July 12th, 2014


How Did It Get To Be Tomorrow Already?

Oh yeah, I went shopping after work.

Before work I pulled the already sealed box with two RMAs for Amazon out of the trunk of the car when I noticed that the jeans shorts were supposed to go to a different place than the hangars. So I pulled the shorts out of the big box and put them in a small box with the right RMA barcode. Now I have two packages to go. Will drop them off tomorrow.

Work itself was mostly boring with a couple of moments of not so boring. The not so boring was we got the new build for the current product (but not the new build for the new product, which we expected yesterday) and there was a very easy to verify bug which I had to check was fixed. The other not so boring piece was a test case review meeting during which the guys from upstairs were supposed to present the drafts of the test cases which they are the experts in, but they didn't. I think the moderator was too tactful in the way he told them they had not met expectations, but I think the boss would have been the same had he not been on vacation. I told them what I thought of their idea that "we should split up into small groups" to write these. No way, Jose.

Went to Carl's Jr for lunch because they are close, the meeting was at 2, and my lunch is at 1 usually. I shouldn't have bothered being there on time.

Toward the end of the day I remembered where I had gotten foreign currency for my Thailand trip, and they are closer to me than the one which messed up the other day. I was able to order online, and will pick up the bills tomorrow. This will give me the 200€ and 200£ I wanted.

After work, the shopping list was simple:
Baseball bat
Water filter pitcher & filter

Sports Authority ought to have both, I figured. After much searching and I did not find a water filter pitcher, but I did find some water filter bottles, a $95 hand-held filter pump for disinfecting river water, and a hang-it-from-a-tree variation on that, I asked. The young man I asked looked where the no-name brand bottles were and said that they appear to be sold out of the bigger items. He went on to claim that Camelback did not make filtered devices. Which is when I knew he was full of excrement because Camelback filter bottles were right around the corner.

They did, however, have baseball bats. I thought I wanted a #32, because that was the size of the bat my dad let me use, which was too big for most of the other little leagers but I pounded out home runs galore with it. But back then I was 5'2" and 120 lbs, so the #32 is kind of puny now. I got a Louisville Slugger, which did not seem to have a size marked on it, but it is nice solid wood, easy to swing, and is now my defensive weapon of choice in the new home.

Took my shopping list to The French Store™, where they had colorful Brita filter pitchers on sale. I got a bright yellow one. The pitcher is clear, but the filter receptacle and cover are yellow. And a 4-pack of Brita filters, which cost the same as a 4-pack of no-brand because coupon.

Next on the list was a condolence card. I found one which would do if I could pull out the insert which had lame words on it.  

My 8" chef's knife has lost its edge, can't even slice a lime. I shopped for chef's knives, because they had some for not a lot of $$. Settled on a Japanese Santoku style solid-feeling 7" from Calphalon. I am very disappointed that my preferred 10" chef's knife size is rarely sold anymore, and then it's usually $300 or so.

Also on the non-list was something which could hold 2 quarts, made of glass, preferably with a non-airtight, non-metal lid. They had 2-quart Ball jars on sale, and a set of plastic sipping lids for them. Score!

An impulse buy was a bottle of diet cola mix for the Sodastream.

Home, the long-awaited box of 180 hangers was on the back stoop. Three boxes of 60, taped together. Those will stay in the laundry room (right by the back door) for now.

Went online, was surprised to see email from Travelex saying my currency was ready to pick up. Their online calendar said Sunday. That's okay because I had called Petco to confirm the vaccination people were now there daily, but was told the web calendar lied, and it's only Sundays. So I flipped the two.

Also in email was Domino's boarding confirmation from PetSmart.
Dinner was pre-cooked bacon criossant sandwich and cherry chocolate chunk ice cream with crushed pistachios. Domino got some of each.

I gave the knife a test drive, it cuts limes like a champ. I could have used a knife like that to cut it out of its sealed hard plastic case.

And now it is after 1 because I forgot that I left the water trickling into the filter pitcher. For almost an hour. Which meant an OCD session of pouring off the unfiltered part, measuring out 4 ounces of rye slour and 4 oz of filtered water into the Ball jar, and stirring it into a thick paste. I thought it would have needed to be thinner, but the recipe said no. Capped it with the plastic top, which has a straw hole and an air hole in it, and set it on top of the stovetop, because it's a gas stove with a pilot light always on. Wish I could fix that.

