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August 26th, 2011

01:55 pm - Port! in a Storm!
Our schedule was freed up for sunday, so I don't need to go driving around in a hurricane. This is nice, as it means I can open port for the storm. Looking forward to it.

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August 22nd, 2011

11:32 am - Vanilla Ice Cream Taste Test
We performed a taste test this past weekend, sticking to brands readily available at the supermarket as our goal was to help tasters pick an icecream for home. We tried Breyers, Haagen-Dazs, Edy's (Slow Churned), Ben & Jerry's, and Turkey Hill.

Though good, Haagen-Dazs had a yolky flavor that many found took away from the purist "dairy+vanilla." I think it would go best with pie, when you want that richness.

Ben & Jerry's had the best vanilla bean flavor, followed by Breyers. B&J had a richness that Breyers lacked, making it the better dessert. Breyers light, sweet vanilla bean flavor made it very useful for the followup taste test (rootbeer floats), and it was a very airy texture.

Turkey Hill was the kid favorite, and a balance between Breyers and B&J, both in flavor and density, and was probably the best bang for the buck.

Edy's was chewier, thick, and creamy, which would be fine if you simply craved the feeling of ice cream, but it didn't have the pure vanilla taste that we wanted.

The favorites were B&J and H-D, with Breyers very useful for mixing into drinks (coffee, root beer, etc).

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May 11th, 2011

09:45 am - Job opportunity: Collaborative website development
A project for improving an existing website, fixing its design issues, and adding collaborative technology to it has come across my desk. It isn't exactly a full time job, it's an RFP (request for proposal) for the work, so basically they want a contractor to make a bid on the project. It also means its something you could probably do evenings if you have an existing job or are working part-time elsewhere.

It's not simple webpages, you'll be setting up forums and blogs and things like that, wiring them to an existing login/registration system, and need an artistic bone somewhere as look-and-feel and usability has been an issue in the past.

If you'd like more information, please let me know. This work is not related to my employer.

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October 13th, 2010

11:42 am - Bankers vs Miners
It took a horde of unscrupulous bankers and too-good-to-be-true mortgage carrots to destroy our economic optimism.

It took 33 miners trapped underground to rebuild it.

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July 16th, 2010

02:32 pm - Antennagate?
I don't have an iphone4, but i'm really confused by this whole issue. Apple foolishly put an antenna(s) on the outside of their phone, exposing it's conductive metal. Conductive fingers, when placed across gaps separating the antenna(s) causes a short circuit. This isn't like my radio, wherein when i stand in close proximity or hold the insulated antenna it's reception is reduced. This is an electrical issue. Conductive skin is shorting out the electrically sensitive, uninsulated metal antenna.

How is this like every other phone? My current phone, as much as it sucks, put plastic between me and the antenna, thus preventing my conductive skin from shorting it out. iPhone4 has a unique, and rather foolish, design for their antenna. That DESIGN FLAW is Apple's responsibility. They failed at the one thing they usually excel: User Interface. They forgot conductive-skinned humans would hold their phone, and thus short circuit their antenna.

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February 25th, 2010

08:39 pm - Fuzziichi Navel
I couldn't find this cocktail online, but i'm sure it exists. Until then, i'm naming it:
1 shot Iichiko shochu
3/2 shots of orange juice
1/2 shot of peach schnapps
3-5 drops of hot sauce

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January 14th, 2010

08:05 pm - How to order business cards at staples
I know this seems like an odd topic, it's mostly for reference sake. If you need to get inexpensive business cards (on order of 10 cents or less/card), I recommend designing your cards at home to match 970x520 pixels. Center that image on a 1050x600 canvas jpg, place it on a thumb drive, and take it to staples. Plug the thumb drive into their business card machine (a clerk will assist you). Select the regular card option and, after entering your name and email on their computer (and clicking Next) look for a blue button allowing you to scan your own card. Select that option and it will let you read an image off your thumb drive. Their machines are incapable of differentiating color vs B&W properly, so the clerk may need to adjust the price accordingly.

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January 6th, 2010

01:13 pm - Black Licorice Review #3
Many of you may recall, years ago, I went in search of the perfect black licorice (Review #1, Review #2). I grew up with the old style Pontefract (Pomfret) Cakes, a slightly oily, slightly salty black licorice that was brown (not green) on the inside, a little moist, and made with sugar and flour (not molasses). It was chewy but not gummy, and never hard. They have Pontefract Castle stamped on one side and are about the size of a quarter.

Pontefract cakes have changed, unfortunately. I've had them recently from Economy Candy, and just picked up small bag from a fudge shop in NJ. They aren't what they once were, as they are drier and powdery on the outside. The licorice flavor has also degraded, the fudge shop's baggie of them tastes a little of old coffee. They still have the castle stamped on them, and I suspect they all come from the same manufacturer (somewhere).

Next to this bag of P-cakes, I have Young & Smylie Licorice, bought at a humble NJ Shoprite. The Y&S company was bought up by Hershey and they have recently released the licorice under its original name. These 1.5" long, .5" diameter logs have a good true-licorice flavor. They are a tad too sticky/gummy and not quite cakey enough in texture, but it is nowhere near the evil of a shoelace. They are black/gray inside. These are BETTER than the pontefract cakes of today, and a far sight better than that sticky, gooey "aussie" licorice or the fake anise of Twizzlers. Not perfect -- and I will continue to seek perfection -- but ahead of the rest of the pack.

Until unseated, and out of a field of 14 competitors, Young & Smylie is the champion of my black licorice contest.

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December 30th, 2009

02:17 pm - News!
I realize I've been off the radar for a while; there's only been one thing really on my mind and thus it has been difficult to find cause to say anything, wanting only to be able to say IT.

And IT is this: Y. and I are engaged.

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October 27th, 2009

04:48 pm - Port tasting opportunity
TPF is holding one of our Vintage Port tastings in NYC this friday evening. It's one of our smaller tastings (6 total seats), but there is one free. The Ports will be: Martinez 1963, Sandeman 1970, Croft 1985, Quinta do Noval Silval 1995, Warres 2000.
It is not inexpensive, but it is very reasonable for a 1/6th share of the food and wine. Also, as this tasting spans a wide range of houses and decades, it is a great introduction to Vintage Port. Please contact me directly (via Message) if you are interested in attending and would like more details.

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