March 2008

Summary: San Francisco Ballet with Patrick: Tribute to Jerome Robbins; long weekend to San Diego: visited Tina, the Caseys, the Careys, the Quintanas.

Dates on this page

Sat 1

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Stretches. I still have some congestion from my cold but today I felt well enough to do some weight training: dumbbell press, one-arm dumbbell row, shoulder shrug, and other upper body. Stretches. Napped. House chores. Lunch: Patrick and I went to Pacific Catch. He had the mixed catch and I had 2 tacos with black beans and sweet potato fries. Napped. Fixed a layout problem with Patrick's MySpace page. I had used layout tips provided by Mike Industries but when I looked at his MySpace page, the same problem occurred. The problem is that MySpace now appears to inconsistently show a banner ad a the top of the page and so when the ad does not appear, the layout—which Mike designed to use absolute positioning—no longer works properly and things overlap unexpectedly. Unfortunately his layout trick only seems to work with absolute positioning due to how MySpace controls the code for the page, so I simply added more space which isn't a big problem on Patrick's MySpace page. Dinner at home with Patrick: cow strips stir fry, steamed rice.

Sun 2

Couldn't sleep, got up at 2 AM. Snack: Chunky soup. Gave up trying to install Unison File Synchronizer for OS 10.5.2—the instructions were too hard to figure out. Breakfast with Patrick: granola with nonfat milk. Back to bed. Woke around noon. Showered. Mended a sock and a pair of long underwear. Ate a turkey and provolone sandwich and leftover potato and sweet potato fries. A Panda Express fortune I have from a few days ago which I forgot to record earlier: A great day lies ahead in the not too distant future. Stretches. Weight training: wrist curl, reverse wrist curl, super slow bench dip, bench dip, crunch, leg lift. Took a bottle of fruit juice and went for a walk to enjoy the sun, took some photos with the new Canon PowerShot A650IS that Tina bought me as a birthday present. The camera works really well and it's similar to my old A610 so I didn't have to learn much new about the interface. Dinner at home with Patrick: rigatoni with strips of cow (flank steak) in red sauce. Prepared to do my taxes, but stopped short of doing them. Patrick and I are registered domestic partners (RDPs) and for this tax year California requires RDPs to file jointly, but RDPs are not recognized at the federal level, so for federal we still have to file separately. Blogs online say that TurboTax has been updated to handle these changes, and I think it will work for us since we (unfortunately) don't have anything very complicated—no houses, no businesses, no sales of valuable stocks or bonds, no inheritances, no lottery winnings. However I don't know whether I should do TurboTax online or TurboTax on cdrom. TurboTax recommends the cdrom because you don't have to reenter information for the separate returns and you don't pay for multiple filings. I'll check with Taxboy before starting. Posted things for sale. Congestion in the lungs is almost all gone, so I'll be in at work tomorrow. Did some work on the shirts project.

Mon 3

Website new home research for Susie. Made live new news for Susie. Completed InDesign document and web edits for next year's academic calendar for Cindy. Chatted with Joel about the course schedule change form. Lunch: chicken tostada lunch special from the cafeteria, ate in the sun in Saunders Court. Updated a draft of a survey for the Student Computing Committee. Chatted more with Joel about the course schedule change form. Made live strategic plan web edits for Susie. Updated supp app PDF files so that they say SAMPLE ONLY. Made adjustments to Retrospect. Bought bus passes. Missed the bus, took the train instead. Dinner at home with Patrick: bowtie pasta with chicken in red sauce, dinner rolls, Smart Balance Light. Worked on Danny's website. Did some basic cleaning of my Entourage-synched Apple Address Book. I can tell this is going to take me a few days.

Tue 4

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Student computing committee meeting. Listserv management. Small web edits for Susie. Met 1-on-1 with Cindy. Various e-mail followups. Began setting up student ML's new computer. Lunch: leftovers. Still hungry, so I convinced Joel to go to the cafeteria with me. I got a small salad and then I convinced Joel to sit in the courtyard with me while I ate it. Frances P stopped by and said hello and chatted with us a few minutes. More listserv management. Gave feedback to Mark B about the OWA login help page. Left work for the doctor. Tightness in the spine has not gone away significantly even though I've been following his advice (stretches, do back strengthening exercises, heating pad). This time he told me to get a tennis ball and lie on my back on it over the spot that's sore. Dinner at home with Chris, Nate, and Patrick: two kinds of cheeses, almonds, Patrick's special garlic spread, Patrick's vegetable appetizer medley, large shells with Italian sausage in red sauce. Dessert: Patrick made a tiramisu with creme anglaise for the first time and it turned out very well. Stretches. Weight training: one-arm dumbbell row, super slow one-arm dumbbell row, front raise, wrist curl.

Wed 5

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Strategic plan website edits for Susie. Listserv maintenance. UCSF Webmail was broken for at least 10 hours today since sometime last night. Posted news about this on the current students page. Sent outlook tip to Eric. Web migration followup with Rob and Susie. Strong passwords followup with student HB. Posted an updated schedule for Lucia. Lunch: taco and quesadilla from Carmelina's. Ordered too much food, gave half the quesadilla to Alyssa and Scott. More strategic plan website edits for Susie. Backed up data to DVDRW. Computer maintenance. Tried helping Joel synch his Blackberry calender with his desktop computer but we got an error message and I tried a few things and nothing worked. "Duplicate records found!" or something like that. Unresolved. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers, including leftover tiramisu which did turn out better today than yesterday as we had suspected. More address book cleaning and photo adding in Apple Address Book.

