July 16th, 2017


Almost a typical saturday

Up at 7:20, turned the lights back off when they came on at 7:30. Slept till 9. I like that the Fabriq speaker by the bed can tell Alexa the same home automation commands that the echo dot in the livingroom can - I don't have to shout.

I opened the bedroom and office doors, but Spook wasn't too impressed. She doesn't like me being out of sight when I'm in the house, but that's about all. I was hoping she would be more affectionate after being closed out, but no.

11 am, BofA and got my Euros. 5's, 10's and 20's. Only about $10 more than the official rate. 5%.

Target, got all the things I went for, but none of the "while I'm here" items. Lactose free milk was too expensive, even the generic. They stopped carrying Lactaid ice cream, too. Did get some dark chocolate on sale. Lots of pretty women in the store.

Home, got my camera, put the lighter Tamron lens on, grabbed an extra battery and plugged in the GPS unit. Then off to the community garden.

Half an hour early for the 2 pm presentation. It was starting to get warm - 80's. The talk was given in an area under a tree, lots of shade. Speaker arrived just after 2, she thought it started at 2:30 and was surprised she was not early enough to set up.

It was an informative talk, basically the message was all the veggies I detest are the best ones to grow in our area. But there's hope - apparently broccoli has a pretty flower, if you don't pick it while it's (allegedly) edible. She also showed why to use plastic and not peat containers to start seeds. She uses the ones in which typically nurseries use for selling seedlings. Makes sense. 

By the time the talk was over, it was almost 3, I had not eaten at all yet and my morning insulin was making me hungry. Next stop: Denny's for a grand slam or something like that. Pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, muffin, OJ. I would have ordered dessert but the waiter was going off shift and slapped the bill on the table without giving me a chance to order anything more.

Still hungry, which I should not have been, so I made an emergency strike at Lucky's. Lactaid ice cream, fudge flavor magic shell, and Haagen Daaaaas dark chocolate on chocolate pops were on sale so I bought two boxes. And a Snickers bar to eat in the car.

Next stop, World Oil, put 5 gallons of gas into the car, it keeps telling me the car is below 1/4 full, then above. Odd.

Home, put all the things away, Facebooked, had an ice cream pop.

It was 92° outside, so putting the sheets into the dryer was out.

Processed the photos from the gardens. I like the knickknacks people plant along with the plants

The whole collection is here.

When it was cooler, thanks to some cloud cover and the sun starting to set, I drove to Lowe's to see if they had plastic seed pots, but they didn't. And they had moved the seeds and what was left of the seed growing kits out into the garden section. They used to be by the indoor plants. I also did not find the large pots I want to transplant two of the Thai lime trees into.

They also have stopped using the 6-pack plant flats, which was Plan B - buy some cover plants, plant them, and use the empty flat for seedlings. Finally bought an 18-pack of a kind of creeping ice plant, Red Apple Aptenia, some green pea seeds and potting soil.

Home again, planted the Aptenia in a row across the front of the garden, hopefully it will discourage the Brewer's blackbirds which have been ripping up the garden again. They have also deposited a couple of pigweed seeds. Anyhow, that was a LOT more work than I expected. 18 plants. Sadly, the flat was all contiguous, and cracked. So I ordered a seedling kit online.

Dinner was late, after 9, watched the pilot for Orphan Black, which was the only first season episode available on SlingTV's BBC page. They had all of the final season so far, but nothing between the pilot and season 5. Anyhow, I am not impressed, except for the nudity. there are some fine bodies in that pilot. Sling kept trying to show me Orange is the New Black when I searched for Orphan Black. No thanks, women in prison shows are disgusting pandering.

In the park mail slot was another letter from the Corporation, this time from someone titled "Managing Partner". I looked him up on their web site, he is the son of the last partner to join the firm, and the web site says he retired in 2012. It was an encouraging "we know the problem is severe, we're committed to fixing it" letter. But once again the message was the corporation would work with the "Community Association" to fix things.

That meant it was time for me to write a letter. I explained to him that the "Community Association" is a voluntary $5/year social club, and is in no way a legal Home Owners Association. I quoted the paragraph in the state law on mobile homes which spells out how changes to the park rules are to be made, and told him I am not represented by anyone except myself. And thanked him from coming out of retirement to help.

I did not mention, but it occurred to me, that when I worked at HP Labs, an unfortunate choice of CEOs and an economy in the toilet let to Dave Packard coming out of retirement to fix things. And he did. But it didn't take long for the board to make the same stupid mistake again, and now HP is a joke. They don't even make the product lines which made them a giant in test & measurement equipment, workstations and servers.

As I wrote this, I'm listening on the Fabriq speakers to what had been my parents' fave Seattle station, KIXI. They play 40's music mostly, and at the moment they have a Dick Powell radio drama on the air. This morning I heard Together and immediately identified the singers as Helen Forrest and Dick Haymes.  I have the 78, and it's also on the USB drive in the car.

