kitchen dregs

Last night I was tired and not in the mood to cook anything.  I didn't really have anything good in the fridge either...a few old and rotting vegetables, some broth, leftover enchilada sauce, and a small amount of monterey jack cheese.

Weighing a too-soft zucchini in one hand and a wrinkly red bell pepper in the other, I had an idea that was crazy enough to make me want to cook again.  I rummaged for an ancient onion in the back of the cupboard and pulled down my masa mix.

Corn masa, for those that don't know, is used to make corn tortillas, tamales, and pupusas.  And I decided to try and make Masa-ball soup (inspired by matzah-ball soup).

I sautéed the onion and added the chopped-up bell pepper and zucchini (with the bad parts cut out).  Part of the trick with aging vegetables is to cook them until they are soft enough that you can't tell they were wilted in the first place--soups are excellent for this.

I added the chicken broth I had on hand, and some water (and salt) to add more volume.  Then came my favorite part: adding a few spoonfuls of the leftover red enchilada sauce!  This gave it the perfect flavor.

The masa balls I made were much smaller than typical matzah-balls, mostly because I knew the masa was going to be denser.  I think it would have been better if I had added eggs to the masa (which is usually just the mix and water, sometimes with a little oil too) to lighten it up, but I didn't have any on hand.  I could have also made tortillas and fried them, but masa-balls were so much simpler, faster, and more puny.

I dropped the masa-balls into the soup and cooked them until they floated and served the whole shebang topped with grated cheese.  And it was pretty darn good.  I love finding ways to use the dregs in my kitchen.


yesterday's news

Yesterday an article by my coworker Jim was published in The GNOME Journal, entitled Introducing Shotwell: A GNOME Photo Manager.  The screen shots and the photographs in the screen shots are all mine!

free parking

Since I need to be home ASAP after work today, I decided to drive into BART instead of walking as I usually do (20 min).  I find on my car a warning (thank heavens it wasn't an actual citation) that I'd been parked in the same spot for over 72 hours, and according to Berkeley Traffic Ordinance 14.36.050 B.M.C, that's a no-no.

This was the first time I'd ever heard about the 72 hour rule, and I have severely mixed feelings about it.  On the one hand, it makes sense to keep broken cars off the streets and to keep the parking dynamic alive, but on the other hand, I only drive once or twice a week, usually only on weekends.

As previously said, I walk to BART and take that into work every day, and then other than that, I use my car to go to church and pick up groceries.  I don't want to drive more than I have to, for both environmental reasons and out of pure selfish convenience.  I don't want to buy a monthly parking spot to avoid this either--that's just silly.

Seeing as I've been living in Berkeley proper for nearly a year doing the same thing, I think they aren't too strict about the 72 hour rule and a neighbor possibly called me in.  It really isn't too big of a deal--if I see the tell-tale chalk markings on my tires that they're watching my car, I can just move it or wipe them off.  But the whole things seems so silly.  I'd rather that a neighbor just ask me not to park in front of their house instead of calling the police for pity's sake.  And I'd also rather have the time limit be a week instead of three days.

Maybe it's just my use case, but I feel that for people that own a car and use it infrequently, they're more likely to estimate their usage as "weekly" than "about every few days."  Work patterns occur on a weekly schedule and most people don't drive half the time and use other methods of transport the other half, except maybe carpoolers.  Admittedly, this assumes that people work every day of the week.  I guess my point is that this law was created with the idea that if you have a car, you should use it frequently, a premise with which I disagree.

This won't be too troublesome for my remaining time in Berkeley as N is currently on his way to drop off his "love-bug" (which is actually an ancient Toyota Corolla) at his parents' place in Colorado, where it will now live.  He'll use my car as well when he gets back, so it'll be in more frequent use.  And then I can just monitor for chalk in addition.

Anyway, that's enough on that.  Just to cheer me up after being flustered by this warning, the boxes where you pay for parking at BART needed to be restarted (displaying a nice Windows 2000 logo with the message "it is now okay to shut down your computer"), so parking (usually $1) was free this morning.  Life's pretty good to me.


today's favorite

Anything wrong with this picture?  Just goes to show you how young Vala is...this is valac generated C.

static gboolean _gdk_atom_equal (const GdkAtom* s1, const GdkAtom* s2) {
    if (s1 == s2) {
        return TRUE;
    if (s1 == NULL) {
        return FALSE;
    if (s2 == NULL) {
        return FALSE;
    return TRUE;

going public

About a year after my stint at Pixar, some of the projects I worked on are finally going public.  Yesterday's NYT had an article on the California Adventure Park and its upcoming additions, focusing on World of Color, a giant lighted fountain show with walls of water as screens.  They also mentioned "a 12-acre expansion devoted to Cars, the animated film by Pixar."  I worked on both of these projects, and from what I can tell, they're going to be stellar. 

Fillmore and Lombard released!

Last night we released Fillmore 0.1.0 (multitrack audio editor) and Lombard 0.1.0 (video editor) for GNOME.  I don't work on these projects, so I don't know as much about them, but I'm still really excited!



While I'm catching up on recent events, N walked on May 18th.  The ceremony itself was unusually small--it was for the department alone, which makes sense for a large university.  The best part was that I got to meet N's grandparents, who flew out from Idaho.  A day earlier than expected, actually, which was a bit comic.  Surprise grandparents!


The last Saturday in May N and I went sailing around the bay in a beautiful red-sailed boat called the Aldebaran, which was made by its owner.  Sailing is fun all by itself, but there was also a pirate flag, a canon, and a crew to match.


yorba kitty

You know you work at a great place when this kind of stuff pops up in your ticket database.