Coffee Roaster

For someone medically forbidden from drinking caffeine, I have perhaps an overactive interest in coffee. Well I inadvertently bought a home coffee roaster (I blame Matt), to go with Miss Silvia the espresso machine and Mr Macho the grinder, and I’ve started roasting green coffee beans. So far I have had really good results with Ethiopian Harrar, Colombian, and an Indian origin. Each has a distinct different flavour, and it is as much of a jump in flavour going from bought beans to freshly roasted as it is from going from filtered to espresso. I’ve ordered some decaffeinated beans to roast up and blend in so I don’t go overboard…

Compiling Javascript?

Okay Joel, interesting argument, and I sort of agree, but please don’t make silly stuff up to support your argument: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2007/09/18.html

“You can follow the p-code/Java model and build a little sandbox on top of the underlying system. But sandboxes are penalty boxes; they’re slow and they suck, which is why Java Applets are dead, dead, dead.”

Well that’s not really true. Java Applets died because when Microsoft swamped out the Sun JVM with its own crippled 1.1 VM, nobody could realistically write to the much better Applet APIs that came out after version 1.1, so we either wrote crap AWT applets or ActiveX controls instead (a whole other world of pain and silliness). Also, the JVM is hardly “slow” these days, and is certainly faster than your average JavaScript engine.

“What’s going to happen? The winners are going to do what worked at Bell Labs in 1978: build a programming language, like C, that’s portable and efficient. It should compile down to “native” code (native code being JavaScript and DOMs) with different backends for different target platforms”

What, so JavaScript/DOM in a browser isn’t a frickin’ sandbox? Hello?! It seems ludicrous to add another language compiler layer on top of JavaScript/DOM, when you may as well write it in Java and “compile” it into an applet, which will have the same access to browser capabilities, require the same security restrictions and functionality sandbox, run a lot faster, and not require learning a new round of language, compilers and APIs.

Feline Wisdom

There is nothing else like it in the world to prepare youself for being truly regarded by your kitten for the first time. Lucy looked me straight in the eye today and wouldn’t let go. For some reason, an exchange of an indescribable something took place, and I’m still not sure who came off best. There is still something wild, ancient and wise that hasn’t been completely bred out of cats, least of all Bengals.

I’ve been on migraine meds today, so maybe that’s all it was.

Corn Fritters

Why is it that cafes can never get corn fritters right? They always try and add all these other things, make them far too thick, fail to cook them for long enough, burn them, and so on. Corn fritters are a basic foodstuff, a simple yet noble testament to the pleasurable but delicate flavour of corn. They should not be sullied with bacon or diced capsicum, overpowered with twelve herbs and spices, or made out to be more than what they are and what they do best. To that end, I propose that the simplest possible recipe is still the best:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • one 400 g tin whole kernel corn
  • salt and pepper

Beat eggs and milk until frothy. Stir in dry ingredients until a thick pourable batter is formed, then stir in the drained corn kernels. Fry spoonfuls in butter over a medium heat. Serve immediately.

Clicker Training

After a a few weeks of settling in, I thought I’d give some clicker training a go with Lucy, Destroyer of (Laptop) Mice.

In a word, astounding.

I’m only peripherally familiar with operand conditioning, but I bought and am following Karen Pryor‘s Clicker Training for Cats book. I started on Sunday with loading the click with chicken liver treats. After 5 clicks she had cottoned on and 10 clicks later she was targetting a biro with her nose and I could lead her around the room with it. 5 more clicks and she was giving me high fives in the air with her paws. This all took less than five minutes!

Now it’s Wednesday and she’s quite reliably giving high fives, coming when called, sitting and staying on her spot and getting down from the table on command.

For some obscure reason teaching her to switch the light off on command and to play the piano are high on the list…

Kitten has finally arrived

She was a perfect little sweetie in the car from Wanganui to Wellington. After the initial shock, she entertained herself with a scrap of sheepskin for a bit before curling up to sleep the rest of the way. [singlepic=13,320,240,,]

When she got home she found the spare room with the boxes in it.

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Death to the laser pointer!

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