February 2005

Summary: BK's birthday party, Fletcher's birthday party and Chinese New Year at Johnson and Chika's, 5th anniversary with Patrick

Dates on this page

Tue Feb 1, 2005

I dreamt last night that I was in an electronics store of some kind. Erico was there making a purchase, but I didn't recognize him on my way in. I walked quickly deep into the store and examined some kind of artwork in a display case. The inks had faded from exposure to the sun, and I knew for some reason I wasn't really interested in what I was looking at—I was only pretending to look, but I don't know why. As I left the store, I then recognized Erico. He was shifting things around in his bag to make room for his purchase, which I didn't see. I saw small containers of fresh foods—snow peas, garbanzo beans, and something else.—Bagel and cream cheese. Danny from facilities stopped by to discuss the cooling problems I've been having in my office. Meeting with Cindy. Helped 2 students with laptop problems. Sent an e-mail to all students warning about possible wireless connectivity problems.

Wed Feb 2, 2005

Joe's Os and pumpkin granola for breakfast. Updated the 50 listservs I manage to reflect my new work e-mail address. Listserv drops. Tested wireless in common classroom areas. Joel helped me test e-mail message formats. Answered a few questions for Melissa about computer viruses. Lunch: burrito and chips and Snapple iced tea from Gorda or Gordo or Gordito (I can't remember the name), ate in Strybing—it was hot in the sun and cold in the shade today. Worked on e-mail migration issues. Dinner at home by myself: leftover risotto and leftover mashed potatoes. Download desktop wallpaper images from thomas fj aka rune aka runestone studios aka pbase.com/rune for personal use only. Explored other pbase.com galleries. Patrick got home from class and ate gyoza for dinner then showered and fell asleep. Read blogs.

Thu Feb 3, 2005

I dreamt last night my sister and I arrived at home but it was a home I didn't recognize from reality. We entered through the back—a tidy kitchen with a very high ceiling. The room was shaped like a big box. I don't recall seeing any windows, but there must have been big ones up high because we didn't turn on the lights and we could walk around and see things clearly in the low blue-black light—moonlight or street light which came in from somewhere. We rushed through the kitchen, and in the next room was a little girl, maybe 3 or 4 years old. She had been sleeping and crying, but I don't know why. I stayed with the girl to console her, stroking her hair and wiping away tears, but I was not quite sure of my ability to succeed. She eventually did grow calm, and I was glad.—Joe's Os, sliced banana. Helped Joel set up his Palm Zire 31, which took about 4 hours, primarily because Palm Desktop requires admin privileges during installation. Ugh! I'm glad I don't have to support very many of these devices. The answer which worked for us was found on a pa1mOne (palmOne) forum but it was not provided by a palmOne employee—a user called Desdemona posted a message called "Using the built-in software on your handheld" on January 19, 2005. The roughly 36-step procedure involved backup up the Palm Desktop data folder, wiping all traces of Palm Desktop from the computer (including registry entries), temporarily giving the user local administrator privileges, installing the palmOne software, restoring the backed up data folder, then removing admin privileges from the user. It really turned out to be a 40- or 60-step procedure based on a number of additional roadblocks which took some Googling to resolve. I will spare you the details simply because I want to spare myself the dread of having to relive it. I showed Joel pbase.com, and Joel subsequently mentioned all your base are belong to us, but he had never seen the little movie, so I showed it to him and then we together read the wikipedia entry for it, which—I was surprised—turned out to be not only very useful but also well written. I hadn't known its whole history, but I certainly remember seeing it long ago, and it's still funny. Made live graduation section changes for Cindy. Prepared to collect preferred names from year 3 students. Chatted with Ena who graciously agreed to handle the data collection duties. Chatted with Rodney to make sure he's in the loop on the e-mail migration. This affects him because the e-mail accounts will use the same Active Directory authentication as for the accounts which he has already generated for students in our computer lab. Lunch with Joel at Cybelle's (415-665-8088, 1385--9th Ave): bacon burger and fries and iced tea for me, teriyaki burger and fries and diet Coke for Joel. Joel originally ordered an iced tea, but sent it back when he learned that it had lemon mixed in. While we waited for our food to arrive, a person of no home walked by the window and rudely stuck his/her tongue out at us. Not threateningly, but still quite deliberately. We were more amused than insulted. I ordered my burger medium well, and J0el ordered his very well done. I didn't realize until I got home that our receipt said "medium" for mine and "medium" for Joel's, too! I didn't notice when eating, however. Our waitron was Rigo, and service was pretty good despite the weirdness with our burger temp orders and the receipt. UCSF people get a 10% discount, too! Finished preps for preferred name collection and sent it off. Chatted with Chris about e-mail and domain migrations. Chatted with student T.D. who helped me out with info about how students log in to domains at our various computer labs. I needed the info for the e-mail migration pages. Changed DNS and WINS settings for all office computers—tonight we migrate to the campus domain. Printed reminders for office staff logging in in the morning to use the new domain. Patrick has been sick starting last night—hopefully it's just a cold and not the flu. He couldn't go to class today and has been in and out of bed. After a dinner of broth and orzo, I got fresh groceries at Safeway. Did dishes, cleaned in the kitchen. Put away laundry which Patrick had folded earlier.

