September 2003

Summary: George W. Bush admits that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the war on Iraq, ExtraFeeWorld with Travis and friends, Sandra Bernhard at Brava Theater

Dates on this page

Mon Sep 1, 2003

I slept in while Patrick made pancakes. We ate. Patrick napped while I cleaned up. Patrick woke and showered. Lunch at home with Patrick: leftover falafel in pita bread. Called Tina on her cellphone. She answered after a few rings and amidst some city bustling noise I heard her say, "I'll call you right back," and then she hung up. I couldn't even get a word in. Patrick said, "Maybe she's having sex in a public place." Scandalous! About an hour or so later, she calls back. Turns out she was at the register in California Pizza Kitchen. "I wouldn't answer the phone in the middle of sex!" Dinner at Bombay Indian with Patrick: prawns tikka masala, chicken korma, garlic and plain naan, one Taj Mahal for Patrick, water for me, saffron rice: $41 before a $6 tip.

Tue Sep 2, 2003

Spent the morning working on Mike Lemont's computer. Lunch at desk: peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches, pretzels, water. Spent the afternoon coding furiously while our network connection went live and dead due to problems that our network administrators were trying to resolve. Our entire public affairs subnet was down since Thursday or Friday and I got about 3 hours of work time on it today before it went down again. Grr! Dinner at home with Patrick: deep-fried chicken boobs, macaroni and cheese, green salad with feta and croutons. Installed our new 120 GB hard drive. Whee! Was not able to successfully copy over the former C: drive, so set it up anew. No problems now—perhaps it's because I installed current anti-virus and a firewall and certain patches (Nimda, Sobig, Nachi, Blaster) before hooking up the ethernet connection. Office XP installed without a hitch. Updates installed no problems. So the original problem we had—choppy sound during MP3 play and frames dropping during DVD play—was either the combo drive tracking problem or the hard drive or quite possibly both. Only when both were eliminated did everything go smoothly. Next steps: set up K9 and Outlook, send in the combo drive for repair, decide how I want the remaining partitions, copy over data from the old D: drive, test music and DVD, set up apps. However, it's midnight now—time for bed!

Wed Sep 3, 2003

No 8:30 AM bus this morning. Got to the bus stop at 8:25 AM. Got to work at 9:15 AM. Yesterday the bus didn't show up either. And it's been late in the evening. Today when the bus left 30th and Vicente, we got 1 and a half blocks before passing another 66 bus headed to where we just were. Halfway through the route, we passed *another* 66 bus—something was messed up. Meeting with Rob, Valerie, Kraig, Bruce, and Julie about using the domain for mail. Chatted with Julie and Martha afterward. Cindy brought her computer in from home—everything is very slow. Found and removed a bunch of computer worms and virii: W32/Nachi-A, W32/Rox-A, W32/Blaster-A. It took a very long time because Rox seemed to be attached to every possible executable on the machine. Mike Lemont called from home: Error 50 when attempting to connect to his dial-up provider SBC. Too hard to troubleshoot over the phone, so I asked him to bring the computer back tomorrow morning. Lunch at desk: leftover couscous and mac and cheese. Chatted with Teresa Regalia and Ellen Amsel about site certs and anti-virus software and firewalls. Coded the Application Workshop page and sent it to James for review. Dinner at home with Patrick: a very delicious helping of shrimp chow mein. Helped Chris De Lay with how to connect to my server using SSH and installed his public key. Installed Windows and Office Updates. Installed K9 and Pop-Up Stopper. Got rid of the Microsoft Outlook icon on the desktop, prevented MSN Messenger from starting at startup. Defragged. Early to bed tonight (10ish).

Thu Sep 4, 2003

Took the 8:50 AM bus this morning and it was on time! Hooray! More work on Cindy's virus-infected computer. Finally got it clean using SAV32CLI. Removed some applications she never used. It's now clean and a lot faster than it was before. Worked with James to make the Supplemental Application Workshop page live. PharmAdMIT 2004 training with James and the office gang. Bought computer supplies at The Source. Tested the new Kensington wireless optical mouse for the laptop (PocketMouse Pro Wireless, US$50). It works quite well after trying it out for just a few minutes. Lunch at desk: Panda Express. My fortune: You will find happiness in mind and heart. Played one turn of e-Scrabble with Chris and Mikey. Updated the HPM schedule for Kristina. More work on Mike Lemont's computer, which he brought back today. He was getting "error 50 : the network request is not supported" when attempting to connect via dialup. Got home on the 9:30 PM bus—perhaps the latest I've stayed at work ever. Dinner at home by myself: leftovers. (Patrick had dinner then drinks with some writer friends whose names I can't remember just now.)

Fri Sep 5, 2003

Learned how to implement Q307594: "OL2002: Users can read non-secure e-mail as text," or rather, how to make Outlook from Office XP prevent reading e-mails as HTML. Important to know now that I'm using Outlook at home on a daily basis and since we've learned recently that we'll be migrating to it from Eudora 5.1.1 at work as well. Worked on the student directory site. Got https working—hooray! Patrick saw Jeepers Creepers 2 with Sam at Century 20 Daly City only because Sam wanted to see it and didn't want to go alone. $6.25 per person (matinee). Patrick said the movie was awful. Late lunch with Patrick at New Tsing Tao (415-566-9559, 811 Ulloa), a Chinese restaurant in West Portal. The decor was very basic Chinese: decorative fish tank at the door, frosted glass with fish art, Chinese murals and posters on the wall, and over the kitchen doorway: a tacky square-shaped wall clock that costs under $10. The waitron was mediocre at timing, but had a pleasant demeanor. A typical no-frills Chinese restaurant where you can probably count on getting delicious but not outstanding food at very reasonable prices. Patrick had (something like General Tso's chicken), and I had #9—chicken with vegetables: $10.75 before a $1.25 tip. These lunch specials came with hot and sour soup, a small salad with Italian dressing (to which I furrowed my brow), steamed rice, and fortune cookie. My fortune: You and your wife will be happy in your life together. Patrick's fortune: Your mind is creative, original and alert. Patrick was able to read the Chinese translation of my fortune almost flawlessly. Patrick tells me today that he feels he cannot rely on his fiction writing alone to provide a steady income. I tell him I think it's largely the fault of the market and the people who control it—if his book had come out in the early 90s we both think it would probably have sold very quickly. He wants now to go to China next summer, then write a book about his travels, which he feels will have a strong appeal with editors and readers. I am uncertain that he's right about that, but I know very little about how the writing industry works—far less than Patrick knows, so I must trust him on what he believes. At New Tsing Tao, we ran in to my former co-worker Michael Smith and his friend Chris, who had happened to just sit down for lunch as well. He told me that tonight he was doing his first-ever show of his films—he collects 8 mm and Super 8 straight and gay porn films and projects them layered atop each other and accompanied by psychedelic visuals and old and modern music. He'd played/performed in SoMa bars in the past, but this was his first gig in a theatre space. Patrick and I had plans to do something else, but Michael's show sounded a lot more interesting, so after errands at Walgreens and hanging out at home for a few hours and calling around to see if anyone wanted to join us, we went. Kristina, another co-worker, was at the show when we arrived, and I got to meet her husband Brendan. I also finally met Michael's boyfriend Darrin (or Darren or Darin—I don't know how he spells it). The show was a lot of fun. About 30 people showed, making the small shoestring-budget Artists' Television Access (ATA) theatre feel half-packed. Dinner at Ponte Vecchio (415-206-9677, 1136 Valencia St) with Patrick: Caesar salad to share, rock shrimp pizza for me, glass of wine and chicken cacciatore for Patrick: $37.86 before a $6.25 tip. We arrived around 9:30 PM—the place was packed. We hadn't had anything to eat since our late lunch. We failed to have dinner before the show because of poor planning. We were hungry, and the one waiter did a pretty good job keeping on top of all the customers. (The small restaurant seats about 20.) The chef helped him out briefly at times, coming to our table to take our dessert order or check that we're doing well—I like to see that kind of caring of customers. The salad was, Patrick thought, very traditional: just the lettuce, a few croutons, the dressing (which seemed to have real anchovies ground up in it), and parmesan cheese—nothing else. My pizza was very thin and very crispy. Lots of mozzarella, a generous sprinkling of shrimp, and some herbs (I think sage but wasn't sure)—delicious!

Sat Sep 6, 2003

"Error asking thread to die" message appears sometimes on Patrick's computer when using the Internet Radio or Internet TV features of Winamp 2.91. Only 16 hits on Google—no one seems to know how to resolve this problem. Oatmeal for breakfast. Laundry, dishes, and other house chores. Coded more for Lodestar. Patrick went to the Castro to study Mandarin in cafes. I stayed home and continued work on the computer with the new hard drive. Turns out the old hard drive was what was causing the no-warning reboots. I'd never seen that behavior before. The new system was stable. I added back the old hard drive to copy data over from it. 3 folders copied fine. Then one larger folder caused a reboot. Then a bunch of folders copied as a group again caused a reboot. Removing the drive returned all operations to normal. Had to go to backup tape to restore a lot of files—the most recent tape backup was in March 2003. May have to do that tape restore and then plug that old hard drive back in risking more reboots to get all the data back. All this restore work has made me realize that I need something better than what I've had. In the past I've considered DIBS (Distributed Internet Backup System). I might just use rsync or something similar between computers on our home network, maybe additionally do DIBS if I can find a trusted friend or two who agree to it. Dinner at home with Patrick: ordered in from Seniore's Pizza (415-661-2222, 2415 - 19th Av at Taraval): Caesar salad (much like last night except a LOT more croutons), chicken special (with red and green bell peppers, garlic, onions)—very tasty pizza and fast delivery. Patrick got a cellphone today. His ex-boyfriend Sam convinced his (Sam's) mom to buy Patrick a phone so that they could stay in touch better. The service is $40 for 600 daytime minutes per month, nights and weekends free, rollover minutes. The phone is a Siemens (Patrick pronounces this as "see-mens") A56—4.0 x 1.7 x 0.8 inches, blue with sparkles. Began setting up my calendar in Outlook. Shopped for computer components.

Sun Sep 7, 2003

Experimented with AVS in Winamp. Oatmeal for breakfast. Dusting, cleaning, took care of paperwork while Patrick met with a language partner for studying in the Castro. Met Patrick afterwards. We went to the Autumn Moon Festival in Chinatown, an annual celebration during which the Chinese eat sweet pastries called moon cakes. As the streets in Chinatown are already quite narrow, setting up festival booths and then inviting thousands of people makes for an almost unbearable event. We navigated our way up the street with care, looking in at booths from afar. It was hard to see any particular booth because so many people were crowded in at each one and they would not leave. We waited about 5 minutes at one tea shop booth, but after that much time Patrick was no closer to seeing what he wanted to see and finding someone to ask if they had a certain kind. We had no patience for that. Volvo had an SUV at the event over which everyone climbed inside and let their babies drool on the new car smell. Western Union also had a booth. We've attended our share of fairs and festivals in the past, but this one was somehow absurdly disappointing. It's quite possible that we've become so jaded that all festivals are beginning to look the same to us. Row of boxes with people selling some thing or service. Row of overpriced food and drinks, and you're lucky if you can sit at a table while you eat. Row of portapotties with long lines. Actually, I didn't see a single portapotty at the Autumn Moon Festival. We saw a SFPD policeman on a horse, though. He was just sitting on the horse and ignoring all the parents holding small infants up to the horse so they could pet it without being smothered by the explosion of feces ejected from the horse's rear creating a pile on the street. For a few seconds, we watched some young girls in a performance troupe balance spools on a string with two sticks, but they weren't very good—more than one kept dropping her spool during the performance and Patrick turned away waving his hand: "They're no good!" I urged him to boo, but he didn't. We stopped for dim sum at Golden Dragon, which I had forgotten has quite possibly San Francisco's filthiest restroom. The food was good, as usual. I had never seen fried chicken served as dim sum before. These were large drumsticks—almost 8 inches long and dark golden brown. We were amazed, but passed them up—too much grease for us. Afterwards, we met Brian and Kelly through a cellphone linkup at Body Body Wear on 18th. Looked unsuccessfully for a garage sale because Brian was looking for picture frames. Stopped to hang out with them at their place. Kelly repainted one wall of the living room (now a darkish mustard—very nice) because the last paint job was a little uneven. (Ask Kelly how he uses no drop cloths!) Brian played Dead or Alive 3 on XBox, and I had never seen him so violent and angry. Kelly poked fun at him, and it's hard not to. I wish I had a camera trained on just Brian while he plays. Only Jeff Simonson approaches the same level of intensity of gameplay. Nina came over to visit, just like she said she would. Eric and Brian and Simma and Nico showed up as well. Chatted and played games. Gauntlet. Simpsons Road Rage. 007 something. Kelly ordered Thai food to pick up, so we joined in.

Mon Sep 8, 2003

Printed room layout drawings for Mike. Made live City Tours changes for Lilie and Marin. Exported schedules to PDF for Debrah, then uploaded them to the Web and made them live. Some style guide work. Worked on Cindy's computer for home—still had a virus even though I had run it several times through anti-virus and it was clean. This time SVCHOST.EXE was found to be infected. Mini-lunch at desk: leftover shrimp and noodles. Lunch: Burger King to go (short on time). Burger wasn't that bad this time, and I remembered to get "medium" (small) instead of any of the larger sizes. Picked up cdroms from Brian Pomon. Worked on the phone migration table for Mike. Ran sfc on Cindy's computer. Did some Lodestar prep. Grappled with Windows XP and printing across the network (finally succeeded). Meeting with Susie today cancelled—she's not feeling well and went home. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover pizza, caesar salad. Patrick is coming down with something—a cold perhaps. Packed up the bad combo drive for service—Samsung's instructions for doing so take Engrish to a whole nuther level.

Tue Sep 9, 2003

Almond scone at home for breakfast. Met with Steve and Cindy to look at 9th floor proceedings. Windows are in for Joel's and Chris's offices. Student lounge is almost entirely painted. Worked on Cindy's computer. "Error updating msi database" message when attempting to upgrade McAfee 7.0 to 7.03.6000.0 led to a forum on and a tech asking people to e-mail with details. Within 20 minutes they sent back a link to a password-protected download of 7.03.6000.0 but I needed to uninstall on my own. The auto uninstall wouldn't work, so I'm left to uninstall manually, which is a tedious process involving manually deleting registry keys. Regrouped with Cindy on how she wants to proceed since she might be getting a new home computer within the next few days. Made a fix to the P3 schedule for Debrah, uploaded it, and sent the new copy to the printers. Lunch with Susie and Jeff who needed tips on installing DSL and wireless in their home. Met with Mike and Cindy to discuss phone and data migration details. Looked at Kristina's computer, which has Win XP Home and got infected with a virus. It refuses to connect to the Windows Update site because it thinks the WU components are unsigned. Even though I say yes, it puts me in a loop always asking me if I want to download and install ui-something. The computer seems to be free of viruses now but is crippled at least with respect to the Windows Updates. I'll suggest to Kristina tomorrow that she reformat the hard drive and install Win XP Pro. Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp with bowties, garden greens salad. Figured out using Google why Microsoft Outlook takes a long time to start up: needed to uncheck "Enable Instant Messaging in Microsoft Outlook" under Tools & Options & Other. Submitted trouble ticket to 5dollarhosting regarding blocking of their mail servers by AOL—I can't send e-mail to Tina anymore! Sent our defective Samsung SM-348 combo drive in for service today. Did work on Lodestar: set up spreadsheet data for table importing, inserted code for bios, sent back a few questions to Patrick for review. Figured out why the cpu was maxing out at 100% at seemingly random times on one of our computers: Sophos was running a background scan, but nothing came up on the screen to let you know it was happening—it just sucked up all the cpu time. Changed the configs from "normal" to "low" priority. I changed the scheduling to scan during hours we're less likely to be using the computer. Also scheduled SMTP alerts for Sophos—never got around to doing that until now. Should be useful.

Wed Sep 10, 2003

Nectarine for breakfast. Gave Kristina her computer back with instructions on what to do: backup, reformat, install Win XP Pro instead of Win XP Home. Implemented JSI FAQ 3594 for Mike's computer: How can I speed up my Windows 2000 domain logon? Like Cindy's computer, could not run sfc—this time because RPC wouldn't start. Checked services, RPC was running but RPC Locator was not and couldn't be started. Recommend reformat for this one, too. Must check with Mike after he returns from the east coast. Link checking. Set up a new old computer for Brian Jersky. "setup cannot copy the file webvw.dll" during Windows XP Professional installation. Took the CD-ROM out of the drive, cleaned it, installation proceeded as expected. Lunch with Martha at Miz Brown's Feed Bag. I had a chef's salad. She had some kind of sandwich and some soup. Mmm—comfort food! More work on Brian's computer. Dinner at home with Patrick: salad, corn on the cob, leftover shrimp and bowties. Finished table work for Lodestar and coded four pieces, sent them back to Patrick for review. Fixed my Outlook address book problem at home: "The address list could not be displayed...." when attempting to address an e-mail using the Contacts list. Resolved it using Microsoft Q319901.

Thu Sep 11, 2003

A very busy day, got a lot done. Installed more software on Brian's computer: Netscape 7.1, Eudora Pro 5.1.1, Office XP, Office Updates, Adobe Reader 6.0. Helped Joel with buying a new laptop. Cheese pizza for early lunch by myself at my desk: $2.50. Computer support coordinator meeting: spent over an hour talking about the major virus and worm events of the last couple of weeks: Blaster, Nachi, what ports are open, what ports are closed, what went well, what went wrong, promises to communicate better in the future, anti-virus solutions, focus groups, on and on and on. Enough already. Ritz and cheese mini rounds for a late afternoon snack. I forget how much it cost, but it was far more than people should pay for 3 ounces of food. I think it was 99 cents. That's 33 cents per ounce, or $5.28 per pound (!). Coded a page describing campus VPN problems and workarounds, sent it to Jeremy, Christine, and Richard for review. Manually checked that Windows automatically downloaded a critical update from yesterday. 2 of the 11 computers I checked failed to download it even though they were scheduled to do so. Microsoft worries me like that. Dinner at Pasta Pomodoro with Patrick: iced tea, half spinach salad, and milanese for Patrick. water and ravioli di zucca for me. Ran in to Brian and Kelly in front of Ingenious on Castro, walked up and down the street with them. Very warm and clear night. Very nice. Coded and edited Lodestar til shortly after midnight.

Fri Sep 12, 2003

Ran across this on the Web while editing and coding Lodestar poetry: PETA stands for People Eating Tasty Animals. Ha ha ha ha! Oatmeal for breakfast. Got some stamps by mail yesterday. Tina got her gift from us by UPS yesterday—a Calphalon Professional 12-quart stock pot. She had mentioned to me not long ago that hers was missing. Daniel didn't have it and she couldn't find hers though she looked in every box since she moved.—Used Startup Manager to disable a lot of things starting up when I start Windows on my primary computer. Something was eating up a lot of system resources and I think it was all the junk that Epson includes with its drivers for our fairly new CX5200. Now when I boot I have 88% memory free—much better! Got style and data set and sort controls working for the student database. Dim sum lunch at Ton Kiang—a treat from our dean, Mary Anne Koda-Kimble. Ton Kiang is always delightful, and this time was no exception except that some were unable to attend (James, Joel, Debrah). Who was there? Jorge, Cindy, Melissa, Kristina, Ena, Claire, and Mary Anne. Bought a floppy drive cable from Atman Computer afterwards. Gave Cindy, Melissa, and Ena a ride back to the office. Dinner at home with Patrick: homemade grilled chicken Caesar salad with hearts of romaine and one of Melissa's heirloom tomatoes. The tomato was particularly delicious—very sweet, just like her!

Sat Sep 13, 2003

Patrick was looking for a recipe in 50 Ways to Feed Your Lover (Sarlin and Saltiel) and he laughed and laughed when he came across the "recipe" on page 50: Coffee Ice Cream with Meringues: "For a simple way to end the evening, purchase meringues or meringue kisses from your local bakery and serve them with premium coffee ice cream topped with Chocolate Sauce (page 17)." That's the entire "recipe!" Shopping at Stanford Shopping Center. Got dress shoes and a new fitted bed sheet at Macy's. Our fitted sheet had grown so worn that we discovered recently one morning a large tear. Patrick had found it. He lifted the bedcovers and asked me to look over. When I saw the tear, I just let it out: "Holey sheet!" Lunch at P.F. Chang's (650-330-1782, 900 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto). Patrick was very excited to take me there because he was familiar with this chain restaurant in New Orleans. "*Everyone* gets the lettuce wraps!" The decor was very comfortable: modern but with old Asian elements in a dining room with zillion-foot ceilings. They needed a zillion-foot ladder, however, to clean the gobs of dust that had collected on the hanging lamp cords. I made fun of the service ("Let me mix a special sauce for you...") but will admit that the food was very good. 4 small, steamed, pork and vegetable dumplings for US$4.95. (Expensive!) shrimp chow mein, honey chicken, steamed rice. Grand total: $24.63 before tip. (I can't remember how much we left.) My fortune: It is proper to speak the truth. Patrick's fortune: Promise only what you can deliver. Went to Bill and Kevin's double birthday party and met quite a few, friendly people. There was tons of home-cooked food—all of it spicy. Some of the people we met include: Lee, a web developer; Travis, a lawyer; Larry, who plays piano; Kenny, a software engineer; and Roger, who is very interested in humanitarianism.

Sun Sep 14, 2003

Pancakes at home for breakfast. Shopping for boots for me. We went to Mr. S and Fetters and to Stompers. Stompers had a much better selection and I got a pair of Doc Martens there. It took a long time, as with boots there are many eyelets to cover. A friendly, cute, gay couple was trying on boots when I did, and one of them tried on a pair that must have had at least 40 eyelets—the shoe had an extra tongue of some sort which doubled the regular number of eyelets. The couple each bought a pair of boots, and both wore them out of the store. Lunch at 12th and Folsom (which is the name of the restaurant)—formerly Hamburger Mary's. We're both glad they changed the name of the restaurant to "12th and Folsom" because we could never remember exactly where the restaurant was, which is important because they serve the best onion rings we've had in San Francisco. On previous occasions, we'd drive-wander the correct SoMa subneighborhood it was in but always spend a few extra frustrating minutes trying to find it. 2 iced teas, fajita wrap for me, turkey burger for Patrick: $22.51 before tip. (I can't remember how much we left.) Worked on business cards for me. Dinner at home with Patrick: pasta with stir-fried vegetables, Caesar salad, asiago bread. Proofread Lodestar fiction. New issue coming out this Saturday. Patrick has a Mandarin test tomorrow and afterward will work on decks. All poetry and fiction is ready for review. I still need to do the drama—two pieces this time, Patrick warns. Might be double my usual amount of coding for drama. We'll see. Orientation and start of school this week for me at work. It will be tight, but everything I think shall be just fine.

Mon Sep 15, 2003

Met the class of 2007. Writing and photocopying of orientation materials. Picked up a CD-ROM for MiniTab software from Rodney. Finished setting up Brian Jersky's computer. Lunch in the office: an extra box lunch from orientation: tuna sandwich, carrots and tomatoes and olives, strawberries (which Kristina ate), and an oatmeal raisin cookie (which I stuck in my backpack). Chatted with Justin Snyder about wireless and Mac stuff. He's one of the first students I met individually from this year's class. Met with Susie to discuss Web things. Tested wireless in HSW classrooms. Returned MiniTab to Rodney. Windows Updates on the office server. Dinner at home with Patrick: vegetarian chow mein. Lodestar reviews came back—some edits.

Tue Sep 16, 2003

Windows and anti-virus updates on the shared office laptop. Created a very simple PDF for my presentation today. Did my computer services presentation at first-years orientation with Chris C. today. Got overwhelming and spontaneous applause when I said that I thought they had the finest Web site at UCSF. That was very nice; I wasn't expecting that kind of response. Burned more Mac cdroms. Chow mein in Cole Hall chatting with Joel and Cindy about how orientation was going and answering computer questions for people. Leftovers at desk: Caesar salad (which Patrick claimed wouldn't keep) and pasta with stir-fried vegetables. Worn out from the busy day, took a brief nap in the office. Patrick's wireless keyboard and mouse arrived today, and so did our fixed (?) combo drive from Samsung! Troubleshot why our nightly backups are taking longer than usual—seems to have been Internet Explorer temp files gunking up the works. Ran Disk Cleanup on my computer and Joel's—will see if that improves the situation tomorrow morning. Helped James with understanding sequential global search and replace steps to convert data into a more usable form. Got a bit further with his data problem, but we're still constrained by PharmAdMIT's limitations—we can't resolve it, so he's sending in a problem report. I'm so proud that he's doing complex problem reports like these on his own now. Uploaded a schedule change for Debrah. Converted Susan and Christie's new issue of School of Pharmacy News from Microsoft Word to PDF, edited the Web site accordingly, then uploaded the file. Needed to check my work calendar, so I attempted to log in only to discover that the redirect I had in place is no longer working—it redirects to instead. Left an urgent message for Julie Bernstein, our server admin. I believe she's supposed to get paged when I do so. No response after a few minutes, and during that time I discovered that it's not just my one redirect—the entire site behaves that way (!) so I called her cellphone and found her imbibing at a noisy bar. Turns out this evening is when Bruce Levin and company decided to make their "there will be no downtime" adjustment to our server to accommodate Rob Duca's mail domain request for According to the conf file, the adjustment was made at 18:02 this evening. No one told me the change was taking place tonight. Julie suggested I reboot and that might fix it and that I can also check our site again in an hour or so. I can tell she empathizes with me, and I am helpless because I know this problem is essentially not her fault. Although the reboot-and-check suggestion doesn't make sense to me, at 9:44 PM, I hang up with Julie and I reboot both my computers and recheck at 9:46 PM—now instead of I get "Cannot find server". More Lodestar edits. Pharmacy site still down as of 10:31 PM. Microsoft releases new mouse hardware today—ooh ahh an overpriced black leather mouse. Watch me roll my eyes. Is this our Microsoft attempting to intrude upon Apple's sense of fashion and style and high pricing? Tilt-wheel might be quite worthwhile, but not enough to justify ditching a working mouse. The redesigned mouse and keyboard Web site for Microsoft is awful—a huge step backward. It feels much slower to load—even over a very fast (1254 kbps) DSL connection—I'm guessing they added twice as many rollover graphics and accompanying Javascript to each page's download time. The helpful, interactive comparison chart is gone. The Office keyboard is gone. And there is no new trackball choice. You (still) can't see close-up photos of the keyboards. The 6 key on all of their split keyboards is still on the wrong side (and the Web site doesn't show that clearly or easily). You can only compare 3 items at a time whereas in the past you could compare all at the same time in a single, interactive chart. Pages now have "Get Prices and Buy" links, but it would be far more helpful to see the prices right on the page rather than to have to click each link separately to get each item's price. Yeesh! Way to not go, Web team! Couldn't easily find a way to send Microsoft my feedback. Just plain gave up! It was too hard to figure out how to just give them a simple opinion. One of Patrick's classmates (Toby?) gave him a Chinese calligraphy brush and well set from China. Patrick did a reading from "Where It Takes Us" and Q and A session on the business of publishing for a class of Bob Gluck's. In return, Bob gave him a bottle of Villa Teresa Prosecco Veneto—an Italian wine "Made from Organically Grown Grapes." Pharmacy site still down as of 11:25 PM. Gotta wake up early, so bedtime for me now at 11:26 PM.

Wed Sep 17, 2003

As of 6:45 AM, the School of Pharmacy site is still unavailable. All I can say is, "You were warned" as well as "You listen to Short Round, you live longer!" In the morning I sent out a status message reporting the outage, then later got an "urgent" call from Rob Duca asking what was going on and told him maybe he should be asking Bruce that question. After all, it was Bruce who sent out the (premature) e-mail saying Everyone—thanks and congratulations on a successful project! The downtime was extended by perhaps 2 hours because, as Julie relates, there was only one person in ITS (or maybe ENS) who could flip the necessary switch after the port scan and clearance by isecurity was given. Another Web developer on campus sent me a reply to my status message with simply: "Gotta love ENS." The site was reported to be live again around 12:37 PM today—total (possible) downtime: 18 hours 35 minutes, and I can only think of Bruce and Kraig saying earlier, "We've done this before." I surveyed the first-years at orientation and more than half tried to get to the site last night and found it was down. Wireless testing with Ian Gwin, whom I met for the first time. We tested in the lobby of Cole Hall: only a weak signal, but ITS does not claim to have wireless installed in Cole Hall. MSB1: most of the classrooms had people in them so we couldn't test them all, but the ones we did had good to excellent signals except (I think) S-182. C701: all good to excellent signals. Toland Hall: we couldn't check because a class was in there. Kristina, Melissa, and I went to the New Student Fair to help out but they had everything under control, so we milled around to see the booths. People kept thinking we were students even though I was badged indicating I was staff, and they kept shoving free stuff in our hands, so we eventually got bags and did trick-or-treating. I got a Rec Sports water bottle, Edge Active Care gel shaving cream in Natural Cool with Eucalyptus flavor, Reed's Root Beer individually wrapped roll candies, a SoBe Power bar (milk chocolate with power fruit infusion (and Patrick thought "Power Fruit" referred to a gay political organization), Nexxus Therappe shampoo and Humectress conditioner samples, a coupon book for Millberry Union, a letter opener with the bookstore's logo on it, and a variety of handouts which eventually went into the recycling bin after Patrick and I looked them over. Intermittent mail and network outages all afternoon. I called ITS and asked why no one bothered to share the outage information from 4 hours ago and the response was, "We're not that fast." In-deeed! I thought. Some mailing list adjustments. Began reformatting Mike Lemont's computer with Win XP to get rid of the viruses it caught. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover lasagna, bread. 5dollar sites went black—don't know why. This means I'm locked out of my e-mail for now. Wah! Couldn't work on Lodestar, so went to bed early at 9:00 PM. Brought home the Oyster we ordered for Patrick a few days ago. The box is very nice and thoughtfully designed—a comfortable handle is built in to the top of it. I am anxious to see it set up, but we don't have time tonight.

Thu Sep 18, 2003

Woke up at 3:00 AM, figured out a way to bypass what turned out to be a DNS problem in accessing Lodestar by using its IP address instead. The site was slow, but at least it was working. Coded the first drama piece for Lodestar. Got the whole piece in and validating but still need to edit and break it up into sections and verify styles. At 6:00 AM I realized I needed to move the car—street cleaning at 7:00 AM—so I did that. The night (morning) was so clear and still—unusual for the Sunset. Snack: oriental flavor ramen ("Just like the Orientals mom used to cook!") Back to sleep at 6:35 AM. Woke up at 8:30 AM. Skipped breakfast. Caught the 9:30 AM bus to work. Discovered 3 students who live on my bus route: Mark, Rachel, and Adrian. We chatted along the way—it was a nice change since usually I have no one to talk to. Voluntary meeting with Cindy and Joel and James. More setting up Mike's computer. Chatted with Mike R about our new offices wiring. Link checking. Download modem drivers for Mike. Leftover noodles for lunch, then later got a sandwich with Joel at Subway because I was still hungry. Faculty edits for Susie. Set up the minorities listserv. Prepared for a review of all the student organization listservs. Chatted with Joel about his needing edits soon to some outreach pages. Got more of Mike's computer set up, then after calling him to keep him updated on the schedule found that he won't be able to pick it up for another week. The 7:30 PM bus 66 didn't show up today at 9th and Judah. I waited from 7:20 PM to 7:40 PM. Took a 44 to Forest Hill, then the L train to home. Dinner at home by myself: leftover lasagna. Patrick went to the Asian Art Museum tonight to see a performance of Beijing Opera. He joined as a member—US$40 for a whole year, which is the student price—and he still didn't get a discount on his Asian noodles (lemongrass chicken over wok noodles) and Xing Vao at the museum cafe. The membership is nonetheless a great bargain, we feel. He even got a complimentary guest membership for me! Finished coding the featured drama piece by Daniel Curzon, sent it back to Patrick for review. Turns out the 5dollarhosting outages were caused by an electrical fire in the data center and firemen required the whole place to be shut down. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and their team and Alabanza's team spent plenty of middle-of-the-night hours ensuring that the servers were as safe and operational as possible. I figured they were on top of things, as they are veritable professionals. Both my faith and my e-mail access have been restored!

Fri Sep 19, 2003

Skipped breakfast again. Printed out something for Joel to laugh at. Got to the bus 66 stop at 30th and Vicente at 8:50 AM. There was a bus there already with its blinkers on and a yellow block under the right rear tire. The driver, an older black man with a tight ponytail, was sitting in the back of the bus with the front door closed. He was smoking a cigarette. Why does he have to stink up the bus for everyone like that? Consequently the 8:50 AM bus didn't leave on time. Another bus showed up about 10 minutes later and I got to work around 9:20 AM. Checked backup issue—it's finishing earlier now, but there are still some strange variances I can't yet account for. Must go digging through the backup catalogs to find the answer to the problem. I look and see folders called "System Volume Information" with folders named Restore followed by cryptic registry key numbers—they contain over 800 MB of files (why?), so I omit those from future backups to see if that resolves the problem. Continue installing software onto Mike's computer. Read up on Win XP optimization tips from Black Viper. Mike's computer is an old 450 MHz—"it's all I can give ya, Cap'n!"—so it will need as many optimization tips as we can get. Lunch with Joel and Ena and Melissa at the Student Luncheon in MU Gym: burritos and soda. Watched the students partake in silly contests for prizes: pill (Skittle) counting, mummy wrapping (with toilet paper), and marshmallow mouth-stuffing. Sent out listserv member reviews for student organizations. Hand-edited the ASSP officers and class officers listservs myself. Installed MS Office XP on Mike's computer. I only have to optimize and then set up remote assistant and then it's all done! Started making a map in Adobe Illustrator of our office in U-12 for Mike R—he needs a map of data and phone faceplates and ip addresses. Did some VPN research. Dinner at You See Sushi with Patrick and Melissa. Went to Cole Hall Cinema's grand reopening. Every so often UCSF turns our largest Parnassus classroom into Cole Hall Cinema. Patrick and I went once before, but the sound was really awful. In their reopening tonight, they promised surround sound and a new DVD player and other state-of-the-art equipment. Tonight's film was Chicago, which Patrick and I only saw part of because our DVD drive at home malfunctioned when we rented the film. I thought it was a lot of fun and Patrick did, too, but he didn't think it should have won as many Oscars as it did. Melissa kept apologizing for intruding on our "date" but it was quite enjoyable to have her company. At home, Patrick and I set up his Oyster and wireless keyboard and mouse in an attempt to resolve his frequent neck and back pain. Set up was pretty easy and all is working as expected. Hooray! Coded the second and final drama piece. Now just need to proof it, then break it up into sections which the author already did for me. Last things for Lodestar: the 2 featured pieces and the home page and Issue 7 will be all wrapped up. Just in time, too!

