May 2004

Summary: Bay to Breakers with Travis, Steve, Bryan, Dave, Andy, Scott, and Hao. Patrick returns from China.

Dates on this page

Sat May 1, 2004

Oatmeal for breakfast. Laundry. Dishes. Did heavy duty vacuuming—behind and under the couch, in all ceiling corners. Took out the trash. Tried to repair the couch, which has what I believe to be a minor manufacturing defect, but I was unsuccessful. Instead, I removed some poorly set staples with a pair of pliers. Picnic lunch (lunchmeat sandwich, corn chips) and sunbathing in the backyard. While sunbathing I realized how scarred up the back of my left knee has become from all the McConnell taping. It's not awfully bad, but it's noticeable in bright light. Shower. Ironed sheets and pillowcases. Made the bed. Added to my bookmarks page. Took care of money matters, bill paying. Played more with Bloglines. Read Mountaintop Corners by Dan Cederholm on A List Apart—perhaps the most useful article I've seen on ALA in several months. Spent about 15 minutes chatting with Patrick's mom. She says she hasn't gotten any e-mails from Patrick or me, so I gave her instructions on how to look for a Junk E-mail folder—perhaps they got thrown away by accident. Wrote some summaries for months in my journal. Placed an order for flowers for Patrick's mom, placed an order for more air freshener and mouthwash. Was going to take a disco nap but didn't have time. Dinner: ramen with eggs, baby bok choy, sliced mushrooms. Went to the opening of a new nightclub called Mighty (119 Utah Street). On the drive over, I realized that I had forgotten my earplugs. The club was a typical new gay nightclub with the typical gay dance bar crowd except more dancing bears than I had expected. The club is housed in an old brick warehouse at Utah and 15th. The Web site at claims plenty of free safe parking, and that seemed pretty true to me. Three different bars, three different chill out places away from the one main dance floor which really isn't all that big. I miss Pleasuredome! My favorite thing: the bathroom faucet hardware. I found the music unbearable—wailing vocal anthems. I left during the song in which she sings that she's got to get up got to get up got to get up. On the way home on the radio I heard some song about freeing your mind, body, and soul. Ugh! Why has English language dance music creativity been stalled for the past 10 years? Maybe all the musicians and lyricists are too stoned or high to think up new lyrics. I weep for the current state of dance culture. At home: Installed Workrave. Keen. Went to bed around 12:45 AM.

Sun May 2, 2004

Lunch and shopping with Joel: Sur La Table. Late lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express: we both got half sandwiches with a side Caesar. Mine was delicious even though the grated parmesan cheese was heaped upon my Caesar salad greens so that lettuce was no longer visible. The Container Store. I asked Joel to help me find a pair of athletic shoes, so he took me to lots of different places: DSW, Payless, Marshall, Shoe Pavilion, Macy's, Nordstrom, Footlocker, Steve Madden, Burlington Coat Factory. Fruit smoothies at Surf City. I was amazed by his navigational skills—he knew all the hidden entrances, exits, and elevators in Union Square. I invited him to come with me to visit BriKel, but he declined. BriKel had just gotten back from a bike ride to San Bruno. We chatted in the kitchen before going to Golden Produce for groceries. After that I went home, made spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce, french fries.

Mon May 3, 2004

Linkchecking. The web site is down—Tomcat errors. Downloaded tarball archive of the dev site. Spoke with Yvette at about a problem with a Mother's Day order and somewhat deceptive marketing practices. She was not very empathetic with what I claimed to be misleading information on their Web site during the ordering process. Joel brought in tortilla chips and homemade salsa—yum! Installed an old copy of Intellihance 2.0. I thought I had a valid serial number, but it doesn't seem to work for me, so I installed as a demo user. Installed Workrave at work. Spiffed up the student awards ceremony presentation for Cindy. Errands after work: Cole Hardware, Safevay. Dinner: leftover spaghetti. Salad with red leaf and spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, asiago, roasted garlic dressing. Watched last night's new Simpsons: Simple Simpson - not very funny. Edited more of Second Island—to the end of chapter 5.

Tue May 4, 2004

Oatmeal. Linkchecking. Mike R took away our wireless equipment to install it in the student lounge. Student computing meeting: Rob discussed Dell, we started discussion on software reqs. Made live new home page news stories for Susie. Lunch: lunchmeat sandwiches. Locked down computers using locks I bought yesterday at Ace Hardware. Organized lock keys. Home. Weight training. Ate a slice of cherry pie. Watched Simpsons. More weight training. Shower. Dishes. Ate steak and leftover spaghetti.

