Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dario's Tango Guide

Dario's Tango Guide is a video blog that I have found to be very helpful. He describes and shows a move then shows the leader alone followed by the follower alone. Finally, the move is seen "in action" as the couple moves around the floor dancing (not demonstrating steps, actually connected in dance.)

I recommend using the lesson index from Dario's website to access the YouTube videos.

You will need more than this blog to learn Argentine Tango but these videos will remind you how to do the various moves you have learned and/or seen on the dance floor.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Treatment for Nail Fungus

After you have been treated for foot nail fungus it is your responsibility to take steps, pun in-10-did, to minimize the chance of reinfection.
  • Don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Your feet sweat and create moisture that can contribute to the growth for fungus and other organisms. Make sure the shoes dry out before wearing them again.
  • Desiccate your shoes if they are particularly moist. Put kitty litter in a pair of nylon socks and stuff them into the shoes over night.
  • Start every day with a clean pair of dry socks (even if yesterday's smell clean.)
  • Spray your feet with an antifungal before putting on your shoes; Lamasil, Lotrimin or Micatin.
  • Spray your shoes with an antifungal after wearing them; Lamasil, Lotrimin or Micatin.
  • If you also have athlete's Foot, use Lamasil cream on your feet twice a day for three weeks.
  • Thoroughly dry feet between toes after getting them wet.
  • Replace bottles of nail polish that you may have used while infected. They could reinfect your nails if used after treatment.
  • Thoroughly clean all nail care tools you have used, e.g. scissors, clipper, files. After cleaning spray with one of the antifungals. As an alternate, soak the tools for thirty minutes in a bleach solution; 1 Tablespoon of bleach in 1 quart of water.
  • Throw away all used emery boards. Don't share the new emery boards with others.
  • At the nail salon, ask how they sanitize their equipment. Run away if they don't rigorously follow correct procedures.
  • Don't go barefoot at the gym, take a towel/mat to stand on while changing and use your own footwear in the showers.

Expanding Reliability

My position statement is, Expanding Reliability.

Guy Kawasaki's book Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions suggests that your position statement be

  • Short
  • Clear
  • Different
  • Humble

Since I work on software that is already "good enough", my position statement communicates that I intend to ever expand the amount of code/functions/stories/edge-cases that work as expected (reliability).

Monday, July 11, 2011

Origins of PowerShell; interview with Bruce Payette

Bruce Payette, one of the original PowerShell team members and author of the Windows PowerShell scripting language here discusses the design goals and origins of the PowerShell language.

His tech history is interesting. Sounds like the kind of guy I use to work with back in the day (before .com world).

Talks about how PowerShell came into existance. Why > wasn't used for greater then, how the language was designed and developed, et cetera.

Bruce's book is perhaps the most respected book on PowerShell for developers, Windows Powershell in Action, Second Edition.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

No-Fuss Creamy Polenta

This was the first of my recipes to test from season 11 of America's Test Kitchen.

We served the No-Fuss Creamy Polenta with Pan-Seared Scallops.

Serves 4 as a main course with a topping or 6 to 8 as a side dish.

We used the recommended brand of coarse-ground degerminated cornmeal, Bob's Red Mill Corn Grits a.k.a. Polenta. ATK recommends the avoidance of instant and quick-cooking products as well as whole-grain, stone-ground and regular cornmeal.

While cooking the polenta should do little more than release wisps of steam, especially after the first 10 minutes. If your stove at its lowest setting is to hot use a flame tamer or heat defuser to reduce the BTUs transferred to the pot.

  • 7 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 pinch baking soda (most important/secret ingredient)
  • 1 1/2 cup coarse-ground cornmeal (5:1 water to cornmeal)
  • 4+ oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 cups), reserve some for serving
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ground black pepper
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed 4 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in salt and baking soda.
  2. Slowly pour the cornmeal into the water in a steady stream while stirring back and forth with a wooden spoon.
  3. Continue constant stirring until it comes to a boil, about 1 minute.
  4. Reduce to the lowest setting. (See note above.)
  5. After 5 minutes, scrape the sides/bottom of the pan while whisking the polenta to smooth out the lumps, about 15 seconds.
  6. Cover and continue to cook for about 25 minutes, steam should be coming out is wisps, not bubbling. It is done when the polenta is loose and barely holds it shape, slightly al dente.
  7. Remove for heat and stir in most of the Parmesan and butter. Season with pepper to taste.
  8. Cover (off heat) rest for 5 minutes. Serve with the remaining Parmesan to garnish on the plate.

See also the video segment that includes information about buying scallops and how to determine is you have wet or dry scallops. Or watch the entire episode 1105 video. Note: these video are available while the TV show is begin aired but are moved into the "members only" content section of the website a year or so later.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recipes to Test

Season 11 of America's Test Kitchen just came out. After watching half of the episodes these are the new recipes I want to test for myself.
  • Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Crumble Topping. Candidate for a pot luck dinner where we can do the final 15-30 minutes of cooking on site.
  • Spicy Mexican Shredded Pork Tostadas (Tinga). Make a batch and use through out the week. This should be good for my normal breakfast, oatmeal & yogurt.
  • Beef Empanadas. Like the tinga above, might be good for breakfast. (Note to self, buy tequila.)
  • Chewy Brownies. Don't want the calories around the house but I want to verify that the chemistry works ;) as advertized.
  • No-Fuss Creamy Polenta. Quick and easy, for went potatoes are just to routine/ordinary.
  • Almost Hands-Fee Risotto with Parmesan and Herbs. Sharon loves risotto.
  • Pan-Seared Scollops. Because I love scollops when prepared correctly. Test both the lemon brown butter and tomato-ginger sauces.
  • Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper (Cacio E Pepe). When you just want pasta and are tired of red sauce.
  • Inexpensive Charcoal Grill-Roasted Beef with Garlic and Rosemary. Beef, grilled, say no more, say no more.
  • Roasted Smashed Potatoes. A new way to eat fried potatoes.
  • Foolproof Grilled Tuna. Technology for cooking fish steaks on the grill.
  • Charcoal-Grilled Argentine Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce. Improved technology for getting a good crust and the sauce is right up my alley. (Argentina is currently in my mind from the Presidential Agent books.)
  • Indoor Pulled Pork. Lexington vinegar and South Carolina mustard barbecue sauces.
  • Horseradish-Crusted Beef Tenderloin. Includes a horseradish cream sauce.
  • Roasted Carrots. I think we've done this recipe with a bit of sugar added.
  • Foolproof Vinaigrette. It has been 40 years since I cared about my salad dressing recipes, maybe it is time to learn some new tricks. Vinaigrettes will go nicely on grilled fish.
  • Greek-Style Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta. We love the cherry tomato salad and have ouzo in the fridge plus flash frozen shrimp in the freezer. This might be the recipe I got from Cooks Illustrated, it is on our "menu" list.
  • Stir-Fried Shrimp with Snow Peas. Because it has 15-18 different ingredients and we like shrimp. Sharon makes something similar to this from time to time and it is delicious.
  • Mediterranean Chopped Salad. Reminds me of the wonderful Greek tomato salad so lets try this one as well (when we can't get good tomatoes.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Left Hip Replacement

Seventeen months after getting my right hip replace the left hip was replaced. Surgery went well and the recovery seems easier the second time around. I believe both recoveries are clinically similar but my mind is much more at ease with the whole "cutting off my leg and installing Terminator parts" thing.

The Tri-Lock® bone preservation stem that is in the right leg was again used for the left leg. See my blog on Co-Cr-Mo for details on the metallurgy.

The right is was an all metal Pinnacle® with Ultamet® metal-on-metal solution (no longer available.) The left hip is the Pinnacle® with AltrX a moderately cross-linked polyethylene bearing against a ceramic lined acetabular cup (picture shows Tri-Lock with AltrX.)

No glue, screws or wires used in either hip. The right hip incision was closed with staples that left a cool Frankenstein scar. The left hip incision has no visible sutures and was closed with Steri-Stipes; nothing needed to be removed post-surgery.