In totally unrelated news, I learned today during my reading of the Pueblo Chieftain, that there is a player for the Arizona Diamondbacks named J.J. Putz. Wow. That is an unfortunate name, especially because that means that his last name is plastered across the back of his uniform, like a label. Unfortunate.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
I have to say, I'm really glad that the Picasa app has been updated so that you can easily upload all your starred photos. Maybe they have had that and I'm thinking of saving or moving them. I dunno. Anyway, the short of it is, I've got pictures up from our trip to Mexico. As is customary, you can view them in my online gallery. I believe that is what the cool kids are doing these days.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Jen and I are back stateside after the RealEyes crew took a trip down to Mexico. We went to Puerto Aventuras, which is about an hour south of Cancun and the location of a previous RealEyes trip. This time however, we stayed in an even awesomer hacienda with enough space for everyone. I'll get some pictures up eventually, but it was an incredible mansion on the water with a big courtyard.
While we were there we kayaked in the ocean, swam, read, ate and drank. We were supposed to go on a catamaran tour, but they postponed it to Thursday, which was unfortunately at a time after Jen had to leave. She had a class she needed to attend back here in Colorado, so she had to leave early. I drove her up to the airport and came back without incident, for which I am grateful. I'll admit that driving alone through a foreign country with infamously corrupt police made me a bit nervous. However, when I got back, I found out that the boat trip was cancelled due to high winds and a broken motor. So no boat trip for either of us.
Instead we bummed around Puerto Aventuras enjoying 2 for 1 margaritas before heading into nearby Playa Del Carmen later in the evening for walking along their impressive marketplace and then grabbing a late dinner at the truly excellent Yaxche restaurant. They served Mayan cuisine, and although I doubt Mayans regularly ate this type of feast, it was really good.
While we were down there, we also did several competitions, including seeing who could get the most coconut milk, a photo scavenger hunt, board games and trivia. I won a game of Apples to Apples and got a USB drive as a prize, and got second in the photo scavenger hunt and got an iPod nano as a prize. That was quite fun.
It was a good vacation with no major hiccups. I flew back in on Saturday and Jen picked me up after her class. Today was primarily spent at church and doing the catch up chores of laundry and mowing. It's funny that as much as I wanted and needed vacation, I was ready to come back. More than just wanting to escape the humidity, I felt a need to get back into routine and healthy habits. No more excessive eating (well, less excessive eating), no endless bowls of guacamole, no sunburns, and definitely no nasty sangrita (which is like salted, alcoholic koolaid).
We'll see how the body reacts to getting up at 6 again rather than the 8:30 or so we did in Mexico.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
This week I gave a presentation at the Rocky Mountain Adobe Users Group about developing for the Playbook with AIR. You can watch the presentation recording if you like. Jun Heider also presented about developing for the iPad using Flash Builder. It went pretty well, certainly much better than the half presentation I did at the RMAUG unconference at 360|Flex. I even got an invite to speak at another user group in the area, which is some good affirmation!
I've been using my Playbook more and more. I've finally found a good use for it outside of cooking and travel. When I'm on the exercise bike, I can surf the web using the Playbook and tuck it inside the little reading stand built into the bike. I've found a decent feed reader for the Playbook too, so I can look at my RSS feeds as well as get my webcomic fix.
I have been having a few network connectivity issues, but I'm not sure if that is a fight between my network and the Playbook or just the Playbook itself. It seems to be doing all right recently. However, the other day I was downloading a heap of podcasts in preparation for my upcoming vacation, and I had to babysit the downloading process. It would stall every 4 to 60MB and I would have to restart the app. But then again, this morning I downloaded a few more and it behaved flawlessly, burning through the queue of Planet Money podcasts. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Playbook functions as a laptop stand-in as I fly down to Mexico.
I just pulled some scones out of the oven. Earlier I built a zombie defense wall using all the branches we've trimmed, collected and sawed. It'll be picked up this week by the city, for which I am grateful. Also, I planted some mint. Then there were groceries, laundry, and the like. So I've been a bit busy today. But I'm also feeling oh so lazy.
I'm in vacation mode. Jen and I will be leaving to go down to Mexico soon for the RealEyes trip. We're headed to the south of the country near Cancun, so hopefully that puts us far enough away from drug cartel violence and the ancillary business that goes with it. We are both looking forward to some sun and relaxation.
