February 27th, 2016


Going Federal/Going Postal

Plan A was to be at the social security office in San Jose close to 9 am. Drove to the last park & ride before downtown, took light rail to a block from the office, in my hand was a Fedex envelope meant for corporate, I figured there would be a drop box nearby, and in my shirt pocket were the social security forms to apply for medicare part B.

There was a line. Only about a dozen people ahead of me. After about 10 minutes it was clear that they were taking people one at a time, through a single TSA officer, doing the whole "take off your shoes" thing that is done at the airport. After half an hour and not getting much closer, I bailed, and went to look for a Fedex box. Info lady at the convention center down the block said the Marriott would take care of that, the hotel is connected to the convention center. And they did.

Back to the SS building, not many more people were ahead of me, and at least 8 who were in line when I was were still in line. Now there were many elderly and disabled in wheel chairs and scooters, and there is no place to sit down, and it's chilly out there. Meanwhile the federal courthouse which is the other half of the building had no such line.

I had time to think, and the thought was maybe I can mail in the form. And people with appointments were moved to the head of the line. So I bailed again, took light rail back to the car, and drove home, with the idea that if the form couldn't be mailed, I could make an appointment for Monday.

Home, the instructions said to mail it in. I got the idea to go there in person from the Kaiser advisor, who was just trying to be sure I beat the Monday deadline. Printed up a priority mail label, stuck it on a priority mail envelope, drove it to the PO and handed it in. They used to have a priority/express mail box at the front of the PO, but they removed it, and stupido loco, they had it behind the counter, with the "skip the line, drop it off here" sign mocking the customers.

From there to BofA, deposited a check from my check printing program made out to me, to be put into my savings account. The machine accepted it, even recognized the amount. Will see tomorrow if it get deposited or held.

Home again, loaded the dishwasher, watched some TV - NFL combine recordings which were mostly fluff and FFed. Very sexy woman sharing the couch with Steve Mariucci , trying to be a Sports Reporter. She sounded like she might actually know something about football, but putting her next to the country's leading authority was not fair. Made her look like all T&A&legs. Melissa Stark is her name:

Headed for downtown MV aiming to get there at 7, so I'd be early enough at the cafe to get a seat for the songwriter's show, but it was jam packed, did not look like it was set up for a band, and there was a sign saying upstairs was closed. So I went outside and watched the parade of people. Huge numbers, and lots of new places. The trio of shops which used to house the tropical fish store, "Food Street" cheap Chinese, and a Mexican place which had been closed when the sewer line broke, and they were closed for years, are now a candy store, a burger place and a Paki-Indi place.

Back to the cafe at 7:45, people were going upstairs despite the sign, and yes, that was where the concert was. Got a bad seat way in the back, but the speaker system is excellent so I could clearly hear how bad they were. It was pretty disappointing. Enunciation and microphone technique was totally missing from the lead female singer, and the lead male singer doesn't know how to end a song. They did an experiment which failed - challenged each other to learn to play a new instrument. He chose clarinet, and it was sad. Lots of squeaks, which if you know clarinet, you know it's a talent to do that on low notes. She took a cello, but played it like a string bass. Hardly heard it.

Most of the show was original music, but the last two were standards, and they massacred them. Could not decide on a tempo, or a key.

To make things worse, there were two women a few feet from me who were there for the second band, and they talked in Spanish loud enough to hear each other over the music, for the whole set. And they kept telling people in this over-packed house which everyone had paid $10 to enter, that the two empty seats at their table were reserved for friends, knowing their friends were not showing up for an hour.

I didn't stay for the second band. Went down the block and watched the parade some more, and thought about going to one of the late night places for dinner, but I had not brought my tablet, or a book, so that would have been too boring.

Home, watched an episode of Elementary over home made mac and bow ties and 3 cheeses and sliced hot dogs.

