Sunday, August 26, 2007


OK, so... I want to make it so there is an End In Sight. I have theories on this. They are, unfortunately, going to have to take a back burner to certain other things for a little while, but hopefully they'll happen before too long.

And meanwhile, we also went and saw 11th Hour... Here's the trailer:

Anyway, that gave me a whole other list of things I'd like to do to take action. There's a lot that can be done, and a lot that needs doing... Hopefully I can tackle enough of it to make some progress towards sustainability in this planet. I hope to be learning a bit more about the options at the first (newly re-instated) Climate Soup meetup, which is to be held at the oh-so-cool store (which I've been meaning to blog about for ages. argh.), Goods for the Planet.. Many kudos to Laura for taking on this meetup! She's both excited and nervous about it, so I hope a bunch of folks will come out and lend their support.

I'm sure I'll have a lot more to say on these issues over time.

For now, let me add two words to some writing I saw on a post the other day:

Impeach, indict

To which I add (one word after each of the above): convict, convict

so we then have:

Impeach, convict; indict, convict.

And no, I don't just mean one person there.

My project that's on hold for the moment has a lot to do with the above, actually... more on that later.

Friday, August 24, 2007

No End In Sight?

Check out this review, and/or watch this trailer.

I'm thinking I need to see this movie. So I will. Tonight. 7pm. Uptown Theatre:

AMC Loews Uptown 3
511 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (206) 285-1022

Anyone and everyone welcome to join me. I hope to lead some discussion afterwards, we'll find a spot for food/coffee/something and chat.

And then I'll surely blog more about it, once I've seen it.

the state of ruby documentation, part 1 (a rant)

[geek alert: if you're not a computer geek, this may not be of much interest.]

OK, so I just saw this in some documentation:
This article is part of the confusing world of Authentication in Rails. Feel free to get lost in a gazillion of nearly useless and/or outdated Wikipages.

I really like a lot of things about the Ruby and Rails communities. Stale documentation, though, is a glaring exception (and this isn't the only example -- rails docs without using migrations (or outdated versions) create a whole category of additional exceptions).

And I want it to change.

For my part, I will make a specific effort to help improve the documentation. I hope others will do the same. And in any case, whether you write anything new or not, PLEASE please please, don't encourage (including by standing by idly and allowing) folks to continue propagating the defeatist attitude above.

There. I've just started on my part, and re-written the above-quoted text to be more hopeful, and also added to the other linked page so it's easier for folks to know how to help. May these be the first of many edits I shall do.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Are there no decent Carnitas in this town?

OK, so, I've been in Seattle for over 4 years now. I have yet to have anything that I would call "decent" in the carnitas arena. And it's not just that it's not good -- they actually aren't so horrible, at some of the places -- it's just that they're not right! It's not the right thing. It's the right base, but not the right thing.

My definition of carnitas:
  1. slow cook some pork shoulder, with seasonings. (This part, at least some of them have figured out.)
  2. fry it (in its own juices, on a hot flat surface)! make the outsides crispy, darn it!
wikipedia gets it almost right:

Prior to serving, the pork is placed in fairly shallow pans to maximize surface area, then roasted at high (375 to 425 °F) heat for a few minutes to produce the famous alternating texture of succulent softness and caramelized crispness.

Emphasis my own. The only part that's maybe wrong is the roasting thing. Yeah, it's a dry heat. But not from anything like an oven; it comes from one of those big flat hot griddle things. With the big iron weight set down on it, too, unless they're just using the spatulas, to squeeeeze it into the perfection of cooking. After which it's slapped directly onto an otherwise-ready-to-go burrito that's quickly wrapped up (and not like they do it in Seattle, either -- they get that wrong here, too, everywhere I've been -- kinda close, but not quite right), and handed over for some serious yummy goodness.

If anyone knows of a place in Seattle that even so much as attempts this, please let me know. I miss my Taqueria La Bamba!. Anyone want to give me a big pile of money so I can hire those guys to help me start up a store up here? :-) I need my fix, and frankly, I need it more often than I go back down to the bay area.

On the up side, the Blue Water that's near me (and none of the others that I've been to as yet) do at least use that kind of griddle to very good effect for my regular order there: a steak & calamari burrito. I just wish they'd do up the Carnitas, as well. I keep asking the guy at the register when they're going to do it, but... alas, it hasn't happened yet. (Even though they do do (the feeble kind -- from steam-warmer-thing to burrito directly -- of) carnitas at at least one of their other locations, so it's not like they couldn't get the meat.)

Argh! I want carnitas! Help!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Taxing Plastic Bags...

So, there's a petition out there to encourage San Francisco in their notion of putting a fee or tax on the use of plastic bags from the grocery store. I like this idea a lot (and I put my name on the petition). Right now, I sometimes (when the check-out clerk bothers to care) get 5 cents off my ticket for bringing my own bag. Frankly, I'd rather knock a penny or so off each item in my bag, and pay 5cents for the bag if I forget my own bag, or need an extra.

I'd like to see this become ubiquitous, frankly.

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. I do recycle my plastic bags when I have them, often after re-using them a bit. Wouldn't it be even better, though, to just reduce my intake? I'm working on my part of that... Won't you join me?