Can You Smell What Deadprogrammer’s Cooking?

And now welcome to yet another edition of “Gastronomic Adventures with Deadprogrammer”. Since I wrote previous installments I’ve noticed that I am not the only blogger who takes the time to purchase and eat weird stuff. The Sneeze is home to outstanding section called “Steve, Don’t Eat It!”

I’ve read an article (though I can’t remember who wrote it) about the fact that many gourmet foods are initially repulsive to most people. The first signal your brain sends you when your are having oysters, stinky cheese, scotch or caviar is “Dude! This stuff is spoiled, spit it out right now!”. But then, you consciously think, “Come on, brain, this is 25 year old Talisker we are having here. I just paid $225 for the bottle, you better relax and try to enjoy it. Yes, I know that it tastes like peat a little bit. It’s supposed to. It’s a good thing”.

The ultimate gourmet food for which you need to fight with your brain is Durian. Available in most oriental stores in New York, this pointy skinned exotic fruit is widely known for smelling awful but tasting heavenly.

Recently I purchased one on my trip to Avenue U, which is more and more becoming Brooklyn’s Chinatown. Here it is, sitting innocently on my Naked Chef-style cutting board.

When you cut it with a knife, you find several sections filled with custard-like flesh and big seeds.

I have to say that the smell was not as horrible as most places describe it. It was definitely odd, somewhat unpleasant, but not completely overpowering. I found it similar in strength and quality to the smell of expensive sulfur spring mineral water that you might find in many resorts. Nothing even close to the horrors that you might find in any article describing Durian on the web.

The taste and texture of the fruit flesh was absolutely great. It had the texture and sweetness of a creamy custard, very smooth and buttery, tasting somewhat like pineapple, lemon and banana at the same time. It was very sweet, but not in a nauseating way. An absolutely unique taste, very, very exotic.

I can also happy to report not having any gas or any other digestive problems widely reported as associated with the fruit in question. On the other hand I did not eat the entire thing as I am still trying to watch my carbohydrate intake.

Apparently picking Durian is sort of a hit and miss experience. I had the most expensive kind my store had, an 89 cent/lb Mornthong variety. There are other varieties that are maybe stronger smelling and of lesser quality.

The Codename of a Rose

One of the many things that I find endlessly fascinating are software product codenames. You might remember my old post about Talisker – I owe the discovery of my favorite scotch to a Microsoft codename. I was planning to put together a list of all the codenames myself, but as it is typical of me, never got around to it.

Recently I was reading “I Sing the Body Electronic: A Year With Microsoft on the Multimedia Frontier” and came up upon some Microsoft codenames that I did not know about before, such as Merlin for Microsoft Encarta. The book is full of interesting MS trivia, but unfortunately I seem to have misplaced it.

I decided it was time to put together that list of codenames, but it seems like since I wrote that post a list like that was put together by somebody else. He heh. Netmeeting’s codename is “Oprah”.

Sadly enough I never worked on a project that had a codename. I did come up with some myself, but many of those were unprintable.

It’s The Amazing Drinking Game Official Rules!

Take a sip of 10 year old Talisker when:

* Kathy writes about her 133t project management skillz
* Kathy writes about her 133t fencing skillz
* Kathy writes about her 133t money-making skillz
* Kathy writes about her cleancut good looks, a nice manner, and looking good in simple, well-made clothes and overall l33t classiness
* Kathy writes about her super 133t real estate skillz
* Kathy crunches some numbers

Take a small gulp of 18 year old Glenlivet when:

* Kathy crunches some numbers on what it costs to raise a baby
* Schmenkie makes an appearance
* A digital representation of deity’s name is saved from possible printing out and defacing by replacing letter “o” with a dash
* The devil takes the form of Kathy’s brother in law makes an appearance
* Noah’s digestive system is discussed
* It’s a tale of two bathroom storage towers or some other piece of well made furniture
* Parents-in-law make an appearance and do something “unfuckingbelievable”
* Mormon fiasco is mentioned

Take a big gulp of 25 year old Talisker when:

* Laundry Butler makes an appearance
* Noah’s status at college is described as “godlike”. Whoops.
* Something is enveloping Kathy like a cloak

What Do You Want to Drink Today?

I was always fascinated (yeah, yeah, I am easily fascinated) with project code names. There are lots of interesting stories connected with project names.

For instance, in the olden times Apple code named Power Macintosh 7100 “Sagan” in honor of Dr. Carl Sagan. He sued them for the use of his name. Apple developers renamed the project “BHA”. Which everybody knew stood for “Butt-Head Astronomer”. [by the way, I don’t know what the whole “Millions and millions” thing is about. I’ve never seen the show.]

Anyhoo, when I have some free time I will try to make a huge database of software, hardware project and military campaign name database. Oh, and server names. Those are a barrel of fun.

I searched for, but never found a list of all Microsoft project names. Tahoe, Longhorn, Chicago. I can never keep those straight.

One Microsoft project name in particular taught me something. One of the Pocket PC OS versions was code named “Talisker”. I did not know what “Talisker” was. I looked it up on the web, and then decided to try it. That’s how I got introduced to single malt scotch. And Talisker is still one of my favorites. :)