Bucket List

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For an upcoming project I need some food safe, water tight buckets.
Now I could go to Home Depot and buy a few Homer Buckets and call it a day: but that seems ridiculous, especially since they don’t need to be orange and I don’t want to pay to advertise for someone. (When I bought my Wrangler I removed all traces of the dealer, even the hitch cover which in hindsight I wished I had just spray painted, but oh well.)
I have a few buckets that I use for my recycling and dog food and kitchen laundry, which I figured I could use in a pinch, but first I figured I’d see about acquiring a few.

Did You Say Free?

Now you can get buckets from lots of restaurant and catering places that order large amounts of food supplies, especially pickles, croutons, protein powder and teriyaki.
I have had the best luck acquiring buckets from sandwich shops.
All you need to do is call (or stop in) and ask, now don’t do this during the lunch or dinner rush or they might stomp ya.
It is a good idea to call first because a lot of places don’t keep around what they don’t need, so you might need to ask them to save them for you. A smaller place may go thru a bucket a week or so, so if you need multiple call around.
Be sure to let them know if you need lids as sometimes they get separated.
I have run into places that charge a small amount for their buckets, if it is a mom and pop type place I am ok with it, if it is a chain, forget about it!

What’s that smell?

It is important to note that these buckets are plastic (not BPA free as far as I know), so they will most likely smell like whatever they were originally used for.
Generally a little time in the sun will remove significant smells and over time the smell will dissipate, so keep this in mind and time things accordingly.

I am super happy about my acquisition and after they sit outside for a day or two I will get some good use out of them!

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Hey Puddin’

I wanted cake, well I wanted to bake a cake because my house is hot and I wanted it to smell like cake, but I lack necessary ingredients.
I do however have a mango and all the necessary ingredients for this:

Recently I took this cooking class with some friends from work. I like cooking classes generally, that said, this one was a little disappointing. The food was good, but it was a little more demonstration than hands on. Everything was partially prepared and the woman running the class seemed a little apprehensive about folks using knives. I mean seriously kids, I have some serious knife skills; I know this, because I tool a class. That last bit should have resulted in an eye rolling and maybe a snicker.

The food in the class was mostly good. I say mostly because a lot of it was prepared ahead of time. The one thing that stood out the most was a really simple rice pudding. I like rice pudding. This particular recipe was also vegan, which I am not, but I do occasionally like to clear out the animal proteins. And it has coconut, I mean COME ON! Coconut is freaking delicious.

So I took the recipe and then altered it a little, I found it a little sweet with the already sweet mango, so I adjusted accordingly. Personally I think it is delicious, even if you have to start your prep a day ahead of time.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Sweet Rice
  • 1 Can (13.5-14oz) Coconut Milk (light or regular)
  • 1/3 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 ¼ Cup of Water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Lime Zest
  • 1 Mango

Directions

  • Using cheese cloth or a mesh strainer: rinse the rice in cold water. Then place it in a bowl and cover with cold water and set aside to soak overnight.
  • In a pot (or rice cooker if you must) on medium heat, cook the rice with 1 ¼ Cups of water until the rice is tender. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • Do not shake the coconut milk before opening. Open the can and skim about ½ of the fat off of the top and set aside in a bowl.
  • Pour the remaining liquid and fat in a saucepan and add sugar. On medium heat, stirring constantly, melt the sugar into the coconut milk.
  • Once the sugar is melted add the remaining fat and mix in until melted.
  • Mix the coconut milk and sugar mixture together with the rice in a bowl and set aside until warm (not hot) to the touch.
  • Zest your lime and mix most of it into the pudding.
  • Slice the mango avoiding the seed.
  • Serve ½ cup of pudding with mango, garnish with remaining lime zest.
  • This can be refrigerated and served warm or cold.
  • It is also delicious with other tropical fruits.

Hey Puddin’.

Instagram and Puppyface

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I have been experimenting with Instagram, it is fun putting filters on photos of Umlaut, but I am not sure I get it. Which I hear is silly since I love taking pictures of my food before I eat it, who doesn’t really?
I am only an hour or so in, I wonder just how many photos of Umlaut I can post.

If anyone can shed light on how Instagram is a social network, I’d appreciate it.
In the meantime, more picks of the pup.

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To Chirp is to Lie

Chirp (n): infrequent generally unimportant emails sent to prove that you are working when you actually aren’t.

Chirp (v): to send infrequent emails to prove one is working when not

Chirping: “She said she was working from home, but I know she was just chirping.”

Chirper: “I thought he was supposed to be on vacation” – “He is, but he’s a chirper because he doesn’t want to claim vacation time so he can roll it over.”

Survey Says

Part of my job is to plan events, sometimes conferences and sometimes fun.

Today my boss asked me to start putting together some ideas for a “morale” event for my team of about 100 computer engineers…

Now, some of you may have a preconceived notion of a computer engineer who only wants to play video games, never speak up unless through a computer and hide in their mothers basements.

This image, in most cases, is inaccurate.

Since joining the team we have only done 2.5 big events. One was thrown together in about 3 days and was more or less a party in a bar, a day trip to Six Flags and a party in the office involving piñatas. There was also a party where folks ripped down a wall, candlepin bowling and a whiffle ball throw down, but not everyone went to those.

Prior to my joining the team a year and a half ago, there was a trip to what has not so fondly been dubbed “Mosquito Island”, Curling that included a trip to the ER and a ski trip that was canceled at the last minute.

So I decided I would do a poll to get an idea of what folks like to do… so I wrote one, it went pretty much like this:

It is about time the team did something fun, but before I lock something in I want to get an idea of what people enjoy doing so please take a few minutes to complete this survey so that I can figure out what we should do next.

Please rate the following on a scale of 1 – 5

1 being SO SUPER AWESOME you can’t help but scream with happiness

5 being the most terrible horrible worst idea you could ever dream up

This survey is not anonymous and answers may not be an actual representation of how you feel but a generalization to best determine what sorts of activities to plan. No judgment if your opinion differs from mine.

