Monday, June 30, 2008

Spotted Dick

Dick has a colleague at work who is English, and recently came back from a trip to London.

He brought a can of "Spotted Dick" back with him to give to Dick.

I had never heard of it before, so I looked it up on the web today. Here's what I found:

Heinz Spotted Dick Sponge Pudding in a 10.5 oz. tin. A lovely sponge pudding studded with raisins. Has the consistency of a rich moist cake. A favorite dessert amongst English school children - hence the silly nick-name!

Oh, there are so many things about this that strike me as funny. :)

I thought perhaps we should start a new collection of foreign grocery store products with our names on them.

We started with "Trina" soft drink, and now we have Spotted Dick.

A match made in culinary-delight heaven?

...or, maybe we have the makings of tonight's dessert?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

SF Gay Pride Parade, and a great big shout out to Andrew & Barry!

It's that day/weekend again! The weekend when gays, lesbians, trans genders, and folks of all kind come flocking from across the globe to San Francisco to celebrate Gay Pride.

This year, it's even bigger than usual (and the largest turn out ever) because it coincides with the recent legalization of same-sex marriages in California.

Dick and I didn't go to the parade or festivities this year - we usually go, but for one-reason-or-another didn't go today. Instead, we strolled around the neighborhood last night and this afternoon, which was still quite hustley-bustley.

Anyhow, we just came home from our walk, and I hopped on my computer to see what's going on in the world today.

One of the sites that I routinely check is

Here's what I saw on the front page:

Hey, I know those guys!

Here's the fun part:

I recognized those two guys in the photo immediately! That's Andrew and Barry! They are two of my dear friends who just got married (again) at SF City Hall on Friday!

What a great photo! I was so tickled when I saw it! I immediately took a screen shot of my browser window and sent it to them, in case it's not still up when they get home.

Barry had just sent me this photo of he and Andrew in front of SF City Hall after they got married on Friday.

Congratulations to Andrew and Barry (again!) and to all of the other happy couples who recently got married, or will be getting married soon.

Happy Pride Weekend, Everyone!

Supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs

Dick and I just came home from walking around the neighborhood. As we came to our block, we noticed that one of the little girls (about 8 years old) who lives on the corner had "set up shop" at the corner. She had a table set up with an "Open" sign.

We walked over to see what she was selling: Lavender bags - fresh lavender wrapped in pretty sheets of lace, tied with thin green wire, and finished off with a little tag. I admired her handy work, and asked how much she was charging for them.

$.50 cents each. (which I actually think is a very reasonable price)

We bought two, even though she told us that we qualified for her 3/$1 special. We told her that she could keep the 3rd so that she could keep her inventory stocked. (she was busy making more bags even as we spoke.)

I asked how business was so far, but she said she had only just opened and that we were her first customers.

I hope she does really well!

I remember several years back, when my friend Philip was visiting for Pride weekend,(which also happens to be this weekend) we stopped by a "Lemonade Stand" run by a couple of boys down the street. It wasn't the lemonade stand (or in my case, a Kool-Aid" stand) that I remember as a kid. These kids were selling Pellegrino sparkling water with choices of Italian flavored syrup! I think they were charging $2.50 a cup. I remember that these boys were making a killing - it was a particularly hot day for SF, and who can resist a lemonade stand (even if it is $2.50)?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Three weeks later...

Well, it only took 1,452,510.02 seconds, but when I came home last night, I saw that iCal Dupe Deleter had finished deleting all 11,725 duplicates from my calendar.

To be fair, I had only been running iCal Dupe Deleter since Monday, June 9th, so it took two weeks, 3 days. It had been three full weeks though since I've been dealing with this whole calendar snafu.

I went through the calendar, and it seems to have taken out most of the duplicates. Certainly enough so that it won't be an issue to have a few left in there.

Unfortunately, it also seems to have taken out a lot of my birthdays that I have throughout the year. Shoot. Luckily, I haven't synched my iPhone with my computer in 3 weeks, so I still had that to reference birthdays. I just finished plugging in the missing ones, and I *think* I'm ready to go now.

The next step is to sync my iPhone with my computer again. I have decided that I should follow Dick's suggestion, and use iCal as my calendar program now, rather than using Entourage, and syncing that to iCal to sync to my iPhone. There's one too many syncs in there, and clearly, it's not working for me. That's really too bad though, because I really do think that Entourage's calendar is superior to iCal, and so much more robust in it's options. Oh, well.

Anyhow, I need to sync my iPhone now, and tell it to override the calendar that it has with my newly fixed iCal version.

This makes me nervous.

We'll see how it goes.

...and now I'm going to go make a donation to the guy who wrote the iCal Dupe Deleter program. (It's donationware) His program took 2.5 weeks to clear out my calendar mess, but I have no idea how long it would have taken me manually, or even if I would have been able to do it myself.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Perfect Wedding

Hey, wait a minute.... That's Graham, but.... that's NOT my sister!

We're in Palo Alto tonight to watch Graham (in the lead role!) in "Perfect Wedding".

(Love the poster!)

Here's a nice review of of the show!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Need a Webmaster in California?

Last night, I got a very nice email from a Technology Recruiter. He had seen my online portfolio and was checking to see if I was available and interested in working as a webmaster for a Biotech firm in the South Bay. While it was very nice to be considered, the job was a permanent position, which isn't something that I'm looking for at the moment.

I'm always curious to know how people find me and my portfolio, so whenever I get an email like this, I ask.

This was his response:

I found your portfolio doing a search for webmaster, California and resume. You come up on the first and second pages of Yahoo and Google respectively.


I had no idea...
I immediately went to Google and typed in "webmaster california resume" and...


First listing on Google!

what a shocker! who knew?

I'm guessing that it's a combination of many things:
  • I've had my site up for 12 years, and I think it's been at least 9 years since it's been at (note to self: your site is in dire need of a design overhaul!)

  • My resume has grown quite a bit since I've had my business for 11 years.

  • I list out each client individually. I spell out the city and state from which my clients are from. I also list my title as either "webmaster" or "web designer". (I started out with webmaster, but switched over to web designer at some point for some reason...)

  • I have links to every web site that I've worked on (that's still in existance).)

I often have people ask me how clients find me. I tell them that generally, it's through word of mouth (which is the nicest compliment of all), but it also could be because they see a site that I've done (I always have my by-line at the bottom of the main page) and every once-in-a-while, someone manages to find me doing a blind web search...

just like this.

But really, of all the web designers in all of Silicon Valley... I'm still amazed when people manage to find me.

That's really cool.

It kind of made my day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Killer Daze @ The Elbo Room

Tonight, we pulled a late nighter (especially for a Monday night!) to
go watch Ayumi's new band at the Elbo Room.

Calendar Duplicate Follow-Up

Here's where we stand:

We are officially more than two weeks in, with just under 1500 duplicate events to go. I'm sure this will go on for a few more days.

It's been three weeks since I've been able to use my calendar.

This is driving me nutty.

The good news: I'm able to run this iCal Dupe Deleter program in the background. It doesn't affect any other applications, so that's good. When I tried the Entourage calendar duplicate deleter script, it froze up my entire Entourage program, which is why I couldn't stand it after two days, and had to quit out of it.

Once it's done (the iCal Dupe Deleter), we'll see if it worked, and go on from there....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Today's Top Choice Open House

I think I'm in love

I found a listing for this house online during the week, and saw that it was going to be open this afternoon. We made it a point to make time to see it today.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm a sucker for well-loved and well maintained Victorian Houses, but really, this was one of my favorites yet.

It's a Queen Anne House built sometime before 1900. It has the most amazing (I'm guessing original) wainscoting, molding, floors, and period details - down to the hardware on the doors.

I especially loved the kitchen. I think it's one of the best jobs I've seen of a kitchen remodel that stays true to the style of the house, while incorporating modern conveniences.

One of my favorite parts of the house, which can't be seen in any photos in the MLS listing is the 1/2 bath whose door was camouflaged within the kitchen cabinetry at the far end of the kitchen. That's some great attention to detail.

What a beauty of a house. It always makes me happy to know that there are such well preserved and maintained old houses out there. I think I've been seeing too many of the contemporary/modern houses with Victorian facades lately. This one was the real deal.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another Trip to City Hall

Four years ago, on February 13, 2004, I was working at home, Dick was in jury duty, and Pete called me called to see what I was doing. He told me that he and Richard were on their way to City Hall to be married, and wanted to know if we were able to come along to act as their witnesses.

