27 January 2015

Biiiiiicycle, biiiiiiiiiiiiicycle

Please don't be intimidated by my kolourpaint4 skills. I'm an immensely talented individual.

I need some advice, so I'm crowd sourcing. I'm looking to buy a bicycle in the next few months. The idea would be to ride my bike from my apartment to the ferry station in Alameda, which is about 1.3 miles, and lock it up there.

Things to note:
I am so very incredibly short. As in, my inseam is 26 inches and I was really excited when crop pants were in because I could finally find pants that fit and didn't bunch around my ankles.

The last time I really rode a bike was in college. I had a Lance Armstrong approved Trek mountain bike that got stolen from in front of Owen Hall at Michigan State in the summer of 2005. I guess I learned my lesson about cable locks versus U-Locks.

I'd be okay with a used bike.

I've never used clip-in pedals, but maybe that would be okay? I don't know how necessary it is based on how short my commute will be.

I'm not currently planning on bicycling in San Francisco because I'm too young to die, but perhaps if I get comfortable around Alameda, I might try it in SF. Not sure if that changes the recommendations.

So, please send me all of your recommendations and suggestions! Also, I'd totally be into biking tips and safety info, too. :)

12 January 2015

Yerba Buena Gardens Children's Playground

It's hard to take pictures in San Francisco. This is due to a number of things conspiring against me, but mostly it's because the sun sets early and Ramona hates sleep. We went hung out in San Francisco this afternoon and I actually got to take a few pictures. I can't believe I have an almost 3 year old.

15 December 2014

Strawberry Chipotle Jam with Liquid Pectin

Oh hey, remember when this used to be a food blog and not a blog about Hackbright?


So one of my friends gifted us a jar of strawberry chipotle jam for Christmas a few years ago and it was fantastic. I've been making a variation of it ever since, but it's been been awhile. For whatever reason, it's always been easier for me to get liquid pectin and all of the recipes I've seen call for powdered pectin. Here's my converted recipe because I originally started this blog as a way for me to catalog things that I thought I'd want to come back to and I'm kicking myself for not writing this down earlier.

Everything is better with a highly enthusiastic child in the background

Strawberry Chipotle Jam with Liquid pectin

1 c (or 1/2 lb) strawberries, chopped
1 chipotle pepper, minced
1 c (or 100 g) granulated sugar
4 t lemon juice
3 T liquid pectin

1. Combine strawberries, chipotle, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a rolling boil for 1 full minute.
2. Stir in pectin and bring back to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute
3. Make sure that the jam is sheeting and remove from heat
4. Let the jam cool a bit and then pour into a pint-size mason jar.

I like to consider this "nano-batching" because it just makes a jar and then you don't need to worry about the canning aspect of jam making. Be sure to refrigerate the leftover pectin.

09 December 2014

Cook Roulette

Oh hey, I have a blog.

I spent 5 weeks busting my butt trying to make an app. I succeeded in that. Hooray!

Cook Roulette is a random meal generator. I'd go into details, except that I spent an extreme amount of time on my github readme document, so I'll just direct you there.

My log in page is my favorite page because CRONUTS.
Also, it's live. Go to https://cookroulette.herokuapp.com. Once you click on the meal generation page, you can check the Yummly button to use its API and get a recipe suggestion based on the randomly generated ingredients.

It was so insanely easy to deploy that I want to make other random apps just because I can. I'm thinking about working on two different projects. I'd like to use Django in one, but I'm not really certain what I want it to be. The other one is a game that I'd like to make (mostly for my friends and me) written in JavaScript (gasp. I know) using Firebase as the database. Firebase is really really cool.

My biggest project, however, is getting a job. I have a couple interviews lined up, so fingers crossed that those go well. A lot of people are trying to be strategic about when they apply to places, but honestly, I'm going to believe that I'm a competent software engineer and I'm qualified to apply for junior development roles right now. Perhaps I should be more cautious about when to apply to places, but if I wait until I'm comfortable, I'll never apply anywhere because comfortable is not typically my state of mind.

29 October 2014

Hackbright Day 22: Machine Learning

Wow it's after midnight, but I've been incredibly productive, so that's a good thing. It's almost project time and I'm flailing around trying to make sure that I get everything in order for next week. I really want to do a machine learning project. I spent the evening scraping content from one of my favorite blogs that uses really nice css selectors so that I can use a python library called BeautifulSoup to grab the ingredients from recipes and try to do some sort of clustering on them to see what's the what.

And also, shell scripting? Still incredibly useful:

cat list_of_pages_to_scrape | awk '{print("grep "$1" toc.php?sort=date")}' | bash | sed 's/"/ /g' | sed 's/</ /g' | awk '{print($3)}' | awk '{print("curl -O -A, --user-agent PPPPPMozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/32.0.1667.0 Safari/537.36PPPPP  http://www.myfavoritefoodblog.com"$1)}'   | sed 's/PPPPP/"/g' | bash

28 October 2014

Hackbright Day 21: Where we continue on in our movie ratings app

I totally forgot that I was supposed to blog today because I was busy playing around with a potential project idea.

We talked about SQLAlchemy today and continued to work on our movie ratings app. It's a pretty fun project because we had to start things from scratch, or at least, a lot more scratch than previous assignments. It's hard to remember all the moving parts, but we have our other assignments to refer to.

And this is like the lamest post ever because I'm way more interested in playing with my project. That is probably a good indication.

27 October 2014

Hackbright Day 20: ugh projects.

Once upon a time, I had a project in mind and it was a very good project. And then I had a side project that I was just going to play with, but then a few people pointed out that I seemed way more interested in the side project than the main project. Fleshing this out more and one instructor thinks that this might be really cool and two of them think that it's probably impossible. Le sigh. I went back to square one with project ideas this weekend and came up with a bunch of things. It turns out that a lot of the stuff that I'm interested in programming are really really hard problems.

Of course they are. This is how I decided to get a physics degree and why I kept pushing to get my Ph D. I have a stupid habit of doing things because they're "hard" or for the sake of  some ideal that makes my life a living hell until it's over. And now I'm not sure what I want to do. I do know what I don't want to do and that is anything that is front end heavy. I have some really talented friends and there are women in my cohort who are amazingly talented designers. I am not of this group, although I appreciate their skills. I want to solve complex and interesting problems using some combination of math and programming. And I don't want to do it in Javascript.

Friday was mainly a study hall day, although we did get two really good tech talks on object-oriented programming in JavaScript and bootstrap. I'm really glad we got both of those presentations because they reinforced the idea that I don't like front end, but there are tools available that will allow me to minimize my front end work. We also talked about dates and times and datetime in python during the morning lecture and how to effectively organize your code during the afternoon. They were both really informative, but they were definitely overshadowed by the stress of project discussions. I spent a lot of time talking with two of the instructors about my project ideas and ways of doing it. I overheard one of the instructors say to another student ,"please take a seat in the project discussion chair" because right after I got out of that chair and put it away, someone else grabbed it and proceeded to have a similar discussion. And this post is really disjointed because it was a disjointed day. Saturday was good because I participated in a hackathon and that will be a separate post.