Mmmmmm baked goods

Haileigh Fahrni: "Frozen mousse and sheet cakes were the first few days, quickly followed by sauces, caramel, and plating designs. As we began week two, we started to learn about custards, sugar pulling, how to make out plates balanced and beautiful. By the end of week three, we were plating beautiful desserts, and making some pretty involved cakes." - Go check out this post just for the pictures. Maybe our little girl should specialize in baking?

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Mmmmm, I love filet mignon

Mmmm... Filet Mignon.Haileigh Fahrni: "This has been a very interesting class to say the least! We have fabricated (broken down) chickens, lamb, fish, veal, beef, pork, game birds, and seafood. It has been very informational, and I'm not going to lie, very gross!" - Go visit Haileigh's weblog, you'll get to see the finished product, meaning fully cooked and plated, mmmmmm... Dang, that looks good, especially the filet.

Sorry, no apologies to PETA. I'm definitely a carnivore; I eat meat, and love it.

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Our Chef Daughter

Haileigh's Chicken Roulade.Hacker Widow: "Our oldest daughter came home this weekend and prepared a WONDERFUL dinner for the family!! I was so excited to see how passionate she was as she created it." - Needless to say we're proud parents. Haileigh is working very hard at Culinary School and it's really paying off. Dinner was fantastic!

Here's what she prepared, my lovely wife didn't say, but she posted great pictures.

  • Chicken Roulade stuffed with Mushroom Duxelle(white wine, shallots, mushrooms, and butter), Asparagus, and Roasted Red Bell Pepper.

  • Lemon Ver Blanc Sauce

  • Cheesy Risotto

  • Fresh Baby Spinach salad with Mozarella, Yellow Bell Peppers, and Mushrooms

  • Banana's Foster for Dessert

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Abby reviews the Pixar Cafe

Abby's Dining Adventures: "A very nice guy named Carlos , an animator, invited us to the Pixar studio for a tour and to review the employee cafe for lunch." - Abby is a 10 year old food critic. Great stuff. Go visit her reviews, this one in particular is pretty sweet. She had the opportunity to visit Pixar's Cafe, how cool is that? I'm over 40 and would love to have that opportunity!

Great review Abby!

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Fresno Area Geeks Unite!

Robert Schultz: "I've been thinking about some ideas to help promote local developers and programmers here in Fresno and getting to know others. One idea I really liked and experienced once was Startup Drinks San Francisco, which was really fun. I was new to the city and I got to meet with lots of developers for some great startups based in the city. So why not here in Fresno?" - This sort of event is definitely needed. Since writing my Fresno, technology black hole post I've discovered a LOT of new Fresno based talent, especially in the web and design areas.

Now, all we need to do, is springboard that into a Visalia Geeks Dinner and Drinks!

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Diet Not Exercise, Backlash?

Simon Owens: "Written by Time Magazine's John Cloud, the article loosely strings together a series of anecdotes and studies to argue that exercise, in the end, isn't worth all the hype. It even goes further to suggest that in addition to not causing weight loss, exercise can actually result in weight gain because of increase hunger after workouts." - Simon is talking about the same Time Magazine article I'd written about a couple weeks back. I guess it produced quite a bit of backlash. It's nice to see him address it.

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Diet, not exercise, is the key. "As I write this, tomorrow is Tuesday, which is a cardio day. I'll spend five minutes warming up on the VersaClimber, a towering machine that requires you to move your arms and legs simultaneously. Then I'll do 30 minutes on a stair mill. On Wednesday a personal trainer will work me like a farm animal for an hour, sometimes to the point that I am dizzy - an abuse for which I pay as much as I spend on groceries in a week. Thursday is "body wedge" class, which involves another exercise contraption, this one a large foam wedge from which I will push myself up in various hateful ways for an hour. Friday will bring a 5.5-mile run, the extra half-mile my grueling expiation of any gastronomical indulgences during the week." - Basically the article eludes to the fact that exercise burns calories, and makes you hungry. So, if you're not watching what you eat it can be counter productive. Proper diet and exercise are a great combination. If you're going to Chipotle daily and trying to shed pounds, you're probably not going to make much headway. If you limit those visits and have a reasonable diet 90% of the time, you're probably going to make progress.

