Monday, December 31, 2018

sichuan water poached beef 四川麻辣水煮牛肉 - part 3

Practice makes perfect. As I have plenty of ingredients left I made another pot of Sichuan water poached beef. This time I went and bought a bag of soy bean spouts which is required for the traditional recipe of this dish.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

sichuan water poached beef 四川麻辣水煮牛肉 - part 2

I am having this urge to try out a number of Sichuan classic dishes. Of this Sichuan water poached beef 四川麻辣水煮牛肉 was the first that I recently tried. This seemingly difficult dish turns out to be quite simple, once I figured out a few shortcuts. This is my third time preparing this dish. This time I made a point of getting some ingredients that I didn't have.

a few casual meals - part 1

These are just some photos of casual dishes I made recently.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

sichuan water poached beef 四川麻辣水煮牛肉

With a lot of Asian dishes this is one dish the name can so easily lost in translation. If translated word for word, this dish would be called water cooked beef which does not sound too appetizing. It was nearly 10 years ago in a business trip to Dalian that I had my first taste of a sister dish of Sichuan water poached beef - Sichuan water poached fish. When the fish was presented to the table in a large shallow ceramic bowl there was this half inch thick of orange chili oil. Very intimating. I was immediately perplexed with the name as the abundance of oil gave me the impression that the slices of fish were more likely poached in hot (as spicy hot) oil rather than cooked in water as the name suggested.

Monday, December 17, 2018

airline serving cart as furniture - part 2

I have been wanting an airline serving trolley ever since I first saw them sold in Hong Kong 5 years ago. Upon returning home I checked on and off here but the prices had been sky high. Recently I have been thinking about traveling again and my desire for one.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

mini love - part 48

Once I was satisfied with the preliminary fit check of the Konig Dial-In wheel in 15x8, I proceed to order the other three for a full set. Amazon has 5 of these wheels and I bought 4, leaving one in their inventory. It would turned out that all 5 passed through my hands.

mini love - part 47

This is a catchup post. This event happened in October.

Wanting to have a wider selections of high performance tires for track I decided to switch from 16 inch wheels to 15 inch. It was not a simple switch as the Wilwood front brakes are too large to fit inside any 15 inch wheels. For the switch I had to reduce the brake rotors from 12.20" to 11.75". Even then only none but the few 15 inch wheels designed for track focus would fit, and just barely with next to no space between the caliper and the wheel barrel.

a couple of shrimp dishes

I haven't bought farmed shrimps for close to a decade now. I used to buy them back when they were not as widely raised. In recently years I only buy wild sea shrimps - US gulf shrimps. Need to say when you go out to eat, more often than not the shrimps are farmed, except in the high end places where the shrimps are the highlight of the dish.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

clay pot rice aplenty - 很多煲仔飯 part 2

I had written a post a while back called clay pot rice aplenty - 很多煲仔飯. This is a follow on post to it.  Clay pot rice tends to be eaten in the arrival of cool winds in the winter in southwest China. It is a one vessel meal and you cook everything in one pot, and serve it in the same pot. Some find making a perfect pot at home daunting. Like most things often we are the biggest enemy to success being afraid of failure. Practice and willing to experiment are the best teachers. In tech the latter is called dogfooding.

Monday, December 3, 2018

clay pot rice 煲仔飯 - with dim sum ingredients

Clay pot rice 煲仔飯 is one of the most versatile Chinese dishes. The variety of ingredients that may be used only limited by one's imagination. The whole meal is cooked and served in the same cooking vessel, and the best experience is to eat it straight out of the clay pot.

cantonese steamed beef meatballs - part 2

This is one man's quest for edible dim sum continues. In addition to preparing the beef meatballs, I also prepared a batch of baby ribs in black bean sauce. Unlike the beef meatballs the preparation for the ribs cannot be easier.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

cantonese steamed beef meatballs

This is something that I have not try to make until now. Here in Portland there is no dim sum place that I care for. The closest acceptable dim sum I have to drive to Seattle, or better Richmond, BC. So short of taking a road trip, I have to take matter into my own hands if I want edible dim sum.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

cantonese congee - part 3

I have been really into making congee lately. I discovered the simple techniques which involve so little time that I category them as passive cooking - a kind of like IRS's passive investment income which I have not much involvement while my sous chef Chrono does all the heavy lifting. My congee typically takes 10 hours of extremely low heat simmering, thanks to Chrono's unparalleled patience.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

winterize brunnhilde

Winter is coming. Freezing nights are coming, and along with the White Walkers that are our mortal enemy. It is time to mount the defense.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

cantonese congee - part 2

I had not made congee for years until recently. One reason that I hadn't because I thought a bowl of congee does not constitute a meal for a hungry man. Congee is typically eaten as a light breakfast in many Asian countries.

smoked ham hocks

It is a nice fall day and I want to take Mini out for a short drive. I also want to check out a ODB reader which concerns me as it has a burnt component that I can see through the translucent case. I cannot open it as it would be viewed as I had tempered with it.

