March 2007

Summary: Travis' birthday celebration at Club Dragon; champagne and black forest cupcakes with Brian and Kelly; Chinese New Year Parade with Drew, Phil, Dave, and Quyen; Honmas visit; Domenica and Corey's wedding; Casey visit; first time to Underworld.

Dates on this page

Thu 1

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Weight training: plank. Work. Purchased a 2 GB PQI Intelligent Stick Pro 220 USB drive for $27.05. Mozy research. Web edits: City CarShare promo news, fixed City CarShare broken links, added a link for "Google Traffic"—the new traffic feature on Google Maps, other small web edits. Bought tickets for Mom Ryan's birthday surprise. Lunch: leftovers. Archived data to DVD. Key security research. Job description work. Linkchecking. Prepared graduation info sheets for Joel. Dinner at So Restaurant with Patrick: so fish (not spicy), shrimp dumplings, black bean sauce noodles (no calamari). When we received our bill, one part of the scrawl read, "BLK+EGG no caramari" which made us laugh. Over dinner we looked through the IKEA catalog pondering our shoe storage options. Caught up on e-mail and blogreading. Tonight I did two sessions of steam bowl to encourage the congestion remaining in my lungs and sini to come out. I cook water in a porcelein bowl in the microwave for 6 minutes, move it to the dining table, put a towel over my head covering the bowl, and breathe deeply for about 10 minutes. A box of tissues nearby keeps the process tidy.

Fri 2

Usual oatmeal breakfast. While eating breakfast, the IKEA catalog was on the dining table and while looking at the cover I thought of some really funny stand-up comic material. Chatted with Gail about Dove commercials and dinner parties in Spain. Prepped graduation cheat sheets and web page edits for Joel. Lunch: beef stroganoff and peas from the cafeteria. Job description work. Travis' birthday celebration at Club Dragon with Travis, Steve, Canh, Tony, Steve, Drew, Quyen. Dropped Drew and Quyen off. Stopped in on BriKel around 2:15 AM but their lights were out, so I left a note on their stoop. Late meal by myself at Sparky's: my favorite breakfast, hot chocolate. Home. Shower.

Sat 3

Steam bowl session to clear congestion from my lungs. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Worked a little on Corinna's website: form building. Grocery shopping and errands. Patrick and I made black forest cupcakes for Brian and Kelly. Lunch: leftovers from So. Patrick and I visited BriKel for the first time in a long time today. On the way there we happened upon Mom Ryan while we were parking and we stopped to chat with her a few minutes. I was unable to attend BriKel's 10th anniversary celebration last Saturday due to my being sick with a cold, so today we brought them black forest cupcakes and a bottle of champagne and talked for an hour or so. The champagne we brought wasn't chilled completely, so they opened and shared with us the bottle that Jenn had given them—it was very good, but I don't recall what kind—something French. We talked about City CarShare, the new business, BK's new office, Apple keyboard shortcuts, why BK feels he could never write a compiler, Puerto Vallarta, BK's mayonnaise and hot sauce fantasy, New Orleans, the Flickr group called Signs of Life, the OS X time server synchronization bug, iTerm, Chris and Nate. Kel and a carpenter had built a great little workbench in the nook off the dining room. They have a pot rack above the sink I hadn't seen before. It was very good to see BriKel again; we connect on the same wavelengths in a lot of ways, and I've missed their company a lot. Patrick went home to eat dinner and go to bed early for martial arts practice in the morning. I met Phil, Drew, Dave, and Quyen at 16th and Mission BART. We took BART to Powell Street Station. My MUNI pass had somehow become demagnetized, so I traded it in at the ticket hut next to the cable car turnaround. Turns out every month they get about 30 that become demagnetized somehow—Drew says that putting them in your wallet next to credit cards can do it. The Chinese New Year Parade was a big bust. We arrived shortly after the parade had started, and consequently we were unable to get a good view at all. I got a few poor photos. After a while, in desperation, I tried taking photos of the camera preview displays of people who were closer to the front, but these turned out even more miserably as you might expect. The sidewalks were jammed with people all along the parade route. If you need to get through quickly, it really is worth it to walk one block away from the route, skip a couple of blocks, and then come back toward the route, but essentially, if you didn't get there early you won't get a good view and it will just be really frustrating. On the way there, we ran in to Antuan, whom we all hadn't seen in a while. He was just getting off from work and heading home, didn't join us. The parade was also frustrating because there were really long gaps between things in the parade. When we tried leaving the parade, the sidewalk was so crowded people started pushing. The worst of these was some very well-to-do-looking older woman who was repeatedly pushing me into a baby carriage which could not move, so I gently pushed her back and gave her a few polite words which put her in her place. Other people made it seem as though they needed to cross across the direction I and the immediate pedestrian traffic were headed to get to a hotel entrance, so I let them cut across only to see them several minutes later right next to me clearly not entering the hotel they had claimed they were trying to reach. Fortunately we made it out before anything worse had happened. This Chinese New Year Parade was a very unpleasant experience. If I go again, I'll make sure to stake out a place several hours in advance, but it looked as though you couldn't really sit to watch—everyone was standing. The best area from which to watch is the block in front of Macy's since it's all lit up. Maybe that's where the grandstand seating is—I don't know. Mayor Newsom rode by—I barely saw the top of his head. A woman was seated next to him, but no one knew who she was. The store windows of Macy's and Borders were filled with people watching from the upper floors. Afterwards we got separated, but I found a payphone and called Drew and met them at the ticket hut next to the cable car turnaround. We took BART back to the Mission. We had planned to eat at Thanh Tam II but it was full, so we ate at Yum Yum House (415-861-8698, 581 Valencia Street at 17th) instead. The service was very attentive. The food was slightly above average. Seems to be reliable Chinese food, but not worth going out of your way for a special meal. Four main dishes was just the right amount for the six of us. We got out for about $55 after an $8 tip—about $9 each. My fortune: You will make many changes before settling satisfactorily. Phil and Danny went home. Drew, Dave, Quyen, and I got ice cream at Bombay Creamery. Just before arriving at Bombay, a furniture store had carved wooden ducks, and when I saw them I immediately thought of Chris/psychobauble and snapped some photos for him. Home. Processed photos. A night or two ago I chatted on the phone with Nate and one of the things we talked about was the longevity of blogs, or rather, my perception that blogs will most likely outlive their owners. For example, services such as the Internet Archive harvest public data and will keep it essentially forever. I am confident that hundreds or thousands of years from now people will find my journal a worthwhile resource to understanding how people lived in our era. A similar theme came up today while chatting with BriKel—Brian was wishing there were a way to give your Social Security number (!), or some other unique identifier, only once and various services would permit you to harvest your own data in a migratable format for safekeeping or migrate it to whatever other service you wanted. The idea being that you already have your social network built on Orkut, Friendster, MySpace, Yahoo! 360, Facebook, LiveJournal, Plaxo, Flickr, Dodgeball, or whatever, but many of these services never seem to remain popular for long. I suggested OpenID, but I don't really know enough about it or even whether it's the solution he's seeking. But this has been my hesitancy to join these kinds of services because I think I've known all along that services like these won't continue to grow unless the value continues to grow, too. Currently MySpace shows no signs of stopping, but there was a point you could have said the same for Friendster, too. Personally, I see the greatest value in owning and controlling my own content. I recall that the ah ha moment for me was some blog entry on Andrei Herasimchuk's Design by Fire in which he essentially said (paraphrasing here), in response to some comments, ha ha ha it doesn't matter whether I agree with what you say because whatever you post becomes my content. And I realized he was right! His readers were building the value of his site for him; he was simply providing a structured way to handle discussion and a brief essay to encourage it. I didn't participate in the conversation, but after reading that I began realizing that I don't need to post reviews of books and other items on Amazon, I don't need to post restaurant reviews on Citysearch, I don't need to post comments in other people's blogs, and I don't need some website service in order to share answers to technical computer problems to which I have found answers. I have my own website, and Google brings people to it—they simply have to search, and I simply have to give good web page code to Google. Yes, I lose out on certain important things, but in most cases I'd rather lose out on that and completely own and control my content than the other way around. Flickr has been an exception because the features provided by Flickr far outweigh those in what I could build on my own web server from scratch or with FOSS or even for the same cost as Flickr. I suggested to Brian that if he didn't find what he was seeking that he should just write his own DTD or spec, publish it, and see if it will grow. Essentially, the idea is that there be some standard format for a person to provide data which uniquely identifies him or her and which they can host on any web host independently or any web service providing hosting services specifically for such a format and then any new web service which comes along can hook into it. I guess OpenID is part of what Brian is seeking—but he's also wanting content exportability, like API goodness, so that when a similar but competing service comes along it's easy to migrate to it. Of course most companies won't want to provide this because from their old world perception it simply makes it easier for customers to leave. But they don't realize that an API means growth, not death. For example, if the now-floundering Friendster were to create an API, within weeks a handful of high school and college computer geeks all across the world would probably have written tools so that you could, say, add a friend in Friendster and it would somehow automatically or semiautomatically add or suggest to add the same friend in Flickr or add their address to your Google Saved Maps list. This brings people back to Friendster over MySpace because the openness permits others to increase the value of the web service, typically faster than the company could on its own. Or someone could write a web page that, say, lets you provide all your various logins to various sites and it creates a grid of your friends' names and their IDs on each service with an API. Web services has long stopped being about how much value the company can own and control and has started being about how much control the company can give up so that others can increase the value at no cost to the company. Like Andrei, the company simply has to provide the right and reliable structure and infrastructure for the valuebuilding to succeed. Before recently, companies thought this valuebuilding came in the form of community, but today the successful shift is an API centered around community activities. People will eventually realize that web services without an API have far less value than those that do—right now that's not something that's very obvious to laypersons. You could say the web right now is at a crossroads (just like Indonesia), but I'd rather you didn't. I really enjoyed Sean Hetherington's entry for today: The YOU KNOW SOMETHINGS?.

