January 2004

Summary: Patrick's mom casts off the evil nuns; readings by Justin Chin, Sara Seinberg, and Anchee Min; new computer; OSACA gets its new cabinetry; movie night at Aaron's new apartment: Andromeda Strain (1971)

Dates on this page

Thu 1

More computer troubleshooting. I got Win 2000 installed yesterday after wiping the Win XP installation away. Today, I installed drivers for my network card, which Win XP autodetected properly but Win 2000 did not. When installing SP4, I got this error: "an error in updating your system has occurred." I clicked OK and the install continued. Several hours later it was still installing updates. I aborted the process, restarted, then tried again with the same result—extremely slow behavior. Gave up trying to install SP4 then installed ZoneAlarm and figured out what was going wrong. Immediately upon starting ZoneAlarm for the first time, it warned me that msblast.exe was trying to access the network. I immediately restarted, unplugged the ethernet cable, and reinstalled win 2000, wiping the previous installation in the process. Had an early version of win 2000 so my usb key wasn't autodetected, so I had to use a file splitter on zonealarm on another computer to bring it over across 4 floppy disks. Once ZoneAlarm was installed and configured, I was able to connect it to the network and the Internet, download and install SP4 and other updates, then test security using GRC. Finally things seem to be stable! Lunch and dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers. Picked up Sam from the airport who had spent the past week visiting his mom in New Orleans. He brought us back a bag of PJ's Sumatra Mandheling coffee beans, Biermann marzipan, and Koppers Mardi Gras espresso beans.

Fri 2

More computer setup. Patrick meets with Erick to return his manuscript for Confessions of a Rice Boy. Organized my music CDs in binders. Fixed problems with my music collection. Continued testing the new Win 2000 setup. Watched Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill on DVD with Patrick. I learned about Eddie Izzard through my friend Chris De Lay. Eddie Izzard is a multilingual British transvestite comedian who is very, very funny! New OS setup is mostly stable—only thing now is that it still randomly restarts. I'm almost about ready to trash all the components and throw up some money to fix this.

Sat 3

Breakfast at home with Patrick: cinnamon rolls. Napped. Errands downtown: Walgreens, The Container Store, returned a DVD, returned an art kit for Patrick at Cliff's, tried to go to Office Depot but they had already closed. Dinner at home with Patrick: vegetables in sun-dried tomato pesto with pasta shells. Shopped for computer components online.

Sun 4

Breakfast: Patrick had a leftover cinnamon roll and I had a bagel with cream cheese. Watched Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King at Century 20 Daly City. Afterwards, Patrick and I had leftovers at home and then I slept for 4 hours—that film was fun but so exhausting! Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover pasta and pizza. In the last 2 days we received lovely photo Christmas cards from my sister's family and Aaron and Lisa's family, too. Got "_DELIS caused a general protection fault in module _ISDEL.EXE at 0001:000009ba" at the end of installing Eudora 6.0. Uninstalled Eudora, restarted Windows, reinstalled to a new directory—same problem. Restarted Windows, started Eudora, it seems fine. Got another crash later when trying to create a new profile in Eudora, deleting the NSIMPORT file fixed that. Couldn't make a purchase on officedepot.com because their web site gave an error message during the checkout process. Made computer equipment purchases elsewhere online. Dusted. Labelled my new medical card with the phone number for appointments. Prepared trash for removal. Prepared dishes for washing. Secured music collection and backup tapes. Took care of bills. Went back to the journal entry for December 24, 2003 and added some details about The Christmas Ballet.

Mon 5

Back at work. Uploaded schedule updates. Talked with Charles Koehler about our domain names; he was very helpful, as usual. Lunch with Joel at Pomelo. Met with Susie. We worked on news updates and contact info updates before running out of time. Student directory project—more name map table work. Dinner at home with Patrick: rotini with pesto, mushrooms, bacon, onions, garlic, broccolini. I believe Joel said today that Britney Spears's husband was kind of a hottie. Chris C, back from his trip to Asia, and he got me two small gifts: a watch on a caribiner and 4 golden metal bookmarks etched with various designs of trees, flowers, and birds. Patrick thinks they represent the four seasons.

Tue 6

Breakfast at home: something flakes. Lunch with Joel and Ena at Pancho's. While we were eating lunch, Joel reached in the pocket of his pea coat which he hadn't worn in years and pulled out a wad of papers. He turned up a ticket to some show (probably Broadway), receipts from places in New York City, and two crisp $100 bills! He says he must have had it all this time in his pocket and forgotten about it. How fortuitous! On our way back to work, we saw a bunch of cops and cop cars on 9th Avenue asking people questions. Joel wanted to stay and rubberneck, but Ena and I dragged him back to the office. Dinner at home by myself: leftovers. Patrick went to a reading by Justin Chin, Sara Seinberg, and two others. He says Justin's work made him cry, but he didn't get to talk to him. He chatted with Daphne, got a slice of pizza, then came home. Made a purchase from officedepot.com. I've made purchases from that site in the past and had no trouble, but this time it was awful. Probably the worst e-commerce transaction I've had in several years. I will definitely not be returning to officedepot.com soon.

