Breakfasts around the world vary greatly in my limited experience. There are differences based on eating at home, eating out, eating with friends and on holidays, in my experience. Obviously, everyone eats just a little differently at breakfast based on family, culture, and available foods in season.
I’m American and have lived all over the USA. I’ve found there are regional differences based on family location. Southern families might have grits with their breakfast and norther families might have oatmeal. I’ve had both, but tend towards my norther family/culture a dozen times a year or so. Most of the time breakfast at home is much simpler.
I’d guess over 30% of Americans just have something to drink for breakfast whether it is coffee of milk or juice.
Cereal plus whatever else Mother can get them to eat and drink. Milk and juice and fruit, but only if cut up and put on cereal. The cereal usually has tons of sugar – Captain Crunch was my favorite as a child, but Cocoa Krispies and Life were fine. The bowl was always more than 1 cup, usually 2-3 cups. Raisin Bran became a staple after age 16 thru to my mid-30s.
Coffee, juice, some kind of fruit and a fairly small bowl of grainy cereal.
An alternative is tea/coffee, fruit, and some protein like an egg / bacon / sausage. I’m a protein, fruit, tea guy.
When out with family or friends, going to a restaurant for breakfast usually means a waffle/pancake, eggs, and sausage/bacon ordeal. I usually get an omelet with almost every type of veggie and ham.
For holidays, my family has old German recipes that mix eggs, bacon, bread, and cheese all together and bake it. The sodium level will give anyone a heart attack, but it is sooooo good. About once a year, I’ll make gooey cinnamon rolls. There are also the odd times when donuts are purchased.
I’ve heard the normal Japanese breakfast is a raw egg over a small, cold bowl of rice with green tea. I’ve tried this and found it unsatisfying. I suspect the Egg McMuffin is popular in Tokyo.
On multiple occasions while in China, I’ve eaten breakfast out with the locals. Cantonese breakfast tends to be a hearty bowl of soup with veggies and meat. Of course, a western-style breakfast is available too, but 80% of the diners that I saw were having that big bowl of soup. Even the American chain, KFC, sells the potato + sausage soup in China. Further, it is really tasty.
Of course, if you go to a place known for dim sum, you’ll see that instead. It is definitely popular with a huge list of options on the ordering pad you will be provided with. Just check the boxes and enter the number you’d like for each available type. Ask for the English menu if it isn’t automatically provided.
Varied just like in America – French toast some days, but there’s always, always fresh fruit – papaya, cantaloupe, banana, and varied juices with coffee. Hash brown potatoes or other locally fried starches (banana) were also provided a few times. I’ve never eaten so much and so many varied fruits in a single meal, yet it probably had only 200 calories.
Coffee and a small scone. I don’t know if this is typical, but while in BsAs for a few weeks, every corner had a coffee cafe that provides this. Seeing a Starbucks here is odd since the locals have known excellent coffee for their entire lives and laugh at people going to Starbucks. Starbucks is losing money, big time.
The oddest thing I found here was that carbonated water was often provided with coffee. Agua con gas or agua sin gas_. Interesting. Argentina has some specialized menus that make ordering breakfast a challenge.menus I guess the good news is that you were probably out until 3-4am drinking after eating dinner around 11pm, so breakfast isn’t really that important.
Coffee and croissant. My experience was on my first trip to Tokyo while spending a few weeks in a French hotel. The first week there, the company CEO and I met for breakfast in the main lobby and he loved it. On subsequent trips I stayed in the same hotel, but discovered a different breakfast was available downstairs for the same cost – about US$23. Good thing the client was paying for everything.
I’ve never been to Britain, but I have seen their influence in China and Japan. Thank GOD for the Brits, or I would have starved in Japan. A proper British breakfast was provided in every hotel I’ve stayed at in either place. It was usually buffet style with bangers, bacon, eggs (3 styles), fruit, and pastries.
Eating Bangers and Mash for breakfast in Hong Kong Central while watching an American Football Superbowl at 7am is a trip highlight that I’ll never forget. Since football was on TV and the expat pub, Bulldogs, was full of Americans (overflowing), Budweiser and Coors beer was available too, but paying import prices for bad beer doesn’t make sense when Carlsberg is available cheap.
Away from Home
When I’m away from home, I tend to relish in the differences and take a little of the best things back home. These turn into habits. Breakfast was some of the best experiences that I’ve had every where in the world.
Whether in an MTR station Le Madelene’s in Kowloon eating sausage soup with veggies or on Macau Island having 20 different dim sum portions or a simple home made French toast in a mountain-side home in the Monteverde Rain Forest or a Café Doblo con leche in a Buenos Aires corner Cafe, any of these experiences beats standing in my kitchen chowing on a hard boiled egg and banana as I wait for coffee or tea to steep.
