January 25th, 2018


Not Conflikted

LJ reminds me that today is Conflikt's birthday. Conflikt is a filk (sci-fi music) convention in the Seattle area. This year it's at SeaTac. It used to be my favorite filk con, but they chose a really stupid venue for a few years, plus after my folks died I wasn't much drawn to Seattle anymore. The con is this weekend. The Interfilk guest is an old friend, and I'm puzzled why he was chosen because Interfilk was set up to allow filkers from overseas to attend each other's cons, and Bret is from my neck of the woods, and is currently living in Montana or Wyoming (I get them mixed up), but definitely not on the other side of an ocean. He's a great choice for GoH, or Toast...
Sleep was mixed, Zoe was all over the place but at some point she was curled up under my arm, purring and nipping at my hand. Not a lot of pit stops. My weight has gone up about 5# in the past week, blame trail mix. I need to stop snacking at work. Or stick to healthy snacks.

Took my time getting to work, and regretted it because the trail construction crews have blocked off half of my parking lot, and there was a huge tech support/intern confab in the break room building which took up all the parking. I ended up about a block away, halfway to the gift shop. And it was raining. Not much, but still.

There is now plenty of work for me. Today was a slow start because I needed to download firmware onto a USB stick and install it on the latest device from Europe. It's for a Swedish ISP. It took too long to pair the remote, because their support site is all in Swedish, and even after running Google translate, their search didn't find the word for remote control. I finally stumbled upon the magic key press, and paired it. But it took way too long.

This unit is a special case, the second of many to come, where the company which the box is for has a bigger say in what the UI looks like. The idea being that Android TVs are set up to make money for Google, where the ISPs would rather have their customers buying content from them. This one does a good job of splitting the difference.

By EOD I had worked through much of the smoke test, I'll need a couple more hours to finish.

Manager D dropped by, I gave him a demo of the automation test rig which the last TV he had me work on failed. I think he gets it now why I have to be in my lab to do those tests.

Email from some corp HR-ish person that there will be a team building event, a cooking class. But the venue is too small for all of us, so it will be split into two sessions. That's a team building FAIL right there. And I want a cooking class as a team builder only slightly more than I want hot pokers thrust into my eyeballs.

Email to my "hireme" address arrived from my new contract rep, saying email to my Google address bounced. So I sent email to him from there. I know he spelled my name wrong.

Lunch was crowded. And inconsiderate. One idiot team leader decided to hold a team meeting standing up around the counter with all the snacks, blocking the microwaves. I suggested there were more comfortable places in the room, but they laughed it off. Lunch was some kind of steamer bowl, chocolate pudding for dessert (it's been in my fridge a while now).

5:30, long trudge through the rain to my car. Very slow traffic to the nails place. My person told me that I should make my reservation for a fill, not a manicure, because a fill takes a lot longer, and scheduling...

This time I went for a two-layer color, a solid purple under a slightly sparkly same color. Looks interesting. There's a lot of blue in it.

On to Safeway next door, spent about $70, fruit bowls, strawberries, limes were huge so I bought 4, milk, small honey bear to replace the almost empty leaky one. They were out of small eggbeaters, both brand name and house brand. The big ones are too big for me. Also got 3 beef steamer bowls and 3 shrimp won ton soups. I wanted to just get won tons to put in my chicken soup, but they didn't have any. Pot stickers are not the same. Next trip to Chinese supermarket I need to get frozen won tons. Lemongrass, which stumped the checker, because I envison more Tom Ka in the future. And a pair of lamb shoulder chops, which will be paired with the other day's mashed potatoes real soon now.

Home, 101 was moving fast enough to take the back street cutoff. Delivered was a pair of 46" Levi's from JCP. I have yet to open the bag.

Changed the litterbox in the guest room, the one in the laundry room is close to needing a change too.

Dinner started with a bowl of shrimp won ton soup. Lots of garlic. Very tasty. Then some fruit from a fruit bowl, and then two large strawberries. FFed through more Oak Island BS, watched PTI while licking small spoonfuls of PNB. I need to stir up another jar's worth.

Zoe has been all over the place, but right now she is curled up on the cat tree overlooking the front porch. Spook has been under the futon in the guest room, which formerly was a favorite hangout.

Plans for tomorrow:
Maybe swap cats

The Day After Humpday

An article appeared yesterday about several camels being disqualified from a Saudi beauty contest for having Botox injections. It seemed appropriate news for a humpday.

Pretty good sleep, only woke once, about 4:30 am. Zoe was in and out of the bed. Mostly out.

Up and at 'em at 7:30, arrived at work half an hour early, which meant getting a decent parking spot. Lots of people in the break room to dodge on the way to the bananas, eggs, cheese & soda.

Set up the train to start on remote command. Tried it from work, monitored on a webcam.

In the hole, had a bunch of tests to run from yesterday. One of the fun parts of the job is if the device works well, it takes a lot less time because a box not up to snuff needs to have work-arounds tried**, and bug reports and logs downloaded and documented.

**For example, a couple of the games in the test plan require entering your age before it will let you play. Often it's a challenge to get the UI in a state where it will recognize either an on-display keyboard or a physical one, and today both games with this requirement took about 5 minutes each to find the right key combinations. In one case there is no reason to ask, in the other it's because there are optional in-game purchases which need to be made by an adult.

And if the machine crashes, freezes or reboots itself, I need to try a few times to make it do that at the same place to see if it's systemic or just a one-off.

Lunch was much less populated than yesterday, but there were a few people. I had left my tablet in the livingroom, but by chance I had my laptop, so I was able to fire up the Kindle app on it, and continue reading. A new book, The Great Symmetry by James R Wells. Well written so far, though he's a little awkward with his transitions between simultaneous events occurring in three locations. And one of the main characters is becoming a caricature.

Tuna salad sandwich, followed by a bag of fruit from the Safeway fruit bowl.

Back in the hole, finished the one unit, flashed another and saw it still fail all the automated tests. Switched networks and fired up Netflix, watched a couple of episodes of a TV show - the name escapes me - about high school kids in England, led by an egocentric but talented type A++ boy and boasting a variety of young character actors designed to creep you out. There is a lot of gratuitous nudity, butts and boobs.

Didn't even notice that Boss missed our sync.

Just before EOD, one of the managers sent a new STB, this one from a company I worked with a long time ago when I was installing equipment for TRW and training users in Winnipeg. I set up the box, will test it tomorrow/Monday.

Home, traffic wasn't too bad. Swapped the cats, Spook is curled up in the doggie bed behind me, and Zoe is on top of the tall cat tree in the guest room.

Dinner was a project. Chopped some onion, garlic, ginger and sautéed in peanut and olive oils. Cooked a pair of lamb shoulder chops. Heated up another bowl of shrimp won ton soup. Also a small tub of mashed potatoes. The lamb came out perfect, ate one chop and bagged/froze the other. The kitchen smells terrific.

Watched PTI, and also a talk by the author of what looks like an interesting book on spirit photography during the civil war. CSPAN, I think. Some interesting revelations about Matthew Brady and his contemporaries.

In the park slot was the rent bill. Entered that into Quicken, along with an order of socks I placed from work. My new shoes don't work well with crew socks, need something lighter weight.

Plans for tomorrow:
Home - maybe with a Starbucks stop along the way.