zesty_pinto: (Jar)
So busy. Sooooo busy.

No way to really give full details and you know how much I dissemble it into some narrative written by Robert Jordan, so I'll try to bullet point this into an outline of my so-called life.

Website
-Most of basic layout is complete
-Dad wants his social presence ready by early September (very doable)
-Since paid 500 for a month, treating this as a part-time job
-Fixing and controlling his listings on business sites


Television
-Insecure; so good!
-GOT; so much happening but so little
-OK Ko; liked the pilots, animation is cheap but dynamic, works for it
-We Bare Bears; yay it's back

Saturday
-brought up 90 pound A/C and set that up
-IKEA for a glass display
-Drove home with the box between the seats
-Thai food for the first time in awhile on the way home!
-Late night Simpsons while building the display
-Swearing like a sailor because one of the IKEA pieces does not fit correctly
-Lego figures moved there
-More to do on that.

Sunday
-Housecleaning
-Water run on Sunday
-Car started rattling

Cooking
-Sous vide is neat
-Not even sous vide alone can save cheap cuts of steak
-Michelle still liked, so yay

Car
-Wheel bearing's loose
-Bye bye $1k
-Wheel bearing destroyed sensor
-Can only get OEM
-Bye bye more $$

Gardening
-All tomatoes have flowers
-Bean plants have tiny beans
-Window bean plants have tiny beans
-Support stick broke, more retying and staking

Event
-Photo booth took forever
-Remote ran out of battery, used wired remote
-Backdrop too small and Wind kept slapping backdrop everywhere
-So much gaffer tape and water used to hold it down
-Camera remote had weird timer settings
-People felt apologetic about it

Photography
-Will show once website work stabilizes
zesty_pinto: (Default)
Don't sound that impressed though, I know shit to nothing on it beyond the basics. My dad needs a website for his acupuncture business, and I'm leaning towards Wix since the price is competitive and I'm already familiar with the tools building my own off of it. The price point is identical to what he's paying via Vistaprint so I can edit it more and I can not seem to get the domain out of a redirect loop using its netservers, so I think this is just a safer option.

I'd honestly rather hire someone to build something more basic for his sake, but I can't justify the cost since his business is still so new and the budget would be 200 in that case. I know new businesses usually have to put in more than their usual intake, but I'd rather it be that way.

Work's been less busy. Doesn't mean I'm not less busy though. I set up an air conditioner! I also tweaked the audio equipment better, converted a Gorillapod I never use into a mic stand, and got the backdrop for the picnic up and ready for checking on a backdrop kit that is way too much kit for so little backdrop. No worries!

Okay, going to see about designing some template for my dad before I call it a night.



Or at least stare at these photos I took to convince myself it's still day. Going to be another busy weekend!
zesty_pinto: (Default)
I need to figure out how Capture One roots its data. Spent a few hours making exposure edits before exporting to postprod edits via Photoshop only to realize that it wasn't exporting JPEGs because the source files were on the formatted drive despite my best efforts. UGH.

So installed Recuva and spent the night performing file recovery. I'll see how it looks once I get back home.

Technician is also in the apartment right now and is installing a cable line. Thank god. Did you know that Customer Service never offered me cable to begin with because it was only "for a special area" so I ended up getting a crappy DSL account because that's the best I could get? Well if the cable line is successful, then maybe it can justify paying 78 dollars for this (yes, I am not kidding, it's 78 dollars a month for an advertised 12-20mbps that is trickling at 5. My phone is testing faster than this).

I think Michelle will be coming here late, but at least my team leader isn't panicking now. In other news, there's not much to do here, so I'll probably write more posts or whatnot maybe? Makes me wish I could bring my laptop here and do some image editing while I'm waiting for more work to come in.

EDIT: They installed a cable line and it clocked at 10 even though he set us at the cheaper speed. Michelle corrected him so we should see our speed getting better now. Looking forward to getting home and then I'll see about installing some of the other things I normally use for my setup.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
I can get to work on my dad's stuff. Hallelujah!

Speed tests

Aug. 3rd, 2017 04:12 pm
zesty_pinto: (Default)
Endless Speed Tests.

Check it once. 5.6 mbps

Check again, 4.8 mbps

As I call our telecom company, I yield 3.4.

This is DSL, so I expect it to be awful, but I paid for 20 mbps. I'd be okay with 10 and even if I try to be okay with it, it doesn't change the fact that we can't use our internet connections simultaneously without straining the connection.

The tech, who seems flustered for some reason, has us engage in the speed tests again. He resets the connection, we reset the modem twice. 5.8 mbps. He then asks if this is satisfactory and I tell him that there's no way we can properly use the internet like this, so he tries again. We use a laptop with a direct connection and I do three checks. 6.4 mbps. 6.2mbps. 2.8mbps.

I warned him beforehand that the connection starts to go bad the closer it gets to 9pm so he acknowledges that this is part of what I was talking about.
He offers to have a tech check our location. As of 1:40pm, I have yet to hear from any, but I hope they're at least checking the lines around the area.

No chance to use the computer, by the way; the old main drive has been going through multiple disk checks. I think it's safe to say that it's screwed. At least I moved most of my archives to my "dump" drive. I'll probably reformat the drive, get a crash disk recovery program, and see what I can salvage. The drive should still be good, but one too many outages and being docked while it happened probably added to this. Reinstalling Photoshop once I get home then try out the softbox again to get some proper measurements of its effectiveness. I'm tempted to also see if I can get a pipe and extend the lamp, just need the proper measurements for it too (and I'd need to cut the pipe, which I think would freak Michelle out if I do it on the patio).


I freaked out my team lead when I told him about the appointment and it ended up with Michelle saving the day by being there for the appointment instead. Yay for Michelle!

No cooking yesterday, just Oetker pizzas and corn dogs. Even today's lunch is leftovers and polishing off some of last week's meals.

Podcast
...was tricky, as the computer was going like crazy scanning the bad drive and making the guest room where I normally work quite loud.

So circumvented it with a laptop, dragging a mic on a camera and a set of earphones. Then some tweaking of making sure the proper input is used since the laptop defaults to other inputs. Finally got it figured out, a few hours of gaming, no problem. Timing seems to be difficult for us since we're all adults. One of us mentions that we're doing relatively well for a gaming podcast and all I can say is that if this is doing that well, then I feel terrible for every other podcast out there since I feel like this show is such a patch of audio snippets and duct tape, but I enjoy it so don't mind. I do make some cracks about how hilariously awful it would be if we start doing Squarespace and Blue Apron ads. Even if, that ain't for a long, long, time.

We have another game going for next week to make up for the delay last night. I'm hoping that the technician will fix the issues before we get the next sessions.

Maybe some day I will get these photos worked on. Someday... I miss working on photos. -_-
zesty_pinto: (Default)
-came home, reinstalled Capture One and then during the reboot my computer realized my old main drive needed to be checked for bad sectors. On the one hand, about freaking time. On the other, could you have chosen a worse time to do this?!

Caught a few more episodes on American Gods; it feels a bit dated in that I think there's a few more aspects that I think we worship that were unmentioned. Some should remain always worshipped and immortal, like commerce, science itself (which could envelop under the incarnation of technology, but doesn't entirely), space travel, terrorism. Granted, Gaiman wrote this awhile back and I don't even know if they're following the original books so who knows.

I will admit one thing though: I didn't think much of Gillian Anderson, but she is really killing it as the incarnation of media.

Cooking
I had a ton of bok choy that is starting to go bad (like a pound and a half), so I experimented.

-Lop off the green tops of the bok choy
-Slice the bottoms thinly
-Slice up half a large onion
-Make slivers of ginger
-Thinly slice up a pepper, too
-Thinly slice up some beef
-In a wok, add two cups of water, four table spoons of chicken stock, boil
-Throw in all the vegetables with heat low, just to blanch/infuse the flavor into the mix. After a few minutes, drain and retain the stock while putting the vegetables aside.
-Add oil and start browning beef. Once browned, throw in the vegetables
-Put the stock in a pan and reduce to half amount
-Put the stock in a blender with the tops of the bok choy and puree until smoothed, return the bok choy to the pan
-Add three tablespoons of soy sauce
-Add three tablespoons of sugar
-Take some of the liquid, add three tablespoons of potato starch, mix, then add to pan, keep low heat until starch is integrated and sauce is more stiff
-Add tablespoon of wasabi
-Add two tablespoons of ground cilantro
-Chop up three cloves garlic, throw those in
-Throw sauce on vegetables and mix

I liked the results. Also made some quick slaw with an old bag of Trader Joe's crunchy slaw, what was left of my yozu bottle, some olive oil, and pine nuts as well as some cucumber kimchi (Michelle's parents gave us five of the things). It made for a nice diverse lunch for us for once instead of a one portion meal.

Stil have half a chinese eggplant and a bunch of peppers, so I'll need to think of something to do with those in the next few days. At least we have lots of food.

Podcast
Invisibilia's latest season is on the theme of perceptions and our own personal bubbles within them. From talking about a town that has a problem with hand feeding black bears to a man who created a program that looks for random events to crash on Facebook, to the perceptions of how we analyze race (e.g. did you know that the US is one of the few places that really puts such an emphasis on it?); all the episodes have been pretty good so far.

Speaking of which, tonight's podcast time. This will be interesting because we also have connection problems every so often and around the same time. I'll need to call the DSL company to see what can be done about this.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
I'm all caught up! It's great when you have free time again. Especially when coming home means more work for me to do.

Adulting sucks.

So anyway, my last post complained about how I barely even had time to talk about the rest of my week right? Right, well...

DIY
Ever see those scenarios where you see a bomb squad defusing a bomb wire by wire by sheer chance? I had that happen with the DSL lines. When I installed the replacement phone box, I put in all the lines, all the while knowing that only two were connected.

I ended up removing only one line after watching my computer act up for yet another night and dug into the innards of the phone box yet again. The connection at the moment is now solid, or at least it was all night. I'll have to see how it fares the rest of the night once I get back.

Cooking
I made a ton of curry because our house is full of H-Mart products and I was inspired after I saw someone's meme and I have a ton of old ingredients I didn't get to use for a bunch of recipe ideas I had in my head at the time. Not from scratch this time because I wanted to actually have free time for once. I need to do something with a week and a half old bok choy and some aging brussel slaw. I'll do it soon enough.

The trip to H Mart has filled my jar with Hi-Chew candies because I liked the fizzy ones a lot.

Oh, I never mentioned it, but I made another round of food for that birthday on Wednesday night.
-Last round of lotus root, this time using the pre-boiled stuff as well
-More jeon, a vegetarian version before I added clams and shrimp and made the seafood one

This was quick in comparison to the others. Then it was putting all the stuff aside and whatever else.

Well the coworkers liked it enough to send me a thank you card and some money? Didn't expect that. Just glad all the containers are cleaned, so yay, less work for me!

The Studio
Found the problem with the range. It's not the trigger, it's the slave remotes.

The batteries in them haven't been charged in awhile. Once I gave them new batteries, I got a range of 20 feet again. I might need to ask my dad to do another shoot again so I can get some better images this time. It annoys me when I make a dumb mistake like this since two side flashes would have helped a ton.

Also finally made the payment and I'm subscribed to Capture One. Only problem now is that the program hangs every so often. I think it's because of the drive itself that it's installed on. I'll need to reinstall the program altogether and then see if there's some way to fix my drive since Windows 10 can't seem to chkdsk the drive to clean it of bad sectors.

Podcasts
Our Fair City is coming back in two weeks.

Television
Insecure is coming back after GoT! Really loved season 1 (and is anyone else in love with the fact that one of the guards from OITNB has another role in this as a slightly out of touch hippieish program director?)

Gaming
Now that Michelle got the roller, I think she's getting the hang of Splatoon 2 better. It's great seeing her enjoy this, although most of last night didn't have her playing because of the phone box issue.

Gardening
I lost a window bean, but there's a bunch of beans now. It's amazing. Outside is a different story though. I think I might start seeing tomato flowers though as my current group of them are pretty damn big. Also seeing some great growth out of the squash.

My dad's business
As soon as I finish this blog and get my usual preemptive details done for my accounts, I need to research some more for my dad. I have no idea how he thinks he can handle creating a social presence online, which likely means I'll be on PMC looking up acupuncture research. I really hope it doesn't end up with me wading into the same regions as Natural News.

Guys

Jul. 31st, 2017 10:45 pm
zesty_pinto: (Default)
I been so busy. Guys! Can't even find any real free time to update my blog posts between work today, it's been so insane, and I think it'll potentially get worse as I have one-two more issues to release this month AND I volunteered for the picnic.

Weekend
So because my dad gave me no idea of what to do, he forced me to try to figure out how many different things I should bring to accommodate for what he's looking for. So, hauled:

-2 tripods
-1 backdrop kit
-1 black backdrop
-2 Sunpak flashes
-1 hotshoe flashes
-1 small hotshoe flash
-3 remote triggers
-1 god damned heavy lamp post
-1 hexagon softbox

And basically a bunch of medium range portrait lenses.

So we took a day off for Friday. And then my dad told me that I didn't even need to come over there on Friday and he only had free time on Saturday afternoon, so of course.

Along the way, we realize that the car is acting strange. It's rattling oddly like something isn't secure in the back, it drives heavy, and it's having a hard time accelerating. I'm wondering if it's wrong with the equipment I put in, so we stop and I reallocate where the stuff is. Michelle looks up details and comes to a different conclusion: bad gas. I'm perplexed at that concept, as the gas station we last filled up the day before is a pretty popular station that sees a lot of use and we've had reliable service from for years now. Regardless, we take it slow down the way to NJ, whether we like it or not.

Thursday night, we stop by a diner that is everything I'd expect a diner to be in NJ: 24 hours, menu that moonlights as an instruction manual, and portions that are almost shameful in their massive size. I filled up on nachos before I got to enjoy my gyro, and Michelle is barely able to finish her hamburgers and eggs (which I should add is something any diner should have but doesn't offer because it sounds like the perfect drunk food).

Our drive to her parents takes to sleeping at midnight. Her family's dog, Bella, follows us as the only awoken people there, and I decided to leave her on our bed since she seemed interested in being around us. This seemed all well and good until Michelle couldn't fall asleep since she kept moving around.

"What do you want?" She asked her "Do you want to go down?"

She stands up, looking at her again, only to see the dog take her warmed spot on the bed right by the pillow and all.

Defeated and too tired to care, she ended up taking her old spot, snuggling against me in the process until Bella fidgeted again and finally decided to scamper off to her own bed.

Friday had us troubleshooting the car, and we were both wrong. It was the muffler that gone bad. 350 dollars down the drain and a day getting it replaced.

Dinner comes and goes, Michelle is apparently harassed about why we aren't married yet (now it seems they're worried that she might lose the chance to keep a guy like me?), and by Saturday morning we head off to my parent's.

I have this feeling they anticipate that I am going to be the only one left of their family line that will have a kid. My brother's constantly ailing his health and I think he almost wills himself into being sick as shit which weirds me out given how this is a guy who played volleyball all the time in NYC and only stopped because he obsessed over college classes.

Anyway, we eventually make it to my dad's office and I find out why he hasn't given me anything as he has no idea what he wants. Now, I'm not a professional studio guy by any means; if I was, I'd actually be filing earnings in my taxes as a 1099 and everything because it meant I had an actual income. In this case? Despite that, I always ask my clients what they're looking for. My dad is the one of the only people I am willing to accept doing work for despite making me do all the work for this.

It doesn't matter much anyway though as I soon realize one fatal flaw in my work: my remotes have gone to shit. The range for them is only in the inches rather than several feet like I normally expect. The softbox I made with the DIY lamp isn't bright enough and I might need to put more planning in how I use the angles of the octopus lights to maximize the light. Plus, it's that warm indoor mood temperature that I don't really like for clean portraiture and especially not when the subject is in white.

So I try to get some portrait shots. I take photos of some acupuncture. He even wants me to take photos of my mom's bare back while he uses this kind of suction cup treatment (that's the only way I can describe it). Then we get home and he explains further what he wants:

He wants me to be his social media agent.

It's not for free either, he wants to pay me to do this and while he seems interested in making progress out of this, I should add that this is again something that I am familiar with, but not really set into doing. I'm already kind of busy with everything but I know he can't really get someone else to help, so I grudgingly agree. He offers me a guidebook to read on reaching out through social media that reads like the most general POS guide but gives him a general idea of what to expect.

I also end up double checking his fees to Vistaprint for his website (which is really basic and I'm not a fan of but he likes). I think he wants to update to a different looking website, but I don't think he has enough content to justify it, and I would like to do more photos with it just to fill it out. I have a feeling that I'm going to be using microstock here and there to find additional things to fill it out with, although I could set up a box to do some concept shots as well for things to add into it.

Along the way, Michelle's parents also gave her money as did her grandparents. It's kind of weird, but she reluctantly accepted it. I think they worry about her since her siblings are making so much more. At least my parents understand that her work right now is an investment since she's busy burning two ends of a candle simultaneously getting published while working at SJS to stoke her CV with publishing knowledge.

There's a lot more I could probably go into, but it's already late and I haven't even caught up with my day. I just tweaked my fucking phone box guys, and the only reason I'm even mentioning it is because it's what helped keep me from getting some real work done tonight. I'm being vulgar about it for that very reason; it's been frustrating the hell out of me.

Speaking of frustrating, I seem to be hanging on my importation of images. I feel like the computer is hanging every so often, meaning I need to do more troubleshooting. At least for now the machine is going, but I worry if the power outages are screwing with my setup (by the way, two power outages while we were away; I guess I should be glad that the computer is set to sleep when idle long enough).

I'll update more along the way, I'm just so damn tired and I want to at least sift through what works for decent photos for now. Sorry guys! If I'm lucky, I might have some photos too; I've got a decent amount.
zesty_pinto: (Bonklers)
Three damn days on one article that refuses to process properly. Still playing catchup.

Podcasts
Oh god, Lindy West on The Sporkful on being fat and food and basically our cultural fat shaming. It's amazing because I love her confidence and she's very charismatic.

What I love is how the topic even goes to her husband, who is tall, skinny, what people associate with hot (at the time it was recorded, it was even pointed out he had to bulk up for a role on file), and she's not despite how they work out together. I can't recommend this episode enough.

