Summary: Mike B party. Steve D party. Tina visits. Cousins reunion and white elephant gift exchange at the Honmas (Angel visits). Coffee at Café Floré with Melissa, JCB, and James. Christmas brunch at Canton Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant. Smuggler's Cove with Romy, Drew, Phil, Nate, psychobauble, Patrick, Melissa. Day with the Honmas: PPQ Dungeness Island, de Young Museum, Ghirardelli Square, Hyde Street Pier and Balclutha, Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop. New Year's Eve dessert party at DDP's.
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Usual oatmeal breakfast. Eric D today announced on Twitter and Picasa his recent Thanksgiving weekend engagement to Amber D—woo! Facelift project work: added box-shadow, styling. Redirected a computer support issue from Carol to DLS. Calendar sharing for the supp app project, announced. Completed revision of computer security education posters for Tiki M, sent her a PDF. Delabeled and removed packaging from Don K's new computer equipment, recorded serial numbers. Lunch: salad with Trumpet Royale mushrooms, poppyseed dressing, chow mein noodles. At lunch we talked a little about breadmaking and pretzels. Rescheduled fonts review with Eric D and Susie L. Facelift troubleshooting with Eric D: box-shadow, fade out fade in, page load and timing issues. Submitted my first UCSF electronic timesheet. I am part of the first group of people at UCSF to submit timesheets electronically, and I cannot help but recall how Adobe solved this problem about 15 years ago—all timesheets completed on the web. Pretty advanced for the mid-1990s. Patrick picked me up in the car. Shopping at Sports Basement—everything 20% off for UCSF employees tonight only. We bought a bunch of things we needed. Dinner at Mikado Sushi (415-565-0988, 1684 Bryant Street at 16th, San Francisco, California, 94103, USA). I enjoyed this meal. Good food and service, tasteful decor.
Usual oatmeal breakfast. Bought drinks on my way to work for today's improptu pizza party to celebrate Amber and Eric's engagement. Backed up website data to portable hard drives. Reconfigured my Expose keyboard shortcuts because they had gotten messed up after installing Snow Leopard. After upgrading to Fusion 3, it seems that automatic connection and removal of certain (all?) USB devices based on current focus no longer seems to work properly as it did in Fusion 2. Ordered pizza and salad. Facelift project work: attempted to resolve various problems in the code, only some success. Lunch: I treated to a pizza party to celebrate Eric and Amber's engagement. Went to the UCSF gym for the first time today. They're running a promotion from December 1 to 14—you can try it out for free during these 2 weeks. I haven't been to a gym in years, so I saw a lot of new equipment that I had never seen before. The UCSF gym at Parnassus was impressive. I don't know if I've ever seen a gym that large. I spent about 2 hours there doing stretches, weight training, cardio, then stretches again. Dinner at home by myself: vegetarian lasagne, scallion-walnut bread, hot water. Dessert: 1 chocolate truffle. Updated drush, then modules for LLGH.
Usual oatmeal breakfast. Showed Lisa how to scan across the network to PDF then export as plain text. Lunch from the cafeteria: garden burger, fries, hot water. Communications work: minor edit to the ECP page, lots of logo generation and updating the logoseal page based on feedback from Susie. Dinner at Cha Cha Cha on Mission Street with Danny, Quyen, and Drew. I had a vegetarian platter and plain water. Back to their place for a short nap. We had planned to go to Bourbon Boys at Truck, but at the last minute we all decided we were too tired to go. Patrick picked me up in the car after working and having dinner with Joseph. Home. Learned how to take a screen snapshot on the iPhone—hold the home button, then when you want to snap it tap the power/sleep button briefly. Look in your photos camera roll for the image. Purchased CrashPlan Online for 3 years, began setting it up on both our computers. Had some firewall trouble: "unable to connect, check your network". I turned off the OS X firewall, let CrashPlan Online begin to back up for a few seconds, then turned it on again—it still continues uploading.
