Viewing By Month : October 2004 / Main
October 31, 2004
Dinner at Bayona
Last night, I had a wonderful dinner at Susan Spicer's flagship restaurant, Bayona. I had tried to make a reservation before I left for New Orleans, but the only open table left was at 10:30, a little later than I wanted to be eating. So, last night, I called over to Bayona around 4pm to see if they had any last minute cancellations. Luckily for me, they had an opening for 6pm, so I took it.

If you've never been to Bayona before, I highly recommend it. I sat outside on the patio. At first , it was a bit hot, but quickly became more pleasant as the night drew on. I started my meal with Susan's signature garlic soup. It had a wonderfully smooth texture, with a present, but not forceful garlic taste. The soup is made from a chicken stock base, onions, roasted garlic, and cream.

For my entree, I had butermilk fried leg and tenderloin of rabbit with grits and greens. The rabit was as close to perfectly cooked rabbit as I've had. I paired the rabbit with a Clos Pegase 2002 Chardonnay. I'm normally more into red wines, but the chardonnay was a great matchup with the rabbit.

Desert was an unexpected find. I ordered the crepes. Not any crepes, mind you, but chickpea crepes with tahini ice cream, and fig compote. They totally rocked. Our waiter said that Susan is working on a new cookbook, and plans to include the recipe. I can't wait!

All in all, an excellent meal in a great setting. I would highly recommend Bayona if you get the opportunity to dine there.

October 29, 2004
Arrived in New Orleans and Ready for the MAX
After a full day of travel from Phoenix, I'm finally here in New Orleans and settled into my hotel. For those of you still on your way into town, the cab ride from the airport to downtown hotels is a fixed $28 for one or two passengers. Most of the cabs don't seem to take credit cards, so you might want to grab some cash before heading out!

Wireless in the conference hotel (Hilton) is pretty good. There are a ton of access points, and signal strength is pretty good.

October 28, 2004
Going to MAX? Have a Support Issue?
If you are going to be at MAX next week, and you have a support issue that's just been gnawing away at you, you might want to consider stopping by Macromedia's Technical Support Lab. Hours for the support lab are as follows:

Mon: 4pm-7pm
Tue: 12-7pm
Wed: 12pm-7pm
Thr: 12pm-3pm

The techincal support lab is a great place to spend time chatting with other Macromedia customers, Macromedia technical support engineers, and Team Macromedia members. It's free for all conference participants.

October 26, 2004
Macromedia DRK 9 Now Available
Looks like DRK 9 is now available. Highlights for ColdFusion include:

  • Amazon E-Commerce Services Remote Shopping Cart
  • Soundings Survey App
  • Alagad Image Component

iPod Photo and iPod U2 Edition Officially Announced
Well, looks like the cat's finally out of the bag on the new iPod Photo. The details are pretty much as reported in other speculatory announcements. I think the $599 price for the 60GB edition is a little steep, though.

All in all, I'm not really too excited about the capability to display photos on my iPod. I mean, who really wants to look at pictures on that tiny screen? It's like showing you pictures on the LCD of my digital camera. Thanks but no thanks.

The ability to display album art is kinda cool, but in the end, that doesn't really get you much either, does it. Especially if you are like me and mainly use your iPod when working out. I rarely see the screen! Looks like all photo synching is going to happen through iTunes and not iPhoto like people had hoped.

In related news, Apple also announced the details of the special U2 Edition of the iPod. $349 gets you the 20 GB model, a poster, and a $50 coupon toward the download of a digital only special box set of U2 songs. As a huge U2 fan, this one is more appealing. I already own a 40GB 4th gen iPod that I just got a few months ago, but the wife's been itching for her own. Hmmmmm.....

Maximizing MAX
Macromedia's MAX is so much more than a conference, it's an experience as well as a set of opportunities. For those of you who have never been, the great technical sessions at MAX are only part of story. In fact, I could argue that they erpresent only a small fraction of the value that you, as a MAX attendee, have available to you.

