Verse Of The Day

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Robb's Southwest Chicken Tortilla Soup

I ordered chicken tortilla soup at Red Robin one day and liked it. But I thought I could at least match it, if not make it better at home. After we had a roasted whole chicken for dinner one night, with lots of broth and leftover meat, I came up with this recipe. I've altered it a little bit each time, so there is really no "wrong" way to make this -- it's hard to screw up. Great to have cooking in the fall on football Sundays!


  • A Left over roasted chicken, deboned & cubed
  • Chicken broth or stock, bullion/water as needed
  • Frank’s Red Hot (cayenne pepper sauce) I don't measure so it might be about 1/4 cup or so?
  • Spicy V8 Juice (maybe about 1 cup or so, this is optional as sometimes we don't have any)
  • 1 can black beans, drained/rinsed of the “sludge”
  • 1 can sweet yellow corn
  • Finely chopped fresh cilantro (1 bunch)
  • 3-4 slices bacon, chopped and cooked (optional, I always forget this and it always tastes great anyways)
  • Garlic cloves, minced (a few spoonfools, depending on how much you like garlic)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • Little bit ground cumin to taste
  • Dinosaur BBQ “Foreplay” and/or Chili powder to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • The chicken and broth are probably plenty salty but you can add more if desired

Cut the chicken into small cubes or pull apart with a fork, depending on how you like chicken in soup. Put all the ingredients above into a crock pot and cook it on low all day. When you're ready to eat, scoop it into a bowl and crumble some tortilla chips on top, sprinkle some cheddar or "taco" cheese on top, and add a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

JavaOne 2006

I should say something about JavaOne too, while in a Blog Editing frenzy. I can sum up JavaOne 2006 in three workds: Annotations, AJAX, and SOA. Well, AJAX and SOA aren't words so much as acronyms. Well, okay, AJAX kind of is a word if you are talking about the cleaning product, and it's funny how some of the folks have turned SOA into a word, as some talking heads kept referring to "sew ah".

Overall, Sun does one heck of a job producing this thing. The whole even is just overwhelming. It is like controlled chaos, so many people doing so many things and yet it is well organized for the most part. You had to sign up for your presentations ahead of time and your smart card was read at the door which would let them know if you were signed up or not. Big screens everywhere with the Sun/Java propganda blaring, all the signage was Sun or Java or Duke, you would think you were in a Sun building instead of Moscone center. There were bean bags, video games, movies, foosball, etc in the open areas for people to relax and hang out between sessions. Of couse Wifi everywhere, and it was funny to see people huddled around the few outlets charging their laptops (I was one of them, so it wasn't so funny when all the outlets were being used).

Anyways, all the complexity of J2EE programming (sorry it's now Java EE, not J2EE) is now gone! Instead of writing butt loads of XML descriptors for the J2EE containers, you just slap some annoations in your class and PRESTO! Write a simple POJO and spew @Session in there and now it's a session EJB. Expose it as a webservice, you say? @WebService. It's all magic. It's all...Xdoclet. Really, how writes all those EJB interfaces anymore anyways? Not that annotations aren't a welcome convenience, but it's not a revolutionary new idea that Sun just ame up with. Other things annoations are used for are dependency injections. So not just XDoclet, but Spring. Oh well, how can anyone say open source community is irrelevant when so many of the ideas are making into the new "standards-based" Java world?

SOA, everyone demo'd some sort of SOA tools it seemed. Sun kept pimping the latest NetBeans and Glassfish, which lets you do all kinds of drag and drop poop-flinging or WSDL files and services and whatever to create brilliant SOA based applications. Oracle, not to be outsold by rival crack dealers, had to push their own version of the drag-n-drop SOA tools on their own server. Eek, it's freakin' flowcharts all over again to look at these tools. And it's all so easy, you have perfect like web services already wel defined and sitting there, with one method call on each one that sends back simple strings, and we string them together with a little bit of drag-n-drop data mapping and a few conditionals, and BAM! A useless application!

Those were all in the keynote sessions in the morning. So I figured the SOA sessions would be even more detailed and in depth, but it was basically the same smoke and mirrors. At one point, a presenter was making a change and went to the browser to show us how it would just magically show the extra service or whatever, and ...crickets... it didn't work. It's all freaking magic point-n-click until something doesn't work -- then what? You have no idea what's really going on under the hood of all that graphical diarrhea and annotation soup.

