A cooking tip

megnut is pleased to present the first (in what may or may not end up being a series) megnut's cooking tip. This tip was pleasantly stumbled upon the other night while I was preparing some fresh black-pepper pasta. (Perhaps my next tip will entail details about rolling your own pasta dough? I am becoming quite an expert!) It will keep your pasta warm as you prepare the plates, since pasta, as we all know, cools very quickly. Many suggest warming the plates beforehand, but I always forget to do that. Plus, if I were to do it, then when the plates are hot, I would burn myself. This tip avoids those nasty burns.

pour your pasta into your colander but catch the water

the steam rises through the holes and keeps it toasty!

Learning Perl

Today I'm learning Perl and will shortly (I hope!) be able to point you to a site running something I've written using Perl and XML, and running on Apache. Why that sounds like crazy talk coming from an old MS/IIS/ASP gal like myself. I feel, um, so open, all of the sudden.

It was, as usual, a

It was, as usual, a movie-filled weekend for me. Saw A.I. opening night and left the theatre with mixed feelings. Upon further reflection though, I think I liked it quite a bit. It's definitely one of those movies that gets people talking and there's something to be said for that type of film. I won't say any more about it because I don't want to give anything away.

Last night I watched O Brother, Where Art Thou? on DVD and found it to be surprisingly good. I wish I were more familiar with the Odyssey (upon which it was based) though, I bet there were some really funny things that went completely over my head. Still though, it was a fun, refreshing movie, and I recommend it as a rental.

Pssst! The weather continues to be incredible this summer, no fog in sight! But don't tell, we don't want to jinx it!

KnowNow site launch

KnowNow launched their new site today, which looks pretty and corporate and enterprisey, so I'm sure they're pleased with it. For an overview, watch this Flash movie on Real Time Web Applications (ignore the cheesy music and the fact that the woman works in "Collaboration City"). It does explain the architecture fairly well, though it's much more "impactful" (that's the megnut enterprise-word-of-the-day today) to see an actual application running in real-time.

Looking over the site, I feel two things: relief that I'm gone, it's just obvious that the corporate style at KnowNow is not my style; and a bit of sadness, because I loved the idea of building kick-ass real-time web applications. And KnowNow provides the tools to do it. I imagine we'll be seeing some really amazing things being built with this stuff in the next year or two.

Suprisingly, little bits of my work survived my layoff! Check out this page on the developer site for the KN Table component I wrote. That's my fake data in the little picture in the corner, "Markie Mark," "Madonna," ahhh, it's like a part of me lives on.

Re-watching old movies

Re-watched two movies this weekend: Office Space and Traffic. Office Space continues to delight me after numerous viewings and ranks as one of my all-time favorites. There is simply no more appropriate insult for so many people than "no talent ass-clown." Traffic also held up in its second viewing, especially since this time I wasn't in the second row of the theatre with several children under the age of six two seats over. The final scene brought tears to my eyes again, definitely my favorite film of 2000.

A review of Terra Firma Farm

Rebecca's got a great review of Terra Firma Farm, a community-supported agriculture program we're both participating in. I recommend it if you like to eat organic and want to support local farms. My only complaint is that I end up with things I wouldn't have bought for myself normally. While in some cases (bing cherries), this was great. In others (three weeks and counting of many pounds of apricots), it's not. I have to say though, the bunches of basil I've gotten the last two weeks have been fabulous. And the cherry tomatoes are delicious!

Final photos from Europe

Jason posted the final pictures from our European adventure yesterday. Next trip I promise I'll take some pictures too.

A new episoe of 0sil8

New episode of 0sil8's up: Pocket. Little text messages sent to your mobile device (Palm, cell phone, etc.) I've been subscribed for a few weeks now (beta, you know...) and it's been great, except for the time my phone rang at the dentist in the midst of my teeth cleaning. But I think that's my fault, I should change my phone to use a different ring when it's a text message rather than a phone call. Join the fun and sign up today!

Baking cookies

Baking molasses cookies today, using my Grandma Pete's recipe, I can't help wondering what it would have been like to drown in a sticky mass of molasses.

A long wonderful hike

the starting out pointYesterday was fine hiking weather, indeed it was. Starting out from Muir Woods parking lot, Matt and Kay and I struck out on the Hillside trail where the shade of the redwoods offered a respite from the bright mid-day sun. We turned onto Ben Johnson and began our step ascent out of the valley of redwoods, passing over creeks, in and out of the light and shade, inhaling scents of pine and forest. A turn onto Stapelveldt and soon we found ourselves in the shade of the Pantoll parking lot for a snack break of nuts and granola bars.

snack break After some water and rest, it was on to the Matt Davis trail hugging the west side of Mt. Tam, weaving in and out of shady groves of laurel and fir. The Pacific shimmered off to our left with a cooling breeze which kept us from overheating, and we turned onto the Coastal Trail as Matt Davis continued west towards Stinson Beach. We passed the rusted out remains of a car that long ago drove off the road above us (East Ridgecrest Blvd.) and crashed down the hillside. It didn't look like the driver could have survived. A cool shady spot soon after yielded the sap-covered rocks upon which we sat to enjoy our lunch and rest our wearying feet. But not for long...

heading home, finallyContinuing along the narrow dusty trail lined with shimmering golden grasses, we intersected the Willow Camp fire road and turned east, beginning the trip back towards home. Climbing the hill, we passed the shedded skin of a rattlesnake baking in the sun. Up over and then down the other side onto the Cataract Trail, again weaving in and out of oak and laurel and crossing over creeks, until we arrived at the Mountain Home theatre. We crossed over to Bootjack and made our final push towards home. Down down down, across streams and brooks, back into the shady comfort of Redwoods, down the stairs of Bootjack, we ambled. Legs aching, toes blistering, vision focusing on the end of the long loop, we followed Bootjack back into Muir Woods and out to the parking lot. 10+ miles of pure California hiking splendor. [pop-up map of the whole long route]

I have turned into my mother

Last night, I realized the transformation was complete: I have turned into my mother.

