Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Frantic Friday

So as I mentioned at the time, Friday was just a mess of things that needed doing, and there was no time for writing. However, I do want to remember how it went, so here's the rundown.

I spent the morning packing the last of my stuff from the Mountain View office to move to the Fremont office, where they've transferred the "little IT" team. This wasn't much because I'd packed most of my stuff home before the London trip. I got away by about 9:30 or so, thinking I was doing darn well to get moving so quickly, well in advance of an eye exam I had scheduled for 11:10 in Sunnyvale.

The RV continues to leak power-steering fluid and the dipstick showed only a trace of liquid at the bottom. While it's possible to drive it "dry," it's a bad idea, so I drove to the Walgreen's in Mountain View (I had a couple of things to get there anyway) and walked across the street to O'Reilly Auto Parts and bought a funnel and quart of fluid.

I keep an old sock in the back of the Rolling Stone to try and keep the worst of the grease off of my arm and to protect it while reaching down into the engine. The power-steering fluid reservoir on a Ford E-350 engine is not that easily accessible. Once I had the thing open, I poured in fluid — and promptly overfilled it because I had not realized how small the reservoir is. I decided that this would take care of itself due to the leakage and reached down to screw the lid back on — and dropped it down into the engine.

If I thought the tank was hard to reach, that was nothing compared too where I could just barely see the lid down inside the engine. I reached down as far as I could and burned my upper arm on the radiator on the spot between where the sock stopped and my short sleeve started. In the process, I managed to knock the lid even farther down. I dug out a long sleeve shirt and put it over everything and continued to labor away at getting the lid out of the engine. I sweated over this for what seemed forever, getting more and more worried about being late for my eye exam. Eventually, I got lucky; I had my hand just barely on the slippery lid, dropped it again, and it fell down low enough that I could get at it from below. I crawled under the RV, reached up, retrieved the lid, wiped it as dry as I could and this time managed to get the lid on the tank.

One advantage of driving an RV was that I had a way to get slightly cleaned up rather than going into my eye doctor's office all covered in grease and power-steering fluid. I washed up a bit and headed to Sunnyvale, where I even managed to find an on-street parking space where I could park the 19-foot-long RV. I made my eye exam with five minutes to spare.

The eye exam itself went routinely. This was refraction only, as I have the medical eye exam (done annually because of my diabetes) done separately for insurance reasons. Despite how tired my eyes have been feeling, Dr. Fong says that I only need a slightly stronger general prescription, and while I should continue to use my "computer" lenses (closer focal point) for computer and reading, I don't need bifocals at this time.

With a new glasses prescription in hand, I went to Fremont and left the RV with Cory at Fremont Wheel & Brake, then walked over to Gene's Barber Shop and got a rather overdue haircut. When I got back to Cory's shop, he diagnosed that the power-steering pump is leaking, and that when you include the hoses (it's sensible to replace them when you do the pump) with his labor, it should come to just under $500. This is annoying, but not catastrophic, and the good news is that it's no more serious than that. Replacing the whole power-steering box would have been really expensive!

Even better, Cory says that if I can get the RV in to him by the time he opens on Thursday, he can have the work done by the end of the day, so I won't have to book a hotel room and leave the RV with him for multiple days. It does mean that I'll have to rent a car that day (as bad luck would have it, I have appointments around town that day, so I can't just take the bus back and forth to my new office in Fremont), but that's still cheap compared to motels.

Then it was finally over to the new office in Fremont, where nearly all of my co-workers had already left for the day. I still haven't been issued a key-card to this office, and the person who does key-cards said she'd rather not do this until next week. She was surprised I never got one before, having worked in the company headquarters and all that. I explained that the HQ had a different key-card system than the field offices. In fact, our key cards seem to be different for every facility we have; cards that work in Portland won't work in Fremont, and neither of them work in Aurora or Auburn Hills, and so forth. (This is either a bug or a feature, depending on how you look at it.)

I spent the next couple of hours trying to set up my new cubicle and get caught up on business that had passed me by while I was fighting with my RV and getting my hair cut. Suddenly, it was getting much later than I liked considering that I was still in Fremont, still had to make my way to the BART station, and the Giants game was at 7:15 PM.

The good news when I got to Fremont was that I was able to find a pair of spaces in a "pull-through" arrangement into which I could park the RV. (It's too long for most single spaces.) The bad news is that a San Francisco-bound train was pulling out just as I was coming through the gates, so I got a maximum wait for the next train to The City.

The BART ride to Embarcadero was uneventful, but I was fuming over the time I was losing. Not having left hours earlier as I had planned, I couldn't walk down to the ball park and instead went into Muni to catch a T-Third ballpark-bound streetcar. The first T car was much too full; like Japan-stuffed-peak-hour full. I balked, and encouraged those around me to do so as well, pointing out that the overhead display said there was another T car only three minutes behind it.

I assume the cars had gotten bunched, and when that happens, the first car gets overcrowded and slows down more due to the crowing slowing the cycle time and people not being willing to wait for the next one. As I expected, the three-minutes-later T car was only lightly loaded, and it was a routine trip down to the ball park.

Getting off the car, I could hear a roar from inside Emperor Norton Field (known to the hoi polloi as AT&T Park). The game was under way and the Giants had started going to town on the Dodgers in the first inning. I, however, still had to slog my way through the metal detectors, which I set off even though I'd remembered to take off my mobile phone and keys. The security guy pointed at my Giants hat, which was covered with pins, and waved me through.

Bay Bridge from AT&T Park
The ballpark is a great, scenic place. Even the walk up the ramps is picturesque. I took this photo of the Bay Bridge on the way up to the third level.

Including time to get a polish sausage (all the dinner I was going to get that night), I felt like a total Dodger fan (arrives late, leaves early) when I finally joined my fellow BASFAns in Section 307.

Hi Cheryl!
I saw from Twitter that Cheryl Morgan hadn't been able to sleep and was following the game, so I had the folks in our area wave to her.

View  From Section 307
Here's what the game looked like from my seat, with the Giants in the field in their "Orange Friday" uniforms. This turned out to be a great place to see Travis Ishikawa launch a three-run home run into San Francisco Bay later in the game as the Giants trounced the Dodgers 9-0. From these seats, you could see the entire flight of the ball off the bat and into the water, for the 67th Splash Hit since the ball park opened.

UFO in McCovey Cove
The Thing in the Cove (a boat done up in all manner of UFO-like lights) also made an appearance in McCovey Cove.

Hunter Pence, King of Socks
Near the BASFA crowd was this person and her sign showing how she thinks the Giants' Hunter Pence is just awesome.

At the Ballpark
I had a really good time at the ball game, and only wish I'd been there earlier.

I had bought two tickets for this game, and when Lisa decided she wasn't up to coming down to the Bay Area again so soon after we returned from the UK trip, she asked me to give it to ericlarson, who gladly accepted it. Eric even gave me the bit of Giants swag (an orange hand towel) he got but that I missed on account of arriving after they'd run out.

Soma Sculpture
After the game, Eric and I walked back to Embarcadero BART while those who had taken Caltrain headed for their post-game specials. Along the way, Eric and I stopped to look at this sculpture, which was new since the last time I'd been through here.

An uneventful BART ride got us back to Fremont about midnight. I bade Eric goodnight and headed back to Mountain View to hole up for the night.

I think I got to sleep about 2 AM. Fortunately, I had no commitments on Saturday. I'm glad the BASFA outing was to that Friday game, not the Saturday evening one, where the Dodgers roared back and annihilated the Giants 17-0.
Tags: baseball, basfa, rolling stone, work

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