Chase's blog

asm.js: Compiled Javascript

On Security Now this week, they mentioned Asm.js. This project by the Mozilla guys creates a subset of javascript that's pre-compilable, thus creating a huge performance boost for scripts. Even better, the fact that it's still valid javascript means that it runs in engines that don't support Asm.js.

This is a great idea, and could open up some scripting possibilities that were unfeasible even in Chrome's engine. I hope other browsers jump on this bandwagon!

Yahoo Work vs Home Debate Misses the Point

'Home Office' by Stubacca via WikipediaThe tech news, and mainstream news for that matter, have made a big deal about Marissa Mayer's recent policy to rein in Work From Home at Yahoo. There's definitely something to be said for in-person meetings. I've experienced situations in which a ten minute conversation got more done than a whole email chain. At the same time, I've also seen how working from home allows you to interleave work and life in the way that works for you. However, this whole work vs home debate is missing the point.

On Tap: American Wheat

Thought I'd post the latest beer. I was going for something light, with a little citrus flavor. It turned out pretty well. The only thing I'd change would be to add a little more hop toward the end of the boil.

Latest Brew: American Wheat

Grain

I did a mash with 2qt water per lb at 148-150F for an hour. After adding extract, I boiled the wort for 90 minutes.

  • 2 lbs wheat malt
  • 2 lbs 2-row
  • 3 lbs wheat dry extract

Hop Schedule

All additions are Amarillo:

  • 0.2 oz at 90 minutes
  • 0.2 oz at 60 minutes
  • 0.2 oz at 30 minutes
  • 0.2 oz at 15 minutes
  • 0.2 oz at 5 minutes

Fermentation

I used a Kolsch yeast, and brought the wort down to 60F before pitching. Using a temperature controller and a heat pad, I kept the fermenter around 65F for two days. Then I raised the temp 1F a day until it got to 69F, and left it there until the airlock stopped bubbling. My hydrometer cracked during the boil, so I'm not sure what the starting gravity was, but I'd guess it was about 1.050. Final gravity was 1.013.

Cozumel Part 2

I somehow just realized that I forgot to post the rest of the Cozumel stay. Here it is.

The main road on Cozumel essentially makes a loop around the lower half of the island. Starting at San Miguel in the west, it heads east till it hits the ocean, follows the coast all the way south, and then loops back north to San Miguel again along the west coast. For day three, we decided to leave San Miguel to check out the interior and eastern sides of the island. From what we were told, most of the island north of the main road is uninhabited, and inaccessible except by four wheel drive truck or boat.

The simple act of driving was an adventure all its own, since people seem to consider traffic laws more like guidelines. You can (and will) be surrounded on all sides by scooters and motorcycles, whether there's a lane there or not. You can imagine my relief to be out of San Miguel and into the jungle.

In the interior of the island, there are several Mayan ruins. We went to the complex called San Gervasio. It had been dedicated to the goddess Ix Chel. The road in the picture was the pilgrimage route people used to get across the island in the culmination of many weeks of travel to get to the temple.

Chase and Heidi at San Gervasio

We also got a subtle reminder from Cozumel that it was a jungle island, and, by the way, here's a SWARM OF MOSQUITOES! A bottle of repellent was our first purchase in the gift shop.

We then continued east to the coast. The eastern shore is dotted with little beach bars. We decided to stop first at Playa Chen Rio. Everybody on Cozumel had a story about the horrible damage caused by hurricane Wilma, which parked itself right over the island. For Playa Chen Rio, apparently, it had a strange upside in that it carved two sheltered lagoons in what was normally the windy and rough waters of the east coast of the island. We spent a few hours baking in the sun on the beach, and I was once again happy I had bought my trusty Panama hat.

Playa Chen Rio restaurant

My beer in the sand at Playa Chen Rio

We eventually stopped to eat and watch the sun set at Playa Bonita, a bit further south. It was another beautiful beach, though it was a lot more wavy because it wasn't sheltered.

