July 2006

Summary: Patrick cooks a Greek meal for me and Felice; Dessert at Harvey's with Phil, Danny, and Drew; Brunch at Boogaloos with Sam, Mom Ryan, Phil, and Drew; Patrick begins working as events coordinator for Books, Inc.; Glutinous rice pancakes dinner and Fourth of July Fireworks with Phil and Drew; Lunch with Julianne and Danae at Madison and Fifth in Palo Alto; Hillsdale Shopping Center and Sawyer Camp Trail and Sunset Beach with Drew; Installed Xubuntu for the first time; The Cameltoe Show at The Purple Onion with Phil and Drew; Dinner with Patrick and Mom Ryan at Bocce Cafe; Dinner with Phil and Drew at La Mediterranee; Trebor Healey reads from Sweet Son of Pan; Shabu shabu dinner at Tuan and Tuan's; Up Your Alley with Phil, Drew, and Quyen

Dates on this page

Sat Jul 1, 2006

Volkswagen: Unpimp Your Ride III on YouTube is hilarious, and so is that series of commercials. This is marketing genius on so many different levels—I love it! Read from Kavalier and Clay (still). Grocery shopping at Mollie Stone's (formerly Tower Market) with Patrick. Painted touch-up paint on the car mostly on the bumpers but also a few other spots. Winamp 5.2.3 had been locking up lately and even Windows XP would have difficulty forcing it to quit. I completely uninstalled it and installed 5.2.4 in its place. Lunch: two turkey burgers with cheese for me, one gardenburger for Patrick, Ore-Ida "gourmet" onion rings. Napped. Snack: pina colada yogurt. Dinner at home with Patrick: lemon chicken, mashed potatoes, peas. Patrick and I watched a PBS American Masters documentary about the life of Julia Child. Neither of us had known much about her early history, and we had not known that Paul Child figured so prominently behind the scenes. I enjoyed the documentary very much—it's obvious they went to painstaking lengths to get just the perfect historical footage, background music, and interviews (and everyone not only looks great but contributes well). Patrick did some painting yesterday and today. He painted the edges of the phoenix canvas and the red horse and rider canvas—previously he had left them blank (white). He also very nearly completed the pear tree painting which I don't like but he's happy with (and this disagreement caused him some consternation but I told him that it's not necessary for me to like all his work). I asked him why he doesn't sign his work and he said, "I just don't." I asked, "Maybe on the back?" and he said, "Maybe..." Weight training: push up, plank.

Sun Jul 2, 2006

Slept in. When I woke up, Patrick was already up, preparing some dishes for dinner tonight. I helped him with the cake. Breakfast at home with Patrick: spinach scramble, hash browns, sausage. Over breakfast we listened to Frequence 3. Cut my hair, showered. Phil, Drew, and Danny invited us to join them at the beach, but today didn't look like a beach day to us, and Patrick had a lot of Lodestar work to do. (We're behind on this issue again.) Set up an extension cable for my digicam cable to make it easier to keep that cable handy for uploading photos. Took some photos of the revani that Patrick made, uploaded them to Flickr. Our accordian mirror in the bathroom broke today. Felice came over for dinner. Patrick made fabulous Greek food: marinated mushrooms with rosemary and coriander; horiatiki salad with feta, bell pepper, cucumber, marinated kalamata olives, tomatoes, torn romaine lettuce, red onion, oregano, olive oil, and red wine vinegar; chicken baked in yogurt with spinach; and revani, a semolina and almond cake. Mint iced tea, sparkling water, and, compliments of Felice, a bottle of red vino. Perfect meal! The revani came out particularly well. A very syrupy sweet, yet surprisingly light dessert. The conversation was quite enjoyable, covering quite diverse subject matter: the "other" Patrick Ryan, Felice's upcoming library exhibit, plans for Lodestar Quarterly, Andrew Holleran's reading, and much much more. The night ended with Felice guiding Patrick through a divination exercise using the I Ching, which Patrick has been reading quite avidly lately, and with which Felice has a great deal of experience.

Mon Jul 3, 2006

Installed Microsoft Publisher for James. Admissions section edits for James. Lucia's UPS was beeping, so I pulled it out and ordered a new battery for it. Workstation maintenance (Microsoft, Apple, and Winamp updates). Leftover salad for lunch. Helped Cindy troubleshoot video not working properly on her computer. (Reinstalling Flash as admin fixed it.) Admissions supp app revisions for James. Dinner at home with Patrick: thin pork chops, shells and cheese, corn on the cob. Napped. Met Drew, Phil, and Danny at 18th and Castro for dessert. We chose to go to Harvey's. We had two slices of chocolate cake and one slice of key lime pie, onion rings, various drinks. Phil ordered a Sam Adams with salt around the edge like a margarita which Patrick tasted and immediately made a face which clearly showed his disgust. Danny was in town for a long weekend and said he has plans to move back to San Francisco from Philly in October. Weight training: bench dip, plank, lateral raise, front raise, leg raise.

