Summary: Lasagna dinner party at Jamie's, Our first anti-war protest, Patrick and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary at Ana Mandara.
Dates on this page
Happy Chinese New Year! Patrick and I took separate naps today. While one slept, the other got small things done: paperwork, dusting, dishes, other cleaning, work on Lodestar. Patrick recently finished reading Edinburgh, a novel by by Alexander Chee. He's now reading Queer Fear—horror fiction by queer writers. We played with a CD-ROM of South Park. We listened to Voice of Taiwan (www.vot.com.tw), Mandarin radio. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover meatloaf, spinach, curly fries. We played Wheel of Fortune online and then tried watching streaming video of various kinds.
Patrick did sword practice with Sam while I slept in. Small earthquake this morning at 10:22. I was peeing when it happened and came out to check that Patrick wasn't freaking (he wasn't). I went back in the bathroom and forgot all about it until Patrick poked his head in and said it was 4.2 in Dublin, California. Today we went to a surprise event. Patrick and I trade off picking a surprise event to attend. The other doesn't know what the event is until we arrive. It was my turn to pick, and I picked the Golden Gate Kennel Club 2003 All-Breed Dog Show at the Cow Palace. I found out about the event from my co-worker Joel, who had planned to attend today was well. Patrick loves dogs, so I figured he'd have a lot of fun, and he did, though we had to leave earlier than we liked because he had a mysterious allergy attack not long after we arrived. Mysterious because he hadn't had an allergy attack in a long time and because he is not known to be allergic to dogs. He doesn't believe it was related to the cold he'd been fighting (and overcame) last week. Before we left, we saw more dogs than we could imagine in one place. Hundreds of them, and all kinds of breeds, all beautiful (some in their special way). Patrick pet a few but didn't get to pet the ones he wanted: some young Weimaraners with sleek gray coats. We ran into Joel, who was there with his friends Padrick, Michelle, and Heather. After we got home, Patrick took a nap, and I took care of paperwork. Updated my personal Web site to point to photo albums on ofoto.com.
Met with Son Dinh, who will be taking care of computers in the student lounge. Met with Susie to schedule more meetings and hand off the digital camera for her forthcoming trip to Asia and talk about a few Web topics. Had my dental cleaning with Dr. Natasha Anne Lee. My teeth are so clean I can eat off them! Only a month ago I had been to Justin Tin's office on Noriega and my cleaning there wasn't very good. They spent an absurdly short amount of time on me (less than 30 minutes). Perhaps it had something to do with my appointment being the last one of the day. In contrast, Dr. Lee spent over an hour with me, and I never once felt rushed so that she could get on to the next patient. I am recommending her to all my friends and co-workers, as I am convinced there is no better dental care in all of San Francisco.
Installed an HP LaserJet 1200 printer for Chris. Met with Jeff Beck and Deborah Petrie to discuss site architecture for the Clinical Pharmacy site. Put in link rel tags into the School of Pharmacy site for home, search, glossary, and copyright. It was surprisingly easy—just updated a handful of templates and voila! Putting in up will be only slightly harder—for another day. Lunch with Patrick. Updated computer requirements for fall 2003. Helped Chris troubleshoot a mail sending problem (he was at home). Dinner at home with Patrick: pork chops (grilled, dijon and dill sauce), carrots (thinly sliced, olive oil, butter, lemon, stir-fried), flaky Southern biscuits, potato salad (red potatoes, green onions, parsley, shaved corn).
Meeting with Susie, Lorie, Rob, and Lloyd about the Web. Lloyd offered me a ride back to Parnassus afterwards. Lunch with Joel at Nan King Road Bistro. I had salmon with black beans, Joel had #3 with the chicken very, very, very well done. Did a clean installation of Eudora on Chris's laptop. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled shrimp with bowties in a sweet and savory citrus sauce.
Started working again on the database. Picked up birthday cake for Cindy. Cindy's birthday party. Rodney showed photos of his wedding. Did another clean installation of Eudora on Chris's laptop. Dinner at Four Season with Patrick: walnut prawns, sesame chicken, steamed rice. Patrick's fortune: You seek to shield those you love and you like the role of the provider. My fortune: With integrity and consistency, your credits are piling up. I helped James set up his DSL installation at his home. It was my first time to his place, an apartment in a tall building overlooking Market Street and the Castro. It took several hours, but we figured out how to get it working. There was more to do, but it was late already and we decided to leave the rest for another time. Got home around 11:30 PM.
