Pic of me on Machinist post

elections, vendors, blogging, copyright, news, open source, photos, friends, policy
Thumbnail of a screenshot of my picture blowing up a Diebold beach ball on the Machinist blog

Cool! Farhad Manjoo used a picture of me, taken by Matt, blowing up a Diebold beach ball that was given to me by Jason in a Machinist post about DESI's name change. Creative Commons rules!

(Thanks to Tim McNerney for the pointer!)

Markdown for b2evolution v0.2

blogging, hacks, open source

I've updated my Markdown Plugin for b2evolution to v0.2. It is now compatible with the 1.10.x series of b2evolution.

In case you're not familiar with it, b2evo is a wonderful little GPL'd blogging tool that packs quite a punch under its hood. It's undergone a ton of new changes since the stable 0.9.x series, and upgrading to the new version was a snap.

This plugin uses Michel Fortin's PHP Markdown so that b2evo bloggers can write their posts in John Gruber's Markdown syntax. In the words of Gruber:

Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).

A Technical Note: I'm distributing PHP Markdown 1.0.1h with a small modification; lines 726-736 are uncommented such that Markdown shortcut links, a non-standard feature, are implemented (check out the "Markdown Plugin Usage" section of the README.html file for more).

Orange Chicken

wine, recipe, food
An image of orange-glazed chicken on a plate with a knife and fork

This is an amazing main dish. The orange glaze is bright, flavorful and not too sweet. Of course, you need to get good chicken, and I'll leave the intricacies of that up to you... Serve with a not-too-fruity sauvignon blanc and a simple side of corn, green beans or your favorite seasonal veggie.

(Serves one breast per person, so 3-4 servings)


  • 1/2 cup flour (placed in a pie plate)
  • 3-4 good chicken breasts with the skin on
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil (I like peanut in this, but any will work)
  • 2-3 tbsp. onion or shallot
  • 1.5 cups orange juice, plus a bit extra (fresh or not-from-concentrate)
  • A bit more than 5 tbsp. of light corn syrup
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • red pepper flakes (if you want heat but not the texture, you can use a bit of cayenne... not too much!)


  1. Here's a quick abstract for cooking this dish: First, we are going to lightly brown the chicken and then, while the chicken is cooking, assemble the sauce in a bowl. We then set the chicken aside and reduce the sauce to a light glaze. After that, we dip the chicken in the glaze and let cook in the oven until cooked through. We set the chicken aside again and then reduce the glaze until it tightens up into a light syrup (a glaze) and then drizzle the glaze over the chicken.

  2. Begin by preheating your oven to 375°F. Being very careful with handling the raw chicken, place all the breasts on one plate and season both sides with salt and ground pepper. Roll each breast in the flour, pat excess off and place on new dry plate. Heat the peanut oil on medium heat in a large oven-safe skillet or frying pan until it shimmers. Place each breast skin-side down in the pan; they should be sizzling. Get your tongs out. We'll want to brown each side... which means that you don't want to disturb the breasts too much... I'd check them at about 7 minutes and see if they look lightly browned. You'll then want to flip the breast (so it is now skin side up) and cook for about half that amount of time. When done, remove them to one of your chicken plates (do not use anything that touches the raw chicken for anything else without a thorough cleaning in warm, soapy water).

  3. While the chicken is browning, you'll want to start assembling the sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the OJ, corn syrup, honey, mustard, vinegar, red pepper, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper each. Whisk well so that the mustard and corn syrup break up. Cut up onion now (before chicken is done).

  4. When chicken is browned and transfered to a plate, add onion/shallot to the pan and cook for a minute or two (we just want to heat it up a bit and soften it). Add the sauce from the previous step and turn the heat up to high. When it starts a rolling boil, reduce heat to maintain a vigorous simmer. We want to reduce this from a liquid to a very light syrup. The way you can tell it's done is to use a rubber spatula and, at a moderate speed, run it across the middle of the pan... if it is not done, you will not be able to see the bottom of the pan (the liquid will quickly fill the void). If it is done, the spatula will have a smallish trail behind it and you'll briefly be able to see the bottom of the pan.

  5. Take each breast with your tongs and dip into the sauce (roll the breast to cover in sauce), while tilting the pan to pool the sauce on one side. After dipping each breast, place them skin down in pan. Place uncovered pan in oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, then flip each breast and bake for another 10 minutes. Using an instant read thermometer the breast should read an internal temperature of 160°F; take at least two readings from the thickest parts of each breast. Transfer to plate to cool a bit.

  6. We now need to reduce the sauce even more to make a light syrup or glaze. Place pan on high heat and stir constantly. Reduce heat as needed; we don't want it to burn or overboil or whatever, but we want to keep it on its toes and lose a lot of water. When you can drag a spatula through the sauce and it leaves a substantial tail (the sauce is thick enough that it doesn't immediately fill the void left by the spatula), the sauce is done reducing to a glaze. To brighten up the sauce a bit, add 1-2 tbsp. of orange juice and whisk to combine. Drizzle glaze over each breast (since it's not a candy-like glaze, you can be liberal here with the glaze). Serve immediately.

Got my links back

blogging, hacks, open source

(this will not be very interesting to the majority of you... but it's my blog...)

Well, I've been having some issues with Markdown rendering on this blog. I promise that when I get it all working I'll release a b2evo markdown plugin that implements Michel Fortin's PHP Markdown correctly in the b2evo plugin scheme.

Full story »

My Girl Rocks!

family, friends, education

Michelle at Merritt Restaurant
Michelle, my partner, just passed the biggest test involved with getting her GIA gemologist degree.

The test is called the "20 stone" where they give you randomly selected colored precious stones, one-by-one, and you have to identify and grade all 20 in four hours without being wrong once. She passed on her first try! To boot, she just got an interview at a firm in the Los Angeles diamond district. She's a badass and I love her so much for that and so much more. (raising my glass)

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And a few words about the structure of the eye . Everyone " retina ". Especially often we hear it buy clomid online in the phrase " retinal detachment ." So what is the retina ? This - the front edge of the brain, the most distant from the brain part of the visual analyzer. The retina receives light first , processes and transforms light energy into irritation - a signal that encodes all the information about what the eye sees . The retina is very complex and in their structure and function . Its structure resembles the structure of the cerebral cortex. The shell of the retina is very thin - about 0.14 mm.