  1. Do you generally attend morale events?
    1. Of course, I mean why wouldn’t I? It is like the most fun thing ever and free to me!
    2. Yes, they are a nice break from the norm
    3. Meh, only if it is something I can’t do on my own
    4. No, but I can play nice and put a smile on since someone spent time planning it
    5. No, I hate them and I won’t go no matter what, and you can’t make me
  2. Do you enjoy being outside?
    1. Yes, whatever the weather, I love outside because it is the opposite of inside
    2. Yes, well as long as it is sunny, I love the sun, it is like a ball of glowing happiness in the sky
    3. Meh, it’s neat, as long as it is only for a few hours
    4. No, it could rain at any minute and I don’t want to get rained on, unless of course I had an umbrella, then it could be okay
    5. No, there is nature outside, I fear nature, I won’t do it and you can’t make me
  3. Do you enjoy attending sporting events?
    1. Yes, I think they are the greatest thing on earth
    2. Yes, they can be fun as long as the company is good or there is beer
    3. Meh, I’d go but I’d whine about it
    4. No, but I’d go if it was free
    5. No, and I wouldn’t consider going, I would rather have a root canal
  4. Do you enjoy participating in sporting events?
    1. Yes, because I am a winner and you can’t win if you don’t play
    2. Yes, as long as you feed me too
    3. Meh, unless I can be on team heckler
    4. No, but I can stand around and pretend to play
    5. No way, being athletic is dumb and I hate it
  5. Do you enjoy amusement parks?
    1. OMG YES! YES! YES!
    2. Yes, they are fun
    3. Meh, been there done that
    4. No, but I can be a good sport and find a way to have fun
    5. No, they are outside, I hate going outside the sun will melt me
  6. Do you enjoy movies?
    1. Yes, I have seen pretty much every movie ever made, ever.
    2. Yes, but only Sci-Fi or Action Adventure
    3. Meh, I suppose, as long as no one is talking to me
    4. No, but maybe, can I talk through it?
    5. No, it is dark in movie theatres and I don’t like the dark vampires live in the dark
  7. Do you enjoy history?
    1. Yes, where would we be without history, did you know that in 1838 Boston was the first US city to establish its own police department?
    2. Yes, but I did not know that about the police department
    3. Meh, it’s cool
    4. No, history is silly, aliens created this world the day I was born and will blow it up the day I die, but I can play along with you silly humans.
    5. No, I flunked history, why did you have to bring that up?
  8. Do you enjoy events that are not in Cambridge?
    1. Yes, especially if I don’t have to drive, unless it is nearer my house than work
    2. Yes, I would even drive myself there wasn’t a bus
    3. Meh, they are ok, I would probably go wherever
    4. No, though I guess it depends entirely on what it was, then I might go
    5. No, why would I do that, you can’t make me
  9. Do you enjoy learning new things?
    1. Yes, education is king, I am a sponge for knowledge
    2. Yes, if it is cool
    3. Meh, like what, I guess it is good to learn new stuff
    4. No, computers or food that’s all I have room for learning more about
    5. No, I have learned all I possibly can learn
  10. If volunteering for a good cause was part of a morale event, is that something you would enjoy?
    1. Holy smokes YES! That would be a great use of my time! What and awesome idea!
    2. Yes, that seems good, I like to give back to my community
    3. Well yeah, that seems like it could be good, but I would rather separate the two
    4. No, I would but it confuses me
    5. Wait. NO. NO. NO. Volunteering is not my idea of fun
  11. Do you like low cost events with super awesome prizes
    1. YES! I don’t even care if I win, I think prizes are the best thing ever
    2. Yes, as long as everyone wins something
    3. Meh, prizes are ok
    4. No, I mean it is cool when people win stuff, but I hate getting a trophy for all, this isn’t T-Ball
    5. No, I don’t like prizes, I never win anything and other people get cool stuff that I don’t
  12. Do you like swag (stuff that says App-V on it) more than events?
    1. DUDE.I.LOVE.STUFF!! Events only last a little while, stuff lasts FOREVER!
    2. Yes, stuff is cool
    3. Meh, I like doing stuff as much as getting stuff
    4. No, doing stuff is better than getting stuff, but both better
    5. No, I HATE STUFF!! Events make memories stuff lasts FOREVER
  13. Do you like events better than swag?
    1. Yes, a memory lasts forever and only gets better with time
    2. Yes, events are super fun and I don’t have to find a place for them later
    3. Decide one over the other? what is WRONG with you? that is TOO hard a choice!
    4. No, stuff is silly, unless we get both
    5. No, did you not see my above answer, I LOVE STUFF!
  14. Do you enjoy cooking?
    1. Yes, someday I am going to have a coffee shop and sell the very best food that I made.
    2. Yes, it is fun, it feeds me
    3. Meh, it serves a purpose, will someone else be cleaning up?
    4. Like heating stuff in a microwave?
    5. No, that is why they invented restaurants, duh!
  15. Do you ever wish you could bring your family to work events?
    1. That would be SOOO cool, my family is so super awesome I want you all to know
    2. If it worked out, that would be swell
    3. Meh, I can take it or leave it
    4. Like my mom and dad? What do you mean family? Do roommates count?
    5. I am my family, my family is the best, ME ME ME!!!
  16. If assistance for an event is needed is this something you would like to participate in?
    1. Holy heck yeah! Wow, can I really? AWESOME!!
    2. Yeah, sure, I like helping
    3. Does it get me out of MDOP POR?
    4. Seriously, do I have to?
    5. Hah, NO that is insane!

Open forum

  1. Is there anything else you would like to add at this time?