Wed 7

I dreamt last night that my car had 2 or 3 flat tires as though it had been stepped on by a dinosaur but there was only body damage at the bottom near the tires. There was more to the dream, but that's all I remember. Lunch with James, Melissa, Ena, and Patrick at Park Chow. I had wonton soup, which was okay—an Americanized version. Patrick had the salmon sandwich special with a cup of seafood chowder. Melissa had the same but with a different soup. James had pork spare ribs with a cup of seafood chowder, and he also ordered and shared an appetizer of spicy chicken wings with all of us. Patrick left early to get a haircut with Lisa at Nice Cuts. Ena, Melissa, and I were surprised when James offered to pick up the tab for the whole table—very sweet of him. Today at work: link checking, met with someone who fixed our AC adapter and plugs problem which Mike R had left unresolved since we moved in on November 1, student directory on the web project. Photo filenames were normalized, images were batch-resized in ImageReady, then uploaded. The master table was rebuilt and the engine code modified accordingly. Tested—everything is still working. Image display code is not quite right because the script presumes all the photos are in one directory, but I want them in subdirectories by year so I'll have to modify that tomorrow. Dinner at home with Patrick: delivery by Ha's: steamed rice, chicken chow mein, shrimp with mixed vegetables, about $15. My fortune: Love all, trust a few—5 42 24 35 23 15. Patrick's fortune: You will soon be involved in many social events—6 13 15 17 29 40. We got a bonus fortune cookie: Experience is the only prophecy of wise men—20 5 11 31 27 35. I found out today that zipzoomfly.com screwed up my computer parts order. I placed the order on Sunday, the Web site said everything was in stock, and this afternoon (Wednesday) I receive an e-mail saying that one item in my order was out of stock. Why does it take them over 2 days for them to figure that out and let me know?! Grrr!

Thu 8

Joel got his new Apple earphones and iPod dock today. Lunch with Joel, Ena, and Melissa at Yummy Yummy. Patrick went to Kabuki Springs for his massage and spa treatment today. Here's what he says: "The Abhyanga Massage lasts just about 2 hours, so if you have to go to the bathroom, do it before you lay on the table. The massage was done in a private room, tastefully decorated with candles, Buddhas, and Japanese art work. When my masseur, Denny, first introduced himself, he also had me smell three different oil bottles with my eyes closed, and then I told him which smell I preferred. I still have no idea what a dosha is, or even what oil I picked, but I really didn't care after he started pouring warm oil all over my body and rubbing it in with a vigorous (though not too deep) massage. Perfect. Head to toe. After the massage I had a Shirodara treatment, which is when warm oil is trickled over your third eye for about half an hour. An actual contraption is used to do this, positioned right over my forehead, as my head was tilted back. At the conclusion of the Shirodara (about 20 minutes), was a scalp massage, and then finally a twenty-minute soak in a private bath, with various flowers floating across the surface, candles here and there, and a plate of sliced orange. Mmmm mmm..." At work today: a milestone with the student directory on the web project: all the photos are in and working! It's the first strong sign of light at the end of the tunnel on this project. Cable management for Debrah since her keyboard tray was moved to the corner of her desk. Showed James how to install Eudora 6.0 and use its anti-spam filter features. Link checking: fixed some links for Mark Pregenzer, resolved a problem with the backup tape drive—it had been failing to do backups the past few days, so I opened up the server, wiggled some wires around, and it was working again. I felt like Anakin Skywalker in his pod race. Dinner at home by myself: leftover Ha's. I was unable to come to an agreeable solution with ZipZoomFly today, so I had my order cancelled and am planning to not order from them again for at least a year. The person I spoke with on the phone didn't have an explanation for the delay in notifying me except to say that it was their policy that processing an order could take up to 2 business days. I didn't bother to point out that in this case it took them more than 2.5 business days; I just let it go. I had been planning to work on the computers this weekend, but now the whole project is pushed back at least another week. ZipZoomFly could improve by reconfiguring their databases to alert buyers more accurately when stocks are running low so that expectations are set accordingly. If they claim to be doing this already, they need to run updates more frequently. Also, their customer support wasn't empathetic at all with the inconvenience I suffered—not one person apologized for the delay, and I got the impression that business is going so well for them that they don't need mine. Did more shopping online to replace the botched zipzoomfly order. Ran across this policy statement on newegg.com: "What happens if something is backordered? If an item is found to be out of stock after the order is placed, then item will be removed from the order and the remaining items shipped. We do not hold up the order because an item is backordered." Voila!

