Saturday, January 31, 2004

My MINI is HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's been a wonderfully, glorious day!
We had a 10:00am appointment to pick up our new MINI in pleasantly.
We were there for 2 1/2 hours, with our MA (Motoring Advisor) Matt. The whole car buying experience couldn't have been better!

I am IN LOVE with this car!!!! It's beautiful! It's fun! It's cute! It's drives soooo well! Dick drove it up to Twin Peaks this afternoon, and couldn't believe how well it performed!

We went out to lunch with my parents, and got our first "people staring at the cute car, and smiling" today. (I assume that was what they were smiling about, anyway)

I also had someone on the freeway give me the "thumbs up" signal... or am I just imagining these things? :)

I'm really tired from the long day, but I wanted to be certain to get some pictures up.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Happy Birthday, Tiffie!

Happy Birthday to my sister, Tiffini!!!!!!!!!!!
The two of us spent the day in Milpitas - we went to see "Big Fish" (which I really enjoyed!) and hung out with my parents and Claude, and then had dinner at Baja Cactus!

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Medical Insurance Woes...

Okay, not thrilled with my medical insurance (Kaiser Permanente) at the moment. I ordered a prescription refill for my Depakote (for my Myoclonus). Got it in the mail yesterday, and found out that they charged me $117.45!!!! My insurance used to only charge me $10-$25 for prescriptions, but it (apparantly) changed this year. Lesson learned: I should have ordered my refill prescription before 2003 ended. So now, I have a $250/year deductable limit.

Yikes. that's pricey!

Oh well, what can I do? I need my meds.... Plus, I swore years ago (when I was diagnosed with Myoclonus) that I wouldn't ever complain about my health care costs. They ran so many tests, and procedures that would have cost so much had I not been covered.

I've generally been happy with my coverage, and especially with my doctors - especially my Neurologist. It's been tough, though. My insurance costs have tripled over the past 7 years, and (obviously) the cost of prescriptions and copayments have risen.

At least I have insurance.....

Burning Music....

I'm such a big dork.

I just spent the last hour creating a playlist, and burning a CD to listen to for when I pick up my new car! (just for the record, iTunes rocks!)

If that wasn't bad enough, I also took the time to create a pretty label for it, complete with a picture of my MINI in the background.

Yikes. Someone stop me now!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Christmas is over - isn't it?

I've noticed this for the past 4 years that Dick has lived here: One of our neighbors across the street STILL has their Christmas Tree up. It's in the front bay window, it's still decorated, and they still light it up at night. I assume it's a fake tree, so I suppose there's no worry that it's still there, but....???

curious. (she said, checking the date on her calendar again)

Kitty-Cat Wake-up Call

Our cats are so funny.
Noe has a wonderful ritual of giving us the "Kitten wake-up call" every morning. She usually comes in first at 7:30am. (when Dick's alarm clock goes off, if he set it) She'll give a cute little "mew" (that's different from any other "meow" or "mew" that she may say any other time during the day) and will hop up on the bed. Then, she'll slowly walk up to one of us (I think she comes to me first) purring. When she reaches my face, she'll gently start "knitting" with her paws, and will start licking my lips. Soooo cute. Depending on the day, we'll respond by petting her, or sometimes, we'll be too tired to acknowledge her. If we don't respond, she'll leave after about 5 minutes. Here's the best part: every 1/2 hour she'll come in again, and will do the same thing. Yep, every half hour, until we wake up and get out of bed. It's really cute, and such a nice way to wake up.

If we're reallly lazy, we'll get the "Big Cat wake-up call". Meaning if we're not up and about by 9:00 or so, Marcel will walk in, jump up on the bed, walk up onto one of our chests, and lay down. Now remember, Marcel is about 15 lbs! He's quite heavy. That'll usually do the trick, and we'll all wake up, and get out of bed.

