?

Log in

Walk Softly and Carry a Big Schtick .

Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Chaz Boston Baden" journal:

[<< Previous 10 entries]

January 11th, 2017
08:51 pm

[Link]

Wil Baden (1928-2016) Memorial Party and Sing-along 2017-01-21
Wil Baden (1928-2016) Memorial Party and Sing-along 2017-01-21

Saturday, 21 January 2017, 2:00-4:00 pm
Sierra room, Balearic Community Center
1975 Balearic Drive, Costa Mesa CA 92626

Wil Baden once told his children that when he died, we should have a party.

So, with Mom's permission, we are doing just that. We are going to have some of his favorite snacks, and sing songs from the Dr. Seuss and Tom Lehrer songbooks. He sang us peculiar lullabies when we were small, acompanied us on piano from time to time, introduced us to the Doctor Demento show, and performed duets with Mom on occasion.

We expect to have newspaper swordfights, and play some "Halloween Games," and talk about some of our favorite memories of growing up.

Hosted by the Baden children - Dorothy, Elaine, Chas., and Thomas.

RSVP: dad@badens.org

(1 comment | Leave a comment)

December 13th, 2016
09:46 pm

[Link]

Cooking 2016
I mentioned a couple of months ago that I was cooking easy-to-combine dinner portions. What else have I been cooking this year, besides dinner? Well, lunch, to begin with...

This year I've been doing something at work I call "Hot Food Wednesdays." I would set up a crockpot the night before, and then lunch is ready for a crowd of people. Or, I'd come in that morning and use my roaster oven. It's a lot like cooking for room parties, except the timing is trickier. My go-to recipe is my Carnitas recipe.

Room-party-wise, this year I did a few more "Taco Parties" at conventions, but it's turned into a lot of work. One thing I learned in 2016 is that you can plug in seven crockpots into the same circuit in a hotel room. But you can't do ten.

The two other "food themes" I've used this year have been a few "Food on Sticks" affairs, and the "PBJ Deluxe" bar. As you can see from the menu (PDF), it expands the idea of Peanut Butter and Jelly beyond all normal limits.

For room party sponsors, last year I'd been promoting MidAmeriCon II, the NOLA in 2018 Worldcon Bid, Girl Gamer Gathering, and Loscon. The Worldcon's over, New Orleans lost the vote, GGG isn't coming back any time soon, and I only do Loscon at San Diego cons and Baycon. So lately I've just been doing "A Bear's Picnic," where I focus on serving foods that are popular and easy to serve, generally centered around the PBJ Deluxe Bar.

And I've been baking. To be continued....

Tags:

(Leave a comment)

09:16 pm

[Link]

Garlic cheese biscuits
This is what I'm trying tonight.

1 cup Bisquick
1 cup shredded cheese
1/3 cup milk
1 TB ground garlic
1 tsp onion flakes

350 F - 15 minutes?

We'll see if it's a keeper.

I've been cooking a bit more this year than last year. I'll tell you all about it.

Tags:

(Leave a comment)

December 12th, 2016
12:15 am

[Link]

Who's still listening?
Is anyone out there anymore? I've been cooking and baking, and I'm considering whether to keep documenting things here.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

November 9th, 2016
12:58 pm

[Link]

Wil Baden, 10 June 1928 - 9 November 2016.
Wil Baden. This is the man who, as a boy, lived in Hollywood and was an extra in a crowd scene in an "Our Gang" episode about a birthday party.

This is the man whose father took him to the World Science Fiction Convention, in 1939.

He took the bus to visit John W. Campbell Jr. at Astounding Science Fiction magazine's offices. While at Princeton University, he had tea with Albert Einstein. (Which wasn't unusual at the time, all the incoming freshmen did.)

He was always good with languages. One day, a man from the government asked the head of the languages department if he could be introduced to the students who were especially good with the following languages? Which is how he ended up spending a summer translating Russian mathematics papers.

He was active in the New York lodge of the Masons. He was a performer -- he was part of a comedy troupe called the Rusty Brothers. His favorite bit was where a mason who'd been away from the lodge for a while is trying to remember the correct secret handshake. It illustrated that you could do comedy without speaking a word.

He learned Hebrew, and translated the news from Israel into English for the lodge newsletters to benefit the Jewish readers.

