February 2007

Summary: Julie's karaoke birthday party; Stanton Warriors at 1015 Folsom; Steven's Spanish and Brown birthday party; games at JYAC followed by Club Dragon; James's going away lunch at LuLu; Patrick releases his music on MySpace; Day with the Honmas; Dinner at Namu with Mom Ryan, Patrick, and Sam; Roast chicken dinner at home with Patrick, Mom Ryan, Phil, Danny, Drew.

Dates on this page

Thu Feb 1, 2007

Skipped breakfast. We held a birthday party for Cindy at the office. I made and posted happy birthday signs yesterday evening and set a card signed by everyone on her keyboard. Joel made cookies from a Barefoot Contessa recipe and packed a special box of cookies for the birthday recipient as well as pairs of cookies for everyone else—he really went the extra mile. Lucia put together an amazing tray of fruit including grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. (Scott?) brought bagels and cream cheese. James brought sinfully delightful doughnuts. Steaven brought a really delicious frittata. We talked a lot about movies, and I couldn't even remember the movie Patrick and I saw recently on DVD. For the afternoon party, Alyssa brought chocolate cupcakes. Worked with Ariel to schedule an update for our wireless access point in the student lounge. Sent Lorie and Susie the proposed podcast web page I composed after Cindy had approved it. Helped student CP with questions about VPN via e-mail. Met with Susie about our new hire and the job description for it. Windows updates. Apple updates in Windows. Followup with student MN about a changed e-mail address. More followup with student CP about VPN. Helped student AF with e-mail problems. Gave a heads up to the office staff about a monitor arm installation to take place in our office. Chatted briefly online with Tony Q and Geordie. Lunch with Joel at Cybelle's. Adolpho and Kim passed by on the sidewalk, and Adolpho returned after a few minutes to chat with me and Joel near the end of lunch. Spent a few minutes visiting Geordie, one of the cool IT guys I met at a recent info security training. He moved from a UCSF job at Mission Bay to a different but similar UCSF job in my building, so he's really close by, which will be nice. Today was his first day in our building. Dinner at Burgermeister on Church with Patrick. Julie's Karaoke Birthday Party at The Mint with Patrick, Thom, Jeff, Julie, Ziggy, Mark (Marc?), Mike, Christina, Mik, Eric, Beth, Gregor. Among others, we got to hear Julie sing Joy to the World (the Three Dog Night song, not the Christmas song). The cake was a very delicious dairy-free, photo Maggie Mudd chocolate peanut butter ice cream cake. I had no idea dairy-free ice cream could taste so good! Home. Archived documents. Processed photos.

Fri Feb 2, 2007

Morning run: 15 minutes. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Followup with student AF about junk e-mail options and spam. Set up the jobs listserv so that Joel could do his own adds and deletes. Spent most of today just catching up on e-mail and installing Joel's new monitor since his old monitor had been flaking out on him inconsistently. Minor web edits for James. Legal name change followups. One quick edit to the student database. Helped Joel understand conditional formatting in Excel. Lunch: hot dog and pizza from the cafeteria. Napped. Dinner at home with Patrick: Patrick had leftovers, I had shell pasta with sausage in marinara. Patrick went to bed (he has a lesson with Simmone in the morning) and I went to see Stanton Warriors at 1015 Folsom. I had never been to this nightclub before. I was worried that I wouldn't get in because I didn't buy a presale ticket and because I am pretty sure Stanton Warriors are world-renowned breakbeats DJs and would have a large following in San Francisco, but it wasn't a problem. While waiting in line, a woman told me the club held 1,500 people, and a man told me there were a lot of different rooms. The place was huge, and I couldn't keep track of where all the rooms were and how to get from one to another. It was almost entirely a straight crowd that I could tell, lots of people just having a good time, with plenty of friendly security (oxymoron?) keeping the pleasant vibes going while the various DJs pumped and mixed the beats. I didn't enjoy the SW performance as much as I had hoped—frequently the DJ would let one song die out essentially completely before mixing the next song in, and there was a pattern to the sampling and cutting that I grew bored with after the first few times. I could tell he was very skilled, but for some reason this performance just didn't click with me. I prefer to have the music continue without stopping. He seemed to rely on feedback from the crowd a lot, but he communicated mostly with arm and hand gestures only and generated just a lukewarm response. The crowd did respond positively to some of the tracks he laid in. I didn't recognize any of them because I don't keep up with the scene. I left before SW ended their set and planned to go to Club Dragon for a bit, but on the way over I ran into Travis on the sidewalk who had just left—they had closed already, which surprised me. We decided to get a bite to eat and drove separately to Baghdad Cafe. We shared a turkey club croissant and rippled disc fries while catching up. I hadn't seen him since camping, I think. Afterwards he gave me a short ride to my car in his brand new Subaru with a nifty Garmin GPS.

