Cooking for fun – Italian tomato sauce

by on May 29th, 2011

Sometimes I really like to cook. Okay, most times I would really like to, I just get very busy and don’t take the time to. I definitely get my love of experimenting (and total lack of writing down ingredients and amounts) from my parents. Whether that is nature or nurture, who knows. All I know is it is fun to my tasty food, so I will try to recall what I actually did to make my two most recent meals (that I have pictures for too!).

The Sauce

So my first totally awesome experiment was some sorta of Italian dish. Any good Italian dish needs a delicious sauce. I scoured the interwebs for something that sounded like it would fit my needs. I wanted something tomatoey, and something that would not take too long to make. I found one that used some of my favorite herbs and called for the alcohol to cook with. I just couldn’t say no (linky)!


  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, crushed with flat of knife and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 to 1 cup diced, fresh basil. (It’s your call. We usually use close to a cup)
  • 1/2 cup red wine. (Good enough quality to drink)
  • 1 T turbinado (raw) sugar (or Splenda)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes.
  • 1 t lemon juice (optional)
  • 3 T brandy (optional)

* T is for tablespoon, t is for teaspoon

Looks good doesn’t it? While is calls for either diced or crushed tomatoes, I highly recommend crushed if you want it to be a sauce. Otherwise it kinda turns out as a Italian salsa, which was pretty cool. I like to lessen the basil a bit and add in some oregano and rosemary. I can’t really give you amounts as I’m dealing with all dried and crushed versions so I never actually have a cup of fresh basil.

Let’s get cooking

  • Sauté onions in olive oil over low heat, covered, for 10-12 minutes.
  • Add garlic and basil, re-cover, for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Uncover and add wine. Reduce by about half.
  • Add tomatoes , sugar, and S & P and simmer for 15 minutes. You can reduce the sauce further and intensify the flavor. We like to add the brandy and lemon juice about 3-4 minutes before finishing.
  • If you want to turn this sauce into Neapolitan Sauce, add 10-12 sliced ripe olives, and 1 1/2 T capers just before finishing.
  • Fresh Italian Parsley can be added at the end if you like it.


Save the datasources, save the world.

by on April 5th, 2011

The Problem

While going about a routine hey, what’s that do at work, we discovered that, by default, Weblogic is configured to allow remote access to all JNDI resources. These resources include JDBC datasources. Datasources are defined to connect to a database as a specific user (this can be a proxy user, but not necessarily). What this means, is some intelligent person could gain access to the datasources configured on a Weblogic server and have all the powers allowed by the user defined in that datasource. This takes various levels of knowledge to be able to gain the correct host and port, and to be able to pass the right SQL to perform malicious operations. However difficult it may be, it is still a possibility.

With that in mind, Weblogic does provide a way to lock this down via security constraints. In fact, you can lock down many resources via these security policies which appear to be pretty open by default. However, enabling constraints can cause problems. Stack traces like the following can appear:

Cannot open connection; uncategorized SQLException for SQL [???]; SQL state [null];
error code [0]; weblogic.common.resourcepool.ResourcePermissionsException: User ""
does not have permission to perform operation "reserve" on resource "jdbc/xyz" of
module "null" of application "null" of type "ConnectionPool";

This presents us with the heart of the problem, how do we go about limiting access to these datasources and still allow the applications we maintain to function.


Legends Never Die

by on March 30th, 2011

I read this story awhile ago, but did not think to post it here until now.  It is a blog post someone else made about someone who, in my mind, is a legend.  Her name was Miki Endo.  Her story involves her tragically heroic acts following Japan’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

Excerpt from the article (linky).

Miki Endo was a 25 year-old public worker who worked in the Crisis Management Dept. of the city of Minami Sanriku, one of the worst-hit cities in the Miyagi prefecture – of its 17,000 inhabitants, 10,000 perished and only 7,000 or so survived the tsunami.

Many of those 7,000 that survived escaped death because of Miki Endo’s broadcast. Mainichi Shimbun reports that Miki Endo did not let go of her microphone, even during the very moment the black waves of the tsunami engulfed the city, so that every last villager could hear her warning call. One co-worker told Miki’s mother, that he saw Miki being swept away by the tsunami wave.

A 61 year-old man named Taeza Haga heard Miki Endo’s warning broadcast, and scrambled to his car, just his cellphone in hand. He barely made it to the higher regions of Minami Sanriku, where he could see entire buildings and houses being swallowed up by the tsunami. Mr. Haga noticed Miki Endo’s mother, standing anxiously by the list of survivors, and took hold of her hand, and told her

“I could hear your daughter’s voice all the while I came up here.”

All over Japan, these stories proliferate, encourage and move us even in the midst of this unbelievable chaos. There is even a video capture I saw of a ramen noodle shop in Roppongi, in which the owner is doing his heroic best to protect the safety of the customers before his own or his store’s… and as the store is rattling as if it will crumble in a wink, even in that moment of life-or-death kind of panic, the customers – before leaving – do not forget to leave the proper money on the table for their food! The incredible civic honor of the Japanese people and polity makes me profoundly ashamed of my own culture: from a college student to politicians to basketball players – Alexandra Wallace. Governor Haley Barbour’s press secretary. Cappie Pondexter – these people seem to regard Japan’s disaster as just an opportunity to air out their long-harbored racism or some narcissistic, self-serving purpose.

The skeletal structure of red beams in the YouTube clip above is the tattered remnant of the building where Miki Endo made her last broadcast, a girl in her beautiful 20s. No racist comments or insensitive quips made by any creep in any society can take away the lives that she saved: a precious multitude. Although cut tragically short, she lived the most worthwhile life of them all, a beautiful sentinel. Please spread the word of her legacy.

She was discovered in shizugawa bay about 700 meter from coast on 23th April.

I cannot imagine the strength of will it took to make that sacrifice.  All I know is I won’t forgot who she was.

Oh noes!

by on February 16th, 2011

Oh yeah!