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Various...

Moana? As good as advertised. Also, feels weirdly like a corporate challenge to a duel between new-Pixar-flavored-Disney and old Disney. Or the end of a duel? It was the "you're a princess, right?" / "same thing" conversation between Moana (new Disney) and Maui (old Disney) that really slapped me in the face with it.

I have now baked a deep-dish pizza, once. There are a lot of things I can do better, but... Man, that's *good*. Definitely going to do that again. It also caused me to Google a question about deep-dish pizzas, which in turn led me to the vast Internet trove of how to cook them. Too late for my first attempt, but that's gonna make for a much better second attempt. (Short answer? Olive oil on anything that can burn, especially the crust; also put a "roof" of aluminum foil on the rack above the pizza, and a preheated-to-a-higher-temperature pizza stone below. Or buy a $5000 commercial deck oven.)

Also baked my first "real" fruitcake based roughly on Alton Brown's fruitcake recipe. I've been spraying it down with rum every few days since October. I *think* it's gonna be awesome when we eat it -- it's about time to find out. It also makes me sacrilegeously happy that it's been a great excuse to keep a garden spray bottle of good aged rum sitting around.

Other than that, there's been so much going on I don't even know where to start. I owe at least one more LJ post, no question... But for now, this'll do.
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Japanese

I've been taking Japanese lessons for about six months now, as part of the new job.

Sometimes I can *feel* my brain protesting the strain of doing something. I'm making good progress, as gaijin learning Japanese go. But as my brain tries to decode simple utterances like "between what time and what time is the bank open?" (ginkoo wa nanji kara nanji made des ka?) I can definitely tell: this is not what the old brain wanted to be doing this morning.

Similarly, I can write okay in Japanese once I've figured out the syllables. But I can feel my brain strain to come up with the right bits of hiragana and katakana at any speed.

(Not kanji, of course. I'm only six months in. I know, like, two kanji.)
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Post-Thanksgiving

Oh hey - here I am making cranberries sauce the easy nuke-cranberries-repeatedly way, and we have an open bottle of Gewurtztraminer sitting around.

You may call it "adding any available booze to anything that isn't nailed down." But I, my friend, call it fate.

(I'll let you know if it comes out well.)
(It came out pretty well, but don't skimp on the orange juice and pecans. You still need 'em.)
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And away... for a bit.

I'm off to RubyConf in Cincinnati. So expect slow responses from me until Sunday at the earliest!

I'll miss the family. The current job should, theoretically, involve doing this kind of thing more often. But I haven't traveled much for work for the first six months. It'll be around once a month for awhile here, though.

(The corresponding benefit is that I work from my garage. So I'll still see my family a *lot*, even when doing some traveling. I've still gotten wonderfully spoiled getting to be around them nearly all day every day ;-)
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Need a male reproductive doctor near San Francisco or Los Angeles?

I feel like I should mention this loudly and publicly: Doctor Paul Turek, operating out of SF and LA, is absolutely phenomenal. I don't have anything else for him to do right now, but I have only very good things to say about everything he's done for me so far.

He's phenomenally responsive, I've had great recoveries from my surgeries, he'll talk about everything in great detail, he does huge amounts of his own research...

Better yet, this is very clearly his *thing*. You know that endearing geeky thing where a programmer can talk about his topic for as many hours as you'll listen and is just *thrilled*? That's Dr Turek on male reproductive medicine. Which can be a little weird, but is absolutely what you want if you're going under the knife. Just saying.
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...

Depression is an older friend than I let on. We still pretend not to recognize each other on the street.
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An esoteric, pretty little vision

Was thinking about language today. Learning Japanese does that, sometimes.

I was thinking about the unspecified things around a sentence -- in Japanese you can just say "samui" (cold) and it's a perfectly good little sentence by itself. It means something's cold. You, me, some other guy, the outside world, take your pick. If the antecedent isn't clear from context then, well, you could ask.

You can do the same thing in English, naturally. "Cold!" you could say, which could also mean "I'm cold" or "you're cold" or "it's cold" or whatever. We tend not to think about it that way because it's grammatically incorrect. But, again, whatever.

And then I realized that *every* sentence is like that. There are always unspecified parts, as reading too much Noam Chomsky will tell you in detail. "He's standing on a table" leaves a *lot* out. It has to, because reality is complicated and doesn't actually divide up nicely into parts. You just naturally filter down from the unlimited number of possible things that could match that sentence ("Matthias is standing on a blue table", "The Lord God is standing on a stone table in Israel", "Bob has decided not to get another card from the dealer at the table", etc.)

It's like a prism. The sentence adds some restrictions on meaning, and then the listener's perception of reality filters in one side, and comes up with some other meaning on the other side.

As a speaker, you don't get to make a specific pattern of light. Not really. You can guess what the other person's light (reality) looks like, and set up a bunch of prisms hoping to make a picture on the other side... Good luck with that.
marshmallow soaked in maple syrup, babies make my insides...

Something worth clarifying...

Krissy and I have been talking about having another kid. No, we're not pregnant yet. We won't be for awhile yet, even if everything lines up perfectly.

But... I have been doing Krissy a disservice in how I've talked about this. So I'll talk about that disservice, and why we're having another kid, and a bit of the logistics. No, not that part of the logistics -- I assume your mother covered that one, with more accuracy and less speculation than the kids on the playground did.

After our second kid was clearly healthy and thriving, I went and got a vasectomy. Like, right after. Collapse )