Misc Rants

      Mozzarella cheese is kind of annoying.  It has a pleasant enough taste, but it's a bit salty.  Most annoying, though, is its cooking characteristics.  Mozzarella has a high melting point, making it difficult to melt without also drying out or burning the food it is being melted on.  Paradoxically, it also has a low burning point, making it virtually impossible to toast or fry.  Grilled cheese sandwiches made with Mozzarella taste downright nasty.  So don't try it.  On the upside, Mozzarella makes a good additive to other cheeses; sprinkling a little amongst the cheddar provides interesting and pleasant variations in texture and flavor.
      Learning more about physics and other hard-science topics changes the way you think -- or at least it does for me.  It changes the way I interpret things, from an intuitive model to a more objectively correct, more mathematical model.  Like driving -- especially driving.  When someone's riding my ass in torrental rain at 70mph, there is no doubt in my mind at all that they are putting my life at risk, sure as though they were holding a gun to my head.  Or cooking, or even making simple sandwiches -- ever since I started studying material engineering, sandwiches look like a layered composite of dissimilar materials.  I love it.
      The Incredible Volvo 240:
      Volvo discontinued the 240 series station wagon in 1990.  So every 240-series staywag you see on the road is decades old.  Think about that, next time you see one.  These are truly robust automobiles.
      Armor is hard, in more ways than one.  There's more to steel than steel; there's mild steel and hardened steel and stainless steel and MIL-A-12560, and dozens of other steels.  Most of them make lousy armor, and all of them are way too damned heavy.  Modern body armor is a composite of kevlar or spectra with boron carbide and other esoteric stuff for a reason -- guns blow neat little holes clear through just about anything else the human body can wear.
      Pastries like to be baked very slowly at a low temperature.  This includes just about anything with egg in it, including pancakes and omlettes.
      Kill Your Javascript:
      You know why your browser keeps crashing?  It's because you leave the damned Javascript turned on.  Turn it off, and see if you notice a difference.
      Javascript is not Java:
      Oh yeah, that reminds me of something else: Java and Javascript, despite the similarity in names, are completely different languages.  99.9% of the web sites you visit either use plain html, or html with Javascript.  Very few use Java.
      The Truth About Dogs and Cats:
      There's a long-standing folk myth that if you're a dog-loving person, you must hate cats, and if you're a cat-loving person, you must hate dogs.  This is so untrue.  I grew up with dogs, and I love dogs.  I have met terribly few dogs that I didn't like.  Then I met she-who-would-be-my-wife, and four cats came along with the deal.  I found that I really liked cats, too.  The bottom line is, dogs don't know that you like cats, and cats don't know that you like dogs, and when a dog or cat loves you, it's very hard to not love them back.
      Who We Are:
      What we think and feel is the greater part of who and what we are.  What we do and say are symptomatic of our true selves; that is to say, they are shallow and imperfect representations of some of what we think and feel, and fail to convey the rest.  Every action has some thought and/or feeling behind it, but not all thoughts or feelings are externally acted upon.  Moreover, what we do and say can have a different meaning to others than that which prompted the action or word -- this truth is often known in the head, but not viscerally understood.
      Thanks, I Think:
      My business partner told me that I was "the most normal computer programmer" with whom he had ever associated.  He meant it as a compliment, and it was taken as such.  Certainly, it helps explain why all my programmer friends think I'm one of the strangest.
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