Provisional Ata Boy to the Skydrop folks

I've been tough on Skydrop. Easy to be tough when the stuff ain't work'n.

Yesterday. We bonded.

Had the complete and undivided attention of a support guy (James) and varying numbers of software engineers pretty much all day. Seems Melina was stirring the pot in the background as well.

I'd gotten an e-mail from my buddy "Bunny". I should tell the story sometime of how he came to be known as Bunny. It's a good one. I'm "Sweets" BTW. My handle was ironic. Anyway, Bunny's been following the muse stream. Bunny's disappointed that Skydrop is not getting it done. He's considering one for his place.

In the first support phone call of the day I pass the tidbit along that people (from around the world, Bunny could be anywhere, and he's Indian anyway, gives the muse an international flare) are following progress. They're getting a bad impression of their product.  I'm what is known in the industry as an early adopter and technology influencer. Nobody wants an influencer with an international muse stream filling the blogosphere with negativity about their product. Besides I have followers numbering in the single digits! And data to back that up.

As the call progresses, James says the engineers have found the Quail Manor and are having a chuckle. Gives Skydrop a warm place in my heart. They found my blog. I'm curious how, but they will not disclose their methods. They are engineers. It's axiomatic that they are VERY smart. Now I have followers in the 10's. Guess I'd better not say anything about the NSA...

They had a live system to test some new software on. I attribute the new software to the Quail Manor driven requirements. Like you can water on your own schedule like a falutinfree (follow the link, vulgar but hilarious) irrigation controller. Not just when the highfalutin irrigation controller decides the plants deserve some water. The new software was pretty polished so I suspect they had been working on it, but I got a very fresh version.

That didn't quite work. Modifications pushed back out. Test, repeat until works. Except.

I get a call from James mid-afternoon. Did you start the controller manually. No. I'd noticed it was running and just figured they were testing. But no, I'd not started it. More time passes. Another call. It's working! Been working for awhile! I've had the experience where you've lost confidence and are working on the software to fix a subtle bug only to find MUCH later  it had been working all along, but I was confused and was expecting a wrong outcome. The vagaries of software development.

So. End of the day. I'm all alone and I need to finish watering Zones 1, 5, 6, and 7. Kind of a pain since you have to remember to start each one. From your computer, iPad, or iPhone (or any smart phone, but I have i* products). Not that hard, but likely I'll forget. I know, I'll use the new functionality to create a custom schedule to water just those zones. Build it and set it to start. It started. And ran to completion. Excellent.

And they're sending a tee shirt!

So. I'll remove the provisional status if it starts again on Saturday as scheduled.

Meanwhile. Inside the Quail Manor all manner of stuff is going on.

  • The evil drywallers are back to finish the garage. Which they did with no collateral damage. They did forget their scaffolding so someone had to go back to get that. Bumpy start, but done with the drywallers. We have textured freaking garage walls. The Quail Manor is small, but plush.
  • Son of Machinist Michael (henceforth SMM) is CtC's nephew.
    • I knew CtC's brother was a machinist, but did not know until the last couple of days how that benefited me. Seems SMM makes mirrors for 25 foot diameter telescopes that are destined for the Andes in I think Chile. No margin for error in a mirror that large. Good attention to detail. I knew and had observed all that, but did not know until the last couple of days how that benefited me. He works nights and sometimes works with CtC for a little extra money. 
    • Yesterday we learned how those two facts benefit me. SMM adjusted the heck out of our IKEA kitchen. Doors. Drawers. All perpendicular when they need to be perpendicular. Parallel when they need to be parallel. Gaps micrometer consistent. Thing of beauty. In fact, kicks our expensive Denver kitchen's ass. It's never been this good and pisses me off every time I look at the raged gaps. Pisses me off thinking about it now...
  • CtC was busy. He:
    • Fitted the rest of the end panel on the magnificent tall wall. Looks great.
    • Installed the first of our Arts and Crafts style doors. Happened to be the one between the house and garage. Love it.
    • Starting installing moldings around the doors. Simple Arts and Crafts. Looks swell.
  • Tile guys were setting tile in the bathrooms. Looks beautiful. Tile mostly set. Today they grout.
    • Another one of these Tucson multi-generation trades. Dad runs the show but son leads the crew laying the tile.
    • Dad also drives the most beautiful truck that has been on the job. Not as spectacular as the roofers truck that frequent readers may recall, but quietly elegant. Not unlike the Arizona Inn that comments are trending towards me taking Ann to experience. A beautiful cream color with maroon lettering (the truck). Seems the son covets the truck but dad won't give it to him. Seems I struck a nerve.
    • Another nerve. Turns out the son is afraid of heights. Setting tile in the master bathroom is not a good place to be if you're afraid of heights! He set the tile, but pretty sure he was weeping...
  • Your musist meanwhile (when not interacting with James at Skydrop):
    • FINALLY cut the gray water and sewer clean-outs to length and installed the covers on their boxes. Been bugging me since June how all that was going to work out. 
    • Had an inspiration for steps in the walk from the front driveway around the south side of the Quail Manor to the back yard. Been working on this since June too. But think it's, if not good, getting to a direction where Ann can put her mark on it and it will be good. Pictures in the picture area.
    • Removed the packing and PLUGGED IN THE REFRIGERATOR!
      • Today will move stuff out of the auxiliary refrigerator (a cooler that needs ice every 36 hours) at DnT's and into the refrigerator at the Quail Manor.
      • Going to buy one more bag of ice to put in the FREEZER in the refrigerator at the Quail Manor until the water is ready to hook-up the ice maker.
      • DnT have focused on making their place habitable and the grounds. The kitchen works, but is very basic. The refergerator is the same one you might have had it your dorm room. All summer long, no freezer and careful space management for anything that has to be keep cool. BUT NO MORE!
    • Set up the twin bed that is actually the trundle bed under the day bed that will be in the study/guest room at the Quail Manor. Shockingly comfortable. And I learned this morning, damned easy to make a twin bed.

Here are the pictures. I started to take pictures after everybody cleared out. The battery died. I had the pathway steps inspiration to stay busy while the battery charged. Then it got dark. So the pictures are with a flash and a little dark. Live with it...