One of my pet peeves is stupid login or password restrictions. What it means is that for this login only, I have to use a different password. Some require you include numbers, some require numbers be between letters...
The stupidest one ever came up today. Blue Cross / Blue Shield requires:
Your password cannot contain the first three letters of a month (for example: Jan, Feb, Mar). Please try again. Thank you.
So if your password is Janet32puppy or imamartian, you're hosed?
For those in the Bay Area, I would encourage you to attend Maker Faire. May 3-4 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds -- and not to be missed!
I went last year and vowed next time to go both days. It's huge and full of really, really fascinatng exhibits and brilliant ideas. Lots of free stuff.
What is it? It's the heart and soul of do-it-yourself. Hundreds of people who make stuff and love what they do so much that they stand for 12-hour days waiting for people to come by and gawk at their magic. Organizations and museums that have created hands-on demos you can play with.
If you like metal and fire, gears and gadgets, Legos and things that move, honk, squirt, squeak, spark, and belch, you have to go.
In Scientific American: "Designed nearly 150 years ago but never actually built until recently,
the Difference Engine No. 2 designed by Charles Babbage (1791 to 1871)
is a piece of Victorian technology meant to tussle with logarithms and
trigonometry long before the first modern computer. Technophiles have a
rare opportunity beginning May 10 to see one of these devices (only two
exist) on display at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif."
I saw a comment in one of my favorite comics about Obama's logo:
"I like Barack Obama pretty well, but I’m in love with his logo. What a brilliant, versatile asset. The attention to detail and sheer number of variations are amazing and the typographic choices very distinct. The only thing I like as much as comics is a solid design identity system. (Can you guess what I went to school for?)" — R. Stevens, author of Diesel Sweeties
I love logos. Embodying a brand in 100 milliseconds of attention span is an achievement. And if you have ever designed one, you know it's hell. Capturing a feeling in a memorable swatch is hard, hard work. Many logos are tacky and amateurish but when done well, they approach high art.
I am especially fascinated by presidential campaign logos which have terrifying design limitations. First of all, you get three colors. Red. White. Blue. And second, they mostly are trying to say the same things: Solid, competent, forward-thinking, hope for a new day, that kind of thing. And most succeed pretty well.
Do check out this piece on the Obama logo and don't miss the many variations, official and not, further down the page. Very nicely done. His website, by the way, is also really nicely designed.
When the Mercury-News laid off much of its staff recently, we lost the reporting of food editor Carolyn Jung. I loved her articles because she always went the extra mile. She reported not just on the food and the recipes, she would find out where it is available and interview local chefs on how they use it. I especially remember an article on fresh garbanzo beans (who knew?).
Happily, Carolyn resurfaced quickly as FoodGal, where she has been posting an article every day or two with her "musings on food, wine, laughter, and life."
What to do with a tree full of Meyer lemons? Try this lemon sorbet.
I like to tinker with a recipe, seeking perfection. Sometimes, it takes months. This one snapped into place on just the second try! I really like the result. A shot of vodka prevents ice crystals so even after a few weeks in the freezer, it's smooth, not icy. It's very lemony without being too tart or too sweet.
In version 1, which was compiled from several I found online, the lemon zest was a problem. I liked the punch of lemon it gave, but the little bits of zest interfered with the otherwise smooth, almost creamy texture. Boiling the zest added bitterness. Adding the zest to the hot mix at the end and straining fixed the problem.
I also adjusted the ratios to make it less tart and not too sugary. I think it's now perfect.
This recipe can be doubled and still fit most home ice cream makers (e.g. the popular Braun and Cuisinart models). I like to make smaller batches because they freeze faster and usually colder than if you run right at the machine's capacity.
Lemon Sorbet Makes 2 servings (2-1/2 cups). Can be doubled.
1-1/4 cups water 1 cups sugar 1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
Nori is the dark green sheet used to make rolled forms of sushi. Made from algae (though most people think it's seaweed), it holds the rolls together but also adds the hard to describe, savory flavor the Japanese call umami. Until recently, I thought the nori's contribution was a minor component.
I was in a Korean market (Hankook in Sunnyvale, CA). There was a table in the back where a woman was packing sheets of nori in plastic envelopes. She had a saucer with samples. I tasted one and it was different. Much more flavorful than any nori I had ever tasted and with a lingering, fulfilling aftertaste. It looks different, too. Not as flat or as evenly cut as the packaged nori, it has a few holes. It's more delicate, requiring some care when rolling.
I bought the ones labeled as being lower salt and they were just salty enough, I thought. When we made sushi with it, the difference was remarkable. The umami accentuated everything, without overpowering it.
I'd never have thought nori would make a major difference.
The most important
way to "convince" the boss of anything is to (duh) be a great worker. It is much easier to give telecommute
privileges to someone who does their job well, with minimal supervision.
The reasons the article cites that a boss would not want a worker
telecommuting mostly presume that the boss is an idiot. Employees who approach
the issue with that kind of attitude are unlikely to get what you want. Try imagining that the boss has some good reasons. Remember, your boss has a
boss, too, and if we’re smart, we will look for ways to all succeed
Serious Eats Serious Eats is another blog which plants its stake, and its steak, in the fertile land where food meets science. There is lots of great material here, much of it by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, or Kenji. If you like FeedMe, you will like Serious Eats.
Cooking for Engineers What do you get when you apply the engineer's mind to the kitchen? Straightforward, practical recipes and tips and a passion for simplifying without sacrificing quality.