When away from home, breakfast is usually a meal you can find something tasty, yet local, that will get you going for the rest of the busy day. Breakfast doesn’t usually come with the unusual-to-me or you want me to eat what concerns either.
What have been your experiences with breakfast around the world?
I’m off to the VMware event in a few minutes. It is probably more of the same. I did hear from a coworker that a 17 server VMware migration went well last night. I had nothing to do with it.
Look for me at the Georgia World Congress Center today. I’ll be wearing a dull green windbreaker if it is chilly.
If I learn something ground breaking, I’ll create a new post. Sadly, it will probably be more of the send us money and send NetApp money all-day-adware.
So, a few of you may have noticed that the front page to this blog hadn’t been updated in about a week, then suddenly, there were a bunch of articles. RSS users didn’t see any issues. You really, really should use the RSS feed.
So, I searched around a little and didn’t find anything that worked. Eventually, I decided to drop into the IRC support area and asked my question:
<me> Typo 5.3 has stopped displaying recent artcles on the main page. [09:45] <neuro`> damn [09:45] <me> RSS feeds are fine. [09:45] <neuro`> remove the cached index.html manually [09:46] <neuro`> then run rake sweep_cache [09:46] <me> tmp/cache is empty. [09:46] <neuro`> public/index.html [09:47] <me> THANKS.
Then I did what he suggested and everything seems to be working again. Less than 2 min. There were about 10 people in the channel. Talk about support.
Below is a script that will playback a group of audio files in order, grouped by day. Suppose you have files named like this
and want to play group Yx1-6 followed by group Yx6-12 daily. If you just wanted to do this for 1 set of files, it would be easier to just use `at` to play them. But you might have 10-50 files like this and only want to worry about setting up playback once a month or so.
Here’s the bonehead shell script that I’m using to accomplish this.
- Program to playback audio tapes in order
- based on day of the month – best to start on 1st.
- It isn’t pretty, but it works assuming you want to cover
- half a lesson each day. The filenames look like this:
DATE=`date “+%d”` # Returns the day of the month
ODD=`expr $DATE % 2`
START_GRP=`expr 1 + $DATE / 2` # pick a start date
ODD_START_NO=“01 02 03 04 05 06”
EVEN_START_NO=“06 07 08 09 10 11 12”
- Changing the 0 to a 1 will toggle which group of files to begin
if [ $ODD = “0” ] ; then
for count in $START_NO; do
if [ -f “$afile” ] ; then
echo " File missing: $afile"
So, it isn’t very pretty and it is dependent on starting the script on the first of the month. Since today happens to be Oct 31 and I just finished the first group, I tweaked the EVEN/ODD and date modulus to jump 1 day ahead tomorrow – Nov 1. It will fail when a month roles over to the next month.
A fix to that problem would be to convert the date into a Julian day of the year, DOTY, and subtract off the current DOTY from the starting date. Check out
date "+%j" for more on Julian dates. Of course, then it will break at the new year, so perhaps getting the number of seconds since epoch and performing calculations based on that would be even better? Even that method will break in 2038. At some point, the complexity outweighs the difficulty to implement.
Lastly, we need to setup crontab to run the script, playing the file.
1 6 * * * /home/jp/bin/daily_audio.sh
Last year, the owner of CodeWeavers, a commercial Windows Interface Layer for Linux called CrossOver-Office, was forced to backup his President Bush hate speak with a fairly large software giveaway. I don’t recall the exact bet he made, but something like I’ll give my products away if any of these 3 things happen. One of them was related to the price of gasoline. At least one of them did happen and he manned up and gave away his products for a few days or weeks. WINE is the free version of this product, just a few months or years behind on compatibility.
Anyone could get a copy, installed it on their Linux machine and use it with support for a year. I did this things, but only used it a little. Perhaps … er … twice. I never used them again. I don’t recall why I didn’t use them more now. Perhaps it was that if every windows program didn’t work or didn’t work perfectly under CrossOver Office, so I still needed to keep a Windows VM anyway. Regardless, it never crossed my mind to use CO.
This morning, an email arrived with a reminder that support was ending in about a week. I should renew my support, if I want the new versions that are coming out soon. I suppose I should go down load the current versions (it has been a year after all) and install them and see if the improvements help with the Windows programs that I use and would like to use under Linux. Those are:
- Quicken 2009
- Investors Toolkit
- MS-Office 2007
- MS-Visio 2007
- then I have a bunch of Windows-only computer secure tools and network scanning tools.
