August 26th, 2017


A Different Kind of Friday

Up and out at the usual time. AG tried to make an Alexa call to my echo dot, but I was in another room, and the dot doesn't have enough volume for that. Talked to him later on the phone en route to work.

Middle sister posted a YouTube video of special interest, which I emailed to my work and watched as part of my testing. Here it is:

Okay, I know you can't follow it well because it's all in Hebrew, and poorly recorded at that. But here's the hook: The girl they follow from the bus crash to the hospital to rehab to teaching yoga is my grand niece Miriam. The woman in the head wrap next to the skinny guy with the scraggly beard is my eldest niece Rivka. The skinny guy is her husband. Rivka looks and sounds so much like her mother (my older sister Briana) it is frightening. Funny, you don't look deja-vuish.

Briana rarely writes, which is ironic since she has an MA in creative writing, so I had no idea Miriam was in this horrible off-a-cliff bus accident, let alone all the turmoil around it. But then, I never ask. The whole family, 3 nieces, 2 nephews and somewhere upwards of 27 grandchildren are all completely brainwashed super-Orthodox Jews who live on their own little planet. But it still makes me happy to see how many friends have her back. She has inherited her grandmother's social gene.

The three young men on the sofa are her brothers. With them I am not at all impressed.

Anyhow, even without understanding the language, it's an uplifting story.

It was a day to run the short automation test suite. First on a pre-release STB and then on the current version. Different hardware & software.

Took an online break to find out where Spook's favorite water fountain came from. Turns out it is from PetSmart, which is still selling it even though the company which made it is out of business.  So I ordered one to pick up at lunchtime. Almost ordered some other things, but none of them were in stock.

So at lunchtime I drove the 3 miles, picked up the unit, then had a Reuben and some clam chowder at Eric's.

Back to the hole. Got word that I was supposed to update the James Bond box and run the over the weekend automation test on it, but the test rig was still cranking away at the STB. Stayed till 6 to get that done.

More driving - up Shoreline and down El Camino to the Xfinity store in Palo Alto, which is open till 8. It was a 10-minute wait just to be noticed, the "check in here" box at the front had been logged out, it needed an employee to make it work. Then another 15 minutes to wait for actual help. But with a minumum of fuss they gave me a cable card to replace the one UPS lost, and I took Alma/Central until the post rush hour blockage, then Shoreline to my usual back roads route, which was pretty much deserted that late (7:20).

First priority was to log into to my time sheet and fill it out, but my internet connection wasn't working, so I punted, installed the cable card in the Tivo, called the 8xx number to get it activated, but got stuck when the Tivo couldn't log into my router. Did all the things, but no joy. My router said it was working, the cable modem had all the right lights on, but there was no internet service anywhere in the house.

Called Comcast again, and it seems that when they issued me the cable card they reset the cable service, and used an old cable modem mac address. Once that was fixed, everything worked, and after half an hour of Tivo's excruciatingly slow first-time setup I was back to watching all the channels.

But they were breaking up, and disappearing. Checked the connections, and the cable to the tivo was loose. Fixed that and now it's all good. Except I need to go through the channel list and un-choose the SD and Spanish stations. And probably the Vietnamese ones too. I've set it to record all the local and Seattle football. And Penn & Teller.

Watched some CNN, which has become the half-Trump/half-Harvey channel. Switched to the weather channel, and they clearly found the shallow end of the gene pool to send to Texas to report on the hurricane first hand. With instructions to always call the guy at HQ "doctor". As if there's anything practical in getting a doctorate in atmospheric sciences other than beaing able to teach it. 

One thing the cable and streaming channels have in common are those awful prescription drug ads which tell you how many ways this drug will kill you as it is helping you battle euphemized symptoms. I need to write my new sleazy Congressscritter about that. It used to be illegl to advertise prescription drugs.

Dinner was a smoked turkey leg and some corn on the cob. Ice cream dessert.

Delivered by a neighbor was the 3-pack of kitty litter cartridges. UPS dropped it at #17 instead of #7. Nothing in the mailbox.

Plans for tomorrow:
Fasting lab test at Kaiser Santa Clara. Because checkup Monday afternoon
Ford service department with charger. May get turned away with no appointment, but their appointment system is clearly for scheduled maintenance, not for repairs.
Watch some football.

The day nothing happened

Fasting, drove to Kaiser at 10 or so for the fasting blood & other things tests. Waited 15 minutes for my number to be called. Doctor had not sent the order in. There was supposed to be a perpetual order, quarterly, but there wasn't. So no tests.

On to Ford service at the nearest outlet. "There's no technician on Saturdays" the minion said, and told me he would ask his boss if there was a way to check out my charger, and he would be right back. 10 minutes later he was nowhere to be seen, so I backed out of the driveway and drove away.

The next stop worked out okay, Safeway, bought all the things. They were out of cole slaw, but they had packets of cole slaw mix and bottles of cole slaw dressing. I had not eaten since last night, and blood sugar was running low so I hobbled next door to CVS and got a butterfingers, snickers and not-diet Coke. Finished half on the drive.

Home, put away all the things. Expected to have a football game on TiVo, but not yet.

Took a nap. Woke up, decided that since I struck out on getting a Thai massage in Helsinki (I had no cash the day I found where they were located) I would do that now. Needed to deposit a check and withdraw some cash, so hit up the ATM. Drove to my favorite massage place and it was gone. Signs were all removed, door locked. Drove across the street to another one, but they have changed into a couples-friendly place. Looked up on Craig's List, found one in downtown Sunnyvale. The massage was pretty good, but could have been better.

Home, one of my surprise finds at Safeway was a Thai noodle brand called Mama. I bought a pair of both Dom Yam and pork. It's your basic ramen, but apparently is Thai middle class millennial comfort food. In my day, there was no way a Thai would buy a packet of ramen. But it was squeed over by my favorite Thai youtube cooking show, so...

It comes with three condiment packets. One is some kind of paste, one is the standard salty powder and one has a picture of chili peppers, so I left that out.

Sat down in front of the TV, I had found the Stanford football game - they were in Australia playing Rice. It was 42-0, Stanford. Mama noodles taste like Thailand. That is, the spice attacks your throat, not your taste buds. The noodles themselves are very thin, and frankly I don't see the attraction.

Mixed up a packet of cole slaw into two small storage boxes and set them in the fridge for later. Nuked a Marie C boneless pork & corn & potatoes dinner. I never eat their potatoes. The boneless pork was horrible. The corn was fine.

Ice cream for dessert. Discovered as I got up to put the cutlery away that I was wearing a significant chunk of ice cream.

Stanford gave up a touchdown in the final minutes, they were getting sloppy. But the final score was 62-7.

Was tempted to watch the Raiders game live, but it's being recorded. I'll watch it tomorrow and FF past the commercials and BS.

Delivered was a TSA-approved luggage strap to replace the one Finnair lost on me. Much later the replacement water pump was delivered. It actually has a photo of the right fountain on it. Spook doesn't need two water fountains (she had two when I was away, just in case, but neither of them ran out). I also changed the litterbox cartridge

Sometime today I finally emptied the suitcase and put all the odds & ends where they belonged. Passport and a few euro coins into the lock box, Worldcon program book, badge & ribbons, and the ID badge from the power plant. Biz cards with the european phone numbers are in the trash.

Plans for tomorrow:
Watch some football
Break down all the delivery boxes
Water all the indoor plants
Meet Janice at 5
Take out the garbage