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I got C++ readability today! It's basically a Google milestone meaning "you're competent at this language, and don't need someone double-checking your style/methodology". I posted more on G+ about why it's a big deal to me, but figured people here might also be interested.


Oct. 6th, 2012 08:39 pm
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In the vein of "Neat things in Fremont/Wallingford" and "posting more than never", I went to this equinox lantern festival Luminata. There were lots of beautiful lanterns and even more amazing costumes and props and things. I learned about it night-of, but apparently there were making-stuff workshops the week or two before.

It was very Fremont in the best of ways - where Cambridge has the River Sing that seems aimed for a particularly educated somewhat hippie crowd, Luminata was a little pagan, very artsy and showed some beautiful creativity. I'm happy to be at home in both of them.

Have some pictures )


Jul. 23rd, 2012 09:57 pm
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I got a shiny modern-ish recliner from Craigslist. It's super comfy. The cats find it fascinating, and apparently it produces the perfect lap to sit in. Catnip infused, maybe? Regardless, I'm OK with this situation.

Posted via m.livejournal.com.


Jul. 14th, 2012 04:36 pm
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In the past while (year?), I've read two excellent fiction and non-fiction books I've been meaning to post about. Well, I've only been meaning to post about the one I'm still finishing for a couple hours, but you get the idea. These are all quite good, and I recommend them if they sound like your kind of thing.

Read more... )
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Awesome things I did today:
* Went to last minute dim sum with people, and did somewhat intimidating ingredient shopping while I was in the ID (we now have 750ml of fish sauce! And a *massive* quantity of curry paste).
* Made really tasty peanut sauce to go with [livejournal.com profile] memnus's chicken and veggies. Got to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] ladydrakaina too.
* Attempted to turn berry and peach juices into "caviar" using the molecular gastronomy cocktail kit. The drinks themselves were not terribly successful - even the better-working ones were effectively drinking peach or berry slime. [livejournal.com profile] quartzpebble had better success overall, not very surprisingly. She was also responsible for the blob monstrosity at the end, also not surprisingly. :) It was lots of fun and very experimental, though, so a success on that front!

Book rec

Sep. 24th, 2011 10:35 pm
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I just finished 7th Sigma by Steven Gould. It was really great, and not what I would have guessed based on the title or cover. It's a retelling of Rudyard Kipling's "Kim", except in a futuristic American southwest where "bugs" have eaten everything metal, and Kim's first real teacher/parent figure is a Sensei starting her own school. It was clearly initially written as a bunch of short stories, but what comes together is a fantastic story. I strongly recommend it!
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So, unfortunately, the fermented part of kombucha appears to mean it tastes like sauerkraut. In this case sort of fruit flavored slightly bubbly sauerkraut. For those with any doubt in their minds, this is not, in fact, a good thing. Ick. Better luck next time. :)
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One downside of acid reflux is that almost every beverage is discouraged on one of the following grounds: contains caffeine, is tea or coffee (even decaffinated), has high acidity (citrus drinks), carbonated (pop), is hot chocolate (caffeine plus high fat), contains peppermint (many herbal blends, mint relaxes the esophageal sphincter - I don't actually know the mechanism).

This mostly leaves Rooibus, Coconut water or ignoring the rules. I drink the first few quite a bit, and am slowly exploring the last option.

Just recently, I've come up with a new way to ignore the rules semi-reasonably. Just drinking my favorite iced tea once a week isn't terribly satisfying, but giving myself permission to buy any single utterly gratuitous or random beverage appears to do the trick.

Excessive beverage 1: Cherry Cacao Cocoa Nova - it's basically cocoa minus the milk, and odd but delicious. The brewed/steeped chocolate taste is actually really good. The cherry bit is nice but a little artificial. (I actually kind of like artificial cherry, so opinions might differ here). The mouth feel is unusual or maybe tricky - it's like a hearty tea and your mouth keeps expecting milkfat instead. If I can find the "Mocha" flavor, I'll definitely try it.

Excessive beverage 2: Raspberry Passion Mama Chia - This is like drinking teeny tiny bubble tea, but with seed in it. Also kind of like drinking jello, but in a reasonably good way. The seeds mean you don't really want to actually drink it without a little chewing, but it's surprisingly refreshing in a fruity/hydrating way. I drank this over a couple days, never more than a sip or two at a time, but quite enjoyed it.

Excessive beverage-to-be: One of the many kombucha choices. Frankly, I've always been too intimidated before now, and I'm still a little hesitant now that I've realized it's carbonated and so won't keep once I open it. On the other hand, it's everywhere, I've been curious about how it actually tastes.

Potential beverage of the future: Lychee Wasabi drink. This was the all out weirdest, and I am extremely tempted by it. Maybe next week, especially if I can convince [livejournal.com profile] purplebob to help me with it. The side of the bottle suggests "neat" as the spiciest option, and effectively recommends using it as a mixer or watered down. I am deeply curious.
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We have a bunch of miscellaneous things at Madhouse (in Seattle). They're going to Goodwill tomorrow unless someone claims them tonight - delivery can be arranged later. Let me know if you want anything.

