September 2006

Summary: Jesse's karaoke birthday party with Remi and Jesse, Folsom Street Fair with Stephen F and Will W.

Dates on this page

Fri 1

Sent Bill S UCSF logos he requested. Reset graduated student account expiration dates which were set incorrectly. Helped James find the Outlook 2003 Stationery folder on his computer. Updated current students page with links to Zipcar and Flexcar. (Sorry, BK!) Reviewed quotes for video work we need to outsource. Lunch with Michele and Joel at Ten. Made live PID pages for Joel. Followup with Mark B about SenderID and DomainKeys. Helped entering student AC with a question about computers and the software cdrom. Set up PharmAdMIT 2007 for Lucia. Notified Ena of items for surplus. Student database work. Monthly archive of data to DVD. Video job setup. This evening I saw a rat run across our back yard.

Sat 2

Brunch with Patrick: Orphan Andy's. Shopping on Castro Street but didn't buy anything. Stopped for a mocha (Patrick) and a chai latte (me) at the coffee shop next to Superstar Video. The shop is new, replacing the same kind of coffee and pastries place which didn't seem to last very long in that spot. Chatted briefly with Adrian at Body. Bought one of two new printers at Best Buy—an HP LaserJet 1320. We ended up paying a lot more money than we should have (you can find it a lot cheaper online) but we cannot easily accept packages at home, and it's more troublesome for me to pick it up from work where it would have been delivered. It's a lot of money for the convenience, but I don't really care. Home. Nap for Patrick. I worked on Lodestar and attempted to work on Corinna's website but had some connectivity problems. Dinner: noodle soup. Grocery shopping at Safeway. Watched A Streetcar Named Desire (original director's version) on DVD with Patrick and popcorn and peach sorbet. I can't recall having ever seen Marlon Brando except perhaps parts of The Godfather trilogy. (Superman [1978] doesn't really count, I think, since I can't even remember the baby Superman scenes appearing in the theatre.) I was familiar with his name, but hadn't really known what all the excitement was about until I saw Desire, which appears to have been only his third film. All the acting is impressive, particularly Vivien Leigh, and the film really succeeded with me in creating a claustrophobic space in which the scenes played out.

Sun 3

Morning run: 45 minutes (a new record). Shower. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Tidied and cleaned the apartment. After reading about Marlon Brando on imdb, I am amazed at his intelligence, wit, candor, and life story. More house chores: folded laundry, washed dishes. Mid-morning snack: a plum. Joel recently sent me a link to the phallic logo awards on, and I got time to view it today. It had me laughing so hard it was painful. I wish I had known about the nominations—I would have hunted down the old logo and nominated it. (It was the letters A-L-A all in lowercase with round counters for the As.) Lunch at home by myself: black peppered turkey sandwich with "cheese" and green leaf lettuce, tortilla chips, hot water. Met Drew and Phil at the Asian Art Museum. They had never been before. Afterwards we got drinks and a snack at Harvey's: Jack neat for Drew, long island iced tea for Phil, grapefruit juice for me. Onion rings, nachos. Aaron and Sanjay happened by on the sidewalk and we chatted for a minute and they went on their way. Patrick met us after he got off from work. We drove to their place and had dinner. Phil had prepared egg rolls over rice noodles with fish sauce. (I don't remember the Vietnamese name he told us for the dish.) We chatted in the living room afterwards sharing orange sherbet.

Mon 4

Morning run: 45 minutes. House cleaning. Cut my hair. Laundry, dishes. The weather has been awful the whole 3-day weekend with highs hovering around 60 degrees even in the warmer parts of the city, so I stayed home and got some things done on the computer. Weight training: barbell fly, tricep kickback. Lunch: turkey burgers, fries. Snack: yogurt. Chatted with Tina, then later Mom Ryan. Late meal: soup.

Tue 5

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Researched transparency printing problems with Acrobat and InDesign. Updated documents in the password database. Helped some students with various issues. Read "To Hell with WCAG 2" on alistapart. Requested student photo handoff from the police department. Signed off on the computing services print job (print as image). Lunch with Joel: takeout from the cafeteria. Helped Joel collate entering student packets. Filed a number of remedy ticket change requests with OAAIS and ENS. Researched how to network our fax machine, a Brother MFC-5440CN. More PharmAdMIT 2007 troubleshooting. When launching, I get: "Error: Resource file version mismatch. (OK)" followed by "Microsoft Visual FoxPro: Visual FoxPro cannot start. Could not load resources. (OK)." It took me a while to find this solution provided by Sergey Berezniker in Message #1087192 on The solution is: "Solution: Search your HD for VFP9R.DLL, VFP9T.DLL, VFP9RENU.DLL and delete the ones that are not VFP9SP1. Next time, don't copy them all over you HD." Don't mind that snarkiness at the end—the various PharmAdMIT installations are what did it, of course. And he doesn't say how to determine if they are SP1 or not—my method was to get properties on each DLL file and click over to the tab which provides a description of the file. Instead of deleting outright, I renamed mine with .old extensions, and it worked just the same. I had VFP8 files mixed in with VFP9 files and some VFP9 files that weren't SP1. Even after this fix, the PharmAdMIT 2005 installer still launches now and then for no good reason. I think once it has been installed, the 2005 installer somehow sticks around until you reformat the hard drive. It won't go away even if you uninstall PharmAdMIT 2005. Just select Cancel multiple times when you see it happen and everything is good afterwards. Dinner at home with Patrick: chicken strips with three dipping sauces (ranch, ketchup, wasabi horseradish); peppered mashed potatoes; green leaf salad with swiss cheese, avocado, turkey, hard-boiled egg, basil. Weight training: hammer curl. Late meal: leftovers.