Sat Feb 3, 2007

In running Apple Software Update for Windows today to install a security fix, I discovered that it will let a limited user account download an update and then fail with an error message indicating that the installation could not be installed. Instead, I think it should first check if admin privileges are available before downloading any update that requires such privileges—if it can't be installed, why penalize the limited user by needlessly stealing cpu time and network resources for the download? I am guessing there's something in the Windows API that enables a program to check for that. If there is, I'm sure it's on the checklist of things to do, but I mention this only because I am tired of hearing generalizations which claim that everything or nearly everything Apple does is well-designed. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Lunch at So Restaurant with Patrick: So fish (not spicy), one order of steamed rice, shrimp dumplings noodle soup. Took photos of Patrick at Ocean Beach. Grocery shopping at Safeway. I napped while Patrick worked on his music. Dinner at home with Patrick: pork roast, corn off the cob, bread and butter. Patrick stayed home while I joined Tony Q at a party at Steven's place in North Beach. I had been to Steven's once before. (See January 29, 2005.) The party was a lot of fun. It had a Spanish theme and people were asked to wear brown. Upon arrival, you received a name tag with a Spanish first name (mine was Juan-Carlo) and a football (soccer) sticker. A lot of people attended—I did not get to meet everyone. Some were close friends (Drew, Danny, Quyen, Tony Q). Some I was acquainted with but did not know were coming (Ray S and bucy). Others I had met before elsewhere but did not know well, such as Chris C. I met Kris B this evening as well as Henry. Downstairs, one of Kylie's concerts—then later Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! (2001)—played on the projection screen. I met many men at this party who had met their current boyfriend online. There still seems to be a strong stigma associated with that, as though meeting someone through meatspace is somehow more legitimate. It is what you make it, I believe, no matter the medium. I snacked on taquitos and tangerines and drank Dole fruit juice mixed with 7-Up. I had accidentally forgotten my wallet at home, but it fortunately posed no problems aside from not having anything on which to write notes and urls. Parking in North Beach was a huge pain just like last time. After spending 20 minutes looking unsuccessfully for street parking, we parked in a small lot—$20 for the night—and they asked us what time we planned to leave and put us in a row with 3 other cars in after us—non-valet, so we would be stuck in an emergency or if the other cars failed to leave when they said. Fortunately, the parking all turned out well when Tony Q and I decided to leave around midnight. I offered Kris a ride to his home in the Tenderloin (or Lower Nob Hill, as he says), and enroute he wanted to join his current love interest at the club night called Drunk & Horny at Underground SF, so I dropped Tony off at home first (he was really tired) and planned to go to D&H with Kris only remembering on the way that I couldn't get in because I had forgotten my wallet at home. I dropped him off and said goodbye and saw Adrian emerging from the bar. South Bay schoolteacher Eric was there as well. I offered Adrian a ride to wherever he was going, so he got in and said (paraphrasing), "I need to find the closest pizza place." We chatted a few seconds while I drove up the street about 60 yards and dropped him off—there was an open pizza joint about 5 or 6 doors west of Drunk & Horny, and we laughed at that. It was a long but fun evening. Steven throws really enjoyable parties.

Sun Feb 4, 2007

Slept in. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Processed photos, caught up on e-mail. Met Phil, Drew, Danny, and Quyen at Pho Clement for a late lunch. Traffic was awful getting to the restaurant. Home. Napped. Late dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers.

Mon Feb 5, 2007

Breakfast: a banana. Minor web update for Cindy. Helped student LC with a question about ftp space. Helped student NS with a question about using Perl. Recordings policy work. Student SZ stopped by with a laptop problem.


Dell Inspiron 600m with A16 BIOS displays the following STOP error upon attempting to start Windows normally:

STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file):
or its log or alternate.
It is corrupt, absent, or not writable.


  1. Started the computer using a Bart PE (http://nu2.nu/pebuilder/) startup disc (press F12 during startup).
  2. Ran chkdsk /r on the C: drive as suggested by http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=822705. This found and corrected a number of disk errors.
  3. Restarted the computer using "Start Windows Normally."

Lunch: small salad, corn bread, chicken and rice soup (just under $4). Reg fee web page update for James. Made course schedule web page updates live for James. Sent Cindy web pages to review. Answered a question for student SM about data recovery. Checked in with Garrett about pricing for students for Vista and Office 2007. Made info available on our current students page about daylight saving time software updates. Dinner at home with Patrick: rotelle with leftover roast pork, bread and butter. Watched Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005) on DVD with Patrick. I have formatting problems on this journal entry when viewed from the web page—I will fix this later.