Thu 6

Ran out of disk space on the server. Deleted unneeded files. Archived data to DVDRW. Adjusted Retrospect configuration. Met with Carol about archiving e-mail. Computer maintenance: updates. Did a RAM upgrade on the shared office white MacBook (Sep 2006). Donated to it a 1 GB RAM SODIMM which came with my iMac from home. It now has 2 GB of RAM. Archived data to DVDRW. Computing support for students followup with Kirk H. Blackberry service followup with Mark B. Flip4Mac order followup with Hubert. Chatted with Eric about Flash transitions. Website migration followup with Kirk F and Julie B. Lunch: fish and chips at Burgermeister, Cole Valley. Chatted on the phone with Kirk H. Sent websteering lunch reminder. Investigated clean URLs in ExpressionEngine and Daisy. Watched the iPhone SDK announcement (cool!). Home. Helped Patrick fold laundry. Worked on the spice rack project. To convert an old Napa Valley cassette rack to a spice rack, I'm adding some black elastic cord to ensure that the spices don't fall out of the rack and break. I did one row successfully then realized that to do the other 2 rows I'm going to need 2 additional strips of wood. Dinner at home with Patrick: potatoes o'ryan, corn on the cob, grilled salmon with fresh dill. Purchased an 8 GB SDHC memory card to go with my new camera—only $40! Also purchased a mini (89-key) keyboard just in case I have a need for keys that are missing from the Apple wired keyboard that comes with the iMac (December 2007). The keyboard is the Adesso ACK-595UB, and this is also the same mini keyboard used in Kalmanovitz Library at UCSF. The left Alt key is in an imperfect location, but I'm not planning to use it regularly at all. The only other way it could be better for me is if it were also wireless. Tried to figure out how to install Darwine or Wine but couldn't and gave up after a while. Why do they make it so hard? Found Kevin S today on d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s (I can never remember where the periods go) because he and I were the only 2 people who had saved the new UCSF listserv management website and delicious lets me see who else saved the same URLs as I did. Sneaky! is neat.

Fri 7

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Listserv management. /go/intl updated for Joel. Blackberry survey followup. Met with Lucia, InDesign, schedules. Reposted a schedule for Lucia. Linkchecking. Tested Apple Mail with UCSF Exchange. I got Exchange protocol working but incoming only. Nothing I tried would permit me to send. Chatted briefly with Joel and Kathy. Leftovers lunch for me in the workroom with Eric. Set up an old computer and new monitor in Joel's old office. Met 1-on-1 with Eric. On the way home, I took a photo of a Girl Scout who was dressed in empty girl scout cookie boxes. Home. Dinner at home with Patrick: bacon-topped ravioli in cheddar cheese sauce over bed of mixed greens, dinner roll. Watched Ocean's Thirteen on Netflix DVD with Patrick. Mozy for Mac did a brain fart on me today. I restarted my iMac and now Mozy shows nothing in Backup History and there's nothing available to restore. I sent a message to Mozy support. I suspect a problem with the spline reticulation and/or the manifest. Installed Brian Toth's Apple Address Book plug-in which connects to Google Maps. Most of the addresses I tested it was unable to find properly in Google Maps.

Sat 8

Granola and sliced banana for breakfast. Plugged in my old PC so that I could identify and catalog the components for later sale and erase the hard drive with Darik's Boot and Nuke 1.0.7. How unusual to hear the whine of the old powerhungry PC's fan—"what's that annoying noise?!" Still loving the new iMac. Just for reference, it takes about 3.5 hours to erase a 120 GB Maxtor hard drive with an Athlon XP 2500+ (166 MHz). Patrick worked on some musicmaking this morning. Prepared stuff to sell. Photo work: downloaded from camera, edited, and uploaded to Flickr. I notice for the first time today that Flickr is occasionally showing ads on photo pages. They don't bother me that much so far. AOL Instant Messenger is not letting me log in as of 12:50 PM via either iChat or Adium. I think it the service is broken. Oh, AOL/AIM is working again. Patrick made a new drink today: Tejava tea with a scoop of mango sorbet—I call it mangjava. Serve it in a highball. Patrick has been working on the Tobias story lately—the first new writing he has done in a long time. Erased the second PC's hard drives. Lunch at home with Patrick: turkey sandwiches, french fries. Cut my hair, showered. Shopping with Patrick at Big 5 Sporting Goods and Stonestown Galleria. Dinner at home with Patrick: indian food delivery from Golden Gate Indian Cuisine (4038 Judah St, San Francisco). Worked on Danny's website.

Sun 9

Woke, showered. Brunch at Park Chow with Chris and Nate. Patrick stayed home to work on the Tobias stories. Chris, Nate, and I walked through Golden Gate Park, first the Music Concourse then the Conservatory. We stopped for a bite to eat at Park Gyros, then took the train to Duboce Park. Walked to the Castro, picked up some supplies at Cliff's Variety including a white Rubbermaid ice cube bin. Had drinks and appetizers at Nirvana. Respective homes. Prepared stuff to sell. Completed the wood and elastic cord portion of the spice rack project. Forgot to buy angle brackets and wood screws. Installed some 0.75-inch black wire loom (BE-197-10 from Black Point Products in Point Richmond, California, 10 feet for $9.00) to tidy the cables for my iMac. Chatted with Tony Q online. Dinner at home with Patrick: roasted honey mustard chicken, corn on the cob, garlic bread. Organized data. Stretches, including the tennis ball exercise. Weight training: front raise, one-arm dumbbell row, shrug. Late meal: leftover indian food.

