Yearly Archives: 2010

Spicy Vodka Martini

Wow! I doubt I’m the first to discover this, but a spicy Martini is damn tasty. Here’s how it went: Our friend from twtitw was over and had brought a batch of his tasty Pickled Carrots. The next day I was enjoying the last few carrots and paused. “Hmmm, you know what would be good?”, I thought aloud. “A spicy martini with the dregs of the pickled carrot juice!”. Indeed, it’s true.

I started by taking the recipe from Chronicle Books’, “Mini Bar: Vodka“:

  • 2 shots vodka
  • 1/2 shot vermouth

Pour the two ingredients over ice in a shaker, shake, decant into an iced glass and add in twist (w00t!) or olives (gross).

My version is the same, but instead of vermouth, I used the pickle juice and instead of a twist I used some of the jalapenos. The end result is oh my, just so tasty! I’m not sure why I’m adding these photos, they’re pretty bland and poorly lit.

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Sunlight, flowers and a baby’s butt

These photos were taken over a 24 hour period. Though I didn’t know when I started with the sunset last night (first up below), these photos very much ended up being an homage to my friend Steven and his blog. Primarily I appreciate his pause in the day to take photos of the lake and reminder that your devices are not your master.

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Meego Redux: 1.1 Released

If you recall, I fell in love with Meego a bit ago. Then, we broke up, and I left Meego for Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR). Guess what? Yup, just like the title of this post suggests, I’m back to Meego. Yesterday was their 1.1 release and the netbook flavor with Chrome is ready for the Live USB Key, easy install testing. I skipped over the live USB thing and cut right to the chase to install it over UNR.

I went to go install some of the key apps that I use and bumped into a few problems. I’ll sketch ’em out here in case any one else is an early adopter like me:

  • No more yum: Well, yum is still available to install, but it’s not there by default. Instead the fine folks at Meego are shipping ZYpper instead. Works just the same, but for the not so distro savvy nerds like me, I had to search around in the forums to figure what was what. Thanks physalis!
  • KeepassX: The next problem I found was that Keepassx’s download page had 404 links for the fedora packages. When I found that Fedora 12 page DIDN’T 404, I downloaded THAT version of KeepassX. Welp, that version didn’t like the current version of QT that ships with Meebo. Finally, I searched around and found a slightly out of date version at hany.sk
  • Dropbox: Nothing really tricky here. Their download page has a “Fedora (x86 .rpm)” package. For both KeepassX and Dropbox, it looks like this to install it :
    sudo zypper install nautilus-dropbox-0.6.4-1.fedora.i386.rpm

For those keeping tabs, I did do a write up on configuring Meego mail and calendar which appears to all be the same in 1.1 as it was in 1.0. At first blush, it seems a little tricky to set up with Google Apps, where plip.com’s mail is, but we’ll hack away.

Next up: Installing Skype. Happy Meebo-ing!

Update: Skype installed no problem, and QT warning seems to be around fonts. A forum tip around font hinting worked wonders to make Skype and KeepassX look sharp (actually, look anti-aliased).

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Apple’s fancy monitor cheaper than Dell’s

For a long time now I’ve been a fan for Dell’s monitors. I was one of the first folks at work who suggested we cut over from Apple’s expensive (and prettier) monitors to Dell’s cheaper (and more utilitarian looking) monitors. This is all due to my obsession with hi-res and large monitors.

Very recently, I noticed something odd: Apple is now cheaper than Dell in the big monitor game. The new hotness is IPS for high contrast and great viewing angles (here’s the crappy wikipedia IPS link). Yup Dell’s 27″ U2711 is $1100 or their 30″ U3011 is $1500. Apple is no longer selling (or not really trying to sell) their 30″ and their (only?) monitor, the very same one in the iMac, is a 27″ LED Cinema Display for $999. Black is white, up is down and dogs are living with cats.

This all said, you’ll have to deal with super future thinking Apple and their mini DisplayPort only monitor. However, it does come with speakers and nice webcam. For now though, I’m still gonna stick with my 24″ Dell I’ve had for the last 4 years or so. Frickin love that thing.

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Wayback machine, privacy and old plip.com

This post is a short parable told in three lessons:

Lesson 1: The web is not as temporal as you might think!

Recently a co-worker was travelling and was unable to access her work based email. Instead, she directed folks to email her at her personal email. Being a curious fellow, I clicked over to her personal site to see what she had to say. All I found was “Site in progress, check back later” and link to a very outdated resume. Well, that’s just no fun! Enter the wayback machine! Using this fine site, I was able to see all the text, photos and links she had long since redacted. The wayback machine never forgets, so don’t you forget that.

Lesson 2: Robots.txt can pull Jedi mind tricks.

A natural response to seeing the archive of other sites, is to see what dirt folks might find out about me via the same method. Sure enough, there’s some good stuff! However, the more interesting fact I learned is that my robots.txt of today redacted the archive.org copy of yesterday! This is cool! A while ago I took down my resume and some older, more personal content and as well took a sec to make some broad strokes of search engines shouldn’t index. It was these actions that archive.org took note of. With a wave of my robots.txt hand, indeed these are not the pages you’re looking for.

Lesson 3: The wayback machine is way cool.

Ok, this parable kinda peters out right about here, but still, the wayback machine is way cool. Check out the rad looks plip.com has had over the years! Hrm, maybe that should be “rad”. You decide.

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The 404er: Now in your blogs, googles and plugin directory

I’m still very much enjoying coding in the WordPress plugin world. I just added a very simple admin interface to The 404er. So, ya know, for all those tons of readers, go install this on your blog already!

After getting a kick that over 20 people have downloaded the 404er, I got another kick out of the fact that we’re the number one hit for “The 404er” at the time of this publishing.

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How to fix Zend 5.5.1 in Windows 7

For those still addicted to Zend Studio 5, like I still am, but can’t figure out how to make her go, take note: It is easy to run this app in Windows 7.

When you first install it, you can launch it fine, and the splash screens shows, but that’s it. The process is listed for a second and the whole thing disappears. I’d read one some site that it involved extracting the installer and making a copy of the JRE. Maybe this is true for some folks, but all it seemed to take for me was to go into the properties for the binary (ZDE.exe) and choose “Vista”. That’s it!

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Safe ads: “Just come cut the door off, need concrete saw, only after 11:30pm”

I was thinking about getting a safe for the house. Or, maybe, if you’re a thief reading this and as well as my facebook page, I should say I’m thinking of upgrading my safe! So, first I checked out a few on Amazon. OK, $150 gets you a nice safe. But wait! Wouldn’t craigslist be the way to go instead? If it hasn’t been broken into, isn’t a used safe just as good as new safe? In a word, yes, but there’s a few interesting tidbits.

First off, the word “safe” doesn’t really get you much when you search at craigslist for it. Second off, there’s some probably-legit-but-very-shady-looking ads for safes. It’s these ads that prompted this post. The italics text is mine, added for what I think is missing from the ad:

SAFE DOOR -33 x 66 – $4000 – $5,000.00 — OR BEST OFFER — SARGENT & GREENLEAF SAFE DOOR — THE SOLID STEEL DOOR IS 33″ WIDE X 66″ HIGH X 5″ THICK.– You remove and haul away.– Fork lift available to load it onto your truck.– If interested, we can talk about the door caseing, that would need to be saw cut out of the concrete. We don’t have the key and we don’t know the owner, so it is Probably best if you don’t look in the safe when you cut off the door. Please be able to cut the door off in less that 8.18 minutes.

Also, which is it $4000, or $5000 to haul away your door?

Deposit Safe – $400 – Amsec security deposit safe, in great shape. Safe has an electronic combination pad. the safe is locked and I have not had a chance to have my lock guy figure the combo yet. I may be finding more of these safes I also don’t know the combo to, nor know what’s in them. I’ll be selling them by how loud they rattle.

Finally, this last actually looks pretty legit as well as cool. If I had a lot of space, a bigger budget and a big-ass truck, I’d consider it. However, the “when to pick it up” part set off my shady alarm. Use of “recently penetrated”, “I turn over [safes]” and military time, no inline bolding needed:

SAFE FOR SALE – $300 – I am a locksmith and safe tech in the San Francisco Bay Area – and I am always coming across used safes that I penetrate and turn over.

Along those lines, I recently penetrated an old Herring Hall Marvin safe that is down in San Francisco.

I cannot remember the exact dimensions, but as soon as I get them, I will update this post. But this I can tell you, the inside shelves and upper compartments are completely removeable, and the INSIDE HEIGHT is approximately 35″ inches tall.

The safe is on the ground level, and you can park right in front of the place when you come to pick it up. The catch is that it is a restaurant, so you can only pick up the safe BEFORE or after business hours, which is approximately 2330 hours. (11:30 PM).

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On Bart signs

image

Check out this BART sign. Recently, I think, they added then bike status (none bikes during rush hour). Super handy!¬† However, what is not so handy is the rest of the sign info. A bit ago the signs started to show when say the next two Fremont trains we’re coming :

Fremont  1min, 21min

This is not helpful. What is the use case of you standing on the platform and needing to catch a Fremont train but not the very soonest one? Right, none really, or edge case at best.

I think what would be useful would be to always have the next train arriving at the bottom of screen. Even better would be to go all CNN and have a news ticker style of the next trains. This would alleviate waiting for all the “cameras are not a guarantee against crime ” messages to scroll by while you wait to see when your training is gonna arrive.

I spent a few minutes under a sign trying to count how many pixels there is to work with, but my train came too soon. I did see that there is about 9×5 per letter at the smallest font size. Any designers out there wanna take a crack at a redesign?

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404er Legit and WordPress community kudos

Remember way back when we posted 404er? Well, good news! We jumped through the hoops and now our plugin is officially on the WordPress site. Clearly the readme needs to be updated so the page is a little more full featured.

Soon, when we’re indexed, you can search for us by name at your nearest WP admin control panel. Here’s a ‘recently changed’ listing showing the 404er:

Noteworthy is that WordPress.org has really gone above and beyond to help developers. We get a full SVN environment, lots of PR on their site, detailed yet easy to read docs and best off, a really rich code base to code against. Thanks WordPress!

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