July 2004

Summary: Yum Yum Fish with Melissa and Patrick; Patrick's first Madonna remix CD: American Life and Music; Bay to Barkers; In-n-Out Burger and free doughnuts at Krispy Kreme with Patrick; Helped Galen and Charles with Urban Challenge; Low-carb dinner with Stacey and Tim; Dinner at Spiazzino with Galen; Thai food with Joe M and Patrick; Patrick cooks for 40 at our N'awlins Cookin' Party.

Dates on this page

Thu 1

Met with Melissa to discuss the electronic forms project. Updated 2 mailing lists. Met with Cindy. Packaged the poster project for Cindy, uploaded it for the service bureau to download. Lunch: sandwich at desk. Dinner at home with Patrick: Chinese braised cow with garlic. Dessert: a sliced plum. Computer maintenance for Patrick. Shopped for and ordered contact lenses. Froogle was particularly helpful for this task—I think this was my first time successfully using Froogle to make a purchase.

Fri 2

Secured pathway data from Kristina for the mailing list rotations. Rotated the mailing lists (a day late—oops). Made some web edits for Melissa and Cindy. Chatted with Judy F about the poster project. Linkchecking. Left a message with Michael G. Lunch at desk: leftovers from last night. Called my credit card company to discuss a small issue in which I needed help. At the end of the call, the rep tried to sell me additional features. After listening to him drone on for several minutes, I got a few words in. I told him that I didn't appreciate getting a sales pitch for something unrelated to what I called about and asked him to let his supervisor know that. I also told him that if I got another sales pitch like that after I had called for help I would close my account. I also told him that because of his pitch I would do the opposite of what they wanted regarding the sales offer he made (not use their card in certain situations). I got him to apologize and understand, and all of this took about 25 seconds, and I was finally off the phone with them. Jeez, who was the person who had the bright idea of annoying a customer at the end of a perfectly fine customer service request? I've cancelled credit cards because of too many advertisements shoved in with my statement before, and I'll do it again, doggoneit! Dinner at home with Patrick: portabello mushroom ravioli in red sauce. Sleepy, went to bed early. Patrick made brownies today.

Sat 3

Woke up at 4:00 AM and couldn't sleep, so I got up and worked on electronic forms for James which I hadn't finished yesterday like I wanted. Also archived old Christmas cards, postcards from Sam, and other scrapbook material. Oatmeal with cinnamon, brown sugar, and banana. Took a nap, woke up around 3 PM. Mid-afternoon snack at home with Patrick: leftover ravioli in cow and tomato sauce. Went to West Portal for a walk and picked up a DVD rental and got ice cream at Double Rainbow. The "regular" is two scoops which was too large even for Patrick. The scoops were unwieldy on a sugar cone, so he got a cup/bowl and a spoon after laughing at how big it was. I got a single scoop of espresso bean. His scoops were banana fudge walnut and coffee almond fudge. Home. Patrick made PJ's English Toffee coffee. Edited more of Patrick's photos from China. There are a total of 156 photos he's planning to put in Ofoto for everyone to view and we're on the last 20. Whew! After the image editing, we upload them to Ofoto and then he has to put in captions for each one. Watched The Triplets of Belleville on DVD with Patrick. The film was alright, but I felt misled by the preview which has energetic music with quick cuts of all action shots. The pace of the film as a whole is in actuality quite slow. It's borderline enjoyable, with quirky 0.5-dimensional characters, and an even quirkier, absurd plot. The animation seems inventive, the music is fun. Late snack: leftover braised beef. Experimented with Peter's Backup.

Sun 4

Patrick made breakfast: scrambled eggs, Jimmy Dean sage sausage, hash browns. PJ's English Toffee coffee. I cut my hair and cleaned the bathroom sink and shower. Went to Fahrenheit 9/11 at the Century 20 in Daly City. Returned last night's DVD and walked through West Portal. Lunch at home with Patrick: shrimp poboys, Zapp's barbecue potato chips. Final image editing of Patrick's China photos. I did some home improvement in the bathroom. Dinner at home with Patrick: tacos with vegetarian refried beans, ground cow, lettuce, tomato, cheese. Watched fireworks on TV. Simpsons: Lisa's Rival. I experimented with more backup utilities: rsync, XXCOPY, PolderBackup.

