Crack’d Mirror

(alas poor iPhone, but also pizza)
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Firstly, I can sense a lot more pizza in my life in the next few months. I cooked my first New York-style pizza on a steel slate on Friday, and despite deforming one half of the pie due to a lack of a peel, it was the best home-made pizza I’ve ever tasted and came close to the heavenly taste of IP3. There shall be more.

In less happy news, my iPhone now sports a rather shattered look, having fallen foul of a kerb just outside a Walgreens in Durham. Looks like I will have to pay Apple the $80-or-so stupidity tax in the next week or so to get it fixed. It clouded what was at that point a rather nice Saturday. So if you saw a sad panda in the shape of a British person sitting alone outside Pelican’s eating a sno-cone slowly in the afternoon sun today…now you know the rest of the story.

Finally, after a brief foray into 60s British films on YouTube this evening, I’m fairly sure that around 73% of all British films made from 1964-1974 are incredibly suspect. I knew about I Start Counting (which I watched a few years ago for the brutalist architecture and New Town aspects1), but seriously, what possessed people to make Twinky? couldn’t even make it through the title sequence…

  1. Those who know me understand. Or at least tolerate my concrete issues.

Profiling Ruby

(ruby, profiling, flamegraphs)
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Last Tuesday, I gave a talk at the Triangle.rb meetup on profiling Ruby applications. Would you like some slides? I thought so!1

  1. A few slides were added from the talk, in particular adding an extra flamegraph example. There may be more to come on this front…

Snow Week 2 - Morse Edition. And Brutalism

(snow, morse, brutalism, see?)
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Westgate Car Park

It’s pretty ugly and I don’t think too many people will be sorry to see it go – as far as I know there have certainly never been any requests for its preservation.

Well, thanks, Oxford Mail. Yes, I know, the car park isn’t all that important in the scheme of things, but you wouldn’t say that if the city was about to pull down one of the Elizabethan buildings. Or a Victorian one. Or even some of the inter-war houses. Of course, the council had already ripped the heart of the park out over a decade ago when it took out the ‘golf-ball’ (where the security team watched over all in a rather Prisoner-esque fashion) and covered up the gaps in an amateurish manner. I’ll miss Westgate, even though I realize that not every building can be saved and a city cannot be trapped in amber forever.

In other news, I have spent the week at home again. Snow and plummeting temperatures once more. As cabin fever set in, I took solace in Inspector Morse and my new friend Bob:

Bob

Bob says hello and that he’d like to meet you all. One by one until he’s finished. Forever.

Tomorrow, back in the office. Providing it’s still out there. Is there anything outside the house? I am suspicious.

Snow Week

(snow, cold, cold)
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Six days without leaving the house! Something of a record. It snowed. And it was cold. Very cold (and just to show I’m not just acclimated to North Carolina weather, it was -19˚C (-22˚C with windchill) on Thursday night. That’s cold even back home). But I had accidentally already stocked up with bread, water, and milk, so there was no reason to brave the black ice.

(I did feel a little bad during daily standup as the team in Boston talked about the hellish conditions they had to endure just to get to their cars)

And, then yesterday, possibly having gone a little crazy with remaining indoors all week, I made five different el Buili courses. Perhaps Parmesan ice-cream tastes better in Spain. And less like feet. Fried tempera potatoes, cocoa crackers with sweetcorn butter, and black sesame microwave cakes worked a little better, though.

Hoping to get back into the swing of things this week; February has ended up being a bit of a Lost Month so far.

Grinding

(chocolate, bean-to-bar)
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bean to bar

It’s something you’ve seen on this blog tens, if not hundreds of times before; a small bar of chocolate fresh from its mold. Except this time, it’s not Callebaut or Valrhona chocolate that I’ve melted down, tempered, and reformed in the mold. On Friday, this bar was still just a pile of cocoa beans, which I roasted, pulverized, and turned into chocolate by grinding them down for just under 24 hours. For the first time, I’ve made a chocolate bar almost entirely from scratch, just in the way it was done in the 19th century.

Though I did have a VitaMix to help out. And the melangeur was mains-powered. But still.

A single origin, Venezuelan 60% dark chocolate bar created over a weekend. Tempered and cast.

I feel like I can call myself a chocolatier now.

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