Summary: Dinner at home with Galen and Peter; Castro bar hopping with Tony Q, Andy, Ryan, and Patrick C; Patrick goes to New Orleans for Saints and Sinners; Bryan's birthday pool party and BBQ at Rich's; Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival; Dinner with Tony Q and Steven at Thai Chef; Kung-Fu Hustle with BK, Kel, Chris, Rick; Block party and BBQ with the Honmas; Patrick and Sam leave for Vienna, Austria
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Cold still bad from yesterday, so I mostly slept the morning away. Breakfast: Joe's Os. Lunch: leftovers from Eric's. In the early afternoon, however, I felt very well rested and needed to get out of the house. The skies were only partly cloudy so I took a short walk to Stern Grove to sit in the sun and watch dogs play. It was strange being outside for the first time in over a week, but I enjoyed myself. I even found a quarter under a park bench! I showed Patrick how to edit the vinyl we ripped yesterday. Dinner at home with Patrick: chicken korma with brown rice. Watched 2 Simpsons episodes and part 1 of Miss Marple A Murder is Announced.
Usual oatmeal breakfast. I went to work even though I wasn't 100% better. I should have stayed home, though, because the 8:30 AM bus 66 didn't show up, and the 8:50 AM bus 66 didn't show up, either. At 8:56 AM I walked to the L line. At 9:05 I caught a train. I got to work via Forest Hill and a 43 bus an hour and 12 minutes after I left home. I got so much done at work today. Installed a replacement CD-ROM drive for the computer in the student lounge. Restored lost stickies for Cindy (I thought I would get them from backup tape but they weren't there - panic! - but I did a system restore backwards and then forwards again—so handy like travelling through time.) Filed a complaint with Muni about the bus not showing up today. Talked on the phone to a nurse at Kaiser about my cold. Spent a very long time on Internet chat with cmsproducts.com to get a copy of my invoice which reflected the correct amount they charged me. Filed reimbursement paperwork. Rebuilt my work briefcase on my USB drive. Fine-tuned a presentation for Cindy, then loaded it onto the laptop. Part of the fine-tuning was figuring out how to reduce the filesize. The original presentation was 25 MB. I got it down to less than 1 MB using a tip from P.M. Smith at Leicester: Cut an image, Paste Special as a JPEG, repeat for all images in the file, save. If this doesn't work for you, your image might need to be resized (resampled smaller) in Photoshop, then paste-specialed in as a JPEG. Linkchecking. Burned a CD-ROM for James. Helped a student with logins and passwords to web resources. Spent about 20 or 30 minutes trying to install Retrospect 6.5 on our server; Gil from Retrospect helped out in a big way. Filed my timesheet. Made CD-ROM archives of the websites. Updated our monthly web archive with WinHTTrack. Upgraded all the clients to the latest Retrospect client. Set up Retrospect selectors and backup scripts.
A couple of days ago Patrick and I watched a program of American Masters on PBS about Alice Waters and the New Delicious Revolution. It was okay as documentaries go, but it was frustrating that they talked mostly about how great and passionate she was about her ideas, and less about the details of what her ideas are. Who was "Theater-Opera Director Peter Sellars" and why was he in this documentary? (My guess: he was a friend of someone making the documentary and wormed his way in even though he should have been left out.) Ate half of my usual oatmeal breakfast. I'm tired of oatmeal! Ate an orange. Student computing committee meeting: we asked systems owners to come to discuss how to resolve problems with systems not talking to each other regarding (mostly) account creation processes—this seemed to me a very productive meeting. Lunch: fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn from the cafeteria. Doctor appointment. Linkchecking. Updated current student news: Our Nortel VPN is not compatible with Apple OS 10.4 Tiger.
Usual breakfast at the cafeteria. Caught up on a lot of e-mail. Spent more time creating selectors and backup scripts in Retrospect. Computer requirements and CD-ROM work. Helped a couple of students with various computing issues: virus, VPN, e-mail. Started working on the computer requirements page which will advertise our computer deal with Dell to entering students. Home. Grocery shopping at TJ's with Patrick. No waiting at checkout! Dinner at home with Patrick: burgers, fries, steamed broccoli.