Usual oatmeal breakfast. Bad Muni day—66 not on schedule again, missed my morning meeting with Susie. Last-minute slideshow prep for the Honorary Degree Ceremony. Shuttle to Mission Bay. Quick lunch at The Pub: vegetarian roti wrap, hot water. Helped out at the UCSF Honorary Degree Ceremony. I created the visuals. Dinner at home with Patrick: vegetable spring rolls; Amy's organic frozen dinners: southern for Patrick, thai for me; hot water.
Usual oatmeal breakfast. Breakfast at home with Patrick: scrambled eggs with organic tomato and organic mushrooms, scallion-walnut bread, Smart Balance Light, hot water. House chores at home. Cut my hair, showered. Uploaded and edited photos. Mike's birthday party. Stayed over at Chris and Andy's in the guest bedroom, met Rumble.
Breakfast with Chris and Andy: persimmon irish oatmeal, great coffee. Home. Errands: auto parts store, hardware store. Polished the car windshields. Shopped online. Web work for Danny's site: added a notice about the holiday party. Afternoon meal by myself: pak paneer frozen entree, whole wheat pocket bread, hot water. Watched the remainder of Margaret Cho Assassin on Netflix DVD with Patrick. Made live Honorary Degree Ceremony slideshow images download package for Leslie S and CBW.
Usual oatmeal breakfast. Communications work: logoseal. Lunch with Shirin H and JWG at Nan King Road Bistro. Mailed a package. Communications work: logoseal. Dinner at Sandy's Café by myself: noodle soup with shrimp, hot tea.
Usual oatmeal breakfast. SCWG meeting. Met with Ann D, showed her how to admin (own) a listserv. Lunch with Patrick at Marnee Thai. Communications work: logoseal. Dinner at home with Patrick: whole wheat vermicelli with marinara sauce, small pizza, hot water.
Usual oatmeal breakfast. Rode in on bus 66 with Pat P and Christina C, briefly visited Christina's office afterwards. Communications work: asked Chris D about how to deliver announcements to grad students, figured out a way to toggle staged and pre-staged items on dev because different sections will be ready for live at different times as work continues. Chatted with Ami J about a project in which they want my participation. Maintenance for Shirin's computer at her request: iTunes install (not sure if DLS supports this), slow computer. Facelift review with Eric D and Susie L: fonts review, news images, image sizing procedure, news layouts, other-news layout, news controls, backgrounds. Lunch: leftovers. Facelift project work: other-news overflow adjustments, added drop shadows on hover, stylesheet cleanup, prepped for cufon implementation. Met with student PH about email setup. Dinner at home with Patrick: vegetable soup, dinner rolls, Smart Balance Light, hot water. Watched Firefly "The Message" on Netflix DVD with Patrick.
Shuttle to Mission Center Building. Walked to Truck where I found Jann F and Rebecca N lunching, chatted with them. Lunch at Truck with Lucas, John K, Ed C, Helen C, Mark T, Jayson J. I had a veggie burger and non-spicy onion rings. IT Services meeting. One hour of down time waiting for the next meeting. Info Security meeting. I was invited by Tiki M and she ended up not being able to make it today. I talked briefly about the computer security posters I had made and they thanked me for sharing the work. James J gave me a ride back to Parnassus. More logo work and logoseal edits. Chatted briefly with Susie. Dinner at home by myself: roasted pumpkin tamales with white jack cheese, hot water. Watched March of the Penguins on Netflix instant watch by myself. Dessert: red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting and hazelnuts that student AL brought in to the office today. Watched Best of the Big Bands: Artie Shaw and Friends on Netflix instant watch by myself. Installed VMware Fusion 3.0.1. I think this is the first time I'm seeing the updates built-in and automatic—sweet!