Tue Jul 4, 2006

We woke early (for a holiday) to go to brunch at Boogaloos with Sam, Mom Ryan, Phil, and Drew. Danny "missed" his 6 AM flight, so he unexpectedly joined us, which was a welcome surprise. Although we got to the restaurant pretty early, we waited a very long time. Eventually, Danny, Phil, and Drew decided to abandon us because they had to get Danny to the airport for the next flight, and we then got a 4-top right away. Home. Patrick found out that he got the job he applied for last week—he'll be the events coordinator at the Books, Inc. bookstore on Market Street in the Castro. It's a really great job for him—he'll be managing, greeting, and introducing writers who arrive for readings and other bookstore events. Hooray! I uploaded photos to Flickr while Patrick took a nap. Installed Democracy TV for OS X from participatoryculture.org. It looks kinda neat, but I couldn't find anything interesting to watch. Napped. Patrick left to spend time with Wei. I went to Phil and Drew's for dinner. Phil made glutinous rice pancakes. Afterwards we talked in the living room for a while. We were supposed to go to Kartek and Antoine's place because they have a good view of the fireworks from Twin Peaks, but they were late getting back from Santa Barbara, so we drove to Twin Peaks on our own. At around 9:15 PM we stood on the hill and watched some fireworks—they were really tiny and far away. It was very cold and windy, and we huddled together in a blanket Phil had in the trunk. We decided to leave Twin Peaks and we instead drove to Dolores Park. The view was better here, and there were a lot of people around. Illegal fireworks were all over the place. One young man was launching them out of a big tube about 50 yards away from us. He got cheers and applause from everyone at the park after lighting a long, flat, rectangular box which said something like WAVE THE FLAG on it. It cleverly shot red, white, and blue fireworks high in the sky, alternating left, middle, and right—like waving a flag. After the fireworks, we drove back to Phil and Drew's. I decided to wait out the traffic at their place a little bit. Phil went to bed, and Drew and I talked. I showed him Un-pimp Your Ride, which he seemed to like. I helped him find images to use for his forthcoming party invitations.

Wed Jul 5, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Helped student HW put sweatshirt design contest images online, then helped her put together a quick survey for it. Updated a listserv for Joyce. Helped James troubleshoot a problem with PharmAdMIT by temporarily uninstalling Sophos. Lunch: teriyaki chicken with brown rice and mixed roasted vegetables. New news stories for Susie. Flickr work. Dropped off my RSVP for the staff appreciation event with Kim. Met with Susie, gave her the old digicam. Chatted with school of medicine student LF. Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp penne in rosemary tomato sauce, garlic bread.

Thu Jul 6, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Helped Lucia troubleshoot vertical streaks while photocopying with a Brother MFC5440CN. I was surprised how quickly I was able to find the user manual on the web. I sent it to her and said to try pages 11-9 through 11-12, then 11-23 and 11-24. Within a few minutes, she had solved the problem—some ink on the scanner glass removed with window cleaner and a paper towel. Minor Flickr profile updates. Sent Susie the UCSF entry to Wikipedia—we're looking at creating a separate entry for the School of Pharmacy. Made live new news for Susie. Lunch at desk by myself: takeout from the cafeteria: roast turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry dressing, corn off the cob. Finished first draft of the new supp app PDF and web pages, sent them to James and then all OSACA for review. Security poster research and design. Workstation updates. UPS battery replacement. Reinstalled Lucia's UPS. I discovered today that Codeweavers is coming out with CrossOver for OS X, which is such promising news. I've been so frustrated with the Dell ImageBuilder team that I'm thinking of just not dealing with Dell at all next year, which I'm sure will put some exclamation marks over some people's heads at work. After work, I went to the Castro to check out the shoe sale at De La Sole Footwear. I couldn't find any shoes that would work for me. I got a super veggie burrito at La Tortilla, then went home. Weight training: push-up, leg raise, plank, bridge.