Fri Feb 4, 2005

Patrick says he got only about 3 hours of sleep last night due to lots of waking up coughing. Joe's Os with sliced banana. Went in early because of our domain migration. Checked with Cindy that her computer is working properly with the new domain. A server is down; I notified the admin. Updated current students calendar for student L.S. Updated a PID page for Joel. Turns out everyone logged in to the new domain okay, so the domain migration went very well—many thanks to Kraig K. Got a sweet thank you card from student N.S. Retrospect failed for James's computer, so I resolved the problem (Windows Firewall had somehow gotten turned on, so I turned it off) and ran a backup for his computer only. Helped Cindy resolve a problem in which Word 2003 spell check wouldn't work—we'd run spell check and Word wouldn't find obviously misspelled words like "appplicant." I found the answer on wtonline.vitalnews.com in Tip #0533. Lunch: Joel and I went to the cafeteria. He got a salad, but then ditched it when he found that the bin holding chicken breast meat was empty. We both got sandwiches instead. I also had a disappointing bowl of Annie Chun's Udon Soup FreshPak(TM) Noodle Bowl with tofu and spinach. I should have known better. The package promises that it's "quick and easy" and that it's a "restaurant-quality meal" and "great tasting" and that it has "noodles that taste fresh made" but they're all blatant lies. The so-called "tofu" is green (???) and has the flavor and consistency of a kitchen sponge. My favorite test is to make the meal as described on the package, then hold up the package photo next to your meal—do they look the same? Is it even close? No. Annie Chun is forever a liar in my book, if she's even a real person at all. Pfllttt! I'll have to have a word with that guy Joe I traded money with to get the noodle bowls. At some point during the day the fire alarm went off. I grabbed the data safe and snagged last night's cartridge out of the server just in case, and the whole office wormed down the stairs to Saunders Court to wait. We all had forgotten the emergency backpacks which Cindy had gotten for everyone a while back. Each backpack contains an energy bar and a liter of bottled water and a flashlight and the emergency flipchart with various instructions for fire, earthquake, chemical spill, nuclear war, and so forth. No fire or explosions, and we were let back in the building after about 15 or 20 minutes. Distributed the e-mail to collect preferred names for P3 students, and resolved various preferred name issues that have started to come in. E-mail migration web page edits, including making a new graphic in Photoshop showing an example login screen. Helped Sarah Ball with retrieving documents which were formerly in our alumni section—she's been tasked to migrate them to a new site. Career section URL fixing for Naledi Saul. Fixed Cindy's computer to not start Radio@Netscape automatically at her request. Dinner at home: I made a sage and thyme pork chop with a side of garlic spinach and some naan. Patrick has been eating radishes and cold medicines. He said today that all his skin was achy. I thought he meant his muscles, but no, he insisted it was his skin! We watched a Simpsons episode before bed. My nose is a little runny. Did I pick up Patrick's cold? I made a joke today while consoling Patrick over chat: Why does Lysol recommend that you buy 2 cans at a time? So that when you're done using one can, you can use the other to disinfect it! God, what a brilliant waste of money. I finally take time today to try to figure out why IntelliSync for Yahoo! is failing to synch my Outlook with Yahoo!. On January 20, I started getting lots of Error 4198.4198. The first occurrence was in line 161 of olk_Export.cpp and it was preceded by Error 0xf629b269.-165039511.30063 at line 654 of pumapis.cpp. Did a clean reinstall and now it's working fine except every now and then it cannot log in to Yahoo! but if I wait a few seconds and try it again (no changes) it works fine. Patrick had wanted to attend the Lillian Faderman reading tonight at A Different Light, but being sick there was simply no way he could make it.

Sat Feb 5, 2005

Joe's Os with sliced banana. Cleaned in the kitchen. Took out the garbage, compost, and recycling. Made banana bread and banana bread with walnuts. Archived documents. Errands: Walgreen's, library, video store, hardware store. Watched Die Mommy Die on DVD. This film disappointed me because I didn't laugh. Well, I did laugh on occasion, but at the film, rather than with it. The acting seemed stiff at times, and I couldn't figure out whether—at a certain moment—I was supposed to laugh or not. The ending was absurd and not satisfying at all. I made dinner at home with Patrick: steamed chicken stuffed with basil, thyme, sage, and mushrooms. Watched Singin' in the Rain on DVD. We didn't finish and stopped about 75% of the way through.

Sun Feb 6, 2005

Breakfast for Patrick: bagel with peanut butter and margarine, pomegranate juice. Breakfast for me: bacon, hash browns, herbed eggs scrambled easy with fresh spinach. Cleaned the kitchen. Did laundry. I researched water filters further and came to the conclusion that we don't need one at all. Lunch at home with Patrick: leftover steamed chicken and orzo for me, leftover noodles and chicken for Patrick. Finished watching Singin' in the Rain on DVD. Patrick took a nap. I made dinner at home with Patrick: marinated ahi tuna, spinach, sesame rice. Patrick and I tried to watch The Joy Luck Club on DVD but it was really scratched up so we had to abort about about 23 minutes in. (It's borrowed from the public library.) Patrick and I watched The Gold Rush (1942) on DVD. It was fun seeing such an old film and to reflect upon how filmmaking has changed and progressed. Journal coding: Added a Previous Day link to the current journal entry page. Added previous day and next day links to each single-day-view page. You can now cycle from day to day in Firefox using Alt+N and Alt+P. Patrick does indeed have the flu. He feels better today than, say, Friday, though. He's still not sure if he'll go to class tomorrow; he would hate having to miss a class. We determined that his flu started Wednesday night, so it's roughly 4 days down, 6 to go. He's hoping for sooner, of course.

Mon Feb 7, 2005

Oatmeal, sliced fresh banana, cinnamon, brown sugar. Sent queued messages for Chris. Shopped for a flashlight to replace the one we got in our emergency backpacks which doesn't work very well. I use a flashlight a lot under desks checking computers and also when opening them up to look inside. I was really disappointed when I saw dorcy.com—that site looks so unprofessional! inovalight.com is the exact opposite—a very professional site with all the information I needed. Joel showed me a flower print tote bag which he made in sewing class over the weekend—very nice with a shimmery blue lining and inside pockets. Then he took it to the next level by turning the whole thing inside out—reversible! Linkchecking. Helped Kristina with a password issue. Resolved a problem with mixed up asset tags: The Source had an incorrect date on one of their invoices which made me think the product ordered on the invoice wasn't ours. Arranged with Helen G to update my e-mail address listing in the computer system. Lunch: takeout from Panda Express with Joel. We ate in the workroom with Ena who had soup from Mae Thip and with Kristina who was working on some kind of reports. Helped Joel confirm that the confirmation e-mail that LearnIt! sent him today has a broken link. Reviewed VPN issues. Copied a presentation to the laptop for Melissa. Updated links for Naledi S. Tried to find the duplicate copy of Meeting Maker that James had reprted seeing on his computer but I could not. Prepared for tasks to do on my telecommute day. Prepared Chris's old desktop computer for sunset. Dinner at home by myself: leftover steamed chicken; stir-fried spinach and mushrooms with garlic and olive oil. Tweaked journal footer font sizes, fixed display:block problem on the journal index page. After Patrick got home we watched an episode of Will and Grace.

