Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I don't know what just hit me.

When I went to be last night, I thought I was experiencing a bad allergy attack. (sneezing, runny nose)
This morning when i woke up, I had flu-like symptoms, and a 101 degree fever!

How'd that happen?

This is the first time that I've mustered up enough energy to get out of bed.

Luckily, Dick is feeling fine.
We had a very nice evening and dinner at Paula & Reeve's house last night. I hope that everyone else is feeling okay today!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Great Urban Hiking

Today we took a really great spontaneous urban hike.

We took Muni down to the Montgomery Street Station to go to a fitness store that carried the Elliptical Machine that we're considering buying. (we had been talking for a couple of months about excercise plans, and got inspired by our work-outs in Maui)

We left the store around 1:00, and it was just a gorgeous day, so we decided to take a nice walk and soak in the sunshine.

First, we went to the Ferry Building. We walked around, grabbed a sandwich, and watched the ferrys come in and out. Then we walked all along the Embarcadero for a while. We passed Pier 39, and continued on to Geary Street.
From there, we thought it would be nice to walk through North Beach and Chinatown. Once we made our way to Chinatown, we figured we may as well go all the way through Union Square, and catch the MUNI train back home to the Castro Street Station.

The whole walk took less than 2 hours, which is pretty amazing considering the ground that we covered. When we stopped to think about it, it seemed much further than it felt at the time. Too bad I didn't wear a pedometer ;)
I think it felt like it was less because the majority of the walk was fairly flat until we reach Nob Hill. Either that, or we really got in shape while we were in Hawaii!

Dork that I am, I decided to map it out for all of you to see:

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Home Sweet Home

We're back!

Our flight left Maui last night at 10:45pm, and we arrived to SFO at 6:15am this morning.

I love taking the red-eye back from Hawaii.
Take one Dramamine, fall asleep instantly after take off.
Wake up about 15 minutes before landing.
It rocks.

We grabbed a cab at the airport, and made it home around 7:00. The kitties were very happy to see us!

We walked down to Castro Street and got bagels for breakfast. Castro Street is really quiet at 7:30am on a Saturday morning! No one is awake yet!

We came back home, ate breakfast, watched a little TV, then took a much needed nap.
All better now!

As much as I love vacationing in Hawaii, it's so nice to know that we still love coming home to San Francisco!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Overcoming Phobias!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wooo Hooooo!
We just came back from an hour of snorkeling in the Ocean!
We had so much fun the first time, that we went back for a second round!

Our scuba instructor from the other day gave us the suggestion that we should start at one end of the beach, swim out about a hundred yards (where there was a green marker) then let the current take you slowly across the way for about 150 yards or so. He told us that it would be less work than fighting the current back, and best of all, we'd be able to see the SEA TURTLES!! We saw about a dozen sea turtles in all - all different sizes. Some of them were Ginormous! The tricky thing was on our way back to the shore, we had to find a narrow strip of sand about 25 feet wide. Otherwise, we'd end up coming into the rocks. That was pretty tough the first time, but the second time we managed much better.

I'm all stoked now! :)

Dick was laughing at me because my "little Chow legs" kept propelling me quickly past him ;)

This was my third time snokeling, and definately the best experience I've had yet.
Dick has been several times, and also said that this was his best experience.

So cool.

Okay, now we've gotta check out of this lovely hotel room. We're going to spend the day lounging by the pool, have a nice little dinner, then take off for the airport.

See you all back in SF!


Maui Wowie

ahhhhh............. It's been a wonderful week here in Paradise!

I just love coming to Hawaii on vacation. It's so relaxing. It's so beautiful. And all we do is lay around in the sun, and play in the water. It just doesn't get better than this.

Turns out, the weather was absolutely gorgeous all week. We had a few minor sprinkles on Sunday, but other than that, It's been sunny and warm/hot all week! We were very pleased with this, as we had read weather reports before we left and the forecast called for rain all week!

Surprisingly enough, we've managed to wake up between 7:00 - 7:30 all week, and have made our way down to the gym each morning to work out! Whoa! What a great way to start the day. There's something about wearing a bikini all day that gives you incentive to work out in the morning.

I think one of Dick's favorite parts of the resort has been the water slide. It's pretty cool. It took me a long time to muster up the guts to try it out, but once I did, I have to admit that I enjoyed it, too. Reminds me of being a kid, and growing up in Fresno when we used to go to the waterslide park.

I also managed to overcome some of my fears of the ocean yesterday, and swam out to snorkle in the coral reef near the hotel. It wasn't terribly far out, but it was a pretty big deal that I went out at all! The snorkle conditions were really great - the best I've seen so far. (we had snorkled in a cove on the Big Island last year, and also snorkled from a boat in Kauai. Yesterday was the first time that I walked out into the ocean, and swam out to snorkle. Anyhow, the visibility was really good, and we saw some very nice coral reefs and colorful fish. No sea turtles, though. We might go out again this morning to see if we can find any.

(edit)I just remembered that I have a photo of what I believe is my first encounter with the ocean in 1971. My parents took my sister and I to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. I had just told Dick about this photo when he was trying to get me into the ocean this week. See that look of terror on my face? Some things never change ;)

We did leave the resort and drove around the island a bit earlier this week. We didn't go far, but we did drive to the north-west part of the island, which was gorgeous. I have some great photos, but I'm afraid that I can't share them yet. I gave my sister the adapter cable to our camera, so I don't have it with me. We also made our way to Lahaina. It was fun, because we got to see the annual canoe festival.

Did I mention that our resort has Penguins? Who knew? Okay, my Mom knew. :)

Our resort is situated along the beach. We can walk along a 1-mile path that connects about 5 other resorts, as well as the Whaler's Village Shopping Center. We've been strolling along the path almost every day, as it's a beautiful walk. When we first past Whaler's Village, it reminded me that I had come here years ago with my parents, on my very first trip to Hawaii. I think I was 11 years old. I was also reminded that my Dad and I had taken a very sweet photo there that I've always loved. And wouldn't you know it, I have it on my computer to share with you:

Me and my Dad. circa 1981 ("hi, dad!")

So, today is our last day here. We leave on the red-eye flight tonight, which will get us home early tomorrow morning.
It's been a wonderful trip, but I have to admit that I'll be happy to be home with our kitties again!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Technological Thoughts

I just had a thought... (imagine that)

Given today's technology, I'm much more likely to remember someone's email address off the top of my head than I am to remember their phone number.

...and I used to be pretty good at remembering phone numbers.

I don't even know Pete's phone number off-hand.
For Pete's Sake! ;)

I guess that's what I get for living with the convenience of programmable phones, and digital address books.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


...and you all thought I was crazy.
Even I wouldn't go this far. (But I do think it's really cool!)
Kudos to this guy for creativity.

I found this on my MINI Forum.

...and the name of the car is the best part:

"Red Five" (I love that)

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Aloha from Maui! We arrived yesterday afternoon, and we're having a wonderful time so far.

We're staying at the beauitful Hyatt Regency which is just amazing. One of the funnier ammenities that it has is a Macy's within the property! This was funny to us because as we were packing, Dick mentioned that he needed to buy a pair of shorts once we get to Hawaii. Little did we know that we'd have the convenience of a Macy's between the check-in desk and our room!

The weather was beautiful today. We're relieved, because the forecast (from last week) predicted rain all week. (knock wood). It was very warm, a little humid, but gorgeous today.

Today's big adventure was taking scuba lessons in the pool! Dick is already a certified diver, although he hasn't gone on any dives in over 6 years. I'm a lot more reluctant of water (especially the ocean) but I realized that learning in a swimming pool would be totally fine. It was pretty cool. At first, it was a little freaky to find yourself breathing under water. I mean, it's just not natural! After I got used to that, it was pretty cool. I learned all of my safey things, and was able to perform them all on the first try. We had the option of trying this out in the ocean, but (for now) that may be a little much for me. We'll see how the week pans out.

