October 2002

Summary: Patrick's first novel is off to the agent, Patrick meets NoŽl Alumit, Stacey and Tim Oborne join us for dinner, Halloween at home

Dates on this page

Tue 1

Home with a sore throat. Mostly rested but also did some laundry. The sore throat is not as bad today as it was yesterday. Purchased some photos on ofoto.com. Dinner at home with Patrick: teriyaki sea bass, corn on the cob, curly fries. A yummy meal! Patrick has been very diligent in studying Mandarin and revising Second Island with final changes and mixing music. Aaron Jason in particular has been providing very helpful feedback for Second Island, and Patrick appreciates that a great deal.

Wed 2

My sore throat is going away, but last night I got very strong headaches that wouldn't go away. Woke up this morning and just the remains of the sore throat and no headache, so I decided to work at home today then go in to work Thursday and Friday. Susie has been sending me lots of Web changes and there are more than a dozen other things that have just come up in the past 2 days. It will take me Thursday and Friday just to catch up. Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp, black beans, Stove Top. Scanned in some childhood photos. Patrick decided what his Chinese name shall be: Long Ri Hui. Long means dragon, Ri means sun, and Hui means intelligence. Ri also matches the first two letters of Patrick's last name Ryan. Patrick had naming help from his friend Daniel W.K. Lee.

Thu 3

Created a local server account for Michael D. Smith, our new Admissions Assistant. Had Rodney create a Meeting Maker account for him. I had trouble setting up his computer. When starting Meeting Maker, the splash screen would appear and then disappear but the Meeting Maker would not appear. No error message occurred. Also, when starting Eudora Pro 5.1, an unhandled exception would occur and a message say a log file was being generated but errors weren't logged to the eudora.log file as expected. The answer to both of these problems was that Michael's account on the computer did not have the correct permissions. I logged in as administrator to his computer, then in Windows 2000's start menu I chose Administrator Tools and then Computer Management and then Local Groups. I selected Power Users then clicked the Add button and added Michael's account name to the Power Users group. This was the first time I encountered the problem because this was the first time I was taking one of these Optiplex GX240 computers away from someone and giving it to someone else. When the computer was new, the choice of whether to make a user a Power User was chosen during the initial OS installation. Now his computer is all set up. Later I updated the Pharmacy Information Day registration form. We only had the original document in PDF which in the past I had edited both in Adobe Illustrator as well as in Adobe Acrobat. This time, however, we needed more extensive changes, so I copied and pasted the text from the PDF into a new Microsoft Word document and laid it out anew with the changes we needed. The EPS header also needed updating, so I spent some time in Adobe Illustrator fixing that—in particular the URL for our program had changed since the last time we used this document. The rest of the day was spent sweeping up various issues that had arisen over the 2 days I was out sick with a sore throat. Lunch at desk: veggie pizza slice. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover shrimp with gemelli and campanelle in a lemon dill sauce.