Worked from home: VPN work, template work, webdev work, minor site updates. Leftover Four Season at home for lunch. Dinner at home with Patrick: curly fries, asparagus with lemon, salmon in mustard dill sauce. Patrick has been reading tons of plays that got submitted after he sent out a call to a bunch of people.
Slept in. Errands with Patrick. Lunch at Tennessee Grill (415-664-7834, 1128 Taraval St), an old diner that's been around since the 1960's. We both had a chicken burger with fries, Patrick had a root beer and I had plain water. The food was good enough to surprise us, especially for the price: US$11.82 after a $1.25 tip. Napped. I've been using Opera 7.0 and 7.01 for almost 2 weeks now. Previous versions of Opera wouldn't last 10 minutes on my computer because it would crash and I would subsequently uninstall it. This time around, however, I was teased by the promise of better standards support—they claimed better than Mozilla 1, even. To my surprise, it didn't crash within the first 10 minutes. Or the first day. Or the first 5 days. It eventually crashed—once—after 5 days had passed, but by then I was hooked and had already set it as my default browser, setting aside the reliable Internet Explorer 6. It took me a long time to figure out the keyboard shortcut for reaching accesskey items: Shift+Esc. Things don't always work exactly like the did in IE6, so for many things I have to relearn how to do things. But I'm enjoying a better set of features, I think, in the tradeoff. What's cool? Better keyboard shortcuts, better accessibility (e.g., zooming the view also increases the images), better control over stylesheets, plugins, cookies. Very customizable. For web developers, there are features to show you the current window size, debugging features to easily show table outlines, tag structures, and much more. It has support for special LINK tags to add standardized navigation for your site. It lets you easily spoof as a different browser (helpful for cross-browser testing). There's a feature that lets you automatically refresh a particular Web page at a set interval. I'm very pleased so far. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers (salmon, sesame chicken, steamed rice, asparagus) and macaroni and cheese. Played Jeopardy online.
Basic 4 for breakfast. Patrick brought back some dim sum after sword practice with Sam, so had that—yummy. We drove out to the Castro, got a car wash at Divisadero, strolled Castro Street, shared a grilled shrimp burrito at La Tortilla, stopped in at A Different Light Bookstore but didn't buy anything. We had coconut cake, ginger tea, and coffee at Sweet Inspirations while I read from Queer Fear and Patrick did Mandarin studies. Drove up to Twin Peaks just before sunset. At home, one of my old Advent Mini speakers died while we were listening to one of Patrick's mixes. I think I bought those speakers in 1988 or 1989, so it had lasted a long time. Dinner at home with Patrick: stir-fried chicken with string beans and red bell peppers. Vacuumed up a bunch of spiders.
Wrote up the Supervisor's Guide in the webdev section, enabling School of Pharmacy supervisors to know what is needed when hiring a Web developer for the School. Lunch at desk: leftover stir-fried chicken. Dinner at home with Patrick: sausage with spinach and ricotta ravioli.
Created /access/ and wrote the content and set up the navigation for it. Sent out snail mail to students whose e-mail accounts stopped working. Went to the doctor about my knee which has been hurting now and then ever since my first (and last) yoga class last year. Doc prescribed me some voltaran (sp?) and recommended some physical therapy—says I am "fixable." The whole process takes 3 hours because his clinic is in Laurel Heights and I have to retrieve and return my x-ray film from the radiology department in the neighboring building and I have to wait for my prescription at the convenient Walgreens in the same building. Dinner at home with Patrick: frozen pizza. Uploaded photos to Ofoto.com. Chose colors and fonts for Patrick's future Web site, now on the drawing board.