We have wi-fi in our room! It costs a bundle, but you know, what are you gonna do?
Originally, neither of us were planning on bringing our laptops. It was supposed to be a computer-free vacation! However, after we saw the weather forecast last week, we both caved it and each decided to bring our laptops. We figured we could both get some work done if we were stuck inside. what geeks.

....which means I'll be sure to check-in again sometime during the week.

until then..... :)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Okay - here's my review....

Overall, I really enjoyed it. It was good - for a Star Wars movie ;) I wasn't expecting it to be the most brilliant movie ever made, but it did live up to my expectations of it being the best movie of the 3 prequels.

Things I really liked:

Ewan McGregor: he really did an amazing job over the course of the 3 prequels transforming Obi-Wan Kenobi from the young apprentice in Episode I to the oh-so-close-to-becoming-Alec-Guiness from Episode IV. For a Star Wars movie, I thought it was really good acting. (for whatever that's worth - plus, I just really like Ewan McGregor)

I love some of the tie-ins that they subtlety made:
The ship that Senator Organa brought Yoda and Obi Wan Kenobi on was the same ship that his adopted daughter, Leia would be captured from in the beginning of Episode IV. That was one of my favorite parts!

I love that C3PO and R2 D2 were given to Captain Antiles. (who C3P0 tell Luke is his rightful owner in Episode IV). I'm also glad that they mentioned that they wiped C3P0's memory after Episode III, but not R2D2s. Hey Mom - Captain Antiles really is related to Wedge! (Wedge's last name is also Antiles, just like we thought!)

I LOVED the reference to Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin) at the end of the movie when the Emperor was showing Darth Vader the beginnings of the Death Star. They had a CGI (although a good one) character of Grand Moff Tarkin standing next to the Emperor, then walking away when Darth Vader entered. Very clever, and subtle.

oh - i also liked the physical transformation of Palpatine to The Emperor (as we know him) when he is battling with Mace Windu. I thought that was a pretty cool transition that actually made sense.

Questions or holes in the plot:

Okay - remember how when Luke asked Leia if she remembered her mother in Episode VI? She replied that she did, but they were only vague memories, and that she was very sad. Well.......... according to this, Leia never knew her mother at all, just as Luke never knew her since she died in childbirth.

I also thought it was kind of lame when they were deciding what to do with the babies: Senator Organa piped in saying he and his wife would take the Leia and love her like their own because they always wanted a little girl. Okay, fine. Take the girl. Let's then ship the boy off to live with his Uncle and Aunt on Tantooine.

Speaking of which: if they were really trying to hide Luke and Leia from Darth Vader (Anakin) then WHY would they send Luke off to live with his relatives on Tantooine? Any WHY would they keep his last name? Actually, wasn't his Aunt & Uncle's last name "Lars"? Shouldn't he have been named "Luke Lars" and had them raise him as a son?

And I really wonder whey they had Padme die of...what...a broken heart? She no longer had a will to live? WHAT?! Shouldn't she want to live for her children? I think it would have been much more convincing if she had died by Anakin's hand. Would have been much more dramatic, and actually be a reasonable cause for her death.

..and was it me, or was her whole character really "fluff" in this movie?

Why didn't Chewbacca ever mention his past with helping out Yoda/jedis after Episode III?

Things that just made me laugh (as all Star Wars bad dialog should)

When Padme was dying in childbirth, and just announces the name of each baby as they were born. Ummmm.... shouldn't there be some interesting reason why she chose those names?

Darth Vader standing up, and screaming, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
It was reminiscent of Captain Kirk in the Wrath of Khan. :)

That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure there's more, but I wanted to make sure to get this down while I'm thinking about it. Perhaps I'll write more later.

Overall, I really enjoyed it! It was a nice bridge between the prequels, and the original series. (as it should be!)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Star Wars: Episode III !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today is opening day of Star Wars: Episode III.