Mon 5

Leftovers for breakfast. Patrick went to a coffee shop to work on Chinese language studies. I stayed home and experimented with more backup utilities and worked on electronic forms for James. Ramen with baby bok choy for lunch. Saw Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban at Century 20 with Patrick. Dinner at home with Patrick: frozen pizza, salad.

Tue 6

Oatmeal. Student computing committee meeting: Ellen A and Carl T guest star. Electronic forms. Poster project. Lunch: tostada from the cafeteria. Dinner at Yum Yum Fish (415-566-6433, 2181 Irving Street) with Patrick and Melissa. Before we left, we each tried one of the Belgian chocolate truffles that Chris C brought back from his Europe trip - yum! It was the first time for Patrick and me to visit Yum Yum Fish. Melissa was already a frequent customer. Yum Yum Fish is a fish shop with 3 small tables and a very small counter. We were lucky to get a table right when we arrived. The shop is known for serving very fresh and very inexpensive sushi. Melissa was scared that it would be too divey for us, but once you got past the faint smells of fresh fish drifting about it was perfectly fine. After tax and tip, US$37 got us 4 rolls (spicy tuna, california, tobiko, rock 'n' roll); one orchid combo: a 6-piece spicy tuna roll and 8 pieces of nigiri: tuna, yellowtail, salmon, BBQ eel, halibut, shrimp, capelin roe, conch; and 5 more nigiri: 1 salmon, 1 salmon eggs, 3 white tuna toro—about 86 cents per piece. Green tea was included, miso soup was about $1 extra per person (we skipped it). The experience was quite pleasant, and the sushi was indeed very good. We'll be back. Beware: The sign says they close at 7:30 PM, but they start closing up at 7:10 PM. Melissa gave us a ride home, and Patrick and I watched Julia and Jacques: Comfort Food. Patrick almost always wants to cook whatever's in the cooking shows we watch.

Wed 7

Oatmeal with banana. Poster project. Electronic forms project. Reinstalled printers for Chris. Sandwich. Dinner at home with Patrick: cheese and basil biscuits, shrimp salad with blue cheese dressing. Wrapped a package for Patrick's mom: a gift he brought back from China. Watched Julia Child with Carol Field make breadsticks and bread. Watched Simpsons: Lady Bouvier's Lover and The Boy Who Knew Too Much. Cherries for dessert.

Thu 8

Oatmeal with banana. Poster project. Electronic forms project postponed until next year. Worked on the previous PDF version of the supplemental application. Laptop maintenance for Chris. Sandwich. CSC meeting. Dinner at home with Patrick: salad, leftover pizza. Cherries for dessert.

Fri 9

Oat and honey granola with diced nectarine. Fixed problems with Ena's computer: cdrom wouldn't show up (bad connection inside to the connecting cable), AOL update required admin privileges, jittery mouse and sound (resolved by disabling a few unnecessary processes with Startup Manager), how to copy an icon from the Start Menu to the desktop. Met with Melissa about the supplemental application draft. Coded new news pages for Susie, sent them to her for review. Dermatology appointment at Kaiser. My nurse called in a doctor for a consultation and he had the worst case of halitosis I had ever experienced. He had bad breath like Godzilla breathes fire! At the Kaiser pharmacy, the person behind the counter helping me was Max C—one of our class of 2007 students! We chatted a bit. They also had 100 tablets of 10 mg loratidine for US$5.75—the best price I'd ever seen. Picked up the poster project form Judy at Reprographics. Delievered supp app and Form D drafts to Melissa. Sandwich and onion rings for lunch. Checked in with Joel about forthcoming orientation Web pages. Sent a new draft of the secret VPN issues document to Kirk and Christine. Made live new front page news stories for Susie. Dinner at home with Patrick: cornbread, shrimp and cheese ravioli with rosemary-infused cream sauce. Dessert: chocolate eclairs from Sunset Bakery. Started watching a DVD called Half-Baked which we borrowed from Aaron. I thought it was not very funny, so we stopped watching it after 10 minutes and put in another DVD of Aaron's called Kung Faux which was better. Kung Faux repurposes classic kung fu films by adding new music and dubbing to create an entirely new and unusual art form. Today Patrick visited with Yan Hui from Anhui. He also defrosted the freezer.

