March 2004

Summary: Lunch and garage cleaning with Lani and Rob's family; Visited Julianne, Danae, Gwen, Hoover, and their kitty cat in East Palo Alto then dinner at Nola's; Brunch with Bill and Kevin at Blue; Lodestar Issue 9; Dinner at Thailand Restaurant with Patrick and Erick; Art Deco exhibit at the Legion of Honor with Travis, Kevin, and Stacey; Ena does cornrows then quits; Punch Line Comedy Club with comics Steve Mazan, Becky Pedigo, and headliner Ngaio Bealum and with friends Yan Liu (aka oldcat) and Stephen K. (aka sfkid) and Aaron and the event sponsor, Tony.

Dates on this page

Mon Mar 1, 2004

Patrick got an A on his speech for Mandarin class! Hooray! Linkchecking. Finished licensure and examinations updates for Cindy's final review. Updated the computer support flowchart with Cindy's changes. Followed up with students on various computer support problems, most of them worms, viruses, and other security issues. Updated our breadcrumbs to remove some now-unneeded elements since the new UCSF home page went live today. Followed up with Susie on info needed for an addition to the faculty page. Updated current students news. Finally got around to installing Mac OS 10.2 (Jaguar) on my work Mac. Chris De Lay had sent me his old copy a long time ago because he'd gotten a new copy of 10.3. Finally, I'll be able to run Safari! Lunch at desk: leftover chow mein. Removed and reinstalled RealOne Player 10 for Ena because some files weren't playing properly. Gathered GPA data for the past 10 years for Cindy. Turned in my timesheet for last month. Installed bunches of Mac software updates. Helped a student disinfect Netsky.C from her laptop computer. Dinner at home with Patrick: Linguine with black olive and onion red sauce. Voted our absentee ballots.

Tue Mar 2, 2004

Linkchecking. Finished disinfecting yesterday's computer. Took about 6 hours to remove Netsky.C worm from another student's computer. Lunch with Joel at You See Sushi. Installed Don't Panic for James on the shared office laptop. Reconfigured Retrospect to see Cindy's computer, couldn't get it to see Melissa's, though. Reinstalled Sophos for Melissa and Cindy. Fixed Course Web Site links from accidentally disappearing from the current students page. Updated current students news and calendar. Dinner at home with Patrick: roast chicken a la Julia Child, baked potato with cheese and scallions, salad. Patrick got 2 of his inoculations today from Kaiser: typhoid and polio. Read A List Apart 171 and 172 (boring, I thought).

Wed Mar 3, 2004

Melissa was unable to log in today due to the changes I made yesterday (but I tested her login afterwards and it still worked?) Removed her from the domain, added her back, logged in as local admin and ensured correct DNS and WINS settings were there, now her computer is fine. Digital housekeeping (deleting files we don't need) to keep our backup process optimized. Wrote up new, comprehensive instructions for students about the recent computer viruses. Tinkered with firewalls and Sophos and Retrospect, trying to get them to all work together. Dinner at home with Patrick: chicken salad, biscuits.

Thu Mar 4, 2004

Breakfast: oatmeal. 8:30 am bus showed up at 8:45. I got on and the driver told me I had to get off the bus because it wasn't working right. It smelled funny inside and there was a panel in the back of the bus that was removed. Ended up just catching the 8:50 bus, so it took me about 45 minutes to get to work. Coded the instructions I wrote yesterday into Web pages, which took most of the day. Helped James with his monitor going out on him, helped Cindy remember the guest login for our network, helped Debrah with a problem with the mail vacation message service (which initiated her request but didn't complete it successfully—the .forwardtemp file hadn't replaced the original and the .vacation.db file was corrupted), helped Chris with a printing problem with some CAD browser plug-in. Said hello to Matt, who wires the fire alarm boxes in the building. Chatted with Leandro about my phone not working. He said he would stop by next week. Helped Diane N troubleshoot a problem with her computer—she gets an error message when connecting through her dialup connection. I discovered that my data line had gone dead—must call Mike R about that. Grr! Helped Joel with the internship interviews today. Bought Panda Express for Joel coz he was stuck shepherding the interview process. Lunch at desk by myself: Panda Express. My fortune: You have executive ability. Discovered problems with the wireless access points on MSB1 but when I stopped to say hello to Kirk H he told me that ENS was installing a new WAP and that was probably causing problems. Dinner at Eric's Restaurant with Patrick: sizzling rice soup, mu shu pork, walnut prawns, steamed rice, tea. Did they always use tortillas for mu shu? That's not right, and I was quite disappointed that they would pull such a stunt. Walnut prawns were as delicious as ever—best in the city, as far as we know. Patrick's fortune: The superior man thinks of virtue; the small man thinks of comfort. 5 12 22 38 42 27. My fortune: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. 6 18 25 36 41 14.

Fri Mar 5, 2004

I dreamt last night I played a computer version of Wheel of Fortune with my brother, my sister, and my cousins Johnson and Corinna. It was a lot of fun! Breakfast: leftover biscuits with butter and cherry jam. Linkchecking. In particular, cleaned up old links from before the redesign on Monday—thanks especially to Julie Bernstein for ensuring that redirects were in place! Way to go, Julie! Cleaned up other permanently moved links for ( now points to Updated current students news and calendar. Verified redirects for and made live the new computer security guide I wrote 2 days ago in the computer services section of the current students page. Sent announcements. Updated a listserv for Cindy. Updated current students news and calendar again—downtime notice for WebCT. Incorporated new data in a spreadsheet for Cindy. Dinner at Jitra with Patrick: bbq chicken, pad ginger with pork, rice, hot tea for me, Thai iced tea for Patrick.

