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November 13th, 2013

Slacker Day

At least I felt like I was this morning when the alarm went off as usual at 7, but I turned it off and turned off all the lights (they go on automagically at 7 too) and slept for another hour. Still got to work on time.

Needed 2 trips to the car, one for the very heavy package going to an eBay customer in FL, and the other for my cooler and netbook. While looking in closets for packing projects I found my ASUS netbook, which used to be my main travel computer, but it was slow and the screen is half height which meant I couldn't use it to work remotely. It is light and has an 8-hour battery and fits in a very small space. And then came tablets, but tablets don't have keyboards, or if they do they grow to be as big as a netbook.

Anyway, I took it to work, logged it in to the guest network, and started with Norton updates, which took more than an hour. And then there were 91 Microsoft updates. And after those installed there were 3 more. Took most of the day, but most of the time the machine just sat behind me cranking away. The new guest network is frustratingly slow.

In other news, apparently tomorrow my lab network connection will be by laser beam. In an attempt to bypass the idiotic firewall which Moto & Google had put in place [long story], our lab guy bought some relays which are hard-wired from the lab to something that looks like a UFO spy saucer, which shoots the data over a laser beam to a receiver which looks like a miniature anti-aircraft gun, and then is hardwired to our GigE adapters.

Continued verifying old bug fixes, took on one which soaked up way too much time because it needed me to force an update to fail multiple times.

Lunchtime UPS, two packages, an order from American Reading Glasses and a DVD I bought on eBay of a star-studded 1969 sci-fi movie called The Monitors. Susan Oliver (Peyton Place regular), Guy Stockwell, Larry Storch, Avery Schreiber, Sherry Jackson (teen daughter in Danny Thomas' Make Room For Daddy), Keenan Wynn, Ed Begley Sr., Adam, Alan and Matthew Arkin, Xavier Cugat, Senator Everett Dirksen, Stubby Kaye and Peter Boyle. 

Slight panic when mfg rep called and asked if I had heard from my insurance agent. Apparently the escrow people were having trouble reaching the woman who did my estimate. I reached her first try, she had been out sick, and yesterday was a holiday. she was about to fax the final quote over (we had to add flood insurance, because there's a slight chance of flooding in 100 years, based on surveys done before the freeway was built between the house and the Bay).

Also got a call from the school teaching Friday's uke class asking if they could change the time to 6:45 instead of 7:30. I said no. The time was the main reason I chose that class over the earlier one.

Home, watched  The Monitors, enjoyed seeing a stellar cast's video application to The School of Bad Acting. Misdirected by Jack Shea** (whose later discredits include Sanford and Son and The Jeffersons, Silver Spoons and Designing Women), shot on what looks like super-8 film boiled in developer fluid (contrasty & grainy). It was shot in non-contiguous scenes which were chopped together in a Cuisinart by rookie film editor Patrick Kennedy who went on to edit Airplane!, and while the video editing was horrible, the audio is pretty good except when the alleged music (by Fred Kaz) blares out or is so far in the background it can barely be heard. This was Kaz's first movie score, nd  was only hired to score a movie once more, in 1971.

The plot is simple: The Monitors are bowler-and-overcoat-wearing nondescript space aliens who have invaded the Earth, imposing peace and prosperity by gentle force and a barrage of propaganda. Most of this is on TV PSAs, complete with inane jingles sung in 4-part harmony. And lots of testimonials. Leading Man falls into an anti-Monitors group and along the way attracts two gorgeous women, both of whom are Monitors lackeys.

The film is interrupted several times by poorly done dream sequences, daydream  snippets and special defects.

Base on Hugo and Nebula nominee Keith Laumer's 1966 novel, It could be a really good movie if it was remade with a world class movie director, film editor and composer.

**Shea died in April at age 85


Today's packing achievements were small. I put the B&W negatives from the scanning company back into the box they came from and sealed that up. And I filled a medium sized box with whatever was on the top & bottom shelves of the small clothing/linen rack in the bedroom.
 
Plans for tomorrow:
Work
??

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