Material Lust

Apple - iMac G5- I am soon to be the proud owner of an imac G5. I just want to stress that I did not need this computer, I have a perfectly reasonable older desktop with a flatscreen that covers 85% of the computer use I want from my personal computer. But this purchase was not a normal gear purchase for me. For some reason this apple evoked in me the kind of "I want it" feeling that I have not experienced since I was saving up for my game-gear when I was 11. For the money it is by no means the fastest or most compatible compter, but it's very pretty and it has way fewer cables attached than any other non-laptop I would get (bluetooth mouse and keyboard, wifi, and integral monitor). It basically does everything I would need it to as a purely fun use computer. In short, I dig it. There is something brilliant in this product, I know I don't need it, there are many rationalizations I could use for getting it, but at the end of the day I just want it. All I have left to say is, as a long term PC user I welcome our new well styled all-in-one computer overlords.


Phat rhymes from the LT, total cut and paste action

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred
'Forward the Light Brigade!
Charge the guns!'he said
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward the Light Brigade!
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho the soldier know
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do or die.
Into the valley of Death,
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to the right of them,
Cannon to the left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death
Into the mouh of hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there
Charging an army while
All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
Shattered and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to the right of them,
Cannon to the left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at twith shot and shell
While horse and hero fell
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of hell,
And all that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honor the charge they made!
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!


Another night on the town

Today we had a lot of good progress and we had to leave aprocess running so we went out to rome for dinner. We went to a little Osteria in Piazza di Pietra. Originally they didn't want to seat us outside because it was too cold, but we perservered due to the lack of free tables inside. The dinner was excellent, and will be described below. The meal was made more interesting by the sudden downpour that hit. Being in good spirits when the waitress came out and told us there were no tables inside and we could cancel our main dish orders, we merely asked about umbrellas. Sure enough within seconds she had returned with a couple umbrellas we could hold while eating. The food was so good we didn't notice the extra effort of holding an umbrella to eat. The owner thought it was so funny he took pictures of us eating in the downpour with umbrellas, it was one of those things we just had to do to embrace the moment. However, as the wind picked up we decided to go in for desert.
The meal step by step:
Pre order: a shiraz di Lazio surprisingly delicious, can't remember the vineyard for the life of me; bread and artichoke spread

Antipasti: mix of italian meats cheeses, the main standout was a phenominal spicy soft salami/spread(it was orange in color, fatty in consistancy, super spicy, and my own little spoonful of heaven)

Primi: skipped, gotta keep lean and mean

Secondi: Roast Buffalo in a brunello reduction. Lean and beefier than beef, with a tasty wine sauce; not much room for improvement, but with such a lean meat it should have been cooked a little less.

Dolci: This was the clear winner in the meal, beating out the meaty soft salami and beffy main course. The delicious combination of a flourless chocolate torte with a sauce of stewed pear and ginger. The sauce itself would have merited a blog entry, but with the thin hark heavy torte and tart berry garnish, this dish bordered on cullinary brilliance.

Digestif:Some clear unknown anise liqueur comped for the comedy in the rain, followed with an illy espresso

We followed the dinner with a drink at one of my favorite bars, where I had an oban to cap off the night. I'm gonna miss this place, of course after over a month of hotel livin I want to be home again, but man am I gonna miss nights like this.

Of course we then returned to the hotel to work for a few hours, but that's just how we roll yo. We hard core, down wit da cep (complex event processing), mom (message oriented middleware), and straight up bem (business event management). We tuck our polos deep, and rock our khakis with a cuff and pleat, other IT can't be us or see us. (In case you were wondering this is what happens when you work too many hours behind a computer and listen to too much 90's rap).


Google your desktop!

Okay, so I don't know how long it's been around without me knowing about it, but there's finally a desktop google client, it's what I've been waiting for, almost. Given the amount of crap that accumulates on my system, I need something more integrated than a search client that only looks into certain file types ( all microsoft or simple text based for the beta). The other thing I don't like is that it caches all the web pages you've looked at recently in IE; I want seperation between my file and recently viewed content search utillities cause I like the line between local and web content to be clearly defined.

What I guess I'm really looking for is an intelligent file manager with a little button in the task bar for "related files" ranked by the pagerank algorithm. If I was looking for an xml file with a certain element, an old email on thunderbird(not outlook!), some classfile that could be in any one of 30 jars, or some other similar task, it would be great if I had some sort of really intelligent search program that could find it. As stands I find I'm relearning my unix commands and using cygwin, cause gosh darnit those commands are just handy. Grep and pipes have saved me many hours of work this trip, maybe it's time to invest in an understanding of a little more advanced sed and awk action.

