Still Not a Blogger

I’m obviously not posting here very regularly. It’s been a little over three months since my last post, and that was a recipe for salt. So I guess I’m still not a blogger. But a boy can dream…

I’ve been studying the Ruby programming language for a couple weeks (more specifically, the Ruby on Rails framework), and I’m impressed. The considerable (and ravenous) hype seems to have been well-earned. Considering the only server-side language I’ve ever known is PHP (which is a bit of a hot mess), the clean elegance of Ruby and the rigid (in a good way) structure of Rails is refreshing. It’s just so much easier. Plus, if I play my cards right, I may never have to write another SQL statement (yeah, that’s not happening, but again, a boy can dream).

if($php === 'hot mess') {

    echo 'Whaddaya gonna do about it?';

} else {

    /* Nothing goes here, because $php will always === 'hot mess' */


Don’t get me wrong, PHP is great. Curly braces kick ass. I prefer PHP’s curly braces to Ruby’s end (not to mention PHP’s own endif… I mean, that’s lame, right guys? Am I right? Guys? …whatever.). PHP is a good language, and a skilled programmer can use it to create awesome stuff (Wikipedia, anyone?). But it’s bloated. Clunky. Kludgy. It has a lot of built-in functions, which is great. But it has a LOT of built-in functions. Over eight thousand of them! It’s kind of nuts. I doubt there’s a PHP developer anywhere who doesn’t need to go to the manual every once in a while. Rather than refactor the language into something more graceful, the developers of PHP just keep tacking stuff onto the end of it. There’s just too much to know, and it’s not even consistent with itself. Different chunks of it were written by different people. Some of it is OOP, some of it is procedural; some of it is in English, some isn’t; some of the built-in functions have shorthand names (strstr), and some are just spelled out (mcrypt_module_is_block_algorithm_mode).

In the words of Jeff Atwood:

…PHP isn’t so much a language as a random collection of arbitrary stuff, a virtual explosion at the keyword and function factory.

Ruby, on the other hand, is clean. It has built-in functions, too, but no one has gone off the deep end yet. And Rails is brilliant. It simplifies every single aspect of writing web applications, and makes easy-to-overlook, best-practice type stuff (like comprehensive unit-, functional-, and integration-testing) an integrated part of the development flow. Basically, it does what all frameworks do (or try to do) and takes the heavy lifting out of programming. But it does it with style, emphasizing convention over configuration. This means that Rails already knows the best way to do most things, so you don’t have to spend time configuring your app and your server and your database. Rails already did that. And that style combined with the elegance of the Ruby language makes for just a lovely time. And if I have to sit and stare at a big piece of glowing glass and pound on a keyboard, it might as well be a lovely time, no?

Wait a sec… Did I just blog?

Not sure how I feel about this.

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Seasoning Salt

Better Than Salt

I have been making my own seasoning salts for about ten years. My first one was a blend of 4-parts sea salt : 2-parts black pepper : 1-part cayenne pepper (I like everything a bit spicy). I used those three ingredients so often that I started keeping them each separately on the back of the stove, right within reach. Until one day when it occurred to me that I should just simplify things and combine them into one container.

I’ve made several different blends since then, experimenting with various flavors, but found that most worked well with a particular cuisine, but not necessarily with others. But I’ve settled on a formula that I’m going to be sticking with. I use it in every savory dish I make, and it works equally well in whatever style cuisine I’m cooking, whether Italian, Mexican, Indian, roasted veggies, a salad dressing, or just some soup that I make up as I go.

This recipe makes approximately 4 cups.


  • 2 cups sea salt
  • 1 cup finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup celery seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika


There really aren’t any directions. Just combine all those ingredients and blend them very thoroughly. Then store the mixture in an air-tight container.

When seasoning your dishes, keep in mind that the mixture is 50% salt, so use twice as much of the blend as you would plain salt.

If the heat is too much for you, reduce the amount of (or eliminate) the cayenne pepper.

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Am I Blogging?

This is not a blog.

I hate the word “blog”. Onomatopoeically, it is rather like being sick. I don’t especially care for “weblog” either, but it’s certainly favorable to it’s silly diminutive. No, this is definitely not a blog.

So, what is it then? Is it a journal? Am I journaling? Would that make me a journalist?

Is this a diary? If so, I’ll kindly ask you to stop snooping.

That all sounds silly. This isn’t a blog, because blogs are dumb. This isn’t a journal or a diary because those seem private and this is the internet.

Perhaps this is simply a place where I can dump out the contents of my mind and sort through the various piles. That seems the most likely outcome of… whatever this is.

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