November 2004

Summary: Jelly Belly Factory Tour; John Kerry narrowly loses the presidential election; frankfarm.org crashes; Dumplings Dinner with Tony, Bobby, and friends; Thanksgiving with the Honmas; Potluck and Les Invasions Barbares at Galen's

Dates on this page

Mon 1

Woke up, took a bath in the jacuzzi tub. Had complimentary coffee and orange juice from the minibar in the hallway. Breakfast in the dining room: coffee, orange juice, and Numi earthy vanilla healer (rooibos) tea. First course was 3 mini-courses: slices of banana and apple with yogurt, one piece of shu mai and spicy shu mai sauce, and a slice of Bob's special coffee cake. Second course was 2 slices of bacon, chocolate chip pancakes with pecan butter and maple syrup. During breakfast we chatted briefly with a woman who wore too much eyeliner (I wanted to tell her that she was beautiful without the makeup, but I knew it wouldn't make any difference) and her husband who talked about rare books, and we watched a black cat chase a squirrel into a tree outside the window. I took a nap while Patrick packed. As we left, the same squirrel we saw earlier made squirrel noises, which Patrick had never heard before from squirrels. On our way back from Sacramento, I had planned a surprise trip for Patrick to the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, California. The factory is amazingly clean and super-automated. The tour is fascinating in that it takes you through the factory from an overhead perspective, so you can look down at all the activity below. Parts of the tour were not very interesting to us, particularly the gallery of "art" made from Jelly Belly jellybeans. In the gift shop you can purchase defective Jelly Bellys which they call belly flops—2 pounds for $7. You can try any of the 50 flavors at the sample bar. Patrick tried 2 new flavors—roasted garlic and apricot. All the candy seemed to sell for about $8 per pound, which seemed pricey to me. We ate lunch in the Jelly Belly Cafe, which, in hindsight, was a big mistake. If you remember anything from this review of the Jelly Belly factory tour, remember DON'T EAT AT THE CAFE. We were hungry, so we tried the medium Jelly Belly pepperoni pizza, which was shaped like a Jelly Belly jellybean. It wasn't inedible, but for $8 you'd expect something that tasted better than what you can get from the freezer section of the grocery and can cook in your microwave oven. The pizza had only 8 pieces of pepperoni on it, and it was overflowing with flavorless cheese—way too much cheese. We continued the drive home—no problems except I had to stop to take a short nap. We saw a funny sign advertising some new homes which said, "Start making memories!" Patrick took a nap while I tidied the apartment. Dinner at Spiazzo (415-664-9511, 33 West Portal) with Patrick: Caesar salad (shared), Patrick had ravioli naturale (but with tomato cream sauce instead of regular tomato sauce). I had penne al salmone. We shared a piece of tiramisu. Grocery shopping at Safeway on Taraval. Patrick talked to his mom in New Orleans. We watched Jon Stewart on Crossfire—a video clip from ggreg.com.

Tue 2

Cream of wheat with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice and fresh banana slices. The 8:08 AM bus didn't show up, so today was one of those awful mornings where it takes me over an hour to get to work. Patrick dropped off our absentee election ballots at the polling station down the street. Student computing committee meeting—Kraig, Mark, and Bruce were the special guests. Met with Kristina, Debrah, Ena, Melissa, and Joel about Rob Duca's presentation of the results of the staff survey. Fixed Ena's CD-ROM player which wouldn't appear in My Computer—the connection had come loose again. Superfast lunch because my clock hadn't been turned back yet, so I thought I had less time than I actually did: leftovers from last night, an orange, a banana. Met with Cindy. Helped Kristina briefly with Junk Mail features in Eudora. Put together purchase orders for a new server and for student photos from our outsource agency, handed them off to Cindy for signature. Extracted photos from the digicam for Cindy. Updated admissions sections of the website. Helped Chris briefly with a printer driver question. Helped student Makiko with laptop troubles. Snacked on some cookies. Spent an hour on the phone with Ivan from Sophos fixing Sophos and SAVAdmin. Ivan was very helpful. Dinner at home with Patrick: fancy salad, bread and butter. Watched some of the early election results. Watched Simpsons Treehouse of Horror 4. Chatted with Travis briefly.

