Saturday, February 27, 2010

Typetester for visually checking CSS setting. is a very useful site for experimenting with the HTML characteristics used in your web pages.

"The Typetester is an online application for comparison of the fonts for the screen. Its primary role is to make web designer’s life easier. As the new fonts are bundled into operating systems, the list of the common fonts will be updated."

Go for a test drive to find out for yourself. It will even generate the CSS code for you to paste into your pages.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New iPhone; Books and Podcasts, give a listen

So you have a new iPhone and have downloaded a bunch of free apps, now it is time to start some serious work with your phone. (See also my other iPhone blog entries.)

You need to subscribe to some podcasts to expand your working knowledge of stuff. I recommend starting with any/all of the podcasts from Grammar Girl's site, QD Now, Subscribe from this site or search for the podcasts in iTunes.

The UC Berkeley course Physics for Future Presidents is outstanding. Every semester the course is made available via iTunes. Finding this and figuring out how to put it on your iPhone will be a learning experience well worth the effort.

Books on Tape/CD/MP3 are a natural for the iPhone. Here are a couple of sources to get you started.

  • CrimeWAV–short stories read by the authors; detective and crime fiction (adult content).
  • Jack Wakes Up–contemporary hard-boiled fiction set in San Francisco by Seth Harwood.
  • Scott Sigler–several books all read by Scott. Start with Ancestor for SciFi Horror or The Rookie for sports/action/SciFi.
  • PodioBooks–this is where I discovered Seth Harwood and Scott Sigler. Download and listen to the book then donate because you like the book and want to support the author.
  • Decoder Ring Theater–radio-style half hour shows. I love the Black Jack Justice series.
  •–buy normal books for download listening. The first book is free, promotional code GRAMMAR.
  • Your Local Library–physically check out the books on CD and use iTunes to add them to your library. Make a "music" playlist of the imported tracks and sync the playlist to your iPhone.

Portuguese Sardine Production

Learn how sardines are caught, cooked and canned. Learn about "steam grilling". Learn that not everyone is fascinated with manufacturing films.

Check out this recipe for Sicilian Sardine and Broccoli Rabe Pasta from the good folks at Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics and let me know how it tastes. I found out about Vital Choice from the Nutrition Diva (Jaya recommends her podcast). Use the discount code DIVAPROMO and save 15% on your orders before April 2010.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hip, 5 weeks

Five weeks post-op all continues to go well.

I have been forgetting to take the cane when I go out sometimes. For brief periods I forget that I have had the surgery.

Continuing the exercises I have been doing. Add exercise bike and weight training at PT.

Continue with the walks. My normal hilly route took 30 minutes now it is shy of 25. I walked around the baseball diamond on Tuesday for a 45 minute workout, about the limit.

I still ice the wound after physical therapy, but it is no longer needed at other times.

The therapist used ultra sound and massage a few more times to the wound to reduce the swelling/hardness. The hardness is almost completely gone.

I am occasionally working on breaking down the adhesions created by the incision; gently massage the scar with Dit Dar Jau (make your own). Bruising is almost gone and the bundle in my inguinal crease is going away.

Sitting at the computer remains my biggest obstacle, 30 minutes is too long. :(

Friday, February 12, 2010

Around the World in 80 Days

Just finished listening to Jim Dale's reading of "Around the World in Eighty Days" by Jules Verne.

Originally written and published in 1873 as a French magazine serial (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours). In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager set by his friends at the Reform Club.

The image of a hot air balloon is from the 1956 film adaptation of Verne's book. The only time a lighter than air balloons is mentioned in the book is to state that it would be impractical as a means to cross the Atlantic ocean from NYC to London.

The reason I read this classic is that I somewhat enjoyed the book written my Michael Palin about his attempt to reenact Phileas Fogg's journey. Derived from the BBC 1989 series of the same name. Throughout Palin's book he referenced the Verne classic so I thought it would be informative to read the original. I must say that I enjoyed the story and reading by Jim Dale, the CD has background music and high production values which make it quite entertaining.

This would be a great CD to reserve at your local library to play in the car when you are hauling the kids around.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lose It! iPhone App

I have been using the Lose It! iPhone app for one year. It is the key to my being able to change my behavior resulting in significant weight reduction (30 pounds). Mahalo Sharon for the "track the foods you eat" suggestion. OXOX

Lose It! now has a website that provides additional resources over the initial version I started with. I have signed up and have connected it to my Facebook as well.

So if you are a Lose It! user I invite you to add me to your loserit friends list.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chester Nimitz Oriental Gardens

Upon first hearing this song years ago on KFJC I knew that some day I would sip tea across from these gardens.

The Chester Nimitz Oriental Garden in the song is now known as the Japanese Garden of Peace, Fredricksburg Texas.

Mining logs for coverage analysis

A friend on Facebook posted pointing to Logging: Exploratory Tester’s Friend on James Bach's blog. Got me thinking, arrr matey.

GFI–Analyze application's logs for keys to extract high level user events that may be used to document the "actions testers did".

This could serve as objective physical evidence that functional requirements were tested.

Consider being able to process customer logs to unearth exactly what they did "before the bug" was discovered. Will need to be human readable ;) otherwise you just have a different set of logs that nobody will read (or be able to understand).