Fri 9

Link checking. Added a new faculty member entry for Susie. Worked on the instructional facilities pages. Updated current student news and calendar, made minor adjustments to career services and computer services pages. Read an interesting white paper called "Session Fixation Vulnerability in Web-based Applications 1.0" by Kolsek and ACROS Security. Dinner at home with Patrick: boboli pizza with ricotta, pancetta, and spinach.

Sat 10

Breakfast: cinnamon raisin bagel and cream cheese for me, Life cereal for Patrick. Grocery shopping at Tower Market. Cleaned and organized the whole apartment, did home improvement, laundry. Dinner at home with Patrick, Travis, and Erick: a 3-course meal. Erick and Travis brought us a bottle of Francis Coppola Claret, a black-label cabernet sauvignon. Course 1: spring salad mix with French balsamic vinaigrette (olive oil, sherry wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, sea salt), chopped Niman Ranch cured ham steak, sea salt, pepper, torn basil, tarragon, walnuts, cubes of aged cheddar. Course 2: farfalle with lemon-and-thyme lima beans and shrimp in lemon butter white wine sauce. Course 3: liquid center warm Valrhona chocolate cake garnished with a blackberry and a Jules Destrooper butter crisp wafer cookie, side of Straus Family Creamery organic vanilla bean ice cream. Travis told about bomb shelters in Ohio and ruining 2 rice cookers while trying to make coconut rice. I told stories about my mom. We all talked about Erick's novel. Patrick talked about his forthcoming trip to China. After dinner we chatted in the living room before going to the Castro to drink and dance—first the new Detour (music is more vocal housey than in the old Detour) and then The Cafe. It was a very pleasant evening; Patrick and I enjoyed their company very much.

Sun 11

I dreamt last night I shared an apartment with Madonna. Somehow it was agreed I would help her organize her room. As I approached her door, which was ajar, she was performing one of her songs like she was on stage. She interrupted herself, and coyly she said, "Who is that out there? I know you're there!" I went in and found that her room was very large—about 20 by 30 feet. However, she parked two motorcycles and a bicycle in the room among her belongings. I wanted to move her motorcycle but knew I had to ask permission first. Near the motorcycle there was something accumulating on the ground in a line. I looked up at the ceiling and there was some unknown substance dripping from the ceiling in the same straight line. I tried getting a closer look, but that's when the dream ended. I don't remember anything else.—Breakfast: cinnamon raisin bagel and cream cheese, blackberries with whipped cream for me, yogurt with walnuts for Patrick. Sent Travis and Erick a copy of the recipe for the chocolate cake. Errands and shopping: Home Depot, Office Depot. Lunch at Quizno's. Dinner at home with Patrick: the same salad recipe from yesterday except Patrick added tomatoes this time, bread, pan-fried herbed shrimp. Patrick talked with his mom today who confirmed that she was going to be moving on January 24 to a new apartment, which means that she's also quitting her job with the evil nuns for whom she manages a housekeeping staff. Good for her! We're both very happy she's taking this positive big step in her life. Chatted with Colleen who Patrick and I hadn't seen since a birthday party for Pedro and the kids on May 12, 2001. She'd left KPMG and is now a CFO for a small company called Alpine Healthcare. I arranged to see her and her family in February. She told me that our college friend Janelle Wong is now a TV reporter and sometimes anchor with ABC News in San Francisco—wow, I had no idea! Chatted with Tina. Repotted some plants.

Mon 12

I dreamt last night that I was travelling across the country with Patrick and my brother. We were staying in a motel room which had a very uneven floor. Some time after we had gotten settled, I noticed some water leaking across the floor forming a trickle of a river. It was steadily growing and I called urgently to them for help as I moved our belongings out of the way of the water. Within a few seconds, however, the source of the water blew open into a jet of water steadily streaming into the room.—Life cereal for breakfast. Patrick took Jason Baum on a tour of Chinatown today. I brought 3 phalenopsis orchid plants that I repotted yesterday to work so that they'll have more sun and hopefully grow some flowers. Student directory on the web: started working on graceful cookie rejection handling—tricky to resolve because session cookies aren't visible as files in the file system and because PHP doesn't give a flag along with the session_start to let you know whether the cookie was accepted or rejected—you're on your own. Session cookies seem to be stored in RAM but I could not easily find information on the Web to confirm that. Read A List Apart. Stopped at the grocery on the way home for mozzarella. Dinner at home with Patrick: boboli with the remainder of our Niman Ranch ham, mozzarella, tarragon. Installed some Linux updates which messed up my ftp configuration. Tried figuring it out but my conf file looked fine and I eventually gave up. Been continuing to read Cryptonomicon on the bus—thanks, Chris and Nate!