Wed May 5, 2004

Oatmeal with cinnamon and brown sugar and fresh banana. An orange. Joel brought in a four-leaf clover cake which he decorated all by himself. It's beautiful, and tasty, too! Joel brought me 8-inch parchment rounds from the shop where he has his cake decorating class every Tuesday. It's the best price, too—a dozen sheets for $0.55! We'll use the parchment in our bamboo steamer. I took photos and made a few short movies. Downloaded and installed a demo version of Extensis IntelliHance Pro 4.0 which made some of my test photos worse than before. Ran out of disk space on my C: drive, so I uninstalled a bunch of apps I didn't use very often and ran Disk Cleanup. Worked on the student awards presentation for Cindy. Scanned in another photo for Cindy. Helped Chris put several PDF documents together as one PDF, renumbered the pages. Lunch: Melissa, Joel, Ena, and I tried to take advantage of the free burritos in Saunders Court for Cinco de Mayo, but the burritos were late in arriving, the line was very long, and it was cold and windy. We walked to Millberry Union but the lines were long there, too. So we went to the cafeteria. I got a tostada for $4.09 which was delicious. Linkchecking. Phone meeting with Susie. Made changes to the alumni page for Forrest, sent them to him and Susie for review. Significantly improved Year 4 photos in the Student Directory to resolve problems with contrast and oversaturation. Made live Forrest's changes to the alumni page. Dinner at home: spinach and red leaf salad with carrot shavings, asiago, and creamy basil dressing. Soup with oyster crackers. Read blogs and news.

Thu May 6, 2004

Oatmeal with cinnamon and brown sugar and fresh banana. An orange. Defrosted the minifridge. Linkchecking. Created a timeline for student e-mail transition. Worked on the student awards presentation for Cindy. Updated current students news. Chatted with Cindy about a server upgrade and canonical e-mail addresses. Lunch: chicken quesadilla and a small order of onion rings. Weighed the box of old diskettes to send to the secure recycling service: 14 pounds. Turns out to be under their minimum charge of $5.00, so I'll just write a personal check for it. Dinner: salad, baked potato.

Fri May 7, 2004

Oatmeal with cinnamon and brown sugar and fresh banana. Telecommute day. Linkchecking. Tweaked the robots.txt file for our development (staging) site. Tweaked tarball archiving scripts. Cleaned the self-cleaning oven. (If it were truly self-cleaning, it wouldn't have a SELF-CLEAN button.) Created simple print posters to promote the computer security guide on our Web site. Read from the 15th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style which Susie was kind enough to get for me out of her budget. Organized software. Read from an old version of Adobe Acrobat Classroom in a Book (4.0). Dinner: shrimp ramen with fresh mushrooms and baby bok choy.

Sat May 8, 2004

Haircut at home. Shower. Weight training workout. Made cinnamon french toast. Washed dishes. Cleaned the range and oven. Threw out an unopened bag of flour which Patrick had left in the fridge. It said "Purchase By Sept 2002." Lunch: pork wontons with ramen, spinach, egg, and baby bok choy. Nap. Peggy's 50th birthday party was a lot of fun. I thought about bringing some wine, but since Peggy knows her wines (she was the wine buyer at Stars) and I don't, I thought that would be embarrassingly disastrous. So beforehand I stopped at Tower Market and picked up St. Andre and Red Dragon Somerdale cheeses. As I suspected from the map, Jenny's place is up in the hills of Berkeley. I had arrived late; the party was already lively. There were many people from Stars Seattle with whom I became reacquainted during the party: Peter (now living in SF and working at Teatro Zinzanni San Francisco), Nicole (now living in SF and working at Town Hall in Soma), David (still in Seattle and I forgot where he said he was working), Julie (still in Seattle and now working at Spazzo). Others I met: Wilson (who briefly told me part of his life story which I found fascinating and which I thought Patrick might want to write about), Heidi (from Pacifica and I foolishly forgot what else she told me about herself), Marty (or Maurey or something like that), Renee, Katrina, Nick and Kathy (or maybe Cathy). Someone told me he was working at Ray's Boathouse, but I can't remember who that was now. Of course Jenny and Peggy were there, as well as a handful of their family members. Wilson and I discovered a chair lift along the stairs down to the garage—it didn't look like it was still working. Peter and I discussed nude beaches and Web develpment (separate conversation threads). Julie talked about the importance of teaching food sustainability to grade school children. A 4-man swing band played in the living room. I later learned later from Tina that the saxophonist in the band was an S.O. of Jenny's, though I wasn't sure exactly what their relationship was. The band was excellent—people filled the dance floor and had a wild time.

Sun May 9, 2004

Brunch: Omelette with garlic, spinach, cheddar, tomatoes. It was sunny today, but cold and windy so I stayed inside and did laundry and stretches. Chatted with Tina. Did weight training workout. Dinner: cow stir-fry with garlic, spinach, baby bok choy over steamed rice. Watched the new Simpsons. Read and edited Second Island. I'm at the start of chapter 7.

Mon May 10, 2004

The busses were weird today. I thought I had heard the 8:30 AM bus go by but a few minutes later I heard another bus go by, too, so I ran to catch the 2nd one. Turns out the 8:08 AM bus showed up at exactly 8:30 AM and the 8:30 AM bus was just a few minutes late. I left a message with Cindy saying I'd be late, but I turned out to not be late at all. New Adobe software had arrived—Creative Suite!—but no serial number, so I sent off e-mail asking what was up. Student computing subcommittee CD-ROM subsubcommittee meeting. Installed Workrave for Kristina. Tweaked the student awards ceremony presentation more. Updated current students news and calendar. Lunch with Joel and Melissa at Cybelle's. Joel changed his mind about Cybelle's after Melissa and I had ordered. Student awards ceremony at the Faculty Alumni House. Afterwards a huge box of Ferroro Rocher hazelnut chocolates showed up in the office workroom—a gift for our office from someone very nice—thanks! Dinner by myself in the office: ate the lunch I brought but didn't have for lunch: leftover cow stir-fry. Watched the tail end of a Simpsons episode live. Prepared for my doctor appointment tomorrow—my first visit to Kaiser Permanente. Weight training and a hot shower before bed. Georges put in a new mailbox for us. I'll have to send him a thank you note since Patrick and I were shopping for a new one. The old one we had was rusting.

