Headlines for Wednesday:

  1. Lost pictures (33 words)
  2. Bruised knuckle (67 words)
  3. Adventures with J: Rhyme time (190 words)
  4. Thesis (62 words)
  5. Lasagna (281 words)
  6. Arroz caldo (290 words)
  7. Multi-modal learning (184 words)
  8. Geek! (77 words)



1. Lost pictures: 22:39

Note to self: never ever ever ever ever store thing in /tmp ever ever ever again, as Ubuntu is smart and deletes things.

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-article-strip-all-blank-lines - Command: Strip all blank lines.

2. Bruised knuckle: 22:41

The middle knuckle of my right hand is a little darker than the others, and a bit sensitive to the touch. It's an interesting sensation. I've never bruised my knuckles before. Heck, the krav maga folks had to teach me how to punch. =)

But it's so much fun!

Random Emacs symbol: mail-extr-disable-voodoo - Variable: *If it is a regexp, names matching it will never be modified.

3. Adventures with J: Rhyme time: 22:46

J asked me if she could take the Shel Silverstein book I lent her to school tomorrow, because her teacher told them that they'd do poetry. She loves the Shel Silverstein poems, and has probably flagged more than three-fourths of the book. I gave my permission, of course. Because she was so interested in poetry, I suggested that we play a rhyming game. We rhymed all the way to the supermarket and to my place. W joined in, even throwing in some gems and groaners. I told J that if she wants to write poetry, then knowing lots of words will make it easier to pick just the right word. Maybe she'll end up reading more poetry and browsing through dictionaries! =)

J likes drawing and storytelling. Who knows, that could be her path... =) W and I are both logic geeks, but storytelling is fun too. But I'm still going to keep thinking of ways to help her develop problem-solving skills! =) If math is too abstract, maybe adventure stories would do the trick...

Random Emacs symbol: cd-path - Variable: Value of the CDPATH environment variable, as a list.

4. Thesis: 22:49

I showed my thesis prototype to three other researchers at the IBM Toronto Center for Advanced Studies. They all thought it was a cool idea! =) I'm going to do my pilot usability test tomorrow. I spent today typing in my notes from various books... More tomorrow, too!

Random Emacs symbol: decrease-left-margin - Command: Make the left margin of the region smaller.

5. Lasagna: 23:00

One of the pictures I lost when I downloaded to /tmp/pictures instead of ~/tmp/pictures (boo!) was a nicely-lit picture of the lasagna we baked the other day.

The first lasagna we baked was pretty good (yay Parmesan!), but this one was much better because of the cheese mixture and the texture of the top. We followed the instructions on the back of a box of oven-ready lasagna noodles and used the sauce we'd prepared the day before.

The lasagna baked beautifully golden, without any burnt bits. I just *had* to take a picture. I placed it on the counter and took out my camera. W caught me fiddling with the stuff in the background, clearing extra stuff away. He laughed and offered to use the lamp on the table for lighting. "Should I hold it for you?" he asked.

I laughed and decided to take him seriously. I told him how my dad taught me that food shots almost always look better with back light, and we fiddled with the lighting a bit before I took a shot.

"Photographers' daughters," W said, shaking his head and smiling.

I told him that was what came of growing up around photographers and food stylists. Maybe I'm just a late bloomer. ;)

But ah, lasagna! I have to confess that I was a little worried when I was getting to know W because he's lactose-intolerant and my favorite kind of lasagna is extra extra cheesy, but he regularly eats more cheese than I do. And now he knows that lasagna's one of my comfort foods and one of my weaknesses... =)

Random Emacs symbol: mouse-autoselect-window - Variable: *Non-nil means autoselect window with mouse pointer.

6. Arroz caldo: 23:10

Not content with figuring out that lasagna automatically makes me warm and fuzzy, W noticed that I often snacked on the instant arroz caldo mixes that I was thrilled to find at a nearby No Frills supermarket. He then set about figuring out how to pronounce it (important first step!), and how to prepare it. We ended up combining several recipes from the Internet and throwing in *way* more garlic and ginger than the Westernized recipes called for. We put in too much chicken meat (will fix that next time), but the rest of it was just perfect - glutinous rice dissolving into a chicken broth that had simmered to perfection.

The only point of disagreement came when I sauteed the garlic yesterday. I chopped up the garlic and threw it into the pan. W looked at me in surprise and threw in the sliced onion as well, explaining that he usually cooks the onion first in order to avoid burning the garlic. I pointed out that the recipe specifically called for the garlic to be lightly browned first. We compromised by cooking the two separately in the same pot, and the dish wasn't affected.

When I fried garlic again today, though, the reason for this disagreement came to light. Aparently, Western cooking hardly ever lets the garlic color. In fact, recipes often make a point of it. For arroz caldo, though, you *want* crunchy golden garlic. With that kind of clarification, we came to full agreement.

But look! Arroz caldo! Isn't he so sweet? And now he's looking up how to make champorado, even though he can't believe that chocolate rice porridge is supposed to be a breakfast thing.

The way to someone's heart is through their stomach... =)

7. Multi-modal learning: 23:15

I've stepped up my reading in preparation for my paper, practically inhaling research papers and books. It's easy to copy and paste quotations from PDFs of research papers, but dead-tree books are harder to handle. I'm relatively happy with the way I'm doing things, though. Here's how it works.

When I start a book, I record the name of the book into my voice recorder. As I read, I note interesting quotations by recording the page number and the quotation as one file. In this way, I accumulate dozens of notes. When I have time to encode all of these, I loop over each file while transcribing whatever I can keep up with. I repeat each file as many times as necessary.

This has the effect of usual several modes for the information: visual when I read it for the first time, auditory when I hear myself read it, and kinesthetic when I type it out.

It's slower, but I hope it works well!

Random Emacs symbol: global-mark-ring-max - Variable: *Maximum size of global mark ring. Start discarding off end if gets this big.

8. Geek!: 23:24

W and I were talking about Post-It tape flags when he asked me if he'd shown me his Markham housing map yet. When I said no, he went downstairs and showed me this map with house locations and values, school districts and rankings, and other notes of interest—a *paper* map with little flags all over it.

A paper mashup. Gotta love it!

Geek! =)

Random Emacs symbol: info-title-3 - Face: Face for info titles at level 3.


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