November 2008

But when you know you’re just not going to have a very good run, for whatever reason, she’s excellent company for a jog. I don’t know anyone who gets more outwardly happy about running than she does. Today we “ran” 5k. Our first 3k were done in about 15 minutes. Our last 2k were another 20. This made sense, as I’m trying to ease my knee back into real runs, and she just loved it. Hopefully it’ll pay dividends in the form of a tired hound, too.

Today I drank entirely too much espresso because I was having fun watching the shots. I also learned how to get Molly’s camera to take video and how to get that from camera->YouTube.

It appears that Arlington is phasing out normal parking meters and moving to a system where you buy a ticket from a box somewhere on the street. I object to this new system. The old way, you parked in front of a meter, put coins in, and came back before your time ran out. If the meter worked, it was nearly foolproof. If the meter didn’t work, lucky you. You got a pass up to the posted time limit.

With the new system, they’ve raised the prices to pay for the fancy new machines. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; if parking is a little more expensive, people will walk more. Unfortunately, the meters only accept $0.25 and $1.00 coins (and credit), not paper currency. The credit portion wasn’t working today. So my pocket full of change and singles that I brought to the coffee shop was useless in the face of these new machines. They’ve also eliminated the old M-F meters because all the new machines are M-S. Lame. Worst of all, instead of parking in front of the evidence that you’ve paid, you have to stick paper in your car where it can be seen. This is a real problem, because my car does not close securely. My general and very effective solution to this is to leave nothing of value there. Nothing like a small, easy to steal piece of paper with immediate value, for example. I expect I’ll be ticketed more than once as a result of this new system. At least I’ll have a receipt to keep for the appeal once I can use my credit card.

Developers often have a love/hate relationship with wxWidgets, especially on the Mac. The common complaint, which I can’t dispute, is that wx applications don’t look and feel particularly well-integrated on the Mac. If you devote some effort to polishing the look and feel, this doesn’t have to be the case. It can be a lot of effort though, to build something that really feels native. That said, sometimes I’m just amazed at what you get for free. Here’s one of the test applications for PKIF, with no tweaks other than some mild build system manipulation, running on the Mac (not an officially supported platform). Screenshot after the jump.


Mac|Life has a nice list of the 5 best and 5 worst Apple laptops of all time. The list is mostly good, but I have to quibble, naturally. Anyone who puts the Duo on the list of the best seems unlikely to have used one. They were a neat idea, and ahead of their time, but they really sucked both as laptops and as desktops. They certainly weren’t among the worst, either, but clearing them off the list would make room for the 12″ aluminum G4 PowerBook.

As for the worst, most of the stinkers they name deserve to be there; not the “toilet seat” tangerine and blueberry iBooks, though. Those were great, solid machines and among the first inexpensive machines with available built-in WiFi. But even if you think they’re bad, the hideous ball of suck that was the PowerBook 1400 has to overshadow them. And every machine Apple’s produced since, to be honest.

Just dug into the new batch of Peaberry from Boca. After the lessons learned with the August batch, I wasted much less coffee getting a nice shot. The trick seems to be keep the grind just a little too fine, then back off the tamp a little. I think I may want to lower the temperature on the PID just a couple degrees, though, and see how that changes it.

Today being a long run day, I thought it’d be good to do a slow cooker chili. Chili and pasta is good post-run food for me, and it’s nice to leave it cooking while I’m out running.

As always, it needs to sit before I really know what I think, but so far I I like it. With a small mod, I’m likely to do this one again. Recipe after the jump. It’s hot enough to mean business, but not so hot that all you can taste is fire. (more…)

So tonight, finding myself home alone without a good grocery supply in the house and knowing that Hard Times has a special on Chili Mac this week, I decided to walk down to Clarendon to grab a bite and watch people for a while. It turned out to be a much better evening than I expected.

I went to Hard Times for the vegetarian chili mac 3-way with tomatoes and jalapeƱos. It was stellar, as expected. Then I decided to roam the neighborhood a bit and grab a coffee. On my way to Boccato gelato, I passed Iota. Outside Iota, there was a woman standing around in a Halloween costume playing the fiddle. Naturally, I had to stop and listen, then ask why she was there.