Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 17

I was actually awake at 1 in the afternoon. I drank a bit less than 200ml of vodka last night, and tonight will do about 100ml. As mentioned the folks on the radio say 50ml is the only healthy quantity, but I wonder if I should just adjust it right down to zero. I've been taking my blood pressure using an automatic meter we have here, and my blood pressure and resting pulse rate are both higher than I'd like to see them. I think it may come down to a choice: Keep drinking and have to take blood pressure pills, or quite drinking entirely, and maybe be able to avoid the dreaded pills.

I packed some things, most notably a bunch of large-ish LCD displays which just fit into a Large priority mail box, and did a post office run. Then went to 99 Ranch to buy some laundry detergent and got some cash back (I hope the amount in my bank account has not gotten too small!) and came back here and loaded up my laundry because if I didn't do it tonight, it'll get pushed up past the weekend like as not and I don't want that.

Laundry went OK; I just read the rest of Hotel Honolulu, and again I'm glad I didn't pay money for the book. I rode over to Taylor and there was tons of cops and a helicopter in the air, which even shone its searchlight on me a couple of times, so I rode over to Jackson and to First, then to Bad Boys Bail Bonds and across their driveway to the place on 2nd street where the "tiny library" is and returned the book.

It turns out the big to-do with all those cops cars was a double shooting at Gordon Biersch, where a T-shirt place, "Cukui", basically a Hawaiians on the mainland thing, was hosting a party. So of course there was a shooting.

I got back and just felt like snacking so I had hazelnuts, cheese, dried sardines, and pecans and radishes. And some marinated artichokes in olive oil. Very yummy! 


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August 16

I looked for the screw eyes and screws I'd rounded up for the cat water bottle holder last night and could not find 'em. Stainless steel screw eyes are very hard to find locally anyway; I was never able to find them. So I got on Amazon and ordered some stainless steel screws and stainless screw eyes. Then I found the parts I had here, but it doesn't matter, I'll use the stuff I'm getting on Amazon, as well as using the stuff I have here at least on my styrofoam mock-up.

I had to take an Amazon return package to the local UPS store, plus a FedEx package to FedEx, plus a bunch of US mail stuff to the post office. Luckily, the FedEx package could be bungee'd to the top of the bike bag and I was able to do all of this on the bike.

Then I went to Sprouts and bought stuff, including some "snack bar" stuff like 2 boiled eggs, some tiny pickles almost as small as olives, olives'n'cheese, and roasted garlic. That all only cost me about $4. I went to Lowe's and returned the stuff I didn't need, got another 1X1 by 8-foot piece of wood and had 'em cut it in half, got a piece of aluminum L-cross section stock,  plus a triangle-square thing and a cheap torpedo level and carried that all back on the bike, with a stop by the lab place (nothing).

Then I ate! I really love this diet.

Then I took off for Target on the bike trail which takes me right there, and got some things. And decided to look around downtown to see what's going on. There was a good crowd milling around in San Pedro Square and Paseo de San Antonio, and it looked good for busking, but the only "buskers" I saw were Recorder Guy with his begging signs out, and the two guitar guys, now apparently down to one guitar; maybe they sold one to pay for the drugs they seem to be on.

I was kicking myself for forgetting to get over to the Vietnamese store for those sesame dried anchovies that are about $3 for a pretty big jar, and decided to go to Nijiya and get some dried fish there so I'd know what the really good Japanese dried fish are like, even though they're about $7. But they were out. I got some dried sardines with no seasoning on them at all, instead. And some cucumbers and a weird coffee drink called Dootour or something, and a 50ml little cup of plum wine - with plum.

The reason for this last thing was, on the radio they're saying a person should not drink more than 50ml of hard liquor a night. Last night I had over 200ml, and the night before, over 300ml I'm sure. So I need to taper it down to where I'm just having 50 ml before bed, in this nice little green glass cup.

I stopped at the 7-11 because my rifle scope had arrived at the Amazon Locker. As usual, it was easy-peasy, and it was in a big paper padded envelope.
 Scope, in its package, in a plastic bag, in a bubble mailer.

 But where the flap is sealed over, these mailers are only protecting the item with a single layer of paper! It was already halfway "opened" when I pulled it out of the locker.

 The packaging of the scope is tough as hell, but it still took a beating. The scope itself is fine though.

I wish Amazon would use a little better packaging, but the scope is a tough little unit and the packaging it comes in has to be pretty thoroughly destroyed to get the scope out anyway. I took it out and looked around the neighborhood, and even at Jupiter, up in the sky, and it's a really nice scope.

Dinner was beef and asparagus and some "elephant garlic" - that stuff's just kind of weird and when it's used up I think I'll go back to plain old garlic.