Monday, November 12, 2018

porsche love - part 1

I am enslaved to my vehicles. When you drive them as fast as you skills capable the maintenance and operating costs can become quite substantial. I try to do all maintenance and repair work myself and so far I have done quite well. The Mini has never been touched by anyone, not even warranty work by the dealer.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

cantonese congee

This is probably my fifth time making congee. I made a pot of mostly seafood congee for my ill neighbor. I simmered the rice into congee which took over 8 hours. It smelled so good that today I decided to make myself a pot too.

Friday, November 9, 2018

high altitude heater pump for brunnhilde

Often a well laid plan can be foiled by poor planning or just a lapse of judgement. Before taking the cross country trip I knew that I may need to use the diesel furnace in the high elevations at the Continental Divide. I planned ahead and ordered the high altitude pump to replace the normal sea level pump for the Eberspächer furnace, and a couple of parts that I expect I will need sooner or later.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

trailex open car trailer towed by brunnhilde - part 1

Based on Brunnhilde's towing capacity I carefully chose an open trailer to stay within the specified limits. The limits are 5000 lb max towing capacity and 500 lb max of tongue weight. Armed with this two numbers I quite quickly narrow down the offering and Trailex 8045 emerged as the uncontested winner. It is the lightest open car trailer of this usable deck size that meet my check list of requirements.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

getting the porsche to the track - part 2

Taking a car to the rack track and driving it flat out with other cars can take a heavy toll on the car's exterior, especially the paint. I had been on the fence as to should I spend a few thousand dollar for a well installed paint protection commonly referred to as clear bra. As I am fearless in tackling just about anything that I have zero experience I would finally decide that I want to give my hands and my head a try. I have no disillusion that it would be challenging and most first time DIY fail. I expect it to be as challenging as drywall or big concrete job for first time DIY without training, let alone cumulated experience.

getting the porsche to the track - part 1

It has been a very long time since I want to take the Porsche to the track. I've come to the conclusion that it is safer for it to be on the track than on public roads. Tracks are where this car belongs, and not tracking it is tragic for me, and equally, for the car.

rear view camera for brunnhilde - revision 2.0

With the 8045 Trailex trailer in tow Brunnhilde becomes a 40-foot road train. Additionally backing up to the trailer tongue requires precision driving which is impossible without a spotter. For backing up even with a spotter the task is far from easy as most people do not have the skills of how to negotiate the tow vehicle to steer the trailer into a tight spot.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

new hdtv for brunnhilde

I repurposed the 23" 1080p HDTV from Brunnhilde for home use. I have been looking for a replacement. The 22" LG opened box arrived shortly after I return home from the cross country trip. It has just about everything I looked for feature wise. It is a little lighter than the Samsung it replaced but less number of ports and without the fancy touch sensitive buttons that I hate.

cross country trip to pick up the car trailer - part 5

Arriving home and I could not wait but to put the Mini onto the trailer to check everything out.

cross country trip to pick up the car trailer - part 4

Leaving Toronto I headed in a beeline to Trailex in Ohio. It is located, you guessed it, just SW of Toronto but because of Lake Erie there is no best route to it so pick your poison. The detour to Toronto in this trip added may be a thousand miles in a 3000 mile each way cross country trip.

cross country trip to pick up the car trailer - part 3

Finally I made it to Toronto. Naturally for someone in Portland is to catch up with the much better Chinese food there as here the best are one that I make. Still the world is in constant change and quality and selection of food is no exception. Even in TO, bad Chinese food is aplenty and buyers aware. In truth, of the countless restaurants we went only two that I feel is worthy especially in a metropolitan that has the choosiest of Chinese cuisines.

