Friday, December 29, 2017

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

ssd for thinkpad t400s

Since I repaired the broken hinge on the Thinkpad T400s I want to improve its performance and prolong it as long as possible. I have notice the computer has became sluggish of late. I had tried to determine what could be the cause to no avail. I suspected that the harddrive may be on the last leg, as these 1.8" and 2.5" can exhibit this symptom. I decide to upgrade to a solid state drive (SDD).

Monday, December 25, 2017

asia trip, 2011 - hong kong

It is such a distant memory now. As far as I can recall this was my last top of my Asian trip in the winter of 2010 and 2011.

asia trip, 2011 - xian part 3

Most of these photos were taken in the Muslim Quarter in Xian, with many taken in the Muslim temple. The folks in the temple were camera shy but they were very kind. Muslim is one of many religious minorities in China.

asia trip, 2011 - xian part 2

The lighting conditions were most difficult at the terracotta warriors excavation sites. Given the significance and the extreme labor intensive excavation and restoration work that is on going for the decades to come, I feel each photo that I took is precious. My composition, setting of the DSLR, and the pressing of the shutter is so trivial compared to the men and women that devote their lives for the preservation of some of the most important history of humanity. Each of these clay figure is life size and uniquely made after a live person.

asia trip, 2011 - xian part 1

I cannot understate the significance of seeing many of these most historic significant sites, and recalling the Chinese history classes and text books. Of all China's provinces, Xian has to be one of the most significant.

shanghai thick wheat noodle with julienne pork - 上海肉絲湯麵 part 2

Since I set out to recreate this Shanghai thick noodle of childhood memory I have honed the techniques. There is really not much to it to prepare this delicious and hearty bowl of soup noodles.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

bimetal automotive gauges

My neighbor asked me to help him trouble shoot an intermittent problem with his auxiliary gauge cluster on his circa 1980s Isuzu Trouper. At times the fuel level gauge and the engine temperature gauge would stop functioning. The most peculiar symptom is they stop functioning and start functioning in tandem.  Seems simple enough, I thought until I have a chance to see the assembly first hand.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

fun facts of the day

Dec 20, 2017
If you think that you are getting a tax cut, as most if not all the credible US media reporting, you may be surprised. One less known and reported change is the $10k local tax deduction cap. If you live in one of the states that has high property as well as state income tax, you will be f*cked.

Oh! What I want to write is the Amtrek derailment. Why are all the media focus on the safety device that hasn't deployed? This is the virgin trip. How the hell can this happen? It is not only the engineer (the idiot that drives the locomotive), but all that are involved with this changed route that save number of minutes. Where are the due diligence and safeguard? There are countless people and entities to blame for this gross negligence - and this including, Amtrak management, (real) engineers, mechanics, supervisors, regulators, and you the NTSB.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

asia trip, 2010 - beijing part 3

There are 74 photos so knock yourself out.

asia trip, 2010 - beijing part 2

There are 70 photos in this post.

asia trip, 2010 - beijing part 1

We were there in the mid of winter, and it was bitter cold.

asia trip, 2010 - kyoto part 2

asia trip, 2010 - macau

Just a short stop in Macau.

asia trip, 2010 - kyoto part 1

We spent a lot of time in Kyoto.

asia trip, 2010 - takayama

Some day, I may come back and add the videos that I took, but these photos have to do for now.

asia trip, 2010 - osaka, beppu, and fukuoka

asia trip, 2010 - tokyo and matsumoto

Unfortunately I took mostly video and very few photos. Video is extremely time consuming to process and I learnt my lesson. Video also takes a lot more time to capture and very tiring.

Monday, December 18, 2017

repairing thinkpad t400s hinge

Recently I notice one side of the screen of my Thinkpad T400s bulges out. Upon closer examination I realize the bezel has separated from the LCD screen cover. I know if left unattended to, the stress will eventually break the LCD display, in addition to causing damage to the LCD display cover.

chinese vegan food ingredients 素食 - part 2

I made more of this braised dish with seafood with Chinese vegan food ingredients. I use a variety of seafood as well as home made char siu.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

shanghai thick wheat noodle stirfry with julienne pork - 上海肉絲炒粗麵

This is another dish from childhood memory that I want to make. When we were teens growing up, there were many Shanghai restaurant in the neighborhood. They typically had a modest menu but everything was done to perfection. They always have one side of the shop that is an open kitchen right up to the store front that you can see how they make each batch of Shanghai style pot stickers 鍋貼. Shanghai style pot stickers are similar to Japanese ramen shop gyozas in which both have pork. Only the Shanghainese ones are larger, with a hearty skin that is fried to perfection at the bottom. These restaurants has a few soup noodles and fried noodles, in addition to the pot stickers, and many other delicious steamed and pad fried buns.

chinese vegan food ingredients 素食 - part 1

China cuisines have many vegan ingredients. Some are used to prepare true vegan dishes. I am not a vegan but I use some from time to time for cooking. With the recent newly open 99 Range Market I discover many ingredients that previously were hard to find in town. Some I have never cooked with but know them my sight and have pretty good idea how to use them.

Friday, December 15, 2017

a trip to the surplus store

It's been forever since I last visited a surplus store. Why not go there since it was a rare dry day in December.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

shanghai thick wheat noodle with julienne pork - 上海肉絲湯麵

The opening of the new Asian supermarket 99 Ranch Market has been exciting for me. While I shop all over town for varied ingredients, I am delighted to find more ingredients that have not been available in town until now.