But there's also some amusing tidbits, like making paninis in the Qantas lounge, which makes me only envy her because there is nothing more amazing than having the privilege of flying first class.

I also know it sounds like I listen to endless Sporkful, but I don't, honest! Their content is just that good.

Now that I think about it, there was a Cracked podcast on 17 Movies that were total disasters behind the scenes. It helped emphasize that:
-Marlon Brando was a farting maniac that read his lines off babies
-The Godfather was never supposed to actually work
-Italians actually were still a minority in the 70's
-You don't really want to be an actor under Stanley Kubrick

Recipes
Jeon episode 2
This time it was mix of slaw, julienned parilla, green onions, corn, and clams. Less water this time. I think it lacks the crispy greatness, so I need it to be soupy, or I need to use more oil at high heat.

High Heat?


I can't stop it, I love this commercial!

Also worked on lotus root for the first time. Simple recipe.
-peel lotus root
-chop lotus root sideways, quarter to half-inch slices
-dip in mixture of rice flour with salt
-dip in egg
-sautee in high heathot pan with oil and fry until golden brown

I did the same with tofu.

The thing about both is to use a good sauce to absorb with the texture. I used soy with a bit of vinegar, sesame seeds, sesame oil, pepper flakes, and chopped green onions. Everything came out like I remember and it was like taking a taste of nostalgia. The best thing about lotus root is the crunch, it's like a potato chip/water chestnut kind of crunch to it but with a much better flavor retention.

Today I'll make use of the rest of the perilla by wrapping salisbury steak morsels with it and then doing another batter fry. I think it'll be fine, but I'm running out of olive oil quickly at this rate.

I'll add more to say if I have time. Still no time for photos! No rest for the weary.
zesty_pinto: (Abe Lincoln)
DIY
IT IS DONE. THE HANDLE IS DONE AND I CAN FINALLY GET ON WITH OTHER THINGS.

Computer
Moving content from the dying drive is slow and tortuous. I can't even get it to repair properly. I need to get it to safe mode and get it working. Ran out of canned air. Two cans to make up for it!

Podcasts
Latest Sporkful: Roald Dahl's cookbook. They interviewed Dahl's children and the foods that he made for them and the stories he'd invent just to add magical whimsy while encouraging them to eat healthy. Imagine it was like eating dinner with Dr. Seuss; some of the recipe ideas seem to be built around being playful with the concepts and (minor spoiler) they feel that Willy Wonka was an analogue for Mr. Dahl himself--given how much I feared Gene Wilder as a candy murderer, I don't know how to feel about that, but I think he would have liked knowing that too, hah.

He also makes recipes with someone on Youtube (Binging with Babish) who is known for making recipes as seen in famous tv and movie shows, along with some trivia from "Matilda."

Gardening
Vines still thriving, no flowers yet beyond a bud from a young squash. Took some photos to catch some of the bugs around, to some limited effect. One I wish I got a photo of was a six spotted tiger beetle which was gorgeous. I also found out it was quite a helpful little buddy in clearing my plot of pests along with the occasional spring peeper that hops on by on wetter days.

Cooking

JEON!

I was inspired from this short and decided that it would make for a nice experiment since there's a birthday coming by the end of this week. It's quick! It's easy! It's finger food (sort of), and I tried to make it at home.

-Mix 1 cup cake flour with 1/2 cup rice flour and 2 tbsp salt
-Add two eggs
-Add water, 1 1/2 cups (maybe less is better?). Mix to battery goodness
-Throw in julienned potatoes, green onions, jalapenos, littleneck clams, and shelled tiny shrimp. Mix.
-Grease and heat skillet to high heat

-Using a ladle, dollop some in, try to distro the contents as you cook.
-One the edges look like they are darkening into crispness, flip.
-Once finished, place on cutting board, using knife and cut into squares. Serve with soy and vinegar.

I think I used too much water as it was difficult to flip, but it still came off really well. The rice flour and the cake flour adds to the crispness of the experience which is what I wanted especially. Michelle approved, so it's good!

Traveling
Thinking about it further, it made me realize as well that I was missing a few other things I wanted to do if I was doing the traditional party food, so I asked Michelle if she wanted to take a trip to Boston. H-Mart is next to a Cheesecake Factory, so I think that was all we needed to get going! To Burlington (er, MA) we go!

The trip wasn't too bad. The beautiful weather guaranteed that everyone else was going out of the state rather than into MA. In Burlington, we dined on salad and buffalo blasts (she missed salad. SHE MISSED SALAD! I'M SO HAPPY THAT WE HAD AN EXCUSE TO EAT SALAD!!!) and then we went to H-Mart where I acted like a dog in a butcher shop.

"HEY LOOK THEY HAVE LYCHEES! HEY HEY LOOK THERE'S SAMPLES OF MEAT WE CAN TRY! HEY HEY I THINK WE NEED THIS! CAN WE GET THIS OH WAIT I HAVE THE SHOPPING BAGS SO YES WE ARE GETTING THEM! WHOAH LOOK LOOK AT THIS WE CAN'T GET THIS HERE, I SHOULD MARK THIS SPOT SO I NEVER FORGET WE WERE HERE"

...okay, so maybe not *entirely* like a dog. point is, I got the things that we needed for my ingredients list (lotus roots and perilla) and they were all freaking cheap.

Parents
My dad wants to push his acupuncture business deeper and wants to get his website updated as well as his photos, so is asking me to come down and do this. He said he'll pay. I feel kind of like we don't really get to meet them much these days anyway, and I honestly wish we had more time in VT, but since it's for my dad's business, sure I'll go (I doubt I can get him to do this gratis though, but I can't really disapprove of getting more money in our wallets).

So I'm taking Friday off to fit with his schedule.

-Which is when that birthday is. I guess I'll make some on Wednesday and then bring it on Thursday and tell them it's for them for Friday?

Anyway, backlog is backlogging, so I'll get back to work. So much more to say, but I'm tired and a bit too silly right now to elaborate. Hope everyone's good!
zesty_pinto: (Mr. B Natural)
I'm kind of idling, but partially because I have a major deadline for an issue and I'm waiting for feedback on some articles for a particular piece. It's been a busy as hell week and yesterday was (as you could tell from the previous post), me running my hands through the innards of a computer to troubleshoot why some parts were not operating properly.

