Monday, June 27, 2016

An odd and pleasant treat

Walking down the street to dinner tonight, I heard a drumming sound that took me a few seconds to place.  I looked to the left, and there, on the footsteps of the courthouse, were two Chinese dragons performing for a couple.

You have to click the image and look closely to see the dragons.  The drummers are barely visible at the bottom of the steps.

What a lovely treat.

As happy coincidence would have it, my dinner destination was the Wu Chow restaurant.  Among its many delicious Chinese dishes, the soup dumplings

and the twice-cooked pork belly

stood out as particularly flavorful and excellent.

For fresh and authentic Chinese fare, I definitely recommend Wu Chow.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Contrasts in meat

On the first flight today, I was lucky enough to get an upgrade.  The shoulder room alone made that a great deal, but it also came with a bonus:  lunch on the plane.

That proved to be a very tiny bonus indeed.  I choose the salad, which was almost entirely lettuce.  It came with a protein, this first cousin of the chicken of sadness:

Click an image to see a larger version.

This sad piece, the chicken of regret, had managed to hold onto the tiniest bit of the moisture of its youth, but only just.

Fortunately, the lettuce in the salad was fresh enough and filling enough that I was fine with it.

Dinner, by contrast, found us at Cooper's in downtown Austin, where we shared (and were once again unable to finish) this wonderful spread:

Succulent, flavorful, and incredibly tasty, every bite of meat here was fantastic.

Suffice to say, dinner beat the heck out of lunch.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence is an enjoyable hot mess

of a film that spends so much of its two hours trying to explain what happened in the first movie and who all these new people are that it barely has time to wedge in the present-day story.  Its science makes no sense, and the alien menace's deep secret is the same one we've seen repeatedly over the years from alien menaces.

Despite all that, I had a good time.  All of us who went to see it did, and from the sound of the audience and the smattering of applause at the end, so did most of the folks in the theater.

Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, and Judd Hirsch got to reprise their roles and play key parts in the new plot.  The new generation of folks relied mostly on Liam Hemsworth's minimal charisma, but they were cute enough and spunky enough for us to enjoy it when they went alien hunting.

What made the movie work despite all of its flaws is that it's hard not to like a story in which aliens trash most of our planet and then we improbably whip their butts.  The effects were generally good, the threats huge, and the solutions just barely plausible--don't ever think about them--that you could let them whiz by and still have a good time.

It's a fun enough summer ride, and I'm glad I took it.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Women Coding for Change

is the name of a new video series that we at Principled Technologies, my company, are doing.  We released today this trailer for the series.

More videos will follow, as we release one each week.

In this series, we discuss the huge gender disparity issue in computing and other STEM fields, show some of the great outcomes of the code-a-thon we co-hosted in March in Seattle, and review some of the many aspects of this complex problem.

Check it out.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Yes, another one I have to see

It's almost certainly not going to turn out to be fine cinema, but it sure looks like fun.

Jason Statham as a hit man, and Tommy Lee Jones chewing the scenery alongside him.

Plus, Jessica Alba, because, hey, Jessica Alba.

You bet I'm there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Yes, Tom Cruise is way shorter than Jack Reacher

in the books, but I don't care:  I am excited about this upcoming second Reacher film.

Of course, I am more jazzed about Night School, the new Reacher novel from Lee Child.  You can bet I'll have a copy as soon as it appears on November 7.

If you don't know the Reacher novels and like compulsively readable novels, check them out.

Don't blame me if you're late for work the day after you start one.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Support oral storytelling: Go to a Monti StorySLAM

I've written about The Monti before, but I wanted to encourage you again to attend one of their shows and support the art of oral storytelling.  You'll also have a fun time listening to stories, having a drink, and maybe grabbing a bite afterward.

I went to one earlier tonight and told a story on this session's topic, "Home."  Alas, I again did not win; this time, I placed second.  The crowd seemed to enjoy my story, though, and I had a good time celebrating, so the experience was its own reward.

Check out The Monti sometime soon.  You never know when you'll run into me there.


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