Sat Mar 6, 2004

House chores and cleaning all day: dishes, scraped the stovetop, dusting, vacuuming, changed a light bulb, grocery shopping at Safeway on Taraval, archived documents, eliminated paperwork. Patrick did laundry and cleaned the bathroom walls and ceiling then left early to spend the afternoon with Aaron. Joel made an emergency call from Fresno—the laptop wasn't working. But he and Mitra figured things out and got it working on their own about the same time he reached me. Snack at Escape From New York Pizza: mushroom slice: $2.75. Movie at Castro Theatre with Aaron and Patrick ($10.33 each): The Adventure of Iron Pussy, part of the NAATA's 22nd SF International Asian American Film Festival. The film had some very funny parts and the music was surprisingly good. The star and co-director of the film was there to talk about the film, but we didn't stay. Aaron went home, Patrick and I had cocoa at Tully's, then went home. Attempted to catch up on e-mail. Upgraded Sophos anti-virus to 3.79 on all home computers. Did linkchecking for home websites. Archived money documents. Prepared for filing my tax return.

Sun Mar 7, 2004

Did more catching up on e-mail. Lunch at Spoons in Sunnyvale with Lani, Rob, Jeremy, Matthew, Alex, Kristy-Ann, and her husband Patrick. I had chicken tacos, Jeremy had grilled cheese sandwiches, Matthew had a quesadilla. I don't remember what everyone else ate. I helped Jeremy remove an eyelash which had found its way into his eye. Drove back to Lani and Rob's place. Helped them clean out their garage getting rid of old toys and cardboard boxes and things they no longer needed or wanted. Helped Rob build a new Caterpillar bicycle for Jeremy. A bunch of the neighborhood kids came over to play: Gracie, Drew, Christopher, and more. Around 4:30 pm I left to buy gas and get a car wash, then met up with Glenn and Bill at Bill's place in ?. He gave me a tour of his place, and we chatted a while in his living room before driving to Ed Wodzienski's place in (South San Jose?). (Did I spell Ed's name right?) Ed was throwing his annual (or sometimes biannual?) Borland Mongolian fire pot party which celebrates a cherished recipe from the Borland cafeteria incorporating noodles, vegetables, various sauces, and cooked-for-4-hours chicken. I saw Matt Arnold again—it had been about a decade the last time I saw him. The party was: Ed, Daniel, Ed's mom and dad, Glenn, Bill, Charlie, R.J., Leticia (Lety), Tom, Cricket, me, and one or two others whose names I missed. Glenn got an allergic reaction from the 2 kitty cats that also attended the party, so we left before we could enjoy the famous liquid nitrogen ice cream event, but I had a great time nonetheless. Got home around 10:40 pm—a fine day.

Mon Mar 8, 2004

Breakfast: oatmeal with brown sugar and fresh banana. Checked on backup tapes and schedules. Made live the academic calendar for 2004-2005. Updated current students news and calendar. Linkchecking. Got reports from Joel on how the laptop didn't behave properly on his outreach trip to Fresno. Put together the RFO for our student lounge WAP. Lunch at Chow with Patrick, Ena, and Melissa. I had a cobb salad. Everyone else got the sandwich special: Hawaiian tuna and fries (Ena, Melissa) or salad (Patrick). About $10 each. Confirmed with Cindy that she had the data she requested from me last week. Updated computing requirements chart for the SCS meeting tomorrow. Updated faculty page with new hires. Coded new stories for the home page, prepped them for meeting with Susie. Prepped Debrah's computer for repartitioning (backup and reinstall PartitionMagic). Met with Susie. Dinner at home with Patrick: basil garlic sausage with four cheese red sauce and yellow bell peppers over fusilli, bread. Watched Hero (2002) on DVD. Despite a lack of logic in some plot lines, it's a very good film. The cinematography is particularly pleasing to watch—a graceful fluidity is present in practically every scene. Go see it! Added to my hosts file to get rid of Flash ads on imdb.

Tue Mar 9, 2004

Licensing and Examinations changes for Cindy. Linkchecking. Upgraded Debrah's computer from Office 2000 to Office XP, removed spyware. Lunch with Joel at Burgermeister. We talked about his Apple Store customer service horror story, which reminded me a lot of his passport and passport photo customer service horror story from a weekend or two ago. Made changes to the waiting list reply form for James—should be able to complete them tomorrow. Uninstalled RealPlayer, reinstalled sound drivers, reinstalled RealPlayer, removed spyware, ran ScanDisk for Ena. Fixed partition issues with Debrah's computer, ran ScanDisk. Dinner at home with Patrick: beef with broccoli. Watched The Simpsons from last Sunday night—I thought it was very funny, but it was too political for Patrick's tastes. Caught up on blogs. Read Wired 12.03 online. Shopped for an alternative to Trillian, which has been crashing a lot on my work and home computers (ever since they were upgraded to Win XP).

Wed Mar 10, 2004

Breakfast: brown sugar, cinnamon, bananas oatmeal. Updated a listserv list for Amy Y and Jannie Y. PartitionMagic problems with Debrah's computer. Put up a regalia order form for Joel. Linkchecking. Got some data from the graduate students database for Cindy. Lunch with Joel and Ena at Tasty Curry. It was our first time there. We had chicken tikka masala, rice with chicken, potatoes and peas, naan, and pon. The food was good, but the clientele made me feel as though I needed to shower. Coded the February 2004 Update from the Dean, Susie approved it, I made it live. Tested, tested, tested my waiting list reply form. More work with Debrah's computer—done now. Removed bad RealPlayer reg keys from Ena's computer. Tried taking more photos of the IRC but students in there didn't want to be on film so I'll go back another time. Set up a new shortcut redirect for James to use in an outgoing letter to applicants. Provided instructions to Cindy and front office staff on how to rotate their new flat panel monitors. Sent Debrah a notice about Office being upgraded from 2000 to XP on her computer. Reviewed and replied to Kirk H's proposed computer requirements for 2004. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover beef with broccoli over rice. Changed a light switch in the bathroom which had gone funky. Balanced the checkbooks. Got a nice thank you card from Dianne for the tip table cards I made her.