Wed 6

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Telecommute day. Recently the scroller on my mouse started working in OS X on the Mac Mini at home and I don't know what I did to make that happen. Maybe the Mac Mini was restarted when the KVM was set to it? Spent most of today working on the student database on the web project, made a lot of progress. I discovered today that Amazon has RSS feeds for wish lists, so I went crazy adding everyone who I knew had a wish list there. Why does Victor have two wish lists? Why is Nate's wish list empty? I saw Kodak Photo Gallery finally seems to be offering RSS feeds but when I tried to load one into Sage, it wouldn't load—errors, I guess. Organized my feeds in Sage. I'm starting to have a nice collection of feeds from people I know with blog feeds, photo feeds, bookmark feeds, and wishlist feeds. All the information arrives in a single place with one button to update them all and one interface to view them all. I love it! Lunch at home with Patrick: pepperoni pizza, turkey burgers. Dinner at home with Patrick: angel hair with tomato basil sauce, garlic bread.

Thu 7

Morning run: 10 minutes. Breakfast: a banana, some raisins. Today was Julia's last day at the office. Handled computer issues regarding that. Reminded staff about the new anti-spam implementation which started yesterday (Barracuda). Manually synched up Firefox extensions on the various computers I use frequently. Populated the first-year students listserv. Lunch from the cafeteria: orange juice, roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry dressing, corn off the cob. Met with Cindy. Sent Cindy the OSACA introductions presentation I created. Posted final schedules for Lucia. Reminded Class of 2006 students that their accounts were to close in 3 weeks. Helped Paula J with logo needs. Prepared my accounts closure notice. Helped student RN with a question about the academic calendar. Dinner at home by myself: a chicken burrito, tortilla chips. Reworked home backups. More RSS feed collecting. Patrick came home from work tonight with a big shopping bag full of books and cds. Some publishers stopped by the store today and employees get to leave with prerelease copies of things. Patrick got 10 paperbacks, 4 cd lectures about piano works, one DVD movie, and one book-on-cd. We'll use them as gifts if we don't consume them ourselves. Patrick also helped Felice move earlier in the day. Felice recently moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco, so I presume we'll be seeing him more often now, which I think is a great thing. Night run: 10 minutes. Weight training: crunch, leg lift, squat, lateral raise. Late meal: yogurt, leftovers.

Fri 8

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Logo help for Paula J. Helped various first-year students with computer questions. Updated webdev pages for Beth. Updated schedules for Lucia. Took photos in the IRC. Reworked the handout document in InDesign to no longer use drop shadows in order to improve the likelihood that it will print without problems to the DMM docutech. Lunch with Lucia and Rosie: we ordered pizza in, and I quizzed Lucia on her San Francisco pizza knowledge since she is of Italian heritage and grew up a San Francisco native. Gathered student data for Lucia. Handouts arrived for my presentation on Tuesday. Set up Remote Desktop, adminpak.msi, and Group Policy tools. Dinner at Dragonfly with Phil and Drew, their first time here. We were seated in the back room. We had bread and pate, the appetizer platter called Dragonfly Taste, beef look luck, shrimp-stuffed mushrooms.

Sat 9

Morning run: 60 minutes. Breakfast: cinnamon oatmeal with raisins, yogurt. Caught up on e-mail, processed photos. Website connection troubleshooting for Corinna. Here's a list of Firefox plug-ins I'm using both at home and at work nowadays: adblock, all-in-one sidebar, delicious, flashblock, forecastfox, googlesafebrowsing for firefox (google toolbar), ie view, sage, web dev, fangs. For my office staff: adblock, forecastfox, googlesafebrowsing for firefox (google toolbar), ie view. Lunch: soup. Stopped at Walgreen's for q-tips. Tony and Yhow Wei (Willy) met us at our place. We stopped at Stonestown shopping mall so that we wouldn't be the first ones to arrive at the party. I returned an online order of an extra small shirt which was too big to The Gap. We drove to Remi's for Jesse's karaoke birthday party and had a lot of fun. Patrick sang "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia and "It Had to be You" by Harry Connick, Jr. Drove Yhow Wei and Tony home. Bought gas. Drove home. Patrick went to bed. I did weight training: push up, crunch, leg lift. Late meal: soup.

Sun 10

Slept in. Morning run: 60 minutes. House chores. Cut my hair. Showered. Brunch: leftovers, yogurt. Set up our new laserprinter, an HP LaserJet 1320. I put it in the place we plan to use it but our wireless print server hasn't arrived yet, so I haven't turned the printer on. Worked on Lodestar. Bought light bulbs at Cliff's. Met Patrick for dinner. We went to Pasta Pomodoro on Market Street. Two iced teas. Patrick had frutta di mare, I had pollo griglia. We shared a semifreddo alle nocciole for dessert. Grocery shopping at Cala. Processed photos. Coded Lodestar.