Last night I dreamt that I was driving on the freeway where a marathon was also taking place. The runners knew that they had to share the road with the cars and the drivers knew they had to share the road with the runners. It was difficult to negotiate without hitting anyone, but everyone managed to succeed at that without outbursts of anger. Making the situation worse, the road was strewn with pieces of computer parts, as though they had just come out of a crushing machine. Humans dodged adroitly, cars with slightly less care. After a while, the dream changed—I was standing and fire ants the color of bright mustard were crawling up my legs. That's when I awoke, startled, and accidentally kicking Patrick in the process. Fortunately, he sleeps through just about anything. Put up a message on the current students page about the importance of checking e-mail frequently. Lunch with Joel at Burgermeister: we both got cheeseburgers, Swiss for him, cheddar for me. He told me about his recent Muni experience watching a woman on 6 Parnassus who sneezed violently, covering the entire window next to her with a fine mixture of saliva and snot. I told him my idea of demolition car law enforcement. Set up Joel's new monitor: a Samsung SyncMaster 170T—just like I got James a few months ago. This time, however, it was US$450 instead of $820. Continued work on the About Accessibility section. I thought of an idea the other night while waking up to pee: wouldn't it be cool to have LEDs on the back of a computer that light up for 60 seconds or so when you press a button? I can't tell you how many times I've needed a light source in exactly that location for only a short amount of time just so I can figure out if I have a cable connector oriented the right way. Also: wouldn't it be cool if all cable connectors were as obviously shaped as the fit-the-shape-in-the-hole toys with which young children play? They don't need to be as big—just as obvious-to-fit: a half-circle, an isosceles triangle, a scalene triange. Dinner party at Jamie's place with: Jamie, Aaron, Tom, Sue, Kai, Fiji, Nicole, Alina, Brock, Joanne. Jamie made lasagne with ricotta, turkey, and chicken. There was also a dish of some eggplant rolls. Patrick brought a shrimp Caesar salad. I don't know who brought what else, but we also had: olive bread and sourdough bread and a cheese plate with an assortment of cheeses. For dessert, Aaron and Jamie baked a heart-shaped, double-layer, batter-dyed-red, exterior-frosted-white cake. (Jamie pointed out that it was not a velvet cake.) Chocolate ice cream and berries were served alongside the cake. Patrick has been having allergy problems all day, so we left early (right after dessert), but all the food was delicious and we had a great time.
Last night I dreamt I was in a museum with paintings and high ceilings. I didn't care about the art. I was trying to leave. But people were in my way. The people were large, slow-moving, and had unpleasant idiosyncracies. They looked like people you'd cross the street to avoid. I felt very frustrated. Eventually I weaved and dodged my way to the front door of the museum, where an elderly man and a very young girl were having trouble getting the door open. I said to them, "Step aside," and they did, and the large honey-colored wooden door and the screen door yielded to me as though nothing had happened. That's when I woke up. Sorted through and got rid of a bunch of old CD-ROMs we no longer needed. Joel brought in Valentine's Day cupcakes for the office—delicious! Created an image for /access/ in Photoshop. Read up on best practices for ALT tags for decorative images and list item bullets (decided on ALT="" and ALT="Item: " respectively). Removed some non-validating autocomplete attributes by making those form fields type="password" instead of type="text".
Breakfast at Tennesee Grill: Patrick had grits and coffee, I had sausage and eggs (US$12). Worked on accessibility, wrestling with float behaviors on a new template for removing the need for layout-only tables. Valentine's Day Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp and veggies pizza from Eagle Pizza, Patrick had a Marin Brewing Company Bluebeery Ale. He also made a Caesar salad. Watched Fellowship of the Ring. Ate cherry pie with Marianne's vanilla bean ice cream. Watched the cast commentary version of the film.
Finished watching bonus material from the Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring DVD. Quick bite to eat at La Tortilla. Got a haircut from Bao at Nice Cuts. Small errands in the Castro. Came home, Patrick did Mandarin homework while I napped.
Patrick and Sam did sword practice while I slept in then did some house chores. Went to the anti-war protest, which was the first protest for both of us. It was pretty much as we expected—lots of people, very peaceful, a good vibe. We showed up at Market and Main Streets at 11:15 AM and joined the people gathering there. There were so many people and so many signs we couldn't tell how many there were, but the streets were full and the sidewalks almost so. The march started at 12:00 noon, and it was 1:00 PM when we got to 2nd Street. Our legs were tired from standing and walking for nearly the past 2 hours, so we took a break having lunch at Panda Express in San Francisco Center. Patrick's allergy symptoms had gotten worse since we arrived, so after lunch we decided to call it quits and go home. Dinner at home with Patrick: pork chops marinated in orange poppyseed; sweet potatoes with walnut, coconut, and honey; asparagus with lime. Watched movie previews on quicktime.apple.com.