Friday, December 8, 2017

mini love - part 36

Whatever I buy there is work that needs to be carried out timely in case there is something wrong so to not miss the return window.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

slow braised red grouper in sake 紅燒紅石斑 - part 2

I went back to 99 Ranch Market to buy more of the red grouper steak. Actually the title of this post is misleading as I took no photo of the second pot of slow braised red grouper in sake.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

mini love - part 35

A few more cheap thrill toys for the Mini arrived. The parts that I procured for the Mini are piling up. Many of these would not be installed until Spring.

Monday, December 4, 2017

fried smelts

This is so delicious. I just fried up a handful of these smelts. The hard work is cleaning the tiny fish of their guts and a much gill as feasible. I just drudged them lightly with dry flour and on the went into hot oil. I first fried them in small batches. Then I fried them the second time all together. Once they are crispy just sprinkle salt and pepper and they are delicious. More delicious than the typical fried farm raised shrimps not to mention that much healthier. I think this is a $0.99 snack.

Monday, November 20, 2017

slow braised red grouper in sake 紅燒紅石斑

I went back to 99 Ranch Market to do a bit more shopping fun. I was eager to find out some products from Taiwan that have been mostly unobtainable here in Portland, Oregon. This time I made a point of touring the entire store. I skip the usual junk food and ready made frozen food. I wanted to take stock of what they have and what they don't have. I would really like to find some good cooking wine from Taiwan, but I knew they most likely don't have any.

mini love - part 34

It has been a great weekend in the progress of taking care of a few loose ends on the Mini. One of these is the oil pressure gauge adapter which to my horror was leaking oil. I have since decommissioned the oil pressure gauge until I have time to investigate, arrives at a satisfactory solution and recommission it.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

mini love - part 33

I have been bothered by a mild case of rattles ever since the installation of the Milltek exhaust. I took advantage of the dry day this weekend to investigate.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

slow braised skate wing in sake 紅燒魔鬼魚翼

As soon as I spotted the fresh skate wings at 99 Ranch Market I knew I have to have a piece. While I never cook skate wing successfully before I have very good idea what I would do with it. The piece I picked came in at 2 pounds.

99 ranch market

The opening of this new Asian supermarket in August this year completely escaped my radar. It's called 99 Ranch Market. Evidently it is owned by Taiwanese. I only found out of its arrival to Portland while reading a local newspaper online. I was very skeptical but nevertheless I want to go and see it for myself ASAP. It is not far from my part of town.

go pro hero 5 black blank screen of death

I have this GoPro Hero 5 Black camera a few weeks now. As I purchase it for using in the Mini on the tracks I have not really put it to use, except perform a suite of checks to make sure the camera functions as I expected. Overall I am quite pleased with it, though there are some shot comings. It is supposed to be a keeper.

home made char siu 叉燒 pizza - part 2

I made a third char siu 叉燒 pizza as I still have quite a bit of tomato sauce that I made scratch from one can of whole tomato. Even with this forth pizza, there is still enough left for a fifth pizza. This is the second char siu 叉燒 pizza that I feel that I really have gotten the recipe and technique down. I now just buy the pizza dough from Trader Joe and save so much time and effort. Their fresh dough is extremely good and cheap.

Monday, November 13, 2017

mini love - part 32

I thought I would write a post about the legacy audio system in the Mini. Shortly after I took delivery of the Mini back in 2004 summer, I installed this Sony Minidisc system.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

home made char siu 叉燒 pizza

I was at Trader Joe and I saw these prepared pizza dough. There are three kinds, an organic white, wheat, and white flour. The choice is easy and I picked up 2 bags of one made with white flour. I didn't have any plan as what kind of pizza I would make.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

mini love - part 31

Patience pays. I have systematically assembling the components to configure a A/V recording system for used with Harry's Laptimer. I want to get the best deals possible and so far I managed quite well. Most of the pieces were procured from Amazon when I spot the prices dips. Sometimes the difference is over 50%, like the case of the PLX Kiwi 3 bluetooth ODB dongle.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

home made char siu 叉燒

I made another batch of home made char siu 叉燒. It is so easy and takes very little time to prepare. Char siu means roast on a spit. I refrain to call it Chinese barbecue to conjure the images of the disgusting red sugar glazed meat commonly found in the west to appease the sweet tooth.

mini love - part 30

There are a lot of pieces of parts for the GoPro Hero 5 Black camera to configure the way I want for used with Harry's Laptimer. I have been procuring the pieces serially instead of all at once. Some of the part selection only becomes more apparent only after I have receive others. It is better to specify them right the first time, instead of wasting money for parts that does not fit.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

hairy gourd 毛瓜

I made a few variations of a simple stir fry dishes with this one hairy gourd 毛瓜. I like hairy gourd if it is cooked just right and it is still a bit crunchy. A stir fry hairy gourd is best with very few ingredients, and seasoning chosen so not to obscure the gourd's mild sweetness.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

storm drain

The storm drain in front of my driveway has deteriorated markedly this past rainy season. I noticed cracks on the pavement around the drain basin where some rainwater entered instead of being channeled into the storm drain. I knew sooner or later subsurface erosion will cause the pavement, and my driveway to sink.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

mini love - part 29

In my well laid plan to equip AV equipment in my Mini the street car named Desire, I put a number of products on the Amazon wishlist. I do this so I can pounce on the items when I see a good deal.

home made char siu 叉燒 and glutinous rice

I was not planning to make this batch of char siu. The piece of pork was sitting in the refrigerator and I had to do something with it before it passes its prime. I want something simple, and I decided why not make char siu with it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

mini love - part 28

To prove out my concept of assembling a GoPro camera mount for used with Harry's Laptimer I invested in this 1 inch ball base. This forms the foundation of my GoPro camera mount that will be secured to the head rest of the passenger seat. One of my objective is to be able to use the camera with a passenger.

Saturday, October 14, 2017