When my brother and I were little, my mom would ask us for a "sip" of whatever we were drinking. It drove me crazy, I'd always say, "Why don't you just pour yourself a glass of oj/milk/pepsi/whatever?!" She'd always respond with, "I don't want a glass, I just want a sip." And then she would proceed to gulp gulp gulp half of my beverage in her "sip."

Last night Jason poured himself a full cold glass of Gatorade as we were standing in the kitchen. I could feel the dryness at the back of my throat,

"May I have a sip?" I asked.

"Why don't you pour yourself a glass?" he replied.

"Oh, I'm not that thirsty. I just need a sip."

He passed the glass to me and I raised it to my lips. Gulp, so cool and refreshing; gulp, so sweet and good; gulp, it makes my tummy feel cold; gulp, I'm no longer thirsty.

"Ahhhh," I said as I handed the nearly-empty glass back to him, "Thanks."

Good ol' SJ

We are all prompted by the same motives, all deceived by the same fallacies, all animated by hope, obstructed by danger, entangled by desire, and seduced by pleasure.

- Samuel Johnson


I hadn't been to see a Disney film in quite some time (I think the Lion King was the last one I saw, or Alladin,) and they seem to have changed quite a bit. Atlantis was nothing like I expected. No singing, no crazy characters that weren't human, and quite a bit of selfish evil violence general badness occurred. And it was, for no apparent reason, set in 1914 and then filled with anachronisms. I hate anachronisms. The animation was pretty cool though, and it was loud. But I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone. Now this is Atlantis!

Check out 20 Things

Did I point you yet to Judith's 20 Things site? I don't think I did. I participated in this project, but it turns out I have limited artistic talent so my submission wasn't quite the object d'art like others created. But it was fun. And that was the point.

Not all McDonald's are the same

It seems like foreign McDonald's offer better food than their American counterparts. When we were in Antwerp, I saw several signs for something called a "McDo." Not sure what it is, but it's got to be better than a Big Mac. And now Egyptian McDonald's are selling McFalafel. Now I'd eat that if I were forced to eat at McDonald's. Wouldn't you?

Using more Latin in posts

I'm going to start using more Latin in my writing and everyday speech. It seems so useful, for example arguendo or, "for the sake of argument." Wouldn't that make a meeting more exciting, more concise? I'll no longer have to trip my tongue over such expressions as, "Assuming, for the sake of argument, that we did built this web application in twenty minutes..." Now I can say, "Assuming arguendo that we did..." See how much nicer it is? You should try it too. And don't worry, I don't think it will make us seem haughty or pretentious, it's not like it's French or something!

Blogs in your newspaper

USA Weekend, which I believe is one of those Sunday magazine inserts, has a little bit on blogs this weekend. You can find it in your paper or check it out online.


I'm too scared to watch basketball tonight.

Happy day after Flag Day

I was remiss in pointing out that yesterday was Flag Day here in the United States of America. If I'd been on top of my game, I would have sponsored an essay contest, similar to the one I entered in 5th grade. The only line I seem to recall from my second-place garnering essay was, "The Flag is not merely a piece of cloth but is a proud banner flying in the wind." Ah those patriotic days of yore...

When market caps are a good thing

An interesting article in the Sacramento Bee attempts to explain how California deregulation happened in the first place. Sounds like there were people waving red flags but lots of folks chose not to listen. The descriptions of the politicians and commissioners reminded me of Atlas Shrugged. In the attempt to pave the way for a brave new world of electrical power, of "Power to the people and by the people," they created a system that couldn't work. Of course, in Atlas Shrugged, Rand has politicians and commissioners hobble the market in the other direction, but the similarities are there. (Thanks to Erik for sending in the link.)

Erik also sent a link to an Economist article, "Energy prices- When caps do not fit" but you need to be a subscriber. Of course their stance is rather traditional and expected: No Price Caps. The Economist argues we must bear the brunt of our decision and let the market sort itself out and that creating price caps will do nothing to solve the root of the problem: insufficient supply. To that I say, "Maybe."

If it were truly a case of limited supply I too would be concerned about price caps because there's no incentive for suppliers to invest in increasing capacity (building new plants, upgrading lines, etc.) But I suspect the problem in California is restricted supply: providers are withholding and not producing to capacity in order to drive up prices. They're taking advantage of the market. And price caps would prevent that behavior.

I love the free market, but I also believe that a government has a responsibility to protect its citizens. If we allow an unchecked market, we allow for extremes: very very rich people and very very poor people. Price ceilings and price floors (such as minimum wage) prevent us from a "survival of the richest" existence. And this is one situation where I think short-term price caps are necessary. At least until we get this mess straightened out. And enough about that!

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