Friday, April 24, 2009

Sausage and Lamb

Close before Easter 2008. We are preparing the lamb... with some unconventional tools. Also we built a house for sausages... :) Sounds great, I know! :)

Original date blog can be found here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Videoclip Flowers on the Balcony

And yet another video editting marvel. Just one year after the original footage. In here, we are decorating the balcony of our apartment in Amsterdam.

Original date footage blog can be found here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Can't download Firefox from IE

Internet Explorer 7 will not let you download Firefox with error message "You are attempting to download from a site that is not part of the Trusted Sites."

The stupid part is that after you the site to the trusted domains, the download does not continue, so you have to click again on the link. This time of course, the will start the download from a different mirror, which is not in your trusted sites... so the process continues.

I got really annoyed with this and the stupid IE. Problem is, how do I trigger the download?

Finally I used FTP to, or alternatively with user 'anonymous' and empty password.

IE sucks bad!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Videoclip New York Finished - Day 3

I just finished the editting of the New York footage. This is the last day of the weekend in New York in March 2008.

Original date footage blog can be found here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

JSTL request attribute

The following is an example to set/get a request attribute using JSTL 1.1 and EL:

<%@taglib prefix="c" uri=""%>

<c:set var="pageURI" value="tcm:1-2-3" scope="request"/>
PageURI1: <c:out value="${requestScope['pageURI']}"><br/>

<% request.setAttribute("a_b_c_pageURI", "tcm:4-5-6"); %>
PageURI2: ${a_b_c_pageURI}

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Videoclip New York Finished - Day 2

A bit later than usual (about 1 year and 1 month away), but the second day of the visit in New York video is now finished and online.

Original date footage can be found here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The JSTL Fine Print

There are subtle differences between JSTL 1.0 and 1.1. For example at the EL level.

For JSTL 1.0:
<%@taglib prefix="c" uri=""%>
<h1>JSTL here</h1>
<c:set var="bla" value="${}">
Parameter "aaa": <c:out value="${bla}">
Empty: <c:out value="${empty bla}">
<c:set var="browser" value="${header['User-Agent']}">
Browser user agent: <c:out value="${browser}">

For JSTL 1.1:
<%@taglib prefix="c" uri=""%>
<c:set var="bla" value="${}"/>
${bla}: ${!empty bla}
<c:set var="browser" value="${header['User-Agent']}"/>

JSP/Servlet Specifications

I never actually remember these things, so it's time to blog about it...

JSP/Servlet Version

Servlet VersionJSP VersionJSTL VersionJava EE Version
2.5 2.1 1.2 5
2.4 2.0 1.1 1.4
2.3 1.2 1.0 1.3

In order to use Servlet 2.2, the web.xml needs to require it:
<!DOCTYPE web-app PUBLIC "-//Sun Microsystems, Inc.//DTD
Web Application 2.2//EN" "">

For Servlet 2.3, the web.xml starts with:
<!DOCTYPE web-app PUBLIC "-//Sun Microsystems, Inc.//DTD
Web Application 2.3//EN" "">

For Servlet 2.4, the web.xml starts with:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>

<web-app xmlns=""

For Servlet 2.5, the web.xml starts with:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>

<web-app xmlns=""

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Videoclip New York Finished - Day 1

I finished video editting the first day of the New York weekend.

Original blog with the footage available here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to construct a JSP PageContext outside a JSP

I think it's the third time I was asked how to get a JSP servlet PageContext when you are not on a JSP. The solution is the following:

JspFactory jspxFactory = JspFactory.getDefaultFactory();
PageContext pageContext = jspxFactory.getPageContext(this, request, response, null, true, 8192, true);

Tip: I got this from the decompiled servlet that is always generated from a JSP. Just look in the belly of Tomcat (work folder) and you'll find the actual Java/class file.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vas de fonta la $200

Am facut azi o tura prin Costco (asta e un fel de Metro american) ca sa facem ceva cumparaturi pentru vizita socrilor, si am dat peste un vas de fonta.

Dupa vreo 2 minute mi-am revenit din lesin. Vasul costa $199.99 !!

No comment. Nu am cuvinte. Vorba aia... prost nu e ala care cere. Prost e ala care da !


Monday, April 6, 2009

Registering a truck (part 4 - the end)

Early DMV visit today. I was there at about 8 a.m.. Again, hoping I would not have to wait that much... and again, no such luck.

After about 40 minutes, I got the registration and the sticker. I'm now good to go until April 2010.

It only took 2 drives to the DMV, waiting about 90 minutes, 2 trips to the smog check garage, waiting about 1 hour, 1 trip to another garage, waiting about 90 minutes, 1 trip to Kragen, countless times trying to find the diagnostic screw... and ta-taaa -- I have the registration!

Eaaaaasyyyy ;)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Videoclip First Wedding Anniversary

Today I finished editting the video for our first wedding anniversary.

Original date footage can be found here.

Videoclip Getting The Couch To The 4th Floor

Today I finished editting the video about getting the couch up on the 4th floor.

Original date footage can be found here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Registering a truck (part 3)

One step further... There is progress!