Tue 13

Brought in a small spider plant for the office. Met Cindy W, Ena W, and Aaron Huwe at the old student lounge to discuss its closure and what to do with the remaining stuff. Staff meeting. Lunch with Melissa at Minh Tri. Made updates to the HPM schedule for Kristina. Updated the P1 schedule for Debrah. Showed Debrah how to change font sizes in Internet Explorer and how to override Web designers' font size choices. Student directory on the web: it now warns gracefully when cookies are rejected. Of the 3 orders I placed for computer equipment on January 9, the first to arrive (today) was YesMicro, shipping out of Fontana, California by UPS Ground. Dinner with Patrick at Bombay Indian: garlic naan, hot chai for Patrick, chicken tikki masala, chicken tikki korma, rice. Sun released a new patch for the Linux server, and after I installed it yesterday's problem disappeared. I knew it was someone else's fault. Patrick's mom sent us a late Christmas gift: a set of snowman cheese spreaders, snowman salt and pepper shakers, a snowman wine bottle cover, and a package of gourmet red beans and rice mix. Fun! My mom and dad sent me a late Christmas card along with a check which I'm planning to not cash. Been reading The Web Content Style Guide by McGovern, Norton, and O'Dowd. Section 1 is good. Section 2 provides an overview of Web design best practices, but this material is covered in greater detail in Jakob Nielsen's site, useit.com. Section 3—the largest section—is very much not to my liking. They mix up dictionary definitions with grammar usage recommendations with—why?—advice for computer newbies. I wish they had simply stuck with usage focused on Web writing, which is not easy to find all in one place. Why did they think I need computer newbie advice? For example, "attachment" on page 42 doesn't simply describe what an attachment is. It goes into detail about computer viruses, how to avoid them, and so forth. I didn't need this entry at all, and much of Section 3 is the same in one way or another. I felt cheated because I thought I bought a style guide written by writing professionals—not The Internet for Dummies. It describes "cookie" as "a piece of software..." (the definition goes on, but already it's not as correct as it could be). The work lacks adequate guidance with Web typography issues. (A List Apart is among the best references for Web typography best practices.) The dictionary definitions were incomplete immediately after the book had gone to press—even Google is a much better source for that kind of information. Consequently, I can recommend only the portion of the book which can be read on Amazon. Very disappointing. It took me about 20 minutes to go through the whole book.

Wed 14

I forgot to mention that Chris De Lay sent me his old copy of Mac OS X 10.2 since he upgraded to the latest version. I've been needing 10.2 to install on my Mac at work to test out how Safari sees my Web pages. Breakfast: Life cereal. Wrote more content for the Writing Style section of the Style Guide for Susie and in preparation for a presentation she wants me to give next week. Chatted with Melissa about the process of cutting dahlia tubers. Helped James deliver a 20 MB zip file to Carol. Helped James and a facilities guy install his new monitor arm. Helped Kathy Pang to find where she can use a layout program like PageMaker or InDesign—the ILC labs should have it. Lunch by myself at desk: Panda Express, water. My fortune: You are admired for your adventurous ways. Cable management for James. Kristina decided to share her Joseph Schmidt secret santa chocolates with the office—they are delightful! Joel showed me the knitting book I was gonna buy for him—it's Betty-ann's copy and he's borrowing it. Norita and Georges showed us around their place upstairs. We'd never seen it before, and they are planning to move to a cottage in the Castro so they wanted to know if we might want to move to the upstairs. They shared a bottle of wine with us and after our house tour we chatted for over an hour. newegg order from January 9 arrived today. Patrick gave a lot of our unwanted junk to Goodwill with Sam's help. Dinner at home with Patrick: baked chicken.

Thu 15

Last night I dreamt that I had hair down past my ears and that overnight it had turned white streaked with colors like black, dark brown, light yellow and silver. In a different dream, I was in a school for very young children seated at a low round table with a darkish-skinned boy—perhaps Hispanic—and a woman older than me. The boy was reluctant to do his learning exercises, but the woman and I encouraged him to do them so he did. I didn't want to be there but couldn't or didn't leave.—Link checking. Cable management for Debrah. Helped Emmanuel Addo with reinstalling Eudora and his RAS connection. Made changes to the course substitution page for Cindy. Lunch with Joel at Nan King Road Bistro. We talked about his new boyfriend Isaac Mizrahi. Put signs on the computers in the old student lounge saying they were out of commission. (Their hard drives still need to be wiped, though.) Called Mike R because Debrah's phone was still ringing when Joel got calls—it wasn't fixed like Mike R said. He says it will be fixed by tomorrow. Edited Bill Soller's medical article on emergency contraceptive pills. It was originally 3,000 words—much longer than we'd like, so I had to do a lot of trimming and consolidating. It's looking better, but I'm still only about 45% done with it. Patrick had a business meeting today with Jerrett Walker, former fiction editor of Blithe House Quarterly, another GLBT journal of literature on the Web. Dinner at home with Patrick: salad mix with dill, tarragon, mushrooms, tomatoes, aged cheddar, basil, yellow bell pepper, leftover chicken tikki kabob, French vinaigrette. Leftover naan. Patrick bought a new snack cracker today: Annie's Cheddar Bunnies—they're very tasty.

