Just Because It’s There Doesn’t Mean I Have to Watch

Indian Food makes me sleepy. We went to the lovely and tasty Banjara for lunch to celebrate someone’s anniversary with the company (it doesn’t take much of an excuse for us to go out to lunch). The food is good there, but a well-informed member of our group touts a rival restaurant, which we will try out eventually: Minerva. I don’t know what it is about Indian food, but both times we’ve gone there, I’ve had the hardest time staying awake when I get back to work. I’m droopy and lethargic and ready for a nice long nap.

We stayed up for the Oscars last night. Since I really didn’t go out of my way to see the nominated films this year (of the Best Picture nominees, I saw The Two Towers, how sad is that?), I wasn’t invested this year. I thought Steve Martin did a fine job keeping things light, although his way-inside-the-industry shtick got a little old. I didn’t have a problem with any of the acceptance speeches, even Michael Moore’s. I thought his “When you’ve got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, watch out” (or something like that) line was really funny even if it was drowned out by booing and the orchestra. Adrian Brody gave the speech of the night, and did a great job walking that line between pro-peace and anti-war.

I’ve been trying to come up with a reason I haven’t been more vocal about the war. I’ve posted before about the fact that I think it was inevitable, and how nothing I said would change it. I still feel that way to some extant. But, I also feel that with enough voices, things can change. I just can’t align myself with either group, the rapid anti-war folks or the rabid pro-ass-kicking troupe. I’m in the middle. People in the middle don’t protest. We sit quietly waiting for everything to end. I am pro-removing-Saddam. I am pro-Troops, how could I not be, having grown up as the son of one? I am anti-how-we-got-here. President Bush botched this whole thing miserably. His policies led us right here to war without the great international consensus we needed. He lied to us about Iraq’s involvement in September 11th, and used forged documents to make his case (whether or not he knew they were forged is still unknown, but still). Other than Britain and a handful of countries smaller than Mississippi, we’re all alone. We will be when this is all over too, unless Saddam decides to reveal those well-hidden naughty weapons.

I’m going to try not to talk about this anymore. I’m tired of the coverage on CNN. I don’t need to know what the 3rd Infantry is doing every five minutes. I don’t need to see live feeds of Baghdad twenty-four hours a day anymore. I know people are dying on both sides. I know horrible things are happening to people I never met. Wallowing in it will only make me feel more sick about it than I already am. It didn’t have to turn out this way. Now that it’s here, and there’s nothing I can do about it, there’s no point belaboring the obvious. Woulda, coulda, shoulda – it doesn’t matter. We’re here, no matter how we got here. I just hope it ends, and the folks over there who want to come home get to, and soon. I hope Saddam realizes this is a lost cause and gives himself up, either to eternity (as Eddie Izzard would say, “In a ditch, covered in petrol, on fire”) or to his nearest US Military Representative. I know it won’t happen, but let’s hope anyway.

I’m going to go bowling tonight and pretend that CNN doesn’t exist.

Double OT Is Killing My Wife

Arizona, you guys better win it in double OT, or my wife is going to kill you or me.

Watching sports with my wife is a contact sport, especially Arizona Basketball. She yells at the TV, slaps the couch, and my legs, or whatever other body parts are in reach. She’s what they call an avid fan. I love it. The things that come out of her mouth during a game make me laugh like nothing else. Now, Arizona and Gonzaga are going into Double OT, and I’m not sure she can handle the pressure. Please, Wildcats, go on a 15-0 run or something. She and my legs would appreciate it.

UPDATE: Arizona wins!! Arizona wins!! It was by one point. After that last second shot by Gonzaga missed, Jen exulted with my double-armed pumping, “Arizona won!!!! Arizona won!! Arizona won!!!! Holy crap, Arizona won!!!” I thought for sure, I could get clocked by “friendly fire”, but Jen assured me her arms where going straight up and down, not side to side. It was a relief, to be sure.

Pork It With Ham

I had a great birthday. We had gourmet pizza from Emilio’s, a fantastic cake made by mom and lots of fun. Work has been really busy, which hopefully explains my lack of content here the past few days. Not that you need an explanation, right?

Today, I decided to make Jen a nice dinner for our “date” (mom’s got Max; we’ve got the house). We got a pork roast on sale, and I decided to try out another Molto Mario idea and braise it. Thankfully, Jen got me Mario’s book for my birthday, so I didn’t have to make it all up. Here’s the menu:

  • Bruschetta: fresh roma tomatoes, fresh mozarella cut into small cubes, shredded fresh basil and grated parmesan on toasted baguette slices.
  • Prosciutto-wrapped Asparagus: I got the prosciutto thick-sliced at the deli (too thick, but I asked for it that way). I wrapped the asparagus up in the slices and sauteed them in a little olive oil. The ham got a little hard. If I do this again, I’m using thinner meat.
  • Fresh linquine covered in the braising liquid with vegetables. I used the carrots, mushrooms, onions (Spanish and Red), and celery in the tomato-based braising liquid. I reduced it a little in a sauce pan and then threw in the cooked noodles.
  • Braised Pork Roast: We don’t drink, so I used pureed and diced tomatoes and olive oil as the braising liquid. I used too much; the roasting pan overflowed; the house filled with smoke; I opened windows. Other than that, the pork came out really tender, and the sauce that came out of the pan is heavenly (because pork is gooooo-oood).

Other than the too-thick prosciutto and the smoke, it was really yummy. I have a couple other recipes I want to post, I just haven’t found the time. I made a really yummy salmon filet with red onions and fresh orange juice that I came up with off the top of my head. It was great (if I do say so myself). I also made homemade meatballs that blew me away. They were unbelievable, and I’ll share the recipe when I can get around to getting it down on paper. I’ve still got some in the freezer for subs later… mmmmm, meatball sub.