Tue May 11, 2004

Oatmeal for breakfast. Installed Adobe Creative Suite. Doctor appointment at Kaiser Permanente. BK told me not to use Kaiser for health insurance, but I didn't listen to him and now I'm a little sorry I did. Today was my first appointment ever to Kaiser, visiting the primary care physician named Shelley S. Fung-Yeung, MD. The receptionist who checked me in was efficient but very cold. I arrived about 20 minutes early. I said hello, how are you? And she quickly replied something like, "it's been very busy." She checked me in within seconds and pointed me to a waiting area nearby, which was out of sight from her desk. She didn't acknowledge that I was a new patient—no "Welcome to Kaiser" with a smile. She doesn't know that she's the first human from Kaiser with whom I've made contact. Or maybe she did but just didn't give a damn. I went over to the next room and sat in the waiting area for 15 minutes before realizing that I was supposed to have put some papers she gave me in a certain tray on a desk nearby. If she had given me instructions to do so, I didn't hear them perhaps because I was disoriented from all the new surroundings. I looked at all the trays for my doctor's name, but didn't see it, so I went back to the receptionist who insisted that one of the trays did have her name on it. She said that if I couldn't find the right tray I could put it in the tray for another doctor whose name she wrote down for me. I went back and found the right tray with the wrong doctor's name on it. It had my doctor's name in very small type which I hadn't seen before next to the wrong doctor's name which was in very large type. While I waited, I saw other patients have trouble figuring out the "put the paper in the right place" hurdle to their healthcare. One woman held her paperwork over one tray, thought for a moment, then held it over another tray, stopped to think again, then held it over the previous tray, then dropped it in. Picked it up again, then dropped it back in. Another woman who had been waiting a long time went up to check if her paperwork had been taken away and discovered that she accidentally put it in the wrong tray. She was obviously upset with herself since there was no one else to blame (or is there?). Yet another woman couldn't figure out which tray to put her paperwork in, so she put it on the desk beside all the trays but not in any particular one. "Someone will come along and figure it out," she said to her friend. Why does Kaiser make patients responsible for handing off Kaiser's own paperwork from reception to healthcare workers? I think I waited about 30 or 40 minutes before being shown in. A woman weighed me (127 pounds—with my boots on), took my temperature (through my ear in about 2 seconds), showed me into a room, asked me brief questions about my chief complaints, took my blood pressure (fine). I gave her paperwork I had prepared explaining my chief complaints and other related information. She left. I waited about 15 minutes. Someone poked her head in to say my doctor was with another patient. I asked how much longer it would be. She said about 15 minutes. I waited. My doctor shows up. I didn't keep track, but I think she started writing a prescription within 3 minutes of talking to me. We talked for a few minutes more. Her English wasn't very good, and I had a hard time understanding her. She asked me a question which I answered and then she asked me another question which sounded like the exact same question she just asked me. I asked her, "Didn't you just ask me that?" and she said no and just repeated her question. So I gave her the same answer I did before. I have no idea if there was a misunderstanding, and she didn't seem to believe there was any despite my question. She said she agreed with Dr. Owen about my knee condition, referring to a copy of my orthopedist's report to my previous PCP which I had provided. I pointed out that Dr. Owen wasn't the orthopedist. Dr. Owen didn't even write the report she had read! She appeared flustered, but simply repeated the names she'd read earlier and repeated that she was in agreement with them. She hadn't even seen my knee or my x-rays! For my occasional and isolated but recalcitrant acne condition, she asked me what my current medications were (none) but failed to ask what I had tried in the past. She said my acne didn't look very bad to her without asking me where the acne was located, so then I showed her and then she seemed to change her mind. She handed me a prescription without discussing what she prescribed, then said some parting words, ending with "My assistant will help you." At the assistant's workstation, I examined the prescription I was given. I then told the assistant the doctor prescribed clindamycin, which is something I had used before and it made my condition worse. The assistant had to find the doctor again who had gone on to see another patient, so I waited. Eventually she returned saying the doctor said to just ignore that prescription. She handed back my prescription and the clindamycin was crossed out. The other medication she prescribed was naproxen (which she spelled using the Engrish variant: naprosen) even though I no longer had very much pain in my knee. (She couldn't spend an extra 10 seconds with me to figure that out.) Finally, I had to point out to the assistant that she still had paperwork I told her earlier she could photocopy but not keep. She handed me the stack of papers I gave her earlier so that I could pull out the ones that needed photocopying, then I waited while she made photocopies. While waiting, I wanted to scream nothing in particular—just scream—but I didn't. I got the 2 referrals I wanted. I just wish it hadn't been such an ordeal. I left the Kaiser office 75 minutes after my scheduled appointment time. I didn't bother getting the naproxen prescription. On the 24 Divisadero bus going back home three young boys sat near me in the back of the bus. One boy ate sunflower seeds. He'd put a whole bunch in his mouth, chew them up, then spit the shells out onto the floor of the bus. He did that pretty much the entire time he was on the bus. Another of the boys had a twig from a tree that had some hard-shelled brown globes attached to it. They'd pull the things off the twig and throw them out the window trying to hit people. They had bad aim, so more than once the object hit the window and bounced back into the bus. The boys also figured out that they could make marks on the bus walls using the twig, so they did that for a while, too. Practically all the seats in the back were filled. One woman smiled at them and said, "That's not a very nice thing to do," but then she had nothing more to say after one of the boys replied, "We know!" There is no justice in San Francisco. I deboarded at Castro Street, took an underground train to Church Street. Got groceries at Golden Produce, went home. Snack: an Asian pear. Dinner at home by myself: baked potato with butter, cheddar, sour cream. Dessert: one peanut M and M. Installed Adobe Creative Suite, looked through the Goodies folders on the CD-ROMs, learned about Version Cue. Chatted with Patrick in China for about an hour using Skype. Unfortunately, his trip has turned out to be not what he had expected, and he's not happy with how Simmone has misled him. Only 19 more days left before he returns. Did dishes. Ate 1.5 grilled cheese sandwiches late. Finished reading and editing Second Island (first time around).