Fri 4

Installed cron for Windows NT so that Sophos will automatically update IDE files once a day. Michael's first day! On Chris's computer when attempting to start PharmAdMIT an error appears: "Cannot locate Visual FoxPro Library"—don't know why this happens yet. Is he missing a VCX file or a FLL file? If so, which one? I don't know. Hats off to whatever programmer decided that I didn't need to know *which* library file was missing. Web meeting with Susie. We spent about 2 hours or so—got a lot done. First lunch with Michael at Nan King Road Bistro. He is friendly and fun to talk to. I'd never known anyone from Nebraska before. He has a boyfriend whose name is Darren who is a graphic designer. Michael left Nebraska when he was 29, but has travelled to a lot of places. He lived in Ecuador for a while. In the hallway at work today I smelled harvest candy corn. After lunch, I worked on the Pharmacy Information Day registration form, which is a few days late in getting online—we've all been very busy with Orientation. The reg form went through 3 drafts with Cindy and Ena before we found something we all liked. Received a popup window with a poem in it. Ena got it, too. It seemed like a virus that somehow sent messages over the local network but I don't know how it did its thing. I did a search on Google on the first few words of the poem and the title of the dialog (I think—I'm typing this on October 5 and relying on memory) and nothing came up. The title of the dialog box was "Messenger Service" and the poem went like this: --- Message from LOKI to [IP address] on [date] [time] / Love must kiss that mortal's eyes / Who hopes to see fair Arcady. / No gold can buy you entrance there / But beggared Love may go all bare / No wisdom won with weariness / But Love goes in with Folly's dress / No fame that wit could ever win / But only Love may lead Love in / / Henry Cuyler Bunner (1855-1896) / / Provide by http://www.ALLprice.info --- Implemented a bunch of web changes that Susie requested: Faculty and Staff page, Programs page, and prepped a new Continuing Education page. Dinner at home with Patrick: he handmade some nouvelle wontons: shrimp and pesto, shrimp and black beans, shrimp and cheese. Leftover pasta. Tried upgrading from ezBoo Web Stats 1.3 to version 3.0, couldn't get it working even after several hours and even after deleting all my old stats tables and installing anew. It's a shame the people who write ezBoo didn't put more error checking in their code and more thought in their installation instructions. I gave up and shall try a different stats package this weekend. This morning Patrick and his agent Mitchell had their final discussion about his novel Second Island. Patrick has a few changes to make, and they plan to send it to publishing houses in the second week of November. Watched 2 Simpsons episodes with Patrick: Computer Wore Menace Shoes (The Island) and Halloween Special 12. They were crazy and perfectly fun. Patrick worked on Second Island.

Sat 5

English muffins with margarine for breakfast. My sore throat is back! Just a little bit sore. Patrick and Sam did sword practice at Stern Grove then went to Chinatown to get a Chinese dictionary and dim sum while I stayed home and did cleaning, laundry, repaired a sock, and the dishes. Removed tree sap from our sliding glass door and washed the window. Cleaned up my bicycle which had been sitting in the backyard since we moved in—we simply didn't have space inside to keep it, so it has accumulated a bit of rust. I hated having to do it, but this apartment was the best thing we could find at the time. The rust isn't too bad—mostly the chain. Added my personal Web site to dmoz. Patrick and Sam came back with dim sum just as I was about to leave for the drug store, so we all went inside and had some delicious shau mai and other treats. Sam left, then I walked to the drug store, and Patrick stayed home and mixed music and worked on Second Island. Selected some books from my collection that I didn't want anymore and will try to sell. Took a shower, then a nap. Patrick studied Chinese. Dinner with Patrick at King of Thai Noodle Cafe. Installed phpOpenTracker 0.9.12. It took me hours—I blame it on poor documentation.

Sun 6

Spent most of the day in bed feeling achey and sleepy from some bizarre cold symptoms. Leftover dim sum with Patrick for lunch. Patrick and Sam went grocery shopping at Albertson's. Patrick did Chinese homework and worked on Second Island. Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp quesadillas and shrimp salad. Having slept most of the day, I felt the need to be productive and washed the dishes and organized closet space so that my bike would fit inside. Set up a test Web page for Domenica's Web site.

Mon 7

Reinstalled PharmAdMIT for almost everyone to resolve problems with "Program Error: File access is denied" messages when starting. Web edits: updated calendars, mocked up the CE page, put up a new cover page news story, edited the reunions page and pharmacy information day page. Staff Appreciation Luncheon at Laurel Heights: it was a tropical theme this year. They had orchids centerpiecing each table. A large buffet included roasted ribs, roasted chicken, roasted vegetables, carrots, cole slaw, beans, chocolate and peanut butter cookies, some kind of sweet bread, rice, chocolate coins, and assorted beverages.

Tue 8

Lunch by myself at Beijing on Irving: Beijing chicken with rice. Dinner at home with Patrick: rotelle di cornucopia. Searched the Web for Web statistics software, then browsed SourceForge for a while. Downloaded AWStats but then took one look at the installation instructions and decided this was a task for another day.