Mon 11

Usual oatmeal breakfast. At work it's the first day of orientation. This year we're bringing 123 students in to our PharmD program, and they're all very excited to be here. While not helping out with orientation activities, I have been coding a revised subsite on our staging server. It's pretty basic work—just a lot of content reworking and some restructuring of pages. Evening run: 10 minutes. Dinner at home with Patrick: pizza, coconut shrimp. Just now I sent Patrick an e-mail with the subject line "this answers everything" and a link to sneeper's current blog entry. Yesterday over dinner (or maybe grocery shopping) he mentioned to me that sneeper stopped in at Books, Inc. and I said something like "That doesn't sound like sneeper" and Patrick responded, "He was on his way to The Transfer" and this is where I made a face that was half puzzled and half like I just smelled something bad because The Transfer is a really divey bar at the intersection of Church, Market, and 17th Streets. "Well, that sounds more like him," I said. His blog post today explains all. The co-owner of The Transfer decided to recreate the spirit of a defunct Castro bar called Lalo's. Sneeper ended up visiting and drinking too much and later revisiting the contents of his stomach several times over in his own home. Upon reading this news, I immediately recalled the worst result of a drinking binge to which I had ever been witness (sort of). I was in college at UC Santa Cruz and the drinker lived in the dorm room next door to mine. After a long night of drinking—also tequila—he spent the entire night loudly moaning variations on "Soooomeboooooody, pleeeeeaaaaaase kiiiiiiiiill meeeeeeeee!" and "Kiiiiiiiiiiilllll meeeeeeeeee!" It was rather otherworldly, like being in a film. There would be a pause followed by the sound of vomit and food chunks splattering into the trash can some friends had left with him, and the "Kill me!" moaning would continue. Repeat for hours. I don't know if anyone actually stayed in the room with him, but I can't imagine it would have been bearable either emotionally or olfactorily. In cases like that, stories about people suffocating on their own vomit always worried me. I figured as long as we continued hearing him he was at least alive. Sean Hetherington's first published piece is on freshyarn, and it's really funny and smart and human at the same time. I told him in e-mail a long time ago that he should send his writing to places (even Lodestar, even though I know it's not the kind of writing that Patrick is likely to accept for it). I'm very glad to see that Sean is starting to get published and appreciated for his writing, wit, and clever humor. Go Sean! Chatted with Steve Miles tonight. Spent a couple of very frustrating hours trying to set up the HP LaserJet 1320 and SMC wireless print server (SMCWPS-G). It looks like I might have to return the HP printer because the lights indicate Fatal Error according to their documentation, and I haven't even printed a single page!

Tue 12

Day 2 of orientation. I had just missed a bus by one minute, so instead of waiting for the next one I drove part way to work and parked on 12th Avenue. A Muni train came in just a few minutes, but it was so packed with people that no one at the stop before mine was able to board. I walked up to campus from 12th, eating a banana and raisins for breakfast on the way. Helped Joel check in students for the student faculty orientation breakfast. The food had been gentrified over previous years when they served the same food as in the cafeteria. This year the scrambled eggs had herbs and cream cheese mixed in, the sausage was chicken apple instead of standard pig, and so forth. Only a few students failed to show up. Orientation is continuing to run like the well-greased machine Joel built it to be. One session will end up running over 20 minutes and within the next hour Joel has found the right place to trim and put everything back on track. I did my computer services presentation with Chris, and it went well. Some big surprises this year during the show-of-hands portion. Almost nobody took advantage of our Dell and Apple computer offers, so I might not offer them anymore in future years. (Maybe we'll try to gather more data.) This is the first class year where no students were planning to use dialup. Our number of Mac users continues to increase—it's now 13 out of 122. (10% is really a favorable percentage for Apple right now.) About 90% of the class is using a laptop instead of a desktop—this percentage is way up over last year even. This year nearly every student said they knew what a firewall was. This in previous years got a very poor showing of hands, and often they were hesitant hands to boot. An easy majority of students raised their hands when I asked who was using Firefox on a daily basis as their default browser. Right then my heart melted, and I wanted to hug them all. Ena later guessed that I had a soft spot for this entering class, and I denied it, but later I realized that you gotta love students who are that smart. We even have one student who uses Opera. These kids are tech savvy, I tell you. One thing I did new this year was create an all-new, 8-page handout which covers all the computer services they need to know, and it includes lots of hyperlinks to our website where they can get more information. Another new thing I did was record a movie of the show-of-hands portion. I had started out taking still photos, but it was far slower than just filming. Now we can review these student responses at our leisure later to more carefully count the show of hands, if necessary. After my presentation, the students lined up for Mexican food outside of N225 and then filed in for student skits. I helped out getting the laptop running properly on the projector. (Decrease screen resolution to 800 x 600 then recycle video output options. At higher rezs it won't synch properly with the projector.) Back upstairs. Continued work on the subsite redesign and worked through a handful of student problems which came in to my inbox. Discovered the student lounge door code wasn't working yet. Checked in with Ena who submitted the request and found out that facilities management had our request over 2 weeks ago (9 business days) and had still not responded even though Ena tried reaching them multiple times. I sent an e-mail over to facman, ccd a supervisor, and also ccd the customer service quality assurance person. Our door code problem was resolved in about 2 hours, and the lock person they sent over, Brian, did an outstanding job because he suggested a brilliant solution to a problem we've had with the door for years. I sent a thank you message back to facman and the two people I ccd. Chatted with Chris about IRC design and laptop lockers. Processed photos and the movie. Uploaded the movie to Xythos, notified the committee about the movie. Chatted briefly with Polly, met her boyfriend Darren (sp?). Left work. Ran in to two pharmacy students on 9th Avenue just coming back from Milano's pizzeria. It appears Milano's is a favorite of the students. Joel and I had never been back after we had visited one time and I found a hair in my salad (I think it was). Maybe it's time to go back? Stopped at NKRB for some takeout: double happiness, cow with broccoli, brown rice. Walked back to the car. Drove home. Washed, got comfy. Ate dinner. (Patrick is at work this evening.) Read HP's response to my problem report. The problem was that upon startup the printer lights would indicate Fatal Error. The HP support rep (George) appeared to be sympathetic, but his suggestions (use a wall outlet instead of a power strip, do a cold reset) did not work, and when I called the 800 number they said to call in that case, I got a recording that said HP was closed (9:00 PM Pacific). After having found many reports on the internet of the Fatal Error problem with no resolutions described, I decided this isn't worth my time, and I have several days still to return it to Best Buy. Back in the box it goes. I never got a single page to print. Not even a test page from Windows or OS X. Not even a default test page included in the printer. On top of that, it appeared that the printer was used even though it was sold to me by Best Buy as a new item. I didn't have to install a toner cart or paper, I didn't have to break tabs or pull a ribbon on the toner cart, there was no red-orange tape on the printer door holding it shut, and so forth—all of these things were indicated in the HP quick start guide but I didn't have to do because they were done for me right out of the box. HP suggested that I contact them further about this, but they just didn't make it easy enough or worthwhile enough for me, so I'll let them figure out how to investigate this apparent Best Buy scamming of their products on their own. Evening run: 18 minutes. Folded laundry. Lodestar edits. Lodestar subscription handling. Began creating a model release form for Steve G. Wrote in my journal. Installed Quicktime 7.1.3 and iTunes 7 for OS X. I notice very briefly Apple really cleaned up the iTunes interface. Bravo to that—the old interface was so much of a mess that I felt it was really incongruent with Apple's philosophy of simple yet powerful design. The scroller on my mouse stopped working in OS X a day or two ago and I don't know why. Even after today's restart, it still doesn't work. Still works in Windows, though. Boo hoo! Bed.

Wed 13

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Drove in to work since I have an errand to run after work and I'm having dinner at PhilDrewDanny's. Handled a lot of first-year student questions by e-mail. Made corrections to two listservs which I discovered were needed, reported the errors and fixes to Claire. Prepared and sent preferred e-mail address change requests for the first-year class. Repaired an access problem to computer files for James. Checked in with Robert H about handoff of student photos from his unit to me. Notified sysadmins to ensure accounts were active for a student who returned to our program after a leave of absence. Followed up with 4th-year student NN about a VPN problem report. Helped Ena find our current academic calendar. Updated and distributed our current list of students to our office staff. Set up the laptop for a presentation for Chris and Cindy. Loaded the laptop with a presentation for tomorrow for Joel. Followed up with Mark B about moving a late admit's AD object into the correct OU. Gave Susie and Bill S a heads up about Google Co-op. Notified first-year students of the deadline to notify me of preferred e-mail address change requests. Left work. Returned the HP LaserJet 1320 because I couldn't bear to troubleshoot a printer that failed to print even a test page new out of the box due to lights indicating Fatal Error. I was expecting to pay a restocking fee, but luckily I didn't have to and I got all my money back from Best Buy (which sold me a used printer as new in the first place). Dinner at Phil, Drew, and Danny's with Antuan visiting as well. Danny is back in San Francisco after having returned to Philadelphia for a while. For dinner we had a Vietnamese noodle dish—a specialty of the region in which it originated but I can't recall the name now (nor how to spell it). Afterwards I fell asleep for a few hours in the living room. Home. Checked feeds and e-mail. Microsoft made some announcements today about new mice and keyboards. Usually I'm very excited over these announcements since Microsoft has a great deal of influence over keyboard design across the entire computer keyboard industry, but I don't see a great deal of innovation that's going to be particularly useful or compelling to me. I never once asked for a keyboard to be as thin as a graham cracker, for instance. I don't see the point except that you can use it in a martial arts film as a surprising kind of thrown weapon. Keyboard manufacturers add multitudes of special keys like multimedia keys and special buttons to activate Favorites or e-mail, but I have talked to many people who have keyboards with these keys and they never, ever use them. They don't even know they exist even though they have them—honestly. I personally thought the old Microsoft Office Keyboard had a great idea in having dedicated buttons for Cut, Copy, Paste, Back, Forward, Reply, Fwd, Send, Save, Print, Undo, Redo, Alt+Tab, Alt+Shift+Tab. But by the time I thought I'd try it out it was already so old that I figured the drivers for it must not work well in XP so I never bought it, and Microsoft never released another keyboard with similar shortcut keys. For office users, I also think a (possibly oversized, possibly colored yellow or gold) key labelled "Lock" and/or with a lock icon which issued Windows+L to lock the workstation would be very useful—a more prominent reminder for office staff to protect confidential data, but somehow they'd have to determine if having Lock, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock caused confusion. I wish the industry could deprecate the usage of some keys such as Print Screen and SysRq and Scroll Lock which I think are no longer very much used for what they were originally intended. For example, if the Scroll Lock key were deprecated and we instead had a new key called "Switch" to reflect the popularity of using KVMs for switching amonst multiple computers, I think it would be a lot more useful. Also, Print Screen rarely, if ever for anyone nowadays, prints the screen—it more frequently copies the screen to the clipboard, so "Copy Screen" would be a more appropriate label. Shift+CopyScreen (aka Shift+PrintScreen) could copy the screen to the clipboard and paste it into a new e-mail message, which would likely make life a lot easier for technical support people. Microsoft has the power to make these kinds of simple, inexpensive, and productive changes. Why not? Weight training: push up. Bed.

Thu 14

Morning run: 36 minutes. Usual oatmeal breakfast. More helping new students with preferred e-mail address change requests, computer setup, duplicate name problems, etc. Set up the laptop in N225 for Joel. Met with Susie. Web steering lunch. This was the first websteering lunch attended by Renaud, Jayson, and Ricki, and I enjoyed meeting them and getting to know them. The rest of us were Beth, John K, and me, and we went to Nan King Road Bistro, which everyone seemed to like. Computer support coordinator meeting. Updated and distributed the list of students to staff. Attempted to restore missing stickies for Cindy. Began Quicktime 7.1.3 updates. Repaired James's cdrom drive—loose connector, as is somewhat common with the Dell GX240. Watched veoh and youtube with Patrick. Bed.

Fri 15

Morning run: 10 minutes. Usual oatmeal breakfast. More helping new students with preferred e-mail address change requests, computer setup, duplicate name problems, etc. Minor update to the transcripts page for James. Sent a followup message to Ricki, Jayson, and Renaud. Asked to be unsubscribed from the ImageBuilder mailing list. Updated the jobs listserv for Joel. Coded and made live a new news story for Susie. Set up the laptop for James's admissions workshop. Met with student AF, helped configure e-mail and other things. Answered questions about downloading e-mail to the computer and got the personal calendar migrated to the UCSF calendar. Tried unsuccessfully to resolve the problem of Outlook 2003 always asking for the password even though we select "Remember my password." Stupid Outlook! I had intended to go to the student picnic in the gym today, but ended up having a 15-minute cafeteria lunch (cow stroganoff with noodles, steamed broccoli, orange juice, dinner roll with promise spread) followed by helping Kirk in the library help some students with wireless—couldn't get it working right no matter what we tried. Also gave Kirk a couple of copies of our computer services handout. Stopped by the Technology Store and chatted with Garrett about ordering a new laptop to replace our shared office laptop which people take to outreach and other events. Gave him a bunch of extra CD-ROMs of our required software. More work on the subsite redesign. After work I stopped by BriKel's but they weren't home. Continued on to Mom Ryan's where I met her and Patrick. Mom Ryan cooked us dinner! Chicken stew, rice, corn off the cob, and foccacia bread with Land O Lakes light butter spread. A very delicious meal. Home, very sleepy and went right to bed.

Sat 16

Morning run: 30 minutes. Patrick made french toast for breakfast. Weight training: tricep kickback, front raise. Caught up on feeds. Did some work on Lodestar. Adjusted backups—one tape is not working right. In the evening, went to Tuan and Tuan's for dinner.

Sun 17

Morning run: 75 minutes. Read news. House chores. Showered. Breakfast: oatmeal with a little of Joel's granola sprinkled in, a red plum—very crunchy and deliciously sweet. Weight training: squat, hammer curl, concentration curl. Laundry. Worked on a photo release for Steve G, sent him a first draft for review. Lunch: bbq chicken with rice. Worked on Lodestar. Dinner with Phil, Danny, Drew, Patrick, Quyen at PhilDannyDrew's: Danny made pho using Phil's recipe. Home. Worked on Lodestar, finally finished coding the drama piece, sent it to Patrick for review. Processed photos.

Mon 18

Yesterday on our way to PDD's, Patrick and I saw a man in the Mission who was shockingly dressed quite the opposite of the typical urban hipster. He wore a white dress shirt, satiny blue-gray basketball shorts, and flip-flop sandals with socks. I wanted to take a photo, but we were driving and couldn't stop. Morning run: 10 minutes. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Helped Chris with KVM info. Helped student DK set up e-mail and wireless. Listserv work. Helped student AW troubleshoot listserv problems. Shopped for a laptop sleeve for the forthcoming new office MacBook. Began collecting new student photos. Troubleshot a problematic legal name change report sent by Jina. I was so busy today I couldn't eat lunch until 3:00 PM. Got chicken piccata (or was it chicken marsala) at the cafeteria with noodles and mixed vegetables, orange juice. Dentist. Home. Worked on Lodestar. I tried resolving a problem with Corinna's website but still ran into trouble. I'll try one more thing before sending another message to her web host. Dinner at home with Patrick: tacos. Did research for a new printer.

Tue 19

Morning run: 15 minutes. Weight training: push up, plank, calf raise. Coded new news story for Susie. Sent Danica a request about one of our students not able to post messages to a listserv. Troubleshot a problem report from a prospective student who couldn't access the home page of our website (but other websites load as expected). After submitting a ticket and Ariel responding very quickly, we determined the problem was in between our connections to the internet. I provided her with our traceroute data and instructed her to contact her ISP which was Yahoo! DSL. More preferred names and e-mail address work. More miscellaneous questions from new students. Assisted student RN with wireless. Assisted student AH with installation of required software. Updated a listserv for Joel. Minor web edit for Joel. Sent Rick a question about how people are supposed to change their IE home page if Spy Sweeper prevents them from doing that. (The setting is grayed out, and the only answer I know: Uninstall Spy Sweeper, change the home page, then reinstall Spy Sweeper.) Troubleshot a door code problem for student WW. More preferred e-mail address work. Emergency laptop and projector assistance for a student group for Chris. Chatted with a student about listservs. No lunch today—I was too busy! Dinner at Pomelo by myself. Lodestar edits. Processed photos. More printer shopping. Weight training: leg lift, crunch, front raise. Late meal: leftovers. Read slashdot.