Note to self: get another can of compressed air.

Cooking
So, ever heard of a dish called bibimbap? I think it's trendier these days more than it used to be since protein bowls are a big thing, but it's something I grew up with and for that birthday, I made it. The nice thing about it is that it's like an interchangeable dish of mixed vegetables on rice. The annoying thing is that it means I need several dishes made out to allow it to be interchangable.
-Blanched spinach for five minutes, drained, mixed with sesame oil, then mixed with soy and sugar, add sesame seeds
-stir fried kohlrabi sticks in oil, add onions, ten minute tenderization
-"quick" kimchee made of salted cucumber quarter slices, pepper flakes given time to drain, added fish sauce, minced ginger, celery
-Blanched mung beans, drained, mixed with sesame oil and seeds, garnished with green onions
-Fried extra firm tofu in sticks, hard heat, then mingled in sauce with miso paste and honey and sesame oil, garnished with green onions
-Stir fried ground beef with sesame oil, soy sauce, syrup, garlic powder, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions
-Stir fried mushrooms with onions and garlic powder
-scrambled ten eggs to a runny consistency since I can't guarantee ten fried eggs handling transit properly.
-Cooked two whole cookers of rice

They loved it. It was an all night project (we didn't even have any for dinner, we ended up having chicken tenders and fries), but the results were worth it. I didn't finish all the sides I would have used normally though, as I also had a bag of slaw I was going to make into a sour slaw, a daikon I was also going to turn into kimchee, and two zucchinis I was going to julienne before stir frying with butter.

Oh well, more for us!! I might brine the daikon instead now that I have the chance anyway.

Gardening
We found more beans growing on the window vines. I think they're fertilizing through the wind of the fan that I run as I sweat into my rig. This is looking good, as good as the vines that I will check on today if we have time. I'm predicting that the beans will climb the top of the twine by the end of this week. I'm really hoping the tomatoes will start to flower along the way. Also want to check on the squash.

DIY
We took a last minute trip to the hardware store last night, got some screws and of course I get the wrong thread. Go me. If everything comes in in time, then we'll try again? Just need to remember that it's podcast night, so I'm going to be busy. I got some extension cords for the audio equipment, so I'll see how this goes.

Random
I scraped my finger against the handrail at my complex and it wedged against a tapering part of the board and tore off a thick chunk of skin from my index finger. I can see the blood outside the bandage, so it must be deep.

Okay, things have been quiet for awhile, so BACK TO WORK.
zesty_pinto: (Jar)
Troubleshooting a computer is no fun, and it's even less easier when you're using Windows 10 and even less so when you're doing all this just so you can extract raws from a card.

If you need me, I'll be swearing into a piece of hardware.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
no caffeine. Phone app no work. Sadness. Eternal sadness of the Mondays.

It's 3pm?

Momentary sadness of the Mondays.

Accounting for past sins in terms of how I mishandled my accounts, but I was encouraged about how I'm running the account decently enough. I actually proposed an email to our client that didn't require editing, so that alone is a boon!

Pretzels
I ordered some as thanks to the person who has been mentoring me and it went to the wrong address. She's thankful I sent them, and she went far enough to visit the address to see if they're there. Huh.

She said it wasn't necessary, but I reordered a new batch for her. If she gets them, then she will have double the pretz. I'll live with the sin of spoiling.

Birthdays
Not mine, someone here has a birthday in my team. Thinking it's going to be protein bowls tomorrow. That's the problem though, it's for tomorrow. Good thing I have mason jars, I'm going to need to set them up to cook a bunch of bibimbap ingredients, then a bunch of eggs, then beef, then tofu, then some quick kimchi, then I get to pretend I'm a good person for doing all this.

DIY
Did I mention that I punched a hole in the wall?

Did I mention that it was for a replacement for the phone box?

Did I also mention that the wiring is giving me problems?

How about that I had to unscrew the damn thing and expand the hole so that it can all fit without letting the wires interfere with each other?

My vacuum is full of drywall, but I think it fits now and the connection has been giving us errors, but it seems to be more associated with things like power outages and Game of Thrones, so I think we're good.

We got cabinet handles to install to the plastic rail. Looks like Don's gonna be a-drilling some holes with his dremel!

Photos
Those will likely be on delay, because my card reader is busted or my USB front case is failing on me. My case has a reader too, but for some reason it's not operating properly. I may need to dig into the innards and try to tweak the parts around again. I can say that I have yet to find a BSOD once I cleaned the memory slots, so at least that's no longer an issue. I may need to devote a day just to checking and cleaning and restoring function to some of the parts of my case.

Gardening
I am seeing the beans grow out and vine and they're climbing. They are actually climbing in leaps and bounds! Oh my god, it is fantastic!!

I also have a bean indoors! A window bean!! I'm a proud parent! A proud, somewhat cannibalistic parent!! I'll have a photo of it, it's a somewhat sickly looking thing, but just seeing me get away with it is what surprises me the most. Hopefully, it'll grow into a single, sexy twelve inch long bean (#nobeanmo)

The squash in the patio seems to be growing, at least one of them is. Just planted two more seeds in that planter to see what happens.

Another squash was planted in the garden as well, and it looks like it's going decently enough. We'll see, I think the indoor growing made some of these plants really frail, so I'm very skeptical, but again, we'll see.

Hiking
So this weekend, we visited Shelburne Farms! I took photos! Michelle took mosquito bites! I PETTED CHICKENS!!! I will share this travail once the photos are working properly.

Television
As I mentioned before, Game of Thrones. Yes, I watched it. Yes, I enjoyed it. It's been a long time for me, I honestly forgot what Dragonstone was until she got there and then I was like, "Oh yeah... *that* place!"

Did that spoil too much? Hopefully not. Either way, I know the first episodes are more or less to establish what's going on before they actually push, so I think I'll look forward to next week, when we are treated to Peter Dinklage actually opening his mouth and saying something this time.

We started getting into American Gods. Cinematography-wise, it's a beautiful show. Most of the time, I have no idea what is going on. I mean, I have a gist, but I can't see the grand scheme of it all. To be fair, I'm only three episodes in, but I can see and I think the concept of the mythos that it's pushing out expresses itself decently enough. There's a lot of references to mythology that I would google just to see what they reference and then I'd be like, "this doesn't explain much" and then it would be reference to something else in the show and I'd keep googling. It is its own thing, I guess, and I will keep at it, but I have to admit that it would be nice to know what I'm watching once we get later in.

Also, that opening? It's one sexy art piece that was made for this show.

Finally, got to add: Gillian Anderson can do a fantastic Lucille Ball. Like I didn't even realize it was her until I kept noticing "Guest Actor - Gillian Anderson" in the credit. I'm still trying to identify some of the old gods in the series too, while some like the jinn are obvious, others like the Irishman are too obscure for me.

Gaming
Michelle got that LEGO game for Switch and she tried out the Splatoon 2 beta release. I think she has a poor reaction/compensation time when it comes to games, but despite that I think she was starting to really get into it and was picking up some tactics aside from charging. Good for her! I still suck at it, though tbf, I think the controls need better tweaking, otherwise I could probably do decently as a sniper build in that game. Michelle keeps offering to get more controllers, but I'm okay with doing nothing.

Comics
Yes, of course I pick up comics.

Just want to point out that Marvano's version of The Forever War was back in release. I found it amazing because I grew up wanting to get the whole collection, but the second and third parts of the trilogy were really freaking rare to find. Don't believe me? Look up eBay: the second and third parts usually sell for 100 or more.

Now that I found out Titan reprinted them, I can get a second chance! I'll look forward to getting a new version, maybe get to keep my third copy in better condition now, too.

Finally
Reading this entry back made me realize I've been relatively busy this weekend, huh. Well good!
zesty_pinto: (Chest Dance)
WOOOOOCAFFEINEOOOOOOOOOOOOO
So much caffeine. I drank a can of Pepsi aaand caffeine WOOOO! WOOO! I haven't had this much caffeine in awhile! I should check if I did this or maybe if I work on this first oh wait, I already did those so I better go back to checking other things WOOOOOOOOOOO CAFFEINE!!!

Actually,
^My head right now. Seriously, not used to this much caffeine in one sitting and it's a can so I can't parcel it out like I can with a bottle, bah!

One of the coworkers here offered to let me check out a copy of Dr. McNinja that she wanted me to look into. It was in reference to coming to work on Friday in a "KNIFE EYE ATTACK!!" shirt. It's neat because they got it signed, too!

So I just found out that a gift I sent to someone who basically helped me out during some of the rough parts of the transition to a new account did not receive the gift I sent them! Bah! She seemed thankful, but maybe next week with my paycheck I will try again. I will keep trying again (unless my paycheck breaks me in two)!!

DIY and a gift?
So softbox came in along with a new paper lantern, 18 inch diameter. We've been wanting one of these for awhile because our bedroom is lit with a 10" paper lantern covering an LED bulb. The larger lamp is giving a more even light, but also emphasizes how much power you might want to expect out of it. It's a 9V LED, which is equivalent to 80W incandescent, which is still pretty damn bright and more than enough for a bedroom, but I'm not the biggest fan of how much weaker the light feels now.

We did actually get a 15W LED as well from IKEA and we tried it out. It's really bright, but it's also a warm light. Since the house uses a lot of whites and blues, a warm tone doesn't really work with the house, so I didn't think it worked. Michelle was in agreement, you can't do warm lights and blues at the same time unless you like everything to look more brown.

The softbox was tested out with the lamp frame and it looks good. I can clamp the umbrella to one of the unused arms and the rest might have enough room to handle adding the light equivalence. My only concern is if it burns too hot and smoulders the softbox, but we'll see about this. LEDs are known to gather less heat, but four bulbs is still iffy; I'm aware that LEDs are mostly heat sinks for a reason.


EDIT: Wait a moment... maybe I can see about rewiring a clear plastic computer fan into a metal bulb? Might need to see how much I can get away with that without turning it into a fire hazard. I might need to figure out a proper exhaust port too. I am very skeptical about this though as I know computer fans are moderated by a motherboard so this might be a great way to burn out a fan motor really quickly.

EDIT 2: Just looked into it, yeah, I would need a transformer of sorts. Might be able to break down a USB cord to convert, but that means two plugs which just guarantees more of a mess. Plus, I still need to do something about setting up a vent, so I'll just see if force of will will be enough, maybe remove the white screen or separate it instead to allow air flow.

while I was checking out the quality of the softbox, Michelle noticed something on the bed where I unpacked the softbox. A wire with a rounded knob at the end, kind of looks like a wireless charging port?

Sure enough, we plug it (if it infects my computer, at least it's a new version of Windows 10 on it?) and...

it lights up.

It lights up?

Googling lead us to stuff like this!

In fact, it lead to a lot of them! Whether it was a knockoff or not, the thing was dirty and looked like it had been gathering dust, so my take is that it might have been pushed into the bag without realizing it. So yay, free thing! That we can't really use, but yay free thing!

Weekend
No idea again. We got a ton of laundry to do though, so there's that. I might see if we can get a hike if the weather stays cool, but if not then maybe we'll explore the land bridge, or try to walk around the lake again! At least I have repellent, so I'll look forward to that.

I might ask to visit Re:Home again to check on that treadmill.

Also
Speaking of spending garish amounts of money, Kickstarter is annoying me because it keeps pointing me to stuff I'm interested in. Case in point, a super thin jacket that could potentially be gotten for 100 (okay likely 120 with shipping). I love wind shells just because they guarantee protection from bug bites, and something thin like this that also provides warmth sounds amazing to me. I'll see if it's worth it later on. Even if it doesn't provide much in the way of warmth, I like the ergonomics put into it.

I should do maintenance on the garden, so I'll try to take photos!
zesty_pinto: (Default)
One issue dealt with, now to work on another account.

Had to use the credit card at the supermarket today since meat day yielded some decent deals. If your bag is too heavy to carry normally and you spent less than 30 to do it, I consider that a good day. I found it oddly appropriate since we found a sale on burgers, which Michelle definitely needs to make up for the period.

I moved a pair of constantly wilting squash plants to a hanging planter that I removed the plastic liner from since they crumbled instantly. Broke down the soil and mixed it with plant food. I don't see it getting far, but it's likely better than watching these plants live and die off time and time again.

Television
So we got into The GLOW.

Is it wrong that I find it awesome when you have a cast full of unconventional body types taking more regular roles? I have to admit that hearing Jenji getting her influence in making this show does show as it has a bit of an OITNB style of focus with the cast and their storylines.

The storyline itself isn't amazing; the establishment of the story is itself nothing new, but some of the interactions annoyed me, especially regarding a protagonist's partner (which also seems to be an OITNB theme, ha). The background on the documentary noted how this was a show that walked the line between women's lib and pandering to men's needs, and this show does seem to emphasize it since it shows more skin than I really wanted.

Also going to mildly spoil that one of the characters is desi so of course is shown as the terrorist and the reaction to her is too volatile for me to believe that this is the 80's. Back then, we didn't associate The Iron Sheik with the triggers of terrorism like we do in a post-9/11 world and I think they did it just to make a point, but it cheapened the experience for me. If the documentary points out this was a thing even back then, then I'll concede the point, but it feels too modern to convince me.

I'd recommend also being warned that there are some nudity scenes that get extensive and a little too exploitative for me (I mean, I think Allison is adorable, but I never wanted to see her naked, thanks), while other actors feel underutilized. I mean, I respect Marc Maron, but I felt like he didn't bring anything too exciting to the table beyond a reveal late in the season.

Despite all this, it's the ladies themselves who make this watchable as you see them pull off some fun lines and watch them grow into their parts as terrible actors who can sell great techniques. More importantly, it's short; ten 30 minute episodes translates to a one day binge, so it doesn't take much time to watch through. Plus, after looking up some of the history of the people involved in the actual Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, there is a lot of potential for things to happen in later seasons, so I'll look forward to getting some more details on the cast's roles as they fill them in.


Also, Adam Ruins Everything came back and it reminded me how great the show is.

They started the season off by talking about pregnancy and childcare. One particularly shocking bit of knowledge was on how the data for pregnancy past 35 was based on data compiled from the 16th to mid-18th century from France. Most significant about this though was him now including a segue where he talks to some of the specialists he invited to get a little more in-depth on the subject in a serious light, not unlike his podcast where you can pick up some great details on the subject that just couldn't fit the format of the show. I personally like that he's putting more emphasis on the knowledge at the cost of the fun of the show, but I think it works.

I find it a bit more of a relief because me and Michelle are getting older, but we can't really guarantee having the money to really put to giving the child everything they need to grow up happy and well. Maybe once our combined income hits six digits, sigh...

Recipes
I made congee! Do you know how easy it is to make congee when you have rice flour? Of course you do! It's super easy!

-Boil water
-Throw in chicken base
-Take some of the soup, let cool
-Mix rice flour with the soup
-Drop it into the soup, mix until fully integrated
-Add shaved ginger, green onions, edamame, and corn (because texture, note peanuts are more traditional)
-When boiling, add thinly sliced protein, serve a few minutes later until the meat is cooked from the scalding hot heat of something that you could get serious burns from
-Enjoy!

Addendum

Jul. 11th, 2017 04:52 pm
zesty_pinto: (Avant-Garde)
Looked at camera equipment. Nowadays, ISO 51k can get you some pretty damn acceptable results. I can't afford any of this stuff, but knowing that is insane.

I don't see myself needing a replacement anytime soon either, as my gear is built to last (I still have a 8 year old K20D that has thousands on its shutter box and still going strong), but it did make me think.

Actually, the K5 is being less and less cooperative, but I always felt like my version has issues. In all honesty, I live with the NEX-7 anyway and that camera has been holding up really well.

Still, acceptable images at ISO 51K is five steps better than the best sensor tech I have in my current models. It's now so good that I can probably take mood-lit photos in a smoky bar without using a flash and I might be able to get away with it while using a crappy kit lens. The difference is worlds apart.

If we ever get the money to do these kind of disposable luxuries like me getting gear again, I imagine my next camera will be fifty times superior to anything I haul in my bag. Just knowing that amazes me.

Welp, back to paying the credit card then.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
Judging my feed, I think it's official to say that Photobucket is dead now because there's no way their new business model is going to be viable. I can see why they're taking this drastic measure, but their alternative might as well be the Trumpcare of changes.

Sorry, I try to push politics out of this, but had to make that metaphor.

Anyway,

These past two days have been rather uneventful. Perhaps for the better?

Michelle's got her period last night, so I'll need to think up some beef dishes, but I thawed out chicken because I was planning on cooking something yesterday but we were here until 7:30 because Michelle's accounts basically dumped everything on her and then I had a discussion with someone that ran it into overtime. We needed a quick meal, and the supermarket had a sale on pizza rolls! Welcome back, college days!

Michelle didn't like them in the end, but I found them to be the perfect kind of junk food I needed. Maybe tonight I'll do a chicken macaroni casserole? Then tomorrow I'll see if we have any burger meat left and i'll work on that. Not a big fan of the mac and cheese since it makes terrible leftovers (unless you want lunch to include falling asleep on your desk), but I do have a lot of pasta left. Maybe I'll do mac salad and make chicken fried rice then? Could potentially do an alfredo too...

Television
We ended up watching "Teachers," which is like the Bridesmaids to the line of rude edgy comedy shows out there like "The League" or "It's Always Sunny (yes, I'm aware that one of the main cast is a woman)" While I think the performances can be hit or miss, there's something hilarious about a show where you have kids saying utterly rude things to adults. Allison Brie is one of the executive producers for the show and honestly, I can see it as something she would fit in perfectly with as well.

The oddest thing about it though is that I know too many actual teachers and most of them feel offended by the show. I mean, I get it; it's not actually what teaching is like, but the joke is that they're all idiots. I find it odd how some people can take these things so personally. It almost makes me wonder if professors get offended at "China, IL" because it suggests that academia is full of rapping drunks who barely care about their students as much as their paychecks.

DIY
For the picnic, I ordered a 36" hexagonal soft box. No worries, I could find uses for it.