Wed May 12, 2004

Breakfast: ate a banana while walking to work from the bus stop. Linkchecking. Created a projected budget for computer stuff for Cindy. Helped Joel divide 11 by 3. Did image correction for the student awards ceremony photos. Joel brought in a triple clown cake—beautiful. I took photos of it for him, which he later put on his Yahoo! photo album. Updated current students news and the listserv page. Created some screen snapshots for Abbo. Created an account on our network for Kim B for Cindy. Helped student Sara P with WebMail problems—she had lots of mail in her inbox so I gave her instructions on cleaning that out by filing or deletion. Made live changes to current students news and calendar for the Spring Auction for Nam N and Chris C. Restored the Phi Lambda Sigma listserv since Joe and Danica were testing a problem with the listserv interface yesterday and they restored the (empty) listserv today. The listserv Web interface seems to have a limit of 50 listservs appearing in the selection picklist. Helped student Terrill T with an e-mail sending problem. Lunch at desk: lunchmeat sandwich, tortilla chips. I brought the season's first cherries which I found at Golden Produce for 99 cents per pound but didn't eat them—too full. Met with James to review his admissions pages change requests. Home. Laundry. Dinner: leftover sandwich which I didn't finish from lunch, some tortilla chips. Not very hungry tonight. Watched the latter half of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which I had taped from ABC a few days ago. I only had the 2nd half since I didn't know it was on and just happened to see it and start taping it. I think the ATI TV Guide is messed up because it shows that it's on again this weekend and I find it unlikely that ABC would run the same movie two weekends in a row.

Thu May 13, 2004

Weight training after waking up. Shower. Breakfast: ate an orange at home, then a banana while walking to work from the bus stop. Wore my glasses to work so that I could use my contacts in the evening. Admissions changes for James. Linkchecking. Graduation dinner at the Palace Hotel. Dinner: mixed greens with raspberry vinaigrette, dinner roll, filet mignon, green beans, mashed potatoes. Dessert: a chocolate mold in the shape of a teacup filled with 3 layers: cheesecake, chocolate cake, whipped cream. The class of 2004 gave each of our office staff a thank you card with a Macy's gift card. Woo hoo! I shared a table with Cindy, Betty-ann, Joel, Melissa, Ena, Raymond Ho and his partner LeRoy Isaac, Maggie Van Veen and her sister.

Fri May 14, 2004

Graduation ceremony at the Masonic Center. I was on my feet the whole day. This was the first time we'd done it on a Friday (instead of Saturday) and there seemed to be a lot fewer people. Joel got us pizza and salad and soda for lunch before the ceremony. The whole ceremony went pretty well from my perspective. Some improvements could be made, but that's true every year. Few people knew the proper way to put the hoods on. Before the doors opened, guests didn't have easy access to restrooms. The signs in the elevator should have been changed after the doors opened to direct people directly to Level 2. There was no clear location for graduates to return honor cords after the recessional. Afterwards, Claire let my office staff take home flowers, but I think Debrah and I were the only ones who did. I also got a bonus bouquet from the students selling flowers in the lobby who didn't sell out of their stock (but they still made a profit). I had too many flowers, so I gave the bouquet to my favorite bus driver James on the way home. This year was the first year I remember Claire making boutonnieres for us—beautiful orchids with some fern stems. Kudos and a shout out to JWG whose excellent planning was top notch. My favorite touch: the color printout at the podium which said PLEASE TALK LOUD AND CLEAR INTO THE MICROPHONE. Everyone seemed to like the tie I wore, which was Patrick's—he had gotten it as a gift from Jason Baum and hadn't gotten to using it yet. Thanks, Patrick! Dinner at home by myself: salad.