Ebay listing kept me up late, because I have to get it done. If I'm busking Friday-Saturday-Sunday, then the other days have got to be devoted to getting this Ebay stuff done plus my other projects.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 15

Ken came over last night and brought a lot of stuff to list on Ebay. This is how our business works: I'm better at photos and descriptions and keeping things organized, and he's far better at getting the stuff than I ever was. He also wrote me paychecks for this week and for the next. I told him it was a very good thing because between all the money I've been sending to the IRS and buying the 10/22, I've probably got only $300-odd in the bank.

And as I woke up today, the bloated orange piece of shit who's infesting the White House has doubled down on his support of the Nazis. He now says they're wonderful people etc.

My response has been to get on the bike and ride down to the Big-5 on Monterey Highway and buy a couple hundred more rounds of ammo. I had to stop at Safeway first and buy some more mouth wash, which I'm getting low on, and get $60 cash back, first. I also asked at Big-5 if they had any 10/22 magazines, and they did not, but they called the Stevens Creek store which had two, and which they'll hold for me to buy when I go to pick up the 10/22.

It's a bit of a ride down there, but it's fun seeing the Victorian houses along there and interesting buildings in general. And good exercise!

I stopped in Japantown on the way back and got a sugar-free Lipovitan and some raw tuna, which I ate out front at one of their tables. Since all I'd had all day was my usual sesame seed and coffee breakfast.

I got back and since I didn't have any perishables in the bike bags, went straight over to the usual dumpsters, finding nothing at the lab place and the only kind of neat thing being a big piece of the kind of styrofoam that people use to line the inside of their roofs, so it's very stiff and sturdy. This was difficult to take back here on the bike, as I had to hold it in one hand and often the wind made it "fly", while I rode. It will be perfect to make a mock-up of the cat water bottle stand with as it's easy to work with but sturdy enough to actually make a stand with.

I saw no buskers downtown, only Recorder Guy and his heavyset friend, I guess I'd call him Weed Man? As usual Weed Man was blasting music, but this time it was punk/socialist type music so OK.

Since I won't be at Ken's for a couple of weeks, I won't have any "official weigh-ins" for a couple of weeks. We actually have two boxes of bathroom scales here, but I kind of like to do it on the same scale, with myself in the same state, of having just woken up on a Thursday morning. I do know one thing though: My favorite shirt, a rather nice Tommy Hilfiger number I got at Ross, is just plain too big now. I got out one of my older "skinnier" shirts and even it's nice and roomy. No more stuffed sausage effect. I will have to get my older "fat" clothes together to donate. As far as that goes, my new 32-waist shorts may have to be replaced in another month or two. 

 People talk about working in the canyons of Wall Street but no one thinks about the canyons of electronic surplus.

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 14

I packed some things to ship last night and need to pack 3 more now. Ken's coming over tonight because I called him and raised the question of how I'm to be paid while he's away for 2 weeks, and he's bringing over some more stuff to sell and checks for the rent and for me.

"Street Musician Daniel" is all butt-hurt because I've stopped commenting on his blog. His latest post is a big skeezy Oh-Poor-Me whine, and since he's convinced I control The Internet and am telling all 5 of you out there to stop reading his blog, I'll retract that. Please, please read Street Musician Daniel's blog. Because it's like living in the head of a meth addict, without the expense of meth or the dental care bills. Daniel's not a meth addict, his poison is cheap energy drinks, but there's a lot of similarity. He just lives to skeeze through another day. Goals, and good ones, are brought up and as quickly discarded. Things are given without any thanks, no time for thanks, gotta skeeze on, bro'.

So by all means, everyone, please read Street (Rat) Musician Daniel's blog. If you love poverty porn, it's a hell of a much better read than this thing.

Or if you like your futility and despair straight up, here are some drunk bakers.

http://viz.co.uk/category/cartoons/strip-cartoons/drunken-bakers/

I ordered a nice little scope for my Ruger 10/22 last night and it will arrive in the locker on Wednesday. It was under $30. Research shows the gun comes with just one magazine so I'll want to get a 2nd one, and eventually a few more. Since I'll only buy the real Ruger ones, that's $25 each. Going to the Big-5 on Stevens Creek is such a pain in the ass that I'll be getting those from the one on Monterey, since it's only a bit of a bike ride from downtown.

I should add something about yesterday: I was on the light rail and some gals got on who'd been at a peace vigil by City Hall. I told them if I'd known it was going on, I'd have shown up too. They said it went OK, and I mentioned that I'd done something for the cause myself, I'd bought a gun. LifeProTip: Do not mention to comfortable middle-class liberals well, anything about guns. An argument ensued; I like to think I made a point that we didn't beat the Nazis the last time in WWII by sending them cards and flowers. But I don't think things sing in with comfortable middle-class liberals very quickly. They "didn't want to have this conversation anymore" and then one gal, off to the side, quietly told me she agreed with me. But I was playing with fire here, because I could have gotten kicked off of the light rail or even met at the next station by the VTA cops. So, I will refrain from mentioning my chosen route of action. I guess I got a little too used to living in a rural area where announcing that you've just bought a gun is met with the same sort of approval as if your dog has had puppies or you got a particularly good yield from your fruit trees. 

