For each city…

Mexico City has it good. Most pressing concern is its population.
Mexico City google search

Minneapolis has is good too. People do love to bitch about the weather
Minneapolis google search

Saint Paul has baseball on its mind
Saint Paul google search

Tijuana is all over. Weather, the mythical donkey show, the cartel
Tijuana google search

Cuernavaca needs to get its shit together. Safety and crime at the top.
Cuernavaca google search

Fun thing is that weather is always in the suggestions, no matter what the city is.

On the menu

Coconut tamale

This was the first time I had an item on the menu. Grabbed the recipe from a book, then reworked it with the tools available to me at Sandcastle. Even then, the execution wasn’t mine.

Too bad I’m not at Sandcastle anymore:

Broken knife tip

Perhaps, in time, I’ll be able to go back. It was home, after all.

Sandcastle Kitchen

Sandcastle patio

Hello yet again

It’s been a while, eh!

I took down the site in a hurry thinking it had been compromised. Turned out it was my phone that had been infected with a trojan. The server had remained secured.

Lesson learned.

Now it’s a new host, working on top of nginx and hhvm. Seems to work well except WordPress pretty permalinks seem to be a pain. I’ll fix it sometime later.

I will die alone, probably by my own hand. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like company, even if it’s only for a bit.

Then again, for the past few lifetimes I’ve been saying I’ll die when I want to

On cooking

Baking is science, but cooking is like sex.

What worked one time might not get you where you want it the next time. You use your experience to adjust, tweak & finesse. When you get it right you just know.

Sometimes you need things to be hot, hard and fast, sometimes you need it gentle and slow and easy.

It takes a lot of passion, and dedication, and patience.

When people like what you do, they tend to moan, and say "oh my god" a lot, and their eyes roll back in their heads. (that’s the best!)

All the comments in this thread are golden.

Via Things you have to explain to people who haven't worked in kitchens : KitchenConfidential.

What Can Men Do?

If you’re reading this, there’s about an 80% chance that you’re a man. So after you give me the secret man club handshake, let’s talk about what we men can do, right now, today, to make programming a more welcoming profession for women.

Also applies to the service industry, particularly in the kitchen. I’m not the only one who thinks this way (there are too many places you can find that. If you work in the service industry, you’ll know where to look.)


I need some. At least a few days off all my jobs. Somehow I ended up with four of them.

I want to sleep now because I don’t know if I’ll be able to once I’m dead.

Brings to mind Carlos Hank, doesn’t it?

Willimon paused in the retelling, intrigued all over again by the complexity of the situation. “That decision” — how to respond to a moment of public embarrassment and media distortion, how to counter, and outflank, the people who are trying to define, and defeat, you — “is the sort of thing Francis Underwood is thinking about all the time.”

via The Post-Hope Politics of ‘House of Cards’ –

Technological skill vs. Ego

The Phone Dragnet That Caught the World’s Top Drug Lord – Slashdot.
Anatomy of an Apprehension: The Three Keys to Catching El Chapo Guzman.

The first thing that popped into my mind was that most people purporting to be narcos will always use top of the line phones, usually iPhones. As cool as these things are, they are remarkably easy to poke full of holes if you’ve got the right toolset, just like governments do. That’s even before the arrest of a narco leads to government having physical possession of the device, and as we all know once someone has that, all bets are off.

It is specifically mentioned they were using satellite phones, all the more to avoid monitoring by Mexican carriers who deny any kind of monitoring takes place, but is widely rumored to be happening on a national scope. These phones are made for durability and reliability, not security, so the extraction of data was probably even easier.

The narco adoration of bling (their version of it) with expensive electronics (phones, computers, televisions, cars) is proving to be costing them victories, specially because most of the time they simply don’t know how how to use them.

Most of these people did not get any form of higher education. If they did, they did not learn how to use the technologies available to them properly. If they do know how to use it, they will usually stick to the most basic form of usage, as they do not care to learn more. Advanced functions like encryption would simply be done away with due to usage complexity.

Any sort of advanced usage would necessarily lead to the need of having a proper IT support staff, even if it’s just the one guy who fixes cartel computers. Having precisely such a thing would be completely out of the question, as then someone would have far more knowledge about a cartel’s operations than even the top boss does.

Another, more important factor, is ego. These people see themselves as guys who get stuff done, who want to be where the action is. To be left behind in a support role on a permanent basis is, put simply, inconceivable to them. Internal cartel divisions have started precisely because of this.

Hopefully now that el Chapo is back in custody, things will calm down… although it is very unlikely. One can only hope for the best.



It wasn’t until now that I looked. I realized it had been a while since I heard anything from you.

Far too little, far too late. I should’ve thought… but I had thought you had made it. I’m sorry.

Thank you.


No matter how much I try to get to sleep early, I just never can.

No matter how much effort I put into pursuing some… Relationship, it never pans out.

No matter. It will always be better as long as I keep my head down and put in the effort.

Plenty of people tell me I can sleep when I’m dead.

Do coke? You’re a little nazi sympathizer

But you can eat sustainably every day of your life and give to charity every year, and it all gets wiped out with one line of coke. Who cares if you were a nice guy if in your spare time you burned witches?

via Cocaine trafficking horrors: Users are complicit in the atrocities of the drug trade..

I know many, many people who think “what’s the harm in a little fun”, preferring marijuana, cocaine, or meth to alcohol or cigarrettes.

The difference lies not in the legality of any of the drugs. It lies in the suffering. People making alcohol usually love their jobs, lovingly making a product that people can rave about.

The others get made by poor people suffering under the yoke of violence and poverty, with the exception being the legal trade in recreational marijuana in some states.