Breakfast with Patrick: blueberry waffles with fresh strawberries, banana, and blueberry-infused maple syrup. Kristina's power supply stopped working, so I swapped it out with a spare. Updated statistical numbers on our website for Susie. Updated current students calendar to include an event for a student. I noticed for the first time today the Bobby accessibility checker site has been updated. But has it been improved? I think it's much harder now to tell whether a site is or isn't accessible because you no longer see the A or AA or AAA badges from before. Class of 2005 Graduation Dinner: "Seasons at the Four Seasons." Appetizer: red oak leaf with ripe pear, walnuts and gorgonzola served with orange blossom honey vinaigrette. Choice of entree: seared chicken medallions with jumbo asparagus, crips fontina polenta, sweet red pepper coulis; seared wild salmon with wild mushroom, corn, okra succotash, carmelized onion jus; truffle risotto with wild mushrooms and asparagus. Dessert: chocolate mousse bombe with crispy cocoa nib crunch, raspberry coulis and creme anglaise.
Web page updates: computer requirements. Arranged with James to gather some data I need. Helped a student connect to his website account for a student organization. I had a salad for lunch. Patrick got a movie on DVD for tonight, but we didn't have time to watch it, so we watched 2 Simpsons episodes instead.
Worked graduation at the Masonic Center. This was the first year we held the reception at the Grand Ballroom in the Fairmont Hotel. Home. Cut my hair, showered, napped. Dinner at home with Patrick, Galen, and Peter: carottes (grated carrots, diced shallots, freshly ground cumin, lemon juice, parsley), Gerard Mulots's green beans with snow peas and chives (green beans, snow peas, minced chives, shallots), Noirmoutier potatoes with fleur de sel (small Yukon gold potatoes, fresh garlic cloves, course fleur de sel for the table), lemon chicken and thyme (roasted chicken, lemons, thyme, unsalted butter), fresh apricot and almond gratin (creme fraiche, thyme, eggs, fine sea salt, finely ground almonds, almond extract, fresh apricots, thyme), bread, olive oil. Galen and Peter brought a bottle of 2002 Chateau de Thulon Beaujolais-Villages.
Patrick and I spent about an hour washing dishes, so we went out to brunch at Blue. I had an omelette. Patrick had eggs benedict. We came home. Patrick worked on his term paper. We watched I Heart Huckabees, a film about existentialism and nihilism.
Updated current students news and the bowl of hygeia page to reflect the new bowl of hygeia award recipient. Spent most of the day working on the home page graphic for our Yahoo! Group for entering students. This was the first time I used photos from stock.xchng—sxc.hu—free or essentially free stock photography, and as far as I can tell, practically all of it is of much higher quality than we require. A few I've seen so far are absolutely fantastic, professional images. This is my new favorite website for finding desktop wallpaper. Only complaint: it's slow like a 300 baud modem. (Okay, not that slow, but you get the idea.) Dinner at home by myself: kamikaze salad with crimini mushrooms, parsley, iceberg lettuce (leftover from tacos), baby spinach, diced onion, diced Canadian bacon, broccoli florets, cottage cheese, ranch dressing.
No 8:30 AM bus this morning. Usual breakfast at the cafeteria. Updated current students news. Submitted an event to the UCSF calendar for one of our students. Met with Cindy. Web updates: admissions. Student computing committee work: computer requirements, Dell laptop configuration work with Christine, CD-ROM. Supp app. Lunch: a #12 taco from Carmelina's. Populated a listserv. Checked on Retrospect backup scripts. All is well. Dinner at home with Patrick: pan-seared chicken boobs, green beans, leftover potatoes.
Usual breakfast at the cafeteria. Joel and Cindy and I met to finalize details before the launch of the discussion forum for our entering students. Worked on the PDF supp app and admissions pages updates for James. Coded almost all of the new update from the dean—a very long one this time. Home. Chatted with my sister on the phone. Dinner at home with Patrick: delivery from Xiao Loong: potstickers, cashew chicken, combination chow mein regular style, steamed rice for 2. His fortunes: One of the greatest labor-saving devices of today is—tomorrow (and) Maintain self-confidence, others will hang in as you change direction. My fortune: You will be invited to a small gathering with lots of spicy conversation. Watched 2 Simpsons episodes. Did security updates for all computers including updating Sophos and installing Firefox 1.0.4 all around. Played more with Pinnacle Studio 8.
