July 9th, 2016

Howard Street

An okay day

So this happened. I was up at 7:30 with the alarm, Spook jumped onto the bed in a vain effort to lead me to her treats, but I got up and showered & stuff, got online (found one job to apply for) while I had a banana & HB egg with some walnuts (because I had forgotten I had HB eggs, and by habit had started filling a bowl with walnuts when I remembered), and was all done by 10. As I was gathering up my tablet and the shopping bags from the last couple of days' outings, the phone rang and a miracle happened. A man from India who could actually speak English clearly was calling, about a contract testing Chromecast at Google in Mountain View. And he didn't blink at my hourly rate. He said he would arrange for an in-person interview there.

The job description is heavier on iOS than I'd like, but I know I can do the job with no more than the usual newcomer training.

That concluded, I drove to Baylands, and flew the new smaller copter. There were way more people flying things than usual for a weekday morning. More than is usual for a weekend, too. And there were no company picnics going on, not even as I was leaving at 12:30. That all points to unemployment and Bad Times.

The small quad copter is a lot easier to fly, though it does tend to get way high faster than I'd like, which was a problem with the big one, too. But it was more controllable, especially once I figured out that the controller joystick on the right is the one that banks the craft, while the one on the left is both the throttle (up/down) and rotate (left/right). It is not easy to rotate the craft without messing up the throttle setting.  The good news is it is so small and light that there's no harm in bringing it down quickly if it gets too far away. By the end of the second battery, I was able to almost make it hover, and keep it airborne and mostly under control. I captured some videos with the onboard camera, but of course did not have it on for the longest flight. After the batteries ran out I set up my camp chair in the shade and watched the other flyers. One guy had brought one of the $5k models, and was showing it off for a friend. He didn't do much with it, just made it hover a lot. It was like watching a flying Hummer.

Home, had lunch - one batch of beer battered wings with mixed veggies, and sliced up a mango for dessert. Downloaded and watched the copter videos.
Maybe I'll put one here later.

Called Automation Guy, we chatted for half an hour. He shares my pain about the stupid jargon Python uses.

At about 3 I drove downtown, saw that all the green in Ingress was now blue, except for one neutral portal in the distance. I had enough weapons to capture two of the blue ones, hacked all the others, and then went to Starbucks. It was a cavalcade of women on their way to or from the gym. Lots of shorts and skin-tight stretch pants. Also a lot of guys with their trophy GFs. And my favorite married lady. I tried to do some homework, but none of the assignments (there were about a dozen) used any of the new stuff from the last class.

I went online to see if there were some code examples of the two things he had glossed over, and found an excellent tutorial site which explained a lot more than the class slides. It also was more advanced than what we've done in class so I had to bail after I understood the main concept.

My timing was bad, all the commuter trains were arriving, which meant gridlock on the streets as people went from train to cars. So I walked around trying to find those neutral portals, captured three or four, but ran out of stuff with which to link them. Finally sat on one of the many benches and read more Andre Norton.

Home, Facebooked, LinkedInned, found two jobs to apply for, though one is at Apple so it was more of a St. Jude than a real possibility.

Dinner was a beef potpie, and coconut popsicle.

Was unable to find a news channel which was not all about Texas cops. Pisses me off that something that far away in a state which prides itself on gun violence gets so much local coverage. Local stations need to report local news and leave not-local news to the network.

Way in the back of my mind is "how does it feel to have the shoe on the other foot?" and not so far back is "you're covering a protest where you are outnumbered 8 to 1 in a gun-happy city and you're not wearing Kevlar?"  And way in the front is "You blew up the guy while you were negotiating? WTF?"

And the fact that the cops started with a conspiracy theory for a shooting near Dealey Plaza (the injured cops were taken to the same hospital JFK died in)...

Plans for tomorrow:
Find something to do. Baylands will be too crowded. All the parks will be. Too cold at the beach.
Study El Capitan lyrics


It seemed like a good idea at the time

For the last fried chicken experiment, I bought a half gallon of buttermilk. I only needed a quart, but half gallons were on sale for only 50% more than a quart, and I try to follow my mother's shopping mantra:
Don't buy anything that is not on sale.
Buy everything that is.
So with all this buttermilk, I thought buttermilk pancakes. I used to make pancakes all the time when I was a kid, but buttermilk was not a thing in our kitchen. Another experiment...to be continued.