Wed 3

When we went to bed last night, we didn't know who the winner of the presidential election would be. We are extremely disappointed to learn this morning at around 8:17 AM that John Kerry has conceded. Patrick is talking about moving to Canada, but I don't see the point in that—yet—since the election was so close. Telecommute day. Linkchecking. Poster project for Chris. Home page redesign work. Lunch at home: canned soup; orange, banana, cinnamon fruit smoothie. A storm moved in to San Francisco this afternoon and brought a lengthy shower of 3-millimeter hailstones from around 3:36 to 3:45 PM. Thunder and lightning, too! Laundry, vacuuming. Edited robots.txt file on the dev server. Admissions pages updates for James. Dinner at home with Patrick: breaded, oven-baked rockfish with zucchini; skinny french fries. Patrick and I read "Without a Doubt" by Ron Suskind, October 17, 2004, New York Times—an interesting (and foreboding) article describing George W. Bush's characteristics of faith and certainty in decision-making. Thanks, Margaret Cho, for providing the link. Shopped online at The Gap, bought 2 shirts.

Thu 4

Breakfast at the cafeteria at work: eggs, sausage, potatoes, toast, real orange juice: $4.75. Transgender training with Shane Snowdon and Eric Koenig. I can't say enough how great it is to have Shane available to us as a resource for these issues. Uploaded a legal notice to our website for Cindy. Updated current students calendar and news. Linkchecking. Lunch: roast turkey, brown rice, gravy, corn off the cob. Placed our order for the new server with The Source. Prepared for updating the student leaders listserv for Cindy. Homepage redesign and CSS work. Helped Melissa get her laptop hooked up for wireless on campus. The 6:30 pm bus didn't show up. Took me over 45 minutes to get home. Dinner at home with Patrick: butternut squash and sage fiore pasta with cheddar biscuits. I didn't like the pasta because I don't like squash, and I ended up having canned soup instead. The biscuits were delicious. Dessert: Jelly Belly jelly beans. Joel W. Gonzales got quoted in the Chronicle today. Woo!

Fri 5

Breakfast at the cafeteria at work: eggs, sausage, potatoes, toast, real orange juice: $4.75. Met with Susie. We reviewed new photos for the home page, scanning some additional ones in to try different images out. Linkchecking. Updated legal notice for Cindy. Refreshed student leaders listserv for Cindy. Archived tarballs of our web server content. Prepared old computers for surplussing, handed off to Ena for paperwork. Upgraded Joel's computer to XP SP2, installed Firefox, password manager. Lunch: cheese burger, half order of onion rings, half order of french fries: $4.52. Finalized our home page redesign changes with Susie, then made them live and sent out an announcement. Dinner at home by myself: triple-order of ramen with 2 eggs and scallions. Patrick went to some kind of classical concert with Sam tonight.

Mon 15

Gay Comedy at the SF LGBT Community Center hosted by Reannie Roads. Dolores Trevino, Ronn Vigh, Juee Clare, Nico Santos, Amma, Bridget Schwartz.

Tue 16

Lunch: cheddar cheese burger, half order of onion rings, half order of fries: $4.52.

Wed 17

Celebrated Melissa's birthday. Cindy brought 2 (!) cakes: one chocolate, one carrot. Dinner at Harvey's: blue cheese burger (medium well), onion rings.

Thu 18

Oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon, banana slices. Optimized images in ImageReady CS to save space on the server. Lunch: a one-pound salad from the cafeteria salad bar. Interview reply pages work for James. Installed a new black keyboard and mouse for Ena. Installed a new fan for Cindy's work computer at home then finished setting it up. Dinner downtown at Siam Thai, where my dish was too spicy so Patrick and I traded: he got my too-spicy chicken with cashews and I got his pad see yew. Over dinner we (I) came up with an idea for a character for one of his stories or novels. After we shared a venti eggnog latte to go at Starbucks. Went to comedy night at 50 Mason hosted by Sean Hetherington. I can't remember all the names of the comics: Sean Hetherington, Julia Jackson, Nico Santos, Enzo, and the headliner Ronn Vigh. This was a very gay and very funny night—all the comics were very smooth and hilarious.

