Friday, April 30, 2010

Blog Changes

Well, hello there! You've found the new blog! Fantastic.

So, I did a bit of research today, and decided to stick with Blogger for a little while to see how this new system works for me. I can't use FTP to save my files on my server anymore, but I can export my blog files, so that may work well enough. We'll see.

In the meantime, I've changed the template of my blog. I've used the last template since I started blogging way back in August, 2003. I think it was time for a change.

I chose a simple white template (Dick said, "well, it's white..") so I can keep it simple and clean. It'll also allow me to play more freely with the colors, and design, and I can add some images without clashing. :)

One of the nice things about making this switch is that now I have access to more templates, and a lot more options. I can put an image in as my header now, and I can finally add widgets (like a search function, labels, and my favorite: a cascade blog archive list!)

I've done away with my old haloscan/echo comments. When I started blogging, blogger didn't offer comments yet, and now they do. It was getting confusing having both, plus I had to pay for haloscan/echo.

So, all-in-all, a pretty easy transition. I may be playing with it more in the near future, but it'll work for now.

Any comments or suggestions? Let me know! :)

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Blog Migration

Blogger is no longer supporting FTP publishing, so I need to make some changes around here. The transition will be happening sometime today.

If you usually read my blog through an rss feed, please be aware that this will probably change. I don't know what it will be yet.

I expect my new blog url will be The archives of my blog before today will probably remain here at

Hope this goes smoothly.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The 40th Birthday!

Yep, today was my 40th Birthday (Gasp!), and what a GREAT day it was!

I woke up to find dozens of birthday greetings on my Facebook wall. Facebook Birthdays are the best - it's so nice to hear from so many friends, and really makes you feel special. I took a snapshot of ALL of the greetings on my wall throughout the day (thinking I might save them on my blog as a keepsake), but it turned out to be 14 screenshots long, which seemed like way too many to share here. :) I'll just keep a copy of them on my computer - it's like dozens of birthday cards, but I will post one here:

Facebook Birthdays are the Best!

I also had the fun birthday banner on my Windows Live screen. That made me happy, too. :)

It's a Windows Live Birthday Party!

Now, as nice as it was to sit in front of my computer all day, I had a great day away from it as well!

Dick took the day off from work, which was such a special treat.

We started the day by going to Bakery Tartine for breakfast. Can't beat a hot Morning Bun to kick off a day!


After breakfast, we headed to the Metreon to catch a matinee showing of..... Avatar. It appears that Dick and I may have been the last people on Earth (or, at least in San Francisco) to see this movie. We figured we'd better see it while it's still showing in a theater - plus, we were able to see it in 3D!

Actually, before the movie, we had some time to kill, so we played a few games of The Lord of the Rings Pinball! Birthday Pinball is the best!

Birthday Pinball!!

...and here we are dorking out with our 3D glasses in the theater.

3D Geeks

In the evening, my parents and my dear friend, Diana, came over and we all had dinner at the House of Prime Rib. It was a fantastic evening. Great food, great company. A perfect way to celebrate my milestone birthday. :)

Dad, Mom, Dick, Trina & Diana at HoPR

and one last shot of me with my hubby and the birthday dessert. :)

It was a very nice day. Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday wishes - I appreciate all of them, and you all made my day memorable.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

They're Back!

Banana Combs are back?! Go figure...

Does that mean that big, permed hair is going to make a comeback, too?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Let's go to the Movies!

Trina & Grandma Chan, sporting the 3D glasses

This past Friday was my Maternal Grandma's 84th Birthday. I had already planned on spending the day with her and taking her out to lunch, but Thursday morning, I called her with a radical idea:

I asked her if she would like it if I took her out to see a movie for her birthday. :)

In all my years, I can't remember my Grandma (or Grandpa) ever going out to see a movie in a theater. They were always happy watching TV at home, and later, watching movies on their TV through VHS tapes or DVDs. I'm sure that they thought going out to a movie theater was too much of a hassle and too expensive.

Earlier this week, I went out to see "How to Train Your Dragon" in 3D with a friend of mine in San Francisco. I really liked it, and it struck me that this was a movie that my Grandma would really enjoy. Plus, the 3D was really neat, and I thought she'd get a kick out of it.

So, I asked Grandma what she thought of the idea, and I didn't really know what she would say. She had already heard about the movie, and was excited to see it! I also invited my parents to come with us, as they were already planning to have lunch with us, and they wanted to see the movie, too.

So, Friday late morning, we met up with my parents for an early lunch, then went over to the movie theater together.

The moment that we stepped into the theater's lobby is one I won't forget: It had been so many years since my Grandma had been in a theater, that as soon as she walked in, she stopped, and looked around in amazement. Imagine how different movie theaters are now from what they were like in Stockton a few decades ago!

We figured my Grandma may not have been to see a movie in a theater since perhaps the 1950s, 1960s at the latest. She asked me if they still showed double features, sneak previews, or new reels.

I tried to think of some of the differences that had happened since she'd last been: commercials before the movie, movie previews, stadium seating, and much improved 3D technology. :)

The whole experience was pretty magical, I think, for both of us. She really enjoyed the movie, and I enjoyed sharing it with her. This may be the start of something new that we do together! :)

Grandma, Mom and Dad!

One other funny note of the day: I treated my Grandma and both of my parents to the movie. I thought it was really funny that all 3 of them qualified for the Senior Discount! So, yes, that was 1 adult, and 3 senior tickets! :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another reason why I heart All Clad

When Dick and I got engaged, we joked that the only reason why we wanted to get married was so that we could register for All Clad cookware. We were kidding, of course, but we did receive many wonderful All Clad pieces as gifts, and we use them all regularly.

It's been almost five years since we got our non-stick 12" frying pan. We use it at least once or twice a week, sometimes more.

Over time, it began to lose some of it's non-stick qualities. It never went away completely, but a non-stick pan isn't non-stick if it sticks, even just a little.

I remembered reading a long time ago that All Clad cookware comes with a lifetime warranty against any product defects. I didn't know if this included the non-stick surfaces or not, because I figured that was something that just wouldn't last forever.

I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask anyway, so I called All Clad a few weeks ago, and described my pan. They told me to send them the pan, along with a note with a description of the problem, and that they would review it. I asked if a non-non-stick pan was something that would be considered for replacement, and she said it certainly would.

I figured we didn't have anything to lose, so I wrote a nice letter describing my pans non-non-stickiness, along with how long we've had it, and how we use it. As instructed, I boxed it up, and sent it with a confirmation of delivery to All Clad's return center in New Jersey.

I tracked my package, which took less than a week to get to them. That was about two weeks ago.

Yesterday, the nice UPS man delivered a brand-spanking-new 12" non-stick frying pan!


I wonder how many people have had the non-stick surface wear down over time, but don't know or don't bother to send their pans in for review.

I was already a huge fan, but now I'm loving All Clad even more!

Thanks, All Clad!
(and see, you even got a nice blog write up!)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

High School Reunion Brunch

Tim and Ami hosted a lovely brunch today for a bunch of us who went to high school/junior high/elementary school together. We all got together for the first time (since high school) last August.

Tim, Kimi, Amy, Byron and I all took many, many classes together in high school. Unfortunately, Lee came down with a cold this weekend, and wasn't able to join us. :(

There's something so special about gathering with a bunch of friends that you grew up with, and seeing them with their own children.

Here's a picture of the whole group (minus a couple of the kids who must have been running around, and Kimi's husband, Manuel, who took the photo).

I love this picture, too. This is Byron (a 3rd grade teacher in Oakland) sitting down with his son, and Tim & Ami's two boys reading them from a book about dinosaurs. It was so charming! Actually, Ami didn't know that Byron was a teacher, until she saw him in action and it became immediately apparent.

Byron reading to the boys

Thank you, Tim and Ami for a wonderful afternoon!!

'Til Breakfast Do Us Part...

More fun with eggs! Today was Dick's turn. :)

Do you see the resemblance?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

WGI in SF!

WGI Finals - streaming to you LIVE from Dayton, OH!

Some of you may know that I usually make an annual pilgrimage to Dayton, OH to attend the Winter Guard International Competition. I've been going since 1986 (watching since 1983) and up til last year, had only missed going twice.

I think it was three years ago that WGI started to offer a streaming-video options for a subscription fee, which allows you to watch the entire competition (yes, that's three days chock-ful of color guard) LIVE.

I watched finals live, by myself last year. (long story, but I wasn't really up for any crowds last year) I really enjoyed it, but I have to say, my experience this year was so much better!

Nikki, Chad, Philip and Mom

Yesterday afternoon, through evening, I had over a few of my dear local guard friends. Chad (who marched in Miller's Blackhawks and San Jose Raiders), Nikki (San Jose Raiders and taught at James Logan HS), Philip (Cavaliers, Generis, and WGI writer) my Mom (she's my Mom first and foremost, but she also used to judge in our local circuit) and Miguel (who was the brave soul of the group who had never actually seen color guard, but has many friends, including his boyfriend, David (Miller's Blackhawks) who have been through the winter guard and drum corps activities). Freddie (Emerald Marquis and Cadets) was supposed to come, but unfortunately for us, was a no-show.

Mom and Miguel
I'd like to point out that my Mom is wearing her/my WGI sweatshirt, circa 1989 for the occasion!

Watching Finals Live, from the comfort of my own house, surrounded by a bunch of friends of like-minds was just fantastic! We had so much fun! For once, we were able to watch a show and say things in our "out loud" voices that we would otherwise have to keep mum if we were actually there. :)

Some of our favorite quotes of the evening:

"Wonder if those dresses will become chain flags?"

"OMG! They're spinning Jesus!" (an image of Jesus was ON the flags)

But nothing could prepare of for the shocking results of the evening! We were little screaming at the TV in disbelief as they announced the placements and scores for the top 3 guards in IW. In all my years, I've never seen an upset like it!

Oh, and let's not forget to mention WGI's major flub-up: after announcing all of the scores and placements of all of the finalist, and while the top three groups were receiving their medals, the announcer announced that a mistake had been made. Apparently, they had mixed up the fourth and fifth placements, and asked the two groups to please switch their plaques. How tacky.

...oh, and lest we forget - the other flub-up of the night, when the announcer spoke too early during the middle of Pride's performance. Crazy.

Congrats goes out to all of the SW and IW finalist. I thought it was one of the strongest IW competitions ever. Special personal mention to some of the groups that my friends teach who had amazing performances: Pride (loved you!), Santa Clara Vanguard, Mayflower (my friend, Rob's guard from the UK!), Carmel, Logan, Arcadia and Little Elm (who won SA, where Mykail teaches).

A great and memorable WGI!

I definitely watched more color guard shows at home this year than I ever have when I actually went to Dayton. I have to say that the WGI Fan Network was such a fantastic option and a great way to partake in the excitement of the weekend.

Friday, April 09, 2010

What Dick Found in the Fridge...

Our friend Tom was over when Dick made the discovery.

He asked us if we have a history of drawing on our food.

We thought about it, and realized that we do!

Long Live Cartoon Squash Baby!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Guard Geek

This is my workout set-up this afternoon:

I'm watching WGI Prelims LIVE (via the wgi fan network online) on my
computer, which I connected to the little TV in front of my elliptical

This is all kinds of geeky goodness! :)

Which Chow?

Last night, I had dinner with my friend Alice the restaurant, "Chow" in Lafayette. It was very good.

I paid our bill with my credit card. When I got the receipt to sign, I had to giggle.

Typically, credit card receipts usually have "Customer Copy" or "Restaurant Copy" at the bottom. (so you'll know which copy to leave with the restaurant, and which copy to take with you.)

This receipt had **Chow Copy.** at the bottom.

So, which Chow is this receipt for? ;)

**Chow Copy**

Monday, April 05, 2010

This one is for my Dad....

When I was young, one of the things my Dad used to say was, "Throw them in the Ocean!".

He used this phrase many times, when he would hear news of bad people doing bad things onto others, etc.,

My Dad's solution always seemed reasonable to me.

I generally have a pretty high tolerance for people, and will often give the benefit of the doubt, but lately, I've discovered my tolerance for stupidity has diminished.

I got very annoyed this afternoon after receiving an email.

As a way of tipping my hat to my Dad, I put this up as my status update on Facebook:

I feel better now.

(end rant.)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Baby Rulan's Welcoming and Naming Celebration

Jessica and Baby Rulan

This afternoon, I had the honor of attending a Welcome and Naming Celebration for Jessica's baby, Rulan.

I had the great pleasure of teaching Jessica back in '94/'95 when she was a 14 year old freshman in Logan High School's winter guard. She had quite the illustrious color guard career during her remaining years at Logan, then with the Blue Devils, and finished her performing years in Blast.

Jessica and I managed to stay in touch over the years, and have remained good friends. We somehow managed to see each other every once in a while, in between all of her travels.

I was so honored to be invited to the celebration with her family and friends today. Jessica is of Native American descent (amongst many other things as well) and her family and fiance shared stories of their ancestors and heritage. They also performed some rituals from their heritage to welcome Rulan.

We were also introduced to the woman for which baby Rulan was name. The elder Rulan is a dancer with her own company, for which Jessica has danced with for several years. She also was the person who first introduced Jessica to her soon-to-be husband.

It was a delightful afternoon. I really enjoyed getting reacquainted with so many members of Jessica's family (including her "baby" sister who is now in Logan's World Guard!) and friends.

I'm so happy for Jessica and her entire family. What an honor it was to be able to witness such a special and memorable event with them.

Bonus: Vielka, Brian and Omar were there, too, so I was able to visit with them all afternoon! I hadn't had a chance to meet Omar before - what a cutie he is!

Vielka and Omar!

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Walt Disney Family Museum

Today, I spent the afternoon at The Walt Disney Family Museum with my Mom and Dad. It was amazing!

(from the web)
The Walt Disney Family Museum, LLC is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Family Foundation, a non-profit organization established by Disney's heirs (including Diane Marie Disney, co-founder of the Museum). It is not formally associated with The Walt Disney Company, the media and entertainment enterprise. The museum was funded by the Walt Disney Family Foundation.

We were all utterly impressed with the museum. None of us were prepared for the size of it, or how long it took to go through. We figured two or three hours. We started around 1:15pm. I finished around 5:30 (my Mom finished about 30 minutes before me) and my poor Dad wasn't able to quite finish everything before he was told that the museum was closing.

If you are a fan of Walt Disney, or of any part of his amazing career - whether it be animation, the theme parks, etc., - I highly recommend coming to this museum. It was so interesting - you could tell that it was not done by the Walt Disney Company, but rather by the family. It was all very personal, and you could tell it was a labor of love.

Having been an animation geek and student for a long time, plus having worked at an animation gallery, I knew a good deal about Disney's career (especially about his role in the history of animation) but I learned so much today. His life and career were truly incredible, and he was so inspiring.

Understandably, no photos were allowed inside the museum, but we were allowed to take photos out in the lobby.

Here are a few that I took:

A wall of Oscars

The Special Oscars presented to Walt Disney by Shirley Temple in 1938

Some of the furniture from the Disney's apartment in Disneyland

After we left the museum, we came back home and had dinner with Chad at Nirvana!

Dad, Chad & Mom

What a fun day!

Thursday, April 01, 2010