July 2003

Summary: Fourth of July with the Honmas, Chow Mein at Jamie's, Bastille Day on Claude Lane, Asian Art Museum and Seven Course Beef at Anh Hong Phu-Nhuan, Afternoon with Amy in the Castro, Up Your Alley Fair and Robot Games and Expo at Fort Mason

Dates on this page

Tue 1

Yoga at home. Oatmeal at home. Installed a font I needed for the admissions forms. Met with Susie and Marie about photos Marie needed for a Development Web site, sent the photos we agreed upon to Clint Marsh. Changed the mailing lists. Finished the student directory on the web project plan, sent it out. Met with Cindy and James about the admissions changes. Met with James about the admissions changes.

Wed 2

Admissions changes for James. Soba noodles at desk for lunch. My sister called and invited us to a barbecue lunch on the 4th. Admissions changes for James. Dinner at home with Patrick: chicken and asparagus over steamed rice.

Thu 3

Admissions changes for James. Updated the P3 HPM schedule for Cindy, then made all the schedules live. Took photos of Joel for the secret project. Lunch: Joel and Kristina and Ena and I ordered Round Table Pizza in—Joel and I shared an animal lover's pizza ("combo") and Kristina and Ena shared a vegetable lover's pizza. I offered to pay half, but Joel wanted to trade pick-pay cards, so we did. Admissions changes for James. Patrick met a guy named David at Fuzio today. Dinner at Jamie's with Aaron and Patrick and Jamie: Patrick showed them how to cook Hong Kong style chow mein with shrimp, chicken, water chestnuts, bean sprouts. For dessert, Aaron picked up lychee, rose, and mango ice creams from Rainbow Ice Cream and Mitchell's.

Fri 4

Breakfast at home. Went to my sister's home in Mountain View. We brought with us an angel food cake baked in a fleur de lis bundt pan, topped with white frosting, shiny blue sugar sprinkles, and fresh red raspberries. Lani and Rob invited family and neighbors and friends to their place for a traditional barbecue. We had a great time. Jeremy and I picked lemons off the neighbor's tree. Dexter showed up as well, bringing a bottle each of white and red wines and marinated meats from Freedom Butcher or Freedom Meat Company or something like that—very delicious after Rob's perfect grilling. Rob and Lani let us take unexpected gifts from their garage: a round candle (labeled "Green Round Candle") that made Rob cough and a 6-outlet rack mount surge protector. Others who helped celebrate: Jim and Susie Uchizono with their son Christopher, neighbors Lance and Shawn with their kids Gracie and Drew. Baseball, street hockey. Jeremy had a pretend train engine built out of a giant cardboard box for Rob's new keyboard. We were gonna go to the 4th of July barbecue and Devotion at The End Up, but we ended up napping through it and eating a late dinner of BBQ leftovers at home.

Sat 5

Breakfast at home: Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Picked up the shirt I bought on June 20 at Nordstrom—it seems to fit well. We are both pleased with the result that came back from the tailor. Errands in the Castro. Lunch at Osaka Sushi. Dessert at Cafe Flore: lattes, Selva Nera, hot tea, coffee, pecan pie. I read from The Book of Salt by Monique Truong. Patrick edited his short stories. Browsed at Books, Inc. and Tower Records.

Sun 6

Slept in. Patrick went to Jumpin Java and edited more of his short stories. I stayed home, read news, caught up on e-mail. Leftovers for lunch at home. Early dinner at Fuzio with Patrick. Why do the spring rolls seem to get smaller each successive time we order them?

Mon 7

Cindy and I met with Steve, the general contractor who is building our new offices on the 9th floor of the Medical Sciences building in space that Biochem people left a few months ago. Steve is very friendly, and we both are confident that he can build what Cindy has envisioned. Her work on the project is really to be commended—it's obvious that she has taken it to heart and has goals in mind for creating a much better working environment out of what is really not much more space than we have now. Cindy invited me along to ensure I was in the loop about the buildout of my office and of the techy things like data ports and electricity. Turns out my new office will be about 72 square feet—one inch wider and 2 feet longer than my current 60-square-foot office. Admissions changes for James. We're close to being done with this project—hopefully by the end of the week after he and I run through final reviews and some testing. Met with Susie about Web projects: a quick meeting because we both have too much to do—just 35 minutes! Set up Melissa with Eudora e-mail on her computer. Very late lunch at Nan King Road Bistro: #1, not spicy, hot jasmine tea. Left work at 8:25 PM (I arrived around 9:50 AM). Late dinner at home by myself. Patrick went to a kickboxing class this evening but left me some beef stew on the stove. Yum! Converted alias files from tcsh format to bash format since discovering last month that 5dollarhosting took away tcsh from me. Grrr! While eating dinner, listened to random selections on npr.org: Cole Porter, The Beethoven 7th, Afro-Funk, Aussie Bible, Madonna, Alex Lo Dico, New Leviathan Oriental Fox-Trot Orchestra.

Tue 8

Admissions changes for James. Created a new Course Schedule Change form for James in InDesign (took about an hour), put it on his desk for review. New story for the home page from Susie. I put it up for review, she approved, and it's live. Checked in with our web host provider on the order for our domains for the student directory on the web project. Hadn't heard back after I placed the order last week. Dinner at home with Patrick: lemon sage salmon, saffron and red bell pepper with parmesan, baby bok choy. Went to bed early.

Wed 9

Cleaned out old documents I no longer needed. Link checks. Redistributed an e-mail to faculty and staff that Cindy wanted me to make clearer or more complete. Admissions changes for James. Installed PharmAdMIT 2004 for me, then created the server folder for sharing its data, set up a new server share appropriately. Installed PharmAdMIT 2004 for Debrah, Cindy, Chris (twice), Ena. Couldn't install on Melissa's computer probably due to permission problems we had with that computer when Michael was here. I am thinking of doing brain surgery on it—might be the best thing for it. After work I got a double latte with a shot of hazelnut at The Beanery at 9th and Irving. Patrick has been cooking a lot at home, so we decided a night off from that would be good. We were considering Naan N Curry at 8th and Irving, but we saw it was crowded and noisy and the open kitchen didn't ventilate properly, so we instead went to Masala a block down and around the corner at 1220 - 9th Av near Lincoln Av (415-566-6976). We had a sweet kind of naan that had raisins and I can't remember what else. Tandoori chicken. A vegetable curry with green beans, garbanzo beans, carrots, potatoes, and possibly tofu. Rice. One chai tea. All the food was delicious and prepared very well. The service seemed a bit slow, but was good when it arrived. Since the front room was all full, we sat in the back room which was less crowded. We skipped dessert—all full. Our bill was about US$32 after a $4 tip. Afterwards, Patrick and I went to The Mint. We stayed for about 5 minutes, then left. We took a subway train to the Castro and walked around somewhat aimlessly, stopping in at different places to see what was happening (not much). Had a drink at The Bar on Castro, where we liked the mellow music and amoeba light displays and talked about hobbies. Went home after. I had trouble sleeping. Was it the coffee? Did the alcohol aggravate my eczema? Who knows? Forgot to call my sister on her birthday. Well, I thought of her during the day. Does that still mean I forgot? I think yes. On the L train home, there was a big, drunk white man with his buddies (who didn't appear to be drunk). Our car was about half full. The man was saying the word "fags" very loudly, looking around at me and Patrick and everyone else on the train, obviously with intent to create a scene. His buddies just smiled. It was one of the few times I'd ever felt the victim of homophobia—and I couldn't help thinking of the irony: *this* even in San Francisco. The man and his buddies got off the train at the post office on Taraval, and I immediately felt relieved. A different man with a female companion was shaking his head after they left: a sympathetic straight couple perhaps. I wonder, though, how many on the train would have acted if something happened and what the result would have been.

Thu 10

Today I turn over a new leaf.—Reformatted Melissa's hard drive because of permission problems that cropped up when Michael was here. Reconfigured PharmAdMIT 2002, 2003, and 2004 to use less server resources (mapped drives) by combining all the data folders into one directory. Adjusted it accordingly for Melissa and Ena and James. James and I discuss changes to the admissions section. Lunch at desk: leftover salmon and risotto. Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp over butter lettuce with a light Caesar dressing. Honeycomb pasta with vegetables: asparagus, mushroom, zucchini, carrot.

Fri 11

Had a great chat with John Kealy about campuswide authentication systems regarding our student directory on the web project. He is busy rewriting campus locator service (or system?) code and we've decided he's going to try to write a function that any campus site can use to authenticate against his database of user logins and passwords. Received the logins and passwords from the hosting company for our new domains, so I started setting up shop in them. Resolved broken links. Updated pathway schedules for Kristina. Did research for putting wireless access in the new student lounge on MSB 9. Napped. Dinner at home with Patrick: chicken breasts with red bell peppers and onions, organic corn on the cob (which we got from Aaron Jason, who got more than he wanted in his organic produce delivery), shoestring french fries. Watched Iron Chef: Bonito Battle.

Sat 12

Breakfast at home with Patrick: French toast, slices of Asian pear, bing cherries. Went shopping for t-shirts: first stop was the Castro where we went in a bunch of shops but didn't find anything we liked. Mexican food snack stop at El Castillito: one taco, one tostada, one Orangina ($7). Next stop was Union Square. We found 3 we liked on sale at Banana Republic: one crimson red, two dark blue. Francisco Croissants: cherry croissant, a latte, and an Orangina ($8). Took the N train to 9th and Irving and picked up Enter the Dragon on DVD at Le Video. Missed the 66 bus, so we stopped in at Nan King Road Bistro for 6 potstickers ($4 but since we didn't get anything else and it was table service, I left $2 more). Amy invites Patrick to play e-Scrabble. I invite David to play e-Scrabble. Watched Enter the Dragon on DVD, but it was so scratched up that we couldn't watch several scenes. The B side of extras were pretty much impossible to watch.

Sun 13

Patrick went to the gym. I chatted with Tina for 45 minutes. Met at Cafe Flore, shared a fresh squozen orange juice. Lunch with Patrick at Pasta Pomodoro: two iced teas, two pollo alla griglia ($24 after a $3 tip). Walked around Castro Street. Said hi to Jesse at All American Boy. Haircut with Bao at Nice Cuts. Came home. Got a message from Brian about Nico getting his citizenship this past week so there's a party tonight at their place and we're invited. Made CDs—Patrick's first 2 mix cds called The Beat Archaeology (1 and 2). I revised Joel's fake ad on the secret project and printed it out to bring along. We stopped at the ATM to buy money then stopped at Mitchell's ice cream to buy red, white, and blue ice cream. There was a huge crowd. I dropped Patrick off to take a number, then drove around to find a space. Circled the block, then got one in the parking lot—sweet! However, when I found him I discovered he had number 23 and they were still on 90. Too long to wait. We got in the car and drove to Safeway at Church and Market. Got Dreyer's strawberries and cream ($4 on sale) and 2 packs of blueberries ($3 each). Drove to the party, spent about 10 minutes looking for parking. No luck. Dropped Patrick off at the front door, then found a legal spot a hundred yards away—sweet! The party people included: Brian (all 3), Kelly, Nina, Jesse, Simma, Richard, Tim, Mario, Eric, Adrian, Jerry, Tom, several people whose names I didn't catch, and the celebrated man of the hour: Nico! The house provided various beverages, spicy pearl onions and olives, salad, cassava dessert, ranch dressing, and a critically acclaimed chicken lasagna with white sauce. Brian and Kelly showed us their "digital Holga"—a tiny(-sized) 3-megapixel flashless Mustek camera that has guess-and-shoot focusing and no ability to review photos right after you took 'em. Fun! During the course of the evening, Jesse lost (more than) a catfight with Nina, BK ate the strawberries and cream ice cream with blueberries and ranch dressing on top, Little Brian revealed his archaic cellphone to the amusement of many ("It's sooo biiig!"), and BK and Adrian crammed (studied) for a Japanese exam. We gave Nico 2 CDs of Patrick's mixmeister mixing: The Beat Archaeology 1 and 2. Tons of fun!

Mon 14

Lunch on the library steps by myself: Panda Express. My fortune: Be careful in whom you share your confidence. Met Patrick after work at Nan King Road Bistro where we had dinner: Little Dragon dumplings (shrimp and green onions), sesame chicken, steamed rice, one Pu-Ehr tea—$20 after a $3 tip. Returned the Enter the Dragon DVD at Le Video where we had to stand around for 15 minutes while the guy behind the counter played the video to prove that it was so scratched up we couldn't watch some of the scenes. Once we'd demonstrated that we were right, the guy offered no apology and seemed even reluctant to credit our account, but he did. We left the store and I said to Patrick, "What a weirdo," to which he replied, "Movie geeks!" Took the N Judah to Embarcadero—a surprise event for Patrick. We went to a Bastille Day celebration which I'd found out about on flavorpill. And what a celebration of French culture it was! We heard the French house music and smelled the cigarette smoke all the way from Sutter and Montgomery. We entered Claude Lane from Sutter, and halfway up to Bush Street were the gigantic speakers pumping out the music DJed by Franky Boissy, Ellen Ferrato, Ruben Mancias, Dereck Grant, Frenchy Le Freak, Behrouz, Donovan, Alexis, Ryme, and Deep Swing (L.A.). We couldn't tell who was playing because it was so packed we couldn't see inside the cafe. And although Patrick didn't like the current DJ's style, the music was great. People danced wildly in the street. One woman was dancing in very big-heeled shoes. She and her two woman friends were dancing right in front of the speakers with no earplugs. Patrick asked me how they could do that, and I told him that they weren't human. They were flown in from another solar system to build the crowd *energie*. We didn't dance, but we bobbed our smiling heads and tapped our feet to the music like others splayed out in the svelte street. After we'd both gotten headaches from the cigarette smoke, we'd had enough of the French celebration and left to get a coffee. We tried at Cafe de la Presse (keeping with the theme), but it was crowded and we didn't feel it worth paying extra (you know how they charge extra there for everything) to selfishly take up a table for just a coffee. Instead we got coffee and peed at Starbucks. Hopped on MUNI, got home around 10 PM.

Tue 15

Lunch at my desk by myself: spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, corn from the cafeteria. Admissions changes. Made a schematic of Joel's new office for Joel. Made meeting arrangements with ENS regarding telephone and networking services buildout in our new offices. Installed Windows 2000 SP4 for Chris's second office. Set up PharmAdMIT for Debrah and Chris and Chris's second office. Gave a heads up to Melissa and Ena about the admissions changes going live tonight. Did a hardware survey of graphics cards to determine what we'll need to move everyone to all digital flat panels, digital graphics cards, and Windows XP (primarily to get ClearType and more desk space). Completed Windows Updates (SP4) for everyone in the office except Joel and James. Completed PharmAdMIT re-setup for everyone except Joel and Kristina. Made admissions changes live, ran linkcheck, all okay. Checked some links manually that linkcheck wouldn't catch, all okay except a minor issue at the bottom of Form D, so I notified James and he will offer a proposal to fix it. E-mail account for one of our students was deactivated again, talked with Mark Bering about it. He was very helpful and expects the account to be restored tomorrow. Dinner at home with Patrick: salmon with herbs de provence, spinach and feta something, spanish rice pilaf with crimini mushrooms and broccoli. Watched Fleeing By Night on DVD with Patrick. 66 bus didn't show up today. Took me over an hour to get home. Patrick got a check from the Ontario Review for the story they are publishing soon.

Wed 16

Uploaded a new form D for James. Worked on Chris's laptop: basic admin duties. Researched graphics cards for when everyone gets upgraded to digital flat panels. Went to lunch with Joel, Ena, and Melissa to Naan and Curry at 8th and Irving. Though the food was good, the entire meal was largely a disappointment because of the lack of table service (we were always forgetting to get something (glass, plate, napkin) from the supply room in the back of the restaurant) and the poor customer service. Examples: We seated ourselves at a table right by the register and workers saw us sit but didn't offer to wipe down the obviously dirty table. We asked someone to do that, and then the guy took off his apron and wiped the table with it (no water, no soap) and considered the job finished. We paid US$27 for all 4 of us: 5 entrees, 3 orders of naan, no drinks except water. A reasonable price, if you don't mind doing half the work. We left no tip because it was not table service. I wouldn't go back and Joel likely feels the same. Created a new ASSIST icon for James and Melissa. Missed the bus by a minute—took me an hour to get home. Bad luck with the bus this week! Dinner at home with Patrick: baby corn, leftover Spanish rice, twice-cooked chicken drumsticks (baked, then fried). Caught up on e-mail.

Thu 17

When I woke up this morning, I immediately began worrying about money and our future. I suppose everyone does this to some extent. Oatmeal for breakfast. When I got on the bus, several riders were chatting with the driver about another driver who (I think yesterday) took a 45 minute break and just left his bus at 9th and Judah the whole time. This morning's driver is an older Asian man—he's been on the 66 route the longest, and I think he's among the very best drivers because he does his job well. Went to the Asian Art Museum for the first time since it moved to its new location at 200 Larkin. Thursdays you can get in for $5 after 5:00 PM. Patrick has already been twice. The museum reminded me of Ikea because of the layout: They have a recommended path but if you know your way around you can take a shortcut. It was not crowded at all. We started out with Indonesian puppets, which didn't impress us much because to us puppetry is more about the show than the puppet. They had a flat screen TV on the wall showing some behind-the-scenes interviews, but the portions we saw didn't show the actual puppet shows. We then sat for a special performance in Samsung Hall of Tibetan music and dance with Chaksam-pa, a highly acclaimed performance group. After 3 or 4 pieces, we left because I was getting sleepy and probably couldn't make it through the whole performance, and we came to see the museum, too. My favorite part is the alcove with the fountain. Patrick's favorite part is the room with the Japanese samurai armor and the Japanese sedan. Ate the Seven Course Beef meal at Anh Hong Phu-Nhuan (415-885-5180, 808 Geary Street at Hyde). First was a beef salad. Second we didn't remember the name but they brought thin strips of beef cooking in a broth along with bean sprouts, mint, basil, parsley, hot sauce, and rice wrappers. The next 4 courses arrived on a single plate: beef pate and 3 kinds of beef sausages. Seventh was a brothy soup with chopped rice, julienned beef, onions, and black pepper. I liked 4 of the 7 courses. The sausage and pate plate was a bit rich for me. Patrick loved it all. I wouldn't go back for the same meal, but it was worth doing once. I kept wanting peanut sauce for dipping but since they didn't serve it with the meal I figured it would be like asking for soy sauce to pour over rice at a Chinese restaurant so I didn't. Got home lateish. Stayed up some to play a turn of e-Scrabble and to install Eudora, then configure PopTray and YahooPOPs. Couldn't get any combination of those to work—it would receive properly but I couldn't send messages. Tried my ISP, my own mail server, localhost—nothing worked. Uninstalled Eudora, PopTray, and YahooPOPs. Moved the car because of street cleaning tomorrow. When I got out of the car, I thought I heard sprinklers nearby but it was my front right tire leaking badly! I watched as it sadly deflated, but thankful at least that I was able to move it before street cleaning. Inspection of the previous parking spot revealed nothing unusual. Patrick and I suspect that I must have picked up a puncture while driving, as the last time we were in the car we remember hearing a weird noise related to the wheels but didn't know what it was. I bet it turns out to be a really big nail.

Fri 18

Tested template setup on the 2nd development server. Works fine except for template 2—I have to make slight mods to the news directory then modify template 2 accordingly to remove some old hacks. Linkchecking. Late lunch at Osaku Ya. Met Brock and Aaron and Kai at Bambuddha Lounge with Patrick. We met friends of Brock: Greg, Mark, Will, and Michael. We learned from Brock that the place used to be known as Backflip and they have recently redecorated with a Zen/Asian buddha theme: bamboo, chinese lanterns, tropical huts out by the pool. It's a nice space. We were supposed to arrive as part of Camper English's Cocktail Clique, but since we left late partially due to bad planning and me dealing with a flat tire (even though we hadn't planned to drive), we missed partaking of the $3 vodka drinks and free munchines sponsored by Absolut as part of a prearranged happy hour. Consequently, Patrick and I each got one drink (a mudslide for me, a martini for Patrick) and the total was $18 after a $1 tip. We felt gouged, and Aaron and Kai who showed up after us and each bought a drink and subsequently complained about the same thing. Hardly a way to encourage people to return.

Sat 19

Slept in while Patrick had breakfast with Sam. Oatmeal for breakfast. Sushi for lunch with Sam and Patrick at Okazu Ya. Dinner at home with Patrick: angel hair with crimini mushroom sauce, ciabatta with sage butter. We decided today to consider the possibility of combining Patrick's forthcoming October business trip to Provincetown with a vacation to New Orleans for both of us, so we shopped air fares to New Orleans. Patrick talked to his mom on the phone. Had a cookie that Little Brian gave us. Yum! Thanks, Brian!

Sun 20

Patrick went to Cafe Flore to write, have lunch at Fuzio, then meet Amy at Jumpin Java. I slept in, did house chores, ate oatmeal, snacked on cherries, took Muni to the Castro, had a slice of pizza at Escape From New York, walked to Dolores Park, laid in the sun listening to the San Francisco Symphony, ate more cherries, met Patrick and Amy at Jumpin Java. The three of us walked around the Castro a bit, then Amy left to spend a gift certificate at Origins and then head home to Berkeley. Patrick and I shopped for vegetables at the little market across from Safeway, then went to Safeway for Bisquick. Dinner at home with Patrick: California Pizza Kitchen BBQ chicken pizza. Worked on the news directory. Made blueberry muffins.

Mon 21

Brought blueberry muffins to the office. Did some restructuring of leftnav to simplify and streamline template use. Linkchecking. Lunch at desk: peanut butter and black cherry sandwiches. Verified Windows Updates installed for Joel and James. More leftnav work. Dinner at home with Patrick: yellow curry chicken with short grain rice. (Unfortunately, we had no Basmati!) e-Scrabble. e-mail. The coldness setting in our fridge somehow got set too high so some of the vegetables we bought recently were frost damaged and we had to throw them out. Wah!

Tue 22

Oatmeal for breakfast. There was no 8:50 AM bus 66 this morning. Left home at 8:45 AM. Got to work at 9:30 AM. Today's driver (the 9:10 AM bus 66) is a driver I haven't seen before on this route. One block in to the route, he missed a turn. He got back on the route, but not until after missing 2 of the stops where people could have been waiting. After many weeks of not bad service, I think things have taken a turn for the worse with my route. More leftnav work. Link checking. Environment configuration in bash. Set up offsite synchronizing of global files. Prepared workspace for directory project. Updated orientation pages for Joel. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover yellow curry chicken with naan Patrick found at the little grocery across the street from Safeway at Church and Market. The naan was surprisingly delicious for being store-bought, pre-made. I called Mikey, left a message. He called when Patrick and I were watching Banana Battle Iron Chef, left a message. Michael D. Smith stopped in the office accompanied by a pet carrier holding a little kitty cat he found at the beach. Patrick made German chocolate cupcakes with creamy white frosting and various sprinkle decorations. Spent about 2 hours trying to get TWAIN to work with my Epson CX5200 in Win 98. It had been working fine in the past, and I don't know what had changed to cause the problem. I tried lots of different things, including ugly things like fiddling with the Startup Manager, trashing Photoshop preferences files, registry editing, forcing Windows to redetect all hardware, uninstalling and reinstalling the device's drivers. In the end it was an Adobe Technical Support document that provided the enlightening correct answer, even though it was for LiveMotion rather than Photoshop and even though it was unbearably long. (So many possible solutions. So little time and patience.) Long story short: I copied twain_32.dll from c:\win98\system to c:\win98 and now everything is fine in Photoshop but not in Acrobat. Will try reinstalling Acrobat (and then possibly again reinstalling TWAIN) tomorrow. Read Tufte's "The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint" which arrived a few days ago. His emotions get in the way of his logic at times, but I agree with most of it. His "solution" to PowerPoint is to not use it. Instead, he recommends a tabloid sheet of paper with relevant data. However, most PowerPoint users aren't graphic designers or information designers—that's why they're using PowerPoint. He can propose his solution all he wants, but without a tool most people will be at a loss as to how best to communicate their information. The tool could be Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Photoshop, Quark XPress, or even Microsoft Word or Microsoft Publisher, but people will still abuse typography, spatial relations, chartjunk, grammar, consistency, colors, and a zillion other aspects of information design. Couple the right tool(s) with education about how to use the tool(s) as well as education of information design (his books are a great start), and I'll say he has a winner. However, for the typical office person, that's quite a long way to go. I would have preferred seeing examples of what would be acceptable content to put in a PowerPoint presentation. Also, a larger discussion of appropriate media for various content types would have been fitting. Why not also complain about the linearity and templatized NPR broadcasts or television news which are also filled with fluff and inhibit comprehension of data? Intro music. Announcer with topic. Announcer introduces another person (the content). The person talks. Cut back to the announcer with closing words. Exit music. Commercial. Intro music. and so forth. Why not analyze how much content is really in a typical 30-minute television program as compared with 30 minutes of, say, an opera?

Wed 23

Took some cupcakes to the office. Linkchecking. Added a section to Computer Services & E-mail with how to resolve problems with e-mail. Prepared documents for orientation.

Thu 24

Changes to continuing education from Ken Lem, made the pages live. Linkchecking. Prepared orientation documents. Lunch at desk: Patrick's leftovers from Pasta Pomodoro. e-Scrabble with Mikey and Chris and Stacey at lunch. Reviewed draft of new offices floorplan. Began work on the software CD-ROM for students entering this coming fall. Removed old partition from Melissa's computer. Installed ASSIST icon for James.

Fri 25

Template and student directory work. Lunch at home by myself: leftover yellow curry chicken and naan. Stomache ache from the YCC. Walked up Taraval all the way to 19th looking for a new place to eat dinner. We must have passed about 30 restaurants, but they each had something wrong. Unpleasant decor was the most common fault. Fluorescent lighting, cheap chairs made from tubular metal, crazy crap hanging on the walls. Other places just left us suspicious, such as if the place didn't have windows or if the place had no customers at 7:00 PM on a Friday night. We ended up at Ken and Amy's Eagle Pizzeria. Two minestrone soups (homemade), one order of garlic bread, one chef's salad: about $17 before tax and tip. Service was on the slow side, but friendly when it arrived. The food was delicious—a good choice for the price and location. Can be a tad noisy, as they encourage visits from families and sports fans. Don't go out of your way to eat here, but if you're trapped in the lower Sunset, this is one of the better choices.

Sat 26

Brunch at Cafe for All Seasons. Watched the first half of Shadow Magic on DVD with Patrick before giving up on it: too contrived. Watched The Road Home on DVD with Patrick. This film was better; a testimony to human stubbornness and old, cumbersome traditions.

Sun 27

Up Your Alley Fair (aka Dore Alley Fair). Ran in to Glenn and Jon. Then later ran in to Greg. Chatted with each a bit. Left the fair to go to Fort Mason. Lunch at Safeway Deli: ham and cheese on focaccia, chef's salad with bleu cheese, Safeway root beer, Safeway water. About $10 total for food. We walked across the street and ate in the park watching cyclists go by, dogs chase trash blowing in the wind, and a guy freeing a kite stuck in a giant palm tree. A surprise event for Patrick: Robot Games and Expo at Fort Mason. Dinner at home with Patrick: mini penne with homemade chunky vegetable marinara, cheddar and sage biscuits.

Mon 28

Made changes live for Joel (orientation). Link checking. Organized software licenses and cdroms. Installed Adobe Reader 6.0 for Chris on both his computers. Windows 2000 SP4 update on the shared office laptop. More security updates and anti-virus definitions update for the laptop. Did shopping for the computer kiosk in our new student lounge. Tested Sygate software provided by ITS. Updated .doc and .pdf calendars to include Cindy's recent changes (graduation day, board exams days). Spent a long time trying to figure out why InDesign 2.0 would export a document with hyperlinks but then in Acrobat 5.0 and 6.0 the hyperlinks wouldn't work. Turns out that I was specifying Acrobat 4.0 for compatibility and 4.0 doesn't support hyperlinks. (There's a warning that used to always come up when creating a PDF file but it was very annoying so I disabled it, causing it to fail to appear when I needed it.) Dinner at home with Patrick: salmon with 3 kinds of fresh bell peppers, shrimp and spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette, cheddar sage biscuits. Last Saturday Jamie gave us the Creative Nomad MuVo MP3 player that he got for free from work so that we could "figure it out" and then give it back to him. It didn't take long, as it's a pretty simple and pretty limited MP3 player. It plugs in to a USB port, you drag and drop song files to it, you connect it to a battery pack, and music plays. The worst part about the MuVo was the blister pack packaging. We could see the thing, but we couldn't figure out how to get to it! I tried scissors, then an x-acto knife. Neither worked because the plastic was too hard. Patrick stopped me after I attempted several snips with garden shears. (The first couple of tries didn't work.) If it were me, I'd have taken it back to the store and gotten my money back. I didn't watch, but Patrick eventually got it open. We estimate it took us both about 30 minutes to open the package to get to the MP3 player. Once we did, it was pretty easy to get working. After we set Jamie up with some test songs, I printed out a playlist for him, and we played Banja—a new game I discovered.

