June 14th, 2014


Honey Mooning

Tonight's adventure was well planned, NOT. The plan was that about 8:45 I would drive somewhere which has a clear view and take photos of the legendary "honey" moon. The place I chose was a huge athletic field complex with God's Own Parking Lot™. It's right next to the sunnyvale bayshore park, which would have been a better choice but they lock the gates at sunset.

Got there, and every light on every field was lit, and the parking lot was way too busy. On the Plan B, the big parking lot at Mercado shopping center. Friday night, same issue, plus trees between the place and the moon's path. Plan C, the parking lot behind the big silver statue of Mary. This time there's a tall building across the parkway right where the moon would come up.

Plan D was the parking lot at work, but again, trees and buildings. So Plan Q. As I drove over the 101 overpass on Great America Parkway, there was that huge golden moon just coming up. It took a while to find a place to park, but only a block away is a McDonald's which has arranged to have big rig parking allowed on the street alongside it. From there I walked about 1/4 mile to GA Pkwy and took some shots with the 75-300 ISO 800 and 1600, using the auto everything setting. That got me a white blur. After some non-intuitive experimentation, I switched to manual focus, VR, and shutter speeds between 125 and 250. Even though the camera said those were way under-exposed, they came out great.

This would have been nice to do with the telescope, but I wanted to see what a 300mm lens could do. It was fine for what I wanted. Wish I had thought to bring a tripod and the remote shutter release.

It was quite a brisk walk up the overpass to catch the golden hue. It was mostly gone by the time I got back to the car and took some McDonalds shots.

On my way to work, UPS called, they expect to be able to maneuver my credit in such a way that I can actually take it. I think that means transfer it to my credit card.

Work was more interesting than usual. The engineer whom I emailed asking for clarification on a 75-step experiment he wrote up in a bug I need to verify is fixed punted it to a support engineer who was out of the office.

One of the local engineers figured out the problem and fixed a bug I filed yesterday. The fix was further proof that the person who caused the bug needs to back off from what he's doing and take my advice and use a better piece of software.

The weekly meeting on the new product test plan brought out some concerns Boss has which I cannot write about.

Roadrunner Glass called, we arranged for the shower door work to be done Tuesday morning.

Stopped off at Lowe's again, this time to buy a garden hose spooler. The hose I bought kinks up badly, the spooler has been on my list for months. Waited till it was on sale. Also got a hose attachment for soaping up the car and rinsing it off, and some Turtle Wax cleaner. When I got home I spooled the hose, then attached the car thing and washed the car.

Sui Mai and mixed veggies for dinner. Domino kept clawing my leg for food. To show her I had nothing she wanted, I tossed a piece of string bean to her. She loved it. She ate three more. 17 years and I never knew. I know she likes corn kernels, but was trying to discourage her from begging.

I was online when the alarm went off to take moon pix.

The whole set is online here: Clicky

Plans for tomorrow:
Atari programs at the library
Something else.  
Satan Claus

Atari Day at the Sunnyvale Library

Saturday June 14, aka Flag Day. Here are the flags I fly in front of the house:

Two countries which can't make Democracy work because money.

It was Atari Day at the library, the Digital Game Museum and its many volunteers filled the program room with desktop Atari games and people to keep them running, and the Teen section had four full sized arcade games and a row of computer sims. It amazed me how many grade school and preschool children were glued to Pac Man, Space Invaders and Breakout. There were also loads of more complicated cartridge games.

The highlight for me was a pair of talks by Atari alumni:

Don Kramer was the guy who gave us the track ball controller. He now lives up by Yosemite with his wife and tons of Atari "memorabilia".  He's retired, sort of, still repairing game consoles and controllers.

Al Alcorn was the real highlight for me. Al invented Pong.  He eventually became Atari's VP of engineering.

Between the two talks I made the mistake of walking to Denny's for lunch. It was very hot outside, and was about 7 blocks, not the 3-block meander I thought. I am sooooo out of shape. A walker would have helped.

I had the country fried steak, which was significantly thinner than I remembered.

On the way out of Alcorn's talk, a friend I'd met at last year's Westercon told me it was my FB post about this which got him there. Nice to help save the world just a little bit.

Home, the brokerage check was finally in the mailbox.

Plans for tomorrow:
County Fair or movies.
Deposit the brokerage check