I'm a tiny bit bummed because today is my last full day on my yoblette, so I couldn't see the movie today.

Which is really fine, because I have tickets to see it tomorrow afternoon with my family a the beauitful Grand Lake Theater in Oakland. This is the theater where my sister and I have gone to see the opening day of all of the new Star Wars and Harry Potter films.

I'll be there for the 3:30 pm showing on Friday.

I'm a little envious of Dick today because he and his entire group at work is seeing the 2:00 show. How cool. I made him promise not to talk to me about it until tomorrow evening!

Hope you all enjoy the show!

"May the Force be with You" :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Find Cheap Gas in your area

This could be helpful:


Rain, rain, go away.....

Is everyone as tired of the rain as I am?
You'd never know that it is the middle of May!

"Gosh!" (as Napoleon Dynamite would say)

We're leaving for Maui this weekend. Wouldn't you know it - San Francisco is supposed to be sunny, and in the 70s once we leave ;)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

New Software!!

I've been spending lots of dough on new software lately.
It feels good to know that I'm up-to-date on all of the programs that I use daily.

Here's a list of the latest:

Quickbooks 2005 (PC)
First of all, I bought Quickbooks 2002 3 years ago to use on my PC.
Why the PC version?
At the time, Intuit wasn't making any updates to their Mac version. (they just came out with an update for the Mac last year)
I only use Quickbooks to create/send invoices, and receive payments for my clients. I do all of my personal finance stuff in Quicken on my Mac.
The main reason why I wanted to get Quickbooks on the PC was because (at the time) you could write up and invoice, and send it to your client via email. It was very cool - they would receive an email from you with the Invoice right inside the email. No need to open up any additional documents.

Okay, here's the lame part:
When I started sending out invoices around March of this year, Intuit informs me that in order to coninue to email invoices after April, 2005, that I'll have to upgrade to Quickbooks 2005.


What a rip-off. I'm only using the program for what I bought it for, and I don't need any of the fancy scmancy updates. Of course, since I bought the program to email invoices in the first place, I had to buy the upgrade to continue to do so.

So that's $150.00.

Which I'm dealing with, and it's all fine until I find out that the new version of Quickbooks converts your invoices into PDF files and attaches them to email files! This blows, because that's not what I want. I want my clients to be able to see their invoice in their email window. Now, they have to download a PDF file, and open it with whatever program (outside of their email program).

What bites even more is that this is the exact reason why I didn't buy Quickin for Mac when the new version came out last year. They also convert your invoices to PDFs. I suppose this is fine, because it enables the invoice to look exactly how it should, and not have the potential to have the formatting messed up in email.

So anyway, there's my rant about Quickbooks, and how Intuit made me upgrade.

(end rant)

Next up: Macromedia (soon to be Adobe) Dreamweaver!

I LOVE Dreamweaver so far. I can't believe that it took me so long to buy it.
I'm created 3 seperate sites with it so far, ALL with CSS (yeah, Baby!).
So far, the tools in Dreamweaver are far superior to the last version of Adobe GoLive that I had been using.
Dreamweaver rocks. Two thumbs up.

Apple OS 10.4 (Tiger)
Well, after amazon.com lost my first order, I finally got my copy of Tiger last night.
I loaded it up, and so far, so good.
It took about 1 1/2 hours to load, which seemed like a long time.
I haven't had much time to check out all of the new stuff yet, but so far, I think I like the Dashboard stuff. Kinda cool.

I also got Adobe Photoshop CS2 and GoLive CS2.
I have the boxes on my desk, but haven't had a chance to install them yet.
(see what happens when I have a 10-6 job?! It's crazy!)

I'll try to install them within the next couple of days to check 'em out.

stay tuned....

Monday, May 16, 2005

That's Ginormous!


My sister got a real kick when I used this word sometime in the last couple of years. I think I picked it up from Dick.

Apparently, we're not the only ones who use it.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Boba Fett

This may be a week of Star Wars-related posts!