Sat Sep 20, 2003

Brunch with Patrick and Travis at Tangerine (3499 16th St). Huge portions and reasonable prices for tasty breakfast food. I had the Fisherman's Omelette, Patrick had Latkes with Smoked Salmon, and Travis had the Farmer's Omelette. Each came with a side salad. With tip: $37.66 (including coffee and 2 fresh-squeezed OJs.) Grocery shopping at Golden Produce. Worked on Lodestar all day. Midday snack: leftovers from brunch. Dinner at home with Patrick: deluxe salad with slices of red and green peppers, asiago cheese, heirloom tomato and avocado, basil, green leaf, mushrooms, bleu cheese dressing, croutons.

Sun Sep 21, 2003

Made Issue 7 of Lodestar Quarterly live. Gay Day at Waterworld in Concord presented by Pink Planet. Travis mentioned yesterday he was going with a bunch of friends and invited us along. Patrick couldn't go because he just had too much work to do: homework and studying for Mandarin, reading a 10-page story of Jason Baum's, and (though he didn't know it then) some Lodestar follow up. I let myself go only after making sure to make Issue 7 live. Met Travis's current boyfriend, Darren, whom Patrick had met a long time ago. We drove separate cars because I needed to leave early. There wasn't much traffic, and the drive took about an hour. After we arrived I bought a scalped ticket for $40 (it was $45 at the door) after $8 for parking. The Waterworld security brusquely said, "No food in the park!" and removed a threatening single-use packaged oatmeal raisin cookie from my backpack. How rude! I soon met Travis's 30 or so friends—Eric, Tom, Ansel, Amir, Roland, Timmy, Charles, Ted, Steve, Galen, Brian—oh the list goes on. Locker rental was $6 with a $5 deposit. There were so many things to do: the wave pool, the many different kinds of slides, at least 3 different dance stages, lots of food places from which to choose, and I don't know what you call it but it's just a slow-moving river on/in which people ride in innertubes or swim. (I guess you call it a river.) Somehow our group agreed to not rent innertubes (because of the fee, which I think was $5 per tube) so we did all the rides that didn't require them. Travis and I didn't do the big, scary slides—he doesn't like them and I did them years ago and didn't need to do them again. I went on one with Eric and that was enough of the slides for me. The group played volleyball, and after noting that they all seemed to play extremely well I discovered from Travis that they all play teamlike—serious volleyball—except Travis. We had lunch at the event's private buffet—$10, but in previous years it was included in the ticket price, I overheard. The buffet had only one thing that was really good: barbecued chicken. It was not "all you can eat," which you might expect at an affair (and price) such as this, but rather "all you can pile on one plate in one pass." The woman at the gate who also had to pitch the offer's details said, "So we sold ya, didn't we?!" And I thought, but didn't say, that I was only eating here because my friends had already gone in, and I didn't want to go to the parking lot to eat the crumbs from my car's floormats, which, in retrospect, might have been a better value. There was a Caesar salad which had very fresh lettuce but was overly drenched in dressing and soggy croutons. The burger buns didn't seem fresh and were too big. ("They like big buns and they like'em large...") The burger patty itself was uninviting—unbelievably flat, dull-looking. There were green salads and potato salads that had been sitting in the sun awhile—I avoided those. Baked beans—no sanks—pfffffttt! Two kinds of giant sausages, which I skipped but might have been tasty. Beverage was your choice of 32 ounces from the soda fountain. (I chose Coke, but I have no idea know why!) Dessert was a packaged ice cream bar or cup, which I skipped. I hadn't been to a waterpark in maybe 4 or 5 years since a similar waterpark Gay Day in Seattle. I missed that park's hot tubs—I guess Concord is hot enough no one needs them, but I still missed them. I had had my fun and perhaps if the prices are the same or higher it will be another 5 years before I go again. UCSF had their Waterworld Concord event the previous weekend—$25 included Waterworld admission, free all you can eat barbecue hot dog lunch (yes, I said all you can eat! we encourage you to eat ALL YOU CAN! EAT ALL YOU CAN!!), a free ticket to Marine World, and a free book of raffle tickets for prizes. Maybe if UCSF has the same event next year we'll invite a bunch of friends and make our own day at Waterworld out of it. I picture hot dogs linked together at the ends coming off of a rotating grill and going directly into peoples' mouths until they can't eats no mores! Yeah, there wouldn't be booze and DJ's at the UCSF event, but the group I was with would probably only miss the DJ's—at least that's what it seemed. I could have danced all afternoon if it weren't for the blisters I somehow got on my feet (probably from walking on the hot pavement). I thought it was pretty crowded today, but several in the group I was with had decided that last year there were a lot more people. I got home $64 dollars poorer. (Somehow I think I mistakenly went to ExtraFeeWorld instead of Waterworld! "I'm sorry, but that's going to cost you—an extra fee!") An extravagance on our income, but worth it—just this once. Seconds after getting in the door at home, I discovered from Patrick that I had to do some cleaning up of Lodestar that didn't get taken care of when it went live (not our fault, though). Did that, it only took about 20 minutes. Showered and dressed. Dinner at Eric's Restaurant with Patrick: walnut prawns, mu shu chicken, steamed rice, hot tea: $19.70 before a $3 tip, and everything was perfect, as usual. While we ate, we saw Kristina and Brendan walk by with their dog (whose name I forgot)! They saw us sitting at the table in the window and waved hello and smiled. We waved back, and they continued on their walk. My fortune: "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Patrick's fortune: "Money is the root of all evil. And Man needs roots." Patrick chose a surprise event for me tonight—Sandra Bernhard live at the Brava Theater! She is just as entertaining as ever. Same routine, different jokes. Her takes this time were on everything from the tedium of Ontario customs to George W. Bush admitting that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the war on Iraq to the ugliness of San Francisco General Hospital and the "snapping" freshness of the local bay area produce, prominently featured in the Caesar salad at Scala's Restaurant of San Francisco. Twice I almost sneezed my famously loud sneezes, but I held them back for fear of being ridiculed by Sandra like the woman who sat next to me. She was late to the performance, and people who know Sandra know you don't show up late to her performance. Many people were late, but the woman sitting next to me—a cute, youngish dyke—was the first to be noticed as prominently late. Worse yet, she sat 3 seats in from the left of the row, but the usher brought her to the right end of the row. Sandra egged her on—something like, "Get in your seat, already!"—so she excused herself across 15 or so people instead of walking around half the theater to step across just Patrick and me (Patrick on the end, me in the #2 seat—technically Center D 108 and 109). Sandra then made fun of her for intruding upon 15 people instead of just 2. The latecomer was hiding her face by the time she was seated. Now she knows: Don't be late to Sandra. Several new songs, and, as usual, at least one of them was her finale. Her encore was another song I can't remember now which morphed into Prince's "Little Red Corvette," which I bet many Bernhard newbies don't know she did back in 1989. (That Any Wednesday joke from 1989 is ringing a little ironically, isn't it?) We left the theater with me saying, "That's the hottest show I've seen all season!"—literally. It seemed like there was no air conditioner, and this day was quite hot, even in San Francisco. Seattleites: Think the balcony of the Egyptian in the 1990s. During SIFF. Ms. Bernhard even took her sparkly-appliqued "Dude where's my couture?" shirt off at the end, giving everyone a little show. Two tickets cost us slightly less than it cost just me to go to ExtraFeeWorld. Actually, Patrick bought a beer before the performance for $4, so it came out to exactly the same price. You do the math. On the way home, Patrick and I realize that it's harder to find a parking place on our street now. We surmise that some of the homes must have added in-law apartments like our landlords did, and I predict that in 100 years every home in San Francisco will house twice as many people as it does now. Okay, that "You do the math" expression has been long tired by now, huh? How about "Vous faites les maths!" Does it sound better in French? And Michael O'Brien might counter with, "Toutes les maths du monde?" In any case, a noteworthy weekend has come to a close. And if you're reading this at work, you probably ought to get back to work. No one has seen you "really working" for the past several minutes!