Wed 20

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Preferred names and e-mail addresses followup. Listserv updates. Reported a problem with the door code for one of our computer labs to the lab admin. Chatted with Cindy. Anti-spam interface troubleshooting. Quick lunch: sandwich from the cafeteria. Helped break down tables and set up chairs in Millberry Union Gym for the first ever Inter-Professional Day at UCSF which means that they take all 500ish of the first-year students from all our schools and put them in one room for 2 hours of discussion and interaction. They've never done this before, and when I learned of it I thought it was a really great idea. The goal was to encourage them to understand that medical service providers—doctors, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists—all need to work together to ensure patient safety. After helping set up, I stayed for about the first 30 minutes mostly because I had heard that all four deans were to participate in a skit and I wanted to see them out of character for those few minutes. I liked the skit, but I didn't stick around long enough to determine how students responded—I had too much else to do. I hope the deans succeeded in their goal. However, it seemed obvious to me that these new students, only weeks into professional school, had a severe disconnect with the deans who have had collectively dozens of years of experience seeing problems in their industries and working to provide resolutions. It was clear that the deans had an urgent message to deliver, but it was received by mostly blank but attentive faces and a handful of students who weren't paying attention at all—they were checking e-mail or on the web on their laptops, which I thought was incredibly disrespectful. (I did see one head nodding knowingly during Dean Dracup's speech, though.) These students probably have very little understanding of how complicated patient care really is, and this event only scratched the surface but nonetheless it seems to be a step in the right direction. If this one goes well, it might be good to repeat this for each class year at least once a year and get them to work more closely in interdisciplinary groups on various activities to more closely simulate the experiences the deans want them to have or create once they graduate. Picked up a snack at the convenience store: 250 milliliter san pellegrino ($1.20), 4 ounces of kettle chips lightly salted baked ($2.89). Back to the office. Updated and distributed the students spreadsheet. Dinner at home with Patrick, Phil, Danny, Drew, and Quyen. Patrick cooked a delicious Cuban meal using an advanced copy of a cookbook which he got for free from work. Avocado salad, yellow rice, Jorge's chicken in garlic sauce. The chicken dish didn't turn out the way Patrick had expected, but it was still delicious. The cookbook is called Celebrate Cuban, 100 Great Recipes for Cuban Entertaining by Three Guys from Miami. I had had a headache all day and into the night, and I've also been having headaches more frequently since orientation last week. Phil, who is a doctor, asked me where my headache was, and I said, truthfully but half-jokingly, "In my head!" to which he sarcastically replied, "What? You don't ever get the butt headache?" He says I'm staring at the computer screen too much and that I need to take more frequent breaks. I have indeed been ignoring my Workrave warnings simply because there is so much work to do, so perhaps he's right. After PDDQ left, I took a shower and then went right to bed.

Thu 21

This morning I woke up at 4:30 AM, a lot earlier than I should have. As I was awakening, I sifted through the things I had been dreaming about, and I was shocked when I came across the memory of a letter from Zaire requesting my immediate assistance to reserve a $100 hotel room. Reflexively, I thought DELETE and my mind somehow got rid of the thought. Immediately afterwards, of course, I was again shocked when I realized that scam spam had worked its way into my dreams. Where is the justice? Odd, though, that it involved only $100 (presumably U.S. dollars)—perhaps they were extraordinarily poor or stupid scammers. I tried to get back to sleep, but usually in cases like these I cannot, so I got up and wrote in my journal and did my morning run: 30 minutes. Weight training: squat, leg lift, crunch, bridge, tricep extension. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Work. Mostly catching up on e-mail. Shared my 8-page handout with the student computing committee. Installed iTunes 7 and Quicktime 7.1.3 for Joel. Answered e-mail how to questions for Joel. Updated schedules for Lucia. Lunch with Joel at Ten and he dished out the current gossip. New news story for Susie. Met briefly with student SL. Subsite redesign work—almost done with this project. Tweaked backups. Dinner at home by myself: turkey burgers.

Fri 22

Breakfast: I got a small oatmeal at the cafeteria. Cindy brought bagels in to work today—thanks! Student photos followup. Preferred e-mail address followup. Filed a problem report with campus housing internet problems reported to me by students. Lunch with Joel at Milano's: pizza slices and we split a large green salad. I like Milano's pizza better than Cybelle's. Created JPEG versions of the school logo for Paula. Set up the laptop for James's presentation. Career fair web page updates for Joel. Placed and picked up an order for a new office laptop—a low-end Apple MacBook, white, with 1 GB of RAM. We use this primarily for presentations on campus and on the road, shared amongst all office staff. The assimilation begins, and if early experiments go well, I'll switch over the entire office to Apple hardware within a few years. Pollyanna announced today that she was leaving our office two weeks from now to work in an architect firm as an admin assistant. Soon, we'll have 2 open positions in our office. Dinner with Phil, Danny, Drew at Fuddrucker's. Saw Jet Li's Fearless at Century 20 Daly City with Phil, Drew, and Danny. I enjoyed the film except for when Phil was making Danny laugh at various things in the film. (It's not a comedy.) Patrick was hanging out with Aaron, so he couldn't go. He'll enjoy it when he sees it, though. Late night run: 5 minutes. Weight training: lateral raise, front raise.

