kevin_standlee: (XPO)
My re-imaged computer was shipped back to me yesterday (one day earlier than I expected), and so I had it directed to my house rather than to the PO Box. Around mid-morning, I also got an e-mail telling me that my new glasses were ready for pickup. I didn't expect the FedEx shipment to arrive until sometime in the afternoon, and it's only 750 steps to the optician's office, so I walked down and got the new glasses.

As I left their office, I noticed that there was a gap through which I could get to a dirt trail that leads back to Front Street, where I live, cutting a couple of blocks off the return walk. I'm lucky I went that way, because as I came onto Front Street, I saw the FedEx van heading toward me, having pulled away from my house unable to make the delivery. Yeow! Coming down the street at a run was Lisa, who was waving at me to stop the driver.

Fortunately for me, the driver had a delivery to make at the Imerys diatomaceous earth processing plant between where I was and my house, so I intercepted him, produced my ID, and signed for my package. Whew!

Oh, About the Glasses? )

Besides the new regular glasses, I also got a set of prescription sunglasses, so I no longer have to scratch up my regular lenses (which have some rather expensive anti-glare coating) with clip-ons.
kevin_standlee: (Default)
We made it home just before 9 PM tonight. I'd write more about the day, but there are more urgent issues. I've managed to rig a few work-around enough to probably be able to get most of my immediate work done on Monday, but it's going to be a real challenge, and I expect to be spending much too much time on the phone with the IT Help Desk trying to get the work machine to be able to start booting normally again. I probably won't be having a lot of fun. But I'm reasonably confident that I can get most things done by workarounds for at least the next day or two. Meanwhile, I must get sleep because I have to be awake again in six hours and I do nobody any favors if I stay up all night working on this computer problem.

Drained

May. 12th, 2017 04:55 pm
kevin_standlee: (Kreegah Bundalo)
There are many things I am supposed to get done out of my work hours. But by the time I've completed the ~9 hours of Day Jobbe, I'm having a difficult time concentrating on any of them. So consequently I'm having to prioritize, and that means some of the things I've promised people are slipping. I feel bad about this, but I've got to keep myself together and also keep the Day Jobbe progress going, or else nothing else will get done at all.
kevin_standlee: (Kreegah Bundalo)
Because of my current Day Jobbe schedule, I'm up at 5 AM daily. Consequently, I have to get to bed early as well. It's necessary, but I do hope it's not permanent.

Not Today

Mar. 20th, 2017 07:34 pm
kevin_standlee: (Kreegah Bundalo)
As soon as I got off work today, I lay down for a "short nap." Three hours later, I woke back up and decided that the rest of today is cancelled. The drives between here and the Bay area are clearly taking more and more to accomplish. Glad I don't have to do them as often in the future.
kevin_standlee: (Kreegah Bundalo)
For reasons unclear to me, my body clock appears to be running on a roughly 23 3/4-hour cycle lately. That is, I've been waking up earlier and earlier each morning and fading out earlier and earlier. It's inconvenient to be sure, since I do have to stay roughly in touch with my co-workers. OTOH, half of our team is in the Central time zone. I'm already going to work at 7:30 AM PT. Maybe I'll end up synched with them, although not with my manager, who is in the Pacific time zone.
kevin_standlee: (Snow Day)
When I woke up this morning and looked outside, it had just started to snow. (Lisa told me later that it also snowed briefly but heavily during the wee hours of the morning.) I went back to bed for a while. A couple of hours later, the snow had stopped, I swept the porch, and went out for my preferred weekend breakfast at the Wigwam. That was about as adventurous as I was to get today. Most of the morning's snow had melted by mid-afternoon, and I brought in a wheelbarrow load of of fire-logs. Shortly thereafter, another brief snow shower came through. But Fernley didn't get much snow. Not like the Sierra Nevada. Interstate 80 was closed for many hours from the California state line as far as Colfax. I saw the photos of vehicles backed up for many miles, and was very happy that I'm not scheduled to go back to the Bay Area until next weekend.