Tue Feb 6, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Student computing committee meeting. Spent most of the day working on the student directory project, finally got the new site ready and announced for test users. Lunch: Panda Express. My fortune: The respect of influential people will soon be yours. Chatted briefly with Ena, set up lunch. Made live reg fee changes for James. Posted updated class schedules for Lucia. Helped student LT with a question about VPN. Dinner at home with Patrick: tostada bowl salad, Relax tea. I discovered this video today which I really like: Dove Evolution. Here's another: Revolution. Fixed formatting problems from yesterday (CSS). Sent Corinna her first review summary. Backfilled a number of journal dates for May 2000. Archived documents. Patrick said he wandered into the karaoke bar called The Mint today and sang about 6 songs in a row since the place was empty except for him. The DJ offered him free recordings of 2 of the songs he sang since the place was so dead. Normally the charge is $5 per song. So Patrick now has a cd of him singing "People" (Barbra Streisand) and "Killing Me Softly" (The Fugees). Recently Patrick has been working on his music more than his writing. He created a MySpace account and has uploaded his first album. You can hear 4 songs in their entirety or 30-second clips of each track. Check it out: The Mode Fascist (http://www.myspace.com/themodefascist, defunct as of October 19, 2012). We need to spruce up the CSS and graphics on his MySpace page—it's on the to do list—but he's perfectly happy to have people see the site now and give him feedback on his music. He composes everything himself on an Edirol PCR-30 keyboard using Reason software.

Wed Feb 7, 2007

Morning run: 5 minutes. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Telecommute day. Installed adminpak.exe to for remote admin functions. Investigated r-u-on, which is a free computer system and website monitoring service which I discovered through Apple's OS X widgets site. This service is for sysadmins who need to stay informed about when the servers they administer go offline. Everything sounds great about the service and company except that the company is not very forthcoming about its identity. No names are given, no company address is given, no privacy policy is posted. Mid-morning run: 7 minutes. Snack: leftover bun bo xao. After some research, I feel that the people responsible for r-u-on and their services are probably legitimate but they simply don't know how to run a business—establishing customer confidence this early in their game is essential for them, and they are not performing well with that, in my opinion. (e.g., I don't have the time or expertise to do a security code review for their open-source code.) Instead, I signed up with mon.itor.us, which is a similar service. Established, cross-referencable names are associated with the company, a privacy policy is posted under the About page (though this should be linked from the home page, too), and unlike r-u-on no software installation is required, which means that it's non-invasive, particularly so for public-facing websites and services. The AJAX interface has minor problems (cannot reorder tabs, dragging items from one tab to another is not intuitive and somewhat clunky—position the top left corner of the dragged item over the desired tab, views default to table view between sessions) but for the most part it's slick—a good use of AJAX—and it seems to work very, very well. It's like PageFlakes for sysadmins. You can even try it out—and customize it—without creating an account, which is a really non-threatening, low-hurdle entry feature. There doesn't seem to be a way to easily change your password once you log in, which presents a problem with security handling. (e.g., what if your account information has been known to be possibly compromised? what if you share the account information with other admins and one leaves the company in anger over a salary issue?) The mon.itor.us service is still in beta. (Tags: ruon, r u on, monitor us, monitorus.) If you're interested in mon.itor.us, let me know and I'll send you a "send to a friend" thing—I get something if I get 5 people to sign up in their pyramid scheme. Afternoon run: 9 minutes. Lunch at home with Patrick: pizza. Mid-afternoon run: 6 minutes. Research for the student computing committee: security software compatibility with Microsoft Vista, calendaring features in Exchange and Outlook 2007. I discovered by accident today that Outlook 2007 has a really great new feature called overlay mode which enables you to view items from multiple calendars on a single calendar. iCal and Google Calendar have had this feature for I don't know how long. The way it's implemented in Outlook 2007 is slick—the default is the old side-by-side method and to get the new overlay method you right-click a calendar name or you click the left arrow on the named tab at the top of the calendar. My office uses a separate calendar for people to reserve the shared office laptop, and in Outlook 2003 it was too troublesome to have that calendar always open in side-by-side mode because there were so few items in it. Now with Outlook 2007, I am no longer caught off guard when someone says they're ready to pick up the laptop as I was sometimes in the past. Boo to the Office development team that this feature was so late in coming, but kudos that the implementation seems to work very well after an initial review. Backup research. Online training. Meeting prep. Dinner at PDD's with Phil, Drew, Danny, Mom Ryan, and Patrick. Home. Weight training: plank, crunch.

