Archive for May, 2009

Pete Seeger is stuck in my head

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Up Down, Down Up and down the river. Going…

Also, I’m going to see Up.

Charles Stross

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Every so often I go through a new author reading phase. Sort of like when your machine learning algorithm adjusts some variables and becomes more exploratory, only less intentional.

Though, saying that I have picked up, the awesome Charles Stross’s work only recently, would be incorrect. I started reading/devouring his works around a year ago. However, recently I found his blog, a list of other works of his and realized that the local library had copies of some of them.

So that is where my free time has been going of late. Merchant Princes, Toast and Glasshouse

The book that started it, though, was the The Atrocity Archives, a Lovecraftian Coldwar-spy-story-ish tale with a sysadmin as the main character. I read it in two days and two sittings. Freaking sweet.

One of my other favorite authors of recent readings(The Graveyard Book was wonderful, of course) also has a penchant for darker stranger dare I say Elder things. Neil Gaiman weaves a good tale, spins a good yarn. And, having won the Newberry, is giving a speech at the ALA conference. Oh, and I am going to see it.

Should be awesome.

Moved to Disqus Comments

Friday, May 29th, 2009

I changed my comment system over. Got tired of dealing with spam.

Beef Brisket And Stuff

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

America’s test kitchen is awesome. Cook’s Illustrated is my favorite print magazine. And, their recipes totally rock(America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook is a great reference). They are also composable, the recipes I mean.

Behold Sara and I’s creation, the beef brisket sandwich.

Barbeque Brisket Sandwiches

We made a rub (Basic BBQ Rub pg 399), and used the recipe on page 401 for BBQ beef brisket as inspiration. Inspiration, because we a) don’t have a BBQ and b) it was raining anyway.

We let the rubbed meat marinate overnight in the fridge and put it in the oven after we woke up, around one. We used this pretty awesome dutch oven that we got from the previous tenant and used the Slow Roasted Beef pg 348 recipe as a guideline for the roasting. Then added a few more hours till the brisket was ‘fork-tender’, which I translated to falls apart with little prying.

While that was going on we made BBQ sauce(Texas-style Barbecue Sauce pg 634). At first we didn’t cook it enough so it was too vinegary, but some more time over the heat mellowed it and let the sugars from the molasses break into more palatially interesting compounds.

Also, I made some sauce from the deglazed frond(French for the gunk on the bottom of the pan) that had some real kick due to all the spice that was in the rub. Spicy.

I’d call it a success.

Pizza is easy

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

In honor of the pizza I ordered last night, the pizza I wish I had made again.
Home made 'za

Lagniappe: Salami and Egg on an English Muffin. It was good too.

Egg and Salami on English Muffon

Check out my flickr account for some more.

Updated Twitter Javascript Search Stuff

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Jazzfest Day 3

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

The day started in the race track’s stands listening to an interview with Pete Seeger.
In the Stands, Listening to Pete Seeger
While I was there I wrote down some interesting things I heard him say.


“If it is true that if you don’t grow you die, isn’t it also true that the faster you grow the sooner you die?”

Eminently quotable

“Music and dancing and good food. … These are the things that will save the human race.”

“Q:You look and sound amazing for your age–what’s your secret?” “A:Ice cream.”

“We are all descended from good killers. The ones that weren’t didn’t have any descendants.”

In the same answer he talked more about why he likes to chop wood.

“It’s fun to go whack!”

Colleen Salley
After that, we went to the children’s tent and listened to a couple stories in honor of Colleen Sally.(Shes the one in the middle)

Fuzzy pic of Papa Grows FunkFrom there we went to the Gentilly Stage where Papa Grows Funk was playing. We listened/danced to a couple numbers but I wanted to hear some blues so we crossed the fair grounds to listen to part of Guitar Slim Jr.’s set.

Roman Chewing Candy Truck
Houma Indian BreadBut we were a little hungry after listening to the interview and the stories, so we stopped and grabbed some roman candy, which I didn’t like too much–too sticky and some Houma Indian Fry Bread, which was awesome.(I almost didn’t get a picture of it because we already started to consume it.)

Tie Dye Guy
We made our way around Congo Square and looked at the vendor’s wares. We stopped and chatted with Z of Z’s Tye Dye and bought some tye dye shirts from him. He makes good stuff and has been around for a while.

Guitar Slim Jr.Finally we ended up at the blues tent in time to listen to Guitar Slim wail on his instrument like any good blues man should. It rocked. But, it also was standing room only. And soon it was time to meet up with Sara’s parents at the Economy Hall tent to listen to the Pfister Sisters.
Pfister Sisters


After listening/dancing to the Pfister Sisters, we were hungry again, so we got some real jambalaya. It was a lot less moist than I make it and used no tomatoes. What is called a brown jambalaya. Dare I say Yum Yum? I dare.

While we were eating jambalaya, the Pine Leaf Boys were playing. So, we did what anyone would do in such a situation. We Fais Do-Doed it up for a while.

From there, we made our way to the Jazz tent to listen to Terence Blanchard.

On the way there, song of New Orleans Allstar R&B Review(I read in the Times-Picayune the next day that it was the good bit) .

The jazz that the band played was very much modern jazz. Not the sort most people could dance to. But everytime I felt ready to leave, I would hear something more that made me want to stay and keep listening. Until we got up that is.
Trout Fishing in America
We got up to go back to Economy Hall to listen to Dr Michael White and his band play some traditional jazz. There were people dancing there again, like at the Pfister Sisters.

Then we skipped over to the kids tent and listened to Trout Fishing in America, which was totally awesome.
Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band
I wanted to see Earth Wind and Fire so we went out to the track and walked around to avoid the crowds. We stayed there and listened to a few songs, but Earth Wind and Fire was too mellow a way to end such an awesome day.

We went back to the Fais Do Do Stage and listened to Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band close out the evening and danced till we were out of breath.

Look at me!

Jazzfest Day 2: Saturday

Friday, May 8th, 2009

On the second day of Jazzfest, I stayed at the Acura(main) stage all day.

I saw the Dixie Cups.

Dixie Cups

I saw Pete Seeger(who was one of the main reasons we picked the first weekend).

Pete Seeger

I saw Irma Thomas.

And James Taylor.
James Taylor on the megatron

I also ate a bunch of interesting things.

Like sweet potato pie.
Sweet potato pie

And crawfish strudel. Mmm, that flaky crust.
Crawfish Strudel

Twitter Search from Javascript

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

I was working on building a js twitter search app for jazzfest, which I didn’t finish in time really, but I liked the interface I came up with.

Twitter = {
}; = function(opts){
var callback = function(data){
    Twitter._callbacks = Twitter._callbacks.without(callback)
var len = Twitter._callbacks.push(callback)

You call it by doing:{q:'happy birthday',callback: function(data){

The next thing to do would be to add support for more of the search API's parameters.
Or to remove the dependency on Prototype introduced by using insert on the body rather than something more verbose.

Self Organizing Communities

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

One of the things that I find fascinating about the Internet is how it makes it easier for groups to form organically. I was thinking about this because of a reaction to the GoGaRuCo pr0n presentation ridiculousness. The group I am thinking of is RailsBridge. Which started as a response to the need to do something positive in reaction to all the recent negativity in and about the rails community.

It has only been a few days, but already they have a mailing list, a website, an IRC channel and are looking for people interested in helping them file as a non-profit. Also, there are also spin off projects, like RubyChallenge.

I personally think this is an awesome idea. And represents the best that the Internet as a social media can offer–enabling people to get together to help out others.