Usual oatmeal breakfast. Answered a listserv question for student EB. Chatted with Ami J about her project. Handed off info security posters and graphics to Tiki M and Judy E. 1-on-1 with Rodney. Checked in with Stephen F. Web edit for Cindy: termination of health coverage. Lunch: grilled teriyaki salmon salad from the cafeteria. Confirmed with Kirk H that S-165 will be open over the holiday break. Followup with Cindy about the IRC and the holiday break. Attempted to install ATM Deluxe for Windows but realized I didn't have my serial number—have to get it from home. Link updates: new financial aid website. Chatted with Susie about electronic letterhead. Added alum RWS to the jobs mailing list. Facelift project work: added a pause button to the news controls but couldn't get the functionality working properly, added Cufon and Caecilia—this coincidentally seemed to resolve some timing and load problems that I had yet to fix. Helped Stephen F set up email again and resolve a few other issues. Reviewed Susie's logoseal announcement to MSOs. Dinner at home with Patrick: garlic and basil linguine with creamy cheese sauce and pumpkin seeds over a bed of spinach, wild organic mushrooms, dinner rolls, Smart Balance Light. Watched Firefly "Heart of Gold" on Netflix DVD with Patrick. Snack: Bearitos no oil added, lightly salted organic microwave popcorn. I was doubtful at first, but it was pretty tasty.
Brunch at Shanghai Dumpling King aka Shanghai Dumpling Shop (415-387-2088, 3319 Balboa Street, San Francisco, California, USA) with Ryan D, Jason S, Jonathan Y, Adrian C, and Patrick. Patrick and I stuck to non-meat items. Home. A week ago I polished the car windshields front and back and it made a big difference. Over the years the windshields had accumulated tiny scratches, and it made viewing problematic particularly in rainy weather. I had originally wanted to use Bon Ami Cleaning Powder, but it was difficult finding it. I called around to several places asking specifically for the Cleaning Powder item which is different than the Bon Ami Polishing Cleanser. The Cleaning Powder is supposedly safer for car windshields according to net lore that I had found. Cole Hardware claimed to have the Cleaning Powder in addition to the Polishing Cleanser, so I hopped in the car and drove over but they didn't really have it. I was a little disappointed, but Cole Hardware is a pretty good hardware store otherwise. There I found an item called Window Wax glass and metal cleaner which looked like it would do the job, so I bought some. It did indeed remove many of the fine scratches in the car windshield, and I decided to do a second application today since the first one didn't quite fix everything completely. Midafternoon meal: roasted pumpkin tamale with white jack cheese, hot apple cider. Unpacked the tauntaun sleeping bag and took a nap in it. Joined foursquare. Sam recently gave me and Patrick a nice gift basket filled with sweets, and although to me gift baskets can feel impersonal as gift baskets go this one was well-designed. I checked the label for the manufacturer—DesignPac. I visited the website which turned out to be owned by a domain squatter and then I realized I visited designpak.com rather than designpac.com. I visited the correct site and there were a few photos of various gift baskets they produce as well as a page that listed retail stores where you can purchase their products. (They don't sell to individuals.) One place was Target, so I visited target.com and searched for DesignPac—no results. I searched for gift baskets and found a big list, but there was no way to tell which ones were from DesignPac. This is where I gave up trying to find and bookmark DesignPac gift baskets for later purchase. Gift baskets are funny because vendors insert a cardboard platform inside the gift basket so that all the items are visible when you see it in a store. The one we received also had booger-style adhesive globs so that the items would stay in a carefully arranged manner so that it displayed beautifully in the store or upon opening. These are things that people would never do if making a gift basket for non-commercial purposes. (Well, perhaps Martha Stewart might.) Steve D party.
Slept in. Breakfast at home with Patrick: pancakes, V8 juice. Took a nap in the tauntaun. Downloaded and installed Windows 7 printer drivers for one of our printers. Patrick painted a new painting of a wood dragon. I scanned an old graduation photo of him and cleaned up the dust and scratches in Photoshop CS3. Afternoon meal: tater tots, frozen pizza. Late dinner: pumpkin-rosemary fettucine in marinara sauce. Watched the remainder of disc 4 including some extras of Firefly on Netflix DVD with Patrick.