Breakfast: a peanut butter snack bar and a glass of orange juice. Supp app work. Website updates. Updated current students news. I met with James about supp app and web page updates. Lunch: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberries, corn off the cob. Computer Support Coordinator meeting—the discussion today seemed livelier than usual regarding a number of sensitive issues regarding e-mail services provided by ITS. Susie approved the update from the dean, so it went live. James approved web page updates, so those went live, too. Approved listserv sign-up instructions for Marie. Chatted online with BK and Andy. Today on the UCSF GLBT mailing list people discussed quite passionately whether we should be supporting Kraft for supporting the 2006 Gay Games or whether we should be questioning why the Gay Games is accepting money from a child corporation of Altria, the parent of the various Philip Morris companies which produce cancer-causing tobacco products. The call to action came because someone had found out that Kraft was getting a lot of negative feedback spurred by the American "Family" Association (my quotes). What do you think? Home. Did some car maintenance, pulled some weeds in the entry, fixed some loose screws and nails on our front gate. Dinner at home by myself: fruit smoothie (banana, cherry, apple juice), leftovers from Xiao Loong and Nan King Road Bistro. I think it was yesterday Joel and I went to NKRB for lunch. Did dishes and cleaned in the kitchen. Caught up on e-mail and blogs. Archived a user manual for a Walgreens heating pad we bought recently.
Breakfast: half Joe's Ohs and half rice krispies, red pear. On the bus lately I've been reading Zeldman's Designing With Web Standards—it takes a long time to get through it all and though I'm familiar with all the concepts it's very nice to have it all laid out with clarity from a very big-picture perspective. I still don't believe all-CSS layouts are best—all those that I've seen have problems—under certain, possibly common conditions—which never occur with old-style table-based layouts. Hybrids are best for now—I think sites I design should need at least and at most one table for layout only. This approach is still okay with W3C and still (moderately) okay with respect to accessibility. All-CSS might be best someday and might be best for some sites now (depending on the layout requirements), but for most sites I think that day is not yet here. I've also been variously switching among three books at reading time. The two others are an old Studio Techniques (Willmore) written for Photoshop 5.0 and Fresh Men: New Voices in Gay Fiction (White/Weise). I've also been working on a new web project for my cousin Corinna. Linkchecking. Updated a page for James. Updated the funding page for Susie. Chatted with Tony and Andy. Installed Fx 1.0.4 for half our computers and our server too. (Fx is the official abbreviation for Firefox, ICYDNK.) Coded the new admissions calendar for James. Lunch: Ena brought back sandwich orders from Yellow Submarine. We talked about what we all would do if we had a lot of money—essentially everyone voted for travel and hedonism and charity, and I also wanted to build something that would last a long time like a Frank Gehry building or an institute or something like that. James talked about glaciers and Alaska. Software CD-ROM work. Dinner at home by myself: leftovers. Nap. Met up with Tony Q, Andy, Ryan, and Patrick C at the restauraunt formerly known as Baja Fresh. We attempted to go to a lot of places which simply didn't have room for us to sit or otherwise seemed too crowded: Cafe Flore, Sweet Inspirations (which Tony mistakenly called Sweet Vibrations), Lime. We barhopped, choosing a new leader for each bar: Tony chose The Bar on Castro. Tony went home—I think he was just a little tired. Ryan picked The Metro, I picked The Pilsner, Andy declined to pick a new bar due to the lateness of the hour. (I can't remember which bar Patrick C chose or if he chose at all.) Andy and Patrick C explained (but did not demonstrate) what a wobbly H is and they both taught Ryan and me some sign language signs: Chinese, Canada, sex, shy, whore. Andy and Patrick C sang along with Erasure's A Little Respect in the Pilsner. We talked about three-person relationships, houseboys, hard tops versus soft tops (with respect to Mercedes convertibles and convertibles in general), Windows, Mac, Linux, video editing software, karaoke, fancy shirts, baseball caps, bartenders, whether age matters, television commercials, Deborah Cox, Kylie Minogue, whether Badlands is bad (yes), Vancouver BC, deep-fat fryers, video games and video game companies, our jobs, the scale of pretentiousness in bars in the Castro, bathhouses, how Andy's parents met Mick Jagger and what that has to do with Andy's lips. Was going to drop in on BriKelJess, but I ran into The Hawk on my way back to the car who said that Fruity was at a movie and BK was in P-town for (I think he said) his sister's baby shower. I said hello-goodbye, we traded hugs. Patrick R has been in New Orleans since Thursday for a writers conference called Saints and Sinners (May 12 to 17). I haven't written much about him lately because he wanted to surprise his mom and I don't know if any of his family would be reading here and spill the beans. The surprise wasn't perfect but also not entirely ruined partly due to a mention of the event—and Patrick's name—in the Times-Picayune. Patrick is leading one panel discussion, he's a panelist on another, and he'll also be promoting our online literary journal Lodestar Quarterly.
Breakfast at home: veggie omelette (spinach, broccoli, onions, chives, tomatoes, cheese), one hash brown, glass of orange juice. I think Patrick had breakfast with Sam's mom this morning. House chores: garbage, recycling, compost, laundry, cleaning up graduation flowers to pick out all the dead stuff and keep the live stuff. Worked on Corinna's website. Nap. Fixed some old photo albums which weren't displaying photos correctly after I set up a new server in January. Dinner at home by myself: burgers. Chatted online with Tony Q. Goofed off surfing the web.
Cut my hair. Showered. Groceries. Bryan's birthday party at Rich's house; Galen and Peter gave me a ride, and we stopped at Fry's on the way so Peter could check out digicams. I remember Galen coming off the freeway and I saw a gas station showing about $2.65 per gallon and I said, "Oh my god! Gas is so cheap here!" I enjoyed myself the entire evening. I got Bryan a phalaenopsis.
Set up and fine-tuned complete backup scripts for the week. Updated entering students find a home page. Reviewed messages from our message board—it's out-of-this-world fantastic and better than CATS! About 85 messages in 2 days, and all the students are super excited to start school in the fall. An insane success! Printed supp app Form B for James. Student computing committee work. Lunch: leftover Chinese chicken salad. Dinner at home by myself: biryani, naan, fruit smoothie. The fruit smoothie was banana, apricot, orange juice, milk, and ice. It turned almost exactly the same color as an orange creamsicle, and I realized today how connected that color is with the flavor of orange creamsicle in my brain. The flavor of my fruit smoothie was NOT orange creamsicle, but my brain kept WANTING it to be. The COLOR was orange creamsicle, so why doesn't it TASTE like orange creamsicle? (sip) No, definitely NOT orange creamsicle. (puzzled look) And so on. Contributed content to aldusreunion.com—my 2nd wiki experience! Disorienting—it took me a while to figure out how to do simple things like uploading a file or renaming a page title. Some things I simply couldn't figure out like how to change the caption of an image from "Description" to something else. Did some baking. Dishes. Paid Steve L for the forthcoming rafting trip and camping. Chatted with 2 Tonys and a BK online.
Breakfast: a banana on the run. Student computing committee meeting. When dragging and dropping messages from one folder to another in Outlook 2003, the following error message appears: "Microsoft Office Outlook: Creating a new item from the selected items could take some time. Are you sure you want to create a new item from these 6 items? (Yes) (No)" When encountering this dialog, you probably want to say No. Saying Yes will create a new mail message with each of the selected items appearing in the body of the message—probably not what you want. You just want to move the items into a different folder. Solution: Choose No. In the list of messages you're moving, sort by item type (icon). Select all the items you want to move making sure to select only mail items and not calendar or contact or other items. For some reason, Outlook 2003 will give you that unexpected behavior if you have a calendar or contact item in the group. This is not easy to figure out—I found this answer in a forum thread on windowsitpro.com dated Mon Apr 12, 2004, 10:09 PM. Thanks, JoeHeadford! Updated current students news and calendar. Took care of a couple of minor listserv and mail fowarding student problems. Linkchecking. Lunch with Joel: L'Avenida. Dinner at home by myself: steamed veggie dumplings. Patrick returned from New Orleans while my dumplings were cooking, so I put on a few more for him while he showered. Early to bed—very tired tonight!
Toast and margarine for breakfast. Telecommute day. Reworked and updated the section of our site describing VPN. Lots of screen snapshot building in Photoshop. Lunch: biryani, naan. Verifying prereq changes for James. Today Patrick and I realized we somehow don't have the Eurythmics song called Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) in our collection. How'd that happen? I used to have that album on cassette a very long time ago but never got the CD. Dinner at home with Patrick: red snapper, peas, wild basmati rice. Dessert: a teaspoon of coconut sorbet.
HTML e-mail work for Susie. Handled confusion over door code problems. Made live changes to the find a place to live page for Cindy. Met with James to review verifying prereq changes. Read the Downing Street Memo at downingstreetmemo.com. Why haven't I heard about this until today? Updated current students news and calendar to add some events for a student. Chatted with Gil at Retrospect about some questions and some problems. Today, I'm not very happy with Dantz, the makers of Retrospect backup software. I learned today that support starts 30 days from the purchase date rather than 30 days from your first call. We purchased the software a long time ago when we made our server purchase and only now did I choose to install it since we were testing another backup option. Now in order to back up open files for just one user, they want $1000. More admissions pages changes for James. Dinner at Cybelle's Front Room by myself: chicken vegetable soup, herb pizza slice. Reviewed Corinna's notes over dinner. Realized today that XXCOPY stopped working 2 months ago. I guess I needed to buy the pro version, so I did. Got backups working again. Lots of other computer maintenance: installed SpywareBlaster 3.4, ran Disk Cleanup and Disk Defrag, uninstalled software I no longer needed, cleaned up and compressed Outlook data files, abandoned old Eudora mailboxes.
Breakfast: a banana and an orange. Helped Cindy restore her stickies which had disappeared due to her answering incorrectly (and unwittingly) to an alert from Microsoft Antispyware Beta. Prepped the laptop with Melissa's presentation for tomorrow. Showed Melissa how to set up the laptop. Chatted with Dr. Shetlar about the Chem 112 website migration. I need to find him an SFTP tool that works in Mac OS 9. He needs it to keep working with Claris Home Page, his preferred HTML editor. I know...don't ask. Yes, 1998, I know. But tell me if you know of such a tool. Rotated pathway listservs for Cindy. Lunch with Joel: cafeteria food. I got a cow burger, half fries, half onion rings. Joel got fish and chips. Built the computer requirements page after data came back from Dell regarding our final (?) configuration. Today was my first time to the pharmacy students' Community Auction. It was lively and fun with seemingly everyone talking at the same time. I didn't bid on anything, but it was still fun to watch. Dinner at Sliders Westlake (650-755-8948, 379 South May Fair Avenue, Daly City) with Patrick: 2 chicken boob burgers, 1 order of fries, 1 iced tea, 1 Orangina, $14.05. We had stopped at Banana Island, but it was packed and we didn't want to wait. Did a very quick grocery run at TJ's. When we got home, I said to Patrick, "Let's never eat at that Sliders again, okay?" The clientele was scary, the TV (today playing Wheel of Fortune, then a Muppets version of The Wizard of Oz) was the centerpiece of the dining room, the burgers were too salty, and Patrick said the chef burned our burgers (tho I didn't notice). Shopped online for gourmet underwear. Patrick has finals next week—everything ends on Wednesday, so he did school work this evening. Domenica sent us a link to skateboardingbulldog.com—the video of Tyson is fun and fascinating! A 63-second testimony to the canine spirit!
Breakfast at home with Patrick (I cooked): cocoa french toast, sliced fresh pear and organic strawberries, leftover chocolate banana bread, orange juice for me, carrot juice for Patrick. Read A List Apart: Custom DTDs. Lunch: ginger lemonade and organic strawberry juice blend, fusilli with stir-fried yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, zucchini, corn, green onions, shallots, rosemary, parsley, red pepper spread, organic chicken broth. Patrick was fooled again by an item at Trader Joe's which isn't clearly labelled as spicy. This time it was the red pepper spread with eggplant and garlic. He missed seeing the small woodcut chili peppers on the label as well as my favorite "watch out—it's spicy!" keyword on the back: zesty. We picked up a DVD in West Portal, thought about getting ice cream or sorbet, but instead got frappuchinos at Starbuck's. Mine was mocha mint, Patrick's was caramel light. Did some sunbathing, which isn't easy at our place—the space isn't great for it—but I managed to make it work. I so enjoy it but rarely get to do it here in SF. Patrick did more schoolwork, chatted with his mom on the phone. I read from Fresh Men: New Voices in Gay Fiction, finishing it. Dinner at home with Patrick: walnut pesto pig chops, homemade potato chips with sea salt, peas. Worked on Corinna's web project. Watched Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace on DVD.
Breakfast with Patrick at Cove Cafe (415-626-0462, 434 Castro Street). Patrick found an eyelash in his eggs, and I found a very long hair in my glass of water. We like this place because it's so friendly, but we will unfortunately remember this experience the next time we want diner food in the Castro. Even before we walked in, Patrick had said that Orphan Andy's had no health violations on the San Francisco Department of Public Health Violations Database website. Walked in the Castro. Looked for Star Wars II at Superstar but it was all out. Castro Video didn't have it, either. We stopped at A Different Light where I picked up a colorful teNeues lined blank notebook with Susan Eslick's Polka Dotta on the cover. We stopped in at All American Boy. I bought a new swimsuit. I haven't had a new swimsuit in a few years because I don't need one that often. We chatted with Jesse while listening to a Gwen Stefani album, and he helped me pick out a suit I liked. We found Star Wars II on DVD at Tower Records. Patrick got a hot chocolate at Peet's, and I ran into Dan, another web developer at UCSF. We chatted briefly about the UCSF ITS department and the CSC meeting on Thursday, May 12. Car wash. Returned Star Wars I to Diamond Video. Eezy Freezy at West Portal for milk and chocolate sorbet. I napped while Patrick studied for his finals. Cut my hair. Dinner at home with Patrick: swordfish, steamed spinach, boiled egg, homemade mashed potatoes. Watched Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones on DVD. Patrick and I had seen this in the theater once before and not again until now. We had forgotten much of what had happened. It doesn't seem as awful as I remembered now. We are planning to see Star Wars III at the Daly City Century 20 on Wednesday night. Let us know if you want to join us.