Thu Mar 11, 2004

Breakfast: oatmeal. Gathered more student data for Cindy. Put in more changes to the Licensing and Exams section for Cindy. Confirmed with Hubert that he received my RFO. Left a message for a student with a problem connecting to the Internet. Link checking. Updated virus definitions on the shared laptop. In Eudora (I'm using, after checking mail I'll sometimes see a message in the Task Status pane that says "waiting for new messages to display." Sometimes there's a particularly long delay, and I never understood why. Erik W gave me the answer: In Tools > Options > Background Tasks, you can set the number of seconds of inactivity before Eudora will display the messages. The default is 20. Monthly meeting with Cindy. Computer support coordinator meeting. Set up a new listserv for Chris C. Worked on the info for OSACA staff web page. Dinner at Four Season with Patrick: The Szechuan—not spicy (except for the hot and sour soup, which was already prepared): potstickers, hot and sour soup, gung po chicken, mongolian beef, steamed rice. Yummy! My fortune: Being faithful to a trust brings its own reward. Patrick's fortune: Simplicity and clarity should be your theme in dress.

Fri Mar 12, 2004

Oatmeal for breakfast. Telecommute day. Linkchecking. Set up a script to automatically archive our live website then give me a 5 day window to download the 29 MB archive file to my work computer then automatically delete the archive file. Read up on rewrites so I can redirect all requests of to Found the answer from Sun818 on WebmasterWorld in a post on Dec 27, 2002. Will try late at night when traffic is low. Also prepared inserting htaccess code to forbid common exploits—this will hopefully clean up the error logs too. Made Licensure and Examinations live for Cindy. Ran linkcheck on the live site, verified that bookmarks to the old Board Exams and Licensure section redirect properly. Fixed links to UCSF Today which gave 404 errors to the linkchecker even though the page would load. Tried again to figure out how to connect to server shares with VPN - was unsuccessful, but I have some things to try. Dinner at home with Patrick: roast chicken, corn on the cob, bread. Watched a DVD. Patrick went to bed, and around midnight I put in the redirects on the live site. They seem to work just fine. Hooray!

Sat Mar 13, 2004

Breakfast: bagel and cream cheese, scrambled eggs, bacon. I worked on Lodestar Issue 9 while Patrick went to the Castro to return a video and do Chinese homework at Sweet Inspirations. Ate navel oranges for a snack. Visited Julianne and Danae in East Palo Alto, whom we hadn't seen since August 17, 2002. We finally get to meet Gwen and Hoover and the kitty cat. I like how they've put together their place—it's obvious a lot of love went into it. All kinds of baby toys everywhere, a mini treehouse in front, tasteful color combinations on the walls, lots of framed photos on the walls, carefully chosen pieces of furniture—mostly Ikea, which is just down the block, but also a lot of great antiques and an upright piano in the bungalow. They were in the process of building a playhouse and swing set for Gwen and the neighbors' kid Fiona and other kids who might come over to play. Dinner with them at Nola's: We got there a few minutes early so we started with drinks in the bar then moved to a table downstairs in the courtyard. We started dinner with N.O.La Frites for the table (crispy sweet potato fries and house fries, spicy chipotle aioli and roasted tomato ketchup, $5.25). I had a small Bubba Caesar (garlic, lemon, parmesan, Creole croutons, $5.00). Patrick had Seafood N.O.La Gumbo (holy trinity, Cajun rice, dark mahogany roux). I had Flier's Famous Skirt Steak (Tony's teriyaki-marinated Bradley Ranch skirt steak, garlic mashed potatoes, crispy onion strings, grilled vegetables, $16.95). Patrick had the blackened catfish (chipotle mashed potatoes, blue lake beans, crawfish beurre blanc, $15.75). Julianne had Ya Ca Mein Salad no chicken (Napa cabbage, romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, spicy cashews, julienne vegetables, chow mein noodles, sesame-ginger vinagrette, $9.95). Danae had Grilled Portabello Mushroom Tostada (creole slaw, black beans, cheddar, salsa, sour cream, avocado vinaigrette, $10.95). We had a great time talking about work and not work. Patrick and I were pleased—great food, great atmosphere, and great company. Went home, Patrick fell asleep in the car, I cleaned the shower.

Sun Mar 14, 2004

Breakfast: cheddar mushroom tostada scramble with salsa and cream cheese. Patrick went to the language lab. I stayed home and attempted to install the ATI Remote Wonder II which we had received free from a coupon included with the graphics card I bought a few months ago. The installation wouldn't work—the drivers wouldn't recognize the device. Grrr! Worked on Lodestar: coded all the poetry, edited 4 pieces of fiction, coded 1 fiction piece. Napped. Dinner at home with Patrick: yellow curry chicken. Read Chris De Lay's blog. Laughed myself to tears reading the FAQ.