Sun 4

Home linkchecking. Lunch at home with Patrick: leftovers. Snacks, meal, and shopping at Ikea and visit with the Honmas with Patrick and Mom Ryan. I helped Lani install a calendar whiteboard and photo frame. We watched Japanese children's television and part of the Chinese New Year parade. (I slept through part of the TV watching.) Lani cooked dinner: two kinds of bbq salmon, bbq asparagus, steamed rice.

Mon 5

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Graduation edits for Joel. Job description work. Web services brainstorming. Lunch: mac and cheese, mixed vegetables from the cafeteria. Helped Carol print to PDF. Attempted to find Joel's lost stickies—unsuccessful. He tried to give me a guilt trip about it, but I really am responsible for more things to do than I am capable, and his guilt trip doesn't help anything. Followed up on network port activation request. Made live graduation pages for Joel. Job description work. Removed plastic stub from Chris's Dell Latitude D800—it was broken on the inside and therefore incorrectly gave status about whether the laptop lid was open or closed. Reinstalled Palm Desktop 4.1.4E for Chris, reconfigured synching to Palm Treo 650. Installed Apple Windows updates for Chris. Home. Dinner at home with Patrick: Korean beef, corn off the cob, steamed rice. Watched episode 17 of Heroes from the web. Installed Apple Windows updates for home. Home backups. Installed iTerm for OS X.

Tue 6

Morning run: 10 minutes. Weight training: plank. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Student computing committee meeting, Mark B guest stars, only Kevin was absent. Web edits for the getaround page. Helped student SH with a question about how to differently able startup items in Windows. Ran Outlook cleanreminders and cleanfreebusy for Scott who has recently been having problems starting Outlook. Lunch: pastrami and cheddar sandwich from home, Trader Joe's reduced fat cheese crunchies (these are so tasty!), raisins, strawberry bar. Minor fix for graduation pages for Joel. Helped student ST with a listserv question. Helped student EL with micromedex. Updated schedules for Lucia. Listserv virus warning. Frozen computer troubleshooting status report. Websteering lunch rsvp organizing. Visibility project brainstorming. Job description work. Snack: Scooby Doo push-up sherbet ($1.30). Installed a stoptheft.com security plate and sticker on our shared laptop. It was easy to install, but I ran in to trouble when registering online, e-mailed for assistance. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover Korean beef, steamed spinach, boiled egg, bread and butter. Fixed a problem with the updated schedules. Dessert: coffee frozen yogurt. Watched episode 18 of Heroes with Patrick. Chatted with Nate on the phone. Worked on Corinna's website: form error checking. Weight training: push up, front raise. Late meal: soup.

Wed 7

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Job description work. Sent ideas for web services to the web steering group mailing list. Lunch: soup. Almost finalized job description work for Susie. Sent ideas for web services to Susie. Investigated using RSS feeds in Outlook 2007. Remotely helped Cindy resolve a problem with e-mail. Experimented with SmartArt in Word 2007. My experience was not favorable. After reading an article from one of Microsoft's default RSS feeds saying how easy it was to create a 3D organization chart, I followed the instructions to create my own but I could not figure out how to make it look as nice as in the article. The instant previews work as expected, but two problems resulted. The first problem was that the menu listing the instant preview choices blocked the view of what I was changing, so although I could see the choices, I could not see the effects of that choice because it was blocked by the preview choices menu. I figured out that I could cancel the menu, reposition the view of my document so that the menu didn't block what I was trying to change, and then reinvoke the menu again, but I thought the entire process was supposed to be simple and a timesaver? The instant previews should be smart enough to automatically and temporarily reposition the thing you're trying to change while the instant preview menu is open. (The same kind of problem happens with Chami's HTML-Kit find and replace dialog but it does not happen with the Word 2003 or Word 2007 find and replace dialog.) The second problem I encountered was that the choices available to me all resulted in ugly org charts and I could still not figure out how they got such a pretty result in the article describing how to do it. So I guess the instant preview was a timesaver for me—it let me quickly see that all the choices were not worth using once I figured out how to reposition the view of my document so that it would not be visually blocked. Also I was trying to create an org chart with one person reporting to two managers but there was no obvious way to create that kind of org chart. I figured out I could copy and paste one manager box and move it into position, but it was really hard to copy and paste and position the second connector—it just wouldn't do what I wanted. Later when I autoformatted the org chart, the two original boxes changed but not the new one, and I couldn't figure out why not. When I select a box on the org chart, I expect the Ribbon to display the org chart tools automatically, but it does not—I still need to select the correct tab for the org chart tools. Live previews are available for some things but not all things—it appears to be impossible to see the org chart style gallery as a live preview. It appears to be impossible to see live previews for changing the border or background fill of a person's box in the org chart. This inconsistency is disconcerting because the expectation is set and it's not clear why some things have it and some things don't. It's not clear which have it and which don't. Did research for online backup solutions. I was not thrilled with the response I got from Keith T at mozypro largely because he didn't answer my questions completely and I'm not sure it's worth my time to say, "Did you see all the clearly outlined questions you still haven't answered? Well, could you please answer them?" Chatted with Kyle R in live web chat about sparebackup. Dinner at home with Patrick: lemon chive mahi mahi, mac and cheese with mushrooms and zucchini. I accidentally discovered two keyboard shortcuts in Firefox today. They're somehow related to de.licio.us—I think maybe they got installed because I have post to delicious and my delicious shortcuts in my bookmarks toolbar. Anyhow, the keyboard shortcuts are: Ctrl+> (aka Ctrl+Shift+Period) displays my delicious bookmarks and Ctrl+? (aka Ctrl+Shift+/) displays a popup post to delicious window for the current page. Nifty! Worked on Patrick's myspace redesign a bit. Weight training: plank.