Breakfast: waffles. HTML e-mail work for Susie. Helped Cindy with a listserv. Ran into a student on my way to lunch. She introduced me to her friend Susan. Lunch with Patrick at Pasta Pomodoro: I had healthy chicken fusilli with minestrone soup, Patrick had orecchiette with salad, two iced teas. Our server was Rob, who did well except he kinda disappeared near the end when we waited a long time for our check. $21.05 before a $3.25 tip. Helped a student with VPN and firewall issues. Chatted with Joel about blogging. Supplemental application work. Did a minor web page update for Melissa. Snack: cottage cheese. Dinner at home with Patrick (I cooked): steamed vegetable dumplings, strawberry, orange, banana fruit smoothie. Dessert: coconut sorbet and chocolate sorbet. Watched web documentaries from the Star Wars II DVD set. Patrick worked on his term paper today and did other studies. Laughed out loud while reading Sean Hetherington's blog entry for today called TRAINING. Watched Star Wars II extras on DVD.
Breakfast: half rice krispies and half Joe's Ohs, cottage cheese, nectarine and banana fruit smoothie. Fixed a listserv problem. Got my new UCSF ID card. It's called a proximity card, or prox card, and when UCSF is all secured it will enable me to get past locked doors. Finished a new supp app draft, sent it to James for review. Cleaned up my temp folder somewhat. Reread Proxy Magazine 1 and 2 from Adobe. I can't help thinking: this is great info, but if I can't link to it on the web, what good is that? A friend of mine would be interested in only certain pages—how can I easily send him or her that info? Attach the whole PDF and tell them in the message the pages to which I'm referring them? So uncool, especially for dialup users. Extract just those pages to a new PDF? So cumbersome. So I didn't bother. The event pages were already out of date when I read them. I used to say, "If it's in print, it's out of date," but now I guess I have to change that to: "If it's in print or PDF, it's out of date." To me, Proxy is Adobe's way of saying, "I'm reluctant to embrace the web." Everything they do in Proxy can be done better in so many ways on the web: availability, device accessibility, human accessibility, linkability, viewing speed. Adobe (still) needs to learn to use the right mediums for the right messages. Another example: the gloriously long URLs generated by studio.adobe.com. (Search Google on ghost illusion Andrew Purviance for a specific example resulting in a 132-char URL. I can't send that to most computer users with any confidence.) "I'm reluctant to embrace the web." I hear you, Adobe. Installed Netscape 7.2 and 8.0. Worked around a problem using Remedy with IE6. Helped one of our faculty with SFTP. He says Fetch 5.0 was released today (!). Helped a student whose computer restarted over and over again. Admissions pages changes. Linkchecking. Updated SFTP info to include Fetch 5.0. Researched encrypting folders in Win XP. Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp and vegetables with stir-fried noodles. We watched more Star Wars II extras from the DVD.
Breakfast: apricot and orange juice smoothie, granola. Admissions pages updates for James. Linkchecking. Sneeper remotely helped me salvage some data from a hard drive today by guiding me through the process and suggesting a few mount commands. I restored the journal data I lost last November: half of August 2004 and all of September 2004. Ah...I feel whole again! After I finished, he said that I had leveled up, and I'm not a gamer so I had to have him explain what that meant. Ah, got it now. Prepared old computers for hard drive bulk erasing and surplus. Made updates to the student database on the web project. I felt like I accomplished a lot today. After work, Patrick and I saw Star Wars III at the Daly City Century 20. We both enjoyed it very much. Our tickets were $9.75 each, Fandango was a dollar and something each, hot dogs were $3.50 each (tax included), a lemon-flavored sparkling water was $3.00.
