August 10th, 2014

NASA_bighead

Wasted Youth

Wasted eldsth, too. Really made up for sleep loss this morning and was Just Plain Lazy to boot. Domino kept coming in and not quite curling up near me, which makes me crazy. If the light is on she will eventually lie down on the fleece at the foot of the bed, but as soon as I turn of the light she plop-plop-plops down the hollow pet steps and leaves the room, usually to curl up on the other side of the house in the only circular cat bed she ever uses anymore. She has 4 identical ones, but doesn't use the others.

PC project was to edit my calling cards for Worldcon, which meant adding my Model Mayhem ID, Twitter @name and Loncon3 logo/UK phone number on the back, and changing my talents on the front/bottom to once again include palmistry, and changing Bad Puns and Witticisms Witty retorts. And swapping the profile photo to a clearer head shot. It took too long because Adobe InDesign has some inconsistent behavior around grouped objects.

So now I have 50 of those which is probably 49 more than I will give out at the con.

Took off for Mountain View, which was very crowded. Nice day, temps only in the low 70s, stiff breeze. I found a parking spot near Starbucks and walked to the park behind the library/city hall and read more of that final Campbell novel. It is way too long. Only 50% done, it feels like I've read a whole novel and then some. Fantasy, and the author is making the rules up as he goes. I'm sorry it's too late to change my vote to "no winner". I will probably bail and switch to a non-sci-fi novel for the plane ride.

Met Janice for mochas at 4:30, we talked till almost 7, which scotched my half-vast plan to go to the SJAA meeting in deepest darkest south San Jose. Fired up the laptop and updated its Quicken data, and then copied my PC's Outlook data to it. This solves the problem I thought I had that all the tickets and such electronic versions were on the big PC in email, not on the phone or tablet or laptop.

Also got email from Belgian No. 2 that he will meet me for dinner the evening I arrive. CCed Belgian No. 1, whom I expect will join us. No. 2 took me seriously when I asked for a Thai restaurant. Between the two of them, they speak all the European and some Middle Eastern languages. Which I do not. But they don't speak Thai. Which I do.

Played another episode of Virgin Territory and one of TMZ on Tivo. Decided not to watch the Seahawks lose to Denver. Virgin Territory actually has its moments. There is one imbecile who is a virgin because he is Christian, goes to a Christian college, and is a total player. He leads girls on and then dumps them when they get too close. He has a killer body, rock climbs like a monkey and thinks nothing of a 7-mile run in the woods. One girl he broke up with because when he asked her, on a date at a tea shop, what she would rather do on a date, snowboarding or tea, she answered that she wanted to talk and get to know him on  date, so tea. He thinks he is super-Christian for tattooing a Jesus quote across his chest and a bar code (I don't get what that was for) next to it. Totally ignoring the Old Testament prohibition against marking your body for religion. Leviticus 19:28: "You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD." In Hebrew it is more clear that the no-tattooing prohibition is included in the "for the dead" phrase.

There is one guy who is no longer a virgin who banged a chick whom he claimed to want a relationship with, but as soon as his financial aid was approved, her dumped her to go back to FL to play around. Asshole. And there is a new addition, a very pretty but chubby redhead who thinks she can be a model. She had an el cheapo photo shoot done in a single bikini, and made a portfolio of that, then presented it to someone at a modeling agency, who did his best to not laugh outright. He gave her more hope than he should have. She could be a hair model, but maybe not even that because she has dull black eyes, and the market wants light colored eyes, especially on a redhead. One other new girl is downright homely, and thinks guys don't like her because she is flat chested. Nope. A boob job will not fix that face. A personality would. They dumped the tall black woman who kept saying "no ringie, no dingie". She wanted to stay a virgin until marriage as an over-reaction to having a grandmother who is young enough to be her mother.

Did the laundry. I was surprised how many shirts there were. Not a lot of socks because I have been wearing Tevas all week because the doc said the rashes on the side of my left foot were from shoes and socks and humidity and friction. Doc was wrong. Tevas are difficult for me to walk in, they just don't make them in my size. So it is back to sneakers and socks tomorrow. And today I went back to jeans (had been wearing jeans shorts for a couple of weeks).

