January 31st, 2016


Better than I expected

Spook waited till I was up before jumping on the bed this morning. I was up at about 9, and was ready in plenty of time to go to the Thai language chat meetup in MV. I was 15 minutes early, but wanted to see what was new on Castro, and there was a lot.

The film developing store is now a boutique clothing shop. There is a new Greek place with a banner celebrating 5 years, which is a lie. One of the Chinese places is now called the Asian Box. Go figure. Kapp's pizza which was also something else in the past, is closed for remodeling and some other brand will be there in a few months, according to the sign. The Thai place on the corner which had some suspicious kitchen fires and even more suspicious non-repairs is now Agava, or maybe it's where the Mexican place on the side street moved to and Agava is next door. Hard to tell. And that's only the first block.

Entered Amarin 5 minutes to noon, and was waved at by H, the meetup organizer. It was her, and her non-Thai-speaking French husband who speaks American English like a native.  About 10 minutes later we were joined by another member, a young man from Berkeley who went on a tour of Thailand, and was inspired to learn the language and return there to do some research in his field. Some kind of biology. We mostly spoke English, but H and & I answered some vocabulary questions for Berkeley guy. H learned to write Thai before she learned to speak, which is the opposite of me. It was a fun meal, and the waitress chimed in too.

Next stop, Capitol Ford, which despite the polarized Yelp reviews, was okay. As soon as I got to the desk C, a salesman, helped me, he showed me the cars I was interested in, and when another customer was done with finance and needed to see him again, he handed me off to a colleague, and returned when his customer had driven a new car off the lot. Colleague was good too. C also did the4 math on leasing vs. financing, and it's a wash. Bottom line is, not counting my trade-in, which may end up only paying off the rest of my 0% loan (I'm guessing), I'm looking at $1500 down and $50 a month more for the lease than for my current car payments. My recent experience has been that equity in a car is gone by the time it is paid off, so why do that?

No pressure, he had no problem with me not being interested in making a deal RIGHT NOW. His sales manager made a half-hearted effort, but realized nothing in the deal would probably change when I came back in a few weeks.

I liked everything about the car except three things:
There is zero storage space under the hatchback. And the hatchback cover is a tacky pull-out like the Prius has.
I was led to believe the battery could power the car on the freeway, but C said the gas engine kicks in at 40 mph.

The rear rear view is excellent, the front corners are partially blocked, the front end is exactly the same as the Prius. WTF? Side mirrors have built-on blind spot inserts. The backup camera shows warning lines and also shows where the car will go when you turn the wheel. The nav system has a large bright screen, and the map is easy to read.  

On the way to lunch, I dropped off the rent, and was told by the manager that no, they were not allowing 240v car chargers. I do 110 at the carport, so not a huge issue.

Home, delivered was a box which I thought would be my insulin, but it was a set of 5 carnivorous plants, which are supposed to slurp up the gnats.

I watched some of the Senior Bowl on Tivo, but it was a boring game, except for the Saints cheerleaders in their skimpiest outfits for the Alabama weather. I killed it after 3 quarters.

Watched an episode of Shark Tank and a little of the weather channel.

Dinner was oven baked fish fillets and mixed veggies. Rice pudding and an extra shot of insulin for dessert.

I gave Spook another of the mouse-like Star Wars toys, and she has already lost it somewhere. Eventually she will shove her paw under whatever furniture it is under, and extract it. And bat it to me.

Also delivered was a disk with CheckMagic on it, but it's not what I thought I was buying. I already had this program, and kicked it to the curb because it won't let me add my own background image, and it has an ugly GUI. So I spent too much time with CheckDesigner, entering the BofA data, and designing a check template. But after 4 tries it still looks wrong.  

Plans for tomorrow:
10-ish, get my beard trimmed and a haircut
If it rains, watch the Pro Bowl
If it is sunny, go to Ardenwood
If it's cloudy but dry, maybe shovel some wood chips and prepared the last section of the carport garden.
Coffee w/Janice
Take out the garbage
Howard Street


Usually I write this just before bedtime. Tonight I have yet to eat dinner and watch the recording of the pro bowl. aka Prob Owl.

Easy day. Up at 9, no Spook until I brushed my teeth. After meds and facebooking, I made the mistake of shutting down the PC at 32% of monthly 2Tb backup done. Had to fire it up again, Acronis automatically started backup again. As I write it is 94% done.

Went for a haircut & beard trim, hoping my beard would look like Graham Norton's. But mine is frizzy and his is coarse and lays flat:

FAIL :-(

Since Safeway was next door, I went shopping. Not-quite-ripe bananas for mid-week, and a lot of frozen dinners, and snacks like brie, pudding and fruit cocktail. And guilty pleasures of two pieces of Black Forest 1-layer cake (I talked myself down from a whole cake) and piece of German chocolate cake. Also wings and beef corn dogs.

WTF is it with boneless and way too spicy? None of the supermarkets are stocking real chicken wings except for ultra-spicy ones. Everything else is boneless, except for the jalapeño and sriracha wings, and only one or two brands of those. I guess I did see one package of honey glazed, but thiose may also have been spicy.

Home, kind of kicking myself for being near Sunnyvale Ford and not going there (because I had frozen stuff to put in the freezer - but it was pretty cold out). After stuff was put away, I was getting ready to go back to El Camino and Ford when the phone rang. It was Sunnyvale Ford, I let it go to voicemail. Ah'med left a message asking if I was still interested in seeing a Fiesta today. I called back and told him I was no longer interested in a Fiesta. Because I never was. So Sunnyvale Ford is now completely off the list, and maybe next weekend I'll drive down to Capitol Expressway and lease a C-Max Energi. I checked KBB, and my Prius should get me a wee bit more on trade-in than I have left to pay it off. Maybe enough for the $1500 down on the lease.

But first, the "requires service" message has been coming on, so Tuesday I'll have that taken care of, and if there is time to get the car detailed I'll do that at Lozano's along with a wash.

Low blood sugar was medicated with German chocolate cake.

3:30-ish, drove to MV *$s but the place was packed, even the patio, and it was cold and very windy, so I listened to music in the car for half an hour, managed to snag a table, and get a mocha. Fired up the laptop and did some updates & a couple of virus scans (Norton & Search&Destroy) and admire some eye candy. Janice joined me at about 5:20, and we had our usual chat. Somewhat unusual because she had cataract surgery in one eye, and is amazed how well she sees no. The other eye is this week.

Home, took out the recyclables, but the only garbage which needed taking out was from the kitchen. And it was only half full.

Plans for tonight:
Pro Bowl

Plans for tomorrow: