January 11th, 2018


Boring day, not so boring night

Slept okay, but Spook didn't keep me company the way Zoe did. Had a series of dreams I have had before, which I can never remember except that they are in a format/formula unrelated to real life.

Wasn't ready for the alarm, stayed in bed till 8. Spook jumped onto the bed for a second and then ran to the livingroom. Usually that's a hint for treats. Yup.

Not on the road till 9:10, traffic was okay, but without the commuter lane (which opens to all at 9) a bit slower.

Banana, diet Coke and egg acquired, and a small navel orange. And a Kind bar.

In the hole, there was some more email from the London manager, and Boss gave me a new command line command to grab a lot of data from the London box, which I sent along. Asia manager did his usual job of misinterpreting the data. He has a talent for that. I have no idea why London manager brought him into the conversation.

Started watching live feeds again from CES, until they suddenly disappeared. Turns out the biggest consumer electronics show in the world had a power outage. The excuse from the show reps is yesterday Las Vegas had more rain than ever in its history, and lots of underground conduit was inundated. The live streamers (there are about 6) moved out of the main hall, and out into the peripheral show areas. It apparently was a very nice day, the show reps encouraged the geeks to play outdoors for a change.

Two of the more interesting streams came back online late afternoon, but not CNet. Engadget had a very young MC who was way more impressed by some of the items than they deserved. That was the only stream which didn't have audio issues, too.

Called the locksmith about the problem getting the key into the shed door knob. He said graphene was their first choice, wd-40 would work.

Bit a couple of bullets:
-Withdrew $$ which had been accumulating in my brokerage account from funneling dividends into a money market. Enough to cover most of my 0% credit card debt, which is soon to be 15%.
- After some research, called an installation company to install a Nest thermostat. They will be here Friday noon-4 time frame.

I forgot I had a lunch date with my contract rep for Friday, tried to change it to tomorrow, but he's booked so it will be a week from tomorrow. Kicking myself because Nest installers gave me tomorrow afternoon as first choice, but I said no because Boss sync is scheduled. Which may not happen.

Nails place told me 6:15 instead of 6, so at 5:30 I drove down the block and parked at a car charger at another Google office. I should have taken the tablet inside and read till 6, but just stayed in the car listening to the radio.

No color this time, clear nails.

Safeway, bought everything on my list except graphene. They no longer have an automotive/hardware section.

On to CVS downtown, bought silicon lube and a small WD-40.

Home, unpacked all the things. Big envelope, unmarked, in the park slot. Those always make me nervous, but it turned out to be gas safety info from PG&E.

In the mail was my license plate tabs.

Delivered was the taller pet gate. Maybe this weekend. I suspect Spook can slip through the bars.

Swapped the cats back. It was easy - when I picked up Zoe, Spook came into the room, I just walked out and shut the door. Brought Spook some treats later. Zoe has been very active, up on tables, tried to jump onto the dryer but there was stuff up there, so that didn't work. Had to push her off the livingroom table, she kept trying to eat things.

Part of the Safeway trip was tuna salad makings. They had low sodium tuna. I think what messed up the salmon salad was not sticking to the recipe. I now have it in Google Keep. It's pretty simple, but even a double batch uses a very small amount of each ingredient. 4 Tbsp of celery & onions, 2 Tbsp of mustard and relish. 2/3 cups of Miracle Whip. I added 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts, so needed more Miracle Whip. A couple of grinds of pepper, and a squirt of lemon juice. Came out great. Made almost a loaf of sandwiches and ate the 1/2 sandwich worth which was left.

Dinner, though, was 2 corn dogs and some sauerkraut. And a small piece of black forest cake, now that I can have dairy again.

Still no word from my doctor. I should send some email.

Watched PTI, and an episode and a half of the Oak Island "mystery". Treasure hunt by amateurs. Well funded amateurs. Hit a funny bone - on a suspicious treasure map was the name La Rochefoucauld. The first high school play I was in, The Madwoman of Chaillot, my sister has this line:
"I think Madame La Rochefoucauld's whippet is getting rather thin"
It took her a long time to memorize the line.

Plans for tomorrow:
Watch more CES if they have power back
Sync with Boss if she remembers
Home, cat swap

Boring Day, less boring night

Slept well, did not wake up as soon as the alarm/lights came on. Close, though. Zoe was on the bed most of the night, toward the end near my ear purring, but she bolted when I got up. Then came back to inspect the shower, tub and sink. She decided the sink had too much stuff on it to climb up.

Packed lunch, was on the road on time, phoned AG partly as a test of the Pixel phone's BT, and partly to say hi. The good news is the connection and cell signal stayed strong, even in the work parking lot where I usually lost it with other phones. I was early enough to chat in the parking lot for 10 minutes. AG has started taking CalTrain to work, parking at SJ Diridon and taking the Amazon shuttle from PA to EPA. He missed his train and was waiting at the station. One thing he brought up is yesterday trains hit cars and people three times, so why don't they make all the train crossings go away and use underpasses/overpasses?  More on this later. **

Banana, egg, Kind bar scored in the break room.