Sat May 15, 2004

Breakfast at home by myself: french toast with powdered sugar, maple syrup, butter, fresh banana slices. Repaired the cutlery drawer—its tracks had somehow gotten out of whack in the back. Cleaned and organized: stored away infrequently used wine glasses, reorganized some of the kitchen cabinets, collected small kitchen things for possibly getting rid of, organized the kitchen drug shelf, vacuumed away cobwebs, balanced the checkbook, shredded paperwork, did laundry. Repaired the vacuum cleaner—it had eaten up its own cord last time I used it. Organized the cutlery tray. Archived documents for the scrapbook and medical records. Noticed a problem with Acrobat 6 Professional today: the File menu disappears sometimes. And also the Edit menu. And also sometimes the MDI menu. Weird and annoying. Workaround for now: Quit and restart Acrobat. BK's shop seems to be set up but I haven't heard anything from him about it. Made a music lyric hint sheet. Late lunch / early dinner: ramen noodles with spinach and egg. Late night snack: wonton soup with spinach.

Sun May 16, 2004

Weight training. Breakfast: an orange and a pear. Shower. Met Travis, Steve, H a o, Bryan, Dave, Andy, and Scott at the finish line of Bay to Breakers. They walked the whole way and finished in about 3 hours. I didn't do the whole walk because my knee is still getting better. They day was sunny but with strong chilly winds coming in from the ocean. I saw a few naked people; some women dressed up as Fruit of the Loom characters; some people pulling a large, elaborate model of the Golden Gate Bridge. I didn't see any centipedes. Before I left home, ABC news reported the winner was a man from Kenya—about 32 minutes—and the first woman to finish was (I think) someone from Marin County. I think her time was about 42 minutes. The race is about 7.5 miles, I think. One woman reporter in the studio at ABC said to the onsite reporter, "Why is it that all the people who shouldn't be naked are the ones who are naked?" which I thought was rude and insulting. I wish that onsite reporter would've come back with some tart reply to lay bare her self-righteousness and body fascism, but she didn't. We walked to a stadium inside Golden Gate Park where portapotties, live music, food booths, and free samples of pharmaceuticals and healthy foods awaited us. I got teriyaki chicken on a stick with fried rice from Solano Teriyaki (or maybe it was Sonora Teriyaki—something like that)—a bargain, I thought, at only $8. The rice was cold when I got it, but what do you expect for festival food on a cold, windy day? At least the chicken stick was still plenty hot and it tasted really good, too. I got 3 samples of Alavert for Patrick—allergy relief medicine. Snapple gave away entire bottles of Snapple—cool! Ben and Jerry's was selling ice cream bars for $5 each—not cool. Adobe had a booth—I was surprised at that, having never seen them sponsor events like these with a booth with freebies. They were giving away trial versions of Photoshop Album 2.0 on CD-ROM. Maybe Bay to Breakers is cheaper and more effective than MacWorld? Tigger the Tiger from Kellogg's gave away small plastic cereal bowls. Ben Gay gave away heat rub patches. It was much too cold to stay longer to enjoy the post-race festivities. Hao gave me a ride home before dropping Steve and Travis off in Daly City. I took a nap. Repaired my khaki shorts which had a button that was coming loose. Did some ironing. Dinner: heated some leftover cow stir-fry, made a fresh spinach salad with tomatoes and mushrooms. Watched the rebroadcast of the Bay to Breakers on channel 4. I got the first woman runner wrong—it was a woman from Russia, Alibina Ivanova. The first place runner's name was Benjamin Maiyo. The Bay to Breakers web site shows Travis came in 2,522nd place! Watched the Simpsons: Bart-mangled Banner. Chatted with Patrick and Travis online. Scanned in documents for archiving. Archived Travis's photos of Bay to Breakers.

Mon May 17, 2004

Linkchecking: updated a broken link for Xin C on the faculty page. Submitted a request for Web space for Philip C. Worked on the draft of the software requirements table, printed copies for tomorrow's meeting. Referred James and Melissa to how they could find the PID presentation they were seeking. Gave Susie comments about the new pharmacy alumni Web site. Lunch on rest breaks: two peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches. Met with Susie. Installed InDesign CS for Debrah and Cindy, Acrobat 6.0 Pro for Ena, Debrah, Melissa, Kristina, Cindy. After successfully completing the installations, I had to then do updates to Acrobat 6.0.1 and InDesign CS 3.0.1. They were a pain because they took a long time. Snack: small Subway roast chicken sandwich, water. Grocery shopping at Safevay where I saw Aaron and Kai buying pints of ice cream. Moved the car. Dinner: small frozen pizza. Did the same Adobe updates at home. Moved flowers from graduation from the copper pot they came in to vases. There were about 25 or 30 stems—so many! Very tired tonight.

Tue May 18, 2004

8:08 bus showed up at 8:21. 8:30 bus was right on time. Breakfast: a banana while walking up the hill. Student computing subcommittee meeting: Rob filled us in on his and Kevin's talks with Dell. Software reqs. Linkchecking. Watched the video training for InDesign CS which was included with the software. Mocked up new home page news for Susie, she approved, I made it live and notified the requester. Helped Cindy find an old version of a lost presentation. Chatted with Joan M about 2 open issues: listserv not distributing e-mails as expected and listserv picklist problem greater than 50 lists. Updated the software reqs chart. Installed Acrobat 6.0.1 Pro for James and Chris. Admissions changes for James. At home: Weight training: biceps and upper abs. Dinner: a baked potato with sour cream and cheddar, raw broccoli and carrots with ranch dressing dip. Watched 3 chapters of the Adobe Creative Suite Video Training. Linkchecking for home websites. Read about the new Seattle Public Library from a link on Chris De Lay's site. It looks really cool!