Thu Feb 8, 2007

MUNI did not work for me this morning, ended up walking 10 blocks out of frustration. Helped faculty member JI set up wireless. People in my office have been reporting a problem in which when they arrive in the morning their computer is frozen with a completely blue screen. This is not a blue screen of death (BSOD), just a blue screen. Keyboard and mouse are unresponsive. I estimate that the problems first began around mid-December 2006. I see the problem on my computer occasionally except that instead of a blue screen I see a black screen with the Windows logo. For a while Scott seemed to think it would happen every Monday for him, but last Monday he didn't get the problem. The problem is inconsistent on an individual basis as well as on an office basis. Some days my computer and Scott's are affected, other days only Lucia's or only Alyssa's. There is no known pattern yet. Since people only experience the problem upon arrival in the morning, I suspect overnight updates of some kind. Microsoft Updates, Sophos, and Spy Sweeper are my primary suspects. Looking at the Microsoft Updates history, no update attempts were made on or near a day I encountered the problem on my computer, so I have less reason to suspect Microsoft Update but I cannot completely eliminate it because perhaps the freeze problem occurs before it can record anything in the logfile about the update attempt. I compiled a spreadsheet of all the problem reports, dug through event logs of all the problematic computers (found nothing). I uninstalled Spy Sweeper Enterprise and Sophos Enterprise. Restarted. Installed Microsoft Defender. Restarted. Installed Norton Anti-Virus 2005, did a quick scan and a LiveUpdate. Restarted. Did a LiveUpdate. Restarted. Did a LiveUpdate. Restarted. All of this took the better part of an hour. Answered a question for Carol about ethernet cables. Did research for key storage. Did research for laptop safes. Lunch with Julie, John K, Sadie, and Julia at Nan King Road Bistro—the web developers steering committee informal lunch. Julie asked for recommendations about whether to install Vista on her new MacBook Pro (John and I both said no). John talked about OpenOffice and how can we get more units using that and other open-source software? We all talked about IM and how we might use it in the office. Julie asked who was using Google Sitemaps. (I think no one.) I floated my idea for a wiki-based dictionary for jargon at UCSF and my idea for a web service which provides a single resource for an individual's directory and biographical data. (Everyone seemed to like the ideas.) Julia and I talked about asset management systems. Computer support coordinator meeting. Online training. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers. Watched Heroes episode 14 on the web with Patrick while eating popcorn and Jelly Belly jelly beans that Ted and Emery gave us for Christmas. Weight training: plank.

Fri Feb 9, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Made live changes to waiting list and interview reply pages for James. Posted pricing for Vista and Office 2007 on the current students page. Called facilities again to follow up on the monitor arm installation for Chris. Minor edits to the form I proposed and sent to Steve L: Security and Information Privacy for an Exiting Employee and his/her Supervisor or Computer Support Coordinator. Sent Kevin an agenda item for a forthcoming SCC meeting (Gwen, Acrobat 8). Online training. Chatted online with John K about my wiki dictionary idea. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers. Cut my hair. Showered. Drove to Jonathan and Adrian's, found a parking space after 20 minutes. Jonathan and Adrian were there, as well as Galen, Steve D, Ted, Emery, Ryan, and Jason. We played a board game in which people had to answer questions about themselves or others and others had to guess whose answer matched up with which person. I think the game was supposed to tell you more about each other, but I think I didn't learn very much new. The game was fun anyway. Afterwards, some of us left for Club Dragon. I hadn't been since (I think) August 26, 2005. Coincidentally, others not in our group but whom we knew also visited Club Dragon tonight after a long absence: Andy, Scott, Timmie, Roland, Eric. I met Derek (Derrick?), Dominic, Son, BJ (Brian), Irwin, Florian, Morgan, Andy L. Just before leaving I ran into Dale and chatted with him for a while. It was a fun night, and I got home around 3 AM.

Sat Feb 10, 2007

Slept in. Usual oatmeal breakfast. House chores: laundry, vacuuming, tidying. Lunch and shopping at Stonestown. We ate at California Crisp. Patrick had a salad with BBQ chicken. I had a chicken caesar wrap with garden primavera pasta salad. Macy's had a great sale. I got Rockport shoes for $26.04, originally $99.99. Patrick got Steve Madden shoes for $29.10, originally $80.00. We bought 3 new Ralph Lauren synthetic bed pillows at 50% off—$9.99 each, originally $20 each. Patrick got Nike socks, 6 pairs for $15. Grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. Organized the tea drawer. Late dinner at home with Patrick: pizza. Shopped online. Patrick put up a new song on his myspace page called Ride Away. Go listen to it: The Mode Fascist (http://www.myspace.com/themodefascist, defunct as of October 19, 2012).