If you work in a structured environment with very specific tools that don’t change very often, you could and should install these tools to validate how well they work. There’s a real savings in using them across an enterprise. but note that patching may not be possible.
I’ll need a Windows VM for the other tools, so I probably won’t remember to use CO. Further, since there is no way to portable install MS-Office, it is a hassle to install it under multiple instances and it could be in violation of the license agreement. I do own an MS-Office 2003 license and work provides an MS-Office 2007 license, so being legal isn’t a problem, provided I don’t install the same version in both places. Sadly, we’ve standardized on 2007 and 2003 won’t read the new file formats. OpenOffice, which runs ever where, does a fairly good job with all the new formats, provided you aren’t collaborating and constantly going back and forth with others. It really would be easier to standardize on OpenOffice. Seriously.
A few links:
If you got in on the deal a year ago, check your email for the 50% coupon code.
On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, there were a few Alfresco Meetups in Atlanta that I attended.
Tuesday was just a few hours to begin the organization of the informal group. Wednesday was an all day event with sponsors, presentations, and vendors. For what each of these were, they were well organized and cut to the core for experienced Alfresco users and developers.
My main takeaways were:
- There is no upgrade path from v2.9b —> v3.×. v2.9x was a dead development tree.
- If you aren’t a paid, enterprise customer and elect to use the 1 or 2 suggested community edition releases, you are on your own. Sometimes the company chooses to drop community releases. When I asked for suggestions to ensure we weren’t caught again with no upgrade path, there was no answer, just silence.
- Alfresco is a Java Application running on Tomcat (by default). It is just a normal Tomcat app, so if you want to customize it, you’ll be best served by Java development. Some fairly trivial view modifications may be possible with view changes using the template engine that Alfresco uses. However, I’d never heard of this markup – must be a java thing.
- Alfresco is an impressive OSS product that competes with many commercial applications that charge $50K – $1.5M for deployment licenses, They make money by selling enterprise licenses and providing support contracts. Deployments are usually performed (98% of the time) by VARs. This means they need to concentrate on supporting paid customers and may trial different techniques on the Community Edition. Sometimes it isn’t very stable and sometimes core functions are broken in the community edition.
- Most of the attendees were using the enterprise version or were VARs who, by contract, were only allowed to deploy the enterprise version. If you are an Alfresco Partner, I understand you cannot support the community edition for your customers.
- If you deploy Alfresco, think of it as a content container back end, not a complete solution unless everything you see out of the box is exactly what you want. Almost every user of the tool creates customizations for their environment.
- CMIS is an emerging standard for communicating with ECM, DMS, WCM systems. A number of vendors have signed up. Alfresco is saying it is like SQL for content management systems. Both RESTful and WSDL interfaces are provided with this standard and it should allow customized front ends to communicate using a standard language to CMS back ends regardless of vendor. EMC, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and Alfresco were listed as backers.
- The Alfresco folks were really nice, but couldn’t really help me. This community appears to be made up of folks that do ECM for their primary jobs and not just 1/20th of their responsibilities like me.
- Alfresco is an extremely capable platform, mainly suitable for normal DMS requirements. Less so for WCM based on the Best Practices session. The BPM parts appear to be very powerful, but only when you customize with Java.
I plan to stay 1 revision behind the currently recommended Alfresco release. So, right now, v3.2r is recommended. That means I’ll be re-deploying v3.1 when I get around to dropping the current install and re-importing.
I was in way over my head with all levels of the conversation. The terms used were Alfresco and java specific, neither of those are my skill set. What I need is a newcomers’ introduction to Alfresco, Best Practices for the FOSS version, and how to determine when it is time to pay for the enterprise supported version.
I wrote this summary quickly as a dump when I got home and didn’t proof it. Some of it could be inaccurate to what actually happened. I am prone to selective memory when I’m frustrated.
If you install test and virtual machines, this is a real time saver. A few clicks to select your apps, I selected about 10, then about 5 minutes of downloads and installs. Only once did I have to “Accept”, but that was a Windows7 UAC.
Have you seen any issues with this solution? Let us know.
For example, I did have to decrease the security so ninite could create and download the custom installation package, but that was expected. That part was expected AND necessary. After all the installations were completed, I removed it from my trusted sites. Good enough.
Some of the installed apps were not the latest and had updates available. Doing an update rather than searching for the apps, downloading, installing, is much quicker. Of course, addons for Firefox still needed to be added.
Which apps did I install?
- Java 6
Which Firefox addons did I install?
- Sage (Sage Too forbids AdBlock)
- AdBlock Plus
- Tree Style Tab
You don’t want too many firefox addons or it will get slow.