Fri 19

Reinstalled Acrobat because nothing would happen when I tried to create a PDF in Word. Staff survey meeting. Interview reply work for James. Joel and I went to the Transgender Remembrance Day event at UCSF. We were treated to the wonderfully moving singing Transcendence Gospel Choir and we heard key speakers talk about the current state of trans issues: writer and founder of the Day of Remembrance Gwen Smith and activist Sylvia Guerrero, the mother of Gwen Araujo. Afterwards, I treated Joel to lunch at You See Sushi. Service was not very good—I only tipped 75 cents on a $13 meal. Unfortunately, this is somewhat typical for You See Sushi. At 2:37 PM today Joel walks into my office and hands me a letter postmarked November 8, 2004 sent from Industry, California. The return address shows that it's from my mom and dad. Mom handwrote the address and misspelled San Francisco as San Fransico. It's also my old office address (incomplete), so that explains the delay.

Sat 20

Xiao Loong (250 W Portal): deep-fried spring rolls, cashew chicken lunch plate for me, black bean chicken for Patrick: $22.35 after a $3.00 tip. They gave us 4 fortune cookies. Patrick's fortunes: "You have an unusual magnetic personality. Just be aware of your polarity." and "An old friend introduces you to new people and pleasures." I lost one of my fortunes. The one I didn't lose was "Others are anxious to get to know you better." Errands: drug store, grocery. My sister called today with extremely disappointing news that my mom was coming to my nephew's birthday party, so of course we aren't going now. I was stunned at the sudden turn of events, and very sad because I had been looking forward to giving Jeremy the present we had picked out for him and seeing the party that my sister had planned. Dinner with Tony, Bobby, Galen, Yan-Hui, Sergey, Mark, and Stephen—our first time meeting the latter 3. Patrick and I arrived early to help make dumplings (from scratch). We brought wine, apple juice, and Hansen's Mandarin Lime soda. Galen brought a Canadian salad: spinach, pomegranate seeds, slivered almonds, sesame seeds, and a sweet vinaigrette. Mark and Sergey brought borscht. Yan-Hui brought a bowl of mixed fruit for dessert. In addition to dumplings, we had sticky rice and Vietnamese spring rolls.

Sun 21

Cream of wheat, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, sliced banana. Watched the Sponge Bob teaser and trailer. Looked at photos from yesterday's party, which Rob had sent. Patrick's hand is still sore from the rolling pin on the dumpling dough yesterday. Bought a 2U BoomRack rackmount computer case for a new server—half off at Central Computer. Brunch with Tony Q, Galen, Nick, Laurent, Jimmy, Steve, and Chris at Baghdad Cafe. Peet's Coffee, stopped at Joseph Schmidt but we didn't realize they are closed on Sundays—disappointing. Patrick napped while I prepared for a computer birthing. Patrick started a pot roast. We watched Good Bye Lenin! on DVD. Ate dinner late.

Mon 22

I'm on vacation all this week. Discovered that the rackmount case I bought yesterday is too long to fit in my rackmount unit. Found a replacement online. Lunch at home with Patrick: leftovers from last night. Prepared and posted an eBay listing for the too-long rackmount case. Laundry and other house chores. Worked on frankfarm.com. Dinner at home with Patrick: tortelloni and shrimp in pesto sauce. We laughed when we saw the title of a CD in my brother's Amazon wish list: The Bible - The Complete Word of God (abridged) by Reduced Shakespeare Company. Watched Simpsons episodes: Team Homer and A Fish Called Selma.

Tue 23

Cream of wheat, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, sliced banana. Archived answering machine messages. Swept outside in the entryway—a lot of tree debris had fallen in the recent rains. Archived a cocktail napkin and a birthday card. Laundry, dishes, trash, dusted, vacuumed. Cut my hair. Lunch: leftover pot roast, corn and peas. Dinner at Kamakura by myself: chicken teriyaki and tempura dinner, yellowtail roll: about $23. Grocery shopping by myself at Safeway. Chatted on the phone with Tina.