He worked for a private detective firm for a while, doing secret audits of New York drive-in movie theaters. At the intermission he'd walk down the aisles between the cars, with a mechanical counter in one hand and his date's hand in the other. He'd click the clicker for each car he walked passed, and for each time his date squeezed his hand for one on her side. He saw a lot of movies.

As a computer programmer, he was active in what we would now call the Open Source movement. He was a big fish in a shallow pond. The users group for mid-sized IBM computers was called "COMMON" (named after a Fortran statement), and he was active in that group for many years. He ended up on the Fortran '77 Standards Committee, which is when the Fortran language added "structured programming" to its library. (Before, with Fortran '66, implemented on IBM as Fortran IV, we only had IF, GO TO, and DO loop constructs. All those { } you see in modern languages? We didn't have them back then.)

When the family moved to California, he would answer the door on Halloween in his black cassock, white makeup, with the lights out and tall candles burning... and demand that the kids do a "trick" to get a treat. This was something he learned from being a kid in the Depression -- you don't get something for nothing. You could whistle with a mouth full of peanut butter, or sing Pumpkin Carols, or do a cheer routine or somersaults -- anything, really.

When his four kids were at College Park Elementary School, he'd come and read The Hobbit and Charlie & The Chocolate Factory at school. Decades later, the school librarian still remembered him fondly.

He was active in the "FORTH" programming language world, and was invited by the Chinese government as part of a group of Western computer scientists to come and give lectures. So he learned Mandarin, to be able to give his speeches in Chinese. He was invited back, two or three years later, and did it again.

He'd bring us into his work on weekends, and we could play Hangman on the computer. No video monitors, each move resulted in another sheet of paper printing out on the huge line printer. I asked him how it was possible for a computer to play a game. Because of that question, I have a career.

He took me to the very first convention I ever attended, a "COMMON" conference in Minneapolis. (At the Leamington, which was later home for Minicon for many years.) We flew on Northwest Orient Airlines. I remember it was spring, and there was snow on the ground, and I ordered a lemonade in the bar and charged it to our room.

For awhile, he worked for the Arabian-American Oil Co. (ARAMCO) in Houston, staying for a week or so and flying home. TWA, the airline, actually issued him a wooden plaque acknowledging him as a frequent flyer. There was a possibility of him (and all of us) getting relocated to Riyadh, so he learned Arabic. The course at Orange Coast College was short on students and in danger of getting canceled, so some of us in the family joined him there. Our Arab teacher told us that each word in Arabic has four meanings: its primary meaning; the exact opposite; something obscene; and something to do with a camel.

He learned about the Doctor Demento radio show on KMET, four hours each Sunday night, and we all started listening to it. He and mom performed Tom Lehrer's "Irish Ballad" at a church talent show once, along with "There's a Hole in the Bucket."

When he was recovering from a medical procedure about ten years ago, at a nursing facility, he brought along his old Spanish grammar book so he could communicate with the Spanish-speaking staff. They called him El Viejo.

He had a life-long interest in shorthand, both the handwritten kind and alphabetic abbreviations. The system started by the telegraphers, back in the 19th century, was something he worked on updating and expanding.

In the last few years, as he was going deaf and his eyesight was failing, he started studying Esperanto.




Tim Behrendsen writes: My condolences, Charles. He was definitely a unique character. I have two programming-related memories of him that stick in my mind. I was probably a freshman in High School:

1) I was on the phone with you for some reason, and I was arguing against putting code in subroutines if there was just a single usage. It seemed pointless. You passed along my comment, and he replied through you, something like (paraphrase): "Your main loops become shorter and your code will be easier to understand." But it was phrased a bit more elegantly than that, and I just remembered being stunned as the Truth of what he said was self-evident. That one experience literally shaped how I write code to this day.

2) The other, earlier memory was coming to your house and meeting him for the first time, and he apparently knew I was into programming. Out of the blue, he asked me a programming question (again paraphrase): "Say you had a program that took program text as input. It translates all the variables into new names, such as i1, i2, i3, etc. How do you handle the case where one of the original variables was already named one of those?"

Puzzled, I answered, "err.. wouldn't those variables get translated just like all the others?"

Your dad just nodded and walked off without a word. You looked at me and said, "You passed the test."





Maria Rodriguez writes: He accepted me as part of the family from the moment he met me, long before I was able to believe it. And he was always convinced that I was smarter and better than I thought I was. I hope I can live up to what he saw in me. He will be missed.