I've found that I can carry 4 Priority Mail medium flat-rate boxes on the bike by putting each one in a plastic bag, the bags then hung from the handlebars. I also took some smaller boxes and envelopes and 3 mailing tubes. Not bad.

I then went to 99 Ranch to look around, and was looking through the produce when I saw lettuce stems. Lettuce stems?? Those were so weird, I bought some for 75c, realizing that I'd intended first thing to get a couple of tea eggs and eat them. I'd just had my usual sesame seeds and coffee to start my day. So I paid for my lettuce stems, put them in the bike bag, came back in and found the tea eggs near the bakery checkout, 2 for $1.50 not bad. Very tasty too. I then did my looking around, because 99 Ranch has some odd and unexpected things, and looking around for something to buy, got a New York strip steak for $5, for dinner tonight if Ken's not up for Denny's.

Then I headed back, checked the usual dumpsters, only finding a couple of nice flat boxes for mailing books in, got back here and put everything away, and then headed out again, walking, up to Lowe's where I bought a nice piece of red oak for the cat water bottle holder, a long piece of 1X1 to reinforce the shelf, and some hardware it turns out I'll have to return because I don't need it. Plus two packs of hacksaw blades, and $10 cash back. That all came to about $75, so I'm going to have to seriously get out busking regularly again. With all the spending I've been doing, I may only have a few hundred in the bank right now.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 13

I was up until it got light in the morning, just doing so many things and finding myself at 5 in the morning packing a few Ebay items to take with me ...

I woke up at a little after 4, and had what's becoming my go-to low-carb breakfast, sesame seeds eaten by the half-spoonful and black coffee. It sounds odd but the seeds are crunchy and very satisfying, and the coffee works with them to keep things going like clockwork if you know what I mean.

I grabbed the $26 I had saved for the electric bill and walked out to the light rail station. I put $20 on my Clipper card right away, and rode downtown, getting off at St. James park to put the Ebay packages in the mail box, then back on down to Safeway, where the #23 bus was a few minutes late so although I should have just missed it, I didn't.

It took 30 minutes on the nose to get to the Big-5 on Stevens Creek, which is about how long it would take me on my bike anyway. Really, that ride's a pain in the ass; I've done it before and I'll pay for the bus, thanks.

At Big-5, I asked for "Anthony" but "the other Anthony" was there, and said if I'm going to buy the gun today, we have to get going right away. He handed me a test and an answer sheet, and set up a cute white cardboard "carrel" sort of thing around where I was at the counter, with cut-outs of pistols in it. I whizzed through the test because I'm a fast test-taker anyway, and I aced it. This is good, because while I downloaded the study manual, I didn't study it last night.

Then there were papers and more papers. I had them get down the 10/22 I was buying, in its box, and measured the box, writing the measurements down. 40X6X3 inches. I told Anthony of my plan to either bring a larger box to put that box in, or bring brown wrapping paper and wrap the box in it, securing it with Ebay tape, and he was fine with this. I guess it's not a problem taking a new gun, in its box, on the bus.

So I got all the papers done, and then the lady at the front put all the papers together and charged $319 on my debit card, so actually less than I thought it might come to. And she circled the day I can go pick it up.

There were all kinds of people waiting in line and Anthony had to go man a register to take care of the backlog, and I walked out, happy, to the bus stop. A guy who'd been behind me, buying bike inner tubes, talked with me. I told him all about using "Slime" in the tubes and how he has to make sure the rim bands are OK, and we talked about getting training in shooting, and I said the NRA is the place to go to for that, and I highly recommend them, even if I don't agree with their politics now.

So, walking to the bus stop, the guy started talking about how the white nationalists are right and so on, and I tried to convince him that people who would eliminate whole other races or even whites of different beliefs are not good people, and he didn't agree. I finally said, "Look, you're Hispanic..." and he said he wasn't, he's Persian (oops!). "I'm Aryan, more Aryan than the Aryans". And he'd read "all the white nationalist stuff" and thought their ideas are pretty good. By this time we were at the bus stop and he had to walk on home, so we shook hands for some reason and parted. I didn't get a chance to tell him that with his swarthy looks he can be Persian as hell but the white nationalists would never accept him as Aryan, since while they're very big on the ancient Aryans of historic times in India and Persia, their stance is that the modern people from these areas are degraded, interbred with darker people etc. Say all you want, if you're not sufficiently pale, you are Not On Their Team.