Sun Feb 11, 2007

Slept in. Showered. Cleaned in the bathroom, tidied the bedroom. Usual oatmeal breakfast. I can't remember if I have mentioned this or not, but we've been trying to find an AC adapter for our Sony ICF-M410V portable radio. The one Sony recommends is not available in the United States. We tried the Radio Shack Universal 300 mA Power Adapter (273-1662), but it did not fit. [Updated: It works—see tomorrow's entry.] Even though we discovered the unavailability of Sony's recommended AC adapter long after we bought the radio (and thus cannot return the radio because there is no AC adapter for it like we were led by Sony to believe), we like the radio. We originally bought it as part of our emergency preparedness kit, but we've started using it as a white noise generator to help us sleep because sometimes our neighbors make noises at night. We simply turn the radio on without extending the antenna, and it sufficiently covers up other noises. This uses a lot less electricity than the solution we used in the past—running a clean air filter. We no longer have the clean-air-ness of the device we had before, but I'm not really certain that it was necessary in the first place. Lunch: leftover pizza. I did a lot of cleaning today. Patrick and I went to a piano and violin performance that Sam had invited us to at San Francisco State University: Jassen Todorov (violin) and William Corbett-Jones (piano). Afterwards Patrick and I got ice cream at Polly Ann Ice Cream (415-664-2472, 3138 Noriega Street, 11:00 to 22:00 daily). This was our first time visiting in this corner location. Patrick got 2 scoops: pistachio and almond, chocolate. I got one scoop: chocolate banana. The business card for Polly Ann's says that kids under 2 get a free mini ice cream when visiting with their parents and that every dog gets a free ice cream cone when accompanied by a human being. We visited the West Portal branch of the San Francisco Public Library, which had had its grand reopening yesterday. Dinner at home with Patrick: asparagus ravioli in marinara sauce with shrimp, bread and butter. Went to bed early.

Mon Feb 12, 2007

Woke up very early. Morning run: 30 minutes. Weight training: push up, calf raise, plank. Worked on Corinna's website: prepped template index files for live, started on the send this page to a friend feature that she requested. Usual oatmeal breakfast. I forgot to mention on last Friday's entry that it was really frustrating finding parking in Jonathan and Adrian's neighborhood but once I stepped into their beautifully designed apartment I felt my whole self relax—just stepping into their place is like having a massage. I wore my new shoes to work today, but Joel didn't say a single word about them. He usually notices things like that in about 0.2 milliseconds. I noticed a few days ago that the Brother MFC-845cw all-in-one device does not seem to scan letter-sized documents like it claims. It only scans up to 8.267 × 10.767 inches. I have not yet contacted Brother support, but I am not optimistic because I tried everything I know and looked at every setting that might be related. In our ongoing saga to find an AC adapter for the Sony ICF-M410V portable radio, Patrick returned to Radio Shack today and they gave him a free adapter plug labeled "B" which fits the Radio Shack Universal 300 mA Power Adapter (273-1662), and now it works. I forgot to mention a couple of days ago that I received a Starbucks gift card from student JP thanking me for helping her fix her computer. Our students are so sweet! Esther stopped by to announce that she has found a permanent job at the Bureau of Jewish Education as an assistant to the director of financial aid. She starts in two weeks, and I am very happy for her. It sounds like it will be a great fit. Lunch with Geordie at Ten. Ten has changed their lunch box special, replacing a pair of gyoza with fruit salad. Back to the office. We celebrated Lucia's birthday. Steaven brought in a chocolate cake with cream cheese middle, I brought cherry cider and dixie peach cider and clementines, Cindy brought in cheeses and crackers, Joel brought a small gift and his own birthday card. Student computing committee work: reformatted recordings policy summary in Word format, also made a draft poster, posted them to the wiki. Checked in with Steve L at UCSF Police for recommendations on securing stuff. Met with Susie. Made live our first podcast: Lorie Rice's 2007 pharmacy law updates. Dinner at home with Patrick: pork chops, leftover rice pilaf, green beans. Shopped online. Weight training: plank, front raise, lateral raise. Late meal: soup.

Tue Feb 13, 2007

Morning run: 30 minutes. Usual oatmeal breakfast. I discovered yesterday that I can no longer create Adobe PDF files from within Word. I had recently installed Office 2007, and Acrobat 8 is not yet fully compatible with it, so there is no more Adobe PDF menu in Word like there used to be. Adobe says the workaround is to print to the Adobe PDF printer, but this isn't the same result because hyperlinks in Word documents aren't captured properly using that method. Adobe doesn't plan to have a resolution until June 30, 2007, so I'll be able to continue deployment of Acrobat 8 Pro but won't be able to deploy Office 2007 until July 1, 2007. Encountered the error message "The set of folders cannot be opened" when attempting to get properties on a calendar on which I thought I had owner permissions. Did not resolve this problem immediately. Small calendar updates on the web. Linkchecking. Minor web updates to Acrobat and Adobe links. City CarShare pod maps appear to be broken. XHTML e-mail work for Cindy. Archived documents. Student OM borrowed our office laptop in an emergency. Lunch from the cafeteria: fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn off the cob. Disk encryption research. IPSec research. Tried helping Steaven set up access to ASSIST, got part of the way there after running into problems. Finally got them resolved after he left for the day. Unpacked Chris's Bookendz docking station for his MacBook Pro. It looks sweet and seems to work well. Chatted online with Don Don. His family is recently moving into a new home, and having now understood the value of homeownership, he urged me to buy a house. Dinner at Namu with Mom Ryan, Patrick, and Sam. Namu is a new restaurant owned by one of the students that Patrick and Sam know through Simmone in martial arts classes. The food is excellent and worth the price. Night run: 5 minutes.

