February 13, 2006

Leblon blew me Away

For my birthday/our anniversary we went to Leblon on Saturday. For me, this year’s birthday request was a date with the wife so through our friend Noriko we were able to spend the evening with just the two of us... well and the one in the belly but that can't be helped. My dinner location request was Leblon as I have heard great things about it.

If you are thinking about going to Leblon be hungry. This isn't one of those high dollar tiny meal joints; you better bring your A-game. It would be easy to fill up on the "salad" bar. The salad bar had smoked salmon, steamed shrimp, artichoke hearts, muscles, proscuito, cheeses, herbed potato, oh and salad makings. They had so much more than that but I can't remember everything that was there. I didn't even try the multiple soups that were there.

On the table in lieu of the loaves of bread or rolls one usually expects in joins like this they had small cheese bread poppers. They have perfected the cheese bread popper thingies. I would gladly sit down and eat a ton of them. They were soft, warm, and easy to eat. I made myself only eat two before the meat plate arrived.

Meat plate you ask? Yes, MEAT plate. The way this works is thus. There is a token on the table that is about the size of a drink coaster. One side is green and says roughly "bring it", the other side is red and says something to the tune of "I'm a wuss, and I can't take it anymore! Let me chew for a minute dude!". While you are in green mode the angels ..erm.. Gauchos or meat slicers walk around with meat on a stick. They will come to your table and ask if you would care to try whatever meat dish they currently have skewered. If it is a slicked meat you use a small pair of tongs to grab it before they completely sever the meat. This can be a little intimidating as they have knives you would expect some homicidal robot to wield as it chased humans through a jungle. Other meats are simply delivered to the plate in whole from the skewer. The Fillet Mignon was that way. Did I mention they have meat?

From what I remember I ate: Turkey breast wrapped in bacon, Pork Loin seasoned with garlic, Pork loin encrusted in cheese and goodness, Fillet Mignon, Prime Rib, Lamb shank, Chicken cooked in goodness, Misremembered beef cut touted as the house specialty. This is after a full plate of "salad" bar. In the end the meat won. Like in Vegas you can't beat the house.

For desert I chose the Key Lime Pie. I'm not a big fan of Key Lime but every now and then the old tongue just gets a hankering for it. This was that evening. Well it was Awesome! They made a really good pie, and as is normal for me when eating Key Lime, the second to last bite almost didn't go down. My body decided that with all that was in the tummy it would have NO more of that Key Lime. Regardless of the tastiness of that pie the last bite had to remain on the plate.

Two people with a gracious tip (they rocked) came to about $90.

About $26 per person for the meal, I had cola, we both had coffee and desert. I can not recommend Leblon enough, but to completely enjoy it, you really do need to bring your A-Game.

Posted by Rob at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2006

Educational Software

I'm looking at software more and more these days. Currently I'm on a project looking for software that will provide a secure testing environment. There are a ton of products out there but so far only two have really stood out as very competent. NetOP School and Net Support School.

Both of these products provide control over classroom machines including white and black lists for programs and websites. There are tons and TONS of other options that both offer and on Friday I'll be sitting down and doing a comparative analysis of the two.

Several things have led to us seeking out this type of software. We have an instructor who feels it necessary for us to spend thousands of dollars per computer lab to be able to insure that his students don't cheat ... at a University level, The ability for an instructor to better manage a classroom by limiting what students may be distracted by on their computers, and by offering teaching tools such as impromptu polls to gauge the classes comprehension, ability to offer a bluebook type testing environment by only allowing certain applications to run, allow monitoring from the instructor station during testing, as well as a digital whiteboard.

Since technology is becoming more deeply integrated into the teaching environment at the University several of these issues need to be addressed. Products such as these could assist distance learning students when combined with live streaming audio allowing the University to expand enrolment by allowing distance only slots for certain classes which may overflow each semester, and help the distance learning department enhance their offerings through more interactive classes for non-traditional students. Both of these scenarios should appeal to any University which has space concerns.

After I have analyzed these two products and spoken with their companies I'll review the actual products rather than the ideas supporting the need for such software.

Posted by Rob at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)