Wed 9

Made live the revised academic calendar, which now includes the pathway dates for Year 2 students. First School of Pharmacy Web developers meeting. It went well, Susie and I called the meeting to create a community within the school for discussing and sharing Web issues. Spent most of the rest of the day working on the Accounts, Logins, and Passwords section and the Firewall Software section and the Anti-virus Section. Lunch at desk: leftovers from Beijing on Irving from yesterday. Dinner at home with Patrick: pork chops, leftover cornucopia.

Thu 10

Finished mocking up the Accounts, Logins, and Passwords section and sent it out for review. Lunch at desk: Panda Express. Computer Support Coordinators meeting. Chatted with James about changes to the Admissions section. Dinner at home with Patrick: roast chicken, Spanish rice, corn on the cob. Talked for 42 minutes to Mikey Anitas. He's been seeing a guy named Lonnie, shopping at Ikea, doing tech writing work for Adobe, looking to buy some lights for photo shoots, planning to take a photo job for a director, and letting Brian Kusler stay at his place while Brian attends to a crisis with Aihrique. We also talked about people we knew like Victor Cosby, Tina Carter, Jimmie Looker. Tried to make myself look at auto insurance paperwork, but I just couldn't do it today. The big news today was that George Bush was granted the power to declare war on Iraq by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Fri 11

Patrick got this great fortune out of a fortune cookie while eating at China Court last week: "For a good cause, wrongdoing may be virtuous" and numbers 12, 15, 26, 36, 39, 41, 1, 5, 8. The one I got yesterday from Panda Express was: "Your ability for accomplishment will follow with success." Cindy wasn't happy with how Chris and I chose to mix the pathways declaration calendar in with the rest of the academic calendar, so I spent about 30 minutes today giving it its own page and redoing the PDF with all the calendars on one page. Michael and his friend Auggie and I went late to the Coming Out Day celebration in Saunders Court but all the one-dollar burritos were gone already and the ceremony (I presume there was one) was over. Mocked up the pathway declaration process page and sent it to Cindy and Kristina for review. Dinner at home with Patrick: ground cow quesadillas, wild rice, spinach. It was our first time having cow at home in a long time—perhaps several months. It tasted a little weird to me, but it wasn't repulsive. There seemed to be more cheese than cow, anyhow. Mmm, cheeese. We folded laundry. I went to sleep and Patrick stayed up to study Chinese and work on his novel.

Sat 12

I dreamt last night I went to Hawaii to visit my friends. I talked to Michael Pelligrino who was starring in a play. I also dreamt that Jim Stoicheff wanted a sex change operation. (I don't know where these bizarre ideas come from.) Patrick dreamt he was in a huge maze of dangerous housing projects, about 20 blocks square. He had to get to the other side and there were a lot of dangerous things around so he needed a guide. He didn't find one and then he woke up. Sam and Patrick practiced sword in the morning, then went grocery shopping. I vacuumed, dusted, cleaned my keyboard, sanitized the light switches, made the bed. Last week Patrick and I picked out about 25 of our books we want to get rid of, so he listed them all on Amazon. Two of them sold within a few days, so I'm handling the shipping part. We went to the Castro. Right outside the MUNI station, we ran into Brian, Kelly, and Jesse, who were all looking fresh. Brian and Kelly were just getting done looking at US$170 t-shirts in the new Diesel store. Brian told of his trip to Seattle, and the news about Erik made us very, very sad. In the middle of our chat, all three of them were suddenly distracted by a jockish gay boy who seemed to be exactly their type. Patrick and I took it in stride. Got a quick bite to eat at Escape from New York pizza. I got a haircut from Patrick's hairstylist Bao at Nice Cuts. We returned home and prepared for our dinner party in the evening. Stacey and Tim Oborne came over for dinner. We started with homemade deep-fried pork wontons with homemade sweet and sour dipping sauce. The main course was hoisin chicken over steamed medium-grain rice. Dessert was ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream and whipped cream. After dinner, we played Pop-up Video and Mind Trap—two games that they brought over. Pop-up video was trivia questions about music. Mind Trap was math problems and whodunit kinds of questions like you'd find in first-grade mystery books. We had fun and talked about Patrick's writing; the Pet Shop Boys (Stacey is an incredibly enthusiastic fan); British television; file sharing utilities; what was in sweet and sour dipping sauce (water, sugar, rice vinegar, salt, ketchup, potato flour, and red food coloring); their two cats; and their 15-month-old Rhodesian Ridgeback dog named Emerson.