Plans for tomorrow:
Load Fiji slides into boxes, bring them to Costco to be scanned and DVDed.
Maybe hang out at Peet's with the laptop/tablet. I'm reading Trout Fishing in America which somehow I missed the first time around.
Coffee with Janice. Check out her fundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/kuqvc3gk


Used Pizza

Not sure how early I went to sleep, but woke up at 5 thinking it was 9, back to sleep and up at 6, then again at 9. Got out the tablet and watched videos in bed till 10:30, and as I was putting the tablet back, saw that Spook had been lying behind me all the time I was on my side looking at the tablet. As soon as I got up, she bolted. And then she came back a couple of times to jump onto the window sills.

Did my morning stuff. There were a few job posts to apply for, but nothing earth-shattering.

Not a lot on the to-do list. Did  a load of laundry - shirts & sheets. Sat down with two carousels of slides taken in Fiji in 1995, and put them in boxes of 50 each (29 in the last of 4 boxes) and took those to Costco. The routine there is to use their kiosks to place the order, then get in line to take the order & slides to the staffer. It was a long line, mostly people having passport photos taken. My timing was bad, there was only the one person working, and passport photos for a family of 4 takes some time. Finally the main person came back from lunch and took care of 4 of us in the time the other one was helping one person.

Next stop was Fry's. Parked in the electric car space, tapped my card on the charger, and it liked the card but it said there was no charger available. The machine has two identical wands, but for some reason they only let you use one at a time. Same as the one in the Sunnyvale garage. So I left. I didn't need anything at Fry's, but if the charger had worked I would have gone in and shopped.

On to Peet's/Specialty's. Really cute girls working today. Much eye candy among the customers. Got a soft drink and a pecan roll, and set those aside while I powered up the laptop and ordered all the meds Kaiser would let me, except for the regular insulin, which I just refilled. The system had not noted that, but I'm sure as soon as I ordered it it would figure that out and reject it.

Put the laptop aside and ate.

3:45, drove to MV, it was crowded in the *$s, but there was a seat in the corner. Pulled out the tablet and continued reading Trout Fishing in America. A truly bizarre book. Someone had an amazing assortment of drugs in his system when he wrote it. And ADD. Easy to stop reading, and start again 10 minutes later, and it will feel like it's a different book.

Janice talked for a long time about her village, Silana, on Fiji, which was literally wiped out by a cyclone last week. She has visited there every other year for about 30 years, and the townspeople were actually building a house for her. It's still standing, but the roof blew off, so it's a mess of water damage now. But it sounds like they are getting some help from the feds, the school is half rebuilt already. The village store was untouched. J has helped put some of the village kids through school. She is still scheduled to go back this summer.

And I filled her in on the gory details of the RIF.

Home, watched an episode of Shark Tank. They ripped a new one for two young people who each had a great product, but one had not thought of all the angles and the other had no business plan and didn't realize it until she was hounded about it. Sad, because she did have a plan, but it was two plans and she was not articulate enough to make that point. And she is very pretty, but she wasn't counting on that to make a deal. Kevin O'Leary is getting brutal in his old age. It would be nice to have him take a month off.

Speaking of taking a month off, my final paycheck and the vacation time cash-out have hit my bank, and ought to be available Monday. My own test check was processed, so now I am comfortable dropping off the rent check. I'm thinking that maybe I should take my own advice and take a vacation when the severance $$ arrives. The one show I'm auditioning for next week has callbacks on the 13th, after that nothing till August.

I checked Fedex, my severance paperwork is already in PA, ready to be delivered Monday. USPS took my priority mail item and instead of sending it to San Jose, they sent it to San Francisco , then back to San Jose today. It will sit in the PO until Monday when it could have been at SS yesterday.

In the mail, finally, was the 3-years-free charge card from Ford. There is nothing close enough to home to make it worthwhile, except that one at Fry's. They list one at a nearby apartment, but I doubt that that's really public.

Dinner was reheated pizza. Dessert was half a slice of black forest cake with half a scoop of ice cream.

Plans for tomorrow:
Drop off the rent check.
1 pm - Mulan Jr. Monkey Cast
4 pm - Mulan Jr. Tiger Cast