Sunday, December 05, 2004

Nerdlings with way too much energy

Antartica, clubbing (as in seals, not saturday night), and so much more from down under.


Be all you can be :: be your own weatherman...

...without needing to throw bombs, kidnap heiresses, etc.
I had no idea Bob Dylan had such a head start on XML.

Wired News: Weather Data for the Masses

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Flash Linux

Not flash as in Macromedia...
flash as in a 256 usb key.

Based on gentoo, flash linux lets you boot from a chip.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Gmail: ads for Croquet

Here is the text of today's summary from the croquet-users listserver:
Subject: croquet-user digest: November 30, 2004From: "croquet-user digest" <>Reply-To: "croquet-user" <>Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2004 00:00:05 -0600CROQUET-USER Digest for Tuesday, November 30, 2004.1. Creating planets. The time-step loop - Lesson 5 of B2DP
Subject: Creating planets. The time-step loop - Lesson 5 of B2DPFrom: "Americo Fraga Damasceno Junior" <>Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 05:32:56 -0600An sphere is a nice piece because you can scale it and change its texturecreating many derivated new pieces. But the important subject of thislesson is the "time-step loop", an important resource for 3D animation.The address of this new lesson is:

Since I read the listserver message with gmail, ads were generated. Here they are:
Sponsored Links
K-6 Curriculum Excel Math
Get Powerful Results Order Now!
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Math Lesson PlansOver 30,000 lessons, including thousands for Math topics!
Themes and Lesson PlansedHelper offers science, math, language arts, and so much

A couple things strike me:
  • cut and paste does not work very well between gmal in foxfire and blogger in ie.
  • a croquet user would probably not be interested in the ads.
  • i'm surprised that given the content of the email ad gmail was able to attach ads from companies in the right business.
  • i wonder if google allows people offering ads to have any custom extensions to the engine which finds appropriate ads.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Jasmine is Croquet 0.1

Key stuff :
The Croquet project is alive and strutting their stuff. Key players have blogs (they provide a few other interesting links).
Jasmine (Croquet 0.1) is available for download 0.1 may seem too early to be interesting, but its built on squeak, which is based on Smalltalk-80, which was based upon Smalltalk-72.

Monday, November 15, 2004


I need a time machine. I need to go back to the third grade when I could make no sense of what our music teacher was saying armed with chordhouse. Way fun, interesting, and appreciated by thousands.
I'm not in much danger of getting a gig backing up Bonnie Raitt, but I'm having fun.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Marco, Patrizia, Laura Posted by Picasa

October 2004 -- Laura and Patrizia Posted by Picasa

October 2005 :: Rasiglio, about 50 k outside of Bologna. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 27, 2004

Friday, September 10, 2004

Slow Tours :: Salone del Gusto 2004

An impressive array of tours are available from this year's Salone del Gusto. Yes, I look forward to an easier booking process, but having more time would be even better. My problem is that I know I'd love some tours ( Asti and Barbera: Small Barrels but Great Wines , The Barolo Hills , The Barbaresco Hills ), but I'm so ignorant that I don't even know what some tours are about ( The Culture and Food of the Ossola Mountains, Discovering the Agenzia di Pollenzo, etc.)
With a little luck I'll get some local advice.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Back and Hamstrings [Yin Reports]

I'm sure I'll pay a penalty for so much Yin and so little conventional practice, but in the long term this will pay off.

So many sessions have a surprise. Tonight I really focused while doing a seated hamstring stretch. Unexpectedly, I got a brief massage of my upper back. Damned if my hamstrings did not relax.

It was the biggest single release of my hamstrings I've ever encountered. They have been a problem ever since highschool. Is there a connection that is not obvious? Or, was it the effect of deep focus and then sudden, unprepared focus on the upper back.

For sure, good hands were a big factor.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Sweet Maria's Order

My second order is ready for pick up.

Code Name Quantity Price/Ea. Total
1124 Indian Organic Washed Robusta - 1 lb 1 $4.20 $4.20
1000 Costa Rica Dota Tarrazu -Conquistador - 1 lb 1 $4.90 $4.90
1016 Nicaragua Matagalapa Maragogype - 1 lb 1 $5.20 $5.20
1005 Costa Rica Tarrazu Peaberry -SM Select - 1 lb 1 $5.90 $5.90
1008 Guatemala Antigua -Los Pastores - 1 lb 1 $4.60 $4.60
1009C Guatemala Organic Coban - El Tirol - 1 lb 1 $4.80 $4.80

This is exciting. So far I've only roasted from the 1/2 lb samples; this gives me some capacity to compare two different roasts of the same bean. Notice the Robusta -- I'll try an expresso roast w/a bit of the Robusta. But, I've not yet installed the thermometer, so I'm still roasting by color & smell.

The bottom line
I spend about 2.5 times these prices per pound and use about a pound/week. That means in about 4o short weeks I'll save enough for a fairly good roaster. A really good toaster, the kind Tom uses only costs about $17,000. I can afford that in about 2,000 weeks. Let me know if you want to make a donation.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Slow coffee?

Molly sat out the coffee fest, but Seth and I got wired. We had 4 roasts from Friday's session to squeese into breakfast. We were pretty happy, but its clear that additional care, skill & perhaps a bit of technology will improve the coffee.
Its hardly slow food. I can roast a pound faster than I can get to Peet's and back & its only 1 mile away.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Seth & the 'ducks

The 'ducks and Seth's feeet. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 30, 2004

Hot chick & hot coffee

Seth with a 30-day old Goshawk. By late July when I visited it was 60 days older & learning to chase game.  Tomorrow we hunt the giant clam.Posted by Hello

Today we roasted my 3rd through 7th batches of coffee. Once again, a shortage of daylight was an issue. In theory, the window on the stovetop roaster allows one to view the beans as they roast. In practice, the smoke is obscures things -- and then it gets dark. We had some success when Molly used a flash light and I pulled the beans off the flame so we could take a look. However, that also meant I had to stop turning the coffee & that leads to an uneven roast.

Here is the score card:
First batch: Pretty good. A little like Peet’s -- a bit burned, but quite a good cup, of course, I like Peet’s.
Second batch: Burnt to a crisp. We left them on about 30 seconds too long and the fire was a tad too hot & the beans just crumbled in my mouth. We did not bother do brew. Now we know -- too much smoke means too much heat.
Third batch: We overcompensated. Beans had a distinctive bitter flavor. We did not brew, but instead roasted again. That really worked pretty well, but we left them on a bit too long, but the damage was not great and on Sunday morning we were pretty happy with the brew.
Fourth batch: Good, not as good as the first, but good. It is very clear that one can have much better coffee than most people w/o little skill, experience, care, equipment or daylight.
Can hardly wait to get bigger quanties of each bean so that different batches can be examined. Still, I'm happy with this super low tech approach so I can focus on color and smell initially.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Thinking about Geoducks

Seth with small geoducks collected in June. I'll post results of our efforts in a few days, but these photos give some idea of their appearance. They don't show, however, the foot that extends out from the bottom of the shell until the clam breast gets a massage, which convinces the clam to pull the foot in & that allows one to extract it from the sand. Next, the neck is retracted in these photos -- its really much longer before they are captured. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Hunts past

This Saturday Molly, Seth, myself & who knows who else will hunt monster Geoducks. I have great hopes that they can teach me how to harvest them & I can find them at Tomales Bay. We shall see. Here is a shot of the results of Seth & Molly's last hunt.

Digging Geoducks. The work has just begun. That weird metal tube will have to drop until its rim is almost level with the sand before someone can dive in after the 'duck. 
We ended up using a somewhat larger crew, but we got somewhat larger clams.
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Shedding light on coffee roasting

The second batch of trail-roasted coffee was a significant improvement. Why? It could be that the beans were better, or more to our taste. However, the first batch was done in the dark & I really could not see the color as they roasted and I remember making a few large adjustments in the stove's flame.
Clearly, one needs better technique and at least a thermometer to make the process more repeatable.

Still, the trip includes a couple mad scientists & they need their am and pm coffee fix & there is no longer any talk of falling back on my emergency supply of Peet's.

Monday, July 26, 2004

On the trail :: the first batch

Eight of us headed into the headwaters of the Yuba's North Fork, with the coffee roasting gear from Sweet Maria's. The first batch was better to look at than drink, although it improved significantly after 24 hours. Not ready to compete with Peet's yet, but if I crank up the volume, all the majors are in trouble. For better or worse, I don't have a record of which beans were used for the first batch. Later for that.
Above all, this was entertaining and the beauty of the freshly roasted, but not burned, beans impressed everyone.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Massage After Three Days of Yoga

The Windup
First, because of past experience with professionals in ski resorts, I was surprised that it was assumed that I would disrobe entirely. Second, except for one ski resort, the massage table was really fine and that was helpful. Third, I'd been working on my breathing for several hours per week for a month and for a few hours a day for three days running. The Masseuse made it clear that using the breath to relax the muscles, just like in yoga, would really help.

The massage lasted an hour. The massage oil was just fine; the masseuse had astoundingly strong hands and was skilled in the manipulation of towels so that if a Chronicle photographer had crept into the room, not much would be exposed. The most amazing event during the massage was the discovery of a cord-like structure in my right trapezius. It was so hard and well defined I thought it must be a misplaced ligament. Instead it was a fairly common formation caused by stress. Fascia bunch up and become much like a small rope, with the
muscles cells forming strands and the fascia forming a wrapping.