Wed May 19, 2004

Breakfast: oatmeal with cinnamon, brown sugar, and fresh banana. Met with Martha and Susie about a minor redesign for our site. Admissions changes for James. Lunch at desk: pbj sandwiches, tortilla chips. Reviewed Dell hardware specs from Rob. Dermatology appointment with nurse Raj Grewal-Fry, RN. The appointment went much better than my PCP appointment. She listened to my questions and did not seem hurried at all. Completed a Dell service request for Debrah's staticky speakers. Updated current students calendar. Installed Acrobat 6.0.1 Pro and InDesign CS 3.01 for Joel. Patrick sends me e-mail from China to a link on the SF Weekly Web site saying that Lodestar Quarterly received the award for 2004 Best Queer Fiction Journal. Woo hoo! I won't quibble with that except to say that we have plenty more than just fiction. Poets and dramatists and essayists deserve some spotlight, too! I don't know how they did their judging, but thanks SF Weekly! Dinner: Panda Express. My fortune: Your place in life is in the driver's seat. I discovered today that in Acrobat 6.0.1 Pro pressing the spacebar makes it behave as though you pressed Page Down which is cool to people like me who grew up with Unix. Unfortunately, Shift+Spacebar doesn't behave like Page Up (as works well in Internet Explorer). Eh, so it ain't perfect. I used the Windows XP Photo Printing Wizard for the first time today. It works rather well—I'm quite impressed. To open it, you select one or more images in Windows Explorer, then click "Print the selected pictures" in the lefthand sidebar. I was able to quickly print about a dozen images in sizes and layouts of my choosing. Very handy! What's weird is that if I select the same images and right-click them, I don't get the same "Print the selected pictures" option in the popup menu.—A couple days ago I converted some TIFF files to PDF. The conversion process in Acrobat 6.0.1 Pro is much improved over 5.0. The only trouble I had was that upon viewing the resulting PDF I found that the compression was too high (and the quality too low) for my taste and I had trouble figuring out how to configure a different compression scheme. It's in Edit > Preferences > Convert to PDF > TIFF. I believe the default was JPEG Medium, and once I changed the settings to ZIP I got larger filesizes (acceptable to me) and higher quality. I particularly like the Photo Printing Wizard because it enabled me to see all my options at each step with live thumbnail previews of my actual data. For my very specific—and common—task, it anticipated and fulfilled my needs very well. In contrast, Acrobat 6.0.1 Pro provides a context menu item called "Convert to Adobe PDF." When I use it, it does indeed convert what I wanted into PDF—and that's cool—but when the results aren't exactly what I wanted there's no easy way for me to adjust the default settings if I don't know where to look. It could be improved simply by adding a context pane on the right, such as: "The file you converted uses JPEG Low compression and is 392,283 bytes. Reconvert with [better image quality] or [smaller filesize] or [in a single PDF file rather than separate PDF files]. Or [see all conversion options]. [Help]." Started cleaning up URLs in my journal using mod_rewrite and rewriting some of my PHP code. mod_rewrite still gives me headaches! Got some of those URLs cleaned up but still need to implement redirects for people who bookmarked or linked to old URLs. Read SF Weekly's Best of 2004, which made me realize there's more to San Francisco than I would ever discover even if I had several lifetimes to do it. For example, yes, I've been to Howard's Cafe, but no, I didn't get the turkey dinner. Threw out some old flowers, changed some water in the other flowers. Washed dishes. Went to bed late.

Thu May 20, 2004

Breakfast: a banana. Linkchecking. Added Wired's hotspot finder to our visitors page. Helped Melissa troubleshoot mail merge and crash problems with Word 2003. Also investigated her HP LaserJet 4000 printer—it was pulling multiple pages from the manual feed tray. Called SF Micro about the printer—they will show up at 3 pm today. Lunch: Melissa and I got Vietnamese sandwiches from the Vietnamese student organization fundraiser in Saunders Court. They sold sandwiches from—delicious but spicier than I had been promised. They're only in San Jose, Westminster, and Garden Grove, so unfortunately I don't think I'll be giving them much business. If they had a store in San Francisco, I'd certainly want to check it out. Scanned photos for Cindy. Admissions changes for James. Prepared for installing Office 2003 for others in the office. Les from SF Micro replaced some parts for the printer and now it works correctly. Thanks, Les! Prepared an RFO for Kensington security cables. Adjusted the outreach presentation for Cindy. Converted the presentation to PDF. Copied the PowerPoint and PDF files to the laptop. Chatted with Sharon H on the bus about Web sites—her office needs to hire someone to build an app for them. (I did not offer.) Dinner at home by myself: baked potato with sour cream, spaghetti with basil and tomato sauce, raw broccoli and carrots with dip. Was going to go grocery shopping but was too tired. Moved the car. Home linkchecking. Weight training: legs. Made more mod_rewrite changes to the journal—nothing obvious to the outside, just cleaner rewriting inside.