I managed to get the smog test for the truck. This is what I did:

I searched Nissan forums for an explanation on the P1440 EVAP Small Leak and it turned out that it might be a simple gas cap that is not keeping the gas vapors in the gas tank. Apparently, modern cars have this evaporation system pressurised in order to reduce emissions and save on fuel consumption.

Anyway, for about $8, I bought a new gas cap from Autozone and installed it. Next I needed to get rid of the Service Engine Soon (SES) light that was still on. Since Autozone doesn't check/reset the codes anymore (starting from about 6months ago), I went back to the forums. Reading the service manual for engine control on the Nissan Pathfinder 1998, I found out a way to reset the on board computer (ECM) by turning the diagnostic screw on the ECM back and forth. Unfortunatelly, I had little luck locating the diagnostic screw.

After reading the forums up and down, reading and re-reading the service manual, I just could not find the diagnostic screw, so I got so pissed off, that I went to the nearest Kragen shop and I bought an OBD2 scanner for about $75.

I erased the code and redid all the tests. It took about 12 hours until all tests completed. Of course the EV (evap system) test was the last one to clear, but in the end, all of them were OK.

I went back to the smog check garage and got the smog with no problems. The truck's emissions are below 20% of the maximum allowed.

So to summarise: with $8 for a new gas cap, I saved about $700 in repairs, which don't seem to be necessary. The overall investment was about $200, but now I have an ODB2 reader I can use in the future. This makes me feel so good about it ;)

In the next episode, finalising the registration at DMV.
To be continued...

The Books that I have read: The Chronicles Of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia includes seven novels written by C. S. Lewis:

Publication order Chronological order
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe The Magician's Nephew
Prince Caspian The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader The Horse and His Boy
The Silver Chair Prince Caspian
The Horse and His Boy The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Magician's Nephew The Silver Chair
The Last Battle The Last Battle

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:

Main characters:
Lucy - brothers and sisters that travel to Narnia
White Witch - evil character
Aslan - creator of Narnia
the weird Professor - guardian to the children, knows about Narnia

During the World War II, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy end up staying with a weird professor. In his house, they discover a magic wardrobe that takes them to the world of Narnia, which is under an evil spell made by the White Witch. The four children helped by Aslan defeat the White Witch and become the Kings and Queens of Narnia. They spend many happy years in Narnia until by accident they find the entrance to the wardrobe again and they return to reality exactly the moment they left.

Love this quote: "always winter, never Christmas".

Friday, April 3, 2009

Experienta stomatologica

Iata si prima noastra experienta la dentist pe tarimul American. Nici nu stiu de unde sa incep... Nu se compara cu nici o alta vizita la stomatolog.

Am primit un tratament extraordinar. Primul lucru a fost o radiografiere totala. Adica 18 poze la toti dintii existenti si inexistenti. Ma gindesc ce sistem bine pus la punct au astia, incit nu e de mirare ca pe toti arsii si desfiguratii ii pot identifica dupa dinti. Absolut toata lumea care merge la dentist, primeste cite o radiografiere completa la fiecare 5 ani.

A urmat apoi crearea unui 'plan de tratament', si anume identificarea starii actuale a dintilor, atit pe baza inspectiei vizuale cit si folosind radiografiile.

Pasul urmator a fost masurarea adincimii gingiilor pentru a determina daca sunt inflamate. Dentistul practic a masurat cit de ridicata este gingia peste dinte (pentru fiecare dinte se fac 6 masuratori - 3 pe interior si 3 pe exterior).

Pe final a fost curatarea placii bacteriene (detartrare). Intii cu o sonda cu ultrasunete, apoi mecanic cu o bâţăleală cu care râcâia depunerile de pe dinte.

Este o diferenta de la cer la pamint intre cum se lucreaza in America si Romania sau chiar Olanda. In America se pune foarte mult accent pe prevenire (sunt foarte incintat ca am asigurare, ca altfel ar costa binisor). In Olanda sau Romania daca nu te doare, nu trebuie sa vii la dentist -- toate interventiile fiind practic de urgenta.

Peste 3 saptamini urmeaza prima sedinta de lucru, in care imi va pune 2 plombe. Pe termen lung, vor trebui cam 5 coroane peste dinti care nu mai au radacina de ani de zile. Asa ca pe urmatorii 2 ani sunt abonat lunar la dentist.

Intre timp spalam temeinic si curatam cu ata dentara. Uraaaa :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Au sosit carnetele de sofer

Azi am primit in posta carntele de sofer. Scrie frumos pe ele California... si amindoi ridem... He he suna bine si soarele straluceste :)

Acum ne poate opri poliţia!
Chiar sper sa nu se intimple, ca nu am chef sa am de a face cu politia americana! Am auzit prea multe povesti de groaza cu maniacii astia cu pistoale mari si pe care îi mănâncă arătătoarele...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pregătiri de oaspeţi

Am cumparat canapea in camera de oaspeti. Eterna Ikea, aceeasi canapea Lycksele ca si in Olanda. Mai ca si pretul a fost cam la fel, $380.

Şi ne-am mai şi înnoit o ţâră decorul prin casă. Mădă a scrapuit nişte poze cu noi de pe plajă la Santa Cruiz (când am fost la Clam Chowder cookout) şi le-am pus pe perete.