Breakfast: 2 pieces of toast with margarine, some granola. Doctor appointment. Linkchecking. Bulk-erased hard drives for computers to be sent to surplus. Worked on the forthcoming Maps and Locations page. Dinner with Patrick at Roti (415-665-7684, 53 West Portal Avenue): bread basket (assortment of tandoori roti, onion kulcha, and garlic and basil naan); chicken tikkasaag aloo (spinach and potatoes with nutmeg, onions, cumin, fenugreek, fresh herbs). Watched part 2 of a Miss Marple episode.
Woke up at 3:00 AM, couldn't sleep. Went back to bed around 6:30 and slept until 8. No breakfast (!). No 8:30 AM bus this morning. Met with Susie—in less than an hour we whipped out a redesigned Photoshop comp for the dean's HTML e-mail messages. Lunch: hot dog with relish, onions, ketchup; half order onion rings; half order of french fries. Holiday weekend, so I got to leave work a little early. Patrick left today for Vienna to accompany Sam who is doing music history research. Patrick asked me what I wanted from Vienna, and I couldn't think of anything except sausages. (Not really.)
Cleaned out one of our closets in order to get rid of a lot of old junk. Did other house chores: trash, recycling. Mailed Tina a copy of the Alice Waters documentary. Brunch at Bagdad Cafe by myself: 2 eggs (scrambled) with sausage, home fried potatoes, wheat toast, orange juice. About $16 after a $3 tip. Ken was my server; he's friendly and very efficient. Decided on a whim to go to the Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival on Solano Avenue in Berkeley/Albany. The idea is you stroll Solano tasting chocolate things while browsing chalk art on the sidewalks. BK ("Oh, I did that two years ago") gave me an early warning—it's not a festival with booths and concentrated in one area. Well, it's still the same as before. Parking is very easy, but limited to 90 minutes, so I just parked at one end the first time, did a loop towards the center, then parked at the other end after 90 minutes, then repeated a loop to the center. I don't remember their website saying you had to buy tickets in order to get the chocolate things. While I bought mine, a woman next to me suggested that they have refundable tickets for those not spent at the end of the visit. I had trouble finding a toilet—there were no portapotties or public restrooms anywhere. (Best bets: a restaurant, cafe, or bar.) One of the ticket sellers said he would take our suggestions back to the board. When I had heard that Berkeley was having a chocolate festival, I presumed that this meant fine chocolate. Alice Waters, Scharffen Berger, maybe some other local gourmet chocolatiers. I laughed when I saw that 7-Eleven was participating in the festival by offering a Hershey's chocolate bar for $1. If you are thinking of coming to this event, don't expect any gourmet chocolate. It's kind of a scam in that way—just a way to get people over to Solano to discover all the businesses along there. And yes, you do need to go inside participating shops (which was supposedly indicated by helium balloons). I got a very small slice of Scharffenberger chocolate cake at Teance / Celadon Fine Teas tea house (510-524-1696, 1111 Solano Avenue, Albany CA 94706) along with some honey dan chong oolong tea. The tea house is very relaxing and beautifully designed with a unique fountain and small zen garden. The 3-pronged "fork" I was given to eat the cake was about a quarter of an inch wide and about 5 inches long. I suppose if you're going to serve extra small slices of cake, it helps to shrink the fork size too to give the illusion that the slice size is normal. The cake was delicious, as I had expected. Service was so slow I saw other customers leave because of it. I liked the tea so much that I bought some of the dried leaves to bring home. I took a few photos of chalk art. It disappointed me that most of the chalk art was simply logos of the Solano Avenue businesses. I did not take any pictures of business logos, no matter how beautiful they were. (Most were very simple but artistic drawings.) There were many drawings by children. I didn't see any drawings that captured my heart. I bought a 2-inch by 3-inch Mexican cocoa pillar candle for $7 from Pharmaca (510-527-8929, 1744 Solano Avenue, Albany CA 94706). The candle also has almond, clove, and cinnamon. It wasn't exactly a great deal, but I needed to use up the rest of my tickets. It smells great, and I'm sure Patrick will love it. There's a Pharmaca in Cole Valley, so I'm already familiar with this store. It's like a Whole Earth convenience store. I stopped at Cactus Taqueria to try the mole rojo chicken empanadillas, but I couldn't understand the woman behind the counter and eventually figured out that they were all out—a 20 minute wait, so I didn't. Took some more pictures, some of chalk art, some not. Drove back to SF. Traffic wasn't too bad—20 miles per hour for some spots. The bay bridge toll on the way back to SF was $3. Grocery shopping at Safeway on the way back. Went for a run in the early evening. I ran around Stern Grove, walked down the main entrance road, then back along the lake, then up the northwest exit. This was my first time running. I walked most of the way, really, but I did run for part of the time. I'm doing this primarily to get more cardiovascular exercise than simply walking. Dinner at home by myself: cashew chicken with fresh celery, onion, ginger, garlic; steamed rice. Chatted with Joel online. Dishes, laundry.