So much better than waking up to a regular alarm clock! :)

Monday, January 26, 2004

Scheduled Delivery

Okay, I've scheduled my delivery of my MINI Cooper for this Saturday, January 31. :)
The dealership was able to have it ready as early as Wednesday morning, but I wanted to work it out so that Dick, and my parents could also go as well. Big family outing!

You may wonder what I'll obsess over after I pick up my new car.
What lies in the horizon?

If only you knew.....
(more to follow)

Monitor news

Thanks to Pete & Omar for their helpful opinions on what kind of monitor I should get. I ended up getting the 17" Sony from I went to Best Buy on Saturday to look at the different models in person, and really liked the picture quality, as well as the aesthetics. (Sonys are generally so pretty!) I ordered the monitor late Saturday night from - it was so much cheaper than buying from Best Buy! Plus, it had a $50 mail-in rebate, and (my favorite) free shipping & no tax!

Lucky me, for placing my order when I did. Last night, the "sale price" dropped by $40, and it was only offered through J&R Music & Computer, rather than directly through $40 more, plus I would have had to pay for shipping.


I'm looking forward to getting it. It's driving me nuts working off one monitor, when I've been accustomed to two. Poor me! ;)

Sunday, January 25, 2004

MINI's First Picture

I love my Mom! Yesterday, she surprised me by driving out to Pleasanton (about 40 min from her house) to take pictures of my new car for me. :)

I have the best Mom ever.

So, here's my car, in all of it's pre-prepped glory!

Saturday, January 24, 2004

It's Official: MINI is at the Dealer

Here's a screen shot I've been waiting to see for a long time now...

NOTE: The status changed today to "At your MINI Dealer" and the estimated delivery date changed from today to yesterday (when it was actually delivered)

Almost Here!!!

I called my MINI dealership this morning - my car arrived at the dealership LAST NIGHT! It's here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D!

Not sure when I can pick it up yet - they asked me which dealer-programmed options I wanted (ie: follow-me-home lights, auto locks, etc,) She wasn't sure how long it would take - it depends on how busy their service center is today, and they are closed on Sundays (bummer).

She'll be calling me back later today to schedule a pick-up time/date!!!

It's amazing - it's in Pleasanton now! So quick! (from getting off the boat that is. I was expecting another week or two)

more news to follow!

Sick Monitor

Crap - I think my monitor just blew a fuse or something...

First of all, it's 5:00 am on a Saturday morning. Why am I awake? I wasn't able to sleep well at all last night. Fell asleep around 12:30, but woke back up at 4:00. :(

Anyhow, here I was, doing my computer thing, when *blip* - we have a little power surge/failure. The lights went off just for one second, then everything popped back on. Everything seemed to reset itself just fine, except....

My 17" monitor (which I have attached to my 15" laptop) didn't turn back on, and was making little clicking noises. Eventually, the green light came back on (as opposed to the orange light that was on, like when the computer is in sleep mode) but... no picture. Just black. Nadda.

My laptop was still reading the external monitor, and I think the monitor thought it was up and running. What is it? Is that like a blown picture tube? Hmmmm.

So, now what? Wait and see? See how it feels in the morning?

I don't exactly feel like buying a new monitor now - too many things going on. However, (she said, perhaps jumping the gun) I'll need one. It makes doing my work so much easier and more efficient.

Grrrrrrrr. :(

And, yes. I did have everything plugged into a power surge protector.
Geez. Good thing my laptop has a battery backup.

Perhaps it wouldn't had blown if I wasn't awake, and my computer/monitor was asleep during the power blip :(

Is there someone out there I can blame?


Unfortunately, it looks like I have a dead monitor :(
Now I'm researching 15" and 17" flat screen LCD monitors on (love free shipping/no tax)
The 17" seems to average about $100 more than the 15". Dick has pretty much convinced me to spend the extra dough for the extra screen size.

Gads, like I need to spend the extra $$ that I wasn't planning on. Oh well, what can you do? I'm really missing having an extra monitor right now (and it's only been a few hours - pathetic, really), and I'm sure that as soon as I start working on my next project, I'll be really missing it.

Silver Lining: get a pretty, lightweight flat monitor. More desk space. Tax right-off.

Looking at a Sony, NEC and a ViewSonic.
any opinions out there?

Friday, January 23, 2004

Getting Closer

I just heard from one of my "forum buddies" on that his dealership called, and he's picking up his MINI tomorrow! that's great news because he and I had the exact same production date (December 18th) and were on the same boat. The boat docks in Oxnard, which is in Southern California, and his dealership is in Universal City (Los Angeles). Obviously, mine has a little further to go (but not much!) so I'm hoping to get a call from my dealership SOON!

Thursday, January 22, 2004

MINI Update

I know you were wondering.....

Yes, my car did make it on board the Elektra in Southampton on Monday December 29, 2003. After 22 days at sea (and through the Panama Canal) it arrived at Port Hueneme, CA on Tuesday, January 20th!

I just found out that it has made it to the BMW Vehicle Distribution Center in Oxnard, CA. (that's in Southern CA) It'll go through the final rounds of inspection and quality control, then eventually be loaded on a carrier and brought to my dealership!

I'm hoping to pick it up within the next couple of weeks! :)

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year!

This is the year of the Monkey

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

New LOVE stamps

have you seen these yet?
aren't they cute?
I bought 2 packets today, so I can use them throughout the year.

I've always liked the stamps in the "LOVE" series, but I think I'm partial to this year's rendition because I LOVE the candy hearts!

candy hearts = Raggedy Ann
get it?

Plus, I made the navigation icons in my Raggedy Ann site with Candy Hearts!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Google Rules

It's even better than you thought.

Did you know it doubles as a calculator?
try this in your Google toolbar, or at
(cool, isn't it?)

now try this:
68 gallons in cups
(even cooler!)

Did anyone else know this?
(Dick just told me this - he just found out today)

One more:
1 c in mph

I love the web. :)

Monday, January 19, 2004

20 years of Macintosh

I know I already showed this picture, but click here for the new commercial. It's exactly the same as the one from 1984, except she's wearing an iPod.


Saturday, January 17, 2004

Friday, January 16, 2004

Too busy to blog...

Generally speaking, if I don't have a blog up for the day, it's safe to assume that I'm too busy working to blog. (unless, of course, I'm just being lazy......)

I've realized that I don't talk much about my work here - which is actually intentional. Client confidentiality, and all that ;)

So rest assured, I am working, I am busy, and I'm still LOVING my job!

"What does Trina do?", you ask?
see for youself!

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Check the date

Today is January 15th.

don't forget to pay your Estimated Quarterly Taxes today :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Old cat, new habit

Our kitties provide endless hours of amusement...

Here's Marcel's latest thing:
We have a small space-heater set on timer in our bedroom. (old house, no heat upstairs) Marcel has just discovered that the heater is nice and warm! (the room is generally very cold) Over the past few nights, we've found him laying next to the heater. Not surprising... The funny part is, he likes to stretch his front paws out so that they are underneath the heater! It's pretty funny, and hard to describe, so here's a pic!


Dick just found this: it's a UNIX command that brought up all of these dates from The Lord of the Rings. I don't really get it, but somehow all of these things are just living in my computer. It's a UNIX thing... If you have a Mac running OS X, (or any computer running UNIX, for that matter) open up a terminal, and try it out for yourself!
Note: there aren't any years, just months and days.

Who knew that Dick shares his birthday (September 14th) with both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins! I didn't know that Bilbo and Frodo shared the same birthday... let alone Dick! What does it all mean? Perhaps I'm dating a hobbit! ;)

[Trina-Chows-Computer:/usr/share/calendar] trinacho% cat calendar.history | grep LOTR

