Brian Parks


Blog Posts

Pails!

17 Mar 2014

I’ve been using PHP for years. I’ve seen good PHP, bad PHP, and ugly PHP. And written my fair share of each, too. I’ve also gotten paid to write ASP.NET Web Forms applications and Microsoft MVC apps, and dabled in Ruby on Rails.

Colorado Rainstorm 2011

18 Sep 2011

Colorado only has one significant rainstorm every year. Sure, we have the occasional afternoon shower, but only once a year does it pour. This year's happened last Wednesday, September 14th. Here's what the drainage ditch behind my apartment looked like (that's not a canal):

Templeton Gap form behind my apartment

Today, this is what the bridge just upstream looked like:

Er...wait. Maybe this one?

Actually, both are of the bridge...or where the bridge used to be. Seems that the flooding caused some damage to the bridge, so they had to remove it. Signs on either side say that the bridge will return in June 2012. The picture below shows the view down the gap toward Pike's Peak and Garden of the Gods.

Jambalaya

23 Jul 2011

IngredientsSo I've been making Jambalaya here and there, based on a few online recipes and experience eating them and evolving the recipe based on taste. This is the third time I've made Jambalaya and so far the best. The first attempt was bland and severely lacking in Okra; the second was a little strong on the Okra and the vegetables ended up getting a little soggy.

Here's how it went down:

Ingredients in potI started with the following ingredients: can of corn, can of chopped carrot, can of cut okra, three leftover beer bratwurst that I subsequently chopped, some thick-sliced turkey that I pared, some thick-sliced ham (also pared), 2 cups of water, 1 cup of rice, ground black pepper, and bay leaves (Photo 1).

Dump it all into a pot. I started with the vegetables, then the meat, then the water and rice, and finally a few bay leaves (I used 4) and a fair amount of pepper. This is the next picture.

All done!Cook at a simmer (very low on my stove once the mixture heats to boiling) until the rice is done (just over an hour at my altitude). This should take care of most of the liquid, but I may have had a little bit too much. Next time, I'll try decreasing the added water to 1 1/2 cups and add more if necessary (Photo 3).

Dinner timeServe hot. I paired mine with Coney Island's (Shmalz Brewing) Albino Python White Lager brewed with spices (Photo 4).

Hmm. So the blog is back

23 Jul 2011

I spent some time today making it easier for me to edit the blog, so I used this as my test bed for the necessary code. I also wanted to post some things that weren't directly related to innovation and whatnot, so this blog is back in action. We'll see where it goes from here...

Resurrecting the blog ... in a way

25 May 2011

I haven’t written anything in a while — in case that wasn’t already blindingly obvious. The fact of the matter is that I originally started the blog to catalogue my social life, or what of one I had when I first came out here. The amount that I’ve written over the past year should be telling, but I’ll elaborate.

On Pidgeonholing

25 May 2011

The Pidgeonhole Principle is a mathematical law that states the following: given N bins (or pidgeonholes) and N+1 objects, any arrangement of said objects in said bins will result in at least one bin having more than one object. The proof is fairly trivial as well: place the first N objects in the N bins such that the first object goes in the frst bin, the second object goes in the second bin, …, and the Nth object goes in the Nth bin. At this point you have one object left over and every bin has one object in it. Place the leftover object in any bin and that bin has two objects in it. QED.

Long time, no write

09 Nov 2010

Well, it’s been a while. Truth of the matter is that I’ve been incredibly busy. That’s what happens when you’re working a full-time job and start your own company (which amounts to another full-time job plus some extra, all of which you don’t get paid for immediately) along with some other extra academia-related items that have a tendency to take up some more time.

In case you never really thought about farm fish

22 Aug 2010

There are plenty of reasons not to eat farm fish, most of which involve habitats and ecosystems and other stuff that is really really important but which really really doesn’t resonate with a lot of people. Here’s a reason to favor wild fish over farm fish that WILL resonate with people, by appealing to your stomach.

Food for Thought

18 Aug 2010

A bear who had been wintering welcomed the arrival of Spring by making the journey to his favorite berry patch, only to find that Spring runoff had flooded a stream along the way, carving out his normal path, but accumulating uprooted trees and eroded mud some ways downstream, forming a dam. This afforded an easier crossing than before, but did not lead to his old trail. Crossing here, the bear followed a trail that seemed to have simply appeared and found himself in a much larger berry patch. The bear was quite content.

I've officially been here for a year

17 Aug 2010

Woo-hoo!