Another good night's sleep, starting at 1:30 am, because the Andre Norton book on the Kindle app threw me a curve. Just when I thought I was done, the sequel started. And unlike many Kindle novels, this wasn't a teaser, it's a whole 'nother book.

Woke up around 6, Spook jumped up on the bed and made "feed me" noises but it was too early and she knew it. I went back to sleep and when the alarm went off at 7:30 she was being Rocky Raccoon on the window sill behind the blackout curtain.

Pretty much kept to a work schedule, was done online before 10, had a banana and HB egg and the last of the walnuts from yesterday. No worries, there are still about 5 lbs of them in the kitchen.

After three wireless keyboards and mice misbehaving, I decided to blame it on them being wireless, so I went to Fry's and bought USB set, and while I was there picked up a practically free after rebate AVG security software package with 2 years free unlimited subscription for as many devices as I want. Home, installed it on the big PC, the phone, the tablet and the laptop. Decommissioned Norton's, because it has not been automatically updating (and lying about it) and it let in a major virus which whacked things on the big PC to the point where it needed a special patch to recover. And even after that, it was tagging perfectly good programs as viruses. Had to re-install Semagic, the word processor I use for LJ. I used AVG in the past, before Comcast offered free security software.

That took me till lunchtime, which was a pair of turkey baloney on wheat nut bread sandwiches with salami, pickles, lettuce and, of course, Grey Poupon. Watched some mindless TV, until I found a women's surfing championship in Rio. Dessert was sugar free chocolate pudding with blueberries and walnuts.

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After lunch I drove over to Peet's with my score and the tablet. Parked my butt in the back with those and a coconut coffee concoction and an alleged butter croissant, and studied lyrics to the songs. [The croissant was actually bread dough cut into a triangle and rolled into a crescent shape. It was horrible. One bite and I was done.] Tried to also pay attention to the notes, but it's hard the way the bass line is written. Went through the whole thing, slowly, repeating places I am iffy on. 

I relocated to the front of the place, with a great view of the ordering line. Much better view than in the back. Read more Norton. At about a quarter to 6 I left, and decided to take a chance on Chavez market, since it is much closer than Lucky's and is not 7-11. They have very limited refrigerator space, and being a Mexican market, that space is devoted to 27 brands of beer, mostly from south of the border. They had no eggbeaters but they had a really low price on 18 large eggs, so even though I only really wanted three, I got the big package. Also picked up a small bottle of lemon juice (mine had gone bad in the fridge after maybe 5 years), and some limes, which were big enough and on sale 5/$1.

Home, in the mail was a bill from Medicare, which puzzled me because I thought I had arranged for auto-pay. Went online and did a chat with a rep, who reminded me that they don't have an online auto-pay feature, they have a paper form which I need to download, fill in and send back with a voided check. Meanwhile I can put the current bill on a credit card by filling in the form I got in the mail and mailing it back.  So I did both of those things. Made a dozen HB eggs too.

That brought me up to experiment time. Simple recipe: a cup of flour, a cup of buttermilk, an egg, some baking soda and salt. That made batter which was a little too thick, so I added more buttermilk. Sliced up a banana, and added slices to the pancakes as I poured them. They came out ugly but edible. I blame the plastic pancake flipper. I was using a nonstick pan, but I think it's one which can take a metal utensil. Next time.

I finished the whole pile of them for dinner. Popsicles for dessert.

The USB mouse is way more solid than the wireless ones. The keyboard is also more reliable, though I do still skip letters and type dyslexically. But now the mistakes are mine, not the keyboard's.
One thing Nikon repair did not do which they should have was update the firmware in the camera. I had the instructions sitting on the VCR just in case, and did the update. The main firmware hasn't changed in 4 years, but the algorithms for adjusting the image to the lens curvature got a massive update. to 2.something.
Set up to meet with the tapes-->DVDs friend Tuesday night, he's bringing his wife, which is great. She is a very good cook, so I harvested Thai lime leaves, rosemary and mint from the garden for her. She's from South Africa, so she may know about the lime leaves (they are commonly known by a rude SA name).

Plans for tomorrow:
Not much. Maybe harvest some rose petals.  
Janice is due around 1:20 so we can catch light rail and go to the sing-along Music Man. It's a 10-minute walk to light rail so I may end up driving. We'll see.