April 21st, 2017


Cross, posting

Last night was another one of those "what? It's only xx o'clock?!!?!!" nights. I woke up early and often, for no apparent reason. Only the usual 2-3 pit stops were required. Spook was wandering a bit, but mostly stayed in the BnB. When I finally got up after the alarm, she meowed, head-butted me, and tried to nudge me to the kitchen for treats, but I did my usual tooth brushing Collapse ) and showering. As soon as I was out of the shower, she walked in. I had to step over her to get out.

Right now she's curled up in the cat bed behind me.

AG called while I was in the shower, and again at 8:30 while I was on the john. I called him back when I got into my car. Turns out his routine has changed, he drops his son off at school earlier now. But he still gets to work around 9. He had a great time in Hawaii, especially the Polynesian cultural center, and the weather, which was a milder version of his native Saigon.

Traffic was a little bit slower than usual, the diamond lane was my friend, but less so than usual. 7 minutes in line to get to my exit.

Same as yesterday, not much to do at work in the morning, so I tried some gamepad-required games. FPSes. One had a bug where I couldn't enter my age (need to be a certain age to buy stuff in the game) so I couldn't play past the teaser. Next one wouldn't let me past the opening without buying an avatar. Third one I installed and went to lunch

Somewhere in there I made reservations on Alaska for a one-day trip - leave SJC in the morning, have my Global Entry interview at SeaTac in the afternoon, fly back in the evening. I thought about spending the weekend, but didn't want to spend another $150 on a hotel. 

Lunch was spaghetti & meat sauce, I added what looks like string cheese, but is made out of some kind of plastic. It doesn't melt as much as it cures. Like yesterday, came back early because Boss was supposed to visit, but instead she sent email that they wanted me to start weekly testing on a pair of core products, both of which I have on my desk. The rest of the day was spent installing the new! improved! scripts, and working with the programmer vi email to troubleshoot. I figured out the problem(s) - misspelled support file and $PATH issue, which got an "aha!" from him. Also found a minor omission in one of the status messages.

Before I left I started running the whole suite of tests, I expect them to be done when I get there tomorrow.

Stopped in at Target, exchanged a SodaStream cartridge and bought two jugs of RainX winshield washer solution. That was my whole shopping list, except that whenever I am there I stop by the dairy case to see if they have 2% lactose free milk for ≤ $3.75. They didn't, but following Mom's rule (Don't buy anything that isn't on sale: Buy everything that is) I bought some Marie C dinners, each about 50¢ less than Safeway, two packets of Ghirardelli dark chocolate cubes (half price), a big bag of generic beef jerky (1/4 of the brand name small bag price) and meat sticks and a toy for Spook.

Filled the empty washer tank before leaving the parking lot.

Driving home, some serious eye candy in the form of joggers.

Listening to the radio, I've noticed this for the past month or so - there are more commercials per break, and each station has snagged some new clients. The good news is this reduces the number of Geico ads. The bad news is it doesn't reduce their stupidity, or that of the new advertisers. Except on KGO, that annoying Karz4KIdz song has added a spoken word ad by one of their on-air talent. Tax help, loans, solar, mattresses, banks and retirement financing are the big leaders. Car ads seem to be fewer.

Home, admired the roses. Put one branch with two blooms and several buds in various stages into a vase in the kitchen by the bay windows. Spook expressed her displeasure at the change. She does not like changes. Watered the porch trees after watering the resurrected rose, which has a big flower about to bloom. This after being almost dead for a year. Moving it to better composted soil helped. So did getting it away from the invasive flowers.

Scraped the overcooked rice from the bottom of the pot, loaded all the Kao Mok Gai pots and utensils into the dishwasher and set it to work. 

For dinner I got one serving out of the freezer, nuked it just enough to get it out of the ziploc bag, placed the contents on a double layer of paper towels on a paper plate, and used the sensor reheat feature. Flipped it onto another plate with paper towels, and took a picture.

Horrible presentation. Not as orange as I wanted, blame too much oil for that. But after the paper towels soaked up most of the excess oil, it was edible. Not as spicy as I expected either. But that can be fixed on an individual serving basis. As usual with experiments, the first time is the hardest, an the most educational.

Started a new Kindle book this afternoon: The Forever Man 1 - Dystopian Apocalypse Adventure: Book 1: Pulse by Craig Zerf. Mr. Zerf tries too hard. In the first three pages he has packed every model number of every piece of military hardware a marine unit might be asked to carry. This for an embassy guard emergency.  In the second chapter, he steals all the characters from The Hobbit series and makes an army out of them, serving a master race reminiscent of the Ferrengi. The two chapters do not as of yet have a connection to each other. I'll give it some more time.

