zesty_pinto: (Default)
2017-09-18 05:59 pm


The sky was rosy, calm, thoughtful. The colony of 8 bean plants, now almost a hedge of greenery, limped from the weight while another column rested on its side, defeated by gravity and lashings that time and erosion that deteriorated once-white cord that would have otherwise found a better home wrapped around a roast or hanging a cluster of drying foods.

I had to be quick. The mosquitoes would come when the weather was in transition. They would come with relentlessness and they had squatted all over my fields to feast on pollen and commit their orgies all over it between the raptures of japanese beetles and the daddy long-legs and the spiders that hid between it all.


zesty_pinto: (Default)
2017-09-15 04:44 pm

(no subject)

Punctures in my fingers from shelling the meat out of half a dozen blue crabs. I couldn't get all of it, but enough to make me satisfied with the results. TBH, I was doing it all by hand. I can do it, it's not hard, but then I forgot that soft, tan skin, no matter how leathery it may seem, can be readily defeated by hardened chitinous spikes. At least the Old Bay seasoning cauterized the wounds.

I spent the night telling Michelle to "eat my tasty blood!" and feeding her my digits as she tried to sleep. I'm a terrible fiancee.

I swear I can still smell the sea on my fingers.

I've been taking things slower now. Mostly because the allergies are still killing me.

Oh! Michelle made her LEGO set to celebrate the new glass display; it's really small but so many intricate parts.

I also heard LEGO's finally hitting a downturn in profit and I can't be surprised since their creep has been really aggressive and the idea of people buying these as an investment just struck me as fifty degrees of wrong. I wouldn't mind if they tone down on the ambitions, get a little more conservative with their set prices, etc.

Canning tomorrow! The beans out there are so nice and big. I can't emphasize how much I'm looking forward to it.

I'm also looking forward to getting some fresh apple cider. I baked a pound cake of mushy pear and peaches in the new Pyrex loaf form and it was late so I tried to see if I could get the oven's residual heat to cook it through as I turned it off. Nope, it wasn't enough; it was gummy, although at least that's better than dry imo.

A couple more minutes until Friday's done with. More work being a pain in the butt from one of the outsourcers we deal with.

Oh, and Michelle's hitting the electrolysis and we're getting an oil change. Adult stuff!
zesty_pinto: (Avant-Garde)
2017-09-14 01:51 pm

The Beans

-are ungotten.

To be continued on Saturday.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
2017-09-11 11:32 am


I've not been keeping up! Terrible of me, I know, I'm sorry for neglecting all this.

The world landscape aside, I've been busy; parents visited during labor day and then I spent the weekend resting. Work has been slowing down, thankfully, and I feel like things are finally starting to get normal again.

I need to get back into working on my dad's site since I received the OK from him although I feel like things are slowing down again, sigh. I'm wondering if he's hitting fatigue.

Last Last Weekend
They visited like two weekends ago and I think they were concerned about what to expect. They planned to sleep here and even brought sleeping bags. They didn't know that we have a pull out king bed and a fairly well-furnished apartment and a fridge full of things I buy on sale 90% of the time. I picked up one details for certain things that my dad wanted done and I need to invoice him on some of the costs later in the month once I finish the images and apply the website to his domain.

This weekend
This weekend, we visited my parents' for a party that I think was to double as a birthday party for Michelle's mother. Well let me tell you: her parents? They really PARTY. It went on until 3am, just loud singing and shouting. One of the kids threw a toilet paper roll and blocked up the sewage line in the process. The kids there were untamed; one of them kept trying to punch people, and another was just vindictive as hell. The vindictive one has parents that are loudmouthed (dad's a Newark cop), and the other one had parents that had that "my kids can do no wrong" attitude. I warned Michelle that they represent everything that I'm afraid of if we have kids.

I felt like I should bring something, so I made a marinade of Korean barbecue and Michelle's mom didn't even get a chance to have any. I was happy to know that people liked it, but didn't expect it to be such a hit! TBF, I did get to grill it there so that might have helped too. The family from Delaware brought some crabs and Michelle's brother the chef brought gluten-free pasta salad (I think it's a crappy diet but it was a tasty salad). At one point, I just decided to go hang out away from everyone else at a certain point as I started to fall asleep and people just wouldn't leave.

We left on Sunday morning with another cooler full of food ("we have so much food at home already!" Michelle pleaded to them) and we took a trip up that was relatively uneventful. We passed up Lake George and took a stop there; apparently all the outlets have everything on sale and I ended up nabbing a nice set of Pyrex bakeware that we don't need but I couldn't resist for six bucks apiece.

Then it was to LL Bean and we got used clothes, blessed used clothes.

Back home and apparently everything on TV is coming back. We caught back on a bit of the mid-season of Walking Dead (we took a break from it for awhile and it's nice to be able to binge through now).