Mon Mar 15, 2004

Oatmeal for breakfast. I learned this morning what the Spinning Pizza of Death is. Tres amusant! Read Chatted with Chris about computer requirements and USB flash drives. Worked on computer reqs specs. Lunch with Joel at Pancho's. Melissa went along for the fun of it, and she and I learned from Joel what a soul patch was. After lunch, Joel got passport photos taken at Star Photo. Tested the waiting list form again. Met with Susie. Changes to the funding page. Created a funding archive page. Updated about 6 other pages due to changes in our NIH funding claims. Updated the IRC photo with a wider angle shot suggested by Bob Day, sent that out for review. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover yellow curry chicken, which I didn't eat much of. Coded Lodestar: 4 stories and a 10-page set of art pieces—the first time we're doing art in Lodestar. Last piece left is a short 10-page play. Then the main page. Hopefully all will be done before the weekend.

Tue Mar 16, 2004

Finished my testing of the waiting list reply form, pushed the changes live, sent it to James for review. Linkchecking. The Source has redesigned its website. Updated Web calendars for current, entering, and prospective students. Dropped off old phones for Eamon. Started going through other junk in my office of which I need to get rid. Spoke with Hubert because an order arrived from CDW-G which wasn't the right part—they sent me an extra power injector instead of a dipole antenna for our wireless access point which had arrived yesterday (or was it Thursday?). Lunch with Joel at You See Sushi. For the first time I had Meal C, which is what Joel usually gets. It's a lot more than I'm used to with Meal A or B which is all sushi. Meal C is teriyaki chicken, side salad, 3 pieces of California roll, ginger, wasabi, rice. I ate just about everything and later felt like it was too much. Updated the associate deans page for Susie. Backed up Ena's computer in preparation for a clean install of Windows XP. Helped Chris adjust the computer in the student lounge—the joint where the keyboard tray attaches to the arm had been loosening up. We tightened it and it seems fine now. Inspected the same computer to find a resolution to the problem of the power adapter brick just hanging loose on the floor. The wall-mounted-computer setup is all clean except for this power brick from the monitor lying on the floor, so I'm gonna find a way to secure it to the wall and make it more aesthetically pleasing. Ensured Office Updates were installed for Cindy, Ena, Debrah, Melissa, and myself. Set up a shortcut for Cindy to one of our old databases. Placed 2 orders for computer supplies. Dinner at home with Patrick: boneless sage pork chops, red potatoes, asparagus, garlic batard. Tried shopping online for clothes but couldn't find things I wanted in my size. Chatted with Travis on IM. Coded the drama piece, sent it to Patrick for review.

Wed Mar 17, 2004

Organized small hardware parts. Updated print versions of secret documents. Updated our hardware inventory chart. Recorded some hardware serial numbers that were missing. Linkchecking. Joel brought in St. Patrick's Day cookies and candies wrapped in a festive cellophane bag. Small change to the BSIC page. Small updates to the computer security section. Added names to a listserv for Chris C. Chatted with Chris C about schoolwide computer support issues. Filed receipts. Lunch with Joel, Melissa, and Ena: Milberry Union food court. I got Panda Express; Joel, Melissa, and Ena got Mexican food at Carmelina's. My fortune: You have an ability to sense and know higher truth. Upgraded Ena's computer from Win 2000 to Win XP. Met with James to discuss forthcoming schedule and needs for admissions Web stuff. Worked late getting Ena's computer working. Had trouble with PharmAdMIT 2004 which would let me run it as admin but not logged in as Ena. I logged in as admin and manually applied permissions for her, but it still didn't work. Took the 8:30 PM bus home. Bus has been good (on time) lately. Today it was a few minutes late, but it was no big deal. Dinner at home by myself: leftovers from last night. Patrick went to a reading for Karl Soehnlein and Tennessee Jones at the library this evening. Coded the last bits of Lodestar except for the home page. Lately I've been getting an error message whenever I try to click a PLAY button from Shoutcast: "Internet Explorer cannot download ...pls?rn=6807&file=filename.pls from Internet Explorer was not able to open this Internet site. The requested site is either unavailable or cannot be found. Please try again later." This problem has been happening for several days. Further testing revealed that the problem does not happen for me at work and that the problem does not happen in Netscape 7.1. There's a known patch (Q816868) but I already have it installed and attempting to reinstall it gives this error: "This update requires Internet Explorer 6.0 Service Pack 1 to be installed. (OK)" but I see in the About box that SP1—and Q816868—are both already installed. Found the answer on and resolved it by unchecking "Do not save encrypted pages to disk" in Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Security.