Sun 13

I felt like doing nothing today. Slept. I think it was the wine from last night. I don't usually have wine. Shopped online for a lighting solution for the kitchen where our dinner table doubles as Patrick's office desk, so he doesn't really have enough light to work comfortably. We're not sure if a paper lantern will provide enough light; we don't have space for a large fixture, and we don't own our place so we don't want to deal with a ceiling fixture you need to hardwire. After several hours, I gave up—no simple and inexpensive and tasteful solutions presented themselves. Got sleepy again, so I took a nap. Patrick worked all day on Chinese homework and writing, and Sam took him to the grocery for more dinner supplies. In the evening I woke from my nap and helped Patrick with the preparations for dinner with Felice. Felice Picano came over for dinner. He brought flyers for his new play called The Bombay Trunk which world premieres at the New Conservatory in about 2 weeks for a 2-month run through the holidays. We talked about the play, cooking, writing, Felice's new Web site, James bond actors, Yan-Kit, Arthur C. Clarke, the recent gay bashings in West Hollywood.

Mon 14

Web meeting with Susie. She okayed our transition to the new banner. We decided to use black instead of gray or teal. I put in the new banner in about 10 minutes. Within about 30 minutes, Chris called me asking where the Campus Directory link had gone, so I referred him to the page header design team to direct his (rightful) wrath. Made live a bunch of other changes that had been held up due to review processes. I spent most of the morning working on the Consumer Self Care estimates for Web development. Lunch with Patrick and Michael at San Tung where today's lunch special did not include the soup because (the waiter said) "it's a holiday." After he took our orders, we all looked at each other and wondered how the Columbus Day "holiday" determines the availability of soup in a lunch special in a Chinese restaurant. It made me wish we'd eaten at Beijing on Irving across the street instead where we would have gotten the soup and an egg roll as well. We ordered lemon chicken, cherry pork, and cashew chicken and shared it all family style. Our fortunes: Michael got "People are attracted to your inventive and intuitive mind." Patrick got: "Pleasant, talented, attractive personalities will cross your life and spark your imagination." I got "Stop waiting! !! ! Buy that ticket. Take that special trip." I spent most of the afternoon thinking up a resolution for too much non-school-related traffic on our mailing lists. I put together a proposal and sent it to Chris and Cindy. Dinner at home with Patrick: I made shrimp quesadillas and pork-stuffed bell peppers. I rested while Patrick folded laundry and did the dishes. We watched a new Madonna video called "Die Another Day", a South Park episode called Simpsons Did It and a Simpsons episode with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.

Tue 15

Ugh! Spent practically the whole day trying to figure out why qmail won't send messages and why everything in samba appears to be configured correctly but I still can't get shares to show up in Windows. What a frustrating day! I kept getting errors such as "tree connect failed: NT_STATUS_BAD_NETWORK_NAME" and "session setup failed: NT_STATUS_LOGON_FAILURE". Everything seems configured correctly. The daemons are running, the pings all test fine. I just can't log on. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers from last night with some slight variations. Did XHTML validation and Bobby accessibility checking on Lodestar Quarterly.