So .... buy a gun and meet a Nazi ...

I rode back downtown and went to Safeway and got a bit less than a half-pound of aki poke and snarfed a packet of shoyu and some chopsticks from the sushi bar, and used my card to pay for that and got $40 back. There's really no place to sit downtown other than at bus and light rail benches, so  I sat at the light rail station and ate my poke, while watching a very entertaining underclass family do their thing. Kids running all over, Mom putting sugary snack foods out for the kids to find, or not, and eat, or not, who cares? They were swarming an adult on a BMX bike, who may have been their father, uncle, maybe an older brother... wanting rides and shrieking when he rang the bell. And the womenfolk was squawking at each other, trying to bum cigarettes off of passers-by and then bum lights. It was pretty funny.

I got on the light rail on the other street, northbound, and rode back here. Just the usual thing, walk the mile here, stopping to check for boxes etc. at the electrical supply. Since I've lost weight, walking is much easier.

I got back here, put the boxes I'd found at the electrical supply away, and got the bike out and went up to Sprouts. I picked up radishes, asparagus on sale, some elephant garlic which I've never tried before, and a $3 package of "breakfast steak" to try for dinner.

I should mention that San Jose Jazz kept the buskers away for the weekend, the only ones I've seen downtown all weekend being two guys with guitars who I'd called "beggars with guitars" rather than musicians. I'd met them in front of Safeway on Friday, and since one of 'em had that neat Yamaha guitar I'd praised when I talked to him alone, I said Hi again and talked a bit then went into Safeway, then when I came out, the more drunk/stoned of the two went into some kind of druggy, mushmouthed rant the meaning of which I think was that if someone talks to them they'd better give them money. As I said, not musicians but beggars with guitars. Tonight they were in front of the Walgreens on 1st and Santa Clara, where all kinds of crazy people and druggies and professional beggars ply their respective trades.

 The bottle with the darker label is an empty I filled with city water from the tap next door.

 It's not just a trick of the light. The city water is yellower. This is why I buy drinking water now.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August 12

I woke up at 5. I was supposed to go busking tonight; bad enough I didn't go last night but at least I didn't spend the $50 (I spent it on groceries last night instead!) but to not go tonight?

So I got the things necessary ready, put some decongestant pills in with the Blistex, chewing gum, toothpicks, and Wet Ones already in the trumpet case, and cooked myself up a cheddar cheese omelet with the usual side of green onions. The idea being that if I ate, got prepared, and got going, I could at least get to Mountain View at about 7, and play the 7 - 9 time slot.

But I just could not get motivated. I started reading all this stuff on Reddit on /r/news, /r/socialism, etc. about the Nazis at University of Virginia. One of them took a car and ran over counter-demonstrators, then backed up and ran them over again. So far one is dead, and several are in very serious condition. The Orangutang-In-Chief got on the radio and condemned the violence, but the way he said it, you really could not tell if he was condemning the Nazis or the counter-demonstrators who got in their way. After all, the Nazis are a major part of his base.

On Reddit people were chiming in, about how large parts of the Pacific Northwest, for instance, are largely Nazi territory. Swastika flags, I'm sure a lot more common since the election, fly in front of houses and there are whole areas that people who don't look Aryan know not to go. This parallels observations of my own in flyover country, but it's gotten worse. As the saying goes, it's getting real out there.

On a whim I looked up what Ruger 10/22's are selling for these days, as they were $400 or more a few years ago. Hot damn the stainless model with the nylon stock is only$265 right now. Yeah, various taxes and fees will add about $100 to that, but it's a hell of a good price. I've long wanted a 10/22, one of the most versatile, accurizable, and just plain fun guns ever.

I don't expect the Nazis to come marching up my street here and start bothering me because I'm a bit swarthy for a white person, but when things get bad, most people poke their heads up and say to themselves "Gee, things are bad" when they've gotten so bad that you can't do much about them any more.

And one is not going to fight off the Nazis with a .22 either, but within 100 yards they're very accurate generally, and very handy. It's easy to carry a few hundred rounds, try doing that with any other caliber (OK the .17 comes close). A .22 can be used for training, and if things get bad I'll be doing lots of that.

In Googling 10/22's at Big-5, which is the local sporting goods store that's always having sales, I found that there's a Big-5 just a bit south of downtown San Jose. Time to get on the bike!

I rode down there (neat signs and stuff, and Crow's Used Cars has the greatest spy vs. spy sign) and they have the plain-Jane one but not the nice one. But, they said, if I call one of the other stores, I can have them hold one for me. So I got the number of the Stevens Creek store and the guy there said they have several of that model, and on top of it, they're on sale for all of the weekend not just Saturday. I bought some .22 hollowpoint rounds from the Big-5 I was at, just to buy something from them, and rode back downtown.