Fri May 21, 2004

Breakfast: tomato omelette and hash browns. Washed dishes. Installed Firefox 0.8 and the AdBlock plug-in for it. Did a lot of reading and researching of Web design issues. Did some laundry. Late lunch: pbj sandwiches, tortilla chips. Installed KeePass (again) to see if we could use this instead of Password Manager by CP-Lab. Installed Chris Pederick's Web Developer plug-in for Firefox. Cool! Set Firefox as my default browser. Linkchecking. Installed IrfanView 3.9.1. Created a favicon for UCSF. Chatted with Patrick.

Sat May 22, 2004

Cut my hair. Shower. Weight training: mostly arms. Breakfast at home: 3-egg cheddar omelette with rosemary, toast with margarine, hash browns, a banana. Started editing content for the next issue of Lodestar: bios, poetry. Napped. Dinner: mini penne with basil pesto, baked potato, corn off the cob.

Sun May 23, 2004

I dreamt last night my dad and I got on a bus whose number was 24. We didn't have a destination that I knew of—it was my dad's suggestion to take the bus. On the bus I tried checking my bus map to see where the bus would go but the map had all Seattle streets instead of San Francisco. The bus didn't stop until it got to a part of town that started to look not very friendly. I convinced my dad to get off the bus at the next stop. A lot of other people got off at the same time and waited for bus in the direction we just came. One was a black woman with a loud and sassy mouth.—Breakfast: Western omelette at Baghdad Cafe. Ran into Jesse who was on his way to Bagel Bros then work, walked and chatted with him awhile. Errands in the Castro. Bought Iris Chang's The Chinese in America from Books, Inc. Grocery shopping at Safevay. Got a call from Patrick's mom. Lunch at home: corn off the cob, macaroni and white cheddar. Chatted online with Patrick. Washed the car. Showered. Dinner: 3 cow tacos with cheddar and red leaf lettuce. Made a surprise for tomorrow. Edited two fiction works.

Mon May 24, 2004

Set Firefox as my default browser for both Mac and Windows at work. It's Ena's birthday so I brought in brownies which I made last night. Cindy brought in bagels, so we had a little birthday celebration. Checked our wireless install with (I think) Leandro—it's still not working but Leandro did what he was told to do, so he needs to let Mike R know to come back and see what's wrong. Chatted with Kirk Hudson and Christine Wong in the process of making sure wireless is working on our laptop—Christine has hands of IT magic. One second it wasn't working and after she touched the laptop it was just fine. Updated current students news and calendar. Uploaded some admissions documents for review for Melissa. Sent Martha a suggestion for using favicons for UCSF. Ran an errand at the post office for Patrick. Prepped new home page news for Susie and Cindy. Installed InDesign CS 3.0.1 and Office 2003 and security updates for James. Dinner at home: red leaf lettuce salad with mushrooms and carrots, leftover mac and cheese. Weight training. Late meal: two small cow burgers and french fries. Dishes.

Tue May 25, 2004

Breakfast: an orange and a banana. Sent out a new proposal for software requirements to the student computing subcommittee. Staff meeting. Updated entering students security page. Lunch by myself at desk: Greek lemon noodle soup, roast cow sandwich. Meeting with Cindy. Experimented with electronic Form A for James. Dinner: two homemade cow burritos with mushrooms, lettuce, cheddar. Installed Workrave on a 2nd computer and networked it with my first installation of Workrave. Watched 2 Simpsons episodes. Installed Firefox 0.8 on a 2nd computer and configured it. Played with Firefox's View Speed Report feature in the Web Developer toolbar. It's a feature I had only previously dreamed of. I thought I would have had to write my own code to do that, but no—Firefox makes it easy. Very enlightening, too, but I'm not sure it's completely accurate as I saw images excluded from reports for one of my own sites. Confirmed that Workrave networking is working properly. It was a little bit of a hurdle figuring out how to edit the host name—you just click in the empty space—there's no separate inputline or dialog, but it works. Installed a security update for ZoneAlarm on my computers. It seems that new with these updates ZoneAlarm is taking on Real's (former?) bad software practices (search Google: real cartalk) by tricking people into downloading and installing free software and then making it really hard for them to continue using it without paying for the Pro version. Bad Zone Labs! Bad! It's a great product aside from the new misleading dialogs. Essentially, it forces you into trying out the Pro version even if you never wanted the Pro version to begin with. In 2 weeks, we'll see what happens with the nag screens. I also see on their Web site that Zone Labs now offers anti-virus with some version of ZoneAlarm. I don't yet trust that Zone Labs can keep current with all the viruses going around. But I'll check in with them in a few years and see what's become of their reputation. Dishes.

Wed May 26, 2004

Breakfast: oatmeal. Installed Camino 0.8b (the Web browser formerly known as Chimera) on my Mac. Arranged a meeting time with Susie. Researched Kensington lock options because there's a minimum order of 25 to get a single key for multiple locks. Cancelled the old RFO and created a new one for the locks. Snack: a banana. Lunch at desk: pbj sandwiches, tortilla chips. Read an article on Pixar at during lunch. Doctor appointment. Admissions changes meeting with James. Home. Weight training: upper arms. Dinner at home: Southwestern pizza from a box. Installed a bunch of browsers at home. Late meal: ramen with egg.