Wed 16

Worked more on samba—noticed that when I ran smbclient it said I was running 2.2.3a but I had installed 2.2.5, so I tracked down old copies of nmbd and smbd in /usr/sbin and removed them, created symlinks to the same files in /usr/local/samba/bin and now smbclient reflects 2.2.5 instead of 2.2.3a. Similarly, I found old samba files in /usr/bin and removed those as well. Now smbclient sees my correct workgroup instead of "MYGROUP"—I couldn't figure out how to make it stop saying MYGROUP and this was the solution: to remove the older 2.2.3a version of samba I didn't realize was running after installing 2.2.5. However, the samba server is on a different subnet than the one I'm trying to hook it to, and I can't understand from the documentation how to make it work. I tried adding a lmhosts file with the appropriate IP and computer name info but that didn't work. I considered changing my subnet masks from 255.255.255.0 to 255.255.0.0 but thought I should perhaps check with ENS before doing so. IP forwarding might be a better solution. I bought 3 pairs of shoes at the Nike Sample Sale—a woman comes to UCSF quarterly to sell dealer samples used for purchasing. They're new shoes but at 50% or more off the regular price. I'd been needing athletic shoes and found two very different pairs I liked ($39 and $28) as well as some sleek slippers ($11.50) that I could wear at home to keep my feet warm. Picked up a copy of Macromedia Studio MX—Susie said I could use her department's account to make the purchase. We need the software so that I can understand how others in our School will use products like Dreamweaver to hook up to our Web site's framework for development. Domino's Pizza for dinner.

Thu 17

Worked from home today. Spent most of the day working on a restructuring of the School of Pharmacy home page. Put together an outline in Microsoft Word for Susie to review. Leftover pizza from last night for lunch and dinner.

Fri 18

At work, I spent most of the day installing Windows Updates for IE6 SP1 and security problems with Microsoft Word and Excel. Today was the White Coat Ceremony, an event in which entering pharmacy students receive their white coats and take an oath of the pharmacist. The event went well. After work, Patrick and I went to Anu Bar for a drink, then to Chow on Church for dinner: carrot soup, mushroom pizza, half chicken, iced tea, bread pudding, coffee, US$32 before tip. After that, we chatted with Brian and Kelly and Jesse. Patrick got a 93 out of 100 on his midterm for Mandarin.

Sat 19

Slept.

Sun 20

Slept. Oatmeal for breakfast. Scanned in a document for Sam. Late lunch with Sam and Patrick at Chevy's, then walked through Stonestown Mall while Sam bought a few things he needed. Dinner at home with Patrick: I made breaded and deep-fried portabello mushrooms, served with foccacia and Santa tomatoes. Scanned in some of Domenica's photographs and artwork for her resume web site. All day today Patrick worked on his writing and prepared for his speech in Mandarin class tomorrow. He sends the final edits to his agent tomorrow. He's been feeling very stressed out lately with so many things needing to be done by tomorrow. He's got a canker sore that huurrts.

Mon 21

Web steering committee meeting. John K demonstrated his new faculty and staff directory which exposes employee IDs to the world as querystring data. Worked on the student database. Lunch: Subway sandwich. Dinner at home with Patrick: pasta. Patrick did very well on his oral report in Mandarin class—no screw-ups! He also converted Second Island to a PDF and uploaded it to the Kinko's Web site. Kinko's prints it out in New York City and delivers it by courier—we pay the same price to have it duplicated at Kinko's in San Francisco, and we pay the courier instead of the post office to deliver it to his agent. Patrick used this method last time his agent needed to see a printed manuscript, and it worked very well. Patrick and I registered the domain called patrickryan.us.

Tue 22

Set up a new template for Debrah to do the schedules in. This new template uses more space on the page and should look better when shrunk down to 4-up as the students like. Converted a document from Works to Word for James. Sent Susie my suggestions for reworking the About the School section of the Web site. Fixed some problems Chris had with his laptop: the cursor was very jumpy and erratic; the mouse control panel setting was set to very very sensitive, so I changed the slider to less sensitive and it seems better now. Made the entering students' photos and the White Coat Ceremony photos available to staff.

