Traditional Maryland Crab Soup

Traditional Maryland Crab Soup While waiting at BWI airport this past Friday evening, I stumbled into an old favorite, Bill Bateman's Restaurant, to find this delicious bowl of soup on the menu. I could not resist. Just look at the chunks of backfin in there!

I grew up in Maryland and lived there until I moved to Boston twelve years ago. There's so much about that great state that I miss, and I think Maryland crabs in any form top the list. Crab soup, crab cakes, fried softcrabs, ... I can't get enough! I even worked on a real commercial crab boat in the lower Chesapeake Bay.

Bill Batemans was an old hangout on Cub Hill Rd in Carney, but I've heard he's had a lot of success and expanded with a chain of restaurants. His crab soup was so good, I topped it off with a crabcake sandwich, but it looked so good I forgot to take a picture :) Darn it, I'll just have to return for another .

The traditional spice for Maryland crabs is Old Bay, from McCormick, so of all the recipes I've found for crab soup, I'll recommend theirs: OLD BAY Maryland Crab Soup. Although, they suggest that other types of crabs might be healthier, I assure you they do not taste nearly as good as the Maryland Blue Crab.

The Long Road to Red Hat Certified Engineer

Linux Pocket GuideIn 1999 I purchased my first PC from a local trade show where small vendors built the PC according to a printed spec sheet where the consumer would check off components that would comprise the final product. It reminded me a lot of ordering sushi.

My friend Ken Sugino, a computational neuroscientist student at Brandeis University, encouraged me to install Linux on it. I had never heard very much of Linux back then, but since Ken and I ordered identical PCs, both lacking an operating system, he recommended we install Red Hat Linux 5. Thus began my fondness for the fine grained control over an operating system and its applications that I never before witnessed on any Windows 98 or Mac OS 7, 8, or 9 system.

I recall that the state of Linux was still pretty raw back then and out of the box support for new hardware was often lacking. For example, when Ken finished examining the motherboard spec sheet and tuned all the jumper switches to provide a custom hardware setup, we moved on to searching the web for a solution to overcome a problem where X would not start -- X is the windowing or graphical interface for Linux -- and soon we found an esoteric hack for the video card chipset settings that did the trick. Much of my early experience with Linux was like that. It was the Wild West of operating systems.

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Geoff Bowers of Daemon To Provide One Hour Seminar on FarCry CMS

Geoff Bowers of Daemon, based in Sydney, Australia, will provide a full hour introduction to the open source FarCry CMS, including a preview of FarCry 3.1. This event will be on Wednesday May 24 for the US timezones, and Thursday May 25 for Australia/Asia timezones. See below for timezone details.

FarCry CMS is Daemon's flagship offering, an intuitive and extensible Content Management System that puts "controlled power" into the hands of the people who own your site content. FarCry is a cutting edge ColdFusion MX application framework for web based content management that blends the very best of open source development with commercial backing and support.

This will be an online meeting in cooperation with the Online ColdFusion Meetup Group which uses Adobe Breeze Meeting software to conduct live, online ColdFusion related seminars. This particular meeting will be synchronized with the local Boston ColdFusion User Group which will hold an in person meeting at the East Coast office for Adobe in Newton, MA.

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Completed Certificate of Java Development at Boston University

This week marks my completion of the Boston University training program for the Certificate of Java Development. This is the first half of a Master of Java and J2EE Certificate Program. The Java program alone consists of three courses at the Introduction, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. Each course ran 3 hours on two nights a week for four or five weeks. This totals about 85 hours of lecture over three and a half months. Here are some key thoughts about my experience in the BUTrain Java Certificate program:

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IT Conversations Podcast: Interview with Jeremy Allaire on Video Distribution

As a fan of the high quality podcasts from IT Conversations, I was browsing for other podcasts not in the channels to which I already subscribe. I discovered a December 2005 podcast interview with Jeremy Allaire, the founder of Brightcove, although perhaps better known as the founder of Allaire Corporation and the flagship application server Cold Fusion (Yes, with a space in the name until the late 90's).