01/05 Fellowship enters Moria (LOTR)
01/09 Fellowship reaches Lorien (LOTR)
01/17 Passing of Gandalf (LOTR)
02/07 Fellowship leaves Lorien (LOTR)
02/17 Death of Boromir (LOTR)
02/20 Meriadoc & Pippin meet Treebeard (LOTR)
02/22 Passing of King Ellesar (LOTR)
02/24 Ents destroy Isengard (LOTR)
02/26 Aragorn takes the Paths of the Dead (LOTR)
03/05 Frodo & Samwise encounter Shelob (LOTR)
03/08 Deaths of Denethor & Theoden (LOTR)
03/18 Destruction of the Ring (LOTR)
03/29 Flowering of the Mallorn (LOTR)
04/04 Gandalf visits Bilbo (LOTR)
04/17 An unexpected party (LOTR)
04/23 Crowning of King Ellesar (LOTR)
05/19 Arwen leaves Lorian to wed King Ellesar (LOTR)
06/11 Sauron attacks Osgilliath (LOTR)
06/13 Bilbo returns to Bag End (LOTR)
06/23 Wedding of Ellesar & Arwen (LOTR)
07/04 Gandalf imprisoned by Saruman (LOTR)
07/24 The ring comes to Bilbo (LOTR)
07/26 Bilbo rescued from Wargs by Eagles (LOTR)
08/03 Funeral of King Theoden (LOTR)
08/29 Saruman enters the Shire (LOTR)
09/10 Gandalf escapes from Orthanc (LOTR)
09/14 Frodo & Bilbo's birthday (LOTR)
09/15 Black riders enter the Shire (LOTR)
09/18 Frodo and company rescued by Bombadil (LOTR)
09/28 Frodo wounded at Weathertop (LOTR)
10/16 Boromir reaches Rivendell (LOTR)
10/17 Council of Elrond (LOTR)
10/25 End of War of the Ring (LOTR)
11/16 Bilbo reaches the Lonely Mountain (LOTR)
12/05 Death of Smaug (LOTR)
12/16 Fellowship begins Quest (LOTR)

Monday, January 12, 2004


check it out - new section on the right side over there ---->

I have my "blog-arama" list started. you know, other geeky friends I have who write blogs. (and I do mean "geeky" in the absolute best way possible!)

I didn't ask anyone's permission to list them (come to think of it) but I assume if they have a blog out there for the world to see, them it should be okay for me to point you their way, right? (Hmmm, just let me know if you want me to take you off the list)

if you'd like to be added to the list, let me know! :)


Sunday, January 11, 2004

Nice Weekend

I've hardly been home at all this weekend! Finally having a chance to sit at my computer to catch up.....

Friday night, we went to Pete & Richard's house for dinner. They made a yummy split-pea soup! We all love the same Jacques Peppin recipe. Mmmmmm. We played a good round of Halo on Pete's new TV, then he showed us "Voodoo Vince".

Saturday - spent the entire day with my family in Stockton. We went to visit my Grandparents. We had lunch with my Dad's parents. Grandma made us Turkey Jook, and some How-Gow. Yum! Then we went to Grandma & Grandpa Chan's house. My parent's bought them a new DVD player for Xmas, so I hooked it up while my Mom worked on some computer stuff for them. We're so efficient! My Grandpa Chan's birthday is on January 22nd. We celebrated his 87th birthday a couple of weeks early by taking him out to dinner. It was really nice.

Sunday - I met up with some friends from high school today. That was fun. We usually meet up once or twice a year. I was pretty much out of contact with all friends from high school until about 3 years ago when we reconnected. It's nice to catch up with all of them.

We just got back from dinner at Roy's!!!!!!!!!!!! In case I haven't mentioned it here before, I've decided it's my favorite all-around meal. Appetizer: blackened ahi tuna. Entree: butterfish. Dessert: chocolate Souffle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mmmmm. Decadent. We went with the usual dinner crowd: Omar & Lora, Shan, and Vivian. Very fun.

That's about all for now. Just wanted to touch base before the weekend completely ends.... (sorry, too lazy to put in links.....)

Thursday, January 08, 2004


I have found "Mac Friends" on my "MINI forum".

Yep, there's a bunch of us there, and we were all discussing the new iPod, and the Ice>Link.

