Just this morning, he came in, talking about a redesign, and hinting that they want to write it in a new language. Some php framework or ruby on rails is all I can guess. I don't know why, both him and the investors have no clue when it comes to such things. We could probably just lie to them, and tell them that the redesign is whatever they'd like, and they'd not know.
Not that I can't learn another language... but perl catalyst kicks ass in major ways. I like it. It's clean, simple, doesn't get in my way. And it seperates those things that should be seperated.
Not to mention the 18 month's worth of catalyst I have under my belt... not using that would be throwing away an investment. Oh god... we use so many perl modules for which there are no equivalents in other languages to boot.
(Hell, on all the personal projects of mine, I plan on using perl catalyst from now on. Check it out.)
I've also been toying around with an FPGA kit I bought a few months back. Seems I've got it in my head to design an FPU for the 6502... I really wanted to have it plug into a 40 pin socket, and have it's own socket to plug the cpu into. But I'm kinda liking the design I have now, where it's the size of a 40pin dip, with a surface mount 6502 right on the thing.
Having fun with it, but it's another one of those things I doubt I'll ever finish.
My newest favorite hobby though, is growing vegetables. Mind you, I've not actually had any vegetables yet, but seeds have sprouted.
I have 6 pea plants that are now well over 30" tall. They've outgrown the trellis I thought would be adequate. Some radishes and carrots in the same pots with them, but they aren't doing so well, despite getting as much light in the (south facing) living room window.
The green bean plants and cucumber got too big to stay in the starter tray, and with window room being what it was, I put them outside in big terracottas, on the front entrance. (And none of my asshole neighbors have complained to the condo association yet.) Most nights, I'd leave them out... it's been in the high 40s and low 50s even at night. And as further insurance, I'd take cut 2 liter bottles, and put them over the top of the plants at night.
Well, I wasn't paying attention, and it dropped down to 21°F. They were mush the next morning.
But I've got new cucumbers and green beans sprouting. I've even decided to do a couple corn plants, gonna try to use them as a trellis of sorts for the cucumbers or squash.
But I'm getting all sorts of stupid ideas about what I want to try to grow. A week ago, I ordered a cacao pod from these guys. It arrived, I broke it open, and got nearly the 50 seeds they claimed it would have. Planted most of them, and as of yesterday morning, they sprouted. Just a little bit, can't wait to see if there are any changes when I get home.
Apparently, you can trim the plant without killing it, and it likes shade. So I'll keep it inside as a houseplant. Some people claim they've even gotten it to flower and produce fruit doing such. Takes a few years though.
Not that I'll do much with it... the slimy stuff in the pod actually tasted not bad, sweet, kinda tart. But the seeds, what they supposedly make chocolate out of... god awful. I had to spit it out in the sink. The inside of the seed is purplish brown, it almost looks like chocolate, but damn. Whatever they do in processing, is what makes it taste good. In a few years I might have to read up on how to do it, supposing I get it to flower.
As for the rest of the plants, I'll give those away on craigslist or freecycle. (If anyone here is in the Atlanta area, you can have some... it really does look like most or all will sprout.)
I've even been thinking about buying a small farm in a few years, somewhere. I don't know that I'm any good at this, I might starve trying to feed myself, but it actually is sorta fun. And with a few greenhouses, I could maybe even grow some stuff that you shouldn't be able to do otherwise in North America.
Bananas, for instance... these look doable. Coffee, even easier. Though, how drinkable it'd be is anyone's guess. Coconuts... I can't really tell yet, need more research. I've found a few places to buy seedlings, and even a website where a guy grew one from a grocery store coconut (something that's supposed to be impossible, once the husk is removed they're not supposed to grow). But a few sites say that anything above 750ft elevation isn't likely to develop coconuts, and anything above 1000ft and it might not even grow. So, if I want my farm/greenhouse somewhere that's 2000ft above sea level, would it work? Gotta be a temperature thing, and not air pressure thing, but like I said, I need to do more research.
Vanilla though... that's gotta be the worst of them all. For one, it's an orchid. The only orchid that humans (usually) eat. If you grow it just right, after a few years the vines produce these bean-like pods. That's when the fun begins. When you read what it takes to "cure" these pods (they don't smell/taste like vanilla until after), it sounds insane. More like superstition or ritual. Surely if they're heated to a certain temperature, at a certain humidity, for a certain length of time (or even exposed to a certain amount of light), this would have the effect that you'd want. But that's not the case at all. One some of the hottest days, you let them bake out in the sun, and then roll them up in a blanket, and put them in a special "sweating box" overnight. And they get inspected, to see if they should stay or go. And maybe put back out in the sun again. Or not. And on for weeks and so forth.
Seems like the process could be made more scientific, is all I'm saying.
I think I'd have fun trying to grow all this goofy crap though, even if I didn't succeed.
Hell, maybe even some livestock. Some chickens or a couple of cows.
Oh, another thing I've looked into growing: mushrooms. I like them on salad, and for that matter, just about everything else. Pizza, soups, pasta sauce. And you can even buy these little kits for $25 or so, that you open up the top, and mushrooms start growing out of the soil in the box for a few weeks.
Turns out though, that you only get a few pounds worth, and they end up costing twice what they do at the grocery store. So, the kits aren't all that good.
Making the kits yourself, is no easy task. You need an autoclave (no kidding), and a (nearly?) sterile lab in which to work. Agar cultures, everything.
I think if the madmax-esque apocalypse ever occurs, I'm just going to have to learn to live without mushrooms. It looks even less likely than vanilla (and even with that you're better off just burying a few tens of gallons of extract in your bunker).
As fun as it is to read about this stuff though, every once in awhile I come back to reality. How in the hell am I going to afford a 100 acre farm with 2 or 3 $20,000 greenhouses, when I don't have any savings or even a job? Maybe I should play the lottery.
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