Mon 10

Breakfast: granola with sliced banana. Backups maintenance (Mozy and Retrospect). Small web edits for Carol: PSCI resources. Listserv management. itssrv1 web migration followup. Lunch: grilled chicken taco with black beans from Carmelina's, fruit punch from home. Met with student CW: several laptop problems. Today while working on student CW's laptop, I came across a program called Microsoft Office 2007 Primary Interop Assemblies. In Microsoft Vista, this appears in the Programs and Features control panel with no other description, so I searched Google on "Primary Interop Assemblies" for more info and the first hit was a Microsoft web page with the following brief description: "The 2007 Microsoft Office system Primary Interop Assemblies (PIA) redistributable is a Microsoft Windows Installer package that contains the Primary Interop Assemblies for 2007 Microsoft Office system products." Scroll down and there's a longer, but not more helpful, description: "The 2007 Microsoft Office Primary Interop Assemblies (PIA) redistributable is a Microsoft Windows Installer package that contains the Primary Interop Assemblies for 2007 Microsoft Office products. Specifically, the redistributable contains the PIAs for the following products: Microsoft Office Access 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, Microsoft Office Project 2007, Microsoft Office Publisher 2007, Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007, Microsoft Office Visio 2007, Microsoft Office Word 2007. In addition, the redistributable package contains additional PIAs which are associated with many of these products." A related resources link called "Primary Interop Assemblies on MSDN" leads to a very technical page, which, if you dig through it, you can find: "An interop assembly is a specialized .NET assembly that contains metadata that defines COM types that enable .NET compilers to resolve calls to COM objects." Even ignoring the multiple self-referential definitions, how is a soccer mom supposed to perform all the same steps and understand that to make a decision about whether to uninstall it or not? Recently when trying to remotely access a computer using Chicken of the VNC, the remote computer in Chicken of the VNC behaved as though the Caps Lock were stuck in the down position (on). I would type and see capital letters appear. I would stop typing, press the Caps Lock key once, then continue typing, and still I would see capital letters. I found no solutions on the web, nor did I find anyone else who experienced the same problem. I was unable to resolve the problem myself. To resolve the problem in which the error "BCM Office Addin: Office application version does not match. (OK)" appears when starting an Office 2003 application, uninstall the item called Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007 SP1 from the Add/Remove Programs control panel (Windows XP) or from the Programs and Features control panel (Vista). It took me a long time to find this because the name listed is "Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007 SP1" rather than "Microsoft Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007 SP1." Scanned a slide for Susie, but I'm not happy with the quality—something is wrong. Donated $5 to Devon Jensen for his Firefox Download Statusbar plug-in. A big part of the reason why I donated was that it was really easy to do: when I launched Firefox, a link appeared enabling me to donate through PayPal. If it weren't so easy, I am not sure I would have done it. Home. Dinner at home with Patrick: pork and chicken buns from Simmone, steamed baby bok choy, pork chops. Printing fails to both printers for some reason, even after restarting OS X. I received a gift card to Jamba Juice from my dentist after referring psychobauble to her. Sweet! Printing works from Windows XP within Fusion. Weird. The sunset tonight was amazing—lots of amazing colors. Stretches. Tennis ball massage.

Tue 11

Finished reading The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. I enjoyed the story once I got over the talking animals, but I was surprised in a slightly bad, slightly weirded-out way about the explanation of Dust at the end—why did it have to be all about Him? I felt duped, somehow—tricked. I thought most of the characters were problematic in that they essentially behaved exactly how they said they would behave and in that they were far too honest with each other. Realistic humans almost always have hidden agendas, and there is a lot more figuring out of things to be done. In contrast, this 10-year-old girl essentially had everything handed to her. She is open and honest with almost all the strangers she meets, and she doesn't die or even get hurt—incredible! She clearly exhibited a handful of cleverness and ingenuity, but her success came largely from circumstance and surprising luck, I think. Stretches. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Prepared for announcement of Sygate Firewall to students. Student CW picked up laptop. Lunch at Ten by myself. Small web edit for Chris, sent to Cindy for review. Met with student AJ. Laptop maintenance for student AJ. Sent Eric the last Outlook tip I have (#20). Sent Eric info on purchasing from the Tech Store. Stretches. Tennis ball massage. Weight training: advanced reverse plank, hammer curl, lateral raise. Late meal: chunky soup, warm nonfat milk.

Wed 12

Breakfast: granola with sliced banana. Laptop maintenance for student AJ. Lots of web edits—the e-mail support section of our website was in need of a lot of updated information. Microsoft recently redesigned their Mactopia website. Unfortunately, while making their site look prettier, they also stopped using unique URLs to identify specific downloads—you access downloads now with interactive DHTML. I sent them the following feedback today: "So pretty and beautiful, it's useless! How do I link to 'Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 0.2.1 (Beta)' so that I can easily communicate to someone that they should download it to resolve a problem?! Grrr!" The problem is that previously I could link to [ mac/downloads.mspx? pid=Mactopia_Office2004& fid=AB66B5BF- 37C3-41BB-945E- 784782FC582C# viewer] (spaces added to avoid layout problems), which, at 115 crazy characters, is poor URL design no matter how you slice it, but at least I could link to a single page that identified a single resource (i.e., page) about a specific topic, namely the software called Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 0.2.1 (Beta). Now, to direct the users I support, I have to say, "Visit, then in the Browse for Downloads section in the lower left corner select Office 2004, then select Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 0.2.1 (Beta)." In contrast, this is 218 characters, and even then you can't click once to open the page in a web browser. If you happen to have Javascript disabled, you can't access the download at all because clicking on a product name such as Office 2004 does nothing! Ironically, the page title is "Office for Mac - Easy Access to Downloads and Updates | Mactopia." Oh, so far I haven't had to go in for jury duty. They don't make it very clear either on the telephone or the website. I envision that when you go to the website and you don't need to go in it shows a large image of a smiling white man giving a thumbs up sign. (A white man because, after all, who largely runs the judicial system in the United States, yes?) When you do have to go in, it shows the white man frowning or being angry. To me, that would be a much clearer way of communicating jury duty reporting. Lunch today was salisbury steak, fried cabbage, brown rice, dinner roll, Promise. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers plus steamed asparagus. Dessert: one Almond Roca. Worked on Danny's website.

Thu 13

Breakfast: granola with sliced banana. No jury duty today again. E-mail delivery problem from student NG. Down to 18 messages in my inbox! Woo! More long-needed web edits in the computer services section. Helped Joel with 2 questions about Word 2007. One was how to unprotect a document which took me perhaps 10 minutes to figure out because it's very easy to overlook the button you need to press which is at the bottom right corner of the screen. The other question was how to create a header with page numbers and then add custom text which was easier to figure out but it's not clear that a predefined header you select will wipe out your old one. Lunch at Pacific Catch with David H, Julie B, Abby C, John K, and Ed C. Computer support coordinator meeting. More web edits. Dinner at home with Patrick: veggie stir fry with steamed white rice. Watched Eddie Izzard: Definite Article on Netflix DVD with Patrick. Tennis ball massage. I have no jury duty tomorrow, either—I survived the whole week! Our upstairs neighbor locked himself out again, so I let him in after he rang our doorbell at 9:30 PM while we were watching the film.