The masseuse spent at least 10 minutes trying to break that thing up & had noticeable success. At the end I could still observe it, but it was greatly diminished. As it becomes broken up, my shoulder mobility and comfort should improve. This experience is likely to cause me to seek out more of this level of massage.

After an hour with only a small bit of pain and a substantial feeling of relaxation, I was finished & I headed home.

The Pitch

After yoga, independently of whether the session goes well or poorly, I always have a sense of well being. Its almost like the effect of a great night sleep after hard, but not exhausting exercise. The longer the session lasts, the more fully I experience this well being. [During the time I climbed, I had the same result as long as the route was not physically painful i.e. no cracks!]

  • a great massage following
  • 3 days of 4+ hours of yoga
  • at the end of a 4 week period when I've averaged more than 12 hours per week of yoga,
I expected to feel great.

The Curve
Instead I felt really terrible for about 18 hours. I was unhappy; I was rude to people; I could not accomplish anything; I could not sleep well.

I felt a lot like I was suffering from a hangover. From the standpoint of my spirit, it was worse. I felt poisoned.

Eventually, I felt fine & now I feel just great.

I'd love to talk to someone who really knows physiology and massage for an explanation. The yoga people explain it as 'toxins released from the massage.' Well, OK. What toxins? Where were they? How were they eliminated? Is it possible that something else happens?

Could massage -- especially on an untrained body -- upset the lymphatic system?

Could the opposite happen --- does the lymphatic system not function well in muscles that take the stress, get invigorated by the massage & just have too much work to do all of a sudden?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Coffee to go

I've just ordered a travel pack of coffee roasting equiptment I hope will be suitable for kayak and backpacking trips.
  • Filtercone -Black #4 Size :: pretty standard, cheap, basic, works
  • Stainless Steel Popper :: pretty risky; this will have to work on camp stoves
  • 8 Pack Sampler of green beans :: pretty safe as long as skills and equiptment combine well
  • Cooper 550 degree Large Thermometer :: pretty dangerous - somehow I've got to instll (i.e. use a drill) this in the popper
  • SM Beanface T-Shirt- Natural :: pretty easy to operate
  • Zass 175 M Turkish Mill :: pretty exciting; it has great heft and amazing grind adjustment & eliminates need for weight training program

Monday, July 12, 2004

The deed is done...

I'm leaving for Italy on Sept. 22 & arrive in the afternoon on the 22nd & I'll leave Oct 25th & be back in time for OOPSLA on the 25 of October.
The only real question is: will the olive harvest take place before or after I leave?

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Salone del Gusto :: 2004 :: Puglia


Puglia is one of the regions of Italy featured in this year's Slow Food festival. A brief plug for Puglia:

Puglia, the true cradle of the Mediterranean, brings to the Salone del Gusto its historical knowledge from the Gargano to the silent, via the castles of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, the trulli (primitive cone-shaped dwellings), farms, cathedrals, caves, old towns, parks, nature reserves and the UNESCO-listed architectural wonders.
The regions long history is also a history of flavors’ celebrated through products known throughout the world (bread, extra virgin oil, vegetables, cheese and wine), symbols of a food culture still firmly bound to its origins and roots.

It is no surprise to find Puglia traditions of savvy and savor retained in the everyday activities of its hard-working people: small farmers and their wives, artisans and fishermen, breeders and producers.

Puglia, a land of convivial hospitality, brings to the Salone del Gusto its distinctive food products, which will be used to perfection by a team of top regional chefs. Publications about the art, history and culture will also be available.


  • A quick google for biking in puzzle results in interesting listings. The Gargano Peninsula looks great & the routes of the commercial organizations may provide a pretty good set of clues for camping, hotels, routes and sights.

  • Nice little map with commercial links. No roads, but place names, airports, etc.

  • Maps of regions witting puzzle + history, photos, links to accommodations -- including agriturismo.

  • Map with roads -- one can see blank spots on the coast -- good for kayaking?



Too many possibilities. Google: agriturismo Puglia


One candidate for illustration.
Rental of a place for a week while looking around may be a good idea.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Extreme Yoga :: 18.5 hours in 9 days

I've been doing 2 classes most days for just over a week -- 18.5
hours in 9 days! It is quite an experience. My favorite instructors
were really happy so see me back in the studio & it feels like home.
The strong, almost overpowering, sense of female presence is something
I like about the studio. I definitely do better when I don't have to
put up with too many aggressive males -- my line of work has far too
many. So the yoga studio has a better balance than most of the rest of
life. Is also fun to be around people who are not putting financial
gain at the top of their priorities & who are committed, on both a
personal and political level, to doing what they can about the crazy
road my country is following.
There are a fair number of males at the studio, including a couple fantastic instructors. While I encounter a few behavioral issues from time to time, compared to men in software, they are gems for sure and some are gems compared to anyone.
I'm not sure why I failed to practice reguarly for so many weeks, but the return to practice is certainly welcome.