Tue Feb 8, 2005

Joe's Os with sliced banana. I brought 2 orchid plants to work today. Our inlaw apartment in the Sunset district of San Francisco doesn't get very much light. These 2 plants haven't bloomed in maybe 2 years, so I decided something needed to be done. Although we haven't gotten flowers from these plants, we have gotten baby orchid plants, and those babies are both flowering or close to flowering at the office. The window in the office gets a lot of light and warmth, so as long as we water appropriately it should be a very good environment for them. Student computing committee meeting. Did special backup runs of Chris's computers. Joel was at an Excel class at LearnIt! today. E-mail migration work: worked out more details with Mark B, prepared preferred name collection lists and spreadsheets for February 14. Helped Melissa set up the laptop for a presentation. Lunch: fish and chips, $4. Retrieved a document from backup tape for myself. Sent out Firefox Tip #008 to staff. [friendly woman bus driver] Drugs at Walgreen's. Groceries at Safeway. Dinner at home with Patrick: Milena's Hawaiian Style Pizza (good flavors but the crust was not as promised ["extra lightness and pockets to hold the sauce"], and we don't believe the made-up story on the back of the box about Milena.) Watched DVD extras for The Gold Rush—worthwhile and quick, but why did they interview that French-speaking director? Watched a Simpsons episode: The Great Money Caper. My favorite parts were Michael Jackson's scenes.

Wed Feb 9, 2005

Joe's Ohs with diced dried nectarines, brown sugar, rice milk. Telecommute day. Studied features in Outlook Web Access. Updated e-mail migration pages. Worked on new pages describing how to choose an excellent password. Writing this was a lot harder than I had expected, but I've been making steady progress, and it is likely to be done tomorrow. I've been learning a lot just doing research for the answer, and the answer is not what you think. Julie finished DNS updates for the dev site, so in a mild panic I rsynced one last time then set up jEdit on the home computer. All is well so far. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover pizza, leftover biryani, pan-fried ahi tuna, naan. Patrick and I watched 3 Simpsons episodes. I found Skinner's Sense of Snow particularly hilarious, and Patrick and I enjoyed the scenes which were rudely suggestive but not: Willy talking to Skinner just after Skinner climbed out of the deliveries chute, and later Skinner talking to the hamster after the snow had melted. I have officially lost faith in IntelliSync for Yahoo! Sometimes when I run it it simply fails to log in to Yahoo!. If I run it again, it logs in just fine. Also, I'm starting to see errors like "Unable to read application data" and, again, if I rerun the sync it seems to update with no errors. I haven't seen this kind of inconsistency in behavior since coding my computer programming homework assignments in college. Oh, Mozilla Sunbird—why aren't you a 2.0 product when I need you now?

Thu Feb 10, 2005

Usual breakfast at the cafeteria. Pulled a list of past year graduates for Cindy. Today Joel sent me an e-mail saying: "Have you seen this? http://maps.google.com/"—no, I hadn't, and a tip of the hat to Joel for finding this before I did! Worked on cleaning up symlink problems with Julie. Quick salad lunch from the cafeteria. Town Hall Meeting for CSCs and admins about the Exchange migration. CSC meeting followed. Sat and chatted with Christine and Rodney. Wrangled with rsync and MySQL to permit syncing from the new staging server to the old live server. Didn't get to work on the how to choose a password section like I thought. Snack: a banana. Made my e-mail migration web pages live. Listserv update for a student organization. Answered a question from a student about the migration. Dinner at Banana Island (650-756-6868, 311 Lake Merced Blvd, Daly City) with Patrick: roti canai, half Hainanese chicken, coconut rice, fried pearl noodle: about $25 before a $5.00 tip. It was our first time dining here. Patrick said it was weird for him because he used to work in this restaurant when it was Appleby's. Neither of us had had roti canai before. It's a bread product, and I don't know how they make it, but it's delicious. Parts are very crispy and paper-thin and other parts are chewier and thicker like naan. It comes with a curry dipping sauce which has a little bit of chili oil, but I was able to withstand it. We got 2 bonus potatoes in the curry bowl that we didn't know we were gonna get. All the food was delicious, and the service was very polite and attentive. More than one waiter kept trying to take our order, which confused me at first, but that's their regular routine, it seems. The menu is overwhelming because there are so many choices and because there are photos of some but not all the dishes. The menu could be improved by mirroring the chili pepper hot and spicy indicators next to the photos instead of just next to the line of text describing the item and the price. Or, make it all pictures. It was tedious to look at a picture, see the number next to the picture, find the number in the text listing nearby, then read the text. Just make the menu all pictures and put the text and the chili pepper indicators right next to the photos. We ordered in stages because it was so hard to decide, and all told it took us about 15 minutes. More than one server helped us, but our receipt said "Simon." After dinner we shopped at Trader Joe's, finishing just before they closed. Home. Put away groceries. Watched Simpsons: Bart Gets An F. No medical knowledgebase I could find seems to know that dyshidrosis (aka pompholyx or dyshidrotic eczema) can also be caused by shoelaces or plastic rings on certain easy-open containers like half-gallons of orange juice or soy milk. Quaker oatmeal also has an easy-open plastic ring that is similar and causes similar problems. Any kind of pulling on an object where relatively great force is applied to parts of the skin can do it, but shoelaces and plastic rings are more common than others, and the fingers are the most likely site for this particular cause since people use their hands every single day. I believe this happens because it causes deep-lying blisters to be disturbed, which begins the cycle of itching and blisters worsening. Were these deep-lying blisters left alone, they would not be problematic, but a single action of tying shoelaces or opening a beverage container can set it off. Workarounds: don't pull too tightly when tying shoes, and use a bunched-up cloth or a potholder to grasp the plastic ring before pulling.