Thu Mar 18, 2004

Rebooted one of Chris's computers to force Sophos to update—worked. Linkchecking. Investigated VPN issues. Made live small changes to Licensure pages for Cindy. Checked in with Ena about her Win XP upgrade—all is well for the most part. I forgot to set up printers and restore bookmarks in Netscape—which I fixed today. A few other small problems remain—I spent more time on them but couldn't resolve them all. They'll have to wait until next week. Chris C's laptop: ensured virus defs were up to date, scanned for viruses. Backed up Kristina's computer in preparation for her Win XP upgrade today. Used Google Local (beta) for the first time today. I don't know when it was released, but within about a minute I knew it was gold. It's intuitive, pretty accurate (from a few quick searches I did), and fast. Google does it again! Today was a bunch of problems that I couldn't get fixed. One was Chris C's laptop—he brought it in for a backup, but I couldn't get it connected so that the server could see it. I tried direct IP but Retrospect's cursor just spun and spun—wouldn't recognize it. Disabling McAfee firewall did not help. I thought I'd try joining it to our domain, but the button to join a domain was grayed out and I could not figure out how to enable it. (Yes, it's Win XP Pro, not Win XP Home.) Another problem was PharmAdMIT 2004 for Ena—double-clicking it gives a beep from the speakers and nothing else. When I'm logged in with admin rights on her computer, it works fine, so I know it's a rights issue. But I manually assigned her rights to the entire folder and that did not resolve it. Another problem on Ena's computer: When attempting to print to a network printer, the following error message appears: "A policy is in effect on your computer which prevents you from connecting to this print queue." Q319939 solved it for me—I disabled "Point and Print Restrictions" in gpedit.msc > User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Printers. I was also successful at resolving a problem I could not figure out since August 18, 2003. PROBLEM: After upgrading a computer from Windows 2000 Workstation to Windows XP Pro Workstation, it no longer appears in the Sophos Anti-Virus Administration tool called SAVAdmin. Sophos tech support and I went back and forth on the issue and they could not figure it out. Eventually, they said I needed to consult with Microsoft (which I never did do because Microsoft would likely refer me back to Sophos saying they don't why Sophos programmers wrote their code so that it wouldn't work after upgrading to Windows XP). Today while digging for an answer, I stumbled across /Security/Win_Security/Q_20782059.html at which helped me resolve the problem. Q_20381634 didn't have the complete solution, but it gave me the idea to compare the registry key mentioned in it with that of a computer where it was working, and that gave me the answer. Michele M at Sophos came very close to giving me the right answer, but she didn't. She referred me to the correct registry key, but she neglected to tell me what permissions for what object name were required on it. She said to me in e-mail on October 20, 2003, "To allow SAVAdmin access, grant the relevant permissions to the user running SAVAmin on this key and all child keys." (Why couldn't she tell me what the "relevant permissions" were? My guess is that she simply didn't know.) SOLUTION: On the computer that no longer appears in SAVAdmin, log in with administrator rights. Open regedt32.exe. Select the key for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ SecurePipeServers \ winreg. Choose Edit > Permissions. Add the object name called LOCAL SERVICE, setting the permissions on it to Allow Read. Go to SAVAdmin and refresh—the problem computer should now report data as expected. Student Diane N dropped off her computer—she uses PacBell dialup and all websites work fine for her except those in the domain—weird! Hosts file was normal, but she had 2 hosts files—one called hosts (which was empty) and another called Hosts (which was normal— I deleted the empty one, problem still remains. The problem also remains even after disabling McAfee firewall. Next week I'll install DUN settings for my ISP Sonic and see if it's specific to PacBell. I'm guessing it's her computer, though. It's Win 98, and when I ran Ad-Aware it blue-screened with an error in VXM VMM(1). Ran scanreg /fix and scandisk /autofix—problem still happens. Dinner with Patrick and Melissa at San Tung. We all had something to celebrate. Patrick found out he got accepted to the SFSU MA program in TESOL—Teaching English as a SecOnd Language. Melissa celebrated the end of the admissions cycle. I celebrated my victory over SAVAdmin. We ordered steamed dumplings, breaded fish chunks (I can't remember the name of the dish), black bean sauce noodles with five spice cow, chicken with green string beans, rice. Tea and water all around. Patrick had a bottle of Tsing Tao. Everything was great except the fish chunks were spicy even though the menu did not indicate that it was. I complained but our server seemed reluctant to repair the problem. He even brought us the menu thinking that there was a chili pepper symbol next to the item's name, but it simply enabled us to prove to him that he was wrong. I told him to just bring us the dish again—not spicy—and we'll pay for it. He left, and we all promptly agreed we would never return to San Tung (415-242-0828,1031 Irving Street). My fortune: You will meet an important person who will help you advance professsionally. Melissa's fortune: Go with your instincts in both business and romance. Patrick's fortune: Confucius says: To err is human, to rub it in is divine! After we got home, Patrick went to bed and I coded more of Lodestar.

Fri Mar 19, 2004

Updated our computer security guide with more security recommendations. Linkchecking. Created list of admissions section URLs for James. Studied FERPA and SB1386. Realized that we need to check with Jina on how she collects and handles opt-out info. Best if she can hand off that data to us. Worked on the student directory: fixed breadcrumbs, created more privacy pages.

Sat Mar 20, 2004

Cleaned the shower. Brunch in the back patio at Zazie: Eggs Italie (tomatoes and basil) with potatoes and toast for me; Un, Deux, Trois (one buttermilk pancake, two eggs, three pieces of bacon) for Patrick; large orange juices for both. Bought a new cutting board and split wire loom at Cole Hardware. At home, installed some of the wire loom to organize cables leading to Patrick's computer. Patrick and I spent all day at home working on Lodestar, during which I got a lot of practice using the Distort tool in Photoshop to create a 3-D image of a book. Here's how I learned you should do this: scan the cover, spine, and top or bottom separately. Arrange them on separate layers in Photoshop so that they all have one corner touching. Choose a layer, select all, then use the Edit > Transform > Distort tool, set the proxy (anchor) to the common corner, then grab lines only—not the handles—to distort (skew, really) the layer. Repeat for each of the layers. For my image, the book cover had a proxy of 1 and a vertical skew of -15 degrees. The spine had a proxy of 9 and a vertical skew of +15 degrees. The top I moved manually into place, but the transformation was: proxy of 7, width 104%, height 38.9%, -15.2 degrees, horizontal skew of 60 degrees, vertical skew of 0 degrees. Snacked on popcorn. Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp and organic refried black bean quesadillas with corn and yellow bell peppers. Been listening to the Shoutcast stream of lately.

