October 17th, 2014



Got to work at 9, mostly so I'd be there and working in plenty of time for the 10:16 am earthquake drill. This time it went quickly (last year it started late and it took about 15 minutes for the monitors to check on us - a long time to stay under my desk, especially when it would be safe to come out after 2 minutes.

Almost right after the drill was an automation meeting, with an impressive demo by a team mate who automated a very complicated signal generator.

Did some actual work. Lunch at Togos was boring.

Home, turned on the Jets/Pats game and ignored it while on the PC comparing the lenses I have for the D70-90-300 (DX) to what can be used on the new D800E (FX). Turns out I have 6 DX lenses but only 3 FX lenses. The good news is the FX lenses will be fine for my trip next week, and I should be able to make some $$ selling the DX lenses and the D300. I don't think I can get anything for the D90, maybe one of my relatives could use it.

Did a little more research into Ventura, decided that between the local bus and light rail I'll be able to get around. Probably will be able to get some good surfing photos.

Spent some time customizing the D800, adding a copyright tag and setting the prefix for the filke names, and also setting the camera for full FX mode (the previous owner was using DX lenses and JPEG instead of raw).

Last night I took about an hour and a half to fill out the beta test results for the cable modem/router from the company. It's really a next gen Motorola Surfboard modem with a 2.5/5GHz wifi router slapped on. When I get back from vacation I'll put the ASUS router and Cisco modem back in place.

In sports news, the Jets did indeed lose again, but only by 2 points, and they put 20+ on the board. The Giants won their game, clinching a spot in the World Series. Unbelievable, considering the crappy last 2/3 of the season they had. I think they are going to get clobbered, but I've said that before.

Family news, my last surviving aunt is being moved to an Alzheimer's care facility. She's in NYC, and sadly I found out from a cousin's posting on FB asking if anyone had a pickup truck and could help move some of her things. This is a guy who has time to run a music events web site.  Two of my sisters called her today, and she apparently is mostly lucid.

Plans for tomorrow:
Fry's? The 800 uses a USB 3 cable, I only have 2's.

So Tired

I am so tired I thought I already wrote today's post, but I spaced out and did something on Facebook which I'll copy here in another post

Work by 9:30, there were alleged bagels. Noah's has for a while now been passing off dinner rolls shaped like bagels as bagels. I picked one which I thought was egg, but it turned out to be pumpkin. Not a good taste with plain cream cheese. I also grabbed a chocolate muffin, which made a good antidote.

some follow-up work to do, but nothing engrossing. I tacked my 1989 quake survivor T-shirt to the outside wall of my cube. Two reasons: It doesn't fit after lots of washings, and I don't wear T-shirts at work because I need a pocket for my reading glasses, insulin pen, cell phone and ball point pen.

Lunch was Carl's Jr., I had one of the new piled high with bacon burgers, but what it was piled high with was more like thinly sliced ham. Good, but not bacon.

While at work Fedex sent two notices of packages being delivered. Two different tracking numbers, same sender. I had bought a French Horn on eBay, from the tracking number it appeared to have been sent to the wrong address. Somehow it went to Newark, across the Bay. Not finding me, Fedex sent it back to the shipper. I had already alerted him to the Newark, then Sacramento tracking. He apparently re-shipped it, this time with the right address. Or maybe he sent me a second French Horn, expecting the first one to be returned to him.

Anyhow, according to the two Fedex notices, there was a package at my front door and one at my back door.

On the way home, stopped in at Fry's for a USB 3.0 cable of the kind which fits the camera, and a USB 3.0 PC card.

Home, there was just the one package, at the back door. Opened it, and it was a box of Styrofoam peanuts with a French Horn case buried inside. The case was old and rusty, the horn inside was old , but not as beat up as it looked in the auction. The valves and slides all work, but I didn't try playing it, not feeling motivated enough to drag my trumpet case out of the bedroom closet and extracting my French Horn mouthpieces.

That mystery solved, opened up the PC to install the card, but the only safe PCIE i/e slot had my fancy ASUS 802.11 ac wifi adapter. I don't really need that, I can plug a USB adapter in (there's one around here somewhere). So I pulled that and installed the USB card and the drivers, plugged in the cable and the camera, and it worked like a champ. The cable which came with the camera will go in the laptop bag.

Plans for tomorrow:
Walk to light rail by 11:54, take it to NASA, tour NASA
K&S Photo in Palo Alto, see if they have a Nikon 24-120mm f/4 lens in the used collection for a reasonable price.
Coffee w/Janice (she's going to NASA earlier, with a date and twins she takes care of on occasion)


25 Years Ago

Obligatory "Where were you 25 years ago?" Post. I was working at the HP Response center, 2nd floor, in a cubicle with three walls on which were bolted covered bookshelves. The covers were up, and there were large binders wall to wall to wall of all manner of HP manuals, including the entire current set of HPUX. My workstation was on the desk module, a very sturdy slab of laminated pressboard. I was wrapping up the day's work when the place started shaking.

This was my second major earthquake, I'd been in German class in high school in Seattle in 1965, http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm… and had also been way too close for the second Mt. St. Helens eruption. So there was no panic.

I went under the desk, and watched the manuals walk their way to the edges of the shelves and lemming dive my cubicle, it was sort of slow motion. The electricity went out, but we heard the emergency generator out in front of the building fire up. And die. And its backup sputter and die.

This was a very new building, designed to withstand a quake. At orientation when we moved in they told us the floor-to-ceiling windows were designed to fall outward instead of breaking. They shook, but they held. Good news for all of us parked on the rooftop parking lot, where they would have fallen.

When it was clear we were not getting power back, they sent us home.

All the stop lights were out, and the only exit was to Central Expressway which was like a parking lot. It took me 2 hours to get home 2 miles away.

Caught in traffic, I tuned in the World Series, expecting it to continue after the shaking stopped, but heard about the Bay Bridge top deck making itself into a ramp to the lower deck, and the BART transbay tube being closed, effectively stranding the A's players at Candlestick Park.

I can't remember if the power was on at home, but I do remember watching the Cypress structure horror on TV, so I guess there was power by then.

The next couple of days at work were spent picking stuff up off the floor. One of the water pipes in the basement broke, flooding the server room, and the quake-proof columns holding up the underground lot had cracked and the lot was permanently closed.

I went to Watsonville to take photos, and also Santa Cruz. They had been hit very hard.

At the end of the month I moved out of the half of the duplex I was renting, donating a lot of my stuff to Earthquake Relief (not Red Cross because they wanted cash, and not the Salvation Navy because they Jesus up the folks they give to), putting most of my remaining worldly belongings into the car and parking it at the Response Center. Took my camera gear and a backpack of clothes and sundries and got on a plane for Bali and Thailand. The new renters were kind enough to babysit my piano, and a friend took care of my tall Infinity speakers.

I have a lot of photos of the Watsonville and Santa Cruz damage, but they are prints, and I'm not feeling the urge to get them out and scan them. Photos of my Bali/Thailand trip are here:
Phuket, Krabi, Pangnga:
Southern Thailand:
Central & Northern Thailand: