Categories: "Living"

Easter Food

03/27/05 | by JAdP | Categories: Personal Life, General Thoughts

Easter is my favorite food holiday. The reason is that the dishes my family serves for Easter are ONLY served at Easter. Recipes from other holidays wind up on the menu throughout the year, but not these dishes.

  • Mazzerelle - probably not the correct spelling, but I've never been able to find anything close [Google just asks if you wanted Mozzarella - the cheese]. The dish takes sauteed julienne strips of lamb heart, liver and kidney, wraps them in romaine lettuce with a scallion, and simmers the wrap in marinara sauce
  • Frittata - OK, yes, this appears almost any other time of the year, but this is special for the heavy use of parsley in the frittata, somewhat reminiscent of the use of parsley as the bitter herb for Passover
  • Easter Pie [a.k.a Rice Pie, Ricotta Cake or Pastiera] - this ricotta cheese cake is stuffed with arborio rice in a whiskey infused pie crust [Yes, I know, ricotta isn't actually a cheese]
  • Spiniad [or Easter Bread] is a sweet egg yeast bread, the paternal side of the family made it in a can, so the result looked like a chef's cap, the maternal side formed a ring, with one hard-boiled egg baked in it, like an ornament

You won't find Mazzerelle nor Spiniad on google nor any cookbook I've checked. Either my family [Abruzo and Roma] have their own dialect, words were skewed after moving to the "New World" or my grandparents just made them up. Who knows? The taste is great.

Other dishes are served, but they can found at other times of the year. And with Bunkey in Mosul, we had way too much food. He usually eats for five, or six. :D That's OK, lot's of left overs [or tira, as my partner would say].

EDIT [19h51]: Speaking of left overs, supper is three mazzerelles with a piece of spiniad and a nice glass of Viansa's Thalia sangiovese. Yum!

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RFP Cancelled

02/13/05 | by JAdP | Categories: Business Life

Back in December and early January we spent a lot of effort responding to an RFP to do BPR in conjunction with the roll-out of an electronic document management system. On Friday, we received word that the RFP had been cancelled.

|-| :'(

This is even more disappointing than when the low bid wins, even if the proposal isn't viable. A lot of effort by a lot of people in a lot of companies, for no result. Sometimes, heavy drinking looks like a good idea. :)

But instead, we spent the weekend with a new puppy, ok, not a REAL puppy, a new RFP on which we've been working.

Wish us luck.


Weakening Economy

02/10/05 | by JAdP | Categories: Business Life

I keep seeing signs that the economy is getting worse.

  1. Acquaintances and friends who were caught up in a RIF, or in a series of RIFs from one company after another, starting in 2001, are either still out of work or in a much lower paying job - often outside their chosen career path.
  2. Construction workers can't find jobs as their current projects finish; projects that were started in 2001 through 2004 based upon a permit process that started in 1998 or so.
  3. Restaurants and retail shops are closing, often after more than a decade of being in business.
  4. Businesses are cutting back in services or quality, whether making a joke of customer service, or restaurants using lower cost ingredients [e.g. salads that used to be all yuppie greens - baby frisee, oak leaf lettuce, arugula, etc are now iceberg lettuce with a scattering of the more expensive stuff on top].
  5. Salaries offered to those lucky enough to get a new job in their field are more suited to someone with 5 years of experience, not the 15 or more years garnered by the person being hired.

What started out as a burst bubble in the high tech industry [mainly IT or telecoms related] quickly spread to other high tech areas from physics research to pharmaceuticals and many things in between, and is now affecting all areas of the economy, in the USA and spreading to other areas of the world. This isn't just in the silicon valley, as I hear similar stories from folk in the midwest and the east coast, as well as Australia, ASEAN & EU countries.

Innovation, multiple revenue streams or product lines, and partnerships are the key to survival in such an economy, for individuals, businesses of all sizes, and even government services.


Housing Bubble or Not

01/23/05 | by JAdP | Categories: Personal Life

Consultants must point out every conceivable risk, and we generally have the time and knowledge to do the risk assessment through tools ranging from simple 2x2 matrices to cause-consequence analyses to iterative Bayesean monte carlo simulations. Does such an onus fall on journalists?

Dan Gillmor writes about a piece in the Orange County Register that he picked up on his rerouted trip back to SF from Boston that seems to promote dangerous speculation in real estate. As Dan says, many experts fear that a housing bubble, similar to the tulip bubble and the dot-com bubble may be happening.

When I first moved to the Northern California Coast from "back East", I had a hard time overcoming "sticker shock" on housing prices. Back in 1984, a 3BR, 2BA house with an Ocean View were listing for over $180,000 and being bid upwards of $200,000. Much more than my houses in Delaware (45K$) or the one in Illinois (90K$) where worth.

The house I bought in 1999 has a tiny bit of an ocean view - actually, a pretty good white water view of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve from the edge of the driveway leaning out into the street. &#59;) I bought that house for just over 400K$ and it now appraises at 800K$. But I am only three blocks from the nearest DSLAM - killer bandwidth. :>> That must be the reason.

I'm still in shock. And I really wish I had bought in 1984 instead of saying "These housing prices can't go any higher". /sigh

But can they? I don't know. Bubbles are rarely identified until after they burst. And real estate here just goes up and up, with very few, and only minor, downturns.

Edit: One comment to Dan's post points to an economic analysis showing that the housing price increases are due to the wealth created by the stock market bubble. I don't believe this. The housing boom is a result of low inflation during the Clinton administration coupled with exceptionally low interest rates. Add in that interest on a mortgage can be one of the largest, if not only, tax deduction left to most people, and buying a house becomes cheaper and wiser than renting.

Edit: And to Dan's point, which I believe concerns responsibility in journalism... Does that responsibility extend to pointing out every uncertainty, every possible outcome, every risk? As consultants, we must do so. Must journalists?



01/10/05 | by JAdP | Categories: Mobile and Wireless, Toys and Tools, Personal Life

I have truly come to enjoy reading story books novels on my Palm using the Palm Digital eReader. Now, I haven't stopped buying good, old fashioned hard bound books. But eBooks allow me to enjoy the content without actually cracking open the book, endangering it with coffee droplets or spilled brandy.

Of course, the disaster of dropping my Tungsten into the tub is far and away more devastating than dropping the book. 88|

Right now, I'm reading the last novel in Robin Hobb's series that started with the Farseer trilogy, went to the Liveship Traders trilogy, and is ending with the Tawny Man trilogy. She is a magnificent author. It is very rare that an author can make me so empathetic with her characters. And that each character is so richly filled-out and distinct from every other character.

And of course, I wasn't reading the story in this meeting, nor blogging on my Palm. I'm taking notes. :D Mobile and wireless tools make things much more interesting.


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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

View Joseph di Paolantonio's profile on LinkedIn

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