Lisa and I took care of our shopping in Reno/Sparks yesterday. Until next weekend, I don't see any prospect of having to go any farther from home than the grocery store on the other side of town. Some people say they don't like working from home, but so far this winter, these extended periods of WFH seem to suit me.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
It's a good thing that I got nine hours of sleep on Tuesday night, because I needed it for the drive home Wednesday. Because I couldn't leave until after my cleaning and checkup at the dentist, I didn't get away until 1 PM, and thus traffic was already starting to clog up over Altamont Pass, and by the time I got to Sacramento, it was crunch time there as well. It's just as well I spent some time visiting my sister at the long-term nursing facility, because that let some of the traffic up to Roseville disperse. Once I got past there, it was pretty much clear roads to Fernley. I got home just before 10 PM. Lisa helped me unpack the Rolling Stone and I fell into bed.

On the drive up, I passed the Caltrans crews working on the mudslide on the westbound lanes of I-80 at Baxter. Westbound traffic was being diverted off I-80 onto CA-20 for the detour through Grass Valley to Auburn, but big rigs were being held at the CA-NV state line. When I entered Nevada, I saw a very long line of trucks parked on the shoulder westbound. Miles of rigs parked anywhere they could park. The shoulders aren't wide enough everywhere, but based on what I saw, the backup effectively was at least as far as Fernley, almost 50 miles west of the state line. Just before I went to bed, I saw that Caltrans had reopened the highway and was letting all traffic through. It bet it was a long slow procession as hundreds of big rigs started up and headed west.

Today we had high wind warnings again, as the storm moves toward us. It wasn't as windy as the big winds last week, but I'm still glad I didn't have to be out in it other than to bring a wheelbarrow-load of logs from the garage to the wood-box.

I'm grateful my manager let me time-shift sufficiently to come home yesterday, but these drives are getting harder on me when I can't budget recovery time. Fortunately, there's not much happening this weekend and I should be able to get some rest.
kevin_standlee: (Kreegah Bundalo)
I continue to experience "tennis elbow" pain primarily caused by too much time on the computer. I can't help the work-related stuff (although I'll look for an elbow brace and I've been putting additional padding on the arm-rest of my work chair), but I am spending a little less time behind the computer when not required for work.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
This afternoon we were able to take advantage of relatively mild temperatures to get a bit of maintenance done on the travel trailer. But there's a storm moving this way from the west, and I've been nervously monitoring the forecast for Truckee-Soda Springs (Donner Summit on I-80). The weather for Friday-Saturday-Sunday has been varying from moderate rain to 20-30 cm of snow. Rain I can probably manage, but I won't drive over Donner if it's snowing. This complicates my plans to travel to the Bay Area on Sunday and work down there next week. If I have to postpone, I'll have to put off a number of things, including my dentist appointment, which has already been postponed twice due to weather. I'm sure grateful that it hasn't been critical that I show up in person.

Home Work

Dec. 9th, 2016 05:55 pm
kevin_standlee: (Fernley House)
As it happens, the next pulse of these series of winter storms weakened and warmed sufficiently that I probably would have been able to get through today after all, but it did not look that way yesterday morning, so I had to go when I felt confident that I would not get stuck. I put in a full day of work here at home, of course, attending three different meetings by video conference call. The only difference between here and Sunnyvale is that my home internet connection sometimes gets bogged down trying to do video, so I have to mute the camera to preserve enough bandwidth for the audio and shared screens. However, several of the other people in these calls are doing the same things, so I'm not out of the ordinary.

It was dry and clear here in Fernely most of today, so late in the afternoon, before we lost the light and it got cold, we took the Rolling Stone out to dump the waste tanks and fill the fuel tanks. Now it will probably sit for a while before we start preparing for my next trip to the Bay Area in early January. I'm looking forward to spending several weeks at home.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
This morning, I checked weather over the Sierra Nevada and the highway conditions over I-80. As near as I could tell from the time, I was facing a window today through which I could get home; however, if I didn't go today, the window would close and storms would move back in for Friday-Sunday and even later. I didn't really want to spend all of next week in the Bay Area. I asked my de facto manager if it was okay for me to leave this morning once I got my main work done, and he agreed as long as my hours for the week balanced, which they will because I worked several hours on Monday when I was nominally on vacation. So just before 11 AM I headed home.