Fri Feb 11, 2005

I dreamt last night I was helping someone dust off a bookcase that hadn't been used in a while and I had to find a new location in a house for it. I also dreamt that there was a transportation network specifically for Hispanic and Latina women who didn't have any other transportation resources. In any Hispanic or Latin neighborhood you could call out a destination and polite, smiling men would come out to offer to take you in their cars to the destination you had called out. I also dreamt that I was at a car wash. I wasn't in any car but had approached on foot. A whole lot of cars had lined up to get washed and the car wash shop was run by a single man running a garden hose. (I didn't see any soap stage—only a rinse stage.) Somehow I had gotten hold of a garden hose as well, and I saw that Chris and Nate were waiting in line to get their RV washed, so I took the hose and did a pre-wash—just getting it wet for when the real car wash guy got to them. The RV they drove had solarium windows on the side—the kind with dark brown tint and angled roofs that you see in restaurants all across America. The weird part was that on top it was not all sealed. It wasn't damaged, but in between the windows on top there were spots where water could fall into the RV. Once I realized this, I moved the water to other parts of the RV. This led to the discovery of spider nests lodged in cracks of the RV's shell, such as behind rear view mirrors or where the cab attached to the rest of the RV. I distinctly remember an observer next to me yell out, "Spider nests! Ugh!" Almost exactly as he said that, the spiders seemed to multiply at a great rate, and next thing I knew cobwebs stretched from the top of the RV to several yards away, and they were filled with fist-sized spiders who were either sleeping or just waking from slumber. As some of them turned to crawl toward me, I turned the water hose on them, and they were washed away. I sprayed and kept moving to keep them away. Sometimes my water would die for a few seconds, and I kept looking over to the real car wash guy to see if he was doing something to cause that, but I couldn't figure out why it was happening. It lasted only a few seconds, but it happened often enough to cause a tense situation to build. (In hindsight, this must have just been the work of *the writers*.) I looked down at my feet and there were thousands of tiny crickets—each about the size of my thumbnail—and they were all chirping. It reminded me of how in real life in Southern California after a rainstorm the sidewalks would "sing" like crickets as some kind of basic science interaction took place among the concrete, the air, and the water. Fortunately, the crickets in the dream were not malevolent.—Usual breakfast at the cafeteria. Linkchecking. Updated one migration page based on feedback from Forrest. Migrated a laptop to the new campus domain with Kraig's help. Other maintenance for Chris's laptop. Lunch: usual lunch from Panda Express. Joel and Melissa accompanied me in our food gathering (tho Melissa didn't get anything). Chris's laptop took a long time (70 seconds) to log in to Windows XP, and although there appear to be many possible solutions for this the one that worked for me was Article ID 840669: "Group Policy startup scripts do not run as expected on a computer that is running Windows 2000, Windows XP Service Pack 1, or Windows XP Service Pack 2": Set GpNetworkStartTimeoutPolicyValue to 60 and restart. (60 worked for me.) Dinner at home with Patrick: non-Chilean sea bass, mac and cheese, Nicoise salad. Tony Q picked me up and we drove to the Castro and got parking instantly in front of 2225 Market. We went to BriKelJess's—he met them all for the first time. It's BK's birthday, and pretty much everybody was in the house: KH, Fruity, Hussein, Nina, Eddie, Simma, Catherine, Amy, Adrian, Nico, Brian V, Nick, Brian T, Chris, Trudy, JJ, Nicole. Two birthday cakes: one round and one log, Dreyer's vanilla ice cream. BK got an iPod sock hand-crocheted by Brian V, Star Wars 4 5 6 on DVD and lollipops, a fancy wine opener, an arrow and kewpie keychain doll, ferrero-rocher candies, a Pasquini coffee grinder from the hawk, a Virgin recordstore gift card. I gave him a Pac-Man t-shirt. Since the last time I saw them, they have a new HDTV and a tiny Playstation. The game of the moment was one in which you play a sticky ball and roll around picking things up. As you get larger and larger you're able to pick up larger things such as people and fences.

Sat Feb 12, 2005

Breakfast at home. Dropped off books and videos at the library. Picked up a birthday cake at Albertson's. Napped. Went to Johnson and Chika's house in San Jose for the first time for Chinese New Year festivities. His mom and dad were over, and they cooked a huge banquet dinner that would have required 2 or 3 panoramic photos to capture. Corinna and Pat flew up from San Diego, Dex and Fletcher in from the Santa Cruz area; Jennie from Irvine; Lani, Rob, Jeremy, and Matthew lived the closest but were the last to arrive. Before dinner: the usual appetizers: cut vegetables with dip, tortilla chips. We ate giant (24-inch) crab legs, spring rolls with peanut sauce, sticky rice, mi fun, chicken, duck, bbq pork, and broccoli with garlic —all cooked to perfection by Uncle Peter and Auntie Julie and Chika. For dessert we had flan made by Aunt Julie. We also celebrated Fletcher's 21st birthday with a cake I brought from Albertson's. After dinner, some played poker on the poker table which Rob had brought and others watched kids videos with the kids in the TV room. Today was the first time I had ever seen a coffee table with a heater built in to the underside of it. A comforter-like blanket is laid across the table then a tabletop on top of that. The idea is you sit on the floor (or, in this case, mats and padded blankets) so that you can keep your legs and feet under the table blanket. The heater is turned on, keeping you toasty warm and comfortable. I wanted to see a version where you push a button and the heater flips and becomes a table-top device for hot pot or korean bbq, but I think they don't have that yet. Today was also the first time I watched a children's television program about anthropomorphized Christian vegetables teaching lessons like perseverance through sumo wrestling. It was surreal and entertaining, and the kids loved it.