This is a cool article about the popularity of Boba Fett

Personally, I don't remember having any particular fascination with the character when I first saw The Empire Strikes Back but in hindsight, I guess I can understand why this bounty hunter's character is so popular. He's pretty cool looking, is a man of few words, and was the mysterious evil guy.

My first memory of Boba Fett was actually slightly before The Empire Strikes Back came out. I was such a huge fan of the original Star Wars movie (at age 7) that I collected all of the action figures from Episode IV. (which, mind you, back then, was simply called Star Wars).

As you probably know, Star Wars was the first movie to build such a successful merchandise franchise - especially in the toy market. Kenner Toys did such of good job of promoting their merchandise.

If you collected the first, orginal 12 action figures, saved the Proof of Purchase from the back of the blister cards, and mailed them in, they sent you a special stand that you could display them all on. (I thought it was pretty cool)

The next promotion (that I remember at least) was to collect a certain amount of Proof of Purchase seals from any Star Wars toy merchandise, and they would send you a special Boba Fett Action Figure. At the time, it was the only way that you could get it. I'm not entirely sure if you could buy it in stores later or not, but I remember thinking that this figure was really special.

Originally, the Boba Fett figure was advertised to have a rocket that actually launched from his backpack. I guess before they shipped the figure, they figured out that it was a choking hazard, so they made the rocket a permanent fixure in his pack.

Anyhow, I'm happy to say that I'm a proud owner of the original Boba Fett action figure. According to this article it's the most valuable (to collectors anyway) of all of the action figures.

All of my Star Wars toys are boxed in a couple of boxes at my parent's house.

I took them all out to look at them when Episode I was released a few years back.
I should really take them out again.

The inner Star Wars geek in me is re-emerging!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Postal Guidelines

Today I only worked at the theater for a couple of hours, then had to make my way to Downtown Oakland where I had promised to help stuff envelopes for the Foundation that I work/volunteer for. They have a big event coming up next month, just had the invitations printed, and I was going in today to get them ready to be sent out.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was that the invitations were square in shape, and they had already placed 37 cent postage on most of them. I mentioned to my friend, Jim (the boss) that square shape envelopes require extra postage. I learned when I had bought square shaped gift cards a few years ago. We looked it up on usps.com and found out that it required an extra $.12 cents. So Jim went to the post office (with a sample invitation to show a postal worker, just to make sure) and came back with a few rolls of $.23 cent stamps. (he got extra, in case the invitations weighed more)

Mind you, we're working with over 300 invitations here.

So, we began putting the extra stamps on every envelope.

Then, another thought occurs to me: The RSVP cards (which will also be used to send in donations) were also square in shape. They weren't planning on putting postage on these envelopes until I brought up the point that most people who send these in will only use $.37 cent stamps, and they may not be delivered correctly.

It was a good point, and in the end, we decided it best to go out and buy more stamps to put on all of the RSVP envelopes.

Back to the post office!

When Jim came back, he was sorry to say that the only $.50 cent stamps that they had were in sheets that were not self-adhesive.


I'd like to know WHY it is that in this day and age they still sell sheets of stamps that you have to tear aparts, and *lick*. I'm sure it's much most cost effective to produce, but.... let me tell you.... I spent hours tearing apart, licking and affixing stamps this afternoon.


Self-sticking stamps are the way to go.

So that's your postage lesson of the day: square envelopes require extra postage, and beware of non-self-adhesive stamps.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

First Day on the Yob

Ahhhh... temp jobs.... :)

As temp jobs go, this one is pretty great. Very nice people, nice office. It's all good.
The big difference between this job, and all of the many temp jobs that I've had in the past (which was well over 12 years ago) is the invention of the internet! :) I spent the day cleaning out my hotmail inbox..... because I could ;)

Since I haven't had a temp position for such a long time, it made me reflect back to the many, many jobs/temp jobs that I've had over the years.

An author that I used to read once said something along the lines of, "Do as many jobs as you can before you're 24. That way, you'll know what kind of jobs you *don't* want to do."

