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+ paul e. [LJ]
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· RPC-XML-0.56.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.55.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· Forgive Me, Bretheren Monks
· Extry Extry: Winer Leaves the RSS Advisory Board
· RPC::XML 0.54 Uploaded
· The Books of Perl
· Good Intentions Don't Equal Good Results
· Errata Tracking Page for PWSWP
· Image::Size 2.992 Uploaded
· Props to Portland PM
· Lightning Talks
· OSCON, Tuesday
· OSCON Plans Now Set

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We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. — Will Rogers

The Conclusion of the Cake Saga (with a picture) 2004.11.03.00:26

It is done. It's been done for a few hours, but I'm also trying to set up my new laptop to replace the one that died while I was in Oklahoma, so I'm up way later than I should be. But it is done (click for a 1200x800 version):


Learned a few valuable lessons on this stage, too:

  • Cake decorating is a fuck of a lot harder than it looks, and it's always looked pretty damn difficult.
  • There are few dextrous challenges that can't be helped along with a good bottle of Guinness.
  • Guinness and cream cheese cake icing are a wretched taste combination.
  • Icing a cake is a lot like trowelling fresh cement into a smooth surface. Something else I've never done before.
  • But like I said, Guinness is a magical elixer of many uses.
  • Until I lick more of the frosting off of my fingers, that is.

The light flecks of green aren't image-compression artifacts, they're bits of the colored sugar like you put on cupcakes. I wanted just a light sprinkling, so as to not distract from the rest of the decoration.

The sentiment may be optimistic, but damn if it isn't sincere.

# [/thoughts]

I Voted (LiveJournal Meme Bleed-Over) 2004.11.02.21:24

I voted at 12:40PM, in Campbell, CA.

I Voted
# [/politics]

If I Knew You Were Coming I'd Have Baked a Cake 2004.11.02.08:13

For an Election Night party tomorrow, I promised to bring a cake. It seemed like a fair offer, since I was just going to get the bakery at Safeway to do it for me. Only, it turns out they don't do yellow cakes, only various flavors that are white, pink, brown and dark brown. No yellow. And this needed to be a yellow cake. So I thought to myself, "Hey self, let's just do it, you and me! Then there will be extra love baked into that cake!"

My Self is a snarky rat-fuck bastard, is what he is.

Lessons I have learned as I try to make my cake (more or less in order):

  1. Cakes require a small-but-significant set of specialized hardware. Most people have these things around their homes. I don't.
  2. When the cake-mix calls for softened butter, brace yourself...
  3. Butter doesn't really soften very quickly just sitting on the counter.
  4. Butter softens pretty fucking quickly in the microwave.
  5. 30 seconds is too long, unless you are making butter soup.
  6. It really suck ass when you realize that previous point, at the same time you realize that's your last stick of butter.
  7. 10 seconds (after the 10-minute run to the grocery for more butter and for the non-stick spray you forgot) feels about right.
  8. As Bill Cosby once said, you have to be careful with the eggs. Generally, when a recipe calls for eggs, it is assumed that no shell is to be included. Expect them to be specific about the shell if they want it in there.
  9. Thank god one ingredient was a single cup of water, so that I could do one thing right the first time.
  10. Just because you're making two cakes at once is no reason to try and mix them both at the same time. No matter how big the mixing bowl you got was.
  11. Because, see, you didn't buy an electric mixer, you bought a whisk. And mixing that much batter by hand requires the arm strength of a Major League Baseball pitcher and the stamina of a Major League Soccer forward.
  12. And guess what? Just because the butter felt soft earlier, doesn't mean it actually is. In fact, it isn't.
  13. Even after 5 minutes of beating my batter, there are still lumps of butter in it. The butter, it haunts me. The butter, it taunts me.
  14. Remember the athletic qualifications for working this much batter by hand? Well, I possess neither. I have, however, given my left arm the strongest work-out it has had since probably right around the time I was going through puberty.
  15. (Relax, that last bit has nothing to do with the cake.)
  16. Now I see why my grandmother would never intentionally leave more batter in the bowl for my brother and I to scoop on our fingers and eat. After you've suffered for that cake, you're damn well going to bake absolutely as much of it as is possible
  17. Luckily, that figure never quite reaches 100%. And the batter does in fact taste sweeter when you've made the cake yourself. That also explains why grandma usually got first dibs on the bowl before handing it over.
  18. However, you may find that you still, after over five minutes of beating, didn't get all the butter smoothed into the batter. I fear I've developed a butter fixation, now. A butter-phobia. It may be months, years even, before I can butter so much as a slice of toast.

So, it's in the oven now. Next up, adventures in icing and decoration...

# [/thoughts]

Who Am I:
Randy J. Ray
Software Engineer


Buy my book!

Programming Web Services with Perl

I've also contributed three chapters to:

Computer Science & Perl Programming

Category quick-links:


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Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep
Oct Nov Dec

Reading and Re-reading
· The Annotated Thursday: G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Would Be Thursday, G.K. Chesterton, Martin Gardner
· The Feeling Good Handbook, David D. Burns
· Organizing From the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern
· XML Schema, Eric Van Der Vlist
· BEEP: The Definitive Guide, Marshall T. Rose

High in the queue
· Silk, Caitlin R. Kiernan
· Coldheart Canyon, Clive Barker
· Idoru, William Gibson
· Shared Source CLI Essentials, David Stutz, Ted Neward, Geoff Shilling

Recently finished
· Planetary Vol. 3: Leaving the 20th Century, Warren Ellis, et al

Recommended favorites
· The Cowboy Wally Show, Kyle Baker
· Lost Souls, Poppy Z. Brite
· The Alienist, Caleb Carr
· Quarantine, Greg Egan
· The Authority: Relentless, Warren Ellis et al.
· Planetary: All Over the World and Other..., Warren Ellis et al.
· American Gods, Neil Gaiman
· Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
· Neuromancer, William Gibson
· A Philosophical Investigation, Philip Kerr
· Say You Want a Revolution (The Invisibles, Book 1), Grant Morrison et al
· You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of..., Oswald T. Pratt and Scott Dickers
· Cryptonomicon, Neil Stephenson
· Rising Stars : Born In Fire (Vol. 1), J. Michael Straczynski

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