Thu 8

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Began migrating Chris from an old Dell Latitude D800 laptop to a new Apple MacBook Pro laptop. He's the first person in our unit to use Apple hardware on a daily basis as his primary computer. He has a Bookendz docking station and kept his old monitor which is still working fine. I'm using encrypted Offline Files in Windows to automate file synching, which will be one of several levels of backup for him. Reinstalled Nero, then copied cdroms for Carol. Met John K, Jayson J, and Geordie E at the library for the web developers lunch. Geordie is a CSC and not a web geek, but this crowd was geeky enough I knew he'd enjoy the company. We had a great time chatting over lunch. We all need to remember to bring ones instead of twenties next time. We all ordered brown rice instead of white rice—I think that's never happened to me before. Computer support coordinator meeting. Mostly finished Chris's migration. We attempted to synch his Treo 650 Sprint to Palm Desktop via Bluetooth, and Palm is ever so reliable—it failed no matter what we tried, and I should remind you that we're not even soccer moms. Members of Phi Delta Chi, one of our fraternities, gave each of us in the office a small bag of candy in celebration of Saint Patrick's Day. Thanks, PDC! Stayed late. Dinner at work: leftovers from last night, an apple. Home. Cleaned a small amount of mold from the windowsill, did some dust mite vacuuming. Weight training: plank, concentration curl, woodchopper, wrist curl, reverse wrist curl. Updated my journal entry for May 8, 2000.

Fri 9

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Read the new UCSF identity guidelines, which were announced today and which appear to consist of years of work. Some of it I'll never need, but parts are very useful to me, and I think it's a job well done. Fixed our copyright notice. Met with student GR, tried to set up e-mail but GR is using Outlook XP (or maybe it was an older version?) and I couldn't get it to work. We aborted the attempt since GR is planning to get a new laptop anyhow. GR brought me some fresh blueberries as a thank you. Met with student SH—computer was really slow. SH had two anti-virus applications running. We uninstalled one and did lots of other optimization and upgraded several apps and Windows updates. Much better now. Snack: Trader Ming's wonton chips. Lunch at Minh Tri by myself: bun bo xao, hot tea. Met with student YW. YW was unable to shop at certain websites. We did some troubleshooting and this is probably related to Webroot Spy Sweeper blocking certain ad sites. This is disableable in the Spy Sweeper configuration by a checkbox. Job description work. Met again with SH—pickup. Manual PharmAdMIT backup. While with a student today, I tried out pandora.com for the first time. Student GR had told me about Pandora a week or so ago, and it's been on my to do list. However, yesterday over lunch, I discovered that I was the only person at the table who was not using Pandora. I asked for the student's favorite artist—Snow Patrol—and within seconds we were listening to a song by that artist. The interface seemed to have many options worthy of further exploration. Later during the day, however, when I revisited the Pandora website I couldn't get it to work—only a blank space appeared where the Flash interface used to be. I viewed the same page in IE7 and the same thing happened. Leaving work, I bought a package of Thin Mints from a Girl Scout for $3.50. After I bought them I looked at the ingredients—so unhealthy: lots of saturated fat and they include trans fats—but I don't buy them every year so I'm not too worried. Patrick cooked dinner while I drove to the video rental. Dinner at home with Patrick: shrimp and scallops in a scallion-based mojito sauce, watercress, steamed rice. Watched Best in Show on DVD with Patrick. I found this film funny, but I am not as enthusiastic about it as others on IMDB which currently gives it a 7.4 rating with 15,910 votes. There were many funny parts, but the funniest part for me was the first shot of the gay couple in their hotel room after the pan (tap, tap, tap, tap, tap).

Sat 10

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Patrick cleaned the bathroom after getting home from martial arts practice. Cut my hair and showered. Patrick showered. Snack: an apple. Helped Patrick create a new CD cover. Tried getting Pandora to work in OS X in Firefox. Plugged "Madonna" in to the home page and it said it was creating a new playlist or something and never stopped—the dreaded action statement ending with an ellipsis with no animated feedback and no opportunity to stop the action requested. I tried reloading the page, but the interface doesn't behave very smoothly—things don't happen when I click or the things I expect to happen don't happen when I click. I closed the browser in frustration. As an aside, for a few brief moments during this, I wondered, "What would it be like if the people who wrote Firefox wrote a word processor?" The (poor) design of Microsoft Word haunts me even when I'm not using it. Remi came over for an hour while Jesse had his voice lesson. Lunch with Remi and Jesse at a sushi restaurant. We talked about French prepositions, gender for objects, and articles; singing; Thailand; San Diego; Hawaii; The Mint; films. Today was unusually sunny and clear but the air was very chilly and breezy. Remi and Jesse took off. Patrick and I did a quick wash job on the car. I took a nap while Patrick took a bath. Worked on Patrick's myspace redesign mockup. Dinner at home with Patrick: steamed rice, coconut milk chicken curry with bell peppers and mushrooms, naan. Dessert: we shared a Downey's original 4-ounce irish whiskey cake (which Tony Q bought for us for Christmas)—it's delicious! Worked on Corinna's website. Tried shopping online at brothermall.com, but it failed to remember my password correctly. When I asked it to send me my password in e-mail, it generated an unrecoverable error. Tried ordering ink cartridges from tonermax.com, but I added something to my shopping cart that I didn't want and was unable to remove it—I tried the Delete button, and I tried entering 0 and selecting the Update button, but neither of those things worked. Weight training: push up, plank.

