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Archive for December 2011

French Peas

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This recipe has been a family tradition from my mother’s family, but I had never done it myself until this year. (My siblings and I had specialized responsibilities, but the one who normally does peas was visiting in-laws this year.) Now I get to decide whether to continue the tradition.


  • 4 slices bacon
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup finely shredded lettuce
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cube chicken bullion
  • ½ cup water
  • 16 oz. peas
  • 1 small can water chestnuts
  • ¼ tsp salt


Fry the bacon in a large skillet over high heat until browned on edges. Drain the excess fat. Add the green onions, lettuce, and flour; cook over medium-high heat until some of the lettuce turns transparent, stirring frequently. Add bullion and water, and cook until thick. Add peas, water chestnuts, and salt; cook until peas are tender.

Makes 5-6 servings.


For six adults and three children, we doubled the recipe and had plenty left over. My spouse finds it a bit soggy, so it might be largely nostalgia for me. Nevertheless, I might experiment with less water and possibly different kinds of lettuce. Given that a co-worker has recently sung the praises of kale, that could be a good place to start.


Written by eswald

27 Dec 2011 at 8:38 pm

Posted in Food, Lifestyle

Infinitely Iterable Permutations

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For some crazy reason that didn’t end up needing it, I decided to write a permutation generator that could accept an infinite sequence.  After a bit of experimentation, I managed something based on the second sample permutations() implementation in the itertools documentation.  It will still chew up unbounded amounts of memory and time, but always spits out as many permutations as it can before collecting a new element from the input sequence.

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Written by eswald

20 Dec 2011 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Python, Technology

Licensing the Ubiquitous

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In local culture, everyone is expected to drive.  Nothing highlighted that more than when I let my license lapse for a couple of years.  (I had moved from another state, and had no car, but the licensing process as documented seemed to require a driving test in my own vehicle.  That it didn’t was a welcome surprise.)  Using any other form of documentation invites even more suspicion and odd looks than the simple fact of not owning a car.

Fortunately, we also expect all drivers to have had proper training.  Far too many people are killed by vehicles as it is; I shudder to think what would happen if we just let everyone behind the wheel as soon as they were legally old enough.  Yet somehow, we do just that for several other dangerous activities.  Perhaps the difference is the number of innocent bystanders who could get hurt.  A new driver, after all, is less likely to kill himself than the child he didn’t notice playing in the street.

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Written by eswald

13 Dec 2011 at 8:48 pm

Posted in Lifestyle, Politics

Languages I’ve Learned: Professional Development

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After a short time of playing with esoteric programming languages, I’ve found myself learning relatively few outside of a real use case.  Most of this next batch were directly inspired by school, hobby, or work projects.  I actively use at least half of them; more than the first two sets combined.  However, this set also covers more time than the first two, nearly reaching a decade.

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Written by eswald

6 Dec 2011 at 10:07 pm

Posted in Technology