2014 Garden Retrospective and 2015 Plan

Every year I like to try a few new things. Last year, all the new things I tried were failures. I was also reminded of why I had stopped doing some other things. This year I will be building on what I learned. A Few Sucesses From Last Year Grilling…

Nuance is the Essence of Design

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Let me qualify that title. Design is so much more than just making things pretty. A well designed object is as simple as it needs to be, but no simpler — as probably said by Albert Einstein. Nuance is the detail that makes a design great. I was recently given a…

My Favorite Wassail Recipe

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This is a recipe that my grandmother made every year when I was growing up. Later, my mom made it, and now we do. It is a fantastic winter treat. This is a non-alcholic version so it is good for the whole family. I suppose it is more of a…

Air Quality on the Wasatch Front

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The air in Utah along the Wasatch front is notorious for being bad in the winter. Sometimes in the summer, but in the winter it can get really, really bad. How bad you say? The news likes to hoot and holler when it is among the worst in the nation.…

QA Engineers, Learn About Design

I was on vacation in the mountains of Colorado. We were staying at a small cabin near the Conejos river. The simple A-frame, 2 bedroom cabin was built by my wife’s relatives in the late 1970s. As you would expect from a good cabin, it is supplied with old…

GUI Automated Testing is the Worst — And What to Do About it

The temptation is great. A new feature is developed and the tester goes right for the GUI test. After all, it tests the complete stack of code just like the customer is going to use it. While true, any promises of time or money saved from writing that test are…

Grilled Peaches and Ice Cream

AT the end of winter we are rewarded with spring. At the end of summer, we are rewarded with peaches. There is nary a fruit finer than a fresh peach. I do not claim that this recipe will improve on the experience of eating a fresh peach. I do claim,…

Finishing My Backyard Primitive Pottery

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After several attempts at making a simple cup, (see my previous post on making primitive pottery) I finally got one that was good enough to fire. Above you see my pieces ready to go. I am fully aware that my cup looks like a small pot. The other piece is…

Chicago Zoomed in

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I made a recent trip to Chicago to attend An Event Apart. As we wandered about the city as tourists in the evenings, I tried to take pictures as close as my lens would allow—just to see what I could come up with. Here are some of my favorites.…

Revisit to my rye-ish bread

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I had another go at making bread. I have tried baking in a pan and really prefer the free-form loaf. I used the same recipe as found in my previous post on making artisan bread. I really focused on making it look as good as it tastes, as my previous…

My Favorite Handmade Soap Recipe

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Why I Make My Own Soap It started as a challenge. My wife wanted to buy this $9USD bar of soap in La Jolla California. I thought, “if there is anything different about handmade soap, there has got to be a better way than 9 bucks a bar.” While prices…

How I Make a Grilled Pizza

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One of my favorite summertime meals is grilled Margherita pizza. Fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic from the garden are ideal. If these items are not available, you can still make it — but it might not be quite as amazing. Here is how it goes. Alton Brown’s grilled pizza recipe…

How to Eat a Kohlrabi

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Kohlrabi is not your most common garden vegetable. It can be, however, one of the finest. I prefer it raw and fresh. Kohlrabi is high in vitamin C and potassium – as well as fiber. More nutrition information can be found here. How to Enjoy Select a good sized stem, about…

The Only Way to Eat a Green Bean

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I grew green beans in the garden this year because my wife likes them. The problem with a green bean is that it is, for all intents and purposes, inedible. There are very few foods that actually trigger the gag reflex when put into my mouth. A green bean is…

Do Your Trees Have Yellow Leaves? Here is How I Fixed Mine

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I was sold an Autumn Blaze Maple under the pretense that it would be one of the few trees that would grow and do well in a clay, alkaline soil. What they did not tell me is that they are extremely prone to iron chlorosis, which from what I have…

Amazing 4th of July Recipes

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Hot Dog Salad There is nothing more American than July 4th. There is no better way to celebrate the 4th but with hot dogs. This simple recipe will leave your guests in a state of awe. What you will need: 1 Package of pre-cooked hot dogs 1 Bottle of Ketchup…

Creating Primitive Pottery in my Backyard

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When I moved into my house I did not have any grass. A light rain storm moved through the area moistening the surface of the dirt. As I walked across the surface, I collected large amounts of mud and clay on my shoes. It was ridiculous. Ever since then, I…

How to Eat a Piece of Rhubarb Like You Know What You Are Doing

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We have all been there, but let me set the scene for you. You are at a dinner party. You are trying to impress someone and perhaps even a special someone. You have the look, the clothes, and the small talk (or smalltalk, depending on the crowd). You know which…

A Few Traits of a Sucky Developer — From a Tester’s point of view

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A sucky developer just codes and does not think The story goes like this: QA reports a glorious bug with detailed steps to reproduce the issue. The craptacular dev says: “Oh, that is that other team’s problem”, and goes back to work. A great developer would solve the problem.…

Use MITM proxy to force a race condition when testing asynchronous applications

When testing or building a web application, it is helpful to run your traffic through a proxy so you can see what is happening. I have used this in my automated testing with great success. It can also be useful in testing the “what-ifs”. Many times you will be presented…