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November 25, 2007

Kitchen floor is done

Kitchen floor went in over the weekend:

And the basement foundation gets poured tomorrow:

Posted by Chris at 02:29 PM

November 24, 2007

More cakes

Putting up the butterfly cake made me want to put up a catalog of cakes I have made. This is probably the best one I made. It was a castle for my older daughter's birthday. Fondant icing towers with piped on vines and flowers.

This is an American girl cake:

A soccer cake:

A rainbow:

And revisiting the castle theme:

Posted by Chris at 03:41 PM

November 21, 2007

The straight line to the solution

As I was talking with someone who works for me yesterday I had this 'aha' moment. It was when I realized that the people I really enjoy working with are the ones who say "There is a very simple solution to [insert a hairy technical problem here], I don't know why we didn't do it that way to start, I can see the very simple thing we have to do."

Sometimes I feel this way in meetings. I hear everyone talk and the simple solution jumps out in bold. I think 'do we have to sit around for another 55 minutes just to come back to the simple way?'.

As I was walking in to work this morning, I thought this is a little like applying Occam's razor to code: "If there are two ways to solve a problem in code and one way is simpler, do it the simple way."

So if you are sitting in that meeting, remember to trust your instincts, do it the simple way, not everyone can see it as clearly as you do.

Posted by Chris at 03:39 PM

November 19, 2007

Butterfly cake

The only artistic thing I do each year is make cakes for my kids. Here is the butterfly cake I made for my younger daughter's sixth birthday.

Posted by Chris at 07:55 PM

There goes the foundation

Now they are digging out the foundation of the back of my house and repouring the slab. It's super fun to watch your house get demolished. Here is a pic:

Posted by Chris at 07:52 PM

The Echo Maker

I just finished "The Echo Maker," by Richard Powers. It's a great fiction book about consciousness, self and love. I recommend it highly especially if you were ever in cognitive science or neuroscience. It's a nice essay on how we construct our perceptions and experiences of the self.

Posted by Chris at 11:46 AM

November 15, 2007

House remodel

We are currently remodeling our kitchen and downstairs. The first step in the project was to tear everything down to the studs. Here are some pictures:

We are currently doing our dishes in our bathtub, which gets real old real fast.

Posted by Chris at 10:06 PM

November 10, 2007

Into the wild

I have the urge to go see into the wild, the film, so I read the book first to make sure I wasn't missing something. I've read a couple of Krakauer's books like "Under the banner of heaven." Into the wild was a good read but it was more like an expanded article, probably no surprise since it started as an article for outside magazine. I liked the story of the lead character and am still curious what drove Chris Mccandless to forsake his whole life and give it up for a life on the road and to die alone in a bus 10 miles from civilization in Alaska.

Posted by Chris at 08:44 AM

November 02, 2007

Just finished "The Blind Side"

Michael Lewis writes amazing books. I loved "Moneyball" and thoroughly enjoyed "The Blind Side". Lewis tells the story of the emergence of the left tackle position in football, the economics behind it and of Michael Oher and his rise from poverty to the NFL. Lewis has this great slant on economics and sports that I find entertaining and he lives in Berkeley.

Posted by Chris at 11:50 PM