Sat 10

Nectarine and banana fruit smoothie at home for breakfast. Napped. Dusted and vacuumed. Patrick captioned his China photos. Dinner at David's Kitchen with Patrick: Vietnamese spring rolls with shrimp, Patrick had teriyaki half chicken with grilled vegetables and Spanish rice, I had pad thai with shrimp and chicken. Patrick ordered taro root cake for dessert. I reviewed Patrick's captions and made some suggestions. We created artwork and labels for DJ Patrick's Madonna remix CD.

Sun 11

Nectarine and plums and hash browns for breakfast. Patrick also had cereal. The plums were from Melissa's parents' yard—yummy! Today I took Patrick to a surprise event: Bay to Barkers—which is like Bay to Breakers except people walk with their dogs. The event took place at Cesar Chavez Park next to Berkeley Marina. They walk a little over 1 mile, then do games and contests. There are vendor booths with lots of doggy goods and services. It was fun except for the free soy milk ice cream sandwich which Patrick tried for free. (I refused.) Afterwards we looked on 4th Street for pint glasses but couldn't find the right ones for the right price. We went to downtown Berkeley and ate at a brand new restaurant called Thai Garlic (510-665-6005, 2042 University Av, Berkeley). They had opened for business yesterday, and the waiter offered each of us a free drink. (I presume this offer was limited to non-alcoholic beverages.) We both got Thai iced teas, which hit the sweet spot after watching doggies play in the warm summer sun with cool bay breezes. Patrick ordered pad see yew with chicken, I ordered fried shrimp with vegetables and steamed rice. We were a little dismayed that our order took a long time to arrive. It had even arrived after the orders of other tables near us who placed their orders after us. At the end of the meal, one of the restaurant people gave us a 10% off coupon which he said was good for 5 years. The food and the iced teas were all delicious. After the meal, Patrick and I stopped in to Eastwind, a bookstore specializing in Chinese books. I found a really fun book called Making Out in Chinese by Ray Daniels. It's a basic phrasebook, but it also tells you how to hit on or insult someone using Chinese. For example: "If you have free time, let's get together" is "Yo kong jien" and "Shut up!" is "Ju ko!" We drove back to SF, hitting 30 minutes' worth of traffic at the bridge. When we got back to the Sunset, our home was enshrouded in fog and cold—hard to believe we'd just come from such nice weather in the East Bay. I archived Christmas cards from 2003 and other memorabilia, started production on Patrick's Madonna remix CD. Weeded old files. Read news. Dinner at home with Patrick: fried salmon, mac and cheese with zucchini and red bell pepper, corn on the cob, country bread and butter. Finished burning remix CDs. Scanned in some souvenirs from Patrick's China trip.

Mon 12

Renewed my telecommuting arrangement for another year, updated Web pages for the supplemental application then gave Melissa URLs to review, updated orientation Web pages for Joel, checked up on Web hosting financial arrangements. Helped Ena with printing problems (unable to reproduce). Found our blinds order on the 11th floor. They had been sitting in an office for 3 weeks because the manufacturer delivered it to the wrong address. Chatted with Cindy about accounts for our entering students, the poster project, and the new supp app. Chatted with Melissa about the new supp app. Lunch at desk: leftover mac and cheese. Late snack: blueberry lowfat yogurt with pie shell crumbs (or something) and rainbow sprinkles. Helped Domenica with e-mail and spam woes. Gave Melissa and Joel a copy of Patrick's Madonna remix CD. Supp app Web page updates from Melissa. On the bus ride home, the driver missed the left turn onto 30th. Instead, he turned left onto 31th, then left again, then right onto 30th. A woman and her small child got off at that corner instead of the stop at 30th and Quintara. I didn't know if they had to walk an extra block because of his error. Dinner at home with Patrick: rosemary-wrapped pork chops, corn on the cob, rice pilaf. Edited souvenir scans, uploaded them to Ofoto.