During my years of moving around the country to do color guard, I made a living by working through temp agencies.

I just remembered that when I built my first home page in 1996, I wrote out a list of all of the jobs I had up until then. (I just found the file) I'm glad that I wrote it way back then, because there's no way I'd remember all of those jobs now!

Here's the list.

In case you're interested, here's what I've been up to since 1996: Trina's Resume

Monday, May 09, 2005

Star Wars 101

Do your homework before you see the last installment.

This seems like a pretty good guide.

Star Wars Trivial Pursuit, anyone?


New Harry Potter Movie Trailer


Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire

Store Wars

This just in from my friend, Andrew:

Store Wars

It's pretty funny.

With the release of the new (and final) Star Wars movie coming out late next week, I'm sure we'll see a lot more spoofs like this.

my "yob-lette"

I start a 2-week temporary job this week, which I'm fondly referring to my "yoblette".

I'm filling in for the office assistant of The Post Street Theater where my sister is generally the Company Manager for the various shows playing here. The regular office assistant is going on vacation, that the person who would usually cover for her was unable to. They were in a little bind, so my sister called to see if I would could be available to fill in.

So, I'll be a 10-6 girl for a couple of weeks. I think it'll go well. The people there are very nice, and it might be a good (temporary) change of pace :)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Little Earthquakes

....which is also the title of my favorite Tori Amos CD

Am I the only one who woke up from the two little earthquakes last night? I woke up from both of them. They were actually pretty jolty, but were very short. Dick didn't feel either of them. I also checked with everyone in my family today when we had a Mother's Day BBQ. No one there had even heard about them.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Amazon.com follow-up

Okay - So far, I'm impressed.

This just in:
Thanks for contacting us at Amazon.com.
Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

I am sorry that you have not received this order #xxxxxxxxx
; it appears the package may be lost. Please accept our
sincere apologies for this inconvenience.

I have placed a new order for the item "Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger."
There will be no charge for this
replacement. Here are the details of the new order:

Order Number : xxxxxxxxx
Shipping Speed : Two-day domestic
Estimated Delivery Date: May 11, 2005.

It hasn't shipped yet, but it all looks good so far...

Friday, May 06, 2005

problems with amazon.com

This is a first.....

I placed an order with amazon.com a couple of weeks ago to take advantage of an offer for ordering Mac OSX "Tiger" early, and having it shipped at the end of April.

According to amazon's "where's my stuff" tracking system, delivery of the item was attempted yesterday afternoon, but I wasn't home. I thought it was odd that I didn't have a UPS slip on my door yesterday though.

I was also out working this afternoon. When I came home, I checked my shipping status on amazon, and it said that the package was delivered and signed for this afternoon. I didn't recognize the name of the person who signed for it.

So, I called UPS to get the skivvy.

I gave them the tracking number (originally given to me by amazon, since I never actually got a Yellow UPS slip), and they saw the same info that it had been delivered. They asked for my name and address, and here is where the problem lies: The name of the recipient, and the address weren't mine. In fact, the package wasn't even one that was sent by amazon.com.


I just went to amazon's site to try to sort this out. There's a "contact us" page, but you can't call to talk to a live person. You can only send an email. So I sent an email explaining the whole sitation, and basically asked, "Where's my Tiger?"

Hopefully, this will all get sorted out soon.

Big Coincidence in the City

Yesterday I had 3 meetings in Union Square starting at Noon.
I would usually take MUNI, but since it was raining I took Dick to the Caltrain station, and needed to pick him up after my meetings would over at 6:30.

I parked at the Stockton/Sutter Street Garage on the 4th floor. (where the secret Bat Exit is) I waited for the elevator, which was fairly full once it arrived and opened. I managed to squeeze my way in, and a woman standing next to me asked, "Where are you going?" I responded, "Level 2 please"

Then I looked over at her.

It was my friend, Alice!

LOL. what are the chances?

She was in Union Square for a dentist apointment.

We laughed and laughed all the way down.