San Jose Jazz is pretty much monopolizing several blocks, but just like yesterday, the spot in front of Johnny Rockets was at least semi-viable, and the spot on Santa Clara in front of Starbucks was viable. But no buskers today; not even the white rapping guy on the corner of 1st and Santa Clara. Just the fanatical screaming Jesus guy standing on a box with his microphone. Those people always come out from under their rocks whenever there's an event that brings a lot of people downtown.

I went to Whole Foods and got some sesame seeds and pecans, and looked at their beef but it's just darned expensive. So I realized that if I boogied I could get over to Sprouts before they close, and took the road that heads straight out from the side of Whole Foods and rode that to Taylor after going too far and finding myself at Bellermine Academy, then from Taylor to Coleman over to Hedding, and down Hedding to 13th/Old Oakland Road, and thence to Sprouts.

I got some beef spare ribs and water and avocados and an intriguing package of "Lamb Neck" for $2.75, which became dinner, cooked right on time, at midnight. I was able to trim 6 ounces of good meat off of those, and cooked it with garlic, pepper, lots of Sadaf seasoning, and a little paprika. And had a side of sauteed asparagus. It's a little tough, but the meal would probably cost me $15 in any restaurant. It cost me about $6.

Then I trimmed the meat off of the beef spare ribs, which were cut lengthwise rather than "flanken" cut, into three portions of a bit under 5 oz. each, to put into the freezer. The crows and gulls are going to find a lot of goodies put out for them in the morning.

I did other things today too - like notice coming back from my Sprouts run that the dept of education, across the street, had thrown out some furniture. I came back with my hand truck and a screwdriver to take a cabinet apart because I want a piece of wood for a shelf, but it was not only screwed together but glued as well. But, there was a library carrel thing that was only screwed together, so I took a panel off of that and walked it back here on the hand truck. And later sawed off the part I don't want, so now I have a nice piece of wood to make a shelf to put my trumpets and music stand on so I won't have to move them back and forth between the tech bench and the couch every day.

But probably the funniest thing was, on my way to Big-5 I went by Target and got a few things, including a bottle of their copy of Febreze, for the bottle. The one I use for rubbing alcohol gave up, so I needed a decent spray bottle. But, where to put the Febreze?

 I know I've got a bottle around here somewhere...

Friday, August 11, 2017

August 11

I've not only stopped posting any comments on Street Musician Daniel's page, but I may stop visiting there entirely, as I think he's got malware on there that affects your computer if you even read the page.

Not that that's any loss; by now, from reading his page, I am quite knowledgeable on the subjects as the availability of weed and harder drugs in New Orleans, how to look in the bushes or trashcans for half-finished drinks, the general tenor of the street people there (skeezy) and more interestingly, about a few serious street musicians like Tanya & Dorise, and Doreen the Clarinet Queen, whom I can read about from other, non-malware-bearing, pages.

Ken got me back here at just a little after 3, so I had time to pack up some small Ebay items since I was going to go by the post office anyway. That took about half an hour, and I went out to the light rail, got off at the old post office downtown and unloaded the packages, the payment for the porta-john here, and a bunch of bills Suzy, Ken's wife, wanted me to mail. Then I just walked over to the bank. I deposited $100 and kept out $150, making sure to get a $50 bill to give to the lady selling the bugle.

Then I hopped on the #22 bus to save a bit of walking to Diridon Station. There was a guy sleeping on the bus bench, who didn't even notice when a bus went by, as I was going into the bank. (The bus stop is right in front of the bank; pretty convenient.) I waited for only a few minutes when another bus came, with squeaky brakes, which woke the guy up. I got on and beeped my Clipper card, and the guy was jumping all over gathering up his clothes and stuff he'd been snuggled up with on the bench, then was literally hopping mad as the bus pulled away. It was pretty funny. Since I was only going to the next stop, I stood by the front where there were a couple of scruffy types sitting. I observed out loud: "That's what you call an unhappy camper" and that got a laugh.

So I got to Diridon and a round trip ticket to San Mateo was $15.50, ouch, Still cheaper than any other way though. It got up to San Mateo almost an hour early; I was supposed to meet her at Philz Coffee at 7. So, I went inside to get a coffee. Their coffee is very fancy, and they didn't "do" the double espresso I asked for. "Only hand-made pour-over coffee" the guy said. He asked me if I liked mild or "more bold" coffee, and I said mild, and when he suggested I let him choose for me, I ended up with a "Dancing Waters" for $3. Which was plenty strong, and had a ton of different flavors in it.