Sat 23

Cut my hair. Breakfast at home with Patrick: oatmeal for me, grape nuts for Patrick. House chores. Shopped online for a new printer. Prep work for Corinna's website. Lunch at home with Patrick: grilled cheese sandwiches, soup. Bought a new printer. Afternoon meal at a Chinese restaurant with Patrick. His fortune: You will reap the rewards of your hard work. Mine: A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance. Picked up a DVD at the rental store. Grocery shopping at Safeway with Patrick. Nap for me. Patrick worked on decks for Lodestar. Dinner at home with Patrick: chive-cow burgers with mushrooms and cheddar, fries. Watched Donnie Darko (2001): The Director's Cut on DVD with Patrick. Wow, what an amazing film, particularly for first-time writer-director Richard Kelly who appears to have made this film around the age of 25 or 26, and then I was stunned again to learn that the film was shot in only 28 days. (How?! And I think it speaks volumes for the actors that they captured such fine acting performances throughout in such a short time.) Patrick and I had heard long ago strong recommendations, particularly from Patrick's friend and former student Jason B, but at the time when I had read a description of the film somewhere I remember feeling reluctant and doubtful that I would like it. This film is a pleasure to watch if you're tired of the too-common, tired, and often-predictable plots that Hollywood churns out. At many moments throughout this film, I could actively discern a calm restraint in the storytelling—that there's no need to fully explain every last bit of information, that the camera doesn't have to have both faces of people talking in the scene for the entire scene, that facial expressions and subtle body language sometimes work far more efficiently than dialogue. It has elements of mystery, suspense, satire, surrealism, science fiction, political commentary, comedy, psychothriller, and drama, but it fits into none of these categories definitively. If you see movies only to escape and not to think, don't see this film—you'll probably hate it. Weight training: hammer curl, concentration curl, wrist curl, reverse wrist curl. Bed late.

Sun 24

Slept in. Midday run: 70 minutes. Weight training: crunch. Brunch: pig and eggs scramble, hash browns, sausage, yogurt, a plum. Sent Phil and Drew my measurements. They leave with Danny tonight for a monthlong vacation to Vietnam and offered to look for some clothes or have some made for me while they are there—so sweet! Went to Folsom Street Fair, was only planning to stay an hour and then go clothes shopping, but Stephen F showed up, also by himself, so we decided to walk the fair together. We met up with his friend Will W after a little bit, and continued through the fair eventually watching it wind down. Stephen wanted to go to all the South of Market bars, and I decided why not? Neither he nor I had been to any of them before (well, I had been to Powerhouse once, but just to pee). We hit The Eagle, Caliente, Powerhouse, and Hole in the Wall. The odd thing was that we didn't do any drinking. I think Stephen just mostly wanted to see what each place was like. The Eagle was packed and had a huge outdoor patio. Caliente had only a dozen or two persons it seemed. It was very dark inside; people were dancing. Powerhouse was packed and seemed smaller than the other places. Dark, but not as dark as Caliente. You could see a lot of smiles inside. Hole in the Wall was the stinkiest. I got Stephen to share an entertaining military story from his past. Briefly met his yoga teacher. Home. Dinner: soup. Processed photos—uploaded only a few so far from Folsom.

Mon 25

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Spent most of today setting up the new MacBook, failed when trying to join it to Active Directory—it would spin the gay beach ball forever (15 minutes) and eventually tell me the operation failed. Minor web updates. Backups configurating. Lunch: takeout from Panda Express. My fortune: You are a charmer. Pre-dinner: yogurt. Patrick brought home more free books from the bookstore today. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover tubular pasta with cow and red bell peppers in marinara. Watched parts of Disc 2 then parts of Disc 1 commentary of Donnie Darko Director's Cut on DVD. Disc 2 is disappointing and not worth watching. The commentary on Disc 1 is good.

Tue 26

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Showed Lucia how to scan documents across the network with the Brother MFC-5440cn. Staff meeting: Cindy brought scones and muffins which were definitely not to celebrate anyone's birthday. Demoed the new laptop. Spent most of the day setting up our new office Apple MacBook. Successfully used iChat AV to chat with Patrick via AIM (him using Trillian), but he could not see or hear me in video, and I don't know why not. Successfully bound the laptop to Active Directory. Helped student LL with laptop problems. Placed an order for a mini-DVI-to-VGA adapter. Picked up my copy of Parallels which had been on order. Uploaded photos. Backups work. Assisted student CH with using the UCSF logo. Dinner at home with Patrick: pig chops, chive and something mashed new red potatoes, salad with sliced bartlett pear, chamomile-cherry-something iced tea. Dessert: fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and nonfat milk. Just before I went to bed I heard a noise in the kitchen. It turned out to be a small brown mouse. It was in the garbage can trying to hop out and making lots of noise with all its hopping in the plastic trash bag. I tried to grab the trash bag quickly to catch it, but it got away.

Wed 27

Usual oatmeal breakfast. More MacBook setup. Created another security poster for Tiki. Reposted some schedules for Lucia. Listserv updates. Today I took the American Civic Literacy test on the web and got 5 out of 5 questions correct—woo! Chatted briefly with Dan F. Got printers set up and printing working. Turned on FileVault. Downloaded and installed Remote Buddy—it works perfectly, so I placed an order. Coded a new news story for Susie. Lunch: Panda Express. My fortune: Your personality is fueled by the fascination you feel for life. Computer troubleshooting for Chris and Ena. Doug C requested yet another change to Form A, so I created and sent him another proposal. Checked in with student KP about connection problems with our web site. Dinner at home by myself: leftover soup with new noodles. Photo processing. I have lots of great new photos from Folsom I haven't shared on Flickr yet; I'm still adding tags. Did some Flickr contact management. Weight training: tricep kickback, barbell fly, leg lift, crunch, wrist curl. Midnight meal: leftover chow mein, a banana.