Thu May 27, 2004

Breakfast: oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon, banana. Double-checked measurements for ordering blinds in my office and James's office. Met with Susie, belayed home page news changes, updated current students news, returned her Lonely Planet guide to China. Installed Acro 6 Pro and Office 2003 on Chris's laptop. Checked that Meeting Maker was working. (Chris had reported some trouble, but his system restore seemed to have fixed this.) Reinstalled VPN, then tested with the dialup line. Chris's laptop also had trouble seeing the local network. I spent 55 minutes on the phone with Joe from SF Micro. We thought it was a corrupted IP stack like before but then after some pings he helped me realize that ZoneAlarm was missing some trusted host configurations for our server and the DNS server. After hanging up with Joe, I was able to log on to the network but still unable to get Retrospect to connect—error -541 and -530 variously. I eventually got it to work by logging in as myself (an admin account) on the domain (not the local computer) and disabling all the network adapters except for the local network adapter. From a real UNIX shell on my primary computer I ran 'telnet [computer_ip] 497' to test whether Retrospect was running and open. In Retrospect on the server, I was able to choose Multicast and although the computer I wanted was grayed out I selected it and clicked Add and finally I got it to connect. In Retrospect the greyed out computer is misleading—I'll never trust it again to mean "can't connect to this computer". Impromptu meeting with Chris and Rodney about the IRC and software requirements and the student computing subcommittee. Put in a reimbursement request for padlocks for our computers. Installed Debrah's replacement speakers which had arrived today from Dell. Packed up the suspected-bad speakers and gave to Ena for return to Dell. Tried to fix Melissa's desk which had gotten nicked from a recent visit from a laser printer repair person. Couldn't fix it with a file or a stone so I'll try my Dremel kit after I get back from vacation. Ordered the pleated shades for office windows for me and James. Backed up Chris's laptop to tape. Captured 4 pages to PDF of a manual for Cindy. Left a voicemail on Joel's cellphone apologizing for forgetting to also give him the power brick for his UC Davis presentation today. Home. Snack: raw carrots and broccoli with ranch. Dinner: linguine with portabello cream sauce with fresh mushrooms and broccoli. Watched Simpsons episodes. Studied Firefox.

Fri May 28, 2004

Yesterday an early morning mist caused everyone in San Francisco to leave home with an umbrella or raincoat, but the streets were dry all day and through the evening. I awoke today to a patter of light rain and looking out my windows everything was glistening. It felt like late fall or early winter so for breakfast I had a bowl of oatmeal with pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar. Got an e-mail from my sister. Worked on a secret project before starting work. Telecommute day. Link checking. Installed Office 2003. Worked on electronic forms code for James—pretty simple once I got the hang of what I needed. Lunch at home: 2 cow burgers with breadcrumbs and fresh garlic, steak fries. Dinner: mac and cheese.

Sat May 29, 2004

Cut my hair. Shower. Abs workout. Cleaned up the apartment a little bit. Lunch: 2 burritos with lettuce and cheddar. Bought car wax at Kragen. Bought socks and jeans and a Godiva dark chocolate bar at Macy's Stonestown. Bought a raspberry lemonade at the food court. Home. Rinsed and waxed the car. Dinner: leftover mac and cheese, raw carrots. Late snack: cow and potato soup. Edited the remainder of fiction except one for Lodestar.

Sun May 30, 2004

Woke up too early. Oatmeal for breakfast. Back to bed. Groceries and flowers at Safeway. Picked up Patrick at the airport. He had just gotten back from China, so we talked a lot about his experiences there and unpacked his stuff. He has lots of little gifts for people—trinkets, really. He also got me 2 new shirts made by a company called Cabbeen that fit me very well. Prepared sending his film to Ofoto. Took a shower then a nap. He called Sam and his mom. Dinner: cow burgers and steak fries at home. I introduced him to Firefox and Workrave. Patrick opened the jury duty notice he got yesterday—he's been assigned jury duty for the same week I am.

Mon May 31, 2004

Breakfast at home with Patrick: blueberry pancakes. I thought Patrick lost his cooking skills after 6 weeks in China because he burned 2 of the pancakes, and we had to throw them out. Patrick did laundry and started ripping CDs he bought in China. I set up his computer, installing Office 2003, resetting his anti-virus scripts, ensuring updates were installed. I scanned in funny examples of Engrish packaging Patrick found and sent them to Scanned in photos of Jeremy playing softball and riding his new bicycle. Archived receipts and scrapbook items to PDF. Ordered blank CD-ROMs and flat plug power strip liberators from Cyberguys. Memorial Day sale shopping at Stonestown. We didn't buy anything except a pretzel at Auntie Anne's and a lemonade at Surf City, and I returned jeans I bought the other day because I won jeans on an eBay auction yesterday. Dinner at home with Patrick: bowties with shrimp, basil, tomatoes, garlic, alfredo sauce. Side of cheddar and chive biscuits. Dessert: dark chocolate Godiva ice cream topped with fresh pitted cherries. Yummy! Watched a bunch of Simpsons episodes.