Sun Mar 21, 2004

Brunch with Bill and Kevin at Blue. Kevin and I each had the cheese and bacon croissant sandwich with loose cheesy hash browns. Bill had the ?. Patrick had eggs benedict. Afterwards we walked along Castro Street, looking for clothes that fit us or old CDs to fill holes in our collections (Wham!, Yaz, Prince). Chatted with Jesse at All American Boy, then later with Adrian at Body. Didn't buy anything. At a realtor window, we saw a posting for a 293-square-foot studio in Soma for $199,999 (!). Such crazy times we live in! Bill and Kevin took off, and Patrick and I went to Safevay for groceries. Back at home, Patrick and I finished up the new issue of Lodestar Quarterly and made it live. I particularly like David Caudle's short, funny play: Feet of Clay. Reripped some Bjork CDs because my backup software failed to bring some files back from the dead: "The system cannot find the file specified." Organized files on my computer. Did my taxes. Dinner at home with Patrick: tacos, Spanish rice. Patrick made Black Forest Creme Brulee for tomorrow. Watched Simpsons.

Mon Mar 22, 2004

Made live home page changes for Instructional Facilities. Made spring schedules live, sent out notices. Learned what SKU stands for (or means) in reference to ordering products—stock-keeping unit. Tried to figure out educational pricing for Adobe products—it's very confusing. So much so that I had put off a purchase for over 6 months because I couldn't figure it out. Is anyone from Adobe reading my journal? Installed a new Wheel Mouse Optical for Ena, whose mouse went bad last week. Lunch with Melissa at Minh Tri—noodle soups, since it was a rather cold day today. Chris C's laptop: still unsuccessful getting it joined to the domain. Organized the kitchen drawer and the workroom cabinets with plastic organizer boxes from Cyberguys. Dinner at home with Patrick: chow mein noodles with asparagus and basil. Black forest creme brulee for dessert! It's divine! Shopped after-winter sales online, bought some clothes for me and Patrick at The Gap and Macy's. My brother-in-law Rob suggested I try Skype, an Internet telephony product made by the people who made Kazaa. After reading a number of mostly positive reviews and deciding I was going to try it out, I had to hunt down headphones with a mic, but I finally found a pair and then downloaded and installed the software and registered under the username frankfarm. Got Rob's contact info from the directory. And that's it. Nothing happened since Rob wasn't online and I didn't know anyone else who had it installed. I thought I could try this out with my pal Chris De Lay in Honolulu, but I don't know if he even owns a computer with Windows. I can't try it with Tina in San Diego coz she's still on dialup and I'm not sure if she'd be willing to deal with the typical hassle that Internet telephony is. Anyhow, if you wanna try it out, give me a ring. As mentioned on March 14, the ATI Remote Wonder II wouldn't work for me, so I sent a request for help to ATI.

Tue Mar 23, 2004

8:08 am bus didn't show up this morning. Oatmeal for breakfast. Student computing committee meeting. Staff meeting. Link checking. Lots of small Web updates: a schedule update and a schedule link for Debrah, license section updates for Cindy, put the placement interviews event on the calendar for Joel. Reviewed and replied to Ken Lem's requisite standards document. Did some electronic housekeeping—getting rid of files that were unnecessary. Attended an Apple support meeting where I learned lots of nifty keyboard shortcuts in Panther such as > console and target disk mode ( ). Installed a USB 2.0 card in my computer. Waited 35 minutes for a bus this evening. Dinner at home with Patrick: mushroom chicken, sweet potatoes, asparagus. Watched Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors 13 from recorded broadcast TV. Successfully installed the Remote Wonder II after manually updating the driver. ATI technical support was no help! Shopped for inexpensive headsets with microphones for use with Skype. Completed my tax returns.

Wed Mar 24, 2004

Oatmeal for breakfast. Fire alarm drill this morning - uneventful. Used the Channel Mixer feature in Photoshop for the first time ever to change a grayscale (mostly black) logo to dark blue for Cindy. Cleaned up files I no longer needed. Created then pushed live a new stylesheet to fix two minor problems for users of the Safari Web browser. Lunch at desk by myself: leftover chow mein. Spent the rest of the day trying to figure out a problem with a student's laptop. It's unable to connect to any Web site in the domain and I can't figure out why. The hosts file showed nothing interesting, and when I searched for "" in the registry, I got fatal exception 0e errors in VxD VCACHE. I repaired the registry using the DOS version of scanreg and then was able to successfully search the entire registry without BSODing, but a subsequent scan of viruses gave another fatal exception 0e error in VxD VMM. Stopped at Radio Shack on Market Street to pick up some audio cables. Dinner at Thailand Restaurant with Patrick and Erick: shrimp rolls and vegetable rolls, beef curry, chicken pad thai, basil chicken. After dinner, we went to a reading at Magnet by Tom Dolby, author of The Trouble Boy. He read from chapter 1, and it went well. The writing is modern urban pop fiction, and of typical quality for that genre. The best part about the reading was that it was short. At home, installed audio cables to enable me to hear both computers at the same time and use a headset with microphone on one of them.