Sun 11

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Lunch with Melissa at Kappo Nami Nami (240 Castro Street, Mountain View), which serves upscale traditional Japanese. We arrived minutes after opening and were quickly seated, but we were disturbed by the smell of cigarette smoke which I discovered seemed to permeate the entire restaurant after walking to the restroom in the back. After checking with Melissa that she smelled cigarette smoke also, I returned to the back and looked out the back door. No smokers, but there were dozens of cigarette butts all over the ground right outside the door. When I mentioned this to the waitress, she did not seem very committal to our desire for clean air but said she would close the door. Cigarette smoke was not a problem for the remainder of our meal. The meal was very delicious, and Melissa said it was one of the best meals she has had in a long time. We both could tell the quality of the fish is very high. The portions of fish on the sushi and sashimi are much larger than I am used to. Our dishes did not come out at the same time—there was a delivery gap of at least several minutes, and service was mostly neglectful. Afterwards we strolled Castro Street, enjoying the unusually warm weather. We happened upon a musuem of locks and safes, and the friendly owner invited us inside and proceeded to give us a personal tour which I found quite interesting. There were about a dozen large bank safes that you could open and touch as well as a collection of probably several hundred locks, some from places like China, Vietnam, and the Middle East. Afterwards Melissa left probably to study and I went to my sister's. I thought 7-year-old Jeremy how to play chess. In his first chess game ever, he put my king in check before I could do the same. He's a very fast learner, and I could tell he had the beginnings of developing strategy even after only a couple of moves. Lani made a delicious beef stew for dinner. We also had steamed rice and steamed broccoli. Dropped in on Bryan's bbq: Bryan, Andy, John B, Ted, Philip (sp?), Kyle, Matt, Albert, Sally, Eric, Galen, Marck G, John L, Herman, Chris (sp?), and probably some others I am unable to recall right now. Conversations and activities (not necessarily in order): how long does it take to get propane?, Galen fries chicken breasts and makes a sauce, Mandarin, adam4adam, hot nude photos, Star Trek trivia, Star Trek Experience, Turtle Talk with Crush (California Adventure), when should I buy a Mac?, Apple TV, should I get an Apple TV or a Mac Mini?, I told sneeper he should have worked the floor at Macworld, HDTV, HDMI 1.2, Lemon Party, Roomba and Moomba, Mammoth, knee problems, exercise, back massage, steak and sausages, fruit tart (you are what you eat). Late meal near home. Patrick stayed home today—he had a lot of work upon which to catch.

Mon 12

Morning run: 15 minutes. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Handled a shared designer add request for Yokoyama. Continued setting up Steaven's computer. Met with Susie. Tested access to the floorplans website—works. Lunch: Panda Express, SoBe. My fortune: Your road to glory will be rocky, but fulfulling. My bottle cap: It feels better than rejuvenation. Continued setting up Steaven's computer. It has been unusually slow, so I am running hardware diagnostics—I suspect untoward damage to the hard drive or worse. Helped Carol with mailbox too full problems. Helped Dave B with surveymonkey issues. Completed the job description for Susie, sent it to her for review. Prepared for staff meeting and one-on-one meeting with Cindy tomorrow. Web edits for Cindy: CPJE, block calendar summer 2007 block 1 for San Diego. Resolved broken links in the CCSC site for Bill S. Patrick today got hit with pretty severe allergy symptoms—lots of stuffiness in the nasal cavity. Dinner at home with Patrick: organic whole wheat penne, organic garden vegetable marinara sauce, Grace Bakery garlic bread, Smart Balance margarine.

Tue 13

Usual oatmeal breakfast. I forgot to mention that my socks arrived yesterday. I bought boys socks on eBay because the listing said they fit mens shoe sizes 3.5 to 8.5 and 8.5 is my shoe size. The socks fit perfectly. Made live minor web updates from yesterday. Staff meeting. Chatted with Susie about a HTML letterhead request from resident MC. Resolved CCSC broken links for Jeff/Bill/Gary, did some research on umask in the process. WebCT administration. Listserv update for PLS (students DS and LN). Lunch with Geordie at Pasquale's: mushroom pizza. Joel gave me a new Cross silver ballpoint pen with the UC seal—we had been talking about how I carry just such a pen everywhere I go in case I need a pen and how he sometimes gets them for free. These things are worth around $20! Unfortunately, the one he gave me didn't work properly. I pulled off the cap and attempted to fix it, but that only revealed some defect with the barrel. To have Cross fix it will cost $10 plus shipping, which I'm willing to do for a free pen. One-on-one meeting with Cindy. Burned a cdrom for Carol, installed Nero BurnRights in the process. Determined that Steaven's computer does indeed have a failed hard drive. Did defrag and disk check optimization for Chris's new laptop. Reviewed new laptop transition with Chris. He reported slowness in file searching and also difficulty in finding files he had had before. Manual PharmAdMIT backup. Attempted to install the new hard drive, but the holes on the green plastic rails that Dell provided with our computer don't line up with the holes on the drive, so I aborted the installation rather than install the drive insecurely. Snack: Panda Express, 2 veggie spring rolls. Dinner at home with Patrick: roasted lemon chicken, Smart Balance and garlic bread. Tried to watch Heroes but the new episode was not yet online. Watched other things instead. Patrick went to bed, I shopped for hotels in San Diego.

Wed 14

Morning run: 10 minutes. Weight training: plank. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Linkchecking: CCSC. Sent Outlook Tip #8 to Alyssa, Carol, and Scott. WebCT administration with Glenn and Brian. Followup with James: computer purchases, old e-mail address listserv problems. Archived documents: Libra P5 presentation pointer (Ione/Itron). Assembled pre-rails and rails onto the new hard drive. Ordered a new hard drive for Steaven's computer. Lunch: wonton chips, veggie burrito. Helped Joel make an iPod nano purchase at The Technology Store. HTML e-mail for Cindy. Lodging web edit for Scott. Manual PharmAdMIT backup. Dinner at home with Patrick: asparagus, grilled salmon. San Diego trip planning. Chatted with Danny and Drew on the phone. Weight training: bench dip, plank.

Thu 15

I witnessed perhaps the worst Muni driving error ever today, but I cannot tell it here. Ask me in person if you want. Installed PharmAdMIT on the shared laptop for Steaven, set up network printing. HTML e-mail for Cindy. Discovered that Outlook 2007 reverts to the poor rendering engine of Word 2007 for display of HTML e-mail. In Outlook 2003, Microsoft used the IE rendering engine, which supports a lot more than that of Word 2007. Consequently, people designing HTML e-mail will find that their layouts will often break in Outlook 2007. Outlook 2007 will no longer display the same HTML e-mail template that worked properly in Outlook 2003, and this problem exists for both sending and receiving/viewing. On my computer, I have already upgraded to Office 2007, so to test the new HTML e-mails I'm creating I need to use Remote Desktop to log in to another computer that isn't being used, set up Outlook 2003, copy the HTML I wrote to a shared network folder, switch to Remote Desktop, copy the HTML from the shared folder, paste it into the Stationery folder, send the HTML e-mail from Outlook 2003, switch back to my computer with Outlook 2007 and check the results. Repeat as needed. Before, I could simply edit the file in my own Stationery folder, save changes, then switch windows back to Outlook 2003 and send a test message. This now significantly increases the time it takes to develop HTML e-mail for users of Outlook 2007. Lunch: roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn off the cob. More HTML e-mail work. Scanned documents for Alyssa. Prepared and installed a Belkin USB hub for Chris. Met Patrick with the car at 9th and Kirkham—this was the first time ever he drove the car to meet me near work. (He's not yet comfortable with taking the stick shift up the hill.) Went to dinner and Beach Blanket Babylon with Patrick and Mom Ryan for Mom Ryan's birthday. Dinner at Franchino (415-982-2157, 347 Columbus Av) with Patrick and Mom Ryan. The show was as fantastic as ever, and we all enjoyed it very much. We sat in the balcony on the side and on the side above the band. If you sit on the side balcony, it's better to sit on the side across from the band because the show opens on the band and you can't see what's happening for about a minute and for other parts of the show it was hard to see what was going on stage right. Night run: 15 minutes.

