Archive for October 2001

Fall already?

October? Already? But the leaves are still green! It never feels like fall here in San Francisco because the leaves don't change, and the weather finally gets good in October. Just last Sunday I got a tan on my back sitting in the sun in the park at a picnic. It was lovely.

Why do I feel a compulsion to mention I don't have much to say these days when it's obvious to anyone who reads this site? I do not know. But I feel I must tell you I don't have much to say these days. I'm doing a lot of thinking but not a lot of writing, at least, not yet.

That is all.

Date mistakes

Did anyone notice that I thought yesterday was Tuesday? My date stamp below (since changed) said "tuesday, october 03". I really am out of it, and so are you for not catching it. Usually megnut readers are quick to correct me about these types of things. (Wait a second, did I write it on Tuesday? Did I get the date wrong? I can't remember now.)

Some things to tell you about

Here are some things I could tell you about if I felt like it: Amores Perros was an interesting movie; SwissAir went kaputt (then revived, sort of) and I had to buy a new plane ticket to go to Germany next week; I learned, by watching the Food Network, that I'm not using enough flour when I make pasta from scratch and that I need to spend more time kneading the dough, up to ten minutes of kneading is required to get perfect pasta; two homeless men turned the entry way of my building into a bar this morning and hung out drinking and talking and smoking; I've driven across the Golden Gate Bridge four times since September 11 and everytime I reach the other side I'm relieved the terrorists didn't blow it up while I was on it.

Any Berlin suggestions for me

Have you been to Berlin? Any tips? Must-sees? Must-avoids? I'll be departing for the land of bier and wienersnitzel next week and your advice is appreciated. Danke.

Maybe small dogs aren't so bad

I think Heather started something with those small dogs of hers. I've never been much of a dog person, especially not a small dog person. I always pictured myself (if I ever pictured myself) with something that could go running with me, something big and sturdy. But meeting Heather's pups started to change that. And now, seeing pictures of Dos Pesos, I think I might be hooked on little dogs! They just look so cute! Of course, my 20+ lbs cat might think so too, as in "so cute I'm going to eat you for an afternoon snack." For the time-being, I think we'll remain a one-pet household.

Interview with the Trotts

Ben and Mena were interviewed about their new "personal publishing system" Movable Type over at Write the Web. Woo hoo!

A new megnut design

thumbnail of new megnut design, click to see larger versionBehold a nearly-complete new megnut design! Finally. I can't say that I'm super happy with it, but I needed to give up on perfection and satisfaction and hunker down to get something done. The other sections aren't really fleshed out yet, I'll be adding content as I have the time. Cooking does have one recipe though, and for those ladies that attended a certain "ladies brunch" last weekend, you'll recognize this crisp.

Hopefully this design will work for everyone (or nearly so). I haven't seen it on a Mac, so feedback is welcomed. It will not look very good on anything below Netscape 6.1 on Windows. It's all CSS these days. Anyway, I'm sure something's broken, messed-up, or misspelled. Email me if you're inclined and I'll do my best to fix it up. Now to eat some dinner!

Post-dinner update: I've added an image so you can see what it's supposed to look like. If you're seeing something different than the pop-up (click on screenshot above, warning large pop-up 703x655), please let me know. Thanks!

Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Crumb Topping


5 to 6 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices (if you use sweet apples instead, squeeze in approx. 1/2 t. of lemon juice to cut down the sweetness)
2 T. granulated sugar
2 T. lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
2 T. unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup plus 2 T. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 T. old-fashioned oatmeal
1/4 cup plus 3 T. granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 3 T. lightly packed brown sugar
12 T. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened

Thanks for the feedback

Thanks to everyone who's sent in email regarding the new design, I really appreciate your help. It seems there's a problem with Mac IE 5.1 (5.0 and 5.5 seem to be fine). For some reason the green background of the <div> isn't appearing in the nav bar. Anyone know why? I'm stumped. Aside from that, it seems like it works in the broswers which support CSS. And for those of you using browsers that don't fully support CSS, I strongly encourage you to upgrade to a version that does, if at all possible. (Not only to view this site, but to improve your online experience in general.)

Dreaming of being a chef

For a long time I've dreamt of being a patissiere/baker/pastry chef, and lately I've been considering it more seriously. Of all the things I spend time doing, cooking and baking is perhaps my favorite. I lose myself in the kitchen and hours can pass while I'm happily dicing and sifting and I won't notice. It's also one of the rare times when my mind shuts off and I live in the moment. The constant monologue that churns through my brain is silenced and I focus on scrubbing potatoes or picking herbs from my window box. I'm not sure if cooking would retain its magic for me if it were my job, but I'd be willing to try it out. My summer job at a pie shop was one of my favorite jobs ever. So I'd like to do this Career Discovery: An Introduction to Professional Baking and Pastry run by the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. Except that it costs $795 and I can't afford that. I'll stick to baking tarte tatins at home for the time being.

More feedback equals more changes

More thanks is due to those folks that wrote in about the Mac IE 5.1 problem. I've now added a class with "background:#69A52D;" to the image. Hopefully that fixed it. If it didn't, well you might just want to use the lo-fi megnut '96 with which the navigation will be visible.

I added a tiny bit of content, not as much as I'd hoped to add today, but things have been hectic here at HQ.

Off to Germany

I've made a couple more tweaks to the style sheet and hopefully that fixes the design for the remaining folks that were having trouble. If not, well I'll look into when I return because...

