February 22nd, 2016


But First...

Happy birthday to the always elegant and amazingly talented Dr. quadrivium.

And now for the boring part of my journal.
Almost normal night for sleeping. Spook is confused by the comforter. It's thicker than the camo quilt, and is all lumpy by morning. Camo quilt is in the back seat of the car, I was hoping that last week's trip to the quilting shop would see it transfer to someone who could re-line it, but that did not happen, and the two repair places suggested were a FAIL for different reasons. One wanted $75 just to give an estimate, the other is in deepest, darkest Santa Cruz which is futher afield than I want to go.

I think I'm giving up on BASFA. The hunt for a new home is trending into commuter hell, and cross talk at the meetings has become more than just annoying for me, since I can no longer pull signal out of noise as well as I used to when I had 20-20kHz hearing.

Have been reading a charming book on Kindle, The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland the story of how a small town in Eastern Canada coped with having a bunch of planes from all over Europe being diverted to their very large former military refueling stop airport. The writer talked to lots of people from all sides of the event. It could probably have been better organized, but the randomness of what bits are told when is part of the charm.

I was out of bed at about 11, and after the usual morning stuff I put on gardening gloves and a wide-brimmed hat and started in planting flowers to replace the marigold bed which the neighbor's weed patrol totally destroyed. It was more work than I thought it would be, and I was feeling faint by the end of it, so I went inside and did a blood sugar reading. 123, which is well within normal for me, not the low reading I was expecting. So I grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge, sat in the recliner, turned on the fan, and cooled off for half an hour. That did the trick.

This is what the new garden looks like:

Back outside, and attacked the long-delayed redwood chips project. For those of you who have not been playing along at home, the story goes like this:
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Took a tall kitchen plastic container, and began shoveling. It took four trips to behind the shed to clear enough of them out for what I wanted to do. Next, I set a bag of 2 cubic feet of gardening soil in the space, slit it open, threw the bag away and raked the soil evenly over the last two sections of garden. So it's now one long section. That was too much work, so I took my water bottle out to the front porch, and cooled off there for a while.

Next step was to plant 2 blu stevia and 4 pincushion flowers in a row across the center. One iceplant has bloomed, so I left it in place.

And here is the result:

Iceplant on the right, then stevia, pincushions & stevia.

Took till 3:30 to recover and then headed to Sunnyvale. Plan A was to park the car at 4 at the charger in the underground garage, go to Starbucks, meet Janice there at 5, and then back to the car. But I got there at 3:45, it only needed 45 minutes on the fast machine, and it was a nice day, so I went upstairs to the park, and people-watched. There's a Philz and a sandwich place, both new, in the yuppie apartment complex it took them 15 years to finish. Ground was broken in 2000, I think, but 9/11 derailed all the funding.  Went back downstairs at 4:15, the car was charged, so I moved it closer to the elevator and went to Starbucks. Still got there early enough to play on the laptop. I love this new place, lots of eye candy. And so far, usually someplace to sit. And the restrooms can handle 2 people at a time in each one.

Janice is all frazzled because she has adopted family in the part of Fiji which was ground zero for the biggest cyclone on record a few days ago. Not unexpectedly, there has been no communication from them. She does a lot of volunteering with the Red Cross at disaster sites, but it hasn't sunk in quite yet that Fiji has crappy power & phones in the best of times, it may be weeks before she gets news.

Home, the DVD of the Broadway production of Memphis had been delivered this morning, I watched it, and was surprised at the number of middle aged white men are in it. The audition cast list only has one. I was also surprised to see local star makes good JM Iglehart prominently featured. I'm pretty sure he was in the TheatreWorks premiere, but he's playing the Genie in Aladdin on Broadway, so maybe this was a special performance, or pre-Genie.

My take on the show is it would be a lot of fun to be in. The southern accents are barely there in the white actors. This particular show, Chad Kimball, the leading man, totally rubbed me the wrong way. He has some affectation to his voice which sort of reminds me of Bush the Younger. Whiny. Inflection goes down where it shouldn't. No trace of a southern accent, which is bizarre for a born-and-bred-in-Memphis role. Annoying. And there was zero chemistry with the leading lady, and that chemistry is the main theme of the show. He sings good, but when he isn't singing he's annoying. The rest of the cast is outstanding. Looked him up, he is from Seattle, did his MFA in Boston.

Put some lactose free milk and malted milk in a blender, and drank that while watching. Forgot how much lactose is in malted milk, needed lots of lactaid pills and a trip to the loo. Drinking soda tare now, it helps. Cola would be better but not this late at night.

Plans for tomorrow:

Sick Transit Inglorious Monday

At work just after 9, sent the usual over-the-weekend test update to the team, then opened a calendar item from boss' boss' boss. 10 am, same time as our team meeting, in the conference room upstairs. His meeting of course takes precedence. Only my name was on the "to" line, but it was obvious that there was a hidden list of other attendees.

Last week the CEO (in Suwanee, GA) sent a Bad News email message, hinting that merit increases were getting the axe, so I figured this was going to be one of those bad financial news meetings boss3 holds once a quarter. When boss and boss2 joined the meeting it looked more like that. Until we started noticing several of our team were not there.

And there was a stranger sitting in the left hand of God seat. Bosscubed stuttered that she was from HR to tell us that all our jobs have been terminated. Among the casualties was bosssquared, who is the last of the remaining founders of the original company which current company had swallowed up. Plus both engineering program managers for the soon-to-be-released new product.

And everyone on the staff named Nguyen - Automation guy and two lab IT guys. And the Russian woman whom I beat out for the job, who was later hired for another department. All told about 20 people. There is no way they can get this product out the door with the remaining staff, so I'm guessing they will be cutting their losses and eventually offering those folks jobs in other sections of the company. Or not. 

Horrible timing. Boss and Automation Guy had just bought houses. 

HR woman said we were good till the end of the month, but were free to go home after the meeting. She handed out personalized severance packages, and mine works out to about 7½ pay periods, plus another 4 of vacation pay.

We need to come back Thursday morning for a sign-your-life-away meeting, which is supposed to include some more nuts and bolts. She said COBRA will be paid for a month, which is pretty stingy - when Moto laid me off from the same job in 2008, they gave me 3 months' worth.

After the meeting there was a lot of visits from the non-afflicted, while I was deleting all my personal stuff from the PC, which included my wireless mouse and English/Thai keyboard. And all my browser links, cookies, etc. And my Windows desktop is back to Windows 7 theme, with no icons.

And to seal the irony, I went onto Dice.com and filled in a new profile (I had deleted mine because I was getting too many people with foreign accents calling about contract jobs way far away which did not even come close to my areas of expertise). Shortened my resume a bit first.

About 2 pm, went home by way of U-haul, where I bought some boxes which I will take back to work tomorrow and fill. There is my collection of coffee cups from around the world, a photo frame and a handful of mounted photos. Plus misc. tools, files and such. I am leaving the cardboard 2D foldable palm tree.

Coming home woke up Spook, but she's back on her perch above the window overlooking the garden. But she's not looking.

Plans for the rest of the day are to read the severance packet, cancel my hotel reservations for Worldcon in KC, see what job boards are still worth posting on (despite Obama fans' claims of vastly improved employment, job boards have pretty much dried up).