Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for July, 2003

Bloki weblog for mindecos

Posted by shannonclark on July 30, 2003

Bloki weblog for mindecos

I’ve been a participant for a while now in MindEcos, here is the newest site related to MindEcos, this looks to become the primary home for MindEcos for the near term at least.

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Traders and plans

Posted by shannonclark on July 28, 2003

or changes but not bad

(a quick note to myself – Bob Hope died yesterday. I was and am a huge “classic radio” fan, I grew up without a television and unlike my contempories grew up listening to performances on the radio (or tapes of radio shows) so Bob Hope’s passing is for me a passing of an era, there are not many stars of classic radio left. And yes, I know that most of the rest of the world remembers Bob Hope for movies, USO shows, and TV shows but for me he and George Burns and other stars of that era are remembered for their radio roles. I only heard a small sampling of their shows, and only at odd hours on the radio growing up, not like people who grew up back in the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s (and even a bit of the 50’s) when radio stations published schedules, and people arranged their day by the radio shows. Now it may almost be impossible to find a radio station schedule, let alone one that lists all of the radio stations in a given area and the “shows” that they broadcast, in many ways Radio is a dying medium)

This weekend I discovered the joys of Trader Joes.

And, to make it even better, Sunday night I was able to share that joy with the woman I care about. She unexpectedly was able to join me for dinner, so we tried a wine and a pasta sauce from Trader Joes. The verdict so far, very good!

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Caring about Thinking

Posted by shannonclark on July 28, 2003

Caring about Thinking

Andrius’ current blog – when I have time I need to catch up on his blog and also add it directly to my links here.

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anil dash – July 25, 2003 : Many Years of Sucking

Posted by shannonclark on July 25, 2003

anil dash – July 25th, 2003: Many Years of Sucking

Have I mentioned before that I like Anil Dash’s style?

Very amusing, and all too true.

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My weekend plans

Posted by shannonclark on July 25, 2003

or how much has changed just this month

So, as I sit here late on a Friday afternoon, I am looking around my desk at the office and starting to think about what my plans are for this upcoming weekend. I am going to try to get into the office at somepoint this weekend and clean, the piles of “stuff” near and around my desk are getting too big, and there are books which are here at the office which I would prefer to be at home (my signed copy of American Gods for example), too there are books at home which I would prefer to have easily available here at the office (tech reference works, some business books etc).

Thinking about my home, I think that this weekend my goal will be to attack the chaos which is my bedroom. It is not really that bad, though my wire hangers have some rabbit genes (they keep multiplying). My first goal will be to clear the surfaces of my two desks (one too many probably) and recycle some of the items which are no longer functional (my broken monitor specifically). I will then finish putting the desks together so that they are more functional, and shift all of my office supplies to one of the desks.

The other “desk” I think I will convert at least partially into clothing storage, I think it will let me organize my clothes more effectively, and help me clean up my bedroom closet. I’ll then look at moving more of my clothes out of my hall closet and into my bedroom.

This may take a while, but the end result will also show me just how much clothing I have that I no longer could imagine wearing (more than I like probably) – I’ll donate a large amount of that to a charity and will free up space for other purposes. (thinking ahead to the future, I now may have a very important purpose – having some room for someone else’s clothes, at least a change of them… that’s such a cool thought to have).

If I get really ambitious, I’ll also attack my other closets this weekend. The linen closet in my bathroom would not be a huge project, mostly a lot of folding and trying to figure out something to use to solve the small items getting buried by the big ones problems (i.e. how do I store sheets with pillowcases, or towels with hand towels without losing something, and still also store my extra comforters etc?)

The other major project in front of me is my living room, but that probably requires a second person to help move some of the pieces, so that probably will wait until next weekend when I could have help with the furniture moving… (and other things).

All in all much of my weekend plan is to keep myself busy, to get more of my home in order, to catch up on my reading (more new books keep coming in than I have been finishing books) and to probably try to get some writing done as well, though most likely non-fiction stuff for JigZaw not fiction.