Thu Mar 25, 2004

Recreated backup set data for last night's problem backup. Returned an item to and ordered new items from Cyberguys - mounting hardware and computer stuff. Ran a verify on last night's backup tape. Wrote up a short tutorial for Susie on how to gather statistics, posted it to our Web site. Updates for Susie regarding NIH funding. Updated current students news. Researched P3P and started a proposed page for a privacy policy. Tried placing an order for storage containers on a Yahoo! store, but I clicked to send my order and the browser icon spun and spun and eventually gave me an error page. I gave up for fear of placing two orders and creating a mess, then tried updating my Yahoo! Wallet—same problem. Joel asked me earlier today what the problem was with the Web but within a few seconds he realized it was just Yahoo! he was visiting that was really slow. Will Yahoo!s problems make the news headlines? I, for one, am curious. A few days ago I finished reading Cryptonomicon, which I had been doing during my bus commute pretty consistently since December 17. It's a very long book—1168 pages in the mass-market paperback. Though sometimes tedious and very occasionally hard to believe, I liked the story and especially Neal Stephenson's artful writing. I recommend it if you have about 50 minutes of reading time every weekday for about 3 months. Stopped at Radio Shack for another y-cable. Stopped at Arizmendi Bakery for a loaf of bread. Stopped at Sunset Bakery for an eclair and a chocolate muffin. Bus 66 didn't show up this evening. I must've waited over 20 minutes starting around 5:30 PM. Took a 43 bus to Forest Hill, then an L train home. Dos tacos for dinner. Patrick was away at another reading. Surfed the web. I love! Discovered what Boy Butter was—interesting. Read a little of Had a conversation with Joel by e-mail.

Fri Mar 26, 2004

Breakfast with Patrick: eclair and chocolate muffin from Sunset Bakery. Today is a holiday for me—thank Cesar Chavez! Cut my hair, cleaned, organized stuff. Pizza for lunch. Dinner: Hong Kong style chow mein with shrimp. Watched the TV version of The Lion King. Neither Patrick nor I had seen it before. It was awful! Roger Ebert: How could you not see that film's flaws for what they were? I rolled my eyes and laughed—at the filmmakers—when the land magically turned green at the end. No wonder Disney stockholders are bitter. I had no idea!

Sat Mar 27, 2004

Brunch with Patrick at Orphan Andy's. Returned an item that didn't work out at Radio Shack. Ran in to Jesse on his way to work, said hello-goodbye. Stopped for tea at Sweet Inspiration. I read from Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver while Patrick did Mandarin studies, translating a letter he received from one of the teachers he'll be meeting on his trip. I sent this message to HP at 1:06 PM Pacific today regarding my desire to recycle an HP ScanJet 5pse: ==begin== Can it be arranged to pick up on a certain day when I'm home? Friday, April 9 will work for me, for example. Or, can I drop it off somewhere close by to me? This process seems very easy except for the pickup part in situations where someone isn't always home. Thanks for providing this service! ==end== but after the form was sent I got an error message: "Request was not sent due to the following error: Connection failed" in addition to ==begin== custom quote request accepted—Your custom quote request has been successfully entered and accepted. Within one week you will be contacted by phone or email to discuss your request in detail or to reply to your question. If you are not contacted within this time, please contact HP by emailing or by calling 1-888-485-1849. ==end==. Replaced the order I attempted 2 days ago after confirming that my credit card hadn't been charged. Fixed my bookmarks page to no longer use floats because they didn't work well all the time. (IE6 sometimes wouldn't display the floated content depending on the size of the browser window. It's not as though there wasn't enough space—the content simply didn't show up anywhere on the page.) Voted my ballots in the forthcoming Adobe stockholder's meeting. Did computer backups. Napped. Dinner at home by myself while Patrick went to a play with Kenny. Ramen with baby bok choy and age globes, leftover Spanish rice. Did a lot of reading on the Web—mostly Web design stuff. Started with simplebits, then happycog, then read Chapter 3 of Taking Your Talent to the Web by Zeldman, then read digital-web, then saila, then zeldman. Dean Edwards ( is doing some very interesting work ("IE7," which I put in quotes coz I don't like his name for it). Read rumors about the future of IE on wininsider. And before all of this, I spent some money at VisiBone where Bob Stein is continuing to do simply blow-me-away wonderful work. His brand new spiral-bound Card Collection is a fantastic deal—I immediately bought one for home and one for work. Read some on pirated-sites, then cameronmoll. Discovered something very amusing when searching Google on "miserable failure." Read about Googlebombing on BBC and searchenginewatch. Read alistapart, evolt.

Sun Mar 28, 2004

Breakfast at home with Patrick, Kevin, and Travis: fruit salad (asian pear, pitted cherries, orange, pear, banana in a mint-honey-lime dressing), sour cream cinnamon coffee cake with walnuts, Odwalla tangerine juice, PJ's coffee. It was Patrick's first time making coffee cake, and he did a splendid job with everything. All four of us went to the Art Deco exhibit at the Legion of Honor, where Stacey joined us. It was simply amazing. There was so much stuff to see, and so much of it just brought a smile to my face. I felt like I was smiling the whole time. I want to go back again. Things we saw: beaded and sequined flapper-era dresses by Chanel and others, coffee and tea sets, a handbag, a cigarette case, a men's travel case filled with brushes and combs and small flasks for booze, a cigarette lighter, an ice crusher in the shape of a gun, a meat slicer, a giant urn made of cast iron, a weird-but-cool boxy chandelier made out of silver tubes, a grand foyer from the Strand Palace hotel in London, old film showing Josephine Baker dancing topless, many paintings, textiles, rugs, desks, vanities, entertainment centers, cabinets, an Indian canopy bed made from silver-covered wood, all kinds of jewelry, tables and chairs, Man Ray and other photography, sculptures, travel posters, radios, cameras, a Cord 812 Phaeton car (kinda like the car in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen but this was the real deal), and—finally—a gift shop. There's a preview of the exhibit at as well as pretty computer desktop wallpaper. After the museum, we got lunch at a restaurant on Clement called Bill's Place—a diner (415-221-5262, 2315 Clement St). We sat on the back patio enjoying the warm, clear day and the relaxing sounds of the faux waterfall feasting on burgers. We dropped Stacey off at her car, then the four of us went back home for a pit stop, then back out again to the Castro for a stroll and some Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Dinner at home with Patrick: ?