Sun Feb 13, 2005

Brunch at Blue with Patrick, Tony Q, Laurent, Steven, Jimmy, Danny, Drew, Phil, Alex, Frankie, and Jose. Peet's. Napped. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers from the CNY banquet and Banana Island. Watched Simpsons.

Mon Feb 14, 2005

Joe's Os. Fixed Ena's computer, which did not start up properly due to a CD-ROM connector which comes loose about once every 8 months. E-mail migration work. Made an in-person announcement to the class of 2006 regarding the e-mail migration. Met with Cindy. Lunch: leftover mi fun and pad thai. Helped Chris with laptop Internet connection issues. Copied a file to the shared office laptop for Cindy. Fixed permissions on the server for James. Implemented a possible fix for Error 1925 in PharmAdMIT 2005 for James. Dinner at home by myself: rock shrimp biryani, naan. Archived documents. Worked on frankfarm.org: migrated the top-level photos page. Chatted with BK. Watched Simpsons. Gave Patrick a rose and a small Valentine's Day card.

Tue Feb 15, 2005

Joe's Os. Staff meeting. Helped Cindy and James with problems using a web-based teleconference. Our browser passed the preflight check, but still wouldn't work properly. After about a 20-minute call to their support line, we were back in business. They walked me through additional steps which weren't part of the misleading preflight check. Viewed James's slideshow of photos from his last trip to Europe (London, Amsterdam, Brugge). Pulled photos off the camera for Joel. Helped a student with laptop problems. Wrote a shell script to fix a problem with symlinks that Julie and I had discovered. I discovered today that the office mice have invaded my desk drawer. I had stored some graham crackers in a sealed ziploc bag, but they had chewed through the plastic pretty easily. I cleaned out my drawer. Ugh! Prepared for storing some security keys offsite. Lunch: dos tacos from the cafeteria. Snack: a Pink Lady apple. Helped Chris fix synching between Palm and desktop computer—the power cable to the cradle had gotten unplugged somehow. Dinner at home with Patrick: crab cakes, corn on the cob, mac and cheese with basil and bacon. Worked on the frankfarm.org photos page. Watched Simpsons.

Wed Feb 16, 2005

Breakfast at the cafeteria: potatoes, 2 sausage, scrambled eggs, wheat toast. No orange juice this time—just plain water. Student laptop maintenance. Worked on the how to choose a password pages. E-mail migration work. Lunch at You See Sushi with Joel and Ena: we all got Lunch C—teriyaki chicken and mini California roll lunch special with salad and miso soup. Dinner at home with Patrick: Southern coconut fried chicken, corn on the cob, baozi from Simmone. One of my teeth feels weird after dinner. I think it's corn stuck in my teeth, but the weird feeling is still there even after I brush and floss. Maybe I chipped a tooth. I have a dentist appointment in a few weeks already set up. Good timing. Helped Chris Q from Fresno with a registry key problem he found in my journal. Sam gave us a box of Godiva chocolates for our anniversary.

Thu Feb 17, 2005

I dreamt that a "massage therapist" named Carlos was very interested in offering his services to me. I wasn't particularly interested in him, but I enjoyed the attention and he wasn't unattractive, so I let him flirt with me a while and we chatted about nothing while I tried to figure out if he meant he'd do it for free or not. I told him I wanted to think about it, and I asked for his card, but he didn't have one and instead gave me contact information verbally which I tried to remember but forgot almost as soon as we parted company. I was in a hallway and there was a lot of activity—people walking back and forth, people shouting out words I couldn't distinguish. Lots of objects were piled up outside (but clear) of doorways, in some cases almost to the ceiling. What the objects were in the dream weren't apparent to me. I realized I was in a dormitory. One of the rooms was mine, and I entered one of the rooms and that's when I woke up.—Joe's Os with sliced banana. E-mail migration workshop. It took 30 minutes to get a laptop working, even with the classroom support guy standing around just watching for about 10 or 15 minutes of it. Mark and Kraig did a fine enough job. Only about a dozen students showed up, which probably either means they understood the web instructions and didn't feel the need to come or they were all sleeping in. Student laptop maintenance. Went over e-mail naming issues with Cindy. E-mail migration work. Started Windows Updates on some machines. Chatted with Rodney about display names in Active Directory—our campus standard is last name - comma - first name and we have them first name last name for some of our students. Lunch at Pasta Pomodoro with Joel: he had orecchiette with sun-dried tomatoes and side salad, I had healthy chicken fusilli with minestrone soup. Stopped at the hardware store, the 5 and dime, and Wishbone on the way back. The big news at work today was that Melissa found out that she got accepted to law school at USF! The front office bought her a giant bouquet of flowers (I think some kind of yellow orchid on thick, very tall stems), James bought her another vaseful (tulips), Joel got her a single blue iris, and I sent her an iCard. Chatted briefly with BK and Tony Q. Helped David B and JWG with a laptop problem in N-225. On the bus ride home a woman got on at 9th and Kirkham with about 10 shopping bags full of groceries. The bus had to wait 2 or 3 minutes because she had so many bags and she doesn't move very quickly even without groceries. Of course, when she gets off the bus a few stops later, it's the same thing in reverse. The driver doesn't like being late, so her throwing "Sorry!" over her shoulder doesn't grant her much sympathy, but riders smiled anyway and didn't complain. I don't like the bus being late, but it's obvious this woman can't afford to drive to the store or pay to have groceries delivered, so the extra few minutes don't bother me at all. I'm usually reading on the bus anyhow. Home. Inspected a kitchen cabinet shelf which had fallen down, pulled out the piece that Patrick will take to the hardware store for replacement. Dinner at home with Patrick: pan-fried tuna, steamed broccoli, biryani, corn bread and butter. Dessert: Patrick made one of the best coconut cream pies I'd ever tasted. Today is our fifth anniversary. Today I finished K.M. Soehnlein's The World of Normal Boys, a novel about a boy coming of age in 1970s New Jersey. I thought it was better than your average popular gay fiction novel. The back cover says Edmund White says, "The World of Normal Boys carefully lifts off the roots of suburban houses to reveal the alcoholism, parental abuse, and baroque configurations of family guilt and sexual desire that are hidden behind those nearly uniform exteriors," and I think this statement is accurate except I think "roots" is a typo and the word intended was "roofs." I'm pretty sure now that yesterday's tooth issue is a chipped tooth, but I don't recall any sudden incident in which it might have gotten chipped. My tongue can't keep away from it. It grabs hold or brushes back and forth and just doesn't want to let go.