I'm off to Berlin today for the Wizards of OS conference and my panel on P2P Journalism. Thanks to all who wrote in with tips on places to visit, I'll do my darndest to see everything you've suggested. I'll try to update a bit from Berlin but it might not happen, and I won't have access to email while I'm away, so don't expect any quick replies. I'll be back on the 19th with tales of my German adventure.

Hello from rainz Berlin and

Hello from rainz Berlin and the Wizards of OS conference (where I'm typing on a QWERTZ keyboard and can't locate the Y). After 20 hours of travelling we arrived safelz to our hotel and promptlz fell asleep. Now we've seen some sights, eaten something I don't know the name of, and successfullz registered for the conference and ordered coffee and Coke. Quite a vacation we're having here. I'm all readz for mz presentation tonight at 8pm and can't wait until it's overwith. Then I've nothing to do but hang out and enjoz the citz. And trz to learn a little more German. Not as manz people seem to speak English over here as we'd hoped so we're flailing about a bit. I'll report more on everzthing later, for now just wanted to report we've made it here.

Returned from Germany

I'm back safe and sound. Much to tell, later. Now to bed.

Jet lag and movie review

Ugh jet lag, you bastard! I was asleep by 9 pm last night and wide awake at 5:30 am this morning watching Friends in the dark on the sofa. And now I feel like it's bed time and it's only 3 pm. My body may be in San Francisco but its clock is still in Berlin.

I really wish I'd gotten more of a chance to blog from Berlin but I didn't happen upon enough internet cafes at the right times to do so. Many of my thoughts and observations now seem "outdated" somehow, though I plan on summarizing a lot of them with some pictures in the next few days. In the meantime, a movie review:

On the plane to Europe I saw Bridget Jones' Diary, which I enjoyed, but only because it was a modern-day remake of Pride & Prejudice (as you know, one of my top ten favorites ever). Well, it wasn't exactly a remake, and I'm not sure it was supposed to be (though I'm also not sure how it couldn't have been), what with the main love interest's name being Darcy, and Darcy being played by Colin Firth (of BBC Mr. Darcy fame). And of course, she doesn't like him and he doesn't like her. And he's a bit prideful. And she instead falls for someone else (her boss) who is superficially more likable but in reality a cad. And the cad-like boss and Mr. Darcy were friends but now hate each other due to something that occurred, etc. etc. etc. Just like Miss Austen laid it out for us nearly two hundred years ago. And yet, it was still entertaining, especially seen when cooped up on a plane for twelve hours.

Megnut as MacGyver

I have all these MacGyver-like thoughts to share with you regarding my airplane experience but I'm a little afraid I'll end up on some list someplace, and I still need to fly in two weeks to DC and Boston. Isn't it a little silly to be afraid of such things? But if people are being prevented from flying because of the books they're reading [via rebecca], I can't imagine what would happen if I were to tell you about how I realized that my carry-on bag contained a long metal rod, and that Air France had given me a real glass glass (accompanied by a useless plastic knife), and how I pictured I could break the glass, tape it to the end of a long metal pokey rod and make a bayonet on-board the aircraft. If I told you that, would they still let me fly?

Normally I don't concern myself with thoughts of how to make a weapon out of my personal belongings, but something about the arbitrary, and seeming short-sightedness, of the new security measures, led me to it. Tweezers were prohibited. Tweezers. What, is someone going to tweeze the flight attendant's eye brow until the pilot relinquishes control? But then they serve GLASS. And a sharp-as-hell fork. But a plastic knife. Apparently one of the victims of September 11 was common sense.

Note: I don't know what the solution to this is.

Speaking of security though, I have to say, kudos to Charles de Gaulle (the airport, though the man was great too) and Air France in Paris. I've never seen anything stricter, much tighter than SFO. Three passport checks, the final one half-way down the jet way. And random bag inspections on the jet way as well. And lots of people with machine guns patrolling the airport. I think I've seen enough machine guns.

Battle jet lag

Jet lag: 3
Meg nut: 0

I went to sleep at 8 pm last night, though I think it might be related to a touch of sickness I've acquired. Regardless, being up before the sun holds no charm for me. I've done it enough in my life (every day for four years in college because of rowing, for example) that I never want to experience it again, especially on a daily basis.

Megnut for hire

I've added a "Working" section to the right indicating my current freelance status. (Don't hesitate, act now! I'm available!) And I've also plumped up the "for hire" section of the site with some details about what I've done and what I can do. If you or anyone you know is looking for an experienced web developer for pretty much any type of work, please let me know.

Fun with German

One of the funnest things about Berlin was trying to speak German. German is cool, especially because instead of writing two s's they write one ß (what's this thing called?). So you'll see things like straße rather than strasse (which means street). From now on here at megnut, I may employ the "B" s. Except that there's not as much opportunity to use it in English, since we don't have as many back-to-back s's. Heck. I can't even think of one right now that doesn't include an apostrophe. Oh! Accessible. From now on, I shall write it acceßible. Ja. Gut.

I need to get a wireless PC card for my laptop. Any recommendations? Horror stories and must-avoids out there? I'm looking for something under $100. As far under as possible. Thanks in advance.

Oh! Embarraßing is another.

A new pizza experiment

I concocted a new pizza last night but the recipe isn't quite ready for distribution yet. The carmalized onion topping was a little too sweet. I don't think the cooking section is going to see as many updates as I'd anticipated.

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