excellent, I filled out the form asking for an estimate and Josh called me within 2 hours, asked all the right questions, and gave me a verbal estimate followed by a written one. We are booked for the morning of December 5.

Lunchtime I went to the Sunnyvale Petco and talked with the Humane Society person there. She said that for Sunnyvale residents they definitely do accept surrendered cats, regardless of what the web site says, and she gave me a number to call and some clue on how to find the application form in the web site. It's a 4-page for which needs to be printed and filled out by hand, which I did at work. It's a pretty reasonable barrage of questions, written to not impose feelings of massive guilt.

I've been listening to Gaiman's Fragile Things in the car, most of the first disk is snippets describing, 1 by 1, in detail, how he came to write the short stories on the remaining 8 discs. I skipped those, and am in about the third chapter of the first story, which is a Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulu number. For reasons unknown, he is careful to avoid calling Holmes or Watson by name. And he pronounces Lestrade with a long "a". I've always said it with a short "a". "ah".

Got the scheduled call from the diabetes doctor about 2 hours late, we decided I need to swap veggies to replace pasta.

Home by way of Lucky's, for veggies and TV dinners. And it dawned on me that canned veggies were a wiser choice with an impending move than frozen. So I did a price comparison, and the canned ones were on average 20% less expensive, ounce for ounce. So I came home with very heavy shopping bags. Also got bananas and apples and limes.

That's the plaza with the batcave Starbucks, which is no longer cave-like, the facade has finally been completed, it is very pretty, and while there is still a fenced pathway it is only there while they complete the patio in front. I give it a week. Now they are tearing into the KFC and donut shop on the other side of the parking lot.

Juggled watching football (a dead boring game got very interesting at the end, went into overtime and was decided by a safety) with writing a cover letter and faxing the forms to the Humane Society, FB, LJ and Quicken. My paycheck was deposited a day early, and my mutual fund sale made it onto the broker's feed a day late. I won't need that cash until about the 21st. And December 1. And January 1. The movers will take Discover Card, which means almost a month of free money plus a whopping cash back.

And now my conscience tells me I need to pack one more box of CDs.

Plans for tomorrow:
Zombie Prom at Sunnyvale