Fri Feb 18, 2005

I dreamt my hair was long like in the past—around ear length. I couldn't figure out how my hair grew so long since I had done my (now-)normal haircut only a few days ago. I also dreamt that it would be neat if a library database stored the physical dimensions of every book so that if you needed to reorder or redesign the shelving units you could simply write a computer program to do it for you. After I woke up I realized it would be even neater to scan in the front and back covers and the spine so that you could write the program to work in 3-D. Updated a listserv for a student organization. Reviewed e-mail naming decisions with Cindy. Updated current students news. Lunch with Joel. We got takeout from Courtyard Cafe and went to N-225 to watch a movie called Freedom to Marry which was about giving GLBT people the right to marry. San Francisco couples who got married in February 2004 told their stories of why and how and what. It wasn't brilliant filmmaking, but I applaud every manner of education on this issue. Chatted online with Tony A. Met with Nika S. Chatted with Julie B about symlinks and getting the new server online. Julie B did a quick fix for the symlinks. Helped Cindy create an announcement about e-mail migration to faculty. Shared a Photoshop original for a graphic on our e-mail migration web pages with the Student Computing Committee. (Bill) dropped off a thank you note and an employee recognition coupon for helping yesterday. Chatted with James about photo editing. Chatted online with Chris De Lay. Melissa drove me home in exchange for helping her get her giant bouquet of flowers in her car. Patrick had wanted to go to Karen Joy Fowler's reading at A Different Light tonight, but the rain kept him away. Dinner at home with Patrick: spanish rice from a box, leftover coconut fried chicken, steamed carrots. After dinner, we edited a wiki for the first time. Patrick knew that muffalleta was spelled wrong on the wikitravel.org page for New Orleans, so we edited the page with the correct spelling—muffaletta—and within seconds we had contributed in a very tiny way. More coconut cream pie for dessert. Patrick and I watched the first hour of Doctor Zhivago (1965) taped from PBS. I realize late this evening I had been calling (Bill) by the wrong name. Oops! I thought his name was Bill. Replaced a light bulb for the Chinese lantern in the kitchen.

Sat Feb 19, 2005

I dreamt that I was at some kind of stage show involving drag queens and that I had the privilege of being able to go backstage. I ran in to Melissa and she wanted to go backstage so I offered to take her. The drag queens were typical drag queens—tall, fabulously dressed and made up, and some convincing and others not. When I woke up this morning and checked something, I realized that I wasn't calling Bill by the wrong name after all (see yesterday). I was mistaken about being wrong! Today I began the tedious process of changing nearly all of the hundreds of passwords I have. My recent research about how to choose a good password has made me realize I haven't been choosing passwords that are secure enough. So I'm moving toward a situation where I have all my passwords stored in an encrypted database and accessible from a single, very long master password. All but the master password are randomly generated and consequently very difficult or impossible to remember or memorize. I'm using password lengths as long as I am allowed, and I'm using as many different character sets as I'm allowed. All this work is tedious because few computer systems describe the limits of what you can set your password to up front, and it has made for some interesting revelations. For example, one system will let me enter a very long password (let's say 50 characters) but it really only recognizes the first 14 characters. No warning is given of this fact. This work of resetting passwords and making them stronger kind of makes me wish something like Microsoft Passport existed but not run by Microsoft. To me it doesn't make sense to trust something like global authentication to a company which has had such a poor security record in the past and continues to have a poor security record in the present. If ever there is a significant breakthrough in raw computing power, parallel processing, distributed computing, or something similar whereby it becomes ridiculously easy for people to run dictionary or brute force attacks, it's going to be all mayhem like you won't believe. I also realize that most of this work is probably going to be in vain (except for systems I control completely) because there will always be weaker passwords which will provide other avenues for malicious people to gain access to the whole system (including my account). Oh, well, at least my own systems will be protected. Backfilled food descriptions for dinner at 2223 on January 8, 2005. Errands in the Castro. It's been rainy for the past few days. Today an Adobe umbrella broke while Patrick attempted to use it, so I left it sitting half in and half out of a trash can on the corner next to Baghdad Cafe. When we walked by the same corner a few minutes later, the broken umbrella was gone—someone had taken it. Hazelnut latte (Patrick) and chai latte (me) at Cafe Flore. Patrick read essays for school. I read from John Weir's The Irreversible Decline of Eddie Socket. People who are very familiar with American film history and people who enjoy sassy, quick-witted, flamboyant, well-read characters will particularly like this book. Lunch at La Med: I had the pomegranate chicken lunch special, Patrick had the chicken kabob full plate and tea. More cafe-going at Sweet Inspirations, where we happened to encounter Matt W and met his friend Corey, and they joined us to chat a while. Tony Q showed up around the same time. Before they all arrived, however, Patrick and I saw one of the funniest things I'd seen in weeks. At Sweet Inspirations, there's a fountain against the wall, and the water emerges from a horizontal piece of bamboo. A man was sitting at the table right next to the fountain, and he was working on his laptop. Patrick and I got the furthest table in the back on the right side of the aisle. From our table, looking back at the man, and if there are no people at the tables in between, and if the man next to the fountain turns in profile, it appears quite plainly that the water is coming directly out of either his nose or his mouth and falling directly into his laptop! I wish I had had a videocamera to capture it because it seemed so real. Home. I napped while Patrick did homework. Fixed a kitchen shelf—a plastic support had broken. Dinner at home with Patrick: bowtie pasta and chicken sausage with red sauce, bread and butter. This evening we watched a public library DVD of Trembling Before G-d (aka "Trembling Before God" but Patrick tells me you're not supposed to say "God"), a documentary about queer Orthodox and Hasidic Jews who choose to remain faithful to their religion. The film was hard for me to watch because I do not consider myself a religious or spiritual person, and I found it difficult to understand why a person, after realizing that his or her religion says they should be put to death, wouldn't simply reject their religion altogether. The film attempted to answer this question, but the answer seemed to be that the religious teachings were so complete that some of these queer Jews are simply unable to function without their religion because it is such a large part—or the entirety—of their identities. Or, another answer in the film seemed to be that you can interpret the holy scripture in a different way. (But what part of "they shall be put to death" didn't you understand?) To me, the saddest part was realizing that since these scriptures were written there must have been thousands or millions of suicides resulting from these teachings because these queer people were unable to reconcile their faith with their realities. How can such communities live with the burden of so many needless deaths? The answer: Ignorance. My answer: If these religious leaders are so faithful, we should ask that they be the ones to publically put their own queer people to death—and ask each member of their community to take a knife and stab together as one to remain faithful to the ancient writings. Who then will respect these leaders and their followers if they are seen bleeding the hearts of their own herds for the sake of honoring what people might have thought thousands of years ago? This is the brutal power of religion, which can keep people's minds closed to logic and reality thousands of years after its invention. In the film, watch for the scenes which seem to have been inspired by Austin Powers films.

