Thursday, October 6, 2016

security camera system - part 5

It was just a needed maintenance work on the security because one of the wireless sensors have been eating the lithium battery very fast. I think it is because of the installation that exposed it to extreme heat and cold that deteriorated the integrated circuit. Soon it would turn into an update project for my home security system.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

jazzing up a frozen pizza - part 1

In the past I would not consider buying frozen pizza. I either make my own dough or buy fresh dough from a store when making pizza. A while back I gave Trader Joe's frozen pizza a try and they are really quite good if you are not too critical of the crust. Frozen pizza can never have good crust compare to freshly made.

braised pork belly - for ramen

I have been making ramen a very long time. Each time I prepare a batch of ingredients I learn something new. Cooking is like everything in life, is a continuous discovery. Hence, I can never keep any recipe as few of my preparation of the same dish are the same process.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

security camera system - part 4

Smile, you are on camera. One of my reasons for wanting a good security camera system is to guard against door to door unsolicited cold calls. These two guys going house to house in my neighborhood wanting to buy houses at depressed price to flip for a handsome profit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

a small batch of smoked salmon

I would never thought that I would waste time and effort to smoke this small amount of salmon. It was totally unplanned. I did not buy any salmon this year as the prices have been the highest I have seen in recent years. I came across some fresh Coho with $5 off each pack. I picked the smallest pack because it has the biggest discount. I was just going to make a few pan fry meals.

ramen in portland - part 6 中華料理拉麺

Soup noodles are my most frequently prepare meals. They are very versatile and are a meal in one serving vessel. It takes as little as 15 minutes to prepare if I have the basic ingredients already made in a big batch.

pc updates - part 2

The graphics interface card arrived. I set out to cap the entire 4k display upgrade to be under $500. I selected this ATI Radeon R7 370 graphics card with 4GB of RAM made by Sapphire. There are many manufacturers also make and market basically the identical design. It can support multiple monitors and support 4k display resolution via the Displayport or HDMI ports up to 60Hz.

Monday, September 19, 2016

security camera system - part 3

I ran out of the RJ45 plugs to complete my version 1.0 of the security camera system installation. I have planned an incremental installation to do it right. I want to do this on installments so I would have time to uncover areas for improvement, especially the locations of the cameras. Also I would have time to think through the cable routing for the few challenging locations of the cameras.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

ramen in portland - part 5 中華料理拉麺

It has been a ramen week as I made a big stock pot of pig bone stock and a modest amount of slow braised pork butt. BTW, if you think pork butt is literally what what they call it, you would be rather disappointed. It is not the butt of the pig. Often it is really pork shoulder.

Friday, September 16, 2016

pc updates - part 1

I have been disciplined. My desktop Windows PC that I assembled myself is now about 5 years old. The two LCD monitors are 8 to 10 years old. They are both Dell 1920x1200 LCD. I would be happy to continue using them have it not because of their fluorescent backlight. One of them is quite tired. They also run quite hot which is an indication of the high power consumption compared to the current offering that has LED backlight.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

ramen in portland - part 4 中華料理拉麺

A friend met up with me to go try the new ramen place that is in Uwajimaya. We have high hope that it serves half-decent bowls of ramen. I have to admit I am very hard to please and I have yet to be impressed by any that I tried in this country. The decor and presentation of the restaurant looks right, and so is the menu. Usually if the place try to be everything of Japanese it is a sign to avoid. You want to see they serve nothing else but ramen and Gyoza, and drinks.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

security camera system - part 2

I have been evaluating this NVR security camera system for 10 days now. While I jumped from the initial cash outlay of $250 to $1000 I have no disillusions that this is nothing like the systems used in commercial applications. Then there is law enforcement equipment that a camera alone cost a few thousand dollars. I think I have a well informed level of expectation of what to expect. I am very glad that I opted to spend a bit more. The network based NVR is the way to go for the ease of camera installation if you want to maintain unobtrusive professional installation.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

new hummingbird feeders

Hummingbird feeders are some of the worst ripoffs of consumer goods. Most are very poorly design and made. The prices for one of this cheap plastic thing that cost may be $0.30 sold for 50 folds. I never want to pay over $5 each. The secret is to way for autumn when the stores are making room for Christmas merchandise.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

chiuchow black pepper pig stomach soup - part 2

Looking back it has been a while since I ate pig stomach. While shopping in my regular Asian grocery stores I was disappointed at the lack of selections of live seafood. This year the Pacific Northwest crab and other shellfishes harvest must be abnormally low. I came across the nice looking pig stomachs. They were 2 in a pack so I bought a pack.

Friday, August 26, 2016

security camera system - part 1

I have been wanting a security camera system a long time. Over the years I have monitor the progress of the improvements on those of consumer budget but have defer the purchase as I felt they are not good enough. I recently picked up this Night Owl 8-channel DVR with 4 HD analog cameras for only $250. I have a lot of reservation, especially the challenges of running the BNC/power cables between the DVR and the cameras. Upon inspecting the cable interconnect I decided to return it without evening opening up the rest of the system. I started researching on the newer generation of network video recorders (NVR).

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

windows computer went kaputt - again

It was only in 2014 my Windows desktop computer went kaputt. I managed to diagnosed to the system power supply, or as I thought but the root cause was not entirely clear even though I managed to repaired it. I swapped out the power supply with another PC that has an identical unit. Strangely the donor PC works just fine with the "bad" power supply. That left me wonder if the power supply as after all not the cause of the failure. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, my same Windows computer died all a sudden while resuming from sleep.

Monday, August 22, 2016

happiness is another small engine - part 2

It has been nearly a year since I decided to buy a 4-stroke leave blower against the common wisdom. Upon first receiving it I was very pleased with its performance, and especially how quiet it is. Even at full throttle I find it no need to wear any hearing protection. The other benefits are the cleaner exhaust and without having to deal with gasoline and oil mixture. I was also very impressed on how little fuel it consumes - until a few months into the ownership.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

bed cover for isolde

I managed to maintained the upholstery in Isolde in pristine condition after 27 years. The secret is a layer of sacrificial material over the factory fabric. In recent years the fabric on the bed cover deteriorated and I have been challenged as what to do. The cover is a old fashion sleeping bag that has been modified in circa 26 years ago. Today these old fashion sleeping bags are few and far in between. I entertained replacing the worn fabric while keeping the insulation core of the sleeping bag. The problem is the retail cost of the fabric would cost more than the sleeping bag.

Friday, August 19, 2016

arduino based multi-function display for Vanagon - part 4

As in any design development, there are challenges with the parts that one specified. I happened upon the DHT11 temperature and humidity sensor because of its dual function. It would turn out it was fun while the curiosity lasted. I have 3 of this and found that they are worthless junk. The temperature reading often jumps around 2 degrees, and at time 8 in consecutive samples. Also all three are extremely inaccurate. I had play with the Maxim DS18B20 quite early on and found them to be very accurate for solid state active sensor. One reason reason that I didn't choose it was my attracted to the DHT11's humidity capability. The bigger reason is the library for the DS18B20 is very memory intensive, and I had ran out of program memory as well as SRAM.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

japanese rolled omelette

Recently I have been into making Japanese rolled omelette. Actually more like my interpretation of this omelette technique. I am inspired by how Japanese would take foreign dishes and turn them into their own versions of Western dishes but suit their taste.