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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PC Support Tech

03/25/05 | by JAdP | Categories: General Thoughts

We don't make a living as PC Support techs, but when friends of many years - a couple with a new business venture - asked if we could help with some specific problems, we couldn't say no. We spent about four hours - not all work, but now their laptops, wireless and DSL connections are doing what they want.

And in related news &#59;) I didn't check my old email account for about 24 hours. I still check to make sure that there isn't any "real" email still going there. 517 pieces of email marked as spam; 1 piece of junk not marked; no "real" mail mismarked. Let's hear it for open source, and SpamAssassin in particular. Great results.

 

Driving Along then Boom

03/17/05 | by JAdP | Categories: General Thoughts

First, let me say that it appears that no one was hurt. Isn't that what everyone says when only the vehicles involved were damaged? This was very fortunate considering the extent of the damage to the vehicles.

It was a beautiful day on the coast, as it had been for a few days. Sunny, dry and heavier traffic than normal for a weekday morning.

The pictures below were taken in the storage yard a few hours after the accident. Here's what happened yesterday.

I was driving north on CA Route 1 to meet with Clarise. The stretch of highway between Montara and Pacifica is a narrow, winding two-lane road known as Devil's Slide, and it had slid early Wednesday morning. Traffic was being stopped in both directions while CalTrans cleared away some of the rubble, then the road would be opened for a few minutes, then closed again for a short time. Just after the long string of cars had been allowed to move again, I was heading around a curve to my left when there was a BOOM, and our Highlander was suddenly swung around to the left, perpendicular to oncoming traffic. Spinning the steering wheel had no affect, as I headed towards the 150 foot drop to the ocean. Luckily the cars going south were able to stop or avoid me, and the concrete barrier prevented my plunge. I was confused by the fact that I couldn't make the Highlander move. It wouldn't back up. I wanted to get to a turn-out, and not be blocking traffic at that narrow curve.

I got out of the car, and saw that the rear wheel was ripped out. I guess that is why the Highlander didn't respond, and certainly why I couldn't back up.

Rear wheel ripped out

I want to thank the man driving the black truck for stopping, asking if I was all right, and when we both saw that we had no cell signal there, driving to where he could get a signal, to report the accident.

I also want to thank the woman in the white Jeep Cherokee for coming over and checking on me. And for stopping without hitting me. I was in shock from what had happened, and she reminded me to turn off my car. After a few moments, I was able to think again.

And I especially want to thank Pablo of WILSON, IHRIG & ASSOCIATES, INC. who was behind me when I was hit. He gave me his card, said that he had seen what happened, as he was almost struck as well, and offered to be a witness.

I saw the car that had caused all this, stopped at a turn-out a short way down the road.

A older red T-bird going south driven by an elderly man with his wife as passenger hadn't taken the curve in the road, but had struck me starting at the driver's side front door, mangling the rear door on that side, and shearing off the rear wheel.

Highlander Side Damage

The inland side of the road is the mountain, with another barrier lining the road. When I was spun around, the passenger side of the bumper must have struck the barrier, as it was damaged as well. I couldn't get a picture of that.

The front bumper was scraped by the barrier blocking the fall to the ocean.

Front Bumper Scraped

I walked down to see who had struck me. I saw the elderly couple, and that they seemed unharmed. They didn't speak much English, especially the man. I asked that we exchange information, but he didn't seem to understand. I let it go, deciding that the police could handle it. We started to direct traffic around us, while waiting for the police to come.

The first to arrive on the scene was Gus, an "Active Retiree" volunteer for the San Mateo County Sheriff's office. He took over directing traffic and organizing things. Two fire trucks from Point Montara Fire Station, an ambulance, and four more Sheriff's cars came. They handled traffic control, and had Joe's Auto Body in Pacifica come out to clear my car. Because of jurisdiction, that's all they could do, until CHP arrived from San Francisco. The fellow who had caused all this started taking pictures of everything, and was even interfering with efforts of the wrecker trying to move the Highlander. The deputies had to drag him away. But the scene was cleared, and traffic was flowing again.

CHP arrived, took the reports, arranged for AAA to come get both cars. Jeff from Miller & O'Brien in Pacifica arrived a short time later and put the Highlander on a flat bed, and used the stinger to get the T-Bird. And thus we were taken safely off of Devil's Slide.

 

Very Strange Spam

03/16/05 | by JAdP | Categories: General Thoughts

At their request, I monitor my parents' [in their 70's] email accounts, train SpamAssassin, see what Dr. Web has isolated, and protect them as much as possible from the onslaught of junk email that they get. Via email and IM, they communicate more with their nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews, then when they lived much closer to them than 3000 miles away.

Recently, my father has been getting spam addressing my cousin by her current, married name, but sent to his email address. This is truly an odd one. I keep their TrendMicro NeatSuite for SMB [Pc-cillin] virus definitions up-to-date on their computer, and run weekly virus scans as well as Ad-aware and Spybot - Search & Destroy. I really can't figure out how this "cross over event" has happened.

As I spend my hours training spam filters and tossing junk down the bit bucket, I truly believe that email will cease being a useful form of communication, to be replaced by feed syndication, IM, blogs, wikis and collaboration sites.

 

A Year's Pay

03/08/05 | by JAdP | Categories: General Thoughts

One of the RSS feeds to which I subscribe in My!Yahoo is Ask Yahoo. A recent post there reminded me of an argument I've made about measuring the economy.

From that article:

"In the 1930s, cars cost more than most people earned in a year."

After World War II into the 1970's, a blue collar worker [such as my father, who worked on the Pennsylvania RailRoad] earned per month the price of a mid-priced car, such as a Chevrolet Bel-Aire or Impala, and in a year, the price of a good house in the area in which they lived [southeastern Pennsylvania].

The U.S. Census shows the three year median income by state to range from slightly above US$30K [West Virginia] to just below US$56K [Maryland]. A mid-priced car in that same period is about US$25K to US$30K - so let's say a "reasonable" price to pay for a new car is 6 months salary. Housing prices have a very wide range, but about six years salary looks about right, which is comparable to many mortgage company's rule of thumb that a principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments per month should not exceed half of one's gross monthly income.

Many folk look at the bubble of the late 1990's [and other historical bubbles] as golden periods economically. I disagree. I think that the periods of stability that can come after a bubble have the widest positive impact on the general economy. That time of stability hasn't arrived, we're still in the post-bubble down turn.

What I think will be very interesting this time is the impact on the world economy, rather than individual national economies. One very large impact of the technologies that are being developed as a result of the Internet Bubble is the transfer of IT, BPO, customer service and similar "knowledge worker" jobs to impoverished areas of the world. The hardware, connectivity and collaborative software that were developed in the Netherlands, throughout Europe, and in North America are allowing the steady-state development of those technologies to occur in India, former Soviet Block nations, ASEAN countries and elsewhere around the world.

 

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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.

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