Tue 13

Student computing meeting. Supp app project. Lunch: sandwich. Dinner at home with Patrick: chicken with stuffing, spinach with boiled egg, country bread.

Wed 14

Supp app project—lots of small change requests. Installed software on my new computer. Planning project with Susie. Coded more computer requirements Web pages. Lunch: hot pastrami sandwich, onion rings, pasta salad. Dinner at home with Patrick: Jambalaya réinventé, biscuits. Watched Simpsons: The Frying Game.

Thu 15

Supp app goes live—one big project mostly out of the way now. Coded computer requirements and investigated current versions thereof. Coded supp app workshop reply form and sent it out for review. Did Windows Updates on the server. Helped Melissa with printing problems. Lunch: chicken salad, side of corn, side of cottage cheese, dinner roll. Tonight for dinner, we splurge a little: In-n-Out Burger, 2 cheeseburgers, 2 orders of fries, Patrick gets a strawberry shake, I have pink lemonade mixed with 7-Up. Afterwards, we go to Krispy Kreme and after spending a few minutes watching the machine make doughnuts, we stand near the counter trying to decide what to get. A woman behind the counter hands each of us a hot, free doughnut, and that's exactly what each of us had wanted. We leave after a few minutes without having spent a penny.

Fri 16

The 8:30 AM bus didn't show up today. Derm appointment at 10:00 AM—got a small cyst removed from my left elbow (nothing to worry about). Orientation pages go live. Worked on supp app workshop form, computer requirements, and created a low-res PDF of Cindy's poster project for Don K. Updated the javascript page in the style guide. Leftover mild jambalaya for lunch. Created new class years and ps numbers cheat sheets. Sent supp app workshop form to Cindy and Melissa for second review. Leftover mild jambalaya for lunch. Patrick has dinner with Aaron.

Sat 17

Left a message with aaa-contactlensesdiscount.com because my contact lens order of July 2 hasn't arrived yet. Helped Galen and Charles with Urban Challenge—a kind of hi-tech scavenger hunt (see urbanchallenge.com)—it was fun! They asked us to look up stuff on the Web to help them figure out clues that would lead them to checkpoints throughout the city. They placed 19th out of 75 in 3 hours and 30 minutes. Pizza at Round Table Pizza. Grocery shopping at Tower Market. Prepared some packages to send to friends. Weeded and sorted and filed old files. Read Me Gusta Charo in Issue 6 of bringdown.com—hilarious! Weeded and filed old bookmarks. Went through the humor folder, had many good laughs. Watched old commercials from AdCritic.

Sun 18

Oatmeal with banana. Prepared for this evening's dinner party (vacuuming, cleaning, tidying). Napped. Talked with Tina for 90 minutes. Lunch at home: spaghetti rigati with red sauce. Napped. Prepared for this evening's dinner party (vacuuming, cleaning, tidying). Low-carb dinner with Stacey and Tim: salade with roquefort and bacon, chicken fricasse with two vinegars, garlic-sauteed broccoli with cheddar. Afterwards we listened to Pet Shop Boys and Erasure and read funny product warning labels.

Mon 19

The 8:30 AM bus didn't show up today. Resolved a small non-problem with forms security for the supp app. CD-ROM DemoShield production. Lunch with Melissa at Pomelo: rice noodles with chicken and Chinese sausage and vegetables for me, cold noodle salad with tofu for Melissa. Dinner at Spiazzino with Galen, who was quite the gentleman walking me all the way to the BART station afterwards. I can't remember what we ate, but for dessert we shared [?].

