Christmas wish-list 2005

Each year, we do a Secret Santa gift exchange with my family. It's less expensive than giving both my brothers, their significant others and their children all gifts. Instead, the adults each buy one gift for another adult. The kids? Well, they're still a free for all.

In the spirit of the gift exchange, buying something the recipient wants is best.

So, Mom, here are Kris' and my lists.


  1. New bi-fold wallet
  2. Disc 4
  3. Disc 1
  4. How to Host a Murder Mystery
  5. Baseball Forecaster, Graphical Pitcher
  6. Underwear! Boxers or tighty-whities, size 30
  7. Socks (white, lots and lots - I'll probably get these for him from Costco)


  1. Seeds, vegetables and other edibles (trees, berries, etc.)
  2. Soaps
  3. Cook's magazine, M.S. Living
  4. stuff from my Amazon wishlist
  5. time
  6. light green or light (pastel) yellow potters (plant pots)
  7. pretty much any scone mix from King Arthur Flour

Can't think of any other things off the top of my head. Hope that's enough, Mom.

Tyler Tier Two

Blog entry

Communal dinner tonight was dee-lish-us group-made pizza, sponsored by Vinny. We pretty much showed up, threw everything on pre-made stretched dough, waited 15 minutes, and chowed down.

Usually, when half of us are here, Tyler gives a call to Heather, to ask what he should bring. Tyler generally shows up late, so having him bring the missing items works very well.

Well, today, I received the call.

We were all shocked.

Apparently, I'm Tyler Tier Two.

Update: Crap! Crap crap crap! I'm not tier two! I'm tier three! Oh, boo!

Tyler called Chookie first, and didn't get through. Sigh.

Not fair!

Blog entry


I have all of my mail sent to my P.O. Box. Long story, not relevant to this one.

I used to have a large box, 12" x 12". I started renting it about six months before I moved up from Los Angeles. Instead of full forwarding of all of my mail, I forwarded just the mail I was interested in continuing to receive: bills, magazine subscriptions, alumni notices. Since the box was big, I could pick up my mail every two weeks when I was up visiting, and check my local P.O. Box for anything I wanted to keep receiving.

Worked like a charm. When I did move up here, there was little mail that needed to be forwarded.

Fast forward to four years later. Mountain View had a fancy new post office, and the annex where my post office box was located was being shut down. All the boxes were moving to the new post office, and, get this, renumbered.

Yes, I could keep my box, but to match the numbering system in the new building, the size of my box would change. Instead of a 12" x 12" box, I would get a 4" x 6" box.

There is a reason why I rented the 12" x 12" box in the first place.

And it's not because I like giving the government extra money.

If I don't pick up my mail more than once every four days or so, the box fills up, and the clerks have to pile it all in a basket under the box, inside the post office. On the other side of the wall. Where I can't get to it.

Instead, I get this lovely, yellow card that says, "You have too much mail for your mailbox. Please pick up your mail at the window." Which means I can't pick up my mail at my convenience (which is admittedly 11:00 at night), but have to stop by during the day. When everyone else is at the post office.

Lines. Ugh.

Well, I tried to pick up my mail last Saturday, but I was one day too late picking up my mail, and had to wait until yesterday, Monday, to pick it up, handing over the yellow card. Which I did. Yesterday.

Because I'm anxiously waiting a delivery, I stopped by again today.

To find another yellow card.

Not even one day.

That freakin' tiny, itty, bitty, little mail box didn't even last me one day.

So way not fair.

Another Aha! moment

Blog entry

For years, I've noticed my right hand has more blood flow in the morning than my left hand. Every morning, when I compare the color of my two hands, my right hand is always redder than my left hand. Always.

Well, not exactly that. When I'm in the shower, I notice the difference in colorings. And for years, I've puzzled about it. I wonder if the difference is because of the lighting (nope, same thing happens at my parents' houses), or the season (nope, occurs in summer as in winter), or the time of day (nope, happens in when I wake up early, wake up late, or just stay awake).

I'd be lying if I said I haven't puzzled over this for years. Typically, only in the shower, though, and only in passing.

Well, this morning, I finally figured it out.


Turns out, as most right-handed people do, I primarily use my right hand for most things. I noticed when I was standing in the water this morning, after also noticing my right hand was darker than my left, that I stood with my arm bent, and my right hand at shoulder height.

In the hot water.

Yes, I take long showers. Long, long, loooooooooong showers. They always bothered my mom. They sometimes bother Kris. They don't bother me at all.

Before I turned up the water heater, I would shower until the hot water ran out. Cold water? Shower's done.

Now, though, with the water heater cranked, I can stay in the shower until I'm done, which is sometime after my finger tips have pruned.

Turns out, my hand in the hot water was turning it red/reddish. By the time I woke up and noticed the difference in coloring, I had already been standing with my hand up, apparently a natural, comfortable position for me.

To verify, I, of course, finished the shower in a reflection of my usual stance, with my left hand up in the warm, warm water. Sure enough, my left hand was darker than my right by the time I finished my shower.

Another mystery in life solved.

Muni, not so much

Blog entry

Hey, I'm getting better at this train thing. Certainly not as good as the commuters, but certainly better than I used to be even three months ago. Big "Yay!" to Messina, Andy and Cal.

Heading up to the City today to meet up with Mini and her crew to discuss the next steps for her site. The day started off a little rough, though, with Kris waking me up by calling from the shower, "What time is it?"

"8:17. When's the train?"



"Can we leave in three minutes?"

He made the train, but it was closer than I expected, in as much as we did leave in three minutes. We caught each and every red light on the way to the train station. I'm beginning to think those lights sense my driving and are compensating.

The Muni, on the other hand, not so much.