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Judy Anderson (yduJ)

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in las vegas [Feb. 17th, 2017|12:49 pm]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
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My laptop has a pretty new version of firefox and I'm getting no cipher overlap when I try to login to LJ. So, I'm remote desktop'd to work, where I have an ancient version of firefox and I'm reading/writing LJ there. Kinna stupid. Hopefully LJ will do something about this.

Flight on Spirit was uneventful - got off late because they had oversold and had to wait for volunteers. They got up to two free round trip tickets before they got enough volunteers! Waiting for other people to volunteer seems to be the story of my life...

We're staying at the Luxor. Sadly, I didn't remember to bring my tshirt that was bought like the year the Luxor opened. Instead I brought tshirts all about square dancing so I can match my partner next weekend (after doing laundry midweek) so I'm really random looking. Probably nobody will care; they are abstract-looking designs, and the only one that says anything says "we're doing fine" (to rhyme with "spin chain the line", for which the design is a diagram). It's not like this is going to offend anyone. They won't even know they didn't get the joke!

The Luxor is pretty cool; since it's a pyramid, the windows are slanted! There are even little baby pyramid domes on the rooftops we can see below us, skylights I guess. I'll have to wander around in the conference center and see if I can find the underside of the pyramids. We're on the 17th floor, so we take an express elevator in one corner to get to our rooms; the other corners go to other sets of floors (ours goes to floors 16-21). The elevators go at a 45 degree angle, which is weird when they start up, and sometimes has a little oscillation. They're not glass elevators so you don't get to see the whole pyramid laid out below you then, though the hallway overlooks it so you can admire the view as you go to your room. Vast wasted space, but then, Nevada is the King Of Waste. Funny -- we saw signs in the airport saying "Recycling is coming to Las Vegas!" I was like "coming?" but then remembered the King of Waste thing. Light pollution to the max! The luxor has a huge beam of light spearing the sky from the tippy top of the pyramid.

We'll go to the competition site in a few minutes, get checked in, find out about everything. Jocelyn has a rehearsal slot at 11:50 today, then competition tomorrow at 4pm. And a few lessons in between on different things. Hope the rain doesn't cancel the flying trapeze lessons. Hey, it never rains in Las Vegas! But it's raining now and will pour tomorrow, flash flood warning.
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Gaming the airline system [Feb. 16th, 2017|09:58 am]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
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Jocelyn and I are flying to Las Vegas tonight. We're going after school so our options were limited, and we ended up with Spirit. I hate Spirit. I really hate that their model has been copied by the major airlines, who will start charging for carry-on as of next month. And the price we got I didn't even think was all that cheap. It was in line with the major carriers. But, then they charge you for everything. I paid to have seats together. But I had a hack for luggage: Ken and Peg flew out a couple days earlier to go hiking in Death Valley, and they are traveling on Southwest, which still gives free checked luggage. So, I sent my luggage ahead! No payment at all, yay! Unless it turns out that my or Jocelyn's "personal item" is too big, which I hope won't happen, but it might be tight.

If what the airlines actually want is you to check your luggage because it makes boarding faster, they should offer you one free bag -- either checked or carry on. Then people who used to carry on before any charges would still do it, but people who used to check will do it again. But maybe that would be a headache for them at boarding, to separate the different people and make sure nobody was cheating.

I'm flying jet blue to SFO and then back home, and I'll carry on. Doing laundry in the middle so I save half the clothes. I'll have to wear random square dance t-shirts in Vegas, but nobody will really care.
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Snow! [Feb. 10th, 2017|09:49 am]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
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We got about a foot. Unfortunately we should have replaced the batteries in our electric tractor before this storm. The good news is that since it's only holding a small charge, it charges up in 45 minutes or so, but the bad news is that it takes several shots to clear the driveway, and it isn't giving as much oomph to the snowblower so the snow doesn't go all the way to the lawn and you have to blow it twice, making this whole process even longer. We finished up this morning. The other bad news is that the first inch was slushy and has mostly frozen into a solid mass that can't be easily removed. If we'd been able to clear more of the driveway in one go I think we would have managed to get rid of most of the slushy stuff, but we didn't, and so we may have to hack at it with spades to get down to the pavement for traction. Meantime, we have one 4WD vehicle, and I'm just going to cross my fingers today when I need to take the Leaf because two of us need to be out at the same time. The worst that happens is I run 200 feet of extension cord down to where I'm stuck :-)
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NV & CA & blissful ignorance [Jan. 30th, 2017|10:41 pm]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
As previously mentioned, Wednesday Jocelyn and I flew out to join my parents in Reno, where mostly what we did together was have slow-service meals and chatted (so didn't really mind the slow service).

Thursday midday J&I went to visit my father's widow in Carson City (so, I guess technically my stepmother but I never had a relationship with her so I don't really think of her that way), where we went through a few boxes of stuff, some of which had been packed in the 1970's when my grandmother died. I have ended up with several pounds of photos of dead people I can't identify. We were able to identify some of them at my dad's widow's house, and my mother was able to identify others, but there's still huge swaths of unidentified people in tiny black and white photos from the 30's and 40's. We stopped at a thrift store on the way back to the hotel and I bought a bag the right size to stick everything in, and we'd packed cleverly and Jocelyn didn't have a "personal item" for the plane on the way over, so we were able to take everything back in carry-on (for which ordinary airlines are not yet charging -- but wait a month, bummer.) Not sure what I'm going to do with it all; put it in a box and make my heirs deal, most likely.

We had a little free time after that and nipped down to Circus Circus to see what they were showing, which was a magic show involving disappearing dogs (it was called "Dog Gone!") and then a slackwire artist who was first-rate. We had bad pizza in between shows because we didn't have much time, as...

Thursday evening I arranged (by luck, mostly) for Jocelyn to take an aerial silks lesson. We got lost on the way but managed to get there on time. My parents came with, since my stepfather had never seen her do her thing live. It was a little random, being in a class, but she learned a new trick and got to do a little tiny bit on aerial straps, which she's interested in learning more about, so it was good to get this tiny bit of experience before she signs up for an 8 week class.

Friday we started the day with a swim in the outdoor pool, which they said was heated by geothermal so it wasn't wasteful. It's kind of fun to go swimming when it's 30 degrees out. I sat in the hot tub so the 50-foot walk back to the hotel wouldn't be so uncomfortable. It was pretty cold getting to the hot tub, which was only like 20 feet from the pool! Then we checked out and drove down to the bay area, where we stayed with the family of one of Jocelyn's best friends from school last year -- her parents had moved to California for work. She's not really happy with her new school but she's coping.

The kids wanted to stay inside and watch videos all Saturday, but this was vetoed by her parents. I had first thought we should go to Six Flags in Vallejo, only 30 minutes away, but the kids were uninspired. They were pretty much uninspired by everything, but eventually we decided to go to Oakland and walk around Lake Merritt. You would think, it being a spot of protesters in various guises, that something would have been happening. There was a little, some drummers with signs about Standing Rock, but there weren't very many of them. Then we went off to Berkeley and walked around on Telegraph Ave, looking at the street vendors. Another place I'd expect protesters, but there weren't any. We stood outside the communist bookstore and read lots of propaganda posted in the window, but those people hate The Man no matter who it is, and it wasn't specifically targeted about the recent nonsense.

Flight home was uneventful; I guess protesters don't get up before 8 in SF and I guess they were done by the time we landed at 4:30 in Boston. We landed at a domestic terminal so probably wouldn't have seen any, but it turns out JetBlue in SF takes off from the international terminal. But, it was early. Airport hotel was eventful, unfortunately -- they lost my reservation, which was a pre-paid priceline deal, so I was kind of annoyed. I think they made it right, but I'll have to keep an eye on my credit card bill, and it took 45 minutes before they gave us a key.

So, anyway, I was completely unaware of the entire situation until I got home. Living in a no-news vortex, apparently.
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How not to run an airline [Jan. 26th, 2017|10:09 am]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
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Hey, I'm in Reno, the first of two slightly crazed trips (this one is not nearly as crazed as next month's). Flight to SFO was uneventful, but on the way to Reno we had a new-to-me reason for a delay on the tarmac.

Seems they'd had a change of aircraft for this flight. And the aircraft they were switched to had been given more fuel than would normally be used for the puddle-jump from SFO to Reno. And the flight was full. So they claimed to be 500 pounds overweight, and wouldn't take off until they got 3 volunteers to take later flights! They first offered $300 in travel vouchers, which we all ignored. 5 minutes later they came back with $400 and got a couple volunteers. But still they needed one more. 5 minutes pass. Yep, here comes $500 travel voucher, and the third volunteer, so the rest of us got to take off. I felt like putting up $20 personally to sweeten the pot when we were still sitting there after the first go-around.

The strange thing to me is, why is the fuel tank that large if the plane can't fly full with that much fuel? And what if the volunteers had only been 100 pounds each? What if they'd been 250? Did they actually weigh the plane including people and luggage to find out the plane was REALLY overweight? What if the flight had been not full, but had been carrying a sumo wrestling team? 500 pounds seems within the average size variance of passengers/luggage.
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I was there [Jan. 22nd, 2017|08:13 pm]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
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I was one of the 175,000 people on Boston Common. I got there late, so I didn't manage to get near enough to hear any of the speakers, but some Planned Parenthood people standing on a rock were leading chants, so we had ourselves our own little rally on the fringes. This picture is of people on Beacon St., who didn't even get onto the Common at all! But I think they got onto the march route earlier. I didn't bother with the marching, just wandered around and read signs for a while before heading out.



Now, if only we can make all these people remember to vote in 2 years... I kind of wondered if any of them did not vote in the presidential election... After all, half the eligible electorate sat it out...
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I hate capitalism! [Jan. 19th, 2017|10:41 pm]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
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(I may have mentioned this before.)

I have some upcoming trips. I need a car for one of them. (Well, both, really, but I already have a car for the first trip.)

So, now, when you tell Kayak to search for rental cars, instead of giving you a bunch of cars for different agencies, it gives you "View Deal!" and when you view the deal, it says you can have a car for really cheap ($150/week!) BUT ... it won't tell you the company until you confirm the booking. It says, "one of these companies", and gives a list of five companies you've heard of and one joker you haven't. Well, I've done the Let's Make A Deal probability problems, I know which one they're going to give me! Crap.

It seems to be $300 if I want to pick the company. But, it might be worth it to not deal with some disaster. They probably wouldn't even be on-airport. "On airport" isn't in the list of kayak car filters.
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endoscopy [Jan. 19th, 2017|08:57 am]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
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I made them sedate me more than they do for a colonoscopy (I usually like to watch what they're doing on TV, but I really didn't want to participate in this one) and I was completely out of it and don't remember a thing after the squirt of nasty-tasting numbing agent they spray on the back of your throat. When Valerie picked me up I was still pretty woozy, and when I got home I napped for four hours! I was kind of confused when I woke, because it was 7:00,and I kind of thought it was morning, but couldn't figure out which morning. Then I figured it out and was way surprised I'd slept for so long. On the way home in the car, apparently I told Valerie the same story twice, because I was still zoned out on drugs that interfere with your short-term memory, so I didn't remember saying it.

The doctor wasn't there when I was done so I'll have to wait for results. We don't really expect there to be anything, they're just following a protocol of what tests to do.
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Not the plan for the morning [Jan. 17th, 2017|10:55 pm]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
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Crown on tooth #4 popped off last night. So I have a plastic tooth in my mouth again, waiting for the replacement crown. Apparently there was decay underneath so she couldn't just glue it back on and have a good result. So, replacement. This was a root canal tooth, so it didn't hurt. It's a little disconcerting to have the dentist run a drill in your mouth when you have not had novocaine -- but it doesn't hurt anyway.

Tomorrow I will have a camera shoved down my throat. It's likely this is not going to find anything wrong with my digestive parts. Especially since the problem is much closer to the other end. But apparently this is what they do next when faced with "we don't know why you are having trouble". Eating a low-fiber diet has been working pretty well, but it's annoying, and I'm a little concerned it's bad long-term.
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first bike to work [Jan. 14th, 2017|05:08 pm]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
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Thursday the stars aligned and I rode to work. I got to ride on a NEW ROAD! They put in a road from my office park to a new shopping center that's still somewhat under construction (though several stores are open already). The crazy thing is that the road is closed during commute hours--they know we would love to drive on it to get out of the mess that is our everyday lives. So there's a gate that closes it exactly when we need it most. Of course this is to reduce traffic in another place that would be totally overwhelmed if they let us through... Anyway, the gate does not keep out bikes!

It wasn't as much of a shortcut as I had expected. 25.56 in 2:27 for an average of 10.4. I had a tailwind so I should have done better, but I had to carry all my gear because the car was arriving after me.
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