One of the people who offered her lamp finally brought it. It's one of those octopus-style standing lamps with cheap plastic hoods. The screw thread is smaller (I'm thinking E12) so I'll need to look into appropriate bulbs. I was tempted to get some 12 watt LEDs (which would allow a concentration of 100W equivalence per bulb allowing for a really bright hot light), but at this size they burn HOT and will be inside a confined space, so I'm electing instead to use something with less power. I think with five extensions, I can concentrate enough light to make it fairly powerful while simultaneously not threatening to burn down the softbox, although a four pack should be enough.

Removing the cheap plastic cups was easy. Surprisingly easy, in fact; so much that I didn't need to destroy anything in the process. I don't think I'm going to need to do much to break down the lamp and it looks really straight forward. I'd like to see about making a metal frame to make sure the bulbs don't touch the side of the box too, but I think if I have a dead bulb there, then it's going to be fine since I can use it as a brace (which seems likely since bulbs tend to come in a four pack).

I'm going to see if I can either remove the weighted base or separate the pole so I can add another pole to it. It might not be necessary, though.

I also spent the weekend swapping out the phone cord box with a wall installation. It was surprisingly easy, even easier when you have a DeWalt to do things like set the anchors. Also added some wire staples to make sure they don't drag on the bottom and get tangled by the Roomba. At this rate, I might be able to learn how to pet-proof the house.

Treadmill?
We saw a treadmill at the Re:Home and were really tempted to get it, but the vacation tapped out our reserves, so we vowed to get it come next paycheck. It's not expensive (100 dollars!) but it's heavy as hell and difficult to move and would be going into a house that we might have to get rid of furniture just to make it fit properly. If we don't get it, it won't be the end of the world, but when the weather gets cold again, it'll be a nice alternative to walking outside.

Garden
-is growing! Like, really growing! Installed a new line from the tomato cages. Checked for pests. I found colonies of spring peepers coming by, so I have some natural pest control. Yay, spring peepers! Installed a squash plant where a bean plant didn't do so well. I have another creeping squash that I will probably install today. Just some mild weeding and testing out the repellent; it works well enough for me to see a mosquito try to get at my arms time and time again only to fail each time as I mock its pitiful attempts to have my sex blood.

The window sill's bean vines are starting to show flowers as well, by the way. I'll start artificial pollination if it comes to it, although I don't think there's enough soil in the sill to make it bear any real crops.

Computer
After I cleaned the memory slots, I haven't had a BSOD recently. I'm hoping it keeps this up because I don't want to buy new memory yet. We shall see! Sigh.

I still have yet to install the free antivirus I was offered for 2 years with the Windows license. I need to put time aside for that.

Back to work!
zesty_pinto: (water bear ready for beach)
Hey folks!

Typing this from Boston. I am covered in sunburns and lounging in air conditioning. Our two day camping trip was reduced to one, and I have to say that 24 hours on an island makes you really appreciate all the little things of modern life. You would not believe how amazing artificial grape from a refrigerator can taste after all that heat and dragging 70 pounds of gear.

Our hotel has a view of the Charles river where a tree blocks the river itself but not enough to block where the fireworks will go. We ate hot food from an app! My god, I feel so backwards living in the country sometimes when I remember how connected I used to be as a city kid. Still miss Boston (except for driving. Screw all this Masshole auto stress).

We'll be home tomorrow and I'll have some shots and a little more to talk about then. Hope everyone's enjoying their day off.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
Found out the only person in the office that I worked on for my account was someone who is notoriously temperamental. Can't wait to be three months into this just so I can figure out what's an actual crisis versus something that seems like one thanks to antsyness.

Aside from this, the day seemed to move well enough. I guess we'll see all the proper damages come Wednesday. God help me in that case.

In the meantime though, tomorrow we drive off to Boston. I'm hoping for some decent photos of the marine life along the shores. The only concern I may have is for water, but we're all ready otherwise.

If the days ever get quiet in Boston, I'll probably post something about what's going on, but for now just going to warn that I will be even more absent than usual.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
Another rough day. Group leader checked on me because I was making mistakes like crazy from going into full on panic mode and pushing work into someone who's not even responsible for this account anymore. I think I passed the storm, I just need to make sure that I can get as much of the crazier crap resolved before I can leave for vacation.

I'm exhausted again but at least most of the things to do home are done. Camping supplies are good. We hit Sierra Trading Post (yes, we're that one state that has a physical store of theirs for some reason) and we saw a whole bunch of camping gear for soooo cheap. One of the bigger surprises was finding one of those sleeping bag body suits, which I know Michelle wanted for awhile. She decided to pack both her regular bag and that one for this trip.

Some freeze dried breakfast goods, some mess kits (mostly I wanted one so I could bake with it; believe it or not, I've been using a mess kit pot to bake instant muffins before and would like to do it again). I wanted to find some lemon eucalyptus spray and it's impossible to get short of buying online, so I ended up making bug spray!

CookingRecipe!
-Two ounces of witch hazel
-ten drops of tea tree oil (because I had it lying around)
-two teaspoons of vanilla extract
-fifteen drops of citronella oil (to tone down the smell of the-)
-thirty-five drops of lemon eucalyptus oil

The smell is reminiscent of bug spray, but not a really strong lemon eucalyptus smell. Got it in an atomizer, so I'll see if this will do the trick. They recommended coconut oil if it's going to be waterproofed, but that stuff solidifies easy, so I'll pass.


Anyway, we could use some baking mix for breakfast or dessert. One thing I learned from Mini Bull Design is that those "just add water" muffin mixes are amazing if you want something warm and substantial during overnights.

I think we will need to get more water to carry, but at the least, we'll have enough for the night. I told her if we need more, the ferry can take us to where our car is which will be around a mall that includes a supermarket, so I can grab a two gallon there or something if it comes down to it.

My gear bag is also optimized for the trip; mostly short lenses, a macro, one prime, the NEX-7 and a Pentax K-5 with a cardboard tube telephoto zoom. I really want to see if I can do some proper long exposure while there. My carry weight will probably be somewhere between 50 to 60 pounds, so it'll be interesting seeing if I can handle it all.

Tired, just glad most of our vacation prepwork is done. Didn't even do much else beyond register my Windows 10 license.
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