Thu 28

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Announced spam prevention software to staff and students. Our e-mail admins have set up Barracuda. We'll see how it works out. Sent Doug C a new (second) proposed Form A. Met with Susie. Flickr profile update for Susie. Met with Cindy. Minor updates to the webdev section of our site. Small web edit for Fran and Dick. Filed for reimbursements. Dinner: Subway sandwich. Skit nite. Home. Grocery shopping at Safeway by myself. Encountered error message "Memory card error card locked!" on a Canon PowerShot A620 when turning on the camera. I had just finished filming 3 students singing in Skit Nite, so this problem is very disappointing. Today Betty-ann gave me another scarf—my choice of "boy colors"—I chose a dark solid, something in between black and purple and brown, tho she called it "raisin" I think.

Fri 29

Morning run: 11 minutes. Weight training: hammer curl. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Completely reworked backup scripts. Repaired the class of 2010 home page; recent changes to had thrown the stylesheet out of alignment. Hooked up the Canon PowerShot A620 to troubleshoot the error message "Memory card error card locked!"—browsing the card directly in Windows XP showed no files. Encountered error "Internet Explorer: This page has an unspecified potential security flaw. Would you like to continue? (Yes) (No)." I can't recall what I was doing when the error message appeared. Helped student KH make decisions about the best way to gather data for a research project. Updated pathway declaration form for Polly. Preferred e-mail address names followup. Helped student WL learn how to update a student organization website. Minor web updates: file transfer options. More backups work. Lunch: soft taco, mushroom quesadilla from Carmelina's. Dinner at home by myself: sandwich, baked Cheetos (they're new and really good!). Weight training: lateral raise, tricep kickback, front raise, leg lift, crunch. Shower. Bed. Patrick home late from a reading at Books, Inc. and drinks with Aaron and friends afterwards.

Sat 30

Usual oatmeal breakfast. I just noticed/realized today that the default OS X icon (I believe) for a web page bookmark is an at sign with "HTTP" underneath which strikes me as really strange because there are no at signs in URLs unless it's a mailto URL. The easy majority of URLs in use are not mailto URLs, and they do not include at signs. Anyone know why? What I've been reading lately: After finishing Edmund White's biography, I believe it was Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five (still in progress) and Apple MacBook User Guide (finished). House chores in the morning. Patrick and I picked up the new laser printer I had ordered for home from the office. Afterwards, we went shopping in the Haight and bought some clothes at American Apparel where extra small (XS) sizes are surprisingly too small for me. Stopped for a savory crepe and ginger soda at some eating establishment on Haight. A quick grocery stop on the way home. I napped. Woke up, chatted with Nate. Set up the laser printer. It's a Brother HL-5250DN. It took several hours because I also needed to set it up with a wireless print server that I had bought—a SMC model SMCWPS-G and because neither company nor Microsoft nor Apple knows about or cares that you're trying to get all of their products to work together (but admittedly it's a complicated problem and I don't see any good solution at this time). It's particulary confusing because the HL-5250DN has built-in ethernet but not built-in wireless ethernet so instructions refer to network printing but they must be ignored. Consequently, after one computer is able to print, it's unclear what you're supposed to do to get the next one to print. Answer: You must also install the SMCWPS-G software on all Windows computers that need to print, but OS X computers don't need it (just point those to the proper IP address). Oh, and for Windows computers, install the printer driver software before you install the SMCWPS-G software, always choosing LPT1 (local printer) rather than network printer even though you really do have a network printer. Oh, and best if you can set up the SMCWPS-G through a wired connection for the first time to a Windows computer (just like the instructions recommend). Oh, and don't specify that you want to share the printer anywhere even though you are sharing it. (I told you it was complicated.) Finally all computers can now print to the HL-5250DN, and that's when we discover that the printer takes in normal 20-pound weight paper and very, very quickly spits out beautifully sharp printed pages with an unacceptable curl to the page which I've never seen before with any laser printer. The curl isn't the direction I expect, either. Instead of curling as though the paper were fed through a curling iron, the page curls 90 degrees from that. The curl is so annoying that we're considering returning the printer even though it will be a hassle to do so. It's annoying because you print, say, 20 or 30 pages, and they won't lie flat on a table. It also has the potential of interfering with the paper as it comes out of the printer—we can't be certain that as pages come out of the printer they won't get messed up because there's too much curl. Reviews on the web seem to indicate that this is a common problem with at least some Brother laser printers. Some people suggest using 24-pound paper instead resolves the problem, but I could not find anywhere in the user manual that 24-pound paper is required. I will pick some up tomorrow to see if this suggestion will work. Aside from this curling issue, we are very happy with this printer so far after just a few hours. After it was installed with at least one Windows computer, OS 10.4.8 installed it successfully as an IP address printer without requiring drivers from either the Brother or SMC CD-ROMs. I selected the Postscript emulation driver for OS X tho I think you had your choice of PCL (emulation?) as well. Watched an episode of Little Britain found on YouTube (Patrick likes it; I don't), followed by unwatchworthy stuff on YouTube and Google Video. Watched some movie trailers on