January 30, 2006
This weekend hooked up with some friends up in Truckee. I cooked dinner on Saturday night and except for the fact that the portions we a bit small, everyone seemed to enjoy the meal. So as a public service, I am providing the menu and recipe for Hefe’s Baked Bird with rosemary roasted spuds and bagged salad.
1 4-5 lb young tender (maybe even organic) roasting chicken
1 Package of pesto (it saves time)
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Remove the chicken from packaging, remove innards, wash and dry the bird. Take globs of pesto and push it under the skin of the breast, thighs and back. This requires you to pull the skin away from the flesh just a bit. Salt and pepper the outside of the bird. Put it in a pan (breast up) and put it in the hot oven. Leave it in there at high heat for 15-20 minutes or until the top of the breast is just starting to brown, turn oven down to 350 and let it cook for about 50 minutes, but you actually check it and pull it out when it’s about 170 degrees. Cover it loosely and let it rest for about 10 minutes before you carve.
Red potatoes (I usually do one spud per person and one for the pot)
Cut the spuds into ½ inch chunks and put them in a glass bowl. Put about 2 tbs of olive oil, 1 tbs dried or fresh rosemary, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix it all together. Put in the microwave for about 10 minutes (or until they potatoes are almost totally cooked). Arrange the spuds on a baking sheet (single layer) and put them under the broiler for about 5 – 10 minutes (or until they are nice and golden brown)
1 bag of basic salad mix (iceberg, cabbage, carrots)
Open the bag and dump the salad in a bowl. Add dressing, stir and enjoy
January 13, 2006
I have an extensive technical library. I really love my books. The importance of each book has obviously changed over the years, but I continue to add them from time to time and think of them as the parts of my brain that I can't actually fit inside my head. I actually have a wall of technical books and it was always a pain when I changed jobs or offices to haul them around with me. Sort of a labor of love I suppose. I should also disclose that I also kept all books from college, even the awful psychology books. It just didn’t seem right to sell them back even if the class was bad.
Well I just discovered that O’Reilly has a site that let’s you read their books online as a sort of subscription service. You pay a monthly fee and you can keep up to three books on your bookshelf at time and exchange them for brand new ones whenever you need. This is just absolutely brilliant. I can “virtually” have every book that O’Reilly publishes and whenever I need a new one I can switch. And if I for some reason I’m feeling nostalgic, I can put my old MS-DOS in a Nutshell book back on the shelf. Sweet.
January 12, 2006
MySQL LIMIT Secrets
I've been using Mysql for about 5 years now and I like to think I'm an expert (in my own mind at least), but I know my way around an outer join and I can get MySQL to do pretty much whatever I wanted to do. For quite some time, when I needed to do paging of web results that spanned more than one page, I would keep track of the current page, the number of items that I needed to display, and the band of data that I needed to show to the user. This required me to do a bunch of data pulls, counts, exclude data, keep special indexes... you get the point. So I needed to do a paging function recently and I decided to google it.
I found a few intersting entries that were related to my search, but the one that was really interesting came from the OReily site. They had a chapter online for the MySQL Cookbook. The chapter (3 I think, but I'm not sure) covered select statements, but they also covered the LIMIT operator. It turns out that the LIMIT operator will do exactly what I used to do by hand for all these years in a single operation. There is a 2 arguement version of the operator that skips N records and then limits the data to M items so LIMIT 10,20 skips the first 10 items from the query and pulls the next 20. This makes paging so simple that I was able to add a function to my new site in about 10 minutes. So now I need to do 2 things. Spend more time reading my manuals, and buy the MySQL Cookbook.
January 09, 2006
So my nephew Joey Prescott has entered the world of bike racing. He's was a competitive skater in his youth, but sadly that sport never really took off and I suppose he lost interest. I like to think that I inspired him to start this new sport, but I think it was probably Lance Armstrong who got him into it. He had been riding for a while last year when he got involved with Lance Armstrong’s “Live Strong” ride last year. He raised a bunch of money for the charity by of all things, riding his bike on top of his wife’s coffee shop. So anyway, Joey did a race here in Fremont and came in 4th. It was a category 5 training race and he looked very strong. He’ll be back in a couple weeks for another round of racing. I’m expecting an even stronger finish (No pressure kid).