The weekend before this, we obtained an ice cream maker, and I’ve been engaging in the art—as yet not fine—of making ice creams. Well, four ice creams—three of them vanilla, and all different kinds!—along with an apple sorbet and a raspberry frozen yogurt. I’ve managed to botch the recipe on several of the ones I made, yet all of them have come out well in spite of me. The yogurt is extraordinary, despite needing somewhat more “punch” in its berry-ness; all of the vanilla ice creams have been good. (I have a fourth version to make soon, which requires vanilla sugar—which requires time to make!) I also made a peach ice cream, with a few fresh peaches from Andy’s Orchard; the texture didn’t strike me as quite “right,” but the flavor was fine. I’ll probably start trying stranger concoctions soon, but I figure I need to get the hang of the basics first.
Beyond that, things have been… quiet since I last wrote, albeit not in a bad way. The current iteration of the project I’m working on at the office is wrapping up, but there are future iterations already being talked about, and there’s at least one project that was put on hold for this one. So I’m not worried about the contract ending any time soon. I do have to worry about getting new medical insurance shortly, as all this time I’ve been on COBRA from my time with the Armada Group (the contract at Cisco), and those benefits end next month.
My desire to work on my own projects seems to wax and wane, and right now it’s waxing—yet for programming, I’m finding myself starting to work with PHP again rather than jumping into Ruby on Rails. I’m not entirely sure why, save the computer variant of “write what you know.” At work I’ve been using a Rails-ish framework for PHP called CakePHP, which is a mix of good ideas and frustrating implementation. What I’m poking with is taking some of the former, with a new implementation. The only drawback to this is, of course, that it’s absolutely nuts. So we’ll see.
Writing projects, you say? Well, I’m likely to end up with more writing tools—Nisus recently introduced Nisus Writer Pro, an upgrade to a word processor I already own (and reviewed a few years ago), so I’ll probably upgrade, although truth to tell I’ve found myself doing more and more of my writing in TextMate these days. I used to mock the idea of using a text editor for writing prose (“I don’t do that for the same reason you don’t write C in WordPerfect”), but there’s always been truth in the idea that editing and formatting are two vastly different functions—I don’t need what’s on the screen when I’m typing to look like a manuscript, and Markdown removes my long-standing objection that I do actually need some formatting tools (italics, at the least) when typing.
While I’ve been using an odd digital notebook program called Mori for years, I’m considering switching to VoodooPad unless Mori’s new owner shows visible signs of
life development soon. I may upgrade my old copy of Dramatica Pro to one that will run on my notebook, although it’s galling that the only change between the version I have (4.0) and the current 4.1 is OS X compatibility—they haven’t even made an Intel version of the damn thing yet.
Oh, you say writing tools ≠ writing projects. Okay, you got me. I still have a few of those, too, but they’ve definitely been stalled. The tools do sometimes kick my muse in the butt to get things going, which is why I’m contemplating the Dramatica upgrade (it’s a quirky program, but muse-kicking is its entire point).
At any rate, I’ve actually been writing this fairly short entry for days, writing the second half before leaving for work this morning—without having time to post it. Now a quick post (I’m actually working, really), and off to lunch.