Fri 16

Usual oatmeal breakfast. To celebrate Saint Patrick's Day tomorrow, Steaven brought doughnuts and Cindy ordered 4-leaf-clover cookies—yum! Listserv management for a fraternity. Alerted staff to no longer use HTML e-mail templates I created for them and to wait for rewrites. Tried to restart the Vista test computer. It does not start properly. Ugh. Minor web edits. Reminded staff about forthcoming IE7 and Acrobat 8 Pro upgrades. Lunch: Palio sandwich and couscous (not tabouleh) with shrimp. I learned who Mario Speedwagon was. Sent Joel a copy of the March 2007 update for Cindy. Laptop setup and connection training for Joel. HTML e-mail edits and testing for Cindy. Uninstalled Acrobat 6.0.5, 6.0.4, 6.0.3, 6.0.2 for Cindy. Installed Acrobat 8 Professional for Cindy. Manual PharmAdMIT backup. Discovered that a complete installation of Acrobat 8 Professional takes up 1 gigabyte of disk space, so Cindy's computer ran out of space on the C: drive. Removed all installation options except for PDFMaker and documentation, which got it down to 600 megabytes. Cindy: disk cleanup, organized Start Menu. Shopped for a black key cabinet. For some reason, key cabinet makers only seem to make them in putty or gray. There are only 2 that exist in black that I could find. One was from General Electric which only held 12 or so keys (and which seemed for home not business use). The other was from Brinks—same thing—it holds only a small number of keys. Neither will work for us—we need one that will hold about 60 keys. Installed a new hard drive and DVD±RW drive in our server.

Sat 17

I dreamt last night that somehow some of my belongings were left unattended or stolen and I discovered them on mats on the sidewalk; they were being sold by thieves and I had to chase them away. The worst part was that Patrick didn't seem to care at all, didn't want to help me reclaim and protect my belongings, so I got very angry and threw objects and pounded my fists on his chest. Eventually I decided I needed to be alone in a comfortable place, so I got on a bus alone intending to go to someplace I knew but after a while I realized I was going in the wrong direction so I got off the bus. Next thing I knew, I was crashing the party of someone named Bob. Everyone was very welcoming. It wasn't a holiday party but I remember talking with one woman about a holiday wall hanging. I excused myself to continue on my way. Next thing I knew, I was in Brian and Kelly's house. All the rooms were dark, and as I stepped in to one room I thought I saw mice dragging objects around on a flat surface, but I took a step closer and found that it was really just a giant plotter of some kind printing something out, and I immediately thought, oh it's just another one of their projects. The printing platform was about a foot off the ground and about 10 feet square. The print heads were the things I thought were mice—I saw at least two, and they were busy scurrying here and there leaving ink droppings behind. I can't remember anything else from this dream. Stopped at the grocery. For breakfast, we met Mom Ryan at her place. We brought a bouquet of flowers and a bag of pastries. It's her birthday! Afterwards we went to the Legion of Honor for the exhibit called Masterpieces of French Jewelry. I enjoyed the show very much; I don't know if I'll ever see as many diamonds and precious gems so skillfully arranged again. We had lunch at the cafe there. I had a Diestel turkey sandwich with fries. Patrick had provolone cheeseburger—I think it was Niman Ranch. Mom Ryan had a ham and cheese sandwich. $37.70, no tip since it wasn't full service. Lunch was delicious and service was very friendly and helpful. Dropped Mom Ryan off at home. Patrick and I went home and napped. Woke up, went to Phil, Drew, and Danny's for dinner. Quyen and Dong-Yi (sp?) and Dave also showed up. Roast chicken, potato salad, mixed green salad, sourdough and butter. For dessert, Quyen brought a jamocha two-layer cake from a bakery called Constatino (sp?) in Sunnyvale. We talked late into the evening, left around midnight.

Sun 18

Vacuumed. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Cut my hair, showered. Processed photos. Vacation planning. Lunch at Daphne's Greek Cafe (344 Westlake Center, Daly City): gyros pita lunch with rice pilaf for Patrick, gyros pita lunch with french fries for me. Iced tea for both of us. $16.24. Shopping: World Market, Trader Joe's. Processed photos. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled salmon, grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, naan. Watched For Your Consideration (2006), which we both enjoyed. Worked on Corinna's website—it's almost done!

Mon 19

Breakfast at the cafeteria: oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar, bagel with green (chive?) cream cheese. Sent Cindy the job description I had been working on—we're planning to hire a web developer who will help out with Dean's Office web activities part time and the other part time will be working on web work for a grant that some of our faculty have secured. Linkchecking. Fixed a problem with the course schedule change form for 2007. Pushed poster web page changes live (Cindy). Calendar and news web updates. Law review update for Cindy. Uploaded files for Carol. Today I received notice that I am one of several recipients of the 2007 Chancellor's Award for Exceptional University Service. Cindy was very excited to receive the news, and within minutes I received a message from Dean Koda-Kimble congratulating me. It's indeed quite an honor to have been selected, and the award is several thousand dollars—I forget exactly how much. Helped student KL install Sophos and other computer updates. Lunch: piccatta chicken, mixed vegetables, dinner roll and Promise spread from the cafeteria. Key cabinet shopping. Acrobat 6 uninstall and Acrobat 8 install for Cindy. IE7 install for Cindy and the old laptop. Helped Lucia with printing in Outlook 2003. Helped student CM with Lexi-Comp. (Referred to Rodney, actually.) Labelled various things with the labeller. Installed Nero on the server. Set up the new hard drive in BIOS. Used Disk Management to mount and format the new hard drive. Home. Washed dishes, tidied. Patrick was late getting home. He was helping Aaron and Apphia move a mattress. Dinner at home with Patrick: frozen pizza. Prepared our travel itinerary.

Tue 20

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Student computing committee meeting. HTML edit for Cindy. Ordered a key cabinet. New hard drive finished formatting overnight, so I did Retrospect configuration. Set up new backup sets to store data on the new hard drive. Also configured Retrospect to use the new DVD±RW drive if needed. LGBT visibility meeting with Kevin. There was some DST mixup over the start meeting time, so we met in the School of Medicine dean's office since it was empty and nearby—a very nice office. Lunch: panda express. My fortune: You will always be surrounded by true friends. Waiting list web update for Scott and Steaven. PharmCAS fee waiver notice. Link problem handling for Doug C (DBPS). Updated the entering students how to get around page - brought back gas station info. Preview sessions notification form. Old laptop maintenance: uninstalled a lot of unused applications, ran defrag. IE7 install for Scott and Lucia. Manual PharmAdMIT backup. Problematic errors today: "You are unable to log in to the user account '[name of account]' at this time (OK)" when attempting to log in to an OS X computer that had been joined to our domain. Also: "Can't access volume Drive D (D:), error -1102 (drive missing/unavailable)" when attempting to back up a volume in Retrospect 6.5 for Windows. I do not yet have solutions for either of these problems. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers. Completed travel itinerary. Weight training: plank, push up. Danny called this evening to say that they signed a lease for the nail salon he's planning to open. Next step is to get a contractor to build out the interior. My keyboard died.