While checking my facts while preparing to blog this, I discovered two related podcasts from IT Conversations including another panel interview in 2005 on reinventing media, as well as a 2004 interview with David Orfao of General Catalyst, formerly CEO of Allaire Corportation. (Anecdotally, my introduction to David occurred when he surprised me at my desk one morning. By coincidence, I had dropped my badge at a convenience store near my residence, and David just happened to find it shortly after).

Now, about those podcasts:

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The Real Patriot's Day: Dawn Salute at Buttrick Hill in Concord

This morning I had the opportunity to attend the annual Remembrance Ceremony held on April 19th at Buttrick Hill in Concord, MA, adjacent to the North Bridge. The event heralds the arrival of Samual Prescott on horseback at the North Bridge to warn the hundreds of militia of the pending arrival of British troops from Boston on the morning of April 19, 1775, and the ensuing start of the Revolutionary War.

Its not often that I'm awake at 5am, but I was pleased to find the event well worth my effort. The ceremony lasted about 30 minutes from the cries of "Samuel Prescott" galloping across the bridge until then the end of the dawn salute with blazing muskets by the resident militia.

For some additional photos from another spectator, including some very nice photos of Dr. Prescott on horseback, see these.

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Teye and Belen, Flamenco at Club Passim

Last weekend my wife and I spent a fantastic evening watching and listening to Teye, a dutch flamenco guitarist, and his Spanish wife Belen, a dancer from Sevilla. Club Passim sits unnoticed in a Harvard Square alley, half sunken but with many windows to let in the light on the lower level. The atmosphere was small and friendly as though one were in a living room, and Teye was eager to chat. Belen began by accompanying the guitar while seated on a percussion box - a cajon - where she slapped out the staccato rhythms of Flamenco. From there she leaped into brilliant dance, strutting, twirling, and tapping her way into what seemed like a frenzy. Teye's guitar playing was equally hypnotic while his hands were all a blur as he thrashed the strings. If you have an opportunity to see them perform, you must.

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My First Print Photo Publication is a Magazine Cover

Cover Photo

Shortly after publishing a collection of photos in the online Concord Magazine, the Editor of the New England Print & Publisher magazine contacted me to request that I submit some area photographs for the cover of the upcoming April 2006 edition.

Initially he suggested that I submit new photos of the Spring season, but when I shared some of my existing photos from last fall he latched on this night shot of Concord Center. He requested to crop it down to a vertical shot appropriate for the cover, so I agreed.

Embedding License in Digital Photo with XMP MetaDataThere was no monetary compensation for the use of my photo, although I'm quite happy with crossing the threshold from amateur to professional photographer. I released the photo under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. Here's how to embed license and copyright data into a digital photograph using XMP with Adobe Bridge or Adobe Photoshop CS2.

This photo was one of my three entries in a local photo contest in Concord.

Concord Community Swim Center Opens

From the Concord Journal:

"The crowd in attendance for the opening of The Beede Center gave some sense of the people involved and interested over the decade-long process to bring a swim and fitness center to Concord.

About 400 residents turned out for the event, which was held on a sunny April 2 afternoon at the newly christened pool and fitness center at 498 Walden St. ...

Inside, the modern facility features cardiovascular workout stations, each equipped with its own monitor television, a weight area, and, as the name suggests, pools and pools and pools. There is one Olympic-sized lap pool, a heated therapeutic pool, a shallow childrens pool including sprays and fountains, and a diving well - all aquatic needs are now met locally, and without sharing pond life or unguarded areas at local swimming holes."


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My First Photo Contest, A Main Street Point of View

The Concord Museum called me this week to let me know that I won the photo contest for A Main Street Point of View. This weekend I visited the museum's Brooke Hall to see my photos on display, where they will remain for the duration of the museum's exhibit of the same name as the contest. My prize was a gift certificate to Anderson Photo, the cosponsor of the contest, along with a few museum passes to give out. Here's a litte more background about the contest.

There were only nine photographers contributing to the show, but it was my first photo contest so I'm very proud anyway.

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