It's like taking care of 2 obsessions all at once!

now I'll have to find a forum for People who drive MINIs, use Macs, and collect Raggedy Ann dolls...... hey, it's possible! ;)

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Happy 20th Birthday to the Macintosh!

It's becoming apparent to me that I'm a geek about several things....

I went to MacWorld 2004 today here in San Francisco.
This month is the 20th Birthday of the Macintosh. It's actual unveiling (to the general public, anyway) was on Superbowl Sunday, 1984. Everyone remember that? It's likely that you don't, but let me tell you, I DO!

I was 13 years old. I had already been introduced to Apple IIE (and maybe IICs) at school. I remember hearing about "The Macintosh" - how amazing it was supposed to be. So begins the life of a geek.

To be honest, it's hard for me to say if I was old enough to understand it - especially the "1984" reference. But I do know that it left an impression on me.

I also remember trying to talk my parents into buying one for our family. These things weren't cheap, and it's wasn't obvious that every family needed a home computer yet. At one point, I remember my father was considering an Apple IIC instead - I think it was because the IICs used the (then) standard 5 1/4" floppy disks, versus the 3.5" disks for the Macintosh. Anyhow, I remember trying to convince him that the Macintosh would be the wiser purchase.

So, what sold them in the end? My Uncle Robert works for NASA Ames. He brought home a Macintosh, and taught his (then) 4 year old son, Kenneth how to use it. We went to their house one night, and Kenneth showed my parents how to turn it on, how to launch MacPaint (and maybe MacWrite, too) and how to use the mouse! That did it! They were convinced that it was easy to use.

I think we got our first Mac in the Fall of 1984. I LOVED it. I remember spending countless hours drawing with pixels in MacPaint. It was the first time I was introduced to the thought out "digital art". (no, I didn't know what it was then, I just knew I LOVED it)

Here's another good geeky story. We loved the Mac so much, that my Mom pulled my sister and I out of school for a day (she was a senior, I was a sophomore) so we could attend the first MacWorld!!! I have the coolest Mom EVER!

I think we attended a couple more MacWorlds the next few years, then I went on hiatus when I moved to the mid-west, and lost touch with all things technologically advanced. I started going again 5 years ago - once I had moved to San Francisco, and started to get "hip" to technology again.

So, here's to the Apple Macintosh! Happy 20th Birthday!
Couldn't have done it without you! ;)

Oh - I found some fun goodies at MacWorld today!

This is over-the-top geeky, but I had to have it:
I bought a cute little girls t-shirt with small embroidered letters reading:
Mac Chick
so cute.
I obviously needed this.

I also got a great deal on Disk Warrior! Remember that from last month's post? I got a great price on it - Show Special. Saved $20-$40 bucks!

I also got this groovy little "Sportfolio" for my PowerBook. It's super cool. It's very slim, very comfortable, and very durable. My PowerBook fits nice and snug inside, and feels well protected! I was looking for something that I could use when I travel with my laptop locally. I have a terrific computer backpack by Kipling, but it's rather large, and can be cumbersome on short trips. (Though it's GREAT for traveling with). This was a perfect solution. Plus, now that I'm looking on the web site, I see I got a great deal! Got it for $27.00! :)

That's about all I bought today. Yes, I was a good girl.

However, that doesn't mean that I wasn't looking into something that I may buy later this week!

Back story: Santa (Dick) was very good to me this year. I got a 40 GB iPod!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it. It is F A B U L O U S.

As you may recall, (kidding of course) I'm getting a new car soon, and was planning on buying and installing an audio input kit so that I could plug my iPod into my car speakers. Wouldn't that be cool?

Okay, it gets better: Check this out: iceLink. This is soooo Cool! You install it by connecting it to the wires used for a CD Changer (which I don't have, so this is perfect) When the CD Changer mode is selected on your stereo, it'll turn on your iPod. This is the best part: you can control your iPod through your car stereo!!!!!!!!! Even cooler: My new car has a cool Multi-function steering wheel, which has buttons on it that control your stereo. Meaning, I can control my iPod without ever taking my hands off my steering wheel. How cool is that?

I've looked on the MINI Forum that I belong to (of course you do, you're saying) and it looks like a good product. People have already installed them, and are very pleased.

Speaking of iPods: Did you see the new ones that Apple announced today? They're awfully cute, I have to admit, but I'm a bit confused. I get that they're smaller in size, and that they're cute and colorful, but either than that, I'm wondering why someone would buy one of these instead of buying a regular sized, larger capacity iPod. The iPod mini only has a 4GB capacity - 1,000 songs for $249. The smallest size iPod has a 15 GB capacity, and holds up to 3,700 songs. If you're willing to pay $249, why wouldn't you pay the additional $50 for 12 GB? Hmmmmmmm. Even if you don't have that many songs to store, you can use it as an external disk drive (which I'm doing) for backups. Why, why, why? I seem to be missing something. I think it'll be interesting to see how these do. When I first read about the new, smaller iPod (about 2 weeks ago) it was speculated that they would be priced at around $100.00 or so, hoping to attract a whole different market. I'm guessing these cost a reasonable amount to produce, so they have to make the price higher? Who knows. They're cute, but I have to say, I'm LOVE my iPod!

Sunday, January 04, 2004

New Year's Day Dinner (3 days late)

Okay, so we're three days late, but it's the thought that counts.

Dick and I are preparing a traditional New Year's Day meal - Black-Eyed Peas and Greens. Dick introduced me to this Southern Tradition a few years back. The black-eyed peas are supposed to symbolize change, or silver coins, the collard greens are greenbacks or paper money. We're also supposed to be preparing "hog jowl" (which wards off bad luck) but, well, we're just skipping that part. (keeping fingers crossed that bad luck doesn't come our way now) :)

I suppose we're also cheating in another way. We're supposed to be cooking these dishes with "salt pork", or "country ham" (which my parent's were introduced to last week in VA) but that's another thing that we just can't seem to find here in San Francisco. We're making these dishes with bacon instead ;)

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 02, 2004

Happy New Year 2004!

Hey - where have I been? :)

We returned very late last night (1:00am) from our trip to Colonial Williamsburg, VA. It was a big family vacation - Dick and I traveled with my parents (flew from Oakland, to Washington Dulles), then drove to Williamsburg to meet his family. (Dick's Father, his sister Kathy, and her daughter Adrianne, and Dick's younger sister, Meg, her husband, Jeff, and their two kids, Peter & Grace) Adrianne's roommate from college also went with us, so we were a party of 12!

It was a really nice trip. We were so lucky that the weather was clear the whole time, and not too cold at all! Dick and I had a very leisurely schedule - usually slept in, had breakfast/lunch, walked around for a few hours, back to the hotel for a nap, then met up with everyone in the evenings for dinner. Yep, we were pretty relaxed after several days with that schedule!

I was really happy that everyone traveled so well together - 12 people! It was really nice that each family kept their own schedule, meeting up with anyone/everyone at any point, and having dinners together nightly. I should also point out that it was the first time that my parents had a chance to meet Dick's family. They had only had a chance to meet his neice, Adrianne, a few months ago.

We were there from Friday, December 26th through yesterday, Thursday, January 1st. I brought my computer with me, but really didn't use it much - although I love to watch movies on it while on the plane! I only connected to the internet once (!) the whole week. I think that may be a record for me! Anyhow, that should explain my lack of blogging....

We all celebrated New Year's Eve by having dinner together, then gathering at my parent's time-share condo. Dick's family taught us how to play Pinnacle.

I was the only adult who hadn't been to Colonial Williamsburg before - it was a lot of fun! Somehow, we spent 5 days there, and one day in Jamestown, and we still didn't manage to see everything (see: leisurely schedule above).

So, that's the scoop. I should probably write more details about it, but I'm pretty tired now. I'm sure I'll come up with funny stories to share later!

We had a great time, but we're happy to be home again. It's so nice to come home to two very happy kitties!