Debian and google-talkplugin

A few months ago I lost the capability of making phone calls through Gmail on my Debian laptop or through Google Voice. While it was a bit of an annoyance, I never minded it much because I always had my phone or my Windows 8 laptop available and I could use them instead.

A few days ago I tried using Google Hangouts out of curiosity because it keeps getting props as a good service to make video calls with and since Skype keeps getting worse and worse all the time.

Okay, so Hangouts only works on Chrome. Fine, I’ve got Chromium installed. Fire it up, install the extension… then nothing. Hangouts couldn’t connect to the AV hardware. Logged in to Gmail, tried making a phone call… same thing.

Now I had two separate browsers have the same issue on the same system. A bit of searching drove me to a few blog posts here and there, but nothing in detail. Then I struck gold with this post buried in the Google Products forum:

This worked for me:

This turned out to be a libudev problem. It seems I had two versions installed for some reason. Removing libudev0 solved the problem. My version of chrome depended on that version, so I had to reinstall that as well.

$ dpkg --get-selections | grep -i libudev
libudev0:amd64 install
libudev0:i386 deinstall
libudev1:amd64 install
libudev1:i386 install
$ apt-get remove google-chrome-beta
$ apt-get remove libudev0
$ dpkg -i ./google-chrome-beta_current_amd64.deb

First I checked what libudev libs were installed, finding out both libudev0 and libudev1 were installed just like in the forum post, so the fix was pretty straightforward:

# aptitude remove chromium libudev0 iceweasel
# aptitude install chromium iceweasel

That was pretty much it. After this, I tried placing a call through Gmail on Iceweasel and had no problems. Firing up Chromium and trying to initiate a video call reported no issues either.

Everything is as it should be. Now if Google published a version of Picasa native to Linux…

Fixing a seemingly dead HP DV7 4060us

The Symptoms:
System is a laptop, namely a HP Pavilion dv7-4060us Entertainment Notebook PC. Upon pressing the power button, CPU fan spins up, then spins down to nominal speeds, caps lock light blinks once per second, WLAN light is a solid yellow/amber, and the LCD screen does not power on at all (as opposed to powering up but being blank) so there is no indication of POST.

This points right away to some sort of hardware failure, since the computer is by this point an eight pound paperweight.

The Diagnosis
Removed battery, HDD, RAM, CMOS battery for 15 minutes.
Reinstalled CMOS battery, RAM, battery. Connected AC adapter, same symptoms occur.

Checking HP’s support site for the DV7 gave no indication of HP even acknowledging the issue even exists.

A quick Google search gives various articles but the first two are the most relevant. This is from the first forum post:

“I’m on my sister’s laptop right now because when I went downstairs earlier my own computer decided to ‘check-out.’ Came back, black screen, flashing caps lock, tried to reboot, tried the hard reboot, nothing.

“Found a forum where some whack job with the same problem wrapped theirs in a sweater for 30 minutes and it fixed the problem. Click to the next page, tons of people swearing it works. Apparently, the intentional overheating causes it to power down appropriately then reboots. We’ll see if that works.”

While the second post appears to shed a little more light on the problem:

So I take it home, try usb bios reflash, no go. Capslock light blinks, no other lights, sounds, nothing.

Ok. So I open it, get my harborfreight heating gun and heat up both the video chips. The AMD one and the ATi one. As shown in picture below.

As soon as I put it all together and plug it in, it starts working and has been, constantly since two weeks ago. This laptop has not been turned off, standby nothing. Works perfectly. Sound, video, HDMI port all alive. Still switches video cards when you unplug the power adapter.

Hope this helps.

Also, this same solution worked for a Compaq Presario CQ60. That laptop didnt pickup the bios reflash either no matter what I tried. Turned on immediately after heating the video chip.

This reminded me of the Xbox 36’s Red Ring of Death (There’s even a wikipedia article for all the issues it had!) and the first solution people found for it: The towel method. iFixit later came up with a more elaborate method that, like the post on Notebook Review, targets the culprit component: the video chipset.

The Fix

The DV7 was turned on, wrapped in a blanket, and left alone for half an hour. When the time was up, the laptop was turned off and let cool down for fifteen minutes. Powering it gave the symptoms. Laptop was turned on again, wrapped in a blanket, and then in another blanket, and left alone for two hours. When time was up again, laptop had powered off by itself. Unwrapped it, let it cool down for fifteen minutes. Power on gave POST, along with a helpful error message from the BIOS complaining about there being no hard drive installed in the system.

Hard drive was reinstalled. Powering on gave POST, then Windows boot. Windows didn’t seem to have any problems apart from having the wrong datetime, but that was expected since the CMOS battery was taken out. Device Manager reported no hardware issues

Since the hardware is now suspect, I told the owner of the laptop to better start saving for a replacement. At least now the whole thing turned from an unexpected monetary outlay into an expected expense. What gives me pause is that the DV7, like the Xbox 360, also has an AMD Radeon video chipset, so it could indicate an issue with AMD’s fabrication processes and that other laptops that have come out with the same chipset or components from the same AMD manufacturing lines will have the issue as well.

This should be on the books

There was really no threat of invasion though. While the final battle between the Mexica and the Native/Spanish forces is often lumped together as the "Siege of Tenochtitlan" there were skirmishes and battles happening around the Lake Texcoco basin.

via 400-Rabbits comments on What were the fortifications of Tenochtitlan before Cortés' conquest?.

I had always imagined that the Siege was mostly an overland affair, never really taking into account the fact that the whole city was on an island. Yeah, sure, the fact Cortes had ships built is mentioned, but you can’t have a clear idea of how they were used with two or three paragraphs in a school history textbook.

It shows the influence of modern geography on the perception of events that happened centuries ago.