Wed 24

I dreamt last night there was some kind of emergency and I had somehow stepped in water and I took off my boots and my socks were soaked so I went to change my socks while people were running about being frantic and I found that I was out of clean, dry socks. Fruit smoothie and Oriental salad for brunch. Cleaned out my address book. Took a 4-hour nap. Dinner at home with Patrick: turkey burgers with cheddar, Oriental salad, tortilla chips. Made cupcakes. Patrick picked up an amaretto pumpkin pie from Harvest Market today.

Thu 25

We spent Thanksgiving with my sister's family in Mountain View. We picked up Rob's mom's friend Janko in downtown SF and gave her a ride over. Jeremy got his 5th birthday present late—a Cranium game called Hullaballoo, a cross between Twister and Simon Says. A 15-pound free range turkey was stuffed with stuffing and herbs and roasted in their new range. It came out very juicy and flavorful. Ron and May joined us for the afternoon dinner.

Fri 26

Pumpkin pie with whipped cream for breakfast. Read WiReD magazine. Lunch at home by myself: burger made with cheddar and leftover turkey, leftover mashed potatoes and gravy. I found the fortune I lost a couple days ago in my jacket pocket. It says: Confucius says: Gort Klatu - Barada - Nicto. Dinner at home with Patrick: turkey burgers with cheddar, tortilla chips, leftover mashed potatoes and gravy. I bought a new hard drive online for the new server. In the process of migrating my passwords to KeePass I discovered that I accidentally hadn't been checking the 2nd e-mail address I use for making online purchases. I can't remember when I had set that address up, but it must have been at least a year ago. I had about 800 e-mail messages—13 megabytes worth. Downloaded them all, then sorted through them. Bulk-erased some old hard drives. Reworked pinouts on the Antec EasyUSB drive bay (which lets me put a 3.5" hard drive and 2 USB ports in a 5.25" bay) to match the motherboard I'm using for the server I'm building. Read WiReD magazine. After not having read a hardcopy of WiReD for what must be years it feels weird to me. It's as though someone said, "We need more cool-looking-but-information-poor infographics for every article!" It pleases me some that there seem to be fewer ads for booze, but the whole thing now seems like a giant tech-gadget buyer's guide without good review content. Someone might have a need for that, but not me. The only reason we have this copy is because Patrick wanted the Creative Commons music CD that was included with the magazine. I guess we could have gotten the tracks for free online, but it's always nice having a master.

Sat 27

Bagel with cream cheese and chives, fruit smoothie. Cleaned up browser installations on my computer for browser testing. I discovered Joe Maddalone's (year-old) instructions called "Multiple IEs in Windows" for running older versions of IE side by side with IE6. This wasn't known to be possible before his instructions, and that consequently made browser testing for web developers a huge pain. Thanks to evolt and Ryan Parman for the leads. I now have 26 browsers available in Windows for testing. Lunch at home with Patrick: homemade biscuits and canned soup. Helped Patrick complete his application to a writing fellowship in Provincetown. Organized files on the computer. Archived some more documents.

Sun 28

Potluck and movie night at Galen's. Yan-Hui, Vic, Emery, Jesse, Remi. Galen made rice and a pineapple chicken stir-fry. Emery brought a spinach salad. Yan-Hui brought Japanese candy. Jesse and Remi brought Vietnamese sandwiches made of chicken and pig. For dessert, I brought peppermint rice krispie treats. We watched Les Invasions Barbares (The Barbarian Invasions) which is similar to Big Fish.

Mon 29

Cream of wheat. Linkchecking. Worked on Chris's laptop. Did some experimenting with migrating form elements InDesign and Acrobat. Lunch: tostada salad from the cafeteria. Did malware research. Met with Susie about Web issues. Chatted with Chris about various issues. Dinner at home with Patrick: pork chops, salad, bread and butter. Investigated DIBS.

Tue 30

Student computing committee meeting. Staff meeting. Supplemental application meeting. Chatted with student Deke on the out the door going home from work. Dinner at home with Patrick: smoked salmon salad. Entered some of the birthdays I have in my contact database into Yahoo! Calendar. Patrick and I took the car to pick up the rackmount computer case I ordered recently from work. Watched Oprah's Wildest Dreams starring Joel W. Gonzales and Heather Howard.