Anyone know when we're supposed to get these hot relational file systems? I mean atomic data is so pase, now it's all about context, related events, and metadata (metadata, it's the new black). At some point I'm going to have to reprise my metails post and do a little entry on social engineering and viral marketing. 'Cause man, there's potential in exploiting existing social networks for fun and profit, or even better... large scale subtle influence on mob behavior. (Ever consider how dangerious it would be if oprah, rosie, and martha stewart all got together and decided to discretely push consumer buying habits to fund some kind well defined long term agenda. It's not like when warren buffet makes stock decisions, there's no sec watching these people!!!)

Rome winding down

In less than 9 days I will be in NYC for some much needed r&r. This trip has been fantastic, and I have a new favorite city, but the work has worn on me and living in a hotel for over a month is a little rough. The accomodations have been great, it's the little things like how the TV sound plays on a speaker in the bathroom as well (which incidentally is connected to the tv via a standard mono 1/8" plug, and the speaker is amplified, so it's a perfect external speaker for my ipod), my nice view of the pool and golf course (I actually spent one sunday working out by the pool, it rocked, but that was 3 weeks ago and now it's raining), and the periodic gifts I get since I've been here over a month so far.

I never realized how much I depend on variety in food, today I found myself desperately needing something other than Italian. Luckily tonight my co-worker felt the same way, so we grabbed Chinese. We found a place in piazza largo argentina. The aromatic fried duck was excellent(crisp skin, tender meat, wonderful aroma), but the juicy pork buns and shu mai left much to be desired. I finished the meal with their home-made "dolci di nutella" which were won-ton skins filled with nutella and deep fried, of course I understood the pitfalls once I saw the desert and pre punctured them and let them sit(thus safely avoiding jets of molten hazelnut-chocolaty goodness searing my mouth). I definitely should have skipped them and ended the meal on a ducky note.


New hotel status, or "It's good to be da king"

So today was my 32nd day in rome. I have spent one night in the Holiday Inn-Parco de Medici(a craptacular hotelgiven it's 185 euro a night), and I have spent 30 nights in the Sheraton golf, a much nicer and cheaper (but still overpriced) hotel. So they were nice to me before, and periodically gave me gifts, but now things have definitely changed for the better. Today they gave me a small bottle of wine, and a couple pears with good parmiggiano. When I went down to breakfast the hotel business manager introduced himself to me and gave me his card in case he could do anything to improve my stay. When I got back to my room tonight the bed had been turned down and there was a little almond cookie on the pillow, a bathrobe hangning in the bathroom(to use, not keep), and comfy slippers to wear around the room. That's right, I'm at gold status now baby. It only took about 5k euros, but now they have lavished a total of 30 euros or so of extra service on me, and I like it. Suddenly everyone in the hotel knows my name, and at the bar the "house" wine is suddenly a better one, and the glass is bigger. I'm officially a vip at the sheraton golf now, "hail to the king baby."

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos Recipe I'm told this is one of the best fish taco recipes ever, but I have not personally sampled them.


hopp hopp - video

hopp hopp Found the movie through another fine gawker blog:www.screenhead.com. So move over Joe Eigo, I have a new internet video clip hero. This guy does less flipping and more rooftop to rooftop jumping. I have officially decided to take up yoga again to gain the flexibility and strength to begin training to do this stuff. This guy is freakin bad ass. I just want to know where he got the radioactive spider from.


PRAWNOGRAPHY. fellow blogger user discovers comedy in a japanese grocery store in madrid this one's worth a look see

WebCalc Calculator or Hey Google ! Buy these guys!

WebCalc Calculators Being the big dork that I am, I love automation and not having to write things down, or save them but just google them (conversion factors included). When subscription based apps go main stream, I will be one of the first to throw out my office suite (uninstall and archive of course, I'm not dumb) and use the online ones exclusively. That is why I love this site. Now if they'd only offer a nice scripting language api so I could access it through a random cron job to automate certain calcs I have no use for (that would be sweet).


Cooking for engineers

I always thought I should write a book called this, or create a website, but it seems someone has beaten me to it(url www.cookingforengineers.com), and done it quite well. The recipies are all easily presented in a matrix of the ingredients and what to do with them. Not that I really follow recepies anyway, but this makes it really easy to just glance at the instructions and make something. Definitely worth taking a look at. Maybe soon I'll post a couple "tasty meals from the random crap in my apartment." Or come up with a nice shorthand notation for functions to express classes of recepies that can be applied to limited ingredient sets A:{beef, lamb, ostrich, venison} B:{basil, mint, rocket} C{onions, shallots, scallions} etc.