Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mmm...Fresh Bread!

I have been wanting to make my own bread from scratch for quite some time ("from scratch" scratch, not bread machine scratch) so this weekend I decided to give it a whirl. I've been keeping a recipe handy for Portuguese Sweet Bread for quite some time and figured that was as good a place to start as any.

Last night I started in on the dough, and immediately it looked like a disaster. Where the recipe indicated I should have a "smooth batter" I already had a very thick ball of dough. I was rapidly spiraling into panic as I had a lot more flour to add, and it already looked like the dough was too dry.

I persevered and continued kneading, using most of the recommended amount of flour (I left 1-2 cups out) and suddenly realized at the rate I was moving it would be 3am by the time I finished. We were heading to Sarnia to the in-laws in the morning so I decided to let the dough rise, wrap it up and refrigerate it, finshing the bread in Sarnia the following day.

After we arrived today, I attempted to form the dough into loaves and things were once again looking quite grim as the dough was essentially like rubber. It was very hard to work with and it was quite a struggle to form it into the required long, thin tubes for coiling and braiding. Once again, I pushed through and quite frankly expected the worst. After forming it into loaves and allowing them to rise for another hour, I glazed the loaves and sprinkled some sugar on top and threw them into the oven.

The result was far beyond my expectations considering how awful the dough-making process went:

And it was damn tasty too! Let's hope that I can reproduce this result the next time I attempt this recipe.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Choo! Choo! (chug chug?)

I am mid-way through getting my Ganymede packages and suddenly seems to have standardized on the Mozilla templates. ;o)

It's pretty spotty but as long as I can get through to my super-fast, local mirror I can enjoy 1-2MB/s download speeds. It's just getting through to the mirror that seems to be the problem. C'mon, just one more zipfile to go! I think I can...I think I can...

Update: Downloads complete! Next step: Profit.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Next Stop: 3.4

Tomorrow (today at this it really that late..err..early?) is the official release of Eclipse 3.4 (Ganymede), and for us it marks that special time of year where we ship another major release of our commercial product* freshly minted to work with the latest version of Eclipse. We typically start integrating with the latest Eclipse development milestones around M6 or so, and file as many bugs as possible as we find them in the hopes of getting them addressed before June when the train ultimately leaves the station. Looking back, the move from Eclipse 2.x to Eclipse 3.0 involved a little pain, but subsequent releases have all gone relatively smoothly. There was also that little hiccup when the Debug Team introduced flexible hierarchy, but that was for the greater good (and the Debug Team is always so helpful!) so all was well in the end.

This year's minor wrinkle is moving to P2. There has been a lot said about P2, both positive and negative, but I think ultimately it is a good thing. I have been struggling with it quite a bit over the last week or two mostly due to the fact that we simply have not had time to pick apart P2 and figure out what it is all about. The bottom line is we did not budget any time to port our installer over to P2 or to make our features fully P2 compatible (so much so that I really don't even have a full grasp of what "fully P2 compatible" means yet), but I think once this release is out the door and we have time to suck in a lungful of air, we can enjoy the sunshine and move forward into that brave new world.

I was hoping to have some time to write up a little review about Ganymede, and that task is still percolating in the back of my head. I also have a 2.5GB AVI sitting on my hard drive that I have been meaning to finish turning into a screencast one of these days and I was also intending on finding the time to convert my EclipseCON presentation into a more useful article. Hmmm... Perhaps this summer will afford me a little more time to work on Eclipse-related stuff provided I don't get distracted by winning bread and life in general.

*NOTE: You have to visit this link twice if you are interested as the first time you are redirected to an acquisition info page and some sort of cookie is set to indicate that you have been "informed". Not my design - sorry.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Trout #2

Today I went fly fishing for a couple hours with John and his girlfriend Heather. We didn't head out until after 10:30 so the timing wasn't all that great, but it was nice to get out - especially on Father's Day! After a very unproductive but relaxing outing we were just heading in for the day when I hooked into a fish just as I was about to reel in my line and exit the river. After a wild fight, I pulled in this monster:

I was hoping my next fish would be bigger, not smaller! But it is better than nothing, I guess. And I caught it on the same caddis pattern as the last one. Here is a picture of the fly I caught it on, which I tied the night before:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another Late Night

Tonight I had planned on going to bed early. Well, I figured I would end the night attempting to watch a Nova special on neutrinos I recorded recently (I fell asleep the first time I tried to watch it), and I only dozed off for a few minutes this time. But the advertisment about an upcoming Newton special caught my attention at the end. Well, as I was about to turn off the television I noticed that the Newton special was in progress. After watching the last half of that I now find myself up much too late yet again.

Where did Newton (and all those other famous science dudes) find the time! I can't even cram in an hour to learn about how much smarter they were than the rest of us combined. I always assumed it was their lack of family that netted them all that spare time until I read a biography on Einstein and found out he was married with kids for most of his prime "thinking years"! Of course, his marriage fell apart, and he was constantly in and out of fashion with his kids but he always had a(t least one!) woman on the line it seemed. I would think that the constant emotional strain he must have faced would be worse than the family duties in terms of having an adverse effect on your ability to invent. Now there was a guy who could multi-task!

But I found a quote in a book about the Poincaré Conjecture that I am currently reading (I am trying to get past my extreme aversion to all things math - cold turkey) that was particularly melodramatic (and funny) by Farkas Bolyai to his son Janos regarding Euclid's parallel postulate:

For God's sake, I beseech you, give it up. Fear it no less than sensual passions because it too may take all your time and deprive you of your health, peace of mind and happiness in life.

Oh well, I'm off! If I hurry I may get a chapter in before it becomes insanely late.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


This weekend Sharon hosted a mother-daughter scrapbooking sleepover party. Naturally I spent Saturday night outside on the deck, and Sunday morning getting the heck out of Dodge.

I decided to head out early this morning and go fly fishing. I still had yet to catch a *real* trout in the Grand River since taking up the sport a couple years ago. I spent about an hour Saturday night tying a couple flies, neither of which turned out all that great but they were passable, and got up at 6am this morning and headed to Fergus. I managed to get onto the river shortly after 7am and after the first couple of hours I figured it was going to be a typical day of me casting in vain trying to locate a fish. And then it happened. I got a bite, and all of a sudden I found myself fighting a fish! After a few exciting minutes worrying that I would lose it and not be able to take a picture to prove that I actually hooked one, I landed this small (but HUGE in terms of building my confidence as a fly fisherman!) trout.

The best part was the fact that I caught it on one of the flies I tied the previous evening! Sweet.

I think I learned a lot today so hopefully the next time I hit the river I will have a better chance of catching another (hopefully bigger) fish. Oh, and I threw this guy back so he can grow a little for the next time Sharon's uncle comes over from Scotland! ;-)