Sun Feb 20, 2005

Couldn't sleep last night, so I got up, read news, archived Chris De Lay's blog (just in case he needs it back someday), ate a late night meal. Breakfast: pancakes. House chores: changed a light bulb, cleaned in the kitchen, laundry, began the shower regrouting project, vacuumed. Lunch: leftover bowtie pasta. Napped. Began acrocapturing an essay we're planning to reprint for Lodestar. Dinner at home with Patrick and Tony Q. Patrick made his ever-tasty jamabalaya, and we had a salad and bread and butter to go with it. Tony brought pink chick peeps and a chocolate mint cake. Yum! After dinner Tony and I gathered ideas for a logo design he wanted. I looked at Tony A's photos of the Chinese New Year parade. I didn't know he held the banner for GAPA this year until I read his blog. His photos are better than those in the local newspaper! Archived documents. Redesigned frankfarm.com and fixed a lot of broken links, particularly on the technical writing page. I didn't actually do this entire redesign today. I had worked on a redesign months ago but never made it live because (I believe) I got really frustrated when I found it displayed properly in IE and Mozilla but not Opera. I made a few changes and made it live today. Cleaned out my address book which was moldy with imported entries from Eudora.

Mon Feb 21, 2005

Breakfast: Oatmeal. Today is Presidents Holiday, and I arranged to come in to work even though we have the day off since I need to perform some final steps for migrating data from our old NT4 server so we can decommission it. I also responded to P3 student e-mails about the e-mail migration. Windows and Office updates for remaining computers. Updated crontab on our new development server to run my usual scripts. Updated e-mail migration web pages with new instructions. The critical step of the NT4 server migration is complete. All that's left is some tidying up tasks. Chatted with a student in the hallway about e-mail migration. Dinner at home by myself: spinach salad with bacon and cheese and ranch dressing, leftover tuna steak. Played with IntelliSync for Yahoo! so that it does the right thing with my recent address book changes. Changed more passwords. We missed the Simpsons last night. According to our TV guide it was supposed to be the gay marriage episode. I had it set to tape but the computer showed an error message I had never seen before when I checked at 8:36 PM. Drat!

Tue Feb 22, 2005

Usual oatmeal for breakfast. Student computing committee meeting: Scott Saffian of Xythos demoed their product. It looks good so we decided next steps. Scanned in some documents for Kristina, converted them to PDF. Resolved some permissions problems with the new server. Lunch: Nan King Road Bistro with Ena, Joel, and Melissa. Melissa got a passport photo done on the way on Irving Street. Helped a student with e-mail migration. Sent out announcements about the migration. Helped Joel with missing stickies. Helped Melissa with permissions issues. Placed an order for a vacuum cleaner and a flashlight. Tested guest accounts with the new server. Patrick tells me over IM that I got a parking ticket—oops I moved the car yesterday thinking it was time to move it and it wasn't. Parking tickets in SF are $35. Oh, well. Rebuilt the new server's ghost image for backup. Installed password management tools on the server. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover pizza from his day with Jason B in North Beach, leftover bacon and spinach salad, leftover jambalaya. Finished acrocapturing the Faderman essay, began formatting it for editing for Patrick. Installed Reason Adapted for Patrick. Archived a happy anniversary e-card from Chris and Nate. Reviewed nightly backups; I realized I need to create tarballs instead of backing up the files directly because symlinks aren't getting seen as symlinks—they're getting seen as the files they represent. Tweaked link checking for home websites. Small link edits on Lodestar. Watched some of Frontline: A Company of Soldiers, which documents the Iraq War as seen through the camera of a BBC crew embedded within a small Army unit.

Wed Feb 23, 2005

I dreamt I was at some kind of event celebrating sexuality or it might possibly have been some kind of gay pride event—it wasn't clear. Tony A was on stage in white boxer briefs participating in an auction or something like that. In another dream, I was at a celebration for Mickey Mouse's 60th birthday. When I woke up from these dreams, I had a weird feeling in my right temple. Two thirds headache, one third numbness. I imagined this was how people who had been fed a roofie felt when they woke up.—Interesting Google search this morning: hits for rophynol (my first guess at the correct spelling) = 2,120; hits for rohpynol = 83; hits for roofie = 11,700. Breakfast: Joe's Ohs with banana. Updated current students news and calendar. Completed the how to choose a password section; will wait until tomorrow to make it live. Updated other sections which linked to it. Dinner at home by myself: shrimp biryani and naan. Reviewed all poetry for the next issue of Lodestar. Changed more passwords. Edited all the fiction for Lodestar. Resolved a BSOD for Patrick's aging Windows 2000 laptop. STOP: 0x000000d1 DRIVER IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL in file rtl8180.sys. I uninstalled the drivers for Linksys Wireless-B Notebook Adapter (WPC11), downloaded the latest from Linksys, restarted, then reinstalled. Also did Office Updates and other security updates.

