January, 2010

I Now Count With Two Hands

Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:43:48 am by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, Fun, General, Health, a little about life

I was finally able to go skiing last night. Huzzah. This brings my all time total ski trips to six, hence the two hands thing. For my sixth trip and that I have not skied in two years, I was pretty excited about my progress. I was weaving and curving with the best of them and my confidence is getting better. James even told me I should run a Black Diamond – nah, next time.

Conditions reminded me of late March. Old, packed snow. Lines were very short, we never had to wait more than 15 seconds.

How about some stats?

  • About three hours – just after 6:00-9:00.
  • 15-20 runs.
  • $15. Meadows has super special deals after 6:00 or something.
  • Five crashes including the two below.
  • One yard sale. Skies off, 20 feet apart and 30 feet behind me. Poles off. Boats unbuckled. Snow in pants. Six inch wide, three feet long, and four inch deep hole, 15 feet behind me.
  • One failed lift entrance. Some snowboarder tried to join James and I on the four person lift. He took about three of the spots. My attempt to give him more room failed when I noticed the lift railing between my legs. Adjusting back found myself face first in the snow under the lift. Stupid snowboarders.

A good night, a good night.

Chili Blanco (White Chili)

Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:11:46 am by Dustin
Filed under Recipes

A chicken and white bean chili.


  • 1 lb. white beans
  • 6 c. chicken broth
  • 1 t. chicken stock base
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 oz. diced green chilies
  • 2-3 t. ground cumin
  • 2 t. dried oregano leaves
  • 1 t. cayenne pepper
  • 4 c. cooked and diced chicken
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 3 c. monterey jack cheese, shredded


Step 1

Soak beans over night to reduce cooking time.

Step 2

Combine beans, broth, chicken stock, onions, and garlic. Simmer for two hours.

Step 3

Add chilies, cumin, oregano, pepper, and chicken. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Add sour cream and cheese. Head until cheese melts.

Weather Three, Fun Zero

Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:31:33 pm by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, Fun, General, Health, a little about life

The weather hates me. It probably is just fine with other people, but me – hatred. In the last week I have had three failed ski trips.

It all started the weekend before last. I wanted to go night skiing sometime during the week at Mt Hood. After attempting to recruit ski buddies, I found the lifts were closed except on Friday and Saturday due to lack of snow and insanely warm weather for mid-January. Turns out, some lifts were open later in the week, but I had already ditched hopes. Fail one.

For several months a friend from the college dorms was planning a XC skiing trip. I was ready to go this last Saturday, but it turns out it was 40 and raining. Not too fun. Fail two.

After seeing the lifts open later last week, I attempted to reorganize another trip. I got to work early this morning, so I could leave at 3:00. After meeting my ski buddies for the day, we made our way to the mountain. If the foreshadowing did not give it away yet… Closed. All three places. Fail three.

What does a guy have to do to get a little ski around here?

Disabling Gmail Spam Filter

Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:02:17 pm by Dustin
Filed under General, Software, Tools and Tricks

You might wonder why anybody would ever want to disable their spam filter. Well let me explain why I have.

For the last seven years I have been managing this domain. For the first six or so, my buddy hosted the site and mail for me. About two years I started to use Gmail to read my mail. Gmail was not hosting it, so essentially it was fancy interface. Other users on the domain were still using the provided mail interface. Six months ago, I moved my domain to professional hosting, including converting mail to Google Apps.

This worked just fine for the first couple months. I still forwarded my mail to my Gmail account and the rest of the users had everything Google Apps provides.

This brings me to my problem. In a few cases, some mail was incorrectly marked as spam and not forwarded for me to read. Quite frustrating.

Obviously, anything marked as spam will not be forwarded. Two solve this I created two filters.

The Gmail filters allow you to put some unpublished ‘tokens’ to refine your search. This like ‘in:’, ‘is:’, and ‘before:’ will work.

The main filter will move anything marked as spam into a new label. Add these entries:

‘Has the words:’ -> ‘is:spam’
‘Apply the label:’ -> ‘Spammy’ (spam is reserved)
Select ‘Never send it to spam’

Normally, spam will be deleted after 30 days. The previous filter will stop this from happening. We also need a filter to get rid of these occasionally.

‘Has the words: -> ‘label:spammy AND before:2009/12/31′
Select ‘Delete it’ and ‘Apply filter to XYZ conversations below’.

This last filter will not work naturally and thus needs to be run occasionally. Sorry. On some frequency the date will need to be update and rerun. Should take two minutes.

Doing these steps will forward all the ’spammy’ messages to the second account when it had be stopped at the source. Since I started this, no messages have been incorrectly marked as spam.

The Tipping Point (Book Review)

Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:26:14 pm by Dustin
Filed under Book Review, General

Full Title: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
ISBN: 0-316-34662-4
Get it cheap.

Summary: The tipping point is that moment when a trend or idea goes from just that to spreading like wild fire. It could be a marketing event, virus epidemic, or crime rates. Frankly it comes down to getting the information in the hands of well connected people and paying attention to the details within the situation.

What I thought: If the short summary did not give it away, I thought this book was mediocre. I had a math professor in college, Ron Smit, who had a saying when we said the answer was ‘big’:

That’s a social science answer.

This book could use more concrete evidence.