Tag Archives: Fun

Diet Day Two

Just started the day with a healthy breakfast of two eggs baked in last night’s salad leftovers (tomato, cucumber, wild thym)
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Diet Day One

Decided to go on a diet. Mostly because everyone is doing it. But also to make a point. Or rather to check if my hypotheses holds against my not so scientific experiments.
And here is the menu from day one

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This and Lots of That

It’s been a while since I wrote anything here. We moved, then kept on moving until we could move no more. Or at least that’s how it felt. From the quiet fresh and mostly healthy environment in the mountains of Lebanon to the confinements of Beirut, it wasn’t really that much fun. It took a while to get settled, and I could honestly say that after 3 months of that we’re still not there yet. I don’t think we will be settled here in any case, so it’s not that big a deal.
The only problem is that the coping is not the same as enjoying. And the creative process needed for coping is pretty different.
I won’t go on a rant, I still have things to do. I just thought I would share a few things I’ve been doing in the last 3 months or so.

Bread making

We had been thinking about this Moulinex bread machine for a rather long time. Pia did the research and it seemed like the best one we could find in the Lebanese market. We didn’t shell out an extra 60$ for the “Baguette” version as it seemed very silly to pay that much for a simple insert!
Since then, we have been making our own bread. Played around with the recipes and indulged in some “pain au lait” and brioche the first week or so. Then we moved back to our regular whole wheat bread. That smells and tastes just great.
I am still looking for Rye flour, and not finding any. Maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places.
pics coming soon

Small hacks

Desk lamp

For some reason, I am not able to find anything these days. Or things are simply too expensive to be reasonable. We need a couple of desk lamps, but I couldn’t find anything below 100$. Now tell me this is not crazy! I found clip-on lamps at the Chinese store in Manara for 4000LBP(~3$). But their necks were too low. So I bought a microphone stand for 15$ and fixed the neck of the clip-on lamp on that. Pia was positively impressed and I felt pretty proud of myself. Compare this to prices on Amazon! *sigh*
pics coming soon

Internet TV

I did not hook the TV to the cable/antenna/sat receiver yet. For different reasons (mainly being lazy). I will probably do that soon, but meanwhile I am enjoying getting all the latest TV series and my favourite movies thru a combination of flexget, deluge and xbmc. Oh, and here’s a good howto to get you started.
I also use the official XBMC remote for android and Transdroid (not from market) from my phone to control those. It’s a good combination, pretty easy and I don’t have to think about it. The only problem I have is that the old Dell i6400 I’ve been using as HTPC is slowly dying of old age and I have yet to find a suitable replacement!

Cloud9 IDE

Almost all of the PCs/Laptops we have are in sync. Still using the IDE and re-syncing the files on the laptop after working all day on the desktop (even with the ease of git) is a bit annoying for the lazy programmer in me. And I have been looking for an IDE to use on the road even when I’m out of the house. Enter Cloud9 IDE. Sure it’s nice to work in the cloud, but it turns out they have a standalone version that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles (no problem here). You will need nodejs setup along with a few dependencies and modules. But it’s really worth it. I’ve been playing with a new personal app for the android (and perhaps iOS) to be released soon and doing all of the work (so far) inside c9.

Gadgets wishlist

Here’s my list for the coming months:

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Enjoying Ramadan

Living in Lebanon allows plenty of opportunities to benefit from multi-denominational fun events. Why, just last week we had spent a whole evening watching fireworks all over Mount Lebanon in celebration of Mar Elias. That went on all night and the next day, and the smell of sulfur and filled the air for a week. All in good fun really, and no forest fires! Well there are no forests left anyway.
And then came Ramadan. A full month of festivities (followed by 3 days of festivities, take that).
How would you enjoy Ramadan? To start with the special sweets, one must eat Kallaj and Hadaf at least once during the month, preferably during the first week when the frying oils are still fresh.
The other thing that I personally enjoy is listening to good old Arabic language well spoken. And that is what you get with at least one of the many daily dramas prepared specifically for Ramadan, namely “Omar“.
It’s a huge production about Umar ibn Al-Khattฤb with historically approved references and plenty of (Arab) world class actors.
I don’t know what it is about listening to all these actors speaking well rehearsed Arabic that makes me sit and listen. What a beautiful language we have. Too bad it’s being ruined and bastardized by the rest of the dramas of the month!
One thing to ruin the mood though is all the heat, good thing we live in the mountains ๐Ÿ™‚

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Why Cats Play With Their Prey Before Eating It?

I woke up from Sunday’s afternoon siesta to very loud screaming. My wife an I ran out to see what’s happening. Mostly we were afraid one of the stray dogs we saw running around in the area was attacking the kittens we left laying around outside in the garden. Continue reading

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For Dummies

Everyone loves that series ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s my book

For Dummies

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Customize the Ubuntu/Gnome Launchers

Google Chrome has a special “New Incognito Window” in the Gnome launcher. So how hard would it be to edit the launcher buttons to add some customized commands? Apparently not so hard. Here’s what I got: Continue reading

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Handyman

I’m not really the handy-man type. But it’s been frustrating to depend on others to setup the simplest things. So, last week I went shopping for some tools..

I found a good deal on a “Bosch” impact drill with a bunch of spare drills and other “accessories”.

I also got some shelves from the mall: those turned up nicely as a makeshift closet while we’re waiting for the IKEA closet to arrive by ground delivery from KSA (thanks Juliano for taking the trouble to send us those!)

Later, I got some hooks and setup a clothesline with some wires. That looked really good ๐Ÿ™‚

After that, I setup some door stoppers, a plastic net so “the boss” (our cat) can go out to the balcony without venturing “outside” to the garden.

Next on my list is setting up a metal closet/racks in the office room. Also for the office, I’m getting a large white-board and a black foam board. Plenty to do and it’s lots of fun (so far).

Going back to my day job now!

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Italian Holiday

We’ve been married for 2 months, and were both looking forward to this trip ๐Ÿ™‚

Our agent, Amin, had proposed a list of places to go and things to see. He also made arrangements for all our hotel and train/plane tickets. So most of the trip was layed out before hand.

We really enjoyed it. Every part of it. And we’ll be posting some of the details of the time we spent in Italy in this blog under the Italian Holiday category. So stay tuned, you might find interesting stuff + some pointers for your own holidays!

P & A

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