Watched a lot of CES live feeds. A couple were clips from the power outage & the floods. Signed up for pre-sales of an aromatherapy item called OBlend. 50% off when they start shipping. Looks like they will make most of their $$ on the oils. One of them is a legal cannabis derivative. All the vloggers were jazzed about an LG TV which was hidden from public view, but somehow everyone with a press credential saw it. All 10,000 of them. It's a TV which rolls down into a box about 65" long and 8" tall. With handles. Prototype, no ETA on production. Looks like a fad to me.

Way too much not-ready-for-prime-time VR gadgets. One company with a name which will get them sued is selling a full-body haptic suit which can deliver impacts a player might feel during a game - hits, punches, bullets, etc. Problem is they have no game companies signed up yet.

Peeve: What marketing cretin came up with calling it "The Internet of Things"? STUPID. and inaccurate. We've been calling it the interoperable network for 30 years. Interop for short. Also toasternet, because the first "thing" ever shown working on a trade floor by remote internet commands was a toaster. It even had a bagel setting. Humans had to load it. At the same show, someone in Australia controlled a boom box via Intenet in Las Vegas. I was there. It has also been called the connected home, connected office, etc. But things? Give me an effing break.

Lunch was tuna salad sandwich and diet Coke, and a small bag of fruit from one of the Safeway tubs. Unfortunately most of the mango was unripe.

Also found a beautiful Hawaiian live cam, which shows views of a whale protection facility, though I saw no whales. And there were baby eagles in a nest at a real estate office, of all places. Very happy a business went to the trouble to set up a quality cam feed.

Got a call from a Dexcom rep, who explained that I am qualified to get one of their Hgl stick-on monitors, they provide a reader so no phone app is needed (Medicare will not pay for it if you use a phone app). We talked about Kaiser, and later I received email from them that Kaiser has been asked to send a PO to them under Medicare, and I should hear from Kaiser some day. I will also send email to my diabetes doc.

Boss couldn't come sync, she has the start of the plague. She was okay with me WFH tomorrow to wait for the thermostat installers. And she reminded me that Monday is no-work/no-pay MLK Day. I truly do not like honoring that person with a national holiday, especially at the expense of a President who did way more for equality than any loudmouthed gospel spouter.

5:30, drove to the garage, plugged the car in and went upstairs expecting a quiet cafeteria (they normally don't open till 6:30). But there was some kind of special event, which meant lots of people, food being served, and limited seating because the event had converted the cafeteria into an auditorium. I found a seat anyway, and read from the tablet for an hour.

**While I was reading, AG interrupted with messages saying his train was stuck in PA because a previous train had hit a car in Sunnyvale. My guess is it was at the south end of the station, where the crossing is designed to kill. Two lanes become a right-turn lane and two straight-ahead lanes, which then merge into a single lane very quickly, and people often get backed up onto the tracks with traffic close behind. And it is not a very visible crossing gate. He was delayed almost an hour, which is odd because Sunnyvale can be single-tracked easily. Bottom line is they need traffic police at that gate to keep cars off the tracks. Or an overpass.

6:30, car was 80% charged, more than enough to go home, and traffic had let up some. Also, the exit from the garage has no stop lights and is an easier turn onto Shoreline than the road from the Hole. Back roads traffic was light, and there were no bicycles.

Home, swapped the cats. Spook is out, Zoe is in the room.

Delivered was an LED torchiere lamp for the office. A long time ago I had replaced the low wattage CFL lights - 6 of them - in the office lamp with 60W or 75W equivalents, and recently noticed the lamp shade (plastic) closest to me was melting. Pulled out the lamp and saw that they all were melting. The LED lamp looked like a FAIL at first, very dim, until I saw the +/- button, and now it is as bright as the old lamp. WIN!. 

Prior to that task, I pushed, pulled and heaved the smaller (but not small) recliner from the office, where I had parked it to get it out from under the thermostat, to the far side of the livingroom, under the windows. Had to re-position all the throw rugs and sheepskin before & after. Whew.  Spook saw that as a challenge to get onto the window sill behind it. But the shades were down. Vacuumed where the recliner had been.

At work I almost bought a round table for the train set, something on the back burner for a couple of months, but I needed to measure the tracks again. The two standard sizes are 48" and 60". Turns out the tracks will fit on 48", so I ordered a table.

Watched another episode of Oak Island. They are making progress, but the producers keep repeating stuff several times an episode, which makes a 1-hour segment worth 15 minutes. Also watched an episode of Shark Tank, which was almost all enthusiastic amateurs with stupid ideas and wildly over-valued companies. Two guys selling gym shorts which look just like standard lined men's swimsuits wanted $800k for 1.5% of the company. Usually sharks want 33-50% for that big a stake. There was also an update on a company which had made a deal with Mark Cuban, but could not come to terms, so Kevin O'Leary hijacked the deal and made them into a billion dollar business.

No PTI, I know not why.

Plans for tomorrow:
Fire up the MacBook, log into work email. Monitor it till the thermostat people arrive
Fire up Amazon Prime and watch highly recommended The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
There may also be some live CES feeds on YouTube. I think there's one more day of the exhibition.
Hopefully the Nest thermostat gets installed & connected to Google Home & maybe the Samsung hub