Friday, October 21, 2005

Faulty Memory

Today I spent more time that I would have liked agonizing over corrupted data on my 1 GB Sandisk Ultra II SD card for my Canon SD500 camera. From googling, it looks as if suddenly having an unusable SD card isn't unusual. Earlier in the week, I'd had problems copying images to a desktop, but I blamed it on the desktop. Then, while taking pictures of a chrysanthemum, the the camera started saying that certain images were corrupted. According to the manual, if you have a non-Canon formatted card, you should use the camera to format it first. Unfortunately, this was not in bold flashing text and I have no way of knowing whether or not this might be the problem. With any luck, I will never know and hopefully I won't have problems with card again. Interestingly enough, I had to do a low level format several times in order to get rid of everything. Fortunately, from the looks of the pictures I took, the camera is now working, for the time being.

How can I blame a poor defenseless sliver of an SD card when I can't even remember what day it is? Yesterday I was planning to go see the Durham Community Concert Band perform in Oval Park, in Durham. Well, that's all well and good if the concert is today. I knew that the concert was on the 30th, but somehow I had not put together that the 30th is not two days before Halloween. Earlier in the week, I attempted to attend a meeting that was on the following day, but at least then my calendar was wrong, too. In both cases, I ended up not attending the actual events themselves.

I've been up to a lot lately, and that's the reason I've been remiss in posting. I saw the new Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit a couple of weeks ago. AE, JH and I went to Champ's afterwards, which was pretty good. We waited quite a while at Rockfish before they explained that they were "having trouble getting stuff out of the kitchen", so that's why we ended up at Champ's, which could seat us immediately.

One weekend, my parents attended a dinner for the retirement of Dr. AB. That was fun, because I got to chat with some of his former graduate students, like MF, and I attended technical talks by them in the afternoon.

I discovered after trying to wash several new sweaters in cold water that the cold and hot water hoses have been reversed on my washing machine for about a year. Fortunately, the sweaters didn't shrink noticeably.

I attended a Duke Symphony concert that included a particularly nice selection of works by German composers, including an oboe concerto by Handel. I also got to meet AE's dad afterwards.

Last weekend, AE, JH, GM and I watched a very strange movie, π. It's about this guy who is effectively losing his mind while searching for patterns in the world that would relate to π. While it may be interesting on certain levels, I wouldn't recommend it. It's certainly not a movie that I would describe as pleasant to watch. We ordered pizza and I contributed macaroons that I had made that afternoon.

Last Monday, I had to go over to the American Tobacco Campus and I got to eat lunch at the Mellow Mushroom with AE afterwards. We shared a jerk chicken pizza and a half order to parmesan pretzels. They were basically just extra pizza crust shaped into a pretzel, but they were still very good, since they have good crust.

Tuesday night, JH met my dad and me at Duke Chapel to see the King's Singers and Sarband. That was excellent. They also had dervishes that twirled around and round. We originally selected seats in the front row and when I found out that there would be dervishes right next to us, I thought it might be best to move back a bit. Beware of dizzy dervishes.

Friday was the Duke University Libraries Staff Association Halloween party. They certainly know how to throw a holiday party! There were tons of decorations, a huge spread for making tacos, and individual candy filled bags for everyone. I donned my deely boppers and bright green glitter face paint. It takes years to get all the glitter off again.

It's been cold here lately. We've had three nights of frost in a row, which is too early and too often. Fortunately, this week is supposed to be really nice.

Another recent accomplishment is that I got my Treo 650 to sync with my Lotus Notes calendar this afternoon, using Intellisync. Maybe now I won't be in doubt of where I'm supposed to be and when. Don't bet on it. I still have to rely on my memory to sync.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

New Sushi, New Shoes, New Location

Thursday, all our stuff was moved to the new Bostock library building. My new cubicle gets a lot of light, because it has an off white interior and the front is glass or some kind of polycarbonate. The nicest thing is that our entire department is now in the same area.

That night, we went to Mt. Fuji, at Brightleaf square. D, our favorite waiter from Nikos, has started working there. Their sushi was excellent. It's nice that there is finally a good sushi place in a convenient location. D served our sushi in a gigantic wooden boat, which was somewhat embarrassing, given the size of our table. They used dry ice in the center of the boat, so it must have been a steamer.