I’m alone this weekend, a wedding out of state is the cause, but it feels different, now instead of it being my normal state, it is no longer my default. Now, I can see that future weekends I will have someone to spend time with (and future weeks as well) – though how much and doing what will vary it is clear that my past months (or even years) of eating most meals alone, of not doing much because it mostly was better with someone else are no longer my normal state.

We’re still working out the language, it is all something pretty new for both of us, for now and into the future, we’re just going with it, enjoying each moment we have together.

Unlike all of my past, however, this feels amazingly comfortable. I call her, she calls me, we both are clearly interested in spending time with each other. In the past I’ve never been sure entirely of that. In the past I’ve often felt that I had to do the asking, the planning, but also that one mistake on my part could ruin everything. With this, it feels much more comfortable, for one, we are both adults and that certainly helps, but more it feels very mutual, we both want to be with the other.

It is really wonderful. It is also, slightly scary but in an entirely good way.

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Economist.com | Illinois’s Senate seat

Posted by shannonclark on July 25, 2003

Economist.com | Illinois’s Senate seat

I met Mr. Kathuria last night, and other than being a Republican he seems a viable candidate. I’m hoping to meet with him in the upcoming months and learn more about him, both his business and political interests. If he is truly a fiscal conservative, but not also a social conservative, he would be a marked improvement to our current senator, Peter Fitzgerald. And a Republican, I must unfortantly say, likely has a better chance of being elected than a Democrat in a state wide election here in Illinois.

That said, I would also like to see someone such as Mr. Kathuria elected, especially from someplace like Illinois which may be viewed as “traditional” – it would be a striking statement. Mt. Kathuria’s international business interests and high tech focus certainly bias me in his favor, I’ll see if I can agree with the rest of his political positions.

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I, Cringely | The Pulpit – Snapster suggestion

Posted by shannonclark on July 25, 2003

I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Interesting idea from Robert Cringely about a possible legal version of Napster with a potentially viable business model.

I think there are some serious flaws to his model, and some potential legal challenges (for example, it is not clear to me that “backup” copies can legally be distributed around to a high degree, nor that charging for them is completely legal – but the business model makes some intuitive sense.

Further, there are some other serious issues.

1. Why “must” the model be publically traded? Intuitively I would think that a co-op model, which also has shares might work as well (though potentially less profitibaly)

2. How do you determine that someone is a shareholder? (and how do you maintain them as that – if the shares are publically held they can easily sell them, however if the shares are not publically held and the only buyer of the shares it the company itself (the coop model) then this problem goes away.

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Salon.com Sex | Craving an oasis

Posted by shannonclark on July 24, 2003

Salon.com Sex | Craving an oasis

A bit wordy (okay, very wordy) but also an important illustration of a point I have tried many times to make to people.

(especially in technical discussions where people insist that they can define all the ways to view and manage data – read this and think about the infinite ways you can interact with the world to see why I disagree with the view of trying to predict all future interactions)

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Bridges and steelworkers

Posted by shannonclark on July 22, 2003

or small sights in the big city

Today has been an odd day. The weather is a bit chilly and the air feels heavy with impending rain, though so far at least, the rain has not arrived.

On my morning bus ride into the Loop for a business meeting, the bus I was on was rerouted, the street ahead of us was closed to traffic. As we approached, I saw why, the bridge, one of the many drawbridges ringing Chicago’s Loop was up.

The bus rerouted to a nearby street and crossed on an adjacent bridge, we then turned and returned to the regular route. As we turned, I saw a very unusual sight, the underside of one half of the bridge.

For, you see, just the one half was up in the air, the other half was still lowered across the river. So, unlike a normal bridge opening, when one half blocks your view of the other, this morning I got to see the underbelly of the bridge. A very interesting sight indeed to start the day.

Then, as I entered the offices where my business meeting was, I saw another very unusual and cool sight. Across the street was a high rise building in the midst of being built. This morning, perched on huge steel girders, at nearly the height of the offices I was enterering, were steelworkers rather casually smoking and sitting on the girders taking a short break from their day’s labors.

It was nearly exactly like a photo from the early part of the last century, two steelworkers straddling mighty girders perched high above the street. It looked much like a very famous photo I have seen of the building of the Empire State building.

All in all a rather interesting start to the day, and a strong arguement to myself that very soon I need to get a digital camera which I can carry with me at all times to capture such moments.

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Cookies, Curry, Markets

Posted by shannonclark on July 21, 2003

oh my

So, this weekend was all about the food. I read a fair bit, had a nice visit with my family on Sunday and spent Sunday afternoon on a sales call. But mostly, this weekend was all about the food.

Friday, I made a salad and ate it with with a chicken and apple sausage and some leftover applesauce. Very tasty. Then, instead of going out by myself on a Friday night, I decided to bake, don’t ask me why, but I did.

So, I took some dried pears and dried apricots which I had laying around and rehydrated them in some water over low heat on my stove. While they were rehydrating, I made some dough, modifying a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I took a couple of cups of flour, some brown sugar, 2 eggs, about a half-cup of sugar, cinnimon, and a half-stick of butter (the recipe called for a full stick, but that seemed excessive. I melted the butter and the brown sugar in a saucepan and then poured it into the already mixxed ingrediants. I then mixxed the dough until it “felt right” (hard to explain). I heated the oven to 375 degrees, greased a cookie pan with butter and shaped cookies. On top of each cookie I put a dried pear and at least one dried apricot (on a few cookies just apricots as I ran out of pears). I sprinkled some confectionary sugar on top to form a sugar glaze.

I then baked them for about 20 minutes, cleaning up the kitchen while they baked.

My verdict. Well they are tasty, possibly a bit too thick (may roll them thinner next time) and some baking soda probably would have been a good addition. I’ll probably try this again, possibly next weekend.

Saturday, I shopped at the farmer’s market, and then returned home and made myself breakfast, fried eggs, some sausage, and half an English muffin toasted on the same pan as the eggs were fried. Very tasty.

Then Saturday evening, I made Chicken Curry. Not my best curry ever but pretty tasty – about a pound of chicken (legs and thighs with bones and skin), a can of potatoes, tomato paste, coconut milk, and lots of spices. First I started with onions and some hot peppers and a bit of oil, cooked until translusent. Then I added some garlic, and the chiicken. Onto the chicken I added powdered ginger, cinnimon, and curry powder. After the chicken had cooked a bit on all sides and was nicely coated with spices. I added the tomato paste, a few tablespoons of canned Thai Red Curry paste, the coconut milk and the potatos. I then turned down the heat to medium and let the whole mixture simmer (covered) while I boiled water to make my starch for the meal, Chinese egg noodles.

The result was very tasty, though a bit milder then some previous versions I have made and the potatos were only so-so – would have been better to use the potatos from the farmer’s market but I didn’t feel up to the prep work to do that.

I ate the curry with a little bit of hot mango chutney or a bit of Thai chili sauce – both tasted great with it.

Sunday, I had a barbeque with my parents for lunch, we had great hamburgers and corn on the grill, freshly purchased by me at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday – very good. Sunday night I had more of the Chicken curry with a small portion of Chinese egg noodles and one leftover ear of corn.

All-in-all a good weekend from a food standpoint, and a lot of fun to be able to cook and enjoy my kitchen again. Though I missed having someone to share my cooking with.

Tonight I’ll probably have a small salad with some greens and veggies from the farmer’s market, and finish off the chicken curry and the egg noodles. Since there is not a whole lot of the chicken curry left, I may also have one remaining Chicken and Apple sausage – should be a very tasty meal, which I will eat while doing a number of loads of laundry (I live such an exciting life…)

Tomorrow night I’ll be meeting friends (well at least one very particular friend….) for a movie in Grant Park. Other than my remaining cookies, I’m not sure what else will be my contribution to the potluck dinner we’ll probably be having.

It feels good to be enjoying cooking at home, and to have somoene to cook with and for. I still have more to finish in terms of cleaning and organizing my home, but I am making a lot of progress. This weekend I managed to sort some of my books into a bit more semblance of order – which feels good, though there is much more work to be done.

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