The only difficult parts were the high winds in the Tracy area that blew me around a bit, heavy fog above Colfax, and the descent from Donner Summit, where it was wet but not snowy, but where I wasn't sure about ice. The solution in both cases was to slow down and take it easy, which I did. I made my usual fuel stop at Lodi Jct. and visited my sister in Sacramento for 45 minutes. As I said, there was no snow on the highway, just a lot of rain. East of the summit, the rain lifted, and it wasn't even especially cold. Lisa had been working on building up the wood fire in the house and had things tolerably warm by the time I got home.

I'm grateful I was allowed to leave a day early. Tomorrow, however, is a regular work day, so I need to get unpacked and get some rest from the drive. Fortunately, my commute is much shorter and the shower is in my own house, so I don't need to get up at 5:15 AM.

Silent Kev

Dec. 6th, 2016 04:53 pm
kevin_standlee: (Kreegah Bundalo)
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I talked my voice to pieces during SMOFCon. Today, I spent nearly the entire day in a conference room interacting with co-workers entirely through e-mail and instant messaging. It was not until I went to lunch and gave my sandwich order that it occurred to me that it was the first time all day that I'd actually spoken a word. This is probably just as well. I still am somewhat hoarse, but resting my voice and drinking lots of hot tea (but not coffee) seems to help.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
The flight from Chicago to San Francisco was completely full, but not so full that they could accept my offer to volunteer to be bumped. I would have welcomed it, not just because of the voucher, but because there was Day Jobbe work chasing me this morning. I tried to do some of it on the plane, but it's nearly impossible to get any work done in a modern coach seat. Even Economy Plus would not have been enough, unless I'd had an exit row.

I got back to my RV and after stopping for dinner, went to my office to dive into getting the work that people were clamoring for throughout the day done. And a couple of them were still online at 9 PM waiting for it, so it really was urgent to them. Some of this is just a timing issue because it's the first Monday after the end of the month when certain monthly reports are due.

I'd write more, but I'm very tired and I need to get back to my normal work schedule tomorrow morning. Also, I haven't unpacked yet, and keeping things packed properly in that RV is critical.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
I got away from the office a bit later than expected yesterday, and I had a couple of errands to do before I could leave. First I refueled the Rolling Stone and confirmed that it's no longer throwing gasoline overboard. (9.8 mpg isn't great, but it's better than the 3 mpg that it was getting as it hemorrhaged fuel.) Then I went to my mechanic's shop and paid for the repairs. It cost about a week's salary (after withholding), but besides the actual value of the repair, I effectively got free parking for the Eurocon trip, which can be offset against that cost.

By the time I actually got going, it was too late, and I was trapped in slow-moving traffic from Fremont to Tracy to Stockton to Lodi Junction to Sacramento. There were spots where it lightened up at times, but much of the trip was in pretty congested traffic. I visited my sister at the nursing home in Sacramento after a stop at Fry's Electronics for a minor item that's tricky to get in Reno, then detoured to the Roseville Galleria Mall where there is a Lush store that stocks my after-shave ointment. (No Lush stores in Reno.)

By the time I got to Colfax, I was seriously dragging. Since I got back from Europe, I've been going to bed around 8 PM, and it was past that time already. So I stopped at the Gold Run rest area, buttoned up the RV, and called Lisa to tell her that I wouldn't be getting home tonight. She knew that was a possibility and endorsed the decision.

The rest area was full of big rigs parking overnight as their drivers got their mandated hours-of-service rest. When I woke up about 3 AM, a full-sized RV (not a little one like mine) was taking up a bunch of the parking spaces next to me. California allows up to eight hours parking in a rest area (unlike some states that have foolish short-term parking rules), and thus I was unconcerned about my sojourn at Gold Run.

About 3 AM I woke up initially, and after an attempt to go back to sleep that failed, I concluded that I might as well head home. I stopped in Truckee for coffee (Starbucks having just opened for the morning when I got there) and at Verdi for breakfast (taking my time lingering over breakfast so the sun wouldn't be directly in my eyes when I returned to the road.

Greeted by a Flock of Quail )

I was still pretty worn out despite the five or so hours of sleep at Gold Run. Aside from a visit to Walgreen's to replace the blood glucose meter I lost at London St. Pancras and the grocery store for some immediate needs, I mostly took today off. I would have gone to bed when I got home, but I think that would have made things worse. However, I do expect to get to bed early again today. Although I had little problem making the time adjustment to Barcelona, my body clock on the return has stubbornly remained somewhere out over Northern Canada. It's vaguely helpful with my job given that I have to coordinate with people in the Central time zone, but I'm looking forward to getting back on Pacific time this coming week.

It is good to know, however, that laying up at Gold Run is a viable alternative plan for when I'm traveling between the Bay Area and home.
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
Lisa and I went to Reno relatively early tomorrow (Lisa having moved to a schedule that has her up early so she can take me to the Amtrak station tomorrow) and had breakfast at the Peppermill Buffet. As usual, this was probably cost-effective (excluding my habit of playing keno) because our shopping thereafter included not a bit of impulse shopping, and we had no desire to have any lunch at all when we got home.

Lisa's early-morning schedule now has her going to bed in the middle of the afternoon, which she did when we got home. I finished my laundry and did the largest part of my packing for the next two weeks. This is a complex trip, with me taking the train tomorrow to Emeryville/Fremont, collecting the RV, working at a client site for two days, then flying on Tuesday evening from SFO to London and spending the night there, then taking the train to Paris, crossing Paris, then taking a train to Barcelona for Eurocon. I return the Tuesday thereafter, then work for three days in the Bay Area, then (I hope) drive home. The biggest part of the complexity is packing to have clothes for work, clothes for travel, and clothes for Eurocon. Fortunately, work clothes (and anything else I don't need on the Eurocon trip) I can store in the Rolling Stone on Tuesday after work. Nonetheless, it means I have to give a bit more thought to my packing (and take a bigger suitcase).

Also this afternoon, I shifted a couple hundred more pieces of wood on the Mountain of Misdumped Wood before coming in to turn on the World Series.

Work Train

Sep. 21st, 2016 06:09 pm
kevin_standlee: (XPO)
Yesterday, Lisa spotted (and I managed to photograph as it passed) an intermodal train carrying a container from my employer's parent company.

First XPO Container I've Seen )
kevin_standlee: (Fernley House)
Lisa rolled up as expected about 6:30 this morning. We transferred stuff between vehicles. As it turns out, we didn't do enough transferring. I left my webcam in the Rolling Stone, and we forgot to move the San Jose "standups" (promotional poster) that we carried back from Kansas City to the RV so that I could turn them back in to the convention when I next come down in a week. Fortunately, it's not crucial for me to show my face in our team's daily video conferences; not all of our team members have cameras anyway, and I do have a spare headset for the audio.

After dropping the RV at my mechanic's shop, we had breakfast, then dealt with a couple of errands in Fremont before heading for Sacramento, where I visited my sister for a while. We then went to Auburn and had lunch, then pushed home. By the time we got home, Lisa had been awake for close to 24 hours, so she headed straight to bed while I moved my stuff into the house.

I'm only here for a week (I take the train back down next Sunday), but I'm glad to be here after a pretty intense two weeks of retraining. I have lots more to do, but everyone on the team assures me that it gets easier, and they're all being very supportive. I expect that sleeping in my own bed will help improve things as well.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
I got away from Fernley House about 9 AM yesterday morning, on a nice clear late-summer morning, looking forward to an uneventful drive to the Bay Area, where I have to work these next two weeks.

Note to self: Never drive from home to the Bay Area on Labor Day.

I hadn't really consider the effect of go-home traffic from Nevada to the Bay Area, multiplied by the people leaving Burning Man. It took me six hours to go the 150 miles to Sacramento. There was a mile-long tail-back from the Agricultural Inspection Station near Truckee, even with four lanes open. I quipped to the inspector, "I might be the only RV you see today that isn't coming from The Burn." He laughed. Beyond the station, it was still wall-to-wall traffic. I could have walked from the Ag station to downtown Truckee faster than I drove.

Up and over Donner Summit was not much better. It was a rotten slog most of the way, with pockets of stop-and-go all the way.

I've never encountered this issue before because I've either been away at Worldcon during this time of the year or have worked from home the week following Labor Day. The latter is what I wanted to do, but Day Jobbe has other plans.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
I am going to have to spend the next two weeks in the Bay Area, short week notwithstanding, so today we started the process of getting the Rolling Stone prepared for a two-week stint. There is some work that needs to be done before I leave on Monday.

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