Archive for January, 2008


January 24, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photos

The other day, I walked by a wall that had some moss on top, perfectly lit by a sunbeam.


January 22, 2008 By: erik Category: England, Spain

Moving from the US to the UK to Europe, which all use different shoe size metrics, means that when I’m shoe shopping and the shoe salesperson asks me what size I wear, I no longer have any idea what to say. I look like an idiot while I start examining my current shoes to find a size number, and, before I do, the shop attendant guesses by eye and leaves to bring me some shoes to try on.

Marga added some insoles to her favorite boots yesterday. Somehow, these insoles had followed us from the UK. The dotted lines intrigued me. So, while she was cutting the left foot, I stole the right and snapped a few photos. (more…)

Mountain Walk 2

January 21, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, Golf, Photos

Foggy ValleyI enjoyed my walk so much on Saturday, I took Marga up there on Sunday. I also took my binoculars and had a look around. We had a good time, saw some goats and a kitten.

But before that, on Sunday morning, I took a different kind of mountain walk. I went and played golf again on the same nine holes with the same people as the previous week. Man, that’s a tough course! Miss the green or fairway by just a little bit and you’re in for several extra strokes. I had three bunkers that it took me more than one shot to get out of. With several double and triple bogeys, I felt like I played much worse than the previous week. And I did…until the last hole.

Last week, I shot a 49, 13 over par. This week, I was lying 45 on the 9th tee. What lay before me was a 500 meter, par five. A half kilometer! Perfect drive down the middle of the fairway. Perfect 3-wood down the middle of the fairway. 100 meters to go. Metric golf is strange. Perfect pitching wedge to within one meter of the flag. Tap in bird! 49 again. (more…)

Mountain Walk

January 21, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, House, Photos, Spain

ChurchOn Saturday, the weather was gorgeous, so, after lunch, I went for a walk in the nearby hills. Marga wasn’t feeling well and didn’t want to come, but I couldn’t resist the urge for some fresh air and sunshine. I didn’t have any particular destination in mind when I set out from home, but, what I found was pretty spectacular.

Walk with me on a 36-photo journey… (more…)

The Filter Pattern: Java Conditional Abstraction With Iterables

January 18, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky

shiny 2As a java programmer, I find myself very often wanting to perform a particular operation on only certain items in a collection. How many times have you written code that looks like this?

Collection<Thing> things = getThingsFromSomewhere();
for(Thing thing : things) {
  if(meetsSomeCriteria(thing)) {
    // do stuff

Code like this is just a natural part of many programming problems and a pattern that pops up quite often. A good programmer will notice when the same code gets repeated over and over again and, language permitting, abstract the logic away. Since Java 1.5, there has been a way to do just that by mimicking first-class functions with the java.lang.Iterable interface and what I will call the “Filter Pattern”.

Homer Rice

January 17, 2008 By: erik Category: Food, Funny, Geeky, Weird

On Saturday, we decided to have a light, easy lunch. I was sitting in the living room watching the Simpsons, and Marga was preparing lunch in the kitchen. It was that episode of the Simpsons where the Japanese steal Homer’s face to use as a detergent logo, Mr. Sparkle. Keep in mind this preconditioning.

The meal was arroz a la cubana, which is just some white rice (with a little sautéed onions) fried eggs, and some tomato sauce, which we add ourselves at the table. Simple and light, but delicious.

Given what I’ve gold you so far, imagine my reaction when I was called to the table and this plate was placed in front of me. (more…)


DIY Telephoto Lens

January 16, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, Photos, Timelapse, Videos

Turbulent Sunset ThumbnailThe other day I saw a bloke walking along the top of a crane several hundred meters away. So I got out my binoculars and watched him for a bit to figure out what he was doing and how he behaved a couple dozen meters above the ground. The budding photographer in me immediately suggested that I try to photograph what I was seeing through the binoculars. Sure, enough my little camera’s snout fit right into the eyepiece and I could see the faraway scene on the LCD screen. Unfortunately, though I was unable to hold it still enough to snap a reasonable photo.

Windy Tuesday

January 15, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, Complaining, House, Timelapse, Videos

Windy Tuesday ThumbnailIt has been really windy around here lately. On Sunday night, we had to crank the volume on the television way up just to hear what was being said over the banging of the shutters. Plus, there’s some orifice on the roof of our building that Mother Nature sometimes plays like a flute at all hours of the day and night. You can even hear the whistling from seven stories down on the ground. We have a piece of metal siding that is loose and bangs up and down on the roof as well. Frankly, all the racket is really getting quite tiring.

Praise Spam

January 15, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet

I’ve noticed a new kind of spam getting through my blog’s spam filters lately. I’ve dubbed it “praise spam”. You see, whenever you leave a comment, you can optionally leave the URL to your website. This serves several purposes. Sometimes, as I’m reading a discussion on a blog, one commenter will strike me as particularly funny or insightful, and it’s nice to be able to click a link to go see their blog and read more about that person. It is also provides a benefit to commenting, an external link back to your website, thus motivating someone that wouldn’t comment to enter in the discussion.



January 14, 2008 By: erik Category: Funny, Music, Stuff I Found, Videos, Weird

Once again, the internet and human creativity have astounded me. Today, class, we’re going to learn about manualists. Does anyone know what a manualist is? Raise your, um, hands. No? Well then you’re in for some enlightenment.

When I was in elementary school and middle school, some people in my class learned how to make noise by blowing into their joined hands, the air passing over the hole between the thumb joints, forming a flute-like pitch. This “instrument” is, in fact, called the “hand flute” and has probably been around since pre-historic times, and perfected into performances at least as early as 1979. I was only able to make somewhat owly sounds, never controlling pitch enough to make anything close to music.

But wait! The hand flute is not what manualists do. Manualists are so manual that they don’t even need their mouths.

You know how some people, mainly adolescent boys, can make flatulence-like noise with their hands by squeezing air out between the palms of their hands? I learned how to do it in middle school, I think, but I’m only capable of getting short bursts of nondescript gassy sounds that I would never think to describe as notes. See where I’m going with this?

Introducing….the Four Squeezins!