If I didn't emphasize it before, I'll do it again: I need to harvest some beans.

Now that everything's quiet, I'll try to keep up with everyone again. Sorry for that folks!
Today I need to get the beans.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
2017-08-31 05:36 pm

(no subject)

Eyes still sore, some weakness from fatigue.

Still a bit tired to say the least. My nose is really itchy, like endlessly. My eyes are constantly irritated too. I am not liking this season. I feel terrible and I still have no idea if I can take time off or not and the thought of this all is making me feel temperamental.

I can't take tomorrow off though because my other teammate is out. So they're going to have to deal with me sneezing and sniffling all day as a result until they figure out how to get this fixed.

Not much more to say, sorry, my eyes are still killing me. At least my teeth feel fine (albeit a bit loose).
zesty_pinto: (Default)
2017-08-30 03:56 pm

(no subject)

It's almost a week past deadline and I'm still mired in crap thanks to my accounts. To top it off, checking on the beans got me slapping into a giant stalk of ragweed, covering me with the crap.

Been having sleep issues as well, just can't get myself to sleep properly. I've been telling Michelle about this and she doesn't know what to do. I'm wondering if it's because I haven't had much opportunity to be really active these days.

I had my first ever visit to a dentist. Like, ever. Teeth cleaning was interesting, it felt like someone trying to see if they could pull my teeth for an hour, where I clenched the arms of the chair at points as though I was training myself for torture. To be fair on them, they asked if I wanted someone for the pain and I declined anyway, but it may have also encouraged me to feel terrible like I do now, as I've had endless coughing, sneezing, and sniffling fits throughout the day. Today the pain is gone, but I do still feel a bit off. Michelle told me that kissing me felt odd since I smell like a dentist office, so it just goes to show you the world of difference so far. On the bright side, my teeth feel so porous now. I'm not used to how they no longer feel so smooth.

With Game of Thrones over, I watched The Tick. So damn short! I really wanted more. Although it felt slow at times trying to find the hero's journey with Arthur, it did begin showing a lot of the absurdist humor of the franchise the deeper you got into it. I was hoping one of the characters from the comic who was deemed too violent for the Disney-bought version would make a comeback, but I understand it's still too early. I know people love Warburton's Tick, and this one is more of an Adam West-styled eternally optimistic goof.

I looked it over further and this is actually half of the first season (thank god!) although it'll be a couple of months before I see the second part. I so can't wait!

Despite my deteriorating health, it's still podcast time tonight. I'll see how far I can go despite feeling like crap, but we shall see.

Now that work isn't keeping on my butt all day 24/7, I'll see if I can keep up with your content again. Sorry folks, I really, really, REALLY, hated these past few weeks.

Almost forgot
I spent the weekend looking after a cat that never wanted to see me. Covering my face with my shirt like an antifa, I went treasure hunting every evening as Michelle replaced the food. I think we feed the cat more than the person who normally keeps her as the poops and clumps of wet earth seemed to get more plentiful as the days passed. At least we know the cat wasn't killed by us?
zesty_pinto: (Default)
2017-08-23 03:38 pm

(no subject)

Sitting in an overheating car on a sunny day. I'm not a sun worshipper, so this is not what I'd call "ideal."

Michelle's getting electrolysis. I'm trying to figure out some edits to my dad's website some more and improvising. I don't think I'm entirely successful, but I'll see. Part of my

blarghl flargl ftah



/clr all





So yeah, I forgot I was writing that entry. Michelle's electrolysis is showing better results than ever. The weekend was a trip to a store Michelle wanted to see that basically carried all sorts of everything and a shop that sold everything. Sunday was mostly being home until I was told that Trader Joe's had 50 cent eggs, after which we drove down and got a ton of eggs faster than you could say Guy Fieri. Then late night website work and then gaming and then blessed, blessed, sleep.

I've been pushing on less sleep, or should I say my head is relying on less sleep. Keep the naproxen coming, I'm getting tension headaches, which is that headache that makes your eye sockets feel strained and painfully tight.

It doesn't help that Michelle was clingy last night and I kept waking up at night from her touching me awake and then losing my ability to sleep when the AC kept going on and off. It's been night after night of sleeping poorly for me.

The Website
Got most of it figured out, I think I'll need to shop around for stock photos, which will probably set me back by 100 or so (my dad insists on being invoiced for those, so ok), then I go through putting in billing and transition my dad's website to the new site.

But before that, I need to start up the Facebook page. And then I need to get some content from him for the website's blog feature, which he insists on wanting.

My workload at work cut down significantly now that I took care of three times my workload for this month, so I am going to be able to enjoy some calm again and keep up on this website and your (mis)adventures.