Tue 20

I don't bother trying to catch the 8:30 AM bus today since it hasn't shown up the last 2 times. It's 8:32 AM when I hear the bus roll down our street. I catch the 8:50 AM bus instead, which is more reliable. James returns from a trip to Europe. His Europe experience reminded me a lot of mine in 2000—London is still extremely expensive (exchange rate is 52 cents to 1 pound), people were friendliest in London, food was really wonderful in the Netherlands, the trains are great. He saw a bunch of opera and theatre shows in London, one of which was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang—I didn't know they made it into a musical! James also brought back gifts for the office: bath salts wrapped in pretty gold paper and ribbon, Belgian chocolates with wrappers depicting famous Dutch paintings, and a variety of teas from London in canisters depicting London things: red telephone booth, Buckingham palace guard, a bobby, a white man in a kilt, white schoolchildren in uniforms holding letters to mail to the post office. CD-ROM DemoShield production. Lunch: sandwich. The blinds installer from National Blind finally shows up to install our blinds after missing appointments with us twice. I'm gone while he does the installation, and when I return the blinds are up, and they're beautiful, but he left boot marks all over my desk and dropped screw shavings into my keyboard which made me somewhat disgruntled. You would think a professional blinds installer would bring a drop cloth. I'm caught up in CD-ROM production at the library and make it home late. Just as I'm ready to leave, one of the women who cleans our offices started talking to me about her problems trying to deal with the Social Security office since she's due for retirement soon. I was not completely without empathy and listened to her for a few minutes, but I knew from the way she was talking that she could have kept me there for hours if I let her. I explained to her that I was sorry she was having so much trouble with them and gave her the best advice I could: talk with someone in human resources. She kept talking, though, and it didn't matter that I told her I know nothing at all about the system. I eventually got out and caught my bus just barely. Dinner at home with Patrick: bow tie pasta and vegetables in a tomato cream sauce. Watched 2 Jacques Pepin cooking shows (The Choux Maker and Brick Oven Bonanza) and 1 Simpsons show (Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baaaadassss Song—a very good episode).

Wed 21

This morning as I'm waking up I have an important revelation about my journal which I think I had realized subconsciously in the past but only very consciously as of this morning, and I think it's because of what Stacey had asked me when she and Tim came to dinner on Sunday. Instead of explaining it, I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure it out, as it's a lot more fun to figure it out than to have had it spoon-fed to you. Today's entry itself is one example of the revelation. 8:30 AM bus shows up on time today! At about 9:15 AM I left another message for Contact Lenses 4 Less aka aaa-contactlensesdiscount.com (210 E. Broadway # H 407, New York N.Y. 100, Telephone: 888-439-1857, Fax: 888-439-1858) using phrases such as "still not received my order" and "report your company to my credit card company" and "fraudulent business." Grrr! The message greeting claims that they are open 11 to 8 Eastern time (8 to 5 Pacific time) but when I called today at 9:15 AM Pacific, no human answered the phone. Whois.sc reports the domain is owned by Patrick Stad (8745 Jacmar Street, Whittier CA 90605, Telephone: 562-698-8201, Fax: 123-123-1234). Searching Google on Patrick Stad's phone number revealed a listing on pe.epubliceye.com—a consumer watchdog site—which shows many other consumer complaints from 1999 and 2000. Fortunately, I have plenty of documentation regarding my purchase. A 10-minute phone call to my credit card company told me they would reverse the charges in 2 business days—whew! So now I'm a little smarter and fortunately no worse off moneywise, but I still need to find contact lenses. I've been using my glasses the past week or so. CD-ROM DemoShield production. Lunch: Panda Express. My fortune: Your life will be prosperous. When I get back from lunch, there's a message on my voicemail from Larry at Contact Lenses 4 Less. He apologized for the delay in returning my calls and said that my order was sent out today—they didn't have enough boxes of my very high prescription. He said the lenses should show up in 2 days. We'll see about that. (Even if they do show up, they still charged my card over 2 weeks before the lenses shipped.) [The contact lenses story continues on July 27.] Installer wrapping: The ITS installer for Eudora 6.1.1 is built with WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition, and it unzips the files into a temp folder but forces the user to go find the folder and open it themselves, so I build a new wrapper installer using the full version of WinZip Self-Extractor. My installer launches setup.exe automatically and deletes the temp files automatically. I create similar wrapper installers for Protein Explorer 1.982 and OpenRasMol 2.7.2.1.1. The 6:30 PM bus didn't show up, just as bus driver James warned me yesterday, so I got some bread at Arizmendi (I forget how much it cost) and 2 doughnuts at Donut World ($1.30). Why do doughnuts cost 65 cents each? Dinner at home with Patrick: rosemary pork chops, heirloom tomato and mozzarella mixed organic greens and basil salad, Italian country rolls with butter. Grocery shopping at Safeway, stocked up on party supplies. Dessert at home with Patrick: pound cake, almond whipped cream, fresh blueberries. Today I happened to recall a beloved motto I once had when I worked in technical support at Aldus/Adobe: A hidden feature is a problem discovered. I had coined this slogan in part because of all the hidden keyboard shortcuts we ended up discovering and documenting in various Aldus and Adobe applications.