Slept in. Came up with an idea that will make us rich. (It's a secret.) Breakfast at home with Patrick: eggs over easy with hash browns. Saw The Hours at Century 20 Daly City (US$7 each for tickets bought with Fandango.com, $7 for a bag of popcorn and a 22-ounce root beer). Dinner at Ana Mandara with Patrick for our 3rd anniversary. The food was delicious, the service was near awful. We started with a sweet aperatif, lillet blanc. Then came a bowl of crab soup and a plate of cha gio (6 small crispy spring rolls). Patrick had the grilled duck and a glass of Crozes Hermitage. I had the sauteed halibut. For dessert, we had coconut rum cake and a roasted banana and two Vietnamese coffees. Our bill was US$102 before $8.67 tax, and we tipped only $5. When we arrived at 6:10 PM for a 6:15 PM reservation, the hostess at the door was talking on the phone to a friend. "Let me transfer you to Mom, okay? I gotta go." When we entered, the dining room was indeed as enchanting as all the reviews we had read. I predicted before we came in that the decor would probably turn out to be a lot better than the food or service, and I was right. Our server's name according to our receipt was "Eriberto R". Each time someone told him the entree he or she wanted, he'd exclaim, "Oh! That's my favorite dish!" When asked to describe a dish in more detail than the menu, he'd simply repeat more or less what the menu had said. He had forgotten to bring Patrick's glass of wine until long after our entrees had arrived. And he seemed to be covering a lot more tables than he could handle. We didn't see him very often after he took our order. Ana Mandara was a nice experience, but I don't think we'll be returning anytime soon.
I dreamt last night that I looked up to the night sky and saw clouds moving across the sky. At least I thought they were clouds at first, but they moved too quickly to be clouds. The shapes grew more distinct and I could see that they were thousands of white specks, all drifting en masse. They became larger, and I could see large objects like spaceships except they floated like helium balloons, and they were shaped like giant stormtroopers from Star Wars. The ships gently bounced into the mountains, then stopped. I looked around me, and others were observing their arrival. There was a sense of dark danger. Evil was coming for us, and we had to prepare for it. We, too, were in the mountains, and it was snowing. I ran to the mouth of a cave I sensed to be our base. Inside I found our troops, but they were all frozen in standing positions. Their outfits were all white with glitter-silver helmets. I ran up to one man who looked like he was in charge, but he was immobile and I could not revive him from whatever instant sleep had overtaken him. The people were stunned not with frozen water, but with some other kind of power that was not visible. I knew that if I went deeper into the cave I would find more of our people, but the other end of the cave was many days' journey and I didn't know if they, too, would be frozen. Made Web changes for Internet computer requirements loans, stylesheet tweaks to account for dl and dd and dt tags, Web developer supervisor's guide, style guide, accessibility, accessible web development. Took out the template I created on Friday because it didn't work well on any of the Mac browsers. Made news updates about the importance of keeping anti-virus software current. Updated the student calendar. Lunch with Joel and Ena at Einstein's. It was my first time having lunch there. It's a non-profit for teaching people job skills—cool. We talked about Joe Millionaire, Ana Mandara, the anti-war protest on Sunday. Got a cold sore. Dinner at home with Patrick: snow peas with shrimp stir-fry. I went to bed early. Edited Candy's Viagra article.
Web steering meeting. Lunch at desk: leftover stir-fry. Joel told me a very amusing story about how me met some guy through craigslist missed connections. Continued editing Candy's Viagra article. Showed Debrah some stuff with InDesign and how to use the schedule templates I designed for her. Later I chatted briefly with BK on instant messenger. Chatted with Chris about computer requirements and hotel architecture. Rode the N train with James on the way to dinner at Four Season with Patrick: walnut prawns, house special chow mein, garlic chicken, steamed rice, tea. Patrick's fortune: With integrity and consistency, your credits are piling up. My fortune: You are deeply attached to your family and home. Bought yogurt, shaving cream, laundry detergent at Safeway while Patrick visited with Jamie and Kai. After Safeway, I hung out with Jesse, showing him how to create an Amazon wish list. BK, Kelly, and Adrian had gone to La Mediterranee for dinner, and I waited until they returned. Little Brian showed up shortly after they arrived. Chris De Lay messaged me today when I wasn't connected to messenger: "christian_delay (Wed 02/19/03 10:05:42 PM): I saw the strangest thing the other day... a enormous group of japanese tourists dressed entirely in orange. Orange hair, orange glasses, orange shoes, pants, shirts, wristwatches, shoelaces, backpacks. It was weird. It made me wonder if it was a cult..." In the past 2 days, my copies of Opera 7.01 at work and at home have started to show ads, so I've switched back to Internet Explorer 6 as my primary browser, using Opera only occasionally when a feature at which it excels is required.