Fri Jul 7, 2006

SSL VPN testing. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Had to explain to one of our partners why we needed source files for one of the videos we agreed to post on our site—so that we could have the video captioned and transcribed, most especially since the target audience for the video was people with disabilities, which includes "I cannot hear anything." She acquiesced quite willingly shortly after I sent my plea. Home page updates for Susie (added back Part D). Helped an entering student with a question about our e-mail system. Web page updates for entering students. Spent 12 minutes on the phone with Dell, most of it waiting for the technician to gather information I had already sent them via webform (to which they said I had to call them to resolve the problem) and to look up information. They're sending a replacement printer for Joel's Dell 1100. Did some playing with Dan Coulter's phpFlickr API. Watched Superman (1978) on DVD with Patrick.

Sat Jul 8, 2006

Breakfast at home with Patrick: I had oatmeal and yogurt, he had Grape Nuts. House chores. Lunch with Julianne and Danae at Madison and Fifth in Palo Alto. Shopped at Stanford Shopping Center. Went to Charles's farewell party at Rich's house planned by Scott and Andy. Home late. I got a late meal of pad thai by myself while Patrick showered and went to bed.

Sun Jul 9, 2006

Breakfast: same as yesterday. Uploaded photos. Lunch: leftover pasta. Watched Superman II (1980) on DVD with Patrick. Napped. Weight training: squat, lateral raise. Dinner at home by myself: leftover pad thai. Patrick spent the evening with Wei. Late meal: canned soup. I've been using the Sage plug-in for Firefox for a couple of months now—I can't remember when exactly I switched over, but enough things I've been wanting to read now has RSS feeds, so Sage is a much easier way for me to get my news. I also finished reading Kavalier and Clay, which I liked for its clever word choices and phrases. The plot seemed somewhat arbitrary to me near the end, so when I finished reading it I was disappointed a bit, but still satisfied that I had read it. If I looked up every word I came across I didn't know, I feel it would have taken me twice as long to read. I've started reading Edmund White's My Lives.

Mon Jul 10, 2006

Home page update for Susie. Faculty web page update for Nancy. Followed up with Paul about QuickTime licensing. Replaced another UPS battery. Chatted briefly with Garrett about computer configurations. Updated a listserv for Joyce. Removed all occurrences of the old itsa e-mail server from the website. Lunch with Joel at NKRB. Archived data to CD-ROM. Redownloaded Dell ImageBuilder iso files. Optimized images for archiving, did some data file housekeeping. Linkchecking. SATE work. Dinner at home with Patrick: shells and cheese, pig ribs.

Tue Jul 11, 2006

Student computing committee meeting. We discussed VPN—decided to put the Nortel client on the laptop and Ian would set up a web page that discussed both the old and new VPN options. We also helped Kevin finish his summary report of our activities. Met with student AP to discuss orientation web pages. SATE work. Checked out the Apple custom store—could not figure out what my Apple ID and password were, asked for assistance by e-mail as instructed in my welcome e-mail. Lunch: tostada from the cafeteria—a shocking $9.23 (it's based on weight, but I got a ordinary sized tostada—it's a much better price across the street at Carmelina's and you don't have to make it yourself). Dell ImageBuilder work. Password database training for Julia. More Dell ImageBuilder work. Took photos of the out-of-box-experience and the default config settings in various control panels, uploaded them to Flickr. Purchased a pro Flickr account for the school. Created some new Flickr groups and updated our Flickr profile. Home. Dinner at So with Patrick: So Fish, potstickers, beef with broccoli—$22 dollars before a $3 tip. Grocery shopping.

Wed Jul 12, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Telecommute day. Yesterday we found some Rainier cherries for $1.99 per pound and I'm loving it! Yummy and delicious! Worked all day on Flickr API stuff, pulling photos from different groups into our Virtual Tours page on our staging server, sent it to Susie for review. Lunch: leftovers. Our landlord stopped by today to fix our doorbell—all better now. Updated the home page and photos page on frankfarm.org to include embedded Flickr slideshows using a tip provided by Paul Stamatiou (which you can find by searching Google on 'flickr how to embedded'). Dinner: leftovers. Barbra Streisand is going to be in concert at HP Pavilion on November 13. Patrick looked up the price for a ticket. $750.00. Weight training: plank, push-up, decline dumbbell bench press.

Thu Jul 13, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. More Dell ImageBuilder work. I was supposed to have lunch with other UCSF web developers but I totally spaced out when Joel asked if I wanted to go to lunch and Michele would drive us since she was just outside in her car and I needed to take a package to the post office anyhow. We lunched on sandwiches at Toasties (toasties-sf.com). Snack: Rainier cherries. Workstation updates. Home. Pre-dinner: tomato soup. Baked banana bread for the office tomorrow. Late dinner: I made a veggie stir fry with garlic, mushrooms, green onion, broccoli, and grated carrot over steamed rice. Weight training: squat, front raise, shoulder shrug.

Fri Jul 14, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Teleconference meeting with Garrett, Chris, and (Gina sitting in for someone else?), and we got custom store info and web page info squared away. Chatted with John at ImageBuilder; I have more things I need to try out but the BSODs might be a hardware issue he says. Chatted briefly online with Timmie, found his new photos website. Minor web edits to graduation e-mail page. For lunch, Lucia placed an order with Pasquale's. She and I shared a pizza (salami for her side, mushrooms for mine) and a salad. Polly had calamari and a sandwich. Julia had (a sandwich?). Added Google Video option to Medicare Part D Dialing... web page. Began coding web pages in Spanish, Chinese, and Russian for Tim and Marilyn's Q and A for Part D. Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp and noodles stir fry.

Sat Jul 15, 2006

Tried getting OS X to print to my Windows printer. I had tried this several months ago using a tutorial on ArsTechnica that Chris sent me, and I gave up after I couldn't get it to work very easily. I presumed (incorrectly, I think now) that it had something to do with opening a port on my wireless router and the thought of trying to find the answer in that admin panel was just too overwhelming so I never bothered. Instead, today, after more searching for answers in Google, I found instructions on Apple's website called "Cannot locate a shared Windows printer" which said to hold the Option key while clicking "More Printers" (which I never would have figured out on my own—a hidden feature is a problem discovered) and then I was successfully able to find and add the printer. But now when I print from OS X, the status says Printing but nothing comes out, no lights on the printer blink. The share name is PRINTER. I find a document on the Apple website called "I try to print but nothing happens" and it points me to "Print and Fax preferences" which I think they mean system preferences and I find the print queue and it has an error displayed in it: NT_STATUS_LOGON_FAILURE followed some time later by "Unable to connect to SAMBA host, will retry in 60 seconds...ERROR: Connection failed with error." I realize I didn't follow the "hold-the-option-key" instructions correctly the first time around and got NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED. I tried another of the suggested formats for the Device URI and again got NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED. I tried another, and it worked! The format for Device URI that worked for me was smb://user:password@workgroup/server/sharename. The whole process of setting up OS X to print to my shared Windows printer took me 40 minutes. For anyone else trying to figure this out, it's helpful to open Console, open the /var/log item, open the cups item, and scroll to the end to see the printing system error messages that are being logged. After getting this to work, I wonder if Rendezvous aka Bonjour would have been useful in this scenario—I've heard about it, but I don't know much about it except that it's supposed to make these kinds of experiences a thing of the past. And didn't Wired magazine report that Sun was working on similar technology about a zillion years ago? The NT_STATUS_LOGON_FAILURE and NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED error messages were also misleading in my case since the problem was with the Device URI and not with the login or password or share name or access settings. Paid bills. Lunch with Patrick: turkey burgers, french fries, tortilla chips. Archived documents. Shopped online. I've been needing a new alarm clock. I can't remember the brand of the last one I had, but I was happy with it up to the point of the second hand not turning properly and so it wouldn't keep time correctly anymore. I opened the face to try to fix it, but things only got worse from there and I ended up making things worse rather than fixing it. The clock arms and face had tritium painted on it, so I was afraid of doing anything else with it, so in the trash it went. The replacement I bought is very similar in that it is also a battery-operated, portable alarm clock with tritium paint. This one is made by Victorinox. I also bought an old Dan Savage book which was under $2 for used hardcover, a metal Oxo colander since one of ours broke a long time ago, and a Kitchenaid gravy separator. Patrick left for Wei's. I took a nap. Woke, cut my hair. Weight training: bench dip. Dinner at home by myself: tortilla chips, yogurt, leftover stir fry. Patrick said everything is ready for me for the next issue of Lodestar—we are late again (2nd time). He thinks we'll be back on track for the next issue. After dinner I decided I would archive some answering machine messages Patrick and I wanted to save. I tried a microphone we have but the resulting recording had a lot of weird noise on it. It wasn't a constant hum—sometimes the recording would be perfect but it included intermittent buzzes. I lifted the microphone base and rerecorded—I thought perhaps it was getting vibration from what it was sitting on (the Mac Mini)—but that did not resolve the problem. I tried a different microphone—exact same thing. I looked for solutions online and at first thought I needed a ground loop isolater, but after more hunting for answers in Google I came across recall700m.com which described exactly the same problem I was having. The owner of that site is more upset than I am to know that the Inspiron 700m we bought is defective. We don't record audio very often, and for this particular situation I can work around it by going back to Patrick's old IBM laptop which I'm sure will work as expected. But this does reaffirm my growing lack of favor toward Dell. This evening, I also learned about Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth, TrueCrypt, and steganography (mostly from Wikipedia). After viewing a screenshot tour of Ubuntu 6.06 on osdir.com I must say that I am very impressed with it. I find it interesting to see what has been borrowed from Windows and what from Mac, and I am now interested in trying it out for myself.

