Monday, October 30, 2006

pumpkin soup

I experimented with pumpkin soup yesterday. I think it turned out quite well - though you'll have to ask some of the taste testers for an honest opinion.

Basically I cooked a bunch (turns out that half a pumpkin serves way more than 6 people) of pumpkin in the pressure cooker along with some carrots. On the side, I sauteed onions and ginger.

Mashed the pumpkin, mixed it and the carrots with whipping cream, some milk, nutmeg, black pepper, and a tiny bit of cinnamon and cooked in a pot for a little longer.

Finally, put it through the blender and garnished it with some parsley.

I want to try adding some celery as well - I think that'll give it a nice bite.

Friday, October 20, 2006

data modeling

attended a pretty good presentation that Pierre gave on data modeling. Some things I learnt:
  • since 3nf captures most business rules, each subsequent denormalization that you may do should be countered or linked directly to a piece of code that implements the business rule that was lost during the denorm process. It'd be supercool if there was a way to document that in the code/model somehow.
  • successful normalization requires that you understand your business, whereas successful denormalization requires that you understand the runtime nature of your service (reporting, metrics, partitioning, performance, etc).
  • it's easier to backfill into a simple, crisp model than into a "flexible" model that probably doesn't work anyways and may be full of incorect business rules. Resist the urge to put random opaque fields (or arbitrary key/value pairs) into your data model.

Having worked almost exclusively on framework-level code, I haven't had to do much modeling of business problems. So I learnt a lot.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I need a web enabled cellphone. Everytime I go to the grocery store I randomly decide what I'm going to cook but then never have a recipe handy and have to guess how exactly I'm going to make it. Here is yesterday's impromptu lamb recipe, concocted from several recipes on epicurious, as well as a bit of creativity:


  • Shoulders of lamb
  • Yogurt
  • Fresh mint
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sea salt

Repeatedly stab the lamb with a fork on both sides. Sprinkle on some sea salt, spoon on some yogurt and let it sit for a bit. Turn on the broiler in your oven.

On a cutting board, chop some garlic and fresh mint. Add in the rosemary and thyme, and keep chopping until you have a finely chopped green mixture.

To the herb and garlic mixture, add in a little bit of vinegar and more yogurt and mix again. Spoon this onto the lamb and stab again repeatedly with a fork to help it absorb. Cover and let it set in the fridge.

Put it in the oven, about 3-4 inches from the broiler, for 6-7 minutes on each side.

Improvements? Ingredients that I mixed that shoudln't have been mixed? Let me know. I just made this up as I went along.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm dotting more than blogging

So you may be wondering why my blogging is suddenly less frequent than it used to be. Well often times what I have to say is related to something I read on the web. And there's a kickass service that lets me track that sort of stuff, and share/discuss it with my friends.

I haven't figured out a way to splice my bluedot feed with my blog feed yet so you have to subscribe to it separately.

Note that unless you use a reader than can do authentication, this feed only contains my "public" dots, and not the ones that I reserve just for friends or particular groups of people to see. If you want to see those register/sign in, add me as a friend (I'll accept if I know you), and check out my dots on bluedot.

Update: With firefox 2 you can click on my bluedot feed and then automatically subscribe to it in bloglines.

Update: I put in a feature request to the feedburner folks to integrate with bluedot. They said that they generally wait to see what sites get heavy usage and then integrate with them. If more people ask for it, then they may start paying attention. bluedot folks - have you tried contacting them directly?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

broadband by boeing

Wow. I'm on my way from Seoul to Seattle and have my laptop plugged into a power outlet under my seat and have broadband access (for free). I just tried skype-ing my wife's cellphone and was able to get a pretty damn clear connection, except that I'm guessing she heard a lot of white noise from the cabin noise.
That's pretty damn cool!
It's called Connexion By Boeing. Although it's free I was required to enter credit card information to use the service. Interestingly though, there were other payment options including what looked like tie-ups with telecom companies (maybe this gets tagged onto your monthly phone bill?)
I'm impressed.