I dropped everything I was doing, and was able to meet them there quickly. Dick, who was just released from Jury Duty from the building across the street from SF City Hall, was able to meet us there, and actually saved our place in line.

It was a momentous and amazing day. It was truly one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The four of us waited in line for over 4 hours with hundreds of other gay couples - it's so hard to put into words what the atmosphere was like.

Sadly, those marriages were annulled 6 months later.

On May 15th of this year, The California Supreme Court rejected the Gay Marriage Ban, and started on Tuesday of this week, June 17, same sex couples were able to marry again.

Late this morning, I was working at home, Dick was in jury duty, and Pete called me called to see what I was doing. He told me that he and Richard were at City Hall to be married, and wanted to know if we were able to come along to act as their witnesses.

I dropped everything I was doing, and was able to meet them there quickly. Dick, sadly, was still serving jury duty, and was unable to join us this time.

The atmosphere was very different this time around. First of all, we didn't come on the first day, and secondly, gay couples don't have the same need to rush as they did last time. This time around, couples know that this window will extend at least through Nov. 4 when CA voters vote on an initiative that would write a ban on same-sex marriage into the state Constitution.

What really surprised me today was the amount of couples, gay and straight, waiting to get married in City Hall today. Apparently, June is the most popular month to get married, and City Hall only has so many spaces per day. However, with all of the gay marriages, several dozen people are volunteering their time to allow many more marriages per day. This means that gay couples, as well as straight couples who weren't able to snag a time slot before were able to get married immediately.

The temperature in SF is easily in the high 80s today. That's sweltering for us. :) Pete and Richard weren't sure if they would be able to get married today, and didn't want to dress up (too hot) in case they were turned away. Likewise, I was called at the last minute when they realized they could get married today, so I ran over there in shorts and a t-shirt. :)

Congratulations (again) Pete & Richard!!

One of my favorite things that I saw in City Hall today were these boards that were displayed around the tables where the volunteers issued the marriage licenses. There were several of these boards which read:

We wish to recognize and honor the courageous couples and their families who came before us in their pursuit of equality. Below are some of the historic marriage certificates from February of 2004.

I loved this. It was a reminder of what so many couples went through four years ago, and what was taken away from them. We looked through the boards to see, if by chance, Pete & Richard's marriage license from 2004 was included, but alas, we didn't see it.

It was so interesting to go through this experience with my friends; Having been with them 4 years ago, and being there with them again today. I was so grateful for the opportunity to share this special day with them.... again.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Live Jazz in Da House

Graham, Ayumi and Paul came over to sing and play some Jazz with Dick tonight.

There's something so awesome about having live music in the house.

11,725 Duplicate Events

Roughly two weeks ago, I downloaded the latest Apple OS upgrade to MacDreamy.

Sometimes, this proves to be a very big mistake.

For the second time that I've done this over the past 6 months, this upgrade did something very, very bad to my calendar.

First of all, you have to know that I use the Calendar in Entourage as my main calendar. (I also use Entourage as my main email, contact and notes app.) I've been using one form-or-another of Entourage ever since I met Dick more than 9 years ago. (It used to be Outlook Express for the Mac).

So, let's remember: I have more than 9 years worth of data in this Calendar/Email program.

You can just see where this is going, can't you?

Here's where it gets loopy:

All was fine and well with me and my Entourage Calendar for the first 8+ years. We had a very nice relationship. I was able to track all of my events, birthdays, and my hours for various clients, and even got to color-code each one, which makes generating invoices much easier.

Last year, I bought my iPhone. One of the main reasons I wanted it was so that I could easily sync my calendar and contacts from my computer to my phone (and vise-versa).

In order to do this, I had to turn on Apple Sync to take my calendar events from Entourage and create a new calendar in iCal (Apple's calendar). This was fine: I had two copies of my calendar: the first one was in Entourage, where I managed everything in my handy-dandy-do-it-all program. It was continuously synced with a second version of my calendar in iCal, which talked to my iPhone.

In theory, this all sounds fine.

...until something goes wrong.

...and when it goes wrong, it goes wrong to the tune of 11,725 duplicate events!


Yep, for the second time in the last 6 months, after I installed an OS upgrade to MacDreamy, the calendar sync went into overdrive, and decided to duplicate, triplicate, quadruplicate, etc ALL of calendar entries from the past nine years.

