Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's Eve

Can you believe it's the last day of 2004?
crazy, man.

Hope everyone has a fun and safe New Year's Eve celebration.

See you all in 2005! :)

Bring It ON!!!

We've decided to host a last-minute New Year's Eve Dinner party tonight.

It started out as, "Let's have a few friends over for after-dinner cocktails, and board games"

Then it became, "Let's have a few friends over, go out for dinner, then come back and play board games"

I called a couple of local restaurants requesting reservations for 10 for New Year's Eve Dinner, and they all pretty much laughed at me.

So then, it became, "How about if we have some friends over, order in take-out (Chinese or Pizza), and play board games?"

Then, Lora came up with the perfect suggestion: "We could always do the Bolognese Cook-Off that we've been threatening to do for years...."

And so it begins.....
tonight, we'll be hosting:

"The First Annual Craddock-Chow/Shahine Bolognese Cook-Off"!!!

This all started a few years ago, when Lora came to live with Dick and I for a month while she was in Med School. Omar would come over to visit, and we would make dinner or breakfast for each other. It was a lot of fun.

Omar has a famous Bolognese Sauce recipe that he perfected way back in High School or College. It is fabulous.
He gave the recipe to Dick and me, and we make it for ourselves at least once a month. We once had our mutual friend, Vivian over for dinner, and we kept asking if our sauce was better than Omar's. ;)

When we moved into His 'n Her Condos, we thought it would be funny to have a big Bolognese Cook-Off (like a Chili Cook-Off) since we have two kitchens. We've been talking about doing it ever since we moved in, but never got around to it.

And now, the time has come.

In the Upstairs kitchen, we'll have "Team Shahine"
In the Downstairs kitchen we'll have "Team Craddock-Chow"

May the best Bolognese Sauce Win!!!

That's right, Lomar.

Bring it on.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

"CHOW" - The Magazine

On newstands now! :)

I remember seeing this a couple of months ago, but a friend just pointed it out to me again. (thanks, Jeff)

My favorite part in the description is:

".... for people who love food, drink and fun - and think all three belong together."

Looks like I can also get a gift subscription for friends and family.
"Delight friends and family with the gift of CHOW!"

Next year, I'll give The Gift of CHOW.
All Chow. All the time.
You can never have too much Chow.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Bad Kitties

***is this because Santa Kitty already came?***

There have been a lot of "Trina yelling at the kitties" moments today.

We woke up this morning, and I went downstairs to turn on the Christmas Tree lights, and check the water level. When I turned the Christmas Tree lights on, I found Marcel underneath, pee-ing, and staring back at me with that "Deer caught in headlights" look on his face. I screamed and yelled, he ran, and hid from me the rest of the morning.

Tonight, we had a couple of friends over for cocktails before heading out to dinner. Dick had made a couple of martinis, and we left the glasses on the kitchen counter. We came home to find one of the martini glasses shattered on the kitchen floor.


After sweeping, wiping down, vacuming, and more wiping down, the floors are clean, and the kitties know that they did something bad.

It's times like this that I realize that it's probably a good thing that we don't have children (of the human variety). Could you imagine my blog entries.....

"Today Junior spilt milk all over the kitchen floor".

Yeah, that would be bad for everyone, and I'd probably lose my Blog audience forever.

Rainy Days and Mondays....

...and wouldn't you know that I just washed both of our cars on Friday ;)

Wow - we've been getting some pretty serious rain here!! It's supposed to keep up for the rest of the week, too. That's okay, we haven't had any significant rain in a while.

I drove down to the South Bay this afternoon.
Here are a couple of observations that I have about owning a new car:

- It's so nice to have a car where front and rear defrosters actually work!!! :) My old car really had a problem with the defrost mechanisms. Plus, the rear window had been tinted when I first bought it, and after the rear defroster broke, the back window remained in a state of constant fogginess. I could never see out very well, but when it was cold and wet out, it was flat out impossible.

- I'm also very pleased about one of the last-minute options that I specced on my MINI - the Auto Wiper/Auto dimming mirror. I think it was an additional $130 or so, but it was money well spent. The auto wipers are terrific on a day like today! Auto dimming mirror is also very nice.

I also noticed that I just felt a lot "safer" in my MINI. That's always a good feeling. I no longer have that feeling that my car could break down at any moment!

Perhaps next time, I won't wait 16 years to get a new car.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

Merry Christmas!!!

I forgot to remind Dick last night that it is physically impossible for me to wake up later than 7:00 on Christmas morning. When I was growing up, my parents always had to tell me that I couldn't wake everyone else up until 8:00 or so (depending on what time company was coming over). Even at 34, I still get all excited about Christmas morning. Once my eyes open - that's it. True to form, I woke up at 7:00 this morning, and the kitties and I went downstairs to turn on the Christmas Tree lights, and to check to see if Santa Kitty came (he did!).

We'll be having Christmas breakfast here (pancakes!), then traveling down to Milpitas to spend the day with the whole Chow Clan. I'm really looking forward to it. Pete & Richard bought us pancake mixes, and also a sampling of four different types of bacon from the "Bacon of the Month Club" (no kidding!).

Here's wishing everyone a joyful Holiday Season, and a very Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas!!!

It's 8:30 am now. Time to wake Dick up! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2004

It's a laundry miracle!

This just in (thanks to Blane): The most amazing t-shirt folding method EVER. I'm not kidding. You have to try this. It'll change the way you fold t-shirts forever.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Ads by Google

Hey - what's that thing up there? A banner ad? What's up?

Well, I took a cue from Omar's Blog. According to my web statistics, I get more than 2,000 hits to my blog per month. I also get about a thousand hits to my Raggedy Ann site. That's a decent amount of hits.

Google offers an ad service where if you put a banner ad on your site, and the user clicks on it, they will pay you $$. The ads are all supposed to relate to whatever is on the site. So, if I'm blogging about a specific product or company, the ads should reflect them.

This may be especially useful on my my Raggedy Ann site because I often receive emails from people asking where they could buy specific Raggedy Ann merchandise.

This will be interesting. As I scroll through the archives of my blog, I can see what products it picks up on, and which ones it doesn't. For example, it seems to notice things like the Media Center, or the Star Wars Trilogy, but it must not have any ads for MINI Coopers, or the Litter-Robot. It definately seems to like the mention of "Xbox" or "Halo", which makes sense, as there are many online retailers who would sell and advertise these products.

So, we'll see what happens. Perhaps it'll be worthwhile, perhaps not.

Mousie Cookies

I spent the day in Milpitas yesterday baking Christmas cookies with my Mom.
I love the holidays :)

We made our traditional thumb print cookies, mouse cookies, and tried a new peppermint spiral cookie recipe.

"Mouse Cookies?" you ask?

My Mom and I have been making these for several years now. It's an almond butter cookie, rolled into a ball, and slightly elongated. You add peanut halves for the ears, a small licorice string for the tail, and we use a little bit of frosting for the eyes. They're ever so cute, and yummy as well!

I didn't take a picture of the cookies that we made yesterday, but I do have this picture from our Holiday Party in 2002.

Monday, December 20, 2004

iSad :(

My iPod is ker-busted :(

I have no idea what happened. I was out on my walk today, and it was fine.
I put it in it's dock when I came home, and it wouldn't connect to the computer. This isn't unusual, so I just rebooted it.

After I rebooted it, it started to make these weird clicking noises. Then, it went to the default startup screen: choosing a language. So, I reluctantly chose English, and went on to find that my drive was wiped of all info. It also won't connect to my computer now. :(

Dick bought this for me as an Xmas present last year. He bought it from Best Buy, and also got the extended 4-year service plan. (always a good thing when you're talking about portable electronics). Now that I'm looking at the receipt, I see it was a year ago exactly. How ironic.

I'm going to make a trip down to Best Buy this afternoon. Hopefully, whatever needs to be done will go smoothly.

This will be interesting.


Okay, I'm back from Best Buy. So far, so good.

They took my iPod, my receipt, and my extended-service agreement. They asked what the symptoms were, etc,. They will be sending it off to their repair center, where they will be repairing/replacing the hard drive. If for some reason, they can't repair it, they'll replace my iPod entirely.

They gave me a 2-3 week estimate. That's not bad, but I'll certainly be missing my iPod in the meantime!

So far, I'm fairly impressed with how Best Buy has handled the situation. If all goes as planned, it'll be well worth the amount that we paid for the extended service coverage. Time will tell, of course.

As I mentioned earlier, it's been one year exactly from the date that Dick bought it. Had I needed to rely on the Apple Warranty, it would have expired today. Eek.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Happy Birthday to my MINI!

I know, I'm a huge dork, but I just realized that today is the first birthday of my MINI! It completed production on December 18th, 2003. I took delivery of my car at the end of January, and I've been SO happy with it ever since! It was well worth the wait.

Poor little thing is sitting in front of the house today, covered in leaves. Probably should have taken it out for a drive today, or at least washed it. Oops.

How many other people know the exact production date of their cars? Or, how many actually would care, for that matter? ;)

Friday, December 10, 2004

Censorship gone too far

This is fairly ridiculous.

I just ordered a Christmas present from for Dick's nephew. I also had a gift-note sent with it.

I tried to have the card read: "Happy Holidays to Peter! Love, Uncle Dick & Trina"

It sent an error message back to me, saying something the lines of, "Because this is a children's site, we cannot allow the use of the word "dick" in your message."

Oh, for crying out loud! That's his name!

We actually ordered from lego a couple of years ago, and I remember coming across the same problem.

Like there aren't any other men named Dick out there! The Vice-President of The United States, for example!


Kudos to Craigslist

I put a posting up for my 7 bags of FREE CD jewel cases on this afternoon. Within the first hour, I already had 4 responses!

What a great service.

I feel much better giving these away, then throwing them in the recycling bin!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

You want 'em? Come and get 'em!

I spent the entire day (when I wasn't at Costco) organizing Dick's entire CD collection. It's a project that I've been meaning to do for months, and I finally had a reason to get it done today.

What does this project involve? Alphabetizing about 700 CDs (by catagory, no less!), removing the CD and the cover from the jewel case, and slide them into Case Logic Binder sleeves. We're trying to consolidate over here, and 5 binders takes up a lot less space than 700 jewel cases....

So, that leaves me with....

7 grocery paper bags FULL of empty plastic jewel cases.
These are great for all kinds of CD & DVD needs: giving photo or music CDs to friends and family, travelling, replacing broken jewel cases, coasters, .... you name it!

Interested? I'm giving them away! Come and get them!
(I still have a bag full from when I orgainized my CD collection months ago)

I'm hoping some of you can use these (which is unlikely), otherwise I'll try my luck at giving them away on Craig's List. (a good idea from Willo.)

Third time's the charm

So, you all know that I enjoy Costco as much as the next guy... okay, I like Costco a whole lot more than the next guy ;)
That said, I managed to get more than my fill of Costco this week.

I've been getting our Holiday cards ready for the last week or so. If you've seen them from previous years, you know that create them digitally, and have the printed as photos. (oops, if you thought they were real, then pretend you didn't just read that) I usually get the images printed as 4x6" photos, and stick them in a card with an opening for a photo.

This year, I thought I'd make it easier on myself, and I decided to have them printed out as photo cards. I brought in my digital files into Costco on Tuesday, and was told that my order will be ready on Wednesday afternoon. Since I was at Costco (on Tues) I decided to get my shopping done. I've been going to the South San Francisco Costco on S. Airport Blvd. lately because it's much quieter than the SF Costco, and not much further.

I came back Wednesday afternoon, and my order was complete! I checked it out, and the photo looked great. However, there were a few typos in the text. It read:

Happy Holidays 2004
dicks, Trina, marcel and Noe

Suddenly, Dick's name is plural, and is not a pronoun ;)

I pointed out the error, and they double checked my order form (which was correct) and offered to reprint it for me. Unfortunately, they were in the middle of printing a huge job, and told me that I'd have to wait about 2 hours. Now, I had just finished all of my Costco shopping the day before, so I didnt' actually *need* anything. To top it off, I forgot to bring my cell phone with me. So i wandered around, checking out some aisles that I had skpped on Tuesday. I checked back at the 1-hour photo booth after an hour, and my order was ready. Horray! I double-checked the printing, and it was all fine, so I took my order home. When I got home, I noticed that they had cropped a good 1/4" off all sides of my image. I suppose that under other circumstances, that would be fine, but since I had created this image, I kind of wanted the entire image as I had intended it to be. (That's the perfectionist in me, I suppose) I still had 1 sample of the mis-printed card (with the typos) and noticed that it was not cropped, so I knew it was possible to have it done correctly.

Do you see where this is going?

Yep, I went back to AGAIN Costco this afternoon. I went to the photo counter, and showed them what had happened. They said they would fix it (which I appreciate) and was told it would be done in an hour. Okay. That's not bad. I had intentionally planned on eating lunch there, so I would have something to do to pass the time. One hour, and one slice of pizza later (and some more browsing around the store) I returned to the photo counter. The machine had broke, and I would still have to wait another hour :( Grrrrr... I had literally run out of things to look at around the store - and that's saying a lot! I discovered that they sell Dremmel Tools and accessories - who knew?

Another 45 minutes later, I went back to the counter to check on my status. This time, they were ready, and everything looks great. *sigh of relief*

I think I may be experiencing Costco overload now.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004



i just caught Noe pee-ing under the Xmas tree. :(
Can't blame it all on Marcel now.

What's up with these cats?

They'd better be careful, or Santa Kitty may not come to visit this year. ;)

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


I woke up this morning having to clean up after an ant raid.

Right before going to bed tonight, I discovered that one of the cats (the big one) PEE-ED under the Christmas Tree!!! :( Grrrrr.....

Bad kitty!

This happened a couple of years ago when we had a tree before, but we figured it was because Claude was visiting, and everyone was getting territorial. This year, we hoped we would be safe. No luck. Two days in, and there you go.... We were prepared, at least, I put a plastic tarp under the tree, and we used white sheets instead of a tree skirt. All things considered, it was a fairly easy clean-up. (something I'll probably be doing several times over the next couple of weeks if Marcel keeps this up)

Next year, I'm afraid we'll have to get an artificial (ie FAKE) tree.

I'm so mad at my kitty. :(

The Best of... Part 1

..and speaking of ants... (see earlier post)

This reminded me of the worst/most bizarre ant raid story that I've ever had.

It happened almost six years ago - well before the word "blog" entered my vocabulary.
I did have email, of course, and immediately sent out this story.

Since I have a few good "pre-blog" stories tucked away somewhere, I thought I'd make this the first installment of "The Best of Trina Chow". :)

From: Trina Chow []
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 1999 11:39 AM
Subject: The wrong way to start a day...

I am so grossed out right now!
I have to share this with you guys because it's so unbelievably disgusting!

Okay, you know I don't often consider myself a girly-girl, but in this case,
I was the biggest girl in the world....

I came to the gallery to work this morning - The Adlers are out today, so
mind you, I'm flying solo here...
There is a box on my desk, along with all of the other mail for our
neighbors, who don't come in on Tuesdays.
I look closely at the box, and it is COVERED with ants! Not just covered,
but ants are crawling in and out of all of the holes!
I look closer, and notice that there is a HUGE trail of ants going from the
box, across my desk, down the side of the leg, down to the floor, and across
the floor in two directions, going at least 10 feet in each direction
(really, no exaggeration!) To make matters worse, our carpet is a dark
gray/black, so you have to look really closely to find the trail. And, when
you finally do, you realize that the carpet is just crawling with them!!!

Mind you, I hate bugs! I don't care how cute they try to represent them in
Computer Generated Animated Movies!

SO, if this wasn't all gross enough, I just had to look at the box to see
where it was from.
Get ready for this:

It was from "Rainbow Meal Worms".


There was a label on it in bold red which said "LIVE CONTENTS".


So, let's recap the scenario: a box of LIVE WORMS sitting on MY desk
attracting thousands of ANTS that are going into the box EATING these LIVE
WORMS!!! And, let's not forget, I'm working by myself today!

Oy. I don't get paid enough to deal with this. No, really. I don't get
paid enough to deal with this!

Okay, thanks for letting me vent. I feel much better now. Now that I've
procrastinated by writing this, I guess I'd better go clean up that mess
now. Yuck.

May your day be much more normal than mine.....

PS In case you're wondering, "Why Worms?" Our neighbors, who sell jewelry
shaped as animals are called "For Animal Lovers, Plus". Apparently, this
Rainbow Meal Worms company sent them a box of "Sample Worms" because they
assumed they were a pet store. Unbelievable.


We woke up this morning to an ant raid in the upstairs bathroom.

It's not a huge surprise, as we had a rain storm last night, but still... such a pain.

So, I whipped out the RAID, wiped away the dead bodies, then washed and dried the floors.

I really hate ant raids. It's such a nuisance.
And now, poor Noe has to watch for ants in her food.


Monday, December 06, 2004

Christmas Time is here....

(sing the song from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" in your head now...)

Yay! I love Xmas time. I love to get the Xmas tree, and decorate the house, and send out Holiday cards, and make hot apple cider...

We got our Christmas Tree this weekend! We drove over to the Delancey Street Christmas Tree Lot on the corner of Market and Noe. It's a good cause, so we like buying our trees from them. We found a beautiful tree! It's almost 9 feet tall! When I was growing up, my family used to go to a Christmas Tree lot in the foothills, (where you cut the tree down yourself) and I would always insist on finding the tallest tree on the lot. (We had a vaulted ceiling, so the sky was the limit - literally). We have 9-1/2 ' ceilings here, so a 9' tree was the limit.

Now here's the funny part. We brought the 9-foot tree home on my MINI. :) it actually worked out much better than I expected. We protected the car by first draping an old plastic shower curtain across the roof, then put a large sheet of heavy cardboard on top of the plastic. The tree actually fit on the roof just fine. The length of the roof is actually much longer than my old Integra, and it is entirely flat.

Here's a picture:

Sunday, December 05, 2004

MINI Christmas!

I know this is a little early, but I had to share this great picture that I found.
It's from the Atlanta, GA Holiday Parade.

Cute, isn't it?

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Guess the TV Sitcom Character

This is pretty funny.
A friend from my forum told me about this.
I don't know anyone who has been able to stump the computer yet. Let me know if you're able to.


Okay - i finally managed to stump it with "Doyle" from "Angel" :)

another update
After adding "Doyle" to the database, I tried it again, and it got it right! cool.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

HUGE Amazon fan

I'm such a huge fan of Between and costco, I've managed to get almost all of my holiday shopping done! Plus (and this is a huge added bonus) Free Shipping, and no sales tax! All from the comfort of your own home. (I haven't figured out if this is good for bad)

I've even found gifts for my kitties! :)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Happy December!

Brrrr... it's been cold here. (cold for our standards, that is)

Dick and I both really enjoy cooking soup during the winter. Our favorites include Jacque Pepin's Split Pea, Turkey Sausage/Potato/Cabbage (also Jacque Pepin) and a Chinese-style noodle soup (mom's recipe).

I've had a craving for Butternut Squash Soup lately, and I've been on a hunt for a good recipe.

I had dinner at Omar & Lora's the other night, and they gave me a great recipe. (they also gave me a taste of their leftovers!)

(I orginally had the recipe here, but decided it may not be so cool to post a recipe on a blog. Email if me you want it!)