Sun Jul 16, 2006

Weight training: push-up, single-leg calf raise. Cannot find Patrick's old laptop, and he has left for work already. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Found Patrick's laptop in a box in the closet, installed CDex on it so I could record longer than 60 seconds with Microsoft Sound Recorder, archived answering machine messages. Threw lots of old books I didn't need and no one would want in the recycle bin. Downloaded an ISO of Xubuntu 6.06 desktop. Washed the car, tried unsuccessfully to repair the foglamp which had fallen out when I ran over some largeish unknown object on the freeway recently. Ate a sandwich and tortilla chips for lunch. Drew and I drove to Hillsdale Shopping Center so he could exchange some clothes he bought there. We stopped at the Lego store and I bought some gifts. We drove to the Sawyer Camp Trail in San Mateo County. It was hot and sunny, about 86 degrees F, and we walked around a bit trying to find a shady place to sit but were unsuccessful. We drove to San Francisco and the temperature dropped to 57 degrees. We observed all the crazy people who were sitting on the beach while it was 57 and fogged in. Back at our place, I prepared taco toppings for dinner. Patrick got home and showered, then took helped out with the cooking. Phil showed up with Beard Papa cream puffs—vanilla, chocolate, and pumpkin, which we ate after our tacos dinner. So yummy!

Mon Jul 17, 2006

Made the new supplement application live, made updates to the admissions web pages, prepared the SAMPLE ONLY copies we'll insert on November 2, and put a reminder on my calendar and James's calendar to check that on that day. Dell ImageBuilding testing—restoring the original build resulted in no problems. I created more test builds in IB and will test them after they complete the build process overnight. Patrick called me at work around 11:45 AM with some really awful news—the death of a close friend. He has taken the day off of work to console the partner of the deceased, and I'll learn more details as they come. Disposed of old batteries for recycling at the bookstore. Disposed of old CD-ROMs for recycling/destruction at Millberry Union. Errands at Cole Hardware—bought some new squeegees for the bathroom shower and a big bag of Twizzlers Strawberry for $1! Lunch with Joel at Burgermeister. He has a new wallet that needs breaking in. More language work for Medicare Part D web pages: I successfully used Andrew West's BabelPad 1.9.3 to convert two pages of Russian and Chinese to HTML entities for insertion into web pages. I had also found Anthony d'Auria's converter. That also worked, but it only converted a single line of text, and BabelPad is much easier for multiple paragraphs of text. Reworked some physical locks to computers and monitors. Home. Put clear gloss on the touch-up paint job I put on the car a few weeks ago. Uploaded photos. Dinner at home by myself: canned soup. I started editing Lodestar bios, poetry, and prose. Weight training: hammer curl, shoulder shrug, front raise, concentration curl.

Tue Jul 18, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Staff meeting. I received a spot award for alumni e-mail web work—$25 to spend at Macy's. Lunch: dos tacos meals with Joel at L'Avenida. CD-ROM building. Filed for reimbursement of funds (Flickr). Helped Julia with pasting e-mail addresses from a new message to a new distribution list. Reinstalled Real Player for Julia. Ran diagnostics on Cindy's Outlook. ImageBuilder work: burned cds of clean with os patches. Ordered supplies from Cyberguys. Home. Dinner at home by myself. Patrick is spending the evening with Aaron, the partner of our friend Jamie who passed away on Sunday. We can only guess right now as to the cause of death—we suspect problems with mixed medications for Jamie's back problems and other health problems. Archived answering machine messages. Edited Lodestar works. Installed Xubuntu 6.06 on Patrick's old laptop. The hardest part was getting the bios to start from cdrom instead of the hard drive—it's been a while since I've had to use the bios that's in his old IBM laptop. It's only 600 MHz and has only 192 MB of RAM, but at first glance it appears to feel a whole lot faster than Windows 2000 (which was the operating system previously on the computer). I clicked on a globe icon and to my surprise, Firefox (a very current version) appeared. Immediately, I notice keyboard accessibility is very, very good if not perfect (hard to tell on occasion when I'm using old hardware that might be intermittently broken). Installed it to the hard disk, completely wiping the drive. No time tonight to play with it, though. Later. Not counting the bios woes, installation took about an hour. Weight training: plank.

Wed Jul 19, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Joel brought in tortilla chips and hot salsa for the office. Lunch: takeout from Panda Express. ImageBuilder build testing. Discovered that ImageBuilder is not compatible with IE7 beta and that if you get this error message: "Unable to start BITS - ImageBuilder transfer manager is unable to start Background Intelligent Transfer Service. Please contact your administrator." you need to run services.msc and ensure that BITS is started and set to Automatic startup. New SSL VPN web pages review for Sean. Gave Albert a heads up about our forthcoming cdrom duplication project. Forwarded the draft cdrom label to the committee for review. More ImageBuilder build testing—attempting to isolate the cause of the BSODs. Reviewed Kevin's final vision status report. Tried to do Flickr API work, but Flickr is down (!). "Arrggh! Our tubes are clogged!" it says on the Flickr home page. Then, after clicking a "Details Here" link: "Temporary Storage Glitch—We've had a temporary storage failure affecting a sizable chunk of old Flickr photos and are moving about 20 terabytes of photos across a few thousand miles (between two of our data centers) to ensure consistency and smoothness. ALL PHOTOS AND DATA ARE SAFE AND NOTHING HAS BEEN LOST. The site will come back up as soon as possible." I have a hunch about the BSODs I've been seeing with our Dell laptop. I am testing my hypothesis now. Dinner at home by myself: salad.

Thu Jul 20, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Mostly ImageBuilder work today. Lunch: takeout from the cafeteria: cheddar cheeseburger and fries. Dinner at Caffe Macaroni Sciue Sciue with Drew. Phil showed up just before the show. Drew, Phil, and I saw The Cameltoe Show at The Purple Onion (415-956-1653, 140 Columbus Avenue) with Ali Wong, Samantha Chanse, Sherry Sirof, and Nico Santos. Home. Weight training: plank, squat, push-up.

Fri Jul 21, 2006

Small edit on the orientation web pages for one of the student leaders KT. Got info on a laptop that Lorie had donated to the school—it's a PowerBook G3 Pismo circa 2000, not good for anything except possibly some big geek who would want to install Yellow Dog or Xubuntu on it. Apple couldn't meet my ultimatum, so we must leave QuickTime off of our Dell laptop that I'm building. Posted updated schedules for Lucia. Garrett sent a preview for his laptops web page—it looks great. Discovered MailChimp which sounds really excellent—we've been looking for a simple way to send HTML e-mails and it's uncertain whether they will work well through listservs even tho I found in the listserv documentation that it should work. MailChimp makes it sound really easy if you have someone who knows HTML and CSS—and we certainly have that. Similar: ezinedirector.net—will need to check both of these out more later. At lunch, Cindy walked down to Irving Street with me and Joel. Joel and I split off at Pasquale's for pizza and salad, and Cindy continued on to La Fonda to pay for the burritos we ordered a while back for an event. Joel picked up a feather duster at the five and dime afterwards. Met with student LQ, helped her use System Restore to troubleshoot a problem with her laptop playing DVDs and CDs incorrectly. ImageBuilder work. My hypothesis as to the blue screens of death had to do with whether the manual wireless switch was in the on or off position or whether the Ethernet cable was plugged in or not, but I tried all 4 combinations of these variables with no success—every one gave no BSOD. This can only mean intermittent hardware failure with the Latitude D620 they sent us. HTML email research for Cindy. Supp app workshop page redesign for James. Dinner at home with Patrick: roast chicken with potatoes and carrots, bread and olive oil. Afterwards, we walked down the street and got some ice cream. I've been using the Slickr screen saver on one of our Windows computers for a week or so—it's a winner over the previous screen saver we were using from Google Pack. I have it set to the most interesting photos as determined by monkeys—I mean algorithms—at Flickr. I don't know how they pick, but they pick pretty amazing photos nearly all the time. You can set it to a specific group if you want (and there are many other options) but for now I think the interesting ones are interesting. Weight training: push-up, plank. Late meal: leftovers from dinner.

