Monthly Archives: December 2007

KnitML – Knitting Markup Language

You know that xML (small x to mean x=X,BP,XAC, et al) has now hit the mainstream when people start developing a mark-up language for knitting patterns:

The KnitML Project’s main goal is to develop and promote adoption of a standard content model for knitting patterns. By developing a community-supported specification (KnitML) and providing basic rendering and transformation tools, the KnitML Project aims to make KnitML easy to use and valuable to the knitter.

From via Boing Boing.

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Black Bean and Chorizo Soup

This was dinner last night. It worked out well especially for a “found this in the freezer” dinner. Note: I did not measure out the ingredients exactly. Somethings are pretty easy – a can of X is a can of X. Other things were by eye and taste.


2 Chorizo Sausages – cut into 1/4 lengthwise then chopped to 1/4 inch long pieces
2 small onions diced (about 1 cup diced onion)
1/2 red bell pepper diced
4 small carrots peeled and sliced (about 1 cup)
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 Tbls butter
3 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 14oz Can of Hominy – drained and rinsed
1 14oz Can Petite Diced Tomatoes – drained (save the juice for something else)
1 Tbls Chili Powder
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbls Buffalo Chipotle Hot Sauce (the best, most useful stuff)
2 tsp Dried Mexican Oregano
2 Cups cooked black beans (we had made these the day before), drained
1 tsp Sugar
Salt and Pepper

Garnish: Avocado and Lime

  1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until the butter stops foaming
  2. Add the onions, bell pepper and carrot and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegis are soft. (about 5 minutes)
  3. Add the chorizo and cook until the fat starts to render out of the sausage (about 5 minutes)
  4. Add the garlic, chili powder and oregano and cook until fragrant (about a minute)
  5. Add the broth and bring to a boil
  6. Add the hominy, tomatoes and beans and stir to combine
  7. Add the hot sauce and cayenne and taste for spiciness. Adjust these for the level of heat and smokiness that you want
  8. Add the sugar. Note: this won’t make it sweet it will just balance out the smokey flavors.
  9. Simmer partially covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Near the end of the cooking time, add a healthy grind of black pepper and test for salt.
  11. Finish in the bowl with chopped avocado and a squeeze of lime.

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Driving to work makes me crazy

I drove into work for the first time in months yesterday. We had snow, followed by sleet, followed by freezing rain. The sidewalks and roads are a mess so I drove in. Commuting by car is just crazy-making. Some people are such egocentric clueless stress-monkeys when they are driving to work.

Example: I’m going North on Segoe Road. I come to the light at Mineral Point Road. I want to turn right on Mineral Point. There are lots of cars on Mineral Point. It is a four lane commuter route into town. A car, coming from my left on Mineral Point, slows to turn right on Segoe Road. This makes a space for me. I pull out into the space. The car behind the turning car, accelerates through the intersection and up on my butt as soon as the other car turns right. They then: honk at me, move left one lane, pass me, move right one lane in front of me and then (THEN) drives the, rest of the way, in front of me, behind the car in front of both of us at the same speed as traffic.

What did they get? One car closer to their destination. If I hadn’t turned in front of them, what would have happened? They would have arrived at the exact same time. If they had slowed and followed me, what would have happened? They would have arrived maybe 3 seconds later. Driving makes people act like crazy lunatics.

On the bike path, I see people all the time who I only know from the bike path. We all smile and say, “good morning”. Everyone is having a good time going to work. Even when I have been caught in torrential downpours and we are peddling with water squishing out of our shoes, everyone is laughing and smiling and winking and saying with a flash of the eye, “What are you going to do besides laugh at this situation. No need to get angry. You’ll still have to ride home.”

In an absurdist attempt, I tried to imagine what the analog behavior would be on the bike path. A bike pulls onto the bike path in front of you but ahead of you 10 to 20 yards. They are going the same speed as you. You sprint to get behind them so you can yell at them, pass them, then ride the rest of the way into work at the same speed you were going before. The thought is so ludicrous. It is laughable. It is absurd. It would never ever ever happen.

Today, I took the bus. I read my book and watched people come and go. I helped an oriental woman across the icy berm that has been plowed up along the road. I’ve had enough of driving to work for this year. Much rather have a pleasant commute than join in the crazy-making even if it takes a little longer.

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