As I've gotten older, I'm nearing 42, it's become more difficult to shed pounds. Back in my mid-30's I could stop drinking sugary soda and drop five to ten pounds quickly, not anymore. I'm now on a reduced calorie diet, 2000 calories per day, until I can shed 30-lbs. My goal is to be a trim 240, possibly back to 230 depending on what I see when I reach 240, not so easy to achieve. Watching calorie intake is difficult, it's a constant struggle, one in which I've had failures. Last night I couldn't take it anymore and I had two cheese enchiladas, rice, and beans from our favorite mexican joint. That's OK, I failed for 1/3 of my day. Today I'll pickup where I left off and continue the fight.

The plus side is, I love the gym. My daily training has changed in two ways. I have to up my cardio to 60 minutes a day, up from 20, and I'm doing yoga with my lovely wife twice a week. The cardio thing is what's killing me. It's a huge time commitment. Instead of and hour-and-a-half in the gym I'm now committing two hours to the gym, three on days I do yoga. Another change, I only did cardio on lift days, four days a week. Now I'm supposed to do cardio seven days a week. Something I haven't been able to achieve in the two weeks I've been on this new program. The encouraging thing is I've lost weight, about one pound per week, which is healthy and steady. I'm aiming for one to two pounds a week, which can lead to eight pounds a month, at which rate I should reach my 240 goal sometime in November, toward the end. Even if it takes into the beginning of the year, I'm ok with that. Healthy weight loss is the goal, you can't lose it too quickly or you'll put it right back on.

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Soy protein, evil?

Men's Health: "The unassuming soybean has silently infiltrated the American diet as what might just be the perfect protein source: It's cheap and vegetarian, and could even unclog our hearts. But there may be a hidden dark side to soy, one that has the power to undermine everything it means to be male" - Of course there are studies that say the opposite, like everything else, you have to make up your own mind. For me the choice is simple, don't use soy as a protein replacement. I'll have some when we visit a Japanese restaurant, but I'll stick to whey and casein for supplementation, and focus on chicken as a food source for protein.

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Would you like fries with that?

Crossroads Visalia: "Is this some sort of unspoken policy known only to members of a secret In-N-Out society? Is there some sort of 'sign' between customer and employee. A wink? A secret word? Is this a sign of Armageddon? Is Jesus teasing us with a preview of what Heaven will be like?" - I had no idea you could get a free fry refill at In-N-Out?


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Rob's Seattle Favorites

Pigtograph, in Pike Place Market.So, for all those participating in GTAC, in beautiful Seattle, here are some of my favorites. Steve, you'd better hit a few while you're there. The maps below begin at the W Hotel, which is the conference venue according to the GTAC weblog entry.

For morning coffee you have to visit Monorail Espresso, it's on 5th and Pike, in the side of Banana Republic. Awesome coffee. Please remember, every shot is a double! Map.

We used to eat quite a bit at a joint called Happy Teriyaki. I loved their Teriyaki Chicken and Gyoza, with extra rice. Map.

Down in The Market you can find World Class Chili, awesome chili. Your chili is custom built. Order your size, bean type, meat type, and hotness. I probably miss this the most. Map.

Before Microsoft decided to move the Visio team from Seattle we used to visit Typhoon as often as we could. Map.

If I sat and though for a while I'm sure I could come up with a BUNCH more. Anywho, enjoy.

Oh, if you make it down to The Market, make sure you look for the Pigtograph.

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Trippin on food

Don Box: "Having lived in LA for 39 years before joining the firm, I use PDC as an opportunity to visit my favorite haunts." - I used to do this when I was commuting to Seattle. I'd hit my old favorite haunts; World Class Chili, Happy Teriyaki, Zum-Zum, and Peco's Pit, to name a few.


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Gee, I wonder why? "Sales of premium beers, which include the household names of Budweiser, Coors Light and Miller High Life, have been nearly flat up just 1.9% last year, according to Information Resources Inc., a retail research firm." - It couldn't be that people have actually figured out those beer's have little to no taste, could it?

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Whiskey Chicken?

Why did the chicken cross the road?Mark Bernstein: "Last night's Independence Day chicken (yes, a day late) was slowly cooked for about 90 minutes over charcoal" - Mmmmmmm, sounds good.

I love barbecue, absolutely love it. Recently I've been subjecting my family to my own sauce concoctions. They've been pretty good but I have yet to find that killer combination of sweet and spice.

We'll be giving this one a try soon.

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Rob Fahrni has been a Software Developer for 20 years. He's developed DOS, Windows, Linux, iPhone, and Palm based applications in C, C++, Objective-C/Cocoa, C#/ASP.Net, and, yes, even BASIC...
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I work at Pelco. The opinions expressed here are my own, and neither Pelco nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.

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