Sat Jul 22, 2006

Patrick made breakfast: banana almond pancakes, yogurt. After spending a few minutes testing Xubuntu on Patrick's old laptop, I erased the whole hard drive with Darik's Boot and Nuke 1.0.6. I think the keyboard or mouse wasn't working consistently. I imagine this was the fault of old hardware rather than Xubuntu, but I just couldn't make it work for me. Boot and Nuke's 3-pass method took I think about 90 minutes. Weight training: bench dip. Uploaded photos. Worked on Lodestar. Lunch: salad. Snack: french fries. Patrick and I had planned to meet with Stacey for dinner tonight, but she took a rain check on short notice. Dinner at home with Patrick: pizza. Watched Transamerica on DVD with Patrick. We both enjoyed the film.

Sun Jul 23, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Patrick left for work and planned to have lunch with his mom. I got some house chores done, cut my hair, worked on Lodestar. Chatted with BK, who spelled nope as neauxpe—fancy erudite. Lunch: leftovers. More Lodestar work. Explored Video Bomb: Quick Change Artists on America's Got Talent is pretty amazing. Napped. Met Patrick for dinner at Eric's: crab rangoon, sesame chicken, fish, steamed rice. Patrick's fortune: You will bring sunshine into someone's life. My fortune: Listen these next few days to your friends to get answers you seek. Grocery shopping at Safevay. Home. Watched various clips from Democracy TV.

Mon Jul 24, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. HTML e-mail project for Cindy. Lunch with Joel at You See Sushi. ImageBuilder work. Dinner at home with Patrick: cow with rigatoni in marinara sauce. Watched Apple and Apple-related clips from Democracy TV, then some old Simpsons episodes recorded from broadcast TV. Today I showed Joel the 1984 Apple ad—he had never seen it before, and I realized now that the version I saw yesterday had an iPod worked into the commercial, so now there's the original commercial and the same commercial where she wears an iPod—weird! I couldn't tell it was the original and for a while I was very confused—she's wearing an iPod!? Also showed Joel the Quick Change Artists. Worked on Lodestar. Weight training: lateral raise, front raise, hammer curl. Patrick did a whole lot of yardwork in the back yard. I'm very grateful.

Tue Jul 25, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. ImageBuilder work. Kristina stopped by with Myles to visit with the office. He wore a light blue t-shirt with the face of Keith Richards on it. Myles is crawling now, high speed. More ImageBuilder work. Went to dinner with Patrick and Mom Ryan at Bocce Cafe (415-981-2044, 478 Green St, North Beach). Iced teas all around (I asked for Italian soda but it wasn't on the menu), garlic bread to start, chicken piccata for Mom Ryan, chicken parmigiana for Patrick, mezzelune alla spinaci for me. No dessert. (Patrick asked for cannoli but it wasn't on the menu.) Mom Ryan bought some fudge afterwards at a nearby candy shop. Lodestar work. Weight training: bridge, plank.

Wed Jul 26, 2006

Weight training: push-up. Usual oatmeal breakfast. ImageBuilder and CD-ROM work all day. Met with student orientation leader AP. Lunch: Joel and I ate burritos from Carmelina's in Millberry Union. Chatted late with Chris, who had just gotten back from vacation in Canada. Missed the bus by 5 minutes. Tired. Dinner at home: frozen dinner. Lodestar work. Weight training: bench dip.

Thu Jul 27, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. ImageBuilder and cdrom work all day. I introduced Phil and Drew to La Mediterrannee II (415-431-7210, 288 Noe Street). I had pomegranate chicken, Drew had the daily quiche, and I can't remember what Phil had. Afterwards, we all went to a reading at Books Inc. This was Patrick's first event, which had been arranged before he started his job there. Ian and Greg were there, and I also chatted briefly with Karl. Trebor Healey read from his new erotic poetry collection Sweet Son of Pan. In the Q and A that followed, we learned (among other things) how Trebor got his name (read it backwards). Justin Chin was also supposed to show up, and he did, but only after everyone had already left. Phil and Drew took off, and Patrick had to work until 10. I chatted out front with Aaron afterwards, and he introduced me to Kenny and Steven who happened to pass on the sidewalk.

