Sunday, August 01, 2010

How I Make Apricot or Plum Jam
We have an apricot tree in the back yard that produces a lot of fruit.  My favorite thing to do with the surplus is to make apricot jam.   Here's my quick and simple recipe:

  1. Halve and pit the fruit.  I use a paring knife to slice around the apricot, the pit comes out easily.
  2. Run the fruit through a food mill using a disc with relatively large holes, like 0.8 cm.  The food mill breaks down the fruit (particularly important with plums), and removes the skin.
  3. Weigh the processed fruit on a kitchen scale.  Add 14 oz (2 cups) of sugar per pound of fruit.  This may seem like a lot at first, but it easily mixes in and the resulting jam is not too sweet.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil in a large frying or saute pan.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  A light colored foam will develop on the surface.
  5. Turn off heat and let cool in the pan.
  6. Skim off and discard the foam with a spoon.
  7. Ladle or pour jam into containers.  Refrigerate for immediate use, freeze or can for later.
Keep notes of what you did and how you liked the resulting jam.  You can adjust the amount of sugar in future batches based on your sweet tooth, and adjust the cooking time based on your preference for thickness.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Traffic Services Around Pasadena, CA

Summary: If you have a choice between Clear Channel and NAVTEQ get Clear Channel.

I have a Garmin nüvi 660.  It came with an introductory subscription to the Clear Channel Total Traffic Network (TTN) traffic service.  At the time that was the only available option, so when the introductory subscription ran out I purchased a year subscription.  When that one ran out there was now a second option from NAVTEQ.  The NAVTEQ service was $10 cheaper than the Clear Channel service, so I purchased a NAVTEQ subscription.  Both services are now available only as a lifetime subscription (but for the same price as a former one year subscription.)  In my experience around Pasadena, CA the Garmin has a harder time picking up the NAVTEQ signal.  Traffic data loads slower and more sporadically.  It definitely wasn't worth saving $10.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

College Student and Intern Resumes

Having just reviewed over 200 resumes for an intern position on my team I have a few words of advice for college students writing a resume.
  • The two most important things on your resume are your education and interesting projects you've done.  And by interesting projects I don't mean homework, as I've just seen at least a dozen resumes from USC students with the same list of projects from their classes.  I have no way to distinguish whether you did a better job on the "Flickr-Facebook Mashup" than your 11 classmates.  I mean something unique that you worked on.  Be specific about the tools and technologies you used, and if you were working as part of a team what specifically you contributed.  Your unique and interesting projects could be unique classwork, work experience or just things you've done in your spare time.  Don't be embarrassed to list spare-time projects on your resume, they're just as real as work.
  • Skip the Objective statement, I know you want a job or I wouldn't be looking at your resume.
  • A Skills list is good, as long as you limit it to stuff you know fairly well and don't list everything you've ever heard of.  If your Skills list is longer than mine would be I'll just assume you're lying.
  • A little section at the end with extra-curricular activities or interests is good, it makes your resume interesting and tells me a bit about you the person.  Hiring someone is as much about personality fit as technical ability, some give me a reason to think I'll like you as a person.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Speeding down the Interstate and wondering what that tanker next to you is carrying? If you've seen more than a few you've noticed that 1203 is the most common and rightly guessed that it is gasoline. But what about the others?

The easiest reference seems to be the DOT's Emergency Response Guidebook. Available from the DOT website as a PDF, or for under $10

Thursday, February 09, 2006

A friend of mine is working with the BRAAC Airport Action Coalition to oppose expansion of the Solberg Airport near his house in New Jersey.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

My sister's fiancé makes really cool furniture.