It was all hipsters on their smart phones and pads, and no magazines at all. I sat out front, and when a lady at the next table left and didn't take the local paper with her, I took that, and then when it opened got the table in half shade. I read the hell out of that paper and sipped my "Dancing Waters" and when the paper was played out, watched the "odd people show", ongoing on any busy street.

Then the lady showed up. She had a large zippered handbag sort of thing and I made a joke about a Bugle Boy bag for the bugle, and she pulled it out. Ugh! It was dented and battered and bashed. The mouthpiece was missing about half of its silver plate. All I could say is, "I can't buy this" and as she'd loaded me up with all kinds of history of the trumpet, she started to go on and on about more history, and I suggested she just donate it to one of the veterans' organizations as she reeled off her ever-changing history of this particular bugle. And so a handshake and well wishes and we were done.

I had a walk around the downtown area; like downtown Mountain View is full of restaurants. I heard of a music store and chased that down and it was closed - probably a guitar-oriented place anyway. I looked in the used book store for trumpet books but they just had guitar and piano books.

Finally there was nothing to do but get the train back, and I got back to Diridon at about 9. Jazz Fest was on, and two ladies were at the light rail station with me and I showed them how to buy tickets. Then we looked at the schedule carefully, and the next train was going to be in 17 minutes or something and that was too slow for them, so they took off to catch an Uber.

I got downtown and just went to Safeway and did a lot of shopping. A bottle of Stoli and one of Cuervo, fish, asparagus, sour cream, all sorts of things which I carried in the messenger bag and an extra plastic bag I always carry. On the walk back from the light rail station here, I checked the electrical supply's dumpster and pulled out some nice bubble wrap so I had to roll that up and carry that too - I was pretty loaded down when I got back here.

I had a little Cuervo and decided may that was what that guy gave me in Mountain View that tasted so good because it tasted pretty good tonight. Add a little tiredness, a little thirst, and maybe there's some synergy with Tejava iced tea too.

I had to go check the lab place, so I took off on the bike and did my usual check of the dumpsters around here. I found a barely used bag of laboratory wipes, like Wypalls but a different brand, that were brownish on one edge - big whoop, I used 'em on dirty stuff around here. $12 worth of wipes, I say yes. There were some metal scrappers loading aluminum scrap from a very large low dumpster apparently for scrap metal, into a van while some other scrappers in a truck came nosing around. Meanwhile they didn't know what to make of me. I told 'em I don't collect scrap, in fact I leave it out by my shop - I'm all about shipping materials.

By the time I got back and organized and put everything away, I was pretty tired and didn't feel like cooking so the fish went into the freezer and I just had pecans and Parmesan cheese. And some more Cuervo.

All through this, after looking at that awful bugle, I was trying to figure out how the photo could look so good, but the horn in person look so bad. And, it was the same horn, because the leadpipe was slightly bent. Had there been a family fight, where the bugle had been bashed around? That would not account for the mouthpiece wear though. I think I know what happened - Photoshop.

I can't even be angry, it was just baffling. And the more I think about it the more I have to just feel sorry for the lady. Photoshopping the photo must have taken a lot of work, and the hassle of trying to foist it off on someone, hoping they'll feel sorry for her and buy it anyway. And all for a measly $50?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

August 10

I'm at Ken's house today. The official weigh-in was 147.4, so, having done the math, 2.2 lbs lower than last week.

My new, 32-inch-waist pair of shorts had arrived at the Amazon locker yesterday, but I didn't have time to go get 'em so when Ken came to pick me up, I said if he was interested, he could take me over there and see just how an Amazon locker works. He went for this, and we discovered that the 7-11 actually has parking and even a 2nd door leading from the little parking lot. He was very glad to find this out, because he'd considered parking on a side-street, which generally earns a ticket, and as we went in and parked, a cop car went in right after us; they'd been behind us.

The locker went fine, and when I got here I compared the two pairs of shorts and the 32's really are a couple inches smaller around the waist than the 34's. I actually gave the 34's to Ken's son Paul, who tried 'em on and they fit him, and he's a big guy. But he's that standard American build where you have a big stomach but aren't really fat from the waist down. The guy even gave me $20 for them.The new ones fit like the old ones did a month ago - great.

I did the Ebay packing and the usual fol-de-rol I do here each week. I may not be here next week, having a 10+ day period of just being at the shop, which should mean more days busking.

Tomorrow after I get back to the shop I'm getting on the light rail to downtown, dropping a couple things off at the post office, then the bank, then going on CalTrain to San Mateo to meet a lady who's selling a Rexcraft "Official Scout Bugle". Now, I already have a bugle, but this is the best-condition Rexcraft I've ever seen, has the original mouthpiece, and she only wants $50 for it. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

August 8

I noticed last night I could go one more hole in my belt smaller, and it'd be a little tight but it'd do-able. It will be interesting to see what my official weigh-in Thursday morning shows. The reason I do this official weigh-in very Thursday is, I'm at Ken's house then and he has a scale.