Plans for tomorrow:
Nails
Haircut
Start packing. I have most of the trip-specific items in a box on the coffee table and the carry-on is next to that. The box is much smaller than the carry-on, but there is still clothing to go in. I have maybe 25 T-shirts which I could wear at Worldcon, but need to settle on maybe 4, and a Hawaiian shirt. The plan is to have laundry done by the hotel the day before I leave London, which will last me the rest of the trip. I am going to try to do this without checked luggage.  One thing which will help is I can buy presents for the family at the con, no need to pack them.

NASA_bighead

Prepday

I keep thinking I am forgetting something. Because I probably am.

Good night's sleep, dawdled a bit before going out. First stop was for a manicure/repair. The last manicure ended up all broken and chipped, partly my fault, partly cheap acrylic. Discovered that the new Amazing Cuts across from the nearest light rail station also does nails. Huge place, busy though. She was a little rough removing the acrylic, and she had to cut the nails way short, but she did okay. Next on the list was a haircut, I could have stayed there but there was a long line and I like how Great Clips knows what to do, so I went there. After chatting away for the whole haircut, the nice lady's name tag was hidden by a fold in her blouse, turns out she is Thai. We chatted in Thai a wee bit, to be continued next time, I guess.

Home, because lunch (I will be eating out for the next 2 weeks, wanted to eat at home), and I wanted to do a dry run to the new (to me) park and ride. It's dead easy to find, easier than the one I had been going to for years, which is now airline crew only. 10 minutes with no traffic, probably 20-25 when I need to go Tuesday morning.

Home, relaxed on the porch and watched. phone videoed the hummingbirds, There are now about 6 regulars, as many as 4 at a time hovering. When the sun came around
I went inside and started packing. First up was camera gear, and I wasted some time formatting a handful of 16GB SD cards in the camera. And one CF card. There's a 32GB SD in there by default, I may not use it all, but who knows? Anyhow I have far more storage than I will need, which is the way I like to travel. Three batteries and a travel charger, the GPS unit and its connector cable, bluetooth remote shutter release and charging cable. Nikkor 35mm f 1.8 lens (50 mm 1.4 is faster, but not wide enough for con pix). Taking the D300s, even though it is heavier than the D90. And a Nikkor 18-200 VR lens. 55-300 is too heavy, and the Tamron 18-270 and Sigma 28-300 have not connected with the autofocus very well. Traveling light, no fancy filters.

The laptop, charger, mouse and neoprene sleeve were first into the dinosaur knapsack, along with USB and ethernet cables. Next came a change of underwear and socks, then the camera gear fanny pack, camera (with mouth cap) and zoom lens in a Nikon velvet bag. The rest of that knapsack will get meds and Hgl test kit.

As I was wrapping that up, I realized all my luggage tags are the non-con version, they don't have my UK phone number, and the headshot is a profile which is hard to make out. I couldn't find any more of the lamination kits (Scotch makes 5-packs) so headed for Office Depot, also in search of blue dry-erase markers. Found markers right away (they don't sell single colors except black), but it took a while to find the business card-to-travel tag kits.

Home, discovered the lamination kit needed a laminator machine. Boo. Hiss. I'll have to look elsewhere tomorrow for the kind I need. Probably won't have time to take these back till I am home from the trip.

Next was the carry-on, it has a mesh section in the top clamshell, which got toiletries, extra pair of reading glasses, 6 PAL DVDs (three plain, three blu-ray) of the musical and one Howard's Grossest Hits CD for the Interfilk auction. I was going to take more, but why?

It was tough choosing which shirts and Ts to take, and there was a bit of a panic when I tried to pack the magic towels for Shana, but that was because they are shipped in large plastic tubes. No reason to keep them in those, they decant into something the size of a car wash chamois. I was out of space in the main section with a T and a Hawaiian shirt still to go, but the stuff in the mesh was loose and rattling around, to those went in there for buffering. Managed to close and lock the carry-on, barely.

Now I need to consume mass quantities.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
Duck out at noon:30, go home, bring Domino to PetHotel in MV, then back to work.