Beef and Broccoli v2

This is our second go at beef and broccoli (with peppers, sugar snap peas, and carrots).

For the first try see:

  • Beef was cut a bit smaller.
  • Soaked 4 cups water + 1/4 cup baking soda + 1 tbsp salt for 13 minutes.
  • Veggies were boiled slightly less – they were not quite done when we drained them.  This way when mixed and heated again with the meat and sauce they ended up about perfect.

Also first try at fried rice.  I thought for sure I ruined it but it turned out okay.  Looking forward to doing this again.



Baked Mac ‘n Cheese

So the other day we cooked up a couple of pounds of macaroni, strained it, and added a little bit of butter to keep it from sticking together.  Then into a pot with milk, several bags of shredded cheese, some bbq seasoning, salt, pepper, and a can of cream of celery soup.  Then it got baked for about an hour with cheese and breadcrumbs sprinkled on top.

It was pretty good.  Not bad at all, but not amazing.

Leftovers went in fridge.  A couple of days later, I needed a quick dinner for some of the kids, so I threw some of the leftovers in a well seasoned cast iron skillet and heated it up on high heat until it was nicely sizzled.


In my whole life I never had better mac ‘n cheese.  I’m not sure exactly what made it the best, but here is a picture, and we’re going to have to try this again sometime.



Unicode — The Beginnings

“For me, the need for Unicode first struck about 12 years ago [1985]. While I had done some internationalization while working in Europe, I hadn’t worked on any of the more interesting scripts.  Two programmers, Ken Krugler and I were working on a “skunkworks” project in Sapporo, Japan. Our goal was to produce the first Kanji Macintosh.

Working with our Japanese counterparts was made somewhat more challenging because of the translation issues. In the best of all possible worlds, we would all have spoken a common language. Second best would have been having a technically savvy translator, experienced with software engineering design and concepts. What we actually had was one, lone Apple marketing person, who happened to be bilingual.

Imagine yourself in that situation, having to discuss how to combine Huffman encoding and run-length encoding to compress Japanese input dictionaries. We soon learned the full impact of the phrase “to lose something in translation!”

But then our translator had to leave, and we were left with just vestiges of English on their side, and miniscule Japanese on ours. We then found out just how useful a white-board can be.

Yet one day we hit a stumbling block, and were just not making progress. We had known that Japanese needed two bytes to encompass the large character set, and we had prototyped how to adapt the system software to use two-byte characters. However, we were having trouble figuring out exactly how things fit together with our counterparts’ data formats.

Remember [that] we were new to this, so it didn’t hit us right away. But all of a sudden, we could see the light go on in both of our faces: we had assumed that the standard Shift-JIS character set was a uniform two-byte standard. We were so, so wrong. You needed a mixture of single and double bytes to represent even the most common text. Worse yet, some bytes could be both whole single byte-characters, and parts of double-byte characters. We weren’t in Kansas anymore!

We persevered, and ended up producing a successful product [Apple KanjiTalk].  But — although we kicked around different ideas for a radically new kind of character set — we never did anything with these ideas. That is, not until we heard about a proposal from colleagues at Xerox for such a new kind of character set, a character set originated by Joe Becker, a character set that he baptized ‘Unicode’.”

Mark Davis, President and Co-founder of the Unicode Standard and the Unicode Consortium:
Quoted from Keynote Address,“10 years of Unicode”
September 1997 Eleventh International Unicode Conference #11 (©Unicode, Inc. 1997)

Playing with Turtle XYZ

3D Rendering has always interested me, but I’ve never taken the time to mess around with it much.

When I was a kid I used to do stuff like this in Basic.  But I didn’t know trig or other similar functions so I was left to basic math and the random functions.

Here is a little turtle program (python) that will make a wrinkled fabric type display.

2015-12-18 - B163539.png

Our new kittens

We got two new kittens from Patches! (if you did not read the blog “Our Cats” or “Kittens” click on Patches for “Our Cats” and click Kittens for the blog on our Kittens.)

We named one Oreo, and the other is Hiccup. We picked the name Oreo because she is black on the ends and white in the middle like an Oreo. We picked the name Hiccup because he looks a lot like the dragon from the movie How To Train Your Dragon but acts like Hiccup in How To Train Your Dragon.

Oreo’s personality is:

  • always wanting outdoors
  • always attacking her sister
  • running over and scratching my brother’s face at night
  • more of a hunter

Hiccup’s personality is:

  • more of a house cat than an outside cat
  • defending against attacks from Oreo
  • a protector
  • not so much a hunter

Thats all for now!