kevin_standlee: (XPO)
A computer issue kept me up until after midnight, which is bad news for me because I have to be up so early on work days. The errand to Reno to collect the ordered object isn't critical (although it has to be done on a weekday because the store isn't open weekends), and Lisa told me that I should go to bed early today, which is a good idea by me. It turns out to be just as well that we decided to not go to Reno today because Day Jobbe folks in the Pacific Time Zone wanted my attention in their afternoon. Oh well, it's nice to be wanted.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
I was indeed able to get away from Day Jobbe at 11 AM and head out of the Bay Area. Even then, I faced multiple slowdowns (caused by accidents) along I-680 and I-580 before escaping the Bay Area around Tracy. As usual, I stopped at Lodi Jct. for fuel at the Flying J, then in Sacramento to see my sister, before heading up the mountain. Although I'd used the air conditioning while driving through the Central Valley, after Auburn it wasn't needed, and for a while near the top I had the heat on. Summer may have only just ended, but when I stopped at Donner Summit, it was clear that Winter is coming.

Could Be a Donner Party-type Winter )

I stopped for dinner at Truckee, then drove straight for home. I arrived in Fernley around 8 PM, and was very glad to be there. Lisa helped me unload the Rolling Stone. She's been very busy this week while I was gone. She has put the portable swamp cooler away for the season and done a great deal of cleaning inside the house and tackled cutting down the pile of old pallets we'd accumulated in the side yard. This not only makes the house look much tidier, but those cut-down pallets are firewood, which Lisa needed as it's gone from hot enough to need the swamp cooler to cold enough to build a fire in the fireplace in just over a week.

My current plans don't have me needing to be in the Bay Area again until November. However, if that late-Summer snowstorm is a harbinger of the kind of winter we're going to have, I might not be driving across again until next spring!
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
This morning I left work at 11 AM to drive to Redwood Shores for my semi-annual dental check-up. (No problems.) This gave me the opportunity to have lunch at my favorite taqueria: El Metate in Belmont. (Good burritos at a fair price, and really great tortilla chips and salsa.) From there it was on to Fremont, where I finally paid my mechanic for the work he did on the Astro back in June. (He only got around to calling me with the final bill — $1200! — last week.) Then I went by Suju's Coffee in Fremont to buy a couple of pounds of whole-bean Columbian from them. (I don't come down to the Bay Area that often anymore, so I need to stock up when I'm here. Suju's was across the street from where I used to live in Fremont, and I like their coffee.) Then I refilled the forward tank on the Rolling Stone at one of the less-expensive gas stations in south Fremont. I'd intended to spend the rest of the afternoon at my employer's Fremont warehouse, but I had an in-person meeting scheduled for 4:30 PM back over in Sunnyvale. I was dismayed to hear on the radio of an accident on westbound CA-237. Fortunately, it had mostly cleared by the time I got back over there, and I managed to make it back with less than 30 minutes to spare. Whew! And that was driving in "off peak" and "counter commute" directions.

I hope to be able to get away before Noon on Friday, if work permits. I've put in enough hours that I can do so, but it requires that the urgent stuff gets done. If I don't get away before Noon, it's almost inevitable that I won't get home that night and will be obliged to lay up somewhere along the way, thanks to the never-ending traffic in the Bay Area and Sacramento.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
I haven't been in the Bay Area since June, and the Rolling Stone has mostly sat parked in front of the house since then, so it was a bit dusty. (Not as much as if it had been out to Burning Man, but still....) So this morning, Lisa and I first took it over to Flying J and filled the tanks, then took it to Hanneman's Car Wash and gave it a quick rinse. This afternoon, I loaded it up with my clothing for this coming week when I'll be working at the Bay Area office. Aside from my computers and toiletries (they go out tomorrow morning before I leave), I'm ready to go. I'm a little rusty at RV living now that I don't have to do it every other week or three, but it should be okay. I'm glad to see that the weather will be good, with likely comfortable evenings. Because I have to be up so early to stick to my 6-to-3 work schedule, getting to bed early each evening is very important to me.

Lisa and I worked on a household project that had been put off for lots of reasons, but today's weather was perfect for working around the property. I also cut a bunch of bushes back along the fence line, so I don't have to put up with them snatching at my hat every time I walk down our sidewalk.

Lisa is sorry I have to go away for a week, but she did say it's easier to do some of the cleaning she wants to do when I'm not underfoot.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
It was a short work week, but for some reason it seemed extra-long to me. I'm glad the weekend is here. Although I'll be spending a bunch of it at the computer anyway, editing together the remaining WSFS Business Meeting videos now that I have permission to use some of the Worldcon 75 footage to fill in a couple of gaps in our recordings caused by technical issues with the camera.
kevin_standlee: (Menlo Truck)
An early draft of my schedule for this year (before I moved to nearly all work-from-home) had me working in the Bay Area this week or next week. (As it happens, I do plan to do a week there later in September because I have a dentist appointment in Redwood Shores and am loathe to give up on my dentist of many years.) I am very happy that I did not have to be down there. Hard as it is to believe, it's actually hotter in the Bay Area today and for the next few days than it is here in Fernley.

While the heat is slightly less, we do have much smoke and haze from the many wildfires continuing to burn throughout California and Nevada. I was quite concerned to hear about a big fire near Oroville, and relieved to see that it's not threatening my father and other members of his side of the family who live in hills east of Oroville.

As long as the highs stay below about 35°C, the swamp cooler here seems to cope with the heat. Above that, it starts to get more difficult, and my brain slows down in the heat. Not that I'm yet 100% recovered from the Worldcon trip, which is why there still isn't a bunch of things done that should have been done by now.
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.

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