Thu 22

Oatmeal and a doughnut. Used devguru.com, windowsdevcenter.com, and msdn to figure out how to programmatically create shortcuts on the desktop and in Start > Programs using a batch file or scripting. More setting up the new computer and CD-ROM building. Finished a soft build and sent it out for review. Helped Melissa set up sending e-mail for the osaca account. Dinner at home with Patrick: frozen pizza. Grocery shopping at Safevay. Patrick begins cooking for Sunday's party: red beans.

Fri 23

Oatmeal. Rented tables and chairs at Michael S. Hensley Party Rental and Sales Company (650-583-0337, 209 Utah Avenue, South San Francisco) where everyone was very helpful. We rented 10 white padded wooden chairs, four 24-inch round low pedestal tables, 3 chafing dishes, and 6 sternos: $122.49. Lunch: Xiao Loong, I had broccoli beef, Patrick had Xiao Loong chicken, a pot of Jasmine tea: $21. Patrick's fortune: A beautiful woman is a blessing to the soul; A paradise to the eyes and a curse to the purse. My fortune: Butterflies of sudden delight rest upon you tonight. Picked up a few more groceries at Safeway. Printed and laminated labels describing the dishes Patrick is cooking. Dinner with Joe M at the Thai restaurant next to The Cafe.

Sat 24

We cooked and prepared and shopped more groceries for tomorrow's party. Lunch at Castelleta Taqueria. Patrick got a haircut from Bao at Nice Cuts. Picked up a movie at Superstar. Dinner at home with Patrick: deli sandwich from Safeway.

Sun 25

Oatmeal with banana. We cooked and prepared and shopped more groceries for today's party: N'awlins Cookin'. Trader Joe's and 99 Market for flowers and groceries. Leftovers for lunch. While Patrick continued cooking dishes for this evening's party, I was the chef's assistant in the kitchen and ran errands for him at Albertson's. Patrick's menu: Andouille Red Beans and Rice, Red Beans and Rice (vegetarian), Bourbon Pecan Pralines, Chocolate Pecan Pralines, Cajun Stuffed Artichoke, Lafayette Okra Seafood Gumbo, Mild Barataria Seafood Jambalaya, Spicy Barataria Seafood Jambalaya, Baked Garlic Cheese Grits, Bayou Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce, Mississippi Mud, Black Cherry Kool-Aid, Southern-style Mint Iced Tea, Zapp's Spicy Cajun Crawtators, Barq's Root Beer, French Bread. Unfortunately, not everyone got to try everything. The most popular dishes were the gumbo, the jambalaya, the stuffed artichokes, and the bread pudding and whiskey sauce. Attending: Scott and Andy, Allex, Hao, Lee, Joe, Yan Hui, Tony A and Ray, Tony Q, Kim and Pete and Sarah, Bill and Kevin, Jenna and Don, Steve L, Travis, Dale, Jeremy and Daniel, Galen, Julianne and Danae, Eric, Jamie and Aaron and Demetrius, Matt and Tim, me and Patrick. In the back garden, we had set up four 24-inch round tables and white padded folding chairs which we had rented on Friday. We dressed the tables in white and beige tablecloths with tea lights and potted miniature roses. Inside, our kitchen counter held 3 rented chafing stands which kept foods hot during the party. People brought plenty of their own beverages: Lee brought new Coca-Cola C2, lots of people brought bottles of beer and wine, Julianne and Danae brought Crimson Voodoo. Matt brought a yummy, all natural, triple chocolate crunch cake. Patrick created a playlist of Chinese music and Cajun music. People looked at photos from Patrick's trip. Bill and Kevin brought potted mums. People loooved the whiskey sauce. Patrick gave out some copies of his Madonna mix CD. I made little cards which had trivia about New Orleans and set them out on the coffee table. I also made laminated tags for all the dishes. Tony Q gave us a bottle of Ascott Brandy XO (!!). Julianne and Danae gave us a bottle of Absente with a box of C and H sugar cubes (!!!). Sam returned from New Orleans today, but he didn't make it to the party. We planned the party to run from 4 to 8 PM. Weather was good enough to enjoy the outside, but not hot enough to get the sun breaks we'd hoped for. The party broke up around 9:00 and Patrick and I lugged in the tables and chairs from outside, and put away what little food remained. We were exhausted, but happy. The party was a lot of work and ran us a couple hundred dollars, but it was a lot of fun, and I figure it was a lot cheaper than having dinner individually with everyone who had come. Will we do it again next year? Patrick says, "We'll see." We had so much trash afterwards that our outdoor trash can was filled to the top and it's 6 days until the next trash pickup!

