May 20th, 2016


Anecdote a day late

Last night as I was wrapping up my nightly LJ post I stared at the screen as I usually do, knowing there was something I wanted to include but could not remember.

I finally remembered.

I was in Sunnyvale's gorgeous new plaza**, sitting on -- i don't know what to call it - there's a street then a sidewalk then a cement something at a comfortable sitting height - top of a low retaining wall, I guess. To my left is the plaza, in front of me across the street is the old post office, to my right is one of the new office buildings which the city took a dozen years to finish building when boom busted.

Suddenly, people start coming out of the building, from all the exits. I'm people-watching big time - there are about 150 of them passing right in front of me toward the plaza. Oh wait, they are going into the underground parking garage. As the crowd thins, some people in neon orange vests with walkie-talkies take up the rear. I ask one if I am late or early for the party and she tells me it's a building evacuation exercise.

The anecdote part is this: There were people of all ages, slightly more men than women, and every race. Except African. There was not a single person in the group who was darker than an East Indian. The number of African-Americans working in Silicon valley tech is extremely low. This amazes me because there are huge numbers of people of that ethnicity who have military electronics training.

After the all-clear, all the neon vests are on the corner, talking to a man in a wheel chair. I passed them on my way to my car, and the snippet of conversation revealed that he had been left behind. The vests were trying to blame him for not shouting for help (it's their job to check).

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Howard Street

Southern Comfort to the rescue

The cough was so annoying after I went to bed that at about 1:30 am I got up and poured myself a small glass of Southern Comfort. About the equivalent of 2 shots, I guess. I'm not a drinker, I don't know. Watched late TV news while sipping for half an hour or so. Southern Comfort was my father's "medicinal purposes" prescription, which he gave to us kids on those rare occasions when nothing else cured our cold. At the time he was only aware of their 100 proof product, which I have not been able to find in the grocery stores and I don't use it enough to go to Bevmo. So 70 proof will have to do.

It helped. In addition to throat soothing, it also helped me sleep. So I'm sipping it again, this time at an earlier hour (10-ish pm). It will not become a habit.

The morning started with Spook lying on the bed close enough to pet, that was about 7:30 am. By the time I actually got up she had moved out of range.

With a 10 am doctor appointment, I was racing the clock with showering at 9, but I made it with 10 minutes to spare, despite Driving While Slow & Stupid people ahead of me the last 3 miles.

For a change the doctor saw me on time, as usual she spent as much time as I needed. My lungs are clear, she blamed post-natal drip on the cough and recommended diabetic tussin and saline sinus treatments. I went to the pharmacy and picked up the former, but Afrin instead of the latter.

She also confirmed that the blotch on my cheek was a bunch of sunburned clusters, and liquid nitrogened them. Saved me a wait for dermatology downstairs. She said they don't treat skin tags, because they are benign, but gave me a referral ad for a cosmetic treatment center which would do them all for a single fee. It's not a Kaiser facility, but it's Kaiser-approved. I don't think I'll do that.

BP is a little high, so she told me to start taking the lazix which she prescribed a while ago, but I didn't start taking because a re-test showed normal BP a week later. There was a little scare, as she saw 190/65 as my first reading, but I was watching the meter and it was 146/ - she went out and asked the nurse, who apologized for her bad handwriting.

From there to Starbucks, which was so crowded that strangers were sharing tables. I managed to lasso one for myself. Fired up the laptop and did all my morning job search routines. One of my former co-workers forwarded an ad on for our former job. The fact that they didn't have the grace to call any of us shows what shits they be.

Safeway, because I was out of bananas and low on small frozen meals.  Also realized i was out of chips & dip in which to put the baby clams and bacon bits threatening to grow green and fuzzy in the fridge.

Home, put stuff away, mixed bacon bits into some french onion dip and then wrestled the Cuisinart for 10 minutes to mince the clams. I have not used it in about a year, and things were stuck. Finally got it all snapped into place. Note to self: before turning on the machine, put the blade inside.

Once the dip was ready, I sat in front of TV news and finished a bowl of chips. Lots of dip left, and lots more chips too, for the weekend.

NOVA had called in the morning to confirm a monday afternoon session with a training counselor, so I spent a bunch of time at the PC inventing a matrix of 10 job postings and what they required, stacking it in favor of Python training. Truth be told, most of the 45 QA Engineer job postings want a developer, not just a Python scripter.

Also invented three interviews with people who know the QA job, two of them I simply recalled conversations I had really had, one I just invented from the person's LinkedIn profile.

Truth is, cold calls and networking scare me. It's why I'm not in sales or marketing.

Some Facebooking. Not a lot. Today's question was: Is Israeli martial arts called Jew Jitsu? Best reply was "yes, practiced by Ninjews"

Spook's new favorite spot, the one behind the blackout curtain, amuses me because when she is perched there, her raccoon-like tail hangs below the bottom of the curtain by about 8". 

Plans for tomorrow:
The usual morning stuff
Pear Slices set A at The Pear Theater. The story is the theater, which started in a warehouse space on Pear Avenue, hold playwright workshops, with the aim of producing all the works created in the year. Originally it was 4 or 5 10-minute shows, now it's two sets of 8.  I'll go to set B Sunday.