Saturday, October 30, 2010


Coming home Saturday night I was delighted to see that "The Co-Operative" grocery store nearest my house was still open. I went in to buy some things for next morning's breakfast.

There were two choices for bacon: one claiming Britain as its origin, and another from "the family farms of the Netherlands". At this point I must confess that my first reaction was "Eek! Why would I want Dutch bacon? I'm in England! The British bacon is for me." It seems I have begun to adopt a British point of view after only a few short weeks. That is until I looked more closely at the package and read that it consisted of "87% pork."

I was perplexed. How in he world can 13% of a slice of bacon consist of something other than pork? Some minutes passed, during which time I surveyed the contents of the package. Perhaps closer inspection would reveal a portion of the of the slice where some miscreant had inserted turkey or beef. At least that would be a reasonable explanation. Alas, I found no signs of obvious adulteration.

Unsettled, I chose the Dutch variety.

Scene from a small boat punting up the Cam (the river in Cambridge).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Some More Pics From Spain, Continued...

I ate at this really neat cafe in Figueres. 
The bathroom was entirely stainless steel, and used car door handles.

Here I am, trying to be artistic

There's a lot of really good street art in Figueres... well as the more typical variety.

More scenes from Figueres.

Waiting for the train back to Barcelona.

In front of the Dali museum, with a dopey grin.
It's worth the trip. Thanks for the tip, Kat!

A closeup of the the dots on the exterior of the
building. Each one appears to be slightly

Some More Pics From Spain

I've been out of Spain for a couple of months, but I still have plenty of photos I never posted. Truth be told I found it a bit painful to manually upload them. I don't know why it never occurred to me to use Picasa until just now. Enjoy.


Scenes from a public concert in Montjuic

A warm waffle, covered in chocolate sauce and sweetened condensed milk. Purchased from the above stand.

Monday, October 4, 2010

So, I'm in Cambridge, UK now. I've been meaning to post up for days but haven't quite found the time. I'm going to try to get some longer posts out in the next couple of weeks, but for now I'll settle for something short and simple.

Quote of the Week

The other day I was walking through Midsummer Common, which is a big green field near the center of town that normally contains quite a few cows. Instead there was some kind of bicycle race event and the place was packed with people and cycles. I smelled the smell of good, greasy food -- like the kind you get at a county fair or a race track -- so I sauntered on in. As I was munching on a tasty roast pork sandwich (with stuffing and apple sauce) I overheard the following snippet of conversation:

Boy (in a whiny English kid voice): So, can I mum, can I?
Parent: No Roger, you've been an absolute muppet today!

That's the first time I have ever heard the word "muppet" used this way. I wasn't sure whether it was a fluke or not, but while house-hunting today, my would-be roomate used the term in the exact same way to describe someone who forgets to lock up the house when they're the last to leave.

Nerd Section

Some time ago I got distracted by a silly idea that just wouldn't leave me alone. It kept gnawing at me to follow it up, so eventually I gave in and started hacking on it. Have a look at the following code. I'll give you three guesses to tell me what language it's written in.

     DEF (id(outer) FUNCTION(id(x)
       FUNCTION(id(ignored) VAL(x))))

     DEF (id(one_ret) APPLY(VAL(outer) _(1)))
     DEF (id(two_ret) APPLY(VAL(outer) _(2)))

     PRINT (APPLY (VAL(one_ret) _()))
     PRINT (APPLY (VAL(two_ret) _()))

     DEF (id(count_backward) FUNCTION(id(x)
              PRINT (_(done))
                PRINT (VAL(x))
                APPLY(VAL(count_backward) MINUS(VAL(x) I(1))

No, it's not LISP. The parenthesis go on the outside of the expression.

No, it's not python. Notice how there's no commas separating arguments.

Did I hear someone say haskell? Now you're just being silly.

It's actually C. Through abuse of variadic functions and preprocessor macros, I implemented a functional, dynamic language directly in C. For the curious, you can see the full example at my git repository,

I did it for fun, but it does work. Bonus points for explaining how it works in a comment.