We've been getting a lot of rain from Tropical Storm Tammy. Unfortunately, I left my raincoat and hat in my cabinet at work. As I was leaving last night, the library was closing for fall break. They ring an extremely loud bell and dim the lights every few minutes to encourage people to leave. Once I got all the way to the Perkins lobby and saw that it was raining, I didn't want to go back in to get it. I decided to dash to the van and got soaked in the process. I did take the opportunity to whine to both GM and JH on the phone first.

Dripping, I met AE, GM and JH for dinner at Chai's. I tried the Thai Tom Yum soup, which was quite good. I think I had a mild MSG reaction to it, but a glass of water took care of that. I don't know how many of my readers have experienced MSG reactions, but I feel pressure at my temples and at my neck, at the base of my skull. It's something I experience only every several years, so I don't bother to go out of my way to avoid it. I also had an order of gyoza and a green apple flavored jelly drink. It is accompanied by a huge straw and little jelly pieces at the bottom of what tastes like a liquid jolly rancher. It's really not something that one wants to accompany a meal. In fact, I'm not convinced I would ever want, period. It looks cool, though. JH got one just for the straw, but I think they would have given him one if he had asked.

Afterwards, we went to Shade Tree Coffee. I had a latte and the guy who made AE's and my coffee drew faces in the foam. Of course, when AE showed me her coffee, I thought it was some freak accidental pattern. I think it would have be hard to sell a cup of coffee on E-bay, though. Doesn't the female one look just like the Virgin Mary?

Today, my mom and I went to Eastgate Shopping Center to go to the Birkenstock store. It's really hard to find shoes that fit me, so I was very excited to get some very comfortable shoes. I got a pair of Arizona's and Boston's in taupe. Now that I know the best size for each style, I can order a purple pair on-line. This is the first time that I've bought myself any shoes in several years. We ate at Bruegger's beforehand and one of the ceiling vents kept dripping on me every few minutes. My lox and cream cheese plain bagel was very good, though.

While I was at Eastgate, I was happy and surprised to see that Womancraft Gifts is open. A couple of weeks ago, my dad saw the old Womancraft website, which said they were closed. After over 25 years of business, it seemed odd for them to close. I worked there as a member from 1994 to 1998, to sell my jewelry and paintings. A year or two ago, they moved to Meadowmount, which seemed to me like a fairly inconvenient location and they moved when very few other stores were there yet. I'm curious to find out more about the move back to Eastgate and see who is still working there.

Do Not Press the Unmarked Button

When I don't write for a week, sometimes I jot down some of my activities as I go along and it's often interesting to see how they bubble up in levels of significance to me.

The Friday before last I got my work Ipod. That seems like an oxymoron if I've ever heard one. Since it's a photo Ipod, I'm convinced that it could be used to teach math, but so far I've only put fives songs on it. I'll have to put Tom Lehrer's "New Math" on it.

That night, my dad and I went to an alumni dinner for Duke employees. The food was incredibly good. I ate lots of chocolate covered strawberries. I seem to be making that a habit. They also had an excellent salmon dish, a nice cheese selection and many other goodies. Other than meeting interesting fellow alumni and eating great food, the coolest thing was the path we took to get to the location of the reception, which was the Hall of Honor in Cameron Indoor Stadium. To get to the elevator, we had to take a lengthy route that went by the training area, so I got to see Johnny Dawkins on a stationary bike.

Saturday, AE, GM, JH and I went to see Corpse Bride. Afterwards we ended up eating at the food court, going to the Apple store and Barnes'N'Noble. The Nano is just as small as everyone else has said.

Sunday, my dad and I spent five years at Sprint. It was really only and hour and a half. They looked at the non-working touch screen on my Treo 650 and replaced it. The new one works so much better. That night, I went to JJ's surprise birthday party. That was loads of fun and JA cooked some wonderful things, including shrimp etouffe and tres leches cake.

One day this past week, I discovered that it's very important to press the correct button on the coffee machine at work. When I was specifying how much hot chocolate I wanted, I accidently pressed the button under the one for 8 ounces. I discovered, after the fact, that it was for a carafe. As you may imagine, I now have a new "most embarrassing moment". Fortunately, they continued to let me get coffee and hot chocolate later in the week.