I love it when you realize that the big city that you live in really isn't all that big at all.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Cool! I just realized that today is May 5, 2005.


it's too bad that I didn't think of this at 5:55.

Oh - and Happy Cinco de Mayo! :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Geek Communication

Dick has been under the weather, and worked from home the past two days.

He knew that I had been on the phone with Epson yesterday trying to fix the printer. (he and I had been trying to fix it all weekend before I decided to call Epson)

Once I was off the phone, he came upstairs, and asked what happened. I had just finished Blogging about it so I merely pointed to my computer screen, and he read the blog entry.

It occured to me later that it was very funny that I told him to read my blog, rather than tell him what happened myself.
...and come to think of it, he didnt' seem to think anything of it either. ;)

I'm done with Epson Printers.

Looks like I'm not the only one who had problems with the Epson C84. Read this list of reviews from other customers. That pretty much sums it up. Looks like several other people also had problems with the C84 soon after the 1-year warrantee expired. I also know that it's not worth me lugging this thing across the bay to get fixed. I'd rather put the $$ into getting a new, better printer.

I've had 2 Epson printers over the past 5 years. The first one (a 900G model) lasted for four years. That's pretty good. This last one bit the dust after 14 months. I didn't even use it very often. I don't print photos very often - it consumes a lot of ink, so I'd rather take my digital prints to Costco or Ofoto to be printed. I also make a habit of printing plain text in draft mode to conserve black ink. None of this really made a difference in hindsight: I still went through at least 3 large black ink cartridges, and 2 of each color. Plus, I have 2 extra black ink cartridges that I installed, trying to get the printer to work again. That's 50 bucks down the drain. I also have a box with 3 new color cartridges. I wonder if I can exchange that somewhere?

So now, we're looking at getting this HP PhotoSmart 8450 Inkjet Printer. It looks like a good printer - all of the reviews are quite favorable. It's also a good price ($199 - almost 30% off), without being "cheap" (the Epson C84 was only $99 when I bought it last year, so perhaps you get what you pay for.) One of the features that we're excited about it that it has a an ethernet port so we can easily share it on our network (wireless, even). I know I just said that I don't often print digital photos, but it is cool that it has a little LCD screen, and slots for memory cards. I know that my Mom has been using her HP Printer for a while now, and she's been very happy with it. She prints a lot of photos on it, and I don't think she's had any problems.

Any opinions out there?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Happy MINI

What's the fable about the Lion who has a thorn stuck in it's paw?

My poor little MINI had a nail stuck in it's tire.

All in all, not a bad experience.

I brought it in this morning to the local Firestone. They took my car in, and told me it would be 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Not bad. I also asked them to rotate and balance my tires while I was there, since I just passed 10,000 miles last week.

I brought my computer and cell phone with me, so I was plenty busy. I found a local coffee shop nearby, and hung out there for an hour.

When I checked back, my car was almost done. They said my tire had a nail in it, which they were able to take out and patch up. Yay!

$65.00 later (not bad, considering...) and I have a Happy MINI again.

Printer Lameness

Remember that new Epson C84 printer that I bought last year?! Well, looks like it may be kerbusted.

A couple of days ago, it told me that I needed to replace my black ink cartridge.
No Problem.
Being the ultra-prepared person that I am (anal?) I have extra ink cartridges ready to go.

So, I popped it in, and......................


no black ink where there should be black ink.

The other colors work fine.

After cleaning the heads, and performing the nozzle check a couple of dozen times from both my Mac and my PC, I thought perhaps I had a bum ink cartridge. (Which is a huge bummer, because the things cost some serious dough).

So today I went to Office Max, and bought another cartridge.

I shook it, as instructed, and popped it in..... still nothing.

That's when I called technical support.

First of all, since it's just out of its one-year warranty, they said they'd have to charge me $9.95 for my call. whatever Then they asked me to do all of the steps that I'd already done to trouble-shoot. Which I told them I had done several times.