And I also rememebred to feed Domino another glop of canned food. She was a good girl today and pooped in the litterbox and not somewhere I might step on it.
Plans for tomorrow:
10 am opening ceremonies down the block for the new playground. Refreshments and photo ops
Noon-ish, Mayfair Mall, collect my foreign bills, have lunch in the food court, and admire the beautiful people. Maybe see a movie.

At Least It's Less $$ Now That There's A Newer Model

Last things first. Went outside after dinner, dusk, to water the roses. While reeling in the hose and leaning down to tuck the sprayer under the reel, my cell phone fell out of my pocket and the screen smashed into many spider web patterns. The bad news is the image doesn't come on at all. The good news is it powers up, and I was able to backup all the data. And the other good-ish news is replacement units are available for about $200 less than what I paid when this was the latest model, because there is a newer model now.

So instead of my day starting with no clear plan for the morning,  I will be going to the Mountain View Best Buy. My OCD is injured by this somewhat, because the original plan was to go to MV at 5 for coffee with Janice, after taking the feline in for shots on the other end of Sunnyvale. I dislike going back and forth.

Which is what I did today, thanks to the GPS' out of date database.

But let's back up to morning. I got up and out just in time to walk to the new park about 6 blocks away for the grand opening. People with children in tow, in strollers, in backpacks, on their shoulders, etc. were pouring out of CondoHell on the side of the street across from the mobile home parks. Not many of us old folks, though.

All I knew about this park is it included the bike/walking trail which has been there for years, and there was a kid's slide in the shape of a dragon. Boy, was I in for a surprise. They have built the most comprehensive open air recreation center evah.

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The other 270 or so photos are here. There is a huge grass playing field, a sandbox area, separate swings for kids and toddlers, lots of parking, lots of drought-friendly landscaping  with all underground, recycled irrigation.

All this time I thought they were building more condos.

After a quick lunch I was off to Valley Fair Mall, which has the Travelex foreign exchange kiosk.

On the way there I punched for the nearest UPS store in the GPS database, and it sent me about two miles down Winchester, so a place which may have had one in the distant past, but is now a couple of seedy massage parlors and some other Asian small businesses.

The next nearest UPS was on the way home, so I went to the mall. My pounds and euros were assembled and waiting for me. Unlike the bills they gave me at The Great Mall's CEX booth, these are all pristine notes, uncirculated, no gangsta tags on them. Mostly 20s, but some 10s and 5s, so I'll be just fine.

Celebrated with a napolean at the newly remodeled food court. They have made it very posh, and have kicked out some name brands (McD's, Sbarro, etc.) and replaced them with one-offs. There is more seating, arranged much more sensibly than before, which translates as I had a very nice view and there was a lot to see.

I would have liked to stay longer, but the UPS closes at 5, and it took 20 minutes to get to. Once there, dropped off the two RMAs for Amazon and got a receipt. Amazon already credited the refunds, but they will have to add to one because they had split up an order, and I had canceled the second part but they sent it anyway. So the RMA is for 6 units, and they are getting back 10. Or something like that.

Home, the Zerowater filtered dispenser for the fridge was delivered, so I set that up, and pulled out the non-filtered one. It will go into the shed with the emergency stuff. The new one is in the fridge. Yesterday's pitcher is kept at room temp for the sourdough experiment, which was not a WIN because the recipe was wrong for rye. Not a problem, nothing hurt except time, it just needed enough water to make it not a solid. So I added water, and more flour. Maybe tomorrow there will be yeastness.
Processed the park photos and uploaded them. Played online a bit. Dinner was a pair of Red Baron personal pan pizzas, followed by strawberries and coffee ice cream.

Attempted to work on the weekend's Big Project: Putting all my T-shirts on hangers instead of folded and crammed into shelves in the closet. The plan was:

1. Pull out all the T-shirts from the left side of the closet
2. Remove the shelves
3. Cannibalize hanger rods from the office closet
4. Install them in the bedroom closet
5. Repeat for the right side of the closet

Showstopper at #4. The previous owner had the closet inserts custom made, and while the bedroom has two 30-inch-wide sections, the office has a 31", a 27" and a 14".  While the sections can move left and right along the main slider (after a couple of screws are loosened) there is no way to make the 30" sections wide enough to take the 31" rods.

So now my bed is full of T-shirts and I need to pick up a pair of spring-loaded rods which can adjust to a 30" closet space.
Caught up on the Book of Face, and here I am.

Plans for tomorrow:
Best Buy - replace the phone
BB&B - buy a pair of 30" spring-loaded clothes/curtain rods
Domino shots
Janice coffee