Archive for February, 2006

2006.02.28

Converting Old Music

I’m in the midst of converting really old (late 80s) mostly original music recordings to a digital format for posterity. Oh. My. God. Some of this is hilariously bad. There’s nothing like doing multi-track recording on a dual cassette player with out of tune instruments to brighten your day and make your ears squeal like little piggies.

I’m going to post a few of these “gems” once I’m done, but in the meantime let me get you prepared…

If you have pitch sensitive ears: don’t listen.
If you are a music critic: don’t listen.
If you don’t like bad music: don’t listen.

If you like making fun of people: listen.

Yup, it’s going to be a flamefest and I’m going to be the fodder for the fire. I’ll be sure to include some of the key players, though, like my brother and Mookee so they can share in the grief.

4 Comments | Catergorized: audio  memories

2006.02.27

In Sickness and In… Sickness

I feel like crap. I would have stayed home if I didn’t have something due today. I still left early (thanks, Boss!). Now I’m going to bed unless the rumors that the power went out at work are true.

I’m getting sick less and less as I get older, but those few times hit me much harder. Bastard virii.

Comments Off | Catergorized: grrr  life

2006.02.26

HOWTO: Basic OS X Utilities

I’m in the IT profession specializing in Apple Macintosh computers. With the implementation of MacOS X some years ago I’m still surprised at how many people don’t know how to run some basic utilities to keep their Mac humming. When someone has a problem with their Mac there are two basic things I do to try and fix the problem: try to repair permissions and update the prebinding.

Repair Permissions

1: Navigate to and launch Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.app
2: On the left side you should see your start up disk; usually it will be named Macintosh HD. Click on it.
3: On the right side you will see some buttons at the bottom. Click on the one that says, “Verify Disk Permissions.”
4: If it finds problems when it is finished then click on the button that says, “Repair Disk Permissions.”
NOTE: I almost always skip the verification and go straight to repairing disk permissions.

Update Prebinding

1: Navigate to and launch Applications > Utilities > Terminal.app.
2: At the prompt type this:

sudo update_prebinding -root / -force -debug

and hit the return/enter key. Note that is all on one single line.
3: You will be prompted for your admin password. This is the same one you use to install software on your Mac. Enter it and hit return/enter.
NOTE: the -debug flag is not strictly necessary, but it shows you what is happening and looks impressive!

That’s it. In my experience these two simple routines fix about 80% of all the common problems I’ve ever dealt with at work and at home. I hope that they will help you, too!

Comments Off | Catergorized: apple  technology

2006.02.25

Outright Ownership

The place I work gives out year end bonuses. This is a new and original thing for me; I’ve never worked anywhere that gave bonuses to “normal” workers (only sales people, who are generally overpaid already in my opinion). Hmm… I guess that’s not strictly true; my uncle would have paid a bonus if I worked there full time.

Anyways, the bonus was enough that I could pay off the loan on my car. Sweet! Now I can use that monthly payment to do a number of things, like *save* some of it, pay off the credit card (thankfully not out of control!) and stress less about money.

I think the car, an ’98 Subaru, is the most expensive thing I’ve ever purchased. The next goal will have to be a house. I’m a ways away from that, but it is a goal and great incentive to start saving more.

Wow. I own my car outright. Another thing I never thought about and certainly never expected. Does this mean I’m growing up?

3 Comments | Catergorized: life  work

2006.02.25

Snowboard Pictures

At long last I got pictures posted to galleries of the recent snowboarding trip to Tahoe.

My pictures.
Hiromi Kadowaki’s pictures.
Jerome Abellar’s pictures.
Julie Behn’s pictures.
Reginald Rhoade’s pictures.
Ryoji Abe’s pictures.
Shizuka Miyazaki’s pictures.

Obviously the pictures are owned by the respective photographer and published here with permission.

Now that I’ve got myGallery working hopefully I’ll get more sets up!

Comments Off | Catergorized: friends  photos  tahoe

2006.02.25

Evolution Losing?

This is disturbing. Even some scientists, while not conceding they are wrong, are admitting they are losing the so-called “culture war” again so-called “intelligent design”. This is sad (though the movie sounds interesting). Indeed, it’s like a return to the middle ages (site where I found the first link).

I know Mookee doesn’t feel like we are heading towards a fascist America (and on the whole I agree with him, though with qualifications and reservations) but there are definitely changes happening. For myself they don’t seem to be in a positive direction.