What I like most about MAX are the "hidden" opportunities. Things like access to the various Macromedia development teams you have, the Birds of a Feaather sessions, access to Macromedia User Group Managers and Team Macromedia folks at the Community Pit, and of course all of the other like minded technical folks just like you!

Over the years, I've made several good friends and outstanding technical contacts at MAX. These relationships have lead to all sorts of things like side work, contractors when we need additional help, reliable people to bounce ideas off of, etc. Each year, I look forward to MAX as a way to reconnect with friends that I tend to only have a "virtual" relationship with during the rest of the year, and each year I look forward to the new opportunities that MAX has to offer!

Will you Maximize your experience at MAX?

October 25, 2004
Blog Updated to 3.5.3
I finally got around to updating the code behind my blog to the latest version of Ray Camden's BlogCFC. The process wen't pretty well considering I went from 2.1 to 3.5.3. There was some manual DB conversion involved, but it all worked out in the end.

The only minor issue I'm still facing is how to deal with old links to blog entries. In the 2.1 days, each blog entry had a numeric (int) ID. In 3.x, the system was changed to use UUIDs as entry identifiers. So, sites and aggregators with links to my old entries are currently broken until I can do some mapping from the old entries to the new entries.

Now, if I could just update the look and feel of this site...

Update: Well, looks like mapping the old entry IDs was pretty simple. All I needed to do was put their old IDs in the new ALIAS column, then write a few simple lines of code in my Application.cfm file:

"index.cfm?mode=alias&alias=#url.entry#" addtoken="no">

It checks to see if the incoming link uses the old integer ID and if so, redirects the user to the Alias url. Note that isCFUUID() is a UDF available from our sister site Just place it in your udf.cfm file.

October 21, 2004
Places To Eat In New Orleans

If you are a foodie like me, then you've got to be really excited about MAX being held in New Orleans this year. New Orleans sports several of the top restaurants in the country, and is home to many famous chefs and restaurateurs. Having traveled to New Orleans several times over the years, many of which just for a gastronomic adventure, I've decided to share some of my favorite spots. Most of these are in or very near the French Quarter, so they should be easy to get to for MAX attendees. If you want to venture outside of the French Quarter, and want a recommendation or two, drop me a note.

Central Grocery (923 Decatur St)
If you've never had a muffuletta, a sandwich made up of italian meats, cheeses, and an olive salad spread, this is the place to experience it. Central Grocery created the sandwich in 1906 and has been serving it up ever since. One of my favorite things to do is to pick one of these bad boys up (1/2 will do fine) and take it with me to the airport the day I'm leaving. Nothing like unwrapping a muffuletta on the plain while everyone else is eating their peanuts. The wonderful aroma alone is enough to make people drool!

Acme Oyster House (724 Iberville Street)
'Nuff said. If you want oysters, then Acme Oyster House is the place to head to. They've been serving them up since 1910. You can have your oysters close to a dozen different ways including on the half shell, fried, in soup, and now as part of sushi!

Pimm's Cup
The Napoleon House Bar & Café (500 Chartres St.)
This popular European drink (originated in England) is the perfect warm weather cooler. Made from Pimm's No.1, lemonade, and a splash of lemon-lime soda, nobody serves up a better Pimm's Cup than the Napoleon House. If you're still thirsty, I also recommend their Bloody Mary as it's one of the better ones I've had in the city.

Sunday Jazz Brunch
Commander's Palace (1403 Wshington Ave)
The Commander's Palace, a Brennan family restaurant and one of the most decorated restaurants in the world (opened in 1880), is a New Orleans icon. Located in a beautifully restored Victorian home in the Garden District (take the trolley or a cab), no culinary trip to New Orleans would be complete without a stop here. Their bloody mary's are outstanding as is their Sunday Jazz Brunch. The Commander's Palace is where many famous chefs got their start, including Emeril Lagasse. If you plan to go here, I suggest making a reservation now (if it isn't already too late).

