Nine Mile: Dining in Asheville

16 May 2008

asheville date food ninemile wife

Today, I took the wife on a lunch date to the newly opened restaurant Nine Mile in Asheville. I'd give a link, but their web designer is apparently slack. The restaurant is run by Aaron, husband of my web-designer friend June.

The atmosphere was excellent, mellow with some reggae music. We got an excellent seat by the window. "Nine Mile" is a tribute to Bob Marley, and the Caribbean atmosphere translates well without being at all campy. There's no faux palm huts to be found anywhere. Instead, the walls are adorned with rich abstract art, and a portrait of Marley. There's a lot of Jerk sauce on the menu, plenty of pasta, vegan-friendly dinners and desserts (provided by Butterbugs).

Rebecca got the Nigril Nights, a tangy pasta dish with the finest rare tuna we've seen in a long time. You could taste the freshness and the fantastic flavor of the fish. I got One Foundation which included nicely grilled and sliced chicken over noodles with a creamy sauce. It was augmented by pineapple and peppers.

The portions were generous, the staff super-friendly, and the atmosphere lovely, looking out the windows at the old houses of Montford.

Plus, I got to wash it all down with Cheerwine. Cheerwine!

Overall, I highly recommend Nine Mile, and not just because June's a buddy.

It's located at 233 Montford Avenue in Asheville. Super convenient if you're in Montford for the Music & Arts Festival.


08 November 2007

asheville codehaus gis north-carolina opensource technology

Did you know that November 14th is GIS Day?

I've experimented with PostGIS some, so I'm interested to see what's going on. Here in Asheville, we apparently observe GIS Day on the 9th, with some stuff going on at AB-Tech.

There's a talk on open-source GIS, so I'm curious to see if GeoTools or uDig are mentioned, being some of the open-source GIS projects at the Codehaus.

Google Maps has shown us how everything goes better with some visual representation. I think GIS will only grow in importance, and tooling like PostGIS makes it fairly easy.

Never to young to start?

30 October 2007

asheville family lego

I volunteer each week at my son's school, where he's in a gifted class. Lately, they've been working with Lego Mindstorms, as part of a unit on robotics. I'm helping with the "programming" parts. The kids assemble the robot according to the directions, and then we connect them to a Windows machine through the USB port.

The default programming environment is this drag'n'drop IDE where you connect blocks of actions, which can be parameterized.

If you want to see "agile development" in action, watch some 10-year-olds program robots.

They jump right in, drop in a block for a random-number generation, and then, um, they turn a light on, and move the robot forward a few seconds. Notice, the random number is never used. The kids just liked the look of that programming block. It was orange, and looked pretty next to the green block to drive the motors.

It's agile, but with YAGNI reversed. Who cares if they aren't going to need it?

Being a new-fangled "gifted" class, it's all about hands-on learning with very little pure instructional time. I quite had to fight the urge to teach the kids about use-cases and requirements engineering. I don't think you can even write unit tests in the visual Lego script.

They are only 10, after all, and it's Lego.

Of course, when you see ill-thought-out, buggy code in 15 years that has arbitrary un-used calls to Random.nextInt(), you can blame me, I guess.

Historical Histrionics

14 September 2007

asheville events fame history north-carolina

My friend Lance, here in Asheville, hacks for Electric Sheep Company during the day, and by night is actor extraordinaire.


Starting next week, the immediate theatre project will be presenting Copenhagen, with Lance playing the physicist Werner Heisenberg. The play centers around a meeting (in Copenhagen) that occurred between the seemingly at-odds scientists during the war.

Lance says he has most of his lines mostly memorized, so far. Should be fun!

Just Comes Natural

26 August 2007

asheville events fame family lego north-carolina

As a child, a friend of mine (my Attorney) and I were in the local paper for building a sprawling Lego city across my rumpus room.

This morning, my son continued the legacy, by winning a bring-your-own-Lego(tm) Transformer(tm)-construction competition.

The Asheville Citizen-Times wrote it up nicely.

HENDERSONVILLE – For Noah McWhirter, building Lego figures just comes natural. “I just build things with my wild imagination,” the 10-year-old Vance Elementary School fourth-grader said. “I don’t even think about them. I just make them.”



Of course, I think part of the winning strategy was bringing The Intimidator Professional-Grade Toolbox, when most kids had some flimsy Tupperware or burlap sack. Bonus points for packing it to the gills with 1970s-era Lego(tm), inherited from dear ol' dad.


Garage Band

21 August 2007

asheville music

This week I'm dropping by the recording studio where my friend Sean is recording an album for his local Asheville band The Propheteers. He, Joe and Mason are cranking it out. I, a man who spends his daylight hours leveraging synergies as an engineering manager, hanging with the band helps me reclaim some of my younger, free-wheeling, garage-band days.

I took my cameras along to document it, and to give me some reason for being there.







Moog Pedal


Jeff at the mixing board


Guitar cases


Free Energy

04 August 2007

asheville environment history yard

coal.jpgWhile doing some work around my house, I found our old coal chute, which had been boarded over and backfilled with coal.

I now have a barrow full of coal.

How does one dispose of a barrow full of coal? Google only leads me to methods and facilities for recycling coal ash. Converting coal into coal ash does not sound like a lot of fun or very environmentally responsible.

I even wrote to the Coal Education Development and Resource folks, thinking they'd know what to do with coal. They have pictures of trees on their website, so surely they can tell me how to legally and environmentally-responsibly dispose of my fossil fuel.

They have thus far not responded. Thanks guys.

My friend Lance did pick up a chunk and marvel how 100 years ago, everyone knew what coal looked like. He took a nugget home to show his kids.

Checking eBay, the closest thing I can find is a guy selling miniature imitation coal for people building scale model railroads.

Suggestions given so far have indeed included "Christmas presents for the next 40 years" so I don't need that one again. Plus, there's the issue of storage. I'd like to use my barrow for other things.

Free bag of coal to whoever gives me the best suggestion for removing the coal from my life.

Yard Blog

23 July 2007

asheville photography tools yard

Rebecca and I have a habit of standing around, talking about all the things we could do to our house.

Some of our talk has centered around the ugly "patio" of poorly-laid bricks and easy-to-trip-over landscaping timbers.

removal.jpg spike.jpg This morning it was a brisk 65 degrees, perfect for some manual labor, so up came the patio.

Thankfully the people who laid these bricks previously had indulged in quite a bit of sand, so I only need to screen it before laying everything back down, hopefully better than it was before.

One of the best tools ever is a 6-foot-long tempered steel spike with a cutting edge. Great for removing stumps or prying up landscaping timbers.


I've also found that I enjoy yardwork as a nice form of exercise, instead of doing something pointless, like lifting a weight 50 times, or walking around in a large circle.


Old and New

18 July 2007

asheville history technology

My friends Trish and Pete have been thinking about home-ownership lately.

This made me ponder my own abode, and went surfing around. My little village here has nicely digitized quite a bit of their real-estate records, and made them easily searchable. I was able to come up with the original plat describing my street and lot, as envisioned in 1914.

Click images to enlarge.

Picture 10.png

I also came up with the deed, and description of the property. It almost reads like an obituary. Or a soap-opera. Picture 11.png

I think that's awesome. Alas, the "park" denoted on the original plat a few doors down seems to have been annexed by a neighbor.

iPhone Asheville: T-21 Hours

29 June 2007

asheville culture events iphone technology

Went out for a Venti(tm) dirty chai tea latte, and decided to scope out the Cingular/AT store that will be carrying iPhones tomorrow. Asheville is not a very large town, so we don't expect many phones to come in.

But these two guys will definitely get one.


The lucky First Guy In Line is Greg Mayer from Charlotte Street Computers here in town.


I'll take them some sausage, egg and cheese biscuits in the morning, unless the coyotes have already eaten these guys in the night.