Tue 29

Had trouble sleeping. Woke up around 4:30 AM, I think. Couldn't get back to sleep until after 6. Woke up again around 8:50 AM and amazingly got dressed, made a lunch, and caught the 9:10 bus. Melissa brought in several dozen dahlias from her patch of garden space in Golden Gate Park. The flowers are so beautiful that it's hard not to smile when you look at them. Several, in particular, are quite large—big-as-your-head large. Everyone in the office got a personal bouquet for his or her desk. Took photos of the Bowl of Hygeia Trophy. Updated graduation ceremony pages to include the recently decided date: Friday, May 14, 2004. Reworked leftside navigation to use the CSS display:block method which Simon Coggins wrote about on evolt.org. Needed to do this anyway to make the templates more efficient for the student directory project. Chatted with Mike Webb about our student directory project. He said we'd be able to get both the data we need and the authentication hook I've been seeking. Lunch at desk: fresh cherries, leftover cheddar and sage muffin, two peanut butter sandwiches. CD-ROM preparation. Alerted Nancy Heller to broken URLs in the Campus Calendar site (which we import data from). Phi Delta Chi Web site has been down, so I sent around e-mails to figure out whether they want to restore the site or not. Dinner at home with Patrick: pizza from the freezer, salad with spinach and basil in cowgirl ranch dressing ("Now with 20% more cowgirl!"). Watched Back to the Future on DVD. It was fun seeing it again. Something I hadn't noticed before (or didn't remember I noticed): in the first few seconds of the opening scene: the clock with the man hanging from the clock's arms. I remembered the school judge with the megaphone was some cameo, but I guessed incorrectly it was Bill Murray. (It was Huey Lewis instead.) Fun to see how old all the 80's scenes looked—e.g., the mirror sunglasses Marty has on after the guitar blast in the opening scene, the references to sodas nobody sees anymore: Tab and Pepsi Free.

Wed 30

There was a dry storm last night around 3:00 AM. We saw a brilliant flash of lightning light up our bedroom, followed within 2 seconds by loud, billowing thunder, but we heard no rain. Patrick got up, looked outside, found no rain. A few minutes later, a repeat of the same thing: frightening lightning followed by thunder, this time with a shorter delay between the two. Again, we listened for rain, but heard none. Within a few minutes, we started hearing a few drops fall, and then over the course of the next 45 minutes or so there was a smattering of drops—more a light rain than any kind of storm. Patrick was also uneasy because of a strange light that fell through our bedroom window. I believed it to be light from the garage worklamps of our neighbor; the light made its way to our window through a side vent in their house. Patrick insisted that wasn't the case—that the light came more from the front of their house. Aliens? he surmised, but it was the middle of the night and we both were groggy. Oatmeal for breakfast. Fixed a small error on the orientation camping trip page for Joel. Made that and the calendar page live for him and Cindy. Link checking. Bought stamps. Started hiking up 3rd Avenue today to increase the amount of exercise I get each day. It's a very steep hill just one block long. To make it easier on my knees, I take the elevator down, then hike back up. Will try this out twice a day each work day. I'm still taping my knee for patellofemoral pain—it's not completely better still. Lunch at desk: peanut butter sandwiches and cherries. Put in text and photos for the new Bowl of Hygeia Award page. Leftnav work: I'm happy with the progress I'm making. Met briefly with Cindy and Grace about furniture plans for the new office space. Installed Office XP for Joel. Restored a broken Retrospect connection for Melissa. Updated the office server with Windows updates (twice). Dinner at Chow on Church with Patrick. Patrick had lemon chicken with mashed potatoes and a side vegetable, iced tea. I had the burger royale, medium well, with cheddar; fries; and a mint tea. We shared a coconut cream pie for dessert. The food was all tasty. The coconut cream pie wasn't as good as at Kingfish in Seattle, but it was still delicious. Service was extraordinarily slow tonight—unusual. Total was $34.50 after a $3ish tip. We stopped in at Brian, Kelly, and Jesse's place but no one was home. We rang the buzzer at Nico's place, but again no one answered. Took the L train home. Patrick leaves tomorrow to meet up with Sam and their pal Adrienne for a 2-night stay in Los Angeles.

Thu 31

Oatmeal for breakfast. New offices work: passing around contact info and researching keyboard and mouse tray options. Put in a new policy page for Chris and Cindy: Student Training Activities. Link checking. Joel showed me a cap he knitted—cool! He said it took him about 2 hours (and he did part of it at the Tori Amos concert). Dinner at home by myself: spaghetti with garlic and basil and fresh chunks of tomato and mushroom.