Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Today is my 23rd anniversary of my move from Columbus, OH to San Francisco, CA. I actually arrived in San Francisco about a week earlier, but I consider my anniversary on the first day I started my job at The Sharper Image. This anniversary is significant because I now have lived in San Francisco half my life.

In 1983, I was staying with my cousin Wilgee and his then girlfriend (now wife) Amanda in San Bruno. About 3 weeks later, I found my first apartment in the Outer Sunset district. The rent was only $350/month, and I got a quick lesson in parking etiquette when I got a nasty note on my windshield. This was because my car partially blocked a neighbor's driveway. I got visitors non-stop for almost 2 years. It started with Cindy and Connie, Stan and his friend Ray, Mary, Sherman, and numerous other relatives.

For the first few years, my mom always hoped I would consider moving back to Ohio. Despite tight finances in the late 80's until mid-1993, I stayed put in San Francisco. The last time Mom ever asked me about coming home was immediately after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. I was actually on a plane that day to visit my family. She thought maybe the earthquake would scare me home. It did exactly the opposite. I remained glued to the TV at Cindy's house until 2 am, wanting to know if everyone I knew was OK. It became clear where I considered home.

I love my life here. I don't want to live anywhere else. I'm far from wealthy but I make a decent living in a job I really like. I share my life with a geeky car enthusiast and 2 adorable kitties. My dearest friend Lisa moved back to the area at the beginning of this year. I am a new homeowner in a wonderful neighborhood in the best city in the world. I have it about as good as it gets.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sony Vaio VGN SZ240

After having wireless access for less than 2 weeks, I've gotten spoiled and want more. I just ordered and customized a new Sony Vaio notebook tonight from With leftover money from escrow, I decided it was time to fork out the greenbacks. Here's why.

1. My current Vaio is over 5 years old.
With the wireless card, access to the internet is still slow.

2. I lose connectivity at least 3-4 times a session.
Especially when I blog. It's been extremely annoying to see the connection window pop up throughout the session.

3. Customization enables to include only the features I want.
Features I don't want or need are piled on the notebooks I saw online and in stores. For the Vaio model I want, including only the features I want keeps the cost down (at least $500). This is exactly what I did when I bought my BMW325i, saving almost $3K in asking only for what I want.

Building the notebook will go into production on or around August 28. I should have the new notebook after the Labor Day holiday.

I know, I know, I said we'd buy a new dining table and office chairs. This is still our plan. But I couldn't wait anymore. I've been at the website everyday for the past week. I went to CompUSA in San Bruno yesterday after work to see the Vaio models.

I originally wanted the FJ series because of the fancy colors (raspberry, bright blue, green). But the FJ series doesn't enable me to customize with the Intel Duo Core Processor and Windows XP Professional. Then I was interested in the FE series because of the cost. But when I saw one of them at CompUSA, I thought it was big and ugly. The unit looked like an unsuccessful cross-breed between a Dell and Macbook. This is when I decided to customize.

So, finally, in the next few weeks, I'll have a new, much faster computer.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fancy schmancy

About 3 weeks ago, I made a trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to buy a few basics for our new bathroom. This would be our first night spent in our new home and want to make sure our first showers would be furnished with shiny new supplies.
One of them was a shower caddy.

I spent at least 15 minutes looking at shower caddies. I bought the largest, prettiest caddy I could find with special slots that hold shampoo bottles upside down. I got it home and tried to put it up. Couldn't get one of the two suction cups to stick to the tile. I e-mailed the manufacturer, explained my plight, and 2 days later, got a nice e-mail saying they would send out replacement suction cups.

It took nearly 2 weeks to get the suction cups because they sent them via UPS. I ended up re-routing online the package to be sent to my work address. I got the package the next day. When I got home, I pulled out the first of 3 sets of replacement suction cups. The first one, like the previous one, wouldn’t stick to the tile (arggggh!)

Then I managed to find a way to get the suction cups to stick. I pushed in the suction cups against the tile, sans shower caddy. Ah ha! I got the cheapest but critical pieces to stay stuck to the tile! Ego now enormously inflated, I attached the caddy to the suction cups. I now have the stainless steel monstrosity firmly in place against the tile wall.

Finally! Or so I thought. I pulled one of the shampoo bottles from the end of the tub and tried to put it on the lower shelf. I couldn’t get the bottle to stand upright on the shelf. I then moved the bottle to the top shelf, but it couldn’t stand it upright there either because it hit the shower head (not as depicted in photo).

The caddy is now in a plastic bag in the hallway. I plan to exchange it for another caddy tomorrow at the Bed, Bath, and Beyond near work. This time, I’ll only consider caddies with a lot of clearance space for tall shampoo bottles.

image courtesy of Bed, Bath and Beyond

Monday, August 14, 2006

Internet access

A big thanks to Josh for coming over yesterday to do above and beyond the call of duty. He not only got me connectivity for my dormant laptop, he got me wireless access with the router and network card he bought as housewarming presents. It's great to have gadget freaks/geeks as friends.

Bosch dishwasher and wireless connectivity. Life is sweet!