Hurricane/Mint Julep
Pat O'Briens (718 St. Peter Street, corner of Bourbon)
You can't visit the French Quarter without stooping in to Pat O'Briens for a drink. They have a really nice patio for just hanging out, and their version of the Hurricane is a New Orleans classic. Their Mint Julips are pretty good too.

Karaoke/Drink Specials
The Cat's Meow (701 Bourbon Street)
Hate Karaoke? Me too, but I love this place. There's just something about the Cat's Meow that keeps me coming back. Well, maybe it has something to do with their 3 for 1 happy hour...

K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen (416 Chartres St.)
Paul Prudhomme is credited with "inventing" blackening. If you want to try New Orleans classics such as turtle soup, jambalaya, etouffee, or blackened fish, the fare at K-Pauls won't disappoint.

Coffee (Chicory) and Beignets
Cafe Du Monde (1039 Decatur Street)
The perfect place to stop for a cup of Chicory coffee and beignets (like donuts) and do some people watching.

Sazerac Bar in the Fairmont Hotel (123 Baronne Street)
The Sazerac is a classic New Orleans cocktail made from Rye Whiskey (don't substitute bourbon), simple syrup, Peychaud's bitters, either Herbsaint or Pernod, and a twist of lemon for garnish. Originally, the Sazerac was made using Absinthe, but Absinthe was banned in the U.S. in 1912 (it is illegal to import food/drink containing wormwood). Although you can find many bars and restaurants throughout the city that serve Sazeracs, none does it quite like the Sazerac Bar at the Fairmont.

Gospel Brunch
House of Blues (225 Decatur St.)
If you like Gospel music, this is just the thing for you. Although the food isn't stellar, it's servicable, and the experience more than makes up for it.

Nouveau Creole
NOLA (534 St. Louis Street)
Bam! If you are going to dine in one of Emirl's 3 New Orleans restaurants, I suggest NOLA. Although your chances of actually seeing Emeril in one of his restaurants these days is slim (they seem to be popping up everywhere), the experience is worth a visit.

Bella Luna Restaurant (914 North Peters St.)
Italian in New Orleans? Certainly! This French Quarter Italian is worth the trip. Bonus view of the river...

Bayona (430 Rue Dauphine)
The offerings here by celebrated chef Susan Spicer are the talk of the town. The food here is absolutely amazing and combines the ingredients and techniques of many different places including New Orleans, France, Italy, Africa, and the Meditareanean.

October 10, 2004
Election 2004: Will Arizona Be The Next Florida
Since MAX falls over Election Day in the US this year, many of us will be voting by absentee/early ballot. I'm currently residing in Arizona, and just received my ballot the other day. Remembering all of the problems with ballots during the 2000 election, I decided to read the instructions VERY carefully.

You would think that with the Florida fiasco still fresh on everyone's mind, states would take a lot more care in designing their ballots and the included instructions. Well, it looks like that isn't the case, at least in Arizona.

I was shocked and utterly amazed that my ballot and the accompanying instructions contain completely contradictory information. It boils down to this: the included instructions state that the ballot should be filled out using a No. 2 pencil (this is in both English and Spanish). However, printed on the ballot itself (in English only, as the entire ballot is English only) is an instruction to "USE BLACK BALLPOINT PEN. DO NOT USE FELT TIP PEN.” Now I'm not sure which instruction is actually the correct one, and I'm not sure that it really matters, but if it does, a lot of Spanish speaking voters in Arizona are going to be disenfranchised.

Before I actually send in my early ballot tomorrow, I'm going to give the Maricopa County Elections Department a call for clarification.

Update: Well, looks like you can use either a No. 2 pencil, or ablack ballpoint pen. Here's a decent article on the Phoenix New Times web site that does some decent reporting on the early voting problems in Arizona.