Friday, January 11, 2019

Stay Connected

My new laptop showed up this week, so now I'm switching from the so-old-IT-won't-even-support-it HP Windows (ptui!) laptop to a brand new MacBook Pro. Aside from the crapware that the company loaded on the new laptop, it works great.


I work in three locations. With the ancient HP, I had three identical docking stations. In fact, I had three docking stations and a file cabinet full of backups in case one broke because I'm one of the last people who is still using that laptop. I have seven monitors spread out among those three locations, but all I have to do is dock the old laptop and everything magically works.

I have one docking station for the MacBook. So... right there you can see there might be a bit of a problem. Still, I was in the main office on Monday and I had the docking station and I had a drawer full of monitor cables and I thought for sure I'd be able to hook everything together without too much trouble.

Reader, I was naive.

The laptop connections:
  • USB C (aka Thunderbolt)
  • HDMI
The monitors:
  • VGA
  • DisplayPort
  • DVI
Cables I had:
  • DVI - DVI
  • VGA - VGA
  • DisplayPort - DisplayPort
So then we opened the other big box 'o cables under my boss' desk and dragged out a few more. We eventually found a DisplayPort-HDMI cable that they used back when the Super Bowl was in town. Granted it was twelve feet long and I could have hooked it up to any of six computers in the area, but at that point I didn't really care. I'd at least be able to get one of the monitors connected.

It didn't work. I have since googled and it turns out it is a unidirectional DisplayPort to HDMI adapter which was exactly the opposite direction of what I needed. There's apparently some technical reason that those adapters are unidirectional and can't be made in the other direction and I'd probably understand it if I hadn't slept through my original degree, but I have accepted the bottom line which is that it doesn't work because *reasons*.

And people wonder why I start laughing when movies show hackers breaking into alien computers in fifteen minutes...

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year

Well, 2019 still has that new car smell, and we haven't dented the fenders yet, so I guess this is the time I'm supposed to write resolutions. Except I don't really do resolutions. I occasionally have goals, and even then I tend to go shorter term (ie, the writing goals of the month which I keep on the other blog and we aren't going to mention my failing grade for December because now it's January, yay!).

I guess the closest I'll come is listing habits I'd like to acquire or reinforce. That doesn't seem so scary or a path to failure. Here are all the ones I could think of:
  • Exercise the dogs more. We get at least one walk in every day, and I take the big dog along when I jog, but they would like to get out more and I could certainly use the exercise.
  • Write in this blog more consistently. I used to come up with something twice per week. I think that's possible again.
  • Continue to eat more fresh vegetables.
I mean really, that's about it.  I don't have any non-writing grand goals for the future. Maybe get rid of my car? Win the lottery and quit my job? I can't really control that last one although I'd have to start playing the lottery first.

The timer just went off for my fresh vegetables habit (autumn pot pie) and I even mostly followed the recipe (or at least as much as I ever do).

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Return

I picked up Guido and the dogs today. Guido was complaining very loudly about being in his crate. The little dog was doing that little dog excited trembling thing. The big dog ignored me in favor of the kennel worker who was still holding the bag of food. All in all a big improvement over the year Molly-the-dim couldn't figure out who I was after staying there a week.

No, I was not surprised that the dogs' report card did not have "Quiet" checked. I know they spend the entire week barking at everything that catches their attention.

Once we finally made it home the dogs literally ran laps around the yard sniffing everything that might have changed during the week, then we all went inside and Guido ran up and down the hallway a few times before settling in for a nap.

Happy New Year -- I hope the coming year brings you health and joy!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Home again, home again, jiggety-jog

(Title note: I did not buy a fat pig at market.)

I drove back home today, and once I was able to get past Los Angeles it wasn't bad. (Getting through Orange County and Los Angeles is always bad. There was stop-and-go traffic all the way past Magic Mountain on a Sunday afternoon and it was completely expected.)

I stopped at a couple of rest stops along the way just to move around, and then I finally stopped for gas before I got to Sacramento -- I could have made the whole trip on one tank, but it probably would have been beeping at me near the end, and having an almost empty gas tank stresses me out.

The two cats at home were very excited to see me. It's been an hour and they've just now calmed down enough that they aren't tripping me every time I move. Guido and the dogs come home tomorrow, at which point the full amount of chaos will be present in the house again.

Anyhow, I'm going to go collapse on my bed for the next ten hours. I think it might be time to look into a bus the next time I have to make that trip -- I can probably find something comfortable with wifi and then someone else can deal with the driving.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Royal Mycological Society of the Great County of Orange

K-Poo Weak Hands (last seen here two days ago helping make stollen, although I later found out she doesn't even like stollen so probably my plan of having her make it in the future is doomed from the start) joined some mycological society up in near San Francisco.

A mycological society sounds like steampunk cosplay to me, but apparently it is just reasonably normal adults who like to learn about fungi, and she and her husband now wander around in the wilderness identifying mushrooms. She doesn't, however, eat any of the feral mushrooms, so this is still a safe hobby.

Meanwhile, my parents had a bunch (bevy? quarry? ring? murder?) of large mushrooms show up in their front lawn, and KPWH convinced us that it would be neat to chop off the stalk (known as the "stem" if you're wearing a velvet corset and/or carry a pocket watch with visible gears) and place the cap on a sheet of paper/foil overnight and look at the spore pattern left behind the next day.

KPWH had to take the zeppelin back to her dear husband early this morning, but Jeff promised to duly record the results. We finally remembered the stuff was out in the garage this evening, so we rallied the urchins and hustled off to the great unveiling. It was anti-climactic. Maybe there were a few lines where spores had dropped from the gills, but it was subtle. I considered making a replica with glue and glitter, but it was late so yet another great scientific prank is lost to sheer laziness. And then Jeff crumpled up the paper and foil before he remembered he was supposed to be taking a picture to send to KPWH.

Anyhow, if anyone invites you to join a mycological society, maybe ask them what kind of tea and spirits are served before you commit to anything.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Peggy and the Swingers

The title of today's post is from the story Peggy told us after dinner about the time she was in a bar and a huge group of swingers was having their pre-hookup meeting (scheduling? organizing? I'm not sure what the keys-in-a-bowl phase is called). She declined, which is probably good for her overall health and sanity, but kind of a bummer for my ability to live vicariously.

My seven year old niece roped my sister (her other aunt) into playing with her, then told her that she was a "natural pretender". High praise indeed!

Anyhow, I'm tired and I ate too much (although the food was so good I have a hard time feeling regret about that though the four miles I ran this morning only worked off about three forkfuls), so I'll just leave you here with this in-progress version of a doodle for a calendar I made...

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Stollen Again

In case anyone wants to make stollen (which is another way of saying "Hey, I should really keep this recipe somewhere!"), this is from The Spice Cookbook (pretend a proper attribution is here but I don't have the book in front of me).
Notes courtesy of my mom -- she adds currants in place of some of the raisins (and I've been told that currants and raisins aren't the exact same thing despite how they look).