My eyes have been itchy lately, so I stayed in bed this morning with an ice pack. Late brunch: potatoes o'brien, 2 eggs scrambled, 2 maple sausage links. More organizing of junk. I took a bunch of pictures of stuff to give away or sell on ebay but when I inserted the card into the reader I got an error, so I have to do the photos all over again. Another day, then. Showered. Met Tony Q and Steven at Cafe Flore. We went to Thai Chef for dinner, then walked around the Castro, ended up at BriKelJess's place. Deep was there. We talked about Star Wars: ranking the 6 films in quality; whether there will ever be 7, 8, and 9; how bad the dialogue was in 1, 2, and 3; what Roger Ebert said about the dialogue ("To say that George Lucas cannot write a love scene is an understatement; greeting cards have expressed more passion."); what made 4, 5, and 6 worth watching (BK says it was Harrison Ford); which of the actors got along with George Lucas (none?). Deep left, Chris and Rick arrived. Simma and Jesse arrived just as we were heading out. We (BK, Kel, Chris, Rick, and I) MWed to the UA Galaxy 4 to see Kung-Fu Hustle, which everyone enjoyed a lot. I had seen this film on DVD with Patrick on April 15, 2005, but at the time I was on medication for my back pain, so I didn't remember everything in the film. It was very enjoyable to see it again whilst more coherent. Things made a lot more sense. The theatre played commercials for seemingly 20 to 30 minutes beforehand—it was torturous for me. On the way back we talked about the relativity of weather and what feels comfortable. We saw what we assumed were 2 high school proms or dances, one with lots of green lasers and color wheel visuals, another playing Kraftwerk. Not last night but the night before I dreamt I was sitting on top of a roof of a building in a city. There were a lot of other people there, too—about 50 to 100 others. All of a sudden, the rooftop began spinning, slowly at first, then quickly after gathering speed. The rooftop slowed, then stopped. Somehow in the dream I knew that the events that had transpired were important somehow and that I was part of a team competing against other teams to solve some kind of puzzle or riddle of which the spinning rooftop was a clue. The teams adjourned to the bar of an elegant restaurant to cluster in groups and strategize. The dream did not reveal what the prize was, and there wasn't any more to the dream, so I didn't ever figure out whether the riddle got answered. Today BK explained to me what BMW means: BART, MUNI, Walk. As in: "Let's take the BMW," which means we'll take public transit and do some walking to get there. I like that Brian walks or bicycles just about everywhere. He's a true urbanite like that, embracing city culture to its fullest.
Breakfast: banana, nectarine, orange juice smoothie. Worked on Corinna's website. Groceries. Lunch: sandwich and macaroni salad from Safeway. Block party and BBQ at my sister's place. I made garlic bread, Rob grilled burgers and sausages, Lani made a noodle salad. I met a lot of their neighbors—all very nice people, and so very northern Californian in that there was so much diversity of nationalities and cultures and everyone just plain got along. Why can't the world be as nice as the street on which my sister lives?
Breakfast: a banana. Student Computing Committee meeting. At today's staff meeting we celebrated Ena's birthday (which had passed recently). I brought pastries from Sunset Bakery, James made delicious chocolate chip cookies, Cindy brought the best strawberries I've tasted this year (she says they were from Safeway), Melissa brought a pear tart, Joel made a small white cake with buttercream frosting with Ena's nickname on top. Lunch with Joel and Ena at Cybelle's. Ena and I both got a monster pizza slice of BBQ chicken. Joel got a monster pizza slice of Hawaiian. We all got small salads. Spent most of the rest of today on the Maps and Locations page: added parking maps. And also coding an HTML e-mail template. Dinner at So with Tony Q: potstickers, pork dumpling noodle soup for me, seafood something for Tony. Dinner was delicious. I don't remember having the potstickers before. It arrived with the potstickers arranged like a flower—very artful. They were also very fresh—the menu says they make their own. My noodle soup (aka soup noodle) was huge—I only ate about 1 inch deep into the bowl. Our meal came out to $19.50 after tax but before tip—a very cheap dinner for San Francisco. Today Joel returned some cloth napkins of mine which he fixed on his sewing machine. He's so helpful!