Fri 14

Stretches. Weight training: leg lifts. Breakfast: granola with sliced banana. Password change help for 2 students. Met 1-on-1 with Susie mostly reviewing and editing photos. Worked on home page web edits: resolved problems with Flickr badge not displaying photos as expected. Plugged in Dan Coulter's phpFlickr class, got it working very quickly including caching. Actually, I had had it working before without the caching but commented it out because we weren't ready to launch this new code yet. I plugged the code back in, made some adjustments. This experience was so good I'm now itching to try phpFlickr with my home website—I've been wanting to write some code to automatically add thumbnails to my journal entries. Right now I don't add many photos to my journal entries because it's tedious—I manually add the code because there's no faster way. Superautomatic would be much, much faster. Lunch with Joel at L'Avenida, took a few photos of Joel. Student CB stayed after 5:00 PM to finish an exam—no problems. Updated schedules for Lucia. More web edits. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled salmon over bed of arugula, steamed asparagus, fried potatoes. Dessert: one peanut butter Girl Scout cookie. Fixed printing problems to our color inkjet printer by turning the printer off, turning it back on, resetting the printing system in OS X, then readding the printer (I think). Bought airfare and reserved car rental for Patrick and me for a long weekend to San Diego March 28 to 31. Weight training: bench press, one-arm dumbbell row, concentration curl, wrist curl. Late meal: chunky soup, hot nonfat milk. After finishing The Golden Compass a few days ago I needed something a little sweeter and lighter to read. Patrick was still in the middle of the sequel to The Golden Compass called The Subtle Knife, so I reread I'm The One That I Want by Margaret Cho. If you haven't read this horror fairytale autobiography, you should. Even more astounding than the depths of despair into which she had fallen is the clarity of her mind after climbing out. Not only did she understand her mistakes along the way, but she communicates them by way of her book in a manner which entertains and forces you to both laugh at her miserable past and also examine your own. Tangent: I just had a weird idea for a drinking game: Someone reads I'm The One That I Want aloud and every time Margaret drinks in the book everyone else drinks. Bonus points for the host if he or she provides all the same alcohols that appear in the book so that people can drink, say, Patron, when Margaret does. End of tangent. Changed Energy Saver settings on the iMac so that the iMac sleeps after awhile. Previously I had it not sleep so that Mozy could run at full speed. But now Mozy is broken, and supposedly all my files are backed up now anyway. Mozy, which is still in beta for the Mac, is still giving me the problem that I reported on Sunday—it successfully backs up data but doesn't let me restore it. Backups are logged as being successful, but my Restore Files window is empty so anything that was backed up cannot be restored as expected. I reported the problem on Sunday, and it was acknowledged ("we're working on it" or something like that) but I've heard nothing since. It's not because Mozy is stealing my data, I know that. But they have a problem to fix and have not been terribly responsive this time around.

Sat 15

Breakfast: granola with fresh sliced banana. Folded laundry. Processed photos. Taught Patrick how to sew by hand. Mended two socks and a pair of underwear. Did some dusting and vacuuming. Organized take-out menus and discount offers into two 3-ring binders. Cleaned the Apple keyboard and mouse. Paid bills. Can you believe this week I received another Starbucks gift card from a student? I don't know how much is on this one. Someday I'll be able to walk in with all my gift cards and walk out with one of those $500 automatic espresso machines. Thanks, CW! Patrick visited Aaron for a few hours. Lunch at home by myself: leftover veggie stir fry with steamed white rice. Started preparing my tax return and in the middle of entering data Turbo Tax crashed unrecoverably! Here's the problem report I sent in: I was using Turbo Tax Personal Pro at 4:23 PM Pacific on March 15 and my window was suddenly replaced with "chat error, fault: http request error, fault code: server.error.request, detail: error: [IOErrorEvent type="ioError" bubbles=false cancelable=false eventPhase=2 text="Error #2032"]. URL: /ttpp/comet/AsynchServlet (OK)—after this, I received a second error message that was identical, except the 1st line said "auth test request failed". I closed my browser (Firefox on OS 10.5.2) and restarted it and attempted to log back in and received a 3rd error message: "Proxy Error—The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server. The proxy server could not handle the request POST /ttoauth. Reason: Error reading from remote server" The problem now happens in both Firefox (version as mentioned before) and Safari 3.0.4 in OS 10.5.2. I am unable to continue my return. Please help! Thanks! (The tech info popup window below says my time zone is MST but it's really PST.)—I'm certain some of my data was lost, but not everything as I was smart enough to save partway through. Imagine if this happened to you minutes before midnight on the last day to submit your taxes! Amputagged two shirts. Archived documents. Mended holes in my backpack. Dinner at home with Patrick: beef stew, steamed white rice, dinner roll, Smart Balance Light.

Sun 16

Cut my hair, showered. Chai tea with local honey. Breakfast at home with Patrick: egg and veggie scramble, french fries, toast, Smart Balance Light. Met Scott N at Starbucks, Westlake, Daly City. Patrick got a coffee drink. Met Scott's dog Winston. Patrick and I both like him a lot. We all drove in Scott's car to Fort Funston where we walked for about 90 minutes along the cliff and beach. We saw dozens of dogs and their owners. Scott was right—on windy days like today during the hike down to the beach the wind picks up the sand and throws it around a bit, but once you're on the beach it's fine. Patrick and I took a few photos and enjoyed our walk and talking to Scott and watching all the dogs play. No hang gliders. Scott dropped us off back at Westlake. Late lunch with Patrick: Daphne's Greek Cafe. Shopping at Westlake Center. Patrick split off from me and got another coffee drink at Starbucks. Craft store, party supply store, hardware store, grocery store. When we returned to the car we discovered that someone had thrown some kind of milkshake around and a lot of it landed on my car. Home. I washed the car while Patrick put away groceries. Dinner at home with Patrick: prepared salads from Trader Joe's. I finished the spice rack project and then did some cleaning, tidying, and organizing. Wrapped a gift. Processed photos. Tennis ball massage. Stretches.