Current Mood: bummed

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

October 10th, 2016
08:54 pm

[Link]

Cooking dinner ahead
1. I've filled a muffin pan with Ragu sauce, to freeze so we can have individual portions when needed. (And to avoid having a partial jar go bad in the fridge.) I now have five sandwich-size zip bags containing a total of 10 portions. I think they're about 1/2 cup each.

2. I've boiled and oiled another pound of pasta (Farfalle - bow ties) and put that into individual portion bags for the fridge. There are at least 10 snack-size zip bags, containing a cup of cooked and spiced pasta each.

3. Tonight I cooked and cut up about a pound or so of chicken (two boneless breast pieces) with cumin and garlic, and have put five portions in the freezer. About 1/2 cup per snack-size zip bag. Next time I'm doing the shopping, so I can get about three pounds and have the butcher cut them up as for fajitas, to make my end of the process more efficient.

The idea is that you can pull out a bag of pasta, a bag of bits of cooked chicken, and a bag of sauce and microwave all of the parts to have yourself a home-cooked meal.

The above-mentioned ingredients are all safe for library_lynn to eat. As a bonus round for myself and missmea, I'm thinking I might make up another variety of sauce, perhaps a pesto and an alfredo cream sauce.

Tags:

(Leave a comment)

July 20th, 2016
12:59 am

[Link]

Baking little cakes: Half a cake, half a cake, half a cake onward
Okay, the househould now has chocolate cake again. And I've successfully used the square mini bakeware. Here's what I bought, where I managed to completely miss the word "MINI" in the name of the item. Mini Square Silicone Reusable Baking Cups (If I don't get any more bakeware for my birthday, I'm thinking in September I'll send away for another dozen.)

I baked 12 square and 24 round mini cupcakes. Interesting note: the mini cupcakes take about 1 TB of batter each, while the squares are closer to almost 2 TB capacity. So it all worked out. Half a cake recipe.

Mind you, the frosting was a mitigated disaster. I haven't had any training in piping frosting onto cakes. Something I learned the hard way tonight: use as large a zip bag as you can find with a small snip off the corner. Quart-size just doesn't cut it. I piped frosting onto as many as I could before discarding the bag and going back to using a couple of butter knives to dump lumps of frosting on them. So some of them are prettier than others!

(Leave a comment)

July 9th, 2016
01:10 pm

[Link]

Baking cakes
I used the Hershey's chocolate cake recipe the other night. (The only modification I made was to back off on the sugar a bit.) I used four small baking pans, could have used another one. I estimate there was about 5-6 cups of batter to bake, which is something I want to remember for next time.

I had just bought four silicone baking pans at Daiso. The recipe says it'll do for a 13x9 pan, so the four smaller pans were just about right for making four cakes. I would have needed to fill them half-way, though, in order to make flat-topped layers which would have been a fun way to handle them.

So I've mail-ordered some even smaller baking cups for future baking experiments!

(Leave a comment)

July 2nd, 2016
12:44 am

[Link]

Doing homework
Just spent about an hour or so writing up how I'll handle a database-rebuild program for work. Now I feel better about leaving work early* tonight. Since I didn't have access to my actual source code, it means that I was able to finish writing the high-level outline and not spend more time with the specific coding details. Implementation when I get back to the office on Tuesday should go fairly smoothly. We have customers in Saudi Arabia, Beijing, and here in SoCal that I know will need the new version when I finish it!

* Lynn and Maria met me for dinner which meant taking a long break late in my work day, so "early" in this context means "nearly nine p.m."

Current Mood: chipperchipper

(Leave a comment)

June 30th, 2016
02:54 pm

[Link]

Songs about Advertising
Songs and other tracks that are about advertising. (Not including songs that relate to just one advertising campaign.)

Stan Freberg, "Green Christmas"
Barry Manilow, "Very Strange Medley"
Homer & Jethro, "The Billboard Song"
Simon & Garfunkel, "Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine"
Smash Mouth, "Walking on the Sun"

Donna Leaf says: Allan Sherman - "Headaches" (aspirin commercials) and
Allan Sherman - "Chim Chim Cheree"

Allison Lonsdale: Tom Lehrer, "A Christmas Carol"

Monica Boyd: "Persuasion" includes words "I Only Wanted Cigarettes" and "buy, buy, buy more now."

(Leave a comment)

[<< Previous 10 entries]

Hazel's Picture Gallery Powered by LiveJournal.com