Mon 26

Cleaned up. Oatmeal for breakfast. Napped. Snack: Leftover red beans and rice. Returned the party rental gear. Returned a movie at Superstar. Snack: Osaka Sushi. Chatted with Jesse at AAB and Adrian at Body. Checked out books and movies from the library. Safeway for groceries, ran into Andy there, chatted a few minutes. Bought gas. Watched Funny Girl (1968) on DVD with snacks. Late dinner at home with Patrick: pan-fried basil chicken, corn on the cob, french fries, french bread.

Tue 27

Oatmeal and banana for breakfast. SCS meeting: Joan M and Rick S came to discuss VPN issues. The meeting went well. Staff meeting. Catching up from vacation. Lunch at desk: sandwich. Meeting with Cindy. School Plan subsite work for Susie. I got my contact lenses today from aaa-contactlensesdiscount.com. They had been delivered on Friday, July 23, over 3 weeks after I had ordered them. I opened the box and the lenses appear to be genuine and also the correct prescription. Larry never did call me back to tell me what my tracking number was. Consequently, although I won't file paperwork against them with my credit card company, I'll probably not order from them again. The boxes I got have Japanese characters all over them, so it still seems fishy to me. One box I received had a lot number of B0025KG2QL. Dinner at home with Patrick: slow-roasted salmon with a sage cream sauce, leftover red beans and rice, French bread. Tonight was a round of entertainment disasters. First we tried to watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit on DVD which we had borrowed from the library. However, about 20 or 30 minutes into it the player just got stuck—the disc was very scratched up. I washed it but it didn't help, and I didn't want to try any further solution because it wasn't our disc. So then we tried to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I had taped from broadcast TV on Sunday. However, only 45 minutes were recorded—I don't know why. So we watched an episode of The Simpsons after that: Brawl in the Family—a very, very funny episode. My favorite parts were (a) the treehouse scene, and (b) when one of the Vegas women lifted her head from the pillow.

Wed 28

Started using the new computer regularly now after having gotten lots and lots of pesky settings migrated. Ran in to Firefox bug 246078 with Firefox 0.9.2 and used the fix provided by johnhaller.com—it worked perfectly. Completed Microsoft paperwork for distributing Windows Media Player. School Plan subsite work for Susie. Privacy subsite work for Cindy. Renewed SSL certificates for our student directory domains. Recreated my work briefcase on my USB key. Panda Express for lunch. My fortune: You have the urge and the ability for major accomplishments. Met with James, made a bunch of small Web edits for him. Supp app workshop form for James. School plan edits for Susie: put in the image she purchased yesterday. Home. Replied to a lot of thank you messages for Sunday's party. Sent a thank you note to Geoff Kimmons, an IT manager at Canterbury Christ Church University College in England who sent me a thank you note saying that my journal (March 2004) was helpful in resolving the Win 2000 to Win XP upgrade problem with Sophos Anti-Virus and Sophos Admin. Dinner at home with Patrick: 3 herbs cornish game hen, spaghetti rigati in red sauce and tomatoes, French bread with garlic. Dessert: bread pudding belle helene: Patrick made a bread pudding with pears and sliced almond, then topped each serving with a thick sauce of melted chocolate. Tried buying stamps online from usps.com, but instead sent them feedback: "When I tried to place an order, in the shipping address section I entered my zip code as 94143-0150 but it automatically changes to 94143-2205. This is not my correct zip code, and I abandoned my shopping cart because I could not resolve this problem. My mail frequently gets delivered to Mission Bay instead of Parnassus because of problems like these. No one cares whether the words 'ZIP Code' are trademarked, but they do care when auto-correcting computer systems choose the wrong thing which results in mail being delivered to the wrong place." (If you visit usps.com, in some places they now say ZIP Code accompanied by a trademark symbol: ZIP Code™.) Paid bills. Read news and blogs. Adjusted my bookmarks page. Filed electronic paperwork for transit reimbursement.

