Life

Everything not directly related to programming.

I've been experimenting with my recipe of the classic whiskey sour. When I started making them I followed the class, using only Angostura bitters. This makes a really nice cocktail but kind of lacks something in my opinion. I later found the fantastic bitter Peychaud's which marries fantastically with bourbon. Adding some of this, about three dashes, to your sour will lift it a level. It will also add a really nice colour to your cocktail.

Last summer I had the opportunity to add two new bitters to my collection, Boker's and Ornico. Each will give your sour a new dimension. Do keep in mind, I'm not removing any, just adding more. So now I tend to mix them with three, Angostura, Peychaud's and wither Boker's or Ornico.

The other day I found out that the Swedish off-licens chain, which have monopoly on selling alcoholic dries in Sweden, have  stated to sell a cocktail bitter. One of the real downsides to live in Sweden when you enjoy making cocktails at home is that it's impossible to get hold  of bitters. Now they have stated to sell a bitter called Seehuusen's Bitters. It has flavours of coffee and chocolate. It also mixes really well with a sour. So the lates Whiskey sour to be made in my bar is:

2 shots Jm Beam Bourbon
1 shot fresh lemon juice
1/2 shot simple syrup
1/2 egg white
3 dashes Angostura bitters
3 dashes Peychaud's bitters
3 dashes Seehuusen's bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice. Pour into ice-filled old fashion glass.

Enjoy!

In early July this summer me and my family visited BELLE Epoque in Malmö. I asked the staff for a good apéritif to start the meal (which was nice). They served me a variation on a cocktail they had picked up at the bar Tjoget, in Stockholm. The cocktail is called Milano and here is BELLE Epoque's recipe:

5cl Aperol
3cl Blood Grape
1.5cl Coffee syrup (this coffee syrup is made with one part strong coffee and one part sugar)
Top up with tonic - make sure to make it a good tonic.

Mix all ingredients but the tonic in an ice filled wine glass. Top up with tonic. Garnish with blood grape peal.

I found this cocktail very refreshing. The balance between sweet, juicy blood grape and coffee is really nice.

The Milano
The Milano cocktail, at my bar in the kitchen

I got the opportunity to go to Øredev last week. Thanks to Martin Stenlund, the CEO at the consultancy Diversify where I work, I got a full three day pass. I’ll try to summarise here what I found most valuable.

There were a couple of talks about Agile and how to bring Agile forward that I found very refreshing. They kind of go below the surface, the process, method and so on and look at the underlying values that can empower us if we only let them. There was the Mob Programming talk by Woody Zuill and also Implementing Programmer Anarchy by Fred George. Both of them focused on what can happen when you let the team get the jobb done and get out of the way. As Zuill put it it’s not about making great software, it’s about creating an environment where great software is inevitable. Much of this is about competence, both from the business side and from the programmers side. If either is not advanced enough to work in this way it will fail. But we can still strive to educate each other and our self to become knowledgeable enough to work like this. If you have the opportunity I warmly recommend you to see the talk by Fred George, it has unfortunately not been published online yet. You can see the Mob Programming talk here.

The most surprising talk I attended was a talk on performance testing by Scott Barber. The reason I was surprised was that I had planned to go to see a different talk, about Netflix architecture, but went to the wrong room. I think that was a strike on luck, the talk was an enlightenment on how we can do performance better, and much easier. What I brought with me was the thought that performance testing is something that should be done from the very start to the very end on every level. Scott pushed it as far as down to the unit level. Measure how long each operation takes by logging start and end time. You can then use the data to quickly pinpoint where and when a bottleneck was introduced. My first though when he said this was to write a new JUnit runner which logs start end end time for each test. This can be applied on all levels where JUnit is the test framework, which in Java is almost everywhere. If you have the opportunity to see this guys talk it’s worth the time. He is a good presenter with a very strong and contagious passion for performance.

I of cause watched Adam Petersen Tornhill’s talk Code as a Crime scene. He puts forward an interesting argument on how to track bug hotspots, places in dire need of fixing, using forensic physiology. What it really boils down to is to look at what changes the most at the same time, and has the most code in it. This is probably the place which will have the most issues. He also introduces a tool he has written which will help do the investigation by analysing SCM history. It’s available at Github. There is more to it then this and the talk is available online so please do watch it.

The last session I will mention here was J.B Rainsberger’s talk Extrem Personal Finance. In his talk he goes through how he managed to become fanacially independent without winning the lottery. What stuck with me was a method to calculate how much of my life I spend to be able to do something. As an example he mentions that his habitual coffee on the way to work cost him 23 minutes of his life each morning. Was it worth it? It is also well worth a watch and available online.

There was of cause several other good sessions. Some I missed and some I saw. But above are the sessions that have had the most impact on me and which will stick with me. All in all it was a very good conference and I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to go.

As some of you may have noticed I have not been particularly active the past three or so months. This is because I have been on a trip to India with my family. We have been traveling around in south west India for 99 days and had a marvelous time. But as the Swedish proverb goes: "Away is good but Home is best".

I am very happy to be back and this is in part thanks to my new position. I have left mBlox and joined of Avega Group. Avega Group is a Swedish consultancy firm with a focus on seniority and expertise. This means that I am available as an expert consultant within programming, technical team lead and architecture. Get in contact with Peter Blomsterberg if you are interested.

As I start with coding again I am sure I will find new and interesting things to write about.

Cheers!

We've had some good friends to visit over the weekend and of course drunk many good cocktails. One of them was an especially nice daiquiri which I named Vanilla Daiquiri.

It is based on the Embury's 8:2:1 formula but instead of using simple syrup I used Monin's Vanilla Syrup. This makes for a lovely smooth vanilla infused daiquiri.

Recipe:
2 shots Ron Barceló rum
1/2 shot lime juice
1/4 shot Monin Vanilla syrup

Pour all ingredients into shaker. Shake well, and if you are using big blocks of ice allow to dilute a little extra. Fine strain into cocktail glas and garnish with a lime wedge on the rim.

Enjoy!