cross country trip to pick up the car trailer - part 2

Each trip I return to Toronto I revisit my college to take stock of the changes, and to reminisce the college life. I happened upon the university's open house day of sort for prospect freshmen as well as future freshmen.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

cross country trip to pick up the car trailer - part 1

There was no room for error to prepare Brunnhilde for a cross country trip to pick up the Trailex open car trailer. I planned my trip to also visit my family in Toronto.

mini love - part 46

This was the second time I remove the supercharger from Desire for inspection. Last time I remove it the power take off gear housing as bone dry without oil. Surprisingly the gears showed no sign of premature wear. I fill up the SC with GM SC oil and had since driven on track many times. To my surprise somewhat, the high pitch noise did not subside with the replenished lubricant. Fearing the PTO housing seal may be leaking and all the oil got sucked into the SC compressor housing I remove the SC for the second time to investigate.

Friday, November 2, 2018

trailer prep of brunnhilde - part 6

This is one of many catch up posts, so it is foto heavy with little text. The fotos should tell most of the the story. This post pretty well wrap up the trailer preparation of the brake system for the open car Trailex tailer that I would pick up in Ohio in late August.

trailer prep of brunnhilde - part 5

As a part of preparing for a Trailex open car trailer I had to install an electric trailer brake controller. As Mercedes Benz didn't provide the wire for the trailer electric brake I needed to retrofit a wire with adequate current carrying capacity all the way from the cockpit to the trailer hitch connector. I wanted to retain the existing connector. This requires finding the right crimp contact for this Delphi type connector that is a part of the interconnect between the harness and the trailer connector.

energy bank for brunnhilde - part 1

I have not post for months and have a lot of catch up posts to write. I have hundreds of photos that I want blog posts to document them, for posterity.

The coach batteries in Brunnhilde has been losing capacities steadily noticeably since a couple of years ago. Recently they have gotten to the point of threatening the ability to support the DC refrigerator during an overnight stop transiting interstate highways in a trip to Iowa to pick up the open car trailer. It happen after I used the audio system quite loud for hours and then went to sleep. I estimate that must used up extra 25 Ah of energy. When I woke up I noticed the voltage had drop below 12.0 V.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

mini at HPDE - part 3

Mini has been a victim of prejudice at HPDE events. The corner workers are the nicest people but best people makes mistake too. They are so accustomed to seeing slow Mini's that when they see a high power car somewhat near the tail of Desire they tend to give us the give-point-by flag. This happen countless times this Friday. Also when Desire was short of climbing up the arse of the higher power car ahead, one corner worker consistently not give flag to that car that have been holding us back in turns leading up to the straight.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

mini at HPDE - part 2

I took Mini to PIR this past week partaking HPDE for 2 days. These are four videos taken that day on all four 20-minute sessions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

bbc proms 2018 is now on

BBC Proms is back for 2018 for this years 2-month long performances. Here in the US we are lucky to have the excellent Symphony Cast that we can stream on demand on some selected performance. Symphony Cast has been my favorite classical music for its coverage of performance from all over the world, and more so the diverse works that often include the lesser known.

Monday, August 13, 2018

mini love - part 44

This is actually a draft that I started from over 4 months ago. 4 months is a very long time with the Mini. I actually have been posting on a Mini forum in the last few months instead of my blog. I want to have everything on my blog as I don't trust the longevity of forums given how the world has gone "social".

Sunday, August 12, 2018

trailer prep of brunnhilde - part 4

To prepare for the new car trailer I went and found my one and only trailer ball hitch that I bought very long ago. I was hoping that I can use it without buying a new one. For my use up to now the height of the trailer hitch is not as critical unless I am hauling very heavy payload like gravel or asphalt roofing. But when you are towing a car and that the payload approaching the limits of the tow weight as well as the tongue weight of Brunnhilde you want to specify just the right ball hitch.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

brunnhilde's air conditioner broke down

In German the title may read "Brunnhilde Klimaanlage ist kaputt". LOL It is like the one for our planet that is now funktioniert nicht.

