Friday, September 29, 2006

Today's Tea

Today's tea will be red. Red and vodka-ey.

It is after Labor day, but let's go to Cape Cod, anyway.

See you at 4:00

Friday Cat Blogging - Video Edition

Intention, emotion, this is one cool cat!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Today's the big day!

Only about 8 minutes until the board meeting starts.

I suppose I'd better get in to work, otherwise all the cookies will be gone!

UPDATE: RD says the meeting went well. There weren't any cookies that Smashed could find, but there were muffins and such just before noon.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Mojito

(Une histoire, mais pas tres bon)

Thanks to a suggestion subliminally planted in our heads by CC, tea time last Friday saw a worthy attempt at the Mojito.

Since CC wasn't around, the surf team formally suggested to the committee early in the week that the Mojito (Papa's favorite drink, and since her trip to Miami, NR's too) be served.

The committee originally dismissed the idea as unthinkable. Perhaps, after all, the surf team was pulling the Committee's leg. Who would think that rum, mint, club soda and lime could live up to our standards?

As the week dragged on, the idea grew upon the Committee, kinda like a cool moss. Thursday the Committee accepted the proposal, and the preparations could begin. ED and JT nominated themselves to host the soiree. Friday noon saw them at the Hannaford supermarket buying supplies. Now we are all set for a grand conclusion to the week, or so we thought.

Tea time arrives, and guess what? Somehow in all the excitement, a critical ingredient, the soda water, is nowhere to be found. So, ED heads off to Costco in search of soda water. NR, RA and AO agree to hold down the fort, lest it's thought that tea time has been cancelled. The cheese plate is constructed.

4:15? No ED.

4:30? No ED.

Finally, around 4:40 ED returns with MG's Costco card and a case of Perrier.

Now comes the difficult part, preparing the drinks. We're all inexperienced here, but thankfully the video has been viewed, and the recipe has been posted up on the cabinets. Six? Will six be enough? Yeah, sure. ED methodically counts 12 mint leaves into each glass, pours in the sugar, places half a lime in each glass, and uses the glass and an ice-cream scoop as mortar and pestle, and the rum and Perrier is added.


Then the crowd arrives...

Six more? And a couple of virgin Mojitos? No Problem. JT chips in, and soon enough the crowd is satisfied, although the kitchen is beginning to resemble that of a frat house - crushed limes and mint leaves everywhere, drops of sugary rum on the floor.

Luckily the cleaning crew will come in this weekend.

Smashed can see why Papa and NR like this drink, it's tasty, cool and refreshing, but considering its labor-intensity probably best experienced on vacation in the tropics. It's quite a bit of prep work for a cocktail that drinks like a swamp.

This week, we'll have something a bit more civilized.

One Year of Excellence!

How did we miss this?

As of Septeber 9th, this humble blog was one year old...

Happy Birthday HSI! (Even if we do say so ourselves).

Friday, September 22, 2006

Closing Ceremony

Ah yes, the satisfaction one gets from a successful Software Summit is difficult to put into words. Much better is a fireworks display, and incomparably better than a press conference.

Summit deliverables (Schedules, Design Specs) will be generated over the next week or so. But the sheer freneticism, the endorphic rush, of a well-executed Summit is history. (Much like Summner '06. Enjoy the last full day of Summer, Autumn starts at 12:03 EDT tomorrow morning).

We'll be celebrating with NR's new favorite drink, the Mojito, and quite possibly Chocolate Vodka this afternoon at Tea. I hope the surf team joins us.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Gamma Naming Complete

Thanks's to SR's contribution, today Gamma naming is complete...

The remaining names are:

19: Hey
20: Darren
21: Lush
22: Desmond
23: Skidoo
24: Store

Thank you for your attention.


Two new Gammas have been added:

25: Silver
26: Demi

Now's the tough part

WL wants the schedule updated. Some heavy slogging today, and on a short schedule.

Hope we don't hit the wall, or the bricks.

At least the closing ceremonies will be enjoyable.

(And still, AG, no stories).

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Base Camp

The Software Summit is in progress, base camp has been set up, the summit is in view.

The view from there must be fantastic!

Initial discussions have been fruitful.

(Sorry, AG, no stories yet).

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Accidental Performance Art

Xi'an - Since we've got a cultural / artistic vibe going here lately, I thought I'd let y'all know that recently a German art student, with the unlikely name "Pablo" (and the even unlikelier name "Ma Lin"), who had been obsessed with the terra cotta soldiers of Qin, recently donned a terra cotta "disguise", jumped into the pit with the warriors, and attempted to blend in.

In fact, he claims he had just wanted to have his picture taken with the warriors, but once there he got too excited and had to jump into the pit with them. Apparently his uniform was so good that he was difficult to find once he'd joined their Army.

I'm sure he's got a brilliant career ahead of him - maybe he could hook up with Laurie Anderson.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Software Summit

Yes, gentle readers, it's time again for a Software Summit.

SR will arrive tomorrow, and we will begin to dialog. Documents will be reviewed, decisions will be made, blogging may be light.

