Sunday, September 16, 2012

Charleston Restaurant Week - September 2012 Winners

Charleston Restaurant Week just wrapped up twelve crazy nights from September 5th through 16th. We had plans to be out of town for the closing weekend so we went out nine nights in a row, breaking our long-standing trend of going out every night.

While it's not a competition there are clearly some winners and some losers. The competition was fierce and this time Circa 1886 and Tristan tied for our favorites. Honorable mentions go to Husk and Il Cortile del Rey, which were both good but not at the same level as the first two.

Based solely on the food I would be hard-pressed to pick one over the other, but the service at Circa put them a notch above in my book. Here are photos of our dinner at Circa. We each got three courses, and we went with friends who were kind enough to let me photograph their dishes.

Roasted beets, whipped BLiS 9 maple vinegar, arugula, goat cheese aioli, house made buttermilk cracker

Hot corn custard, cold corn soup, red pepper caviar, micro greens

Tomato sourdough bread pudding, pesto, bloody Mary shooter

Seared strip steak, sauteed Napa cabbage, parsnip puree, Bordelaise sauce

General Sanders chicken, Carolina Gold fried rice, broccolini, carrot puree, sake poached peach

Antelope lion, browned butter sweet potato hash, chanterelle mushrooms, banyuls glace

Strawberry souffle, honeysuckle ice cream

And here is the dinner at Tristan for just the two of us.

Sweet corn soup, sheep's milk feta, lemon agrumato

Smoked Ligurian potato salad, piquillo peppers, house made mozarella (the snake)

Beef short rib, pearl barley minestrone, pickled ramps

Poached shrimp, fregola pasta, grapefruit, English peas, buttery carrot sauce

Honey cake, almond brittle, Greek yogurt, candied lemon

Chocolate cheesecake, sour cherry sherbet, pistachio crust

A parting mignardise - Snobiette of tiramisu cream

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

how not to compete with free

A while back I got an e-mail from Adam Osborne asking me to delete this blog post. [Note that the Adam I reference there is not Adam Osborne.] His primary bone of contention was that when people search for Defrag.NSF, a product he created and sells, my post is the third listed in Google. I'm sympathetic to his plight, but frankly that's not my problem.

Adam went on to say my post referenced DominoDefrag, and he objected to that because:
History shows that DominoDefrag has systematically implemented similar features as those contained in Defrag.NSF, even to the point where it implemented an algorithm that we had a patent for.
This pissed me off for a few reasons. First and foremost, Adam's inability to compete isn't my problem. Secondly, if you have a legal claim you need to take it up in a court of law. And finally, if you read my post you will see that I don't mention DominoDefrag. That's because I wrote this on 23 March 2009, three weeks before the DominoDefrag project was established.

Since Adam did cite a legal issue I asked if he had documentation of the infringement. He conceded he did not and cited legal costs as a deterrent. At this point I could have walked away, but my sense of fairness was tweaked. I thought the author of DominDefrag deserved to know that these accusations were being made. I looked up the project on OpenNTF and contacted  the project leader, Andrew Luder, to get his take on it.

Andrew was surprised because he thought this matter was resolved in September 2010. That was when he had his last correspondence with Adam. He admitted he had unknowingly infringed Adam's patent, which was only applicable in Australia. As soon as he was notified he destroyed that version and switched to a different technique. Andrew was astonished that over a year later Adam was still crying foul. He copied his lawyer on the e-mail thread, who advised Andrew and me that the matter was legally resolved. Since I didn't even mention DominoDefrag in my post I was clearly not at fault.

I am sharing this because Adam tried to bully me and slander Andrew. I won't tolerate that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to connect a new user to an existing mailbox in Exchange 2003

We hired a new PC Tech and today he was fixing one of his mistakes. He sent a laptop to a user after having Ghosted it but without running Sysprep on the computer before he created the image. It caused all sorts of annoyances. In the process of fixing this mistake he made another. Instead of deleting the computer account from Active Directory he deleted the user's account. He didn't even think it odd or say anything when it prompted him to delete the user's mail.

It took a while but I finally found a way to register a new user and get him connected to the existing mailbox.
  1. Open Exchange System Manager and navigate to the old mailbox. Right-click and select Delete. It's okay, it won't really be deleted, it just gets flagged for deletion. It would have to sit like this for at least 4 days before it really gets deleted, unless you have changed the interval from the default. The important part is Exchange will remove the existing ownership information to you can reassign it to another user.
  2. Register the user from the Exchange server. Go through the setup as you would for any other user, including creating a new mailbox. You need to create it in a different message store than the existing one, though.
  3. After the user is registered and the processes have run to populate his SMTP and X400 addresses, right-click the user and delete his mailbox. This time it will really delete his mailbox, and that's okay since it was just temporary.
  4. Back in Exchange System Manager, right-click the old mailbox and select Reconnect. Enter the user's account name and click OK.
  5. Give it about 10 minutes you should be able to get to the user's existing mail.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


It's a new year so it's time for some resolutions.

  1. I resolve to make commitments, not resolutions.
That was easy. The difference between a commitment and a resolution is the former is a plan, the latter a promise. Last year I picked three words as promises and I didn't keep any of them. This year I'm turning those three into commitments.

  • Do - This has started already. I have a plan for getting my environment to be one that energizes rather than drains me. It includes a lot of change and diplomacy, two things I don't usually do well. I am also putting together plans to make my job more enjoyable and to do what needs to be done.
  • Share - I made a promise to share something I create with five people. I only completed it for one. The rest will get theirs by the end of March. It's part of that doing thing. I have also neglected this blog for far too long. I will be sharing on a weekly basis because that keeps me motivated to do more.
  • Joy - Like my friend Tom I get a lot of joy from being anonymously helpful. I volunteered to help build a park in my neighborhood, and every year we do our annual Dining With Friends dinner. I need to do more. This one is the hardest to plan because part of my joy also comes from the spontaneity of acts of kindness. I can't really plan to track down someone who needs my help. I can make myself open to it and put myself in a place where I find it more easily.
Here's to a year of energized commitments.