Fri Jul 28, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Disaster struck twice today at the office. When I arrived, my computer seemed to not awaken. It was turned on, but neither the keyboard nor the mouse would make the screen wake up. Same with the other computers in my office. Fortunately, I had a spare monitor and used that for troubleshooting. I didn't have a spare keyboard, though, and although Joel and Cindy were both out of the office I didn't want to disrupt their workspaces by borrowing their keyboards—yet. I borrowed a keyboard from Rodney's office (he was also out of the office), and I eventually determined that the KVM had failed. I set up my monitor to go directly to my primary computer (instead of through the KVM) and continued working for a while. I can no longer easily switch to the other computers, but I can limp along until the KVM is replaced. I looked up and realized I was late leaving for a doctor's appointment. I got a cab within a few minutes on Parnassus and got to the doctor's office in only a few minutes—not a problem. I returned to the office. Not long after I continued working, just after installing the 6.0.2 update for Acrobat (I had to reinstall 6 recently), my computer stopped responding. I forced it to restart, but upon logging in it would never finish loading everything properly—I could not get control. Task Manager would respond very sluggishly. I restarted again—same thing. I restarted in Safe Mode with Networking and could log in. All my files were still there, including the cdrom project I had been working on for weeks. I copied over those project files to another computer just in case. I tried using System Restore to go back to yesterday's checkpoint, but that failed. I tried System Restore again to a few days ago, but that failed as well. I restarted in Safe Mode with Networking and did a full backup of the drive over the network using Retrospect. All of this took pretty much the entire rest of the day. On Monday, I will try a repair install of Win XP, though I have a feeling it's not going to be successful. I had been planning to reinstall Win XP anyhow to resolve the problems I've had for months with IE not accepting cookies and Flash sometimes not working. I only wish I hadn't been forced into doing it unexpectedly. My office is a huge mess right now with cables, and extra monitor, an extra keyboard and mouse strewn about carelessly. However, I did finish and send out for review the mac side of the cdrom project. I also updated the computer security web pages to reflect our forthcoming computer configuration with Dell, and I posted updated schedules for Lucia. Not bad for a day when my computer stops working an hour or so into work.

Sat Jul 29, 2006

Slept in. My favorite breakfast plus Rainier cherries. Patrick had done some intense gardening in the back yard this week. He's sore and achey and scratched up from it. The yard looks much nicer now. I had been scared to take photos of what it looked like when we first moved in, but now I wish I had because the before and after is quite a transformation. Started coding Lodestar. One of our poems used a character I had never seen before. It's a lowercase L with a small diagonal slash through the stem right in the middle. I looked it up, and it's Unicode U+0142 and if you have Unicode fonts installed it looks like this: ł. It took a few minutes of digging, but I found the corresponding HTML entity for it—ł—at fileformat.info. Finished building all the database tables and coding all the poetry. Picked up some orzo salad and drinks at Andronico's. Shabu shabu dinner at Tuan and Tuan's with Phil, Drew, Tony, Eriko, Oscar, Mike, Tuan, August, and Tuan with coffee cake dessert on the roof.

Sun Jul 30, 2006

I had planned to spend today coding Lodestar, but I realized rather unexpectedly that I couldn't do any more work since I was waiting on Patrick to review edits, so I spent the day with Phil, Drew, and Quyen at Up Your Alley. I ran into Jordan and (Gilbert?) and Augie, but I didn't see anyone else I knew. Partway through the day I started shooting all my photos from the thigh—I'm too shy to be obvious, and even Phil got a (polite) hand in his face when he attempted to take a photo. It was the usual activity, though not as daring or permissive as in the past. We saw a fair monitor stop one of the acts taking place. Everyone fell into a short nap at Phil and Drew's, and I returned home to have dinner with Patrick: salad and leftovers. Chatted on the phone with Nate today.

Mon Jul 31, 2006

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Lunch: Panda Bowl from Panda Express. My fortune: Chances of glamour and excitement are coming to you. Today at work I ordered new keyboards and I spent pretty much the whole day reinstalling Windows XP. I didn't bother with a repair install because I knew I wanted to reinstall anyway to resolve some other problems and there was a good chance that the repair install wouldn't fix things anyway. While restoring data over the network with Retrospect, Retrospect just hung. Restarted the server (and upgraded its bios at the same time). Did research for a new KVM and a DVD+-RW drive and media and placed orders. Weight training: hammer curl, front raise. Dinner at home by myself: leftovers followed by Rainier cherries. House chores: dishes, laundry. Patrick had to work late tonight at a Commonwealth Club meeting. Books Inc. partners with Commonwealth Club and provides a table at their events with books for sale related to the event. Tonight is Patrick's first. Read from Edmund White's My Lives. At 7:39 PM Pacific, craigslist.org appears to be down (!). Joel gave me a bag of granola today which he said he made himself. It has cashews, which I like, so I am looking forward to trying it out. Late meal: yogurt, leftovers.