Wed Feb 14, 2007

Valentine's day. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Joel gave everyone in the office an Anne Taintor card (mine was "I feel a sin coming on" on the outside and "Wishing you a naughty Valentine's Day!" on the inside) and a sticker-decorated bag of candy. Joel's little gifts are one of the best things about working in our office. The class of 2008 gave everyone a single rose with thorns removed from the stem. Lips and heart cookies magically appeared in the grazing area of our back room. (Thanks, Cindy!) We've been deciding to reorganize some of our cabinets, and today I moved computer hardware and supplies from one drawer to a different drawer, which included some vacuuming. Minor updates to the maps page which had been on my list of things to do for months. XHTML email for Cindy. Survey building for Cindy and Dave (RSVP). Set up PharmAdMIT and ASSIST for Steaven, who used James's office for the first time today while James was out at Dentistry. Troubleshot problems pasting images into new Outlook 2003 messages for Joel. He gets a white-X-on-red-background icon along with the outline of an image placeholder when he tries. It used to work in the past. Problem does not happen for me, but I have Office 2007 installed so it's not the same test. I tried a number of things, but still no resolution. Lunch from Carmelina's: dos pollo enchiladas. Updated new news for current students—ePocrates software is not yet compatible with Windows Vista. Worked on website services ideas. Manual PharmAdMIT backups. Home. Dinner at home with Patrick: pork chops, green beans, grilled purple potatoes with red onions and yellow bell peppers—I call these potatoes "new southwest" potatoes because the colors make me think of the American southwest and "new" because not everything labeled southwest needs to have corn or salsa in it. And it's a better name than "diversity potatoes" or "multicultural potatoes" which were other names up with which we came. After dinner, Patrick and I did a brainstorming session on his music in planning for his MySpace redesign. I got him to explain the meanings behind each of the songs, name adjectives which described the moods he wanted for the design, name visual elements that we could use, and think about color schemes that he wanted. He already picked out some fonts from the Adobe typeface library; the ones he picked that came with Windows and Office weren't working for me. After that, we opened the sofa sleeper and watched about the first half of Time Bandits on DVD. I did not think this film was very funny. We both got tired after a bit and I bookmarked our stopping point and shut it off. We slept in the living room to see if we can identify that something in our bedroom causes Patrick's allergies or my recently new mild asthma.

Thu Feb 15, 2007

I slept really well—very little asthma. Upon awakening, Patrick said his back hurt. Morning run: 30 minutes. Weight training: plank, calf raise, wrist curl, reverse wrist curl. Usual oatmeal breakfast plus clementine oranges. I also had a half slice of chai spice banana bread. This recipe was my own idea—I thought the combination of flavors would be good. Patrick used about 3 teaspoons of chai spice (not chai spice tea) with a banana bread recipe we had had, and it turned out very well. I forgot to mention that on February 10 I organized the tea drawer, so I added that just now. This morning, Patrick discovered a dead mouse in our back yard. Troubleshot ASSIST Silverstream error for Steaven:


The following error message appears when attempting to start ASSIST:

SilverStream An error occurred while trying to update the SilverJRunner classes. Error: C:\​Program Files​\​SilverJRunner​\​lib​\​Temp​Last​mod​.​txt (Access is denied) (java​.​io​.​File​Not​Found​Exception) (OK)

The problem does not occur when logged in as admin.


I explicitly opened up read permissions on the C:\Program Files\SilverJRunner folder. This didn't fix it. I explicitly opened up read and write permissions on the C:\Program Files\SilverJRunner folder. This did fix it.

Our normal user accounts run as limited users rather than as administrators. SilverStream could improve ASSIST/SilverJRunner by ensuring that their software can run properly as a limited user without needing to manually override write permissions for the SilverJRunner folder.

Helped BPS AA JY with an email password problem. Chatted with student GR. CSCSC meeting. Edits to poster page, but will wait to make them live. Made a going away card and posters for James. Lunch: roast turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, corn off the cob.