AZ, the newest member of our team, starts today. What a great sense of timing she must have.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Art is a Cat

And this being Friday, not only is it a cat, it's a big, subliminal (not to mention sublimnal) cat.

The blogosphere is on fire because of this cat-chy quote:

Imagine calling two pets, one a dog, the other a cat. Asking a dog to do something is an amazing experience. You say, "Come here, Fido," and Fido looks up, pads over, puts his head in your lap, and wags his tail. You've had a direct communication with another species; you and Fido are sharing a common, fairly literal language. Now imagine saying, "Come here, Snowflake" to the cat. Snowflake might glance over, walk to a nearby table, rub it, lie down, and look at you. There's nothing direct about this. Yet something gigantic and very much like art has happened. The cat has placed a third object between you and itself. In order to understand the cat you have to be able to grasp this nonlinear, indirect, holistic, circuitous communication. In short, art is a cat.

Cute, no?

Not only that, it's part of The Whole Ball of Wax, the article by Jerry Salz that's been the spark to this flame. Salz plumbs the question, can art change the world?

The anwer? No.

Except "incrementally and by osmosis". (Smashed had no idea that art was a liquid). This is how, subversively, sneakily: is part of a universal force. [...] Art is an energy source that helps make change possible; it sees things in clusters and constellations rather than rigid systems.

(So, Art is anti-Cartesian - something that Smashed can get behind! The author even refers to neo-Cartesians as aholistic. Smashed sees no reason to be rude).

Art is a bridge to a new vision and the vision itself, a medium or matrix through which one sees the world, and that grants that pleasure is an important form of knowledge. Art is not optional; it is necessary. It is part of the whole ball of wax.

More good news - not only is pleasure an important form of knowledge, it's part of something de rigeur, necessaire, - all work and no play, indeed. I think I'm going to the beach today.

The article continues:

...[Art] is a system for mapping, reflecting, prospecting, and creating consciousness. Art is a region where protocols are invented or suspended and things one doesn't understand change one's life.

Somebody should tell Daniel Dennett, he'll be surprised!

All right, enough MST3000-style musings, it's time to sling the code...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Xena renamed Eris

What kind of a scientist foregoes naming the celestial body he discovered (and nicknamed!) Xena in favor of "Eris", the goddess of discord and strife in Greek mythology?

Dr. Michael E. Brown, a professor at Caltech, that's who. Claims that Eris "really is just perfect", considering all of the discord over the demotion of Pluto (now numbered 134340 in the catalog of minor planets) over at the IAU recently.

Well, Dr. Brown, I've got some strife for you right here, and it looks like Lucy might want to join me in smacking some sense into you.

Please reconsider.

Road Trip!

Date: November 4th, 2006
Place: Somewhere in NC
Food: Casual Southern Style BBQ
RSVP: Regrets Only

Looks like we've got two choices, bunkies, call in our regrets, or rent that VW Microbus and head on down to NC. Smashed will drive - at least this time there probably won't be any tropical storms along the way.

Pack that sleeping bag and toothbrush, and let's prepare for the party of a lifetime! I'm sure that JC won't mind us crashing on the couch for a few days!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How to Avoid Arrest

To: NT and ED (and if AO ever finds out about his missing tomatoes, CC)
Fr: Head Smashed In
Re: How to Avoid Arrest

Presented with no further comment: "How to avoid arrest."


Bristol-Myers Squibb ousts CEO Dolan
Associated Press

NEW YORK - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. on Tuesday ousted Peter R. Dolan as chief executive at the urging of a federal monitor, who found that the drug maker's patent deal with a generic competitor violated an agreement with prosecutors.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Winter White

Oh, September - that time of year when thoughts return to softly turning leaves, gigantic orange pumpkins, and that hoary old prohibition against wearing white after Labor Day.

As CL reminded RD and RA the other day, though, so-called "Winter Whites" are permissible from Labor day to Memorial day.

What, exactly, is a winter white, and how would simple-minded engineering folk distinguish between what's permissible and what's not? We certainly wouldn't wish to commit any fashion faux pas. All this simple interlocutor could dig up on the web were things like "creamy white" or "pearly white". Pretty inspecific, no?

Luckily, it appears that not being able to distinguish between whites is not really a problem anymore:

...thanks to new types of material, new colors and the creation of the fashion term “winter white,” the tradition is falling by the wayside.

Not only that, but according to the great wiki,

...people who 'dare' to wear white after Labor Day [are] innovative, creative, and bold...

and with the exception of "bold", who wouldn't want that?

Update: Smashed's sister had the following comment: You must not be caught up on the latest fashions. The newest trend is that white is indeed fashionable year round. Spread the news.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


We're back at full strength - actually more than that because XN has joined us today, too. Two down (including TB), two or three to go.

CC (Don't fly with me), NT, JT, ED and RA are back again, and this place is a regular beehive. RA and NR survived Ernesto (in Virginia and Miami, respectively) - NR even has the start of a tan.

JT will even be joining us by phone this afternoon at 4:00...