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Date Range: 5/1/2004 - 5/31/2004
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Monday, May 31, 2004

A Very Sushi Birthday

Yesterday I celebrated my 29th birthday. I had lunch at my favorite local sushi place, Miyako in La Mirada with my family. Food was wonderful as usual, and I was treated with a wonderful sushi floral arrangement made of salmon and albacore sashimi and fried California rolls. Though this picture looks like the roses are made of thick slices of fish, they are actually sliced very thin, each rose made of about 12 slices.

After stuffing ourselves with lots of sushi, Gaetano helped me open my gifts which included a sashimi knife from my dad, a book all about sushi from my brother and sister-in-law as well as a gift certificate to a sushi preperation class.

Mom, who even hesitates to eat chicken terriyaki for fear they won't cook it enough, didn't go with the sushi trend. She gave me a set of 4 vanilla decorative candles and a Vornado 210B air circulation system that I'm really looking forward to testing out. (I don't have air conditioning here and summers are brutal.)

From Gaetano (via my mom), I was given a date displaying paperweight. It is hard to describe, but it is made of wood blocks that have numbers that can form the current date. There is a set of 3 blocks, each having a different month on each of their 4 sides. The blocks allow you to form any date of the year.

After lunch, we made a quick dash over to my brother's house and had cake. It was a bit rushed because I had a 3 o'clock appointment at Burke Williams and it was already 15 after 2.

I barely made it to Burke Williams in time for my full session massage, courtesy of John and Andrea (bother and sister-in-law) alla Christmas 2003 gift certificate. I swear, they give the best gift certificates!

So after my massage, I really wanted to soak in a jacuzzi but in the rush of the day I'd forgotten my swimsuit. Swimsuits are optional, but I really didn't feel up to it this time.

I decided to treat myself to the Calistoga Getaway. It's not like me to splurge and spend money on myself like this at all... With all my health problems recently, I figured a body wrap couldn't hurt if it indeed does rid the body of toxins.
I'm so glad I did, and hope to be able to afford the luxury again once I recover from paying off all my medical debt.

Those who know me well know that I very rarely have occasion to get out of the house for time to myself, so this was a much needed break. All in all it was a very nice birthday that won't soon be forgotten. Thanks to everyone who made it special!

Oh, almost forgot... I even got a special sushi birthday poem/song written just for me from a friend (you know who you are ;-)) in Canada:

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to ~Angela,
Happy Birthday to you!

May you live to a thousand and one,
May you drink loads and loads of rum,
Enjoy raw fish, you sexy dish,
Happy Birthday to you!

I think this is what they should sing for birthdays in Japanese restaurants. Would be quite funny...

Posted by ~Angela | Comments (5) | Add Comment | Permalink

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The Ultimate Spam Blocker

I wish that I could set up a message rule in Outlook to send off an auto-reply to all messages received containing spelling errors. The auto-reply would read something like, "I'm sorry, but your message contained spelling errors and has been marked as spam. Please correct all spelling errors and try again." As a courtesy I would provide a link to tutorials on how to set up Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, and other popular email programs to automatically check spelling before sending. The message rule would either move all these messages to a special folder or delete them.

Perhaps the message rule could check for people in my contact list. This way, it doesn't hurt anyone's feelings. ;-) (The sender may not be bad at spelling, but simply suffer from typlexia.)

I think that this would be the Ultimate Spam Blocker... What do you think?

Posted by ~Angela | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Permalink

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

My First Breeze Live Presentation

Yesterday's presentation was my first time presenting using Breeze Live. It seemed the presentation was well received despite that I wasn't as collected in my thoughts as I usually am. Had the hours prior to the session not been so hectic, I'd have been more "together". Although friends present said they couldn't tell anything was wrong, it still affected me to a small degree.

To do a Breeze Live presentation, it is recommended that you have a second computer set up in the meeting as a guest. This computer is used to see what your audience sees so that you can account for delays.