Mon 17

Granola for breakfast. Flickr badge problem followup. Web team meeting with Susie and Eric at Laurel Heights. Restarted the server: Retrospect and Mozy issues due to low disk space. Lunch today was a turkey and cranberry sandwich on wheat from the relatively new carving station at Moffitt Cafe. Dinner at home with Patrick: roasted chicken and proscuitto borscetti and zucchini in homemade tomato sauce, dinner sourdough roll, Smart Balance Light. To bed early.

Tue 18

Breakfast: granola. Student computing committee meeting. Staff meeting. Lunch: bbq chicken wrap with wheat tortilla from the cafeteria carving station. DLS meeting with Kurt G, Kraig K, Cesar G, and Quinn H. Emergency laptop help request from Carol. BlackBerry survey work. Meeting action items followup. Minor web updates for Carol. Checked on the Flickr cache, followed up with Julie. Made live minor changes for the prospective students page. Picked up a replacement Mini-DVI to VGA adapter from the Tech Store. Answered mailbox too full question for student WJ. Change of schedule web edits for Joel. FERPA and Active Directory issues. Dinner at home with Patrick: stuffed salmon, jasmine rice with red quinoa and flax seed, corn on the cob, sourdough dinner roll, Smart Balance Light.

Wed 19

Showered. Breakfast: granola with sliced banana. Updated Mozy for Mac to Telecommute day. Does anyone know of a modern web browser that will accept a URL from a paste operation such that any carriage returns, linefeeds, and whitespace are ignored? This would permit people to copy long URLs that have broken because they were sent in e-mail and still have them work when pasting into the address bar of a web browser. The web browser should strip out whitespace and carriage returns and linefeeds and attempt to load the resulting string. I just noticed today that the Dainese website is using a Flash interface that is strikingly similar to the Adobe Photoshop one I mentioned on November 4, 2007. I guess someone is shopping around their nifty interface design. Law review followup with Cindy. Reviewed the Daisy CMS tutorial video that John sent me. Faculty page edits for Susie. Display names in the GAL and AD followup. Bought tickets to ballet for tomorrow night. (Thanks for the tip, JCB!) Short lunch at home by myself: leftovers. Dessert: one salt water taffy (light blue flavor). Web work: cleaned up (removed) old references to Remote Access Service (RAS). Added references to a new North Bay APPE that will begin with the class of 2010. Chatted with Susie about the homepage. Computer services web edits. Cleaned up (removed) references to and Snacks while working: Wheat Thins, one salt water taffy (pale orange flavor). Weight training during breaks: reverse incline crunch. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover chicken and pasta sauce with ravioli. Dessert: one Girl Scouts peanut butter cookie. Watched DVD extras with Patrick from Eddie Izzard: Definite Article. Installed Apple updates including Safari 3.1, Security Update 2008-002, and Time Machine and Airport updates. Weight training: dumbbell fly, super slow dumbbell fly, front raise, one-arm dumbbell row, wrist curl, reverse wrist curl. Late meal: chunky soup, nonfat milk.

Thu 20

Delivered slides and positives out to DMM for high-res scanning for Susie. BlackBerry survey work for SCC. MSCR followup. Chatted with Julie online. Sent e-mail to Dan F inquiring about web hosting. Other web hosting possibilities work and followup (various). Dinner at Las Estrellas with Patrick: dos pollo enchiladas. San Francisco Ballet with Patrick: Program 4, Tribute to Jerome Robbins: Fancy Free, In The Night, West Side Story Suite (Prologue, Something's Coming, Dance at the Gym, Cool, America, Rumble, Somewhere Ballet).

Fri 21

Archived data to DVD+RW to free up disk space on the server. Jon J demoed the grad division application which was originally created by Joe DR. MSCR followup. Helped Carol with a laptop-and-projector setup problem. Management paperwork. Student diversity work: added profile for student NR. Dinner at home with Patrick: pig chops, ciabatta roll, corn on the cob. Rewatched Iron Monkey on DVD with Patrick. During the movie for me: popcorn, 1 junior mint, 1 whopper.

Sat 22

Prebreakfast: one bite of chocolate croissant for me, one chocolate croissant for Patrick. Brunch at Perry's (415-989-6895, 185 Sutter Street, San Francisco) with Chris, Nate, and Patrick. Architectural walking tour with Chris, Nate, and Patrick. Showered, rested. Dinner at home with Patrick: ground pig in tomato sauce with bucatini, ciabatta rolls, Smart Balance Light. Dessert: one peanut butter Girl Scout cookie. Finished reading Pullman's The Subtle Knife and am liking the series quite a bit. Stretches. Weight training: decline crunch, super slow decline dumbbell press, super slow lateral raise, front raise, super slow front raise, one-arm dumbbell row, shoulder shrug. Late meal: chunky soup. Tennis ball massage.

Sun 23

Slept in. Patrick went to Aaron's for a visit. I stayed home and tried to get taxes done. I gave up on TurboTax because although they have the marketing and programming components done well (for the most part) the support is not where it needs to be. For example, the first reply I received from TurboTax after I asked a question was "What is an RDP?" I expect them to already know that RDP means registered domestic partner. Subsequent interactions with TurboTax support were ineffective, but I received several messages (not just one message) in my inbox asking me to complete a survey regarding my support experience. (Could you please solve my problem first?!) Minor navigation edits for Lodestar. Flickred: found some old photos I hadn't uploaded yet. Archived documents. I discovered today that when using the Adesso ACK-595 mini keyboard that although the Num Lock and Scroll Lock (aka NumLock and ScrollLock) LEDs do not light up, they still work in that they act as though it does light up. This behavior is witnessed when plugging it into one of the 3 USB ports on the back of an Apple iMac (December 2007). For example, to use the numeric keypad, hold the Fn key while pressing a key corresponding to a number on the numeric keypad. If the correct number does not appear, press the Num Lock key once, then repeat your test and it should work. This same keyboard plugged into a PC exhibits expected behavior, i.e., the Num Lock and Scroll Lock keys light up or turn off when you press those keys. For the record, Adesso does not claim that the keyboard will work with anything but PCs. (Weird also that the instructions tell you that the computer must be turned off before you plug the keyboard in. That's usually good advice for a PS/2 keyboard, but USB should be hot-pluggable.) Processed photos. Weight training: super slow bench dip. Patrick arrived home, then showered and napped. Snack: one salt water taffy: yellow and pink flavor. Dinner at PDD's with Phil, Danny, Drew, Chi, Cuong, Chris, Nate, and Patrick. We looked at photos from PDD's recent trip to Asia.

Mon 24

Breakfast: small order of oatmeal. Staff portal training with Doug C. Management paperwork. Reported a problem with ICRD. MSCR followup. Website migration followup. Lunch: Panda Express. My fortune: Good opportunities ahead - set your mind to grasp the next. Handled several change password issues for students. Helped student JJ deal with mailbox too full problem. Helped student AJ with STOR. Updated schedules to include medicine electives. Flickr work. Dinner at home with Patrick: spinach ricotta ravioli in leftover pig and tomato sauce. Dessert: one Girl Scouts thin mint cookie. Ironic that their thin mints make you fat. Filed my federal tax return. Still have state to do. I encountered the problem in OS X that others have reported in which icons on the desktop no longer appear but if you go to Finder and select Go > Desktop they appear in the window. Logging out and then logging back in fixed it for me; I did not have to restart the computer. Stretches. Weight training: super slow concentration curl, concentration curl, front raise, wrist curl. Late meal: chunky soup, warm nonfat milk.

Tue 25

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Tested Apple Mail with UCSF Exchange—I don't have the correct settings. Updates for shared Mac laptop. Retrospect 6.5 for Windows Server 2003 error: "Scanning incomplete, error -625 (not enough memory)" followed by many lines that look like "TMemory::mhalloc: VirtualAlloc(213.0 M, MEM_RESERVE) failed, error 8" which was received for a Mac Pro running the 6.5 client. Asked Eric to repair disk using Disk Utility and/or remove/reinstall Retrospect client. When attempting to change an account password in OS 10.5.2: "You cannot change your password to the password you entered. Your system administrator may not allow you to change your password or there was some other problem with your password. Contact your system administrator for help. (OK)". Computer was previously joined to the domain, but the error message still appears even after unjoining and restarting. Solution posted by Admiralex on called "Re: Can't reset password anymore" solved the problem. More updates for shared Mac laptop. Surprise visit from Michele F who stayed the day and did work she brought with her. I recorded the following error messages on February 11, 2008 but neglected to mention them earlier: " 2008-01-08 05:37:13 PST - T[0xB0103000] - Active Directory: Unexpected exception caught in /SourceCache/ DSADPlugIn/ DSADPlugIn-104/ - *** -[NSCFData hasPrefix:]: unrecognized selector sent to instance 0x2e0020" and "2008-01-09 16:41:51 PST - T[0xB0103000] - Active Directory: Unexpected exception caught in /SourceCache/ DSADPlugIn/ DSADPlugIn-104/ - *** Collection <NSCFArray: 0x2c7cd0> was mutated while being enumerated" [spaces added to avoid layout problems]. I don't recall now what caused these errors or what I did to fix it. Lunch: chicken enchiladas and taco combo plus tortilla chips from Carmelina's. Encountered selection redraw problems in Word 2007 running inside Fusion 1.1.1 in OS 10.5.2. Problem happens only on page 1 of a document—problem does not happen on page 2. Problem does not happen in new documents. 1-on-1 meeting with Cindy. Strong passwords followup. Learned a little more about JSP. Burned a cdrom for Lucia with photo data. STOR followup for student AJ. Compiled website migration summary. VMWare Fusion licensing followup with Andy V. Dug up the Photoshop master for our homepage and sent it to Eric. DLS followup. Accessing shared folder across subnets followup with Cesar G and Quinn H. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, ciabatta roll, Smart Balance Light. Dessert: one Girl Scouts thin mint cookie. Created an e-mail address and forward for Drew for the spa. Uploaded photos. Installed Address Book Dates, an Apple Address Book plug-in by Josef W. Wankerl. Works nicely. Thanks, Josef! A little tip: if you right-click over a birthdate, the same info appears but in larger text than if you left-click. Hand-migrated one address book entry—only 254 to go! Installed Firefox for OS X and Windows XP. I found a Panda Express fortune from a fortune cookie but I don't remember which meal this was from: Buy the red car. Tennis ball massage.

Wed 26

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Michele visits us again today. Joel brought a delicious coconut breakfast bread to share—the 4th such breakfast bread he has brought in the past few weeks. Installed Fx for OS X. Chatted with Susie on the phone. Checked on Retrospect connecting to Eric's computer. Answered questions for student SH about dvd decoders and Flash installation. Cesar resolved the problem I had accessing a shared folder across subnets. Turns out I was doing everything correctly but the remote computer for some reason did not have File and Printer Sharing installed. Works now. Subnet mask modification was not necessary. Lunch from the cafeteria, eating with Joel and Michele in the back room: chicken burger with cheddar, fries. Slide scans due back yesterday won't be ready until tomorrow. Identifying people in the GAL followup work. Chatted with Eric about a forthcoming news story Susie wants to run. Installed PharmAdMIT 2004 for Alyssa. Dinner at home with Patrick: seasoned pork chop, hearts of romaine with croutons and shredded parmesan, ciabatta roll, Smart Balance Light. Completed a survey for Mozy for Mac. Here's what I said: "Be quicker to acknowledge with a beta or 1.0 product that you might possibly have a problem on your end that you need to fix when you receive a problem report that might indicate that. Update your support web pages. e.g., links only to the Windows download and doesn't provide instructions for how to access the logfile for Mac (Command+Space, Enter the word Console, find the Mozy logfile). Ask Lawrence to read his e-mail messages more carefully—throughout ticket t9354074816429 several of his replies indicated to me that he either did not read or understand my messages. I got my problem solved, but Lawrence's messages did not raise my confidence in Mozy—it lowered it. Thank you for letting me switch my license from PC to Mac—that was very sweet of you (and I said so in my blog, too). As of March 26, 2008, I cannot recommend Mozy for Mac to my computer novice friends who have Macs. You're the best thing out there, though, and you're almost there—keep up the good work!" Got partway through doing my (our) state tax return. Pruned some bookmarks. Dessert: one almond roca. Tennis ball massage. Weight training: crunch, leg lift, reverse leg lift, lateral leg lift, sissy calf raise.

Thu 27

Cereal breakfast with banana. Helped Michele pick out a MacBook. She got a great deal from our campus computer store. Met 1-on-1 with Eric. Configured PharmAdMIT 2004 for Alyssa. Quick lunch: Subway sandwich, sun chips, Dr. Pepper. Went to Daisy CMS training at the Mission Center Building. Before I went, Eric warned me about the training room—something about how you can't line up the keyboard and monitor so that it's ergonomically correct. When I got there, I realized what he meant. The desks and monitor arms and keyboard trays were all fairly modern but whoever installed them didn't plan correctly. The monitor arms are jointed in a manner that doesn't permit complete freedom in all directions, and the keyboard tray similarly doesn't move where you need it to. So he was right—you can't position them correctly to permit the most comfortable typing, but I managed alright. John K was out of town so Danica gave our training which was essentially a walkthrough of the topics covered in the Daisy intro video that I had already seen plus a little more. I think I was the only person in the class who really had plans to build websites in Daisy—everyone else simply needed to know how to edit pages or add comments or do other simple things. Nonetheless, Danica did a fine job. Two web edits for Joel, one small, one medium. Made live final spring schedules for Lucia. Slide scans from DMM finally arrived—I have not looked at them yet. Dinner at home with Patrick: penne and rigatoni in leftover tomato and meat sauce. Dessert: we tried eating Mashti Malone's rosewater sorbet with sour cherries. We saw this gourmet sorbet in the freezer at I think Andronico's and although it was more expensive than other sorbets the combination of flavors seemed interesting. RUN AWAY FROM THIS SORBET! After we got it home and opened the lid, I was surprised to see rice noodles mixed in with the sorbet. Rice noodles in sorbet! I scrunched up my face and said, "Ewwww!" We checked the ingredients and after the first ingredient—purified water—the next 2 ingredients are rice and rice starch. But it doesn't say "rice noodles" which would have been clearer. Actually, "Mashti Malone's rice noodles in rosewater sorbet with sour cherries" would have been clearest. Nonetheless, Patrick prepared it according to the instructions on the back—leave at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, pour into another container, gently mix until it has a slush texture—and we tasted. I'm sensitive to food textures, and I took one bite and could not eat any more. The rice noodles seemed only partly cooked! Patrick had a few more bites and then stopped eating. The flavor was good, but the rice noodles mixed in ruined it for me. It would have been better without the noodles but even then it was still too sweet. Patrick said maybe we can blend it with other things to make a fruit smoothie. The label says, "You will fall in love with the taste of it!" and this claim did not hold to be true. Watched funny videos on YouTube. Added keywords to a bunch of unkeyworded delicious bookmarks. Tomorrow we fly Virgin America for the first time. When I had placed my ticket order, I selected seats and when it gave me my final receipt it showed no seats selected. I figured, oh well, I'll just select seats at online check-in before the flight. Now, when I do the online check-in, the seats I originally selected are not available and the only seats left are exit row seats which cost $15 extra per seat. And, even if I accept these higher-priced seats their website gives me an error message: "Multiple requests of this SSR are not allowed for the same Guest" which I can't figure out because I don't know what SSR means and I don't even know what the rest of the error means. I call 877-FLY-VIRGIN and an automated message happily tells me that no agents are available now (11:30 PM)—I must call back in the morning. We were looking forward to our first flight on Virgin America, but this is not a great start. Not last night but the night before I had one of the most memorable and perhaps most important dreams of late. The dream took place at a nonspecific ski resort and the first part of the dream I don't remember well, but I remember snow and skis, specifically one or two skis sticking up out of snow or perhaps being stuck into snow. The part I remember well went like this: I was in a large, skylit hall which housed a restaurant that for some reason was essentially empty—perhaps it was between lunch and dinner or it was some other dead business time. A young woman who wasn't anyone I know in real life was my friend in the dream, and she was with me there. I wanted to take a photograph of her because I thought the skylights in the building created great lighting—she was beautiful in that light, and I wanted to capture that and share it with her and others. Behaving like some who are camera-shy, she was reluctant and clearly not relaxed, but I urged her to let me shoot, marking an X on the floor with my foot to indicate exactly where I wanted her to stand. Around the same moment, I realized a group of other woman about the same age as my friend had entered the hall and approached us and wanted to sit at the table nearest where I wanted to set up my photo. Obviously, I thought, they see the same excellent lighting that I do and want it for themselves. One of the women asked us in an unkind manner to let them have the table and space, but I told her that she and her friends could wait just one minute for us to finish. But my friend was not feeling comfortable, and after trying but not getting what I wanted in a photo, I told her, "Sorry, my batteries went dead." And that was true, but I always carry spares, and I was upset about not getting the photo I wanted, so I didn't say I had them, thereby ending our photo shoot. I can be unnecessarily harsh that way sometimes. It became clear to me that it wouldn't work out even with more time and fresh batteries and a more relaxed subject—too many hurdles now. The women sat at their table with no further delay, and we did not encounter them again in the dream. They were no longer visible to us as my friend and I moved to another side of the hall. There was a small stage there, and this area was bright but not as well lit as where we were before closer to the center of the hall. I realized then that my friend somehow knew that group of women but was intimidated by them through some kind of peer pressure or social pressure and that she had become uncomfortable as soon as they had entered the hall. Her discomfort had nothing to do with the camera or the photo shoot as I had incorrectly presumed. I also then noticed the dress my friend was wearing. It is hard to describe because there is nothing exactly like it that exists in real life—not yet, anyway. The dress appeared to be made of thousands of small discs or perhaps rounded-corner squares that were tightly and intricately joined together with tiny metal loops. And the most amazing part was that the metal was subtlely tinted with muted colors, kind of like anodized aluminum, and the colors changed in waves every few seconds. Somehow the dress made no noise, and I found it simply magical. I turned my head this way and that trying to catch the dress at a different angle in the light and trying to figure out how it worked. I could tell that it was definitely not lit with fiber optics, which was my first guess—the metal seemed to be reflecting light rather than emitting it. And there were no colored lights on in the hall anywhere—only the natural white light that fell through the windows in the sky. Must be nanotech, I thought, but how is it powered? I felt that the unique dress only made her more beautiful, but then she covered her face, and she began sobbing, and somehow I knew then that that group of women had been traumatically unpleasant toward her in the past. It was that moment I realized—more than I had ever realized before—that it doesn't matter what people might see of you on the outside; what matters is how beautiful you feel on the inside. And when you have that inner beauty—and recognize it and believe in it—then it's as though nothing can hurt you. Until you achieve your own inner beauty and reach that understanding, you are vulnerable to so much unnecessary pain. My heart ached to comfort my friend, to remove her fears and revengeful feelings, to help her realize her own inner and outer beauty. But I knew that I could take her only so far along that journey and that part of it she would need to continue on her own. An open door revealed a darkened corridor to the backstage, and wordlessly I gently took her hand, and she followed me through it. And that's when I woke up.

Fri 28

Patrick and I are off to San Diego to taste a new line of desserts at Heaven Sent Desserts created by a very talented pastry chef named Tina Luu; visit the Caseys; see the Quintana Citrus House; and maybe go to the zoo. See you in about 4 days—be good. I forgot to mention that all the computers in yesterday's training room ran Windows 2000. Windows 2000! All the computers in the room are maintained by our medical center, and when I learned both of those facts, I said in a frightened half-whisper, "Just like Kaiser!" I don't know what it is about doctors and old operating systems, but to tell you the truth, it scares me. It scares me a lot. Okay, we're back. The trip went well. We didn't go to the zoo. I'll have more to say in a few days or so. Patrick and I took Muni and BART for the first time to SFO, and it was relatively easy and painless. I had never traveled through the Balboa Park Muni station before. As we arrived at the airport terminal, I was still feeling somewhat upset with Virgin America after having encountered problems when ordering my seat assignments. There was a long delay while we were assisted by a human, but he eventually got us boarding passes for seats adjacent to each other and on the aisle like Patrick likes and we didn't have to pay extra like I had feared. We boarded and the mood lighting was both pink and blue. There was no meal or even snacks on this short flight, but drinks were served. The most amazing thing about Virgin America is Red—the arbitrary name for its entertainment system. Every passenger has a personal touchscreen which can be used to play games, listen to music and radio, watch films and music videos and live TV, and chat with other people in the plane. On occasion it stopped working and would reboot itself revealing a Linux startup sequence—you go, Linux! From a technological perspective, Red is simply amazing. I don't travel frequently, but I have never seen anything else remotely close to it—via any mode of transportation. When cabin announcements are made, everything that's pauseable (i.e., not live TV or radio) is paused instantly and resumes when the announcement is finished. I think they even put some subtle smarts in there, such as if the announcement is longer it backs up a few seconds in your paused film or video before resuming. Occasionally Red would get stuck but not restart itself and I turned it off and then on which seemed to fix it but I'm not certain that that really performs a manual restart—it might simply have been coincidental. We arrived in San Diego, and picked up our rental car. I thought the man behind the counter said we could upgrade to a Prius for $12.99 for our 3 days but after I got home I realized it turned out to be $12.99 *per day*—$38.97 more. Oh, well. It was still enjoyable to drive even though at first we couldn't figure out how to make it start. (Hold the brake pedal in while you press the on switch.) We didn't have to buy any gas. We drove straight to Heaven Sent Desserts where Patrick and I tasted some of Tina's new creations. She was nearly done in the kitchen for the day, so we ate and waited and then went home to her place. Stopped at her place, settled in for a few minutes. Dinner at Casa Adams (619-284-2272, 3038 Adams Avenue, San Diego, California 92116) with Tina and Patrick. It felt like Casa Adams had very authentic food. Afterwards we had to pick up Lachlan's sleeping bags from Heaven Sent Desserts. Over the course of the day we met a number of HSD people including Lachlan, Andy, Jeremy, and Cruz. More desserts. Back to Tina's to relax.

Sat 29

Bought allergy medicine for Patrick at Rite-Aid in Hillcrest (619-291-3705, 535 Robinson Avenue, San Diego, California). Dinner at Prado (619-557-9441, 1549 El Prado, Suite 12, San Diego, California) with Patrick, Tina, Jean-Luc, and J.J., with J.J. arriving about 15 or 20 minutes in. We sat next to the inner patio where a festive bar mitzvah surged.

Sun 30

Farmer's Market with Patrick and Tina. Domenica and Corey met us there. Watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on DVD with Tina and Patrick. Helped Tina in the kitchen at Heaven Sent Desserts. Afternoon meal at Starbucks at 29th and University (San Diego) with Patrick. We ordered pizza delivery but it never showed up so we ended up eating pizza for free but maybe 90 minutes after we wanted it.

Mon 31

Breakfast at The Mission with Tina and Patrick. Relaxed at Tina's. Just before our flight we bought 2 sandwiches and a 16-ounce orange juice from an airport restaurant: $18.29 after tax. Patrick ate his sandwich just before the flight, and I saved mine to eat on the ride. At the end of the flight I realized that the man sitting next to me had a small dog in a carry-on bag that spent the flight under the seat in front of him. The dog must have slept the whole way; I didn't even know it was there. Home. Checked on Mozy: all is well. Dinner at home with Patrick: roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, steamed asparagus. Processed photos.