Thu Feb 24, 2005

Breakfast: Granola with banana. More e-mail migration work: responded to student questions, created a script to check for .forward files to see who has and hasn't set up forwarding correctly. Made live the how to choose a password pages. Met with a student and helped her set up Wi-Fi on her Tungsten C. It has some kind of VPN support built in and I couldn't get things to work until I turned that VPN feature off. Chatted with Rodney about the student lounge computer CD-ROM drive. Made new login arrangements with Kim B. Window shopping at the new age pharmacy in Cole Valley. Lunch with Melissa and Joel at Burgermeister. Errands at Cole Hardware. Hot drinks at Starbucks with Joel: he got a caramel apple cider, I got a cinnamon latte. Converted Debrah's schedules to PDF then uploaded them and sent out announcements. Updated current students news. Helped Robin C with setting up Outlook. Admissions confirmation web page updates with James. Set up graduation web pages for Joel to review and edit. Tested and reconfigured Offline Files for the shared laptop. Dinner at home with Patrick: bbq chicken pizza, leftover bacon and spinach salad. Redesigned tinaluu.org. Home linkchecking.

Fri Feb 25, 2005

Completed running the script I wrote to collect information about who has and hasn't forwarded their old e-mail accounts to their new ones. Informed everyone who needed to know about who hasn't set up forwards. Gave information about setting up web hosting for a student organization. Listserv maintenance. Set up my connection to our development server using a mounted drive. Hooray! If this method is secure it means I can stick with XHTML-Kit, my favorite editor. E-mail migration web page updates. Lunch with Joel. It was our first time to Cafe Evolution. He had a turkey and cheese panini for $8 and I had the daily special pasta salad: tuna fusilli with red bell peppers for $6. We like this place. In addition to the giant's chair and small tables in the front, it also has a rear room and back patio, so it's much larger than it appears from the street. The cafe advertises free wireless Internet and looks like a good place to study or read. We'll definitely be back. After lunch, I watched Joel get a Supercut. "It won't even take 15 minutes," he said, and he was right, give or take a few seconds. Finished e-mail migration web page updates and sent them off to Mark B for review.

Sat Feb 26, 2005

Breakfast at home with Patrick: veggie scramble, bacon, and the world's largest English muffins. More work on the shower regrouting project. More password changing. Started my tax return. Shredded lots of old papers we didn't need. Cut my hair. Showered. Dinner at Xiao Loong with Patrick: Pan-Pacific Wonton ( A flavorful mixture of crabmeat, cream cheese, and green onions encased in a thin Chinese pastry, deep-fried to a golden brown and served with Xiao Loong's sweet and sour sauce and Chinese hot mustard, $6.50), Stir-Fried Spinach and Mung Bean Thread (Fresh spinach and delicate mung bean threads, stir-fried with a garlic wine sauce, $7.50), Sweet and Sour Pork (Tender chunks of lean pork, deep-fried in batter and quickly tossed with onions and bell peppers in our tangy ginger-sweet and sour sauce, $7.95), Combination Chow Mein (Egg noodles stir fried with a combination of chicken, beef, and shrimp, fresh assorted vegetables, and green onions, $6.95). Service was inattentive on several counts, and one busboy tried to take my plate 3 seconds after I stuck a wonton in my mouth, but we like the food so much here we don't care. We say hello to Jeff, our favorite server. While we dined we noticed two other young gay couples dining at the same time. We didn't know West Portal was such a hotbed for 20- and 30-something gay couples! (Actually, it's probably just this restaurant that's the draw.) Patrick's fortune: Executive ability is prominent in your make up. My fortune: Wise men make more opportunities than they find. Created a printer stylesheets for tinaluu.org and frankfarm.org. Finished watching Kurosawa's Yojimbo, which we started watching last night but I forgot to write about that, so there's no mention of it yesterday. This Japanese western was perhaps very artful for its time, but I had a hard time grasping all the details of the plot, and it was hard to suspend my disbelief that the entire town was composed of simply the men and prostitutes of two warring factions. Where were all the mothers and children? I chose the film because Tarantino is said to have been influenced by Kurosawa, and indeed, we do see one brief scene which Tarantino duplicates almost exactly in Kill Bill: Volume 2, and it's fun to see that.

Sun Feb 27, 2005

Breakfast: Patrick has Grape Nuts but we ran out of milk so he used heavy whipping cream mixed with water. I had a bagel and cream cheese and a banana. More printer stylesheet work for tinaluu.org. Lunch at home with Patrick: leftovers from Xiao Loong. Finished work on tinaluu.org. Groceries at Trader Joe's. Dinner at home with Patrick: rosemary pork chops, endive stuffed with goat cheese salad, bread and butter. Watched the 2nd hour of Doctor Zhivago. More changing of passwords. Wrote scripts to automate the generation of tarball backups of various website properties. Did one manual round of website backups. Scanned in new artwork for Lodestar.

Mon Feb 28, 2005

Joe's Ohs and banana for breakfast. Slept in. Today is a day off for me because I worked last Monday which was normally a holiday (President's Day). I totally scored in an eBay auction today! I'll tell more about the item when I have the goods. Napped. Dentist: Emily and Natasha. Errands: hardware store, picked up Muni passes. Dinner at home by myself: biryani with shrimp, bread and butter. Reorganized kitchen cabinets. Recaulked part of the kitchen counter. More password changing. Viewed Tony A's Oscar gala photos.