November 17th, 2013



Busy morning, not so busy day

10 am I was at the mobile home park, there was only one initial and two signatures to do. Rent amount was less than I remembered but more than the pre-sale paperwork from the real estate agent said. Hers forgot the mandatory rent increase for a change of tenant (yes, my city actually requires this!). It took abnout half an hour to be filled in on Stuff, and I was given a welcome packet which included a lot of useful information and a totally useless pamphlet on flood survival and another one on earthquake survival which would be useful had I not already survived two of them.

I found out where guest parking is located, it's closer to the unit than I thought, but there isn't much of it. Not that I'm going to throw any parties.

From there to the library to return a couple of DVDs. They have a 1-week non-renewable, non-reservable policy on those, which sucks. They also don't alphabetize the DVDs on the shelves except by the first letter. Star Wars can be next to Sandman which can be next to Szwanaland. Not fun because there are two sections of "S" in back to back sections. The last time I was there some bozo was sitting on one of those round step stools pulling out the S DVDs one by one, browsing. Took him 20 minutes and he didn't walk away with any.

Lucky's, stocked up on TV dinners, restocked Breyers' thin mints ice cream and bought a whole Black Forest cake. Sometimes they sell them by the piece but today it was German chocolate cake in the little plastic cubes. And then World Oil for gas. Cheap as Costco but little or no line.

Home, emailed a copy of the lease to the mfg rep asst., made a TV dinner for lunch, sort of watched some football, but none of the games I was interested were on. Packed two medium boxes of T-shirts. There are enough left for the next 3 weeks, and then some. I also packed up the CPAP I haven't used in months (it came with a handy carrying case) and will try to return it next week.

Took a nap (it was a late night last night). Domino joined me for a while, but left when Kaan joined us.

Got to Sundance Steakhouse 20 minutes early for my 8:30 reservation, the hostess said to wait until 8:30, then they would have my table ready. There is noplace to wait in their non-lobby, and the bar area was full. It was chilly outside, but I waited there (read from the Kindle app on the Nexus) until 5 minutes till. Right at 8:30 they took me to the farthest table in the back.

Very low lighting, but the place was incredibly noisy. Looking around the room I was puzzled, because the architecture was made to dampen noise. But I was under the low end of the eaves, which probably focused the noise onto my side of the room.

After 5 minutes a waiter showed up, took my order and disappeared. Immediately after that, a young man in a white lab coat filled a dish with olive oil and vinegar, and went away. I saw him repeat this a few times at other tables. The cup of soup arrived 10 minutes after ordering it, and 25 minutes in they put hot bread on the table. The main dish arrived before I had finished one slice. The lobster tail was okay, but could have been more tender. The prime rib was excellent, very little waste on it. Not enough horseradish sauce, and no waiter in sight to ask for more.

It took about an hour to finish, my waiter only checked in with me once. It was 5 minutes after I'd finished that he noticed, and the check arrived. Another 5 minutes to have it collected and another 5 for the credit card slip to be returned. All this slowness and lack of service reduced the tip by a lot.

Home, gave the cats their treat, made myself a poor man's egg cream and caught up with computer stuff.

Plans for tomorrow:
Change the litterboxes
Goodwill, drop off some excess kitchenware.
Coffee with Janice

Sunny Day

Yesterday's library trip netted three audio books, which I ripped last night to the iPod. Listening first to The Scarlet Letter. It was required reading in school but I never read it, I can't remember why. There are two possibilities - one is that I was expert at listening to the class discussions and gleaning enough from what the teacher and students said to participate and pass the tests. The other is that it was required before 9th grade in Seattle but after 9th grade in suburban NY (I moved west in mid-9th grade). I doubt that, though, because in every subject I took, except Washington State History, I had already learned everything they taught us in 9th grade in Seattle. And some bits of 10th, 11th and 12th.

Also on the list but not read, I picked up Pride and Prejudice. The third book is a posthumously published Michael Crichton work called Pirate Latitudes.

The plan was to see the 11 am showing of Thor in 3D, as I was en route my youngest sister called, we had a very short chat since it is not far to the cinema from my place. Long enough to catch up a little bit at least.

Turns out Flixter was wrong, the showing was 11:10, which meant I could have chatted a lot longer.

I also saw Ender's Game playing in 2D at 11, but I want to see that in 3D. I suppose I should look online to find out if there is a 3D version, not IMAX.

Thor II, actually. I liked the premise, that the 9 worlds are entering convergence and barriers between them are becoming fuzzy, but the special effects did a miserable job of showing this. There is some fine acting from Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Tom Hiddleston as Loki. In a league of his own is the actor playing Bad Guy™ Malekith. Telling you who would be a spoiler. Jaimie Alexander's warrior princess is far more attractive to me than Natalie Portman's completely unconvincing astrophysics PhD. Tadanobu Asano is completely wasted in a barely larger than cameo role, while Idris Elba does a fine job in what should have been a tiny role (Heimdall) but the writers have made him a pivotal player, bringing diversity which was not in the original Asgard.

There are some attempts at comic relief, which fell flat for me, there is not a lot of humor or clever repartee in the script. The score is excellent. Audio mixing is so good I didn't even notice it. 3D was used to give depth to the movie, not to throw things at the audience or make us dizzy. Some of the makeup and costume special effects were very well done, some may have been CGI. Hard to tell anymore. But it all boiled down to effective design.

The Loi Krathong scene was very touching.

Way too much gratuitous violence and destruction.

Worth senior matinée price.

A quick trip home turned into a bit of football watching, the Raiders got off to an excellent start. Not so the 49ers.

Was meeting Janice for coffee in MV at 5:30, I usually get there an hour early to play on the laptop and secure a good seat. Loaded up a shoebox full of chef's knives and other extra kitchen implements I never use, and another small box of coffee cups and small glasses and soup bowls which are breakable and I have too many of, and a mattress cover and took them to Goodwill. GPS said there was a drop-off in MV either by Target or across the street by DQ, but I didn't see one so went to the one in Palo Alto. Despite the detour, I was at Starbucks at 4:00. Almost ran out of things to do online.

Had a good chat. Janice is to blame for giving me the idea of buying a mobile home so I told her all the crapola it put me through. She missed out on the FB stories because she was off for the last 3 weeks touring India, which she said was a daily revelation. Mumbai was a lot cleaner and more modern than she expected. The Ganges funeral pyre industry is a nonstop fire factory. And so on. I'm looking forward to photos. India is not on my list of places to visit.

Home, made the second container of Costco split pea soup for dinner. Yum! And a piece of Black Forest cake for dessert.

Earlier in the day as I was on the computer, Domino tried to jump up onto my lap, I gave him a boost and she stayed parked on my right thigh for about half an hour. And she sat on my thigh while I was watching football. She knows something is up. Not too surprising, since (a) I keep the bedroom door shut and (b) all the shelves are empty and there are lots of boxes stacked up. Kaan also has done his share of jumping on my lap, and I had to chase him off the top of the piano twice.

I was going to bring the CPAP to Goodwill, but decided to try to find the paperwork and return it to the place that sent it to me, but it looks like I threw that out. Maybe Kaiser knows.

Plans for tomorrow: