Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crazy Spring Weather

Well, here it is: it's nearly Memorial Day Weekend, and we're getting a day of rain with possible hail and even thunderstorms.

Very odd.

My parents are taking a driving trip through the entire state of Oregon. They sent us photos last night.

These are pretty amazing (and FUN!).

I told them that it looked like they were vacationing in Alaska - not in Oregon at the end of May!

I'm sure they're having a great time, and I hope they packed enough warm clothes! :)

Dad and Mom in Oregon
May 2010

My Dad (left) and Uncle Danny (right) making snow angels!
My Dad and Uncle Danny have been friends since Kindergarten

Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown Video

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dinner at Barry & Andrew's House

Last night, Dick and I had a most lovely evening with our friends, Andrew & Barry.

Drinks, amazing food (Barry is an amazing cook!), and great friends - what more could you want?

The evening was capped off with Dick playing Barry's newly-tuned piano, while Barry sang. The two of them played/sang "House at Pooh Corner" together - something I've been looking forward to hearing for years. :)

Barry & Dick at the piano

Thank you, Andrew & Barry for the wonderful evening! We look forward to seeing you both again soon!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The AT&T 3G Microcell

...and yet another reason why I suck.

About a month ago, my friend Andy posted the following status update on Facebook:
Andy has full bars at home with the at&t microcell.

Dick and I knew that Andy has an iPhone and that he had problems getting good coverage at home, so we were intrigued. What was this Microcell thing, and how could we get one? Andy said all we had to go was go to AT&T and give them $150. ;)

Last weekend, at my Grandmother's birthday dinner, my Uncle Rob told me about how my cousin Kenneth had recently installed the Microcell device at their home in Cupertino, and his place in San Francisco. He said it made a huge difference in their coverage at home.

Last Tuesday, at Cousins Dinner, Kenneth and Cheri both told me about how much the Microcell changed their lives.

All were singing the praises of this device.

What is it, you ask?

It's the AT&T 3G Microcell. You plug it into your internet connection (modem or router) at home and it increases your signal strength (to 5 bars, or so it claims) within a range of 5,000 feet.

Okay, sounds good.

Dick and I have been on the AT&T network for our cell phones for years. Unfortunately, we don't get coverage in our house, or in our backyard. Rendering our cell phones virtually useless in our own home. It's very frustrating.

I realize the irony here, and so should you: I'm willing to pay $150 for a device which will allow me to actually use a service that I'm already paying (a LOT) for, and which should already work?! Seems crazy, right?

We are all in agreement here. It is crazy. But the fact of the matter is that no, I can't use my cell phone at home, and if spending $150 once allows me to use it correctly, well then.... I you can afford it, I guess it's worth it. (she said, rolling her eyes)

Everyone that I talked to about it: Andy, Uncle Rob, Kenneth and Cheri, all swore by it, and said it is most definitely worth the money.

So, I was sold.

I was down in Milpitas Thursday afternoon, and popped into the AT&T store in McCarthy Ranch and plopped down my $150 bucks.

Dick and I had to go to Best Buy today to buy a new switch - no more open ports on our router. We came home, we set it up. we waiting the 45 minutes that we were supposed to before trying it out....and...

...well, I didn't notice a difference. My reception still seemed iffy at best, and I was fluctuating around 2 bars.

Power Cycle.
When in doubt, Power Cycle.
Craddock's First Law of Debugging

Still no difference.

Read the manual: it says that rather than just saying AT&T next to the bars, my phone should now read "AT&T Microcell".

Hmmmm.. that's not happening...

...and then it occurred to me: what was this 3G in the title of this device, and written all over the box?


My iPhone is not a 3G phone!

I most definitely have the oldest iPhone version of anyone what I know! I still have my trusty-rusty First Generation iPhone! You know, the one I proudly bought nearly 3 years ago! The one that still runs off of the Edge network, not off of 3G!!!


Looking back, I'm pretty sure I asked my Uncle about whether or not the Microcell was compatible with non-3G phones, and he didn't know. I should have thought to ask the AT&T guy when I bought it.

Although the funny thing is, when I asked him about the Microcell device, he did say, "Well, there's one thing you should know. It does require that you have the internet at home."

Seriously? I thought it was a funny thing for him to ask (and he was serious!). But wouldn't it have been more helpful if he also made sure that I actually had a 3G phone as well?!

Our story doesn't quite end here.

Yes, there's still a little more lameness coming your way:

Dick has a 3G phone. We should be able to test it on his phone. But we can't. Not yet, at least.

"Why?" you ask? Because Dick played golf with Andy yesterday, and he accidentally left his phone in Andy's golf bag!

We suck.

Truthfully, I have been saying that this is the year that I'd be buying a new iPhone. 3 years is long enough. (I do tend to hold onto my tech gadgets much, much longer than most of my friends.)

This just gave me one more reason to plan to buy a new iPhone when the new models come out. When is that? July?

Maybe then I'll be able to see if this Microcell thing actually works. ;)

Harvey Milk Day

Today is the first Harvey Milk Day, and is also what would have been Harvey Milk's 80th Birthday.

When Dick and I walked down to the Castro this morning, we passed a school fair at the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy (Elementary School) that's right around the corner from us.

We also passed by the location of what used to be Harvey Milk's Camera Store (which was also his campaign headquarters, and his apartment upstairs). The store (Given) was vacated a couple of months ago. Today, organizers put photos and signs in the window honoring Harvey Milk.

I know I've said this many times before, but I really do love my neighborhood. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

San Francisco Fine Art Fair

I spent the afternoon at the San Francisco Fine Art Fair at Fort Mason.

Most of you know that I used to work at the Adler and Co. Gallery for several years, both as their on-going web designer (over 13 years now!) as well as an art consultant.

This is the first year of the San Francisco Fine Art Fair. Amazingly, it's been more than 10 years since San Francisco has had an art fair like this at all.

I spent a few hours hanging out in the Adler & Co, booth with Jim, Cynde and their assistant, Jane. It was fun to be in that whole atmosphere again. Lots of vendors, lots of good art. It was a good vibe.

If you have time this weekend, I'd recommend checking it out!

Here are a few photos I took of the Adler's booth.

The Outside Wall

Inside the booth

another side of the booth

If you're interested, we just updated the Adler & Co. web site to reflect some of the new artists that they are representing.

My new favorite (and very popular at the art fair) is Kelly Reemtsen.

Thursday, May 20, 2010



Goal: $2,300.00
Achieved: $2,375.00

Oh, my goodness.

This is just amazing.

Earlier this evening, only 8 days after I sent out my pledge email, I reached my goal of raising $2,300 for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure Walk that I'll be participating in this October.

8 Days.

I am amazed and humbled by the support and generosity of my friends and family.

My most sincere thanks and gratitude for all of the donations that you've made. I clearly could not do this without you.

What's also amazing is that I sent that email out to select contacts in my regular address book, but I also posted my progress and a link to my donation page on my Facebook page. About 1/3 of the people who donated so far were unsolicited friends on Facebook. Thank you!

The walk isn't until the first weekend of October, giving me more than four more months to fund raise. I'm going to raise the level of my goal even higher tomorrow - there is no limit to the amount of money that we can raise to help in the fight against breast cancer.

But for tonight, I'm going to enjoy watching that little progress bar fill up to 100%, and I thank everyone who donated for helping me reach this goal so quickly.

You've filled my heart and you've inspired me.

I am honored to be representing all of you when I walk in October.

Still want to donate?
Click here to go to my fund-raising page

Cousins Dinner!

Cousin Kenneth hosted the cousins for dinner last night. It was a very nice evening! Unfortunately, my sister had to work late, and wasn't able to join us. In her place was niece Evelyn!

Thanks, Kenneth, for the great evening!!

Cheri and Kenneth in the kitchen

Evelyn and Bruce in a very serious conversation ;)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Today's Training Walk

My team mate and friend, Carol, and I met up again this afternoon for our second training walk together. With all the rain we had yesterday, I was surprised to see the sun out this afternoon. It turned out to be a beautiful day for a walk!

We started at the same spot as where we met last week: at the Warming Hut in Crissy Field. It's right on the Bay, and has a beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge

Carol had driven down Divisidero Street on her way to Crissy Field today. She was impressed by the steep hills on that street, and really wanted to tackle them this afternoon. So, we did!

We walked through Crissy field, into the Marina. While we were in the Marina, we walked along the always-picturesque Palace of Fine Arts.

Trina in front of the Palace of Fine Arts

We walked up Francisco Street until we hit Divisidero where we tackled the hills! There were five of them in total! We did the first three straight, then took a short break to stretch before continuing on the last two. :)

At California Street, we decided to get off of busy Divisidero and went over to Scott Street. We walked up Scott all the way to Alamo Square - the beautiful park in the middle of the city known for it's views of Downtown, City Hall, and especially, The Painted Ladies.

View from Alamo Square

At this point, we had already reached 4 miles, so we thought we'd circle back towards Crissy Field. We took Scott Street back to Francisco, then decided to walk through the Presidio. We walked through the new ILM area, which is beautifully landscaped.

ILM at the Presidio

After we figured out how to walk underneath the freeway, we made our way back to Crissy Field. By this time, the wind had picked up, and the sky was becoming overcast.

Crissy Field

On our way back to the Warming Hut, I took this picture of Downtown from Crissy Field. So pretty!

another view from Crissy Field

According to my pedometer (which I didn't wear last week) we hit 8 miles just as we were passing the Warming Hut, heading back to our cars.


I came home and put our route into Gmap Pedometer to see how accurate my pedometer is. Turned out, it's spot on! Good to know!

Today's Route

It was a great day for a walk, and Carol and I both really enjoyed it. This was my second training day of walking 8 miles. We walked for 3 hours each, both weeks. (today's hills were probably steeper.) I'm considering joining a local group this weekend to try 10 miles.

Monday, May 17, 2010

More than half way to my goal!

Check out that little progress bar over on the right side of my blog: it shows the progress of my fund raising efforts for the "Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure" 60 mile walk that I'll be participating in this October.

We're more than halfway to my $2,300 Goal!

We're nearly 3/4 of the way to my $2,300 Goal!

That's amazing!

I'm been overwhelmed by the support and generosity that I've received since announcing my participation just last week. I've received emails from friends with wonderful words of encouragement. I've heard from others who have lost loved ones to Breast Cancer, thanking me for participating in the walk to help find a cure.

I've received many generous donations from friends and family already, and can't believe that together, we've already raised $1,500 $1,625 in only 5 days.

I am humbled.

I even received my first corporate donation today! A huge "Thank You" to Freddie Bateman and The Bateman Group for their very generous donation.

Tomorrow, I'll be going out for my second day of training with my teammates, Carol and Melissa.

I'm inspired more now than ever!

Thank you all for your support! It means a great deal to me, and I'm excited to see how far we can go together!

If you are so inclined, please donate here and help me raise money for the fight against breast cancer.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Happy (early) Birthday, Grandma!

My Grandma Chow turns 79 this coming Wednesday.

We went to Stockton today to spend time with her and to take her out for an early birthday dinner.

Here she is with her birthday cake! Isn't she cute?

And here's another picture of Grandma with her youngest son, my Uncle Wes, (whose birthday was last week) right before they blew out the (very cute) candles.

On a side note, here's a picture of one of Grandma's cactus plants in her backyard. These gorgeous flowers only bloom for 3 days. We were lucky enough to see them today!

Happy Birthday to Grandma and Uncle Wes!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

DCI at the Movies!

Freddie, Mike, Philip and Greg

I had a super, fun-filled night last night at movie theater. I met some great guard/corps friends for an evening of drum corps for DCI's "The Countdown" at the San Francisco's Center's theater downtown.

Oh, what a ball it was. There was much laughter had by all.

Because I'm a geek, here's a photo of the theater marquis:

of course, Philip spotted this sign first, and thought that perhaps we were being directed to theater 7 instead:


Not including the five of us, there were probably about 20 other people in the theater.

Philip led the way and decided it would be best for all if we sat at the very top - as far away from other people as possible. Knowing this group, our "out loud" voices were sure to come out, and we didn't want to offend. ;)

DCI on the big, BIG screen

It was a fun show to watch the show. They showed top 5 from last year's DCI, as well as a sneak peak of 3 corps for this season, and 5 "classic" shows from the past.

...and when I say "Classic", I mean shows from "our" era - from 1985-1987. ;)

The best part was watching all of these shows with this group of friends. All of them marched in different corps for several years (including Sky Riders, 27th Lancers, Cadets, Cavaliers and Mandarins) and some of them are still very involved in the activity. So involved, in fact, that one of them even had his named mentioned by one of the DCI commentators. You can bet that got a good giggle out of our crowd. :)

It's been years since I've been to a live drum corps show. I can't even remember the last time. I did go to the DCI Tournament of Champions Show (or whatever it was called) about 5 years ago in San Jose.

For those who were wondering (and I don't think there's many of you who are) I'm certainly a drum corps fan (started going back in 1983 or '84) but not nearly as much of a fan of drum corps as winter guard. I never marched in drum corps (although I did have a 6 week stint in the Blue Devils in 1991, before I figured out it wasn't my thing) but many, many of my friends marched in drum corps. I certainly have a HUGE appreciation for it, and always enjoy watching a good show.

I'm planning to go with a bunch of friends to the Drum Corps show at Stanford at the end of June. It'll be good to see a live show again.

After the movie/show, we headed out to the Castro for a quick drink. Again, much laughter ensued, and we had a great time. As Greg said, my abs hurt from laughing so much. :)

Thanks, boys, for a fun evening! Let's do it again sometime soon!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's Official! I'm Walking!

Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

I had mentioned in a previous post that I'm training to do the "Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure" 60 mile walk in October.

Yesterday, I made it official:

I set up my donation page, and I sent out emails to some friends and families to start my fund raising campaign.

I sent my email out in the evening. Unfortunately, the 3-day's website which processes the donations was down for maintenance less than 2 hours after my email went out. Bad timing on my part. The site was up again this morning, and I've already had a few more donations come through! So far, I've raised $250.00 $300.00! My sincere thanks to all who have donated so far, and helped me get started on this journey!

If you are so inclined, I would really appreciate a donation of any amount towards my goal of $2,300.

You can donate here:

I am planning to put a copy of my goal tracker on my blog so you can follow along as I try to raise money for this great cause. I'll also be writing more blog posts about my continuous training and experiences leading up to the walk.

Thank you for your consideration!

here is the letter that I sent:

Dear Friends and Family,

Late last year, I was inspired to take on an incredible personal challenge. On October 1-3, 2010, I'll be walking 60 miles over the course of three days in San Francisco and Marin Counties. I’ll be camping out at night with thousands of other women and men taking this journey with me.

It's for an event called the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. Net proceeds from the Komen 3-Day for the Cure are invested in breast cancer research and community programs. Komen for the Cure® works hard to build a future without breast cancer, and I am hoping to raise my goal of $2,300 to help bring us closer to that goal.

I am writing for your support. Please help me to raise the $2300 needed to walk. Any amount is appreciated, and no amount is too big or too small - $5 is as good as $50, and if you can do more, that would be terrific. I realize times are tough, and if you are unable to donate, that’s okay, too.

I don’t think I’ve participated in any personal fundraising projects since I went door-to-door selling fruit cake for my high school marching band (true story!). I’m feeling a little bit rusty in asking for donations, but this is for such a good cause, and any donation that you make can really make a difference.

I can’t say that I’m not completely intimidated by the daunting task of walking 60 miles in 3 days, but I’m positive that with your support and encouragement, I’ll make it through! I plan on making a t-shirt with the names of all of my sponsors printed on it so that you will be walking with me in spirit, helping me along the way.

I promise to do my very best in raising money, training, and completing this 3-day journey.

Please follow the link below to visit my personal fundraising Web page and make a donation. If you don't want to donate online, you can download and print a donation form from my Web page and mail it to the address on the form. Or you can call 800-996-3DAY to donate over the phone.

Thank you for your support and consideration.

With Gratitude,
Trina Chow

** Please also ask your employer if they will double your donation with a matching gift.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Release the Ladybugs!!

Cup 'o Ladybugs!

The aphids are back.

We first met last summer, when our backyard was recently completed. I've tried spraying them every week or so with Neem and have even resorted to wiping down each leaf individually with soapy water. Both tactics work for a while, but they still come back.

So today, I decided to bring in the big guns.

Today I brought in the ladybugs!

I bought a container of roughly 1500 lady bugs.

I did my research online and found this:

RELEASE INSTRUCTIONS: When you are home, put the bag in a cool place (refrigerator) until late in the day or early morning. Do not release the ladybugs during the heat of the day or while the sun is shining. Sprinkle or irrigate the area before releasing, so the ladybugs will have a drink of water after their journey.

I brought my Cup 'o Ladybugs home, and put them in the fridge to hibernate until dusk. After dinner, I sprayed the aphid-infected area down with water, then Dick and I released the ladybugs!

documenting the time of release ;)

taking the lid off

Feasting Ladybugs!

On a geeky note, I hope some of you got my nerdy reference to "Clash of the Titans" from my post's title. Release the Kracken! I figure the ladybugs are probably Kracken-Scary to those tiny aphids.

Release the Kracken!

On a whole other angle, thinking about the ladybugs having a feast of aphids makes me think back to the "Ladybug Picnic" from Sesame Street. Which in turn, makes me think about my friend, Diana. :)

Enjoy your Ladybug Picnic, little ladybugs! Relax, enjoy, and stay a while!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 1 Training Walk

Trina & Carol

My friend, Carol, completely inspired me last year. Last October, she completed her second year of participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure". 20 miles per day for 3 days. 60 miles total!

Last year, I met Carol at one of the cheering stations on her first day. I was so inspired by her, and all of the other participants that I watched that I decided that I would make the leap and join her this year! I signed up and registered the week after she finished last year so I wouldn't get cold feet. :)

Carol called me yesterday afternoon to see if I was up and available for our first training walk together. We decided to meet at Crissy Field here in SF, which is actually where camp is set up for the actual event.

We met at 2:30 this afternoon, along with Carol's friend, Melissa, who had done the walk with Carol 2 years ago. The three of us have formed a team (with Carol as our leader) called "Dancers Fighting Cancer". Carol and Melissa are both dancers - I'm just an honorary dancer. ;)

We walked for 3 hours straight, and figured we covered at least 8 miles total. It was fantastic! The weather was in the low-60s and clear, which was just perfect. We walked through the Presidio, and through Pacific Heights. Carol and Melissa really wanted to tackle some steep hills - they both live in the South Bay, and wanted to be able to train on some San Francisco hills, like we'll encounter on the actual event. Luckily for me, I've been conditioning myself on SF hills for several years - between when I first moved here for school (when I would walk 1.5 miles each direction on steep hills in Nob Hill and Russian Hill 6 days a week) to my daily walks (2.5 miles in Eureka Valley and Noe Valley) and my weekend urban walks with Dick.

I know we only did 8 miles today, which isn't even half of the distance we'll need to walk for the actual event, but I feel pretty good about it. It was our first training walk, and we still have another 4.5 months to train before October 1st. We're going to meet again next week to train again!

I felt a lot better about my participation in the 3-day walk after talking with Carol and Melissa today. They were able to go into detail with me about what to expect day-to-day, and put my mind more at east

60 miles in 3 days sure is daunting, but it really helps knowing that I'll be doing it with two friends who have made it through, and who will surely help me along. :)

Melissa and Carol

It's a Beautiful Day...

... in the City by the Bay. :)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Saturday, May 01, 2010

"Hand Job"

Today, I decided to treat myself to a post-birtday, pre-vacation pedicure! This was only the fourth pedicure I've had (Diana's wedding, my own wedding, and my visit with Tammy in Chicago) so this is not something that I do routinely. I thought it would be a nice, special treat.

Hand Job!

There's a salon on Castro street that opened about 8 months ago called "Hand Job". I always thought it was a clever, and very catchy name. Gotta love living in the Castro. ;)

Complimentary Champagne

What a treat it was! The service was outstanding, the atmosphere beautiful and relaxing, and beautiful men working there who call you "Sweetie". ;)

They even offered me complimentary champagne (Yes, please!) before starting my service. My pedicure experience was the best I've ever had. Such a luxury, but oh, so sweet.

Pretty pedicure bowl of warm water with rose petals and slices of lemon

When I was leaving, the owners told me to bring my husband in with me next time so "they can give him a hand job".

I'll say it again:
I love my neighborhood. :)