March 16th, 2017


Deja Spook

Since I adopted Spook, when I noticed how much she liked sitting on window sills being Guardian of the Neighborhood, I opened a few windows around the house. Each window has a flange on each side which allows it to lock open about 2". That's enough for her to get a taste of the neighborhood, but not enough for her to do any serious damage to the screens or push through them and escape.

Since about September, it had been raining too often and too hard to keep them open, so she spent a lot less time on sills and a lot more time curled up on the futon and various cat beds and trees.

About a week ago the sun returned, and I re-opened the windows. Now she spends most of her sill-iness between the window and the blackout curtain in the bedroom. I can usually see her tail on the web cam.

This afternoon it clouded over and the temperature dropped a lot, but she still likes that window seat.
Slept like a log. Only woke up once, then the alarms took me by surprise.

Got up and at 'em, and was at work half an hour early. Phoned AG on my final approach, he was just getting into freeway traffic.  Had a lot to keep me busy. Around 10, Boss said I could go back to the testing I'd been diverted from yesterday, but around noon the guy who diverted me asked me to do some more. I waited till I reached the end of a series of tests before plugging his stuff back in.

Noon, I went to the Sports Page for lunch with my contract rep. She is always fun to chat with. And she is easy to look at as well. I was surprised that the place was nearly empty at 12:30, being in a prime location and a neighborhood icon for decades. 10 minutes of waiting for someone to come around to take our order explained a lot. The food was pretty good. Basic bar & grill fare. I guess Google's free food takes away most of their location advantage, and Microsoft down the block has its own subsidized cafeteria.

Back to work, Boss visited right in time to see a new bug on the unit. That makes three. Had a good informative chat, which included a nice surprise - there may be a unit from Thailand, with an on-screen Thai keyboard. So I drew her some Thai and explained the challenges that would face. Google Translate has one, but it's proprietary so the Thai manufacturer has to invent their own. I may or may not ever get to test one.

She had me put the buggy box aside and go back to TV testing. One of the engineers next door solved an issue I'd been seeing with audio. There was a setting hidden in a non-intuitive place.

It will probably take me till mid-Friday to run all the required tests.

Break at 4, the antidote for eye candy was in the break room. No classes or tour groups, but when I left the building what looked like an entire high school came walking down the street from the big buildings.

Made the mistake of not looking at the last test before running it, and got trapped into staying till 6 for it to finish. Once again too late to park in the big garage and fire up the laptop.

So home, this time I did take the freeway instead of the Moffett service road, so no IFH, but I went all the way to the Fair Oaks exit when I should have taken Mathilda. That added about a mile, I think. It eliminated all the stop lights, though.

Took to bed, finished the Aldrin book, which ends with a "there's a sequel" hook, but I'm not at all interested in the rest of that story. The book ends where I would have ended it, but I would have left off the hook.

Got up to make dinner. BBQ chicken nuggets, cream corn and Greek yogurt dressing for the nuggets. That didn't work well, the dressing tasted all wrong for the BBQ. The nuggets were Target's generic brand and they were awful. Another row of coconut/mango agar treats for dessert. One more left. I may try to do a better job with a small batch this weekend.

Watched the final The Voice blind auditions, and I'm now probably done with the show. Maybe I'll tune back in when they get to the finals. Maybe. The teasers were singularly uninspiring, they have the "coaches" in weird costumes and hair styles, the only special guest I'd ever heard of is Celine Dion, who has an okay voice but IMHO is not a good singer, she has had spectacular luck in the songs which have come her way. And she tends to end all her songs with a massive bout of screaming, which seems these days to pass for emotion. Or something.

Did some gardening. Need to do some more over the weekend.

Plans for tomorrow:
Try for the big garage/laptop interlude
Home, expecting some Amazon deliveries

Defensive people are wordy people

At least on Facebook. I asked a simple question: "Did you, personally, change your vote because of anything Russia did or said?" And after the initial "no" there follows a paragraph or three of "but I know people who did" and a steaming pile of righteous indignation. The fact is, in this country we have a secret ballot, and a person can only be certain of one's own vote, with the rare exception of seeing a close friend or family member's mail-in ballot just before it is sealed and mailed. And even then, one only knows one's own heart, and why the vote was cast.