Fri 16

Last night I dreamt that I was on a city sidewalk somewhere with Cindy and Joel. I had the School's digital camera and Cindy was directing me on which photos she wanted taken. I can't remember anything about the main place we were shooting, but two doors down there was a tiny pastry shop with about 5 tables for 2 which Cindy said I must get photos of as well. There were cookies and other sweets in the window, and I composed a shot of that in the foreground with one of the shopkeepers inside in the background. There were cozy-n-quaint objects on the walls which added ambiance, so I got photos of that too.—Breakfast at home with Patrick: Denver omelette: Niman Ranch ham (the last of it from last week), diced tomatoes, tarragon, mozzarella, cheddar, sea salt. Patrick goes to class. This weekend is a 3-day weekend for me—hooray for MLK Jr and civil rights! I had kept forgetting about it, so Patrick and I have no plans. I think I'll be starting to set up the upgraded computer. The RAM hasn't arrived yet. (I was asleep at the keyboard and got taken in by a free ground shipping offer, which was stupid of me because the company is in New York and RAM weighs so little.) However, I'll put together everything but the RAM and hopefully it will be a simple evening's procedure to do that next week. Did research for our upcoming computer requirements, made some changes to the pages already. Did link checking. Student directory on the web: did cache-prevention and cross-browser QA. Dinner at home with Patrick: mac and cheese, zucchini, leftover baked chicken. Watched 2 episodes of The Simpsons: s14e07 and s14e10—very funny.

Sat 17

Breakfast: cherry danish. Lunch at home with Patrick: spaghetti with red sauce. Rebuilt one of our computers, organized the closet, read from Cryptonomicon. Dinner at home with Patrick: mac and cheese, fish sticks, corn.

Sun 18

Brunch at home: leftovers. Napped. Errands: Home Depot, Office Depot, Circuit City. Snack: cheddar bunny crackers. Hand-imported my Yahoo address book into Eudora. More computer rebuilding. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled chicken salad.

Mon 19

Last night I dreamt that Deborah Gormley let me borrow a recorder (or some similar wind instrument) and I was performing a piece in a small recital, something popular like Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy or Peter and the Wolf. I got all the notes wrong since I hadn't practiced in years. Breakfast at Orphan Andy's. Watched Big Fish at the Daly City Century 20 with Patrick and Sam. Lunch at Kamakura Sushi and Sake House (415-242-1600, 2642 Ocean Avenue near 19th Avenue) with Patrick. It was our first time at Kamakura, a 6-month-old restaurant in Lakeside Village, our old neighborhood. I was suspicious at first because there was only one other table with people in the whole restaurant, and the people at it weren't Asian. However, I had grown tired of the restaurant selection in the area and wanted to try something new. Although we were tempted by the advertised everyday special—pick 3 rolls for $9.95—Patrick got 3 orders of nigiri (hamachi, ebi, maguro), and I got a lunchbox combo with chicken teriyaki and gyoza (side of salad and miso soup and deep-fried potato something). We both thought the food seemed fresher than other Japanese restaurants we've been to. The gyoza was particularly delicately steamed. Kamakura had taken the place of an Italian restaurant which I believe had all its desserts flown in from Italy and served out of a freezer. It sounds luxurious, but the reality did not taste that great.

