Saturday, November 7, 2015

Jalapeno jelly and pickled beets...

Jalapeno jelly and pickled beets...  Debbie and I made 9 pints of jalapeno jelly this morning, doing the whole canning thing.  I'm not about to try that stuff, but Debbie (who tasted it) says it's good.  I guess that means “If you like battery acid...”  I cooked and diced the beets, which are delicious, then made the pickling solution, added 6 hard-boiled eggs and threw it in the refrigerator.  When I came in for lunch today, that's what I had –  and they were so delicious!

Most of my morning was taken up with helping Tim put up a couple hundred feet of barbed-wire fence, so that his horses can munch on the alfalfa field between our two houses (that field belongs to Tim).  That means for a month or so we'll have two horses hanging their heads over our backyard fence – Debbie's gonna love that!  Then I took my tractor over to Tim's and we finished up the Great Water Line Replacement Project.  It's now officially all done until next spring.  When some of the wetter soil dries out then, I'll come over and help him level those parts (where the leak was) mo' bettah.

Tim sent me home with two quarts of perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes.  Oh, boy!

Assembly language will never die!

Assembly language will never die!  When I started computer programming, assembly language seemed like a high level language to me – because I started by hand-encoding the actual machine language.  As a computer repair technician in the U.S. Navy, there was no reason to spend the (large) amounts of money that would have been required to give me access to programming tools.  Actually, nobody ever told me those tools even existed; I'd been programming for 5 or 6 years before I found that out!

As the years have gone by, higher level languages (C, C++, Java, etc.) have become the norm.  Partly this is because computers have gotten so much more powerful that the inefficiencies of those languages (compared to machine or assembly language) don't matter as much.  Mostly it's because the productivity of programmers is so much higher when using a high level language.  These days it's gotten to the point where it's common for programmers to never have learned assembly language at all.  And many programmers, having no experience with it, have no idea why anyone would ever use it.  I've had quite a few conversations with programmers like this over the past ten years or so, trying to help them understand why assembly language was still useful, even if it's only occasionally.  I've also tried to convince them (usually without success) that they'd understand computers a whole lot better if they knew assembly language.  This article does a much better job than I did.  I'll be sending this to some friends :)

Compound 29...

Compound 29...  Scientists have found a chemical that promises to reverse cataracts when used in eye drops.  This could mean the end of cataract surgery, and the simple treatment of cataracts not only in people, but in dogs and other animals.  Faster, please!

Paradise ponders...

Paradise ponders...  Well, the beets are on the stove and shortly we'll have pickled beets going into jars.  Debbie is preparing to make vast quantities of green tomato pasta sauce.  I have no idea what that's going to taste like, but we're going to find out!  She's also reserving some for fried green tomatoes.  Later she'll be making several quarts of jalapeno jelly.  In a few days, when the bell peppers get ripe, she's going to make stuffed peppers that we can freeze.  Tim's vegetables set off an explosion in the kitchen!

Yesterday afternoon I had a bit of a surprise when I walked through the front door and into our kitchen.  The back door (from the kitchen to our back yard) was wide open, and frigid air was pouring in.  Miki and Race were over by our peninsula counter, looking up.  When I looked there, I saw a bit gray-and-white cat, looking scared.  I moved toward it, and it darted out through the back door and took off like a shot.  When I went to the back door to see where it went, I spotted a skunk – about 8' from the open door, and moving toward it.  Yikes!  I tried waving my hands and stepping toward the skunk.  Usually that doesn't work with skunks; they're arrogant assholes that are most likely reincarnated Democrats.  This time, though, it worked – the skunk took off to the northwest, like the cat.  Sheesh.  We think the dogs may have opened the back door (which has a lever handle) because they were excited about the skunk.  We're just lucky they didn't go out to investigate it – and even luckier the darned thing didn't come into the kitchen.  Wouldn't that have been fun!  No, wait a minute ... the complete opposite of that.

Then later we were driving around looking for Booker (a poor little abused puppy that Tim's granddaughter Randi is trying to rehabilitate).  He'd gotten loose and run away the night before, and hasn't been seen since.  We stopped at our neighbor's house (Alan and Nikki L.) to ask if they'd seen it, and they told us they'd lost a dog they were dog-sitting.  After hearing the description, we realized it was little Rocky Road!  It turns out that Nikki's sister is the family that Emberly gave Rocky to, and Nikki was dog-sitting for her sister while she was in California!  So we got Nikki in touch with Emberly, and hopefully Nikki got Rocky back.