This is where the nightmare began:
My first thought was to remove the duplicates manually from Entourage. I only focused on events from the last couple of years, just to clean it up. That took a couple of hours. That's when I realized how far back my calendar went, and the ridiculous amount of unnecessary data that was clogging up my computer.

Dick found a script written to take duplicate events out of Entourage. Brilliant, I thought! This should fix things up! After two days of running it (and rendering me unable to use Entourage at all) I had no idea how far at all it had gotten. I had to quit out of it so I could have access to my all-important email program again.

So, I went back to cleaning out my calendar by hand. I cleaned out about 5 years, figuring that was fairly substantial.

The next move: delete the Entourage Calendar Copy in iCal, then re-sync with the cleaned up calendar.

Dick ran through this step-by-step with me, because the last time I did this (a few months ago) I did it by myself, and the results were not good: it erased both of my calendars.

So, we deleted the calendar in iCal. Then we turned the AppleSync back on, and specifically told Entourage to sync to iCal, using the new data to create a new Calendar. Again, I have 9 years of data in my calendar - it took a while.

Once it was complete, I realized that it had AGAIN deleted all of my calendar events in both my iCal version AND my Entourage. I had no calendar events at all.

(insert: Trina Freaking Out here)

Luckily, I had been running Apple's Time Machine Application which makes back-up copies of all of your files.

We ended up deciding to restore the latest version of my iCal Calendar, figuring we could fix that, and eventually sync it back to Entourage. Dick warned me that I should probably stop using my Calendar in Entourage, and just start using iCal exclusively. He explained that this will probably continue to be a problem every few months, and that if I only used iCal, and take Entourage out of the equation, it would probably work just fine. I'm bummed because Entourage's Calendar is just so much more robust than iCal, and has so many nice little features that I use often.

Dick found (yet another) script online called "iCal Dupe Deleter" that we thought we'd try to get rid of all of the duplicate events in the iCal calendar.

Fine. Worth a Try.

Good news: it has a much better UI than the Entourage script - this one actually has a progress bar so you can see how far along it's going.

Bad news: It found a total of: 16,585 events in the calendar.

Of these, 11,725 were duplicates.

Good Grief!

This was last Monday afternoon. This script doesn't keep me from using any of my other programs, so I figured I'd just let it run it's course in the background until it was done.

Again, this was last Monday, June 9th.

Today is Monday, June 16th.

As of this moment, it has removed 6,851 duplicates. This is after running 24/7 for the past week.

At this rate, I'm hoping it'll be done by the end of this week, at which time I'll have to see if it worked, and I'll have to make some decisions.

In the meantime, I've been writing all of my billable client hours on a post-it pad on my desk. I also haven't been able to sync my iPhone to my computer for the past 2 weeks.

This is not the end of the world - I know it's better to have many-duplicates of my calendar info rather than having everything wiped out entirely. And I know it's just a calendar - there are worse types of data that could be wiped.

But still. I'm tired. At this rate, it'll take the entire month of June to get settled.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

still not impressed with the new

We took MUNI home today from the Embarcadero this afternoon. When we reached our station, we heard an announcement that there was an accident on the new T-Line, and that the line was shut down in the area of the accident.

It turns out that two MUNI Trains collided at 4th and King Streets - one T-Line and one N-Line.

I only just now found this out because I was scanning the news on

Mind you, I had just read, and didn't see anything about it there. I had to double check through all of the many headlines to make sure that I didn't miss it.

...the local SF news site doesn't have a thing about it, but the World News site does.

Not very impressive, is it?

Jonathan Douglass Band at Pier 23

We're watching and listening to the band that Graham is in at the Bay
Vibes Music Fest. It's a gorgeous day for live music at an outdoor
venue on the Bay! Come join us if you're in the area.


Lunch at Queen Malika - the neighborhood crepe place. Mmmmm...

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Hello, Monster"

Tonight, we went to Hotel Utah (not actually a hotel, and not actually in Utah) to hear Paul's band, "Hello, Monster".

Great band!

Suddenly, Dick and I feel like such hip urbanites - this was our second outing in just over a week to listen to some live music! We'll be going out for more tomorrow, too!

