July 5th, 2019


Going Fourth

The usual breakfast, but at 10 because I found an amazing app called Music Detector from acr cloud which runs on my phone and tablet, and can identify any published song in about 5 seconds. The most fascinating part is it IDed Thai language songs from Radio Talay, in Thai. It gives the name of the song and the artist. The lyrics lookup is not working on the free version, but it will correctly link to a video for the song. Funny thing is three of the tunes I liked were by Klear, a Thai group whose CDs I have purchased in the past. They remind me of Evanescence. Talay plays a lot of American tunes, and the app gets them right away too.

The plan for today was to stay home, troubleshoot the Arlo camera app, watch too much Lone Ranger and watch the Big Parade in DC. Turns out the parade was over before I got out of bed. I watched on YouTube, but they didn't show the tanks, and what they did show was pretty lame compared to the 4th of July parades we have around here.

I watched one storm chaser for a couple of hours, until his chat session got taken over by two moderators on a power trip. Instead of chatting they were having emoji contests, dozens of them which essentially wiped out any chance of having a conversation. So I went to TWC and watched their coverage, which included a clip attributed to that chaser group, but the name of the chaser wasn't on the group's list. TWC guessed wrong.

Turns out while I was watching 4 episodes of the Lone Ranger, the chaser I was watching actually did come across a large tornado near a town called Chugwater. In Wyoming. He had driven about 300 miles from Buffalo Gap, SD to get there. The clip he shared was of an impressive tornado, but it was pretty far away and the bottom of the funnel was obscured by a hill in the way. No way to tell if it actually touched ground.

For lunch I made a small salad and microwaved a thai coconut chicken meal.

Spent some time on the porch enjoying the nice weather. With the help of Arlo's support pages I was able to fix the issue of the front camera reporting every passing car or pedestrian. But before I fixed it, it recorded my neighbor Lee carrying off the big table on my property between my house and her carport. She had asked to put it there more than a year ago, along with 4 plastic chairs, mostly because she had no place to put them and figured we could both hang out there with friends. Last week she said she was going to reclaim them. The table is bigger than she is, but it's light plastic so she didn't have trouble carrying it. She didn't take the chairs yet.

After fixing the camera settings, it will now only alert me if something is happening on the front steps.

Dinner was a production - the remaining 5 spare ribs in Bulgogi marinade. I placed them in the baking pan this time, sliced an onion and placed the slices on top and poured a little marinade on. Same recipe, bake at 450 for 15, flip and bake for 7 more. I thought about dessert but was too full.

Searched for the 4th of July fireworks on Tivo, and instead of it finding the ones in DC it found the Boston Pops. Queen Latifa was up singing California Dreamin' which struck me as odd for a concert in Boston, and she said as much after the song. I miss Arthur Fiedler. The new conductor conducts like he's on quaaludes. The broadcast was on the Bloomberg channel, and it was sponsored by the Harvard Business School. There were two woman MCs, so the conductor didn't have to show if he had a personality. They had quite a diverse array of talent, but Arlo Guthrie won it for me by starting with The Times They Are A-Changing, and later The City of New Orleans (which reminded me how very American that song is), and finally leading the whole cast in his daddy's classic This Land Is Your Land. The 1812 Overture featured a quartet of real US Army canons, staffed by real US Army soldiers in camo. Of course the Pops ended with Stars & Stripes Forever, but it always sounds lame when done by an orchestra instead of a brass band. And then they played canned music for 45 minutes of un-interrupted fireworks. It was a very impressive display.

Wandered back to the PC, ordered a pair of open toe slippers to replace my old Birkenstocks, which have begun to dig holes in the tops of my feet. And the cork is falling apart.

By then Trump's speech was online, I watched it all. He did okay. He did not say a word about himself. The speech was a history lesson, and stuck to a theme of how America has always been an innovator, and he made it clear that civil rights, women's suffrage and medical advances were a part of that. The theme of the day was the military, and for each branch of the service he started with its beginnings, pointed out major achievements, and there was a flyby of each one's aircraft while he was talking about them. He saved the Blue Angels for last. He is not a very good public speaker, but this time he stuck to the script, which was brilliantly written. It had rained earlier, and the bulletproof glass between him and the half a million unwashed was streaked with raindrops - someone really should have found a squeegee before the Prez came on.