It’s My Birthday, Get Your War On

Yeah, it’s my birthday and I’m sitting here on the couch surfing and watching Rummy on CNN. It’s a great day to be 28, I tell you. Mom came and picked Max up at eight for their regular Thursday playdate. I swear I was going to sleep in, but our trip to Matsutake for lunch yesterday has given me a little case of Yokohama’s Revenge and I woke up with some wicked stomach cramps. I’ll spare you the details past the fact that there’s no way I could get back to sleep.

In completely non-war-or-birthday-related news, can I tell you how great NetNewsWire is? Since switching to OS X, I’ve been curiously watching my computer slow down as the afternoons drag on. This morning, I decided to play with top (it’s a unix command that shows you what’s running, and how much of the processor, memory and virtual memory it’s using). Everything grows in memory usage. AOL, Camino, Mozilla, etc. Camino uses a lot more memory than I thought it would. AOL and Mozilla are pretty memory hungry, but I knew that already. The one that really shocks me is NetNewsWire. Even after loading a bunch of posts, its memory doesn’t grow much. It holds nice and steady even after all those connections and posts. It’s so worth paying for it if you haven’t already.

Gone Birthday-ing

I’m apparently important at work again, which explains the lack of posting the past couple days. I’ve been buried in requirements docs, urgent requests and educational material. My birthday is tomorrow, and we’re trekking to IKEA to shop for fun Scandanavian furniture and knick-knacks sans the monkey. I plan on sleeping in, taking a leisurely drive to IKEA, walking slowly and taking in all the shiny pine. I will then eat a leisurely lunch while I stare at my lovely wife. We may go see a leisurely movie. Then, we’ll take a somnambulent drive back home, where I’ll pick up gourmet pizza and tasty blue collar wings. We’ll have a party, eat cake and laugh.

Then, on Friday, I’ll come go to the doctor and then come back to work ready to wade through more of this… stuff.

Who Needs It?

Who needs war talk when you can read about Mike ‘s climbing trip instead? I love Mike’s climb reports. Any text that starts with the premise “I did everything right. I did.” is alright by me… and it gets better from there.

My wife, being the amazing wife that she is, recorded the President’s speech last night so I could watch it after bowling (which is a story for another time). You know, I expected to be into the speech and try to find all the problems with it. Instead, I zoned out and barely even listened. I’d heard it all before, and I’m past caring what his rationale is. I’m past caring what names he can call him, and other reasons he can drum up. Nothing I say or do is going to change his mind, or stop the him from taking us down the path he’s chosen.

Does it sound like I’ve given up? Yeah, I thought so. Oh, and if you don’t live in the DC area, and want to understand why we all look like we can’t sleep, go read this and you’ll understand.

OS X Blogging Tools Roundup

After my full-time switch to OS X, I’m finding all kinds of great tools to make blogging easier and happier. This here is my incomplete list of things that make blog writing/reading life easier:
  • A Local Copy of Movable Type: I knew it made life easier, but when you use the same computer all the time, it makes having a goof-uppable version of everyone’s favorite personal CMS that much nicer.
  • NetNewsWire: It’s open all day long and grabs the latest blogging headlines hourly. It makes the day go by quicker and keeps me up-to-date on the latest gossip. It’s even better when used with…
  • Camino: I use Camino as my default browser. Why? Because you can set it to open sites opened by other applications in new tabs, and in the backgroud, which makes using NetNewsWire almost a religious experience, and also reduces desktop clutter.
  • Kung-Log: Manage your Movable Type blogs through this super-friendly little app. It’s got a great little editor built-in and other sweet tools for managing your blog.
  • Tyrantula: How quickly does your page load over dial-up? What’s actually on your page? Use this handy little app to find out. A great quick-and-painless page analyzer for OS X. Good, good stuff.
  • jEdit: This app runs a lot better now that Apple’s decided to give us Java 1.4.1. It has great tag completion and markup coloring. A solid text editor for those of us who can’t afford BBEdit.
  • Transmit: The best FTP program I’ve ever used on the Mac, OS 9 or X. The best part, it supports SFTP, and reads symlinks correctly!

Yeah! Crunch Them CD’s!

Protesters destroy Dixie Chicks CDs. Yeah! Burn those cd’s!! Oh wait, it’s because the lead singer said something about the President you didn’t like? Well, that’s just plain stupid. Now, if this is just a referendum on bad music, go cats go! I’ve got a list of music you can start on when you’re done with the Dixie Chicks. You can start with almost the rest of contempory country music, which should take you a while. When you’re done with that, come back and I’ll give you a list of meaningless pop that should keep your bulldozer busy until the war is over.

Unstarted Projects

I want to build another CMS. Why? I’ve built two already (for work, a loo-ooong time ago), and there are already so many good ones out there. For blogging alone, there are several that people should look into. I know you know what they are. But, I’ve got some ideas for one that could include not only a web interface, but I think provide some features not available in the other personal publishing tools.

I’m not sure when I’ll have time to start it, but thinking about it kept me up all night. I want to create something easier to use than the ones out there now, and more flexible. It’s a tall order, especially with Movable Type doing it so well already. As good as Movable Type is, it’s a little beyond the typical Blogger user. The features lacking from Blogger are legion, but it is the easiest to get started with (at least that I’ve seen – if someone has one that’s easier to get started with, please let me know). How do you combine Trackback, Comments, flexible templates including the ability to make “other” pages, more flexible archiving formats, a WYSIWYG editor, etc and make it easy? It’s a huge problem, and it’s keeping me up at night.

I’m not even sure why it’s keeping me up, but it is. Maybe I just need to start drinking. Or take TylenolPM. Yeah, that’s the ticket.