But somehow the earworm it triggered was Jeanette MacDonald's San Francisco from the movie of the same name starring Clark Gable. Here's the trailer:

And the song, in a  variety of styles, the final one a lot like Al Jolson might do:

Plans for tomorrow:
Put the sheets in the dryer
Relax on the porch
Coffee with Janice in MV

Journaling Out Of Habit, Not Necessity

Not much earthshaking happened today. Woke up at about 6:30, Spook was in the new doggie bed by the hampers. 7:30 when the lights came on she was sprawled across the bed past my feet. I told Alexa to turn off the lights, and the next time I woke up around 9, Spook was back in the doggie bed. She spent a lot of her day there.

Played online,  Acronis was doing its monthly full backup of my 6TB RAID drives, which means leaving the PC on all day. Actual backup is 3.03TB onto an 8TB NAS drive. That's "just" drive E, which has all my photos, docs and music. Saturdays it backs up 5GB Drive C, which is the system and program files. Now I need to erase the previous E backups, to make room for a month of incrementals, and I see I also have a month of C full & incrementals to delete prior to the last full backup.

Done. 4TB free on the backup drive.

The backups start at 6:35 am, today's completed at about 8 pm. A full C backup only takes till 8:05 am.

Email from Worldcon announced the final progress report, and it is a beautiful piece of work. About 30 pages of pdf, which I foolishly printed it out (double-sided) then came to my senses and copied it to my phone and the Kindle folder on my tablet.

It listed some field trips, and one I emailed asking to sign up for is a bus trip to the nuclear power plant for a tour, the day before the com starts, which is the day after I arrive. It looks like the bus may return to Helsinki in time to get to the con site & register, which means getting a free transit pass. They also make it sound easy to get to the island fort by ferry, another trip I was thinking of taking.

Lunch was a disaster. I had it all planned out, a cold plate. But the last of the container of cole slaw had gone grey, the half a package of lox had turned as well. The packet I bought the other day was okay but not as good quality and it was a small portion. The sardines and hard boiled egg were fine, and so were the last two marinated artichoke hearts, but when I opened up a new container for more of them, those were spoiled. There was only one slice of Muenster left, so I sliced some Velveeta. While digging for more edibles in the back of the fridge I found a last "everything" bagel, miraculously not green and fuzzy, toasted it and buttered it. And poured a glass of milk.

Set up a second tray table and read while I ate. First the progress report and then some of the Witch book.

Running out of things to do before the planned trip to BB&B for SodaStream syrups prior to coffee date, I realized I had not watered all the plants yesterday, so got that done. My butterwort has sprouted a flower on a long stalk, and the scraggly New Zealand sundew is well on its way to one as well.

BB&B, it was 93° outside, the car's aircon worked fine. So did the store's. It took a while to find, because some genius had put all the SodaStream things on a wall facing an aisle which was packed with display cases. While I was plucking items from the wall, nobody could pass by. And I was plucking a lot of items because none of the other stores even stock them, and BB&B has priced them $2 below MSRP.

Much eye candy, so I cruised the store a little, but also because there was a line for all the cashiers about 3 deep.

Drove to the other end of the shopping center and PetSmart. Plan A was to buy another doggie bed, but they didn't have the one Spook likes, and the next closest were >$50, way too much. Plan B was a replacement pump for her water fountain, which was making too much noise. Nope. But my eye was caught by a large capacity fountain on sale. I was getting nervous that her fountain was just barely going to make it through the 2-week vacation. So I bought that.

On to Starbucks, where I got lucky and managed to snag a table indoors while waiting for my drink to appear. It was packed, as usual. The place thins out around 5:30, but it was 4:45 with Janice due at 5.

Home, put stuff away. Set up the new water fountain, and watched Spook inspect it but not use it. I know she will figure it out soon enough. But as with any change to her world, she whined at me for a bit.

This morning I started a packing list on the whiteboard, initially to remind me to bring badge ribbons. I just remembered that and added them to the list.

Dinner was Marie C chicken fried steak, which is probably her 2nd most Meh offering, first being the chicken version.

Janice asked me to watch a Netflix movie, Valley Uprising, so I did. It's about the rock climbing culture at Yosemite through the decades. I ran out of patience when they started base-jumping. I'll watch the ending at work. Maybe. 17 minutes left. There is a lot of incredible photography, and a lot of pure crap.

Took out the garbage & recycles. No garden waste this week, and won't bother with cardboard with only 2 empty boxes. Watered the seeded patch and the new ground cover plants. Topped off the water under the lime trees.

Ordered a replacement pump for the original water fountain, my plan is to set that up in addition to the new one, just in case, the day before my trip.

Plans for tomorrow:
If the aircon isn't running, move to the big building.
I wishbasfa wasn't at the other end of Commute Hell Highway. I would like to go once in a while.