June 21, 2004

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Beloved canines, cherished friends

(Sacha here. Lucas and Kaygee are both perfectly alive and well. I
just couldn’t think of any other names at the moment.)

“I’m sorry, son, but they really have to go.”

“Awww, c’mon, dad! Look how hard they’re trying to hang on! Can’t I
keep them forever and ever?”

“Don’t worry. You’ll have two new ones soon.”

“But that’s just not the same, you know…”

“It’s part of growing up. You’re just going to have to deal with it.”

“But they’ve been with me since I was a kid!”

“All things must come to an end. You’ll understand that when you’re older.”

“But how am I going to smile without Lucas and Kaygee?”

“You named your _teeth_?!”

(Written in response to “A trusted, cherished canine companion”, 2004.06.20 flashxer prompt)


Class today

– CS21A: (B) Intro to Java lecture. (G) Intro to Java lecture, lab

discussion. # I finished all of the feedback today. Yay! What
worked: the first lab went very well. What could be improved: Move
how-to-zip-files and demonstration to first week of classes.

– CS110: Review of efficiency with a 5-point quiz. Many people need to

review. Hmm. What am I doing wrong? Maybe I should use more
exercises and fewer lectures. How can I make exercises easy to do in
class? Not sure if proceeding to next topic (correctness, ending
with induction) was the best thing to do.

– CS139.3: Had fun finding two simple data structures problem.

However, Mark was the only one who could solve it within given
timeframe. Spent half an hour setting up PC2 and getting the hang of
things. Next time, won’t have that problem. Should also release
notes on how to do input and output. Crash course in Java. Have
assigned problems for student discussion. Will probably allow
newbies to work in groups first.

More experiments with sausages and potato soup

I think I’m getting hooked. I found myself wandering the aisles of
Rustan’s supermarket earlier, looking for cookware. I put two rolls of
kitchen towels, a pitcher, a microwave egg cooker and a set of tiny
food containers in my basket. I very, very nearly got a flat-bottomed
wok. (I’m still strongly tempted to spring for one.) ‘Course, I had to
put all of those things away and slink off sheepishly upon discovering
I’d left my purse at the department. Whoops.

Fortunately, I had all the food I needed at the dorm. (Aha! Finally, a
well-stocked pantry.) I wanted to give potato soup another shot, with
minor twists. Here’s what I did:

Sausage and potato soup (sorta)

– 130g sausage (I tried it with Hungarian)
– 1/4 onion
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 2 medium potatoes
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 cup milk

1. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Prick them with a fork, rub them with

oil, and pop them into the microwave for 9 minutes on high.
(Actually, just cheat and use the “Potatoes” setting on your

2. While the potatoes are cooking, mince the onion and throw it into a

saucepan with the butter. Brown the onion on medium-high heat. (Or
whatever. Just try not to burn them.)

3. Slice the sausage thinly. Cook the sausages (in the saucepan also,

or elsewhere) until you’re satisfied they’re edible.

4. Cool the potatoes by running water over them or sticking them into

the refrigerator or freezer. Scoop out the insides carefully,
putting the potato bases aside for tomorrow’s breakfast.

5. Mash the potato insides in a bowl. Add water. Mix thoroughly.

6. Put mixture in saucepan and boil until potato mixture looks thick.

7. Add milk until consistency looks almost like the creamy soups you


8. Dump assorted seasonings into soup. Experiment with sage, rosemary,

salt, pepper, and anything that says “Use with potatoes” on it.

It was acceptable, although the Hungarian sausages weren’t as spicy as
I had hoped they’d be.

Hmm. I didn’t really taste the onions. Maybe I should try more onions
or cut them out entirely.

I plan to use the potato shells for Egg and Corned Beef Potato
Surprise tomorrow. It’s another experiment. I haven’t quite figured
out if I’m going to

– scramble the egg
– keep the egg whole

– microwave the whole thing
– cook the mixture before putting it into the potato

I think I’ll go for frying the corned beef, mixing cooked corned beef
with one egg, then pouring the mixture into the potatoes and cooking
for 1.5 ~ 2 min.

Public apology about posting opinion

Oops, sorry. Apparently, my teaching reflections might not be for
public consumption, as they may negatively reflect on my co-faculty. I
am a big fan of my co-faculty and find their work to be really, really
wonderful. No offense was meant. The posts have been deleted.

For the record, I find my co-faculty’s slides to be fantastically
wonderful and I’m really glad they’re available for use. In fact, the
slide set I use is almost exactly the same as the standard ones, with
the exception that I add more obvious breaks because I often forget
to, umm, _breathe_ while discussing topics. My modifications are ways
for me to address my limitations, not theirs.