The logs already have much of the raw data I am thinking about. However, unless you are examining a specific event/error it is way to much text to read. Need something for examining all the events over a two hour period or longer (long run, one shift, over weekend).

I think we included most of the requirements that James listed save his #11. The Instrument Log workspace does something like this but we will want an external app to do same and more.

11. The level of detail included in the log file should be configurable in terms of preset levels: 1- error and service events only, 2- Functional events, error events, service events, 3- All events including diagnostic information messages about internal states and parameters.

This will be an excellent project for me to develop.

Grounds for Further Investigation

  • SunSoft installation log analysis tool; display the unexpected
  • SQL Server Transaction logs;
  • Tool to manually inject Tester Comments into the application's normal logs
  • MAD Reporter
  • Data representation with pictures or colors or sound or measures
  • Measures; # log entries per second/minute, # errors per minute/hour, # seconds per RV, # RV per hour, etc.
  • Uptime Reporter
  • Our own log analysis requirements in Caliber RM
  • Zoom in/out of report; high level, user actions, debug, everything
  • Focus on specific types of transactions; RV processing, user actions, DB I/O, State change, Errors, task duration, etc.
  • Merge information from other logs; SQL Server, perfmon, Dr. Watson, etc.
  • User Stories

Monday, February 8, 2010

Perfect surgical results

Dr. Bergeson performed an anterior approach hip replacement on me. My body is heavily muscled so the procedure was relatively difficult and lengthy. One month post op no complications or complaints. From what I gather Dr. Bergeson seems to a have an excellent reputation with the hospital staff.

Another reviewer here had problems with an office visit. Not my experience, 3 visits and no waiting. Dr. Bergeson patiently answered all my questions and was always cordial, pleasant and professional.

I sought out Dr. Bergeson because my PT was impressed with the surgical results she had seen in his patients.

This is my review that can be found via Google Maps.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hip, 3 weeks

Three weeks post-op all continues to go well.

Staples were removed last week. "No precautions" continues to be the directive.

Started ascending and descending stairs unaided.

Started serious physical therapy yesterday. First the therapist measured the range of motion of the right hip. We need to work on flexibility :)

Continue the exercises I have been doing. Add abduction and adduction exercises against resistance.

Continue with the walks. Suggest walking before doing the exercises to warm the muscles up.

Ice the wound after exercising.

The therapist applied ultra sound and massage to the wound to reduce the spelling/hardness. The next morning the hardness was significantly reduced.

Start breaking down the adhesions created by the incision. Gently massage the scar with lotion or oil in the weeks following any surgical procedure. Adhesions can be minimized by keeping the blood and lymph fluid flowing in the area and by gently breaking them up as they are beginning to form. The objective is to stretch the scar fibers, possibly stimulating the local response to softening the fibers.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cherry Tomato Salad

American's Test Kitchen (ATK) Season 9 included a cherry tomato salad, I tried it and loved it. Here is their recipe (directions) but the herbs and cheeses are my formula (taken from the ATK website recipes).

If in-season cherry tomatoes are unavailable, substitute vine-ripened cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes from the supermarket. Cut grape tomatoes in half along the equator (rather than quartering them). If you don’t have a salad spinner, after the salted tomatoes have stood for 30 minutes, wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and gently shake to remove seeds and excess liquid. Strain the liquid and proceed with the recipe as directed. The amount of liquid given off by the tomatoes will depend on their ripeness. If you have less than 1/2 cup of juice after spinning, proceed with the recipe using the entire amount of juice and reduce it to 3 tablespoons as directed (the cooking time will be shorter).

Cheese: use one or more of the following, proportionally reduce amount when multiple cheeses are included.

  • 4 ounces feta cheese , crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese , cut into 1/2-inch cubes and patted dry with paper towels
Herbs: use one or more of the following, proportionally reduce the amount when multiple herbs are included.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
Serves 4 to 6
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes , ripe, cut up (about 4 cups) (see note above)
Table salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 medium shallot , minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
1 small cucumber , peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (score skin longitudinally with a fork before slicing)
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (optional)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans , toasted (optional)
1 hunk of cheese, crumbled/diced (see note above)
1 bunch chopped fresh herbs (see note above)

1. Toss tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and sugar in medium bowl; let stand for 30 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to salad spinner and spin until seeds and excess liquid have been removed, 45 to 60 seconds, stirring to redistribute tomatoes several times during spinning. Return tomatoes to bowl and set aside. Strain tomato liquid through fine-mesh strainer into liquid measuring cup, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

2. Bring 1/2 cup tomato liquid (discard any extra), garlic, oregano, shallot, and vinegar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until reduced to 3 tablespoons, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to small bowl and cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Whisk in oil and pepper to taste until combined. Taste and season with up to 1/8 teaspoon table salt.

3. Add cucumber, olives, cheese, dressing, and herbs to bowl with tomatoes; toss gently and serve.

Step-by-Step: Avoiding Waterlogged Cherry Tomato Salad

1. Spin Spinning the quartered tomatoes in a salad spinner removes excess liquid that can make salad watery. 2. Reduce Simmering the strained tomato liquid creates a concentrated tomato base for the vinaigrette.