working on a sunday. it wasn't too bad, just had a single bug to fix, a bug i spent all of friday trying to crack, but i figured i'd have some fresh new ideas for today. i used the reduction method, where i comment out sections of code one by one until something either breaks or just fixes itself. sometimes when i'm working with code things just start working for no apparent reason, something which i can only attribute to witchcraft. such was the case this afternoon. i didn't even write anything, just fiddled with the code, moving things around, when suddenly everything worked again. moving quickly to capture this lightning in a bottle, i quickly saved out and zipped everything up for the client.
i continued this post-delivery high by finally taking a shower. i waited exactly 24 hours, so hopefully the caulk is completely dry by now. even though it was just a little touch up, i felt like i was using a brand new bathroom for the very first time. even with my blurry vision, i could still make out the clean white edges although the bathtub.
instead of going to belmont for dinner, my aunt invited my family out to dinner, to check out this new taiwanese restaurant in allston. authentic taiwanese food is hard to find in boston, so our culinary curiosity was definitely piqued. we arrived at jo jo taipei a little bit past 5pm, with only a few customers. however, a whole army of wait staff was waiting patiently by the wall, foreshadowing what was to come. it took us a long time to order, everything looked good.
when it comes to food, presentation is not as important as taste. and when it comes to portions, more is always better than less. that being said, the rectangular serving plates seemed more western than chinese. it's hard eating rice the traditional way without bowls! the portions were also on the thin side. the smelly fried tofu came in tiny squares, with just a small side of kimchee, and a separate container of sauce. compare this with my usual smelly tofu from the taiwan cafe in chinatown: big chunks of tofu drenched in sauce smothered with kimchee.
despite the small portions, everything tasted pretty good, with exceptions: the curry rangoons were a ripoff (i don't think it's chinese), the 3 cup chicken was too thick in sweet sauce, and the wild mushroom medley was a medley of very common mushrooms. however, the fried oysters were good and my favorite flavor was the crispy salted chicken. the sour cabbage pork intestine soup was also delicious (but a bit of an acquired taste).
dessert in came in the form of a big plate of shaved ice drenched with all sorts of goodies: beans, grass jelly, boba pearls, condensed milk, and other good stuff. i haven't had taiwanese shaved ice since 2005, so it brought me back. by the time we left around 7pm, the place was packed, with many more waiting for tables. it was probably 99% taiwanese, a very good sign that the food isn't bad. it also got very noisy, as chinese people are prone to do when they eat. the service was excellent, as can be expected with any new restaurant. waiting for the credit card to clear, we watched what the other customers were eating. there were definitely a lot more things we want to try out.
how does jo jo compare with that other taiwanese restaurant, taiwan cafe? jo jo definitely has a lot of tricks up its sleeves, and the taiwan cafe is getting a little long in the tooth, having been the undisputed taiwanese restaurant of boston for many years. there's definitely some serious competition in town now. but for my money, taiwan cafe still has the best smelly tofu in the area. jo jo gets points in delicious new flavors but deductions for such small servings.
after my sister drove my aunt and uncle to the cafe (where their car was parked), i went with my family back to belmont to help my father install that wireless network card. everything worked when i used the provided software, but when i tried to get creative by attempting to use the driver directly, the card couldn't connect to the wireless router. re-installing the software, i managed to crash the system and corrupt a DLL file. after several failed attempts to resurrect the system, i was finally left with no other choice but to completely reinstall XP on that computer. 40 minutes later, back to business!