Fri Feb 16, 2007

Today is James's last day in the OSACA, and I was surprised to find a bottle of Storrs 2004 Santa Cruz Mountains petite sirah on my desk along with a very nice thank you card from James. Cindy had ordered coffee, Odwalla juices, pastries and bagels and cream cheese from catering and James held court for a few hours while people dropped by to say goodbye and wish him well. Troubleshot problem in which Joel is unable to paste images into new mail messages in Outlook 2003—he gets a white-X-on-red-background icon over a broken image placeholder. I turned back time with System Restore to the day he thinks the problem didn't happen, but it did not resolve the problem. (We suspected this month's Patch Tuesday broke something.) Undid the restore. Discovered through experimenting that changing Tools > Options > Mail Format > Compose messages in this format from HTML to Rich Text worked around the problem better than the previous workaround (open Word, paste into Word, copy from Word, paste into new mail message). This isn't perfect, but he's at least satisfied with this. James's going away lunch at LuLu (415-495-5775, 816 Folsom Street) with Scott, Alyssa, Lucia, James, Steaven, Cindy, Carol, and Joel. Joel and Steaven took MUNI, while Cindy drove the rest of us in her car. All the food was very delicious, and although I found a hair in my entree about two thirds of the way through I didn't say anything about it—I didn't want to ruin the festive mood. Helped James with migrating e-mail and backing up Firefox settings and bookmarks. Minor website updates for James and Cindy. Job description work for Susie. Backup solution research. So far I think I'm planning to go with mozypro for offsite. For onsite, I'm planning to buy as large a hard drive as I can get away with, and sticking with Retrospect until I get tired of it or it fails me. (Box Backup is the solution I would try in place of Retrospect.) I no longer trust any single backup solution because I believe no single solution is perfectly reliable under all conceivable conditions. Neither is having two solutions, but the likelihood of full recovery if one fails then becomes much greater. Helped student JP with a question about mailbox quotas. Dinner at home with Patrick: rotelle in alfredo sauce with turkey meatballs. Watched Heroes episode 15 with Patrick. Patrick went to bed—martial arts practice with Simmone tomorrow morning—he must wake at 4:30 AM. I updated hosts files on all computers using Mike's Adblocking hosts file. Archived documents. A few days ago I was chatting online with Don Don and he said he came up with a new word which he wanted to give to me. The word is requestion, noun, a request that is phrased in the form of a question. Only today did I look it up in Google. Google shows 48,300 results for requestion. And it's already in urbandictionary—requestion—pretty much exactly as Don described, but Don Don still gets credit in my book. Weight training: plank, bench dip.

Sat Feb 17, 2007

Slept in. Brunch at home with Patrick: oatmeal, chai spice banana bread, candied walnuts, clementines, strawberry jam. Chatted with my sister on the phone. Left a message for my brother. Vacuumed. Reorganized the rack mount a bit. Processed photos. Snack and shopping in the Castro. I lost my inexpensive sunglasses somewhere around 18th and Castro. Shopping at San Francisco Centre. Dinner at Roe with Patrick. Installed OS X updates including daylight saving time updates (Java, OS X). Worked on Corinna's website. Night run: 10 minutes.

Sun Feb 18, 2007

Slept in. Breakfast at home: oatmeal. Spent all day working on Corinna's website. Patrick made music and wrote. Lunch at home with Patrick: leftover pasta. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled salmon with orange sauce, steamed rice, corn off the cob, naan. Chatted with Nate on the phone.

Mon Feb 19, 2007

Holiday. Slept in. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Spent the day at my sister's. Watched part of Star Wars Episode 4. We had dim sum lunch at Canton Delights (408-777-9888, 10125 Bandley Dr, Cupertino)—food and service both very good. The boys rode bikes and razor scooters outside. We set up their plastic playhouse in the back yard and played with motorized boats in the pool. My favorite moment today: Rob says to Jeremy, "How did you know that C3PO was a translator?" and Jeremy says, "I read it in a book." Dinner at home with Patrick: small steak, steamed asparagus. Dessert: one small scoop of coffee frozen yogurt. Started getting a sore throat in the evening. All my flickr rss feeds broke today—XML parse error.

Tue Feb 20, 2007

Home sick with a sore throat and sniffles. Spent almost the entire day in bed. Breakfast: oatmeal. Lunch: canned chicken and rice soup. Dinner at home with Patrick: ginger soy soup with mushrooms, fish cake, watercress, wontons. Unloaded photos from the camera.

Wed Feb 21, 2007

Home sick with a sore throat and sniffles. Spent almost the entire day in bed.

Thu Feb 22, 2007

Home sick with a sore throat and sniffles. Spent almost the entire day in bed. Watched episode 16 of Heroes with Patrick. Installed Apple and Sun updates remotely to most office computers. Installed Vim 7.0.188 for OS X.

Fri Feb 23, 2007

Home sick with a sore throat and sniffles. Spent almost the entire day in bed. Cancelled or postponed weekend plans. Watched The Illusionist (2006) on DVD with Patrick. The Illusionist is graceful and fittingly told to the very end—recommended! Tried troubleshooting the Brother MFC-845cw 8.267 × 10.767 inches scanning problem—Brother claims it will scan 8.5 × 11 inches but I can only get it to scan 8.267 × 10.767 inches in Windows and 8 × 11 inches in OS X. I got part of the way in troubleshooting with Brother support (the man I spoke with was very patient and seemed to be very knowledgeable) but then hit a roadblock because I temporarily could not find my cdrom for it. I'm convinced this is a problem with the driver, but the jury is still out.

Sat Feb 24, 2007

Discovered amapedia—interesting. Mended some clothes and a pillowcase both by hand and with the help of my sister's sewing machine. Watched Kakushi-toride no san-akunin (The Hidden Fortress) (1958) on DVD with Patrick. Still recovering from a cold.