Since I installed the Coleman Mach 8 cub in Brunnhilde a few years ago I only used it rarely. Yesterday with the heat spell I let the air conditioning ran most of the day unattended as a shakeout test. It was hot sunny day which ambient was near 90F. All was well but by the late afternoon when the van was in the shade I went and checked. To my surprise the AC stopped. My immediately thought is may be the evaporator got too cold and froze, and overloaded the compressor leading to tripping of a overload device somewhere; or worst burnt up the compressor.

mini at HPDE

Of over 30 days of summer heat and 10 consecutive of 90+ F days, today is the first cool day, which happen to be a full burrito day at PIR that I signed up over a month ago. Only 2 R53 Mini's. It was overcast all day starting at circa 65F with very light drizzle. The day never exceed 70F but I managed to boil Motul 600 again. I am going to put in the SS caliper pistons.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

how I like this series

I added to my watch list, Babylon Berlin the day Netflix started streaming it. I sampled a short (a couple of minutes) segment in a later episode then to determine if I want to watch it at all. I was immediately attracted to the time period and subject matter, and I knew I would want to watch it in the original language. I have not started watching it until now because watching in German takes effort as well as attention. I started watching it last night, and I have to say, it is one of the best TV series in recent decade. I will put it right up there with Endeavour, Game of Thrones, Westworld, Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood, and The Sopranos.

Zu Asche, Zu Staub is so striking, catchy, and haunting (in season 1 ep 2)

Monday, July 23, 2018

trailer prep of brunnhilde - part 3

In the previous post I couldn't finish the electrical wiring of the trailer brake controller. While I safely powered it up and did some simple tests I used a temporary blade type fuse. I didn't have the self-resetting breaker at the time to finish the wiring.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

trailer prep of brunnhilde - part 2

This is a follow on post to "trailer prep of brunnhilde". Installing a trailer brake controller as well as retrofitting the electric brake wiring from the cockpit to the 7-pin trailer turns out to be an involving project. I didn't want to do a hack job so it is like as if I was designing this aspect of the James Cook trailer prep design and execution. Tens of hours has gone into this.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

pan seared mahi mahi

For me one of the easiest ways to prepare fish is to sear it in a cast iron skillet. Mahi mahi steak is one. It can get quite dry so I devised a rich and savory sauce to help it along.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

trailer prep of brunnhilde

I want to tow a car trailer with Brunnhilde. Driving a car on the track it can become not road worthy as anything can happen. I don't feel comfortable exploring distant tracks until I acquire a trailer. For the heavily laden Sprinter T1N I searched for the lightest aluminum open trailer with tandem axles for security/redundancy as well as low tongue weight. My research resulted in the Trailex 8045EB.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

mini love - part 43

I waited for the winter to be over to install the Wilwood big brake kit for the front wheels on the Mini. Last summer I wanted to try out the stock brake as a baseline driving on tracks. I wanted to experience each step of change, from all stock brake, then to racing front brake pads with the stock calipers. I also wanted to use up the stock brake so I feel better they are not going to waste.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

formula 1 technologies

I was searching for manual gearbox articles concerning dog box and sequential gearbox. I came across this excellent article about F1 sequential gearbox on this site called Technical F1 Dictionary. It has the most in depth, but easy to understand, coverage of all technical things Formula 1. I could not stop reading them.

Just one simple example. I had tried to find out more about MGU-H and most sites just fall flat with a bit of hand waving. Here is the link to his excellent article on the entire new F1 Power Unit. Gone are the ICE which once was the sole power unit. It is now a system including the ICE.

just this single photo of MGH-H answers just about all my questions of how it recovers the so-called heat energy; it is quite misleading for a applied science major as it is really more kinetic than thermal (H)

I had on and off visited other sites of this nature but all fall very far short. This truly is a gem. A lot of fascinating reading for weeks to come.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

home made char siu 叉燒 pizza - part 3

I didn't know about San Marzano tomatoes until I bought this can of Italian can tomatoes at Trader Joe's. Up until now I have been using domestic canned plum tomatoes also bought at Trader Joe's. I thought I would give the pricey Italian one a try.

isolde's motor mounts

I was so sure that the motor mounts in Isolde has deteriorated badly after 28 years. A lot of chain tire shops now refuse to mount and balance your tires if they are over 10 years old which I think is another notch up with their scams. I have been told rubber will continue to vulcanize after the product is made, and soon they lose the flexibility. My experience with tires and rubber molding is the sun is their biggest enemy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

mini love - part 42

I didn't wrap up the installation of the long shifter in the same day as I only worked on it a few hours in taking advantage of the afternoon sun. I didn't want to rush the job only to realize I have done something wrong after buttoning up the undercarriage. I also took the opportunity to study the stock exhaust header for a place to mount a bung for a wide band oxygen sensor - which I resigned was not possible. I also paid special attention for a location to bring the harness for the wide band sensor from the cockpit down to the exhaust header.

mini love - part 41

I took many photos of the shifter so one can see the details where the vendor's site is very lacking.