July 19th, 2015


Cloud Day

Not a lot of sun, so when I got up and looked outside I thought it might be a good gardening day. Except when I stepped outside around noon, it was very humid, and very hot. Thailand hot, and almost as humid. My Thai lime tree loves this weather.

So instead of going anywhere I stayed inside and enjoyed the aircon, played online and watched bad TV. Nothing on the radio worth listening to, it's all replays or real estate or investment bad advice.

Had it been cool and non-humid, the idea was to hunt up all the nurseries in the area, and look for catmints. But that was scratched.

4 pm I was off to Janice's, where she wanted to demonstrated her Amazon Echo. She loves it, voice recognition is a new thing for her (I worked with it as early as the first TRS-80, and professionally with HP Labs in 1990, so I am not impressed). One FAIL is it answered to my voice, even though she had "trained it" to hers. Another FAIL is the audio quality of the music player is horrible low-bitrate MP3. But she doesn't really hear the difference, and not having to dig out CDs from her rack and finding the right track was a plus for her. I'll give her that. A partial fail is it could not accurately parse commands or requests from across the room. IMHO not worth $180.

From there we went to a nearby Starbucks for our usual chat. We both need to write a nastygram to Starbucks about their stupid plan to serve booze at our favorite location. That location loses at 7, currently, which means it would have to stay open later to offer the alcohol service. And it will need to add over-21 staff. And there will be drunks, because that store gets the walk-by traffic from Shoreline Amphitheater when it lets out.

Delivered today was a pair of Belkin WeBo A/C switches. I already have Z-wave on all my pluggable lights, and it works okay, but I can't control those over the internet. I installed one switch ion the livingroom and plugged in the fan, and after one slight burp it worked fine. But at $45 a pop, it may cost less to find a wi-fi-to-Z-wave adapter. But maybe not, because the WeBo has a scheduler built into the app.

I'm also tempted to have a new overhead fan installed in the bedroom, one with lights and a remote. Maybe.

Whipped up some correspondence to the denture clinic, with a copy of the estimate I paid in full, and a request for a legible accouting showing what cost me $209 more than the estimate. That's $418 total, which is close to a 15% hike.

Did some late afternoon gardening, pulled up all the non-blooming Bees Friend plants, which was most of them, making sure to spread some of the seeds around. I put off watering because the sky was darkening and it felt like it might rain. But it didn't. I'll water tomorrow night if it doesn't rain tomorrow.

Decided not to pull up the poppy plants, because even without flowers they are a pretty silver color & feathered pattern. And was amuse to see poppy plants coming up where I seeded them in the part of the rose garden which had been bare,  under the juniper. Lee planted some flowers there before I could stop her, and I'll have to tell her to move them, so the poppies can grow.

Tried making caramel walnuts using brown sugar, but it didn't quite work. So I tried again with white sugar, which worked well, and poured that over the brown sugar ones. Tastes good, but with a hint of carbon.

Dug out Spook's adoption papers to see (a) if I heard correctly that she might need dental work and (b) to see if it was time yet to find a vet and get her shots up to date. The answer was no to both. The dental was on Kaan's paperwork, and Spook isn't due till October for a vet trip.

But in the process I re-read NineLives' list of hints, and one of them was to get a stuffed toy the same size as the cat so she has something to play fight. As well as smaller toys (which she has plenty of) which she can bat around and carry in her mouth like prey. So I went online and bought two plush toys for her. A calico cat and a panda. Both just a wee bit smaller than her. I measured her. 42" from paws to tail tip. Half of that is tail.

Plans for tomorrow: