October 9, 2005

Garlic

October 9, 2005 - Categories: -Uncategorized

My garlic comes from Manila, Philippines. Couldn’t help but smile a little. =)

(Would you believe the cost of butter here?! Sheesh.)

Bookstores

October 9, 2005 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Folks in the Tokyo Linux Users Group are talking about where to find
English-version O’Reilly books. Seeing familiar names flash
by—Kinokuniya, Yurindo, even Book 1st—I suddenly miss Japan and that
fellowship between strangers browsing through the tiny English section
of bookstores… Now I know that I didn’t just pass through. I wasn’t
just a tourist. Even if it was just for six months, I really did live
there.

Canada still feels a little unreal to me. Sometimes I have a hard time
believing that I’m really halfway around the world. The chain
bookstores are comfortably familiar: books, a cafe, shelves of music
and video. When I step into Chapters, it’s like stepping into
Powerbooks or Fully Booked in Metro Manila—I’m home.

But when I step into one of those little bookstores, then I know I
really am a stranger in a strange land. They have specialized
bookstores here. Science fiction and fantasy. New age and
spiritualism. Used and rare books.

It’s hard to care about megabookstores; they’re the same the world
over. But someday I’ll grow to be as fond of these little bookstores
as I am of the bookstores in Japan, and then I’ll know I’m not just
passing through Canada; I live here, even just for a while.

Turkey thanksgiving and Planner evangelization

October 9, 2005 - Categories: emacs

It took me _two hours_ to finish dinner. Not because I had heaps and
heaps of turkey, but because halfway through what had been a very
quiet dinner, I got into a lively discussion with the person seated
across me.

It all started with me mentioning Google Desktop and how much I wanted
to tinker around with stuff like that. Google Desktop sparked Danilo’s
interest, and he asked if I used it. I told him I couldn’t because
it’s Windows-only. We then got into a friendly debate about open
source and piracy. (I think piracy is evil not because it hurts big
companies but because it makes people too lazy to look for good open
source alternatives, which means open source developers have fewer
users and supporters.) Then, as all extended discussions with me tend
to become, I ended up talking about Emacs and
Planner

Somewhere along the way, Danilo asked me if I thought Planner could be
good for _everyone._ I told him Planner didn’t have to fit _everyone._
It just had to fit one person at a time. =) Viva open source!

I can’t help it! I get really, really excited about personal
information management, and it _just_ so happened that Danilo and
Carlos were frustrated with the way they’re managing their tasks and
schedules, and I have so much fun finding or tailoring tools to fit
people, and… <blush> … and I talk too much when I’m excited
about something. I was practically bouncing up and down. To think that
I hadn’t even gotten to dessert, so I couldn’t blame it on a sugar
rush!

Everyone else finished dinner and left; we were still there chatting
about personal information management. First the other chairs were put
away. Then the residence assistants asked if they could remove the
tablecloth. Then they asked us to put away the table and the chairs
eventually. By the time Blago came in to set the coffee tables for the
next event, I knew it was time to gulp down the rest of my meal. <laugh&ght;

Mike Tsang was just laughing at me throughout the whole thing. He knew
I’d end up talking about Emacs and Planner at some point. <grin>

Danilo plans the way I do at the moment: scheduled tasks. He was
really frustrated by the lack of commercial tools that allow you to
properly schedule tasks onto a calendar. I can’t wait to show him
Planner. I hope it can fit him perfectly. =) I haven’t run into any
other tool that really supports the kind of planning I do, and I’m
still trying to figure out how to support it on paper. But Planner is so cool!

Carlos is a paper person, so maybe the
D*I*Y Planner stuff will be useful for
him. His main problem right now is that his calendar doesn’t give him
enough space to do things, and he’s spread things out over three
different calendars. I wonder what mix of forms would be good for him…

Wheee! Really, we’re onto something _really_ cool here with Planner
and insane personalization… I _really_ _really_ want to get these
ideas out into the rest of the world. Universal hyperlinking. Extreme
customization. Zero-distraction work. And lots and lots and lots of
fun. =D

Chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies

October 9, 2005 - Categories: -Uncategorized

From cooks.com:

CHOCO – CHIP OATMEAL COOKIES

- 1 1/4 c. butter, softened
– 3/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
– 1/2 c. granulated sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp. vanilla
– 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp. baking soda
– 1 tsp. salt
– 3 c. Quick or Old Fashioned Quaker Oats, uncooked
– 1 (12 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate pieces
– 3/4 c. nuts, chopped

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually add combined flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until thoroughly blended. Stir in oats; chocolate pieces and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet. Remove to wire rack.

Not quite Kathy’s recipe, but it’ll do in a pinch.

Worked out quite well. Made two batches.