* A black satin shirt with red embroidered flames. As much as I admire it's flair, I admit I won't ever actually wear it. Size M, a bit short.
* Black slacks from L.L. Bean - Mens size 36, inseam 32.
* Three pairs of new but too cheap to return gray lightweight merino hiking sock
* Origami paper in several sizes - 50+ sheets
* White plastic laptop stand/raiser
* All purpose envelopes (too small for business and too big for cards, basically) - 3 5/8 by 6 1/2.
* One wood/metal comb probably for hand carding wool
* Two swaths of fabric - black gauze with pinkish cherries and emphatically purple satin.
* Three small decorative boxes - one glass heart, one glass heart with metal lid and one hexagonal wood
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I read A Fistful of Sky recently and really enjoyed it. It does magic in ways most books don't bother with - magic tied up in family, and magic that isn't always fun and awesome, and with all that is not actually a downer like I was afraid. :) It's both a fun read and a really thoughtful book doing things you don't see everywhere. I recommend it highly.
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If you're in the Seattle vicinity on May 28 and like {food|beer} and {picking up and putting down heavy things| organizing/sorting things|spatial reasoning games|controlled deconstruction}, come help us move!

Or, more coherently from [livejournal.com profile] memnus:

We are moving! Madhouse-at-Camelot is migrating from Capitol Hill to Wallingford and absorbing Lori as a part-time resident! The big move day will be May 28th, starting as early as 9 and going until we need dinner. Any help and all help will be appreciated, whether that's packing boxes at this end, wrangling furniture, or organizing bookshelves.
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* Padmapper - Found too late (I hope!) to be useful in the Seattle apartment hunt, but really nice looking. Courtesy of gdarklighter on Twitter. It not only combines many sources, it has an actually useful search-on-map interface and some really nice filters like price-per-room as well as overall price. The other surprisingly handy one is graying out the spots you've already looked at, and letting you save favorites.

* If This Then That - it's closed right now, but I think I have invites to give away? Like Yahoo pipes, except more straightforward, I guess. Lets you cause various events to trigger other ones. Think most people use it to do things like auto post photos uploaded one place to another. I'm using it to watch a few stocks and to alert me when good apartments show up on Craigslist. Fairly limited in the lists of triggers you can use - someday I'll get something that can handle "water your garden, damn it!", which would tell me when there've been M rain-free days in a row and the alert hasn't gone off for M days. (With maybe some temperature-sensing too). Anyone who creates this - let me know!

* New York Jewish Conversational Style [PDF] - the style referenced really resonates with how I grew up talking. I've definitely had to learn (slowly) that the interruption-based give and take is *not* normal/expected for most people. Probably not helped by the fact that I talk pretty quickly. :)
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Lunch today was a toaster waffle with homemade apple compote, along with homemade chocolate souffle and vanilla custard sauce. Shortly, it will be followed by housemate made Turkish coffee, traded for the second souffle. I've only had 5 hours of sleep, but that's because I stayed up late reading the first half of The Wise Man's Fear.

Start of today? Pretty dang good.

ETA: OK, that was pretty sugar heavy. Adding egg and crispy pancetta omelet to even things out.


Jan. 22nd, 2011 12:24 am
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1) I sort of want to plan a vacation specifically to visit this pear farm. I am aware that this is probably not actually a good idea and fairly unlikely to happen...

2) Matt Ruff has written a couple books I'm quite fond of, although they fall into a similar crazy pacing as Hitchiker's Guide and don't cohere quite as well. They get at some interesting ideas along the way, though. I'll particularly recommend "Sewer, Gas and Electric" and "Bad Monkey". The reason he comes to mind at the moment, though, is that I ran across an essay by him on his family influences, morality and argumentation styles that I found very interesting and worth foisting on others. (note: at the moment, the ending isn't displaying right - you can view source to see the rest)

3) I have quasi-goals for the year that have been informing my decisions, but aren't quite written out enough to post yet.

4) Although the general political momentum is mostly gone, I'd still like to finish the interview/questions I have for the TSA and find someone with authority to answer them. On the other hand, the project riles me up quite a bit, which makes for an unpleasant mindset.
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I was reading something talking about if we're in a utopia now, and someone pointing out the rates of depression/suicide/self harm as signs that we're not. We've got a lot more stuff, some of which makes our lives *way* better than in previous eras. The invisible thing we're living with now, though, is tension, stress and speed. I think a default these days, especially now when the economy is bad is that people are loaded all the way to the top.

Brain dump past cut )
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Dear LJ,
Do you like helping people? Do you like Science Fiction or Fantasy? Do you know people who do? If any of these are true, take a look at the Worldbuilders fundraiser. Patrick Rothfuss (author of Name of the Wind - an excellent fantasy novel) is not only matching half your donation (you give X, he give 0.5*X in addition), but you'll be entered into a lottery of fabulous Science Fiction and Fantasy related prizes!

In short: Worldbuilders - give people baby ducks, boost your donation, and maybe get shiny things!
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I've figured out that I basically have 5 types of stuff that needs backing up: gMail, the rest of my computer, my wallet, my phone and the rest of my belongings.

I have a plan! Actually, several of them... )
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Dear Senator Kerry,

I hear that the Aviation Operations, Safety and Security senate subcommittee is holding a TSA oversight hearing tomorrow [edit: now today - call or write right away if you want them to hear]. Please speak out on behalf of me and your other constituents against the extremely invasive screenings/pat-downs being implemented by the TSA.

I have 3 major objections to the TSA's current procedures: they're unclear, invasive and don't work.

Read more... )
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I have a feeling I'm at least mildly affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, given how much darkness and rain affect my mood. It's far from clinical, but I figured I'd look into the research around dealing with it. In case other people find it useful, here's what I found.

Read more... )
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I've been reading a lot of poetry lately, it seems. This is at least in part due to [livejournal.com profile] quartzpebble foisting good stuff on me a while back, though this pile is mostly from random internet recs.

Read more... )
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