It was little more than a handful, a few tiny Kentucky wonders from the window and six of the Orient wonders from outside that were long enough to touch the ground. I'm predicting that by the end of this week, I should have a good crop. Still no squash fruit though, sadly.

I also had a Japanese beetle problem so used a spray I kept in storage for a few weeks that used a handful of habaneros pureed with garlic. Sprayed them out and you'd get this delectible smell, until the fumes would be breathed in and then you'd start choking from it. Once you spray them, their heads start vomiting and they try to move around to get rid of the stuff. In a few minutes, it eventually kills them.

I'm told it also affects pollinators, so I'm using this stuff sparingly in targeted instances. The other bugs around my plants are feeding spring peepers that visit my plot whom I see jump away once I check on the vegetables.

The first harvest went to a fry in butter and served with a sous vide of chicken in a marinade bag containing mustard, white wine, worcestershire sauce, rosemary, sriracha, and garlic powder. Michelle liked it, and we were impressed at how tender it is cooked this way.

Last night was a stirfry. Maybe tonight I'll do mapo tofu? If I don't fall on my face tonight? I was also tempted to make something I like to call "evil jelly" which is a mixture of habaneros, red pepper flakes, garlic, vinegar, and sugar. Nothing will live in it, and your mouth will hate you for it. But it's also sooo tasty.

More to tell for today? Not really. Really could use some sleep though.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
2017-08-19 01:45 am

(no subject)

"My internet's back, are you okay to game?"
Tonight's podcast session was canceled on account of an internet issue that was caused by an AT&T worker screwing with the internet. My buddy who hosts this thing uses Time Warner but noted it was an AT&T worker who did it, so called them about this. What he got was an AT&T customer care worker who was helping him... by selling him AT&T's products.

Although it seemed like Tech support, the guy eventually admitted he was sales and that they could do nothing for him since he doesn't use AT&T. He admitted this after a long call where he didn't provide any details about the issue but kept trying to sell him AT&T products. Shits like this are the reason why I hope they get turned into a utility.

Our gaming session didn't bring out my peak acting, but it was hilarious. I wish I could say more, but I was so tired then that I was half-slurring.

Photobooth photos were easy. Mostly all I did was clip and change the levels to make it look "sunnier."

Apparently, I must have done something right, because a fair number of the upper levels of management came by and kept complimenting me on my work. I was frank with them- that I know I could do better with certain elements, that the backdrop was too small, the weather too windy, etc. But they noted that folks looked like they had fun with it and that's what mattered.

The Website
Still working on the website, but would like to take a break for a day or so. I'm trying to see how valid using a calendar sync setup would be using the Wix format. Depending on that determines whether I keep the function or not. I think it costs extra though, so if it does, then I'll try to fix it.

There's a section that my dad also wants to remove and the long panel website model is not very good at shortening/removing sections, so this will also be another headache to deal with. I'll have to think of either shortening the panel, covering it with something else, or maybe even redoing it in an all new template.

I took a break from it today. I'll give it a proper review tomorrow morning before we go to the shop and Michelle gets her electrolysis. Maybe I'll see if I can drag the laptop along and use the phone's wifi. Maybe not?

There's a store Michelle wants to check out tomorrow too, for there was hype a-plenty among the office break room about it. Never heard of it myself, but it seems to be a department store of some kind.

Work's been moving along smoothly, even despite my current fixation on the news.

Too tired to think of other things, honestly wanted to take a photo of the display too, but I'll try another time. In the meantime, taking a break by playing more King's Bounty. Never beat this game and got close to the end, but never actually did.
zesty_pinto: (Jar)
2017-08-16 04:28 pm

(no subject)

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.

-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

-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

-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.

-Water run on Sunday
-Car started rattling

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

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

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

-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

-Will show once website work stabilizes
zesty_pinto: (Default)
2017-08-11 10:28 pm

I think I'm building a website

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)
2017-08-04 09:19 am


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)
2017-08-03 10:12 pm


I can get to work on my dad's stuff. Hallelujah!
zesty_pinto: (Default)
2017-08-03 04:12 pm

Speed tests

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.

...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)
2017-08-02 11:24 am

Left work eager to get stuff done

-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.

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.

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)
2017-08-01 04:23 pm

(no subject)

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...

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.

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.

Our Fair City is coming back in two weeks.

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?)

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.

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.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
2017-07-31 10:45 pm


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.

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)
2017-07-25 06:05 pm

(no subject)

Three damn days on one article that refuses to process properly. Still playing catchup.

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

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)
2017-07-24 02:44 pm

Busy weekend (summed up in the silliest way)


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!

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."

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.



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!

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.


...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.

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)
2017-07-19 02:38 pm

(no subject)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)
2017-07-18 11:28 pm

(no subject)

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.