Ultimately, since I was on my second cartridge, and I had done a very thorough job of troubleshooting on my own, they said it is a hardware problem, and I'd have to take it to a shop. Well, that wasn't terribly helpful!

One nice thing: since I had already bought two cartridges, and done thorough trouble-shooting on my own, they said they would not charge me the $9.95 for the call.

Thank you.

So now I have to call these places (in Emeryville, or Fremont!) and see if it's worth bringing in or not.

This blows.

Monday, May 02, 2005

$.50 for air??!!

Sometimes, living in the city is such a rip-off.

Looks like one of my tires has a small leak happening. Last Tuesday, as Dick and I were driving down to the South Bay, we noticed that my tire pressure warning came on. I checked my tire pressure at a gas station in Milpitas, and one of my tires was down about 10 (points?) from the others. I filled it up, and watched it throughout the day. By the end of the day, it still seemed fine.

This morning, when I was taking off last year's parking permit, I noticed that the air level seemed to be low again. I checked it with with my handy dandy tire pressure gauge, and discovered that it was down 20 (points, or whatever the measurement is. lbs.?)

So, I made my way to a gas station on my way out. I stopped by the Chevron station at 23rd x Valencia, right next to our old house. I pulled up to the air machine that had a sign that said, "Free air and water for our customers!". Cool. When I tried to pump the air, nothing happened. That's when I noticed another small machine that said .50 cents for air/water.


So I went in and asked the attendant: "which one is it? Free or 50 cents?"

she replied, "50 cents".

(roll of eyes here)

I suppose I could have shopped around for another station, but I was concerned about my tire pressure being so low.

Next I drove to Colma to get gas from Costco. I thought I'd check with the tire service department there. (I usually get my new tires installed at Costco) They said that they can't check tires, only install them.


So, I guess I have to find a tire shop in San Francisco that will evaluate and maybe rotate my tires (while I'm at it). I know of a place that I went to years ago on Geary around 10th Ave. Does anyone know of anywhere else that they'd recommend?

SF Residential Parking Permits

Why do companies make it so impossibly hard to remove parking permits from our car's bumpers?

I appreciate that I live in a neighborhood that requires a residential parking permit for all resident cars. It prevents the neighborhood from being flooded by cars from out of our area from parking in our neighborhood for an extended amount of time. This is helpful in popular shopping/eating neighborhoods (like Castro Street) and also for neighborhoods that are located near public transportation centers. (again, the MUNI line at Castro x Market Street)

San Francisco requires that we place our parking permits on the bottom left bumper of our car.
That's fine, although not terribly attractive on any car that I've ever seen.

They also make it impossible to peel the permit off in any less than 20 pieces. (and really, you're lucky if you can manage to get it off in 20 pieces!) I suppose It's designed this way so that bad people cannot swipe your permit off of your car.

This is all fine and dandy, but it's a pain in my tuckuss when it comes time to renew the permit each year.

I just spent the last hour painstakingly peeling off the permit from last year from my bumper. I used the old technique of a razor blade, and Goo-Off. It worked fine, in the end, but really, what a pain! (and I was pretty upset when my razor blade slipped and scratched the paint in my bumper) I could have just stuck this year's permit on top of last year's (as Dick did) but I don't like the idea of years and years of permit build-up on my little car's rear end. I plan to have my car for several years, so I know that eventually I'll be stuck peeling off years of sticker build-up.

So now that my bumper is nice and clean, I've decided to live on the edge:
I've taped my permit to the back window of my car, on the bottom left side. I've seen several cars throughout the city that have done the same thing, so I'm going to give it a shot. Technically, I could totally get ticketed for this because I haven't put the permit in the proper place. I have a hatch-back car though, so it would be hard for the meter-reader person to not notice it. That's not to say that they won't still issue me a ticket, though.

anyone out there have any experience with this?
I just might cave within the first few hours and put the permit permanently on my car's rear bumper again.

I just spoke with one of my friendly neighborhood meter-readers, and she said that as long as the parking permit is visible, then it should be okay. :)