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things I loved, 2017

An amalgamation of things I loved in 2017:


homemade waffles on Sunday mornings: Cunningham’s yeasted recipe with fresh whip and blackberry/lime compote.

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only living vegetables in Las Vegas 

I keep meaning to post something here, maybe a roundup and retrospective of the past year…for it has been quite a year. Presently, I’m attending a software convention in Las Vegas. This morning during an Agile workshop we discussed the concept of antifragility, “systems that increase in capability, resilience, or robustness as a result of stressors, shocks, volatility, noise, mistakes, faults, attacks, or failures.” This really set my mind moving at a certain pace and direction that I found extremely pleasurable. I’m actually still thinking it over….what it means to relationships, what it means to software, what it means to the physical human form. 

More soon, or maybe not, but I wanted you all to know that I found vegetables in Las Vegas.

Bellagio Hotel & Casino
In-Room Dining

3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South

Las Vegas, Nevada. 89109

the death of the ball turret gunner

Great Scot Fizz – Sutler’s, Apple Jack, egg white, lemon, basil simple, seltzer, Angostura: shaken, short.

Marcel Martin – Crémant de Loire

From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State, 

And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze. 

Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life, 

I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters. 

When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

by Randall Jarrell

PrintWorks Bistro. Greensboro, NC. 

feedback ramen 

A few hours ago I had a heated, public, rush hour conversation with the poor bastard who inherited the thankless task of teaching me how to develop financial software: real-time trades! Cash transfers! RISK! Documentation! Blotter code!

We typically try to discuss these things over ramen.

Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya, NW Cedar Falls

We all know I’m far more of a poet than a technologist, yet here we are; two tall people, gesticulating wildly on a sidewalk, blocking the entrance to a restaurant, volleying the plausibility of low hanging sFTP fruit. 

Marukin, SE Ankney.

Does anyone have the information that I need? I am never convinced that anyone has the information that I need. I have learned this is a systemic condition that I can now blame on working in software. 

Noraneko, SE Water (spoiler: it’s the best)

Is all help charity in disguise? There are people who do so much more with so much less; therefore, I must not need your assistance. I’ve learned this is a systemic condition that has absolutely nothing to do with software.

Noraneko Purism

(don’t forget the soupy dumplings)

the bells of saint mary’s aren’t bells at all

I attended Elastic{ON} last week, the event is hosted by an infamous technical stack that actualizes data, built by a self-titled company. And when I say “self-titled” I mean they are trenchantly branded, no distinction between a user and a buyer.

Trade shows are always trade shows. When I worked as a product manager for a wholesale coffee roastery in the early 2000s their pop-ups were similar. Lots of addicts hocking their wares, over-caffeinated and shakey. The same was true in the leadership development field which occupied my time and energy in the mid and late 2000s. Vast concrete spaces selling you whatever they have: a nifty compresso double-tamper/a tomb of alphaish psychology/a cloud that nearly rains data. 



 Pineapple Spritz at The Slanted Door

(all hail the mocktail)

The Zenpine at Hog Island. 

See: Old Salts.

Buster Posey :: Linchpin



that shell you like

Olympia Oyster Bar


4214 N. Mississippi

Portland, Oregon

the leghorn theorem

On a more recent trip to Chicago (this is now a Portland-based food diary about Chicago-based food) I read The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, a biography of Paul Erdös. Who was, in addition to being an under-sexed ampethamine addict, just your garden variety mathmetician. Of particular interest, to me, was his work with combinatory logic rooted in a generalization of Dilworth’s Lemma – “the partial order width of a set P is equal to the minimum number of chains needed to cover P.”  This can be expanded to a node-based model called the Theorem on friends and strangers — a simplification of F.P. Ramsey’s great work, who Erodös absolutely adored

It’s also excellent airport fodder; if the line at the Concouse C Starbucks has more than 6 people you can consider any pair, at least three pairs will either be mutual acquaintances OR at least three pairs will be mutual strangers. The fun doesn’t stop, try parsing the entire crowd huddled around United’s baggage claim. But you have to use a set of at least 6 people or else the theorem does not hold.

  For when there are too few pairs for the theorem, I present Leghorn chicken.

  Leghorn Café is empty at 7am, except for yourself and the cook, with whom you are mutual strangers. The cook is a bit suspicious of you until you announce, to the silence, that you do not Yelp.

  A pair of maple-sage house made sausages, who are mutually acquainted.  

The spicy chicken is absolutely acquainted with a side of verde ranch but they are so, so bad with hot coffee. You order a Mexican Coke at 7:15am. The biscuit is a vision, it belongs in The Book!, which is where Erdös put all of the proofs that were heavenly and perfect.

Leghorn Cafe

600 N. Lesalle St.

Chicago, Illinois

The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdös and the Search for Mathematical Truth by  Paul Hoffman (1998)