Mon Sep 22, 2003

Breakfast at desk: oatmeal. More work on Mike L.'s computer. Started setting up Cindy's computer. Prepared two telephone maps for Mike R. for our office move. Lunch at desk: small chow mein from Panda Express. My fortune: A photo cannot capture your charm. Dinner at home with Patrick: orzo with vegetables, basil, and asiago; grilled chicken boobs; Italian country bread. Napped on the couch while Patrick talked to his mom on the phone and listened to Billie Holiday. I folded clothes while Patrick did dishes to MC Solaar. Listened to Alphaville's Forever Young while catching up on news, e-mail, and journal. Patrick and I had a disagreement on whether periods should go inside or outside of the parentheses. (I was right; in general, they go inside only if the parenthetical is a complete sentence, as in this sentence, but it's slightly more complicated than that, and I won't go into the details here.) Chatted online with Chris De Lay—hadn't done that in a long time. Fun! He wants my X10 modules and I'm tired of them so I'm sending him the whole darned box of X10 junk I've collected.

Tue Sep 23, 2003

No 8:30 AM bus this morning. Got to the bus stop at 8:25 AM. Got to work at 9:15 AM. Sharon was on the bus when I got on. She had been waiting since 8:15, having just missed the 8:08 bus. Installed Win XP on Cindy's computer for home—another casualty from the computer viruses flying about a few weeks ago. Updated the core curriculum page for Cindy. Updated the Application Workshop page for Melissa. Resolved issues with an account that was generated incorrectly (with the wrong login name) by other departments. Helped Cuong Tran resolve a problem with his e-mail account. Researched for Debrah whether Eudora 5.1.1 for Windows will let you change the left margin when printing. (I could not find a solution, so I suggested that she copy and paste into Microsoft Word.) Dinner at home with Patrick: ?. Patrick and I wrote in our All About Us book.

Wed Sep 24, 2003

9:30 AM bus showed up more or less on time. Finished setting up Cindy's computer. Met with Son Dinh about his duties for our computer lab. Met with Susie—neither of us have a lot new to report. Installed Windows XP on my work computer. Installed Office Updates for nearly everyone in the office. Installed PartitionMagic on one of Chris's computers in preparation for a Win XP upgrade. Tested the laptop because Chris reported that the presentation pointer wasn't working properly. Couldn't reproduce the problem. Lunch at Strybing with combo chow mein from May Lee's Restaurant: $5.95. I'll never dine in, but the food was decent. My fortune: A friend asks only for your time, not your money. 7:00 PM bus showed up at 7:05 PM, and the bus driver was coughing for half the trip at least every 15 seconds. Adjusted my chair settings. She drank some water and felt better, so I'm hoping it wasn't the cold that seems to be going around. Ran to 7 Eleven for vegetable oil. There was a long line because there was only one guy behind the counter and he was talking to the man who brings him his Lotto machines; one of them wasn't working so he had to explain it all to the serviceman. Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp chow mein. Patrick and I wrote in our All About Us book. Tested the (old) DVD player on the computer. CPU maxes out when it's used, causing some frames to drop, so I think we need more memory. Looked at Travis's and Tom's (or was it Timmie's?) photos of Waterworld from the weekend. E-mailed Mikey in Paris. Couldn't figure out why Outlook XP refuses to start up in the Outlook Today view even when I've specified that it should.

Thu Sep 25, 2003

I dreamt last night I went to Disneyland with my brother and 2 or 3 other people. Somehow we got separated from my brother even though I didn't want that to happen. I wanted to take Patrick to the Blue Bayou Restaurant (since he's from New Orleans) so we ran across the park because if you don't make a reservation in time you might be out of luck. The park was a little different in some ways than I remember. One part looked like a really huge food court. Patrick was already hungry before we started running, so we stopped to get him a snack to tide him over. However, despite the differences in the park, I knew exactly how to get us around—experience like I've grown up with just doesn't fade away. When we got to the Blue Bayou, the receptionist was extraordinarily rude to me when I politely asked if we could be seated. I was shocked. I looked at my watch and it was 9:20 PM—the park closed at 10:00 PM. I was thinking, "It wouldn't be worth it to rush such an experience," and the rude woman decided it for me. I was about to say no, and that's when I woke up. Completed Office Updates. Investigated problem with Sophos Admin not seeing Windows XP computers—still no resolution; the things Sophos support gave me to check all check out as they expect. Helped Mike Lemont install his work computer at home. Said hello to Steven, Benny, and Buster. Lunch at desk: leftover chow mein. Gave Joel my leftover chow mein from May Lee's. His new iBook also arrived today—that was extremely fast! He pretended to not know how to set it up—he's so cute! Set up the first-year instructors mailing list. Julie did a maintenance update on our development machine. Afterwards, I couldn't ping or traceroute to it. I also couldn't log in by tunneling or FTP but I could with SSH. Weird! I sent her a problem report. Cindy's husband Chris gave me a bottle of Murrieta's Well Vendimia 1998 to thank me for helping them out with Cindy's work computer at home—very sweet! Dinner at home with Patrick: mixed greens salad with heirloom tomato, ciabatta, leftover shrimp chow mein. Shopped for a car cover, new computer components. Confirmed I had the right cable for Aaron on Saturday. No bus problems today.