1 Comment | Catergorized: science

2006.02.24

Hacking Cough and the Gallery

Well, I had hoped by now to have galleries of pictures from the snowboarding trip up and online by now. No such luck. I could install a gallery web app, but I want it integrated with the site. You’d think this would be easier than it is but alas, no.

Meanwhile I have yet to catch up on rest post-snowboarding so I’m feeling a bit out of sorts. Worse, I’ve had this dry, hacking cough since maybe Wednesday. Frack. And I almost made it a year without getting sick.

Hopefully I’ll at least get one gallery online tonight. If I can do that then I’ll feel a little bit better.

1 Comment | Catergorized: grrr  life  site

2006.02.21

Meat Purse

Meat Purse
Meat Purse
I have a tradition that whenever I go on a weekend trip to Tahoe with friends I always make what I call Meat Purse. This year I also made a variation that Redge dubbed Meat Wallet. Here is the basic recipe and variation will follow.

Meat Purse
Serves about 4-5 people.

Ingredients:
Flank Steak (one good size)
Spinach (one bunch)
Basil (one bunch)
Gorgonzola (one tub (cup?))
Garlic (one clove)
Large Sewing Needle or Suture with Cotton Thread (you can sometimes get this from the butcher)

Cut off stems from spinach and basil. Mince and put in a bowl along with chopped and crushed garlic. Pour gorgonzola in bowl. Mix and mush everything together. Set aside bowl; this is your stuffing.

Stitched Meat Purse
Stitched Meat Purse
Lay out flank steak. Cut off excess fat. Fold in half and start sewing the steak until there is only a two inch (4-5cm) hole. Take stuffing and shove everything into the pocket of the flank steak. Finish stitching the steak closed. For the “purse” effect tie two corners with the remaining string forming a handle.

Set the oven for apprx. 350 degrees. Put Meat Purse on tray that will drain and put in the oven for apprx. half an hour. I’ve never perfected this part, so your temperature and time may vary.

Variations
1: Instead of gorgonzola you can use feta or blue cheese. If you use feta I recommend adding a bit of salt to the stuffing. By the way, you can never have too much cheese…
2: Add other items to the stuffing. I sauted some mushrooms once, and I would imagine a bit of bread might work nicely, too.
3: Marinate the meat. I take a bunch of garlic cloves and put them in a bottle with soy sauce and let it sit for months in the refridgerator. I’ve used this mixture once marinating the meat in the soy sauce and using one or two of the cloves in the stuffing.
4: You could brown the meat a bit ahead of time if you’re so inclined. You could also parch the spinach ahead of time; I’ve encountered some cases where the spinach was too wet even after cooking.
5: I doubled the recipe and stitched two flank steaks together face to face.

Meat Wallet
One original variation on the Meat Purse that was original to this trip was Meat Wallet. It’s basically exactly the same as Meat Purse except you take two pork tenderloins, stitch them, stuff them and don’t stitch them closed. They take a little less time to cook but otherwise the recipe is the same.

I’ll post pictures of both when I get some from the others who were on the trip!

Comments Off | Catergorized: food-drink  tahoe

2006.02.21

Egyptian Rattle Screw: ERS

(This post originally appeared on my old website back in 2003. This past weekend we played a couple rounds up in Tahoe and I thought I’d repost the rules.)

Egyptian Rattle Screw is a fairly simple card game similar to War but with an actual element of chance. We often called the game Rat Fuck back in college because it was so easy to get destroyed by opponents with only a handful of cards. The pacing is fast. After the jump are the rules as we played. I had a great time playing ERS with gTodd and Nate, and whoever else was along at the time (often Fraggle, Joy and/or Zapski, and even my sister learned to play).

Read the rest of this entry…

1 Comment | Catergorized: games

2006.02.18

First Day: Heavenly

Today was my first time up this season in Tahoe. I’m up here with 15 co-workers from VIZ Media and today we went to the California side of Heavenly. It was really nice conditions and we only had one accident (someone went off one of the jumps, I think accidently).

My friend Ryoji and I did the last run of the day from the top to the bottom. Our legs are desparately sore. Now I’m off for a shower and some relaxation before dinner and the the pre-bedtime hot tub.

There’s a rumor that we’re supposed to get 18 inches of snow tonight. Wow. Tomorrow will be great!

4 Comments | Catergorized: friends  life  tahoe
« In Tahoe for the Weekend      Egyptian Rattle Screw: ERS »« Older Entries     Next Page »