It's been uncharacteristically wet, making the impending sunbathing all the more appealing. We had one day straight of nothing but rain, followed by some more rain. This is piddling stuff compared to Oregon, but for Colorado, a day and a half of solid rain is unusual. Then we had a beautiful day yesterday. And today we're getting heavy rain again. Too much time here in this sunny state is making me feel more like the solar-powered natives who require consistent sunshine to function. But soon, Mexican sun will be recharging my batteries.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
We have a rabbit in our backyard. I think we do. I'm not sure any more. Around Easter we noticed a very cute little bunny out there. We figured he was passing through ... well, we hoped he was at least; Jen maybe less so, as she was hypnotized by the bun bun's cuteness. Apparently, though, he was not passing through. Content in our fenced in yard, guarded from many predators and us by our fence and deck, he was eating holes in our yard. It would not be long before he'd start on our volunteer lettuce. So we ended up getting a live trap.
I set it up after a long day of yardwork, which probably scared him out anyway. It sat there for a few days, its carrots scorned by the bunny. Then I came down and the carrots were gone, the trap was sprung and locked, but there was no bunny. Huh. Evidently that is one quick rabbit. I may have screwed up by not putting it out there without arming it to lull the rabbit into complacency. Now he may be gun shy, so to speak. Of course, it might not have been the rabbit anyway. We haven't seen him since, but something ate the bait.
I've done some reorganizing of my links, and added in some really, really good new webcomics. Unsounded is tremendous. Fantastic art, creative use of the medium, and interesting characters. I hope this one is around for a long while. Muktuk Wolfsbreath: Hardboiled Shaman hasn't been around for too long, but it has grabbed me with what it has thus far. If you're looking for a serious webcomic (a la Persepolis), the Eisner-nominated Zahra's Paradise is a good one set in Iran. The art is striking and the story is moving. And the there is Ratfist, which is an insane comic by the creator of Earthworm Jim.
Finally, I need to throw in a recipe, mainly for myself. I improvised something that turned out really well, so I want to record it. It's a nice "throw things in a skillet, cook, serve over carbs" recipe.
Curried Bratwurst Goulash Thing
- 6 bratwurst
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 14.5 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 smaller can corn with peppers (like 2/3 the size of the 14.5 oz. can?), drained
- 1/2 tsp. garam masala
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. curry powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
- 1/2 C. cilantro, chopped
- Cooked rice
Heat the oil in a skillet and then brown the bratwurst in it. Remove the bratwurst to a cutting board and add in the onion to the oil. Cook the onion over medium high heat until limp. Meanwhile, slice the bratwurst into 1/4 inch rounds and add back to the skillet. Add in the chickpeas and cook covered for 3-5 minutes. Add in the tomatoes with their juices, the corn, and spices minus the cilantro. Cook over medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes covered. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Serve immediately over hot rice.
This is a suprisingly pretty recipe, what with the mixture of colors and all. The bratwurst works better than I thought it would, and the flavor is really great after it has sat in the fridge overnight. We served it with brown rice, which defies coming out decently, so half of it was burned. So I found that this also goes equally well over toast.
Oh, and one more thing: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is an unexpectedly good and hilarious film. It's definitely crazy and wacky, but with lots of really great little details and fun, over the top moments. I want this in my library for repeat viewings.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Yesterday the weather forecast was promising a mixture of snow and rain and highs in the 40s. I am glad to say that was not the case because we were helping our friends Nathan and Elizabeth move into their new house. I was happy because not only were we moving them from an apartment to their first house, but we were also moving them closer to us and into a space with more room for game nights, as well as their two sons, including their newborn Samuel.
The weather was actually great for moving, the stuff was nicely organized in boxes, there were many hands to make the work light, and thankfully, there was not much in the way of stairs to deal with. The move went smoothly except Jen got a nick on a finger and I stupidly missed a shelf in the bottom of a bookshelf and got my hand very painfully pinched when it fell. That left a gruesome looking wound on my hand, which thankfully doesn't hurt as bad as it looks.
Moving was followed up with excellent chili and apple cake made by Elizabeth. Then we hit the store and came home to shower and take a long nap. Later, we watched Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which wasn't actively bad, but certainly a step down from the previous Narnia movies. I made some pretty bad guacamole that we ate with cheese-drenched chips that made the bad guac tolerable.
Anyway, that was Saturday. Thankfully today my congestion from the allergies/cold/whatever is gone and I'm feeling almost back to myself. Hopefully that will stay through the day and whatever it is we end up doing.