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Smoky Orange

Similar I guess to the "MacArthur" in this suspicious list of whisky cocktails

Cherried brandy is the liquid from brandied cherries, of course!

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Farkle Heuristic II

I've been playing solitaire farkle on an app, and my goal is to get on the high score list, which means that I'm starting to aim for higher and higher scores. This has altered my heuristic a little bit. Here's the new one:

  • Maximize the number of times you can roll for three of a kind each turn - this means scoring as few dice as possible on each roll as long as you'll still have at least 3 dice to roll on the next roll

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Farkle Heuristic I

I've been playing a lot of solitaire Farkle recently, having been introduced to it a few years ago by the Yun family.

I haven't started to grind out the probabilities for ideal play yet, but I'm thinking that I need to calculate the expected outcome for each possible throw (6 dice, 5 dice, etc.), and then determine if it makes sense to bank or roll based on the expected outcome and the probability of farkle for that roll.

Here's a heuristic for playing farkle, with some explanation of the assumptions it makes:

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Do you want fries with that?

"Do you want to do X" is a surprisingly ambiguous question. Since people are hesitant to directly tell someone else what to do, or sometimes even to express their own opinion or desire, this kind of simple question can mean a lot of different things:

  • I demand that we do X
  • I think we should do X but I'm open to other suggestions
  • I want you to decide what to do, but I'm including one option for rhetorical or predictive reasons.

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Casserole Reformulations

Check back, this list is ongoing...


  • Chicken bratwurst with Della Fattoria ciabatta
  • Quinoa salad w/escarole, avocado, tomato, tahini dressing
  • Stir-fried mixed meat/vegetable kebabs sliced thin with tomato relish
  • Pita bread pizza with tahini, mixed meat/vegetable kebabs sliced thin, tomato relish

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Babby name search

I got stir-crazy and made a Splunk app to explore the Social Security Administration's database of baby names, which goes all the way back to 1880!

If you want to set it up on your own instance of Splunk the app is on github: Warning - there's a lot of kludge involved in getting Splunk to handle data this old.

I've also got an EC2 micro running it - drop me a line if you want access. I'm going to try to do another Splunk Babby app while I'm on leave...

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Heron Uman Martin!

In case any of my five readers didn't know, I had a baby! His name is Heron Uman Martin and he looks like this:

Heron Uman MartinHeron Uman Martin

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Films at SXSW

Here's a punchlist of stuff I saw at SXSW (which, by the way, is an awesome film festival where it's easy to see almost everything you want to see, and you can see 6 movies in a day if you're really motivated).

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Junk food in Austin

Some foods, force-ranked


  1. Louie Mueller BBQ. Perfect beef ribs (IMO the hardest thing to get right), and really great sweet jalapeño sauce.
  2. Snow's BBQ. Best brisket.
  3. Two Bros. Amazing coffee BBQ sauce. Great beans (no one else has interesting beans at all)
  4. Salt Lick (catered). All around high quality, good beef ribs, very dry.
  5. Opie's. Great pork ribs, falling apart, unusual and tasty sides.
  6. Iron Works. All around pretty good. Great hot links. Good portions, nice place.

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Cock and Balls Salt and Pepper Set

Fab has this jolly nose-shaped pepper grinder, and SF suggested that the pepper should actually come out of a butt.

The next natural step was to twist the balls to get the pepper out. And finally salt comes out the penis. How could this not sell?

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