Heidi at Playa Bonita

That evening we took a walk around San Miguel, and ran into the "Cultural Caravan". It was an event to show off Mexican and Cozumel culture for the Ironman contestants.

"Cultural Caravan"

We spent our last day relaxing in the neighborhood of Casita de Maya. Morning with a coffee by the pool, lunch at Diego's, and dinner at a nearby seafood place called La Perlita. Diego had arranged a "good luck" banner for Richard, one of the Ironman contestants who was staying at the hotel. Apparently nobody else had asked about hanging a banner ad at the starting line.

Posing with the banner

Thanks to advice from Dan (owner of Casita de Maya), we didn't have to repeat the ferry trip back to the mainland. He connected us with Mayair, a smaller airline that flew us directly to the Cancun airport in a fraction of the time. We'd DEFINITELY recommend this route!

Mayan Air Plane

The only snag on the way back was upon arrival back in the US. Another plane was going through customs ahead of us, so we were held back. By the time we got through customs ourselves, we only had a couple minutes to get across the airport. We ran the entire length of the place, only to find our gate empty. Thankfully, we hadn't missed our flight, it had just been delayed, which meant that our airport marathon had been completely unnecessary.

Casita de Maya has since gotten on tripadvisor's top 10 list for bargain hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico. We certainly can't wait to go back.

Cozumel

Just posted the pictures from our vacation to Cozumel, Mexico over Thanksgiving. It was a strange time to go on a trip, but, Heidi only has vacation days at certain times. Most of that is in summer (when it's nice to be in Michigan), so our vacation dates are pretty narrowed down.

We stayed in a hotel called Casita de Maya. We hoped that staying in a smaller place would give us a better feel for the culture, and a more personal experience. I think we made a good decision. We certainly met people and went places we never would have otherwise. Dan, the owner, was very friendly, and was full of advice whenever we made plans. He also introduced us to lots of other great people. We highly recommend Casita de Maya, and say hi to Dan for us.

View of Casita de Maya

Dan introduced us to Diego's Family Restaurant, which was around the corner. Diego and the rest of the staff made Heidi and I feel at home, and didn't seem to mind that our Spanish was rusty (to say the least). He even re-opened the restaurant our first night there so we could grab some dinner. The food was great, and so were the people.

Diego's Restaurant

Diego

We spent most of the second day walking around San Miguel, which is the biggest city (of two) on Cozumel. You can still get just about anywhere in town with at most a $3 cab ride. The waterfront is pretty touristy, getting more local (and less expensive) as you head inland.

San Miguel waterfront

Later, Diego and Pecas (a fisherman who helps out Diego and Dan when the fish aren't biting) gave us a ride to the Playa Azul beach club. Right as we were leaving a "Norte" (north wind) came in, which brought clouds, high winds, and waves to the usually calm west side of the island. We couldn't do much swimming right then, but we still spent a while there having drinks and appetizers. While we were relaxing with the ocean view, Heidi noticed that the TV we'd been ignoring happened to be showing the Lions. Not until then did we realize that it was Thanksgiving Day.

Playa Azul

I'll post more when I get a chance. Hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving.

Experiments in Processing

I recently attended the 2009 edition of Bar Camp, Grand Rapids, which was very interesting as always. Bar Camp is a conference (mostly oriented toward technology) where everybody is encouraged to present on whatever interests them. I had been experimenting with a language called Processing that focuses on visual displays, which I thought would make a good presentation.

Dave and Lyndsay's Reception

Pictures from Dave and Lyndsay's reception.

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Fourth of July 2009

Here are some pictures from the Fourth up at the Bolen Cottage.

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David's Birthday

Just getting around to posting some older pictures. Here's a set from David's birthday:


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Mitch the Cat Died Today

He died peacefully last night. We buried him in front of his favorite window with his favorite toy: a twisty tie. We'll miss you Fuzz-ball.


Mitch's Favorite Spot

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