Thu 29

Breakfast at the hospital cafeteria. Migrated Trillian settings, set up printer on the new computer, set up new computer on UPS, reworked computer names so things are back to normal. Investigated "unsafe expressions" error for James. Paid a bill for Patrick. Sent the following e-mail: "Chris and Rodney, Today I figured out a problem which Chris told me you both ran into earlier, and I thought my explanation of it was correct at the time, but today I happened to figured out what the real answer is. In the attached jpeg, the left half is a screen snapshot taken with ClearType on and the right half is the same thing with ClearType off. When ClearType is on, it creates a noisy halo effect around the letters which ruins the screen snapshot. So, whenever you're taking screen snapshots, temporarily turn off ClearType: Start > Control Panel > Display > Appearance > Effects and set "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts" to Standard instead of ClearType. ClearType is very useful otherwise, so remember to turn it back on when you're done. Frank" This issue doesn't appear to be documented anywhere on the Web. Reviewed and sent feedback regarding the UCSF-Dell site where entering students can buy preconfigured computers that meet our computer requirements. The URL for the site that Dell built for us was 324 characters long. Set up the new keyboard that came with my new computer. Scanned in the plastic bag that my Dell keyboard came in. It has really interesting universal symbols to indicate the danger of suffocating from a plastic bag. I think I'm going to make a t-shirt out of one or both of them. I have a fascination with universal symbols because they intend to communicate so much with so little without language and I find it interesting to observe which designs do and don't work. It's also amusing to think that some people thought some awful designs would work. School Plan Web work for Susie. Priced Windows Server 2003 training. Lunch: chicken quesadilla from the cafeteria. Dinner at home with Patrick: bowtie pasta in pesto with chicken and sausage, French bread with olive oil and garlic. Rented Raiders of the Lost Ark on DVD, then watched it. It was very confusing how to run the DVD extras, something about how you had to go to the Web site, so we put it away for figuring out possibly tomorrow or Saturday. Why did they make it such extra work just to see DVD extras? During the movie we had popcorn and black cherry Kool Aid with fresh cherries.

Fri 30

Breakfast: Leftover bread pudding belle helene, leftover bacon, cherry-nectarine fruit smoothie—yum! Student directory on the Web project. Finalized training appointments. Made HPM changes for Kristina. Linkchecking: lots of links on the Campus Life Services Web site broke so I had to manually track down new URLs to fix them. Installed yet another security update for IE6. Began editing my job description for Cindy. Web stats analysis. Dinner at home with Patrick: hearts of romaine salad. Watched 3 Simpsons episodes.

Sat 31

Breakfast: Leftover bread pudding belle helene, oatmeal, cherry-nectarine-orange fruit smoothie. Planned to go see Spider-man 2 but didn't. Lunch with Patrick at Xiao Loong: won ton soup for me, garlic chicken lunch special for Patrick: about $14 after a $2 tip. My fortune: Take advantage of an unusual opportunity to advance your career. Patrick's: A member of your family will soon do something that will make you proud. Rented Spider-man 1. Picked up some groceries at stores in West Portal. Strolled in the Castro. I got a paper towel holder at Cliff's. Patrick got a coffee at Spike's. We said hello to Adrian at Body. Went home. Installed the paper towel holder. Dinner at home with Patrick: stir-fried vegetables in olive oil with mini penne, French bread. Worked on redesign mockups for Lodestar. Watched Spider-man 1 on DVD.