Mac and Cheese Patties

I was bored today so I figured I would try making something different for lunch. These are kind of fun.

1 package mac and cheese, plus milk and butter for it
1/4 package frozen vegetables, reheated
3 egg whites

Prepare mac and cheese as per package instructions. While still hot, mix in vegetables. Allow to cool. Mix in egg whites and shape into patties. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Yesterday Sharon and I also made tasty Devil’s Food cupcakes with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips. Mmm sweets.

Amazon MP3 is Awesome

Yesterday was a bunch of dim sum in Chinatown with Sharon, Charles, and people they know. It was a lot of fun and I got to try a lot of different, tasty dim sum from four different places.

However, one of the places must’ve disagreed with me, because I spent a lot of last night in the bathroom. After one such trip, I decided to check my email and saw that Amazon had sent me a promotional email touting Adam Lambert’s new album for $3.99 (as well as a long list of other albums for $5).
Given that I had been mildly interested in the album anyway, the price was right, so I decided to go ahead and get the album. However, given that it was 3 AM, I assumed that the “Buy MP3 Album with 1-Click” button would give me an opportunity to input payment information (which, you know, kind of goes against the entire point of 1-Click). I also had not paid for music from them for a while, since I tend to download their free tracks or usually have credit to cover what I want.
It so happened that the credit card I had tied to 1-Click was no longer valid.
I clicked to buy, confirmed, and the album immediately began downloading. At this point I was worried because I hadn’t been able to pay. Indeed, when I woke up in the morning, there was an email telling me my order had been cancelled due to invalid payment method. However, the downloaded album still sat in my music directory.

Ended up calling their customer service (or, rather, having them call me with their awesome “Call Me” feature), which was actually a pleasant experience. There was essentially no wait to speak to reps and they were fairly knowledgable. In the end, the rep ended up telling me to keep the album as a gift from Amazon, and that he hoped I would shop with them again. It was rather unexpected, and awesome.

So yeah. All of you should buy your music from them. Their customer service is great (even though the issue was my fault here) and it’s pretty darn cheap anyway. Plus they’re running a promotion right now so you can get $3 free credit. And they have a bunch of good albums on sale for $5 each (including Kelly Clarkson’s “All I Ever Wanted”, which I highly recommend). Win.

And the Adam Lambert album? Not really that great. Some nice tracks on it (Fever, Whataya Want From Me, Music Again), but the album as a whole is generally rather uninteresting. Possibly worth the $3.99 (there are at least 4 tracks that I like), but certainly not worth full price.

Unrelatedly, oh god work is going to be insane this week and next week. At least Thursday is Thanksgiving… otherwise I might go crazy by the time feature freeze rolls around December 4.

Dreamforce ’09

There was a Dreamforce yesterday and today, and it was a lot of fun. There’s something about seeing huge crowds of people (19,000 attendees this year, apparently) that finally makes you realize that, hey, those numbers that you see in your inbox about features are actually people and, holy crap, people are using the code you wrote and, holy crap, they like it.

Also, as confirmed last Christmas party and at the dev party a month or so ago and last night, Salesforce is really good at throwing parties. Plenty of food and festivities and stocked, open bars. Win.

Photos from the past two days will be posted to photos 2 eventually… maybe tonight, if I’m feeling motivated, but likely tomorrow since I’m feeling tired.

But mostly I just wanted to link Colin Powell’s keynote this evening. It was one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard, and certainly the most impressive that I have had the pleasure to see in person. Go and watch it if you have some time. Seriously.

Also… new episode of Glee? Perfection. Quinn’s actress is excellent.

Edit: Posted.
Our mascots are awesome.

RIP Nikon D50 3/22/06-11/15/09

My camera utterly and completely died today. Remember how it was having some shutter issues where the mirror wouldn’t flip all the way, meaning I had to use it upside-down with high shutter speeds?
Well, today, it decided to completely die. The mirror won’t flip at all anymore. It makes an odd grinding sound when the shutter button is pressed, then displays “Err” in the viewfinder and on the little screen.
Here’s the last picture it took.

It had a nice long life. Got it March 22, 2006 and it’s taken well over 100,000 photos since then and has travelled from New York to San Francisco to Thailand to France.
(It’s also funny, given that the first photo I posted from this camera was a photo of Mark, and this last photo I am posting from it is also a Mark. The first photo it took, however, was Keith.)

Relatedly, today was board games at Jeremy’s. It was a lot of fun. I played Through The Ages, which took a while (as promised before we started). I was doing decently well (was making the second most research points each round, and the most culture, and had 9 civil actions to spend each turn) until the guy with a massive (75+ power) military declared a Holy War on me. Given that I had exactly two points of strength (and only had two military actions), I lost massively and all of my guys were killed except for one lonely worker producing 2 food. Oh well. Nevertheless, I only came in fourth by two culture points.

On the way home, I decided to walk (from 3rd and 20th) while Mark took the Muni. I managed to beat him home (the Embarcadero and Brannan stop). I was actually quite impressed. Either I walk faster than I think I do, or the Muni hit more red lights than I was expecting, as he only had a 3 minute wait for it when I started walking.

So that’s been my day. It has been a good day.

Edit:
A list of all my cameras and statuses, for my curiosity’s sake, along with the cost at the time. (Ordered by date of acquiring.)
Intel Pocket PC Camera – $200 – Functional, back in Arizona. Not really worthwhile to use. (640 x 480 max resolution with fixed focus and aperture and shutter speed.)
Olympus C-3000 Zoom – $400 – Partially functional. Light meter is broken, causing photos to come out completely black.
Kodak DX6490 – $550 – Dead. Very dead. Smashed into pieces dead.
Nikon D50 – $570 – Dead. Shutter is broken, mirror no longer flips up.
*Nikon 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6 – $0 – Partially functional. Can no longer focus to infinity.
Canon AE-1 – $120 – Functional. Not used as much due to lack of film and darkroom access.
*Canon 50mm f/1.8 – $0 – Functional
*Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 – $100 – Functional.
*Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 – $200 – Functional.
*Nikon 50mm f/1.8 – $130 – Functional.
Samsung SL30 – $80 – Functional. Still new, still happy.

Baking!

Life has been pretty awesome lately.
I recently bought plane tickets for Carnival. I’ll be in Pittsburgh April 10 through April 18.

Last night was baking and Rock Band at Sharon’s. I tried making Elephant Ears using this recipe and they turned out pretty awesome. I also made cinnamon cookies and they turned out pretty tasty (not greasy at all, because I didn’t use very much butter).

Elephant Ears

1/4 c butter (actually more like 1/8 is sufficient)
1 c flour
5 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c milk
1 tsp cinnamon

Melt butter. Mix flour, 2 tbsp sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Stir in milk and 3 tbsp butter.

Flour surface, knead dough a few times, then roll out. Brush with remaining butter and sprinkle with 3 tbsp sugar and cinnamon.

Roll up dough, cut into four pieces, place onto cookie sheet (cut end up) and flatten into cookie-like shapes. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes.


Cinnamon cookies:
1 c sugar
1/8 c butter
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Mix everything together to form dough. Form into 1/2-inch balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.