Met with Son Dihn to complete paperwork for his assistant computer admin position. My favorite error message of the day: "Eudora got tired of waiting for the server." Lunch with Joel at L'Avenida. Chris C told me about a cool Web site called seatguru.com. Viagra article. Student database. Tried fixing the computers in the student lounge (still stuck on a permissions problem to the Network Control Panel). Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover Four Seasons and L'Avenida.
Worked from home. Completed the first draft of the reply forms for provisional admits for James. Worked on the Web Developer's Guide. Coded the academic and block calendars for 2003-2004. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled salmon, lima beans, criss-cross fries. Surfed the Web and experimented with geourl.org and geotags.com. Stuck geotags on the School of Pharmacy site (but didn't make it live yet). More Web surfing: jish.nu, minimalist web project, sftreasurehunts.com, amy-david.com, tiger map, jase paul wells, milkandcookies, steinhart aquarium, 3bp.com (some of which is extraordinarily funny—we laughed so hard our sides hurt).
Something funny we read today from a British news article headlined "Schoolkids to Be Asked to Consider Oral Sex" by Matthew Jones (Reuters): "We trust head teachers and teachers to make sensible decisions about sex education." Brunch at Harvey's at Castro and 18th. It was my first time there. We had standard breakfast fare. Food was delicious, service was acceptable. Reading of Ode to Lata by Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla at A Different Light Bookstore. Dinner at Loi's Vietnamese Restaurant. It was our first time. The decor was unfortunate, but the food was excellent and also very affordable. We had fresh spring rolls (8 inches in circumference), Patrick had bun bo xao, I had pho ga. Watched L.I.E. on DVD—we both thought it was excellent. Only a few scenes with too-choppy editing bothered me.
Sam and Patrick practiced sword. Brunch with Sam and Patrick at Squat and Gobble West Portal. Saw Roman Polanski's The Pianist at the Stonestown Twin. This was a perfect example of American corporate blindness: before the film, the theater showed an ad encouraging young people to join the army. Picked up frozen pizza and Breyer's Heath Bar in Vanilla ice cream from Albertson's. Late lunch: Thai Kitchen noodle bowls at home. Patrick studied. We both surfed the Web. Frozen pizza for dinner. Watched the director's commentary for L.I.E.. Patrick said, "He smacks his lips a lot." I said, "He repeats things a lot." Installed security updates on my personal Web site.
Met with Sean Norton. Sent out the Reply to an Offer of Provisional Admission pages for review, printed same pages out for James. Spoke with Samsung about Joel's new Samsung SyncMaster 170T which freaks out about twice a day for a few seconds. They had me check the usual suspects: electric or magnetic interference, bad power strip, bad monitor cable, bad graphics card. Lunch with Joel at Nan King Road Bistro. Installed updates for Chris's laptops. Talked with James about the Reply to an Offer of Provisional Admission pages. Dinner at home by myself: leftover macaroni and cheese. Patrick went to a reading by Alexander Chee at Books, Inc. He said the reading was great. It rained and stormed most of the day today, and it did not help that both my bus in the morning and my bus in the evening did not show up on time. Muni makes me mad!
Edited Viagra article. Finally fixed the problem with the student lounge computers having the wrong DNS settings and I couldn't get in to the network control panel because I got the error "You do not have permission to open the Network and Dial-up Connections folder" even when logged in as administrator. The solution was more of a workaround: as admin, I searched for all occurrences of the old DNS IP addresses and changed them there. Reboot and now everything is fine. I wasn't sure if it was going to work, so I'm glad it did. If it didn't, I would have had to resort to reformatting and reinstalling the OS. Dinner at home with Patrick: spanikopita, shrimp caesar salad, veggie burger.