Wed 23

Helped Joel with the career fair. Caught up with web changes—simple maintenance like updating calendars. Free box lunch from the fair; Michael and I ate in the Millberry Union. Dinner at Azteca. Patrick and I saw NoŽl Alumit's show called Master of the (Miss) Universe. Afterward, we hung out with him and some of his friends and family at Zuni. We met Greg, his cousin; Anne, Greg's college friend; and Dan, his stage manager. His show's themes revolved around beauty pageants, acceptance, rejection, and societal prejudice and it was entertaining. We laughed, and it stimulated thoughtful conversation.

Thu 24

Spent most of the afternoon helping Nancy Nguyen with a weird problem: since last Thursday she hasn't been able to log on to any ucsf.edu web sites but all other web sites work fine. Nothing has changed in her computer's configuration, and things were working fine before last Thursday. Dinner at home with Patrick: yellow curry chicken, leftover mu shu shrimp.

Fri 25

Worked at home today. Continued helping Nancy Nguyen troubleshoot her problem connecting to UCSF web sites from her home computer—after gathering more data, I believe there's a problem in between her ISP (SBC) and UCSF—both SBC and UCSF deny it's a problem they can fix. Worked on refining the updating of link checking from the development server to the live server.

Sat 26

Chatted with Domenica about her web site project. Worked for a bit on it after. Laundry. Cleaned the bathroom. Patrick met with NoŽl Alumit in the Castro and ran a few errands. Dinner at home: fried chicken, mexican rice, corn on the cob, biscuits. Watched Big Trouble (2002) on DVD with Patrick. It's an entertaining film—we had fun and recommend it.

Sun 27

Celebrated Sam's birthday. He brought over a package from his mom with a whole bunch of candy. His mom sent him money for his birthday. For our gift to Sam, Patrick illustrated Chinese characters meaning "friendship" and framed it in a large silver frame. We took Sam to dinner at Ton Kiang: crispy chicken; beef, baby corn, cabbage stir fry; and a lot of dim sum. Worked on Domenica's web site today.

Mon 28

Lunch with Joel and Michael, but we split up because Joel refused to eat at the restaurants Michael was thinking of eating at. Joel and I went to Nan King Road Bistro. Dinner at home with Patrick and Sam. Sam's birthday dinner: red beans and rice, bread.

Tue 29

Joel and Ena and I went to lunch at L'Avenida, a festively decorated burrito and taco shop on nearby Irving Street. Dinner at King of Thai Noodle House with Patrick. We both felt a little sick to our stomachs afterward. I've been tired of talking about work lately, so that's why I haven't been mentioning it much.

Wed 30

Met with Susie in the morning about Web plans. We drafted a plan for presenting our proposed designs to other Web developers in the School. Lunch with Michael and Auggie at Peter Bakery and Dim Sum. I went along mostly to confirm that the food was bad (but the company was good). I didn't realize just how bad the food was. I paid US$3.75 for a big plate of American-style fried rice, sesame chicken (which was cold and tough), and 4 pieces of dim sum (which was actually not as bad as the rest of the meal). Michael and Auggie didn't make the faces of disgust I was making inside (but not showing), so I didn't complain, but I'll never go back again. Worked mostly on changes for the admissions section. Our application deadline is November 1, so a lot of our pages will need updating on that day. I'm scripting nearly all the changes so that they'll change over right at midnight. Went to the doctor today. Came back to work around 4 and worked until 6. Dinner at Jitra with Patrick.

Thu 31

Lunch at Pluto's with Joel and Ena. Dinner at home with Patrick: roasted chicken with pineapple teriyaki sauce, rice pilaf, zucchini, ciabatta. We got only 5 trick-or-treaters, and 2 of the parents stuck their heads in to say how nice Patrick's pumpkin carving was. Watched David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001) on DVD—first time for both of us seeing that film, and I thought it was just fantastic. It's just fascinating to see Lynch's work and ponder his artistry. I was thrilled.