Usual oatmeal breakfast. Facelift work. Helped student JY set up wireless and email on an iPhone. Notified Cesar that Don's international broadband modem had arrived. Lunch: leftover pasta. Helped Scott E resolve a problem with PharmAdMIT 2010 which I will hopefully document later. Installed the same fix for JWG's computer. Dinner at Nan King Road Bistro by myself: hong kong noodles with shrimp, water. Attempted to bake honey-glazed sweet potato biscuits but it was a disaster I think because of the gluten-free baking mix which Patrick bought for me to use instead of Bisquick. Made gingerbread after throwing away the whole batch. Late meal: vermicelli bean thread noodle soup in mushroom broth with mushrooms, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Usual oatmeal breakfast. Office holiday potluck. Patrick continues painting the wood dragon. Stopped at Arizmendi on the way home, bought a breadstick, 2 english muffins, a wolverine, a chocolate thing, and a multigrain loaf—about $10. Realized after I got home that I didn't really get a chocolate thing like I had thought—the bin signs must have been mixed up or something. Dinner at home with Patrick: black bean soup, slices of multigrain loaf from Arizmendi. Linkchecking for Lodestar. We learned recently that Tina is coming to visit—woo!
Usual oatmeal breakfast with an Arizmendi wolverine (which I didn't like—too hard, too fruity). Met with Ami, Rebecca, and Erik W about an OAAIS project for which Erik and I are customer sponsors—a good meeting. Communicators Network meeting: Lisa M talked about archiving, Marcus B talked about library services. Lunch: leftover potluck food. Facelift project work. Web edits for Cindy: post-graduation licensing. Dinner at home with Patrick: mushroom risotto with arugula, cauliflower, and gourmet mushrooms; slices of Arizmendi multigrain loaf; honey butter; Smart Balance Light; hot water. Checked on backups and software updates for both computers. Prepared a suggestion list of things to do when Tina gets here.
Usual oatmeal breakfast. Created a page describing how to set up a Motorola Droid for UCSF email, posted it secretly live, sent it to the committee and Mark B for review. Sent Frank M backup solutions we are using for Mac (Time Machine for local, Mozy Pro for offsite). Various small web edits for Susie. More graduation licensing edits for Cindy. Lunch: leftover potluck food. Posted final winter schedules for Lucia. Facelift project work with Eric D: to do list review, megadropdown behavior. Facelift project work on my own: added a play button to the news controls. More graduation licensing edits for Cindy. We've been enjoying a new batch of Stephen K's amazing Dinner with Romy and Drew at Red Jade: sweet and sour fish, chicken chop suey, vegetarian egg foo young, hot tea. Romy's fortune: You will have a close encounter of a surprising kind. Drew's fortune: You will soon receive pleasant news of a personal nature. My fortune: You will be showered with good luck tomorrow! Dessert: red bean sesame balls, fortune cookies. Back to their place, worked on mailing list issues. Time Machine error "An error occurred while creating the backup folder." and "Error: (-36) Creating directory" and "Couldn't create backup directory for computer name [computername]" and "Backup failed with error: 2". Restarted the iMac. Ran Disk Utility's Repair Disk on the drive.
Time Machine problem update: no problems found. The volume appears to be OK. Restarted Time Machine. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Time Machine appears to be working properly now. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Lunch: Panda Express. Created a sample of a 4-tier School of Pharmacy logo for Susie, sent it to her for review. Calendar management. Checked in with Stephen F, said hello to JCB. Office gift exchange with snacks: scones, clementines, hot chocolate with whipped cream, apple cider, more. Scott (who was absent but whom JWG represented) received a kitchen colander from ?. Cindy received a Shake 'n' Take blender from Lucia. JWG received a Joy of Cooking daily calendar from ?. Carol received a small, blank writing journal decorated with a fancy fabric. Shirin received a pair of Crate & Barrel mini hurricane lamps from Cindy. Rodney received a blue scarf from ?. Lucia received scented bath products from ?. Eric received silicone cat ice cube trays from ?. I received a lime and a hand juicer from Crate & Barrel from Shirin. Not much stealing this year. Everyone received a large, scented candle from Cindy. My fortune: Judge one not by his charms but by his qualities. Dinner at home with Patrick: indian food delivery. I cut my hair and showered. Patrick and I drove to the airport. I was hungry again, so I had another meal at the airport food court: veggie burger and fries from Burger Joint, $9.23. Picked up Tina from the airport.
Alemany Farmer's Market with Tina and Patrick, spent about $60 (!). Ritual Coffee at the market. Breakfast at Boulevard Café in Daly City. Home. Patrick took a nap. Tina and I went to Central Computer to buy a RAM and hard drive upgrade for her MacBook. Stopped at Sunnyside Conservatory on the way home. It's the first time I visited since it was remodeled. It's beautiful! A neighborhood gem. Safeway for a few items. Home. Patrick woke up from his nap. Snacks: cranberry scone, spiced cider, croissant, danish. Tina showed us how to season the tagine she got for us. I worked on her laptop upgrades: installed the RAM first, used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the drive. Had a bit of a scary few minutes because I didn't have a torx T8 in my toolkit. I thought I would have to drive to work to borrow tools from work, but after much searching and giving up I found a flathead jewelry screwdriver that happened to just work—whew! Must buy a torx set right away to avoid this problem in the future. Midafternoon meal: vegetable tagine with persimmon, leek, lemongrass, shallots, scallions, crimini and chanterelle mushrooms, basil chiffonade, poached egg, walnut bread toast points, lime wedge. Patrick and I went to the Recharge Spa holiday party. They gave us great gift bags at the end. I'm looking forward to a bath with elizabethW bath salts. On the way home we decided to drive past Smuggler's Cove. The entrance is rather nondescript, and indeed there was a short line out the door indicating its popularity.
Breakfast at home with Tina and Patrick: almond with walnut bread french toast, sauteed fuji and pink lady apples deglazed with apple cider and finished with a bit of rum. Made citrus olive oil cookies with Tina and Patrick. Dropped Tina off at SFO airport, said farewell. Drove to the Honmas for cousins reunion and white elephant gift exchange. I received a large tin of 3 kinds of popcorn brought by Fletch (but I intentionally left it behind when I left). Jessica received a Swiss Army pocketknife with 128 MB USB drive. Matthew received the Australian spider catcher brought by me. Chika received a large Starbucks coffee travel cup brought by Lani. Dinner at Turmeric.
Slept in. 1 citrus olive oil cookie. Configured Patrick's computer to automount the CrashPlan local backup drive on a schedule. If I restart my computer, that drive doesn't automatically mount on his. I think due to the way our network is set up it cannot be added to his login items, so a simple script and crontab entry is required instead. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Housecleaning and tidying. Updated Drupal core to 6.15 for Patrick's website. Troubleshot a problem in which connecting my iPhone to my computer doesn't start iTunes even though the proper checkbox is selected in iTunes. I found in Image Capture that I can specify what application should open when my iPhone is connected, but if i set that to iTunes and quit Image Capture the problem remains. If I then start Image Capture again, the setting changes have reverted to open no application when connecting the iPhone. I downloaded and reinstalled iTunes 9.0.2. This resolved the problem for me. Time Machine error "An error occurred while creating the backup folder." and "Error: (-36) Creating directory" and "Couldn't create backup directory for computer name [computername]" and "Backup failed with error: 2". Restarted the iMac. Ran Disk Utility's Repair Disk on the drive. This seemed to fix the problem. Configured my computer to push sites live without requiring a password using SSH keys and rsync. Snack: leftover cocktail shrimp from the Recharge Spa party. Did some website archiving and MAMP Pro configuring. Dinner at home with Patrick: blue shell tacos with salmon, organic refried beans, brown rice spanakorizo, hot water. With MAMP PRO, I kept opening websites and receiving a dialog from Firefox: "You have chosen to open..." and "application/x-httpd-php". It took me a long time to resolve this. Normally this means that PHP is not running, but I knew mine was because the PHP info page displayed as expected in MAMP PRO. To resolve this, I needed to clear my web browser cache, and alter the appropriate .htaccess files in my site to no longer say "AddHandler application/x-httpd-php5 .php" (e.g., delete the 5 or comment out the whole line). Another problem that took me a long time to resolve was using rsync to transfer files from a folder on my Linux-based web hosting provider's server to my Mac running 10.6.2 where some of the filenames had special characters. After much trial and error, the rsync settings that worked for me were "-s --iconv=utf8,iso88591"—this command was run on my Mac. Before I figured this out, I had mistakenly thought that the iconv syntax was SOURCE,DESTINATION but instead it is LOCAL,REMOTE. Another problem I figured out was that the httpd.conf for MAMP PRO is not in /Applications/MAMP/conf/apache—instead it's in /Applications/MAMP PRO/MAMP PRO.app/Contents/Resources. The problem I had was that favicons were displaying with a MAMP favicon instead of my own favicons. Commenting out the favicon line in the httpd.conf, restarting the services, and emptying browser caches fixed it for me. Deleted links to my Amazon and ThinkGeek wish lists—those feeds are broken. Checked in on work email for about 30 minutes even though I'm on vacation.
Usual oatmeal breakfast, green tea. Resolved problems with VMware Fusion 3 not working—reverted to an earlier snapshot, all is well. Worked on Danny's website: fixed the hours script which wasn't displaying the time-sensitive holiday notice correctly. Edited photos. Late lunch: nondairy black bean tamale, granny smith apple, green tea. Installed macvim. Did some sewing: amputagged a t-shirt for Patrick, mended some other items of mine. Weight training: superslow dumbbell press, superslow dumbbell fly, superslow concentration curl, superslow hammer curl. Stretches. Dinner at home with Patrick: steamed veggie wontons from almost-scratch. Errands with Patrick: housesitting chores at Joseph and Michael's, picked up packages from my work. We helped Scott with an admissions mailing. Home. Late meal: stir-fried chow mein noodles with vegetables, green tea, steamed rice. Edited photos.
Discovered the history library in Firefox 3 (History > Show all history) after needing more detail than the history sidebar provided—it did what I needed. Completed a survey for HR Simplified (www.mypretax.com), which manages our pre-tax transit reimbursement plan, provided this feedback: "I think my most common tasks should appear on the page I see after I log in. I need to see 6 months of claim history, and I need to be able to submit up to 3 claims. You can use AJAX for the claims submission so that the entire page doesn't need to refresh. Please store my type, amount, and description choices when making a claim (either in a cookie or serverside) so that I don't have to reselect these choices each month. You can even prepopulate one or more claim dates by predicting the dates that I am likely to claim. Essentially, bring as many of the common tasks to the page that appears after logging in. For other less frequent tasks, you can link to them at the bottom. Your site is organized based on how HR Simplified sees the data, not based on how your customers want to see the data. e.g., I have a tab called Info—when I click it, I see "no documents found"—why? Stuff like this just wastes my time. Your site also contains obvious errors—my "flex summary" (what does "flex summary" mean?) contains dates in the year 2099—all the plan year dates say 2099/12/31! This reduces my trust in your ability to handle data properly. Your website is also extraordinarily slow on most of my visits. (No other sites I visit are this slow, so I know it's not my connection.) Please make it faster. Lastly, the site isn't very pretty to look at. It would be nice for it to look prettier, but not required." In checking snail mail today, I noticed two misdelivered items. Both were the correct house number but one was for Santiago Street and the other was for 28th Avenue. USPS = FAIL due to inaccuracy. I shredded the documents since this has happened before and we reported it in the past so I don't think the problem is correctable. People who live in the Sunset: beware your USPS mail is unreliable. Took photos of things to sell. Prepared images. Dinner at home with Patrick: winter stew over mashed potatoes. Housesitting tasks at Joseph and Michael's with Patrick. Patrick introduced me to some of Joseph's training equipment. Afterwards we stopped at Mitchell's ice cream. Patrick got a single scoop of grasshopper pie with hot fudge. I got one scoop of new york cherry and one scoop of cinnamon snap (cinnamon ice cream with gingersnap cookies) in a waffle cone. $8.70 total. More image prep and web work for it. Uploaded photos to Flickr.
Slept in. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Listed an item on eBay. Took a bath. Light dinner at psychobauble and Nate's with psychobauble, Nate, Mom Ryan, Patrick, Drew, Phil, Quyen, Anita, Dave, Dong-Yi, Romy. Anita made a fantastic apple cake. Weight training: various. Stretches.
Slept in. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Listed another item on eBay. Brunch with Phil, Drew, Romy, psychobauble, Nate, Patrick, Mom Ryan, and Sam at Canton Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant (415-495-3064, 655 Folsom Street, San Francisco). Listed an item on eBay. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover winter stew and rice. Worked on frankfarm.org and MAMP, upgraded MAMP and MAMP PRO from 1.7.2 to 1.8.4. The MAMP widget doesn't work for me both before and after the upgrade. Not sure if it ever worked.
Slept in. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Met Melissa, James, and James at Café Floré. Melissa gave me a ride to Smuggler's Cove where I happened upon Rich T (drinking a bombo) and fiancee Humuhumu (drinking a quarantine), met a few of their friends, then met with Romy, Drew, Phil, Nate, psychobauble, and Patrick. Melissa went to activate a phone at Verizon, but stopped in at Smuggler's Cove for a moment on her way to dinner with another friend. Smuggler's Cove is a new bar that opened on December 8, 2009, in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. Rum is the featured indulgence, and the decor is sumptuous and without the cheese/kitsch factor that could easily have reared its head in the design of such a bar. Inside, it's reminscent of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean ride but with tiki elements. It's very tastefully done, and even sophisticated in its attention to detail. For such a small bar, we had what I felt was a large group (6 with 2 more expected). We initially felt ignored at the entrance-level bar with seemingly only one bartender, so we checked upstairs where there is seating only (no bar)—2 groups already there, and not enough open seats for us. We ducked downstairs past the giant anchor and waterfall, to find another bar a little larger than the first but also many guests who had arrived before us. Way too loud downstairs, so we went back up. We waited a bit on the entrance level and luckily our order of drinks went in around the same time that a group left the upstairs area. Another few minutes of waiting for either the one bartender (on this level) or seats and we probably would have left frustrated and disappointed. We settled in upstairs, and within a few minutes our drinks began to arrive. Romy and psychobauble each had a mai tai. I had a pupule. Drew and Romy shared a sampler. Phil had an El Presidente. Nate had three dots and a dash. A bit later, a large multipassenger drink called scorpion arrived—a large, low mug in the shape of a skull, the beverage on crushed ice holding a slice of lime and a flaming sugar cube, a spectacle. One partakes of the scorpion via extremely long straws—it's fun and useful, no wasting energy hefting a glass. Patrick arrived and had a hot buttered rum. All seemed to agree the cocktails were excellent. Pricey, but worth it. Must return here another time and order a top notch volcano—that looks like even more fun than the scorpion. Patrick will probably enjoy a chadburn—Private Reserve rum, tawny port, pear liqueur, chocolate mole bitters. Later our group walked to Stelline and enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner. I had a margherita pizza, Patrick had a fusilli dish with sun-dried tomatoes, both recommended.
Woke up at 3, couldn't sleep. Weight training: superslow dumbbell press, superslow dumbbell fly, bridge. Stretches. Early meal: leftover winter soup and steamed rice. Shopping and errands with Patrick: Bed Bath and Beyond, The Container Store. Lunch at Anadale Mexican Restaurant: vegetarian flautas, veggie caribbean burrito, papaya agua fresca. Home. Installed organizers in the closet. Removed psychobauble and Nate's old, temporary DVD player and reinstalled the new one that they had borrowed from us. An item sold, so I prepared it for shipping. Archived product descriptions and receipts of today's purchases. Patrick and I watched Scratch (2001) on DVD borrowed from Sam. Set up synching between iCal (for home calendars only) and Google Calendar. Set up calendar publishing on frankfarm.org, published two of my calendars, required authentication for the subscriptions. This setup was so relatively easy that it got me rethinking how we do calendars at work on the web and publishing—there's so much more that we can be doing better. iCal doesn't have all the pieces, but I think Google Calendar does, and since all of our calendars are public, the only good reasons why we shouldn't try it out are (a) we cannot yet publish calendar updates manually (tho a 24-hour waiting period is not awful), and (b) we have no real assurance of reliability since it's a free service. I amazed myself by making an extremely tasty late meal for me: two cage-free eggs, bok choy, and parsley with organic ramen noodles in a mushroom-lemongrass broth, squeeze of lime. While waiting for it to cook, I heated an organic corn tortilla in the microwave and munched on it. Yum!
Usual oatmeal breakfast. Unbirthday with the Honmas. They picked me up at home. We had a delicious lunch at PPQ Dungeness Island. We drove to Golden Gate Park and discovered that calacademy was sold out for today. We found street parking just outside the park, then walked in to the de Young. We didn't have a lot of interest in seeing the King Tut exhibit, but the tower, mural room, and sculpture garden were free, so we enjoyed those. Afterwards we drove to Ghirardelli Square, visited the Balclutha on Hyde Street Pier, then got ice cream at the main Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop. Dinner at Park Chow. A fun, exhausting day.
Slept in. Weight training: various lower body exercises. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Linkchecking for home websites. Decided on a shared calendaring arrangement for my calendar and Patrick's calendar. Between yesterday and today I spent several hours researching and testing 2 solutions. The solution I didn't use: Google Calendar synched with iCal. The solution I did use: iCal calendar sharing via private server. Neither solution set up flawlessly, but I could get both to do what I wanted after a lot of work. Wrote thank you cards. Patrick and I did some organizing of our pantry. Light lunch with Patrick: frozen organic mushroom pizza. Snack for me and Patrick: small cheddar and parsely quesadillas. Synchronized my Apple Address Book with Google Contacts. I was fully prepared for disaster, but nothing bad happened so far. Dinner at home with Patrick: noodle soup with vegetable broth from scratch (leek, carrot, beet, ginger, lemongrass), egg, parsley, bok choy, seaweed, squeeze of lime. Organic udon for me, organic buckwheat soba for Patrick.
Almost went shopping with Drew, Phil, and Romy at the Vacaville outlet mall but didn't because I realized on Muni that I forgot the coupons and map I had prepared, the book I was reading, and my tape measure, and I didn't want to keep them waiting. Dinner with Danny, Drew, Phil, Romy, Andy S at DDP's: pho with cow.
Shopping and errands with Patrick at Safeway, Office Max, Rainbow Grocery. Nap. New Year's Eve dessert party at DDP's. Phil enjoyed pig rinds, everyone else ate desserts. We brought homemade persimmon bread. Nate brought a homemade baklava. Met Gabe and Purdy.