Tue 20

I dreamt last night I was alone in a residential neighborhood looking for a particular house colored light orange where I knew I would be welcome. The house was pictured in my mind as being a single story but very long, set about 10 feet above the street on a curve. A brick wall rose from the sidewalk to meet a green lawn. However, I did not know its address or even the name of the street on which it lay. The neighborhood was middle-upper-class: clean streets, green lawns, no sign of disrepair. As I wandered up and down the streets searching for my destination, there was no one outside from whom I could ask directions. I grew hungry and tired. I came across a house which was particularly beautiful inside because I saw there was no clutter. I got closer to the house, hoping that I'd see some clutter out of view from the street, but no! Even close up it was all disgustingly perfectly clean! No newspapers strewn about, no writing instruments laying on a desk even. I cursed, jealous of someone else's tidiness. Somehow I slipped inside through a window. The house had a lot of cats and dogs or similar small pets that roamed freely on the house's grounds. I realized I was trespassing, however, and left without getting caught. I went around the side of the house where there was an opening to the street behind it. I followed it still looking for my light orange house when I came across a dock and then a boat. My friend Tina was on the boat, which had some sort of market. Tina pointed out a package of something—I wasn't sure what it was. It was orange, looked like it had the texture of a sponge, was shaped about 8 inches by 4 inches by 2 inches, and by what she indicated, I thought it was some kind of food—perhaps a bread. It was in a white stand-up bag like a sandwich bag with a plastic window so you could see inside. I didn't pick it up. Also shopping in the same room was some man I thought to be Australian. His white-man's skin was tanned. Dark blond hair, longish, somewhat unkempt. He could've been a sailor. He was wearing a shirt that said "Marni" on it which I thought was rather odd and not very fashionable but otherwise it didn't bother me. Tina wanted to go somewhere to talk with me about something important. But just then I heard my name and turned around to find Orlando Bloom saying hi to me. Like in Lord of the Rings, his hair was blond instead of dark. But unlike Lord of the Rings, his hair was short, not long. His smile reminded me of Bryan Cochran's. He was chipper despite a huge pack on his back, but it was somewhat evident that he'd been carrying it for some time and he had grown weary because of it. Had he been camping? I couldn't tell exactly. He wanted to talk to me somewhat urgently but hadn't realized Tina said the same thing just before, so I said to him, "Why don't you sit down here for a bit and I'll be right back, okay?" He agreed, so Tina and I walked off a few paces to talk, and I remember saying to her, "I can't believe I just put Orlando Bloom on hold!" But just then I had to pee really bad, so I asked Tina to wait. I ducked into the boat's restroom and started to use either a toilet or a urinal (I can't remember). As I was peeing, an older Asian man with a very round face to match his very round body leered at me suggestively then turned his back to me and pulled down his pants. Disgusted, I stopped mid-pee and moved to the shower stall (for one person) and continued my urination there, where it was more private. The dream ends there. When I woke up, it was 5:40 am and I got up to pee (funny that) and then went to my desk to write down what I could remember in my waking grogginess. Here's what I wrote down: "house cats weak dogs food orange house dock boat tina orange bread recipe aussie with marni tina talk orlando bloom bathroom short fat asian man peee in shower weary" and I then went back to bed. Patrick saw it when he got up at 6:00 am to practice Tai Chi at the park nearby and was puzzled by its mystery.—After fighting all day with Chris's new laptop, I finally fixed it's inability to connect to the network. It had a corrupted TCP/IP stack. KB 811259 fixed it for me, but not until I had tried seemingly a dozen other possible solutions. Met with Candy, Jen, Shareen, Kerry, Bill, Andy, and Susie to discuss the Medicine Question of the Month, writing for the Web. Lunch with Joel: takeout from Segafredo. We talked about pillows, Big Fish, Joel's uneventful weekend. Helped Melissa with mail merge and upper- and lowercase problems. She taught me a keyboard shortcut I hadn't known! In Microsoft Word, when you have text selected, F3 cycles among the different Change Case choices. Fantastic! The last computer parts shipment arrived today—hooray! Restored files from backup for James. Dinner at Casa Mexicana: Patrick and I split a super chicken burrito, an order of regular nachos, an Orangina, and a glass of plain water: $10.70. The neon sign for Safeway has been broken the past week or so (at least) so it now says "SAFE VAY" which I find very funny. I actually think they shouldn't fix it so that when people say on their cellphones, "Yeah, I'm at Safe vay—where you at?" then people know exactly which San Francisco Safe vay they mean. Took the L train home, and there was a white guy who spoke Spanish startlingly better than—I imagine—some people from Mexico, Spain, or other Spanish-speaking countries. Reminded me of the similar guy Patrick and I saw in Stompers—San Francisco is like that, I guess. I like that. I spent the late evening setting up our new rebuilt computer.

Wed 21

Helped Melissa with bullets printing incorrectly. Restored files from backup for James. Helped Joon Cha with a spyware problem. Our kitchen cabinets got installed today. It's nice. Lunch with Ena, Joel, and Melissa at Nan King Road Bistro. Edited Bill Soller's medical article on emergency contraceptive pills. Created a flowchart outlining the workflow and writing process for our Medicine Question of the Month, sent it to Susie for review. Researched a spammer/hacker issue for Cindy. Fixed a broken link: maps.ucsf.edu/DHCP/ got moved to its.ucsf.edu/information/network/dhcp/ (no redirect). Tested a redirect for Melissa using an offsite network connection. Installed Retrospect Client on Chris's new laptop, backed it up. Sent Carol a zipped, 20 MB copy of our data files for James. Dinner at home by myself: leftovers. Patrick went with Erick to the Anchee Min reading at the library. New computer crashed badly. I think now it's a power supply problem, as that's the only component I haven't replaced yet. Grrrr! I'm letting it cool overnight. When I start it up in the morning, either it will work (temporarily) or it won't work at all. If it works temporarily, then I simply need to replace the power supply, verify there are no overheating problems, and continue on my way. If it doesn't work at all, it means the new hard drive has been completely damaged and several years' work has been lost because I've been unable to get the tape backup to work reliably during these problems. Not a good night for me. See you in the morning!