So I turn on my desktop and the mouse is busted. I run out to Circuit City to pick up a new one. I get back, restart, and my keyboard doesn't work! I have a required login, so I can't even get logged in. I try everything, finally resorting to an old keyboard from another computer (that won't start either and can't connect to the internet). Luckily, it worked!

Now it is nearing time for me to join the meeting. I have to be hardwired (as oposed to my wireless connection) during the presentation. I switch over and my entire internet connection dies on the network. I'm frantic by now, thinking I'm not going to make it. With some sound advice and calming words from Dan, I rebooted the router and after a couple of minutes the internet came back up. Phew!

Once I'm in the meeting, I am looking around for the special Presenter controls and I'm not finding them. I buzzed the moderator and didn't get a reply. I'm in the room only as a guest, uh oh. I try to send a message to her, and accidentally send it to the whole meeting...D'oh! Amy called me, and got me hooked up just in time.

I didn't have my usual couple of minutes to collect my thoughts and get in presenter mode, but it went fine. After a few minutes, I was alright.

It's tricky doing Breeze Live, and next time it will be much easier. There is so much to pay attention to. You have to watch the other monitor to be sure it is updating for the audience. You need to remember to click a few buttons (wish it were just one) to share the screen. You have to remember to then switch back to slides. All the while you are supposed to try and ignore the chat window that's whizzing past you. Then your other computer goes to screensaver and you have to wake it up so you can make sure what the audience is seeing is the same thing you're talking about.

As overwhelming as it was, I loved it. I know I could give the same presentation again much better, and hope to have the opportunity to do so. Even if I do a different one, now I know what to expect with Breeze Live and it will go much smoother next time.

Thanks to all who attended for being there, especially the Cartweaver customers who joined us. It was nice to see so many familiar names present. The thanks and grattitude was overwhelming. Thanks again to those who sent private chats and email. You're all so very kind!

Of course, thanks to Dan for helping me out -- both with the internet connection and fielding questions during the presentation.

If any of you have any feedback, I'd be happy to hear it as it really helps me to do better in the future. I'm really looking forward to doing this again.

Posted by ~Angela | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Permalink

Monday, May 17, 2004

Dreamweaver MX 2004 Killer Tips with ColdFusion

I'll be giving a live online presentation tomorrow, Tuesday May 18th at 4pm Pacific, for Macromedia's Community Week. Here's the official description:

Dreamweaver MX 2004 Killer Tips with ColdFusion
Discover little-known features and pick up some tips-n-tricks for Dreamweaver MX 2004 specifically geared towards ColdFusion users. This presentation covers concepts that range from basic to advanced.

You must register (it's free!) for this presentation as participation is limited. (You will need to scroll to the bottom of the table Tuesday May 18th.)

Posted by ~Angela | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Permalink

Monday, May 10, 2004

Almost Like Sitting at the Sushi Bar

According to Engadget, "Japanese sushi chain Toriton has installed an IBM voice-recognition system for ordering." The article continues to describe a system that lets the chef buzz the table, you place your order, and what you order prints up on a slip for them. Sounds like sitting at some of the sushi bars that I've been to, only they have to memorize my order because writing it all down with fishy hands is a bother.

Sushi is one of my favorite foods, but it can easily be ruined if my request for no cucumber is forgotten or never reaches the chef. So many times I'm disappointed and have to pick it out of my sushi or send it back (which I rarely do unless I know I made it super clear and I wrote it on the ticket neatly where it couldn't be missed).

I can't wait for this technology to come to a sushi bar near me..."No cucumber on anything tonight please. I'd like a philly roll. No cucumber. One Alaska roll... No cucumber. One Hawaiian roll, no cucumber. One albacore garlic roll. No cucumber. Thank you so much. No cucumber. That should be enough for now. No cucumber. Oh, and no ginger either. Thanks!"

Maybe I should learn some Japanese. Anyone care to teach me how to say, "No cucumber please. Thank you."? :-)

Posted by ~Angela | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Permalink