Now, I actually have two boxes full of scales in the back of the shop, but there's so little room here that I can't set one up unless I get it from the back, use it, and then squirrel it away again. It's easier to just use the scale in the upstairs bathroom at Ken's right after getting up Thursday morning. Same scale, same day, same time, etc.

In fact I'm planning to put a shelf between a storage cabinet here and the top shelf of the tech bench, to give me a place to put my trumpets and music stand, so I don't have to move them from the bench to the couch I use for a bed and back every day.

It's going to be interesting as I get back to my proper weight, which is in the 125-130lb range. I'm sure I'll get comments and not the good kind. In Ken's family, as in most American families, it's normal to be overweight or obese. I'm considered "tiny" - have been called so - for being merely overweight. Ken and his daughter are probably merely overweight, the rest of 'em are obese. I'll endure the slings and arrows, though, because the keto diet has me feeling great. I swear, even my skin is better. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 7

I have to get Ebay stuff done. I'd gotten kind of tired out working with those capacitors last night and I just stopped. Enough. I kind of dreaded getting back to them today but it's going easier and faster than I thought it would.

I also came up with a mental model of how to re-arrange things here in the shop to have a dedicated place to put these 100 or so large power capacitors, plus perhaps put our other large caps with them. And I also thought I might treat myself to a new Fluke multimeter that measures capacitance, because the cap meter I use here is a real cheapie. Ken tends to acquire real cheapo meters, because he gets 'em in with surplus stuff, and he's good at losing things. The meter he always pulls out to measure stuff at his house is an Extech, yuck!

Today I remembered my thought of getting a meter, and realized I had about 40 minutes before Fry's closes, so I got dressed and walked over there. Meter prices have gone up in the last decade or so, and the one I decided on was $174. Neat meter, though, made for HVAC work so along with all the regular meter stuff and capacitance, it comes with a thermocouple and measures heat, and has a nifty microamps capability too.

So I took the meter and made a side-trip by the toaster ovens to check them out and take some measurements to see if one will fit in the "niche" I have in mind (it will) I got in line to check out. The line was unusually long, and it wasn't moving either. There were maybe two checkers on duty, and they were taking forever with each customer. I looked behind me and there were about 15 people lined up behind me - it was backed up like during Christmas. I made a comment to the guy ahead of me, and he laughed and we started talking. He was worried he might be late for a hockey game he was playing in over at San Jose Ice, which I was not familiar with but apparently my fine city has a bitchin' ice rink. Or, rinks. I just wanted to get going with my meter, and mentioned to the guy that Fry's checkers seem to just barely understand how retail transactions work, and credit cards tend to utterly baffle them. In fact, I said, I'd give it a 50/50 chance I'll be able to buy this meter.

We got to the front and a checker opened up for him and then one for me, and sure enough, their Verifone machine would not accept my card. And there was no other way to do the transaction, not simply looking at the card and key in the number as I've seen people do in the past, and so the transaction was impossible. So I just left the meter sitting there on the counter and turned and left.

I walked by the lab place and found nothing. At least I had a nice walk. I got back and checked on Amazon and the meter's $24 cheaper there and I can have it in 2 days if I want it that badly. So Fry's' idiocy saved me from Fry's' high prices.

I will, when I am ready to get one, get a toaster oven there because that's an awfully big thing to buy from Amazon, and I can just walk over there, pay cash, stick it on a shopping cart, and wheel the cart right back here to the shop.

I think I will suffer along with the junky meters here, but I will think about that meter. A Fluke 116 would be nice to have. But right now a toaster oven would probably make a bigger difference in my life. And, I've just now dreamed up how to install a rather clever shelf that will give me a place to put my trumpets and music stand, leaving the area they usually are free to put a toaster oven in.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

August 6

I'm feeling better but still, I think busking's off this weekend because it wouldn't look good horking up phlegm here and there while playing. And the "place" on my lip isn't all the way better.

Today I get to pick up an Amazon order from my new best friend, "Brianna" the Amazon locker. And have just placed another order, for a smaller pair of shorts, to pick up from the locker on Wednesday. They're costing me the same as they would at the cop store, but without the hassles of dealing with the cop store.

I got on the bike and went downtown. First stop was the post office, where I put, or at least tried to put, a large package (book in a too-large padded envelope) into the box. I got it in, but only by folding on end, and it kind of didn't fall the rest of the way down. So I'm not sure how easy a time the next person will have putting their mail in. I need to pack those smaller.

