February 6th, 2014


Beyond a shadow of a drought

Taken through my windshield in the Costco parking lot.

After the driest January in history, tonight's rain was a bit of a surprise (the weather reports were for a 40% chance) but it was light enough to not be a problem driving home.

Today work was spent following up on yesterday's test. Boss had wanted step by step instructions for the customers by noon yesterday, but the steps I was given were so far from accurate that it wasn't until end of day I was able to show the program probably had something wrong with it.

The routine went like this:
1. Upload all the files for an update to the test machine
2. Run a program on the test machine to use those files to update the machine
Sounds easy, no? Well, the way our network is set up, it took 2 hours to do step 1, and it turns out that the files needed to be uploaded to a particular directory, and the program had to be run from not-that-directory-or-anything-close. And the update takes about half an hour.

I needed to run 4 tests to validate the customers' process.

The good news is all the Seattle TV stations were live streaming the Superbowl celebration parade on their web sites, and Channel 13 (Fox) was the only one with rights to broadcast the ceremony inside the football stadium, which also bled over into the next door baseball stadium. I found that out just in time to watch.

Initial estimates, which the idiot media kept reporting was 700,000 people. But that was at about noon, and by the time the parade made it to the stadium there were probably a million. It was incredible. Seattle only has 600,000 in the city limits, maybe two million in Greater. Channel 13 is actually in the next city south, Tacoma. Wait a minute, I just checked and they have moved to downtown Seattle. Probably eons ago. Nobody pays much attention to them except when Fox lands some coup like the superbowl. And I think they used to do Creature Features on Friday nights.

Anyhow, I'm guessing susandennis got quite a show from her condo overlooking the stadium parking lot.

Speaking of football, I finally got around to checking for actual video showing Navarro Bowman being pelted with food by Seattle fans as he was carted off the field after being injured during the final playoff game. What I saw was after his cart was well into the tunnel, a few pieces of popcorn fell from above onto the end of the cart. none of it hit him, and it didn't look intentional. In short, no food was thrown. What reminded me was this:

Marshawn Lynch started a thing where it's a compliment to throw Skittles at players. Here he returns the favor. He is now an official spokesman for Skittles. When I was lookng for a Seahawks venue to watch the Superbowl, the place I found posted a plea to leave the Skittles home - they are impossible to clean up, especially in the nooks and crannies. Notice it is not raining. Seattle got a break from that, but it was freezing. Snow flurries likely tomorrow.

Lunch was at "New Tandoori Cafe", a hole in the wall created from two holes in the wall. It is next to Thaibodia, which was my original destination until I remembered how bad they suck after 1 pm. Tandoori was just plain bozarre. Layed out like two separate spaces, one a diner and the other more like a coffee shop, you order at what would normally be a hostess desk, seat yourself, and wait. I had the lamb tikka marsala, which had an odd taste but not awful, and it cleared out my sinuses over the course of the meal. The naan was huge and excellent. There was sliced lettuce with onion slice which they called a salad (no dressing). Biryani rice was the usual Indian crap. Some day India will learn how to grow rice. Maybe. Maybe not because the population is used to eating pig food. There was no water served or available. They had coffee and a refrigerated case full of mango lhasi and soft drinks.

After work I was starting to set Mathilda Ave Starbucks in my autopilot, when I remembered I had a long Costco shopping list. So Costco it was. I managed to spend > $200 and not get ice cream (they don't have any I like) or snack sized ziplock bags (they have none at all). So on my way home I gritted my teeth and picked those up at Fresh & Easy. F&E is not easy at all, every checkout line is self checkout. :-(

Home, lugged all that stuff to the car in 4 trips. Nothing in the mailbox. On the stoop was the pair of walking shoes I'd ordered. I went a half size larger because the identical pair I have been using is doing rude things to my toenails.

Pulled up the Little Shop performance schedule and poked those days and tech week into my Google calendar.  I hope I survive. 4 shows a week, 4 weeks. I bet they would get just as many audience members if they only did 3 weeks. And/or cut out the Thursday shows.

The director added me to their "secret" Facebook page, and several cast members sent friend requests. The guy playing the voice of Audry II has as warped a sense of humor as I do. It looks like a fun cast. I've already (last night) fallen in love with the ASM. She's hot, and laughs at my jokes.

After dinner I watched Channel 13's stream of the parade, but it stopped as they got to the stadium. They were going to live stream the inside ceremonies at 11, but I forgot. It'll be online tomorrow I'm sure. I saw most of it live, but there are spot I wanted to rewind and turn on closed captions.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work. No idea what I'll be doing. I ought to re-format those instructions which are in 3 different fonts.
Starbucks after

Throw it back

One of my FB theater friends posted a photo of a field of young pineapples, from the "Unbelievable sights" page with the caption "That awkward moment when you thought Pineapples grew on trees." He thought they did.

And this set me to looking for photos I'd taken in Thailand, where one of my jobs was to help rubber plantation farmers learn how to grow cash crops like pineapple in between the rows of rubber tree saplings. Malaysia and the FAO had developed a strain of rubber tree which yielded 10x what the Thai trees did, and were more insect and disease resistant. But it takes a rubber tree 7 years from seedling to producing, so the farmers needed to do two things: not pull up all their trees at once (we recommended 1/8 of the plantation each year) and find crops which could make them some money during those first 6 years.

I found photos on my randomly shuffled slide collection on Flicker, but they showed the pineapple bushes before the fruit had started growing. Looked like lemongrass. And that got me to remembering that I had three binders of slides which are on my "when I get around to it" list to have scanned and put on discs. So I turned the 3rd bedroom where they reside into a workshop and have filled 5 50-slide Costco boxes so far. Took a break for dinner, after I post this I'll do another 50 and call it a batch. There are more than 500 slides, but it's better to just do 500 at a time.

Dinner was Marie Calendar's amazing roast chicken frozen thing, with F&E ice cream for dessert.

Work today was all keyboard work. I started by taking some steps which had been sloppily cut and pasted into email messages, dumped them into Word and re-formatted everything into the same font and style and tweaked it for the next software release.

Next was a major cut and paste job, writing test case 1-liner summaries from the specs into Excel until boss cleared the database, and then pasted those into the database. Finished all I could with what I have on hand for specs (which are still under construction).

Lunch was going to be at impossible parking Starbucks. I wasn't hungry because I had somehow managed to go low blood sugar at 11, and ate glucose until I was back to normal. There was no parking, so I went to the next one on El Camino, which happened to be by Santa Clara Caltrain and I used to hang out there when I worked at Roxio at the other end of that lot. Set up my laptop because it needed some updates, and enjoyed the parade of co-ed eye candy. Today everyone was dressed to show of their fine little butts. Quite enjoyable.

Straight home from work, put the whites in the dryer and the shirts in the washer. The whites are now in the laundry basket waiting to be topped by shirts.

Now, back to putting slides in boxes.

Plans for tomorrow: