Monthly Archives: November 2008

A couple of other Loscon comments — the negative

Things weren’t perfect at Loscon. I’m going to point out the problems, but I don’t think that there is much I could do to help fix them (i.e. I’m trying to void the rule that equates complaining to volunteering).
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Loscon Day 2, 3

Picking up after our meal (between lunch and dinner) yesterday.

After we returned to the hotel, Derrick went to Children’s programming where he made something that was either a spaceship, a battle station or half of a moon crashed into something else — each time someone asked he gave a different answer. robot_grrl and I went to panels. I went to the panel on “What makes a good convention,” and as is very common with con running panels at cons, most of the people in the room were experienced in running conventions at at least some level. There was one guy who almost seemed to have some ax to grind with a past Loscon and no convention running experience. As he explained that he’d love to help with Loscon but cannot because he lives in Orange County, he was pretty much shut down when it was pointed out that two people in the room work on conventions across the country, not just in the next county and within the same metro area.
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Loscon Day 1, 1.5

Yesterday, robot_grrl worked from 4 to noon. While she was working, Derrick and I got ready for our trip to Loscon. A big part was getting the dog to the kennel for boarding, and upping the cat’s food.

After Tara got home, we had some leftovers for lunch and got on the road about 1:30. The trip was as smooth as could be expected, given LA traffic.

After arriving at the hotel, we had some trouble finding parking due to poor signage. Once inside the hotel, we discovered that half of the main elevators were out, for several months. This slowed us up a bit, so we were late for the one panel we went to: budget costuming.

After the panel, we met up with fr_john and drove to Denny’s for dinner. Derrick ended up going to bed, while Tara watched an anime movie and I hit up some parties.

This morning, Tara made a couple of panels then ended up helping out in children’s programming. I wandered, and sat at the Chibid table so Dave & Helen could get lunch.

So far, this has been a good con. We’ve had nice visits with fannish friends, both from the Midwest and California.

Thanksgiving (and Giving Thanks)

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always a home day. We spent the day at home, eating a large turkey dinner around 4 or 5 o’clock and being lazy. For much of that time we’d watch parades in the morning, or other things instead. My mom, later with the help of various other family members, would cook. Until they passed away in 1978 and 1981 we’d have my Grandma and Grandpa in from Hawaii around that time every two or three years. This pattern lasted until I graduated college and left home. Even when she was at school or working in Colorado, my older sister would always join us.

After moving to Illinois, I spent one Thanksgiving with my mother’s cousin and his in-laws. Other years I ended up either doing Thanksgiving myself — I’ll describe the first time in a bit — or with friends, but still mostly spent it at home for some value of home.

There was one year I was on a business trip to Sacramento and the switch manager had the team over to his house (we ate in the kitchen while his family ate in the dining room, so we weren’t too much of an imposition.

Ten years ago, the last time I lived in San Diego, I ended up having dinner at the friend of a friend and then drove to Loscon.

Since getting married, things have been a bit more varied. Most years we’ve gathered with ‘s family in Rockford, but not always on Thursday. Before her mom retired, she would often work on Thursday and the family gathering would be some other day. So Thursday hasn’t always been the big meal day. Also, sometimes we spent the whole weekend in Rockford and other times only one day if Tara had to work on Friday or Saturday, or I had to be at the church on Sunday.

This year will be quite different. Our plans for the day are to work around the house for a while. We have reservations at Claim Jumper for 2:00, and then have tickets to see Bolt (in digital 3-D) at 5:30. Tomorrow, after Tara gets off work we head to Loscon.

Tale of my first turkey

G1 test post

I am testing posting from my new G1.

This is just a test.

New Job

Yes, I said new job. But, for better or for worse I didn’t actually have to do anything to get this one, and it is with Qualcomm so there won’t be too many changes.

A week ago Thursday, my boss (or I guess boss’s boss) scheduled several of us to meet with one of the managers in another team. I’ve known for some time that the product I was hired to work on was being reevaluated so I figured that this was part of a plan to partially or fully redeploy the resources, and that I’d get confirmation sooner or later.

The next day a meeting was scheduled for the entire software development team. We were all being redeployed. Three of us, myself included, are being moved to the BREW Mobile Platform team. (BREW or BREW Mobile Platform is Qualcomm’s Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless). Others are becoming the first part of the software team for the LTE chipsets, working on Winmobile (Windows mobile) and a couple of other teams. Officially this Wednesday is the last day for our project.

This morning I got another confirmation that I will be moving to the new team. I will be moving into a different office in the building where the majority of the BMP team is. On the positive side, my new office will be a bit closer to the drop off for the shuttle to the Coaster — except I will have to cross the road in the middle of the block if I don’t want to walk a lot further or take a different shuttle. It is also on the third floor instead of the first, which is a bit more exercise (unless I start taking the elevator). But, I loose my sliver of window since I’ll have an interior office.

I’m still reasonably confident that I’m stable. At the corporate and division all hands meetings over the last couple of weeks it has been stated that Qualcomm and QCT (my division — Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, but probably should be Qualcomm Chipset Technologies) are planning on very selective and limited reductions so that when the economy recovers, QCT is ready with the new chipsets that the phone manufacturers will be needed when they ramp production back up.

The audition

Despite misgivings on both our parts, we decided to let Derrick earn his way back to trying the audition thing this afternoon. Tara had him do math problems on the way to church and after we left. So we ended up driving to Kerney Mesa and joined a huge crowd of other kids and parents who had similarly been scouted or otherwise recruited for this event.

How things went

A day of shopping

Since we got word yesterday that the moving company was going to pay us the settlement we asked for the items damaged during the move, we decided it was time to replace some of them. So, this morning we went to IKEA.

In the past we have shopped at the IKEA in Schaumburg, one of the largest if not the largest IKEA in the country or world. I asked the IKEA web site where we should go, and it gave us two alternatives — the San Diego store in Mission Valley about 35 miles from our house, or one somewhere in Orange County (Costa Mesa??) about 52 miles. We decided to go to the San Diego store, which turns out to be the smallest IKEA in the US. Quite a change. Another difference is that the Schaumburg IKEA has its own parking lot and building, and the San Diego store shares a building with a Lowes, and a parking lot with a Costco and a number of restaurants. I actually had to drive past Costco cart returns before I could turn around and get to the IKEA loading area when we were done.

We were only moderately successful at IKEA. We replaced the broken dresser in Derrick’s room and got a couple of drawer organizers — one of which is already organizing my socks and underwear. But both the sofa table and lamp we wanted to replace were discontinued.

Afterwards, we found a Linens n Things in La Mesa to see if they had another set of our dishes. They did not, but we managed to help their creditors more than we intended by buying a couple of lamps, some towels, storage crates and a new toy robot for robot_grrl.

After that, we went home. On the way we passed another Linens n Things in Carmel Mountain Ranch — which I should have remembered since I bought sheets and stuff there in 1998.

As Tara and Derrick were waiting for me to bring the car around at IKEA, they were approached by someone who was holding auditions for children between 8 and 17 for a Disney Channel show. She liked Derrick’s look and suggested that they come by. So we were actually thinking of trying to go to church tonight. But as Derrick and Tara were cleaning up from the suspended assembly of his new dresser, he had another break down where in managed to prove that there was no way he could even come close to passing a screen test — he couldn’t stop smiling and giggling when he was being talked to seriously. Additionally, he was in no shape for church and had eaten the time we had to eat before we needed to leave. There is a VERY SLIM chance that we might go to the early service tomorrow and still try to go, but he’d have to prove and prove again that he is both behaving and would be able to listen and control his emotions before I’d consider the drive.

All in all, not a complete waste. And, just for fun, I need to run out and get some more produce tonight — yeah! more shopping.

Another one roped into LiveJournal

I managed to get my sister to set up a Live Journal. She is sue_caskey. She is probably not known to too many of you, but she has vaguely fanish tendencies. Those who know her might want to stop by and say “Hi.” Those who don’t might too.

D&D Characters and Background

I have no idea where, if anywhere, this will go. But, in a fit of inspiration and a quiet day at work has produced a region background and some character backgrounds — the characters already existed — for a possible D&D adventure.

I’ve posted them on my web site for perusal and comments. The URL for the backgrounds is:, and for the page that holds the character sheets is:

I’ve enabled comments for the background pages. They will allow anonymous comments, but will ask for your name and e-mail address. I am 99% sure that only the name will be posted, but feel free to use a fake address if you are paranoid. The comments will also require a catchpa so that robots don’t attack and will be screened initially. I suspect that if you have an account at you may be able to log in to my site using it (I don’t think I’ve disabled that option) but I’m not sure what you’d be able to do.