June 17th, 2003

Atacama

10 x 10 I

Today seems like as good a day as any other to post ten stupid top ten lists.

Ten things I recently ate for breakfast

1. Two slices of Trader Joe's white bread, toasted, with that weird Belgian low fat butter and Gentlemen's Relish
2. A meager serving of Grape-Nuts with 1% milk
3. Two buttermilk Eggo frozen waffles, toasted, with Challenge "European Style" butter and real maple syrup from Costco
4. Crunchy muesli from a Danish Aldi shop mised with Trader Joe's maple flavored yoghurt
5. Two cups of Farmer Brothers drip coffee [you know, the crap they serve at work] with 2% milk
6. Two slices of Albertsons white bread, toasted, again with the Belgian low fat butter, but with strawberry rhubarb preserves from Den Gamle Fabrik
7. A giant Dutch pancake with powdered sugar and butter at De Dutch Pannekoek House near the Vancouver Ikea
8. Smoked herring, coffee, and gooey pastries that reminded me of pralines
9. A bowl of Albertsons muesli mixed with Mountain High plain yoghurt [this sucked, incidentally]
10. A semi-nasty Golden Delicious apple that had been rolling around in the vegetable drawer since we moved in to the new house last month. I regret this decision, and I need some dental floss. Now.
gartenzwerg

10 x 10 II

Ten bugs I've filed at Microsoft [redacted; don't want to give away too many secrets! :) ]

1. Encoding not declared in HTML pages
2. Dutch page has a Danish Passport signin scarab
3. Superfluous comma at RUHP
4. SMS MSN IM crashes Windows Messenger beta
5. Grammar, copyright, spelling, consistency errors in intl_content.js
6. Korean DNS entry not uncloaked
7. Frobisher should be Iqaluit
8. Change branding from Voicestream to T-Mo
9. FR-CA date input description incorrect on WAP deck
10. Creating all day appointment via WAP creates two appointments, not one
Atacama

10 x 10 III

Ten random .sigs from mail in my Inbox:

1. Where do you want to communicate today?
The evil Midnight Goff, what goffs at midnight! Yeah, baby! Yeah!!
2. “…that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.” - Goethe
3. [someone actually went to the trouble of creating an animated GIF which I can't reproduce here; it has their name zooming from right to left in rainbow colors.]
4. Delighting our customers is our top priority. We welcome your comments and suggestions about how we can improve the support we provide to you. Please e-mail us at @microsoft.com. You can also contact my manager, by emailing @microsoft.com or calling . Thank you.
Find out about Strategic Technology Protection Program and get our Security Toolkit! Go to http://www.microsoft.com/security .
5. You curl your toes in fun, as you smile at everyone
You meet the stares, you're unaware
That your doings aren't done.
- Ian Anderson
6. Every morning I check the Forbes List of 100 Richest People in the World and if I'm not on the list, I come into work.
7. Tell a man there are a million, billion stars in the sky and he will believe you. Tell him there is wet paint and he just has to touch it.
8. There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't.
9. (A tester at heart, if indeed testers can be said to have hearts.)
10. A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.
lovely

10 x 10 IV

[This is a modified version of a list I made up for mtzlplck last week; he asked me for some good inexpensive cabernet, and I dismally failed by providing eight good cheap red wines, only one of which was a cabernet. Whoops! Here's the list, modified, with one sparkling and one white tacked on the end for good measure.]

Ten really good cheap wines [for V.Lo]

1. Altos Las Hormigas Argentine malbec, $7 [Pete's Wine Shop in Bellevue]
2. Bonny Doon Big House Red, $7 [Costco in Issaquah]
3. Laurel Glen 'Terra Rosa' Chilean cabernet sauvignon [Don't know where you can buy this]
4. Cline California syrah, $8 [Trader Joe's?]
5. Anfora zinfandel from Puglia, $7 [http://www.winex.com]
6. Penfolds Bin 2 shiraz mourvédre, $10 [BevMo?]
7. Montes reserve pinot noir, Chile, $10 [Duke of Bourbon perhaps?]
8. Bonny Doon Domaine des Blagueurs syrah, France, $8 [Safeway?]
9. Segura Viudas cava, reserva, Spain, $6 [Pete's again]
10. Robert Weil riesling spätlese trocken, $10 [winex.com again]
Atacama

10 x 10 V

The ten items in my Dock are:

1. Finder
2. Terminal [bash]
3. iChat
4. MSN Messenger
5. MSN
6. Internet Explorer
7. Mozilla
8. Camino
9. Safari
10. Remote Desktop Connection
pool

10 x 10 VI

Ten computing devices I've owned:

1. An Apple PowerBook Duo 2300c with Dock, 16" display, and Apple Adjustable keyboard [the prettiest one I ever owned]
2. A battered Centris 610 I got very cheaply from CompUSA while I was working there. Eventually upgraded to a 6100AV thanks to the Apple QPromo. My brother's main PC until 1999.
3. A Dell Dimension XPS R400 [400 MHz Pentium II] that Netscape bought me in 1998. Eventually upgraded to a 800 MHz Pentium 3, but couldn't really handle XP. I don't miss it much.
4. A Leading Edge Model D PC [two 5.25" floppies - very cool at the time!], Hercules compatible monochrome graphics, Epson 9-pin dot matrix printer. Dropped it off at a friend's apartment in Aachen with Mark Bingham in 1991.
5. An Apple Performa computer... can't remember which model it was exactly. Quadra 630 form factor, optional MPEG and TV tuner cards added in, with a Multiple Scan 15 display. Sold this to Mark Bingham and his partner Paul Holm after a few months. Painfully slow.
6. An Apple Power Mac G3 [beige]: my Apple Loan to Own machine. Never actually used it; gave it to Dan.
7. A nondescript Palm Pilot. Bought it circa 1996; realized quickly that these devices are entirely useless for me.
8. A generic PC clone from a shop on University Avenue in Berkeley. It was a 386DX-25 with a non-interlaced 1024x768 14" monitor. This was a big deal at the time. Ran Windows 3.1 pretty decently. Sold it to my dad's office at some point in 1993 or so.
9. A Sega Genesis system that runs Toe Jam and Earl, next to the Dreamcast that would run Space Channel 5 if I could find my copy. Damn.
10. Currently, a Dell Dimension 4500, 2.0 MHz Pentium 4. Not bad. Needs a faster processor to watch HD DVDs though.
tagame

10 x 10 VII

Ten things you're likely to find me wearing:

1. Levi's shrink to fit 501s, 38x34. Haven't changed this since I was about fourteen years old. Sure, the size has gone from 38 to 42 and back, but that's about it. It'd be nice if the 38s came with the extra belt loops that the 40+ sizes have, but hey.
2. Hanes white underwear. You know, the cheap stuff from Target. Sure, it never lasts, it's not well made, and it doesn't launder well, but I like the idea of it.
3. A polyester blend short sleeve shirt, buttons all the way down the front, at least one breast pocket, preferably Large Tall, probably costs $8 or so. I have lots of these. Dan probably thinks they're heinous, and they are, but I like 'em. Wash and go, is jarringly ugly at bars.
4. Lands End jacket, the ugly kind, green. Totally Middle American but dammit, these things are comfortable... until they changed them a couple of years back. The one I got to replace my fat boy jacket is kinda shoddy by comparison.
5. Brown corduroy long sleeve shirt. I haven't found a good one of these in years but hope springs eternal. LL Bean had the good dark brown color, Eddie Bauer the actual decent tailoring and sizing, but now neither company get either of those things right. Fuckers.
6. Silver metallic watch, blue dial face, metal wristband. I lose these every couple of years so they're never the same. My first one was bought courtesy of an Okidata sales rep back when I was working at CompUSA; the face broke in a year or so. Had a great Eddie Bauer one but it got lost in record time. Currently I've got a very low end Tissot I found in Cologne. I don't know where it is right now.
7. REI socks, tan or dark blue... but apparently they no longer make these. I'm frustrated again. I hope I don't run out of them because I'd hate to find new favorite socks.
8. New Balance walking shoes that keep getting uglier with every model year. These are the heinous tan leather ones, waterproof, that you can walk around Kyoto in for days at a time and not get blisters. I love them but damn, they're ugly.
9. My ugly, battered tan Tilley hat. It's been everywhere. My balding pate requires it.
10. A smile on my face when I see Dan next to me in bed in the morning. It still makes me happy to wake up with the Marmot at my side. :)
Atacama

10 x 10 VIII

Ten things I often make for dinner:

1. Fry one onion, coarsely chopped, in olive oil. Add one can marinara sauce, several frozen meatballs, and freeze dried roasted garlic, oregano, and basil to taste. Cook one package of pasta, drain, add everything else. Serve with TJ's parmesan-romero cheese blend.
2. Fry one onion, coarsely chopped, in olive oil. Thaw one of TJ's $5 1 pound bags of frozen fish fillets; cut into big chunks. Add fish; undercook slightly. Add TJ's Thai peanut sauce; simmer for one minute. Serve over jasmine rice.
3. Stop by Papa Murphy's on the way home. Good if friends are coming over to watch a movie.
4. Take 1 TJ's lamb roast. Rub with coarse ground pepper, fleur du sel, and dried chilli. Roast. While cooking, sautée a couple of shallots in olive oil and butter. Add one pack of pre-sliced mushrooms. Steam one package of TJ's blue lake beans; add to mushrooms/shallots and quickly stir fry. Serve with roast.
5. Salad: Empty one pack TJ's spring mix onto four plates. Chop a few tomatoes into big chunks; put on plates. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar [both preferably the expensive kind, but the TJ's expensive kind, not the Dean & Deluca unaffordable expensive kind]. Grind pepper over top. Consider adding croutons if in pantry. Serve.
6. Chop one onion. In another bowl, combine 10 serraño chiles and 1 peeled head of garlic. Purée garlic and chile. Stir-fry garlic/chili mix in peanut oil until just barely starting to turn color. Add onion; fry. Add one pound lean ground beef; cook until done. Add 1/3 c. fish sauce, 2 T sugar, and half a bunch of mint, washed torn into bits [no stems, dude!]. Cook for a few minutes; serve over jasmine rice.
7. Ask Dan to make his famous Moroccan vegetable stew. It's in a Sunset cookbook anthology somewhere. It's good!
8. Fry one coarsely chopped onion in olive oil. When starting to turn golden, add one thawed pack of TJ's frozen seafood mix [the $5.49 one with the shrimp and squid]. Cook until slightly underdone. Add can of marinara sauce [or, preferably, Barilla marinara sauce, plain, if on sale at Safeway]. Heat and simmer for a while; add oregano, basil, garlic, pepper. Serve over pasta, preferably with good cheese.
9. Check back of pantry to see if there are still any shepherd's pie mix packets left. [I get these on vacation, usually in Canada.] Follow the instructions on the packet, but add Vegemite just for the hell of it. Don't both actually mashing potatoes; just use the dehydrated ones. It's English food, no one will notice. Serve with beer.
10. Brown pre-cooked bratwurst, but only if there's Bavarian sweet mustard available. If not, don't bother. Serve with rotkraut or sauerkraut and boiled small potatoes, ideally smashed up with fresh butter and roasted garlic. Definitely serve with beer, preferably Czechvar.
Atacama

10 x 10 IX

Ten types of shampoo I've used:

1. Lush Cynthia Sylvia Stout. This is lovely, but at $21 a bottle hardly essential. Smells great... but it seems to go bad at some point, at which point it smells like the inside of an In-Sink-Erator. Lush just opened their first store in the USA... in San Francisco, of course. Bet you can smell it from Daly City!
2. Scullys lavender shampoo from Bulls, New Zealand. [The local dairy has a great slogan: The only place where milk comes from Bulls!] My favorite by far, this is of course hard to come by. It's everywhere in NZ, but it's unclear if they export much. Smells fantastic.
3. Pears shampoo from Canada. I like this largely because the packaging was so delightful: matching oblong containers in purple and orange. Cool!
4. Timotei shampoo, blue cap ["with Alpine minerals" or something]. This has a very distinctive odor. I haven't smelled it in aeons. It'll always remind me of Patrick Rady; I used it the day I met him.
5. Suave Strawberry Essence. Actually, I've only used this once. I think it's pretty gross, but Dan's used it for as long as I've known him. So, it smells like Dan. I like that.
6. Neutrogena T-Gel. Great for when my scalp just won't stop itching. Recommended to me by my childhood barber - he thought the ladies would be turned off by my dandruff at the seventh grade dance. Luckily for me, the ladies didn't notice it at all - they were too transfixed by the breakin', poppin', and lockin' action going on on the dancefloor. Jam on it! Jam on it! [repeat until 1984]
7. Prell concentrated shampoo, in the small clear plastic tube. I haven't seen this when I was a kid, but it would still remind me of Dad if I could ever find it again. The brand went away and was reintroduced as a normal shampoo, but it just isn't the same. Feh.
8. A small glass bottle of East German shampoo from the summer of 1988. I sadly can't remember what the brand name was, but this was a classic GDR consumer product. Yes, that was a real glass bottle, complete with a poorly printed and barely adhesive paper label slapped on the front of it. It smelled an awful lot like the Macys perfume counter after the Loma Prieta earthquake: it REEKED. And did it clean my hair? Not that I recall. Dude, socialism sucks. I still have a tube of Putzi brand GDR toothpaste, though: that smells even worse.
9. A big pump bottle of Target brand Pert-style shampoo occupied a corner of my bathroom for about five years until I finally got angry enough to throw it out. When Dan and I stayed with our friend John for a couple of weeks between apartments in 1996, I thought this stuff was great. I don't know what I was thinking. It made me smell like a maxi-pad. I'm glad it's gone.
10. Boots brand comfrey and sage shampoo [or some other vile botanical combination]. Apparently one of the big trends of the last few years is to ship products that contain "botanicals". At Target last week, there was some new brand of home cleaning product that promised aromatherapeutic ylang-ylang oils in their floor wax or something. Anyhow, Boots has been hawking this stuff for a couple of years now. I bought the green men's shampoo when I was at my parents' place in 2001, and it sucked more than any other shampoo has sucked before. Recommended only for use in PETA videos - I'm sure it'll make those bunny eyes tear right up!
Atacama

10 x 10 X

Finally, the ten places where I've had the best sex:

1. Steve May's downstairs guest bedroom, Magnolia, Seattle, WA
2. Pittsburgh, PA
3. Brisbane, QLD
4. Auckland, NZ
5. A couple blocks up from Market St., San Francisco, CA
6. Oakland, CA
7. Tübingen, Germany
8. Chicago, IL
9. Noe Valley, San Francisco, CA
10. Harbourside, Göteborg, Sweden