Fri Sep 26, 2003

Late lunch at New Tsing Tao: almond chicken with steamed rice and tea. My fortune: You will have a long and healthy life. Went over to Mike Lemont's place to troubleshoot sending e-mail. There are 2 problems, really: one is that he can receive e-mail but not send. I installed Outlook and tested with (and authentication) and that worked, but there's no way in Eudora 5.1.1 to specify that. I don't know how he was sending e-mail in the past—he must have had some other server specified that doesn't require authentication. The other problem is that the old, old, old external modem he had now only connects at 28.8 instead of 56K—I tried to find a driver for it, but it's just too old and XP doesn't let it connect at the faster speed even though it recognizes it properly. Only thing I could think of was to buy and install a new modem for him. I asked him to just use WebMail since he also checks his e-mail away from home. Dinner at home with Patrick: Seniore's veggie medium pizza, green salad with ranch dressing. Watched Say Anything on DVD—Patrick's first time watching it. Occasionally some frames and sound would drop, but we were able to watch the whole film.

Sat Sep 27, 2003

Last night Patrick dreamt about gigantic, ugly bugs that he smooshed and yellow guts oozed out of them. One had fur like an otter but was shaped like a spider with big, long, spiny legs. The second one he killed had a battery in it, which he removed so it wouldn't do anything else. I think I dreamt about pizza. Brunch with Patrick at Tangerine: he had the farmer's omelette and side of toast with english breakfast tea. I had the special: 2 poached eggs atop salmon-shrimp cakes with coffee. Mailed the package of X-10 stuff for Chris De Lay. Ran out of time to run errands, stopped in at Aaron's place in the lower Haight. Brought him to our apartment where we had lunch (linguine with stir-fried vegetables and heirloom tomatoes) and I helped him migrate data from his old laptop to his new laptop using a crossover ethernet cable. We took him back home then tried to run my errands but ran out of time (again) when the stores closed at 6. Lateish dinner: salad and leftover pizza. My stomach wasn't feeling well, so I didn't eat a whole lot. Tested the new combo drive with Baraka, which played fine, no problems.

Sun Sep 28, 2003

Stomach feels fine this morning. Breakfast at Squat and Gobble in West Portal. Picked up Superfeet at Sports Basement in Mission Bay (and they do indeed have a 10% discount for UCSF faculty and staff!). Picked up a modem for Mike and a floppy disk drive power header thing at Central Computer. Late lunch at home with Patrick: leftovers from Squat and Gobble and Tangerine. Safeway on Taraval for grocery shopping. Dinner at home with Patrick: Boboli with spinach, shrimp, green pepper, and cherry tomatoes.

Mon Sep 29, 2003

Toured the new offices project with Cindy again. The new carpet is arriving in 8 days and I can't see how everything is going to be finished by then, but Cindy thinks they're still on schedule. She approved my phone layout mappings documents with minor changes, so I corrected them and sent them to Mike. Spent more time trying to figure out the Sophos Admin problem—got nowhere, sent another message in to Sophos support. Lunch at Chow: daily sandwich special: chicken breast with mushrooms and fontina in a wrap bread with side of minestrone. Yummy! Pharmacy Info Day updates for Joel. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover pizza and spinach salad with egg, mushrooms, creamy italian garlic dressing, croutons. Patrick had another Mandarin quiz today—not as rough as the previous one. He thinks he did pretty well on it. He has been studying for a speech he wrote which he must present this Wednesday as a required exercise for the class. It's about being a writer and also about Lu Xun, a Chinese writer.

Tue Sep 30, 2003

Spent the morning at Mike Lemont's place. His computer has been failing to connect at faster than 28.8 kbps. He had an old external modem from 1999 (I think) so I figured that the first thing SBC would suggest if we called the problem in was to upgrade the modem and get the newest drivers. So I installed the modem I got for him on Sunday, but the same problem remains—doesn't connect at faster than 28.8, and usually we got only 26.4. I thought I was stuck, but then I remembered he said on Thursday that both his phone lines had gone out for a few hours and after much trouble SBC finally restored his service. He said something about SBC saying he got the last assignable lines in the phone box for his entire block. I surmise that SBC must somehow have screwed up his line giving him one with a weaker or less stable connection. To test this hypothesis, we realized I needed to take his computer to my place. (I can't test it at work because I don't have an analog phone line.) So I took it back and told him I'd test it tonight and also migrate his Eudora addressbook to his WebMail account. He'd also mentioned that people he works with told him they didn't receive his messages, so I told him I'd test sending and receiving as well. Early lunch at home after dropping of the computer and before heading back to Parnassus: Patrick's leftovers from Tangerine. Toured MSB9 again, this time with Cindy and Kristina. The new walls for Cindy's office and my office are up, but the windows are yet to arrive. I take a few photos. Spent an hour resolving links to ITS's "soft launch" site which contains, in particular, new and important VPN information but for which John K failed to create complete redirects. I didn't want my people leaving my site and running into his redirects because he uses very old Javascript code which breaks the Back button, so I choose to spend about an hour tracking down all the places I link to their site. It's time well spent. I run a linkcheck, and all looks clean, so I make the changes live. Updated current student news and calendar. Updated the MPH page to remove the date when we expect to have new information (since the date had passed). Made live Joel's Pharmacy Info Day changes. Dinner at River Side with Patrick: lemon chicken, vegetable chow mein, hot tea. Patrick's fortune: You are very expressive and positive in words, act and feeling. My fortune: Your mentality is alert, practical and analytical. Spent 2 hours more working on Mike L's computer: migrated the addressbook, installed a new connection for Sonic, tested the 3 dialup connections—all connect at faster than 28.8, tested sending and receiving (all is well). Unfortunately for Mike L, it seems the speed problem is his line. However, the only remaining way out is if he tries at night and gets a faster-than-28.8 connection, in which case it's not his line and just not enough fast modems at SBC. It's now past midnight, so I'll call him tomorrow to tell him the news. Patrick's speech is tomorrow, and he's been studying very hard for it. We both think he's going to do pretty well. After all, he skipped Mandarin 3, so even a good grade on this would be a great achievement. Odette Reyes, a second-year pharmacy student, sent me a very funny e-mail explaining her resolution to a computer problem I helped her with. Essentially, I coached her into threatening to cancel her DSL service and ask for a refund if SBC didn't help her fix the problem that was created after she installed software from their CD-ROM. She followed my instructions and got a knowledgeable technician and now has a workaround with which she's happy. She also asked how to set up a firewall, so I pointed her to the Web page I had created months ago to answer specifically that question.