Thu 22

Computer works fine this morning, so it's either a fan (heat) or power supply problem. Oatmeal for breakfast again. Tried fixing a sound problem for James but when I tried to duplicate the problem this morning everything worked fine. Went to the old student lounge and started disconnecting the computers. They're 4 years old, so we're gonna recycle or scrap 'em. Missed a meeting with Susie. Put together a PDF for Ken Lem—a reg form for a conference coming up—using pieces he sent me (a PDF file and a large JPEG file). It's not an ideal PDF—over 1 MB big and uses text as graphics everywhere—but we don't have the resources to make it ideal. Mocked up pages for it. Link checking. Got keys to unlock the computers in the old student lounge. Met with Cindy to give her a general update on things. Afterwards we checked on the cabinetry setup in the student lounge and in our workroom. Together we set up the refrigerator. I imported the kitchen utensils, plastic spoons and forks, napkins, coffee stirrers, potholders, paper towels, styro plates and bowls, and sugar packets from their temporary home in a filing cabinet to the new cabinetry's drawer. Returned to the student lounge, finished preparing the 3 computers there for surplus, picked up the fax machine and brought it to the new student lounge and hooked it up—there's no dial tone on the line. Helped Melissa with mail merge. Chatted with Chris about wireless and other issues.

Fri 23

Link checking. Edits to the entering students website. Edited Bill Soller's medical article on emergency contraceptive pills. Dinner at Kamakura with Patrick. Yumi yumi roll, baked scallop roll, hamachi, unagi, maguro. $34.35 before a $5.00 tip.

Sat 24

Lunch at The Butler and the Chef: crepe du jour (shrimp and tomato) and coffee for Patrick, potatoes au gratin (with emmenthal and California goat cheese, bacon, tomatoes) and chai latte for me. $26.58 before a $4.50 tip. Bought 2 new power supplies (Antec True480) at Central Computer. Grocery shopping. We had planned to go to Golden Produce and Safeway, but there were picketers at Safeway so I decided we should go to Tower Market instead. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled cheese sandwiches for me, bagel with cream cheese for Patrick. Met Erick S at The Bar on Castro for drinks. The Bar has remodeled since the last time I had been, and it's much nicer now. The DJ booth got moved to the back of the room (rather than the side), they purchased many flat-screen TVs, and elegant cushioned wall panelings with gold buttons in a diamond pattern now line the walls. The lighting is still too dark for my tastes—small red globe lamps make everyone look different than under sunlight. We stayed for a drink, then went to Catch for a bite to eat: a pile of skinny french fries with garlic and cheese (enough to feed at least 6 people), and a crabcake appetizer. We shared a brownie for dessert. We had one last drink at Metro before ending the evening.

Sun 25

Continued setting up the new computer. New power supply is in and everything runs noticeably warmer than the old setup. Got TV and radio working yesterday. We get a few channels clearly, but not the Chinese station that Patrick wanted. Lunch at home by myself: salad mix with some shredded mozzarella and romano, blue cheese dressing, mushrooms, red bell peppers. Chocolate cherry bread. Napped. Snack with Patrick: tater tots. Went to Aaron's new apartment to watch Andromeda Strain (1971) on DVD. Jamie was there but left before the movie. Aaron served us shrimp wraps, vegetable bird's nests, olives, several kinds of cheeses. We brought rosemary potato bread, wine, and cheese. Aaron gave us Christmas and Chinese New Year presents: Patrick got a pear magnet, pear swizzle sticks, a book called China House by Vincent Lardo. I got a cookbook called The Best of China and a small magnet with the Chinese character for dao (the way).

Mon 26

Just before leaving work today, I decided to start some pillows in the washer. Unfortunately, the water overflowed and Patrick interrupted it but not before a lot of water spilled out. Helped Cindy install 2 microwaves in the student lounge. Placed the order for the student lounge fax line. Took photos of the Fresno students for Mitra Assemi. Lunch with Joel at Nan King Road Bistro. Reinstalled VPN for Chris's laptop. Answered questions for Chris about Acrobat forms. Link checking. Updated current students news. Big new computer worm: MyDoom. Took photos of Joel's floaty pen collection. The bus broke down on the way home today. About 2.5 blocks from 9th and Judah, I smelled burning rubber or oil. The driver got out, checked in the back, said something was leaking but he couldn't tell what it was. He started to drive again, and in a few seconds a loud alarm sounded very annoyingly from his dashboard. I think there was a big red light, too. I ended up taking another bus to the L-Taraval. Dinner at home with Patrick: potatoes gratin, mixed salad. Taught Patrick how to use new features of our new computer (like TV).