Wed 21

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Yesterday's report of the death of my keyboard was greatly exaggerated. However, for a while it was a bit of a scare. Today is my telecommute day, and without a working keyboard bits don't move. I don't normally store a backup keyboard at home like I do at the office in case of such a problem—maybe it's time to start? I knew something was strange because my mouse still worked. Everything is hooked up to a KVM, which can complicate troubleshooting, but I knew somehow that my keyboard couldn't have simply stopped working for real. To fix the problem, I simply unplugged it and plugged it back in. I am told that normally you don't want to do this when the computer is on (it's a PS/2 keyboard) but my OS X Mac Mini login screen gave me no obvious way to shut down the computer using only the mouse, so it was either that or force-power-down by holding the on-off button on back (which I tried but did not resolve the keyboard problem). I also tried resetting the KVM, a Belkin OmniView SE 4-Port. I suppose I could have force-powered-down and then unplugged and replugged the keyboard, but nothing bad happened. My keyboard is ancient—a Cirque Glidepoint Wave Keyboard 2. If this one died, my first choice in keyboard hardware is Microsoft—because of reliability, robustness, and quality of materials and finish. They never put all the keyboard features I want in the right combinations, and I've always thought their hardware website made it really hard to choose from all their choices, but at any given time I know that at least one of their keyboards will be satisfying to me. It's really frustrating to shop for keyboards on Microsoft's website and not be able to see a closeup of the keyboard layout. I must have the 6 key on the right side of a split keyboard (as is the case with the no-longer-available Cirque Wave Keyboard 2), and I believe Microsoft split keyboards always have the 6 key on the left side instead, even though I've specifically sent them feedback asking them to put the 6 key on both sides (among other things). Consequently, none of the Microsoft split keyboards will make me happy, but I know I can fall back to a lower level of happiness with one of their non-split keyboards. I never buy Logitech keyboards anymore because long ago they designed their drivers to also install lots of marketing crap—things like special keys on the keyboard to take you to Logitech's shopping website and stuff I considered adware or spyware. The only way I'll consider Logitech today is if a trusted friend says they are really happy with a Logitech keyboard or mouse and I can confirm that the marketing nonsense is gone. Just now I found the settings in the Accounts system preferences to show the shutdown and restart options at the login window; I had turned them off for security reasons to protect me from myself! So now my keyboard works, but the mouse scroller no longer works in OS X. (See September 2006). I don't have a solution to this problem—sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and I can't control it. Started work. I'm preparing new web pages for our 2007-2008 academic calendar. Previously I've coded these pages by hand, but over the years I've realized that there's not too much variance—the dates change by one or two days but are otherwise mostly the same. So this time I'm coding the dates so that everything is controlled from a single file and that dates are relative instead of fixed. For example, instead of coding that the first day of fall quarter starts on September 14, 2006 and then September 13, 2007 and then September 18, 2008, I'm coding it so that it is specified as always being the second Thursday of September. This doesn't work for 2008, as September 18 is the third Thursday in September that year, but at least this will be the default, and we can more easily and accurately change everything from a single file than we can across several different web pages. This date handling is tricky only in the sense that you have to understand how to get what you want from PHP's mktime, strtotime, and other date functions. In the middle of work, Tina called to check on our travel arrangements and to remind us to bring a long-sleeve black or white t-shirt. Jenny's call interrupted ours—she had some news that their friend Julie with whom they worked at Stars together had passed away this morning from cancer. I remember Julie as always having a lively spirit and a commanding chef's presence in the kitchen. She will be missed dearly. Spent most of the day coding calendar pages through 2010. Lunch at home by myself: turkey burgers. Vacuumed, cleaned, and tidied the apartment. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers.

Thu 22

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Patrick and I left today for vacation to San Diego to attend Domenica and Corey's wedding. Drew drove us to the airport. Thanks, Drew! Whereas I could print my boarding pass from home, Patrick had to check in with a human. Patrick and I had a small meal at SFO Willow Grille T-3. We flew United from SFO to SAN. Took a taxi to the Doubletree Club on Hotel Circle South where we checked in to room 315. Warm (not hot) chocolate chip cookies awaited us at the check-in counter. Once inside the hotel room, which we liked, I took two photos with my camera and then it gave an E18 error message and stopped working properly. It said to change the batteries even though I knew the batteries were fresh. I put in another fresh set and it again said to change the batteries. Tina picked us up from the hotel and took us to tapas at Picasso in Hillcrest. Afterwards we got coffee at Peet's Coffee. While sitting in the sun a man introduced himself to us and handed Tina his business card which said, "Enclosed brochure is very IMPORTANT—Happy New Year !!!—Stanley A. Grovom, 44th President—UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" and on the reverse side was a quote from the Bible: "When I was a child I used to speak as a child, when I became a man I put away childish things.—1 Corinthians 13:11." Tina took us to the Arts Institute bake shop where she works. She continued the work she had begun earlier in preparing Domenica and Corey's gigantic wedding cake. She removed baked cakes from their pans and crumbed them. To crumb is to apply a thin layer of frosting to seal any possible loose crumbs of cake so that they don't move when a final layer of frosting is applied later. After crumbing, the thin layer of frosting is hardened by placing the cake in a refrigerator or freezer. Back to Tina's. Mo arrives, we chat. Dinner at Saigon on Fifth with Tina, Patrick, and Mo. Back to Tina's. We watched The Holiday (2006) on DVD. Tina drove us back to the hotel.

Fri 23

Breakfast with Patrick and Tina at The Mission North Park. Stopped at Simon's Asian imports store where Tina bought some gifts. Walked to Heaven Sent Desserts (619-793-4758, 3001 University Avenue, San Diego) where Tina dropped off a layer of Aztec chocolate cake for Luz. Back to the bake shop at the Art Institute. We continue working on the cake. Daniel arrives. Patrick and I made fondant fishies and an octopus, and we painted fondant and pastillage. Daniel took me and Patrick to a strip mall to pick up dinner to go. I also stopped at Long's Drugs. Back to the Art Institute. I had Chinese food. My fortune: The greater part of inspiration is perspiration, lucky numbers 5, 31, 44, 2, 18, 30. Tina finished the cake, and we took lots of photos. Daniel dropped us off at Doubletree then returned to the Art Institute to help Tina deliver the cake. Yesterday and today while hanging out at Tina's place I helped her with her computer. I helped her free up some disk space (it was dangerously low) and defrag and optimize for speed. I made a checklist of more computer things to do for her:

  1. how to manage digital music
  2. install Firefox and Sage
  3. how to leave AOL
  4. how to use remote assistance
  5. new computer
  6. IM
  7. why is Firefox better than IE?

We didn't get any of the checklist items done.

Sat 24

Patrick and I took a taxi to House of Hair where we met Tina, Domenica, and their hairstylist Gilbert. Gilbert got started on Tina's hair while Domenica joined us to get coffee and pastries at Claire de Lune. Afterwards it was Domenica's turn. Daniel arrived. Among other things, we talked about the bleaching of perineums. Gilbert did a fantastic job on their hair, and we took photos. Domenica and Daniel took off, and Tina, Patrick, and I briefly visited Luz at Heaven Sent to show her Tina's hair. Tina drove us back to her place where we hung out for a bit. We all helped Daniel pick which of 3 ties he should wear with his suit. Daniel took us to Doubletree where we three had lunch at the hotel's restaurant. I had a pizza, Daniel and Patrick each had a cheeseburger. Daniel ordered extra pizza to go then left. Patrick and I rested then dressed for the wedding. Daniel arrived and changed in the bathroom. We drove to Sunset Cliffs for the wedding. Domenica and Corey's chihuahuas were the flower girl (Reese) and ring bearer (Opie). We saw Julianne, Danae, Gwen, Julie, and Deirdre. We met Kaherdin for the first time. Gwen held a caterpillar in her hand and showed it to everyone during the wedding. The reception was at Rosemary and Robert Petty's house. A sushi bar with live sushi chef had a variety of sushi including California roll, spicy tuna roll. Hors d'oeuvres included mini hamburgers, chicken skewers with peanut sauce, veggies and dip. A hosted beverage bar was adjacent to the pool. Domenica and Corey delivered their celebration toast and dance from the balcony. Everyone helped during the cake cutting—all the pastillage had to be removed before cutting. Tina, Daniel, Patrick and I left, but we had to turn around because Tina accidentally left something behind. They dropped us at the hotel.

Sun 25

Patrick and I took a taxi to Hillcrest. We had breakfast at Whole Foods, then took a taxi to Tina's. A basketball movie played on the TV; we hung out. Tina, Daniel, Patrick, and I left for House of Blues Gospel Brunch in downtown San Diego. We ate mac and cheese; biscuits and gravy; bacon; sausage; omelette station; carved roast turkey; carved prime rib; jambalaya; salad; cornbread; muffins; cookies; waffles with syrup, whipped cream, and strawberries; bread pudding; mushroom penne; more. After the huge brunch, a gospel choir delivered a fun and amazing performance. We learned how to do The Dip, one soloed Happy Birthday - Happy Anniversary - Happy Book Club Anniversary for the people in the audience. Tina wanted to leave a few minutes before it ended so we did. Back to Tina's. Daniel drove Patrick and I to the Casey home in Del Mar. We played with the dog Molly and met Allison for the first time. Dinner in: Chinese takeout. Patrick and I took a Mercedes taxi (chartered driver) back to Tina's. We hung out for hours with Tina talking and eating a platter of cheeses, fruits, and chocolate. Tina drove us back to Doubletree.

Mon 26

Breakfast with Tina and Patrick at Valley Kitchen (619-819-1017, 875 Hotel Cir S, San Diego, CA). Tina gave us a small gift bag with some music she had collected for us. I had oatmeal with brown sugar. Tina had eggs, hash browns, and toast. Patrick had pancakes and toast. Tina dropped us off at San Diego International Airport. Patrick and I flew to San Francisco. Chris/psychobauble and Nate picked us up at San Francisco International Airport. On the drive back to San Francisco an unusually dense downpour occurred—it was a shocking return to The City. We turned on the heat and settled in at home. Chris/psychobauble and Nate were amazed that to change our dinner reservation from 4 to 5 people I simply had to log in to opentable.com and update the reservation—no talking to humans necessary. Late lunch from a nearby burritoria. Chris/psychobauble and I took a nap. Dinner at Chouchou (aka Chou Chou) (415-242-0960, 400 Dewey Boulevard) with Patrick, Nate, Chris/psychobauble, and Jen C. We were all very pleased with our meal. Our host's handsome face, snazzy suit, and genuine French accent reminded me of Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge! (2001). Our waiter was comedically charming and very knowledgeable about the menu, particularly the wines. The waiter's assistant was attentive and detailed. Sparkling water all around. Wine: bottle of petite syrah reserve EOS Paso Robles 2003 ($48), 100% Petite Syrah, cassis, plum, prunes with spices and a rich black currant finish. Patrick also had a glass of Cotes du Rhone, Villages Seguret Cecile Chassagne 2005 ($8.00), 34% Syrah 33% Grenache 33% Mourvedre, plum, black cherry, black pepper with a wonderful texture and good balance. Appetizers: I ordered the soup of the day (mixed vegetable: celery, zucchini, and something else). Jen and Chris each ordered the butter lettuce salad with dijon mustard vinaigrette. Nate ordered the French onion soup gratinee with croutons topped with Swiss cheese. Patrick ordered the organic red and gold beets salad with orange segments, arugula salad, and lemon vinaigrette. I ordered the roast chicken breast with potato souffle, spinach, dijon mustard and sage sauce. Jen, Chris, and Nate each ordered the pan-roasted pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes, asparagus, and morel sauce. Patrick ordered the "specialties cassolette"—a French country stew served in a clay pot with a pastry shell lid. When the cassolette arrived, the waiter's assistant cut open the shell for Patrick to reveal tender pieces of steaming beef and vegetables. All of our meals were cooked perfectly. For dessert, we shared the triple chocolate cake and the creme brulee. A perfectly satisfying meal. Afterwards we walked Jen to Forest Hill station then returned home. Chris/psychobauble and Nate checked out of our place and drove to Menlo Park. I went to bed early with Patrick following.

Tue 27

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Back at work after vacation. Fire drill. Staff meeting. Cindy announced my service award and brought fresh fruit and bagels and cream cheese to celebrate. Lucia received a spot award from Ellie Vogt for adeptly handling some scheduling daymare. Linkchecking. Began wading through e-mail. Showed Cindy how to use folders in OWA. Noticed that an old acquaintance Bryan Cochran is speaking at a UCSF/VA event next week. Reminded graduating seniors about accounts closures after graduation. Helped Scott tshoot wireless access point low signal problems at home. Sent a letter of intro to Marisol at the LAOC program. Made live final spring schedules for Lucia. Minor web updates for Scott. Helped student GR with purchasing a new computer. Printer troubleshooting for Cindy. Made live 2007-2008 calendars for Cindy. Today I received the 2 GB PQI Intelligent Stick that I ordered for work use. I don't know that it's officially called "istick" but that's what I'm calling it. It is packed in blister packaging, which I detest, but this one was not too hard to cut open. The package included a wallet-sized plastic case which holds 2 isticks. I immediately put this plastic carrying case in my desk drawer because I'll probably never use it—the whole point of this USB drive is that it's small. It took only a few minutes to transfer all the data on my old USB drive to the computer then again from the computer to the new istick. The istick included software which I think secures data with encryption, but I ignored it—I'm not carrying any unencrypted confidential data. The istick fits neatly in my wallet, and now I have one less bulky item to carry in my pocket. So far I'm a very happy customer. Dinner at home with Patrick: turkey burger, wedge fries, corn off the cob. Beat back the inbox. Sent Bryan C an e-mail. Caught up some on journaling. Weight training: push up. Late snack: Chris's leftover half quesadilla. Resolved the Canon Powershot A610 E18 error message by squeezing the lens barrel slightly.

Wed 28

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Sent Outlook tip #10 to Alyssa, Carol, and Scott. Made live next year's calendars. Computer maintenance: disk cleanup, defrag, scandisk. Pointsec evaluation. Labeled USB drives. Prepared introduction to Office 2007. Uploaded pathway presentations for Carol. Troubleshot Alyssa's computer which got a blue screen of death while running scandisk. PowerMax disk check for Cindy—all is well. Lunch: salad takeout from the cafeteria. Flash media card reader shopping. Scott gave me a tchotchke today—a green yo-yo from World Education Service. Went to the dentist—no problems. Stopped at Radio Shack and bought a media card reader on sale for $10. Stopped at Arizmendi Bakery and picked up a pair of pear-ginger scones. Dinner at home with Patrick: stuffing-stuffed pork chops, corn bisque, and baked potato. Watched Madonna's The Confessions Tour on DVD with Patrick. The film was very painful to watch at times because someone decided that I needed to see the concert broken up into hundreds of cuts per minute. I wish they had produced two versions—epileptic and non-epileptic—and let people decide which one they wanted to see. Madonna seemed really stiff throughout the film and especially at the beginning. Patrick thought she needed to ditch the high-heeled boots and shoes. We skipped parts of it. I thought it didn't have a coherent message. Overall I was very disappointed and would not recommend it to anyone.

Thu 29

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Burned Seagate SeaTools for DOS to cdrom. Tested Alyssa's computer with SeaTools. disk cleanup and defrag for new laptop. Prepared a filing for reimbursement. Sent presales questions to our Pointsec representative. It surprises me that they do not support Windows 2003 Server and have stated no commitment to support Windows Vista. This lack of Vista support supports my recent thinking that it will likely be middle of 2008 before Vista is really reliable in terms of compatibility with a wide array of hardware and software. Our anti-virus and anti-spyware and firewall vendors still have not yet delivered enterprise versions of their software that is compatible with Vista. Unpacked the Targus Universal 25-in-1 memory card reader/writer (TGR-CRD25) which I bought yesterday from Radio Shack for $10 on sale. It's much smaller than other media readers I have seen in the past and measures 1.25 x 2.5 x 0.5 inches. It comes in a blister package. It unabashedly includes a safety warning: the words USE CAUTION WHEN OPENING appear next to a triangle with an exclamation mark and a drawing of scissors cutting open the blister package. The product has a 1-year warranty, which seems really short to me, considering there are no moving parts. I unpacked it but so far have not tried using it yet. Document archiving. Alyssa's computer has been very unexpectedly problematic today. It had been operating properly as expected. But while running a routine Scandisk, the computer gave a blue screen of death (BSOD) which appeared after several hours of effort to be unsolvable. Starting in Safe Mode was unsuccessful—the computer froze while loading drivers. Last known good would not work—BSOD again. Second R repair was unavailable. Hard drive passed diagnostics successfully with Dell, Maxtor, and Seagate tools. I eventually resolved it by entering Recovery Console, running fixboot then fixmbr then chkdsk /r then restart into Windows XP cdrom and then the second R repair option was available. And then it made sense—either fixboot or fixmbr probably resolved whatever corruption existed. I repaired Win XP then installed Service Pack 2 and all 77 Microsoft Updates and now I think everything is fine. These symptoms are similar to what I experienced with Steaven's computer, and I am frustrated that we didn't upgrade our computers earlier—this is wasting so much of my time. (It wasn't my decision to keep our computers in service for 5 years.) I fear these BSODs will pop up on the other computers, but at least now I have something that might work to resolve it. Did a lot of computer maintenance—disk cleanup, defrag, hard drive diags, uninstalled unneeded and old apps. Used Cindy's computer to troubleshoot the problem we have with network scanning, but an uninstall and restart and reinstall did not fix it, so I guess I'll be on the phone with Brother next week. Citrix installations. I discovered today that Microsoft has set up a website so that you can use Office 2007 in a web browser before you buy or install it. I'm writing an intro to Office 2007 for my office staff, so I'll point them to this site. Only problem is that my staffmembers run Windows XP as limited users—not admins—so I need to manually log in to each computer, visit the Office 2007 tryout-in-a-browser site to install their works-only-in-IE plug-in, test it, then log out—very annoying and time-consuming. I gave up trying to get Vista to work on my test workstation—it wasn't built for Vista and failed to start properly after shutting down—so I reinstalled Windows XP SP2 from scratch on it. It will be helpful to have this computer back in service since I need another computer to have Office 2003 applications on. I have Office 2007 on my primary machine, which means when people I'm supporting ask me questions about Office 2003 I'm at a loss for a quick answer. Windows 2003 Server SP2 installation. Acrobat 8 Pro installation for Lucia. Lunch: Panda Express. My fortune: Good news is coming your way—it will be here any day. Chatted briefly with Drew and Phil online. Dinner at home with Patrick: Korean beef, steamed broccoli, baked potato. Chatted on the phone with Nate, then Tina. Tomorrow is a university holiday—woo! Trimmed my bookmarks page—don't feel snubbed if I removed the link to your blog; I've been using Sage to read anything that drools RSS for months now, so those links on my bookmarks page were extraneous.

Fri 30

Cut my hair, showered. Usual oatmeal breakfast plus fruit smoothie and pear-ginger scone. Unpacked and tried out the Targus Universal 25-in-1 memory card reader/writer (TGR-CRD25) that I bought for home use. It worked as expected with OS X and both a Kingston Ultimate 2 GB SD card and a SanDisk Extreme III 1.0 GB SD card. Did house cleaning and organizing. Lunch at home with Patrick: turkey burgers, wedge fries. Sunbathed/napped in the back yard. Grocery shopping with Patrick at Safeway. Went to Galen's birthday party at JY and Adrian's, ran into Adrian and (Sophie?) along the way. (Patrick stayed home—martial arts practice in the morning.) Galen prepared a gigantic meal—there must have been 40 or 50 people?—sangria; grilled vegetables; spicy grilled potatoes; seafood paella with shrimp, chicken, scallops, mussels; crackers and cheese. Afterwards a bunch of us went to Club Dragon and danced. Late meal: caesar chicken salad at Baghdad Cafe—it was an okay salad but much too big for me. I would not recommend it except in an emergency. I forgot to mention that yesterday I talked with people at Greenwell Farms. There was a delivery mixup with an order of coffee that Chris and Nate had bought us as a gift, and they were generous beyond my expectations in the resolution. I am very pleased with the service they provided. Haven't tried the coffee yet, but I am sure I'll like it. Thanks, Chris and Nate!

Sat 31

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Set the bed mattress out in the sun—testing UV radiation to kill dust mites. I sunbathed while Patrick picked up groceries from Golden Produce. I briefly chatted with the neighbors. Lunch at home with Patrick: packaged sushi (aborted due to awful taste), leftover chicken caesar salad. Showered. Processed photos. Returned the mattress to the bed and dressed the bed. Snack: fruit smoothie. Patrick and I napped. Patrick began preparing beignet dough. I went back to the grocery for some yeast we had misplaced. Dinner at home with Patrick: Pasquale's pizza delivery, mushroom pizza, popcorn shrimp. Dancing with Danny and Quyen at 550 Barneveld. We saw many friends: Ted, Emery, Scott, Andy, John B, Matt W. I met (or most likely remet) Dave of Dave and Dave as well as Martin. Dropped off John B at home, dropped off Dave at Scandy's. Late meal with Danny, Quyen, and Matt W at Sparky's.