Sun Feb 25, 2007

I am almost fully recovered from the cold I got last Monday evening. Did some more sewing. Recently I found that changing our pillows to brand new ones and flipping, rotating, and vacuuming the mattress in our bedroom improved my mild, nightly asthma condition somewhat, so I ran some errands today to further determine if dust mites are indeed the problem. I only started having this condition a few months ago. I picked up a hygrometer at Radio Shack and bought some new bedding at Macy's. Cut my hair. Shopping with Patrick: Starbucks, World Market, Trader Joe's. Patrick and I set up the new bedding. I cooked dinner tonight: basil pesto pork chops with rosemary sprigs, steamed asparagus and mushrooms, leftover couscous. Pulled out the Restoration Hardware Ziva narcissus bulb kit I got for my secret Santa gift from December—the 5 bulbs had already started growing even though I had been ignoring it all this time. I unpacked the soil and planted and watered the bulbs in the clay pot included in the kit. They seem simple enough to care for. Thanks, Cindy!

Mon Feb 26, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. HTML e-mail for Cindy. Installed Firefox and other updates for most office computers. Met with student GR to install daylight saving time updates for a Dell laptop. Troubleshot a BSOD on Steaven's computer—unable to recover. Began reinstalling Windows for Steaven's computer. Lunch with Geordie at Pluto's. I have disliked eating here in the past because I believe you shouldn't need to deal with paperwork to eat lunch, but I had forgotten that the quality of the food is really great considering the low prices. Dinner at home with Patrick: frozen pizza, sauteed asparagus, carrots, and mushrooms.

Tue Feb 27, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Job description work. Daylight saving time web updates. Met with student GR to install daylight saving time updates for a HP handheld. Lunch: Panda Express. My fortune: Your presence livens up any conversation. Met one-on-one with Cindy. Created and made live a web page describing computer recycling options for our students. Dinner at home with Patrick, Danny, Drew, Phil, Mom Ryan: roasted chicken with three mushrooms, roasted vegetables, bread and butter. The boys brought dessert: a boxy white layered cake with vibrant yellow lemon frosting—delicious!. We talked about narcissus flowers, ghosts, walking tours, napkin folds. Patrick went to bed after they left; I stayed up and washed dishes. A very enjoyable evening.

Wed Feb 28, 2007

Woke early. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Organized the 2nd half of the tea drawer. Tidied the apartment. Weight training: plank, hammer curl. Did research for buying Mac Minis—the Buyer's Guide info on macrumors.com about when to buy is excellent except I can't figure out what the pink and blue horizontal bars mean. We'll wait about 3 months to get the latest Mac Minis (and OS 10.5 Leopard, too). Contacted mozypro about signing up. Computer maintenance for Joel: Firefox, Java, Microsoft Updates. Also resolved the problem in which I was unable to access his machine remotely, but I fixed it by turning on some services I had differently abled in the past. Submitted a request to activate a network port in Steaven's office so that I can reconfigure his computer remotely. Researched hard drives. Prepared an RFO for a new hard drive. I decided on a 500 GB Seagate NL35 SATA300 hard drive to replace our Iomega REV drive for backups. The nearline NL35 drive was a really good fit for my purpose—maintain versioning with onsite backups to our 10 users. I'll stick with Retrospect 6.5 for now. Cindy approved my decision to also spend about $250 a year for offsite backups. I'm going to try out Mozy Pro. Lunch: pastrami and cheddar sandwich from home, chatted with Scott and Steaven mostly about Bay to Breakers. Scanned a document to PDF for Alyssa. Discovered that network scanning is broken for her like it is for me. Did the same remote access fix for Cindy's computer. "Windows Activation Error: A problem occurred when Windows tried to activate. Error Code 0xC004F039." followed by "The Software Licensing Service reported that the computer could not be activated. The Key Management Service (KMS) is not enabled. (OK)" I do not know how to resolve this yet. Very annoying. Our unit joined MCCA, so I don't understand why this is happening. I'm guessing the earliest I could deploy Vista to my office now would be December 2007, and I am not disappointed by that. Right now because I'm running it on 3.5-year-old hardware Vista feels like it's not worth it. I have to run in 640 x 480 because otherwise Vista doesn't start up properly the next time you use it. I know that my Vista experience will change perhaps significantly when we refresh hardware later this year, but I still can't get excited about mere eye candy, which is what Vista mostly is. Maybe when I have it on fresh hardware I'll turn off all the eye candy and see how much I like it then. Job description work. Bought bus passes. Bought two veggie spring rolls from Panda Express. Dinner at home with Patrick: rotelle and grilled mushrooms and asparagus and shrimp with alfredo sauce, leftover pizza. Trip planning for Hawaii. Sorted through junk to sell or give away or keep.