I went to the Jboss party and the Eclipse party. Both were cool in their own ways. It was hard to find just a regular old neighborhood bar to go and grab a beer in San Francisco. Everthing was pretentious and/or artsy crap -- like wine bars, or places with cloth tablecloth and $50 a plate meals. I want a place where you walk in and they have beer, lot of beer, that's not $8.00 a pint, and burgers and chicken fingers and crap like that. A bar for regular Joes like me. Couldn't find it.

So the first time I really got my drink on that week was at the Jboss party. That was weird. I walked to the end of the street and didn't see the place where the party was supposed to be. Finally I saw the address on the building across the street, and it matched. It looked like an abandoned warehouse though. I walked up and a couple guys in black with headsets said "this way" and pointed to a chainlink gate. We walked down that "alley" to a side door, where another dude in black with a headset welcomed us in. I made the comment to the guy next to me that I felt like we were in a bad mobster movie, and we were about to be gunned down. Inside was a big empty room with a DJ pumpin out beats and open bars. OPEN BARS! Jack Daniels and Cokes for me please, and lots of them. Free food too, but OPEN BARS. It got weird when Fleury got up to speak, as I couldn't understand a word he said, but between his red beret and maniacal screaming it seemed like he was a third world revolutionary getting ready to overthrow some corrupt regime. Then some lady came out and did some sort of weird trapeze dance thing up in the air. Odd indeed.

Thouroughly beyond soberness, I left with a couple of dudes from Sherwin Williams, and tried to get into the SDN party. I of couse didn't have my invite, and they did. We tried, but I got turned away. As if this weren't enough of an omen to go back to the hotel, I instead stumbled over to the Eclipse party. Free microbrew beer. Sweet! I'm already stumbling and they are givingme 20 ounce glasses of really dark and strong beer. I talked to some dudes from I think Finland or Norway or something like that until the place shutdown, then made my way back to the hotel.

It was a good night. The party put on by Sun was OK, but it was 2 drinks and you had to wait in line forever since it was pretty much all of the JavaOne attendees instead of, say, just the Jboss or Eclipse users. It was cool to meet the guys from MythBusters though.

It was a good time overall, got my loot bag filled up, learned some new stuff, got some pointers, talked to some smart folks, and just plain absorbed all that is Java for a week. I would definitely go back if my company offered again.

As a new Christian trying to read and understand the Bible for the first time, I've found this website to be invaluable to my study. I just found it a few hours ago, but in that time it has been incredible. You can search any passages, in just about any language and any translation of the Bible. You can even show different translations and different languages side by side, for example comparing the King James Version, the New Internation Version, and the New American Standard Version side by side. This not only helps compare and contrast the various Bibles to see which one you might like to buy, but also provides better understanding and insight into the passage as you read the different translations. I never even knew so many versions existed, or what the reasoning or goal of the translations are/were. It's all explained on this site.

I've entered a search form over in the margin for you to try out a simple search, as well as an updating verse of the day at the top of this page. There is even a Firefox toolbar that lets you search this site.

Useful Windows Tips And Tricks

Here are some useful little tricks and tips I've found in Windows over the years.

Keyboard shortcuts (The Win key is the one with the Windows logo)

  • Win-E launches new Windows Explorer window
  • Win-R opens the "Run" dialog box
  • Win-M minimize all windows (show desktop)
  • Win-Shift-M restore all windows back
  • Win-D seems to do same as Win-M and Win-Shift-M, more of a toggle back and forth (no shifting necessary)
  • Win-U launch Utility Manager (for accessibility options)
  • Win-F launch Find or Search window
  • Print Screen Takes snapshot of entire desktop and puts into memory. Open Paint and then Edit -> Paste (control-v) to save as a bitmap file. Or you can paste it directly into a Word file, a new email, etc.
  • Alt-Print Screen Takes snapshot of only the active window. Very useful -- you don't know how many people I see taking snapshots of the entire screen and then carefully trying to cut out only the current screen.
  • Alt-<underlined letter on desired menu option> Accessing menus by keyboard
  • Alt-space Accessing the "Window" menu (the one with the application icon, and options for minimize, restore, close, etc.)

Backup Registry

  • Before installing anything potentially "dangerous" backup your Registry file. Good idea to back this up every month or so anyways. Win-R, type "regedit" and hit enter. Select Registry -> Export Registry File. Save it off to a safe place with the current date in the filename so you can restore if necessary.

NetMeeting on Windows XP

  • NetMeeting doesn't seem to be exist in XP anymore, but it does. Win-R then "conf" runs the installer/setup and creates the Start menu options.

Writely Word Processor

Using Writely word processor (
Sweet. Would be cool to do resume here so I have an editable version anywhere that can be saved as PDF, Word, HTML, etc. and emailed or blogged or whatever.
Work on that later (when not at work, obviously).