Monday, June 09, 2008


Dick and I had dinner tonight at one of the local sushi restaurants on Castro Street.

We were seated next to two men and their toddler-aged son. I'm guessing he was around one-and-a-half or so.

As they sat down with their menus, with their son in his highchair, they asked him if he'd like to try some edamame.

"Would you like some Edamame?"


"Can you say Edamame?"

All I could think was, "This kid is barely old enough to speak, and they're trying to teach him a word that I'm fairly certain I didn't learn until I was in my 20s..."

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Elementary School Musical

Just got home from watching two of my nieces in their Elementary School's after school program's end-of-the year musical.

The student's ages ranged from Kindergarten through Fifth grade. What a great production! I was so impressed!

Congratulations, Evelyn & Abby!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Flute Power!

This evening, while Dick was playing "You are the Sunshine of my Life" on his piano, and I took a peek at the sheet music that he was using. Dick uses Fakebooks which have chords and very simple melody lines. He plays the chords, and somehow (because I can't figure it out) knows how to play them in a way that sounds like the full song. (that doesn't sound right, but it's the best I can explain)

The song he was playing was in the key of C - which I can read because I used to (barely) play piano, and I played flute for several years when I was growing up.

I started to take flute in school when I was in fourth grade, and played it through 9th grade. I really loved it, but would never consider myself a natural - I didn't have a real great ear, or a natural understanding of music theory, etc., But, I could read the notes, I could do the fingering, etc., and I was happy for many years. :)

Anyhow, when I was reading the very simple melody, in the key of C, I realized I was able to mentally "play" the flute notes still in my head. I've kept my flute with me in San Francisco for many years now, but hardly ever take it out at all.

Tonight, I decided to bust it out again, just to see how much I could still remember. It turns out that muscle memory is a pretty powerful thing. I'm not saying I was any good at it, but I could still manage the B Flat scale, as well as the C. I was (barely) able to remember how to read the notes, but (again with the muscle memory) remembered the finger placement, and how to play it.

It was kind of cool. I was pretty bad, but pretty proud that I could still play anything at all after over 20 years! My poor flute has certainly seen better years. Being nearly 30 years, and spending a couple of seasons outside during marching band will do that to you. I should probably bring it to a shop to be cleaned, have the pads replaced, and some of the springs fixed.

BTW: I titled this post "Flute Power" because, when I was in the marching band, all of the people in the different sections had custom t-shirts made (jersey style, actually) with whichever instrument they played. So, yes, I had a white jersey with gold/yellow sleeves with blue lettering that said, Flute Power across the front.

Yes, I was a band geek.

...and yes, I went to band camp. :)

Trina and her flute - 9th grade, Fall 1983


What a good way to start the day! (and what a gorgeous day it is!)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Graham playing @ Beale Street Bar & Grill

This evening, my sister, Dick and I went down to The Beale Street Bar & Grill to watch Graham play in a band.

Graham plays bass for Jonathan Douglas. The band was GREAT. This was the second time that we've seen them play. Hopefully, next time they play, we'll have more notice so we can gather a larger group of friends to come!

I Spy....

I Spy two kitties!

Can you find them both?

Is $2.5 - $3 Million the new price point?

I've mentioned before that Dick and I love to go out for long walks on Sunday afternoons to check out Open Houses in our neighborhood. It's a great way to see some great architecture, get design ideas, and to keep up to date with the market.

Recently, we've been noticing that a lot of houses have been listed over $2 Million. There's still plenty of condos/TICs under or around $1 Million, but a lot of SFHs seem to be going into the $2 Million Plus range.

That's a ton of dough.

In the past couple of weeks, we've seen these two properties, each listed in the $2.5 Million range:

76 Caselli

4419 19th Street

These are both very nice, very large houses, with really beautiful choices of materials and good workmanship. After seeing both of these properties, I told Dick that the new going rate for a "done" SFH in the neighborhood must be $2.5 Million.

But wait, there's more!

Yesterday, I drove by this property, and just saw the listing for it:

4226 25th Street

Listing price: $2,950,000.00

Maybe $3 Million is the new price point?

Who can keep up with it.

...and who's spending that kind of money?

What real estate recession?

San Francisco real estate is crazy.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Big Cat goes to the Vet

... Always a traumatic experience for all involved.