You’ve heard it over and over. Backup, Backup, Backup. You are magically supposed to know how to do it and make it happen. This time, I’ll show exactly how I backup my HOME directory and manage those backups with rdiff-backup.
I’ve gone into why rdiff-backup was selected previously, but the main reasons were:
- Latest backup is available as a mirror so restore 1 file at a time or all at once
Run synaptic package manager or whatever package manager you prefer and install the rdiff-backup package.
I know a few people who are not really computer savvy that have gotten their computer so messed up that it is unusable. It boots, but can’t really do anything. These people think they need to:
- buy a new PC or
- pay $200 to a PC tech to get it fixed.
Both of these methods will work, but why? Chances are, their Windows computer has been hacked or is running spyware. In fact, that last internet website they visited for a fun game may have installed the spyware and then something known as a rootkit. Basically, it isn’t safe to use that PC anymore for any reason.
There is a FREE Option, Linux
So, the PC isn’t really broken, but anything on the hard drive shouldn’t be trusted. Many Linux distributions come as a Live CD – this means you just put the CD into the computer and boot up. Here’s a youtube video showing what this looks like . Most computers will load the OS from CD never touching the hard drive. Using one of these, you can use your computer for common tasks that don’t need a hard drive. Using google, google mail, yahoo mail, hotmail, …. anything online.
Using Linux has no risk to your data or even your hard drive. If you don’t like it, don’t boot from the CD anymore and find another way to use your PC again. Take it to a tech for $200 or buy a new one for $500-$1500. You risk nothing, provided you don’t tell it to install to the hard drive. It will not automatically install to your hard drive unless you ask it AND there will be multiple screens and points where you have to answer yes – wipe my disk clearly.
Recently, the Washington Post Security Fix Guy has recommended everyone perform their online banking using an Ubuntu Live CD. The people with the greatest risk are those using the large USA banks, since hackers have created programs that hide in Windows and watch when you login to those banking web sites, then cause transactions from your account to their account(s).
Broken PC, How to get Linux?
Most of the people who will be helped by this method have 1 computer at home and don’t have access to another. There’s good news. The Ubuntu Foundation will snail-mail a CD anywhere
-- for free. Now you just need to get to a computer to request it. Go to your public library or ask a neighbor, or call me and I’ll enter the data so you’ll get the CD in a week or two.
Ubuntu is a full featured operating system like Windows7 or Vista. It is big and capable and the load time reflects that. The Live CD should work with 95% of the PCs out there. Put the CD in and boot. That’s it. Ubuntu runs best when it is installed to a hard drive, but you can test drive it forever if you like without touching your old hard drive. Just know that CDRom drives are much slower than normal hard disk drives. Ubuntu will run nicely in 512MB of RAM.
There are smaller Linux distributions when all you need is to get online. Smaller is better for speed, RAM use and simplicity. You can find many more Linux Distrubutions, some highly specialized at Distrowatch.
There’s a search tool that will help you select the best distro for your needs. Do yourself a favor and stay with the major distributions and only those that are debian-based. Debian is an major distribution known for stability and program management ease via APT. APT rocks, see my prior article on why.
All of us have a broken PC from time to time. Be prepared by creating (or getting) a Live CD Linux distribution and using it once now, when your PC is working is a good idea. It is really easy.
So, the number of comments here has gone way up, sadly, most are spam comments with links. We use moderation, so those comments will never be seen, but it is still a pain to DELETE them. I’ll probably resort to blocking entire ISP ranges for those outside the USA. The problem isn’t that bad yet.
Also, my photo gallery was found by Google this week. Ouch. I’ve blocked google’s image scanner and relocated the program and images, so they aren’t found anymore, but the damage may be done. Without the database that contains the descriptions, the photos aren’t very useful, but that isn’t the point. There are over 24GB of photos and short videos. That’s about 10,700 files.
Beautiful Fall Weather
The leaves are changing and dropping here. We had our first freeze warning this week too. High temps are in the 50s now, so working outside in the afternoon is comfortable again. Time to charge the camera and head into the woods for some fall snapshots before all the leaves are gone. My maple trees have dropped some leaves, but the remaining leaves are still green today.
I know it is fall when there are many changes to the tzconf, that’s timezone file for non-computer people. Basically, many governments tweak their timezone changes in the fall and spring. In the USA, we call it Daylight Savings and shift 1 hour forward and back every spring and fall. A few years ago, they changed the dates when it happened, screwing all electronic equipment that had the dates hard coded. They moved it a few weeks longer in the fall so Halloween trick-or-treaters will have more sunlight on Oct 31. There have been studies performed that DST actually costs more to than it saves. I don’t know, but it does seem strange to arbitrarily change clocks forward and back through political will. Seems that summer hours and winter hours would be easier.