Plans for tomorrow:
Continue messing with the new assignment
Maybe take the camera & new lens onto campus for some photos.

Those Lyrics

From Cry Wilderness
Keep on climbing though you may never reach the top
Just think of it
If you should accidentally reach it
Just think of the view
If you should really ever make it
There will always be someone
To tear you, tear you down
And that comes from standing out there from the crowd
Standing out in front
Makes a damn good target
Those who don't want to climb
Don't want you to make it
But dreaming a dream
Is better than no dream at all
At all
Even nine out of ten times
You should fall, fall, fall


Another 2 am bedtime, but this time I slept like a log. Until 6:15 -- Spook was out of her BnB in a flash thinking I was getting up for real, but after a pit stop, I had another nap. Out of bed at 7:30, but somehow didn't make it out the door for an hour. Moving slowly, no good reason. Completely forgot to grab the new lens & the camera. A pity, it was a beautiful day. Maybe tomorrow.

Work was kind of fun, since there was actual work to do. We figured out that the machine I tested overnight was not updated enough to get any real testing done on it, but the programmer can look for ways to either fix that or at least stop the test as soon as it sees the wrong version number (which is SOP most other places) instead of uselessly cranking for 2 hours.

Then I hooked it up to a machine which did have the right version, and it only failed 3 tests out of > 200. 2 passed when I ran them by themselves, one failed again but if it's testing what I think it's testing, the TV doesn't have that feature. It's an easy fix to remove that test from the package.

Lunch was the small falafel serving with really plain hummus, not up to the usual Whole Foods standard. Dessert was the top half of a dark chocolate bunny. During my walk to the other building for lunch, I felt odd, maybe low blood sugar, maybe low BP. Made me a little nervous, but not enough to panic. By the end of lunch I was okay.

Medium sized tour group, looked to be high school pre-seniors. 10th grade, maybe. Very diverse - both ethnically and socio-economically. Some wore T-shirts and old jeans, some were in more expensive clothing. No suits, but one girl was in a full burka, expensive looking lavender colored, thick material. Maybe 800 thread count cotton. They came in quietly, but when they were let loose into the break room they were very noisy, and put a sizable dent in the fridge offerings. The Google guide was a looker.

Contractor called, he was done early with his other job in my park, so I gave him permission to start on mine.

No break, because baby sister phoned, returning my call. She wanted to know if we could get together when I do my Global Entry interview. We're set to do lunch. I need to make sure we get back to the airport in time, though.

I'm trying to remember, but I think SeaTac baggage claim is a short walk out to International Blvd, and then half a block to a couple of places to eat. Sharp's Roast House is the current name  according to Google maps.

Anyhow we talked for an hour and a half. 

On the road by 5:30, traffic was light but slow.

Home, nothing in the mailbox. Dropped my lunchbox off, put the new lens on the camera, and went out to take some photos of the roses. While I was shooting, a fire truck and an ambulance pulled up across the street. The couple who live there came out, looking fine, but after a while the emts carried out an elderly man I had never seen before, put him on a gurney and slid him into the back of the ambulance. He was awake, but having trouble breathing. In the interest of privacy, I only took this one photo of him:

The new lens' slow and erratic auto-focus made me miss some good bee shots, but once I got used to it, it wasn't so bad, and it made no diff for the flower pix.

Star of Bethlehem, which I think was pooped into place by a female Brewer's Black bird, will probably be a next year's calendar photo

And this rose isn't much to look at, but I'm very proud of it because for 2 years it was dying under a juniper bush and choked by invasive flowers, so I moved it to a well-composted spot in the front main garden. This is the first time it has ever bloomed

The rest of today's many photos are here.

Contractor didn't leave much evidence, just some wooden boards. He may have moved the stairs and cut the access hole as planned, or maybe not. 

Photos done, I changed the litterbox cartridge, emptied the dishwasher and made Marie C turkey & stuffing for dinner. Ice cream for dessert. Watched half a Match Game episode. WTF is Martha Stewart doing out of jail, anyway? The answers she gave were designed to not even come close to matching.

Plans for tomorrow:
Sleep in
Maybe take the camera out for a spin. I'm thinking Googleplex and Shoreline Park.
Take the bike? If yes, I need to put air in the tires, find my helmet & gloves, and figure out how to attach the bike rack.
Get to bed at a reasonable hour