Tue 27

Office too cold, reported the problem to Ena. Helped Kristina find her mail folders pane in Eudora. Talked to one of the facilities guys who checked the temperature in my office and promised to bring a filter for the air vent in my office to prevent the soot and dead flies from landing on my desk. Lunch with Melissa in my office while we watched movie trailers on quicktime.com. I had Panda Express, she brought food from home. My fortune: You bring out the best in others. More Acrobat form questions answered for Chris. Link checking. Went to a meeting with Joel and James to learn more about a forthcoming union vote. Joel and I snickered about "no shame in his game" and Joel pointed out that $30 x 12,000 employees x 12 months = $4.3 million per year. This union, UPTE, I don't trust because I had previously tried to find out where all their money goes, and it was a very difficult process. They eventually gave me a sheet of paper listing some figures, but they didn't seem very open or forthcoming about it, and I suspect they just made it all up. Neither Joel nor James seemed very enthused about the idea of a union. Troubleshot audio problems for Chris's vidconf setup. Helped Melissa with mail merge and formatting problems. Edited Bill Soller's medical article on emergency contraceptive pills. It's all done, though now I think I've edited it too much—will check with Susie and see what she thinks. At home, I did the paperwork for my free ATI Remote Wonder II Upgrade. Dinner at home with Patrick: mac and cheese, broccoli, and the juiciest roasted chicken breasts I've ever tasted in my entire life. After dinner we scanned the new stars he drew for forthcoming home pages of Lodestar Quarterly. Adjusted color, created comps. They look nice.

Wed 28

Cable management for James. Helped Jessica Huang with problems receiving mail in Outlook. She can send mail no problem. Gave her suggestions: Uninstall then reinstall Outlook. Try installing Eudora to isolate whether the problem is Outlook or not. Shopped for trash cans. Showed Patrick how to use PayPal to pay his credit card. Lunch with Kathy Pang and Patrick. We asked Kathy to lunch to hear her tips on traveling in China, which she did in 2000. She gave us tons of advice: the bathrooms are nasty, don't take the busses—trains are much better, people will put food on your plate for you a lot, it's often dusty and smoggy. Opened up the new computer for the student lounge, checked the mounting plate, drew holes on the wall for it. Placed an order for more wire loom. Scanned in the packing slip for the student lounge computer. Organized old computer junk that's been sitting in my office since we moved. Placed the work order request for facilities to help us install the computer arms and the computer in the student lounge. Researched syncing MySQL databases. Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp chow mein. Archived instructions for the SpiderCatcher and my car cover. Took care of paperwork.

Thu 29

Oatmeal for breakfast. Link checking. Updated current students news with new MyDoom info. Updated the Anti-Virus pages. Installed SQLYog trial version. Set up rsync for the student directory on the web project. Can't use SQLYog for it yet, tho. Lunch at desk: leftover shrimp chow mein. Set up testing logins and passwords for the OSACA staff, distributed instructions. Melissa and I figured out some answers to very puzzling formatting problems she had in MS Word. Edited Bill Soller's article—last time—and sent it to Susie. Dinner at home with Patrick: peas, french fries, leftover chicken. Installed PowerDVD XP 4.0 Build 2417, Easy CD Creator Basic 5.3.5.10, and Echo 1Safe 3.7.02 on the new computer. Answered an HTML code question for Deb Mindel. Ran backups for some hard drives.

Fri 30

Basic 4 for breakfast. Work from home: link checking. Security research. Prepared code and documents for the 2004-2005 academic calendar. Will send to Cindy for review after I've created the print version on Monday. Created pages describing our instructional facilities: the Basic Science Instruction Center and the Thomas A. Oliver Informatics Resource Center. Will insert photos when I get back to work on Monday. Code cleaning: removing deprecated instances of certain CSS classes. Dinner at home with Patrick: mushroom and onion pizza, green salad from Seniore's. Watched Cabaret (1972) on DVD with Patrick. I had never seen it before, and after viewing I decided it was "a must see!" Patrick called it "better than Chicago (2002)!" Both documentaries on the DVD were very comfortable to watch—not like modern behind-the-scenes documentaries. Liza Minnelli simply shines in this film.

Sat 31

Grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast. Finished watching Cabaret (1972) then a few DVD extras. Set up the lamp cord for a paper lantern over the kitchen counter. Leftover pizza. Bought a small round paper lantern for $3.40 at Soko Hardware (415-931-5510, 1698 Post St) in Japantown. Snack at Cafe Flore. I continued reading from Cryptonomicon. Patrick began translation work on the 2nd chapter of a Chinese novel. Watched dogs play at Duboce Park. Very cold today, the air was mostly very clear. Grocery shopping at Golden Produce. Chatted with Jesse in front of Cliff's Hardware. Went home. I installed the paper lantern—now we have much better lighting while preparing food. Tested burning a CD-ROM—it works! Hooray! No blue screen! Some playback problems in Winamp, but WMP plays it fine, so I know it's a Winamp problem. Dinner at home with Patrick: organic mini penne with mushrooms, spinach, and pancetta in a light cream sauce. Mini ciabatta bread.