So far, nobody has admitted to me that the answer to the above question is "yes". Mine is "no".

If California allowed write-ins for President, I'd have written Bernie, but they don't. My vote is my secret.
Today I discovered some interesting family trivia. My closest UK cousin of the generation after mine and my only American grand nephew shared a birthday today. Grand nephew's grandpa's, a redhead, is tomorrow. And Buzz Aldrin's mother's maiden name is the same a my mother's maiden name.
Slept well again. Spook wanted to be petted at 7:15, I had just woken up. So I was out and at work early.
Lots to do. Many tests to re-run now that the audio setting is fixed.
Boss asked me about HDR video, I had to look it up. It's not related to HDR photography, except a little bit by accident some of the effects are the similar. HDR photography takes many different exposures of the same image and merges the best ones into one picture. HDR video adds a huge number of colors above and beyond the traditional 64 million, including a whiter white and a blacker black.  Unfortunately, the screen I was testing did not support that, so the HDR videos (there are several on Netflix, including Marco Polo) showed up dark and bland, except for ORANGE, which was blindingly brilliant. More on that later.

Lunch was leftovers from yesterday's lunch and 2 days ago's lunch.

This time I looked before running One Last Test™ and seeing it was a 1-hour project, left 5 minutes early. I parked in the garage, plugged the car in, and went upstairs with the laptop. But that only lasted 20 minutes because some idiot had decided that a noisy team of gofers needed to scrub down all the tables and chairs in the cafeteria. Kind of stupid to do this right before dinner when tomorrow and the weekend there is no dinner service.

My car was charged, so I left. But first I played Ingress. I blew away a heavily linked blue portal and filled it with my resonators, added two modfs  and linked it to another portal, and was I was doing that, someone else was taking it back for the blue team. This has happened to me before, and I think some coders at Google have set the portals on automatic, with an app to keep them blue.

Home, took the back road to the freeway to the IFH bypass. Huge traffic burst kept me pinned down for 5 minutes before I could get to the left-turn lane heading home.

Delivered from Amazon was a box of Breathe-Rights and a bottle of jet rinse. The bottle crushed the box a bit, but at least it didn't leak.

Fired up Quicken and dowloaded, and there was my social security payment and a refund for the foam pillow. Logged onto Chase and paid off my Visa card.

In the mail was an offer from Barclay for a Mastercard at about the same terms as my Discover card, except with a year of 0% interest, so I went online and applied. They lied about it being pre-approved. :-(

Dinner was Marie C herb roasted chicken. I need to do some frozen food shopping this weekend. Instead of finishing off the agar treats I had some thin mint ice cream with chopped pistachios and walnuts and honey. Ate while watching HDR video on my TV. Tried it first using Netflix on the NVidia Shield, but Netflix would only show 4K. But Netflix on the TV itself showed HDR. The two movies I watched at work look a lot different and mostly better on the home box. The colors are very different, the depth is just a hair sharper than 4k, and blues, greens, oranges, and reds have a lot of punch while browns/beige are more muted. I'll give Boss a report in the morning. 

I replied to Rep. Ro's town hall meeting invitation & entered it on my calendar, only to find it is in the middle of the first afternoon of Consonance, and about an hour round trip away. The Consonance web site still has the pre-March 1 rates and absolutely no program schedule information. The Facebook page has nothing posted since June, and that's just hotel rates and out of date registration rates. I was expecting better communications from my local filk con than the abysmal cone of silence Conflikt provided, but I guess not.

Plans for tomorrow:
Try to remember to wear Green. Maybe my Little Shop of Horrors T-shirt.
Maybe home. Maybe via Lowe's or Home Depot for something in which I can bag rose bush cuttings and put in compost bin #2.
I had planned to go to The Pear Theatre and see A View From The Bridge until their PR stills showed what a mess they have made of it.