I thought up a haiku on the way to work this morning: Health care costs go up / Health care quality goes down / It's America! Met with Susie about Web issues. She's just back from a business trip in Asia, so I got to hear all her stories. She said Tokyo was spotless ("It's so clean you can eat off the streets.") and that they had delicious dinner at a dive joint for US$10 per person, they had dinner another night at the home of an alumnus of the School, Hong Kong was filthy, Shanghai's architecture was so amazing it rendered her speechless, Beijing was depressing with Russian-like concrete buildings and people dressed all in black and gray, and all the professional meetings they had went very well. They also got to see how people lived in the slums. She ended up not taking the digital camera because Mary Anne asked her not to, but Mary Anne took 450 photos with her own. Susie brought back a small gift for me: two miniature Japanese maroon-colored spoons, painted with a black and gold design. as for serving salt from a small dish on an elegant dinner table. She accidentally left the price tag on! It was 300 yen (about US$2.60). Nonetheless, they are beautiful, and I know Patrick will love them, too. Completed a lengthy e-mail explaining why we avoid PDF as the primary method of delivering information on a Web page for Barbara Sauer. The reasons primarily are accessibility, usability, and cost-efficiency, though other less important reasons exist (marketing, user experience). Lunch with Joel and Michael at Beijing on Irving: I had sweet and sour fish, Joel had sweet and sour pork, and Michael had tofu with spicy sauce. Michael's dish was disappointing because the tofu looked like it was dry and because he thought he was going to get vegetables with it. (It only came with a few thin slices of cucumber.) The sweet and sour dishes were both delicious. My fortune: You will inherit some money or a small piece of land. Added Tablin to the footer of all School of Pharmacy pages to make it easier for me to test what the pages look like with them linearized. Spent over 2 hours trying to find an AGP low profile graphics card with a DVI-D connector on the Web. Impossible! Patrick called to say he wasn't feeling well, so I went home a little early. On the bus ride home I chatted with Kevin Souza and got to meet his boy Xander. When I got off the bus, a woman walking a beautiful marbled-brown greyhound was at the bus stop and I paused to admire the dog's beauty. We shopped on the Web but didn't buy anything; decided we might go downtown to Urban Outfitters this weekend and look at a zip-up sweatshirt that Patrick likes. Walgreens.com was not working properly—when we clicked on items to add them to our cart we got an error, something like "the page you requested is not available or no longer exists." Oops!
Woke up at 2:00 AM, couldn't sleep and after an hour got out of bed and made some mac and cheese, did computer updates. Met with Chris, Cindy, and Susie about a possible new position whose responsibilities might offload some work that Rodney and I are currently doing. Lunch with Joel and Ena at Nan King Road Bistro. Worked on the entering students branch and made James's offer reply forms live. Helped Mike Lemont with password problems. Did more research for finding a AGP DVI low profile graphics card for Joel. Dinner with Patrick, Brian, Kelly, Nico, and Simma at Maykadeh, a Persian restaurant (415-362-8286, 470 Green near Grant). Simma, an Iranian woman and childhood friend of Nico, was given carte blanche for our order. We can't remember all the names of the food we had. One was pomegranate chicken. Another was filet mignon slices atop a bed of Basmati rice. The food was all very delicious.
Tested the digital monitor cable with James's computer. Updated the Set Up E-mail page to more carefully provide solutions for "relaying not allowed" and similar errors. Updated the current students news and calendar. Showed Michael how to configure his e-mail filters. Printed new finals for the offer reply Web pages for Michael and James. Lunch at desk: leftover Hong Kong noodles from yesterday. Got two fillings replaced at the dentist. Updated all occurrences of the old ITS phone number to 514-4100. Updated current students news. Put together a list of computer support tasks that might possibly be offloaded from my job description to let me concentrate on Web and database tasks. Patrick had a dental cleaning and a hair appointment today. He also had a Mandarin test. The 6:05 PM bus didn't show up, so I was in a very bad mood when I got home. Dinner at home with Patrick: sea bass. I took a shower and went to bed to get rid of my bad mood.