October 15th, 2014


The Morning After

Working from home this morning waiting for the state inspector to show up. Yesterday was interesting. Tested two bugs at once at work, both were things which the machine did when it was rebooted, so I had to reboot 10 times with checks for both bugs after each. One was fixed one wasn't. The one that wasn't needed some logging done that I had not heard of before - the guy who originally filed the bug showed me how. I'll have to mention to the boss that this is something which should have been taught to all of us.

But after that there was no work, and the fella in charge of the project came by to say there was nothing for me in the current build, and it looked to be like that for a while. So after talking to him and boss, I put in for a week of vacation next week. Spent a lot of time on amtrak.com trying to see what options I have. I can only be gone 7 days (this coming weekend there are events I don't want to miss - NASA open house Saturday and a master's degree performance by a friend Sunday).

I could just barely get to NOLA and back. Ditto a trip on the Empire Builder across the top of America, a trip I have never taken. But it's 24 hours and an overnight stay in Seattle just to get on board. Santa Barbara would work. San Diego could also work out but it needs an overnight somewhere between SLO and LAX unless I want to arrive in SAN at 1 am.

Lunch was at Sizzler. I forgot to mention that the day before I went to Great Clips at lunchtime to get de-fuzzed, and ate at Home Town Barf-et.

Home for just enough time to meow at the cat, then to CHM to hear an interview with the guy who wrote the Steve Jobs bio, and now has a new book which takes the history of computing from Ada Lovelace to the present. This guy has a resume which blew me away. Editor of Time magazine, CEO of CNN, now he runs a lobbying firm in DC. He didn't last long at CNN, 2 years I think, and probably got there through Time/Warner politics.

Anyhow, it was an interesting talk since as Time editor in charge of multimedia news he got to do 1-on-1 sit-downs with all the greats.

On the way home, stopped for gas, the machine refused my Citi Visa card, had to use my ATM card.

Home, had dinner, watched some TMZ with Domino, spent some more time with Amtrak. Logged onto Citi, which had a message that they could not provide info on closed accounts. WTF? Phoned them, the rep said Citi had closed my account 10/9 after I had used the card at Target, and was issuing a new one. No notice, no nothing. And stupid, because I didn't start using the Citi card at Target until after Discover, with due notice, closed my account and issued a new card because of the Target thing a month earlier. 

The old card is still accepting charges, which is pretty stupid, if the account was closed to protect me from scams. Looks like it's time for a new 0% APR card.

Meanwhile, I went online at Discover and looked at possibilities for redeeming my cashback points. They only do it in $20 and $25 increments, and I have $74 in credit. While I was there I paid off the automatic top-up from my Starbucks card. Maybe that will put me over the top.


That's done

Inspector showed up around 10:30, and signed off on the aircon permit in about 15 minutes. I went to the PO and stood in line for way too long for a Wednesday at 11, only one clerk on duty when I got there and everyone in line had a dozen packages which needed postage, insurance, customs forms and a note from their doctor. Picked up my package at 11:30 or maybe later.

Got it home, plenty of time to open it up, take a few shots from the camera, hook up the GPS and take a shot with that. It's basically the same as my current camera, except for the resolution in raw mode, which is about 3x. And it has some controls in more accessible places. But it uses different batteries and a non-standard USB connection. Two big things, it's lighter, and it has a lighter "kick" when the mirror flips up.

Made a snack-like lunch, ate it out on the porch, then took myself to the office.

Not much to do, but we got a bombshell email message. Boss' boss is coming back (he left a few months ago to be VP at a startup down the street). They have made him in charge of my group again, but they have also taken him out from under the guy from Corporate and given him the title. This is Good News.

There was an Atheists' meetup I was signed up to attend at 7, but when I re-read the blurb on it, changed my mind. Two reasons.
- Traffic between work and there is a PIA until the diamond lanes become open to all at 7
- The speaker is a Humanist®. The blurb sounds like he thinks Atheism is a religion, and he has built a hierarchy featuring himself at the top. This I don't need, and cannot support. He is all about being Moral™. Gag me.

So I went home, took a nap, read the first few pages of the new camera's manual looking for clues as to what is different between the D800E in my hands and the D800 which is slightly less expensive but seems to have the same specs. Nothing. The manual covers both, but nowhere does it says "except for the D800" or "only in the D800E". So I went online and was shown that it isn't a features thing, it's a quality thing. The E takes slightly sharper photos. But I can see the difference, so it's more than slightly for those of us who are more than snapshooters.

Made a potpouri dinner. I had three fish sticks, which went into the oven, five ravioli, which sat on the side as I sliced two sausages and dumped them into a pot of water on the stove, added a cup of elbow macaroni as that boiled, and when that was done, put the now cooked fish sticks on a plate, and slotted spooned the boiled stuff onto the empty part of the plate, and covered it all with American Singles, margarine pats, one piece of string cheese and Parmesan. It was yummy. Domino thought so too, as I ate it while watching TMZ. but when I gave her some she licked off the cheese and walked away.

I have my trip booked for next week. I went with Ventura. After looking at all the options, spending a week on the beach seemed like the best way to use 5 days of vacation without flying. Coast Starlight from San Jose to Santa Barbara, then the Pacific Surfliner to Ventura. Staying at one of my favorite chain motels across the freeway from the pier (there's a pedestrian overpass 2 blocks from the motel).  It's all daylight both ways, if the windows aren't too dirty or rained on, I'll give the new camera a workout. I've never been to Ventura, so there will probably be a lot of walking and photography.

Plans for tomorrow:
10:16 am earthquake drill. WTF? Our big one was on the 17th, at 5 pm. 1989.
11 am automation meeting. One of the team is doing a technology transfer, but apparently the delays which are sending me on vacation will put a dent in that.
Thursday Night Football. Maybe