The next stop was Safeway, where I was going to get some poke, but some roast beef they had looked really good, so I got a half-pound of that and a bottle of water and went over to the outdoor tables by Caffe Frascati to eat it. I saved two slices of the roast beef in the take-out package for the homeless guy who hangs out in front, to eat or give to his dog and cat. He was very thankful. He's an interesting guy to talk to and I tend to hear "tech" news first from him - like when Amazon bought Whole Foods. So I asked him what he thought about Google buying land downtown and he had no revelations but we had a pretty good discussion on how Google makes so much money. We finally concluded that all that advertising money that used to go to printed magazines like Time and Look and so on, is going to advertise on Google. There's always been big money in advertising.

I went into the cafe to get a double espresso, and since I'd gotten $20 cash back at Safeway, I now had change to tip the barista $1 and to take $1 out for the homeless guy. It turned out that the cafe was closing and I had to "chug" sips of the espresso alternating with water, and they'd already "closed" the bathroom.

So, I figured, I'll go to Cafe Stritch; their bathroom is always open. So I rode over there and used their bathroom and there was a movie playing there about Roland Rahsaan Kirk, a genius saxophonist who was a friend of the owners of Cafe Stritch. So I ordered a club soda with an olive in it, and the bartender didn't even charge me, probably thinking I'm someone's designated driver. So I sat down and watched what was left of the movie and it was pretty good. Rahsaan could sound really good on the saxophone. It's not just technical skill; it's having something to say.


James Carter,  well-known saxophonist, was going to play after the movie and I tried to get enthusiastic about staying, having something to eat, and watching/hearing this guy play. But I've seen him play before and he's all about technical skill, period. Yes, he can make a tenor play as high as a soprano and he can type away on all those saxophone keys at 140 words a minute, but there's not much being said but "Look at me - look how fast I can play". So, I decided I should get going.

As I rode back along 1st Street, I heard Recorder Guy at the panda wall, and he had a really weird sound. I thought, is he feeding some of the sound of his recorder into his amp? So I circled around and sat through his rendition of "The Rose", and saw that up close, I could clearly tell it was just his schmaltzy backing track and separately, his somewhat-in-tune accompaniment on the recorder. But when he was done, I told him about the strange audio effect I'd heard from across the street, so he had something going. He was happy to hear it, and we discussed things. I said I'd been making about $60 a week, but based on playing 3, 2-hour sessions, it works out to about $10 an hour. He said sometimes he makes $15 an hour, and sometimes $1 an hour.

I got to the intersection of 1st and Santa Clara, and across from Walgreens observing the white rapper guy with his mic and amp, letting some girls sing "Old Man" by Neil Young. Some cops were talking to someone in front of Walgreens, I believe the same skinny black lady who often yells and screams around there. They were talking calmly and then I guess she must have tried to make a break for it and splat! - they had her down on the sidewalk. It was some men cops and a lady cop and the lady cop hit the gal's knee on the side with her nightstick, fortunately not super hard, and they were all wrestling around on the ground for a while, and a couple of guys - bouncers? - came up asking the cops something like if they needed help with "the 4th point" which I guess was one of the gal's arms and they helped with that and then wandered off. They eventually put the gal into one of the police SUVs there but it all seemed to take a long time. Meanwhile the white rapper was doing some rap song about that sort of thing, with "niggas" ending up dead. Amazing how he's either really well versed on the words of rap songs or he's freestyling it really well.

I rode over to San Pedro Square and there were no buskers, so I circled around to Santa Clara Street again and continued north on First. I decided that since I'd not spent a thin dime on Cafe Stritch, I'd get some sashimi at Nijiya, so I went there and got a nice piece of salmon and some "seasoned" boiled eggs.

Next stop was the 7-11 to pick up the latest Amazon package, and I just keyed in the code so no barcode is necessary. I put the package in the bike bag and then decided I'd buy some half-and-half there which I searched high and low for, but amazingly, I found a little carton of "heavy whipping cream" which is even better for putting in coffee under the rules of the keto diet. Those poor guys operating the 7-11 though! While I was getting my package from the locker, there were two separate arguments going on, loudly, with two different asshole customers over how many quarters make a dollar or some damn thing. So it was nice to be a nice customer for a change, with nearly exact change, and no problems.

I got back here and stashed the food, and went around my usual route to look for packing materials and boxes and stuff. No luck, but behind the tire store was a box big enough to cut into two large boxes; just what I needed. Too big to carry on the bike, so I rode the bike back to the shop, went across the street to the storage unit and got my cart out, took that over behind the tire store and loaded the box on, took that back here to the shop, and then loaded some wood and stuff I want out of here but don't want to throw away, into the cart and took that back to the storage and put it all in there.

August 17

I was actually awake at 1 in the afternoon. I drank a bit less than 200ml of vodka last night, and tonight will do about 100ml. As mentioned...