And then this popped up on the Facebook Filker page, a very cute astrophysicist and Queen fan reviewing Brian May's doctoral thesis. https://youtu.be/noT8kkdl8hE

Once again there was a professional fireworks display somewhere that didn't make sense on the map. A mile or so past the other side of the mobile home park. But there's nowhere out there to stage a fireworks display. Meanwhile the neighborhood behind me was exploding cherry bombs and other single loud noise makers. Spook slept through it for the most part. When it got bad enough to make the dogs next door bark, she sat on the sill by that window and watched the dogs being scared. I finally opened the front door, and she stayed in front of it until all the loud noises were done. She was the opposite of scared.

Plans for tomorrow:
Go out somewhere. Maybe 7 Seas park.
Not expecting any recruiter contacts or deliveries.
There may be midwest weather to watch.

Let Me Eat Cake

There is a Duncan Hines dark chocolate cake cooling in the kitchen, waiting for icing. This was a direct result of a to-do item long overdue.

The story goes like this: For the past few months something in or near the kitchen has been emitting a 3-note electronic tone at random times. There is nothing I can think of which would do this. I took the CO meter into the livingroom, but the tones stayed near the kitchen. It does not sound like it is coming from the fridge or the freezer, changing the batteries in the door bell unit didn't help. It's not coming from the temperature/humidity indoor outdoor meter on the counter.

The dishwasher is capable of making that sound, but the tones come out whether it is off or in use.

There is a small section of counter space which has a Sonos speaker and  Google mini on it, but it was also crammed full of things whch should have been tossed ages ago. So the to-do was to empty the two boxes of expired mashed potato mic and the two boxes of Nilla wafers into the disposal and recycle the boxes. Moved the spice grinder and its accessories to another table, tossed a gardening book and several packlets of seeds with which it was booby trapped, and put the camera manual up on a shelf.

After straightening the roomba accessories and confirming there was nothing electronic besides the speaker & google thing, all that was left was a box of cake mix and two squeeze tubes of icing.

So I made the cake, and will turn it out and ice it later.

After all of that, I still heard the tones.
The morning was earlier than usual, no reading before getting showered and dressed.

Lots of alerts from the new cameras, which have both forgotten the activity zones I applied. The app shows the zones are there, and Support claims I should only be getting alerts and recordings for things seen in those zones, but every motion anywhere in the cameras' view triggers both. I showed Lee the video of her carrying the huge table, she almost fell over laughing. Today it caught her removing the chairs, even though that was out of the zone.

There is no recording of Fedex delivering a box of salad bowls - he apparently threw it from the street onto the porch. :-(

Sometime late morning I got in the car and explored the area west of me where the fireworks may have come from. I saw no evidence, but in that direction there are several huge former parking lots with concrete surfaces.  It would be a safe place, no trees, no buildings nearby. But I'm not convinced, I may ask the fire department Monday.

After the mail truck didn't deliver anything, I got the rake and pulled out most of the rest of the natve grasses from the front garden. It looks nicer now.

As promised, the recruiter called to set me up with a second position at Google similar to the first one. We'll see next week if anything comes of that.

Watched one of the most professional storm chasers for quite a while, he drove from SD to WY hoping for another tornado - he saw two yesterday. While I was there, the idiot troller who has been annoying me for months found me there and tried to heckle me, but the site has a staff of moderators who banned him - and they thought they were dealing with a gang, until I told them it's just one idiot child who somehow can create dozens of logins. I asked them to use their clout to complain to Twitch and Amazon. This guy needs to be caught and sent to prison. Can't happen if Twitch doesn't track his IP address and report him to the police.

Played some online board games, watched four more Lone Rangers episodes, and fixed Tivo's recording options to show each half hour as a separate episode. I may add Roy Rogers and Perry Mason. There was an episode of Are You The One? which was frustrating because it seems clear that many of the bi participants are really hetero, including a man whose body is very masculine, but he packs it into drag outfits and affects a flamer speech pattern. There is no way with that body he is anything but a straight man with an impressive wardrobe. So far two couples have been declared not a match by the Truth Booth, but at the nightly match meeting there were still only two perfect match couples. The number should have changed after two couples were split and chose different matches.

Watched half of a Nova on massive super black holes, until I got tired of the repetitions. Found an Animal Planet marathon on strange wonders of the animal world, such as why scorpions glow under a black light, and how come there is a tropical island populated by ocean-going tiny pigs.

The cake doesn't want to leave the pan. Giving it more time to cool. Come to think of it. there's no reason to take it out, I only need to ice the top, the glass pan I baked it in has a lid.

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Plans for tomorrow:
10 am monthly party at the community center
Maybe watch storm chasers. TWC is useless on weekends.
Janice's for a chat - she doesn't want to leave the apartment.