Mon Mar 29, 2004

Ena showed up to work today with her hair in cornrows! It looks fantastic, but she says it hurts her head and that'll be the case for awhile. Chatted with Bill Gayle, then with Richard Trott about our student directory on the Web project. Google has a new look! Learned about Google numrange searches at—cool! Lunch with Joel at Beijing on Irving. My fortune: Don't let doubt and suspicion bar your progress. Joel's fortune: You are deeply attached to your family and home. Shopped for a new fax machine for the office. Fixed links broken by SAA. Did research on how to transform our supplemental application process to electronic fill-in forms. It really, really is bad that Acrobat Reader can't save form data. I would prefer to stick with Adobe apps for this project, but for us, since our application is so long, the deal-breaker is that Reader won't save form data. Instead, I'm building fill-in forms in Microsoft Word. I say yuk to that because I don't have the control over layout I would in PageMaker or InDesign, but the bright side is that whatever form controls I put in are supported by Visual Basic which gives me plenty of interaction (validation) control. And there's no problem with saving form data in Word like there is with Acrobat Reader (aka Adobe Reader). There's something new coming down the pike at Adobe called Adobe Designer which addresses electronic forms in a new way. I signed up for the beta today specifically because of this feasibility study for our supp app. Adobe's March 8, 2004 press release claims that Designer will go gold "in mid 2004" but that means only 3 months for beta testing? I'm no program manager, but I think that's just plain not long enough. Northwest-Chinese-American dinner at home with Patrick: pan-fried salmon, fried Chinese broccoli and baby bok choy, battered french fries. Explained to Chris De Lay in e-mail what IWSN means—I Wouldn't Say No. Headphones arrived today from Cyberguys, so we played with Skype a bit. It works (it works!)—at first there was a noticeable delay, but it got better after a short while. We still haven't gotten calls from anyone else, though. If you're reading here and want to try it, let's set up a time, okay? Oh, we also got 2 organizer boxes from Cyberguys, so I dumped out some desk drawers and got junk all tidy. Chatted with BK today, told him we'd try to stop by later in the week. He'd just gotten back from Portland to visit his biological brother for the first time. Wow!

Tue Mar 30, 2004

Breakfast: fresh fruit salad (similar to Sunday, March 28). Updated current students news and calendar. Updated schedules on the Web for Debrah. Link checking. Leftovers for lunch. Discovered that the waitress from yesterday gave us some of the wrong food. Instead of my broccoli beef, I got some other table's spicy tofu leftovers and some thick, thick sauce. Oh, well. Worked on the MS Word electronic form document, gave an early preview to James. There are still a lot of questions about whether we can go all-electronic, so he'll ponder for a bit and we'll talk again. Organized office supplies in the workroom cabinet. Tried out Skype with Rob—it works great! Got a mail shipment from The Gap—my first new clothes in a long time. There was a sale at the end of the season, so I got 2 sweaters, 1 heavy long-sleeve T, and 1 short-sleeve T. Patrick got a short-sleeve T. Joel sent me a thank you card for the knitting book and measuring spoons I got him last month just coz he's the nicest. Dinner at home with Patrick: french fries, baked chicken. Went to the Punch Line Comedy Club (415-596-6448, 444 Battery Street) because Tony got 10 free tickets from a drawing at Embarcadero Theater. Woo! 2 drink minimum ($3 Roy Rogers for me and $5 Hefeweizens for Patrick and we got veggies and dip to munch on for $5.25), but it was worth it—especially since we got in for free. The comics were Steve Mazan, Becky Pedigo, and the headliner was Ngaio Bealum. As with Spanish bullfighters, they start out okay, then the next one is better, and the last one was the best. We didn't realize it, but as Patrick and I walked up to the club, the headliner was loitering out front and whistling some tune I didn't know along with some other guy. Parking was easy as we knew it would be in the Financial District on a school night. We learned this evening the special significance of 4420 West Pico Blvd in Los Angeles. We met Yan Liu (aka oldcat) and Stephen K. (aka sfkid) and Aaron for the first time—all pleasant company. After the show, Tony held his face in his hands—his cheeks hurt from laughing so much, and I felt a lot the same way, too. Thanks, Tony! (He probably doesn't read here, so we'll send him a card later.)

Wed Mar 31, 2004

Breakfast: leftover fruit salad. Updated the pharm sci schedule for Debrah. Linkchecking: ACPE changed their name slightly and redesigned their Web site—an improvement over their old frames-based site which made it hard for me to link to the pages I wanted. Updated the infoday page to remove old event dates. Updated current students calendar to include daylight savings time (thanks to Joel for reminding me). Created second-year site lottery listservs. Organized and threw out mail in Eudora. Talked to John in ITS to restore the Phi Delta Chi Web site which had been accidentally deactivated. It seems that ITS is still automatically deactivating accounts if no activity is shown on the account for 3 months. Helped a student—I think she said her name was Ardelle—with how to remove spyware from her computer. Lunch with Melissa: she got a slice of artichoke heart pizza from Arizmendi Bakery, I got a roast cow and cheddar sandwich and fries from the sandwich shop on the corner of 9th and Lincoln. We found a park bench in Golden Gate Park next to a small lake, then made a brief but pleasant tour of the gardens observing, in particular, blue irises in bloom. Spent the afternoon building pages for FERPA and other privacy documentation. Dinner at home with Patrick: pasta with red sauce.